It’ll be a long day

Dad’s funeral mass is today. Couple of hours from now, in fact. Much like
those final few nights with him in the hospital, it’s been impossible to
sleep, so I’ve been puttering around, trying to get some things done, trying
to eat the time between now and then without really thinking about it much.
Funny, it’s probably been one of my most productive days in the past two
weeks, despite it only being a few hours old. Put in a thousand words on a
new short story for the upcoming anthology-something I haven’t really had
the desire to work on. Think he’d be happy knowing that. Knowing I was
finally getting back to doing something I love, and that I wasn’t just
sitting around being morose, looking up depressing gothic music on YouTube
to listen to while passing the time.

It’s gonna be a long day, no denying that. I’ve had Pam tell just about
everyone I know that I don’t want to hear any condolences when we’re out at
the bar, I don’t want to dwell on that part of it. Well, today’s the mass,
and I don’t have that option. So, we’ll go, we’ll sit through a mass, we’ll
deal with the fact that this priest didn’t know my Dad at all (even though
Dad helped build the church), and we’ll make it through the post-mass
hug/handshake line. Then, we’re going to push all of that aside and go to
Chili’s and have lunch, because that’s what Dad would’ve wanted. The real
send off will be in October, when relatives from out of state can come in,
and when we’re going to do it up right, with food and booze and stories and
laughs and more booze and close friends and the inner-circle and the music
he loved.

I’m gonna try and keep *that* in mind as today unfolds. That the party is
still to come. Maybe it’ll make things easier. Maybe not. I’ll find out soon
enough.

Until then, I’ve got less scary nightmares to deal with, at least, another
couple hundred words worth before I gotta get dressed.

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Currently listening to: Sic ‘Em on a Chicken by The Zack Brown Band

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While you’re here, check out my new novel, a mystery/thriller about a series
of gruesome murders in New York City-it’s getting great reviews, so guess I
did something right:

http://tinyurl.com/9a5lalt

Torn to Pieces

I had expected to be blogging pretty regularly last week, because for the first time in a while I’ve got a number of things going on to talk about. But, as luck would have it, things didn’t quite work out the way I’d expected. First, my Dad went back into the hospital. Two days later, I began sleeping up there, keeping vigil. My mom joined in on Thursday, my sis on Friday.

But on Sunday, he was gone.

Torn to Pieces, my debut novel, was approved by Amazon on Saturday, which makes me feel a little better. Sunday’s an anniversary I didn’t want shared. I’m not quite sure how much of Dad was still hanging around on Friday, but I let him know the book was finally being published. He was the first person I let read it, in a draft very, very close to the one now available for Kindle. Is that important? To me it is. I don’t usually show anyone anything I write until it’s ready for publication, so I’m sure glad I didn’t do that this time around. Dad loved mysteries, and we enjoyed many of the same authors. John Sandford. Michael Connelly. Nelson DeMille, and so on. Usually, my genre is horror, and that really wasn’t Dad’s thing, although he read anything I had published. But mysteries and thrillers… He really liked those, and he compared my effort favorably to several books we both thought highly of. The good thing about that is, Dad didn’t shine me on about my work. If he thought something could be better, he’d tell me. He even made a suggestion about a different plot twist at the end, thinking it’d do better with the masses. We discussed that a lot. I didn’t want to make the change because it’s the kind of twist you expect in mystery novels today. He thought that might be exactly why I should try it. But we decided the book was commercial and mainstream enough, and talked about sequels, other stories, etc.

Torn to Pieces by Joseph M. Monks

I’m glad I had time to get that input. It made the novel that much stronger. Next to my film, The Bunker, it was the single biggest project I’d undertaken, creatively. And, he got to see it. Got to see my film on the big screen, in a real movie theatre, on a state of the art projection system with surround sound and all the bells and whistles. Popcorn, even. That he got to enjoy my book and movie ought to be enough to make me happy, but of course, it’s not. He won’t be here for the next one, which hurts. But, if you enjoy mysteries and thrillers as much as Dad and I did/do, perhaps you’ll give the sample chapters a look-see, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your comments (preferably through Amazon, of course), no matter whether you like the book or not. Remember, I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve got thick skin. If you pick up a copy? Give it to me straight.

I promise—I’ll let Dad know how the response is when I talk to him.

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Currently listening to: The Gambler by Kenny Rogers