Not much to read today…just an interview with me on the web show TerrorFirma podcast. Now I am off to await the total eclipse and see if anarchy ensues.
I hope you are enjoying my blog serialization of the book that started things for me…Zomblog. If you just can’t wait, you can find it on Amazon. It is part of the Kindle Unlimited program, so if you are a member…you can just download and start reading as part of your membership.
Thursday, January 3
I’m gonna have to pick a different channel to watch my evening news. Every time I see that woman…I get all worked up! As for my daughter’s “boyfriend”, I got a call this morning from my ex, she said Beth was totally embarrassed. But the good news is…not by me! Sure, she yelled at me and threw a fit, but it was because she was mortified that her boyfriend did what he did. She said that when I went into the kitchen to grab the snacks, he took that moment to just go for it. Now my daughter wants to come over on the 7th and catch the LSU vs. Ohio St. game with me…alone! Erin and I have raised a good girl even with a buster marriage. I think a lot of folks put blame on divorced parents for much of today’s problem children. I can see where a two-parent household has its advantages. But marriage does not make good parents. Our band has a gig tomorrow night at a company holiday party. That will give me enough for my date with my girlfriend du-jour, Megan. We are going to dinner and a movie. It’s my turn to pick the movie. I’m set on the new I AM LEGEND flick. I love those end-of-the-world-apocalypse type films. However, that means she picks the restaurant, blech! Another fancy-smancy place with some bite-sized tidbit in the middle of the plate. I’ll have to down a burger before I pick her up. For our next date, I pick the restaurant…and I gotta find a place that loads up on the food without costing a month’s rent. Also, by the next time I get to pick a movie, I’m thinking CLOVERFIELD. Anybody out there got any ideas?
Friday, January 4
Guess I’ll be going to see I AM LEGEND alone. When I went to the gig this evening everything was roses. Did I not mention that it is Megan’s company where she works as an insurance adjuster that my band was booked to play? So we started at five and there was quite a spread at this little soiree. I notice Megan tossing back a few, which is fine. I mean, I don’t drink, but to each his own. During the second break I look for her. Mostly for an ego boost. You know, ask how we sound…she tells me we’re great. But I don’t see her anyplace. Now this office complex is kinda big. Nine-story building, lots of space. I figure if she didn’t want to get caught riding cowgirl-style on some desk-jock, she could of at least gone up a few floors. I had a lot of ways that I could have responded. I like to think I was classy. I waited until she came back into the big banquet room…and then I had the band kick into Roxanne by the Police. There was enough eye contact for her to know the score. I didn’t see her the rest of the night. I think I’ll go see my old high school buddy tomorrow. Soon as I finish my route tonight I’ll drive out to godforsaken nowhere, (which is where the prison he’s doing time in is located) and say “hi”. Nothing makes your problems seem small like visiting a guy in prison.
Saturday, January 5
I don’t have a lot of time to write this because I need at least a nap before work. I did go see I AM LEGEND. It was okay. Don’t take that as me saying it wasn’t worth seeing. Just had potential to be better. Maybe an actor without such a STAR BILLING would’ve given me more. He was just too…Will Smithy. I saw the movie after I visited my friend. For obvious reasons, I imagine most folks will be turned off by the whole “friend-in-prison” thing. Yeah, well, you guys don’t know Paul. Paul is a regular guy. He got caught up in a pretty nasty deal. See…Paul is in prison on a sex crime. I bet that perked your ears (or, I guess, eyes). He says he didn’t do it. Him and every other guy in prison, right? I want to believe him. He’s my friend. Has been for years…but a charge like he got always makes you wonder just a bit. Here’s what I can tell you. He divorced this girl who had three kids from three different fathers. Everybody tried to warn him, but he was trying to be Kaptan Save-a-ho. Anyways, he finally wises up and leaves. Problem is, he had legally adopted all three kids. So, now he’s paying child support (something those kids’ real dads never did). A few years later he gets re-married. Eventually, they have their own kid. The new wife starts bugging Paul about this child support bill. Paul ain’t seen that ex or those kids in five years by now, and calls to see if she’ll agree to less money. He finds out that two of the kids have gone to live with their REAL dads! What’s more, this broad is on welfare and draining Paul for support with only one kid at her house and a live-in boyfriend that welfare is unaware of. He threatens to turn her in if she doesn’t agree to modify the child support. A month later he is arrested and charged with sexually abusing two of the three kids. His public defender told him to plead down to only two of the ten counts and avoid a trial. When Paul asked why he should do that if he was innocent, the lawyer told him all those kids had to do was point and cry and he would do fifty years on all counts versus only ten years for two! That’s his story. I believe him because I’ve known him since we were ten. But for the rest of his life…he’s screwed. We had a good visit. He only has about a year and a half left, so we talked about him staying with me when he first gets out. He said it was a bad idea because I couldn’t have my daughter visit me with him living there. I told him I’d help any way I can. When I left he looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and thanked me for taking the time to come and see him. He said his family totally cut him off so he hadn’t had a visit in about six months (the last time I came out). His wife divorced him and took out a restraining order so he couldn’t call his son. That was almost nine years ago. I called my daughter as soon as I got to my car. Like I said, if you think you’re having a bad day…visit somebody in prison.
