Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Morning's Writing

Got three pages done on The Last Ride. I'll probably sit down again later and get in another writing session. We have a graduation party to attend later on for a friend's son. It's the third grad party this summer, and it marks the passage of time. I remember coaching these kids in soccer when they were younger. I suppose it reminds me that things move fast and I need to get going on my goals.

My youngest will be graduating high school in a few years. I hope to have created more books and more art by then. Maybe enough some day to eek out a living at this.

I have a few things in the works. I'm going to give Patreon a shot, posting exclusive content there. I'm also in the process of registering with the NYS Tax Department so I can sell art online. Going to give it a shot. I might not sell a damned thing, but it's worth a try,

I'm hoping to have The Last Ride for sale by the end of September. Also working on a horror short story that I might put up on Patreon.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vacation and Progress on the Next Book

We got back last Friday from a family trip to Cleveland. The highlight for me was The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The coolest things for me were seeing Muddy Waters' '58 Telecaster and the outfit John Paul Jones wore in The Song Remains the Same. They also had his bass he played in the late 70's (pretty sure he played this one during the '79 Knebworth shows).

We ate at The House of Blues one night. They make an amazing pulled pork sandwich. I recommend it. My wife and sons enjoyed the ribs and beef brisket tacos, as well.

I've piled up 170 or so pages on The Last Ride. Shooting for a September release on this one. I'm also working on a horror short story that I might release in a newsletter.

Just getting started on a military horror novella, as well. Might shop this one around in the small press, or might indie publish it. Not sure yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Back to Writing

Getting back to writing after not doing much the past few weeks. Continuing on The Last Ride, plus I started a military/horror novel. I'm considering shopping the military/horror novel around in the small press. The possibility of being a hybrid author is becoming more appealing.

Saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom last night. It was entertaining, but offered nothing new.


Sunday, June 03, 2018

Hitting the Movies and Writing Updates

On Friday night, I took my 16-year-old son and three of his buddies to see Deadpool 2. It was our second time seeing it. The first time for his friends. I liked the movie just as much as the first time I saw it.  Hilarious, vulgar, and action-packed. Can't go wrong with that combo.

I also realized teenagers speak a language I don't understand. They were battling each other on their phones the whole way there. Not sure what game it was, but there was talk of gems and spells. My son remarked that I was quiet. I didn't tell him it was because I had no idea what the hell they were talking about.

I'm continuing to make solid progress on The Last Ride. I thought this one would be a relatively quick novella. I'm finding the characters all had more stories to tell. I'm winding up writing a lot more about them then I initially planned, which is fine. I tend to agree with Stephen King's analogy that stories are found things, like fossils. As King has said, it's the writer's job to dig them up, and sometimes the size of the fossil varies. In this case, I think I found a full-sized T-Rex.

I finished up a few sketches this weekend. May post them here. I'm still toying with the idea of an Etsy store for my drawings. Might be something I do in the next few weeks. I should probably just pull the trigger and upload everything for sale on a weekend.


That's all for now. If you'd like more updates from me, my newsletter signup is here.

Also, Enter the Night, my latest horror novel, is available here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Movie Nights and Book Progress

Last Sunday, my wife and I attended a special screening of Jaws. Richard Dreyfuss was on hand and spent about an hour telling stories and answering questions. He went to great lengths to dispel the notion of a feud between him and Robert Shaw on set. He did say that Shaw had a way of having his number, and that he was in awe of the more seasoned actor.

It was a blast watching the movie with fellow Jaws fans. The crowd cheered when Shaw and Dreyfuss' characters made their respective first appearances on screen. Scheider's "bigger boat" line also got a cheer. Plus, the crowd screamed when Ben Gardner's severed head appears in the ruined boat.

Monday,  we saw Deadpool 2. I liked it even better than the first. Ryan Reynolds' smart-ass remarks combined with action and gratuitous violence make for an entertaining movie. Next up will be Solo.

I didn't get a whole lot done on The Last Ride this week.  Hoping to ramp up the writing this coming week.

