Posts Tagged ‘demonic visions’

Was that title profound enough? I sure hope so. It is an attention getter, after all.

If you haven’t gathered yet, there’s no real rhyme or reason to when I post. I’m trying to make it at least weekly. Hey, I never said I was perfect. I’m an artist (ugh, did I really just say that?), I’m allowed to be wishy-washy and unreliable. It comes with the territory. I have to wait for my “muse” to visit, even though that’s the perfect way to not get shit done. Also, something interesting that was pointed out to me last time I posted: my blogs take the format of Cracked.com articles. Seriously. Go back and look at all of them. I never even kind of realized this. Now I’m self-conscious.

But I’m gonna keep doing it.


Wikipedia “creative insomnia.” It’s a thing. It’s also scary.

So, publication number seven is in the pipes. The lovely ladies at The Siren’s Call have accepted my newest tale to be featured in their Halloween issue. That’s great! What’s not great is that my tale for Demonic Visions #5 is stuck in my brain and refuses to come out onto the page. What’s also not great is that I still haven’t reached out to any other publishers besides DV or The Sirens Call save one, and I haven’t heard back from that one since August, so I’ve no idea whether to be expecting an acceptance or rejection letter. The realist in me says to expect a rejection one, that way when/if it does come, I’m not disappointed. Sad, right?

My new goal as of late has been to convince my friends around me to give writing a try. If not writing, than some other creative medium. After talking with a lot of them, I find that they’ve got some pretty incredible ideas (that they inevitably claim as suckish), but they’re in the stage that I’m all too familiar with: being afraid of the transfer from mind to medium. It’s painful when you have an idea that glimmers in your head, but upon its placement into a tangible form, it’s nothing like you thought it would be. It’s pretty lackluster, you think. Why did you even bother? I have advice for those of you stuck in this part of the process.

relevant, and awesome

Do it anyway. I don’t care. I don’t care what your reasoning is. I don’t care that you aren’t a good writer, you can’t draw, you can’t sing, I don’t give a single shit – because until you try and fail, you don’t know. You have no right to say these things. After you put your neck on the line and have it mercilessly split, then you can say you “can’t” – but you can’t.
Wait, what? Yeah, paradoxically, by trying and failing, you still completed something, which means you can. So boom. You literally can not can’t. Seriously though, I understand the frustration. It’s scary as hell to try and breathe life into an idea you hold so dear. But hey, as soon as you tell someone else about the idea, it’s already began to grow. It’s already taking a life of its own, so why not help it along? It’s way too strangled in your head. You’ve got too much shit going on in there, anyway. Let it out! Even if it sucks something awful (which it won’t, and if it does, can be revised), it’s still something you made. I feel 3000 times better about myself for writing a shitty thousand word story than I do after sitting and playing Super Smash Bros for the 3DS for two hours.

but guys it’s so awesome holy shit there are so many characters and it’s so cool and and and

I feel like everyone needs a medium of creation. Maybe that’s because I’m a writer and a performer, and it still feels strange to write that sentence. To call myself a writer or a performer, I feel like I’m that guy. Would-be writers, music or otherwise, are constantly updating everyone on their “work” that never seems to appear in a public medium. I’ve written pieces that people have read in newspapers, books, and online. I’ve gotten up on stages and made an ass out of myself. By definition of the words, I’m a writer and a performer. The thing with artsy types is that they don’t like giving themselves those titles. They feel unworthy. Stephen King is a writer, okay? Not you. But that isn’t true. The first step to being a writer, performer, artist, esteemed lord of the mimes, etc. is to admit that you do that thing. At this point, me saying “I’m not a writer” is stupid. “Commercial” success aside, I’ve proven that.

There are some that contend there are just some people that aren’t cut out for self expression. I call bullshit. There are so many infinite mediums to put yourself into that it’s literally impossible to be unable to express yourself. You can make old-school 1930’s style film posters. You can make sculptures out of shit you find at a scrap yard. You could sneeze onto a blank canvas with a bloody nose. I think to claim anyone isn’t cut out for self-expression is a pretty fucking ignorant thing to say. You know what makes people feel insignificant? Elitist assholes telling them to give it up. Life isn’t a movie. Not everyone gets a fire lit under their belly by discouraging remarks. Some people take them to heart, and actually give it up.

Don’t.

gettin’ a little inspirational in here, don’t you think?

nunquam sing Imp

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Hello? Is this thing on? Whew, that was dusty.

