CROW PIE

 

 

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by Jude Collins

 

Welp. Yours truly got picked for that monthly poetry contest…not days after writing a bad unicorn poem. No, seer-eeee-us-lee! [Say that with a Valley Girl accent, m’kay?] The universe, man, it never gets tired of being the universe. My Mint in Pots piece, written for the August rush, got tapped. That little poetic ass got tapped hard. That’s for the prurient-minded.

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I feel like September handed me some gifts and I is not properly grateful. Which affects my grammar and balance! So. THANKS SEPTEMBER. I will sing and dance and shake  my moneymaker for your enjoyment later today.  Slurpy kisses and too-long, slightly moist hugs sent your way, dear September. 

The crust, for my CROW PIE, will be flaky yet dense. The crow is yet complaining it’s stuffed in a pie and the oven is broken. But damn, that pie will be consumed, hallelujah. 

 

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——–> Oh!! GO GET MY BOOKS. I have books now, for sale.  THE HOUSE ON CLARK BOULEVARD. OREGON GOTHIC. <—————–

Go and mock me in a review, you know you want to. Or do an actual review.

Write– it’s got a nice beat and you can dance to it, four stars.

I dare someone to do that. If they do, I’ll…yeah, I’ll do something funky and mildly public.

Oh and some more crow pie to consume, while I’m being brutally honest…I fell and watched AHS last night. But!!! It was all the crazy Milo-wannabe [Koi Fish] slouching around like some third-rate Bond villain with bad hair and almost none of Sorethroaty! I really don’t think an American voter would cut their arm off to cast a vote for a president. We’d cut our arm off to vote for dancing or singing, sure! But a president or some other politician? It’s so cute when the writers on AHS get so idealistic! Cute, I tell ya. Cute!

Trigger Warning: Depictions of harmless pumpkins as country-destroying fuckballs of malice.

I also love, complete and total subject swing here, so hold on…how people are suddenly so PATRIOTIC. Especially when NFL players take a knee or link arms to protest police violence and racism and a host of other societal ills that are Making America Sick as Usual. MASU! And Pumpkincunt jumped into this fight with both feet in his dick-shaped mouth. If yer a red-blooded ‘murican, you’re ballz deep in this here fight already and knows allz abouts it. If you’re, say, Euro-other-country-not-Europe…well, you have your own worries with Sharia Law being enacted there and immigrants taking your good women and your bad jobs and making you all speak Spanish or something.

Oh and the latest attempts at making sure poor people just die as horribly as possible did not get a vote in the Senate or something. But like Freddy, Jason and those Alien critters, it will probably come back for many, many, many sequels…cause some rich people sure do hate poor people buying insulin and birth control or somethin’.

But did you see the Voice last night?? Jennifer Hudson is gonna be a HOOT. Adam and Blake are the cutest! Miley is a goddess! If you don’t vote, those singers might have to go back to waitressing and being poor and not having health insurance. God damn it!! Do you want that on your head???

Oh, also, Puerto Rico, pretty much destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Being ignored in favor of tweeting insults at…sigh. 

To sum up: right after I wrote a snarky poem, a somewhat okay poem of mine got selected. Crow pie for moi.

I fell and watched AHS, sigh!

I took two careless seconds to address both rampant racism and the truly ghastly health care system in my country.

I also included a PLUG FOR MY BOOKS, House on Clark Boulevard and Oregon Gothic. I begged, shamelessly so, for reviews and purchases of said books. I’ve tried cutesy, I’ve tried serious, so now I’m just tryin’.

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Oregon Gothic country. The Owyhees

 

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My Book!! Yay!

 

 

 

 

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Howdy. Hello there. No, I’m not taking on either movies or television today, dear readers, friends, passerbys and assorted other nice people. I am in full promote mode! Oh yes!! I will be a shameless barker of my works, because who else is going to champion said works?? Exactly!! 

It’s been available for a bit as an e-book. And you can also get THE HOUSE ON CLARK BOULEVARD in paperback!!  

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075KNFHDJ

Oh and also, go get my Oregon Gothic!! 

 

 

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The actual Clark BLVD. 

Oh. And if you can or want to or have a serious need, go review my book/s. Why be coy, eh, dearies? Why indeedy…

AHS: SEPTEMBER CLOWNS

 

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My first run at this ran into the lots of words count and seemed more about Hot Scottish Guy on Outlander and rehashes of all the AHS seasons. That Hot Scottish Guy on Outlander, by the way, starred in one of my all-time favorite Hallmark Christmas confections called a Princess for Christmas.  He played the brother of Our Heroine’s dead brother-in-law. She, wait for it, falls in love with him because it’s Hallmark. What else are they gonna do in a Christmas movie set in an actual castle? Team up and fight Dracula and #TeamTransylvania? Oh and a James Bond was in it, too! Roger Moore! Score!

