BLOG.MIKEKOZLOWSKI.COM
BLOG.MIKEKOZLOWSKI.COM

Prose and Cons

  First and foremost, let me take a moment to welcome Jay (Joao - the a should have a squiggly thing over it, which I know how to do in a word document but not on this bloggy-woggy thingy). Jay is our foreign exchange student and, yes, we often call him Fez though he's not especially fond of that (but his part of our family and that's the kind of shit you have to put up with as part of our family).

Here's a picture of Jay with my oldest boy:



  Jay is the one who is NOT looking like a totally, weird, geeky four-eyed doofus (See? That's the kind of shit you put up with as a member of this household; we're equally cruel to everyone.).
 
   We didn't sign up for a foreign exchange student, we sort of got asked out of the blue because Jay ended up needing somewhere to stay, due to various reasons. So he's been in the country since last September and is going home in June. He moved in with us about a month ago.
  Kind of wish we had signed up. He's a good kid and it's fun having him around. I enjoy talking about cultural differences and watching soccer with him (which is a cultural difference, hahaha!).
  I think he feels comfortable with us and like a part of the family. Every now and again he calls me Dad, or the wife, Mom, which is sort of nice. He's a good son (and he's less of a pain in the ass with school work and such, than my biological offspring). Now if I can just figure out a way for his presence to make me more attractive to women....

  Jay, as my new son, will be attending Motor City Comic Con with us this year. Should be able to see just exactly how well he fits in with us then!

  As soon as I finishing typing this post, I will be ordering tickets from the boys and me. This is, I believe, our third year going. Looking forward to some big guest like Stan Lee and Norman Reedus. What I am not looking forward to is the costs. Is it really necessary for Stan Lee to charge 60 bucks for an autograph? $100 if you want a picture? That's worse, even, than the has-beens that are charging 10 or 20 dollars for their autographs and pictures; at least they sort of need the money.
 And for the Boondock Saints VIP package, it's like $300.00. You know what, besides Norman Reedus, the Boondock Saints guys were there last year. You didn't need a VIP pass. Way to cash in on Daryl Dixon, fellas.
  Honestly, I'd probably pay for Norman's pic and autograph because I'm a big Walking Dead fan and the Daryl Dixon character rocks AND he was cool in Boondock Saints AND he seems like a pretty cool guy in the interviews I've seen and read. I'd pay like 20 or 30 bucks...maybe. I'm not paying $100 or more. That's nuts. I'll get that shit on e-bay or Craig's list.

  I will admit they have a pretty cool line up this year and I'm looking forward to it. I'll be posting afterwards, like usual.

  I'm also planning on getting to the Motor City Nightmares Horror Con which is at the end of this month; a nice warm up to the Comic Con. And guess who's going to be at Horror Con? Michael Rooker! That's right, Merle Dixon! It's possible I could score a Dixon brother double in a matter of weeks! James Russo will also be there...but I haven't seen Django yet.
  The Gutter Ghouls will be playing live music at Horror Con (I know the drummer). They just signed with some label, so that's kinda cool. And Roddy Piper will be there...and Pinhead...

  Got some exciting stuff coming up, should be cool!

  Personal, writer stuff:
 
  Comic is moving along well. Jim's knocking out some great artwork and I am happy with the way the story is going. Really happy!
  Kind of bringing it all together to the submission stage and getting that nervous, excited sort of feeling.
  I'd share some more artwork but I think you should wait...I don't want to give it all away.
  The story's made a few interesting shifts from the original idea and novel work. It's even shifted a bit from the first script, partially due to Jim's drawings (and I mean that in the totally best way) and partially due to the fact that it just needed to, and that's part of the writing process.

  As usual, I'd appreciate any likes on the Facebook page, follows over at the Twitter @MAKozlowski, shares with your friends, etc, etc.

  If you haven't already, go check out the website www.mikekozlowski.com
  I may even update it soon. Right now, I think there's still some original zombie stories that led to the comic project (though there's been some major changes since then).

New Project Info That Has Me Peeing Myself!

OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!

I'm excited! I'm really, truly, nearly pissing my pants excited!

Why, Mike? you might ask. Why are you so excited?
Well, fortunately, I have complete and total control of the contents of this blog, so I can tell you.

Way back around the beginning of this blog and the beginning of my more serious writing efforts, I came up with a little idea involving zombies. It was inspired by a casual sighting while the wife and I were driving to dinner or something (I'm pretty sure I talked about it somewhere in an early post about where I get ideas or some such) and I thought it was a clever twist on the genre.

So, I took said idea and let it fester for a while. Then I started writing a short story which I quickly realized was not going to handle the whole thing; it was growing beyond my control (sort of like what happened in the 5th grade when that really cute substitute teacher showed up in our class and I couldn't get up from my desk for like 25 minutes).

So, I started writing a novel. And that was going okay...until I realized how epically cool this story would be as a graphic novel or a comic series.

So, I got in touch with an artist friend of mine who had done some other work for me and we started knocking the idea around. And we talked about it...and I sent him some notes and such...and he gave me some valuable input on the comic process...and we talked some more...and we went back and forth...and he started some sketching...and....
Well, then he got busy. Which is fair enough because it wasn't like I was paying him or something and the guy has a lot of art stuff going on and it's how he makes a living.

So, since I wasn't in a big hurry to push the project through, I kind of let it sit for a while to see if my artist friend would have some time. And then I thought about drawing it myself (because many of you may not know this but I'm not a half-bad artist, in my own right) but I realized that, even though I'm a pretty good artist, I'm a really shitty comic book artist. It just didn't look like I saw it in my head.

So, I went back to writing it as a novel. And this time it wasn't okay. You see, by now I had realized that it wasn't a novel at all. It was a comic. It had to be a comic! It would only work as a fucking comic!!

So, it sat. And I went onto to other things (like seeing how many consecutive paragraphs I could start with the word "so').

Then (HAHA! Screw you. Just when you thought you had me all figured out.), I happened to be bowling with my wife, on our every other Saturday league (don't judge me, I'm a Pollock in Michigan, it's required), and one of the guys we were bowling with commented on my Walking Dead t-shirt. Then he showed me some pictures of some paintings he did, based on the series, and we got to talking about how he wanted to draw a comic and how I happened to have this partial comic project growing mold.

So, (there ya go) I sent him the 1st script and some character descriptions and right away he was drawing up some really cool shit and I was getting kind of geeked but trying not to get my hopes up. And we talked some more and exchanged some more stuff and all of a sudden we had a THING going. A real THING. And it's a really, really cool THING. And I put my other projects (which, to be honest, weren't going all that great any way because I wanted this other THING to be going) off to the side and started concentrating on the revived THING.

Now I'm really excited! And this THING is really moving along, And I'm pretty certain it's going to become a real THING; a regular comic book Pinocchio!

The artist is Jim Stephenson (you should follow him on the Twitter, @jimstephenson72). He's probably a good halfway through the first script already (it's only been about 4 weeks) with the pencil drawings and started to do some inking and color stuff. Here's a sample:



That's our main protagonist, John Angel.

And here's a little teaser from a page, with some color:



HEH-HEH-HEH! Zombies are cool!

The working title of the project is Angel of Death.

Follow my FB page and Twitter for updates. And I;ll be sure to keep you posted her.

As always, thanks for being faithful (I know it's hard sometimes but we're getting there),

Mike

Check Out the Big Brain on Mike!

  So I'm watching a movie with the wife last night...yeah, it was sort of a chick flick (though there were lots of pseudo-sex scenes with a pretty hot chick, so that was okay). Anyway, there's this part where a father is explaining to his son that he shouldn't let the girl get away...blah, blah, blah...life's short...yada yada...goes by quickly, etc. And I'm anticipating the next few lines of the movie and thought there was going to be a "if you let her go and make the wrong choice, life can also be very long" sort of thing.

  But there wasn't.

  Which is why I should write movies.

  This kind of thing happens to me a lot, actually. Watching a movie or reading a book I kind of start anticipating what's going to come next (which I guess everyone does) and often I'm right but sometimes I'm...well, not wrong...just different...and better. But that often leads me to a new story idea, so that's okay.
  In this instance, it led me to a Facebook/Twitter post (which you may have seen).

  Thing is, it's true that life is short, that it goes by faster than we realize (particularly as we get older) and that we often never get around to doing or saying the things we want or should because we just let time pass us by.
  BUT.....
   Life can also be fucking long. If you have a life sentence in prison, I imagine things kind of drag by. Tick, tock....tick, tock...tick tock...hey, get your penis outta my ass, Bubba...tick, tock...tick, tock...
  I imagine if you let the love of your life go (the potential fuck up in the movie) and end up marrying some shitbag, life could be a pretty miserable, slow slog.
 
  Here's the Mike Kozlowski Theory of Hellativity:

  The more miserable you are, the slower time progresses; the speed of time is directly proportionate to your level of enjoyment.

  It's really easy to prove, so it's really more of a fact than a theory. A fuckin' Law, if you will. FUCK YOU! IT"S A LAW!

  How fast do weekend's go by? Fast, right? How about Monday's, at work?

  BAM! BOOYAH! SUCK IT!

  LAW!

  Oh, there is a kind of sub-theory, too. The more shit you put off and ignore and don't do (stuff that you want to do or should have done), the faster time seems to have gone by when you look back at it from a future point. That's where that whole "where'd the time go?" thing comes in.

  And so, in grand conclusion...uh...I got nothing...that's pretty much it, I guess.

  Now, before I sign off and go do some shit to speed time along, I will give you a quick writerly-type update.
  I'm working along on a new book. It's a bit of a departure from my usual fair in that it's really kind of a comedy thing. If you've read the Australia book, it has a similar feel...but different.
  Have a notebook full of good notes and am into the 1st draft pretty well, sorting through the outline and such. Having some fun with it.
  I've also got several short story ideas. Truth be told I've been slacking on those and need to get back to them. I've discovered that I'm no good at trying to plow through one project. I was really making an attempt on the zombie project and I kind of stalled. Not because the story went south but I think I was over-working it, trying to beat it into submission rather than letting it find it's own way into the light. That''s why I went in a different direction with the new project. There;s a nice balance and I think moving back and forth will be productive.
  All that said, my need for instant gratification makes any longer project a real challenge. That's why I'm going to mix in some short stories. I like to see stuff done. It's invigorating.

  Starting now I'm going to try to schedule two days a week for each long project and two days for short stories. On the seventh day I rest...because I'm god-like.

  Obviously, if I;m in a major groove on one project or another I reserve the right to make adjustments to my schedule.

  So, hopefully, I'll have some new stuff for you all to read soon. And maybe I'll even update the website (but don't hold your breath on that).

  Talk to you all soon! Go do some stuff that doesn't suck and remember, if it seems time is flying by, you're probably doing something right...unless your looking back and seeing that it has flown by, in which case you may be doing something wrong.

  You know, I'm not so sure this Law makes any sense at all...so it must be fucking brilliant!

Guess Who's Back? Bop-Bop. Back again.

  So this is what my blog looks like? Holy shit, what a slacker I've been about this. Want to know the truth?

  "No, please lie to us, Mike," they said. "We want you to treat us like pieces of garbage that don't deserve your time or the truth."

  
Yeah, okay...Truth is, since I changed day jobs back in April, I don't have nearly as much time to fuck off during the day as I used. It's not that I necessarily work any harder (that's just be silly) but now I work for one of those places where they block internet access with Barracuda and where people would wonder what the hell I was doing if I fired up my laptop next to my work computer.

  So, uh, yeah...if you read between the lines, I am not concerned enough about my blog to interrupt my personal time with it.
  That's not really true but it's sorta true. Thing is, I'm a busy fucking guy and I have to pick and choose what I can fit in most days. Here's some of what's kept me away:

* I've been kinda tied up with stuff with the kids; coaching sports, throttling them to do homework, replacing the locks on the attic so they stop getting out (Just kidding about throttling them and locking them in the attic...as far you and social services knows)

* Stuff with the band. We've had a surprise mercurial rise in popularity which resulted in people actually being willing to pay us for playing and other people actually showing up to watch. Of course, that makes us feel, at least slightly, responsible to practice now and again,

* Been working on some household projects. In fact, I've managed to scratch off...uh...well...I'm getting close to scratching one of the list.

* Writing. Yes, I have been writing; not as much as I should be put I'm starting to pick up the pace. I've put a fair bit of time into the current novel, which turned into a graphic novel project, which got stuck in limbo for various reasons and which is now back on track as a regular novel. Problem being, the work on the graphic novel kind of served as a rewrite/draft for the regular novel so the novel project ended up taking a step back to take a step forward. Got all that?

  So, on the writerly front, I am pushing along on the novel and have actually had a few short story ideas percolate into existence, that I feel pretty good about, so I'm putting in some extra effort to get some of that stuff to a submittable stage.
  I've been throwing around the idea of ordering a cache of my short story collection. Some Days Suck, Some Days Suck Worse (which, by the way, you should go get from Amazon or Smashwords or Barnes and Noble, if you haven't already), and setting myself up at a horror and comic-con this year.
  The Memory Eater (which I have a story featured in) has been doing well (another thing you should have bought by now) and I got a decent royalty check for that. Looking forward to more.

  Now, as far as other shit...
  I had written a blog entry which had a bit to do with that terrible shooting incident in CT. I had an issue posting it right away which turned out to be a good thing because, upon further review, I realized it was more a reactionary rant to the retarded reactions of others and had, in fact, very little to do with the tragedy. In the end, it would have been me piling on to the ranting of all the fucking idiots and being an idiot myself.
  So I thought it best just to shut my fucking mouth, grieve for the state of our world and the horror within it (which is soooo much worse than any of the horror I make up) and just let those people alone to grieve and try to deal with something that nobody should ever have to deal with. And in the wise words of Forest Gump, "That's all I got to say about that."

  Now that the explanations and such are out of the way, what ya say we round this out with some Klassic Kozlowski? Here's some observations, realizations and randomness I've conjured up recently:

  I shouldn't even be writing this blog. The whole damn world was supposed to end yesterday.
  Come on, now. What the fuck, people. Are we that pathetic anymore that we actual get worked up over someone's interpretation of an ancient carving of a calendar? If anyone checks my day planner they could make a similar assumption that I predict (every, single, fucking year) that the world is going to end on December 31st. That's when the pages run out.
  Seems like somebody is always predicting the end of the world. It's nice, I guess, that people have that kind of time to concern themselves with that sort of thing. I have a hard time just getting through the day.

  I don't trust people that back into parking spaces. In particular this bugs me when people are coming to see me; for a job interview, for instance.
  Backing into a parking space implies, to me, that you are more concerned about leaving than you are about arriving. Live in the moment, dammit.

  Although social media is a necessary evil these days, especially if you happen to be a struggling writer trying to promote yourself a bit and stay in touch with your potential fans, there are a whole lot of things I don't like about it.
  I don't like the constant posts that try to guilt me into sharing them. "If you're not afraid to show people you love God, you'll share this." "If you think animal cruelty is wrong, you'll share this." "If you love America, you'll share this."
  Fuck off already.
  Want to know what I'll share? Shit that makes me laugh and that I think will make other people laugh, good books or movies or things that I know people who are "friends" with me will find interesting or entertaining, pictures of chicks with big ol' hooters because a lot of my friends are perverts.

  Who's been watching The Walking Dead? Holy Ballz! What a season! This show just continues to impress me.
  On the flip side, I've been a little less than impressed with this season of American Horror Story.
  Flip again. I've been watching Duck Dynasty. That is a funny, fucking show. I particularly like that, although the people do "redneck" things, they don't come off as dumb rednecks. They don't hide the fact that they are intelligent, educated individuals. Sure, you can tell that most of the stuff is scripted but it's still solid entertainment.

  Alright, I don't want to make this too awful long. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still here, still working and still grateful for the support.
  It's only a few days until Christmas and, whether you celebrate it as a Christians or your celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanza (Does anybody still celebrate Kwanza? That was kind of a flash in the pan, wasn't it?) or whatever, I hope you have a wonderful, safe season. And just in case I don't catch you beforehand, have a Happy New Year, too.

  As always, thanks for staying faithful.

  Mike
 

Some What, Where, Why and Who. Yeah...I Know The Right Order.

  For those of you paying attention to the Facebook and Twitter posts (and for those of you who aren't. you should be), I said I was going to blog tonight and, well, by golly, lookee here!

  Let's begin with writerly stuff:

  The Memory Eater, a wonderful anthology which features one of my stories, recently went on sale.


There are paperback versions and ebook versions and probably some other types of versions, but I'm really not sure.
  The collection was compiled and edited by Matthew Hance. He's put a great deal of work into it and should be proud of the end product. I'm proud to be a part of it. Besides a bunch of great stories, you get to see some wonderful illustrations, as well. Here's a few of the places you can go to get it:

Matthew's Website
ebook and paperback with links to everywhere else

Amazon
paperback or ebook

Barnes & Noble
ebook

  I hope you check it out. And after you've fully enjoyed it, go search out some of the authors and illustrators to find out what else they have for you (that includes me, if you haven't already tried some of my other stuff).

_________________________________________________________________

  Later tonight, I am going to attempt to answer a series of questions for a blog interview. I'll post info on that when it's up. I'm mostly hoping not to sound like too big of a douche-bag

  I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that anybody cares to interview me. I mean, it's not like it's the Playboy interview or something, but still...

_________________________________________________________________

  I've been much less productive than I should be, lately. I've more or less settled on the idea that I am going to try to knock out a fair number of household projects and such, this summer. I'm also making a solid attempt to spend a bit more time with the family, though that's always a challenge (not being with them, of course, but finding the time). Having spent those few months out of state did serve to help me remember just how fortunate I am to have what I have and that I should be enjoying it..
  Still, I make minor progress on the various projects I have going, always moving forward. I am hoping that the fruits of my labors over the next couple of months will allow for increased time available to dedicate to writing.
  And, you know, summer's just a fucking busy season.

__________________________________________________________________

  Some of what's been keeping me busy this summer has been my youngest boy's baseball season. He's taken to the catcher position and is doing pretty well at it. Here's a couple of action shots:



He's got great form. (And look at the size of the batter! 10 years old?!)



Here's Connor digging one out of the dirt. Cat-like reflexes!

  It's been good fun watching his games and watching him improve. Baseball finishes up next week.

  Football starts August 2nd.

____________________________________________________________________

  Okay, how 'bout some funner stuff? A bit of ranting, maybe?

  So I've been watching Doctor Who. I've seen many of the older series (though episodes can be difficult to track down) and then decided to go back and watch all the episodes starting with the 2005 revival, in order, up to present. My boys got hooked on it, as well (which is cool) and have actually already watched all the way through to the present, upcoming season (I have about a season and a half to finish).
  Here's the thing...the Doctor and his companions travel all through time and space. They often find themselves back in time; interesting historical periods meeting interesting historical people. There are far too many black people on this show.
  There, I said it. Call me racist or whatever. It's not meant that way but some fucktard, I'm sure, will be going all PC on me and calling me a Klan member or some other stupid shit.
  Thing is, black people just weren't in the social situations that we find them in, in Doctor Who. Martha, one of the Doctor's companions, is a black girl; a very pretty, sexy, black girl, I might add. A black girl who makes me think about getting some Brown Sugar, if you get my drift. Any way, she meets Shakespeare (in Shakespeare time) and nobody thinks anything of it. There's instances like this all the time. Like the boat builder in Venice who is trying to get his daughter into a good school (circa 1500); black. It just doesn't fit.
  There also seems to be a lot of interracial couples throughout the show. Not necessarily an issue with that (note the "Brown Sugar" comment above) but it's as if the BBC is trying so hard to be PC that they're just making a fucking mess of the whole thing.

  Quick Doctor Who comments: David Tennant (10th Doctor) is, so far, my favorite. Amy Pond is damn sexy (and so is Martha Jones) but I still have a weird attraction to Rose Tyler. Daleks are awesome, Cybermen not quite as much, I could do with out the little creatures made of fat. I really, really, really want a real sonic screwdriver.

  How 'bout some random ranting?

  I don't much trust people who back into parking spaces. It gives me the impression that they're much more concerned about leaving than they are about doing whatever it is they are arriving to do.

  If some homeless people and...well...let's call them poorer members of society...put as much effort into trying to better themselves through hard work and dedication as they put into begging or selling stupid shit on the side of the road, there would be a lot less homeless and poor people.

  And "fuck you", it's my blog, it's a PC-free zone, I can say whatever the hell I want, you don't have to read it. But I hope you do read it and even...no...especially if you disagree with something I have to say, leave a comment. I love a good debate.
  Warning: I am a dick. I will engage in a sensible, intelligent debate but if you say stupid shit, I will call "bullshit" and I will start insulting you and hitting you low until you cry like a girl. Just sayin'...

  I like the Shades of Grey books, even though I haven't read one word of them, because they seem to have women talking a lot about sex, which seems to make them horny, which can only work out well for a guy like me. I don't like them because I didn't write them. Fuck!

  I haven't been to the comic book store in weeks and I'm having withdrawals.

  A friend told me the other day that I could "fall into the biggest pile of shit known to man and come out smelling like roses." This was a compliment. He was saying something to the effect that I always land on my feet, or I always make the best of a situation, or I'm one lucky son of a bitch or something like all of those together or a bit of each...well, you get the idea.
  I appreciated it because it showed he thought highly of me or, at least, of things I've accomplished or that he perceived me capable of. Thing is, to come out smelling like roses, there is still the pile of shit to fall into. I'd much rather fall into piles of roses and come out smelling like even better smelling roses.

  Yeah, all right, that's it for now, I think. I'm going to go start on those interview questions. I think they're going to take a while. I suspect I will answer them and my answers will be ridiculously long-winded. You might be surprised to hear this but sometimes I ramble. So then I'll have to go back and try to shorten them up and I'll be unhappy because they won't convey what I was trying to say in the first place. Then I'll start all over and fuck, fuck fuck! Why did I agree to this again?

  Talk to you soon. Stay faithful.

  Mike

The Wonder Of It All.

  Wow! Almost the end of June already. My summer, from the writing perspective, has been pretty unproductive. Lots of interesting ideas rambling around through my head but I have been really, REALLY bad about getting them out of there and out into the world to disturb other people.

  On the other hand, I've been very productive around the house, and with the new job and in accomplishing some other "projects."

  So, today, I'll not go on about writerly stuff. I've got some other shit to blather on about instead.

  One of my recent "projects' was to build a rabbit hole for a friend's daughter's Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday party. Now, I didn't HAVE to build it. The idea was sorta, kinda talked about and I volunteered to cobble something up.

  Then I spent a long time not doing it (in my defense I was sort of busy with other stuff) and took it to the week of the party before I started working on it. Procrastination is kind of my M.O. so this didn't come as a surprise to anyone, although the birthday girl's mom was, I think, starting to stress out a bit.

  And when I started working on it, I think she may have stressed out even more. You see, I often come up with pretty grandiose ideas and my system of accomplishing them goes something like this:

  Have idea.
  Measure idea against family motto #1; Anything worth doing is worth OVER-doing.
  Take idea to nth degree.
  Start implementing plan, which consists of the idea and a really rough, even less than diagram-on-a-cocktail-napkin type blueprint.
  Gather materials. That means rummaging through the house and garage for stuff that seems like it could be, in some way, converted into something it most definitely is not meant to be but that will serve whatever current version of the plan I am on.
  Wing it.
  Make various changes to plan on the fly.
  Crazy flurry of activity that any sane person would view as madness and that appears to be in direct opposition to the plan.
  Lots of tools being used. Sawdust flying. Hammers banging. Ooh, I can zip-tie that! Glue, staple, paint.
  Alter plan.
  Bigger hammer.
  Sweat, blood, tears...what the fuck was I thinking?
  Oh, wait! If I do this and that and cut one of those...
  Flurry, flurry, flurry...uh...what the fuck?...oh, yeah, right, that works!
  End result.

So in this case, the end result was a rabbit hole that the girls had to go through to get to the tea party. They had to slide down a tunnel and end up in Wonderland. Here's a picture:



Here's the "Wonderland" side:



  Now this might seem like a lot of work for a friend's daughter's birthday party. Really, it wasn't that hard to accomplish and, if you've seen the Christmas and Halloween decorations, you'll know that I get off on this kind of shit. Plus, let's be honest, it makes me look awesome!

  And then, of course, these are very good friends.

  And the other thing is...well...sometimes I wish I had a little girl that I could do this kind of stuff for. I have two boys, who I absolutely love to death, but there's that "Daddy's Little Girl" thing that, I think, every guy has somewhere in their genetic make-up.
  I have a fair number of friends that have daughters and I am generally well received by them. Oh, let's tell it like is...those kids love me!
  The thing is, most kids love me. Why? Because I'm pretty much just a bigger version of themselves. I love being a kid! I'm holding on to it for dear life and take nearly any opportunity to try to forget I've ever aged past about twelve.
  And I'm a sucker. I was had a two year old toy with me for over an hour, making me pick up the same toy off the floor that she kept throwing down over and over and over and over and...well, you get it. All because it made her laugh and smile and it was the most adorable laugh and smile you'd ever fuckin' seen!
  There's certainly something about little girls that melts big, stupid men.

  Little girl's grow up, though. And if those little girls are your responsibility, you try and try and try not to let that happen. Then you go gray really early and then your hair falls out and you get nervous ticks and can't sleep ever again.

  I like my hair. I like sleeping.

  So it works much better this way. I more or less get to borrow "daughters" and not have all that worry about...well...having daughters. I mean, really. Like I need another woman in my life that I don't have a clue about. Another woman to worry about and love and hurt for and want to do everything under the sun for and have small strokes every time they might have a problem, etc. etc. etc.

  I'll stick with the boys. Wipe off the blood, ruffle the hair, send them back on their merry, fucking way.

  That being said...if you're daughter is having a themed party, I have some stuff in my garage and some nifty ideas. Little girl smiles and "thank you" hugs are awfully hard to get enough of.


Nerds, News and Nonsense!

  Yes, yes...it's been a while since I've blogged. So, first off, quick updates:
  The Memory Eater Anthology is rolling right along. The Kickstarter goal was met so there will be some news soon about the book's availability, ya-da, ya-da. In fact, I have to review the final draft (at least in relation to my parts in it) when I get done with this post. Speaking of which, anybody want to write my bio for me? I hate those things.
  Been a bit lazy on the comic work. Robert (you remember...the artist?) has been busy with some projects so he hasn't been able to make much progress on the artwork. He's expecting to get it rolling soon and, in all honesty, I've been slacking without the need to supply him with more scripts. It's a shit excuse, but it's the truth. There's the new job and spring cleaning and some other stuff that's been sucking up my time but, in the end, writer's write (regardless) and I need to get back at it.

  Fortuitously, I was able to partake in an inspirational event today. The type of event that gets my brain juices flowing, my imagination rambling and my typing fingers (both of them) all twitching and itchy with excitement. Yes folks, prepare for more pictures of the people who, just when I think I'm about the most fucked up person around, prove to me that I have, once again, completely underestimated the rest of the human race!
  Today, the offspring and I hit Motor City Comic Con 2012!

  Let's begin with some of the celebrities that were on hand, shall we? Of course, "celebrity" is a relative term. You'll note that most of the pictures are taken from a distance. I'll just explain that briefly. Most of these celebs are shucking pictures and autographs of themselves. Now, a couple of bucks? Sure, why not? But $25, $30 or $35? Yeah, right, fuck you very much.
  Caveat: There was some false info fed to me that Norman Reedus was present (that would be "Darryl" from The Walking Dead). Had that actually been the case, I may have had to break my rule and pay for the picture.
  Note: Some of the celebrities are a bit cooler and will pose for a pic for free, especially if you throw some kids up at 'em. Offspring: excellent yard work slaves and pretty good B-list ice breakers.


Peter Tork (of The Monkees). I saw The Monkees in concert about 23, 24 years ago. He looks much the same. I didn't bother going up to talk to him. No reason...just didn't.

 
Loni Anderson. I found it odd that she had pictures of her and Burt Reynolds among those she was signing. She is an excellent example of the Joan Rivers Syndrome (not knowing when to just stop already with the plastic surgery). Shook her hand (ewww...like some reptilian/mannequin mix)  and said I'd like a picture or autograph but just couldn't afford $25 for every person there (which may or may not be true but isn't really the point) and she just smiled a smile that basically said, "That's nice. Fuck off then and stop looking at pictures of me in my prime; in a bikini." But, you know, in a polite "fuck you" kind of way; if a smile can really convey as much.


Howard Hessman. Loni's co-star on WKRP. Dr. Johnny Fever himself. Personal experience? He's a douche.


Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster). Look closely. Apparently, Butch is Mr. "Pop Culture." Hmmm...who knew?


Christopher Knight (Peter Brady). Didn't bother talking to him, either. Plus for Pete: has a hot chick with him. Last year, Cindy and Bobby were at the MCCC .I wonder if the Brady kids rotate appearances. When it's time to change you've got to ReaRRanGe... Hehehe.

    
Bill Mumy (Will Robinson from Lost in Space) and Robot. I was way more interested in Robot. Just sayin'...


Rena Owen (Magenta from Rocky Horror). She was cool. Good fun and happy to chat with us. Happy to pose with the oldest offspring (who, along with the younger, is (inappropriately) a big Rocky Horror fan).


This is Mark Rothman. He was the head writer for The Odd Couple, Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley; and he wrote for many other shows. I bought a book of his essays (will give you info when I've read it; looks funny). Heck of a nice guy who happens to live in the Metro Detroit area and has offered to correspond with me about writer-type stuff. I hope it becomes a good relationship.


This is Melissa Coates. She is, it seems, the champion of some female wrestling association. Funny story: The morning of the Con, I hopped on Twitter and searched some hashtags to see what was being said about the MCCC. Happens that Melissa was Tweeting about being there so I sent some slightly humorous, innocuous tweet to her about seeing her there. Next thing you know, we exchange a few tweets and I end up meeting her at her booth. She seems to think I'm actually a fan and tells me all about her wrestling stuff and when she'll be wrestling again and blah-blah-blah...So...what the fuck, I ask for a picture. She tells me she usually asks something for them, to which I explain I don't pay for them (and at this point it feels like an exchange I once had with a hooker that approached my car) and she decides, what the hell, she'll pose for a pic (fyi, the hooker did not offer a freebie). So the oldest offspring takes a couple snaps with my phone, which Melissa then asks to see, disapproves of her appearance, asks that we take another (which is why I'm laughing in this one) and then explains something about puffiness from a recent match and allergies and static, blah, blah, fuzzy noise, whatever...
She did look best in this one, of the three pics (and she has some huge....umm,,,,muscles).

Now let's have a look at some of the people we encountered as we made our way around Comic-Con. Remember, these are just normal people, not paid to be here, either fans just walking about or people who have their own booths (a couple of weird costume clubs, for instance).

 
    
 

 
  
  

And how about a few of the inanimate stars:

 

 

 

Yeah...so...that last one is a costumed kid I missed uploading earlier and I didn't want to go back and fuck with everything. Awesome costume though, right? There was A LOT of Doctor Who stuff this year!
And just to be sure you don't think less of me (as if you could or as if I care), I did not pay $5, or whatever that sign says, to get a picture with the Monkee Mobile; I just took a fucking picture. Screw you! Maybe the $5 let's you sit in it or something.

All right...having not blogged in a while seems to be having the result of me being exhausted with it at this point. Probably a bit to do with walking around a convention center full of my fellow nerds for hours, as well.

Final Notes:

I did get some awesomely fantastic, super cool artwork that I will take some shots of and share either here on the blog or through FB and the Twitter. You'll just have to wait for that (it's what we writer-types call a "teaser" or a "cliff hanger"...depends how you want to look at it.

And I am now the proud owner of a sonic screwdriver. You Doctor Who types know what I'm talking about.

A cool shirt has been added to what is quickly becoming the coolest t-shirt wardrobe in any average, writer, musician, nerd guy's closet.

Found the Watchmen buttons we've been looking for since last Comic Con.

I'll talk to you all soon...I hope. Remember to like the Author Mike Kozlowski page on FB and to follow me on Twitter (@MAKozlowski) for more regular interaction. And, you know, really...who wouldn't want a little more interaction with someone like me? Look at those pictures up there. That's solid fucking gold, Baby! Just one more bit of the exceptionally interesting life that I live.

As always, thanks for being faithful.

Mike

Try to Remember This: The Memory Eater. Is that Ironic?

  A while back, I submitted a story for a themed anthology. The concept for the anthology was a number of stories all centering around a device known as the Memory Eater. This device targets and destroys memories and that was, pretty much, the whole of the guidelines for the submission.
  My story was selected for inclusion in the anthology (thank you, thank you very much) and is joining some 26 other stories in making up the book. I've only just received the first draft of the completed book (which, unfortunately, I am not at liberty to share) and have begun reading some of the other stories in it. Trust me, you'll want to pick up a copy when it becomes available.

  And that brings me to the point...

  The editor, while having a few different publishing options, has decided to manage the publishing duties and is doing so (to begin with) with the help of funding through Kickstarter (which is a very cool sort of thing where people can pledge money to fund various projects and, usually, get some benefit as a donor).
  So, to help make the Memory Eater anthology a reality, I am asking that you go to the Kickstarter site and pledge a dollar or two or three or whatever you can. It's an excellent way to help authors and artists get their work out to the public, in a time when the publishing world is leaner than ever in promoting emerging talent.
  And while your at the Kickstarter site (after, of course, you have pledged something to the Memory Eater project) you should have a look around and see what other cool projects are about, that you might want to help with or just be aware of.

  Click the following to get there: Memory Eater Kickstarter Project

  I will try to keep everyone informed on how it's going, through my FB and Twitter accounts. As of right now (with about four or five days under our belts, we are right around 1/4 funded. So far, so good.

  Oh! And there will shortly be available some video trailers for the project, which I will get out to you. As a matter of fact, when I finish this post, I need to get on to writing a script for the trailer for my story.

  In other news of a writerly sort, I have a story that I am writing...um...well...okay, to be honest I haven't actually started writing it yet but I am doing that first part of my writing process where I let the idea stew about in my mind and see what comes of it and massage it a bit and mold it and then let it spew out onto the screen in a vomit of wordsmithy (I'm at the mold and massage stage, preparing to vomit).

  I'm also still working on the comic, though both Robert (the artist) and myself have been working on other projects and dealing with general life issues and have allowed the project to stall a bit. It's not dead, by any means, we've just had to adjust our timeline.

  And in my personal life, I have taken a new job (the real one, that pays the bills and stuff) and have been acclimating to that, which has definitely taken a bit of time away from my writing but I think I'm leveling back out now.
  And the job is going well and I like it and I don't have to travel out of town anymore so my general disposition is considerably better than it has been. Ironically, there is a guy at my new job who wears a Buffalo Bills hoodie everyday and I've threatened to burn it with him still wearing it because I've not yet gotten over of my loathing of Buffalo. And, Buffalo, I'm very sorry that I hate it you...I'm sure my feelings toward you will return to indifference soon enough and maybe even a bit of fond recollection (in the way that we reminisce about the good, old days that weren't really so good at all but seem humorous and pleasant in retrospect merely because the experience didn't kill us).

  It's Easter weekend! As we all know, that's when the bunny rose from the dead and paid for our sins by bribing God with peanut butter filled chocolates, thereby ensuring our eternal salvation and poor dental health.

  Or something like that.

  No, really, I'm aware of the Easter story, good Catholic that I am and all (cough, cough...I most certainly am...cough, cough). Hope you all enjoy the holiday in whatever manner you choose to celebrate and, most importantly, hope that you find time to spend with your loved ones. And, if you don't care for the wonderful combination of chocolate and peanut butter, you may send all of your Reese's cups in my direction.

  Okay! So, one more time, get over to the Kickstarter site for the Memory Eater and see what kind of cool shit you can get with your pledge. Kickstarter Memory Eater Project

  Here's the illustration that accompanies my story, Do You Make House Calls? (which happens to be one that you can get the original print of, given you meet the pledge amout).


  And, as a bonus, if you do donate (any amount at all) and end up with a copy of the book, I will gladly sign it for you and write some cool little flash fiction thing in the front cover or draw a little picture or some other cool thing. Granted, you'll need to get your copy of the book to me but, fuck, I can't do everything now, can I?

  I'm off to write that trailer script now and to get ready for the holiday tomorrow; lots of family coming by.

  Thanks, as always, for staying faithful,

  Mike
 

Of Writing, Working and Moving On.

  Okay, I'll start with the writer stuff...

  Those of you who follow my tweets and FB updates know that I have been working on a comic. The working title (which I am starting to like more and more as the story develops) is Angel of Death.
  The story has guns, bounty hunters, cool cars, a healthy dose violence and gore, a pinch of blasphemy, a few moral musings (generally only alluded to for the reader to do with what they will) and, perhaps best of all, zombies (of a sort).
  My only concern (the one that causes me doubts and a bit of tossing and turning in the wee hours) is that I sometimes fear that the entertainment world has been saturated with zombies, at this point. This story has been a glimmer of an idea for a couple of years; slowly developing in the creepy, dark recesses of my cranium. And quite a while back (again, my laziness keeps me from going back to achieve any sort of accurate time stamp) I wrote a post here that talked about catching the next big wave in horror fiction, which I suspected would be zombies. I worry that I may have waited too long.
  But, worry and self-doubt are a couple of the hallmarks of the writing life. A good writer tends to be his own worst critic (a bad writer is usually optimistically delusional about his story and/or abilities). When I take an honest look at my story, I continue to think it is very different (or at least different enough) from any zombie-related thing I've seen thus far. So, I go forward. Besides, if I quit now I'd have wasted a good amount of time an effort and, more importantly, I would believe that I let a good thing die.

  So far, I have the first script written and sent off to the artist (some of you may know that I am not an entirely shabby artist in my own right, but I've never felt I was very good at the comic work and I certainly don't feel I am as talented as the person I've been able to get on board with this thing). I also have a rough outline of the first arc completed and am working through the cleaner, more detailed outline that I will need for submitting. I have a character file going and a handful of the primary characters fully developed (something else that will be going with the submission) and I am starting work on the script for issue two.


  Right! With that out of the way, let's get personal.

  Since I am not yet making a living off of my writing (but getting closer and closer) I continue to have a "real" job. Regular visitors here will know that I have been working out of state for the last few months (commuting back and forth for short weekends at home) and I am happy to say that that is coming to an end.
  I received and accepted an offer from another company that will keep me close to home.

  The traveling was only one factor in my desire to move on to other opportunities. Some of the others include a need to get back into the career that I've spent most of my working life in (before it's too late to go back), the fact that I am nearing 40 and need to start focusing on the long term and the intense stress that my current job has built up in me over the years caused, primarily, by my totally bi-polar, bat-shit crazy boss.

  Oh, I know...you think you have a crazy, asshole of a boss, too. You do not. Not like I do.

  This is someone who I have seen physically attack people for things like...oh, let me think...trying to sell him something or not eating a sandwich he made because they didn't like mayo. This is a guy who will give you a bonus check one day and then claim you're stealing things from him the next. This is someone who might give you the shirt off his back or might try to strangle you with it.

  Really, honestly, please trust me on this, there is NO WAY I can properly convey the craziness; no fucking way.

  You might ask, why in the world would you work in an environment like this, Mike?  And that would be a very sane and sensible inquiry.

  As it happens, not knowing how crazy he was when I started (Oh, I was warned but, like I said, there really is no way to accurately describe the level of crazy) I quickly found I was one of the few people who could generally spin his mood and manipulate him away from crazy and more toward a general sense of sanity.. And, truthfully, every time I got to my breaking point and told him I was done he would throw money or trucks or something at me to get me to stay. What can I say? I can be bought. The whole thing is best wrapped up in a little saying my fellow employees and I would often share with people that would ask the very same question:

  Yes, we work for the devil, but Hell pays well.

  Anyway, I am finally moving on. The job has provided me with a long list of characters and a bunch of very interesting experiences that I am sure will make their way into my writing. It's helped me provide for my family for several years. It's even given me a fair bit of enjoyment (totally insane, monkey fucking a rubber ball kind of enjoyment but enjoyment, just the same).

  So that is my news, both professional and personal. I have two days left to spend out of town, just over a week before I start my new job. The sun has been shining and it's been unseasonable warm and it's probably because the powers that be feel like I deserve it (because we all know the world revolves around me).

  For now, I say to you, my Faithful Few, good night. And to Buffalo, very shortly, I say goodbye (and good riddance). As in one of my stories, a new chapter begins. I hope it doesn;t play out like one of my stories though...those never end well for the protagonist.

Anything Worth Doing is Worth Over Doing!

  Let's begin this post with a moment of silence for Davy Jones.




  Thank you.

  If you're not aware, Davy Jones, best known as a member of The Monkees, passed away from a massive heart attack on Feb. 29th. I saw Davy and The Monkees perform in...ummm...let's see...1985 (See what I did there? I used my wordsmithy skills and those little dot, dot, dot things to make it seem like I was thinking even though I could have just done the math and put in the year without all that nonsense. Doing it the way I did it, however, makes it seem like we were actually talking; having a conversation. It's one of those cool writer-type tricks we like to employ. File that away; it will serve you well in your writerly endeavors).

  Now, it's entirely possible that you did not know Davy Jones died. It wasn't given a whole lot of news coverage and, with Marcia Brady all grown up, I'm unaware of the status of the Davy Jones Fan Club. And why would the media give it more than a passing mention? Jones wasn't some piece of shit crack whore that threw away God given talents and cried about being led down the path of destruction by a poor choice in love. There was someone like that filling the screen of my TV every time I fucking turned around just a little while ago. No, Jones was, by all accounts, a nice fella and the consumate gentlemen and a pretty, darned good entertainer (and kind of adorable because he was just SOOO little).


   Enough of that, though. He's dead. Moving on...

  This weekend I attended a charity auction at our church (yes, I belong to a church and they haven't excommunicated me yet...it's a very lenient church). They have this auction every year and it always has a theme. This year's theme was "Vegas."

  Sometimes, people dress according to the theme. For instance, last year's theme was "Country & Western" and people wore cowboy hats and boots and shit.

  There's some stuff you should know about me. I tend to go a wee bit overboard with stuff sometimes. In fact, we have a family motto: Anything worth doing is worth over doing. I'm also an attention whore. You may have heard that writers tend to be solitary and shy and that they hole themselves in their writer caves and rarely come out into the light of day. That may be true in many cases but I would be the exception to the rule.

  Maybe this picture of me at teh auction best explains what I'm trying to say:



  I'm the one with the glasses. Oh, and the Elvis outfit.

  I found that being Elvis really suits me. People fucking LOVE Elvis!

  I took several pictures with friends and strangers alike; I suspect there are a number of Skinny Elvis photos making the rounds of the social media sites about now. The above photo was an impromptu performance requested by the piano player; I was more than happy to oblige. I renewed the wedding vows of an older couple whom I had never met before. I serenaded a table full of strangers who, I'm pretty sure, didn't know what they were getting themselves into when they said "Hey Elvis! Will you sing a song for us?" as I was passing by.
  The highlight, I think, had to be when we later went to a Ram's Horn restaurant (where I posed with more strangers for more pictures) and was asked to take a picture with a young, mother-to-be. It was my wife's idea for me to place my hand on the young lady's swollen belly for the picture (a suggestion that the Baby Momma quickly agreed to). So I ended up, essentially, using the powers of The King to bless an unborn child. I'd like to imagine that she'll name him Elvis.

  An added bonus for me, and a stroke to my already super-inflated ego, was that the young prego said that I was the (and I quote; that's why the following will have those quotation marks...duh) "coolest person she had met in at least 10 years." That opinion was based solely, as near as I can tell, on the fact that I was willing to visit a Ram's Horn, dressed as Elvis Presley.
 
  It really just demonstrates the power of The King, if you ask me. That young woman was correct in assuming that I was the coolest person she'd met in 10 years but, had she got to know me a little, I'm sure she'd have been convinced I was the coolest person she'd ever met and ever would meet. I could have told her about this whole writer thing. I could have told her I sing in a Rock 'n Roll band. I could have told her I have a bunch of cool weapons and that I could shoot someone's eye out at 100 yards. I could have regaled her with a myriad of stories about various "cool" experiences and escapades.
  But...I didn't have to. All I had to do was be Elvis. I'm glad I bought that outfit instead of just renting it.

  I could probably go on and on about how great I am (probably? Ha! Fuck yeah I could! I love me!) but, somewhere along the line I should make a point of some sort...I guess.

  So what's the point?

  The point is, you have to live life. You only get one of them (unless that reincarnation thing is true, which would be pretty sweet) so you ought to make the most of it. While this is a general statement that is true for everybody, let me take a swing at wrangling it into some sort of writer thing, since this is a writer's blog (rarely, it's true, but it's supposed to be).

  As a writer, you often get that advice that you should read a lot and write a lot and that's how you become a good writer. Well, those things will help, I suppose, but the most important thing you can do is experience life.

  It doesn't matter if your a fiction writer, or a particular sort of fiction writer, or a non-fiction writer or whatever. Your writing will reflect the type of person you are and the types of experiences you have. Sure, you can make a lot of shit up but your writing is going to be more believable and richer if you can put a healthy dose of reality in it; if you can pour yourself into it.

  Do you need to be willing to dress up like a Rock & Roll icon and roam through the public? No. That's not something everybody can pull off. I'm a special kind of fucked up; don't try to be me. You'll end up hurting yourself.
  You do need to be willing to get off your ass once in a while, though. Sitting and writing (or working or whatever, if you're not a writer) is admirable and all but you need to get out in the sunshine now and again and see what the hell is going on out there. Smell the roses, as they say.

  As a public service, I will say that taking things to the next level makes life a whole, helluva lot more interesting. Yeah, people may look at you and say things like "what a crazy fucker" or "that person is insane" or "holy shit, what a jackass" but what they really mean, usually, is "I wish I had the balls to do that."

  Plus, the chicks dig it.

  Peace out, Bitches!
  And, as always, thanks for staying faithful...

  Thank you, thank you very much. Uh-huh.

  Mike (The King) Kozlowski

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  1. Prose and Cons
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