Monday, December 26, 2011

New Short Story: ABSENTIS



I released my short story Absentis on smashword. It's the first completed for my challenge to write 20 short stories in a year time.

As promised, I've made it available for free to followers of my website, blog, and twitter for a period of 7 days.

With this coupon code you can get a copy:

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: CQ23A
Expires: January 1, 201

I would appreciate it if you left a review on Smashwords, Amazon, or your own blog.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Book Review: Vs. Reality by Blake Northcott


About the Author:

Blake Northcott is a young woman, with a variety of interest, a few are comic books and writing. You can get all the details about her from her website.

A while ago she gifted her e-book Vs. Reality and I managed to get a copy. The least I could do in return was write a small review, I wanted to write a longer one but I felt I would give away too much about the story and that would be a shame.

My review:

The story is action packed, well written, and sure it does have its cliches but no one can write a 100% original work. All sentences in existence(excluding the real wacky ones) are already once written.

The story is the equivalent of an action movie, you can't take it too seriously, it is supposed to be a fun drive and pure entertainment and for this it works. It's ideal for a quick read and fun time. Taking it for what it is it's great.

I got one gripe and it is with the formatting of the e-book; both paragraph indents and paragraph spacing is used. It took getting used to while reading which distracted me from the story.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A CHALLENGE

I regularly read Dean Wesley Smith's blog. His blog is great to get a better understanding of the publishing world, it helped me immensely with choosing the path I'm following in my own writing career.

He set a challenge for himself, and here follows a quote from Dean Wesley Smith on his blog about his challenge for 2011

"The challenge I have set for myself is simple: 100 new stories written from titles and put up electronically in one year."

I got thinking about this challenge and thought that maybe I should have one of my own. I think it's a great idea to push yourself to test your own limits, and writing a lot and making more bookcovers will only add to my experience and consequently the quality of my work. So I'm going to set a challenge for myself. I'm not going to do 100 new stories for 2012 but I'll do a 1000... nah that's more than I can handle and so is 100. Mine will be 20 short-stories/novelettes for 2011/2012, starting today 30 October 2011 and the finish line will be 30 October 2012. (I chose the 30th of October as starting date because it's my wife's birthday and I hope to successfully finish this challenge in honor of her.)

Upon finishing a story and publishing it, I'll announce it on twitter and I'll put the story on my website and keep it there for a few days for my blog and twitter followers to read freely.

I'll be selling the short stories for $0.99 and the novelettes for $1.99 on Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vacation Time

Finally my family succeeded in convincing me to go on a vacation. I'll be in Portugal for a few days.

Being in another area is the ideal moment for creativity to flourish, with everything new around I expect it to go naturally. I'll take advantage of this fact (well maybe it only applies to me) and will write a short story, and maybe if time allows, a chapter or two of a new novel I'm writing.

On my return I'll have an announcement to make.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Walk the devil dog

I walk my dog (well more my wives dog) every evening at sunset. He can be a real sweet dog, attentive, nice, and in my wives words; cute. Not when I go walk him, he becomes a little compulsive obsessed adrenaline filled dog, that doesn't understand that when leashed he can't go beyond the line. If you are not careful he will carry you to every bush and tree to pee at it, even if he is out of urine to pee. He pees air, this dog raises his leg and pee air. He'll stand like that wasting ten second of my time peeing air. What kind of dog pees air? He clearly does.

I go to a spot in the forest where he feels very comfortable and calms down. He'll be the sweet playful not pee obsessed dog he normally is. I let him loose and he'll be running between the trees and through the grass like all happy dogs would. When he's tired and ready to go home he'll come speeding back and stand still till I leash him. He'll be nice till we leave the forest. I've to admit that after running around he's too tired for mischief, so he's better behave on the return trip. (No air peeing)

It's my walk with him that made me come up with the idea for the short story "Don't believe what they say". The farmhouse on the cover is the one I pass everyday while walking the dog. I put the farmhouse in the story, and I believe it to be haunted. I would sure never dare go in when it's dark. Creepy place. The forest also tends to get creepy late at night. Still I walk the dog at sunsets. Being creeped out helps me get in the creative vibe to write the stories I write.

I recently made a picture of my dog and shared it on twitter. It's a great photo, it shows his demeanor while being walked outside. Look for yourself and be the judge of it:

Okay I may have enhanced the photo a little, I've added a little more luminous green to his eyes.

He's one mischievous dog, despite that I still love him, he can be a handful but I would not want him any other way. He keeps me fit while walking him, it's really physically intensive. You want to loose a couple of pounds you are always welcome to walk my dog free of charge.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The love of Editing

Once upon a time I hated editing my own work, had I the money I would have payed for someone to do it for me. Luckily I'm a poor writer without the income to pay anyone to edit my work, the most I can afford is a copy-editor. Luckily I said, you read right, had I the money I would never have learned to love doing it myself.

Sure they say one can't possible edit ones own work to perfection, but so can't someone else. Nothing in life is perfect, not even the sun. Though someone else will be able to see what you will never able to and catch the mistakes you have missed. Best is to have an editor edit your own work after you have self-edited extensively, this will iron out most mistakes. For the writer without ample budget self-editing and a copy-editor will have to do.

How did I come to love it? Simply by doing it. The more you practice by doing, the better you get at it, the better you get at it, the higher the chance will be you'll like doing it. Loving something will help in the rate you improve, because I hated self-editing it went slowly for me. My dislike was a ball of iron chained to my leg, it took me a mind adjustment to break the chain.

We people like to put borders for ourselves which we are reluctant to pass. Thinking we are not good in something, or that something is difficult, or that you can't possible do it by yourself, we limit ourselves in what we can do. By changing your thoughts into what you want to do and by not putting a ceiling for yourself, you will be able to go further than you ever thought would be possible.

I stopped thinking negatively about editing and focused instead on the good, and what I wanted to accomplish. By not thinking negatively about editing, I felt with each passing day the abhorrence of editing fading. I'm pushing more work now and have good hopes I'll finish my current WIP before years end.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On being a writer with a day job...

...and a family with one dog. I can summarize it with one word; hard.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and ask myself; why do I still write? The amount of times I can is small, the distractions are high, the possibility to learn and better my craft is in direct competition with the time I've to write. With the amount of work I do, I could finish two books a year. Some writer think this is a lot, and if you think that you must be lazy. One can easily produce one book writing thirty minutes a day. It's possible to write 500 words in thirty minutes, having 365 days a year that makes 182500 words. So easily possible even if you have two jobs. (or three, one can always write on the crapper.)

On average I write an hour daily. It's the things you have to do around the writing itself that consumes so many additional hours. Like reading, learning, maintaining blogs and websites, social media, etc, etc. Especially reading is essential for your writing, by reading you will notice techniques other writers use that you can also use; it's learning by example. The social media aspect is to show a face to the public so you don't stay an unknown writer that never sells a book. It's more work for the amount of sales it produce, but still it's essential because with nobody knowing you, you will probably not get any sales. This makes writing something for the long-term, it may take ages to get at the point you produce quality work that will easily sell a lot.

I'm at the start of my writing career, and hence don't produce yet enough to be able to maintain myself only with my writing. That is why I have a regular day job and the commute that comes with it. This job devours the available hours, about 12 hours working and commuting from Monday to Friday. It's not only the time that gets lost, the creative energy is also drained, and it has a lasting effect on the weekend. It's really troublesome. To counter this I try to move and train my body to become stronger and have a bigger supply of energy. Bad thing is, is that training cost time.

I want to spend time with my family and dog, some weekends I put writing aside so I can spend time with them. I feel less drained while I'm with my family (unless my kids are cranky), I dare say they revitalize me a little. It's fun, but fun that keeps me from writing, and slowing me producing books. A slow production of books is less money making potential. However I will not stop spending time with my wife and kids, because I already don't spend as much on them as I used to.

To make it in writing means you should be willing to make sacrifices. I now spend less time I used with my family, I have no time for my hobbies, and I've put my IT career on a hold. And I still didn't answer the initial question. Why do I still write if it's so hard? I write because I want to write. The days I'm not writing I'm thinking on writing. The longer I don't write the more the thoughts about writing will push in my brain till I become so distracted that I've to write. Writing is beautiful. So yeah I guess I'll keep writing as long life allows it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Don't Believe What They Say"


For your reading enjoyment I hereby post the first Chapter.

WALK THE DOG

Don‘t believe what they say, that‘s what she told me. It‘s been going on in my mind for forever now. Each dawn I remember again, relive the moment as if it happened yesterday, and for all I know it may have. Don‘t believe what they say, I wished with my whole being that I listened. Now I‘m here.

It was a day like every other day for these last two years. Skippy ran up the stairs to sit at the doorpost to my study, staring at me with his big dark dog eyes. The all white, with a few brown spots, Jack Russel believed he could hypnotize me into submission to walk him, and may-hap he did. As with every other day, I sat behind my desk ignoring him for about fifteen minutes, to then finally give in and go downstairs with him trailing after me. I put my rubber boots on, and my leather jacket. She had bought the jacket for me but often wore it herself. My wife that is, or was, she‘s been dead for two years now.

Skippy sat near my feet, looking up at me, with his tongue hanging out. Seeing the leash in my hand he stood up wagging his tail. He licked my hand while I fastened the leash on his belt. Up and down he bounced at the front door. Outside we went. Each day at predawn we did the same thing, however never since again, not at dawn, morning, or evening. Never more we walked together past that old rundown deserted farmhouse.

No one else was awake this early, only me and my dog. I had no problem with waking up, I never went to sleep, and I had nothing better to do. Since her death I‘ve not been able to sleep. The hours I would spend sleeping I now spend in my study not studying, instead I prowled the internet, frequented forums, websites, blogs, read up and chatted up about the weird and strange. Not that I believed in all that supernatural crap. My wife did, and since she‘s gone I felt comfort in loosing myself in her past interests. It might have been better if I had taken these things more serious.

The sky was one big swat of darkness, only a dim white light gave away the moon trying to escape the shadows hold. The sun was still hiding behind the horizon, but soon to peek over it within the hour. It was the streetlights that cast the surroundings in light, so far as in making everything seem like a lighter shade of dark. I looked around; the pavement and street were a dark blurred gray, the parked cars were dark husks sticking out the asphalt, the houses dark behind the curtains, only mine had light shining, and I left that behind.

I heard the streetlights long overdue bulbs wheezing out their lives. For some reason my neighbors fancied the old things; engraved steel lanterns a century old. Who knows how old the bulbs were, by how much light they didn‘t give I would say ancient. The only other sound was that of the insects. Each new dawn they chirped the advent of new insect life, they started too early for the early birds to join them with their own morning greetings. By the time I should have returned from the dog-walk they would be singing along in their full glory.

I always walked the same route past the old farm to the path leading to the small local forest. I liked walking Skippy this early, because no one was around to happen on. No awkward forced greetings, and most of all no artificially well-meant questions about ones well-being. It‘s been two years and they still asked for her like she was still around with us, alive.

I breathed deep in, the air was fresh with humid dew. Skippy tugged at the line going left and right, and between my legs, eager to go and release his yellow stream to the nearest thing he could find. I might have made him wait a tad too long on me, his bladder must be about to burst. He has his favorite spot at a bush near the farmhouse fence. He‘ll have to hold it up till we arrive there. It‘s really his own fault, he should have done a better job in hypnotizing me.

I yanked the leash to make him walk a straight line, and gave it a tug now and then to keep him away from the neighbors gardens and the car tires. His nails clattered on the pavement while he kept up with every wide step I took on the stone tiles. I did my best to go as fast as I could. I wanted to exit my street before waking up any of my neighbors. I could care less about their sleep, I just disliked being seen. Missus Beaty‘s bedroom light went on, and she pushed her curtains aside. There she stood with her few left straw like hair falling down in front of her shoulders. I could see the patches of bald on her skull from where I was standing. She looked at me with her fallen eyes from down under her thick brows. She saw me alright, and from the way she quickly turned away, closed the curtains, and put the light out, I was sure I would receive a complaint in the coming morning. It wouldn‘t matter, it didn‘t in the past and it sure doesn‘t now.

I quickened my pace out the street. Skippy‘s playground, the forest, was a minute walk from the farmhouse going down a dirt path. A cobblestone path led from my street to the abandoned two century old farmstead. The front part of the brick two-story farmhouse looked immaculate if not for the broken upper windows and the sealed shut lower ones. The heavy oaken front door stood sturdy shut, barring entrance to all the curious and adventurous, and rightly so. The back mostly wooden one story part of the house was dangerously close to collapse. The roof had already sagged and collapsed in a few places. The farm had a granary, twice burned down in the last century, from which now only stood the five char-coaled black support beams sticking out the ground. My wife loved this farmstead, she loved everything old and cultural, and so did the town folks. They called it a monument of the utmost cultural importance, set to be restored one day. They‘ve said that forever, to me it‘s a sore sight that should be demolished.

The moon broke free from the dark clouds and shone its white bluish light on the farmhouse, basking it in some sort of glow. I faulted my years of sleep deprivation for this visage. I‘ve never seen a building before that emitted light like that.

Skippy must have forgotten his need to pee at the way he pulled hard at the line, ignoring his favorite spot by the bush at the fence. He is an habitual puller but I never saw him like this before, he pulled so hard he almost hugged the ground in his effort to get us forward. He must have gotten it in his thick head that he was the leader. It didn‘t matter to me if he led or I led as long we ended in the same place I intended to go. He only calmed down when we arrived at the dirt path going down to the forest.

The tree tops stretched to the sky, swaying on the breeze that traveled in between, while the leaves rustled their soothing whisper. I would stay here for eternity, return to nature as we humans once had lived before, but I couldn‘t. Instead on any other day I would satisfy my desires with a walk in the forest while Skippy did his thing, but not that day. I don‘t know why I didn‘t do so, but I now wished I had.

I squatted next to my dog and unleashed him. He galloped away like a showhorse. At the tree line he stopped and turned to face me. The moonlight reflected green in his eyes. It was not really a welcoming sight as it sure was the intention.

“Go then. Run. Do your thing,” I called after the dog.

Skippy jumped in without looking back. I heard the fallen branches crack under his paws and the brush of his body against the foliage, accompanied by his panting. Soon I heard nothing more. I sniffed the freshness of the air, smelled the sweet aroma of leaves and morning dew.

I felt compelled to turn around and look up. The full moon was much higher up the sky than I expected for the hour. It seemed almost to smile at me knowingly. The sleeplessness had finally set madness in, because a thing couldn‘t smile and the moon was a thing devoid of life. Still it urged me to be somewhere else.

They told me the moon was magical. They being the many people online hiding behind avatars on the forums I frequent on the web. One especially, known by the name AmandaTuga claimed to be a bruxa from Lisboa, Portugal. I guess a common witch, one of those Wicca adorers. She told me that when the Lua was full it was especially powerful, and a high for everything magical and its practitioners. She also added that often it would relay messages from afar. She advised me to ever be watchful for its pull, because it could end saving me. Like so common with these kind of people she excelled in omitting to tell me against what it could save me. A bruxa, a witch, whatever.

I thought at that time she was showing off to impress me, because not long after posting my profile picture, I got a private message from her inviting me to come stay over with her in Lisbon; to run naked under the full moon outside in the Portuguese nature. She wanted for us to give in to our carnal desires under the soothing light of the moon. Like I would travel across the Atlantic to get my freak on with a self-proclaimed witch.

Judging from her own profile photo it was a tempting offer. I should have taken her up on her offer, but at that time I had no need for such. I thought the woman beautiful, and enticing, but the crazy part, her belief in witchcraft and her claim to be a witch, did seal the deal against me ever meeting up with her. Though whatever I thought about her at that time, she was right about the moon.

The moon, Lua as she called it, was indeed mesmerizing. Magical as they claimed it to be, I couldn‘t help stare at it and lose myself. I sought the message it had for me, but found none. At that time I was too closed-minded for that, I could try but the state my mind was in I would never find anything. The same close mindedness that put a shell around me against the sultry Portuguese witch.

The sensation of someone watching me and a peculiar smell drew my attention away from the moon. It was Skippy, he sat at my feet and looked at me with his big black round doggy eyes. Him not panting like he always does after a long run, he must have been here waiting on me for a while now.

When he noticed that I got out of my moon revelry, he started a high-pitched whine, something he had not done since my wife passed. I squatted next to him, and petted him to calm him down. He licked my hand, his tongue scrubbing like sandpaper on my skin. His eyes trembled in their sockets, and I could better smell the odd odor. I recognized it, and I wished to never have smelled it again, the sour smell of the dying.

I put the leash back on Skippy and proceeded to walk home. I barely started when I was stopped with a jolt by Skippy not budging. He sat there a marble statue and heavy as one. He whined through his nose when I yanked the rope for him to come. Shaken he stood up, and with lowered head and his tail between his legs, he followed me. We went up the path while the familiar repugnant odor still lingered with us. It didn‘t come from the dog, it was in the air, or from some critter dying somewhere around here, out of our sight.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book cover Short Story



I want to showcase the book-cover for the short-story I will release today/tomorrow on amazon. The price will be set at $0.99

Opinions about the cover are welcome. I must say it's not the best book-cover I made, but it looks a fitting weird in its imperfection.

Update: "Don't Believe What They Say is now available on Amazon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The tragedy of 9-11

On 9-11-2001 a tragedy occurred which left close to 3000 dead and many more in its wake. A sad day for the family and friends left behind. A sad day for a city, a country, and the world. On that day, it was one of the few moments in my life that I cried.

I don't remember that day fully, only the event. I was at home thinking about writing, and actually I wrote a first sentence to a story that I never finished. For some reason I can't remember, I walked away from my writing and turned on the television.(I don't watch often) It was tuned in on CNN, it was my main source of news at that time, and besides discovery channel the only channels I watched.

The image of the plane smashing in the tower choked my breath away. I stood paralyzed analyzing what happened. I thought a horrendous accident had happened. CNN kept repeating this image, ingraining it in my mind, it also left a bad taste about their reporting. Any notion of it being an accident went away hearing about the hijackings, and it vanished completely with seeing a second plane hit the other tower.

It struck me the way it was being reported, like it was the media's intention to twist the dagger in the wound etched in the viewers heart. It was very sensationalized the way the did it, in a very working the emotions of the viewers kind-of-way. After a while I felt nauseated by the reporting. By then I couldn't understand why they did it this way.

Then the first tower collapsed in a very controlled demolition kind-of-way, and there was actually reporting of hearing explosives go off. I dismissed this, because it was obvious to me that it must have been the plane that crashed in the building that caused it to fall. The odd way the building crumbled to a pile of dust and debris could have been a chance freak occurrence. It's a fact that strange things that we can't explain do happen.

The second tower crumbled down in the exact same way as the first. It made me think and doubt. It's highly unlikely that two buildings would collapse in the same way on the same day, unless it was controlled. I didn't want to believe that, to believe that meant to believe that there was more to it than just Muslim extremist hijacking planes to crash them in the twin towers. In life there are chance occurrences. I concluded that there is a chance that the same thing can happen twice, but not three times. With this I set my mind at peace, and continued watching CNN, and be horrified by their journalists, or talking heads as they are so endearingly called.

My shock was great hearing that a third tower (WTC7) had collapsed in the same way. I couldn't keep myself in denial anymore. There was something odd about it. Using logic I can say that those towers didn't collapse the way they officially claim it to have happened. There is more to it than they want us to believe, and it saddens me that this will not be brought out to light.

My eyes opened to the reality of our world, our life, and society, that is awful. My illusion how things were crumbled on that day. Since then I've grown more aware of the manipulations to hide the truth by the media, the educational system, and the politicians themselves. Studying history, and from more than one source, I got a better grasp in what really happened during some world events. I now see the discrepancies with reality and what is being thought to our children in history classes. We are fed sugarcoated information, with some(many) incriminating details missing. We never get the full story unless we ourselves seek it out.

I don't watch CNN anymore or any other mass media outlets. It's become obvious they don't report but instead sensationalize, and pick and chose what they will tell their viewers. It is their own opinions of facts they want to impress on us. A good example is in how well they did to get people in a frenzy for a war in Afghanistan and Iraq. How there was no critical note towards the official 9-11 investigation report. How every other view that goes against their notion of the truth, is categorically ridiculed, or put aside. A more current event is the reporting against Libya, and the ever lasting trying to goad people in a war against Iran. What is the goal of the media in instigating us with half truths and often lies?

With the years after 9-11, I've become more critical about everything that happens around us. I've been thinking more and deeper. My perception is now enhanced. With this comes the trouble to cope with it all. The realization of how it all is in reality, and the acceptance of this, is a big burden that can propel you into a depression. It's the fear that you face, fear of the truth of things. It's accepting that what is, and stop being led by fear that will keep you sane and able to face the truths of our world. And it's liberating once you cast the fear away and finally see.

What has this post of mine to do with writing? With making a novel? Nothing much to writing in general, but 9-11 changed me into who I am, and with it my writing and desire to write. Having my eyes opened I got the urge, dedication, and will to write and continue writing. Had it never happened I would still live a fearful life and never dared to write.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Editing, my way! #2

Yesterday after posting my first "Edit, my way!" post I went on kindleboards and read a post about editing that made me remember a thing I wanted to try out for a long time now.

I downloaded readplease, installed it. It looks like an early windows program. And with early I don't mean Windows Xp, but more like windows 3.0. I'm tempted to say it looks like a DOS program, but it got a GUI. Don't mind me, the nerd in me came out. Can't help it happening, it's the curse working in IT for such a long time.

The main thing is, it works. You paste the text and some computer voice reads it. It does help with editing, especially with the placement of comma's. Hearing someone read it, you get a better feel if it's placed right. Not being a spelling and grammar genius I need all the help I can get editing my work, and hearing your own story read to you helps a lot with this.

It's a great tool for your editing. The only downsize of readplease is the robot person voice. It sounds creepy and soulless, but beats finding someone who wants to read your text aloud. (Could not get my wife to do that yet)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Editing, my way!

Well yes! Editing the thing I suck at most. And why? Because I dislike it. And the why I dislike editing is; I tend to make many spelling & grammatical errors, and because of this I've do do a lot of corrections. The drawback of having to correct so much and not having the money to pay someone to do the brunt of correcting, is that it slows me down in finishing my books.

I love the creative process of coming up with a story and writing it down. I write a story down fast, but my editing always lags behind. When you do something with passion you will always do it better and the time will fly by like it was done yesterday. Without the passion things will drag and seem to last an eternity.

I'm trailing off. I didn't want to rant about my dislike of editing but I wanted to write about how I edit. This is what I do. I quickly go over the text, sentence by sentence, correcting the simple spelling errors. When I finish doing that I'll go over the text again, and correct the sentence structure. I also do this on the sentence level. I'll repeat doing this till I'm satisfied with the text. I'm no spelling God, when I'm satisfied there probably are many errors still left in.

It takes me as long to edit a novel as it takes me to write one. I'm slow like that. I can't do much about it. Well I could become better and more diligent in my spelling & grammar, that might do the trick, but that takes time and experience. I can live with the slowness for now, but I discovered something else that's wrong with my editing. By doing my correcting per sentence the flow of the whole get distorted at times and my text will read clumsily because of it. (More than it should)

Driving home (I do a lot of thinking driving) I thought about my editing woes, and I came up with that maybe I should correct my work taking into account the whole paragraph. That way I can make sure the whole reads okay, and that not each sentence stands on its own unrelated to those surrounding it. I'll try this new way out and hope that it will improve the readability of my writing.

In fact I'll start with this blog-post.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I wrote a short story.

Well yes, I wrote a short story. I did it while not planning to do so, but I still did it. I wrote a short story.

While walking the dog Friday, I got an idea for a story. I tend not to start a new story if I'm writing another one, so I put the idea behind me. My current work in progress is waiting in line to be written while I'm editing a finished novel. I wanted to start with correcting my work, but my motivation was far away on a vacation it neglected to tell me about. I just couldn't push myself in doing anything.

Siting in my chair being my lazy self, it hit me. I took my writing block, blue pen, and I went downstairs to sit at my dining table. I wrote for like five to six hours only stopping to drink or stretch my back. I finished the story at almost five thousand words. It's the most work I've done in months. I'm now editing the story, hoping to finish in time to self-publish it this Sunday.

It surprised me what I could accomplish if I set my mind to it. I thought I was spent for that day and I still managed to write a short story. This experience showed me the greatness of inspiration. I now understood how it is possible that some writers can write a novel in a matter of a week or two.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The ART of DRAMATIC WRITING

You've seen it right, the title is in CAPITAL LETTERS, this book deserves the added exclamation. If you want to know more about how to improve your writing craft, be it playwright, writing a short story, a novelette, a novel, a screenplay, even your grocery-list, buy this book.

Lajos Egri explains the need of having a premise, characters, and conflict to shape the story. He shows that without this the story will not reach its full potential. He proves his points with explanations, and examples of existing plays (from the era he wrote the book), and a session of question that he answers in great detail.

This book helped me understand why some of what I wrote previously worked and some not so much. It gave me understanding where previously I was guessing and going by feeling. It's not that you can't write a great book based on going just with pure imagination, but it's rare. Knowing why things work gives you that much more confidence in your writing, and the right tools to knowingly write (or attempt to) a great book.

