Reading The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

I don’t do a lot of traditional book reviews and this isn’t going to be one of them, I guess, more like thoughts on the book while explaining why I think it’s so great. Maybe that is a traditional review. Whatever. It’s morning and I’m not awake yet.

So I’m re-reading the ENTIRE Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series from book one to infinity because I last stopped reading the series at book 13 (or something, can’t remember) and got into other things and then Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series.

By the time I wanted to pick the Anita books up again I’d forgotten half of what happened and knew I needed to start from the very beginning to get the full immersive experience.

I picked up Guilty Pleasures back in January and I was going to try to finish all of them by the end of this year. Seeing as it’s already August and I’ve just started book 4, I probably won’t.

But I wanted to talk about what I’ve read so far, specifically in the context of how art imitates life and how I connected with the second book in the Anita Blake series, The Laughing Corpse.

Trigger warning: Don’t read below the cut if you don’t want spoilers or expositions on violence, gore, and rape in literature.

Continue reading Reading The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

Writing On A Schedule

So my plan was to make fiction. One novella and three novels. Follow the recipe. Eat the cake.

All sweetness. The sweetest ever.

Well, the writing had other plans.

Instead of coming up with one novella and three novels I had two novels and two separate collections of short stories.

And I also had this SCHEDULE I was trying to keep because I had goals/delusions of professionalism.

Well, I threw the holy schedule away.

Because the creative process does not stop. It is a flood. And the flood said, “You will come with me or else.”

Throughout the course of writing The Slaughter Chronicles I have learned so much about how to write a continuing story line and a lot about myself as a writer. My character Regina came into my head in 2014 and in 2016 I put her on the page for the first time. It’s 2019 now and even though YOU only have one tiny novella about her, I have all the stories, and putting them on paper has been a challenge and a joy.

So now instead of one novella and three novels and instead of two novels and two short story collections, I have two novellas, one novel, and two short story collections.

This is what happens when I try to write. I make a thing (novel no. 1) and I let it sit. And then I find the plot holes and fill them.

And then the writing tells me, “No, I want to be something else.” And when I try to fix it and can’t, I don’t write for 10 days and feel bad about myself.

But then I have an idea. And then another idea. And then the story finally becomes something I like (not that I didn’t like it before, it just wasn’t enough).

The novel I wrote was fine. But that was all. It was competent. But there was something about it that bored me. So I tried to change it. But that didn’t work.

I tried again, that also didn’t work.

Third time’s the charm in this case.

Never settle with your writing. Never, ever think just because your final draft is ‘done’ that you have to keep it when your gut tells you something is wrong or something needs to be added/taken away.

I am very lucky, I don’t need to publish books to pay my bills. I am only accountable to myself. I haven’t sold my work to anyone and no one is waiting to buy it. I can change my deadlines whenever I want.

And I have. Again.

So what does that mean?

How do I write?

What is the plan for the writing?

Firstly, there will be no more Slaughter Chronicles publications until next year. This is not a bad thing. I’m going to give you a better product than what I had planned, I promise.

Secondly, since I want a Halloween book baby so badly, I am going to publish a collection of short stories on October 31 this year. And next year. And the year after that. Check out the info on this project here :)

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Photo by Guillaume Bolduc on Unsplash

Disclaimers and Trigger Warnings

So I haven’t played Vampire the Masquerade, or VTM as the kids might still call it, in a long time. Last month when Mr. J came to visit me he picked up a copy of V5, the newest edition of the core rule book. His d&d group wants to try it. I was about to read the rule book myself and see how much things changed from the old days and I was really struck by the Mature Content Warning on the first page.

The V5 core rulebook has probably the most awesome, compassionate, patient, tolerant Mature Content Warning I have ever seen and I would love to take it as my own but that would be plagiarism.

My favorite part of this has to be “Including a problematic subject in a Storytelling game is not the same as glorifying it, if you take the chance to explore it critically, it can be the exact opposite.”

As a horror writer, this sentiment is very important to me and I’m so glad I finally found something that expresses my feelings so clearly and professionally. Even if they thought it was okay to put a Malkavian in yellow leggings. That I don’t think I’m okay with. But whatever. The times they are a changing.

“If we understand the problems facing us, we are better armed to fight them.”

Quotes and Excerpt from Vampire: the Masquerade V5, written by Kenneth Hite, Martin Ericsson, Matthew Dawkins, Karim Muammar, and Juhana Pettersson, produced by Jason Carl, published by White Wolf Entertainment, 2018.