3 a.m. light in the window

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.

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Fame? Me?

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 www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton, (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?

IDEAS

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 Amazon.com, KOBO, Barnes and Noble, and other e-book outlets soon.

Death plus Six

First, A Shameless Promotional moment! (Except for Mitch)If you are getting or giving a Kindle or Nook or any other E-Reader for Christmas, don’t forget the e-books to go with it.  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton can help.

I am just now reading the last volume in the Sandman series of graphic novels created by Neil Gaimin. The Sandman is Dream, one of the Endless along with his brothers and sisters – Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny. (6, get it?)

Death is the oldest. This is perhaps a practical matter. Without Death making way for the new, where would we put all of them? Immortality may be an interesting idea, but practically speaking, except for me and you, it’s a no go. Unless, and you’ve no doubt already figured this out you smarty you, you develop space travel early on and send the Newbies, or maybe the bored Oldies, off to another planet, and then another and another – but that’s a different blog. (Oh great, another immortality post) Death is the oldest because all things, bugs, animals, people, planets, stars, galaxies and the like all end up in her arms eventually.

When Death takes you in her arms is up to Destiny. That, too, is a future blog.

What if Death gets bored? He/she/it is always busy, as most people know too well.  A million times a day she (He or it – your choice) scoops up souls on Destiny’s timetable.  In the book I’m working on,  Ancient Mariners, Death is  represented by, wait for it, a large black Albatross. I think the Death in my story decided for whatever reason, to go off book.  Maybe the bad guy was scheduled to die at a certain time – heart attack, a fall down stairs, a random bullet. But Death, to relieve the tedium of embracing the dead since Time began, (or maybe just to screw with her Endless brother, Destiny) picked my two protagonists and created a mission for them. They were trained, prepared, nudged to be at the proper place at the proper time so that the bad guy’s death was not  random. But unlike so many meaningless, stupid, untimely deaths, had some meaning for those present at the time.

Death isn’t a bad guy (person or being,  if you need to be PC.)  Though it might seem she is pursuing you, she isn’t really. She’s just making sure that when the time comes, she’s there to catch you.

IDEAS

What if Death wrote a book? What would she (see above) have to say? I read a novel a few years ago, that I unfortunately can’t remember the name of, narrated by Death as she followed a girl/woman throughout her life.  In your book, maybe there’d be a day in the life, so to speak. Maybe interesting stories of particular people and how they came to be in her arms.

What if (oh damn, here’s those immortals again) your novel followed the cat and mouse existence between an Immortal and Death. Both aware of each other, maybe they have a coffee or a drink together sometimes.  Oh the stories they could tell, the comments of the past, present and future. Maybe the Immortal sneaks in to Destiny’s den and almost sees the date of his/her death. Or maybe it’s open-ended, a mystery to all.

Many people would do anything to prolong their lives. What would you do? Make a deal, your life for someone else’s? Offer to be her apprentice, then stab her in the back? Best be careful, she’s been around a long time and knows all the tricks. If money can’t buy a longer life, what can? What does Death want to  jigger the books for you, or push you back when you fall into her arms? Maybe there are two Deaths and you could play one against the other.

What if Death fell in love?  What if without his/her knowledge Death did jigger the books? Then they met, and the object of Death’s affection fell in love, too. Then they were found out – What would they do, where could they run, who would be chasing them, besides love, what else did they have to lose?

Unless you know something I don’t, you can run, but you can’t hide. So don’t worry about it and do your best to enjoy the time you have. Then you’ll have some stories to tell.

Immortal Love

I’m reading the Sandman series of graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. The series is mostly about “beings” who existed before humanity and will exist after humanity exits the Universal stage.  The Sandman is Dream. His brothers and sisters are Destiny, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium. They are immortal. Though they exist in their own “spaces” they do interact with other “beings” and humans.

Humans die.  Immortals don’t. That’s a problem.

Suppose you were immortal. Not an immortal like a member of a team or a club, not a vampire, or a zombie, or a God/Goddess, or an alien who could go into stasis every once in a while to freshen up their  wrinkles, or a superhero, or a demon, or a regular person with superpowers from being bitten by a mosquito cursed by an African witch doctor.  You are a regular person who at a certain age (you pick) was shunned by Death and Aging. You could not die by any means, including your own hand, someone else’s hand, or any hand associated with nature, fate, religion or the supernatural. You did not age.

And you fell in love. With a mortal.

Not just a regular – Oh this person’s hot and sexy I love you let’s have sex – kind of love. A deep soul cleansing, soul mate kind of love. Someone you could say, “I’ll love you forever,” to, and mean it.  Someone you would happily give your life to save, if you could.

