Prologues and the Gals who Write Them

So, my idea for the Allen project is to have a prologue that gives you a lot of information you need to understand what’s happening in later in the book without it being clear that that’s what’s happening. I guess I can spoil y’all now since… ugh… let’s not even talk about other projects. Just know that it’s a hard slog and I’m not even sure I’m still slogging. Or what. I don’t know.

Anyway, in the book, all kinds of supernatural things are real. There are ghosts. People have premonitions. There are spells and such. And there’s a portal in a cave (the likes of which I have not yet determined. On the advice of Jess, I may have to haul Dunbar Cave down here where I can use it.) which takes you to the present. This present. Though only the bad guy, Moulton Leeds Overton, call him “Lee” for short (too obvious with the name that he’s evil?) knows that’s what it does. Everyone else thinks it just kills you.

So, eventually, after crossing Lee, our protagonists start to have some troubles with a monster of sorts. In the main part of the book, my plan is that we’ll never know anything about this monster, really, except that he’s humanoid in form, can kill silently, and that he has no smell. And that he seems indestructible.

But I wanted the reader to meet him without realizing it first.

Hence, the prologue. And I am tickled. Tickled. I finished up the first draft of it tonight and I think it does everything I hoped it would. It takes place mostly at the Melrose Kroger and at a reenactment of the Battle of Franklin. We meet John and his racist asshole dad. They lose to the Union forces. And, after hearing that their other racist asshole friends have decided to turn them in to the Feds, they decide to go camping. For an indeterminate amount of time.

Poor John. He does not know that he will be camping in the past, where his dad needs him to tie up a few loose ends for him.

Cue scary music.

Lou Reed and Metallica

I was driving home from work today and the DJ was all “I have here the new Lou Reed/Metallica song. I haven’t even listened to it yet. Let’s put it in and see how it goes.” He plays it. My face makes a grimace all on its own and the grimace stays there the whole song. The song ends. The DJ says. “Well, that was interesting.”

People, it invokes grimacing in otherwise predisposed to liking it people! Metallica fans are already apologizing for it!

What’s wrong with it? Where to start? I know the whole “Lou Reed sounds like he’s reading for Alistair Crowley’s more boring diaries” part is going to bug most people. But I have to say, I felt like I kind of got what they were going for. It doesn’t work because it’s so obvious that Reed probably recorded his part in Montenegro while Metallica recorded theirs in a crawlspace in Long Beach. Reed’s voice should be like an oil slick on the surface of the Devil’s piss. Instead, he sounds like he’s singing from a hot air balloon tour of Hell. Those metaphors may not make any sense until you attempt to listen to it

The two parts just don’t gel.

Second, I can’t tell if there’s just something wrong with the mix so it sounds like Ulrich is just playing his cymbal while occasionally hitting his snare, but it really kind of sounds like his drum part doesn’t fit with the guitars. And I think he’s too high up in the mix for as boring as his playing is. It’s literally clang-clang-clang-clang occasional bap bap bap bap.

Meanwhile, it sounds like the guitars are probably doing something scary and interesting, but they’re so far down.

I’m going to give it up for James Hetfield though. I have no idea what “I am the table” means, but he makes it sound terrifying. And, let’s be honest, it’s hard to imagine how “I am the table” could be terrifying. But at least, if you listen long enough to hear him grunting in a horrifying manner about being the table, you’ll also hear a rather interesting, but too short guitar solo.

So, I don’t think this would ever be a hit, by any means. But something has gone wrong in the production of this. And I don’t quite understand what. It looks like they brought in a couple of pros to help produce it. But it just doesn’t sound good. It could have been something cool that wouldn’t have been to everyone’s taste, but this single, ugh. It’s hard for me to imagine whose taste it could be to.

Woman Things

1. You know, I’m glad comic book artists have taken into consideration complaints that women’s boobs in comic books are too round and point too often towards a woman’s face when they should be making their way towards her feet in an elegant teardrop shape. But trust me, comic book artists, when you’re hanging upside down, those things–real or fake–make their way neckward. There’s not a bra alive that could give that boob that shape in that position.

2. Dead medieval witches! Of Doom! I just threw the “of doom” part in there.

3. Oh, I didn’t tell you guys the coolest thing that happened last week. So, in general, when writing a story in which you posit that an actual historical dude was the Devil–yes, a sexy devil, but still the Devil–you try not to pick a historical dude with descendants. So, rather than making Timothy Demonbreun the Devil (and I had considered it), I picked Joseph Durard, who certainly couldn’t have had children with Elizabeth Bennett because she would have been in her fifties. Tra la la. I went on my way.

And then I found out that she did have children with Durard. Oops. Since then, I have been quietly cringing in the back of my mind, wondering if any Durards would be all “And now we will hunt you down and beat you to death with copies of your own book.” Last week, I heard from a Durard. And she loved finding a story about her great-grandpa! Even if he was the Devil. Whew. I told her all the information I had on her ancestors and it was cool.

Two Cheesy Things I Discovered This Weekend

When you’re laying around sick for three days, it’s not all swinging in the hammock and playing “Am I going to barf or shit?” (No, I know, that I even got to do some of that is jealousy inducing.) Sometimes, you’re just sitting on the couch trying to pass the time between the exciting stuff. I passed the time outlining, watching Todd and the Book of Pure Evil and reading the first Sookie Stackhouse book.

Sookie. Oh, Sookie, Sookie, now.

I was delighted. I liked being able to picture Eric (and Bee-eee-eel) for that matter as TV Eric and Bill.  I laughed through all the sex scenes, but with delight. I think that one big difference between the book and TV is that the book sex scenes are definitely written for women to find sexy. Lord almighty, when Bill put his bloody finger in Sookie’s cooter to “heal” her from the loss of her virginity, I laughed so hard the dog woke up and got off the couch. But it was exactly right in a way that took me aback. Like, oh, right, this is something a woman would want, even if she would never say so.

And I loved that Sookie in the book seems so Southern, so whip-smart even without an education, with a little chip on her shoulder because she thinks people might look down at her, both full of propriety and a little tacky. It’s a cheesy book, but Sookie is a lot richer a character than she is on TV.

I’ve been snobby about these books and I was wrong to be.

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. Please tell me someone else watches this. It’s a Canadian show. It’s not as good as Trailer Park Boys, by any stretch, but Jason Mewes is in it, looking weirdly hot (I don’t know people. Cut me some slack. This whole “finding Toby Keith attractive” thing has thrown me for a loop. Fine, every scuzzy dude with a cute smile is now hot. I don’t fucking know.). And there’s a threesome of dudes who look really familiar but I can’t place them. And there’s a book of evil which flies around like a bat or a bird or something, committing evil.

I watched the four episodes Comcast had On Demand and I wasn’t really sold until the fourth episode, which was so good that I’m a little worried they can’t sustain that kind of genius. There’s a lot of pot. Some Satanists. Too many skinny jeans. And the fourth episode has dudes making out.

Canada, why must you have the most awesome cheesy shows? Is there some reason the United States can’t have nice stupid shit?