Saturday, September 4, 2010

New blog news + a shiny new novel excerpt!

Summer came and went. Rather than spending more time writing without the burden of homework and tests, I actually wrote less. A good 20,000 words of the novel, but still less than when in school! Somebody explain that to me.

On second thought, don't. I know exactly why. Summer brought out the lazy schmuck within me. Now that school has arrived and AP classes are kicking my rear, I'm banishing that guy to the farthest corners of my mind.

I've been busy as of late, beginning with the new blog.

Presented in Cinemascope! is my latest project. You may not know this, reader, but I consider myself a knowledgeable film buff. My brain is loaded to the point of bulging with movie trivia and opinions on films, actors, directors, and those dusty LaserDiscs in your closet. From the Universal horror gems to today's summer CGI-fests, I'll be talking about them all. Please support!

Next on today's platter, my novel. As you may know, I finished the first draft a few months ago. It was the first time I've ever seen a single story all the way through. I let it sit for a few weeks so that I may come back to it with a fresh perspective. As I read it in its entirety on the first day of summer break, I laughed, cried, whooped with joy, cursed, and couldn't believe my eyes. Mom heard, "Great execution!" come from my room as often as "What is this piddle?!" There were certainly flaws, but overall I couldn't have been happier.

I began the second revision at the start of summer. I'm halfway in and going strong. Many changes were made, all certainly for the better. "To a world of gods and monsters!" is the tagline I've chosen. You might recognize it as a line from Bride of Frankenstein, 1935.

I'll end this post with an excerpt. You're at least a little curious, right? Our scene picks up immediately after main character Atticus the Sixth (who is plagued by a voice in his head) is pulled into the river by a demonic pony. He thinks he is going to drown or, worse, have his soul devoured, but just as his oxygen runs out and his eyes close, they open again. The water is gone. He finds himself in a vacant music store. Well, almost vacant. A shadowy man sits in a recliner in the middle of the store, strumming away on a guitar.

CHAPTER 9 - The Man in My Head Knows How to Rock

Have you ever been so dumbstruck and in such immense disbelief, that you can’t speak? I opened my mouth but only rapid breaths came out.
“Please, have a seat,” said the voice. Er, the man.
He snapped his fingers and a recliner appeared. I plopped into it, still on a quest to find my voice. Where are we? Who are you? Am I dead? Am I insane? A frenzy of questions swam through mind like pestered sharks.
“I can see you’re mute in surprise. No biggie," he said. "Let your fingers do the talking."
“Huh?” I finally managed.
He snapped his fingers again and a guitar unhooked itself from the wall. It floated toward me as if it were possessed by some musically inclined specter. As it gently landed in my grip, I gasped. A 1979 Gibson “Flying V” with a custom silver finish. The one with sound that can’t be written in onomatopoeia form. It was the guitar from my dreams, and this was the man who played alongside me.
“Who are you?” I instinctively wrapped my fingers around the neck and strummed a chord.
A minor. Nice choice,” said the man. He played a bone-chilling riff, his fingers dancing over the neck with pristine grace. This guy was good. “I’m afraid I can’t answer that yet.”
He seemed to be in his mid-twenties. Wavy blonde hair jutted out from underneath the brim of his bucket hat. He might’ve been wearing a hoodie, but I wasn’t sure. Like in my dream, he was only a black silhouette unless I squinted hard, and even then I couldn’t make out his facial features.
“What is this place?” I asked.
“My sanctuary.” He reached over and poked me on the forehead. “Your subconscious.”
“If you’re the voice in my head,” I said, “that means you’ve been here since I was a little kid. You’re hitching a ride in my brain?”
“More or less, yeah.”
Uneasiness settled over me. I felt violated. There was a spectator to all the embarrassing moments of my life? All those times I thought I was alone, I wasn’t?
“You should leave,” I barked.
“We meet face-to-face for the first time and that’s the greeting I get?” laughed the man. “Haven’t you ever heard of Greek hospitality?”
“Haven’t you ever heard of breaking and entering?” I countered, setting aside the guitar.
“Hey, I’m here for a reason.”
“Oh, this ought to be good." I crossed my arms. "For what reason could you possibly be here?”
“So that we may vanquish demons. Remember the Fucanglong dragon fiasco? That was just a taste of my power. Now I’m lending you the whole thing. The real deal. The power of a god.”
Before I could speak, he vanished. A glistening handle appeared in my hand. From it sprouted a gleaming silver blade. This sword had appeared in my hand in front of the hospital. I had swung, eyes closed in fear, and saved Lee by slicing off a Chinese dragon’s tongue.
That’s right, said the voice, emanating from the sword. Now it’s going to defeat a blood-thirsty bronco.
The recliner began to melt away from beneath me. The instruments faded from the walls more and more with each blink of my eyes. Within seconds the music store was gone all together. I stood in a world of stark white nothingness, but I didn’t feel alone. The sword sent shock-waves of power throughout my body. I closed my eyes, a determined smile creeping across my face.
It was time to vanquish a demon.
I opened my eyes and quickly felt the sting of river water. Inches from my face were two crimson eyes and a muzzle full of sharp teeth.

Hope you enjoyed, folks! It probably makes zero sense, so perhaps I'll give you a summary someday. Please don't hesitate to visit Presented in Cinemascope! and offer support. Have a wonderful day.

Alex Gartner