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Epic bio for an epic band: Bury the Machines (conquering writer’s block)

A few weeks back I was tasked to write a bio for a new musical group called: Bury the Machines. I don’t usually do writing like this so I was a little hesitant and voiced my concern. However, I was assured they were familiar with my writing and all would go well. We’ll see, I thought. Though, the name alone was enticing enough to to peak my interest: Bury the Machines! What’s that about – what could it be about?

My friend John Bomher, the brainchild behind this duo (which includes Mark Serpico) sent me an early preview of their debut track, “Mutant Magnet.” He added that it was inspired about people going into the desert and building homes out of garbage called “Earth Ships“. Then he tossed the lyrics my way and touched on a few personal moments and influences to which I was familiar and said go to town.

Some of you will know that music is a big part of my writing process. When I write, it is almost exclusively while listening to a playlist over and over again. I also spent an earlier part of my life in the local music scene managing a Stoner Rock band (I Decline). John Bomher was a part of that scene, but has since moved out to Los Angeles. Bomher is a musician and all around sound guru who is also associated with Horse Drawn Productions. At some point Bomher had a collaboration project with my other long time friend John Doyle (I Decline). You might recall, that the two of them agreed to let me use music from their collaboration for the book trailer that was developed for “Curious Anomalies“.

When I donned my headphones to start my writing process for this project I began by perusing the lyrics Bomher had sent me for Mutant Magnet. The words strode out bold and defiant and filled my mind with desert images, old rusted out machines and these strange Earth Ships. As the sands blew about inside my head, I also thought back to my past with Bomher and some of the touchstones we shared. I let my mind wander. The music was heavy, filled with a dirge of emotion. The beats and melody came fast, the song cried out like voices lost in the wind. A wash of electronic sounds, pulsing beats and striving riffs. Definitely something I could sink my teeth into.

However, I had recently been struggling through a stretch of writer’s block. Words just hadn’t been coming lately and I was very rusty. I hoped this project would break me though that. I was worried that it wouldn’t.

At first I let my consciousness run wild and chased all the ideas I could grasp. They frittered about like loose kite strings flying free on a windy day. Words came–as they will do–and I occasionally grabbed hold of the strings and yanked the kites backward and upward. Yearning to bring them into proper place. Still, there were many kites and the wind kept changing directions. Writer’s block sometimes means that you sit at a computer (or pad of paper) and stare at nothing, other times you do actually write, but it’s hard-pressed crap. Not the usual self-doubting crap, where you’re just questioning the level of your talent but real blockage. You put words on paper, but they seem to mean nothing and refuse to go anywhere. Real blockage. Like trying to unclog a toilet by flushing again (sometimes it works, but sometimes it becomes a real mess).

Oftentimes, as a writer, it’s best to just let these things happen when you’re starting something new. Stream of consciousness writing can be fruitful for getting all your ideas out to see what you have and unblock the stopgaps. After you do this for a bit you hope that workable patterns and themes will form. This time, the useful parts didn’t come so easily. My mind seemed to be going in lots of directions at once. I pushed on. There were lots of false starts. Things got longer and longer. And seemingly less coherent.

I’m primarily a fiction writer and I wasn’t going to write a straight-forward bio. I wasn’t charged with that. So I searched over all the themes and events I had explored, trying to find a meaningful thread to pull them together.The process took longer than I expected (though I knew the recent bout of writer’s block would be a struggle), and I feared I wasn’t going to have anything useful. In the end I spoke to Bomher and set a deadline for myself. That seemed to help. I managed a first draft and sent it to Bomher who gave me some input and encouraged me forward.

Slowly the story pieces revealed themselves like rocks surfacing in the desert sands. The more I worked at it the bigger and more polished the stones became. In the end, I had the story. It’s part personal, part abstract. A little long too, but I think the voice comes through. So, if you’re interested in knowing more about this band, take a look at the bio I wrote.

