Monthly Archives: January 2015

Out of Context Part 2

For those who don’t remember, I once dissected several weeks of Facebook instant message conversations between me and my best friend, Liz, in order to make poetry.  If you’re interested in seeing how that went, click here.  I promise it’s a really quick and very funny read.

Last night I was talking to Liz again (as I sometimes do) and I thought maybe it was time for round two.  So here’s a quick refresher on how this works: Each line is either part of a single IM or an entire IM.  No out of context quote will be continued beyond one line (which is why some are way longer than others) so each new line is most likely from an entirely different conversation.  Which is what makes it so fun!

I think that’s it.  Enjoy!

#1

What’s the opposite of a miracle?

It is fairly tragic

There are always hurdles

Sometimes known as life

That is pretty much everyone else’s story isn’t it?

No I just went with mistake

#2

Have you forgotten the plan already?

It wouldn’t work anyway

#3

I drank an entire bottle of champagne last night

It fills the pit of my stomach with awful

I figured you could just ignore the words that don’t make sense

#4

His life fascinates me

He seems to have childrens

Unless he buys lots of drugs which…yeah maybe

But to go back to three seconds ago

I am too harsh perhaps

#5

I’ve just accepted that I will never take the time to develop talents because laziness is what I live for

We all feel like bitches sometimes

Which I hate

It’s just like the gypsy woman said

It’s nice when we have justification for our hate, isn’t it?

#6

It seems he’s liking your services

You can call him Leather Damnation if you want

Weirdly, he doesn’t seem interested in civil discussion

That’s what my bladdy blah insert BDSM reference here

#7

It’s just like the gypsy woman said

She was blondish and always wore inappropriate clothing?

Is that not fucking ominous?

What’s really weird is that does make sense

Oookay this isn’t real. This cannot be real.

Yep. Now it’s an omen.

#8

I could just spend hours licking your face…

That’s a good attribute in a fake employer

#9

Is that what the Thanksgiving guilt trip was about?

She was blondish and always wore inappropriate clothing? So yes?

Jesus Christ what did we do???

It’s like a freaking soap opera

She’s never had sex with you

This woman is unacceptable. Like everything about her.

She doesn’t even know words

I hate it when people are so easy to figure out

Why can’t anyone be not the worst?

Just adding on in case you thought my reaction wasn’t furious enough

#10

Also that is a fake job that fake people make up for real money

And I’m not even a literal prostitute

That’s a good attribute in a fake employer

#11

You may want to add in some subtle details about our lesbian affair

You can leave out the shelf of rainbow colored dildos

And I’m not even a literal prostitute

#12

I’ll be sure to treat everyone I meet like scum

Thanks. Now I feel….better?

Southern hospitality is for the weak

#13

I know all those feels

I have lots of sympathy for people who have to write dissertations

I would’ve stolen them otherwise, I’ll be honest

#14

I MUST ALWAYS MAKE MY POINT AS HARD AS POSSIBLE

Subtlety is my middle name! Or is it Danger? I’ve forgotten my middle name!

RIGHTS, DAMNIT. You’re no Dr. Freedom.

Maybe it really is God’s country out there

Yeah, I mean if you don’t have a good point, at least make a big one

24 is the new 67!

You’re PASSING DEATH

Maybe making ghost noises while doing it

It’s better than feeling stagnant, that’s for sure

But just because I say something doesn’t mean it’s true

#15

Aw man is that murderer back?

That’s worse than regrettable tattoos!

Mmmm internet? Blame the internet somehow.

#16

I mean like…flowers have roots. Flowers are pretty! Bam. Done.

I saw one knock a doughnut right out of a kid’s hand

No lesson was learned

#17

Dear god that sticker is so fucking appropriate it’s almost creepy

It better have smelled like Queen Elizabeth’s left nipple for that price

#18

It’s hard to find for some reason

But it feels important!

I don’t know many details

IT’S SO PRETTY

And probably not coated in barnacles!

Thickly layered paint, lots of colors and surreal elements

For some reason it seemed much more permanent

#19

I needed to escape my life so many times

Like just staring at a single picture for way too long and then not being able to focus on lunch

I guess that means something happened. I don’t know what. Something wise or whatever.

Maybe that’s good for your creative process

Pointless because all the characters are awful

Even more interesting! Or something.

#20

I do not understand taxes

Just like…”Hey world! Buy drugs! #thuglife” or whatever

#21

Now you’ve redeemed yourself. To yourself. The only person who ever cared.

For shits and giggles

So that must’ve been fun

#22

Now you’ll be able to give me grandchildren!

Are you trying to make me explode with envy?

I am so sad because I am selfish fuck you

#23

I’d like to believe the brown was chocolate. Otherwise what’s the point of brown existing?

That wasn’t the point at all but man….peanut butter is important to me

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Filed under Humor, poetry, writing

Free Sample

Welp, I finished editing Grotesque.  Before you go about congratulating me, I want to define “finished” for you:

Finished [ƒǝƞ-œŒ- ñÿď] adj – At a point where a book can be sent out for initial critique, where the book meets at least two of the following three criteria: 1. Is legible  2. Is in a language that all or most of the readers know  3. Obeys some rules of grammar

So yeah.  It’s not done.  Not by a long shot.  So I want you to keep in mind that the small sample I’m about to provide is completely unedited.  It will definitely change at least once before the month is out.  I can guarantee that.

But that’s okay!  Because all I really wanted to show you was some of the ways the book has already changed.  So I’m going to take a risk and compare the old and new introductory passages (which is only a risk because I am not sure at this point if my beta readers are going to like the new intro at all), as well as one other excerpt taken from the end of Chapter One.

For those who need a bit of a refresher on Grotesque, you can click here to go through my favorite post about it.  Or you can click here to go to the post in which I describe my inspiration for it (and then apparently provide the entirety of the first chapter, but you don’t have to read that).  Or you can go really crazy and click on both those links.

Okay, so here we go.  I’m going to put all passages in blockquotes so that they’re easy to differentiate from like…this writing I’m doing right here.

Pre-rewrite intro:

I awaken for the first time on the ledge of a tall building, the ground too far below for comfort. Above me is an inky black sky full of bright stars, a large moon, and a few wisps of gray cloud. The words for these things come easily to me, in a language that floods my mind, though I don’t know where it came from.

New intro:

Cold

Falling

Gasping

Breathing

In

Out

Flailing

Grabbing

Holding

Balance

Nerves tingling.

Heart pounding.

Stuttering breaths, in and out.

What am I doing?

A cold breeze dries the sweat on my forehead.

Where am I?

Sitting on a ledge, gripping onto something to keep myself steady, beneath an inky black sky dotted with stars. The moon is bright, illuminating a few wisps of gray cloud, and the ground beneath me which is too far away for comfort.

So why’d I change it?  Well, the first intro honestly wasn’t very captivating.  It also felt kind of forced and clunky to me.  With the new introduction, I wanted to try to encapsulate what it really would feel like to suddenly be alive for the very first time ever.  Once again, not sure if my readers (i.e. close friends and family) are going to like it.  It might change.  But this illustrates the direction I wanted to take it in pretty well.

Next we’ll look at a little further down in the same chapter.  This is from the old version:

“I brought life to you because I need some help.”

“Doing what?”

He shrugs.

“This and that. I have rather ambitious plans for my future, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my goals without help. So I risked weakening my powers some in order to give you life.”

“What if I don’t want to help you?”

“Oh, you can’t refuse. You’re enslaved to my will. You will have to obey any and every command I issue to you.”

He is so matter-of-fact about it, but I find I am not nearly as calm. I feel anger and frustration rising in my gut as the meaning of his words sinks in.

“So you brought me to life just to use me as a slave?”

“Yes.”

“I think I’d prefer to be a statue…or free.”

The man snorts out a laugh.

“And what would you do with your freedom? Do you really think people would accept you into their homes? Into their lives? You’d be hunted down and slaughtered on sight.”

I feel my throat tighten, cutting off further words. He is right, of course. This had all been part of his plan to keep me under his control.

“Besides,” he continues. “You can’t be free. Not until I’m dead. And don’t get any ideas. You cannot disobey me.”

Well, this is a solution to one problem at least. I raise my hand and slash my claws across the man’s throat. His blood spills quickly, and he collapses to the floor. The bastard hadn’t ordered me not to kill him, so I wasn’t disobeying anything by doing so.

And this is that same scene from the new version:

He shrugs. “This and that. I have rather ambitious plans for my future, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my goals without help. So I risked weakening my powers some in order to give you life.”

“Why should I help you?” I ask, genuinely curious.

“Because I’m going to tell you to,” is the reply. “You can’t refuse. You are bound by my will, and will continue to be until such time as I meet my inevitable, but unfortunate end.”

“So you created me to be your…slave?”

Slave. The word whispers itself in my ear, its significance bubbling in my mind. Bad. Not free. Trapped. Suffering.

I am pretty sure I don’t want to be a slave.

“Don’t look so concerned,” the man says, chuckling. “You will be happy to serve me. Your only purpose in life will be to please me. You will see that everything I do is for a greater cause.”

At first his words don’t seem all that reassuring, but suddenly I can see his point. What’s so wrong with being a slave? I’ve been promised security. And this man hasn’t given me reason to believe he has bad intentions. Surely this will be a good thing. I can’t wait for his next order so that I can show him how obedient I can be.

I smile.

Hopefully you can see how different this scene has become.  Thanks to my friend Micah’s suggestions, I added a new layer to Serrafiel’s character arc by forcing him to be happy with his position in life, rather than giving him a sense of morals right off the bat.  If he were truly new to life, he wouldn’t immediately know what was right or wrong.  He’d be like a two-year-old.  And that made his arc more interesting (in my humble opinion).  Because he has to grow up very, very fast.

Also, because I just realized that not everyone will read the name with the Spanish pronunciation, Serrafiel is not pronounced “Sarah-feel.”  It is pronounced “Seh-ra-fee-EL.”  That’s the best I can do for a pronunciation guide.  In case you didn’t notice when you were reading earlier, I’m not so good with the symbols and such.

And that’s it for now!  Hope you like the sneak peek at the changes I made.

Lots of words for you to read today, huh?  How about I reward you with…

A NEW COMIC!!

Writer's-Block-Strip-44

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Filed under books, Comic, Humor, writing

Grotesquely Optimistic

Oh my!  I’ve been curiously absent over the past few weeks, haven’t I?  You may be wondering what I’ve been up to.

Well…

zzZZZzzzZZ

No, no.  Besides that.

Moving

That’s right, I’ve been moving.  The fiance and I packed up all our stuff and headed out of New York around mid December.  We’ve been traveling quite a ways, all by car.  It’s been a pleasant trip so far.  The dog doesn’t think so, but we keep telling him that we’re a dictatorship, not a democracy.

The only problem with our road trip is that I haven’t had a lot of time to blog.

What I have been managing to do is write.  I have very recently finished a new draft of Grotesque.  Yes, that’s right.  After all those posts about procrastination, I finally got on it.  My last goal is a bit of world building.  My knowledge of history has always been a bit…lacking…

My best friend Liz still remembers the very real struggle of trying to help me with the subject in high school.

Did they wear hats

So I cracked into Medieval History for Dummies.  Really interesting stuff, surprisingly.  Even more shocking is that I seem to be grasping the gist of it.  It’s helping me form a much more coherent idea of this world I created, and it’s going to make Grotesque that much more believable, I think.  I’m hoping to share some excerpts in the near future, so you can look forward to that.  In the meantime I might be updating a little less often because I really want to get this thing done.  I’m so close!

Keep me in your thoughts, folks.  May 2015 be a profitable year for all!

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Filed under books, Humor, writing