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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I've Signed on With Ellechor!

I've landed a deal with Ellechor, a Christian Publishing House, for the three kings' books, and two more books as yet to be titled... I'm thinking of "Echoes of the Nativity" or something like that for the theme. One does not have to read all books in order, but they do relate to one another.

It is a very exciting time!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Spaces Between

Things come around full circle it seems! My publisher tried out a few cover concepts, which I absolutely loved, but we're back to the original, as it were. I think I like this one better:




Nasty old Ar'Zoth there in his tower, possibly eating chestnuts; patiently waiting to kill anyone who stops by for a visit. Or maybe that is someone else? One of the travelers perhaps?


--> Thanks to all the readers who have given great reviews. I appreciate it. Although I wish someone would mention the dirty little twist...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Glib-Glub Glibbitty Glub


Glib-glub, glibitty glub,
There is a man in my tub;
Sexy hot smoking little roly-poly bub:
Hair on his back. He’s got a mix-tape to dub.

Glib-glub, gluttony gub,
Rivers of cheez-whiz poured over snails;
Suds soak through and soil their tails:
                        Little Roly-Poly sucks the juice and hits Record.

Glib-glub, glistening tub,
            Upon the floor is a little shrub;
We eat the berries, though they shimmer:
                        Poison scars my throat; Meat Loaf croons.

Glig-glub, glibitty glub,
            A hot man in my tiny tub;
A bloated, stinking, slimy sub:
                        Not the prostitute that I had ordered.




[ I told you I was crazy ]

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Great Gatsby

So the follow up to "Voltaire's Adventures Before Candide" is a tale from the Great Gatsby; a riff on the piano player Klipspringer and his alcoholism, shoes, and gardening.

Rooster Republic Press is working on the editing and cover design, and we are getting there... though it would have been cool to have done by the time the movie came out, the book is still timeless and I don't feel bad. Here is an excerpt:

When you are eating, throw an Offal to the Dogs that are under the Table, lest they should be tempted to bite you.
Voltaire, Zadig, or “The Book of Fate”

Their kisses were frenzied, hot, and wet. His perfect curls were now loose, her bodice torn asunder by his frail philosopher’s hands, presently fondling her smooth, pale flesh. Emilie’s breathing was heavy, labored, while he merely groaned in pleasure, his lids nearly closed. Sunlight streamed into their bedchamber, catching dust motes in their perfect bars before alighting on the array of clothing scattered across the floor. The dawn’s bright light was reflected in the keen edge of the heavy-handled cleaver, resting quietly in the corner.

A soft knock at the door nearly stopped his heart, a knock most genteel and familiar. She whispered something in his ear as he continued his tender caress, slim fingers on the verge of parting her wet and waiting—

The knock repeated itself. Softer, yet more demanding and assertive this same time.

“My dear...” she purred.

“Ahh...” he sighed, her hands clasped around his rising—


The door began to buckle under a barrage of incessant knocks.


Friday, April 19, 2013

iWonder

iWonder
Martin Gibbs

His iPhone, clutched in a sweaty palm, hums;
Send photos, posts, updates, texts, text, texts—
meaningless bytes spewed into the ether,
helped along by a rusting cell tower.

An iPod dangles from its bleached-white cord
stuffed in the back pocket of his faded Gap jeans;
next to the Blistex and pack of gum.
The petite box blares a useless top 40 hit.

Inside his designer backpack, the iPad churns,
Beeps, chirps, peeps, and tweets.
A Fortune 500 executive beats him at Fruit Ninja;
he sends more texts.

A chimpanzee in man’s clothes; devolution.
iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTV, iCantdealwithreality...
neck permanently hunched; bowed as if he were 100.
He sends more texts.

Text, text, text, text; brainwaves are zero.
Faster, faster—doesn’t wait for a reply...

The iBeam falls from the nearby tower;
death is swift, heavy, and loud.
... His only reply.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why Proust?

