Ingredient 10: Release (#CV4BookRelease)

What’s happening everybody! I’m going to do this a bit out of order but it’s because … this book trailer is that heat! Check it!

All right … back to our regularly scheduled book release already in progress.

In case you have been asleep or distracted by the happenings in the world, my cave has been open to showcasing the pieces and the writers who are a part of Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno.

On Day One, Adonis Mann shows us that Purpose is more than some fancy schmancy coffee in his story “Express-Oh”.

On Day Two, Carol Cassada reiterates how important Commitment is to sustain a blaze in her story “Not Always Like This”.

On Day Three, Harmony Kent teaches us the Consequences of playing with fire in “The Fireman”.

On Day Four, Beem Weeks proves that Love has its own set of complications in “The Complications of Fire”.

On Day Five, some unorthodox friends and a little two-step provides Reinvention” in “Calliope’s Inferno” by C. Desert Rose.

On Day Six, the fire of Tenacity is essential as a main character is tested via “Moxy” by Y. Correa.

On Day Seven, one wonders if doing the same old thing garners any success. Look at one man’s experience and his choice to attempt Risk in “Antipode” by Synful Desire.

On Day Eight, I put the spotlight on myself as Conviction brings the heat in “The Chronicles of Aidan”.

On Day Nine, Empathy blazes the cave when Queen of Spades dishes on “The Calefaction of Insight.”

So … we’ve got …

Purpose
Commitment
Consequences
Love
Reinvention
Tenacity
Risk
Conviction and
Empathy

With their powers combined (#CaptainPlanetReference), All Authors proudly presents Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno. Get your copy today and hit the A! (yeah, the logo).

Click Here!

 

Coronavirus and Cave Life

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Yo! What’s hibernating? The SASS here. Yes, I’ve been living in a cave but that doesn’t stop me from knowing about the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s even gotten a nickname since we don’t like to use all of our consonants and vowels: the Corona. Not to be mixed up with Corona the beer. Yet, there are some people who have stopped drinking the beer just because the name of it is Corona.

Come on! Which came first … the beer or the virus? My vote is on the beer.

So … what does one do when you can’t go to the usual places? Being that I’ve always been the Antisocialite type in the first place, perhaps I can steer you in the right direction.

(1) For the video gamers, successfully master every single game you own. Already done that? Find some more.

(2) Look up ways to create your own sanitizer. Hey, it’s not my fault people went apeshit buying sanitizer before vendors finally put limits on how much one could snatch in one setting!

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(3) Speaking of sanitizer, how come people aren’t buying more bars of soap? You know, to wash their hands, like what’s been recommended every since this storm began? Either people really don’t know how to wash their hands or know to do it but just don’t. If it’s the former, YouTube it. If it’s the latter, you are absolutely disgusting. Even if I allowed frequent visitors to the cave, you’d be outlawed. Don’t know where your hands and fingernails have been. #GrossAsFuck

Okay so technically, it wasn’t number 3 … more like 2.5. But seriously, buy more soap!

(4) If you are a person who reads, now is the time to complete your reading list. The ones that are on the “Want to Read” on Goodreads. Too lazy to let your eyes do the reading and the fingers do the scrolling? Try an audiobook. If it’s good material, time will fly by before you know it. If it’s sucky material, at least it may make you fall asleep.

(5) Work on all of those projects you’ve been attending to do. Shredding old documents. Reorganizing the pantry. Clearing out your closet. Everyone has at least one thing which they’ve been putting off and making excuses as to why it isn’t done.

Even if you’ve been giving the option to work from home, are you really in front of the computer screen all day? I’m willing to wager no. You’ve probably been snacking on chocolate and popcorn while looking at TV shows or movies. Or watching out videos on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Either way, you aren’t solely doing work. There are too many distractions at home to do office work, in my opinion.

Okay. Done with the suggestions. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

(1) I am the Featured Author on the All Authors Publishing House Newsletter. Check it out by clicking the underlined word.

(2) During my “out” time, I will be hosting a paperback giveaway for one of my works. I’m not going to reveal which title yet but details will be coming soon.

