Monday, February 19, 2018

Cloudy Ink: "Of Sleep and Dry Spells"


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Not every week is going to be win for the creativity, that will always be the unfortunate given. In regards to this week (roughly, Feb 11th - 17th), I can feel the failed-attempt in my fingertips as I desperately try to power through my unmotivated mind. Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself, but
whether I am or not, I can never stray away from the fact that my creative output will always be on me. So, for this post, self-reflection - or in other words, a long-winded excuse - is in order for this particular post.

Last post, I wrote of a week that was rough, but apparently, I had not comprehended just how rough the week actually was until the next one began. The week prior, to explain, was a hiccup in what would be my usual weekly schedule, through every fault of my own making. Of course, everyone enters each day with little knowledge as to how yesterday affects today, and it’s nearly impossible get ahead of that knowledge if one is aware of that fact of life. However, I do believe it is better to be aware of how past affects present than to think it dead and inconsequential. But, that is a metaphysical tangent for another time.

In any sense, my excuse for the failures of this week reside in how the previous week’s stuff - for lack of a better word - had cluttered my mind. For instances, I had tried to do work on Never Race A Walking Man, only to realize that I had to start again. Starting again only resulted in another attempt before realizing it was all garbage. But, I am determined to doll out at least one episode of this weirdly-conceived, videoed podcast. However, I also realized that, upon finishing this episode, I need to make sure it does not affect the fiction projects I find more worth wild in doing.

As for other instances, they could be chalked up to procrastination. During last weekend, my brother-in-law handed me down his XBox 360. The games he allowed me to borrow have yet to occupy my time as much as setting it up, but then I bought a game for it, Shadow Of Mordor, which has served as a very effective distraction. Perhaps this next week will serve my focus better, as I am bit more used to my new addition to entertainment, and my schedule will be usual and less addled.

For reasons I’m not quite certain about, I believe all of last weeks… stuff, has resulted in me waking up at a later hour. My creative energy, so to speak, thrives during the early hours of the morning. Thankfully, I am a light sleeper, so it isn’t too hard to make this possible. When it came to this week, though, I found myself still waking up early, but not as early as I would prefer. I could only surmise this to be the result of last week’s exhaustion or the exhaustion of a particular day this week.

Sometimes plans hit dry spells, which can make catching up harder to do, but there is little I can do to other than commit to catching up. At the very least, I was able to keep releasing another chapter of Smolder, and in addition, I have decided to edit how the two tiers work on Patreon, and I have set a particular goal, too. Please check that out and consider donating if you’d like to read my stuff early before I release it as an ebook. Before long, I’ll be releasing the first novella of Crooked Pieces: Howl And Whistle on Patreon, where it can be read and critiqued before launch (hopefully sometime this year).


Well, that’s about as much as I can muster to write about for this post. Hopefully, I will be a bit more confident upon tackling this next week. Can’t help myself in feeling confident that I will do so, though. Just got a pull through and deny a long dry spell, and in addition, I should wake up at an earlier time than this week allowed.


___

Author Info



Mike Whitacre is a fiction writer, carving his own gruesome path through his work. He often mixes genres, but is primarily interested in the Crime/Mystery genre that utilizes the style of hard-boiled writers like Raymond Chandler. He lives in California, making too many damnable mistakes.





Check out his pulp-serial Smolder on Patreon.



Learn more about him through his blog series, Cloudy Ink. Purchase an ebook copy of each issue here or go to his Blog Site to read this blog series and more!



Catch Him At These Sites:










If you'd rather just give him money (I mean, why would you not?) for the simple reason of helping me build his platform, you can donate any amount to PayPal.

URL: paypal.me/MikeWhitacre

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cloudy Ink: "Of Coffee And Penmanship"


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It’s been a week, roughly speaking. Only in speaking, though. This is not to say it has or hasn’t been a rough week. Honestly speaking, I like it rough to a certain extent, and yes, that would be too much information if you only saw one meaning in that double entendre. As far as this post is concerned, I roughly mean that I revel in having a rough life… again, to a certain extent, which depends on the creative output that has been flowing out of me. For about two or three years, my creative output has been caught in a kind of limbo I couldn’t quite get out of, spouting up every now and then just to remind me that its demands.

