last Fling

One last mad splash as the old year grinds to a savage close. Winter weather, fog, cat asleep in her usual perch in the closet.

What will the new year bring? Isn’t that a terrifying notion intermixed with some actual wonder.

That’s it. Have a happy new year and if you have to work, sigh a lot. I intend to.

Hell-o, Halloween

Halloween display, Meridian, Idaho, 2019. Can’t find who to credit this with.

Welp, had to drive to work yesterday in fog so dense I nearly drove off the road, twice. Fun.

It finally rained here in Oregon East. An actual rain. We plunged into near winter temps! It might snow in the valleys! Nah, not yet but winter wants to pounce.

I want to enjoy Halloween and all its orange, black and sparkly glory, but the American midterm elections throw a giant moist pall over everything. Moister than moist. Dripping wet with racism, sexism, fascism and all the other crappy isms imaginable and then some. Who is taking all these polls? It does not seem to reflect anything but what is expected– that the Gross Old Perverts sweep everything and Biden gets made to look like a doddering, shitting himself in public, gibbering fool. Um? And yet so many people registering to vote and yet…mmm.

I just want this all over so I can start breathing again and plan accordingly. Do I still live in a ‘free’ country or do I have to practice my salutes, wave a flag with savage frantic grins plastered across my frozen face? Shout randomly, in public, about eagles and freedom and no more open borders? We don’t have open borders, what the fuck is that noise?

Idaho, by the way, is almost an Ida-don’t go there, stay away, avoid avoid avoid. We do have scary states here in ‘murica and that is becoming one of the scariest.

The Aryan Nations that used to be a joke, who used to live under rocks and only appear if you whispered something overtly racist near an open sewer…have now virtually taken over that state. It’s sad and tragic and awful. Aryan Nations meets QAnon nonsense, has weird disgustingly awful sex, produces a mutant baby and here we are!

And my state, by the way, has a trumpian Gross Old Pervert running for guvvie. I just. No. No!

I do have scary movies lined up, as the midterms causes eye twitches, drooling, screaming when a leaf drops from a tree too near me. It’s tense here, y’all. Tense. Golly, vote for sane people or batshit trumpfucks? I mean no offense to actual bats, who just wish to live their bat lives in peace.

I have had a few acceptances roll my way, but mostly, lately, it’s been rejection city. Sigh.

Need to sacrifice something to Satan, I guess. Maybe he’ll accept an IOU? Will hand over the flies stuck to the fly strip. They’re already dead and am just gonna toss that strip otherwise. Why be wasteful? Satan? Hello?

It’s Happy Month

Artwork for the Abominable Dr. Phibes movie.

Oh, my fellow babies and compatriots for this thing called life– it’s the happiest month of the year. For me. Cause. Halloween.

Pumpkins. Pumpkin patches.

Ghosts and goblins and ghouls, oh my.

Creaky vampire movies with capes and crosses.

American Werewolf in London time!

The weather cooling the frack down.

The Halloween baking competition with its black garlic cupcakes and four-layer oozing lime basil cake with Italian buttercream something or other. Make entire scary scenes from cake, pumpkins, rice crispy treats and sugar work!

Oh yes, oh please, amen.

I have pumpkins about ready to be plucked. I have gourds. I want to make bread.

I feel energized and ready to watch scary movies with all the lights off.

I have the original Night of the Living Dead tucked away. There’s a compulsion within to find the DVD and WATCH IT the old-fashioned way. On my television through a DVD player. No streaming. No computer involved. Old-fashioned out the disc in, push play when prompted. With a big cup of ho-cho in hand.

Of course, it’s still rather hot here in the day. The nights have cooled off a bit. I now need at least a blanket. Kitters has even taken to napping a bit on me so it must be getting cold outside or she misses me as I’ve been working. I call my cat Kitters, though her official name is Jaws. As she showed up with a broken jaw a couple Halloween’s ago.

