Kale Sweat

 

 

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I need to write a decent, coherent blog post.

That is my goal today. I have no other goals. I don’t even have a list of goals of things I need to have goals about.

Let’s see. A single subject that I can prettily explore in about a thousand words because attention spans are not what they were. That’s not a slam. That’s just a hasty observation. About you. If the shoe fits, walk around in it. Shoes are awesome. Being barefoot is awesome. Socks are awesome, too. Did I miss anyone?

After all, my pretend crack addiction is actually affecting my ability to write anything other than ‘testicle fur’ at odd moments. I pretend a lot, as I don’t have Netflix. If I had Netflix, my brain could atrophy and melt. I could become one of those secret control the world bankers and just enjoy all the cash rolling in. I applied for that job but had to admit I didn’t have Netflix. I have not heard back from them yet. See what I mean? If I had a goal listed somewhere–do not go off on tangents about Netflix or secret world banking organizations– I’d not be a the end of a small paragraph of nonsense and self-indulgent fluvering. [I made that word up. It means to meander needlessly and test the patience of patient readers.]

Oh, got a really nice rejection notice. If that makes sense. You were a finalist but we went with other plays but we loved your writing. Ah!! Hope springs eternal in the writer’s droopy soul! Someone likes my writing?? Hallelujah.

Just because it’s a leftover, sitting there in the fridge like a welfare queen, does not mean it goes into scrambled eggs. That’s the number one and only rule for this life that counts. No chicken skin, no weird rubbery green bean-ish bean thingie, no no no no.

Dang it, this has several subjects by now. Bad breakfast cooking, world bankers, absence of Netflix, imaginary crack addiction, rejections that are nice…Ugh a bug.

The toast is good from that breakfast fiasco. [I did not cook breakfast this morn. Stop right there.  I would not just randomly throw shit into the eggs and call it a meal. There are things that do not go into eggs. God damn it, there are rules here. I don’t care. Yes, there are people starving and eating nuclear waste dirt right now to stay alive. I know that. I watch those miseryporn commercials same as you, you judgmental horror. You smug smuggle! Go judge yourself and eat vitamins and drink kale sweat. Bye!]

Kale sweat. My thirty-page rhyming couplet ode to my mother’s childhood pets. It starts off with a scream about nostalgia and ends with a longing for the good ole days. Arcs, people, arcs are what makes art work.

“Satanic Mafia” is going to be the title of one of my many books. It’s going to be a Christmas tale, about an animal rescue. The new title, after I get a mysterious email from the UN, will be Fluffy’s Last Stand Against the NWO, which will be a more friendly-seeming and sales-garnering title and attract a wider audience who will…Must stop torturing myself about imaginary books. Time for an imaginary hit off my imaginary crack pipe. Sometimes dreams are the only things you have left and sometimes those dreams are weird, man. Weird.

Okay, let’s end this on a positive note. +

No, just kidding. Oh, the House on Clark Boulevard has officially gone through that first round of editing. I know!! I just peed myself a little, too, in excitement and anticipation and hopeful hopes for a better tomorrow.

PS– the Orange Snowflake held its own pep rally yesterday, Saturday April 29th, because…yeah. Can’t someone send that poor Crusty Cheeto a Cheer the Fuck Up card? Maybe send him a basket of refugee children’s ears or a nice spiral cut ham? I can’t. I’m, like, totally busy, um, writing some goals down. Yeah. Goals. Mm.

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Clyde, in far better days. RIP, baby!
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65,966 rejections

 

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Well, don’t I feel special. Two rejections for my submitted something or other on the same day. Those pieces sucked anyway and I submitted them during the wrong phase of the moon and my energies were all wrong and I wasn’t being open to all the universe had to show me yet, of course. Life lessons or something to be learned here. Or that my writing sucks and nobody wants a thing to do with it. I’m a crappy writer who has delusions of grandeur. I should have gone into shoveling dead animals off the highway, at least I’d have enough cash to buy Christmas presents once in a while and some actual self-respect rattling around in whatever’s left of my soul. Which is poisonous thinking and I should pour some sugared sunshine posit-tronic thoughtjuice on that and smile through the pain and fake it until I make it. Wheeeee.

Yeah. Something like that.

I know we’re not supposed to admit a feeling of utter GODDAMN IT GODDAMN IT FUCK. That’s so…defeatist. No sense, none, not a single dropsicle of sense, needs to be wasted on getting upset, angry or in any way emotional over yet another rejection and another right after that and another, and yet another, oh look, another rejection form letter urging me to keep submitting; even though they enjoyed reading my work it was not suitable at this time for our needs. Maybe next time. Maybe next time. The two following little blurts are from actual rejections sent to moi. I have made them generic and every day to protect the guilty and the sadsacks alike.

Thanks again for sharing this. As always, there was a wide range of excellent responses to this image, but we received 262 poems in total, and the artist and I could each only pick one. Unfortunately we chose other work—check the [I’ll leave the name to your imaginations] this Tuesday and Thursday to read the two winners. [Subtext– come and read what a good poet wrote. Why don’t you try being a good poet so maybe your life will have meaning at last? That’s so not the subtext, brainworm. I should support other writers, so they’ll support me when I’m in the winner’s circle. And when will you get near that winner’s circle, o Ms. Crappola O’Crappy? ]

Thank you again for submitting your play, [ what does it matter? It lost. It doesn’t deserve a title.] We are finally gearing up for this year’s production of [when did I submit a play for this place? Oh yeah, back in September 2016], and while we enjoyed reading your play, we are unable to include it in the lineup.

UPDATE, as of May 5, 2017– just got one of my fave kinds of rejections. Where they tell you you did not win and then wax rhapsodic over the play that did win. Like, a giant bitchslap of just how much you sucked and that other play ROCKED THEIR UNIVERSE AND IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD, THE WHEEL AND THE INVENTION OF CATS. “We just thought you’d like to know you didn’t get selected.” End it there. I don’t need a revival-tent-ish testimonial to whatever did win. Fragile ego here, god damn it!! 

Now, I do have a sense of humor about rejections, I do. I laugh– ha ha-– and then try to remember that rejection is a part of life and it’s all about learning something and that when you get lemons, drink vodka and that when a door closes, you still have cheesecake. Except when the cheesecake is at the store so you spread peanut butter on stale crackers instead, which makes you feel like a total loser because a real winner, even when they didn’t get picked from a random herd of sweaty, earnest other writers, would have fucking cheesecake in their fucking house. Amen.

There’s not even those fake Dollar Store cheesy puffy things in the house that try to be Cheetos but fail so miserably it’s laughable. Ha ha. Maybe the universe can send me one of those “You’ve won five dollars” scratch-off lottery tickets [One I don’t actually have to buy. One I find out in the yard beneath the oak tree. I’m totally down for some miracles right now. Magically appearing, modest-winning scratch-off lottery ticket, I’m in!] before deluging me with rejection letters. I think that’s fair. Totally, like, fair and stuff. There’s no balance here, universe. None! It’s a lopsided smackfest! At least send some fake ass cardboard-esque Cheeto wannabe products my way if you’re gonna keep sending me multiple rejection notices every other day. Hello!!! HELLO!! Is this thing on??

Oh, P-freaking-S– I was gonna, like, take a break from this here bloggie for a bit due to needing some mental health days [like, um, you couldn’t tell or something that my mental health, like Elvis, has left the building], having life flu, and generally, planning a dance like nobody’s watching dance party marathon for one, but…yeah. I decided to vent like a pouty little volcano and spew feeble almost-ash into the indifferent air. whee

Oh– Goddamn it, France. Remember when Germany occupied you, ahem, during that thing we labeled WWII? Why are you trying to put an actual far-right fucknut on your French throne there? [I know it’s not a throne, I was being cutesy.] So the actual  right-now Germany can make movies about the noveau [neu– I hope that’s a somewhat correct German word for new. Again, I was trying to be cutesy.] French Resistance? Yeah, immigrants, Satan sent them. So maybe build a wall around France and then Satan can’t get in…oh wait, that’s America’s Bigly Planz.  Um…let me get back to ya, France. BRB.

How bad does it have to get before people…Fuck. Really bad. It has to get kill a bunch of people, mass graves, atrocities and breaking news reports read by serious-faced perfect-haired automatons bad and even then, it has to get more and more foul until we all magically remember we’re all better than that and this cannot stand and how can people do that to each other…I forget that we all forget and have to repeat everything a bazillion times to get anything through our goddamn thick heads. And then repeat it all again after that because nothing sticks in our goddamn collective thick heads. Never forget? We never remembered in the first goddamn fucking motherfucking goddamn place. Amen. I ended with this French stuff to remind myself that rejections suck but fascism sucks more. It’s all about perspective, fellow babies. Now I want cheesecake and Cheetos. Hello, power of suggestion.

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from Alchetron. The Sorrow and the Pity

 

 

 

Let’s Go to the Movies!

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Oh, gentle readers and assorted others– I was going to post something writer-ish and perhaps even share a bit of my latest little project! I really was! Instead I saw this list about movies…and felt, as in lots of feels, that I should, instead, fill in my choices for all the movie categories below. It was something I saw over on FB. If that’s even cool anymore to admit you go anywhere near FB. So!! Here ya go. It’s not scientific or artistic or of any merit whatsoever. So it will probably garner moi at least five likes and even a spam comments! Squeeee!!

Most Hated Movie: Drawing a blank here so I’ll put the Matrix. I really did not like the Matrix. I did not like it in a box, I did not like it with a fox.

Movie I Think Is Overrated: Avatar– Fern Gully did this way better and it was funnier.

Movie I Think Is Underrated: Fame– the 80’s movie about the artsy school, and if they remake this one, I’m going on a rampage. Wonder Boys– Michael Douglas and Toby Maguire. I can watch this one over and over. Why is this not a staple of TBS???

Movie I Love: Office Space. I believe you have my stapler? PC load letter. We need to talk about your TPS reports.

Movie I Secretly Love: okay, do not judge me. Don’t. These movies are my version of crack, meth, Oxycontin…Twilight. Yep. Twilight. If you doubt my sanity and have taken me off your list of future Serious Girl Writers, well, I don’t blame you in the least. I watch this movie with a hate-it/this is so oddly soothing back and forth going on in my head.

Favorite Action Movie: Captain Blood came to the forefront here. With Errol Flyn. The Run-Down, with the Rock and Christopher Walken. Okay, the Scorpion King, too. It’s fun and goofy. Um, [if you’re done judging me from the Twilight admittance] the Robin Hood with Kevin Costner. Because it’s fun and goofy and features Alan Rickman stealing the whole movie. Come on!! Thelma and freaking Louise, of course, of course. Jurassic Park.

