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"We'll be Angels forever..."

Music.

Getting warmer, but still wicked with cold nights here in NYC. I long for spring. A good Ostara to all, Happy Vernal Equinox!

Been a very windy, winding, spiraling path into the throes of my second novel currently titled BLOOD KISS ... it's a complete manuscript at ~95k words, stripped from 105k words. I did good this time around. The book has been done since February 1st, 2014. It took me 6 months to write, and three months of research before that. I am 26 years of age and I have written two decent novels. As of now, I most definitely think that BLOOD KISS is my finest work. The Absence of Light was a great start to my career, but I think things are only getting better since BLOOD KISS was completed. I am a new writer, an evolved writer really, and I only want to keep growing and going. I am still in utter shock that Kathe Koja has agreed to read the entire manuscript and write a blurb. I am a lucky soul. Also, John F.D. Taff, who is a force to be reckoned with in the horror genre. Those two alone make me a happy boy. I am honored and privileged, and thankful to no end

So: BLOOD KISS is a story about two artists of highly different mediums brought together to make a difference on the world. What is that difference? What is that message beaded in blood?

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2013 was a busy year for me. I sold a shit-ton of stories and made a whole bunch of new friends. But I also had to make the decision to drop my HWA membership. I give them money and I got nothing in return; I almost expected that. What self-respecting professional writer pays to join a writer's group? None that I know. Anyway, I don't want to be negative; I just want to keep moving forward. 2014 started with one sale to Thresholds, a company with an acceptance rate of less than 1% of all stories submitted. How cool is that? They thought my work was better than 99% of submitted manuscripts. Major plus!

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Speaking of John Taff, I am so happy to see that his amazing collection of novellas, The End of all Things has found a home at the stellar Grey Matter Press. I was lucky to have been given the chance to read the stories, and I will be writing a blurb for him.


That's about all for now.

"A waste of time if you don't believe..."

one of my all time favorites by deftones

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It has been one year since The Absence of Light has been released by Villipede Publications and we are celebrating with a major .99 cents ebook sale! So go get it if you don't have a copy already. Support me, the ultimate underdog. I just don't know how I feel about this. Many things have changed since the book's inception way back in 2008. Yes folks, just because a book has an official release date doesn't mean I wrote the damn thing that year. Writing the book was wild ride that took a very long time. I needed to believe in myself, needed to just do it. And that takes guts! Maybe it's all the snow that's got my head clouded, or maybe it's the fact that I'm editing BLOOD KISS (tentative title to novel #2) and loving it so much more than The Absence of Light.


But we do this, don't we, us writers? We call our old work crap and our new work THE BOMB! Well, honestly, my first novel is a huge jumbled I-fucking-hate-the-world-and-your-little-dog-too bible; it's bloody, it's heartbreaking, it roots for the underdog whether gay, straight, black, QUILTBAG and etc! There have been three wonder professional reviews of the book over the course of the year, and you can find them at Hellnotes, Drunk in a Graveyard (formerly Horror Honeys review) and Fanbox Comix. Looking back, I wrote The Absence of Light in a Jagermesiter blur and rage, over-inspired by Black Sabbath (so much so that I had to fave Feb. 13th as my release date as it was the same date Black Sabbath released their debut album!), Tool, William S. Burroughs, New York City, the cold winters and loneliness of Pennsylvania, being depressed, and a blaze of drugs as a use of escape, partying like I don't care if I die, smoking too much weed, too many bogees and always feeling like I don't belong. It was my life once upon a time. I put everything in to the book and it exhausted me; I swore I'd never write another (but here I am with my second book in edits, woe-is-me). But the aesthetic within The Absence of Light is something that I can no longer call my own in a sense that I'm no longer a teen (I'm 26 now) and also, I've come to terms with all that idiotic rage most ousted teens suffer from; it has been paved over by a more adult rage. But you feel this rage, like I once did, and still do, then get the book and rage with with, embrace the malice! Because the book is still dear to my heart, especially its' characters. If you've read the book and liked it, please write some words about it anywhere. And if you can't get enough of the characters, fear not. There are adjunct stories to the novel in Ominous Realities and Handsome Devil, as well as the out-of-print Monster Notes and the forthcoming Darkness ad Infinitum.

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In other news, Red Caps by Steve Berman (owner of Lethe Press, a leading gay publisher) is out as well. Do you like gay fairy tales? Do you like them darkly humorous with a teen slant? Please go ahead and get the collection! I've had the pleasure to help with the edits for a story within, about young lesbians: one with too much imagination and with too little. All the stories are cute and wonderful. Here is the blurb:

Red Caps might be a rock band. Or they might be something more sinister, a fey source of sounds that are but the backdrop to thrills and misadventures. These thirteen stories provide readers jaded by the traditional, Old World fairy tales with tempting new stories that will entice bored readers from their suburban ennui. Closets are waiting to be explored. Escape from work camp leads to a dangerous encounter on a wet road. That high school year book is magical and might be mocking you...or helping you find love. And isn't love one of the central premises of the fairy tale? These teenage boys and girls need not fear that their love has no worth, because Steve Berman has written for them princesses who love maidens and adorkable students who have wondrous and smart boyfriends. Readers can be assured that, if the tale does not end happily, it ends most memorably

Please do us writers a favor and buy our work. It is work, after all. Just because we enjoy it does not mean we should give it away. You enjoy  your cars and you cell phones, but did you get it for free?

"You need to flee..."

Music.

New Year. New resolutions. What would we do if we just let the hurtles of last year roll into the new one? That is pretty much what happens and we do not want to admit it. Forgive my pessimism, but between the snow, the less than lovely temperatures (we are at about 10 degrees in NYC and in other parts of the country I saw some reports of something like -50 degrees) and all that makes me an angry boy. I like the sun, as much as I love night, the stars, the moon, and all the creatures within it, I enjoy spring/fall weather. Those are the times of the year when everything is coming back to life or withering away. The colors cannot be described by human words; the feel of the air is magick. I just want that back, right now. In winter everything is dead, decrepit and lonely! I care not for winter anymore. I'm a grumpy bum.

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Handsome Devil is looming, so go get your copies and learn what happens AFTER the final pages of The Absence of Light. It's always nice to revisit old characters. Mostly they come back like reflections in a near puddle, but sometimes they come back like trying to put clothes on that you've already grew out of. Sometimes we cannot accept that fact that we've changed as people, therefore we cannot go back into the minds of certain characters. Sometimes we cannot grow at all. I'm a mix of the two; I like to write about new things, and I have no qualms with dabbling back in the old stuff. I'd be a hypocrite if I said that Rez, Delilah, Alex et al did not bring me major comfort, I love them to death, but I just cannot ever picture writing another book about the,. Luck for anyone who likes these characters, they make a cameo appearance in my new novel BLOOD KISS


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The writing for BLOOD KISS has been wonderful the past few days. I'm over 80k words and nearing the end. I'm at the peak of the hill as they say, and it's a simple ride down from this point on. Heart's will break and teeth will be bared, entire lives will go down the drain and others will be given a new reason to live. Synergy gives way to synthesis, which gives way to a rabid symbiosis. Nothing will end right, but it will all be okay. This book is the angriest thing I've ever written. It is the most true of the world, has less to do with supernatural horror and more to do with urban decay. I don't think I've ever been more proud, let alone I have successfully scored a blurb from an author who is someone I'm too crazy about to say on this journal for fear they might turn back on their offer. If you know me well enough, take an educated guess!

"Pure intentions juxtaposed..."

"...will set two lover's souls in motion..."


More snow, around 25 degrees here in NYC, at least by me in Queens. Dreary weather, but nice to cuddle in with a book.

Last week OMINOUS REALITIES went live, and the collection is amazing. Martin Rose kicks off the anthology with "How to Make a Human" and it is a philosophically strong tale about demons, the soul and robots. John Taff comes second with "Angie" and holy hell, it's a rippling end of the world tale. If you know what's good for you, get this anthology! My story is called "Metamorphosis" and features Rez and Delilah from The Absence of Light. It's a dark fantasy tale about he power of twins...

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I've been invite to write an original gay werewolf tale for Steve Berman and Lethe Press. I'm hoping I can pull this off as BLOOD KISS is sucking up all my time. I was also queried to be part of an awesome project with some pretty cool writers, and one I truly love! When I can talk of the details, I will.

