Friday, March 31, 2017

Rish Outcast 70: I Went Out Riding

Back in January, I shared an episode recorded while I went for a walk.  Here's one I tried--rather foolishly, I might add--to record while riding a bicycle.  The only thing stupider would be to record one while hiking through foot-deep snow.*

In case you're wondering, the recorder did survive its fall, and I'm too cheap to buy another one.

Want to download the episode to your Chalupa?  Simply Right-Click HERE and save.

And of course, remember the Patreon fund, where you can support my efforts, get episodes early, and exclusive content!

*And that one's forthcoming.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The End (good and bad)

So, two kinds of "the ends" this week.  The first, and the important one, I guess, is that I finished my story "Ten Thousand Coffins."  It ended up (first draft anyway) about fifteen thousand words, which is either too long to match the title, or too short for a novel.  Actually, the title ended up being a little less relevant, since the story went in a slightly different direction than I intended it to (still the same story, except I zagged when I figured I would zig).

I didn't work from an outline on this one, just a one page premise I wrote up in February.  It's much closer to "pantsing" than I typically write.*  And normally, that would be the death of my story.  I would write it for a little while, and eventually get to a part where I didn't know where it was going, and I would stop or lose interest.  To thine own self be true, and I never don't have that happen.

Except this time, because I was writing every single day, and even though I got to a couple of crossroads and dead ends, I never had the time to lose interest in it, since I was back to work the next day and the next.  Pretty cool.

But speaking of that, the day after I finished "10KC," I started a new story, and the day after that, I didn't write.  I went to my childhood home, we were hauling truckloads of garbage to the dump, we went out to eat for my sister's birthday, I worked for a couple of hours on an audiobook . . . and then I fell asleep.

After nearly sixty days in a row of habitual writing . . . I fell off the wagon.

It's over, Johnny!

And the next day, let me tell you, I felt like a bobbing turd.  It's weird that I would react so harshly, after something that should have been no big deal (I was up until four or five working on that audiobook too, so I technically had a fine excuse), but I did.  It was the second "the end."  My watch had ended.

And another remarkable thing about that (this was yesterday, I'm talking about): a lovely inner voice said, "Well, you failed.  No point in trying again."  I actually considered giving up and just focusing on other things, now that I no longer had to (yeah, HAD TO) write every day.  After all, I had set the goal of publishing five things in the month of March, and what did I manage, a paltry two?

So, I went ahead and published another short story, bringing me to three, and the day ended with me having not written, and resigned to watch television until I fell asleep (a luxury most folks don't even have to think about, I would posit).

But I thought about that story I had started just two days before, and thought, "Well, I could look at that, just to really rub it in about yesterday."  And I got out the notebook.  The work I had done on it was pathetic, really, just some half- or quarter-assed silliness, and only a few paragraphs of it.

"But silliness is kind of fun, isn't it?" I thought, and started typing.

I typed it through to the end, forcing myself to do it as penance for the day before, and wow, in two days had finished another story.  Then I watched TV until I fell asleep.

That was yesterday.  I don't know what will happen today (except that I'll get together with Big and he will make me write, the harsh taskmaster he has become), so I could start something new, pick up something old and abandoned, maybe come up with something for an upcoming contest.

It was "The End," but maybe not the end.

Rish Outfield, Ghost Writer In The Sky

*"Pantsing" being writer-talk for the people who do not plan out their work, but instead write by the seat of their, well, you know.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Sea Monkey Do" in Video Form

Back in 2014, I did a couple audio sketches involving my nephew.  Today I was thinking of doing a new one, so I figured I'd make the first two available on YouTube.  Look, I'm never going to do real videos, I'm not in my twenties anymore.*  But this'll have to do.

This is "Sea Monkey Do," and everything in it is just as true now as it was when I recorded it.

Again, I would like to make more of these, since they're just going to get easier to put together, but I need to have an idea.  Maybe the four or five short film scripts I wrote for me and Big Anklevich to do when I was first moving from California, though probably not.

*I once made a video in my parents' basement of three hitmen on a party line together.  I set up three sections of the room with different telephones, and tried to change my appearance for the three characters (I remember slicking my hair back for one, wearing a suit and sunglasses for another, and the shaving off what little facial hair I had after recording all of the first guy's lines), then on my VCR, edited them together like they were having a conversation.  It took an unbelievable amount of time, and the finished product was one rung below mediocre, but that was the ambition I had in those days.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Story "Trick" in Weirdbook #34

A couple of days ago, Big did his first-ever (far as I'm aware) video podcast.  He filmed himself, edited in all sorts of footage, and even used his kid's drone to get a shot or two.  I was impressed, but not motivated to ever do it myself.  I consider myself if not a master then at least a bator of audio production, so I'll stick with that.

But when I saw a package from Wildside Press, whom I had sold a story to, I did having my nephew six year old nephew film me opening it.  I thought his little video might make an interesting blog post, especially since millions of people apparently watch videos of folks opening packages and boxes (for some reason).  But saner head prevailed, and I simply had the boy take a still photo or two.

The magazine is Weirdbook, issue 34, which is a continuation of their classic Weird Tales mag, in digest form.  It's big and looks good, published by John Betancourt, who owns the rights to those Dumarest of Terra books I used to drag my feet on narrating.

I checked out their website, and noticed their next theme for submissions is Witches.  They have to be original, unpublished stories, otherwise I think I might have a tale or two I could send them.

Or, I could just write something new.

It was nice to hear I had sold something a couple of months ago when they contacted me.  A couple folks on Facebook were really congratulatory, inferring that it was a bigger deal than I thought it was.

Of course, the fact that I actually submitted something somewhere is the real trick.

And speaking of tricks . . .

"Trick" is that story I wrote on Halloween night a couple of years ago, talking about taking my daughter out trick or treating that I posted as my status on Facebook.  It's only notable for the fact that people responded to my Facebook post not with surprise that I had encountered a ghost, but that they hadn't realized I had a daughter.

Other than that, not really notable.

Except for the publishing, I guess.  That's pretty notable.

The magazine is pretty cool.  I intended to read through it all, making notes of any stories I really responded to, and maybe scooping them up for the Dunesteef.  There are no author names I recognize, but there are fun titles such as "A Demon in the Doughnut Shop," "Blood of God," "A Kiss for the Mirrorman," and of course, "Bunnies of the Apocalypse."  You know which one I'll be reading first.*

If you wanna buy yourself a copy and read along with me at home, check it out at this link over at Amazon.

Rish Outfield, Bookweird

*That'd be the bunny one, kids.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rish Outcast 69: Bland Ambition

On his last long drive, Rish remembers being told that he had no ambition.  Fake Sean also shares the first requested song from a Patreon supporter.

Yeah, "Bland Ambition" was the best title I could come up with.  Sue me.

You feel like downloading the episode?  Well, Right-Click this link and save it to your dee-vice.

And remember, I have a Patreon fund, where you can hear exclusive episodes, monthly updates, and send me a few bucks.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I Perform "Caveat Emptor, Caveat Venditor" on Far Fetched Fables

Friends, Far-Fetched Fables is a fabulous farm of fascinating fact, fiction, and folly, follow?

FFF is a podcast that puts out short stories, mostly Fantasy, every every single week.  I don't know how they do it, but hey, I can do a story for them when they ask.

This time, they asked me to narrate "Caveat Emptor, Caveat Venditor" by Edward Ahern.

It's about a wizard named Harald, who--

That's right, Harald.  Oh kids, I had a bugger of a time recording this one, with almost constant repetitions of "said Harold sadly, as he--  I mean said Harald sadly..."  And even then, about one of every five Harolds I forgot to correct, and I had to decide whether it sounded enough like Harald to get by, or whether I had to rerecord the line.