So. I hope TCM shows horror movies I’d like to watch. I hope hope hope they show the Abominable Dr. Phibes, with Vincent Price. Where he speaks only through a record. It’s so acid-trippy, weird and satisfying. I’m so glad no one has ever tried to remake this one. Why would you? It’s perfection. From that first scene with the bats to the bitter, bitter end. Dang. And there’s sequels, which I hear, are not as good but still. I will also probably watch the silent Swedish made up documentary on witches, because it’s just so good. Haxan or something like that. 1923 or hereabouts. It’s on Youtube. As are a lot of silent horror movies. Like M or the Cabinet of Dr. Caligaleri. [Spelling?]

Halloween month. It’s the happiest month of the year for me. From baking to horror movies I’ve seen a gazillion times already to new horror films I might discover. I do like discovering some offbeat, nobody’s heard of it, frightfest. Like the Blood on Satan’s Claw [Satanic children, 70’s] Or even something like Only Lovers Left Alive, with Tom Hiddleston as a mopey vampire. It’s a gorgeous film, by Jim Jarmusch, and also boasts a sparkly performance by Tilda Swinton. It’s as slow as frozen molasses and it’s not so much a horror movie as a test of your patience but hey, it might hit a sweet spot or two.

Hey, speaking of Halloween and spooky stuff and scary things…I have two recent novels out that deal with zombies and cannibal bikers. Yay!

Aftermath: Boise, Idaho— where Hannah kills herself to escape death by zombie horde only to wake up in a world run by sentient zombies.

There’s also The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane, where three elderly sisters hiding out in a small Nevada town after a catastrophic world war nuclear event, become embroiled with the decimated cannibal biker gang that’s limped into Fallon.

There’s also Oregon Gothic. The opening tale, Bailey, is about what a real vampire is like and the costs of thwarting that vampire’s will. There’s also the necrophilia-smeared love story of Prince Charming Finds His Sleeping Beauty, which will be in an anthology coming out this year.

Halloween month. Pure joy filling my soul right now. Just pure happy wonderful joy.

Road Trip

My one sunflower. It regally lives among the ever-spreading squash plants.

September. It’s almost over. The weather here is finally cooling a bit. I’ve rescued the same toads from the dog pool many mornings now. The big one that squeaks at me if I handle it too much, the smaller ones that pretended they were frogs, so I’d leave them alone. That was when the water levels were much higher. I dug a giant hole to put the rubber tub into, and it has this valve that keeps turning so all the water leaks out. Why would you put such a valve into a tub designed to hold water? Oh sure, to drain it but still. It’s entirely too easy to brush against it and turn it the wrong way. I blame liberals for this. Is that how that works?

Snark, sarcasm and hissing gently from the shadows. That’s me!

Job? I don’t know. Nobody cares so let’s move on.

Road trip. I am going to go to Mountain Home, Id-eee-ho, for a literary event. I know!! It’s for the Whistle Pig Literary Magazine launch, held this year at the Mountain Home library. I even got myself a hotel room so I wouldn’t have that long drive back, in the dark, with the extra bright lights in my eyes. I probably need to go see the eye doctor about that…yikes.

Or just deal with it because, hey, who has insurance?

Rimshot! I’ll be here all week, try the chicken.

My story for the Whistle Pig is called Lovesmoke. I based it off a short play I wrote ages ago, about a nearly mute man who’s in love with his brother’s girlfriend. She just wants to get married, have a normal life as her boyfriend is about to lose everything due to bad cattle prices and the bottom falling out of that market. The brother in love goes about collecting rocks and such to sell at the various festivals in and around the Western states. If you’ve ever been to small town festivals, with booths– that’s the type of person Salinas is.

In my prose version, I set it in Weiser, Idaho, with the about to lose everything brother having already run off and the other brother crossing the Rubicon, so to speak, by declaring his love for Lily. It’s bittersweet and it seemed to write itself, once I found that balance between manipulative monster versus clumsy overtures of affection toward another. I sort of blended the two extremes of puppet master and hopelessly bad at romance tropes, so to speak. That happy medium? Eh.

I did play with having them end up together but it just didn’t gel, it just didn’t flow, it just didn’t…yeah.

Rewrote a short story in the last couple days, turned it from vague woman-empowered claptrap to murderous psycho monster baby claptrap. Wheee!!!! I also realized my lead character is the least of my three in that story. I need to, ahem, punch her up a bit. Or not. I also need to look at the ending. It might be awful or okay, depends on mood, weather, snack consumption and coffee levels. The title also needs changing. Willa and the Mist to perhaps Baby Lamb or The Graveyard Baby or something equally provocative. Two On A Meat Hook? I’d have to add a meat hook. Dang it!

I’ve been reworking short stories that keep getting rejected. It keeps me busy and out of prison, so that’s good.

That’s it.

Oh, for those panting to know– I have pumpkins. I also have three giant gourds growing away. I’m so excited! I researched and it said to wait for first frost to collect them. We are nowhere near a first frost. I’m also watching the pumpkins closely, looking for that all-over orange color. Still a bit green underneath. Small sugar pumpkins, for pies but still so gorgeous. I do love the color orange.

Halloween is close. I have a happy feeling somewhere close by. And then the drudge and stress of the ‘holidays’. All those damn turkeys to bake. God damn it. I’m already sick and tired of turkey. I just want to buy a bunch of frozen dinners, call it good from here until next January. Want a fancy meal? Here ya go– Hungry Man Salisbury steak!

Oh my, I should adjust accordingly, eh? Holiday season hasn’t even officially started yet. Not until Hallmark starts constant Christmas movie rotation BEFORE HALLOWEEN USUALLY. Notice that?? I noticed that last year. Syrupy cookie cutter movies that bring numbness and a sort of Zen blankness if you watch too many in a row. Lifetime, also, has a host of these things.

And the Halloween Baking contest is back. Happiness is oozing icing the color of infected flesh dripping down over a rotted pumpkin face chocolate cake. Or pies with top crusts that look like tortured human faces. Happiness and bliss.


Started new job. Training. I suck. I feel very stupid and incapable. Never done this kind of wok before so maybe I should go a bit easier on self? Huh. Hotel work. Yeah.

Rescued four toads this morn from sunken dog pond. They were very cold and sluggish. I need to put something in there that wildlife can cling to or climb aboard if I don’t get out there in a timely manner.

Trying to get stuff written and submitted.

Oh hey, I have a new book out. The Adventure of Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus. It’s a fun, breezy read. No, really, it is. There’s some gore, violence, a bit of sex, even…I know!

That’s all I got. My brain is a blank hunk of quivering jelly.

Remarkable Women

Good mornin’! It’s chilly here in East Oregon. Wind’s blowin’. I am considering a run to town but I’d have to take a shower, find my town clothes, put on real shoes. Ugh! But we are out of lettuce.


Hey, Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane, my dystopian cannibal biker versus elderly sisters in what’s left of Fallon, Nevada novel, can be read for FREE ON KINDLE at the moment.

Basically– three elderly sisters, Lily, Violet and Laura, are squatting in Lily’s house in Fallon, Nevada. They’ve made the house look abandoned as there are human monsters roaming about in what’s left of the world and they’re just trying to survive another day, another day after that. The Werewolves, a cannibal biker gang that’s tangled with the Glitterbugs, yet another cannibal biker gang, limp into Fallon and possibly their Waterloo. It’s Laura, the silent sister who discovers her voice and then some, who pushes the other two into a possible showdown with the actual forces of the universe itself or maybe she’s gone completely crazy, cooped up in a moldering house living on boiled pee and deformed mice or whatever Violet can scrounge from the surrounding area. But the actual threat might very well arrive in the form of church ladies on bicycles– the legendary Snitty Ratballs. This apocalyptic threat has managed to make it over the booby-trapped Rockies, intent on law and ordering the remnants of the Old West. Who will survive??! Why is there a lion? Will the sisters join the Werewolves? Will Gut Bucket ever make it to Utah? Can Amy Octopus ever be believed?


If you do read it, hey, leave a review.

Ain’t too proud to beg for reviews at this stage of my utterly barffling life. I added an ‘r’ to ‘baffling’. I think I’ll let it stand.

Misery Porn times a thousand

Zip along if you don’t wish to read about an obscure Netflix show. Or maybe not so obscure, I am out of that loop.

