Saturday, September 27, 2014

Used and Abused

I looked into the mirror.

I didn't like what was looking back at me. Namely about twenty extra pounds around the middle, a spare tire if I'd ever seen one. I reached down, giving the fat a little squeeze. It was nothing that some discipline and a few thousand crunches couldn't take care of. If I set my mind to it, it'd fade in a few weeks.

But then, I was never very disciplined to begin with. I longed for the days where all it'd take was a snip job, expensive, but effortless. I'd go under the gas a fat man, and wake up as skinny as my heart's desire. But then, cosmetics cost money.

Money and I weren't on speaking terms. I eased my fingers up to my face, tracing the lines along it. Really, the scars were thinner than a piece of dental floss, invisible to the casual and even concerted observer. It was the best sort of surgery money could buy, pencil-tip lasers, small incision implants, and a bunch of other industry jargon that leaked out my ear. And it had been invested in me. Elevated cheekbones, jutting jaw, the full package in a single specimen. My waistline might go to pot, but the rest of me would make a pretty corpse.

Maybe death would be preferable to where I was. Washed up, done in, used. Fifteen years with Chen, fifteen of my finest years, only for everything to end because of one mistake. I closed my eyes. I couldn't stand the sight of me. I was once one of the best, but once was a long time ago.

Sadly, regret didn't pay the bills.

I slipped on a shirt, easing it on a couple of buttons at a time, the faux-silk soft against my skin. The jacket followed of course, a red sort with a serpent coiling around my heart. Age might have made me slow, but the symbolism certainly wasn't lost on me. Neither were really important, though, not when there remained the piece de resistance. A pair of black Aviators awaited me, into my fingers, over my ears, anointing me with the Brand I'd cultivated for so many years. It felt good, right, like I was the person I was supposed to be, no matter what bumps popped up in the road.

A blip flashed across one of the lenses, a string of ugly green text, made uglier by the implication in it.

"Used carsalesmen rnt xactly in BIG demand!!! This is ur last chance, jumper!!! U comin'???"

I looked back into the mirror. I took a breath.

"Yeah. I'm coming."

Just an idea for the cyberpunk world I'm cooking up. I don't know if it'll retain this noir style, this character, or anything of the sort. I like writing noir, but I don't want to be a one-trick pony, you know? I have to say, though, that the character is certainly likable. I love Johnny to death, but he's a bit of a bastard.

There's something more fragile about this fella. I wonder what his name is?

The book is coming along well, by the way. Hopefully we've got the last edit done for the first (at least for a while). I still need to hop in and tackle the second book as it's on first draft. And of course I'm making this cyberpunk universe. I know it's not clear in the text above, but "Used Car Salesmen" is a bit of slang. 

Our hero didn't sell cars, true, but he was just as sleazy with his methods.

Monday, September 22, 2014


So, I probably should have written a blog post. Probably. But I didn't. Why, might you ask?

Because writing is consuming my life.

To be a little more clear, I'm working on a second project while I'm editing my book. I'm brainstorming a cyberpunk world, trying to mesh out a culture and theme. It's coming nicely, but it's still coming. I figure rather than taking time and effort to write out a post, I'd let you get a rough glimpse of at least one section.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present...

The Stiletto Pigeon!

The Stiletto Pigeon is a flying drone normally deployed in assassination. It can carry knives, poison darts, and electrical stunners. While they don't look like pigeons, they leave shit everywhere like their namesake.

I feel pretty good about that, right there. It's evocative, if not inventive. Wait. What's that? You want more? A few sentences aren't enough? Well, goddammit, you're the reader, and the reader is always (HAHAHAHA) right!

Reform Gown - a jumpsuit worn by prisoners that can send electrical impulses into the convict's body. Guards and other personnel can control the prisoner to some degree ("Freeze!" or "March!"). Of course given the setting, there might be more abusive postures ("Kowtow!").

So that's a brief, brief snippet into my world. I hope it's interesting. If not, well, fuck you, this is my heart and soul. I should have a real post later. Thanks for bearing with me, guys.

It's easy to get tunnel vision on these things.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


In 2000, I voted Republican. I was full of hope and wonder. We were bringing Christ back into the schools. We were putting terrorism in its place. We were picking up ourselves up by the bootstraps as a nation, away from an administration filled with scandal. I knew it was the right move.

We all make mistakes. Some are simply pronounced "nu-cu-lar" and others are even more pronounced. George W. Bush first taught me that sad little lesson.

The dog wrapped around my arm wanted the last word on the topic. I thought this was going to be a routine sort of job. Slip in, slip out, no muss, no fuss. The place had no big name security systems, no armed guards, nothing that spoke of glitz and glam. Just high walls, deterrents to the overweight, but few others. I should have known that if they used one old way, they'd go for another.

"Down Cujo!" I screamed.

No luck.

"Is that a squirrel?!"

No dice.

"Get the fuck off me!"

It was useless as the last. Me, I'm an animal lover. I stop at every chance to pet a dog and carry a cat. I donate to the ASPCA regularly.

What I'm trying to say is I'm a decent person.

So it was really hard to plant that tire iron into Lassie's head.

ANY POLITICAL OPINIONS RELATED IN THIS STORY ARE THE CHARACTER'S AND NOT MINE. DO NOT FLAY ME ALIVE. This is just a short little thing I wrote up with Kelly over at What Things I Have Found. She started with an idea, I jumped on it, and we kept a back and forth going. I have to admit it was a lot of fun, and she sparked a little creativity inside of me.

I'm finishing the epilogue of the second book's first draft, so that's exciting. Of course I'll start editing after that and who likes editing? Writing new scenes is always a pleasure, though, little bits that I missed the first time on my way. It's funny where they can take a story, or what great stuff they can add.

I hope you guys will like the story. It ends with a BANGHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAitsnotfunnyunlessyou'vereadit!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

In the Beginning

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

It wasn't really the beginning, not from His perspective, anyway. The beginning had been much longer ago, before Anyone had thought to record. Perhaps God Himself didn't for a very special reason.

In the beginning there was God. And he was lonely.

There was Nothingness, sure, but Nothingness wasn't much of a conversationalist. God would speak. Nothingness would stay silent. God would laugh. Nothingness would consume the sound. God would travel. Nothingness would merely be. It wasn't by some master plan that God conceived Creation, as He would later claim.

It was simply desperation.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, but they were only the start. Light and darkness came next, and water and sky were divided. None were the focal point of the Lord, however. These could not feel, however, could not laugh, nor even cry. They were incidental in God's plan, created for a single, solitary purpose.

His name was Adam.

The publishing world continues to be maddeningly slow, but to have some hope. Jennifer's pitching away, and I'm terribly excited. It looks like there might be an interest or two in Dead Man, so let's keep our fingers crossed. I only hope that the actual book can follow up Jennifer's excellent presentation.

The story above is something I've suggested before. God didn't create because He was confident, or guided by some great plan. He merely succumbed to what haunts Creation:

Loneliness. It creates a more human picture of a Creator, something fallible and lonely. It certainly explains the rage sometimes inherent in the Old Testament, when God will not suffer others to follow anyone but Himself. Of course I'm crossing over to blasphemy with all of this. Still, though.

It's something I'd like to explore one day. I just don't know how well it would work as a novel. I think it would be better as a short story, or a lead up to the Creation. Adam, Eve, or something entirely new would be the focal for a story like this.

At least, that's my belief.