Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Apparition" Book Trailer

Here it is.  The book trailer for "Apparition."  I think it's a little odd that books have trailers, too.  But, hey. That's the biz.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Apparition of "Apparition"

Two years ago, almost to the day (I don't remember what day exactly), I began writing "Apparition."  I actually started writing it in August of 2009.  That's when I started mapping out the story.  Well, really, I started writing it sometime in 2002 or 2003.  That's when I had the idea.  And I thought, "That's a pretty good idea.  I don't know what to do with it.  Well, I'll put that away for a while."  Then I'd dig it up again.  And I'd think, "Yeah, that's a good idea.  What the hell is it?"

At the time, I was writing screenplays.  So, of course, I thought I was writing a movie.  I primarily wrote comedies.  So, for a while, this was a comedy movie.  But I couldn't get my head around what the "joke" was.  At least, what the joke was that would sustain an 90-120 minute movie.  So it became a thriller.  I was crap at writing thrillers.  But most thrillers are crap.  So why not?  But then I couldn't figure out what the real thrill was.  Then - you're gonna love this - it was a Disney Channel movie.  It wasn't an actual Disney Channel movie.  That's just what I thought I'd do with it.  The reasoning behind that was because I have two kids who were watching lots of Disney Channel so my frame of reference was really limited for a while.  But that's where I settled.
So I sat down trying to figure out the story.  All I had was the ghost of a boy was haunting this girl's bedroom.  I had to come up with why.  And I knew there had to be some conflict because I knew I would be bored if it didn't have a car chase or a fight or both.  And that begged the question, "How does a ghost fight?" In answering that question, I brainstormed for a solid ten pages about the physics and nature of being a ghost and then of life and the universe.  Yeah, it got kind of heavy.  But when I was done, I knew what the story was without having even written the story or a character name.  And I knew it had to be a book.

I'd never written a book before.  And I think not having any idea what I was doing was kind of freeing.  I was so married to the screenplay format. While I knew story structure would be similar, I wasn't going to be restricted by the time constraints of a movie.  I could just write and write and write and hope I wasn't boring anyone who happened to eventually read it.  In a little over a year, I finished my first draft.  I spent three months polishing.  I had some people read it and I got some positive feedback.  I'm sure there was negative feedback but I chose to ignore it.  That's why I won't ever go into therapy because I'm sure they will uncover those repressed memories and I'll just end up feeling miserable.  Ignorance may truly be bliss.  

Anyway, there were some questions I had to answer and things I had to clear up.  And there was more I wanted to do with this story.  So I decided to not only rewrite the book, but break the large tome up into three parts.  One, because I could say more in three shorter books than I could in one really big one and, two, because then I'd have three books instead of just one.  So I spent the summer and early part of the fall making changes and focussing on the first book.  And that's what this is.  The first of three.  I really hope you enjoy it.  And I really hope you recommend it to friends and family.  It's just such a relief to be done.  And now I have nothing to do ... but write two more books.  *whimper*  

But I'm going to do it.  Even if you don't read them.  Even if you don't read this one.  Even if you don't read this blog post.  If you're not reading this blog post, then I'm just writing to myself.  I wonder if that's crazier than talking to yourself.  You know what?  I'm too tired to try to figure that out.  Point is: the book is done.  Please buy it and read it.  And review it.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Cover Results

I just want to thank everyone who took the time to vote for their favorite book cover.  And the result is ... both.  

Yeah, that kind of seems like a cheap-ass rip off.  I know.  But here's the deal.  One of them really struck the tone, or caught the vibe, or encapsulated (for those of you who like big words because they make you feel smart) the feel of the book.  At least, in my opinion.  And, frankly, in the opinions of some others who have read early drafts.  The other cover is actually going to be used for the third book in the series.  Well, a variation of it will be.  Because that one really hypostatizes (good word, huh? Don't you feel smart? Not me. I had to look it up.) the feel of the third book.  So, really both of them will end up being used.  

