Archive for the ‘Random Rumis’ Category

It so happens I do enjoy long walks on the beach. Probably not with you, but then I don’t really know you, do I? You could be a perv, or a serial killer, or a Trump supporter. I’m sure you’re nice, but I just can’t take the chance. You could be…

Wait, where was I? Oh, right, I hadn’t actually started yet. Well, here’s the thing: this post is not about walks on the beach, long, short, or otherwise. It’s about interviews. Or, more to the point, an interview with me. The folks over at Serious Reading were kind enough to post the interview and if you click on my serious face below you can read it.

 

mott author

 

I considered doing an interview with Frivolous Reading, but that would require you to click on my silly face below. But don’t do it. Do NOT click on silly face. Ironically, I’m serious about this. Don’t click on it.

 

Mott silly

 

Told you.

Anyway, an interview is an interview is an interview, and the best part about this one is those Serious folks also posted a review of my novel A Fractured Conjuring, which you can read by clicking on the image of the book below. Go ahead, it’s safe.

 

A Fractured Conjuring - Concept 2 Variant - Large

 

That’s all I have for you at the moment.

Oh, and in case you got frivolously caught up in all the seriousness and forgot to click Serious Me, here’s another opportunity. Click away.

 

mott author

 

And if you are so inclined, you can find the rest of my books over at those madcap guys and gals called Amazon. Click on my logo below and check it out. Then you might want to go soak that clicking finger–it’s had a tough day.

 

Martin Logo

A few days ago, this happened: a rave review of my novel Relative Karma.

This is a big deal. To me. All reviews are important, and I greet each one–whether good or bad–with gratitude.

But this latest one knocked me back a step. Because the review was done by Anthony Servante. And if that wasn’t enough, my book was given to Servante by one of my literary heroes, Trent Zelazny.

And, though Relative Karma was published second, it is actually my first novel. A novel based loosely on real-world events. My world. A world I hope never to revisit. Somehow, inexplicably, this book continues to connect with readers. I don’t understand that, and I don’t have to. I just have to be grateful.

And I am. Because reviews like this make me keep going. It’s possible that someday I will be able to carve out a living doing what I love: writing books and stories. For now it is enough to know I am doing it, and doing it in a way that seems to be working.

Mr. Servante’s review is below. When you are done, read everything else he has done and be glad you made his cyber acquaintance.

And read Trent Zelazny‘s work. All of it.

Click on the picture to read the review:

 

Karma Cover Website New

 

 

And if you are interested in more from me, click on the image below.

 

Martin Logo

Things were going fine…and then they weren’t.

Things went horribly, irretrievably wrong.

…or did they?

 

Time: First week of May, 2016.

Place: Clearwater Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

 

This all happened (or didn’t happen) during my wife’s yearly work conference. I had tagged along to keep my sweet patootie company. She’d conference, I’d sit on the beach, drink things and eat other things, and in the evening we’d reconnect over dinner. All of this went fine.

Until it came time to leave. Until that final fateful day…when the thunderstorms rolled in.

The thunderstorms are a fact.

The delayed (and finally canceled) flight is a fact.

Now I want to tell you what didn’t happen…

Upon receiving the news that our flight was canceled, we realized we were screwed. All we wanted was to get home. Quickly. But now that wouldn’t happen. We were forced into staying another night in Tampa. Wasted money, wasted time. More money wasted on a rental car.

When we arrived at the hotel, we saw the IHOP next door. Great. Average food at best, consumed in the presence of other disgruntled, delayed passengers and their screaming, grubby little urchins.

After a night of no sleep due to the last-minute, first-floor fleabag room, we’d be forced back over to IHOP for more crappy food and worse service. Then a sucky day of trying to find something to do until our flight time, which wasn’t until 5:55 p.m. Or maybe better to just get to the airport early, huddle with the cattle, pray for early death. The trip was ruined. It sucked. All we wanted was to get home. But that was too much to ask.

Friggin’ Universe.

Or, if you would be so kind…please consider the following. Here’s what actually happened:

Fact: the flight was canceled.

Fact: we had to rebook for the next day at 5:55 p.m.

Fact: we booked a hotel room with an IHOP next door.

We checked in (clean room, friendly desk attendant), stowed our bags in the room, and thought: “Hey. Let’s go get dinner.”

Open the iPhone. “Hey, Siri, what restaurants are nearby? Cheesecake Factory? Sweet, we love that place.”

And off we went. It was two minutes from our hotel. But when we got there we noticed C.F was only one of many eateries. We browsed. We explored. We ultimately strolled into the coolest British/Irish pub ever (aptly named The Pub). The food was incredible, the drinks even better. Finish up with an Irish coffee? Don’t mind if I do.

Back to the room. Since our flight didn’t leave until later the next day (and check-out time at the hotel wasn’t until noon) we drifted off to some comfy sitcom and slept for 10 hours.

Next morning we did not go to IHOP. The server at The Pub recommended a local favorite for breakfast, a quirky little hole-in-the-wall called Pinky’s. Pancake sandwich and amazing coffee? Sure, why not.

And then we got in our rental car and drove. Siri directed us effortlessly to the charming historic downtown of St. Petersburg. The weather was beyond perfect. We pulled into a small park overlooking Tampa Bay. We watched dolphins and crusty old fishermen do their respective things. It all felt a little like the vacation we didn’t know we were missing.

Back to Tampa in time to have one of the yummiest burgers I’ve had in a good while, along with an IPA I’m still thinking about, at a place called Taps.

Rental car returned and back to the airport with twenty minutes to spare. We are in the air as I write these words. A few minutes ago the spunky Southwest Flight Dude offered a free drink ticket to anyone who could give him all the names of the flight attendants. My wife and I, along with our new friend sitting in the row with us, compared notes and got all the names right. He gave each of us free drink ticket. My chardonnay should be here momentarily.

What’s the point of all this? Simple focus.

We could easily (and understandably) have focused on our misfortune and the inconvenience caused by the weather. I mean, seriously, how dare it rain and thunder? How dare the people at Southwest take our safety into consideration and cancel our flight?

Or, since we had the time and it really wasn’t anything more than an inconvenience, we could do what we did. Which was to see it as a blip in the plan. Hey, let’s call it an adventure. Let’s see what there is to see. Dang it, let’s relax! And we did. And we encountered some amazing food, lovely scenery, and some of the friendliest people in America.

We chose to see all of this as an opportunity. We went looking for fun. And because we were looking for it, we found it. Everywhere we turned.

Are we blessed? Do we lead a charmed life? Sometimes I think so, but I think the truth is much simpler than that: We simply focused on what we could control; on what we wanted to experience.

What we did—and what anyone can do—is create our reality, one simple decision at a time.

thank you mask

 

Well now, this was a nice surprise!

 

Seal - Winner

My latest novel, A Fractured Conjuring, just took the top spot over at the Maxy Awards for Best Horror Novel.

“Exactly what horror should be… frightful, eerie, and unpredictable!” ~ Maxy Awards

A Fractured Conjuring - Concept 2 Variant - Large

That’s the second award so far for a book I thought would possibly lose me some friends. At the end of last year, this happened:

 

FC Best of 2015

 

It’s a dark novel, but not necessarily dark in a fun way. It’s uncomfortable at times–it was for me when I wrote it, and it is now when I reread it. The book went places I didn’t want it to go.

 

But somehow, in spite of my own misgivings, the silly thing is connecting with folks. Go figure.

 

If you are so inclined, I personally invite you to go buy it. And please do tell me what you think–good, bad, or otherwise. Click HERE.

 

And for more on how this book came into being, check out Genesis of a Nightmare.

 

thank you

This is too awesome not to share – check it out!

 

OPEN CALL FOR SUBS: SEMI-COLONIC IRRIGATION – an anthology

Source: OPEN CALL FOR SUBS: SEMI-COLONIC IRRIGATION – an anthology

In many ways 2015 was one of the darkest years of my life; in many other ways it wasn’t. I suppose that’s what we call balance.

Toward the end of the year, as my personal life began to brighten, I repaid the Universe by seeing the publication of one of the darkest books I’ve ever written (or read). In December of 2015, Black Rose Writing published A Fractured Conjuring.

A Fractured Conjuring - Concept 2 Variant - Large

For reasons not entirely clear to me, it has been called a “brilliant, disturbing, and important work.” Well… “disturbing” I understand. This book has been disturbing me for years; disturbing my sleep, my peace of mind.

But how does a thing like this come to be?

I can’t help but wonder what people will think when they read the book, if they will think me depraved or simply mean-spirited. Some will ask questions as to why I thought it important to write such a thing.

And I will be at a loss for an answer. Because I truly don’t know.

I’ve maintained for years that this writing game is somewhat beyond my ken; an idea comes out of nowhere and then…grows. Characters supply their own dialogue; unforeseen people and events spring out of the ether and onto the page. When I explain this, the average person (the normal person who maybe does not lie awake listening to voices telling them there’s really no point in trying to sleep) looks at me askance, cocks an eyebrow, making it clear they don’t believe me. I can only shrug.

