Archive for David Burton

Vamps in Space!

Posted in death, Novel writing, reincarnation, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Uncategorized, Vampires, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

First, a shameless plug… hustle… ah, notice of importance. My novel Hell Cop is now available in print from Amazon.

I’ve been thinking lately (always good to try something new) about what happens to vampires in space. Why am I thinking about that, you ask. And you should ask, because who the hell thinks, or cares, about the physiological effects of space on vampires? Except for Vampires and those who want to round them up, send them up and Good-fracking-bye paleface bloodsuckers.

It all began a long time ago, but never mind that. What matters is that I recently sent off the sequel to my novel Blood Justice — tentatively titled Blood on the Water.  So, fool, glutton for punishment, and/or masochist that I am, I’m already thinking about the next book in the series. There has to be a next book because two isn’t a series — it’s a couple of books looking for a third for gin rummy, a night of kinky pleasure, or maybe just a chaperon. I already have an idea for that all important third; but what about the next and next and next? If you keep going far enough you have to go up to space or down to Hell.

fire facecrop2

Hell — been there — the Hell Cop almost series (2 1/4 and counting) — and plan to go again, but vamps have to go up. So what are the rules up there? Think a space station, inside and out, no suit.

space1spacesuit com

No air – No problem. Vampires don’t need to breathe, except to talk. Though if one got shoved out an airlock they could beat on the door all they wanted but would certainly prove the truth of the  phrase – “In space, nobody can hear you scream.” (Thank you, James Cameron)

spacepic2Vacuum – Problem, sort of. Explosive decompression will do to vamps what it did to all those mortals in all those B Sci-Fi movies when their helmets got cracked – Phump, all nasty inside the faceplate. However, slow decompression they can handle, though not without a lot of grimacing and uncomfortableness  in the nether regions. Their quick healing can counteract all that cell and gas (yes they have gas, too) expansion.

Cold –  Even the toughest already dead vampire will be a stone-cold vamp way before getting close to absolute zero (0° K, 273.15°c,459.67° F) By -50°c, they’re getting creaky. By -100° C they’re barely able to move. Below that for any  time and they’re likely to be stone dead and not coming back a third time. Even vampire healing can only go so far. Although that might depend on whether they’re a good guy or bad guy and the state of alien technology . (See below)

Heat — For you, much time over 115° and you’re done. Vampires, 130-140° and their super repair faculty can’t keep up with the damage.  From vamp to mummy real quick.mummies1

Sun — Big Problem. We (unless you’re a hard core Buffy buff) all know that a Vampire has a maximum 30 minutes in the sun until they’re ash and dust. At 15 minutes they are praying for the immolation agony to be over. That’s on Earth where they get some shielding from the atmosphere. In space — 15 minutes max and they’re dust in the solar wind. No repairs. No redos.

spacesuit1With a proper space suit (a mortal one will do) they would be good to go for a long time. That sounds good until you get kicked out an air lock and are flung out into space to drift to the next star. You’d get mighty lonely floating out there for years, ravaged by a Blood Hunger that can never be fulfilled.


What if a vampire was ejected, intentionally or accidentally, into space for decades or years or even a really long time and was picked up by some aliens and rejuvenated, reconstituted, reanimated, revived, or whatever. What would they think? What would he or she think? What if the aliens were at war with some nasty invaders — like humans? Who would the vamp fight for? What would humans be/look like by that time? Would the long lost vampire finally find romance in an alien war?

What if  a vampire was a security chief on a huge Ark ship on the way to ____? He would have to solve murders, find stolen goods, locate missing people (whether they wanted to be missing or not) in a sort of Hardboiled/Spock/Sherlock H. kind of way. But who would be Watson?

What if the Earth was invaded by aliens and they were winning. There was one last escape ship ready to go with lots of important people — scientists, engineers, women, children on board. No vampires allowed – they’re being blamed for the invasion. The last group (the ones who know how to run the ship and where to go once they get away) race toward the ship. A group of vamps want to escape, too, and they know that one of the last group is an agent for the aliens. Would they be able to stop him/her from boarding? Of course not. So, how do they get onboard and find the spy before the Ark ship is blown up or captured, the humans enslaved, tortured or eaten? Whew!


