Tag Archives: advice

Cities That Eat Islands: Update

I reached the end of the first draft of the first part of the trilogy, Cities That Eat Islands. I’m two weeks ahead of schedule even though I started off horribly back in January. I finished at 80,000 words in less than three months. I averaged out about 1,000 to 2,000 words a day. Some days I skipped.

Again, I did not outline the book. I had points and characters planned in my head for the last few years but it has always evolved. I’ve gone back and forth if this should be a trilogy or one large book. Due to the way this book turned out, it appears to be a trilogy.

Thoughts so far on the draft:

It feels solid. I don’t think I need to change much in plotting and character, but I still need to do another two drafts, of which I will start in a week or so, to make it readable. I’m sure small things will pop up there. Also I have one or two small scenes I need to add.

It’s not exactly how I imagined it. The characters and plot took a life of their own. I did not get to put everything I wanted to in here. But I did add much I never imagined before that surprised myself and even enriches the future parts of the trilogy.

The historical context wasn’t too intrusive in the storytelling. Many times I had to break to find out if they had or what they had in 1961 or 1921. Or check on the politics or social times that I missed on my research. The later I may have to cut out in the second draft. I don’t want it to bog down my pace and flow. I just want enough to make it sound like I know what I’m talking about.

I’m finding that I’m playing around with the trilogy tropes, which I like. I’m a big fan of them and studied them closely. I don’t want to use them primarily, but still keep them there in a familiar context just to mess with the reader’s mind. Yes that sounds confusing and I may sound like a dork and that I don’t know what I’m talking about. This may be another example of ‘not being able to explain what I want to do very well and best that you just read it to understand’.

I’m enjoying creating the mystery for the trilogy and finding the common theme that links all the characters together in the story. I hope it comes together on the second book which I hope to start this summer. Also much of the mystery pertains to the Miki Radicci series and her family since the main character is her grandmother and her great uncle. After this trilogy the Radicci series should open up greatly.

For those wondering, this book will not be released until all three are done. They will be out at the same time. I’m considering this as one big book and making sure all the threads work as a mystery so this trilogy experiment is successful. Thank you for your patience if it has sparked your interest.

shellfish-crabs02

Advertisements

Not So Happy Holidays

IT’S HOW YOU SEE THINGS, NOT HOW IT REALLY IS

It’s when all your words come out in in monotone or in low volume or they don’t come out right at all. Your brain thinks the right word but the wrong word leaves your mouth. Or your mouth trips up the words. Or your brain just stops in mid thought.

And this angers people. They say, “What?” with aggravation. They want you to repeat yourself and you do but this time you take a deeper breath and you shout out what you have to say. It’s a lot of work and leaves you tired. Communicating verbally is so exhausting.

Why can’t it be easier like when you write music or stories or paint pictures…wait, no. They don’t understand those forms of communications. At least, not the deeper way you communicate through them. Or do they even care to see/read/listen to your art?

 

JOIN UP WITH THE CROWD

It’s when all the people are talking, laughing, shouting, screaming, clinking glasses, banging plates, and blasting bad music at once. Good times swirl into a into a sonic tornado that rips into your head like Pillsbury thorns and makes you want to cover your ears with a pillow or run out of the room or the house. You feel the eyes on you and can’t help but think they are wondering about you. Society states there must be something wrong with you. And there is.

You never feel this way at a concert/fest/club, standing in crowd, listening to four people you always loved playing music you never grew tired of. Maybe because you can hide your rocking/stomping/wiggling. Maybe because you can screw up the words as you sing and no one will hear you. Maybe because you’re invisible.

YOU NEED TO INTERGRATE YOURSELF

It’s when you sit in a crowded room and eat the food or stare at the television. Guests walk in and they say hi to you. You wave back. You weave through the crowd to get a drink. You say hi and smile. You climb the mountain. You socialized.

You could stop to interrupt their conversation with other people but that would be rude. It would be doubly rude to talk to them because you know what comes out of your mouth would not be proper. Your life and interests are worlds apart. You’re frank and honest.

Not because you’re a hurtful person, it’s because you are frank and honest. Illusions are wasteful. Politeness is pointless. You want to show your honest self, warts and butterflies. But that’s not how it works.

