Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sweet Home Chicago!

No, I'm not from Chicago, but it has become a second home in the past few years. My girlfriend and I - along with her friends - are flying into O'hare tomorrow evening for a few days of baseball, Chicago dogs and pizza, and the obvious tourists things, like the Hancock building and Sears Tower, Lincoln Park Zoo and Grant Park, along with plenty of alcohol with some Blues music. And probably rain...

What do I have to do to get a sunny day in Chicago? I have never been to a prettier city with such crappy weather that seems to change its mind with every other breeze. Regardless, I'm sure it's going to be a great time. Now I just have to find the time to write.

This is the new progression as of late that I am going through. I'm beginning to take writing seriously. More seriously, I should say.

George Carlin just passed away (rest in peace, old man), and I watched quite a few things on him yesterday. All of a sudden I became a little more interested in characters. Listening to Carlin speak on a number of shows, I started to understand what it takes to make a character believable. You have to believe in the character you're creating (or in his case, inheriting). I know this sounds really obvious and simple, but for some reason, hearing him talk about it like that, I began to understand.

So with my query on its way to New York, I have begun to give the second book more attention. I hope this one will have a slant towards the characters. It's funny how inspiration and direction comes from the most obscure of places. And as always, I'm sure I will come home from Chicago with plenty more inspiration. There is just something about that city in particular that just inspires me to write.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Via Air to NYC

My girlfriend and I were driving around in a new Mini Cooper today. I was really excited for her as she finally got to test drive the car she's wanted for a long time now. I laughed as she fumbled her way around the car's controls, flipping the wipers on, front and back and leaving them on while simultaneously messing with the heated seats while turning down the AC to nipple-arousing temps; and generally forgetting why she was driving the car in the first place. And while this made me very happy, there was something else on my mind: an envelope on the kitchen table at home.

My query is in the mail tonight, on its way to Mr. Matt Bialer in the Big Apple. I have had this literary agent in mind for some time now (his list of clients is quite respectable). Afterwards, I was reading some things from a couple of writers, and I feel like I made a great decision. There was not one indecent quip mentioned in regards to Matt on the internet.

All in all, I feel really happy with my submission. I really polished it up on the last day. Pride is difficult to have while I've yet to discover success, but I feel confident. I'm excited! I'm okay with that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back to School

For the past few years, since departing sometime in late '04, I have planned a return back to school to obtain an ever-elusive degree in English or Literature or Journalism. The fact is I will never be satisfied with whatever success I may inherit due to writing without earning an education like most Americans. And for that matter, the aforementioned success may turn out to be very minimal without this education. It is turning out that these two things are hand-in-hand.

I have always been very distractable. It would make sense for me to turn the Orioles game off, tell my lady love I'll call her soon and set my phone to vibrate, and keep my head in my laptop where I can concentrate ever more with getting this first novel and my query letter perfect. My perfect. I'll know when they are perfect, and as of this moment, they are not perfect. Far from it.

But I never do that. And this upon the heaping pile of school work I will soon be knee deep in worries me that I am still not completely commited to my education. But this Fall I will once again try to prove to myself--as well as my friends, family, you--that I am worth more than what I currently have produced. Which is to say crap little.

I have aspirations that are well beyond my capability as of today. Working retail is not my idea of a career, but writing for the magazine and publisher of my dreams is just out of reach for someone with simply a high school diploma.

And as always, I'll post my triumphs and bumpy roads here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Dead Travel Fast

As stated previously, I am a vampire fanatic. If it is vampire-related, I will usually purchase it, watch it, collect it, enjoy it, and once in a while loathe it. But never once in my life have I ever believed that vampires exist. At least not certainly in the fictional, undead vampire. And don't even get me started on those fake-ass Psi vampires...

But Eric Nuzum took a quest to find real, undead vampires. Right now I'm reading about this journey in his book The Dead Travel Fast--Stalking Vampires From Nosferatu to Count Chocula. While reading this book, I'm starting to reconsider my self-proclaimed vampire fanatic title. While I have not yet finished the book (hey, I'm reading three novels, too) I cannot ruin it for you, but I'll tell you this: I will never be fanatical enough to drink my own blood!
This book is wonderfully written and researched extremely well. Honestly, I have probably learned more about the vampire with this book than I have with the cadre of books I own or my perpetual readings on Wikipedia.

While I doubt that Eric is as in love with the fictional vampire as I am, this is a comforting book, and one of the reasons I am apprehensive to finish it is simply because I don't want it to end.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Since leaving Diamond I have had this rekindling of love for comic books, more notably Marvel books. A long time ago I started a fan-fiction story based on Blade. Obviously, right? Well, I recently dusted off the file, and I have begun a query letter for submission.

I read this article in a recent issue of Wizard mag, and it just got me all warm and fuzzy and excited to do it. The worst thing that is going to happen is that I get a rejection letter from the big M. Quite a few years ago I was lambasted by Mr. Valentino of Image for my desire to write about vampires in comic books. According to him the genre was over-saturated. Well, not in the Marvel Universe, I hope.

On top of this, I am beginning to send agent queries en mass this week. Fun stuff.