Makes me hungry just thinking about it. And thinking about eating, unlike zombies, not all vampires are bad. And you don’t have to be an immortal dead to read about some. Go HERE at vamp speed, not zombie speed, and check it out. In the UK go HERE.

Pleasant dreams.


Hey, Gaia, how hot is it?

Posted in calamities, Disasters, Gaia, Global Warming, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

Maybe it should be, how hot will it get? Whether you deny the reality or accept the fact – it’s getting hot outside. And I know why. Well, we all know why, hydrocarbons, human inventiveness, cow farts, all that. But why is all that and more making the Earth hotter every year? Because we have an enemy whose sole aim is to destroy humanity.

The enemy is not aliens bent on making Earth uninhabitable for humans so they can move in because they need a new planet and Earth looks pretty good except for the 7 or 8 billion pesky humans running around taking up valuable real estate.  And  they already made their own planet hot and uninhabitable, and know how to do it so what chance do we have? No, not them.

Nor is it some supernatural entity who wants to make the surface of the Earth available for all demon kind who are tired of living down under. (Not you Australia, farther down) Of course, even among the average Joes and Janes of the supernatural entity masses there will be some who resist change (meaning they would have to accept logic and facts) no matter how good it might be for the people as a whole, or their descendants. Though some might think differently if the Greenhouse Gas oven we are building cooks the humans to a delectably putrid state. Yum. No, not them, either.

No, it’s Gaia (that’s the Earth in case you missed that day in your mythological geology class because you had to spend half the night before figuring out how to update your Facebook status from straight and sober to a loosey goosey high, and back)  herself. I have it on no particular authority that long ago Gaia recognized that humans would be bad for her so she put together a short (in geological time) plan. She knew, with the prescience of 5 million years experience,  that in a few thousand years even though the new hairy beasts only used two feet instead of four, they’d leave a BIG messy footprint.

So she created oil (you do not want to know where that really came from – zooplankton,  algae, dinosaurs, leaves and twigs? Oh please.) figuring they’d figure out how to burn the stuff irresponsibly, causing the atmosphere to heat to uninhabitable levels. Then, in a short 5000 years or so, they’d all die off from flooding, famine, heat stroke, wars for the few remaining resources, or high temperature viruses and bacteria;  or figure out how to leave the planet altogether. Either way, what does she care, peace and quiet at last.


What if you were an astronaut and were sent to Mars with the idea of moving all the remaining humans to that cool red land? There, you meet the God of Mars, Gaia’s younger brother who she tormented endlessly when they were young just forming planets. Mars realizes what you are planning and wants nothing to do with an invasion of immigrants. He also knows some of Gaia’s secrets and sees a payback opportunity. So you make a deal; Mars will spill his secrets and help you return Earth to a habitable state, if humans stay away. You, being a shrewd wheeler-dealer, negotiate the rights to develop one crater as a resort. What a deal. Except we all know what happens when you let a few humans in the door.

What if Gaia has a brain? And you find it while lost deep in a cavern. But the brain is under attack by a virus that had mutated due to the excessive heat on the surface, and even Gaia can not control it. If the brain dies, the power of Gaia dies and the Earth will spin apart destroying all. But, you are a doctor and you cure Gaia’s brain fever. You also convince her that some humans respect the Earth and deserve to live. Grateful, Gaia agrees, but a limited number only,  one billion, the rest must go. She gives you the power to choose. You must mark the areas – cities, states, countries, islands, continents  – for destruction, or all will be destroyed. How do you choose?  Who do you choose? Do you choose? Will absolute power corrupt you absolutely? Will humanity, a billion of them, anyway, be saved? Will you be seen as villain or hero?

No matter how crispy it gets outside, keep your cool and think about why it’s so hot. Then do something about it.

I’m hot under the collar, (or would be if I wore shirts with collars)those people put another of my stories up in their little contest. This is my first and final plea – Please vote for An Accidental Vampire at It’s hot!

And the loser is…

Posted in Losers, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

loser2Me. The loser? Okay, last time I was working on being a winner, but I was a loser. Second place! Can you imagine my embarrassment? I begged and groveled for votes. I browbeat family, friends, and acquaintances new and old. I even had a meeting at a crossroads ready to make a deal with the big D, but I guess my soul wasn’t worth much because  he only sent a minor minion to negotiate. The kid  (he could have at least sent an adult minor minion don’t you think?) said I’d have to bring another soul with me to make the deal worth it. Now that’s embarrassment. Though I did run through a short list of  possibilities. Don’t bother asking if you were considered. I’m not . You probably have this link memorized by now,  I put it up only for the newbies. Don’t be offended.

In any case, the brains(?) behind the contest took pity on me. They said I put up a good fight, though I lost by a sneaky last hour 8 votes. (My attorneys are consulting with the FBI about voter fraud infractions. I’ll keep you informed. You may be called as a witness.) So, in their infinite sadism, they put up another of my books, Fear Killer , a psychological thriller,  for the December contest. So, after I got through punching the computer screen while screaming, “No! No! Please, not again. How much humiliation do you expect me to take?” once again I’m searching, gently, with the utmost respect for your political, religious, and moral beliefs, computer expertise, the dark secret (that you actually read this blog)  you hide from your spouses, BFFs, and strangers who talk you up at the bar you hang out in at odd hours, (hmmm, another secret?) and oh, I almost forgot,  your time. If I win, then I, and you, won’t have to go through this again and I can go back to shameless hucksterism of my books (did I mention a Hell Cop Bundle?) and you can go back to ignoring said hucksterism. Now that’s a deal!

By the way, I’m not the only loser out there (whew, misery loves company.) There must be a hundred, maybe even (gasp) a thousand of us, anloser and winnersd I think we should be shown a little appreciation by all those gloating winners swimming in their vaults full of cash like Scrooge McDuck. After all, without us losers there wouldn’t be any winners. So I think they should share some of their fraudulently (I mean, really, how could those shlubs have won all those millions, or cars, or a literary consultancy critique, over me without a little fakery going on)  gotten gains. 5% sounds fair, don’t you think?


I have no ideas for loser stories. I mean who wants to read about losers? Even about ones who are having a beer in a bar and meet another gulosers1y having a beer who was just dumped by his girlfriend who happens to work for the Lottery people. Before he was dumped, because she thought he’d never amount to anything, she showed him how it all worked, so he tells loser 1 who happens to know a genius loser girl who knows something about everything, and they have a few more beers and call loser 3, the girl, and pretty soon they have a plan involving magnetics, sex, stolen lottery balls and the like, which they actually attempt. What do have to lose they haven’t already? Hilarity, mayhem, sex and romance ensue. Of course the plan doesn’t quite go so smoothly, but of course they all end up amounting to a great deal. Who’d want to read that?

As necessary as losers are, I’d rather be a winner. It’s that Season. Won’t you help a poor starving writer who hustles his wares on a cold, blustery sidewalk just down from a Salvation Army Santa where he hopes snag a little of his generous HoHo Ho spirit instead of the spirit of indifference endemic of the general public?

Have pity, Sir. Have pity.starvwriter2

Poor me.

Who you calling old?

Posted in Birthdays, death, Identity, immortality, Novel writing, reincarnation, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Vampires, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

One of the characters in the novel I’m working on, Blood on the Water, (the sequel to Blood Justice) had herself turned into a vampire to seek revenge. That got me thinking…

If there are such things as vampires, I hope before one changes me into a ravaging blood-thirsty beast I have time to get hair plugs, a face lift, a tummy tuck, a bit-o-liposuction, and a little tightening of the neck. My nose is good. Even though I’ll be lurking in back alleys and dark parks looking for cute, blonde teenage girls (I didn’t add smart because a smart girl wouldn’t be in those places) to slake my maddening thirst for fresh young blood, I want to look good for the rest of my immortal life.

I just celebrated (?) one of those milestone birthdays no one looks forward to. If I’m destined to be changed into an immortal beast monster gentelman this isn’t the one I’d have chosen to be changed at.

