Pig Bait

Wheat field, with storm coming in, last year

It’s May. The weather is either FREEZING, WINDY HELL or hey, it’s warm out. Garden is planted, got a new blueberry plant to go with the one from last year.

So have been not writing that much. But. Have been thinking about it. Does that count? Yes, it does.

So saw this blip about Baker City, Oregon and how it’s now a sanctuary city against…wokeness. I. Um? Ahem. Not an Onion article or a satire piece in the sedate New Yorker. The mayor, with crazy glazed eyes, did an interview on Fuck It Fearnews. Where she blatted on about entire Pacific Northwest cities burning down, Antifa not welcome in Baker and…the usual bullshit you can hear from your red-hatted relatives. Seattle is gone? Portland is now just ashes? We’re kinda short on cities here in the Pacific Northwest. Eugene? Is it Eugene she’s shrilling about?

Yes, so!

This utter stinking lunacy gave me an IDEA. What if…what if someone deliberately trolled the red-hats, got them so wound up that one of them actually decided to ‘do something about it’. And it’s a trap. Baited with ‘go ahead, look me up, if you dare’ rhetoric implied. As Americans are off their damn rockers right now and do actually find people to shoot or run over or…Yeah, my brain, it just goes there.

Sometimes you have to take those wild ass far right news blips and turn them into horror tales for this post-modern trying to return to the actual fucking Dark Ages timeline we’re in now. Yeppity yep.

I am fully vaccinated. There’s that.

Been up since two. My brain is a swirly whirly sludge of huh? right now. But I noticed I had not posted for a while and hey, I do have a rough draft, two now, done of a short story I’m called Pig Bait. I rather enjoyed writing it. I haven’t enjoyed writing for a long time.

All righty! It’s gorgeous outside so I need to obsessively check my seedlings and yank the sprinkler to a dry spot. All my flower seeds sprouted! The cat is also doing well. In case you were worried. You know who you are.

Ambitions

Hi and hello. I am going to try to record my work in audio formats, which should be a fun learning experience for all. I am also going to stop being a chickenshit and get…A PATREON PAGE. Why not. I have stuff to offer. It’s a way to get my works out there.

I am not good with technology so this will be a challenge. And since the weather refuses to not be wintery, which is freezing all my plants…yeah, should jump with a WTF, let’s do this! rebel yell into the nearest canyon. All righty then! Onward, upward, woot woot.

https://www.patreon.com/annwuehler

Hello 2021!

It’s finally here!! 2021!

I have no hope it will be better but it surely cannot be worse than 2020. Yes? No? I guess we’ll see when we’re all fighting off the zombie hordes, waiting for 2022 to hit so everything magically gets reset due to the Oregon Prophet’s prophecy. Because anything is possible in this time of no laws, magical thinking, alternate realities for all and ignorance is just as good as knowledge debates. No, I’m sober. Okay!

I did start up an Amazon author page. My only goal this year is to improve my self-promotion skills. That’s it. No grand plans, no wild dreams, nothing bigger than…be better at advertising a wee bit. I just started this yesterday so am still trying to figure out why it won’t…and then cussing a lot, then playing some Candy Crush, but I’m stuck on this particularly horrid level, that gives you about five moves to clear about seven of those fucking nut/cherry combos. Why do I bother with this stupid game??? Why?? Surely I should be writing or self-promoting so hard my entire face bleeds…

Yes. Hi. Hi, 2021. How ya doing so far?

Move To Trash

I have decided to ax a post. I hit the publish button and then went, eh. Why does anyone need to read that? They don’t.

I have a book out, Aftermath: Boise, Idaho and am working on getting another one into final editing. That’s Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane.

I have had a pretty good year writing-wise.

My short story, Mouse and Man, was published in the Sun, in April.

My short story, Greenhorn, was in the Whistle Pig’s Volume 12.

I helped co-write a screenplay based on a short story of mine from Oregon Gothic.

There’s other things out there that got accepted and hey, good for me.

So will press forward this last very long month to be. Will skip Christmas, spend it on my own.

Onward and upward to a bright new year. [Hopefully?]

And thanks to all who read my scattershot blog and thanks to those who support me, even only slightly and thanks to this year about being nearly OVER ALREADY.

I didn’t cuss once. Look at me go!

Projects and Porridge

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Jaws chillin’. 

I just needed an alliterative title. No porridge was harmed in this post. 

I am sort of working on projects. Some of which I will foist on here now and then. Mostly a screenplay I need to be reading over, then plunging back into. A novel to be published that needs a cover. A couple other novels started, in various stages of waiting for me to churn out some pages within their frames.

The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane will be the next novel out. Three elderly sisters taking on cannibal biker gangs in what’s left of Fallon, Nevada after a world-wide conflict that didn’t go so well for anyone. It’s kind of Mad Max meets Doomsday meets that French movie with the three sisters. The Triplets of Belleville. And it’s funny. I think so. I had earlier versions that were grim, realistic, gritty and…it didn’t match the story in my head. This latest one does. A lighter-hearted absurd tale of an apocalypse narrowed down to small Nevada town. It started off as a tale about three sisters making plans to travel to see the grave of a childhood pet by a bridge.

And morphed into cannibals, end of the world, and scavenging.

I really like my characters. This one was easy to write. I wanted to write it. I had fun with seeing where it went. It’s a sort of dark faerytale. And such tales tend to be very dark indeed. At least the original versions do.

The screenplay.

It’s based on a short story of mine, from Oregon Gothic. About necrophilia. I am working with a woman from the Czech Republic who is a director and producer. She’s fantastic!! She truly is. She did a previous short film based on a brief play of mine, Traces of Memory and had to halt production on King Leer, due to the lead actress becoming seriously ill. So,Lucie Gukkertova plans on filming this next year. It’s called Prince Charming for now. I’m trying to remember everything I sort of learned from my one screenwriting class…yeah.

A new novel started. Based on a one act that no one ever wants to produce. Oh Savage Bliss of the Pirate’s Wench is where the characters contact the author and they work up a better story but…mm. Bored yet? Sure, it’s an old idea, done many time by better writers, sure, but hey, they can’t all be Sarte or Pirandello. So hey, what if this is actually a novel?

What?? Yeah!

And here’s where my mind took this off into a weird landscape of God, the devil, angels, demons and writers. Oh dear, already did a novel on that sorta thing except different. Am I doomed to explore whatever’s left of my faith? Dang a lang a dang!

The kitten is doing well. She now likes to go outside. She’s growing! Her belly is healed up, she’s a happy little thing. I did find a severed rabbit leg…on the picnic table. Blurgh.

I am writing some– just not in my usual gushy fashion. I do have projects lined up for spring. January was a good month writing-wise. New decade starting off sorta okay. 

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Cat-A-Palooza

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Yes. I went. To Cats.

I really enjoyed myself. I was expecting campy badness to the nth degree. I got a big screen attempt at an overly musical musical that does not boast any sort of coherent or linear story. This film is based on theAndrew Lloyd Weber musical—which is people dressed up like cats writhing and singing for two hours. Sure, there’s something about picking a cat to go to the Heavyside Layer. Where that cat gets a new life—this reads strangely like death. It’s a weird two hour long cat sacrifice? How Egyptian.

Cats is based on the T.S. Eliot poem—Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

The current movie has been directed by Tobe Hooper. It features Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Francesca Hayward, Ray Winstone, Rebel Wilson, etc, etc. A big cast.

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Dame Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy

I had the theatre to myself. Score! They didn’t turn the overhead light off. Bummer. Did I bother to get up and go inform someone of this? No. I was also in the tiniest theatre. There’s ups, there’s downs, there’s can’t be bothered to get up once the magic starts.

So, our movie opens on a woman throwing away a cat in a bag. No kidding. The cat gets out of the bag. We’re in some litter-strewn dumping ground for unwanted felines. Oh dear, oh what the…!

These freaky human-cat experiments, escaped from the Island of Dr. Moreau, spy on this unseen as yet kitty.

Oh my! It’s the WIDE-EYED INGENUE, Victoria. She knows nothing of this new alley cat/feral cat colony she’s lucked into. And she’s a slinky little thing who can ballet her way around several giant set pieces.

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Francesca Hayward as Victoria

Then I start to notice that the ears and tails are, um, moving. Moving. But the cats have human faces. With whiskers. And human eyes.

Nightmares to follow.

But after ten minutes…Nope! Never. I never got used to the cat characteristics mixing so badly with the human ones. That was. No. Nope. I’ve heard the team behind this movie sent in new, improved movie magic cuts to fix the CGI mistakes that made it into the theatrical release. Wish I’d seen that earlier version…yes, I do.

That horrific cockroach/mouse fiasco. I totally agree here. It was horrific to watch mice with children’s faces…ugh. To watch a human-cat hybrid popping dancing cockroaches into her strange whiskered mouth. Surely someone in editing went—what the actual fuck is this? Followed by– cutting room floor time, y’all!

Surely someone did that. A lot. Who thought this looked okay? Who??

But—the cast of this gave it their all. Nobody phoned it in that I could tell. When it got to someone presenting their particular cat, it was great fun. Some were more fun than others. I loved the train one. That kitty can dance!

I am a huge fan of tap. Love the sound, love the precision and mastery that goes into a great tap routine. Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, just bliss for me. No, they were not in this movie. If you don’t know either of those names, then hey, you have some great discoveries ahead of you. Oh yes. You do.

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James Cordon as Bustaphor Jones. Notice the giant set piece. Naked cats versus dressed cats. 

The thief cats, eh, it was all right. Judi Dench as [Mama Cat] Old Deuteronomy– loved her and her singing fit her character. Gus the Theatre Cat, played by Gandalf, was sad and dignified, with a weird fluffy tail but his cat grafting seemed to fit him better than others.

Now, I wanted to be charmed by the Memories cat, played by a truly awesome power singer who made Dreamgirls a must-see. Jennifer Hudson dressed as some sort of bag lady meets Nora Desmond—baggy overcoat over sparkly yet grimy duds. Um. Okay. Why does a cat need clothes…as some of the cats had clothes, some did not; it seemed the main characters had clothes, the ensemble did not.

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Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella. Hayward in ballet pose. 

Some sort of overall arc got attempted here with Grizabella/Jennifer Hudson. The wide-eyed ingénue cat, Victoria, grew to like her and drew her into the performance space inside an abandoned movie house. The other cats, who had to be Jellicle cats, had to audition. Audition to be chosen to die/get a new life/change/move on.

Jellicle cats never got explained and I didn’t really care what that was. It seemed a special club made up of cats hungering to find a new life off the streets. Almost a cult of cats that other cats would have to be asked to join. It seemed Judi Dench’s cat got to control all this.

Back to Memory. The song. Who has not sung this song for an audition or for a gigantic Chinese audience? Raise your hand! Yes, I sang this for a giant audience of mostly Chinese people at the school I worked at. Yes, I managed to hit that big note. I also got to sing this with a student who had a lovely voice. Who wanted us to dress like cats. I said no to that. Memories…!

Grizabella belts out the last few verses of the most famous and infamous song ever to burst from Broadway.

And oh yes, she hit that glory note. She hit it to make Betty Buckley and ever other diva who just stood there on a stage and sang that to the heavens proud as punch. Boom. But this moment seemed contrived and false.

As for every minute up until now, most of the other cats hate this cat with an unfathomable passion. Though we do get Victoria singing the Beautiful Ghosts song as Judi Dench’s Old Deuteronmy watches, Victoria singing it to the disgraced cat who lives by herself in the wastelands. That was rather heartbreaking and rang very true. The performer did not have the voice Hudson has, but she brought a tear to my eye.

Yes, I sat by myself in an empty movie house room, with tears on my cheeks. I have surely hit all the sad spinster bingo card squares by now and then some. Sigh.

What cat gets to go to the Heavyside Layer? That was the story. Victoria allows the other cats to explain everything and then burst into song, do high kicks and back arches. She’s a plot device far more than a character.

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Idris Elba as Macavity. Or the Cheshire Cat? Or…?

Ah, the villain of the piece–the very sexy cat-slinky and funky fake green eyed Idris Elba. No other cat had weird fake eyes. If they did, I did not notice. No weird unblinking neon eye lenses slapped in actors eyes that I noted except Elba.

Not even Taylor Swift, who I thought did a great job with her one big number. Well done, madam! Kind of a big band standards stripper music showstopper attempt where she shimmied and strutted in high heels cause…cats wear heels but no other cats had heels on so…yep.

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Yes, that is Taylor Swift, showing up for one song and one song only. 

This bad kitty, Macavity, magicked [?] the other contenders to leave only himself to be picked. So he slunk around, acting all slinky, basically and yes, it was sexy as hell. Then he took off that pimp-ish fur coat and it was…what…what is that? It would be like Darth Vader stripping down to his undies. You’d not be delightfully scared of a baddie standing there in tighty whities. You’d be noticing the train tracks when Darth Vader turned around. Or that hey, it’s just some guy. No big deal.

Macavity and that coat was his look. Stripping that coat off destroyed that aura of menace and charm.

He’s supposed to be a ginger cat, according to the song lyrics we just freaking heard and he’s…kinda dark brown with fixed green eyes. Change the lyrics, dears.

But the movie needs something to play against so we’re not just waiting for the Next Big Song and Dance medley. Otherwise, there’s no tension. None.

Elba as the bad kitty provides some sort of urgency and, um, tension. Though why he’d wish a new life when he seems to relish creeping around being all scary. And he has magic powers. But he has to wait to be picked…yeah, don’t think about the non-plot, do not think about how there’s no actual plot to this thing. Let that go, let that go!

The pacing seemed okay. The first bit of the movie seemed to drag but then it found some sort of strange forward momentum. That’s as close as I can get to…yeah.

Now, I’ve seen Cats on stage. I know there’s no real story there. It’s just a collection of songs, with great dance bits, then the big wallop songs of Act II that do not let up; it’s over. The movie pretty much followed that, sort of.

I’d have ended it with the rewarded cat sailing off to that reward instead of where it did.

I’d have not done that CGI cat-human hybrid shit. Jesus Christ! Help! It never got charming…or forgettable. That suspension of disbelief just refused to stretch that far. I found myself watching the swiveling CGI ears far more than whatever the actors were doing. Maybe Cats the musical is just not adaptable, at this moment, to film.

Did they not learn from the Halle Berry Catwoman mess? Which, yes, I liked. But I can well understand why it tanked. It was over the top absurd, sure, but Berry tried to morph into someone’s idea of a cat. Someone who’s never been around cats. A dog person’s idea of a cat. Okay!

Anyway, thanks for reading my few scattered impressions of a movie I have been dying to see cause it looked like something the SyFy channel put out as a dare. I had a good time, I had the theatre to myself. I could laugh and cry and fart to my heart’s content.

Happy New Year. Go see something silly and fun. Hug your cat. That’s all I got.

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Yes, that is a real cat. My kitty taking a break in her fave box. 

Bits, pieces and a guillotine shout out

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Clip art.

Happy December. A short one.

Had two birthdays this weekend, made the ugliest angel food cake. From scratch. Oh the horror. It tasted okay, it just looked like a flat, chewed on by tiger’s prop from a z-rate horror movie set. It should have been featured on some ugly foods website. Even with frosting and a jam layer, that poor cake should have been taken out back and kindly beat to death, then buried in the earth.

So!

My year seems to be ending well, writing-wise.

I placed a story with the Whistle Pig—Pearlie At the Gates of Dawn.

I placed a story with the Ghastling—the Little Visitors.

Just found out my play, the Bluegrass of God, was accepted by the Santa Ana River Review.

My poem—My Feet Hurt—will be part of the  Rumpus’s Enough section.

I am currently working on a screenplay based on a short story of mine from Oregon Gothic. Prince Charming Finds His Sleeping Beauty is that tale, and the movie title, for right now, is just Prince Charming. I am collaborating with a director/film maker from the Czech Republic, with a first draft more or less done. Working on the newest version.

Got a royalty check in the mail. Small but still a check. It’s still such a wonder to be paid, even a tiny smidge, for something I wrote.

So a few hits, lots of misses. Writing some. Writing political screams but if I posted them, I’d be arrested. As they focus on things like how to build a guillotine and how to stage a revolution on a shoestring budget.

I’ll end on a truly trivial note. Been watching a BBC series called Young Dracula. Cause. Yeah. It’s so much better than it should be. It’s quite funny. I enjoy it. I’m in season three, which features a major tonal shift, a new setting and some could be interesting new characters. I’d never heard of it. It’s from OVER TEN YEARS AGO.

I also binged season three of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The gut-punch cliffhanger…damn it. The world is already burning alive right now. I am not looking forward to season four. I find I want light, frothy entertainment these days. I wonder why. Oh yeah!

Also, anyone out there want to see Cats? Is it the acid trip horror it promises to be??? I’d be down for that. Trippy weird cat-human morph mistakes high kicking for two hours through giant cardboard-looking high school sets…! I am so in!! A deliciously bad musical misfire? Or did those damn trailers totally lie about how good this confection is?? And the new Star Wars. I might have to leave the house. If only to start building a guillotine. Or change the kitten’s poop dirt.

The King Leer project

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My short play, King Leer, is the basis for a student project over in the Czech Republic. Some pics from that and the link to my play.

Like I promised, September is Promote Myself month. Instead of rando political spurts and hey, sad about the state of my pumpkins. I’ll save those for October! 

Oh– if you or your group are looking for short plays, check out–ten minute plays

Directed by Jan Janout, for a university project. I am sharing a few stills from the filming project. I’m not sure of the actors involved or tech people, but can add those in later. 

From the King Leer page over on Facebook–

Short film King Leer is directed by Lucie Gukkertová who also wrote the script based on a short play by The Ann Wuehler Experience. This is their second collaboration, the first film Lucie shot based on Ann’s play is Traces of Memory which is now in post-production.

Her last short horror film was a historical horror based on the work of H. P. Lovecraft Psychopompos. It has been shown on film festivals all around the world. After finishing it Lucie has mostly worked on fashion and burlesque videos under the name Gukkertová Neskutečná produkce.

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Makeup detail

Rejection’s Poster Gal

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Three dogs, one river. Miz Bridge, Jake in the middle and Molly the Chocolate Lab. Owyhee River.

Hello, various readers and passers stopping by on a snowy evening. Some Bob Frost to start us all on the road to hilarity and good cheer.

I’ve lost count of the rejections this week but it’s a LOT. I either need to write up a new batch of stories, poems and plays or keep sending out the same old crappola. Hoping this time. That time. This time over here.

That it will be different.

Except right now, truth is so much goddamn stranger than any fiction I could fart out or compose while munching French pastry and sipping Italian wine. While seated outside at a sunny cafe in Athens, Greece. I’d write longhand, of course. Using my own blood as ink.

Cause I’m a writer, dangnabbit! That’s a word you hear in old timey cowboy movies as they were not allowed to say ‘god damn it’.

Yes, the American political and all other scenes are just rife with WTF, then topped with Is That An Actual Tweet? followed by Don’t Read the Comments Section, ended with I Am So Done With Social Media, I’m Off To Raise Sunflowers To Help Third World Scarf Herders. Then the cycle starts all over again. With variations.

It’s the downward spiral. It’s the we’re imploding and prolly gonna take the entire world with us. It’s…it’s fucking hot right now.

So my thoughts are roughly—it’s hot. I should write something. About. Something. It’s hot.

Being poor, air conditioning is one of those unheard of, rich people inventions that exist in movies. Sort of kidding. I have a tiny fan. It helps. I go outside, throw water on my squash. I dig out weeds. I hear the hawks raising their kids down the road. Noisy bastards. Shut up, hawks! The corn hides the ditch bank road so the dogs have to listen real hard instead of watching to see who drives to and fro on what they obviously consider their bit of territory. Any engine gets them still and holding their breath. It’s rather creepy-cute.

What to write about. My hot take on politics? Nah, that’s just solid cuss words at this point. Eve Carlin, from hell, shouts out, hey, throw in some other words there. Feminist issues that affect us all? Golly, I’m either too much or too little here or…eh?

Oh!! Sidetrack. Here we go.

Saw the Spy Who Dumped Me. We have free Epix, whatever. So, the plot, eh. Some international whatever, been done a gazillion billion times. However, what’s fresh, you ask? Or haven’t asked at all though you’ve made it this far?

The relationship between the two best friends. Played by Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. It rang every true bell. How they support each other, are there for each other, their acceptance of each other’s faults yet the irritation over those faults…it’s all there. I especially found my bell rang over Kate’s character being called ‘too much’ by a lot of people, including the secret spy/boyfriend of Mila’s character. And Mila’s character siding with Kate’s character, then telling her she’s not too much. Ah!! I almost teared up.

As someone who’s been repeatedly called ‘too much’, which I ALWAYS took as—

there’s something very very wrong with me; nobody likes me unless I act quiet and not myself. I am a monster!—

That moment reminded me of what great friends I have.

I could write about my own experiences with people trying to whittle me down to acceptable size.

And never show that writing to anyone because it would be like ripping my face off and gluing a salted strip of razor blades in its place.

How I have the self-esteem of a dead rock and yes, have let other people define me because 99% of those people tell me I’m ‘too much’…!

And when I try to not be a monster, I find that I am silent and limp as moldy lettuce stuck to the gunk under the veggie drawer in the fridge. And that I am angry. Then I explode and people walk about me as if on the most delicate eggshells and…yeah, pattern.

Pattern! Yep. Pattern detected.

So I’ll stick to making up monsters or writing about sexual encounters between dinosaurs and women. Is that still a thing?? What about man’s inhumanity to man?

Oooh! I smell a Nobel outta that one!

I’ll call it Man Being Mean to Men. It will feature no women characters whatsoever. It will just be two white straight guys on a beach arguing over who’s the bigger victim of post-post modern society as the world literally burns. I will use a thesaurus a lot. I will describe their inner penis. A lot.

I suspect if I actually did write something like that, it would probably actually sell.

I’m not bitter.

Nope.

I am. I am so bitter I’m a walking moldy lemon at this point. Okay.

Rejections fast and furious this week. I’ll not buck up at all. I’ll stew in my own sweat until autumn shows up and it’s STILL FUCKING HOT GOD DAMN IT FUCK FUCK FUCK. But hey, the nights are cooler. I should move to the Artic. Except it’s on fire where they’re not drilling gleefully for oil. Where else is cold?

Minnesota? Maine? Montana? It would have to be within walking distance. How much can I stuff in a backpack? I’ll have to dig up my jars of pennies I buried for a rainy day. Some jars only have one or two pennies in them but hey, that first step, amirite? Amen! A cave, some berries.

I can be the Unibomber without all the baggage.

Holy moley, what a scattershot post. But I felt it important to not write yet another political scream that is only heard by some wide-eyed mice in a deserted choir room.

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I managed to capture an actual bumblebee sampling my lemon balm plant. Isn’t it gorgeous???