Time to End the Slump

The writing slump is ending.

Too many medical fears – my wife’s recent close call after contracting a dangerous infection on top of everything else – and financial woes threw my motivation to write fiction into a tar pit.

The fear that comes with uncertainty and morbidity takes a toll on anyone’s psyche and I was just another one of its recipients. Creative energy was quietly replaced by dark observations and the subsequent frustrations of the world’s current political state. Mindless entertainment and mobile device games passed the time between work and family obligations. Sleep became more and more desirable to pass the days when it was an option. A few too many sips of bourbon helped ensure that.

Looking back, I can point out a plethora of reasons I ended up here, but what’s the point? All I can do is recognize where I am and set a new direction. Wallowing in self-pity and introspective pondering won’t accomplish anything, except, perhaps, provide a character trait in an new story.

Today I found this incredible discomfort ripping at my heart. I loathe the idea of complacency and living the mundane, and yet, I found myself there. An overwhelming urge to write something – anything – is pushing me to write this self-reflective piece now. So I’m going with it. When it’s complete, a new world begins.

 

 

Advertisements

Open Communication Leads to Better Content | WriterAccess Blog

When you enter into agreements with freelance writers to develop content for your web presence, you will find early on that an open door for communication between writer and client is invaluable. A writer needs to understand your business, intentions, and audience to shape the material with the goal of creating great content that will perform well for you.

Writers Need to Know You

No matter how knowledgeable they may be about your industry or trade, freelance writers are meeting you for the first time and, in many cases, online. They don’t know the nuances of your business like you do. They may not have ever heard of a special technique or service you employ if it’s not commonly used in your field. Never assume a writer can take a few keywords and figure it out as that leaves far too much room for interpretation, which can easily steer the content off course. Your goal is for the writer to express your business, not your business category.

» Read the full piece on the WriterAccess Blog

King For A Year: Review of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank RedemptionI was fortunate to participate in author Mark West’s King For A Year project – 52 reviews of Stephen King’s works throughout 2015. I revisited a favorite story of mine from King, the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

You can read it here – King For A Year: Rita Hayworth And Shawshank Redemption, reviewed by David T Griffith.

Masks out now featuring “Blood & Gingerbread”

Masks - final coverWhat a great way to start off autumn. My latest story “Blood & Gingerbread” has just released as part of the anthology Masks from Black Shuck Books, an imprint of Great British Horror. It seems I am becoming a British author by proxy as this is my second in a series of at least four sequential books lined up with British presses.

This story was fun to write. Inspired by Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and real-world accounts of militant separatist compounds, “Blood & Gingerbread” is set in a secluded community where bizarre annual rituals keep death at bay. It explores the raw human need to control, holding domain over violence, nature, families, behavior, life, and death. What happens when that power is disrupted?

Check out the table of contents below featuring some of the great writers you’ll find in the independent horror field right now. Masks is edited by Dean M Drinkel and the cover art is by the late and great illustrator James Powell, may he rest in peace.

  • PORCELAIN  by James Everington
  • BLOOD & GINGERBREAD  by D T Griffith
  • THE HOUSE OF A THOUSAND FACES  by Chris Stokes
  • VARIETY NIGHT  by Russell Proctor
  • AFTER THE END, THE BEGINNING  by Christine Morgan and Lucas Williams
  • THE MAN WHO FED THE FOXES  by Phil Sloman
  • MANY HAPPY RETURNS  by Kyle Rader
  • TRIXIE  by Christopher Beck
  • THE FACE COLLECTOR  by Stephanie Ellis
  • AN ABSENT HOST  by F A Nosić
  • THE SILENCING MACHINE  by Clockhouse London Writers
  • HIS LAST PORTRAIT  by Adrian Cole
  • THE JAR BY THE DOOR  by Icy Sedgwick

Purchasing info and other details are available on Black Shuck Book’s site: blackshuck.greatbritishhorror.com/masks.

Challenging myself

Orange sky over Rye, NY - November 2011For those who don’t know me well, I am not a religious person. I don’t hold claim to any one belief system or ideology, nor do I reject any. I hold a high level of respect for everyone’s individual beliefs or lack thereof. It’s not my intent to prove or disprove, rather, it is to learn facts, listen to stories, and understand our world as it exists today. This level of comprehension includes the natural world and human societies and cultures, for which many are built around belief systems and have significantly impacted on the natural world – good or bad. I am also a strong advocate of the sciences.

In needs to be stated with regard to our current polarized climate of religion versus science, that science does not exist to debunk or counter religion. Nor is science a belief system. It is a methodology applied to the pursuit of facts in how things function in our world. It is the exploration of our intelligent minds, the ocean depths, and the minuscule building blocks of the trillions of atoms that make up each of our bodies.

My views on religion – of any faith – are straight-forward, if not over-simplified. When the supernatural elements are removed they provide frameworks that help some people live their lives, to cope with difficult situations, to provide a community of like-minded people, to serve the less fortunate in times of need. In this high-stress, fast-paced digital era of individual isolation – think of how often people are outdoors talking with neighbors as compared to the pre-Internet days of twenty-plus years ago – religious organizations hold an invaluable role in fulfilling a need to belong to a group and provide a purpose in life. I acknowledge that not everyone seeks these fulfillments, or maybe not in a faith-based setting.

So here I am, embarking on what is the most challenging journey yet in my professional creative life. Without giving much detail away at this early stage, I have committed to writing a biography following the lives of two sisters, where religion and gender identity are major factors in their life stories. Funny enough, the challenge for me is not in taking on the subject of gender identity, it’s learning in close proximity about the high value and trust in a faith that is rather foreign to me, one that I may not agree with at times.

Through this writing exercise I have finally reached a point of clarity consistent with my views: a story about another’s beliefs is not reflective of my own.