Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Here we go with DM...

David Martin is now submitted to both Smashwords and Lightning Source for publishing. I now await their verdict as regards the files I uploaded. Hopefully I'll have all of that next week. I also ordered a proof of the paperback, to be safe.

I'm pretty sure the electronic edition will be okay; it's already been auto-vetted and now just needs a human to think it's good. That can be a trick.

I already had one mistake pointed out for the paperback version, in that I didn't remove the color profile from the black and white images I worked into the text. I didn't even think to check them. It meant going back and redoing all of them, since I can't figure out how to shift them to B&W in Word or a PDF, or paying Lightning Source $10 to do it. I paid.

I'm into this book for a hefty sum...and I doubt I'll ever break even...but I don't feel bad about that. I'm so used to not making real money off my writing, it doesn't really affect me. At least I'll have it out there, ready to be read. That's what really counts.

I'm thinking of offering a hardback edition, but that'd be another $71 for setup, and I want to see how the paperback does, first. Then maybe I'll do a nice one in cloth, with a slipcase, if they offer that. Give them as Christmas presents, next year.

I had a fun little bout of searching for the copyright documents for DM, last night. Went through just about every box I had before finding it. There's so much dust still floating around in my apartment, right now, even Zyrtek can't keep up with it. But I found all my copyright docs, so it was worth it. I found I even had one script that's still registered with the WGA; I thought they'd all lapsed.

It was weird, digging into boxes of materials that basically show a life of wasted opportunity. All the scripts I never wrote. Stories I had ideas for. Competitions I'd entered. Companies and people I contacted about my scripts...all of that numbers well into the thousands. Jeez.

Like the man says, you can get kicked in the face for just so long before you figure out it's a good idea to stop letting them kick you. I never did know what to do to make Hollywood notice...or I did know and just couldn't do it, for some reason. Probably one of my deep-rooted psychoses. We all have them; but mine were detrimental to my chosen career. Should've figured that out years ago.

Now I can focus on OT, again. NaNoWriMo ends today, and I only have 12K in wordage for Carli's KILLS, so that's a bust.

Story of my life.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Kitteh will not be denied...

Need I say MOAR?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday's perfect Thanksgiving rip..

Couldn't resist...

David Martin is available for electronic upload, I think...

At least, that's what Smashwords is telling me. Here's the link -- DAVID MARTIN -- and the cover used --

It went relatively I'm waiting for the problems to show. But I did a glance over it in PDF download and online viewing, and it looked fine. The formatting worked and the images are where I wanted them to go. So...step one is done. Now comes step 2, finding out why Lightning Source won't let me in. Which I won't be able to do till Monday, probably.


I can't specifically call it thanksgiving because of what's happened in our country in the last 350 years...but I can have fun with it. Like just think...what if the turkeys found out the true meaning of their lives --
-- and decided to strike back?
It's the end of the world! AAAAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy the feast...while you still can.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Off-beat day of catch up

On sleep, mainly; I didn't get up till after 1pm. Stiff and cranky, but also feeling oddly refreshed. So I held off eating anything much till dinner...and now it's near midnight and I'm hungry. I may fix an egg or something. We'll see. (I wound up with a bowl of Grape-Nuts and cup of hot tea.)

It'll be different, tonight; I had to pop some Zyrtek to stop sneezing, and that makes me sleepy. Not as bad as something like Contact does, but enough to make it hard to get going in the morning.

I've been working on DM, and have the images ready to lay into the format of the story. I've got the locations set. Now I just need to make sure this is going to come out okay.

Here's one Ken did of David leaving town on his friend, Cory's pony. It pretty much fits what I described in the story. It's my hope I can wrap the text around it, like I'm going with this blog.

This is where David goes face to face with a hungry bear, a couple days into the trip. Love the danger emphasized in the layout.

I'll need to do some adjusting on the cover in Photoshop, to match the requirements of Lightning Source. But that's minimal (I think). What matters is this is close to being done. I'll get a physical proof to make sure it's ready as a paperback, then comes the electronic upload. My hope it to have it done tomorrow or Friday...Saturday at the latest. I've already set up an ad on FaceBook.

I finally got Kobo to remove my Nazca Plains books from their listing. That only took a lot of screaming. Amazon's still pulling the crap that they're only waiting for the remainder of the books they have in their warehouse to sell before removing HTRASG and BC 1 & 2, which is nonsense. The books were put up as print on demand. They don't keep inventory of books like that; they don't print them till someone buys one.

This is ridiculous. They dropped HTRASG as Kindle the second they felt like it; now they're being obstinate about its print edition? Is it selling that well? No matter -- I've given them till December 9th to do what I ask before I get a lawyer and sure them for copyright infringement. I don't want to do that because it's expensive and a pain in the ass. And even if I asked for my legal expenses to be paid, there's no guarantee a judge would go along. Plus I think I have to sue them in Washington state, since that's where they're based.

If I do sue them, I'm asking for a full report on all sales and monetary damages for making me go through this crap.

I'm now reading The Dead by James Joyce. I like his style in this -- very clean, brisk and human. I've tried several times to get into Ulysses but just can't. The Dead is a short, intense story, but maybe this and the Bloomsbury tales will help me ease in.

Or not.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NEA is a no-go...

I was one of 1300+ applications for a writing fellowship and they funded 38. I wasn't one of them. So I need to figure something else out in order to spend time in Derry working on Place of Safety. Can you build a grant off Crowdfunding instead of investments?

I'm spending this weekend getting David Martin set up on Smashwords and Lightning Source. I'm at the point where I can work in the images. I just need the specs for the cover and its registration points. I've already notified Ken I'll need good JPGs of the line art; all I have is the combination he sent. I could do it, myself, but when I break up a PDF on my version of Photoshop it tends to come out a bit soft, and I want crisp.

This means Carli's KILLS is DOA. I'm still split on which direction to take the story -- revenge-horror or erotic-revenge-thriller amongst them. I've got too many options, here...and too many other works that need attention to fiddle with it. If Carli can't make up her mind, and Zeke won't be of any help in the matter, then they'll have to wait till I have a chance to sit down and discuss it with them in complete detail.

I dropped by work to start the process of quoting out another potential packing job in London as well as the one in Santa Fe, then went grocery shopping. I don't want to go anywhere on Thanksgiving, so I checked into frozen turkey dinners...and they ALL use chicken broth to cook the turkey or make the gravy. It's TURKEY for cryin' out loud! They ain't the same thing as chickens. I think I'll write Marie Callendar's and Stouffer's about this. Anyway...I'm having meatloaf, instead.

