Book 1 Title Confirmed: Realm of the War Pigs

Earlier in the week, I announced my latest writing project.  However, at the time, I was still debating on what the title should be.  I opened the floor for commenters…  But in mostly typical fashion around here, nobody had two cents to give.  Which is fine, because I’m proud to announce that as of today, book1 of The Highway Men has a title.

I decided to go with Realm of the War Pigs.  It fits the best, considering the plot of the novel.  I almost called it Chalk Doorways, but decided that wasn’t good enough.  That was also pretty close to being the series title, but I decided that not every novel is going to deal with the horrors that spawn forth from the interdimensional gateways Grandfather Klein created.

All of this sounds like mumbo-jumbo right now, but I guarantee you that it’ll all make sense when the book is out.

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NEW PROJECT: The Highway Men

Technically, I began this project yesterday, but one chapter later, I decided to announce I was working on it here, and I’ll eventually announce it on my Facebook when I’m done here.

The Highway Men is a project I’ve been sitting on since I was working on Lifers Wear Orange: Book 2 of The Gael Saga.  If I weren’t so dedicated to getting that project finished, I probably would’ve left Gael at one book, and started this as a series.

The Highway Men is more familiar territory for me personally.  A blend of action, adventure, Lovecraftian horror, and a few good old fashion references to/digs at rural Kansas culture that I have beheld, or heard tale of years later.  Because sometimes, it’s just too hard to resist.  Relax: there won’t be any politics this time.  I got a lot of that out of my system with The Majin Among Us, and maybe the last Novella of Highfill, Kansas.

I currently have the series name for sure: The Highway Men.  I don’t have a title for book 1 just yet, although I’m leaning towards several possibilities:

 

A. Dismal Dan the Highway Man

B. The Realms of Attrocity.

C. Grandfather’s Interdimensional Nexus of Unimaginable Horrors.

D. Realm/Domain/Dimension/City of The War Pigs

E. The War Pig Experiment.

F. The Horrors of Nevel, Kansas

G. The Chalk Doorways

 

If you see a slash, it’s because I figured words like REALM and DIMENSION are pretty interchangeable at this stage.

It’s hard to talk about titles without getting into spoilers.  Still, I’ll give you this much info about my latest novel here.

Dan Helwig, AKA: Dismal Dan, is the leader of a troop of demon hunters affiliated with a multinational network known as The Highway Men.  They travel around the highways, the enterstates, and other places most wouldn’t think to find demonic activity, because this is precisely where demonic activity ends up taking place.

Nevel, Kansas is YET ANOTHER fictional town in Rural Kansas I made up that, while not technically a real town, is based heavily on real places I know of, and have lived in.

The “war pigs” are, if nothing else, the primary antagonists of this novel.  They might appear in future novels, based on my blueprint, but right now, nothing is concrete.

If I say anything else, I’ll probably give away the plot.  And right now, things are subject to change.

Right now, I haven’t decided on a title.  Though seeing all my choices laid out before me right here, I’m thinking for sure that A and C are definitely out.  However, I’m always up for a second opinion.

If you see a title here you like, be sure to say something in the comments, and I’ll take your opinion into consideration.  Otherwise, I’ll probably choose one I like the most.  Or even pick one that has nothing to do with any of the titles I’ve listed.

I don’t have a speculative release date for this project just yet, but I’ll gladly let you all know when I actually have a time table in place.  Till then, stay tuned for more news regarding this new and exciting project.

The Grand Finale is Canceled

I announced it earlier in the week on my Facebook page, but I’ve officially canceled Grand Finale.  Honestly, though, if you read my attempts at describing how that project was going to work, you probably shouldn’t be shocked.

The Grand Finale was a lot like how Trey Parker once described The Human Centipede.  Specifically, that it was an idea that, at any point in its production, someone would stand up and say “This is dumb”, everyone would agree, and we’d never speak of this project ever again.  Unlike Tom Six, however, I actually reached that point around the halfway point of chapter seven, and called it a day.

Also, as I admitted in the entry detailing how that project was going to work, I had literally no plan going in.  I would just write, and see where it took me.  And unfortunately, it took me to a roadblock.  A roadblock that decided to make fun of me for sticking with it as long as I did, but a roadblock all the same.

And lastly, my desire to write another project I’ve been sitting on since 2017 finally overwhelmed everything else in that particular headspace.  Considering Grand Finale had no real planning, no direction, and just wasn’t working out, I figured now would be a good time to scrap the project altogether, and start this new one.

Details on this new project are coming soon.  For now, though, I regret to inform the two or three of you who were looking forward to Grand Finale that there will be no Grand Finale.

 

UPDATE: Okay, either people are really excited about the new project, or a lot of people actually weren’t looking forward to Grand Finale, because a cancelation post should NOT be getting this many likes.  Just saying.

