Alienating My Audience, Or Why MSI?

You may have noticed I have a small obsession with Mindless Self Indulgence. Why does such a crazy band with insane music and hilariously offensive lyrics speak to me? Well, their music is like my life: full of craziness, fun, and a whole lot of fuck you’s to the dark and the danger. Their manic musical pace is akin to the way events happen in my life. I listen to all kinds of music: classical, pop, all kinds of rock and techno, movie soundtracks, dubstep, world music, and yes, there’s even some rap I can stand.

There are many bands and singers I like. But MSI are the only artists where I can say I don’t hate any of their songs. There are some that I like, plenty that I love, but none that I dislike. How rare is that? What is it about that driving sound, that derisive voice, the fact that Jimmy Euringer and the gang hate the way music sounds.

“…what do we not wanna do and what would a band from the future sound like. Like a band from ten, twenty years from now. What would they sound like? What would they look like? What would they act like? When we did it that way we created our sound, and we made our look from pretty much minute one. “-Jimmy Euringer

He makes music the way he wants it.

“With Mindless Self Indulgence there’s zero rules, except just go off and do what the fuck I want, talk about what I want and write songs about what I want. If it sounds poppy one second and totally insane the next minute then that’s fine, you know that doesn’t matter. In this game there was no vocals to deal with and there were some perimeters, so I didn’t wanna go to off the beat… but it was fine.”-Jimmy Euringer

And that’s exactly the way I write. I write what I want, the way I want it, because as much as I love reading, I hate the way books read. I wanted to do it my way. I wanted to do something no one had ever seen before.

“We came up with the name for fun and didn’t really think too much about it until we actually started becoming like “we never have to do anything for anybody other than ourselves.”Mindless Self Indulgence is kinda like being a dick and being like “I’m gonna do whatever the fuck I want.””-Jimmy Euringer

If you didn’t know, I’ve kind of had a really messed up life. My books, my writing is my way working through it. The people in them are my fuck you’s to the trauma. My stories are mindlessly self indulgent. And that’s exactly why if I manage to find a director as crazy as me who will turn them into movies (or anime, totally don’t mind that) I want to use every single MSI song as either a character’s theme song, an opening or ending, or just for some of the more fun moments. I’m writing a hell of a lot, and the Cuil Project is huge (see book guide on this page) so it’s not like there will be a shortage of chances to use their music.

Of course, that’s all contingent on the hope that those lovable bastards want to work with me. Dreams, right? So here I go, alienating my audience with my Mindless Self Indulgence. And it’s Gir because why not? Enjoy.

*Can you say link happy? Sheesh!

Golden tree on black

It Is Done

Er, well not quite. There’s still one book in the series to go… whimper.

Ah, so yes. Book Thirteen, available on Smashwords, Goodreads, and Createspace, coming to Kindle, Scribd, Kobo, and other places later. So check it out. And get ready to cry, because as MSI so accurately pointed out, It Gets Worse.

Book Thirteen: Final Revelation
More of Mark’s family shows up, supposedly to help. Mikassa has managed to escape Marduk’s grasp and joins in the search for the remaining talismans. It slowly dawns on various crew members that their life sucks way worse than it should. They suspect that one or a few of them may have royally fucked up somewhere along the way. They continue collecting items and keeping an eye out for the Time Faerie so that they can go back and fix the timeline. Unfortunately, their relationships have nearly disintegrated and they find out too late that it’s Mikassa’s fault.

Desired and Proper, As Promised

So even though you guys totally suck (not one like on my last post, really guys?) I went ahead and put up that hot scene I was telling you about. I’m totally not adding a picture to this post because I already used an awesome one today over here. So yeah, if you don’t like bisexuals or talk about love or talk about vampire love, then stay far, far away from this page. I mean it! Mark Ashton is in this scene so you know there’s bound to be something in it that will make you uncomfortable. Ok, ok, go ahead and read it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

*By the way, I cannot in good conscience recommend this scene to kids. Adults only. Don’t make me have to make you log in or anything. Please use discretion.

Close up of human hand holding fire flame

Cuil Peek: Desired and Proper (The Representative Series)

I stood outside of the black door with silver and gold leaves, fretting. Unfortunately, Craig wasn’t nearby this time to offer his calming reassurances. I shifted from foot to foot nervously, mentally rehearsing what I wanted to say. No matter what I did, though, I couldn’t quite fit the words together in a satisfactory manner. Scolding myself for being so keyed up over so small a matter, I let out a puff of air and glared down at my feet as if they might somehow hold the answer. I hadn’t quite realized my litany of curses had become verbal until the door flung open and the man I feared most regarded me rather coldly. My tongue seemed to retract down into my throat as those green eyes met mine. “Can I, ah, help you, Greg? Any particular reason you’re haunting my doorway with a stream of obscenities?” he spoke when it became apparent that I couldn’t.

 

I straightened as best I could, trying to recall why I was here. “Apologies, Mark. I was deep in thought,” I managed to reply in an even tone.

“Come in, then. Why are you thinking about such things outside my door?” His tone came out more harshly than he actually meant it. That was just how he was; nearly everything about his manner was abrasive. It took time to know him well enough to parse what was insult from what was just his regular form of expression. Even still, knowing a masterful killer lurked within was terrifying in and of itself. Hell, he was just as intimidating in sexual situations! I found myself blushing against my will as memories of our ménage with Ana came to the fore of my mind. He studied my face carefully, smiling ever so slightly as if he could read my thoughts.

 

 

*If you want me to post more of this scene, you should like this post. I really want to post the rest of it, because it’s one of my personal favorites but, ah, there’s-shall we say-adult content and a damn philosophical sledgehammer packed into it. Then again, most of my writing falls into that category. Anyhoo, if any of you out there would like more excerpts of my favorite scenes (there seem to be a damn lot involving Mark Ashton, including the one above), then I’ll add them to the Cuil Peeks page. That way you’ll be able to see the Cuil Project book guide, the first books in each series I’ve published so far, and delightful little scenes that will make wonder just who the heck these characters are to one another. For instance, one scene I’d like add to the Cuil Peeks page is one where Mark Ashton hunts down a rapist. I’ll tell you what, if I get  at least ten likes on this post, I’ll do it. You know what, actually, I’ll probably just do it anyway. :)

Hope Concept

Channeling Reality Into Fantasy

*This is a post about some of my medical issues: PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and Endometriosis. I’ve been dealing with them for nearly 15 years and they will never go away. I’ve tried nearly everything except one (the big surgery). And it may just be time to do that. So if you’re squeamish, especially about female-bodied stuff (although some male-bodied people get these, too), then I suggest you stop reading. And if you have either of these conditions and suffer from them, then I’m sure you completely understand and a big hug to you. If you know anyone suffering from them, for the love of god give them some chocolate.

 

It sneaks up on me. It always does. I never know when it’s coming. I never know how long it’s going to last. All I know is that it is complete and total, taking over every system inside and ripping me apart. It might start in my hands, or in my back, or in my mind. I get a little clumsier, I can’t focus as well, I forget simple things, every smell is amplified, and every little thing suddenly gets on my nerves. The twinges of pain start, random and sharp, in my ribs, my abdomen, my hips.

Over the next few days I feel like I am going insane as the pain spreads through my back, my legs, my belly. My spine sets itself on fire as if I am being flayed alive by Ramsey himself. My mind fogs further, as if so much of its energy is taken up by the pain that it can’t spare much for anything else. My uterus feels heavy, like a bowling ball dragging me down. It swells and I sometimes feel like it’s going to burst out of me like an alien (you already know which one). My hips, my ovaries ache as if under extreme pressure. I feel as if someone is stabbing my bladder and my rectum from the inside, just for the fun of it. The pain runs into my hands, my ass, and down my legs, every movement bringing more pain.

And then it gets worse. On top of the flayed back, the pain from hip to hip intensifies, and sharpens on top of the dull throb of the organ behind it all. It’s as if the surgical knife is cutting into me all over again. Yes, again. I have battled this beast before. Twice I’ve gone under the knife to cut out the blood that shouldn’t be there, to try in vain to repair the damage caused by long strings of tissue tying my organs to one another, to try to place everything back in its rightful place. And like some weed, it just keeps coming back.

Medication may take the edge off of it, but that’s all it does. My mind still rails against me, still able to know exactly how much the rest of my body is hurting. The medicine does nothing for the anxiety and depression that comes with it. It doesn’t fix the fluctuating blood sugar that I have to watch out for (and sometimes pass out from if it gets too low). It doesn’t take away the sudden spike in testosterone and hunger. Oh the hunger. And that doesn’t even cover the horrible bleeding, the migraines, or the way people look at you when you are the living confirmation that women “on the rag” are insane and emotional (despite the fact that you may not even menstruate, don’t even get me started on that! But seriously, I do think that’s how the rumors first started. Some women with PCOS and/or endo were suffering and everyone just assumed that all women were just nuts). I took to thinking of myself as a vampire whenever this beast struck me. I imagined my irrational anger and impossible hunger were simply factors of my hunter nature.

It’s interesting what the brain will come up with to distract itself from the pain. Like the narrator in Fight Club, I went within and found my power animal. In this way, Queen Aeryn was born. I gathered that pain, that messed up state of mind, and those fears and dumped them into different characters. Queen Aeryn got most of the rage, that weird tick that makes you feel homicidal for no reason at all. She also received a lot of the hunger, that feeling that no amount of food is enough (because your body is actually not getting the nutrients it needs and the pancreas is just like, “Whatever”).

And Isabelle, poor Isabelle, why she has the exact same illness I do. She’ll suffer from the same dizziness, clumsiness, dietary restrictions, pain, and lowered productivity that I do from time to time. Fortunately for her, she knows what it is that weakens her. She knows it’s not a curse, as I once thought. And she’ll be able to channel it into her power to bend space to her will, as I learned to bend all of the crazy thoughts and creativity borne of the pain into lovely, insane stories. If you read them, you might even be able to tell when I was suffering from it and when I wasn’t.

By far the hardest thing is the helplessness I feel whenever it strikes. There have been times where all I could do was lay in bed like an invalid because I experienced The Little Mermaid-type pain with every step. I had to let my partner help me. I had to give up the idea that I was Superman. I had to learn to let myself rest, to eat regular meals, and to just let it be. I learned to turn my reality into a fantasy that other people might read and laugh and cry at. Each time I go through it I will do the same. It’s no different from humor in general; we must learn to laugh at what would kill or destroy us. Creativity is a hell of a drug. And so is music, but that’s a post for another day. My hands are killing me so I must stop typing for now.

What about you? When medicine doesn’t work, what do you turn to? What beauty or hilarity do you focus on? What hidden illnesses do you survive with that people never even notice?

http://www.pcosfoundation.org/what-is-pcos

http://endometriosis.org/

Golden tree on black

Did I Mention…

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m stating it again here so you’ll absolutely, positively know for sure.

Book Thirteen is coming out in a few weeks. The Black Tree Series, Book Thirteen: Final Revelation will be available soon via Kobo, Smashwords, Kindle, Createspace, Scribd, just nearly all of the channels really.

And then there was one…

The very last book in the Black Tree Series will be published a month or so after Book Thirteen. Then I shall be done publishing for this year. I’ll need that time to mourn before I go on to publish in the new year. Why is that? Because Books Thirteen and Fourteen are depressing as hell. The Black Tree series is full of whimsy, humor, and sheer random insanity but with each book events get progressively darker. By Book Thirteen most members of the crew suffer from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. They are seeking distractions of any kind-sex, gossiping, fighting-anything to take their minds off of the god bearing down on them. As they get closer to collecting all of the medallions that will seal him away they also get a little closer to full-blown insanity. There’s also more about me and my state of mind. So there’s that…

That brings up all sorts of delectable new anxious thoughts for me to deal with all over again. That may never change but I will forge ahead. It’s my story and getting it all out of my head and healing from it is so much better than holding it in and self-destructing.

Oh, also, there’s a very special addition to the Black Tree crew in The Final Revelation. How did he get there and why? You won’t find the answer just yet because, as I’ve previously stated in older posts, I’m a bit mean. No, I’m not too bad unless you piss me off. A lot of it comes from my cerebral nature. I love puzzles, patterns, complexities, intricacies. Connections. If you like the same then I invite you to keep digging through all of the other Cuil Effect project books to come. As tough as things are for the gang in Book Thirteen, it just keeps getting worse for them from the Fourteenth book on.

How can any of this lead to an ultimately happy ending for the Cuil Effect universe? You won’t find out unless you keep reading, keep digging, and keep searching. I managed to do this in my own life and the Cuil Effect project is my way of sharing my journey with you. I hope you join me. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

Unfamiliar Territory

What odd feelings. To be this joyous, this bittersweet, this peaceful and hopeful. To want to cry, both from the loss of ones close to my heart and the happiness of forming new connections. What is this wonderful thing? What are these beautiful things in my life now? To know a new side of my family, to work with them to solve problems, to bask in their love and support. To find work at an amazing company, to find new friends, to be bursting with creativity from waking on through my dreams. It is unfamiliar, it is brand new, it is unexplored territory. I keep smiling despite my suspicion that all of this is illusion. I miss my partner and my child, I miss my siblings and my eldest sibling’s kids, I miss my dear friends, my soulmates. Yet I cannot hold back my heart from opening up and being touched by all of this. I’ve never had so many events go so well for such an extended period of time. Though I still have so far to go it is the first time in my life that I know I can survive it, that I don’t have to be afraid, that I can be happy. Bad things still happen, nothing is perfect, and there are no guarantees. Even with that, life is beautiful. I have always felt everything strongly and now it’s so much easier to express it. I am no longer invisible. Watch me shine.

Character and Song #34: Ripley Santo

This weirdo. Ripley just seems like your everyday shy, awkward Japanese boy (I am not implying all Japanese boys are shy or awkward, those are distinct descriptors that just happen to have presented in the same person). He falls into the Author’s universe in You Don’t Belong (not yet published, geez, be patient!), claiming he’s from a future where her books have changed the world. It’s what every author wants to hear, right? But are his tales too good to be true? The more time the Author and other characters spend with him the more they realize there’s something off about this stranger, starting with his absent parents. He runs away before they can find out who he really is and when he returns, it’s with a different look and a much darker disposition. Will the Author and characters be able to sort out just who he is and what’s wrong with him or will he end up trapping them in worlds that don’t quite exist? Ripley also has another name and the discovery of it changes everything they ever thought about their previous adventures up to that point. That’s dramatic, right? I think so. Um, yeah, so his song is Come Into My World by Kylie Minogue. If you want to see why then wait until I publish the You Don’t Belong series. I might be brave enough to do that next year. We’ll see.

 

Character and Song #33: Mikassa

Oh, this jackass! This is the person that everyone else fears. He has the power of persuasion, deceptively good looks, and is immortal. He’s also an elf. How did he turn out so twisted? No one knows for sure why such a normally delightful (if mischievous) creature turned out to be such a damned evil sociopath but at least one person thinks it goes back to his three parents, who played a large part in changing Earth’s history. Yeah, you read that right. Elves have three sexes. Oh, were you expecting me to tell you who his parents were? Bah ha ha! No, I can’t tell you; he’d kill me. Anyway, so Mikassa wreaks most of the havoc occurring in and out of the cuilverse. He breaks people, he kills world, and his only explanation for it is “Because I can.” You’d better pray he actually murders you because if he leaves you alive it means he’s got something much worse in mind for you. His absolute favorite activity involves stalking and torturing the Black Tree crew. With feathery brown hair, pointed ears, pale skin, and freaky purple eyes I often imagine that Mikassa could be played by the talented Chris Colfer. His song is, appropriately, Tear Away by Drowning Pool. Before you say it, yes, I did indeed choose the Vegeta version. Don’t tease me for my love of Dragon Ball Z, man!

 

Character and Song #32: Davis

Davis is pretty cool. He dresses like a punker/goth, sometimes dons ironic Hipster glasses, and is usually very calm and collected. He speaks quietly, thinks intensely, and is usually gentle. With black hair, green eyes, and a mixed ethnicity he understands Ani’s own mixed background quite well. He’s a cold and guides Aniella through her changes. He also has a masochistic streak. Sometimes it’s hard for Ani to find out what he’s thinking and she just knows he has more information about the enigmatic Queen Aeryn than he seems willing to share. Can Ani pry it out of him before the world goes to hell? Find out in a few months when I publish The Colds, the first book in a parallel series to the Allison Dutch series. The song I gave him (er, more specifically the actions of the person in the video) may seem a bit at odds with his chill, laid back personality but I think they lyrics fit his outlook on life. Another Day by Modestep suits him well. Ah, and a warning, the video may be NSFW so watch with discretion.