Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

I am constantly shocked by the passage the of time. There used to be some mechanism in me that if I became aware of time slipping then I’d slow down, a little, for a while. Some kind of quantum observer thing. No longer. Now I see the days whiz by like bullets and the season change so fast that I can’t catch a breath between.

Now it’s summer. Yesterday it was spring. I noticed the change when the heat crossed three figures and the howling started. These are the dog days of summer, the time when the heat oppresses and all the promises I made in the previous seasons are melted in stark still sunlight and woodsmoke from distant range fires.

There’s a dark night of soul in the winter, a ramping up in the spring, and the dog days of summer. They come quick, right on each others heels. Each a reminder of wasted time, a call to action and a roadblock. The fall is the reflection season for me, another temporal trigger where I look and admire, cringe and fear. Each season has these, each reminds me of my death and the work I’ve still undone, the slow-run race, the delay and diversions. Tick tock against the time. Struggle and mire. Feet frozen or melted, muddy or tangled. Tick tock. Run run. Time. Time enough? Time slipping. Sliding. Going to the ground.

Projects put off to the summer now are not as important. It’s oppressive outside. Lethargy flows beneath my door in shimmering waves that drives the sick cat into the basement and me to some useless unproductive distraction. Flies are plentiful but motivation wanes and disappears until the pile of lost and misspent days stares up at me like a blackened hillside, black and sooty, coal remains, burned in my absence, smelled in the air in ochre ash but unwitnessed flame. Remnants and waste. Passing by.

Lots I want to do. I’ve made promises. I have commitments to me and others. But the days whiz by, and the heat paralyzes, and I hide in the shade for the weight of it, listening to the baying of time as I travel, work undone, ever faster to the grave.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Lie Will — Wonhundred Word Wednesdays

Continuing my commitment to flash fiction practice as part of WonHundred Words Wednesday challenge, here's this week's.

The Prompt.

Never tell the truth when a lie will

The words:

I find this subject to
Just the
How can one respond to
When all is fragments there
Lies like lines do as
Imagination only goes
Meaning is conjectured between 
At the end of all, one can only
And this is true, as shown by
Since the start it must
So see the lie within and consider these 
Because deception will out
Everything is a lie except
Fold upon folds of meaning meant to
Never true as it shall
Always true since it could
Missing some

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Triple Helping of Zombie with Aurelio Rico Lopez III

Aurelio Rico Lopez III, or "Thirdy" as his friends call him, is a Blog Mansion veteran and writing machine with a zombie fetish. He drops by today with two new books with three new stories.

Johnny: Once again, I’ve had to bump your interview. Luckily, your cast of zombies seem pretty patient.

Thirdy: Zombies are not as patient as you’d think.

J: No?

T: Busy, busy, busy.

J: Only because I have them wearing shock collars.

T: Who?

J: The servers. They’re zombies

T: Why do you have server zombies?

J: They unionized.

T: Oh… Wait. What?

J: Are your zombies the traditional slow shamblers, or the new hotness running maniacal menaces?

T: I like to mix them up. I have a great fondness for the traditional slow-moving zombie. However, faster zombies give better cardio.

J: You have two stories in our Night Horse Publishing House book ZOMBIES DON’T KNOCK. Two for the price of one. DEAD SILENCE, the first one, looks like a kind of buddy story. Tell me about it.

T: I think DEAD SILENCE is more about two men working together to survive the zombie apocalypse.  In this tale, my characters Cole and Marshall find themselves pitted against an entire city of the undead. They devise a plan to tilt the scale in their favour, but we all know sh*t happens.

J: BURGER JOINT OF THE DEAD involves greasy food and kids. Sounds like a recipe for mayhem.

T: Oh, definitely. Milkshakes and zombies.

Before I started writing BURGER JOINT OF THE DEAD,  I asked myself where I’d be if zombies took over the world. I thought a diner would be an interesting setting for such an event.

J: Are your zombies stories connected? Same outbreak? Same places?

T: My stories aren’t connected.  At least, I don’t think they are.  I have thought about writing a series though, but we’ll see where that goes.

J: Do you delve into the cause of the outbreaks?

T:  Not really.  Half of the time, my characters don’t know what caused the outbreak.

J: Try the finger food.

T: Do I have to?

J: Yes. You have more publishers (and books) than I have. Well done. How’d you get hooked up with Night Horse Publishing House?

T: I heard about them over the Internet. It’s always good to do a little research, so I checked their site out and really liked what I saw.  I proceeded to write Nathan and asked him if Night Horse Publishing House would be interested in a zombie book (Zombies Don't Knock). I have to say it’s been a blast working with them.

J: Buddy story quest, kids buffet, and then you also have VALHALLA FALLING, a barricade drama, novel length and “posh”. Great word - posh. Tell me about VALHALLA FALLING.

T: VALHALLA FALLING is set in a city overrun by zombies.  Society has collapsed, but the military has managed to set up operations in what used to be a “posh” (there’s that word again) hotel.  The building and the immediate area surrounding it are well-guarded, but the characters soon find out that no place is truly safe.

J: Is Valhalla based on any place you know?

T: Funny you should mention that. Valhalla was actually inspired by a hotel in my home city of Iloilo. The real hotel has a different name, of course.

J: The popularity of zombies is still going strong. What do you see as the reason for this?

T: Zombies have been around since forever. I guess there’s something about monsters that want you for both your brains and body.

J: Tell me about Great Old Ones Publishing.

T: I came across Great Old Ones Publishing years ago when a friend of mine had a book published by them.  VALHALLA FALLING is my third book with GOOP, and if things go as scheduled, they will also publish my fourth very soon.

J: What’s your writing process?

T:  You mean besides drinking large amounts of coffee and sitting in front of my laptop for hours?

I start with an idea. My what-if. Then, I write a little every day. Some days are better. Some days suck. But if I keep at it long enough, I’ll get it done.

J: Do you prefer to write short or long fiction? What do you like about each?

T: Lately, I’ve been writing long fiction.  I find that the personal reward for me as a writer is bigger than, say, writing a short story.

J: Writing good books is not enough. What marketing techniques have worked for you?

T: Marketing has always been my Achilles heel.  To be honest, I don’t think any technique I’ve tried so far has worked. (laughs)

J: If you didn’t write horror what other genre interests you?

T: I’d probably try my hand at fantasy or science fiction.

J: Where on the internet can people find out more about you and your books?

My Amazon page
Great Old Ones Publishing's Facebook page
Night Horse Publishing House's Facebook page
To purchase Zombies Don't Knock

J: You better eat those brains. The cook made them special for you.

T: I’d rather not. Writing about zombies and living like one are totally different.

J: You better. Those brains are from the last guest who said that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LUW Events

The League of Utah Writers is having two awesome workshops this summer for the serious and professional writer. These workshops are being sponsored in part by West Jordan City. These are considered prequel events to the awesome upcoming Fall Conference that will be in Provo Utah September 23-24. 

Staffed by professional editors, agents, and authors, these workshops will be intense, hands-on concentrated events. Space is limited. I'll be at both. I'm really looking forward to them. Come out if you're into this kind of thing.

This Saturday:

West Jordan City Hall - Community Room
8000 Redwood Rd, West Jordan, UT
Community Room on the first floor
to the right of the front doors.
1:00pm – 5:00pm

Next month:

West Jordan City Hall - Community Room
8000 Redwood Rd, West Jordan, UT
Community Room on the first floor
to the right of the front doors.
1:00pm – 5:00pm

The big deal in the Fall.

Provo Marriott
101 West 100 North  Provo, UT