Category Archives: Stories & Writing

Another Novel Preview

I’ve finally finished the rough draft of my next novel, which I am now calling Daughter: The Journals of Allihence and the Wild Ones. I still need to do a bunch of work on it to fill in some of the gaps and correct some issues so it’s still going to be many months before I can put it out on Amazon. I posted the first couple chapters some time ago then found this chapter later on. I can’t remember when I wrote this. I think it was during one of my more recent edits, but I think it does a good job portraying what our main character is up to.

Anyway, here it is, the second preview of my next novel:

I keep holding this leather pouch, all folded up to contain all my papers and thinking, this is me, right here in my hands. All these things happening would make for a great story to fill these pages.

But there’s a problem and the problem is me.

What are the elements of a good story, Dear Reader? Well, there must be conflict. We’ve got that, between us humans and those carathlings. We need a plot and a couple subplots. Journey across a new continent as I redefine my journal. We need a setting. We started on a beautiful island and have entered a fascinatingly complex forest. Check. We need a theme. That, I believe, would be my underlying belief that humans and carathlings can find a better way of interacting. Humans don’t need to be forced and carathlings don’t need to hunt and breed us. Check.

We need a protagonist. That would be me. The protagonist must have character flaws. I assume I have those covered. I’ve got some strengths as well. The protagonist must have unique or complicated but identifiable emotions. I don’t think that’s a problem with someone like me. Check, check and check.

However, there’s one important part of any story that you can never forget.

The protagonist must take a direct part in the story. They don’t need to be the big hero, but no reader wants a story about someone who sits on the sidelines writing about what’s going on. You can’t write a good story about someone who follows the rules and does what she’s told. You can’t write a good story about someone who refuses take risks.

Life is like a story, Dear Reader. Look at your own. Have you made the choices of a protagonist or are you a supporting character? Either way, you are part of a massive story that we are all writing every moment of every day. We each have the power to affect the experience and outcome of that story.

This book is my life. Right now I have a choice. I can make this a story or it can just be a journal.

I feel powerful holding this that represents my life, here in my hands. It’s all mine. This book belongs to me.

Like how my life belongs to me. Like how my story belongs to me.
I do not belong to the carathlings.

That is why I have been talking with the person who will remain unnamed, the person pushing us toward an escape plan. In case we are not successful, I will not write the person’s name. Here on these pages, however, I will admit that yes, I am supporting our escape attempt. I have an obligation to the spirits that govern our emotions and the gods who created our world.

I have an obligation to write a story.

The Water Glass Collection

I guess I’m almost a month late in actually writing a blog post about this but I have released another book which I called The Water Glass Collection: 10 Regular Old Short Stories. I guess that title isn’t totally descriptive since there’s a few quirky and weird stories in there like the one about the fourth grader who convinces his inhalant addicted mother to ditch his grandfather’s funeral to go to a heavy metal Hannah Montana cover band or the one where I became the lead developer programming racism chips.

Water_GlassMaybe it’s a terrible title for a book, but it basically means they aren’t science fiction and some of them are my attempt at more classical kinds of storytelling. The title story, The Water Glass is arguably my best piece from my early years, about an old man whose doctor tells him he’s no longer allowed to drink water. There’s also just a hint of porn in this book. There’s also a story or two that could be argued that they are science fiction but I felt they weren’t sciency enough so they go in this book.

As with all my books, if you would like a free copy just contact me and promise that if you like it, you’ll write a review on Amazon.

Violence in New Eden

A couple weeks ago I quit my job after realizing I needed a break from programming for a little while. Now I am happily unemployed and for the next month or two, am not going to be thinking about writing code. Hopefully this will give me the chance to do a mental reset and regain my passion for development.

My latest book of EVE Online stories.In the meantime I’m working on my writing. I finished compiling and editing my fourth book, called Violence in New Eden: 4 Brutal Tales in the World of EVE Online and published it on Amazon Kindle. I have also nearly finished my fifth book which I’m calling, The Water Glass Collection: 10 Regular Old Short Stories. This will be a collection of my non-science-fiction shorts. I’m hoping to get that published by next week when I go away to a five day sex party in the woods. After that I go back to a novel that I’ve been working on since my teenage years.

