Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Last post of 2012

And a happy good-bye to it. What I achieved -- publishing 2 books. self-publishing a compilation of another, starting another book, and developing a new screenplay -- are outweighed by all the other crap of life that came roaring in. So much for my Year of the Dragon; it drowned and Leo sat on the shore to watch.

But that's changing. I just have 3 goals for this year -- NOT resolutions.

1. Make "The Alice '65" the best script it can be and start entering competitions, again.
2. Finish "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor".
3. Finish a first full draft of "Place of Safety".

Everything else is just hopes and dreams -- like getting control of my finances, losing weight, that sort of crap -- things that have so many variables that are both under and beyond my control, I can't do anything more than try at them.

But I am a writer. A professional. I have 6 novels in circulation that have a sales record. Not bestsellers, but a record. I have 3 projects I want to complete, each of which is meaningful to me, and a dozen more waiting in the wings. So I'm not doing anybody else's writing unless they pay me, and I don't mean piss-ant money or part of the sales. I mean Guild minimum for scripts and $5000 for a first draft of a book. Period.

Again, this is not a resolution; it's a life decision. I'm worth the money. If you disagree, get somebody else. I got other things to work on.
Now I'm going to finish my last ironing of the year as I watch "Bringing Up Baby", again. It's funny in spots, but Katherine Hepburn's character in this tends to annoy me, because she is so self-centered and unaware. I know that's how the script was written, but it's off-putting. Still, Cary Grant is so wonderful, he mitigates her till she starts being less "madcap heiress" and more human.

I often wonder how Carole Lombard would have been in the role. She has such a lovely, off-key, ethereal quality to her comedy, she might have made it work. Katherine's too intelligent and aware to make a ditzy bitch likable, let alone believable.

I'll just keep telling myself, I'm doing it for A65.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Lyons' Den

Perfect weather for this book -- it all takes place during a snow storm in NY State on a Friday night in an isolated cabin that's supposed to be deserted. The main character is Daniel Bettancourt, a mystery writer helping out a buddy with a project that needs to be done now now now. Only problem is, that cabin turns out to be the scene of a political payoff on that particular night...and chaos begins to reign.

The story is being told by Daniel's fictional detective character, Ace Shostakovich.

Available in paperback and electronic download. Link through on my website (which is still being worked up).

This is why I keep a handwritten journal

I spent much of yesterday writing into my regular journal, one where I spill all my secrets and evil plans and hopes and complaints; I've tried to keep those separate from this blog but, being human and rather self-indulgent, I don't always succeed.
Still, yesterday was good, because I spit out a lot of the ennui I was feeling and today was able to go through "The Alice '65" and do a solid re-working of it. I even input a couple of scenes I'd worked on into the file and printed them out to rework, again, so I can better figure out what the correct rhythm is.

From this point forward...well, beginning with 2013...I'm going to use this blog to talk solely about my writing and books. No more politics; I have my Anger and Anarchy blog for that, mingled with my more prurient thoughts and desires. I may even begin another blog for the stuff dealing with pissants around the world.

Of course, right now is the best time to really begin. And doing this symbolic cleansing helped me, a lot. I can now see that Adam is a solid character; it's the rest of the cast in A65 that need fleshing out. Casey's a good catalyst, but nothing more, really. And Patricia isn't pulling her weight, so I made her Casey's manager as well as mother...and if that's not a nightmare scenario for most people, I don't know what is.

I already had Casey being a child star who's shifted well to features as an adult. She's hinted that she's got a head on her shoulders, but she is manipulative and gets lost in her own plans while forgetting that sometimes others can be hurt by that. I think I need to clarify that aspect of her.

Lando's become more of a character, too, and I included some people at the ending bit in the jet who added suspense and, simply, needed to be there.

A65 is going to be more than just a rom-com, and that may be a problem with the Hollywood crowd. They like simplicity and single-genre we'll see what I can get away with. But I've already decided to make this into a book, eventually, once I have it locked down as a script.

My vague plans, as of now, are to finish a first draft of "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor", for Jake, then get a first full draft of "Place of Safety" done, from beginning to end, for Brendan. I can worry about the details of the story's world later, once I know what I'll need to know.

But if I know me...this all will change, tomorrow. I'm consistent, that way.

Friday, December 28, 2012

This is "Christianity"...NOT

Ugandan 'Kill the Gays' Bill Lawmaker Rebecca Kadaga Receives Blessing from the Pope. ... (She) has said she wants to pass the "kill the gays" bill as a "Christmas gift" to Ugandans, (and) received a blessing from the Pope at the Vatican.

Said Kadaga to Reuters last month: "Ugandans want that law as a Christmas gift. They have asked for it and we'll give them that gift."

Uganda's New Vision reports:
Kadaga who led a delegation of Ugandan legislators to the Vatican expressed delight at meeting the Pope and visiting St Peter’s Basilicca.

“I think this is a moment that cannot be repeated. We have been reading about him, hearing stories about St.Peter’s Basilica but now we are here physically. I think it is something that I will remember all my life. It’s a very great moment and I thank God for this opportunity,” she said minutes after meeting the Pope.

Ironically, a Ugandan delegation had traveled to Rome for the 7th Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the International Criminal Court and the World Parliamentary Conference on Human Rights.

The Vatican mass they attended was the one in which the Pope sent his first tweet.
I got this from and it perfectly illustrates the direction "Christianity" is going, thanks to people like Scott Lively, Rick Warren, and Tony Perkins, and to the ongoing silence of most other "Christians" in response to it. A few have said it's not nice. How cool is that. Killing fags is "not nice."

In the US, it's been suggested by "Christian" radio talk creeps that gays should be rounded up, should be tattooed, should be killed, you name it. But according to them, it's Islamic jackasses doing the same damn stuff in their countries that should be feared by one and all.

I don't think those people even understand what the word hypocrisy means...or blasphemy.

Rant over. Now comes something to get the taste out of my mouth --
This is Bernardo Velasco, a Brazilian model I'm using as the visual for Lemm, a guy who may be on Jake's side in "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor" -- or who may not -- or who may be both. I won't know till I finish writing the book.

