My chauffeur has trouble concentrating on the road ahead. He checks the gas gauge more than anything beyond the hood. He’s more concerned with keeping his vehicle in working order than getting anywhere. He drives down an empty highway well below the speed limit.
His eyes wonder to the mirror, not to check for cars, but to examine his irises. They’re swimming in so much red they look like they’re glowing blue. He’s so entranced by the effect he doesn’t notice me, guzzling motor oil from a paper bag, in the back seat.
We’ve logged so many miles together he’s forgotten that I’m even here. He flicks the high beams on, thinking it’s fog he’s seeing, and not the secondhand puffs from a smoker who refuses to crack a window open. He adjusts his seat, blaming the sharp stabbing pain on his posture, and not the boot heel I’m pushing into his rear.
I slip a plug into the cigarette lighter and rest an exposed wire on my tongue. My saliva sizzles. Each static jolt is sugary sweet. I want to see how much energy I can syphon before he turns around. When my chauffeur notices the dimming of the headlights, he pulls over certain that it’s a problem with his eyesight. Continue reading Backseat Driver
Expect many more monsters from my forthcoming fiction. The creature from my new short The Pigeon King is especially insane.
New Year, new Drew.
The following are my resolutions for my writing going into 2017.
Finish What I start
I need to take my stories all the way from conception to the query letter. I’m good at writing first drafts then moving on to the next bright shinny thing. Part of the problem is I’ve gotten addicted to the instant gratification of publishing short fiction online.
My novels and novellas have suffered for that. I need to remind myself that everything I post here is in service to the novel I’m cheating on.
And speaking of query letters. I need to…
Sell What I Write
I’ve sold some of my short stories, but I drop most of them into the gaping maw of Beelzeblog, the master of metrics, the prince of platforms, the ruler of reach. He demands a sacrifice a week. At night, I hear him growling from my laptop.
I can never satiate Beelzeblog’s hunger for fresh content, but maybe I shouldn’t. It’s hard to sell something once you’ve given it away. I need to hold more material back.
I’ll keep sharing stories, but I need to use some to expose my work to new readers, pad my bibliography, and earn money. Continue reading Writer Resolutions for 2017
They say the way you spend New Year’s Eve is how the rest of your year will go. I spent last New Year’s Eve cursing celebrities, plotting a series national tragedies, destroying discourse, fanning the flames of racism, and deploying dictators into positions of power. I thought it was just a harmless writing exercise.
Sorry, my bad.
2016 The Year of “I Can’t Even”
2016 has been a gauntlet of gut punches.
There have been so many police shootings of unarmed black men that the front page of CNN came with a trigger warning. There have been so many terrorist attacks the American flag stayed at half staff from one to the next. There have been so many celebrity deaths their names have to share headlines.
Then there was the US presidential election, and the day after when it felt like we woke up in the preface of teenage dystopian fantasy fiction.
Stress over Trump’s administration has become so real doctors have asked friends about it before giving them a diagnosis (not hyperbole, this actually happened). Reality TV personalities donned Hitler stashes (yup, Tila Tequila actually did this), the Klan paraded in public, and alt-righters ‘Hail-Trump’ed.
It feels like the year will keep pilling tragedies on until the clock winds down. 2016 is a leap year and worst still it’s getting an extra leap second just to rub it in. It seems like everything that could go wrong did, but can a year actually be cursed? Continue reading Was 2016 Cursed? On Dead Celebrities and Other Tragedies
Over the last few months I’ve been editing a novel We the Damned, a novella The Devil You Don’t Know, and a novelette (name TBD, actually I could use your help naming it). I’ve decided that material is too long to share here. So I’m pursuing all avenues to get those stories out there: digital, print, independent publishing, traditional publishing, and carrier pigeon.
However, I will share excerpts and concept art for all three projects here. I’m also planning to get back into a regular blogging schedule (I swear on a stack of cat calendars).
2016 has been a trying year for everyone. I’ve found myself a lot less compelled to interact with people online. It seems like everywhere you go there’s a minefield of napalm covered eggshells to tiptoe on. I’ve wanted to share more of my personal thoughts on the US election, without raving like a madman at a bus stop shouting at street signs, but it is challenging. Hopefully I can relegate my thoughts to artistic allegories, like my last story (shameless plug, go read it now, then tell your friends and have them tell their parents about, go go go).
I have a lot of other blog ideas in the pipeline too:
- An article about what to do when you realize your story is exactly like another one you’ve never head of. I’m thinking of calling it Showing Up to the Party in The Same Dress.
- A long overdue spoof of Joel Osteen, televangelist, positivity Puritan, and self help superstar. If you’ve ever seen one of his book covers then you know I could have a lot of fun Photoshopping myself into similar posses with less than motivational titles of my own.
- I have an article called What Storytelling and Algebra Have in Common for you writers who are currently discovering the “joy” of editing.
- I have an article on the role of coincidences in writing (here’s a hint: they work at the beginning of your story, but not at the end)
- I have an article on writing accessible prose. I compare flowery writing to bands who get carried away experimenting (i.e. musical masturbation).
- I have an article on how to use screenwriting tricks to make your novel harder to put down.
And many many more. So stayed tuned. I’ll be back with you soon.