Going, Going, Gone

You ever stop to think about what would happen if you ever gave into those tiny little impulses?

All week, a very good, close friend has been telling me to stay clear of the stalker female.  To be fair, I call her a stalker, while she calls "herself" a fan.   This friend, who is female, is keeping me on a short leash with this one.  Not out of jealousy, but because she knows a thing or two about me these days ... and those things aren't exactly pleasant.  But today, after driving home from a great dinner conversation with Mirror, the thought hit me like a sledgehammer to the teeth.

What if the focus on stalker/fan has been the wrong focus the entire time?  What if she (the female friend) should have really been keeping me away from what is going on in my mind?  Honestly, the stalker/fan has been an amusing distraction and little else.  I have not given her much mental space, as that would only lead to distraction.  But what if what I have been giving mental space to had the possibility to be more entangled than any encounter with a female reader?  Wouldn't that just worry the holy Hell out her?

Yeah, it would.

My vices aren't of drugs and alcohol, but instead a tangled web of flesh that drips sweat, blood and other fun liquids.  They are things not spoken of in polite company.  They are the inner workings of one's soul laid bare.

What worries me is not that my concerned friend suddenly gains insight that I think but one other human other than myself could possibly possess at this point.  It's what if she doesn't?  Where's that leash then?  Where's that voice of reason?

The answer:  It's not there, and that has the potential to blow up like a thousand suns.  But that's a glow I just may want to bask in.


The Growl Under Your Bed Part 4: There Are No Safewords Here

Last night at Big Pete's brought out another great discussion with Mirror (who has seriously no idea of how influential she is) about this story I'm working on.  This morning I delved into a biography of the second main character.

Mirror and I talked about the nature of violence and how would one would act if they had no inner constraints, if they knew they could get away with anything.  This is a crucial part to my story, but it's not the only part to it.  There is a sexual element to it, and as soon as you combine sex and violence, the warning lights go up.  And they should, as sexual violence in real life is a huge problem, but there are real aspects to it that merit investigation, and a fictional story is a safe way to do this despite that some people would never like these things delved into.

My story is going to be uncomfortable to read.  It is meant to be.  It will deal with issues of consent, limits, the id and ego, manipulation, and sociopaths.

Or it could just be about some really screwed up things happening to some very unsuspecting people.

Armin Meiwes, while not being an inspiration for the story, has been on my mind when I'm thinking of the story.  The German cannibal advertised for a man willing to be killed and eaten.  He found one.  He received consent.  It didn't matter to me whether or not it was murder.  What interests me is the consent.  The eroticism of violence (for those who don't remember, the two men started the feast with the penis), and the utter disconnect Meiwes must have felt with society (and perhaps a healthy dose of apathy).  He had a room set aside for the preparation of the corpse, attempted to grind the bones into flour, video taped it all, and later advertised for new "victims."

How much of any of this will make it into the story is up in the air.  But these are the things I'm thinking about when I write this.  Especially limits and consent.

Those who engage in S&M/B&D understand the amount of trust that goes into these acts.  The limits and boundaries that are tested, the power, the (to quote Nine Inch Nails) happiness in slavery. 

Of course, all that changes if the trust one person thinks is there is really being used for some other purpose.  What makes it dangerous is if you run into someone who can get in your head, manipulate you without you realizing it, and then decides they're going to go a little ... nuts.

I know a woman (she does not read this and even if she did, she would not mind me divulging since nobody could place her) who admitted to me that she liked being tied up and whipped.  It was a liberating feeling.  What became a problem, however, was when she sought this out in someone she didn't know.  She ended up in a hotel room with a stranger who had her tied up and took his belt to her.  She was fine, but after the incident she realized how far south that could have gone.  I asked her what that felt like, and told her I wanted an honest answer.  Not the answer that society suspects you to have.

She told me it was scary and exhilarating.  That after she realized she made it out of there safely, she wanted to do it again, and she fantasized about it all the time, but that she knew she could end up in a real bad way.  That every time she saw the marks on her breasts, she remembered every blow and remembered thinking that if this stranger wanted to kill her, she would be defenseless.

And I immediately wondered: What if he did?