What  would be the best age to be upgraded to immortal? “Go Young” you might say. But how young? Certainly not less than 18. It might sound fun to be a teenager for ever, but after 30 or 40 years you might want to go into a bar and have more than a Shirley Temple. They card vampires too, you know. Not to mention that as a teenager you might think you know it all, but you don’t. Unlike Rodney Dangerfield, if you want some respect, you should wait until at least 21 before allowing that charming bad boy/girl vamp to give you the bite that lasts. Even at 21 you’ll still get carded everywhere, and after 20 or 30 years nobody is going to look at your ID and believe you’re 40 or 50 years old. You don’t want people looking into your birth records then bugging you for the secret of how you’ve stayed so young looking, do you?

If you want to flow through the centuries with a certain level of gravitas, you might wait until 50, or even 60. Maybe 62 if you’re big on Senior Discounts. Who knows, if us mortals continue to live longer on our own 60 might be the perfect time to get that sporty convertible to scratch that mid-life crises itch. However, if you’re going to choose that option I suggest you go vegan and to the gym, starting now.

30ish would seem to be the ideal age to receive the gift, or curse, of immortality. Old enough to leave some, not all, of that youthful wildness behind you and still have your body, good looks, and hair.  If male pattern baldness is already creeping up on you, you might consider going younger, or learn how to shave your head. Bald is beautiful, Baby! You’ll also be young enough to be envied by all those old folks over 40. A plus for sure.  At 30, with experience and youthful indiscretions behind you, you’ll be ready to start building the fortune that will sustain you for the coming millennium or two; houses, cars, boats, travel, spouses.

Speaking of hair, make sure you have your hair cut in a classic style for the ages that you like. Because I’m not sure the hair of vampiric immortals will grow out to fix a bad haircut.


What if you were young and down on your luck, maybe living in your car, with few prospects, and a stranger, say 65-70 years old, offers you $100,000 dollars for your youth.  You would still be you, just 65-70 years old. Maybe some grey hair and some sagging here and there, but still you with the same mind as now, just older. You agree. Abra Cadabra you’re old, but not without some intelligence. You look into this age swap thing, find out the stranger’s secret, reverse engineer it, offer some not too bright drunk 25-year-old $5000 for his youth. “Sure. Why not?” he says. You swap, and then you find someone else with $100,000 and make them an offer. And you do this swap again and a again, a nice lucrative business. Except there are some bad guys who want a piece (all of it) of your action. And then there’s the father of a woman whose youth you sort of stole. And a cop who knows more about youth stealing than he should and he’s looking for you.

What if some kids are telling their Grandpa how proud they are of him that he’s such a hero, and he says, “Ain’t nothin’ to be proud of here.” And the kids say, “But everybody says you saved the town, village, city, country, world, galaxy.” “Humph,” he says. “Maybe at the end I did somethin’ good. But that ain’t how it started. They don’t tell ya that, do they?” “What do you mean, Grandpa?” He sips his whiskey and tells them, “Once upon a time….”

What if  you were a retired criminal well into your 60s, but still vital, living nicely with your wife on your ill-gotten gains. Then you had a visit from a some of your old crew. One of the old crew is dying of cancer, because a particular doctor misdiagnosed him, possibly on purpose. He has a family that depends on him. So you agree to look into it and find a criminal enterprise way beyond what you used to do. So you all decide to go against the doctor and all the other white collars who are letting people die for their own gain. The old street-smart tough guys against  the new ruthless, boardroom smart guys.

What if there was a planet where the sentient inhabitants grew old in the usual way, but at a certain time they grew younger, Benjamin Button style. As the unaged they brought all their experience of growing and being old to their government, business and culture. How would that make said government, business and culture different from ours?

What ever your age, be nice to the oldsters. Because sooner than you think you’ll be one of them bitchin that them youngsters don’t give any respect, just like you.

Happy Birthday, Again?

Posted in Birthdays, death, immortality, Love, Novel writing, reincarnation, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

So next month is the event you’ve been waiting for. I know you’ve been checking your New Word a Day calendar every day, ripping off  the page with that new word you’ve either known since you were three, or know you’ll never use at any time for the rest of your life even if you’re immortal, with great glee, knowing you are one day closer to my __ birthday. I know, it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling just thinking about it.

It doesn’t really matter what number is assigned to this event. You’re only as old as you feel, you’re not getter older you’re getting better, blah, blah, blah. Just remember  that 65 is the new 60, maybe even the new 57. I’ll have to check with my doctor on that one.

Now I know you’ve been planning for months what to get me for my birthday present. Well, I’m here to set your worried mind at ease. Although, I do realize that some of you feel you aren’t really living unless you have something to worry about. Even when all is cool, all is fine, the bills are paid, you still have a job, you’re pretty sure your kids aren’t on drugs and if they are everybody’s kids ought to be on whatever they’re on,  your spouse isn’t cheating on you, or doesn’t know you’re cheating on them, and there is no logical reason to worry about anything, you worry that everything is going too well and that OH MY GOD something terrible is going to happen and I need to be PREPARED! This is how survivalists are made.

So don’t worry about the two-week cruise, or that little bungalow on the beach, or that very fast red car, or that motorcycle that was in that movie, or the high-end computer/entertainment system, or unlimited movie or book store gift certificates that you were thinking of giving me as a small token of celebration. I have something else I you can give me, though I wouldn’t turn down a 35 foot bluewater cruising sailboat.  All I want for my birthday is for you to read my latest e-book, Ancient Mariners, and write a review of it to post on Amazon, Smashwords, KOBO, Goodreads or any place else that prospective readers might stumble on it and shout “Eureka!” and fall on the floor in a fit of expectant literary extacy. Cheap and simple. Why worry? And, as a bonus, you’ll be able to answer the question way below.

Speaking of birthdays, what I’m wondering is – How does somebody who believes in reincarnation number their birthdays? Instead of a mundane, “Oh, I’m 46 today,”  do they say, “All told I’m 378 today, plus those two weeks I spent as a mosquito in Africa. I wasn’t carrying any diseases so I got a small bump up  to a banker in my next life. Or, do they only count the number of past lives? And if so, how do they know when to start counting?

As far as I know, most people who believe don’t remember their past lives. Which brings up the question – if you don’t remember your past lives, what good is it? What does it matter? If you don’t remember, how can you learn from your mistakes and better yourself so that next life you will be the next Warren Buffet, Michael Jordan, Elizabeth Taylor, or, OMG, Justin Bieber.

Of course when have humans as a whole ever learned from their mistakes? Wars still happen, politics still happen, religious extremism still happens, hate and evil and intolerance and greed and selfishness and plain old stupidity still happen. So whether you’ve only had two lives or a hundred,  put your memory cap on and learn something to help us poor one-lifers.


What if you could remember your past lives, really remember, and throughout them you knew you would remember everything going into future lives.  How long would it take for you to own the world if throughout those lives you stashed away money, gold, jewels, art, made long-term investments relying on compound interest and the like? And what would all those lives be like, knowing what you knew? If nothing else you’d be a hell of a history teacher.

What if you remembered from birth? What would your life be like being fully aware of hundreds of  years of history at birth. Talk about your child prodigies. Who knows, maybe that’s where they come from.

What If you were from a family of wizards and witches. On your birthday you were allowed one wish for yourself. The thing is on this particular birthday you are afflicted with a debilitating disease that will leave you incapacitated for the rest of your life, which may not last until your next birthday. Wish yourself cured, a no-brainer. But the other thing is the one you love most in the world has suffered an accident and is dying. So do you save her/him with your wish, knowing you may not live until your next birthday wish, or cure yourself? How much do you love them? How much do they love you? Is there a way around the decision?

What if you were immortal and enjoying it, living large, not giving death a thought. Then you find out they forgot to tell you your immortality only lasts 1000 years. However, there is a way, exactly on your 1000th birthday, to extend your life another 1000 years. The thing is, after 990 plus years, you’ve lost track of your birthdays so now you have to figure out when it is, exactly, or the immortality you have become used to, and like, will end and you will be a mortal, living out your short life to the end. Of course there is that person you’ve fallen in love with. And the niggling question of is she/he immortal, too?