Certainly, I’m already playing fast and loose with the concept of time, in regards to this blog. So, it’s probably best to quickly mention that my previous post already touched upon what had resulted in my creative revitalization. There’s certainly no need to delve into the details of what led to this year’s fervor.

This isn’t an orthodox autobiographical blog, nor an orthodox journal blog for that matter, so I see no reason in being orthodox in time frames and what-nots. Speaking of which, my computer’s slowness is rather unorthodox in and of itself. Tackling tech issue after tech issue, even when it comes to this blog series, has been rather rough as well. I bear no shame in saying that it has given me quite an exhilarating bout of madness to work and rework and decide to this or stop that…

A long time ago - if you’ll pardon the tangent - when my creative flow was bit better, despite my naiveté in word-smithing, I had obtained the same state of madness. The room I was residing in, where music and the faint pounding of keys could be heard, felt more like a mad-scientists laboratory rather than a usual teenager’s room.

So, madness is merely archetypal in this sense. Realistically speaking, I’d say I’m no closer to a madman than a Communist is to an angel. But, of course, I digress.

Going back to my week, or whatever constitutes the time frame of this blogpost, I managed to get some reading done. Unfortunately, I’d like to put a heavy emphasis on “some,” without emphasizing it outright.

I managed to start reading a detective story called “Night Class” by David Dean, on my May/June issue of Ellery Queen Myster Magazine. Nothing would please me more than to subscribe for another year, but alas, I want to catch up to the magazines I haven’t read. Plus, I’ve yet to get in the flow of a reading regiment to my liking, but I am confident I will do so eventually.


Additionally, I managed to get through a couple chapters of Dean Koontz’s novel Ashley Bell. There has been nothing wrong with the book, other than the main premise of the book hasn’t arrived yet, but I tend to like how he mixes slice-of-life style with the suspense genre. He has called a few of his novels Romantic Suspense, I believe. But, I wanted bring forth a point: there are times that a barrier gets put in place in reading certain stories. For me, the problem that occurred with me last year, when I started reading the book. I won’t go into too much personal detail, but I will say I dealing with a kind of bitterness I was doing my best to sort out. I am ashamed to say it is very much related to the weird couple years I was talking about - at the start of this post.

The route that I take in dealing with certain emotional or mental strains may not be recommended by any psychologist. I will be the first to admit that my… scrutiny toward the field of psychology is rather nonsensical. Wish I had the patience to tackle it in a civic and objectively-pleasing way, but just as I am a Christian who feels no need for church, I am also a material-pile-of-meat that requires no church of rationalism.

For me, rightly or wrongly, I feel it is better to journey into a kind of wilderness, away from the connections of sociability. Hopefully, I am able to come back, understanding myself in relation to others better, but at the very least, I’ll be content with knowing myself and my demons better.




On a lighter note, I continued playing video games: I got as far as I could muster with Super Meat Boy. Good game, but my limit in platforming skills has reached its limits, and thus, I had retreated back in Darkest Dungeon, a finely crafted rogue-like RPG (Role Playing Game). In the time of writing this, I had just bought Mercenary Kings, and I am enjoying that game, too, so far.


Well, this is what has been going on with me, and I’m not sure how I applied so many words to describe my - in retrospect - boring lifestyle. To me, it is anything but boring, but I hope the result of my boring life produced something interesting for you.


Before I end this off, I think it would be apt to mention that I - in addition to the other boring things I did this week - finished recording the first episode of my podcast Never Race A Walking Man. I am rather happy with the work, but I forgot to add a particular small but important detail in the video footage that I’ll have to mitigate somehow. Also, I managed to get a fair amount done for Smolder, as well as a major project.


In any sense, thank you, as always, for reading, and I hope your life is as wonderful as you can make it.


Revel and live!









 ____

Author Info



Mike Whitacre is a fiction writer, carving his own gruesome path through his work. He often mixes genres, but is primarily interested in the Crime/Mystery genre that utilizes the style of hard-boiled writers like Raymond Chandler. He lives in California, making too many damnable mistakes.





Check out his pulp-serial Smolder on Patreon.



Learn more about him through his blog series, Cloudy Ink. Purchase an ebook copy of each issue here or go to his Blog Site to read this blog series and more!



Catch Him At These Sites:










If you'd rather just give him money (I mean, why would you not?) for the simple reason of helping me build his platform, you can donate any amount to PayPal.

URL: paypal.me/MikeWhitacre

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cloudy Ink: "Of Sausages and Other Sorrows"

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The year nearly broke my kneecaps in… figuratively speaking. Before the New Year began, I was preparing some things, but preparation for me has little to do with mapping out a game plan. Unfortunately, that’s not how I work. Instead, I wrote and prepared to make a couple purchases, measly in a peripheral sense, at least in my mind. About a half-hour before writing this blog post, a bunch of thoughts on how to execute this venture had entered my head, but none of them came to fruit for this singular reason: non-fiction and I don’t get along. The reason for this might be the way my muscle memory associates non-fiction with academic work, which would prompt me to get a bunch of research and craft an outline before I attempt the surreal journey into a well-reasoned headache.

But, the research essay wasn’t going to service me, at least not as a fiction writer. So, I was presented with a quandary: first, I needed a series of blog posts that would inform any unsuspecting readers about what I was up to, in a compiled sense; second, I needed this to be done in a creative way in order for me to wrap my head around it and in turn, actually write it - with added intention to keep writing it, post after post.

You’re no doubt discerning the result, but stay with me for a bit longer.


As I mentioned beforehand, I had made a couple of purchases: a microphone for my computer, a pop filter to go along with it, and a cheap camcorder. Upon receiving these items, during a bit of respite from my responsibilities that have been plaguing me ever since October (at least that’s my estimate), I went to work on setting them up and playing with them. Two weeks ago, I produced a small video that took nearly forever to complete, but it taught me something about myself in regards to creating creative, non-fictional content: I have to write off the cuff, so to speak. In a sense, it had to be rougher than the rough drafts of my stories because I cared about those more.

Honestly, the realization should have daunted me, now that I think about it, as it meant that my content would be produced primarily as a reaction to this or that, working off no script or outline. But, instead, the realization made me realize how I could rework the off-the-cuff format: it didn’t have to be reaction, but rather, it could be a kind of thinking journey. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to react, and doing a thorough essay kind of thing was going to frustrate me or bore me to tears.

What I wanted from the non-fictional format was a creativity, so I had to give it the sense that I had with the fictional format: it had to be a journey. Fiction was the journey of imagination, emotion, and thought. Non-fiction was merely thought, and the only way I could make it a journey, at least in my case, was to provide a sense that I was grabbing your hand, as the reader: bringing you along with me as we journeyed through thinking about things and the way I think about things… as selfish as that may seem. My apologies, dear reader.

Never Race A Walking Man, the podcast I’m attempting to produce, is the multimedia attempt at this, and it wasn’t until last week until its concept hit me in full force. So, since I hadn’t put my foot down just yet this year, I only had time to workout the small grunt work in putting together a few things.

Of course, things get out of hand every now and then, especially with a sound schedule just starting to come into effect. As it stands, the first episode of the podcast isn’t ready, but it soon will be. This is primarily due to the fact that I couldn’t focus on the podcast: I had to focus on making sure I could properly handle a consistent, one chapter per week schedule for my pulp serial Smolder, exclusive to Patreon donors ($1/month Tier; $2/month Tier allows donors to see images of my chicken scratch). So, I wrote until I got to a good enough place that would allow me to update Smolder weekly, thus making room for other work.

