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”

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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

mannybirch.wix.com/manny-l-birch

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKF7E0M

Pandemonium Justified Published

HUZZAH.  its officially official, I can go back to doing other things with my life for the next 5 minutes lol.  I can tend my farm on facebook, I can get caught up on all the tv i missed (Spartacus I’m looking at you guy), I can figure out how to properly format a damn book cover so I don’t have to sped 6 hours tearing my hair out next time.(my lack of knowledge on the subject is one of the reasons The MisEducation has such a stark cover lol) But Pandemonium Justified (book 2 in the Songs My Father Taught Me series was just released as an ebook on Amazon.com.  Here is the link (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKF7E0M) Thanks to everyone who helped me accomplish this goal of mine.  I realize now how much work this actually was in such a short amount of time but I also realize how much passion I have for this.  I didn’t realize I was working as hard as I was until I got to the cover and was out of my comfort zone.  Special thanks to my editors and marketing/support team they really helped me get everything done and polished.  I feel all professional now.  lol. New singles likely to be on the way now that I am not splitting my focus between three pieces.  Book 3 is already in Production and you can find a sneak peek at the end of Pandemonium Justified.  And a new novella. still unsure of the title, is underway as well. Actually I’d say that one is about 1/5 completed.  Trying to keep it short.  

-Manny L.Birch