Overall, I've had one of my best sales months in a while. I attribute this to increased blogging and paying for some ads.  Always a challenge trying to get eyes on the books and gain new readers.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Last Ride and Notebook Number 3

I've been writing The Last Ride in legal pads. Just started the third notebook (50 pages each). I like the notebooks sometimes because I can write anywhere. They're also free from distraction, as it's sometimes too easy to pop onto the Internet.

I'm looking at having The Last Ride done by the end of summer, barring any complications. I had originally envisioned it as a novella, but it's growing into a novel. Deciding to just let the story go where it wants.

Will probably play some God of War with my oldest son in a bit.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Blood on the Mountain Continues: Enter the Night, Chapter Three

Tonight I'm posting Chapter Three of Enter the Night. It's got an abandoned asylum and madmen running around in a snowstorm stalking the contestants on a ghost-hunting show.

If you like what you see, you can purchase Enter the Night here


Copyright 2018 Anthony Izzo


Three

Dan Harris staples the poster with Lindsay’s photo onto the telephone pole. It also has his number and a number for the state police. He’s in a small town called Slate Falls. It’s twenty miles from Iron Mountain, where Lindsay disappeared. 
He looks at the photo. Her hair is tied back. The sun is shining on her face. She’s so damned beautiful. He chokes back the tightness in his throat and wipes his eyes. Tears feel like they’ll freeze out here.
A woman in a ski jacket stops. She’s sipping something from a cup labeled Java Joint.
“Your girlfriend?”
“FiancĂ©,” Dan says.
“What happened?”
“She was abducted on a camping trip at Iron Mountain. I had proposed the night before,” Dan says.
“Aw,” she says, and clucks her tongue. “I hope you find her.”
“Don’t suppose she looks familiar?”
“I’m sorry. She’s very pretty though.”
The woman goes on her way, sipping her beverage. Dan has a website set up dedicated to Lindsay’s disappearance. He regularly posts photos of her on social media and asks people to share. Lindsay’s disappearance was in the news for a bit, then the story faded. The cops searched, said there were thousands of acres of wilderness. No luck.
He’s going back to the mountain to look for her. Back in Buffalo, he’d made a promise to Lindsay’s father. The old bastard doesn’t like Dan, but the guy is dying from pancreatic cancer. Has months left. He hopes to see his daughter again before the end.
He’s shivering. The temperature is hovering around twenty and the wind whips up snow in mini-cyclones. 
He decides to head back to the hotel.
The hotel lobby has a fireplace that would heat the great hall of a castle. It’s a giant stone thing with a beam for a mantle. Dan stands in front of it, rubs his hands together. A couple in matching ski sweaters are sipping wine on a nearby couch.
He feels a pang of bitterness. That should be Lindsay and him.
Once his hands are warm, he goes back to his room. Takes off his coat and sets it on a chair. 
His pack is ready to go, with enough supplies for a week. He’s got a tent and sleeping bag. In a case under the bed he has a Remington twelve gauge and a .45 semiautomatic. 
Dan will have to be careful. There’s some reality ghost hunting show being shot on the mountain. He doesn’t want too many questions from people.
He picks up the phone receiver and dials. Sheila, his future mother-in-law, answers.
“It’s Dan. How’s Howard?”
“About the same. Pain’s a little worse.”
“Tell him I’m heading up to the mountain in the morning,” Dan says.
“Do you think you’ll find anything?” she says.
“I promised I’d try. And I have to know.”
“She’s gone Dan. I’ve accepted it. Why can’t you?” Sheila says.
“I guess that’s what makes me different,” Dan says.
“She didn’t want to go,” she says.
A stab of guilt hits him. “I know. I’m going to make this right.”
“She’s gone,” Sheila says, and begins sobbing. Dan waits a moment.
“Will you tell Howard I’m heading out to search?”
“He’s groggy from the pain meds, but I’ll tell him,” Sheila says.
“Appreciate it. Thanks,” Dan says, and hangs up the phone.
He considers ordering something from room service, or maybe heading to the hotel bar for a beer. Instead, he settles for a protein bar from his stash and plops on the bed. 
Big day tomorrow.





