Author Anthony J. Rapino and Motivational Headcheese – Guest Post

**Zombie Anthony

I’ve only been writing for a couple of years and there are times where I’ve just wanted to say, to hell with this, it’s hard, I can’t think of anything, my writing sucks, blah blah blah. I’ve walked away from many a manuscript because I couldn’t seem to find it within myself to push a little harder to get to the other side of the story. Giving up seemed so much more easier. 

I’ve been lucky, however, to meet some amazing people who don’t buy into the  Maybe It Was Meant To Be bullshit. They’re the ones who will tell you like it is. They’ll beat you over the head with knowledge so simple, you’ll be scratching your head, wondering: Well, hell. Why didn’t I think of that before?

I’m very happy to have Anthony here today to share some of his wisdom.
Enjoy – RT

Motivational Headcheese

By Anthony J. Rapino

 

Writing is work, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.  Passion and love for writing is one thing (and yes, I believe a writer should have both), but when you’re coming up on a deadline, or having trouble working out a plot problem, or promoting a novel, it can really feel like work more than before.

This causes problems for writers because a lot of the time, we’re either working with the future promise (or hope!) of payment, or we’re being paid a pittance.  That’s one of the reasons passion is so important, by the way: because without it, any sane person would say, “Screw this shit.”  And yet, it still can trigger that “so what” moment for a lot of us.  That moment we realize, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t write today, or tomorrow, or all month.  It’s not like I have a boss somewhere that is going to stop payment on a check.  And besides, who the hell is going to notice anyway?

These are dangerous thoughts.  These are the little squirming maggots that can slowly infest your brain, leaving behind a loaf of apathetic headcheese.

That’s what I truly believe writer’s block is.  It’s not the lack of ideas.  It’s the lack of motivation to write the ideas out (because yes, sometimes you have to write ten pages of complete crap to get to that nugget of a fresh idea).  But who has time for writing when you’re working a second and third job?  Who has time for it when you have to make dinner and do yard work?

That’s headcheese talk, and I’ll have none of it!

So what’s to be done when you realize you’re essentially working a part-time job and not getting paid for it?

Give up.

No, seriously.  If I need to explain to you why you should be writing, just give up.  It’ll make more room for writers who know why they write, and don’t complain about the shit pay they get for it.  It’ll make room for the writers who actually celebrate that five dollar check they got in the mail.

So really, stop reading, and screw off.  Do I look like a motivational speaker to you?  Better yet, do you think I’m getting paid for writing this?  If you do, the headcheese has officially taken over primary function of your thought process, and I have no desire to discuss the beauty of creation via the written word with walking lunchmeat.

This is not tough love, it is truth.  It is not a how-to guide, it is a wake-up call.

If you’re still reading this, it either means you’re a serious writer who has an innate passion and love for your work, or you’re a masochist planning to write a comprehensive hate letter to me.  Either way, it’s good you got this far, because if you didn’t, you’d miss this last bit of supreme mind-fuckery.

You should get paid for your writing, but you shouldn’t write for anyone other than yourself.

If those two things seem disparate, you’re right.  It makes little sense, because any sane person would assume if you want to sell something, you should gear it towards the buyer.  I’m not suggesting you don’t do that.  I’m simply suggesting you write for your own enjoyment first and foremost.

If you do this, that five dollar check will seem like a revelation.  Those sickening days of figuring out a perplexing plot hole will transform into a day of satisfying puzzle solving.  You’ll be doing it because you love it, and even if you do hate it some days, that passion will never leave you.

Now get to work.

Anthony J. Rapino’s debut novel: Soundtrack To The End Of The World is available now!

click on link or cover to buy

Synopsis

A suicidal nudist strolls into traffic. An eccentric Buddhist claims he can occupy other people’s bodies. All the while, whispers of a new form of entertainment blow through town.

Prompted by these strange occurrences, Marty Raft, a not-so-gentle giant, investigates and discovers underground clubs peddling music that induces an out-of-body experience. Marty and a wannabe comedian, Corey, set out to prove these special frequencies are nothing more than a hoax, or at worst, a mass-drugging. Instead, they uncover a secret with world-ending possibilities.

If you can hear the music, it’s already too late.

About The Author

Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest.  On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas.  Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.

His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A Capella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds.

His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World.  Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website: http://www.anthonyjrapino.com

Sean & Jen talk Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales – Guest Post

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I am very happy to have Jen Wylie and Sean Hayden here to talk about their latest joint effort:
Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales.

The Short Truth Behind Flashing

Jen: Greetings peepsies, this is Jen and Sean here to speak about a very important topic.

Sean: Spaying and Neutering your pets and relatives. Just kidding. Today we shall be discussing FLASH FICTION and SHORT STORIES.

Jen: Though Spaying etc. IS important. Help control your local pet population folks! (And ya, don’t get me started on people…)

First off let’s make sure you know what flash fiction and short stories are, since some people tend to be confused about this.

Sean: Okay. Good call. Well, flash fiction you write while wearing a trench coat and nothing else.
Okay, I’m teasing again. Flash fiction is, you’re given a topic. Say, oh i don’t know, FIREFLIES. You take that topic and write a very short story incorporating the topic into your story.

Jen: The main point being you write it quickly, and it’s SHORT.

Sean: Yeah. Just like I said. I write my flashies in one sitting

Jen: If you want to get technical, flash fiction is generally under 1000 words, usually about half of that or less, depending on who you ask.

Sean: Yes, but also depending on who you ask determines whether there are eight or nine planets in our solar system.
I make my own rules and I say PLUTO is a planet people. Deal with it.

Jen: Back to the topic… short stories, on the other hand, are well… short stories.

They are longer than flash fiction and they tell a tale, with a beginning, middle and end

Sean: Definitely. Short stories are generally under ten thousand words. Anything over that is considered a Novella. I’ve actually had some of mine take longer to write than novels.

Jen: People not used to reading these short works often end up disappointed. Which is sad. There are many wonderful short works out there, and they are wonderful for a variety of reasons. Many people used to novels will complain its too short, or that it was only part of a story, or not detailed enough. Which is all true. THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE.

Sean: As authors, we try to label them as such. I can’t even begin to tell you how many nasty reviews I’ve received based upon the length of the story. “It was incredibly well written, I just felt that there was enough story to make it a full length novel.” Um….Yeah. Short Story. Why do you think it’s so cheap? We price our novels considerably higher.

Jen: Which is a very good point. Also, a lot of times an author might try out a story idea as a short, or write a short to accompany something else they have written. Or the story was only ever meant to be short. The point of reading is enjoyment, to get your brain and imagination working. If our story gets your gears a-turning and what-ifing…then our job is well done.

Sean: I for one have written short stories that I intended never to revisit again. I wrote them as an experiment so to speak, to see if I liked writing in a particular unfamiliar genre. Because of POSITIVE feedback, I now have both pre and sequels planned for that short story.

Jen: Let’s use Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales as an example. It has some quickies, a wide range of genres and even different writing styles. I was all over the place in my selections for it. I like to try new things and see not only what I like to write, but what readers like to read.

Sean: And it was the peoples thirst for something a little longer that we decided to put a whole bunch of them together for a longer, meatier, bigger, stronger, faster, something for them to enjoy. We went for crazy, paranormal, fun, and exciting. This is just the first one of a whole series of them we have planned. Hope you enjoy them!

Jen: So on that note, thanks for stopping by! Please comment away about what you think about flash fiction and short stories. Feel free to ask us any questions too!

Sean: Try the veal and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

About the Anthology:

An anthology of the strange, bizarre, and just plain weird.

Zombies, vampires, ghosts, and …crickets? Try a taste of writing from two very different fantasy authors. Flash stories are super short and perfect for when you ‘just have a minute’. This anthology contains 15 stories from authors Sean Hayden and Jen Wylie. Run the rampart of emotions in this exciting mix of tales. From humor to twisted, there is something for everyone.
Note: Some stories contain adult language.

About Jen Wylie

Jennifer Wylie resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light was her debut novel published in 2011 by Echelon Press. She also has a number of fantasy short stories out, including a YA short story series called Tales of Ever. Coming Oct 2012 from Hadley Rille Books is another YA fantasy, Broken Aro.

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About Sean Hayden

Born the son of a fire chief, Sean naturally developed a love of playing with fire. His family and friends quickly found other outlets for his destructive creativity. Writing is his latest endeavor.

Always a fan of the macabre, mythical, and magical, Sean found a love of urban fantasy and horror. After writing several novels in this genre, he found, fell in love with, and immersed himself in steampunk. He has always wanted to rewrite history and steampunk gave him that opportunity.

Sean currently lives in Florida as a fiber-optic engineer as well as an author. He was blessed with the two most amazing children he could ever hope for, has met the absolute love of his life, who coincidentally is his partner in everything. His hobbies include grand designs on world domination as well as a starring role in his own television sitcom.

Website

Blog

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook Fan Page

Amazon Author page