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March 25, 2010 in Blog

wretched

Click to enlarge.

This is what it feels like.

More soon.

TK

Out with the old.

January 5, 2010 in Blog

Hello, 2010.  Goodbye, 2009.  I admit I’m a few days late with the obligatory “reflecting on the last year” blog post, but I wanted to take some time away from the digital world for the few days of the year (and then some).

Let’s see.  This past year was a very difficult one, for many reasons, some of which I won’t go into.  I set a lot of goals which I failed to meet.  I think it was around the end of January ’09 when I committed to finishing THE LIMINAL MAN by Fall of the same year.  Here we are in 2010 and, while 40k words of said novel are written, I’m picking things apart and rearranging them so they’re less bloated.  Whatever’s left will remain on the cutting room floor.  As it stands, I have five whole chapters of notes and less than one full chapter of coherent text.  Yes, 2009 was the year I paid for taking 2008 off from writing altogether.  Those 40k words painfully show the year I spent away from the written word.  I’m not considering it a loss, though.  I’ve had to keep reminding myself that some writers take years to complete a novel.  For now I’m considering 2009 more of a planning period in which I figured out just what kind of book TLM wants to be.  I’m happy to say it’s now on track (for real this time, yo).

Alternatively, my book A LIFE TRANSPARENT saw a sudden resurgence in sales during the latter half of the year due to its inclusion in several book club reading lists.  I’m grateful for this, even if one person happened to hate it very, very much.  For the folks out there  on Goodreads who took the time to read it and offer your reviews, I thank you.  I’m (slowly) working on revising the book for a second edition which I hope to make available by this summer.

Erica finally started selling her crafts on Etsy and has found modest success in doing so.  I’m happy to see her doing something she enjoys.  Her shop is called Clever Little Thing, and I encourage you to take a look, as you might find something that strikes your fancy.

I caved in and joined Twitter this year, thinking it wouldn’t prove to be useful.  On the contrary, I’m happy to say it’s put me in contact with many writer folk, as well as mags such as PANK (who ran an article I wrote about self-publishing), Flatmancrooked, and One Story.  It’s also how I managed to score two free VIP tickets to see NIN back in June.  All in all I’d say I use Twitter more than any other social network, as it’s simple, straightforward, and without annoying invitations to Farmville that number in the hundreds.

2009 was a year filled with a lot of tension, personal failures and tiny victories.  It was a year of growing pains.  In the end, I am at the start of ’10 a step ahead of where I was at the start of ’09, and based on that, I guess I can’t really complain at all, huh?  Sure, I’m a year older, a few pounds heavier, and a bit crankier, but I’ve got a decent life that still teeters on the edge of abnormality just enough to suit me.

And so, looking ahead into 2010, I have no resolutions.  I do have some goals, though, and a better idea of how to achieve them.  My wish for 2010 is the same as it was for the year before, and the one before that:  Take this year and make it yours.  I will do the same.

TK

June already?

June 15, 2009 in Blog

Well now.  Where have I been?  Last time I thought about this blog, it was May.  Now it’s the middle of June.  Time, as they say, certainly flies – and not always in the direction you want it to.  I’ll have to be brief as I’m a little busy at the moment, but I thought I’d share some things:

  • An excerpt of The Liminal Man appears in the second issue of The Clearfield Review. Many thanks to the editor Amber Beilharz for suffering through a few minor edits to fit their space constraints.
  • The Nine Inch Nails show went well.  No, I didn’t get to meet Reznor.  I won’t go into detail here because there’s really no point to it, but in case you’re curious, this will sum up everything. Otherwise, it was an awesome show, we made a couple of friends, and I decided I will never, ever visit Camden, New Jersey again for as long as I live.
  • An uprising of personal issues halted progress on the book for the last two weeks.  Chapter four still isn’t finished.  I plan to fix that in the coming days.
  • Upgrading to the latest version of WordPress completely deleted my widgets.  This explains the blank appearances of the sidebar.  I’ll (slowly) be working to rectify this.
  • An idea for a book – one I’ve had for well over a year now – keeps coming back, which means that by the time I finish TLM it will be ripe and ready.  It won’t be an easy story to write but, then again, they never are.

Well, I think that’s about it for now.  I’ll be fixing the sidebar thing in the next few days.  So, your turn:  what have you been up to?

TK

Thank you, Mr. Reznor

May 15, 2009 in Blog

trent_twitter

Allow me to tell you about the day I had.

First, a little background.  Anyone who knows me also knows I’m a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails.  Everyone has a favorite band.  NIN happens to be mine.  When I was 16 and still trying to figure out this whole writing thing, I had a lot of heroes and sources of inspiration.  Two of them sort of came together at a pivotal moment:  Chuck Palahniuk and Trent Reznor.  Chuck’s writing style showed me it was okay to break the rules.  Trent’s work helped me tap into what I wanted to really say.  Yes, I know this is going to sound like a bunch of drivel written by a high school student, but stick with me here for a second.  Trivial or not, drivel or not, it meant something to me.  I found meaning and inspiration in the art these guys created.

I wrote my first novel to the backdrop of the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral.  The book was an angsty, violent story, fueled by the noise coming from my stereo and written in a minimalist style similar to Palahniuk.  It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t good, but it’s that first piece of work that made me decide this is what I want to do.  Over the last ten years my style’s moved away from Chuck’s form of prose to something a lot more traditional, but my need to listen to NIN every time I write something has not changed one bit.  I’ve realized, over the last couple of years, that my novel ALT was subconsciously inspired by a few NIN songs.  The new book draws from the themes of relevance found on the With Teeth album.  I’m embarassed to say that I never mentioned Reznor in the acknowledgments of the book.  At the time I thought it would appear immature so I left it out.  I’ll be able to rectify that now – not by thanking him on paper, but by doing so in person.

Today I won tickets and backstage passes to see Nine Inch Nails perform at the show of my choosing.

The way it happened is, ever since the tour started, Trent’s been doing quick contests on Twitter.  They range from the first five people to click a link, to #1001 through #1005, and so on.  Today, however, Trent had something else in mind:

@trent_reznor: To win FREE TIX AND BACKSTAGE PASSES TO ANY SHOW IN THE US – do the following:

@trent_reznor: Write to @davenavarro6767 and tell him what you find the MOST sexy about him. I’ll pick 5 winners after about 1,000 entries. Be creative.

For starters, yes, that’s the real Dave Navarro.  I’m a big fan of Dave’s solo album Trust No One.  I recommend it.  But, I can’t exactly say I’ve ever looked at a picture of him and thought he was sexy.  Maybe I’m weird, or maybe it’s because I’m a guy, but I can’t say I’ve ever found him attractive.  Ladies may have differing opinions, though.  In any case, I didn’t have much time to react.  The world of Twitter moves incredibly fast, and Trent’s got over 500k followers.  It wouldn’t take long for Dave to get slammed with 1000 responses.  So, what to say?  What could I say?  A million and one things ran through my head in the span of about thirty seconds, so I took a breath and let the words spill out:

The sexiest thing about Dave is the sheen of sweat on his shirtless back. I can’t believe I just wrote that

I followed that up with a message to Trent:

The demeaning things you make me do to win tickets, you smarmy bastard.

I let it be, then.  I’d tried to enter his little contests over the last few days but it seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen.  I’d either miss the contest altogether or be too late to the party.  So, I thought nothing of it.  I went about my business.  Then an email notice popped up.  What you see above is that notice.  That was the moment when I lost all direction and the rest of day became a surreal dream.  The message said to send an email to an address he specified (and no, I’m not giving it out, so don’t ask) with a particular subject line, and then they would email back with instructions.   I just got the confirmation.

So, Erica and I will be rocking Camden, NJ on June 5th, not from the lawn as we’d expected, but from good seats.  Afterward, we’ll be backstage, and I have every intention of giving Trent a copy of ALT as my way of saying thanks.  I can’t even properly relate to you folks how I’m feeling right now.  The closest word I can think of is simply “elated.”

TK

Wave goodbye.

May 12, 2009 in Blog

Okay, one more before I go to bed.  Watch in HD if you can: