Another night of blissful writing and rapid contemplation on my porch under the summer stars. Hard to believe fall is just around the corner. Where did the summer go? I must be getting old because time seems to be passing quicker and quicker.
The last two weeks have been busy as hell for me in Twitterland. I had all I could do to keep up with responses to inquiries generated from my last couple of Tweets and my interview Jacky Dahlhaus posted on her website at jackydahlhaus.com. If you're curious and want to know more about me, you should check out that interview.
On another note, my 31st wedding anniversary is fast approaching. Hell, Labor Day is only a week away, and my anniversary is in the middle of the next week. My wife has the whole week off from work.
I like to surprise my wife with big gestures every so often on her birthday, Mother's Day, our anniversary, or Christmas. I don't go big on every occasion. That's all part of the surprise. I do like to keep her guessing.
It has been a while since I've done one of these gestures. The last one involved a birthday trip to Providence for a weekend of romance, art museums, and good, vegan food. The vegan restaurants in Providence are numerous and simply superb. I highly recommend Providence to anyone looking for a good time. My wife and I had a blast!
My buds and I are coming down to my house for another gaming fest the weekend after Labor Day. My friends come to my house five times a year to game our asses off. The role playing festivities start on Friday night around 6 or 7, and end on Sunday around 5 or 6. If I did something special for my wife on that weekend, that would take her for a loop. I could even incorporate some kind of dinner game or puzzle into the mix.
Hopefully, my wife doesn't read this entry. She doesn't usually, but it would be just my luck this would be the one exception. My wife is such a peach, she would probably not let on she knew about the surprise party and pretend to be shocked and awed. She is that kind of lady. The more I think about this plan, the more I like it.
I usually don't let anything get in the way of gaming. Some things are just that sacred, but my wife is the tops for me. Yes, even above gaming and for me, that's saying a lot!
There's this Mexican restaurant in town that has live jazz music on Saturday nights. The place also has vegan nachos to die for. I'm thinking of surprising my wife with a night on the town with my buds, daughter, and son-in-law. To add to the surprise, I could have my daughter take my wife shopping for the day, which will end with a trip to this restaurant. The surprise on her face when she sees my buds, son-in-law, and myself waiting at a table for her and my daughter will be priceless! Margaritas, jazz, and the best vegan fare in town; who could ask for anything more? Yea, I think that's just the ticket! I'll do that if nothing better springs to mind. Big gestures need to be grand in scale. My wife deserves that much from me.
The Porch has a way of calming the mind so ideas properly percolate. Many hours have been spent there, thinking, dreaming, and scheming. My friends have always said there is something mystical about my porch you can't quite put your finger on. I wholeheartedly agree!
I see the first light of Dawn rearing her bitchy head. Time to go for now. Until next time, enjoy the last throes of the shadows of summer!
A couple of days ago, the great vampire chronicler, Jacky Dahlhaus, cornered me for an interview. She posted it yesterday on her website, jackydahlhaus.com, for her Meet The Author series. Jacky does weekly interviews of indie authors. She uses her vamp ways to get the skinny on her subjects. I promise she was gentle, and her fangs didn't hurt a bit. Many thanks go out to Jacky for wanting to tell the world about me and my creative process.
This past week has been crazy-busy. Not only did I have the interview with The Vamp, I had lots of inquiries from fans to answer, and completed more formatting of my newest creation, The Shade's Tale, Parts I - III. The story is a monster and is almost ready to be uploaded to Amazon. In addition, somehow I fit some time in for writing new material. Like I said, I've had one helluva busy week.
Earlier this week I added another passing thought to my Thought Train. It is a post about Doom, a concept important to my stories. If you haven't already done so, you might want to take a gander at it.
On another note, I've done much work on the role-playing game I've been running for some twenty-seven years now. My, how time flies. Maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, my gaming group is a great bunch of guys with lots of creative energy and enthusiasm. The epic arc they've been working on all this time is finally coming to a head. Although I'm the dungeon master for the game, the most interesting part is I have no idea how things are going to sort out. The players never cease to surprise me with their creativity. They do keep me on my toes.
Their characters have risen to a Divine status, and recently centered on the big-baddies, The Nine Diluvian Gods. These Gods control the end of time and The Crack of Doom. The epic struggle is beginning to take shape. Very cool, to say the least. My game is the grist for my writing mill. It is what inspires the stories I create and publish.
I thought I'd check in with a few thoughts about my progress and such. Gotta go for now. Until next time, don't let the sun's rays get you down, and never take any wooden shadow-coins!
Recently, I revisited the classic gangster movie, White, that starred James Cagney. For me, the crux of the film is the ending. It is one of those iconic moments in movie history where the bad-ass gangster, played by James Cagney, before dying yells, "Top of the world, Ma!"
I've always enjoyed a good gangster flick. From The Public Enemy to The Godfather, and of course we can't forget Scarface("Meet my little friend!" Another iconic moment), Miller's Crossing("He has no ethics!"), Goodfellas("Do you think I'm a clown?"), Casino(Watch out for holes in the desert), and Pulp Fiction(Do you know where that watch your pappy gave you had been?). White Heat stands out for me, not because it has the best production value, because it doesn't, but most likely because it was the first gangster movie I saw, and well, James Cagney did make for an incredible gangster. I even did an homage to Cagney's standout line in my casino caper story, Lady Luck Has Left The Building. That's how much that line sticks in the sinews of my soul.
Gangsters and the seedy side of life make for good drama. Putting a fantasy gloss on all of that was inevitable. The story, Lady Luck Has Left The Building, fired onto the pages from my fingertips in such an electric and organic way. Six sittings and the story was written. Although my stories tend to take shape fairly quickly as compared to what other authors have said about their writing processes, most of my tales don't come together that effortlessly.
Lady Luck had its surprising twists and turns. At the outset of writing the story, I hadn't conceived of the horror angle, but as that concept kept appearing, I decided it fit and just went with it. My stories often take me for a ride like that. When they do, I don't resist. I just go with it and discover where the story wants to take me. That's part of the fun and exhilaration of writing.
I figure if the story pleasantly surprises me as I write it, then my readers will experience the same pleasure. There is nothing worse than knowing the ending of a story within the first few pages or chapters. I revel in not knowing what will happen when I turn the page. With Lady Luck, that happened like clockwork.
The rain keeps coming down, down, down. All through the night, and now after I've risen from my slumber, I was pleasantly greeted. The sky continues to drip moisture onto us mere mortals. Blasts of lightning followed by the distant sound of thunder makes for an atmosphere tailor-made for writing dark tales. My most productive time for scrawling my thoughts is from midnight to 5 A.M., especially when the weather sets the tone like last night. To awaken to such an awesome dreariness, got me in the mood immediately.
Smoke from my stogie has great hang-time and forms shapes like those seen within clouds. My porch lights are those Christmas LED teardrops. They remind me of my favorite time of the year, Christmas Time! Party on The Porch, my sacred place of solace. Funny, I can't remember how many stogies I had last night. Hmm... Well, my humidor is emptier. Must have been four.
Feeling Alright is apt for my mood and is now playing in my ear. Joe Cocker sure had a way of belting out a tune. Draws me in every single time I hear him. Most of his songs are on my playlists. Definitely, one of my go-to musical artists. Now, Mick Jagger belts out, "I'm free to do what I want any old time..."
Now, my imagination has been kick started with writing this post, time to get back to it. May your day and night be as dreary as mine promises to be. Good luck and good writing!