The fated week finally came and, despite the heavy diet of coffee and beer and tea and cigars and sausages, I finally managed to publish the third chapter of Smolder onto Patreon, and I am confident I will be able to publish a chapter each week, each Wednesday, until the story comes to a close.

I do hope you’ll consider being a donor, as I will be to other creators eventually, as soon as I can manage this schedule of creativity, in harmony with my other life responsibilities. Smolder should lend a decent dose of action and intrigue, as well as a tinge of fantasy and science fiction… perhaps.
Suffice to say, I did reward myself with a hearty dinner of sausages and beer, hours after publishing the chapter. I also indulged in playing video games, primarily Super Meat Boy, on the Nintendo Switch. Perhaps unsurprisingly, if you know anything about me, I’m enjoying the game quite a bit. Also, a tad disappointed in myself for not playing this title sooner, but also immensely glad, in another sense, that I waited to play it on the Nintendo Switch, as well. I’ll have to remember to add snapshots of the game, as well as other games, later down the road.


 Anyway, all this work has come to fruition and will keep coming to fruition, and as a result, I have come up with a very sound concept for a weekly blog post that updates you, dear reader (among others), to what has been going on with me. Not to mention, it will attempt to inform you of my products and services that are available to you for consumption. But, I needed a title for this series of blog posts, and since outright poetry was no longer in my fingertips, I decided to use a title that was originally meant for a series of poems.

Little did I know the title would fit for a blog series, but maybe it doesn’t make sense to you. Well, I there is something outright creative about the title that hits at the very nature of my soul: filled with clouds and ink. It is not happy or sad, in the slightest, but presents the frame of mind that revels in the turmoil of my creative soul. That’s as much rationalization as I can muster at the moment, in any sense.

The cover image is quite catchy, I think. Quite proud of its concept… though, I’m sure any designer and artist with their salt would find it quite abhorrent. Oh well, it’s what I have to work with, for now, until I can constantly pay an artist. That is something I will do eventually, by the way…

Oh, before I end things, I’d like to inform you that the first chapter of Smolder, “Fickle Phantasms”, will be made available to read on various blogs, including my self-named one. Hope it will provide enough of a taste to convince you to donate and read further into this pulp serial.

Well, looking forward to more robust like this one, in the future. Each post will come once a week, but I have no set day as to when it will be done or published. I merely ask for your patience and I hope you will stay tuned.

For now, I thank you for reading! And, I very genuinely hope you have a wonderful life, with all its ups and downs.


Revel and live!

 











____

 
Author Info


Mike Whitacre is a fiction writer, carving his own gruesome path through his work. He often mixes genres, but is primarily interested in the Crime/Mystery genre that utilizes the style of hard-boiled writers like Raymond Chandler. He lives in California, making too many damnable mistakes.


Check out the Patreon exclusive pulp-serial Smolder.

Learn more about him through his blog series, Cloudy Ink. Purchase an ebook copy of each issue here or go to his Blog Site to read this blog series and more!

Catch Him At These Sites:


If you'd rather just give him money (I mean, why would you not?) for the simple reason of helping me build his platform, you can donate any amount to m PayPaly .
URL: paypal.me/MikeWhitacre

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Welcome To My Channel!


Hope the video isn't/wasn't too horrible to watch. Thought it turned out nicely, myself (asymmetrical facial hair not withstanding). In any sense, before you take a gander at the juicy links (no, not sausage links, but I'd recommend eating smokey, juicy links during any viewing of any video), I'd like to give you a more elaborate explanation of a particular series that will be popping up here from time to time that I didn't really elaborate too well on: The commentary/podcast series shall thus be dubbed NEVER RACE A WALKING MAN. Basically, it is series that parses works by other authors/artist who are not yours truly, for one part of each episode, which can be enjoyed by all. Each episode will have a bonus part, which will be for patrons only: it's basically stringing you along for the ride of hearing me read and edit my work before I refine it (sometimes after the fact for patrons... Sorry). Verily, it should all be rather horribly and wonderfully fun.

Well, without further ado, here are the Links!:








Have a wonderful life!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Spontaneous Combustible Combustions


Before I began my descent... Before I began rearranging my room.

Happy New Year!



Remember the old so the present can be anew and the future will be just as wonderfully tumultuous!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Morning Rough - Double Rough

Introduction


Good morning and welcome to The Morning Rough.
I will keep this introduction short today, as time is working against me in some ways. The post, today, is a Double Rough, due to the fact that I had another Monday of not being able to finish anything. I don’t know how I managed to get two stories finished before the morning ended, but I do hope you enjoy “Candle Lit Dreams” and “Don’t Get Me Right.”
As always, I hope you will comment and share any one of my posts, either now or in the near future. Overall, though, I hope the day serves you well. Thank you for reading.
___


"Candle Lit Dreams"


One day, I just walked out a door and just never stopped going. It’d be an gross understatement to call this a compelling urger, maybe even a blatant misconception. There wasn’t anything particular I left behind, and there wasn’t anywhere I particularly wanted to go. Nowhere I went held my interest for very long, as I was more concerned and annoyed with the fact that I had this urge to go from town to city to town, with no end destination in sight. Whether I was walking long distances or hitching rides, I was always aggravated with the an unfortunate feeling. No part of me was looking forward to seeing any place I’d end up at.
Weirdly enough, the only things I ever really looked forward to because they were the only things that brought any sense of accomplishment were the odd jobs I’d do for cash. Each job was a means to keep me going, both in traveling and living. There were times I would want to keep working at a certain job, but the urge to travel to another place was too strong.
Sooner than later, though, things come together in unexpected ways. Just as a flower bud is a green, usual thing before it suddenly blooms forth to worship the sun and the spring. No matter how often it happens, the transition into spring colors is a slow yet unexpected instance.
For me, the instance happened on a quiet winter morning, as I sat on a park bench and ate a sandwich, minding my own business. I had already done two jobs around this town, and I had already forgotten the name of the town. But, that was more a professional hazard from traveling so much. Unlike other towns and cities, this one was captivating me, each time I took a bite out of my sandwich.
Then a lady sat next to me, instantly putting a large purse on her lap and opening it. Expressively, she rummaged through her purse as her face was riddled with distress, discomfort, and an uncanny sense of urgency. Before long, I had caught myself looking, but for the life of me, I couldn’t stop. She just kept rummaging, pulling out a paper or an envelope and scanning it every now and then before going back to the hunt, as I ate my sandwich like a dumb fool.
At no point did she look my way, nor did she seem to mind my presence. Eventually, though, she tossed the purse to her side and started crying in her hands. Something about that made me nearly jump out of my skin, causing me to look around for any strangers nearby. Not sure I was worried about judgmental eyes seeing her like this…
She continued to cry in her hands well past five minutes, which had ignited a realization in me. Quickly, I opened my backpack and searched for the item that had popped into my head.
When I found it, I looked back her, finding no sign of her stopping the well of sadness she was drenching on her fingers and palms. Nervousness had shocked throughout my body before I swallowed a frog in my throat and finally spoke audible words: “E-Excuse me, miss.”
“Leave me alone,” her muffled voice sobbed, from her hands.
“I will,” I assured, “but I-… it’s just that I think this will help you more than it will help me.”
“What?”
“Hard to describe… it’s something better left seen, I guess…” I scratched my head as I study the item I had grabbed from my backpack. “Probably… not too hard to describe, but I think it’s better to see it… Looks rather nice, but I’m not sure why I procured it in my travels…”
Her sobs stopped, though she continued to sniffle as she rose her pink, teary face out of her palms. Turning her head, she saw the snow globe in my hands: a little girl was kneeling in the center of a cross that was printed on the floor of the globe, praying with clasped hands and a low head, as she was surrounded by burning red candles, red gerbera daisies blooming in between each candle. After giving her a moment to look at it, I turned the key underneath then shook it: a soft, serene, twinkling song played as translucent, sparkly flakes fluttered all around the girl.
I blinked, and the lady was looking into my eyes.
My eyes were caught in hers.
Before I knew it, my life seemed to have bloomed like the flowers of spring. Of course, it wasn’t spring. It was winter, but each night bloomed under the candle lit dreams that, I imagine, weren’t unlike the candle lit prayer of that little girl.

___


"Don't Get Me Right"



What a night…
One moment, I was entering a bar and thinking I was going to mind my own business, as per usual. The next moment, a couple of wise guys were holding my arms, a big buffoon of a man rammed his fists into my gut and face. Maybe the pummeling was screwing with my memory, I couldn’t think of a damn good reason why they wanted to beat me to a bloody pulp.
Frankly, though, I was more surprised I heard the buffoon say something, after giving me a good kick into a wall. This is how I heard his spitting jargon: “If ya know what’s bes’ for ya, ya’d stay away from Scarlet.”
After that, they left me to the alley and my thoughts. More than thirty minutes passed, at least it felt like thirty minutes, before I realized I wasn’t spewing anything out of my noggin. Seconds passed until I finally remembered that I didn’t get a single drop of beer.
Then three minutes passed…
I got up and was relieved to find a cigar that was still intact. Walking out of the alley, I had it burning between my lips as a loud ticking sound plagued my mind. Suddenly, I found myself glad that I had started the cigar: I was a long walk away from any bar.
Nice.
Didn’t think I’d know where I was after that beating… Guess I didn’t know a Scarlet, guess those blowhards confused me for someone else. Honest mistake, but the more I smoked, the more I walked, and the more I felt the blood in my mouth… the more I wanted them to learn from their mistakes.
Had no reason to rush, though: I needed to heal.
I needed a drink.
My cigar was done by the time I was close to the bar I was nabbed from, so I tossed it in the gutter before I walked in for the second time around. To say I didn’t give a damn about the stares would be an understatement and a half.
Only had one thing to care about for the rest of this night, but I had a priority to take care of before I handled that undertaking. As they say, first things first…
I ordered a pint of beer.
*
Wasn’t too much of a hassle to find the information I was after. By midnight, I had the names of the two bozos and that buffoon, and after that, it didn’t take too long to figure out whom Scarlet was, especially to that buffoon.
It was almost hard to believe I was being lead to a university, looking to teach something to the quarterback and his lackeys. Guess a few people would be astonished about the fact that many university professors were running a lucrative human trafficking “business.” 
Nothing about this surprised me, though…
Scarlet was one of the popularly-liked girls, picked for this business through blackmail and extortion like all the rest. The beating I got told me she had a bit of a rebellious streak, too.
Before long, I managed to find her, and she was definitely a looker, which made things all the sadder. Certainly, it didn’t sit well with my gut when I paid her to put together an orgy, tomorrow night, for the three thugs and a few professors. I made sure to stress that this was supposed to be a secret surprise for the buffoon. My heart sunk a few pegs when she took the large wad of cash with no hesitation.
*
The next night arrived…
My wounds were all patched up, and I was waiting for the party to begin. Just as suspected, they all came with their pants jumping and their guards down. It’s amazing how little powerful people think about protecting themselves from their enemies.
Each set of eyes went wide with shock when I entered and put a bullet in each knee that was attached to all responsible parties. The victims of this “business,” of course, were spared and allowed to leave.
Before long, each person learned something, especially that buffoon. Death was going to be too good for every single one of them, so I made sure to tend to the bullet holes before I strung their naked asses to the trees of the on the university lawn. I made them watch one of the university buildings burn to the ground.
After that, the police arrived.
The next day, not a word was mentioned about me in the many news outlets. What was more, the whole trafficking “business” was being torn down inch by inch. I actually found that the buffoon was interviewed: they asked him who had inflicted this act of vigilante justice upon him.
He just kept repeating one sentence.
“I picked the wrong guy.”
Seemed like a good occasion to drink, after that…