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I will restrict my remarks to the CURRENT two episodes of AHS I’ve managed to cringe-watch. No, not a OMG IS THIS SCARY SHIT HOWDY cringe-watching but a OMG THIS IS CRAP ON TOAST SHIT HOWDY cringe-watching. Oh it’s bad, it’s just so very bad.

And not in a good way. It’s not a show so bad you have to watch it because you’re so entertained by how bad it is. Like, oh, Preacher. Which, also, has lost me as a viewer because it has no discernible story, attempt at story or story. If there’s one, I’ve missed it entirely. [Violence begets Jesus turning into a hooker is the nearest I can get to a story line here.] Whee…maybe there’s a blog post here as well. Mmm…

Shoot! Back to Sorethroaty and AHS:Cult.

I get sucked into the AHS promotion machine. The previews always look so sexy-scary, right? This year– dripping honey-colored semen and bees! BEES!. Sexy sexy bees. Scary bees and clowns and honey-tinged horror fluids! Argh! Sign me up!

Except. Ah. Monkey never learns.

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Vanity Fair. Sarah Paulson in AHS Cult. Scream, baby, scream. No, wait, don’t. 

I hate the Sarah Paulson character, AKA “Sorethroaty”, five seconds in. With a hate that’s probably never going to end. I had a very graphic death mapped out for her character involving Koi Fish’s medieval penis guard and the walkers from Walking Dead [with Daryl and his crossbow doing a walk-by cameo for no reason at all] but this is a family values blog so I’ll just hint of such things and let you fill in the blanks. Koi Fish is my nickname for whatever KKK-flavored Milo wannabe Evan Peters was told to embody in a cloud of rancid meat farts and Axe Body Spray posturings for the ‘woke’ crowd that still defend their protest Jill Stein votes. [Or the, just fuck me running here, BernieBros. I just hate everyone right now, geez. Ugh!]

Yep, I developed an unending, Satan-flavored rage-hate for Sorethroaty’s shenanigans about five seconds in.

That’s some wicked hate, to quote from someone. Agatha or Alba or Alli-Lu or whatever! is a Johnny One-Note here and boy oh boy…does it get old in about, oh, five seconds. Scream, scream, cry cry, there’s a clown, why does no one see the clowns, scream, scream, cry cry, I protest voted for Jill Stein because I didn’t trust Hilary, scream scream cry cry, there’s a clown, no one believes me, something about tiny holes, scream scream, cry cry, clowns are everywhere yet no one sees them but me, scream scream cry cry, I’m afraid yet woke, scream scream cry cry…

Oh. Now try two episodes of that, dearies. Two hours spent ‘watching’ Sorethroaty cry and scream and see clowns and BECOME THE THING SHE FEARS and…Wow, is that my melting brain tissue sliding down that wall because my head just exploded? Yes, yes, it is.

There’s a valuable lesson, for me, here. Repeating–without moving the story forward a bit, is just…repeating. It annoys the audience or reader. Don’t do that. Here endeth the lesson.

Also, if you’re going to write a character this repulsive, she or he has to have LEVELS. I had, earlier, gone with a cup of ‘redeeming qualities’ for my recipe for Character Pie but…fuck. Why? Why do characters have to be redeemable? They don’t. They just have to be entertaining! The anti-hero, yummy! Here endeth another lesson, fellow babies. I love learnin’!

There has to be something that compels us, the audience, to want to tune back in to endure all that HYSTERICAL FUCKNUTTERY. If we get surprised, for instance. If this character heads toward a le petit mort of a story ending that’s an actual bang, we’re there. We’ll endure the screamy shenigans with a blissful smile! If it’s all sound and fury, as AHS has produced nearly every fricking season, then, I’m afraid, my patience is done gone. Done gone is code for done gone, btw, #LOLIdioms

You wonder, also, why Sorethroaty’s apparently TOTALLY NORMAL wife, yep, wife…AHS never misses a chance to be ‘edgy’… You wonder why the SuperLesbian with the Short Sporty Haircut stays with Sorethroaty. Superlesbian Ermengarde [not her name, it might be Emma or Emily or Embeth or Emma the Wonder Goat] stays out of…loyalty? I’m not sure right now. The current political climate makes them afraid to break up? Oooh…ugh. Also, Sorethroaty has a therapist and takes pills…uh, that doesn’t put a mighty dent in their single income? Wow. Did Murphy and company just not get around to hammering the health care shit onto the AHS Wall of Horrors yet?

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from Favim. Twisty the Clown from AHS

I had a near page on Outlander’s Frank. I’ll sum that up with– go watch Outlander to observe for yourself how to take what could have been a truly repulsive character and how those writers and the actor involved, Tobias Menzies, turned Frank, Clare’s modern day husband, into an actual messy human we both root for and against at the same time. He’s not Hot Scottish Guy, but he’s also not Monster Asshole Supreme or Saint We’d Like to Cheerfully Vivisect. That’s hard to do. Well done, Outlander.

What does the above have to do with Paulson’s godawful travesty of a character over on AHS? Probably not much. Maybe episode three will have her character develop…oh fuck me.

I just can’t. I just can’t hope and wish through ANOTHER SEASON of AHS, waiting for it to ‘get good’. It never does.

I’ve seen better storytelling on WWE. My dog can tell better scary stories about American life. [And she’s a dog.]

Now, granted, I was titillated and understandably moistly elated at AHS taking a swing at the current Political Unholy Hellscape or for the ‘other side’–LOL Libtards, Cry Me a River. Pumpkincunt’s influence and pall over life on Planet Amerikkka seems a tasty GMO-grown, gluten-rich, corn syrup-infused Candy Corn wonderland to explore. The wounds, after all, remain fresh and ripped open right now. Just today, Pumpie tweeted a doctored video of itself bashing Hilary with a golf ball. Yeah, it just WUVS the pussies, you betcha.

I’ll sum up a whole page I had on the clowns and the neighbors not seeing said clowns. WRONG. FAKE NEWS. Yeah, those surburban sardine smasharoonies…people see all, they just ignore a lot. Someone else will deal with it– that’s the actual motto of America’s heartland, urban ghettos, walled communities and rural escapes. It’s always someone else’s turn to change the diapers, so to speak.

But, more episodes spent hating myself because I didn’t have the strength of mind to resist the AHS propaganda machine…might lead to me writing even more blog posts on AHS and nobody wants that. Nobody!

To the clowns of September, buh bye. Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya. Are clowns the new zombies? Can we go back to sparkly vampires?

 

There’s a clown in my movie, a review of It.

 

 

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from IMDb. Sophia Lillis as Beverly in It. 

Yours truly took herself to the movies this week. I saw It, the horror film based on Stephen King’s gigantic, sprawling ode to childhood and some other stuff.

I promise not to give away the ending. Those seven kids walk through this closet and have to fight Aslan for ultimate control of Narnia. Whoops.

Okay, if you’re a Steve King fan, you’ve read this novel and have probably seen the television miniseries with Tim freaking Curry as Pennywise.

 

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from Cinemablend. Tim Curry as Pennywise

Good for you! I, too, have both read and seen those. I’ve read It more than once. Because I compulsively read books over and over. Now you know something about me.

So!! This new adaptation. Or remake. Or gritty reboot. Mm. Ahem.

From the opening scenes of Georgie, little brother to Bill, the MAIN CHARACTER, and the paper boat racing along the flood of destiny, we’re SUCKED IN to this world seen from mostly the children’s POV. The cussing, the kid subjects they find fascinating, the fearlessness, the camaraderie in the face of absolute evil…! The grownups seem misty and surreal, which works here. We kind of get why a kid in a rainstorm would talk to a flipping CLOWN in a drain.

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from the Telegraph. Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.  Would you go within a thousand miles of this thing? Mm? 

 

I don’t get it, however, because I find clowns fucking scary. They freak me out. I’d never…okay. Which is a problem I had with It, the novel and It, the subsequent visual realizations of said novel.

The clown.

It’s too on the nose scary in the 2017 film version. It’s obvious. Too obvious, for my esoteric tastes. It starts off as OMG SCARY SAVE ME BABY JESUS and there’s nowhere to go from there. It’s rather static. You can’t keep pissing your pants if you piss them right at the start of the movie, to be blunt and gross. Other reviewers and wiseacres have also mentioned the problems with the clown. It’s not just me.

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from Pinterest. This is the clown they should have gone with. This is a clown kids would take a balloon from…

And…every time Pennywise sticks around longer than ten seconds, we see the zipper up the back of the costume, to quote from King’s Danse Macabre. Which is a shout-out to those old, creaky monster movies from the Atomic Age. Godzilla to Them! to the Mole People. If you have no idea what any of those three things mentioned are…JUST GO AWAY. Ser’sly. Buh bye. Go watch Memento again, you squirrelly assmunch. Yeah, I’m a wee bit hostile.

I’m aware that It, the clown critter, is mostly CGI. It’s neato. Pennywise is far more frightening when it’s just that Skarsgard dude in clown makeup…that is one talented family.

But what I’m ACTUALLY wondering is how that damn clown fools any of those kids into following it anywhere or why a kid would let that thing close enough to grab him or her or them…after all, predators of children are not the scary monsters that Pennywise is. Side note– most kids get molested or harmed or killed by someone they know. We can’t teach Grandpa Danger, after all…

Kids are totally into monsters and avoiding them, after all. It’s called being a kid. Imagination plus knowing, without a doubt, that that shadow in the closet waits until you’re asleep before it stands over you, breathing. Breathing. As the novel does get into– kids have absolute faith. That moment in the novel King penned where young Stan screams the names of birds to banish the monster into the shadows again and it works. That’s the power of faith manifested through a child’s absolute belief that the right words will make the bad stuff go away. Abracadabra.

Where is the seduction from Pennywise? We don’t see it. It doesn’t exist. I was thinking, how stupid are those Maine schoolkids to fall for that obvious craptoad Pennywise? I haven’t read the book for a while, so forgive me for this. But I REMEMBER the clown/It being far more subtle. It didn’t start out at TEN, it began working on victims further down the scale, more at a two or three level. That clown [the creature that inhabits Derry, Maine] had fun with its victims, it didn’t go for the jugular right away like a rabid weasel. At least, that’s what I remember.

Now, granted, the year/s this all took place got upgraded to the late nineties. We went from the fifties in the original book to the time of Bill Clinton and the Backstreet Boys.

There’s a cute little flirty thing in the movie involving Beverly, resident perceived slutchild, and Ben, resident fatboy, about the Backstreet Boys. Or maybe it was New Kids on the Block or…ugh. It was genuinely something kids would do. It’s little moments like that that actually make this film a far better country that it has a right to be. Those little interactions that seem to rise naturally and organically from the story and surroundings…I know, shh. I’m being a pretentious snickerdoodle. Okay.

Oh, the Losers Club is made up of the stereotypical losers from any random school/small town. The nerds, the geeks, the fat kid, the kid that doesn’t fit in, the differently colored kid, the girl everyone thinks enjoys gang bangs, the four-eyed unfortunate sons of genetics gone wrong, the sickly, the weak, the losers. And, of course, they’re all great kids who contribute in some way to HOW TO FIGHT THE MONSTER. The leader, the builder, the navigator, the…these kids could build dams, do research, make connections Sherlock Holmes would have made…!

At least, in the book they were presented as such. I kinda wish more of their talents and gifts had been included in the movie, so as to show why these normal kids could face down an ancient monster clown thingie. There’s bits and pieces but still. It’s rather like the complaint about the magic weapons in LOTR. How come, like, three people can fight off the gazillions of orcs and goblins? It was all laid out in the books but not so much in the movies…okay.

Oh. So. The other MAIN OBJECTION I formed to this film was…the last part of it. Where an ugly little Scary Movie Staple raised its Ugly Little Head.

That would be Woman in Peril.

[the following contains slight spoilers!!]

I’m sitting there, enjoying this movie, wondering why those various other kids follow that damn clown to their doom and did I miss the part where maybe It is using hypnosis or some other machination when…the only girl, Beverly Marsh, in the Band of Losers…gets treated to the ace of Girlcrap in the Scary Movie Deck of Bullshit Cards. Fuck me running!

Beverly, newly on her period, the focus of several cute-ish crushes from her new collection of friends, gets to be an actual fighter and smartie pants for most of the movie. She’s a tough cookie, she smokes, she wallops the bejesus out of…yeah. Just as she was in the book…ahem. And then, yeah. She has this epic fight in her apartment– I won’t go into it because SPOILERS– and the outcome is…SHE’S JUST ANOTHER VICTIM who needs SAVING by the Losers, all boys except for her!!!! who UNITE after a fight amongst themselves…to maybe SAVE BEVERLY FROM THE BAD CLOWN.

Fuck. No, just no. I about came out of my skin. Good day, I tell ya, good day!