It has to end,  you know it does.  At some point your loved one (spouse or whatever) will figure out that you’re not getting any older and they are. Awkward. How do you handle it?  You could tell them the truth, if you trust them. Loving them does not mean you trust them to keep their mouth shut, especially if they think you’re a creep.  Because even though you are just a regular law-abiding (except for the false IDs and offshore bank accounts) citizen with only that one little secret to hide,  doesn’t mean you want it blabbed about that you can’t die.

Especially if you’re concerned (which you should be) that the “Government” might (they will) find out. Law abiding citizen that you are,  if you’ve been alive any length of time you must have acquired a rather strong skepticism about what the “Government” might do to you if they get their military/scientific mitts on you. Think disappearing into a secret lab in the middle of the desert where they’ll poke and probe you, then, for purely scientific purposes of course, try to kill you to figure you out, then, because they’re scared of you, really try hard to kill you. Failing that, it’s an underground apartment in Area 51 on a very long lease. But, there are two silver linings.  1. If you’ve been clever enough to hide all your money gained over the decades/centuries in interest bearing accounts, you’ll be making money, man.  2. You’ll eventually outlive them. So there, Mr. Soldier Scientist.  BTW, by government I’m not talking about any particular administration (though if it’s Republican at the time you’re really screwed.) I’m talking about all flavors of “Government,” with a big G.

So back to your problem. What to do? Disappear before the question comes up? Disappear after the question comes up? Just go and leave him/her a nice nest egg to  help them get over you? If they love you as much as you love them, maybe they won’t ask and you don’t tell and you go along as if nothing weird is happening. Maybe on their death-bed you can explain? How many times would you have to have that conversation over the years before your tears didn’t get in the way?

On the dark side, there’s always a dark side, especially if your true love doesn’t reciprocate like you think they should, the bitch/bastard. The simplest expedient is murder. By accident, of course. You don’t want some hotshot detective (your love child?) looking into their murder, do you? If you can’t manage murder there’s always solitary confinement in a remodeled basement in a house in the country. Best make sure they’re secure, though. If they escape they could easily make it so you dearly wished you were dead. After all, just because you can’t die, doesn’t mean you can’t hurt. Besides heartbreak, that is.

IDEAS

See above– You have time.

Why the Mouse Died

I killed a mouse the other day. Not because I wanted to, but because the Hand of Fate made me do it. Or maybe it was the Hand of coincidence.

Lunch time at work. There was a mouse sighting. A sticky trap was laid down between the desk and a file cabinet. Within ten minutes the mouse sealed its fate by running over it and becoming hopelessly stuck. Within five minutes, accompanied by mini-screams interspersed with laughs, the mouse, very much alive and valiantly struggling, was unceremoniously dumped in a dumpster. A couple of cryptic comments, and the little creature was forgotten by all. Except me.

One of the women in the group was an accomplished mouse killer. I waited a bit, but she neither volunteered nor was volunteered to dispatch the tiny creature whose only crime was being a mouse in the wrong place at the wrong time. What I wondered as I waited for lunch to be over, I knew exactly what I was going to do afterwards, was – why that mouse at that time? If I hadn’t been there that day ( I was only assigned to work there four days) that mouse would have died a slow, agonizing, forgotten  death of thirst and exhaustion as he struggled against the Great Sticky for hours, probably days. Would he wonder, as I did, why he was dying such a torturous death when he did nothing to deserve it but be born?

A few seconds reflection brings one to the expanded question of why does anybeing, human or animal, live the way they live, die the way they die?Why is one child abducted, tortured and killed painfully enveloped in fear, when another lives a long happy life and dies quietly in his or her sleep? Why is one person born into a shitty life and continue to live a shitty life when another person climbs out and makes a happy life?  Does one grab a number indicating the number of years left to live, as one slides out of the womb.  Maybe there’s red Xs by the number, one X means an easy life and death, four Xs and it’s going to bad, painful, and scary.

Or does free will and coincidence determine your end? Everything you do while taking advantage of your inalienable right to make bad choices (okay, good choices, too) puts you on the path to your demise. But coincidence is what seals your end. I used to drink. Many times I woke up scared to look at my car because I was scared of what I might find. I made a bad choice, but coincidence, chance, luck, kismet dictated that I didn’t kill anybody or myself. How many of you made (make) the same choice and it turned (turns) out badly?

Fate or Free Will? All I know about the answer to that question is that if somebody  says they know for an absolute surety which one is the one that runs our life, they don’t.

Another sticky trap, another struggling, suffering mouse. Another mercy killing. I hope fate or coincidence isn’t trying to tell me something.

Ideas

What if when you were born Fate wrote a note in the Great ledger – the when and  how of your demise. But what if Fate wasn’t quite on the up and up. What if he or she could be bribed? What would be the price to jigger your fate – money, sex, prayer, a human sacrifice? What would you pay? Who would you sacrifice? And what if that person made their own deal, involving you? Can you really escape your fate?

What if at some point in your life in order to survive you (meaning you and everybody else in your world)  had to kill the person next to you? How would that affect your life? Would you be a world of recluses? Would you live in fear, wearing six-shooter to defend yourself at the perceived murderous glance for your neighbor,  or accept it and just live your life “normally?”

What if you absolutely did not believe in “Fate,” then found out with absolute certainty you were wrong. How far would you go into the realm of Gods and other creatures to prove yourself right?

What if you absolutely did believe in “Fate” and lived your life under the assumption that whatever you did, whatever happened to you was not your fault. Then you found out with absolute certainty you were wrong. How  would that affect the way you lived?

As Fate would have it, I am exercising my Free Will and going to plan a campagne against Sticky Traps as cruel and unusual punishment. Whether my punishment or the mouse’s I’ll let________decide.

Honestly now…not

Hurry up! Win a copy of Blood Justice. Use your right of free speech, and clicking, and Go to:  http://suburbanvampire.blogspot.com/2010/11/contest-for-blood-justice-by-david.html

I’ve recently been informed that nobody reads my blog. This of course is disheartening, but also liberating. I can write whatever I want without worrying that I might offend someone, not that I do. I think it’s also not true that NOBODY reads it. Maybe 20-25 people visit whenever I post a new one. Surely one or two actually read it. Don’t they? Readers or not, and even though I grumble to myself when I’m actually writing it, I love doing the ideas part. Ask any writer, isn’t the funnest part that initial rush when that new IDEA is exploding in your head and new scenes and dialogue and characters tumble around like clothes in a dryer with new pieces magically appearing,  all screaming for attention? I want to write every idea. Alas, I am not a vampire and immortal, like the characters in Blood Justice. Ha, I bet you thought you were going to get away without another mention of Blood Justice. Fat chance.

Telling me that nobody reads my blog may or may not be true, and the right to say it may be protected by our country’s Right of Free Speech, but honestly now, wouldn’t a little white lie have been better? From your perspective it probably would have been, because I probably wouldn’t have written this slightly snarky blog post that you’re not reading. 

White lies are good. I mean what if there’s a gorgeous hunky guy at work who’s been making eyes at you and when he’s not looking you’re making eyes at him, though you know nothing will ever happen, and then one day you’re in the supply room and he shows up and somehow the door closes and his eye and body language make totally inappropriate suggestions, since you’re happily married to a very nice guy, and your head is outraged that he smells so good and his smile weakens your knees and warms your body fluids, but your body is overruling your brain by preparing itself for his big, strong hands to unzip and unbutton and grab you who cares where and lift you up and…. So you go home and your husband has a glass of wine ready and dinner in the oven and he asks, “How was your day, Hon. Anything exciting happen?” Now which is better, the TRUTH, or, “Oh, nothing. What’s for dinner?”

IDEAS

What if  you told a lie. Not a big one, a little white lie to save somebody’s feelings, which is a good reason to tell one, except this time that innocuous lie leads to one more and one more and then a bigger (but still white) lie, and then you’re done. Everything is cool as far as you’re concerned. But the person you lied to, not so good, and big trouble comes their way and it’s your fault and you love this person so you’d better fix it  because that first lie was one of those kill-a-butterfly-in-the-jungle-and-the world-will-end-(maybe literally)-chaos theory ones. So, feelings shmeelings, think of the universal consequences before telling someone a lie, like – “Nobody reads your blog, you hack.”

What if you spent your whole life making someone happy, lying, stroking the ego, anything to make that person happy at the expense of your own dreams and desires. Then they die. Sad, because now you’re too old, sick, tired, beaten down or wasted to seek your dream, but at least you know the other person appreciated your efforts. Well done, Joe.  Then you die, and you go to Hell. What? Why? you ask. Because that person you gave your life to bad-mouthed you at the Pearly Gates and so now you’re in Hell. And now, though you may be in Hell and they may be in Heaven, you have a new dream, and it’s called,  REVENGE, YOU UNGRATFUL BITCH! Or SON-OF-A-BITCH, as the case may be.

What if you could always tell when anyone lied, and, knew the truth they were lying about. What would you do with that gift? Do good, do bad, a little of both? Good on the outside, bad on the inside? Would you tell the government? Keep it a secret? Would anybody ever trust you if they knew your secret? How rich would get? What if bad guys got hold of you to use your gift (If you still thought of it as a gift)? How would you oh so cleverly defeat them? Honestly now, what would you do?

Freedom of speech compels me to honestly say, I want you to buy a copy of Blood Justice for a gift to a vampire lover you love.  And that ain’t no little white lie.

It Suits You…Or Not

It suits you all to read a good vampire thriller, I know it does, and you do too. And this being your lucky day, I have  one handy, Blood Justice, in case you didn’t know already. Just because I’m a nice guy I’m going to tell (not show, sorry) you where you can find this fine tome, my third, you know. For those of you in the area, or wanting an excuse to see the Pacific Ocean, on November 6 at 2 p.m. I will be signing Blood Justice at the Mysterious Galaxy Book Store in San Diego. I had lines and lines of links to the various places where my book can be obtained (legally, anyway.) But one link will open up a wonder of other links to all the places a book buyer needs to know about. That being – http://bylightunseenmedia.com/bj.htm. Check the lower right corner.  I know you’re tired, or will be tired, of hearing about this great book, but,  like pledging for your PBS station, once you’ve pledged, you don’t have to feel guilty three times a year when they ask for money.  You know what I mean? Nuff said.

Everybody is suited for something. Some people are suited to be sales persons. (Can you feel my body shudder at the thought of being a salesman? Promise you’ll never mention Encyclopedia Britannica to me. I’m over that. Really, I am.)  Some are suited to be politicians. See above. Scientists, indoor and outdoor, teachers, we need more of those, too bad we spent the money for them on something else, business persons, actors, soldiers, sex workers, and worker bees, somebody is suited for all those jobs.

Writers, too. Some are suited (blessed?) to be bestselling, self-promoting, (and liking it, for God’s sake!) gad about, life of the party, conversational maven writers. Some are more suited to hole up in a dark room with Jazz in the earphones and write  stories for my… I mean themselves that no one else wants to read, and if forced to socialize prefer to stand in the corner and hope nobody wants to talk to them.

In Blood Justice (I’m sure you know what I”m talking about by now) the heroine (is that correct terminology or is it now PC to call all heroes, ah…heroes?) Justine Kroft is well suited to be a vampire avenger. She’s a strong-willed, successful, single mother with martial arts training, one friend, and nothing else to live for. It’s a no brainer she’d want to be a vampire to avenge the murder of her daughter.

Similarly, Simone Gireaux, a 350 year-old Vampire, is suited for her role. She, too, lost her family to murderous vampires (see the Accidental Vampire page, top right) so is willing to help Justine in her quest for revenge.

Teresa Diaz, Justine’s one true friend, also is suited to help Justine. Her daughter is missing, so she knows what Justine feels. Her husband and other two children have moved on, Teresa has not. She is a real “friend.” If Justine needs her help, she’ll help.

So what makes these women so well suited to do what they do? Nature or nurture? No doubt their past experiences shaped them into what they are today. But, all that nurture had their individual natures to work with. If Justine had been a shy, withdrawn, delicate child would the same experiences have led her to give up her mortal life to go after a bad-ass vampire? If Simone had been a weak, unintelligent (not, uneducated) cowering peasant woman, would she have been able to survive 350 years of superstition, ignorance and fear? Not likely. It’s Teresa’s nature not to forget her missing daughter and to continue to search for answers. Just like it’s her husband’s nature to put it behind him and move on.

Nature deals you a hand, nurture determines whether you’re suitable to risk a raise, or fold. 

IDEAS

What if a good girl hooked up with an unsuitable bad boy and tragedy ensued? As if you didn’t think of that first thing.  As if all the gender, age, class permutations of that idea haven’t been around since forever. It’s still as fresh as it was back when Mag met Ugh and he showed her his cave paintings. The private ones way in the back. It will probably still  be fresh when Magzet meets Zook2 and he takes her for a ride on his spacecycle, even though her parents forbid her to see that bum, out to his underground asteroid weekend home and shows her his diamond laser etchings. The private ones in the back.  So I think there’s still a story or two there.

What if a nice, but nerdy, plain-looking man actually hooked up with an unsuitable (at first glance) hot chick. Though she might be a flirty party girl, she’s one of the rare ones who can look beyond the geek exterior and see the good guy inside, and also see in the future that he’s going to be a gazillionaire one day, and she really does come to love him. Then the tragedy. She’s  assaulted, with extreme violence, and the guy, being weak and inexperienced and never having to test his bravery, can’t help her. Helpless,  he has to watch whatever  happens to her. He’s broken. He loses his niceness, his innocence. He doesn’t have a strong body, but he’s strong where it counts, between the ears. What would such a guy do to deliver suitable justice to the bad guy? Or, reverse the genders. How would that change the story?

What if young love happened but the parents disapproved, “He/she is unsuitable for my child,” he opined.  Another oldey but goody.  But what if the unsuitable one goes away and comes back as A: rich and successful – boring. Or B: A different sex. There’s that nature again. Maybe not so boring. Again, reverse some genders and sexual preferences and see what happens. And is the “child,” no matter how old he/she is, in on the secret? The big question is, will there be a happy or tragic ending?

Whatever’s suitable for you, go for it. Whether that includes vampires or not, thanks for your support.