My Heart Is A Chainsaw

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Let’s start with basics, I love slashers, and there are few decent slashers in literature, at least that I’ve found.

I know the format for writing book reviews, but I can’t do it that way.

Here‘s a link to what you’re supposed to do when you review a book.

Let’s get into this.

I started this book after receiving it in my NightWorms horror book box, but I got sidetracked by writing projects, researching Norse Paganism, and reading other things. The Norse paganism is something for me personally, and if you look at my recent reads, you’ll see I’ve dived into that pretty heavily, but let’s get back to this review.

The book’s opening is classic for a slasher, much like the opening for Friday the 13th. It begins before everything goes crazy, and we see two people doing things that will get you killed in a slasher. What it also does is add some mystery to what’s happening and foreshadow things to come later, which Stephen is brilliant at doing.

After the opening, we move to Jade, who is now one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait for my wife to read this book. She’s going to love this character.

Jade is a character that we know a little about, but the discovery process is terrific as the first chapter moves along. The glimpses into her world, one that, as a guy and white, I can’t relate to, but wearing those tags, makes me feel terrible.

I know people who lived on reservations when I lived in Mesquite, NV, and I understand the way our government and society treat Indigenous people. I’ve had discussions about this with friends.

As we move along, Jade is deep into a belief that something is going to happen in her little town. To me, it appeared like she had mental issues caused by something, but I won’t get into that. Her refuge for her trauma is horror. It has been mine since I was a kid, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much.

The number of movies the author talks about is crazy. I had to go find a list of them. This list is a spoiler of coming attractions in the book, so be wary of looking at the list if you want to go in blind.

As the story progresses, more elements of slashers come into play. Jade believes that a girl is a final girl for whatever the killer’s purpose is. There are loads of red herrings throughout, but the sheer evil of some of them made me pause and wonder numerous times, but it all came around to the finality in proper slasher form.

The date of 4th of July is classic and is pulled from one of the best slashers, Jaws.

Now, as the finality goes on, other things come into play, and while I want to spoil it, I won’t.

This is a book that I enjoyed so much, and Stephen is one of my favorite authors.

I know this wasn’t a perfect review, but I want to leave some important things out. It’s best to experience this book for yourself, and I don’t want to be the one to screw it up.

On another note, I’ll be doing more of this in the future. If there is a book you’d like to me review, let me know.

Are you working hard enough?

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When I contemplated giving up writing, I wondered if the problem was my work ethic.

This is never a question at my day job. It’s never been a question for any job I’ve ever worked, at least not since I grew up, which is a subjective statement.

Each of us grow up differently.

My wife was more mature than I was when we started dating. I am aware that it took me a while to understand a few things. It’s not that I’m not smart, it had to do more with who we are as people. It had to do with our life experiences. My wife went to college straight from high school. I did a year of college and hated it. There are many instances of this in our relationship.

She’s told my I intimidate her because of how my mind works, which makes me uncomfortable. There are other instances, but I digress.

Why do I have this trouble with my writing when it’s not in any other job?

Let’s analyze:

  • Imposter syndrome is a big one for me. I often wonder if there’s something else I should be doing. That I don’t owe it to my writing to focus as much as I know I should.
  • Not setting work hours. I do that with my current project, but once I’m done for the day I put everything away and do something else. I know this is the wrong approach, but I guess there’s a part of me that has difficulty accepting what I’m doing. It’s the guy part. The part that says I should be working. That I should be making money to support my family. That’s the big one.
  • Putting away things that get in the way. This has a bit to do with my day job and how I’m not really happy with it. I feel my day job gets in the way of my writing. It stresses me out more than the writing that’s for certain.
  • Exhaustion from working late night events. This is a big one. I am tired as hell some days and pulling myself out of bed at 6:00 am when I got home at 2:30 is difficult. Today was one of those days.
  • Telling people no. This relates more to my day job, which is for a bartending service. They send an email or text and ask if I can work. I say yes or no. But there are days when I want to say no because I’d rather be writing.

All of these are difficult when my brain tells me I need to work harder, I wonder if it’s screwing with me.

What this all leads to is starting to set a real schedule. Only doing events after a certain time in the day.

I know my managers don’t look at my writing as a real job, and I guess sometimes I don’t either.

It’s hard to consider something you’re doing a job when you don’t get paid for it.

There are moments of hope during the week, but they’re few and far between.

I have received about $48.00 since I published my collection last year. I know it’s more than I received the previous year for anything, but it’s not much.

I’ll be setting up a real work schedule: Mornings are for new stuff, edits are for after lunch. I’ll be more stingy with what’s important to me. Some of these are folded into others when they’re done.