Simple answer? In the Indie world, reviews matter FAR more than say for…King, Koontz, and any of the big names that come to mind. And I am speaking about Audio Books as well! Yes, I hear some of you groan at audio books, but just a few short years ago, people were saying that ebooks would never last.
“Well, you’re wrong!” (Fast Forward to the 1:58 mark to hear the Captain actually say it.)
Did you notice my absence? Well, whether or not you did, I am trying to build a routine again. It is difficult since there are so many things swirling around in my world at the moment. Some of those things include my soul searching on how much energy I have to continue writing. There are a number of factors that go into that situation. Some of them include the constant upstream swimming of overcoming the negativity that is spewed by a handful of people who are angry that I was successful in this venture. Then there is my venture in the producing of audio books.
Yep. I have taken on a new line of work. As a producer of AUDIO BOOKS. That makes for some long hours. The process is time consuming, but it is possible to produce a book approximately every 8-10 days versus the few months that it takes to write one. I have decided that my focus (if writing is to continue to be part of who I am) will be to finish one Snapshot that I offered up the cover for a silent auction. But 2018 will be solely dedicated to the New DEAD series.
I am mixing all this in with getting my new production company off the ground, training my Newfs for water rescue, and completing my Spartan Trifecta. Oh…and bees. I am getting bees in time for next spring. So yeah, I have plenty on my plate.
Oh, and did I mention that both my Newf won International Championships this past week at the International All-Breed Championship even in Post Falls, Idaho? Yep.
I was so proud of my babies!
So…how are all of you doing? And is anybody enjoying the Zomblog posts? Should I keep them going on Fridays?
I think Friday’s are going to be dedicated to zombies. More specifically, I will be sharing the “posts” from the Zomblog series. So, if you’ve never taken the journey…today is a good place to start. And remember, I am open to discussing with any potential film students the possibility of turning this into a class project…web series…whatever. So, if you might be interested, drop a line to email@example.com. Put “ZOMBLOG” in the subject line. And now, welcome to the apocalypse.
Saturday, December 29
Greetings. My name is Samuel Todd. I live in a suburb of a fairly large northwestern city. I am the guy who delivers your papers early in the wee hours of the morning and I gotta say…you see some pretty hairy shit in the middle of the night when all the “normal” folks are in bed. I’ve been a fan of the internet since Q-Link, that may give away my age but that’s cool. So, I finally decided to start a blog. With some of the stuff I’ve seen, hell…I thought about writing a book, but I don’t have the— What is it that writers have? (Besides talent smarty pants) Determination? Drive? Stick-to-it-iveness. Yep. That’s it. Instead, I’ve decided to just ramble on and share my odd adventures and observations. A few things about me. I’m single. Well, actually, I’m divorced. Twice. I have a daughter from marriage number two. Elizabeth Marie. She goes by Beth, has since she was seven. She’s an insane fourteen this most recent December 15th. Every year for her birthday, I get the guys in our little band “The Stupid Muses” together. We put the phone on speaker and I sing that KISS song, Beth. It’s cheesy, but I still get away with it due to it being tradition. The first three years I did it in our garage. Mine and Erin’s (Erin is Elizabeth’s mom). My daughter would sit on the washing machine with her little hands clasped under her chin and just beam. Her curly dark brown hair framed her perfectly oval face and those hazel eyes actually sparkled. I’m drifting off the deep end, aren’t I? Sorry, but when it comes to daddy’s little girl, I get a bit misty.