And hoping I'll find someone like this in my shower come Christmas morning...meaning, I'm feeling very self-indulgent, at the moment. As is my way after being told No over something I'd hoped for.

Also feeling very jet-lagged...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Waitin' on goddamn immigration

For some insane reason, Immigration decided to have four booths assigned to pass through foreign nationals and US Residents (not citizens) coming into the US, while one poor blond woman was set to handle all the US Citizens coming off my flight. Boy, was that a wrong call. My line was a good 200-250 people long while the other two were 75 between them. They got done in no time. It wasn't till then that they realized just how long the Citizens line was and started breaking people out to other booths. Very nice and polite, but since I was at the back of the plane, it took me over an hour just to get to the booth.

However...allowing myself to be shallow about it all...the officer checking me through was this gorgeous Italian guy in his mid-30s. Roman nose. Deep eyes. Gentle voice. No wedding ring (not that it means anything). Oh, did I get the palpitations; probably jet lag. Still, since I'd set my flight back to Buffalo at 10:45pm and it was only 8:35, I popped a couple of TicTac and chatted happily with him...even though I desperately needed to take a wee.

We talked about the boxing match some Filipino boxer won (which I had, fortunately, heard about), and who will give half his purse to the Typhoon relief effort. I actually flirted with him, something I haven't done in years...and years...and am I out of practice! Jeez. Where's Jake or Tone when I need them? Wish I could've snuck a picture.

Now I'm having a late dinner (this flight's food was crappy and I ate little of it) and my beloved Dr. Peppers. I'm halfway through my second one and burping like a guest at some sheik's banquet. Feeling very happy and glad to be only 2.5 hours from my bed. I'm sure I'm not the most pleasant person to be around now, and the next time I take an international flight, I'm wearing sandals on the plane. Having feet in shoes for nearly 24 hours is NOT a good idea...especially if you have to go through security, again.

Next comes a possible job in Santa Fe. I've never been there, so this will be interesting. All depends on what the logistics are, because it's to happen the same week I head out to San Francisco for the shadow fair.

I worked more on prepping DM for print publication. Couldn't go for too long; the seats were too close to open my laptop, fully, and the power supply wasn't working. I wound up watching Blue Jasmine (liked it okay) and tried to talk myself into watching all 10 episodes of Bates Motel but just couldn't. The actual visual highlight of the trip was the camera under the plane's belly. We flew over Central Hong Kong headed out and it was amazing to see, but what was best was flying over NYC at night, headed in for JFK. The lights of the city were reflected in the jet's skin, making it look more like a living silver Christmas ball glowing in golds and blacks. Gorgeous.

Amazing...the bestest part of my trip to Hong Kong was watching video of the plane landing and meeting an immigration officer with eyes you could drown in.

Waitin' on a plane...

I like Hong Kong and in many ways it's a nice place for shopping and sightseeing and stuff. People are very polite...except in traffic or walking down the street; then it's "Move it, buster!" time. It helps to finally have a decent meal -- fried breaded pork on rice with curry sauce, at the airport.

But so many limitations still niggle at you. For example,  finding a shop to buy some water, in my terminal. I'd found this one I liked called Watson Green Cap that's carried 2 for $13HK in every 7-11 in the city and drank more of that than soda. Well...I went to a dozen places before finding a shop that offered anything other than spring water -- it was Perrier. I caught on pretty quick they don't offer Watson in this place. But there are a dozen signs pointing to a water fountain. Yeah, drink the local water. I don't even do that in NY. I wound up getting some mango sorbet with my last $40HK, instead.

It's going to be a long flight, I can tell. There's a brat already screaming about not being allowed to run all over the terminal. I have this horror I'll be seated next to them. I've already pulled out my earbuds and will pump up the volume, fast, fast, fast on the plane.

I'm looking forward to getting back to DM and my writing. That's probably adding to my pissy mood, like being without Dr. Pepper for 4 says and having to deal with Coke. Soon as I hit JFK, I'm making for a shop I know sells DP in Terminal 5 and guzzling 3 of them. I wonder if I'm addicted?

No, I don't...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

About to leave HK

Hong Kong hasn't changed much since I was here, two years ago. Only real difference is the weather -- last time it was brisk and I had to buy myself something to keep warm; this time it was sultry and humid. I never broke out my jacket, even in the breezes from yesterday.

And here is Gloucester Road on a Sunday afternoon. Once it got dark, it got busy.

I didn't do as much walking, but did more standing around waiting for people. And waiting in line. For a fast-paced city, it sure does move slow.

My flight's tomorrow at 4pm, and I'll be back in Buffalo just after midnight. They're 13 hours ahead of New York and it's a 15 hour flight just to JFK.

I'll try to do some work on my writing during the trip home. I got another aisle seat, which makes it a bit easier. But my focus is really bad, right now.

Being at the book fair made me start to wonder what was going on with The Alice '65. I haven't touched it since I finished it earlier this year, and I'm wondering why I let OT and CK waylay me from it. I haven't even reread it. I have to remedy that...but the question is, How?

Maybe I'll do some Zen time on the plane and let myself become one with the written word, or something.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Ripper Street"

On the flight from NYC to Hong Kong, I watched the first season of Ripper Street, the BBC's crime drama set in 1880s London. It's like a pumped up version of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes but without Sherlock and Watson doing the sleuthing and the stories being more relevant to today than Victorian England (thought that may have been the point -- to show there's nothing new under the sun). Plot points are raised and tossed aside. The reality of how people would have behaved at the time is ignored. But it's all about the pacing...and the stories do move.

One of my least-favorite British actors, Matthew Macfadyen, heads it in his "male-model" style. That man's inability to act added to the catastrophe of Joe Brown's take on Pride and Prejudice. Think I'm being harsh? Compare his work as Arthur Clennan on Little Dorritt with that of Russell Tovey as John Chivery. Clennan is supposed to be the perfect man for Dorritt, but Macfadyen is so lacking in charisma and meaning, Russell makes Chivery the better choice for her and throws the whole scheme of the story off. I wanted to strangle the stupid little bitch for refusing his proposal of marriage.

Anyway, the stories deal with mass murder and serial killers and conspiracies and Scotland Yard acting like a Keystone Cops version of MI5 and so on, all of it focused on the male characters and their secrets. They get to do manly things -- drink, play cards, fight, be stout men and brave, and sometimes die. The female characters are madonnas or whores (with one tossed-aside exception). Very much a men's club.

