Filed under: Book Stuff — Tags: — Tone @ 2:04 PM

Picking Up the Ghost is now on Audible.com.

Beyond signing the contract I wasn’t involved in the process. I was worried that they’d get an English woman to do the reading but thankfully Audible is smarter than that. After listening to it I’ve some thoughts and feelings:

This is proof that someone has read the book, that is unless Brandon Massey is some kind of sophisticated AI.

Boy, I used the n-word a lot. Brandon Massey’s a black man so every time I think “I just made him say that.” This may not be a unique emotional experience but I’m guessing you can count the number of us who’ve felt this way on one hand.

A lot of the names were pulled from African folklore and I honestly had know idea how Akotun, Eshu Wara, Olamide and others were supposed to sound so now I have a pronunciation guide.

There were three sentences that made me cringe. “In the hallway the goatman was asleep at the end of the hallway.” was one of them. The other two were worse. I’m going to be more careful when I proof read next time.

Getting my story out there in another medium is a damn good feeling.



Did you Know April is National Poetry Month?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 9:30 AM

There once was a Captain named Atom.
Quantum power was his to fathom.
He fought evil too
’til the last Crisis threw
a continuity reboot at him.

Time traveler Chronos the second,
audience he couldn’t quite beckon.
Cut short was his series
“Low sales” read the theories
But DC’s poor patience we reckon.

Behold a writer named Tone.
To write DC comics he would bone.
But the luster went out
when the news did come out
that DC had a bone of their own.

Dreams of 4 color glory were dashed
Never that sweet DC cash.
He’ll have nothing to do
with the New 52.
“I’ll burn all of my bridges with slash.”

Captain Atom and Chronos ‘came lovers
Their bodies each in turn did discover
of the pictorial
kept their man love under covers.

Corporations don’t take story chance-ahs
But you can find here in these stanzas
Scifi sodomy,
a man love odyssey
and super gay extravaganzas

They went at it, the sexual demons
Their genitals unbound and free, man.
Buttocks were spread
and events soon lead
to a crisis of infinite semen.


Reader in Peace

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 8:19 AM

You tell ‘em, Hitler.

While it might have been a financial loss for Google I think they underestimated how much good will Reader was buying them. It was a sign that Google was promoting an open web with a variety of creator owned sites. The opposite of the “Everyone get a Facebook page” attitude that’s turning the web into a Zuckerberg owned enterprise.

Yes, it was more popular among the tech savvy and yes, the tech savvy were less likely to click on their ads. But we’re the ones who help the rest of the population with these kinds of services. We’re also the early adopters. And after losing Reader I’m less likely to invest my time and energy in any future Google projects. At least Gmail is probably safe for now, as long as Google+ keeps flailing it’s the only thing it’s that keeps people logged into their Google accounts.

Well I’ve switched my feeds over to The Old Reader. At least for now. With no adds and no subscription I have no idea how their business model works but they are what Google Reader was and that’s good enough for me.


The Faith Machine Milestone 2, the Faithening

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 7:30 AM

The Faith Machine - first draft

You’re looking at the first three chapters and prolog; 1439 pages at approximately 100 words per page. Handwritten because at the early stages of a story being one a computer is too distracting. If this were to go to print now it’d be about 56 pages in a book. But it won’t be printed. It’s not worthy. Because inside these pages there’s a meandering storyline that needs tightening, sentences that need restructuring, paragraphs that need tightening and spelling that needs some serious correcting.

But there’s some good stuff too. For one there’s a lot of action. Picking Up the Ghost was criticized as a slow starter. That won’t happen again. Also an ensemble lets me play with a diverse series of challenges and I’ve already started thinking about writing a series of short stories featuring members of the supporting cast.

In the meantime I’m going to take the weekend off to let the pages settle. And then on to the second draft, my favorite draft of all.


Code of Silence

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 3:20 PM

Some guy who isn’t Tone: In Words With Friends ‘Jem’ isn’t a word! J. E. M.

Some girl who isn’t Melissa: No, honey, that’s from Jem and the Holograms.

Some guy who isn’t Tone: … You are never to tell anyone of this.


A pair of horrible gems; XTRO and Pontypool

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Tone @ 12:23 PM
A pair of horrible gems; XTRO and Pontypool

There’s no fighting the 40s and I choose to age gracefully. That means coming to terms with; I’m no longer in DC Comics target demo, cholesterol is not my friend, and I’ll never be scared by a movie again.

Actually, horror movies haven’t scared me in a long time because most are written for teenagers and I’ve written them off as such. But I’m trying to appreciate horror the same way I do other media. As jaded as I’ve become I now find satisfaction in the pleasant little surprises. The stories that impress me now are the ones that make me think ,”Where’d they come up with that?”

Here are two:


I discovered this one from a segment on Red Letter Media where they go looking for the worse movies for mocking diagnosis. They had to admit that XTRO was a pleasant surprise.

And who can blame them for thinking that this was 100% bad. Judge that movie by it’s poster. Instead XTRO is a well conceived, crafted and really creepy film about abandonment by a father. If they had bigger effects and promotions budgets this would be considered a classic.

There’s no messing around from the start. Dad is abducted by aliens in front if his son. Years later he returns as a psychic parasitoid, like you do, with a plan to take his spawn to the stars. The father rapes himself back to his human form by way of an innocent woman who just wanted to feed her dog and steps back into his old life so casually it makes him more alien rather than coming across like sloppy storytelling expediency.

Xtro on DVD


I’m burnt out on zombies. But this is an excellent execution of Our Zombies are Different… well I don’t want to spoil it.

What if Talk Radio was a horror movie? And like Talk Radio this movie owes a lot to its lead, Stephen McHattie, as the charismatic Don Imus type.

The setting is a news radio station in a small Canadian town. Which makes for a locked room horror movie. Instead of excessive rampaging hordes the news is trickling into the scene. Calls from listeners, reports from their helicopter reporter. Like the shark in Jaws they don’t show the monster too soon.

But the spin isn’t pure novelty and by the end you see why a man with a mic is humanities best hope.

Pontypoolon DVD


Call from mom.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 8:59 AM

Mom: Maybe someday soon you’ll be able to go to Europe too.

Tone: By the time I can afford that the Polar ice caps will have melted and it’ll be underwater.

Mom: Well there were times in the past when everything was underwater.

Tone: Thanks for keeping things in perspective, mom.


ConDor Con 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tone @ 1:47 PM

I’ll be on two Condor Con panels:

Saturday: 8:00 PM Delphic Circle
Our circle of mystics will answer your questions, building word on word to hilarious results.

Sunday: 11:00 AM Half in Love with Easeful Death
While Death is usually imagined as a frightening or at least callous figure, many poets and writers have written of looking forward to death as a release. Neil Gaiman’s Death is a friendly, pretty young woman, Piers Anthony created a young man learning the ropes and trying to make death a better experience. Death as a person you could be friends with takes some getting used to. A discussion of writing and writers who think maybe we should go gently into that good night.



Filed under: Book Stuff — Tags: — Tone @ 2:56 PM

Breaking the Cycle Films has optioned Picking Up the Ghost for a screenplay. This means they’ve bought some time to get a movie rolling. There’s a list of acceptable criteria for this. Since I’m still new to contracts I’m not sure what I should make public and what’s a secret so I’ll just leave that vague.

What it really means is that a complete stranger read my book and liked it enough to want to make a movie out of it. And that feels pretty good.


Fourteen Steps Back

Filed under: Book Stuff — Tags: — Tone @ 10:18 AM
Fourteen Steps Back

Fifteen pages into The Faith Machine and it was clear that one of the plot threads was hopelessly convoluted. A kidnapping without an explanation, and the recovery of a lost cellphone from those same kidnappers while a car battery was being stolen for reasons that made sense in the outline but fell apart once words starting being put to paper. It was only one of three opening threads but unfortunately it was the core plot and the entangling had ramifications on all the others. Out of those fifteen pages I think I can keep one.

Nobody spins gold one the first draft. I can’t remember how many times I rewrote the opening to Picking Up the Ghost but it was more than four. If it was later in the book that plot might have been saved. But the first chapter should be about introductions, character, setting, style, genre rules. It’s not about plot twists, there isn’t a plot to twist yet.

It’s back to the outline and I more confident at this pass. Every pass makes it better. And it’s better to get the rewriting in now than after the polish.

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