Journal Juice 8 | Inert

There are times when there is so much I need to do – and so much that I truly want to do and accomplish and succeed at – that at the end of the day I find myself having done none of it at all.  No progress made.  Nothing ventured.  Nothing offered.  Nothing gained.  It is as if the very weight of those goals and hopes and dreams – the responsibility of it all and the fear of failure –  they crush me into the earth like excessive gravity, thereby rendering me inert.  This cannot be.  If I am to be progressive I must be in constant motion, always doing, always moving, like a shark.  Sharks keep moving because failing to do so would mean their death.  I am not yet ready to die.  I must remain ravenous, act accordingly and get after it.  Yet I unwittingly allow my trepidation to impede my need to proceed and succeed.


Recently

LISTENED: “White Walker” by Mastodon, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre + Snoop Dog

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New Music: “White Walker” by Mastodon

Featured on the forthcoming Catch the Throne Mixtape II, the musical companion to HBO’s Game of Thrones, to be released March 17th.  Please note: this song will induce an eargasm upon any an all listeners. You have been warned. – BLR

The Rucker Report: Week 10, 2015 – Back from Blah

28368403-vector-silhouette-of-a-man-sitting-at-a-computer-on-a-white-backgroundAfter a month of snowpocalypse and general winter frigidity, a musical rollercoaster with band shenanigans, bouts of frustration and depression (nothing too serious), minor health concerns and a brief automobile recall scare…

Hello from the gutter!  I am returned.  

This little online journal-that-could now has garnered 284 followers since December.  For those of you new to the program, these writer updates, which tend to be biweekly, monthly or just plain sporadic, are typically to report on the writing life of yours most true (and I usually squeeze in some musical news too).  A self-summarizing glance of aft and fore.  It’s an old tradition that goes back to the golden age of my blogging that started with Brandon Rucker Writes over on Blogger some five years ago.

Not much has occurred on the writing of fiction front the past month.  As mentioned in the last update, my short story “Four Deep” will see publication at the end of the month over on Dead Guns Press.  It’s a slightly different take on the hardboiled crime story, featuring some low-rent scumbag antiheroes I’ve been carrying around with me for nearly two decades.  Look for it on the 29th.  I’ll post a link here when I have it.

Forging ahead with other unpublished stuff, I decided to commit to a Duotrope subscription because I was having such a hard time finding potential bizarro fiction venues online, let alone in print.  I’ve found two and will send the unpublished “The Other Roommate” to one, and – as part of Operation: Remember Me? – I might send the previously published “All in a Day’s Work” to the other, that is if I go away from my plan to simply put it up on Smashwords as an e-book ‘reprint’, which happens to be the plan for my other bizarro story “The Underneath”.  I doctored up a cover for it a few months back.

In other O: RM? news, Shard: A Bloody Microfiction” is now back up live on Smashwords.  It’s an expanded version of the original (which was only 200 words, the revised one is double that).  It’s got one review so far from a guy who obviously didn’t get the purpose of that kind of story nor was he privy to the purpose of the anthology in which it was originally published.  Can’t please’em all, right?

As for new fiction, there’s the story I’m code-naming Project: Eros – the collaboration between my pen name with another author’s pen name – that’s still gestating in the murky depths of my wayward mind.  I usually get new ideas for it just before sleep claims me or in the morning when I’m shaking off the ghostly residue of dreams.  I’m the lead-off writer for that, so I really need to get my ass in gear.

What else is there?  I have much revising of old stuff to do to shape them up for re-publication, or in some cases, their first light of public scrutiny.  More on that stubborn lot next time.

On the music front, the new band is experiencing growing pains, but nothing that won’t be manageable.  I am moving from bass over to guitar.  We have a nice list of potential bassists to fill that vacated spot.  However, after reluctantly parting ways with our vocalist last week, the list of potential free agents to fill that roster spot is a bit smaller.  I remain optimistic and stoked to see this new entity and musical marriage blossom and grow.  We’ve even started a short list of potential band names.

Also, this happened here.  Other than that, I think that’s all I have right now.  If this week is as productive as I anticipate, I should have more details to note.

Until then, and even after, be good to one another.

