The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars In the face of so much dystopian fiction, this story goes a different direction. Yovanoff presents a gruesome world whose occupants are difficult to understand. Although this novel fits in the YA fiction category, be warned that there is some pretty severe profanity in […]
I create. I can’t help it. Am I adequately compensated for my creations? That is a good question. Like many who create, I work in 2 separate spheres. My profession demands creativity on deadlines, video production, sales copy, industrial scripts, graphics, and event production for live performances. I find this kind of creativity rewarding in a way; it pays the bills. But I have to be honest, I gain little artistic fulfillment from such endeavors. Cliché, I know. But often, truth is nothing but cliché.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson My rating: 5 of 5 stars Do not miss this book. The turn of the 19th to the 20th century sits in America’s history as an important time for business, technological advancement, and cultural progress. The […]
Perhaps creativity itself also thrives in clutter. For me, whether it is writing, composing, filmmaking, or building a prop for a stage show or movie, the creative process begins with an idea. That idea grows into a mess of junk, rattling, sprawl, and chaos. Just when the whole thing is about to explode, I get to work making order of the mess. This means stacking, dusting, putting things where they belong, and polishing.
Thinner by Richard Bachman My rating: 3 of 5 stars Another classic by the master. King infuses Gypsies into American culture with ease. He’s incredible at colliding opposing worlds and smashing his main characters right at the point of impact. A slight warning, however: with this book, like so many others by King, it is […]
Revival by Stephen King My rating: 5 of 5 stars In his novel, Revival, Stephen King takes readers once again on a wonderful journey. King, always a master of voice and multi-dimensional characters, delivers the goods in Revival. This novel follows the entire life of a man, from boyhood to adult. From religion, to relationships, […]
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn My rating: 4 of 5 stars Flynn understands the mind of a sociopath. Her research comes through loud and clear in her book, Gone Girl. In her book, she creates a set of compelling characters then bends her reader’s perceptions of the motivations and actions of these characters. This deeply […]
The end of the year is upon us. I swear, the older I get, the more it seems like years fly by like long weekends. Time is relative and for me it strikes and is gone like lightning. With a new year, it is essential to set new goals, to write them out and put together a plan to accomplish them. I plan to do so, partially in this article. I urge you to do the same.
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber My rating: 3 of 5 stars Being a thriller author, I am disappointed in myself for not knowing about Charles Cullen, the #1 serial killer in all of American history. As a nurse, it is estimated by some that Cullen murdered […]
I have played music now for nearly half of my life with a group of my best friends. We have performed under the monikers of many band names and faces, including: Rustmonster, Wasasquatch, Funk Toast, The Big Sky Country Boys, and New Wave Dave. We have taken to lumping all of these bands under one umbrella that we call The Gangrene Band. One night, after recording a live track for an upcoming album in the studio, we realized that we had the whole band miced, trimmed, and ready to go. We decided to record an album, all in one romp, with no thought for what we would play. I simply pushed the record button and we started jamming. 40 minutes later, we had a new record (granted it was a record I would never sell). We called it Freestyle Gargoyles. I can’t in good conscience ever sell a jam session that is so disorganized and noisy. But I don’t mind sharing it for free. So here it is, a 40-minute jam entitled Freestyle Gargoyles.
I proudly present my 3rd and 4th novels, part 1 and part 2 in the Pan-Galactic Prom Show Duology. The novels are called Bieber’s Finger and Funk Toast and the Pan-Galactic Prom Show. Click on the video below to see me formally introduce the books and read the 1st chapter (complete with background music and sound effects).
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman My rating: 4 of 5 stars Great Child’s Tale, In The Spirit of the Icelandic Sagas When it comes to Neil Gaiman, I find myself drawn to his children’s stories more than his adult fiction. Odd and the Frost Giants doesn’t disappoint. This charming, short novel is […]
As I send off the final assets of book two of my new duology, which I call the Pan-Galactic Prom Show, a feeling of loss comes over me. Writing novels is such lonely work. Each novel represents hundreds of hours of sitting by oneself with nothing but the clacking of keys and the even louder maelstrom of character voices, scenes, and action in ones head.
Chi landed hard on his back. The shrank cat came at him, maw open. Chi moved quickly, clasping down hard on the cat’s face with all eight of his rakes, driving his spicules into the cat’s vulnerable flesh. The cat mewled in pain and raised up. It wagged its head back and forth, trying to shake Chi free. But Chi only clamped down harder. The shrank cat would run out of energy at some point. All Chi could do was hold on.
As I wrote Bieber’s Finger, a strange thing happened to me; the characters began to speak. They got under my skin. I found myself rooting for them or hating them. I have written many other stories. Some of which, one might argue, have characters that are much stronger than those in Bieber’s Finger. But as a writer, I have never engaged with fictional characters like I did while writing Bieber’s Finger.
On September 2nd, 2011, I and some of my very best friends hit the stage at The Gangrene Film Festival, dressed as Bigfoots and armed with musical instruments, intent on playing a killer rock covers show. The show went off well.
That Wasasquatch show became a turning point for me. Believe it or not, I am a pretty inhibited person. I don’t feel comfortable dressing up even for Halloween. I’m more likely to sit in a corner by myself rather than engage in conversation at large gatherings. And when I do engage in conversations, my insides churn with uneasy nerves. In short, it takes me a long time to warm up to people and an even longer time to warm up to putting myself out there with any form of eccentricity. I’m quiet. I’m reserved. I love people, but I’m usually too nervous inside to do much about it.
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