My Writing Process Blog Tour

I‘ve been graciously asked to contribute to the ‘My Writing Process‘ blog tour by author Michael Thomas-Knight. Thank you, Michael! Michael has over thirty-five short horror stories in various books, magazines, publications and websites. He also loves to review horror films; his blog, ‘Parlor of Horror,’ is absolutely chock full of stories, galleries and information to delight any horror fan. After all that, how could I let Michael down by not participating in the ‘My Writing Process‘ blog tour?

So here we go!

1. What am I working on?
Currently, I’m just beginning to crank up the promotional and marketing machine for my latest release, ‘Dusk and Summer.’ Ironically, my novella is anything other than a horror story; it’s actually a contemporary fantasy story written in tribute to my father who passed seven years ago from pancreatic cancer. I took elements of my father’s passion of scuba diving and turned it into a tale about a dying father who sends his only son on a mission to lay his soul to rest at sea. I won’t give anything else away, but the book is completely taking readers by surprise. Most importantly, I’m donating a portion of all proceeds to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

I am hoping, however, to start a new horror novel in the next month or so once I get a better handle on my book promotion. There’s only so much time in a day, after all.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think my work differs from others of its genre, that being horror of course, because of my flexibility and ability to adapt. I don’t write in just one set ‘voice’ or ‘style;’ my stories dictate the direction of their travel, as well the means of their intent. I serve only as their guide. But inevitably, my stories are recognizable by the concise manner in which I deliver them. I don’t like to be wordy, so my structure is often punchy and impactful.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
I write what I do because I simply have a burning desire! I see a glimpse of an image in my head, and from that alone a story takes shape. Writing is my therapy – it calms me, allows me to see within myself and process all that I am. It just happens to come in the guise of monstrous and disturbing tales.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?
My writing process is fairly simple: I mute the world and clear my head. And by clearing my head I mean getting rid of that day’s stress, as well as not thinking of what I’m about to write at all. I then fall into a daydream sort of mode. While that’s going on, I may light some candles and incense. Not to channel spirits or demons (then again, who knows – lol), but to just cleanse myself. I crank a playlist that puts me in the right mood and might even pour a drink. Finally, I glance at my daughter’s photograph and remind myself of the reason I work tirelessly at what I do.

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Okay, now I’m choosing my own nominee (only one person but for a very good reason) for the next ‘My Writing Process‘ blog tour. She’ll be answering these same very questions on her own blog on July 21 – make sure you visit! :)

1. Nina D’Arcangela- My only nominee is Nina D’Arcangela, my partner in crime with Pen of the Damned.  Personally, I can’t wait to hear about her writing process.  I don’t think anyone truly knows just how much Nina does, and if you did, you’d be astounded!  Let me scratch the surface:  Nina is one of the founders of Sirens Call Publications –  every horror writer needs to have them on their radar.  She is also the owner of Dark Angel Photography, an extremely talented writer who cranks out some wicked emotive prose, a marketing specialist, a web developer, an avid reader, an UrbEx adventurer, a weird quirky geek (hey, your own words, Nina! lol), a devoted wife, loving momma to her kitty cats (who secretly tap out stories on her keyboard while Nina is sleeping!), and truly the biggest and most unselfish supporter of authors and their craft that I know.  Nina doesn’t ever seek the spotlight, but I’m pushing her (albeit screaming) into it, and that’s why she’s my sole nominee; she deserves it!  :)

Husk

Husk

The call came
that you were gone
and all that remained
was the simple act of driving
to see you one last time.

Your own terms
abided
always
something I will admire.

You left me
a husk
something you never were
something hard to erase from memory
always
unforgiving.

And during that simple act of driving
when all that remained
were your terms
I remembered the final time I lay with you
a husk
the party long over
the curtain long drawn.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Sworn

bolts2

I thought you would follow, but the willow reed swallowed me whole
At least that’s the excuse you sold…
I’d been too busy tightening bolts
Preparing for traffic that would never come.
On the opposite end of nothing now
I’ve teetered upon this sharp edge far too long
Waiting for that willow reed to part
A path once cut through it; I suppose now it’s gone
Should my bridge someday be crossed
Unlike that lost, forgotten route
I’ll keep to tightening bolts, even if my hands get torn
The willow reed once led the way, at least
So you’d sworn.

(first appeared in Damned Words 2 http://wp.me/p2iKoL-u8)

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

 

Yours to Keep

YOURS TO KEEP

Little girl
you grow before my eyes and
the feel of your hand in mine as I walk you to school
stills my restless demons;
I am far from a perfect man but
I live to be flawless in your eyes.
Every kiss you bless upon my cheek
reminds me that while I am responsible
for protecting your life,
you have saved mine.
Sometimes I see glimpses
of the woman you will grow to be and
your subtle grace melts me.
Please know that being your father
is my greatest achievement and honor;
with the very first flutter of your eyes
I became yours to keep

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Dulled

DULLED

I need to listen closely—
the pain you share
should be sharp yet
comes delivered dull, spoken
at the price of a worn tongue;
how it rends me to hear you
recall the worst of all you have been;
I sit quietly
listening to your soft grace
betrayed by the broken
fragments of your words:
I can’t ever glue you back together
but I can hold you in my hands.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Savior

SAVIOR

Man of Steel
why won’t you come down from
your perch high above Metropolis
save me
I have desperately tried to fly in your cape
but you left me no field guide and
in this world I need to be more than just
a hero
Do you remember when
I gazed upon you with wonder
an unflinching conviction that you were no
mere man
Please can’t you see
how hard I struggle to soar and
I’ve no currents with which to take flight—
a cry
And from my booth I dash
carrying this child in my arms
shielding her from life’s evils, forever
her guardian
imperfect savior;
to the skies I search in vain
bemoaning mine.

 

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Wings

I had the opportunity to chaperone my daughter’s kindergarten class trip last week.

We visited World of Wings, a great facility featuring a butterfly atrium, rooms filled with creepy-crawly bugs and slithering reptiles (inside their holding tanks, of course), and a whole host of other fun exhibits.  But the single attraction that stole the show by unanimous kid-vote was the bouncy house!! Butterflies flitting above their heads and Horned Bearded Dragons be darned, nothing could compare to the awesome allure of that bouncy house…

Naturally, I loved every minute of it. I loved being part of my daughter’s day, watching her interact with her young friends, seeing the sheer joy of discovery and rampaging fun on her face. I loved listening to her laugh; I loved seeing the curiosity that filled her innocent eyes. And yes, I loved watching her run amok with a whole horde of crazed, gleeful kids inside the irresistible bouncy house.

Just like those magnificent butterflies, my daughter spreads her wings a bit more every day. For someone who conjures and writes tales of the gruesome and horrible all of the time, it’s simply the most beautiful of wonders to see.

2014-03-13 10.32.26

Just Not Here

I mentioned in last week’s post that the idea behind my short story LUNCH came from a poem I had written back in December 2012. For curiosity’s sake, here it is:

JUST NOT HERE

On this darkened night I hold you
Arms empty. Your memory my solitary light
Wind raps at pane, sneaks under door
The only thing ever to cross this threshold again
Sandwich on counter grows old with mold
Milk sour. Spoiled.
None of it matters; this candle flickers
And ghosts, they creep along the floor
Sounding so much the way your footfalls once did
When you’d kiss my cheek standing in the hall.
I’d walk somewhere if it wasn’t raining so hard
These clothes already stuck to skin
The weight of everything
The wait for anything…
I’ll sit here then
Because somewhere, you are there
Somewhere. Just not here.
On this darkened night I hold you
Somewhere. Just not here.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Boy on Strings

My last January breath rose in a plume to the sky
and left me wondering if this would be how
my soul would one day escape me,

wispy vapored , twanged by fingers of Northeast wind;
I suppose I will always be a puppet but the excuse
of ‘oh, it will be much warmer tomorrow’ keeps me from cutting

the fishing line. I love the dangling, but if you should ask me I
will vehemently deny it, blow frozen curses into your
face – then request for you to reposition me. Please.

A light snow falls; February knocks and soon all trace
of my existence will vanish from the air. Still, I will
always dangle here, waiting for your hand to guide me.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

In Peace

I said a prayer in the moments before I saw you that

my composure would be steel and yet your

utter silence broke me down in ways I never expected.

 

Forgive me, I faltered when taking your still hand into mine and

realizing your sleep would be an endless one,

began to pity myself.  And in your dignified manner, you stilled me,

 

imparted sweet memories; you allowed me a time I thought had

long past and selfish as it may be, I am grateful for holding you

one last time.

 

I want you to know that behind your closed eyes, I still saw

you as you should be and as you will always be

to me: smiling

 

You were such a gentleman in every sense of the word.

 

Dear friend, I hope you heard me when I whispered

that I would not say farewell.  I kissed your cheek

and I meant it.  There are no goodbyes; there are only see you later’s.

 

So sleep in peace, and within your warm cocoon

learn of your new wings now.  Fashion your Heaven as

it should be

 

As one day, I will mine.

 

We will have a party then for the ages,

won’t we?  Be with love and light, dear

friend.  I’ll meet you then at the bar come nine.

~ for Rich

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.