Monday, January 31, 2011

Review of "The Happiness Compartment" at NYCDA Written by Steven Sykes

WARNING: This is not a "formal review"'s informal at best...and long, as I have a lot of thoughts on it....FYI.

This past Saturday night I was asked to attend something they call an "invited dress rehearsal" at the NYCDA. This means the director doesn't feel it is at "performance level" and thus says it's a dress rehearsal. It's meant to lower your expectations so that if there are "glitches" you excuse them.

The name of the show was THE HAPPINESS COMPARTMENT. Because it was a workshop rehearsed on in class there were two casts for the show and thus, two performances that night. I was only able to stay for the first performance but I'll be honest--if I could've stayed to watch the play again, I probably wouldn't have...but not for the reasons you think...the cast really did an amazing job with what they had to work with.

The cast I saw is noted below:
Marion: Elizabeth Stranathan
Reed: Nico Aquino
Claire: Alexandra Nader
Eva: Robbie Skadal
Ruth: Courtney Roberts
Alik: Cesar Salais
Marina: Lauren Steinmeyer

Author: Steven Sykes

Director/Acting Teacher: Richard Omar

I had NO idea what this play was about except what a friend of mine who was in it said...which was what it says on the script I do believe:

"On July 18th, 1969 a car carrying Mary Jo kopechne and senator Ted Kennedy crashed through a bridge into water. Kennedy escaped but kopechne drowned. This is our authors interpretation of what may have been going through her head as she drowned."

Where shall I begin? I could start with how horrible and unfitting and stupid and useless the title is but why's par for the course considering the rest of the writing so...whatever.

So, should we go from bad to worse to good to great? I think that sounds like a here we go!

The play ran about an hour and fifteen minutes I think...which honestly was about 15 minutes too long. But I'll get to why that is later...let's move on to how it all begins, shall we?

It all starts out rather cool. The stage is a rectangular area with audience on both sides. At one end of the rectangle is the entrance and at the other end is a bed with a low radiator behind it and a HUGE window looking out over Manhattan. The music starts and the shade over that window is pulled so that the projections of Marilyn Monroe can be seen as Marion starts us off, talking about accepting a ride home from the party with Senator Kennedy. How he says he'll get her home safe. How he says he's not had to much to drink. We now understand that she represnts Mary Jo.

Then the scene changes to a woman in a bed wearing nothing but a blanket wrapped around her. Marion asks who she is, she tells us that isn't her...that she (Marion) isn't a whore to be in hotel rooms. Uh, if she doesn't know who this can she be thinking of them as she's dying? This leads me into our first catagory...

Let us look again at what this is about. When you read a description like that you think that it will be about Mary Jo Kopechne's life...flashing before her. The concept is actually really interesting, too bad it's not what it sounds like. Instead, the author has decided that the dying thoughts of this woman were about people she didn't know during the Cuban Missle Crisis when American's thought they were going to die...a night where they thought the missles would fall. Is it about what SHE was doing that night? Oh I said, it's about random people they never really explain to you who SHE doesn't even know.

HOW CAN YOU THINK OF PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW? AND WHY WOULD YOU THINK OF THE FRIGGIN CUBAN MISSLE CRISIS AS YOU'RE DROWNING? *sigh* It's just not possible but, as I like twisty plots in books and theatre I "assume" the writer is going to find a connection and it will become clear. I shouldn't have given him that much credit. You know what they say "assume" means...

Moving on...

There are three couples and the "conflict" is a Theatre 101 Improve scenerio: "Character A wants to leave while Character B doesn't".

#1. Reed and Claire - Claire is the woman in the bed and we learn she slept with Senator Kennedy that night...thinking the bombs would fall and is suprised to wake up. But when she does, Reed, who works for the Senator is there and he is trying to get her to leave quietly and discreatly as the election is a day away. Reed wants to leave, Claire doesn't. THEIR RESOLUTION? HE LEAVES W/O HER THE NEXT DAY WITH THEM BOTH IN LIMBO ON WHAT'S GOING ON. SO, NO REAL RESOLUTION EXCEPT THEY BOTH SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES BETTER BUT IT DOESN'T HELP THEM COMBAT THEIR DEMONS A LOT. SHE STILL FEELS TRAPPED THERE BY WHAT SHE DID AND HE LEAVES TO DO HIS JOB. ---bummer---

#2. Eva and Ruth - Brother and sister actually...Eva being the brother in a dress because he thinks the recently killed Marilyn Monroe has possessed his body. Ruth stops by to find him hiding under a table (they used to say to hide under your desks to be safe from the bombs. Stupid huh?) and she has come to tell her brother she's unhappy living in LA and is going to move home to NYC. He doesn't deal with this well...him or Marilyn. Ruth wants to leave, Eva doesn't. THEIR RESOLUTION? RUTH FINALLY TELLS EVA SHE'S LEAVING TO THEN WALKS OUT. HE IS LEFT STANDING THERE, GOING A BIT CRAZY (like he wasn't already?) WITH A DRINK IN HIS/HER HAND. ---to be honest...this pairing gets the most closure of the three---

#3. Alik and Marina - From what I was told, these two are to represent Marina & Lee Harvey Oswold (known to use the other name Alek Hidell). We see him meet her in Russia and then we will see them again after their daughter is born and its apparent he's been beating his wife. Marina wants to leave, Alik doesn't. THEIR RESOLUTION? UH...HMM...SHE TELLS HIM SHE'S UNHAPPY WITH HER LIFE AND HE DOESN'T CARE. SO...YEAH, NO RESOLUTION OR ANYTHING LEARNED THAT LEADS A CHARACTER TO CHANGE. ---which is sad because the actress in this section was powerful and her partner was talented but they didn't get a chance to really take the full circle the author should create for them---

The writing goes nowhere---nothing ties together---so as an audience you don't understand the significance of how these characters go together let alone how they connect to the dying woman in the car. This makes it hard to care. The characters are well spoken, diverse, clear cut, but they go on without any resolution in sight. The only reason you give a shit and even stay in your seat is that you have this hope (and as the play goes on that rope gets as thin as dental floss but you cling to it anyways) that the ending moment will make it all clear. I blame this on M. Night Shyamalan's movies. Of course, other than Sixth Sense they all sucked so maybe I'm on the right track with this analagy? The "fault" for something like this falls not just on the author, but on the Artistic Director. The show didn't have the latter...hence the problem. No one was there to look at the writer and say, "What the fuck? Fix that!"

You may ask, what the hell gives you that hope if the characters are long winded and don't tie together and have nothing to do with the girl in car who doesn't even know them? That brings me to our next section...

According to the cast member I know who sent me the names of the cast and blurb on the show concept, the director says he didn't consider himself the "director" so much as an acting teacher helping shape the project. Well, it was his directing that gave us hope. That hope came in two aspects.

The first was in the blocking. It was absolutely fantastic both for the design of the space and for the feel of the piece. And I'm picky on blocking since I'm a director and choreographer. So for me to totally love blocking means it was pretty flawless. (NOTE: For those who don't know,"blocking" is the planned movement a director assigns to dialogue.) Their movements were supported and warrented 98% of the time and you never felt you couldn't see what was going on---the actors spliting their movements well enough tha both sides of the audience got their fair share of seeing what was going on. THAT is tough to do so props to the non-director! And, speaking of props, he used them well to support that movement...justifying it when it wasn't character based.

The second was the awkward scene changes. Yes, awkward on purpose...they totally supported the feel of the underlying concept of a woman dying. You see, between each scene/segment was this funky music where the characters would do this creepy yet cool modern dance stuff where they jerked about. It made me think of Mary Jo's fractured mind or how she might have clawed to get out of the car while that asshole of a senator left her to die while he swam to shore. Put that with the other wonderful movement/blocking and you have why we thought it would all smoothly show itself at the end.

But that's not the main reason I had faith in the piece. This brings me to my last part...

These actors and actresses were absolutely phenominal. With a commitment to the text and concept that sold you on the show. Period. Most of the cast are in their late teens to early twenties, as college kids tend to be, but they had the power behind them, most of the time, of adults who've had ten more years of experience behind them. To commit to a horrible script like this that give you, as an actor, no real journey is crazy difficult. Luckily they had each other. A great scene partner is key. And I do mean "scene partner"...not "show partner". These were scenes from one play set in someone else's play---as if the narrator was from one show and the scenes belonged to another w/o any connection AT ALL, and yet, these kids rocked it out.

I specifially want to point out three people: Lauren Steinmeyer, Cesar Salais, and Robert Skadal. Lauren plays the Russian gal. The character starts out speaking fluent Russian and then once she speaks English its with a pefect Russian accent. As a girl from Missouri, this isn't a simple task. The character is also complex in the idea that she loves her husband while at the same time hating him. Another "not so easy" thing to portray---but it was beautifully done. I mention Cesar for many of the same reasons...the speaking of Russian and the ability to play an abusive husband. But I think his biggest nod comes from watching Lauren. He had to manhandle her a bit, throw her about, and so on. It was evident by how she threw herself into it (no pun intended) that she trusted him, and THAT alone speaks volumes for him. And my third nod goes to Robbie Skadal who was the Eva, the person who feels they are inhabited by the dead soul of Marilyn Monroe...and going crazy. Roles like this are fun and difficult because you have to find that happy medium where you're normal with a touch of crazy most of the time and yet slip into normal and then into super crazy only in spurts. Keeping a character like that from being one dimentional (aka just being a loony tunes)...much like when you are supposed to play drunk and you have to not "overdue"...and this takes control and talent, which Mr. Skadal has in droves. That, and he wore that white long flowing nightgown with class. He even shaved his legs folks! Now there's a commitment!

But the rest of the team on stage were strong as well. I actually am intersted in Courtney and Alex for possibly spots in the photo-shoot for LDG so that's something awesome that came out of my trip to this show. :)

So, like I said in my previous post..."The acting was great, the writing was okay but lacking in direction and connection, the directing was well done and the artistic direction sucked balls." Would I see it again since their going to do this again possibly at the end of the year? No. Not unless the problems I noted are fixed. But...I want to tell the cast and director that they did an amazing job with what they had to work with. I've both performed and directed shows where the script made you want to dig your eyeballs out with a spoon and it's hard to commit to it like they did. It was their acting alone that made me care and the directors work that gave me faith he'd find a way to connect it all...too bad their work was in vain. This script just doesn't work. It doesn't impact the audience at all. We wonder why we bothered to sit through the show...and then we hear in our heads, "Cause the acting was superb". So kudos to the cast for doing their job...too bad the author didn't do theirs.

One last note: At one point Marina is up on the edge of the window and I thought, "Oh, their going to have her go to the bridge to jump off and THAT's how it will connect cause she'll be at the same bridge that Mary Jo and the senator went off of and she'll be the witness or something!" But no.

No connection. No interest. No emotional affect. No journey taken. No resolutions. No lessons learned. No point made.

Thank God the actors saved that night of theatre!

Tamsin Silver

Holy moly, what a weekend!


And that's only one small item of my weekend.


So, how was YOUR weekend? Did you sleep in? Stay warm? Eat good food and watch TV? Well thank god someone did! It sure as hell wasn't me!

*Dog wakes me up at 6:11am. He had to pee. NOW!
*I walk him and there's blood in his urine again (like I'm suprised...I mean, really, he's running from spot to spot to pee like his tail is on fire so, no suprise he's back to being sick.)
*We get back into the apt from the cold by 6:25am.
*He asks to go back out at 6:35am. So we go.
*Back by 6:45am.
*He asks to go back out at 7am. I take out a container to collect some of his urine to take to the vet. I get it on my fingers in the process. *sigh*
*Back by 7:13am. Though I "washed" my hand off in the FREEZING snow I scour them again.

You get the picture of how my morning went until the vet's office opened at 9am. I was tired, cold, in tears. I spoke to my vet and we put him on more antibiotic (new kind) while we wait for the "Ultrasound Dude" to be in on Wednesday. See, its not been long enough since he stopped the meds for the urine sample to be any good so...he needs the ultrasound.

And the price of that is???? $400!!! Ye gads! Luckily my vet trusts me and is going to let me give her post-dated checks and pay over time for the ultrasound as well as the treatment we'll need to do after we see if there's anything going on such as a tumor or stones...etc.

As my friend Hank said on Sunday, "Poor puppy." Pause. "Poor bank account."


SO that was Saturday before 9am.

Luckily the rest of the day went well. Met with my friend Alexis to talk about writing. She's got a new book idea she's started that I read on my new Kindle on the train ride to the meet up spot for the NaNo Writing Group (we don't have an official name yet stays as such). It's really a great idea! I'm hooked on it already! It's called The King's Witch. She thinks it'll end up a romance. I got more yesterday and read it on the way to work this morning....LOVING IT! :)

The writing group talked about a short story of Julia's. I'm not a short story person...and I said as much at the meeting. But we all had some great ideas for her and I was thoroughly impressed with the input from the group. Things I'd not thought of as well as the fact that they weren't as mean as Erin had made it sound like they'd be. Here's to hoping that holds true when they "tear me apart" on the 12th. Ugh.

After the writing group one of the guys from the group, a nice Englishman named Matt, joined me and we met up with Lauren's BF Garret to see her school's invited dress rehearsal of a show...the title of which I don't know if it was ever told to me. We got some Tapas food first (awesome stuff!) and then went to see the play.

I wish I could do a full review for you...but as I have no program or title or names of any of the actors (save for my two friends who were in it) I am afraid I cannot. If per say, one of those friends gets that info to me I'll do a review. Until then...this is all I have to say......

"The acting was great, the writing was okay but lacking in direction and connection, the directing was solid with promising fluidity that almost helped save the writing but the artistic direction sucked balls...ruining the possibility that this show could really go anywhere."

That's the short of it. I've asked one of the girls for info so I can explain more so stay tuned!!!! Know this though....those kids were fucking awesome! I've not seen that much solid talent in one show with kids that age in a LONG time so...KUDOS to them!

So, because there was two shows of the same show that night and I needed to be up early for a photo-shoot on Sunday I left before the second cast and went to bed.

Need to be at ABT down in Union Square by 10am.........well, hell....

*Woke up at 8:23am. Shit shit shit!
*Brushed my hair, threw on clothes, took dog to pee and got out the door by 9:10am. (Only 10 minutes late when I woke up 23 minutes late is not too bad people)
*Got on train. Walked past a homeless guy in my car of said A train who was slumped over and I muttered, "That does NOT look comfortable".
*By the time we reached 125th street we were informed we all needed to get off the train as it was no longer in service due to "a passenger needing medical attention".
*We all get off the train and FILL the platform between the downtown A and D trains. I ask someone why we need to get off the train for a sick person. He tells me. "There's a dead guy on the train." I ask, "In this car?" Pointing at my car. He confirms I am correct. I ask if he was in a yellow beige jacked slumped over and he says, "That's the one!" I laugh. I know...not the normal reaction but hey, I'd spoken to that guy...guess he wasn't so "uncomfortable" in that position after all. And, I don't think he needed any "medical attention"... it's a bit too late for that, MTA worker, but thanks for not yelling out, "DEAD DUDE ON TRAIN...GET OFF!"
*Get on the D train cause I'm even more late now.
*See when we're at 34th...think I'm next...and then got it, go right past 14th. Well fuck. Seems the D doesn't stop there like I thought. Ya learn something new every day here in NYC.
*Get off at West 4th go over to the uptown side and grab the C train to 14th and then the L to Union Square and I'm...get this...only 23 minutes late. Go figure huh?

And THAT, ladies and gents, is only the first TWO HOURS of my Sunday.

The photo-shoot went well for Coyote Love's band shoot and afterwards I went home and slept. Not that you're suprised, right? :) I got up, read for a bit, walked the dog (again) and then wrote a full chapter of Sean's book.

All in all...Sunday wasn't too bad...except for the homeless guy on the train. May he rest in peace.

May you and I have a better week, yes?



Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Excerpt from CLANDESTINE

Happy Friday!

The picture to your left here is the limestone apartment/house I have based Elizabeth's place in NYC on. I know that it has a carriage house in the back as it was advertised on it a bit ago when it was up for sale. Technically its a brownstone but NYers call it a limestone as it's not, well...brown. :)

And because I have a picture of it for you...and it's Friday...I thought I'd give you the section in the book where Sean arrives at this location.

So...have a great Friday and weekend. If you're in the NE of the US...stay warm and inside if you can. I can't as I'm off to a Writers Group meeting tomorrow and then a play...and on Sunday I'm helping out with a friend's band's photo-shoot...but I hope to sleep and lay around like a sloth in there somewhere!

***Note: Also, for those of you who've read LDG (which takes place eight years after this does) or Moon Over Manhattan (which takes place 21 years after this), you'll recognize a character...obviously she's a bit younger. :)

Excerpt from Chapter Six

What day is it? I looked again at my watch. Sunday. No wonder it was quiet. Everyone was either at church, where I should be, or sleeping in from partying too much last night, like I was. “Not that I’d call that partying,” I said out loud. I did that a lot—--talked to myself out loud; especially when I was in an empty apartment.

After taking a good half hour to wake up I washed my face and wet my hair---as it looked like I’d been break dancing on it all night. I was tempted to lie back down but weekends are when people went to look at available apartments; I needed to leave. If I wanted extra sleep it’d have to be in my car.

Then I remembered the money Elizabeth had given me last night and decided there was only one thing that sounded better than more sleep; a hot breakfast at the diner down the street on Dyckman. I quickly packed up and peered out my usual window. I saw no one of interest so I slipped out and worked my way down the fire escape until I landed on the sidewalk. A few people passed by me with a strange look but they were either walking their dogs or dealing with children so I wasn’t more than a blip on their radar.

I put my things in the car, locked it up and headed to the diner. I got a seat in the back where I could watch the door and ordered the works; pancakes and eggs with bacon and an English muffin. I even had her throw in a side order of grits with cheese to make it complete. I’d drunk way too much last night and was desperately craving greasy food.

While I waited I slipped outside to the corner and got a paper and came back, reading through for my usual events. The usual articles littered the pages. There was an article about Rudolph W. Giuliani and David N. Dinkins running for Mayor and the negative tactics being used. There was stuff on how President Bush vetoed a bill to help the poor pay for abortions, no shock there, and then the usual articles on the increasing problems in the lower east side and the crack epidemic.

“If they only knew how bad it really is,” I thought as I pictured the club Sodom and Gomorra from the night before, and the vampires feeding off of the humans wasted on crack.

I flipped through and read random pieces here and there. I was half way through an article in the Fashion section entitled "East Village: Quirky Mix for Rockers, and Bankers," which talked about all the great stores like Trash and Vaudeville that catered to the Goth/Industrial Scene attire, when my food arrived. The food then got my full focus.

After I’d eaten to the point of bursting at the seams I took a nice long nap in my car and with a few hours of sunlight left I grabbed the train to the address on Elizabeth’s card. It was in the nicer part of town at least—--still over on the East Side but this was located on 61st street east of 3rd Avenue; I could tell by the address.

I got off the yellow line at the Lexington stop and came topside at 60th and 3rd. Looking at the card again I headed up to 61st and turned right. The limestone, which is like a brownstone but white, was on my left just before 2nd Avenue. As I approached the double set of black doors I suddenly got nervous and instead of knocking, I lit a smoke and stood on the street for about fifteen
minutes arguing with myself on why I was there. I never said I was a genius.

After I convinced myself to just go ahead and fucking knock already I ran to the door and knocked before I could change my mind. When no one came to the door right away I turned to leave. I got about four steps and then turned around and went back. This time I rang the bell, which sounded more like a gong from what I could hear from my side of the door.

Looking up at the sun in the sky I realized there was a possiblity she was still sleeping. Just the thought made me wonder where she slept. Was it in the basement? Did she sleep in a coffin? Who watched over her during the daytime? Was it some old bat of a woman who was a witch? Would she see me and turn me into a toad?

Thankfully I heard the locks on the door start to undo just as my imagination was beginning to get out of control. And as the door started to open I had to blink a few times to register what I saw. Standing there, small as she could be, was a little Chinese girl, no more than maybe eight or nine years old with short black hair that was so black it was a bit blue and beautiful blue eyes.

“Can I help you?” She asked.

This was not what I had expected. I was speechless at first as her big blue eyes blinked as she looked up at me. When I found my voice it cracked as I said, “Is your mom here?”

“Desi—who’s at the door?” A heard a voice yell from inside the brownstone.

“He hasn’t said.”

Suddenly the door opened further a beautiful Chinese lady stood there, easily in her thirties, and a smile on her face. “Can I help you?”

“Uh, hi…I might have the wrong house. I’m looking for Elizabeth? I’m a friend of hers from the club.”

“She mentioned you might come by. Patrick was it?”

I smiled on the inside. She had done her homework. Patrick was my middle name. “Yes ma’am. Patrick Valentine.”

“Great. Come on in. She’s upstairs in the sun room. I’ll show you.”

“I can take him up,” the little girl said.

I looked at the woman and she said, “My name is Pearl Ma, by the way. This is my daughter, Desiree—--we call her Desi.”

“Desi?" I asked as I then looked at the little girl, "That’s a pretty name.”

“Thank you,” she said, her face flushing a bit.

“Go ahead and take Mr. Valentine up to see Lizzie.”

Desi smiled at her mom and then quickly grabbed my hand and started to pull me up the stairs. As we reached the third floor we walked down a short hall and then it all opened up and the whole back room of the top floor was exactly as they’d said; a sun room. And there, sitting in the middle of it, laying on a chaise lounge in a pair of jeans and a nice black sweater was Elizabeth, reading the paper.

“I wondered how long you were going to stand on the street,” she said without looking up, which I was thankful for as I felt my face flush a bit with embarrassment.

“Just wanted to get a last smoke in before I came in,” I lied.

“Uh-huh.” She looked at me over the paper and saw the delivery girl. “Desi, thank you for showing my guest up. Would you be so kind as to go get the tray of sandwiches and tea we put together earlier?”

Desi nodded vigorously and then with a wave at me hurried out of the room.

“They’re adorable at that age,” I said as I watched her leave.

“They’re adorable at any age if you ask me—but I’m a softy when it comes to kids.”

“Do you have any?” I asked, tentatively.

She set the paper down. “No. And now I’m too old to have them. But, I live vicariously through other members of The Great Order. Come, sit with me.”

“Can’t have any?”

“The female living vampire is only fertile until they are twenty five. After that they are pretty much barren. Our bodies slow down the aging process at that point. I’m fertile for only one year every ten and in that year I would need to get pregnant in the first half so as to carry to term. And that only goes on until I’m forty or so. So, it’s pretty close to impossible unless you really plan it.”


“It’s okay, I’ve lived with this knowledge my whole life; I’m fine with it. Come, sit down.” I walked over tentatively and sat in the second chaise that was parallel to the one she sat in and looked around. I must’ve looked completely stunned because she started to laugh. “You weren’t expecting me to be in the basement filing my nails by a coffin, were you?”

“Pfft! No way! I’m not that close minded.”

“Uh-huh.” She laughed lightly as if she knew I was lying.

“I do have one question though…” I said as I pointed to the ceiling of glass.

“Vampire glass. It is formulated to let in the sun but not the rays that burn vampires. Works much like sun block for humans I suppose.”


“I think so. It’s rather new actually. This was one of the first homes Phoenix had it put in. They’re currently installing it in his home just outside Boston proper.”

I still was looking up at it in wonder when I heard the clinking of china entering the room. It was Desi. She held a tray of sandwiches in one hand and in the other was a pot of tea, two tea cups, a tiny creamer with milk and a little bowl with sugar and what I would call a baby spoon. She set it down on the glass topped round table that was between the two chaise lounges and then smiled at me.

“Thank you very much,” I said.

“You’re welcome.”

With that she giggled and hurried off.

“She thinks you’re cute,” Elizabeth said out of the blue as she turned and poured the tea.

“And you know this because?”

“I can hear her thoughts when she doesn’t guard them. Kids aren’t as good at it as adults are.”

“Vampires are telepathic?”

“Yes. But only with each other and with witches.”