I was disappointed with the downswing this movie seemed to take with Beverly’s direction/purpose/character arc. I expected more. It also seemed that third act/building to the showdown seemed…voted on by a committee of advertising reps trying to sell Summer’s Eve products. I expect such woman-in-peril shenanigans from every other horror/thriller/indie/art house/whatever movie on the planet but…sometimes you dream big. You hope gigantically that, maybe this time…it will be different. 

There’s also a passage in the book that troubles many, including me. If you already know what that is, well, let’s just say…eh, Steve? What the Cheez Doodles? If you don’t know, go read the book because that passage gets left out…yeah. It’s where they’re in the kid phase of life yet, are disoriented in those sewer tunnels and…! Ahem. But it involved the only girl and it was…iffy. That’s as polite as I can get.

So, yeah, I do recommend this movie. So few actual good solid horror movies float to that swamp’s surface. The horror movies dreckfest swamp, located somewhere between Plan 9 From Outer Space and Annabelle, The Doll That Never Gains Weight. Or whatever the newest Annabelle movie is. What floats to the top would be the original Exorcist, the original Night of the Living Dead and Audition, for instance. Your list will be different than my list of what a ‘good’ horror film is. And that’s okay. For now.

It, the film, the movie, the entertainment juggernaut, has flaws. The clown is too on the nose, for my tastes and the descent into WOMEN IN HORROR FILMS same ole same ole treatment presents some major head-scratching from moi. But it also inspires me to write better heroines who can save themselves. Wootie woot.

 

To conclude, It was a fine, eh, flawed, eh, goddamn clowns don’t need to be scarier, you fucknuts…entry in the horror field. The previews sucked balls, except for the Stars Wars one. [Shut UP.]

Oh and stop turning women in horror films into damsels in distress, for the love of unicorns and manatees. I don’t care if you couldn’t think of a better third act. Jesus said, in the Gospels, do not fall back on tired Damsel in Distress mode when thou writeth a screenplay involving clowns.

It’s in the new, updated Bible. The one Conservadepia is not working on, by the way.

Here endeth my scholarly film dissection.

Oh, I’m going to write next about AHS:Clowns Fuck In My Supermarket and All I Can Do Is Scream. Which the producers shortened to Cult. It won’t be as long as my It novella.

An Afterthought– nope, not gonna apologize for another post. Nope nope nope!  #NotSorry #ClownsRTheNuZombies

 

The budding, grinning, drooling poet wannabe

 

 

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I know I’m posting too much this week. I know this. Whatever, lol, #MyBlogGetYourOwn

So!! As one or two of you might remember, there’s this monthly poetry contest where ‘they’ post an art-esque photo and you, the budding, grinning, drooling poet wannabe, write something in response to said photo.

This month’s proved a head-scratchin’ puzzler of an enigma wrapped in an elitist riddle. Trust me on this. It’s some random graffiti seen through a busted car window. Beige graffiti, at that. Such as an alt-right [I can be coy, too] troublemaker might do to make those fighting fascism look icky. There were no pretty roads under a summer sky to spark creativity and joy juices, nope! Or oddly drawn people looking vaguely sad, nope! Or soul-crushing stick figures performing happy dances over the bones of their ancestors, nope!

I’m supposed to make ‘art’ from that photo op.

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Not the artsy pic of the month. I repeat, not the artsy pic of the month.

 

Yeah, so, I did.

I wrote a poem about unicorns.

I sent off the first draft. I didn’t correct a word. I let it be. I let it plop from my inner art anus and flushed it into the toilet of submissions.

At times, I must burn like a rebellious little Dollar Store candle against the dying of my own light.

I also, in the cover letter/bio portion of my submission…wrote that the poem came by way of a mating between Charles Bukowski and Rod McKuen. Which was funny to me. Which is code for: even if you don’t laugh at how acutely funny I am, I’ve covered my tracks and covered my ass here. I also ended Mr. Blue’s Blues with a meme of a muscled, bearded guy in rainbow pants, who wears a unicorn hood. Because that picture CHEERS ME UP. I feel actual cheer. Someone went out in public in a getup normally reserved for furry meets clown meets private Republican golden showers play. [Which is funny to me. CYA, fellow babies]

 

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Bukowski! McKuen! It’s brilliant! I’m getting ‘poet’ tattooed on my dog now. So I can blame the dog when my brilliant, subversive, woke poem does not set the world on fire so much as get rejected in a polite, stiff form letter next month. It just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter…to quote from Meatballs.

 

 

Now. Hurricanes, wildfires, Pumpkincunt and its collection of servile minions…are the subtext of that poem below. CYA, babies, CYA. Because writing directly about such things coalesces into something rather like a giant block of FUCKING FUCKETY FUCK stuck on repeat into the four thousand word arena and ends with a picture of a daisy. So. 

With that build-up…HERE’S THE POEM!

MY UNICORN FANTASY

September brings us to rainbows and storms
and rain in the faces of impatient lovers
screaming as they smash worms
with their toes.

Dead worms and the juice of lovers,
no differences found.

A unicorn smashes a car window
with that phallic twisty horn
after writing coded graffiti
on the skins of hookers
called wives and girlfriends.

Julia called, she wants her boots back,
said Pam, before retweeting
a picture of a pretty horse
standing in a field.
Oh we’re broken up lol,
continues Pam.
I love horses, says Pam.
I love horses more than your
unicorn ass.

September brings
graffiti and rainbows.
Life is only for the positive
and happy-minded
could be the other take.
Julia wants her boots back
could have been
a wrong message.
Sadness floats by
like a drowning puppy
in a hurricane
they all said was faked
by the liberal Hollywood agenda.

Another broken window
and the happy unicorn
writes pornographic insults
because laughter
is better than modern medicine.

 

 

JUST TO HAVE A BIT OF CLOSURE– MY UNICORN POEM DID NOT SET THE POETICAL CHOOSERS ON FIRE, I’M AFRAID. It fizzled out like a wet fart in the winds of somewhere. I must live to drool another day. 

 

 

 

Mr. Blue’s Blues

 

 

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from Dreamtime.

PART ONE:

Oh I wrote a rambling, first draft, ode to my ‘villain’. I did, I did. I got into how women are portrayed in horror films and scary books. Which in fact does color House on Clark Boulevard’s Nancy.

But.

I’ll try again and try to keep my viciously messy thoughts viciously focused on viciously vicious Mr. Blue. All those sibilants! Oh and a bit more about Nancy! Go #TeamNancy!

PART TWO:

I wrote HOCB after a pretty awful summer. Just take my word for it. I just sat at my battered ancient PC and wrote. No outline, no idea where this one was going. Just that rather pedestrian title and not much more than a need to drown out the real world.

I let the words form into somewhat coherent sentences, paragraphs and entire pages as they wished. A young wife and mother, in the seventies, dealing with ghosts. I didn’t try to burn the world down with my prose. [God forbid.] I just wrote. If you’re a writer, you get that. Sometimes you just write.

You’re not trying to make a point or come up with themes or miffed about the economic realities of eighteen year olds…you’re just writing. The same as when you’re just breathing, it’s just breathing.

Nancy, a’course, is based somewhat [like, totally] on my own mother. Who would no more have run about screaming in headless chicken fashion over a ghost than not make gravy from a roast. I borrowed that pragmatic, can-do, actual pioneer spirit– my great-grandmother traveled to the West in an actual covered wagon…and gave it to my heroine/main character Nancy.

However…I became infected with the notion that Nancy needs a Loki. I had another rant in my first draft of Mr. Blue’s Blues about how villains are more charismatic and fully fleshed characters than heroes, hence the Loki reference.

After all, she can’t spend X amount of pages vacuuming, cooking turkeys–there are two holidays at the end of the American year– Turkey Day and Presents!– and trying to get her youngest to use the toilet like daddy does, all while sort of ignoring the little and large ghosties bothering her and trying to get her attention. [I’d totally read a novel like that, but I am a unique snowflake!]

PART THREE:

So, Mr. Blue crept into my narrative.

That name just strolled from my artistic shadows and took an opening bow. Mr. Blue. Who was he and why was Nancy more concerned about this cat than the tea party little girl ghost or the rolling things or the floating eyes? I find that asking myself questions helps stumble the story forward a bit toward some vague end. Yay!

I offered no origin story. There isn’t one. It was not important to the story. Mostly because, gulp. Actual author confession here– I don’t know what it is yet. I have an idea and no, he’s not a ghost or some remnant from some murder or…no. He’s SOMETHING ELSE. But that’s for the third book, now in progress. I just plopped him down into Nancy’s tale as her antagonist. One of them.

Mr. Blue expects our Nance to act a CERTAIN WAY. The expected female hysterics. The running around in her undies and tripping over rocks trope. After all, we’re led to believe all his other seductions have been successful. That he has managed to get other women to–

Nope, you have to read the book to find out what Mr. Blue wants Nancy to do. I’m a PR genius here! I leave out bits of info to tweak your interest! Available September 22!! I will post links!!

