Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Quick Update

It has been a few days in between posts, once again real life caught up with me. All has not been lost though. While my blog posts weren’t updated I have been getting quite of a bit of writing done. One short story titled “In the Cold” is in the final editing stage and will soon be submitted for publication. I’ve also been making headway with my ‘superhero story’ as I have 3000 words written for that so far and have barely scratched the surface. Eventually, once it is completed, I will cut through it to find the best actual story and rewrite it in the proper comic script format and submit it as well. I am currently reading “Alan Moore: Storyteller” by Gary Spencer Millidge and it is an incredible look at one of the most influencial writers of our time.

My short story “Lake Lurkers” has been published in the Sirens Call eZine Issue #5. Be sure to check that and other great dark fiction at Sirens Call Publications (http://www.sirenscallpublications.com).


Comics Part Three

When I first posted about comics I had no idea that I’d be talking about them for three posts. A number of years ago I had drawn a picture of a Captain America/Captain Britian ripoff tentatively titled The Nova Scotian. Well, that initial idea has morphed into something more original and yesterday I spent the day writing out the history and background of the Nova Scotian. I also wrote 1300 words of a story that eventually I would like to turn into a comic/graphic novel. The hardest part I have found so far about writing a story for the comic medium is allowing my imagination to not be hampered by real life. It’s hard to allow the mind to believe that people can wear masks and dress in costumes to fight crime (a theme explored in “Watchmen” that you absolutely need to check out). When I finally got over that hump, the story started to come out extremely fast. It’s very exciting to be exploring the comic world again and it is a journey that I am enjoying immensely!


Comics Part Two

To touch upon what I talked about in my last post, I purchased some more ‘graphic novels’ or comicbooks. “Saga of Swamp Thing Volume Two” and “Batman: The Killing Joke”, both written by Alan Moore. Reading comics again is essentially the younger version of me getting another shot. As I said before I fell away from comics in Junior High (dreadful years) and while I had always kept an eye out for certain titles to see what the characters were up to I never fully reembraced them. Well I am slowly approaching that point now. I am pretty sure that after I finish up with some of my current writing projects, I’m going to take a stab at the comic medium as well. Back in the day I used to illustrate my own comics as well as write them. For now I will just be concentrating on the writing aspect of it, but that’s not to say that I won’t sketch out characters or a rough layout of the page to see how well the action will flow that I am perceiving in my mind. In the perfect world I would be illustrating them no problem, but the problem is what I imagine in my mind is not what I am able to draw and it fails. It’s discouraging and pretty damn frustrating when you are unable to see your idea in its completed form due to the fact that you yourself are unable to match the illustration to the image on paper.

That being said, I am very excited where my writing has taken me so far. I owe MANY thanks to the Sirens Call Publications (www.sirenscallpublications.com) for publishing my short stories and the way they interact with the writers/artists that they publish. They are professional but they also take the extra step to add a very personal side to their correspondance as well. So be sure to check them out. They also have a romantic/erotica imprint called Pink Pepper Press (www.pinkpepperpress.com). So if you enjoy reading and/or writing in those genres you should definitely check them out! Thanks again or reading and take care!


I am now more than halfway through the adventure I set out on a few weeks ago. When Twenty-six was chosen for One Book Nova Scotia, one of the things I agreed to do was travel the province, reading from the book and meeting people. I have read in Halifax, Antigonish, Sydney, Port Hawkesbury, Halifax (again), Bridgewater, Middleton, and Yarmouth. And there are still more readings to come: Truro, Stellarton, Halifax (a different library each time), Amherst.

The experience has been so overwhelmingly positive. I’ve met interesting, intelligent, articulate people. I’ve been asked insightful questions. People have spoken to me candidly about their own experiences and their personal connection to my work. And along the way I’ve gotten to see this tremendous province, literally from one end to the other.

And I’ve reconnected with old friends, people I have not seen, some in over twenty years, who came out to…

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Comics

Just to clarify, the lack of posts over the last few days was not a result of me slipping back into my old habits. My laptop had gotten a virus and it was out of commission for a few days. The virus is gone now and everything’s working right so it’s time to get back down to business.

I grew up reading comics and even drew my own, selling a few to a local comic store that supported independent local comic artists called Strange Adventures. Like a lot of things when we grow up it got away from me. Now, however, I find myself slowly getting back into it. They say that if you write you should read, read and read some more. I believe this and keeping my horizons broadened I’ve purchased some graphic novels and read them. “The Dark Knight Returns” by Frank Miller was a fantastic read as was “Marvels” by Kurt Busek and Alex Ross and “Kingdome Come” by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. I am most impressed with Alan Moore. I’ve read “Watchmen” and “V for Vendetta” which he wrote and I am currently reading “Saga of Swamp Thing Volume One”. You need to do yourself a favor and read his work. Alan Moore once said “To paint comicbooks as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comics are literate – unlike most films”. I agree with his statement. Comics are like almost any medium in that you have to sift through some half-assed and pointless ones to find the real treasures. A lot of the mainstream comicbooks are like a lot of the big budget movies in that their primary goal is to sell and make money as opposed to telling a great story. So the next time you find yourself looking for something new to read, check out the graphic novel sections at major retail bookstores or check out your local comic shop. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ve been missing and what you can find!

 


Research

One of the best things about writing is being able to pursue another of my passions, which is history, as there’s always some form of research to do for any given story. My major at university was History so it’s nice being able to carry that on. I love reading about the two world wars, the Space Race and the Viking era. I find it very enjoyable to let myself get engrossed in the days of the past, almost moreso than getting lost in a good piece of fiction. That being said I find that I can let myself get carried away with the research and actually lose the focus of the story I’m trying to write and that can be frustrating. I can’t tell you the number of stories that are still waiting to be finished as a result of becoming overwhelmed with the research. For the Viking short story I’m working on I’m taking a different approach and trying to get the story hammered out and written first then go back and correct the mistakes I find through research. I’m hoping this will be more productive than doing all the research before getting the story out but only time will tell.

Take care, have a great day and thanks for reading!

Any horror/dark fiction authors/fans should check out Sirens Call Publications (http://www.sirenscallpublications.com).

Any Romance/Erotica authors/fans should check out Pink Pepper Press (http://www.pinkpepperpress.com).

 

 


Having an escape

This isn’t a Thanksgiving post by any means but based on what is happening at work I am really thankful that I have writing as an outlet. I don’t know how people are able to survive mentally and psychologically without having some form of escape from the workplace. Maybe it’s different if you work in a job that you absolutely enjoy and get satisfaction out of it. Working at an international airport screening passengers and baggage can get pretty stressful at the best of times. Throw in a unanimous strike vote and a rumor mill run by certain  immature coworkers makes it even worse. It’s like being caught in a whirlpool where at any moment you could be sucked under and lost forever. Having that escape or outlet, such as writing for me, is like holding onto a rope and fighting the currents. At times it is tough but I am lucky to have a job in these not-so-great economic times. With so much negativity in the world these days it’s important to have those outlets so that you don’t get overwhelmed with all of the bad stuff going on. I hope this isn’t coming across as preaching as it is not my intention.

 


A little scenario to think about

Here’s a scenario for you to ponder over for the rest of the day:

You have just returned to Earth after a two year mission to some distant planet or asteroid and you notice that there is no response from Mission Control. Your ship begins its reentry and you successfully land. Once you crawl out of your capsule you discover that there is no one around. You search far and wide but cannot find a single person. There is no smell of death in the air and thankfully it is NOT a zombie apocalypse (its overused). You are about to give up and accept the fact that you are alone when off in the very far distance you can make out something metal that is glistening in the sun. It appears to be moving around but looks rather odd to you, almost unfamiliar.

Do you approach it directly to see what it is or do you keep off to the shadows and do some recon?

 

Just a reminder be sure to check out Sirens Call Publications (www.sirenscallpublications) and Pink Pepper Press (www.pinkpepperpress.com)!

Have a great day!


Ideas

Ideas are kind of funny things as they can find you at the most random times like the shower, on the throne, at work, in the car stuck in traffic, etc. I usually find that when I sit down to try and think of an idea my brain seems to shut down and I get nowhere. It’s really frustrating given the fact that I have Attention Deficit Disorder but I’ve learned to cope over the years. I’m sure most writers already do this but I find carrying around a small notebook is essential for the very reason you could have that eureka moment and come across a great idea but forget what it was when you get to your computer to write it. It’s easier now with certain apps you can get on your phone to write or even record your ideas. I don’t know how many little notebooks I’ve filled (and lost) over the years but some of my best ideas were jotted down in a word or two in the pages of those notebooks. Within the confines of the notebook you can flesh out an idea or merge two ideas before you even sit down to write. I know for me writing things down is a lot of reliable than trying to remember them. To each their own I guess.

For anyone who writes horror/dark fiction be sure to check out Sirens Call Publications (www.sirenscallpublications.com). They are fantastic to work with in both their eZine and their anthologies. Also be sure to check out their Erotica/Romance imprint Pink Pepper Press (www.pinkpepperpress.com).


Viking Story

Good morning,

I have had a productive morning so far, which is good because I have to go to work later on, and I thought that I would share the opening paragraph of my story “The Berserkers and the Wendigo”. It’s pretty rough and I’m doing research as I go along so this may change down the road:

Anders Randallson sat at the head of the table in the long house staring at the pile of corpses stacked against the entrance. They were once part of his crew, his brothers who had earned their place in Valhalla, but now they were only a line of defense. He was the last of the twelve Vikings who had ventured away from Leif Erikson and settled in what they thought was Leif’s Markland. The only other living soul in the longhouse was
Alawey, one of what the Vikings had called skraelings, who was from the indigenous Aboriginal tribes of the Mi’kmaq. Anders and Alawey had actually fought against each other in some of the skirmishes between the Vikings and Mi’kmaq but now they relied upon one another for their survival. Anders had come to respect Alawey’s skills as a fighter and was glad to have him on his side. Although they were not able to understand each other’s languages Anders did manage to learn the name of the creature that had killed his crew and Alawey’s tribe: the wendigo.

Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions. Have a great day!


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