Tipis and Scriptlings

Let’s do an honest sound check -

testing one, two; time to pull another blog post outta my ass, one two

testing testing; if I don’t do it my manager and media consultant will ride my ass like no tomorrow, testing one, two.

why am I doing this on Black Friday, testing one, two – because I don’t judge Fridays by race or color, nor am I part of the American tradition of thanksgiving, black fridays or any other holidays celebrating the hostile takeover from the people who wear feathers, carry tomahawks and provided us with tipis. One, two

OK that’s about enough.

Welcome all to another segment of Voices in my Head where for the next few minutes you may wanna smoke that joint you have hidden in your wallet or pull out that vodka flask (which you told your kids was water when they discovered it, the little buggers).

I can’t write a very long convoluted post simply because it’s comic con weekend here on the rock. Now I know you’re thinking ‘Comic con, jeez that’s so cool.’ -_-

Not quite. Our comic con is shit on crackers and we have no idea how to celebrate geekdom here, simply because geeks are taken out back and shot when they take it too seriously. Hurray for puritanical lifestyles (not).

But still, a very dear friend of mine is here and me and Shaun are showing her around. They have matching costumes too, which is very cute.

 

And now to the juicy part.

This interview: http://www.sorinsuciu.com/interview-ryan-attard/

I’m not gonna quote it or anything (too lazy mofos). But I can say one thing – Sorin Suciu’s interview was the best one I had so far, hands down.

And here’s why – this guy is an insane, funny geek.

I am a funny insane (yeah no shit) geek.

Q. E. Fucking D. (That’s inspired from Sorin’s debut novel The Scriptlings and I dirtied it a little) I was asked funny and insane geeky questions.

I loved it, I had a good time and I wrote my first (and if I’m merciful, my last) limerick. It’s best sung with the beat of Run DMZ in “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith. Or a Quebec accent.

Whichever works, baby.

And now, onto the nitty gritty.

I’ve been taking a bit of well deserved rest (get off my dick haters) after writing three novels and two short stories (WTF have you been doing all year?), I decided I should spend at least a week of only doing minimal writing, focusing alot on idea generation and the behind the scenes building of a story.

Also, reading a ton. I haven’t been able to devour books like I used to so this was an awesome time to catch up. I went through 2 books (and 1 50-page comic) in less than 5 days and finished Sorin Suciu’s the Scriptlings.

By no means were we in communication to plug eachothers’ stuff and we’re too cool to do that anyway. But it was a glorious day (night in my case) when he posted that interview and I mentioned that I enjoyed the Scriptlings without the other knowing what was going on about eachother. This once and for all proves that great minds not only think alike but sync together like a wireless network or a group of women’s monthly manifestations of the ‘inner beast’. (If you’re offended by that joke, may I please show you to the tampon section?)

I have yet to write a review on the greatness that is Sorin Suciu’s debut work, but let me surmise by saying that the book was so good, that I am pretty sure that Sorin’s name will be one that you will hear soon and often (perhaps in between moans and whispers?).

All joking aside, I am glad I bought the book and I will be writing a positive review soon. I urge you to indulge yourself and buy it too. Look out for this author people, he’s one for the history books.

Or the hushed tones whispered in asylum walls where my name is often spoken.

Only history will tell.

Genre Hopping

Today’s blog is, shockingly enough, about a writing topic – as opposed to the sheer bullshit that I spew out on a weekly basis.

Well it’s not like I’m some authority on writing, so take whatever lessons I impart with a pinch (or a million pinches) of salt. The reason I’m typing this one up is because this week I finished the first novel of a completely new series. there’s still a long way to go before this is ready to hit the shelves but hey, three full length novels in a year (not counting short stories) – I don’t know how you measure success or productivity but that’s my method.

anyone who read my Legacy series, of which there are only short stories out (But the actual book will be out Dec 13th so don’t fret) knows that that series is Fantasy based. You got wizards, magic, fantasy monsters, feats that can only be described as epic – not to mention a sarcastic talking cat.

