art · Author · Emergence Ascended · writing

Challenge accepted!

In addition to my current work in progress, Emergence Ascended, I am always thinking about other stories. Just like when I was drawing a lot (I don’t do it enough these days), I would think about it, imagining the next part of the drawing, the lines I would use, or how I would shade something. Doing this when I wasn’t actually drawing was a mental exercise that kept my drawing skills fresh, and I was prepared for the next drawing session. So thinking about other stories while working on a particular one works for me in the same way, keeps my imagination working, and helps with my WIP (Work In Progress) even though it’s not the same story.

I have been trying to work out the details of a particularly complicated storyline. There is a point in the story that must be done right, or the whole thing won’t make sense. It’s one of the “reveal” moments that I (hope) intend to be the jaw-dropping revelation that makes the entire story interesting. I am being vague about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you. And I plan on blogging about it after the WIP is done. (By the way, if you know of or are a Paranormal investigator, please email me as I have some questions…..) wink wink…. 

Anyway, there is a brain-bending element that is integral to the entire plot of the story that my ADD/Dyslexic brain keeps going in circles about. It actually reminds me of these critical thinking games my friends, and I would play. These conundrums were fun and sometimes took days to sus out. For example …

“Its 3am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors! It’s your parents, and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?” 

This is a pretty simple one (to some, not all, don’t feel bad if you didn’t figure it out, it’s not an IQ test.)

The first thing you open is the door to let them in. But the point of these riddles was to make our brains bleed and think about unique or unexpected solutions; it was fun to do; the challenge was the point. Even more of a challenge is to think up the conundrum. Another thought exercise for me is to make a Haiku that is a palindrome. To be fair, I haven’t done it to my satisfaction yet. So challenge accepted, work out the conundrum of my plot, and make it bulletproof in its logic. Right now, I am close; I am on the cusp of getting it. There is that sensation that the answer is just out of reach but I can get there. MMm, my brain hurts so good.

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about me · Author · Emergence Ascended · Emergence Collective · writing

Quantum Mechanics… If you’re not confused by it, you don’t understand it.

A deep goal of theoretical physics is to unify the fundamental forces of nature, gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces into the theory of everything (TOE).

The Theory of Everything, namely M-theory, string theory, and quantum field theory (and interactions with geometry and topology) is a tasty cosmic stew that to me are topics that are too tempting to not be used as a backbone or structure in the subtext of my story.  String theory specifically has been calling my name for a number of years now, and despite the controversial nature of the theory I am on “Team String”. Lucky for me I don’t have to back anything up that is to say with a “Ph.D.” or citations to peer-reviewed articles, because, hey I write Fiction! One of the issues I have with science fiction (more to the point the uber-nerd readers) is a suspension of disbelief gets lost in the mire of “I know more than the author of the story I am picking apart” (Come on I am not writing a dissertation, just a fun story, just go with it). That little thing has cautioned me to do my research, lest I get flamed somewhere on the internet. But it also gets in the way of artistic license…. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah String theory.  Essentially it is the idea of vibrational frequencies (the strings) that make up all matter and energy in the universe. Man, that is good stuff. How could one not use that in a science fiction book? It’s the ultimate tool to describe why the magic in my stories has a connection to reality.

I know that this may not entice anyone to read my next book, but hopefully, if you read “Emergence Collective” with this in the back of your mind it might make it a little more interesting. (and not to mention prepare you for the next one) I have written in previous blog posts that I create a rule set for each story, that helps maintain the continuity, of a concept or even the behavior of the characters. The theory of everything, M theory, quantum field theory, and String theory is my basic rule sets for my WIP. Don’t worry, you really do not have to understand any of it to enjoy my stories which are pure and utter fantasy. If you are the uber-nerd, I will go toe to toe about why my rule sets do or don’t work. I would enjoy that conversation.

Alone · Horror · writing

“Alone” Part 1 of 4

In the spirit of Spooky season Please enjoy…..

Here ya go! I decided to release the entire short story “Alone”, just for you! This was my first real attempt at writing a complete story. I got the idea from a weird hypnogogic dream. The image of Luis and Randolph kinda popped in my head. I had to write the narrative. The original story is lost to the ether, what is here is a second version of it that I trimmed from the original to meet the requirements of a short story contest. The first version was probably around 10k words, but the requirements were less than 7k (if I recall correct). Anyway I trimmed it down , cutting away some of what, at the time, seemed like fluff., but in retrospect, that “fluff” tightened the narrative. I won first place in the contest, despite the trimming down so I suppose I left enough meat on the bones to make it work.

Caution, graphic violence ahead. if you are squeamish you might want to pass on this one.

Alone part 1 of 4

He stopped working just for a moment, straining to hear the unnatural sound which only offered itself when his pitchfork was doing its duty. Momma?  The sound was familiar. Again the sound pushed forward to the edges of his hearing, “Momma!” The screams sent shocking waves of fire through his veins, forcing adrenaline-laced blood to his legs. His sprint slowed to a jog as blood in the dooryard caught his attention, and the screams grew louder, more frantic. His eyes traced the thick sticky trail of blood from the garden to the front door of the colonial-style farmhouse.  

“Jimmy! Get in here and fetch me some linens! Then go run to the Doc! Hurry!” His father yelled.  

The twelve-year-old boy bolted through the half-open door, sidestepping the pools of blood that were large enough to catch full reflections of his father. He raced to the linen closet; his throat nearly closed as the painful screams echoed through the hall. He grabbed a stack of linens with shaky hands and brought them to his father.   

His father took the linens with confused and frustrated movements. Worry lines etched his pale, nearly white face as the man struggled with his inability to provide the smallest amount of relief for his wife’s agonizing labor. His voice cracked and broken, barked a frantic reminder,  
“Run, boy! Go!”  
  Jimmy sprinted headlong into the cornfield. Flowing tears carved muddy lines across his dusty cheeks. His feet kept the hurried pace long after he was out of earshot of his mother’s screams, those awful heartrending screams.  
  

A shiny new Plymouth coupe barreled up the long drive with Dr. Hathaway at the wheel, Mrs. Ingram, the town’s midwife, next to him and Jimmy in the dickie seat.  Jimmy did not wait for the car to come to a complete stop and jumped out of the dickie. Dr. Hathaway and Mrs. Ingram soon followed him into the house.   

The midwife cleared away the blood-drenched linens while Doc assessed Jimmy’s mother. Dr. Hathaway looked at Jimmy’s father, his face wrinkled with tension and sorrow. “I’m sorry, George, she’s not doing so well. Her breathing is very shallow, and the baby is in distress.”  
 ”Oh, Momma!” Jimmy sobbed.  
 Doc opened his medical bag and began pulling out his tools. He probed the woman’s chest with the stethoscope, then his face went sullen, “You should take Jimmy out. This… this is going to be….” He took a deep breath. “Um, he shouldn’t see this.”   

Dr. Hathaway’s grim face told George the rest of the story. George took Jimmy by the arm and gently led him to the porch. The boy sniffed and wiped his nose with his sleeve, smearing snot across his face.  
 ”Poppa? Momma’s gonna be okay, ain’t she?” Then another sniffle and wipe before slumping down against the side of the house. He was losing his battle with his own emotions; George’s voice croaked, “I don’t know, son, I just don’t know.” He sat down next to Jimmy, put his arm around him, and they both cried quietly for some time.   

Through the solid door to the farmhouse, they heard Dr. Hathaway urge Mrs. Ingram to help. ”Come here! Give me a hand. I can’t do this alone.” Both of his arms were elbow deep into the cesarean slit that opened a hole in the womb. He gently pulled out most of a tiny little body, but it looked as it was snagged, and he could not finish the extraction. “Reach in, quickly! Get the other one.” He whispered a gruff order of urgency.   

The midwife reached to the gaping split, looking away from the visceral and writhing form. She felt the familiar shape of arms, legs, and a torso, then drew out the other infant. She gasped as they awkwardly dealt with the twins. “Oh my God,” she blurted and then tried to retract her astonishment by turning her head away.  
 Alarmed by the sudden whispering and gasping, George and Jimmy jumped to their feet. George put his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder to hold him back. “No! You stay here. I’ll check and see what’s goin’ on!”  
 ”But Poppa!”  
 ”No boy, ain’t no place fer ya. I’ll come and git ya when it’s time. Just sit here fer now.”  
 George took a few steps avoiding the dried brown stains on the porch, and opened the door. Doc and Mrs. Ingram looked surprised when he walked in. They looked guilty as if they were the ones responsible for the state of the twins. His jaw dropped, and he moved a few cautious steps forward. Horrified, he looked at the infants. Confusion chiseled into his features as he shook his head, defiant that this was really happening.  
 The twins writhed and gurgled as they were cleaned. Individually they were normal, though one twin was larger than the other, and both were fine. Fingers and toes in the right places. Arms and legs are suitable sizes. All was correct, except for their heads. Their faces were normal, or at least not deformed. They were attached just above the ears; the skulls collided together in a mishap of nature that marked them permanently as freaks. The shape was all wrong, too, as if their heads were welded together then pulled slightly apart like taffy, each face looking forward.  

  
 They were wrapped now, looking like a mummified wishbone, cooing as infants do, natural, soothing. George now understood the reaction of the midwife. He felt it too but choked down his aversion to not alarm his son standing behind him, despite his father’s stern words. Satisfied with the swaddling, the midwife looked to the father with misty eyes, full of shame and sorrow for the man.  
 ”Do you have names for these the boys?” she asked while adjusting the awkward bundle. George’s eyes widened as if he was reacting to a cruel joke. “No. No names.” He turned to look at his son. Jimmy, so strong and handsome, reliable… normal. His son… His only son. His face hardened as he clenched his fists.  

“Take them. Adoption, whatever.” He glanced at his wife’s lifeless body, covered in a shroud of bloodstained linens. “Take them! Those things, take them away from me!” He turned his back, not wanting to look at the abominations any longer. Jimmy looked on and then took his father’s hand in agreement.  
 ”But George, there is nowhere to take them. They’re alone and helpless. They need you.” Mrs. Ingram pleaded with him.   

“No. They need a mother, who they killed. They need someone that will be able to deal with them.”  
   

In the months following their birth, Mrs. Ingram did what she could for them. Did what she had to do. Kept them alive. She tried to care and feel the maternal impulse that she would have felt for any other child and had felt for others. All she could feel was shameful revulsion. She knew what she should feel; she knew that it was not their fault. That was the root of her shame, and that also brought on its own indignant self-loathing.  
 She noticed the handbills during her daily trip to the market. At first, one or two, here and there, and the closer she got to town, they seemed to be everywhere. Bright red and yellow bill posters of “The Great Cirque De Lune Rouge” plastered on makeshift billboards, announcing its arrival in two weeks. It didn’t take a thought. Her decision was made at the first glimpse of the advertisement. Only two weeks, and she would be rid of them.  

Continue to part 2

Audible · Author · Emergence Ascended · Emergence Collective · writing

Stumbling off the starting line

(An audible update)

Audible news… is no new news. As things seemed to go with my projects, there was yet another snag in the recording process. I am trying not to be cynical but to err is human. So last week’s promise of getting anything recorded got railroaded by life. As I mentioned that “Mondays” are for recording as the narrator has the time to do it (theoretically). Anyway, we will see if there is any progress after today. I suspect that the delays have a lot to do with nerves and stage fright. Of that, I completely understand. But I am starting to consider getting my equipment and do it myself, even though I hate the sound of my own voice.

On another topic, I did get some writing done on Emergence Ascended, and I am feeling good about it. I spent some time re-evaluating what I have so far, rewrote some things added a dash here and a pinch there of breadcrumbs. I like to sneak in clues to the story that the reader can participate in, trying to figure out some of the underlying storylines. I love the feeling of figuring out part of the mystery before the reveal. it makes me feel smart, and I feel like I am more a part of the story than just a bystander. Probably stems from the old choose your own adventure stories. I am happy with what I have got now and am getting to a scene that I have been looking forward to writing.

I love to hear your thoughts and answer questions, so feel free to leave a comment or just a like! Thanks for reading!

Audible · Emergence Collective · writing

Audible Update

Here is another Audible update. If you have been keeping score, they are averaging every 2 weeks or so (but don’t put any money on that bet because of the human factor. (me, I’m the human and I am not super consistent) it is every 2 weeks or so because every other friday is D&D session and the DM is the voice actor) I leave him alone and not really discuss the progress much between sessions mostly because If I don’t regulate my excitement I will drive him crazy asking if he has any progress.

So, no progress. Life has a way of mocking me. He is enthusiastic and talented but like most of us has a day job and a private life that takes priority over vanity projects. However as mocking as life is, it is also cruel and indiscriminate in its curve balls that it throws you. This one is that a close friend of his recently passed away, and some health issues are still hanging about. I guess I will keep waiting. But as soon as I got something I will definitely post it! Thanks for visiting!

art · Author · Emergence Collective · writing

Deleted scenes

I enjoyed a long weekend; the “labor day” holiday here in the US, it is a holiday for the workman. Because, well, we all deserve a day off, right? I spent a lot of time making stuff with my laser. Honestly trying to build inventory to sell at craft fairs and such.

MC escher
Book box

LOTR

I should have been writing. I am not sure if I am procrastinating or not. I have reached a part in the story that kind of has me stumped. Trying to weave two parts of the storyline together. This happened once before in Emergence collective. I had written a chapter that sort of painted me into a corner plot-wise. The chapter was That Barney, after discovering he had the power to control some aspects of reality, decided to trim some fat from his entourage (He is a military commander, and he had been in Eastern Washington investigating a strange anomaly with a detachment of troops) So he manifested a gun and killed them all. Needless to say, this sent the direction of the story in an awkward place, I had to go into why he did, and deal with the ramifications of that action. Honestly it changed the tone of the story a created plot problems that I could not resolve. Ultimately, I scrapped about 4 thousand words and re wrote it. (You should check it out if you haven’t read it!)

I am in a similar position now, where the story has taken off in a direction that I need to steer back into the direction I had originally intended. (For me the stories write themselves and I feel like a bystander most of the time) So I have been procrastinating, pretending to think about the story issues, but also enjoying a hobby. I love to make stuff. I know, I know, I should be writing.

Emergence Ascended · writing

Emergence Ascended (chapter preview)

            Rain may be a bit strong of a word. Constant drizzle. That is what it actually is. The light wind blew the rain with just enough force to push it past the eaves and onto Will’s small apartment window. It had been doing this for a week straight and had no signs of letting up. Contrary to popular belief, Seattle, or just north of it where Will lives, did not get a lot of rain. At least in total inches. What it did get was a near-constant mist all winter long.

            The drip, drip, drip of water that leaked from his window pooled at the corner to eventually drip into the Tupperware bowl strategically placed under the window sill, waking him up. As sleep faded and he came to awareness, he groaned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He overslept, not that it really mattered. He wasn’t late for work; he still had two hours before his shift at the library started. He sat up and stretched and checked his phone. No new texts, no new emails. Perfect.

            He followed his usual morning routine of shit, shower, shave, get dressed, and raid the fridge for some afternoon snacks for work. Check the weather forecast to see how many layers to put on, and head out the door to his favorite espresso shop.

            He got to the library early, as usual. He hated being late for anything. But starting work early for fear of being late wasn’t the real reason. He just really enjoyed being there. It wasn’t even work, to be honest. He sat at the desk sipping his coffee, contemplating that he had never even approached breaking a sweat at the library. And it is not work if you are not active enough to break a sweat.

            He sat at the desk sipping coffee, staring into space, lost in thought. Another reason why he liked working there. It was quiet, and you could let your mind go where it wanted. A loud thump on his desk made him jump, banging his knees on the desk and shooting a little squirt of coffee out of the little hole in the lid of the coffee cup, landing across his face, just barely missing his eye.

            “Farfegnugen!” He sputtered out. And looked at the stack of books that was just slammed onto his desk. On purpose, of course, his heart stopped, and he felt as if it wasn’t going to start up again. “It’s you.” He blurted. “Gees lady, do you have to keep scaring the crap out of me?” He said while wiping the coffee off his face and shirt.

            “Farfegnugen,” Chemy replied flatly. “It was ‘bejesus’ the first time,” she said with a mischievous smirk. “Are you okay? Every time I see you, you are well, like a zombie.” She said, sounding concerned.

            Finishing the reboot cycle, his heart thumped hard in his chest.

            “Uhhh…” That was all he could get out.

            She tilted her head, looking at him quizzically. “You are a strange one.” She said amused

He suddenly felt self-conscious and a little embarrassed. His face started heating up, and he could tell it was turning red. “Uhhh…” He stammered with a blank look. His eyes flitted from her face to his coffee, then back to her eyes. “Umm, you want to get some coffee or something?” he blurted out as if it was one word. Then he turned pale, shocked at himself.

Her eyes glanced at the coffee cup in his hand. “Nice recovery.” She said, as if it was a question but had no hint of malice behind it. He followed her eyes to his coffee.

            “Um, I mean. Uh, like you know. Sometime? In the near future, I’m at work and all.” He continued, feeling like he was digging a hole he couldn’t get out of.

            “Well, when you put it that way, how could I resist.” She said, amusement still on her face.

He looked forlorn, like someone had just kicked his puppy, and sighed. She looked at him curiously. “You do know I said yes? Right? She asked, starting to look like she regretted it.

He snapped out of his haze and shook his head. He had mentally prepared for rejection and was astonished that he was successful. “Um, Yes! Awesome!” He exclaimed cheerily, a broad smile on his face. Chemy subtly nudged the stack of books towards Will, hinting that there was an actual reason she was standing there. Will looked at the books taking the hint, and started scanning. Chemy reached into a little box that had a handful of three-inch-long pencils and a stack of notepaper that was on the desk. She took one of each and began writing as he scanned the next tower of mind-numbing philosophy books.

“Dostoyevsky, Kierkakgard, more light reading, I see,” Will said with a matter-of-fact tone. “At least it’s not as bleak as nihilism.” He continued as she finished scribbling on the paper and looked up at him. Her fiery hazel eyes locked him in place for a brief instant as she handed the paper to him and smiled.

            “Here is my number; gimme a text sometime.” She said with a genuine smile. “You know, in the ‘near’ future.” She went on, this time a little more wryly, and winked. Will’s cheeks flushed at that a little, but his nerves were calming down now that the awkwardness had passed. The last book he scanned was  “Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.” He glanced at her suspiciously. she noticed the look and defended herself. “Hey! I can read for fun too.”

            Will lifted his hands as if Chemy was pointing a gun at him. “I’m not judging!” he retorted. “It just looks like there isn’t enough time in the day to read all of this, let alone for fun.” He said, smiling as he gestured toward the tower of books she checked out. She smiled back at him, obviously not offended.

            “That’s a good one, though. I read it last week.” He continued

            “Did you?” she asked, but it sounded like an accusation and glanced at the Necronomicon tablet case.

            “Okay, okay, I listened to it, same difference.” He said with a shrug

She gave him a reassuring smile, saying, “I’m just messing with you.”

            There was a soft tapping on the well-worn carpet behind Chemy. They hadn’t noticed a line of people stacking up behind her, and the guy directly behind her was looking impatient. In a soft but stern tone, he said, “If you two love birds are done flirting, I really would like to get out of here before my lunch hour is over.” They both blushed deeply. Not that will could tell if she was. Her smooth skin was so black, but the sheepish look on her face was enough to know. She gave the man behind her an awkward, polite smile, slid the stack of books into her bag, and turned to leave. The man moved up and put a couple of paperbacks on the counter and his library card. Will watched as Chemy made for the exit. Just before she pushed the door open, she looked back at Will, pantomimed texting on her phone, and pointed to herself with a wink.

            The rest of his day went by in a hazy blur. It had been a few weeks since their first encounter, just long enough for Will to resign himself to the idea that he would ever see her again and had essentially given up. He grabbed his backpack and headed out toward home. His stomach rumbled, right on cue. Noodles, it is Will thought. Maybe there is some kind of magic or Something spiritual that he didn’t understand going on, and he should have noodles again, the same thing he ate the day he met Chemy. In the back of his mind, Will knew that he wasn’t kidding about there being Something magical happening. His parents would know if he asked them. But he wasn’t in the mood to go down the spiritual path they would drag him down. He got his noodles and began the short walk home, eating the noodles as he went. Will liked where he lived. Everything he needed was only a few blocks away from his apartment.

Audible · Author · Emergence Collective · spiritualism · writing

Where ever you go, there you are…

I am back from another camping trip. Did ya miss me? I’ve actually been back for awhile. However getting back into technology takes a bit of motivation. Dont get me wrong I am not one of those burn your TV kind of people. I think that whatever you choose to entertain yourself is the right thing to do. To me the concept of wasting time scrolling through Instagram or playing video games, or, watching tv is not a waste of time. And there does not always need to be “value added” or gain some positive benefit from that time “wasted”. After all, isn’t that why we work so hard, provide for family, get all the adulting stuff out of the way, so that we can have some downtime and relax or play. Anyway I’m rambling. My point is, I am not against technology at all, but my brain has a difficulty switching tasks from being in a natural environment to a technological one.

I can find Zen in technology. Stacking the virtual stones to make something beautiful from the chaos of the digital world, but it takes a little intention. Breathe in, breathe out… type some words. Ok.

Tomorrow I should have an update on the Audible project. The narrator is still getting familiar with the process and equipment so I have left him alone (My urge to request constant updates on his progress is an exercise in patience). I hope to have a snippet of Audio to add the blog but we shall see. once I do start to get audio chapters I look forward to sharing!

about me · Author · Emergence Ascended · writing

Being of two minds…

I managed to scratch out another chapter, but I can’t help but feel that I am dragging things out or procrastinating the decisions I need to make. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the last chapter so far. I think it is an important chapter and provides some needed elements for the story progression. This conundrum brings to mind something I read in the book “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” By Oliver Sacks (It’s a great read I suggest you try it). It is about various neurological disorders. One of them was about split-brain disorder where both hemispheres of the brain had been disconnected. The result was that each hemisphere was competing for dominance, Making decision-making impossible. Sort of an immovable object/unstoppable force situation since neither hemisphere was dominant, there was an impasse or stalemate in the decision. Like being stuck in the cereal aisle, there are too many choices to make an overall decision since each individual choice has equal merit and weight. That being said, I have a couple paths to take in the storyline and am having difficulty deciding which one would work better to get me to a satisfying conclusion. Ah, the struggles of an artist Thanks for visiting! If you thought this was interesting, please don’t hesitate to comment!

about me · Author · Emergence Ascended · writing

Choose your own adventure!

Yes, I was a book nerd growing up. One of the most influential books/series was the “Choose your own adventure!” books (Until I discovered H.P. Lovecraft in the 3rd grade). If you are not familiar, each book has multiple story paths and ends depending on how you make choices at key parts of the story. When the characters reach a point where a decision is made, you get a few to choose from, and your choice directs you to a new page that continues that storyline. It’s a great concept, and you can re-read the book for different outcomes. Very economical writing structure.

Now here I am, the master of the story choosing my own adventure to write. Its very exciting, but I am tasked with coming up with the paths and endings for myself. And that is the crux of it. Emergence Ascended has reached the point where I have to make some decisions and some of those decisions just might change the outcome of the story (of which I have already plotted in my head) There are character interactions that I have multiple situations to consider and that is proving to make things difficult to “get it right”. That being said, I have not been writing much on it (well on ‘paper’) but thinking very hard about how I want the rest of the story to progress. At least I am not one to back away from a challenge. Once I break free from this little speedbump, I am sure that the book will finish fast and be something I can be proud of. Thanks for taking the time to visit!