There is something about sitting alone in a hotel room and writing. There is a very old school feeling to it, like following in the footsteps of Bukowski or Thompson. That’s even more true when you’ve got both a cup of hot black coffee and a can of beer on your desk.
It’s hard to be a starving artist. This is the purist who lives on their more successful friends’ sofas and lights from one bar to the next, spending the last of their meager savings on beer. It’s also hard to be an artist with a job. Then it’s just a hobby, and friends and family regard it as such; art therapy at best. Work wars with relationships that war with responsibilities that war with your art for your time. Before you know it you’re middle-aged, bitter, desperate, hate your job, your wife, your house, your car, and your life because they each stole some of your time. It’s better to be starved for money than to be starved for time.
They say that television will rot your brain. After decades of steeping my mind in broadcast mediocrity I would have to agree. We don’t love television shows, we love repetitive formulas wrapped up in sarcastic dialogue and delivered by professional pretenders. What else can one expect from a drug-fueled and celebrity-addled Hollywood? Flush it all down the toilet with the pills.
Lost soul transients bathing in sodium street light, drunk on self-loathing and rotgut. Pimp slapped whores walk a lonely beat while callous pigs cruise by with unforgiving eyes. Their tusks gleam with arrogant contempt. Everything swims in darkness, black brick walls casting shadows across slate colored concrete. Through this world I pass in wonder, seeing these things through an alcoholic lens. I am home.
I live my life in words; words from my pen, words from my mind, and words from nothing. The flow comes and goes on unpredictable tides. They have a soul of their own. Words are both truth and lies, and they shape reality only to reshape it again and again and again. The word is creation, and makes us all gods on this earth.
I am going over the most recent draft of The Gnostic and doing my second-to-last edit. I am slicing and dicing words away with ruthless efficiency. The point is to convey the story in the clearest terms, not to add to the final word count. If you find you need more word count, add more story, not more words.
I am watching the movie Lunopolis for the third time. It has time travel, people living on the moon, and layers of conspiracy theory. Check out this cult film and I promise you will be entertained!
Critics largely gave this movie negative reviews, and it has 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I love Beyond the Black Rainbow. It’s hallucinogen-fueled new age spiritualism gone horribly awry set in 1983 using 80’s visuals through modern film technique. It has a really slow pace, but I keep wanting to see what comes next. The dialogue is sparse but effective, and delivered with blunt madness by Michael Rogers. The soundtrack is amazing, and really builds the tension with electronic buzz-drones.
This movie is a direct influence on Locked and Loaded. It really takes the whole consciousness expansion thing in a dark direction. I like the idea of guys like John C Lilly and Timothy Leary being right, but in ways they never expected. That is a major theme throughout Locked and Loaded.
The movie uses a lot of context to explain things, but it is not subtle about it. I like that.
I finally broke out of my 3 month writing slump over the past couple of days by adding a some chapters to The Gnostic: Initiate. I realized a few months ago that I hadn’t written any chapters dedicated to the primary antagonist’s point of view. I got started on that, and let me tell you, this dude is creepy.
So what am I doing when I’m not writing? Well, let me quote a little bit of the old Hemingway.
I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
I mull a lot of my ideas over quite a bit. I consider and reconsider plot lines, and come up with methods to keep track of everything. I think about the writing structures I am using. I use a fairly different system when writing on The Gnostic than I do when I am writing on Locked and Loaded. I am finding that the system I use on the back end to organize myself deeply impacts the style and structure of the novel.
At any rate, I am writing again. It’s a funny thing when the switch flips back to On. Then the words just seem to flow.
I am wrapping up chapter 20 of Killshot. I also had a massive conceptual breakthrough and wrote up a lot of notes that really explain a lot of what is happening on the back end. I added a whole new spreadsheet workbook to track minor plot progressions, as well as fleshed out the Ketamine Conspiracy’s hierarchy. The Locked and Loaded series is becoming increasingly weird.