The Forever Earth

For the past few years, I’ve been slow to write or publish new fiction. It’s time for that to change. Late last year I was part of a team of talented individuals who published Crypto Bizarro, an illustrated horror story collection for adults. I’m just getting started.

The Forever Earth

I wrote this one a long time ago. Many of my works have touched on science fiction, but few have flown so far as to reach space opera territory. I ended up writing a novel in the genre, and while I felt like it had a large scope and a lot going on, it ended up being one of my shortest novels yet. That story is focused on a small set of characters on a very specific mission, but the world I found them in had a lot of other stories going on. The Forever Earth is one of them.

In the distant future, humanity has reached the apex of space travel, finding themselves alone in a dark and quiet solar system. Then the Navigators appear, a species of aliens capable of bringing mankind into a new frontier via teleportation.

Cody is one of the first settlers to uproot his life and move to a space colony orbiting a habitable planet half a universe away. People from all walks of life make their way to the colonies, hoping to earn a shot at one day living on a new planet’s surface.

But half a universe isn’t far enough to escape humanity’s demons, and Cody and the rest of the colonists soon find themselves cut off from Earth, stranded in the silence of unfamiliar stars. Culture shock, separation anxiety, and lawlessness collide, and Cody’s only hope for peace rests with his dreams of the little blue planet he left behind, and his ability to find his way back.

The Forever Earth will be available on May 10th, 2019, from most eBook retailers. Pre-order links can be found below:

AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & NobleApple iBooks · Google Play (Coming Soon)

 

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Crypto Bizarro

It’s been a while, but I haven’t been idle. I have a few projects in the pipeline, hopefully coming soon. In the meantime, my latest is available right now.

Introducing Crypto Bizarro.

Welcome to the world of Crypto Bizarro, where all manner of ghosts and ghouls and things that go “bump” in the night come out to play. This fully-illustrated collection of horror includes short stories, poems, puzzles, cryptograms, secret messages, a choose-your-own-adventure tale, and more. From restless spirits to physical monstrosities, dastardly acts and forbidden rituals, the frights found within ask the reader to question their reality. As the tome comes to life in your hands, you’ll have to search beyond the book itself to unlock all of its mysteries, but take care—when you venture into darkness, the unknown has ways of making itself known.

Crypto Bizarro is a fully-illustrated collection of horror-themed short stories, puzzles, and poems for a mature audience. This collection is the culmination of two and a half years’ worth of work and correspondence between myself and Josh Leichliter, as well as the contributions of our wonderful writing and producing team: Sarah Carswell, Seth Thomas, Nick Brown, Aerys Bates-Leichliter, Andrea Wright, and Ariana Wright.

The book is available in hardcover and eBook formats. You’ll find links at the bottom of this post.

Crypto Bizarro is more than a collection. It’s a brand, a flavor if you will, and this collection is just the start. To keep up on all of our crazy ideas, visit www.cryptobizarro.com and sign up for our mailing list, or follow our page on facebook. Right now you can find a few free samples and a nice little puzzle, with more on the way. This is meant to be a growing, evolving, living (or perhaps undead?) collection, and Josh and I have much more up our sleeves.

Amazon (Hardcover) • Amazon (Kindle) • Google Play (Coming Soon) • iTunesBarnes & Noble (Hardcover) • Barnes & Noble (eBook) • Smashwords • Direct Purchase

Someday Will Eventually Come

Someday Will Eventually Come

There’s never been a storm that didn’t break,
Though there’ve been some we couldn’t see the end of til it came.
There’s never been a night so dark we went to bed but couldn’t wake
Or been a silence so extensive we had nothing we could say.

I know it hurts right now,
But there’s never been a problem so complex we couldn’t figure out
Or been a time so frozen still we couldn’t wait it out,
Or a word so painful you could never let it out your mouth.