In any case, whether it’s today or a 1000 years from now, Happy Birthday wishes to you. And a light blue hull on my sailboat would be perfect.

The question – Is Beth Portman the new Lisbeth Salander, Katniss Everdeen, or Vanessa Michael Munroe?

Solitary Man

Posted in Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

In my new novel Ancient Mariners, one of two main characters is a solitary man. For five years he has lived and sailed on his sailboat, wandering, compelled by guilt and grief to live a solitary life. There are a lot of Solitary Men and Women out there, some by choice some by chance. Some by both.

By chance, because of some real or imagined childhood trauma, you might be paranoid and be absolutely sure that the sweet old lady in 3B is cooking Meth in her apartment and everyone in the building is her customer and they are all just waiting for you to let your guard down so they can steal all your hoarded newspapers you’ve been carefully collecting in your living room since 1992 when someone who used to be a friend told you there were secret messages from God in the daily jumble puzzle. So you live a solitary life because  you know they are all unworthy of God’s message, even if you can’t quite figure them out yourself.

Or, you’re already a Methhead and are trying to stay straight and the only way you can do that is to keep all those freaking druggies (ie. everyone) the fuck away!

Or, you’re sick to death of all the bullshit from family, job, government, and that snotty neighbor two houses down who knows everything about everything, which is okay but he/she just won’t SHUT THE HELL UP about it. So you find a cabin in the woods, mountains, desert, foreign country, or sailboat and live alone and love it. Because it’s QUIET.

Not all who live alone like living a Solitary life. Suppose you’re shy, conversationally inept and socially challenged (Or are they the same?) But not scared or fearful. You’d rather run into a dark alley to answer a cry for help followed by gunshots than take one step away from the corner of a cocktail party you were inadvertently invited to because somebody thought you were friends with that hottie from work you happened to be standing beside (well, standing behind,) and start a conversation with… anybody. Is there any more solitary life than to be surrounded by people having a good time while they totally ignore you?

Even if you aren’t challenged by the social graces you may prefer a solitary life. You might be too smart for your own good. Any conversation at any party,  event, dinner, family gathering, or meeting is inane, plebian, and of so little consequence you can actually feel the words go in one ear and out the other leaving a trail of dead neurons and blasted synapses while making your eyeballs roll up, pleading to God or whoever to strike you down on the spot if you hear one more reference to crabgrass or “Did you see (insert any reality show here) last night?” You’re much more comfortable alone in your study, “Nadia, no interruptions for the next week, please!” reading books written by dead people because no live people have written any books worthy of your esteemed, and possibly imagined, intellectual attention. The solitary life for you. Who’d have you, anyway?

Then there are the ones like Silas in my book so consumed with guilt, deserved or not, that they are compelled to live alone as punishment for the hurt they inflicted on others, intentionally or not. The ones with secrets – personal, criminal, governmental – who feel the only way to keep those secrets, and save humanity or at least the one they love from afar – is to live apart from anyone they might be tempted to tell them to.  The ones who’ve seen and understand the worst of the basic human condition and just don’t want to interact with them anymore. The ones with a challenge, like walking to the South Pole, alone, or climbing a mountain, alone, or sailing around the world, alone, where it’s their strength, their will, their brains that determine success  or failure. All the glory, all the blame.

No matter why you live a solitary life, voluntary or involuntary, there’s someone out there who despite your resistance, gets you, cares about you and whether intentionally or not will bring you into a socially acceptable congregation of two, alone together.


What If? you were hearing voices, not a voice, not a few voices, all of them. You’d think you were crazy as would most other people you were foolish enough to tell. Then you discover that solitude quiets the voices so you live in a cabin in the woods (don’t forget the pristine lake) as Solitary Men/Women do. Then the voices return, but they’re alien voices and you understand them and out of the jumble in your head you realize they are preparing to conquer Earth. At some point someone comes into your solitary life. A boy or girl, lost or running away. Maybe an older man or woman, lost or running away. They think you’re crazy, but you’ve bonded, connected (insert steamy sex scene here) and now they can hear the voices, too. Your mission, if you decide you give a damn, is go out in the world and using your power and sidekick, save it.

