Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Trails

Today is a day of mixed emotions.

The Day Prison has seen fit to grant me my parole and just like that, I am cast out, a starving artist once again. It had been coming for some time now, my contacts had been getting jittery, whispers slipping between the cells after lights out... the threat of the coming “workplace reductions” gathered on the horizon like a wall of bloated black clouds. I could see it coming, I was just hoping I’d be able to find myself some shelter before the storm hit. Unfortunately, due to Day Prison over-crowding and a projected quarterly dearth of new orders down at the license plate stamping shop, and, in my oh so humble opinion, a not insignificant amount of jealousy over my kicking of so much ass at the daily trivia:

Alas…

I have been cut loose, foot loose.

They have kicked off my Sunday shoes…

But like I said, mixed emotion. On one side, I breathe deeply of the rarefied free air once again. On the other…I am now on my own, out in the cold, as they say, off the reservation, in the dark bush, left to fend for myself, to hunt my own supper, forced to kill what I would eat.

But I digress...

I was still on furlough when I got the call, roused from a well deserved post-vacation slumber, just about to trudge back to the salt mines on the morrow, so I didn’t get the chance to clear out my cube-cell or to say adios to the down-homies on the block or to gift to them my collection of well-worn shanks or my unused left-over gift cards to the local eateries. Oh well, to the victor the spoils, eh?

And, today at least, the Day Prison is the victor.

So now, locked outside those heavy iron gates, my key card suddenly rendered a useless square of plastic adorned with my handsome visage and a retractable key-chain declaring the Day Prison as a “Great place to work!”, I guess the warden and his gate-keepers, with their rocket cars and their solid gold houses, their stone-faced grimaces, their folded arms and their shoo-shoo-shooings and their get-along-nows, can keep my headphones and my sandbag stacks of hot sauce and ketchup packets, the pile of dirty pennies rattling around in my rolling cabinet’s only used drawer. The unblown balloons, too, keep them; celebrate their ability to hold air with my blessing. I have no need for any of it anymore. I shall take my pilfered Bic pen, put up the threadbare collar of my 1970s era corduroy court suit, slowly turn away and shuffle off down the muddy gravel road of unemployment, to vanish into the misty gray rain.

So long, Amigos, IM laid off.

So what now? Where do I, yours truly, virtual warrior, ronin wordsmith, part-time jack-of-all-trades and full-time ne’er-do-well, go from here? What’s the plan, my man? Where ya’ heading? Where ya’ going? The people want to know.

Well… I need to snowblow my driveway again, as those dirty fuckers from the city have buried it… AGAIN! Then I’ll get some lunch and maybe watch a movie… the cats will certainly be glad to have the primary food-giver home more often. Later tonight I have my shift at Filmzilla-Wednesday is my double shift day no more.

I’ll probably sulk a bit.

After that, I shall apply to more cube farms and Day Prisons, full and part time, temporary and permanent. I’ll do the dance, with my “Why, yes, I am very interested in what you do here” mask firmly in place. I’ll find something. I shall eventually submit to servitude once more, but for now…

I have more time to write.

Yes, yes, yes, I am definitely going to be on the hunt for a new opportunity to break my back for the Man with little to no recognition or fair compensation or even job security, despite over three years of time, and I shall find something... but until that day, I have an opportunity, one that I would be remiss to not take advantage of.

So, I’ll get to work.

I’ll get shit done.

Wish me luck.

Kisses and hugs,
Jon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The new Thor trailer

This shows much more promise. I still think it's going to the least popular of the Marvel flicks, but at least it will be fun. I wonder if they'll advertise it as: "starring Academy Award winner Natalie Portman" after she wins on the 27th... Anyway, check this shit out.



Not bad, right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

200

Unbelievable.

This is my 200th post, kids. 200 of these beautiful bad boys. WOOOO!


It seems like only yesterday…

So, in honor of me putting up 199 posts of consecutive nonsense, and being that this blog was started with the idea of centering on me and my writing and the journey I take towards publication, I thought we’d do a familiar little dance, one we haven’t do in awhile, something sorely needed and sorely missed, that’s right, folks, for my 200th post:

UPDATES!

Just to catch you all up, my dear and constant readers out there, on what’s new with me and my writing.

Ready?

Set?

Well, let’s go then…

Gunslingers of the Apocalypse
I sent out a whole new batch at the end of February and updated/re-queried some of the older active ones. The rest of the older, still active ones may need updating-re-querying or possibly an admitting of defeat in a couple of weeks here. So, the new ones went out and I think there were 12 active ones. The next day? Rejection. BOOOOOO! But… I also received a request for the first three chapters! YAY! So, I sent that out and will hopefully hear back in a month or so. Fingers crossed, peeps! Since then, I’ve received another rejection. BOOOO! And the remaining 9 sit quietly. I’ve also updated my Spread Sheet, trolling through the Agent listings and digging out another dozen or so plus names. Basically, I’ve got my thumb firmly on it and my eye to the future!


The Little Things
My Loft class has been going gangbusters. I submitted this to the class after some tweaks that reflected some of the more recent feedback and the returning critique was not only strongly positive, but no one hit on the same stuff as last time… which is very good. So, I have a stack of returns to go through, then I’ll add some generally pretty quick and easy edits and then… I think it’s done. I’ll return to sending this puppy out to fiction websites and hoping for the best.

Short story projects
My goal is 6 to 8 quality stories ready to submit by spring/summer. This may be overly ambitious. So far, I have almost 1. Other than that, Monster is waiting for more edits, but I am nagged at by the idea that it may be too unwieldy, just plain old too large to be a 7000 word short story. Maybe it’s a novel or a short novel. I’m going to look more into that in a couple of weeks. I have a third story I am almost done with the first draft of, but I’m wary of that one. The theme hasn’t really popped for me yet, but I’ll wait until it’s actually done before I get too concerned. Other than that… I’ve got my little book full of ideas with 5 or so (and one really good phrase) jostling about at the forefront, clamoring to be worked on.
They include:
1. A creepy Craigslist job ad
2. A near future museum heist during civil unrest (the term “Combat Librarians” lights me up).
3. An agoraphobic survives the end of the world
4. A man’s ashes launched into space
5. I want to poke at my “Scrappers” comic book idea
6. “Two houses, both alike in dignity, one of flesh and the other: steam.”
Will I get them done? Will they work out? Will they be any good? I don’t know, but I feel like this short story exercise is important to my writing muscle, so I mean to see it through. I intend for it to be in good strong shape come spring/summer, because that’s when I’m really going to need.

Novel projects
This will be a crossroads for me, I think. Do I pick up Bastard out of Minnesota and continue on? I certainly know it well, not to mention the fact that I’d really like to. But then there’s that thought: What if Gunslingers goes nowhere? That’s a very real possibility, not only with the current state of things in publishing, but with this being an author’s first novel to boot. I don’t want to throw valuable time into a series with no outlet, I’m not writing Fanfic for fuck’s sake! I mean I could get technical and say: “Gunslingers isn’t my first novel.” But it is. So, if not BooM, then what?
Monster may be a novel. I can see it working. It’s got a relatively simple story set in an interesting and expandable world with greater implications. There’s blood and guts and betrayals all up and down it. It might be a short novel (shorter… for me), so maybe I should try to knock it out?
Also, there’s the previous book, the one I was working on five plus years ago before I plucked Jack and Noelle and a bunch of zombies out of the middle of it and plopped them down into their own book, and well, it’s still there, still strong, still interesting. It turns out, removing all of that stuff didn’t hurt the structure (it's an epic fantasy/alternate dimension/magic and tech mash up kind of thing, a twisted Once and Future King with a female protagonist); it may have helped it, in fact. Anyway, it’s been poking at me lately, so maybe there’s something there. Or maybe it can be combined with Monster? I don’t know, but it’s yammering and clattering around in the back of my head.
Finally, there’s this other one. It’s not as formed as the other options I’ve mentioned, not really, but it’s… enticing. Writing the Little Things really inspired me, so I was thinking of exploring that world a little bit more with some other characters and doing it big, you know? I’ve got a nugget of a story that’s slowly taking shape, but it’s still simmering…
In the end, I don’t know which way I’ll jump. It’s nice knowing I have options to explore, but intimidating too. I’m not sure I can work effectively on multiple projects. How do people do that? DO people do that? Maybe I could write out the beginnings for all of them and then just kind of hop back and forth as I need/want to and see. Maybe that will help determine which one gets the ultimate focus.

Who knows, I’ve got until spring/summer.

And that’s it, kids. That’s where I’m at.

2010 was a year of editing and preparation, so 2011 is going to be a year of new writing (and querying). It seems like a lot ahead. I’m excited to get to it. These first two months have been rough, so March is when it’s slated to begin. March: writing and P90x. Then, when summertime hit my mind and body will be ready. New novels, new projects, new starts.


Stay tuned. Wish me luck. Keep your fingers crossed.

Jon

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Great Cinematics

I would love to play these games. I would love to, but I can not. If I were to ever start playing them, I would never stop and I want to do things with my life, like not wear adult diapers and feed myself something besides Jolt and Cheetos, maybe even tan. I want to walk on my own, people, to live outside of a darkness lit only by the flickering blue flash of a computer screen...

So, I can't have these games, but I can love them from afar.

The first two are from the DCU Online game.





The next two make Star Wars great again, if only for a moment, a beautiful, beautiful moment...





My only consulation is the sure knowledge that there is no God damn way the games themselves are even a little bit as supremely awesome as the trailers would lead us to believe... no way, not even close.

I hope.

Seriously though, why aren't these people making full length movies?

Come on, Lucas!

Jon

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Captain America


Totally sweet. Totally. Can not wait.

Sorry about the ad at the beginning. If I find a clean version later, I'll post it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The rainbow connection...


robo-rainbow from mudlevel on Vimeo.

Idle hands, creative minds, and destructive natures. I approve.

Found at io9.