Sunday, May 06, 2018

More Horror: Chapter Two of Enter the Night

Here's chapter two of Enter the Night.

If you like what you're reading so far, you can purchase it here.


Copyright 2018 Anthony Izzo

Two

The first thing Heather Benson sees is the truck sitting in the lodge’s parking lot. She’s not in charge of logistics. She’s the host. It’s her job to look good and encourage drama between the contestants on the show. Oh, and sell America that this mountain might be a little haunted.
“Seems odd they left the truck out here,” George Sampson says. He’s wearing a pea coat with a colorful scarf wrapped up under his thick beard. 
“The door’s open, too,” Heather says. 
The man driving the SUV parks it. The rest of the crew vehicles pull in behind them. The cast is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. 
Heather gets out. It’s snowing lightly. The powers that be at Blackmore Productions and the network are worried about the blizzard. Worried about it affecting production. “Have you seen the radar lately?”
George rounds the SUV. “Projected to hit late next week.”
“Well, we wanted extreme conditions,” Heather says.
“It’ll make for better television,” George says.
A red pickup truck pulls up next to them. The man who gets out is mountain-sized and wearing a stained Carhartt coat. He’s got a clipboard tucked under his arm. “What the fuck?”
There’s a second pickup, a Dodge Ram, parked behind the cube truck. Heather hadn’t noticed that at first.
“Heather, this is Don Larsen, he’s the crew foreman. You want something built or moved, Don’s the man.”
Larsen grunts hello and heads for the truck. He hoists himself up into the cab and examines something. He gets down, takes out a cell phone, and punches in a number.
Heather, curious, heads over where Larsen is talking. She tries to look casual, peering up at the lodge. 
“Bob, it’s Don. Where the fuck are you guys? And why’d you leave the trucks out here? Call me pronto,” Larsen says, and hangs up. 
“Where’d your guys go?” Heather asks.
“Fuck all if I know,” Larsen says. “Sampson, got a minute?”
George comes over. The wind whips the tail of his scarf. “Problem?”
Larsen moves in close to George. Heather sidles up next to George. Larsen either doesn’t notice or doesn’t mind.
“Bob Grey keeps a .44 in his truck. Everyone knows it. No one talks about it. The case was open on his seat. The gun’s gone,” Larsen says in a low voice. Steam puffs from his mouth each time he talks.
“Maybe he saw a bear,” Heather says.
“I don’t know what possessed him to bring out the gun,” Larsen says.
“How about we have a look?” George says.
“Maybe they were drinking. Probably passed out in the garage,” Heather says.
Larsen shakes his massive head. “They like to party, but when it comes to work, they’re rock solid. They wouldn’t leave the trucks out here like that.”
“The garage is open too,” George says.
They move over to the maintenance garage. Six inches of snow have piled up in the doorway. There’s no sign of the men. 
“I’m calling the Highway Patrol,” Larsen says.
“Now wait a second,” George says. “I have to check with the powers that be at the network and the company. It could ruin our shoot.”
“Fuck your shoot,” Larsen says.
“Look, sponsors put up a half a mil as prize money. Not to mention all the advertisers. This is going prime time,” George says.
“Those are my guys out there,” Larsen says.
“It can’t hurt to have the cops come up and take a look. What if a bear did get them?” Heather says. “Just play it safe.”
“I suppose you’re right,” George says.
“Told you so,” Larsen says.
Engines rumble behind them. More trucks carrying camera equipment, the crew, and their belongings roll into the parking lot. 
“Have someone move the trucks,” George says. “We don’t want panic.”
“I’ll move them myself,” Larsen says. “Make sure he calls the cops.”
“I’m calling now,” Heather says, taking her phone from her pocket.

Heather and George are in the lodge’s lobby. There’s a massive front counter with an elk’s head hung over it. A chandelier made from antlers hangs above the leather furniture in the lobby. A stone fireplace dominates one side of the room. There’s a faint hint of wood smoke in the air. The lodge has been closed for a few years, but Heather imagines that smoke smell won’t entirely diminish.
This is the third show she’s hosted. The first was a blatant ripoff of the Bachelor called The Single Guy. The second was a ghost hunter show that took her to abandoned prisons and asylums. The ghost show lasted three seasons. Got good ratings. Hence, she has the job here.
The crew is moving camera and lighting equipment into the lodge. A moment later, the lights flick on. They got the power going. She’s hoping for hot water so she can take a bath later. 
The Highway Patrol is on the way up. George has called them.
“How long till they get here?” Heather says.
“Should be here any minute. Don’t think they were thrilled. They don’t want anyone up here, let alone some numb-nuts Hollywood crew.”
“You’ll smooth talk them, I’m sure,” she says.
He’ll get his chance, because a Highway Patrol officer comes in. His hair is shaved close and squared away. He wears a dark brown winter jacket over his tan uniform. 
He approaches them. “Which one of you called?”
“That’d be me,” George says.
“The trucks are out there?” the officer says. The name sewn on his jacket says Wendel. 
“That’s where we found them,” George says.
Larsen comes in the door and joins the group. 
The officer asks for ID from all three of them. They take out their licenses and hand them over. 
“Come outside with me,” he says. 
To Heather’s dismay, they follow him outside. She just wants to go up to her room. She figures the truck drivers probably wandered off drunk somewhere. 
The trooper takes their licenses to the patrol car and runs checks on them. A few minutes later, he gives them back the licenses. He’s carrying a clipboard with a form attached. “When’s the last time anyone heard from these men. Names?”
Larsen rattles off their names. He takes a pen from his breast pocket and begins writing on the form.
“Bob didn’t answer his phone. I called him about an hour ago,” Larsen says. He goes on to tell the trooper about the missing gun.
“Trucks were abandoned. Gun missing. You checked the lodge for them?”
Heather winces. They didn’t. “We didn’t.”
The officer rolls his eyes. “I’m going to have a look in the cab of the truck. Where is it?”
“I moved it into the garage,” Larsen says.
“Would’ve been better to leave it out here undisturbed,” Wendel says. “I’ll be right back.”
“The pick-up truck too,” Larsen says.
Wendel doesn’t answer. He strides toward the garage as if daring it to give him some shit. Heather thinks Trooper Wendel is short on humor and long on being a hard-ass. She watches the cop climb into the truck’s cab. He looks around. Then he does the same with the pick-up truck.
He comes back, stops, and writes more on the form. “Any footprints would’ve been covered by snow last night. We got a good eight inches. I’ll have a look in the lodge. If we don’t find them, we’ll get a search party out here.”
“Why would they need a gun?” Heather wonders. 
“I think we told your people someone disappeared up here a few months ago. Not crazy about having a film crew up here. Too much can happen,” Wendel says.
George says, “We’re aware of the Highway Patrol’s stance.”
Wendel gives him a long stare. “I’m going to go walk the lodge. I hope you don’t need our help while you’re up here.”
He walks off toward the lodge. 



Thursday, May 03, 2018

Vicious Killers, An Abandoned Asylum, and Mayhem: Enter the Night, Chapter One

Enter the Night is available on all digital platforms. Find out what happens when six reality show contestants come in contact with four escaped maniacs.  Here's the first chapter.  I'll post one chapter per night for the next few days.

