The End is Nigh

 

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Golly, another snotblossom? [Code for an Ann Wuehler Experience blog post because that whole think positive thing hasn’t caught up with me yet] 

Yes. Because. I finished. The novel. I vowed to finish. Before the end. Of November. 

Wheeeeeeeeeeee. E.

Okay, I’m done experimenting with punctuation. Or grammar. Or. Mm. Ahem! 

As it stands now, the very rough first draft stands just under forty-five thousand words. Ten chapters or so. I might have miscounted. I know I let entire threads drop away. I know there’s much wrong right now with Naked Farmers of the Apocalypse. Which will probably either get a new name or have that band become a much bigger part of the overall STORY than it is now. 

There are things that need to be tightened. There are things that need to be expanded. That’s so obvious a pet rock would know that instinctively and act accordingly. 

Oh the ending. I scraped my fingernails across my soul’s blackboard and then dug out the crap from under my figurative nails and called it the finale. wheeee     eee    uh

The news continues to shred my will to live. I really do think America has to be plunged into an abject, horrible time, where it’s ruled by absolute assmunches that future Alt-History books will label with a gentle fondness for the Good Ole Days…before it learns that’s not a good thing.  What?? Fascism is bad?? What??!!

Except so many seem to want authoritarian boots on their necks as long as those boots are stomping others they hate and fear into bloodied rags…As long as it’s not happening to you it’s great!

Except. Losing your rights, your freedoms, your voice, your vote…it will happen to those without gigantically deep pockets. Even a dummy like me can see that one slithering in from Bethlehem to be born, if not born already, hello… from a thousand miles out.

Those fragile checks and balances…blowin’ in the wind, baby. Blowin’ in the wind. 

Now that we’re all depressed or you’re chuckling over what a snowflake I am…I’ll post some excerpts come December first, because that’s Christmas month and you should all get a chuckle out of my novel-writing efforts. Isn’t that why you stop by here once a year or so? For the chuckles? 

 

 

 

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Dear Ann

 

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I feel an odd connection on all fronts with that pile of junk left to rust itself into nothingness. Oh yes, I do.

Dear Ann,

Thank you for submitting to [ name removed to protect the guilty], and we are honored that you considered us to read your work. These are horribly hard decisions for us, but we are unfortunately going to pass on “The Devil’s Tonic.” This line of work is all so subjective, but ultimately, we have to connect fully with every aspect of the material, and we didn’t connect in the way that we must in order to represent it. We do, however, hope you’ll submit to our press again in the future, and thank you for all your talents, time, and consideration.

What followed that was a list of names of all those who didn’t connect with my material. I don’t know whether to laugh like a drunken hyena or reread the above several thousand times wondering why they didn’t like me. Maybe I can combine both reactions, just to see if I can. 

I have a bad tooth and I do mean I am considering a pair of pliers and some homemade bathtub gin kind of bad tooth time.

Where you yank the fucker out and then try to not die as you scarf down whatever fermented dog pee you’ve managed to conjure up from a can of two year old peaches and some ten year old cough syrup you found hiding at the bottom of a box full of stuffed teddy bears. Oh don’t worry!

I have an entire bottle of ibuprofen to scarf down and I can gargle with hot salt water and there’s vodka. I think a goodly dose of straight vodka and about a gallon of over the counter mild pain killers should see me through. And it’s not that bad! If I pretend real hard my tooth doesn’t hurt. The power of positive thinking, baby! If you believe hard enough, you’re a ballerina! Yay! I probably am not the one to ask how actual positive thinking is supposed to work…mm. 

Now!! That challenge writerly thing I sent my hasty pudding to and which received the above truly, um, reply…yeah. Whatever. It stings. Like putting your hand down on a bad-tempered wasp. Ouch! And then the little bump, the swelling, the wasp lumbering off cussing you out, and then you, or in this case, me, forgetting it ever happened a couple days later. 

Oh yes, the November Novel Challenge requisite update, while I’m here with yet another bitter snotblossom [that’s code for blog post] to my own mediocrity and failure. It’s humming along. I guess. Sure.

It’s at chapter ten. I cut thirteen pages and added some stuff and things. Because the story cleared its throat and hinted, albeit gently and in off quiet moments, that perhaps it wished to go slightly in a different way, please. I plan to push through to ‘an ending’ before I attempt a read-over from the opening salvo. Gosh! I hope it fucking connects on all cylinders! I hope I connect to my material in a way that allows me to represent it! [Yeah, I’m in pain and a wee bit obsessively bitter to combat the throb in my jaw’s interior. I can’t summon nice thoughts and oh gosh what can I learn from all this-ness just right now at this very here moment.]

 

 

 

Canned Holiday

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Gee, it’s time for yet another American holiday festival of festivus. 

Now I think that serving an entire ginormous dinner from a can would be…just fine. Sure, it would be hard to capture that home-made taste that some aunt or even grandma can imbue to rolls or stuffing or even that green bean casserole delight with the mushroom soup, the weird greenish beans and the crunchy onion thingies…but hey. Times change and sometimes holidays should be reduced to a simple empty a can into a bowl and call it good day. Clean up, a breeze. Taste? That’s what salt and ketchup is for. Family time? Kept to a brutal minimum. Getting to return home and pretend it all never happened? Priceless. 

The green layer up there is what actually intrigues me. What is it? Jello? Peas? Lime Jello with peas, salad, sprouts and green beans? Beneficial mold in case the other layers make you sick? An illusion created by Hilary Clinton’s crack team to lull me into…? A layer of mint frosting? 

I took a shower yesterday so I’m good that way, thanks for asking. 

The dogs are happy. It’s foggier than some old movie about Jack the Ripper out  there today. 

Happy day, however you celebrate or don’t.

You might not be American or Canadian. There are other countries and places out there!! It says so on Google. Or is Google just fake newsing me??? Oh pluck my cranberries and spank my polite scoop of that orange gunk smothered with burned marshmallows. 

I’ve heard outlandish tales that Canadians have some sort of purloined America-invented-Thanksgiving-Hello!! feast day. America also invented the cat, walls and sweaters for dogs. That was before the Illuminati stepped in, those damn globalist liberal social scumbuckets! I must prepare myself, now, for total family speaktalk. Make fun of them in my head or die a slow, awful death on a lonely liberal cross in Republicanland. Mmm….

OH!!! November novel update!!!! Almost done. Update over. 

The Day After:

I survived, I am still here and yet there’s Christmas to get through with two sets of…oh fuck me running. Anyone remember that phrase? Is it from the Eighties oeuvre of cuss words and cuss slang? Mostly the food was white. White turkey, white scalloped taters, white bread rolls, creamed corn, creamed cauliflower. All very good, by the way. The cabbage slaw had a nice green quality to it. The talk tended toward how everyone but the one holding forth was cataclysmically stupid. It never veered over into, ahem, but then again I zoned out and watched the squirrel dart back and forth on the backyard fence top. Go squirrel! 

Today I whipped up a turkey casserole, with noodles, turkey, celery and carrots, sauted onions and almonds, fake instant mashed taters and a sort of hybrid sauce/gravy. Oh and some leftover sharp cheddar already-grated cheese! And– I did a quickie pie. I feel a bit dirty. Quickie press in the pan crust and quickie butterscotch generic pudding with not-Cool-Whip dessert topping to finish that thing off in grand and goodly fashion. I put a dollop of honey in the crust I whipped up. As we have jars of honey and since it’s there, I fling honey into, well, whatever. I’m a very much whatever is in my surroundings goes into whatever I’m cooking. Tiny dab of Ranch dressing left in bottle, mystery seasoning from three years ago, is that a carrot? oooh I forgot I bought tarragon…etc and etc and etc. 

I’m also chest-deep in a Garrison Keillor book and snickering to myself at odd moments. Happy Lutherans! Dark Lutherans! Jokes about Ole and Lena! It’s all in there. I think it’s called Wobegon Boy. But don’t quote me on that. [Note: this was written before allegations of wrongdoing came out about Keillor. History, your turn.] 

Thou art now caught up and I should enjoy this oddly gorgeous day. We nearly hit seventy here in Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho yesterday! And yet fog and rain. Oh I’m visiting with myself now about the weather and some stupid ass casserole I threw together out of this, that, the other. Fudge bunnies, somebody tell me to take up the slack in my fingers!