I'm glad I read this book. It's a shame I forgot who recommended The Art of Dramatic Writing to me, I would kiss him or her a thousands times. It's a great book and an asset to every writers bookcase.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Made myself a website

Yes I did it. I finally, finally, after years trying and wanting, finished making a website, and in my biased opinion it looks great, terrific, just pure awesomeness. Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me. Tell me how great it look. www.alexrosaria.com

But please don't shatter my delusions, illusions, or whatever the high is I feel about making a website. Nah just comment the truth if you so desire. I'll scream, cry, pull my hair if other despise my website, but in my eyes it will stay awesome.

A website is an ongoing process, I'll have to keep polishing the content, and keep adding more to it, and increase its functionality. What is new to me is to make a website search engine friendly, but I'm learning how to do that. Finding out how to make a website took most of the time making it, and It was great process, despite the now and then frustration encountering a bug or not knowing how to do something.

I might make more websites, I only have to think about what. Any idea's?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Agents and writers, that what bothers me.

I've read a blog post at The Passive Voice about how some writers act in defense of their agent. It stirred me to write a blog post of my own, because it's something that bothered me since I started writing.

In the beginning as a fresh new writer, it baffled me that writers grovelled in the dirt to get an agent. They really did despair with each rejection and went into orgasmic highs when they landed an agent, and that without even selling one book.

I though at that time, if you are groveling and going trough all that misery of rejections why not submit directly to a publishers. The chances were the same as in getting an agent, only then at least you sold your book. Selling your book can justify yourself getting in orgasmic high, even to psychedelic drug use high, whichever you fancy.

However, the arguments given against submitting directly to the publisher is that they don't take non-agent submissions. I think if you are already grovelling in the dirt to get things done, why then not ignore that one rule? Most don't go against rules, because we are thought we need to follow rules at all cost. The publishers and agents know that, that's why this rule exist, while the publishers still have their slush-piles for manuscripts send to them. If they like your book, they will not deny it just because it wasn't send by an agent.

I've never understood the need writers have to consider their agent a business partner. To me they are like a salesperson, an employee, and one that ask too high a salary. I don't understand why writers give them 15% of earnings and give them total control of their finances. Most Agents aren't accountants or bookkeepers. Worse is the utter belief in the need of agents to negotiate a contract. They probably know as much about contracts as the next men or woman, because most are not literary lawyers, or studied law to know better. Why then the need to go down in the dirt on your knees, with you puppy eyes raised high to the mighty agent, if he is an employee of yours? I wish my employer would do that for me, I would have had a six figure salary by now, a bigger car, and a bigger house.

The way writers defend their agents seems like idolatry, and maybe it is. The writer the lowly supplicant, and the agent Saint Peter keeping the gate to heaven. I think part of what happens here is partly because the way we humans are bred. We are thought to be dependent, and in most of all things in life we are dependent on others. We don't plant our own food, or make our own things, or repair anything ourselves. (exceptions excluded) We don't even protect ourselves anymore, it's the law and police that's expected to do that for us. We are encouraged (some even forced) to learn at schools and follow the teachers every command, while critical thinking isn't thought at schools. We are supposed to choose every so many years representatives that will govern us. We chose them so they will tell us what we may or may not do. This we think is common and normal. Responsibility and consequence (partially) is taken away from us humans, and that makes some(a lot) of use act weird when it's completely illogical to do so.

We should open our eyes more to things going on, and believe less, and think more. The more we think the better we will lead our lives in our own favor. Writers should start think about what is happening and adapt to the changes happening around us. If they keep their idolatry they will get burned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What does bad handwriting have to do with writing?

What does bad handwriting have to do with writing? One would think nothing, but is that really so? In my case, my handwriting had a major influence on my writing. I can write fast, and it's easier for me to write longhand than to type sitting in front of a screen and keyboard, because pen and paper you can use anywhere.

I wrote a great part of my second book in the Finitum series by hand. I assumed (assuming in itself is bad) that I would easily type over, a thousand words an hour, and be done within two weeks. My mistake was not taking in consideration that the faster I write the smaller my handwriting becomes, and that it will be horrendously unreadable. Instead of typing over at the speed of thousand words an hour, I manage at max a four hundred. It will take months instead of mere weeks to have it typed over. So in no possible way I could have finished end May 2011 as I had planned, and neither at the end of June. I may be finished by the earliest at the end of July, but most likely near the end of August. I know now I should never again write stuff down on paper. It's too time consuming to do so.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Review: I Eat Butterflies: Tales of Vampires, Mages & Mutants

The book's description as found on smashwords:

I EAT BUTTERFLIES - Tales of Vampires, Mages & Mutants is a trio of sinister & sexy erotic horror / urban fantasy / dark & dangerous sci-fi stories from the creator of THE WORLD OF SYNNIBARR and CRYPT: THE PHARAOH’S CURSE.

THE BRIDES: The Brides of Dracula have always been secretly calling the shots by making Draculii as fall guys. What happens when you create the wrong dark prince?

MERLIN’S KNOT: Upon discovering the secret code interlaced within the Celtic knots, a group of college students learn how to use real magic, and the knowledge propels them into a world of intrigue and adventure.

VELOCITY SYNDROME: An Orwellian take on the near future, where there are groups of low-powered mutants, humans have chips in their brains, and the world is drowning. And the answer to one murder may save the world or lead to total destruction

My Review

The stories in themselves are okay to good: Velocity Syndrome being the better one. While reading I had the feeling that the author was new at the craft of writing. This was evident from his overuse of "purple" prose, so much it distracted me from reading his story, which is a pity. Luckily he improved. In his third short story "Velocity Syndrome" he writes much more fluent and readable. Because of that I could immerse myself better in the third story than the previous two.

The brides was a drag to read. The story is an interesting one. It's a new way (for me at least) describing vampires. However the writing was distracting, and this made reading it less enjoyable. For example in the story the brides talking amongst themselves about the past, one retells the story how they started. A flashback by retelling. It's nice getting some back-story, but it's weird and awkward way of doing it. Why would one of the three people, who have lived and experienced the event, retell this to the other two who lived it along with her? It's made it too obvious it being a flashback, and this can distract readers.

The story picked up when the brides found a new prince. The writing started to flow better at the end. This made it more a pity, that while improving in his writing style, the story suffered a little fall. It felt chunks were left out, and stuff started happening ad hoc. The ending was a little abrupt and left things not so clear. It felt it rushed by leaving me to ask my self; "What happened!"

MERLIN’S KNOT is less flowerly written. The story follows a clearer path than The Brides. It has an interesting take on magic and technology. Too bad the story gets convoluted by having too much going on at once. I'm sure some will like that. To me it has an B action movie feel to it. There are things added to the story that I felt were not there to add to the story(because it didn't make sense), but for the cool factor. However the writer is improving in his craft. Merlin's knot is less a drag to read.

Velocity Syndrome is more coherent and read fluent compared to the first two, it is less distracting written. I enjoyed reading this one. The setting is great and the story draws you in. At the end it has a twist, only too bad it is a tad confusing.

From reading "I Eat Butterflies: Tales of Vampires, Mages & Mutants" I have come to believe Raven c.s. McCracken has an imaginative mind and that he shows he improves with every word written. If he keeps writing I'm sure he'll come to a point he'll be writing great stories. These being his first, they are however not so great, but still worth reading.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The making of the Trailer

My brother came to me with the idea that I should make a book trailer. Me being me, I dismissed the idea immediately. If I ever were to make a book trailer, I wanted it to be cutting edge, clean, terrific, to the perfection. I didn't think myself adept enough to be able to make such a book trailer.

I have never made a trailer before. Actually the manipulation of video and sound is forlorn to me. I told my brother I would first need to learn how to make one. I assumed it would cost me a great deal of time to learn, and time not being on my side, I put that idea behind the line of things I would one day do.

For some unknown reason, yesterday, my mind got stubborn. The idea etched in my mind, that I would make a book trailer. No matter how messed up it would turn out, I would just do it. To hell with my compulsion to have to be good before doing anything.

Yesterday I thought, planned, and sought information about making trailers. Today I downloaded Windows Live Movie Maker. Installed it. (The usual, click, click, clickedy click.) Ran the program and just started making stuff. On and off in between doing dishes, walking my dog (he ate horse dung), and taking my son to his swimming lessons, I made a book trailer. It took me about four hours. If I didn't have to search for an appropriate music score and one that is copyright free as well, I would have finished much earlier.

The lesson from this experience is, that we ourselves tend to keep us back. It's the uncertainty we feel in our own capabilities, the fear to fail, the fear what people might think of us if we fail, that keeps us back from doing anything. We shouldn't be afraid to do stuff. Just do it, and you'll learn, even if you fail, sometimes especially because you failed.

