Raingod’s Weblog

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A Return to Form

I was quite content to let this blog remain dormant; having said all I wanted or needed to say about the nitwits, it was time for me to move on. Rusty, Cussedness and everyone else have been doing a great job in dealing with everyone and it allowed me to continue with my career.

For those who haven’t been over to my current blog (99.5% nitwit free!), I’ll recap quickly what I’ve been up to. This time last year a former friend and I started Bandersnatch Books. In April of last year I took over the company in a rather abrupt attempt to keep it from going down the toilet-which is the direction it was headed. Those not involved chose to think of it as a dick move, while others wanted to play at revisionist history. I simply went on with business and after some initial turmoil was able to get back on track. We’ve released T.M. Wright’s “The People on the Island” and will be releasing K.H. Koehler’s “The Dreadful Doctor Faust” in a couple of weeks. I’ve put together an anthology of weird western stories chock full of award winning writers which will be out early next year, as well as sold my novella “Barbed Wire Kisses” to Skullvines Press (due out in 2011).

So I’ve been busy. I’ve generally stayed away from the nitwits and tried to be more productive with my time knowing others were fighting the good fight. Even La Femme Nikita’s rants were nothing more than a distraction. Yet now I find myself having to set the little nitwit that never could straight (so to speak), about a few things. Because I suck at taking screen shots, I’ll simply cut and paste all relevant posts, which you can find here, before Matt the Boy wonder can swoop in with his +3 scissors of Nitwit enabling and cuts the thread: http://shocklinesforum.yuku.com/topic/16903?page=2.

Since Nikita began the thread backpedaling on his “pen name” Lloyd, after spending months trying to convince everyone he was a real person, and attacking everyone in sight doing so, I thought I would have some fun and post the cover for Karen’s upcoming release and adding that Nikita should meet the Dreadful Doctor Faust. Nikita responded thusly:

Colbert — I like the opposite sex and only the opposite sex. Would it kill you to find yourself a woman once in a while?

Well the fact is it doesn’t kill me at all Peaches. See, I can find woman who not only a) find me attractive but also b) enjoy my friendship. I don’t slander women, refer to them as “fucking cunts”, call them whores, and other misogynistic epithets. I respect and love women. I just don’t want to sleep with them.  I find it rather amusing he thinks I’m trying to set up a sexual encounter with a fictional character-though that’s something he’s certainly used to I imagine.

Also I am addressing Black Death Books, Bandersnatch Books and Skullvines Press — if you don’t have anything of value to say on this thread get out of the thread because all you’re doing are being snarky little pricks.  Now you may go crawl into the world where you have your heads shoved up your ass.

Kudos for spelling Bandersnatch correctly, it’s not something everyone does.  However, no one under the Bandersnatch account made any comments in your preciousssssessss thread. My posts were as myself, and not representing my company.

Now Colbert I didn’t say that on here, didn’t I. Yeah you’re reading between the lines. The reason I admit that I am Lloyd Campbell now is because some troll kidnapped the pen name and trying to pass him off as a half-naked idiot with a unicorn fetish.  I wanted to make people think Lloyd was a different person because I really guised up my style as him.  People in the magazine actually thought he was a different person, well that’s part of being a pen name in that sense of the word — when the troll started lifting him for blurbs on plagiarized titles that is when it was time to let it all lay on the table so to speak.

Uhm, yeah Nikita you’ve not only said it on Shocklines but damn near every place that hasn’t banned you yet.  And here’s a hint, you can take any pen name you want, but you’re awful writing skills ooze through no matter what. Rearranging a turd to make it look like a snickers doesn’t make it one.

Colbert — the last time I got some action was in 2008. It wasn’t ten years, in fact it was only two. I will not mention names of the woman because I am not the kind of guy who would boink and tell.  I get letters from females all the time asking me to date them from time to time.  That’s the fun in being a bachelor author.

Which if I’m not mistaken was the time you posted a screencap showing your search for sleepsacks. You won’t “boink” and tell because there was no woman two years ago. If there had been we would have seen the police reports by now. I get letters saying I can be a millionaire as well, doesn’t make it so.
It’s nice to have Cynical, Solkirk and dogpoet say nice things about me (which i won’t cut and paste out of modesty :P) and they’re far more trustworthy in their poinion than Nikita ever could.
So, I hope this clears somethings up Nikita. I know you hate hearing the truth, but there it is.
And for those interested in what I’m up to writing wise, check out http://www.scottcolbert.com.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Legion of nitwits | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I’ve Learned

It’s been almost three months since I’ve updated this blog. Time flies, I suppose, though I’ve been busy with my other blog, finishing up Barbed Wire Kisses, and prepping four Bandersnatch Books first release.

