Archive for August, 2012

Hey…YOU!!!

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Random Awesomeness

I have a bone to pick with you…yes, you.  You’re wandering through life, picking your way through a dog-eared, duct-taped copy of The Stand because you think there are no new writers out there worth your time.  Well, bollocks, says I, and I’m not even British, which should be an indication of how pissed I am!  (Now see, if I were British, “pissed” would be a euphemism for “drunk,” which I am not.  I am simply good ole-fashioned, red-blooded American angry.)

Why? You may ask.  Because you have seen this name Zelazny and have turned up your nose.  Maybe someone thrust a ragged version of something moth-eaten (is there anything better than a tattered, well-worn book?  I mean seriously) at you and said “Read it!”  Said book bearing a muscled dude with a sword facing an unlikely tiger of some sort.  Well, like Mr. Lucas’s droids, that’s not the Zelazny you are looking for…although, while we’re on the subject, it would pay you to track down that bundle of water-damaged pages and read it.  And any other books bearing that author’s moniker.

Crap…where was I?  Ah yes…new writers…well, not new, but new-er.  Zelazny…Trent Zelazny.  Author of this dark smooch of lovely angst:

 

Go ahead, click on her, you know you wanna…see what happens, but make sure you get your ass back here, um-kay?

And this forthcoming bit of Shakespeare-tragedy-meets-Tarantino brutality:

 

And many more.

Why should you be readingTrent?  Because his work is original.  Okay, okay, all right already!  No, I have NOT read everything ever written, so I cannot claim, unequivocally, that someone, somewhere has not written in exactly this way.  But I can tell you that I have rarely encountered such an honest voice–a voice so thoroughly unashamed to tell you what despair feels like; what it looks, and smells and tastes like.  I won’t try to tell you that Zelazny is as polished as Straub or Simmons or Block…he may indeed be as good as they, may have eschewed the desire to write clean prose in favor of writing ugly, in-your-face grit.  I’m not even sure his prose isn’t clean…that’s the thing:  He’s so damned good (at least in my opinion) that one cannot tell writing from reality.  His voice is that convincing, that hard to deny, that impossible to turn away from.

Am I gushing?  Yeah, I suppose I am.  Why?  Because I am sick to death of reading crap.  Because I am that beleaguered soul grasping his rubber-banded copy of Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind, or Simmons’s Carrion Comfort, or Barker’s Galilee.  Because, with the glut of sub-par, “can’t-write-your-name-in-the-dirt-with-a-stick” crap showing up in cyber-print, I had half-decided I had two options:  1) Reread my favorites, ad infinitum, or 2) Write something better myself.  The first option is easy, and as enjoyable as ever.  I am striving for the second option, and you know where to find me to see if it is working.

And then option 3 showed up…unannounced…sitting itself at the head of the table and telling me to put down that copy of Gaiman-King-Koontz-Moore-Morrell and look at something so dark it is actually fresh.

Sigh…the reality?  Trent Zelazny ain’t for everyone…just people who enjoy good writing, done honestly, maybe too honestly to make one comfortable.  And shouldn’t art make us uncomfortable?  At least on some level?  Go now.  You know what to do.  Even the president reads Zelazny, and he wants you to click on his noggin as well.

Okay, punk, make my day!

Posted: August 15, 2012 in MK Virtual Blog Tour

My guest today is Clint Eastwood!  Errr…wait a sec…that can’t be right.  My bad, it’s Joseph Eastwood!  Yes, the often-imitated but never-duplicated Joseph Eastwood has a thing or two to say about writing.  Let’s listen in, shall we?  Everyone say “Hi” to Joseph!

Are good writers born, or created?

I once read somewhere, probably on Facebook or something, and it went something like this “Good writers are born. Great writers are made.” And since then it has always stuck with me. I’d like to think that I’m a good writer, and every day I’m trying to become a better writer, because it’s in my interests to be good at writing… if I wasn’t, then I wouldn’t be much of a writer.

I don’t believe that writers are born, well, nobody is born with the ability to write, but perhaps people are born with passion, creativity, motivation, key components to being a writer. I know that I was born with creativity, and like many if not all writers will say, I’ve been writing since a very young age, in fact, I’d like to go as much to say that I probably emerged from the womb with a crayon attached to my left hand and a fountain pen clutched in my right… but that would have been a very hard birth for my mother, and I’m sure she’d remember giving birth to a crayon and a pen.