My stubbornness (and part compulsive behavior ;) ) made me make this:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

F.C.F That Within *UPDATE*

After publishing I still left many mistakes in. I hired Nicholas J. Ambrose to give the text a basic edit.

I re-posted the first thee Chapter with the changes added. This Friday and Weekend I'll be adding the changes to my text and reformat the e-book. I plan to add a TOC to it and a few more links. I hope to have the new and improved ebook on Amazon and Smashwords by the end of the week.

CHAPTER ONE

“They are all dead.” His husky voice echoed into his helmet for no one in particular to hear but him: the cruiser Athena IV was too far away to pick up his signal and the outpost wasn’t listening — or maybe they did, she did, but he didn’t expect any answer.

Sergeant T. Black looked around him. His fellow marines’ bodies were lying on the moon’s dusty ground where they been killed. Littered between them the spend DU ammunition casings still glowed in the dead of space. Their blood, too light to stay grounded on this low-gravity moon, floated up, a red haze of mist soon to disappear up in the infinite space.

There weren’t many of those things that attacked them left; they overwhelmed them in numbers, but still they were mush to their bullets, which shredded them apart. Their filth covered his fellow marines. Sergeant Black gritted his teeth. They had squashed the bugs, but at what price? The cost paid was way too high in his opinion — not that his opinion mattered. He was now just a non-commissioned officer, once a captain, now a mere sergeant.

His unit annihilated, it left him the sole survivor and stranded on a mission he wouldn’t be able to complete. It didn’t matter much anymore. Maybe the brass still cared, but not him. He had his own mission to complete; he owed it to them. He ingrained what he saw in his mind, tattooed it in his heart, never to forget or stop feeling it. It fueled him for what rested him to do.

“All dead,” he huffed, his breath fogging the inside of his helmet. He eased his breathing. It had been an ambush, and as prepared as they were for such things it had obviously not been enough when these beings puffed out of the ground and trashed their dropship. It had been treachery, could only be treachery. The woman would pay: he would make sure of that. He squeezed his hand to a fist, crushing the skull of a not-so-long-dead bug.

He performed a quick status check. According to the readings, he had not much oxygen left — barely enough to make it to the outpost, and that was only if he had some form of transportation. He looked around. As far the horizon reached he saw a barren landscape filled with holes, made from meteorite impacts that happened ages ago, and those made more recently by the hammer of war.

His dropship was the only sign of technology in the vicinity. Were he a technician he might have been able to fix it, but his skill pertained only into the art of killing. Marine Rhines used to be a technician, but there was not much he could do now, since he lay face down on the gray dust, his once handy right hand with arm still attached lay a few feet away from his body, torn and nibbled on. There would be no fixing anything anymore. It was just wishful thinking anyway: the pilot was also dead, so there was no one left to fly the dropship. He could try, but he was sure he would end up into a ball of fire making yet one more crater on this desolate moon.

He ran a status check on his armored combat suit. The exoskeleton integrity was 99%, electronics were running at 97% efficiency, and pressure was building up slowly. There must be a tiny fracture somewhere in his armor causing the pressure build up. The pressure rose at a minimal rate; not something to be worried about. He would have more than enough time before it could become an issue. The shield was back up at 100%. He still had his full supply of stimulants. He never used them and never needed to; his average performance was already up that of a standard marine full on steroid enhancements. His armor was good to go. He had endured minimal damage during the ambush; his marines took the brunt of the attack by pure chance — he was scouting out ahead, standing about hundred feet away when the bugs burst up and attacked.

He hoped chance would be on his side again, however with its morbid choosing and pickings, the situation always being dire when it showed up, it left a bitter aftertaste. Maybe it would have been better if he had died along with them. He glanced at the torn bodies, the last of the blood swiveling up into space. He fervently shook his head. Nobody would then be left to do what had to be done, what he now had to do.

“I’ll kill the bitch!” he growled.

CHAPTER TWO

He looked over the vast expanse of the crater riddled landscape. There was no life here — not on the surface at least. He looked up. The planet AR-01 shone a bright red that left its mark in your eyes if you stared at it too much. One big ball of molten lava, too hot for humans and most living things to live in. He heard there was life there; he just couldn’t imagine what kind of life it was. He was certain whatever it may be, it couldn’t be nastier than the bugs living on this moon. This moon wasn’t the bugs’ only habitat: they managed, in a way only the scientist could explain, to travel space and infest many more planets and moons.

They changed you when they got to you. He had seen it happen. It didn’t matter if you were still alive or dead. That’s why he had to do it. He closed his fist tight. The metal of his gloves crushed against each other. He inhaled deep, gritted his teeth and unclasped his fusion handgun. He walked to Rhines his corpse. Troy stood spread-eagled above Rhines, whose face was frozen in an eternal stare of horror, mouth wide open in a last scream, his tongue out limp at the side. His glazed eyes were back in the eye sockets, leaving only the whites to stare up at Troy. Troy pulled the trigger. With a wheeze, the bolt of burning blueish white light melted Rhines’ face to a boiling soup of bones, blood, and brains, none left distinguishable from each other.

He continued to the next corpse and the one after until he had the last one of his fallen comrades. Each of them was as horrible a sight as Rhines was: mutilated, battered, bitten, killed by the bugs, and now desecrated by him. He had to do this. With no brain intact the creatures couldn’t take over the bodies. No matter how much it pained him, he just couldn’t afford to be followed, chased and harassed by his own unit turned insect.

Troy walked away from the mess. He had no time to bury them nor had he the equipment to do so. If time and circumstances permitted he would come back; however with the odds pitted against him he doubted he would survive that long. His back to his unit and the wrecked dropship, he walked on, on towards the planet looming up in front of him.

He breathed slowly; he had to conserve his oxygen. Why did he try? He knew he hadn’t enough oxygen to walk to the outpost. He should have listened to Lieutenant Mercer — Ann Mercer. She tried to teach him some ancient technique to be able to move while conserving energy, and in doing so, oxygen. She told him that if applied correctly he could do triple or more with the same energy he normally would use. He had tried and failed to master it. How typical and ironic. She fawned him in with her so-called honest help, blindsided him, blindsided them all. She turned traitor.

He had to try that technique and use whatever he still remembered to get as far possible: then maybe he could reach the outpost. Maybe, though not likely. He pictured her how he last remembered her. Her insistence for him not to go. He left her standing in his quarters, naked, eyes hallow, her long, sleek black hair running over her shoulder, her lips thick in a wry downturned smile. She shivered that day. He thought it was the cold, but now he was thinking about it, it could have been something else, something much worse. When he said his goodbye she only looked on, her eyes bland on him like the rope connecting them was already cut — and cut it was. He looked at his hands, the scratches on his steel gloves, the handiwork of those creatures.

He moved on slowly. He had a long way ahead. Better try out his training, make sure he got there to give her the ironic punishment she wouldn’t have had, had she not taught him that one thing. Every ten steps he breathed in slowly, to breathe out after the subsequent ten steps. All the while he focused on one point ahead, trying to keep his head empty. A difficult task with the screams of his unit still fresh in his mind and his hatred voicing ever the harder his want to destroy those that did this to him. He had no choice. He went on trying his best.

CHAPTER THREE

Lieutenant Ann Mercer of the Intelligence core, member of a specialist unit in deep cover surveillance, sabotage and liquidations. Not that there was much intelligence to be gained from the bugs with what the humans knew of them. However, she now knew all and would not likely reveal a thing, just like those before her and she knew there were many of them, all dead and destroyed by now.

She looked around the control room. The wall was covered with blinking lights and panels displaying space charts, telemetric readings, and satellite pictures of the moon’s surface. The seats at the controls were empty. She stood alone in the normally cramped and noisy compartment. The red emergency light was still on and flashing. Luckily she had managed to silence the computer announcement from broadcasting the imminent danger message. The danger had come and won. Ann smiled. She walked to the front.

“Open the screen,” she said with a grated voice.

The metal screen didn’t open. Ann closed her eyes. she stood still for a long while, deep in thought. The voices again raced trough her mind. Get society going, get off the moon; spread, build, rise, conquer. The many voices in her head urging her on, she barely contained herself from just taking the only dropship left, use it to get up into space and dock onto the cruiser Athena IV orbiting the planet AR-01, better known amongst the grunts as ‘Fiery Ball of Crap’. Their wishes and voice for her to do was to overtake the cruiser. Ann shook her head, opened her eyes and said in her normal, clear, almost singing voice, “Open the screen.”

The voice recognition kicked in. She heard the humming of the gears, the hiss of the pressure giving out. The screen moved, grating its rails open. Outside was the usual visage, the dust flew up into a hazy gray. The craters were still there: nothing changed. Nothing ever changed. Same planet in the air. Same space.

She saw her reflection on the reinforced windows, her eyes harrow, her face gaunt, the flashing red light altering the shades from light to dark. Troy called her beautiful today before he went on his last sortie. She couldn’t see her beauty. She wasn’t even certain what she saw was still her. Part of her hoped him back, but she knew what would happen if he came on his own volition.

Ann walked back up the steps to the raised platform on which the control isle stood. She stepped over Captain Riker's legs and then his torso. Luckily he didn’t bleed much. The laser had cut him in two and scorched the wound closed. Very neat, much like he was in life. Even in death his navy blue uniform looked immaculate, gold painted epaulettes and buttons shining copper. Even his officer’s hat was still on his head. So boring a man.

She took place on the main seat. She looked at the panel in front of her, pressed some buttons, and a radar screen appeared. A flashing light showed his location. She pressed the blinking dot on the screen. His suit stats appeared; exoskeleton integrity was 90%, electronics ran at 97% efficiency, pressure level was 10% above acceptable. His suit had taken damage. Not enough to become critical. What was critical was his oxygen tank, having only 14% oxygen left, and he was only halfway to the outpost. He wouldn’t last.

She pressed the screen. His biometric status came up. His heartbeat was slow, beating at forty beats per minute. His oxygen intake was slowing down. Who would have thought her training caught on? How impressive he could be once he put his mind to something — however she had an inkling on what his mind had set the arrow point on. She shuddered slightly.

Her finger floated above the screen. She bit her lip, a trembling finger descended on the screen. His biography sprung up. Sergeant Troy Black. She looked at his portrait. His eyes. Even here they pierced right trough the soul. How was it possible she could have deceived those eyes for so long? Or maybe wasn’t she the one doing the deceiving, but he himself. He had to know. After she returned from her last mission, he had to know. How couldn’t he have? Those eyes. She felt a tingle around her heart.

The voices started again, thoughts darted up. They demanded her to get off the moon, conquer, make everything their own, forge a society. She swallowed deep. She would soon, but first she had to do something else. She pressed the button to the intercom.

“Sergeant Johnson, report to me. Bring Private Dencer along with you.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

How much that sounded like mam. How she hated that. Then again, now, especially now, it was very appropriate: because in a way she was their mom now. Maybe instead of ma’am they should call her mother and be over with it. ‘Superior mother’ would sound nice if it weren’t for it brought up the image of the female clerics of the now more than three hundred years defunct religion of that mono-god belief. What was it named again? Something with Kristus… whatever, it didn’t matter anymore. She knew there were things greater than a god that could walk on water. Who knows: maybe she herself would turn into such a creature. She looked at her trembling hands. Her olive skin seemed to pale into a gray with each passing second. Into what kind of monster was she turning? How long could she keep being herself?

The sliding door to her right opened. Two men came marching in. The one walking in front was a tall, broad-shouldered marine: Sergeant Johnson. He dragged his bloody left feet behind him, its bone sticking out the ankle. His face was motionless, his thick lips a stripe, his eyes glazed over. His black skin was covered with gray patches. Private Dencer quickly followed him on his much shorter legs. He barely passed the minimum height requirement to join the marines. His face was covered in sweat; his eyes darted from left to right and around. His neck shook in a spastic fit. There seemed to be something growing out of it; he held it covered with his left hand.

Sergeant Johnson stood in front of her. He saluted. She ignored it. They were no marines anymore; they were soldiers of another kind now. Best to leave what was in the past behind. The sergeant slowly lowered his hand.

“What are your orders, ma’am?”

Direct to business, just like the collective expected. Enlisted men were so easy to take over. It would not take long and Johnson would be taken over completely. Those of a single-focused mind were the first to go. She looked at the private. He also was far along the way, though the way he was staring at her not in the eyes but way below, his mind had another single-mindedness. The change must have removed the restriction etiquette used to have on the young man.

“Go out there and capture Sergeant Black. By the time you locate him, he will most likely be dying and too weak to pose any resistance.”

“Once we have him, what should we do with him?”

“Bring him here,” she said, “unharmed.”

Both man eyed her intently. It wasn’t their prerogative to just capture, the voices in their head must be screaming.

“Unharmed I said! I’ll deal with him myself.”

Johnson nodded.

“You're dismissed,” she said.

He raised his hand halfway to his head, stopped and retracted it back to his side. He turned away, passed Private Dencer, grunted, and the young man followed. Private Dencer’s eyes lingered on her for as long he could while turning. Johnson still dragging his feet, and Dencer trotted behind him, they disappeared trough the door.

Sitting in the chair, Ann closed her eyes and tried to get away from the droning voices, pleading and demanding. One word trailed away in her head. Infest.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

F.C.F. That Within

I want to announce that I published F.C.F. That Within on Amazon. You can buy it for $0.99.

If you happen to have bought it, I would appreciate if you would post a review. It would help me out even if it's less favorable.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cover for F.C.F. That Within

To showcase my e-book cover, here I present you the one I finally chose:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Excerpt F.C.F. That Within

*I hired someone to edit F.C.F. That Within. I re-posted the first three chapters here.*

I'm close in finishing revising F.C.F. That Within, with some luck I'll be putting the story on Amazon and Smashwords this weekend.

Before it comes to that I want to share the first three chapters. I love to hear your opinions about this story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.


CHAPTER ONE

“They are all dead,” his husky voice echoed into his helmet for no one in particular to hear but him, the cruiser Athena IV was too far away to pick up his signal and the outpost wasn’t listening, or maybe they did, she did, but he didn’t expect any answer.

Sergeant T. Black looked around him, his fellow marines bodies were lying on the moon’s dusty ground where they been killed, littered between them the spend DU ammunition casings still glowed in the dead of space. Their blood too light to stay grounded on this low gravity moon, floated up, a red haze of mist soon to disappear up in the infinite space.

Their wasn’t much left of those things that attacked them, they overwhelmed them in numbers, but still they were mush to their bullets which shredded them apart. Their filth covered his fellow marines. Sergeant Black gritted his teeth. They had squashed the bugs, but at what price? The cost paid was way too high in his opinion, not that his opinion mattered, he was now just an non commissioned officer, once a captain now a mere sergeant.

His unit annihilated, it left him the sole survivor and stranded in a mission he wouldn’t be able to complete. It didn’t matter much anymore, maybe the brass still cared, but not him. He had his own mission to complete, he owed it to them. He ingrained what he saw in his mind, tattooed it in his hart, never to forget or stop feeling it. It fueled him for what rested him to do.

“All dead,” he huffed, his breath fogging the inside of his helmet. He eased his breathing. It had been a ambush and as prepared as they were for such things it had obviously not been enough when these beings puffed out of the ground and trashed their dropship. It had been treachery, could only be treachery. The woman would pay, he will make sure of that. He squeezed his hand to a fist, crushing the skull of a not so long dead bug.

He performed a quick status check. According to the readings he had not much oxygen left, barely enough to make it to the outpost and that is only if he had some form of transportation. He looked around, as far the horizon reached he saw a barren landscape filled with holes made from meteorite impact that happened ages ago and those made more recently by the hammer of war.

His dropship was the only sign of technology in the vicinity. Were he a technician he might have been able to fix it, but his skill pertained only into the art of killing. Marine Rhines used to be a technician, but much he could do now since he lay face down on the gray dust, his once handy right hand with arm still attached lay a few feet away from his body, torn and nibbled on. There would be no fixing anything anymore. It was just wishful thinking, the pilot was dead, so there was no one left to flight the drop-ship. He could try, but he was sure he would end up into a ball of fire making yet one more crater on this desolate moon.

He ran a status check on his armored combat suit, the exoskeleton integrity was 99%, electronics running at 97% efficiency, pressure was building up slowly. There must be a tiny fracture somewhere in his armor causing the pressure build up. The pressure raised at a minimal rate, not something to be worried about, he would have more than enough time before it could become an issue. The shield was back up at 100%. He still had his full supply of stimulants, he never used them and never needed to, his average performance was already up that of a standard marine full on steroid enhancements. His armor was good to go. He had endured minimal damage during the ambush, his marines took the brunt of the attack by pure chance, he was scouting out ahead standing about hundred feet away when the bugs burst up and attacked.

He hoped chance would be on his side again, however with its morbid choosing and pickings, the situation always being dire when it showed up, left a bitter aftertaste. Maybe it would have been better if he had died along with them. He glanced at the torn bodies, the last of the blood swiveling up into space. He fervently shook his head, nobody would then be left to do what had to be done, what he now had to do.

“I’ll kill the bitch!” He growled.

CHAPTER TWO

He looked over the vast expanse of the crater riddled landscape, there was no life here, not on the surface at least. He looked up. The planet AR-01 shone a bright red that left its mark in your eyes if you stared at it too much. One big ball of molten lava, too hot for humans and most living things to live in. He heard there was life there, he just couldn’t imagine what kind of life it was, he was certain whatever it may be it couldn’t be nastier than the bugs living on this moon. This moon wasn’t the bugs only habitat, they managed in a way only the scientist could explain to travel space and infest many more planets and moons.

They changed you when they got to you. He had seen it happen. It didn’t matter if you were still alive or dead. That’s why he had to do it. He closed his fist tight, the metal of his gloves crushed against each other. He inhaled deep, gritted his teeth and unclasped his fusion handgun. He walked to Rhines his corpse. Troy stood spread-eagled above Rhines, whose face was frozen in an eternal stare of horror, mouth wide open in a last scream, his tongue out limp at the side, his glazed eyes were back in the eye sockets leaving only the whites to stare up at Troy. Troy pulled the trigger, with a wheeze the bolt of burning blueish white light melted Rhines face to a boiling soup of bones, blood, and brains, none left distinguishable from each other.

He continued to the next corpse and the one after until he had the last one of his fallen comrades. Each of them was as a horrible sight like Rhines was, mutilated, battered, bitten, killed by the bugs, and now desecrated by him. He had to do this. With no brain intact the creatures couldn’t take over the bodies. No matter how much it pained him, he just couldn’t afford to be followed, chased and harassed by his own unit turned insect.

Troy walked away from the mess, he had no time to bury them nor had he the equipment to do so, if time and circumstances permitted he would come back, however with the odds pitted against him he doubted he would survive that long. His back to his unit and the wrecked dropship, he walked on, on forward towards the planet looming up in front of him.

He breathed slowly, he had to conserve his oxygen. Why did he try, he knew he hadn’t enough oxygen to walk to the outpost. He should have listened to Lieutenant Mercer, Ann Mercer, that time she tried to teach him some ancient technique to be able to move while conserving energy and in doing so oxygen. She told him that if applied correctly he could do triple or more with the same energy he normally would use. He had tried and failed to master it. How typical and ironic, she fawned him in with her so called honest help, blindsided him, blindsided them all, she turned traitor.

He had to try that technique and use whatever he still remembered to get as far possible, maybe he could reach the outpost. Maybe, though not likely. He pictured her how he last remembered her. Her insistence for him not to go, he left her standing in his quarters, naked, eyes hallow, her long sleek black hair running over her shoulder, her lips thick in a wry down turned smile. She shivered that day, he thought it was the cold, but now he was thinking about it, it could have been something else, something much worse. When he said his goodbye she only looked on, her eyes bland on him like the rope connecting them was already cut, and cut it was. He looked at his hands, the scratches on his steel gloves, the handiwork of those creatures.

He moved on slowly he had a long way ahead, better try out his training, make sure he got there to give her the ironic punishment she wouldn’t have had, had she not thought him that one thing. Every ten steps he breathed in slowly, to breathe out after the subsequent ten steps, all the while he focused on one point ahead trying to keep his head empty. A difficult task with the screams of his unit still fresh in his mind and his hatred voicing ever the harder his want to destroy those that did this to him. He had no choice, he went on trying his best.

CHAPTER THREE

Lieutenant Ann Mercer of the Intelligence core, member of a specialist unit in deep cover surveillance, sabotage and liquidations. Not that there was much intelligence to be gained from the bugs with what the humans knew of them. However she now knew all and would not likely reveal a thing, just like those before her and she knew there were many of them, all dead and destroyed by now.

She looked around the control room. The wall was covered with blinking lights and panels displaying space charts, telemetric readings, and satellite pictures of the moon’s surface. The seats at the controls were empty, she stood alone in the normally cramped and noisy compartment. The red emergency light were still on and flashing, luckily she had managed to silence the computer announcement from broadcasting the imminent danger message. The danger had come and won. She smiled. She walked to the front.

“Open the screen,” she said with a grated voice.

The metal screen didn’t open. She closed her eyes, she stood still for a long while deep in thought. The voices again raced trough her mind. Get society going, get off the moon, spread, build, rise, conquer. The many voices in her head urging her on, she barely contained herself from just taking the only dropship left, use it to get up into space and dock onto the cruiser Athena IV orbiting the planet AR-01, better known amongst the grunts as fiery ball of crap. Their wishes and voice for her to do, was to overtake the cruiser. Ann shook her head, opened her eyes and said in her normal clear almost singing voice, “open the screen.”

The voice recognition kicked in. She heard the humming of the gears, the hiss of the pressure giving out, the screen moved grating its rails open. Outside was the usual visage, the dust flew up into a hazy gray, the craters where still there, nothing changed, nothing ever changed. Same planet in the air. Same space.

She saw her reflection on the reinforced windows, her eyes harrow, her face gaunt, the flashing red light altering the shades from light to dark. Troy called her beautiful today before he went on his last sortie. She couldn’t see her beauty. She wasn’t even certain what she saw was still her. Part of her hoped him back, but she new what would happen if he came on his own volition.

Ann walked back up the steps to the raised platform on which the control isle stood. She stepped over Captain Riker legs and then his torso. Luckily he didn’t bleed much, the laser had cut him in two and scorched the wound closed. Very neat, much like he was in life, even in death his navy blue uniform looked immaculate, gold painted epaulettes and buttons shining copper, even his officer’s hat was still on his head. So boring a man.

She took place on the main seat. She looked at the panel in front of her, pressed some buttons and a radar screen appeared, a flashing light showed his location. She pressed the blinking dot on the screen. His suit stats appeared; exoskeleton integrity was 90%, electronics ran at 97% efficiency, pressure level was 10% above acceptable, his suit had taken damage, not enough to become critical, what was critical was his oxygen tank having only 14% oxygen left and he was only half way to the outpost. He wouldn’t last.

She pressed the screen. His biometric status came up. His heartbeat was slow beating at forty beats per minute, his oxygen intake was slowing down. Who would have thought her training caught on, how impressive he could be once he put his mind onto something, however she had an inkling on what his mind had set the arrow point on. She shuddered slightly.

Her finger floated above the screen. She bit her lip, a trembling finger descended on the screen. His biography sprung up. Sergeant Troy Black. She looked at his portrait. His eyes, even here they pierced right trough the soul. How was it possible she could have deceived those eyes for so long, or maybe wasn’t she the one doing the deceiving but he himself. He had to know, after she came back from her last mission, he had to know. How couldn’t he have. Those eyes, she felt a tingle around her hart.

The voices started again, thoughts darted up, they demanded her to get off the moon, conquer, make everything their own, forge a society. She swallowed deep. She would, soon, but first she had to do something else. She pressed the button to the intercom.

“Sergeant Johnson report to me, bring Private Dencer along with you.”

“Yes ma’am.”

How much that sounded like mam, how she hated that, then again now, especially now, it was very appropriate, because in a way she was their mom now. Maybe instead of ma’am they should call her mother and be over with it. Superior mother would sound nice if it weren’t for they brought up the image of the female clerics of the now more than three hundred years defunct religion of that mono God belief. What was it named again, something with Kristus… whatever it didn’t matter anymore. She knew there were things greater than a God that could walk on water. Who knows maybe she herself would turn in such a creature. She looked at her trembling hand, her olive skin seemed to pale into a gray with each passing second. In what kind of monster was she turning? How long could she keep being herself?

The sliding door to her right opened. Two men came marching in. The one walking in front was a tall broad shouldered marine, Sergeant Johnson, he dragged his bloody left feet behind him, its bone sticking out the ankle. His face was motionless, his thick lips a stripe, his eyes glazed over, his black skin was covered with gray patches. Private Dencer quickly followed him on his much shorter legs, he barely passed the minimum height requirement to join the marines. His face was covered in sweat, his eyes darted from left to right and around. His neck shook in a spastic fit, there seemed to be something growing out of it, he held it covered with his left hand.

Sergeant Johnson stood in front of her. He saluted. She didn’t salute back, they were no marines anymore, they were soldiers of another kind now, best to leave what was in the past behind. The Sergeant slowly lowered his hand.

“What are your orders ma’am.”

