The Rucker Report: Applying Advice @ Flash Fiction Chronicles

There’s an article on fiction writing written by yours truly over at Flash Ficton Chronicles, run by fellow writer/editor Gay Degani. This may be the first in a series of these, perhaps (if I find I have more to share).

Anyways, the first installment of The Rucker Report was posted today.

An excerpt: Being an artist of any kind relies on devotion, discipline, and a certain natural sense of progression. You start out as a wet-nosed neophyte and hopefully through persistence and hard work you learn, improve and progress toward some kind of proficiency. This is especially true in the art of writing.  At some point in our straightforward trajectory we become even more serious about craft and certain mechanics of writing in general, fiction specifically. I believe the ‘organics’ of writing are usually already sound by your fifth year of writing because that is an innate thing, that intuitive sense of storytelling is just something you’re either born with or you’re born without.”

Read the entire article here.


Neil Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web

According author/fantasist Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Stardust, Anansi Boys, American Gods, and DC Comics’ The Sandman, among many others), having your creative works on the web is not necessarily a bad, un-commercial thing.

Quote: “Nobody who would have bought your book is not [not] buying it because they could find it for free.”

DVD: Mastodon – Live at the Aragon

And so because I don’t already have enough books and DVDs on my to-buy list, another of my favorite bands–Atlanta, GA’s MASTODON–has decided to put out their first ever live concert DVD, coming March 15th, 2011. The main lure for me is the performance of the entire Crack the Skye (2009) album.

Details, Details: The set will contain a CD and DVD recorded and filmed live October 19th, 2009, at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. MASTODON: LIVE AT THE ARAGON DVD + CD is comprised of Crack The Skye performed live in its glorious entirety along with fan favorites from Blood Mountain (2006) and Leviathan (2004) plus a brutal cover of “The Bit” by Melvins. The DVD will also feature a 58-minute “tour film” that contains the films which were projected on screen, behind the band in performance

DVD: Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods

Description: Directed by Patrick Meaney, this feature-length documentary covers the entire career of legendary comics writer Grant Morrison, focusing on how his work ties to his life, his unique personal experiences, and his intellectual ideas. It also features interviews with many of Morrison’s artistic collaborators over the years.

Grant Morrison is the genius mind behind some of my favorite comics and graphic novels: The Invisibles, New X-Men, We3, All-Star Superman, Kill Your Boyfriend, and Batman and Robin.

Buy at Amazon.
A must own (along with he forthcoming Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts documentary by the same director later this year.)

GUEST BLOG: J.A. Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing

J.A. Konrath is a thriller author who is notable for being a success in the independent/self-published author’s game. In his latest update, “The Numbers Game” he breaks down the dollar$ and $en$e of e-book, publishing. It’s a must read for any independent author.


The 25% the publisher is offering is actually based on net. So you’re getting 17.5% of the list price. (Amazon gets 30%, they get 52.5%–which is obscene)

When your agent gets her cut, you’re earning 14.9% of list price on ebooks.For a $9.99 ebook, that’s $1.49 in your pocket for each one sold.

If ebook prices go down (and they will) it would be 75 cents for you on a $4.99 ebookIf you release a $4.99 ebook on your own, at 70%, you’d earn $3.50 an ebook.

Let’s say you sell a modest 1000 ebooks per month at $4.99.

That’s $9000 a year you’d make on ebooks through your publisher vs. $42,000 a year on your own.