Anyway, Harald is a failed warlock who teams up with a failed demon, in an attempt to change his stars.

Oh, just go listen to the fudging thing.  It's free.

Here be the link!

Friday, March 17, 2017

"The Little Talk" in Video Form

Here's another video for you of an old sketch.

The first, "Sea Monkey Do," took me quite a while to put together (for reasons I can't quite vocalize), but when I did a second and third one the same week, those went much faster, once I got the hang of it.  If I could somehow have an incentive to do these all the time, I think they could become a regular feature.

This one, "The Little Talk," is about that time in every parent's life, where they have to sit down with their child and talk about right and wrong, light and darkness, Autobots and Decepticons.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Ides of March

So, today is the fifteenth, what they call The Ides of March.  In honor of the Roman new year and the assassination of Caesar, I figured I'd make a post.

I've now written more that forty-five days in a row, with no real reason to stop (although the other night, ye gods, I did not want to do any writing, and pretty much stopped after about three hundred words).  If you have been following Big's blog/Facebook posts, it's been kind of life-changing for the guy.  His outlook, his self-image, even his hair color has changed.

For me, the thing that's remarkable, is that I'm actually getting my writing projects done.  I've expressed before that there's only so much gas in the tank for each idea that I get.  Some of them I manage to keep going until I finish, some of the ideas have enough of a reservoir to last several months (or years), but a lot of them run dry long before I get to my destination.

But writing every day, and trying to write a significant amount every day (Big's goal is a thousand words daily, and that is actually quite a lot), has been just what the doctor ordered.*  Even though it's still a struggle to get to the end of a novella, when I'm writing them in only five or six weeks, instead of six months to a year, it's enabled me to push through with purpose, and think about the next project I'm going to tackle, knowing I may actually get to it before the idea has completely faded from my mind.

Plus, being able to write those holiest of words (no, Mom, not "drunk cheerleader;" but that's a close second) every month or so does wonders for my morale.

Don't get me wrong, I still feel like a total loser, and the fact that I objectively am doesn't help matters, but at least I'm a creatively-fulfilled loser.

At this rate, I should finish "Ten Thousand Coffins" by the end of March, and then . . . what?  I could start on the next Ben Parks adventure (the one with the old man with a secret), I could write "The Sin Eater" (a project I had literally forgotten existed until yesterday), I could write a story for a contest (there's another one just about to begin), or I could try again to write a novel (that seems to be where the money is).  The sky could be the limit, as long as I do the work.

Here's to you, Gaius Julius Caesar.

Rish Outfield, The Chides of March

*And I'm not talking about Doctor Kevorkian this time.

Monday, March 13, 2017

College Graduate?

I won't bore you with the background details of what I'm about to share (although, man, why would you be reading this if you weren't bored already?), but basically, I wrote a story not long ago about my buddy's kid working at the college where I went to school, and had him snap a picture of the hall when nobody was in it.  Then I made an alteration or two to the picture, because it wasn't at all what I wanted, but I wasn't going to ask him to take another one.* 

That photo is here:

So, I wrote up the text for the story, in my usual green text, like so:

It doesn't look great, I know, but it was pretty close to what I was looking for.  And honestly, I'm real easy to please when it comes to . . .

Wait a minute, there's a misspelling on there.

Thank Krishna I caught it in time!  I was able to grab the image, fix the spelling, and whew, here's the final product:

(relieved sigh)

Yes, I went to college.  That college.

Rish Outfield, Aware of the Mistake or I Wouldn't Be Posting This

*The poor kid risked deportation just snapping the single phone pic he sent me.  Honestly, I had wanted a photo of one of the super-wide main corridors, lined with windows on both sides, so you could see that it was night.  This hall doesn't look anything like the hall in my memory (or the story), but ah well.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rish's Voice on "The Eyestalk Kid" on YouTube

A long time ago, I was asked to contribute my voice to Al Bruno III's "The Eyestalk Kid."  Well, it's available, in video form, over at YouTube.

The carnival comes to town, and with it a barker wanting fifty dollars to view something called The Eyestalk Kid.  Hilarity does not ensue.

I voiced Mister Fether, and it was long enough ago, I had no idea where the story was going.  There are characters called "Mister Fether" and "Doctor Tarr" in there, like you would in a horror story.  Oh, and one more thing: the characters attending the carnival are all adults, with spouses and jobs, as opposed to the usual teenagers that would populate one of these stories.  I found that strange.

Here's the link.

This is an interesting format to release it in, since it's still totally just an audio file, with a couple of images in the background.  Makes me wonder if I should release a story or two of my own on YouTube, since I've already got them edited, and it would only take an hour or so to make a "video" version.  Hmmm.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Rish Outcast 68: Unique Combination

This week, Rish shares with you the first (at least I think so) Broken Mirror Story* he's put on the show, one based on the premise "a group of kids mix together a 'suicide,' with unexpected results."

It's called "Unique Combination."  Is it any good?

Say it with me, children . . .

Oh, and Big's story was called "True Colors."  Ask him about it sometime.

If you wanna download the episode, you can Right-Click here.

And please remember the Patreon fund, where you can support my efforts, get episodes early, and exclusive content!

*I never shared the one about the dandruff shampoo that also serves as male enhancement, did I?

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

March Update

So, it was a huge relief when February came to an end and I no longer had to go through each page in my notebook and count the words.  Not only was it ridiculously tedious, but I would lose count on pretty much every single page, and get some number that was either impossible or wildly underwhelming.  Even in tabulating the daily totals on the blog my math skills failed me, and I ended up with about eight hundred more words I had somehow not added to the total.

But with March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, at least, I still counted the words in my notebook, and when I went to the library (usually twice or thrice a week) and wrote next to Big on Mondays, I had a digital counter to tell me how well I was doing.*

Regardless, I still write every day, and have now passed the halfway point in my novella (which would have taken me months or years just a dozen years ago), despite having started it in late February.  I'm waiting on notes for my werewolf story, and then I'll publish it (which contributes to my March goal of five items released).  Also, I have finished revising an older story, and I could publish or record it anytime, and am just about to send out my most recent short story "Hack Reporter"** to anybody who wants to give me notes on it, for a future Outcast episode where I talk about the process from first draft to release.

It sounds as though there's going to be another Broken Mirror Event at the Paradise Lost forums, so I'll be writing a story for that, I've been invited to guest blog on a horror site, and I got an offer to produce an audiobook in the unusual genre of Western Romance (though it may turn out to be Western Erotica, depending on the amount of spanking).

So, I'm keeping busy.  Busy is good.

Rish Outfield, Aspiring Poet

*Speaking of which, Bigglesby is doing phenomenally well this month with his writing, easily outpacing me in productivity, which, let's be frank, is both impressive and hard to get my head around.  He upped his daily writing goal to a thousand words, and has stuck with it.  Though I may have declared this the Year of Rish Outfield, historians may disagree.

**Title may change.  NOT A FLYING TOY.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Bast(ard) from the Past

Today, I was trying to determine when exactly I started doing audiobooks "professionally"* and remembered that I had a folder on my computer where I'd stick all my auditions in those days.  They're still sitting there  . . . for some reason.

I noticed among them, the audition I made for a fairly well-known author where I got a personalized rejection note unlike any other.  And it all came flooding back.  The writer in question told me that he was not going to pick me to produce his book, and he would NEVER pick me to do any of his books.  He then told me, and I still remember the quote, that my "performance might be appealing to some," but that he found my "voice and delivery to be irritating and obnoxious."

I recall the afternoon I got that email.  In those days, I didn't quite realize that I was offering to produce hours and hours of audio for these writers for *free* (I'll put that in bold, italics, and do that little asterisk thing, in case I'm being at all unsubtle), and I considered this guy's message a validation of what my inner voice had always said to me, that I wasn't good enough, and that the mighty Pacific awaits me.

But then . . .

2013 Me stopped.  I understood that, in that moment, I had a choice: I could either take it to heart, and become depressed, repeating the rejection over and over in my head like an inane religious mantra . . . or I could dismiss it, and the author, as an asshole, and try my best to forget it, and just move on, make more art, audition for somebody else, etc..

I chose the latter.

Years have gone by, and it honestly doesn't bother me anymore, because I had chosen not to believe it.  In fact, it's almost a badge of honor to me at this point, and if there's one author out there that I feel better than . . .

Well, it's Drac Von Stoller.  But if there are two . . .

So, today, I saw that audition in the folder, and thought I'd listen to it . . . just in case Hugh J. Rectum Esquire was right.  I mean, maybe I was tired when I recorded it, maybe I forgot to edit it, maybe there was something obnoxious about it.

But I listened and, nope, it's just me, and a bunch of voices I did for the characters.  But two things: 1) the audition was nearly fourteen minutes long (which seems like more than a great deal), and 2) the segments I read were just weak, with especially lame dialogue.  The thought of me spending weeks or months producing that kind of mediocrity is cringe-inducing, even back in 2013 when I was just learning the ropes.

And yeah, maybe it's simply sour grapes talking.  I wondered if I listened to the same audition, but for somebody who hadn't sent me a personal attack, if I would have felt differently about it.  Impossible to say.

But the guy is an asshole, there's no wiggleroom there.

Rish Outfield, Audiobook Narrator and Parsec Award Winner

P.S. Hey, if you want Rish's obnoxious and irritating delivery for your own audiobook, feel free to contact him at this address.  Or, you can support him via Patreon at this link.

*I put "professionally" in quotes because I got my W2 from Audible and the number for 2016 was way less than even my lowball guess would've been.  Ah well, back to the drawing board.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

My Novella "New Year's Day" available on Audible

My story "New Year's Day" is out there at last.

It tells the tale of three teenagers who go investigate the locale haunted house, ostensibly for a Halloween article for the school newspaper.  But what lies inside the dreaded Laemmle House?  For when the trio emerges . . . it's a "New Year's Day."

Set in 2001, I worried that this would be hopelessly dated (NONE OF THE TEENAGERS HAS CELL PHONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and actually started updating it, but then stopped.  It was written when it was written, who cares if nobody (but Big) has read it until 2017?

This was a story we were going to run on the Dunesteef in earlier years . . . until we discovered it ran about three hours.  Still, a part of me would've enjoyed hearing Renee as Britt, Big as Dave, and me as Rob.  Ah well, guess I'll have to be satisfied with me as all three.

Anyway, you can buy the text version on Amazon, or the audio version on Audible, and one day, I'll put it in an audio collection.  Just not yet.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Rish Outcast 67: Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Rish drives in his new car and worries about repeating himself, either on the show or worse, in his writing.*  He asks the musical question, "Do I just write/say the same stuff, over and over again?"

Uh oh, what if this episode is a re-run, and he doesn't even realize it?

If ye wanna download the episode, do so by Right-Clicking HERE.

And remember, I have a Patreon fund, where you receive exclusive episodes, monthly updates, and you can send me a few bucks.

*Also, Rish pitches another "Sidekick" story.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Freaky February

Well, that month went by quick.   I feel it went well, though.

I only set four goals for my February, knowing that the first one would be the big challenge.  Well, let's check it out.

1.  Write every day.
2.  Keep track of the words I write (and occasionally post them here).
3.  Record and edit AH's "Awake."
4.  Publish "Varcolac."

1. I did write every day in February, plus a few days before and after.  2. I hated having to count the words, but I sure enjoyed posting them.  More than twenty thousand words in a month is pretty not bad.  3. And "Awake" took very little time to get to Abbie, and hopefully is making her a dollar or two as we speak. 

