Blood, Sweat, Tears & Semen


Suggested Audio Candy:

King Love & Pride (Extended 12″ Version)


Every last drop. For well over a year now I have been a donor for all four of the above fluids. I have endeavored to fuse my scribings with as much of me as I could possibly give and it has been a distinctly messy affair. I have held nothing back whatsoever and that has meant still giving when there felt like there was nothing left in the can and showing all sides of myself regardless of whether or not they’re pretty. It has been an intensely liberating affair and I have learned more about myself in the process. Hopefully, should I have been doing my job correctly, these four components have combined to give a true reflection of my soul and offer a warts and all insight into exactly what makes my mind tick. Today I am making last-minute preparations for a pilgrimage which shall afford me the chance of exhibiting every last ounce of my integrity and self-belief and I would never be in this position had it not been for the four of these components.


It has not always been pretty, but neither was it ever intended to be. Just over twelve months ago I was atypical of my breed, a working man with simple needs and desires, who had modest aspirations and had lost much of his drive to make any kind of difference. I was content to tread water and had spent the past three years in particular doing exactly that. I’d clock in at around the same time every day, working towards a cause which I had lost all belief in, and had become happy to remain anonymous. There was nothing remarkable about me, just another rusted cog in the system, rotating without any real purpose and amounting to precious little. It seemed like the natural order of things and I had long since found comfort in knowing that I was wholly unremarkable and had nothing new or fresh to bring to the table. Then it all changed in a heartbeat.


My circumstances changed considerably and this once unassuming guy who had been content with being faceless suddenly decided to change his trajectory entirely. I was balls deep in a personal breakdown at the point, necking meds in a desperate bid to fathom the answers as to where it had all gone so spectacularly pear-shaped. None were forthcoming and I continued to sink in my personal quicksand, fully expectant that darkness would claim another victim, and holding out little hope if I’m honest. It’s a grim place to inhabit, your own personal paradox, with countless paths all leading nowhere noteworthy. My identity was shot to pieces at this point and I’d lost my way entirely. Who would ever have thought that horror would throw me a life ring? It did and I held on for grim life, in no way saved as yet, I did at least have something to stave off the sinking feeling.


I chose horror for a myriad of reasons. No other genre had been so woefully misinterpreted, been allowed to languish so shamefully, become so stuck in a rut. I considered my options and conducted my research and there just weren’t enough eloquent speakers in this field. I had every intention of bettering my fairly dour situation but also of spearheading a big shake-up, capable of putting horror back on the map after many years in the doldrums. Having studied every facet of my chosen topic for a full thirty stretch, it was time to put my informal education to some good use. Appraisals were the key at first and I began dissecting some of the movies which had resonated with me growing up. If I was going to do this, then it had to be my way. By injecting a little more soul into my observations than was customary it afforded others the chance to forge a true connection with my prose and relate it to their own experience.


Critics had been too lazy for too long, many of them were content with hiding behind each word and, often, said words were lacking any form of integrity. Invariably the head would rule the heart, vice versa, or personal opinion would be used in a manner totally unconstructive. When I write about a film I am looking for the silver lining and not, as is often the case, just searching for faults to expose. Being a shock jock didn’t appeal to me one iota. There are enough of those already in existence, vilifying folk’s art just to make a point, and losing sight of the passion which goes into getting these labors of love off the ground. Often this is because of sour grapes, those who can’t create, instead dictate. I had my favorites, just like any other with their own unique opinion, but this wouldn’t sway me in providing a bankable voice of reason.


Case in point: Xtro. I know I harp on more than is healthy about this glorious mess of a movie but I do so as it is my all-time darling. However it scored an eight and, in that respect it maximized its reach. If I had garnered it with a shiny ten then I may well have received a bouquet of Triffids from Harry Bromley Davenport and possibly a bronze tankard with the words Xtro thanks you engraved. However I would never be able to show my sorry face again had somebody psyched themselves up for a piece of perfect entertainment only to be met by a prowling panther who appears without any form of introduction and a clown with a wobbly hammer. My love for Xtro seeped through every word of my appraisal but, come the end, it walked away with the most princely sum I could grant it whilst holding onto any rectitude whatsoever. The judgement a film receives is a very scientific benchmark of quality and the real meat and potatoes lay in the thousand words which precede it.


I’m digressing but the point I wish to make is that I considered being a so-called critic to be a position of great responsibility and not a role to undertake frivolously. Many of the films I place under the microscope touch on topics which I feel I have something to say about. I wish to involve my addressee and give them a sense of enlightenment as to what makes my gears turn rather than simply feeding the monkey. This has represented the blood in my art as I found my true self bleeding through and it fast became apparent that there was a whole lot more to vocalize than I initially considered. The Orphan Killer changed all that, after being treated with such reverence when many professionals won’t so much as read your work, I decided to champion this cause. Suddenly I began fashioning spotlight features on my new favorite modern slasher icon and also on the great minds who have single-handedly incubated him. My work began to transmogrify and I deduced that any blood spilt on my part would be rapidly replenished anyhoots so bleed I did.


This was going to take some good old-fashioned perspiration on my part if I intended on growing as a scribe and there felt no more poignant a time to break a sweat. Occasional forays into dark fiction highlighted the promise of utilizing my new creative tool-set to bring something entirely fresh to the platter. Now I was entering dicey ground as this is a field far better represented and there are already many gifted writers gifting us this temporary release from reality. I would need to bring my A-game here and graft like a worker ant if there was to be any chance of my work floating topside. My literacy has never been in question but I would need to broaden my verbal palette considerably so I did what I’d recommend any fledgling writer do in such circumstances, I hit my online thesaurus hard. “He’s a sham” I hear the more cynical amongst us cry and it admittedly may seem a bit of a cheap shot but I urge you to consider the benefits. I would search for alternative words which could say what I desired in a more floral manner but I always backed it up with any necessary learning or ingestion as I like to refer to it.


I have always been a lousy reader as you may well know but I am a rather fine picker of cherries so these bite-sized informative meanings helped pad my repertoire further. Others around me inspired; my unbreakable bond with the best kept secret in horror literature right now, C. William Giles, assisted me in finding my feet and we shared the sparked energy like cheap ale, splashing it around and occasionally breaking into an inebriated shanty, while Giles pounded his burly fist on the bar. This generous fusion of minds afforded us both the belief which had began to falter until then and all the glorious sweat paid dividends. Considering Rivers of Grue is my vessel, and it is in the public domain, I decided to take a distinctly visual path and, for this, I have SJ Lykana to thank for that. She is a most gifted artist, photographer and designer and a positive soul to boot. Watching her ply her trade so resplendently allowed me to tap into my inner-designer and I will forever be thankful for this empowerment.


I continued to pick cherries wherever I could but also offered my branch to others unreservedly. This is vital by my observation as what good is a gift if it can’t be shared? Not enough folk seemed to pay it forward anymore which saddens me as it is such a glorious endeavor. I leave my poker face behind when dealing with fellow artists and don’t concern myself with disputing which idea belonged to whom. The way I see is, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and, besides, it’s great to witness others flourishing. It’s a huge thriving industry with more than enough space for all our asses and I have no divine right taking dibs on the window seat. My sweat I gladly donate, like a sack of cellulite, knowing that it has been put to good use and I’d break it again in a second if it were to benefit a single soul. I shall be requiring some fairly industrial roll-on in the coming months as I plan to keep on milking those glands for all they are worth.


Tears are often regarded as sorry little snowflakes and often they are. I find it troublesome squeezing one of these watery bad boys out of my ducts at the worst of times. Hasn’t always been the case, I used to blub like a diva at a beauty pageant and sniffled with the best of them, but they dried up like a monk’s foreskin and ended up cut-off in just as unceremonious a manner as life began giving me the old donkey punch. There have been times when scribing that have seen reduced to a blubbering wreck, more rolled up tissues than afternoon tea with The First Wives Club. I embrace each of them and allow every last droplet to feed my quill. It’s these gushes of emotion which provide the most resonance to others as I lay it all out like a dime store hooker and refrain from absolutely nothing. This is where audio complements my work hand-in-glove as it intensifies feeling when selected and executed with due care.


Tears of laughter are scattered through virtually all of my work. Unless I have decided to don my most horrific mask, humor is a standard, and the darker the better. I embrace it in all its forms and years of watching The Farrelly Brothers and Seth McFarlane taught me the spice in variety. I often end up an uncontrollable wreck after double-daring myself to say precisely what is flicking through my viewfinder at the time and losing the bet. Smiles are, in a sense, very similar to odor eaters, and can really freshen one’s sneakers if you wear them with regularity. I love closing a paragraph with an image which will likely have y’all crying “Oh! no he didn’t” and, whilst some of it may be too puerile, I work on the spoof assumption that if you fire 1000 bullets then you’re almost guaranteed to hit the target with the odd ricochet.


Tears of joy and pride are most unprecedented and always gratefully shed. A little well-worked product placement of my four-year old never fails to loosen the faucet, he is the apple of my eye and a most delectable fruit at that. I’m bursting with pride at creating something that true, real, clear and sincere. Fuses sparked with kindred souls have also been known to get my bottom lip a trembling. Certain pieces I have read have shown exactly why shared belief is so vital and I love knowing that I may have been a carrot in the broth. Never looking for credit, instead I am more interested in heaping praise, gushing over why said work resonated. That’s a whole lot of tears when you consider me practically the tin man.


Titanic has only ever had a parched throat and flared nostrils from me but if you showed me a vine of Jack drifting sub-aqua like a frozen turkey with concrete trimmings when I’m in mid-flow I’d likely cry you a whole river. Tears of anguish as this fine Irish gentleman breathes his last cloud, pride as he loved Rose dearly right up to his crystallization, joy as I cast my mind back to all his wonderful exploits of the past two hours, and laughter as I’m fairly assured he parts his baby-soft crack and parps out an anal limerick just before the anchor settles. There’s no concealment in water son.


It is time for me to blow my beans and speak of semen. Y’all knew it was coming, and the reason for this is that I’m like a sexual rhinoceros. Actually, I have a moderate drive, sorry to disappoint. I loves me some good old headboard grappling like the next freak but there is more to my potty-mouth than just being a crude motherfucker for the sake of it. It offers up such forbidden delights and is something we can all identify with. More often than not I’m driven, not by sexual angst, but instead it is simply a case of appealing to one’s genitalia. Every last one of us likely has a piece of equipment, whether hole or vole. Some of the more fortunate amongst have two and that’s perfectly acceptable also. Cum one, cum all. I have been known to blur the lines of decency on occasion and do so, not to provoke, but certainly to challenge. I know it’s a lot to expect you to swim around in. As if blood, sweat and tears aren’t enough of a murky combination you also have to dodge these passing deposits. Don’t worry, I can catch most of them in my swimming short netting, no cause for alarm, you just keep paddling. It’s good for your complexion anyhoots.

The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour


Blood, sweat, tears and semen. I pledge you this Grueheads as I prepare to take the magical mystery tour, all four of these shall be flowing freely throughout all of my future endeavors. There will be plentiful blood as attested by my appraisal archives and its regular expansion, lots of sweaty fiction wrestled from my ever-giving cranium, tears shall never be accompanied by tantrums and will represent far more than me feeling sorry for myself from hereon in. After all, introspective doesn’t have to court depression. Then there’s the semen. This spunky funk will be all up in your trunk if I have anything to say about it. All four are relevant and each add something unique to the mixture. If you look back at the last 2500+ words you should discern all. If you do, then it has all been very much worthwhile. Now, where are those hand wipes?


Click here to read Empowerment: The Truest Gift

Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,

Keeper of the Crimson Quill

First Knight of TOK
#BrutalWordWrangler #CrimsonHoneyDripper #CruelWordSculptor #ThePiper
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014


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