Nowhere Road (from This Can’t Be All There Is)

Nowhere Road

Hey, weary traveler
Come with me tonight,
All you have to do is be a passenger.

You can recline your seat,
Roll down the window,
Maybe even get some sleep.

There won’t be anyone on the roads,
Because this is a direction nobody goes.
It’s a way that very few people seem to know,
And the ones who do know better than to take it.

I’ll take you somewhere the lines have faded
And nothing divides us, places
Go by like faces in a crowd,
Faded and drowned out.
You and I and sounds like
Tearing the sky.

I want to see the way the asphalt stretches toward the bottom of the glass,
And how surrounding towns burn down to ashes as we pass.
Watch the fog fight the defroster,
Turn our music up full blast.
And, for once, relax.

Your hands can ride the wind,
And when I want to scream I don’t have to hold it in.
In the driveway or out on the highway, we can cast aside our sins
And leave our virtues in the back seat with our vices and our whims.

If I drive fast enough,
Maybe you and I will blur together.
Maybe time stands still and lasts forever.
We can outrun our pain and all bad weather,
Catch storms in our eyes like your hair catches light.

Hey, innocent bystander.
Take me with you.
I’ll go anywhere your soul is aching to.

I’ll show you places they don’t put on maps,
Hold your hand across old railroad tracks.
We’ll go out to the edge of your heart and back,
Or over and fall forever, if you want.

Just take me somewhere the stars aren’t falling
The buses and cars stop calling
My heart isn’t walled up and cold,
Tone deaf and old.
Here we are and nothing,
No matter how far,
Can tear us apart.

This Can’t Be All There Is

I’ve been sitting on this one for far too long, and I’m excited to finally put it out there.

This Can’t Be All There Is was originally intended to be both a poetry book and a fully recorded spoken-word album. I’ve dabbled in the idea in the past, but this time, I got close. Every song was demoed, and most of them were completely finished, save for a few touch-ups, and one major aspect: the vocals. I never was able to get my voice to a place I liked or could even stand.

But I’m proud of a lot of these poems, so the book is moving forward. The album might come someday. I still have a lot of work to do before I’ll know for sure.

This Can’t Be All There Is contains 27 poems:

Wilderness
The House You Built for Me
We Were
Someday Will Eventually Come
Still
Storms
Graveyard Shift
All My Favorite Songs
Come Back
Variables
At the End of All Things
Take Me Away
When I Went to Bed
This Can’t Be All There Is
Nowhere Road
Worry
I Live Here
I Need You, Summer
Shapes and Spaces
A Long Night’s Conversation
You Harbor
Worth
KALEIDOSCOPE
Noise
Just Passing Through
Hey Sunburn
My Forever

The book will be available November 15, 2019. Its cover might change before then. I’ll also post a selection of poems on my site before release. (Keen visitors will find that a few of them have already been here for years. I promise I didn’t shoehorn them in; they were always a part of this collection. Like I said, I’ve been sitting on it for too long.)

Pre-order the digital edition here:

AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & NobleiTunes

To start things off, here’s “Nowhere Road”.

Nowhere Road

Hey, weary traveler
Come with me tonight,
All you have to do is be a passenger.

You can recline your seat,
Roll down the window,
Maybe even get some sleep.

There won’t be anyone on the roads,
Because this is a direction nobody goes.
It’s a way that very few people seem to know,
And the ones who do know better than to take it.

I’ll take you somewhere the lines have faded
And nothing divides us, places
Go by like faces in a crowd,
Faded and drowned out.
You and I and sounds like
Tearing the sky.

I want to see the way the asphalt stretches toward the bottom of the glass,
And how surrounding towns burn down to ashes as we pass.
Watch the fog fight the defroster,
Turn our music up full blast.
And, for once, relax.

Your hands can ride the wind,
And when I want to scream I don’t have to hold it in.
In the driveway or out on the highway, we can cast aside our sins
And leave our virtues in the back seat with our vices and our whims.

If I drive fast enough,
Maybe you and I will blur together.
Maybe time stands still and lasts forever.
We can outrun our pain and all bad weather,
Catch storms in our eyes like your hair catches light.

Hey, innocent bystander.
Take me with you.
I’ll go anywhere your soul is aching to.

I’ll show you places they don’t put on maps,
Hold your hand across old railroad tracks.
We’ll go out to the edge of your heart and back,
Or over and fall forever, if you want.

Just take me somewhere the stars aren’t falling
The buses and cars stop calling
My heart isn’t walled up and cold,
Tone deaf and old.
Here we are and nothing,
No matter how far,
Can tear us apart.

The Afterglow

Hey there. I’m back again, and I brought another friend with me.

Everyone knows about the afterglow: When someone dies, their spirit briefly visits the living soul who meant the most to them, before quickly fading from this world.

Jake and Emma were normal teens in high school, until a tragic accident claimed Emma’s life. Jake’s understanding of the world is fractured when Emma’s afterglow appears before him—but somehow doesn’t recognize him at all.

Confused, depressed, and in a daze, Jake turns to Emma’s sister Elise for answers, and instead finds a bond unlike any he’s ever felt before. But Elise knows what Jake doesn’t, and the secrets Elise swore to keep could tear the two of them apart.

The Afterglow is a young adult coming-of-age story about ghosts, railroad tracks, summer, and what it means to connect with each other on a spiritual level.

The Afterglow will be available in print and eBook formats July 26th, 2019. You can pre-order digital editions at the links below, which I’ll update as more editions become available.

AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & NobleiTunes Books ⋅ Google Play Books

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)

 

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

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

A Means to an Ens

A Means to an Ens

A Means to an Ens is a poetry collection, and a spiritual successor to Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages. A Means to an Ens follows a much more linear, fictional narrative, and tells the story of the last man on earth.

The collection is about half as long as Permanent Ink, so it felt wrong to slap it into a paperback and sell it for the same price. I wanted to do something a little more special with it. My first thought was to record it as a concept album, but I’m bad at that and would probably never finish it.

What I ended up doing was an extension of my Scenes project. Each of the poems in A Means to an Ens has been placed over an accompanying picture. These range in size and dimension, and the idea is for the reader to be able to zoom in and out, scale it, scroll it, maybe even rotate it if they so choose to get the fullest experience from reading the text.

Thus, this collection is presented as an image album. It goes in chronological order, and text should be read in columns, from left to right and top to bottom (so the farthest column to the left, read from the very top to its very bottom before moving on to the column to that one’s right).

For those willing to overlook the cost for the length of the work, a physical edition (minus the images) is available, but that’s entirely optional. I also won’t hide that I’m working on a much more substantial collection featuring all of the poems you’re about to read and more, so if you’d rather hold off on buying it, I won’t mind.

Enough of my babbling. Please enjoy A Means to an Ens by clicking on the link to the next page.

Front Cover ⇒

Or, if you prefer, you can download the collection of images by clicking here: Gallery

You may also download it in eBook format by clicking the following links: .mobi, .epub, .pdf

And the print edition can be found here: https://www.createspace.com/5953496

In the Year of Our Death and Zombiemandias – Available Now

In the Year of Our Death, the sequel to After the Bite and In the Lone and Level Sands is now available in print and eBook formats at various retailers, and should go live at several more over the next few hours.

In the Year of Our Death

It’s been two years since the zombies first appeared and changed the world forever. Keely and her friends escaped the hell of Seattle and settled down near an abandoned radio station. Bailey finds herself caught up with a ravenous group of survivors. Georgie has set up a courier system to move mail across the remains of America. Will and his friends—all of them orphans now—are out of water and have to leave their quiet suburb for the first time in their lives. Nelson, the engineer charged with running Hoover Dam and powering the American Southwest, breaks his glasses and must wander the wasteland nearly blind looking for a replacement.

Adam, however, knows the truth about the zombies: They aren’t monsters, they’re angels, sent by God to cleanse the world of the survivors, and Adam and his Church of Lesser Humans were put here to help them do it. Armed only with faith, a bus, and the steadfast rule to never allow harm to come to the zombies, Adam knows Judgment Day is coming, and will stop at nothing to herald its arrival.

You can read a sample chapter here as well as download samples from the retailer of your choice.

Store Links (more will be added as they become available):

Amazon • Google Play • iTunes • Barnes & Noble • SmashwordsKobo • Paperback (CreateSpace store) • Hardcover

The paperback edition should be available through Amazon’s website and Barnes & Noble’s website soon.

Also available is the collected edition, Zombiemandias: In the Zombie Apocalypse Collection, an eBook that includes After the Bite, In the Lone and Level Sands, and In the Year of Our Death.

Zombiemandias: In the Zombie Apocalypse Collection

Amazon • Google Play • iTunes • Barnes & Noble • SmashwordsKobo

Thanks to everyone who makes what I do possible. This includes you, the reader, without whom I’m just sitting here shouting random nonsense into a void. Thank you.

In the Year of Our Death

Things have been exciting lately! I published my first game, Hinterland, and while it was a little bit glitchier than I thought, it’s been mostly smooth. I’ve had a lot of fun with it, and a lot of fun watching people play it on YouTube.

Now it’s time for me to shift my focus to my other big October project. This one is a book announcement.

In 2012 I published After the Bite, a collection of short stories I wrote with my friend Seth Thomas, set during a zombie apocalypse. This was a companion book to a novel we released a year later called In the Lone and Level Sands. Now, I couldn’t be happier to announce the sequel to both: In the Year of Our Death.

In the Year of Our Death

In the Year of Our Death picks up roughly two years after the end of In the Lone and Level Sands. Like the previous book, it follows different groups of characters across the zombie-ravaged country. Returning from In the Lone and Level Sands, Keely and her friends live in a motel near a radio station in a small, quiet part of Los Angeles they’ve barricaded off from the zombies and the outside world. Young Will and his group of orphaned teens have been waiting out the apocalypse in a peaceful suburb, but have run out of food and water and have to leave to find a new home. Ruffian Bailey found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and has been running with a bad crowd ever since, until she decides to flee them and try to do some good in the world. Slow but well-meaning Georgie, who could outrun the devil himself on his bicycle, has set up a courier system to shuttle packages and information across the United States. Engineer Stephen Nelson has set himself up at Hoover Dam, where he keeps power running to the Southwest—until he breaks his glasses and has to head blindly into the wasteland to replace them.

At the heart of it all is Adam. Suffering from nightmares of a church fire he survived at the onset of the apocalypse, Adam believes the zombies to be a higher form of enlightenment, and now commits his life to protecting them. His most important mission is to find the man on the radio who feeds daily advice on how to kill what Adam calls the “greater humans” and silence him for good.

After the Bite told the small tales of a zombie apocalypse, while In the Lone and Level Sands serves as a record of survivors at its onset. In the Year of Our Death finds the survivors—and zombies—struggling to survive in a world that changed forever two years ago. Every day now is a war, and this year will claim its fair share of casualties.

You can read a sample chapter here: Chapter 16

So this is how I find myself sitting on a series of finished books. I have to say I like how it feels. On that front, I’m also announcing an eBook collection of all three books:

Zombiemandias: In the Zombie Apocalypse Collection

Buying the three of them together will end up being a little cheaper than buying them separately, but fair warning: This is going to be quite a long eBook.

Both books release on October 20th, 2015. Pre-orders will be live soon, I’ll update with links as they’re available. Also, in celebration, the eBook version of In the Lone and Level Sands will be available for free and/or at a deep discount at most retailers through the month of October.

So that’s that. Stay tuned here for release info, teasers, and other goodies.

Thanks always for reading.

What’s in a Name?

Big changes incoming!

Perhaps you’ve noticed this very site (as well as Twitter) list me as “David J. Lovato” while the name on all my covers and storefronts simply reads “David Lovato”. That’s going to change.

Big changes this far along can get messy, and I spent the better part of two days updating all of my book covers and websites to add one little “J”, but the end result will be worth it. Why the change? Well, “davidlovato” wasn’t available for use as a WordPress site, so I added the J way back when, and it’s always good to keep things streamlined. Another reason is that I’m not the only David Lovato in town, and I think it’s best to keep any potential confusion to a minimum. So, starting in the coming weeks, you should see “David J. Lovato” on all of my books and store fronts. Also, it turns out I really like the way it looks. It’s like a little hook cementing my name in place. At the risk of sounding full of myself, I think I’ve realized you can tell a great font by its J.

Anyway, It’s a lengthy process to change all of my links and descriptions and profiles, but I’m almost done, and hopefully I did it without breaking anything too badly.

So, while I’m busy writing a post about my writing, I guess I should give a general update.

I’m way behind on Camp NaNoWriMo, thanks in part to burnout and in part to a household emergency. I may or may not get caught up, but I do plan to finish this project someday, and hopefully not too far away.

I have another project, a big one, that I’m hoping to release by Halloween. More details on that when it’s a little more ready for the spotlight.

I’m kicking around ideas for another poetry book. Possibly two of them. I enjoyed writing and publishing Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, but for these two, I’m thinking bigger. Maybe louder.

I’m sitting on some novellas! One is finished and polished and I’m working to get it published traditionally. Another one is finished but not edited, and the last is unfinished, but I hope to put the final touches on those two this summer. Not sure whether I’ll self-publish or try the traditional route with them; that will depend on how I feel about the finished products. I also have an almost-finished short story collection that will most likely be self-published; the stories are all set in the same world and follow a specific theme.

And, as always, I have plenty of projects always moving, some slower than others, but they’ll be revealed when the time is right.

In short, I promise I’m working on things, and I’m pretty sure at least one of them will see a release this year.

Speaking of Halloween (I know that was a few paragraphs ago but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want), last year I started a second RPG Maker project in the spirit of Halloween. With any luck I’ll finish it and release it before Halloween this year. It’s just a short little adventure where I challenged myself to see how odd I could make things go in that game engine, but I don’t see the harm in getting it out there, supposing I finish it. My main project is still Let the Moonlight Give You Wings, but that one is a lot larger and less predictable, so I can’t give an ETA on it. If I do pick up my Halloween-ish game again, expect to see some previews around these parts.

That about does it as far as talking about what I’m working on. One last thing though:

My favorite band is back! I can hardly express how excited I am to see Brand New recording and putting out new material. My history with this band is a long one. I’ll probably write a whole post on it pretty soon. But for now let’s just say they have a new song called “Mene” and you should buy it because it’s awesome.

And that’s it for now. Until next time!