This year was very busy for me. I worked full time the whole year and I can definitely say this: Those of us who work along with pursuing our goals, whatever they may be, have extremely limited time. I completed my second novel, posted several articles to travel site 'Uncharted101.com', Started my third novel 'Homage to Baphomet', submitted a few of my works to 'Wattpad.com', and did my best stay productive. I'd say 2014 was generally positive. They say that progress is measured in inches, and that's exactly what I tried to accomplish. Inching my way to my life long goal. So, as always, I wonder what the next year brings about as far as writing is concerned. Because the novel I'm currently working on is going to be a little longer than my two previous ones, it might take me a little more time to accomplish it. So, hopefully 2015, like 2013 and 2014 before it, is also positive and productive.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
One quick look at the history of accomplished writers will show you that a good number of them committed suicide. To someone like myself, that fact alone causes feelings of unease. If someone, such as Sylvia Plath for example, reaches the pinnacle for which all writers strive to achieve and has that coveted position hold no joy to them, it brings to mind the inquiry if such a place of achievement holds any joy at all, what-so-ever. I've often noticed that, while still living, the lives of many accomplished writers was anything but enjoyed by them. Many were plagued by depression and incurable sadness, regardless of any quirks their success brought to them. One has to simply wonder since, so many were affected in that way, is such a condition necessary to thrive in literature, regardless of genre. Its a question I cannot, myself, easily answer. If one doesn't possess within themselves a sort of inner conflict that continuously forces them to create and express, would they still still carry on as writers? Many great writers of the past were also afflicted by addiction, no doubt fueled by these same inner 'demons'. I suppose I will never know the answers to such questions. But, as trivial as it may sound, I find myself a degree thankful for their suffering. For if such instances did not occur, perhaps none of us would ever be graced by their creations and life itself would be far lesser without them.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Recently I rediscovered an old Interview I did with the Metal Band 'Chainsaw Carnage' for the now-defunct E-zine 'Suite101.com'. When the E-zine went under , I was sure that all the articles I did for them were sadly lost. Fortunately, this one still survives:
Black Metal is an extreme music. It's performers wear corpse paint, worship Satan, strap on leather and spikes, and wreck havoc. Originally beginning in Europe in the mid-90's, it has garnered attention throughout the world. With musical themes that depict the very worst in human nature and views that are clearly anti-religious, it has become the premiere genre for underground music. The name itself actually comes from an album name from English extreme metal band, Venom.
The genre has had more than it's fair share of notoriety. From 1992-1996 arson was committed to over 50 churches in Norway. Suicide and murder have also been attributed to the genre.(Moynihan)
Popular Black metal bands include: Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, and Behemoth. While once thought of as an obscure fad, the numbers of dedicated fans all over the globe speak for themselves.
In San Diego, Black Metal is definitely not the most popular musical genre. While eclipsed by the other more popular styles of pop, hip-hop, R&B, and others the style has yet to reach it's full market potential. Yet, there are others who reside there whose sole mission in life is to raise the flag of Black Metal high for all to see. Enter Chainsaw Carnage.
Formed in 2007 in San Diego, Chainsaw Carnage has made the cause of Metal and madness it's purest passion. Although considered by themselves to still be quite unknown, they feel it will only be a mater of time before their cause is known and understood by other like minded souls.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing frontman and bassist, Blasphemous.
DW: What are your main musical influences?
Blasphemous: Cannibal Corpse, Exhumed, Bestial Mockery, Venom. A little bit of everything when it comes to Metal.
DW: What influences the lyrics to your music?
Blasphemous: Satanism is a major influence. The Occult and Black magic as well. Blood. Gore. General Negativity.
DW: What is your stance on religion?
Blasphemous: It's fake. It does more harm than good. But, I just let it be. You can't really change it.
DW: What prompted you to form a Black Metal band?
Blasphemous: That was the ultimate form of my self-expression. It is my own red badge of honor, if you will. Nothing could ever give to me the satisfaction and drive that being involved in metal gives me.
DW: How many members are in your band and what instruments do they play?
Blasphemous: Let me see, there's Warssacre and Executioner on guitars, Pestilence on vocals, Arch Deceiver on drums, and of course, myself.
I play the bass.
DW: How many shows have you done in San Diego?
Blasphemous: 4-6. Plus, we've done a few shows south of the border as well.
DW: Do you feel that you have had a positive reaction to Black Metal fans in the San Diego area?
Blasphemous: Yes. When we have a show we get a very good reaction. The fans are usually pleased.
DW: Do you believe that Black Metal will become more popular, not only in San Diego, but the rest of the world as well?
Blasphemous: Around the world, it's growing at an alarming rate. However, in San Diego it seems as though it is stagnating.
DW: Do you see your band becoming more popular in the near-future?
Blasphemous: Definitely. We have played shows recently that are huge compared to when we started.
DW: Has your band produced any albums?
Blasphemous: Yes we have actually made two. The first was a 7 inch split with a Japanese band named 'Abigail'. The name of that one is 'Satan plays speed metal'. The second was another split we did with a band named 'Wargoatcult'. It's called 'War and Carnage'.
DW: How do you feel about some in the Black Metal community calling the Heavy Metal scene in San Diego 'Weak'?
Blasphemous: It's true to a degree. I mean, there are a few die hard fans here of course. But, the Metal scene is definitely underground.
DW: Most people view Heavy Metal, and Black Metal in particular, as an obscure and dying genre. How do you feel about that?
Blasphemous: Certain bands and certain individuals give the genre a bad name. What most people don't realize is how much talent and musical ability goes into making metal music.
DW: Thank you for your time.
Blasphemous: No problem, man. Long live Metal!
Monday, November 24, 2014
I have recently completed the first part of my third novel. While it is extremely satisfactory to me that I am that much closer to completing my work, its also a grim reminder that I still have a lot of work to do. I guess the trickiest endeavor for anyone involved with the creation process is to not only never rest on your laurels, its consistently being in the state of inspiration. With so much disappointing material lurking in the new representations of the genre of horror, inspiration can be challenging indeed for someone like myself. In order to stay passionate about my work and never lose the focus I need to make sure they are of utmost quality, I find myself always resorting to the past. For instance, during Halloween night I watched a horror movie from the 80's, a largely forgotten one at that. The name of the film was 'Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou'. While in no way was the film ever one of my favorites, I admit that it kept my horror appetites sated far more appropriately than anything being produced currently. That, among other things, is a reason I truly love Halloween. So many forgotten gems of my favorite genre are taken from the their shadowy confines and for only a brief time made available. If only that could be a more regular occurrence!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
As I continue working on my third novel, the reality is very apparent that this particular book is challenged by certain time constraints. Even though I never give up on writing anything until the final word is put to paper, delays of any kind are always aggravating. But, on the bright side, the story line of 'Homage to Baphomet' is coming along rather keenly. As all of my other tales of the macabre do, it seems to be writing itself. As I await the copyright numbers of my previous novels, hopefully I can be completed with this one by the time I get them. And with the prospect of my travel articles gaining in popularity, necessity demands that I write more of them as well. Recently, I had the privilege of reading of certain aspects of the ghost story writer, Algernon Blackwood, and I love finding certain parallels within myself and the greats of the past, no matter how obscure they may be to the rest of the world. He was also an Occult enthusiast and a member of the magical Order of the golden dawn (The same group that Aleister Crowley belonged to at one point in his life). Such findings I always welcome.
Monday, November 10, 2014
An article I wrote concerning the haunted history of a certain San Diego Hotel received almost 5000 hits in one day. To say I was ecstatic to hear that is beyond an understatement. When such a happening occurs for any writer, a justification soon follows. A feeling of bolstered confidence border lining arrogance to know that you are indeed furthering your own destiny. Whether it be by short stories, novels, poems, travel and haunted place articles, or any other literary endeavor, you are treading a path once danced upon by legend. It makes me encouraged to know that I'm essentially following a tradition put to place by the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Oscar Wilde, and even the black Magician Aleister Crowley. In the grand scheme of things, I truly hope I don't disappoint.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Alas, the autumn season is upon us all once again! How I adore its melancholy yet majestic fervor. The shades of dying leaves and the grayish skies, I tell you, nothing moves me quite like this particular season! Even with the mundane simplicity surrounding me everyday with my full time museum job, I take a few moments out of each day and remember why it is that I completely marvel at this time of the year. The bonus of my favorite holiday occurring within its confines definitely doesn't hurt as well. When it comes to Halloween, the non-conventional traditions are what catch my fancy the most. That said, you probably won't find me in a popular setting surrounded by lots of people when I'd rather be exploring cemeteries, haunted sites, and, of course, writing horror! Every horror fan should appreciate the mood autumn brings to us all!
Happy Halloween to all!
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Whenever I see, or hear about fellow writers blatantly criticizing or insulting the works of their peers, whoever they may be, it really makes me question the quality of that said writers works. I mean, frankly, if you have the time to do that, than you're not putting 100% of your efforts into your work. I do my best to respect every writer simply for the fact that they are contributing to cure a common human detriment: Illiteracy. Its a happening that should not occur as much as it does, and while I admit I find most other writers particularly tawdry, I don't find within myself the right to act in such a pompous fashion. Its difficult enough to capture the collective imagination of the rest of the world with your own thoughts and feelings without having them crushed by someone who touts themselves as 'successful' in the writing world. Though such statements would serve no purpose towards me (I simply pay no attention to them) I'm sure there are those out there with much more sensitive natures than myself that would consider such an act damaging to say the least.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
As I slowly inch my way to progress with my third novel 'Homage to Baphomet', I admit that, as usual, I'm very pleased with direction the novel is heading. Being based on legends regarding a certain Satanic skull that doomed the Knights Templar to charges on Heresy and then to be burned at the stake, I'm also doing a lot of different research so that I can give my own morbid twists on the tale. The more research I do, the more I wonder if such an obscure object actually existed. Its also getting very close to my planned Transylvania trip, which I hope comes complete with a host of different inspirations for me. While I'm busy with this particular novel, I can't help but notice certain ideas and imagery of a totally different story. A more fantasy based one. So, chances are good, when this book is finally completed I'll have enough fortitude to proceed with yet another!
Monday, October 6, 2014
Looking around lately, I've seen several online resources that can benefit writers. For instance, I've recently discovered the horror site 'Creepy Pasta' and even submitted a couple of my works for good measure. I very much appreciate such horror-specific sites, for they not only promote my absolute favorite genre they also give writers the much needed exposure they need to pursue their darkened dreams. 'Wattpad.com' is another one which I have explored, even if all other genre's are equally appreciated. The finding of such online resources excites me, as it should all writers. The geniuses of the past had no such resources so succeeding period depended heavily on personal connections. If you didn't have therm, chances were good that no one would ever hear of your work. It also gives me hope for the future, for if such sites are indeed popular, then literacy is most assuredly not dead!
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I personally feel that the genre of Horror today isn't held to the same regards as it once was. There are no modern masters that come to mind that have contributed lifetimes worth of work, such as an H.P Lovecraft or Edgar Allen Poe. And when one really comes to think about it, the Sub-genre of Gothic is all but extinct. There are many impostors supposedly producing Gothic material, but all I really see in their material is usually a disguised genre such as drama masquerading as horror. It's quite sad really. I mean, when was the last time a masterpiece like Oscar Wilde's "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" has been presented to the general public? I, myself, cannot recall. There are also many others. Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein', Robert Louis Stevenson's 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde', and Henry James' timeless classic 'The Turn of the Screw'. Being a Gothic Horror author myself, I believe the masters of old would be less than impressed with the material representing their genre today, but that's just me.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
It's true, I hate delays. My new novel isn't anywhere near where I want it to be. And, I'm learning that writing while you're frustrated isn't the best idea. Thank goodness that the only person giving me a deadline is me, myself. The funnest thing I am doing lately is researching all the historical facts needed for my novel, and they are plenty. Aztec sacrificial practices, The Knights Templar, Occult elitist groups, Ect. But, considering how satisfied I felt when finishing my other two novels, I'm sure the end result of this one will be worth it as well. As of today, I have been writing for fourteen years. It's scary to think if I'm able to continue on for another fourteen years. The material I come up with will still have to be satisfactory to my own morbid standards, as well as anyone who enjoys reading my works!
Saturday, August 2, 2014
This November I am planning a trip to Romania, Transylvania to be exact. I must admit that places with a morbid history interest me. There are several castles and graveyards in Transylvania that command my attention and when I am finished seeing them, I am sure that there will be some other place in the world that will do the same. I have been interested in seeing Romania since I was about eight years old, so the fact that I am going to see it period resonates an excitement in me that is completely unheard of is an understatement.
Being the origin of the legends of the vampires and of the werewolves, I guess you could say I'm going to have my hands full.
Being the origin of the legends of the vampires and of the werewolves, I guess you could say I'm going to have my hands full.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
'The subject matter for this particular story, my second novel to be exact, carried with it a certain complexity.It is my own belief that the concept of love is simply a human idealism, born from noble intention and usually ending up a hopeless tragedy. Being a horror desciple my whole life, it would make sense that, since the master writers of old have always resorted to them(Love Stories), that I would at the very least try my hand at one. In the process I discovered that love, indeed, bodes well with the gothic narrative.'
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
I feel that the truth is stranger than fiction. That maybe the reason that so many of my works revolve around actual historical events. Preparing for my third Novel, I'm doing all the historical research I can. The more research I do, the more excited I get around the story line. For instance, I had very little knowledge that the religious order the Knights Templar may, or may not, have been involved in the worship of a idol dubbed dubious by the church. The idol in question, Baphomet, is the driving idea behind the novel. This, and a host of other instances throughout history captures my attention like nothing else in the modern world. I'm also researching sacrificial practices by the Aztecs and the obscure rites of many elitist groups, such as the free masons.I have to say that in a strange way I'm very thankful for such morbid historical facts. I mean, without them I would have nothing to write about.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Again, the demon has come. Filling my mind with its morbid imagery and not letting me have a moments peace until I heed its malevolent call. It never fails. No matter how many stories or novels I complete, the inevitable is always close behind. A flashing picture from the back of my consciousness invades my serenity and commands me to put pen to paper, the only way I write my rough drafts by the way. And then, a host of other elements are put to use. Music, incense, wine, and possession! The next project I'll be working is my third novel. Titled 'Homage to Baphomet', it revolves around certain mythology involving the Knights Templar and many Elitist Occult groups. Indeed it is strange how such subject matter attracts itself to me, but never-the-less I embrace it. My first novel took me three months to the day to complete. My second one took me seven. I honestly wonder how long this one will take.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Usually I don't like to stray from the subject of Horror literature and all other macabre things between, but on certain occasions I tend to explore other avenues that make me no less than who I really am. The subject of Music is rather a particular one for me because I am so absolutely selective when regarding it. Not just any type of music will do. It has to fit a certain criteria, if you will. I have to feel that a certain standard of excellence was adhered to as it was being composed. When I see the vast majority of music that is promoted today, I just shake my head and become even more grateful for the musical masterpieces of the past. When considering genre's, Nothing quite moves me like Heavy Metal Be it Power, Speed, Black, 80's, Gothic, or any other, I just can't seem to get enough of it. When I was roughly about ten years old, I was fortunate enough to see the video for the Judas Priest song 'A Touch of Evil' in the days when MTV actually played decent music and the second I did, I was hooked. I knew right then and there that I needed that style of music in the same fashion a heroin addict needed their fix. In the decades that have followed that memorable night, I have discovered so many wondrous and fascinating songs, I couldn't imagine life without them! I also have an affinity for other style's of music, as well. For instance, I am a fan of Loreena Mckennett, I find her folk style music entrancing and at the same time hauntingly beautiful. Classical, Egyptian, Spanish Flamenco, Somber piano themes, and others also catch my fancy. Melody has to be a key component in anything I listen to and just as I hold myself to a high caliber standard while I complete my writings, the same rings true for any music I choose to appreciate.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