Copyright 2018 Anthony Izzo


     One


Truth be told, the mountain gives Bob Grey the creeps.
He steers the cube truck up the winding road. Hits the wipers. Snow begins to pelt the windshield. There’s a blizzard coming down from the Canadian Rockies that will hit later next week.
“Getting icy,” he says into the Bluetooth headset.
“Take her easy,” Gary Meyers says. Gary is in the Dodge Ram behind Bob’s truck.
“What’s the name of this show again?” Bob says.
“Enter the Night,” Gary says.
“How about we call it let’s get the fuck off this mountain? I’ll star in that show,” Bob says, and Gary meets this with braying laughter.
He steers the truck around a switchback and continues up the mountain. Takes a swig of coffee from his travel mug. It’s now lukewarm and bitter, but it’s better than nothing. “Why would anyone want to film a reality show up here?”
Gary says, “Couldn’t be Hawaii or South Beach, could it?”
“Honeys in bikinis and drinking on the beach. That’d be more like it.”
They’d passed the abandoned military base at the foot of the mountain, where rusted tanks and trucks sat abandoned behind a chain link fence. Bob is glad they don’t have to drive up to the abandoned hospital near the top of the mountain. He’s grateful to be stopping midway at the lodge.
“Lodge should be coming up,” Gary says.
Bob spots the rustic sign in his headlights. It reads: Iron Mountain Lodge. He brakes and turns onto the road that goes to the lodge.
The road twists and turns. He wishes for a Red Bull and maybe some caffeine pills to keep him sharp. For now, he contends with shitty gas station coffee. Dozing off at the wheel up here would be deadly.
The lodge comes into view: it’s four stories tall. Miles of roof. Hundreds of windows. He knows it was a playground for the rich in the last century. The Rockefellers stayed here on a regular basis. Howard Hughes used to rent an entire floor for himself. Now it looks like it wants to swallow people whole. At least in the dark. It’s probably fine, maybe even nice inside.
He parks the truck near the front of the lodge. A massive covered porch runs the entire length of the building.
Lights appear in his side mirror; Gary pulls up behind him in the Dodge.
He spots the maintenance garage; that’s where they are to park the cube truck. It’s loaded with supplies for the week-long shoot.
Bob has driven truck all over the country. The current gig with Blackmore Productions isn’t bad. The pay is decent. He’s home for good chunks of time. But right now, he’s shivering and wants to be back at the Holiday Inn, where he can order a Philly cheese steak from room service and watch a pay-per-view movie.
He gets out of the truck and the wind screams. He holds onto his Blackmore Productions trucker’s cap to keep it from blowing away. He wishes he’d brought a winter hat.
Gary fumbles with the keys before inserting the right one in the lock. He gives it a turn and cranks the door handle.
“Don’t just stand there. Help me lift the bastard,” Gary says.
They hoist the garage door open and Bob spots a pickup truck with a snowplow attached. There’s also a vehicle with tracks that looks like it belongs to the ski patrol.
The boss wants them to leave the truck in the garage and the film crew will unpack it.
He notices an odd smell: body odor. Like someone hasn’t showered in a month. Once, he’d gotten a whiff of a homeless guy who accosted him for a handout in Nashville. It reminds Bob of that. “Smell that? It’s really rank.”
Gary says, “Probably a dead critter got stuck in here.”
“Smells so bad I can almost taste it. I’ll get the truck,” Bob says.
“I’ll guide you in,” Gary says.
As Bob walks to the truck, Snow whips into his face. The wind moans again. His warm room back at the hotel comes to mind again.
Bob picks up his pace and reaches the truck. He hops in the cab. As he’s about to start it up, he hears a high-pitched scream. Someone in terrible pain.
He keeps a .44 Smith & Wesson in a case under the seat when he drives. Bob’s kept it there ever since being beaten and robbed on a run through East St. Louis. He gets out the revolver and loads it. There are brown bears on the mountain and he sincerely hopes he’s not about to run into one of those.
Bob hops out, bracing himself against the wind. The snow picks up and the garage is now barely visible. It’s going to be a bitch driving down the mountain in this.
He reaches the open garage door. “Gary, you okay?” he calls.
The snow lets up long enough and Bob sees a man with Gary’s body draped over his shoulder. Blood drips down and stains the snow. The man looks back. He’s wearing a gas mask, an olive-drab coat, and camo pants.
He turns and continues walking, carrying Gary like a sack of dry concrete.
“Hey! What the hell?”
Bob raises the Magnum, realizing Gary is in serious trouble, but he has no shot.
The man disappears around the garage.
Bob chases after him.

