Category Archives: thoughts

The End For Now

Raze began as an experiment to write an ongoing, long-form story with minimal editing. It was an exercise in expressing a few thoughts and feelings I’ve carried with me for a long time, thinking about some of the things, the good and horror, that persist in the world and about which we read every day in the news, as we scroll past with our thumbs, as we struggle to take in all that’s happening and think of something, anything, to do. Often we do nothing. Often we scroll onward and forget at the next headline. Without getting too self-important, I’ve explored and expressed some of those things. I’ve done it for more than a year. I’ve shown myself that I can. But, for now, it’s time to say goodbye to Raze.

A Story Without an Conclusion

I know where Raze is going, and someday I wish to finish the journey. For now he’ll pause, his own pen above the page, but still he’ll grow and change and his story will take greater form. But, for now, its become clear to me that I can’t pursue my other aims while putting the time and effort into this one. That’s in part because there are very few weekly readers – so for those of you following along, know that I do plan to return to this story and finish it. I’m just not sure when.

Other Stories Await

I have far from the most difficult life, and this isn’t meant to sound like complaining. Things are good, but time, as it is for everyone, is finite. Other responsibilities keep my away from the page and keyboard far more than I’d like. If I want to reach the point where I can put the time into this endeavor that I’d like, I need to focus, and prioritize, and choose. For now, that means pursuing the novels I’ve written and getting the next one done. It means putting my mind toward the many tasks that follow after having written. And so, for that reason, I’m leaving RAZE for now. For anyone reading this, thanks. You’re not forgotten, and Raze will be back.

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Writing Updates!

The Victorious Death of Eliza Warden, Part One of the Wardens Trilogy, is out with beta readers. So far the feedback has been both great and very helpful. The entire trilogy was originally planned as a single volume, but came in around 320K words, more than three times as long as Ours Is the Storm, so it got split into three volumes.

I had to do some looking around to find out, but apparently this was the product of about four years of work. Soon I’ll move onto the process of searching for an agent or publisher, or simply decide to keep on self-publishing. All of that will be after I get my reader feedback and then go back through and make sure I used all the right words.

After that will be another fun part – ARC reading! If you or anyone else is interested, I’ll be giving out free Advanced Reader Copies of tVDoEW so that I can generate reviews in advance of the book release. Alert your reader/reviewer friends, direct them to this site, and get them to sign up for updates, and I’ll be ever grateful.

In other news, I’m nearly done with the first draft of the first book of my Mona series. Some of you read the short stories recently which were the genesis of this character, but Mona is an ass-kicking petty thief, vigilante, and reluctant hero. She resides in the frontier city of Canifar, where she’s on the run from a dangerous past in her home of Ria Vancha. Look for more news about that one going forward.

 

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I’m not telling you what to do but GO SEE FURY ROAD NOW

Mad Max: Fury Road was great. I was smiling the whole time when I wasn’t wincing or cackling. It’s fun, it’s exciting. It drops you face-first into a fully developed, vast, terrible world and doesn’t stop till the credits roll.

More importantly, though, Fury Road takes us away from the remakes and reboots. It’s a continuation, yes, a sequel, but everything about it was fresh and artistic and daring. That’s why you’ve gotta go. Support something new. Support something daring. If you’ve lamented the state of movies and Hollywood in the last decade, this is how you make yourself heard. I’ll be buying at least one more ticket for myself. It’s that great. Go. Witness.

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Review – The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

5/5

This is a beautiful book, beautifully written. A lot’s been said already by other reviewers, so I won’t go into that. This isn’t what you expect, if you’re unfamiliar with Le Guin and with a more thoughful style and speed of scifi. It’s extraordinarily political, heartbreaking, hopeful, and very, very human. I look forward to reading it again someday.

See this review and others on Goodreads

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Terry Pratchett

Terry-Pratchett-assisted--007Terry Pratchett said, “We are trying to unravel the Mighty Infinite using a language which was designed to tell one another where the fresh fruit was.” If anyone got close, it was Sir Terry himself. If you’ve never read any Discworld, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s satire of the highest order, and it’s wiser and funnier and just better than almost everything.

Never before has the death of a famous stranger saddened me as today’s news did. However, we must remember that a person isn’t gone till the ripples they’ve made have ceased, and I expect Terry Pratchett’s to travel and rebound and surge for quite some time.

Pratchett wrote about Death (not death, but Death, the anthropomorphic personification) often. I can think of nothing more comforting than to imagine Death, finally getting to meet the person who got him so right.  “What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?” It’s true, as was everything he wrote.

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Dead Man – Streaming Netflix Movie Review

“Do you know my poetry?”

I can’t believe I waited so long to watch this. A spectacular, odd, and puzzling film which I’ll be thinking about and certainly revisiting for another viewing.Dead Man

A Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai; Only Lovers Left Alive) western emanating style and complexity, Dead Man is one of those flicks that I’d only really heard of on my Netflix instant queue. I gave it a closer look and, aside from pre-Pirates Johnny Depp, found – Jim Jarmusch! A score by Neil Young? Billy Bob Thornton! John Hurt! Alfred Molina! Robert Mitchum! Iggy Pop?! There are even more really fantastic and surprising actors in this, too many to list, but needless to say I jumped right in, brushing off my chagrin at having left the movie to languish on my queue for so long.

Jim Jarmusch

Jim Jarmusch

Accountant William (Bill) Blake (no relation to the artist and poet) heads to Machine somewhere in the West to start a new job, only to discover the job’s taken. He finds himself at the end of the line, with no money and no prospects. A simple gesture of kindness to Thel, a beautiful woman who makes paper roses, leads to a series of unhappy events and choices which take William Blake further and further from what he knows. Aided and guided by Nobody, scholar, mystic, and  outcast of the local Native American tribe(s), Blake is on a journey through the mirror, unaware he’s already a Dead Man.

Dead Man is filmed in black and white, lending it a style more reminiscent of 40s Westerns than the Leone/Eastwood era. Further setting it apart is the dreamy, kind of trippy vibe, established immediately and reinforced with strange occurrences and poignant, quiet moments that would have been cut from a bigger studio film. Be warned, if you’re looking for fast-paced action, this ain’t it. That’s not to say there aren’t a few boxes of ammo fired, badass lines, or unusual characters–just don’t expect constant shootouts and bar fights.

The depiction of the Native Americans throughout the movie is especially well done and (reportedly) quite accurate. Neil Young’s haunting, stark, and largely-improvised score is perfectly matched to the film. As mentioned, there are too many great performances to list, but Hurt and Molina stand out, and it was nice to see Johnny Depp act a role a little more nuanced and meaningful than some recent ones (*cough drunk pirate cough*). Gary Farmer, whom I’ve only seen in Jarmusch movies but (according to IMDB) is in literally everything, is just fantastic as Nobody.

Jarmusch has a talent for a kind of quiet, heartbreaking combination of violence, peace, hope, and tragedy it’s tough to put words to. Watching Blake’s journey tuned a random evening’s Netflix selection into the discovery of one of my new favorite movies, and provided food for thought for a long time to come. The moment it was over, I was ready to watch it again. Highly recommended.

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