Yeah, this one is not going to be an easy.  What's worse?  I think it will be even harder to write.


Why Advertisers Hate Me

The more observant reader may have noticed that I have removed the Google ads from my site.  Yeah, I was making some cash for them, but my account for this blog was suspended because I violated AdSense's terms of policy.  The offense?  It was a big one.  Almost worthy of jail time.

I posted a link to an interview I did with Regan Reese on Film Threat.  I interviewed her because she was in Amateur Porn Star Killer 3 done by the ever interesting Shane Ryan.  This interview was about the exploitation film.  Apparently AdSense didn't like that I posted a link to an interview on an exploitation film because the actress interview (Reese) is primarily known for adult films.  Keep in mind, this interview only touched upon porn. 

Had someone actually looked into the incident, they would have seen that not only was the interview not porn-related, but was also one of the biggest draws to this blog.  Her name is the search term is the one that brings most people into this site (along with a few really crazy ones like how to pick up hookers in Eureka).  Of all the things I've written, this is what causes an account suspension.

If any websites out there are looking for an affiliate, I am open.  I've got space.  I've got readers, and I'm willing to work in trade.  I am not, however, willing to censor what I write, so if the stuff here upsets you, look elsewhere.

I imagine after this I may lose my accounts for my other blogs, some of which have been far more graphic in content.  We'll see.

Brilliant move, AdSense.  Brilliant.   


The Growl Under Your Bed Part 3: Darkness

If it's 3:30 a.m., it must mean one thing: Time to get up.  Stress does wonderful things to one's body, and being up before all the Greek gods is one of them.

So I'm awake in the dark with a few choices: stay in bed and try to sleep, read, play a video game, watch a movie, or get on with the day and write.

Writing wins.  It's my way of securing  a future.  It puts me in a good mood (though today that will be trying).  So I begin.  The news, which I have playing the background because I like to start out my day seeing what's burning (this time it's the Thailand stock exchange -- go fire!), reports of a body being found in a suitcase.  I incorporate that into my story.  It's just a tossed out reference that my narrator makes, but he uses it to describe the fact that he has no clue as to why criminals do what they do.  He has no understanding of it, despite everyone thinking he does.  He uses that incident to exemplify his ignorance of what makes people tick. 

At this point in the story, that doesn't really matter.  His lack of understanding of human psychology will, however, prove to be important in later chapters, as he comes up against something he cannot even begin to hope to understand, and readers (hopefully) will get my point that if you don't understand someone you can sometimes be manipulated by your own ignorance.  In some cases you just end up sleeping with some guy who doesn't care one bit about you, but you thought otherwise.  Other times it's more serious.

What's coming up will be more serious.

I used this story of the body in the suitcase not because it was gruesome (I gave little in the way of details), but because it happens quite often.  People are killed and packed away like clothes for a vacation, and then left behind.  Someone finds the suitcase and usually two thoughts go through the person's head: body or money.  The good and the bad.  It's happened enough to almost be mundane in world of crime.  I used it because it is so common and it is a common event that the narrator -- the reader's guide in the story -- can't comprehend.  At this point in time, this should not bother readers.  In fact, I believe few would think anything of it.  Later, however, this ignorance will prove to be maddening as the reader can see what is coming, but the narrator will remain clueless.

Halloween, that John Carpenter classic, has a great scene in it where our hero, the always lovely Jamie Lee Curtis who now stays regular with the help of Activa, believes she has killed Michael Myers.  She is sitting in a doorway, hysterical.  Up until this point the film's narrative has been from her point of view really.  You are with her, most of the time, as she experiences these awful nasty things.  At this point in the movie, though, Carpenter pulls a fast one on the audience.  Curtis is in focus on the screen.  In the background, out of focus, Myers slowly sits up and turns his head toward Curtis (and, it should be noted, the audience).  You are no longer seeing things from Curtis' point of view.  You are the outsider, on the other side of sound proof glass.  You can see what is coming, you can scream all you want, but she can't hear you.  It fills the audience with a sense of dread.  (And at the time, you rarely saw this kind of thing happen in movies.)  It's a great scene, one that ups the emotional ante the audience has in the movie.  What was horrifying entertainment just moments ago now becomes a race for survival, and you are powerless to help.

I want my manuscript to reach that point.  I won't do it purposely, or it probably won't work right.  I will be conscious of that switch, however.  It will be written before I realize what I've done, but once I see that I've done it, I will be free to ramp up the anxiety level.  The readers will, hopefully (if I did my job right), have become emotionally invested by that point, and there will be no turning back from the train wreck that is about to ensue.

It's a good feeling, and I hope I can pull it off just as well as Carpenter did.  If not, I failed.


The Growl Under Your Bed Part 2: Let's Eat

I've decided I really will chronicle the process of writing this story.  People have been asking me about my creative process lately, and I want my daughter to be able to understand me when I'm dead and gone, so this seems like a good way to do it.

I came home tonight and decided that based on my irritated mental state, writing the manuscript would be a grand ol' idea.  I didn't have set plans as for where I wanted it to go or what I wanted to touch on tonight, and previously I had stopped in the middle of a lunch scene and wanted to continue.

When I was thinking about it today, I realized I write a lot of scenes centered around eating.  The cannibal manuscript had quite a few scenes set in a diner.  My Larson Fastings novel (which will probably have to be self-published due to the subject matter) has a key scene set in a diner.  I was puzzled about this at first, but then I realized that some of the best conversations I've had have been over a meal.

Mystery fucking solved.

So I got to work on the lunch scene.  It's my narrator and this girl he's into.  Nothing bad has happened in the story yet.  Stuff has been alluded to, but as of this point the reader is in the dark as to what is coming.  I've touched upon the Karen Mitchell disappearance (using a different name, of course) and how my narrator fits in with it.  (I'm not giving any of the story away here.)  At this early stage, I want the upcoming horrors to come out of the blue but also seem natural.  I want the tone set that the narrator is the kind of guy you would like to hang out with, but he's got his demons.  They aren't strange or foreign demons, but you know that if you were lucky enough to get him drunk he would tell you a thing or two that would totally change your perception of him.

Maybe I've achieved it, maybe not.  Regardless -- lunch.

I'm writing this scene with banter between the narrator and this woman he lusts after, and suddenly it occurs to me: This woman is kind of based on someone I know!  I used a common name, but went back and read my description and the name and thought, "Oh shit, what does this say about me?"

The narrator in the story is not me, but like I mentioned in the last post, all my characters have some of me in them.  The woman in the scene is not exactly the woman I know, but this still kind of threw me off.  If this person read it, and thought I was the narrator (the story, in case you haven't picked up on it, is in the first person), would she think I desired her?  Did I desire her on some level that even I wasn't aware of?  And if I did have feelings for her, why did I think today that this character would probably end up strangled and buried alive?

Not a good set of thoughts for keeping a narrative flow going.  In fact, once I realized this, it threw me way off.  I went back and found where I introduced her, running her physical description through my mind.  In my mind, she does not look like my friend.  Her "voice" isn't exactly like my friend's voice, but it has its moments.  (To be fair, most, if not all, of my female friends are unique and special enough that I could use them in a story to make a believable character.  I just don't talk to boring females.  I don't like dumb women, and I like women who are strong personalities, so to have those traits in a character are not surprising to me.)

And then I read one line she said, just one line, and realized, "No.  It's not her." 

Thank you, Jeebis.

I try real hard not to put people I know in my stories.  I never want one of them to read it and say, "Shit, that's me."  Chances are, since it's one of my stories, they won't end up in the best way.  I don't want them to be hurt by that, and I don't want them to think their conversations might end up in a future book or short story.  They won't and don't.  I have never done it, and the Force willing, I never will.  Just thinking I did really threw me off my game.  I ended up cutting the chapter short and stopping because it messed me up so badly.

I can't imagine what it would be like being a friend of mine and then reading yourself in one of my fictions.  I just can't imagine that being a good thing.  Even my protagonists get screwed up both mentally and physically.  Let alone the secondary characters.

Honestly, if when I went back and read over the sections with the woman in them and thought it was really her, I would've scrapped the manuscript and that tale would have never been told.  It would've been forever tainted by the idea that one of my real-life friends morphed into one of my fictional characters. 

The fact that this woman is beautiful, strong, independent, funny and smart does not make her based on one of my female friends.  It makes her based off all my female friends.  I'm lucky in that sense to be surrounded by women who know their stuff.  I know, as well as anyone else with half a brain, that those kind of women are dangerous in all the best ways.  It makes sense that I would give a strong female character those qualities.  It fits the character and her role.

When I conceived of her, I thought she could go three ways.  One, she'd die.  Two, she'd survive and be the catalyst for the story's conclusion, whatever it may be.  Three, she'd be a secondary character seen for a few chapters and nothing more, possibly being the narrator's "voice of reason."  At this early stage her outcome is still a mystery.

That moment of false realization, where I thought I slipped up and let real life get into a story, was one of the most intense, strange feelings I've had while writing fiction.  It was unpleasant in the worst of ways, and I felt nothing but relief when I read that one phrase I knew she would never utter.

Onward ...  

The Growl Under Your Bed

Woke up from a nightmare, which I did not enjoy.  Oddly enough, I usually enjoy many of my terrifying dreams (as long as they don't involve my child).  I wake up my heart pounding and feeling alive.  Not this time.  Woke with a start and a momentary feeling of dread that dissipated as soon as I realized that it was just a dream.  As most of my strange dreams were, it was filled with a healthy dose of sex and violence (not combined).

I can trace the dream to the new manuscript I'm working on and some personal relationships.  It's not a bad thing, but the manuscript has the potential to really spin out of control, so I am being pretty careful with it.  Maybe I'll chart the progress here, sort of like a DVD commentary about a movie as it is being made.

I realized six pages into the manuscript that it was going directions I never foresaw.  In fact, some main points that I was pretty solid on going into it went out the window.  I love that feeling of chaos when it comes to these things because it lets me know that I have absolutely zero control of the story.  The downside of that is the dreams.

I believe that most characters I create have some piece of me in them.  Some personality trait of one sort or another.  (Only the major characters.)  When I did the cannibal manuscript it was apparent to me in the editing stage where those parts crept in.  With this manuscript, which will have very little in the way of redeeming qualities, the worst aspects of my personality are going to come out (at least at this point).  I haven't talked much about any one aspect of it with any one person, but what I have spilled has garnered some interesting reactions. 

The seed for this story started probably about ten years ago with the disappearance of Karen Mitchell, a local girl who has never been found.  This current manuscript branched out from an idea I have for a manuscript based around her disappearance (which I will probably still write).  It really started to come together about a year ago when I worked out the two main characters and their reason to exist in this story.  From there I developed a scene or two and their personalities.  That is as far as I ever go, though, before I start to write.  I never come up with the ending, for if I do I have no reason to tell the story.  I'm writing to see how it ends.  If I know, there is no reason to tell it.  I will be bored by it, and that will shine through.  I write because I want to know what is going to happen.  I have no idea going in where it will go, though I have a general idea in my head, but it changes (like it did by page six of this one).  Hell, my title even changed, mainly because I forgot the original, but also because the one I came up with was better.

The further on I go, the more intense the dreams will be, but I'll also be less of a mental mess.  Writing frees me up mentally.  I'm able to deal with people better.  I'm happier.

And so it begins ...  


Ground up in the Engines

After waking up and getting a slew of e-mails and responding to all of them, writing a bit, doing some bank transfers, showering, eating, drinking some organic French vanilla coffee (fairly good for French vanilla coffee), I think I'm too tired to go to work.  Last night I watched a few episodes of Scare Tactics that I had recorded on the DVR, including the one with Zig the Clown, which I love.  I really enjoy the entire show, quite honestly, because I love seeing fear in people's faces.  Probably not the most positive aspect of my personality, but at least I can admit it.  How many dark things are there about you that you never think about, push to the side, ignore their existence?  How healthy is that?

Anyway, I'm sitting here thinking that I've filled up my weekend with things to do in one way or another (visiting friends; dinner, race in HD and soccer with Mirror; writing), and it dawned on me: I haven't done any creative writing in a while, and I have this idea floating around my head that really needs to be excised.

Those who know me well (and even some who think they do), know that when I don't do any creative writing I get a little nutty.  (I've only been doing non-fiction as of late -- book reviews, movie reviews, Romanian site stuff.)  I tend to break into character more often, say inappropriate things, generally creep people out.  (Yesterday was a good example.)  It doesn't really bother me, though.  It gives me an idea of what works and what doesn't, but I really do need to get the creative juices a flowing.

"I don't want to play with you!" -- Zig the Clown  (said right before he pulls out a roll of duct tape)

I like the idea of a show based around scaring the living hell out of people and taking it to the breaking point before letting them in on the joke.  It is interesting to see how people react.  It is thrilling to listen to them babble incoherently. 

"What are you doing with those fists?" -- Zig the Clown (soon after he lets himself into the bedroom)

I think I may start working on that story soon (no clowns in this one, just two guys on a spiraling path of violence that would put Henry Lee Lucas to shame).  That fills me with a sense of peace.  I will get these ideas out and then work on something else.

"I can see the clown."  -- the mark on the phone with the mother of the little girl she is babysitting (the clown was supposed to be a figment of the girl's imagination)

Ground up in the engines, but spit out whole.  Smiling through bloody, broken teeth.  To quote Rollins, "This will be the best one yet."


Your Dreams Are Slapped Away

She asked an innocent enough question.  "Why do you keep listening to that song?"  I had been listening, on an almost daily basis to a Snuff (great band) song that just seemed right.  "All You Need."  If you've heard the band, you've probably heard the song.  It just fits my thoughts right now.  Despite the lyrics ("All you need/All you can't get/Warm morning sun/a familiar silhouette/But your dreams are slapped away/A whip crack through a rainy day" and "I'll see an empty shell of a man/Torn apart/Laid to waste/Pin the medal on a half a heart" are two that come to mind -- but the whole song works), I find the entire thing pretty uplifting.

She had never heard the song, so she downloaded it (and paid for that download, you cheap music stealing bastards) and promptly called me after finding the lyrics.

"Pretty intense, but I can see where you would find that inspiring," she said.  Like she knows, like she knows every little thought that runs through my head.  She doesn't.  Sometimes I think she'd like to, but that's neither here nor there, as I don't want to witness the train wreck that would ensue. 

"All your dreams are back where they belong/All your fears are up and running strong"

The lyrics are fairly on the down side, but it fits Snuff's sound (punk with organs and horns, if you must know).  I'll wear the groove out on the record (yeah, listening to it on vinyl) before I ever say it's a sad song.  It's a real song.  Realism.  Realist.

Asked today if I were a pessimist.  Said I was a realist.  Realized, and had it pointed out, they are about the same thing.  It's a correct observation. 

My daughter and I have been invited to a dinner with some of my friends, and at first I hesitated because we can be a rowdy bunch.  Claws stroking hair.  Perverted voices and whispered threats of skin suits.  But we would behave in the company of my angel, and I think she would really enjoy it.  She would make herself the center of attention after getting comfortable.  She would look at L2D2's hair and think of ways to twist it (and she may try).  We may do it.  She rarely sees me interact with my friends.

"Shot through to an empty soul/The horse without a rider charges on"

I am tired, and I still got a long night ahead of me.  This road is dark, the headlights are working, and the classic rock is coming in through bursts of static that grow longer and longer the further I travel from home.  There are things at the edge of the road, their red and green eyes reflecting back at me, unblinking.  If I roll down the window, I'm assaulted by the stench of blood and the occasional screams of some unearthly creatures that have found a deer bounding through the bushes.  Something to my right keeps pace with the car.  It is wearing the spine of a bear as a belt, and it has somehow managed to change its fur color every time I glance at it.  If I run out of gas, I know it will pull my intestines from my living body and gnaw on them.  I cannot stop the car.  I cannot turn back.  The things that howl have crowded the road.  They slither and swallow birds whole.  They keep me from reversing course, but they don't push me forward.  They can wait.  They always do.

My right foot, the one that keeps the pedal down, is growing tired, and I swear my eyelids feel heavier.  If I can make it to my destination before I fall asleep, I'll be safe.  If not, I'll be food.