C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

How I handle trouble (like Jesus)

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I FINALLY OPEN UP TO YOU

ME: I handle trouble like Jesus. No, not that Jesus. I mean Jesus (pronounced “Hay-Soose”) Salvador Umberto Luis Diaz, my Cuban hit man from Bigger Than Jesus and Higher than Jesus. Recently I had to talk to Authority to get something fixed. I can’t go into details about the mission, but I will tell you how I approached the problem by channeling my alter ego/main character.

YOU: Wait a minute, Chazz, your main character isn’t just your protagonist? You’re actually saying he’s your alter ego? And he’s a hit man?

ME: The truth is, I’m not much use in most situations. Can’t cook or balance a chequebook or fix plumbing. My idea of small talk is asking if strangers believe in eternal damnation. Quantum mechanics, the Singularity and Simulation Theory is cool, but I’m apparently incapable of breezy talk about your job, your kids or your trip to Cancun. I can dislocate a shoulder and fix it again, but those opportunities don’t arise often…(ahem)…enough.

However, when out on a mission, I dress well and all in black, complete with black fedora.

YOU: A fedora? Really? That’s a…bold choice.

(A new edition, somewhat revamped.)

(A new edition, somewhat revamped.)

ME: It’s called style if you carry yourself like you don’t give a shit. I dress like a bad immortal from Highlander (soon to be released again and, as with Green Lantern, ruined by the otherwise beautiful Ryan Reynolds).

BACK TO HIT MAN FASHION CHOICES

Remember John Cusack in Grosse Pointe BlankCameraAwesomePhoto tie when Dan Aykroyd asks him to join a union for hit men? He replies, “Look at me! Look at the way I dress! I didn’t get into this business to have any relationships! I don’t want to join your goddamn union. Loner, lone gunman! Get it? That’s the whole point!” God, I love that movie. My books have a similar sensibility and quirky comedy.

MY PIN SAYS “EVIL DOER”

That pin and a hard look gets me better service wherever I go, from sales people to cash registers. Jesus thinks like I think in many ways. My sense of humor is the same as Jesus’s. I write him. How could it not be so? We share a worldview about violence, revenge, love and commitment. (Though I wasn’t a Cuban émigré tortured in a Miami basement in my childhood, I did grow up in rural Nova Scotia, so clearly there are parallels in our psychological impairments.) We’re both paranoid and lie with a facility that would alarm you if we weren’t in the professions we’re in. Our motto is the same: Question Authority before Authority questions you. We both seem to have surprisingly fast reaction times, but that’s just because we’re always plotting how to respond should anything bad happen. We don’t relax. We anticipate and simmer.

"A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction."

“A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.”

THE MEETING

True story: When I got into the meeting with Authority today, I made some jokes, but my jaw was tight and by the end of the meeting my rage showed. I reined it in and kept my voice low. Authority was cooperative. Authority was nice. Authority pressed his back into his chair, wide-eyed, nodding and worried. Even when I made a joke, Authority was afraid to laugh because Authority knew I was serious and there’s something there that I’m trying to hold back but the leash is slippery and the chain links are weak. Jesus Diaz is a “Do it to them before they get a chance to do it to you” sort of guy. We understand each other.

Authority agreed to my requests because I stood up for the little guy, because I’m right and because I channeled the Jesus in me. I love Jesus. Sure, he’s a contract killer, but he’s a victim, too, and if you read the books, you grow to understand and like him at the very least. Mr. Diaz is complex and tragic and funny and he’s the underdog who, despite all odds against him, somehow wins…or sort of wins. I relate to him on a visceral level.

ADDENDUM

YOU (brightly and, I suspect, disingenuously): O-kay…. That’s our time for today!

ME: Thank you, doctor. Same time next week?

YOU: If that’s okay with you, Mr. Chute, sure.

You think I missed that snarky little addendum of yours. You said it under your breath, but I read lips. After “sure” you added, “you psycho.” 

Maybe it was even a subconscious thing you aren’t even aware you did, but I’m sure. My face betrays nothing. I nod toward your office window and point to the parking lot.

ME: There’s a homeless-looking guy who looks like he’s casing cars out there. Which car is yours?

Without thinking, you rush to the window and point out your car for me.

YOU: I don’t see anyone out there.

ME: He must have moved out of sight behind those hedges. You can’t be too careful. Nice car. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

“You will laugh your ass off!” ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

~ Robert Chazz Chute writes suspense, crime novels and has two guides to writing and publishing for sale. For his book links and to hear the All That Chazz podcasts, go to AllThatChazz.com. That would be so groovy.

Filed under: Books, My fiction, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Old ideas about publishing, Twitter and your worldview

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Sometimes it feels like we’re fighting the tide.

The world as it was is the tide.

1. There’s the tide of institution, wherein the established people put down those who aren’t established because they aren’t established…or just because they’re different. I wear a black fedora and a long black coat with a red scarf. I look like a bad immortal from Highlander. Some people look at me funny. And what fearful mortals must they be.

2. There’s generational inertia, where old ideas get enshrined and people don’t want to change.  I made the mistake of trying to have a conversation about theoretical physics with someone who thought the field of physics had stopped developing in 1964 (coincidentally the year of his graduation from university.)

3. There’s the know-it-alls who can give you lots of reasons why you’re wrong and shouldn’t attempt anything new. Just. Like. Them. Doing something creative and new and different takes are certain amount of unreasonableness. We’re nice. But we have crazy ideas that just might work. “Put away your market analysis and focus groups and look what I made!”

4. There are envious people who feel safe in their rut if you get down in that rut with them.

5. There are people who are afraid and don’t know the way out is to act brave, especially when you don’t feel brave.

6. There are people who have their opinions and those opinions were true a short time ago. Those outdated opinions were dead on, but things changed and now they are dead. I’m hearing people worry about the death of newspapers who haven’t ever given a single thought to the end of home milk delivery.

7.  Some opinions were snarky and funny for a short time, like Twitter being all about what you had for lunch. This is usually from people who haven’t tried Twitter…yet. Are these people still going around saying, “You are the weakest link!” How about, “Where’s the beef?” Move on, please. And spring for dial-up, will you? You’re Internet connection is nearly unusable.

8. There are know-it-alls, but many more know-nothings. Don’t cast your pearls before swine.

9. Then there are people who have a vested interest in keeping things as they’ve been. (Publishers holding back on e-books to squeeze a little more out of trees and authors comes to mind. Outmoded contracts are bad. Trying to retrofit old contracts to new markets is criminal conspiracy.)

10. And sometimes we’re wrong to fight. Sometimes we’re on even ground and don’t know it.

Story time: When I graduated from the Banff Publishing Workshop, one of the faculty said, “Welcome to publishing. Come to create, not to destroy us.” It hit a rather defensive note. They had put us through the wringer, so maybe they had some reason to expect us to be a little pissed.

I stood up and said, “We aren’t coming to destroy…but we value our opinions just as much as you value your own and this is a subjective business. Nobody has to feel bad about that. No one knows what’s going to be a bestseller, so let’s not pretend we know. There is no secret to selecting the right book to publish. That’s the secret.”

And yet, we were expected to feel bad, even in areas we had experience if not expertise. I often felt too young to have an opinion, year after year. With every one of my birthdays, the establishment got a year older, too. Screw that. I’m old enough to see the pattern now. Or am I too old to have these opinions?

Below is a link to an interesting article about how Twitter is changing.

It starts a bit slow and the lead is buried, but once you get to the charts, you get the real chocolate flavour.

As Dennis Miller used to say—way back when he was good and relevant “Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”

How Twitter is Changing: A new study reveals Twitter’s new direction

 

Filed under: publishing, Rant, Rejection, Unintentionally hilarious, Useful writing links, What about Chazz?, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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