Catching Up on the Writering

So Kate Gosselin is “freaking out “ over her show being cancelled.

I really don’t care.  I just couldn’t come up with an intro.

Although, seriously?  She’s upset because her career has been derailed?  Watch the video.  It’s amazing how much she sounds like…well, like Kate Gosselin.  Woman’s nuttier than a can of almonds.

It’s been some time since life has allowed me the time and energy to focus on writing, as well as the myriad other projects I want to work on.  Now that I’ve left my post at The Corner Bookstore, I’m going to dive headlong into the wordy pool and see what comes of it.  The primary objective right now is to finish Book 1 in The Storyteller series, which is tentatively called The Heart of Darkness.  I should, all things being equal, complete that manuscript some time in October (preferably before I head to Richmond, Va for The James River Writers Confererence).

As I manage that daunting task, I mean to pick up the pieces of the abandoned Bookstore series of videos (newest one below) and continue building a platform with which to turn my bizzaro experiences as a bookseller into a television pilot.  Think Arrested Development meets The Office and you’ll get a decent idea. Something that allows for a good bit of insanity but is more character driven than built around the location. I hope to have a new video up every Wednesday.

Additionally, I’ll have a few posts to add to The Adventures of Ducky Thomas, including his long overdue story of traveling to New York City.  That post, for what it’s worth will be called The Massive Warship, and has an awful lot to do with his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The hope with Ducky is to translate his adventures into chapter books. I think the world needs stories about an adventurous duck. Ducky agrees.

Now that Flutter is out and selling, I will be returning again to the world of Timothy Webb and telling what may, or may not, be the final book in that series. I’m rather fond of Timothy and Natasha, so I may violate ever known rule of writing just to hang on to them. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, The Christ Corporation Series has a Facebook page. Like it. I’ll be posting updates there.

Finally, staring me in the face with the depth and deadness of a salivating zombie is a story that takes the traditional Zombie Apocalypse for rocking ride where it’s never been before. Not sure yet if I want to write the novel or the screenplay, but as I have information to offer, I’ll be tossing it up here on the blog.

…of which I will be visiting more often. Obviously, right?

So with nothing in my way but myself, all of these projects will be complete or underway within the next six months.  I’m piling it on and looking forward to what comes of it.

Oh, and in the near future I’ll be looking for you to determine what absolutely ridiculous show I show blog about on a regular basis. That one is wide open.  Anything from Springer to Gossip Girl, from The View to 90210. It’s not my call. It’s yours. I’m not sure who I hope to entertain more with that, but I’m quite positive it will be me.

That said, here’s the latest in The Bookstore series, called Potter is Hotter. Time to decide between Cullen and Potter. And pretty dresses.

Back to The Bookstore

The most recent episode of The Bookstore is a fair bit of a self-indulgence. But this is my universe, so I’ll construct it as I like, thank you. Actually, the true point of these videos is simply to entertain and tell a story, and it is my great hope that do exactly that.  But I would be remiss in not utilizing it to also promote myself, so why not have Eddie profess me to be one of the greatest writers ever?  I was rather touched by his sentiment, even if he’s just doing so in a vain attempt to bait me into doing an event at The Bookstore.

I’ve upgraded to Xtranormal’s new movie-making program, which they call State.  It allows for more than 2 characters–which I’ve utilized here–and the ability to move characters around.  There’s a nifty voice over thingy that I will ultimately have to give a try, but for now…baby steps.

As with every project I ever undertake, I’m open to comments, thoughts, and ideas.  Additionally, I’m very (I think I mean to say VERY) open to you sharing these videos on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you socially congregate.  As well, you can visit the videos on my You Tube page, and add comments, likes, and so forth.  Don’t underestimate how much it helps.  Same with my books on Amazon.  It’s a public forum in which people who have never heard of me (like Stacy in the video) have the opportunity to read what other people are saying.

Ok, enough promoting. Here’s the fourth video in The Bookstore series, Going Viral.

 

PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

Ahem.

There are a few side projects that I have going on, whilst awaiting the release of Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, which is due out in August, and I would be remiss not to pool them into my Whoreville of Compilation here on this blog. After all, it’s point is to let you know how utterly awesome–if not just active–I am.  So, that said, here’s the scoop:

First of all, I have officially launched the Ducky Thomas blog in order to keep his persistent quacking about new blogs centered in another room, where he can take care of that himself.  He says that he will have one new blog a week, until he can talk me into taking him to new places on a more regular basis.  I let him know that I have a job, and it is my duty to ensure that we can all continue to eat.  He was a good duck and laughed at the word ‘duty’ for two hours.  Check it out.  For a duck, he has pretty good stories.

Secondly, I have attempted to be more consistent with entries on the bookstore blog, There Are No Words.  Mostly, I’m just filling space with the odd things I hear, and the even odder requests that I get.  Becoming involved once more in that blog led to my third in-the-works project.

If you aren’t familiar with the website Xtranormal, then you’ve likely been under a rock.  It’s one of the most useful sites for writers (or directors for that matter) with time, energy, and a small amount of cash to spare.  I’ll spare the details on how it works (largely because I have an episode coming up for that), and instead post the first 3 episodes in the series simply called The Bookstore. There is some truth to it, to a degree.  I have drawn from some of the bits I’ve dropped on the bookstore blog, and added the rest for entertainment.  In the end, this is not meant to be a representation of life at my day job.  It’s meant to be a series of short films that culminate into a larger story.  Life at The Bookstore, if you will.  Characters will be evolved, a story will unfold, and a certain author’s books (ahem) will be shamelessly promoted.  Oh, and there will be no shortage of loathing for Twilight.  So here they are.  You can subscribe to them on my You Tube account and you’ll get email updates when new videos are posted.  Right now I’m doing one a day, but I would image it will be reduced to 2-3 times per week after I’ve got enough of them created.