He catches up with the guy behind the garage, where the ground slopes downward. The man scurries down the embankment. He’s large but moves with the grace of a big cat. Again, Bob raises the gun, but he can’t shoot without possibly hitting Gary.
He can’t believe this is happening to his buddy. He’s known Gary eighteen years. They have hundreds of war stories from the road. Like that time at the Bunny Ranch near Vegas, which was legendary.
Bob reaches the embankment. It’s steep and rocky. There’s a good chance he’ll lose his footing and take a spill, but he has to help Gary. The stranger disappears into the blowing snow. Bob follows, sidestepping down the embankment. He picks his way over and around rocks. The snow stings his face. This is crazy.
Halfway down, his foot hits a rock and he falls forward. He tumbles down the embankment. His ankle turns with a sharp crack. Something pops in his wrist. He skids to a stop and ends up on his back.
Fresh blood dribbles down his chin. He tries to push himself to his feet, forgets about his injured wrist, and howls with pain. It’s sprained at the least, and the ankle feels just as bad.
Bob looks back up the embankment; he can’t see the garage. Even worse, he can’t see himself getting back up there on one leg. He peers down the embankment; the abductor is gone.
He’s lost the gun in the fall. He resigns himself to crawling back up the embankment and calling for help.
The ground crunches off to his right. It sounds like footsteps.
Someone materializes out of the snow; he’s hooded. Is that a fucking gas mask? The person towers over Bob. He knows this is going to end badly.
The person hunkers down and there’s a terrible, hot pain in Bob’s belly. Something stabs upward and it feels like his insides are being torn out.
He screams, but it melts into the wind and carries over the mountain.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Good, Bloody Time on the Mountain

Enter The Night is complete. I made the corrections that my proofreader suggested. This one's straight up horror. It's got creepy, abandoned buildings, escaped psychopaths, and a brutal storm that's bearing down on the characters.

I had fun writing this one and creeped myself out a few times (usually a good sign).

I'll be uploading it to Kindle and other e-book platforms soon. Trying to come up with a release date so I can build a little anticipation over it.

Here's the a draft of the cover copy for Enter the Night:


They came to the mountain to hunt ghosts. They ended up as prey.

The Iron Mountain Asylum once housed the criminally insane. The worst of the worst. Four men escaped the asylum and were never caught. The legends grew. Some said they lived on the mountain, killing anyone who crossed their path.

The contestants on a reality show called Enter the Night are about to find out if the legends are real. Six people. Non-stop filming. A week exploring the abandoned asylum and the military base near the mountain. The contestants will find out that there are things far more frightening on the mountain than ghosts.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Draft of Horror Novel Finished

The draft of Enter the Night is finished. I gave it an edit and now it's off to the proofreader. I'll be posting excerpts from it in the coming weeks.

I'm about 25 pages into writing The Last Ride. I initially envisioned it as a novella, but it has the potential to become a full novel. I've been working on this one longhand in my notebooks. I'm finding there's less distraction from social media and the writing's going well.

Got in a workout this morning and finished up a Batman sketch I was working on.

Hoping to see A Quiet Place next week. We have our tickets for Infinity War and are going opening night.

I just read James Scott Bell's How to Write Pulp Fiction. Currently reading Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff. It never hurts to brush up on craft techniques, no matter how many books and stories you've written.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Writing Update 4/5/18

I have about twenty pages left to edit on Enter the Night. My plan to release it in late February got delayed due to some family issues. Should have it for sale by month's end.

The Last Ride, my apocalyptic novella (that very well might turn into a novel) is moving along. Getting a good chunk of writing done longhand by working on lunch breaks, etc.

Currently reading: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

There's a number of movies I'd like to see. A Quiet Place and You Were Never Here are among the current releases. Looking forward to Infinity War, Solo, and Deadpool 2 in May.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Writing Books That Will Improve Your Craft

I took a glance at my office bookshelf and figured I'd post about the writing books that are on my shelf/Kindle. This is by no means a complete list, but these are some of the books that helped me along the way. I still refer back to them.


1. Stein on Writing and Grow Your Novel by Sol Stein

2. The Kick Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig (Wendig also has a number of other writing books out, some of them in list form. All have great advice)

3. Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (any of Bell's writing books are excellent). I also recommend The Art of War for Writers.

4. Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

5. How to Write a Selling Screenplay by Christopher Keane

6. How to Write Page Turning Scenes by Holly Lisle (Lisle also has several other good books available on writing)

7. The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge by Rachel Thompson (Thompson's website is also full of great tips for marketing and promotion)

8. The Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld

9.  Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by  Jordan Rosenfeld

10. Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

11. A Writer's Tale by Richard Laymon

12. The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

13. On Writing by Stephen King

14. Self Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King



Wednesday, March 07, 2018

45 and Beyond

I turned 45 this past Sunday. My wife took me out and we had a nice dinner at the Griffon Gastropub in our hometown. She also made pizza and tacos over the weekend, plus some amazing cupcakes. The only damper on the whole thing was the hacky/phleghmy/cold/flu thing that latched on to me. I'm feeling better today and planning to put the finishing touches on Enter the Night.

At 45 I haven't gotten where I've wanted to be, writing-wise. Yet. I thought I was on my way in the world of traditional publishing at one point. I had sold my first novel, started working with a well-known agent, and got a two book deal from my publisher after the first. The relationship with the agent didn't go anywhere. I tried writing a thriller that was honestly the worst book I've written. A little lesson: You can't write a book from some template in a how-to book, which is what I tried at the time. Any instructional book that promises you'll be able to write a blockbuster novel is likely full of crap. Write true and write what you love.

I went indie shortly after that. It's had its ups and downs. The sales aren't where I'd like them to be, and some days it seems like every other writer on the planet is doing better. But I love the freedom and knowing I can write whatever I want, whenever I want.

At 45, I'm not there yet. I'm hoping to have many more years to write stories. With any luck, there are many miles to go and lots of stories still to tell. I'm going to keep writing and putting stuff out there. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Horror Novel Nears Completion

Enter the Night is around 51,000 words. I have a few more scenes to write, and it will be done. Then it's an edit before passing it on to the proofreader.

I gave away a couple copies of The Damage Factory to some coworkers. They seemed excited to read it, and I hope I gained a few fans.

Saw Black Panther over the weekend and enjoyed it. Another solid entry in the Marvel universe. Great to see some strong female characters on screen, as well.

I've also done some preliminary work on The Last Ride, an apocalyptic novella. Mostly stuff in a notebook on breaks at work. I'll be ramping that one up as soon as I'm done with Enter the Night. 



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Writing Update 2.18.18

I'm coming down the home stretch with writing Enter the Night. It's at about 47,500 words. I'm shooting for just over 50K words, although it might go a little longer. I also started writing a novella set in a flu-ravaged, apocalyptic world. It's called The Last Ride, and I hope to have it on sale sometime this spring.

I watched The Cloverfield Paradox on Friday night. It's been getting hammered by critics, from what I've read. It wasn't terrible, but it felt like a generic sci-fi movie to which they tacked on the Cloverfield universe. I liked the other two Cloverfield movies quite a bit (Cloverfield is one of my favorite monster movies), so this one was a disappointment.

I've been toying with the idea of setting up an Etsy shop for my drawings. Still not sure about that yet, but I suppose there's nothing to lose, and it's relatively cheap to list items on their site.

On the artwork front, I've continued with LOTR-themed drawings. This is a recent one I did of the Witch King. I took a picture of it on our dining room table. There's a bit of placemat visible on the right hand side. I'll either edit that out or take a new pic if I put this up for sale.


Sunday, February 04, 2018

Writing Updates 2.5.18

I've hit the 43,000 word mark on Enter the Night. I should be wrapping up the first draft this month. I've begun some preliminary work on my next release, tentatively titled The Last Ride. It's a novella set in post-apocalypse America, and I like the premise. It should be a faced-paced, action filled read.

No huge plans for "The Big Game" tonight. Am I allowed to say Super Bowl? Are the NFL lawyers reading this? The family and I are going to eat snacks and hope for a Patriots loss and some decent commercials.


The Morning's Writing

Got three pages done on The Last Ride. I'll probably sit down again later and get in another writing session. We have a graduation party...