Clicky to read more: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: The Numbers Game

Update: Taking Stock – Creative Plans for 2011

A week or so ago while laid up in bed with what the doctor called a mere sinus infection (but I called creeping death), I had time to survey all the creative projects I have going on this year, most of which involving writing stories. I had over a dozen stories slated for as many anthologies for nearly as many editors, plus an additional handful intended for certain online venues because I don’t have much work available online as most of it is currently in print. I also wanted to launch a couple of fiction serials online because I’ve loved episodic fiction since I was a kid and I have had characters and stories conceived for that kind of format for a very long time now. Then there are the readings of submissions for the Local Heroes anthology, as well as the next issue of Liquid Imagination online. Add to that the preparation of previously written and/or published stories to self-publish on Smashwords. And that’s all just for the first half of the year. The second half will be decidedly more singularly and selfishly focused as I get back to my YA novel that has an altogether different take on the whole institution of vampires, and then come November I will take a short break from that to begin work on an experimental novelette during NaNoWriMo that I’ve been itching to tackle for several months now. The NaNoWriMo competition is the perfect setup for tacking this experimental story that relies on chapters written daily and spontaneously to chronicle the new life of a man who is a stranger even to himself.

With a new perspective from the aforementioned death bed, I have made some changes to those plans. Only the stories already in progress (i.e. older stories that are simply being revised and polished for new anthologies) will continue, although I will commit to one brand new story aimed at special anthology project for the Halloween season. The plan is for it to be a bon-a-fide haunted story, perhaps my scariest ever (I’m not much of a straight up horror writer these days). So, I think that brings me down under a dozen stories; still a more manageable workload given the deadlines that loom. And in regards to serials, probably wise to pursue one and get a good lead on it before entertaining the notion of juggling an additional one.

I’ve also made a conscious effort to pull back on the online jibber-jabbering on writer’s websites and other social venues. That’s a lot more time better spent being productive, methinks. Art is a solitary vocation, and the less you have of other people’s voices in your head, the better your own voice comes through in your art.

Adding to my activities is the usual Spring time urge to make new music. It happens every year, just like every Autumn I get that urge to write unsustainable numbers of new stories. So, with the clearing out of some of the clutter, I’ve decided to set some time aside during the Spring months to get into my studio and produce some all-new music. I can only shun that side of me in favor of writing fiction and non-fiction for so long. I should just make it my Springtime ritual to produce new music every year. Almost two years ago is when I finally knuckled down to record that Sap album as a one man band.

The plan is to simply pick up a guitar, or the bass, along with the keyboard and drum machine, and just let the pent-up music flow. I don’t care if it’s something for Sap, or Saint Ruckus, or Dichotomous, or some as-yet-to-be-named project. I’m just going to let the music flow unhindered, unfiltered and unbridled. That’s pretty much the months of April, May and June, with a bit of pre-production and setup in March.

It helps to put this all in writing. So here’s what I have in the hopper (posting it here publically to keep a fire under my ass):

Fiction writing:

– Stories: “All in a Day’s Work”, “Call of Duty: A Cops Tale”, “Cult Storm”, “Fall of the Morningstar”, “15 Minutes”, “Finder Kept”, “The Formula”, and TBA new horror story – (Winter/Spring)

– YA vampire novel – (Summer/Fall/most of 2012)

– NaNoWriMo novelette, title picked but unrevealed – (Nov/Dec)

Non-fiction writing:

– The first Rucker Report “Applying Advice” over at Flash Fiction Chronicles – (February)

– An interview/guest blog session of sorts for Rick Taubold’s Anything Vampires blog, hosted by his vampire character Jonathan Clayton – (March)

– Part II of my interview with Bob Thurber @ Liquid Imagination, in which we will discuss his dysfunctional novel, Paperboy – (May/June)


– Stories: “All Things Considered”, “Living and Dying Under a Harvest Moon”, “Pieces of Candice”, and “Shard” will launch my e-book publishing endeavors over at Smashwords. (March; additional works throughout the year)

– Liquid Imagination #9’s Microfiction Section – (Spring)

– Local Heroes anthology (for Static Movement) – (Spring/Summer)

Music – Writing & Recording:

– Approximately six to eight new songs to be demoed – (March – June)

Absoulutely no rest for the wicked.

And the wicked like it that way.

VIDEO: "Lotus Flower" by Radiohead

Radiohead have released their new album The King of Limbs a day early (the digital download version, anyway) today. There’s also a promo video for the song “Lotus Flower”. Check it out below and see Thom Yorke gettin’ down like he does.