The First Paragraph

This is the first paragraph of my latest. Have a look at Melody 8. Remember that this is unedited.

 

My mother used to sing to me when I was scared at night. When shadows, in corners turned into drooling creatures who wanted to eat me. When the wind wasn’t just benign air, but a drooling demon bent on eating my soul, and my body, bit by sweet bit. I’d lay my head on her chest to feel the vibration of her singing. The song would come out in low tones and hurried breaths, and just slightly off-key. I always thought my mother’s inability to hold a perfect tune made the song better. It was as if mom had put her own touch on the song she’d chosen to sing. Her voice made pleasing chills go down my spine, and make my skin turn to goose pimples. I’d burrow deeper into the blankets smiling into my pillow. Mama would end the song and ask if I wanted to hear another one. If I was asleep she would plant a kiss on my head. The moisture and the soft smack of my mother’s lips would wake me up just enough to see her walking out of my room. Most times I wasn’t asleep, and I’d answer with a muffled yes that came deep from my pillows and blankets. Mama would answer with the same response every time. “Okay smart one.” I never knew why she called me this, and it’s funny to look back now and realize, I’d never asked her why she called me smart one.

I loved the sound of my mother’s voice. All the way up to the day she was put to death because of it.

Get Melody 8

MELODY 8 (6)

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Write, Create, Show Up

“The chief enemy of creativity is good taste.” – Pablo Picasso

Write, Create things. There are no rules, and anyone who tells you that there are rules… Isn’t doing anything. But what do I know? Well, nothing. But I shouldn’t let that stop me from writing, or creating something.

My problem used to be I was worried about what people would think of something that I wrote. It would suck, or I’d miss spell a word, or screw up on grammar. Then they would come out of the woodwork! They would hunt me down with their torches and pitchforks. Sneering and pointing and laughing. I would get this in my head, and guess what would happen? Nothing. I would write nothing. Like most people I was asking for permission from people who usually didn’t exist, or just didn’t matter.

The most horrible times in my life were not when people were critical of my work. The times I felt the most horrible was when I wasn’t creating anything at all. When I was frozen because of something someone was going to say. I was forgetting the most important rule to being successful with creativity. Actually doing something creative!

So for a while now I have been taking my own advice. I write everyday. I try to be creative everyday. Some of the things I write might be shit, and some of it is going to be great. People don’t remember the shit anyway. I am showing up, and creating.

 

The Life of Ants

thelifeofants

Blinded by our arrogance

Aliens wouldn’t waste their time on us.

Why haven’t aliens come to talk to us?

The short answer is we are too stupid for them to waste their time on. Do you try to talk to ants?

My question is, what if they have been trying to contact us for years but they just can’t get through to us. How would they go about it. More than likely anything they tried would scare the crap out of us. Their means of communication would be so foreign to us it would look like something out of a horror movie. Being the jumpy species that we are with our ancient reptile brains, we would likely see a threat rather than a handshake.

After contact they would probably leave us to ourselves rather than give us any knowledge they know about the universe, and our own planet. They would simply give up and move on. I think these being would have something better to do. Why talk to some idiots who don’t know what they are capable of and don’t have the brain power to even figure it out. They would find us… Well… boring.

So… enter my twist. I write stories. And the story of contact with aliens can’t end on, “Oh they were boring.” Here is an alternative story. The Life of Ants.

The Life of Ants by Ernie Howard

thelifeofants

 

Pre-Order on Amazon.

They don’t hear it. Keep writing!

Get ready to go it alone. Get ready for the endless barrage of people telling you just how crazy, and irresponsible you are even if there are actual people who make a living doing exactly what you are trying to do. Get ready for the people closest to you putting it down, and telling you that you have not made a dime. Get ready to be misunderstood. Do you got all that?

Okay. Keep fucking writing. Keep chopping wood. Keep making words. Write! Write like your life depends on it. Because it does! Writing for you should be like breathing. At least it should if you want to do anything with it. If you want to make a living in this business you should not just want to write, you should HAVE to write. Write because if you don’t you will go crazy. Write because if you don’t it’s like not being able to sit down after a long day of labor intensive work. Write because it is the center of who you are.

Do not listen to anything other than what your own heart tells you. Write everyday and put it out into the world.

I keep chopping wood. Get my books click the link

Get The Tales from the Canyons of the Damned series!

tales

 

I was on The Leighgendarium Podcast

Just recently I had the honor of being on Preston Leigh’s 30-Minute author interviews. It was actually more like two and a half hours, but Preston painstakingly edited it down to 50 minutes. Check out The Leighgendarium here. And check out my interview with Preston below.

 

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Hey! Those X-Ray glasses were legit!

When I was a kid, I loved comic books. I loved the stories filled with action and accompanied by drawings that seemed to jump off the page into my wide excited eyes. As I got older, I read books without the pictures. Instead, the writing drew the pictures in my head. The stories were the same though. These stories called Pulp fiction. I read writers like Richard Matheson, and Phillip K. Dick. I read Sci-Fi Anthologies, and collections of stories by Stephen King. These writers wrote the stories I liked. They came complete with dark stairs that lead to the basement where you knew the monster lived, but still you read.

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They were stories about regular people who got taught lessons in life by supernatural characters. Some of the stories were funny, and always entertaining, and some were dark and scary. These made you think about all of those weird noises you heard late at night. “What was that…” Just the wind I guess.

These “Pulp” stories were the ones that made me want to become a writer. I would read these and try to weave my own ending, trying to figure out the conclusion before I got to the end of the story. Most times I was wrong, but I got better as I got older and read more.

Pulp fiction gets the least amount of credit these days. People look at it as not serious writing. They call these stories “Twilight Zoners” A term I have never understood because the twilight zone always told the best and most entertaining stories! I don’t think you would have the smash hit Stranger Things, or the oldie but goodie Lost, if it wasn’t for the Twilight Zone.

twilight-zone

Why do people read if they don’t want to be entertained? If you are reading a book so you can give it a review, or tell your friends you read it. Just so you can sound smart in certain circles… You have missed the point of reading fiction! You will never get that time back. The time you spent reading that boring book that some critic called a tour de force!

You get older and almost feel you will be shunned by the “serious readers” if you say your favorite writer is Stephen King. Hey, I’ve read Infinite Jest. David Foster Wallace was a great writer, and I loved that book. But as far as storytelling goes, he couldn’t hold a candle to Richard Matheson’s Bid Time Return. You may know it as a movie called Somewhere in Time, starring a young Christopher Reeve, and Jane Seymour. Yes, Matheson wrote that. And he wrote many Twilight Zone episodes.

So before I get long winded, let me tell you why I wrote this. I wrote this because I have seen reviews that seemed to have missed the point. Reviews that called stories I loved, or wrote for that matter, “Twilight Zoners.” To which I have to say Thank you! I’ll take your three star “Twilight Zoner” Review. But what I want to know is, were you entertained? Did the story help you leave your hassle filled life just for a moment? Did you get to escape? Because that is all that matters.

Don’t be the person who doesn’t want to know if that Submarine in the back of the comic book really worked. You remember, the one for $6.98 plus postage.

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Don’t be the person who is too smart to believe those X-Ray glasses were just worthless pieces of plastic.

Be a kid! You don’t have to grow up if you will simply let yourself enjoy the story you are reading without critiquing it as you go. Not everything has to be Shakespeare. Who was a great Pulp fiction writer I might add. Yes, feed your brain, but don’t forget to have fun.

I write Pulp Fiction in these Anthologies. With other “Twilight Zoner” writers, of “Twilight Zoner” stories. If you would like to read and be entertained, you can pick up the latest Tales from the Canyons of the Damned.

tales9

Maybe it will remind you what it was like to read under covers with a flashlight late at night. You remember. Your mom told you to go to bed. You dutifully laid down. She kissed you on the cheek and said good night. She closed the door, leaving just a crack, so some light would come through. You waited for her footsteps to get down the hall. Reaching under your pillow, (never under the bed), and grabbed your flash light and latest edition of Tales from the Crypt. You read for hours, getting to the part where the Mummies hand is pushing back the large stone of his dusty grave.

.tales-from-the-crypt-horror-comics1

You hear a noise in your silent house… “What was that…?” Probably just the wind… 

Get Tales from the Canyons of the Damned No. 9

tales9

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