Production values were good. London looked perfectly vile and diseased, for the time, and the clothes seemed right, but if I hadn't been trapped on an airplane for 15 hours, I wouldn't have finished it. Especially since the Big Reveals of the two male leads' deep dark secrets were pretty tame.

That said, watching something like this helps me. I get a better idea of where my own work can go weak and my own laziness can take over in my writing. It's the mediocre that helps point the way to greatness.

Do I sound insufferable, yet?

Rough few days...

Did a quick trip to middle Pennsylvania to pick up some archives, and wound up running up and down nearly 50 steps to do it. (I should note, I had help doing this so only had to run them steps half as many times as I would have, alone.) Then I flew to Hong Kong on Thursday, arrived Friday night, didn't get to my hotel till 10pm because the shuttle was caught in traffic, then today met with the fair organizer and arranged for pickup to be made for 5pm, tomorrow. Then I went to Ngong Ping, again, just to ride the cable-car up.
I took the Crystal Car, this time. More expensive, but fun.
This is the Dragon General Pajra, from the Chinese Zodiac. You can just see the giant Buddha peeking over the trees.
I didn't climb the steps to the Buddha, this time. I did that the last time i was here and have no interest in repeating everything. I'm already too tired from the time change and it being early in the morning, for me.

I've gotten no writing done and it's been days since I kept up the blog. Not that I have anything new to say. Hong Kong is one of those places where you only really need to go once. It's not a cheap place, and it's hard to find restaurants that will take Visa or American Express.

It's also hard to find decent food. Maybe the chicken's great, but I don't eat chicken so my focus is beef...and they've got the crappiest in the world. I've had two full meals and both times there was so much fat on the meat, it was almost non-existent. My one good meal was at MacDonald's. I think I'll do Subway, tomorrow.

At least the weather's been good.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Finished "The Count of Monte Cristo"

Made it all the way through that book, and parts of it were a slog...especially towards the end, when all the moralizing and speechifying came about. That said, Dumas still managed to startle me more than a few times throughout the story by being brutally honest about Dantes' actions and the characters involved. The Count is even responsible for the death of someone completely innocent of any crime, thanks to his need for revenge. And its ending is remarkably bittersweet.

The dialogue and narrative got way too flowery and verbose, much of the time, but I'm glad I read it. I'm keeping my style as lean and spare as I can, from now on. Though maybe now I can handle reading some Dickens. But which one, first? David Copperfield or Great Expectations?

Got a little writing done on CK while waiting for the doctor...and waiting...and waiting...until a nurse finally came out and said he was running a bit behind. By 2 hours. I had to reschedule because I needed to drive to my next packing job and if I'd stayed till he saw me, I'd still be on the road, now. What irritates me is, I got there early, hoping he'd work me in early or at least on time. Nope. He's got this nasty habit of always running an hour late and there is no way around that, I guess.

I'm not getting CK done in time for NaNoWriMo. No question, now. So all I'm going to do is take notes as I think of things and focus on finishing DM's formatting. Besides, the fool story keeps wanting to be done as a script and not a book. At least, Carli wants it to. Grady and Chase aren't so thrilled, while Zeke doesn't really care but will back up Carli.

I hate it when my characters argue with me...and with each other...

Monday, November 18, 2013


Something I did during my drive back from South Carolina was try and take a cold hard look at reality...and it wasn't pretty. First I inventoried my writing projects --

Screenplays -- 19 that are outright mine, 6 planned
Plays -- 3 written, 1 planned
Books -- 6 titles published (5 need to be republished), 8 planned.

Screenplays and plays are difficult because I have to get somebody else interested in them for them to get seen or made. If I want to do that, they have to be viable projects, so I have to start working my ass off to get them out to the right people. Meaning polish them into perfection, as close as I can get, and start pushing them. Hard.

Books, I can publish myself...though STARbooks Press has indicated they'd like more of my work, so that might be okay for ...Owen Taylor and even Carli's KILLS. I may even see if they want to do a second edition of Bobby Carapisi and Porno Manifesto. But HTRASG and RIHC6 are probably going to be done through me.

I'm still debating turning The Alice '65 into a book. Same for my other mystery, Brand of Justice. I'd also like to work up Bugzters as a book for kids. But that's a LOT to do. great-grandmother lived to be 95 and sharp as a tack, until she fell and broke a hip. My maternal grandmother lived to be 79 and still had her full mental capacity until cancer took over. My mother lived to be 83 and was good, mentally, till the last few months of her life. My father was sharp till he was almost 80 and diabetes got him.

Meaning my odds of living to around 80 are good, as is the possibility I'll still be cognizant...but mitigating that is the fact that my maternal great grandmother and two other members of that side of the family had dementia or Alzheimer's (they called it hardening of the arteries, back then), and my paternal grandmother and grandfather died of heart disease -- him in his fifties, her in her eighties.

What this boils down to is the truth of time. I'm old enough to understand I won't be around for a whole lot longer. I need to get my ass in gear and do right by my characters, and the way to do that is to get them into a position to where they can tell their stories, no matter what medium is chosen. comes figuring out what steps to take to make that a reality. Considering the lack of open doors in Hollywood, I think my first priority, once DM is published, is to get an agent and start shopping my work. Since I'll be in LA the first week of February, I should start that ASAP.

Oh what fun...

Jean-Claude owns the internet

This has to be seen to be believed. All in one take. Nothing but a harness to catch him if he falls. And he's 53 friggin' years old, doing this! Van Damme is king and this commercial is perfection.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

First ready mock for "David Martin" cover

I kind of like this. Ken's art and the title he put on work nicely, and the simplicity adds to the feel of the story. I just wonder if I should specify this is a fable, of sorts? Not so much a children's book as something, hopefully, like  The Little Prince. Well...I can imagine it...

There is no way I'll have this out in time for Christmas. Lightning Source says probably mid-January, if I get it going now. But I don't have the formatting done, yet,'ll be after Thanksgiving before I upload it. Same for Smashwords. Oh, least it'll be available. Finally.

And if I do all the work before the end of the year, I get to take the expenses off on my taxes. Cool, that.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A better opening for "Carli's KILLS"?