Favorite Drama: The Color Purple. Like Water for Chocolate. A Room With a View. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Grapes of Wrath. A Streetcar Named Desire. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. An Officer and a Gentleman. Terms of Endearment. The Black Stallion. The Man From Snowy River. Where the Red Fern Grows. Old Yeller. Gladiator. Dante’s Peak.

Favorite Western: The Beguiled– why did they remake this?? Why?? Unforgiven. The Apple Dumpling Gang– does this count? It’s Disney, but it’s sorta a Western. The Ballad of Little Jo– about a woman who dressed as a man to survive in the Old West, based on a true story. The Quick and the Dead, Sharon Stone one. The Coen Brothers and their version of True Grit. [My dad likes the ‘real’ True Grit, by the way. If you don’t know that John Wayne also made a movie called True Grit, you’re probably watching too many foreign cat videos over on the youtubes.] Posse. Renegade with Vincent Cassel, because no one should never not watch a French guy in a Western. Dead Man– Johnny Depp does a fantastic turn in this dark, crystal clear black and white masterpiece from Jim Jarmusch.

Favorite Horror: Okay, here goes. Night of the Living Dead– the original one, not the remake, ugh a bug, stop remaking the classics, you fucksticks. The Exorcist– it still gives me the shivers. The Devil’s Backbone– a Spanish film that’s truly gorgeous and truly spooky. Halloween– the original because I don’t have to explain why, do I? Carrie– the Brian DePalma one, with Sissy Spacechick. Yes, I do want to see the musical based on Carrie, you bet your buckets of pig’s blood I do. An American Werewolf in London, want to watch that right now. Waxwork, both of them. Both!! The Company of Wolves– based on the Angela Carter stories, gorgeous and creepy and darkly sexual. Audition– one of the truly most frightening movies I’ve ever sat through. Drag Me to Hell– eerie and so well done with just shadows and sound effects mostly, rather old-fashioned for a Sam Raimi flick. Army of Darkness– this might be in the sci-fi category, but then again, maybe not. From Dusk till Dawn. Pitch Black. The Abominable Dr. Phibes– I have to drop everything and watch this when it comes on, just a hypnotic acid trip of a movie. I’ve never done acid, but…Holy crap, will stop there.

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Favorite Comedy: Arsenic and Old Lace. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer– with Paul Reubens and Rutger Hauer and some truly 90’s slangin’ going on. Harvey. Waiting for Guffman. The Princess Bride. Blazing Saddles. Young Frankenstein. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Run away, run away! Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The Birdcage. This is Spinal Tap. The Ref– seriously, this is Christmas with my family, or it seems like it. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. High Spirits. Dogma. The original Ghostbusters. Heathers. Best in Show. For Your Consideration.

Favorite Romance: It Happened One Night. Strictly Ballroom. Dr. Zhivago. Pride and Prejudice– I like any version of this, really. The Proposal. The Philadelphia Story. La Belle et la Bete– Beauty and the Beast, 1946. Bus Stop. Bringing Up Baby. Sense and Sensibility. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Out of Sight. Moonstruck. Penelope. The Holiday– this might come under guilty pleasure movies. House of the Flying Daggers– this might fall under action/adventure as well? The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Little Women– the one with Winona Ryder.

Favorite Shakespearean Movie: Twelfth Night. Midsummer Night’s Dream– with Kevin Kline. Much Ado About Nothing, with Emma Thompson.

Favorite Period Epic: Far and away, the Ten Commandments. Yul Brynner chewing scenery in that sexy manly skirt outfit, yes, please.

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Yul Brynner as so and so in Ten Commandments. 

Favorite Disney Movie: Darby O’Gill and the Little People. I watch this all year round, by the way. Just in case you were curious.

Favorite Science Fiction Movie: The Ice Pirates. [Go ahead, look this one up, I dare you not to wonder what happened in my life to make me list this movie in a public forum.] One I saw recently, Metropolis, a silent movie that they should show to those who think history isn’t important…The Terminator. E.T. The Road Warrior– still such a stunner of a movie. Pan’s Labyrinth. Labyrinth– David Bowie as the Goblin King!!! The Dark Crystal. The Beastmaster, with Marc Singer! If you have not seen that one or heard of it, honeychile, you need to go watch it ASAP. Eighties hair, animals, bad dialogue, oiled up heroes and villains. And standing around looking very helpless all the time ex-Charlie’s Angels eye candy. Go. I understand.

Favorite Animated Movie: Toy Story 2. How To Train Your Dragon. I still love Fantasia. Monsters, INC. Finding Nemo– that opening scene…! The first Land Before Time. Bambi. The Emperor’s New Groove.

Favorite Superhero Movie: Christopher Reeve as Superman, that first or second outing he had as the Man of Steel. [The glut of superhero movies lately have left me cold, clammy and indifferent to cookie cutter men in tights. Captain Ironman Spiderhulk Magnetic Batdude can suck it. I’m starting to hope a super-race of villainous vaginas attacks from outer space and turns all the superboring studs into those anal plugs morticians use. Is that so wrong? That was a bit mean. Maybe turn them into potted plants? That way they can brighten a room and give back to the environment.]

