Archive for the deal with the Devil Category

Reviewers rule.

Posted in Book Release, Book Reviews, deal with the Devil, End of the world, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2015 by davidburtonwriting

READERS                                                                                                                   Blood on the Water large cover

We all want a good review, no matter what we do. Authors especially. I know you all have bought and read my latest two books, Blood on the Water and Soul Retrievers, and are just taking a little time to come down from the high you got from reading them before writing a five star review for Amazon, Goodreads, etc. I thank you for your review ahead of time.

All reviews are helpful, the life blood of authors and readers looking for a goodSoul Retv corrected- small read. We court reviewers, critics and bloggers by the hundreds. Beg them to read our work and write a positive review.  They can make or break a career. Or so I’ve been told. I’m still a non-bestseller, non-award winning, non-famous writer. Reviewers, and that includes readers, have the power to help a little bit, should they choose to use it.

But, What if there was a Reviewer who did have absolute power to make an author famous, wealthy and loved around the world? One who’s merest word would make any product – book,  movie, coffee, car, diaper, hotel, soft drink, or vegan food into the most desired (or undesired) of its kind on Earth. He, or she, could shape the world as he saw fit.  Politicians would be in or out at his whim as he reviewed their performance. Economic systems implemented or abandoned with a few words on late night TV. Always assuming he was psychologically fit himself.

depressed man2What if he was depressed and didn’t like anything? Nobody would buy anything and there might be a world depression. Manic on the other side, he might like everything and the world goes into massive debt because they spend all their money buying everything. His paranoia might be good for the bodyguard/mercenary business, not so good for the civilian guns trade with a particularly scathing review for the NRA. If he smoked a bit of weed to dull the paranoia, that might be good for the fast food and munchies business.

Obviously, his reviews would be sought after. A good review would be like money in the bank. But what would he want for one of his Golden Reviews? Money? At first, but soon he’d have more money than most countries. Power? He could topple or create governments or mega-corporations. But what about us little guys, the struggling writers and entrepreneurs? Maybe he was a struggling writer who never made it and so had a soft spot for us  non-bestselling, non-award winning authors. For a token payment he’d post a good review of your book on Amazon. Heck, I’d slip him 100 dollar billa hundred bucks for a review of Blood on the Water or Soul Retrievers. Not that the reviews you’re working on for me don’t matter. They do. They hold the same power as the Super Reviewer’s will when he finally makes himself known. So use your power for good.

 

WRITERS

What If The Reviewer is a lone alien trying singlehandedly to take over humanity for his own alien 1 meangrandiose, but demented,  I-want-to-rule-a-world dreams, or as an advance softening up before an invasion, or as a way to get alien2 wavinghumanity to build a ship to take him home? But, some humans are always immune to what might affect the rest. Maybe one, who’s a super used car salesman, realizes what’s going on and posts an anti-Reviewer blog. And the blog-fight is on!

 

 

What If The Reviewer is supernatural in nature? satan3-readingGodGod or the Devil trying to reach humanity for their own reasons using the latest tech, social media, for their own agendas. Maybe a God vs Satan blog fight for the future of mankind.

What If The Reviewer was just a regular guy who was trying to help out a woman he liked with her first book and he discovered he had the Gift and things got a little out of hand and it took the woman to figure out who he was and bring the world back from the brink – and incidentally find true love.

All Readers have the power to kill or resurrect  a writers career. Please review wisely.wiseman1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Custodian’s duties.

Posted in calamities, deal with the Devil, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on April 5, 2015 by davidburtonwriting

I haven’t posted for quite awhile, so with a new book, a new novella and a much revised short story out I thought I’d make it hard on myself and start my What If? Blog again.

We’ll see how that works out.

As some of you know, besides being a writerclick here to check that outI’m also a night Custodian (that’s Janitor to those uninformed about the proper nomenclature, you, of course, knew that) at a High School. Now you might think cleaning toilets, mopping floors, and picking up trash is mundane, yucky work. janitor5woman

Well, in can be, but, every time you go into a student bathroom that was sparkly clean twenty-four hours ago it’s an adventure. You never know what you’ll find!

janitor4However, us dedicated custodians do have other duties. Even those at a grammar school. Here’s a short little story to illustrate. What If? man?

The Custodian

The Custodian checked his blue cart in the custodial closet of Grace Glass Elementary School. He secured a trash can on the cart’s front platform, checked for trash bags, paper towels, rags and a couple spray bottles. Besides the usual supplies he set a paper bag with a heavy package inside on top of the cart. He flipped off the light and rolled outside into a quiet evening, students long gone.

Covered walkways accessed all the school’s classrooms. He collected trash from the teacher’s lounge, and the work room. Stopping outside the administration offices, a door opened and Principal Sanchez, a pretty middle-aged Hispanic woman, came out.

He smiled and nodded.

She returned his smile. “Have a good night.” She regarded the paper bag. “Is that…?”

Smile gone, he nodded again.

She gripped his well muscled arm. “Be careful.” She walked out the main gate, and he locked it behind her.

The custodian trashed the offices and the classrooms beyond then worked his way through the classrooms of two other long, single-story buildings. Beyond those were four square buildings with four classrooms each. In room 7 of D building, he blocked the door open and flipped on one set of lights. After dumping the trash, he retrieved a stepladder from an interior hallway and set it up in the middle of the room.

From the cart he brought the paper bag and set it on top of the ladder. He mounted the ladder and slid one of the ceiling tiles aside.

At the edge of his vision he noted a hint of movement. He ignored it. Closer, another hint, joined by childish chitter-chatter. Closer, from another direction, childish whispers. “Stop him. Bad man. Don’t do it, Mister. Hurt him. Stop.”

The Custodian ignored the voices and pulled a homemade bomb out of the bag and set it inside the ceiling.

No. No. Stop him. Hurt him.”

The ladder shook for no discernible reason. He steadied himself until the shaking stopped. ladder2

Ladder returned, he turned out the lights, shut the door. In the trash he noticed a comic book. Its title, Invasion from Space!” He shook his head and rolled his eyes at the absurdity of it. Flipped it into the trash.

The next night, another trash run and another paper bag. Inside Room 8, more chitter-chatter and excited laughter. He set up the ladder, slid aside a ceiling tile and placed another bomb. He jerked his hand out. A scorpion hung from his hand by its stinger. Ignoring the chittering laughter, with only a slight wince, he plucked it off and tossed it back into the ceiling.

Next night, Room 9, another bomb. He descended the ladder and stepped on a large stuffed animal that wasn’t there when he went up. He fell backward, barely missing a teacher’s desk. A computer monitor moved with jerky movements to the edge and fell. The Custodian caught it inches from his face.

Monitor replaced, he continued on his steady rounds.

Another night. The Custodian lounged in his tiny office eating a sandwich and reading a gun magazine. Principal Sanchez peeked in the open door.

Have a good night. Be careful.”

Their eyes connected with hidden meaning. He nodded gravely. Waved one finger.

Lips tight, she nodded back and left.

On his usual trash rounds he noticed a flickering light in classroom 8. Wary, he opened the door.

One interior wall contained a ten foot diameter black hole. Deep inside, as if in a curved, downward slanting tunnel, reddish light cast vague dancing shadows.

The chitter-chatter became more excited as the light brightened and the clank of weapons increased. “Yess. Yess. He comes. Finally, he comes. We will rule. We will kill. We will eat.”

In the tunnel, the silhouette of a huge, grotesque creature marched up the wall. Janitormonster1

The Custodian breathed deep, nodded, and closed the door. Walking away, he took a cell phone from his pocket. With his thumb, he dialed a number. Hit send. There was a faint sound of a cell phone chirp.

BOOM! The interior of classroom 8 flashed a blast of white light, the explosion totally contained inside. Mixed with the blast, an unearthly scream of pain and anger.

Lips forming a minimal smile of satisfaction, the Custodian continued his rounds.                                 Janitor3

See, it’s not all scraping gum or setting up chairs.

Cheers.

3 a.m. light in the window

Posted in deal with the Devil, loneliness, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Vampires, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

Okay, so you’re driving from here to there and it’s 3 a.m.  You’re cruising at 70 mph past a small town you never heard of and have no idea why it’s where it is. It’s the kind of town the phrase, Roll up the sidewalks at 9 p.m., was made for. It’s all dark but for scattered streetlights. You barely know it’s there until you spot a lighted second story window. With nothing on the radio but way past their prime Oldies, Country music, or some talk show host whose only agenda is to make spurious accusations with the intent of dissing someone in power, (you know who I mean) you wonder, Who the hell is up at 3am? And why?

Could it be as simple as a parent up with a child sick with a common cold, or maybe the kid discovered the Halloween candy his/her parents hid six months ago and decided to make up for months of lost candy time in one day? Maybe it’s not so simple. The child is dying and the parent is sitting up desperately trying to thinking of a way to save the kid. And to keep yourself awake as you blithely motor by, you wonder, “What would I do to save my child?”

Of course you’d take a second job, (if you could find one) or a second mortgage, (if you could find one) or set up a website to solicit donations. Who wouldn’t? But what if money wasn’t the problem? How far would you go off the grid, out of the box? If that old cliché’ A Deal with the Devil was a viable option, would you? There are other possible deal options. A lesser demon trying to gain some sort of street cred by recruiting humans to his/her/its thrall. Aliens who need humans to carry out some ambiguous (to you) plan. A sorcerer or witch with an agenda. (see below)

If the only way to keep your child with you was to have him or her changed into a vampire, would you? Did you see the movie Let the right one in? Think carefully. Maybe it’s a vampire kid who’s sick. He got hold of some tainted blood from a drunk methhead and it was screwing up his natural vamp immunity, and his mother is up practicing her Just say no to drugged up humans speech. Or maybe change the child into a werewolf? At least he/she could go out during the day.

That 3 a.m. lighted window could be as simple as a wife waiting up for her husband whose plane was late. The question of whether or not she has a gun beside her to blow that philandering bastard away when he walks into the bedroom is a question that will have to wait for the early morning news from the police blotter to answer.

And by the way, why are you driving past that window at 3 a.m?

IDEAS

See above.

What if it was a sorcerer or witch that made your kid sick then conveniently made himself (I’ll go with sorcerer, but witches can have the same magical problems) available to cure him/her. Cures like that of course don’t come free. Where’s the story in that?  At some future date he will need your help. Of course you agree. It’s your kid and he’s not the Devil, after all. He calls. You go. He wants you to kill somebody. And he’s scared. You try and cry for another deal. No new deal. You allow him to convince you that the woman he wants dead is an evil, scheming, murdering bitch, so to keep your kid well, you agree.  Besides, you got royally screwed over 15 years ago by your BFF/evil, scheming bitch and the thought of bashing in the head of an evil, scheming, murdering bitch has a certain appeal. So, putting aside any flashes of rational thought and downing a couple of whisky neats, you go see this monster all dressed up as a hot babe and…. This is where you have to decide whether you’re going to take the high road or the low road, the road less taken, the sorcerer’s  way or the highway. And that will determine what exciting, dramatic, humorous, emotional journey comes next.

What if there’s a lonely person in that room who’s tearily writing a suicide note, though she’s convinced nobody will ever read it, or care if they do. The window is beside her. It looks out on a cold lonely landscape just like the one she has inside her. Then she sees a car drive by, the first in hours. And for a moment her despair lifts, there is someone else in the world. She presses her face to the window  and her eyes follow you in that car as you turn off to stop at an all night diner, though you weren’t planning to. Suddenly, filled with a strange purpose, the woman dashes out of the room,  races down the steps, jumps in her car and speeds to the diner where she parks next to your car.  Inside, she sits at the counter next to the only customer, you. It takes a while, but, beginning with a simple smile and a “Hi,” a conversation begins. Where it ends is up to you.

What if two lovers are in the room? They keep the light on so they can always see each other. In a tangle of sheets they lay panting, not a care in the world, just basking in  the afterglow. A car drives up. Someone gets out, enters, climbs the steps to the room. This person has a gun. Neither the lover in the bed nor the lover hiding behind the door have a gun. Yet, the car is found two days later in the all-nite diner’s parking lot. It’s owner is nowhere to be found. At least for a week or a month or a year or….

What if you are in that room? Why, good or bad, would you be up at 3a.m?

Whoever is in that lonely room, thanks to Jazz Tales streaming on KUVO 89.3 in Denver www.kuvo.org –  Sunday nights at 10p.m. Mountain Time – Weird Nightmares episode. Check it out.

Please watch out for my new adult, young adult e-novel, Ancient Mariners. It should be available by end of August.

Please Release Me

Posted in Book Release, deal with the Devil, freedom, Novel writing, obsession, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by davidburtonwriting

Okay, this is the Shameless Promotion section of this What If? blog post. I know you don’t mind. In fact I have it on good authority that you’ve been waiting for this announcement, if not exactly breathlessly, then maybe you had to hold your breath for a few seconds to quell your anticipatory excitement when you counted up the dimes and quarters you’ve been saving and realized your goal was in sight .

On October 1st (So close!) my novel Blood Justice will be available to the vast (?)reading public.    YEAH! (That’s an anonymous quote, BTW.)

The book will be available wherever fine, and even not so fine, books are sold. In case you haven’t already put in your pre-order for a physical copy (or two) at your favorite bookstore, this includes online, you know who I’m talking about, offline, the Big Boxes and the little independent boxes like The Fremont Place Bookstore in Seattle, and Reader’s Cove, in Fort Collins, Colorado.   If you’re an e-book reader www.smashwords.com/books/view/24998,  is the place to go.  For my other e-books, slide on over to www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton.  You’ll be glad you did.  And that concludes the unabashedly, and unapologetically hucksterism portion of the program. So please hie off to your favorite book source and support your favorite starving writer. My new sailboat needs a down payment if it’s ever going to be released from its bondage to an evil, uncaring lndlubber captain and delivered into my ocean spanning care! If good ( mostly) Vampires aren’t your thing (what?) surely you know someone with an imminent gift giving occasion who is. We all know, or should know, that books make great gifts.  Okay, now the hustle is over.

I’m not the only one waiting for release of some kind. What about those of you in prison? Of course you’re waiting to be released. But there’s more than one kind of prison. There’s about 6 and a half billion different ones. Wether your prison is physical or in your mind we all have one.

If you’re a prisoner of love, you may not want to be released. Your love could be a nice, comfy cell you look forward to waking up in everyday. However, if love turns to obsession, the dankest prison cell may seem preferable. A prisoner of your own obsession or someone else’s, Please Release Me, may be the song  you wake up to everyday.

The same if you’re  trapped in a failing body, denied the release of a dignified death on your own terms by others whose business it is not. Or poverty, where the cycle of lack of education and hope is so tough to break.

Not all releases are bad. Such as the end of school, the end of a job you hate, or at least a vacation, or getting out of jail when you were sent down for something you didn’t do, the release of a movie you made, or wrote, or really really really want to see, or…ah… a book.

Ideas

What if you were in prison for something you didn’t do and you knew who had set you up and had grand plans of revenge if you were ever released. Then, while in solitary confinement you met a creature who promised, for a small kindness on your part, to exact a gruesome revenge on the person you thought set you up. But then DNA evidence proves your innocence. You weren’t set up. But now the creature is gone and once you’re released you have to stop him/it from hurting the person who turns out to have been your friend all along, and his/her family. And the clock is, as always, ticking.

 What if  you had a book being released (imagine that) and a particular critic’s review was crucial to its success, and you really really needed it to be a success?  The problem is the critic is married to your sister, but the sister ran off with another man/woman. The critic wants her back, but doesn’t know where she is. You do. You also know it will go very bad for her if he gets his hands on her. He’s one of those vindictive, sadistic types. But, no sister, no review. How far would you go for success? Would you betray your sister? Betray the critic then try to save the sister? Or would you live with your guilt, releasing it only in your writing to critical acclaim and continued success? 

What if a small spaceship crashed on Earth, releasing a sentient virus/bacteria. These tiny aliens had no animosity toward humans, they only wanted to go home– Lots of tiny ETs. They entered some humans and could steer them in the direction of space, revealing much advanced technology. All goes along great, until it’s discovered that the  aliens, though wanting to do no harm, are unintentionally killing the humans.  The humans will die unless the aliens leave their bodies, but then the aliens will die. They badly want to go home, but have come to admire and like the humans. If the humans die, the aliens die also. Once in space, the visitors will be free  to leave the humans and all will live happily ever after. Though, as always, the clock is ticking.

And so I release you to go about your book buying business. Thank you for your support.  Oh…where did you say your sister lived?

 

Take a Meeting.

Posted in deal with the Devil, get togethers, meetings, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, take a meeting, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by davidburtonwriting

We’d all like to “take a meeting”. I’d  love to take a meeting with a Film Producer/agent to discuss some of my feature  scripts or a publisher/agent to discuss how to make my novels, currently available as e-books on smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton, into bestsellers.

Taking a meeting is usually a good thing, unless it’s your tenth meeting of the day and all your meetees are trying to sell you something and none of the pitches, whether for a movie, book or some new million ( in the pitcher’s mind) dollar gizmo the world can’t live without,  are worth a damn. And none of the ideas are worth a damn, except yours.  And if it’s your tenth pitch of the day, all ending in “No.”, “Hell no!”, “Get the %$@& out of here!”, taking that last meeting may be a bit tough to get through.  But, you have that idea, gizmo, scheme that you believe in, and because you’re one of those annoying people inflicted with positivity, you grin and bear it because number ten just may be the one. In the novel I just rewrote and sent to my publisher the hero now has POSITIVITY and he survives in Hell.  So  think POSITIVITY, number ten or twenty or twenty-six may be the one.

There’s lots of ways to take a meeting. The traditional your people talk with my people and we meet. Or, you could kidnap a meeting, say of big company CEOs, and hold them for ransom. 10-12 CEO’s, an easy  million bucks per, a good pay-day.  Or, hijack a large public meeting to spout off on your own agenda, like Global warming, War (any of them), or spending money on wars instead of education so that our kids will be smart enough not to start a war, or preventing crime.  Or, taking a meeting with the Devil at the crossroads, should you conclude in a fit of righteous anger that peace on earth goodwill toward men and women is worth trading your soul for, along with the usual 7 years of debauchery with big money and big women, or big men. Your choice.

Being taken to a meeting may not be so good. Like when you do something bad to a bad guy and you walk out of your door on the way to work and you’re all smiles because you’re quitting that damn boring job with that jerk  boss who’s not as smart or good-looking as you because you stole a million dollars from a bad guy and are on your way to Brazil or Hong Kong or the Seychelle Islands for a life of luxury and debauchery, but there are two big men with guns waiting to take you to a meeting with the bad guy which somehow you know will not end well for you.

Or, the meeting could come to you.  Maybe you’re up on Mars base and the rest of the team is out poking around for alien bugs and water and stuff and you’re alone inside doing janitorial  or some such other important job and a spaceship lands just outside with a contingent of representatives from several alien cultures who have come to negotiate whether the Earth should join the Galactic Union or be destroyed because it’s pollution is spilling out into public space and the neighbors are complaining. You need a break anyway so you put your mop down and take a meeting.

Ideas 

What if you decided you needed to make a deal with the Devil to get what you wanted. You stood in the middle of that crossroads and called him up for a meeting. And, somewhat to your surprise, the Devil, or one of his trusted executives, arrived  in smoke and black leather. And he or she said – We can do that, no problem, but.”- There’s always a but. This time it’s that what you want requires two souls, not just yours. Payment due when your good times are up. You choose the second soul. Would you make the deal? Who would you choose?  What if the second soul was a down-payment, payable right now? They got to come back once you went down. Someone you know. Name the Name, right now! Who would you pick?

What if you took a meeting in the middle of the ocean, at a particular latitude and longitude, say in the calm water of the doldrums. You and  two or three  others meeting in separate boats. What would be the reason for such secrecy? Criminal, political, world saving or world destroying. What if one of the participants (you?) were planning on screwing the others.  Would they (you) succeed? Hundreds, thousands of miles from civilisation how much sway would the Law hold? The difference between being a good guy or a bad guy is one second to make one decision.  And if an Alien were to join the meeting, what stakes then? The same with a sea demon, monster, mermaid, spirit. What would they want? Maybe that bad guy in chains down below, virgins being so passe’.

What if you were a divorce lawyer and you had a meeting with your client and his spouse and her lawyer. (Feel free to mix and match genders) You and the other lawyer haven’t met before, but there’s an instant attraction.  The attraction continues after the meeting and quickly becomes all-consuming to the detriment of your clients, your jobs, your families, and finally to yourselves.  Does one or both of you eventually realize that you two together are a tragedy waiting to happen and pull one or both of you away from that brink? Or is it too late to live happily ever after, like your clients, and you end up dead, or worse, alive but apart?

What if you had a business meeting with 2-3 other business people and once you got together you realized that you were all high school classmates and friends, and that you all hated your jobs and had no real prospects of making it big anytime soon or at all. You also realized you’d be willing to rob your employers blind if you could, which it turns out you can, using your individual skills. And you do, through action, drama, comedy and a little romance.  

That’s all. Gotta go take a meeting.

October 1 is coming fast.  How are those dimes and quarters stacking up?

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