Please let me know what you think.  This is a work in progress, and I’m always open to input.

Here is #1:

Here is #2:

Here is #3:

May Showers Bring May Flowery Deaths

So, yeah.  You’re going to die soon.  Just so you know.  The people at We Can Know can even tell you when.  To the day.  Behold, the End Times:

So, I should hold off on that June Cruise deposit, yeah?

For the record, this is not a joke.  This group of 4 ministries has decided, through biblical prognostication, that the Rapture will, indeed, take place on May 21st, 2011, and that actual end of the world will occur on October 21st, 2011.  So, basically, if you’re a Christian, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.  Finally, the Word will be proven true, and you will be ushered into Heaven, where you will live out your spiritual days in the warm embrace of a loving God.  Conversely, if you are not a Christian, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.  All the Christians will be gone, taken from the world in a flash, leaving you with a world bereft of dogmatic Believers who like to shake bells, throw pamphlets at you, and clog up lines at Golden Corral on Sundays.  it’s the world you’ve always dreamed of.  For five months, anyway.  At which time, your little fantasy land gets gobbled up by a God who is perturbed at your sinful ways (but isn’t at all displeased with allowing Miley Cyrus to continue living, go figure).  There’s a silver lining, though.  You have the next 6 months, and 18 days to do whatever you want , and then you can repent on May 20th, find some Holy-type to dunk you in water, and smile a lot, be fine the next day, and take the G-train to Heaven.  Just a thought.

But, maybe you don’t like baths.  I don’t know.

If you’re in need of a tutorial, the folks who created the video program at Xtranormal can be thanked for letting our Christian friends make this tutorial:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yDWXNKPtNw&feature=player_embedded]

It’s not as funny as the Geico commercial.

So, where does that leave us?  Well, I’ve done the whole bath thing, and been certified Jesusian, but have since reneged on the agreement, and gotten all dirty with sin, and written books that sort of, well, mock the whole process, so I’m guessing that I’m not on the G-train.  And since it may have been a one-shot deal–I’m guessing that you can’t have two baths with Jesus in a lifetime, and sell that you’re totally serious about it this time–I have to deal with the reality that I have, give or take being stabbed in the eye, about eleven months in which to enjoy my time on this rock.  So, rather than fret about the end of the world, I’ve decided that I’m going out with a bang.  I’m sure this list will need some editing, over the period of Doom-to-be that remains, but for now, it’s a start.

  1. Listen to every Justin Beiber song until I have them memorized.  Attend concert on December 23rd at Phillips, and squeal until my voice cuts off.  Buy t-shirt.  Why not, right?  I mean, it’s not the New Kids or anything absurd like that.
  2. Contact Warner Brothers, and plead with them to move up Deathly Hallows Pt 2 to May 20th (I can just hear it now: “Yeah, I was going to get baptized, but it was either that or watch Harry Potter.  Pretty easy choice, I think.”), or to implement a post-Rapture contingency plan to ensure the release of the movie.  I’m not dying before I see how it plays out on the big screen.
  3. Find a booth at Waffle House, and stay there for 24 hours.  Eat everything on the menu.  Enjoy the next 24 hours, alternating between the toilet and the tub.
  4. Host a Rapture Party on the rooftop of the tallest building that will accept money.  Watch the Christians float into the sky, and create a pool for “number of airplanes crashing into buildings as Christian pilots are taken”.  Rig pool so that you win.
  5. Move into the largest church I can find on May 22nd.  Host readings of Apocalypse South every Sunday, readings of Flutter and Anointed every Wednesday and Friday, and change the sign outside to read: “God is good, God is Great, WTF, did I just inherit a Chruch?”  Misspell ‘church’ intentionally because Russ Marshalek will want it that way.
  6. Get a job at Starbucks (because we all know they’ll still be around), and ask to be paid in coffee.  Drink only coffee until the world ends.  Never sleep again.
  7. Begin reading the Mark Twain bio.  Put it down three days later when it becomes apparent that there isn’t enough time to finish Volume 1.
  8. Walk part of the Appalachian Trail with an ATV.
  9. Acquire the most expensive computer available (depending on availability when the looting begins).  Strip it of every program, and create a screen saver that reads, “What are you doing, Dave?”  Leave it on until the world ends.
  10. Host a “naked party”.  Invite no one.
  11. Watch every Star Wars movie in succession, enjoy them immensely, then write a 400 page letter to George Lucas detailing how much better they could have been if he hadn’t directed any of them.  Reference Empire as the platform of awesomeness that it is.  Hand deliver to the first person you encounter, and thank them for buying Statewide Rapture Insurance.
  12. Create a Twitter account for a Christian who you know has been Raptured.  Tweet from Heaven.  Tell those remaining (I just deleted, “left behind” three times…I just can’t say it.) what they need to do in order to be Saved.  Hint: it involves cheese being delivered to my chruch.
  13. Make enough Kraft Mac N’ Cheese to fill the bathtub.  Bathe in it.  Bathe in it real good.  Like it like you want it, mmmhm.
  14. Find a replica Darth Vadar costume to wear from October 18th through October 21st.  Speak only in Vadar lines, and die with your helmet off.
  15. Call the ex-wife on May 22nd, and remind her that she didn’t get Raptured either.  It goes both ways, apparently.
  16. Find some D&D goons, and suggest your chruch as a fine place for a week-long campaign.  Play all week, so that you can die knowing that you’re a rogue Elf with…
  17. Learn D&D terminology so as to better define your character before you die.
  18. Make the trek to Chicago, and find a seat in the bleachers at a sure to be empty Wrigley Field and yell, “you suck!”  Do the same in NY at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, before returning to Atlanta, and Turner Field.  Do the chop for six straight hours.
  19. Call all my friends (none of them will have taken the G-train, for sure), and let them know they don’t have to worry.  I’m still awesome.
  20. Call my Jewish friends, blame them for everything, and say, “I told you this would happen.”
  21. Find Seth MacFarlane, and thank him for being such a delightful bastard.  Let him know that you got yourself checked, and your not retarded.

