Thursday, June 22, 2017

What's Next? After College

Wow, next week I will be done with school. I would have earned 120 credits and my Bachelor's in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in fiction and poetry. Sometimes, it doesn't feel real. I did it. I graduated.

I followed the traditional path. I went to high school graduated then went to college. Then something happened in college. I didn't like my major. I didn't know what to do then I went in freefall. I left college and just bumbled around. Yet, I always wanted my degree. It became a life goal. A friend told me about SNHU and I looked at it and applied. Here I am today.

With my school work ending next week, now it is time to think about what I want to do now. I will have a lot more free time, at least until November. I am going to apply for the Master's program at SNHU so I can be a professor at the school. I am not applying for grad school until September, which gives me several months to work on other things.

What's Next?

  • My poetry calendar. It is time to select photos, write poems and create the calendar. Projected release is late September or October. Of course, earlier would be better
  • Revise and edit, Solider Girl for Kindle. This novella is about a girl named Bryndle who survives an apocalyptic  event. No planned release date as of yet
  • Finish writing Love Always, Seaside Heights. I started this story awhile ago, it is heading for a novella path. Maybe if I am motivated, I will release it to Kindle this year as well
  • Work on my 300 Poems One Book board on Pintrest. I have been slacking on this for 2 months now. I want to get back to making a new poem every other day. 
  • Prepare two poetry chapbooks for Kindle. One is already done. I am thinking of taking poems from this blog to make another called Blopo (a clever combination of blog poems). I am still not sure if this is a good idea, what the hell do I do with the poems on here? Delete them? I don't know. 
  • Go back to freelancing, even part time. 
  • Marketing and more marketing for my writing and my jewelry
  • Send more work out to publishers. I also have been slacking on this. I am going to start with one a week and move it up to 2 a week. 
And that's about it.  That is a lot. I know it is. But here's the thing, I want to carve out my own path in life. And this is how I want to do it. Yeah, I know I am not going to be rich overnight or famous, but I got to work at it. I have be dedicated to my art (in all forms) and consistently work at it. 

Till next time....

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sweet Dreamland Wheels by JM Scott FREE Through June 16, 2017

Hey all, Sweet Dreamland Wheels is FREE in all Kindle markets through June 16, 2017.

Two years ago, I participated in NaPoWriMo with the former Found Poetry Review. And the goal was to create 30 different poems using various found and experimental techniques. Some of these techniques I use to this day because it allows me to discover new word combinations. The poems can be thought-provoking. Some may not even have  "meaning." Sometimes poetry can be enjoyed by the use of language and how the words sounds together. Think of it like nursery rhymes. Many of them don't make sense but they are fun to say.

I can't believe this book is two years old. Where does time go? It seems like it is time to get another book ready for Kindle. It feels like months since I released one. I do have some in the works. I am hoping once, I finished with school (just two more weeks) I will get back into a writing routine.

If you get the book, why not leave a review. It would mean the world to me.

Here is a sample poem that was sourced from a Stephen King novel. Enjoy....

Some Time or Another,  We’ve All Been There

I could see arrangements
in the blind bathroom-
the insectile sound
of nothing there

the October hospital
happened across the pavement
and spiders at three o’ clock

And yet
I remade my bed early.

it occurred to me-
yesterday I over laid
the expensive water
and tumbled over my Joyland dream.

Source: King, Stephen. Joyland. London: Titan Books, 2013. Print.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jupiter on Repeat

Jupiter sounds like unseen hand bells in a windswept wasteland. And perhaps those were hand bells, alien instruments from beneath the surface before Jupiter reclaimed it self. We are on borrowed time here on this planet. It is a matter of time before we are artifacts buried deep in sandstone.

Do you ever really look at people? I find myself looking at each person, while sitting in a parking lot or on the boardwalk. Wondering what they are thinking about. Why are they going into the beer shack, is for a get together with friends or to drown their problems in amber? I wonder who they are, where they are going. Sometimes, if you think about people long enough, you realize they might be wondering the same thing about you, and in the end you are all almost the same- just a spec in the universe. We circle around each other like atoms sharing electrons.

I couldn't mow over the garter snake in my front yard. I thought I had killed him when I mowed over his tail- twice. But once I turned the mower around, he was there. His head upright, flicking his tongue, sensing the air. I moved the mower closer, to scare him. He didn't move. He looked right at me and I looked right at him and I mowed in another patch of yard. Later, I found him under the car. Then even later, I didn't find him at all.

Sometimes, beautiful word phrases will come to mind and they swirl and tumble like dandelion seeds. Then just like that, a wind comes and takes them away. And I find myself wanting to write but the muscle desire and discipline also vanish in the wind. I think that, maybe, I am too hard on myself. What is productivity anyway? And how does that mean anything to anyone? Somehow, through mind numbing levels of Candy Crush, I get my work done. I should be glad for that.

It is like summer just turned on. The heat outside lays across the horizon like spider webs. I want to go swimming, but the lakes are too cold. Inside, the heat has not found its way in. It will by eleven tonight. The thermostat will read 81. I like the summer. I like sitting in the sunshine by water feeling my skin burn even if I am wearing SPF 75.

There are too many thoughts in my head. And my dreams are disturbing. Sometimes, I don't know if my memories are real or memories from dreams. It is in those dreams, I  am  looking for something. I don't know what and sometimes I feel myself losing my breath, somewhere in the void.

I think about the people all around me and the summer heat and all I really want is a cherry Popsicle to make my lips red and listen to Jupiter on repeat.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Blood on the Carpet by JM Scott FREE until June 6, 2017

Hey all, Blood on the Carpet is FREE in all Kindle markets through June 6, 2017. This is a collection of short stories that are more than five years old. I know they are not my best, but I thought at the time I would collect them and make a book because it shows how I have grown as a writer. I know I am better writer today than I was even a year ago.

I am really proud of the cover. I think it turned out really nice. Even though the book is not highly rated, it is still one of more popular books. I think it is because the stories are in the mystery genre.

I thought at one point, I was going to be a mystery writer, but that has changed. I feel my strength as a writer falls into somewhere in speculative fiction spectrum. I am happy with writing the bizarre and the speculative from horror to science fiction to hybrids.

Here is a free sample from the book. It is one of my favorite stories from the collection.  It is a little long, coming in about 1800 words.

Jealous Lovers and Cheating Wives

It was a dark and stormy night and the neon light blinked incessantly. Scratch that, stories like this always start that way, don't they? No this story is about me, Sam Sparkles, Private Investigator and Cricket Dirtloader. Ahh yes, Cricket a beautiful dragonfly (I guess you were thinking she in fact was a cricket but no her parents liked the name Cricket) with a long red thorax and sparkly wings, I loved her as much as I love Lucy, my revolver.

Our relationship, if you want to call it that, started in school. All of us back then wanted to change the world. We wanted to be with any insect we wanted. The others were too scared to take the leap but not Cricket. She took me, a lighthouse in the night, to the prom. Sure the others stared but soon everyone got over it and insects dated and married anyone they wanted.

Cricket and I started as a protest but we grew to something more. She wanted me to marry her and I said I am not a one insect kind of guy. Sure she was a little hurt and our relationship remained platonic and sexual, even when she dated and married Andy Dirtloader, a strong hard working ant.

She had a great husband; he treated her like a goddess. In all fairness, he deserved better because while he gave her the world she was over at my place sharing an afternoon delight.

I didn't think it was odd when she flitted in that sunny August afternoon. I went to her and tried kissing her neck. She shoved me away.

"Sam, Andy's gone," she bawled

"Aw what do you care anyway? You always thoughts  of yourself as my girl," I shot back at her.

"Sam, I do love him just I'm not passionate about him like I am with you."

I grabbed her hand; I wanted her so bad, "show me how passionate you are, baby."

Cricket broke free, "Sam, I'm serious. You've got to help me at least help the kids."

I pulled away and sat at my desk, "Okay Cricket, what's going on?"

She sat in the chair across from me and pulled out a piece of paper. "Look I was on my way to see you for some fun when I saw this note taped on the inside of the garage door." Cricket laid the note on my desk.

The calligraphic handwriting stood out and the tone was formal. It read Dear Mrs. Cricket Dirtloader, It is wise if you want to see you husband alive and in one piece then you will fetch your boyfriend and go to the telephone on 23rd street. Make sure to arrive before 3 pm and wait for a call. You will answer the phone. Thank You. No one signed the note.

"Did you tell anyone about us?" I interrogated her.

"Damn Sam. My husband is kidnapped and you're worried about us?" she snapped.

"Look Cricket, obviously someone knows." I looked at my watch, 2:30 pm. Opening the desk drawer, I pulled out a freshly polished Lucy and holstered it. I handed Cricket some shells, "put these in your purse. We may need them."

I looked her over, her chest rose and fell rapidly, her body trembled and she had sad eyes. I came around the desk took her into my arms and whispered, "One last time baby and we'll never be together again." She relented.

With minutes to spare we made it to the pay phone and waited.

I've waited lots of times often with a camera in hand, waiting for cheating husbands or wives and their fling. The bulk of my work was because of infidelity not just from couples but all partnerships. Women, at times, were vulnerable and needy after I told them the truth. I reaped the benefits of money and a quick roll in the hay.

Perhaps I screwed some guy's wife and now he found out and wanted revenge. But to go to this much trouble? Why couldn't he just bust into my office and beat me like some other's done? So why Cricket? Whoever behind this watched me for a long time and just knew out of all the women that came and went, Cricket always came. And someone knew I loved her but why not take Cricket, why take Andy?

As I wrapped my brain around the why and who, the phone rang. Cricket answered. She uttered, "Hello" and said no more then hung up. She turned, looking at me.

"Well?" I asked

"We have to go to 54th street to another pay phone in five minutes."

"Is that it? What did the voice sound like?"

"It was a woman's voice very prim and proper. She asked if my boyfriend was beside me."

"What she didn't use my name? Maybe you have another lover. Why not? Because you are woman with out scruples."

"How dare you say that? Sam, you are the only one for me. I'm not a hussy." Her scorned eyes burned my soul.

We took off into the wind. I often thought Cricket had someone else especially after she walked in on Lola and me. Lola, a monarch, hired me to chase her husband, a gypsy moth. I called her and showed hundreds of pictures of him and his floozy firefly. Lola cried and smashed some glasses. I consoled her. She shoved me to the bed. Spiteful fire grew in her eyes, she said, "If he can have a firefly, so can I."

Lola spent the night. When Cricket opened the door, an argument erupted and I didn't see her for weeks. I wanted to tail Cricket just because I missed her and I didn’t want her sleeping around, but I didn't. After we made up, she'd come then go; before Lola,  she used to spend hours with me. I never asked her and then one day she was mine again. I saw enough cheating to know the signs.

In some wicked way we were committed to each other even though we had other people.

We made it to the phone just as the phone screamed. Again Cricket answered.

"Now we wait," she panicked.

"Wait for what?"

"The voice just said to wait."

We sat on the bench. I grabbed her hand. I expected her to pull away but instead squeezed it.

"Do you have any idea who did this?" Cricket asked.

"None, it could be anyone. Maybe it is someone who wants you and figures if me and Andy are out of the picture, you can be his," I conjectured.

"Andy's never in the way. He is the perfect husband."

"So why do you come to me?" I asked.

"Are you complaining?"

"No just wondering."

"I love you and what we have. Andy gives me other things that a girl wants tenderness, a nice home and love,” she said.

"You know I do. I just thought you'd deserve better than a bug who unzips his pants every chance he gets."

"Maybe I do, maybe I don't." I kissed her head.

I don't remember anything until I woke up, tied to a chair in a bright room. A large ant saw me stir and called for Andy. Andy?! Cricket sat untied and  motionless on a chair.

Andy stormed into the room, "Sam, you are the biggest sleaze ball."

At the sound of his voice, Cricket awoke, "Andy you're okay." She ran to him.

"Cut the crap, Cricket," he said, pushing her away. "I know all about you and the firefly. You told me it was over between you and him." He laughed. "Old Sam thinks he's the best in the business but Carmine out does him any day."

"What's it that you want?" I asked.

"Your head on a platter so I may have my wife back. Every god damn person knows about this affair you have with her. How long has it been going on ten years? Carmine, give my wife the folder."

The large ant reappeared and handed Cricket a thick folder. She opened it. Without seeing the contents, I knew it had to be pictures of every woman I was with. Tears welled up in her eyes with each picture and let them fall to the floor.

"That's right Cricket," Andy sneered. "Like he'd ever be good to you. Look at those women. I should've done this sooner because remember the butterfly. You were so devoted to me, Cricket. Then… Carmine give our dear public dick his folder."

Carmine laid a folder on my lap and opened it to photos of Cricket with other men, two men to be exact.

"Cricket, is that all bullshit you told me?" I screamed at her.

"Shut up Sam, you have no room to talk. What did you do have a woman right after you had me?" She yelled back.

"You already knew who I am, Cricket. I just didn't see a need to tell you and rub your face in it.” My gaze shifted toward Andy, “what do you want from me?"

Andy pulled a gun, "Well Sam, it looks like the only loser here is you."

      He pulled the trigger. I tried wiggling free and I couldn’t. I always kind of figured I would go like this. But then Cricket jumped in between me and the bullet. She fell to the ground her sweet blood spraying over me like a sad ocean.

Dropping the gun, Andy ran to her sobbing, "Cricket. Cricket, honey wake up. I'm so so sorry." I knew she was dead. Andy got up and staggered to the gun, picked it up and pulled the trigger once more. Carmine and I stared at each other.

She cried. She loved Andy. She went over to him and cradled his head in her arms. It probably started as businesses, as years went by she developed feelings for him. I don't know if he ever gave her hope that there could be more. Andy couldn't let go of Cricket and Cricket couldn't let go of me. And here we were two lonely PI's with our sweet lovers laying dead on the floor.

"Carmine, untie me and you go. I won't mention you were here." Carmine untied me. On her way out she bent down and kissed Andy good-bye. Once I felt Carmine was long gone. I called the police and watched the coroner cover Cricket and take her away.

As I sit here, writing my tale, I think of her everyday. I look up from my desk and hope she comes through the door. Women come and go, now it's only business instead of taking my clients to bed, I take them home and wish them good luck.  There hasn't been anyone since Cricket. I just can't do it. I wonder if Carmine feels the same. Maybe I should call her.