“And Desi is a…”

“Witch. A Water Witch to be exact. Do you like milk and sugar?”


“Not a tea man?”

“Not usually but I’m all for change. Seems many things are changing in my life so why not more of it.”

She smiled up at me and then said, “Good cover with the name. I’m glad you thought before giving your first name.”

“Well, I sorta figured if we’re going to make my real name into some boogie man for vamps maaaybe I shouldn’t give it to the people you’re staying with.”

“See, I knew you were smart.” She handed me my tea. “Actually, they’re staying with me. This is one of my family’s homes.” She motioned to the sandwiches, “Dig in, they’re all for you. I’ve already eaten.”

In a normal situation I would’ve said something like, “are you sure?” but I knew she was sure so I grabbed what looked like a cucumber and turkey sandwich and took a bite.



“Fantastic. You eat and I’ll talk. There’s a lot to cover and not a lot of time to do so. We have places to be tonight.”

“Places to be? Like where? Not that club again please God...”

“No. Not yet. Tonight we go see an underground medicine woman.”


“Meaning off the grid…practicing outside the laws of The Great Order.”

“She’s a witch then I take it?”

“Yes and a brilliant one at that."

“And you need to see her tonight because?”

“Not me…you. Remember how I said I can make you faster and stronger? Well, tonight we do that. Tonight we begin the process. After tonight there is no going back, Sean. Are you sure you are prepared to do all that is required of you so we can do what must be done? This is your last chance to back out. Think about it carefully.”

I suddenly felt a wave of fear surge through my veins as the words, “I don’t know” lept to the tip of my tongue. But then I looked at her and remembered what was at stake. I remembered what it felt like last night as I lie awake thinking of my family—--of my promise to Page. How I realized that as things stood now I honestly couldn’t do the good I wanted; that I needed help.

“I’m sure. But this time, how about you tell me first vs. show first.”


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Ramblings on a Snowy Day in NYC


Oh the joy.

Oh the bliss.

Can I go home now?

I mean, really...would this weather be so bad if I could be curled up in bed with my dog and my laptop? I would think not. But trudging through this shit another day in a row? *sigh* Oh, and today...we need umbrella's to walk in this cause its coming down so fast, thick and wet. (LOL! Reading that description you'd have thought I'd just read one of Kate McMurry's books! Ha!!) People are using wide brooms and tall window squeejee's (sp?) to push the snow off the ground vs. snow shovels and salt. It's that snow that collects fast and you stumble to walk in it gracefully.

I're people in Florida and California you just are DYING to be here...I are just green with envy..........DO hear the sarcasm folks...please do...

Anyhoo...what is on my plate for this snowy...uh...WEDNESDAY! is Wednesday, right? Let me look...yes, yes it is. Well hell, it's hump day! I suppose that justify's my McMurray type sentence earlier no?----psst...Kate writes erotica...m/m erotica, for those of you who don't know. Make sense now? Oh good.

For no reason I can put my finger on, I feel I need to eat. No, not hungry. Is it the weather? You know, think like a bear and fill up to stay warm in the cold? Probably. Of course, since I'm not a bear...and I can't get as fat as I want and still look "food" of choice will be one tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter and a chocolate rice cake. Yeah, it's as unexciting as it sounds. Blah.

Maybe I'll feel better after I go swim tonight. I've not been since the Sunday before Angie and Lauren got to town waaaay last weeks so...seeing Judy and having her kick my ass in the pool will be good. I'll go home to my dog that needs to pee (in the cold and snow) every two hours and "relax". Oiy.

Good news is that last night I did a short interview with Cage23...a Goth/Industrial DJ who's been in NYC in the scene since the late 80's. Since The Cameron Chronicles happen here during that time I thought it would behoove me to do some research. Found out some great stuff. For instance, did you know that in no way did you go east 1st Ave? Ave A was where you could get drugs and it was bad news but Ave B, C and D were NO GO TERRITORY! That and you didn't go past Ludlow or Houston either! Crazy huh? Union Square Park wasn't a good idea either! Of course, with some of the crazies that still are there its not too hard to believe is it?

From what Cage23 told me about all the clubs back in the lat 80's I'll be sounds like THAT was the time to be here...if you were into the club scene. *sigh* And I was then...just getting into the scene as I entered college in 1988/89. I think if I could go back in time---with my current savvy smarts that is---I'd visit here for a few weeks and party like it's 1989... ;)

I really am looking forward to taking the cool things he told me about the clubs, where they were, who was DJ-ing there, the after hours clubs too, and putting it into the book. I plan to do another session with him too...have him describe the inside of some of the club know me, I like things to be accurate.

On that note, I best get back to the I watch the snow fall...and wish I was home with a hot cup of chocolate (yes, with whip cream on top, of course), dog at my side and watching my personal porn...aka a TV show called White Collar on USA (yeah, I got a thing for Matthew matter his sexual pref I love that man!).

Have a great day all...if you're in the NE of the USA...stay warm and dry...if you're in FL or CA....bite me. xoxo

Love, Tamsin :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

I think Alaskans probably think we're pussies...

...if they can hear us bitching about the cold, that is. I mean, think about it...yeah, it was 9 degrees this morning but how cold is it in Alaska most of the time? So those of you freezing out there? Hold onto that warming thought. :)

Then again, I think it all comes down to clothing. I bet they have better warm clothing than we do.

Right now you're looking at me funny. It's okay. I'll explain.

My best gal pal since I was 18 was in town this weekend and she'd been saying to me, the week before she got here, that it was FREEZING in DC (where she lives). Then she came to visit NYC for a week. She was like, "Oh my God it's f*cking freezing here! How do you deal with this?" I really wasn't that cold in comparison to last week with all its snow...sunny and clear weekend with sun (until last night but let's not ruint he mood, shall we?)...and then it dawned on's the outerwear baby!

Here's the difference between me and Ang:

Me: I own a long down jacket. I usually wear jeans with a long sleeved undershirt or turtleneck with a sweater and then my zip up hoodie over it with my coat and warm boots that come up to just under my knees, a scarf, a warm hat that covers my ears (though I sorta look like a dork in it) and then I pull up my hood of my coat (Yes, I do tend to look like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story").

Angie: She was in a shorter jacket (no down filling) over a tank top with a sweater cardigan over that, jeans and slide on black shoes.

No, really...that's all. No boots. No hat. No scarf. Say wha???? And she wonders why its soooo much colder in NYC than DC. (?)

I lent her a hat while she was here for when that wind kicked up and as I watched her freeze I realized, if you're cold in NYC you need to to dress for the weather, no matter how round or uncool it makes you seem. Fashion goes out the window...for those who are more concerned with being warm...which is me. But where was I? Oh yes...the weekend was actually my eyes...

And then this morning hit.

Did you know Blistex could freeze?

I walked the was like 7 or 9 degrees. Even he looked at me like, "Can we go back in now?"

Maybe I need a better coat or maybe I just need to move to a warmer climate...

My personal chuckle this morning though...was that today was my friend Lauren's last day here before she went back to LA...and I wish I coulda seen the look on her face when she stepped outside this morning...and I wish I could hide in her suitcase before she leaves.

Stay warm folks!


Tamsin :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Photo-Shoot Set for June 11-12 for Living Dead Girl - ACTORS/ACTRESSES NEEDED

Okay's the skinny!

I am looking for a TON of people for this next shoot that will probably spread over two days in June.

Go ahead...take a look at the list. If you'll be in NYC at this time send me 2 pictures of you (preferable in color) showing both a close up of your face AND a long shot of your body; at least a ¾ pic. Please state height. You can send pics to

Photo-shoot looks to be set for the weekend of June 11th and 12th. Locations still to be decided. All drinks and meals for the days of the shoot will be supplied. All actors/actresses will get their pictures for their portfolio. We did a photo-shoot for another book of hers this past fall and had an absolute blast! Go here to see some of the pics as website is still getting them up:
Any character with a * by it means it would be helpful if you have any dance or martial arts background as we will be teaching some Bo Staff work as to do some pictures of them.

Obviously the actor/actress does not need to be the age of the character as long as they can pass for it.