Anyway, Violence In New Eden is EVE Online fan fiction so the players are the target audience but the stories should be understandable to most science fiction fans.

I am in need desperate need of reviews. People don’t like to buy books on Amazon unless they can read a couple reviews. If you want to read my books for free and promise to write a review on Amazon, I will be happy to send you a free copy. Just contact me and ask. This goes for all of my books on Amazon until I get, lets say, 10 reviews per book.

If you don’t want to contact me or write a review, you can download this book to your kindle for free on these dates:

  • July 31, 2014
  • August 1, 2014
  • August 29, 2014
  • September 12, 2014 (I intend to make all my books free on this date)
  • October 17, 2014

The Pioneers: My Latest Book

Earlier this week I released a new novella called The Pioneers, about a group of children who are born from an artificial womb and raised by robots so they can colonize a distant planet that could never be reached by living humans. It’s time for their first trip to the planet’s surface and our main character, Sophia, is getting nervous. Meanwhile, some of the other kids are inventing conspiracy theories about the aliens they think might live there while the others are just trying to survive and be kids.

thePioneersI don’t recall exactly where this story idea came from but it might just be my favorite out of all the stories I’ve written. It does have one major flaw that I see, even though nobody has pointed it out to me yet, which is the question, “why didn’t the system designers just program an advanced autopilot instead of making the kids fly the dropship?”

So to that I say, “Shhhhhh… It’s just a story.” Focus on the other messages and don’t worry about that.

This is also the first time I’ve hired an editor, which I think I should probably do again once I have released the other two books I plan on putting together in the coming months. She made a whole lot of minor changes.

If you do read it, I would love it if you could take a few minutes to review it on Amazon as just a review helps out a lot.

It’s only 99 cents on Kindle, but if you’re like me and think everything should be free, I will be running free promotions on the following dates:

  • 5-29-2014 and 5-30-2014
  • 6-12-2014 and 6-13-2014
  • 7-11-2014

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KEY4GZ2

Kalin is an Author, not a Blogger

A while back I really started thinking that I wanted to make a change to this website and my writing endeavors. I’m not under any delusions here: I know no one is reading these blog posts. I decided to really start promoting this site and bought a couple audio books on the subject to give me some ideas. One was called Kill Your Blog, a tiny little book written for authors. It had some good points about why a blog just isn’t the best way for writers to get readers. It helped remind me that the book format has always been my preference and this blog has just been about keeping myself writing and isn’t properly goal-oriented. I have wanted for a long time to put my stuff together and start selling it on Kindle. I haven’t done it in the past, partially because of laziness and partially because I have this idea that it’s just wrong to try to make money off art. In the long run I still believe that but in the short run, if I want to make a difference in the world and actually have people read the things I write, I need to be an author, not a blogger.

So I went on elance.com and hired a designer to make some book covers.new-beginnings_cover04I then put together Stories of New Beginnings: 10 Science Fiction Short Stories I Wrote in High School, taking the stories I had on this website and putting introductions for each, describing how they affected me and my life during that period. 

Next, I hired a copyeditor to help clean up a novella that I’ve been sitting on for a couple years called The Pioneers. I intend to release that in a week or two… or three… after I go through her edits. After that I will be compiling another book called Violence in New Eden, a collection of four short stories and novellas set in the universe of EVE Online, though those stories are currently available here on this website but will be removed once I start trying to charge money for them. After that I’m going to put together the non-science fiction stories into an anthology called The Water Glass collection. Then I’m going to go back through all of those books, hire an editor for each, and clean them up a bit. After all that, I will either start compiling my true stories into a collection in one or two editions that follow my path to becoming an anarchist, or I will go back to writing the novel that I’ve been working on since I was 15.

I’m still going to try to keep up with the facebook and twitter thing, since it’s actually pretty easy using the buffer app to queue a bunch of posts while I’m on the bus. I never stopped to think about just how many anarchist and atheist memes are out there and just how many little articles you can find about our government and police doing messed up things.

I still need to make some adjustments to this website to reflect my change in priorities. I’m still gonna keep blogging, but I’m probably going to keep it to about one a month, just to maintain a presence. I still have a big backlog of stuff to post and I want to get around to that, but not before I finish my books… but now that I look back over this post, I think maybe I shouldn’t try to force myself to make entries here as I think this one turned out kinda boring.

That gratifying sense of justice

Today I posted a new true story called The Jalapeno of Justice. This is something that happened around 1996, when I was a junior in high school.

So this post contains a spoiler so I suggest reading the story before reading any further as it’s not too long and I think it’ll give a few perspectives that I’m not going to get into in this post.

So basically, the story is that I was at a party that didn’t allow drugs and alcohol, but one person refused to stop smoking pot so some dudes anally raped him with a jalapeno. The really fucked up part of this is that I totally supported the rape, though of course, I did not see it as rape. I saw it as simple justice for the horrible crime of smoking marijuana.

I’ve been hesitant to write and post this story all these years that I’ve been writing true stories on this blog, for obvious reasons. It makes me look like a complete, sadistic asshole, which in this situation, I absolutely was. I don’t think many people want to admit that they have the capacity to be a truly horrible person, but this is what I must do.

But I don’t think I’m unique here. I think the majority of people around me have a similar capacity for sadistic behavior. You might say that getting raped with a jalapeno for smoking some weed is a little harsh but if you stop and think about the things the Partnership for a Drug Free America and other anti-drug individuals and organizations support, anal rape really is not a big deal. The person in this story no doubt would have preferred that over being chased down by a police officer with a gun, having his life threatened, getting thrown in jail for a night, and possibly getting kicked out of school. Anal rape as punishment for marijuana and pro-drug advocacy can be considered mild in comparison to many of the things our criminal justice system is already doing on behalf of the drug war.

I have a recurring theme in this blog that I like to talk about and that I don’t think gets enough attention in popular media and psychology. This is my theory that human beings enjoy watching each other suffer. This seems obvious considering the popularity of horror movies, but people almost always forget about how this may cause us to be bias when talking about political opinions.

I believe in our current society we have targeted specific criminals like drug dealers and sexual deviants with our hatred. I think deep down we understand that the punishments and hate we force upon these people are ultimately not going to make the problems go away. Thousands of years of laws and punishments have proven that we are going to have criminals one way or the other, yet we continue punishing and imprisoning. I don’t believe we are doing this because we really think it’s making us more secure, or even because it’s giving us the illusion of safety. We punish criminals because we enjoy knowing that they are suffering. Simple as that. It would be so easy to change our strategies to help people, to show compassion and to find real and effective ways to change the state of criminal behavior today, but we don’t because that desire for vengeance is so powerful.

The police distance us from these occurrences, keeping us naive. The general public never feels that gratifying sense of vengeance when a criminal is apprehended, so it leaves us wanting more. On the other hand, we are never exposed to the pain and horror that a punished individual actually feels, dramatically muting our compassion. Police officers, on the other hand, become addicted to the power, vengeance and sadism. The whole system then becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of hatred, revenge and cruelty. And we’re all in denial about it.

Dave’s Looking At Porn

I don’t know why I’m even posting this, honestly, except that I just don’t like throwing away old writings. Just a stupid story I thought was funny at the time.

I sat at my desk writing code like any other day at work when my boss Dave stepped out of his office and said, “I have an announcement, everyone. I just want everyone to know that I’m not looking at porn–” he shook his head nervously. “I mean, I am looking at porn, but I’m doing it for legitimate reasons… so if anyone hears any moaning from my speakers or sees naked people in my window, I’m looking at porn for the company… I just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea… I’m not doing anything nasty back here.”
Chris swiveled around in his seat. “Um… that’s gonna require a little bit more explanation… like what kind of porn, and how do I get on board with this project?”
“I’m checking out this guy’s portfolio–we’re thinking about hiring a new designer–and this guy is pretty good but he’s done a lot of work for porn sites so I have to go check ‘em out and see what he can do.”
“So did he give you a bunch of usernames and passwords to these sites?” Chris asked.
“Yeah, actually. He gave me about half a dozen different logins.”
“Dude! Hook me up!”

Yuck! Kalin is promoting Kalinbooks

I heard about this product called buffer, which is a twitter and facebook client that allows you to post to both simultaneously but it keeps the entries in a queue and posts them at specific times per day, so it queues them up for several days in advance. I decided I’d give it a shot since most of the successful writers on the internet these days are leveraging social media. I’ve never been one for self promotion and all the nonsense on facebook and twitter has always bothered me, like photos of what you had for dinner and whatnot. However, I think I’m gonna try to stick with it for a while, making two or three posts a day. It’s pretty quick and easy. I can do it while I’m riding the bus to work.

It’s harder now it seems. I used to spend 20-30 bucks a month on advertising on google, but that didn’t seem to bring in too many new readers. On my old website, Get to Know a Marijuana Dealer, one $50 per month ad on HighTimes.com made my site explode and I actually had lots of people commenting… though that was back in the days before we even had MySpace… like around 2001 or so.

People say that a successful blogger puts 80% of their time into promotion and the rest of their time into writing. That seems just backward and wrong to me, so since I started this blog in its current WordPress form back at the beginning of 2010, I’ve probably spent about 98% of my time on actually writing, which to me seems like the way it should be. Alas, this is a world full of advertising and promotions and I won’t be able to compete unless I do something to promote myself.

So I added links to follow me on facebook and twitter to my left sidebar and intend to keep the micro posts coming steadily. I even bought some ads for the facebook page which will come out in about a month, giving me time to build up a collection of posts before I start blowing money on likes.

On Twitter today I spoke with someone from worldlibertynews.com and offered to write articles on the subject of our current police state. They’re looking for news stories, which I don’t normally do, but I figure I can give it a shot. There are certainly a plethora of stories on police brutality and ridiculous laws out there right now.

Anyway, I don’t know what I’m saying in my rambling. I guess that I’m finally going to try to branch out away from this website to actually do some self-promotion.

Wierd Al vs MC Hammer

This a true story I wrote years ago but I’ve just been hanging onto it, not posting it, because, well, it’s just kind of silly and pointless, but because I just can’t stand it sitting in my drafts folder any longer, i’m just going to go ahead and post the damn thing. Here it is. Wierd Al vs MC Hammer.

I was on vacation with my mom, aunt and cousins in Hawaii, driving around in our rented mini-van when the current number one hit, Can’t Touch This, came on the radio. My cousins all shouted “Turn it up! Turn it up!”.

We grooved to the song and my cousins made some comments about how brilliant and hip MC Hammer was. I was definitely an MC Hammer fan at the time. In fact, MC Hammer was the first CD I ever bought, but I still decided to say “I don’t understand why everyone loves this song so much. I mean, it’s cool but why’s it so special? There’s nothing really different or inventive about it, yet everyone’s going nuts over it.”

“Yeah, this coming from the guy who carries around Wierd Al tapes,” said my cousin Brad, and everyone had a good laugh at my expense. “MC Hammer has something called talent. He’s the future of rap, Dude. Wierd Al just rips off other songs and makes stupid jokes.”

“Well, I think Wierd Al will be around longer than MC Hammer,” I said.

They burst into hysterics. “Dear Lord, Kalin, you have a lot to learn about music.”

Originally I thought this was one of those classic “I told you so” moments, but then I looked up MC Hammer and discovered that he has continued putting out albums every couple years ever since his old “Please Hammer, don’t Hurt Em,” and continues making music today. It still remains to be seen who will be around longer.

“According to members of Nirvana interviewed for Behind the Music, when they saw the video [Smells Like Nirvana], they laughed hysterically. Additionally, Cobain described Yankovic as ‘a musical genius.'” -Wikipedia

New Sci-Fi – The Day She Started Counting

Today I released a new story called The Day She Started Counting, an EVE Online fan-fiction piece about a little girl in the Amarrian Empire who murders a police officer in an attempt to protect her father’s illegal hobby of assisting runaway slaves. I wrote this around 2010 I think and it’s one of my favorite fiction pieces that I’ve ever written. The editor of EON magazine told me that he would find a way to put this in the magazine even though it was twice their maximum length. His only complaint was the title: I Killed Him, Daddy. I hated that title too and totally agreed that it needed to change before we could publish it. I eventually realized The Day She Started Counting was a much better title. I hope that’s not why they never got around to publishing it, but now the magazine is out of business so I’m finally just going to post it here.

This is another one of those stories that depicts criminals as heroes. It’s funny just how common that is in books, movies and TV, and even when they’re anti-heroes like Walter White, we still identify with and root for their success. I find that so strange about our society. But the moment these same kind of criminals appear in real society, we suddenly hate them and want them to suffer and refuse to admit that they may have had real human reasons for committing their crimes. I mean, how many people really wanted to see Walter White thrown in prison and his family’s future destroyed? But that’s exactly what most people wish for when those exact same people exist in our real-world society… unless… of course, that criminal in the real world is someone we know personally. Nobody ever sees their own friends and family as being criminals. We look right through their crimes and we make excuses for them in the same way we do criminal characters in fiction stories. It’s only with the people we don’t know that we can be cold-hearted and genuinely support our criminal justice system.

Now, The Day She Stared Counting is about people rescuing slaves. Sure, they’re criminals, spitting in the face of their culture and established social order, willing to murder for their beliefs, but I think most people would read this and understand where they’re coming from and tell me these characters are different because they’re trying to rescue slaves, and nobody can support slavery.

Except that most Americans do support slavery. Most of us would never stand for the American version of the characters in this story. Our criminals in penitentiaries are basically used as slave labor these days. Would anyone really support someone who went to break them out, murdering a couple of police officers along the way, even if they were only releasing the non-violent criminals? No, we would hate them just as much as the Amarrian society hates my characters regardless of what we claim we believe about slavery.

And everyone knows that child slaves are being used over seas to produce much of our clothes, toys, nearly all our cell phones and God knows what else. Sure, we all say we’re opposed to slavery and are ashamed that we used to have slaves in this country, but the moment we have to pay a little more for our electronics, we forget all about that. Imagine if some corporate big-wig at Nike or The Gap were murdered in an attempt to stop those companies from keeping slaves in their manufacturing. Only the anarchists could stand for something like that because we’re so ingrained in our society’s distorted view of right and wrong and cause and effect. We’re only capable of seeing our own lives, our own wants and desires. We know logically that other people are suffering, and we claim to care about them, but we have no real empathy, so the moment we have to suffer in any way for their cause, all of a sudden we consider them monsters.

So it’s funny how fiction writers can get away with some really outlandish messages sometimes. I once saw an episode of The Drew Carey Show… at least I think that’s what it was. It was one of the only episodes of that show I ever saw, but it was a story of how he had sex in his early teens with a teacher, but he spent much of the episode talking about how much the experience had helped him socially and had actually been a significant benefit to his life. I could not understand how he could get away with so blatantly portraying child molestation in a positive light on network television. It’s strange how if you come out and say a message like this, it would be found horribly offensive by society, but if you bury it within characters that those same people can get to know, all of a sudden it’s acceptable and they will make whatever excuses they can to still see that character as being fundamentally different from the very same people in the real-world.

I think that’s one reason I love writing fiction. You tell lies in order to get to the truth. It allows people to get out of their own perspective and see things from a new perspective. The problem is that it’s so rare for people to carry that perspective over into the real world, to recognize that Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are terrorists, and that the real-world terrorists have reasons and justifications just as the Rebel Alliance had. We need to learn to make that connection, but I think in our modern society, we are so quick to get offended by things, so quick to deem someone as a horrible monster for the things they say, that we separate the moral values of our fictional world from our real world, and build a wall between them, when in reality, the lives of people and the development of our societies of our fictional stories work just the same as our real-world ones.