Research, Inspiration, and Planning


The three main things that #writerslife revolves around (with coffee being a close runner-up). Oh yeah, and then there’s writing, sometimes. I have been reading some classic works from my childhood and from long before my time, getting in the “write” mood (sorry, couldn’t resist) for a few current markets that I plan on submitting to. Gothic poetry, urban legends, and pizza horror. Research for the latter not shown, because I ate it.

I’m also planning out my Joseph VanBuren and Sykophunk Patreon releases for the rest of March and beyond. Stay tuned to the rEvolution Underground…

The Black Circle part 3

Sex, drugs, and murder! This is starting to get good… the third part of my serialized novella, The Black Circle, is now available on the Joseph VanBuren Sykophunk Patreon page. This is a horror story with plenty of 80s/90s nostalgia that is both modeled after and a parody of the horror movies I grew up on. At the same time, I am also using it to make some psychological and social commentary. I want it to be entertaining and thought-provoking. Like my Masks series, it is part of the Nocternal mythos. Enjoy!

Zen Breakfast

Pounding headache. Literally. My heartbeat is in my head, emotions in my chest. Flesh against flesh, bone against stone.

Intense tension. Final decent.

Warm speckles on my face.

There’s his head, much flatter than it should be. There’s the wall, much redder than it should be. There’s me, much happier than I should be.

Probably some kind of reason for all this.

Pills, fire, blood: in that order. Quick flash of a smug policeman, that lazy son of a bitch. He gets paid for his incompetence. I crawl upon broken glass and drink gasoline. I breathe hatred. I tear off my own flesh and bathe in the rain of my darkest desires.

Breathe. I am a slice of toast. Zen breakfast.

I wrote the first draft of the above the very first time I listened to Irony is a Dead Scene by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton, particularly the song “When Good Dogs Do Bad Things.” Not the lyrical content, necessarily, but the erratic, bipolar sound of the song is what inspired that vision. The short story that followed was published in my collection, Other Shadows. That book is currently out of print, but the latest revision of the story is now available on my Patreon page.

Behind the Scenes Sneak Peek

Moloch WIP

I am slowly but surely working on the final poem for my next poetry book, Mask: Persona. It will be the second book in the Masks trilogy, full of poems and lyrics through the voice of Joe Doe. I am hoping to get it done and released this spring. Depending on how busy I get with this semester of school, however, it might not come out until summer.

This poem (working title “Moloch”) is inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and roughly follows the events of the 1927 film Metropolis but placed in a modern day context. I am watching the movie and writing along. Oh yes, there will be edits.

It is amazing how the issues addressed in this film were still relevant in Ginsberg’s time, and sadly even still today. Perhaps even more than ever. Every generation needs a Howl, so when I’m done I want this poem to fucking scream as a voice for the marginalized and disenfranchised in our society.

6 New Things

Somehow, it is February already, which means it is still winter. Meh. It also means that I have new exclusive content available on my Patreon page. Yay! Here is some info on my offerings this month:

“Nightmare” – I wrote this poem long ago after waking up from a nightmare that scared the shit out of me even though I couldn’t quite remember what it was about.

“Age of Darkness” – second song from the album Nocternal: Democalypse Trilogy part III. A transmission from the future…

The Black Circle, part 2 – the second part of my serialized campy horror novella. This part develops the characters and setting a bit more plus introduces the other protagonist and parallel plot. Bonus points if you catch the reference to The Shining.

Acapellocalypse 2 “The Mentalist” – in this episode, Joe Doe is escaping from the Hudson Valley Wellness Center.

“Superstitious” – another revised story that originally appeared in my out-of-print collection Other Shadows. This is my version of a Gothic tale set in the Victorian era. Best read with an English accent ;)

“Someone to Hate (sykophunk remix)” – I used to do a lot of online collaborations and remixes. This is a bad ass metal song from the band Demon Hunter with a Sykophunk twist.

Putting It All Out There

So, how are all of your goals and resolutions going? I am one week into a new semester of college and already feeling overwhelmed. LMAO! On the other hand, I have already completed one thing on my list for this year: starting the official JVB/Sykophunk Patreon page!

Every month, I will release the following exclusively on Patreon: one new poem, one new song, one part of my serialized novella, one video, one revised story, one remixed track, plus behind-the-scenes stuff and previews/rough drafts/demos of upcoming projects. This will cover all of my writing & music: horror, hip hop, new age, humor, goth/industrial, metal, apocalyptic, trip hop, ambient, etc.

I was going to do more research and planning for it, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Sometimes you just have to jump in and learn to swim. Anyone want to test the waters with me?


You know how it goes. It’s the beginning of the year, and everyone is announcing their goals and ambitions. I am not one for resolutions, but I do have some things I would like to accomplish this year as a creative professional:

  • Finish and release two books with soundtracks (the Masks trilogy).
  • Finish my serialized novella.
  • Start a Patreon account with exclusive content (music & writing).
  • Start my first novel and/or interactive fiction.
  • Write more short stories and poetry for market.
  • Keep working on building my platform.

As always, it will be interesting to see how much of this list I am able to get done and how many other things pop up that I did not foresee. I also want to be more consistent with this blog, my mailing list, and all of my website updates. That will most likely get ruined at some point by my final semester of college, but I will do my best until then.

My personal goals are to eat healthier (typical, I know, but something I need to do), get a bachelor’s degree, and get married to the love of my life :)

What are your goals for 2018?

New Year’s rEvolution

Here we are: that time of year to reflect on the past year and peek over the horizon of the next. On one hand, it is difficult to believe that there are only a few more days left of 2017. On the other hand, it is amazing to realize how much I managed to get done as this chaotic year seemed to just sweep by.

In January, I joined the editorial board for Confluence, my university’s art and literary magazine. I received two scholarship awards in April and got the Dean of Arts and Science to say “Sykophunk” in front of everyone. In the summer, I took part in a mentorship program through the Horror Writers Association. I also revised and released my first dark poetry collection, The Consciousness Conspiracy (Remix). During the Halloween season, I got crazy busy as always: became editor in chief at Confluence, performed at Carnevil 9, plus finished and released my poetry book with instruMental soundtrack, Mask: Shadow. Then I completed half of a novella for one of my classes.

(I am certain I am forgetting things…)

My plate is just as full going into 2018: trying to secure an internship, finishing the next two books + soundtracks in the Masks trilogy, maybe finishing that novella, possibly recording some mixtape tracks and/or videos, giving Patreon a shot, plus getting a bachelor’s degree, trying to establish myself as a freelancer, and getting married to the love of my life <3

It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be good.

Thank you for reading this and being part of my journey :) If you want all the latest JVB/Sykophunk updates, please follow me on social media and/or sign up for my mailing list. Have a fun and safe New Year’s – see you in 2018!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmahanukwanzayule…

Happy Holidays to you and yours, whatever you celebrate this season.

I am very proud of my latest project, Mask: Shadow, and I am eternally grateful to everyone who has shown support for me and my work. Creating and releasing a dark poetry book + instruMental horror soundtrack while going to college full-time and working a day job part-time has been a challenging and rewarding endeavor.

While reflecting upon my experience, I realized what I want for Christmas: reviews of my books. As you know, I am just starting to establish my author platform, and having reviews on Amazon and Goodreads is especially important for new writers. It is the number one way in which I can build credibility and a bigger readership.

If you have read either of my books, Mask: Shadow or The Consciousness Conspiracy: Remix (vol. 1), would you please take a moment to drop a review online? It would mean the world to me and help my cause tremendously. If you have not read them yet, now is a great time to get your e-book copies. Right now, The Consciousness Conspiracy is only 99 cents & you can read Mask: Shadow for free on Kindle Unlimited. Here are the links:

Mask: Shadow on Amazon
Mask: Shadow on Goodreads
The Consciousness Conspiracy on Amazon
The Consciousness Conspiracy on Goodreads

Thanks again for supporting independent literature and underground horror!


Older blog posts archived on Other Shadows via Wordpress.