New Project: Grand Finale

I’ve been sitting here for at least an hour trying to figure out how to explain my next writing project, The Grand Finale.  Four deleted entries later, I’m still at a loss.

For sure, it’s a superhero series.  Yeah, I know, another superhero series.  Even I thought I’d gotten that out of my system with The Gael Saga.

At the same time, though, it’s kind of NOT a superhero series.  The character who ends up being the hero isn’t really a HERO.  He’s definitely super, though.

I like to think of the project as surrealist.  In the sense that I’m not an art snob, and think everything that is confusing is surrealist.  By my logic, The Ultimate Deletion was surrealist.

This is about as close to an accurate description of The Grand Finale as I have right now.

For sure, I have an easier time explaining what The Grand Finale ISN’T.

For starters, despite it being named The Grand Finale, it’s actually the first book in a possible series.  Will the stories be connected together in a sequencial story?  Will the books be individually contained episodes you can read in any order you like?  Theway I write, usually the former is true, but I think the latter is just as likely.

The Grand Finale is not as dark as Highfill, Kansas, but it’s not a comedy.  There may be some humorous dialogue between characters, but it is NOT intended to be a comedy.

The Grand Finale has no guarantees.  For all I know at this point, I probably won’t even finish it.  It’s an idea I came up with while entertaining myself at work, and now, I’m trying my hand at flushing it out.  I might actually have a book…  Or I might have three chapters worth of text sitting on my harddrive for the rest of my life.  We shall see.

I’ll give you as much information about the project as I can on my Facebook, but honestly, aside from chapter counts, and possible title changes, try not to be too shocked if I don’t say anything about the plot.  Because honestly, even I can’t guarantee I know where this is going.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve flown by the seat of my pants like this in a writing project.  I usually like to have a gameplan when I go into projects like these.  Not this time, however.  This time, I’m just letting my stream of consciousness dictate what direction I go.  This might end up being a terrible idea…  But hey, it worked for Faulkner when he wrote As I Lay Dying.  That, and staying up till 4:00 AM and writing while half asleep probably helped.

 

new Novella of Highfill, Kansas?

Often times, I have referred to The Novellas of Highfill, Kansas as some variant or another on the term “a writing project I thoroughly regret publishing.”  While the review sections on Amazon, and all the places I submitted them to for reviews have been a regular ghostopolis (IE, dead silent), a couple of readers have insisted I’m too hard on myself.  Well, I suppose the important thing is THEY like what they read.  Lord knows two years later, I don’t like them.

All that being said, I’ve been open to the idea of writing more of them.  The only real guarantee I’ve made in the past is that Jodi LaVey and her wife won’t be the main characters, or really any part of future novels.  Jodi’s story is told, and there’s not much else I can do with it.

I’m really more interested in expanding on the setting, the mindset, the culture…  Or really, just providing Highfill as a setting for miscellaneous novellas that have nothing but the setting in common.  In fact, the only reason The Majin Among Us ended up not being a Novella of Highfill, Kansas was due to its supernatural fantasy elements.  So I had to forge a similar town with Redcrest, and make it a whole separate entity.

I’ve had scribbles of ideas in the old internal scribblepad for other Highfill, Kansas stories.

The oldest of the scribbles was a story under the title of Election.  Gwen LaVey was featured as one of the three narrators who told the story of a democrat’s effort to run for mayor of Highfill against a republican candidate so corrupt that Donald Trump looks like the fucking pope by comparison.  Despite his corruption, though, he’s still the popular candidate on the grounds that, while he’s a misogynist, a racist, an incompetent boob, and a spoiled brat with no social skills, at least he’s not a democrat.  I eventually abandoned it on the grounds it’s basically a fictionalized account of either the 2016 presidential election, or the 2014 governor’s race here in Kansas.  Really, take your pick.  I haven’t deleted the idea, but I don’t plan on writing this one any time soon.

Another idea I’d had sitting around was simply titled Boxmart.  I hadn’t really built much around the story beyond the fact it was set primarily at a big box store creatively named Boxmart, and that Jodi would make a cameo.  This one probably needs more work.

Another idea I had was for a story called Court Case.  Gwen would be featured prominently, but she wouldn’t be any of the three narrators.  I had the beginning, and the ending mapped out… But no middle.  I may tweek this one a little in the future.

However, the most recent of the scribblings is what I ended up picking as my next writing project.

The story is officially titled Sarah’s Phone.  It’s set in Highfill, Kansas, and possesses a healthy dose of the backward dark that made the first two what they are.  However, as I promised before, it has nothing to do with the LaVey family in the slightest.  Also, at the rate things are going, it’s looking like there is only one narrator.  At least in the traditional sense of what makes a narrator, anyway.  If and when I finish this story idea, you’ll see what I mean.

