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Comic Musings

Comic-style [way-rough]:

Narrator. Adult male, gruff – “Childhood was rough, same as for every boy I suppose. I knew about girls. Didn’t know if I liked ‘em or not… well actually, that one got resolved pretty quickly — Mary Jane, I promise, she’ll get you each and every time. But you know, I didn’t get the girl, so the girl got me. Now, I have my Harley. Seems to be enough, as long as I ride once in awhile.

[Narrator paints the picture of a troubled youth: descriptions of normalcy while violent and decidedly troubling images appear, escalating through the short. Random friendly, reaffirming voices in the background frequently stating, “be yourself,” or, “don’t be so hard on yourself,” or, “don’t let them tell you what to do,” or, “You don’t need to listen to them,” or similar.]

[examples:]

A [three years old]: “My parents disciplined me when I was bad.” [image of picking his nose and getting punched in the face for it.]

B [seven]: “At times they didn’t know what to do with me… I was such a bad bad boy.” [at a kitchen table not eating his string beans, hauled out his chair by his hair, dragged kicking to his room already equipped with shackles and ropes, tied, and force-fed until his mouth is bleeding.]

C [thirteen]: “I did my best to follow their example, but I was never good enough.” [luring a starving dog with beef jerky, and then poking it with a sharpened stick. Female shadow appears, takes the stick, fear and tears on the boy’s face at first, but as she whips him with the stick, he begins to smile viciously through the tears.]

D [seventeen]: “But I never gave up on me. Or is it, ‘myself?’ I can never remember when to use the reflexive.” [in a classroom with ‘me, myself, and I’ written on the chalkboard while other students shoot spitballs at the back of his head, his hair a mess as though he’d been beaten that morning, and then from the front, two darkly shadowed eyes like bruises above a sinister smile. His paper is returned, inked up red, with a D+. Face again, then background change to his bedroom. Pulled back image, he’s shackled and being force-fed the paper, mouth bleeding.]

E [twenty-something]: “Eventually, I got myself together. That’s right. I. Got. My-self. To-gether.” [Graves of mother and father, dead in the same year. Next frame a Harley motorcycle in the forefront, a shy Harley Quinn in a summer dress in the background. Main character staring. Voices swelling, telling him to, “be himself.” Frames of him stealing the bike, grabbing the girl, both smiling, and ending in his bedroom, voices continuing, he ties her up and begins to punish her. Punches her in the mouth, a trickle of blood, and she smiles. Voices stop. She asks him to look in her bookbag. Inside, a sharp cross with blood on it, a large cross that looks more like a paddle, the words, “Love Him, Fear Him,” scorched into it. He pulls out the literally chewed up bible, with half the pages gone. Smiling with blood on her teeth, she says, “Please, read to me, Big Daddy. Please,” and he’s confused for a moment, but then shrugs as he begins ripping pages and shoving them into her mouth. Laughter.]

[back to the present, face-framed close-up] “Now, I think I’m doing alright. Figured some things out. But probably the most important thing?”

[Turns out he’s actually looking in a mirror, but as he turns around, his face is painted like a clown.]

“You just have to be yourself!”

[He leans in as the frame widens, revealing the back of a young person’s head. He is shivering tears, shuffling feet, legs and shoes scraping the floor as he tries to back away but can’t.]

“And I think I like it! [leans in and waits.]

What do you think?” [wider frame showing the jester-fitted Harley leaning against a wall, bored in the background.]

“What’s that? I can’t hear you?” [whimpering from the captive]

[Harley:] “He agrees!”

[Joker, growling:] “I didn’t ask you!” [more whimpering, louder whimpering]

“Oh? You agree!? Marvelous!” [laughter, pulls out a huge gun and holds it to his head]

“I knew you’d understand.”

[pulls trigger, and dud fireworks go off, little flags, “bang,” out of the sides of the revolver chambers, he looks at it, examines it like he can’t believe it didn’t work, shakes it more and more viciously, but then he smiles and points the gun at the captive again.]

“Just. Kidding!”

[Bang. Blood splashes the frame, and out of the frame.]

“I meant the fake shot. You got that, right? I was kidding about the fake shot. FUCK. I hope you got that. I hope he got that. Do you think he got that?” [Harley giggling]

“He got all of it, Boss.”

Rambling Voices

And the words come at a flow, a pace that helps me remember why I write. Open cool transference of thoughts to characters, and situations unknown, discovered through the exploration of the mind. And maybe I am trapped, and maybe we are all trapped, but there is a way to freedom. There must be a way to the free spaces, the places in between that define the world we know. Exist in the places between, the space outside the known, and lose yourself in it only to discover that you need to return to the definition in order to know that you’re mad—and the artist says no, there is no madness, there is no sanity, there is only the zombie automaton and freedom, and both are crazy, and both are deadly, and so the artist continues, lost in the meandering dark of the other side of the glass, seeing you as her reflection, wondering what’s wrong with herself, and she turns the mirror around and staring at its back, doesn’t see the difference, and laughs, and feels better, and the artist continues, because the artist isn’t just visiting the other side, the artist lives here, and the artist knows a secret that he cannot share, and the artists that have returned with secrets are charlatans, because an artist can never go back as anything other than an entertainer, and the artist knows the void obscures, knows that no one may ever find him here, but the artist is here anyway, because—and this is what the artist says—“I am not defined by your experience of me,” and so the artist disappears. -Gnomish Explorer

Spire made the list for Noveltunity Book Club!

Stoked to announce that the readers over at Noveltunity selected Spire for this month’s read!
If you haven’t checked out Noveltunity, it’s a new book club website promoting lesser-known authors. Members select monthly reads by sampling and voting.
http://www.noveltunity.com/
Selected by Noveltunity!
Selected by Noveltunity!

Forgot to publish a short story?

Well, I’m placing it here now. Not sure why I didn’t publish it? Maybe I planned to edit it again? Who knows? 😀 Honestly, I should edit it, but I’m in the middle of submitting the fourth novel to a sneak peek reader group and that’s the highest priority today.

Anyway, Cost of Comfort. I remember liking it when I wrote it…

GISHWHES Entry!

My friend, Ellery, contacted me last week to participate in his scavenger hunt, GISHWES. He needed a science fiction author to write a 140 word story about an Elopus, Misha Collins, and the Queen of England.

I researched Misha–cool guy worth reading about, and the Elopus–Elephant Octopus, of course. It was fun to experiment, and I’m glad I took the time to play :-) .

The contest has ended. I hope the team did well! Enjoy the short:

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant

Misha watched The Man leave with Monica, but kept his head low, his hands busy. A quirky smile curled his lips; a question on his mind.

Opening his desk drawer, Misha removed a medium-sized, fire-blackened jar filled with murky, viscous liquid. Eyes closed, he swiveled the jar twice gently, and then flipped it over. Through a small clear window in the glass, two tentacles emerged. A head sprouting a long trunk and floppy oversized ears pushed between the suction-cupped limbs into the porthole.

Misha nodded, “Knew it! Scandal.”

“What’s that?” A snooping intern asked over Misha’s shoulder, “an octophant?”

“It’s an elopus larval-calf. I found it on the greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen seconds before the old lady. God save the Queen.”

Misha winked. The elopus winked back. “I’m going to need a bigger jar.”

Last Portrait for awhile…

As promised, the last in my portrait series, J.M., is now available. Honestly, I expect to revisit this one someday and to continue the series as well. I believe the project is the worth the time. :-)

Otherwise, it’s onward and upward for Beneath the Fall!

Thank you!

New Portrait! Update.

Just added another portrait, A.K.. Please check it out. Again, it’s another personal piece that maybe I had to do for me more than anyone else. I haven’t shared this one yet with the subject… always worry about that:-). I don’t think it can ever be perfect and sometimes, the imperfections are what make it right.

As far as other works are concerned, still cooking Beneath the Fall at a steady boil. So much is going on! Can’t express it all here, but damn exciting! Along those lines, I’ll be finishing up my last portrait for awhile, J.M., in the next day or so. After that, I’m going all in on Beneath the Fall!! Still trying to make it out this year!

Thank you!

Positive Feedback

Closing the loop on some stellar feedback from the early reviewers of, Beneath the Fall, my current project: received some phenomenal and helpful criticism as well as a lot of praise for the work so far!!! I’m stoked, and so is the rest of the team! I’m dabbling with some changes/revisions to the first chapter which resulted in a possible side-story for later (completed), and some new ideas (WIP). Continuing to work with new artists, trying to find the right fit. All in all, going better than I hoped!

The rest of the story is developing as well, putting the finishing touches on the eleventh chapter today, about 150 pages in… still going strong.

I’ve also put some more time into some deeply personal works, the portraits I promised in my last update. The two finished works have been given to their subjects, and the experience–sharing their portraits with them–was indescribable. I’m really proud to release them here. I know I said I’d have three, but I have two others in progress, and neither is ready for prime time:-P.

Anyway, check out D. and K.!

Yes!

New short story published, Eventuality

Eventuality went live today on Self Publisher’s Showcase! I’m pretty happy with this story because I think I’ve woven a few different themes together well, and that the questions it raises do not take away from the fun of the story as it is.

Anyway, the story is also an explanation of how I feel about time: if anything/anyone ever learns to manipulate it directly, then we are already experiencing those effects today. Consciousness is just the timeline we tend to stay on, and sometimes we all meet up:-). If time travel exists? It already will have has happened before.

As always, you can write me at aaron.safronoff@aaronsafronoff.com if you’d like to speak to me directly about this story or any material in the Shorts section, or if you want to tell me to get another drink.

Thank you!

Overdue Update

It’s been too long since my last blog update. Sorry. In personal news, I finally have internet again, but I need to finish running the wires throughout the house, which I’m doing today.

I realized that the cafe job, as much as I loved it, was taking too much time away from my writing job, and ultimately too much time away from my personal writing. I no longer work at Coffeetopia, but it was amazing and I’d go back in a heartbeat. I’m thinking about writing there in the mornings. So far my schedule hasn’t worked out to support that, but I’ll get it in-line soon.

Several new ideas for short stories have been ricocheting around my noggin for the last few weeks, and I’m putting words to one of them today. Should be able to release it soon. The title is, Eventuality. The story is about Sam and Ralph, designers who work at a node in Space-Time. The rest will be in the story…

My work on the graphic novel with Nemrac and The Benefactor continues, and is in full swing again after lots of life interruptions. The interruptions were all wonderful things… no complaints:-). Birthdays, concerts, Halloween Pirate Extravaganza–helping a team of people put together gigantic displays! A boat, a tower, handing out candy, collection food drive donations!–and moving and all that. Anyway, November 1st put me back on full time graphic novel work, and it’s going well.

Now, back to work.

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Welcome , today is Saturday, July 22, 2017