As for BLOOD KISS, all I can say is that it's about 3/4 done, and the fire is burning hot. This is my finest work to date for sure. I hope everyone who enjoyed Absence will try to get their hands on my new book. I promise to not disappoint.

Oh, and DARK VISIONS 2 just went live! Thank you Grey Matter Press!

snowbound,
J. Daniel Stone
The Trend Is Over

Not much to report here. Weather has gone back to witch's titty cold. Looks like snow, but I think it rained enough on Friday for a month. Could have been worse ... could have been snow. Thankfully, no snow ... yet. When you're a child snow ROCKS because all you have to do is play in it, eat it, piss in it, make snowmen, have snowball fights without the fear of frostbite and shoveling and black ice. As we age everything goes into the shitter; we have to take on this expected responsibility of keeping the sidewalks clean, the front of our buildings and houses safe to walk on for the mailman, for fear of a lawsuit, and etc. Snow is a big nuisance unless you're a child. I hate snow, unless I'm just watching it from my window.

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Sometimes I wonder if I write for me, for others, for the pure fact that I need to get things off my chest. I do not respect writers who make up all this junk for no reason. I mean, that takes a lot of guts, takes a lot of courage to back up your crap stories/novels with a straight face. I try to write my fiction with strong ocntext and social introspection. I don't just describe a whole bunch of things I know nothing about. I ask the reader rhetorical questions about society, about people in general. I want the reader to use the meat between their ears. I want them to take something away. That's my only goal when I write my stories. The rest is just words. And as for these other authors, especially the ones I come across in the same field as me, too many of these hacks don't even know that they're doing it. Writing (to me) is a holy form of art. Words are the color of the mind's canvas, and us writers are bound by a SACRED DUTY to use words in the most experimental way possible. We are supposed to make readers experience new prose styles, not that same Stephen King and James Patterson patterns. Why are so many writers afraid to explore this side of their psyche? I read way too much "safe" fiction and it drives me nuts. I need to give lessons on Joyce, Burroughs and Danielewski.

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I've just got over a weird bump in BLOOD KISS and I do not know why. Feels like this last scene is a little forced, but damn I know this is a necessary scene for character build up. Maybe I just don't want to be in the head of certain characters. You know what, that's it. Current word count if over 61k and I think this book wants to get up to 95k and I hope not any further. I need a good 5000 words for editing room. I expect to cut a lot out and add a lot more during the first go of edits. By the time I type THE END I think the time lapse will be a grand 6 or 7 months. See how long it takes to write a book? The difference is this time I was well more prepared, more secure in my writing. I had the idea for this book right after I typed THE END toI kid you not The Absence of Light took me two years to complete, 1 year to edit and 1 year to get published. Crazy. BLOOD KISS will not take nearly as long as it's more than halfway done only 3.5 months into writing it. And now, I must read or something.

cold,
J. Daniel Stone

"I deserve this..."

Tei Shi

Unseasonably seasonable this December 5th of 2013. Grey skies all around, the look of snow hanging heavy upon them. But nothing of the sort will come. The wind is too warm and the rain is too slick on the pavement. New York City is temperamental with snow these past five years. Lucky if we see it some winters, and others we just have too much of it. Global Warming folks, does not really mean the earth is warming up, rather, weather patterns are becoming more erratic and more extreme.

A wonderful night last night. Femme and Tei Shi at The Mercury Lounge on E. Houston. Mercury is a chill place, one of those more advanced kind of dives you see in the Lower East Sise. Luckily the drummer to my good friend's band BOYS won the tickets, but could not go so instead I went with the Frances (lead guitar/vocals). I'm so glad we did. Had a blast. Watching live music is something I treasure, and I've noticed as I get older I'm becoming extremely more experimental with my taste in music, and so I'm having much more fun. Opening up the mind is the key to having more fun!

So, looks like I will hit 60k word on BLOOD KISS by the week's end. I'm so happy with this book. I really think it's my truest work. But will others think so? That is to be determined upon selling it to the public. I also hope my publisher likes it as well. It's never a guarantee, never a sealed deal just because, well, you sold them your first book. Publishers and writers change everyday. What was good yesterday is nothing today.