What am I going to do for the cover of the second book? Not sure yet. I'll jump off that bridge when I get to it.  Meantime, if you want to see which cover will be used for the first book, Apparition, you're just going to have to wait until the book is released. In about a week. I know. I'm a horrible tease. It's what we authors (and I'm using that term loosely in reference to me) like to call a "cliffhanger."  And not the cliffhanger that was a horrible movie starring Sylvester Stallone.  The literary kind that keeps you waiting in anticipation.  Which I hope this does.  And then I hope when you finally see which choice became the cover that you actually buy the book and read it. And recommend it to everyone you've ever met. You can tell them you had a hand in choosing the cover, whether you voted for it or not. I'll take the blame for the contents.  And not just the table of them.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Love Letter to Miss Piggy

If Jim Carrey can do it ...

... then I can have the courage to do it, too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sandwich "Artist?"

Do I really have to call the guy who makes my Subway sandwich an “artist?”  I suppose one could argue that there is an art to making a really great sandwich.  But a sandwich artist?  The whole notion of ‘art’ really stems from something called ‘inspiration.’  And, let’s be honest, nothing is inspiring these people to make my sandwich other than my telling them what I want on it and their desire for a paycheck.  

The mere fact that I’m telling them exactly what I want on my sandwich completely debunks the perception that they are artists in the first place.  They are making absolutely no decisions on their own.  No one told Da Vinci exactly how they wanted the Sistine Chapel painted.  I mean, they may have had an idea about what they wanted, but the art itself was pretty much left to the dude with the brush.  As for the person making my sandwich, sorry.  You’re not an artist.  If anything, I’m the artist because I’m the one making all the decisions.  

Even then, I don’t get to make all of the decisions.  Because all I say is, “I want turkey,” and you put the requisite four slices on my footlong.  You didn’t even get to decide how much turkey to use and, really, neither did I.  Somebody in a franchise meeting a few years ago decided that four slices of turkey was going to be the standard and that was that.  So then, even I’m not a sandwich artist.  I’m more of a designer and you are a general sandwich contractor.  No, that doesn’t even work because you didn’t even bid to make my sandwich.  I just happened to come into your store and you happened to be the one to take my order.  And I’m not much of a designer either since I don’t get to choose the amount of ingredients nor the order in which they are added to my sandwich.  So, no, you are not an artist.  I refuse to call you an artist.  You make sandwiches.  You don’t need a fancy title or a clever name.  That’s just a bs way to make you feel better about your crappy job.  

It’s the same way I feel about calling the kid who makes my coffee a “barista.”  Just because they give you a job title in Italian doesn’t change the fact that you make coffee and warm up prepackaged pastries.  The janitor in my wife's office building isn't even a janitor.  He's the "Day Porter."  What the what?  What the hell is a "Day Porter?"  They clean the restrooms, empty the trash, vacuum the carpets.  So ... they're freakin' janitors!  Maybe if we called these jobs what they actually were, people would have a bit more motivation to strive for something better instead of lying to themselves that they have a good job.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking these jobs.  They are necessary and they require good, honest people doing good, honest work.  I respect that.  It's a good place to start.  But people are less likely to want to move up and out of these entry-level jobs when you call them something fancier than they are.  There are some advantages, however, to giving these crappy jobs fancy names.  A "day porter" is more likely to get a better job interview than a "janitor."  A "barista" is more likely to pick up the hot chick at the end of the bar than a "coffee maker."  And a "sandwich artist" is more likely to ... to ... apply to be a barista.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exceptionally Extraordinary

That’s extraordinary.  Sounds like a compliment.  A superlative.  I really don’t get why.  It’s extra ordinary.  It’s not just ordinary.  It’s so ordinary, there’s more ordinary left over.  That’s the extra ordinary.  There needs to be a better word to describe something that is better than ordinary.  Superordinary doesn’t work because that just implies an amplification of the ordinary.  Something would be so ordinary it would be superordinary.  So that’s not it.  
How about “Exceptional?”  It is the exception.  That’s what makes it stand out.  That’s what makes it special.  There’s so much ordinary (one might say there's extra ordinary) that something that isn’t ordinary is the exception.  But if we are using the word exceptional to describe something as better than ordinary, then exceptional couldn't mean something is worse that ordinary.  And since exceptional means it's an exception to the norm, it therefore has to go both ways.  Kinda like my college roommate.  Awkward.  So, really, exceptional isn't the best word either.

"Outstanding?"  Maybe.  But then I think that falls into the same trap as exceptional.  Something could be outstanding but in a bad way.  Like this whole post.  I guess I should give up my quest for excellence.  ... wait a minute ...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm the Worst Blogger Ever

I fancy myself a writer.  But maybe I shouldn't "fancy" myself a writer.  I should "casual" myself a writer.  Because apparently, I don't blog enough.  I should be blogging.  A lot.  And I'm not.  There's a lot of pressure when you have a blog.  You're expected to post to it.  Even when you have nothing really to say.  And to make matters worse, I'm supposed to be writing my blog when I'm busy writing other things.  Namely, a friggin' book!  I don't multitask.  I'm one of those who has to take on one project at a time.  I don't shift gears that easily.  Oh, sure, it's not really shifting gears when you go from writing a book to writing a blog.  You're still writing.  But notice I say "you're" still writing.  I'm not.  I'm wasting time on facebook.  Okay, not at the moment.  But I was wasting time on facebook before I started this post and I will likely waste time on facebook after I finish this post.  And I guess I do technically write on facebook.  But a status update doesn't require a lot of thought or effort.  And in reading this blog post, apparently neither does writing a blog.  My point is, I started a blog so I'd have a place to just sort of ramble.  While I seem to be doing a good job of that, I don't seem to be doing a good job of ramble-blogging on a regular basis.  Once a month is no good.  It should be once a week.  At least.  But if my future posts are anything like this one, then maybe once a month is too much.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Should Be Sleeping

So it's one-thirty in the morning and I've been struggling with this one chapter for the better part of the day. That's a ridiculous expression.  Why would I be struggling for the better part of the day?  The struggle implies that it wasn't good.  So why would it be better to struggle?  So really, I've been struggling with this chapter for a large portion of the day.  

Point being, it's not done.  And I'm tired.  And I really should be getting to bed.  My body is telling me to go to sleep and I know if I don't get enough sleep, at some point tomorrow, I'm going to have a major headache.  The thing is, the chapter is almost finished and I know how I'm going to finish it.  Well, that is, I know what needs to happen to finish it.  Actually executing that ending in such a way that it flows and makes sense and is concise, yet compelling, is a different matter altogether.  And that's because I need to go to bed.  

But instead of going to bed, I'm blogging.  Instead of writing the chapter, I'm blogging.  Why?  The most obvious answer is because I'm an idiot.  But, really, it's because I can't stand the thought of going to bed and having this chapter unfinished and I can't finish the chapter because I'm too tired to write it well.  So instead, I'm venting in my blog.  

I know that if I go to bed, I will wake up rested and I will be able to finish the chapter easily in the morning.  But, like I said, I hate to go to bed with something unfinished.  However, I guess since the book itself is unfinished and there's no way in Helena, Montana that I'm going to conquer that tonight, I should just go to bed.  

Did you really read this whole blog post?  Wow.  You must be avoiding going to bed, too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

And Then There Were Three

I've had some really great feedback on the book lately and I've come to a conclusion.  The one book is now going to become a trilogy.  Oh, and that doesn't mean that this book is going to be the first book in the trilogy.  No, I'm too lazy to write two more books, even though I know I eventually will.  I'm actually taking this book and breaking it up into three parts.  The story as it's written practically lends itself to this sort of format.  I've found where the story breaks are going to be and I'm going to start working on rewriting what will become the first book in the series.  

There are some people out there reading the book as a whole and a couple of them have asked me if they should stop reading it.  Nah.  The overall arc of the story is going to remain in tact.  So you really aren't going to miss much.  But many things will be different.  

I will be altering a couple of characters as well as a relationship.  I'm also going to combine two characters into one since they're already so similar and serve a similar purpose.  I'm eliminating another character and subplot altogether because they don't really do anything to advance the story.  An antagonist is going to be introduced earlier and I think he's going to be much scarier.  Finally, a very minor character is going to come back and play a major role in the second book after giving us a cliff-hanger and the end of book one.

I know that's all very vague, but I don't want to give away the farm.  I know it's really vague for anyone who hasn't read the book yet at all.  You will.  It's gonna be huge.