Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cutter

Thin and cold,

Hard against the white of my skin.


Pressure is my slave,

Control my master.


Bone deep,

And the game is over,

It means,

I beat my master.


Slightly cutting,

The depth of human hair,

No stitches needed,

Let it heal in the air.


Those are the effects of control,

On a good day I only need the air,

Control then is my master,

And my master is fair.


Other days,

When there is more shadow,

Than sun,

And my control runs low,

The pain is like a gun,

Hot and deep,

Cutting soft,

Wonderful pain.


But still my master wins,

As I instruct my slave,

To save me for later,

His we can not save.


When its' wrong,

When I can't draw the blade,

I cut wide swaths,

Through my minds glade.


Leaving the pain,

To be healed,

As though I had,

Stripped from myself a peel.


The wonderful pain of the first cut,

Through the pain of healing,

The illusion of the pain,

Is my way of feeling.


This is one of my favorite poems from a couple years ago. To me it shows the depth some people will go to be able to experience a feeling. The one question I have not been able to answer though is what events in their lives took them to the place that the only thing they could feel was pain? Mental or physical? A friend of mine read this and several day later took me aside and told me that I had captured the way she felt at the time to a tee. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. It was the fact that the words I had put together from my mind had accurately described something that I had no personal knowledge of. It was then that I knew the words were true. Absolutely Amazing!! Robert E

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random-ness

What a week this was...

Monday night I was notified that "Dream State" has gone in to production. I had hoped many times, followed my heart, and faced my fears, but still thought there was a high likelihood that it was not real. I held out that maybe it wouldn't finish, or see the light of day.

Yet Monday in the body of an email was the affirmation that the words I had strung together were good enough. It was an amazing moment and was placed third on the list of best moments of my life.

Unfortunately, it also meant that I had to put Drew out of my mind now. I had to say good bye to the bastard I took three years to create and polish. It also meant that I needed to choose. I've toyed with the idea of a series of books based on the impact to special people in victims lives when their friend is killed by a serial killer.

I also thought about a vampire series, but thats pretty cliche now I thought. But what if I created a new vampiric world, what if I changed the rules? What if vampires could thrive in the sunlight, but only when certain conditions apply? What would the victims feel, much like what one of the characters in "Dream State" felt?

It could happen.

And what about the imagery experienced by children stuck in the horror of human trafficing. Or the mental wandering of a herion addict hitting bottom.

And maybe, just maybe, a short story about the man described in the Dave Matthews Band Song "Rhyme and Reason". That would be cool.

I'm not sure whats next, and maybe thats why I thought that Drew and his experiences were just a dream. But now is the time I must choose, and when I awaken in the morning I will have made my choice, because at the end of the day, any choice I make at this time is the right choice.

Robert E


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dream State Chapter 1 Excerpt

Drew positioned his hand in the small of Kim’s back; she could feel the intensity of his fingers and his grip. She visualized those hands running over her naked body and a low moan escaped her lips.

“You alright?” he asked her.

Kim was mortified that the moan had been aloud. “Yes, I’m fine thank you.” She did her best to recover from the recklessness and cleared her throat. She was unsure if it was the scotch or the relative proximity of Drew that had made her moan. Either way, she thought, she would be feeding a need that she often left to wither in the recesses of her mind.

When the traffic cleared, they crossed Eads Street and made their way down the ramp into the walking tunnel under Jefferson Davis Highway. The tunnel smelled of old rotted leaves that had blown there during the fall and were decaying in piles. There was also an overwhelming stench of urine and feces mixed with the rotten mold of the leaves and general dampness of the tunnel. The further they walked into the tunnel, the stronger the odors became.

Kim and Drew saw people that lie on the ground covered with newspapers or old cardboard. The clothing they wore was so tattered they could see through to the skin in spots not covered by the makeshift blankets. The homeless had ratty hair and yellowing teeth, when teeth existed to show. The stench from bodily excrement mixed with dirt, filth, and body odor was enough to make a sewage worker gag. Yet these folks lay there with little to no concern for anything going on outside the small space they occupied and called their own.

Kim and Drew made their way through the tunnel, breathing only when necessary, and stepping around the pallets of cardboard and newspaper. A sense of dread came over Kim as they walked, seeing those poor people sleeping in a tunnel, living in filth, sleeping in their own shit.

Something had to be done! Someone should help these people, she thought as they walked through the tunnel. These souls were at a place of complete personal defeat, and she wanted, in that moment, to help.

She pushed the feeling from her head as they came to the other side of the tunnel, and fresh air. She could not do anything for them tonight and released the thoughts from her mind as Drew reached up and touched the small of her back again, making her remember the dirty little thoughts she was having about what she was going to do to him in the here and now.

They got to the corner of Jefferson Davis Highway and 23rd and took a left on the access road leading toward the Crystal Mall area and the Crystal City Marriott. They walked two blocks down the concrete and paver-stone sidewalk past condominiums that covered an underworld of retail shops, parking garages, eateries, and the homeless.