In a nutshell, that is my life. Besides delivering the newspaper, I play guitar and sing in a small-time band. Mostly we do parties, reunions and stuff. It doesn’t pay much, but I make enough to get by and still keep up on my child support. Erin never trips if I’m late. She knows I’m good for it. She and I still get along okay. When it comes to Elizabeth, our little Beth, differences are set aside. It’s not our daughter’s fault that her parents couldn’t spend longer than an hour together without verbally shredding each other. Anyways, it’s getting late so I gotta get to the Center and get my load of papers. I picked today to start this blog because the craziest shit is on New Year’s and full moons. Check with me tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have something juicy. .
Tuesday, January 1
Holy crap! What a night I’ve had! This is why I decided to start blogging… I arrived at just after 2:30 a.m. to pick up the papers for my route. We had two no-shows so Gabriel (this old Mexican who has been delivering papers for like 20 years!) and I split the routes which was kind of a drag. But it happens every year. That is one thing you folks who walk out in your jammies and scoop up your paper each day don’t realize. Even more than the mailman, we HAVE to deliver despite rain, sleet, snow…or drunken no-shows. Some folks say that the internet is killing the daily paper. I think that’s a load of crap. Nothing replaces flippin’ to your favorite section over a steaming cup of coffee. Plus, I love me some Get Fuzzy. Anyways, I load up and check the extra route list so I can economize my trip as much as possible. The cost of gas is what will kill the morning paper way before the internet does. I roll out and pass the annual DUI parade complete with flashing lights and circus clowns trying in utter futility to pass field sobriety tests. I pull into this apartment complex. Real nice sorta upscale place. I get out to unload about ten papers at the office/rec center and hear this noise coming from one of the covered parking lots. Sure as hell, one of our local television news team has herself bent over the hood of this shiny silver Lexus. I recognize her right away only because it is the station I always watch as I’m eating dinner. Her milky white skin practically glows in the dark! And the words coming out of her mouth are a drunken slur of everything she can’t say in front of the camera at 5 and 6:30 p.m.! I am tuning in tonight for sure with a whole new perspective! Other than that…saw loads of drunks pissing in dark corners, a good share of teenage kids puking (happy freakin’ New Year!) and one nasty accident that signaled the end of the line for at least one idiot. So here’s a question—what possesses folks after all the stats, stories and movies-of-the-week to still get behind the wheel of a car and crank it up after getting looped? If drunk drivers were charged with murder, would it deter anybody? People argue that murder has to be done with forethought. Ain’t nobody goes out and ties one on by mistake. Well, I’ve got a day of Bowl games to watch. My babygirl, Beth, she’s bringing her new boyfriend over to watch the games with dad. That’s the closest thing to a date she’s gonna get…at least until she turns sixteen. I plan on doing a lot of cheering…and glaring.
Wednesday, January 2
Simple question. What the hell is wrong with kids these days? When I went to a girlfriend’s parents’ house… I was a damned saint. “Yes sir.” “No ma’am.” “Lovely house, Mrs. Casteel.” “How ‘bout them Blazers?” This kid was using his tongue like a dipstick in my daughter’s throat. ON! MY! COUCH! I stood there like an idiot for like ten seconds! Now I’m the asshole. Can you believe it? Is our society that far gone? If it is, somebody please hit the RESET button.
I have been sharing tidbits of information about the upcoming That Ghoul Ava comic book. To say I am excited is a gross understatement. However, this is not something that just happens overnight. Also, there are aspects to a comic book that differ from a simple book release. So, as things start to come to a slow boil, it is now time to look at my VERY FIRST Kickstarter campaign.
Getting this comic off the ground is going to mean some very intense work from a talented artist. Fortunately, I have one. And very soon, John Donald Carlucci and I will have to sit down and get our ducks in a row as far as what we can use to entice potential That Ghoul Ava comic Book fans to give our ghoul a try. This is where I am going to throw things open to you.
What sorts of groovy items would entice you to contribute some of your hard-earned ducats (you know…money, cash, ka-ching!) and support the launch of this endeavor. What would be IMPOSSIBLE to resist? On both ends of the Kickstarter support demographic. In other words…what would get you give $5 for…and on the other end…what would make you pony up an even grand? Yeah, I am meaning $1,000. These are the things to ponder. And after JDC and I have our confab, I will share more details. Until then, I hope you will pipe up here and maybe offer up some ideas for us to consider as this dream makes its way towards a reality.
