Howdy! I wrote this while getting the laundry done, and I found the videos MUCH later. That’s the kind of day I’ve had today. Enjoy!!
Normal (for the most part). ’Cept it’s raining. I don’t want to go do it.
I don’t want to stand there folding clothes in a humid room when it’s already stifling outside. I don’t want to watch other people’s kids hang off the machines like monkeys, tripping on other people’s carts. I could do without the surly Dominican guy with the greasy skin and the bloodshot eyes glaring at me as though I’m going to steal the last drier in the place away from his “more deserving hands.” Guys like him really make me wish I’d kept up with kung fu.
But mostly, I could live without having to bring the laundry back home and put it away for everyone else only to find another giant pile waiting in the wings. It makes me feel a bit like Sisyphos. How many times do I have to roll that fucking boulder up the hill?
Yet I have to take advantage of opportunities, don’t I? Sure Bob.
One of my biggest pet peeves is using the words “pet peeves” as though I’m some porn starlet with a massive pout, a ton of cleavage, and nothing better to do than to talk about bikini waxes and guys with little cocks.
Okay fine! I digressed.
But my second “peeve” is when someone wastes my bloody time.
Time is precious to me, especially as it is such a limited commodity these days. I go out, but that’s mostly to run errands and do the family laundry. Recently, I added work to that list of things to do when I leave the house, and that has already had an effect on the way I need to manage my time.
I have to get up earlier, and get more things done. Again, my inner samurai must come out. I want an economy of motion. I need to preserve my precious energy. Morning coffee and breakfast becomes more important than ever.
In my particular home situation, I find myself having to set an alarm every other morning just to beat some member of my family to the bathroom. If I don’t, I am left in my room for what feels like an hour doing the “I have to pee” shuffle. It looks a lot like the Curley shuffle, but I’m grinding my teeth and cursing like a motherfucking sailor as I do it.
This morning, for instance, I had to shave my head, brush my teeth, shower, make the family coffee, and get ready to do the family laundry. Even now, I’m typing this the blog post in a word program at home as I wait for the wash to be ready at the laundromat just blocks away. I have to multitask. And I’m plenty sure that I’m not the only one in this boat.
The kind of thing that will get under my skin the fastest is when I’m in a hurry and someone has to stop me and say something dumb like “how about this heat?” when it’s a fucking Turkish bath outside. Street- walking pawn shop owners can go fuck themselves. Mothers with their babies in strollers or strapped into the backseats of cars get my sympathy .. until they get in my fucking way because they’re too busy using their cell phones to notice that I was trying to get across the street without becoming a hit and run victim. Whoops, out comes another “peeve!”
But at least there’s something interesting coming out of all the aikido I’m doing with Father Time. It’s definitely seeped into my writing.
There are probably two of you out there who may have noticed it. My writing of late seems to come in clipped sentences. I write fast. I get to the point. I waste no words.
I don’t like adverbs the way I used to.
I despise commas.
Any run on sentences that I write try my patience.
It can read like sporadic machinegun fire if I’m not careful. But is this really so bad when you’re trying to write an action scene? Is it unwanted in horror?
I don’t think it is.
A fighting scene can become complicated when one describes martial arts or superpowers. I noticed that most of the run-on sentences in my first book started with quick action but used an “and” or an “as” to link two actions together. In my mind, it read as quick and dirty. But to another reader, that might not be so.
But if, for example, you’re writing about a man who is experiencing the animal side of his werewolf persona, quick, clipped sentences may portray the animal instinct better than you think.
Still don’t see where I’m going with this? Okay. Let’s try a series of sentences written from three different kinds of classic horror characters, all of them from the dreaded FIRST PERSON perspective. (OOoOOO…that’s scary already!)
Chew on this group of sentences written by a verbose serial killer..from outer space: (And out comes my Inner Michael Bay).
“I was born the son of a sharecropper on the north side of the moon. The “East-siders” and the “West-siders” were the ones who fought each other for control of the resources we North-siders produced. I didn’t always think that was fair, but that was the story of my life.
At least, that was how my father told the story every day of my nineteen year life.
That was before I took a led pipe to his head and watched, fascinated as his blood and brain matter spattered both the kitchen walls and my clothes. “
Now. Let’s take this same group of sentences, but we’ll give my made up character lycanthropy just for yucks.
“I was born. It didn’t matter what side I was on. Sharecropping sucked. I let East and West side people kill each other. Then, I could crunch their bones. I used knuckles for toothpicks.
I didn’t know what fair was. I just knew my father was annoying. He told me my fate every day. But then I became this hairy monster with big teeth. I ate my father to shut him up.
I liked the taste of blood. I liked the stretch of sinew. Chomping through his bones was worth hearing my fate for two decades. Feeling his blood squirt through my fangs made me dizzy with joy.”
I want to take the first sentences again and try for a zombie audition ..
” Born somewhere. East brains. West brains. Wet brains? Brains!”
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Y’all think I’m going to end up wanting to eat the brains of upper west side folks in New York City, don’t you? Well FUCK YOU!
Just kidding, folks! I just find it interesting that the feeling of not having enough time brings a sense of urgency to my writing. Perhaps the lesson here is that life can always bring a writer some useful techniques. It’s easier to write a character with a sense of urgency if you’ve felt it. Focus comes out in your narrative’s characters if you’ve been forced to focus. The inner writing samurai chooses his next words with fluid grace.
Horror comes with more ease to those who have been scared shitless.
But does that mean we can tell what a writer is by what they write? It would be erroneous to say that Stephen King is a serial killer, a deranged prison guard, a gunslinger, or anything of the sort. But he has written these characters arguably well enough that a reader can stop and take stock. An audience can wonder and debate how his mind works.
Perhaps now I finally understand why I have a psych degree from a Liberal Arts college. Perhaps I finally get me.
The question now is will anyone else?
Or will I eat the brains of my audience?..