*Atlanta Hart – She is a witch/vampire. Pale with long, straight dark hair, emerald green eyes , tall (around 5’10”) and curvy. Actress can be any hair color as long as they don’t mind wearing a wig and can have light colored eyes as long as they don’t mind wearing colored contacts for the shoot. Atlanta is statuesque. Character age: 25

*Sean Cameron – Vampire. He’s on the shorter side, around 5’8’ with short, wavy dark hair (think Ethan Peck), and honey hazel eyes. Actor can have light brown hair if they are willing to do a temporary darker rinse for the shoot and can have light colored eyes of a different color as long as they don’t mind wearing colored contacts for the shoot. Sean is well built though small—like a martial artist. Character age: looks btwn 27-35.

Valencia – Primary villain. Vampire/witch. Short with long, curly red hair and emerald green eyes. No more than 5’5” is preferred. She’s bi-sexual. Some photos will be taken with her male lover and some with her female lover. Be okay with that if you submit for her character. Actress can be any hair color as long as they don’t mind wearing a wig and can have light colored eyes as long as they don’t mind wearing colored contacts for the shoot. Character age: Looks 25-30.

*Jensine Blackensdale – Shape shifter. She’s is short and spunky with shoulder length curly blonde hair in some pics and long curly red hair in others as it changes by the third book. Actress can be any hair color as long as they don’t mind wearing wigs and can have light colored eyes as long as they don’t mind wearing olive hazel colored contacts for the shoot. Though, if you are already blond with hazel eyes, that’d be a help. Character age: looks young for her age so 18-24…even though she’s 27.

Phoenix Keziah – Vampire. He can be anywhere from 5’8” to 6’, but no more. He has short dark hair and gray eyes and is of average to slender build. Actor can have light colored eyes of a different color as long as they don’t mind wearing colored contacts for the shoot. He has a very square jaw line with a European or English look to him. Character age: Looks btwn 35-40.

Harmon Keziah – Vampire & Phoenix’s younger brother though a bit taller—around 5’10” to 6’2” with long light blond hair and the same gray eyes square jaw line as his brother. He has an average to slender build. Actor can have any hair color as long as they are willing to wear a wig for the shoot and can have light colored eyes of a different color as long as they don’t mind wearing colored contacts for the shoot. Age: Looks btwn 35-40

***Note: It is possible that we might cast the same person to play Phoenix and Harmon if we don’t find two men who are similar enough.

Alastair Hawkins – Vampire. Tall (at least 6’) with a slender to average build, dark blue eyes, and short crazy light brown hair (hate to use him as an example but think Robert Pattinson’s normal hair), with a British/European look to him if possible. Actor can have light blue eyes if they don’t mind wearing a tint to make them darker. Character age: Late 20’s to early 30’s.

Elizabeth Hawkins Keziah – Vampire. Quite tall with pale skin, long blond hair, curvy figure and dark blue eyes. She’s Alastair’s older sister—married to Harmon Keziah. Age: Looks around early 30’s.

Stephan Throneburg – Vampire. 5’7” to 5’9”. Average to slender build and long, smooth, golden blond hair and brown eyes. Actor can be any hair color or length as long as they don’t mind wearing a wig and can have light colored eyes as long as they don’t mind wearing colored contacts for the shoot. Stephan is gay and his partner is Alex (who’s not on the list as he’s already been cast). Actor must be okay with doing pictures with his partner and making it believable. Character age: Looks like he’s in his late 20’s/early 30’s.

Devon Worthy – Vampire. He has shoulder length dark auburn hair and blue eyes. Average height/build. Actor can be any hair color as long as they don’t mind wearing a wig for the shoot. Age: Looks like he’s in his late 20’s to early 30’s (obviously actress should pass for that age, not necessarily be that age).

Amanda and Alicia Cane – Vampires. Identical twin sisters who can be anywhere from 5’6” to 5’9” with long, straight or wavy (not curly), dark (brown or black) hair and brown eyes. Amanda is good and Alicia is evil/wild. Obviously we’ll probably use the same actress for both girls unless by some stroke of luck actual twins submit for this.
Maria Dominguez – A werewolf telekinetic who is Dominican. She should be tall and very slender with long brown hair and big brown eyes. Age: In her mid 20’s to early 30’s.

Desiree (aka Desi) Ma – Water Witch of Asian decent who is no more than 5’3” tall with short to medium long straight black/dark brown hair. Character Age: 18-28.

Celeste Rowan – Earth Witch who reminds you of Marilyn Monroe but with glasses and longer blonde hair and a “hippie” vibe to her. She is tall (at least 5’9”) with blue eyes. Character Age: 18-28.

Bianca Fury – Fire Witch of African American decent. She is tall and tom-boy slender with any brown or hazel eyes and super short hair she’s dyed fire engine red.
Obviously we’ll look for a wig that fits but IF you’re willing to dye your hair for the shoot…we might love you eternally.  Character Age: 18-28.


J.J. – The Alpha. Short yet cut. Professional martial artist. Between 5’7” to 5’9” with light brown hair and hazel eyes. Hair can be long or short, well kept or not. Character age: 35

David (aka 2Doggz) – The Beta. Tall and well built with broad shoulders/chest. Short brown hair—longer on top than in the back. Any eye color. Character age: 30-35

Big Daddy Jay – Tall and a bit over weight with short dark hair and dark eyes. He’s called BIG Daddy Jay for a reason. Character age: 30-35

Lance – Ex-Navy Seal. Tall and strong with broad shoulders and chest. Short dark hair and any eye color. Character age: 30-35

Joe – Looks like a Viking with long strawberry blond or hair and goatee with blue eyes. At least 6’ tall with broad shoulders. Can be thin, built or have a few extra pounds. Character age: Mid 20’s to early 30’s.


Shannon – Female Water Witch/Living Vampire. Tall and slender or curvy, graceful and very confident. She has long dark hair and dark blue eyes. Character age: 18…but can look btwn 18-25.

Tyler – Male Fire Witch/Living Vampire. Tall and very slender with short red hair and any eye color. Character age: 18…but can look btwn 18-25.

Connor – Male Earth Witch/Werewolf. Tall and slender with short brown hair and long bangs…with a skate boarder dude or hipster look. His eyes are a gray or gray blue. Actor can have light blue eyes. If they do we might use contacts to tint them. Character age: 17…but can look 17-24.

Riley – Female Earth Witch/Werewolf. Connor’s younger sister. Short and curvy with shoulder length brown hair she will wear in cornrows sometimes. Very tom-boy. She too has the gray eyes but like with the actor for Connor, the actress could have light blue eyes and we’ll maybe use contacts. Character age: 16…but can look 16-23.

Justin – Male Water Witch/Shape Shifter. Football player type with broad shoulders and small waist with short brown (light or dark) hair. Mandy’s boyfriend. Character age: 17…but can look 17 to 25.

Mandy – Female Fire Witch/Shape Shifter. She’s about 5’5’ to 5’7” with blond or blondish brown hair to her shoulders and blue eyes. Justin’s girlfriend. Character age: 16…but can look 16 to 23.

Malachi – Male Water Witch/Shape Shifter. He can be average to tall with a slender build. African-American. Character age: 16 to 23.

Keeb – Male Water Witch/Shape-Shifter. He is of average height and build with short curly dark hair (brown or black). Brown eyes. Character age: 16 to 23.

Kade – Female Fire Witch/Shape Shifter. Short to average height and petite with long wavy brown hair. Brown eyes. Character age: 16 to 23.

Gabriel – Male Water Witch/Vampire. Average hight and build with short dark hair and olive green eyes. Actor can have lighter hair if they don’t mind a temporary rinse in it and can have light eyes if they don’t mind contacts for the shoot. Character age: 16 to 23.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TOP 10 reasons why I live in this GOD FORSAKEN COLD CITY!

As I wake up this morning the first thing I hear, after I've hit snooze on my alarm clock, is the scraping of snow shovels on cement. I feel my body cringe.

I then hear a snow blower and possibly a snow plow scraaaaping along. I sigh.

I roll over, snag my glasses and peer out the window...while still bundled in my comforter like a human burrito.

Snow? Yep...more snow! I flop back down and a fuzzy face comes over to stare at me. I look at my darling dog's happy face and all I can think of is, "I don't wanna walk you in this" sure to say that in your head with as much whine as you possibly can, btw. I rub his ears and roll over.

The alarm goes off again. I hit snooze. My phone alarm goes off and I hit snooze. We repeat that for awhile and then I get up...cursing. I walk to the window to get a full view of my neighbors trudging along with their children to the school down the block and the super's putting salt out because it's now raining and turning to a thin sheet of ice on the ground. Just great.

Just another winter day in NYC! And I think to myself, "WHY THE HELL DO I LIVE HERE?"

No...honestly...I really wonder this. It's cold most of the year here with utter shite for weather from November thru to sometimes May. That's SEVEN months of crap folks. Snow, rain, cold, etc...for seven months of the year here. And again I think...why have I not moved to LA yet? Oh yeah, cause I love NYC. But WHY do I love NYC?

SO...we shall attempt to list the TOP TEN reasons I love and stay in NYC.

#1. My friends. I have some of the best friends here. And yes, they'd be my friends still if I moved...but it wouldn't be the same; it never is.

#2. I have a kick ass job with a kick ass boss working for a kick ass hospital who treat their employees great and pay me good (note, I didn't say great concerning pay...but hey, in this current economy, good is better than nothin' baby!)

#3. I'm a liberal...this town is VERY liberal. I feel at home here in that way...I can have my opinions and they're allowed...and most of the time many of those around me feel similar to me on many issues. SO...NYC people be my people.

#4. Theatre. I know I've not done much as of late due to time and money...but it's the reason I moved here and though I got burned out on it...I like knowing it's there for me when I'm ready to dive back in. *Side note: Those who work with me doing theatre here are some of the most talented people I've met and I adore them...both on the stage and off.

#5. Music/Nightlife. As many of you know, I'm a big fan of the Goth/Indusrial Music Scene and nowhere has the nightlife for it like NYC...from dance clubs to concerts to clothing stores...NYC has it more than anywhere else.

#6. The spring/summer/fall months (when it's hot, warm or at least warm-ish) are AMAZING! With so many parks you can go relax in the sun with friends or your dog or by youself with some good music and you will feel like a new person. There's even a FREE pool near my apartment I can go relax at! *Note: This all of course is negated during the snowy months so maybe that's a reason I pout this time of year.

#7. There's ALWAYS something to do here. If you are "bored" in have a problem. With museums and movies and shopping and clubs and shows and etc etc etc...there is always something to do here. Hell, just go wander around one of the village areas! Trust'll see something cool. Plus, there's public transportation that runs 24/7 for 365 days a year to get you to these cool things.

#8. Food. You want it, we have it in NYC. From Indian to Greek to Italian to Mexican to Thai to Jewish to...I could go on and on...and MOST of these rad-ass places deliver...late. Mind you, I don't get food delivered often but its nice knowing it's there, yes? What I do like is that there's such an amazing variety of food here and you'll be hard pressed to get bad food. Most of the time the ethnic food is made by those from that country....not Italian made by...well, you know. **cough cough Olive Garden cough cough** (I can make fun of that place...I worked there for five years people!...Not that I don't get a craving for those breadsticks and fattening salad dressing from time to time but...there's better in the city, take my word for it.)

#9. A. Meeting new people from all over and B. Seeing friends from far away. A: Because its NYC people from all over the world come thru here and if you're lucky you get to meet them and hear about how different their life has been from yours. On Saturday I met a charming man from England out of the blue as he joined my writing group. I love stuff like that! B: Friends from around the country come here to visit because its a tourist attraction and hence, I get to see them more often as I can't travel as much as I'd like. For example...see end of this blog entry. :)

#10. Resources. If I want to do a play or find actors to do a photo-shoot for my book or I want a writers group with some chutzpa or I would like to join a book club...if you can think it up you can find it here! The resources are there at your just have to go for it!

SO there you have top ten reasons. Mind you, I had to push for numbers 9 and 10...but they're legit.

What are YOUR top ten reasons for living where you live. If you can't get to 6...maybe you should move. Hell, I can find ten reasons why I live here...and I STILL consider moving...but only if its somewhere warm. Of course, to have the money to be bi-coastal is the real key, right? :) Hey now, I can dream!

To be honest, January thru March and sometimes April are the worst months in NYC...when New Yorkers get grouchy because we don't get enough sunlight. THe cold bears down on us and we get moody. It's a fact. So, I think, for my sanity, I need to take a trip to California in March so I don't go stark raving mad.

On a fun note...that goes with best friend Angie is being flown in today for work so I get to see her for the week AND my one of my best roommates and gal pals Lauren, who lives in LA now, is flying in for a touristy visit for the week we'll hide in warm bars and restaurants this week and try to forget the icky white shit outside.

Stay warm and safe folks! That rain falling outside is turning to ice.

Oh the joy.


Tamsin :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Injured Ego Needs a Break

Sorry I've not felt like writing as of late. I didn't really want to "bring on the bitching" anymore.

In short, an agent who is perfect for my book...who lists what she's looking for and its like she described my story...turned down my query.

I know...there are TONS of agents out there and the "perfect" one for me will find me and blah blah blah...but right now it doesn't feel that way. It feels like no one will give the new kid a chance due to the length of her novel. It's stupid. People read books the length of mine every day. *sigh*

So I've decided to stop submitting it. At least for now. I just can't hear "it's not for me" one more time or I might shoot my f'n computer screen. I'm sure I'll start up again eventually but for now, no no NO! You can only take so much rejection before you start to think you and your book suck. And neither me nor my book suck so...I need a breather from negativity and more submissions for a bit.

I will continue to write the prequel series to LDG...called The Cameron Chronicles. I'll admit to you and the whole world here and now that THIS book is a sell out. That's right...a sell out. It's constructed exactly for submissions. The prologue is exactly 10 pages. At 50 pages is a perfect cliff hanger. At the ends of Chapter Two and Three you're left asking "what the hell?" (in a good way). Notice anything there? If you're a writer submitting then you notice it completely. For those of you who don't let me tell you...Agents ask for usually a Synopsis and one of the following three things: A. The first 10 pages. B. The first Two or Three Chapters. C. The first 50 pages. So, as you can see, I'm writing this book to be short and snappy and DESIGNED for agents. There's nothing artistic about the construct of it and in my mind, that makes me a f'n sell out. But, if I can't get my longer work looked at...then why not cater to their needs? Come hell or high water I'll get this one seen! I plan to not go over 80,000 words total...if that.

Speaking of word far I'm 21,179 words in and I'm just starting Chapter 7. I've shipped over the first 50 pgs to a friend of mine who edits for a living to see what her thoughts are on it all are. *fingers crossed* Even though it is a bit of a "sell out" in it's is a good story so I'm nervously waiting her opinion.


I promise to get pics up of my Xmas vacation AND my trip to Florida (I went to the Harry Potter Theme Park folks!!!! Squeee!!!!) as soon as I have them all downloaded and organized!

I will leave you with this small section from the Cameron Chronicles.


She picked up my smokes and tugged one out. “Mind if I?”

I shrugged. “Why not. Enjoy'll be your last.”

She laughed lightly and lit one, leaning against the building. “My last? Nice line. Look Mr. Cameron I meant what I said last night—--there are good vampires out there and if you start killing them now that you know there's a difference, the Clandestine World will not allow you to keep practicing your…uh…craft.”

“My craft?”

“Your vocation?”

I rolled my eyes. Was I honestly having a conversation with one of these things? Why hadn’t I attacked her already? Was it her beauty? No. I’d killed plenty of pretty vampires before, male and female. Was it because I hadn’t seen her kill anyone yet? No, I’d killed vamps before without prior knowledge of their feeding habits. Then why? I concluded it was because she’d had multiple chances to attack me, including during that fight and she’d not done so.

“Fine, my vocation. Whatever. Now, what is it you want? If it’s to be your blood slave you can forget it.”

This made her laugh loudly and her flawless skin crinkle around her eyes as she looked at me, eyes full of the same humor. “Blood slave? Seriously? You think we do that? Oh dear. That’s a new one I’ve not heard. Oh my, that just made my week!”

I pounded the wide end of my staff on the ground in frustration. “Glad you think I’m funny.” I could feel my face burn though.

“Oh, don’t be embarrassed. How could you know? You’ve not had the best examples to go by. But Sean, vampires don’t take those…well, not the good ones at least. Though, I have to admit there are some, possibly up north that do—I wouldn’t know for sure. But, we’ve deviated from the point.”

“There was a point?”

“Oh yes.”

“And that was?”

“I want to hire you.”

“Oh, we’re back to this again.”

“Did you think I was joking?”

“Well, yes, actually I did.”

“I’m not. Look Sean, as I told you last night, there are good vampires and there are bad ones…ones that have lost their way.”

“Call me crazy, but what way is that?”

“To protect humans Sean, what else?”

There was a pause and then I couldn’t help it, it was my turn to laugh loudly. “Now that has got to be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard! You want me to believe that vampires—--the living dead who need human blood to survive—--are here on this earth to keep them safe.”

“Yes...that's exactly what I need you to believe.”

©2011 Tamsin L. Silver

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chapter One of "Clandestine", the first book of the Cameron Chronicles need a pick me up today case you do to I thought you might enjoy the 1st chapter of the Cameron Chronicles. As you can see by the title I've finally picked a title for the first short book. It'll be called Clandestine. I chose this because this is the book where he learns about the Clandestine World...what it holds...not just dead vampires but ones that were born and live that way...werewolves...shape shifters and witches, of all four factions; air, fire, water and earth. He learns how some of the Clandestine World are good---not all are evil. Some are on this planet to help---seen as Jesus' foot soldier's on this earth. Either way, in this book he will learn about this world so hence the title.

Here is a rough chatper one...there will be mistakes I'm sure so...just keep that in mind.

Chapter 1

I could see him—sitting across the room from me at the club, but he didn’t see me nor was I even on his radar. His mistake. Of course, why would he? Notice me, that is. Who was I to him? I was nobody. Well, correction, he might see me as dinner for all I know but from where I sat, he didn’t even seem to even consider me worthy of that. I was just one of many young human adults dressed in black, lounging in the city’s most popular Goth/Industrial club.

It was a new genre of music that was really taking off as of late with groups like Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Skinny Puppy and so on. Kids would dress in black clothes that either had a feel of the Romantic period with long flowing skirts and corsets or they would look more industrial; think leather or ripped jeans with black shirts and combat boots.

I myself found I loved this music and the majority of the people who hung out in these clubs as well; which was good considering my prey seemed to flock here as well. It made perfect sense. Many of the kids in this scene were gamers who were into “Werewolf the Apocalypse” or “Vampire the Masquerade”—live action role playing games. There is no better place for a vampire to hide than with those who try to pose as them. Thing is, I know the difference.

Simply put, it’s in the way they move. As much as vampires try to blend in with human’s they don’t. Don’t get me wrong, to the untrained eye they could stand next to you or even talk to you and you’d never know the difference. But I was not untrained, though many would wish I was.

Their walk was smoother; their actions were more deliberate as if controlled. This was because they had to concentrate on all they did so as to move at a human speed. Not that it took a lot of concentration for those who’d been doing it for years—but I still could tell. That and they tended to drink the same thing; blood wine in a green or blue goblet. That made it almost too easy for me. It was much harder to locate one in a coffee shop, but in the club scene? As the saying goes, it was like taking candy from a baby.

I decided it was time to get closer to my prey—a small guy with slicked back, black hair who’d I’d been following for a week. I’d witnessed him killing a few girls after a part in an alley the other night on the lower east side. New York City wasn’t the safest place in the late 80’s and this guy was definitely one of the offenders.

Downing the rest of my beer I slipped my hand to my back where I made sure my wooden stake was securely wedged between the waistband of my jeans and the small of my back. To be honest, I had one in each combat boot as well but once I was sure my primary weapon was safe and secure I stood up and pulled my black leather biker jacket on over my black Cure concert T-shirt. I’d not seen them perform but I now dressed to blend. I took this from the home of the last vampire I’d killed. He didn’t need it anymore so was it really considered stealing? I liked to think not.

I weaved in and out of people as I approached where he was—hitting on a human female. Not wanting to see her face on the news tomorrow I eavesdropped, waiting. He just needed to make one error—be careless—and he was mine. I felt the adrenaline start to pump through my veins making me jittery and excited. The kill always did this to me.

It didn’t take long for me to hear it. He asked her if she’d like to step outside for a smoke. I heard her giggle and say yes. Dear ladies, you can smoke inside here in good ol’ NYC. If a man asks you to step into a lonely alley to smoke…maybe it’s just me, but I think that would be the equivalent of a Times Square neon sign that spells “trouble”. But hey, that’s me.

I pulled out my pack of smokes and headed for the front door of the club. I kept my head down so the bouncer wouldn’t notice me, and he didn’t. Didn’t even look up from the girl he was hitting on.

I lit my cigarette and waited. They didn’t take long. Once outside he didn’t even glance at me; careless fool. He lit a cigarette and then, when he pretended to have trouble lighting it due to “the wind” he motioned for her to step around the corner of the building with him. So typical. This dude needed to get a new playbook. Well, he wouldn’t be around long enough to do so. Oh well. Let me dry a tear for him…oh wait, I don’t have one.

As he and the girl slipped around the corner I was sure to walk heavily to the bar door, open it, and let it shut. Then, silently I moved to the corner to see what was going on. I pulled out a small pocket mirror and used it to see around the corner and I could see him—which was strange. Sometimes I could but most of the time I couldn’t see their reflection. I was unclear as to the reason for this anomaly but to be honest; I’d not cared enough to ask around.

I stayed still—watching him smoke as he chatted the girl up. I waited. I knew the procedure now...I’d don’t this enough. As he finished his smoke and crushed it on the ground with his foot he pulled her close and kissed her. As he kissed her he moved her backwards, until her back was pressed against the other building.

Reaching behind me I silently pulled out the stake…we were almost at ‘go time’. You had to wait until he hurt her, as sick as that sounds. One time I didn’t wait. Just the once. For some reason I always have to learn the hard way. The girl had screamed and not because the guy had turned to dust in front of her, fangs exposed, but because I’d killed him. She reported me to the police and everything. But—no body equals no real reason to book me on murder. Hell, the vamp had been so old plus the girl hadn’t been smart enough to get his last name so there wasn’t even a missing person that matched her description of the “sweet, murdered young man”. Sweet my ass.

Anyhoo, got lucky. Lesson learned. Wait until they scream in fear or until I see the vamp bite their prey. And trust me, each victim reacted differently…and never in the way I would’ve pegged them for.

This one was a screamer. Excellent! I like a good “cue”.

I moved quickly into the narrow alley and before my prey could turn from drinking his, I shoved the stake through the left side of his back, piercing his heart, and reducing him to dust. Then, all I was facing was a pretty blond girl with puncture wounds on her neck, tears in her eyes, and paralyzed fear in her face as her open mouth, now silent, mimicked the scream that had been coming from it.

Girls, I have found, have three reactions at this point. A. They run. B. They cry and fall into my arms. C. They pass out. Men only have only two reactions. A. They run/walk away. B. They cry like a child and hit the ground. This lovely lady was female option B.

“Thank you thank you,” she muttered into my chest over and over again as the tears caused her mascara to smear down her face and onto my shirt. And you wonder why I wear black shirts.

“It’s okay. You’re safe. I want you to go home, okay?”

She numbly nodded.

“Come on, I’ll hail you a cab. Is anything of yours in the club?”

She held her bag that was clutched tightly in her hand towards me, “No.”

I gently put my arm around her and led her to Avenue A and lifted my arm to hail a cab. It took a few moments and one pulled over. As she slid into the back seat I asked her if she would be all right.

She nodded again. Shock—it is hell on your vocal chords sometimes.

“Be more careful. If he’s colder to the touch than you think is normal don’t be alone with him. You got that?”

She nodded, fear and shock plainly painted on her features. I shut the door and the taxi sped off as I lit another cigarette, my reward for a job well done. I sauntered back over to the front door of the club, the adrenaline of the kill still making me feel like I was on a runner’s high, and took my original position by the door. Another girl stepped out about half way through my smoke and looked this way and that.

“You lookin’ for someone?” I asked her, though it was apparent she was. I hoped it wasn’t the guy. This girl looked a bit pale and for a brief second I considered he had a partner but then I saw her bite her lip and how it got redder with the tight pressure of her teeth on human skin and I relaxed.

The pale girl turned to me and said, “My friend, Emily, came out here with some guy…”

“Blond hair? Rather short?”

“Emily is, yes.”

“She just got in a cab and left.”


“I heard her having trouble with some guy in the alley and then she got into a cab and left.” It was basically the truth—so I skipped a step, whatever.

Emily’s friend leaned around the corner and looked around and of course saw nothing. “Did he leave to?”

I inhaled on my cigarette and grinned. “Oh yeah. He’s outta here.”

“Well hell, if she didn’t want him he coulda come back in for one of us.”

I almost choked on the smoke I’d inhaled.

“He wasn’t a guy you should be hangin’ with, trust me.”

“He was hot, that’s all I know. Okay. Well, thanks.”

I nodded my “your welcome” nod at the stupid girl and she went back into the club. Stamping out my cigarette I decided to follow her in. It was time to pick my new target—and no better time than the present. I looked at my watch; it was almost one in the morning. I still could get lucky—find another vamp to dust a “double shift” as I liked to call it.

Heading up to the bar I began to let my eyes scan across the pale faces of the club. Who was just that much paler? Who moved just that much more smoothly? Who was holding a green goblet? Who stood out?

I ordered a beer and sat on a bar stool, my back against the bar, and looked around. No one stood out to me yet. My beer was delivered and I paid the bartender and went back to my people watching. Subtleties are hard to see sometimes. Hell, the guy I’d just dusted in the alley took me a week to find.

After about fifteen minutes I thought I’d found my next victim—a woman. She had spiky dark hair with the tips tinted pink. She wasn’t as pale as the rest but she moved with fluidity that humans just don’t have. I sipped my beer and I watched her intently. In fact, I was so engrossed in studying her that I didn’t notice someone sit down next to me. So when she spoke to me I about choked on my beer. I know, classy huh?

“She’s not your type,” the woman said smoothly.

I turned to look at the woman next to me. She was pale but her cheeks were flush so either she was a vamp who’d just eaten or human. She didn’t smell like the usual vamps I killed so I hoped this pretty lady was human. And I do mean pretty. Tall and elegant with long blond hair and blue eyes like the ocean water after a storm. Yeah yeah, I know that sounds cliché but it was the truth. She was quite stunning and had a sultry yet powerful voice to go with it.

After I choked on my beer I said, “Excuse me?”

She nodded towards the girl with the pink tipped hair. “She’s not your type.”

I couldn’t help that the corner of my mouth turned up in a sly grin. “Oh? You know my type…woman who’s talked to me for all of two seconds.”

She gave me a broad smile and turned away, looking at my chosen prey. “I do. I’ve seen you around. She’s not what you’re looking for.”

Maybe it was the words or possibly her tone but that sentence gave me pause. Did she know the real reason I was here? Did she know what I was, what I was looking for? I had to work to keep my grin in place.

“I think she’s totally my type,” I finally said and sipped my beer again.

Again the lady shook her head. “You can do better…a man like you.”

A man like me? What was that suppose to mean? Did she find me attractive? Was she hitting on me? That would be a first. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not unattractive but I’m sooo not the tall, dark and handsome guy girls swoon over. To be honest, I’m a bit on the short side at about five foot eight—nine with shoes on, with a head of dark haphazard, large curls that hung in my eyes most of the time while the back was clipped short. I was well built but you wouldn’t know that from looking at me with clothes on.

To the average person looking at me I’d seem like a small, slender guy with unkempt hair, a propensity to be a few days late on shaving my face, with unusual honey hazel eyes. Pair that up with my dangerous and “loner” vibe and most women steered clear of me. Which honestly made me chuckle, when you consider they approached a blood sucking, killing vampire happily without batting an eyelash.

After a moment’s pause I said to her, “And what is that suppose to mean?”

“What I mean is, with your background you can pick more wisely,” she turned to me, her face a bit more serious as her eyes met mine, “She’s not what you’re looking for.”

At this I laughed. How could I not? This random woman acting like she knows me. “Lady, I don’t think you have the first clue what I’m looking for so if you don’t mind—thanks for the advice but I can take it from here. I’m a grown boy.” I then toasted her with my beer bottle to make my point and took a drink.

“Uh huh. Okay. If you say so.” She got off the stool and just as I thought she was going to slink away into the crowd she did the opposite. She gracefully slipped right up next to me and leaned into my ear and whispered, “I know who you are…what you do. She’s not one of them, take my word for it. Leave her alone.” She backed away from me, her eyes stern and powerful as they met mine, making it hard for me to swallow the sip of beer I’d started to take as she’d faked leaving.

Once I finally swallowed my drink I whispered in a deep tone to her saying, “Ma’am, you have no idea who I am so I suggest you back off.” I was trying to sound scary even if I was the one that was scared.

A tiny smile touched her beautiful face—so flawless yet flushed with color, her teeth perfect and her eyes gleaming. “Oh really? So tell me, man I don’t know, in what instance is it that three walk out of a bar and only one walks back in?”

“What?” Now I was in a panic, but I couldn’t let that show. “I stepped out for a cig.”

“So did they.”

“She left in a cab.”

“I’m sure she did.”

“What are you insinuating?”

“Nothing. I’m just here to warn you that you’re starting to make a name for yourself and that you need to be careful—need to make sure you don’t kill the good ones, or your fate will match theirs, I can promise you that.”

“Good ones? What the—”

“Remember that, Mr. Cameron.”

And with that she turned and disappeared into the crowd, leaving me stunned with my mouth gapping open and my beer forgotten.

© Copyright Tamsin Silver 2011

Seriously??? Come on, really?


Snooki? NO really...tell me you're joking...Snooki...that orange TRASH from that horrible reality TV show has a book coming out?! Are you fucking insane? Tell me I'm imagining this...tell me I'm in an alternate reality because to honestly believe that someone like THAT gets their book published while I sit here busting my ass to write something worth while and I CAN'T get an agent to save my life....OH...MY...GODDESS!!!!!! Shoot me now. Why do I try? Seriously folks...why are the talented writers that I know even trying when shit like THIS is what agents and publishers WANT? It's completely ludicrous!!!! Have we as a society really become this we as a people not read anything of substance anymore? Obviously not if THIS is what the publishers of America think people will buy! Holy shit! No wonder I'm stuck in this holding pattern. No wonder I get emails like this:

Dear Ms. Silver,

Thank you so much for your query. Unfortunately, however, this project doesn’t sound right for me. I encourage you to continue to submit elsewhere, and I wish you every success in your writing career. Thanks again for thinking of me.

Yes yes's a nice rejection (which I'm thankful for and honestly appreciate...they didn't have to answer me at all if they'd not wanted to) and but let's look a the words I've bolded, shall we? I send my book to Fantasy Agents for adult books....HOW CAN THIS BOOK NOT BE RIGHT FOR YOU? Read it...or talk to me about it...give me a chance to show you how cool the picture is for this series/saga! Hear how I have three different series that tie in together to tell an amazing tale! -----I know I agent has that kinda talk to you that is...reality is what it is I suppose.

Ha! Not right for you. But Snooki...this whore without two brain cells to rub together...yeah, SHE gets a book. SHE is "right" for you (as in agents/publishers)?????!!!!! Come the fuck on!

**Throws hands in the air** Why do I try? Why why why why why why why?????

If America is done reading stories that make you think...stories that take you on an emotional ride with adventure and real life issues you can relate to and characters that make you feel and care....well then hell...we're doomed as a society.

You know that movie "Idiocracy"??? Well congrats're on your way!!!!

Alas...I do love what my cousin Carmen had to say..."Look on the bright side. You have a brain in your head and you're not a shameless whore... :)"

Carmen...I love you.


P.S. DISCLAIMER: All writings here are only opinion and written in a moment of irritation (possibly a PMS rage) and are in no way meant to offend you's just ranting folks...take it as just that.