Sunday, January 31, 2010

Werewolves in The Garden (Fiction)

I wrote this story a couple of years ago and I like it. It's a blend between horror and humor. Although enjoyable to read, it'll never be quite good enough to publish. But this is a fun, fun read.

I'm posting the full story here for my readers to read for their pleasure.


A large gray werewolf was taking a dump in my garden next to the oversized holly bush that I hated and couldn't afford to remove. I can only assume it is a werewolf. It was large, bigger than my ten-speed, with ragged gray hair and eyes that stared at me with offended intelligence.

I started to look away to give it the privacy it demanded but, hey, it was depositing a mammoth amount of poo into my backyard.

I rested both trembling hands against the sliding glass doors, reassuring myself that the cool wall of glass still stood between me and the beast. The hairy animal had now finished its delicate business and was loping in my direction. It's stride was long and easy, it's lean neck outstretched, mouth open, teeth flashing.

My trembling turned into violent shaking. Every instinct I had told me to run and to run fast.

I backed away from the approaching creature, back into my white and ivory living room, and wondered wildly where I'd left the cordless phone. I needed help. I could see the beasts sharp fangs flashing at me in a silent threat. Shaking, I froze in the middle of the perfectly lighted room.

For once, the lovliness didn't sooth me. What to do? What to do?

My terror was interrupted by the impatient ringing of the doorbell. Shaggy paws were leaving dirty streaks against the glass of the doors, it was standing on its back legs, pressing inward with it's front paws, wanting into my house, wanting to get me. My breath came in hard, heavy pants.

Oh God, I was going to die.

The doorbell rang again. Startled out of fear, I ran to the entry way, my strappy Jimmy Choo's clicking on the terra cotta tile, away from the werewolf. I flung open the door and crashed into the muscled chest of an irritated male. I tried to push past him, all human concern for my fellow man thrown aside in the hopes of saving my own life.

He looked like a tough guy, strong, with well-defined layers of muscle and a hard, intense face. I'm sure he'd be fine.

The man grabbed my arm and pulled me unwillingly back into my stylish monochromatic living room. If my body hadn't been throbbing with fear, it might have been throbbing for a different reason when I notice how attractive my dark-haired captor was. But no time to get his digits, I had to get out of here.

"Let-" I gulped air, "Let me go."

I tried to yank my arm loose from his grip but he didn't seem to notice. I heard a muted snarl followed by the thud of a large body being thrown against the glass. A strangled scream escaped my lips. We both wiped around toward the sliding glass doors.

The fanged animal was now throwing itself against the clear doors. The man growled low in his throat and kicked the front door closed.

"It found me," his voice was like double dark chocolate, attractive and bitter, sprinkled with danger, "Damn wolfhounds."

Still slightly confused, I asked, "It isn't a werewolf?"

He looked at me like I was a raging idiot. I'd never seen a werewolf before so how was I supposed to know what they looked like? So like a man. The 140 pound monster in my backyard looked like he'd qualify for the job as a creature of the night.

Especially since ropes of drool were now dripping from dog's fangs as he threw himself against the glass, over and over. The thump of his body made my skin tighten. Fear clawed at me, I needed go and go now.

"No, that's not a werewolf. That's a wolfhound. It belongs to a hunter."


What would they be doing in my subdivision? The Homeowners Association would have a fit. I stared dumbly at the man gripping my arm. I tried to tug free of him again but he didn't seem to notice.

"There isn't much time," he shoved me against wall, crowding me with his large, hot body.

His fingers came up, stroked down my throat, and then ripped my shirt and bra strap with one hard pull. I inhaled hard. I realized that a strange, large man was in my living room, looming over me.

I opened my mouth to call for help but it ended in a squeak when he ran his rough tongue across my jaw, then he dropped his head and nipped my shoulder. Confused, frightened, I began to try to squirm away but he trapped me with his weight and I could tell he liked it when I moved against him.

What was I doing? I went still against the solid warmth of his body then pushed hard against his chest but instead of letting me go, he licked a slow warm path up my neck. I trembled as he paused, nibbled at the curve of my jaw.

I opened my mouth to tell him to stop, to stop right now but the protest came out in a moan. He groaned in response, wedging his himself between my thighs. Oh my, this was really wrong. I'd stop in a minute. Probably. His mouth grazed mine and I parted my lips for him.

The most erotic moment of my life was shattered by breaking glass, my would-be lover turned just as the wolfhound leapt for us. He twisted, shoving me behind him. The animal sunk its canine teeth into his upthrust arm, their combined weight slammed back into me. Pain bloomed through my body as legs and claws kicked at me. Luckily, the man quickly rolled both of them off of me and back into the dining room.

I began to crawl, trying to reach the front door without being noticed. I paused, feeling guilty about leaving the fellow to be mauled to death on my berber carpet. I hesitated.