I have no time table for when Sarah’s Phone: A Novella of Highfill, Kansas will be available for purchase, but if it’s anything like the first two, it shouldn’t be especially long.

I’ll be sure to keep ou updated, either her, or on my Facebook, on progress.  All I can guarantee out the gate is that knowing my luck, I’ll probably end up hating it like I hate the other Novellas of Highfill, Kansas a year, or even six months later.  For now, though, I’m interested in seeing where this idea takes me.

The Majin Among Us Now Available!

When Rand Runnels met Debbie, he’d just assumed she was nothing more than an average, plain old girl with nothing really remarkable about her.  That was BEFORE she turned the school bully into a candy bar and ate him.  Rand quickly learns the truth about Debbie and her family.  As it turns out, Debbie is a majin: a pink devil like creature with god like powers.  Unfortunately for Debbie and her family, her actions send the town of Redcrest into a frenzy.  A frenzy that is only provoked FURTHER when Scott, a fellow majin and notorious serial killer, comes out of hiding and begins his rampage through the city.

This title is probably one of the more ambitious things I’ve ever tried to write.  I’ve been hesitant about this one since the moment I completed the first draft.  I wanted a story that seemed offentic, but wasn’t too SJWy.  I’ve expressed my concerns about that in the past, and was met with…  Interesting, responses on the matter.

Contrary to what I may’ve led on in the past, this story originated around 2014, and has undergone several major changes throughout the years.

In the beginning, it was a story entitled Jeremy and the Goth Girl.  There was no racial overtones in this story like there might be in The Majin Among Us, though.  If anything, this story was more of a satirical look at high school cliques and the aquarium we all know as high school.  Debbie was still Debbie, but the main character was originally Jeremy.  Scott…  Well, I hadn’t come up with a name for him yet, but he was still the man-eating demonic entity he is in The Majin Among us.  Sorta.

Around 2017, I was revisiting my old scribble pad between Gael Saga novels, I stumbled across this idea, and began retooling it into a different story.  This one began to resemble more of what The Majin Among Us ended up becoming.  The key difference, though, is that instead of majins, I was originally planning on using ghouls.  The working titles I had were.

A. Little Debbie.

B. My Girlfriend Eats People.

C. Debbie the Ghoul.

Unfortunately, I was two chapters into that planning stage, and I ended up abandoning that idea entirely.  Largely because The Gael Saga was taking shape, and was proving to be a lot less difficult to write for.  Primarily, though, it was because Tokyo Ghoul came out around that time.  MY story had more of a morbid sense of humor, and the main character wasn’t some horrible Frankenstein’s monster made of human and ghoul bits…  But besides those minor details, the premise was alarmingly similar.

Eventually, I finished The Gael Saga, and found myself struggling to come up with a new writing project.  Then, NaNoWriMo came about.

I honestly don’t know why I ended up picking this idea.  Other than the fact this one actually had some planning behind it, I guess.  If there was a logic behind changing all the ghouls to majin, I can’t remember it.

Finding information on majins proved to be difficult.  If there’s any resemblances to Majin Buu from Dragon Ball Z…  Well…  That’s what a lot of the information pointed towards.  I did what I could to make mine unique, but there will almost definitely be someone crying “RIPOFF!” no matter what I do.

So yeah, I guess you could say this story was years in the making.

 

The Majin Among Us Sample Chapter!

I’ve expressed concerns of being an incompetent, Marvel Comics caliber social justice warrior a week or so ago, and I ended up with some…  Interesting, feedback on the matter.  In the longrun, I guess the only way to truly find out is to just put it out there, and let the people decide.

As of this writing, I’m on the verge of finishing the second draft.  there’s at least two or three more drafts that need to happen before this gets released to the public, but I’m feeling pretty confident about getting this in around the beginning of February.  In fact, let’s just make it official: I’m aiming for 2/11/17 for a release date.  Set your calendar apps to that date, and when you don’t see it on Amazon, check back here for a possible explanation.  Or just bitch me out.

In the meantime, I hope this sample chapter suffices.

DISCLAIMER!: This is the second draft version of the chapter.  If there are some noticeable errors, it’s because I may have missed them in my initial proofreading.  With luck, I, or my spellchecker will catch them in future drafts.

 

Also, as is the case with sample chapters, this version of the chapter might not be the version you end up getting.  Until the final version becomes available, though, I hope you enjoy.

 

 

THE MAJIN AMONG US

COPYRIGHT 2018 BY THOMAS J. BLACK

 

 

8

 

 

I thought for sure I was going to have to play detective that day. I dreaded this, because back in those days, I was never especially good at detective work. Sure, Redcrest was pretty tiny, but there were still a pretty considerable amount of nooks and crannies she and her family could’ve been hiding in that I’d have never thought of looking.

So it was probably a good thing that I didn’t actually have to do any of that detective work. I don’t know how, exactly, but somehow, Debbie was able to find where I lived! All I know was that there was a knock at the door, and Debbie was standing on the other side when my mom answered it. Next thing I know, we’re taking my car to her place.

It turned out that she lived clear on the other side of Redcrest. Specifically, the bad part of Redcrest. The part Joe Jack’s dad lived. The part where all the meth heads from neighboring towns go to buy their product. The part of town all the adults warn us about.

“You live out here?” I asked. Considering this was the same girl who could turn people into chocolate on a whim, this shouldn’t have been as shocking. And yet, here we were.

“Yeah,” said Debbie. “My parents aren’t exactly the wealthiest people on the planet. Especially not these days.”

“What happened?” I asked.

Rather than answer my question there, she pointed to a house further up. “That’s my place,” she said.

In terms of houses in bad neighborhoods, you really could’ve done worse than Debbie’s place. You could do better, for sure, but you could’ve done worse. The outside could’ve probably used a new coat of paint, and the lawn definitely saw better days, but none of the windows were broken, and there weren’t any toilets or washing machines in the front lawn. More than I could say for a couple of her neighbors.

The inside smelled like cat piss. Debbie’s family clearly didn’t own any cats, or really any pets at all for that matter. I’m guessing that was left over from the people who used to live here? The carpet was a dull dark grayish color, and the furnature was clearly thrift store furnature. The couch had a pretty generous amount of cushioning torn out of one of the arm rests, and one of the chairs looked like someone fatter than the chair could handle sat in it.

Debbie gestured for me to have a seat on the couch. Rather than join me, she chose to take a seat a foot or two away from me on the floor. She looked me from down their, and I looked at her from up where I was.

“Okay,” she said. “Let’s just get down to it. I find that in situations like this, it’s just easier to get all the awkward questions out of the way right here and now. I’m sure you have plenty of questions, and I probably have answers. So go ahead, ask me anything.”

I thought about it for all of three seconds. “What the hell!?” I exclaimed.

Debbie laughed a little. “Okay, maybe broaden it a little more than that.”

“You ate chad!” I exclaimed.

“Are we really still dwelling on this?”

“Um, yeah, we are!”

Debbie started to sigh in frustration… But halfway in, she seemed to come to a revelation.

“Wait a minute,” she said. “You didn’t want to eat him by chance, did you? I’m so sorry!”

“What?” Was all I could say in response to that.

“I really should’ve taken your pride into consideration,” she said. I thought for a split second she might’ve been mocking me, but all it took was a look at her face to see she genuinely meant what she was saying. “I mean the guy was clearly beating you up and everything. It probably would’ve satisfied your pride if you’d been the one to eat him. Plus it’d be pretty ironic. He always did want to be inside another man, after all. What better…”

That’s not even close!” I interrupted, maybe a little louder than I would’ve liked.

Debbie blinked. “Huh. Okay, what’s the deal?”

“Debbie, you took someone’s life!”

“And?”

“What the hell do you mean and?”

Debbie snapped her fingers, coming to another realization. “Oh, right! You’re a human. I can’t believe I keep forgetting that.”

I blinked. “What?”

Debbie stood up then. “Maybe it would help if I dispelled my glamour.”

“Glamour?”

She bowed her head, and closed her eyes. Then, to my absolute shock, she began to change! Admittedly, her appearance didn’t change all that much. However, it was enough to surprise me.

Her skin went from pretty standard Caucasian to cotton candy pink. She opened her eyes, and revealed that they were now the color of blood. Her hair remained in the same style it had been before, but now it was a very dark blue. On the sides of her head were little nubs that looked like they were trying to be horns, but were too short.

“Whew,” she said, “that feels good. Glamours are so hard to maintain, you know? Wait, you probably don’t know.”

“Whah… I… What are you?” I stammered out, astonished.

Debbie took a seat on the floor once again. “I’m a majin,” she explained. “My whole family are majins.”

I vaguely remembered her mentioning majins that one time, and it became clear her dumb little joke that only mythology buffs would probably find funny wasn’t a joke after all. She really was a majin in human clothes.

Unfortunately, rather than answering any of my questions, it only raised more.

“I think I explained what majin are,” said Debbie, trying to fill the awkward silence.

“Yeah,” I replied. “Apparently, they’re pink devils who can turn people into chocolate, and have no problem with eating them right afterward.”

“I didn’t want to use my powers on him,” Debbie protested. “I hated seeing him and his friends bully you around like that. And believe me, you’re far from the first person he’s harassed.”

“Oh you don’t have to tell me. I already know that guy was a douche. Everybody did. But eating him? Couldn’t you have just used your little jedi mind trick on him like you did with his friends?”