Although Legacy is technically Urban fantasy, or at least that’s what my editor told me they are called, it also includes into action, humor and light horror.

And now comes the boring preachy part:

We’re a multi-tasking society. Long gone are the days where people specialized in one thing and made that thing well. Nowadays, you gotta be a jack of all trades and master of all if you want to succeed. Take actors for example – they need to act, sing, dance and be role models to people who will turn against them if they so much as pick up something resembling a joint. Date one too many guys and you’re a slut, get caught drunk and you’re the new Linsdey Lohan, and if you ever turn down a scoop interview, then you’re anti social and insane.

It’s all bullshit mind you, but now you get an idea of what type of people artists like myself have to cater to. Today’s generation need quick and easy, constant flipping and continuous engagement. Romance isn’t good enough – you gotta put in bad lines and a sparkly vampire. Sex and spice doesn’t suffice – now you gotta go 50 shades and velociraptor porn.

So I can’t just write the usual urban fantasy – modern day wizard. There needs to be spins and turns – which for a person like myself is all well and good. I get easily bored with most things so the switches are good for me.

But even writing one good book isn’t enough. Publishers rarely pick up anything which is not a series. It’s unfair for people who specialize in stand-alone novels, but I see their point. More books = more money. Just simple math, and we are dealing with a business at the end of the day.

And I got news for authors – write another series. One ain’t gonna cut it. You need a dashboard build up and you need it fast. So whilst writing one series, start another as a pet project. Then turn that one in for profit too.

My pet series is the Pandora Chronicles. Book 1 in done and I don’t wanna name it cos I hate naming stuff. Too much pressure. This one is more sci-fi and action, kinda like a Clive Cussler novel meets Assassins Creed. I got alien gods, I got ancient conspiracy theories, I got a new idea on the origin of the universe (that one goes to you Creationists and Scientologists. try gulping this shit down) and I got a swanky Nathan Drake kinda hero. And yeah, the main idea was inspired by a lot of video games.

Inspiration was easy for this one – inside my head each story has a ‘melody’, an tone and feeling that only I experience as a creator (a feeling which in turn I hope the reader gets to experience as they get along the story but that is their own feeling because each person has a unique interpretation to it). for Legacy I kept hearing this one sound and this one harmony that was unique. For Pandora Chronicles I basically flipped it and went the other direction. The story has none of the Deus Ex Machina that I learned to rely on, such as magic and gimmicks like talking animals. I can’t make up a monster and focus on the ‘great hunt’.

In this new series, whilst the mythology exists (because I am who I am), the story is rooted in reality. there is no magic sword, only a cheap gun. The methods of investigation and the application of action are all rooted in reality, from diving underwater in search of a coffin, to using street fighting and martial arts to disarm a person holding a gun to your head. The research was much more difficult too, since I couldn’t just pull ti out of my ass as I usually do.

And whilst I’m on the subject, I’d like to say hello to the NSA Agent assigned to monitor this blog. For one chapter I had to google search how to create a homemade bomb with bleach, the mechanics of a helicopter (and the best way to throw said bomb to disrupt the rotors), blueprints to an oil tanker in search of a weak side of the hull so that I could blow it up, as well as various intelligence agencies from Israel to Australia. So dear NSA agent, if you are reading this, please know that I pose no threat and that I live half a globe’s revolution away from your beloved tabernacle of wobbly healthcare and cheap donuts. (I just scored a Douchbag point, swish). Dear NSA agent, if you are reading this make sure to take your meds.

So; where does that leave me? For one thing, I gotta pick up a new pet project since I ruined this one by being all professional and shit. I already have on which I started and this one is about an all out sociopath who sets out to destroy the pillars of society by any means necessary.

So if I’m arrested and deemed too insane to be kept in society (about time someone gets a fucking clue) now you know why. And just in case I won’t have time to write a eulogy here’s one: to my manager I leave my crazy ideas that I spam his facebook messages with. To my cat (I don’t have a cat but play along for the sake of the joke) I leave my backups. He’ll probably piss on them and destroy all trace evidence that my work ever existed (ironically doing my abductor’s work for them) but YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW MY SECRETS!!!!

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA

And I’ll leave you with that creepy laugh

(Weird how this turned messy and insane in the last few paragraphs. Maybe there really is a demon inside of me. Or maybe I began writing this at 1 am, passed out in bed and woke up the next day to finish it after 12 hours of errant dreams and just plain errands. Nah, let’s go with the demon. Go, Demon!)

Me

9 stitches and some bliss

This is another story from my past. Well, a very recent past but it has a great moral. I guess I’ve always been a stressful person – the more minute the detail the more it bugs me. Maybe it’s some sort of mental issue or something; in my country the whole issue of mental health is well explored. Here you are either insane or conformist. Guess where I stand.

Sure, this country is built on hobbies and people trying to escape reality (but never leaving it, because we’re a nation of pussies – there I said it. Grow a pair Malta), but very rarely do I meet people who are truly relaxed and at ease with their own heads. I guess this is why I increased my internal martial arts training, in dire hopes of finding 5 minutes where no one bitches about a government they understand nothing about, a job they hate but are too afraid to leave and of a better life they will never pursue.

Dealing with stress is crucial to people like me, who are taking major risks with their lifestyle and career choices. We gotta vent that shit out, otherwise we blow up. I read a post by Shannon A Thompson about hobbies ans talents and I’ve been meaning to write about that topic myself.

My particular ventilation system in sports of martial arts variety. Essentially I watch alot of anime fights on youtube and then try them out myself with other nerds in Japanese uniforms. I take several classes but wrestling was something I never paid for, simply because my dad is the founder of the sport in my country. So I was pushed in that direction despite never competing due to my hatred of competition.

This story (Yeah I have a story despite the long-ass intro) takes place when my club which teaches both wrestling and jujitsu took part in a youth exchange program. We had two teams come over and because I really don’t give a fuck here’s the country of origin – Germany and Ireland.

Here are my complaints: The Irish team was nice. and by nice I mean friendly. And by friendly I mean drunk. And by drunk I mean EVERY MOMENT OF THE COCKING DAY!

It seems to my that they neglect teaching time reading skills in Ireland, simply because they guys were always late. I mean, sure, you and I usually run a few minute, maybe a half hour late, we apologize and it’s no big deal. These guys were hours late. There where times where they were still wondering about and we had to leave them aground, with instructions on how to reach us via public transport.

To be fair, they were drunk. And not regular ‘whooo hooo look who’s on the table!!!’ drunk.

Charlie-Sheen-meets-Nicholas-Cage drunk.

But there were the guys I hung out with simply because we sang on buses and talked a lot of culture.

this should give you an idea of what level of Neanderthal-ism the German team was at.

I know the world has a particular view of German because of the whole Nazi business, but I also know that not every German is like that and that type of judgement is wrong. So I didn’t judge – at least not on where they were from. Malta has spent the past 1000 years being anally raped by every country with a wet dream of expansion, from the Punics all the way to Alexander the Great, the Roman empire, Napoleon’s little stint and the British cockblocking tide. So I don’t judge where people are from (and that include Americans – sorry couldn’t resist).

What I do judge is behavior and having two Mexican stand-offs, one of which nearly resulted in a fight, with a whole lot of these people was not scoring them any points. I was one of the leaders and it was one of the most unpleasant things I had to deal with in my life. I was so disgusted I quit taking on youth exchanges and practicing wrestling all together (Two things I was already fed up with) and now I only organize stuff with local clubs and people I know and trust.

But back to the story – at one point I was so stressed that I ended up in a minor car crash. I was alone and the speed was so slow that the car in front of me only had like 2 inches of scratching. My car, had a couple of broken lights – maybe a hundred bucks of damage total. No big deal.

The most damaged thing was my knee. the cheap plastic of the dashboard shattered and sliced into my knee. I could still walk and push the car, but it looked like a b-horror movie and after we were done, I was taken to the clinic for stitches.

And here’s where the morals begin. I had reached tipping point in my stress, where it couldn’t go any higher. instead, I ended up telling jokes to the lovely nurse who tended me and a doctor who seemed delighted that I was calm and asked all the right questions. (Here’s a tip for patients – ask smart questions. Doctors like to show off, so if you show them that you are knowledgeable but still need their professional guidance, they’ll be very eager to work with you.) Of course, at the back was an ambulance driver who constantly told jokes too. at one point we ended up riffing off of each other and the whole floor was laughing. My only concern was that I was making the doctor laugh too much – the guy with the curved needle in my knee, sewing me up.

I guess being in a hospital getting stitched up was more fun for me than being a supervisor to a bunch of ungrateful motherfuckers (not my guys bdw) who, even after I kicked their asses in stitches, still wouldn’t show the slightest respect. Some people just deserve to be run over by a bus. There. I said it.

So here’s an idea – if you’re a raving psychopath with a few rounds and issues to unload, do some research first. Don’t shoot innocents, just find the assholes and go to town. We’ll call it community service.

But the best part was the next day; spending the following morning and afternoon alone in my hotel room with nothing but anime to watch on a wi-fi I managed to get for free – it was utter bliss.

Ever since that day I understood that I really need to stop pushing myself – sometimes a tactical retreat is best, gather your thoughts and listen to what those voices inside you are saying. I found bliss after getting injured and could have potentially died. That tends to put things in perspective, especially when tell people who are stressing you out with their selfishness to fuck straight off.

So the moral would be that more often than not we are pushed to limits beyond our capability. We live such a stressful life that we are mutating our lives and not in a good way. Improvement is only successful if it lies in balance, and it seems to me that we often forgo our own well-being for the sake of limits which aren’t there in the first place.

I’ll leave you with this little nugget of thought. My manager and AEC Stellar’s CEO, Ray Vogel, shared something on facebook which said that never in the history of mankind have scientist proven the concept of time, at least not in the way we believe it to be. Therefore, the urgency that we created is nothing but a fallacy. Structure is one thing, but I suppose everyone reading this would agree that time is something we stress over way too much.

So the next time someone tells you that you’re too early or too late, you can tell them to fuck straight off.

You are exactly where the universe needs you to be and they can suck it.

Peace,

Ryan

Stories from the Voices in My Head presents: Tales from the Archives

Read the title – it’s pretty damn self explanatory

(Getting and early jump on the bitching are we?)

Hello, my name is Ryan and I come in peace. Of sorts.

Welcome again ladies and gents to another segment of legalized schizophrenia where I pour my soul out and unleash upon this mortal coil the spewing bullshit that builds up inside me.

Or maybe I’m just taking a break from writing, by doing a different kind of writing. (I just realized how dumb that sounds. That’s like taking a break from doing drugs by going to Amsterdam.)

Anyway. Given that I’ve run out of ideas and I’m done wrestling with my head for something to spew out, I’ve decided to dig into the archives and see if a particular tale struck me.

It did. It was more of a bitch slap, but it did strike me. There is a theme here with regards to airport security. My conflict is is it really the individual’s fault for us having a hard time or is it the society which shapes individuals into being horrible? I mean, I know some people in security who are very nice. I know cops who are just doing their job when they stop you on the street or give you the once over. At the end of the day these are just people like you and I, trying to pay bills and put their kids through college. I think in these situations, unless there is a major invasion of privacy, like when a cop pulls you over, just go along with it. It’ll be over in a minute and you won’t get arrested.

But there is the other type of guy – the utter assholes who clearly enjoy abusing their power. The sad part is, these motherfuckers ruin the gig for everybody and they are the ones generally stopping you and harassing you for doing exactly fuck nothing.

(Oh right. This is not a rant post. Focus, Ryan, focus)

So my story takes place at the local airport about a year ago. My friend Shaun and I have just landed from a comic con and we’re eager to go home and get some sleep.

Let me emphasize this – We LANDED. Which means we are done with the border controls, passport checks and security shit. We are DONE.