Oh before I go and um, I dunno, stare at the wall, is anyone watching that travesty over on PBS that purports to be Anne of Green Gables?? It’s…oh. I. Oh. Why would someone deliberately write Montgomery’s characters so badly? And who did the casting??  Martin Sheen as Matthew?? NO NO NO NO!!! The girl playing Diana Barry…has golden-brown hair. Dye her fucking hair black, you nimrods. Miss Stacy?? What the hell was that?  Also…Gilbert? WTF is that about? That fight between him and Anne in the book/s…I just feel a need for massive amounts of vodka and access to that set of writers so I can both drunkenly sob that they’ve ruined Anne of Green Gables and slap the shit out of them for whatever agenda they felt they had to follow here. Was it, ahem, Satan? Did Satan personally show up and offer you happy virgins and a mountain of gold if you twisted Anne and Company into actual shreds of what they once were? Can you unsign whatever bargain here? Thanks. 

This was not the Kevin Sullivan version, which was fantastic. It’s not the one with Megan Follows. You know, the real Anne of Green Gables and the sequel, Anne of Avonlea. No no, this is some ‘new’ version! Why?? Stop mining ground that’s already been mined! There are so many stories out there! So many great books and tales that…ugh a bug a shug a rug. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mud Puddle Girl

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So. 

Got a bit of a…punch in the face, followed up by a rusty dull knife stabbed with a slow precise cruelty into my still-beating heart. It concerns writing. And being an author and…uh huh. I won’t get specific. Because I am determined to be a happy little butterfly who delights my three readers with butterfly-like insouciance. 

As downer sorts get treated like dog shit. Or ignored so thoroughly they bleed in public  and nobody notices.

Smile, god-fucking-dammit!!–the world demands. 

I have to wait and see. That’s all this is. I have to be patient and calm, neither of which a hateful God or a loving Reptilian Overlord imbued me with. I should look at this setback as some sort of life lesson, amen. It’s all going to turn out great and then we can all hold hands and skip! Sarcasm is my best friend. My only friend, at times. 

So, I don’t wish to sit there like a lump during Thanksgiving this Thursday. And just nod along when those around me take glee in the absolute misfortune and suffering of others. As they will. Do they think all the harmful and foul things being done…won’t touch their lives? I think they actually do think that. Sighs forthcoming. I don’t want to explain that I’m not John Grisham or JK Rowling, that it takes a long time to develop an audience for your body of work…that lightning doesn’t hit just because you wrote a…ugh. Fuck. I just can’t dredge up my thick rhino skin armor right now. I just fucking can’t do it. 

Forgive me. This is a vague rambling ode to nonsense and self-pity and bitterness that yet again I have made the worst decisions possible and expected better outcomes. 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAGONS FOR HIRE

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I knew taking all this pics in Shenyang, China would eventually be useful for something! Dragon!

 

Now, I received a rejection for, gulp, five poems. From a place that claims it’s a feminist haven for all things feminist. That might just be me adding zest to a dry story. M’kay. Normally, I react to rejections with tears, sobbing, why me o God screamings and a cross-country search for that perfect goat to sacrifice to Satan so I can cross that little threshold from unknown, obscure, nobody reads her shit writer to WRITER WHO DOESN’T GET THE FORM REJECTION LETTERS GOD FUCKING DAMN IT ALL TO HELL AND BACK ###$$$$$%^%^^^^^77&&*^%$&.

And then. I calm down about five minutes after that, ‘get over it’ and then cross that submission off in my book o’submissions. I keep a log of what I sent where because…I can’t recall why at this point, other than it seemed important to see all the rejections gathered in one place with the one or two YES THEY PICKED ME YES entries. I’m not a bookkeeper of any kind. I can screw up filling out forms faster than a jack rabbit on a date. Ha ha, shout out to Christmas Story.

“They” are doing a LIVE VERSION of this…with brand new actors. I. Wah. Why?? WHY HAS GOD DESERTED THE ENTIRE PLANET? Why would anyone think this was a good idea?? Just make a new Christmas movie! Hallmark does. Sure, their movies all seem like the same movie, but Hallmark is too smart to take on actual Christmas icons that should never ever be tampered with. That goes for that Jim Carrey travesty of the Grinch, too. WTF?? My eyeballs have never recovered. Hallmark, now…I’ll give them props for not milking the Christmas Story goat. [That was for you, Satan]

Yes, I am watching the Hallmark sugar-heavy fare. Shut up. You are, too. It’s like downing those Peep things. It’s the same thing. I don’t have to explain that, do I? You don’t even have to chew. Hallmark Christmas movies are like Peeps– no chewing involved. I should work in advertising. Go me!