This isn’t done, but I’m too impatient to save it and wait.  Who has ideas?

The First Flap

Though I don’t yet have a specific date, the next book in the Anointed trilogy (it seems to require a name of some sort to qualify it as a trilogy, if for no other reason than to amuse me and my publisher), Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, will be in stores in spring of 2011.  It still seems a long way off, but that’s the process, and I have no choice but to wait it out, nervously tapping away as the editorial process ensues, as characters and plot lines are dissected, as event dates are put together, and as the reviews and blurbs trickle in.  In the meantime, however, the preliminary jacket art is in, and I can’t help but feel like it’s headed in the right direction.

The subtitle is yet to be added.

No telling where it’ll wind up, but it definitely represents the theme of the book well.  I’ll post the changes as they are made.  Feel free to drop in your thoughts.

——–

“Bishop” Eddie Long.

Who made him a Bishop, anyway?

He made his first public statements regarding the sexual misconduct charges Sunday morning, at 8am, from the pulpit.  The mere fact that his first statements to the charges were delivered from the pulpit is more telling than anything he said.  How better to draw further attention to the “church” and bolster its reach than to have the media in attendance, broadcasting your (lack of) denial, while thousands of followers scream and holler and praise JeebusAlmighty.  It was a circus.  It was exactly right for what he is.  If you read the transcript, it’s quite obvious from the outset that he’s proud of the attention–the opportunity even–that this scandal has brought his church.

“Good morning New Birth. And good morning to all our other guests.

And I would be remiss not to say good morning to the world.

You all may be seated in the presence of the Lord.

I do want to remind folk that we’re here at 8 every Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning.

And I’ll be here next week.”

The other bit that struck me was, fittingly, at the end of his presentation:

“Please hear this. Please hear this: I’ve been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man. But this thing I’m gon’ fight.

And I want you to to know one other thing. I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”

He never denies the accusations.  He never defends his actions.  He simply states that it is a hard time for him, that he’s been accused, and that he–the pastor of a mega-church–feels like David, fighting for his life against the giant, Goliath.  I believe he may have that bit backwards, however.  These young men, whether honest or deceitful, are not Goliath.  The man who deemed himself anointed by God, the “Bishop” of 25,000 people willing to put money on his name, the person that is as much a politician of faith as he is an admitted multi-national corporation, stands with far more might, and far more capable defense than young men, who are armed with nothing more than accusations, and a date in court.

—–

From the shelves of the departed Wordsmiths Books vault, I leave you with a video of the Harry Potter cover band, Draco & the Malfoys.  They were one of a few who passed through, and one of my favorites (though the Remus Lupins are right there as well).  Their performance–with the rest of the gang that day for Wizard Rock–ranks as one of my favorite memories.  If you are a Potter-head, and haven’t heard these guys, then by all means, give them a listen.

A Haunting in God’s Office

A few days ago, I announced that Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, had been given the release date of October 1, 2010.  I also promised some material from that forthcoming work.  So, today we’ll take a peek into one of the more bizarre, and unfocused, locations in the whole of the scope of Heaven: God’s Office.  Yes, even God has an office.  And he has a picture of you in it.  Well, you, and another few billion people.  Also, his office is haunted, though the spirit in question isn’t much of a menace.  A whiny, moody, ghost, true, but not menacing.  This scene also included the arch-angel of dreams, Morpheus, who has a lot to live up to, given that his identity was, in effect, swiped and utilized in the Matrix.  So, anyway, here  you go, with no further set up.  Enjoy and feel free to comment!

God’s office was infinite.

            This was as much a product of His love for a spacious workspace, something tolerable to His love for plastic plants, and pictures of loved ones—and there were billions of those—as it was a universal necessity.  To say that a limited, defined, space would produce an undesirable amount of clutter on His desk would be a gross understatement.  It would, in fact, produce nothing short of Armageddon.

            The prospect of the utter obliteration of humanity aside, God also had a fascination with aesthetics.  Further, He had a fascination with structure.  And though He was still working to understand the finer nuances of Feng Shui, and how to best apply such principles to an infinite space, He was quite fond of His space, and had plopped in a few million bookcases, end tables, chairs, and trinkets for good measure. 

It was good, as He might say.

            With the exception of Morpheus, the only angel to have earned visitation rights, no spirit—human or angel—had ever stepped foot in God’s Office.  The only company He kept, and the only soul that had ever occupied this luxurious space at the same time on a regular basis, was a fraction of His being—a splinter of Self created purely as a means to combat His galactic boredom—known as the Holy Ghost.  This was as much a product of His affinity for the Holy Ghost, as it was that it simply could not go anywhere else.  Ever.  In a way, the Holy Ghost was God’s personal pet, imprisoned in an infinite office, bound to amuse its creator, and as complicated a being as a jello mold encased in a blanket, providing the jello was bitter and reeked of teenage angst. 

            WHAT DO YOU THINK?

            The Holy Ghost, contemplated God.  “Woooo?” it asked.

            God looked at Himself, and balled tiny fists.  WHY SHOULDN’T I BE?  MORPHEUS THINKS THIS BEST, AND I RATHER AGREE WITH HIM.

            Though it lacked a defined shape, and form, to any degree, it did sparkle quite a lot, if only dully.  And though any action in which it partook was typically not entirely visible to any eyes short of God’s unless it wore the Holy Sheet, the Holy Ghost shrugged.  It liked to shrug.  Being in God’s presence had cemented the need for a quality shrug.  “Woo, wooo, wooo,” it replied.

            PLEASE STOP THAT, said God.  IT’S NOT VERY BECOMING.  FRANKLY IT’S ENTIRLY UNECESSARY, AND MORPHEUS HAS NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE SAYING.

            “Oh, don’t worry about me,” Morpheus smiled dimly at the Holy Ghost.  “I’ve no desire to be a bother.  But, for the record, I think You look absolutely adorable.  Though I do admit to simply being happy just to be able to see you, for a change.”

            God stretched his tiny arms outward, eyebrows raised to the translucent specter in His seat.  “SEE?  ADORABLE.”

            The Holy Ghost sighed somewhere from the depths of the fourth level of Heaven, and slumped further into the seat.  “Fine.  Whatever.  I just don’t get why you can’t be the old man with the beard, and all, you know?  It’s like you’re more You that way, and stuff,” it moaned.

            I’VE BEEN THE OLD MAN WITH THE BEARD BEFORE.  HUMANS DISREGARD ANYTHING THAT PLAYS TO A STEREOTYPE.  THEY HAD ME COMMITTED.  RUINED A PERFECTLY GOOD SABBATICAL.  I’VE NEVER FELT SO SHORT-CHANGED.

            “That’s what she said.”

            WHAT?

            “I believe,” Morpheus interjected, “that our transparent friend was curious as to how long you stayed, during that unfortunate time?”

            The Holy Ghost shrugged.  “Whatever.”

            WELL, I LEFT IMMEDIATELY, OF COURSE.  WHY DO YOU ASK? 

            “Well, it’s, like, you forget who you are, and all, when you’re there too long, you know?”

            God snorted, allowing a simple laugh.  I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT FORGET WHO I WAS.  I SIMPLY NEGLECTED TO REMEMBER EVERY FACET OF MY BEING.  A CAVERNOUS DIFFERENCE OF INEVTIBLE RESULTS THERE.  SUCH THINGS CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU DABBLE IN HUMANITY.  FILL AN EMPTY GLASS WITH WATER, AND SEE HOW LONG IT TAKES TO FORGET THAT IT WAS ONCE EMPTY.  HUMANITY IS NO DIFFERENT.  THE TRICK IS NOT TO STAY TOO LONG.  OR TO FILL THE GLASS TOO MUCH.  I’VE TRIED TO GET HUMANS TO UNDERSTAND THIS, BUT IT SEEMS THEY ARE FAR TOO BUSY DEBATING THE ORIGINS OF THE EGG TO SEE THAT THE CHICKEN WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE SEPARATE FROM IT AT ALL.  EITHER WAY, I’LL BE FINE.  He nodded to Morpheus.  I’LL BE FINE, he repeated.

            “You’re so blind!  You deserved to be accused of insanity!  Jeez!”  The Holy Ghost triumphantly crossed its arms, and, if possible, slumped further into the chair.

            I DID NOT DESERVE TO BE ACCUSED OF INSANITY.  IT WAS SIMPLY THE RESULT OF A POOR CHOICE IN WARDROBE, AND A LACK OF SELF-AWARENESS.  THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT.  YOU WILL SEE.  THEY WILL NOT DENY A CHILD HIS VOICE.

            The Holy Ghost rolled its eyes, and, being short on further, more visible, dramatics, offered a huffed, “Whatever.”

            God considered the Holy Ghost, and placed His small hands on His small hips.  DON’T SAY, ‘WHATEVER,’ TO ME.  I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.  THIS IS A VERY DELICATE SITUATION, AND IT REQUIRES A DELICATE VOICE.  IT WILL ALL WORK OUT FINE, YOU’LL SEE.  ONCE I’VE MET WITH IZZY, AND LOCATED OUR WAYWARD SOUL, I CAN RETURN AND DEAL WITH THE OTHER PROBLEMS AT HAND FROM HERE.  IT’S SHORT WORK.  MORPHEUS, YOU WILL CARE FOR THINGS WHILE I’M AWAY.  Morpheus offered a dramatic bow.  I WILL BE SET UP SOON ENOUGH TO MONITOR MATTERS FROM EARTH. 

            “That should be awesome for us all, I’m sure,” muttered the Holy Ghost.

            THINGS WILL BE FINE, AND I’LL RETURN AS PLANNED.  YOU’LL SEE.  DON’T WORRY.  I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

            “Of course you do,” replied Morpheus, remaining prostrate.  “You are God.  God knows all.”

            In response, God simply nodded.  He was not often prone to doubt, at least none that the universe at large could be made aware of, but He had to admit that this situation was a difficult one, and had already proven itself to be tricky to set in motion precisely the way He desired.  INDEED I DO.  NOW, He said to the Holy Ghost, YOU WILL REMEMBER TO DO YOUR JOB AS INSTRUCTED?  IT IS VITAL THAT YOU DO.

            The Holy Ghost shrugged.  “Whatever.”

            God raised His eyebrows. 

            “Yeah,” shot the Holy Ghost, “I said, ‘whatever,’ didn’t I?  We’ve only been over it a bajillion times.”

            After a moment, God nodded, raised a small hand, and waived a farewell to the Holy Ghost, and to the nearly doubled-over form of Morpheus, feeling slightly at odds with the feeling of physicality.  It had been close to a hundred years since He had last taken a trip to earth.  Even for God, that was a lengthy bit of rope.  BE WELL, THE BOTH OF YOU.  I SHALL RETURN WHEN TIME IS IN MY FAVOR. 

            In a physical sense, God turned to a nearby wall, stepped into an open tubular portal, and shot out of sight in a whoosh of air.  In the infinite expanse of the quite unphysical realm of God’s Office, however, He simply vanished in a trickle of rippled light.

The Holy Ghost looked at the now empty space where God had stood, shrugged, and began a search through God’s desk for a crossword puzzle to keep it occupied. 

“This is all very exciting.  He left you a job, did He?”

“Yeah,” said the Holy Ghost.  “Some letter I have to give to some angel when he gets here, or whatever.”

“Truly?  How wonderful.  A message of grand importance I gather?”

“Not really.  Just a stupid message that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense at all.  Typical.  You wanna see it?”

“Well, I wouldn’t presume to corrupt the job left to you, but, maybe for the sheer fun of exploration, let’s give it a look, yes?”  The Holy Ghost pulled a folded letter out of a top drawer, and slid it across the desk.  “Well,” said Morpheus, reading the short note.  “Now the fun truly begins, doesn’t it?”

“Whatever.”

Fluttering Your Way This October

I killed a man.

Well, actually I killed several people, but to keep to the point, I killed a man by the name of Timothy Webb.  I thought this would be enough to keep him forever out of MY life, but, alas, I was mistaken.  Apparently, God took quite a fancy to him, and his actions as Christ, and CEO, at The Christ Corporation, and decided to make him an angel.  He gave Timothy his metaphorical wings, granted him the gift of a Key that supposedly held the power of Jesus, patted him on the back, and sent him on his way.

His first act was to show up on the doorstep of MY imagination, and demand that I do something about it.  I just kind of stared at him, in terrible disbelief, and shrugged.  This did nothing to satisfy him, so he invited himself in, began rambling about being ill-equipped to be an angel, and something about Natasha–the maligned angel known as Satan in our world–recovering well from her temporary bout of humanity.  So, for the next few hours we sat, until it became apparent to ME that the only way I would get rid of Timothy would be to write another story for him.  I proposed the idea, made up a completely fabricated storyline, waived him on, and then proceeded to forge onward with a plot that, in no way resembled the idea I had discussed with Timothy.  From this was born, Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction.

It now has a release date: October 1, 2010.

What is Flutter?  Well, it’s more devil fiction than Anointed, has significantly more explosions, plenty of characters who don’t survive to see the end, and an angelic system of social networking that is eerily familiar to Twitter.  But that’s not much of a description.  Kind of leaves you wanting, I admit.  So, instead, I offer you a brief look at some of what I wrote for my publisher, when I turned over the reigns of my baby:

In my eyes, it carries the same voice, and some of the feel, but none of the story structure of Anointed.  I wanted to write something, on the heels of a book that was philosophical, and, at times, rambling, with something a little more adventurous, a little more off the wall, and a lot more explodey (I really like that word all of a sudden)…I have included references, or creatures, as follows: Quantum Leap, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Back to the Future, The Matrix, a dragon, a vampire (tee hee…I like him!), a bobsledding monkey, a wizard/piano duel , zombies, and a chocolate hot tub.  Ok, the last may not be fantasy in terms of the genre, but you find me anybody who doesn’t like everything listed before it, that isn’t as fond of the hot tub, and I’ll quit writing.  Oh, also, there’s a reference to swine flu, and to Google Buzz (which is mistakenly called Fuzz).  That, along with Natasha in a bikini, a porch made of cheese (it’s Gouda than you think!  Ugh…), a God who thinks he’s a child, a video game of explosive proportions, ugly angels, an escalator in the sky, a prison in Heaven, the rebirth of Jesus, and a very unfortunate moment for the masters of The Christ Corporation…there’s so much activity, and no break to sit in a restaurant to discuss the history of Satan, or in an office to discuss the history of Christ.  What I hope I have created is a book that you really just can’t put down, and one that makes you both want to read its predecessor, and anxiously await what is to come.

I like that I can be a complete tard when I write to her.  Granted, she published the first book, so it’s not like I’m going to fool her at this point.  It’s not quite back copy material (that bit you might read on the back of a book that summarizes the story), but it covers most of what I consider to be cool about Flutter.  I’ve been asked what this book is meant to lampoon, given the generalized lampoon of Christianity in Anointed, to which I say it’s predominantly a lampoon of social media, and how easily distracted the world has become by it, and to technology in general.  I’d like to think that I can wield this tale like a weapon, and waggle it in the face of all those who have fallen prey to its mighty grip, but, well, I’m one of them.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, email, blogging, texting, computer games, anything and everything that occurs on the cell phone, and so forth–I’m there.  Or, at least, mostly there.  So are you, most likely.  Be warned: The angels know, and they’re about to do something rash.  Ish.  Rash-ish.  More in the vein of rash, but less rash than rash might be.  Kind of, severe, in that, “Don’t make me come down there,” kind of way.

So, I’ll keep it at that for now.  I hope to offer a few snippets in the coming weeks.  The first will likely be a scene that takes place in God’s Office, as He prepares for a trip to Earth, with the ever-present moan of the Holy Ghost guiding the way.

Until then, I need to go lock the door.  I’m sure Timothy wants to know what to do now.

A Villainous Life

Good day, and welcome to another session of, The Further Promotion of ME.  I–that would be ME–am your host for today’s festivities.  Thanks for stopping by.

Today we have a special treat in store for you.  Recently, I had the opportunity, during a break in scenes, to sit down and chat with the lead villain of MY most recent work, Flutter.  We discussed his motivations, his dreams, the true side to that demonic darling, Natasha, and whether or not the life of an angel is everything it’s cracked up to be.  His name is Morpheus, the angel of dreams, and God’s second-in-command.  The following is the transcript from the conversation.

(Morpheus enters, side-stage, dressed in a flowing white cloak, that seems to bury him in his nearly translucent pale skin.  He sparkles a gleaming smiled, offers me a wink of a blue eye, and sits, hands in a steeple in his lap.)

ME: Welcome, Morpheus.  It is a delight to have you, and a joy to talk with you.

Morpheus: I appreciate the opportunity, and thank you for inviting me.