We’re sitting there, waiting for our bags to appear on the conveyor belt. We are exactly 10 minutes away from the parking lot and on our way home.

So we wait for our bags. 20 minutes pass and everyone leaves leaving only us there. We start getting worried – have they lost our bags? We (Well, I) had 3 bags – two of which contained books which I had self published and sold at the con. The other had a whole bunch of really cool and expensive souvenirs and to be honest, that was the one I really didn’t want to loose.

By this time the entire airport wing was devoid of people and only 3 security guys lurked around clearly annoyed that we were the only two there. Me and Shaun were too exhausted to even notice that everyone was gone and just kept ourselves awake by trading dick jokes.

Finally our bags, which had been spinning on the fucking belt this whole time like an alcoholic after a successful weekend, were on a trolley. 3 giant suitcases piled on top of eachother as two midgets (completely hidden behind them) stumbled drunkenly so as not to get run over.

And this scenario is apparently enough to trigger a red flag.

As we try to walk out we get pulled over by security. there are 3 guys there – an elder fellow who is clearly a born douchebag. He has a handlebar mustache (like I needed more reason to hate his guts) and an expression that clearly said “I enjoy making you sweat.”

The other two were shorter, muscled and had their hands loosely on their hips. Now, I’ve trained with enough policemen in this country to know that ‘hand on hip’ can very easily become ‘gun in hand and shots fired’. So when I say that, I complied because I don’t like being drilled (not even in the Freddie Mercury way).

So there we are: two tiny wankers having our luggage checked by Mr. Handlebar. He opens up one of my bags and his eyebrows shoot up like a firecracker on the 4th of July when he sees it’s filled with books.

Now for those of you who have never packed piles of books in a suitcase – they look exactly like cocaine keys, except they have very cool covers.

This wanker grabs one and flicks it. I tell him I wrote them and show him our comic con passes. He keeps flipping the pages and examining the book.

Now I know I’m a smart cookie (seriously I am). But not even my genius had managed to uncover a way to smuggle drugs in between the pages of a novel. Maybe he was waiting for an unexpected bulge of Hash to appear, maybe a sheet of LSD to slip out as a bookmark. I got no cocking idea.

what I do know is that he made me take out two book filled bags, which if you have a touch of the OCD does not go so well. He read the back and smiled.

By this time the other two gave up and walked away stifling laughter. This somehow aggravated the Mr. Handlebar (That sounds so wrong doesn’t it) even more. He seemed determined to make us guilty of something.

So he asks to open the souvenir bag.

Now this is where I got uncomfortable. See, inside this bag was a bat. (not the animal, just a flat piece of wood). On this bat were inscribed the words SEME and UKE on each respective side.

For those of you who don’t speak japanese and who are not into gay hentai porn – SEME means ‘giver’ and UKE means ‘receiver’.

That’s about as much detail as I wanna go into.

Next to this gay porn bat are two portraits. One of them is a picture of DMC’s Nero and Vergil – but they are females and wear alot of leather and carry swords. (Hey we all got our weaknesses OK? Get off my dick). But the other portrait (Shaun’s) is a full on nude oil painting of some anime character he likes.

So to prove my point I reach under the bat and portraits and lift up a handful of Yoda and kitty keychains and yell quite desperately

“They’re just souvenirs!”

At this point the other two are too busy staring at the nude picture to care. I could have produced a sniper rifle and a war tank – it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Finally this guy just gives us this look of pity – as in; he’s not gonna be the douchebag who arrests us for being too sad and lonely that we needed to buy a 100 quids worth of nude paintings just to get our jollies on. He figured that women hate us already as it is – no need to keep beating us.

(I am making this thought process up but it’s uncanny how true it is. Apparently women hate it when you outsmart them).

And bdw – Shaun was of no help whatsoever as usual. He just stayed there not making eye contact. That dude was so tired he just scowled at the security guys and stared blankly into the empty space.

As I write this I figured out why they stopped us. We looked high. We looked as if we had a million capsules up our asses and one of them had leaked into our central nervous system.

