Monday, July 26, 2010

"The Wyrd Magnet/Meet Martin Black" Chapter 3 - Regret (Urban Fantasy)

[This has been cross-posted to the Writer's Washroom Annex.]

This is the next bit in our still-as-yet-unnamed saga. If you want more information than that, you should check out the first two chapters. I am still interested in any other idea for a title. All suggestions are welcome!

Let me know what you think; I genuinely do enjoy hearing from you readers!

Chapter Three – Regret

I left the cab, pulled up my collar to keep the rain off my neck. If serendipity provided, Mari might already be here. The city’s semi-famous shopping district, with its bookstores and cafes, coffee shops and boutiques, was one of her favorite haunts. She read every word she could get her hands on and loved to sit and watch the passersby on the sidewalks. Her passion for watching and reading was matched only by her love of coffee; it was as if she lived on it. Fact is she might actually be living on it. I could never be sure. In so many ways we were exactly alike, except for that one thing.

I passed the fountain in the center of the square, pockmarked with precipitation. I thought about dropping a coin while making a wish, but I didn’t know what to wish for. Besides, those things rarely came true.

Hidden speakers played jazz near Banagon’s side door, something from the Blue Note catalog, perhaps. I slipped inside; Dean was behind the counter. He apologized, explaining that Charlie had been called away. I asked where he was.

“Off to see a manuscript, he said! I’m sorry!”

He didn’t seem to be lying and I didn’t press him.

“I’m going over to Brew Mountain. Can I get you anything?” I asked. It also paid to be polite to bookstore employees. You never knew what they knew.

“Why thank you! But no, sir, I picked up a chai latte earlier!”

“Okay. When Charlie comes back, tell him Martin Black stopped by.”

“Happy to, Mr. Black! Is there a message?”

“That should do it.”

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fiction: Urban Fantasy - "The Wyrd Magnet/Meet Martin Black" - Chapters 1 and 2

(This has been cross-posted to the Writer's Washroom Annex.)

About a year or so ago, I posted a much earlier version of this. I wasn't happy with it, and even a couple of (very tolerant) friends of mine critiqued the bejeezus out of it. I decided to overhaul much of it, and try it out again.

This is not part of the Heroes... universe; it stands in an urban fantasy world of its own. I'm interested in your thoughts on the first two chapters - both of which are posted here.

Furthermore, this will fall somewhere between novella and short novel length. I've bounced a few names around, but haven't decided on one. So far, I've gone with "The Wyrd Magnet" and "Meet Martin Black." Like one? Have a better one? I'm interested in your thoughts, your criticism, and quite possibly your title idea.

Feel free to post your comments below. If you want, I'm also happy to take your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Beware... there are some adult ideas below, and a smattering of naughty words. It's also got a bit of a post-'80s vibe, and that may be even more frightening...

Chapter 1 – Sub-Culture

Rain spattered the windshield as my cab driver pulled up into the garish light of Club Houngan, the city’s momentary it-spot. A Wednesday-night crowd snaked around the corner; the vanguard shuffled impatiently under the canopy protecting the velvet rope. Friday or Saturday lines would reach another block or two. The cab eased alongside a row of limousines, and the driver slammed the shifter into park.

“Thirty-one forty,” he said, turning down the pounding tech-metal music. “Make it thirty-one. I don’t need your forty cents.”

“Keep it.” A pair of twenties – a decent tip, not enough to be extravagant, but enough to ensure the next time I needed him, I’d get him.

He thanked me and thumbed the button to unlock the doors. I glanced through rain-dappled glass at the red and white light reflected on the pavement. Atop the three-story building shone the gaudy neon image of a smiling voodoo priest. Charmless, it looked as threatening as a fast food sign. I pushed open the door, jogged past the limos and their lurking drivers and went straight to the canopy. The damp patrons not yet close enough to the front, those sheltered under umbrellas, coats, or fashion magazines, glared as I pushed forward. Two bouncers, eyes like gun turrets atop the walls of their bodies, turned to watch me approach. I squeezed between the velvet rope and a scrum of young females.

I’d buffed and shined myself the best I could; I’d shaved, shampooed, styled, and suited up in my finest. Even with that, I was a decade beyond the club’s freshness date.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What I've Learned, While I've Been Busy


TIM FERRISS is the guy who wrote a book about living the good life by working only 4 hours a week. I find that no matter how hard I try, I still don’t care to know anything else about him.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Tim Farriss is the chief guitar-slinger for INXS, those guys that ruled the airwaves for much of the 80s and 90s. Him I care about.

INXS STAYED RELEVANT by writing songs that seemed both immediate and timeless. Not many current artists do that, and those that did have been around, doing what they do, for quite some time.

THAT SAID; I STILL BELIEVE that “Don’t Change” from 1982’s Shabooh Shoobah album remains INXS’s high-water mark. Probably because of Farriss’ jangly, fierce guitar and Michael Hutchence’s bold, yet plaintive voice – a sweet merger of one of rock’s best voices with one of its great underrated guitar gods.

I ALSO FIND THAT I’m listening to a lot of Bob Mould lately, in all his forms – with Hüsker Dü, Sugar, and solo. He’s yet another artist of the era that wrote both immediate and timeless songs and music; and he’s a guitar god of his own. He’s still recording; he’s been around, doing what he does for quite some time.

I’D BET THAT neither Tim Farriss nor Bob Mould work only 4 hours a week. Now, they could, and they’ve earned the right to. After twenty-odd years of creative work, it’s expected. Pimping out a book that supposedly tells you how to score the good life without really trying isn’t quite the same thing. It’s shameless pandering to the easily-led.