Direct to business just like the collective expected, enlisted man were so easy to take over, it would not take long and Johnson would be taken over completely. Those of a single focused mind where the first to go. She looked at the private, he also was far along the way, though the way he was staring at her not in the eyes but way below, his mind had another single mindedness. The change must have removed the restriction etiquette used to have on the young man.

“Go out there and capture Sergeant Black, by the time you locate him, he will most likely be dieing and too weak to pose any resistance.”

“Once we have him, what should we do with him?”

“Bring him here,” she said, “unharmed.”

Both man eyed her intently, it wasn’t their prerogative to just capture, the voices in their head must be screaming.

“Unharmed I said! I’ll deal with him myself.”

Johnson nodded.

“Your dismissed,” she said.

He raised his hand halfway to his head, stopped and retracted it back to his side. He turned away, passed Private Dencer, grunted and the young man followed. Private Dencer’s eyes lingered on her for as long he could while turning. Johnson still dragging his feet, and Dencer trotted behind him, they disappeared trough the door.

Sitting in the chair she closed her eyes and tried to get away from the droning voices, pleading and demanding. One word trailed away in her head. Infest.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Interviewed by Freelance and Fiction

I've been interviewed on the blog Freelance and Fiction

Here I post a small excerpt the rest you can read at Freelance and Fiction:

"Author POV: Alex Rosaria on Horror 04/08/2011


Today’s special guest is Alex Rosaria, author of the horror novel Finitum. Let’s see what he can share with us about the most frightening genre of all!

Could you tell us a little bit about your novel?

I started writing this story in 2008, I finished the first draft near the end of 2009 and went on writing the second book in the trilogy and part of the third book. I wanted to gain some experience and broaden my writing knowledge before I tackled the revising. The last few months of 2010 I started revising and finished in March this year. I've gone over the text so many times that I lost count.

The story is about John Lone, a young man, who went into a forest to deliver a package to a recluse. From his arrival at the cabin and from there on things started to turn from bad to worst and finally to atrocious.

John is a man of simple needs, living in a small town in the middle of nowhere. The few friends he has are good ones that he cherish and he has a girlfriend, Linda, the love of his life. The only thing he wants that day is go out with Linda on a date, he's really pent up to do just that, however things turn out different and his whole being and world crumbles down.

He has to endure the supernatural assault going on around him, never knowing exactly what's is that's happening. During these hardships he notice he's changing from within, to something he is barely able to control, making him much part of that what is happening to his town and its direct surroundings.

How do you build suspense?

I slowly pieced together what happens, building it up to one point in the story. John's is never clear about what is happening, he experiences it all as it comes to him and he tries to deal with that the best he can..."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Changed my Finitum cover today

I uploaded my new cover for my e-book Finitum on Amazon. I'll also change the cover on Smashwords at a later date.

I made a few additional minor changes to the cover, for you to see I present you the final cover.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My cover renewed.

Well I did some changes in text color and sizes. I removed the pentagram, added some fog effect and a few glowing eyes. Compared with the old one what do you think, which one is better? I think the old one is more colorful, the colors draw you in, the new one is more color homogeneous it draws less, but seems more mysterious, it got a more pressing feeling to it.




As always your comments are welcome.

A new cover for my novel Finitum

Like the title hints at, a new cover for my novel Finitum is being worked on. I do think my current cover is great, but it has come to my attention that the reverted pentagram can invoke into people the feeling that the book is about satanism. This would be great were it not for my book is not based on satanism, yes there are occult elements entwined into the story, but not much more than most (if not all) horror stories.

The inverted pentagram was to symbolize John's struggle to not succumb to the carnal desires plaguing him, the effort he needed to take/suffer to be able to steer himself away from the dark side. A pentagram's meaning is not one of evil and satanism, this misconception been attached to it by popular media. The pentagram is a protective symbol.

Still it is what the people precieve of something that will move them to act. If they conote a meaning to something, that meaning is their truth no matter what reality may really be. It's each individual reality take make things real for them, and as a writer and publisher I've to take that into account when making a cover.

I've a feeling that because of this my novel is not selling that well. Most people are not into satanism nor have they the inclination to read about it, and those that do and are attracted to the book by the cover, will lose interest when they read the sample. My book starts very mild with no hint of anything satanic nor does it later on no matter how horrendous it may turn out to be later in the story.

I'll remove the pentagram from the cover and try work something out to make a nicer and better suited cover for my book, one that will depicts the story better to my possible readers. When the cover is finished I will post it on my blog for all to view and give their opinions about. Also feel free to post a comment if you want to say something about this post. I'll be glad to answer any questions or take into account any suggestions.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ebook cover for my upcomming short story


I want to show of my just created ebook cover for the short story I'm writing. Took me a few hours to make. It was fun doing, playing around with GIMP.


I've meed some alternative versions with blurbs added. The second version is the one with the long blurb above the title and short blurb below my author name.


The third version is with the short blurb above the title and the long blurb under my author name.


The forth version is the one with both blurbs above the title and the author name a bit lower positioned.



I would love to have comments on which version you think the best. With or without blurbs, and if blurbs which one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Time Is on My Side"

Time. Who ever said time was on our side? "Time Is on My Side" a song Jerry Ragovoy wrote somewhere in the sixties, the song was made famous by The Rolling Stones in 1964. The song is not about what I've in my mind, but the title is apt to what I've to say, and it's a very cool song. I love it.

As lovely I think "Time Is on My Side" is, time itself, is not on my side. That's the way I feel anyways. You got only so much time to only do so much things. Time is finite and if you waste it, it will never come back, unless you got a time machine and forever life. I don't have those thing. I wish I had, but I don't.

Time slowly slips away while I do my daily chores. The time left to write is minimal at most maybe two hours. This I think is common for many writers with a day job, and most certainly for those with a family, the wife and children also need some time. Everybody wants your time, and it's expected that you give it. Your employer wants you to spend time commuting to work and working itself. (or at least do as if you do) Your wife expects you to do many a chores. Your kids expect you to play with them. Your dog expects you to take him out, actually the dog demands it, else he'll poop and piss your house and you'll be spending time cleaning his filth. Even your own body robs you from time, because it wants to be fed and wants some rest, what's the big deal about sleeping anyways?

If your not careful as a writer, you'll not have much time left to write and promote your work. It takes a lot of time and effort. It's essential to plan your time a little. Set hours you'll put yourself to work. It's essential if you have to jumble many things. Later if you become successful as a writer and earn enough, you may quit your day job, but the management of time stays. The vacuum of the job, the whole swat of 12 hours will need to be filled, and there will be others than just your writing that will demand a share. With more free time, not always comes more free time. The shares just increase and still needs leading.

As a writer be very aware with the time you have and realize that the lack of time means that it takes only one event that can rob you from your writing time and set you back a few days making you miss a self set deadline. For example something like being exhausted and falling asleep while your supposed to write. This happened to me and now I've still not finished the first draft of my short story (close though) while I expected to do so Wednesday and certainly Thursday. Today I wanted to start on the cover, instead I'll be writing, that is after I take the dog for a walk. I really don't want to scoop anymore dog poop.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Short Stories

After publishing Finitum I planned to revise book 2, instead I chose to write a short story. It's been a while since I've written something new and I missed that. I didn't want to go back to the drag of revising. It can be fun at times, but after reading the same story for the tenth time it will get dull and there won't be fun in it anymore. (A dull me makes an unhappy me.)

Now writing a new story is fun. It's been a while I've felt this excited. It gives a kick when a story comes together, slowly forming along the way you thought it to go at first, but still becoming different. The best part of writing in my opinion is creating the story and seeing it come to life.

The short story is about Sgt. Black a space marine in the FCF, stationed on a moon of the planet Ar-01. His unit was ambushed and left him stranded on the moon's surface as the sole survivor. His oxygen supply dwindling he has to make his way to the outpost and exact his revenge for the treachery. Will he ever get there? Will he succeed in doing so? Is all as simple as it seems?

I intend it to be a Sci-fi/horror story. I hope to have it finished by the end of next week. I'll also have to come up with a cover for the book. I plan to release this one for $0.99 on Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My first sale

Today I checked on how my book was doing, and lo and behold I sold one book.

Who bought it? I don't know, maybe someone I know, a friend, family, or a complete stranger that fancied my book enough to buy it.

All I know for sure is that I got one sale and I hope many more will follow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

13th March Publish Day.

I did it. I put my e-book for publishing on Amazon and Smashwords. It will be available within 24 hours on Amazon, that is if there are no formatting errors. Smashwords I guess will take a little bit longer, by mistake I uploaded the wrong doc file, so I don't think that one will go well trough the meatgrinder.

Soon in a e-store nearby: