Friday, December 18, 2015

A Year In Literature

So here's a nice and safe little blog which is guaranteed not to upset some of the anonymous little shits who unliked me simply because of my last two blogs (which I figured weren't really that controversial, but apparently I was wrong). 

With twenty-fifteen coming to its conclusion I thought I'd jot down the titles of all that I've read this year with a mini-review. I really went for quantity over quality this, as most of the books I read, while good, weren't too impressive. Still, there were a few gems and so without further ado, I present to you:

A YEAR IN LITERATURE

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, Irvine Welsh: Almost amazing. The ending was weak but leading up to it was a hilarious and vulgar romp.

Junkie, William S. Burroughs: Love me some junkie literature. 

The Scarlet Gospels, Clive Barker: While not amazingly written it remains in the top three novels I read this year. Pinhead v Harry D'Amour. What more do you need? Besides Abarat IV...

Luther: The Calling, Neil Cross: Were I not such a huge fan of BBC's Luther I probably wouldn't have read this, but I'm glad I did and will probably start to follow Cross in the future.

Black Chalk, Christopher J. Yates: My favorite second this year and hands down one of the few books I wish I had written. It was a delightful mystery that unfolded so perfectly it was impossible to set down.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, Haruki Murakami: Meh.

Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King: 400 page incest joke.

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, David Sedaris: Sedaris is my spirit animal, but this is not his best. 

Chew: Chicken Tenders/ Blood Puddin': Chew is hands down one of the greatest comics to have ever been written and I love this series so hard.

The Killing Lessons, Saul Black (Glen Duncan): Glen Duncan is one of my favorite authors, and I think it's cool that he attempted a thriller, but I do miss the true to form, non-commercial Glen Duncan.

The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky: My brother picked up the graphic novel of the Aronofsky's most underrated film and I found this to be just as incredible as the movie.

Fabels: Legends in Exile/ Animal Farm: I started reading the Fabel series after getting a massive gaming hardon for The Wolf Among Us. The comics are fun but TellTale has 'em beat. I preferred the interactive setting of the game to the comics.

Dark Places, Gillian Flynn: Difficult in the middle with an awful twist, but I still enjoyed it. No Sharp Objects though.

The Grownup, Gillian Flynn: Awful twist ending to an otherwise perfect short story. I kind of wish Flynn didn't run with twists and kept the plot straightforward. She has no problem locking a reader in so twists kind of stump the flow of it.

The Sunset Limited, Cormac McCarthy: Perfection. Just as amazing as the first time I read it.

Queer, William S. Burroughs: It's no Junkie, which is maybe why I wasn't feeling it. Very bland.

Never Come Morning, Nelson Algren: This wins my favorite for the year and wraps up the year in literature for me. I so badly wished I could write this novel, but there's no imitating Algren's voice or style, as much as I wanted to. It's a love story and so heartbreaking that I tossed the book after finishing it, I was crushed so badly. I have some of Algren's other work on my shelves and I am beyond excited to read them. Hemingway was right. Don't read him if you can't take a punch.

East of West: Vol. 1: My brother randomly gave this to me and I'm officially hooked. This series will replace what I have lost with Chew when it ends next year. 

DIVORCED BOOKS: 

These are the books I started or had been trying to finish and just said fuck it to because there was no hope or point in even trying.

Purity, Jonathan Franzen: I so badly want to like Franzen  because he's a great writer. But he writes such awful fucking books that I just can't. Once the lead male went down on the lead female and used that as a blackmailing secret to match the one he gave her, which was him committing a murder, I put it on my shelf with Freedom and The Corrections and decided Franzen can get fucked.

The Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood: The ending that I was so afraid of and yet wanted so badly turned out to be a fake out plot point in the middle of the book and I walked away. I was so mad. The Handmaid's Tale this is not.

1Q84, Haruki Murakami: Murakami wrote two of my all time favorite novels (The Wind-up Bird Chronicles and Hardboiled Wonderland and The End of the Word) but for some reason everything else I've tried of his is just one massive let down. 1Q84 is a fine example of a long novel that should have been 500 pages shorter. I would probably have loved this book if it didn't drag to the point where I didn't give a shit and was not going to go through 300 more pages of characters sitting around.









Saturday, December 5, 2015

White Pride is Racist, But It's Also Kinda Not...



Last night I was scrolling through Bookface and I came across this delightful little cartoon:



#ButtHurtWhitePeople

I read this and my immediate thought was, "Awww... they want to be the victim. Cute!" And then it got me thinking about how this is rather common concern among certain Caucasian United States citizens, and that they truly believe they are some sort of victim of the reverse racism myth when it comes to pride in who they are. 

And I started to wonder about why that is? Why do some consider it racist to be a proud white person? Well, the answer I decided on kind of sits on the fence. It is and it isn't, it just depends on the language you use.

Let's be honest and realistic, "white pride" is associated with "white power" which the basic chant of racism. That's just how the term is used. Google the term "white pride" if you'd like. There's a fiar bit of controversy. Then google Scottish pride. Then British pride. Then Irish Pride. Then German Pride. The first photos and memes and articles that you come across are not centered around race (although I did see one German article on how it's becoming less awkward to have pride in your German heritage). 