It happens to everyone, I guess. The day that comes when you must decide which course of action you truly want to take as far as your life is concerned. For me, Its not a question of whether or not to continue writing. There's no doubt that I will carry on that trade until I perish. Yet, I have been tugging at the thoughts of returning to my roots as a short story writer, or becoming a full time novelist. As I have had a bit of luck with novels, I couldn't blame myself to pursue that path, yet some of my most malevolent material has come in the form of short stories. Kind of a tricky dilemma. Since completing my second novel I have not been able to come to a conclusion. Perhaps I shall leave reason to the hell fires and write them both as I see fit.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
It's been a month since I completed my second Novel 'A Twisted Soul and Love Divine' and in that time I must admit I haven't done nearly as much with regards to it as I would have preferred. It's frustrating to think that time is truly the only resource that cannot be replaced. With that in mind, I try to spend my time as productively as I can and I get rather perplexed when I feel like I'm wasting it. There's also a lack of direction in what I plan to do with my both of my novels. I have decided to send my manuscripts to larger publishing firms, you know the saying: In order to achieve big things, we must think big. Which firms I'm going to send them to, I have not decided yet.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Now that I have my second novel completed, now comes the necessary steps in copyrighting, publishing, and finally marketing it. I cannot stress enough how important it is for any author to copyright their work. No matter how well the intentions of the rest of the world seem, no one can afford to let their guard down. How loathsome anyone would feel if they worked strenuously for months, even years, only to send their work out without it being copyrighted and have it be claimed by some dubious source as its own. The only way to authentically prove that a writer's work is actually their own is to copyright. That way, if someone does try to make a false claim, leverage will favor the original creator. While it is unfortunate that we must all have to consider such realities, especially in the literature world, it is a definite necessity.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Seven months to the day and my second novel is finally completed. This particular work had with a seemingly endless series of obstacles the least of which was a full time job I worked while writing it. In the end it doesn't really matter what anyone has to go through while they accomplish anything, what matters is that they accomplish it. I actually still have to type it out, but that shouldn't take too long. What I loved most about writing this particular piece of work is the story line was extremely interesting and kept growing to heights I didn't think it would reach. After many hours of involvement, including several bottles of red wine consumed, it feels so good to know that I actually have two novels completed and that I'm going to get both of them copyrighted before the end of the year is up.
Friday, April 25, 2014
After almost seven months and tons of blood, sweat, and tears I'm finally coming to the conclusion of my second novel. I cant believe it has taken me twice as long as my first one, but that is sometimes how life goes. Even though there is definitely still a little ways to go with it, the progress I have made with it is tremendous, indeed. Aside from the beauty of creation itself, I feel the elation to stare at something you create with nothing more than your imagination and your drive to succeed as the main source of fuel for it is purely ecstatic. After I have completed it, then comes the timely task of copyrighting both of my novels, an absolute necessity. I could spend hours of how especially vulnerable writers can be if they fail to take those certain precautions. Once those tasks are indeed complete, will come the inevitable question that always fills my head after every book I write: What happens next?