ME:  Well, let’s just jump right into, shall we?  Who is Morpheus?  Aside from the character in the Matrix, of course. (I laugh, but Morpheus just stares cooly in MY direction)

Morpheus: Right.  Well, I like to think of myself as an architect of dreams–a conductor even, if that imagery is more apropos.  I am the keeper of the dreams of humanity, and the most prominent ear in God’s hierarchy of arch-angels.  It is a blessed existence, despite the obvious shortcomings of being immersed in the insanity of the sleeping human mind, yes?

ME: Um, yes.  I guess.  Anyway, I have to admit, Morpheus, that doesn’t sound very villainous.

Morpheus: (bristling) Oh, I never professed to be a villain, sir.  I might call that slander, in fact.  All that I do, I do for the glory of angel-kind.  I serve the interest of Heaven, and wish only to bring about a greater sense of pride in the angelic populace.

ME: But, in, Flutter, you orchestrate a rebellion, and propose a war on humanity.  Is that not the mark of villainy?

Morpheus: (he smiles broadly.  I can’t help but feel the reports of his ways are slightly misconstrued.) Is it?  I think not.  After all, what is a villain?  I, for what worth it may grant your opinion of me, am not a killer.  I am a dreamer.  I do not exercise might, but practice in the art of conversation.  It is not my way to simply sweep into a room, barricade the doors, and blast everyone to oblivion, should they fail to do as I ask.  No, sir.  I am a diplomat.  It is why God leans on my presence so in Heaven.  I have learned from the master.

ME: So, tell us about Flutter.  Not the book!  Forgive ME, I mean the device for which our story is named.  Where did it come from, and what is its purpose?

Morpheus: Well, I suppose there are some matters to which it would not behoove me to speak, yes?  But, allow me to simplify an answer for you, and your readers, so that there is some facet of understanding.  Flutter is a social networking system, not dissimilar from your, ‘Twitter.’  It operates under the same philosophy, as well as the same parameters.  You see, we angels do pay curious amounts of attention to you humans.  And, often, we find something of use in your actions, or your tools; and though we do not generally agree with your motives, we cannot deny ourselves useful means of banter, or activity, if it fits our needs.  Flutter is an example of that.  What better to unite the angelic populace, than a device–and its corresponding network–whose sole function is to gather thought, and opinion, as well as a good dose of cheek. (Morpheus winks, and I nearly giggle.)

ME: (once I compose MYSELF) Humans have found social networking to be a bit of a distraction.  Much in the same way that texting, or gaming, or cell phones themselves have left us in tricky, if not altogether perilous, situations.  What do you say to those who might suggest that angels will suffer the same fate? 

Morpheus: As with all luxuries, there is an acceptable level of distraction that comes hand in hand.  But, please do understand, that angels do not sleep.  We do not cook dinner.  We do not mow the lawn.  Our job is constant, with very little in the way of a break.  Just ask an angel the last time they took a vacation, and see the ire that brings! (again, the laugh, which is airy, yet hearty, and quite full)  So, why not?  We deserve to have a form of distraction, especially if that engenders a greater sense of community, and union in Heaven.

ME: It has been reported that many of the, ‘flaps,’ as you refer to them, have been somewhat anti-human. 

Morpheus:  Preposterous.  Is a mere reflection of question, or doubt, in something meant to imply a stance against it?  Of course not.  Are there angels who have a negative view of humanity?  Of course.  How could they not?  They are in servitude to them, day and night, and without celebration or fanfare from the Boss.  Amongst even humans, there is a constant chatter–on your Twitter, such as–of complaint toward employers, and the businesses they run.  Do they stand in opposition to them?  Are they considered anti-employer?  Heavens no.  That would be a ridiculous sentiment, yes?

ME: I suppose that’s a reasonable argument, given–

Morpheus: (interrupting ME with a polite gesture of a hand) Forgive me for the interruption, but I would prefer to discuss matters of great importance, rather than instigating a full-fledged debate on the loyalty of God’s populace of angels.  We serve.  It is what we do.  Humanity stands, still.  That should be enough to assuage the curiosity, yes?

ME: (I nod, buying time, while I flip through MY notes.) Let’s talk about Natasha.  Humanity sees her as a vile, corrupting force, and has denounced her in many, if not all, religious circles.  How does the angelic populace view the angel known to humans as, “Satan”?

Morpheus: (for the first time, he seems uncomfortable, distracted) It may be prudent to simply move on.  I do not profess to be Natasha’s publicist, though I am quite certain she could use one.

ME: But surely you can speak to the image portrayed?  If she is, in fact, a soul of great repute in Heaven, then wouldn’t it be fair–to better understand and appreciate all angels–to speak of the general opinion of her in Heaven?

Morpheus: (his feet twitch a bit, and he’s staring off, and muttering something silently.  When he looks MY way, he sighs, rolls his eyes, and relents.) Very well.  Natasha and I have been acquaintances for many millennia.  The angelic populace regard her…quite…highly (he says through gritted teeth), and with good reason.  That is all I wish to say on the matter.

ME: All right.  Well, then, let’s get to the big question: Will there be a war on humanity?

Morpheus: (leans in, smiles a devilish grin) Well, it would not be a prudent move for me to answer that, if in fact there is, now would it?

ME: So, you’re not denying it?

Morpheus: I’m not confirming it.  After all, if there were a war waged on humanity, it would be swift–more so if you were unaware of it beforehand.  I can tell you this, friend: There will not be a war waged on humanity, so long as angels have a reason not to act, or have not the means by which to carry it out.  Besides, how would we wage a war on humanity with God standing guard?

ME: So, if God were not, you’re saying that you would?

Morpheus: Trickery does not befit a man of your character.  I have answered your question.  I have nothing more to say on the matter.

ME: (I could do this for hours, but it’s clear to me that Morpheus is running low on desire, so I decide to leave the rabbits in the hat, in hopes that he will agree to come back another time.) Well, I know that you are quite busy, and are required for an upcoming scene, so I’ll wrap things up here with a final question.  Tell MY readers, in three words or less, what it is that Morpheus, angel of dreams, wants most.