Debbie blushed… I think. The color scheme was not something I was used to, but it definitely looked like she was blushing then.

“I suppose I was thinking with my stomach again,” she said. “I knew I should’ve gotten some snacks at the theater.”

“Uh… Okay then. I’m guessing that’s a majin thing?”

“Kind of. For sure, it’s a Debbie thing. Majin in general are pretty hedonistic.”

“Hedo-what?”

“Hedenistic. It means do whatever because it feels good, and to hell with the consequences. On the positive side, that just means a lot of us like food. Or sleep. Or… Um, “other pleasures”.”

It didn’t take me long to figure out what that meant.

“I suppose that’s the problem when you’re an all-powerful godlike being who lives for flippin’ ever,” she continued. “We tend to think of humans the same way humans think of cows or chickens. Or more positively, we tend to think of you the same way you think of cats and dogs.”

“So we’re either food, or we’re pets,” I clarified.

“At worst, I’d say food. At best, I’d say you’re just another animal we have to share the planet with. Nothing personal. It’s just that majins have to eat too. And like I said last night, nobody’s going to miss that douche.”

“His parents are going to miss him. His friends are going to miss him. And even if nobody ends up missing him, people are going to notice he’s gone. Redcrest isn’t that big a town. Somebody goes missing, you usually hear all about it. Not to mention that guy was the star quarterback.”

“Oh, woopy for him. He can throw a ball, so we should put him on a pedistol and treat him like a god.”

I couldn’t say I disagreed with that. People around Redcrest worshipped Chad Testaberger. It was a popular joke around Draiman High that they held him back twice so he could get the football team to state. The other kids looked at him as someone to respect. The adults looked at him like he was somehow going to make them rich. In the case of people like Pat’s dad, he probably was.

The sad part is as disgusting as this was, it wasn’t, and actually still isn’t exclusive to Redcrest. We treat football players in this entire country better than our teachers, our emergency service workers… Really, better than everybody. And why? Because they can throw a ball really far? Because they can get tackled by a three-hundred pound lummox with an additional fifty pounds of padding?

They’re certainly not good people. I swear to god, there was at least one player a week getting a D.U.I. or a drug charge. And that was the standard nonsense. If you wanted the really bad stuff, you need only look at guys like Ray Louis, or Hector Hernandez: men who were charged with, and possibly even got away with murder. Although I think Hernandez eventually got caught, but I digress.

The fact football players, be they big time NFL players, or small time high school flunkouts in the making like Chad, are worshipped like gods is definitely something Debbie and I could see eye to eye on. Unfortunately, it was straying from the point entirely. Even if Chad was a douche, a closet case, and frankly, an individual the world would be better off without, Debbie had still opened pandora’s box on this one.

She was in the middle of a rant that, in short, was exactly what I was saying just now. However, she chose to end the rant with, “You want to see a god? A little majin like me is the closest thing you’re going to get.”

I chuckled. “If you’re so godlike,” I countered, “why do you and your parents live in such a dump? Surely, you could use your magic to counterfit money and buy a nice house out in the good part of town.”

“Because we’re trying to lay low,” said Debbie. “And in any case, that’d be a vulgar display of power.”

“Sort of like Jesus refusing to perform miracles on the spot?”

“Well yeah, in concept. My grandpa insists Jesus was either a very opinionated street preacher, or the head of one of history’s most successful cults.”

“Cult?”

“Well yeah. The only real difference between a cult and a religion is the difference between a membership in the dozens and a membership in the millions. We’re kind of getting off track here, though. Basically, I don’t see what the big deal is with you humans and football. Hell, it’s not even football! It’s not in the shape of a ball, and the only real footwork is in how far you can run.”

“Well… Okay. You’re more than welcome to have that opinion, but it still doesn’t change the fact people are going to notice Chad is gone now. And if they figure out there’s a pink devil girl around here with the power to turn people into chocolate…”

“Not my problem.”

I was at a loss for words then.

Debbie laughed. “Honey, if humans could kill us with anything less than a nuclear bomb, there’d be significantly fewer majins in the world.”

I sighed in frustration, which led her to laugh at me.

“Relax,” she said. “I’m not going to pick a fight with the entire human race. All I want to do is live my life, and enjoy the ride.like you. The only difference is we live a lot longer than you.”

“Really?” I asked. “Like, how long?”

“Well, that depends on the majin, really. My grandpa was somewhere around a couple thousand before he finally passed.”

THOUSAND!?

Debbie laughed again. “It is way too easy to blow your minds, you know? But yeah, thousand.”

“Okay, uh, I know I’m not supposed to ask a lady this, but how old are you?”

“I’ll be a hundred and ninety-eight in December. I’m guessing that whole “never ask a lady how old she is” thing is a human taboo? Probably because you guys only ever live to be seventy or eighty on average.”

“I… Uh, I guess so. I always thought it was a girl taboo more than a human taboo.”

Girl taboo, huh? Majins don’t have a whole lot of those compared to humans. I mean we have similar ones to humans, like “Thou shalt not kill”, “Honor thy mother and thy father”, and so on, but the only real taboo I can think of we don’t have in common is “thou shalt not use thy magic on thy fellow majin”.”

“Um, I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of commandments there.”

“Eh, six in one, half a dozen in the other. The important thing is majin are discouraged from using magic on each other. Which… Sort of brings us to Scott.”

“Yeah, who is this Scott anyway?”

Debbie was about to explain, but then the front door came open. A woman with a similar Buddha belly shape, and brown hair to Debbie came in first. She was followed by a skinny looking man wearing overalls, a trucker hat, and sporting a thick black handlebar mustache. Someone was clearly trying way too hard to appear Midwestern. He looked like how one of those douches in San Fransisco thought us Midwestern folk looked. The woman had a better concept, if only because she didn’t really where anything that screamed “YOU’RE TRYING TOO HARD!” to anyone who looked her way.

Lastly, there came what had to be the fattest man I think I’d ever seen. If he were any fatter, he’d probably need one of those scooters those fat city people ride around on when they go to Walmart.

“That was a good walk,” said the woman.

“Brad like walk!” the fat one declared, clapping.

“You sure did,” said the woman. “Now head up to your room, and…”

“Debbie!” the man interrupted. “What are you doing out of your disguise!?”

Debbie was already on her feet by then. She handled herself calmly… Sort of.

“You really went out into town like that?” she asked, pointing at her dad’s overalls.

“Debbie, we have to be glamoured, remember?” her dad insisted.

“But dressed like that?” Debbie countered. “I keep telling you guys that nobody here dresses like that. You look like a couple of damn Beverly Hillbillies!

“fair point,” the woman interrupted before the man could say something, “but you still need to look human if you’re going to socialize with these things.”

“It’s okay,” said Debbie, calming down. “He already knows what we are. Kind of.”

She explained that I had unfortunately seen her use magic. She bent the truth just a little, implying both of us were backed into a corner and left with no alternative. She made it sound like Chad and his goon squad were going to kill us! At absolute most, he’d probably just shove me around like he had been doing for a while longer, make a few more gay jokes only Joe Jack thought were funny, and call it an evening. Debbie could’ve probably gone home right then and there, and they wouldn’t have even noticed she was gone.

The father sighed, and his glamour faded. I soon learned the mustache was fake as he pealed it off. Debbie’s mom unglamoured next, revealing she had the same dark blue hair as her daughter. Brad, the fat one, seemed confused.

“Mom said Brad need be human in front of humans,” he said, puzzled.

“Your sister already blew our cover,” his dad explained. “You can unglamour yourself in front of this…”

“Okay!” said Brad, way too inthusiastically.

With that, Brad’s glamour faded. Rather than two nubby little horns on the sides of his head like Debbie and her mom, he had one long horn protruding out of his forehead. It made him look like a unicorn trapped in a human-shaped bubblegum mold, honestly.

Debbie’s dad removed the trucker hat, and a unicorn horn of his own popped out of his forehead with a faint pop noise.

“Go to your room, Brad,” Debbie’s mom ordered. “We need to have a talk with your sister.”

“Okay!” said Brad.

Gleefully, Brad went barreling past his sister and me, and down the hallway to his room. It was just the four of us then. I wasn’t sure of anything at that point, but I couldn’t help but think that nothing good was going to come of this.

 

 

SJW Concerns

The Majin Among Us is my latest writing project I plan to get published.  It’s pretty much guaranteed to be getting a paperback release at this time, so good news for all you people who prefer paper to ebook.

The further I get in to this project, though, the more one particular worry hits me.  That concern is that my book immediately gets dismissed as social justice tripe.  I’ll be posting a sample chapter within the week, but for now, take my word on it when I say that this thing may be a little preachy.

Make no mistake, I’m a lefty at heart.  True, I abandoned the democrats completely in 2016 after the stunt they pulled, and I’ve spoken highly of various aspects of libertarian ideaology, but in my heart of hearts, I’m still a lefty in many aspects.  I believe gays should be allowed to get married.  I believe abortion should be legal.  I believe net neutrality should’ve never been repealed.  I believe marijuana should be legal for recreational use, although I’d settle for medicinal if that’s how we have to start out.  I believe if someone wants to mutilate the shit out of their body in order to resemble a woman, why not?  Really, the only things I DON’T agree with my fellow lefties on is gun control (I’m pro-constitutional carry), and the death penalty (hang ’em all!), but that’s pretty much it.

Then we get into the kind of nonsense that passes for modern day liberalism: a horrifying checklist ideaology known as neoliberalism, or social justice warrioring.  I may think of myself as a liberal, but jesus tap dancing Christ, the SJW crowd makes me feel legitimately embarrassed to admit out loud that I vote democrat in public.

I could go on, but many other classical liberals have probably made all the points I’d probably be making.  Furthermore, they probably did it more intelligently, and with fewer swear words, because I’m a rude-ass boogan with no shame in using me some colorful language.

This is a crowd I generally want to distance myself from…  Except looking over the rough draft for The Majin Among Us, and making all the edits and additions I feel needed adding, I fear this book may come off as social justice tripe: the very thing I’m NOT going for.

The Majin Among Us is a tail of xenophobia.  A majin and her family find that their cover has been blown by the worst representation of their race: a cannibalistic serial killer with no concepts of restraint, social skills, or diplomacy.  The people take one look at this horrible majin and his wicked ways, and like people are prone to doing, they immediately assume EVERY majin is wicked, unspeakable evil.  From there, it’s a combination of trying to mend the bridge while keeping the guy who ruined it for everyone as far away as possible.

Pretty SJW-ish, right?  Honestly, I’ve based the story on all the stories I’ve heard of retards beating hindus and Sikhs to let us all know Muslams ain’t welcome in Amrrrica.  Or like the local dumbass who lost the mayoral election after running under the most blatant anticimetic platform…  Probably in the history of Kansas for all I know and care, then went on a shooting spree with all the intention of killing as many jews as possible…  Only to end up missing all the jews, and killing a couple Methodist Christians instead.  There are several examples of this caliber of retardation, and I could probably fill an entire blog with nothing but those stories alone.  However, I instead decided to draw influence from those stories when describing the level of ignorance displayed.

Unfortunately, one can’t write a story about racism in this day and age without immediately being labeled some sort of antifa level socialist ideaolog (as if being a right-winged libertarian anarchist somehow isn’t being an ideaolog).  You’re labeled an SJW, and you’re accused of virtue signaling to your fellow SJWs while pandering to the left’s lowest common denominators.

Need proof?  I refer you to the bullshit going on with Marvel comics right now.  A lot of what I can tell you is pretty much second-hand information at best.  Plus I’m strongly in favor of people actually looking it up and formulating their own fucking opinion instead of expecting my dumb ass to spoonfeed it to you.  But in any case, the current state of Marvel…  Well, the movies are doing all right, but the comics are a bit of a disaster right now.  I could probably forgive Ms. Marvel, on the grounds that Ms. Marvel (according to my own research) is less of a character, and more of a mantle handed down from heroine to heroine.  Then you get into things like Captain America just fucking off and shouting “Hile Hydra” so they can get the black guy the roll.  I’ve also heard of things like “Girl Thor”, “Asian Hulk”…  I think Storm might be transgendered now?  Or maybe I misunderstood my friend’s latest rant.  In any case, nobody asked for this.  I sure as shit didn’t want to throw Bruce Banner under the bus so some rando Asian guy could help Marvel show off how PC they are, bruh.  Wearing their sweet-ass Oakleys, and reminding us PC is the way to be for me.  And you.  WOO WOO!

Comparing my work, a work of fiction still in development with virtually no preestablished fanbase (unless fanbases from my previous novels counts, anyway), to Marvel, a studio that’s been around since the 1960s with an impressive legacy some SJW editor decided to wipe his ass with so we can recolor the heroes and find fascinating new ways to scream “FUCK WHITEY!” in approximately twenty-two pages, is probably not fair to me.  Or to Marvel, for all I know and care.  Dude, I WISH I was making Marvel cash at this point in my life, but I digress.

It’s an unfair comparison, sure, but it gives me an idea of the sort of fiction I want to desperately avoid.  Financially speaking, because according to the previously mentioned friend who’s given me all this information, it’s a direction that has thoroughly buttfucked Marvel’s sales.  Culturally speaking, because I’m not a social justice warrior.  We have some common ground, sure, but then you guys go and take it to a very psychotic level of nonsense that even I can’t agree with.

People will, and probably have accused me of having biases.  They’ll probably point out the liberal is the one in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of Unspeakable Horrors is the soul survivor amongst a conservative, a libertarian, and a communist.  They’ll mention HikikoMorey takes potshots at The Tea Party.  They’ll mention how The Gael Saga demonizes capitalists by making Dan Adelson the A-list villain.  Right after the SJWs accuse me of using Gael as some sexist way of living out some foot fetish fantasy that demeans women, because fuck you for being a male.  Or whatever.

In all those cases…  Fair enough.  Even I’M not one-hundred percent unbiased.  But boy, the last thing I want to do is associate myself with a crowd that makes people like me look bad by association.

