Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere" Sneak Peek: Chapter Nine

Three tough weeks of editing and this thing will be ready.  I finished the rough draft Wednesday morning and did not feel the buzz of triumph I did when I finished "Apocalypse Zoo".  Because it needs a lot of work still, I suppose.  So much stage direction, dialogue, and character description plus action scenes to put together.  I need to sweep it all together into something that clicks.  Right now it feels disjointed.  Building something like one-hundred ten-by-tens is like making a watch: it can't be too big or too small and it must be precise.

(Have you seen my mug?)

Chapter Nine, Verse One:

Joe, Sam and Val return to the Jaguar,

Coax the camels from their pasture with treats,

Roll back to the mall to the beat of drums,

Horns and harps.  Val accepts a drink, puckers

At the taste and shoots it down.  “Don’t worry,”

Sam says.  “I’ll teach Joe to make lemon drops.”

The men pass a joint, snuff it and spray cologne.

A crowd of eight gander at the red glint,

The strutting beasts, the symphony.  They ooh

At shining fenders and solar panels.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere" Sneak Peek: Chapter Eight

Just wrote ninety-six.  Almost finished.  Then a month of editing.  It will take that long.  So much dialogue and choreography in this episode.  It's so much easier when they're all animals and they stay within one square mile.  Somebody, count the number of quotation marks in "Apocalypse Zoo" and we'll see how it compares to "Road from Nowhere".  Also, I don't think I used a single name in book one.

Chapter Eight, Verse Seven:

Soon they roll down the highway, Joe’s magnum

In his lap, the shotgun on Val’s shoulder.

Bodhi flanks the camels.  With field-glasses

And Glock, Sam melts with the trees, climbs the ridge.

Pushing hard, he takes high ground, jogs ahead,

Outruns the Jag until he finds the mall.

He ducks behind rocks, surveils the structures,

Ragged fence, rugged garden, scattered cars.

A long swig of water and a quick puff.

Sam drops to the road, trots back to the car.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere" Sneak Peek: Chapter Seven

I plowed through most of Chapter Nine this weekend.  As soon as I'm done with this post, I'm going back to it.  Bringing a story like  this to a smashing climax is a buzz I hope at least some of you have felt.  I remember it from the end of "Apocalypse Zoo".  I've never hit a walk-off home-run, a buzzer-beater, or a game-winning anything, but it must be a similar feeling.

Chapter Seven gives the readers what I hope they're starving for: answers.  Some characters sit around the campfire and explain their own tiny piece of what happened.

“Always ecstatic or angered.  One day

Gives lobster and champagne to everyone

Saying: ‘This is the end.  Lets go out strong.’

The next day, sells freeze-dried rations, water,

And wind-up radios out the back door.

Meanwhile, I try to run a restaurant.

Crazy don’t make good hospitality.

Needed some mountain air.  To get fat on trout.

Changed my voicemail greeting to: ‘I quit, tweak.’

Took my ass and his best whiskey hiking.”

Eighty Six the Mug

Slowly falling in love with Deviant Art.  I think they like me, too.

When I'm not working on "Road from Nowhere" (84 of 100, by the way) I've been looking into on-demand t-shirts and stuff like that.  I realized with Deviant Art you can easily sell your art as a print, a coaster, a calendar, a puzzle, or a mug.  If they really like you, they'll sell your apparel.

So, after much digital goofing around, I got a file just right and now have it for sale as a coffee cup.  Mine is on the way.  I'll photograph it and post some pictures, but until then, imagine this on a mug.

And you can get yours at:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere" Sneak Peek, Chapter Six

Getting close, people.  Getting close.  75 of 100 and counting.

Thanks to the new flood of people who'd rather read my book for free than for $3.99.  Could you all do me one favor and please write a review?  And while I'm being thankful:

Thanks to the people at Deviant Art for recognizing art in written form.  Thanks to Megaton for being a true post-apocalyptic junkie and featuring "Apocalypse Zoo" on his fiction page.  Thanks to "Full Metal Jacket" for teaching me how to yell at maggots.  And always thanks to my wife for reminding me that worrying too much about stuff means less enjoying stuff.

Chapter Six, Verse Ten:

Sarge begins to pace, gets red to the scalp.

“Been around a long time.  Seen dinosaurs

With bigger brains.  Knew cavemen better skilled

To drive these rigs.”  He rubs the scarred surface

Of the tanker.  “Near blew up all the fuel.

Twenty thousand gallons of gas.  How’d that

Help this squad?  Do you know?”  He grabs the shirt

Of a pale soldier who shrugs and gets slugged

In the nose.  Sarge growls and points to the trees.

“Now get up that hill.  Run ‘till I get tired.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere" Sneak Peek: Chapter Five

The Apocalypse will cause everyone to analyze his or her religious beliefs.  The atheists will wonder if maybe there really is a god.  The devout will ask whether god has abandoned them.  Those who love god will believe that god hates them.  I needed to inject some religion into this piece and I had fun doing it.

And if you haven't read "Cathartes Aura and the Apocalypse Zoo" it is free until the release of Episode Two in August.

Chapter Five, Verse Five:

The preacher, brown-bearded, worn leather book

Closed in his hands, draws a breath.  “So much loss.

What’s one more to the Lord’s ragged remnants?”

He sweeps each face with hickory eyes

Unblinking, brow furrowed.  “Eighty-six years

Carl was a pupil of the soil, of God,

Of community, of Satan’s tickings.”

Nodding heads, pressed hands, agreeing amens.

“Now flushed by plague, fire, and sin from our land

And from our homes, is that scholarship lost?”

Most Recent "Road from Nowhere" Cover Draft

My gorgeous illustrator is working hard on the new cover and looking good doing it.  She's working on the second, lash-batting, sensuous lady camel to fill the space to the left.  I'm working on Chapter Eight and wish I had nothing to do but write.

Also, we've been thinking about BBQ-related kids books and the novel-in-free-verse David Priest project.

You'll find the cover art at the top of the blog.

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Apocalypse Zoo" is Free

In anticipation of the August release of “Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere”, Episode Two in the series, I’m making “Cathartes Aura and the Apocalypse Zoo” free.

Read Episode One and, if I did my job well, you’ll want Episode Two.

Enough said.