The Taste of His Skin–Like Lemonade Spiked with too Much Sugar


creepy baby doll

[That post title is as long as some old-skool Fall Out Boy song title.]

Some things are essential in life:

  • 10-key pad on the laptop
  • Hair gel
  • Frequent kisses
  • Sugar
  • Shoe polish

I mean, come on. It’s not like we live in a third world country or something.

Another essential thing: perpetual creation

Since letting go of my obsessive Phreak Show revisions, I’ve been scribbling new concepts & possibilities as they emerge. A designated notebook, a One Note file, post-its, and random scraps of paper have all been employed to record the snippets. Some ideas are random & stand alone. They explode like witty fireworks, burn brightly for a moment, then cool into ash. Their purpose completed, they sleep. Others grow a little bigger & get amplified, expanded, more fully formed.

This is the sifting process whereby seeds are planted & weeds are pulled.
Somewhere in the mix is the germ of the next novel waiting to sprout.
And what a haphazard bunch of wildflowers they are.

I’m a spec-fic kind of guy. So that’s a given.
With this next tale, I want to go dark. Very dark. Push it beyond a little grit & really dig into psyche-twisting.
THE concept hasn’t fully formed yet, but there are a few contenders in the garden. Or, better, in the mound of oozing body parts?

For fun, raw bits of character, dialogue, ideas, science, scribbled things. Most are not dark. At least, not yet.

  • “I read carnage like tea leaves.”
  • Clocks slow down the closer they are to the strongest force of a gravitational field.
  • “In a world with such tiny grains of peace, it alone drives back the sickness and the sound. It alone allows us to walk in the brightness. To us, the ritual is not blasphemy; it is salvation.”
  • Note: use Fibonacci number for dates in the solar year (Day #1, Day #2, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233 – Julian Calendar?) as key dates/days in the spell process. [Research where these numbers fall. Count it from one of the soltices?]
  • Human thoughts are physical events which can be felt by others
  • “Take this,” Rosette says, then she tugs down her veil, and slips behind Lori’s robe.
    I unwrap the decaying cloth. The blade inside is rusted and dull with the sleep of twenty years.

    Lori steps forward. “It has your father’s blood upon it.”

    “Don’t call him that,” Rob spits. “He’s grown as cold as his master. He’s another Kraphet waiting to happen.”

    Lori’s eyes grow moist. Even though none of her life actually flows through our veins, she has adopted all the lost-ones as her own. Pain radiates from her each time her surrogate children deny their maker. She worships Laban as I worship Rob.

    I grip his arm, and force him to bow with me. “Thank you for the gift.”

    Lori reaches towards me to caresses the blade with her pale hand, then lovingly tucks the corners of its shroud back in place. “I do not know what help it can offer, but it is all I have to give.”

  • An anti-matter bomb would be ridiculously destructive, but such a thing would take 10,000’s of years to construct.
  • We are mostly empty matter—empty space with a few pinpricks  of material (like rocks floating in space) making up our physical form.
  • The Latin maxim ignoramus et ignorabimus, meaning “we do not know and will not know”, stood for a position on the limits of scientific knowledge, in the thought of the nineteenth century.
  • Studies show that lack of control causes our brains to see patterns in what would otherwise be randomness.
  • “Magic is real, all around us. Much of it is so mundane it is overlooked and accepted as a fact of life. Words are magic. Movement is magic. Emotions are magic. These come naturally, they are intuitive, and are thus considered normal. Then there are the higher magics, the rare kinds, the ones most would call magic. These are beyond simple comprehension, stretch past the bounds of our logic. These types of magic are harder to wield because doubt is the default human condition. And it is difficult to believe in things which we can not explain. All manifestations of magic—from thought, to speech, to gesture, to emotion, to the higher orders—can be wielded with either selfless intention (white magic), or selfish, harmful intention (black magic). But in between, where most intentions fall, there is gray.”
  • q: Spit in its mouth? Breathe into it? Hold it to her skin & sing/chant/incant to it?
  • Further along in the process, the heart falls out, because it hasn’t taken yet.
  • Love triangle: Combo of Beauty & the Beast meets Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde
  • “Science is nothing more than magick which has been explained. Gravity, magnetism, x-rays, germs, radio signals, DNA, reproduction—these are all magick.””I don’t like thinking of magick as science. I don’t want it explained away. I like the mystery.””Do you know how a computer works? How binary code and electric currents transmit images so you can play games, or chat with friends, or view pics on a screen?””Well, zeros and ones, and switches, and electric impulses…and…not really…”

    “See? Even though someone knows how those things work, and can manipulate the elements in the right way, that doesn’t make the magick behind it any less mysterious. You have no idea what really makes it all work. You only know—from experience—that it does. You take the magick behind the science for granted.”

  • The taste of his skin—like lemonade spiked with too much sugar. The billow of his heart pumping moonlight into me.
  • Mara’s eyes glaze over. “The guardians know you are coming. They will suffer the second death to protect their maker.”
  • Darkness, thick as oil, clogs the side alleys and doorways. Red occasionally burns through the shadows in the glow of hungry eyes and the flare of smokers sucking in death-grass fumes.
  • Maybe they conflict because of his interest in magic/spiritual/paranormal & her interest in solid science/provable/tangible things?
    • Random thought:
      • They have a history—when they were kids, they were “Ghost Hunters”, stayed in a haunted house, investigated graveyards, Ouija, toyed with levitation & seances, etc.
        • This is where some connections for the QUORUM can come from–contacts earth boy already has.
      • Parted ways partly due to their difference in worldviews–but MAINLY, REALLY due to a failed attempt at a relationship.
  • “Loving a teddy bear or grandma’s locket isn’t enough. Love is weak magic. Way weaker than most people pretend.”
  • The buzzing and screams work into a frenzy as they near climax, “chastising & condemning as only a wilting god can”, then
    explode, then fall utterly silent.

