Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, all. It has been a good one, and a good year, here in the House of Carpenter.

Hope you all have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Oh, and Episode 5 is written. On Monday I’ll start the editing and fixing. Unsure of a due date, but as I mentioned in my last update, I am ramping up my writing schedule, so the longer it takes to get Episode 5 out, the longer it takes for me to get working on the next stuff I have in line. However, that doesn’t mean I will in any way shape or form try to rush. I do my best to put out a product that has few or no mistakes. Not going to scrimp on that. That being said, I was re-reading one of the earlier episodes and found a mistake, so it does happen. But trying for zero.

Merry Christmas, folks.

Thanks so much for reading the little stories I put out. Its heartening. And humbling.

 

RC

Oh, Be-La! Bela’s Undead!

Dating myself a bit, but the first time I heard Bauhaus’ live performance of Bela Lugosi’s Dead I was, I think, 14. Part-time job, cleaning the office of one of my mom’s friends at around 7:30 at night. Listening to that on my walkman. Freaked me out something fierce.

So, no, I’m not dead. Haven’t given up on writing. It’s just this episode has taken me far longer than I wanted it to. Life got in the way. Vacation. Moving house. Broken bones. Day job. All that kind of stuff.

Oh, and the fact that I’m up to 155 pages for this episode. Still not done. Although I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. And no, I’m not making any train references.

I am really trying hard to finish this up before Christmas. I don’t want to start the New Year with this episode unfinished. Don’t want you guys to have to wait any longer than absolutely necessary. Once that gets a little closer to being wrapped up, I’m going to make a decision on what to write next. For that, I may ask for some input from you fine folks. But we’ll explore that a bit more once this last episode gets wrapped up.

One thing I have decided to do is reduce the amount of profanity in my writing. Notice I said reduce, not remove. Had some conversations with a few friends and a writer or two and basically I realized I use far too much. I have trimmed it down. Have used a half-spoken or cut-off version of curse words, as you’ll see in a moment. I’ve also decided to, once I finish Episode 5, go back and edit the previous episodes. Cut back on the profanity and leave it in only when I feel it is necessary to the story. I counted and there are over 20 instances of the F-word in Episode 1. That’s an average of at least one instance every other page. Too many. I’m not excising them completely. They will still be there. My books will still likely be for mature audiences. Will still carry the warning in the front of the book. But I don’t want to use those as a crutch. I’m not Tarantino. I admire his films, but I’m not him and my writing shouldn’t mimic his level of profanity.

And, as a teaser, I’ve decided to put out an excerpt from Episode 5 like I did with Episode 3. So, read on, dear reader. And if you want to keep up with me, I’ve been most active on Twitter these days. Not to say I’m really active. But that’s likely the easiest place to keep track if I’m still kicking or not. There should be a link on the upper right of this webpage that will take you to my Twitter feed/page/tweet thing. Thank you, and enjoy…

 

Nobody came.

“Bannister’s going to kill you. You know that, don’t you Agent?” Duke said.

“We’ll see. Any last words, Duke? Some stupid movie line you think is relevant?” Guy asked. Stepped back two full steps. Slowly.

Duke wracked his brain. Trying to get a message to Theo in case he was listening. “Yeah, I do. Han shot first.”

“What?” Guy said, confusion on his face.

“You heard me you traitorous coward. Han shot first.”

Guy shook his head. “Whatever. I never understood you and your stupid team.”

Duke smiled. “That is why you fail.”

“You ready?”

“Come on, motherfu-” Duke yelled as Kowalski yelled out louder, “He’s got a gun!” Pulled his Glock 23 from his Miami Vice inspired shoulder holster and fired two shots into Duke’s chest. The crowds in the Hollywood and Highland shopping center screamed and ran, terrified that the worst of L.A. had come to life. Blood exploded outward from Duke’s chest as Kowalski’s shots hit their mark. Duke looked surprised. Looked down at his chest as he fell backwards. The blood seeped through his clothes and onto the concrete around him.

Sirens sounded in the distance. Getting closer.

 

RC

Giveaway

Okay, folks. Trying something out here. Please don’t shoot me if it goes south.

I’ve joined up with a bunch of other authors whom I do not know in a giveaway. You, my fine readers, can enter into the giveaway by jumping through a few hoops. Mostly you’ll need to like my shiny new Facebook page. It’s not much of a Facebook page, I know. But I’m trying to get more active with social media. Which leads me to the giveaway.

It’s run by a website called, geniusly, freekindlegiveaway.com. They use a company called Rafflecopter to coordinate and deal with the logistics.

What do you have to do? Well, if I’m right in what I think I know, you’ll go to the link below and enter in your name and email address or sign in with your Facebook account. Jump through their hoops, like my Facebook page, promise up your first-born, and you’ll be entered into a giveaway for a free Kindle or 140 bucks, whichever you’d prefer if you win.

Chances of winning? Better than the lottery. Last giveaway they ran there was 15,000 or so entries. The one before that, 4000 or so. So honestly, not great. But like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play.

So, check it out. Like my Facebook page. If you have no desire to do either, that’s fine, too. The reason I’m involved in this is two-fold – 1) possibly increase my readership/social media presence and 2) give you guys a chance at winning a Kindle.

Here’s the link to where you need to go:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

If you think this is a great opportunity or a horrible trainwreck that you can’t believe I’m involved in, let me know.
Happy Fourth of July.
RC
p s- yes, I’m still working on Episode 5. It’s coming along. Slow. But awesome.
pps – check out some of the other authors on the list at freekindlegiveaway.com if you want. I’m not vouching for any of them. As far as I know it’s a mix of young adult, romance, supernatural stuff. I think I’m one of only a few thriller writers on the list. I’ve not read their work and don’t know any of them personally, so if the stuff you find sucks – hey, I warned you. If you read something of theirs and it’s awesome – come back and leave a comment and let me know. Or email me and I’ll pass it on on this site.

Bicycles

This post is the fully developed fruit of a seed that was planted on Twitter. Which means I posted something on Twitter this weekend, couldn’t stop thinking about it and decided to write it out here.

I took my daughter out to practice riding her bike in the park this past weekend. She still uses training wheels and while many kids her age still use them, some have gotten rid of them, including a few of her friends. Yes, I know, let her go at her own pace. She’ll get there when she’s ready. But she won’t get there without practice. Hence, my daughter and I in the park at 2:30 on a hot Sunday afternoon. Wife was wisely napping inside under a fan.

So the kid rides her bike a bit. Stops. Adjusts her helmet. Rides a bit more. Stops. Turns on her light. Rides. Stops. Turns off the light. Rides. Stops to “fix” her bike. Rides a bit more. Stops… you get the picture.

As I was trying to encourage her to keep riding, I realized maybe she wasn’t riding very long distances because I was walking. The times I’ve seen her riding with friends she goes pellmell until she catches her friends, catches her breath for a minute then off on the chase again.

The problem was apparent – I needed a bike. Luckily my wife’s sister lives nearby. I went over there and asked my teenage nephew if I could borrow his bike. He said yes (he should, we bought it for him 2 years ago and hasn’t ridden it since) but the tires were flat. No problem, there’s an air station in the park. Take it down there. Put air in the tires. Climbed on.

Now, its been almost 11 years since I rode a bike. I was honestly worried about falling off. But I didn’t. My daughter was very impressed. How impressed, you ask? So impressed she yelled at the top of her little lungs, “How can you do that without side wheels?”

In a busy park.

My answer, after I stopped because I was wobbly enough I was worried I’d fall off, was, “I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time, kid.”

Which got me to thinking. I have been riding bicycles for a pretty long time. And I’ve loved every minute of it. I clearly and distinctly remember my first tricycle (red). And every one since. I remember the crashes, the fast rides, riding in the snow and singing with all my heart while riding down a tree-lined street on my black Raleigh three-speed in the middle of a torrential downpour (don’t remember the song but likely The Pogues).

That is why JC has a bike shop. Because I love bicycles, so does he. I think every writer puts part of themself into the characters. Can some writers create and give voice to people who have nothing in common with them? Sure. I guess its possible. But I can’t. JC loves bicycles because I do. Joan likes push daggers and brass knuckles because I do, too. Duke loves the shotgun because I do, too. JC is trying to get back on the righteous path because I am too. Duke loves movies a bit more than I do, but we love the same ones. Joan is quiet and impatient like I often am.

Theo? That dude is an amalgamation of about 3 people I’ve known and known well in my life. So when he does some crazy-ass thing, it ain’t me, babe. It ain’t me.

But I know somebody who did. Or would.

That’s where the creative side takes over. My father was not a diplomat (Duke), Army (JC), gangster (Theo) or fisherman (Joan). Wait, I think I just revealed too much about Theo and Joan. But I can imagine the lives they may have had because I take a thread of one part of the fabric of the relationship I have with my own father, pick at it, pull it apart, magnify it, duplicate it and then weave an entire tapestry with similar threads.

So, it is late and I did have a point and a purpose when I started this but it has now eluded me. Which is why I do best as a “planner” type of writer – when I get to the end I know what I’m going to say. When I try to be a “pantser” and just go by the seat of my pants I wind up with stuff like this. Starts out good, hits the points I want to make but in the end I loose my drift/flow/point..

Hopefully this little post has given you a bit more insight into the series and the characters and maybe a bit more into me. That’s what I was trying to do. If it did, or if it failed miserably, feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks.

RC

 

A meme and some thoughts

I like superhero movies. Dig ’em. Not all of them. More than a few stinkers exist over the past couple decades that I prefer not to admit to watching (Ghost Rider? Seriously?). But I thoroughly enjoy the recent spate of Marvel successes. Nolan’s Batman trilogy? Genius. X-Men? Hot and cold, but I’ll watch them in the theaters when they come out. Spiderman? Not so much, although I did watch the first three back in the 90s. (oops, just checked and it was the 2000s)

Uncle Ben

Now, like I said, I was no huge Spiderman fan. Why? I dunno. I guess he just never really hit the mark with me. Too much of a weak-willed doormat before he became Spiderman. Didn’t really strike me as a Super Hero when he was Spiderman. For awhile he turned into an arrogant jerk. In my opinion he just never did the things I thought he should be doing. He was never really comfortable in his own skin, with his abilities. Saving people, sure. Great. But being awesome? Never saw much of it.

You may disagree and that’s fine. One good friend of mine loves the movies. While I liked them, I didn’t love them. Which, I guess, is part of the reason I laughed for a good five minutes straight when I saw the meme to your left. Jameson was too often a flat, undeveloped jerk. Stuff like this would have made him far more interesting, at least to me.

Cruel? Heartless? Yeah. But funny. Fun-ny.

 

Which leads me to some thoughts on my writing process. I’ve been taking notes and outlining for a week or so now. Starting snippets here and there but not getting any “real” work done.

Why?

It’s how I write and I’d like to change it. I let things build and build inside me until I can see it. Until things are fairly mapped out and I’ve got all kinds of good ideas just ready to burst out of my head and they’re just filling up my brain and I’m afraid if I don’t start writing them down I’m going to start forgetting all of them. That day was today.

Why is this bad? It’s just a version of the “waiting for inspiration” or “waiting for the muse” style of writing. Which produces lots of delays between works. I’m really trying to move more towards the “butt-in-chair” style: Sit myself down and write 500 words, good or bad. Just do 500 words in one hour. Then repeat. Not all will be good. Maybe they’ll all stink. But it’s a start.

So, now that I’ve actually started writing the meat of the story, I need to transition to the more consistent method of churning out work so that I’ll actually get things done and published in a more reasonable timeframe.

 

Oh, and one more thought about what I do. I don’t know where I heard or read it, but someone somewhere said the best way to write a story, once you’ve established your characters, is to chase them up a tree. Then start throwing rocks at them. Then set the tree on fire. Once they figure out how to save themselves, the story is done.

The end of Episode 4 was me standing about 15 yards from the tree with a Molotov Cocktail in each hand.

In Episode 5 I’m throwing one at the base of the tree and one at the trunk, right below where the branches start.

We’ll see what JC and The Team do.

 

RC

 

 

Episode 4 Live on Amazon

Okay, folks, I’ve got three things to report. Well, four, really.

 

First, Episode 4 is live on Amazon. Yeah! Got my first review. Yeah!  Thanks, Doug. Yeah, Doug! If you haven’t picked up a copy, head on over here – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KC86IOW . I had a few hiccups getting it published and all, but it’s up and on it’s own two feet now.

 

Okay.  That’s the first thing.

 

Second thing – I’m expanding. No, not my waist (that’s actually shrinking). No, not the kind of books I’m writing. That comes later. What I’m expanding is the number of places you can find The Fixer. When I started, Amazon was the only place you could find The Fixer series. Well, now I’m branching out. My books are either currently available or in the pipeline at Kobo, Apple and Barnes and Noble. A little excited about this. Why? More reach. More readers. More visibility. It may not matter to you, but when I sent one of my good friends a link to Episode 1 on Amazon, he said “Yeah, that looks awesome. Kinda like to see how it would look on Apple iTunes.” Now he has the chance. And so do you.

 

Third thing – Started Episode 5. I know how it starts. I know some of the big things that will happen (and some of the little ones). I know the ending. I know the epilogue. I’m just trying to figure out how to get all the pieces in place so it turns out kinda okay. You know how you watch a movie sometimes and it’s building and building and building and then the ending just totally sucks? Yeah, trying my best to avoid that. Trying to not let things fall all apart. We’ll see if I actually pull it off. It’s clutch time, baby!

 

Fourth thing – this is totally getting ahead of myself, but I’m mapping out Season 2. If you liked much of Season 1, I think you’re going to like Season 2. Remember how awesome Die Hard was? And then how Die Hard 2 sucked? But then how awesome Die Hard 3 was because the action started and then pretty much never stopped? That’s what I’m going for. Skip the sophomore effort that sucks and go straight into the awesome.

 

Wish me luck.

RC

 

ps – will try and put up more frequent posts. not only about my books. other writers I’m digging. Maybe some amazing pictures. Not mine, just stuff I’ve seen. And one thing that still makes me laugh today, even though I saw it like two weeks ago.

Episode 4 – Done. Sort of.

Not much of a twitterer, so this info’s going here.

Episode 4 is largely done. I’ve got the beginning, the middle and the end. I need to trim some things down. FLesh some things out. But I’m hoping it gets off to my editor this week. Crossing my finges to get it out this month, but don’t hold me to that. It might make it, it might be the first week or so of May. But I’m raring to get Season 1 done and done and on to Season 2, so we may see something unheard of in the world of Rex Carpenter – two releases in the same month.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

Talking to myself in the royal third person? Time for bed.

Hopefully I won’t dream about JC and Joan and Duke and Guy and Theo and Meier and Marcus and The Mexican. Like I did last night.

RC

Kindle Book Promoters I like

Okay, this is going to be an ongoing list. Hopefully it doesn’t get too unwieldy.

A list of what? A list of places that promote free or discounted books on the Kindle platform.

Why? Because I’ve been trying to promote my books and these are some of the fine folks who have helped.

Why? Why these people? I’ve either made some kind of personal connection to them, think they’re awesome, or both. Likely both. Even though the personal connection may be all in my head.

Why? Well, it could be because I thought they were nice. Perhaps their auto-respond emails were more than the regular form letter. Maybe they went the personally typed letter route. Maybe their site or service bumped my book up a bit. Or maybe, as a reader myself, I thought they had a pretty good list of books and stuff that other readers might be interested in.

Why? Why what?

Why? I can’t just keep guessing at what you’re asking. You need to be more specific.

Why? You know what, here’s the list. Maybe that will answer your questions.

 

The Rex Carpenter List of Awesomeness

Kindle Books and Tips

Featured my first story right here. Brings a tear to my eye.

Ebookshabit

Good guy running it. Featured me also.

Its Write Now

Person running the site is helpful and cool. Featured me as well. Do you see a trend?

All Mystery Newsletter

Cool folk.

 

Episode 1 FREE April 8th and 9th

Yup. Running out my last two free days in the Kindle Select program. Response so far has been kinda okay. 10 am on the west coast and I’ve got quite a few downloads. Couple sales of Episodes 2 and 3.

Rock on. Every book out there is another soldier in my army. Fighting for eyeballs. And brains. Not zombie like, but, well, you know.

So, for those cruising on by here for no reason, here’s the link to amazon:

Episode 1

 

And if you’d like to tell your friends, then be my guest.

 

No, really. Go ahead. Spill. I won’t mind.

 

RC

 

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