In anticipation of Somewhere in the Shadows, which is tentatively scheduled to release on December 01, 2012, I wanted to share a short snippet from my story "Charlatan".
For more information on this short story anthology, please visit here.
At some point in our lives, most of us have spent time with another human being, who at first seemed quite lovely and breath-taking, but later wanted to take our breaths away literally. While there might be some sort of attraction to said person or a deep case of sympathy, someone who is genuinely frightened or concerned by their significant other would make the hard choice of walking away. However, for those of us who were not the "psychopaths", we might've made the worst decision ever. Why? Well, you'll have to continue reading. You might just be surprised by what follows.
The story "Sleep" from the short story collection No-Injury Policy was deeply influenced by college debt. Although the story is meant to be a bit absurd and make as much logically sense as a nightmare, "Sleep" aims to reveal what happens to a world that is burdened by social pressures, one of which being the expectancy to excel after college.
The thing with college is, most people further their education for a better tomorrow. However, once you've finished bettering yourself, you step back into a world that might have forgotten about you until you've made a huge leap in your life, such as procuring a prestigious career. But how do you keep improving your life when all of your decisions are based on money - that average student debt of $23,000? WOULD YOUR LIFE BE BETTER WITHOUT THE SHACKLE OF STUDENT LOANS?
By nature, literature has always remained somewhat conservative. I don't mean this in any political way, and I don't mean the content is too PG (I think that wave is almost over). When I say literature is a bit too conservative, I mean the concept of a book or publication. Literature has always been slow to react, as we saw with the Big 6's hesitance towards eBooks. And even though we're somewhere in the transition from print to digital, I don't think the eBook will ever save literature, so to speak. I've come up with 3 ideas for literature to save itself, or otherwise it might contribute to it's own death.
It's a harsh evening the the desert town, when the cowboy turns to face his partner and say, "Man, I'm parched." When the partner turns around to reply, we pan out enough to see a giant Pepsi sign glowing over the face of a vending machine. We've all encountered product placement and integration before - some of it more appropriately executed than others - and we all know the reason for the Pepsi machine in the background exists because Pepsi supported the financial end of the film in some way. Could the same concept be applied to literature? Maybe it's a long time coming. Maybe it was never used in books for reason. Or maybe it's all ready happened and we just haven't realized it.
It's getting closer to bedtime and you're looking at your loved one, thinking about the ways you would love to express your love. The day was a long one, and now you want to share the excitement of a relationship and reduce stress in one fell swoop. You start with the sweet nothings and pillow talk shortly before your loved one turns to you and says they're too tired, too stressed, or they have a headache. Now, making love would be the cure-all in this instance, but it takes two to tango. Getting two people to agree about anything is difficult. So there you are, wanting to embrace your lover and wishing the stressors keeping you awake at night would go away. What do you do?
At the risk of coming off "too political", I'm going to make a comment or two about the election taking place today. If you're registered to vote, there's no excuse not to. You're just one step away. However, there a few disappointments you might encounter.
From day one, we learn plagiarism is a big no-no. Likewise, we tend to dislike anyone who "borrows" our hard work, whether in the case of a story or a witticism.
But can someone borrow just a little and get away with it?
For instance, music producers tend to pay an "homage" to other artists by sampling their tracks. We've seen in the past how record labels can sue each other for sharing too much of the same work. Does the same rule apply to literature?
Halloween is already in the past, but for me the scares have only begun. Most people will read eerie stories or watch one of the thousand Stephen King adaptations they play on every channel before and after FX - just for one night! To me, this is the time of year during which I wolf down numerous eerie tales. However, as of late, I'm having a hard time finding some good, scary tales. It seems the villains have been watered down. You can save that stuff for the kiddies. If you want a better villain, consider what's next in this entry.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.