Tag Archives: writing advice

Still Interesting and Still Inconclusive

More editing on Cities That Eat Islands.

Rearanged our DVDS. Finally made the whole bay in auteur and the second bay will be broken down into genre. saw a lot of titles I don’t think we’ll want anymore. I’ll have to double check with Neen. Should have a good handful to Swap out in the future. Be nice to have things broken down into Slasher, Ghost, and Sci-Fi for when I’m in the mood for certain things.

Origin of Species isn’t going so well. Darwin is not a very good writer. I’ver read MUCH better science writing than this. He states too much and doesn’t engage the reader. Doesn’t take you through the learning process. I’m going to try to at least get a quarter done. If he doesn’t convince me then I’m going to put it to the side.

M got sick in school today so I had to pick her up this afternoon. Explosive diarrhea. Ruined two sets of clothes. Should have a fun time washing those this week end. If they’re salvageable. She’s just fine. Must have caught a germ on her class trip the other day. We’ll keep her home tomorrow just in case.

Watched Suddenly today. Still a great noir. As menacing and subtly sympathetic Sinatra. I still don’t buy him over powering the great Sterling Hayden. Visually, I mean. Yeah, he had to shoot him in the arm to keep him down in the movie. It reminds me of Michael Pare against Willem Defoe in Streets of Fire. Your opponents should be equal in size or at least have your bad guy larger. Unless you’re doing a cartoon like film. Like Batman or something. Hayden was such a bad ass in everything he did.

The argument for guns is still interesting and still inconclusive. Something they don’t do anymore today. I like that in my art. Another reason most current cinema doesn’t interest me.

black and white hands mask bussinesman
Photo by Vijay Putra on Pexels.com

 

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To Wake During The Closing Credits

Friday Night

Watched Fred Olen Ray’s Deep Space. Kind of like the remake if The Blob. The dates of the two are close. Note sure who ripped off who. A man made government creation comes down from space and starts killing people in LA. The creature FX were pretty good for the budget. The cops were over the top but so is the nature of genre. I fell asleep the last ten minutes. Woke up right as the credits were rolling. Damn. I’ll have to go back and watch it again.

Saturday

Sneaked in the last of the offline revising of the Miki files before I had to go out to my parent’s house for mother’s day/father’s birthday. All I left now is online work with distribution. Should definitely be done by end of the week mixed with other goals I have planned.

After driving home through the storm we watched Jeff Lieberman’s Just Before Dawn. Been wanting to see this for a long time. Didn’t disappoint. Great slasher with a nifty twist in the end. Again, I feel asleep at the last ten minutes and woke up at the credits.

Sucks when the body turns old.

Sunday

Took the mama of my children out to get drunk during lunch and got her the Arrow special edition of Argento’s Cat O’Nine Tails. Of course she didn’t know about it. If it looks as beautiful as the other Arrow revisions then she should be happy. Supposed to have lobby cards inside it two and a booklet.

We drank a bit. Funny about us is that we both don’t drink or do drugs. Not even weed. I guess you can call us straight edge. Our whole lives. Not for political or health reasons. Just never had reason to. Or maybe we saw too many negative effects from it.

But a few years after we got married we tried having a few drinks out. Like one or two. Now we do it occasionally. Once every two or three months.

Autistics make for happy drunks.

Well, buzzed anyway.

 

 

A Cheap Full Moon Trick

Draft 2 of Cities that Eat Islands is past the halfway mark and moving along. I ran into a part where I wanted to add a scene but was too lazy to write it. I’ve done that before. Either I’ll save it for the end or I’ll just skip it all together. I don’t know yet. Depends how lazy I feel and how important it really is to the story and the character it involves.

Also I’ve been cutting a lot of words from the draft. Not drastic. But a lot which I’m happy with.

The paper back proof for Blood Like Cherry Ice (Miki 3) came in the mail today. The new cover looks great. I approved it with the distributer so it should be available in the stores in the next few days. I’ll post a picture soon. I like how the font is like cherry ice. I’ll start the Surly Girl  paper back next.

Dented The Godfather pretty deep. It’s as good as I remember from when I was a kid. Although I think I like The Sicilian better. I need to read that again. Interesting how the book was written in 1970(?) and it takes place in 1948 (?) but it’s not heavy with historical detail. I think if it was written today a publishing house would have Puzo rewrite it to be more historically detailed. Not that he would. It feels like the pulp books written in that time, as if it was written in 1948. I like that.

D finally got his report card today. Had to pick it up from the office since his teacher is still scared of me. (long story). He did great. One C and the rest As and Bs. The program is really hard and stressful. He works hard. I’m proud of him. I hope he’s proud of himself.

Only got to watch half of Gingerdead Man vs Evil Bong. As expected it had the same humor from both films. And as expected it had too long flashbacks from both series to fill up space even though the movie runs 80 minutes. A cheap Full Moon trick. Oh, well. I should finish it tomorrow.

Interesting articles I read today:

College Removes Instructors as Students Find Their #MeToo Moment 

This one takes place at my old school, SVA. I sort of knew Frumkes. I never had his classes. But fuck him. I’m glad he got what he got. He was also well known in the horror genre for a few trash films and the documentary, Document of the Dead, about the making of Dawn of the Dead. Glad George Romero isn’t alive to see this.

Stillwater man with autism rarely speaks, except through his art  

This is a great story about a kid with severe autism who makes brilliant art. Definitely a good note to end your day on.

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

Please Excuse The Explosion And Carry On With Your Day.

And research goes on. Focusing on Albert Fish. For those not in the know he was a cannibal who ate children and was caught in the 1930s. He was in his sixties when the police apprehended him. A sick fellow who always fascinated me.

For decades I was only able to find him in chapters in other books but finally found a slim pb that covers his last crime, arrest, and trial. I think someone on a bb recommended this book to me as one of the best books on Fish.

One of the villains in Cities That Eat Islands will be based on Fish, something I’ve always wanted to do in a Miki book. Maybe if the character survives this story I can still do it.

Was another terrorist attack in NYC day before yesterday. Local news covered it but social media was kind of quiet. I saw no mention of it in my Facebook feed. A young man who has been in this country for seven years made a pipe bomb and brought it to Port Authority. It went off. No one died and the young man was arrested. He was tired of Trump. An American made terrorist. Shrug. Many of us are tired of Trump. I’m surprised there aren’t more American Made Terrorists around.

I guess it’s getting so that terrorist attacks are slipping through the cracks like school shootings. In the last few weeks I read about two. One in New Mexico killed 2. The one in California killed 4.

Is this all part of not being shaken by the violent perpetrator?

We will not be terrorized.

We will not let them interfere with our lives.

Life will go on. Death and violence will not faze me.

See my smile.

Now go back to work.

Say Happy Holidays (or if you’re a fascist Merry Christmas).

Listen to Billie Christmas, pass the cranberry sauce, and pretend that sound is just thunder.

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.