I’ve been doing a lot of struggling with my status as a ‘writer’ as of late. When it comes to fiction, it seems I’ve finally encountered the ever-trendy Writer’s Block. I have a tale for Demonic Visions #5 due by mid-October, would like to get something in to The Sirens Call for their Halloween e-zine, and am trying to convince others among me to take up writing for themselves. I’m still churning out opinion pieces for the college’s newspaper (The Eagle, that is), so I can at least say I’m still writing, but I’m not doing so nearly enough. I don’t have a daily required word count on myself. I don’t blog or keep a journal regularly. I know I need to, but carving out this routine is harder than I suspected. When I get home after all day in class or at work, I just wanna be a vegetable. Excuses, excuses, I know. Where I go next is problematic to me. I’m 21 years old with 5 publications under my belt (not counting the newspaper), so the sky should be the limit. But I don’t feel like the sky’s the limit. I feel like I bumped my head on the ceiling.

File:Ceiling cat no text.gif

relevant

One thing I don’t tell people very often is that I constantly worry about the validity of my current publications. Don’t get me wrong, The Sirens Call is definitely a major name in the horror biz, and Chris Robertson has compiled quite the star-studded cast for Demonic Visions (including RAMSEY CAMPBELL. I was in a book with Ramsey Campbell!) But I wonder if by not branching out a bit more I’m making myself look too much like an amateur. Granted, I don’t have the infamous pile of rejection letters aspiring writers do… but that’s because I haven’t submitted my work to enough places to amass those rejection letters. For that, I am ashamed. I really need to renew my Duotrope account so I can get back to publisher-shopping. This blog is an attempt to begin writing again. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate when writers have to update you every time they achieve a minor accomplishment? Author Facebook pages that consist of nothing but statuses similar to “guess who got 1000 words today?” give me a resounding case of “WHO GIVES A FUUUUUUUUUUCK.” Don’t try to sell me something that’s not finished, okay? This isn’t Kickstarter, I’m not investing in an idea. I want results.

Above: me when someone posts a status about being a writer

I’m also beginning to try and step into the ring of true literary criticism of my work. I’ve began to shop it around to professors and ask them to critique it – did I mention that I’m a sensitive guy and that despite my mild taste of success my ego is still about as durable as stained glass? There’s definitely been instances of professors essentially saying to me, “It’s good, but…” and then handing me back a page riddled with highlights. Yet at the end of it, they’ve said “But you’re the published one, so…” Does that really make a difference? Does that make me immune to criticism? I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all. I’ve still got a-lot to learn. One common criticism or comment I get is that my style is super wordy. Very King-esque. I enjoy it, that’s my voice in there, but others see it as needless words. I’m just saying, Tolkien is a famous author, and he had some god damn needless words in his work. I’m not gonna go all Hemmingway on everyone and use 3 word sentences in my work because someone else is too impatient to read 1500 words.

Charles Dickens 

One final demon I’ve been grappling with is the novel vs. short fiction idea. Friends and family alike ask me when I’m going to write a novel, and the truth is I have no fucking idea. I’m with my man Edgar Allan on this one, I love novels, but I’ve always been in love with pieces that I can sit down and read in one sitting. Anthologies and short stories are like the potato chips of reading to me. Sometimes I prefer them to a full meal, you get me? I have no big novel plans right now, but I do aspire to have my own anthology somewhere down the road. I don’t think I’m incapable of writing a novel, I just haven’t gotten an idea that, to me, held enough merit for 300 pages and blank-hundred-thousand words. I feel like I operate effectively in short fiction, in and out before they know what hit them. I love the quick set up, and I’m a sucker for the open-ended or twist endings. My writing reflects that, for better or worse. At the end of the day, I still feel I should identify as a writer, which is a sentiment that was echoed today by a rather successful author.

Today, NY Times Bestselling Author Margaret Coel came and spoke to us aspiring writers about, well, writing. Mrs. Coel is a wonderful woman, a fun personality, and a successful author. While it was valuable to hear her perspectives, I’m unsure if the write (see what I did there?) questions weren’t asked, or if I’m just a closed-minded asshole, but she really didn’t say anything I didn’t already hear somewhere else. The rules of the game are read a lot, write a lot, and be persistent. End game. If you want to be taken seriously, either find an agent, or market yourself well via digital publishing. Having recently read Stephen King’s “On Writing,” and having picked up a few tricks during my short time in the trade, none of this information was new. Just from a different mouthpiece. This is something I want to do, but I want to be taken seriously. I’m not some casual horror flunkie dipping his toes in the water. I’m playing for keeps. And as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got a long life ahead of me to get good at it.

