Status Update: Not Much to Update

Well, folks, I’ll own it: seasonal writers’ block is here. Much like Seasonal Affective Disorder, I suffer through a bit of a block around the end of October/beginning of November every year, like clockwork. In the past I relied on lots of light therapy to carry me through, but this year, for some reason, I thought I would be immune. I guess I was falling back on my output being so much higher this year?

Anyway, I was clearly wrong. I’m struggling.

Now keep in mind that my “struggling” still looks like 10,000 words a week, but I need more than that to get through Chapter 25 in anything resembling a timely fashion. I’m back on the light therapy, but I’m not sure how effective it will be over the next few days. So right now I don’t have too much to report past where I was the last time we talked about Chapter 25: working through the first draft. The good news is that it looks to be a relatively short chapter, but I don’t expect to get it finished until December. It sucks, but I’m trying to be patient with myself and not force things. We’ll see where it goes as I ramp up the light therapy. Until then…well, I’m just doing my best. See you Monday.

Status Report: On Skulls and Disappearing Characters

Time for the bi-weekly status report! Work is coming along rather well; as I had hoped, I finally tied the ribbon on the fourth and final draft of Chapter 24 on Tuesday. Thank God. It’s a vitally important chapter (but then again aren’t they all), but it’s also the longest one, or perhaps that’s a result of its importance, I don’t know. Almost 20 pages double-spaced. It took 26 days of real time, or 14 hours of pure, concentrated writing and editing time. By far the longest and most complex of chapters in this iteration of the novel. Not sad to say goodbye, though I will certainly revisit it during the “critique” phase.

Currently in the early phase of the first draft of Chapter 25. This is where I dream up individual pieces and snippets from the planned chapter and write them out in pieces – a quote here, an action there. It usually takes two or three days to get to the point of stitching them together, but once I do, boom! First draft done. That’s scheduled to wrap up on the 4th, but it could be done more quickly, depending on the length of the chapter. Hard to say at this stage, and I don’t have a solid timeframe on how long the chapter will take, though my goal is Thanksgiving, which is somewhat aggressive given how busy my workload will be at the office. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m giving thought to characters and “subplots” that either don’t add anything or never went anywhere as the story evolved. At least two characters will no longer exist by the time this book releases, with a third mentioned in passing only. Just the nature of the beast.

Still, crazy to think that I’m working on the final first draft of Came to Believe. The next first draft will be in service of Lindsay’s novel, which remains unnamed at the moment. Probably some riff on the first one, like “Verb to Noun.” “Stopped to Relieve”.

Anyway, that’s where I am for this week…talk to you again soon and have a Happy Halloween.

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A Weighty Issue

Good morning/afternoon/evening, where-ever you are, readers, and good to see you again. Hope everyone had a pleasant day yesterday. Mine was…interesting, to say the least. I don’t plan to get super-confessional here, but I did, at last, receive an answer for a physical problem that’s bothered me most of my life and which I couldn’t quite understand.

truthYou see, I’ve been fat most of my life. At one point I would have shied away from the word, used “heavy” or “overweight”, but it’s important to own reality so that it has less power over you and so I’ll just tell the truth here. Of course, being fat brings with it the usual share of stereotypes. Lazy, ignorant, unmotivated, stupid, what have you.

I never fully believed in those stereotypes, though at my darkest moments I surely did think that my weight made me less of a person and I know that some people would be glad to tell me that’s the truth and I should be ashamed of myself, but really I’m not. Putting aside any political implications of the pressures to conform and mockery that fat people receive, it never felt quite right to me, this matter of being fat.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some bad habits and have gone through periods where I was most certainly the agent of weight gain and bad health habits in my life. I say this not as a justification for my existence or what-have-you, to be a “good” fatty or anything like that. Simply acknowledging reality.

stages-of-user-frustration-6But the thing is, I’ve also had periods of extreme good health, regular exercise, and watching what I eat. I was a high school athlete, for God’s sake, and even then I just couldn’t shed the weight. Oh, my muscle tone was better, but I was a fat kid even when I was in track and baseball and playing sports in the backyard every day. Couldn’t tell you how many times I blamed myself for the situation and figured I must be doing something wrong that everyone else was doing right, even as I dieted at age 12 and watched my friends eat whatever they want.