Favorite Musical Movie: Singin’ in the Rain. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Sound of Music [did you really think that one would not make a list of movies that I cobbled together???] Brigadoon. [Anything, basically, with Gene Kelly.] I enjoyed the soundtrack way more than the movie of Across the Universe. If that means anything.

Favorite Bad Movie: Um, ahem, [[twilight]] ahem. Oh– Beast of Yucca Flats. Night of the Lepus. Catwoman– omg, I can watch this one over and over and never get tired of watching Halle Berry awkwardly imitate a cat. Wow.

Childhood Favorite: Charlotte’s Web.

Favorite Franchise: Star Wars! I can’t recite the dimensions of the Millennium Falcon, so don’t ask me to.

 

Best Trilogy: LOTR.

Guilty Pleasure: Dodgeball. The Mummy, with Brendon Fraser. The Fast and the Furious movies…any of them. A Million Ways to Die in the West…I know, shh. The Patriot, with Jason Isaacs. Peter Pan, with Jason Isaacs. Basically, anything where Jason Isaacs shows up as the veddy British baddie. [Lucious Malfoy, you betcha.]

Favorite Movie so far this year: I did go see Beauty and the Beast. I did enjoy it.

Favorite Movie Of All Time: The Fisher King. I keep wanting to write an entire post about this movie.

Okay. Yep. I think you were supposed to keep it down to just one movie per category. Whoops.

My taste in movies is atrocious. So, probably, is yours. I’ve seen a lot of those films on those big important lists that AFI and such put out. I’ve also watched those movies everyone actually watches. As trying to get through some of those ‘important’ films just makes me want to slap puppies at times. But I persist and get through them and then feel really smart and important for the rest of the day. I tried to be honest and not just list those films that make me seem super-intellectual and esoterically out there. Films that would make me seem super-duper ‘artsy’. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the obscure, made in the twenties, silent, B/W, made with actual clowns and random people passing by, German Nouveau, Post-Plague, Pre-Finger-Painting, three-hour take on a dog’s journey to bury its bone in the rotted bosom of society itself.

 

Oh heck yeah, I will actually watch something along those lines with real wonder and astonishment. I’ll also sit through Dracula, Untold, and enjoy a guy turning into bats to fight the Turks.

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The Day of the Rabbit

 

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Chocolate Muscovy Duck and Netherland Dwarf-cross rabbit, Peter

Yes, moi is planning a stay at home all day and not mingle with the relatives be alone festival. Mostly because my ability to deal with people borders on cringing away in horror that other people actually exist outside my fevered brainlands. As said relatives, in a small town off the wilds of Boise [Idaho, for those who think I live in France or Canada, tee hee] have invited their relatives, who fill me with actual snarls. I have no wish to hear about how the lib’rals are blah blah blah and the paid protestors and…yeah. All of that swirling conspiracy crap spews from the various mouths and yours truly just wishes for that damn meteor of death already to hit. Boom. Gone. No more uncomfortable dinners with earnest little tape recorders.

 

I am a liberal in a very red part of my state/s. As this region here might as well be called Idaho-lite or Idahgon. But I won’t go into this, nope nope nope.

It’s the Day of the Rabbit. Where a magical rabbit hands out chocolate eggs to all the good children of the land and then there’s ham and springtime.

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I know what Easter is, thanks. Brought up a Lutheran. Did the whole nine yards. Jesus and I have agreed to see other people but we still keep in touch, to misquote from True Blood. Lafayette.

I’ve been rewatching that, which is why those particular words occurred to me in this context. Not so much watching it as it’s playing in the background as I write frothy somewhat happy morality tales about talking animals.

I still grind my teeth over humorless Bill, who should have been staked in the very first episode, and shrill Sookie, the helpless little houseplant. [They made her do stupid things so Beell could save her all the time, it got old freaking fast.] I still enjoy Eric and Pam, wishing the show had cut most of the other characters and centered the show around those two Fangtasia fantastics. I won’t do a True Blood run down, don’t worry. It’s Easter! It oddly seems appropriate on the Christian Day of Blood [yeah, I went there and if you’re offended, that means you’ll come back hoping to be offended again. Yay!]

Okay! Working on my Beastface Bay tales. I have about five done. The giant squids of Jesus, Teddy’s back story, Burt and Judy and their crime spree, Sean and Bean’s exodus from Froggy Pond, and oh, how Teddy got and lost a friend. Oh. That tale went into a dark but satisfying place. I didn’t wish to write that fate of that little fish, and I know full well I can unwrite it. I’ll read over my words and see if it ‘rings true’ or not.

Oh, there are no tales about any rabbits in my Wind in the Willows knockoff.

Well, there’s a baker rabbit in Driftwood who might be selling her seven daughters to the locals for, um, favors, but that’s just a rumor there in a small town. You know how small towns are!

 

Oh my, this started with my staying home by myself on Easter and ended with a weird reference to a mother rabbit pimping out her rabbit daughters. With a hasty sneer toward True Blood, which I hatewatch, apparently. I should probably edit this heavily and add some smiley face pictures. Well, back to writing! I’m about to dive into Captain Isaiah’s shipwreck while hauling slave horses back to Beastface Bay during the dark days when slavery was a thing. Have a nice day, Jesus.

PS– Night of the Lepus was on last night! I laughed, I cried, I laughed so hard  I cried. I just want to thank whomever over at TCM for deciding to run that truly so bad it’s good little gem right after the rather sweet Ernest Borgnine movie, the Rabbit Trap. [I was not out having sparkling conversations with sparkling poets, sorry. I was schlumped at home with the remote control and some tap water.]

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Honeyfuggle

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from the Rian Group. 

Goodness, gentle readers and assorted riffraff– yours truly truly did tackle the writing prompt I made up out of thin air for some vague sarcastic point in riptide. Lesbian giraffes attacked by a giant squid sent by Jesus. I imaginatively called it The Giant Squid and wrote it in an afternoon’s passing. A little over five thousand words. I made up this sort of coastal community peopled by animals acting like people, ala Zootopia and every other fucking animal-based whathaveyou where the animals talk. Wind  in the Willows, Watership Down, Duncton Wood, The Plague Dogs, Animal Farm, the Velveteen Rabbit, the Jungle Book, Redwall series, the Narnia Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web, James and the Giant Peach, the Last Unicorn, the Tale of Despereaux, Babe the Sheep-Pig, the Tale of Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Stuart Little, the Trumpet of the Swan…

Here’s the big reveal:

I LOVED WHAT I CAME UP WITH

It had an odd gentle fairy tale feel to it. I kept the sickening violence and adult language mostly to off-stage and not written into the tale at all levels. Yes, the squid does attack the elderly alcoholic zebra [you read that right] but the zebra dies of fright and shock and a heart attack. I just found all this…stuff pouring out of my suddenly revved up little brain and flowing out through the medium of my flying fingers. Words formed! Entire paragraphs bloomed! I smiled the whole time I composed! I wanted to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I grew to really like the voices that developed among my various characters, even the not so likable ones. I grew to completely SEE this little village of Deadlion’s End set right on Beastface Bay. A cozy little collection of houses and cottages! That there were other communities and settlements up and down this imaginary coastline of mine. Driftwood and Seagull’s Feather and Starling’s Wing and Froggy Pond and Deadlion’s End! That there were hidebound laws and traditions. That some were trying to change those laws and traditions. That it seemed this little world had been waiting for me to discover it. It seems all there, I just have to write about what I observe in my brain’s widescreen, featuring Dolby Surround sound,  inner movie theatre.

Even now, I want to dive back into this insular world. To explore it. See what pops up over in Froggy Pond, which is not so welcoming to visitors anymore, or if Teddy, the Irish Wolfhound, actually does have a litter of illegitimate puppies with a loose Labrador over in Furcape. Which is the nearest big city to Deadlion’s End or just the End as inhabitants along this coast of mine refer to it…

Now, I do have a second tale about the Beastface Bay-ites completed. About the mixed species couple that run the antique shop in Driftwood, just down the road from the End. It turned rather dark, but I am a rather dark writer most of the time, and it was also funny. What unfolded I just let unfold. I got out of the way of the story that wanted to be told. I called a whale Bluebell. I invented a sullen little feud between turtles and goldfish. I wanted to next tackle life in Froggy Pond, and why the two turtles fled its confines. I want to explore what happens to the one goldfish, Liam, that escaped the nighttime massacre of the fish pond he once dwelled in. I want Judy, the otter, and Burt, the weasel, exposed and yet I don’t want them caught for what they did, because that’s real life and people get away with all manner of stuff all the time, that’s real life. But these are talking animals living in houses and selling teapots for a living. So?? The creatures that live along Beastface Bay honeyfuggle me into telling their stories. They entice me. I am enticed.

The ideas are churning through my brain meat. I need to make notes and write down names. I need to map out relationships and who said what to whom. I need to write write write. Compulsion roils through me. It’s fantastic.

 

the riptides of rebellion and the salvation of savagery

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Alliteration aside…or not, that is up to you, toads of the post-modern landscape…this is going to be about me swinging back to JUST BEING ME.

I have lost my way. As a writer, as a human, as a human writer. I’m more focused on what can sell or does sell or doesn’t sell at all, fuck it god damn it fuck…than on actually writing stuff. Stuff and things. The things that catch my attention. Instead of focusing on market trends and just how much to blog and share and how to infiltrate writer’s groups and not come off as creepy or aggressive bitchy salesperson…I should instead glory in figuring out how a giant squid can devour an entire village of lesbian giraffes. [I made that up. I’m not actually working on a tale or play about a giant labial-ish squid, in the manner of Cthulhu, set to devour a village full of prickly quadrupeds who are full of the love that dare not speak its name. Mm. Mm!! I could call it–Jesus Sends a Squid, and then market it to fundie Christian markets. Or not.]

I need to stop trying to be commercial or whatever that is.  Stop being hesitant. Self-censoring. Hesitant.  JUST BE ME, MYSELF AND I, HELLO, SHUT THE DOOR, GET OUTTA HERE, DUH. Just fucking write. Stop worrying about how to sell it or market it or get it into the correct slot!  [Except realistically I can’t do that. I don’t have a trust fund. I’m not in a Hallmark movie. Reality never bothered me much before so why start actually facing shit now?]

Gosh, will this fit into the PG family-friendly horror category my publisher wants or more toward kitchen sink post-apocalyptic anti-modernist comedy stylings that seem to be trending right now?

No!!

Just write. Write. Let it splatter out like hot shit from a goose’s saucy backside. [As they poop a lot. A lot. As in they have lots and lots of poop and it splatters.] Stop caring about things like dragging in pennies every few years for something I’ve put out there! So what if my family has written me off as a good argument for an abortion. Just write.

If you don’t know already, I’m not talking to the collective you. I am ripping into myself in a sort of pep talk. I am trying to get some inner riptides to savage me. Yeah, I went there. I had to find a way to give that romance novel bodice ripper compound title up there some sort of legitimacy.  I’m trying to rip the scabs off and let the inner infected fluids fly out as they will. Splatter and splash as they will. Yippee kye aye!! Stop trying to be something you’re not, kiddo!! Stop trying to please everyone with your bowl of limp wilted lettuce offerings. Stop trying to produce prose that slinks apologetically about like a whipped canine. Get busy writing or take up sculpting!

Gol dang it, could you be any more precious and fragile?

I could be. Oh yes, I could be.

For those of you who might be confused, this is where I pretend I pretend I don’t actually have inner voices talking to me all day long. It’s cute. It’s probably getting stale by now. It has a whiff of cutesy stale crackers by now. Okay!

Well, don’t. End this buckaroo burbling and bumble off…BINT.

Funny. Bint. Ha ha. Urr urr urr. Too bad I can’t harness you to a wagon and turn you into cash.

What? Was that a crack about how we’re not pulling our weight?

Kinda. If the shoe fits.

Maybe you should try writing something people actually want to read. Try that! Why has that not occurred to you?

Like what? I am open to suggestions. Hit me. Power point me. Note card it and do a speech at the podium.

Are we actually having this fight in public for the one person who actually bothers to read this bumblesnatching burblefluff?

Why not? Posting my actual work seems to be a real snort-and-ignore.

A snore?? Bwha ha ha ha. Bwha ha ha. There’s more laughter coming at your expense. For the rest of the day.

Thanks, as always, for your non-help. You do realize we’re all in this together?

Hey, we can migrate to other brains and infest them any time we wish. We’re imaginary!! Maybe you should get back to being precious and writing creativity checks you can’t cash.

Oh fuck you.

That’s the spirit! You go, girl!! Go write something good for once. Don’t worry, you’ll get all tough and don’t-care and then come right back to wah wah wah can’t write can’t write wah wah wah!

That was just mean.

Oh we’re sorry. Do you want a donut? Hey…

I’ll end that there. Because why be self-indulgent when you can be off writing about a giant squid attacking a village full of talking same-sex giraffes?

PS– Hi. Hi there. It’s the day after this, um, we’ll call it a post and not a mental breakdown…Yours truly has, indeed, tackled the lesbian giraffe village attacked by a giant squid possibly sent by Jesus. Apparently, Sunday afternoons is when my short story gears grind into motion. I plan to clean said short story up and submit it. I might even do a series of tales about my beloved, now, to me only at the moment, characters from Deadlion’s End, who live along Beasthead Bay. Always Be Hustling. ABH.

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COME FOR THE PIE, STAY FOR THE DRAGON

 

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Oh, I totally lied, gentle readers. I’m not going to jump into my enduring love for Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King. Not right now, anyway. I’m teasing you,  for now, you–the collective three people that drop by once in a while to peruse whatever I’ve smeared and smushed into an incoherent blog post. Thank you all, by the way, for reading my posts. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now!!

I wrote this short story about a miniature dragon. I set it in one of Idaho’s actually truly historically famous towns–Idaho City. Which used to be the biggest city between St. Louis and Portland during the late 1800’s. Used to be. There was a gold boom in Idaho, and Idaho is now known as the Gem State. They have Famous Potatoes, but they’re actually the Gem State. Anyway!! Personal note: my aunt and uncle used to live up past Idaho City, up around Centerville, which might sound gigantic and Chicago-sized, well, it’s not. It’s teeny. As is Idaho City. We visited there a lot for holidays and otherwise, so yes, Idaho City and those gorgeous mountains do figure in my writing. Gold miners, murders, boom town, Native Americans, history of the real west…it’s like human nip to me. That’s cat nip, except for humans! Or maybe that’s just chocolate. Or coffee. Or fries drenched in gravy. Or homemade bread just out of the oven. Or tacos. Or. Or. Or.

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So I just imagined, being a writer, that’s kinda my job…a business owner with a surefire tourist attraction, a little dragon in a cage. A woman business owner, who has made the best of her situation and where she lives and what she has to work with. This is probably one of the favorite things of mine I’ve ever composed. I like how pragmatic and practical Jane is and I rather like how that dragon developed. I won’t post the whole story, as it’s close to eight thousand words…and hey, you can read it yourself in…wait for it….wait for it…OREGON GOTHIC!!! Which is available for purchase! And– if you can, go leave a review. Good, bad, indifferent, leave a review. I need to start asking folks to LEAVE A REVIEW. Apparently, word of mouth only works if there is actually, um, word of mouth.

Oh…even though my BOOK might be titled OREGON GOTHIC, it does include tales of a somewhat Idaho-laced Gothic nature as well. Because Eastern Oregon, where I am and Western Idaho happen to be hopelessly intermingled. Eastern Oregon is rather snidely referred to as part of Idaho. We’re even on Mountain Time here, instead of Pacific, like the rest of Oregon. You switch time zones when you go past Farewell Bend, up by Huntington, if you’re inclined to go investigate that. Snake River, Farewell Bend, Huntington.  Anyway!!!

And now!! An excerpt from COME FOR THE PIE, STAY FOR THE DRAGON, one of the tales included in the fabulous and awesome and wonderful and fabulously awesomely wonderful OREGON GOTHIC:

 

Along Idaho Highway 21, there’s a little mining and logging town called Idaho City. Well, once upon a time, about a hundred years or longer, it had mining and logging and the reputation of a real hot place to be any time of the week. Now, it’s more of a sedately dying tourist trap. But that’s for quite another tale. People do drugs here now and sell stuff to tourists passing through. There’s also skiing and snowmobiling during the winter months. It’s a busy little two-lane heading up into the Idaho mountains, that ole 21.

Now, Jane Spudman, she changed her name because of the tourist trade, her actual last name was something like Heinburg or Hindendammer, Jane ran a little diner and curio shop. The name over all this was, yes, The Spudster. It featured local game– elk and venison and pheasant, mostly– the famous Idaho potatoes, homemade pie and one caged, tiny, always depressed miniature dragon.

This combo diner and curio shop sat smack right on the highway, where one just had to jerk the wheel a little to arrive in the dirt parking lot. Jane had painted the outside a sedate pioneer white– the actual color on the paint cans had been Pioneer White. This had been obtained from a mark down sale at Home Depot, she told everyone. Jane hunted out bargains and mark downs the way others hunted fish. Her eyes would light up, her blood would race as she made her ten dollars, usually all she carried in cash, stretch to the utter limits. She even bargained at times if she had to. Americans don’t know how to haggle but Jane did. Well, Jane knew slightly how to haggle. She mostly just walked away if she got insulted enough. Where or how she had gotten that miniature dragon in the cage, she never said. It was her greatest secret, she often murmured, with a twinkle in her very German blue eyes. Her grandfather had spoken German and lived in Nebraska most of his life, Amherst, Nebraska– if Jane can be trusted. Her ancestors had come over right before the Civil War, she was the daughter of actually very acceptable immigrants. She often said she was not Irish. For some reason, she had a great loathing of Irish roots. Also, her far-distant German immigrant ancestors had not been slave-owners, which she was also proud of. Jane had a framed picture of some grim-looking folks who vaguely resembled her, wearing old-timey clothes, a black and white print, which she claimed was her relatives from the 1880’s. As Jane stood over six foot tall, with dyed black hair, and wore a Levi vest over a Boise Broncos t-shirt most days and Wrangler jeans over bright purple cowboy boots, well, there was really no telling if Jane had simply found this old picture and claimed it as her own. People did that when they worked with tourists for a living.

So, on a late fall day, with snow threatening at any moment, Jane put a freshly made coconut cream pie in her revolving pie and dessert case. There was also key lime, banana cream, lemon crunch, rhubarb, cherry, apple, huckleberry, chocolate silk and peanut butter. She changed the lineup of her pies to keep things interesting. Once in a while, she whipped up a cake, during those long winter months, to amuse herself. Cake just seemed more filling and right during January storms, she said. Her cook, Leanne, flipped burgers on the grill, her hair held back in a bun covered by a hairnet. A couple of hunters sat drinking coffee and waiting for their burgers and fries, and yes, pie. They wore the Day Glo vests of orange and also wore the camouflage pants that no deer or elk, of course, could see, ever. The deer were always fooled by the half-missing humans pointing bang sticks at them. One hunter was bald, the other was not. Others in the Spudster ate omelets and stacks of pancakes, as breakfast was served all day long. People liked breakfast all day long, Jane had never understood diners who only served eggs and toast and bacon to ten or so in the morning. Give the people what they want, they’ll pay you money for it, was her genial motto. Her waitress, [ and of course Jane had several waitresses on reserve with names like Becky and Susie], Cathy, who had dropped out of high school to give birth to a very much unwanted baby just last year, slopped coffee and topped up water glasses. She never smiled but she did manage to keep her snarl of a voice pleasant enough when at work. Nineteen and already used up and spit out by life. Cathy also said the dragon had come from Satan’s bedroom. Cathy had taken up Jesus big time since her life had gone to Shitsville for a possibly life-long stay. As Cathy didn’t bother the dragon or even go near it, Jane let it slide. As long as Cathy worked and slaved for pennies, what did it matter how Cathy thought the dragon had come from God’s arch-nemesis? It was more funny than threatening. And God knew laughs were needed to get through a day spent with tourists.

Jane went to the curio side of her business. Two children stared in at the sleeping dragon, which had two mottled bicolored wings– fog gray and grass green– curled along its sinewy back. The boy was about ten, with an upturned pig snout of a nose. The girl, a sister or even twin sister, was about the same age or just big for her years. They had reddish-orange hair, curly and rather repugnant. Jane had no urge to pat their heads nor did she honestly find them adorable. They were not. But she put on her pleasant face, and busied herself near the shelf of antique dishes. The dragon slumbered on. There were faded scars on its shoulders and the long, horse-like face where it had tried to bust itself out of its jail. Jane had placed the cage, five feet by five feet, on a pedestal and had roped off the area around it so no one could poke at or hurt the dragon. It was, after all, about a foot long, maybe longer. Men judged everything on inches, she did not. She had no wish to see her big draw taken out by a careless or malicious tourist, and truth be told, tourists were both most of the time. People traveled out of their home towns and turned into bona fide turds. She herself experienced this the further she got from Idaho’s borders. On the rare instances Jane did manage to drive or fly anywhere, her impulses went from kindly and polite to unkindly and impolite. She pushed and shoved and demanded with the best of them. Once in O’Hare, she had shoved an old lady to get on a tiny plane headed back to Boise. It had been a supreme act of arrogance and meanness. And so satisfactory!

“It’s not a real dragon,” the boy said, looking at Jane like one might look at a math problem one didn’t want to do, with loathing and exasperation and disbelief. The girl clicked her tongue, making a tuk-tuk-tuk noise. What had they been doing in here unsupervised? Oh dear.

“I assure you, it is.” Jane moved her carnival glass up to eye level. Cathy served the hunters their burgers and fries. She had even more zits clustered around her mouth than usual today. A good healthy dose of self-esteem and Dove soap might help. Cathy also needed a winning Powerball ticket, and a trip to some bountiful future where poor stupid girls became rich intelligent women.” You two from around here?”

They were not. Jane knew just about everybody who crouched, lived, squatted and rented around these parts. These two goblins masquerading as children were not local spawn. “Pasadena. The good part. We ain’t from this fucking shithole. We’re from California. God!” The girl said.” It’s not a real dragon. It’s an iguana. Or a Komodo Dragon. I watch a lot of reptile shows. I know reptiles.”

“Yeah. A fucking iguana. This is lame.” The boy added, giant shallow eyes raking over the curio side of the diner with absolute disgust. The dragon in the iron cage opened one sky blue eye. The girl stepped back, barely avoiding a jet of tiny black-tinged flame. The boy hooted like a sick owl. “What the hell!”

“It’s not an iguana,” Jane reiterated gently. The no-trespassing space about the dragon was both to protect the little animal and to protect tourists and locals alike. It spat fire now and then. She had been burned rather badly during a careless moment passing too close. That burn, on her left forearm, had taken almost a year to heal. The doctor had had to graft skin from her thigh to close up the nickel-sized hole. Jane had not been careless like that since. The dragon hated her with all its tiny might. It never grew tame or compliant. But. It drew in customers and customers paid the bills. And very few people these days in Idaho City could actually pay their bills.

“It’s a trick, a dirty old trick.” The girl said, quite determined to prove an actual dragon just an ordinary lizard which someone had rigged with fire-breathing abilities. “Come on, Walter. Let’s go get some pie. Stepmonster said we could have some if we behaved.”

Walter, the boy, the goblin in disguise as a boy, all children were actually goblins in disguise, sniffed, wiped his nose on his sleeve. “I thought dad said no.”

“Dad can suck it,” the unnamed girl said without a look at Jane. But the blue-eyed dragon got a glare, which it returned with interest. Jane smiled her vague, of course I’m happy to be here with you smile. The dragon was due for a mouse. It ate them from the tail to the head. Tortured them as it ate them. But. It was the only food Jane could get the miniature monster to eat. She had tried lettuce, seeds, nuts of every kind including the expensive macadamia. She had tried hamburger and pork sausage, both raw and cooked versions. Chicken, too. The dragon had allowed itself to be fed a mouse now and then. A live mouse or at times, if the dragon was hungry enough, a dead one from a trap. Its hide, a smooth furless hide, would ripple and change color when it was hungry. From the normal dull gray-green to bright poisonous lime and bright black. She knew then that it would accept any mouse in any condition when its body looked like a tennis ball intersected with bright black bands. Minus the fuzzy roundness, as it was a lean little monster, with its ribs clearly marked, the hollows of its long face marked and immediate. It was also unnervingly silent. It just watched. It just observed. When she cleaned the cage, she had to put the dragon into a gunny sack full of nails. The dragon had to be handled with falconer gloves and placed into the gunny sack. Full of nails. Little iron nails. The dragon would not move. And she very carefully placed a bucket over this. The dragon had tried, once, to escape, even though touching the nails had clearly hurt it severely. It had panted and moved about and shuddered for days after. And licked the raw places the iron nails had touched, looking at Jane with real understanding that it was Jane and Jane alone who had caused all this misery. Some sort of allergy, had to be. As she herself had an allergic reaction to metals, she had a faint sympathy for her tourist draw. Her ears grew into bright red, pus-filled horrors if she wore earrings. She had tried three times to have pierced ears. Same result every time.

Of course other places had tigers and bears and alligators for draws. Or some sort of sideshow. She had heard of a small hole in the road somewhere in the wilds of the Cascades, somewhere in Oregon, where they kept a naked two-headed boy on a chain. And the tourists could pay money to watch this two-headed naked boy being fed rats. Or chickens. Sort of a messed up version of the circus geek, usually a male who had bitten the heads off live animals for people’s amusement. As people were highly amused by watching cruelty and observing freaks. Always had been. Always would be, no matter the clime of political correctness.

The two goblins disguised as children went back to their table where their parents, two ordinary pinkish sorts, were slurping down chicken fried steaks and talking about leaving their awful offspring somewhere for others to raise. Or so Jane imagined. She liked to amuse herself imagining rather terrible things about her customers. It helped her deal with their demands and impossible arrogances. It helped her deal with their disbelief that an actual tiny dragon existed, let alone existed in a cage in Idaho City, Idaho, Boise County, United States of America. She considered such dark fantasies harmless and was very good at wiping her face clear of any actual emotion or reaction she might have felt toward anyone.

It was that night that the dragon disappeared.

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