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Too Sick to Write or Too Sick Not To?

Posted in The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/07/2013 by Angel D. Vargas

A funny thing happened to me in bed two nights ago.

And this is the point where you roll your eyes and ask, “Are you serious?”

Considering that I am now recovering from a cold, I couldn’t be more serious if I tried. Post nasal drip has a way of embarrassing a young writer even in front of the characters in his or her head.

The best part is I then get to put the “Snotgate” incident in one of my other short stories for fun. Quick, what are some original descriptors for “a big ole strand o’ snot?” 😉

The best part I can say about being sick (other than the fact that I am being taken care of at the moment by a very sweet and sexy girlfriend) is that I come up with arguably some of my most insane or brilliant writing ideas when my brain is being turned into “Grey-Matter Stew.”

Why is this the case? I have no idea. It can be argued that some of the most brilliant creative minds in the history of art were some of the most wounded or “ill.” Van Gogh wanted to give his girlfriend a new earring for Christmas once, right? The only problem was the earring was his actual ear. Other than that, kudos to him for his insane passion and devotion – the SAME madness, one could argue, he applied with frantic candor to his famous works of art. Who could look at “Starry Night” and NOT know that this man, brilliant as he was, had some issues? Do you think Munch painted “The Scream” because he was a “happy-go-lucky chap?”

Could “mind altering conditions” of insane variety be responsible for other creative masterpieces? Of course they could! Nobody can argue that Earnest Hemmingway and Virginia Wolf weren’t perhaps some of the most mentally unstable people of the 20th century. There isn’t anyone who would say that Walt Whitman was the most “well-adjusted” fellow, even though some of his poetry is considered worthy enough to be included in classical education curriculum.

And I don’t know what to tell you all about musical names like “Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix,  Radiohead, Prodigy, and Lords of Acid.”

And if you think cinema is getting out of this blog piece unscathed, I got two words for you. Star Wars.

Enough said.

So what am I, an aspiring writer with a penchant for horror and action adventure stories going to contribute with my own illness-inspired insanity?  I won’t really know until enough people read my writing and take a shining to it. (“Heeeeere’s Johnny!”) What I can tell you is that at roughly two in the morning, my fever-melted brain decided to cogitate on the way that the plot of my “ancient Chinese action/adventure-horror” manuscript was evolving. Maybe it was time for me to play “chapter and paragraph” Jenga in order to make sure that two story arcs were unfolding in an interesting and creative enough way so that when the final chapter of the first half of my book was written, everything could come together in one exciting “KABOOM” moment.

And what the hell, you might ask, would constitute a “KABOOM” moment for a bunch of action heroes, mythical monsters,  and their supporting characters in Ancient freakin’ China? Don’t bother asking Marvin the Martian. He isn’t writing this book.

I don’t want to give anything away. But I will say that I can write a hell of a sword fight scene now that I’ve read a book on Chinese sword fighting techniques AND I’ve had a couple of beers.

Does that mean I encourage the ingesting of mind-altering substances whenever authors decide to sit down and commit their fingers to keyboard? No. Frankly, I think that ultimately sets a dangerous, self-limiting precedent, and it doesn’t give you anything interesting to say in those “twelve-step” meetings.  But I don’t discount the possibility that every once in a while, an artist’s body has to be pushed to some rather uncomfortable limits in order for their mind to shut down what’s not important. Once that happens, an artist can focus on the creative essence of their work, and they may come up with some interesting scenarios, ideas or techniques that they never would have pondered if their minds weren’t simmering in “Grey-Matter Stew!”

“Halleluyah. Holy shit. Where’s the tylenol?”

C is For Ca$h … and Cookie.

Posted in The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 04/03/2013 by Angel D. Vargas

A lot is happening in my creative spheres that I want to share with you all.

I’m a writer. But I don’t just write blogs, and I won’t hide the short stories and the novels I’m coming up with. My story on Jukepopserials, ‘Unbreakable,’ has its readers. I’ve taken quite a shine to writing it. As the characters continue to evolve, they find new ways to reveal their stories to me. All I do is translate for my characters in a way that honors them and reflects their true nature.

When I started this adventure on Jukepop, I had no idea that the story was going to become what it is. I’ve already come up with 26 installments or chapters, and it seems that each of my characters has a long journey ahead of them. Who knows how each trek will progress, and what it will mean for the post apocalyptic world that I’ve created?

I had the notion once upon a time that there was little to be gained from revealing what is truly at stake when I write this serial. I enjoy writing . Committing my visions to text has been nothing short of amazing. I respect writers who bring their A game all the time, and putting on a game face when I sit to type out the latest installment can be a real challenge. Real life can feel a lot hairier than a zombie apocalypse and hell fire.

To say that I do it for the money, therefore, would seem trivial. But it’s not. You see, the top thirty stories on website receive accolades and cash prizes. While I always bring my best to the table, there is a lot more riding on getting votes on that site then I was willing to admit until now. I wasn’t even sure this story would make it past 15 chapters. But the narrative has taken off. ‘Unbreakable’ remains among the top 45 out of nearly 200 serials on the site.

I know I can do better.

So I will ask everyone I may or may not know, writer, reader, or candlestick maker, to do something.

Go read Unbreakable, create an account on Jukepop and lend me your votes.  When you’re finished doing that, spread the word! Tell friends, family, co workers, anyone with an internet connection on any device who might be interested in horror/paranormal fiction. I’ve been sneaking into the top thirty for a while. It’s time I stopped sneaking and started barreling ahead.

In other news, I’ve decided to lend my voice to another exciting project. A friend of mine named Shaun Adams offered me the chance to record one of his creepiest horror tales in my own dulcet tones. I’ve done small things like this before, and I really like Shaun’s ideas. Take a listen to ““Soil Dweller,” written by Shaun Adams, Recorded by Angel D. Callido.” Let Shaun know what you think of his work. Let me know what you think of mine 😉 Want more of Shaun’s stories? Maybe you should find out when Evil is Free on Amazon.com.

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