Alas, in a few days Ominous Realities will be out, followed by Dark Visions 2 which both contain stories that I love. DV2 not as much as OR, but well, you know how us finicky writers are. We hate everything we wrote as recent as yesterday, sometimes even the past hour. Anyway, nothing more interesting to report. I guess it's back to the words, and smoking, then more words. Not necessarily in that order, but close to it.

puff, puff, pull,
J. Daniel Stone

"Hurry up and stick it in..."

Punk Cabaret

Cool in NYC, overcast, the sky up there so hollow and grey, the trees nothing but skeletons. Love this time of the year, no matter how sensitive I am to the cold, and I'm VERY sensitive to it, even having been born and raised in NYC. I've been through some hellish snowstorms, and I still will never be accustomed. The cold eats me alive; it literally makes me unable to work. I need heat, warm moonlight and the dark to get anything done.

Alas, I woke up in the morning to learn that I've won second place in a very tough competition judged by Charles Day, Taylor Grant, Geoff Brown, and John Palisano. If I left anyone out I'm sorry. Joe Mynhardt of Crystal Lake Publishing made it all possible by hosting the first ever Tales from the Lake writing competition. Not first place, but I still win a little money and that's not so bad for entering a contest on a whim, with the thought that I'd not make it past the first round. The story I wrote is called "Alternative Muses" and is about a woman who wants to feel the ultimate reality via the underground art of human suspension. Watch out of it in May 2014. Happy to be TOC buddies with the likes of Elizabeth Massie, Graham Masterton and so many more, including some of the judges!

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On Friday (Black Friday) I went to The Paramount and saw Glassjaw for the second time. It was a holy hardcore experience. I wanted to crowd surf so bad, but I feared for my piercings as at the Deftones show in March I left with a swollen ear (ear project) and an aching eyebrow (ring). I will say that GJ evokes in me feelings that I don't feel very often, ones of pure angst, pure regret, pure broken-heartedness, and they come to me like old friends, but ones who I've drifted from considerably.

-----

Last night consisted of a lovely day in Central Park with Jessi and my two best buds. We got to witness a wonderful Prayformance innate to NYC and which I'd never heard of until last night. I also paid homage in front of The Dakota, thinking about the night Lennon was killed. I posted a bunch of pics to my instagram so check them out, comment, indulge, whatever you like. You can also check out a few views of the ART MURDER art at the now disintegrating 5Pointz NYC.

Now back to the words. BLOOD KISS is going to hit 60k this week and I couldn't be happier.

drowning in words,
J. Daniel Stone
Music.

Warm November rain in NYC. Dreamed of massive floods across the city, half-awake, half-asleep, a state of mental paralysis to hallucination. Me standing on a hill to see the water rise high as the skyscrapers, and for some reason Kathe Koja was with me, and we were talking about beans, puppets and GMOs. Yeah, those are my dreams. A few nights before I dreamed of a great black thing standing before my bed, lifting my curled body ... to take me away ... to show me the darkness ...I have no idea.

Currently, I just passed the halfway point for my new novel, tentatively entitled BLOOD KISS ... but that all could change. It's a novel that's making me dream to new depths, of chitinious things, of lightning and performance art; menstrual blood, conception, deception and no redemption. Pure loss. A test to the human psyche and the ephemeral soul. Gentle things. Fragile things. I know not of where this book is going; what I do know is that it's powerful, and it's the truest piece of literature I've ever written. When you strip down to the bare minimum (an idea with no bias, a pen and pad with no conscious thought) you start learning how to write again. I needed to learn how to write again, because I sincerely exhausted myself when I finished The Absence of Light in 2010, exhausted my brain because it took until February 2013 to be released by Villipede and it was such a HELL of an editorial ride.

It was my own fault with my first book, overwriting and over-thinking as I wanted to impress people. I wanted to write what was true to me, to my teenage years. I wanted to get all that lush angst out of me, all that teenage drama. I think I succeeded. At least, I know I did it well enough to not have to deal with any of that in BLOOD KISS which makes me very happy. Like I said before, I took away all that I knew, all my influences, all my years of reading, and started from scratch with a story that I believed was worth telling. This time, I think I finally got it right.

Don't you find irritating that every time we use plurals about a group of people it has to be masculine? Irks me to core, like the title. Love it, but why is it masculine?

Lastly, I was lucky enough to make some other sales. Some really fucking cool sales. Look for my name soon to be in Prime Books, Grey Matter Press and Grey Matter Press again, as well as Crowded Quarantine Publications. All amazing stories and sales. I'm most proud of them. Oh, and don't forget about Icarus, which contains my proudest story sale to date. I began receiving some payments for some of these as well as others. I'm very grateful, as I'm less broke.

dabbling in witchery,
J. Daniel Stone

"You bottled divinity..."

Music

Remember how I said that I would catch up with some cool trips I made in 2013? Well here is my lowdown of my trip to Detroit to see Kathe Koja's Brothel, aka the live stage performance of Under the Poppy, her awesome book about love, betrayal and war.

Detroit is a city of ghosts, plainly put. Such a culture shock to stand in the middle of Motor City and barely see any motor vehicles pass me, let alone human beings. I felt the insecure gloom of a fallen city, one that is even worse shape now (bankrupt) than when I was there in April. Detroit is a very gray city for many reasons; it's natives are sad and its new gentrified dwellers could give a shit about its past. Much like New York City, Detroit is battling fiercely against landmarking certain areas so that the new people wit money who are moving in won't completely erase its Victorian, gritty charm. Half the reason why we flock to cities is to indulge in what we don't normally see, but these days we are seeing that cities all around the country are shaping into this uniform, plastic way of existence. Shopping malls, sushi, maybe a park and of course, boring individuals too concerned about what's going on within the world of their smartphone than the real world around them.

Under the Poppy was held in Brush Park, Detroit's Victorian slum. I'd never found myself so enchanted, and Jessi never found himself more scared. I wanted to explore, but to his disdain I was "getting into trouble". I attempted to break down a gate to a very abandoned mansionette, and he nearly killed me. I was lucky enough to glance through the crumbling boards in the windows, to witness the slow and cold decay of a frozen city (even in April Detroit is very cold), was able to come to the realization that not even a squatter could survive the winters with housing over there head. There was nothing inside but dust and shadow, rotted furniture and maybe a ghost of Victorian past, but that's about it. Brush Park in total was like this, all except the few restored Victorian mansions, and one of them was the Bernard Ginsberg House in which the Brothel was held in.

We arrived at the Ginsberg house early as Kathe requested of me. I had to get a little rehearsal in for my perverse moment with the floozies. Kathe greeted Jessi and I warmly, gave us a tour and immediately showed us to the floozies. Spot on acting, makeup impeccable and clothing, well, let's just say I felt like I was dropped into a time-warp to 1870. Inside the Ginsburg house was decorated in Victorian ephemera, everything from the smell of hand rolled tobacco cigarettes to the pungent whiskey inside every bottle and the elaborate candelabras was as if they had been transported to the future, 2013. The performance itself was dark and edgy; I wore my plague mask with pride as I was felt up madly by the floozies. It was  a great night. We celebrated after in Centaur Bar where Kathe and I caught up on a whole bunch of things.

In the end I wrote a short story about loneliness and culture shock, to which Kathe edited for me. What an experience. I cannot wait to go back to Detroit, and as Kathe told me next time I go she would personally give me the REAL tour. (!!!!)

Abandoned building on a main thruway
Abandoned building on a main thruway

Plage Mask and introduction to the Brothel
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Me in plague mask
Plague Mask and Under the Poppy introduction

Kathe Koja and I
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Kathe and I again, better picture
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Steve Xander Carson, Kathe and me
Kathe Koja, myself and Steve Xander Carson. After show celebrations

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Poverty
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Gloomy
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Brush Park decay
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Stoker?
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Detroit can suck your soul, indeed
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Said home I tried to break into. Crumbling boards opposite view
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Candelabra, perfume and liquorDetroit 2013 061

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Typewriter diary
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Istvan being sneaky
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Decca giving the tour
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BROTHEL IN THE FLESH!

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