Which may be soon. I'm blocked on A65. Totally. Can't even face it, right now. comes Lemm to draw me back into OT.

Of course, it could work out he's neither.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Everybody wants me to write for free

Or damn close to it. Lately I've been getting people wanting me to write books for them and they'll pay me SOOOOO much money once it  starts selling. Or they want to buy my script for $50 and they'll pay me SOOOO much money when the movie is made and raking in the cash.

Of course, there's nothing new about this. When I first moved to LA I met a guy who wanted to option 3 of my scripts for $1. Total. For 3 years. And got insulted when I laughed, thinking he was joking. I actually have let people option my work for that, once I knew them....and not once did anything happen. The two scripts that I sold, outright, are still languishing in God-knows-where land.

What's new is, now that I have 5 novels published (in 10 volumes, total) this sort of thing really grates on me. Especially when they want me to develop their idea and make it work when I have nothing invested in it, emotionally. I had a hell of a time doing that for "NYPD Blood", and then I only finished it because I 'd written the script and felt obligated to make it happen as a book.

It took me over a year to find a way to hook myself into the story enough, and it was only when I focused on Vinnie's huge imagination and let that slowly overwhelm him until he's close to madness from the whole situation concerning the drugs disappearing that it began to work for me.

Now comes a guy who wants to make a movie for $50K, and I'd get a share of the profits as payment. Like I don't know that there are never any profits. A $50K movie is either going online or straight to DVD or pay-per-view on late-night cable. Or all three. All of which takes money and none of which pays well in licensing fees. I don't have the patience to deal with that crap, anymore; I'd be better off making my own because having somebody else shoot it would do me no good.

I do have one script that could be done for that...and which needs rewrites, of course. But I ain't got the $50K. So what do I do?

Well...first...I finally get a hair up my butt and start make moves towards pushing my writing. I set up a new domain through GoDaddy -- -- which is still minimal but at least gives me a place to send people and has links to my books on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo. I'll make it more elaborate once I figure out how to use Go Daddy's Builder; they do their best to make it impossible. And I'm looking into buying a digital ad on a magazine site, for "The Lyons' Den". That's the one I want to push. If I can afford it.

As I've said before -- I suck at selling myself, but I guess I'd better learn how to do it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Porno Manifesto gets reviewed

This is from a reviewer on It got 4 stars...and it makes sense. I often don't know what I'm doing when I'm writing...not till it's done. And I see how far I've gone...or haven't.
I was not expecting this to play out in the way that it did. It was oh so wrong. I did not get anything out of Alec's sense of revenge. I got why he did it, but oh boy did he go far. And his rationalizations and methods were just so out of this world.

But I liked being in his head. His POV was quite different, but it was also a whole hell of a lot like hearing those people say a rape is consensual if a woman has an orgasm so she must have wanted/liked it. Not true. I got what he was trying to prove, but I can't really agree since the bodies sense of pleasure does not prove that taking someone by force means they enjoyed it.

Either way, I still loved reading the book. It was crazy intense and I had to wonder if Alec was going to get away with what he was doing. I believe it actually worked! Just when I thought things hadn't gone the way he set them up to, it turns out that he finds out after the fact that it did. That was amazing to me. I don't really feel like anyone got what they deserved (except for Reza) and maybe Freddy, but I can't help but admire the deviousness of what all he did. That was just incredible. I was sad for Mika, though. That poor kid.

I was glad when Alec came to his senses, though. And when he found himself some happiness. Should he have been allowed to be happy after all of what he did? What those boys did to him was bad. It was utterly wrong, but he went so much further. It's amazing to me that I was able to feel happy for him and that he and his Panther self were able to get some peace in the end. All that anger could have destroyed him.

I have to say, much like How to Rape a Straight Guy, Kyle Michael Sullivan really made me think about things. He fucked with my head, too.

No writing done worth anything, today. I crashed into an odd, angry mood when I watched a video of Russell Brand interviewing two members of the Westboro Baptist Church and had the weirdest feeling like I was watching Kabuki Theater. Like the two guys who were there and telling people they'd go to hell if they didn't think like them, were acting. And I just couldn't shake it.

Maybe they weren't really members. Maybe it was all just a setup. If so, they had the lingo down and the vile twisting of Scripture and the Gospels. Maybe it scared me a little -- not their claims that I'm going to hell but seeing them sit there and be so casual and certain in their hate and intolerance. You can't argue with people like that; they are deaf and dumb to anything but what they believe...and their type seems to be gaining ground around the world.

It's not just with Christians, but also with Muslims and Jews and Hindus...and in those two men I could see civilization being brought down by their intolerance and absolutist attitudes. I could see people like me being burned at the stake, again, because we didn't conform.

The end of the world isn't coming from the skies; it's coming from the stinking swamps that grew those creatures at Westboro Baptist Church.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Page One Rewrite...

That's what "The Alice '65" needs. It's sloppy, as is...and loose...and inconsistent. And I thought I'd done a good job. Jesus.

So I went through and made notes of the ideas I'd had and started slashing extraneous dialogue. I guess it's good that no one else is giving me input, right now; it's a crappy script.

I slipped into a foul mood so took a nap only to wake with a nasty headache. That usually happens when I sleep in the afternoon. So I piddled and futzed about and got jack all done...until I began playing with some images, in Photoshop. I have a black and white painting of a head and shoulders I did in a Kodalithic style, a year back, and it bothered me, for some reason. Didn't seem complete. I was thinking it needed a touch of red to make it live but wasn't sure about it, so I went back and forth on it...and then I did this one.

The lines are too ragged for what I want...but it's raw and exactly what I needed to see. The red adds a touch of brutality...hell, more than a touch...and I like that.

I have a whole series I want to do of these, on canvas in acrylic...see if I still have the artistic ability. It's been so long since I've handled a brush.

After high school, this was the direction I was planning to go...until film sidetracked me. I wonder what would've happened...

So here we go...

I'm printing up A65 to start the rewrite, as I type this. It's late, so I won't get started on it till tomorrow...but I spent much of the day completing my finances and finishing up some business with the last shipment. I'm $750 bucks in the hole, but I think I've worked out how to handle that.

What's so nice is how the cost of everything is going up -- rent, health insurance, car insurance, everything except my salary. Typical. Now enough of the whining.

I got a second bit of feedback on A65, and none of the comments overlapped with the other one I received. I never know what to make of that. If I get more, maybe that will help hone in what the problems are. As of now, I'm going to focus on making the changes I came up with on my own.

I already plan to make Adam more proactive in the second half of the script. And I had a pretty good idea I needed to clarify Casey's mother, more. Plus some of the dialogue is still a bit chit-chatty and repetitive. So there's a lot to do before I work in the commentaries.

I got episodes 5-8 of the first season of "Teen Wolf", an MTV series based on the Michael J Fox movie, and it's interesting to compare it with "Being Human". Not doing too well. I've already seen one glaring difference -- fear of making your characters too honest and real.

In BH, Mitchell's a killer, and in season 2 he goes nuts and slaughters a lot of innocent people. But by the end of the series, you still care about him...because he cares about George and Annie, and he'll do anything he must to protect them. His is a complex character and fascinating because of it.

In TW, there's a point where it looks like they're going to do the same thing -- have Scott, the teen wolf, murder an innocent man in a school bus...but they back off that and it looks like Derek, another werewolf played by a pair of cheekbones, did it...but they back off that, too (I guess because he's tall, dark, and brooding), and it becomes a third unknown werewolf who did it -- the  alpha male of the pack. I felt let down.

Another problem I'm having is the actors. Scott (Tyler Posey) is the guy in the middle of the photo with his shirt a bit open, Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) is the one who's kneeling, the girl in the heels is the class bitch (Holland Roden), the girl with her mouth open is the good girl (Crystal Reed), the guy holding Scott's arm is the class asshole (Colton Haynes), and the one with his ass pointed at the camera is Scott's best buddy and comic relief, Stiles...Dylan O'Brien, who is the only actor of the group who has any talent or charisma. It's too bad he isn't playing Scott; it'd be ten times better.

Not that I'm judgmental, or anything.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Finished one thing

One promise made has been fulfilled. Took much of the day and a bit of panic when I couldn't find the initial part of it on my laptop, but since I'm prone to backing everything up forty-seven times, I located it on a disk and completed it and sent it on its way.

Now I'm reading a book for a reading group I belong to, and I like the premise -- 2 aliens come to Earth, one a criminal, one a cop on his tail, and both have to deal with the elements (a nasty heat wave that messes with their metabolism) and humans (who one wants to make into a recreational drug; guess which). It's already proven pretty brutal, but that's no problem.

That said, I do have a bit of problem with the writer's style. He tends to repeat himself when laying out the scene in ways that add nothing. This irritates me because it's something I have to keep watch for in my own writing. It's not a conscious thing; it's just a lack of attention being paid in the rewrite...and was pointed out that I'm doing it by the one and only bit of feedback I've gotten for "The Alice '65". But that comes tomorrow. are a couple photos of Maine --

This one is from the balcony outside my bedroom in the B&B. That's a light snow on the ground from the night before. It's pretty, but it's in the middle of nothing. The nearest restaurant is 8 miles away, and that's just a sandwich shop...that does serve a decent burger.
 This is from the balcony outside the room I was packing in. Very nice if you're retired or a writer and need minimal distractions. I'm sure it's also a great area to walk your dog in. But much of the scenery reminded me of the Ring of Kerry, and that was so exquisitely beautiful, Maine pales in comparison.

That or I'm getting to be jaded.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Less Positive Review of HTRASG

This is actually a good one, for me, because it not only shows me where I might have done better with the story, it also keeps me from getting too big a head at all the praise HTRASG is receiving on that message board. As you can see, Curt is not completely happy...but he never did take criticism well. (To better understand this comment, readmy book, "The Lyons' Den".)
2.5 - 3 stars

I recently added "Party-Pooping" to my handle, and as I finish this book and rate it, I certainly feel as if I've lived up to the descriptor. Sorry, buddies! This book just didn't blow me away. If anything, it probably rated no higher than a 2.75 for me, but I decided to be generous and rate upward because it had been interesting.

One of the positive aspects of the book was Curt. This book was in his first person POV, and it was an interesting one: 1) He thought and sounded like an ordinary guy. 2) He did not sound like a typical fiction main character. 3) He was a character in shades of gray. I felt sorry for Curt and appreciated his POV. He was what his experience and his life made him to be. It was unlike my own, and it was a refreshing change from the squeaky clean protagonists and fake toughs that you frequently come across in the genre fiction I normally read. His voice sounded authentic. I liked how he was shown to have some standards, and how he cared enough about his younger brother to want better for him; yet, despite the revelations at the end of the book, he doesn't do a 180 degree change due to his circumstances - and I appreciated that.

The twist in the story...kind of fell flat for me. I was kind of expecting it before 50%, especially with all these hints that the author was dropping about something not being right. Since Curt continued to ignore those hints, I did as well which was why the twist was both expected and unexpected for me. I wanted to feel impressed and go, "Wow, this story just went in a direction that I didn't expect!", but while it gave me a pause and had me paying just a bit more attention to what I was reading, I didn't feel that wow factor because I had a feeling something like this might happen. On the other hand, I thought that the author did a pretty good job in muddying the waters. Like Curt, when they first started planning this, I did buy into Wayne's and Lenny's acts.

This is not a romance. There is no HEA. I was satisfied with the ending although I was half-expecting a more tragic end. The ending was somewhat sweet and hopeful in its way, and showed just what sort of strength Curt did have. I think that the best category for this book would be dark erotic. There was rape and violence, not for "purpose of titillation" (cough,cough) but rather to show how rape and violence were used as a means of having power and control over others. There was a lot of cant and non-PC terms thrown about, but it fit with the setting and the background of the main character.

This story felt part like the author's rants about the injustices of this society, and part like Curt's exploration and discovery of himself: his sexuality, his wants, and his needs. The second is a story I don't mind reading, but I don't really like to hear the author's agenda when I read. While the author did not quite sound as if he was ranting, he did come close at time or two. It was cleverly done via Curt's POV, which I could accept given his background and history, but at one point, the things that Curt was ranting about just did not seem like something he would say.

This book was fairly well-written, but the author had a tendency to use exclamation points in order to indicate to the reader that something exciting was happening. It seemed silly and irritating to me. The beginning of the story when Curt, Wayne and Lenny have their "interview" seemed a bit contrived. It didn't make much sense to me, and I was not able to buy into it.

I tried to like this book since my buddies seemed to rave over it, but I'm afraid I simply could not connect with it: not with Curt or with the story. It didn't engage my emotions. I could only appreciate it as I would appreciate abstract art - from a distance as I tried to convince myself that such and such were the reasons why I should like it more than I did.
Of course, I don't count reactions from readers who expected a BDSM story or that it was really a how-to book (and I really did get a couple of those). It's thoughtful reactions like this that help me grow as a writer.

Friday, December 21, 2012

No end in sight

While I did go get my mail and some milk so I could have hot tea, I put off doing my paperwork and other crap, today, because I was halfway hoping it really was the end of the world...but no such luck. Instead, it snowed. And that wasn't even the monster they were expecting, at least, not round my part of town.

What SHOULD have happened is we go and get eaten up by Zeta Ophiuchi, the blue star in the center of this image, a titanic object "six times hotter, eight times wider, 20 times more massive, and about 80,000 times as bright as our Sun, traveling across the Universe at 24 kilometers per second (54,000 mph), going from right to left. The swirls of pink space dust are in the process of being destroyed by its awesomely intense power. (I got this info from

So in just over 5 hours the day will be done and I'll have piddled away without cause. And my apartment will still be a mess.

Oh, what a sorry life I lead, when it takes the lack of an apocalypse to make me get my world in order.

Update: more snow. Watched 5 episodes of BBT I hadn't seen. Caught up on e-mails. Begged for feedback on A65...and it's all gonna happen over the holidays, people swear. And the world is still not at an end.

Guess I'll have to finish all the stories in my head, now.


And feeling the weariness of the last three weeks. I got nothing done on OT and have a new story knocking at my door. Gabrielle, from "Blood Angel", is also pushing at me. Somy brain is scrambled worse than eggfs.

The only thing I can think about, right now, is --
How does the moderator at Yummy of the day" have the time (let alone the ability) to make a cupcake like this?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Feeling pissy

It seems a number of hotel chains have decided to slip in a policy that amounts to little more than theft, so far as I'm concerned. That policy? If you book a room for 10 days but only stay 7, if you don't give then 24 hours notice that you're leaving early, they charge you an additional day, and they don't care if you didn't know you were leaving 24 hours beforehand. I'd never heard of this, before, but I'm learning it's no longer unusual.

Best Western did that to me. I've stayed at the one in Long Island City nearly a dozen times in the last 3 years. A couple of those times, I had to extend my stay, which they did with no problem. But this time, even though I have a reservation set up in January for the last leg of a massive packing job, when I went in to check out, they hit me with this crap, and refused to even consider backing down. And the corporate office for BW did nothing to help me on it.

After a lot of yelling and the manager not bothering to give me a call back, they finally offered me a percentage off on my next stay. No refund. I got the e-mail, today.

I think I'm gonna stay at La Quinta, this next time. And I'll check to see if they have the same policy.

Meanwhile, I want a distraction --

This is Dave Mason...and he's a menswear designer in NYC with a bit of a kinky bent to him. His blog is House of Vader, located in the NSFW blogs I follow list at the lower right. He's like six-foot-forever and just plain fun to read about. He's also gay as a Hobbit, and I used him as the model for Dion in OT.

And that's before I knew he had such abs.

I live my life vicariously, now. Dammit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wild and wondrous

This is Maine's coastline, along the peninsula where I'm working. It's beautiful and remote -- damn, is it remote! But I'll bet it's fantastic in the summer.

I flew into Boston, and I do not like that airport, at all. It has confusing signage and is nothing but long halls leading to the main terminal lobby; I nearly died of boredom just walking down one.

What's worse? Leaving the airport. First, my bag wasn't on the carrousel. I had to get it from baggage claim. Why? No answer. Second, no information as to where to go to get your rental car. Apparently, you're supposed to know that when they say courtesy vans, that's what they're well as for hotels...and parking.

But the best part is, you pay $3.50 to leave the airport in your rental car...and if you're not in the right lane the second you pass the toll booth, you can't get off for 10 miles. The road is all underground until you're past downtown. Was this the Big Dig? If so, it sucks.

Once I got on the correct road (which took 45 minutes of my life) the drive was the non-stop rain. Seriously, it rained from Boston to past Bangor, Maine. And not light. I like rain, but this was getting to feel like a repeat of Noah's deluge.

My B&B is pleasant and on the far side of the land in that photo. Nothing but 2 land blacktop for 45 miles. And no street signs half the time. Apparently, if you don't know where you are, out here, you don't belong there. It's insane.

I did a little thinking about A65, and I guess I'll just start the rewrite this weekend, since only one person's willing to give me feedback on it. His comments were good, for the most part. And now I have distance enough to view it with an eye to story.

Then I'll start the whole process over, again.

Monday, December 17, 2012

HTRASG_another review...and thoughts

"How To rape A Straight Guy" has become something of a hot topic on a branch of GoodReads, mainly due to the title. A number of participants don't want to read it because of that. Which I understand; it's a very in-your-face kind of title and strongly makes its brutality known from the get-go.

But those who do read it give me reviews like this --

Okay, so this doesn't happen to me very often but I am kind of speechless. I honestly don't know how to tell you how I feel about this book, without making myself sound like a crazy bitch. But I'll give it a good go.
I just hope it makes sense. LOL

I will start by saying that yes, this book contains rape scenes, many of them in fact. So if you can't stomach that, I'd turn away now and not read it.
I know that a lot of people will be put off because of the title and that's fine, I don't blame you. I don't agree with or enjoy reading about rape in any situation, but I urge you to look past that and to see this book for what it is. A very dark and disturbing tale about a guy that was dealt a really shitty hand in life. How he copes with those situations and the impact they have on his life. Good or bad.
Curt has ended up in some truly horrific situations in his life, situations where he had to harden himself, to live through it. He had to adapt to survive, to become harder so he would be able to protect himself. Unfortunately, the changes he made didn't exactly make him a better person.

Curt was... My God, I don't even know how to describe him. Did I really like him? No, I can't say I did. No matter how sorry I sometimes felt for him, or just wanted something to work out for him, just once. He still went on to hurt people and to ruin their lives. He didn't care about them or how he was possibly destroying their lives. That, for me, was unforgivable.
It was hard seeing him deal with all of these new feelings, the first time he took a guy by force...

'I was really shook up. I'd enjoyed it too fuckin' much. First time I really fuck a guy an' it makes me feel better than when I'm with my wife? It fucked with my mind,'

Once Curt got out of prison (after six years) he really struggled to adapt. He was still feeling how he did back in prison. The need to be in control, to have all the power and to make everyone around him know that he was top dog.
He wanted to over-power men, to have them beneath him and be powerless to stop him. He craved it like nothing else in his entire life.
This led Curt into the worst situation he would ever face, one that would lead him down the darkest path he would ever face.

Even though my review is a complete fucked-up mess of thoughts and feelings, I do know this...
This book was amazing. I felt such an incredible array of emotions.
I wanted to cry for Curt, for the shitty upbringing he had. I was angry for him, for being left to rot in prison by his mother, who could have spared him so much pain if she'd have given a shit. I was disgusted by the way he treated all those men, who truly didn't deserve what he did to them. But there were times throughout the story that I actually felt myself warming to Curt, wanting him to be okay and to over-come the things that were thrown his way. I know it's crazy, believe me I do, but I couldn't help it.
Sometimes I forgot that he was actually raping people. Seeing things from his POV distracted me from that fact sometimes. Then something awful would happen and any positive feelings I had for Curt went flying out the window.
Only to come back again.
I think that might be what the author intended. To fuck with the readers head, like Curt did his victims. It was still rape and they hated every second of it, but the fact that he made them cum fucked with their head.
I think the author wants you to like Curt, to feel sorry for him, to sympathise with him. Then to sucker-punch you with the fact that he's still a rapist, and that you were pulled in by Curt, whether you wanted to be or not.
Very well done, it worked.
Overall, I was speechless when this book ended. I think I loved it, but I'm also horrified at the same time.

I know none of that makes sense, I'm sorry. I tried, I really did. LOL
I love the dichotomy in her (yes, her) comments -- how she loved it and is appalled at herself for doing so.

Curt very much approves.

So...what does this mean for future works? I'm getting pretty mean with Jake in "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor". But I don't get all that hard-assed in "The Alice '65"...which may not be a bad thing; I don't want to go overboard with Casey's abuse of Adam. Maybe it means I'm just not letting myself go far enough.

I wish people would let me know what works in A65 and what doesn't so I can start digging in deeper, sooner.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Laundry, paperwork, bills

Things that had to be done when I got home. Eyes crossed through most of it.

Quickies --
This is Salisbury from atop the wall of Old Sarum. The spire is their famous cathedral, the one that has that copy of the Magna Carta.

This is how much of the town looked 800 years ago. Apparently, Salisbury was spared the carpet bombings of the Blitz because the cathedral was used as a marker for German bombers, so they were expressly forbidden to drop bombs there.

Cleopatra's Needle, on the Thames. I passed it as I walked from Vauxhall to The Old Globe. All I really know, right now, is that it was donated to the British Museum about a hundred years ago.

Eyes still crossed from the day. Enough for now.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Actual Page

I snuck a photo of the sheet written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. No flash, but it came out decent enough.

I also snuck a photo of the title page for an Appleton edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", from 1866. May come in handy once I start the rewrite of "The Alice '65".

I'm already done in New York so headed home, tomorrow. Then I'm off to Maine on Tuesday. A bit whirlwind-like, but this way I can change out my 50 lb suitcase for a smaller one and do some decent laundry, not to mention get my mail and submit an expenses report. That's gonna be a good one.

Reading the message boards dealing with the slaughter in Newtown, CT really makes me ashamed to be an American. The gun worshipers and religious freaks are blaming the victims for not having guns or God in the classroom. And the Democrats are rolling over in the debate over gun control. All so typical.

I've felt for a long time that it's too late for gun control, that we don't even enforce the laws we have now. What with the NRA being the new religion of so many white, Southern, redneck, cowboy wannabes and scum like Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fisher using events like this to forward their repressive agendas, we'll never get guns out of the hands of the nuts. There are too many out there and too many people who'd happily shoot up anybody who tried to take their assault rifles away from them.

Besides, mass murder like this is not a recent development in America. Around 1930, a disgruntled maintenance man blew up a school full of children in the midwest, someplace, killing dozens, before killing more (including himself) in a booby-trapped car...if I remember the details right; it's been a few years since I read about it. Then there was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1927 and people getting killed in drive-by shootings during prohibition. And don't forget the genocide we practiced against the Native Americans. And the killings during the civil rights movements in the south. It just keeps going on and on.

Man insists on proving just how much of an animal he is, often even as he proclaims himself to be one of God's children. Maybe it's just the nature of the beast.

Friday, December 14, 2012

History in your hands

Today I held a page of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's handwritten draft of "The Hound of the Baskervilles", with corrections done on it. All in a very neat, precise style. It looked a bit like this one, but it's a new leaf that's been discovered and the only photo is not accessible to me. There are very few of them, overall. Here's how Christie's put it -

The sad fate of Doyle’s original handwritten manuscript of The Hound of the Baskervilles is well known. As part of a 1902 promotional campaign in the United States, McClure, Philips & Co., Doyle’s American publisher, broke up and distributed leaves of the manuscript to booksellers for window
displays to boost sales. Only a small number survived this crass dismemberment. A recent online census by Randall Stock locates 35 extant leaves, most of them in permanent institutional collections. The complete manuscript, it has been conjectured, would have comprised 185-190 pages. For that reason, the discovery of the present previously unrecorded leaf takes on added significance. This text, from Chapter 12: Death on the Moor, is part of the turning point of the narrative. Holmes and Watson, intent on solving the hereditary curse of the Baskervilles, hear blood-curdling screams from the darkened moor and “a deep, muttered rumble, musical and yet menacing.” Holmes leaps into action: “Come, Watson, come!” but despairs: “He has beaten us, Watson. We are too late.” Holmes and Watson run over the moor, only to discover ... a mangled body they believe to be Sir Henry Baskerville. 

Many of the surviving leaves from The Hound of the Baskervilles make no mention of the erstwhile Doctor Watson; this leaf names him four times. Holmes himself does not figure in about two-thirds of the novel, but he is named four times here, making this leaf exceptional by any standards.

It's amazing how often people do the dumbest things to books. They'd buy copies of the Audubon books on Birds and Mammals and cut out the illustrations to sell as framed artwork. The same for any number of books from the 19th century that had illustrations in them.

Me, I actually stopped working to read this and touch it. It's worth more than $100K, it's so rare. After my mangled trip to the Holmes Museum, it was like a sign than everything's all right.

Something else made me feel good, today -- I went into a restaurant after work and there was a lean, tightly-muscled black cat in the back of it that called to me and came over to have her ears scratched. I did so for a good five minutes, she was so insistent, using her front paws to keep me in place, then she finally had enough and wandered off to see who else could be made use of.

I love cats, and having a black cat like you back is usually a sign of good luck. Not that I'm superstitious, or anything. But she was such a lovely, taut little thing, constantly purring and shifting around to keep my focus on her ears and head, I nearly sat on the floor to keep rubbing her.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brendan came to call

From "Place of Safety". I'd finished packing this job and all the boxes had been taken down to the basement of the building to wait to be picked up, so I'd gone to grab a bite at a nearby deli...and as I ate, Brendan slipped up and asked me to just write his story and worry about making it work in Derry's society at a later point. "Just get it down. Just write it."

I popped up with my usual excuses...but he shot back, "How much longer do you think you have to piss around like this? Write it, then make it work."

He's right. I'm beginning to feel my age, doing these jobs. I like doing them...packing the books and seeing what they're like and all that...but standing for hours on end and shifting 30-50 lb boxes around after going through a lot of pushing and pulling to make them square up...I get very tired. And lately my back's begun to twinge and my feet flat out hurt.

I need the week off between Christmas and New Year's to recuperate in time for another job beginning on the 7th and going for a week, then another after that...then the San Francisco Book Fair. Not a lot of rest time in there.

Didn't help I was denied assistance this time. I'd asked for a helper but "it's not in the budget." So I did it all myself...except for taking the boxes up to the truck; that I left to the transport guys.

I guess I'm getting old. And Brendan's getting nervous. He and I are locked into each other, now, and I do want to complete the book. So I'd best get past the nervousness...hell, abject fear...and get back to POS.

I'll use the last week of the year to do another draft of A65, whether I have the feedback I asked for or not. I need to get this done and ready to send off to competitions and production companies, and if people ain't gonna do what they said they'd do, I ain't gonna make an issue of it.

And I have to stop referring to "Place of Safety" by its initials; they carry too obvious another meaning and it's beginning to bug me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Out till the 21st

The first NY pack job will be done by noon, tomorrow, with pickup around 3pm. Then comes another job Friday, Saturday and Monday. then I'm headed up to Maine for yet another job. Which will make 3 weeks on the road. I'll need to do laundry on Sunday.

I'm still waiting for feedback from people on A65, but it's getting hard to not pay attention to the story. I can't really focus on OT because ideas keep coming about how to make it better. I just want to hear more about what works and doesn't for people...and begging's getting me nowhere.

I noticed the world did not end, today. Will people stop listening to twits who always claim it's about to go kaplouie? Doubt it.

This photo is one I caught at Hampton Court, of one of the locals who dress up for the tourists and wander about like it's still 16th century England. I caught it mostly on the fly, just as she appeared around a column.

Here are two more, who were taking a short break and chatting at one of the classes of school kids heading up the stairs. The woman in the white apron is asking the kids if they have a leg of lamb she can have. One girl actually said, "Sorry, no." So polite, them English.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Story of my life, today...

Work 9 hours on your feet, packing books. Go to hotel with frozen meal. Nuke and eat it. Check e-mails. Do laundry. Work on OT. Crash into bed.

God I'm boring, right now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review of HTRASG from

I got one negative review of "How To Rape A Straight Guy" (by some dude who expected BDSM, which it's not), one okay review, and a dozen great ones in the vein of the following:

This story resonates with me as I read it during a breaking story (in real life) in the news about a young North Korean man who miraculously escaped from a prison camp in that country. His story is that he was born into slavery in the camp and knew no difference, knew nothing of love or compassion or basic humanity. We are left with a feeling of his being lost in the world with no solid anchor. It is a story that I won’t soon forget -- that such a place could exist in this world.

But such a place can always exist in our minds. Curt is born into a life of poverty, neglect and abuse. How can he hope to climb out of that? Do we make our own destinies or are they preordained by our beginnings? Are some of us less hardwired to our humanity than others? Nature vs. nurture, that is an age-old question.

The title of this work will put many off and that is a shame because it inadvertently diminishes the content. Add to that that this is not a romance nor is it erotica. It is a close look at the psychology of a criminal who thinks he’s just like you and me and there’s the rub. He doesn’t seem to have the capacity to see his way out of the mire, it’s all he knows. Just when Curt seems to get a glimmer, feel a flutter of a reality-check, his anger and self-loathing sucks him right down again. Harkening to the title, Curt sees himself as straight and given what he does to prove himself, he is very conflicted about that too.