Morpheus: (he thinks for a moment, flashes one more generous smile.) To surprise you.

Ramble On

No, this is not a post about Led Zepplin, so please put away all pipes, all bottles, and all frilly blonde wigs that you might be digging through your closet to find.  Actually, the truth of the matter is I really don’t have anything to say, which is a bit of a danger, since ME not knowing what I will say usually results in bizarro world type stuff.  For the most part, it’s how I write, and how I get about to writing some of the weird stuff that goes into print.  Which brings to mind what I am working on now.  Since I am without trendy topics, or useful talking points, you get what I know best: ME.

I’ve been working moderately steadily (EEK! Double ‘ly’s) on the follow up to Anointed.  At the moment, it is called Flutter, and aside from following the paths of a few of Anointed‘s favorite line-up, it introduces aspects of Heaven, angels with a grudge, God incognito, a virgin conception, a redemption of Biblical proportions, and social networking gone awry.  Oh, and, Alvin, Simon, & Theodore, now that I think on it, though, as with all things in MY world, even they are not quite what they seem. 

Essentially, there is a portion of the angelic populace (the Malcontents the earlier title represented), that has decided that the experiment known as “humanity” must come to an end.  Their weapon of choice: A social networking device they call, “Flutter.”  There’s only one problem with the plan: Angels aren’t all that smart, and have never done all that well with the, ‘war’, thing.  And, as if their own inadequacies aren’t enough, they also have to deal with the newly christened angel, “Timothy,” and his angel of desire, Natasha, whom as usual, would kind of rather see humans survive.

That’s the short of it, anyway.  If all goes according to schedule, you will hopefully be holding it in hand by summer 2010.  And since I really don’t want to spoil it further, I will instead offer you a look into the world of Flutter, by way of the first chapter.  I have read this twice in public already, and as no one threw rotten shoes, or leathery fruit at ME, then I suppose it wasn’t horrible.  Well, it is for Randall Crane, but that’s the story, isn’t it?

Feel free to pass along your thoughts.  Enjoy!

Chapter One

The Tweet of Death

Randall Crane did not know that he was about to die.  This, in no way, separated him from the rest of humanity, but did make the event rather surprising all the same.  He never looked up from his cell phone to see the car, never realized he had been hit, and witnesses later verified that he did not even appear at all aware that he had moved straight into the intersection.  He was eighty-six characters into an update on Twitter when he was tossed over the roof of a car driven by a very shocked, and later inefficiently suicidal, lawyer.  By no conscious act of his own, but somewhere through the force of the collision, Randall managed to send his partial message, leaving his three-thousand three hundred and sixty-one followers with a cryptic, and modest cliffhanger of a final statement.

#newrev lol@chipperchrist, ez 2 c u there. going 2 c finalized copy, hope it looks goo

When his body hit the pavement, broken and only mostly intact, he was still holding the cell phone.  He felt no pain, sensed no discomfort, and was remarkably coherent for a man who had just been crushed and tossed into the air by a few thousand pounds of unrelenting metal and fiberglass.  For a moment, he just lay there, listening to the screams, the cries for help, and the occasional blast of a car horn, thoroughly confused.  People crowded overtop him, though only briefly, as a good majority of them darted off with their hands cupped over their mouths.  A frazzled gentleman in a business suit, thin-framed glasses, and an expression that spoke in volumes of unrelenting pain, screamed and threw a handful of business cards at him.  Randall couldn’t understand why he had done this, but he could see that the man was in a great deal of distress, and was insistent on being vocal about it, so he said nothing.

But it’s all a bit odd, isn’t it? Randall thought.  Why am I on the ground?  He attempted to move, in order to gain a better view of his situation, but found his vision distracted, not by the oddity of his position, but instead by the pure blue clarity of the cloudless sky.  He was having a terribly hard time remembering the last time he had looked at the sky, or, when it had last seemed so pristine.  For that matter, he was having a hard time remembering when the world looked so…colorful.

“Randall Crane?”

Randall spun his head away from the perfect sky and the screaming, blubbering man in the business suit, and looked at a figure looming just behind him.  He was extraordinarily pale, dark hair curling neatly across his forehead, black pupils complementing the black robe he wore.

“Are you a vampire?”

The pale man looked at him with raised eyebrows.  “Not remotely, no.”

“Oh, well, that’s good,” said Randall.  “I don’t care much for vampires.”

“Have you encountered many?”

Randall thought about that. “No.  None that I can remember, exactly.  I just read a book recently that made me really not like them anymore.  Horrible book.  Bad dialogue.  Shallow characters.”

“I see.  Absorbing though that may be to you, I don’t particularly care.  It is time for you to go.”

“Time to go where?”  Randall attempted to shoo the babbling man and his business cards away, but to no avail.  Several people joined in, attempting to do the very same, but the man was rather hysterical and prepared to be a bit loud about it.

“You should get up now,” said the monotone voice above Randall.

Randall frowned.  “I was thinking that a few seconds ago, you know, but I haven’t yet figured out why I’m down here to begin with.”

“Does that matter?”

“Seems like it should, I think.  Sort of help me to deal with whatever decision I have to make to get myself out of whatever predicament it is that I’ve gotten myself into.  Now that I think about it, I’d appreciate any help you could offer.”

“I am not here to help you,” he said.  “Not in that context, anyhow.”

“Then why are you talking to me?” asked Randall.  “Seems you’re doing nothing more than keeping me from thinking.  I’d rather deal with this guy.” Hysterical Business Card Man was now on his knees and crying.  Randall was starting to feel a touch unnerved by it all.

“This is all quite fascinating, however irrelevant it may be.  You must go.  Now.”