– BLR


Recently

LISTENED: These Arms Are Snakes

READ: Descender #1, Rat Queens #9, Saga #26

WATCHED: The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gotham

MEET REGGIE LUTZ – AUTHOR OF HAUNTED

HauntedIn this latest edition of “friends of B” spotlights I have fellow music enthusiast and writer buddy Reggie Lutz (call her Regina at your own peril).  Ms. Lutz is the rather seriously talented and up-and-coming author of the novel Haunted.

Here’s a summary tease from the Amazon listing description:

Gwendolyn McTutcheon can’t move on even though she’s been dead for a year. Having left behind a grieving husband, Evan; and three sisters, Trudy, Bethany, and Sarah; she knows there is work yet to do.

Sarah, Gwen’s youngest sister, is back in town to help her two remaining sisters confront a depressed Evan about settling Gwen’s will. Still grieving—and raw from wrongful accusations made by Trudy and Bethany that he’d murdered his wife—Evan must set to the task of putting the past, and Gwen, to rest. But not all of the past stays in the past when Sarah offers her help and a romance between her and Evan begins. After all, it was that inappropriate kiss years ago that sparked the notion he might have harmed his wife in the first place.

As Gwen watches, unable to intervene, Trudy and Bethany keep secrets of their own, secrets that level the field and make Sarah consider coming home to stay again. But when an arsonist sets his sights on Evan’s bar, Duard’s, and Sarah’s life is threatened, Gwen knows she must find a way to intervene, for her family and for her own peace.

Reggie LutzReviewed quite well with a four-and-a-half star average rating, Lutz self-published this debut novel of hers in April 2014 via Amazon Digital Services for the Kindle (a paperback edition was also issued that following May via CreateSpace).  Self-publishing your debut novel is no easy task for any author, but I have to believe it is totally worth the blood, sweat and frantic typo-catching.  By most accounts, it’s after the novel is finished where the real challenge begins in the form of self-promotion and marketing.  Most of us, while maybe not exactly humble (we wouldn’t be publishing our writing if we were), are not as comfortable or seamlessly suited for the occupation of hardcore self-marketing that goes along with self-publishing just like jam goes with peanut butter.  Ms. Lutz, in a recent interview, said as much with the following quote:

“…the biggest challenge is creating signal out of noise. What I mean by that is figuring out how to get the work into the awareness of the audience that might want it.  Marketing and promotion are uncomfortable, but necessary.  If you self-publish it means doing it yourself.”

Read the rest of the interview here at Julie Doherty.com.

Aliens in the Soda MachineIn other Reggie Lutz news, she’s close to finishing up her next book publication, Aliens in the Soda Machine and Other Strange Tales, a long-gestating collection of short stories told with that classic Reggie Lutz eye on the strange and bizarre. The book will be available for Kindle download on May 1st.  See the over art below.

History: Reggie and I met, virtually, in the fall of 2008 when I had opened up a private office dedicated to reviewing novel chapters over at the Zoetrope Virtual Studio.  I remember my first impressions of her being that she was cool, funny, liked good music, loved the strange and bizarre and was perhaps the lovechild of star-crossed hippies.  This was all reflected in her writing as well. I still cherish the advice she gave me on one my chapters.  Obviously she’s long since gone on to kick some writing ass, having completed and published a novel.  She’s an inspiration.

About Reggie Lutz (from Amazon): Reggie Lutz lives on top of a mountain with a parrot who offers editing advice and a dog who offers comic relief. A radio broadcaster in the 90s and early 2000s, she has turned her attention to fiction, although she can sometimes be heard in a volunteer capacity at WRKC.

Check her out, y’all.

And be good to one another.

– BLR

 

SELF-PUBLISHING IS NOT A CONTACT SPORT

Indie AuthorsThere’s an interesting article on Don Massenzio’s Blog entitled “Self-Publishing – Your Fellow Authors are not Your Enemies – Let’s Help Each Other”.  As many of us have learned in our arduous journey through writing and publishing, it’s our fellow authors who have been great resources to us.  If you’re an author in the self-publishing arena, I highly recommend you read this article.

As a huge advocate of my writing brethren, I’ve long believed in the spirit of this and four years ago I was really trumpeting a horn in a call to arms, summoning my fellow authors (at least in my small network) to band together for the common cause of supporting and promoting one another across the vast virtual landscape of the Internet.  At the time I was a member of the Board of Directors for the Silver Pen Writers Association.  In 2011 I strongly believed in the need to create a website that could somehow become “the MySpace or Facebook of and for indie Authors” – a kind of one-stop place to showcase, share, support, promote and purchase the work of authors webbed together in a tight network.  Lofty and ambitious? Sure.  Expensive?  Undoubtedly.  However, a few of those ideas were implemented during the creation of the Silver Pen Writers website (though its true essential purpose served to be a place of nurturing new authors as well as a place of refuge from a once prosperous virtual home).  And like its predecessor, the SPWA site is a little more insular than my overall overreaching idea, but it’s still a great resource, particularly for budding and novice authors just starting to enter the fray.

In recent times, we’ve seen devices such as Facebook recede from being as helpful a tool as it could be for small businesses on a low budget, and social-networking just-trying-to-get-on-his/her-feet new authors have also been a casualty of this. Sure, there’s always Amazon, but that place, just by its nature of being a mass market, all encompassing commercial site simply devours the unknowns (some of them perhaps rightly so) into a pit of even more opaque obscurity.

So here in 2015 the question still remains: Where’s that literature-loving, on-his-deathbed billionaire who’s looking to be a behind-the-scenes benefactor to the thousands of potential next Hemigways, Poes, Rowlings and Kings out there before he kicks the bucket?

Speaking of self-published authors, my next post will be about my author buddy Reggie Lutz.  Come back for that, will ya?

Until then, and even after, y’all be good to one another.

– BLR

CONSOLIDATION & TONAL SHIFT

I’ve always been one of splintered interests and activities, and by natural consequence of that, a rather transient attention span.  But as I get more active and, let’s face it, older, I have less time (read: patience) for hopping fro-and-to various locations. For instance, social networking – I typically only have the mental patience to dabble in one primary social arena on these Interwebs. In 2003 it was LiveJournal. From 2004 to 2007 it was MySpace. In 2008 I went back to a more insular social network of writers at the Zoetrope Virtual Studio. I 2010 I discovered Twitter, but didn’t truly get active with it until 2011. Finally, in 2013 I stopped resisting Facebook and it has become my predominant arena more by default of familial and friendly connections than preference (personally I think Google+ is laid out better and navigates more logically). I have a number of groups I admin and/or participate in on FB because, again, that is the virtual space where the social per capita is highest.

So what about my personal website outlet and blogging? The recent history of that all stared in 2009 with Brandon Rucker Writes over on Blogger (which at last count has 37,634 pageviews – not bad for a nobody). In 2014 I finally folded that and migrated its archives over into what you know and love as Ruckerpedia here at brandonrucker.com (in association with WordPress). In the waning days of my comic book journalism I created Comic Book Fetish on Blogger in 2013 and by the end of 2014 I’d put that journalism hat away and dusted off my fiction hat, so CBF has pretty much gone defunct, but since the FB page for CBF still has a little activity and the fact that I’ll always have my fetish for comics, I’ve just decided to fold that into Ruckerpedia as well, including all previous posts (available for your perusal, if you’re feeling adventurous). And the newest advent in the Brandon Rucker network – Hello, Blank Page, started just last December – is also being fully integrated into Ruckerpedia.  Now brandonrucker.com can truly be the one-stop-shop Wal-Mart of yours most true.  We’ve got the best prices right here, I promise!

Now the only “double dipping” I’ll be doing is for my pen name(s). More on that when the time is right.

Also, there’s been a, um, tonal shift here at Ruckerpedia, which just means I’ve chosen the TONAL template which I was using for Hello, Blank Page. I love its sparse layout and monochromatic theme and the way it simply puts emphasis on the words that appear on the page.  So fresh, so clean. Simple.  I there’s a lot of truth to the notion that as people age they tend to prefer simplicity over complication and complexity. But, if I’m honest and acutely self-aware then I can admit that although I prefer simplicity around me, within myself I’m just as complex as ever.  There’s balance in that, I suppose.

However, if there’s one drawback to this spare layout, it’s that the sidebars, links and navigational tools are hidden by default.  Just click that lined button at the top right to find all the extra goodies.

Y’all be good to one another.

And thanks for shopping, er, I mean visiting and reading at Ruckerpedia.

– BLR