The future looks as bright as the lights of a freight train

 

Nitor

Hey boys and girls, did you miss me?

Yes, yes, the prodigal son returns much to the chagrin of all 20 or so people that actually follow me. I haven’t updated this blog since roughly September, when my first publication(s) were headed out. Annnnd a lot of new things have happened in my life since then. With a little encouragement from a certain special someone, I decided I should breathe some life into this. Especially considering that I haven’t written for “The Eagle” (our College’s newspaper) more than once this whole semester.

http://shechive.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/lazy-day-20.gif?w=500&h=357

above: semi-accurate representation of me this semester

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say, “holy shit I’m almost a senior in college.” When I walk out of this place next year with a Bachelor’s in Literature with a minor in Music, how unemployable do you think I’m going to be? Here’s a shocker for you (that some people will hate me for), I’m pretty sure I’m going to get my first few B’s of my college career. Granted, that doesn’t upset me. There are people that will be disgusted with the fact that I’ve lasted this long with all A’s, because, you know, <sarcasm> I wake up every morning with the thought “I’m just going to put everyone else to shame.” That’s just how I operate. I’m kind of a dick. </sarcasm> I knew going into this semester it would be a transitional one for me.

My relationship of 4 years ended back in November, and with that came an entire paradigm shift that most people probably experience once or twice in their lives. It started back when I was in high school, persisted through some rocky times, and stupidly, I proposed because of the promise of a false sense of security. But, as a good friend of mine says, “a ring never plugged no hole,” and indeed, it did not. It takes two to tango, folks, but three’s a crowd. On the bright side, that paradigm shift allowed me to pursue a 2-year-long crush that happens to double as the love of my life, so, there’s that. Am I sharing too much with you people?

the above statement is false

In terms of writing, I’m in a really strange place. I have ideas for miles and miles, and unlike when I was just starting off, I actually believe I can do these ideas justice. That was why I never wrote before, I was afraid of the “loss-of-self” that would happen to the idea between my brain and the paper. To any other writers in this predicament, my best piece of advice is: get the fuck over it. Write it down. If you hate it, you can edit it and edit it until you don’t, or sometimes you just have to hate it. H.P. Lovecraft loathed some of his most famous works. Anyway, point being, I have ideas, and I have (enough) confidence to give them a whirl… I just need to actually sit down and write them out. Typically, about the time I feel “inspired” to write is the time when I’m tired enough to want to pass out. This is called creative insomnia, and I feel no strong desire to be an insomniac. As well as it would work with my “brooding author” image, I like sleep.

Since September, I’ve had 5 short stories published. 4 in the Demonic Visions series, books 1, 2, and 3, editted and compiled by Chris Robertson. 1 by the lovely ladies at Sirens Call Publications, a few of which join me in said Demonic Visions books. In June, Demonic Visions 4 will come out, and provided I can pull my head out of my ass, I’ll have a story or two featured in there as well. My goal over the summer, as far as my writing career goes, is to branch out a bit. I love the DV series, but I feel like I need to get around a bit more with my writing, so that I might not seem like a one-trick pony. Hopefully I’ve impressed a reader (*cough* publisher) or two with my work.

Is anyone really surprised that I have work in a book with this kind of cover? You knew what you were getting into.

Recently, I feel as though adulthood has slowly settled its way into my brain. I haven’t necessarily felt ostracized from my friends, just like we are growing in separate directions. I no longer feel the need to empty my wallet during each Steam sale. Instead, payday usually brings a new slew of books onto my shelf. This year, I made it a point to be sociable and a party kind of person. Now that I’ve experienced that and found my happy medium, I’m retreating back into cynic-mode. People here at Chadron are really big fans of compromising their beliefs or opinions depending on who’s around, and I hate that shit. I have a Metallica tattoo on my left shoulder, but don’t tell the music department. They’ll all laugh heartily and scoff at me, despite the fact that half of them are most likely Metallica fans themselves. But it isn’t the cool thing to do. Apparently, high school mentality dies hard.

Thoughts of post-college life used to petrify me. Now, I’m excited to see what it holds. Even if it’s sorrow or rage or whathaveyou, at least I will have lived and learned outside of the realm of my hometown. I’m gonna pass the mic to my man William Blake to close this one off: “Expect poison from the standing water.”

 

Vola libere, sed semper domum redi