Elves Are Vulcan Pimps, Bee-yotch!

18 01 2017

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This shall be my new cosplay.

Part of creating a distinctive take on an existing genre includes interpretation of elements based on accepted values. Write something already done, make it new but as close to old as possible: this is called “The Glittery Vampire Gambit.”

Blah blah blah. In all of my very limited genre reading, Elves always act like nothing more than immortal magic humans. Stereotypical Italians are profoundly different from stereotypical Japanese and they’re human. How can we accept Tolkein’s Elves as a different race when they just act like pale Ren-Faire Brits?

My reading of folklore says that Elves ain’t got souls. What does this mean? The meaning is huge.

To me, a soul is what allows a person to relate through aesthetics and emotions. You need a soul to be affected by a song or by a crying baby. Does that make the soulless Elf a sociopath? Too easy! So no!

The Elf has values. They are Elvish values.

We want to keep some sort of Elvish society after all, some sort of Kingdom or Autosyncratic Commune. They have craftworks, art, and history.

They understand creation of value, however emotionally off-kilter they may be to Humans.

What would an Elven Cloak really do?

Lacking an emotional framework to appreciate beauty, the Elf would have to go elsewhere for invigoration: immediate sensation. They would be intellectual sensualists. Sort of Vulcan Pimps.

The Elven Cloak would be like wrapping yourself in a ever-shifting environment. Warm and cozy one day. Cool and silken on another. Magical craft would give the textures an infinite variety.

Among the Elves, the cloak would shimmer, ripple with fractals and mandlebrots, reveal interlocking patterns of leaves and other items from nature. The cloak would have pockets for everything. Be camoflauge against the limited Human visual capability. The cloak may be semi-sentient, able to respond to its wearer and environment.

What about other art?

Elvish Epic Poetry would be a straight read of a historic event, the language precise down to invoices. An EEP  would also be follow precise meter requirements, reference previous works, include obligatory codes concealing subtexts, and comprise a completed suduku.

I’ve always had an issue with Elvish behavior a la “Lord of the Rings.” Granted, being long-lived they wouldn’t get excited about a whole hell of a lot. Elves would also be proficient at their weapons and whatever, sure. A search for innovation in a material world would run short eventually, so boredom, okay.

Elvish music would be the most complex Math Prog Ren Faire tunes imaginable. Mozart times Robert Fripp times Kraftwork played a two-thousand string harp.

But to me, an eternity of experience would provide an endless fount of free association. They would have to work to keep themselves from being bored and they would develop the wit needed to do the job. Would conversation with an Elf be filled with asides, aphorisms, references, quips? An Elf who had lived through Western Civilization would alternate between daydreaming and reciting advertising placards from the 1700s.

Elves may look at Humans not as individuals but as a stream of recurring behaviors. An Elf may have a grudge against generations of a family, but I think they’d just as easily see connections Humans could not perceive, and carry grudges against Humans who favor paprica, or born Sagitarias, or wear their hair high.

So, this Elf I’m designing for my story would have a conversation seemingly full of whimsy, but when examined, the whimsy would have unseen relation with the serious matters at hand. They would be discriminating in tastes, have strange reactions to normal objects, want to relish surprises, be willing to try any new experience, and have ornate explanations for anything they do.

Vulcan Pimps? Yeah, Vulcan Pimps bee-yotch!

 

 





I Seep Toward My Petri Dish: An Update and Story Prompts

5 01 2017

Almost 150 people are following my posts through WordPress. Various others drop by thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and links from where I have published.

Thank you, all of you, for your attention.

I’ve been struggling to figure out what I can do to be worthy of that attention. I can give writing advice, but I keep finding links to other writers that say what I was going to say anyway.

 

feeings-wheel

 

Like this Feelings Wheel. They seem popular, so I’ll keep doing that.

Most of you like strange but true stuff and story prompts.

slime-preview

Like this one where Slime Mold Solves Problems. Read this! It’s so cool! So yeah, I’ll keep doing those.

I’m 35K into a sequel to my Stoker Jury Recommended novel “The Flesh Sutra”.

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Have you read this? Professional writers agree “The Flesh Sutra” is cool.

The working title is “The Flesh Frequency” and it is set in 1971 San Fransisco. It’s not going to be as body horror as TFS, but I’ve got some frightful stuff happening in the Carruthers House as some paranormal investigators go in to figure out strange goings on.
I’m trying to pull a little slight of hand that I saw done in the haunted house movie “Session Nine” (have you seen it? It’s creeeepy!). In the meantime, happy little ideas have allowed me to vent on things I liked about the era, like the music was pretty boss; and about things I do not like, like the predatory sexuality, drug abuse, and the sun-blinded optimism of the times. The Breendoggle makes an appearance. Look that up and get skeeved.

Also, I am working with my publisher Noble Fusion Press to better promote our quality works from our award-winning, attractive authors.

So here I am, my own little slime mold intuiting my way to the petri dish of agar, which for me would be my own quiet apartment in a metropolitan area and a healthy relationship, hoping this year brings you plenty of sugar and other genotypes with which to fuse.

That was forced, yes, but I have to keep an edge.





I Was About To Write About Story Plots For Beginners, Then I Found This…

12 12 2016

…and it covers everything I could say. It even cites stuff I would cite.

Do you want to write a story? Have (nice guy) be pulled into getting (worthy thing), then fight (bad thing), then (worse thing), then (boss fight). The experience of doing this changes the (nice guy) by making (him) more (emotional reaction).

Provide a sidekick for emotional balance.

I’ve been sending stories out since 1989. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve realized it is this simple. I’m plotting out my newer novel, a Space Epic with humor and body horror, using this article.





More Story Prompts and Resources

29 06 2016

Dan Brown is paying to have one-of-a-kind esoteric volumes digitized for the internet. Click the picture to learn more. Prompt: What the hell is the green crap these guys are eating? Why?

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beyond

Wonder what the Koran really says? Wonder about Jainism, Sikhism, Discordianism, Swedenborgism, or the SubGenius Manifesto? Try Sacred-Texts.com. Click the guy giving the moon to the sun. Prompt: Now that he can see beyond, what will this lad do? Why?

newblue

This blue hurts to look at. Friggin’ blue powder, just sitting there being smug. Scientists found this pigment by accident. Prompt: Did it want to be found? What will it do now that it’s going to be used by art school students?

Click this painful bastard and learn what science meddled with this time.

 

 





Famous Writing Advice With My Addendums

21 06 2016

Write what you know. Your life is a great place to start. You have something you are doing that no one else knows about, like a job or location or life challenge. Start there.

Write what you know. Be sure to talk to lots of people so you know more.

Write what you know. So write about monsters you invent, because who’s going to argue?

Monsters shouldn’t glitter unless they kill people with glitter.

Write things that would embarass your mother. This may not work if your mom likes the Kardashians. If your mother has no shame, try for “dismay” or “repulse”.

The best subtext is unintentional. That is, if you write to convey a message, that message will consume everything — characters, plot, and eventually your ability to interest others. Those you wish to persuade will dismiss you for preaching and those who agree with you will think you’re a dilletente and ignore you. Write your story. If you realize, hey, this story is awkward and makes me look nuts, then work with that. Embrace it. There is a market filled with people who are also awkward and nuts.

Remove as much as possible from your story, especially if you’ve seen it before in other stories. That goes double if you are writing a pastiche or a monster that’s been done.

Writing is not theraputic. Speaking with a cleric, health professional, or mature friend is theraputic. Writing can improve you the writer if you write with the idea that you the writer are wrong and have been for many years. That is “cathartic”. You may have a really good story when you’re done, too.

If you wish to inspire with your writing, make sure your conflicts and antogonist are treated with respect.

Everyone disagrees. Even twins disagree. In theory, clones raised in identical circumstances would disagree. Your character has to do impress you and also make you facepalm.

Even locations have character arcs. Game of Thrones wouldn’t have worked in a thriving, newly born empire. If Salem’s Lot had been a vitalized town filling with immigrants or yuppies, Barlow would have been burned before his antique store opened.

 





StokerCon in Las Vegas, Baby! Also, Want To Beta Read My New Novel?

5 05 2016

I’ve finished my new dark fantasy/horror novel titled “Diesel Dead”. Elevator pitch is “Later this century, physics attacks humanity. A man with a secret can help bring civilization back from the brink, if he can overcome his PTSD.”
The book is now 43K words with zombies, diesel-funk, fire spirits, a high-tech ruling class, and quite a bit of bleakness.
Wanna read it? Drop me a line!
Meanwhile, I am preparing to go to StokerCon next week. I have signed up for seminars with rising young authors and plan on networking like hell. I hope to keep you updated through the convention about my impressions and learnings.
Right now, I am writing four synopsis for use in John Skipp’s brainstorming class. These are:

  1. Bev’s Demon: a novella set in the near future, a woman is crisis is shadowed by a mysterious being. The problem with this is my politics may be getting in the way of making a better story.
  2. Babbage’s Mandala: A head-smacking new take on the Difference Engine. So many places to go with this idea. Characters in search of a plot.
  3. Sequel to “The Flesh Sutra”: Tentatively named “The Flesh Frequency”, it will be set in 1970’s California. I have  POV and reveal scene and that’s all.
  4. Dagnoxy: Old friends from highschool convinced me to try my hand at comedy again. So I have a character and an idea as to where he should go. If The Talented Mr. Ripley and Terry Pratchett were to have a baby, Dagnoxy would sell it to make spell components.

An editor for a small pub is also critiquing the first 100 pages of “Diesel Dead”, and I’ll share what she has to say.





Inventing Your Own Hell

7 01 2016

Dante saw Hell as punishment for misdirected passion. Those who loved a behavior more than they loved God got an ironic end.

Dante knew if you are need some unique take on damnation, the obvious isn’t most interesting Hell.

I’ve had Inferno on my reading list for a long time, but I have a hard time getting into it. Dante didn’t mean it as a literal map of damnation, I know. Yet through the circles freezing, fiery, and fecal, teeming with billions of wicked souls, to find Satan gnawing at Brutus as one of the Three Most Evil Men Ever is quite a letdown.

The language is beautiful, though.

Considering this question about creating a Hell for some fiction, I learned a bit about where our passion has gone in the last century.

Our ideas of Hell have been tsunamis of desire. Hell is what happens when you get everything you want beyond any concept of health.

Clive Barker designed a Hell for Materialists. Dominated by an infinite maze, ruled by inscrutable sentient pyramid Lord Leviathan, his Hell is populated by the Cenobites who exist only to either create the art of pain, or wage eternal war on flesh (depending on the story). In “The Hellbound Heart” and in the several dozen “Hellraiser” movies, there is no Heaven, only safety by avoiding the louche and grotesque. There is no Eucharist, only milquetoast (SWIDT? “Bartlett’s” here I come!).

Very similar is Lovecraft’s original vision of the universe, where salvation means remaining comfortable in your New England cottage ignoring your desire for knowledge. Hell for Lovecraft meant being dragged helpless into fathomless depths, whether it’s as a brain canister to the planet Yuggoth, an unknown fate in the undersea of the Deep Ones, or a slave in the underground land of dream. He created a Hell for Skeptics, in that not only is all human science wrong, humans don’t even have the brainpower to understand.
(I ignore any addition to the Cthulhu Mythos beyond Lovecraft. Robert Howard wanted to create epics and C.A. Smith wanted passion plays.)

The 1970s presented Hell as gauche. A dinner party with your extended family gone stale but with Latin Rites on the stereo. It’s eternity with the Castavets of “Rosemary’s Baby”, or in stuck in the jerkwater burg of Malas in “The Devil’s Rain”, or locked in the brownstone of “The Sentinel.” The only crimes ever mentioned as damning a character were murder, suicide, and flat-out Satan Worship. The good believer was sucked into the abyss by being possessed or sacrificed after dabbling with Ouija boards or having the wrong bloodline. This was Hell if you Took Your Thing Too Far, Man.

This is where our culture has left us. Hell is now for jerks who can’t get along. Want your family to stop growing apart? Go to “Krampus” Hell where its Christmas morning for eternity. Can’t stomach self-sacrifice? Stay in Revelation era L.A. like “This Is The End”.

But what about the Hell your story needs?

What could Hell for Positivists be like? Frenzied, eternal stimulation and exhaustion? Unsurpassed bliss, but alone, always alone? Would there be Circles, like the First being for those who post mindless platitudes on Facebook, and the punishment being listening to that friend whose nice but really down for all eternity?

For Pessimists, Hell would be uncertainty in cause and effect. Being in the wrong place or time and seeing opportunities flit just out of reach. Lost in a roiling sea of millions of other souls, none of whom believe what you’ve seen. Hmm, Hell for Pessimists is Life.

Hell for Stoics could be like Samuel Beckett’s “Play” (Have a look. It’s brief and stars Alan Rickman). All ruminate privately over their gravest sins over and over, without expression, until emotions are ground to dust. It’s a Hell that every stage actor has faced, and is also quite British in its way.

In the comic series “Swamp Thing”, the evil magician Arcane is sent to Hell, where he is told Hell wouldn’t exist if people didn’t believe in it. For writer Alan Moore, Hell must be like this.
(Watch all the way through. More poignant than funny.)

One human’s Heaven is another’s Hell. Example: The Mormons allegedly believe that once a worshiper dies, that worshiper gets a planet to rule as a god. Meanwhile, countless souls would have to live on a planet designed by Donny Osmond.

How many sandwiches are being made by damned Feminists for blessed MRAs?

Anyway. Hell has to be that ironic sting.

Hell for Ferenghi may include toil and the gloating of those with better lobes, but watching their descendants lose. For Time Lords, Hell may be like a conscious one-dimensional fixed point in time and space, watching everything pass by.

I wrote up a race of intelligent gas bubbles. That race lived chemical reactions in a DNA laden gas within a membrane. Once popped, a bubble’s gas needed to be absorbed by another bubble to “live on.” Their passion would be toward creating the safest, most stimulating life for themselves and their progeny-foam with NO-SHARP OBJECTS. Hell would be some primordial soup with a gooey, lethal surface tension, filled with lost souls.

Sometime, maybe I’ll discuss why a theology is the second step toward creating an alien race.

We deserve better Hell than some spiteful gnawing. Create a better one for your world.





Handy Reference Tool: The Root Of Horror Is Here…

30 09 2015

If people could perceive their situation without bias or prejudice, there would be very little drama. There would also be no horror.

“By gosh Sheriff Brody, all evidence points at an enormous shark! The short term financial benefit is outweighed by the risk of life and Amity’s reputation. As mayor, I close the beaches!”

“Say little brother, have we even seen a picture of our grandparents? Aren’t we making assumptions going along with these weird old coots?”

“Living on the sidewalk is probably better than staying in a brownstone that may be the gate to Hell. Just thinkin’ out loud.”

I did not make and take no credit for this chart. I found it on Mental Floss. Have a listen to their podcast “You Are Not So Smart.”

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Hero’s Journey and The Plot To Romance Stories…Now In Handy Charts!

24 09 2015

I do not own or take credit for these handy reference tools. I was a sap and did not note from where I had downloaded them. But these are quite useful for those who wish to do the Epic Fantasy or to do the Romance Plot in their books. Myself, I am going back to the first novel I wrote (tried to self-publish before Smashwords or Amazon Publishing was available; expensive and frustrating. Then I tried to outsmart the market by using a distinctive cover that was black-and-white with a complex pen-and-ink portrait. This is how I learned I CANNOT OUTSMART THINGS.).

Hero's Journey

Romance Plot

 

 

 





New Story Published In DarkFuse Kindle Book

17 07 2015

Editor Shane Staley of DarkFuse included my crime noir story “To Get Past It” in the new release “DarkFuse 3”.

What do the readers say?

“TO GET PAST IT was a good little revenge story with a couple nice hooks to it.”

“The L.R. Bonehill and Tim W. Burke stories are recommended, so if two good ones is enough for you check it out.”

Have a look at the summaries for the other stories. A nice range of chills and $2.99 is a good deal. I’m buying a copy.

darkfuse3

 








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