In the past you got polite laughter from them. Wide eye exchange. Mouths distracted with sipping drinks. Dying conversations. You die too and hope the Earth opens up under you. But all you can do is leave the conversation and go back to your chair. Keep eating. Try to keep still because you want to rock back and forth or bounce your leg or wiggle your fingers.

The only other option is to stand and stare while two other people talk. You nod, smile, and say, “Yep, yep,” and sip your drink.

No. Those are both horrible. Both tiring. Exhausting.

You should go back to your chair. Sit. Watch the television and wait for it’s time to leave. Take breaks to leave the house/apartment.

Or find that other freak in the room. Or maybe you should bring one with you.

I know I will.

Happy Holidays to my weirdo, freak, loser, geek, and monster brothers and sisters. And good luck.

 

 

 

Everything Changes, The Worse Stays The Same

No new writing this week. Just don’t have the motivation. But I have been doing a lot of research. A lot on Ellis Island and the 1920s for the new book. Tentatively titled Cities That Eat Islands. I’m leaning towards a large piece, combining the prospective trilogy into one book to save time. Give myself a mountain to climb while I’m young.

Noticing a lot of the same problems with immigration in our government in 1920 that we have now. They totally cut it off immigration acceptance later, no one was allowed in. Worse than the first proposed Muslim ban earlier this year.

Racism is a little different but the same. Jews are still hated but Italians not so. Italians were treated like Mexicans back in the 1920s. Shit, Mexicans were treated like Mexicans in the 1920s. Communists and Socialists and Anarchists were still a threat back then.

Democrats and Republicans were always at odds. Snore.

I imagine the character POV will be easy to write and what the reader will connect with the most. The research has been helping with procedures, settings, and descriptions. Like I did with my last historical fiction novel (Breaking Fellini) I’ll try not to bog it down with historical references and just use it as the character does.

The pictures I’ve been finding in books and on the web are beautiful. So many maps on the web too. Robert McCammon was right; no need to go to the library anymore if you write historical fiction.

Meltdowns (Shh we don’t talk about those)

I have meltdowns. Not tantrums. And I’m not crazy. People think and say I am crazy when I have/had them. I used to think I was crazy. But now that I know I’m an Aspie I know that they are meltdowns.

“How do you know they are not tantrums or that you are not one angry asshole?”

Because they don’t happen out of anger. They’re not from rage. I don’t hate you. They’re sparked from an information/sensory overload.

I have meltdowns once a week, sometimes once a month, sometimes once every other month. Those spacious times I’m able to recognize when a meltdown is going to happen. I stop, leave the scene, tell my self what is happening and why, and wait for it to pass. It’s all I can do. I wait for the pandemonium to leave and then reenter the pattern.

You see, that’s a big thing for me, patterns. When my pattern explodes into chaos I can’t handle it. I don’t mean the slightest slip, I mean chaos. Like three people in the room getting in the way, screaming and moving things around, while I’m trying to cook them dinner.

Chaos.

So I leave the room until the chaos leaves and dinner is late.

Another thing that sets me off is illogical thoughts and questions that hammer my brain.

This may sound insulting but neuro typical people live very illogical philosophies. Your lives are governed by dead people and those dead people had no idea what they were talking about. I know, I sound egotistical and elitists.

For example: I don’t believe in inequality but most of the people in the world does and when I’m hammered with it over and over in a thirty minute period the illogic spins my brain and pushes me into a meltdown. Or when NTs hammer me with selfishness (I’m a firm believer in altruism) over and over, I meltdown.

Most of the time, depending on whose around, I’m able to calm down before I explode but sometimes I don’t.

What is my meltdown like? No one gets hurt but me. I am incapable of hurting anyone. It’s not about anger. No hate. It’s not directed at anyone. My brain malfunctioned, glitched from the info, trying to balance the logic of my interior world to the overwhelming insanity of the so-called-real world.

I pace. I scream how nothing makes sense. I punch the walls or stove. Throw my arms. People look at me as if I’m nuts. In the end I feel exhausted and I have a wound. One time I accidently hit a pen someone was holding while swinging my arms and stabbed myself  in the hand. Didn’t feel it. I have a high tolerance for pain, by the way. I’ve had bruises on my hands and arms. I used to hit my head a lot. Now I got the beginning of a cataract so I don’t do that anymore.

Afterwards, I also feel shame and embarrassment. I wish me and my family didn’t have to go through this. Times like this is when I wish there was a drug that helped us. Not a cure for autism. A cure for overload, for meltdowns.

So that it. My meltdowns. I probably shouldn’t have written about them but I felt it was important to get it out. I don’t see much talk out there about it. It is an ugly subject. Cops like to handcuff kids at school when they have them. I’m sure marriages break up because of them. I’m fortunate. Very fortunate. Which makes me want to try for the longer gaps.

 

Autism is Evil. WTF? How did we get stuck with this?

You see/hear it on the web or on television or at your dining room table on the holidays. Anti vaccination rants. Vaccinations cause autism.

I saw a video recently about triplets. Perfectly fine and happy, as stated by the parents. They showed a picture of them, the babies. No video. Then the parents took them for a shot and BOOM. No eye contact, drooling, lifeless. AUTISM! Parents crying. Life over.

Things were never the same. Receipt lost. Can’t return the kids for a refund. You can’t sell them on eBay for a penny because no one wants defective autistic babies. They will never grow up to be bankers or hedge funders let alone plumbers.

But the worse part, the saddest, were the parents. The poor, crying parents whose lives were ruined. They were duped. The doctors told them that the shots would save their children from diseases and the government told them they had to do it. The parents were victims. Rubes. Shit. Even I feel like setting up a GoFundMe for them.

Nah. It’s all propaganda bullshit.

Fact: Real doctors/scientists are no where close to determining how autism starts. They are sure as shit that it doesn’t come from vaccinations. 

Fact: Government still pumps tons of money into research to find out the cause.

So one day we might know. Personally I hope there is no cure but maybe a treatment to handle the negative affects.

What do I think is the cause of autism? Genetics. It’s hereditary. It goes back before vaccinations. May even be evolutional.

Now, let’s humor the anti-vaccination people a moment. This shit is hurtful to us autistics. Think about it. They want to kill us. Stop the vaccinations 100% and you stop the race of autistics. (REALITY BREAK: We are born autistic and not given a shot like the Hulk or Captain America) We’ll die out. How fucked up is that? That’s like white supremacist. Neuro Typical Nationalist? Can we call them that? Do they want a world where everyone has bland, boring thoughts and a filtered mouth?

And like any other hate group, they focus on the low functioning autistic. They exploit their challenges with speech and motor skills, etc. to scare low intelligent adults into not vaccinating their children. Like chicken and small pox are better. Yeah. I still remember chicken pox. (IDIOT BOX: “There hasn’t been a case of small pox in a hundred years.” ME: “Could it be because of vaccinations?”) Fucking hell.

Or maybe the parents the vaccination groups are targeting are lazy. They want kids that are easy. Predictable. What is more easy and predictable than healthy.

But autism isn’t a sickness. I wouldn’t even call it a disability although it is labeled as one. Think of it as a physical language. Imagine your child is Superman. He/she is an alien who as come down to Earth and doesn’t know the language or the customs. Through ABA; physical, speech, and occupational therapies (whatever is needed) your child will learn how to communicate and move through this human world. But inside they will always be this alien. Sometimes they will slip and speak alien. Sometimes it will be glorious and sometimes it will conflict with society. Like a good parent, you will love and accept it because they are your child no matter what. He/she will always be Superman, er, woman.

Now why I don’t think there should be a cure for autism.

We’re awesome. We’re great thinkers. We’re honest. We have no filter. We have amazing concentration with things we love. Excellent organizers. Imaginative. Knack for seeing how things work, seeing things that others don’t. Loving. Loyal. We stand strong on our own and don’t follow a crowd. Funny as fuck. Some of us have changed the world dramatically, for the best. We’re the ultimate snowflakes; no two autistics are alike. We’re not great conversationalists, but we communicate in other extraordinary ways if you listen.

You never hear about how autistic go on crime or murder sprees. We just don’t do it. Sure, we have outbursts and may break property, but that’s just because you NTs are just so fucking impossible. My point is we are not filling up jails.

So why would the anti-vaccination people want us dead? These Neuro Typical Nationalist. Are we just pawns for lazy parents? Are they just anti-government? Do they want to screw with Big Pharma?