I think the basic misunderstanding of the grouchy men and women who feel they are being persecuted for their white pride is that they're not paying attention to how they're communicating they're pride. I know quite a few white people, myself half-included (cause, you know, the whole half Mexican/ half European thing) who are more than happy to share their pride in the cultures they come from. But they're specific. "White pride" is an offensive term and that simply needs to be respected. But when the conversation turns to specifics and you're not generalizing with "White" then the offensive nature is removed from the context.

And this isn't about political correctness, which is something I find to be ridiculous and stupid and the wet dream of some sad group of people who think a personal philosophy should be social law and all naysayers exiled. It's about respect. It's about the simple idea of not being a dick. It's about being empathetic with the feelings and attitudes of entire cultures that have been shit on for way too long for the simple crime of not being pale enough to blend in white snow. 

At least, these are just my thoughts. Perhaps this conversation in our culture can be fixed if we work on the way we're communicating our cultural pride. 







Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Four Assholes You See Posting During a Tragedy

In the wake of the Paris attacks I’ve been thinking about my favorite types of people during a tragedy:

Person A is angry because they don’t believe some of the grief is legitimate, so they decide to cry about it and tell the people that they’re insincere. This behavior is in all likelihood due to the fact that people aren’t paying attention to them, so whatever. Let the children cry.

Person B is upset that no one is paying attention to another incident and so rather than try to reference the other tragedy in the conversation, they decide to tell people what they should be thinking and feeling and focusing on. This tends to belittle both tragedies because it brings up a comparison of the two, when really all that needs to happen is the formation of a second conversation in addition to the first one. There’s no competing with a news story that’s gained momentum in mainstream media (journalism is still a business) but that doesn’t mean the second conversation can’t keep going and that doesn’t mean both conversations can’t be had at the same time, respectively.

Person C is usually crying out for some radical answer that can be broken down into the simple attempt to justify racism. For instance, treating refugees who are fleeing for safety as accomplices. That’s like blaming a wife who flees her abusive husband for some stupid public action the husband committed afterwards. Would it be preferred that the victims die at home so that others are not inconvenienced? No, it wouldn’t. Don’t be silly like Person D.

Person D is just silly and wants to get rid of guns or religion or whatever, as though something as like that is actually possible. Instead of focusing on the issue, which can be boiled down to a lack of human empathy and a complete disrespect for human life, they find whatever Bad Guy One has in common with Bad Guy Two and decide the common denominator needs be eliminated, even though BG1 and BG2 are basically apples and oranges. There’s no need to get rid of all fruit here. Just the specific rotten fruit.


And all of these people do little more that take a poo on the problem. So please, don’t be one of those sorts of people. Focus on love and empathy and sticking together in a time of crisis. Talk about Paris. Talk about Baghdad. Talk about everything that’s wrong. Just stop attacking other people for not reacting the same way as you.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Blog. Life Blog. Anti-Black Friday Blog.

Boo!

It's Halloween today and the hippy and I are doing something very special. We'll be attending a wedding today, for two very lovey people. And since it's a Halloween wedding and Cody and Jessica are not lame as fuck, costumes are happening. 



I'm just going to leave this here and remind you
that gender bending costumes are a thing.


It's also a day for movies and candy, and I plan to enjoy the wedding and come home to experience one of my absolute favorite films of all time:



Literally nothing scared me more as a child than this scene from John Carpenter's Halloween.


Except this bitch.

Happy Halloween, Reader. I hope yours is as lovely as mine.


And time for an author update:


Oh dear, it's November as of tomorrow, which means it's time to continue to stop shaving and time to continue to write a novel. But this year I am going to get into the spirit of things and give NaNoWriMo a go. I've got a passion project in the works that I've been putting off because it's way too long of a story and I'm focusing on building my career at the moment, starting with shorter, neater works. But with the day job about to slow down a tic and the need to save money rising, why not spend November in a furious state in which I try to get a finished first draft of a novel two or three times the size of She Sees Metaphors done? Not exactly massive when compared to other novels out there, but seeing that She Sees Metaphors is just shy of 70k words, Tales of Timeless Springs will be around the 50k word mark- assuming I don't go all Stephen King on its ass -and my anthology of short stories will probably compare to the two (Surprise! I'm releasing an anthology!), a 150k to 200k novel is sort of a big deal me. 

I write for audiences that don't have all day. People like me who love to read but have busy jobs, relationships and other vocations that eat away at their time. (Mine in this case happens to be writing.) So giving a project of that length my full attention has been difficult, because I can easily produce my next novel and the anthology to follow, and maybe even the novella I want to release next, in a similar time frame (when you don't take the art work and proof readings into account). So yes, this November I am going to go all out and give NaNoWriMo a shot, to see if I can produce a larger body of work in a short frame of time. Of course, NaNoWriMo will actually be NaNoWriMos, because I'm not going to pretend that I won't be carrying this project into the Shitmas Holiday. (Of course, I knock on the American consumer holiday of Christmas, not the Christian celebration because there is most certainty a difference.)

What else? Oh! Yes. Timeless Springs!

My next novel, Tales of Timeless Springs, is an urban fantasy that I plan to start the final draft of in January. Here, along with Ralph Bakshi's films, is what I plan to read and take my inspiration from. 


Feel good reading.

In short, the book centers on a prostitute and her lover, a street gambling addict, and their journey to get out of a city that will not let them leave, because there is no exit.

Featuring a cast of characters that include a bartender who can raise the dead, a brothel running witch who likes to torture and consume children, a librarian whose dead wife won't stop nagging him, a violent gangster who employs an equally violent talking cat, and all sorts of creatures that you don't want to meet outside the pages of fiction, this book is going to be quite the fun little tale to write. I am very excited. Tales of Timeless Springs is set for a 2017 release.

And this anthology?

I have a lot of short stories and one novel sitting about that I haven't had any serious plans to do anything with. It's not that I don't like them or think they're bad, but a heavy portion of them are grounded, deep, deep into the realm of realism, and honestly, I wanted to make some semblance of a name for myself in genre before releasing anything that contains normal people in the normal world doing things that they find normal, but maybe (hopefully) are not. So next year when I am not working on the last draft and edits of Timeless Springs, I am going to polish and rewrite these stories and the one novel, and put them together in a lovely package that I will be proud to stamp my name of. (And for those of you thinking: meh, don't worry, there's still plenty of supernatural in there to enjoy.)

So there you have it. That's all I've got for you now, lovelies. It's about time for me to start getting into a Sailor outfit, made for me by the hippy, and turning my hair yellow. Stay safe-ish. Eat lots of candy. Get blindingly drunk with someone you love, or maybe just respect, and make it a night worth remembering when our society turns into a bunch of Black Friday loving cunts who have no respect for anyone other than themselves are easily exhibits A through zz on why retail workers should be allowed to use free speech and not be fired for it.

Do I hate holiday shoppers? Yes, yes I do. They're all fucking sheep. Filthy dirty swine who deserve nothing nice at the end of the day. Is this you? Am I speaking of you and hurting your little snowflake feelings? Good. I love it. Have some respect for the abused working class and stay home you selfish mother fucking ass twat piece of filthy fucking shit scum. 

The rest of you, Happy Halloween and lots of love!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Something To Celebrate

I'm sitting in my bedroom right now, a small glass of wine in hands, and a kink in my neck that might require a massage therapist. And it's all wonderfully good, because the second draft of Tales of Timeless Springs is done.

It's been an incredibly fun novel to write. Nothing like She Sees Metaphors. (And by 'nothing' I mean, a completely different kind of novel with a completely different plot.) It's more of an urban fantasy than speculative fiction. It's also shorter, maybe by 15,000 words or so, which I guess is unusual for fantasy, but fuck it. I enjoy shorter works.

So far, the plan is to take a short break and then spend next year writing and editing it. 2017 is going to be my release date. I think that's very reasonable.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Evening At The Robin Theatre *updated*

That. Was. Fucking. Awesome.

I had the extraordinary experience to give a reading and signing at The Robin Theatre in Lansing, which was without a doubt the most charming and beautiful venue I've had the privilege to perform in, let alone simply be in.

The venue was small and intimate. The questions were beautiful. The people were even more beautiful. I have never felt so honored in my life. I am truly speechless. So thankfully, Kim Ferguson of BlueFerg Photography has provided photographs and video of the event for me to share here.

Let me repeat that: 

ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEO ARE 
COPYRIGHT 2015 KIM FERGUSON OF 
BlueFerg PHOTOGRAPHY


REO Town is certainly looking up these days,
and a bright future is ahead, I think.

I nearly pooped myself when I saw this,

Fun fact: I have no idea what I'm writing.

Favorite movie on a t-shirt.

Sometimes, she misses the derp-de-derp.

This is lovely. I am a total sucker for
black and white with a dash of color.

Tough crowd.




And so, what's next? 

Well, I'm Going To Shut Up. It's about time that I let She Sees Metaphors float around out in the world and just go back to writing. I've made myself unavailable at the day job two days a week, which I intend to use as solid writing days from now until Tales of Timeless Springs is ready to be talked about in more detail. Until then, stay tuned and see you around.



*EDIT*

Videos were taken by Blue Ferg Photography. They have been uploaded to YouTube, but just in case you're not interested in going there and would rather see the video here, well.... here you go:


Where do you see yourself and your novels going?



Now that this novel is complete, how do you feel about it?



Manuscript



How long have you been writing?



Favorite part of writing:



Editors and friends:



Drinking sober:



Dedication:



Cover art:



Are your characters real people?


Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm Going To Shut Up Soon

In less than 24 hours I'll be standing in front of an audience and reading a chapter of She Sees Metaphors to them. If it goes well, I'll be laughing and spending time with them, chatting and engaging in dialogue until it's time for us all to get the hell out of the theatre. 

And then what?

Well, She Sees Metaphors will have been promoted about as well as my time and budget will allow. And so with the end of the release party comes the end of me trying to get the word out about my lovely little debut. 

I will go back to blogging semi-regularly. I will start working on Tales of Timeless Springs full time (the second draft is coming along wonderfully). I will just let She Sees Metaphors be out there, doing its little thing. If I can worm my way in to conventions or readings, then yes, of course I'll get out there and promote. But sadly, the capital city doesn't have much of an indie author scene. 

It's nice. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. Talking about She Sees Metaphors and researching how I can promote it and get copies sold is time consuming. I miss just writing. I miss the part of the trade where I'm not a salesman. It's important, but it's also depressingly not creative. (Not to mention frustrating, because a lot of promotional companies want an absurd amount of money, sometimes just to Tweet about you. Fuckers.)

And so, soon I am going to shut up and get back to work. I have a small, semi-insane goal of getting Timeless Springs out late, late next year. I'm going to pursue that.




Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I'm On The Radio!

I was on the radio today.

It was a lot of fun.

The interview was done to promote the release party at The Robin Theatre this Friday. 

Yeah... that is all.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Saw A Movie Last Night or, On Depression

I don't think the pills are working. Not as well as they were late last year, when I decided to embark on a socially acceptable clinical drug dependency in the hopes that I could finally wake up without an overwhelming sense of fear and a cripplingly sad cloud following me around like some sad sack of poo follows the Kardashians on Twitter.

I've been in the depression game long enough to know the difference between boredom, depression, and being legitimately sad over something. Lately I've been feeling the middle option, as life is far too exciting and fulfilling right now for me to be anything else. I've got a BOOK RELEASE PARTY coming up, a very humble but nevertheless still noteworthy number of positive reviews, a good job, a good apartment, the best girlfriend potatoes can buy, but still, I feel down. I feel alone. And I feel afraid.

At times like this, I find the best measure of dealing with it is to escape for a little while. I was alone at home, the hippy off doing hippy belly dance things, and feeling about as low as Hannibal's ratings on NBC (which is hands down the biggest crime against art to recent memory). So I decided to get off my ass and take myself out on a date.

The movie was The End of the Tour, and it was a pleasant movie. I've never read anything by David Foster Wallace, but I have always found him to be interesting. There was something so awkward and beautifully strange about him in his interviews that I found to be charming. I thought Jason Segel did a wonderful job, and I hope he does more serious work in the future. Even if Bret Easton Ellis disagrees.

The movie started out with Lex Luther getting a phone call about Wallace's death, which thankfully they did not show. I can't handle suicide in movies, television, or anything really. It hits me like rape joke. It's ugly and vicious and I can't stand it.

Even though I never met Wallace, watching the movie, I was once again reminded of how not alone I really am when it comes to depression. When I hear of suicides, I often wish I could pull them back and hold them and remind them that they didn't have to go that route and it's okay.

The most recent example is Conrad Roy III, the young man who was suffering from suicidal thoughts that his girlfriend encouraged. Let me just say that one more time. She fucking encouraged him. And he did it. One article I read posted some of the conversation and it's hands down the most disgusting thing I've read. You can search for it if you wish.

So what am I getting at? If you or someone you know are suffering from depression, please, please, please know that you're not alone and there are a fuck ton of us out there who know exactly what you're going through. It's an alienating sickness, but it's not isolated. And do not for one second think that you can send me a message and I won't listen.

If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, give this number a call: 1-800-273-TALK 

Trust me, you can do worse in life than to give seeking a help a shot.





Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Not Quite A Real Interview or, You May Ask Me Anything

I answered a few questions for Goodreads' Ask The Author service. It was entertaining but I wouldn't mind a few questions that aren't so typical. So feel free to head over and drop me a question or two.


Bryce David Salazar I read or find something on Netflix and binge. There's always some kind of clause in writer advice articles that mentions reading, but it never gets the full credit it deserves. Just as the chef needs to eat, a writer needs to read (or watch something, television and film both require writers). When I'm struggling to write, I don't think of it as writer's block so much as an intellectual malnutrition. Sooner or later, I start struggling to read or watch and I go back to writing.
Bryce David Salazar As an introvert, I have the ultimate get out social events free card.
Bryce David Salazar Finish something. Too many writers are working on this or that and while they have a commendable amount of words written, they don't have a complete story. No publisher ever takes half a novel and puts it on shelves (unless you're Capote or Fitzgerald, and subsequently dead). Get the story finished. Then finish the rewrite. Even if you have your doubts about it, that's why we have editors and proof readers. So finish the damn thing.
Bryce David Salazar It started as a writing exercise in my diary. I was still working on She Sees Metaphors at the time and I wanted to take a break from physical descriptions, if only to cleanse my pallet. Shortly after I put it aside with no intentions of ever coming back, I started rewriting it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Publication, You Lovely Minx

Well golly gee wiz, summer 2015 is off to one hell of a start and there's much to say. But before I get into any of that, let's take a moment and talk about that one thing...


It's here!!!



She Sees Metaphors arrived on bookshelves, both digital and not on June 17th. Currently it's only available on Amazon and CreateSpace, but in the coming months I plan to do all that I can to expand on that.

For being only two weeks old, my little debut is doing quite well. I'm honored by all of the well wishes and notifications of purchase that all of my friends and family have been giving me. It's a crazy thing, achieving your childhood dream. I think I'd like to repeat it again and again and again.



Sunday, May 31, 2015

June 8th or, "June 8th"

Remember when I said that I'd have She Sees Metaphors out on June 8th? Well, June 8th has become "June 8th," a concept more so than date. Kind of like Community season 4 airing on October 19th.






"So why is this?" all five of you ask. Well, it's simple really. The proof copies of She Sees Metaphors have been ordered, but when do they arrive? 

Estimated delivery date: June 8th.

It would be silly as fuck of me to assume that once the proof copies arrive that I'll be able to read them, fix them and publish them all on that day, especially since I am probably going to be working that morning. (How else am I going to pay my bills? Writing? Bahaha!) 

But there is still a wonderful possibility that June 8th will still happen in June. There's a solid no man's land between the proof arrival date and Electric Forest, and I will spend every moment outside of work going through the proof and making sure that it's pretty as fuck. Because I like pretty as fuck.

So in the mean time, here's a sneak peak of the cover art.


Jon's top knot isn't real. It's just a metaphor.


And here's a picture of the hippy's cat, Uno.


As in, "I am Satan's numero..."


As always, more details to come. While I wait, I'll be working semi-diligently on my sophomore release while also picking at my third. Thanks for the support and see you folks soon!



Monday, May 18, 2015

An Elegant "Fuck You, I Quit"

Day jobs come, and day jobs go. With the coming of a new day job, one I quite enjoy and find myself recalling the same pleasure my protagonist experiences in her day job, the time to exit the former has arrived. The timing of such could not be better, as our abusive and downright awful assistant manager is returning from sick leave. And with that I have decided the best course of action is to send one great big, "Fuck you, I quit this bitch!" letter. But not just any "Fuck you, I quit this bitch!" letter. A "Fuck you, I quit this bitch!" letter with class. One that packs a punch so professional and so deep, that the middle finger hanging out between the lines is unmistakable. And with that, dear readers, comes this little gem:

Management,

I’m writing this letter to inform you of my resignation from [This Hellhole], effective immediately. It has come to my attention that a manager who has been had multiple complaints for verbal abuse and sexual harassment is being allowed to return to [This Hellhole], and it is for this reason that I am choosing the resign.

Under normal circumstances I would prefer to give a minimum of two weeks notice before leaving, however since it is clear that this is a company that willingly employs unethical and abusive management, I see no need to do so. I will not support and offer convenience to a workplace that clearly does not care for its staff and would rather allow they face scrutiny and abuse than to go through the effort of hiring and training a replacement manager.

I will return my keys and uniform within the week.

Sincerely,

[Author's Name, Not BDS]



Ahhh.... Freedom. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Fish Out Water: A Prologue

Summer is upon us, children of the lord, and with that brief window of sun and capital city construction work comes the looming music festival dates like a woman slowly undressing in front of a sex addict in a sleazy motel just off the interstate. If you listen close, you can hear the sounds of rising erections and pulsing panties in drug dealers as they wait for their excess of summer cash.

Or maybe that's just me being a judgmental asshole. Who knows? Who cares? Not I, said the scribe. 

Last year I experienced my first music festival at Electric Forest, something I did because the hippy absolutely loves it and I wanted to experience something she cares so deeply about with her. It would be a learning experience and an opportunity to grow closer to each other. I expected to hate every single single second of it.


Look at that bald, miserable piece of shit. Look at that gorgeous hippy.

(Photo courtesy of the official Electric Forest Photographers or whatever.)


People. Crowds. People. More people. It sounded awful, like a trip to the doctor to find out what that weird growth on your penis is, praying its something benign and soon to be forgotten. Naturally, my extreme pessimism was unfounded and the entire trip turned out to be some of the most fun I've had on overpriced vodka.

And so, to carry on the tradition of new experience, the hippy and I will be going to both Summer Camp and Electric Forest this year, a feat that's guaranteed to stomp the life out of my bank account like an ant wandering through a military march. And since I will still be quite the fish out of water, I shall document my experiences and record them here, for all of you to see just how awkward and judgmental I really am. 



***

In other news, the cover art to She Sees Metaphors is nearly complete!!! The final proof reading is well underway and my hopeful date of June 8th may not be a pipe dream so much as a general time frame for something that will most certainly happen. Details, pictures, and all that jazz will come as soon as I have something to offer. 

Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay out of cheap brothels.

-BDS

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Time For Showers

I’m supposed to be getting ready for work, but I don’t feel like it. If motivation were currency, my bank account would reflect that of a man so far behind and so deep that suicide would be the most appealing and (seemingly) logical of conclusions for how to get out of his current plight. It’s ugly. I’ll go to work today, unshowered and at the mercy of whatever body odor I produce in the 3.2 miles from my apartment to the job. Best not to think about the odor that’ll come from standing by the oven all night.

But fuck it, it’s not the real job, is it? Not the one I care about. It’s just the gig that pays the bills and puts food on my table, Books on my shelves and liquor in my gut. The real job, writing, is what matters. And I’m in a rut with that job, the rut being that I simply don’t want to right now. I’m on vacation, which many literary types would consider to be sacrilege, possibly even an act of domestic terrorism on literature itself. But who cares what they think? Literary is just another word for boring and elitist. You can’t trust anyone who uses that word and means it. Just smile, nod, and step back slowly towards the door, where freedom and a lack of dull idiocy await.

