The Synonym Junkie Rides Again!

Hello, wizards and witches. In today’s installment of “How to Dismantle a Bridge,” I discuss my obsession with synonyms. You can easily find examples of this in my short stories, poetry, novels, novellas, and what have you. No one “walks” in my writing, at least for the most part. They’re free to saunter, fly, jump, leap, skate, mosey, schlep, slide, sidle, tiptoe, crawl, traipse, amble, kneel, run, race, stride, ambulate, or whatever else I happen to conjure up at the moment, but walk? Too boring. Same thing for “says.” I prefer my characters to yell, scream, whisper, scat, hymn, sermonize, pray, praise, admonish, warn, belch, summon, beg, plead, shout, stammer, stutter, spit, call, whistle, sing, orate, mention, slur, murmur, mumble, sigh, sough, curse, cuss, cry, sob, vocalize, rap, double speak, or whatever else I happen to conjure up at the moment. Simply “saying” something is too plain, uninteresting, unimaginative and lazy.

This colorful literary fascination doesn’t stop with those two words. For instance, I try not to have “dogs,” “birds,” “flowers,” “trees,” “insects,” “fish,” or regular “colors” in my work. For dogs, I prefer pitbulls, Pekingese, Alsatians, dingoes, Lhasa Apsos, Dobermans, etc. For birds, they can be swallows, Peregrine falcons, scarlet ibises, barn owls, ospreys, woodpeckers, orioles, warblers, coots, etc. Flowers should be gladioli, anemones, irises, hyacinths, hydrangeas, peonies, dahlias, etc. Trees can be date palms, oaks, cedars, birches, redwood, pine, mahogany, etc. For insects, I’ve used grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies, ants, wasps, etc. As a side note, concerning a lot of these and other animals, I sometimes prefer compound titles. Why have just an ant when it could be a fire ant. Longhorn beetles, ladybugs, stag beetles, click beetles, etc., get my attention. Why have fish when you can have mackerel, guppies, pikes, sunnies, cods, anglers, salmon, steelheads, and so on. And then there’s my favorite category for synonyms – color. Sometimes I have no choice but to use blue, green, red, orange, etc in my writing. Typically, though, I prefer emerald, crimson, azure, coral, roseate, tourmaline, lemon, lime, lemon-lime, khaki, gold, navy, royal, sable, ebony, etc. I can go on and on about these things and add other categories like “cats,” “fruits,” “cars,” “music” “reptiles” and their umpteenth variations, but you get the message. Color, color, color. That’s me. Hopefully it makes my writing interesting.


Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories

I’ve kinda sorta released my latest opus, Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories, unto the world. It’s in contention for consideration for a publishing spot from Kindle Scout. If that proves fruitless I’ll just publish it myself and get to publicizing it as much as I can.

In other news, I might be moving soon, maybe even today. I applied for a one bedroom trailer in Forks last week and the realtor says my application looks good. She’ll call me back tomorrow and, who knows? Maybe I’ll even get the key tomorrow.

In other news, my novelette “Lamp Black” was accepted for publication by Scarlet Leaf Review and will appear in their November issue.

In other news, my short story “The Black Cumin Cure” was accepted for publication by Aphelion. I’d forgotten I’d sent them an early version of “Cumin.” Oh well. Too late now. I’m glad they thought my earlier draft was still worthy.

In other news, I wrote three screenplays in the past two months and sent them off to InkTip and Black List for producers to take a gander. The three scripts are Strung Out, Crystal Mine and Tears Of A Clown. So far, one producer has shown interest in Crystal Mine, so that’s fairly promising.

In other news, if I was under close psychiatric supervision right now, they’d say I’m waaaaay too busy with my writing. Yeah, I admit, my output has been pretty extreme these past couple of months, especially since I just got done with a month-long book tour and and scoping out several publicity venues at once. I know for myself I have to slow down, but when I do, I get depressed as hell. I can’t fight that beast, and I can’t conquer it. Yeah, my over-activity could probably destroy me someday. You win some, you lose some, right?

Alcohol Brings Me Around to Normal – Usually.

There’s an interviewee in a biography about Jimi Hendrix who claimed that normal people used drugs to get high, but when brother Jimi used them, it just brought him around to normal. So it is with me if I don’t drink to excess.

I was talking to my therapist today and told her my mind races so fast and furiously that focusing is nearly impossible unless I have a drink or two beneath my belt. She didn’t say I’m imagining that but she did indicate that I could benefit from mindfulness therapy. I don’t know about that. I think my problem is I can’t fully explain what my non-focusing mind feels like; you’d really have to journey through my head to understand. I’ve tried in the past to write songs, short stories, novels and screenplays sober, but in the end, just came up with uninteresting, throwaway tripe.

Bipolar, from what I’ve been reading, robs people of the ability to sit still and focus. No wonder I can’t sit through an entire movie without drinking. Sober, I usually pause the flick after 20 minutes or so to do something else, like play a video game or surf the internet. After about an hour, I may get back to the movie…may, but that usually doesn’t happen as I’d simply moved on from one activity to the next till it’s sleep time.

The medications I used to be on (really, I was nothing more than a guinea pig as far as shrinks were concerned) either turned me into a balloon, gave me vertigo, made me constantly gnash my teeth, dried my mouth or made me oversleep. Beer is like a ball and chain on my ankles when I need it to be, like writing fiction or watching a movie. It calms me down and always me to focus on the task at hand. Without it I’m just a man with a kaleidoscope for a mind, a jumbled mass of non-related ideas coursing through my skull, never slowing down, always taking flight. What would a snapshot of my manic mind look like? The picture posted above should give you an idea.