Wednesday, August 26, 2015


If you are a fellow author, and you have been in my presence for longer than a half an hour, you're probably aware of my unending battle with the novel I'm currently writing. I've been kicking this beast for many, many months, and it just doesn't want to work for me. Every time I sit down, getting a mere 100 words is agonizing. Nothing wants to move forward. It just wants to marinate in a stand-still.

This sucks because I like the characters a lot, and I think it's an interesting situation. It's a vampire book, but I think I do some different things with the undead. That's what's killing me the most: I LIKE THIS BOOK. But it just doesn't want to come out of my head. I know where I'm going with it, but it just doesn't want to get there.

I've been beating the shit out of myself trying to figure out why that was, and today I think I have my answer. This book has no soul. It has no soul because it has no purpose.

Alan Moore once said that you should always have a purpose when you write something, and I agree with him. It doesn't have to be front and center, but it should be there. I write entertaining (I hope) stories, and if someone wants to peek around for a deeper meaning, it's there for them to find.

It's not there for this WIP. As a result, the whole thing seems hollow to me, and that's why it's fighting me so hard. I'm just going to have to lay this one to rest. Maybe I'll come back to it someday, if I finally figure out what to do with it, but for now? I have to move on to something else.

This blows. I wish I'd figured this out almost 50,000 words ago. I lost so much time on this, it shames me. It's like trying to fix up a car that Bigfoot rolled over.

That's all right, I guess. [He said without making eye contact.] I have other projects I've been working on. There's one that's been sitting on my backburner for a looooong time. Sometimes I write something to figure out how I stand on a particular topic, or how I would react if something were to happen to me. I've got a doozy like that on my mind, so I think I'll work on that instead.

RIP, vampire WIP. Or maybe not. Vampires tend to rise again, don't they?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


This is a bit late in posting, but mostly it's because I've been super fucking busy. I just wanted to take a quick second to talk about something that I don't usually see writers discuss: the post-con depression.

There is something magical about a convention. It's exhausting because you have to perform for hours on end, doing your absolute best to sell your books (or, if you're fortunate enough, your table partner's books). Writing is an introverted thing; to suddenly be a book-slinging extrovert is hard to pull off for that kind of personality.

But a writer has to be both. When creating, a writer must be isolated and alone. Yet when selling, a writer must be outgoing and fun and adventurous. When you think about it, it's the perfect combination. It's the yin-yang personality all in one. It's actually a lot of fun because you get to talk with a bunch of strangers that are into the same shit you're into. Most times you don't even have to talk about your own work. You get to talk about cool shit you like, and if you sell a book, cool. That's the best part: talking about cool shit. That even extends to the fortunate few who have a table partner. At Flashback Weekend, I was lucky enough to have MP Johnson by my side. I could talk shop with him for hours on end because we've been at this for the same amount of time, and we have a lot of similar stories. Plus it helps that he's got a deep punk background and has some supercool stories. If you get the chance to work with him and you don't, you're a fool.

I'm wandering a bit from what I meant to talk about, but it's worth noting that hanging out and selling books with MP Johnson is fucking awesome, and it makes the post-con depression a little harder to take because even now, as I go to bed early to make it in time for my square job, I miss it. I miss it a lot.

By the end of Sunday, I was fucking exhausted. Yet I knew it was a rewarding experience, and not just because I sold a bunch of books. I took Monday off to recover, but when I woke up and realized that I couldn't go to Flashback and sell and talk and have fun because it was over, I felt a darkness wash over me. I didn't even want to get out of bed.

(Something else happened, and it hurts me waaaaaaay too much to talk about right now. Maybe someday, but it certainly added to my overwhelming depression that day.)

I don't want to write. I NEED to write, and I've been doing this for a long time. It's great to have the modicum of success I've had, and it's a harbinger of what's to come. But when I clocked into my square job on Tuesday, the finality crept in. I couldn't do the awesome shit I really had fun with because I had to work at a 9-5 (except in my case it's more like 5:45 am to 2:15 pm). I honestly believe I was meant to do these shows and sell books and talk to awesome people all day, every day. To be stuck dealing with a square job? It nearly killed me.

To be fair, my square job is pretty nice. Plus I recently got a promotion. More money, better hours. Not bad, right? But I would much prefer to be doing cons and meeting people and selling shit and--you know. The best is when you have an awesome fellow author to sit at a table with. I've done it with MP Johnson and Kevin Strange, two awesome dudes who never run out of awesome things to say, whether it be about past experience or the industry. I wish I had those guys attached to each hip, just to remind me of how cool the cons are when I'm not stuck with my square job.

I guess the whole point of this rambling piece is to say that I would much rather hang out at cons with awesome people than be stuck at my square job. I'd really like to make that happen before I die. Until then, I guess I'm going to stick it out through the dark times of my mundane life.

PS: For those interested, my grandfather is doing much better. They moved him to hospice, but he's been getting better. I think he might actually be able to come home. Better news: the VA shaved his head. For as long as I've known him (ie. my entire life), he's been trying to pull off the worst comb-over in history. My grandmother noted that he looks like Bryan Cranston on BREAKING BAD, and I couldn't believe her. Not until I saw him. Holy shit, he looks younger and tougher than he's been in a while. I think he might actually pull through this. I'm an atheist, but I thank you all for your prayers. Your thoughts. All the friends who offered to help me. Everything and everyone. I wanted #150 to be a blockbuster, but it doesn't seem like much. Yet at the same time, it does. I think all of the anniversaries have something to do with Gramps.

Thank you, and goodnight.