And it’s okay to cry,
There’s never been a watershed so wet you couldn’t dry your eyes
Or been a dark so heavyset the sun refused to rise
Even after love so close you thought it too strong for goodbyes

You’re allowed to be happy.
There’s never been a suffering you needed an amount of,
Or been a pain so absolute it couldn’t be healed from,
And I wish that I could promise someday would eventually come

But that’s not fair to say,
There’s never been sincerity exempt from a mistake
Or been a promise so assured it couldn’t possibly break
And I am not infallible, despite how confident I stay

If I could make you better,
I’d do it right away.
But there are no diseases I can cure with my embrace,
Or wounds that I can close with all the words I softly say,
Or history I can erase by putting smiles on my face.

If I could really fix you,
I’d have done it long ago.
But there are no words I can say to force you to keep hope
And I can’t make you believe things nobody can know,
Or send you down a better road if you don’t want to go.

All that I can really do is ask you to believe,
There is happiness out there for you even if it’s not with me.
There’s never been a distance so great you couldn’t try to run,
But I hope you never stop believing someday will eventually come.

You Harbor

You Harbor

I’ve grown so tired of the sea,
This salt-stained deck beneath my feet
The endless shaking of the waves,
That swallow everything I say.

And I can see the shore,
The places that I used to know
Too shallow here to moor,
And will be forever more.

So tie the anchor around my legs,
And help me walk the plank
Watch me fall for fathoms deep,
Into a bed where I might sleep.

The seagulls cry, but not for me
And hold wakes in the foam
My ship won’t be the first to sink
Just miles from its home

I thought I saw you on the sand,
Hair blowing in the wind
I thought I saw you lift your hand,
To wave goodbye again

And I’m a ship that has no crew,
The water gods had cursed
To roam the oceans, far away
For all eternity.

So sing your song for me,
Guide my ship toward the rocks,
Send me to the bottom of the sea,
Remind me what it’s like to breathe.

Oh, Winter Morning (from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails)

by David J. Lovato

Oh, Winter Morning

Wake to find the whitened light
Sliding through my windows
Creep across a hardwood floor
The chill of morning scrapes at my nose

Crack my door to feel a greeting kiss from the cold
Stare into a winter sunrise as it stretches all the shadows
This is the only friend and oldest friend I’ve ever known.

Listen close as everything freezes
No birds or words or slightest breezes
Only ice as it spreads across all things,
The trees and skin and all my reasons

Fall into the loneliest of seasons, never pause
The air so cold it brings the seconds to a stop
Spend the rest of my entire life inside a broken clock
Stand barefoot in the snow until my toes fall off.
Stare into the dimlit sun til I see God.

Only the winter wind could ever move my skin and bones,
They are the only vehicle my soul has ever known.
The snow will hold all sound to stillness, kill the tone
While I run back to my bed and sleep until I grow old alone.

 

from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available now.

Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails Available Now

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

From today my poetry collections Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails are available.

cover art by david j. lovato   cover art by david j. lovato

Build Yourself Better is a narrative poetry collection, meaning the poems tell an overall story while also standing on their own. Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails is a collection of my narrative poetry collections, and includes Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, A Means to an Ens, Build Yourself Better, and a collection of poems originally scrapped from the above three works, titled B-Sides and Rarities.

You’ll find both available in eBook and softcover, as well as a hardcover option for Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails. Those interested in checking the books out before buying will find samples by highlighting the “Samples” link on my site’s top menu.

Store links can be found below.

Build Yourself Better
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Lulu (hardcover)

As always, thanks for everything.

Now and Then (from Build Yourself Better)

by David J. Lovato

Now and Then

On the ride home she was singing songs to me
I was trying to stay conscious in the passenger seat, and
I was thinking there was nowhere else I’d rather be, but
Now I’m thinking that I’d rather be right there, forever.

Now I’m sitting naked on my bedroom floor
Trying to remember what led you to the door
I won’t apologize for not being good enough,
I know it wasn’t something wrong with me, but us

From the back porch I watch the light from her window stretch across the yard.
It’s the only light in the neighborhood, the rest of the world is dark
My eyes keep trying to adjust,
The way they were always trying to get used to “us”
I don’t think they realize that darkness is the point now.