Here’s a short teaser, but you can see the whole bio at the band’s website (www.burythemachines.com):

“Bury the Machines is born from the flames of a February tragedy. The proclivities of a mind gone to rot. Cold stirred ashes, reinvigorated from the burning remnants of life, destroyed in heinous depravity. Endings swallowing endings. A terrible and hopeless act of desperate violence. Unbearable waves of grief and unanswerable questions. John Bomher, in one phone call, found out that his long-time, road brother had put a decidedly definitive end to their friendship…”

The other awesome thing is that the band is releasing new tracks at scheduled intervals online. The first track is “Mutant Magnet” which Bomher let me listen to it while I wrote the bio. The Track is being released today so you should go check it out now!

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CURIOUS ANOMALIES – Top 10 #Free #Scifi shorts on #Amazon

My Scifi short Curious Anomalies is FREE on Amazon and currently ranks in the Top 10. Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Anomalies-ebook/dp/B009N6SW0M. Check out the screen shot below:

Top 8 Free Scifi Shorts on Amazon (2-18-13)

Top 8 Free Scifi Shorts on Amazon (2-18-13)

The story has been trending well with 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads. The website “WiLoveBooks” said this: “A cool little story about what happens when you mess around with nature. The author did a great job of building up the suspense. Bats creep me out anyway. I may have nightmares now. A fun, creepy, short read.”

I appreciate all the support and hope people continue to enjoy the story.

Synopsis: Rick Silvano, an anxious young geneticist, has gotten himself entangled with a violent, South American, drug-lord named Diego Peres. Rick’s talents have been enlisted by Peres to create genetically enhanced watchdogs, by combining common moustache bats with Africanized honeybees. Everything has gone smoothly for the last three years until now, the night before Peres is due to inspect his investment. Clive Pinkerman, who hosts a late-night, radio conspiracy show, announces on-air that he is going to break into the genetic laboratory to uncover a massive alien conspiracy he believes is housed there. Suddenly, Rick must juggle his time between stopping Clive, and making sure the experiment works so that the temperamental Peres will not be displeased.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Curious Anomalies

 

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CURIOUS ANOMALIES in Top 15 FREE Scifi Short Stories today !

“Curious Anomalies” has skyrocketed to #11 in Amazon’s Top FREE Science Fiction Short Stories (check out the screen shot). The story is free today and can be obtained here: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Anomalies-ebook/dp/B009N6SW0M  (killer bats, killer bees, a mad geneticist, a South-American druglord, and alien conspiracies….what more could you want !)

Top 15 Free Scifi Short Stories

Top 15 Free Scifi Short Stories

On Amazon’s UK website “Curious Anomalies” is ranked at #22 in Free Fiction Short Stories. In other news my previous story “The Energy Scavengers” continues to display in the Top 100 Free Scifi Short Stories coming in today at #41. Thanks to everyone for the downloads and happy reading in the New Year!

 

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“Curious Anomalies” will be FREE on 1/01/13 for Kindle at Amazon.com

My new science fiction novelette called: “Curious Anomalies” will be FREE on 1/01/13 for Kindle at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Anomalies-ebook/dp/B009N6SW0M

Here is the video trailer: http://youtu.be/qIOOFZ56AGc

Synopsis: “Rick Silvano, an anxious young geneticist, has gotten himself entangled with a violent, South American, drug-lord named Diego Peres. Rick’s talents have been enlisted by Peres to create genetically enhanced watchdogs, by combining common moustache bats with Africanized honeybees. Everything has gone smoothly for the last three years until now, the night before Peres is due to inspect his investment. Clive Pinkerman, who hosts a late-night, radio conspiracy show, announces on-air that he is going to break into the genetic laboratory to uncover a massive alien conspiracy he believes is housed there. Suddenly, Rick must juggle his time between stopping Clive, and making sure the experiment works so that the temperamental Peres will not be displeased.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Curious Anomalies

 

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“Curious Anomalies” Free on 12/04/12 and write up in local newspaper

“Curious Anomalies” a scifi short, will be free again for Kindle on 12/04/12 at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Anomalies-ebook/dp/B009N6SW0M/

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIOOFZ56AGc&feature=plcp

Synopsis: “Rick Silvano, an anxious young geneticist, has gotten himself entangled with a violent, South American, drug-lord named Diego Peres. Rick’s talents have been enlisted by Peres to create genetically enhanced watchdogs, by combining common moustache bats with Africanized honeybees. Everything has gone smoothly for the last three years until now, the night before Peres is due to inspect his investment. Clive Pinkerman, who hosts a late-night, radio conspiracy show, announces on-air that he is going to break into the genetic laboratory to uncover a massive alien conspiracy he believes is housed there. Suddenly, Rick must juggle his time between stopping Clive, and making sure the experiment works so that the temperamental Peres will not be displeased.”

In other news, I got a bit more than a mention in The Orland Park Prairie (a weekly newspaper serving the Orland Park area). Staff Writer, Jessica Cilella, did a write up on the Orland Park Library author fair I attended and asked me a few questions. The article is in the November 12, 2012 edition. You need a subscription to view the whole article, but the link is here: http://www.opprairie.com/Articles-Life-and-Arts-c-2012-11-12-253042.114133-Local-authors-share-work-at-Orland-Park-Public-Library.html#mail

orlandpark.22CM

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Curious Anomalies

 

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Black Friday giveway for Curious Anomalies on Amazon

“Curious Anomalies” a scifi short, will be free again for Kindle on 11/23/12 at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Anomalies-ebook/dp/B009N6SW0M/

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIOOFZ56AGc&feature=plcp

Synopsis: Rick Silvano, an anxious young geneticist, has gotten himself entangled with a violent, South American, drug-lord named Diego Peres. Rick’s talents have been enlisted by Peres to create genetically enhanced watchdogs, by combining common moustache bats with Africanized honeybees. Everything has gone smoothly for the last three years until now, the night before Peres is due to inspect his investment. Clive Pinkerman, who hosts a late-night, radio conspiracy show, announces on-air that he is going to break into the genetic laboratory to uncover a massive alien conspiracy he believes is housed there. Suddenly, Rick must juggle his time between stopping Clive, and making sure the experiment works so that the temperamental Peres will not be displeased.

Curious Anomalies – Cover Artwork

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Curious Anomalies

 

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Curious Anomalies – FREE on 10/27/12 at Amazon.com

My new scifi short story will be FREE for Kindle again on 10/27/12 at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Anomalies-ebook/dp/B009N6SW0M/

Synopsis: “Rick Silvano, an anxious young geneticist, has gotten himself entangled with a violent, South American, drug-lord named Diego Peres. Rick’s talents have been enlisted by Peres to create genetically enhanced watchdogs, by combining common moustache bats with Africanized honeybees. Everything has gone smoothly for the last three years until now, the night before Peres is due to inspect his investment. Clive Pinkerman, who hosts a late-night, radio conspiracy show, announces on-air that he is going to break into the genetic laboratory to uncover a massive alien conspiracy he believes is housed there. Suddenly, Rick must juggle his time between stopping Clive, and making sure the experiment works so that the temperamental Peres will not be displeased.”

Bonus: “The Energy Scavengers” is currently FREE on iTunes, Smashwords, and Sony eReader

Also, I will be attending an Author Fair that day at the Orland Park Library located in Orland Park, Illinois (USA):

Southland Author Fair

Stop by the Southland Author Fair with Crafters on Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet local authors who have written and published children’s picture books, poetry, historical non-fiction, romances, and mysteries. A new addition this year features crafters from the Country Cupboard, Knitting, Etc., and Graue Mill who will demonstrate spinning, knitting, and counted cross stitch.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Curious Anomalies

 

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