Some of you might’ve missed the latest That Ghoul Ava release. If so, let me remind you. Also, for those of you in the Portland Metro Area, I am in the works on having a book signing that will also be attended by the World’s greatest Guns-N-Roses Tribute Band, Appetite for Deception (co-stars of sorts in this latest adventure of your favorite gray-skinned ghoul). So, let’s when your whistle.
That is the official title of the new book. I am giving the deeper story a break in this episode and offering up what I am referring to as That Ghoul Ava’s Scooby Doo adventure. No Harlem Globetrotters here, but she will be involved with the stage personas of some very groovy dudes. The World’s Greatest Guns-N-Roses Tribute Band…Appetite for Deception!
The screaming and wailing drowned out everything as it rose in pitch and intensity. There was a blinding flash or red that seemed to strobe in time with the thunderous crashing noises that fought with one final and piercing yell that the man let loose with as the people around me watched as if hypnotized.
Then…a single second of silence when it all came to an abrupt end, accompanied by utter blackness that plunged the nearby humans around me into temporary blindness. A moment later, the dirty glow of lights illuminated the cavernous room and people began milling away, all of them speaking much too loudly as their hearing had not yet healed from the last seventy minutes of the high decibel assault perpetrated on them.
I turned to Kari, an elf, and the Psychic of the Dallas area who was in town to meet up with Morgan and a few other Psychics. They were heading out of town tomorrow for some big meeting in London. Apparently there are more than a few Psychics that want to at least give Morgan the appearance that they will be on our side when the fighting starts.
“That was amazing!” I gushed. “I would’ve never taken you for a Guns-N-Roses fan.”
“Why? Because I am an elf?” she sniffed.
“No…it’s just…I guess I just pictured you dancing to the songs of nature or something.”
“You really need to stop watching those movies.” Kari said, peering down at me over her dark sunglasses despite the fact that I was taller. I don’t know how she managed to pull it off, but I was willing to be she could look down at me if I was on the roof and she was lying in the ground.
“Snobbish elf,” I muttered.
“Uneducated ghoul,” she shot back.
We both made eye contact and then laughed like a pair of girlfriends out for a night of fun. Oddly enough, that was exactly what we were at the moment. She’d actually come to my new home to invite me out this evening. At first I thought her arrival was merely to inspect the work done on the elven keep that I now called home. When she asked me to go out that night, I waited for her to tell me what job or mission she would be hiring me to do. Only…she never asked. It was just a night out.
I was about to start for the door when I noticed the singer for Appetite for Deception step out from the curtained off area where the big security guard stood posted up with his massive arms folded across his expansive chest. Almost immediately, there was a rush of a dozen or so fans asking him to pose for pictures.
“Now there’s something you probably wouldn’t catch the actual Guns-N-Roses doing without it costing a few hundred bucks,” I said with a wry smile.
“It’s one of the great things about this scene,” a voice said from just to my left.
I turned to see a rather short, balding man with glasses standing there. He glanced up at me and gave a smile that was so warm and friendly I would have sworn that we were old friends and that perhaps I’d simply forgotten his name.
“My name’s Dwight,” the man said by way of introduction.
Okay, scratch that, I thought. I was almost positive that I didn’t know anybody named Dwight, plus, he was introducing himself. That would indicate that he didn’t know me either.
“Kari,” the elf replied, giving me a not-too-gentle elbow in the ribs. “My rude friend here is Ava.”
Dwight laughed and then nodded past us back to where the people had gathered around the two band members. “The tribute bands are really good about coming out after the show to meet the audience.”
“There are other cover bands doing this kind of thing?” I asked, glancing back just in time to see the singer signing some woman’s partially exposed breast who looked like her forties were vanishing in the rearview mirror. I turned back to Dwight. “These people do know that those aren’t the real Guns-N-Roses, right?”
“Pretty much, but a band as good as Appetite usually gets people to forget. They sort of take people back in time to maybe when they saw them in high school or college. For some of us who never got to see the real thing, this is as close as it gets.” Just then, Dwight looked past me and waved.
I looked back again to see the lead guitarist and bass player emerge. The one made to look like Slash was heading our way. For some stupid reason, I got a silly tingle in my mommy parts as he strolled up and clapped Dwight on the shoulder, then looked my way. “How’d we do tonight?” the man asked with a soft-spoken voice that did not match the rough and ready persona that I’d been watching on stage.
“Umm…good.” I winced inwardly as my voice cracked just a little.
“You guys were amazing as always,” Dwight added.
