Behind The Scenes

13 Apr

On the Run

Okay, the young adult work is going to be called On the Run – and I don’t have a clue where the title came from…

Oh, I know I have Gordie running from the others, but I just realized as I was typing a character sketch on Virgina Grieves – First Character Sketch that the story would be called On the Run.

I don’t know where the surname ‘Grieves’ came from, it just flowed from my fingers. My intent on this sketch was not to develop a character, but to set the stage for the violence of a vampire attack. And to appeal to teens, I made the victim be a teacher.

But as I started to fill in some blanks, I started to wonder if Virgina could be a main character. I don’t know in what capacity, although I’m starting to think as a mentor to Gordie.

I’m also starting to develop my notion of a vampire. I want them to be shapeshifters, and I’m going to make them be black cats. The origins of bad luck to cross the path of a black cat? I don’t know.

I also want the missing mouth to be a characteristic in their hunting form. I.e., a vampire with a mouth you can see is a safe vampire…

Just a piece of administrivia, the page for Virgina Grieves – First Character Sketch is set – I won’t be changing it directly. You might see a second character sketch, or a first page of the story, depending on where I take the story. But I want to try and develop the ‘Serialized‘ aspect of the site.

13 Apr

Why I love

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, I never would have found him without

13 Apr

Gordie Riker

Gordie Riker is a vampire who was turned in his teenage years.

He is from Chicago, white, and grew up on the Blues Shouters of that era. He likes the Internet because he can easily get his hands on music at places like Pandora, i.e., his music collection is portable. Currently he is listening to Paul Bascomb’s Mumbles’ Blues on the Wynonie Harris Radio seed. He doesn’t maintain his own account – lack of money and he doesn’t want to be tracked.

He is on the run from the older vampires.

I just realized I will have to change his name! I picked Gordie because I wanted something vaguely Scottish and off the beaten track. I picked Riker because I had been thinking of a strong name, and Ryker’s Island sounds tough. I was thinking of a character who the island was named after (totally ignoring the real origin of the jail). And it was just know that I realized I combined two Star Trek TNG character names. :->

Hmm, I’m going to stick with Gordie – I totally have a different image in my mind than LeVar Burton. So I’ll need a new last name.

13 Apr

Why the vampire interest?

My son saw Twilight and hated all of the teen angst. The Monster is 12, wants to be scared, but doesn’t want kissing. He has been playing Morrowind and has been toying with being a werewolf and vampire in it.

So he finally asked me to find age appropriate books for him and by the way, he didn’t want any teen angst. Borders has a huge display on vampires, and don’t you know, they are all semi-romantic. What I found was The Saga of Darren Shan, aka Cirque du Freak.

And that series makes my wife sad.

So I am trying to figure out if I could do justice to some Young Adult fiction. I certainly have adult vampire plots, but nothing for teens.

12 Apr

5 songs for hell

You’ve died and you are going to hell. You have no idea why or what it is like.

A lady pops in front of you (this is actually the genesis of the character for Vampire face) and you hear a voice state: “You have 5 minutes to decide on the 5 songs you will hear continuously for eternity.”

Assume that there is no trick to this, then what 5 songs would you pick and why? Again, remember that any conception you have of hell can be wrong.

I realize that the list will change over time…

This popped into my mind full, but looking back at it, I know I started comparing it right away to The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Note, I have neither read the book nor seen the movie.

The other influence, which I can remember thinking of in the last week was John Cusak’s performance of Rob Gordon in High Fidelity (I cite the movie as I watched it for John Cusak and would not normally read the book). The character has a habit of creating ‘Top 5′ lists to describe people.

I have a fascination with whether or not the afterlife matches our expectations. Some notable influences on that are (in no particular order, but probably in the order I was exposed to them):

Hmm, I think I’m missing at least one or two books.

The reason I’m listing these is that some of my scratchings deal with figthing the afterlife system, untangling the relationship between God and Satan, etc.

So I can’t decide if the writing should be along those lines, or should it be about interviewing people and seeing what they would pick, or should it go somewhere else?


  1. Yesterday by the Beatles
  2. First Night Back in London by The Clash
  3. Ring of Fire by Wall of Voodoo with Stan Ridgeway on vocals (or the Stan Ridgeway solo recording)
  4. She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby
  5. California Uber Alles by Dead Kennedys

I can’t believe Wynonie Harris, Black Sabbath, Boys Don’t Cry, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Sinead O’Connor didn’t make the cut. I’m pretty strong on the first four, and I’ve changed the last several times.

I’ve toyed with creating a feed on Pandora to see if this list will take me to other music I like. I’m also interested if a ‘master list’ could evolve…

Okay, here: Five forever.

12 Apr

Space vampire

Hmm, I remember when Atlas Comics hit the scene – I really liked their Planet of Vampires. But I seem to recall an even shorter lived comic in which the astronauts were just orbiting the Earth.

Okay, I’m fixating on that and not the scratch.

A shuttle is returning from a mission. As it lands, it is buffeted unmercifully. Upon examination, a web cocoon is found attached to the underbelly. (Think Spiderman sized web lines.)

A guard is stationed (why? why not) and that night the guard is found, his neck snapped and his blood drained. Hmm, how would CSI solve this case? :->

BTW – guard is one of those words whose spelling confuses me. ‘au’ appears more natural to me and it has for over 20 years. I can remember losing a bet on it with my English teacher in what, 11th grade. By the way, remember used to be in that category as well, but I’ve since learned to not only spell it correctly, but block out how I ever thought it was natural to spell it otherwise.

12 Apr

Vampire face

So I have an image in my mind of an ethereal woman – her hair must be long and blonde. I can see it now, whipping about her face.

Her distingushing characteristic is that she lacks a mouth – which being a vampire, would seem like an evolutionary deadend.

Her tounge must lash out, a snake, with the fangs at the end. Think a combination of an Alien and the girl from Jon Walter William’s Hardwired.

03 Apr

Home, home on the range

Another historical influence that can be applied would be the Range Wars. The cattle barons and their drivers (cowboys), thought they too had a perfect trade system going on. The cattle were self replenishing and both feeding and watering them was free on the open ranges.

In a broad sweep, we can say that barbed wire and shepherds took away the open range. If it wasn’t fenced off, it was considered to be free for use. And the sheep ate the grass down to the ground.

With the initial expansion, resources are open and free. But some Spacers are going to settle and consider the resources to be their property. Inbound ACC better have something to trade or be ready to work for refueling.

03 Apr

3rd pass through Jenny’s War

I’m starting to get a sense for Abby Brill. (No idea where the name Abby came from, but the Brill is from Super DJ Dmitri aka Dmitri Brill. “Groove is In the Heart” happened to be playing and Kirby was too American.) She was supposed to die, but now I’m not too sure.

I focused heavily on dialog because it makes me struggle. I had realized that this part of the story would be a great webcomic, along the lines of Crimson Dark or Angels 2200. (Which I had forgot! And as I caught up with it, I see asteroid ships. Oh crap. ;) )

The images of the

  • Parasol skipping off of the upper reaches of the atmosphere,
  • the Arosa Sky shedding fighters left and right,
  • the Parasol chewing up the rookies,
  • the lucky shot which lances/cripples the Parasol,
  • the timely rescue by the Khyber Pass,
  • Skydancer leading in a rescue craft,
  • and 9/10 year old Jenny having lost her legs

all lend themselves to the medium. In particular, seeing space suited pilots with darkened helmets and then seeing the bobbed hair of the young girl, the veteran.

But, I can’t draw. I thought of writing out a story board – without the rough images. I ended up just concentrating on the dialog bubbles.

01 Apr

Final word on Spacer Economics

The fallacies about the Spacer ACC turning directly into Clan traders are:

  1. Time loss (on the order of years)
  2. 10,000 crew is a town or small-city
    1. Manufacturing, not trading
    2. Distilleries are still a cool idea
    3. Manufacturing product while traveling?

I think I mentioned it before, but the ACC at first have to be explorers and the life lines between colonies.

As the time dilation and such come down, the Clans will turn to trading. They have experience in all of the different star systems and ports of call.  The ACC will probably not be the trade vessels. Hmm, could make the fuel cost or transit time be proportional to mass. I.e., smaller vessels can make routes faster and turn higher profits.

In short, I shouldn’t be focusing too much on this aspect of the development of my new universe.

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