Friday, April 18, 2014
Had the pleasure of attending a writer's group recently. I must say, that I often find the company of fellow writers rather stimulating, even if a lot of them don't share my extreme tastes. I appreciate how knowledgable they are about a vast array of different subjects, and how their passion for their craft can rival even my own. I was able to read one of my stories to them and the response I was given was truly inspiring. Considering that each of them was a voracious reader as well as being a writer, I was more than happy to oblige them with my twisted tales of darkness. Perhaps on our next encounter they will be hungry for more. If only the rest of the world would follow suit
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Time has not been something I have had in droves as of the late. I started working full time about five months ago, still spend every waking moment I have on my novel, and I recently joined a writers group that I meet with quite sporadically. The fact that life moves so fast when your busy
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Well, it's been almost six months since I started my second novel and I have finally reached the half way point. I can honestly say that if my life wasn't so routine based I probably wouldn't even be at this stage. Yet, the positives remain. I'm very pleased with direction the story has taken so far and the further I go, the main theme of the story has been revealing itself much more and much easier. Life has assuredly been busy, so believe me when I say that I'm beyond thankful when I finally get a chance to sit down, have a glass of red wine, and continue my story....
Thursday, March 6, 2014
When it comes to contemporary horror writers or movie makers, I must say that few have impressed me. But, for me to say that there are not those who have earned their place at the pinnacle of Horror's cathedral, would be altogether dishonest. For me to consider anyone's work to be anything else than a sad attempt at trend, you have to be extremely dedicated to the craft. One name that always comes to mind, though he is not necessarily a modern contemporary, is Clive Barker. From the time I was in grade school I thought of Barker's films as nothing short of awe inspiring. 'Hellraiser', 'Nightbreed', and 'Raw Head Rex' were, to me, very ahead of their time both in storyline and special effects. Without men like Clive Barker, I don't believe that modern horror movies would enjoy the same level of interest. Another name that comes to mind is James Wan. He has kept horror afloat with his hits like 'Insidious', 'Saw', and 'The Conjuring'. All horror fans should take note and always give credit where credit is due.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Life has been busy to say the least. But, as always, I have nothing to complain about. Aside from working a full time job and working as much as I can on my second novel, I've been traveling whenever I get the chance as well. Last week I went to Las Vegas, off the strip of course because the hustle and bustle of it sours my stomach. I stayed at a five star resort and I must say, it was quite nice. I have set a deadline for mid July regarding my novel and I received interesting news yesterday regarding my past works and a certain county fair. To say I'm excited is a definite understatement, but, again, I'll see how it goes. Three more trips planned this year and once the novel is completed, I have a tremendous amount of other things to do as well.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
I think everyone can admit that, if they've ever tried to accomplish something extraordinary, that there can be nothing more frustrating than needless interruptions. Be it a nagging injury, a full time job, family troubles, the necessities of life itself, whatever. There's no argument that the more of them you have to go through, the longer it takes you to accomplish your set-out task. It never fails no matter what I do, whenever I set about to achieve the laundry list of goals I set for myself something ridiculous happens. Mere obstructions to the result, true. But, then that age old saying pops in my head: Life is what happens when your busy making other plans. It truly does make me wonder.
Monday, January 20, 2014
I must say that so far 2014 hasn't disappointed at all. But, in truth, all I have been able to do is continue to work on my second novel. I haven't had any time to think about articles or short stories. And that leads me to a valid inquiry: What my plans are when my novel is completed, and it will be completed. The truth is, I don't know at the moment because I tend to focus all of my energy on what I am doing at the present moment. But, it is a concern regardless. Do I try my hand at yet another novel, which would make three? Do I stick to writing short stories(right now I have completed 31 of them)? Do I focus all my energy on doing travel and haunting articles? Or do I take a completely different path with my writing altogether? I don't know. What really matters to me is that I continue writing, regardless of the outcome or endeavor. If I can do that, then the dream is still a reality. My reality.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Whenever I write, whatever it may be, I've noticed that more often than not my writings take on a completely different life of their own. They sort of write themselves, if you will. And instead of trying to figure out the reasons why such things happen, I find that it is best if I simply just let such things be as they are. With the new novel I am writing, nothing has changed one bit. Perhaps I am a vessel for the other side to express whatever it wants, I don't know. What I do know is that the more I don't interfere in such a process, the more of a benefit I get from it. One can imagine what lessons I have learned from simply leaving things as they are as far as my writings are concerned.