books, creative writing, Ogden, women, writing

Beta Readers Wanted – Horror/Crime Novella

Hi,

I have revised the Ogden Chronicle series into a novella.

I am looking for beta readers who can give feedback within six to eight weeks.

If you are interested, please leave a comment below or contact me via here.

The intention is to self publish this then have a similar process with Sir 2.0.

I am less prolific and more precise these days. 2019 is going to reflect the process as I look into getting my work out there.

I am also available for copywriting, writing and story consultancy work.

https://www.fiverr.com/mattblissett858

I hope everyone had a lovely season and is looking forwards to a year filled with possibilities.

Sure, I could flail around, saying we are doomed, but we are not.

In Cunning Talks, Warren Ellis talks about how we look at our technology through the lens of the future, which is always found wanting when we would be smarter to look at it through the lens of the past.

I apply a similar idea to myself. I am better than the man I was, yesterday. He’s my only competition in a great many respects. The responsibilities of such a thing make you stronger and more able to bear the tough times. My writing has been a healthy obsession for a while, and although progress is slow, I think about the things I’ve learned along the way.

The life its allowed me to create.

Whatever happens, we are in this together, walking one another home. The world will continue and we must strive to catch up or stand in place depending on our situation.

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book reviews, books

2018 in books.

Books

I’ve made recent, tentative inroads into Nordic Noir, which has been a surprise. There is an economy of plot and craft and a willingness to go into some dark psychological areas which manage to make them long, but compelling stories.

Erik Axl Sund and Lars Keppler are two authors who have captured my interest. The former, are a writing partnership, which is something which fascinates me when I work so much alone. Their book, The Crow Girl, was a powerful, engine of story with deep, relentless plotting and some crisp, observations alongside a melancholic, beautiful sense of scene and character which kept me engaged throughout.

Keppler is a more commercial approach, but the books (The Hypnotist and The Nightmare) are irresistible. The murders are inventive and gross, the motivations are realistic but also have a grand, operatic madness to them and despite their page count, whip along at a rate of knots.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent was raw, entrancing and beautiful work. It is one I will read again. It has a wounded muscular beauty to it which captures the struggle of adolescence in a depraved, exploitative yet tender perversion of parental responsibilities and individual struggles to find oneself.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I’ve never read much in the way of Russian literature. I came to him curious and nervous but I read them and was moved by the insights and powers on display. 

The literature of wrestling with deep thoughts and issues, here isn’t ponderous or affected. There’s a masterful display of empathy, observations and human nature. Our brains and concerns haven’t evolved much since these were written so the insights remain fresh and compelling. Dense prose is essential not an affectation here and although there were points of mild endurance, I read four of his books with increasing awe and appreciation. 

Crime and Punishment is genuinely haunting and wrenching. Notes From Underground speaks to a misanthropic envy and need which is discomfort itself. I recommend him to anyone. 

Stephen King, in Sleeping Beauties, co written with his son Owen, and Elevation did solid work but the former felt like a greatest hits compilation and the latter was a vaguely patronising paean to acceptance and had a strange bigotry of low expectations attached to it. Shame, but he still captures the essence of human nature and how it is illuminated by the impersonal and bizarre forces around it. 

 

 

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books, men, poetry, writing

Fastest Pen In The West

Fill your hand

You son of a bitch,

The scholar with war stained dreams,

Frightened insular genius who lived

With phobias stitched into flesh

Men whose work outlived them

And look

Here you come

Not as quick

Not as ruthless

Call them out

High noon on the internet

Cheap links to cheap books

Shining where the harsh sun

Slaps against your waistcoat

Pocket watches without parts

Soft bellies

You can be trusted

With your lexicon of

Earnest puppy expressions

Such great lengths not to be

In the least bit threatening

But we know

How weak men are more dangerous

Aiming a shaking gun

At the past

Because your present

Is a heap of affectation

Fumes to scratch the back of your throat

So challenge the dead

And their immortality

And all for a smattering of

Cynical applause

Eye rolls like earthquakes

As the notion of your ever being seriously

Dies like your career

Five house points

For whatever dismal house

You were sorted into

But you come at the kings

And miss

But no one hears the bullet

Beyond the damp squeak

Of its arc

And those of us

Who sit in the cool shadows

Writing it down

Not even casting you

As a villain

A fart not a force

Of

Antagonism

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book reviews, books

Silence, I’m reading

Ben Percy 

The Dark Net

I have enjoyed his work. Yet there’s been a growing disconnect for me with his last few books. Red Moon was amazing but The Deadlands was a touch affected. I want to like his work more than I do. This book has a fun, inventive concept but it feels similar to Skipp and Specter work like The Scream but more mannered. It was a fast, enjoyable book and I wish it well. 

Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Drake

After The Fall

Maddadam

When she writes science fiction, she channels the best things about it. How it uses the future to talk about the present. Her characters are wonderful, she drops phrases and observations of compelling and acute insight. She’s so confident and astute, it’s almost maddening.

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books, writing

Funding Question

I’m considering crowdfunding and self publishing one or more of my books or an anthology of poetry/short fiction?

What, as my following, would you consider supporting or buying?

Either answer in the comments below or email me thelov3w3mak3@gmail.com

 

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books, music

Words And Music

This is what I’ve been listening to, reading and watching. For disclosure, if you click through on these, I have an Amazon Affiliate account and I get something for it.

Music.

Bilal, In Another Life.

One of the unsung geniuses of neo-soul. The duet with Kimbra, ‘Holding It Back’ is a song I can listen to on repeat without being bored by it.

http://amzn.to/2DFpDmC

Prince – Purple Rain 25th Anniversary Edition.

Remastered brilliance and some gorgeous unreleased tracks. I have a lot of love for his music, and I’ve said before, even his bad stuff is interesting. He set a high bar for musicians with me which only a few of them have ever met.

http://amzn.to/2nbTvMa

Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral.

It has an operatic intensity without forgetting the dichotomy of beauty and ugliness which informs the best art. There are some beautiful melodies and deep, hard drops of harsh intensity which adds up to a classic album of anger, love and madness.

http://amzn.to/2DGIJIU

Books.

Nick Harkaway – Gnomon.

A complex, rewarding and challenging meditation on surveillance culture, digital selves, mythology and society. It is exciting, complex and beautiful storytelling without compromising on the need to explore and expand on these ideas in the service of the story.

http://amzn.to/2Ee1ArJ

Jordan B Peterson 12 Rules For Life

He’s lauded as the next popular intellectual. I enjoy the pragmatism of his ideas, and his delivery is compelling. His ideas speak to a direction men should know, or consider. I don’t agree with everything he says, and I might put my thoughts down in a post at some point. His lectures on YouTube are fantastic and he is stimulating to listen to. I have this on audiobook and also a copy reserved for a present. I’ll get my own copy too, but he’s compelling and passionate.

http://amzn.to/2Bw3YHB

Joyce Carol Oates A Book Of American Martyrs.

She goes after the issues lesser writers avoid, and finds the innate humanity in disparate positions. Oates’ work intimidates me as a writer and she channels a terrible intensity into her work before she gifts us with prose and emotion as subtle and involving as a missed connection.

http://amzn.to/2Gm4JGv

 

 

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books, craft, reading, Uncategorized

My Favourite Things – Books

Here are some of my favourite books, there are books on the craft of writing, lectures about nihilist philosophy and pop culture as well as fiction and non fiction. For disclosure, if you buy through these links, I have an affiliate account so it throws some pennies in the hat but get these books because I love them and the world needs more sharing the good things in it rather than the bad.

This is what the series of American Horror Story: Freakshow wishes it was. Humane, bizarre and beautifully written. It is one of those books I return to time and  again. Dunne is no longer with us, but this book is. I envy you reading it for the first time.

Percy has produced some fantastic cross genre work and this collection of essays speaks to an appreciation for literature and pop culture without casting either one in a negative light. It has a robust honesty which I find invigorating and useful.

Stephen King, much like Prince, was one of the artists which resonated from me at an early age. I’ve followed his work and example and resisted aping his mannerisms but his working class generosity of spirit and craft makes this book indispensable to me. He offers up a toolkit and reflects on his own experiences, professional and personal to give you an idea of what might be possible if you put the work and energy into the writing you do. There’s a lot on offer here, and if you’re looking for good, solid advice on the craft of writing, then King is your man.

Grammar is an important consideration in writing. A poor choice of phrase rips the reader out of the moment and undoes the hard work you’ve done establishing mood and setting. Don’t be precious, you’re never as good as you think you are, so something like this is worth investing in. Learn the rules in order to break them and Strunk tells you the rules in a pithy, elegiac way which makes it a useful reference work when editing.

 

Holiday has established a niche in mining the wisdom of Stoicism for it’s applications in the modern world and for his fantastic understanding of marketing and media. Here is a united work which talks about finding your own place and developing work which resists trends. He talks about Iron Maiden and The Shawshank Redemption in glowing terms, especially with the factoid that Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise were up for the main roles but Frank Darabont the director went with his own choices instead.

Next I will talk about music, then films with links to them for you to click on and preview/buy.

It’s strange how we will rush to interact with something bad but distrust a recommendation of quality or worth, relative as they are.

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