Angling in front of the bronze-tinted glass building, they took a left into the brass-framed revolving door of the Marriott. Once inside, they veered left on the polished marble floor, and diagonally across the lobby to the gleaming brass doors of the elevators in front of a spiral staircase leading to the second floor. A mirror-walled elevator car with open doors awaited them. They entered and selected the seventh floor. During the ride, Kim leaned into Drew and gave him a slow sensuous kiss. He allowed his hands to roam to the small of her back, the top of her buttocks, and the curve of her waist. She leaned in closer to him as she thought again of the possibilities and found that she was looking forward to the intimacy waiting on the other side of her hotel room door.

As they stepped off the elevator, Kim felt a sharp pain in her lower back.

Oh, that’s odd, I wonder what is going on with my back. She had not had back troubles or pain before.

The pain began to subside as they walked the thirty feet to the door of her room. Kim began to feel an unnatural calm come over her and as it did her mind returned to thoughts of sex. She placed her key card in the slot and slowly slumped to the floor.

Drew carefully picked her up and carried her into the room. He closed the door with his foot, walked to the bed, and laid her on the king-sized bed. He stood to straighten his jacket, then took a seat next to her.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who is Drew?

Drew Sovern is the main character of Dream State. He lives a life without consequence, a life of unchecked ego.

We start following him in his mid teens and experience the growth of an ego run amuck. Through the story, we get the opportunity to learn what really makes him tick, what his motivations are, and how he deals with his relationships.

Drew is a man that is conflicted by the thoughts he has of his childhood, and the events of his life that shaped him into the person he is today.

Dream State is in preparation for production and will have a release date assigned soon. Stay tuned here for updates on pre-order reservations and online availability.

Robert E

Dream State Update v3

What a ride!

Anybody that says being published is easy must have a higher activity tolerance than I do. But, I am loving every minute of it.

All the free time I could steal away from the day job was spent polishing the text, which is complete. (Following this post, I will leave an excerpt for you)

What else? Most everything is ready and now it is just a matter of time waiting for Eloquent to get their parts to a stage that I can review and approve the next iteration in the process.

What's next? A break! I want to take a little time to not be in writing/editing mode and enjoy life for a bit.

Thanks for following, and thanks for the support.


Robert E

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Interview 1 – Robert E

A friend of mine dropped by the house today and we began talking of Dream State. We were supposed to have a taped Q/A to be aired on YouTube. Something happened to the plans and we came up with this idea as an alternative.

If after reading this, you would like to ask your own question, please feel free to leave me a comment.

Tell me about Dream State

A whirlwind of short stories combined into one narrative that will leave you perversely aroused.

What inspired you to write it

I started writing the different scenes as short stories during a time when I was in pain. While I was recovering I found that there might be a way to thread the stories together. The main character was then developed as a mechanism to weave the stories into a fabric.

What process did you use

The short stories were the easiest to write. Most of them only took a couple days each. Trying to bring a sense of realism to the narration behind and between the scenes was much more difficult. I must have read parts of the text 100 times before I decided to embellish it to a higher level of importance. Some of the background story detail was added while I was trying to bring the story to an acceptable length to be considered more than a short story.

Is this your first published novel

Yes. I have what I consider a very good contract with AEG and Eloquent books. From the time I decided to pursue publishing the story, I was willing to pursue any route necessary to put the story in the public. The offer from AEG came and I was more than willing to sign-up.

Tell me about Drew

What a fun guy to write. The introduction brings some of Drew's best features to light. His character is questionable to say the very least. The situation that he finds himself in allows him to be a very devious person.

What is your favorite scene in the book and why

I can't tell you the specifics of the scene or what happens in it, but what I can say is that the last scene is my favorite. There are so many loose ends that come together, many levels of emotion, and a very wicked little twist.

In what time frame does this story take place

The time is current day. There are however, multiple timelines on different levels happening simultaneously.


How were the characters developed

Each of the scenes were written in short story format, so that they could stand on their own. Drew came about as a way to weave all the scenes together. The longer I wove Drew into the plot the deeper he became. The stars of each scene were developed from snippets of how I perceive portions of personalities from people I know mixed all together with a lot of imagination.

Are any of the scenes based in reality

Most are really. The bar in DC is real, the tunnel exists, as does the Marriott. The Eden Roc really is in Miami, and it does have a glass walled tower. The picnic scene is from my memory of a little park in the town where I grew up in Indiana. As for the scene with the cedar trees, that layer of needles was from what I remember from a kid at my aunt's house, and my imagination.

What authors inspired you

Three. Stephen R. Donaldson, Dan Brown, and Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb.

Donaldson for his ability to describe despair and suck me into an environment.

Brown for his ability to make me see exactly what he saw when he looked at the architecture of Rome.

Roberts for her ability to make me believe in the ideal life.

