Book Three. Book Three. Book Three.

PrinceFitted.Bazinga Mitches. lol.  So I figured I would give an update on what has been going on in my literary world.  I have been lazily at work creating Blood On The Throne.  I love that title btw.  Rambling thought in 3,2,… the original idea for the title was actually going to be Coldplay (A Rush of Blood to the head) and Jay Z/Kanye Watch the Throne). or A Rush of Blood to the Throne instead of the Jay Z/Kanye (Watch the Throne) and Micheal Jackson (Blood on the Dance Floor) mix.  The reason I changed it was because my beta reader said that unless there was in fact mass amounts of death happening in this book that having the title be a Rush of Blood wouldn’t be accurate or more importantly slightly misleading.

The reason I bring this up is because I think I have killed off maybe 20 characters in the first two books combined. Granted the majority of them were off camera but dead is dead in Action Figure land. Currently the death toll in Blood On the Throne stands at, and this is off the top of my head not quite an accurate count,drum roll please… 17.

I am a third of the way through writing this book and I have nearly equaled my kill count for books 1 and 2 combined.  I guess A Rush of Blood might have been accurate. And there is a lot more to come. At least two major characters are going to kick the bucket before the ink dries on this one.

As I have said in older posts I let my characters tell me what is going to happen but all the signs are pointing to the deaths of some of my favorite characters.  There is one in particular that I really don’t want to kill but it  is getting more and more likely the further I go. As I was writing this thinking about who was going to live and who was going to die another major character told me that they were not going to survive.  In order to stop making myself sad that I have to kill these people I am going to just list my current chapter titles for your perusal.  Thoughts are always welcome.

I. Crash And Burn

2. Me, Myself And I

3. Carmen

4. Love and War

5. I Went Down to Virginia

6. Letter Home

7. Mistaken Identity

8. If I Didn’t Know Better

9. Rearview

10. Dirty Laundry

11. The Black Widow

12. Breathe Stretch Shake

Those are the first twelve.  Ironically half of the chapters do not include my main protagonist Lee.

UPDATE. That character recently decided he did in fact want to live.  Currently about half way done with book 3.


Writer’s block: “Mental Leg Day”


Writer’s Block:

Personally I believe that phrase is a giant misnomer.  Yes there are times when we as writers find it more difficult to come up with an interesting plot point or a witty turn of phrase but to think of these times as a block is to give them more power and more longevity than they need or deserve.

As a writer in the scifi and fantasy genre, I like to think of writing in terms of a super power.  To be honest if we even thought of it as a push up, my point would still work  All super heroes get to a point where they can’t use any more of their abilities without recharging.  Green Lantern for example can only use his ring for so long without having to go get his Lantern, say his words and recharge the battery (literally) on his ring.  The Rock can only do so many push ups before his arms grow sore and he must stop, get a protein shake and move onto legs or cardio.  Why should writing be any different.  It is after all just mental exercise.  And whether you are creating new worlds and bending space and time to your whim or simply exercising your mental thesaurus, it takes it’s toll on your brain.

Keep in mind your brain is doing a bajillion things while you create and explore the world of your characters including analyzing and chronicling YOUR world.  There comes a time in every writers creative process where they just have to stop. Your brain can’t fully flesh out the nuances of your imaginary world and perform all the vital functions it needs to in order to keep you alive and a aware of the real world.  This is when it’s time to go ‘Recharge Your Ring’.

Personally, what I do when I get to that point is two fold.  I take a couple of days away from whatever it is I am working on (currently book 3 Blood on the Throne) and I find other things to do.  I go for walks, I go to the movies,I get caught up on my favorite tv shows, I read other books, or whatever it is that makes me happy and relaxed.  The entire idea of the SMFTM Singles was born out of one of the breaks I took while writing Pandemonium Justified.  It was essentially my ‘Mental Leg Day’.

The burst of energy I received when I first started writing book 3 has fizzled at this point and I am maxed out.  The thing I want to stress is that it is important to know yourself and your process well enough to know when you have maxed out.  Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself (during physical exercise) or your characters and their world.  It’s ok for today to be Leg Day and it’s ok for today to be Cheat Day.  Your brain is a muscle, Treat it like one.  So for me today is ‘Mental Leg Day’ and like Winter in Westeros it lasts as long as it lasts and I am ok with that.  Hope you are too.

-Manny L. Birch

Summer Session

So I realized last night that I hadn’t posted on here in quite a while.  I haven’t actually gone back to check the dates but I know I have lost some of the consistency that I once had when uploading to this blog.  Part of that is a result of life happening.  My semester just wrapped and obviously the rigors of College and grad school take their toll on your work load and stress levels.  I published Pandemonium Justified (book 2 in the Songs My Father Taught Me saga) at the end of April, which as a small independent publisher, May has been pretty intensely busy for me. I have also started and completed about a third of Blood on the Throne (book 3).  Add to that, there is a large scale construction project very near my home that has been wreaking havoc on my sinuses.  When you mix all that up, you get a man on the verge of crazy. lol.

 I am going to stop there because if I continue down that path I will get truly side tracked and forget the main impetus(got to organically use that in a sentence awesome!) behind this post; being  that I haven’t forgotten about this blog and intend to return to it pretty hard core now that I no longer have to worry about writing papers as well as books.

With that said, anyone who has read Pandemonium Justified or even this blog will by now know that I started re writing songs for my characters to quote.  I had originally just been writing the bits and pieces that I needed for the moment in time that my characters were actually singing them; attempting to make the material more relevant to the story but I have decided recently to go a bit further. One example is the Prologue for Pandemonium Justified, which is set to the music of Tamar Braxton’s Love and War.  That was the first song I completed in this style and the real spring board out of the slump I had fallen into while writing Pandemonium Justified.

Another example already posted on this blog is part of the SMFTM Single Beamers, Benz, or Bentley. After writing that Single I realized that I really wanted to write the rest of the song.  I wanted to know how it went and some of my friends and other readers agreed that it was something they wanted to see.  I haven’t completed that song yet, rap is a little more difficult than other forms so I am working my way up,  

This time I decided to write the entire song before I wrote the single, even though I had the single already taking shape in my head.  So I will be posting both on here later today.  I am unsure if I am allowed to post the actual Youtube video for this song but I will post a link to the video, so you can hear the original. So go team Awesome Sauce.  

-Manny L. Birch

SMFTM Singles- Beemer Benz or Bentley

Beemer Benz or Bentley

“…I’m Fresh, I’m fly, I’m…” Lee looked over to see his father eyeing him in the rearview mirror. “…with this guy.  Bout to have all them horses courtesy of that guy…” he sang from the back seat Ford sitting next to him laughing out the window.  Paolo was enjoying the comforts of the passenger seat.  Steve winked over at his brother as he noticed Lee’s eyes perk up as they drove past the Mercedes dealership. 

“…whether Beemer, Benz or Bentley, I be moving I be moving, making movies Tom Cruising, If its action then I’m shooting, papa cosigned that wit uncle Paolo out here cruising, my car fox dot com connect told me Mexicans brought that new ish. and you know I’m bout to get it so let’s go introduce him, got a girl wit a car but its time to get  a new chick, got a black chick that love music and a red head on her Lucy, gotta watch her cus she special call me Ricky trick is stupid. But she always ready to give me that Becky. Last line was so good Ford had to grab his belly…”  Ford burst out laughing in earnest in the back seat.  Tears began to stream down his face.  Paolo chuckled in the passenger seat as well. 

“You know your father used to do that too when we were young.  But back then the guys rapped a lot slower.  I don’t know if he could keep up with you at this point.  You got some skills kid.  We may have to put yo ass out on the corner make you earn your keep. “

“I’m not a slut. I’m not a slut.” As they stopped at the light in front of the BMW dealer.

“…Roxanne…” Ford sang from beside him.   

“I got him Paolo. Bring that beat back,” Steve said chuckling to himself.   Paolo pressed skip on the cd changer and the same beat came back on a little slower.  “…Nissan Honda Chevy, Nissan Honda Chevy, Nissan Honda Chevy one of these is what you getting.    In a hoopty that’s for certain. My pockets who I’m serving.  Been driving, l mean swerving public menace put some work in.  No you boys will not be flirting, don’t cry daddy did us dirty.  So when you go see a girl park up the block or walk in person…”

“…Nissan Honda Chevy…”  Paolo laughed out loud as he turned and slapped Lee on the leg.

“…Beemer Benz or Bentley hell no you broke. ..”  Steve finished as they pulled into Nissan dealership. 


To Be Continued   

Beemer Benz or Bentley- Lloyd Banks ft Juelz Santana

Nissan Honda Chevy-Joelle Ortiz

-Manny L Birch

Poems my Brother Wrote- Amble

The amble to this preamble is issue of this address.

i come to you under cover in darkness and in distress.

I cry for the moment when there will be relief from the stress

But i march everyday head high like the rest.

The preamble to this amble may get lost in the void

but who cares ‘I’m the man’ is the rally cry of the boy.

Beyond Disney and Nick this is a sad cold place

So I throw on some Missy and rock out to the bass

Cus the amble to this Preamble is just a line by a guy

Forgot which is which but I know I’ll get by.

No meaning in this just some lines an aside.

Now that I ambled was I able, you decide.

-Manny L. Birch(Author)

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SMFTM Singles- Cosmic Love

Cosmic Love

Forty ran from the window looking as the beam of light that the lead guy shot out of his hands arched toward the house.

“Dad they’re here. “  He barely had time to dive to the floor as the blast knocked out the wall he was just standing near sending debris raining down on him.  Nails and glass shards cut his arms and face as he attempted to shield himself from the worst of it.  His blonde hair quickly staining red and brown as the dust began to settle.  When he was sure there was nothing left to fall. He got up and slowly continued his journey down the hall.  He stopped briefly to examine the body of one of the housekeepers, Connie or Carolina he could never tell them apart neither spoke very good English or spoke to him much at all. But he was sad to see her lying there a wood beam acting as a broken dam for the red river currently escaping her head.  She wasn’t breathing, he was glad, he had heard they sometimes made the help suffer worse for choosing to stay.  Seeing her lying there he realized that he might have fared better if he had shared her fate in that initial blast.  But he kept going. ‘Only pussies wish for death to ease the pain. You’re a fighter so fight.  Get to dad.  Plan.  Call for help. Go.  She’s gone, staring at her isn’t going to bring her back. Go. Fight’ he took another couple seconds to mentally psych himself back up, then started running again.

Everyone always said this house was bigger than it had any right to be.  Nearly 8 of his 19 years had been spent calling this place home.  Learning all the stories these halls whispered at night.  But try as he might, he couldn’t recall a single thing about the house from before he had returned from school a week ago.  None of the doctors or the medics could understand what was wrong with him.  They poked and prodded and questioned and prodded some more.  Still no answers as to what was wrong with his memory or why it was selective as to what he could and could not remember. Sometimes a single moment in an otherwise whole conversation or an entire person would just be missing from his memory.  There was something else nagging at him, some secret about himself that he should know.  He thought for the first couple of days that maybe he was gay but he couldn’t bring himself to think that way about any guys and even when he convinced himself that he was gay he still felt that nagging sensation that he was missing some vital piece of himself.   He suspected his dad actually did know what happened to his memories but was either too ashamed or too scared to tell him the truth.

“…A falling star, fell from your heart…”  The lead guy sang as he stepped through the now gaping wall.  He smiled at the sound of glass crunching under his feet.  Armed men in suits rushed past Forty as he ran toward what he thought was safety.  The men rushed guns drawn to the trio of young men that now calmly advanced in the direction of Forty.

“Freeze or we’ll-“

“…you left me in the dark!..” The leader belted out.  Some of the armed men immediately grabbed their faces, hands covering eyes, or fingers splayed in front of them trying to hold onto what vision remained.  Others maintained their vision long enough to see their comrades reactions to the boys words and his smile as the trio began to march through the armed men.

“Johnson, Oh My God. You’re eyes are bleeding.”  One of the armed man said to his partner.

“I can’t see.  Everything is just black.”

“Don’t worry Johnson, you are one of the lucky ones.  It will wear off in a few hours and you will just be night blind.  It’s the guys who can still see who should worry.  My brother saw my eyes bleed.  We thought it was because he was stronger than I was.  Until he started screaming.  I thank God every day I never saw what actually happened.  I hadn’t fought off the poison they pumped into my system, when my powers flared like they will for you in a while, it made me pass out.  You won’t be so lucky.  Whatever happens to this guy is going to be the first thing you see.” The leader said resuming his progress down the hall.

“Here Potus, Potus, Potus.  Here boy.”  The lead boy taunted as he walked down the hall.

Forty reached his father’s office rushing past the guards that were blocking the entry.  He shut the door behind him as he entered.

“Dad they’re here!”

“Yeah I know.  I have an evacuation team coming for us now.  They should be here any second.”

“Why are they coming for us dad?”

“I don’t know son.”

“You shouldn’t lie dad!”  Forty said his voice draining of emotion.

“Carey?”  The President said questioning his son.   Gun fire erupted outside the door causing the President to flinch.   Forty remained immobile staring at him.   “Carey what is wrong with you?”

The sound of singing started to leak through as the clatter of bullets died down.

“…Thousand armies couldn’t keep me out.  I don’t want your money.  I don’t want your Crown.  See I’ve come to burn your Kingdom down…”

The extraction team showed up in the office with the First lady and three suitcases and immediately made preparations for the First family to be removed from the premises.

“… and no rivers and no lakes can put my fire out.  You raised the stakes so, I’m going to smoke you out…” The body of a guard was thrown the door creating a hole that the lead boy looked through at the President.

“Here’s Johnny!” The lead boy yelled.

The extraction team immediately grabbed the First Family and teleported out of the room but not before the lead boy could grab a hold of one of the extractions team members’ powers.

“Catch you later Forty, you two Mr. Forty-five.”  He smiled at them as they disappeared.

To Be Continued

Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine

-Manny L Birch

Free Promo Weekend

Hey Friends if you haven’t already checked it out and gotten your copy Now is a great time check out my book The MisEducation of A Minor by Manny L. Birch. It is Free this weekend.  As always comments are always welcome.  Reviews are also welcome.  Thanks folks and have a good weekend