Anne with an E. WTF, Netflix?

The good. It’s beautifully shot. I do mean gorgeous. I’m thrown back to the Megan Follows version, with Kevin Sullivan at the helm. The one with Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla. The good one.

The scenery has that superb lushness we associate with Prince Edward Island. There’s giant fields of flowers, there’s waving seas of grain, there’s forest thickets just perfect for trysts and adorable walks by imaginative girls…okay. The backdrops for the series are just about pitch perfect. Great. Good! Well done.

The actress, Amybeth McNulty, playing Anne Shirley embodies that nearly archetypal character as best she can. As written for this series, Anne is a frantic, charmless waif who seems shellshocked and off-center far too much to win anyone over, let alone gain the love of the two who live at Green Gables. She reminds me of those dogs that are deprived of attention and correcting measures. The ones that leap up at your face with frantic ‘lovemeloveme!’ energy that’s so off-putting and even alarming if the dog is big enough to knock you down.

Which is not at all how Anne appears in the first book of the eight book series. Anne, as written, is a voluble, charming child you can’t help but love. She’s amusing and bright, with practical streaks among the fancies.

Yes, there are eight books. The last one takes us through WWI. Rilla of Ingleside. It blends tragedy and humor so much better than Anne with an E ever tried to.

I do like the latest versions of Marilla and Matthew. Both are given some time with their love gone wrong backstories to explain their present single states. It is hinted at in the books that Marilla and Gilbert’s dad were perhaps sweethearts but I cannot remember anything love-ward with Matthew. He was written as too leery and scared of women to ever go courting. He has to overcome a lot to get Anne’s dress with the beloved puff sleeves made, for instance.

Marilla here is portrayed as far less harsh and rigid. The Dewhurst version came straight from the books, with Marilla’s nature slowly revealed as she falls in love with her charge and starts thinking of her as a daughter. Not so with the current, much softer Miss Cuthbert. We get to see a lot more of her pain. She has actual emotions!

Did nobody read the books they based their series on?? Fine. Okay. Fine!

I also love the current Mrs. Lynde. The actress has this low, rich theatrical voice as well as a truly sweet, old-fashioned face, so you can forgive her quite easily for her ‘gossipy’ ways.

And let’s take on the mean girls of Avonlea school, shall we? Holy crap.

Anne blunders her way through the first day of school and it’s a nightmare to watch. She goes from telling tales of her life and what she knows of men and their ‘pet mice’ to pariah supreme. What the actual fuck? Everyone hates her by the end, Diana has to run interference and Billy Andrews has been turned into a abusive bully.

There’s even a hint of sexual violence toward Anne when he sneers about getting her alone to teach her a lesson.

Yes, such things happen in the real world and happened back then. Yes, they did. Do I want that much reality intruding over into the Green Gables world? No, I freaking do not.

We have Josie Pye turned into every last mean girl stereotype out there, from being a domineering megabitch to an unforgiving one-dimensional megabitch supreme. We have the other girls just falling in line with her and Diana coming across as more of a coward than anything else when she attempts nothing to defend her new friend from these vulturous sorts. Other than promising to ‘talk’ to them to smooth things over. Who wants a friend like that?

Anne is further traumatized by all this, we see flashbacks of her being tortured with a dead mouse by girls at the orphanage and holy buttons of bullshit, what am I watching???

A term crosses through my befuddled head at this point. Misery porn.

This is misery porn.

The heartaches, tragedies, meanness of the world and so forth, piled high over poor Anne Shirley like a tsunami about to rip apart miles of inland range.

Granted, I’ve only seen the first season of this.

Did I mention Anne only gains some grudging acceptance when she helps fight a fire at the Gillis household? Ruby Gillis, one of the easily led about girls from Josie Pye’s gang of Mean Prairie Girls, has to go stay at Green Gables as her house gets repaired. She throws an actual fit but grudgingly comes to like Anne but we know the second there’s some whiff about Anne that doesn’t seem right to the other girls, she’ll be against her again.

And we see Anne try to conform to what everyone wants her to be, which creates even more trauma and conflict for her. Ugh! Yes, real world shit but in the rather magical reality that is Avonlea kindness and sweetness, no. No!

And Gilbert. The bane and eventual love of Anne’s life. If you do not already know the Anne of Green Gables tale, well, sorry. This post is probably not for you, anyway.

Oh dear. This Gilbert is also tarred and feathered with the constant tragedy brush. His dad is sick, super sick. Consumption is my guess as he went to Denver, CO for the air, which is where people went, if they could, so they could breathe in the ‘healing’ this or that of mountain clime. Gilbert, at about fourteen or so, is in charge of the entire farming operation as well as caring for his father. He does stand up for Anne, and yes, calls her ‘carrots’, which earns him her ‘eternal’ scorn. And she’s been warned, by the other Mean Prairie Gals, that Gilbert belongs to Ruby.

This does ring true. Girls do do this at school and in life. They mark their territory, as it were. My mother said women were like horses. That we have a lead mare, that we fall in line with that lead mare. Mm.

Anne, desperate for love and approval, obeys this edict that she not have anything to do with Gilbert and we’re off!

I did like when Anne got her period. A subject never once addressed in L. M. Montgomery’s writing. Pregnancy was also not discussed beyond it being a ‘blessing’, well, as long as you were properly married. Ahem. Remember that Lucy Ricardo, of I Love Lucy, was the first to show pregnancy and such, in the 1950’s. Women and their bodies have pretty much always been under extreme scrutiny, control, shaming and even taboos.

We also get a glimpse into how women of that era dealt with menstrual flows, by pinning folded over cotton strips to their underwear. We even get tips on how to wash these pre-Stayfree pads by Marilla, in a rather kind, practical voice that was welcome yet jarring. The actual Marilla would probably not have been so understanding and helpful and soothing.

We also get a whispered scene where the schoolgirls discuss their own forays into new womanhood. Ruby, of course, has not yet gotten her ‘courses’.

You so rarely see any scenes in movies or film that deal honestly and actually with menstruation, so the episode that covered this topic was perhaps my favorite of the first season. There was humor and pathos and we got to see the bonding of the girls.

We also got a great conversation between Marilla and Mrs. Lynde over this topic. How Mrs. Lynde, mother of ten, preferred being pregnant to having her period each month. It was a frank exchange that worked. I could hear women in that era discussing just that, with the men safely out of earshot as they canned veggies or fruits.

It was the same in my family. I heard the most interesting stuff when the women of my family gathered together. The same frankness. The use of language not ‘appropriate’ for ladies, etc, etc. My grandmother saying the C word, and how we all laughed, the dirty belly giggles of women having to pretend they didn’t know such words at all.

I’ll end this ramble with how much I enjoy the opening credits. I like the song and the art work is exquisite. Also, at the start of season two, we have Anne running about the woods, interacting with nature and I am hoping we get more of that joyful, silly Anne but it doesn’t seem likely as I read blurbs of following episodes.

I think I am tired and exhausted by the real world depravities, war in Ukraine, American extremism starting to ruin everything around me and general WTF? bewilderment over the news items rushing through the worst timeline, as ‘they’ put it.

Are we in the worst timeline for our times? Yeah. I think we are.

Do I want an Anne Shirley series steeped in darkness, near madness over abuses, townspeople and schoolchildren turned into monsters and so forth? Nope! Because there doesn’t seem to be anything to counter any of that misery gushing from every last scene of Anne with an E.

It’s a valuable lesson to me as a writer. Throw in some goddamn happiness once in a while. Message received!

Blood-Stained Words

Vishnu Bala’s test shoot

The world drags onward. America rolls back abortion rights. Spring sluggishly creeps into my neck of the woods. I went to lunch with the relatives and totally regretted it.

No, I had no idea California was, like, totally allowing brown criminals to just do whatever they wanted because to prosecute such folks was…okay. Oh, you got that from the Epoch Times, did ya? Did you know that’s a far right rag started by a cult guy?

Should I say that out loud or just inhale chips and dip until I gain even more pounds, which will send me into panics where I go purge in the nearest bathroom with the water running? Should I admit such things at all?

No one is reading this or anything I write. So. Yeah.

Maybe they are?

I’m just in a sort of weird bubble-vacuum, perhaps.

Maybe I should go write even more stuff about isolated shitty clowns that live on the fringe of everything as some needy cry for help or attention that makes me retreat even more when anyone responds at all in the least tiny way. Wheee.

I can feel the depression smacking upon my inner shores like a tide of vomit and pus. Great. Should be fun. I’ve been doing all right, as the kids say, for months now. Nothing too low or want to smack my wrists against a razor blade fun times.

Maybe I need to Netflix and paint rocks. I do have Netflix right now, just to watch Bridgerton. And British Baking Show. And possibly the Witcher. Because why leave the house at all or my tiny room. I can sneak out and get some water. My cat goes in and out of my open window. I yet have enough cat food for her. I don’t have a job right now so I can stew in my own juices, live in my own head and generally wonder what it’s all about. Which is probably not good at all for my mental health. I’m gonna say it. Not good at all for my mental health.

I don’t want company. I don’t. I find people confusing, wearying, stressful and ultimately, so painful to deal with on any level I just can’t anymore. I just can’t. I’d rather spend time with my tiny pumpkin sprouts than try and make small talk about ‘what my story is about’ or ‘what I’m doing now’ with anyone. I’d rather drive somewhere, by myself, go rock collecting and return home to arrange my finds. I can live inside my head, have conversations with beloved friends I can invent and send away as needed.

I suppose I am intensely lonely but I’ve lived within that state so long it feels intensely natural. And that’s okay. I have such troubles hiding the bewildered, loud, brazen, savagely honest me from others that I’d rather be alone than treated like a monster escaped from a cage. My mother taught me, from earliest memories, that being me was about the wrongest thing to be on the planet. That being ‘nice’ counted for far more than anything I was or could be or actually had inside me. That the real me was not wanted, that the real me was some horrific embarrassment to her, to my family. And yes, to some of my friends over the years. Who “like” me but told me to be someone else entirely, someone ‘nice’. Which cut me so sharply every time. The real me had to be hidden and suppressed unless she escape and go on a rampage!

Which is sort of a Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde thing?

In my life so far, I have never belonged anywhere. I never quite fit in, I felt. I felt that every year, every day, every minute, every second of my life so far. I belonged nowhere, people just tolerated me but only if I performed to their liking.

Which is boring and self-pitying but feelings are seldom anything but dull recitations of perceived flaws or declarations that this time, it’s really love. Really, truly!

I didn’t mean for this to venture into therapy for this poor schmuck time. But nobody reads this and nobody responds, so I guess I am very safe writing these blood-stained words torn from my tired self’s flesh at all.

A Cheerful Holiday Note

from great big canvas

It’s the holiday season. I posted a mournful scream a few days ago. Now I’ll balance that with something a bit more cheery.

We are expecting snow here along the floors of the Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho valleys. A covering of white over the mud. Yes, please! Even if I have to drive in it for work, it doesn’t seem right if the end of the year doesn’t have that blanket of snow or snow falling or some sort of snowy snow happening or already happened. If that makes sense. I have a bit of Fireball whiskey in my coffee. A droplet, really.

My cat goes in and out, restless as a mini tiger. What a joy she is. I am so very glad I decided to keep her. I am grateful for this loving little beast who seems to utterly adore me. She went from slowly dying homeless refugee to cosseted spoiled lovebug. Stop and help an animal if you see one in trouble or distress.

I have stories placed here and there. That’s a nice feeling. That my work is ‘getting out there’. That slowly, so slowly, but surely, I am making some inroads writing-wise. There’s City Full of Rain, Gladys, Pig Bait, Elbow and Bean, Seffi and Des, Blood and Bread, Witch of the Highway, the Fish Whisperer, Everything You Need, Jimmy’s Jar Collection, Let There Be No Memories…I am forgetting one or two or several, but what a list for 2021. Submit, submit! is my battle cry for 2022.

