He gave me a mango!!

Ah yes, Empire of the Sun. When Christian Bale was young. And apparently a soprano. Also, where Ben Stiller has a small role that’s weird to see him in. If it taught me one thing, it was to chew my food well. Get the benefit. The quote is courtesy of Dylan, who hates Christian Bale.

The relocation to Seattle is nearly complete. The furniture should arrive later today. As I type, Dylan is hammering away on a very cheap new TV stand. Tybalt the cat is hiding above the cabinetry. Mojo Jojo the sort-of-cat, has adjusted much better.

The revision letter for Anna Dressed in Blood is due here on Monday. Can’t wait to get back to work on it. Writing as a job sometimes wears you thin, until of course you remember that you’re writing as a JOB, and then you shake it off and bounce around like a kid around a lit birthday cake. I can only hope this trend continues. Apparently I will be pitching Secret Project S to the agent as soon as it is ready, aka, through first draft.

Which brings me to a topic I didn’t really want to post about. The continuing career of a writer. I’ve been known to quote Harlan Ellison ("The hard part isn’t becoming a writer, it’s staying a writer.") and decry what a bunch of hooey that is. Well, it’s still a bunch of hooey. Bullshit even. It is harder than hard to become a writer, to become anything, and don’t you forget it. But, I’ll give him that staying a writer isn’t really any easier. Just because one book sells, or even two, doesn’t guarantee you a career of advance checks. These days, not even being steady on the mid-list can guarantee that. So I guess you just keep scrapping it out, putting out the very best that you can, and hope they take hold. It’s harder for us, but better for the world, because nobody needs books that are churned off an assembly line. If the well dries up, move on. Stop ripping off plots from Simpsons movies and writing books about evil desk lamps. Yes, I’m talking to you, Stephen King, and you, Stephen King from Family Guy.

Well, in good writing news, there’s a new story up at Mirror Dance. This is the one about the death of the greek goddesses, and it is the seed for Secret Project S. Is that giving away too much of the secret? Ah, screw it. Please check it out:


While you’re there, check out the bitchin artwork selected to go with it.

Daniel-san! You all wet behind ear!

Why the Karate Kid? Because Will Smith’s kid thinks he can BE the new Karate Kid, and I just don’t know about that. However, I am surprisingly willing to let Jackie Chan have a go at Mr. Miyagi. But Grr, what’s next, a remake of Top Gun with Tom Cruise as Viper and Katie Holmes as the new Mav?

On to less grumbling. I passed the initial requirement of 10k before leaving for Seattle on Secret Project S. So, I’ve decided to increase the requirement to 15k. I won’t feel confident that I’m even going to finish it until I get around the 35k mark. Having said that, I can’t recall ever starting a book that I didn’t ultimately finish. Having said THAT, I can’t recall any other book that I’ve had to re-start as many times as this one. But I think I like how it’s going. I think that it’s finally what it’s supposed to be, and that is gory and epic and smartass. I think I’m going to be working on a lot of gory, epic smartass in the coming year. Because the same could be said about The Girl From Hell. Well, if I think about it, Cas is probably more of a smartass than anyone in Secret Project S.  I’m starting to miss him, can you tell? He just showed me a scene from the sequel a few days ago…something with him and Thomas. Something that I like a lot, but won’t spoil here. I’m starting to miss them all, and that’s a very good sign.

So I’m thinking of joining the Northwest Writers Association. Anyone know anything about it? Good or bad?  Email me. Or comment, whatever.

You Paid 800 Dollars for Fish Boots?

So I’m not sure about the actual amount Denis Leary paid for the boots, but you get the idea. Quote of the day from the fantastic screenwriter’s movie, Suicide Kings, one of Leary’s and Christopher Walken’s best performances to date. See it. See it now. Watch it again.

Did a good portion of work on Secret Project S. It was a dreaded ACTION scene, and they almost never come out right the first time around. I tried to be careful, but I don’t doubt that I’m going to have to infuse it with something or another later on. Add an extra sense or sentence. It is clicking along, finally, and I am getting the urge to push my self-imposed word requirement deadline up to 15k before I leave for Seattle. I probably should, especially with Scenes from a Sequel starting to play out in my head. I’ve got two and a half months to make a real go of this book. In between, Anna Dressed in Blood will demand revisions, and then Cas and company will probably start knocking on my brain telling me it’s time to play.

I must express my fangirlish glee at the prospect of being at a Bret Easton Ellis reading/signing in June for his new book, Imperial Bedrooms. Oh, how I love Bret Easton Ellis. He gets better and better. Some people might say that he’s no longer as relevant as he was in the early to late nineties, but those people can just suck it. I will even forego my Barnes and Noble discount and buy the book from the Indie bookstore he’s reading at, in order to get it signed. Now that’s devotion.

On a personal note, Dylan and I are suffering from nightmares caused by Stephen King’s IT. I absolutely love that things can still creep you out even when you are fully grown. It gives me hope for humanity.

Promotion for Sleepwalk Society is going to start soon. I’m supposed to do an interview for blogtalk radio. Milan Kundera would not approve. He thinks that writers should only do interviews in their chosen medium, that is, written interviews, to be sure the words come out correctly. Kundera is a genius, but come on, how much fun is that? However I will carefully practice the use of fricken and effen in the days to follow. Just to be safe.

It is a gorgeous day here, albeit a bit windy. I must grab Dylan and head out to the stable to ride my horrible, horrible horse.

Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

From now on I’m going to title these things with random lines from movies. Because I like to. Down to business then, people continue to read, Winter, over at scribd, so perhaps it will make it into the yearly anthology after all. I can only hope that they are also voting for it over at the Dailey Swan website. If you have the urge, please do so. Winter is a very early story of mine, the first iteration of which was actually composed in high school. Yikes. Of course it’s been completely re-worked since then, so have no fear. Here’s the link to Dailey Swan: www.daileyswanpublishing.com

I think you vote there by email.

In other news, I am waiting on the editorial revision letter for Anna Dressed in Blood.   No idea what to expect. Work also continues, slowly on Secret Project S. With more than luck, I’ll finish it before I have to start Anna’s sequel, The Girl From Hell,  this fall. I just realized that one of the main characters is bisexual. Or maybe a total flamer. He hasn’t told me for sure yet. But I knew the moment he turned up his nose at a Bud Light and demanded a Rolling Rock. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I recently finished Joe Hill’s Horns.  I think it was excellent. I’ll refrain from saying more, because Puppy J. is reading it now and wants it to be his next book review. I think it’ll mostly be a page and a half of "me so horny" jokes, but we’ll see. I also saw Iron Man 2, very stupidly, on opening night. Puppy’s mother, my brother Ryan, Dylan and I missed the first showing which sold out, and had to wait in a moderately long line for the late show. However, it was highly entertaining. And I only almost punched out the guy behind me for kicking my seat, like twice. We all agree that Mickey Rourke should only ever play drunken, disgruntled Russians. That’s really all his face can do anymore.

Dylan and I are re-reading Stephen King’s IT. What a great book, although, having to read it aloud this time, I have to say, get a fricken editor man! Stop droning on and on about Stan’s wife’s tampon babies. No one wants to know.

Just twenty days before I relocate across the country. Washington State here I come. Anybody know of any good book festivals in the Seattle area?

Hardcover? Me?

So there’s been some great news. Secret Project A, that sweet little thing I was working on for a portion of last year, that thing that took me by the seat of my pants and kept on fricking expanding, and just wouldn’t do as it was told…well, I guess it knew what it was doing, because it just sold in a two-book deal along with its sequel, which is yet to be written. Details on how this came to be shall follow once it is cut and dried. Strange expression. Cut and dried. Are we making beef jerky?

In ogni caso, I’ve just heard from my editor via an email sent to my agent that they plan to publish in hardcover first. Crazy. I’m going to be in hardcover? Or at least that is the plan? When I think hardcover I think of established authors who I love so much I can’t wait around for their newest work to come out in cheapie paperback. I think of Bret Easton Ellis. I think of Milan Kundera (though his work is not exactly hardback length these days).  I think of Anne Rice (not so much now, but once upon a time). And now, me? My little Secret Project A? The world spins in new directions.

For those of you who are yet unaware, writing is largely a process of waiting. Waiting for replies from agents. Waiting to be read by editors. Waiting waiting and more waiting with a side of waiting in beurre blanc sauce. Each of these types of waits is a separate kind of hell (with the exception of waiting on a contract, or waiting on an advance check…if you complain about that, I’ll happily hand you your ass), and it’s hard to say which wait is the worst. Waiting on getting agented, or waiting to see what an editor thinks of your work is bound to give you fresh ulcers, just like every time we put our tender, beating hearts on someone’s plate and are idiotic enough to hand them a pointy fork. But I’m going to make my case for the other wait, the creative wait. I’m talking about waiting for the next book to come around. For it to decide that yes, it wants to butt to the head of the line and be the thing on your mind, that it is awake enough, frisky enough to compel your fingers across the keyboard. This wait is filled with doubt, because what if it doesn’t come? What if there isn’t any more? Just where the hell do these be-frigged stories keep coming from anyway?

And so it goes with my new project, which used to be called Secret Project C, but that sucked, so will now be re-worked and re-named, Secret Project S. I want to write this novel. Really, I do. But what I begin today will be the fourth attempt at it, after three hideous false starts. Okay so they weren’t that hideous. But what they were was fundamentally wrong.   It took ages to see what this novel wanted to be. It took three times to find the right tense, the right voice, and what I hope is the right direction. If this isn’t it, I swear I’m going to beat this project like a red-headed stepchild.

Non-writing news: FOX’s Fringe is awesome. It’s starting to fill that X-files shaped hole that existed in my deepest soul, and let’s face it, we all wanted Pacey to be a whole lot more interesting and smart than he was on Dawson’s fricken Creek for all those years. Last night, Dylan and I completed the triumvirate of Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World 2, and So I Married an Axe Murderer. The Wayne’s movies are of course hilarious, but the first one gives a better feel for Aurora, Illinois, and I missed that in the second one. And watching Mike Myers in elderly makeup and a scottish accent making fun of the kid with a giant head is priceless in Axe Murderer. "That was a bit off-sides, wasn’t it? He’s going to cry himself to sleep on his enormous pillow." Priceless.