What If? you were sailing single-handed in the middle of the ocean at night, watching the blazing lights of a cruise ship speed over the horizon. You hear a cry for help. You’re not crazy or stupid so you’re quick to figure out what’s happened. Oh shit. For a few seconds you consider continuing on your placid way, but you know you won’t. You follow the voice to a woman, or man, in the water, under imminent shark attack. Eventually she tells you that she was thrown overboard by persons unknown. Murdered. Why? Don’t know. All you want to do is drop her at the nearest port and sail on. But you know you won’t because you want to know, WHY?

What If? you were trapped in Limbo, floating alone in the timeless darkness, trapped by an evil Sorcerer (or, of course, Sorceress) for meddling in his affairs. But for a long time (hours, weeks, years) you’ve been moving toward a spot of light. Suddenly the spot rushes up and dumps you out into a vast desolate, grassy, sparsely treed, rocky, gouged, mountain bordered, rugged plain. You are alone.  You head for some high hills to see what can be seen. A person runs over the crest, yells at you to run. Behind him come semi-human creatures – hunters. You follow the prey to a tight copse of trees at the end of a deep ravine. You fight the hunters, win, at the cost of the prey’s life. Before he dies he tells you to get to the cave, grotto, hut, altar, mansion, palace and you will be safe.  Ever the Solitary Man, you make your way across the deadly landscape fighting or eluding the ever more deadly hunters and other hungry beasts to your ultimate goal, the _____ of ______, and the second book of the series.

Even though you might be imbedded with the social media in-crowd, give a thought and a hand to those solitary boys and girls, men and women, who stare out from the corners of life’s cocktail party.

Please click here to go to the Ancient Mariners’ page for a short excerpt and links to where it can be downloaded.

Fame? Me?

Posted in Fame, Novel writing, obsession, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

I know you all have been wondering – where’s that What If? blog that I love (well, tolerate) so well. I’ve been working (‘nough said about THAT) and writing. First a novella as a sequel to my An Accidental Vampire story then a short story as a bridge between the two stories so the second (well, third in the series) will work better time frame wise and vampire maturity wise. Whoever heard of a vampire amateur sleuth anyway? Simon Gireaux may be a New Blood, (remember that term, there’s a shameless promotion moment coming) and a former peasant farmwife in 1650 France, but that doesn’t mean she’s not sharp enough to help solve a murder.

New Blood, a short story now available at, (told ya it was coming) helps take Simone from New Blood status to Young Blood (the afore  mentioned novella coming late summer. Can you not wait?) where she might reasonably be expected to be of help solving a murder. Now, all this heavy-duty back and forth writing is all part of my plan to become rich and famous.

Now I’d rather be rich than famous, but usually (there are exceptions and  no, I don’t want to talk about it) as a writer you need to be a FAMOUS!!! author to be rich.  Of course being a famous writer isn’t like being a rock star or movie star. Sure, they make the big bucks but who needs paparazzi sticking a camera in your face when go to the 7-11 for the milk your personal assistant forgot to pick up because that bitch waitress at the restaurant where he went to pick up the seaweed salad which only they know to make the proper way was so rude, or the ones who lay in wait hoping to get a photo of you without at least a half hour’s worth of makeup, or the ones who lurk in the bushes at the back of your compound hoping for a naked picture of you (I hate that. Don’t you?). Sure they get hot girls and hunky guys throwing themselves  at their feet (or wherever), and they get to go to fancy shmancy parties and glitzy movie premiers, but then they have to spend hours getting all glammed up  and haven’t they heard that every picture taken on a red carpet takes a little bit of their soul? Who wants  that kind of fame?

My kind of fame is more likely to be where I’m working in a bare, fifth floor walk up cold-water flat, pounding out brilliant prose on an ancient computer run on power bootlegged from a garish neon sign for the sleazy strip joint next door where the Ls are all missing and so it flickers GIR S GIR S GIR S all night as Disco pulses out into the dim nighttime street, grabbing drunk and horny and lonely men by the crotch and dragging them in to watch slightly past-their-prime women  make promises they won’t keep and with the lights on you might not want them to. And if I nod off from a bit too much hair of the dog there’s the occasional flash from across the street of an alcoholic PI snapping shaky pics of overweight, middle age men being ridden by a bleach blonde with a cowboy hat and boots who’s never seen a cow in her life but knows a donkey when she sees one.

Sure the local denizens would know I was some kind of famous writer, but if I wasn’t buying the drinks, who gives a shit? All except the pretty bank teller in the branch office three blocks away on the edge of respectability where I went to cash my famous writer royalty checks. She has a loser boyfriend always urging her to spread the bank’s wealth his way, of course without any risk or effort by him. Her self-esteem is so low, for reasons she won’t tell, (but one can speculate) that she thinks she can’t do any better so eventually she will try something at the bank, get caught and sent to jail where she’ll discover true love, and self-esteem with a female prison guard and live happily ever after.  I do my bit when she asks why I come in when I could easily use electronic banking, and I say, “Just to see a little beauty in my day.”  She gives me an aw shucks you’re sweet and wouldn’t it be swell if my boyfriend disappeared look. And I might say, “Wouldn’t it.” Her bright, innocent eyes will fill with hope and promise as she says breathlessly,  “Do you think it could really happen?” And I’d just smile into their depths and start to think. “When you’re famous you can get away with anything,” I’d say. After all, what good is fame if you don’t use it to get you want?


See above.

What if you made a deal with the devil for fame and fortune? Been done, to be sure. But a modern-day update of The Devil and Daniel Webster is  always a possibility.

What if you already had all that fabled fame and fortune but got tired of the celebrity life and walked away from it. The fame, not the fortune. But, there was one paparazzo who wouldn’t give up and continued to stalk you even as you moved to the country or out of the country. He/she was convinced you made that deal and wanted to be there when the Devil came to collect his/her due. Despite repeated warnings, restraining orders, late night confrontations in the woods, and early morning visits with a baseball bat  to the stalker’s RV.  And maybe through all that, he does manage to witness your meeting with the Devil. But, because of all the things you’ve done to discourage the stalker and to any witnesses, you’ve inadvertently  become one of the Devil’s minions and instead of taking your soul he allows you to keep it, as long as you continue doing bad things to good and bad people, like that familiar man/woman with the camera who thinks he’s hidden in those bushes overlooking the crossroads.

What if you were sort of a genius scientist who wanted to be a wealthy  famous scientist famed for some popular civilization loved invention, but the credit for everything you did was stolen by your genius unethical boss scientist.  So you sneak into his private lab to find evidence of his thievery and you discover he’s working on a dimensional/wormhole portal to an advanced civilization but hasn’t been able to make it work. Being the genius you are, you figure it out and go through and find some amazing technology that will make your fame and fortune, and maybe you find a girl/guy who is sort of nice. But, you come back through and your boss catches you and you fight and think you killed him so you run back to the other dimension/planet/ civilization. There you find it’s really an evil dictatorship who’d love to find out how you got there and go conquer your world. With the help of your new loved one you escape and have to go to your former evil boss who is still alive and angry for help, ultimately destroying the portal machine. You and the boss make up and with some high-tech brought along by your  new love you become famous for saving Earth so that all can live happily ever after.  Or not.

What if you were a famous and powerful sorcerer/witch and, say, every month you held an audience and anybody, peasant to noble, could come an ask for you help. You listened to them all then picked the one that most intrigued/interested you. Not always the obvious choice. Let the humor, mayhem, drama ensue.

Fame, as more than one celebrity or wanna-be celebrity has found out, is a classic case of be careful what you wish for, you might get it. And if you do gain some fame I hope it’s for a talent or doing something useful. Being famous for being famous doesn’t count.

Please look for the short stories An Accidental Vampire and New Blood on, KOBO, Barnes and Noble, and other e-book outlets soon.

%d bloggers like this: