Posts Tagged 'Drawing a Blank'

Writerly Update: Post NaNoWriMo

My last post sounded a bit shitty, I was having somewhat of a bad day when I posted that one. But it summed it up pretty well. The week before NaNoWriMo ended my friends were getting ready to move out of their apartment and into my spare bedroom, and another one of my friends had just gotten out of the hospital and didn’t want to be alone, so I had to help my friends with getting ready to move and I spent time with another while she recovered. And the next week was spending time with my father and my sister and having a nice thanksgiving on Friday. We had chicken on Thursday (real Thanksgiving). And even though I didn’t meet the 50k word count like I said and hoped that I would I’m fine with it. I was a little bummed out when I first realized that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But helping and spending time with my friends and my dad was totally a fair trade. Last week and some of this week has been really hectic with helping my friends get all of their stuff moved in and I’ve just gotten to where I feel like I have room to breath. I’m not feeling too into writing now but I will finish M.E.R.C soon. I feel more like learning now, so I’m probably going to try to find some way to get back into school and if I can’t do that immediately then I know of a site that has open courseware in various computer, programming, and web development. So it’s win-win.

I feel like I haven’t expanded my knowledge in a while, I feel the need to learn something again. Hopefully I’ll be able to sign up for the next semester of school. That would be so awesome. And even if I get to go back to school or not I can expand my knowledge by teaching myself. I’ve always been a hardcore autodidact. After I dropped out of high school I used to sit at home on the internet and look up stuff and learn new things. There was a college website that had an open virtual library and I could read some text books and I’d go online and read psychology medical journals and stuff. And I can spend the rest of this year and the beginning of the next year improving my podcasting skills.

So even though I didn’t meet my goals I’m going to take it easy and soak up knowledge for the next few months. I won’t stop writing entirely, I’m just going to put big projects on the back burner for now. I’ll still write my essays and my short stories and I’ll post them here. I’ll keep you updated on my writerly pursuits and the occasional glimpse into my personal life-like I always do. And I’ve thought about starting up a little podcast for this blog, but I won’t bore you with the details on that now. I’ll wait until it’s more than just an idea in the back of my mind.

Anyway, I’m drawing a blank. I’ll see you next time.

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Using Great Hites to get myself motivated.

Some of you may or may not know about Great Hites.
I’ve heard about the podcast for some time. For those of you who don’t know what it is, and haven’t clicked on the link yet, Great Hites is a podcast where each week they give you a prompt. You then write your own short story based on the prompt and then you submit it. From my understanding that’s basically it.

Every now and again I post with my progress on the novel I’m working on, “Checking In”. Well, I haven’t actually made any progress on that book in the last couple of months. I haven’t felt really motivated to move the story forward at all. I’m at a key point in the story where act one gives way to act two, if you will. I know where the story needs to go, but I’m not exactly sure how to take it from where it’s at now to where it needs to be in my head. I want the transition to come naturally, I don’t want to force the transition. Being that the story is somewhat character driven I might make decisions in the book that would be outside what that character would normally do.

I’ve been so concerned that I’d fuck something in the story up by forcing something that I haven’t touched the novel. Just yesterday I decided to start participating in the weekly prompt for Great Hites. This will help me to flex my writer muscles to expand my horizons beyond that which I’m comfortable writing. And by writing things that I’m not used to writing and then submitting it whether it sucks or not I believe that I can get past my current writers block on my novel. And might actually gain a few fans of my writing in the process.

I’ve written up the short story for Great Hites, and I made some finishing touches to it. I felt that I should submit it here as well so that those of you that read this can get a feel for what my writing style is, and maybe get some feed back on it.

This weeks prompt for Great Hites is: “Silver bullets, the real reason that some cowboys carried them.”

I personally don’t like writing about vampires and werewolves. I mean, fuck, who isn’t writing a vampire or werewolf themed novel these days? It’s just my own opinion that the whole scene is cliche, overrated, and played out. But a prompt is a prompt. So the rest of this post is going to be my weekly submission to Great Hites. I would appreciate feedback, and would also like to say that this is the first story that I’ve submitted on such a scale. All the other things I’ve written have only been circulated to a small number of friends just to get their opinion on it. Well, this and the first 14 chapters of “Checking In”. But the BOaC blog is dead and you can’t hear any of the audio on that anymore. Don’t worry BOaC will return soon. Anyway, without anymore chatter I present to you my short story for Great Hites:

Suspicions and Silver Bullets

A short story written by Eldon KR

The sun began to crawl it’s way back down below the horizon. Ezekiel felt a cold sweat working it’s way down his spine. As he urged his nervous mount to keep moving forward. There was a 5 hour ride to the next town in front of him. It would have been a good idea to stop for the night. But he was out in the open. He wasn’t going to bed down unless he could conceal himself in some way

He spurred his stolen steed into action once more as the last of the sun seemed to sink below the earth. Ezekiel was going to make it to the next town or outpost if he had to ride this horse into the ground in the process. He didn’t hear it over the frantic beating of hooves at first. But after four failed attempts at lighting a cigarette on a fast moving horse he slowed his mount, struck a match on the saddle and extended it to the hand rolled cigarette between his lips. That’s when he heard it, a howl.

The horse had heard it too, and with the horse acting as antsy as it was, it was probably close. Ezekiel’s whole body tensed up as the first howl was answered by another, and another, and another.

“Shit!” he cried

He’d let his match burn down and scorch his fingers, he tossed the match and stowed his cigarette. Ezekiel spurred his horse forward again but this time the animal didn’t need much encouragement to run like hell. At this point he only had two options. He could continue to run like hell until the horse died or he could hide. With nowhere to go to ground for the night he only hoped he could outrun those wolves.

“Wolves,” he laughed to himself, “those things are no more wolf than I am a fuckin’ gorilla.”

He pushed his horse for another ten minutes before he chanced a glance behind him, through the dust left in the wake of his frenzied horse he saw two sets of glowing yellow eyes. Panicked he kept spurring his horse, hoping that this animal’s need for survival would make it run even faster. No such luck. It wasn’t much longer before he could actually hear them panting and howling behind him, he could almost feel the fetid breath against the back of his neck. One of the creatures swiped at him, he could feel the claws lightly brush past his leg.

He reached for his holster and drew his gun, the black gunmetal of his M1875 glinted against the moonlight as he thumbed back the hammer. He turned and fired aiming for the closest flurry of fur, and teeth and eye shine. His shot went wide, but they slowed down. He spurred the horse again and kept his gun hand ready. He noticed movement a few yards off to his left. He saw another man riding for his life, pursued by two more of the manwolves. He began to form a plan.

He turned and fired upon his pursuers once more and heard one of them yelp in pain. Ezekiel steered his mount in the direction of the man who was also running from the wolves. They were nearing a small canyon, at the bottom was a river. The only way to traverse said canyon was to cross a bridge, If Zeke could time it just right he could find some measure of safety floating down the river for the night. He positioned his horse so that he was right next to the man and the look of sheer terror etched into his face was met by Ezekiel’s own look of determination. He waited just until they were about to cross the bridge and steered the stolen horse into the scared man’s own mount. Man and horse toppled over one another to the ground as Ezekiel leapt from his horse, over the bridge into the water below.

Before he could clear his own horse he heard a gunshot and felt something bite into his hip. This caused him to miscalculate his jump, he toppled head over heel as the cold water below rushed up to greet him, his shoulder collided with a large stone protruding up from the river. He managed to surface and swim to the bank. He pulled himself out of the water, and lost consciousness to the sound of howls, growls, and the death cries of man and horse alike.

Ezekiel woke up moments later to the sound of gurgling, gasping breaths. He looked down to his feet as he felt a hand on his boot. This unknown man he’d sacrificed to save himself had somehow ended up on the river bank, twenty feet below where he’d been attacked. The man’s body was bent and broken at odd angles. He was moving in ways a man shouldn’t be able to. The man was riddled with places where claws raked across his clothes, and sharp teeth had gouged his flesh. Zeke wasn’t sure but he was willing to bet that the hand that wasn’t grasping his boot was keeping his entrails from spilling out.

“Help me.” The man wheezed.

The damned man tried to gasp for breath once more, he opened his mouth and a blood bubble formed, it popped and sprayed tiny flecks of blood when he inhaled. Ezekiel reached for his holster, finding his pistol he helped the stranger in the only way he knew how.

Zeke woke up from a fitful sleep at first light, he kicked the dead body back into the river. Now he had to climb the 20 feet back up the small canyon, he wasn’t that far from the town now. If he was lucky the wolves weren’t able to finish both of the horses, and he would have some semblance of a breakfast before he got started.

As he stood his body was rocked by a blinding pain in his hip, he could barely move his left leg. There was a rattling in his chest and he doubled over as he was overcome by a coughing fit. In grasping his chest he noticed that his right shoulder hung limply and he remembered vividly the night before. There wasn’t much he could do about his leg, but he couldn’t climb with his shoulder the way it was. He looked around and noticed a bull whip on the bank. The stranger from last night must have had it on him. He grabbed it, put it between his teeth. Zeke bit down on the bull whip as he squared his body up and reset his shoulder. Luckily the pouch he kept his tobacco and matches in was somewhat waterproof. He rolled and smoked a cigarette while waiting for most of the pain to pass.

With one leg completely useless and a shoulder pain that nagged him with every movement it took him the better part of an hour to get back to the top of the canyon. There was a considerable amount of his horse left from the night before. But his stomach lurched with one look of it. He grabbed his saddle bag, slung it over his good shoulder. He saw a rifle laying near the remains of the other horse, it was the right length that he could use it as a crutch and keep his weight off of his shot hip. His slow journey to the town was mainly a blur of pain, and fatigue from the heat. He made his way into town by noon.

His intentions were to head straight for the saloon and drown the noise of his pain out with a cheap bottle of whiskey. He only made it as far as the horse trough just outside of the saloon, where he collapsed. When he woke he noticed that he felt clean and bandaged. He also noticed that his legs were shackled and he was also bereft of weapons.

“He’s awake.” A gruff man’s voice said from somewhere out of his line of sight.

Ezekiel heard the clanking of keys in a cell door, followed by a door swinging open on old metal hinges. A man with a sheriffs badge and a drawn gun approached him.

“Care to tell me why you and yours saw fit to terrorize our town, and kill our cattle last night, Changeling?” the sheriff asked

The Sheriff thumbed back the hammer on his pistol as punctuation for his question. The chamber rotated and he saw the glint of silver accent the cold black gunmetal of his interrogator’s Peacemaker.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Zeke asked.

“Last night after the moon rose, all the town folk had to board up their doors and windows to keep the wolfbeasts out that have been antagonizing our town every night for the last week. Every morning we wake up with less and less cattle. Last night some of them got into the saloon and my deputy shot one of them in about the same place our town doctor pulled a silver slug out of you.”

“I was running from the wolves last night, I crossed paths with a man who was also running for his life. He panicked and shot me.”

“We’ll just see about that. The moon is going to rise within the hour. If you don’t change, we’ll apologize and send you on your way with clean clothes, a hot meal, and a fresh horse. If you change, well we’ll have one less hazard to worry about in these parts.”

“Alright, I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“Bill, Cover me.” The sheriff said as he holstered his weapon and reached for his keys.

The man who was presumably Bill stepped into the cell with a shotgun. The sheriff unshackled him and began to back out of the cell. Once they had locked him in Bill pulled a rope outside the cell that caused a trap door to open above him. The door swung open to revealed a barred opening. He could see the faint shape of the moon. Soon the sun would set and the moon would shine.

Bill and the sheriff stared at him intently. Bill never lowered his shotgun, and the sheriffs hand rested against his holstered pistol. The seconds passed by slowly, Ezekiel never took his eyes off of the moon as it grew in shape and light. The temperature grew in his cell and he began to sweat. He felt sick. He felt the bile in his empty stomach undulate. His stomach lurched and he doubled over, clenching his midsection as he rolled to the floor. He was able to drag himself to a bucket in the corner of his cell and put his head into position as the contents of his stomach, or lack thereof, staged an escape attempt via his esoughagus. With each wretching gasp he felt significantly worse. Sicker, more feverish, shakier.

His left calf began to burn with a white hot pain. A searing pain that penetrated his muscles and shot up his spine. When the pain reached his head it felt like somebody was striking the backs of his eyeballs with hammers as if they were ringing church bells. Ezekiel’s body tried to fold itself in half in the wrong direction as he was rocked by the tremors of pain that ran from his calf to his brain, using his spine as a superhighway. He lifted the leg of his tattered pants, and amongst a latticework of cuts, and bruises he noticed four slight scratches, as if he was barely grazed by claws.

He realized now that he could smell everything around him. The unwashed bodies of Bill and the sheriff, the tobacco tucked behind Bill’s bottom lip, the whiskey on the sheriff’s breath. He could tell you everything that the two men had eaten since they’d last washed their clothes. Their heart rates increased. Ezekiel could actually hear their hearts beating. The full light of the moon came to bear upon Ezekiel through the hatch in the ceiling and his skin began to itch.

He gazed down at his arms and noticed he was becoming hairier. He cried out in shock and blood filled his mouth, With fingers attached to a hand that was growing hairier by the minute he probed the inside of his mouth. He’s just bitten through his tongue. He could feel his teeth changing shape, becoming sharper and elongating. He glanced up at the moon once more. The light that it was giving off was blinding, it was the brightest thing that Zeke had ever seen. Brighter than the sun itself.

And that’s when the trembling started. At first his knees and elbows just felt wobbly as he fell to all fours. But what just started out as a little uneasieness became a full on seizure. He cried out as he felt his face elongate, his cries turned into snarls as spine stretched and his rib cage expanded. Ezekiel was writing on the floor, foaming at the mouth. His eyes were rolled so far up in his skull that he could have been staring at his own brain. The whites that he was showing to the two frightened men outside of his cell were jaundiced and blood shot.

As night fell the air was punctuated by shotgun blasts and pistol fire as they intermingled with howls, and all ended with a whimper.

Creative Commons License
Suspicions and Silver Bullets by Eldon KR is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Checking in on “Checking In”

So I’ve got the new computer up and running, I’m still figuring out how to work xampp so that I can host the audio for the show on my own computer. I’ve also got OpenOffice up and running so I can start writing again. I’m going over what I’ve got written for “Checking In” seeing if there was anything I missed while writing, change typos, clip out a little that doesn’t make sense anymore, etc. It will also help me get re-oriented with the story so that I can get back into where it was going. I mean, I can’t jump into a story I haven’t touched since November and expect myself to know where all the moving parts where going. So when I get back to writing I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing, you could also start following me on Twitter to find out other things you’d like to know as far as what I do on a daily basis, or my writing process.

You just don’t fuck with a Dawsey – A book review of Scott Sigler’s “Contagious”

This review was supposed to be written and posted near the end of December. Read the post preceding this to find hear my lame excuse of why it hasn’t been written until now.

At first I was a little leery about using an expletive in the title of this post, but then I remembered what Scott Sigler says in the disclaimer for his podcasts. So it’s all good.

I’ve been listening to Scott Sigler’s podcasts for quite some time now and I quickly became hooked. I became one of Sigler’s “Junkies”. I jumped at the opportunity to review his newest book. Contagious is the sequel to his bestselling hardcover release from Crown Publishing “Infected”.

Contagious Synopsis taken from Sigler’s website:

“Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.

Standing against this unimaginable threat is a small group, assembled under the strictest secrecy. Their best weapon is hulking former football star Perry Dawsey, left psychologically shattered by his own struggles with this terrible enemy, who possesses an unexplainable ability to locate the disease’s hosts. Violent and unpredictable, Perry is both the nation’s best hope and a terrifying liability. Hardened CIA veteran Dew Phillips must somehow forge a connection with him if they’re going to stand a chance against this maddeningly adaptable opponent. Alongside them is Margaret Montoya, a brilliant epidemiologist who fights for a cure even as she reels under the weight of endless horrors.

These three and their team have kept humanity in the game, but that’s not good enough anymore, not when the disease turns contagious, triggering a fast countdown to Armageddon. Meanwhile, other enemies join the battle, and a new threat — one that comes from a most unexpected source — may ultimately prove the most dangerous of all.”

I was very eager to crack this story open and devour it as fast as I could. After opening the box it was shipped in. I did not put the book down for the week it took me to read it. I could have finished the book in a day’s time. But Scott is one of my favorite novelists and I wanted to read his book at a slower pace. To treat it as fine cuisine. To savor it, enjoy it, soak up every single word and let the story wash over me in a warming sensation.

I was almost dissapointed to finish the novel, because now I’m hungry for more of the story and I have to wait now, like everyone else, for the third installment.

At first I wasn’t sure why the book was given it’s title. For the first part of the story I saw nothing about the disease being contagious. But when I finally discovered how this disease had evolved I gasped and jumped out of my seat so hard that the book almost flew across the room. And as with all of Sigler’s stories the characters have such a depth that you feel as if you know them. And the wordplay and dialogue between them would make you want to take them out for drinks after work, or simply knock out their teeth. But another thing you learn from Scott’s work, is that you shouldn’t get too attached to the characters.

Scott Sigler’s “Contagious” was a page turning amalgamation of horror, suspense, and hard science that had me at the edge of my seat and afraid of turning off the lights. I was guessing until the very last page, and made me feel concerned about every bump, mark, rash, and itch I had for weeks after finishing the novel.

In short you need to pick up a copy of this book. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a very long time.

But as usual, I’m drawing a blank so I’ll see you next time.

Get Smart

This is not an actual movie review. I finally got around to watching the movie “Get Smart”. And I have to say that I’m impressed. For a Steve Carell movie, it’s not really what I expected. I definitely expected it to be a lot sillier. But they seemed to have found a good balance between silly and serious. Steve Carell’s character wasn’t a complete and total nitwit like I thought he’d be. And I definitely have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes where Anne Hathaway wears that shiny little dress.

That’s about all I had to say, I’m drawing a blank so I’ll see you next time.

2008 Elections

I would have thought up a catchy title for this one but I’m drawing a blank, no pun intended. Also the current title is quite Google-able.

The 2008 election is something that is going to make history. This is revolutionary. The next four years are going to be four years of change in every level of government. Our new president has done nothing but preach change, a lot of your local and state representatives have been talking about change. The men, and woman, that I voted for today wanted change.

I’ve been watching the news with my girlfriend for the last few hours and I’ve been updating on twitter on local and national news. For example, Mitch Daniels is Governor for Indiana again, and he seems like a very capable man with what he’s shown us so far. I was excited to find out that Obama won the election. I ran into the living room where the rest of my family and friends were sitting, jumping up and down and yelling, I wonder how many other Americans across the country I shared that one moment with, I called one of my dear friends to let him know just in case he stepped away from the television. I then cracked open a Sam Adams, checked twitter, then I dashed straight to the blogs.

I’m very excited to learn that Obama won, but can you doubt it? Did you ever have one moment where you doubted this was possible? Look at the impact this man has had already. In the state of Indiana alone the number of early voters has reached an all time high. And who wast he man urging people to go out and vote early? The number of young voters voting today, and all of the young people voting early is also set a new record. Who was the one man urging all of us, young and old, to go out and vote early because every one of those votes count.

In some cities in Indiana there were enormous lines where people had to wait several hours to vote early. I know for a fact Obama supporters have been calling me every day telling me that I could go out and vote early, and I would have had my car been running, and letting me know that my vote counts. How could you ever doubt Barack Obama when you can see all of the people he’s influenced and all the impact he’s made so far? All the change wrought, and all of the potential change to come? It doesn’t matter all the true negative things that have been said about this man, or any of the propaganda, all that matters now is that The United States of America is going to become a better place. As of a little after 10:00 P.M. Eastern Standard time the change has begun.

But don’t think that just because Obama won that its time to stop believing. Rejoice tonight but tomorrow we’ve all got hard work again tomorrow. We’ve all got to work harder than ever because of the fact that something has happened that nobody in America ever thought to be achieved. Please don’t be a fence sitter or a warm weather fan. There are still going to be many bitter people and many nay-sayers. Every wrong thing that happens between now and 2012 is going to be pinned on the shoulders of Barack Obama. This man has had our support for a long time now, but now that he’s achieved his victory he’ll need our support now more than ever.

And one final thing, there are many of us Obama supporters, and we’re rejoicing now. But that means that there are also many, many people now who are dissapointed, even crying over the fact that their man has lost. Please don’t take this opportunity to rub it in their faces. The man we’ve pinned our hopes on is all about change, would it be right for us to gloat about his victory? Just because Barack Obama won the election doesn’t mean that you should add to the disappointment of the McCain supporters. Keep that in mind tomorrow when you go to school and work.

And one final thing that I am a firm believer in. for all of you who are angry about McCain losing. If you did not vote, you have no right to bitch, to complain, to whine about the results of election. and if you did not vote, you have no right to bitch, to whine, to complain about anything that happens over the next four years.

I’m going to get off my soapbox for now. I’m drawing a blank, and I’ve a beer to finish so I’ll see you next time.


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