I don’t know. I do know that we are stuck in the middle. Used as pawns, used to look bad, used to look like freaks to dummy adults.

Well, fuck you anti-vaccinationist and the Neuro Typical Nationalist horse you rode in on.

 

 

The Republicans That Ran Away To Join The Circus

Edited two shorts this morning before the babes woke. Kids only have two days of school today so I’m not getting much done and little time. 10 pages for each one.

One I will publish for this month. That’s my new thing. To publish a short story a month. You know. Taking risks. Branching out. See what happens.

The other is brand new. I’ll see if there’s a market for it but since it’s crime I doubt there will be much outside Hitch and Ellery, and even those are time wasters.

It’s been a few days since the election and all is quiet. I live in a bubble so I don’t see much of a response. Plus I live in Jersey City and we don’t have much of a hate contingent here, multicultural.

I imagine many are happy about our governor. I have heard no love over Christy. But his replacement had a lot of votes. On the map I saw she won over Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. Those are big conservative white trash parts of NJ. I should know, I grew up in Monmouth Country. You don’t want to be different there. Get out ASAP. Runaway and joint the circus.

Speaking of running away, I heard that republicans are going to move from New Jersey now that Murphy is the Gov. Like when Democrats were going to move from the US when Trump became pres.

C’mon. Be original.

But I don’t fall for that shit. People running. Stay and fight. The only time one should run is if planes are bombing your city. Syrians had a good excuse to run. I think these residents want to run for the fear of higher taxes.

American’s are soft. This is what I detest about the middle class. They live in fear of money.

What would they do without their money?

(take opioids?)

They would be lower class. Why do you think they voted for Trump? So they can get money.

There is no shame in being poor. You live minimalistic. Bare bones. You appreciate what you got. It’s hard. That’s live. Sometimes things go well and then BOOM you get cancer.

Fuck. We live in a successful communist country. Yes, the USA is a communist country. We take our taxes and we give it to those less fortunate in services for free. No, we don’t have one class. It’s not 100 percent communist. That’s because we are built on a democracy and have other systems involved. But communism is in there. Care for the community.

Anyway. Yeah. had this conversation yesterday with an Indian guy. Sikh. All he cares about is his money. He doesn’t care about racism or what’s going on with Trump’s Nationalism. It doesn’t affect him. His dad is a Republican. A rich guy who liked Trump at first because he thought he would make him some money but now he doesn’t like him because of how he is running the country. Trump is not making money for the USA, too much time on twitter.

With luck the Dad wont vote for him again. The guy I spoke to won’t vote for Trump or anyone because he’s not even registered. Too lazy.

So I guess the nonwhites (if you want to call them that) that voted for Trump or going to vote against him in the second election, Trump needs to fail on making money for the country.

Fucked up, huh? But if it works.

To Miki Or Not To Miki

I planned to take three years off after Miki book 11. That’s a big chunk in a series. A lot of time to spend in a character’s head. Of course I plan to come back. I have twenty more books to write in that world and I’ll probably come up with twenty more as I’m writing those.

So far during my hiatus I spent a year writing just short stories. It was something I always wanted to do. I even sold a few.

The years is almost up and I planned to write a trilogy for the last two years involving Miki’s grandmother that takes place in the 1960s and 1920s. It would also feature her brother Enzo, Blaise Radicci, Frank Welker, and the Old Woman. Maybe some familiar bad guys. I wanted to open up the world that Miki wasn’t yet privy to but the reader was.

Trilogies are good. They make money sometimes. So my mind was content. Then I started thinking about how my work outside of Miki doesn’t sell. A double edge sword. A story with out Miki but also a trilogy.

I’m grateful that I see anything, that I’m read, that people even go to the next book, that they go to the last one that I wrote. But the non Miki books I wrote just sit there. Would a trilogy be worth it?

Maybe I should just write one large tome. 100,000 or so words. Like Clive Barker’s Imagica or Robert McCammon’s Swan Song would do. Could be fun and a challenge.

Or…

Why don’t I somehow make it more marketable. Make it a Miki book. Take the new story and book end it with a Miki story that picks up after book 11. Could work.

I don’t know. My mind is going and turning.

By January first I could have ten more possibilities for this book.

The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s going to be a challenge and it’s going to be different than anything I have ever written before.

 

Out now: