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Burn It Down!

Sometimes it feels like it is necessary to burn it all down so I can begin anew. I flirted with the idea of doing just that with my writing, but the thought was fleeting, and the destruction of fifteen years of work seems foolhardy. A clean slate can be tempting, as life is full of doubts, and at times it is hard to forge the right course of action. There is no easy way out with regards to art. I have modified past works and tweaked them to a place where they will stay. Instead of burning it down in the real world, I have to let it live and let it go.


During the strange times of these last three years, I have had a lot of time to reflect. I am at a crossroads. I have burned it down in the past with regards to leaving home, changing jobs, and moving past negative influences, and I am feeling the consequences of change with a lot more to come this year.


When the time comes, a new journey will be written. In the meantime, I have the next wave of a bounty of unpublished manuscripts, and even with nothing new on the horizon, I don’t fear writer’s block, for it is the journey that matters. The thing to burn down is the cycle of getting stuck in the past. The only way forward is a path into the future, not in the misty halls of memory.


Here are my future works:


Lane Bowden 1973


The summer of 1973 is a fast time of partying, muscle cars, and rock and roll. Lane Bowden is a dreamer who lives in the blue-collar neighborhood of the Heights. He works as a gas jockey and spends his free time with his roommate, Kyle, cruising the strip, hanging out in dives, and double dating chicks at the drive-in. Lane is aware that he is different, queer, in a time when it is not cool to be so. The Heights also has a secret, emphasized by the telltale signs of missing person posters, abandoned cars, rumors of lost runaways, and an eerie, dark red car that prowls the streets.


Lane meets someone different like him, James Daly, when he least expects it, and the two embark on a coming-of-age journey. Lane and James plan to escape an intolerant and dead-end life on the back of James’ BSA Lightning motorcycle. Unaware of the evil that lurks, they discover the secret of the runaways who went missing and are drawn into one of the most horrific crimes in the annals of American history, the Houston Mass Murders.


Rebel’s Edge: Suburbia, Punks, and Over the Edge


Johnny’s got a problem, and he is out of control. Released from rehab, the injustice of being locked up and his secret feelings create static in his head. One summer night in 1985, he meets Gordon for a night of car-hopping and vandalism, and they become fast friends. As they settle into a group of new wave and punk misfits in high school, they discover the orange glow of weed, and trouble escalates. Thrill-seeking leads to stealing cars, finding fire extinguishers in boats, and dropping acid on the streets. In the chaos, the adrenaline rush of the chase—of running and jumping fences to get away from the police—is also a rush in itself.


Experiencing the highs and lows of teenage angst, Johnny finds himself drawn to punks at backlight parties and in mosh pits, while Gordon pushes him to date new wave girls. In moments when he is under the influence, Johnny feels like none of it matters because he is part of the tribe of misfits.


Almost getting caught in a stolen car, Johnny isolates himself in the winter of 1986 until Gordon shows up beaten and bruised from a fight with his stepfather. On impulse, they make the decision to run away and hitchhike to the beach. After scoring some orange glow, they hit the road, bathing in pools and staying in vacant apartments. Johnny doesn’t want the moment to end or to have his secret revealed, but the future is uncertain and nothing will ever be the same in suburbia.


Based on true events, the Rebel’s Edge series deals with mental health and substance abuse issues from the point of view of a teenager living in the 80s. Suburbia is the first manuscript, followed by Punks and Over the Edge.


Future-Thrill


After the fall of 2031, the world collapsed. Satellites fell to Earth like shooting stars amongst the lunar debris left by a moon struck by a meteor. Oceans rose and fires burned. The decades of World War III ended as devastation and disease spread. The lucky ones built ships and fled to deep space. By 2047, no central government existed. Under a fractured police state, resources were mined to the brink for the off-world colonies while deviant technology grew across dangerous lands ruled by apathy and dead gods. Cade and Frost were born into the chaos. Punks with no future, they were just looking for a thrill.


In 2077, they steal a Space Force shuttle and discover a pair of data dice. Separated in a crash in the flooded, dead city of New York, they must find a way to reunite and unlock the secrets of the dice while encountering a rogues gallery of allies and enemies. The quest leads them from Terra City, where they grew up on the streets, across the Wasteland to Hades, an underground station with an off-world launch pad. Cade and Frost are desperately trying to escape a dying world without losing themselves in a non-stop sci-fi cyberpunk adventure.


***

I am looking forward to sharing these in 2023 and beyond. I will leave this with a quote from the underappreciated Halloween Ends. Allyson whispers, “Just burn it all to the ground,” and Corey replies, “I’ll light the match.” as I metaphorically burn it down and begin anew.


DS



chain-link fence Fairfax, VA

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