Friday, October 30, 2015

NaNo 2105: The Madness Awakens

In 2 days, NaNoWriMo begins and 300,000+ people all over the world embark on the task of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

Sometime in mid-October I decided to partake in the madness but I'm using it for my own nefarious purposes: I have KAT AND MOUSE episodes to write and I'm planning on getting drafts of at least two, maybe three, done by the end of November.

I'm looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 18,000 and 25,000 words in total, based on the current going word count of episodes.

Half the final NaNo goal but that's my goal.

And I've got my 1.9-pound bag of Swedish Fish ready to go.

Brain fuel, y'know.

It'll be madness, I tell ya. Maaaaadness.

But it'll be the fund kind of madness.

Drunk karaoke and puns madness.

(Image: Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This Is Why

While hanging out at my good ol' online watering hole (AW) the other day, someone in a thread linked to the I Write Like website. By analyzing a sample of your writing, the site will then tell you which writer, as its name suggests, you write like.

On a whim, I grabbed a goodly chunk of a KAT AND MOUSE episode and dropped it into the the input box.

The site looked over my words, did its thing, and told me

I write like
Raymond Chandler
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Exactly what I was shooting for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Speak Up: Yes or No

I've made no secret of it in previous posts on the blog.

After the events in Roseburg, OR, I saw Twitter and most of social media explode in reactions from both sides of the divide. And some of those reactions really got my goat.

Since then, I've been struggling with the decisions of whether or not to say something.

Of course, a lot of the "names" I follow were quick with their say. It was some of these responses that got my goat.

Here's the thing: many of these "names" are people I consider colleagues. Fellow writers. People I'd love to hang out with at cons and such.

But when one of them calls you a "soulless shitlord" or another agrees with an article that you need to have this happen to you, it's a little hard to stand by and not fire off a response.

And for nearly 3 weeks, I fought with myself on what I should do. Am I being a coward by not saying anything? Does this mean I'm compromising my beliefs? Am I letting them walk all over me? Will this let their view grow and flourish while mine withers on the vine?

Back and forth. Back and forth.

Inner battle, tooth and nail, knock down-drag out.

But then I happened on this post by Myke Cole on just that very topic. After reading that and after reminders from some Fellow Writers I trust, I have decided this blog is not the place for those responses.

Oh, I'll gladly discuss it with you in person.

But the blog and likely my Twitter feed are not the places for that.

Here, it's about sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, movies, and all the cool stuff that goes along with them.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The 7/7/7/7 Challenge

A couple of weeks ago, fellow writer and AW denizen Maggie Maxwell tagged me in the 7/7/7/7 Challenge.

I had no control over it, obviously.

There I was, in the Congo, when I felt the sharp sting on the side of my leg.

Looked, saw the dart protruding from my thigh, the attached tag reading: "I have tagged you thusly. Also, there may or may not be poison."

I huffed. "Thusly," indeed.

And then the jungle around me exploded in a symphony of noise and heaving earth and foilage. The shockwave catapulted me through the undergrowth, snapping vines and low-hanging branches, down a sixty-foot slope, and into a croc-infested lagoon.

Lucky for me, the crocs had already feasted on taquitos and chimichangas so I was safe for the next six moments whilst I recovered my wits which had washed up on the lagoon shoreline.

Whilst, indeed.

Now, onto the Challenge.

Here's how it works: The damned tagged pick their WIP, turn to the seventh page, count down to the seventh line, share the next seven sons lines, and then tag seven other unfortunate souls writers to share their own.

The current WIP is, of course, an upcoming KAT AND MOUSE episode called "Devil's Night."

And, lo! the excerpt:
"You're the one who--"

"Yeah, yeah. I know. Shut up."

"Fine," I said, fighting back a grin. "Now focus."

"Fine," said Mouse.


Five minutes later, at 20:00 on the dot, two pairs of SUV headlights rounded the corner of xx and xx and rolled east toward us. The first pair of headlights pulled to a stop in front of the salvage yard.
/end excerpt

Now, I will tag some peeps...


For the curious, the "xx" in the above excerpt are placeholders. At this point in the writing process, I don't know the names of the streets in question so I put those there to keep me writing instead of coming to a screeching halt just to go back through my notes and city map just to find street names.

I'll fix that during the first revision pass.

See? You learn mysterious Writery things! What fun!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Why I Write

For the past few weeks I've seen several of these "why I write" blog posts floating about on Twitter and it got me thinking.

In the past (including last week) I've posted about what I write.

But I've never really talked about why I write.

After much thought, here's my answer:

I'm sure some folks out there write because they want to explore some aspect of the human condition. Some likely write to advance and champion a cause that's dear to them. Some, to teach by way of an allegorical tale. Others may write because they have that certain story only they can tell the world. And still others write because they must.

To those who write because of those and/or similar reasons, I salute you.

Nothing so noble or meaningful for me.

I write to entertain.

To help in your escape from the stresses of the Real World.

I write to tak you on a pulse-pounding, exhilirating, roller coaster ride.

Or, at the very least, something close to that.

If, after reading one of my tales, you let out that breath you've been holding and say, "Wow! That was fun! Let's do it again! And then let's find another one he's written and enjoy that one, too!", then I've done my job.

That's why I write.

"But Abner," you might be saying. "What about the  bigger picture? What about writing to examine the self? Or to examine man and his connection to others, to life, the universe, and everything? In short, what about writing to advance a cause, explore the human condition, and teach through allegory? you heartless, inconsiderate bastard Don't you care about that, you heartless bastard?"

Honestly, I say let other people do that if they're so inclined. Seems to me there are enough writers out there who are doing exactly that.

Does that make me less of a writer?

I don't know.

I don't believe it does.

But if you think so, then maybe I'm not the writer for you.

Call me a hack writer if you like, if it will make you feel better.

I'll completely embrace the term.

So...once more, with feeling...

I write to entertain.

Monday, August 17, 2015

In Which I Remind Myself Yet Another Time...

I seem to require this every few months so I'm going to do it again.

This is what I write.

Friday, August 14, 2015

(Cue Chirping Crickets)

I know.

Until Tuesday's post, the blog's been pretty quiet.

Life's been a tad busy lately. The new Day Jobbe has the oddest hours and days I've ever worked so making time for various obligations has been a daily challenge. And whatever hours aren't spent with LadyAce are spent plotting and writing KAT AND MOUSE.

Which hasn't left much time for blogging.

But buck up, Campers.

Posts will return.

In fact, the next few weeks will see a few new/new-ish posts all leading up to the Season 3 premiere of KAT AND MOUSE.

After that, there'll be the weekly announcements of new installments.

And I'm sure I'll post when I've got something to muse on.

So we may go back to a quiet blog space after that.

I don't know for sure.

My priority, after Personal Obligations, is to continue feeding the Creative Well and caring for and listening to the Story Voices.

And if there's some bloggery that happens while I do that, fantastic.

And if there isn't, also fantastic.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Again With The Tweakings

Tweakings, people. Tweakings.

Get your minds out of the gutter.

And if it's stuck, apply a little lube.

A little lube always helps.

Now back to our blog post...

* * *

Sharp-eyed blog readers will probably notice the new header up yonder.

The one before this read: "Abner Senires. Pulp Writer. Voice Actor."

So what's with the change? you might be asking. Aren't you supposed to be a hyphenate? Like you talked about in this recent post? A writer-voice actor?

In some respects, yes. I'm still a hyphenate.

But in the time since that recent post a few more things made themselves clearer to me.

Yeah, yeah. It's only been a little more than a week and some days since that post.

But the Universe, it seems, is trying to tell me things.

Yes, I'm a hyphenate.

But it's kind of a 70-30/80-20 split.

Leaning toward the "writer" part.

This new header strikes me as more appropriate for that 70-30/80-20 split.

* * *

Blog readers with even sharper eyes will probably note: the new header is the same as the one that used to be on this blog last year.


It's like that.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sitting In The Fringes

Originally I was going to comment on a tweet that popped up on my feed a few days ago.

But after further consideration, I've decided not to.

Said tweet started me down the dangerous road of self-doubt and, frankly, I don't need to go there anymore.

Especially after what I posted yesterday.

So I have jettisoned the tweet to the electronic circular file and put myself back on track.

Fuck that nonsense.

And if that decision puts me in the fringes, so be it.

Huzzah for the fringe.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Voices

They're becoming more frequent.

And sticking around longer.

Good sign.

But I'm still exercising patience per Skyla's post.

Not gonna make the same mistake of causing them to vanish again.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Currently in the process of cleaning up the blog, the main website, the serial site, and associated online venues that took hits from my "knee-jerk reaction."

Gonna take a few days before we're back up to speed with the sites.

Hang tight, y'all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Other Half of the Story

When I wrote this post back in December I was under the then impression that it explained everything.

I've now come to the realization that it didn't.

It only gave half the story.

Here's the other half.

I recently came across a pair of blog posts that finally put a name to this Dark Clouded Thing that's been hanging over me.

The first was this post from Lisa Shearin.

The other was this one from Skyla Dawn Cameron.

Lisa's post gave me the name: writer burnout.

Skyla's post described an event that actually took place for me:
The thing about that is, when I’m burned out, I can’t make words, but the stories never stop. The characters are still yapping, the stories are still going, I just can’t get them out of my head onto the virtual page. Same with depression and life trauma I’ve been through–no matter what, the characters keep talking and I’m never alone.

But last summer...the voices just...stopped.


..characters weren’t talking to me at all. The voices were completely silent. It’s like everyone just got up and walked away.
Plus, another post by Skyla related to that other one described another event that also took place for me:
Of course, just when I was feeling it coming back, I lost my full time job and was thrown into a tailspin of panic and depression. I completely lost my focus--it was several months before I could buckle down and do things that required my brain, like reading and editing, etc.
And now, some context...

Since 2011 I've been dealing with losing a job and being unemployed for over a year then getting a job but working for low pay, tapping out our savings to cover household expenses, taking care of LadyAce when her health issues crop up, then back again to being unemployed from June 2014 to present (with only two short-term assignments of roughly two weeks each over 9 months), and generally worrying about money (we're currently on one income that juuuust covers bills and groceries but leaves no wiggle room whatsoever).

So, yeah, I've been stressed out of my mind for that past 4 years.

Similar to what Skyla described happened to her, my voices stopped talking altogether at the end of January 2013.

Those of you who follow the Kat and Mouse serial might note that the stories "In The Name of the Father," "Stand Off," and "Sub Rosa" were posted between mid-May and early October of 2014.

However, those three were written and completed in 2012, with editing and revisions painfully taking place through all of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.

And by "painfully" I mean painfully. Mentally taxing and exhausting. I would get frustrated at the story and whatever work I was putting in within half and hour. And that would turn into pure digust five minutes after that. I had to put everything away, out of sight, walk out of the room, watch TV to calm down, and not touch it again for two days. Sometimes, a week. Sometimes, a month.

I took pretty much a year and a few months to edit and revise three stories.

As for actually getting words written?

Excuse me while I bust a gut laughing.

During that time, the idea of sitting down to write made me tense, fidgety, and nauseous. Attempting to actually sit down with story notes gave me a headache.

All that eventually led to the meltdown post, followed by a lot of mental scrabbling as I tried to figure out just what the hell was going on in my head.

Truth is, a lot of the Progress Notes posts in 2014 were a lie. A lot of that writing had been done in 2012, before the voices vanished. And releasing the second season "boxed set" of Kat and Mouse pretty much used up whatever mental reserves I had. I broke down in tears several times while editing and formatting the e-book.

And that book launch tour in September?

When y'all weren't looking, I was fighting a chronically sour stomach and nearly went through an entire bottle of Rolaids in a week and a half.

And I'll spare you the details of how quickly I went through a box of Imodium.

At that point I hadn't written any words of fiction since 2013.

And I hadn't wanted to write any.

Which finally led to these two posts from last December.

Bascially me throwing in the writing towel.

And I will now admit it here: those posts were a knee-jerk reaction from a panicked individual.

What has come to light for me recently is that I'm not a voice actor.

As I said at the beginning of this post, it's only half the story.

I'm both.

I'm a writer and a voice actor.

In fact, 2008 Abner knew this fact very well.

Guess I'd forgotten.

And only recently remembered that being a writer-actor is doable--fellow AWer Adrienne Kress is both.

Amazing what you forget when you're stressed out of your gourd.

* * *

Having said all that, does that mean I'm back on the writing wagon and cranking out new stories and Kat and Mouse is back online?


At least, not yet.

On the bright side, the voices, the ones that vanished 2 years ago, have started up again.

A little.

A whisper here.

A whisper there.

A couple of conversations that faded in, went for a moment of three, then faded out.

But they have started up again.

I am, however, going to follow Skyla's advice #3 and #4.

I'm still dealing with trying to land a day job so I can help with household stuff and still worrying about money so my stress levels are still on the high end. Until that lets up, I'm going to leave things alone.

For now.

Especially with regard to the voices.

Just gonna let them chatter.

But thanks to Lisa's and Skyla's posts, I now know that this thing exists. And that it happens to writers. And that it can be dealt with.

Things make a little bit more sense now.

And I'm re-realizing something I'd apparently already known as far back as 2008.

I'm a writer and a voice actor.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Man's An Idiot

Hello, Kids!

Doctor Jericho here.

Yes, I've snuck onto Abner's blog without his knowledge once again.

I've been watching things for the last few months and I feel it's time to set the record straight.

Abner is not in his right mind.

To that end, I've locked him up in The Vault for a round of intensive detoxification.

Yes, it involves six feet of plastic tubing, 200 pounds of cooked spaghetti noodles, and a yak.

So stay tuned, Dear Friends. I'm working on him.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"The Weaponized Surrey With The Fringe On Top"

It started with this tweet from my good pal Hillary:
So I went to check the retweet in question and found this:

Which, of course, set off the gears in my head and led to this:


(If you want to watch it at YouTube, click here.)

All content written and voiced by Abner Senires

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Song for Cthulhu

Finally got around to putting a video together for "Cthulhu (Starts With 'C')".

It's my tribute to the Tentacle-y One hisself.


(Want to watch it at YouTube? Click here.)

All content written and voiced by Abner Senires

Saturday, January 17, 2015

DUNE Song Parody: Updated

I retweaked the DUNE Song Parody by adding a new intro and outro.

Here you go.


(If you want to watch it over on YouTube, click this link.)

All content written and voiced by Abner Senires