I’ll start tomorrow.

It’s difficult…

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A while ago, I don’t remember when, I came across a quote. I don’t remember if it was about writing or not, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t, but it was something to the effect of, “When things get hard, that means you’ve leveled up.”

I must have leveled up like a mother f’er, because things have been difficult as hell. I know my regular readers will acknowledge that.

Here’s the thing, you have to fight through it. I’ll continue to take some time off because I’m still struggling, but this quote popped in my head today, I don’t know why, but it did.

Now, there is this quote and there is my writing that I haven’t done shit with, at least not enough for me.

I’m also thinking about how I’ve looked at my writing. How I’d hoped getting published would help my family out, even a little bit, but that hasn’t happened, but this realization has.

So, let’s do a bit of retcon:

I’ve written 6 or 7 books since my family moved from Las Vegas to Utah six years ago. I’ve submitted nearly all of those books and received rejections on all of them. But with those stories I didn’t edit all of them. I wrote them and they’re on my laptop, but they’re only there, and that’s when another quote hit me, “If you decide rejection is the scariest thing to you, you’ll always avoid it, but if decide regret is the scariest thing, then you’ll continue. No rejection could be as painful as the regret of not trying.”

Rejection hurts like a mother f’er, but that act of not trying and the regret I’ll feel over that is more painful.

Back to the retcon:

Finding a way out and deciding to limit my exposure to social media as well as writing for me instead of writing to get published will change how I feel. I will continue to submit, but I will not submit so I can say, “look what I did.” That’s not going to work.

I will submit based upon whether I have something or if it’s a finished project, I’ll submit it, but as for submitting just for the act of it, I’m not doing that anymore. It’s too damn hard.

I will continue to write horror and maybe other genres, but my dark heart requires blood and I’ll feed it.

Something about vampires.

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The topic of vampires has been in my head for the last few weeks. I think it’s because my wife and I watched “Blood Red Sky” on Netflix. It was good, a very different take, but there were things about it I really enjoyed.

I won’t give a spoiler type review here, but all of it was good. Of course there are things I didn’t care for, but that’s with most movies.

Vampires have been one of the things I’ve avoided writing because of the deluge of vampire stories in the early and mid ’00s. But I need to get this off my chest.

I’ve been a vampire freak since I was a kid. I saw Dracula with Bela Lugosi at my aunt’s, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which is still awesome, but with the number of vampire stories I referenced in above, there have been few stories that received traction. There are some, but for the most part you have to go looking for them.

Now here’s where I go geek. I researched vampires numerous times. I know all of the lore, and while I find some boring as hell–Twilight–there are others that I found incredible–30 Days of Night.

But with being out of the vampire decade, which is what the ’00s felt like to me. I feel it’s time for them to come back.

Brian Keene has one out, and it’s next on my TBR. There is also Savage by Daniel Soule, and Villimey Mist’s Nocturnal series. Those last two hit my radar recently and I’m looking forward to diving in.

I am looking forward to the return of dark, scary vampires, but until then, check out the authors and their work that I listed above.

I’ll be back on Wednesday,

What may come…

I had no intention of writing anything on the blog today, but here we are.

I don’t know why I haven’t been writing on here more often, it’s just something that I haven’t found interesting.

It’s not to say that I haven’t been writing, that’s been happening. It’s when I come to the keyboard to write a blog post that I feel bored.

I have a lot to say about things, but when I write on here it doesn’t feel the same as when I do my creative work.

So here goes, I have a few things out with various places as well as a two novella’s I’ll be editing and submitting in the near future. If those fall through in submissions I may publish them anyway.

I feel good about my short story collection and I’ve recently changed the price for the ebook to $2.99.

It hasn’t gained traction and I may go over it with another round of edits and republish it. I’ve also dropped off on publicity for it, and that may the biggest determiner for its lack of success.

On the reading front, I’m reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

I have never read westerns, but my older brother had a lot of Louis L’Amour books in his room when we were growing up. He was loved the whole cowboy thing, but it was never my thing. It’s been a difficult book to get through. I haven’t been reading much outside my own genre and I know why I’ve struggled reading it.

On another front of reading, my wife and I recently read, Goddess of Filth by V. Castro. This was not a book I would have bought, but there was a lot of buzz around it in the horror community on Instagram as well as Twitter. It came in our Nightworms book package and it was phenomenal.

I don’t like leaving this blog sitting as I found a lot of people that need help through Transcendental Meditation. I continue to practice TM and will for the rest of my life.

The blog may still be here and I’m going to make a run at doing more with it, even if it is only once a week.

Have a pleasant rest of your week.