Also–that super-feminist site found my stuff not feminist enough? What the…? I’m going to start writing characters that are…well, some vague threat about labeling my characters in the newest fashions and then actually writing about nice virgingals getting with shiny werewolves. Who brood. With nice hair. They brood and have nice hair. The girl/s fall down a lot and don’t think they’re pretty until the shiny werewolf fella…

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Because that shit sells. Yeah. Because it’s a familiar tale and the reading public really seems to like familiar tales, no matter what bullshit they quiver out about wanting something ‘original’. Bwhaha ha ha!!! As if!!

Where was I before I jumped into a lake of utter self-loathing full of sarcastic catfish?

Novel. Ah. My novel is nearly finished for that November challenge thingie. I have about two more chapters, I reckon. I have NO IDEA WHAT THE ENDING IS and my inner lit professors tut at me and make those faces lit profs make. You know that face. That one.

It’s roughly forty thou words.

Which is good! I, of course, have let it ‘rest’ a couple days. I started a short story called the Antifa are Due on Maple Street, which is, yes, a shout sent toward the Twilight Zone zone. If you have no idea what I mean, then you probably need to stop being in a feminist mist all the time and watch a television show older than 2017. It’s a famous ep of a famous ole show– the Monsters are Due on Maple Street. It echoes very well the paranoia and fear of the ‘other’ that so infected American society so long ago. It’s just so quaint now!

Yes, I’m done being a sarcastic catfish. Now…catfish has some sort of meaning, too. I’m not that kind of catfish. I mean an actual catfish swimming around near the bottom of a murky river being snarky. Rather like Spongebob if written as a George Costanza or a Chandler Bing. [I’ll be there for yo–ooo—uuu….!]

I should delve into the political shitshow that has become ‘murica. I just start writing curse words. I see where people are ‘jokingly’ looking into building guillotines. You know, so the American peasants can chop off the aristocratic DC heads. We’re waiting for that whole checks and balances stuff to save us from Rapey McPussyhands and company. Yeah, except…those in power have to respect and actually follow those checks and balances for those to work effectively. So far, we’ve [also known as The Resistance] have a few marches and posted some memes. I think America, to get America back, is gonna have to take it to the next step.

Dragons.

We’re gonna have to get some dragons.

We’re also gonna have to overhaul poor ole Jesus. Maybe even invent a new, improved savior of America. Jesus is pretty malleable when it comes to makeovers, sure. But. I think we Americans can invent some sort of truly American Jesus that will unite us all when we have to band together to go after those dragons we foolishly brought in to rid us of some other stuff.

Jesus fighting dragons…that is so my next BIG WRITING PROJECT. Maybe in between the Hallmark fare and the hatewatching of the live Christmas Cash Cow AKA Christmas Story…I’ll begin an epic tale of Jesus versus dragons. Maybe a children’s story. A cute, non-threatening Jesus and cute, big-eyed, cuddly, non-threatening baby dragons that decide to not fight and have cookies instead in a show of fellowship, diversity, love and some other virtues that seem popular right now. Popular but not practiced.

 

 

 

Dreams and Dreamy Updates

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from World Maps. Note that Vale to Cottage Grove would…well. Mm.

Hey and hello. Rainy here. Rain rain rain. Rainy!

I am up around thirty thousand plus words. Whee and squee and so forth. I also managed to get some rather important and insanely detailed paperwork almost done. Almost. I just need to go back over it and write stuff in that needs to be written in. How’s that for vague?? Is it good for you, too?

All right. Here’s actually why I deigned to write a blog post today.

I had a dream.

A rather unsettling little dream of a dream.

Where I attended, with my family, including, yes, my mother, a showcase of works. The middle section featured, yes, a short play by me. Now, in my dream, I watched the rehearsal. It went smashingly! The song–I don’t write music but I am, ha ha, a poet. So my brain married song and poetry just for the purposes of that dream last night…okay, back to WHAT HAPPENED–

The song, in the rehearsal portion of said dream, went swimmingly. Gorgeous! With, as I remember it…an all-female chorus or perhaps mostly females singing it. Directed by a woman, as was my short play. It was well done and I liked the efforts. Okay! Switch to the showcase evening actual debut.

We all, me and the fam, sit through the first offering and it’s okay. It’s a very casual setting, in my dream. We’re all on folding chairs in a big lobby, watching amateurs take on this, that, the other. Okay! You’ve gone to those…right? Okay!

My mother gets up and is wandering back and forth because she needs the bathroom. I tell her, no, this is my stuff coming up and she sits down again.

Moms, amirite? They’d sit through a three-hour retelling of something from My Little Pony as told by a four-year old while experiencing the onset of explosive diarrhea without a change of pleasant expression and ‘listening face’. 

Oh dear. Because my dream…oh yes, still on the dream bit here…goes south in a hurry. I don’t know why going south would be considered, well, going south. Mm. Anyway!

Everything I saw in rehearsal has been changed. The song and short play are now being performed by high school boys who clearly have no wish to be performing. It’s painfully obvious they’d rather be elsewhere doing anything else. Also, the director of my song and play has changed. It’s now a very defensive man who keeps showing up to yell at all of us watching that we ‘don’t get it’ and then he stomped around, making the debacle we watched that much worse.

I tried to smile and pretend everything was fine, because actors and audience alike kept glancing at me for my reactions…

My family tried to say how much they liked it but the pity! Oh!

It was then I heard the tiny steady pitter of rain, and realized I was awake. And not stuck in some Eugene O’Neill-lite nightmare. 

Why am I burdening my two or so readers with tales from my truly naughty night brain’s shift on the job? Mostly because I can. And something about sharing. Mostly some stuff about sorting through the piffle to find pearls of wisdom that will guide me in the darkness of a world gone mad.

Okay!

As this is novel month and not OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA month…I’ll write a bit about the actual rough little novel that’s shaping itself as I type along.

I am now in the road trip portion of my story. In case you forgot the title: NAKED FARMERS OF THE APOCALYPSE

I might change this to Candelight’s Awakening. So that people think it’s a romance novel, buy it and then scream when they find out it’s just another tale of almost-teen adventures with…ummm. As long as they buy it and leave scathing reviews. You have to make lemonade out of the  buffalo shit or something.

Road trip portion now reached, must stop veering off!

If nothing else, my dream taught me to stay on track. Or not invite family to my stuff. Maybe both?

I am having a good time tracing a slight actual journey from Vale over to Cottage Grove [that would be Oregon, in case no one got I write, a lot, about my home state…] during a spring storm. To bring granny and the stray baby home. It’s Candle and her dad. There’s some uncomfortable real life schtuff they both don’t want to face and…uh huh.

I also found myself including current political schisms and thrusts, because it’s right there.

So.

To sum up– I had a somewhat unsettling little dream and I am chugging along in the write a novel November challenge.

Thank you, as always, for glancing at this and hey, buy some of my books. Give them away as [holiday here] presents! Use them to line bird cages. What do I care what you do with them after you buy them? On that note!

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An actual November storm pic, taken this past week. Oak tree and bare hills and dark sky. Someone should write a poem. Smiley face!

 

 

Delicious Smelly Cookies

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from Kevin Lee James

Update alert– there are roughly about twenty-two thousand words in my November novel challenge. Naked Farmers of the Apocalypse jets along like a jet! So. That’s good. That’s…yeah.

The Dollar Store, where everything is a dollar, hence the name, has molasses in stock right now. Molasses. My tastes are very frontier pioneer chic. Molasses ranks right up there with things that taste good to me. Another would be coffee. Yet another would be lime.

So today I’ll make cookies. Because is there anything better than a molasses cookie? Other than a giant mountain of money and a bathtub full of fuzzy ducklings? Exactly. Because baby ducks are cute, in case you were wondering about that second thing.

My head aches and my tooth insists on insisting it hurts. I blame millenials, of course. It’s de rigueur to blame them for all ills, so there ya go.

My genial goals for this day are to add some more words to my total, fill out some paperwork and bake delicious smelly cookies. Possibly look into a, yes, gingerbread recipe or two. Fall baking stenches are truly some of my favorite. Cinnamon and ginger, oh my! Allspice and cloves, oh yes! Nutmeg and…uh…um…crap, can’t think of another autumn-ish spice to complete my yammering list.

So, here’s to delicious smelly cookies!