Book in a Box

I decided to put down the work in progress rough draft for the moment. I’ve been working on it since March and I feel myself getting more and more burned out on it. I’m afraid the project fatigue is going to affect the level of effort I put into the writing.

I know I said I wouldn’t put down a rough draft in the middle of writing it again, but the quality is going to suffer if I don’t. I have some other stuff I need to wrap up anyway. I’ll just make good notes and not be away from it long.

Anyway. I came up with a pretty cool (I think) idea for the Pestilence Rising kickstarter campaign. With a kickstarter campaign, you’re supposed to offer stuff for the people who toss in their money. The more money, the better the rewards get.

The inspiration for this probably came from box set video games. They come with the game and other stuff associated with the game. I plan to do a box set for the book.

Here’s the plan for the moment. This could change anytime before I launch the campaign if I decide it isn’t feasible or I come up with something better.

A box, possibly wood. Of decent size but still small enough to fit in most bookshelves.

The signed kickstarter hard cover edition
Promotional book cover magnets
Signed prints of the 4 character illustrations from the trailer
Thank you card from me because manners

Maybe something else if I can cram it in there.

I think it could be a cool thing.


movie: Sinister


Description from IMDB:  “A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm home movies films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s.”

If you’ve been dying to see Ethan Hawke in an old lady sweater, have I got a movie for you. He LOVEs that shiz. It looks like this.

old lady sweater

Soooo…Hawke plays Elliott, who wrote this book which apparently pissed a bunch of law enforcement personnel off. He moves to a new town to write a new book. Unbeknownst to his wife, they’re moving into a house where some people were murdered.

Elliott discovers an old projector and a bunch of film reels in the attic. They contain footage of grisly murders. He sets the projector up in his office, pours a grown-up drink or six and proceeds to have the worst kind of movie marathon. Then creepy stuff starts happening.

Sounds pretty exciting, yes?

Meh. Yes and no. This is one of those movies, like Paranormal Activity, that make you sit through a whole bunch of boring crap to get to the scary parts. It felt like the movie that would never end, and then on top of that, the plot was predictable.

Sinister gets a C-


“Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

from The Red Angel in the book Tremendous Trifles, by GK Chesterton

the nuances of writer prejudice

snobby man

I was on one of my favorite author’s blogs the other day, and he phrased part of a post in an interesting way. I won’t call him out by name, not that he would care or even see this.

He (I’ll refer to him as “Blogger”) wrote a post about one of his friends who had recently died. The friend was a writer, a successful one.  But Blogger included a statement about how even though the friend’s first manuscript was culled from the slush pile, he was considered “one of us” by this, apparently, blessed circle of writers born with an agent contract in their hand.

Interesting differentiation.

I’ve never thought of Blogger as the snooty type. I’ve been reading his blog for years and he always seemed like a gentle soul but this…was it a peek behind the public persona mask?

This leads me to ask – if dead writer man had skills (which he clearly did) and they were such good friends, why did that divide still exist in Blogger’s mind? Why did it matter enough to include in the post that was otherwise positive?

And what must they think of us indie writers?

movie: House at the End of the Street



Not to be confused with Last House on the Left.  Can we get some more interesting titles, please?

Description from IMDB: “A mother and daughter move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over.”

Yes. I don’t have a lot to say on this one. Ryan, the boy who lives at the end of the street, has a nice kind of Norman Bates vibe about him. Other than that, nothing about this movie really stands out. It’s pretty much the standard, cookie cutter horror-thriller fare. This probably comes off like I didn’t like the movie. I did like it. The acting was well done. It has suspenseful parts. It was definitely worth the watch.

Points off for a lack of originality, House at the End of the Street gets a C+.

Random updates

We survived the crazy storm, mostly because there wasn’t one. I’m not complaining about that in the least.

I cleared 50,000 words on the rough draft work in progress. In my warped little brain, even though it isn’t finished, I consider it officially book length. Woo!!!

Character concept illustration status 2.8 of 4 complete. I’ve become increasingly fascinated by concept art in general. I’ve spent a lot of time gawking at it on Deviant Art and Pinterest and thinking about how adding that level of visuals to my marketing efforts could really draw people into the stories.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I believe that.

Aside from the realization of what this kind of art could do for my books, I also feel myself settling into a new method of drawing. Part of the delay with the illustrations has been in pushing through the feelings of suckishness to establish a new process.

The new drawing process goes like this. Rough sketch, probably on the ipad. Import it to fireworks to make it a vector so I can nitpick the layout and make initial color selections (which are not final). Send it over to photoshop so I can rough up the lines again to make it look more organic and paint the thing.
If it isn’t freakishly detailed, I could probably do one now, start to finish, in about 6-8 hours. Maybe less if I’m not indecisive.

Unrelated image of the day : scene from the front yard. I don’t know why the background is so hazy. I didn’t alter the image and I don’t live in Silent Hill. The sun wasn’t even over there.


movies: Mama and Magic Mike

Hi! I hear tell we’re in for some crazy weather, 100mph winds and storms and such. I will be hanging out in the basement this evening. But before we batten down the hatches, I have movies!



Description from imdb: “Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?”

Wow this movie is creepy. It has kick ass special effects and an especially hideous ghost. Not only that, the story is good. Anyone can make a slasher flick. True horror movie making skill is in the plot.

This movie also did a very good job with characters. Everyone is unique. Even the two little girls, the sisters raised by mama, have distinct personalities. And mama herself isn’t just an enraged poltergeist.

Mama gets an A.




Magic Mike

Description from imdb: “A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.”

Hmmmm….where to start. I’m not really into guys stripping because I think it’s kind of weird and unnatural. So, some of that level of appeal with this movie is lost on me. The eye candy was still pretty good, regardless.

Mike is played by Channing Tatum and holy crap can that guy dance. He’s like a dancing genius. He’s funny and cute and charming pretty much throughout the movie. He’s also tragic in some ways because of the stripper lifestyle, the people he has to interact with and the fact that despite the fact he’s working his ass off, he can’t quite get to where he needs to be. He makes the movie worth watching.

The same cannot be said for the primary female character, Brooke (cody horne). While she does have some decent dialog, the girl never smiles. She is the grumpy cat of people. It got kind of annoying, like emotional monotone.

Another, more significant complaint is that the movie just abruptly ends. There’s no solid conclusion, like the writers got bored, tossed the script aside and skipped on their merry way.

Magic Mike gets a C.