I shot a look at the man who now seemed even shorter now that he was standing beside the guitarist. There was not the slightest indication that he was in the least bit star struck. I then glanced over at Kari and saw that that made one of us. She was looking like she might swoon and be reduced to jelly if the man were to so much as brush against her.
“Thanks, Dwight.” The guitarist moved around so that he was beside the man and now gave me and Kari a quick up and down glance. “Who are your friends?”
“This is Ava and Kari.”
“And I’m BC Slash.”
I accepted his offered handshake as did Kari. I guess that the moment had swept me up so fast that I didn’t even think about what I was doing. When I saw his eyes widen at my touch I realized that he probably hadn’t expected to shake the hand of a ghoul. Being undead, I was at a pretty consistent room temperature. That coolness was no doubt even more apparent after he touched Kari. Elves run about ten degrees warmer than humans, so that would mean about a thirty degree difference from my hand to hers. To his credit, he didn’t say anything. Even more points were scored when he made no attempt to wipe his hands off after the brief introductions.
“You were amazing,” Kari gushed.
“Thanks,” BC Slash replied with a slight nod and bow.
I was about to chip in with my own hopefully more eloquent appraisal of the show to perhaps override the now lame sounding “umm…good” that I’d blurted a moment ago when I felt an unpleasant tingle in my head. I was about to brush it aside as possibly Boudicca stirring in the confines that Blodwen now maintains inside my head when I tasted what can only be described as a combnation of ash and sulfer.
One of the things that I’d been learning in the crash courses that I was receiving from Mystify was that when an uninvited Supernatural enters Morgan’s territory, I get a peculiar sensation that varies according to what has arrived. In addition, many of those sensations are accompanied by a taste. For instance, witches give a tingle like electricity and I taste fresh cut grass.
I felt Kari move closer to me and grab my arm. “Ava,” she whispered.
I looked at her and realized she was talking without moving her lips and at a volume that would be no louder than a saoft breath to any human ears around. My hearing was such that I could hear her as clear as if she were speaking full volume.
“Something from one of the abyssal planes has arrived.” Kari’s eyes were wide, and it had nothing to do with the lead guitarist.
I could hear the distinct tone of fear in her tone. I just wish she would’ve been more specific about whatever this new danger might be. I guess she just hasn’t been around me enough to realize that I am basically the idiot child of the Supernatural realm. To put it plainly, I had no idea what an abyssal plane was, much less what sort of beastie might emerge from said plane.
Despite the words to a song in that amazing movie, MASH, suicide hurts. I’ve lost a few friends to it, and I still feel the repercussions years later. The last person that I lost to this terrible thing was named Michael Denoma. Oddly enough, his nickname was “Happy”. Only, his nickname was in that ironic way we have, like when we call the 300 pound guy “Tiny”.
Recently, a group of men spearheaded by a young man I’ve come to consider a friend decided to do something that had never been done before. I could ramble on, but instead, I will let this video share the message. Keep in mind, something like this had NEVER been done inside a correctional institution before.
Out of the Darkness is actively doing what it can to raise awareness about suicide prevention. This is a problem that touches many…and there are so many who don’t talk about it for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it is time to start a dialog.
Seriously. If you know any aspiring film students..or maybe YOU ARE an aspiring filmmaker…or maybe you know somebody who wants to shoot a web series? Seriously. Do you? Then you may want to send them here to read this post.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t into the whole “zombie thing”. Or…perhaps you are super into it. Today, if you like to read, my entire 12 Book DEAD series is available as an ebook box-set is on sale for $6.99. Let’s sum that up, shall we?
12 books clocking in at over 1,250,000 words for a mere $6.99. All-DEAD, the complete `12 book DEAD saga can be snagged for just 10 days at this price. Even better…if you have Kindle Unlimited…you can just grab it as part of your KU subscription. In 10 days…this box set will no continue to be available at that price. In fact, I can safely say it will never be available at that price again.
So, what d you have to lose? 7 bucks…yeah, I know. But here is the thing…this is not just about zombies. It is about people facing the worst possible situation. Some will be good…others will resort to pure evil. I’ve been told by many people that this series really isn’t a traditional zombie story. Yes, there are zombies in it, but it is about real people. No military superheroes, no wise-cracking types who aren’t absolutely scared out of their minds. Just people like you facing something horrifying.
Give it a shot. Once you get past book 2, I doubt you will be able to stop.