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Thursday, July 19, 2012

So, here's some updates...

So I'm taking a break from the ranting and raving about politics or sports or whatever to update you all on what's happening writing-wise...

Punch-Drunk Bastards is still in its last copy edits.  The copy editor I've hired is doing a wonderful job.  I've heard some positive feedback from some of my Facebook Test Readers, still waiting to hear back from others.  After Labor Day, I'm going to be going full steam to getting this in print.  Best case scenario is I sell this to a publisher, but if not I have no problem self-publishing again.  The stuff I learned from The Fab 5 has been instrumental in driving this project.  A more professional approach has been taken here, and the end of a seven year-long journey will arrive this year.

Open is last year's unfinished NaNoWriMo project that I've been tweaking here and there.  I completed 1/4 of the contest length of it during WriMo, and that's the most work I've ever generated in such a short period of time.  It felt good.  I had earlier stated that I would release bits of that story episodically on this blog, and I still plan on doing that once the first draft is completed.  Hopefully, publicly posting it would invite critique that I could use to improve the novel as a whole.  Look for the first draft sometime in December.

The Enclave is a vampire story I'm developing for this year's WriMo.  It has its roots in a series of short stories I wrote when I was younger, and had a little bit of notoriety among my close friends.  I won't say much about it now, but to be blunt... it ain't Twilight.  There's blood and gore and bullets and neuroses.  It's very much a guy's vampire story... ha ha ha.

Killer's Royale is an independent comic book project that I've been tapped to write.  Details are scarce, but I'm excited about it.   Scripting a comic has been a dream of mine for a very long time and I'm very excited that I'm even being considered to lend a voice to the project.

There are other projects in the hole that I haven't even gotten my head around as yet, but these are the four that should occupy the remainder of 2012, and most of 2013 if the Mayans are wrong.  One should always have a contingency plan, I guess...

So I'd like to take this time to give all my friends and family very loud and vocal thanks for the support shown over the years, it's been greatly appreciated and I look forward to making you all proud.  One day I'll add the word "fans" to the list of thanks, but I won't get too far ahead of myself.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Politics: In Case The Revolution Comes

Living in Brooklyn in the early 1990's meant dealing with gun violence.

In Flatbush at night, shots were frequently fired into the air and sent many of my friends diving for cover, even in the relative safety of their own homes.  Gunshots broke through windows and splintered doors, and it seems that almost nightly there was news of someone dying in a violent shootout somewhere in the borough. suffice it to say, it wasn't exactly fun.  Fast-forward 20-some years: the Second Amendment is touted as one of our most sacred of rights, that the threat of losing the right to bear arms is tantamount to the dissolution of civilization itself.

Take away our guns, and the terrorists win.

Before branding me the liberal that I am, let me say out loud and on the record that yes, I do understand that there is a difference between the guns that were fired on the block back home are different from the guns that everyone else is talking about.  Those guns were obtained "illegally" and likely were bought to perpetrate some evil crime or something or another.  The guns that the "good" people are talking about make everyone safer; after all, good responsible folk don't go around shooting people randomly, do they?

Living in the Pacific Northwest has been an eye opener to me.  New York State's gun laws are restrictive and nearly oppressive, being highly punitive to unlicensed weaponry.  Assault weaponry is banned, particularly in New York City, and the emphasis is keeping guns out of the hands of unbalanced people, and off the streets for potential criminal activity.  This makes New York State, despite the proliferation of illegal firearms in the State, one of the safest places from the threat of firearms.  By contrast, Washington State's culture regarding firearms is a bit different.  The laws are more lax, the attitudes are more lax.  Should it be surprising, then, that according to the FBI's unified statistics on crime, there are more violent crimes by handgun per capita in Washington State than in New York?  It shouldn't be but I bet people are shocked.

Now here's the question I want people to answer for me.  I understand why we have the right to bear arms, but why do we have the need to bear arms?  The answer I hear most is for protection, which seems kind of absurd to me.  I mean, only scared people need protection, and only scared people are likely shoot other people.  Why do people need to carry guns outside of the home?

I am, obviously, a big supporter of strict gun control.  I've seen too many funerals of too many friends from too many shootouts.  I believe the Second Amendment was made in a time of war, where the last thing anyone wanted to do was be unprepared in the event of an invasion by the British.  The times have passed, and unless we're waiting for the Revolution to come, we don't need to be armed like that.

I do believe the Federal Government should impose strict gun control laws.  I believe that there should be a yearly cap on the amount of firearms and ammunition produced for anything other than military and law enforcement purposes.  I believe that the right to carry in public or conceal and carry is ludicrous and should be repealed.

Unless, of course, the Revolution gon' come.