Under the Dome by Stephen King

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So, I’m currently reading Under the Dome by Stephen King, and I’m 1/2 finished. I thought I’d blog about my experience thus far and then update this blog when I’m through the book. In case you didn’t know, this beast is massive. Though, at this point, I would be pissed if I would have paid the full asking price of (I think) $33.

Look, here it is in black and white. Stephen King is one helluva writer. We all know this, and yet I’m starting to feel duped the way I usually feel duped with a Stephen King novel. Aside from the fact that he’s already used the word apt at least a thousand times, King has a way of writing that is both simple, and very fancy. But the theme in all of his books seems to be the same. Every damn book. Someone is a low-life son of a bitch in private while presenting themselves as normal in public. I suppose this is real life, and I suppose it’s part of the reason that King gets over as well as he does.

He’s become very comparable (in my opinion) to M. Night Shyamalan in that he writes weird, spooky shit that often entertains, but ends very poorly. I expected more science fiction and less forced sex in a trailer, but we’ll see. I’m only halfway there.

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We Live in a World Where

We live in a world where:

  • Kids watch other kids play with toys on YouTube.
  • A Tylenol at your local hospital costs $99.
  • People are walking off of cliffs because of cell phone applications.
  • Our vehicles now text us when there’s a problem.
  • Everyone’s offended.
  • Football players kneel to protest the world they live in.
  • American Indians don’t kneel to protest the world they live in.
  • We’re now confused by which bathroom is ours.
  • People literally panic when their social media website is down.
  • Have you seen the Starbucks menu lately?

Look, my point here is pretty simple. Quit being so lazy. I hear you bitching about Wal-Mart not working enough cashiers, and I’ll raise you people using the self-checkout lines at Wal-Mart. It’s either/or, not both. Companies will continue to bend you over and sock a willy to you as long as you let them. Don’t want to see your local grocery store shutter? Support the damn place by not ordering your groceries from Amazon. Oh, and if you’re not an American Indian and you live in the United States, you can save the “woe is me” story. Put the phone/tablet/TV remote down. Pick the book up. You may just like the results.

Never Give Up

Just a short post today, inspired by the WWE’s John Cena. Well, this post actually has to do with another author who I (nearly) collaborated with a couple of years back. As in: we agreed to collaborate and then I never heard from the guy again. Early this morning, one of his readers tweeted out to him and I happened to see it. This guy’s bleeding money (aren’t all writers?) and is threatening to quit unless his readers do a better job of backing him through purchasing his work.

OK, so I don’t even know where to go from here. Honestly. I’m certainly not going to reach out to him at this point, but I’m also a decent guy. I don’t want to see anyone fail. We’ve certainly all been frustrated at some point or another.

At the end of the day, I honestly wish the guy well. I’m going to do my own thing and I suppose fate will handle the rest of it. As for the “collaboration” in question, I picked it up and finished it on my own. It’s under review right now and will publish in just a few weeks. I couldn’t be more excited (or proud)! In closing, I guess we all deal adversity in our own way. Me? I keep my head down and work as hard as I possibly can, while never forgetting where I came from or who I need to thank for that.

Thank you, Constant Reader.

My Writing Voice

I’ve found it, folks! Somewhere between publishing Hollow Earth and finishing the rough draft of Wicked, I found my writing voice. You hear people talk about an author’s writing voice a lot – it’s when an author combines what they’ve learned with the books that they read for fun. Over the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading Lovecraft, Stephen King, Edgar Rice Burroughs and a relatively unknown author named Lori Handeland. I’d like to think that my writing voice is somewhere in the middle of all of theirs.

I’ve found that a vast majority of success in this business is confidence. All writers struggle with it early on and then fall into a “comfort zone” where they begin to understand their writing voice. You become one with it, like a Jedi power. You stop overthinking and write what’s on your mind, with your chest out proudly.

I’m finally here. I’ve earned enough stripes to proudly stand on my own two feet and offer the world what I have because now I know that it’s enough.

My God, I’ve got a vlog.

I know, I can’t believe it either. I’m a low-tech guy who’s feeling super sporty right now, thanks to a few people who wondered why I wasn’t already doing it. I stay behind the times, folks. Seriously, I use a flip phone and it’s not even my phone (the wife’s). I hate phones – however, I do love iPods and still own a Gen 1. A silver iPod with a click wheel and a black/green screen. That’s the extent of my love for technology. But no matter!

I’m vlogging now and I invite you to join me. Trust me when I say that I’m not your average author and this is not your average channel. I plan to vlog about everything from writing/marketing tips to weightlifting and whatever else hits my mind the morning of filming. Subscribe, people! It takes like two seconds and you won’t regret it.

A Wicked Good Time

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How many other writers publish a brand new book and then promote it by designing an Atari 2600 game cover? I mean, seriously. This new zombie story of mine really is a wicked good time for readers. There’s an old guy who bitches about politics while rehashing his military stories, a computer guy, an oxygen delivery man, a waitress, and a prison guard (complete with inmate). These folks face the end of the world and the beginning of something much more sinister. Oh, and a handful of the zombies (known as wicked in this story) are thinkers.

So do yourself a favor and order your copy before it’s too late!

The News

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Right now, it’s a pretty busy place around here. We’re putting the finishing touches on my first full-length novel Wicked, which is already available in paperback and coming soon to the eBook world. I’m currently writing on Gunship: The New Breed, which is sure to make GS fans happy, and I’m also beginning the early stages of work on The Last One Home, which is the sequel to Brookhaven. There’s also been talk of novelizing the movie R.E.D.D. – we’ll see about that one, I suppose. And finally, my next big trick is to begin offering signed copies of Wicked. I’ll send out a newsletter when those become available.

In other news, both of my kids are now in school and this place gets pretty lonely. I do have a German Sheppard who’s as rotten as a kid, though. That’s it, folks. It’s the season of farmers markets and fall festivals, so I’m excited! If you’ve already grabbed my newest work and still want to support my dream (God bless you for it!), you can buy me a cup of coffee.

 

No More Video Games

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OK very few video games for me at this point. Over the past couple of years I’ve owned 3 XBOX One and 2 Playstation 4 consoles. I’ve sold them all off (I actually gave away my last XBOX One) and it occurs to me that I could care less about video games at this point in my life. I mean, I love the classics. There’s a nostalgia factor involved, you know? I can remember getting my first Atari 2600 in the mail (thanks dad) and my mom bought my first NES console (Double Dragon 3, baby!). I can still enjoy those gaming systems and do, sometimes. But sitting down with a pizza and a wireless headset – well, those days have passed me by. Maybe it’s age or maybe it’s the realization that every minute spent online gaming is a minute I could have been reading or hanging out with my kids.

Either way it’s been a blast, but I’m over it. Now, about this Ataribox…

The Easily Offended

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They’re everywhere, right? People these days get offended and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is there? This past week I tweeted out (to a friend of mine) that skinny jeans look ridiculous on men. And I stand by that. In return, I got nailed with a (long) string of tweets by a woman I didn’t know, who started badgering me on the issue. I politely shut her up by replying with a .gif of Seinfeld trying to peel skinny jeans off of Kramer – then it hit me. You can’t argue with Seinfeld’s logic on one damn issue. You just can’t

I realized that the Seinfeld show came just before this PC world we live in now. Jokes could still be laughed at back then without the fear of the offended beating their drums and coming at you en masse. I went back, watched the show (thanks, Hulu) and what do you know, it’s still funny.

In 2017, you can wear skinny jeans. That’s your right. But I’ve got rights too, and I think it looks ridiculous. My parting shot here is that nothing actually happens when you get offended. We’re not talking Gremlins eating after midnight here, I mean you literally get offended and go about your day. Life continues. So be kind and respectful, but also speak your mind. And for the love of everything that’s good…don’t try to troll me on Twitter. I’m far too clever to take the bait.