I'm en route home along the most boring stretch of beautiful road ever, and currently staying the night in Statesville, NC. As I drove (and sat in traffic due to a wreck south of Charlottesville), an idea built up for CK...and so I've written it down. Maybe this is a better opening to the story, with Grady's demise coming later.
Chase Trottel wasn’t the best-looking guy in the world; he knew that. His power-builder-body made him seem fat, even though he was solid muscle (thanks to hGH and Anabolic Steroids). The swagger in his walk was more from his thighs chafing together than from actual attitude, something that became obvious when he wore tight jeans and a plain cotton shirt on clubbing nights. That’s why he’d cut back his workouts to just two hours a day. He wanted to shed the musclehead profile because too many people had set ideas about guys like that. It didn’t help that a pug nose and thick brown hair made him look younger than twenty-four while a round face and big eyes made him appear stupid. He wasn’t; he’d graduated college with a BS on a GPA of 3.45, good enough to get him a decent job with Geilenschvants Oil, in Houston, and a hot Camaro as his company car. And money enough to enjoy a Friday or Saturday night of trying to pick up girls at his favorite club, even thought he usually went home with just his right hand.

However, this Friday night, he struck gold. Just minutes after he entered Club Reichen, he accidentally bumped a chick who was almost as tall as him but slim and sleek and built like a brick shithouse. Of course, Chase didn’t really know what a brick shithouse was or meant or anything; it was just a phrase his rancher father used to say that something was fantastic. But it sounded right, because this girl fit that, and more. Smooth skin. Curves where there ought to be curves. Tits like melons and legs all the way to the floor. Eyes just a bit slanted and dark as coal. Auburn hair. Lips full and rich with perfect teeth, to match. He’d noticed because she actually laughed when he apologized for making her nearly spill her drink.

Usually, women like that never gave Chase anything more than a glance, noting his body size in one quick dismissive swoop before hurrying off. However, this one got to talking and asked his name and found out all about him and let her elegant fingers caress his beefy right forearm, tracing the design of a colorful tattoo he’d decided not to finish. Damn, was he glad he’d rolled the sleeves up, that night. Just the feel of her nails on his skin was enough to bring on the world’s fastest boner, and he blessed the fact that he’d worn tightie-whities instead of boxer briefs; less chance of embarrassing bumps in his jeans.

They talked. About what, he had no idea; he was too focused on not saying something stupid and turning her off…and on keeping enough eye contact to let her know he was interested in more than just her tits, even though he wasn’t. They danced a little, once even slow and close enough for her breasts to press against his. Drank a little more. And when she asked him to drive her home, her eyes promising more than just being her taxi service, he didn’t think twice about saying, “Sure.”

“Home” was trailer outside Brookshire, more than twenty miles from the club and surrounded by farmland, but Chase didn’t mind. The drive gave him a chance to show off a little, weaving in and around the light traffic as she laughed and laid her hand on his thigh, scratching against the fabric with her red, red nails. Damn near making him shoot his wad, right then.

Man…he could not believe his luck.

The trailer was in the middle of farmland and about a mile off a two-lane blacktop. It was furnished in the usual style – cheap and functional…and very neat. Just a single-bedroom, which he instantly noted as he sat on the couch. She brought him a beer, sipping on her own as she handed it to him. He guzzled some then pulled her onto his lap and kissed her. She shifted to straddle him, let him bury his face in her breasts, pushed him back, and held his beer for him to sip. He drank then worked at the buttons of her blouse. She ran her hands up his sides to his shoulders and leaned him back on the couch, with a chuckle. He laughed, his dick ready to be released from its blue denim and white cotton prison…but then he felt dizzy. And drunk. And tired, so damn tired.

He noticed she was focused on him, her lips smiling but her eyes as hard and cold as ice. The dizziness grew. He tried to get up but she held him down, even though he was twice her size. He felt numb and euphoric and lost and confused and excited and scared and wanted to go but couldn’t find the will to do anything but sit there and watch her watch him until darkness took over.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Working on "David Martin"

I'm pulling together a short blurb for the back of the book and the listing with Smashwords, along with a tag to go on the front cover. Here's what I have --

For the front cover:
He's taking the journey of a lifetime to meet a hero who may not exist.

The blurb:
David Martin was invited to meet with the king, but he couldn't believe it. He was just a boy of twelve summers and this was a man he'd revered his entire life. The honor was great and his excitement was boundless. However, during the six-day journey to the castle David learned not everyone thought so well of the king, and he began to wonder if the man was truly the hero he'd imagined...or if he'd always been nothing but a legend.

I think it gets the story, but is it exciting enough to make people want to buy and read the book? That's my biggest failing -- putting the salesmanship into my sales tools. I totally screwed up The Lyons' Den's blurb by making it a cute rhyme instead of truly denoting the chaos in the story. And with Bobby Carapisi, I was WAY too subtle in what the book's about. I'll change that with the newest new edition.

Amazon's taken down all but 3 of the Nazca Plains titles. I've written them and they seem open to removing those. None of the Kindles are up, now, except BC-Complete...and that's really self-published, now. It's a weird feeling, being out of print, but it was needed.

Got nothing done on anything else. I'm running out of steam earlier and earlier. I say it's age more than least, I'd like to think so.

I'm still dancing around one aspect of the Vanishing of Owen Taylor that I know needs to be in the story...but I just can't deal with it, right now. I'll need to grind through that book a few times to make it work as a stand-alone piece; it's still too tied into the RIHC6 books...which are important but can't be allowed to confuse someone who hasn't read (or won't read) them. That'll be a balancing act.

I'm currently in Columbia, SC in the world's noisiest fucking La Quinta. The people across the hall have 4 children who do not know how to close a door except to let it slam, or take a key with them to let them back in so tap-tap-tap on the door, non-stop, until someone opens it for them. Asking them to lower the volume did no good. I may have to change rooms. cheap and you get cheap crap...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hard time posting

Took me fifteen minutes to get into my composing page, this evening. I don't know if it was Fios or Blogger, but it's irritating.

I have no idea what's going on with Carli's KILLS. She's gone off the deep end and I am, quite honestly, not interested in following her down the road she wants to go. Zeke thinks I've done the going too far, especially with Grady's murder, and wants me to tone it down. I think they're testing me to see what will happen if things get too fierce. And it pisses me off.

I know what the ending is. I need it to matter, and it won't unless I work the story like it was going. Carli's crap is making it nothing but kinky, and that will diminish the meaning.

I've got too much else going on to play these kinds of mind games with myself...and yes, I know that sounds crazy. So I'm taking a break from it, to give myself a chance to sort it out in the back of my brain. We'll see how that goes. Thursday I'm catching a 6:30am plane to get to Columbia, SC (not my favorite place to go) then I'm driving back to Buffalo. A 2-day journey. I'll see what happens on the road.

I worked on David Martin, this evening, trying to figure out how to use Smashwords to get the electronic version ready and then deal with the print version. I need to find my copyright certificate and look into getting a couple of ISBNs...which will cost. But the plane trip ought to give me a chance to dig in deeper and build up the info I need to do this right.

Then comes another job...and then the trip to Hong Kong...and I'm starting to whine.

God, I'm predictable.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Who says a serial killer can't be the hero?

Hannibal Lechter is, even though I don't believe in him for a second. He's a total Hollywood concoction, albeit one that is very successful. But Carli's working on giving herself justification, even if it's insane, and the story may be about her finding her way back to humanity. Or not. I never know until the thing's done.

BTW, this is Frank Frazetta's work, and pretty damn close to what I was envisioning on Grady's side and chest...

Long day, today, so nothing much else to say.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Can a serial killer really be a hero?

I know Dexter was like that, sort of. He only killed killers, kind of thing. But Carli's not like that. She's out for revenge and that involves causing the deaths of others. I mean, she's the heroine of the story...and she murders some people in some brutal ways. Is getting justice an acceptable justification for taking the law into your own hands?

I'm sort of wondering if Carli's a sociopath whose focus is on what's right, but which could shift to whatever she wants if she decides to. Or is she an avenging angel? I know she starts out knowing what she's doing is right and just...but is it? Does she grow to accept guilt from her slaughter?

Shit, I'm trying to write a simple revenge-thriller and it's turning into another books about the horrors of getting even...on how vengeance destroys not only the guilty but the innocent. I think I'm a friggin' authority of that kind of stuff, when I can barely even pull together a coherent story.

I broke away from CK and watched Shakespeare in Love as I ironed and mended some clothes. It's been my inspiration, many times, mainly because of how it suggests even Shakespeare had problems writing. The time structure falls apart, under repeated viewings, and the story relies too much on people simply not communicating well with each other...but I still like it. I also think Joseph Fiennes and his big brown eyes are total candy. He's still a good-looking man.

What's nice is, it helped me see some problems I'm having not just with CK but also OT. And gave me clues as to why I'm avoiding them.

Now I just need to find the time to focus...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Never seen the "Thor" movies...

...but I might have gone to this one...

Some sneaky twerp in China thought he'd make up his own posters for the new Thor and not play for advertising he pulled this image off a slash site, not realizing what it was. For all I know, he may still not know.

Carli's turning out to be like Thor, in a way -- a strong, mean bitch who don't care a damn about people's opinions and who has no uncertainty about her plans. Grady's not her only kill, not by far. But she's not a warrior princess, either, because that still denotes a vague weakness.

What happens between her and Zeke is turning almost into a reversal of roles for male and female characters in thriller writing -- with her the anti-hero and him the sex object...which is going to bring about a rather interesting scene. If it gets made into a movie, this won't be in it; I can already tell.

I wonder if I can find a picture of an amazon-woman holding onto her tattooed man as she fires a pistol or kicks some bad boy in the nether regions? That'd be perfect. And very kinky.

Maybe I should draw one...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Last of Chapter One on Carli's KILLS

This is not pretty, so be warned.

A couple hours later, Grady gasped in a deep breath, and twisted on the table and tried to rise. When he realized he was restrained, he began to fight.

She bookmarked her page and rose, then leaned over him, smiling. “Hi, Grady. Sleep well?”

He grunted and looked at her. Saw those perfect breasts and soft skin through the raincoat’s clear plastic, untouched by ink. His eyes begged her for an explanation, even as he pulled at the restraints. He managed to grunt something like, “What the fuck?”

She ran her sharp fingernails from his cheek down along the lion-woman tattoo and across his crotch, toying with his dick and balls. “You’ve got a lot of color on you,” she said, continuing to trail her fingers down the Frazetta on his leg. “Beautiful work. Must’ve taken a dozen visits. Have I shown you mine?”

She lowered the raincoat, swept up her hair and turned to reveal the tattoo of a young woman’s face on her left shoulder, with a date below it. She turned back to him.

“Not as elaborate, but probably more meaningful. Notice what day I used?”

He looked and frowned, like he was trying to remember. Then he grumbled what sounded like, “I dunno what you’re talkin’ about. You got the wrong guy. I ain’t don’t nothin’ to you. I don’t even know you.”

“No, Grady. You’re exactly who I was looking for. You and a few others. Your tag-team buddies? Does that mean anything?”

He huffed and grunted out, “Who are you!? What do you want!?”

“Who am I? Carolina Vincenzo. Notice the pronunciation – Car-oh-leena. Carli, to my friends. But that’s not the important part. It’s my last name. Vincenzo. Touch any memory cells?” Then she groped his genitals. Dug her nails into them.

He grunted in pain then froze. Finally he looked at her. Understood. Let his eyes travel over the plastic sheeting everywhere. Started to breathe faster. Pulled harder at the straps.

She noticed he noticed and smiled. “Good. I hoped you’d remember. And that you’d be awake to show me how much you remembered. All this,” she said, motioning around the room, “it’s just a little something I learned from Dexter. Makes the cleanup so much easier.”

His eyes grew wide and he shook his head, terrified, and bucked as much as he could against the table.

Her smile widened. “Now…what do I want?” She picked up a scalpel. Ran it over his skin, sensuously. Flicked his nips with its glistening edge. Caressed his neck and chest and belly. Toyed with his pubes.

“What I want is simple. So easy. So perfectly easy.”

He shivered and strained to move away from the gleaming knife. Tried to watch her with it. Then closed his eyes and shook his head, muttering words of disbelief.

Her smile vanished. “I want you to suffer.”

She sliced the scalpel into his left thigh. Grady screamed and struggled and pulled and strained and wept from the searing pain and sharp, quaking fear as blood flew everywhere, but the restraints held him in place, And slowly, carefully, bit by bit, she peeled the tattoo of the Frazetta woman away from his skin.

It was not a clean job. He could still squirm away from the scalpel, not much but enough to make it harder for her. By the time she was done, chunks of his flesh were still attached to it. She laid the tattoo on the broiling tray. Aside from a couple of wrong slices, the artwork was intact. She smiled, pleased with herself.

