Todd Durrant’s Random Thoughts
Follow the efforts of a creative, crazed entrepreneur.

Want to Read and Watch a Bit?

Hello friends!  I’m sorry that my blogs are a bit scarce lately.  The schedule of my life has been quickened recently, and I can’t find as much time to whip out something interesting for you to read here.   My part-time job working a street-side produce stand has been delayed until probably next week, so I’ve used some of my extra time to apply for other jobs.   But A Different Drum has been a bit more busy, thanks to a new release by Neuroactive and the arrival of the new VNV Nation CD in the store.   It helps when better known bands like these put something new out.

The Neuroactive CD has a couple of songs on it that I helped to write.   Though I wrote the lyrics, you can be relieved that I didn’t sing them.   One of the songs is called “No Place Like Home” (listen to sample) and I was really happy with those lyrics.  It is sung by Christopher Anton who is the newer singer for Information Society.   The other song I wrote is called “Blindness is Never Enough” (listen to sample).   Those lyrics are a bit more odd, but with Marcus of Rename singing, it sounds great.

The creative output with which I am most happy this week is the new video for my Saudade song “Somnius Finis”.    This was a very emotional song for me because I wrote it to vent about my current situation with A Different Drum, my business that is struggling to stay alive.  It has always been my dream job, and I’ve been very lucky to be able to work with something I love.  That’s why it is even harder to see it crumble due to the changes in the market.   Well, the video concept isn’t so strongly tied to that original lyrical theme, but it seemed to fit very nicely.   Though it is still a no-budget video and shot / edited in a day, as usual, it was much more technical than others Dylan and I have produced with our “Double-D Productions” name.   We wanted to fade from black & white to color every time that I “woke up” in the video, and that meant playing with our “no-budget” software to pull off a very simple special effect.   We managed!    Anywhere, here is the video for your viewing pleasure:

A little over a week ago, I took my kids up Smithfield Canyon (just a few miles away) to roast some hotdogs and marsh mellows.   While we were there, Dylan shot what he planned to use as stock footage.   I pieced them together to make another silly, meaningless video clip.  So, here is a video for my Saudade song called “Thoughtless”.   No brilliance here:

OK, now for your further entertainment, I’m going to post the Epilogue from my book “Trigger”.   Maybe you’ve already read it, but if not, I hope you’ll take a quick look.   In my first manuscript of the book, this epilogue did not exist.   One of the weaknesses in my book is probably the lengthy background info that takes the reader away from the dialogue and action.   I decided I could remove a lot of that background explanation if I just wrote a  scene with dialogue, action, etc. to fill in the reader with that same information in a more exciting way.  So, by adding an epilogue, I was able to lose a couple thousand words in total.   Anyway, here is that intro scene:

Earth 2075 AD

Prologue

Wife…son…daughter…father. Father?

“Where’s grandpa?” Trent asked his daughter in a panic, realizing that his count of the family members fell short by one.

“He’s still sitting in the front yard,” the little girl replied, “and I want to stay with him. I don’t want to go down to the basement. There are spiders down there!”

Trent dropped his armful of bedding on the floor and yelled, “That man makes me so mad! We don’t have time for this right now! Get this stuff downstairs. What’s coming out there is worse than spiders. I’ll be right back!”

Sure enough, he found his old father sitting in a plastic lawn chair, staring across the city skyline, gripping a hunting rifle that had been passed down through the family for generations.

“Dad, you’ve got to come in now and take shelter! That’s what we’ve been told to do and there’s no good you can do out here!”

The old man kept his eyes ahead and spoke somberly, “There’s nothing I can do either way. I’m no use to this family anymore…I haven’t been for a long time. We’re likely to die anyway, and I’d rather look death in the face when it takes me.”

“Don’t spout that crap right now!” Trent yelled as he grabbed his father’s arm and tugged.

The old man yanked his arm away with surprising force and jumped from his chair, swinging the rifle around to push it against the chest of his son. “Look son, I’m not going down there. This is my life and I choose how it ends. You go be with your wife and kids.”

“But these machines…you can’t fight them! They’ve taken city after city. They rip everything apart. The army couldn’t stop them. What makes you think you can put up a fight?”

“I didn’t say I was going to put up a fight, did I? I said I want to see them when they come. I want to know who…what it is that kills me. Sure, they took New York, they took Boston, Philly, Buffalo, Chicago, Minneapolis…more cities than I can count. But when they take Omaha, I’m going to sit here and watch. I’m not going to huddle in a basement.”

A distant rumble caused both men to drop silent and survey the horizon. Another rumble sounded, and a crash, and then distant cries. “It’s the droids,” Trent uttered, his breathing quickening. “They’re here. Let’s go!”

“Look!” the old man lifted a hand and pointed to the southern sky. Strange dots were appearing. After only a few seconds they’d multiplied until the sky was textured with thousands of black specks. The distant rumble was growing into a roar. “There are so many. Where do they come from?”

“Nobody knows– they just came! They took over all the mines, all the factories, and reduced buildings to dust, and they multiplied before anybody could stop them. What does it matter now? Let’s just get out of here!”

“No. You go. I’ll watch.”

“Do what you want!” Trent relented and sprinted back into the house.

The old man muttered as he watched the sky blacken. “Why do you want us? What did we ever do to you?” A swarm of flying machines approached and a thick smoke was lifting from the ground below them. He wasn’t sure what weapons they were using, but he knew there wasn’t anything that could stop them. The flying alien ships shot overhead in a deafening thunder. Then he saw the ground droids, rolling like huge tanks with long, mechanical arms that waved like tentacles as they swarmed though the neighborhood, ripping obstacles out of the way, breaking into the sides of homes, and working methodically to complete whatever purpose had brought their wrath upon humanity.

He wasn’t frightened as one of the huge machines approached. He lifted the gun and aimed at the droid. Soon enough, his ammunition was spent and he dropped his gun, shouting at the beast which was only a few dozen meters away. “This is my family home! Leave it alone! My boy don’t deserve this!”

The droid paused, as if it had heard and was taking this declaration into consideration. Then one of it’s long arms extended until it was nearly touching the mans face. A brief burst of gas pushed the man’s gray hair backward for a mere second, though he stood as solid and brave as a tree. The huge droid proceeded toward the front of the house as the old man’s knees began to shake and his vision blurred. He collapsed lifeless on the grass just as the machine ripped the wood and brick walls apart like paper. Within seconds an appendage emerged from the wreckage of the house with a young girl in it’s grasp. The droid thrust its screaming prize through a hatch that opened on its side before it turned to rumble back through the smoking ruins of the city.

Well, that’s it.   That’s the intro.  You never do meet those particular characters again.   It is more like a short story that sets up the rest of the book.   Of course, I’d be forever in your debt if you decided to order the book and read it.   I’d be even more in your debt if you popped onto Amazon.com and posted a review.   Here is where you can find it on Amazon.com

TRIGGER by Todd Durrant

To all of you celebrating Independence Day in the USA, happy 4th of July this weekend!

-Todd

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