Friday, December 16, 2011

K, Book's Done

As promised, the book part of this is done. I've got everything uploaded to the site, all I need now is an acceptable cover. I could use any help anyone can give.

One idea that was given to me was a shadow hand reaching for something real. I think that's a pretty good one, but this is only limited by imagination. If all else fails, I will use the placeholder image I'm using on Facebook, but I think we can do better than my crappy, meandering Photoshop attempts. Anyone got anything?

It has to be 6x9 and say "Out of Place, Out of Time" bonus for fitting "An Odd Collection of Short Stories" in there as well. Let me know.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More on the 'Out of Place' Slowdown

It's not an excuse, I swear it. I don't have one. My work has been slow, almost non-existent of late. I've been bogged down. I can't explain it. Yes, there are other things going on around me, but I should not allow them to stop my forward progress. I have some time coming up. I'm going to finish that book. I'm going to finish it, I swear. You'll see, you'll all see.

I'm sorry to those I've disappointed. I want this thing to be out and available as much or more than you do. I want people to drink our words. And whether they are sweet or sour in their brain's mouths, I want people to swallow them and let them digest and see if they satisfy.

I'm not the best out there. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I don't strive for that yet. For now, I just strive to be out there. I will be. We will be. Soon. I promise (again).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The New Look

I'm trying out a new template for this blog since the old one didn't allow me to adjust column widths and things were getting cut off. So here it is, tell me if it's ugly, won't you?

I've also fixed the problems with the 'like' bar on the side of the page, so that should be all good now. Yay.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Grand Spectacle

Yes, the book is still being worked on. Surprisingly to me, probably unsurprisingly to everyone else, it's a lot more work than just putting out my own stuff. Anyway, here's one of my stories to whet the ol' appetite.

A Grand Spectacle
“You seem out of place here, friend,” the homeless man said.

I laughed, “I assure you, I’m in the right place. Are you sure you don’t need directions, though?”

He glanced about. “Nah, I’m right where I need to be.”

“Well, alright,” I said. I’m sure our host wouldn’t agree, but that was his problem. I left him and walked out of the ballroom, passing into the foyer. I marveled at the gala that Mr. Prospero had managed to put together. I felt underdressed, an emotion that I did not have a great deal of comfort with. There were dancers in one room: the world’s finest, I was assured. There was a veritable zoo in another, with lions and tigers and bears, oh my. The ballroom was filled with the highest members of society dancing to the dulcet tones of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, who were flown in especially for the occasion. Ice sculptures adorned every room. A few were still being worked on by the sculptors allowing guests to see the art come to life.

I looked for our host, but could not find him. Anthony Prospero had been born into the wealthy lifestyle, but he had worked his whole life in service to others. He hadn’t let the superfluous nature of money overtake him and by that token was much loved by everyone. He had a Gatsby quality to him that one couldn’t deny. It was as though Fitzgerald had traveled to the future and built his book right around this man. And yet, he was nowhere to be found. I made do with what company I could find.

“Helluva party isn’t it?” I said to a man dressed in the finest suit I’d ever seen. He was wearing a top hat and a monocle.

“Yes, quite. I must say, Anthony’s outdone himself this time,” he responded.

“Were you talking to me?” A horrendously unfashionable woman standing nearby fairly spat at me.

“Good heavens, no. I was talking to…forgive me, I haven’t gotten your name,” I said, turning back to the gentleman.

“Reginald Pennybags, sir. I am Mr. Prospero’s uncle. A pleasure to meet you.”

The woman walked on, muttering to herself.

“The pleasure is all mine,” I responded. “Would you happen to know where your nephew is?”

“I couldn’t say. Probably seeing to the grand finale.”

“Ah, that should be a spectacle. How does one top all this?” I said, more to myself than for his benefit.

“You’ll just have to wait and see, son. Oh, but it will be incredible.”

He saw someone he knew and excused himself to better acquainted company. For my part, I continued to browse the selection of extravagance with wondrous curiosity. ‘What could possibly happen next?’ I idly pondered while pretending to read a plaque by the lion’s cage.

Just then, a man with a pronounced jaw line and jagged features walked up to me with purpose.

“And what might you be getting into?” he asked gruffly.

“I’m sure I don’t understand the question, sir,” I responded.

“What was that?” he said.

“I said, I’m sure I don’t understand the question, sir.”

Another man, fatter and slower, puffed up to us, “This one giving you trouble, Johnson?”

“Nah, just another junkie, gakked out of his gourd on that new stuff.”

“Excuse me?” I interjected. “I am not a junkie. What are men of your obviously low station doing here anyway?”

They ignored me. I poked the first man in the chest, “I said…”

He grabbed my arm and whirled me around, “You don’t touch an officer, junkie,” he spat on the ground.

Junkie? What the hell was going on? Why was there a police car in the ballroom? And how had I not noticed it before?

Together they roughly shoved me into the car, “Wait,” I begged, “Wait, I’ll miss the finale! Don’t do this. You can’t do this to me!”

Anthony Prospero waved to me as we drove off, smiling while I screamed, “Save me Mr. Prospero! Don’t let them take me! I want to see the rest!” He just kept waving and smiling as we drove out the front door and into worlds unknown.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Out of Place Update

I've added a bar over on the right there which will lead to the Facebook page for the book. I'm going to do a bunch more work on these sites tomorrow. The book is in the final editing stages now and the layout aspect should be done soonish. I know I said this would be out much sooner, but I've run into a crazy busy time in my life at the moment so I'm trying to do work whenever I can, I just haven't been productive as I'd like.

Anyway, for all those who are keeping up, we should have liftoff soon.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I've made a couple changes to the site, the most obvious of which is adding my good friend, J. Ian Manczur's blog A Smoothed Cube to the side link bar. Check it out, there are some cool stories up over there.

I've also added an easy link to my Out of Place stories, of which I will preview two or three more before the book is released.

Oh yeah, book should be out soon. More information as I CREATE IT OUT OF THIN AIR LIKE A GOD!

Monday, August 15, 2011


It's done, a little under target... but you know, that's a rough draft.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Making Progress

My noir story just took a really weird turn, but I progress...:

Also, I start a new job today. Hopefully one that I can make some decent cash at. Yay!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Progress Meters!

Alright, we've got my as of yet untitled noir short story, looks like it's going to be about 4-5000 words, so we'll say 4500:

Also, my book of short stories is cruising along, I've got 30 out of a probable 35 stories done (12 by me and 18 by other fantastic writers) and have completed initial editing on all but the ones that I haven't written yet and begun doing the layout for the finished product:

In other news, I'm starting to reinvent my comics project ever so slightly, though that is far from finished. I am excited to really get going with it. I've also got a novel project that is far, far from finished and has been in a holding pattern for a while, but, what the hell, working title is Alan's Story, but that will change:

I also have a couple of stories queued up for Life After Death, but that's been a bit slow going lately. Should have those up sometime shortly-esque.

And that's all the progress that's fit to print. It's good to remind myself that I'm not doing completely nothing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Progress Report

Hey ya'll. I'm happy to report that I've received 17 short stories from many and varied sources. I'll be adding about 15 of my own. That's 32+ stories gonna be kickin through. I'm as happy as a pig in shit with how this has worked out so far. It's going to take a couple of months to get everything laid out and edited, but I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Day for Submissions

That's right, today is the last day for Out of Place submissions. Though I could be coerced into extending the deadline if there is interest. Let me know if you need more time, otherwise, I'm going with what I got. Editing and layout will be taking place over the next month or so and I hope to have an item for purchase by mid-August.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any more questions or want the deadline extended or you know...just wanna chat.

Talk to you soon, peeps.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There and Back

Another short for those interested in such things. Watching Event Horizon before you write does...things to you.

The Wheel began to cycle down, there wouldn’t be another pop for two weeks, and now it was time to greet our returning heroes. I entered the decontamination area and surveyed the crew. There were only four survivors. They were assembled in a glass quarantine area with speakers inside and out so that we could talk to each other. The navigator stood completely still, staring at a wall. The ship’s cook rocked back and forth on the cold, steel ground repeating some recipe with ingredients no man has ever heard of. The copilot smiled and held his stomach as though he were somehow pregnant. He sang nursery rhymes softly to himself. The captain of the ship saw me walk in and saluted.

“Sir, we’ve brought your ship back,” he said, gesturing to the porthole.

I returned the salute, “Looks like the same can’t be said for your crew, captain. What happened out there?”

“I don’t really know, sir. It seems the experience was different for everyone,” he said, “As for what happened to me? Very little. I guess I was lucky.”

“Can you describe what happened?”

“No, sir, I can’t. I can hardly remember it anymore, it’s like waking up from a dream, everything is already fading. I almost feel like I never left.”

The copilot whispered something.

“What’d you say, Sanzo?” I asked.

“HE’S LYING!” Sanzo screamed, violently leaping at the glass, “HELP US! KILL US!”