Grady finally lay back, gasping in breath, whimpering. Carli took bandages from a drawer in the medicine cart and tended to the raw leg, like a mother. Blood soaked the gauze.

He grunted in pain and looked at her, confused.

“I’m not doing this to be merciful, Grady,” she said, ice in her voice. “We’ve got four more tattoos to remove, and I don’t want you to bleed to death. I want you to feel every one of them.”

His head rocked back and forth. He begged her with his eyes. Grunted, “No, please, no.”

She finished the bandage then stood and faced him, blood smeared over the raincoat. Drops caught in her hair. A heartless expression on her face. She moved up to position herself over his chest. Pinched his tit.

Grady choked and fought, like a madman, lost in terror…as Carli began peeling away the lion-woman.

His choking shrieks filled the garage and echoed into the dark, empty desert.

November madness

I just books another packing and transport job in November. I'm beginning to think the fates are telling me something -- NO WRITING FOR YOU! I'm trying to work on CK, but I'm currently in Toronto, have to get up early for the move-in, then I'm driving back to Buffalo, and returning to Toronto Sunday to do the move-out for a book fair and help sort the shipping Monday morning. Then another job in S. Carolina, and the packing job in Pennsylvania, and the trip to Hong Kong...there's half the month. And all of these require my full attention so I don't screw up.

What's irritating is, Carly's becoming very interesting. A take-charge kind of woman who can hold her own with anybody. She knows what she wants and she goes for it, and doesn't care a damn about anything else. Driving up from Buffalo along the QEW to Toronto, I wrote some notes down and found myself smiling at her actions.

Which is weird, considering what she's doing. I may post the rest of Grady's encounter with her...or I may not. It gets pretty kinky and rough, and is a bit different from what happens in the script version I'd started writing some time back.

But I'm not giving up, yet. I won't decide if the story's a loss till the end of Thanksgiving weekend. By then I'll know if I can finish it.

All but 3 of my books with Nazca Plains are now out of print -- HTRASG and BC 1 & 2. I may test out Smashwords and Lightning Press with PM, just to see what happens.

Or I may not; I've still got DM to complete. Ain't gonna make that for Christmas, that's fer dang sure.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CK starts getting going...

I spent the night finishing up the artwork for a project, so here's a continuation of Carli's KILLS.

He leaned against her, his hands gripping the sides of the couch to hold him up, and they kissed. Long and deep. Breaking only for air.

“Now we taste alike,” she whispered, and this time she shoved her tongue into his mouth.

He pulled her to her feet and grabbed her ass. She grabbed his, in answer.

“Aw, fuck,” he gasped, nearly delirious from need.

“That’s the idea, playtoy,” she snickered.

She pressed her breasts tighter against his pecs and ran her fingers up his sides, pulling at his shirt. Up and up. He nuzzled her breasts, almost grunting as he ground his hips against hers. Off went his shirt, revealing more tattoos building out of the tree branches – one a growling cheetah, another a gorgeous woman in the Frank Frazetta mold, one of her naked breasts using his nipple as hers.

His hands glided under her top to undo her bra as she sighed and played with his (and his tattoo’s) tit.

“Cute,” she said. “Got any more tattoos?”

“You’ll see,” he grunted as the bra came loose.

She unbuckled his belt and the buttons of his jeans. He ground against her, even more insistent as she slipped the jeans down his ass. He breathed in, deep, ready, his dick about to show itself…but then he grunted and stopped and leaned against her, trying to keep his balance.

“Problem?” she asked, groping his butt.

“Got dizzy all of a sudden, he murmured. “Man, I must be beat…and…” He staggered back and frowned at her, weaving. “What the fuck…?” he mumbled. “That beer…”

“You know what roofies are like?” she asked, almost surprised. “Have they been used on you, before?”

“You fuckin’ bitch,” he slurred, “what the fuck’re you doin’ -- ?”

She shoved him. He fell on his ass and tried to get up, but couldn’t control his arms or legs. He tried to talk but his words dribbled into nothingness.

She rolled him onto his belly, revealing a massive tattoo of geometric designs spread across his back, looking a bit like wings. She sat on his butt and pulled his hands behind him, then strapped his wrists together with a police band. He tried to struggle, but the drug had taken over. She smirked, ran her fingers over the tattoo and down his spine to his cheeks, then she rolled him onto his back, again.

“Maybe I don’t need the restraint,” she said, “but I feel like playing it safe.”

He looked at her, confused, his mouth moving but saying nothing. Moments later, he passed out.

She worked his boots off. Removed his socks, which were holey. Pulled his jeans down his legs and away. And stood back to look at him.

“You’d have been nice-looking if you’d lost about twenty-five pounds.” Then she smirked. “But not a lot to offer.”

She grabbed him under his arms and dragged him into the garage.

It was big enough for two cars but had been stripped of everything, including the paneling. Plastic tarps covered the floor, walls and even ceiling…and in the middle was a stainless-steel table long enough for a man to lie on, with thick leather restraints attached to it for the ankles, wrists, neck, belly and legs. Beside it was a rolling medicine able, with assorted scalpels, scissors, a broiling pan and grate, and blue rubber ball gag with leather straps.

She dragged him in and lifted him onto the table in stages – first his torso, then one leg, then the other. She shoved him around to lie in the middle of the table, face up, then strapped his ankles down. Next, she strapped his neck. Now she cut the plastic strap around his wrists and secured those to the table. Finally, she wrapped the leather belt across his belly. She almost did both legs, just above the knees, but he had a colorful tattoo riding up his left calf and thigh to end at his hip. Another Frank Frazetta female. Big and buxom and naked. So she only restrained his right leg. She stroked her fingers along the tattoo and shook her head.

“You won’t want to see this,” she whispered to the tatt, then smirked. “It’s good he’s light on hair. Makes it easier.”

She worked the ball gag into Grady’s mouth and buckled it tight. He moaned and almost began to move away from her, but settled back to unconsciousness. She headed into the house then returned, a moment later, wearing nothing but a clear plastic raincoat and holding a metal folding chair, a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo tucked under one arm. She checked Grady, saw he was still dead to the world, opened the chair, sat down, pulled out the marker, and began to read.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A bit more of CK's opening...

She slipped into a new Mercedes as Grady hopped onto a beat-up Harley, one of two dozen lined along a dark wall. A couple of other cars sat in slots; the rest of the lot was sand and cactus and tumbleweeds, with just two lights and a neon sign that read “S—T BAR” so softly, the “L” and the “O” were invisible, adding to the sense of isolation around the joint.

She cast Grady a glance, frowning as he backed the Harley out.

“That’s yours?” she asked.

In answer, he kicked the hog to life and zipped over to her.

She shook her head. “It’s criminal, letting a bike like that go to shit.”

“Motor’s in perfect pitch,” he snapped back. “I’m not into superficial.”

“We’ll see,” she said, then she fired the Mercedes up and pulled onto a two-lane blacktop leading nowhere. Not even a million stars could chase desolation from that much darkness.

They zipped down the road, Grady playing tag with the Mercedes, making her smile. At one point, as he was pulling up beside her, she stuck a hand out the window and let her fingers trail up his forearm. He slowed a bit and moved to within an inch of the car. She laughed and reached a bit further to rest that hand on his thigh. He clenched his ass and let her feel that he was going commando.

“Oh, Grady…you have a lot more than Spit, going on.”

He laughed and shot ahead of her. Then he noticed her blinker was going and she turned onto a gravel road, behind him. He spun around and chased down the road after her, fighting to get ahead of her dust, but he had to hold back. He had no worries about following her; the Mercedes’ headlights glowed through the billowing dust…until they stopped and vanished into the night.

She had reached a beat-up old ranch house surrounded by nothing but desert for miles and miles. Night gave the place a sad feeling – whitewashed brick walls, black-framed windows, a few succulents planted along a cyclone wire fence, the low-slung roof’s shingles so bleached by the day they looked pale even at night. Not the kind of home you’d like to come back to. But there she was, leaning against the Mercedes and watching him glide up. Dust covered him.

“You should’ve stayed by me,” she laughed.

Grady killed the bike and got off, beat most of the dust away and shrugged as he removed the goggles, leaving rings around his eyes.

“Do I gotta shower?”

She linked a finger in his belt and pulled him into a kiss, then backed away when he tried to slip her some tongue.

“Wash your face,” she said, pulling out her keys.

She was putting the key in the door when he slipped up behind her and ran his hands around her waist. Then he molded himself to her and nuzzled her hair. Not only was he going commando, it was obvious he was ready for business. So ready, he cupped her breasts.

She opened the door and broke away from him.

“Use some of the mouthwash, too,” she said. “Or would you rather have another beer?”

“You gotta ask?”

The interior was just as old and worn as the outside, with the barest of furnishings – couch, couple chairs, TV, end tables with second-hand lamps and torn shades. Fake paneling for walls. Cheap paintings in crappy frames. The floor wood but in serious need of refinishing. The whole place was the total opposite of what Grady’d expected, considering the Benz she was driving cost more than he’d made the last two years.

She dropped her things on the couch and motioned down a hall. “Bathroom’s second door on the left.” Then she strode into the very 1970s model-home-in-avocado-green kitchen.

Grady washed his face and ran wet hands through his hair in record time. He thought about the mouthwash but figured it would ruin the beer so shrugged that off. Then he took a piss…which wasn’t easy because he was still hard and couldn’t stop thinking about her breasts. He may only have groped them for an instant, but he could tell they were real. That would be perfection.

He tucked away and came out to find her holding a couple of Negro Modelos.

“Tough beer,” he said.

She held one up with a shrug. “Would you prefer a Miller Lite?”

He took the beer. She sipped her own. He gulped down half of his.

She stepped back to survey him. “You always go free-balling?”

He shrugged. “You?”

“Free-balling?” she smirked.

He chuckled. “Commando.”

She shook her head. “And I like guys in briefs. Tightie-whities. They make them look clean. Usually.”

“Told ya I’d take a shower.”

“Maybe later.” She sat against the back of the couch and sipped more of her beer. He downed the rest of his, then she grabbed the neck of his t-shirt and pulled him close, again.

“Don’t tear the shirt,” he snarled, joking. “It’s my best one.”

“Don’t worry.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Did some on the storyboards and a bit of writing on CK, but not as much as I planned. I had another nasty little headache all day, and it's only just now beginning to go away. I'm not sure where this one came from, but if I stuck with one position too long, it let me know I needed to move. At least I have 10 of 15 frames colored in and ready...I hope.

I changed the title to Carli's KILLS. Not sure why, yet, but I think it will work out better. Did a quick rearranging of the book cover. I may contact Logan McCree and see if he or his photographer will let me use this photo of him for it. I'll have to find some photo that's just as dramatic as this one for Carli. With a tatt. It works into the plot.

This cover's kind of cheesy, but it's a cheesy book. I don't mean that in a derogatory way; it's proving to be very vicious and violent. And that's just in the first 12 pages. I'm up to 6800 words, but a lot of that is the stuff I'd already come up with in the script I'd started doing. I don't think that's a cheat, but truth is, I don't care. It's working.

We'll see how far I get. I've got 2 overnight stays in Toronto, an overnight stay in Pennsylvania for a pickup job, and 5 days for Hong Kong, this month. And I need to finish this storyboarding job by Friday.

I halfway wonder if the headache was just from stress.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

CK continued...

Continuation of the woman playing pool and the twerp she dissed.
He was just drunk enough to still be angry, so started to get to his feet.

She jammed the cue between his legs, not quite touching his crotch, and said, “Touch me, again, and I’ll rip what you think are your fuckin’ balls off and shove up your fuckin’ ass, you fuckin’ piece of shit. And if you think I can’t -- .” She hissed and clawed a set of red nails with pointed tips at him.

People in the bar laughed. He skulked off to snarl at his mouse of a girlfriend.

She turned back to find Grady Barnes leaning on the table. Big and fleshy, he gave off the idea of a running back going to seed but still good-looking enough for it not to matter. He wore a black t-shirt that hugged his pecs, shoulders and belly, and jeans that hugged his butt and legs. A black Mohawk topped a pug-Irish face, and the tattoo of a half-woman-half-lion covered one beefy forearm before it broke into what looked like brown and red branches of a leafless tree. Broken fingers gripped a beer in one hand and a joint in the other, and his smile was anything but nice.

“Now you’ve done it,” he said, joking. “You got Spit all pissed.”

“That his name?” she asked.

“What we call him.”


“What do you call you?”

She looked him over, like a jackal eyes its meat. “Bartender didn’t tell you?”

He smirked. “Okay, so what do you call me?”


Grady froze for an instant, not sure he’d heard right, then he fought back a smirk and held up his hand. “I’m not so good with pool.”

She looked him over from head to toe then whispered, “I’ll spot you a couple balls.”

Grady shrugged, picked out a cue and set his beer beside hers. “Stripes or solids?”

“You tell me.”

He looked the table over. Saw she’d dropped two of each. “Solids.”

She motioned for him to go first. He dropped the five and six but missed the three. She dropped the nine and motioned for him to go, again.

“It’s your turn,” he said.

“Not if I don’t want it.”

He shrugged and dropped the two and three, but missed the eight.

“Go again,” she said.

“Thought you wanted to play pool.”

“I like watching you play.” Then she took a slow sip of her beer.

Grady chuckled then sank the eight. “I win.”

She just smiled. “What happened to your hands?”

“Too many fights.”

“Not enough fun.” She finished her beer then took a sip from his. “I’m heading out. You planning to stick around?”

Grady didn’t say a word, just let her lead him across the bar, his eyes locked on the swing of her hips. But the second she was out the door, he swung around, cast two exhilarated thumbs up to the patrons and spun outside, with her.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Carli Kills -- opening

The moment she appeared at the entrance, every guy in the bar noticed. Curls of spun gold barely subdued by the minimal lighting. Legs all the way to the floor. Tits made in heaven. Low top in just the right shade of red to make her eyes gleam like emeralds. Jeans fitted like a second skin, matched by a jacket that was too light for the chilly desert air. A curve to her hips that was a hundred times more than sensual. She was like a queen surveying her realm, and not liking what she saw.

No surprise, there. Shadow Bar was one of those biker joints made of dark corners, hubcaps and license plates on the walls, neon beer logos that flickered, cracked tile to walk on, creaky ceiling fans fighting to keep the breeze going, and patrons who’d never heard it was illegal to smoke anything inside, no matter what kind of weed was rolled in their papers. Of course, these were the types into work boots and leather bustiers and naked arms and knives on their belts and shots sitting beside their beers. The men were mostly shaved bald; the women, halfway; and most of the hair left over was colored more glaring than natural. Plus, the ratio of tattoos to unmarked flesh was damn near ten to one, and the only jewelry was pierced through noses, lips, ears and eyebrows.

She sighed like she’d seen it all before and prowled into the room, sharp-toe boots with Spanish heels clicking on the tile, stopping just long enough for the bartender to check her ID and drop a long-neck before striding across to the pool tables. She pulled off the jacket, set up a table then took a cue, all with an ease that screamed, “Come and play, if you dare,” before she leaned down and did a perfect break. Even men without a drop of blood left in their veins stopped breathing at the sight of her perfect ass, and even those chicks not into jealously swatted their boys, pissed as hell.

Word got around, thanks to the bartender -- the name on the driver’s license was Anastasia Velasco. Lived near the college. Twenty-three. Taurus. Every guy in the room felt he knew her, and wanted to know her even better. But only a couple of guys were loners, that night. One, who fancied himself a super dick, offered to play, but she shrugged him off. Another was shot down without even so much as a glance from her.

Then a chunky bearded dude swaggered up, waited till she bent over the table to smack a ball, and pushed his crotch against her butt, giggling like an idiot. A few other patrons, male and female, joined his laughter.

All she did was rise and turn to him, her gaze cool and calm and unquestioning.

“More o’ that right here, sweetcheeks,” chuckled the chunk as he grabbed his crotch.

“He’s just your style, honey,” laughed a pierced-up female type.

Another held up her pinkie and sneered, "Real big, yeah, really."

The woman just mingled her fingers in the chunk’s beard, drew him close and whispered loud enough for the whole bar to hear, “I’m not into cunts.” Then she shoved him away.

He stiffened, angry, but before he could even formulate the thought of trying to think about doing anything in response, she jammed her cue on his instep at just enough of an angle to hurt without breaking it. He yelped and hopped back and fell on his ass, his beer spilling everywhere.

Now the whole bar laughed.


Why do I write? I don't have a single answer. I write stories I want to read. I write to blast my anger out. I write to surround myself with people I want to know, even if I don't necessarily like them. I write to fulfill some outer desire. And inner need. And have fun. And see what I can do. And touch my own emotions. All of that and more.

But the main impetus behind my writing is the characters who trust me with their stories. They come to me and ask me to work with them, and I want to honor that trust. Sometimes I've let them down, and that actually hurts me as well as them. Sometimes we squabble or even have knock-down-drag-out fights. Sometimes I'm scared of where they want to take me...and fascinated. But no matter what happens, I want to do right by them.

That may be why my screenplays don't sell. I know actors love my scripts; I had several of them done in cold readings, in a writer's group I belonged to, and sometimes they'd jockey to be cast by me when it was my turn to be heard. A couple even said it was because they have people to play in them, and they wanted to know what happened to their characters. Which helps keep the monster of depression at bay when my work gets ripped.

Because it seems no one else gets them, especially coverage people. What they find when they read my work is a script that doesn't follow the format very well. That sometimes dwells on things that would be cast aside by a hard-assed editor, so why bother putting it in? So I get harsh coverage and cast aside.

I've harped on this before, but the epitome of how out of sync I am with Hollywood's style of moviemaking is Seven Samurai. I watched Robert Osborne, the host, and Rose McGowan complain about how long it was, at times, when it played on TCM, once. They actually said, "Okay, I got it, let's cut to the chase." And felt it could have been trimmed by an hour. But I think it's perfectly timed.

I feel the same way about Grand Illusion. One of my film professors, in college, actually told me the film could have dropped the last act and been just as good, and I argued with him. To me, the last act is what took the film into poetry. He couldn't see it.

Looking at the movies I'll watch over and over and over and the books I love, none of them tell their stories at a breakneck pace or with extremely tight structures. They aren't static, but they allow moments and entire scenes that serve no more purpose than to expand character. Human beings are their focus, not plot or pacing.

I guess that's why I was doomed to failure as a screenwriter, and why some people hate my books -- I can't (not won't, can't) fit my stories into a cookie-cutter style. I've tried, and I turn out crap which doesn't go anywhere, either. So why do it?

What this all means, I guess, is...well...Carli Kills is going to be a interesting journey. Because I'm not going to hold anything back. Nor am I aiming for any particular genre. I can see horror and thriller and erotica and romance and suspense and action and revenge and spirituality all mingling in.

Guess I'm doomed not to sell many of this one, either...but who gives a fuck?