Once I’ve picked out a chapter or two I’d like to use as sample chapters, you’ll probably have a better idea of where these concerns are coming from.  Until then, I just want to get this off my chest, and out of my mind.

Canceling COLA

Well, for the second time in a row, I find that I’m making the announcement that I’m canceling a project altogether.

This time around, it’s the project I’ve named COLA.  I’ve talked about it before, and I had really high hopes for it when I started it.  Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I’ve found that I’ve hit a roadblock that I can’t get past.

It’s especially disappointing in my case because the first few chapters just flat out came spilling out of my head.  I managed to get about nine chapters down in the spand of a weekend.  True, they were relatively short chapters, and combined, they only managed fifteen or so pages in Word, but it was something I’ve only ever experienced while writing the first couple of Gael Saga novels.

Somewhere around the tenth chapter or so, though, I found that I just couldn’t take this idea anywhere further.  I do have a couple concepts written down, but it takes some serious doing to get from point-A to point-B.  Point-B may very well be inaccessible at this point.

Besides, I’m already working on a project: The Majin Among Us.  This project has taken up most of my attention that isn’t going into Red Flannel Radio (the podcast I keep saying is on hiatus until I decide to just sit down and record my dumb ass for about half an hour), and my experiments in YouTubing under the alias Steaksaw McGraw.  I have too much shit going on at once, and COLA is, at this point, the most expendible of my projects.  Steaksaw McGraw is probably next on the chopping block if I have to axe more things, but for now, the balance is…  Uh…  Balanced, I guess.

I’m sorry if you were looking forward to COLA.  Perhaps one day, I’ll come back to it, and see if I can do anything with it.  For now, I hope you aren’t too disappointed.

And if you were more interested in The Majin Among Us, then you’ll be glad to know that I’m chugging along just fine on that one.  I find myself actually ADDING chapters to what I already have.  A lot of the additions are supplemental material I failed to include in the rough draft due to it being NaNoWriMo, me having a deadline to meet, and thinking this excess detail wouldn’t be important.  Since I blew it on meeting the deadline by about sixteen days, and still managed to fall short of the required wordcount when I finally finished it, I figured “fuck it, I’ll add the new chapters.”

I usually make it a rule that my stories only get paperback copies on KDP if they’re longer than one-hundred pages in Word.  I’m not sure of the math, but if it’s a hundred in Word, it’ll be more or less the same amount when it’s all crammed into a six-by-nine paperback.  This is why The Novellas of Highfill, Kansas (all two of them) and Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of Unspeakable Horrors don’t have paperback copies.  That, and I’m pretty sure somebody from the Dahl estate is on the verge of suing me for that one, but if Dorothy Must Die can get away with it…

In any case, the point I’m trying to make is that it’s looking very likely that you’ll be seeing a paperback version of The Majin Among Us as well as a digital version.  So if you’re one of those old fossils that prefers paper over digital, you’re covered.  Most likely.

Audio copies aren’t planned at this point.  I’ve seriously been meaning to play with Amazon’s audio book service, but I don’t even know where to begin.  For sure, I thought about going with The Gael Saga as my first audio book, but I have no guarantee that’ll be the direction I go.

Know that for sure, COLA has been shelved, and The Majin Among Us will be out in paperback most likely.

Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

 

The Majin Among Us Crosses the Finish Line First!

Those who’ve been following my exploits here, and on Facebook alike know that for the first time since my high school years, I’m actually juggling two different projects.

PROJECT 1: The Majin Among Us.  What started as a NaNoWriMo project quickly evolved and changed into an entity I can only describe as “teen drama meets gonzo journalism.”

PROJECT 2: COLA.  A more adult story about adult problems, and dependency on supernatural substances.  I think.  The idea kind of sprung up in my head, and I spent the better part of a weekend just winging it.

As of this writing, I can safely say for sure that The Majin Among Us has been finished.  It’s in its earliest draft phase at the moment, and I hope to expand and add to what I already have thus far in the rough draft.  Also, the obvious stuff: fixing spelling errors, fixing continuity errors, renumbering the chapters on the count I usually misnumber, etc.

COLA…  Has kind of hit a roadblock.  I haven’t given up on the project just yet, but the way things are going, The Majin Among Us is definitely going to see publication first.  I’m honestly not even sure I’m even going to finish COLA, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Tell you the truth, I’m genuinely surprised I haven’t scrapped either one of these projects just yet.  The Majin Among Us didn’t flow like previous writing projects have.  COLA, for about a weekend or so, had some pretty significant flow that just seemed to dump its way out of my hands and onto the Word document.  Only for that flow to come to a complete and total screeching halt.

In any case, The Majin Among Us is definitely looking at seeing the light of day.  I look forward to seeing it get to that particular finish line.  In the meantime, it’s crossed the rough draft finish line, and will probably be seeing more work done on it the way things have been going lately.