“Are you just reading that to be snotty?”
I looked up from the book, current Within a Budding Grove. Contrary to what you might think, the voice was not from a family member, but it came from inside my head. (Yes, there are many of them, but let’s just tackle one thing at a time.)
The voice had a point, and a very valid one. Why would someone choose to read the 3,000 pages of In Search of Lost Time, outside of a college course? What would the purpose be, if only to show to friends and family how special and manly they are by reading this monstrous work? Manly may not be the right word, actually.
Well...
There are many reasons for reading √Ä la recherche du temps perdu, and it does not involve trying to be snotty. Or manly. Last night I hit a part in the book where I discovered a little seedling Proust had planted long ago; that seedling burst into life and smacked me across the face. I know there are many more, since I’m only on Volume 2 of 7. But this scene gave me pause, and now I can reflect on why I am reading this thing.
It began about fifteen years ago, while I was browsing the literature section of our local Borders bookstore. The building is now home to Books-A-Million, and the storefront is deceiving—there are too many bare shelves now. It makes one cry. Anyway...
I had heard of Proust through Monty Python and their “Summarize Proust Competition,” and, after seeing this sketch, I did a minimal amount of research. Knowing only that the 3,000 page epic was considered one of the best pieces of literature of all time, I sought it out in the bookstore. The first thing I noticed when I opened up Swann’s Way?
The book smelled good. It was clean and crisp, and it felt like it had just come off the press. (This was the Vintage Press edition.)
Yes, I’m a book-sniffer. I also read in the bathroom.
Moving on.
I read the first page: “For a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say ‘I’m going to sleep,’” and I was struck immediately by this line. Here was the beginning to a very long, drawn-out memory of time gone by. But there was the hint of recapture in there, also, the overpowering feeling that the author was trying to go back in time, freeze it, put it in a bottle, if only for a moment. This I could understand; if I let my mind wander back over the good times and the bad times, I felt a tugging at my heart, the brewing of a hope that I could also regain what was lost. But one can’t regain time. And so, as I read the book, sniffed it a few times, and read a few more pages, I could feel Proust calling to me: “Read this. But not now.”
Though I could understand the concept, the idea, the power of the opus, I was not mature enough for it. I still needed to cut my teeth on other literature. But yet, every week I would visit Border’s, seek out Proust, sniff, read, and put him away gently.
... And here we are, fifteen years later, 920 pages in, and fully addicted. Am I reading this to be snotty? No.
I’m reading this because I have tried to recapture the past, the lost memories, the emotions; smells that drift across my nostrils carry me at once to another time and place, and a thousand swirling memories rush through my head. The taste of a perfect steak carries me back to a road trip on Route 66, the smell of fat fryers in an alley to Germany, and the sound of a mourning dove to my childhood: A boy asking his dad why the bird is crying..... As with Proust, these memories are not linear. To and fro; forward and backward, time slips and dives.
There is also something to be said about the man who wrote all of this. In today’s world of 140-character conversation, there is no way a work of this length could be accepted by modern readers. Which is a shame, since we really can’t appreciate how taxing it was to write this novel.
Why Proust?
Why not. It can change your life, and if you are able to see yourself within these pages, it will change your life. And not in a snotty way.



Friday, March 8, 2013

Who Wants to Read "The Untying" for Free?

I'm about ready to pull the trigger and release the last book in the Drunkard's Journey.

However, I still don't think that it is as clean as it can be. I know, I know, take a look at The Spaces Between. Boy, does that first installment need some work! I've learned so much through this process of writing, and have had the help of so many folks along the way.

So... who would like to have a free copy of this to give it one last go-through? All I'd ask is that you provide feedback on the story, point out any errors, or tell me to just quit now and never write again.

Send an e-mail to glyndwr99 (at) gmail (dot) com... if you are interested.























Description:

"We shall cease our fight with the Dark when the very underworld lies frozen."

The final chapter of A Drunkard's Journey races to its conclusion. Zhy, Fanlas, Wrenflang, and a host of strangely-named characters speed westward. Their goal: To find and blow up the very viaduct to the demonic underworld. But can it be destroyed?

Meanwhile, Bimb finds himself dead-but-not-quite-dead. Since it helps the plot, he can't be gone forever. Plus, he still has a hell of a big mess to clean up, since he started all of this. Dead, but able to control certain forces of nature, Ar'Zoth's usurper can either make things right or destroy the world himself.

A few Beldeners have decided to strike out at the demons. Some will have success, but others will die horribly.

The Untying is a fast, action-packed conclusion to the trilogy. Questions are answered, knots are sewn up, and men become heroes. Except... in bringing about the conclusion, there is one knot that needs to be untied.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Who Likes a Good Western?

I have a stack of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour books, and once in awhile the urge hits me to read these old stories. Now, a few folks have lambasted L'Amour (and others) over a few things. I quote a Goodreads review:

He uses Indians simultaneously as "noble warriors" and "bloodthirsty savages" and justifies the take over of their land with the old "their time was passing..." illogical--as if there wasn't an agent behind their passing.
Reading one of his novels, one gets the feeling he never did any research required of historical novels. Details are always vague. Little reference is made to historical events, ways of doing things, or period details that would lend credence to his imaginings. His stories could just as easily been set on Mars for all the research that shows through his writing. But Americans are already disposed to believing all this romantic Old West bullshit, so you don't have to try very hard.
When a writer taps into our national myths, they don't have to be accurate or true, because most of our national myths are lies already believed
-- Ryan Mishap
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1123600.The_Empty_Land#other_reviews

Some strong words, there, and it really makes me think when I puck up a Grey or L'Amour book.

However, there is still something about westerns that captures me. It's the wide open spaces, the tiny little towns that somehow cling to life in the rugged country, and men who stand up for the little guy. Granted, there are many stereotypes and cliches that fill these stories, but the old west still has its appeal.

Who else likes to read westerns?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Do I Write?

Why do I write?

I have asked myself this question a lot in the past twelve months. There have been numerous times where the craft of writing has been almost squashed by drives that were off-target and wrong.

Writing has been a passion for me since I can remember. I had a very inspirational freshman English teacher who motivated me to write and seek publication. My first poem was published in 1991 in a small kids’ magazine. And in the subsequent years, I kept writing, keeping his words of wisdom in mind:

1)      Expect rejection
2)      Don’t quite your day job
3)      You will write a million words before anyone notices you. And they still probably won’t
4)      Do not give up.
5)      Keep writing

Those are still sound words of advice. However, the world changed in a hurry with the advent of self-publishing and the decline of the major publishers. A few people had unbelievable success, and a million writers tried to follow that path. Sadly, I was one of them. Thinking that my work had value, and would appeal to readers, I threw my hat (and a lot of $$$ for editors, graphics, advertising, etc) into the fray. And, apart from a rising credit card bill, I did learn a few good lessons from this:

1)      Anybody can publish whatever they want, whenever
2)      The gatekeepers have changed. They are now book review bloggers (I tried my hand at that, too), and Amazon's ranking algorithms
3)      All five-star reviews are fakes, one-star reviews are from other authors trying to sabotage you
4)      Market, market, market.
5)      Keep writing

Of course, my “lessons” are a little tongue-in-cheek, but one gets the idea. We’ve gone from an ideology of creative work, and little monetary reward (but great personal satisfaction), to a very cut-throat world. Sometimes I find myself looking at successful authors with disdain and jealousy, instead of seeing them peers in the art. This is art, isn’t it?

I was frustrated, low, depressed, and almost ready to give up. And then a reader of one of my books (a book I had not even mentioned in any medium) left an honest, review. Yes it was five stars. But I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t expect it, since I’d not done any marketing at all. I read the review shortly after I finished A Memory of Light, and suddenly my entire perspective shifted back to 1991.

KEEP WRITING! I don’t do this for fame or fortune. I never have. Why would I try to fall into that rut? Sure, we’d all love to quit our day jobs and write all the time, do book tours, etc. But is that really the ideal? My time is compressed, which lets me focus on a given task and give it the attention it deserves. If I had all day to just write, I’d wind up watching Days of Our Lives and eating Oreos.

So... why do I write?

It’s FUN. I have so many stories swirling in my demented mind, and they all want out! So I put them to screen and paper, and hope for the best. If you're not having fun doing something, stop it. I can't possibly make millions if I don't market the crap out of my stuff, but I don't care. I just want to tell stories.

If only one person, ONE reader likes what I have written, I have succeeded.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Untying -- The Conclusion to A Drunkard's Journey

The last installment of The Untying is nearly done. While the entire story is completed, I'm moving a few things around and shoring up some loose threads. Many thanks go to Jodi Ralston for her awesome critique of the novel and for valuable advise for changes. I will be promoting her business here for sure!

In any case, here is the cover. Karri Klawiter, you do awesome work! (http://artbykarri.com/).


Monday, January 14, 2013

Voltaire's Adventures Before Candide














 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16151210-voltaire-s-adventures-before-candide


This frolicking, insane, half-baked novella has been published by Bizarro Press! It includes the original tale of Voltaire and his space- and time-traveling frenzy before composing Candide. Additionally, we have the novella, "Eyre currents... of fire!" in which Voltaire is tasked with the ill-fated rescue of Jane Eyre, who is burning alive. And finally, a gratuitous picture of a -- no, sorry, a prequel to the whole shebang, the story of how Voltaire got his special cleaver (which he did not have in 1484) in the first place.