I also put a novel out– The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane, which is 99 cents over on Amazon through tomorrow, btw. Ahem, hint. I loved writing this. I love those three sisters I created– Lily, Violet and Laura. I adore the bikers that took shape in my head and oh yes, on the page. From Gut Bucket and Rosecheese to Amy Octopus and poor doomed Bluebird. I think the version that made it to final edits is the version closest to the one originally in my head. Sort of lighthearted doomsday fairy tale fare. Whee, indeed. I did have a very heavy, dense, savage version, but I think this go-around works so much better as a story and as a reading experience.

I do have a novel from last year I’ll blip about as well. Aftermath: Boise, Idaho. Yeah, it’s zombies but they’re sentient ones. Most of them are, anyway. It’s also 99 cents over on Amazon through tomorrow!! Ahem, ahem. This is Hannah’s tale. She kills herself rather than succumb to the zombies about to break down the door of the place she’s trapped in. But she wakes up in an office setting, with zombies for bosses, in some parallel existence, where she’s at a loss and disadvantage. However, being scrappy, pragmatic and mostly realistic, Hannah navigates somewhat successfully until she doesn’t. Her alter ego, the Hannah of the world she now finds herself in, seems to be some sort of spy for the resistance. There’s always a resistance. She messes up by killing her for-show boyfriend/one of the leaders of the resistance and it all snowballs from there, until Hannah finds herself fleeing the scene of many crimes, heading off into the Idaho wilds to take her chances.

Again, another novel I had such fun writing. I enjoyed making up slang and inventing this NWO as run by conservative zombies in pearls and business attire. I also toyed with explaining why Hannah fell through the time cracks, so to speak, but…it got clunky and stopped the story colder than a bowl of congealed brains. I also fiddled with several endings but decided on the one now as it seemed fair to Hannah and true to her character of a tough person just trying to survive the unimaginable.

Okay, I’ll keep this short. Happy holidays, however you celebrate or don’t. Don’t let what’s happening in the world or on your doorstep rob you of any joy or hope. Not just yet. New year comin’. Gird the loins, sharpen the knives, battles are comin’, woot woot.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein


Oh October, you beautiful orange beast. A big round ball of pumpkin-y goodness! A bowl full of candy corn and candy cigarettes. That time’o year when the leave turn yellow and the cows munch desperately at the corn stalks as they try not to lean against the electric fence. Whoop whoop.

I am now working a graveyard shift, at a place I used to work in the way back when time machine. A group home. It’s what it is. I hate it already. I cried the entire weekend  I had to start work. Why am I not father along, why am I not doing better, why am I not better at being me, better at everything by now??? I wrote to a friend of mine, she’s also crying about going to work, while working on finding some other way to pay her bills. What she’s doing now causes her untold stress.

Life sucks, then you die. That has never been a more apt or true saying. Perhaps the only true saying. Depressed yet?

I also, if you go back through these hit or miss posts, trim weed for my aunt every year. Until this year. I flat out quit. I wrote a desperately long scream about that, did not post it. Why bore the shit and crap and hell out of my patient sometimes readers? Why??? To sum up, my aunt and her new-ish boyfriend are deep down the alt right rabbit hole. It was like sitting in at a Klan meeting. Right down to the n word being tossed out. As in there are good Negroes and then there are ahem ahem. It’s 2021 still, yes? Not 1951? 1851?

Not even kidding was this person. This was tossed out with the reasonable tones of someone who meant it, was not trying to be satirical. The person tossing that out, by the by, is the reason I up and walked out of that shed.

I had headphones on, the day was frigidly cold, so the portable heaters blasted away, adding their level of noise. In walks, let’s call him Klarence, who brings donuts or some sort of breakfast type breads. Like he does every damn time he shows up to trim. So, it’s my aunt, her boyfriend, some ex-cop [who’s a total shitshow loudmouth braggart sort you might find in a Smoky and the Bandit movie. Old reference but Google is right there, kids.] and me cutting the devil’s lettuce this Arctic morning.