So recently, I’ve stepped up my game, have been walking daily and really watching what I eat once again and while I would experience some weight loss, it often came right back on within a week without me changing a thing. The experience unnerved me so greatly that I saw my doctor and, well, that led to yesterday’s appointment. Turns out that, all along, my body was not absorbing a certain signaling hormone and that impeded my ability to gain muscle mass and consequently shed fat (among other issues). This is typically a genetic condition and it does have a treatment, thank goodness, it’s just a shame that it took this long to find out what was going on.

I had initially decided to keep the subject private, and there’s a lot that I’m not telling, but it’s enough of a life-changer that I felt the need to discuss it here. Still debating about whether to share the journey as we try to correct the issue.

ShameAnyway, I guess that’s speaking truth to power or something. I’m sure I’m throwing open the gates to mockery or something, but I don’t care. There’s an element of emotional vindication here that’s too important to ignore.

Writing, though, that’s what we’re here to discuss, right? I have to confess, dear readers, that your “presence” over my shoulder has actually made me a more diligent writer. Oh, I harbored some concern over whether this blog might distract me from writing, and I definitely worried that writing about progress and my life might turn off readers, but I certainly did not expect these newer entries to keep me honest. I could have sat down after dinner last night and vegged out, but a little voice in the back of my head kept telling me that I could not return to you empty-handed after promising the end of Chapter 23 two days in a row. I forced myself to sit down at my computer and knock out that last page before doing anything else. So thanks for keeping me honest!

In-universe, I wrapped up the funeral scenes and am about to edit Chapter 24, one of the trickiest chapters in the whole damned book. You see, in these chapters we witness the evolution of the threesome that destroys Dean’s life, as well as the act itself, almost a footnote to the build-up and drama that follows. I’ve said before that this book is an intensely personal one, and this chapter is no exception. The events didn’t quite transpire in the same fashion as in the novel, but there are some common elements.

My past is kind of screwy.

Anyway, diving into that today. No promises on how long 24 might take, as it’s a long one, but I did commit to editing at least four pages today. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll share some more details about the scene tomorrow. See you then.

Down by the Fire

Bit of a struggle to get up and running this morning. It’s the humidity, absolutely drains me. The strangest part is that it somehow affects me even when I’m inside, in the air conditioning. I suspect that it’s a matter of our AC not efficiently removing the humidity, as we do sometimes get condensation on the windows. Either way, just not fun at all.

The weather is not my concern here, however. My concern is writing, and there has been a lot of it going on. Yesterday I started the next novel, the follow-up/pseudo sequel to Came to Believe. The one about Sara. I hadn’t planned to start it, but a scene came to me pretty much whole-cloth. I don’t know how much of it will end up in the final novel, so long off, so a brief description is in order, I think.

firepitIn my head I saw Sara sitting by a fire pit, stirring it with a long branch, bundled up as she passes small talk with her dealer/boyfriend, Travis. Or is it Roger? I’m not sure at the moment. As they talk they pass a small joint back and forth. Soon Roger produces a baggie full of psilocybin mushrooms.

Here I should perhaps clarify what is going on with Sara’s life: at age 36, she has moved back to Elkton, VA, a small city that butts right up against the Blue Ridge mountains. She moved there from the DC Metro area after losing her job and learning that her mother has a heart condition that will likely kill her. This scene takes place a few months after her return. Sara is stressed, having trouble finding work and fitting in, so she’s started smoking more weed (her mother is a former dealer) and retreating into a world of dreams, almost regressing to a younger age.

psychedelicSara debates at first, wondering if it’s a good idea at her age, but ends up taking them and the ensuing trip is a pivotal point in her character development, sort of a “slingshot” that drives her into some shocking, life-altering decisions. Strange that this scene came to me first out of them all, but I’m happy to write it. It’s a really meaty scene.

Back in Came to Believe-land, made good progress on the awkward scene outside the funeral and am about to write the portion where Sara (yes, that Sara) walks in on the mess. My general goal for today is to knock out Chapter 23. We’ll see how that goes. It’s possible, though; this scene has not shredded me in the same way other ones do. It’s just awkward for everyone involved.

Personal note, caught the keynotes from yesterday’s big video gaming conference, E3. Saw some pretty cool stuff, but so far away still. At least it leaves some time to write.

Digging in the Dirt

Well, ready to get back to the grind, consider this my 15-minute check-in for Monday morning. I said that I want to start posting more regularly and here it is. Spot check? Got about 600 words knocked out on Chapter 23 this weekend. This chapter features a pair of encounters that our fearless antihero Dean encounters during his wife, Lindsay’s, funeral, one with his soon-to-be-ex-lover and the other with his wife’s best friend, Sara, who will one day have her own story to tell.

This is the kiss-off scene for the ex-lover and a turning point in Dean’s addiction and that’s all I have to say about that (as that portion is still in development). The scene with Sara is more important, however, as it shows her softening toward the man who cheated on her friend and offers a glimpse of what Dean’s life would look like if he didn’t try to fuck every woman he met.

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Plus, I just like Sara and enjoy spending time with her. I’m very much looking forward to telling her full story, and it weaves throughout this novel, showing some of these scenes from her perspective and revealing Dean’s distortions in a greater light. It’s not necessary to read both novels, but they are related and revolve around Lindsay’s death. Oh, and Lindsay’s death is not a spoiler, it’s literally on page 1.

Other than that, life is a never-ending series of boxes and trash bags as we empty out the apartment. Who knew you could compile so much crap in seven years of living in one place? I mean I lived in my childhood home from 81 to 95, but as an adult this is easily the longest I’ve lived in one location (07 to 14). It’s going to be weird, and the packing is very strange, bringing up loads of memories, most of them not-so-pleasant. The condo has seen some very good times, but it’s also seen some of the darkest times in my life. Right now it’s hard not to concentrate on that darkness as I hold the physical artifacts of it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re purging that stuff for the better, but it still surfaces some long-forgotten emotions and memories.

As a result, I’ve been kind of distant and grumpy as I chew over this stuff. Sorry, Mary, it will certainly get better once we move and we’re in a better place.

NIGHT VALE 8inOne other note, I’m possibly the last human being to find out about this, but I’ve been digging into the Welcome to Night Vale podcast/audio book and have become a huge fan. For those who don’t know about it, the concept is community radio in a community where every conspiracy theory is true and Lovecraftian creations walk the earth and are involved with station management. It’s been described as Garrison Keillor in a Stephen King world, and I have to agree. Give it a listen if you get a chance, and I will see you here again soon.

The States of Thingses

Apologies for the radio silence, wanted to give myself a full week to process the news. For those who missed the last post, last Friday my day job informed me that my department would be banished to oblivion and all of us had the option to compete for new internal jobs or take the severance package. I’ll keep my thoughts on the process itself to a minimum as I have no desire to burn bridges and understand that business does what it needs to do. I don’t believe this had anything to do with my abilities or the abilities of the folks in my department, nor do I think this was done out of any malicious intent. We just got caught in the middle of a bidding war for the company. It happens. I’ve been through it before.

That doesn’t mean that my emotions stayed calm. On the contrary. I had no idea what to make of things and what it meant. I went through the fatalistic stages of believing that this meant an end to my career. I imagined my wife and I ending up penniless and homeless (despite such a scenario requiring a disastrous series of events that are unlikely to occur). It all boiled down to fear, though. I actually stumbled upon this long-forgotten quotation from Dune the other day and it set off some thoughts, ones that I’ll talk about below:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

This is never quoted in recovery circles (I’ve checked as part of my research) and yet it feels so important, as so many of the roots of addiction and mental illness lie in fear, the fear that drives us to avoidance. I realized that while I seemed to be obsessing over loss, this was actually a technique to avoid the deeper fear: fear of death.

As much as we ascribe endless complexities to the subconscious – and it is quite complex – sometimes its machinations are simplistic to the point of seeming dull-witted. Loss, for instance, often equals death in the subconscious, which is why we cycle through grief. And so the subconscious pushes this away through all manner of different techniques in order to survive. Chief of these techniques is anxiety, which is the anticipation of loss, a form of living in an uncertain future that avoids the challenges of the moments.

That’s an awful lot of navel-gazing to say that I’ve been afraid of death for most of my life, not just the adult part, and now that I’m entering some of the years where the reaper begins to walk behind, you my subconscious mind saw omens in a layoff that had nothing to do with death. Perhaps the impersonal nature of it triggered me so badly; I often see death as an impersonal foe, able to sweep thousands away with no thought or pattern.

So in some ways, a more personal layoff might have been better for me. Still would have sucked, but might not have been accompanied by such existential dread.

Today, things are a little better. My wife gave me a breakdown of our finances and our ability to survive on unemployment and savings for a good period of time. It calmed me. I have also realized that the the next chapter in my life may begin on the West Coast. Obviously I can’t predict the future, but I can choose whether I feel positive about it or feel negative and dwell in fear. One makes me feel okay and able to take on the challenges of the day and the other keeps me shriveled up in a ball and miserable. I know which one I prefer.

Oh, and on more practical matters, this obviously affects release schedules. Print version of Pathways is on hold until things become clearer. I just can’t afford the proofing process right now. I understand this will be a disappointment for a few folks, but I’ll keep you posted. I had briefly contemplated a “sell-out” moment of writing erotica in hopes of making money, but a few hours with a story convinced me that I’m not very good at it and even if I were, the passion is just not there. I’ve returned to work on Broken Wing, though it’s slowed somewhat with the other things going on. I’ll return to publishing soon enough, and I still write every day. That will not change short of death or terminal illness.

Anyway, just a check-in with old friends and new acquaintances. Hope all is well in your world at the moment.

Check out the Haul!

Wouldn’t normally post my thrift finds, but I happened across a ridiculous pile of classic sci-fi paperbacks in immaculate condition at the thrift store. Amazon here we come.

Garbage Day: Odds and Ends

So much stuff on my mind, and not one of them is worthy of an entire post. Don’t you just hate that?  so I figured I’d just compile them all together into a single post. Maybe I should do this on the weekly. A weekly garbage day. That sounds apt, right? Especially for a Monday, when maybe everything isn’t working together quite right up in the head (and believe me, this morning is one of those times).

Wanted to start off by taking a look at the Kindle books that I’ve picked up in the last week. I got lucky and got an Amazon gift card from my mother in appreciation for some help with purchasing a new computer, so I figured I’d spread some of the love to other authors. Here are the books that I purchased last week, and why.

  • Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer. I think this one was a Kindle special last week, but honestly the purchase was a no-brainer either way, as it’s set in South Africa and I have a special affinity for the place after visiting there in the late 90s.
  • The Grove by John Rector. Another Kindle special that caught my eye, this one is a noir novel with an interesting premise that caught my attention. I also see that he was quite pleased with the results of that, so I’m glad to have been able to help that, in a small way.
  • Soulless, Blameless, and Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate) and My Sister’s Song by Gail Carriger. I stumbled across a review of the latest book in the Parasol Protectorate on Civilian Reader and was instantly intrigued – it sounded right up my alley. So I checked out her site and discovered that she’s also doing a monthly single, which for this month is My Sister’s Song, and snatched that up along with the first three books.
  •  Wasteland by Lynn Rush. I’ve mentioned Lynn here before, but it was great to be able to be a part of her book release party, and the book itself sounds really good, too!
  • The 19 Dragons by SM Reine. This was recommended along with the Carriger books, so I figured at 99 cents it was worth looking into. Again, the concept sounds great, so I have a feeling I’ll enjoy it.
  • Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff VanderMeer. This was a no-brainer, given what I said about Finch last week. At this point, I’m moving backwards through this series, and finding it quite an interesting experience to do so.

The rest of my purchases will fall into next week’s entry, but I definitely haven’t stopped there. One of my most interesting discoveries from this little spree, however, has been the relatively small size of the community of writers producing the kind of books I like to read and write. When I click on similar works on Amazon, I often find authors that I have either already read or purchased and are waiting on my list. I don’t know if this is a good sign. Part of me worries, but what else can I really do? It’s what I want to write.

Moving on. Next bit of business is weekend writing. I know that a lot of people do the majority of their writing on the weekend, but it’s always been something of a struggle for me, even going way back to when I was starting out. I’m not sure why, but it seems like my brain is geared to write during the business week. The reason I ask is that I’m participating in a writing contest with my fiancee and a friend, and the metric for success is not words written but number of days in a row. I mean, I’ve never been a seven-day-a-week kind of guy, but I’m trying to stretch myself out for this challenge, and it was a challenge, all right. I’m not sure why, but my brain just refused to click into place, and I wonder if I should be concerned about burnout and resulting writer’s block. It was a record week word-wise, but it really took it out of me. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Watched four episodes of True Blood over the weekend. We’ve been slowly catching up on the show, and are about halfway through Season 2. I’m sure the topic has been done to death, but it is interesting that something involved with vampires can manage to hold my attention, given how sick I am of the topic in general. I think it’s a testament to what good writing and fresh ideas can bring to even an old, worn concept. I even found myself marveling that the concept of a vampire hotel had never occurred to me or come up in the fiction that I’ve read. It seems like such a simple concept, and yet there it is. It also helps that the show has fully-realized characters (for the most part, anyway. Some of the second-tier vampires are kind of iffy) that have emotional drives. I’m particularly enjoying Jason’s arc with the church, and find myself wanting the story to go back around to that.

Of course, the second season has its faults, too. If I have to watch one more party scene, I’m going to gouge my eyes out. Do these ever work well in film or television? Actually, now that I throw it out there, I can think of a handful of movies that used it well – Donnie Darko in particular comes to mind, as the party there was the fulcrum of the story itself.  But in general, I tend to think of party scenes as the drum solo of films; there’s just way too much going on and too many movies try too hard to emphasize the “boy we’re having fun” angle. Nine times out of ten, I’d rather attend a party than watch one. Oh, and the sex scenes are just completely out of control, but so far they’ve managed to make each one relevant to the plot.

I’m far from a prude, believe me – I like a good sex scene, and hell I’m writing an erotica, but there’s a point where it really does become too much. But speaking of this topic, how does sex with vampires work? If the heart isn’t pumping blood, then…of course, for that matter, that’s a weakness with the concept in general, especially when it comes to humans feeding on vampires as part of the siring process. I know it’s really nitpicky, but it’s a part of the legend that’s always bothered me, and when you’re talking about the literary tradition, the blood-sucking part is supposed to be symbolic of sex itself, so to throw actual sex on top of it I think kind of muddles the point of vampires. Look at the heavily implied homosexuality in Interview With the Vampire. She didn’t need to show a single sex scene between Louis and Lestat, and yet it’s one of the more homoerotic things that I’ve ever read.

Just repeat to myself it’s just a show, I should really just relax…

In Which We Address a Few Random Items

It’s a holiday here in the States, so I’m not going to be writing my usual entry. What time I use on writing I would like to use on getting the new book off the ground, as it’s finally taking shape in a proper fashion. So, in no particular order:

  • If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve opened up an official The Corridors of the Dead page. Right now it’s just a scratch blurb description, which I expect to change in the near-future, but it will give you a taste of what’s coming. I also expect to add a sample chapter once we’ve finished the editing process, hopefully in a couple of weeks.
  • I now have a fan page on Facebook. Go here to check it out (Official Fan Site), and, if you like anything I’ve written here, could you please give me a like?
  • I’ve decided that, while I can give my novel a good solid edit, I’d rather free my time up for writing the next one, and am trying to recruit a freelance editor. I’ve asked a friend who is a particularly great editor, but haven’t heard back yet. If she falls through, does anyone have advice for either a fairly cheap editor or a site that could direct me toward one? I’d especially like one with whom I could build a long-term relationship, but I know that might not be possible.
  • The City of the Dead is Plotted! At least, at a high level. I know the major peaks and valleys; they came to me while I was driving home yesterday, and I had to get them dictated. I think it’s going to be good, but obviously there’s quite a bit of work down the road.
  • Entanglements is looking a lot better. The characters are all clearly defined in my head, and I have a bulls-eye at which I can aim.
  • Lynn Rush, who I’ve come to know through Goodreads, is having a big online release party tomorrow with some cool prizes like a free Kindle, an Amazon gift card, and copies of her book. I’ve featured Lynn here before, so please go over and check out her party tomorrow.
Okay so a few more sites from other great writers, maybe? Yeah that sounds good.
  • While Reading Angels may not review books that are my cup of tea, I enjoy Angela’s style and she always has some great giveaways.
  • Jim Brockett has overcome his fear of writing at a surprising age and published his first novel this year! I think it’s an awesome story. Check out his site.
  • And of course, as always, my buddy, the excellent Paul Dail, has updated about a day in the life of his mind. I was quite surprised just how closely I can relate.
That’s all for today! More to tend to tomorrow, along with a more “normal” update.

Friday on My Mind: The Artist Interaction and a Change of Direction

Today’s entry is a bit of a hodgepodge, so I apologize in advance. A few things on my mind. Met last night with the first of my beta readers to finish Corridors, and it was really enlightening, actually. I mean, not just in getting a feel for some things that might need to be changed in the book or diagnosing issues, or even examining what was good. By the way, it was a very good review. Very fair, and almost everything she had suggestions for were more stylistic, polish issues than issues with the actual substance of the book. It sounds like I finally hit the nail on the head with this one. But what I’m thinking of here is that I’m starting to get the whole participation between artist and observer from the point of view of the artist.

I poured my heart and soul into this book, and it’s a reflection of a lot of very personal issues and ideas. To hear that reflected back in the way that I intended it was nice. I was very impressed that she could figure out some of the nuances that I had thrown in as either little nods or buried leads for the following books. Very cool. Even cooler, however, was that she found different angles for characters and situations in the book that I hadn’t considered because of how she was perceiving the story.

I’ve always been the kind of person who believes that there is one valid interpretation of most stories (leaving aside that some stories are designed to be ambiguous). But as I listened to her talk about the characters and the plot, I hadn’t even caught on to some facets of the story that she had uncovered. Not only is that going to strengthen the story, it’s really cool to see something that I’ve created imbued with someone else’s personal and emotional experiences, the filter of their own life.

So suddenly I feel like my own interpretations

So suddenly I feel like my own interpretations of art that I’ve dismissed in the past might have been valid after all. Actually, that’s not exactly what I mean. I just mean that, while I’ve considered analyzing structure and what actually exists, I’ve always felt that trying to interpret intent is a fool’s game. But maybe not. Maybe my own interpretations and perceptions of a given story’s intent were valid, even if they were different from what the author originally intended – both emotional states (the creator and the reader) being equally valid.

I hope that makes some sense. I’m rambling a bit, and I’m talking on a far more emotional than intellectual level here. I’m also really tired. It’s been a long week

I’ve really been wrestling with Entanglements. Yesterday I realized that I had quite the dilemma. While I was really enjoying the parts of Entanglements that involve the two male characters, Kenny and Noah, I was feeling like the blog entries by Adshade were a total chore and I was just not feeling her character at all. And this was only in the first “chapter”, or set of interlocking information. And it was kicking my butt. The biggest problem was just how…bland she was. Now she was a fully-realized character. I could see her in my head, hear her voice, etc. But she just bored me. I mean, honestly, I think that might be a first. She had a distinctive voice, a distinctive way of choosing words, but I just didn’t like her. She was a little too goody-goody.

So I went back to the drawing board and re-imagined her. What came out is…well, she’s a pretty unique character. She’s originally from Boston, and still has her accent, which shows in the way she writes. Her father was a beat cop for X number of years, she’s a little on the chubby side, she has a cat, etc. She feels like a real person to me, in the way that Matty did.

I was also concerned that having one voice or another being stronger than the other would mean the risk of losing readers when they couldn’t get the “stronger” or more “unique” voice more readily. I started to rethink my whole approach to the book, even if I knew that changing the approach would mean having to remove the blog entries that the characters were reading. This posed two problems. One was that the blog entries drove the plot, obviously, as everything was integral to driving the plot. The other was that I liked this re-imagined version of Adshade.

So getting rid of the blog entries was problematic at best, but then I had the problem that I kept having to stretch believability with how she could be writing the entries in the first place. If I keep having to plug holes in the plot’s plausibility, things are bound to sink.

I considered this. The other solution would be to write a story from her point of view and a sequel or something similar that would be the story of Noah and Kenny. I had planned to take the weekend and really think about which would be the better approach, but as I was walking the long hallway from the elevator to our apartment (the dreaded Hallway of Doom), the answer hit me over the head.

Invert the worlds. Instead of it being about two guys who stumble across a blog and are drawn into this world of intrigue, make it so that the woman who wrote the blog is creating their world – Noah and Kenny become the meta-story, characters which she has created, which will eventually align with her reality rather than the other way around. The overarching plot involves a shady organization who kidnaps her to force her to write – this will all become clear as the story goes on, and ties into the universe in the “of the dead” books. I’m excited about this book again and ready to go!

All right, everybody have a great Labor Day weekend. Since it’s Friday, have to send you out with a song…