From petty crime to felony, Curt continues a spiraling fall into the abyss. We bear witness and ache for him to see the light. This is a truthful, raw look from the inside of someone who can’t subjugate himself to the choice between right and wrong, someone who has a great capacity for numbing himself to feeling and reflection and the acceptance of who he is. We all seek control in our lives in varying ways, Curt’s balm is to control others physically, to inflict on them the pain he has suffered.

Despite the title, this is excellent work. Not an easy read, not for everyone but compelling just the same.

People are now starting to read my other work -- like "Bobby Carapisi, The Complete novel" and "The Lyons' Den". Maybe this will help get the books recognized.

Too tired to do anything more. Guess I'm finally jet-laggin'.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Back in the USA...

In NYC. Still awake after an okay flight but hellacious time getting my bag. The baggage handlers put the bags from my flight out one at a time, it seems, and I was close to the bottom of the pile. Like virgin; do NOT like dealing with JKF's Terminal 4. I won't be getting to sleep anytime soon, either; some child is still awake down the hall and has a sharp happy voice that cuts like a knife.

Something I've found on this trip is, I get a lot of shit backwards. It's one thing to make mistakes or get rushed and not think ahead; it's another to actually have good information and not pay attention to it. That was driven home when a friend of mine pointed out I'd put in the wrong address for Sherlock Holmes' place of residence (I corrected it, below, and am kicking myself because I could have gone to the SH museum).

I've always had a tendency to reverse letters and numbers, or drop words from a sentence and think they're there. Makes me wonder if I should get tested for dyslexia. But what I noticed on this trip was how even when I'm given the correct info, I misuse it and make things harder for myself.

For example when I was going to Hampton Court, I knew I had to catch the train at Waterloo Station. But the man who runs the B&B mentioned to me it was only a 20 minute trip from Wimbledon and printed out a timetable for the next few trains. So I went down to the Wimbledon train depot...and hopped on a train to Waterloo...and wound up taking the same damned train back to Hampton Court, right through Wimbledon. I could have hopped a train there and arrived half an hour sooner, if I'd been paying attention.

Then came the stupidity of Baker Street, which is really embarrassing because I've read the books and some of the short stories and knew better. What's even worse, I have a pamphlet that had the correct address in it, and I'd used that to find out how to get to the right tube station and locate the statue.

This morning it became ridiculous because I was staying at a hotel in Ealing...and misread the directions on getting a bus to the tube to go to Heathrow. I had it in my brain that I had to walk down Melbourne Street to get the correct bus...but Google told me to just walk up to the bus stop at Melbourne, not walk down it. So I dragged my way-too-heavy suitcase down four blocks before realizing my error.

I really do have to wonder about me, sometimes...unless this is Adam letting me know all about himself and why he likes his life to be so orderly. That'd be a nice excuse for having a brain in desperate need of defragging.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stonehenge and Old Sarum

Well...I finally saw Stonehenge -- and it's lovely in its meaning and history. You can't get anywhere near it, thanks to a little fence strung around it, but it's still impressive. I didn't get all overwhelmed by it, however, because I've seen portal dolems in Ireland that are somewhat similar. And while I'm impressed by the amount of labor that went into this one, it's still cool...not OHMIGOD!

The burial mounds had the same effect, since I saw them by Newgrange north of Dublin. Cool but not fantastic.

What did get me going was Old Sarum, a one-time castle for William the Conquerer.

This bit of info sets you up...

...and here's a model of how they think the castle and surrounding town looked before everybody moved base to Salisbury, down by the rivers.

The king's forces dug deeper into the ground to make the hill supporting the castle even harder to get up...

...and thick walls like this added to the defenses. I'm glad my buddy, Brad, suggested it.

Then I hit Salisbury Cathedral and made my whole trip worthwhile -- I saw one of the four known copies of the original Magna Carta, signed in 1215 by King John, of Robin Hood fame.

More on all this, later; right now I'm beat from walking so much over the last few days.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Touristy things

This is Hampden Court, home to Henry VIII and his six wives.

It's located up the Thames from London, where it's wide and gentle and clean.

And is well-guarded...

...since "the King is in residence." You should have seen the effect of these guys on a mob of 5th grade school kids.

Then I went to Parliament -- again. I went there last time I was in London. Still the same.

And I passed by Big Ben. Again. But this time with a specific goal in mind.

I wanted to stroll along the Thames to where the Tate Gallery and Old Globe Playhouse were. It was a walk...and the wind was cold...but it was worth it. You can see The Shard office tower in the background, and that's the Millennium pedestrian bridge linking it to the other shore.

I took a tour of the Globe, lead by a very chatty actor who was chock full of sly info, including the amazing (and hard to believe) fact that Shakespeare was able to cram 1000 people into the standing room area around the stage, and that Hamlet's soliloquy regarding "To be or not to be..." was spoken directly to the audience, as if asking them the questions on his mind.

But this is what proves I'm shallow at heart. I happened onto the building used for MI6's HQ in "Skyfall" and got really excited. If I'd seen Daniel Craig during any of this, I think I'd have squealed.

I may, yet.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Electronic chains...

I had to keep making and taking calls about the shipments I packed, today, so it wasn't completely free...but I did okay.

First I hopped out to Ruislip to make certain it works for Adam to have a small flat there...and it's perfect.

In fact, I even found a Wimpy Burger. I loved those as a kid, when we lived in Ruislip Gardens. Now? It's not a great burger -- the meat's got some kind of filler in it -- but...I relived a few moments of my childhood chowing one down.

This one seems very new, and they served me at my table instead of me getting it at the counter. I don't remember them doing that. But they did grill my onions before putting them on the burger.

BTW, the building across the street is my visual for Adam's apartment. Ruislip's Tube station is just the other side of those new apartments.

What's cool is, the Metropolitan Line runs from here to Regent's Park...and Baker Street! And we all know who lived there, don't we?

This statue is in front of the Baker Street station, on Marlyebone Road, and #110 is just around the corner  It's now a B&B of some sort. Rather depressing. I'd have thought the museum would be there. (Update: I don't know why I wrote that -- I knew better; Sherlock lived at 221b Baker Street, which IS  a museum, and which I stupidly did not even think about until I got back to the US. I can be such a fuckin' idiot, at times).

Tomorrow I'm going to try and make Hampton Court, The Old Globe , and do a tour of the Tate, which is right next to the Globe. We'll see how it goes. I blew off Madame Tussaud's because it's 25 GPB to get in and I'd have had less than 2 hours inside.

I'm getting cheap in my old age, even as I become more casual about money.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Night falls early...

Like by 4:30 it's dark. But it makes for some lively viewing. I think this photo is self-explanatory.
I almost had dinner at Harrod's, just so I could say I did. But to sit at a bar and be served a steak or fish dinner that costs the equivalent of $60 is just too much for me to accept. I've got a lot of expenses coming up and can't waste my credit on something like that.

Besides, I was in the mood for Irish Stew.

Problem is, I went to three pubs and none of them served it. So I toodled on back to Wimbledon and had a decent burger at a pub, along with a Stella Artois, for less than half the price of a Harrod's meal and I'm sure was just as tasty.

But dang, that store puts Macy's to shame. It's not as big, but it's got style out the ass, and that hint of British condescension. All of its employees actually look good -- slim, nicely dressed, well maintained...I felt like a huge slug, wandering through.

I gotta lose some weight.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

London from the oustide

I took this just down the street from the house I'm doing the packing job in. Apparently, Wimbledon is one of the highest parts of the city, and on a clear day you can see everything.

Starting from the right, the gray column is The Docklands, then the silver point is known as The Shard, the tallest building in Europe. Just before dead center is the Gherkin, another office building that's rounded like a pickle, and I don't know what the tall one is, dead center. Look close where the three white pillars are to the far left and you can just make out the London Eye, and I'm pretty sure the two small gray columns to its left are Westminster Cathedral.

It was chilly, out, but not so bad I needed my heavy coat. No rain or snow. Lovely.

London's the largest city in Europe, but from here it looks like it's about the size of Cincinnati.

I'll be done with the job, tomorrow, so will get a few extra days to look around the city before heading to another packing job in NYC.

I've been too tired to work on OT, but I did have some ideas for A65 while working and jotted them down. Mr. writer can't stop writing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Room with a view

From my B&B. If I go up two streets and look to the right, I can see some of London's City skyscrapers, including the Gherkin. And the weather was cold but so bright, I had to wear my shades.

Today it rained a little but mostly was overcast. No big deal; I like that kind of weather.

I had a dinner of pork chops and rice in a Mediterranean restaurant just down this road, and a table of 8 women wound up being seated next to me. I thought, "Okay, here goes peace of mind," but they were so quiet, I barely noticed them. the loudest they go was when they pulled some snappers -- or crackers. Or both.

Those are little tubes wrapped in colorful paper that you put a gift in. Then people grab each end of the paper and pull, and when the paper tears, a small pop-gun like sound occurs and the person with the largest end wins the prize. One lady sniped, "I got a spinner." A top, a bit like a round dradle.

Them English...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Like Virgin Atlantic

I usually sit in the back of the plane because there's where you're more likely to get a seat open next to you, and I'd say it works about half the time. It went gangbusters, on this trip. I was sitting in the center row in the next to the last line of seats to the rear of this monster 747, and had two seats open between me and the other passenger. It was great...and the meal was good, too!

Customs was fairly easy. Fast moving line then getting my bag then walking close to a mile to the underground. It took about an hour to get from Heathrow to Wimbledon, and this a nice little area. With a BUSY town center by the train depot. Traffic was a bit backed up at the lights. Didn't help that all the streets are one lane each way...but still...winding streets and large semi-detatched houses all well-kept. Bright sunshine but with a cold breeze.

BTW, when Google says their maps are only to be used as a general guide, they mean it. My B&B was shown to be in the middle of a long block of houses, on the map I printed out; it was on the far corner atop a slight hill. On the other side of the street.

Marple Cottage is a nice B&B, except my room's on the 3rd floor -- their 2nd floor -- and my suitcase weighs 50 lbs. I was .4 kgs under the maximum weight for Virgin to accept the bag. Mainly because I brought paperwork and some packing supplies with me...along with 5 pounds worth of letters and cards to mail in the UK. I'm going back lighter.


Had really good fish and chips at The Hand Racquet Pub...and got a bit freaked out at how an older guy two tables over from me got the beef special...and poured salt over it. Seriously, poured it. Then sprinkled a bit of pepper on. I didn't need any of that on mine.

I worked on OT on the plane, a bit, but spent more time finishing paperwork for the job, tomorrow. Now I'm too dog tired, even though I napped.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I'm in NYC running errands so stopped in Starbucks to have some Refresh tea and figure out what else is left to do...and where I can go to do it. It's in a sub-level of The Empire State Building and was nearly empty when I cam in; now it's every table filled.

There's a Duane Reade drug store across the street, so that's first, then down to Sprint because like an idiot I left my phone charger at home...with my work phone still charging on it. THIS is why I don't get  up at 4am to do anything. My brain is non-existent.

Then comes Office Depot up Broadway for fragile labels, I hope. I could not find any anywhere I went in Buffalo.

I brought a printout of OT with me to work on while I'm away from home. I can't do anything on A65 because my laptop doesn't support the version of final Draft I have and I'm scrambling just to keep even, financially, as it is. Besides, I like working this way; having a hard-copy of the story shows me where I need to add and forces me to face just how verbose I'm getting in the story.

I'd really like more feedback on A65 before I get home. Guess I'll have to beg.

Now once more into the breech...

UPDATE: ...or is that breach? I'm too zoned to remember, except I know breeches is pants.

Took 4 tries to find fragile labels in NYC. I'm laying in a supply from ULine when I get back; that was ridiculous.

Now...just enough time for a DP before the plane loads. Dunno when I'll be blogging for the next week, but I will be taking pictures.