She flicked cigarettes across the pavement
The way I skipped stones across the lake, and
I was thinking there was nothing we could lose, but
Now I’m thinking I’ve lost everything.

From the office I watch the dog stare out the window and whine
I think she thinks of herself more as yours than she was ever mine
My heart keeps trying to believe
The way it’s always trying to get used to now “just me”
I don’t think it understands that belief isn’t the point anymore.

She slept softly in the bed that I had made
The way I speak softly if I ever have to say her name, and
I kept thinking maybe she’ll come back for me, but
Now I’m thinking we should exist separately.

 

from Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Down and Out (from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails)

by David J. Lovato

Down and Out

Don’t think that I have ever held such doubt.
And lately I’ve been thinking far too much
About someone I have no right thinking about.
Is it trite to write about the weather?
Is it too cliché to just forget her?
Well there’s nothing new under the sun
So let’s forget the pretense,
I am done, I’m done, I’m done.

Don’t think that I have ever held such doubt.
And lately I’ve been thinking far too much
About someone I have no right thinking about.
Some local kids smashed my window in and
It’s been getting colder out.
So I will speak your name
And rip it from my lips,
Toss it to the flame
And I might get some sleep at night
But I will never be the same.

 

from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Into the Night (from Build Yourself Better)

by David J. Lovato

Into the Night

I held a sinner’s tongue
In a throat swollen red from saying your name out loud
I kept a broken clock
So I would never know if time was running out

We gathered all the gold,
But couldn’t tell it from the dirt
You said “This is getting old,”
I said at least it doesn’t hurt

We fight the cold,
The wind reaches out to us
But we explode
And there’s no front that could keep up
And we alight like birds
Before we return
Into the night

You held my shaking hands
With fingers fragile from the things that you had done
You kept a missing link
So the world could never put a chain on us

We tried to chase the moon
You said “Jesus, I am tired.”
I kept a broken watch on you
Does that make me a liar?

I’ll see you soon,
Time chases after us
But we’re too smooth,
Pretty soon it will give up
And we alight like fires
Burning higher
Into the night

We hold the pieces of our broken hearts
In chests we turned the locks of years ago
Said they would never open up again,
But then we met,
And I’m not sure where all the hollow went
And we alight like passengers
Carried to our destinations,
We don’t have to know where we are going
We just have to trail headlights
And together drive
Into the night

 

from Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Two Books. One Post.

This has been finished for a while, but A Means to an Ens had been finished even longer, so this one had to wait its turn.

cover art by david j. lovato

Two people meet, fall in love, fall out, and fall apart, left wondering what to do with the pieces that remain. A collection of narrative poetry.

Build Yourself Better is a poetry collection, and the final in a trilogy called Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, which consists of Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, A Means to an Ens, and Build Yourself Better.

cover art by david j. lovato

The whole trilogy can be purchased as a set inconspicuously titled Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, which will also include a fourth collection, B-Sides and Rarities, consisting of poems cut from the first three.

All in all, each collection is a set of narrative poetry, meaning the poems tell an over-arching story. Together, the collections form a thematic, loosely-related trilogy.

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails gathers four poetry collections:

Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages details a narrator’s struggle to find his place in the world as he drifts through parallel universes, replaces the people around him with fictional characters, scatters his poetry to the wind, and keeps the things he can’t bear to lose by writing them down.

A Means to an Ens follows the last man on earth. Years after waking up to find himself seemingly alone in the world, the narrator heads out on a journey to find any sign of life in a desolate place, but is instead confronted by the ghosts of his past.

Build Yourself Better chronicles two people who meet, fall in love, fall out, and then fall apart, and what they do in the aftermath with the pieces that remain.

B-Sides and Rarities features poems originally cut from the above collections.

Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails will be available in eBook and print formats on February 29th, 2016. Because the chance to release a book on February 29th doesn’t come around very often.

Before then, you can look forward to previews of a few of the poems by keeping an eye here, especially on my Scenes page.

Thanks for everything.

Pre-order links (more will be added as they become available):

Build Yourself Better: Amazon, Smashwords, Google Play

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails: Amazon, Smashwords, Google Play