Petrichor

Storm just about to hit. Notice the weeds. Beyond that is a sugar beet field.

The distinct smell of rain this morning. Last night we had a thunderstorm move through. Actual rain. The ground is yet wet this morning. Normally, storms here that produce any rain last about five minutes, if that. The ground seems a sort of polka dot vista before the dryness wins again. It’s nearly true that when it rains here in Eastern Oregon, that you can actually walk between the rain drops. I’m not talking about the mountainous regions, of course. I did hear that Sumpter, Oregon, got two inches of rain and then some, in short measure this past eve, which prompted flooding worries. Flooding. When the heat has baked us into fire-exploding potential fuckholocausts from end to end.

I have been busy submitting, trying to ‘get my stuff out there’. That’s my vague yet precise goal, after all, as a writer. Getting my stuff out there for rejections galore or the rare acceptance.

It’s humid, I’m not used to humidity here and it’s befuddling me as I wring sweat from my shirt. Heat, fine, whatever, I can deal. I LIVED IN LAS VEGAS. I know heat! I also lived in SoCal, cheek and jowl against the Mojave. Heat, pavement, Joshua trees, oh yeah, baby. Humidity, no thanks. I’d like to speak to the manager in my most Karen of ways, please.

Submissions. It rained. I have lots of cucumbers and my pumpkins are ripening. I prepared one already for fall pies and such. I discovered my local PBS station GOT RID OF THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW because it’s gone. It’s not in the usual 4PM slot on Saturday. WTF is happening?? Oh the humanity! Yes, I know it’s streaming on blah blah, go slap yourself with a catfish. It was something I looked forward to every week. A little lovely treat, a visual delight. It’s seemingly replaced by some travel show. You have enough shows on travel, PBS. Bring back TGBBS. How dare you???!! It’s popular and kid-friendly, hello. I know, compared to real troubles and the world at large, this is a tiny nonsensical wail. But it seems that everything that makes life even a bit bearable gets canceled or ended or ruined or stopped or…Yeah, that’s just life, okay. Okay.

Started the FX series, the Americans. I’m enjoying it so far. Reached season two. Enjoying it is maybe not the right phrase. It’s pretty grim, serious, layered and complex. You have to pay attention. There’s also all the 80’s stuff that seems relevant now or always. Escalation with Russia, who’s got a nuke, who’s a real American, mouthy teenage kids. I’m really impressed with the two leads so far. Also some applause for whoever did the wigs for that show. It should be called Americans in Wigs.

I’d go into the return of masks but fuck me, it’s exhausting. The left needs to work up a public campaign that makes it seem that wearing a mask, getting the vaccine will own the libs like there’s no tomorrow. A 24/7 campaign, as relentless and tireless as anything from the right wing garbage-spewing factories. Facts and logic and reality, no. Tricks, psychological warfare, bribes, yes. That’s where we are now or have always been. People do no operate on logical, realistic lines. People who claim to do that…BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Please, just don’t. Have you met people? Go hang out on Twitter for a bit. Or peek at the comments section under anything.

Rain , submissions, no Great British, masks back, wigs on the Americans are outstanding.

Oh, also, on that show. Martha. She drives me batshit bonkers. Hate her. I hope she dies in a Russian industrial accident. But I adore Claudia, or Margot Martindale. More of her, please. She’s fantastic, fun to watch. I just want a show of her and Kerri Russell exchanging threats over plates of scrambled eggs. And then they solve crimes or something because you can’t build a series over two characters doing that, right? Right?

Oh hey, I have two short stories about to hit the indifferent public spheres. City Full of Rain, by LitMag and Blood and Bread will appear this October in Hellhound Magazine.

HOT/POETRY

It’s been over a week of record high temps. I do mean well over a hundred for most of June. I recently traveled to La Grande, to meet with a friend of mine who has family in the area and is traveling further to Lincoln City, Oregon. Hot. It was hotter than those inedible Takis burn holes in your tongue snacks. La Grande is in the mountains. I do not recall my undergrad town being almost too hot to go outside, not even once. In June. Or any other summer month. Unusual weather we’re having here in the West.

So, here’s a poem. I have no idea where this one arrived from. But here it is. Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia. My family would gather, both sides, during holidays. My grandfather loved loved loved Fourth of July. Both did, actually. But my dad’s dad would order fireworks, then delight in shooting them off or having one of us light the fuse. Roman candles, those ones that spin and fly, bottle rockets, everything illegal that would set giant fires, woot woot. Maybe I am missing the sense of celebration, family now scattered or passed on…maybe maybe maybe. That careless ignorance that such gatherings would never stop. Of course they do. Time marches like a savage merciless army through everything and everyone, after all.

JESSICA IN THE GARDEN

Catnip and thyme, basil and lavender.

Her left hand tugs at the leaves,

caresses the stems.

She will smell like spaghetti sauce

and old lady purses

when she wanders by.

She eats a banana while standing on one leg,

her eyes on the cat chasing the dog

through the new mown grass.

They put bananas on hooks,

some sly wit tells the child.

Maybe that’s where bananas go,

Jessica replies

before arranging the rocks she painted

into odd and various piles.

Drops of the Sky

DROPS OF THE SKY

I eat drops of the sky like candy

made in the ovens of

the gods.

That road before me

leads me to saviors

made of stones and

tangled grasses…

saviors who will offer me

a star-scarred night;

a careless gift

to enjoy

like a broken porcelain cup

full of dandelion wine.

Jinxy

Oh….kay. Am wishing on stars and selling my soul to the devil at the crossroads at midnight. Cause. Why not. It can’t hurt and it might help.

Got through the second round of [bleep] and am WAITING OH MY LORDY DO YOU IDIOTS THINK I AM PATIENT OR SOMETHING? Just tell me. Ugh!

Tom Petty, you were right. The waiting is the hardest part.

It’s my b-day tomorrow. I’m old. Considering getting myself some Midori and watching movies all day. I have a trip coming up so don’t need to chance the local wilderness on a Friday, with the crazed shithouse rats that live around here and near here all competing for a spot in their vans down by one of the rivers.

I did manage to write this week. Got Army of Flamingos polished up and sent forth into that weird novella territory. I didn’t number the pages but I don’t normally do that for a book-length anything. I hope in the NINE FREAKING MONTHS or that one eternity later, from Spongebob, that it doesn’t detract from the wonderment of my tale. It did say nine months to respond. But. There are a shit ton of submissions to read. I get it. I get it!

My garden has some splendid spots. My tomato plant is a BEAST. I love it! I don’t even like tomatoes. But. I can do things with fresh ones. And can freeze them handy enough. Punkins are percolating. Peppers are peppering along. Flowers are preparing to bloom. I’ve been drying my sage and oregano, need to tackle the cilantro. As in dry it or figure out how to preserve it.

So yes. I have books out. On Amazon and elsewhere. Aftermath: Boise, Idaho is a sentient zombies fun romp. The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane is sort of Doomsday meets Mad Max meets a Judi Dench and her friends movie meets the Brothers Grimm. As in their uncensored tales, with cannibals and mothers beating on their dead children to make them behave and…uh huh. Make me a happy birthday person and pick one or the other or both up. Read them on your Kindle and leave me a review! Yay!

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

Secret Writings

That is a truly crappy closeup of the owl hooting away the other early evening

Last night the winds cracked their cheeks. Probably some dead branches cracked as well, but not enough to fall onto the roof. Yay! You really can find the good, even in a wind storm. No branches fell on the roof from the incredibly ancient, rotting even as you read this, cottonwood tree.

