Update! and 100th Post!

I always have flashbacks to Unsolved Mysteries when I say “Update!”. I hear Robert Stack in my head. Seriously. My kids will probably have the same problem hearing Squidward Tentacles or Sheldon Cooper saying “Bazinga!” every time they make a bad joke.

Well, bizarre mental intrusions and awkward digressions aside, here is the news:

I still haven’t heard back from my ‘readers’ on Hot Sinatra, which either means they’re dead, too busy to bother with the likes of me, or the book sucks. Not surprisingly, I hope they’re suffering down there in the 7th circle of Hell. Also, this obviously means I haven’t found the wherewithal to bother finishing the damn thing of my own volition. Which leads me to item #2…

I’m on extended ‘sabbatical’ from the digest. Slush pile editing may do wonders for your self-esteem as a published writer – at first – but eventually the endless piles of horribly thrown together, hopelessly cliché, outright plagiarised and brain-bashingly frustrating first-draft garbage that overloads the system tends to creep into your brain pan and poison your own writing. At least, that’s what happened to me. I lost my will to read, write or (on occasion) breathe. Which is not to say that everything I had to read was bad, but it was certainly at least a 70/30 ratio of atrocious to acceptable and maybe 95/5 to really excellent work. All that being said, I applaud anyone who is at least trying to make a career out of this writerly craziness, and I wish only the best to those who take it seriously and put in the time and effort to woodshed their talent. Unfortunately, it seems like any half-wit with a keyboard seems to think it’s as easy as rehashing scenes from SyFy originals and changing the names. One more half-assed re-working of 28 Days Later and I would have put a bullet through my teeth and into the bathroom wall.

Alas, that burnout made for an abortive end to several things I was working on, including the last story I posted from. Hopefully I can re-ignite that pilot light and get back into the swing. I may get back to those stories eventually. I’m planning to drag my ass back into the classroom and do some workshopping in a couple of MFA classes to kick-start my creativity, and maybe that will give me the juice to finish some of the projects I’ve thrown on the back burner.

As for current projects? I am desperately fighting against my miserable state of mind to try to put together a flash fic piece for an upcoming contest that would make my year, pride-wise. Here’s a little taste:

   Zeke could feel Q shaking next to him, trembling like the last autumn leaf. The things had fallen on them quickly – quicker than anything Zeke had ever seen – dive-bombing down out of the black sky like eagles, but bigger, black and huge and hungry. Goddamn panthers with wings. They came with an unearthly banshee howl and the sound of thunder behind them. Alien and bloodthirsty, picking animals from the ground in their hooked talons and muscular arms and dropping them to burst like sloppy meat piñatas, cracking, snapping and exploding as they plummeted back down to the rocky earth. Zeke had dropped to his knees, cowering in the dirt with his hands over his ears. Q was half deaf already and still ducked his head, his face twisted up with the agony of the shrill blast of noise.  The things had already picked off a half-dozen animals before either of the ranch-hands had as much as time to open their mouths in surprise. The wailing of the sheep crowded in and drowned out everything else – a hundred screaming children, terrified and confused and blinded with pain and anguish. Zeke had screamed too, and felt a rush of warmth down the front of his legs, when Q’s hand hooked in the back of his collar and yanked him from the dust, scrambling for cover behind the rotting hulk of a tree that had fallen in the last storm.

Well, that would seem to be all the news fit to print for now. Just seemed like I’d been slacking off too much in my current state-of-mind and it seemed time to get out of my funk and take the bull by the balls… so here we go! And I just posted this and was notified that this is the lucky 100th post here on this iteration of my blerrrgh. So let’s hope it is lucky and pray for a turning point that sends me on the road to recovery and reignited passion!