|JCP News • Issue 13 • January 2009
Beautiful, Mysterious and Bizarre: M/M Urban Fantasy by Jordan Castillo Price
A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
I bought those for him. In fact, I bought him two sets. A cheap set, to see if he'd wear them, and then a more expensive set that looked easier to recharge. Owning two sets is perfect. One can be used while the other is recharging. They hook up to both computers and TV/stereos, anything with a mini-jack.
Anyway, if you're like me, and you can't afford to run out and get yourself a motel room every time you need peace and quiet, maybe wireless headphones are the answer for you. (And if you can't make your partner wear them, maybe you can use them to block out the rest of your household!)
Jordan on the Web
From Zero Hour
Ernest had been to the Diaconate twice in his life. Once, according to his metadata, for his Baptism. And a second time for his Confirmation at ten years of age—the day he'd met L0U15E. He'd only expected one final visit, on the thirtieth day of his thirtieth year. Which was only twelve days away, in any case, but nonetheless this particular visit seemed devastatingly premature.
Happy New Year, *|FNAME|*!
There's a scene in Camp Hell where Vic is zoning out and staring into the fridge, thinking several pages of thoughts between the moment at which he opened it, and the moment in which Jacob asks him what he's doing.
That happened to me today. And I had less of a reason to be gazing into the fridge than Vic. I wasn't hungry, wasn't thirsty. I just happened to be walking past the refrigerator when my head was in a parking lot at midnight in a fictional town in Iowa.
See, I'd been working on Brazen, the followup to Channeling Morpheus, and I was still mentally there.
It's been a rough few days, because the story veered off somewhere that was not right, and I couldn't easily see what wasn't right about it, and what it would take to make it right. It took three days of bafflement, of journaling and daydreaming and compulsively playing solitaire, to finally realize that the new character, while intriguing, was all wrong for the part he needed to play. It was like a hot guy showed up for the casting call, but the wrong hot guy.
(This also happened in Camp Hell. The guy to show up for the part of Constantine Dreyfuss was Dennis Hopper. And his weirdness and menace was just too subtle for the role. Or I wasn't skilled enough to describe it well, at any rate.)
Back to Brazen.... I deleted 3500 words and started again at the nearest chapter mark. I've gotten about 2000 words back today, so I feel like I'm almost back to the point where I was before I had to start deleting.
Sometimes it seems like I can just crank out wordcount. But then, months later, I find journaling and notes to myself that say, "What is HAPPENING in this scene?" and I realize it's just my writer's amnesia that led me to think everything was smooth, that I wrote the stories as I did because they couldn't have possibly gone any other way, and it was all so very obvious to me right at the start.
Is there a moral to this story? It seems hideous to say "just do it," but I think the arts aren't about getting it right the first time. We need to be willing to get it wrong, and to grope around, and to try to figure out what our story/song/painting/whatever is really about.
Here's to groping.
I've started up a Yahoo! group for in-between newsletter announcements. There's a nice blend of PsyCop readers, Channeling Morpheus readers, and podcast listeners! Come sign up, and if you're super busy and your mailbox is exploding, set your preferences to Special Notices Only, and you'll toggle off the chatty emails and see only actual announcements from me.
You can join by going here
Or by sending an email here
I'm happy to give you some signed PsyCop bookmarks. Send me a S.A.S.E. (or I.R.C.) at the PO Box at the very bottom of the page and I'll stuff in as many as the postmaster will let me.
And the Winner Is...
December's PsyCop book package was claimed! Yay!
I asked my LiveJournal readers if they'd be interested in winning a signed galley copy of PsyCop: Property. The galley copy is a proof copy that the printer sends that I say "yay" or "nay" to, and since it was the first time I'd worked with Amazon for book printing, there were more "nays" than I may have liked. LJ readers said, "Sure!" So I'll give one away that wasn't too riddled with errors.
The PsyCop: Property galley winner selected by Random.org is:
Please send me a private email with your mailing address by 1/31/09. Forfeited prizes will roll over into future giveaways.
Real and Unreal
I've always thought that horror elements are a heck of a lot scarier in a run-of-the-mill setting than they are in fantasy worlds where you would actually expect scary stuff to be lurking. That's why I like to have a certain level of the mundane in my stories.
In PsyCop, after he moves in with Jacob, Vic tries to buy sheets for the new bed numerous times, with no success, and ends up making multiple fruitless trips to the department store.
In Channeling Morpheus, Michael might be a bad-assed vampire hunter, but he's also a 21-year-old whose family is none too thrilled with what they know of his lifestyle.
Here's a snip from Rebirth where Michael and Wild Bill explore some perfectly mundane surroundings.
“Window’s boarded up from the inside,” Wild Bill said. I was busy inspecting the door lock. It looked too sturdy to breach from outside our room. I’d been leery of spending the night under someone else’s roof, so Bill must have felt doubly apprehensive. And yet everything about the room—aside from the fact that hosts knew for a fact that Bill was a vampire—was as safe as if we’d rigged it together ourselves.
“Unless there’s something really elaborate like a sliding panel or a secret door, we’re as safe here as we’d be anywhere,” I said.
Bill pressed his fingertips to the wall and cocked his head. “Nope, no subterranean passages. It’s as solid as it looks. What a shame—no Cask of Amontillado reenactments tonight.”
We were more likely to find a pellet stove and a sump pump in the basement than a wine cellar, anyway. The vamp commune was twenty minutes outside Romeoville, between a cornfield, a soybean field, and a few acres of open pasture. The old white farmhouse was gigantic, five bedrooms at least, plus outbuildings—a freestanding garage, a couple of sheds, a chicken coop, a barn.
Bill wandered into the adjoining bath and turned on the tub faucet. “Lookie here, running water and flush-turlets.”
I stuck my head through the bathroom doorway. The plaster on the ceiling was cracked, the paint on the molding was bubbled with age, and the fixtures were all ancient porcelain. I’d never had an opinion one way or the other about clawfoot tubs, but ever since Sioux Falls, I’ve found them creepy. I reminded myself that I used to like creepy. But there’s a difference between scream-queen horror movies and a jar of glass eyes with your name on it.
Elisa Rolle did a particularly sweet review of Rebirth
She also featured the Channeling Morpheus covers
And Obsidian Bookshelf did a gorgeously in-depth review
Grab Channeling Morpheus Rebirth at Changeling Press.
Zero Hour - Chapter 13
"No," Ernest whispered, watching with dismay as his arm shunt bent under the pressure of prying open the hatch, and he hoped the I.V. fluid he'd dripped into the doorframe was enough to keep the tattle-strip quiet. He pried until the sound of his blood roared in his ears, and he thought he would black out from the pain.
And then the gap widened.
Only a few centimeters, but enough for him to slip his fingers in. The pain of the shunt-flange bending was nothing compared to the sensation of the bone screw that tore free when he released his shunt arm to catch the door with his opposite hand. An agonized sound escaped him, and his stomach heaved. Saliva, and something else, pungent and sour, frothed from the corners of his lips. But still, he held fast to the door. He pressed it open.
Time passed, an indeterminate amount, as Ernest hugged his arm to his chest and waited for the hallway to stop spinning. Blood oozed from the shunt's anterior coupling. Ernest had never seen actual blood, only images of it in the depictions of surgery or accidents from pre-Purge feeds. He hadn't realized it would be so startlingly red.
He'd never felt such pain, either.
Email me at jordan (at) psycop (dot) com
JCP News • Jordan Castillo Price • PO Box 153 • Barneveld, WI 53507