It’s the same tree that the local owls like to use to send their owl messages back and forth to owls perching in the locust tree along the lane. There’s just the one locust tree, which draws every insect within a thousand miles when it puts forth its honey-smelling blooms. Tractors have attempted to yank that thing out but the tree won. It was quite a goodly thrill to watch a tractor nearly do flips trying to kill that old tree. Ha ha ha, take that, evil farmers!

So, yes, I am writing. I have started a new novel with the title of Vampire Bride. Where a vampire marries a human after a wild tequila-fueled night in Vegas. Have I mentioned this in the few blog posts I’ve put out since January? Anyway! I’ve also been what I call junk writing. This is just writing I do for me. I will never ever ever show it to anyone. It’s indulgent, shallow crappy tripe. Most of it, anyway. I have millions of words invested in this.

Now, my actual question is—do other writers do this? Do they have a private stash of self-indulgent, just for them, creations?

Is there a split of the ‘good’ stuff and the everything else stuff they’d not show to others? Is there a secret stash of bodice ripper historical romances versus the ‘serious’ literature produced for awards and lit mags to fawn over?

Is there an Anne Rice in all writers? Her BDSM series, based on Sleeping Beauty being woken up by a very horny dom Prince…and her other works, which don’t feature actual whips, chains, human trafficking and passages involving orgies. And were published long before 50 Shades had grown from Edward Cullen fanfic. A.N. Roquelaure is the pen name used for the Beauty series. I just found out there’s a fourth book in this series, Beauty’s Kingdom, 2015. The others were out in the 80’s.

So, honestly, just wondering if other writers keep a secret stash of words meant only to be read by themselves. It’s probably a way of coping with life, rejection, life and the slow strangulation death of any and all dreams. Yep. Drowning yet again, I pen words meant to comfort and console my dying brain that there’s still some oxygen bubbles bursting nearby. That I am writing away, just not on anything I’d show to group of other writers. Private little romances that always end in happy times or adult-themed high to very lowbrow fantasy full of dragons, shapeshifting creatures and goblins living under magical castles full of ghosts, devils and sexy dark lords…hey, not admitting anything. Nope!

Or perhaps I am ashamed that I have a need to write the secret stuff at all. That it’s rather like that ‘comical’ moment in movies when the heroine’s vibrator is found or turned on by accident so that it rattles away as she stands there with a red face. Instead of just shrugging, grabbing it up, turning it off, and admitting, yes, she likes orgasms. You got a problem with that, she should demand instead of the embarrassed horror of people discovering she’s, well, masturbating on a regular basis.

Did I mention the owls have been very busy the last couple weeks? And that I am writing, not necessarily on anything I’d let you or anyone else read. Vampire Bride, sure. It’s meant for others. Goblin Ghosts  Versus the Dragon Lord’s Prisoner, no. And no, I did not write anything like that. Or did I??? Bwhahahahahaha.

No, actually I didn’t.

I swear it. On a stack of Interview With the Vampire. Oh hey, anyone else go through an Anne Rice phase?

I have four books out now. I have a short story in the next Ghastling. Go check them out.

Groundhog Late Date Vampire Writing Splurge

Happy new month. May it not seem as long as January. Holy cats, what a long damn January that was.

I am writing again! The clog in my inner writing bowels has cleared out and I am pooping out words in a steady fashion. Too gross? Eh, but that’s how it feels. Like something that was bottled up, became unbottled. I even started a new novel. The Vampire Bride. It’s set in La Grande, Oregon and the story…is, I don’t know. I have a vague idea where our faulty narrator vampire gal ends up in a cage but maybe not. I also cross the streams and added James from Bailey, in my Oregon Gothic collection. He’s also a vampire. I know. Vampires??? But. They’re not sparkly, they’re more organic creatures than supernatural ones and…uh huh. I’m having fun writing it. Isn’t that great?? Writing is fun??!! What??!!

Also, my fourth novel is on deck, with a cover chosen. The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane. Cannibal bikers, elderly sisters, a lion, in a post-nuclear strikes world…in what’s left of Nevada. I’m calling it a dark faery tale. It wrote itself…Ever had that happen? When a story or poem or play or whatever just…rumbles out of you. You just type, allowing whatever story or scrap or epic essay on irrigation and modern man, to arrange itself as it wants. You’re just the conduit, the recorder. It arrives from some alien dimension inside your tricksy head. Bada binga bam. That’s what Remarkable Women was like. I just got out of its way finally. It patted me on the head, cleared its throat and threw itself onto the page. Those three sisters wanted their tale told, the bikers wished to state their case, the church ladies of the apocalypse…well.

My grandfather’s birthday was on the second of Feb. He was born 02/02/02. That would have made him around 119 if he were still around.

And my last little thing– I saw this job posting for an English instructor at the local community college. I saw this advertised in the local very small hometown paper, last Thursday. I gathered my materials and got my packet ready, then noticed the date it was due. Oh dear. However! I took my packet of stuff to the HR there and turned it in anyway. They accepted it, with the caveat I might not be considered and I said that was so much better than what I had expected. I had expected an outright refusal. So. We’ll see. I have no luck at all with this place but hey, turning my stuff in late for a job I am actually trained for, and have professional expertise in…we’ll see.

January Notes

Oh golly, such a slow month! That was sarcasm. America, for those not having to endure it themselves, is batshit insane looney tunes over the moon cray cray right now. We had an actual attempt at a coup just last week and now the outgoing prezzie has TWO impeachments to his credit. That’s…ah. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry so you do both, with the snot running and the entire body shaking. You make sounds not heard outside a slaughter house full of helium-infested pigs. A kind of squeal-scream-shout-laugh-gasp, and now even the local coyotes line up to see if you’re okay.

I’m not okay.

I won’t be okay for a long time, because what’s been going on in America is trauma. It’s just straight up war zone-esque trauma. That’s what it FEELS like. I have no idea, of course, about a war zone; never had to survive in an actual war zone. I’m just calling up all the usual stereotypical whatevers for trying to…explain what the past four years have been like. Hell, what the past week has been like. The constant tension of ‘what’s he gonna do next??!!’ followed by ‘did he really fucking just say/do that?’ followed by ‘there is not enough cheese in this house’ followed by ‘I think my blood pressure is around 400 or something right now, is that normal?’.

I won’t attempt to break down the nuttiness of Jan. 6th. It’s available, it’s out there, you can look up just who got arrested lately for smearing their own shit on the walls of the capitol building, and yes, that the QAnon half-naked cosplaying Viking wannabe with the white supremacist tats was arrested. That he lives with his mom and eats only special food and…okay.

I mean to write some long political scream about all this but…I think my gaskets would blow and they’d have to haul me off to the mechanic. That people are yet defending all this is so very American. If you don’t live here, it might be mystifying and horrifying. But. Fox News says it was patriots who were all peaceful and Antifa rogue agents who blah de blah. I…mm. There is not enough cheese in this house.

I started a new novel! Yah! It’s called Vampire Bride. I wrote a short story of the same name and thought, hey, there might be a longer story here. As you sometimes do. So. Am just writing, with no plan or outline, just seeing where it goes. Cause unfettered free writing is the new patriotic blood of the land! Cheese? Here, cheese!

So! Here’s the link to my publisher’s page. Check it out!! Not only me, but other writers you might find worthy of your time and interest. You never know when you might find your OH MY GAWD I LOVE THIS writer/artist/person. You never know.

HOME | Poeboypublishing (wixsite.com)

Snow Expected

The sky this morn

There’s snow forecast for my tiny neck of the woods. The sky appears appropriately cloudy. I hope it does snow. We need the moisture here. The local mountains have been hit pretty hard with the white slippery pretty stuff but nothing, so far, where I am. Boise got snow! Damn it!

Well, the celebratory mood, gone. Fizzled. God damn fucking orange coddled fuckwaffle. If this were any other person who’d just lost a major election, then refused to vacate…none of what’s being tolerated and shrugged off now would be tolerated or shrugged off.

If Obama had pulled this crap, Fox News and the GOP would have lined up to take turns hanging him from whatever tree they could find. If Hillary had dug in her lady  heels and gotten all hysterically I won I won gimme gimme…oh boy. Oh boy, would that have been something to behold in America.

Now, Biden won. He won. He and Harris will take over no matter what’s thrown at them…unless there’s an actual damn coup by Barr, orange fuckstick, McConnell and the rest of the toady GOPers. That’s being tried now. The voter fraud conspiracy!

I must focus on, oh, writing.

Oh that.

This all, too, shall pass, this current rotted pumpkin madness.

I am reworking the ending of my Odin and Jesus novel. To give it more of a punch, a kick, a boom. I want to write and work on this! WHAT THE HELL? I seem to be shaking off, a bit, of this strange not wanna write nothing spell some malignant demon flung at me on its way to whisper conspiracy hints in some broken-brained QAnon’s decaying skull organ.

I but jest. Sort of.

If you don’t know what QAnon is, please. Go and look it up. It’s a cult that’s growing, born from a hoax. No, the person behind all this admitted it was a hoax. And yet…here we are.

Writing! I’m supposed to be shilling my writing to those who might be interested and even those who slow down to gander at this train wreck of a blog.

So yes, reworking the ending. I think I will just pick a spot, start a new doc, see what happens. I have the ending, the last bit I am keeping for suresies. I think. Oh dear. Or am I ruining my tight little novel with…oh dear!

Yes, I would like to see how medieval cheese was made, Youtube. Yes, I would!

I found this channel on historical cooking and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. You get history and recipes! Score score!

Yes, I’m fine, I’m okay.

Waiting for the snow. Writing a bit and holding my breath as my country TREMBLES on some precipice akin to the Civil War or…something equally savaging. I do think…I don’t know, actually. I am just as lost as anyone else here, even those throwing out pat predictions this will all be fine or it will all be a clustermess of the highest order, grab your minivan and head for Canada.

I really like moose. I can learn to like hockey more than I do. I’d like to live on Prince Edward Island. Eh!

Aftermath!

On the highway going toward Baker City, Oregon. The Powder River

Hi, everyone. How’s it goin’? Well? Badly?

You’re drinking at six in the morning, already done with the day’s shenanigans? Is that just me??

I am super-awful at self-promotion, which is what modern authors need above all. Or maybe, always?

So. Hence the drinking. But! I will nonetheless post about my BOOKS and such, regardless of the sick sharp feeling of dread and embarrassment combining into a probably gut-slicing set of Ginsu knives in my innards.

I will persist even if I start puking up blood over trying to do my own sales anything, in other plainer words.

What is Aftermath: Boise, Idaho about, one might ask.

Native Idahoan Hannah Gray kills herself, as the zombies scratch at the door of the apartment she hides within. However, she wakes up in an office, in Boise, Idaho. Hannah has no idea what she’s doing here or what she’s supposed to be doing in this workplace full of women busy with superficial tasks. To her horror and confusion, the boss seems to be an actual zombie or, in this new reality, called a Fecto. To her further disgust, the Hannah who belongs in this world seems to be having an affair with one of the other Fecto bosses, who goes by the name Harrison Squack. The other Hannah was apparently a double agent in this bizarre new plane of existence. A strange society where zombies are in charge of everything versus the humans who have to just grin and bear it. Or else these naughty humans get sent to Salt Lake City for ‘retraining’, wink wink. Or just disappear or get featured on the news as suicides or as going against the nice Fectos who just want a better society for all. There’s, naturally, a rebellion afoot! The local Fectos seem all over that! Hannah plays along but she soon sets off a chain of events that leads to some wacky, wild and, ultimately, tragic events.