Tag Archives: mystery

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.

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Facing the Other Way

Haven’t been writing anything new lately. I still have two pages of that crime story I started many weeks ago that I want to finish. I’m pretty sure I can finish it in Dec before I start the new novel in January. Pretty sure.

I have finished up editing that longer sci-fi short story Orange Flecks and sent it out to a market. Got two other sci-fis waiting to hear back from, plus a handful of other markets that are taking forever to respond. Pony express. So there’s that.

Been working more as a publisher lately than as a writer so it’s not like I haven’t been Peanut Shellsproductive. Did the holiday sale (all miki novels on sale thru holidays) and publishing a new short story every month. Been consistent the last three months. Just uploaded Decembers story early, Peanut Shells, so expect that in the next few days.

So yeah, I should be able to finish that crime short for the year.

Been also researching the new novel. Lots of reading on 1920 and 1960. Funny how I picked those years. Seems they both had similar social upheaval. Some cosmic force must have been tainting my subconscious. I don’t know. Or maybe not. Just hope I can make a good story out of it.

Speaking of reading, I finished this monster of a story called Facing the Other Way: the story of 4AD. You know the British record label with the amazing art design that started in 1980 by Ivo. Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coyle, Cocteau Twins to Throwing Muses, Lush, Pixies, Breeders, and on.


Like I said, a monster of a book chock full of POV/quotes, but so worth it. The writer not only delves into Ivo and the staff’s head, but also into the designer, Vaughn, and the band’s stories, which I found interesting since a lot of my favorites were in there. I’m a big Pixie, Throwing Muses, and Lush head, and even through I read a lot of books and press about them, this one gave me even more.

 

And When the Ashes Settle, Kirk Cameron Will Be Just

More editing on the shorts this morning (“Natural Born Killer” and “Height of His Stupidity”). Both getting stronger. Feel proud of them. Should be ready for publication and submission soon.

The new War on Christmas is in full swing this year. In Newport Mall they set up Santa’s picture palace a few days before Halloween. Pretty sure that was a record breaker. Christmas music was playing today. Decorations and sales are in full swings.

This is it, people. They are taking Christmas back. No more X-Mas. No more Happy Holidays. No more Cuanza or Chanukah or Pearl Harbor Day or Bill of Rights Day anything that falls in December.

It doesn’t matter if Christ’s birthday wasn’t even in December. We are celebrating it on December 25th and no one is going to stop it. So no matter who you are you have to say Merry Christmas or you will be punched in the face. By whom, I don’t know. But I am not going to take the risk of finding out.

I have even heard rumors going around. whispers. The Second Coming. Jesus will appear on Christmas. Trump will loan him Air Force One as a ride down from heaven. The Apostles will be armed with automatic rifles. There will be a speech. Everyone will be baptized that day. We will all be one nation under God. All women will be called Mary.

Some will fight. All will lose. And Kirk Cameron will be justified.

But like I said. So far it’s just rumor.

But the war is real.

A war created by government and spread by the media and the ignorant public.

Another silly fucking war.

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:

 

But we’re not those kinds of people are we?

Finished those two short story revisions and started submitting them today. The YA market is a bit edgy and controversial so I’m hoping the story will fit well there.

Of course the mystery crime markets are so fucking slim for the second story. I just subbed it to Hitchcock. Acceptance there is as slim as the pickings but I’ll give it 4 months and then sub someplace else.

That sci-fi/ya story I was on the fence about last week I started on Saturday. Doing 2 finished pages a day with screaming kids and wife around (he he), I managed to get over 2k words (11 pages) as of this morning. Looks good. Any doubts of repeating myself are not there. Stupid me, right? I’m liking it. Feels different from anything I did before. Think I’ll be done with it by the end of the week, hoping.

Son had his dental operation on Friday. The brave little booger had three teeth pulled, not two. The third was just a loose baby tooth that was hanging out and the dentist said, “What the fuck. We might as well take this one too.”

The insurance worked out. We only had to pay for the anesthesia. Considering the whole bill would have been almost 2k I’m not complaining. Plus, how can you let a child be awake for a thing like that. I had one tooth pulled and those needles were a nightmare.

Son had no pain when he came home and all through the weekend. With any luck he’ll have no more broken fillings with cracked teeth. But we’re not those kinds of people are we?

Anyway, I forgot Stainboy last time. Here is epi five:

a not so distant future where one struggles for gasoline

Finished Kharma Part 12 revisions.

Working on two short story revisions this week (MiLK and White Elephant in the Blue Room). Both are just about 5k words so that’s different lately.

Tried to find some markets to submit to and failed. Nothing in my pay rate.

As planned for June, I want to get in another short, flash or longer, before starting Kharma part 13 but I’m not sure what to write. Horror isn’t my thing, so that’s out. I could do a sci-fi/YA but it has theme setting I already used in other stories but a different plot. I don’t want to repeat myself.

Maybe something will pop into my head that will make it different enough for me to jump into it. For now I can just open my tiny notebook on Monday and pick anyone of the ideas and use one of those. Spontaneously write without a net. Maybe a crime story or a contemporary YA story will have to do.

Over the weekend I compromised my ego. The local vintage theatre was screening the greatest sequel of all time, The Road Warrior. Words can’t describe how important a film this is to me and my childhood. It’s a work of art. And a chance to see it on a 50 ft screen? When will I get another.

But for my wife’s birthday/mother’s day present I had given her tickets to see Kings of Leon that night at the PNC. I had bought the tickets back in February and the movie wasn’t announced until a few weeks ago. How was I to know the conflict. Of course I had to take my wife to the concert. You know how much these tickets cost me? Right side orchestra, row O?

Plus the context. My wife, a big fan of the group, won tickets to see them at the PNC 5 or 6 years ago. The week of the show they canceled and refunded due to health reasons. A band like this only does big venues, festivals. I’ve been stalking their homepage trying to find out when they would come back to Jersey. And they finally did.

My wife had a good time. She danced all night. I snapped some good pictures for her. She’s still shaking from the experience.

But still, I imagine myself in that seat in the theatre, looking up at that huge screen, in a not so distant future where one struggles for gasoline.

Oh, the car crashes.