Rich Ristow and I have put together our own micro/small press business after months of research and seeing what works and what doesn’t. During that time, we’ve managed to get some great names to submit work, and though we only have one announcement at the moment, as well as submission guidelines for 2-3 other anthologies, there are also chapbooks on the horizon that we’ll be pleased as hell to publish.

While others natter on about the Legion, and continue to throw salt in their own self inflicted wounds, I’ve been busy doing the work. I haven’t been afraid to get my hands dirty, make some sacrifices and determine my own destiny. Wallowing in the past, refusing to accept responsibility, and blaming others is not my cup of tea. It’s not professional and it certainly accomplishes nothing. However, watching others has taught me a few things.

1: True friends know what constructive criticism is, and accept it openly.

2: Just because someone says they can do layout, doesn’t mean they can.

3: If you’re the boss, whether you think you’re wrong or not, you accept blame and shut up about it. You don’t blame writers or editors. And you certainly don’t name them in blog postings.

4: Those who spout out that they know everything about everything, generally know nothing except how to puff up their own ego.

5: 95% of problems can be solved by communication, and not petty attacks.

6: Cutting your losses can be painful or blissful-sometimes both.

7: Don’t talk about the poor pay structure of other small presses when you do the same yourself.

8: It’s always easier to point a finger at others while ignoring the reflection in the mirror.

It’s with these hard learned lessons that Rich and I embark on a new project, a new chapter, now divested of the petty drama, self indulgence, ignorance, and inflamed ego that we’ve both experienced.

November 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 8 Comments

Back to Work…for now…

With my three days off at an end, I managed to drag my butt to work today, and begin the countdown process of the impending layoff.  I’ve been gathering some stuff together to take home, so I don’t have a big box to cart away my final day here.

Despite some depression about the whole situation, I’ve managed to be pretty constructive with my time off. I’ve worked on my resume a bit-and have a pro resume writer willing to take a look and give me some pointers on it-and looked over Monster.com at jobs.

However, the two things that captivated most of my time is a new writing project that really spreang out of nowhere. It hearkens back to the old slasher flicks of the 80’s, and while the body count is high, it’s also filled with (I hope, anyway) characters you care about. In 3 days I’ve managed to write almost 24,000 words on it. I’m not sure yet how long it will finally be, but I’m going by my gut on this one. I’d been working on the timeline for my trilogy of fantasy novels when the idea of a serial killer story came, literally out of the blue.  I started writing the idea down, to work on at another time, but as these things go, I didn’t stop for about 3-4 hours.  I took a nap and went right back to it, eager to see what happens next.

In between bouts of writing I also started playing the DS remake of Dragon Quest IV. Originally released in 1992 for the NES (if I’m not mistaken), it tells the typical story of strangers banding together to save the world. It’s very old school, with turn based combat and lots of grinding, but also a lot of fun. Broken up into 5 chapters, each of the first four tell the story of one of your characters, until you all meet up in chapter 5. The dialogue is witty and entertaining, the graphics are a mix of 2D and 3D, and the music is simply awesome. I’m about 20 hours, and from what I’ve read, have about 15 hours or so to go before finishing, so a proper review will wait until it’s done.

So, four days into the new year, I’m busy on a new project, looking for another job,  and looking forward to a productive year.

January 4, 2009 Posted by | My Life | , | Leave a comment

Writing Updates

A quick update on some of the things I’m working on right now.

Untitled poem, that rich asked me to take a whack at, and since he helped quite a bit with Forgotten Son, this should be another good one. 

Finished Killer Weed, finally. It’s about 8000 words right now. I’ve worked on and off on it for months now, and am giving it a rest for a couple of weeks.

I’m about 80% done with the outline, a timeline, really, of the fantasy trilogy, Castle Blackburn: From the Ashes. I’ll begin writing this by years end, as I’m working on another story, and well, I have only so much time!

The new story, well, not sure what it’ll be. The idea came from a podcast I was listening to last week. In it, they were talking about Richard Garriot (Lord Britain to you old time Ultima players) having his DNA launched into space. That was the first part of the idea, DNA in space, to be found by another civilazation or by Earth in the future. The second part has to do with the name Jack Hammer. It reminded me of a gay porn actor name. somehow those two things are being tied together, in what will certainly be a humorous piece. 