What type of reader do you hope to attract

That's very interesting. The open minded fiction based thrill seekers that like a little violence with their sex.

What would you like the reader to get out of this book

These questions just keep surprising me. Primarily, I want the reader to ask "What?" I want them to wonder what caused the things that happened to happen, then to remember the reality of the situation. Secondly, I want them to talk about it with each other. It's a lot of fun. And third, but just as importantly, physical reaction.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vicky

She felt the cold of the concrete against her naked skin. The points of contact created a numbness surrounded by diminishing rings of radiated pain. The air smelled of stale mold from an overly damp, dark closed space with no ventilation. Her mouth tasted like thousands of different bacteria had taken up residence on her tongue.

The breath she pulled through parted lips caused her ragged throat to rasp in harshness; since it had known nothing of moisture in longer than she could remember. The pit of hunger in her stomach ached in spasms with the beating of her heart. The cramps in her stomach set a rhythm of their own against the back drop of nausea.

Her mind had gone numb in an attempt to hide from the incessant pain of the red ants feeding on her scalp. The instantly infected bites caused venom filled, hardened blisters of puss to create a landscape of ever expanding mountains of oozing sores. The acid like fluid ran from the sores into her left ear to eat away at the tender membrane of her eardrum.

More damaging to her mind than the pain were the thoughts she had of the last thing she could remember. She had watched her father close and lock the door of the small building in the front yard of their house that housed the water pump. He had locked her away after she had seen him in the process of dismembering the body of a woman with an electric chainsaw. Up to the moment she witnessed his actions, she thought her father had hung the moon.

It was in that moment she realized her father had been nothing but a lie. The sweet man that had tucked her in at night and gave her tender sugar kisses at the first morning light, was a brutal monster capable of taking from her the other most important person in her life, her mother.

She was now more alone than anyone would ever be in the future or could have been in the past. The cold reality of life without the most nurturing woman known to man, and the lie of her illusion perfect father was more than her four-year-old mind could reason through. The deafness caused by the puss collecting in the vessel of her ear canal, and the collection of dead ants in her right ear prevented her from hearing anything other than the white noise hum of a broken mind.

In the moment of her last remembrance, she felt the infected sick blanket of cold wrap her so tightly that she would later say it had warmed her to the bone. The blackness closed in from the edge of her vision to create the illusion of walking backwards into a tunnel.

She sat up, startled by the pain that engulfed her body, and scrubbed her head with her hands to get the ants off her, but there was nothing there. The infected sores were gone now, replaced with her long black well taken care of hair. The light in the room helped bring her back to reality, and she found that she was sitting on a bed.

The linens of the bed were soaked in sweat and were bundled around her naked waist. She saw the light from the windows creep through the windows to create boxes of illumination across the floor of the darkened room. The realization of her location sank into her mind and her breathing slowed to a normal pace.

Victoria Able sat in the middle of the bed and pulled the covers up around her throat in an attempt to hide from the dream. She wanted to forget what had happened and in many ways had forgotten. She knew that the little girl in those images was her, but now it seemed as though she could watch the events in a disconnected way, not allowing them to fully capture her. The last thirty-two years had helped soften the effects of the damage done to her when she was a child.

Dream State Update v2.5

Wow... I know what software developers must feel like. all these version notes.. lol

All the edits came back in from Chaz and writing the original 83,000 words was easier. I didn't have to think nearly as much. Any way, the comments have been addressed (even the snide remarks you made) (The sensation associated with the ... Ha)

I got extra comments from Sheila and Dave that were also incorporated along with the Publishers QA review. Jesus I'm tired.

Tammy got her motorcycle back this weekend and HAD to go for a ride. Well I took the "down time" to think through the dedications and acknowledgements. Right in the middle of gettin into a groove about it she damn near runs over me... I know right... Yesterday being her birthday, we did our normal b'day dinner and had a super meal at Marietta Fish Market with Jolie.

After all the afternoon and early evening fun we came home and I was able to get both the dedications and the drafted out. Woo Hoo... I really sweat over those two items.

So where are we you may be wondering.

The text is final final. Done Done. I really mean it this time. Well maybe not. I want Rob to blast through it one last time to make sure its format is correct. Then it will be done Done.

So then it goes to the publisher for layout. We will be selecting the internal layout to best represent the multiple conversations, and shifts in time frame.

A few fun facts.

When I finished the first round of writing the text was 198 pages of double spaced lines. After edits, rewrites, edit, correction, formatting we finished up at an astounding 396 pages and just under 83,000 words.

The art director contacted me and we should be getting the dust cover designs finalized by end of week. Yup you guessed it, its being released in hard cover first. We'll get to trade publications in the next release (that's just a size 6x9 soft cover).

I wish I could give you an exact release time frame or better a date, but there are an incredible number of moving targets for me to be able to realistically predict the release.

Again thanks for coming along.

Bob