Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lost Graves

I stopped by the graveyard where my Uncle is buried. He was a baby and is buried in the baby section of the cemetery toward the front, in an area I call "the baby section." His grave stone is a lamb, and although I found some of them, I couldn't find his.

Most of the lambs are unmarked and forgotten, and some were so damaged that it's hard to tell what they ever were. I saw grave markers pulled from the ground, and chopped up grave markers with headless lambs. Who's responsibility is it to maintain the condition of such markers? Considering most of them were from the 30s and 40s I shouldn't have expected much.

I know the people mowing the grass and maintaining the property think no more of it than if they were mowing someone's lawn (someone they don't really care for). They routinely chip stones with little regard. It's not like the dead can do anything about it, right? I know for a fact this extremely hurts family members, and yet, nobody really cares. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Cover for my book "The Bone Extractor"

It's great to be able to see the whole process from start to finish. This is the sketch for my book "The Bone Extractor." 

This is another photo in process, and you can see Nick worked on the background. It's being done as an oil painting at this point.

This is the finished cover for my book The Bone Extractor! I'm very happy with the finished product that Nick Rose created for me. It has been a painstaking process because Nick worked on it while he was getting major dental work done. He deserves all the kudos he can get because he faces adversity every day, and yet, he can create something that is every bit what I'd dreamed my cover should be! As you can see, we replaced the scalpel with a saw. 

My character Bonesaw is every bit the dark character that the name suggests. He has blood on his hands, literally, and I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark corner. It's bad enough I met him in my dreams. Worse yet I created him out of my head. I can't blame anyone for that. I'm proud of my book and the only thing that could top this moment is to hear back from the publisher I submitted my manuscript to. 

Kane Hodder was kind enough to let us use his image as Bonesaw, and that alone, is huge for Nick and I. For those that are not familiar with Kane Hodder. He's a stuntman turned actor playing Jason voorhees in four of the Friday the Thirteenth, Hatchet, and Ed Gein to name a few.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paranormal at Barnes and Nobel

This is a true account, and I have a witness to attest to my honesty. 

While at Barnes and Nobel, I looked for Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich. I don't think it's a secret that I love her books. 

Two weeks ago they had it stock, but after her latest book had come out June 21st, it was nowhere to be found. It was on the markdown shelf for $6.98, but of course, I didn't buy it because I was hoping I'd find it Big Lots for an even $6.00. This has been the case before, but of course did they not only not have it, neither did Barnes and Nobel by the time I went back. 

I had all but given up hope until I stopped to Barnes and Nobel with my daughter today. This time I wanted to buy a Sue Grafton book. 

I scanned the bargain shelf for it, and we walked away when a book fell to the floor. This is one of those moments. I didn't drop the book, why pick it up, right? I walked over and picked it up, what other self-respecting writer wouldn't have done the same thing. 

There on the table the book fell from was Sizzling Sixteen. I told my daughter that god wanted me to have that book. I saw the strange looks from the other customers, but I don't care. I had my book. Side note: sorry Sue I'll buy your book next time because I found a drawing book for my daughter.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First draft is done

I'm happy to say that I finished writing the first draft of my most recent book "Armed Outrageous." 

Finishing a novel is always a great feeling. I had fun writing humor, probably why it went so smooth this time. I had no clear-cut plot so to speak as this book is more character driven, but it came together beautifully. 

I had a kidnapping, but I had no idea who did it or why until the very end. In truth, this book is more of a mystery than what I have written in the past. In the end, it took on a dark tone, as even the most lighthearted of stories have to be dark sometimes. I had a 6,000 word jump because I started this story last July while I was writing "The Bone Extractor." I like to start my next book before I put my WIP to bed. I wrote this story in 1st person, which is a complete turnaround from where my writing has been in the past. 

I like writing 1st person, and when I decided to rip this story around. It took some doing, and I hope while editing I can smooth it out even more. It does have its limitations though, which I found out in one of my last chapters, but it all worked out.

I made writing a priority and had a personal goal of 1,000 words a day, which I kept for the most part. I finished this book on the Fourth of July weekend, which is kind of cool. I procrastinated for days about the ending and it only came about because I started writing. I wish I could say I'm the type of person that can pound out an outline, but that just doesn't work for me. I do hope in the future that will be the case. 

My next WIP will be dark with a some humor thrown in the mix. I like dark crime writing and hope I can blend it the way I think I can. I took a chunk of a story I wrote long ago and combined it with something I started recently. Again, I turned it around into 1st person, which wasn't easy. I lost whole sentences that I loved. I even read both versions to my fiancee, but ultimately I'm the one that made the decision. He liked the 3rd person version. I do too, but as the writer, I'm the one that has to pound out this story, and I can't see myself writing something if I hate what I'm doing. 

I don't have a monkey on my back, all the pressure I put on myself in of my own choosing. I have an editor that is both editor and friend, she my sounding board that is a great thing to have. Someone needs to tell me when I'm off the mark or if something doesn't work. Personally at this point, I think, I have a better feel for what works and what doesn't for me. 

You don't learn by someone telling you how to do it. You learn by trial and error. I can see myself improve as a writer with every story I write. I have a style all my own, which I hope people will like, if and when my book makes it past my laptop, laughs.

All the advice I was told I didn't take, but I see now it really was all good advice, I just wasn't ready to accept it. This is also how you can grow as a writer. Unfortunately, I learn more when I hit myself over the head with at rock, smiles.

If someone told me, I'd be starting my fourth novel, I would have told him or her, they were crazy, because the idea seems surreal to me. I feel caught in a whirlwind, and I'm stuck inside. To be a good writer, you have to work at it, and nothing comes easy. 

Have a great week, and as always - thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

Fourth of July means many things to many people. In the United States, we like to blow stuff up (I'm talking about fireworks). I live in Michigan where many fireworks are illegal (unless they are used by professionals during a fireworks displays). The police is kept busy trying to bust all the stands selling illegal fireworks (the kind that shoot up into the air). There are many smaller ones that are legal, like bottle rockets, ect.

There are many people that go to other states to purchase fireworks, apparently they are not illegal in every state. Some people don't think the trek to Ohio or Indiana is that much of an inconvenience.

It makes me nervous to think that some dumb ass drunk person is going to be blowing shit up. I live in an apartment complex, and fireworks are banned. I know this rule will be so broken.

 I knew so many kids when I was one myself that put a firecracker in a bottle and blew it up taking chunks of their face with it (the stupidity of youth). It's not as if we were told not to, and when you're a kid you don't know what will happen unless you do it and it goes wrong.

When I was younger I lived in a small town. We had a Fourth of July parade every year that ended up making it's way to a park. I remember it was nice, but they basically ruined the whole thing when years later (I was grown up by then) they ripped the park out to make room for road accommodations for an outlet mall. They promised to relocate the park, but that never happened. In politics if they can make some money it will out weigh what's right.

We went to "Hoyt park" for a fireworks displays every year when I was a kid. I hated the large bang fireworks, and that hasn't changed all these years later. I also hate thunder. It wasn't in the best part of town, but that was the only place back then to go for a large display. We made a day of it going to the park early in the day for a picnic, something we always did.

Times were simpler back then, and when I say back in the day believe me. I'm old enough to say it.

I hope everyone has a safe Fourth of July!