|Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Sitka the Nose Biter, a kitty who had her own story in Poison Tongue Tales and a kitty who had a special place in everyone's hearts.|
***FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH X BREAKING BENJAMIN CONCERT***
These past few days have been so mentally exhausting that all I could do creatively was the easiest fucking thing in the world for me: write songs. I can only imagine how I’ll feel the morning after my upcoming concert Monday night. I’m headed back to the White River Amphitheater to see a show co-headlined by Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin with Bad Wolves as the opening act. It’ll be my second time seeing FFDP, third time seeing BB, and first time seeing BW. That’s a lot of heavy goddamn metal.
I’ve been a fan of Five Finger Death Punch since 2012 when I first heard the song “The Bleeding” on Pandora Radio. At first I was tentative to buy any of their CD’s because of the bad reputation they have. And then I remembered that negativity is subjective and public opinion doesn’t mean everything. I purchased their “Way of the Fist” album and loved the shit out of the title track as well as songs like “Ashes”, “Death Before Dishonor”, and “A Place to Die”. From that first album, I was hooked and had to have their entire catalogue. In November 2016, I saw my first Five Finger Death Punch concert and I was blown the fuck away. I love how Ivan Moody (the lead singer) always invites small children onstage with him during one of the more intense songs. With bands like Death Punch, the future looks bright for the next generation of heavy metal!
I was first introduced to Breaking Benjamin when they opened for Korn in, I want to say, either 2003 or 2004. It wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered their “We Are Not Alone” album and was hooked on tracks like “So Cold”, “Breakdown”, and the beautifully peaceful “Rain”. Just like with Death Punch, I had to have Breaking Benjamin’s entire catalogue. I didn’t see them in concert again until 2016 when they opened for Disturbed at the Pain in the Grass festival. Now here we are two years later and they’re opening for another badass band.
Bad Wolves didn’t come out with their first album until earlier this year. Because they’re going to open for this show, I had to purchase the music in order to get better acquainted with it. Let’s just say it was a wise use of my debit card. My favorite song on that CD so far is “Officer Down”, a fast-paced, brutal track that sets the tone for the entire album. However, I’ll always remember them for their cover of “Zombie” by The Cranberries, which was supposed to be recorded with Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals before she died earlier this year. Now she’s smiling from heaven at the excellent work Bad Wolves did with her song.
I still have a few days before this concert at the White River Amphitheater begins, so I’m going to try and get as much creative work done as I can during the time I have left. That includes editing the shit out of Beautiful Monster and getting it ready to be critiqued at Hollow Hills independent publishing (Marie Krepps’s new business). I should have finished this a long time ago, but other creative projects and psychological exhaustion kept getting in the way (so what else is new?). I’ll get it done one of these fucking days. Just six more chapters to edit. Six more chapters!
I’ll be rocking out for each and every one of you! I’m Garrison fucking Kelly! Even when you feel like dying, keep climbing the mountain! Wait a minute, Three Days Grace lyrics in a blog entry about Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, and Bad Wolves? How did that happen?!
***WORD PLAY OF THE DAY***
On WWE’s NXT show, there’s a tag team consisting of Nick Miller and Shane Thorn that used to be called The Mighty Don’t Kneel. What if those two gentlemen formed a three-man group with fellow NXT wrestler Bobby Fish? They’d be called The Mighty Don’t Kneel and Bob. So much for WWE’s PG rating. Hehe!