To the nightmare at hand; to A Fractured Conjuring. How did this particular nastiness happen?

A simple road sign:

Kimberlina Road

On a road trip to (of all places) Disneyland, my eyes spotted this sign. I’ve been on this trek countless times over the past twenty years, and have likely seen this sign on every one of those trips. But this time…that sweet name got stuck in my head and began to fester. I had no history with the name, no connection to my past, no sense at all why it grabbed hold. But I couldn’t shake it loose. I somehow knew this was going to be the name of a character in a book, and that this character would have important things to say, or maybe to teach me. I had zero sense of the story itself, only that it would be dark. And maybe big.

As the days and weeks passed I began to feel that the story could possibly span millennia, covering massive ground both temporally and geographically. I have no idea why I thought this—I didn’t have a story, only a feeling.

It’s hard to adequately describe what it’s like to have a story growing inside you, but somehow doing so outside your influence. It’s…well, disturbing.

More than a year went by before I set a single word to paper. I did so only then because I thought I might have an idea what the opening pages looked like. I got 6,000 or so words in before I stopped and laid it aside. I was scared. Not of what I was writing, but that I would mess it up. The feeling for this story had been infesting my brain for better than a year—how could I possibly do it justice? So I ran from it. I did other things. But Kimberlina stayed with me, a grimy child’s ghost fingers tugging at the hem of my shirt, telling me I had work to do, her story to tell. Didn’t matter that I didn’t know what that story was.

Eventually I got back to it. I barely remember my first efforts at conjuring this child, but I know that those early efforts never made it into the final book.

This is the part where I get around to telling you how the final book came to be, right?

Wrong. Because I still can’t tell you that. I still don’t know. When I wrote The End, I couldn’t help but ask myself: “Is it really? The end of what? Where did it begin?”

One of the main characters in A Fractured Conjuring is writing a book she knows nothing about—not too hard to figure out how that came to be—and as I was proofing the final copy, I came across a line I hardly remembered writing:

Still, she couldn’t keep away from it, and she didn’t feel so much like she was writing the story as it was somehow writing her.

And this:

What Chloe knew for certain was that she couldn’t leave this new project alone. It unnerved her; it wouldn’t leave her alone.

And that’s as close as I can come to explaining how this particular book came to be.

Oh, and then this happened:

FC Best of 2015

A book one reviewer called an “important” book.

Another reader, so unnerved by the story that she read it multiple times in an effort to understand, wrote this in an afterword she penned for the book:

“Martin Reaves…had the temerity to tackle an ugly, horrible subject, and he treated it with kindness and cleanliness. Yes, cleanliness.”

The same reviewer who it called it an important work ended his review with this:

“If you have never felt like your soul has been taken away from you at some point in your life, I wouldn’t recommend reading it.”

How does one create something so volatile that it can be recommended, then un-recommended in the same review?

How does one write a story he has almost no memory of plotting and have it hit a target he didn’t even know was there?

I have no answers.

And Kimberlina has only begun to speak.

 

A Fractured Conjuring is available now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ruminating on RSS Feeds.

clapper

2014 happened. It’s in the can, as the movie folk are wont to say.

The fat lady has shrieked, at times a delightful aria, other times more than a little off-key.

opera-viking

So what was all the bellowing about?

My dad passed on January 14th, just two days after I completed my first (and possibly only) Marathon. Those two events got the year started with a bang and a sigh.

Other things happened in 2014, including the sale of a short story entitled “Reaping a Quiet Lunacy.” Many of the things were memorable (including making the Solstice List 2014: Best Horror Books Not to be Missed in two categories), many more were not. Hard to top those opening two weeks, right?

But we speak of vaporous things when we speak of the year that was. The vapor dissipates and we move on—we really have no choice in the matter. For good or ill we turn our gaze forward.

And what do I see in the oft murky glass of my crystal ball?

I see a good year. A year I have dubbed The Year of No Worries. Here are a few other things I see in more or less chronological order:

1. A four-day trip to Disneyland. Well, duh, who didn’t see that coming? This one will be just Charla and me, which is my most favoritest way to do the Magic Kingdom (I love you, Erin and Mandie, but you’ll just have to deal with this truth).

2. A seven-day trip to Maui to celebrate thirty years of marriage to my sweetie-pie, snookums. I am, as might be expected, in a high state of anticipation. I fear for my ability to get back on the plane at the end of the seven days. If I fail to return to the contiguous forty-eight the rest of this list may well be moot.

3. I have been enlisted to officiate at the wedding of two good friends. I am working on my stand-up routine. They will rue the day.

And on the writing front…

4. “Scribblers on Celluloid” (a part of this very blog upon which your eyes have landed) will continue, although nowhere near as often as my far too ambitious once-a-week promise.

5. My novel Relative Karma will be available in audio format.

6. My novel Relative Sanity will available in audio, although this is subject to available funds.

7. There are not one but two projects in the works with a writer friend/hero of mine: one a pseudo collaboration, the other a double bill, in which we each offer a novella and the editor crams them into one book. I won’t name names because I am not clear on whether we are talking about this yet or not.

8. By hook or crook, my latest novel A Fractured Conjuring will hit the cyber stands.

These are all things I am fairly certain about.

A few other just-a-tad-bit-less-sure projects include work on a sequel to A Fractured Conjuring, a second book of short fiction, Dark Thoughts II, and a third (hopefully more lighthearted) installment in the Relative series in time for the holidays, Relative Yuletide.

But enough about me…what are y’all up to?

This Man I Call Dad

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Random Rumis

This man I call Dad.

This man is Omer Gwen Reaves, born 9-24-31 in Lloyd, Arkansas.

Humble beginnings for an exceedingly humble man.

I call him Dad, sometimes Pop.  And I will always call him the most gentle and tender-hearted man I have ever known.

December of 2013, this man I call Dad was diagnosed with Mesothelioma.  Cancer.  Incurable and virtually untreatable.

In the early ‘Sixties this man served his country on the U.S.S. New Jersey.  His service came after the Korean war, and just narrowly ahead of the Vietnam war.  You could say he dodged a bullet.

Point of fact: One of Mesothelioma’s main cause seems to be exposure to asbestos.  Asbestos exposure is common among servicemen aboard ship.

dad navy

Some bullets you just don’t see coming.  Some bullets can find you 50 years later.

That silent gun was fired, and the damage has been done.  This man I call Dad is still here, serving his time, serving his country, serving his God.

Everything I know about love and life and music I learned from my dad.

Many of my childhood summers were spent traversing our nation’s roads in a camper as we journeyed from one country church to another, where my folks would set up their limited equipment and sing about that “some glad morning” when they would “fly away, oh glory.”  My dad sang of Too Much to Gain to Lose; how “somewhere up ahead there’s cool clear water, and defeat is one word I don’t use.”

From an early age Dad showed me harmony, in his music and in his relationship with my mom.  By his simple easy presence he inspired harmony and calm in our family.

This man.  Soft-spoken, mild-mannered, slow to anger and quick to lend a hand or offer a smile.

If I am a good father, I owe it to Dad.  If I am a good husband, I owe it to Dad.  Anything I have achieved as a writer or musician I owe to my Pop.  If I am any degree of man at all…I can only point back to my dad.

This man, whose tongue lay still more often than not, has the heart of a poet.  From his writings:

SERENTIY (an excerpt)

~ I looked upon a scene so grand

Nothing moved across the land

But somewhere out there hid from view

Was life so full yet ever new

Low clouds had overhung the sky

Almost no breeze at all passed by

Then as I looked and listened long

The silent Nature breathed a song

My heart once troubled felt relief

The years of toil seemed oh so brief

Within my soul there welled a song

Almost, I thought, there is no wrong

Then I was made to understand

As I touched Nature with my hand

The mighty tree that stood alone

Was strong because the wind had blown

I would not know if I could win

Were there no trial without, within

For even as the mighty tree

Without the storm I’d weaker be

Within my heart now lifted more

I felt a song unknown before

At first a bubbling melody

Then words burst forth in victory ~

We don’t know (and the doctors can only guess) how much time my dad has left.

The world is richer for his step upon its skin, and will be poorer for his absence.

Low clouds had overhung the sky

Indeed.

As we count the months, and eventually the days, it becomes ever clearer that this man I call Dad is near his final gate.

Stormy waters in this life come rage around me every day
But I am near the gate
No evil fate can come and tempt me off the straight and narrow way
For I am near the gate

I’m near the gate that leads to glory
That narrow way I’m passing through
A band of angels stand to greet me
I am near the gate
.  ~ Shawn Lane

I’ll take your hand, Dad, and we’ll walk together to that gate.  But not too soon.

First, another song or two, okay?

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

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.