I’m done with the book, and right now it’s in the hands of others. One final proof reading is underway by a trusted source, and the cover art is in progress with this lovely married couple I begged to give me something that wouldn’t embarrass me. What did I say on Facebook? Oh, right:

I don't feel like writing. This happens now and again, and most days I tell myself to shut the fuck up, quit being a whiny little shit, and fill up the god damn page. But not today. Or yesterday. Or even the days before. I've been giving myself a break since the publication date is so close. I feel like an expecting father, just waiting for the word that it's time to rush to the hospital. I don't want to focus on anything that will distract me. I'm playing the waiting game for the final pieces. So for now, no work. Only patience

It’s true though. I’m just patiently waiting on others and so I’d rather take the time to give the brain a chance to relax. Why force myself to work on something right now? I could be called to work on the book any moment now. So screw it, a vacation it is. Maybe all writers need a vacation from the work. Many will disagree, as there are so many twats out there who preach writing daily as though it’s the dogma of the Church of Literary Practices, a religion to which I am a militant atheist. Maybe more on that to come. The clock is ticking, and sooner or later I really will have to get out the door. I’ve already sacrificed time to shower. If I keep this nonsense up I’ll be sacrificing time to eat. And then where will I be?

So here you go. Have a nice day, full of peace, love and the macabre. But no edits. There’s no time. I need to get ready for the day job to help pay for the art. Cover art and proofreading cost money, you know. So adieu to you and you, but not you. You can piss off.

-BDS

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Career Cock Block

I always feel as though I'm one step behind the other managers I've worked with in the last year. One thing I've noticed that always separated me from them is their complete and utter dedication to The Job. The restaurant is their career. They wake up and go to work and their complete focus is on the job and making the place a success, not just to appease the higher ups, but because it's also what they want. The success of how they run the place is also how they measure their success. 

I can never get my head around it. 

I wake up and go to work and my primary goal, which is also the goal I have in most other walks of life, is to get things done in such a way that I won't get bitched at. I prefer to be left alone and ignored, completely and utterly invisible, which makes shift managing the one of most ironic occupations I could have. My employees make a mistake, I'm the one my bosses approach about it. In order to stay invisible, I have to focus my efforts on making sure that a group of kids (who don't get paid nearly enough for they shit they put up with) do their job as though it's the most fulfilling thing in the whole wide world. 

The difficult thing about working a career that isn't what I want to do and what I love (writing!) is that I'm never 100% in it. While labor costs and employee productivity haunt the minds of my colleagues and superiors, I'm often wondering about market strategy for She Sees Metaphors and Tales of Timeless Springs (my sophomore release). While the others are trying to figure out how food prep is done to best reduce waste cost, I'm rolling character dialogue over in  my head. It's something that's always going on in the back of mind, which from what I gather, is just how writers do. It's a constant haunting from a welcomed ghost.

I call this constant haunting a career cock block. No matter how much effort I put into whatever I'm doing to pay the bills, it's never going to compare and it's never going to wind up anywhere but in a later slot on my priorities list. And that's okay with me. It's the life I want. Even if I never find myself in the position to write full time, I will keep writing and keep polishing and keep publishing because at the end of the day, it'll take me to the grave in a much happier and fulfilled state.

There is a sense of defeat in this, because I know that I will never push myself into greater careers. I tried it for a year. I wrote almost nothing and I hated every second of it. I am much happier with my current lot in life. But the risk is quite frightening. The stress and fear of it all will sometimes keep me awake at night, because being poor is really, really, fucking lame. But what can you do, except drag your ass to the desk every day or night and pull out the manuscript and hope to heaven and hell that what you're putting on paper is something that just might allow you to live your dream one day?

Jesus, I think I've had too much coffee. I'm shaking here like a man sitting in the electric chair, waiting for the first tingle of the end of his life. And I've got some more words to put down on paper and a lunch that should probably be eaten before I slip out the door and make my way to the day job, for yet another evening of ensuring that the restaurant looks pretty and is in perfect working condition so that the people who live and breath its existence can rest easy and know that their personal legacy is safe and sound. Although, in truth, I'll probably watch Mad Men and read a bit. I could use some creative nourishment before I carry on with the story at hand.

Cheers.





Sunday, March 29, 2015

Twelve Fucking Pounds 2: The Return of the Twelve

Holy God, I have been a lazy sack of shit this winter, doing virtually nothing that required standing outside of my day job. It's no wonder that I put on a little weight, although from what people tell me, they can't tell in the slightest (I associate with some wonderfully kind liars).

I attempted a bike ride, and seriously people, that shit wore me out. I was breathless and hacking and gasping for air like a drowning man, although instead of water I was suffocating on Cottage Inn pizza and bread sticks, with a soda to wash it down. I can barely stand to look at myself when I think about that. I'm in the process of getting myself back into proper shape, with no belly and plenty of stamina for a bike ride to and from work. It's a refreshing little reminder about actions and consequences and all of that jazz. 

So as stated in a recent bloggy blog, She Sees Metaphors is nearly complete. At this point all that I have to do is give it one more read through for stragglers, purchase the ISBN and bar code, and apply the cover art once it's done. I'm coming upon the end of a rather long and educating chapter of my life with the conclusion of She Sees Metaphors. I won't lie, it's rather emotional.

She Sees Metaphors is not my first manuscript. Before that, was a small little autobiographical thing I called Summer Gypsy, which was a blast to write. Being a memoir/novel type thing, I wrote the first draft in about three months, and wanting to give myself some time before the rewrites that never happened, I remembered a short story I wrote called Sometimes I Miss The Lies a year or two earlier. Since Summer Gypsy was so much fun, I decided that I wanted to do it again and so Sometimes I Miss The Lies was chosen to become my next novel.

I learned quickly that writing a novel purely from my imagination and writing one that was essentially just recording things that happened with some embellishments are two completely different animals. Between work and school, it took me an entire year to finish the first draft, which was, putting it nicely, fucking garbage. I was ready to toss the whole thing out. It didn't work. There were so many problems with it that I didn't think I could salvage anything. I was ready to move on.

Thankfully, a dear friend of mine told me that I definitely had something, it just needed to be reworked. Since she's much smarter than I am with all things literature, I decided not to toss my baby into a dumpster. This coincided with me talking to Chris Galford at a party one night, and buzzed off our respected whiskey choices, we talked about starting a writer's workshop. At the time, Chris was finishing up his debut, The Hollow March, and entertaining himself working on some short stories, so it was the perfect opportunity. We assembled some writer colleagues from around town and from that point on, Sundays were the day for our Writers Group (something so much fun that it deserves a blog of its own, so stay tuned for that). 

Unsure of my current draft for She Sees Metaphors, I decided that I should start over, and with that I was cast into my second lesson of writing a novel: the rewrites.

I don't think "rewriting" is a fair term for phase two of crafting a novel. I think that "deleting" is a much more applicable word to describe the process. Of the entire first draft, almost all of it was removed from the novel I will be publishing this year. I say "almost all" because I kept a few concepts, but even those are different from what they were when I first started. With these few ideas, I began another year long trek into crafting a novel, one that was a little better, a little tighter, but still kind of sort of shit. I knew that it was going to need work, which is why most of it was crafted on a typewriter which, along with longhand, I will always and forever argue being the two best methods of crafting early drafts. There's no internet, no word counts, no formatting. It's just you and the story.

Then came along draft three and I was sure as fucking hell that this would be it. The big finale. The last one before I moved on to the next.

Ha.

So that's it. That's how She Sees Metaphors came to be. (We can discuss the publishing process another time, because I definitely have some words on that.) I think this book, which isn't a very long book, took me so long to craft because I was also learning how to write and developing my style in the process. I will also blame full time academia and work, but the learning played a massive role. It was a fantastic education and I'm glad to have experienced it, as it was far more valuable than college ever was. I am immensely proud of my novel, flaws and all. I can't wait to share with the three or four readers who are not my mother.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Almost Done!!!

Grammar checking has secured itself as the one part of the writing process that I abso-fucking-lutely fucking hate. 

But it's done!

The penultimate round of grammar checks was finished just moments ago! All that's left is one more read through, formatting the manuscript to look like a novel, and wait for the cover artist to do her thing. 

Now to go celebrate. Duces, mutha fuckas. 


I'm so pretty when I write.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Well, This Failed

Woaw Nelly. This morning I woke up to an email from a bona fide vanity press offering me the opportunity to publish with them, presuming that my manuscript is something they feel fits with their interests. At first glance, it seemed as though I had been contacted by a real publishing house, which was strange because they mentioned a Library of Congress registration. I have yet to do this with She Sees Metaphors, mostly because the book is still a few feet away from publication and doesn’t even have an ISBN code attached to it. I took the liberty of contacting my former publisher (I feel so legit as a writer being able to say that) and asking them if they had undertaken this responsibility. I can’t help but feel curious and cautious in regards to how people are hearing about my baby. If it’s from word of mouth or my current Facebook promotions that’s one thing. But if my former publisher has muddled things up, well… I’m glad I copyrighted my baby. [Note: SPB got back to me. They did not have any play in this and they gave me some copyright tips, which was kind of them.]

Jesus, it’s almost strange to be blogging again. How long has it been? Two weeks? Almost three? I haven’t had interest access in the last few weeks. The hippy and I have been settling into our new place which only just two days ago joined the world online. I could have gone to a coffee shop or something, but where there’s no internet, reading and writing thrive like disease in a confined place full of sorry bastards with open wounds and no sanitary standards.

I finished reading The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh, which was fantastic until the end, where he gave his vile protagonist the sort of ending he never would have given Roy Strang or Bruce Robertson. It was a disappointment, to say the least. Welsh crafted a female protagonist that recalls Francis Begbie, which nearly made her one of the greatest written females of our time. It’s good to see a smart and calculated female in literature that isn’t some sort of Katniss Everdeen, but rather a cold hearted sociopath with all of the entitlement issues you can expect from a millennial born and raised in the Untied States. It was refreshing to read Sex Lives… and not hear all about another young teenager who becomes a pawn to every older male ever, all the while being paraded as what a young women should be when she grows up. That, or a needy, nagging little shit with no self respect.

My current reading venture is Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. This was a Christmas gift from my mother, who is currently on a life mission to fill my library with every Stephen King book ever. Well, every book but the Dark Tower series, but whatevs, it’s all good. I can get them on my own. So far the book has been a blast to read. It’s short for Stephen King, so a lot of his usual filler is missing. But that’s good. I appreciate a good story that just gives you the meat and potatoes of the story. It’s how I try to write my own material. If I can justify removing something from my manuscript, then I sure as hell am going to get rid of it.

...

And…. Shit. There goes all train of thought on wherever I wanted to take that. (I think something about how the show Luther has it down solid when it comes to writing that isn’t full of nonsense.) I got up to make some breakfast and a cup of coffee because I was fucking hungry. Then I sat down to eat and watch the Flash, which was a fine way to spend the early hours of the day. I was bothered though that they waited to kill off the one character that I can’t stand until after they showed they might be okay and that the actor can actually act. Then I started working on the dishes because I told the hippy I would do that… I should probably start a second load now that I think about it. Fuck. This blog post on writing has turned into an abortion of sorts. Well, fuck it. It’s not meant to be literature. I guess I’ll wrap this up and start working on the She Sees Metaphors edits, which should be all highlighted and noted by the end of today. So as for blogs, another day, another time. Deuces, motha fuckas.


Hank Moody. My spirit animal. 


Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Few Thoughts On A Few Things

Not gonna lie. It’s just past noon and I’m only now getting my first sip of coffee in for the day, so I find the process of posting to be… meh. This week I shall simply post a few thoughts on a few things.

COMICS!

Michelle Rodriguez came under fire when she made of point of saying the minorities should stop stealing white people's superheroes. Upon hearing this, people naturally found themselves offended, because it's the new millennium and people are sensitive little shits. After the pissing and the moaning commenced, Rodriguez posted a video to clarify what she meant when she said that it's stupid for minorities to play white superheros. 

I think she has a point. It is lazy writing. Comics are definitely suffering from a severe case of lazy scribes these days, which is bound to happen when the stories never end and the heroes never die. Eventually new ideas are going to dry up and the people who are so desperate to keep the flow of superheroes coming are going to resort to changing the race, gender and sexual orientation of already established heroes when they could just try the crazy idea of making something new. 

I'm not a fan of the ongoing series. I think it's a terrible idea.The best stories, whether they're ten pages long or ten books long all come to an end, and that's what makes them satisfying. The end of a story is the punchline, and without it there's nothing to give you proper satisfaction as you close the two covers and take a deep breath. I have an entire bookshelf of comics and trade paperbacks, and it's full of independent stories or single arcs of a character's run. I think those are what's best. I have great stories, but I don't have the long running periods where the writer ran out of ideas and just threw things at the wall. 

MOVING!

I'm moving in two days. Nothing is packed. Seriously, nothing. I still have dirty dishes in the sink, which in all likelihood are not going to be washed, but rather simply be carried over to my new sink and await washing there. I mentioned this to the hippy and she didn't get mad, so it's happening. 

The reason for my laziness is probably that I'm not exactly moving a long distance. The hippy and I are moving to an apartment in the same complex that I'm already living in, and I have three days to transfer my stuff. So... yeah... why bother? I'm just going to carry stuff into the new place and set it on the floor of my room, then go back and get more stuff to set on the floor. It can all come off the floor when I'm done transferring.

JUNE 8TH!

This is the projected publication date for She Sees Metaphors. I am planning to publish the ebook first and then the paperback shortly thereafter. You have been warned.

IRVINE WELSH!
I have made it no secret that I absolutely love Irvine Welsh, especially Marabou Stork Nightmares, Filth, and Porno. Of course I enjoy Trainspotting, but I feel his middle works are where his talent really shines through. His later efforts, Skag Boys and Crime were rather disappointing for me. I wasn't drawn into them like I was his other efforts. So when I saw that The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins was out, I was kind of iffy on it. Still, I picked a copy up and started reading it. So far, I'm actually enjoying the hell out of it. Reading it, I'm reminded of why I loved his earlier work so much. It's dark, crude, and a lot of fun. I look forward to continue putting off moving in favor of reading.

Rapists and Nazis!

Speaking of lazy writing, I've been thinking of late just how much I detest the idea of rapists and Nazis as villains in a story due to their laziness and lack of imagination. With exception to real life rapists and real life Nazis, everyone pretty much hates these people for their crimes against humanity; which is precisely why they make for awful villains in film literature and so forth. 

A good antagonist is built up along with the protagonist. We get to see their evil at work and watch them scheme to hurt the character that we're falling in love with. The most recent antagonist that I have loved to hate is Sam Neill's CI Chester Campbell in Peaky Blinders. While he does have a rape scene of his own, the genius behind the writing of his character is that he's already been so built up into this vicious monster of a man who thinks he's doing the Lord's work that we already have a reason to despise him and to root for Cillian Murphy's Thomas Shelby. The writers took their time and they developed him properly. They could have just shown his rape a woman and left it at that. 

Leading off with these two character traits does little else than to just tell the audience to hate the character. It can be done in a single sentence and that will be that. So while I'm not saying to avoid using these two antagonist traits altogether, I am saying that they should come secondary to other creative bits that allow the audience to see the negative side to a character.

HAIRCUT!

I got a haircut.