(3) I have been writing on the first WKS Episode, which is turning out longer than I’ve outlined it. As long as the ending turns out the way it’s set up, I’m not going to get ruffled up over the particulars.

(4) I put together a freebie during National Short Story Month. It’ll be available primarily on my website as well as the All Authors Publishing House freebie section. Be on the lookout for that tidbit as well.

Before I bounce, one more thing …

I have discovered there’s always one person who thinks he is the exception of any protocols put in place. Don’t let that exception get you messed up. A lot of these extreme measures could have been avoided if people would have just paid heed when all of this first came to light. You may not like it but at least you’re still alive to Tweet about it.

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The WTHDIJW Award Goes To …

Yooooooo … what’s sizzling? The Slightly Anti-Social Socialite here with a first from the Cave.

Before I talk about this “first”, I did a bit of decorating. Well, actually the Publishing House did and I’m happier than a person who gets the freshest batch of McDonald’s French fries at the peak of lunchtime.

New banner … check

In all places … check

Okay, now for this 1st business.

It’s rare that I see something that renders me speechless. But … I was clicking through the channels, attempting to find entertainment that could match the tempo of my popcorn chewing.

What can I say? Popcorn is one of my addictions. There could be worse things, like crystal meth.

I stopped on this image.

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A few thoughts popped in my mind:

  1. Why does she have a flower crown on her head?
  2. Why does she look like she’s in the midst of a bowel movement?
  3. Why is her face so hairy?
  4. Is Midsommar another way of spelling midsummer?
  5. Why is this rated as a horror movie?

Due to question #5, I decided to hit play. Even with reading the summary of the movie’s contents, I still wasn’t convinced. Also, I’m branching out, attempting to watch movies I’ve never seen as opposed to sticking to the tried and true classics which I love.

But … I may live to regret all of this mad scientist shyt.

This movie wins so many awards for me. Not the typical trophies either.

(1) Random Black Man Thrown In A Movie Award

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Okay, so not only is he a random black man thrown in Midsommar; he is the only black man in Midsommar. Yes, they decided to fake give him purpose … the whole wanting to do research for his thesis … but that premise went down the toilet. Why? Because it was given to the begging white dude that rarely paid attention to the girlfriend he didn’t want to be with in the first place.

(I did that in the Reinfield talking shit to Dracula voice in Bram Stoker’s Dracula … not the best Dracula movie out there, but better than some I’ve seen.)

Black man, don’t you know that being in a spot surrounded by white people, no matter what country or culture is DANGER. I’m a pale white woman and know that.

You’re such a waste in this movie. Damn shame how it went down. Whatever you got paid for the role, it wasn’t enough.

(2) I Don’t Give A Damn About None Of You Award

Nope, not even the black man. He had NO BUSINESS traveling out there with all of those white people.

(3) The Most Annoying Music Ever Award

It’s not even cool “someone’s about to get killed music”. It’s boring, drawn-out, and stuffy. The stuff avant-garde pictures are made of. I don’t want avant-garde being mixed with horror … no way and no how. Speaking of avant-garde …

(4) Most Avant-Garde Fail

If you are going to experiment with horror, know what you are doing. Horror isn’t supposed to be pretty, artsy, or phucking cute. It’s supposed to be ugly, terrifying, and gory. How the hell can you make “ritualistic contribution” (aka still suicide) beautiful? Sorry … it’s not a thing. Heaven’s Gate behavior as art … not a thing.

(5) Most Skittish Weepiest Pussy On The Planet

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How many times must this female cry? Apparently, every ten minutes. No, I didn’t exactly time the crying segments, but that’s what it felt like in this long (unnecessarily drawn out) movie. Most of the time she was pouting, moody, weepy … everything except happy until close to the end where she looked damn near smug. There are not enough drugs on earth to make me buy that these experiences which don’t look connected at all were enough to shape her into this powerful representation of this weird-ass cult.

This leads me to the final award …

(6) What The Hell Did I Just Watch?

