"To entertain, inspire, frighten, teach, and entice as many readers as possible." - Keith Helinski
Wastin' Away Press features Keith Helinski's writings, ranging from short stories online to movie reviews over the years. Also features an assortment of Keith's interests. If you like what you see, check out Wastin' Away Press's official Facebook.
When I first started writing the \m/ beast last year and all-through out the summer, I posted songs/albums that inspired/influenced the story. That fall, I then posted a few selective movies that also had some inspiration to the shape of the story.
The biggest influence of course, is my reading. Any writer will tell you that they get inspiration by the books they read. In this case, I can’t exactly write a fictional rock memoir without reading real rock memoirs, and believe me, I’ve read my share!
The first (and favorite) of the rock memoirs that has a resemblance to my rock story is ‘Walk This Way.’ The sex and drugs bores me, and I hate to disappoint people ahead of time, isn’t in my \m/ story much. However, there are two themes I did borrow from this book, and in a nut-shell, Aerosmith’s career.
One: how Aerosmith gets out of record contracts. I don’t recall if the band goes in details in the book, but I do remember reading somewhere years ago that Aerosmith wanted out of Geffen’s contract, so they released a shit load of greatest hits and live recordings. I believe they did the same thing for Columbia records (but I am not entirely sure). In any rate, I applied this in my rock story, where the band I created (Outsider’s Vengeance) was stuck in a shitty record deal, so after spotting a flaw in their contract, they cut a couple of live albums and a cover compilation to get out of it.
Two: ‘Walk This Way’ goes in pretty good detail about their important gigs they had in their career, which took them to the next step of their success. Aerosmith’s Guitar Hero video-game also does a good job exploring the various gigs they had. Most bands have that common story of success: the stepping-stone gigs. A perfect example of course is The Beatles with their beginning (The Cavern Club)/middle (Ed Sullivan Show)/end (Apple rooftop) success.
Because I am writing about a fictitious band, it was important for me to come up with not only important stepping-stone gigs that would lead Outsider’s Vengeance to their own success, but I had to come up with some pretty damn unique places for them to shine. I think I pulled that off!
One reason why I do favor ‘Walk This Way’ over majority of rock memoirs is the way it was written, with everyone in the band giving their own stories and perspectives of the band’s early days to their success. I was going to write \m/ that way, but wanted to save that style for the second part of the Outsider’s Vengeance story (the \m/ novel is only the first half of their career). And yes, I do plan on writing a follow-up to \m/ down the road; WAY down the road!
One debate that does come up between my wife and I is the approach of my first written novel, \m/. From day one when I wrote the first sentence of the story, I’ve wanted to push it exclusively on Amazon, both on Kindles and in print (with the help of Amazon’s own Create Space set up). My wife insists that I should reach a higher goal with that story, and push it to real-deal publishers. Any other story, maybe. But my rock ‘n’ roll fantasy is personal, and I don’t wish for real-deal publishers to dissect it. Another main reason why I am determined to have it self-published, the essence of the \m/ story is creative independence.
Since I’ve been posting samples of the story since last year, MANY people have been writing to me or coming up to me, asking what the story is about. If you know anything about rock music, it’s a pretty straight-forward memoir of a fictitious band, from start to stardom. Throughout the story, I give nice little nudges to my favorites, as well as my own critique of the rock business. That critique includes the idea of having creative independence without studio/producer/publisher influence. I also make a ton of self-indulgent references to my previous stories in \m/, which wouldn’t fly with a publisher.
My intention was always to publish \m/ via Amazon, which has been good to me with creative independence since 2011. However, I do plan on pushing my writing forward beyond the Internet soon, and I know just the right project for my next goal: ‘The Michigan Multiplex Massacre!’
"We sat next to each other on the beach. You can see everything. The lighthouse was straight ahead. You can see Wastin’ Away from a distance. The ripples in the water, and the sound they make. The beautiful palm trees and the wind that blows through the exotic branches, providing that soothing chhh sound. Everything about the area had a romantic Feng Shui about it. There was just something about it. I’ve had many sunsets at this very spot. I’ve tried other spots along the beach. Didn’t hold a candle to this exact spot."
One guy got really drunk, went outside, and tried to get into the Wastin’ Away plane across from the restaurant. When he realized that he couldn’t take flight, he decided to piss from the deck into the water below. He was off-balanced, and slipped into the water. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to swim in your own piss! In any rate, the cops came by and fished him out of the water. A customer nearby told me afterwards, what he caught the drunken guy said to the cops as they arrested him. “It’s five o five, somewhere!” Weird!
Another incident involved a woman that sat by herself, ordered Key West Pink Jumbo Shrimp. The second she got her order, she threw a handful of shrimp in the air, got up, and left the restaurant. Weird!
On occasion, there will be that oddball drunk that would actually talk to their drink, as if the drink itself was talking back to them. Weird!
The strangest of strange was when a male customer who was clearly a cross dresser (whom named himself Marilyn Monroe) came in every so often. He was one of our regulars nobody liked to serve. All the girls were afraid of him. I didn’t mind him. I thought he added color to the place! And the conversations I’ve had with him were completely harmless. He just wanted someone to talk to, that’s all. He freaked the girls there out by saying he would go to cemeteries, grab the flowers from graves, come back, and give the flowers to them. What was really strange about him wasn’t so much his attire (or even his approach to the other employees), but his behavior. I noticed one time, him scribbling all over his napkin, as follows:
They don’t talk to me. They need to talk to me. Why won’t they talk to me? They should talk me. They will talk to me.
Even I got a little freaked out. He finally got kicked out when he was caught going into the female restroom. Word has it; he got kicked out of all the other bars in the area for doing the same exact thing. Very weird!
"The title of this ebook comes from a phrase I would always say at my employer. When people ask me how’s my day going, I sarcastically say LIVIN’ THE DREAM! Sometimes, I would get a bitter reply, ‘…feels more like a nightmare!’"
'…it's more like a nightmare!' touches upon heavy topics and issues people deal with in their every day life, like the temptation of chopping individuals up into little pieces and stuffing the pieces into movie theater seats, or finding out you are the last survivor of the human race after a zombie infestation takes over the planet, or being stuck in line between a TEAM EDWARD fan and a TEAM JACOB fan (now that’s damn scary!)
The eBook is free for two more days. Please check it out, and let me know your thoughts (whether you thought it was the greatest or it sucked) by reviewing via Amazon.
If the winter-blues are keeping you down, don’t chop up your family into little pieces, Delbert Grady-style. Instead, harness the nightmare within and please check out ‘…it’s more like a Nightmare!’…free…for five day! 8-)
We were a foot from each other. I can’t help staring at her beautiful brown eyes. She then looked down, reached a card from her back pocket, and handed it to me with a smile on her face. “Uh oh,” I thought! I took the card from her hand…and read it to myself…I motioned my lips as if I was reading it out loud.
This is the moment where you can kiss me now – Lynn
Before I could respond to her card, she laid one on me. It was…magical. It was …Fourth of July fireworks. It was…Christmas morning. It was…heaven on Earth. It was…simply put, wonderful in every sense of the word.
Norm had a joy killing and dismembering Loomis, Dexter Morgan-style; he also had joy hiding the bits and pieces through out the entire theater. Most of Loomis’s body parts were in the theater seat 148, top row in theater 10. The same one that young girl was, at this very moment, seated in. If only she knew! If only most people knew the bodies they were sitting on through out the entire theater. But they did not, as all the body parts were covered in enough chloroform that the smell of rotted body parts never surfaced. Do not forget the fact that the popcorn smell invades the entire theater.
One of the many benefits Norm had of overseeing EYS Buena’s construction was secretively planning a hidden room upstairs in the booth so he could master his killings.
He did not kill all the time. But when he craved a good slaughter, he would set his sights on an easy target, this time around, creating some bullshit story to get a third-rate ghost hunter to come to the theater.
Around this time of year [February], I really get depressed. It’s the bitter cold weather that gets to me. The cold-walk to the car. De-snowing/frosting the car as you freeze to death (and since the heat slowly comes on, you wait by shivering). The cold-drive to work. The cold-walk from the car to that happy-place you work at. And then, just then – eight hours later, you repeat the process but since it’s nighttime, the cold happens to be a tad bit colder, which makes the process so much more fun. When you add the several inches of snow into the process, or when the plot thickens with ice – the fun-factor increases to that almighty max!
What keeps me going is imagining myself somewhere else where the temperature isn’t below zero. In fact, in my made-up place of palm trees and margaritas, it’s 80 degrees outside with lots of sun to go around. My tan skin feels the warmth in the air. Sure, a slight breeze makes the tense sweat go away for a second or two – but the moisture in the air is humid and HOT, just the way I like it!
I am relaxing with my own tranquility, instead of shivering through the islands of snow. Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffett, and The Beach Boys can be heard from a distance. The carefree attitude resides in me. I sit there in a lounge chair, surrounded by palm trees of all shapes and sizes. I don’t waste time waiting for my car to get warm, or walk fast toward indoors so I don’t have to endure the cold. I am at my comfort zone, where I feel content about life instead of gripping my coat for dear-life. It’s 80 degrees out there…and that’s all that matters.
"I’ve always loved the hot summer days in Michigan, opposed to every day before or after those hot days. But Florida weather is so much different. The sticky hot air melts your skin right off! You suffocate as your nose is plugged up because it’s so f’n hot out! Some like it hot, though. And that would be me! If I could fly to Venus, I would walk on the surface of that planet with just a pair of shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt."