Author Archives: Brian G Ross

What I’ve Done This Week #9…

I delved a little deeper this week into the dialogue of Talking in the Fourth. I’m looking forward to grabbing some time and getting through it because I already have a good springboard for the plot and how it ends, and about half of my projected word count committed. It’s (hopefully) a clever twist on a familiar set-up.

I’m also going to make a concerted effort to fire off a bunch of stories in the next few days. I’ve sat on a lot of good pieces for a long time, and I miss those days when I’d have upwards of fifty active submissions… where I genuinely did look forward to the response, even though nine times out of ten it was a rejection.


People Are All Kinds of Dumb #9…

This one goes to one of my young work colleagues… one who should probably remain nameless after this little inquiry. So let’s just call him Kieran.

“Don’t you think Dwayne Johnson and The Rock look like the same person?”, he asked.

Yes. They do.

I asked Kieran if he was serious, at which point he questioned whether or not he was thinking of the right… people.

Now, in his defence it would appear that he is not the only one who doesn’t know that The Rock and Dwayne Johnson do indeed share a passport, but I figured that someone in their early twenties would have their finger a little more directly on the pop culture pulse than he apparently does.

I wonder if he knows that J Lo is really just Jennifer Lopez.

What I’ve Done This Week #8…

Well, I’ve named the piece I was discussing last week. It’s going to be called, Scream, Pause, Play. At least, that’s the working title. These things have been known to change as the story grows. On paper (or, in my head, at least) it’s a very dark story with an interesting narrative form. It will be quite the undertaking, but I’m certainly willing to giving it a go.

I’ve also picked up a story I started a long time ago called, Talking in the Fourth. It’s a first person tale set entirely on a therapist’s couch that should probably be no longer than a couple of thousand words, so it shouldn’t outstay its welcome. I found a good ending for it a few days ago, so now it’s just a matter of writing my way towards it.

Of course, this is along with that damn monster story on the train that hasn’t quite pulled into the station yet.

But I’ll get there.

People Are All Kinds of Dumb #8…

I’m aware that the people of the United States are apt to walk a little on the silly side from time to time, but making a goat the mayor of your town is a bit of a stretch, even for them. Except – in the absence of a compelling human candidate – that’s just what the people of Fair Haven, Vermont did earlier this month.

All right, it’s not quite as stupid as that, but it’s not that far off the mark.

Fair Haven is not a mayoral town therefore the post – won by a three year old Nubian goat called Lincoln, who collected more votes than any of his competitors; including dogs, cats, and a gerbil called Crystal – is purely an honourary thing, kind of like a mascot but with the power to raise taxes. 

The whole thing was done to raise money to build a local playground, although they only brought in about a hundred bucks, so that will barely cover the cost of the shovels required to start the digging.

I can get with the sentiment though. It’s a worthy cause and a quirky way to go about paying for it, but when the Town Manager, Joseph Gunter claimed that the election was: “a good way to get the kids involved in local government”, I was suddenly reminded of what we were talking about.

What I’ve Done This Week #7…

When my marriage broke down and I moved out in 2013 I left my computer, and with that decision, lost a lot of my words.

I didn’t leave any completed stories behind, but there were thousands of words of notes and excerpts from things I was working on, along with interesting snippets that I had written down along the way that I didn’t have a place for at the time of writing. None of it was gold, I’m sure, but I’ve managed to work a lot of those rough notes into decent stories over the years, so it’s a loss that still hurts today.

Since then I have been a lot more careful about anything I write. It’s saved in multiple places – emailed to myself, or written onto a disc.

Recently I came across a couple of paragraphs I had saved onto my phone. It was about memories – the beginning of a thought or perhaps a story idea, although (ironically) I don’t really remember.

I read over it, and after adding quite a bit to it with no real direction at all, an idea began to form. Before long, I had characters, a viewpoint, and – from the most innocuous of beginnings – a pretty good grasp of where I wanted to go with it.

And that’s a good feeling.

People Are All Kinds of Dumb #7…

The family tree and how each branch interacts with each other always makes for interesting conversation. Who is your second cousin? Who is your third cousin twice removed? Are you allowed to marry your uncle? It’s this last question that got me thinking, which then led me down this rabbit hole.

Sologamy. The act of marrying yourself is a trend that is growing in popularity, because I guess that finding a life-partner really has become a chore in 2019. It’s not legal, of course, or recognised by any court in any land, but the fact that I’m even mentioning it here is head-shakingly crazy. Having said that, this is a world in which Tudder is a thing, so maybe not so much.

I always thought self-love involved my hand and my penis, but this kind of gratification is on a whole different level. What happens if you decide that you can no longer get along with yourself and want to go your separate ways? Maybe you can’t you stand the sight of yourself anymore. Do you have to present yourself with divorce papers? Find a solicitor and split the cost?

And the kids – what happens to them?

So many questions…

What I’ve Done This Week #6…

I haven’t written or read as much as I would like to recently, but then, that could be said for most weeks.

I was given a couple of Stephen King books for Christmas – Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, a novel that is almost as old as I am; and Elevation, a novella that was published late last year. You could (and probably should) read the latter in a single sitting, but it has taken me a few sessions so far, and I’m still just two-thirds through it!

That being said, I’m enjoying it. It’s a very leisurely read and proves (for the umpteenth time) that King is unfairly judged as ‘that guy who writes horror’. When he’s on form he’s simply a great storyteller, regardless of genre.

As for my own writing, I am nearly 4000 words deep into my monster tale, The 07.43 to Blackford Station. It’s coming along nicely, albeit slowly. I’ve got a lot of detail in there, but like a horror novella I wrote in 2013 called The Seventh, I’m a little bit reluctant to present the monster itself. Still, I’m enjoying the process, and that’s the important thing.