Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where It's At

Forgive the uninteresting prose today. There's a TV going here and people talking and that doesn't lead to quality.

Here's what's going on with my creative endeavors at the moment. If you know me well, then you know there's very little in my life that excites me. The novel I'm working on excites me. I really hope it doesn't turn out crappy. It is getting better every day. I'm on schedule now to have a beta version done by October. Then I'll hit some people up to give it a read and I hope to have something I can send to an editor by the end of the year.

I've got to write a couple of episodes of the Mango this week and record one so you'll have something to listen to on the 30th. I'm also co-narrating a story for a friend of this blog for StarShipSofa. I'll let you know when that comes out.

I had never been interested in submitting to original anthologies before. I never seem to want to write a story that fits in with whatever the given theme might be. But in recent months I've reconsidered because I think it might be a fun experiment and, as you know, I need to move my ass and get some stories done unless I want to change the name of this blog to The Two-Hundred. So I got an offer recently and decided to jump in, so there's a story I committed to finishing by mid-August.

In short, I've got lots to do.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Larger Lives

Take heart while you sit in the corner alone and wait for death. Your life has stretched larger than you see. In a place you've never seen some friend you knew in elementary school uses a line of yours that used to be your favorite. Twenty years after your time has passed your kid recites that limerick you shouldn't have mentioned. You were patient zero for that one meme that spread across the landscape of people you knew. That little thing you do with your lips, that catchphrase we all hated, that tune you used to hum, the panoply of malapropisms that showered from your dumb mouth, the ketchup on your eggs, it's all out there. Pieces of your personality occupy far more than your one body. It's a shred of immortality. Not the kind you wanted, but the kind you got. No one asked you.

That thing you do that you picked up from Dad, that thing he said his old man used to do, how far back does that go? Was there some ancestor of yours seven hundred years ago who made that jerking off motion with his head tilted and one eye closed? He had your nose, why not that? The genetics of expression. Did the Great Khan make that same farting noise with his lips that you do? Did some poor Egyptian bastard slap his belly while he was lost in thought like Uncle Al? And will there be someone on Mars two hundred years from now who does that dance you do when you smell your favorite foods and your mouth fills with thick warm water?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Me And My Caffeine

I was miserable a couple of weeks ago. I know what things I need to do to straighten myself out but I fail to do them. For instance, although some caffeine can sometimes pull me out of a mild depression, lots and lots of caffeine can send me into a severe depression because I don't sleep enough. The amount of sleep I get directly affects my mood.

So I decided to quit caffeine. Again. Normally when I do that I get a wicked headache a day or two after my last hit and once that goes away, I'm good to go. So I got the headache and I bravely rode it out. Then two days later I got another headache. I got another a day after that. Then I got nauseous while I was eating. And I LOVE eating! Two days after that, I got the headache, the nausea and then I started vomiting.

I said to myself, "You know what? I think I'll have a cup of coffee." All symptoms of caffeine withdrawal went away in about an hour.

Now if this had happened years ago I would have gone back to my 20 oz. coffee and 44 oz. Mountain Dew a day habit. I'm slightly wiser now. I'm drinking only one small cup of coffee a day and that in the morning. No symptoms and I'm still sleeping pretty well and feeling a hell of a lot better in general.

I'd say, "Happy Ending," but life's not over yet.

I hope.

No. Not over yet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guest Post: Bryan Thomas Schmidt

My pal Bryan Thomas Schmidt returns to The One-Thousand to give us some insight on a character from his latest novel, The Returning, as well as a little piece of the book for free! Find out more about Bryan at the end of this post and click through to his website to get hold of his books for yourself!

Character Sketch & Excerpt: Farien Noa

The antagonist’s childhood schoolmate and best pal Farien Noa has evolved into one of the more ccomplex characters in the Saga Of Davi Rhii. Farien is a Boralian Alliance military pilot and officer, like Davi, and he, Yao and Davi went to the military academy together. His father is a minor diplomat and businessman and Farien is, by far, the more blue collar in attitude of his three friends. He doesn’t always automatically side with what they think is right or even moral. He likes to consider other issues including how the decisions might affect his military career and family. This can bring conflict with his friends, despite their closeness, and does create some internal conflicts for Farien as well. He goes through the ringer in The Worker Prince, the first book, but in The Returning, book 2, he faces even more and has a much larger role to play throughout.
Of the three, Davi Rhii (protagonist), Yao Brahma (Tertullian-center in the cover pic), and himself, Farien is the more physical one. He’s quick to want to fight and to let his temper flare, and he’s also the one who struggled the most academically and to achieve success. As a result, he is very hesitant to jeopardize all he’s work for and often a bit jealous when his friends overshadow him. In the following scene, Farien is leading his friends in an investigation of assassins stalking Davi’s native people, the formerly enslave Vertullians. But recently, Davi and his friends have faced assassins coming after them as well. Here they visit a black market on Xanthis and Farien finds his personal morals and ideals challenged by some shady characters they meet.

      Farien pushed the joystick forward, racing to catch Davi. Hot air pounded his skin as the g-forces threatened to pull his hands free of the controls. Clearly the time spent training worker pilots in the forests of Vertullis was paying off, as Davi had taken the previous corner so sharply Farien couldn’t believe he’d stayed aboard his Skitter.
      As Farien slowed and pulled alongside, Davi glanced back at Yao who was trailing them. “Well, we haven’t lost him yet.”
      Farien grinned, shaking his head. “It wouldn’t be hard.” He keyed the comm. “Come on, Brahma, you fly like your grandmother!”
      “My grandmother’s survived this long for a reason—no one in our family’s insane.” Yao’s tone was one of patient calm. By now, his friends’ antics didn’t cause him any stress.

Friday, June 08, 2012

If Only We Had Taller Been

I get on these YouTube kicks. As you may know Ray Bradbury tributes are flying around furiously and fastly on the Internet this week. This is my favorite. A beautiful poem, If Only We Had Taller Been. (via Larry Santoro, Dvice, JPLnews and a lot of others whose names I don't know.) Incidentally, everyone hails Fahrenheit 451 as his greatest work. They're talking about the content, though. If you want great writing, pick up Something Wicked This Way Comes. Open the book to almost any page and you'll find sentences that punch you in the face and shake you.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Knife

I have a knife at home which in my mind is called The Knife. I have lots of other knives, but they are inferior things that don't get named and mostly only get used by The Boy. It's my go-to knife. When I want to cut, when I want to spread, it's my guy. It gets fished out of the sink between dish washings for its very own bath. The other dishes are so jealous! Before it came into my life, there was another The Knife and after it is gone there will be another The Knife. None of them look like one another. In that respect, they're more like Doctor Who than The Phantom.