 

So what I mean to say is that people are usually a by product of their training and upbringing. But it’s funny how the most memorable experiences are with the few assholes that tend to ruin it for everybody else. I guess at the end of the day people have to remember that everyone is in the same boat.

We’re all trying to pay bills, have food on the table and take care of our selves and families. No need to be douchebags to people who have annoying jobs. Just smile and make their life easy. They tend to appreciate it and be quite nice.

The ones who are truly horrid are few and we gotta remember that for every bad apple out there, there are at least two good (but hidden) ones. The sad truth is that assholes exist and we can either let them ruin our lives (like when they post a bad review) or ignore it a trudge on.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t smile as we imagine them being hit over both heads with a gay porn bat.

Peace out,

(his own giver and receiver)

Ryan

All ‘em jitters

Hello again and welcome to my usual weekly blog post where I try to keep it short and to the point but fail miserably.

(Holy shit that was a beautiful lightning flash) Sorry guys, I’m writing this on my windowsill as a storm is going full force in front of me. Which is exactly the opposite of how I feel.

Right now I am the eye of storm – calm but you know that it’s all gonna blow up soon.

I’m back to writing again, having overcome the slight down I had after the book was done. In part, the response I got back from betas, reviewers and the folks who bought 2013: A Stellar Collection as well as Dread Night. So far everyone has been supportive and kind in their feedback and I am so grateful to everyone.

I promise you guys to work harder and entertain you even more with further stories. Seeing a response like that does wonders for your resolve.

So where I’m at right now?

I find my calendar filling up with things like “Interview posted on the 20th” or “Firstborn release date” – which happens to be 13th December.

FRIDAY 13TH DECEMBER.

Perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not superstitious. Or maybe that I am in my own way. I think because I’m so unlucky in every other aspect of my life that I sort of funnel my luck into one aspect of my life like a kid whacking a pinata. I find myself having great mood swings on days where everyone else is either depressed or just shaky.

I’m weird. Or some modern nerdy rendition of Satan. Although now that I think about it, the devil has way better tool at his disposal than some scrawny idiot with no social life, with an addiction to coffee and chocolate, a fixation with star wars and makes a living writing about fictional characters he creates because clearly no one likes him and uses way too many dick jokes to cover up the pain inside.

OK I heard it too – I’m just weird.

so what am I up to now?

I’m currently prepping the second book of Legacy to go to the publishers and editors where they can tear it apart and work their magic. I’m also (hopefully) soon done with the first book in my new series the Pandora Chronicles. I think those two book are a priority for next year although there’s nothing on paper yet (and that’s where it matters unfortunately). I’m also trying out 2 new projects one of which is a group of short stories released as serialized fiction. I have the pilot complete and am working on the first arc but since it’s less words, I find it ironically harder. The other thing I’m trying is writing a script – I’ve always been involved in acting and drama and the whole theater thing. I get most of my ideas from tv shows and music – it was only a matter of time before I went about it the other way and gave instead of taking.

But this is my time to relax. I’m vegging out double time and only doing minimalist work i.e. only editing and proofreading or writing without a deadline (Yes the deadline makes all the difference). It’s easy to loose perspective what with all the business-work any artist has to put in if they want to succeed in their work. So, I’m going back to my roots if you will. I find that a healthy dose of grounding is essential after every bout of marketing. That, more than anything, has helped keep the jitters away. I mean, sure they are inevitable – I’m only human. But I suppose I learnt the hard way how to prepare myself for those bouts of crippling depression which make you wanna fade away in your sleep. I find that people who had to fight and bleed for everything they have tend to mature fast. And one advantage of not being materialistic is that we tend to appreciate the moments that really matter.

I think that’s all for this week folks. Remember that Dread Night is free right now (Until tomorrow I think). So do yourselves a favor and get that (as well as 2013: A Stellar collection).

And do me (and every author out there) a huge favor and leave a review.

Cheers, (Happy Dia de los Muertos)

Me. The Weird Guy.