***THINGS THAT EMPOWER ME***
I had a look at my most recent blog entry about things that scare me. Goddamn, did I sound like a sad sap. It could have been that the month of June was a weird one for me and I was still grieving. But July is finally here and it’s time to start over again. No going back this time around! Instead of talking about things that scare the shit out of me, I’m going to talk about things that empower me, thus turning a negative thought into a positive one. Positive thinking has been at the forefront of my happiness since December 2014, when I vacationed at Lego Land in San Diego and when I had the best goddamn Christmas I could ask for. I lost sight of that positivity somewhere in early 2018, but I’m working on bringing that shit back and it begins with this blog entry. Let’s start the list off with…
Dr. Phil can be full of more shit than a cow pasture sometimes, but the one thing he got right on the nose was that the words we tell ourselves are very powerful, for better or worse. When you tell yourself you’re too fat, too ugly, or not good enough, you believe those things like they’re the word of god. But what if you start sending yourself positive messages instead of negative ones? Let’s say I, for instance, repeat the mental phrase, “If you step outside your comfort zone, good things will happen.” Or what if I just imagine a good-looking version of myself with a skinny body and a sexy haircut like the one I had in my senior year of high school? Or what if I tell myself that I can afford anything I want to buy? What if I tell myself that the world loves me? You say these things often enough, you believe them and you become a happier person because of it. You know what? I’m going to have these thoughts more often, especially the one where I look like a sexy stud with a sweet ass haircut….not an ass haircut, that’s different. Hehe!
Some people call it “just noise”, but to me it’s more intoxicating and enchanting than the world’s most powerful drug. I remember being a little kid and listening to my dad’s CD’s from The Police, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, and Toto. I loved my Pink Floyd CD’s so much that I spent the entire late 90’s listening to the shit out of them. Then the 2000’s came along and I started listening to alternative metal like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, Korn, and Papa Roach. My musical library expanded tenfold since then and I wouldn’t trade any of those bands for the world. My current favorite bands include Soulfly, Nightwish, Five Finger Death Punch, Pantera, and Halestorm among others. I love music so much that I refer to concerts as “one-day vacations” and “pilgrimages” rather than “just shows”. I went to a Roger Waters concert in 2000 and my dad referred to at as “taking us to heaven to see god”. There will be many more concerts in the future, which means more opportunities to get high on my drug of choice…which if you haven’t figured it out already is music.
***HAVING AN AUDIENCE***
I know I said in my “Things That Scare Me” blog that being in front of large amounts of people makes me want to swallow Xanax. But make no mistake about it: the fact that there are people out there who are willing to listen to me is a blessing. Whether you’re complimenting my writing or critiquing it (hopefully not trolling), I’m grateful to have you as a member of my audience. I know writing is supposed to be a business, but you can’t put a price tag on having someone’s attention and never letting go. Whether writing becomes my main source of income or not is irrelevant, because some things in life are more important than money, like love, friendship, good advice, creative fuel, and the power of a good story or poem. To everybody who has supported me throughout my career, thank you so very much. To everybody that doubts me, your creative fuel is every bit as welcome. There’s another thing to be positive about: creative fuel can literally come from anywhere, whether it’s a news story, a personal experience, or the pencil sharpener sitting on my desk, which I once used in a toy photograph of Razor Ramon doing elevated pushups.
***SPENDING MONEY ON OTHER PEOPLE***
This goes hand-in-hand with my self-talk about being able to afford anything I want. When you believe you’re good with money, you can probably afford to shell out some of it on other people. That’s why I buy birthday and Christmas gifts months in advance for the ones I love: because I can and love them…that, and buying gifts ahead of schedule is a good way to avoid the stress of things like Black Friday. I also donate some of my money to various charities whether it’s the ASPCA, Extra Life, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Spending money on other people, whether in a big or small way, will actually make you happy in the long-term, because you’re strengthening your relationship with that person. You don’t have to clean out your life savings just to make one person happy, but having that kind of confidence with your money and that kind of love for the one you’re spending it on, that says a lot about your mindset.
To paraphrase Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks, OF COURSE this was going to be a list item! Writing stories and poems gives me a sense of purpose in an economy where English majors and Millennials are frowned upon. I don’t write for the money or the fame. I do it because I fucking love it. I do it because it’s hard work that I can be proud of. I do it because having a legacy is important to me. Do I have lazy days occasionally? All the time. But lazy days are temporary while legacies are forever. I realize that not everybody will like what I have to write, but that’s the nature of subjectivity. There are people who love the shit out of Fifty Shades of Grey and despise Winnie the Pooh. Yes! People actually hate Winnie the Pooh! But if I denied my audience the right to hate my works, I’d come off as a dictator rather than a role model for individuality. Life doesn’t end because of a bad review, or even ten of them. Your career isn’t over until you say it is.