Why won’t Nancy straighten up and act like women are supposed to act? Scaredy-cats, easily led, easily seduced into X,Y or Z. Eve and the Apple! It’s right there, in the damn Bible, women are stoooooopid and must be utterly locked up or else they fuck snakes or something. Anyway!

 

I read where that snake in the Garden of Eden can also stand in for a penis…so Eve was a slut, too. Ouch.

PART FOUR:

There’s also that major question as to why people in haunted houses won’t leave. Mostly it comes down to financial reasons. The Amityville Horror tale, for instance. That family stayed because they had no money to go elsewhere. People buy some big beautiful house and then whango, it’s full of evil ghosts trying to kill them!

 

Every. Fricking. Time! American Horror Story exploits this one for fun and profit. That first season, Murder House. Then the  AHS/Roanoke one. Dark Water, both versions. The Conjuring. Mama. The Shining. The Legend of Hell House. Beetlejuice. Burnt Offerings. Oh there’s giant lists of haunted house movies, novels and the like.

The moral is– buy ugly  small houses, folks. Ghosts don’t live in shacks and low-rent eyesores. A crumbling castle, sure! It’s still a castle! Geez, does nobody pay attention anymore?? [They probably do. I’m not trying to throw shade at where ghosts take up residences. Just being mildly sarcastic on a Sunday afternoon. Okay, ghosts who live in shacks and low-rent eyesores? We good here?]

Nancy has almost no say in where she lives. That’s due to her own conditioning and training by her own mother and society and…!

So Nancy has to stay put and do the best she can with what she has. And she does! Because I find women are highly resourceful, clever, able to juggle twenty thousand things at the same time while juggling forty thousand other things and…yep.

There’s a hidden world of women as I touched on a bit in the novel. The face women show men, and the faces they show each other. That Margaret Atwood quote– men fear women will laugh at them, women fear men will kill them. That rings so fricking true, you just start nodding your head. Yep yep yep. If you’re female, that is. You just nod your head when you read that, you get it at the very level of your guts where it’s always fight or flight. Except for women, it’s hunker down or maybe find yourself dead if you act the wrong way at the wrong time. That careful read the emotional weather of those around you that women get trained to do…even the Wonder Women’s and the Ripley’s and the Sarah Connor’s and those women not fictional or battling monsters in their armor and underwear.

 

I watched my own grandmother do this. That careful politeness when the men were present, the raunchy giggler when the men were not present. The two faces of Eve. Indeed. Women don’t tell their real stories and the voices of women have been largely silent except for a few odd lady writers who ‘bucked’ the system. We censor our stories, we women. We ‘nice’ them up for the men and for each other. Silence and omissions and going along so the men don’t get upset, so we don’t upset ourselves and admit icky things that are in plain sight but which we politely ignore.  Taking out this or that because it’s ‘too much’. Uh huh.

PART FIVE:

Nancy fights back against Mr. Blue and the ghosts because not doing so goes against her nature.

Mr. Blue expects her to fold like a cheap folding chair. Will she fold? Read the book to find out!

Nancy is also a version of Little Red Riding Hood. She knows not to leave the path. She wants to be that ‘normal good girl’ she has been told she wants to be. That it doesn’t quite gel with her actual character, well. I also think that’s part of her resistance to Mr. Blue‘s attempts to mold her and shape her. She can’t go against what she’s been taught but she can rebel against some ‘other’ outside of the realm of her tiny world. That she can do. With real relish and glee.

Which confounds poor Mr. Blue and makes him a bit blue and determined to get what he wants…nope, gonna have to read the book!

 

SEPTEMBER 22

 

 

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September 22 is when House on Clark Boulevard makes its debut. Now you know. Mark your calendars, write it on your hand, engrave it on a pet rock.

I, sullen and full of fogs and low tides, went to see about securing a second public reading for HOUSE ON CLARK BOULEVARD. At Second and Wine, the lovely little restaurant/wine bar in Ontario, Oregon. Now, the friend helping me with publicity and so forth…did not show up. [I am assuming this person had something come up or something happened at work or…?] So, I waited a bit, then, stomach churning, went into the joint and clumsily brokered a deal of sorts to maybe read, maybe, in October. I left a little packet of stuff and things– excerpt from actual book, bio about yours truly and my contact info. Hallelujah, I still have some moxie left. Not much, a smidge. But hey, a tiny sparkle of boldness still sparkles somewhere in the region of my left toe.

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Clark BLVD. Oregon wildfire smoke

The wildfires here in Oregon. Yeah. The haze here in extreme Eastern Oregon has been Mordor-ish. It just looks foggy all the time. We get inversions here, so that look is rather familiar but still. I’ve also seen what these fires are doing to Montana. Over a million acres. The Columbia Gorge on fire, set off by kids with fireworks. That’s the Eagle Creek fire, for those keeping score at home. We’re waiting here, on the far other side of the state, for our own set of out of control savage flame festivals. So far…nothing. But the surrounding surfaces hold tall growths of cheat grass and such, dry as Thanksgiving turkey. We had those gigantic snowfalls and the weeds loved it…and we’re waiting for that one strike of lightning. A thunderstorm moving through that deposits a few drops of rain. Where the thunder rolls and the lightning sparks hundreds of little fires, and perhaps one or several take off…yep. Or a careless sort who drops a ciggie or a spark from the undercarriage of an ATV or some sort of off-road whatchamacallit. Bango! Smoldering evil coal! BOOM!! Wildfire.

 

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Actual Clark BLVD. Pretty close to the actual house I based my novel on. 

There was a big fire here, I remember it. Watching the flames munch the dry hills, it was both awesome and pee down your leg terrifying. We were told to evacuate and went to my aunt’s, high up on the hill overlooking our little bit of the Treasure Valley here. You could stand outside, with the ash drifting down, and observe the line of the fire as it threatened to turn our way, to engulf everything…but kept going sideways, parallel to where we all stood. I remember the local farmers stayed to protect their equipment and buildings, my dad and brother included. This was years ago. Memory says I was a ‘kid’.

September 22!! Did I mention House on Clark Boulevard comes out then?

I’m going to tackle the Betsy Devil shit in a separate post. Because siding with the MRA shits, Betsy, should go against all your so-called inner Jesus urges. Michigan is now among the bottom of the states in education due to their embrace of charter schools and ‘choice’ thereof for the kiddies. Devos brings nothing but destruction, and a return to unless ‘she’s a virgin, she deserves to be raped’ fun. Once upon a time, not that long ago, you had to qualify as a ‘good’ rape victim. [ Boys just gonna be boys, right? And yes, men get raped, but not in the numbers women do. ] Oh, yeah, there’s still that ‘she deserved it’ narrative and ‘what was she wearing’ and ‘if she’d made better choices’ and…uh huh.

Rather like ‘earning’ an abortion– rape or incest only, gals!

So, I’ll fuss and fume about all that in a post I probably  won’t post. Because it will prolly turn into a single solid block of cuss words and pics of  raised middle fingers. WWJD? Cuss like a sailor and write blog posts in these here modern times! I did promise to make September about the writing process or share smoogens of projects. Smoogens– agonized over liftings from various writing projects. The more you know.

 

September 22. Let’s finish off this shameless self-promotion and side-trip into wildfires and Betsy Devil with a shoutout to moi and her book. Now books!

Oh– I took a tiny trip, a nostalgic drive, back to the actual Clark Boulevard. Evening, twilight, the smoke making everything very eerie and oh so atmospheric. Still enough daylight to snap some snaps of the road, old houses, farmie stuff. I looked for the old house…I think it’s gone. I might have had to drive further up Clark but I don’t remember living that far from the main highway between Vale and Ontario. Memory, lies to you all the time…!

But. I made a pilgrimage, of sorts. Is that not what counts? You really can’t go home again, especially if that home seems vanished like a meat fart in the breeze.

The road looked suitably spooky. The old house I took a picture of looked just right. The sign, with the smoky sky behind it, ah, something out of a Dario Argento film. The haystack had an air of menace! The people living on that road probably still wonder who the nut in the GMC was. What is that weirdo doing? My self-consciousness, always there to turn me into a scaredy-cat!

Oh– on an uplifting final note, uplifting for me and this blog is all about me, me, me– my short story, Maybelle, got into Whistle Pig, which is out of Mountain Home, Idaho. In their October issue. I’m thrilled. I sat and wrote this little tale on a Sunday afternoon, about an elderly woman and her doll. I am glad, after schlepping it to many another, to see it find a home. Sometimes there’s an acceptance of your work. And then the crushing avalanche of rejections, of course, that crush you and crush you and crush you. Yay!

September 22. Get that tattooed, on your cheek. So others will stop and ask you why you have this date inked permanently on your skin. You can reply– That’s when Ann Wuehler’s House on Clark Boulevard arrived!

They’ll be politely puzzled and forget promptly all that information but you, at least, tried. You can just write it with a ball point pen, too. If you don’t wish to commit fully to this sort of advertising. I’ll understand.

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