Klarence stops right in front of my table, says something. I can’t hear him. I’m fighting with my phone to pick up anything FM wise, as my aunt does not have the internet. That’s right, no internet. I’m trying to tell myself all that static will be fine, at least it drowns out the We Love Joe Arpaio Hour.  At least I don’t have to listen to how we need donnie chump back to save us from Joe Biden’s Commie Agenda. Fuck me running, some of their conversational threads about turned me into an actual serial killer. I just grab the nearest chainsaw, and there’s one right behind my trimming table, and go all Letherface on living beings who bought into everything Fox News was selling, is selling still.

I can’t hear Klarence. I say, rather loudly, yes, I saw you, hello, hi. Something like that. As he insists on greeting everyone when he comes in…so fucking annoying. I thought I was the only one who bristled at this. But no, it’s not just me. I really honestly don’t get upset or mad if someone doesn’t say hi to me or good morning. But I have no manners and I was brought up by parakeets.

So here’s the gooey good part.

Klarence EXPLODES.

I WAS JUST GONNA FUCKING TELL YOU THERE WAS DONUTS and some other stuff that probably had ‘bitch’ and ‘cunt’ included in it. I mean, he blew several gaskets. I don’t know what those are but he blew several. The other two guys had to rush in and save poor Klarence from the loud-voiced meanie. Again, not kidding or making that up to sell my books or make you go read some of my short tales available on the web even now as I write this.

I decided, logically and coolly, that remaining there as my aunt sat there like a lump, not saying a word, to go home. Enough of this stressful experience that I dreaded so each time I went up there to trim weed. My first day there was a surreal theatre of cruelty play as if written by Samuel Beckett, except ole Sam didn’t have talent and could only vomit back up what he’d heard that day from a Q drop. That’s where the someone/s pretending to be Q released some fecal-infused blurb about the Clintons, mostly, and their love of draining children of fluids at pizza parlors.

That first day, people there shared how they all kept guns on them at all times because the Civil War was almost here. My aunt was the loudest voice in that one. My aunt.

Back to Klarence. I told my aunt I couldn’t trim anymore. I told Klarence to enjoy his donuts and mind you, he’s still ranting and vibrating visibly with the urge to smack me. All because I spoke a bit too loudly, over the heaters and my headphones. And hurt his feelings. I can’ even with these people is, I believe, an expression that’s probs out of date by now. My aunt is asking if I’m all right…not telling Klarence to stop acting like a murderous tree frog on meth.

I left my purse in the shed. I had to go back and get it. The ex-cop was in the middle of a thoughtful diatribe on what a bitch I am. I pop back in, ask him pointblank if he just called me a bitch. I then tell him thanks, I love being a bitch. Out I swan, into the sunrise, as it’s before noon and go home. My aunt also tried to say that they all like me, just not when I’m…yeah.

She has not called or come over to see if I’m okay. She sided with Klarence so quickly it should have gone into a record book but it’s expected. It would have been my fault, after all, if poor poor Klarence had smacked me for hurting his feelings with my loud vocal range-ification. I’ve experienced this one before, after all. When my brother tried to choke me. It was my fault, according to mom and dad. I deserved it.


Okay, enough common as dirt family confessions.

It’s nearly Halloween, darlings. My favorite time of year. I love skulls and spiders, pumpkins and witches, vampires, ghouls and zombies, oh my. The season is changing, winter is around the corner with its snow and smell of cinnamon and sage. It’s harvest time, the mice move into the house and you’re not surrounded by ominous corn fields full of cult-minded children with butcher knives at the ready.

I am skipping the stressful, awful end of year holidays this year because I have to work. That’s my excuse. I have to work, sorry, can’t sit there and suffer through Fox News shitvomitings from y’all. As I’m the only not-Foxie on either side. In a deeply red part of Oregon, with a lot of my relatives from batshit blood-red Id-ee-hell. I don’t want to sit there and silently hate every single fucking one of them this year or ever. I have to call quits to all those family helldays. Sorry, holidays. My mouth wants to flap. I don’t have any backup and I don’t truly wish to hate any of them. I’m almost there already. Sigh of sighs.

The toad is croaking away. There’s a big collection of storms comin’ in. The cat says hi.