And I could go on and on. Somewhere in this cacophony may be the root of my next novel. Or maybe not. The essential thing is that I keep the conduit open & continue searching for that perfect seed.

And who the hell knows? I may not even end up in dark for the next novel. I doubt it’ll be sunshine & cupcakes, but I guess it could. No. Definitely no the fuck it won’t. LGBTQ themes are always on my mind. So far, I’ve been too chicken to push in that direction… Hmmm…perhaps focus on that AND go dark? :: grabs scribbling pen :: 

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The Ugliest Mona Lisa I’ve Ever Seen


mona lisa - ral

You know this lady.

Her name’s Mona. You can call her Mo for short. She’s kind of iconic.

She’s here today to help me illustrate this *thing* I’m going through which relates to the world of writing. No, it’s not about visualizing characters, painting a story landscape, or any such helpful advice from a novice. Sorry about that. There are plenty of other blogs with unpublished writers giving profound & sage wisdom…

The topic this blogger is tackling today is: [Well, shit, I can’t really sum it up in a single word. This isn’t Twitter; it’s a post. So eff it, I can ramble if I like.]

Let’s go with this freeform string of thoughts: I have multiple fulls out with agents, which have been out for a while. I recently nudged on one & the agent confessed that she hadn’t gotten to it yet. Cool. No big deal. Another one is past the 10 week mark, at which point I would normally nudge, but I have not because of [keep reading]. The third is in this nerve-wracking, string-a-long sort of web which doesn’t seem to have an end. I am hopeful that it will turn into an offer, but the more pages of the calendar I rip off, the less that feels like reality. So, I have just kind of turned off my wishfulness on this matter until such time as it needs to be either revived, or incinerated.

After all that, I guess what I’m trying to say is: I don’t like to feel like I’m begging.

To be candid, I totally get that agents are busy, clients come first, I’m swamped, it’s conference season–all that. And writers are always labeled “impatient”. “This is a slow process,” we tell each other. Agents say it, too. Yet, still, are we really impatient? 2 months? 4 months? 6 months? 12 months? How long is too long to wait to hear back on a full request? An R&R? At what point has the timing passed beyond simple impatience on the part of the writer?

What it boils down to is that I want an agent to *LOVE* my work. Like, SHAZAAAAM! BAM! YES I WANT IT GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT EFFIN NOW I CAN’T WAIT TO START WORKING WITH YOU AND GET THIS THING SUB-READY BECAUSE AWESOME IN MY FACE AND OMG HAVE YOU SIGNED THE AGENCY CONTRACT YET OR WHAT BECAUSE AHHHHHHH????!!!!!

Instead, thus far, I have felt less like Phreak Show is the real Mona Lisa, and that perhaps it is more like this:

mona lisa - bad

 

And, yes, my loverly invisible ink finders. I KNOW that Phreak Show looks/reads nothing like that horrid ol’ fake. I’m just sayin’ I want that acceptance, that go-get-it agent who believes in me & my story so much that s/he can’t get hold of it fast enough. A dream? Perhaps. But my life has been built on dreams such as this. And damn it, I’m not done believing in magick.

Phalangeal Re-Creation -OR- The Day I Made Bones


My partner, Micah, and I happen upon odd things in our business. Sometimes that oddness appears in the form of human bones.

Yeah, I know, some folks find that creepy. I’m totally okay with that, because a lot of other folks find it phenomenal. In fact, we have a list of clients who are mainly interested in the uber-weird: plastinated organs, death memorabilia, human bones, taxidermy, preserved specimens, etc.

This past week, we turned down a collection of, to quote the seller, “Indian bones”. In his personal archaeological quest for Native American artifacts, he has amassed a barn-full of remains. Now, we have a personal aversion to this idea. Buying and selling bones which were once used for scientific study & education (and therefore, hopefully, gifted by the donor for that purpose) is a far different thing than trafficking remains which were once ceremoniously interred.

For us, this is a moral issue.

To the U.S. government, it is also a federal offense. (SEE: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act)

How to know the difference? Well, the educational items are cleaned & prepared–usually with mounting wires, hinges, springs & screws. A while back, we purchased a group of these specimens. Basically, pieces and parts from educational models—all in varying stages of disrepair.

That’s where I come in.

These past couple days I have been hand-carving replacement phalanges for a sad, little skeletal arm who had lost the majority of his digits. And because some of you may find this intriguing (and maybe just a *little* bit creepy…) here’s a slide show of the progression from busted to re-bonified.

So, there you go. No bones about it. [ahem…] From busted & sad to (I think) a much revived version.

And for my next trick– Well, actually, Micah is working on the next project. Documentary pics shall follow. Yes, it involves more bones. A skull, in fact. One which was cut into 7+ vertical slices… Mounting fixtures and a gorgeous base are being fabricated, a glass dome awaits.

In the meantime, to keep me busy, there are a few vertebra columns which need some TLC.