This is the saddest excuse of a horror movie I just saw. Midsommar is a mass of confusion. To me, it’s an identity crisis. It’s too beautiful to be horror … it’s a pretty film with shock value here and there. This may work for the vanilla crowd out there, but for a hardened veteran such as myself, I’d rather torture myself with the worst installment of the Saw movies than to see this aberration again.

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Reversal (aka Seriously, This is A Question?)

Welcome to Cave Time with the resident Anti-Social Socialite. (Well, what can I say? It sounded catchy.)

I’m not going to make a pledge, such as, “I promise to give you (insert adjective here) content on a (insert time frame here) basis.” I’m not going to even give the spiel of “I’m a busy woman who has loads on her plate.”

It all boils down to priorities. My priority is writing, plenty of sleep, and good food. What the public expects or requires from me takes a back seat.

Is there such a thing as evolving backward? Seriously … this is a question?

It happens every day. Heck, since the beginning of time. Humans can’t seem to help themselves. At least one is on a power trip, to solidify that he’s greater than. Logic and power fail to go hand in hand. Matter of fact, it seems the more powerful a human becomes the more stupid the decisions are.

It may not necessarily be driven by power but by disruption of the status quo. Like, disliking the image of a black person in power so much that one would place the biggest idiot in the Milky Way galaxy as President of the United States? It’s better to have the D student in the driver’s seat than a straight-A student simply because that D student is the right shade. Well, he’s more orange than white but you get the point.

This doesn’t have shyt to do with my political affiliation. It all boils down to common sense and that charlatan doesn’t have one iota of it. Being rich can’t buy common sense. That comes from two places: upbringing and the streets. If you lack it in one, you’ve got to get it from the other. But if you are sheltered due to your daddy being rich, then the common sense train shoots on by, and no amount of advisors can instill it in you.

Backward behavior is the seasoning that the vast food of my works rely on. Awkward situations, stupid mistakes, moral disruption … there’s an endless supply to pull from. Not just how humans conduct themselves in life but how they function in the presence of death.

In S.K.A.R. (Simi’s Komma: Amplified Reminiscence), it not only covers the story of what happened with Simi and Komma but what transpires with the three who were closest with them when death occurred.

Out of the four, one was riddled with guilt. One was filled with longing. One was brimming with rage. It eliminates the assumption that tragedy brings people closer. It can lower the masks, revealing true natures.

Of course, all have a chance of redemption. I believe for every one person who takes it, another three will remain fallen. Redemption is hard work; being one of the many isn’t.

DR

 

The Fallacy of Falling Down the Sequel Well (#QuitWhileYoureAhead)

What’s sizzling? Nothing besides my thoughts. And surprisingly enough, it has nothing to do with any writing shyt or promotional shyt.

Is it just me, or is Hollywood running out of ideas?

Like, seriously, I feel as if I’m watching the same thing multiple times. It is rare that they stumble on something that is truly original or an original idea that they’ve applied to a different genre.

Happy Death Day is a rip off of the movie Groundhog Day. But to me, it was in an kick-ass way. A nice combination of absurdity, humor, and making you wonder who was really up to stuff. Hell, it even ended rather clean, as far as plot holes go. I walked away incredibly satisfied. Home run! Touch down! Knock out! Whatever sports analogy you want to apply to indicate success.

Then, while I was munching on some popcorn, I damn near spit it out when I saw there was going to be a sequel to it. It wasn’t like an “yay” moment, like people would do over Star Wars. More like, “what the hell for”.

I waited as long as I could before answering the question, “How bad could it be?” Finally, after skipping around it on my television for other titles that I had already seen, I decided to bite the bullet and go for broke.

But first, some refreshments. Maybe popcorn and some chocolate.

I am not going to do the whole spoiler shyt in case you want to actually check out the movie. What I will say is that Hollywood should have saved their money and done something else …

Like make a better Fantastic 4 Movie.

 

Pay Henry Cavill punitive damages for making his physically spot on personification of Superman mediocre.

