Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing Wednesday: New Release

Another freebie for everyone. I'm giving away two more short stories. A Home to Die For.

Two weird little tales that I wrote. I've put both of them up on this blog before.

A Home to Die For and The Adjuster.

These two stories have really evil guys in them who have very clear motivations. So I think they pair together nicely.

As far as writing them the process couldn't be more different.

With A Home to Die For, I wrote it. Checked my grammar and spelling, gave it to wife who checked my grammar and spelling. Then sent it to Alienskin magazine who bought it. If writing was like that all the time I could be a full time writer and not have any worries.

With The Adjuster it was the opposite. I knew I had a powerful idea, so I typed it up. I loved the ending but wasn't that thrilled with the rest. I asked my wife what she thought and she said, “My god, did that suck!”

After some prodding she told me she hated the character of Maria. I worked on Maria a bit but the story still kind of sucked. So I shelved it. But it still nagged at me. Several months later I opened it up and reread it. I noticed I told the tale rather than showed it. I rewrote it again.

It still had that suckyness but was readable. Not good enough to publish but it had the ideas I wanted to convey. I shelved it again.

It still nagged me, so months later I read it again. Rewrote the Adjuster's part and threw it up as a post. It still nagged me but I was able to ignore that for nearly two years. I would see something that I'd like to put in it. Or think about it.

So I pulled it out again. Rewrote it. Put it up for my Critique Group at Scribophile. They made some really cool suggestions and I rewrote it again.

Nearly 4 years after I wrote it I feel it is good enough to be sent out into the world. Hopefully I will never work that much on a short story again.

I hope you enjoy the re-re-re-re-re-rewritten version.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Paul Ryan Abortion

I hate agreeing with Paul Ryan, almost as much as Paul Ryan hates it when I agree with him. But when he talked about Todd Akin's idea of “legitimate rape” and how he believed that a clump of cells should have all the same rights as corporations, he stated, “I've always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn't change the definition of life.” Of course, I draw completely different conclusions.

The GOP's stance on abortion is to make it illegal in all cases. If you make abortion illegal you are passing laws saying that a woman should have less say in what happens to their bodies than they have over their property. I talk about how property laws could be applied to abortion in great length here.  To sum it up, If a woman walks into home and finds a stranger hanging out, it doesn't matter if you consider the stranger alive, how the stranger got there or any other thing. She has the right to ask them to leave. If they don't leave she can use whatever methods, including deadly force, necessary. Period, end of story.

She doesn't have to wait two days. She doesn't have to have a giant probe stuck up her Who-ha. She doesn't have to have the stranger's picture taken. It's her right to decide who she wants on her property.

With abortion a woman isn't allowed this basic property right. People like Paul Ryan believe that woman aren't able to make the same decisions about their bodies as they are about their property.

Paul Ryan has said in the past that an exception to abortion mean you can't apply his reasoning consistently. If you are going on the assumption that woman can't make the right decisions with their bodies as the right of a property owner, than how can they be allowed to own property?

Since 1835 women have been allowed to own property in this country. Oddly this concept started in Mississippi. If you are going to apply Paul Ryan's “reasoning” consistently, if you outlaw abortion you should also outlaw woman's rights to own property.

There is no consistent way you can have woman be full citizens of this country with all the rights and responsibilities that come with that and make abortion illegal.

So to Paul Ryan and all the other freaks that want to make abortion illegal, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, for almost a hundred years Women have earned the right to be full citizens of this country. For over 170 years they have earned the right to own property. You can't take away the fundamental right to exclude who is allowed on a citizens property. So you can't take away the right for a citizen to exclude who they want in their body.”
By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Everything I write sucks

This is a thought that every writer gets from time to time. To make it worse sometimes it's true.

Different writers have offered ideas to get around this.

One of my professors, Robert W Walker, said just free write something and throw it away. It takes the pressure off and you can remember why you love writing. I've used this many times. The funny thing is a lot times the stuff I write that way is really good. That's how I wrote, THE GENIE AND THE BREADSTICKS.

An agent from the 40's whose book I read in high school, I can't remember which one, said to write whatever crap comes to mind and publish it. The reading the reviews of stuff you think sucks takes away the fear. When you get the worst possible reviews you will see that they can't hurt you. The act of exposing your worst stuff makes you try harder. I've been thinking of doing that under a pseudonym. But I worry people will actually like the stuff I think is garbage.

Stephen King, in his book ON WRITING says the secret to writing is to write faster than the suck. If you write fast enough you'll be done before the self-doubt takes over.

I friend of mine in high school, Lee Lewis, had a way of getting around that. He read Stephen King. It's known as lowering the bar. It actually works with any popular writer that you think isn't that talented. Stephen King's works are best to use because there was a time when he was so coked up he was throwing out gibberish and was so famous it was being published.

One thing I do is read the very early works of some of my favorite writers. It's a hell of a boost to see stuff you loved reading with a critical eye. You can see a million mistakes but also see what made it work.

These techniques work if the problem is that you doubt your writing in general. Sometimes there are other problems. A problem I had with MIND THIEF was I hated one of the characters. So I killed her many times. I finally did find a way to turn her into a character that fulfilled an emotional need of my main character. I needed to kill her several times to really bring out why she deserved to live.

Some times the problem is external. Sometimes the stress of life can catch up with you and everything, not just writing, can seem terrible. Luckily writing can actually help with that.

With REPOSSESSING SANITY I thought of Bank of America and How they were doing everything they can to ruin my life because I was 45 days late in paying my mortgage three and a half years ago. I thought of the all the things I would love to do to the company if it were a real person. Frankly I had more fun writing it than reading it.

So how do you get past the “everything I write sucks” phase? Here's a little exercise to try.

This is a classic horror or comedy situation, I write both and have trouble telling them apart. Take something so ordinary that its cliché. How about three people sitting at the dining room table eating dinner. But things aren't as they seem. Why not?

What if two of the people are guests? What if one is the physical manifestation of the host's greatest fear? Death? Loss? Abandonment?

What if the other is the host's hopes and dreams?

In this ordinary setting these three have to come to terms with each other or they will all die. Very surreal and a reflection of the person that will be very powerful and emotional. All set in as ordinary a setting as possible.

If you'd like to try this feel free to send it to me at project.savior (at) yahoo (dot) com.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Unconfirmed Reports

The Main Stream Media is saying over and over again that Paul Ryan is Romney's pick for his running mate. However there are no reliable sources that confirm that. The only thing they can point at is Romney giving a speech on the USS Wisconsin saying that he picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. Having a video of Romney saying something is hardly reliable evidence.

There are videos of Romney supporting safe legal abortions in 1994. Now he denies having said that.

Videos of him supporting gays and lesbians the right to serve openly in the military. He also denies that.

Views on Ronald Reagan, Gun Control, Tax Pledges, even if he was a hunter. All these things are on video, and Mitt Romney has denied them all.

Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a “perfectly lubricated weathervane” as John Huntsman said. Pointing in whatever position the polls say. If the polls show something he said is unpopular he simply denies having said it.

Paul Ryan as a running mate has changed his standing in the polls. It isn't unlikely that Romney will see this and announce that he never picked Ryan and that it was all a left wing conspiracy against him.

So to the reporters who say that Romney has picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, I say, “Shut-up Stupid. Just because Mitt Romney says something in a speech doesn't mean he won't deny it a week, a day, or an hour later.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Writing Wednesday: RIP Stainless Steel Rat, send Boris and Ajex to bring back his body

One of writers that really inspired me to write was Harry Harrison. Today he passed away.

Harry Harrison was one of the most versatile authors I've ever read. His STAINLESS STEEL RAT series is the standard for comic science fiction. MAKE ROOM, MAKE ROOM was turned into the movie SOYLENT GREEN, one of the grittiest dystopian tales of the consequences of overpopulation and global warming ever told. He wrote the Flash Gordon series from 1958 to 1964 keeping it alive. He had a Nazi conspiracy steal the QEII in 1982.

The reason Harry Harrison inspired me to write is he didn't allow himself to be pigeon holed. Other writers gained fame for something and stuck to that. Harry Harrison seemed to write whatever he damn well felt like. And wrote it well.

In my book AN EXTRA TOPPING OF HORROR I got to pay a little homage to Harry Harrison with the two Aliens who came to Earth to battle it out to see who was the galaxy's greatest warrior. It was inspired by his Eden series and as I wrote it I hoped it would reflect some of his humor. Knowing that was an impossibly high bar.

Harry Harrison was one of those writers that you can point to whenever anyone says, “As writer you have to do this.” He showed that a writer only has to do one thing, write well.

With his passing I feel like a childhood friend passed away. I spent a lot of time reading his works. Luckily the Potsdam Public Library had a good selection of his books. I will miss him.

I loved reading Harry Harrison's novels and didn't care if they were comedy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, or anything else.

I can only hope this is all just a big ploy by Jim Degriz and Bill in a very elaborate scheme to steal the Earth.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Attack of Eddie Munster

Romney has named Eddie Munster look-a-like Paul Ryan as his VP pick.

The best thing I can say about Paul Ryan is he looks like Eddie Munster. Seriously, Ryan's vision for the country is so horrible if I made him the villain in one of my books I wouldn't believe it.

I realize there are some people that fear socialism so much they have the “destroy the village to save it” mentality, but really, Paul Ryan?

Even if you are worried that a minimal social safety net, Medicaid, Social Security, Education Grants, Food Stamps, ect will lead to socialism, look at what Paul Ryan wants for the country. He wants to destroy all the gains we have made in the past 100 years.

So to everyone who even thought of voting for Romney, I say, “Shut-up Stupid. His pick of Eddie Munster look-a-like Paul Ryan as VP shows he is not Presidential material.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: Allah's Revenge

Full Disclaimer: The author of this book, Pete Barber, is a critique partner of mine on Scribophile.

I consider myself fortunate to have read a lot of Pete Barber's work. There are somethings that he really excels at. Luckily he used those skills in Allah's Revenge.

Pete Barber has this ability to make characters that are both incredibly creepy and human at the same time. Nazar Eudon is the type of guy you want to strangle, but you do see as a full person. A creepy person, but someone you might unfortunately meet.

Another one of Pete's skills is continually increasing the tension. As the book goes on the stakes grow higher, both personally and worldwide. He skillfully weaves these two together leaving the reader worried for both the individuals and the world. It would be easy to have one overpower the other, but he balances it nicely.

One trend in modern science fiction that I love is showing how technology is a double edged sword. The same technology that can end all of human poverty and suffering, can also end all of human life. That theme runs through Allah's Revenge.

Overall Allah's Revenge is an exciting techno-thriller that moves quickly. It uses the entire world as it's stage, but stresses the personal danger that the well rounded characters are in. It's very easy to lose yourself in the world Pete Barber has created.

Allah's Revenge Extended Description:

Dawud, an Arab genius, creates a nanotechnology weapon capable of destroying the human race, yet small enough to conceal in a hint of perfume.

Recruited by Allah’s Revenge, a Palestinian terrorist organization, he triggers worldwide panic when his weapon suffocates the passengers on a crowded London train in ninety seconds, filling their lungs with hard, black charcoal.

Quinn, an English detective, is first on the scene. A British journalist has a link to the terrorists, and Quinn uses him as bait to flush them out.

When their demands are not met, Allah’s Revenge wipes out the world leaders attending the G20 summit in South Korea, including the US Vice President.

Quinn tracks the terrorists to their lair in Jerusalem and seems to have the weapon under control, but then it is unleashed in Phoenix, Arizona, and Quinn needs all his wits and courage to prevent a horde of nanobots from decimating America.

Available at Smashwords: Allah's Revenge

And Amazon: Allah's Revenge

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE