cooler than

with a book like cooler than, where the themes are very political, it is very tempting to do the obvious, especially from the point of view from an independant publisher/writer. you know the type: using the old typewriter font, making the cover look "underground" and tragically punk. but if there is one thing about writing that i've learned, is that steering clear of the obvious has always been more rewarding and interesting.

sure i've done the obvious and the cliche at times, i've called myself on it too, and i'm not afraid to admit it. sometimes the obvious, the cliche, is what a story needs. that being said, i try not to do too much of the obvious. for instance, there will always be a love interest, because that's what i seem to be obsessed with these days. but not only that, a love interest is what makes the center of the universe. sure it's particles and matter and stuff, but really, it's the disneyland gooey center that gets people, and there will always be an element of that. not only beause i'm obsessed by it, but beause i generally believe women are worth it. more than worth it. beyond it. that's not to say that i won't ever include a gay love interest. however, it seems writing a gay character almost feels cliche these days...

anyway, steering clear of the obvious has been very worthwhile for me, and it's made my books that much better. this is most apparent in this is hardcore, where there are cliched thriller genre elements in it, explosions and all, but there are some obvious areas where i had chosen to do the opposite of what was expected. the last half of the book really comes across that way. in desert sessions, i fell into the cliche trap a little too often. still a good book, but i was still trying to find that fine line between original thought and reinvention. reinvention is really nothing more than window dressing. it's a front. just admit it. they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. and with desert sessions, i had a problem. but with everything that i've written since then, it's been a project of mine to shed away those early, amateur writer habits.

with cooler than, you won't see a dodgy, raw, punk-like story. what you will see is a polished, minimalist, and as a result, smarter political twist to the whole thing. from the cover, right on down to the font. there will be no rants, no finger wagging, no winking at the camera. this is hardcore was an exercise for me; not that i wasn't invested in it; far from it, for the first third of the book, i was incredibly invested in it. so much so that i endured a bout of real depression for two weeks beause of how close i felt to some of what the characters were going through. with that book, i basically wrote it beause i wanted to see if i could write a thriller. and i feel it was a success. cooler than, however, will be my attempt to stretch myself; to see if by writing less, i can say more. a lot more.

i've been reading hemingway's farewell to arms, and my eyes have really been opened wide. i realized that it's all there; the story, the characters, the themes... you don't need a couple dozen words. sometimes all you need is one. the right one. that's the rub. choosing the right word can be... painful at times.

in other news, i recently spoke with my model for the cover of this is hardcore, and she would like the pictures done sometime soon, most likely in january. for reasons that are personal, i was pondering switching models, finding someone different, but she seems genuinely interested to give it a second shot, which is a good thing. when i was making the decision to possibly switch models, perhaps going for a different physical type, i realized that i had two problems: 1) where was i going to find another model that would be as comfortable with her own body, as well as being comfortable enough to have me photograph her, as well as publish it into canada's national literary archives? short of me paying for a professional model, it would be tough, especially since i had a specific look in mind. she trusts me, and that, regardless of anything else, must be worth some thing. right? and 2) when i wrote the book, i had her in mind for the cover, and to change that, seems sort of disingenuous to me. from the first sentance that i wrote, to the last, she's been on the cover from the start. i know no one else will know the difference, but i wrote the book, and i'll notice the difference, and i couldn't be proud of that book if i somehow lied to myself about it. i can lie like the best of them; i just can't lie about my writing to myself.

at any rate, i'll probably have the cover to this is hardcore done sometime soon, and then i'll debut it here and on conquerednationpress.com. maybe i'll debut multiple covers and have people vote. and by people, it will most likely be just my friends. but whatever. i am going to try a different approach to the pictures this time; last time i had a very stilted, posed, almost fake bunch of shots. this time, i'm going to make it more fluid and dynamic and all around natural, which should make the pictures really great, because women look the best when they're just being themselves.


revolutionaries no more

something just hit me. it's a revelation that has sort of fucked things up for me, but in a good way. and by fucking up, i mean fucking up revolutionaries wanted. revolutionaries wanted is no more. at least not in its original incarnation. something came about when i was admiring how much i loved digital film. just how it looked, how grainy it was, how undeniably cool, visually that is, it looked. the movies that came to mind were 28 days later, collateral, and the upcoming Michael Mann reworking of the cheezy 80's show, miami vice, which actually looks really fucking good for a hollywood blockbuster.

i just loved how those movies looked and felt, and i've decided to try to capture that feel. that icy tone. it's what i want, more than anything at this point. so revolutionaries wanted, a political book that was supposed to be underground and grim and vicious, has now morphed into... get ready for this... cooler than, a book which will be just as political, but completely icy and grainy white and cold. each part of the book will have a colour theme - the first being white, and the second being blue. i can't believe i haven't stumbled upon this earlier. it just makes sense. the wintermen... the politics... the short, simple prose... it was all just working together, one by one, to slowly reveal itself, and i believe the whole picture has revealed itself to me. i just love it when a plan comes together.

this is the first time that i have changed the title to a book. i have never done that. i always start with the title first, then the rest. this is a first. and i believe that cooler than will be my best book yet. this is hardcore was head and shoulders above desert sessions in terms of story telling. cooler than will seek to combine the story telling of the first, with the ideas of the latter.

it has also occurred to me that i've been talking too much about the details of this new book. so for the sake of the story, there will pretty much be a blackout on any news on cooler than. that's not to say that i won't update this site with snippets of the book. stay tuned...


mr. mcnamara

"i think the human race needs to think about killing. how much evil must we do in order to do good."

robert s. mcnamara is a man forged in war. if you don't know him by now, you really should. this is a man responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, all under the tent of patriotic duty for the united states government. he has been considered evil, manipulative, coniving, arrogant, immoral... but at the same time, he's also been called brilliant and a mastermind. whatever, or whoever he is, one realizes that this is a man who has made decisions, good and bad, and now must live with them. and funny enough, he seems to be doing quite well.

the documentary, the fog of war: eleven lessons from the life of robert s. mcnamara, is an incredible film that some have criticized as being a platform for more of his egotistical blubber, while others have praised as being quite insightful and incredibly fascinating, if only as a character portrait of a man who not only helped engineer some of the military strategy behind the allied firebombings of japan, but also a man who helped president kennedy steer through the cuban missile crisis, as well as being at the forefront of the u.s. participation in vietnam. if you haven't seen this movie, go see it. it is infinitely fascinating. i did not think that his words would be so compelling, but when a man admits that he would have been tried as a war criminal had the united states lost the second world war, you tend to sit up and listen.

this is a good movie. a good documentary. what documentaries should be like. not the circus side show that michael moore's documentaries tend to be. a documentary is supposed to be about the subject, not its director. some say that errol morris, the director, was out-gunned, out-manned and out-witted by mcnamara. that mcnamara used him as a vehicle to relieve his own conscience. i don't necessarily think this is true. i think morris did what a film maker is supposed to do in this situation, which is to navigate, while letting mcnamara drive.

the reason i bring this up is because of the influence mr. mcnamara seems to be having on the writing of revolutionaries wanted. it's sort of unintentional, but not entirely unwelcome. don't get me wrong, i believe mr. mcnamara is as amoral as a human being can get, but there is merrit to his words, his life. for good or ill, he helped shape u.s. history. i just find myself thinking more and more about what he's said in the past few days.

revolutionaries wanted, i believe, will be a two part book. the first will be called wicked days, wherein you'll see a terrible war being waged. the second part will be called lay me down, and as the title suggests, will be something of a personal odyssey, which begs to answer the question, is it better to be forgotten than be remembered for giving in? i personally have an answer to that. to me the answer is very simple. but i'll leave it so people will read the damned book.

ps: music to write to: duran duran and elbow.


things that make you go "hmm..."

iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad just keeps the quotes coming. he's said a lot of things in the past month or so, most of them of the strictly pushing people's buttons type. for instance, he said that israel should be "wiped off the map." the latest thing he's said, is that the holocaust was "a myth," and that this myth is held even higher than the very belief in religion and prophets. as an example, he uses the fact that if a person expresses disbelief in god, nobody objects, but if a person rejects the holocaust, that person is condemned.

well i have news for Mr. Ahmadinejad; the holocaust happened, and god doesn't exist. how do i know? because there is physical evidence of the holocaust, as well as outright admittance of it by those who were privy to those crimes. so far, there is no such proof of god. i'm sorry, but someone writing some stories down on some paper does not constitute the proof of the existence of god. if that were the case, stephen king's cycle of the werewolf could be used to prove the existence of werewolves. that's all i have to say about that.


so i've been writing a bit more on revolutionaries wanted and i've come to the conclusion that it will be an extension of desert sessions. not to say that it will be the same, on the contrary, it will be the political book that desert sessions didn't end up being. to clarify, when i started writing desert sessions, it was actually called platform and it was intended to be a very political in-your-face book. well, the problem was, i didn't really have anything too solid to write on, so the book then morphed into a very personal book that ended up being the monster that desert sessions is today.

revolutionaries wanted on the other hand, will take off pretty much where the other book left off, politically speaking. as mentioned in the previous post, i am feeling in a very vicious mood, and the book has already started off pretty vicious, and i fear, will only get worse as things start to piss me off more and more. writing while angry, much like writing while under the influence, or any influence for that matter, is always bad for me. so i've got to learn to step away from my writing in order to prevent myself from infusing too much overt emotion into the book. it's gonna be nasty and grizzly.

at any rate, i have not yet "broken" the book. and by broken, i mean that there comes a moment when, after weeks of pondering, i suddenly crack the book wide open, and i can start writing as a flood of ideas just come pouring out. so far, that hasn't happened. i am still stuck on some of the major plot points, as well as the ending. as it is, the book is just a string of ideas and scenes. i have a feeling i won't break this book until the spring time.


three war films

ideas are dime a dozen. at least they are where i'm concerned. things just pop into my head, and i really have no idea how they will end up. for instance, this is hardcore started out as 100 pages to 1/2 a book. the other part was supposed to be i still love the bomb. this is hardcore was supposed to be a fantasy romp with the devil and with only two real characters. it turned out to have much more depth and realism than the first idea, even though it still contained some bizarre events. for the most part though, it became a thriller.

now i have an idea for yet another book. no, not revolutionaries wanted, although that one is starting to shape up quite nicely, with some solid ideas forming (i actually think it might end up a horror book. with real live vampires. imagine that: a political opus on human rights with vampires. actually, that's not so farfetched when you think about it). no, it is not live acoustic (open fire), my experimental piece in deliberately deciding against preperation - that one will probably never see the light of day. nor is it i still love the bomb, my modern epic / sci-fi piece. the new idea is actually called three war films. i don't really have a clear idea of what it will be about, but what i do know, is that it will have nothing to do with war in the conventional sense, because let's face it; i'm a lazy fucking writer. having to research for revolutionaries wanted is bad enough. if i had to map out a battle plan, i think my head would explode. seriously though, i have no idea what three war films will be about except that it will involve three seperate stories, each involving a specific colour. at this point in time, i have white, white, and black.

at any rate, i have completed the first chapter to revolutionaries wanted. with this book, i am trying a new twist to my writing; it seems that my writing gets more and more concise with each book i write, so now i am at the point where i use a lot of sentance fragments and one word descriptions. i have also grown tired of writing, he said and she said, so now i've dropped that altogether for a more point-form sort of dialogue. i think it will take a bit of getting used to, but it should become easy to follow. i've already posted most of this before, but here it is anyway...


Her arms are tight around him. Her face, buried close against the nape of his neck. Her chest tight against his back, her legs draw up behind his with her knees snug, locked into the back of his. Her long, wispy blond hair is in her face, with her eyes fluttering behind closed eyelids. The eyelashes are long and black and thick. Her skin, pale and lightly freckled with golden spots. Her nose is small. Her lips are pink and slightly parted, breathing evenly, warmly against the back of his neck. She’s soft, young, her body still clinging to what little teenage fat she still had left. The room, white, bright, and empty; she clings to him amongst the white sheets, an island amongst a sea of rough, worn, hardwood floor. Four in the afternoon, babies don’t sleep this well. The pursuit of pleasure is tiresome. In the warmth of the room, the blinding whiteness, she stirs and opens her eyes slowly. She sits up and looks at him, with his slightly long, shaggy black hair. She slips out of the bed carefully, the bra she’s wearing stands in striking black lines that cut through all the whiteness. Contrast. Stand out. She goes to the washroom, long white legs and all, and sits herself down on the toilet. She finds her black panties hanging from the towel rack and slips them on when she’s done. She wanders back to the bed and snuggles up behind him. The pursuit of pleasure. It’s tiresome.

He grabs the clear plastic jug and rinses it out in the sink. He starches his bare stomach. He goes into the refrigerator and grabs a can of frozen raspberry concentrate. Opens the can, he spills the contents into the jug. The log of juice splatters against the bottom of the jug and there’s blowback. He flinches as the red stuff flies up to splash him in his eye. He blinks rapidly and rubs the back of his hand into his eye, smearing the juice around further. He glances at his reflection in the stainless steel silver toaster. There’s blood in his eye. After mixing the drink, he wanders back to the bedroom where she’s still sleeping. He pours himself a glass and sits down on the bed, causing it to shift slightly. This is enough to disturb her. She opens her eyes and turns to him. Gazing. He accidentally spills some raspberry juice on the white covers and watches with dismay. The red splotches grow deep and expand. Circumference increasing. Fight the fabric. Winning. Here’s to all the rivals. She just looks at him, watching the expression change on his face.

Free space. Sean touches her face and examines the large image framed on the wall behind tepid glass and boxed in by clean, black lines. The image is white. The image is three feet by two. The image is blank, with the words, ‘free space’ inscribed just off centre. In block. Like this - FREE SPACE. She buttons up her shirt, his shirt, charcoal grey with pin stripes, and touches the clean glass, leaving fingerprints. She gathers up the shirt that hangs bulky off her slender frame, and wanders across the ocean of hardwood and takes a seat at the table. She watches John drown the little brown coco bits. A tsunami of white, creamy milk. They bob in the fluid liquid and it makes her smile. Obviously. Man overboard. One of them pops its head up over the milk and she reaches over to plunk it back down. John pours her a bowl of cereal and then peers inside and pulls out a shrink-wrapped prize.

- Pass the milk? – Sean says. What’s the toy?

- A truck.

- That’s nice.

- Got a winch on it. – John touches it.

- What’s it do?

- Winches.

- It’s red. I don’t like red. – She scrunches her nose.

- It was free.

- With a purchase.

- So?

- At least you can eat the cereal.

- So?

- Never mind.

- What are you doing today?

- Gonna dream of a world beyond diamonds and gold. – She smiles.

- That’s nice.

- You?

- I was hoping we'd fuck again.


musings on a muse

so i was in love with a girl. or i thought i was. i know now that it wasn't love, but more like obsession. fine line, that; between love and obsession. love is about giving in. obsession is about taking. and that's what i got confused with for a long, long time. i couldn't tell the difference, because, well, i had never felt it before. it was all new to me.

at any rate, i was obsessed with this girl. she will remain nameless - not that she reads this blog. every female character that i write, is in one shape or form about her. usually the character will take on her physical attributes or adopt some of her qwirks that just make her original. really though, if she were to stand in a crowd of girls her age, you probably wouldn't be able to pick her out. still, i loved her, or i thought i did. i spent too many long nights thinking about her, when in reality, she barely ever thought of me. what resulted was me basing the character of james in desert sessions on her, as well as the character of cassandra in this is hardcore. now i am in a predicament of writing a new character, sean, in revolutionaries wanted. it's odd, because i have transfered my interest from this girl, this sole girl, my muse if you will, to others. yet she still resides as the standard, to whom i compare all girls to. no one is ever as pretty as she is, or as likable as she is, even though the truth might be the opposite. when people get into your head, it's pretty tough to get them out, i find. and it really isn't her fault at all; it's funny how some people can just destroy you, just by failing to realize that you exist. and that's what this is hardcore was mainly about: the confusion of love and obsession and failing to realize the existence of others outside one's own pained world view.

obsession is a bitch. don't be a slave to it, because it's unhealthy. (if you're gonna be a slave, be a slave to rock'n roll!) it was unfair to her, because it placed her in a position in my mind that she could never live up to, and it's unfair for me, because i shouldn't waste my life on someone who isn't interested. do i still think she's gorgeous? you bet. do i still think she's amazing and incredible and intelligent? definitely. but do i crave her? not so much. still, for better or worse, she will be my muse. i am endevoring to write another female character into revolutionaries wanted who will be everything that this girl is not. it's a tough task, but i think i'm up for it. they say the first step is recognizing that you have a problem. well, i have a problem. and i'm going to do something about it. that seems to be my mantra as of late: recognize my problem, do something about it. just call me action jackson.

hey, i just got an idea: since rubber bracelets seem to be the fad these days (eg: the one campaign), i think i'm gonna start passing around rubber bracelets of my own. they'll say, "free loring." how's that for indulgence? at any rate, i already know now that revolutinaries wanted is going to be vicious, and cruel, and just a downright mind fuck. i'm in a vicious mood. can you tell?


photo ops

okay, so the latest news is that i purchased a new digital camera, the panasonic dmc-fz5. i needed a camera that took high resolution photos for the covers of our books. a cover sometimes can make or break a book, so it is important to take really good, sharp pictures. blood stone press informed me that the pictures should really be about 300 ppi in order for the covers to turn out well. so i went and bought this camera, for a pretty low price too. helps that i work at a retail store and that we were blowing out the cameras in order to make way for newer models. based on recommendations from various people and sources, and based on the physical evidence, i opted for the panasonic. i could have gotten a canon that took similar photos, but then you're paying near double the price. and since i probably won't use the camera for anything other than the covers, i figured paying a grand for a similar camera wasn't worth it. so now i'm really excited to use the camera. the first cover i will be shooting is the re-shoot to this is hardcore. the model wasn't too impressed with some of the photos i took of her the first time around, so this time, we're gonna do it right. my old fuji just didn't do the trick, so with this new panasonic, i'm hoping i can capture in great detail all the emotion and beauty that the model will portray in the pictures.

as for this is hardcore, i am in the process of editing it. adam has already read it and liked it, and caroline is in the process of reading it. however, my focus is primarily on revolutionaries wanted. i've already got some awesome ideas for how i want this book to be written. for the first time in a while, this book will be completely written in the third person perspective. i've grown accustomed to the first person, and while i dabbled a bit with it in this is hardcore, i will going full on with it this time around. perspective is really important, and i couldn't think of a way for me to write it in the first person. it just didn't feel right. the final product should be quite different from my previous outings. the good thing is that i have now developed a style of my own. when adam finished reading this is hardcore, he said that it isn't desert sessions, but it's still a loring kim book. that's probably the best comment that i've ever heard about my writing.

also, if you google the words, conquered nation press, you'll see that we're number one! that's pretty exciting. I will also be putting updates from revolutionaries wanted up on the site on a semi-regular basis, so keep your eyes open.


revolutionaries wanted


Her arms are tight around him. Her face, buried close against the nape of his neck. Her chest tight against his back, her legs draw up behind his with her knees snug, locked into the back of his. Her long, wispy blond hair is in her face, with her eyes fluttering behind closed eyelids. The eyelashes are long and black and thick. Her skin, pale and lightly freckled with golden spots. Her nose is small. Her lips are pink and slightly parted, breathing evenly, warmly against the back of his neck. She’s soft, young, her body still clinging to what little teenage fat she still had left. The room, white, bright, and empty; she clings to him amongst the white sheets, an island amongst a sea of rough, worn, hardwood floor. Four in the afternoon, babies don’t sleep this well. The pursuit of pleasure is tiresome. In the warmth of the room, the blinding whiteness, she stirs and opens her eyes slowly. She sits up and looks at him, with his slightly long, black hair. She slips out of the bed carefully, the bra she’s wearing stands in striking black lines that cut through all the whiteness. Contrast. Stand out. She goes to the washroom, long white legs and all, and sits herself down on the toilet. She finds her black panties hanging from the towel rack and slips them on when she’s done. She wanders back to the bed and snuggles up behind him. The pursuit of pleasure. It’s tiresome.

He grabs the clear plastic jug and rinses it out in the sink. He starches his bare stomach. He goes into the refrigerator and grabs a can of frozen raspberry concentrate. Opens the can, he spills the contents into jug. The log of juice splatters against the bottom of the jug and there’s blowback. He flinches as the red stuff flies up to splash him in his eyes. He blinks rapidly and rubs the back of his hand into his eye, spreading the juice around further. He glances at his reflection in the stainless steel silver toaster. There’s blood in his eye. After mixing the drink, he wanders back to the bedroom where she’s still sleeping. He pours himself a glass and sits down on the bed, causing it to shift slightly. This is enough to disturb her. She opens her eyes and turns to him. Gazing. He accidentally spills some raspberry juice on the white covers and watches with dismay. The red splotches grow deep and expand. Circumference increasing. Fighting against the cotton fabric. Winning. Here’s to all the rivals. She just looks at him, watching the expression change on his face.


no news is good news...

...well, at least where writing has been concerned. i have officially finished the first draft of this is hardcore. it's rough, it's bare bones, it... it is what it is. upon initial reflection, it seems that this is hardcore is definitely more commercial than desert sessions, yet at the same time being quite off setting and not quite as accessible, if that makes any sense. probably not. oh well. tih is finished, and I am glad for it. it was so hard for me to get around to finishing the story, mostly because i had already moved on to other works. my emotional attachment to the book was pretty much severed, with very little for me to say or do except, well, to finish it. i actually finished it a couple of days ago. it clocks in at a lean 61 pages, done on 10 point font. which basically means it should be somewhere in the range of 140-150 pages once published (with a little creative manipulation of the margins and font...). ds came in at 90 pages, and asthetically, ds looked dense when you tried to read it, so i'm trying to get away from that, let my novels breathe a bit. so you're looking at a book that is just a little over half of what ds was. at any rate, here's another sample...

Will turns his attention to the gas attendant, a blond, slightly overweight of a specimin who’s busy scratching the back of his head as he stares into the sun. The Stranger is busy in the store, rummaging through the fridge, trying to find something to drink. Will steps out of the car and sidles up to the gas attendant. He attempts to say something, but the man just stares at him. He looks back towards the store just as The Stranger steps outside. The two of them share a glance, something a little more than the sky, right before Will takes off. He’s several steps ahead, taking giant strides as he sprints across the dirt. He’s got his fists clenched and they’re swinging by his sides as he runs until his lungs start to burn and his blood boils like battery acid being pumped throughout his system. Will clutches a fistful of his shirt and holds it against his heart as he runs. There it goes, Will thinks to himself, anticipating it, even as his heart skips a beat. It finally happened; it finally broke. There’s no extended warranty policy for the human heart. He’s going to have to replace it or die. He’s going to have to find a heart that he can live with. He can feel it coming over him. He’s sweating as he slows down, near doubled over in pain under the blanket red sky, his gasps for air lost in the air. The Stranger runs up behind him and kicks Will’s leg out from under him, dropping him to the ground. Will scrambles to his feet and lumbers down the road a few meters, dragging his legs as if weighted down with cement shoes. The road is long and stretched out before him, elongated like some sort of cartoon. He falls to his hands and knees and crawls slowly along the ground, only to collapse at the crossroads. North, south, east and west… the four corners of the earth are more empty and distant then ever. He pulls on his shirt, his knuckles white and caught in a death grip. The Stranger leans over him, getting down on his hands and knees before him, leaning in close so that Will could smell him, all of him. He shows him the needle, its point gleaming under the sunlight. Liquid forms at the tip, a bubble of it, as clear as the day. It trembles on the tip, like a drop of pre-cum. “I’m going to sink my teeth into you now,” he whispers and inserts the tip into Will’s neck, penetrating the flesh. Will feels the prick and winces, more from the thought of it than the pain. Psychosomatic trauma is like playing air guitar; in your mind, you’re a goddamned rock star. He can hear Phil’s singing off in the distance like an echo. The last thing he sees is The Stranger’s face and he thinks that Dr. Strangelove is here to stay.

...so there you have it. a piece of tih all for your enjoyment. this is probably my meatiest offering to date on the book. please forgive any typos or bad lines because I'm just too tired at this point to bother. i will be taking another look at the book today before handing it off to adam for a first opinion on this draft. I am already busy working away at my next book, revolutionaries wanted, which will be my political opus about human rights and what a single, human life is worth weighed against western society's values. pretentious? you bet! hard to read? most definitely! what's the point? to make a statement. this book will be a sort of no apologies book. it's time i got back into more earnest fare. tih was a nice break from what i normally write, and it was mostly a half-baked idea that ended up taking steam once i realized that i didn't want to bother with political writing. but now it's time to get my hands dirty. can you tell that i'm excited to write rw? it's gonna be a gas. and i haven't forgotten about live acoustic (open fire). la(of) has sort of been pacified for the moment. as mentioned in earlier entries, la(of) is an experimental piece, where there will be no planning whatsoever. basically, whatever i feel like writing, i'll write, regardless of how illogical or riddled with holes.

hopefully i will have rw finished by the end of spring, for a publication date of early summer. the plan is to publish rw and tih together, so that we can get some sort of deal on printing costs. perhaps do a smaller run of each, like 300 copies. hopefully adam will be finished one of the two books he's writing, and we can then published three books together, and thus have about four books so that when we pay for distribution, it's a bit more worth it. you know, more bang for the buck. fucking capitalism. i'm such a socialist at heart. at any rate, adam's books sound exciting. one is about a guy who goes nuts after a girl he likes criticizes his photos for lacking emotion. he ends up going all psycho and doing horrible things to her to capture her emotions in his photos... the other is about a guy who finds that he'll do anything for this one girl, forgiving all her faults. this book involves a group of people dedicated to consumption and the purchasing of goods and services. sounds like a blast.

wow, i've rambled on for a while now. i guess that's what happens when you finally have a day off after working seven days a week, for five weeks straight, while trying to get a novel done. i need a life.


the opposite is true

i find that the more i write this is hardcore, the more i end up deciding against the obvious. what i mean by that is, in the thriller/suspense genre these days, everything seems too obvious. for example, you know that by the end of the story, you're gonna have some sort of showdown with the main character and the big bad. usually in movies this tends to end up as a really loud, crash/bang finale where the hero gets the snot kicked out of him by the bad guy but manages to win in the end. i find myself shunning that sort of obvious decision, which i think is great, but i do admit, it steals some of the thunder away from the climax. that's okay though. i've never written anything that was "typical," so why start now?
i will state this: there will not be anything obvious in this is hardcore. at least i hope not. i'm not intending on shocking anyone, despite what the title suggests. rather, the response i'm going for is, hopefully, the kind where the reader ends up smiling at every twist and turn. i am 90 percent done the first draft, but i know that i need to do some massive rewrites to the book, so it'll be at least a good six months before i get it published. plus, i still need to reshoot the cover. six months. tops. maybe. everytime i make a prediction as to how long the book will take, it usually ends up taking longer.


fuck you and the horse you rode in on...

george bush is stupid. this is far from the truth. george bush is not stupid. he's a man of conviction, whether one agrees with that conviction or not. he believes he's doing the right thing, whether it's delusional or not. the thing is, he has conviction, and he just does not care. he doesn't give a shit about what you think about his foreign policy, or lack there of; he doesn't give a shit about what yout think about his oil connections. he will not apologize for how he speaks, or the way he grew up, for how he got into power, or what he will do with that power.

don't get me wrong; i do not like the man, but sometimes i do wish that some of our own leaders up in canada had even half the amount of guts bush has. some may say that bush does not have guts, but rather, is out of touch with the realities of the world, which is why he does and says the things he does. that might be the case. but i don't think he's stupid. i think he knows exactly what he's doing, and he believes in every single aspect of it, even if it may be a lie.

okay, so perhaps being beligerant and closed-minded isn't the best thing, but there is something to be said for the man's conviction. perhaps if some good politician (if those even exist any more) had a similar amount of conviction, the world can be changed for the better. but alas, to paraphrase something noel gallagher of oasis once said: politicians have the power to change the world, but they rarely do.


eulogy (open fire)

here's something from the last chapter/segment of this is hardcore. it is totally out of context, and i can't really provide a context for fear of giving away stuff. but here it is anyway...

- - -

The car drives down the lonely road, followed by Tony Bennett’s iconic voice. His music, his voice, will live on long after his body is ash and dust. That a part of a man could exist beyond his solid, corporeal self is a mind-fuck in itself. Rock god legacies are sealed in little silver discs. A life time of experience and lessons and choices summed up on one best-of compact disc. Ten dollars at most at your local used CD store. One would have thought that a man’s life would be worth more than that. But then, how many people get to leave a legacy behind, even if it is in the form of a soon to be obsolete audio format? Those that do are either murderers or rock stars. Sometimes both. Not even a presidency can assure immortality unless of course you get lucky and fuck a dame they call Monroe. And who knows of immortality? The CEO of General Electric? The guy that donates to sperm banks or the mother that window shops there? The girl next door that discovers her own sexuality for the first time? Can you freeze existence and call it immortal? Because everything eventually dies. And what of our two anti-heroes that stare solemnly out their windows as the passing trees wash over the reflective glass and over their faces? Can they taste immortality? They can see it in each other’s eyes. The fear, the doubt, the broken lines of the word status quo all shattered… it’s all their in their eyes. Immortal. Only one of them will taste immortality. It’s a vision so clear, that only time will show the way. A life less ordinary than the last, it goes from a “just add water” kind of life to one where a soul can colour outside the lines. And Tony Bennett, of course, sings the goddamned soundtrack…

- - -

the three chapters/segments, by the way, are called the following: i heart you, infamous, and eulogy (open fire).


the right and the wrong

so the right has been in a bit of trouble over the past few months. let's recount by starting off with tom delay, house gop leader, who has now been indicted on a conspiracy to violate u.s. state election laws in texas. this, coming on top of senate majority leader bill frist who is under a securities and exchange commission probe of his sale of shares just before a second-quarter report triggered a sharp decline in the price of the stock in the company his family started. you also have a federal grand jury in washington looking into the role of karl rove, president bush's top political adviser and current white house deputy chief of staff, who is accused of leaking the identification of cia operative, valerie plame, which just about makes him a traitor to his own country. there is also david safavian, a former top bush official in the office of management and budget, who was charged last week of obstructing a federal investigation and making false statements in his dealings with indicted lobbyist jack abramoff. and let's not forget ubber christian do-gooder, pat robertson, calling on the assassination of the venezuelan president, hugo chavez a few months back.

the point of all this is that the right, for the last eight years, has had control over the united states' political agenda. they have frequently talked about morals and the need to change the direction that the unites states has been heading on. the right seems to yearn for the america of the past, wanting to take things back to a time when television was tamer, when everyone was christian, when people, all in all, were better and moral. well, here's the kicker: you can't roll back time, and people fifty years ago weren't better, or more moral than people today. in fact, i'd say people are far more tolerant and understanding today than in the past. that being said, some of the major figures on the right are now being called on their hypocritical behaviours. if all these charges end up being true, you have a situation where the right had been advocating a moral and clean christian living for, well, ever, and now some of their major players are showing up to be nothing more than human. they are proving to be no better than the rest of us. that's the problem when you preach to people; you have to live by what you say, and the moment you step falsely, people will eat you alive, such as the criticism that was thrown down against pat robertson. i didn't know god condoned the assassination of a man who, really, has done nothing terribly wrong against the united states. he's said some bad things against the states, for sure, but you can't blame the guy when he was nearly ousted in a military coup and every country's government condoned the overthrow of his democratically elected government, except the haven of all democracy, the united states. i can see him being a little bitter about that. if he doesn't want to sell his oil to you, that doesn't mean it's okay to mark him for death. and speaking of what god wants, do you think he wants a war started over oil? (cough! cough! iraq!) c'mon... we all know that all god wants is for hip hop starts to win grammys and for the boston red sox to repeat.

and i'm not saying that i'm better than those charged or indicted on various crimes, and i'm not saying the left is any better in their swindlings, because let's face it, criminals and assholes come in every political stripe... You have a situation where one may be a corrupt manipulator, another may be a cheater, another may be a traitor, another may be liar, and the last has actually revealed himself to be a complete and utter hypocrite... all i'm saying, is that before you start preaching and accusing others of bad behaviour, you'd better look to your own friends and neighbors first.

welcome to the human race: we're all a bunch of fuck-ups at times. but that doesn't mean we're all going to hell.


music... makes the people... come together... yeah!

first off, i apoligize for quoting madonna.

secondly, i've come across two pieces of music that i find particularly interesting and inspiring. one is duran duran's "ordinary world" and the other is phil collins' "in the air tonight." i personally don't care for the '80s, but i don't mind the music every now and then, usually when i'm drunk at weddings or in bars. however, i really do like these two songs. "ordinary world" is sort of inspiring good things for i still love the bomb and "in the air tonight" is most assuredly gonna be used in this is hardcore, perhaps in the final scenes. the final scenes are incredibly clear and vivid to me, and i keep hearing the lyrics in the back of my mind.

music has been really good to me as of late. i usually listen to a lot of music when i write. i'm one of those writers that needs music to write. leonard cohen inspired much of desert sessions... an anti corporate love story... and queens of the stone age's song, "if only" was a huge influence on zero sum. in fact, the line, "if it gets you down, well just don't blame me..." pretty much defined zero sum. at any rate, back to trying to write. haven't been very successful as of the last month or so, but i'm not giving up on this is hardcore. so far, frank sinatra and a lot of the classic standard songs and singers has been much of the inspiration for this is hardcore... perhaps if i go back to some of that music, i can get rid of this goddamned block...