And finally, Scott Johnson, of Extralife.com fame has a new podcast, The Final Score. His other podcasts, Extra Life Radio and The Instance, both won awards from podcast.com, and I’ll be recording a piece on the myth of hardcore vs casual gamers in a segment I hope to do this week.

November 17, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , | Leave a comment

The Reaction

I made a post on this over on SL, and thought I’d blog about it as well, for those who don’t frequent Matt’s House of Favoritism. I was telling a coworker today about my poem Forgotten Son, being included in the Death In Common poetry anthology. Their reaction: “Horror? That’s not real writing.”

They walked away before I could reply, but even now, I’m still not sure how to react. I know better. I also know different genres elicit different reactions. But to think something isn’t “real” because of the genre, is a rather harsh statement. What is real? To some it may be Romance, Crime noir for others. Horror for me can encompass all other genres in one form or another, and still stand on it’s own.

Somehow the fact, I choose to write horror (not esclusively, but it’s the most prominent of my current projects), makes my labor meaningless to someone. 

I love horror, always have. before my 20 year absence of writing I had a friend tell me that I’d outgrow it, as if it were a stage of life or something. To me, horror is what I do best. I don’t ignore non horror ideas as they come along (in fact I have a sci fi that came up the other night I’m working on), but it’s what I gravitate towards. 

I’m a storyteller, and while people are under no obligation to read anything I publish, nor are they welcome to denigrate a genre simply because they don’t like it, or think it’s “real” writing.

November 16, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , , | 4 Comments

The Process

When Rich first announced his anthology over on SL, I was intrigued, and intimidated. Intrigued, because I loved the concept of poems based on a serial killer, but intimidated because I don’t know jack about writing poems. I did have an idea of what I wanted to write. When Rich kind of prodded me in an email to submit something, I thought hard about whether I should or not. 

My idea was simply a reinterpretation of an unpublished story I’d written many years ago. It concerned a guy who finds a homeless man shading himself by the side of a building. He offers help and gets no response. Somewhat discouraged he drops some money and a business card in the man’s hat and walks away, never realizing he was talking to a corpse. It was about lost opportunities, wasting life, and offering help when it’s too little, too late. The finished poem, now, in no way resembles that, however. As I wrote my first draft, a prose poem, it didn’t exactly fit in with the the theme. I’m going to be careful and not give anything away in what the content is, though I can describe the process I went through.

The first thing I did was read some prose poems that Rich sent me some link to, in order to get an idea of how to frame my story. What I did, ended up being a 750 word flash fiction piece. What that did was give me the story I wanted to tell (though even that changed as well). Rich advised me to make some cuts, add some actual poetic content and revise. 

The next revision was closer to a prose poem, but still not quite there. Rich asked me to make each sentence its own paragraph. I did this sent it to him and he said, “Now pick 20 sentences that are the most important.”

I groaned. This was really the hardest step for me. It was like him telling me, “Pick which organs are the most important in order for you to live.” What I tried first was printing out the whole piece, cuting each sentence into a strip, (there were 45 or so) placing them in a bag and picking 20 at random.  That worked about as well as you could expect. It may have been successful for William Burroughs, but Burroughs, I’m not. I went through each line as if it were someone else’s piece I was editing and not my own. It was the only way I could make this work. I spent a few days on this, but finally decided on the ones I wanted to keep. Gone was my first line, “A year after his birth, Gary’s Mother stuck her head in an oven and turned on the gas.”  I liked the line, and still do, but it was about paring down; taking a block of clay and sculpting it into something recognizable as poetry. I sent the results to Rich and sat on pins and needles as I awaited his notes. 

And I got them. He restructed the result into stanza form, suggested some deletions, asked for some additions and more structure. This was the equivalent to me of jumping out of a plane with no parachute. It didn’t help that work was asking for mandatory OT, my nephew was with me for a few days, and I was stuck on what to do. 

Oh, and did I mention, I also needed to shape it into something that fit into the structure of the collection? At this point, the connection to the commonality of the poems was tenuous at best. It amounted to an almost complete rewrite. 

Line by line, I went through it all. Keeping more than I thought, deleting lines that were more plot than descriptive, adding more, changing words, removing small words. By the time I was finished, I had no clue whether what I’d written was even readable, let alone publishable. 

And here is where the tide began to turn. The light at the end of the tunnel, if I can beat a dead horse phrase. There were many changes to make, but not major ones. I still had to add an element that really tied the piece to the rest of the collection, and I did that based on one word I’d taken out in an earlier revision. The changes in the next couple of passes were clean up, refining the piece to its final state.

