Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Know You've Been Reading Too Much Koontz When...

I have a confession to make. I am a Dean Koontz junkie. I have read approximately ten quintillion of his books--I swear there really are that many--and, after having read them, I noticed certain changes in myself. I am distrustful of strangers. I think that people follow me wherever I go. I start freaking out during thunderstorms because I think it's a sign of the apocalypse. I've begun to wear a toupee and Hawaiian shirts for kicks. (Just kidding about that last part.)

For lack of anything better to do, I decided to compile a list of signs that one has been reading too much Koontz.

Aaaaand action. (Warning: here be spoilers.)

1. You think that random people driving behind you are going to follow you home and shoot you.

2. You see a raccoon rooting around in your yard and fly into a blind panic.

3. You keep your blinds closed at all times so the rhesus monkeys can't peek in at you.

4. You think that everyone in California drives a Ford Explorer.

5. You're paranoid about being admitted to a hospital because you know that the doctors and nurses there are really just Soviet spies seeking to extract government secrets from you.

6. You know how to 'loid a lock.

7. You've tried to teach your Golden Retriever how to read.

8. You think that all of your memories have been implanted in your brain by corrupt government officials.

9. You think that the nanobots swimming in your blood stream are going to give you psychic mind-powers.

10. You've walked where the rain isn't.

11. You think that artists are sadistic serial killers.

12. You think that scientists are sadistic sociopaths.

13. You think that politicians are sadistic socialists.

14. You meet a kid named Curtis and automatically assume he's an alien.

15. You think that the ghost of Elvis hangs out with a clairvoyant kid in California.

16. You meet a girl named Stormy and immediately start praying for her safety and well-being, and advise that she wear a bullet-proof vest at all times.

17. You see a bolt of lightning and think Nazis are going to appear and come after you.

18. You really want to see a group of commando monks.

19. A child starts singing "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" and you completely freak out and lose control of your senses.

20. Aliens have landed in Nevada. You know this to be true.

I'll stop for now.

But he looks so innocent! How can he do this to our minds?

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Am I too young? Do I know enough about the ways of the world? Do I know enough about God? Am I too young to write about God? Am I too inexperienced to channel my own pain and suffering into characters who have never lived? Am I putting too much of myself into my work? Will I find my writing too immature a year from now? Two years? Ten? Am I too young?

What if nobody likes it? What if I've pushed the envelope too far? What if I haven't pushed it far enough? What if it has already been done by somebody else? What if the darkness alienates my fans? What if the blood and death offend them? What if I am labeled a heretic; a fool? What if people think there is something wrong with me? What if they think I'm demented? What if I am?

What if this is an important stepping stone on my journey as an author?

What if my writing brings people hope?

What if people love it and can't wait for more?

What if?

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Word of Thanks

I am truly thankful for my readers: to those of you who have taken the time to journey through the "portal" with Laura and write reviews about it; to those who have lent your copies to a friend in zealous fits of joy; to those who have posted and reposted information about my novel encouraging others to follow you on Laura's journey; to those of you who have always been there; and to those whom I have only just met and begun to know. Without you, I would be spinning my wheels in the mud, going nowhere but down. Without you, I would have no reason to further my career as an author. In other words, thank you.

I do have some updates for you all, though they are nothing major. I submitted a Christian speculative fiction short story (what a mouthful!) to a magazine last month and I am still awaiting their reply. If I cannot find a publisher for it, I will e-publish it for the time being. Also, I am nearly finished with the first draft of a supernatural Christian suspense novel which I have tentatively named "Rage's Echo." Since the editing process is bound to be lengthy, I probably will not begin querying agents for several more months. I can only keep my fingers crossed and pray that it all will work out. I can't wait to entertain you all with my new characters and the terrible scrapes they find themselves in! I will keep you posted about all new updates, but that is it for now.

Bailey out.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Meet the Poet: Brian Hudon

Good evening, readers! With me today is poet Brian Hudon, who has written numerous poems over the years, many of which can be found online at his blog, the Woodland Realm. Brian is here to discuss his writing and some of the things that inspire his poetry.

First of all, tell us a bit about yourself.

I am from the Adirondacks of New York state and have lived here very nearly all my life. That environment probably shapes my writing experience as much as my Catholic faith and outlook.

Have any specific authors or poets been an inspiration to you? If so, which ones? 

As for poets who have influenced me, my appreciation of known poets came after I had been writing for a few years. John Keats was briefly an influence, and WB Yeats and more recently Matthew Arnold. In truth, I don't spend much time reading poetry. Truthfully, I am more influenced by classical music in my emotional and formal approach to writing poetry. In finding the more well known poets however, form as such, did seem to become more of a priority to me, although I can't say that any particular poet has influenced that form which is mine.

What kind of things inspire your poetry?

Music, any music, perhaps more than any other creative external factor, inspires my poetry. Current events however, my Catholic faith, and people that I encounter, images I might encounter, also fuel my creative poetic imagination. I have found that the most random and unexpected events can inspire poetry and often produce the best results. As a rule, almost anything can inspire a poem.

What is your writing process like?

I have no set process for writing my poems. Sometimes I start on paper and then go to the computer for a deeper composition and correction of form and length. Other times, and more often these days, I write when the mood is encountered while at work on my computer. Evenings at sundown and night time are probably the best times for my own writing.

If you could meet one writer, living or dead, who would it be?

I wouldn't say that there is any poet that I would like to meet in person. I'd probably rather meet someone like Hilary Hahn whose commitment to her musical craft is an inspiration. Again, music is really more of an influence on my poems, particularly English composers of the late Romantic tradition, pastoral music of the British countryside, such as that of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Emotion does play some part in my poetry, but I prefer to use my poetry as a lens through which others can see the world as I see the world.

What emotionally 'moves' you? Do you incorporate your emotions into your writing?

Many of my poems, while not autobiographical, are of first person witness and empathy with the world around me and its occupants. A beautiful face, a beautiful melody or some image in nature, or reaction to a real event, are all things which can in a moment cause me to write a poem. I try to avoid first person personal pronouns and leaving my emotional baggage on the page.

What kind of hobbies other than writing do you have?

As per writing as a hobby, I'm not even I would qualify writing poetry as a hobby, rather more of a creative requirement of my existence I should say. I have always had a need to create physically, whether that be paintings, photographs, playing music, or writing poetry. These days poetry is my primary mode of creative expression and can be found on the web at The Woodland Realm:

The Violin
By Brian Hudon

Stranger of the song, stranger of the night,
you play by the stars and play for the season.
You play with the heart in its lonely plight,
for sound and for love and an ancient score.
I listen for music and I listen for a reason,
I listen for beauty and for something more.

The green of spring is for our telling a tale,
the warmth of wind, the warmth of the sun.
Like gold in water are reflections and pale,
under a sky listening, where tears would fall.
Ringing through the trees a sound is begun,
a ghost of wood and ghost of strangers tall.

Beauty as the dusk, as beauty of the dawn,
your bow is rich speaking to men of silence.
Your strings are bright and as arrows drawn,
to bring souls alive with hopes believed few.
Like waters falling are thoughts in alliance,
where unto the cool of earth gives life anew.

Stranger of the seas, stranger of the wood,
our skies are trembling and leaves are falling.
You played in the storm and yet withstood,
for another day so soon to quietly withdraw.
Yet unlike the leaves our memory remains,
remains and grows to warm the winter thaw.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things You Didn't Know About J. S. Bailey

After churning out a scant 3,000 words of my Top Secret work-in-process, I decided to steal this "Things You Didn't Know About Me" idea from another author.

1. I’m married to a knight. (Of Columbus, not of the Round Table.)

2. My middle name does not begin with “S.”

3. I like to wear outrageous-looking shoes—namely Vans slip-ons that tend to clash with their surroundings no matter what kind of matching shirt I have on.

4. I like to wear dark colors: black, gray, and brown, generally. (Except for my shoes.)

5. I used to be a Drama Club nerd.

6. As a small child, I tried to teach myself to fly by leaping off the piano bench and flapping my arms.

7. I still have all my wisdom teeth. My dentist let me take them home in a baggy after they were pulled.

8. My favorite vacations: Arizona (2009) and Costa Rica (2010).

 They have lots of these in Costa Rica.

9. I’m afraid of speaking in front of people. All those eyes…all those faces! [curls up into fetal position and sucks thumb]

10. I was the team captain for my high school’s Academic Quiz Team. Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the default response we gave if we didn’t know the right answer.

11. I speak broken Spanish. Y a mí me gusta comer demasiado burritos.

12. I took piano lessons for ten years. I quit in college so I didn’t end up being committed to a padded room.

13. I hate to cook.

14. I like to draw scary faces on random objects.

 This was back in high school.

15. I get Emperor Palpatine for an answer every time I take a Star Wars personality test.

16. I have been to the Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave, and the top of the Empire State Building.

 The picture does the Grand Canyon no justice. (It also does me no justice.)

17. I like to put those yummy tri-color tortilla pieces in my salads.

18. My favorite movie is the 2004 version of The Phantom of the Opera. I’ve also seen the play on stage. Both were mind-blowingly amazing in their own way.

19. I put on my Queen CDs and crank up the volume whenever I clean the house.

20. Lip-synching to classic rock hits on the radio when nobody else is around is one of my recently-acquired hobbies.

21. I feel the loneliest (and I feel somewhat detached) when I am in a room crowded with people.

22. I have not been to a movie theater since 2009.

23. I loooooove music, though I have no favorite bands. I like Queen, Styx, ABBA, The Beatles, Paul McCartney and the Wings, The Rolling Stones, Muse, the Eurythmics, Blondie, the Who, Aerosmith, Kansas, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Electric Light Orchestra, Enya, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Saint-Saens, Mozart, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Holst, Mahler, Debussy, Scott Joplin… Heck, I even like a little bit of Black Sabbath and Nirvana. And I can’t forget Weird Al, the master of them all! Did I mention that I love music?

24. I enjoy dressing up in funky costumes whenever the occasion allows for it. 

 Dork Day 2005

If you would like to know anything else, don't hesitate to ask. I'm sure I'll have some kind of unusual answer for you.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vintage Poetry

In a recent post, I showed you all one of my early attempts at writing a story. Since I currently have nothing profound to ramble on about, and since I'm procrastinating the completion of my 2,000-words-per-day writing goal on a top-secret project I'm not going to discuss for fear that a lightning bolt will shoot down from the heavens and fry me to the dining room chair in which I am currently lounging, I decided it would be a good idea to share more of my old writing with you.

In the loosest sense of the word, these can be called "poems."

Don't ask. Just don't.

Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely despise beer? Now wine, on the other hand...

Author's note: I did not own a cat in 1996.

This completes the two-page spread for the previous poem. Apparently the wind blew that poor kitty all the way to Egypt.

I should probably get back to writing now. Good night!