*** note: music to write by for this is hardcore: damien rice, black rebel motorcycle club, oasis, frank sinatra, ryan adams, paul oakenfold, alexi murdoch, the streets, and last but not least, death from above 1979. by the way, as of october 1st, the block is shattered! now let's finish this fucking book... ***

*** note: you know, while we're on the topic of music, i fucking hate pearl jam! they're my favorite band, but they're starting to piss me off. i want them to make a straight on rock album. just wall to tall rock 'n roll, but they will never do that cause they're better than that an it pisses me off. i just wanna rock, damn it! by the way, listening to lost dogs and loving it. fucking pearl jam. ***


battlestar spectacular

so i have a weakness for genre television. i admit it. i love fantasy shows, i love sci-fi shows... that being said, everyone loves talking about lost, the show about people being stranded on a mysterious island. while the show is good, to me, it just feels like a glorified version of survivor. many of the episodes are just okay, with every third or forth episode really being worthwhile.

now, the show with real guts is battlestar galactica. i realize the original bg was really cheezy, but the great part of the new bg, is that it takes itself seriously. no other show has writing like this right now. they are willing to tackle subjects that are controversial, but tackle them in an intelligent manner, without preaching to the viewers and without offering simple black and white answers. we're talking about issues of human rights and abuse, and whether they extend to your enemy in times of war.

the premise of the show is that humans created cylons, these machines that eventually rebelled and the show starts off with the near extinction of the human race by a surprise attack. what's left of humanity is on the run with the machines after them. the kicker is that the machines have new models that not only look like humans, but behave and live as humans.

now consider this: eventually a few of these human models of cylons are captured at one point or another during the series. they are interrogated. these cylons seem human for all intents and purposes... but they're the enemy. does the enemy, in times of war, have rights? can you hold the prisoner indefinitely? can you torture the prisoner? can you abuse the prisoner? can you even rape the prisoner, all in the effort to gather information? the thing is, this show tackles such topics, and the characters do their thing, and while some characters protest, others say that they're in a time of war, and anything goes. the writers then leave it to the viewers to really debate this.

now consider this: the united states is at war. we have all seen the photos of prisoner abuse at abu ghraib (i will not add a link to the photos, but anyone can simply find them online). now, i'm not saying that anything like rape went on there, but the photos clearly show prisoners being humiliated and degraded, some of them in sexual ways such as being photographed naked with their heads in each other's crotches. i realize they are considered the enemy, but apply those same questions to you or i. can you be held prisoner indefinitely? can you be tortured? can you be abused? can you be raped, all in the effort to gather information? in the end, they are still human, regardless of which side they are on. of course, one can justly argue that they attacked first, indiscriminitely, terrorizing innocent civilians. the same arguement is used on battlestar galactica: the cylons nearly wiped out the human race. anything we do back to them doesn't even compare. my gut instinct, if i were in a real time of war, i would probably go with the whole anything goes philosophy. i mean really, if you think about it, the fact that there are rules to war seems a bit silly, logically speaking. but that's my gut and my brain. what about the heart? the heart would say something entirely different. i guess the realities of war trump pretty much anything, and when it comes down to survival, one must do what one must. i'm sure i'd behave in a similar manner if i were in such a situation. would it have been right? definitely not, cause war is never right. would it be necessary? perhaps, cause even though it is not right, sometimes war is necessary as a last resort. it's a realization that the humanitarian side of me doesn't want to come to terms with, but the realist in me can't ignore. i suppose war makes dogs of us all...

battlestar galactica is a space opera. pure and simple. but it does what good art does best: makes us question what we are about, our values, our beliefs. i didn't mean to get too serious here, but that being said, i just love the show. i think the reason the show can go into such dark territory is because it's a genre show, and people dismiss it as being just another geeky sci-fi show, which makes it a blessing and curse for bg, because i don't think any other show could get away with being so blatantly political (even though it is not really trying to be). there is also a deeply religious aspect to the show, but that's for another time... battlestar galactica is smart, funny, gutsy, political, and very, very brave, which makes it exciting to watch. hell of a lot better than what's down some stupid hatch...


i want to kill the president of the united states...

here's something kind of fun. here's a monologue from the opening of an old book i wrote years ago called zero sum. zero sum was my ill-fated attempt at writing a book that would criticize male behavior and misogyny, but in fact ended up celebrating the very behaviors that i was attempting to critique. sometimes these things happen, and you don't realize what a collosal failure it is until you've completed it. it was ugly, vile, vacuous, full of blood and guts and sex. tell you the truth, i am glad it was never published, because i am ashamed of having ever written such a disgusting thing. the book was so terrible, it actually began with, "i want to kill the president of the united states..." at any rate, i still sort of like this monologue, and perhaps will use it some time in the future. it's quite mean-spirited, which zero sum was completely and utterly all the way through. but i still like the monologue. kinda funny in a black and mean-spirited way. it was delivered in the book by a guy named poe, who's only goal in life was to live life as he pleased, no matter who got trampled along the way. it's one of those books where at the end, nobody gets their comeupance, which isn't that bad, but really, this guy was a fucking jerk. he's one of those characters that comes from some deep and dark part of the mind. he's one of those characters that makes you wonder just how sick you really might be as a writer. the thing is, he wasn't a serial killer or anything. he was just a guy. a blatant psychopath. psychopaths don't have to be killers or rapists. they can be the guy you work with who just does things cause he can. enjoy...

- - -

I want to kill the president of the United States. It's just one of those things in life that's really, really hard to do. If you can pull it off, you're famous. John Wilkes did it; Oswald did it. These aren't nobodies. They were, but now they never will be. Hinckley tried it in the '80's, but where is he now? Does anyone care? More importantly do I? History doesn't award the failures. Trying to assasinate the President of the free world acts as a yardstick for a man's soul. It's a hurdle that separates those that can and those that can't and leaves all those that might or won't on the sidelines to watch and judge and criticize and mock and generally, gives them a reason to exist. And it's not like killing a regular person either, or like blowing up a bus full of girl scouts on their way to a charity fundraiser for cancer boys. It's not even like shooting Lennon. I'd like to think that killing regular people would be an easy thing to do. All you have to do is remember to pick up the lug wrench, mop up the blood, and above all... don't ever get greedy. Killing the President of the United States of America is a whole different story. If you kill the President, they will hunt for you until the Second Coming. You'd better believe that they'd never give up. There will be no limited budget or shortage of manpower when you kill the president. And it's not like I want to be a destructive influence on society. God forbid I become an idol to some silly rat bastard of a kid who's so fucking stupid he'd be better off being abducted by some Internet predator. I don't want to be a part of the deconstruction of America. I just want to kill the President of the free world because I feel like it. I just want to see if I can get away with it. I don't want to be a part of the deconstruction of America... I just want to see America collapse in one shot.

- - -

terrible, huh? the book is filled with it. seriously. jokes comparing hookers to onions and racist language and people watching videos of girls being mutilated and a guy waking up in bed after an absinthe binge with a gutted puppy and a scene involving a threesome with a broom stick... and it just goes on and on for what would have been, i shit you not, about a 600 page book in print. i'm not afraid of zero sum, nor what it made me think of myself, but i am ashamed of it. sort of like a mother who's child grows up to eat babies. i mean, given the chance, i would still defend it; you know, freedom of speach, blah blah blah... but it really is... terrible. if any book should be called this is hardcore, that should have been it. that's too bad, cause there is some really nice writing in there, like the carefully orchestrated office shooting that takes the point of view from three different characters and goes on for over twenty pages... horror movies these days have less of a body count. i swear to god. and the interesting thing was, the only people that liked it, were guys. my female friends couldn't get past the first couple dozen pages. that's how i ultimately realized what a failure it was as a critique on male behavior. that and the fact that reading it just makes one feel ill.


make way for the walking wounded...

here's what i've been working on for the last month since i got back from my cross-canada road trip. a part of this i wrote before and posted prior to the trip. i've developed it a bit more, but it's still really rough. The grammer and wording has to be worked over, but you can get the gist... this is hardcore is slowly starting to eek its way out of my brain. it hasn't been much, but what little has come out hasn't been too bad or a waste of time, so that's positive.

- - -

This is a story. I never knew a life could begin with such promise, only to see so much violence. I’ve heard of things. I’ve heard of things for sure, of horrible things happening to people… good people. People hurting others for the sake of hurt. And who’d have thought that hurt would be for infinity? Nothing lasts forever, but hurt… it seems to breathe beneath the sludge, beneath the earth after we’re all dead and buried and ash. Hurt gets under your skin, under everything, like the cockroach of all emotions. It endures, and it touches everyone. Impossible not to, what with terrible things happening to people all the time. People hate, people hurt, people cry, people give up… the horrible things that happen can sometimes be the physical manifestation of that pain, that hurt. Maybe it bubbles up inside, underneath, that sometimes it just need to be let out, dug out, unearthed? Or maybe shit happens. Whatever it is, whatever lets hurt thrive, allows it to come back around. Don’t ever let the same dog bite you twice, some say, but hurt… hurt bites and it stings and it comes back around like a goddamned boomerang every goddamned time. Hurt leaves a man to wander.

Well this is just a story, and we come in at the beginning of the end of it. He was a good man. Let’s be honest; A liar at times, but a good man. As good a man as could be expected these days. We all make our mistakes, and his at least, weren’t meant to hurt anybody, and that’s the least we could expect people to do these days; make sure their actions don’t hurt anybody else. The other fellow, is just a man all in all, prone to being dismissive followed by bouts of regret. And who of us has never felt like being dismissive? To just want to be left alone? This is just a story, and we come in at the beginning of the end of it, as it was told to me, with the two of them stumbling from one disaster to another. You can hear for whom the bell tolls: Make way for the walking wounded...

“Oh lord,” Will says to himself as he looks down at the blood dripping down the length of his broken arm. He watches the drop of blood trickle down along the underside of his hand and to the tip of his pinkie finger. “Here it comes again,” he whispers as it hangs for a second before dropping and erupting on the dry ground. A crash victim, standing beneath the blue sky, stained over with blood and rust, he nervously tugs at his wrinkled and torn blazer as he looks upwards, feeling the blazing warmth on his face. There are clouds, hundreds of hundreds of clouds, all white and small and blotting the blue sky like a thousand Greek ships sailing towards Troy. “All lined up, all stacked, all ready to go, ready to go, ready to go…” he mumbles. The collar of his shirt is soaked through and crusty with dried, salty sweat. He licks his lips slowly.

Looking down the way, Abe is wandering aimlessly along the side of the road, his shirt torn open, blood dried and flaked on the white cotton material. He’s got his hand outstretched, thumb up, trying to hook a ride. A large semi truck comes barrelling down the way, breaking over the cusp of the horizon. It rumbles on down the road like a bat out of hell. Will and Abe both cover their faces as dust swirls up, little rocks caught up in the wake pelt them repeatedly. When the dust settles, they look at each other… past each other as they continue on. First soul in an hour and the driver passed them by. Soon, all evidence of the truck’s existence is swept away, leaving nothing but them and the mountains and the weaving, wandering road. Isolation is a postal code.

- - -

so that's that. i'm starting to think that a novella format is the way to go. about 130-180 pages per book. long books are overrated.


what's in your head?

i just got back from a friend's wedding. good times. here's what hit me this morning while sitting in my friend lisa's mother's home at 8 in the morning, waiting for the others to wake up...

guy: wait. stop. let me see you.

girl: what's in your head?

guy: i want you to stay like this. natural. naked. i don't want you to leave. i won't let you. i want this to keep. you're my prisoner.

... now, what this is for, i'm not quite sure, but my initial reaction is to use it for live acoustic (open fire). i can't use it for this is hardcore, that's for sure. the tone, the words... everything reflects the belief that these two characters care for each other. no one cares about anyone in this is hardcore, so obviously i can't use it there.

i've also been listening to a lot of "sad bastard" music lately. gets me in the mood to write live acoustic (open fire). the more i think about it, the more excited i am to write that over this is hardcore. but really, that's more due to the fact that i always get bored of current projects about two/thirds the way through and latch onto new things. perhaps tomorrow after some sleep i'll try another go at finishing this is hardcore.


cover girl

so, it looks like i'm going to have to redo the back cover to this is hardcore. jen doesn't like the picture i used, so that means having to reshoot and redo the whole thing, which is fine by me. it's better that she voiced her opinion now, because once it's published, there's no turning back!

at any rate, it'll be a while before i debut the cover. depending on how the shoot goes, i may change the front cover too if the pictures are better. i didn't really plan anything last time, so i didn't really get the shots i wanted, so this time out, i'm going to do it properly.

