Thursday, February 25, 2021

Why I Dislike Disaster Films and Why I'm Stuck On This Fucking Scene


So... I'm still stuck on the same scene I've been stuck on for the last three nights. Well, no, I'm not stuck per se. I know what I want to happen and all that right down to the dialogue... It's just I'm looking at this and all I can think about is how tired I am and how loud the TV is in the background. It's some disaster film-- Ben loves those. I don't. I think they're terrible actually. I don't like to watch realistic movies where everyone is suffering and struggling. I don't like to watch movies where kids get hurt or separated from their families. Last weekend we watched Doctor Sleep and the scene with Baseball Boy and Rose's crew gave me nightmares. It still bothers me if I let myself think about it. Now, that said, Doctor Sleep is fantastic and I loved it. I'll have to listen to the book. But still... that scene...ugh. 

    Actually, I guess that's not entirely true-- Pet Sematary is one of my favorite movies (the first one) and we all know what happens to Gage. But I think the fact that it all sort of happens off screen makes

it easier. I mean, I love horror films-- like good, legit horror films not bloodbath-torture-porn. Fuck that noise. Like, the first Paranormal Activity movie, The Exorcist, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, IT (both versions)... all stellar. But I guess that's because they're all ghost stories more or less and as far as I know, ghosts aren't real and I will probably never find myself in the position of doing a midnight autopsy on the corpse of a dead witch. And, if any demon should possess me, I'm pretty sure my anxiety and depression would make them regret their decision pretty quick. 

    Demon: Your soul is mine now!

    Me: Well, okay. If you can find it you can have it, I guess.

    Demon: Foolish mortal...wait... why're you? ... Jeeze, what's going on? Why...why is everything wound so tight in here? I mean... is something bad going to happen? 

   Me: I dunno. Anxiety says so, soooo... probably. Wanna over think it together?

    Demon: I... I mean... it just feels like everything in here is about to get into a fight with something and I don't know what it is... but at the same time I don't care because everything sucks anyway and I'm bad at everything I do.  ...Why do I suddenly feel so pathetic?!

    Me: Yeah, that's the depression. You get used to that. Want me to take a trazodone and we can both go to sleep?

    Demon: Yeah... yeah... let's do that. Maybe we'll feel better in the morning.  

    Me: Aw, you're optimism is cute. 

    And that's why ghost stories don't bother me. I can handle ghosts. What I can't handle is real life disaster stuff because I know that shit is a real possibility and not even my super nihilism powers can shrug that off. 

    To my husband, I guess, these disaster films are cathartic. He's a low level prepper and he takes

comfort in making sure we're prepared for shit like that. Those movies are like goddamned training videos for him. He loves them and I don't begrudge him that. His super prepper powers are what let us cruise through this pandemic with little to no trouble so far.

    But anyways, I'm staring at the same scene and for the life of me, can't finish it. I don't know why. It's a good scene. But I just can't seem to find the right words. And that's a problem. Because on a draft you shouldn't need the right words. The right words come later. But I can't write a draft. My brain isn't designed for outlines and plotting drafts. It's always working in final draft mode so I'll fixate on a little thing until it's just right at the expense of an hour. The funny thing is... that on the second round that paragraph will be edited and changed, and on the third go round it'll probably be gone entirely. Soooo.... there went that hour... right down the fucking drain. 

    I'm going to go back and try it again. Wait here.

     Hmm... well, what do you know. I finished the scene and it only took about twenty minutes. It's not great, but it will do for the moment, I guess. I mean, that's what I'm telling myself anyway. It will do. 

Moving on.

Friday, February 19, 2021

I've Got a New Book and Am Watching Grumpy Old Men

     So I'm supposed to be writing this blog post to talk about my upcoming book but my husband is watching Grumpy Old Men on HBO and I've never seen it before and, well... it's really good. So my attention is a little divided at the moment between this and Burgess Meredith being just the best. I mean, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are great too, but Burgess Meredith is hilarious. I honestly can't believe I've never seen this movie. 

    Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I have a new book coming out. It's about ten thousand words from being written... give or take a shitty afternoon or bad mood. Now, before you go and get your hopes up allow me to just stomp them ahead of time. This is NOT, I repeat, NOT book 2. Sorry. It's not. Book 2 is coming. I'm working on it. But it's going to be a while. 

   I know, I know, it's been almost three years, but look, I have a day job and kids and depression. Finding time isn't always easy and when I find the time it's not always easy to write... which loops us back around to the depression. Fuckin' asshole. So, I know authors make money by selling books. No, really, we do. I know, it surprised me too. And I have found that the more books an author has, the more likely they are to sell them... especially when they have a loyal fanbase. (Thank you, both of you.)


    Well, I don't have a lot of books... yet. But what I do have are a lot of short stories. And you know what you can do with lots of short stories? You Ray Bradbury that shit and put them into a loosely connected collection! 

     So that's what I'm doing... with sincerest apologies to Ray Bradbury, of course. I'm taking all the Fort Thomas short stories I've been posting on my blog, along with a few others that have never been seen before and publishing The Tales of Fort Thomas. 

    Why, oh why, you ask? Why can't you just write book 2? I already told you. I am. It's just not as easy as it sounds. Also, six years passes between book 1 and book 2. (Side note, unrelated: I hope the little girl in Grumpier Old Men appreciates that Burgess Meredith sang her a lullaby. Yes, we're onto the sequel now.) Anyway, where was I? Yeah, six years. So, six years passes between books and that leaves a lot of space to fill in. 

    Look, the truth is, I know what my characters are doing every day down to the minute. It's creepy and it bothers me sometimes. But that's what happens when you've been living in the same fictional world (or a general facsimile thereof) since you were fourteen. I like to think that Tolkien had the same problem, except instead of creating my own languages, I'm creating popular movie franchises and bands for my characters to enjoy. So, apologies also to JRR Tolkien. Instead of Sindarin and Quenya I have Ice Shark 1-5 and groups like Harassing Edward and The Bathtub Marys. Yeah. I'm pretty far gone.

    So, here's the thing. Sometimes when I write, I don't actually write. I just stare at the screen all grumpy like... like Walter Matthau. And when I don't write it has been noted by reliable sources (to which I am married) that I get, well... a little affected. Like I don't just shrug off a bad day's work. I get the morbs, and not just the morbs... the super morbs, and believe you me, my depression doesn't need any more fuel for its fire. So that's when my reliable source of a husband suggested that maybe I start to get the word out for The Tales of Fort Thomas by documenting the process. 
It'll get everyone, hopefully, excited about the book and it'll help me to maybe not be so angry with myself when I don't have a super stellar writing day.     

    So here we go. The Tales of Fort Thomas is coming by summer this year. It will have a few stories that show you what happens after Paige's story, some that happen before, and one that actually happens right in the middle of the it. You'll get to see all your favorite characters on a more personal level. You'll get to see their private lives... the hardships they encounter, the random shenanigans they get into and all that kind of stuff. I really think you'll enjoy it. If I didn't I wouldn't publish it. 

    Right now, I'm working on a story that follows Paige and Alpha right after Paige's Story ends. Paige is trying to process her trauma and Alpha is trying to figure out how to be a parent. I'll be posting regular updates with what I'm writing and where I am in the publishing process (hopefully), and hopefully you'll follow along.