It’s a piece I’m incredibly proud of. Not because it’s my first sale, but it was something I never thought I’d been capable of writing. I drew on resources and an inner determination I never thought I possessed.

Is it any good? It’s not for me to decide. As we know a lot of crap gets published, but given the pedigree of writers, the excellence of the editor, and the track record of the publisher, I’d like to think it’s an okay piece.

Once the collection has come out and people have had a chance to read it, I’ll put up the first draft, so you can judge how well I’ve done.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , | 5 Comments

The Write Stuff

In the two and a half months I’ve had this blog, not once have I mentioned any of the projects I’m working on. As a general rule, I don’t like to talk about them, as I begin to lose the excitement I feel for the projects.

Right now I’m adding onto my zombie story, Killer Weed. It started out as an okay 2500 word story, but has now ballooned into almost 6000 words. I’ve added several scenes to give some background on Johnny boy, one of the main characters, and his relationship to Ed, the narrator. I’m quite happy with how it’s coming along and should have this done by Halloween time.

I’m also working on a trilogy of fantasy novels I’ve had in mind for close to 20 years. I made one attempt at the first book back in  ’89, but didn’t have the ability to do it justice. I was writing plays mostly at that point, and the odd short story, so a full length fiction piece was beyond me. I’ve made brief outlines for each book in the series, and doing research now on the London underground system, as well as some geography in Europe and around Washington DC. Part fantasy, part science fiction and part political thriller, the first book, Castle Blackburn: From the Ashes, intermingles faireies, gnomes, elves, modern politics, and aliens all converging into a cliffhanger ending. Book 2, is somewhat of a prequel, and book 3 picks up immediately after the first one ends. There was no reason behind my plotting it this way, other than it made the most sense to me. 

Once I finish Killer Weed, I’ll be recreating a lost story of mine, that has always been one of my favorites, Heart of Stone. It’s as close to mainstream fiction as I’ve ever gotten, and look forward to bringing it back to life. After Stone is completed I’ll be going into the trilogy and hope to have the first book done by early spring. I’m not a fast writer, by any stretch of the imagination; I believe in taking my time and doing things right. I take pride in my work, and even if nothing ever sees the light of publishing, I’ll know I did the best job I could. 

I’m also making sure I keep my Strunk and white handy.  As much as I’ve learned over the course of my life, there’s much I’ve forgotten, but the S&W always reminds me of those things that seem to fade over time. Nitwits take note of that.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , | 7 Comments

The appeal of Horror

I blame my love of horror on Hans Holzer.

When I was little I found some books my Mom had by Holzer dealing with ghosts and the paranormal. They had grainy black and white pics of ghosts that triggered something in me. I then began devouring everything I could by him. Trips to the library found me sneaking into the adults area looking for anything and everything on the subject.

I became insatiable. And then one day I found a book on possession and exorcisms and it chilled me like nothing before. demons, ghosts, posssession, haunted houses, graveyards all promised me the kind of excitement that normal fare didn’t.

When Chiller theater (Sunday afternoons at ), came on I was perched in front of the tv. From the creepy music to the claymation 6 fingered green arm coming out of the ground ( which can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asO97gdn2oo&NR=1) I barely breathed. Barely blinked. There was a good mixture of Hammer films, Godzilla movies and the Universal classics. However the ultimate horror memory of my youth was watching The Night Stalker with my Mom. Not only did I get to watch this unbelievably awesome show, I also got to stay uo late!!! I’m not sure my mother knew what she was getting herself into by doing that, but I’ll always be grateful to her for that experience. I’m especially glad she’d hold my hand as she took me to bed so the monsters wouldn’t get me.

I can’t remember the first horror novel I ever read though but I think it was Carrie. My sister had a paperback copy that I “borrowed” from her and if nothing else I became a King fan. I guess I was 10 or 11 at the time. Probably far too young for such fare but there you go.

when my family moved to Phoenix, in 1981, I found Fangoria at a supermarket magazine stand. I don’t remember the cover but do remember it was issue 15. I’ve bought every issue since, despite no longer having many of those early issues anymore. From that moment on, I never looked back.

Horror, for me, is the ultimate escape. The characters may not escape death, but I, as a reader, will. At least for the length of that novel. I had a friend who read a short story I’d been working (this would be around 1988 I believe) on and he said, “When are you going to outgrow this?” My answer then is the same as it is now.

“Never, I hope.”

August 7, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , | 4 Comments