4. I don't know if I accomplished that last one.  Probably not?

Weird.  I don't know what happened there.  I think what happened was, I finished the audio version, and wanted some beta listeners to go through it, checking for errors.*  But I never did.**

No excuse at all for not publishing the story on Amazon, though.

Okay, goals for March.

I'm going to keep writing this month, though it's not going to be my chief priority.  That should be publishing.

1.  Type up FIVE stories from notebooks.
2.  Publish THREE stories in text.
3.  Publish TWO stories in audio.
4.  Finish writing "Ten Thousand Coffins."
5.  Finish audio of first two books in AH's "Eve & Malachi" series.

Somebody told me that I get three extra days this month compared to last, so I should be able to manage to get it all in.  We'll see.

Rish Outfield, Chalupadale Resident

*That is a thing I'm gonna need to do from now on, since errrorrs just keep on slipping through.
**Let me know if you wanna be one.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Writing: February 27th & 28th

At one point, seeing how close to the end of the month we are, I realized that . . . hey, I'm going to miss February when it's gone.  This writing-every-day thing has been enjoyable, and though counting up the words in my notebook has been like Chinese water torture, I've even enjoyed keeping track of the words and adding them up each day.  Heck, the blogging has been kind of fun.

I never would have guessed I'd be sorry to see February go.

Words Written: 1694
Total Words: 22,566

This was interesting day, writing-wise.  I had a few minutes in the afternoon, so I hurried over to the library and wrote for a while.  Then I had errands to do before I met with Big, and managed to mostly get those done in time to get together with him for our usual Monday night activity (okay, I was ten or fifteen minutes late, but ah well).

And as of last week, our Monday activity now includes sitting down in silence and writing, which Big was anxious to do again ("and every time," he proclaimed).  To show me he really means business, he brought headphones along to play music during our half hour of writing, in case I felt I had to speak to him, like I did last week.

He's been more productive in February of 2017 than he has in his whole life, writing-wise, and is planning on doubling his output in the month of March.  I'm not going to follow suit, but it would be a shame if I lost this momentum.  Last year at this time, I think I wrote daily for five or five-and-a-half weeks.  We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, I brought my laptop and plugged it in, and wrote another scene next to him, getting (I think) to the one-third point on my story.  I can't say for sure (though it would be just a matter of scanning through the posts), but I think that makes Monday the 27th my highest word count day of the month.*  When we were finished, Big said, "Do we quit, or should we keep going?"  And I have to admit, if he had wanted to keep going, I would have done so.  Could have been competition, could've been peer pressure, could have just been the thrill of creating something outweighing my own feelings of worthlessness.

Maybe people who go to the gym experience that kind of adrenaline rush, and the desire to push yourself past what your body would normally be capable of.  Of course, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy mutha f...

Words Written: 493
Total Words: 23,059

Well, this is sort of an out with a whimper sort of day, although I did write.  I sat in the car with my notebook and wrote for fifteen minutes, then I go out to get something to eat, but forced myself to sit back down and write for five more.  Then I did spend a few minutes typing up my story from last October ("Roll with the Changes"), and I didn't count any words I added (or subtracted, hey, it's possible.  But unlikely).

I'm writing this in the pm of the twenty-eighth, and I have to admit that I'm tempted to do a little bit more writing, see if I couldn't get it up higher.  But I've got to do some actual dollar-sign work.  Dang it.


Weird, but I couldn't let it go.  I did my work, then got together with my cousin for a little while for some dinner and conversation.  And then . . . instead of going to bed, I sat down and wrote for a few more minutes, despite the fact that it was past two in the morning when I stopped.

So, let me amend my numbers.

Words Written: 1403
Total Words: 23,969

That'll do, pig.  That'll do.

Rish Outfield, Writer of Words

*Alright, damn you, I did go back and check.  And there was the day that I was writing the climax of "Mark on the Sky," where I apparently wrote over three thousand words.  Sort of takes the helium out of my balloon there.  Thanks a lot, math.