Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Excerpt of novel in progress...

- - -
“Put our your left hand. You need to shuffle the cards.” Roc smiled as the girl put her hand out, and as Roc’s skin brushed hers, he felt the sweat on her palm and

white-yellow bursts, bright as welding arcs, marched across his brain. His jaws snapped shut and forced his teeth to grind against each other. The joints of his bones galvanized and locked into place as high-pitch agony jumped from one socket to the next.

The sound of his heartbeat slowing. The two quick tha-dum, tha-dum... tha-dum, tha-dum, pulse in his body easing to a halt.

Blood flowed into the right ventricle.


Blood exiting the left ventricle into his blood-stream.


Even slower, his body edging closer and closer to the edge of an abyss that cradled death at its feet. Close enough that he could see shapes moving between the bursts of light. He could see THEM in the light. THEY clawed after him, reaching out hands of bleached, skin-wrapped bone, fingers nothing more than sharpened sticks of driftwood. Hollow eyes the color of curdled milk stared at him and they screamed the sound of desperation from their gaunt, tortured faces.

And in their screams, Roc saw.
- - -

Friday, October 21, 2005


Not enough breath in me. Stretchin me. Makin me thin.
Sin... my veins like a freight train. Insane in the membrane.
All together now.
Insane in the membrane.

Not enough breath in me. Stretchin me. Makin me thin.
Don't know where I'm goin but I know where I've been.
Stress like a noose around my neck.
Been bluffin my cards without a deck.
Caught in the middle again I am.
And I don't give a damn.
All together now.
And I don't give a damn.

Not enough breath in me. Stretchin me. Makin me thin.
Thoughts fallin in my mind like hail on roof tin.
Can't skip 'em or trip 'em or push 'em away.
Bad pennies keep turnin up on rainy days.

Find my breath.
Take a step.
Take it in.
Don't know where I'm goin but I know where I've been.

Too much liquor and bicker and distraction.
Lack of action.
I can't get no... satisfaction.
All together now.
I can't get no... satisfaction.

Open my veins and I bleed words.
Stories like birds...
...laid bare.
Don't care.
Dark in there.
My lair.

Not enough breath in me. Stretchin me. Makin me thin.
Don't know where I'm goin but I know where I've been.
All together now.
Don't know where I'm goin but I know where I've been.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Running Wild

Just got an email from Running Wild Films in the UK.

They've short-listed my screenplay "Pumping Hilda"

Nice news for a great Fall day.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm listening to the cd HOWL, by the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

And even though they mention Jesus quite a lot, I still think it is the shit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pulling Back the Veil

For some writers, it never happens. For me, it's only happened one other time where I got an entire story; plot, characters, resolution, the whole enchilada, dumped into my lap, whole and complete; the only thing left of the process is to write it all down. The feeling is... it's like you've been invited to a secret show. Like someone's pulled back a dark veil and you can see what's going on behind it; things you're not supposed to see. You've tapped into something other than you, or at the least, a part of you that you were dimly aware of, but you've lost the map a long time ago.

I'll often get complete scenes or phrases, opening sentences, snips of dialogue and conversation or a strong visual image that sticks with me. I'll write them down, type them in, carry them around in the sewer trap of my mind until sometime later - sometimes years – I'll get another mini-flash - and see how the various pieces all fit together into a larger puzzle.

I've been working on a pile of things lately. A rewrite of a script. Finishing another, and I just finished a rewrite of a short story. And a novel that has been like carrying a crown of thorns around. Lately, the gears on the wheel of the novel have been turning, and I've felt things beginning to come together.

Last night an entirely new plot came fully formed, subplots, the entire thing, into my head. I wrote until 1:00 in the morning, went to bed.

And my muse poked her head up at the side of the bed and whispered.

"Uhmmm what the fuck are you doing? I don't recall saying you could get up from the chair."

I listened to her baner and counted ceiling tiles for fifteen minutes, then came back down and wrote til 2:00.

My muse is an onery bitch, but she demands attention.

Keep in mind, I'm 40k words into this thing now, and I've been liking the direction. Not loving it. Liking it. I wrote for four hours last night with this new direction, furiously getting down the threads into something coherent; something other than my typical i-can't-keep-up-with-the-fucking-idea writing shorthand.

Let me explain what this revelation would normally mean to me, so anyone who doesn't write may understand.

Stretch your arm out on the kitchen counter. Grab a meat cleaver. Place gently at the inner crook of your elbow. Apply liberal amount of pressure until arm is separated.

Note I said what this would "normally" mean to me. But not this time. What this means in literal terms is that out of my 40k words, I have to grab about 20k of them, pull them kicking and screaming from the page, drag them off the road to the muddy ditch and slit their throats, leaving their dangling participles and spilled gerunds all over the dew-covered weeds.

How did this begin?

Three days ago I was putting my son to bed. I was standing, holding him, and the low glow of his nightlight cast shadows of us against the walls of his bedroom. He pointed at the shadows.

"Whaddat daddee?"

"Just shadows, buddy. The world's full of them."

And that was the kernel right there. I don't know where the second half of that response came from. Well... I do. Shadows have swirled in my head for so long... but nevermind that. That exchange stuck with me the entire night. I walked downstairs asking myself where the hell that came from. Freud at work.

Those three sentences changed absolutely everything.

Those three sentences are going to make me bloody. Very bloody.

I don't think I've looked forward to such wholesale slaughter in my entire life.

Current Read:
Earthworm Gods, Brian Keene. Another ringer for Keene. I'm a sucker for well written first person and he's nailing this one so far.

My rewritten short, Pleasing Marlena. Pulled out the hacksaw and chopped it to pieces, then used sinew to put it back together. Looks a million times better now than it did before surgery and it's ready to get sent out today.

Music Rotation:
Mike Ness - Cheating at Solitaire
Social D - Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
Meat Beat Manifesto - Armed Audio Warfare

Funniest thing I've heard/read recently;
An email reply.

Keep the bodies cold.

Monday, October 03, 2005

random updates from the morgue

A ridiculous amount of work going on right now. I feel like the Dutch Boy trying to plug the dam with his thumb.

Last two books I read:
Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door. A phe-fucking-nominal book. After reading the first few pages, I was hooked solid and couldn't put it down. I finished this one late Saturday night - in four days, which, for me right now, is a really fast read. This story wrings every bit of emotion from the reader. Incredibly well written.

John Skipp's Conscience
Great collection - the main story is another one that grabs you by the throat and won't let go.

Current read:
Earthworm Gods by Brian Keene - only a few pages into this one, but nice set up so far.

Music rotation:
Beck's Guero
Black Sabbath's Greatest Hits
Ben Harper Live in Paris
Credence Clearwater Revival at the House of Blues
Misc of Brian Jonestown Massacre

Funniest thing I've heard recently:
My daughter played a soccer tournament over the weekend, and I was splitting my attention between the game and watching my son run around, jacked up on fruit snacks. At the end of the game, I was no longer sure what the score was and I asked my daughter how'd they do.
Her response:
Well Dad, I didn't stink it up.