When Life Imitates Art

I recently met my vampire. Really. Someone who embodied my main character Will the Vampire before he met Emma, the love of his undead life that changed him forever. And like Will, he broke my heart a little, at least temporarily. Please note this blog contains some scenes/language that might offend some readers, but hang with me for a bit.

In my series “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” I wanted to explore what makes an undead tick. Through Will’s adventures and flashbacks the reader learns that he’s pretty much a stud, a philanderer, even before he’s changed. From “Thirty-three Forever” v.6:

The day of my change had started like any other. I had overslept after a night of reckless carousing. I awoke with not one, but two ladies of the evening, still in my bed. Only a blinding noonday sun drove me from a drunken slumber. I sleepily ran my hands over the naked bodies of last night’s lovelies. One awoke with a naughty smile. I pulled her to me and kissed her deeply. This would be the last time I would kiss a woman as a full blooded human.

Will is pretty much, well, a player. And it gets worse after he is changed, as Will admits in “Creating Anna”, v.5

But who was I to judge. I’d been a hellion in my younger years, even before I had been turned. I had been with scores of women of all kinds. I reveled in their beauty, their wealth and passions. I hurt some of them badly; I was quite the cad. I took other men’s wives, girlfriends, daughters, and even someone’s mother. I had bedded some, devoured some, and sometimes did both without care or responsibility.

A few months ago, I would have never believed that I would meet someone like this in the real world. Then I discovered a man I’ll only call “G” and my life suddenly imitated my art.

I mean, I have met opportunists before. Will is very loosely based on a real doc I know (for the medical parts only), people I met in the bar scene when I used to dance all night and one very bad dating experience in my early 20’s. Things are different now. I’m wiser. I’m a cougar. I usually lead with confidence. That’s what I thought…

So when G. messaged me on FB this summer about working on some book and collaborative ideas, my guard was down and my creative juices were up. I was writing and creating every spare moment I had. He was attractive, smart, and funny. But he was half my age. I put the cougar leanings away even though I wanted to pounce. I was in a state of employment flux, getting fired from a job, looking for a new one, hating the new job, and finally doing a creative retail job so I could continue doing my art. I was distracted.

But fast forward to November, G. started messaging, which lead to texting, which lead to flirting, which lead to some serious attraction when he showed up at my work. I was flattered. He was hot in a kilt. My inner cougar roared loudly, almost uncomfortably so. Then Ferguson happened.

The city I love exploded in chaos. I worried for G. Only hours after I’d met him in person, he was called into service through the Guard. I worried. I pined worse than the main characters in Jane Austen novels. And I had to work all Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend. I was fried and I jokingly put out a FB post for a rescue. Of course G. offered (big into the Ren scene). Finally after an ice storm on Monday, things calmed a bit.

By Tuesday I was craving normalcy. G. had been checking in on me. But something wasn’t right, just couldn’t put my finger on it. We began a marathon evening of texting, which turned into well, intimate fascination is how I’ll put it. Then suddenly silence.

I had to check FB, I hadn’t really been on much. Apparently during our texting G. received a post from his fiancee. Yeah, you read that right, like marriage is imminent. My response was pretty much WTF? But I didn’t panic. I thought clearly. I messaged someone with some info (nope won’t revel a source). After a few lengthy messages, I had scoop and proof. G. was a catfish. A player. Lies. Pink songs started going through my head. Dump text and message sent.  One pissed off post on FB made. Why hadn’t I listened to my intuition?

As I sat on the couch still in shock, I realized that G. was Will my vampire before he meets Emma. How ironic that just a few weeks ago I was starting on one of the new volumes of the vamp series titled “The Cougar”? And more irony that only a couple hours before, G. joked about me writing him into one of my stories. Mind blown.

I managed to sleep despite being pissed. Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” was the first song in my head this morning: You chewed me up and spit me out like I was poison in your mouth. NOOO kidding. I still have no idea what was real, but I got played. I’d been taken by a real human vampire.

What is interesting though is Will himself gets played as in “Do You Hear My Heart Beating?” v.7:

On most nights during our affair I would feed before heading to the Woodbridge manor. But one day a few sailors had become very ill. The plague had invaded their ship. I decided to extend a little undead mercy and I ended their lives quickly. So I was sated by the early evening and I went to see the Lady a bit prematurely. When I approached her balcony I heard voices. One was the Lady, the other a male, but not Lord Woodbridge. I eavesdropped as another lover spoke elegant words to her. She giggled delightfully in response. I listened as he made love to her. I watched as he left. He was a young soldier, tall and strong. I wanted to kill him, but could I blame him?

Was I not as bad as he? Suddenly I realized my favorite plaything had been taken by someone else. I was furious as I entered her chamber. She stood naked at her basin, wiping off any trace of her other lover. Her stunned expression revealed everything. My Lady was no longer mine.

“William?” she whimpered. She no longer resisted me. Instead she was begging for forgiveness. She stepped towards me. “I was just washing up.” She lied. I wanted to kill her. I had to leave, right then. If it were possible, my eyes penetrated her soul with hate.

“Why are you lying to me?” My voice echoed with anger.

“I am sorry.” She winced, tried to cover herself and stepped back. I could hardly stand to look at her.

“How many others are there? Are you so bereft that you must fuck every knave in town save for your Lord?” I was vicious. My Lady had become like a common whore. Gone was the enchantment, the sweetness. To be taken by one who does not own you is thrilling. To be taken by more than one is deviant. What should I expect though? I’d promised her nothing other than I’d be back to sleep with her again.

How funny that I’d written what I now felt almost seven months ago? Gone was the enchantment, the sweetness. I would imagine at some point this will happen to G., if it hasn’t already. It’s late afternoon and I’ve moved on. It’s a beautiful day and there is art to be made, more creative words to be written.

I still believe in love. He doesn’t have to be a white knight on a fine steed. I still believe that there is a soul mate for me. I’m glad that Will my vampire does too. From “Creating Anna”, v.5:

Despite my wicked ways, I had redeemed myself through one human. A woman, who would become one of the most valiant and honorable vampires known on this planet; I had sired Anna.

The whole The Vampire’s Little Black Book series is available on amazon/kindle and will be FREE to download for the last time on 12/26/14. Enjoy. My links are below.

Thank you for reading,

-Victoria

The Vampire’s Little Black Book series is always FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon!

Image

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

-Tumblr-thesteampunkcountess

-Fine Art America-store coming soon

Random Thoughts on Being Sick

This is a short one and not what I expected to blog for October. My car got broken into about a week ago, but they stole nothing, just busted a lock. I’ve been working like crazy. Hopefully the next blog will be filled with Halloween and costume happiness. Meanwhile, enjoy these random thoughts on being sick:

-I absolutely hate being sick. Period.

-I have now returned to my classic pre-summer vampire white skin.

-Of course we have two of the most wonderful Fall days in St. Louis. The Cardinals lost in the playoffs, but the Rams and Blues won this weekend. Yet I am stuck on the couch or in bed.

-Why does everything look so good on tv, yet I have no appetite?

-I wanted to at least severely reprimand the guy (an adult mind you) that picked his nose in the fitting room line. OK, I wanted to kill him, but I can’t afford to go to jail.

-The part I hate most about going to the doctor (besides cost, I don’t have health insurance), explaining my low body temp. Today at Urgent Care I checked in at a comfortable 97.7. Yep. I feel like dirt and have the temperature of a reptile that runs through it. But my neck is swollen like a chipmunk. I’ve had strep and the flu and not run a fever. OK, at least my blood pressure was awesome.

-This time it hit pretty fast. Went from a slight headache Friday afternoon, to not sleeping that night because I felt like I’d gargled with razor blades.

-Sleep is my friend at last. When I did finally fall asleep on Sat. morning I had to text in sick to work. Got some OTC meds and gatorade and went back to bed. Watched some tv and did a little work on my costume. Took another nap. More tv. Bed early. Slept ten hours. Text in sick again. Urgent Care and pharmacy about 3.5 hours. Home and another nap. As of 3:30pm today, I’ve slept almost twenty-four hours. Sad to see most of my waking hours were at the doc’s office or getting meds.

-Surreal sick moment of the day, got my windows open and wake up from nap to people yelling and stuff. Turn on the tv to see that the Rams won. Lookout to notice the happy traffic of fans and the leaves changing color on the Arch grounds. Another beautiful day wasted. Cursed flu, but at least it’s a pretty day.

-The Countess is having tea and a bit of a lie down as they say in the UK. Stupid f’n virus, as we say in the US.

OK, will stop groaning now. What’s coming up?

Will the vampire returns soon in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book Series, “Svetlana Red and the Chevaliers”. Since I really don’t feel like doing anything else, I will be writing a bit later on. Keep a watch on my social media links for its release.

Stay healthy my friends, and thanks, as always, for reading,

Victoria

___________

Will returns soon in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series, “Svetlana Red and the Chevaliers” on amazon/kindle. The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc and volumes 1-7 are also available on amazon/kindle. They are FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Product Details

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads!

Image

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

-Tumblr-thesteampunkcountess

-Fine Art America-stores coming soon

Why I Love Halloween and Whip It Pt.1

I love Halloween, even more than Christmas; not that I don’t like getting gifts or celebrating the birth of Christ with family. Although Halloween and the day after both have their roots in religion (All Hallows Eve, Day of the Dead, Druid beliefs and traditions to name a few), it’s the combination of those roots with a more modern horror, fun and wackiness twist that make it special.

As a kid, I was lucky enough to be in a neighborhood full of families where almost everyone went trick or treating. As soon as the sun went down about a hundred kids would be out knocking on doors and ringing doorbells. Only the most curmudgeon of neighbors would turn out their lights and not give out candy. We had some great houses to visit; one house gave out McDonald’s gift certificates, another whole candy bars, not the cheap penny jawbreakers or bazooka gum that was harder than the jawbreakers. This was a time before plastic grocery bags were widely used. My mom let us use pillow cases; yes durable, ever fillable pillow cases. After hitting up our neighborhood, the one or two conjoined blocks and possibly my grandparent’s neighborhood nearby, my siblings and I would each have a sack full of candy and stuff that would make even the best dentist shudder. Our cases full of sweet delights would often be dirty on the bottom because they were so full that they dragged the ground. Way to rock Mom, although she probably got tired of one of us puking every year from over indulgence. And as we got older, mom would let my older siblings take us further out to other neighborhoods and we could fill two whopping pillow sacks full of goodies. It still seemed to disappear fast though; at least until I was old enough to realize my parents were eating some of it from each of us.

Some of our neighbors had haunted houses and almost everyone had jack o’lanterns out on their porches. My personal favorite was the house that had seven or eight teen siblings. They’d do the old witch routine urging you to feel the spaghetti guts and grape eyeballs. And when you’d leave their haunted garage, one of the older boys, dressed as a werewolf, would jump off the roof and land on a couple mattresses in their front yard. A little “redneck” perhaps, but effective; it made kids cry. I know the first time it happened I screamed and peed in my pants a little bit.

Costumes were simpler then too; a lot of gypsies, tramps and thieves as Cher would sing. Throw in some clowns and princesses and you had a party. I do remember one standout costume in middle school. One little red haired freckle faced boy did Dolly Parton, complete with the blond wig and Nerf ball boobs. It was shades to come of my favorite holiday as an adult.

I still love costumes and revel in Halloween happiness. I more than welcome the opportunity to dress up and be someone else for a few hours. In the past I’ve been a wide range of people and things: Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, Octomom, a Pirate (twice, one a la “sexy” and one buccaneer), Marie Antoinette, the Fly, Evita/Eva Peron, Glinda the Good Witch (as part of a group Wizard of Oz), Amy Winehouse (last year’s) and a Flying Nun (my male companion was a priest, naughty, naughty we were).

Sure you can cosplay anytime or make a trip to any “Con” expo, but it’ll cost you some cash and what if you can’t get away from work? I’m not degrading any conventions, they’re fantastic for people who appreciate the genres they support. It’s just that there’s something magical about All Hallows Eve. There’s an all-encompassing variety and something for everyone. For kids it’s the mad dash for candy or the more family friendly “trunk or treat”. For teens there are some truly scary haunted houses. For adults it’s “Hookerween”, drag queens and real haunted house tours.

In the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, at an annual “adult” Halloween street party, they regularly draw around ten thousand people. And participants don’t just “Halloween it”. I’ve seen costumes that rival the best on Broadway. The costume contest usually has around a hundred participants. There are classic horror vampires, werewolves and ghosts. Dirty adult fantasies include Catholic school girls, Playboy bunnies, and any female cop, construction worker or nurse. And not just the ladies; I’ve seen demons with realistic ahem, equipment, that ejaculated silly string, flashers and some hot male superheroes. Then there’s always the current topic costumes like a Chilean miner who stepped out of a rescue capsule, Sarah Palin (both men and women), and a gal from Avatar wearing a loincloth and um, body paint, I think. I just know that people next to the costume contest stage were salivating, she won first place and no one had a clue who she was on daily basis and didn’t care. And Elvis is always in the building, or neighborhood.  The party has even expanded to family friendly daytime events with kids and dog parades and costume contests.

Currently I am collecting pieces and creating this year’s Halloween fashionista extravaganza. I am fortunate enough to work at a year round party and costume shop (Johnnie Brock’s Dungeon and Party Warehouse) that goes bat shit crazy at Halloween. To me it is the retail/creative equivalent of crack; I can’t quit it and I really don’t want to. I have already gathered some pieces I can’t make but can embellish, including an eight foot bullwhip. But I’m not going to be a lion trainer, it’s something more current and relevant to this blog. I’m working on a whole creative Steampunk theme including my costume and a series of books. One of my book characters is talented with the whip. It starts as a symbol of her oppression but ends up as a piece of her salvation and revenge. I’ll update with another blog on my progress in learning how to crack it. The whip also reminds me of my love of Indiana Jones. I’m thrilled that it’s been rereleased in IMAX and I can’t wait to see it again.  I still have the one of the authentic replica fedoras from the early 1980’s. It reminds me of the spirit of Halloween; you can be anyone you want with the right accessories.

I’ve always wanted to be Indy.

I’ll post complete pics and blogs about the creative process later but feel free to “Like” my page “The Countess” on Facebook for updates and snippets of what’s to come. I hope for the first book to be published later this Fall.