First Part: Texas Preacher inspires a blog post

A Texas preacher was wailin’ and waxin’ large on how this is going to be a bad day for the devil. And naturally, on hearing this shouted from the next room, during the early hours… I had a thought of– is any day a bad day for the devil? It seems the devil gets a lot of shit done. Wars to petty little malicious gossip fun. Everyone’s getting devoured by that devil walkin’ around. The devil takes a stroll and checks things off her list.

What?? Her list??

Have I lost my gol-durn mind? Yes, I have, but that’s a whole other hysterical and barely readable blog post.

Part Two: Gender Politics

I have always wondered this. Why is the devil male? Other than patriarchal absolute control over everything from religion to nail polish choices, of course. Positions of power must always be filled with male figures! Even in legends, mythology, religion and tall tales. Women with power tend to be evil queens, evil stepmothers and witches. Or a combo thereof– an evil stepmother queen witch, such as Snow White’s dad’s second wife. Yep! There are ‘good’ witches but…they’re still suspect, because they have vaginas under those pretty princess-esque ensembles. And could go rogue at any time! We don’t get many tales of queens without there being some sort of ‘love’ story involved where she ends up secondary in her own story as a kingly sort steps up and ‘saves’ her from having to rule and make decisions or she falls into disgrace and gets tricked or…I’ll stop there. Ahem.

Other than that…why is the devil always portrayed as a male figure? We have witches, of course. But. They’re subservient and doing the will of their master…yeah. Witches went from powerful independent sorts to cringing, tricked, lied to servants of Satan. They went from enjoying their power and their relative sexual freedom to being puppets who just endured the cold sexual caresses of Hell’s Landlord. [Because why not strip even sexual enjoyment out of witchcraft, can I get an amen??] See Malleus Malificarum.


Women and power, it’s makes people uncomfortable. I get it. There’s reams written here. The powerful woman getting reduced to evil crone who licks the devil’s bottom during ceremonies held beneath the full moon. Read all that stuff. Read about the witch craze and how midwives were suspect and…yeah. But.

Part Three: A Tale of Love Gone Wrong

That rebellious beautiful angel who went against God. That reads more like a love story gone horribly wrong than some servant acting up and getting spanked, big time, for all eternity. Actually, that fallen angel gets rewarded, by being made the Big Baddie who gets to pretend to go against God. [And here, you can start screaming I don’t know anything about religion, the devil, God or blah dee blurg. That my years in the Lutheran church apparently did nothing more than give me a curious case of soul rash.] After all, does it not say, in Revelation, that God wins?

It’s right there. That’s bad storytelling. You don’t invent this great villain and then say, baldly, that that villain is going to lose. We know the villain loses, we want to pretend some actual surprise. There has to be a moment when we think the Joker is going to squash Batman and yank his wings off. That’s just how good stories trot along. We want, maybe, to even believe, for a bit, that the villain, the Big Bad, will win the day and destroy the planet, kill the tied up girlfriend/love interest/wife/some random girl; uh, get that death ray to work, etc, etc. You don’t state that so and so will win while presenting some Big Bad as the ‘villain’. Unless you plan on springing a surprise on us. Like some super-villain in the wings. Maybe her name is Mary who wraps her holy thighs around the devil and God and devours them both with her girl parts and comes out the winner of it all.

I would so watch that movie. I would even buy the over-priced gold-plated popcorn to munch as I watched that movie.

You cannot announce that you’re the winner ahead of time. It’s insulting. Why do you need an adversary? Especially one that seems on the payroll? Why is he needed at all? Oh…because the devil has a case of bitter grapes and seeks to take down as many as he can before THE END OF IT ALL. [No, seriously, that’s the answer I’ve seen to this one. The devil wants to have a game of freeze tag before the End. Yep.] Cue evil laughter, ala Vinny Price.



How bitter do you have to be to infect as many humans as you can before God yanks the curtains closed?? That’s female territory…that’s spurned lover territory. That’s…yeah. I’m marching out some rather tired female tropes here— the woman scorned, the bitter woman who wants to repay her ex in spades, the nasty woman who will do anything to smear her ex, etc. Entire industries chug along on that crap alone. There’s also the crazy ex who stalks the current Pretty Young Thang and there’s a catfight where boobies bounce a lot. That’s both a movie plot go-to and the newest ad campaign for Chanel Number Five. Petty revenge against a force that’s all-powerful and who announces they’re going to win no matter what happens…doesn’t seem like male on male catfighting. [Can men have catfights?? Mmm. Maybe tomcat fights? Because tomcats are both slinky and possess testicles? MMMM!]


But anyway. The devil, in my opinion, always has a good day. The list of sins is long and people are stupid. You can’t even have naughty thoughts without making God’s I Saw That! list. You can’t lust in your head, your thoughts are on trial. God is literally the thought police. The devil wants you to run that hardcore dungeon daddy fantasy involving a Viking era cowboy-ish muscled up pretty boy who puts you through your paces with a small whip and a large donkey. The devil is saying, hey, baby, go for it. You say, okay! Good day for the devil. Or maybe, hey, you’re in charge of an entire country. And you’ve got pretty bombs and tanks at your disposal. Why not use them on something? Like Chicago?? Yeah, the devil doesn’t even have to do more than shrug and go, hey, baby, go for it. That whisper of permission to give in to your darkest or most silly little vices. Instead of living with your knees crossed and your mind full of amens and hallulujahs and notions that the world is burning alive.

So it makes sense, to me, to make the nemesis of the desert God who stalked about in the lands of Canaan and Judea and so forth…a girl.

And hey, if we keep the devil a boy, well…kettle of very LGTBQ fish, can I get a high five and a clobber verse, amen? [There are six, by the way, six. That’s it. There’s about six maybe references in the entire Bible about this issue. Uh huh.]  You can’t have women with power, after all and you can’t even entertain the notion of God and the also-male devil being exes…because how soon before we’re making bestiality and incest legal and letting people marry their own houseplants?? Hello!

A seductive temptress whispering, go for it, baby, as she picks your pocket and paints a target on your back. That, after all, is what women are…we’re either whores or good girls. That Madonna/Whore dichotomy. One fall from grace and we’re forever branded a sin-filled whorebeast, we gals. There’s no forgiveness for us if we tumble a bit or a lot or at all… We have to be kept covered and controlled and in our place otherwise…chaos. That’s the central core message of pretty much any major or minor religion…women are suspect. Big time. Beware. You give women any sort of freedom and they turn to the devil and become witches and try to become men and want to vote and shit. Gol durn it, not on my watch!


Which leads me to…yes, my piddles in this area, writing-wise. Gotcha!! I wove a pretty web, I offered some sweet blasphemy and oh, viola…here we arrive at some stark PR for my products. Oh my!

Being a writer chick, I invented a character. It’s kinda what I do on occasion. She drives around in an old Caddy, seeking whom she may devour. I didn’t give her a name, other than ‘devil’. She’s a black woman riding the roads of America, offering deals. I was writing along in Alice in Oregonlandia and went, as you do, hey…what if the devil shows up.

What if the devil shows up.

And, sometimes, my mind-worms poop out some useful smeary images. One of those 50’s monstrosity cars with fins that get about three miles per gallon because gas was cheap back then. Flames painted on the black doors. An engine that can heard miles away, one of those big powerful V-8 take on all comers engines. And a woman at the wheel, a powerful woman, a woman to be feared, a woman of sadness and fierce laughter, the devil. With dark skin , a body that’s hers and hers alone, a confidence that her road trip isn’t gonna end any time soon. She suggests sins, doesn’t tell you to actively commit them. She knows you and maybe even loves you a little, but still wants to turn you inside out to watch you strangle in your own guts.

She also turns up in my third book, Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice. Which I’ve let ‘rest’ for a week, as other writing urges hooked me like a fly fisherman hooks one of those trout in a river in Montana. Must write this now! I’m mulling ideas for that third book, deciding just who and what Mr. Blue, Bong Bong and Mr. Peepers are. [If you have no idea who those characters are, it’s okay. I forgive you. Go in peace.] I’m inventing the mythology and reality of this world Alice, and her mother, Nancy, exist in. What happens if there’s devils within devils within devils? What happens if. It’s what writers do, after all. I’m not thinking Overall Literary Theme. I thinking, what if the devil is trying to fix her mistakes? What will Alice do when she finds out what Lysette is? What does Aaron know? I am thinking in terms of what comes next, not Man’s Inhumanity to Man.

The devil, after all, is in the details.



Bwha ha ha.

The devil always has a good day. She likes to keep busy and she’s a multi-tasker, as women have been since the time they lived out in the open scavenging lion kills. God will snap His fingers and the devil might very well not even notice. She’s bent over whispering into a susceptible ear to some sexually confused young Christian man to look up three-way twink and bear porn [if you have no idea what this is, boy, are you gonna have some fun with Google today] over on porn hub [a real site, in case you thought I made that up, my innocent sweeties]…whispering in that ear to go for it, baby. God will be saying, hey, I’m ending the game. The devil will look up, from whispering sweet nothings into various ears. You do that, baby, if you think that’s best.

And God will swell up and stomp back to heaven, with a hearty string of expletives for his Ex and the devil will smile. It’s always a good day for the devil.


The Obligatory Blog Post


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CHAPTER ONE: Opening Salvo

The sprinkler pumps out water, the birds chirp, the sky has some ominous-looking maybe clouds. Those clouds that promise action, but, in a rain shadow, rarely deliver. We might get a dust storm or the clouds might just mosey onward, as clouds do here. I am trying to think of some topic, since it’s been a week since yours truly posted something pithy or not so pithy here in Blogland.

CHAPTER TWO: The Blarking of the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July has come and gone, with a friend of mine terrorized by drunken young men shouting what patriots they were while snarling at him…Now, me, being me, I’d have probably…I don’t know. Who knows what you’ll do when others swerve out of their way to have a go at you. It depends on factors! If you’re having a good or bad day. If something has happened. If. If. If. Saying that we would DEFINITELY do such and such if such and such happened…yeah, that’s bullshit. Unless you’re trained to deal with horrible situations, you don’t know. And even when trained, things, as they say, happen that blark blark blark a blark. You know the drill here. No, I’m not going to go into why people are shits to others and how we need to take the high road [gag me with a damn spoon and then beat me with a horsewhip already].

CHAPTER THREE: Evil Lib’rals! 



NPR read the Declaration of Independence over the airwaves…and dumbasses lost their shit. I proclaim them dumb-asses due to these same, ahem, GOP supporters who scream how much they wuv the Con’stan’tushun and the Dekklaration of Indeepedantz…yet can’t recognize the words from either. There was an actual blowback, an hysterical ‘NPR is callin’ for Trump’s assass’nation!’. I didn’t make this up. It was rather like when War of the Worlds got read and people took it seriously, it was that level of ‘doh’. [Though, to be fair, when Orson Welles read it, in 1939, on Halloween…it probably was spooky as hell and utterly swallowable. Is that a word?] But when PATRIOTS WHO WUV JESUS AND THE FLAG can’t recognize the very words they claim are their favorite set of words ever…yeah.

And oh yes, people did suggest NPR [National Public Radio, for those not in ‘murica] do a reading of War of the Worlds. Just cause. Tee hee.

CHAPTER FOUR: Dull Dry Writing Projects Update. Look Away Now. 

I need to get cracking on my third book in the trilogy of terror. [Who saw that movie??? The little doll, omg, that comes to life. They don’t make scary little doll short chapters in otherwise hum-drum horror movies like that anymore. You kids get off my lawn!]

It’s cooking along, actually, my Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice. I’m getting hung up, though, on procedures and how THINGS ARE DONE IN REAL LIFE instead of just writing and then fixing later. I did this to myself for another novel, where I didn’t blast forward on it and instead did some research, told myself I didn’t know enough about sheep ranching and how engines worked and put it away.

But then came back to that project, Cue the Violins and went… uh, the sheep ranching stuff is like part of one chapter, your heroine gal doesn’t now anything about engines, either, so fucking write this already. And– after my current project is at least somewhat finished, I plan to rework Cue the Violins and cut the crap out of that first chapter, which I think bogs the whole freaking thing down and it’s written more for me than any reader and…yeah.

EPILOGUE: This Has Nothing to Do With What Came Before


Oh, I also read some David Sedaris and am reading a political take on why America is so into conspiracy theories these days, both sides of the aisle. Which I’ve noticed. It’s all Fake News and THEY’RE HIDING THE TRUTH, from both ends of the extremist sphincters. While those in the middle steadily shrink under the sheer weight of the DRAMA that just sucks you in…Jesus is due ANY DAY NOW and He’s going to go all Rambo on liberals, atheists and feminists versus THE TRUTH ABOUT 9/11 or the Masterminding of an American Tragedy or Demolitions of the Shady All-Powerful One-Mind Borg Powerful Supergroup.

Sorry!! I’ll end this. Are you as easily distracted and disgusted by the entire planet as I am right now? Maybe I can buy one of those slave children from Mars to clean up the yard. How much are they, NASA?

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It’s the end of the world…




Note– I, the writer, was challenged to let one of my characters answer a series of questions. Being a truly magnanimous sort, I asked Nancy Stockhorst if she wished to give a small interview. She graciously allowed me to record her answers, which I did, just as she gave them. I did not edit them or leave anything out; it’s a very much warts and all little gabfest. This gabfest, of course, deals only with the House on Clark Boulevard issues, story and problems, not on Alice in Oregonlandia or yes, Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice, that’s right, a book three!, which wraps up the tale of the Stockhorst women. Notice that Nancy suggested I mention those other books; she’s quite a fearless sort and very pragmatic about more than just ghosts and how to cook a turkey. You wrote my story, she said, now get it out there. Isn’t that what you writers do?

NANCY’S SIDE: An Interview with Nancy Stockhorst

My name is Nancy Stockhorst. My story was told to a writer, a local one. I never thought it would, um, well, be seen by anyone. I told her she should write comedies and nice adventure yarns, things people actually want to read. I suppose if anyone read about a few days of their life magnified and dissected so, they’d get uncomfortable, too.

1. What do you like to read in your spare time and has it prepared you for living through your own story?

Oh my, I’ve been reading that James Herriot book, about the vet. Where this vet has adventures with animals back in the Twenties. No, the Thirties, right before the war started. I enjoy it very much when I can get a moment to read. I have, well, had…two small children, a house, a dog, a kitten, some chickens, a husband and so much to do. And, well, there are other things that take up my time. Sometimes, they get very busy. I guess you could call them ghosts. I don’t talk about this, with anyone. I, anymore, just ignore them. They giggle and play tricks, that’s the little boys. They’re dead, I don’t know who they are or why they died. And there’s a little girl with a doll, the tongue tries to lick me. There’s one with jacks. One with a tea set, always trying to get me to play tea party. And. And there’s others, but I ignore them as best I can. I tell them to leave me alone if I have a lot to do. Oh, Mr. Herriot, in that book, just does his job. I’d love a lazy day to finish that first book of his and start one of his others. But you can’t, not when your children are so small yet and so busy all the time.

2. Do you think a character should be able to choose their own genre or do you think that would lead to chaos across the bookshelves?

Well, if my story were told by another writer, I guess it would still be a sort of ghost story. I don’t know how others see their stories. I suppose Mr. Herriot would not wish his book put into the cooking section. That wouldn’t make sense. We all wish to be heroes and not be made fun of. Others put us into groups but we don’t have to stay there. But if you’re telling a tale about ghosts, then why try to put it into the pile about boats? It doesn’t make sense.

3. If you had to write a story yourself, would it be in the same vein as the story you’re currently living through?

Oh good heavens, no. I’d not ever reveal what that Ms. Wuehler revealed about me! I feel very exposed and silly. She did try to capture most of it, but I came across so, well, as I did. I’m not like that! I try very hard to do the best I can and be a good wife and good mother. Those dust ups with Alice! And little boys take a bit of time to learn how to use a toilet! Aaron was a baby! Art was not himself during most of that. I do not cuss so! I’m very careful what I say. I’m always very careful. I came across as some…actor. As if I go about all day pretending that I like being a wife and mother; I do like being a wife and mother! This would just be a tale of a family getting through the holidays, they pile holidays up so. Thanksgiving and then a month later, it’s Christmas. Halloween right before that! Dealing with all that would fill a book no one would be ashamed to have on their bookshelf. Real things as done by real people. And I’d never include the other elements. There’s no need to talk about that stuff. Or what really happened to the chickens.

4. Do you think this story is sharing the greatest moment of your life?

Of course not. Wuehler strung together my lowest moments possible. Where things were not going well. Where I let myself get carried away, and where I let the others in that house get to me. I do like the bits about the Calgon bath salts and the red string, that was accurate and true. But other parts, I wish had not been put on a page. I felt and still feel rather, well, naked. All that silly fighting with Alice, when do mothers and daughters not have petty little fights? Where I let Mr. Blue…I won’t talk about that or him. I won’t give him that satisfaction. He won’t win, not ever.

5. If you were allowed to edit your story yourself would you cast yourself in the leading role or keep out of the limelight?

Of course I would make myself look good. Do we not all do that? My brother Tom is always the hero or the victim of his own tales, he comes out on top or someone else is to blame for whatever he did. He’s your typical man. Well, he is. Do we not all do that, though? We scrub away the troubling bits of ourselves when we tell stories about ourselves or gloss over something to make ourselves seem better or nicer or kinder or wiser. I did throw that damn cat. That was left in! I’d never include that if I were telling this story. I did punish Alice for talking out of school about things I told her not to talk about. Any mother would have done the same. I do like the bits about Ruth and Carl, they were portrayed almost exactly as they actually are. Just good solid farm folks. My own parents got nearly the same respect. I think Joan would be tickled over how she came across. I came off so oddly. I love my family. The writer of my tale makes it seem I don’t even like them that much.

6. Would you ever want to know the full page count of your story?

Mm. Well. From what I hear and see, Wuehler has been recording the Stockhorst tales into further volumes. She’s even now started a third. Several times over started it. As if there is more than one way to tell a story? I have no idea how many pages my little confession turned into. Most of what made it to the page seems determined to paint me in a very strange light. I did what I had to. To fight off that Mr. Blue and everything he did to me. Oh yes, there was also Mr. Peepers. He lived in Alice’s room. Aaron had his cowboy blanket and Alice had some little…thing that lived with her. He seemed harmless or I would have run him off. I did what I had to. I made pies and baked turkeys and figured out how to make all the others leave me alone. That could be reduced to about a page or two. For Reader’s Digest. And you could leave out all the ghosts and rolling beasties and Mr. Blue. I’d just be an ordinary woman dealing with children, a husband, pets, in-laws and holidays.

7. Have any scenes been cut from your story that you want putting back in place?

Oh goodness, the writer just put everything I told her onto the page willy-nilly. She even included the little moment when I spoke to my Aunt Pansy in the library! Oh, there was that scuffle over just how to explain my leaving the house when things got so very bad that one night near Christmas. She had me hurting Art, she had me running over to Susan’s, she had me calling my mother. Finally, she settled on me reaching out to Tom, my brother, to come get me. Who was cheating on his girlfriend, Freedom, so that was another way for the writer to show my brother in a not so kindly light. Yes, that was my brother’s girlfriend’s name. Freedom. She came with Tom to the Thanksgiving dinner at my house and she, well, seemed to see them, too. I could never quite trust her. But Tom, now, my brother came right over, in the middle of the night, didn’t he? I was portrayed as off my rocker and about ready to be sent to the insane asylum. I’d have left out how hysterical I came across. Well, not hysterical, really, more…focused and angry. Those other scenes had me a bit nicer and more like me, but the writer decided on having Tom come get me. I barely remember that night, so I let the writer take liberties, as they say.

8. If you could ever meet a reader in person would you ask for their review of your story?

I guess. I’d like to hear how I come across and if they’ve experienced anything like that. It seems there are other people who know about ghosts and such, I did look them up and read about them. It’s how I knew about making those bottles for catching ghosts and oh, dream catchers. And the red threads. But then again, the story is so off and odd. And not normal. I’ve kept most of what happened to me a secret in real life. Now my secrets are being turned into fiction, for people to read at the beach! It’s rather an uncomfortable feeling. And then to have people judging you based on whatever Wuehler chose to write about me! So much was left out. Perhaps her other takes on the Stockhorst family will include just the nice stuff. I know how hard and awful life can be; there’s no need to just write that sort of story only. Funny things happen all the time. Good things happen all the time. We don’t need a constant reminder that life can be awful and sometimes the dryer explodes a week after you buy it brand new. I’d also like to hear, from readers, how they dealt with daughters like Alice. There were days I thought I’d sell her to the Salvation Army!

9. Would you rather your story be light and entertaining or leave your readers with questions when it’s finished?

Well, my story did end on a rather abrupt and awful note. The writer just stopped writing. Called it a day! That’s not where my story ended, my story is still going, so to speak.

I’d have liked the House on Clark Boulevard to end with that Christmas chapter, where it’s just a normal family enjoying the holiday. It was done for shock effect, that ending, I scolded that writer and called her a hack. She informed me that the story does continue, in something I hope she only jokingly called Alice of Oregonlandia. Is it a comedy, I asked her. Sure, it’s got lots of jokes, the writer said. What is this further story about? Oh, it continues with Alice in the hot seat. About ten years later. Am I in it? I had to ask that. The writer just gave me a look. I take it I won’t like whatever that story, featuring Alice, will be, either. I think, if my story can get retold, I’d like to disguise my name. And make it more about trying to get ready for the holidays and not so much about the watching eyes, the trick-playing ghosts, the gigglers in the wall, Mr. Peepers, the furry rolling things and that stupid, murderous Mr. Blue. Did I do what he wanted? No, I did not! Yes, a more light-hearted, sweet approach. That’s what people want, not the gritty, dirty, ordinary sort of stuff that happens in people’s houses. Though, that can be fascinating, just not when it’s all about you and your house and your family, of course.

10. Are you happy for the problems in your life to be used as catharsis for your readers?

I had to look that word up. Well, I get so busy. So, someone will read my story and feel better? That might be a good thing. I just hope that Wuehler remembers I’m a real human being and not perfect if she includes me in her next attempt. And to be kind. That the truth might be shocking and titillating but that doesn’t mean it has to be told.

And now, it’s your turn!! Buckle up, dear fellow writers. 

Ten questions for your character of choice to take a whack at:

1. What hobbies or interests do you have? Are they a part of the tale told about you? Why or why not?

2. What are you political leanings? What religion, if any, are you? Has the writer misrepresented you in these areas?

3. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone else? Why did you do it? Would you do that same act again and, if so, why?

4. What kind of sandwich do you like? Describe it. Are you a foodie? Do they have sandwiches in your realm, kingdom or plane?

5. Did the person/s telling your tale get it right? What would you change? What captured the essential you? What would you get rid of in your own tale?

6. Is it important that readers like you? Why or why not?

7. What’s your job, career or profession? Has this influenced your story in any way, shape or form?

8. Why does your story need to be told? What will a reader get from it?

9. Do you regret having your story known to others? Why or why not? Would you pick a different writer to tell your tale?

10. What parting words of wisdom would you like to leave us all with?


OH!! I’d like to thank Fellow KGHH author  C.A (Christine) Ardron, for suggesting I try this challenge. I’d like to nominate Lucy Brazier, K.T. McQueen or James Peartree. 

Ardron’s post:  https://morethanacat.com/2017/06/17/byrd-speaks/



Serious Writer


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This is the landscape in my head as well…

Welp, re-reading some stuff I flung on a page. Working on new project. June calls like a jaded whore, looking to make two dollars. I have hedges to trim, old dead stuff to haul out of the yard and birds to piss off when I pass too close to their territory.

I need to take some ibuprofen, for problems I’ll not disgust you gentle readers with. We gals are supposed to not mention our unmentionables but let others mention them for us, in ways both creepy and savagely awful. [She’s got a great ass. Dry-boxed old bitch. Oh now, surely you know exactly…of course you do.] If a gal mentions her own stuff, ahem, in public, she’s a dirty, vulgar not-a-lady. So. I won’t mention, at all, why I’ll be gulping a near overdose of pain killers this morn. It’s indelicate. Ahem.

Back to writin’!!

So!! I have about fifteen thou words on Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice, yes, I’ve changed the title a bit. [See blog post right before this one!] I’m already itching to scrap that version and start again instead of pushing grimly through with WHAT I ALREADY HAVE. I can keep what I have, just start a new file, see what good chunks remain in place what new chunks bob up. If that even makes sense?! It makes sense to me. I do that for playwriting. Rewrites tend to be a start over from scratch, to see what sticks around and what goes away. A technique taught to me and my fellow grad school flunkies [I’m kidding, none of us flunked] during a weekend workshop. Where you set aside your drafts, and start over and over…which is, granted, not for everyone. It works for me. It frees me, in a way. It also helps you, in that charming phrase, kill your darlings. Those phrases or passages or, at times, actual characters, that just stop the flow of your work. You might love a turn of phrase or a description that just makes you grin for days…but it might not be best for your project.

I’m also wrestling with JUST WHAT IS THE DAMN STORY HERE.

As in…it’s a meandering mess in my head. I need to scheme and plan and dream and talk to myself —yes, I speak scenes and words aloud. I work out this and that aloud. I can’t be the only writer/artist who does this. I try to make sure no one else is home when I start spouting like Lady Macbeth. Or that I’m not in Wal-Mart buying hand grenades and flip flops. I try to pretend I’m not batshit crazy as hard as I can some days. I should get an award or at least a Nice Participation Award certificate–to figure out just where this is going. And then, of course, not go there at all because the story galloped off for the hills with a mocking tee hee. Not to mention a kick in the face when I tried to control it. Or, to be succinct and staid as a beige couch cushion…I need to get out of the way of the story. Except the story has yet to try to gallop about in any direction. Maybe there is no story. Maybe it’s just vignettes that don’t add up to jack squat! Whee!!!

Oh yeah, we have another shooting. A giant fire in London. There was some talk about impeachment. And how a Keebler Elf got grilled like a hamburger by a much-interrupted Senator, except she was rude and mean, according to the Other Side and didn’t do doodle to the Keebler Elf of Satan and…Fuck!! Probably why I want to go outside, where the still-fresh air is, and cut dead branches off the local bushes and trees and shout insults back at the ranting blackbirds. Get outta my sky, you damn birds! Go back to California, you hippie freak birds! Why do you hate Jesus and America, you anti-human freaks? Oh sure, it’s a lot of fun. I get to yell crazy shit and the birds…I’m not sure what the birds get out of it but who cares, right, they’re birds. Who cares, as long as I get something out of it. [Yes, I think some of the Fox Propaganda is starting to infect yours truly. I’m starting to just hate everything and everyone. Not that I am Ms. Peace Love Joy, but I am finding it far easier to just go, whatever, whenever something happens anymore…]

Off the scary political grandstanding going on and back to the grubby chore of writing.

Ah…ah. This new project seems a chore, a…ugh. I’m not taking any joy in it. There’s no real compulsion there, yet, to see what happens next…Maybe there’s three books instead of one here. From Lysette’s angle, from Alice’s viewpoint, from Nancy’s neck of the woods. Or a three part book where I’m not leaping about from different narrative puddles. The same story told three different ways. Mm…that could get tedious and boring. Or be a real goddamn writing challenge. Or…mmm. Or maybe I can just focus on one untrustworthy narrator. Or. Or. Or.


Maybe I need to do an outline, gulp. As I’ve done them for all other big novel-esque projects, to at least give myself a fighting chance. I’m oddly very German that way. I don’t know why it would be German to do outlines but…yeah. [Oh yeah, the meticulous records kept of the death camps and…oh yeah. And having a lot of German ancestors, I can, surely, claim a somewhat knowledge of Germanic orderliness. I mean, the French are not known for lists and order and checking the right boxes off, is all. Why did I go off about Germans? Oh.] It might help me focus on just who should tell this story and, gulp, what the actual story is. I have a vague climax in mind– where one sister…for the other sister and then there’s pie. I can’t give it all away here, that would be anticlimactic for any who might actually bother to read the finished, if ever, product!

So. What to do to gild my steaming turd.

Which is probably much better than I make it out to be. I tend to be rather a ghastly Negative Nelly about my own flipperies in the writing arena. My confidence shagged ass south, permanently, for the long winter of my life. Yes, do cry for me, Argentina. [That works on several levels. Tee hee.] Which, if you’ve dipped your toesies into my blog, you’ve noticed. I know, if I just projected TONS OF HAPPY THOUGHTS out into the universe, which is just waiting to MAKE ME A WINNER, then everything will magically fall into place. I just have to envision happy shit and the universe will deliver happy shit to my doorway via great big exciting packages full of chocolate, rainbows, puppies and stardust. Oh…must work on how vastly and cynically cynical I am, too. That will go on a list, written in a neat, precise hand. Must stop being cynical.

Ah, the pain killers have kicked in.




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Yep, I started Book Three of my [some name] trilogy. I’m about six thou words in. Started it, like, two days ago. I’m going back and forth in narrative, a dueling banjos sorta cacophony. Two sisters, one story, everything finally explained. Intrigued?? Well, pull up a chair, friend. Let me walk you through this!

I was all bopping along, project-free, with misty ideas of writing an American-heavy dirge on the, gulp, probably real life scenario of–OMG Why Is the Velveeta Twatwaffle Nuking Canada? Only, I’d have those I find politically repugnant as the Main Characters saying patriotic schtuff and things. Just so I can ‘understand’ and ‘give them a voice’ and…yeah, I just fucking can’t summon up enough demonic power to fuel a short play handling that, let alone a full length musical. [Yes, it would have to be a musical. I just saw Royal Wedding last night and now, must write a musical where someone tap dances while singing vaguely racists lyrics and pinching girls in tight costumes. It’s on my bucket list.] When, as projects do, a terrible, awful, maybe somewhat okay idea birthed itself from the birth canal of my creativity. [Eww, gross!! My idea is all covered in icky creative birth fluids!! Ewwww!!]

What if.

That WHAT IF dragon uncurling its loathsome body. Breathing in my ear. What if Lysette…the mute sister who got her voice back…what if she and Alice and Nancy get a showdown or have to team up to fight the forces of darkness or have to take on the devil or…oooooooh. Mmmmm. Wheels spinning. The wheels on the writer go round and round, round and round, round and round. Nancy, of course, our main gal from House on Clark Boulevard, and her daughter Alice, who has her own turn in Alice of Oregonlandia and Lysette…who’s a big girl now in the mythical grunge smear of the late 90′s. And since I’m dealing with ghosts and death and the devil and…those that have died can return for a bit of a cameo and some clean up batting.

Storyline?? Bwha ha ha ha.

Right now, it’s a vague mess about Alice being accused of…oh, let’s say, a crime, a big one. And she’s broken, battered and broken all over again by life, by what the devil…yeah. It ain’t pretty, but do we want characters who barely break a sweat and then win the lottery? After four hundred pages where the worst thing that happened to them was a broken fingernail and a bad haircut? NO, OF COURSE NOT. Lysette, now, she’s a tough cookie, in the mold of all tough cookies everywhere. Hey, fluck you, I’m like ten pages in, if that. She’s DEVELOPING. No, I’m not defensive or bitter. YOU ARE. Are we done fighting? M’kay. I’m letting whatever wishes to be free be free on the page for now. If Lysette comes out like a cross between Buffy and one of those femme fatale broads from film noir, hey, for right now…I’m gonna let her be who she wishes to be. Is that so wrong? [As long as something gets on a page, is that not the whole point of writing?? I read that somewhere. Maybe one of those super-positive slogans people post over pictures of fuzzy baby ducks. Fuzzy baby ducks!]

Okay, so Saint Lysette-– which is the working title I have right now for Book Three in my [name here] trilogy…like I stated earlier, it’s told from both Alice’s end and Lysette’s. I might even add…a third viewpoint to this heady feminine mix. Might. Considering it. It’s being percolated and bottle fed in my creativity nursery. [It would be Nancy. Nancy!! Yes, do it. Maybe. We’ll see.] I forgot where this paragraph was going. I’ve got MST3K pulled up and it’s DISTRACTING me from this obligatory blog post about latest vague project that’s oozing from my creativity nursery like a sullen mythical lizard on heroin.




I feel totally vindicated now. Yep. Totally. [Fuck you, you Velveeta Stalin Wannabe! At least I didn’t call you a piece of shit or show you sans head. Yay for me!]

Oh, before I jump off the cliff, um…my favorite bit of news out of the UK elections. Lord Buckethead. I have no idea what his political views were or are. I am not endorsing said Lord Buckethead. But. Someone went around with a bucket on their head and got three hundred or so votes in that quickdraw election that May called for. It’s the little things that cheer you up and make you grin ear to ear and realize you can badly survive another day on Planet Shitball. Lord Buckethead, well done, sir. Well done.

If LBH was some British version of a KKK…ugh. Must now go look up politics of LBH. Sigh! No sigh needed!! AWESOME POSSUM APPLESAUCE. Next time I have to vote in ‘murica, I am writing Lord Buckethead in for ‘write-in candidate’ slot. My mother used to write Snoopy. She’d write Snoopy in as her candidate of choice. Because in America, we’d rather vote for cartoon characters than the actual…yeah, anyway.


OH WAIT!! A bit more of your precious browsing time!! Here’s, yes, the dreaded writing sample that must, of course, be included in a post about um, a novel. It’s the opening salvo! Mr. Peepers is still with us!! Who’s Mr. Peepers?? You’ll have to wait for the FIRST BOOK OF MY [some catchy, social media friendly name here] TRILOGY TO FIND OUT. Yay!! Oh. This is first draft-ish. It’s rough, bold and will probably leave a rash.  Enjoy!!!

June, 1998


Mr. Peepers had gotten on my last cotton-pickin’ nerve. I pulled into the Deadman’s rest stop, outside of Pendleton, with the idea that I should shag my ass back to Seattle. I yanked a pack of Luckies out of my cleavage and noticed a young man watching me as he slithered out of his Ford 4by4 two-tone. Young, dark blond hair a bit too long, a scruffy face like he’d forgotten to shave or he was trying to look like Cobain, who was fucking dead as Reaganomics. Mr. Peepers made a schmoan sound, a sigh and a moan conbined. “We don’t have time for this, Missie Lysette!”

I got out of my old Dodge, stretched, made sure lover boy saw it, made sure lover boy got a real good look at my charms. He came right over. His plates had that Idaho tinge, and he was from Ada county. Was he headed toward Portland or back home? Like I gave a rat in a blender. “Hey, stranger.” I purred at the man, who stopped, his somewhat homely face lighting up like one of those Christmas decorations you buy at Wal-Mart, a cheap decoration you hope doesn’t kill you when you plug it in that first time. The closer Prince Charming got, the more fun I wanted to have with him. Just a young farm boy meeting up with a femme fatale. I had a knife, coated with salt, stuffed in my sock. I’d spill his guts if he tried anything funky. I had before. “You got a light?”