“Go?  Go where?”  The man just stared at him, and feeling a bit odd in his place, and distracted by the babbling man at his side, Randall reluctantly stood.  He felt light and unencumbered, and his thoughts were a bit, well, they were a tad minimal, actually.  There seemed to be a limited number of them to deal with, which was thoroughly abnormal, and more than a little disconcerting.  “Well, how about I ask who you are then?  I’ll worry about my problems later.”

The man seemed to consider this for a time.  “Do you understand what has happened?” he asked finally.

Randall shrugged.  “Beats me.  I was just…just,” he paused, trying to remember exactly what it was that he had been doing.  “Well, I was just doing something.  Talking to someone, I think.  Yes, that was it.  I was Tweeting about my meeting.  Hah!  That rhymes!  I should tweet that!”  Randall looked at his hands for a moment, and then absently patted himself down.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Tweeting.  On Twitter.  140 characters or less.  Updating my daily ongoings, and the like.  Big thing now.  Quite a lot of people interested in what I am doing.  As well they should be.  Hey, have you seen my phone?”

The man offered only a raised eyebrow. 

Randall looked on the ground around his feet.  “Next thing I know, I’m on the ground with people screaming at me.”  Randall motioned to the activity behind him. “Seriously, where’s my phone?  I need to tweet this before I forget.”

“You don’t remember anything else?”

“Depends on what you’re trying to get me to remember.  I remember that I peed myself in fourth grade when my friend Tim shot a spitball in Suzie Perkins’ ear, if that helps.”

“It does not,” said the man, moving a step closer to grip Randall by the shoulder.  He offered something that closely resembled a sigh.  “My name is Gavin.  I am an angel of death, and—” 

“Where’s your scythe, then?” Randall asked, one eye cut to a slit as if trying to peer a line through multiple dimensions.

“Scythe?  I don’t carry a scythe.”

“Well, you can’t very well be Death without the scythe.”

Gavin rolled his eyes, and looked around impatiently.  “Listen, human, I am not Death, I am an angel of death, I don’t carry a scythe—but for what point it matters, I do have a rather fine sword I carry from time to time—and you are dead.”

Randall laughed.  “Dead?  I’m not dead.  I’m quite fine, in fact.  Look at me.  Just because I was on the ground there—whoa!”  He jumped back from the crumpled and bloodied version of himself.  “My arm does not go there!  Where’s my leg?  Hey, there’s my phone.”  Two medics squeezed their way through the crowd, and wasted little time beyond a cursory check for a pulse.  Thirty seconds later, his broken body was blanketed in a white sheet.

Gavin increased his grip on Randall.  “You must go now.”

“Go?  I don’t understand this at all!  I’m fine!  I’m right here!” he shouted at the medics, who were already prepping the gurney.  “Don’t put me on that thing!  I’m not dead!  And give me my phone back!”

“You are, and you must go.”

Randall slapped Gavin’s hand off his shoulder.  “What are you…go where?”

Gavin shrugged.  “Where everyone goes, eventually.”

“Heaven?”

“It’s a possibility.  I’m not a Judge.  Just an angel of death.  Your fate will be theirs to decide.”

Randall scanned the street, and the horrified faces of the people staring at his body as it was lifted onto the gurney.  “My fate?  Heaven?  I can’t go…I can’t be dead!  I have a wife, and kids, and a dog—”

“No, you don’t.”

Randall frowned.  “Oh.  Well, no, I can’t really back that up, but it seemed like the appropriate thing to say.  I was kind of hoping it would help my cause.”  Actually, now that he reflected on it, he was quite sure he remembered something about a wife—his, or, somebody’s wife, any way—and it seemed quite important, but his memory was a bit foggy.  “So, what if I don’t want to go?”

Gavin forced a smile.  “You are dead.  You can’t change that, whether you want to or not.  One way or another, one time or another, you will go.  It’s best if you accept that now, and move on.  Things can get a bit sticky otherwise.”

“Sticky?”

“The Judges don’t take too well to spirits who don’t move on.  You may walk here for a while, haunt friends or places, or whatever you choose, but they will come for you eventually, as do they for everyone, and let me assure you that it will not help your case any.”

“My case?  Judges?  This is ridiculous!  I have to go to this, this, thing that I have to go to!  It’s very important that I—”

“I am fully aware of where you were going.  And had you not met your fate, I am sure that you would have accomplished what you set out to accomplish.  But that’s irrelevant now.  You are dead.  That’s it.  Your road is at an end.  Deal with it and move on.”

“But I don’t want to be dead!”

Gavin offered another sigh.  “Well, that should make all the difference, I imagine.”

“Will it?”

“No.”

“So, what do I do?”

“You choose,” said Gavin.  “That’s all I can offer.  I’m here to help you along.  If you choose to stay, you do so understanding that you are trapped here, unless the Judges decide to retrieve you—a process you may find quite unpleasant.  If you go, you face your inevitability, and the Judges will decide your fate.  Otherwise, you cannot escape two distinct facts: You are dead, and the Judges will have their say.”

For a moment, Randall just looked around, watching the crowd thin, the babbling business card man—who stared at his cell phone as he was consoled, as if it were the cause of his pain—and the doors of the ambulance as they closed on his body, and, apparently, his life.  But Randall could still think, or at least he thought he could think, which was thoughtful in and of itself.  He was still here, and that could only mean that, to some degree, he was still alive.  He couldn’t deny that.  He couldn’t be dead.  Not now.  He still had…still had…something that he was having trouble remembering.

“I’m not dead, and I’m not going,” he said finally.

“Are you sure?”

Randall nodded.  “I’m not dead.  I refuse to accept that my life is over.  I don’t care what you, or these, these judge people say.  I have to go to, well, to wherever it is I have to go, if you don’t mind.”  That said, Randall drove his hands in the pockets of his jeans and walked off.

Gavin watched as the shimmering form of Randall Crane vanished around a corner. “Stupid humans.  So predictable.”