Sunday, March 4, 2012

One Day in 2056 & Other Stories: NOW AVAILABLE

One Day in 2056 & Other Stories
now available on Amazon
So, long at last, I've finally did it. I finally published my first work of fiction. I took several different directions to get here, but alas, here I am. In the past three years, I've learned more about myself than I had in the previous twenty years. Long story short-ish: I wrote two crap novels. They sucked. So, I went back to the basics. I started writing short stories sometime last year. (July? August?) Anyhow, I only started writing short stories because I wanted to get better at my craft. I kept writing and writing. Passing on a few to friends. They enjoyed them. I also wrote separate flash fiction pieces and posted them onto my Tumblr blog. Anyway, in short, I compiled six stories together into a collection. That collection is One Day in 2056 & Other Stories.

Here's the blurb for the book:

“People just can’t die. There has to be consequences,” a grief-stricken Alex Pine says to Dr. Hailey Madison in “Come What May,” the first of six short stories. After his mother’s suicide, Alex’s life starts to spin out of control. Alone and desperate for answers, Alex pays his mother’s psychiatrist a visit, gun in hand. 

The collection’s title story, “One Day in 2056”, revolves around 14 year old Harold George Wells. In 2050, five billion people were mysteriously abducted and it may have something to do with the “UFO-looking ships” occupying the earth’s skies. However, out of the five billion that were taken, Harold only cares about two: his parents. 

 In “Nineteen,” aspiring writer and Hemingway enthusiast Jacob Fisher drops out of college to pursue his dream of becoming a novelist. But, after he’s disowned by his parents and kidnapped by a group of scientists, whose sole intention is to send him back in time to make a different choice, he begins to question his fate and destiny and whether or not everything’s not already written in stone.

For those of who happen to stumble across my ghost town of a blog and would like to review my short story collection on your blog or website, feel free to e-mail me I'd love to send you a free copy.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Every Great Filmmaker.....

As I'm typing this, I'm currently watching on my beautiful '22 HDTV--that's right--Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind in blu ray, no less!! Anyhow, it got me thinking and I'm sure this point is moot and has been rehashed by someone more qualified than myself. Anyhow, it occurs to me each great filmmaker needs/has their own 'music guy' (composer). For instance, Stevie Spielberg has John Williams (Closer Encounters, Jaws, E.T) as does Sir George Lucas (Star Wars!!). Christopher Nolan has Hans Zimmer. Funny thing with Hans, he also scores one of my favorite shows: Through the Wormhole hosted by Morgan Freeman. And last but certainly not least, my favorite filmmaker: J.J. Abrams has the brilliant and hardworking composer Michael Giacchino!! Mr. Giacchino's credits include Mission Impossible, Lost, Star Trek, Fringe, Super 8 and I'm sure every other J.J. project!! Just a little sample of Michael Giacchino: Although it's only two films, I think it's worth mentioning David Fincher and Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross' working relationship which so far include The Social Network and the forthcoming film, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Trailer for Dragon:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Similarities between Getting in Shape and Blogging....(No, really)

I know what you're thinking: this guy sucks at blogging, so what is he doing trying to compare it to a completely different activity? To that, I say, "touche."

In fact, I also suck at going to the gym on a routine basis. Sort of like my blogging schedule. So, essentially, I know nothing about these two topics I'm about to compare: Yay!!

Anyway, recently I went to the gym this past Saturday (and Monday!). Two visits in three days is quite a feat for me. Why do I want to go to the gym? Am I obese? No, sir. But I've gained some weight over the last few years. There are several reasons, one of which being, unhealthy college food. But I'm not going to lie; I just love food, especially seafood and pasta.

But let me try to stay on topic. Last Saturday I was there and it was a pretty bitching workout. I was sweating. SWEATING! Solid 1 hr 15 min workout. did some cardio, lifting and other weight machines. After I worked out, ate a healthy meal, showered, I was feeling good about life. Really good. A great workout can do that for you. On the downside, my delusional self believes after such a workout, "Bam! I'm going to lose 10 pounds by tomorrow!" Wrong-o!

As we all know, in order to lose weight, you have to keep at it. You have to stay focused and active. Going to the gym at least 3-5x/week helps especially if I want to lose that college fat.

After coming back to planet earth, realizing that i need to work out more than just 1 Saturday a month, it got me thinking about my struggles to keep blogging.

Honestly, the primary reason I started this blog was just to get my name out there and establish an online presence so when I publish my novel it will be easier to promote. Standard selfish, narcissistic act, right? Then something happened. I started to enjoy this blogging thing, despite the lack of traffic it gets. (I know, better SEO keywords, shut up!)

But, again, each time I posted a blog post, I expected hundreds of comments, retweets, and so forth. But it doesn't work that way. You have to work at it. You have to keep blogging. Keep posting to get myself out there, just like I have to keep working out to lose weight and get in shape. So, there. Sorry for the ranting.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Writing the Beginning of Your Novel: What I've Learned

I'm six months deep into working on my novel, Residual Effects. I know; shut up about it and go finish it. Anyway, I wrote it in a month (NaNoWriMo). Set it aside for a month. Following the holidays, I apprehensively took a look at it. And, boy was the beginning dreadful.

Not only did make absolutely make no sense, but it was also just filled with static dialogue that demonstrated nothing about the characters who were talking and simply bored me to death. And I wrote it. So, I rewrote it immediately.

As the days went on, I continued editing/rewriting my manuscript. Then I went back to the new beginning I wrote. It was pure shit. No, exaggeration. There was a disturbing bowel movement right on the page.

What was the problem this time? Well, I added some actual personality and life to the characters talking. So, that's good. A new problem arose: a lot words without saying much at all. This was my protagonist I was introducing right off the bat and i was falling flat. Grr.

More editing. More rewriting. More breaks to enjoy some sleep. Finished the ending the way I wanted it. So i went back to the beginning and wrote it again. However, this time I used this brain of mine to think what is it about a great beginning? And I remembered. Yay, me!

Essentially, a really astute beginning is what takes hold of the reader and never lets go is. How do you do that? Throw your audience right into it. Yes, dialogue is great, but to have your protagonist in action immediately is what really hooks the audience.

So, therefore, the new beginning is much better. My protagonist is cleaning up gallons and gallons of blood from his latest victim and while doing so, he's chatting it up with the corpse. However, the dead guy isn't talking so much :)(FYI: Residual Effects is about a tortured serial killer; previous beginnings I had him at his normal person job (dentist) talking to a patient. That belonged in second or third chapter)

Hopefully, I didn't ramble too much and I'm hoping what I learned will help others. Don't be afraid to rewrite.

A Conversation with myself in which I explain Why I suck at Blogging....

If you keep up with this blog, you'll notice one common theme: I suck at keeping up with this blog! I have no sufficient reason why.

Here's what usually happens when I go to blog, more specifically, last week I was so intent on blogging:

Mr. Ambitious: "Hey you should write a blog post?"
Couch Potato: "what?"
Mr. Ambitious: "You heard me! How do you expect to get your name out there when your book gets published?"
Couch Potato: "Ah, Fuck you! The Killing is on!"
Mr. Ambitious: "Oh, great, go watch a show that doesn't even answer questions. Lost much?"
Couch Potato: "Shut up. You can't talk to me that way. I'm a writer."
Mr. Ambitious: "Yeah, some writer. You rewrote your novel only to never work on it again."
Couch Potato: "Hey it's only been two weeks"
Mr. Ambitious: "You're pathetic."
Couch Potato: "Shut up!"
Mr. Ambitious: "You just told yourself to shut up!"

Touche, Mr. Ambitious. After reading this faux conversation, It seems a bit psychotic. Hey who isn't? (Nothing better than self assuring justification.)

Anyway, that's all for now. I hope to add some more blog posts throughout the day. stay tuned.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oh, Hey There: It's Me....again

It's been awhile since I posted something. So here's what I've been upto:

If you perused this blog, then you know I'm currently working on my first novel, Residual Effects. To that same point, you'd know that I've been working on it for the past five months. It wasn't until the last ten days of April when I decided to take a break from it all.

Having written a terrible first draft back in November, I realized my Manuscript needed hardcore editing. And, I mean hardcore. Therefore, I've pretty much put in about 15-20 hours a week just hammering away (editing/writing/rewriting); would've been more if I didn't have to work. Damn, adulthood! Having never had to complete such a longterm project, longest paper I ever had to do was 15 pages, I finally ran out of gas when April arrived. I tried to make it through, just keep on trucking, but I knew whatever I was writing was complete shit. Not being modest, that was the truth. So, I decided that I just needed a break from writing altogether and what a ten days it was.

For the first few days, it was good. I had more time like other things: to go to gym, spend more time with girlfriend, friends. I even got to read more, which is awesome since I'm on such a frantic Philip K. Dick kick! I was even to able visit my friend at college. What more could I ask for? We all need to reboot right?

It wasn't until about day 4 of non-writing when things went downhill, fast. I was limping (from playing basketball b/c I'm out of shape at age 22), I was deathly sick, I had killer headaches. So, suffice it to say, I was miserable. It was as if my laptop was punishing me from afar! It was god awful. What did I learn? Never take a day off writing? Of course not. But maybe next time ease myself into a break. It's sort of like smoking cigarettes then immediately going cold turkey.

One cool thing did come of the week off. I came up with better stuff to add into the novel as well as a more awesome ending, cause who doesn't love awesome endings?

Fast forward to today, a week back into writing and life is good. I'm not sick. Not limping (cause I don't have to time to), and no headaches. And, hey guess what? I'm producing better material than I was in April. Oh, and I'm nearly at the end which I have to say is fucking amazing!!

In the weeks to come: I hope to finish the novel. Look it over a few more times. Hire/pay an editor to take a look at it. Add edits. Look it over again. Then, hopefully, come June-ish, I'll be able to hand it over to a few Beta readers and then make any changes they suggest.

I'm crossing my fingers that by July (HOPEFULLY!), I'll have everything to go (Formatted, available in e-book form, and cover). For the first time in a long time, I cannot wait for what the next few months had to offer. Whoever has been checking in on this blog, first, I want to say thank you! And secondly, I will, I promise, keep this up to date. (I'm going to stop saying how bad I am at blogging and just do it and let the chips fall where they may)

Oh, and here's a quote I'm loving:
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been”- George Eliot

And, here's a blog I'm addicted to (Mr. Joe Konrath): A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

The book I'm currently reading.

And, lastly, the song I can't stop listening to. Bright Eyes-Shell Games

Wednesday, March 30, 2011