Captain Aldo calmly walked up to Sanzo and ripped the copilot's head from his shoulders.  Sanzo's body crumpled to the ground. Aldo offhandedly flipped the head to the cook who caught it and began peeling away layers of flesh. He continued to list mysterious ingredients, this time including brains, eyeballs and tongue to the recipes.

Meanwhile the captain had picked up some…thing that had crawled out of Sanzo’s neck hole like a baby calf squeezing through birth canal. The creature he held could only be described as human in the most superficial way. It had arms and legs and a face, yes. But it wriggled unnaturally and the tentacles coming from its head engulfed the captain’s hand as he brought the monstrosity close to his chest, whispering, “You’re alright, my baby, my baby.” Its wail was at once silent and deafening.

I could not help but be stupefied by the horrible scene unfolding before my eyes. Of course I’d been trained to expect the impossible, but this, this defied all preparation.

Just then, the navigator began to vibrate, snapping me from my dumbstruck inaction. Not a muscle twitched in her body, but the movement was unquestionable, “Ms. Johns,” I said to her, “What are you doing?” She did not flinch. The vibration continued. “Stand down, Ms. Johns! Stand down, now!”

The captain laughed an unearthly laugh and screamed in a high pitched squeal, “Let us out, sir! Let us out and you can know all that we know. It is beautiful. It is beyond you, beyond everything.”

There began to be a noise, like that of a tuning fork, coming from the navigator as she continued to vibrate.

“You know I can’t do that, Captain. You are to remain quarantined until you return to normal. Please try not to kill each other.”

“But my baby!” he screeched over the resonating pitch provided by Ms. Johns, “My baby needs help!” Captain Aldo held out the abomination to the glass and I instinctually recoiled.

The cook halted his rambling recipes for a moment to toss Sanzo’s tongue to the captain. He caught it blindly.

“Thank you, Cook. You’ll have to remind me what your name is sometime,” Aldo said as he fed the beast, “You don’t think she’s beautiful, sir? You don’t think she’s the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen?” He slammed his fist on the glass, sending a shiver down my spine.

“Stop that immediately, Captain, or I’ll stop it for you,” I said. His fist connected with the glass wall again. This was a six inch thick glass wall, but I feared that he’d break through. Over and over again, he pounded on the wall and I just stood there in mute horror.

Then, the baby fixed me with its eyes, they were glorious eyes. I wanted nothing more than her freedom at that moment. I had barely moved to hit the release switch when I heard the PA system blare, “We’re compromised, torch it.”

I tried to scream, “No!” I tried to order them to stop, but the entire quarantine room was in flames in seconds. The crew writhed for the briefest moment as the heat ended their miserable existences. The baby took considerably longer to die and I felt every second of her pain as though it were me inside that room.  I crumpled to the floor and screamed, twisting, trying to put the fire out, until eventually the pain faded, not completely, but enough.  I still feel it every day, like an old war wound. Would that I could’ve saved her, she would have made the world beautiful.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Into the Stream

This is one of the short stories that I wrote for my upcoming book project. I hope you likey.

I poured the rest of my drink into the stream, thinking that someday it would wash out into the ocean and take my memories with it. “Beautiful,” I thought to myself, “but utterly pointless.” How had I come here? How had my life boiled down to mourning a fallen enemy?

I’d made this trip under the darkness of night to make an empty gesture and all that it had left me with was an empty bottle. I shuddered. Or shivered. That’s it, the temperature made me do it.

I strode back to the road, keeping a lookout for unfriendly eyes and violent arms and legs. The trip itself was not too difficult, I only had to get off the road for fear of being spotted once or twice, but the real killer was the uncertainty.

I took a swig from my flask and sat down for a moment, gathering myself, telling myself that I’d be ok, but never really believing it. To quote Paul Simon, “These are the days of miracles and wonders,” and here I am walking, like a caveman. Where was my car? I gave up looking after a couple of days. Where were my friends? I gave up looking after a couple of hours. What does that say about me?

The fallen enemy, the woman I’d given up everything to hate, was the only thing that I could think about. And why was I here? Her family, her protectors, would no doubt kill me rather than look at me. And I made this trip to make my peace, I guess. Who would understand that?

So here I was, without a lifeline in the belly of the beast, in the heart of the bestiary, sitting at the side of the road, doing my best to get myself killed all to pour a few drops of my beer into her stream. But isn’t that what all relationships are about? Feeling sorry for myself was fast becoming my new occupation and I wasn’t sure I felt bad about it.

When they found me, I even felt relief. The basest punishment was meted out over several minutes, but all I experienced was a flash of flesh and a bang of pain. There were no stars circling my head like a halo, I hadn’t earned that. I think I broke someone’s hand on my face. The satisfying crunch and subsequent yelp told me that he was done with me, but there were more of them and they weren’t backing down.

When they were finished, I’d curled into a ball. I spat blood into the dirt and cringed, which signaled one of two things, either I was still alive or Hell was not quite as fiery as I’d imagined. They picked me up. Definitely alive, then, or I’d somehow got beaten so badly that their brains had exploded from witnessing it and they’d followed me to the afterlife. They threw me into a car. They tossed me like a ragdoll in front of a hospital. I tried to stop myself being a cliché, but my body rolled down to the sliding glass doors anyway. They opened and shut on their own for about ten minutes before anyone noticed me.

In the hospital, they asked me what had happened. I told them it was a broken heart. They informed me that if my heart was in my nose and ribs, then I was absolutely right. I imagined what she’d do if she saw me like this and I laughed at the thought of her laughing at me. It hurt.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Short Story Compilation

I've been writing some vignettes lately about people who are out of place. I think I'd like to collect a book of shorts about this very topic as it's something I've always kind of been interested in. I'll probably write 10-20 of these, but I'm gonna need more. I eat words, you see, and I am hungry.

If you are interested in doing a story or two or three or four and would like to be included, let me know. Unfortunately, I can't promise that this will lead to fame or fortune, but if the book makes any real amount of money I will try to compensate the contributers in some way. I haven't really thought of the way yet. This is just a fun side project for me, so I don't want to get too complicated with it.

1) Write 1000 words or less on someone who is out of place. No minimum. If your story is 10 words long and good I'll include it (no, that's not a challenge). Nothing over 1000. Seriously.

2) Please thoroughly edit your own pieces. I don't mind doing a tiny bit of grammar correction/spell check, but I don't want to be too bogged down by the editing process on this.

3) If I think something is just incomprehensible, I probably won't use it.

4) I retain the right to use or not use any piece sent to me at my own discretion. If I really hate something, it's probably not going in the book. That said, I enjoy a huge range of writing and I doubt I'll have a heavy hand in this process. Again, I'm doing this for fun.

5) I'm still looking into the rights system for this but I expect it will be almost identical to Weaponizer. If anyone has any advice for me on this front, please let me know. I won't publish anything until I get this all figured out and you will retain the rights to any stories you send me.

6) These rules may be revised at any time if deemed necessary.

7) Due Date is June 30th.

I think this will be a fun exercise and I hope that I get enough entries to fill a book. If you need any clarification on anything, don't hesitate to ask, my email address is right down below. I'll also monitor comments here and respond to them.

Artists! I could use some cover art for this, you know, so I don't have to use one of the generic covers they have on Lulu. Anyone interested can email me. I'll post further guidelines for art if and when we really start getting off the ground with this.

You can submit stories or send questions to me at steevo83 {at} gmail {dot} com.

PS. Intimate Knowledge is going to be the home base for this project so if I post any new information, it will be here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I've been reading comments on YouTube about the tsunami in Japan:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Since the only comments I've been seeing are spam, I've added a word verification step to leaving comments. Not that it matters, just sayin.
I haven't blogged in a long time and that's because I'm doing most of my ranting and raving on my newsletter now (, if you're interested), but I thought it was time to come back and say a few things.

I've been looking into The Creator's Front For Diversity In Comics a little lately and they seem to have a good message. The problem is they don't seem to actually be plugging any comics directly. What should I be reading, Creator's Front? Tell me, better yet, tell people who can afford to buy the books.

I think it would be cool for them to set up an actual publishing house, if they can get the funds. Maybe just a single book (a la cLint) that showcases indy writers and artists. I dunno, I just think they need to do more than rage at the establishment without providing alternatives.

In other news, I will, in short order, be putting out a book of old works of mine. This should happen fairly soon and hopefully people will like it. We'll see, a lot of it is not stuff I would write anymore and I'm not sure I like it, though that could be because it's tough to like my writing after I've had some space from it. I'm constantly shifting mind frames. So I'll put it out there and we'll see.

I'm also slowly working on compiling the Life After Death stories written so far into a book. I think it will be about 300 pages long, which is kind of cool. That's quite a lot of writing we did without even realizing it.

Anyway, that's it for now. Keep it real.