Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Have GOT To Pay Attention To This Thing

So my last post was in October of '08? I have to stop being so lazy.

OK, where are we here?

The massive revenant fiction story (title TBD) is just getting more massive. It is now approximately 430 pages -- around 97,000 words -- and is still a good ways from being finished. However, it is winding down. The instigating actions for the climax of the story have been written -- now it gets bloody. Say goodbye to half the cast. The denouement is going to go on for a while, but it needs to do so. I will go back and tighten up the story a great deal. I have a character that, despite being a nice person, may be unneeded unless I come up with a new direction for her. If I do, it would make her less of a "paper character" and compact the story a good bit.

I've discovered a few outlets for the comic book scripts, including a surging interest in this town (Traverse City, Michigan) in making it more attractive to writers. Michigan native and Marvel Comics writer Daniel Way visited my local store, Top Of The Ninth (see the pic - Dan's the one on the right) recently, and there is an interest in getting more talent up this way as well as creating more talent and giving the present talent a bigger stage. There is a round table in April that I will be attending, and we'll see how that works out.

I'll be pulling out some old scripts and stories to flesh out. Some stories, I might be able to convert to script form. I've been quite a bit more determined to finish what I start - which is good considering all the unfinished work I have laying around.

Until later...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Has It Been Almost A Year?

I have got to dust off this blog more often.

Well, the revenant fiction novel-thing began in June, I think it was, and is now up to 345 pages. I'm in the process of refining it before continuing, since I had an idea of the pacing and how it should feel. I think it's much better now. The ending might be a bit over the top, but really, if I like it, then hey, that's a start.

The dark superhero story has taken another turn for the weird, and I'm holding off on that one until I have everything in place.

A new challenger has appeared in the form of an old story I began in script form back around '99. I'm thinking it would work much better in comic form, so I may go searching for an artist before the year's out. The storytelling would be very kinetic, since the main character is borderline insane.

For the horror stories, I find dark ambient music playing on WinAmp works like a charm. Currently playing on mine: "Thought Guild" by Lifepools. Borders on new age, from the sounds of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Update, Late 2007

A reminder that I need to dive in on the following:

~Untitled college superhero comedy/adventure

~Untitled horror set in abandoned mental asylum

~Tales of Earth Omega (tentative): Superhero epic with a dark twist. It's actually taken a surprising turn, as I've completely overhauled the villains, making them something I hadn't considered.

~One Year In College (tentative): Whittled the time frame down to one year, which I believe will be 1988. Still going to be told in short story chapter form, with a song list for each chapter. I've been lax on my Strip Generator version of the story.

~Dead Run: The zombie epic has received a few new characters, and several "prologue" short stories. Several twines move along to one string.

~Untitled comedy about working at Disney in 90's, although I may need to make it an entirely fictional theme park. This is still a fresh idea, and luckily, I've been running into old friends from that time on the 'net. Lots of embellishment to make it more dramatic, but most of the events will be based on real stuff.

~Untitled horror in the Silent Hill/H. P. Lovecraft vein about a town that I've based on the town in which I grew up. I always thought it was a place that "sucked you in." Still pretty fresh; I've got the atmosphere and setting fairly down.

Time to let the Idea Machine loose.

Friday, June 15, 2007

On The Docket

More motivated in recent days. The writer's block is eroding; so now it's mostly writer's logjam.

Mmm. Jam.

So, working on the following in various forms:

≈ A new part comedy, part superhero epic with characters based on my real-life college roommates from the 80's - brand new idea that may have been around subconsciously for a few years.

≈ Horror story set at an abandoned asylum - I plan on reflecting a little on my love for abandoned places and their horror fiction potential at some point.

≈ The huge superhero epic taking place on Earth Ω - this one keeps getting bigger and bigger, and has undergone seemingly countless overhauls.

≈ The 80's comedy, semi-autobiographical in nature, about my life and adventures at Central Michigan University - This one has taken on new life in comic strip form at Strip Generator. There are limitations, but it's carrying through the deadpan spirit of the stories, while the actual collection of short stories will be more fictional embellishment. There's a scene in the winter that never took place that visually would be pretty nifty, for example.

≈ And don't think I've abandoned the zombie epic. Yeah, zombie fiction is everywhere. I've already written a script (done in 1996), and the longer story will be based on that. The events in the script will be stretched out a little more, and will be only a small part of the whole focus. I agree with Robert Kirkman that zombie fiction is less about the gore and repulsion, and more about the human condition in the face of an impossible crisis. Read Max Brooks' fantastic World War Z for a very deep look at this notion.

≈ I could jot something down about my years working at Disney World, and my years behind the scenes in independent wrestling. Plenty of stories with each that could be a fun read, but those are far behind in the line right now. Both would be straight-up comedies.

Music + easy lighting + comfortable chair + notebook + pen = writer's block gone

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Hate This

I have writer's block. My brain actually hurts with the dumb. No amount of music or fantasy is stirring up anything worth writing. I squeezed out one paragraph for "The Dead Run." I can't even get started on the comedy set in the 80's. The comic book script is all over the place. This blog about writer's block is the best thing I've written tonight. I don't want to play any games; I remember what Brian K. Vaughn answered when I asked him how he gets over the block, and he said, "Writer's block is just another name for 'video games'." I like the idea of writing through it, but I don't want to sacrifice quality. Wow, even this old chestnut from the Scorpions, "When The Smoke Is Going Down," from a formative time in my life, can't snap me out of it. I might as well chalk tonight up as "blocked" and try again tomorrow.

I still hate this.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Inspired in part by a dream I experienced the morning of 3-21-07. The setting and situation is the same; otherwise, the rest is fictional embellishment. Enjoy.

He chose the second floor because he thought it would be safe. It was close to ground level in case he needed to make a hasty getaway. The night was supposed to be quiet, and that was such a rare thing. Finding a room on the second floor, behind a railing right above his stolen pickup truck, was his idea of good planning. Twenty-six hours without sleep and the meager contents of a potato chip bag may have colored his decision with a haze. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Now they were at his door. He could hear them behind the frame, brushing against the wall, touching the doorknob. The chain lock swayed lightly in its roost, making a slight tapping noise. Metal on treated wood. How did they know he was there? He had been quiet. He didn't turn any of the lights on, instead using his lighter to cast a weak glow so he could find the bathroom in the night. Still, they had found him. All the precautions, and they found him.

Since the dead were once again walking the Earth, feeding indiscriminately on living flesh, he had never known them to be able to climb stairs.

He checked his pistol and steadied himself, then prayed they hadn't learned to open doors as well.

© Dod March 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Running From

This exercise was inspired by a man I saw running down a sidewalk on Boardman Avenue in Traverse City.

It had been cold for days. Not just the usual cold that besets a northern state, but one that grows teeth and steamrolls in from the frozen wastelands near the Arctic Circle. I had lived in this area for so many years, I'd grown accustomed to feeling the icy-crisp air pour into my lungs with each breath. This winter was the worst I had ever seen it. It was below zero every night, and single digits every day. Derelict cars sat powerless in parking lots throughout town. People huddled against the cold, hunched over and layered thick in coats. It was a chill to the bone no warmth could fix.

I had taken to the habit of visiting the library every Thursday, trying to absorb a book every seven days as a way of keeping myself out of the blustery winter. My ancient car lurched in the arctic air, laboring for every turn of the belt or firing of plugs. The heat barely worked, seemingly defeated. It didn't just feel cold outside -- it looked cold. No sun, a gray sky, and endless clouds that dumped thick, wet snow everywhere. Spring was a world away, and summer was a world ago.

I saw the man just after turning onto the road leading to the library, crimson down coat stark against the drab white. His head was covered with a paltry stocking cap, and blue ski gloves covered his hands - at least when I could see them clearly. He was running, and running hard. It wasn't the steady, disciplined run of someone enjoying it or benefitting from the exercise. It wasn't the lazy jog of someone simply in a hurry to get out of the freeze. Unlike a true runner keeping his arms close to streamline the body, his arms were out, as if elbowing his way through an unseen crowd. His stride was erratic, steps out of rhythm. Even covered in the coat, I could see his labored breathing. Breath appeared and quickly whisked away, just as erratic as his pace. As I passed him, I caught a glimpse of his face: drawn out, mouth open, and eyes bugged wide. Then I knew that this was the run of someone afraid. No, not afraid. Terrified.

There was no one around him. He was alone, but he kept looking over his shoulder. Behind him was the intersection I just came through, and beyond that a darkened treeline leading into a forboding patch of woods known for housing transients and the homeless. I swore that, over the sound of my poor engine, I could hear him shrieking. Even now, I tell myself it was the wind somehow whistling through a torn seal on my window.

What had he seen back there? Why did he now hurtle down the barely-cleared sidewalk, running with such a fearful motion that whatever he feared was perhaps directly on his tail? The snow blew from drifts surrounding him on either side and for a moment - one moment - I saw something. Something large and unwilling to be seen. Something used to the shadows and not ready to be revealed by a running man in a crimson down coat.

I didn't stop. I stared straight ahead, and drove past the library. I was shaking. It was cold outside, and there was a chill no warmth could dispel.

I keep telling myself it was the cold.

© 2007 Dod March