Goddamn, I’m taking a long time to write this blog entry. Then again, it’s nearly one o’clock in the morning and I spent most of my day in a mental fog. If you can’t concentrate, you can’t write…at least not very well. Here’s hoping my messages of empowerment are well-received by you, my lovely audience. If not, well, at least I tried. I’m Garrison Kelly! Even when you feel like dying, keep climbing the mountain!
***DOMESTIC DIALOGUE OF THE DAY***
(In the summer of 2017…)
JAMES: Hey Garrison, what was in the Amazon package you got in the mail today?
GARRISON: Duct tape and a CD.
JAMES: Those two things do not go together! What are you going to do, bind and gag one of your Face Book women and torture her with your music?
GARRISON: That’s not what the duct tape is for!
JAMES: Uh-huh. Sure! The only thing more disturbing than that was that it came in a long and narrow package. I thought it was another one of your corporate pop metal posters.
GARRISON: Goddamn it, James!
***THINGS THAT SCARE ME***
It seems as though you can’t go anywhere on the internet without seeing inspirational memes telling you to “do what scares you”. I’m not talking about overcoming phobias like spiders and snakes. I’m not talking about watching the scene in Tales From the Hood where they stick straws up Crazy K’s nose. I’m not even talking about the idea of being flirted with by the demon chick Lucy Butler from Millennium. I’m talking about bigger fears than that. I’m talking about the little things in life that everyone else takes for granted. Since I spent most of my day zombie-walking around and watching WWE Raw, I figured I’d salvage the early dark of morning by writing a blog entry about what scares me more than having a bucket of tarantulas poured over my head. Starting with…
***MARKETING MY BOOKS***
Since I love to write so much, it should stand to reason that I’d want to commit to this career full time, which entails marketing the shit out of my books. But to hear other authors describe how much they have to do, you’d swear they were having a 24/7 root canal. I must confess that I’m only dimly aware of what marketers go through on a day-to-day basis. Being social media savvy, dealing with trolls, giving interviews, and being away from your family are only some of the responsibilities I’ve heard. At least two of those things scare me more than the rest, and I don’t even know what the other steps are. They say “treat this like a real job”. Well, I’ve had a writing job before and it lasted less than a full day. During that internet job, I was so fucking stressed out that I snapped at my family members while wrapping my head around how to write one stupid article about my Coby MP3 player. So many rules…so much shattered creativity…Is it any wonder that I went postal? What if the actual job of marketing makes me even angrier with the people I love? What if it makes me angry at total strangers? Ugh…
Speaking of stress, have you ever wondered why I don’t write blog entries about my schizophrenia anymore? It’s because from 2015 on, I’ve been living a stress-free life. The less stress a schizophrenic has, the less likely he is to experience hallucinations. Being stress-free is important no matter what Penn & Teller say on Showtime. It’s part of the reason why schizophrenics qualify for social security. If they had stressful employment, they’d fall to pieces within seconds. It’s not about being a “snowflake”. It’s biology. It’s psychology. It’s natural fucking brain chemistry. If you feel uncomfortable at the idea of your tax dollars paying for a schizophrenic’s living expenses, maybe YOU’RE the one who needs to have your head examined. When a schizophrenic experiences hallucinations, you don’t know when those hallucinations are going away. Sometimes they go on for days. Sometimes they go on for weeks. Months. Half a year. There’s no timetable for recovery. And in case you’ve ever wondered why I write so many angry songs and stories, it’s because schizophrenics are easily irritated. I throw screaming fits whenever the phone rings or someone’s knocking at the door. Brain chemistry, people.
***LEAVING MY COMFORT ZONE***
They say the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. So what happens when you venture outside the comfort zone and you fall on your ass? Do you still grow? Was the lesson worth the pain? Will the hallucinations come more frequently because of your colossal failure? Is coasting the answer? I asked an old college friend about this and her advice was to leave my comfort zone a little bit at a time. Don’t rush into making big decisions. Take time t think about it and edge slowly towards the outer reaches. While that sounds like great advice to a healthy-minded person, I on the other hand have no idea what slowly testing the waters would entail. Okay, so I leave my comfort zone and market my books. Then what? Do I join one new social media site at a time? Do I film one You Tube video and allow it to be complete shit? What is it? Maybe if I had a mentor to show me the way…
***TALKING TO BEAUTIFUL WOMEN***
As I write this next paragraph, I’m going to try my best not to sound like a desperate creep. That’s not who I am. In fact, the reason I stay away from women to begin with is because I DON’T like making them feel uncomfortable. Even saying hi to someone might be enough to make them turn the other way. Maybe it’s my lack of social skills. Maybe it’s my looks. Maybe it’s my economic status. But whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s not what women want. Having my actions rejected in a harsh manner would hurt much more than staying in the shadows and being my shy self. It might even result in a…I don’t know….schizophrenic attack! (Gasp) It’s true! I could be so embarrassed and humiliated at rejection that my hallucinations laugh at me for three months straight. Good god almighty…
I mentioned shooting You Tube videos earlier in this blog. Well, that would mean having an audience. Even though the audience isn’t right there in front of me, knowing the judging eyes are watching me is frightening to me. Sometimes when I’d give presentations in school or college, I’d stumble over my words because I was too fucking nervous. Well, I think I’ve come up with a nice gimmick that will set the record straight. Before any public presentation, I will hold out my hand, place two Xanax tablets in them, say to my audience, “You’re making me do this!”, and then swallow them with Perrier. This is what it takes for me to feel comfortable around these people. It’s about time they feel the way that I feel every time I get up there. Yeah!
***CRYING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE***
If you’ve read my first draft novel Beautiful Monster or Jenna Moreci’s fully-published book The Savior’s Champion, you know how powerful of a gesture it is to be able to show weakness in front of another person. It’s a sign of trust. It’s a sign of love. But being vulnerable in front of others is yet another thing that scares me. What if after the crying spell is over they want to talk about the incident some more? What if during these new conversations…you guessed it, a schizophrenic attack happens? Talking about bad shit doesn’t make a schizophrenic feel better. It makes him feel worse. I haven’t cried since 2007. Don’t make me break my record. Please?
***BEING AROUND AGGRESSIVE PEOPLE***
When I say aggressive people, I don’t mean psychopaths who wield knives and punch people in the face. I’m talking about socially aggressive people. The loud ones. The crazy ones. The ones who invade your space and think nothing of it (even if they’re trying to be “friendly”). These people annoy me. They also scare me. I had to sit next to a drunken moron at Pain in the Grass 2016 and he fit this bill to a fault. I was secretly hoping security would arrest him for public intoxication, but I’m not aware of his fate at this moment. And then there was a guy who walked into Quizno’s bragging loudly and vulgarly about how he was going to get a sandwich with all these certain trimmings on it after a hard day of work. Shut the fuck up! Take your sandwich and fuck off! And don’t get me started on the drunken Seahawks fans I had to ride a night train with in 2008. I could have strangled every last one of them with my massive hands. Lesson of the day: be humble or fuck off!
Ever since I took a “vacation” in 2009 to Pennsylvania, I’ve had this fear of traveling because of all the things that could go wrong. What if my airplane ride has a drunken lunatic or a loud baby onboard? What if I forget my medicine? What if I have to sit for six hours straight and have a painful ass and spine afterwards? As much as I love my international friends, there’s no way I’m getting on an airplane for god knows how long just to see them. There better be soft beds and soundproof booths on that flight or there’s no deal. Traveling wouldn’t be so bad if I could just teleport from place to place, but that’ll never happen, because we’re too busy building our own Space Force. Ugh….
So basically what all of these fears boil down to is that I need to take good care of my schizophrenic/autistic brain. I don’t drink caffeine. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t do drugs. And most importantly, I don’t do stressful shit that could send me down a dark path. Is it wrong? Is it right? Does it even matter? Is coasting the answer? Am I eventually going to have to be forced into making these big decisions in my life? I could be screaming into the abyss here, but…I’m going to keep asking these questions for as long as I have to. I’m Garrison Kelly and…fuck it.