Or use it for humanitarian efforts and build one homeless shelter in every state.

Anything would have been better than Happy Death Day 2 U.

The only thing worse would be a trilogy, and no amount of curiosity, even if it’s from a dozen cats, will make me tune in if there is a third.

Now, I need to watch something tried and true to wipe my brain of all the awful.

DR

Ingredient 9: Empathy (#CV4InfernoBlogTour)

Hello everyone! Today is the eve of Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno‘s book release. To pay homage to the author stopping by, I’m going to segue into the signature All Authors intro, which goes a little something like this …

Greetings Readers, Writers, and Precious Patrons:

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Today, before the official book release of Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno, we feature multi-genre author Queen of Spades as she expands on the final ingredient “Empathy”.

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The Kindling

The creation of my submission for Inferno stemmed from an unusual place. Unusual in that I was working on a different story for this project. While working on the original story, an event occurred that I concluded only took place in the thick of my poetry writing—I lost the frequency that the story coasted on.

In order to better understand this, I must give a glimpse between what my approach to writing poetry is like versus essays and story writing.

When I write poetry, it’s an unplanned thing. It’s uncaring of the time of day or what else I have going on. When the inspiration strikes, I have to get the words down right at the moment. Flow, meaning, and rhythm can get lost if I don’t complete the process right then and there.

Typically, with essays and story writing, I have an outline and set rhythm in my head. One that I can return to whenever I get ready. All I have to do is sit down and get the words down. I never had to worry about the algorithm going awry … until recently.

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It’s comparable to a GPS malfunctioning when one is halfway at the destination. No matter how many times one re-calibrates the machine or how many time it recalculates, you’re stuck with nowhere to go.

On top of that, the area lacks WiFi and one’s cell phone has just two bars.

For the first time in my short story writing career, I declared the original story a no-go but didn’t have a backup on hand to take its place.

This was around mid-April. Mid May arrived. Still no spark to guide me to an answer to the theme question:

What are the ingredients to a sustainable blaze?

In late May, I went on a personal sabbatical to Ocean City, Maryland. Solo vacations serve to be inspirational as well as invigorating. I read a lot of Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I did some personal journaling, awaiting the arrival of the short story muse.

He (I only call the short story muse He when I’m annoyed) was being ornery.

One June day—Juneteenth to be exact—an image formed in my mind. It was of a person sleeping on his back. The ceiling had a water spot. Condensation was forming.

I opened my word processing application and typed. It came out in present tense, one I had never dabbled in but felt right for what was developing.

Not too long after, a name. Keller.

Up until I finished the story, the working title was Keller. Another staple for me is to already have the title either near the beginning or in the middle.

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Nothing about this was my signature.

After doing a preliminary read—immersing in the words as a reader not an author—I thought, “This is a pretty insightful work. Keller experienced varying degrees in his perception of himself and other people.”

Insight … Insight … Insight. That could work as part of the title. Keller’s Insight? It was better than Keller but I still believed there was something missing. I wasn’t accounting for the temperature of his thoughts nor the heat of them.

Hence The Calefaction of Insight.

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The Accelerants

The Calefaction of Insight is told in present tense by the main character Keller with bits of independent narration interwoven. Keller is a man who struggles with his weight. He is part of a group whose goal is to encourage him to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

An initial accelerant is “Mr. Jack Off”. A disagreement between Keller and “Mr. Jack Off” is where Keller’s tale begins.

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What starts off as an activity challenge blossoms into much more when Keller encounters a woman at the park he refers to as “Goddess”. His interactions with her bring forth positive changes that are noticeable to everyone.

These positive vibes are met with negative accelerants. Some are external forces while others are of his own manufacturing.

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The Fuel Which Binds

Overall, The Calefaction of Insight is a mirror on modern day issues (fat acceptance vs. fat shaming, illness and the surrounding stigma, perception of self vs. perception of others) and an ongoing battle of the mind, heart, and spirit.

No matter where one is in life, the presence of empathy is the differential between keeping one’s flame going and having one’s fire dissolve into embers.