I believe that good writers take time. They’re born with being able to tell a good story, they might not be the most confident of people, but it’s a skill, and like all skills, it takes time, practice, a hell of a lot of dedication, and most importantly, motivation. Just like athletes and sports people, they’re born with the will to exercise and exert themselves.

Here’s a quote by Jack Kerouac: “Anybody can write, but not everybody invents new forms of writing. Gertrude Stein invented a new form of writing and her imitators are just ‘talents.’ Hemingway later invented his own form also. The criterion for judging talent or genius is ephemeral, speaking rationally in this world of graphs, but one gets the feeling definitely when a writer of genius amazes him by strokes of force never seen before and yet hauntingly familiar.

Truly great writers find a foothold in a reader, and by inventing new styles, a writer can do that. Like he says, anyone can write.

No writer is born a good writer, they might be able to tell a story like nobody else, but only through hard work and determination will they become good… and they will only become great when they’ve been through life, when they’ve grown and been through struggles; when their mind is washed away of all the purity, and to replace it, a monster, and it wants to do is feed off your misery. That’s when a writer becomes a great writer; through experience.

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About Lumen

Lumen is the first in the four-part Blood Luminary series following the characters, Daniel Satoria, Jac Lister and Mia Crosgrove.

Daniel, like all other adolescents on Templar Island is going through the final transition that will allow him to manipulate the bonds of energy and do more than just tamper with his own biological form.

After a near-death experience he is accepted into Croft’s Academy, the only private school on the island and for someone like Daniel to gain access to such teaching is a privilege, and they won’t let him forget it. He tries to fit in, but that’s when things take a turn for the worst, and everything he once knew can’t be possible any more. He doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe.

 

SOON TO BE RELEASED!

Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13219801-lumen

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About Joseph

Joseph Eastwood is the eldest of five siblings, and he lives and grew up in Lancaster, England.

He has always had a giant creative connection in his life, from drawing and writing to having an eclectic taste in music and reading a wide range of books, which he hopes reflects in his own writing. He also loves watching sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy based TV shows and films. Among some of his favourites are Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. As well as those he loves dramas, like The Good Wife and Desperate Housewives.

Joseph is either busy doing edits and writing, that, or he’s on his Facebook page being a professional procrastinator. He lives for creativity, striving to be different and thinking up new hoops for his characters to jump through.

Links

http://www.josepheastwood.com/ – Blog

https://www.facebook.com/josephswriting – Facebook page

https://twitter.com/#!/Joe_Eastwood – Twitter

This is not me…this is just my hologram.  I am actually playing over at Doug Simpson’s house today.  Grab your Tonkas and Barbies and come play with us!  Simply click on the mouse below to be transported to Doug’s blog…and why not join his blog while you’re there?  He has warm cookies and milk!

Some may call me cynical. But I know things; things they don’t. Appearances are deceiving. The eye is unreliable, of both the viewer and the viewed. A long ago generation believed The Shadow to be the only one who knew what evil existed in the hearts of men.  But there is no Shadow, only you and me, babe. Just you…and me.
And what do we see when we look? Hell, we see what we’re supposed to see…or maybe what we want to see. Take Frank Lucas, one of the most dangerous and profitable drug traffickers of this century. An upstanding citizen; a good son who took Mama to church on Sundays; a good friend of the community who handed out food to the hungry. And, of course, a fiend who made his millions off the weakness and need of others. And the scariest part of all? He was all those things—didn’t appear to be one more than another, but actually was the doting son, the respected philanthropist. And the drug lord.
So the question remains: Who lives behind the eyes we see, and what do we do about him or her?
Those eyes staring back at me, wide-eyed and unflinching, seem innocent. But as I said, I know things. Back behind the hazel stare—ducking and hunching—is the real man, the one who wants to be forgotten, if not forgiven. That man is a liar, an adulterer. That man cheated, perfected the lie, and then had the gall to weep in the face of his accusers when his integrity was challenged. This same man, when the weight of his sin became too much to hide, told his childhood bride of fifteen years the biggest and most heinous lie of all—that he never really loved her and had to leave her because he just couldn’t (are you a fan of irony?) live a lie anymore. This he did the day after Christmas. And here that man stares from behind eyes that now belong to a man whose conscience will not allow him to watch a bootlegged DVD.  No matter how probing my gaze I cannot see that other, more sinister man, but I know he is in there, muttering and cursing himself, picking at his sores back in some dank and fetid corner where only the rats play.  I get as close to the mirror as I can…but only sane eyes stare back. So what do I do with the man cowering in there? That man who did all that I know he did? How do I deal with the knowledge of that Other?
I lock him in. Not away, but In. I strap him to a rough cane chair in the basement of my mind and demand that he tell what he knows of deceit. He has stories to tell, this man, and much to teach me; much to reveal about the dealings of liars and cheats. He is me and I am him and his sentence is to remain so much with me that he can never go undetected again…and to be slave to my dark-eyed, raven-haired little bitch of a Muse, whipped into action when dark thoughts are called for in an invented character. My Muse and I will bleed him dry, burn the husk and scatter the ashes.
Some call me cynical. But I know things.

The End Is Near!

Posted: August 3, 2012 in Random Rumis

Okay…maybe not near (or nigh?), but it’s coming…and I don’t care, because I won the End of the World Flash Fiction Contest, so nyaaa, nyaaa, nyaaa!!!

Ahem.  When blogger extraordinaire, Emmie Mears, posted this 500-words-or-less contest, it was just too rich to ignore.  It’s the end of the world, and she wanted stories of folks on their last day, or in the their last minutes.  The rules?  Other than word length, it was only that you use the phrase “end of the world” somewhere, and that you not show the actual end of the world.  Challenge accepted.  Victory obtained.  Here’s my winning entry.  When you’re done, shamble on over and have a look at the other entries–and while you’re there, see what Emmie‘s up to–you will not be disappointed (not only is she committed to fending off zombie attacks, she even has a Zombie Apocalypse fitness program!).

And now…to the story that won me fame and glory (and a $25.00 Amazon gift card).

 

 

“IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD…AND I FEEL FINE”

 

Jake snapped out of a doze as Pastor Charles Voorhees slammed the Bible onto the pulpit. “God will NOT be mocked!” he raged, spraying vengeance into the first two rows.

Shit, Jake thought, why the hell are you yelling at us? I could be at Into the Blue 2, watching Jessica Alba in a bikini two sizes too small. Last day it’s playing but I’m here, so how about cutting me a little fucking slack, okay?

Voorhees stalked across the stage, head swinging left and right, daring anyone to contradict him. He paused. His features softened. Now he was kindly Grandpa Chuck. “It could be today, my brothers. Our Lord could split the eastern sky this moment. We know neither the day nor the hour. When that trumpet sounds, when the dead in Christ shall rise, when the end of this God-forsaken world comes…where will you be? Where do you WANT to be?” He removed a sodden handkerchief from his pocket, dabbed his brow, patted his lips. “I’ll tell you, my friends. I want to be right here. Amongst the redeemed of the Lord…”

Jake had to piss. Ignoring his father’s frown, he slid from the row. Behind him Chuck Voorhees picked up steam.

The foyer was less claustrophobic. He passed the ladies’ room as old Sister Lawrence exited, a two-foot-long streamer of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Beyond her, as the door was swinging shut, Jake saw Missy Davies standing in front of the mirror adjusting her bra strap.

Fuck this. Chucky Cheese in there says the end of the world could be today. You know where I wanna spend it, Chuckles? Seeing if Jessica Alba will pop a nipple, that’s where.

Twenty minutes later, he and his buddy Randall had their tickets for the latest Pixar offering. Loaded with popcorn they walked down the hall, past the theater indicated on their stubs and into the next, two minutes before Jessica Alba slid out of the water, dripping liquid and high-beaming like there was no tomorrow. And so it went, with more T & A per second than any boy could want.

A dull thudding came through the walls.

Jessica entered the yacht’s small shower. “Holy shit, Randall, she’s gonna get naked in this one.”

Thud. Louder, followed by ripping sounds, distant screams.

“What the fuck?” Randall said.

Jake shushed him. “It’s the movie next door. Chill.”

“Dude, that’s the Pixar flick—there ain’t no explosions…shit, I hear screaming.”

The crowd had taken notice, some heading uneasily toward the exit.

Jessica turned toward the shower head, facing the camera, still in her bikini. She reached behind her for the ties, the movement causing her back to arch and her breasts to strain against the fabric.

Randall stood, his voice the flat. “We gotta get outta here.”

In the back of Jake’s mind: “We know neither the day nor the hour…when the end of this God-forsaken world comes…Where do you WANT to be?”

Jessica slipped the knot…and Jake smiled.