*** just hit me. i know how i want to shoot the new cover. it's gonna be good. ***


words, words, words...

here's a list of the things that i'm working on:

this is hardcore - fully formed, this high concept thriller is about love and death and werewolves. it's about the male fear of losing control and power as told through three chapters: romance, horror and psycho. i am two-thirds done the first draft. the cover is completed, thanks to jen's awesome willingness to model for me (thanks babe!) i will probably debut it here and on conquerednationpress.com in the next month or two, as soon as i'm done the first draft. really, it will take several months to rework the draft into something that is even remotely worth publishing.

live acoustic (open fire) - my experimental piece, so far about a girl named sloan. it is experimental because i've never had a female lead character (most of my writing tends to be male dominated. go figure. however, this could be a disaster, coming from a guy who only understands guys and writes about guys. just look at what happened to nick hornby and how to be good. just kidding. only slightly.) also, i tend to meticulously plan my books before writing. usually i am unable to write the actual book unless i have a beginning and end already thought up and written. this one i'm leaving open ended. it could end up as a short story, it could be a novella, it could be a full-fledged novel. who knows? i have no idea as to what the book will be about. so far, all i do know is that it's about sloan and it will have a happy ending. another first for me. personally, i think happy endings are overrated, but sometimes you just need one, and the right one at the right time can be just the thing. so far, here's all i have on the book:

To be free. It’s as much a state of love and trust as anything ever was. If you want me, she told him, you’re going to have to follow through. This is unlike anything that has ever been. Uniqueness, she told him, emboldens the spirit, and it is embodied by what we share. I, she told him, want you every day. It’s not enough to put me in your liner notes. I am not a thank you. All dressed up, she told him, just like you want me, but you don’t give a damn. Is it possible, she told him, that this is so obvious? She told him all of these things through tears and stinging slaps and ended up in the place she deep down inside was afraid that she’d be: the backseat of a taxi cab.

Falling down on her knees, caught between everything she’s wanted and everything she’s never been able to have, she doesn’t deal well. Down on her knees, wrestled there and pinned by the weight of it all...

revolutionaries wanted - i really liked this title. i want to write a political opus, and i figured this would be a great title. all i've got is the image of a guy with a big-ass beard wearing a white t-shirt and boxer shorts with slippers. it's funny: i find myself wanting to stretch further and further from where i began. desert sessions... an anti-corporate love story was my generational piece on us twenty-something twixters, those left behind in the dust of generation x; this is hardcore is my genre thriller piece; revolutionaries wanted will be my political opus, which brings me to the final piece on my very full plate...

i still love the bomb - originally thought up as a novella regarding a rip off of homer's odyssey, it has now turned into what will be my modern epic. i haven't decided yet if i want to make it a sci-fi piece. the problem i have with sci-fi is that writing techno-babble really sucks for me, and in order for it to be good sci-fi, it still has to have good science in it (at least that's the sci-fi that i like). at any rate, i know i have to live more in order to write this, so this will be on the back burner until i am fifty or sixty. here's a bit of what i have written down for this. it's about some guy trying to get laid at a wake:

I’ve never known a girl like her before. In the all-too-short span that I’ve known her, she’s always been someone else’s girl. She was Mark’s girl, Drew’s girl, Sebastian’s girl, Matthew’s girl, and for a brief two week period she was Suzie’s girl, before ending up as Keith’s girl. I suppose she was my girl for two hours Friday night, but Friday night seems so fucking long ago. I sidle up to her and press myself against her, cornering her. She’s not wearing a bra. She looks at me with those steel eyes of hers. She just stands there as she lets my hands slide up her hips, pulling her dress up. “What do you think you’re doing?” she suddenly hisses. She squirms away from me. She’s being vicious again. She’s like this most of the time. Everything is done on her timetable. “Go fuck yourself,” she mouths at me silently as she disappears around a corner. It's a shame, really. There's cancer, Aids, crime, war; with all the things in the world that need fixing, none of it seem to matter because all i want to do is get laid.

finally, i have something called, life, the existential hell. i don't know if this will be a book or what. i just like the line. maybe it'll be the name of a chapter in one of my books or something.

my fellow conquered nation peers are also hard at work on some projects. len has spoken about a satirical look at what the world would be like if the christian right won in the end. this is incredibly ambitious with lots of research involved, which means automatically it's something that i don't have the patience to write myself. caroline is reworking an adult fable (at least, that's what i think it is) about a girl and her rats that just ends up a little on this side of sadistic. speaking of sadistic, adam has something hidden away involving some guy that goes psycho on a girl that makes fun of him or something. adam doesn't really divulge much; it's like pulling teeth trying to get him to talk about it let alone let me read some of it.

so that's the long and short of it. er, more long than short i suppose. now, back to trying to finish this is hardcore...

thank you, don juan

here is an excerpt from this is hardcore. i haven't been too motivated to write anything for the last two or three weeks, which is a shame. just too much other crap on my mind i suppose. anyway, here's a snippet of abe warning will about the pitfalls of love...

He puts a hand to my bare chest and shoves me against the window. “What you see is not what she is. That skin she’s wearing is just a sack of meat for her real self to hide in. Careful man. I know she’s all pretty and sparkly, but all that’s just window dressing. She’s a cancer that will rot your soul.”

“Whatever you’re on, Abe, I-”

He shoves me again. “Get a grip, Will. I see the way you look at her. Do you really think that what you’re feeling is safe? Are you really that stupid to think you’re in love with this girl?”

“Who said anything about love?” I’m stammering now.

“Love is an orgiastic experience. It’s explosive, unpredictable and it can make you invincible. But love is putting all your chips into one basket. Love is power and if you love a girl, you give her that power,” he says. “It makes you into Achilles. You are a fucking immortal, a fucking demi-god, a fucking indestructible piece of iron ore and it’s like you know karate, but all it takes is that one shot and you’re dead. All it takes is that one hit, that one hit in the one chink in your armour and you’re through, and if she knows you love her, she knows she owns you, and she knows about that Achilles heel.” I look over his shoulder at Cassandra, who has taken out the rest of our clothes and is now curiously starting to put more quarters into the machine. “Do not shit yourself, my friend, because regardless of what you believe, in the end, she will end you if she can. Don’t give her that power. Power is leverage. Power is sway. Power is a buy into a mindfuck. You don’t know karate, Will, and you sure as hell don’t want to be Achilles. Keep it that way. You’re guaranteed to live longer.” She turns on the machine and starts to climb on top of it. Abe grabs me by my face with both hands and says, “I am telling you, that girl is a fucking classic monster. She’s a goddamned preying mantis. She will fuck you and eat you alive from the head on down, and not necessarily in that order.”

I just look at Abe and give him a half-smile. “Thank you… Don Juan.”