***LYRICS OF THE DAY***
“Sick and tired of living with this grief. Done with all the sorrow and the pain. Asphyxiated, can no longer breathe. Anesthetized until I’ve gone insane. So carry all this baggage when you leave. Swallow all those bitter pills you take. Blame it on the world, blame it on me. Tolerated too much of your game. A change of weather comes around too much. A sign of a deeper cut. Lying dormant on a bed of nails. Without warning, violently erupt. So bleed the molten river from my veins. Collapse upon myself, disintegrate. Shame upon the world and shame on me. Hate the player, but don’t hate the game. So condescend and patronize my lead. Persecute the innocent again. Rain down on the world and rain on me. Ticking like a bomb that’s got your name. Temperamental, unpredictable. The sky turns black when I exhale.”
-Death Angel singing “Volcanic”-
***EXPLAINING STORIES: CARLOS VS. BRYAN***
I’ve allowed this topic to float away in the breeze for far too long, yet it’s been rolling around in my head since college. At WWU, I had two different writing teachers who had opposite schools of thought when it came to authors explaining their own work. Carlos Martinez, my first multi-genre writing teacher, was of the belief that it’s okay to explain yourself while Bryan Willis, my dramatic writing professor, was adamantly against it and would discourage students from doing so during critique sessions. Today we’re going to look at both sides of that debate and see which among you is on Team Carlos or Team Bryan. Though there will be disagreements, I promise you this debate won’t be nearly as much of a train wreck as the 2016 US Presidential Debates. But that’s an argument for another day.
If you’re in a critiquing session and you want your beta-readers/editors to know what it is they need to watch out for, you’ll probably want to sign up with Team Carlos. That is information your readers need. It’s your work, so you should have full reign as to what your story is trying to say or do. Your editors can’t give you advice on how to best convey your message if you don’t explain yourself ahead of time. Being a member of Team Carlos also has benefits if your work is unintentionally offensive and you’re trying to do damage control. While it is true that there’s always someone out there who will be pissed off at what you do, it would help those people greatly if you put them at ease with a reasonable explanation. But when you give them that explanation, give them the sensitivity they were looking for this whole time and don’t be condescending.
But if what you want most is for your art to be a democracy, join Team Bryan. Art by its very nature is a subjective field. Everybody sees something different and it’s those many interpretations that give the medium the spotlight it deserves. It sparks debate, just like this blog entry is attempting to do. According to Bryan’s way of thinking, if you tell people what to believe, you’re taking away the creativity you yourself exercise so freely. I think this might be part of the reason why my current beta-reader Ashley Uzzell tells me not to put little disclaimers at the top of my poems. Of course, the other reason why she tells me not to do that is because it’s insulting to the reader’s intelligence if the lyrics are blatantly obvious. It’s like if an author says “green grass”, “red blood”, or “big elephant”. Duh! Remember, kids: show, don’t tell. Don’t tell your audience how to feel about your work. Show them and let them make their own decisions. The last time someone forced his artistic will upon his audience, it was in the movie Pink Floyd the Wall during the music videos for “In the Flesh” and “Run Like Hell”. You don’t want to do that.
So there you have it, folks: both sides of this debate presented in full. Both Carlos and Bryan have good points that should be carefully considered, but ultimately, my own personal loyalties lie with Team Carlos. My biggest reason for that is because I’ve been on the wrong end of offending an audience before and I know what it feels like to be rained down upon with hateful comments. In 2009, I wrote an opinion essay called “Class of ‘13”, which was supposed to be a humorously vulgar look at what life would be like if I became an English teacher. My readers didn’t think it was funny at all and labeled me an ageist (because of my views at the time on teenagers). The argument started with me hurling endless insults at the readers, which to nobody’s surprise escalated their anger even further. Only through explaining my work in a calm and collected manner whilst apologizing did the situation eventually cool off. I’ll be the first to admit that aside from my big gut and chubby cheeks, I don’t have much of a thick skin. Being diplomatic and having the ability to defuse a situation is a huge benefit to being on Team Carlos.
Now don’t get me wrong: just because I favor one teacher’s point of view over the other’s, doesn’t mean they’re right or wrong altogether. Both Carlos and Bryan were easily some of my favorite teachers at Western Washington University. They had everything a student could ask for in a professor: friendly personality, flexible rules, infinite wisdom, and an open door policy when it came to asking for help. I particularly liked Bryan because of how much of an interest he took in one of my theater scenes. He wanted to see more of that story come out, so he gave me alternative assignments from the rest of the class where I would add on to the ongoing narrative through different characters’ points of view. The original story was about a high school student named Kurtis who complained to his girlfriend about a D- he received in his history class. One of the alternative assignments I had was to write a monologue from the teacher’s point of view and the other one was an interaction between the girlfriend and the teacher. These new assignments were a huge ego boost, not that my arrogant ass needed one.
As far as why I liked Carlos so much goes (aside from his views on explaining stories), he was just an all around gentle human being even during moments when the students got under his skin. Even when one student openly admitted to not doing a reading assignment out of blatant laziness, Carlos never raised his voice when he reprimanded that kid. He was also delicate about how constructive criticism was handled amongst our stories. He insisted that we all be nice to each other, because at the end of the day, every author is sensitive towards critiques no matter how much they hide it. Carlos even told us a story about how he got pissed off as a kid when his fellow students told him to cut his lengthy poem down to four lines. Being hurt by critiques (whether they’re friendly or not) is universal and one-hundred percent natural. But the more you surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, the less painful those critiques become. Carlos wanted all of us to succeed and it showed in his friendly and calm attitude.
Not that this is a focal point of the greater debate at hand, but in case you’re curious, I ended up getting an A in Carlos’s class and a B+ in Bryan’s class. And to prove it’s not a focal point, I don’t hold any ill will towards one professor of mine, Katie, who gave me a C in my medieval literature class. She did everything she could to help me whether it was answering my questions or allowing me to visit her office for a one-on-one session. The blame for that C falls squarely on my shoulders since I had a hard time understanding the material. I went into that class thinking it was going to be like reading Dungeons & Dragons campaign, but instead all I got was religious zeal and purple prose, lots of purple prose! They call that period in literature the Dark Ages for a reason. That class was my version of the Dark Ages by virtue of how difficult it was to learn the material (despite having a good teacher).
But enough about me, let’s turn this debate over to you fine internet folks. Are you on Team Carlos (explaining your work) or Team Bryan (allowing your work to speak for itself)? Are there any points on either side of this debate that I’ve unintentionally neglected? Feel free to let me know in the comments section. I’m Garrison Kelly! Even when you feel like dying, keep climbing the mountain! And to show you my undying loyalty towards Team Carlos, I’m going to explain my signing off phrase. They’re lyrics from the Three Days Grace song “The Mountain”. Not only do I love the hell out of that band, but those lyrics can be surprisingly inspirational to someone who needs encouragement.
***LYRICS OF THE DAY***
“Sailing along the river of time. Adrift on dreams through midnight chimes. Positively frozen crystal waterfalls. The mountain of hope is there to be climbed. The sea of serenity is rightfully mine. Step onto the water knowing what is true. The beat of my heart. The rhythm of love. The earth that’s beneath us. The heavens above. I can hear forever calling out to me. The changes we go through are making me strong. The shelter of friendship is where we belong. Look into the future knowing what we see. The whirlpool of doubt can spin you around. The wave of emotion takes you up, pulls you down. Leaving far behind us sweet young passion spray. And never blame the rainbows for the rain. And learn to forget the memories that caused you pain. The last whispered wish of age is to live it all again. And never blame the rainbows for the rain.”
-The Moody Blues singing “Never Blame the Rainbows For the Rain”-
Before I begin with the body of this blog entry, I want to announce that my current creative project will be editing the shit out of Beautiful Monster and turning it into a clean-cut second draft. I’ve edited the first three chapters so far and really all I needed to do was cut out unnecessary phrases and make Tarja Rikkinen a little less flirty. Once Beautiful Monster officially becomes a second draft, I’m going to take it over to Hollow Hills Publishing for further editing and beta-reading. Hollow Hills is Ashley Uzzell/Marie Krepps’s new business and I plan on being her loudest and proudest customer. Any price I pay for her services will be well worth it. And now onto the main attraction…
You know how some movies are really just two short movies fused together? Grind House and Attack of the Five-Foot-Two Women are both shining examples of this. And that got me thinking: could the double feature be pulled off with books too? I’d like to think so. Then again, I’m biased because I tried to do the same thing back in 2014. When I first published Occupy Wrestling, it was originally intended to be part of a double feature that also included Filter Feeder (the most dreadful first draft I have). That overall book was called Brawl-Mart, which is why one of the covers on Good Reads has that title and not Occupy Wrestling exclusively. I have since cut Filter Feeder like the cancer it is and now Occupy Wrestling is just a little bit shy of one-hundred pages. It’s so tiny of a book that the title doesn’t fit on the spine. So tiny. So, so tiny. And now I feel as though I’ve stumbled upon a Viagra commercial.
In some ways, I believe a double feature book can be beneficial if pulled off correctly. For starters, it would make the book thicker and therefore more marketable. I hate to admit it sometimes, but books with small page counts aren’t nearly as marketable as those with larger page counts. Someday you’ll get your time to shine, Occupy Wrestling. Someday. But of course, in order for a double feature to work, both novellas have to be of similar genres. The same thing applies with short story collections, which is why American Darkness (contemporary drama) and Poison Tongue Tales (science-fiction, fantasy, and horror) don’t coincide with each other. That’s how you have to think of a double feature: a collection of short stories even though there are only two of them. They may intertwine, they may not, your choice.
As far as my current crop of first draft novels goes, I can picture some of them being placed in the same volume while others are questionable. Watch You Burn (psychological college fantasy) and Demon Axe (heavy metal fantasy) could easily fit together since they’re both urban fantasies with mental illness as their major themes. Silent Warrior is a little tricky since it’s the only first draft I have that conforms to the modern day drama genre. That just leaves Beautiful Monster and Filter Feeder with nowhere to go. One is an alternative history fantasy while the other is urban fantasy. Maybe I’m not fitting all of these puzzle pieces together adequately enough. Maybe I need to write more first draft novels of similar genres in order for a double feature to work.
But don’t take my word as gospel, because I’m by no means an expert on double feature books. I’m just giving my thoughts based on a failed experiment involving Occupy Wrestling and Filter Feeder, the latter of which hasn’t seen the light of day beyond Deviant Art. I’m sure there are wiser authors than me when it comes to the subject, one of them once again being Ashley Uzzell. She co-authored a double feature book called “Reaching For the Light”, a duo of stories dealing with the topic of mental illness. I ended up giving the book five out of five stars (extra credit grade), so she and her co-author must have done something right. I know there are others out there who feel the same way about that awesome book, judging from its current star rating on Amazon and Good Reads. I know this sounds like a plug, probably because it is. And while I’m in advertising mode, a portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to mental health charities, so that pretty much solidifies the message of both stories.
Does anybody out there have experience with reading double feature stories? If so, what are your favorites? I’d like to think graphic novel omnibuses count, because they’re just an overall collection of issues from one comic book series. But what about regular print novels? Am I missing something that I’m not aware of? Let me know in the comments section what your thoughts of double feature novels are. I’m Garrison Kelly! Even when you feel like dying, keep climbing the mountain!
***JOKE OF THE DAY***
Q: What do you call a depressed Rage Against the Machine fan?
American Darkness: www.goodreads.com/book/show/22…
Confessions of a Schizophrenic Savage: www.goodreads.com/book/show/18…
Lunatic Justice: www.goodreads.com/book/show/38…
Occupy Wrestling: www.goodreads.com/book/show/26…
Poison Tongue Tales: www.goodreads.com/book/show/34…
Garrison’s Library: garrisonslibrary.blogspot.com/
Good Reads Author Profile: www.goodreads.com/author/show/…
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Sitka: June 19th, 2014 Cat of the Day: catoftheday.com/archive/2014/J…
Piper: March 14th, 2016 Cat of the Day: catoftheday.com/archive/2016/M…
Smokey: April 17th, 2017 Cat of the Day: catoftheday.com/archive/2017/A…
Willem: December 16th, 2017 Dog of the Day: dogoftheday.com/archive/2017/D…
Tori: June 17th, 2018 Cat of the Day: catoftheday.com/archive/2018/J…