Just as the guilt started to make me do something stupid, the man began to change. He seemed to expand, bursting through his clothes, his teeth elongating, hair rippling across every exposed surface, his features contorting. The large dog now seemed small and weak as it confronted the larger monster. Oh crap.

I was whimpering, beyond any level of terror I had ever experienced. I scurried away on hands and knees, quickly moving away from the bloody nightmare that had taken over my house. Then I heard a thrumming noise, turning back to the action I saw an arrow sticking out of the chest of the wolf-man. He ripped the arrow with one hand, his snarls deep and furious. I opened my mouth to wail but I couldn't get any air.

The thrumming noise came again and again. Arrows piercing the wolf-man, walls, my Masterson's print of *The Windmills*. I was never going to be able to get another.

The man-wolf fell to his knees, bleeding from eight or nine arrow wounds when a smaller guy with a large bow stepped in from the garden and whistled for the wolfhound. The dog, a dirty, bleeding mess, limped past hunter and settled down on my new white armchair.

The archer pulled a small ax from his belt and threw it, end over end; it embedded deeply into the wolfman's throat, cutting cruelly through the flesh. Shuddering, I curled in a ball by the front door, wanting badly to run but afraid to attract the hunter's attention.

He planted a booted foot onto my would-be lover's now hairless chest and pulled loose the ax with a wet sucking sound. Then, the killer came toward me but there was no compassion in his eyes. My muscles tensed, wanting to run, wanting to be saved.

He readied the ax for his swing. I covered my head with my arms and he hesitated, "You're not changed yet."

His hard, green eyes burned into me, "No matter, nits make lice." I peeked at him from beneath my arms as he readied the ax for a killing blow. Just as I was sure of my painful death by ax, I heard the wolfhound snarl a warning.

The wolf-man, drenched with blood, slammed into the hunter, burying his pointed canines in the hunter's throat. I finally screamed, long and hard, and woke up, sweating on the couch in the living room.

I stared, confused, at the half-eaten slice of goat cheese pizza still sitting on the coffee table. I looked around the room, still uneasy. Then, relief poured through me like a river;a dream, a terrible dream.

I stood up unsteadily, walked over to the sliding glass doors, their unbroken beauty shining, and looked out to see a large wolfhound sniffing around my holly bush. I felt a tingle of awareness zing painfully down my spine, as I pressed a hand against the cold glass and watched in horror as rough claws sprang from my fingertips.


Okay, it's not it was fun, wasn't it?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tits Up: Stories of the BlackDog (Humor)

As a tribute to the BlackDog, I thought I'd share some of the humorous stories about me and the evil black dog.

A few years ago, my little town got a unexpected icy snowstorm. The streets were covered in a foot of freezing, icy white stuff. A normal teeth-chattering winter morning.

I take the dogs out to pee and then bring them in and shut the door. I jump in the shower to warm up. I'm under the near boiling water, enjoying the heat when I hear a banging noise.

I ignore it.

Then, I hear barking.

I sigh and climb out of the shower. I take a second to throw on granny panties, a robe, and wrap my hair in a towel, basically what's left in the drier and run down the hall. The front door's wide open. My white dogs are huddled together on the heated dog bed.

The evil BlackDog is gone, like the wicked snow troll that she is.

I call her name as a chilly breeze billows up my robe to caress bare legs. No little black dog. Nothing but piles of white snow and icy black streets. Yikes. You see, BlackDog suffers from congestive heart disease and bad hips. A hike in the snow is a bad idea.

I stuff my feet into tennis shoes and run out to search for her. Yes, I'm staggering up and down the street in my robe, a towel and shoes, screaming "Katie"..."Katie"..."You little bitch". Finally..."BlackDog!"

The neighbors love me.

No answer. No little black dog. Twenty minutes later, I'm still looking for her. I can't feel anything below my knees. My fingers are numb.

Then I see her. She's on the neighbor's porch, chowing down on kitty chow. The kitty the chow belonged to was hissing at dog. She ignored the kitty and me. I tromped up the stairs, bend over the bowl to grab BlackDog just as she darts down the stairs and hides behind a bush.

However, right that second, the front door opens...the kitty's owner stares down at me. I'm hunched over the mostly empty cat bowl with her cat hissing at me. What am I suppose to do? Tell her I didn't eat the kibble?

All you can do is what I did.

I smile and wave as I back away slowly and pray they don't call the cops.

BlackDog is missing again. The white snow streets are empty. Little bitch.

Then I spot her fuzzy body sitting on my welcome mat back at my front door. I take off running, robe flapping around my chubby thighs. Just as I get to my car, I hit a patch of ice and fall.

I try to catch myself, arms windmilling, and instead roll down the hood of my snow encrusted car and land on the ground in full view of the neighbors. My robe is open, my tits are out, my granny panties are showing. Snow slides down the inside of my panties.

I'm a bit dazed.

Several of my neighbors, male and female, stare down at me.

The skinny middle aged man married to woman next door asks, "Are you all right?"

How do I answer that?

I dunno.

Damn BlackDog.

By the way, one of the neighbors let her in the house while I was trying to get up. She peed on my floor. Forty minutes outside and she waited until she came back in the house.

Damn BlackDog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BlackDog Passed Away (Personal)

BlackDog, aka Katie, passed away from a long illness this morning. She loved barking, peeing on things, the snow, chicken from the can, t-shirts for dogs, and drive-thru windows.

She hated hats, people with backpacks, hair bows, and anyone in cowboy boots.

She outlived both original owners.
Survived a hip replacement and lived two years longer than she should have with congestive heart failure.

She was a pill. Always did what she wanted when she wanted and ignored me totally.

She'll be missed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Do you bounce?

Do you bounce?

Remember when you were in school and you'd run out at recess and grab a basketball off the rack? You'd toss the ball hard against the asphalt, expecting a bounce back. Perhaps if you're uncoordinated like me, you even expect the ball to bounce back and smack you in the face. That's recess and half the fun.

And then the disappointment when the basketball just hit the ground with a sickening thump and stays there. The ball looks fairly normal but it lacks enough air to get back up after hitting the earth.

As writers, as people, we need bounce.

You have to know that when you hit and you hit hard, that you're going to come back up with just as much verve. People seem to think that you aren't suppose to mess up, that you aren't suppose to fail. That you shouldn't hit the earth every once in a while.

Everyone falls. Even Superman's ate dirt once or twice. And you aren't Superman.

You should expect it.

What you need is enough air, enough buoyancy, to come back in the face of your problems.

You need bounce.

Do you bounce?

You can't have a good recess without bounce. And I don't know about you but I need a little fun, a little recess. I need bounce.

My brother use to say it when hurt myself as a kid...'Can you bounce?'.

Sure, I can but will you?


Friday, January 22, 2010

Books I Wish Someone Would Write..

It's humor day again. Here is a reprint of my list with some add-on's for my Books I Wish Someone Would Write list. I hope you laugh.

Dieting Causes Hemroids: Eat More to Save Your Ass--So it's not true, I wish it was.

You're Mother Called: An Excuse Book for Drinking

Better Lies Than The One You Told--for all those times you get caught with your pants down.

Love Letters to Nixon: Why some family members can't be trusted

I Peed On It, It's Mine- Possession is 9/10ths the dogs.

How to Eat Vegetarians: A Cookbook--Okay, it's wrong but it's funny.

Letters to My Second Husband---Although I am not married, my sisters have married repeatedly. I wish someone would write a book to their second husband (while still married to the first), giving him advice and suggestions on how not to make the same mistakes as the 1st. This works particularly well if the writer is currently married to Hubby 1 because it's fresh in her mind and she can give 'examples'.
--It could be helpful and funny.

I would love to gift this to everyone divorced woman and badly married woman I know.

The Ugly Girl's Guide to Dating and Sex Honestly, why isn't this on the shelf now?
Learn all about dim lighting and angles.

101 Things To Do With Hair When your Bored

101 Things to Do with your Boobs When Your Bored

When the Bitch Leaves: A Man's Guide to Surviving Divorce and the loss of his Dog--I would have loved to gift this to my brother on his 3rd divorce from his first wife.

Unhappily Ever After: Making a Bad Marriage Work--So many people I know are in bad marriages and don't want to leave their bad marriages. Therapy isn't working. So what about a funny book on tips on living with the person you hate.

An Alcoholic's Guide to the Holidays

Life Advice From Your Dog---if it itches, scratch it. If it smacks you in the nose, avoid it.

Lazy Girl's Guide to Cleaning Her Hovel

The Beauty of'I Don't: Reasons to Love Being Single

The Devil Made Me Do It: Dumbest Excuses Ever

Who is HItler?: History for the Uninformed--So many people don't even know basic history t his would be a fun picture book with blurbs about the 'must knows'. It could be very tongue in cheek.

Lies Someone Has Told You That your hair looks good shaped like a mushroom cloud. White spandex bicycle shorts are cute on chubby women over 40. That comb-over is HAUT!

Places I've Been Naked --Lovely picture book of odd locations including the bathroom stall of that Subway resturant out off of Route 71.

Assholes and other People You Love: A Guide to Dealing With Impossible People

Saying Those Three Little Words: Please Leave Now---You thought I was going to say 'I love you'...silly you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Blogger Awards

Back in early January, I got a 'Lovely Blog Award' from Ann Altman's Blog and that tickled me pink.

Now, I get to pass the same Award to ten new blogs I've discovered.

But as usual, my life got in the way.

Yesterday, I got a Happy 101 Blog from my dear friend, Corra.

And today, I got a Happy 101 Blog from Tony Anders.

This tells me I should really start giving back. There are so many wonderful, fun blogs out there. Most of the time they keep me from going a bit maddy-donk in the brain. Maddy-donk is being a mad jackass, by the way.

So to be different...I have a new blog award for cheery, optimisitc, fun blogs.

This Blog Award is given to:

Secret to Success--Bloggers supporting bloggers

Uplift Antidote--Uplift Antidote, a blog devoted to learning how to be happy.

--Artisan of the Evolving Spirit --Tony does his best to make the blogging world a place to better yourself.

Criminal Movies--Brent's blog is my favorite movie discussion site. If you like a classic film with edge, go here.

Ignorance is Unauthorized --the posts are short but interesting. There is something so 'real' about this blog. Every time I go there, I feel like I've visited a friend. A friend who has a big screen, good cartoons, and a full fridge.

All Right With Coffee--Ann's blog is a rich collection of books, writing material, and friendship.

From A Writer's Desk
--my dear Corra, her blog makes me a bit envious. Each blog elegantly written about writing.

Wiggy's Words of Wisdom--stop in and get your weekly dose of destiny. Wiggy is a both social historian and humorist. Laugh and learn.

Kat Novian--Did you bring a change of underwear? You'll need one. FUNNY!

Closet Space Musings
---Jeni's blog like her novel is wrong is the best way.

Mindy's Writing Life--No one has more heart than Mindy and her blog proves that every day.

HAPPY BLOGGERS, one and all!

Other Blog Awards you can hand out:


Monday, January 18, 2010

Bad Night (Personal)

I'm having one of my crawling the wall nights. And if you've never had one, I can't explain it to you.

I want to dig my fingers into my skin and peel it off. It's like it's strangling me. I can't stand these walls anymore. No place is comfortable. Everything is like sandpaper on my soul.

I want to bite someone.


Claw my arms.

And don't ask me what's wrong because the sad truth is, nothing is wrong.
This feeling makes me want to push stick pins in the flesh of my arms. Bite my hands. Beat my head against the wall.

Yet, I couldn't tell you one thing that's wrong.

Not one thing. My life isn't horrible.

It isn't wonderful.

It's rather ordinary, unexceptional.

Many people would like my life.

I don't mind it most days.

But not today, today I want to burn down my house with me in it. I want beat my car with a bat. I want stop going to work.

I want to erase me.

Start over. Live more.
Live less.

I want something else.

I can almost taste it. Like when someone peels a very ripe orange and the smell crowds your nose until you're drooling, only to find the orange itself is consumed already.

I can taste that orange but all I get is the moldy peel.

I'm dying for flavor, for juice.

I don't know what I want. I have no idea of what would make me happy. Or even if happy is something people get for more than a minute.

All I know is this, whatever you call it, isn't enough.

It'll never be enough.

And you'll never really understand what I'm talking about. I'm more talking more to myself than anything. What should I tell you?

That I'll wake up tomorrow and everything will be fine? It probably will be. Or as fine as is gets.

And I've tried therapy. I get one of two doctors. Either I'm fine or I need anti-depressants. I don't want drugs. What I want is to understand is why I get like this.

Why these moods slam into me like a freight train and all I can do tighten my grip and hope, really hope that I can hang on long enough for ride to stop. Why?

And no, this feeling doesn't last. Not forever but it does come back, time and time again.

I don't know why I'm posting this blog.

I guess, if you feel like tell you that you're not alone.

But I can't help you.

I can't help anyone, not even myself.


Poetry Book

I'm trying to organize a book of my poems and I'm driving myself crazy. Why is it when you go to put something in print, you start to second guess yourself?

Is that line really strong enough?

Is that poem good enough to be printed?

Am I wasting my time putting together a self-published book of poems?

IS the title right?

Is the artwork good enough? (Post picture is my cover art)

Because once you self-publish poems in a book, you can't send them in to magazines any longer. They are dead poems.

And I know that poetry books don't sell. The chances of me getting anyone who hasn't already met me to buy a copy, is almost nil.

So I'm spending all this time and effort to create a book that no one will read.

It's not that I won't promote it, I will. I'll promote the hell out of it. I'll put it on my blog, twitter, Facebook. I'll post it on all my writer's sites.

But do I think I'll sell even fifty copies?


So why do it?
Why put myself through all this?

Because it's my legacy to the world. I don't have children. I don't plan on having any. I'm not brilliant or gifted. I'm not famous. A book of poems may be all that exists after I die.

And I want that immortality.

I want my book to survive fires, trash days, junk drawers, and so that 100 years after I'm gone, someone will still hear my words.

Maybe my words will say what their words cannot.

That's not too much to ask? Right?

I hope not.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Writing With Dialogue (Story included)

The following is a dialogue exercise that turned out pretty well. Natural dialogue is not easy and telling a story through dialogue is even harder. So occasionally, I'll write a story with only the speaking parts.

The key is to make each character an individual through word usage, line length, and pauses. Pretend you're watching a movie with a blindfold on, how do you know who's speaking?

Inflection, pauses, and word choice.

You can transfer that to your writing. Read your voices out-loud. How does that character speak? Would they say bull or bosh? Would they just roll their eyes?

I attached my little writing exercise below. I hope you get a laugh at the dialogue.

You should try it. It's Misery loves company. But if you can master it, you're dialogue will sing on the page. Plus, if you can tell back-story through your dialogue in a seamless fashion, you'll save yourself hours of flashbacks.

Plus, good dialogue will make a reader spend their cash to read your work and we all could use some cash, right?


TITLE: Jumping The Shark (Comedy)

"Okay Bill, one more time. You circle around to the left and cross in front of him. Larry will do the outer circle and I'll cross on the right."

"My left or yours?"

"My left, it's always my left. Geez, you'd think we'd never done this before."

"Larry, Larry stop chasing your tail-fin and listen. I don't want a repeat of what happened last time."

"Ugh, what happened?"

"Remember Larry, you bit the leg off that scuba diver?"

"That was so not my fault. He practically shoved his foot down my throat. I lost three teeth and he tasted like rotten seaweed."

"Yeah, we'll we had to hide from the local fishermen for most of the summer and nothing is more boring than the deep ocean in summer. Bill, Bill get away from that darn cruise boat propeller. You want to lose your other eye? "

"I know I can catch it. You just have to figure out the spin"

"Oh for the love of tuna, Bill, you run head first into another propeller and so help me I'll help the other sharks eat you. Now guys, listen up! Same rules as the last time. No biting, no touching the board. First one to get him off the board gets five points. If he pees his wetsuit, you get a bonus five. If you touch the board or the windsurfer, you get nothing and you eat last for the rest of the week. Got it, Bill?"

"Sure, I'm not stupid."



"Larry, why didn't your mother eat her young? Get ready, here he comes. Bill go left."

"Whose left?"

"Oh for the love of tuna..."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ten Weird Facts About Me

I realized my blog has been too serious lately. I need to spice it up with a little humor. So I decided to add 10 weird facts about me. I hope you laugh, I hope you smile, I hope you know me a bit better.

What I really hope is you tell me one weird fact about you in I need a laugh myself.

1) I don't eat anything with loaf in the title. No telling what's ground up in it. It gives me a easy-queasy feeling in my stomach. I feel the same way about the word marinate (shudder). Why do you need soak for your food before cooking it? Do you not have teeth? And don't use the J word. I don't want juicy meat.

2) I hate to be hugged. Honest, it's not you. You don't smell bad. I just feel suffocated when people hug me. Please don't. I'm not being coy. I'm not leading you on. I don't like it. If you do it, I will stand perfectly still until your done so I won't be tempted to knee you in your sexual organs and have you arrested for harassment. I really hate being hugged. Oh and I don't cuddle either.

3) I will not date any guy who doesn't have an open mind toward duct tape. Enough said. However since I gave up dating for chocolate, I think it's a non-issue.

4) I don't drink alcohol in any form or amount. Not because I care about alcohol, it's because I'm a control freak. I hate the idea of not knowing what I'm doing. Besides once you've hosed someone off while they sit crying on the lawn in their doesn't seem that cool. But what do I know, if I were a rock star maybe I'd like it. Dunno.

5) I've convinced my mother that I have a tattoo on my butt that says "I Live To Serve". Now whether this tattoo exists is between me and my butt.

6) I don't buy gallon or liter containers of drinks because once it's been opened and been out overnight, I can't bring myself to drink it. Even if I know I'm the only one home and that I put it in the fridge, I can't drink it. It's been opened and left unguarded. Yeah, I know I'm nuts. You knew I had food issues, hence the weird foodie blogs.

7) I can read an entire book 800 page book in one night. But I'm so tired the next day, I can't discuss it. I own hundreds of books and one puny bookshelf. I should probably buy a few more. I finally threw out the dishes and put books in the kitchen cabinets. I'm not kidding. Ask any one of the four people who have been to my house. Every drawer, cabinet, and closet is full of books.

8) I'm a horrible housekeeper. I'm okay with it. Just kick the stuff out of your way and sit on any empty pizza box. But then again, no one comes to my house. If you do drop by and get the urge to clean, don't. I get all jeebed out when people clean in front of me, especially when it's my house. I know, I know...more therapy.

9) If I didn't pluck and shave my eyebrows, I'd just have one big black arch like McDonalds...only I don't serve anyone anything so don't ask for breakfast. I blame my mother, it's her throwback cave person genes at work.

10) I always eat chocolate bunnies by eating them feet first so the rabbit suffers. I hack off the feet, the hands, the little bunny tail. Then last...I bite off their heads. If you do the head first, the bunny can't hear itself scream. I love

*Bonus Weirdness: I've always liked really short guys. I use to have a thing for Cheech Marin. Okay laugh at me, you know you want to. I like Vin Diesel too but he had a few too many muscles.
I'm a supertastically weird. I know it. You know it.

Let your Freak Flag fly! Embrace your weirdness.


I Am Not A Unique Snowflake

Yes, I'm quoting 'Fight Club' but that line spoke to me during that film.

Some films are entertaining, some are exciting, other just make me feel good. But on a rare occassion, I get a film that makes me think.

In one section of the film, the nameless soldiers are digging in the 'garden'. Tyler Durbin's voice is repeating, "You are not a unique snowflake. You are not special."

And yes, you could take that in a negative way but for me it was a relief. If I am not special, if I am not a unique snowflake, then I can relax. I can just be ordinary me.

Because a person who has great abilities, who is unique, also has great responsibilities. If you are gifted, you obligated to develop those gifts for the betterment of yourself and those that follow you.

If you are ordinary, you can sit the game out or follow at your leisure.

To be special, you live your whole life expecting more. Expecting your 'unique snowflakeness' to be acknowledged.

But if your ordinary, things are not always going to go your way. You will not get to go to the front of the line. Sometimes other people will win.

That's okay.

Take a deep breath with me. It is truly okay not to be extraordinary.

It is okay just to be you.

So many parents I know have raised their kids with the idea that they are the best, the most wonderful, the most unique snowflake in the world. While I applaud their efforts to build self-esteem, this attitude doesn't do their kids any favors.

I think some kids feel that they have to be perfect. That they have to be that unique snowflake in all it's spiral glory.

That's a lot of pressure.

What happens when the world doesn't agree that they are the most gifted or the most wonderful? What happens if they don't get a trophy like everyone else?

They fall apart.

What one should know is that being an 'ordinary snowflake' is acceptable. That learning to see your flaws and your abilities together makes you a stronger person. That drive is almost as important as talent.

Working for something, striving for something beyond your scope is admirable. You might just stretch far enough to get to your goal. And even if you don't reach it, look at what you learned on the journey.

Being ordinary is not a terrible thing.

Many ordinary people have done extraordinary things because they weren't afraid to fail.

I am not a unique snowflake. But even an ordinary snowflake is a wonderous thing to behold.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Writing With Passion

One of the keys to good writing is to write with passion. Passion is a gift. It makes readers follow your words and look for your name. So many people now write from the head and not the heart.

To get readers attention, you have to hook their attention.

In the cyncial world of now, people roll around in their apathy like a dog in crap and most of them are happy to be there. They don't care, they aren't happy, they aren't sad. The buggers aren't even angry. If you can't get sad or mad then you need to lower the dose because the meds are working too well.

It's okay to feel what you feel.

It's okay to rant and laugh and scream a bit.

It's okay to care.

When you care, your writing has bite. And that's what a reader wants. They want to be interested. They want to care or laugh. Hell, they even want to be mad enough to call you an asshole. Writing should inspire something in your reader.

The writing might make them think about their life, it might make them giggle hysterically. Perhaps it makes them throw the book across the room and yell 'idiot' at the book cover.

A book with passion will always inspire something.

The worst thing you can do as a writer is write something that only inspires apathy.

How do you make your writing passionate?

Choose topics that hit your hot buttons. You know what your hot buttons are. Maybe it's the teacher at school who refuses to follow your child's IEP. Perhaps it's the chick in the drive-thru that consistantly gives you the wrong order. Maybe it's the humor in every situation that excites you.

Have a logical argument about health reform? Be passionate and clear and I'll listen. Because passion is addictive. When you care as a writer, the reader starts to care as well.

But remember how I said passion is one key to good writing? The other key is editing. Write with your heart, edit with your head. Write your article or blog, let your heart spill itself all over the page. Then set it aside for a couple of hours.

Take a walk. Play with the dog. Cook dinner.

Then come back to your article and read it again. Use your brain to build in facts to back your argument. Make sure you're being passionate but not doing a mindless rant. Okay, a mindless rant can be fun sometime, just make sure your idea isn't lost in the energy.

If you can join fact with passion, then everyone will want to read what you write.

Now if I could just follow my own advice.



Saturday, January 9, 2010

Food Isn't Just Food

Food isn't just food to me. It should be but it isn't. Food issues start when you associate something beyond nutrition to what you're eating. So many people try to sell me on the value of being a vegetarian and they're never going to win that argument with me.

They're arguing with logic and reason and health. That won't work against the emotional need my meat and junk food fulfill for me.

And no, I don't have anything against being a vegetarian. Several of my good friends are Veggie or Vegan. It's just not for me.

Part of it is that I really like meat. It's my favorite part of any meal.

Second, is that meat was a huge part of my childhood. And yes, even I have a few fond memories of that time period. Meat designated your place in the hierarchy of my family.

My Dad got first pick of the carnal treasure. The biggest piece, the best piece, my Dad got the option of seconds. He was on the only one that could eat two pieces of meat without my Mother having a mini-seizure.

Next, were any of the other adult males in the house. Sometimes the Old Man (my father) would bring work hands up to the house for lunch. All the kids hated to see a trail of work hands heading toward the house, that meant less for us.

All the guest females were served next.

Then all the rest of the women and children.

As a kid, by the time I got to eat almost everything was cold and only the less perfect pieces of meat were left. The charcoal burger, the darker pork-chop, a goose neck. On some days, there wasn't any beef, pork, or chicken left when it was my turn to eat. Instead, I got soup beans (pinto beans) cooked in pork fat.

I like soup beans but part of me, that child part of me, still thinks that getting the good cut of meat means I'm valued, that I'm important. That I'm not waiting to be last anymore. Meat makes me feel like I'm successful.

And it tastes really, really good. Better than anything else on the table. I'd rather have a meat than dessert.

Yes, I know, I know that messed up in the head. I didn't say I was

Besides, I grew up in a meat culture. Everything had a meat or animal by product contained in it. The beans, both soup and green beans, had meat products in included. Fried potatoes were cooked in bacon fat. Biscuits baked in bacon the way, this makes the biscuits crunchy on the outside and super soft and warm inside. Those things were heaven...I haven't had one in about five years. I still dream about them.

I can honestly say that it is impossible to be a vegetarian and eat at my mother's house.

But if meat is acceptance to me, potato chips are comfort. Whenever I'm stressed or upset, I want potato chips, usually Grippos. My mother could be...difficult on her best days and a nightmare on her worst.

The thing with my mother is that she hated for you fight back. If you fought her, she'd escalate. So I learned early to go limp and still, just like they tell you when a bear attacks. You curl up and hope you don't get clawed to badly.

But swallowing your anger, your words, your needs will make you crazy inside. When my mother made me crazy, I ate potato chips. Handfuls, bagfuls...I needed them. If my mouth was full I could cuss or scream or tell the truth because to do those things would paint a big red bull's eye on my forehead.

And as unhappy as I was, I wasn't sure I wanted to die. So I stuffed all my feelings down my throat in salty little potato chips.

Mt. Dew is my other addiction. Although I've switched to Diet, I still love that stuff. When you're afraid to sleep, it'll keep you up. When you've cried for hours, curled in a ball in the dark, it's wonderfully sweet to your sore throat.

So when people try to sell me on the health benefits of water, steamed veggies, and rice by telling me it's good for me, they've already lost the argument. Food for me isn't just food. It's meaning.

And yeah, I know, I know...I'm going to spend a long time in therapy one day.

Until then, happy eating.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Movie Maker: The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly

If you can't get the embedded video to work, you can watch it on Yahoo Videos at CLICK HERE.

My Sample Video Above:

And no, I don't really want to write a book to make money. Few new writers make a living selling their books. The narration just fit the stock pictures I had available. And I thought the story made the video a bit funny.

Why did I make this bad video?

I've been seeing a lot of press lately about book trailers. A book trailer is a little video that is basically a 'sales' or 'marketing' video to build interest in your book. Most of them are created on products like Movie Maker.

You upload the video or pictures, then add effects and narration.

With practice and a little cash, you get something cool to load up to YouTube to make strangers want to look at your book. Or do something free like I did and hope for the

I've never played with Movie Maker before. I'm not very technology oriented, what can I say? However I am stubborn as hell and that helps with technology.

So I started screwing around with Movie Maker. MM is supposed to be one of the easiest movie making programs on the market. And you know what? It wasn't that hard to do.

I struggled a bit getting the narration and music to play at the same time because I didn't understand that those items list separately but play together. It took a bit of tweaking to get the narration and music to line up together. I still don't quite have that right.

I'm still trying out different effects. I'm pretty sure I can do better with my timing and effects on the next go around.

Overall, I had a blast doing this.

Is my video ready for YouTube? No way.

But by the time my book is finished next year, I should be good enough with Movie Maker to make a few little trailers to push traffic. With more and more publishers pushing for writers to do their own marketing or additional marketing, I can't afford not to pay attention to book trailers.

I'm also now wondering if I should do some live readings for my poetry book coming out this summer? It's a thought. YouTube has changed the world, now hasn't it? Remember when writers got published and the publishing company did 80% of the marketing? Those days are gone.

If you want to be a success in the modern publishing world, you have to sell yourself and your book on your own.

So today, I've loaded my amateur attempt at making a video to this blog but I'm also going to link a few good book trailers from YouTube so you can see what it should look like. I don't want you to think my goofy practice video to be what a real book trailer is.

My video is just to show how easy it is. If I can do, you can do it.

And if you're great with technology or more stubborn than me, I'm betting you can do something fabulous for your book.

Good Book Trailers (Click the Links Below):

The Duma Key

Love Stargirl

So you have a video to show me?

Movie Maker
Ease of Use: 4 out of 5
Time: 3 out of 5
Technical Ability Needed: 2 out of 5


When Everyone Succeeds But You...

Lately, I've been surrounded by success. Not mine. Several of my writer friends have recently published, several others have gotten agents. Another few have finished their manuscripts.

I'm happy for them. They've worked hard and their books are really good. As happy as I am for them, part of me feels like a big fluffy failure each time another one of them succeeds. Now this isn't their problem, it's all mine.

I know it's petty. It isn't their fault that I haven't made it, it's mine.

I'm not focused enough on my writing. I break my self-imposed deadlines. I don't submit material much any more and that's why I'm failing.

You can't succeed if you aren't trying your hardest and I'm not trying hard enough.

I've made some half-hearted efforts with my writing. I sent out a few short stories to contests, all rejected. I sent forty-eight poetry submissions last year, all rejected.

Finally I stopped sending writing out. It's hard to believe in yourself when the editors in charge don't agree with your writing's worth. I'm not a horrid writer, I know that. Am I Steinbeck? No, but I'm not Carrot Top either (Okay, he's not a writer but he is odd in a creepy way and not funny at all).

But what I write doesn't seem to impress editors, contest judges, or anyone in charge.

I'm not telling you this to feel sorry for me. I'm doing a great job of that on my own. I'm sharing the experience so other writers know they aren't alone.

It's okay to feel a little lost when everyone seems to have figured out the how's of publishing and you can't even find your pen.

What I need to do is get some impartial person to tell me if there is a weakness in the writing itself. If the writing is solid, I need to target my entries better. Sending submissions out in a scattershot format doesn't work. All I get from random entries is a headache.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I need to get off my butt and make a plan. Then, I actually need to follow said plan.

And if that doesn't work, I can always trying sleeping my way to the top.

Men love middle-aged chubby women, right? Right.

Okay, so I need to work hard on the plan because I don't think the sex for success idea will work. Not unless publishers are kinkier than I think.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cartoons by ME!

My cartoons...drawn by

And this is as good as it gets so I won't see myself hanging on the gallery walls anytime soon. But I enjoy it.

I love using this one as an avatar.

Admit it, the monkey is funny. LOL.

I like wolves. And this one is a sly one.

Drawing for me is a fun thing to do. I'm not great at it. You notice I hide the hands of my characters. I can't draw hands. I figured why not post my little drawings up occassionally.

I doubt this will come up but if you want to use one of the drawings, go ahead and do it but give me credit for the art, okay?

And this one is for Jacqui....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stop Writing Passively

If you're like me, you have a tendency to drift into passive voice without even really meaning to.

The lovely 'to be' verbs show up unexpectedly like your Cousin Dennis after you've won the lottery. Unexpected and unwanted. Only they won't steal your lawnmower. Instead, they steal excitement from your writing.

What do I mean by 'to be'?

I was thinking about going to the party. It would have been a great time, I know it. I was going to wear my green party dress.

This whole statement is in passive voice. Verbs such as was, is, would have can remove the action from your story. But don’t get out your red pen yet.

Not all passive voice is bad. So you shouldn’t remove it willy-nilly.

In things like dialogue, passive voice usually is the way to go. People normally speak in passive voice, not active. However, if you’re not doing dialogue, you need to watch out for the tricky ‘to be’s’.

Corrected Example:
I thought about going to the party and wearing my green party dress.

See how the corrected version is more immediate? Now if only there really was a party. But then again, the only party dress I have is a 1980's puffy cocktail dress from some forgotten high school prom.

I'd be sparkin' hot in that.

What was that, a passive verb?

Ack! They're everywhere.

How can you see how much passive voice you're using?

You could reply on a fellow writer to review your novel for you. But for some reason, not every writer wants to read 80,000 words of a rough draft. I can't understand why. And not every writer is great at spotting passive voice. Writers like myself.

So instead, you should try a fun website like Aztekera.

You can paste sections of your novel into Aztekera, click on the check button and get both a percentage of 'to be' verbs and a listing of the individual lines.

Now, Aztekera won't tell you which passive sentences you should keep, if any. It's not your mother. It won't make you chicken soup when you're sick either.

But it will give a quick way to see if you're writing actively or passively.
Don't be a Passive Patsy!

Check out Aztekera

~ Tirzah

I Love My Grippos Potato Chips

If you don't live in the tri-state area (Ohio, KY, IN), you've probably never had a Grippo BBQ potato chips. You are missing out. When you get a perfect bag, it's bliss. I want to cram every one of those salted beauties into my mouth before someone else gets one. My brother actually has them shipped to Texas. They are tasty with a capital T.

Sometimes, though, you get a bad batch.

The seasoning is too heavy, the garlic/onion is over done. This is usually when they've loaded a new batch of seasoning to the machine. This means the bag is inedible and so will ever other bag you try to buy. The best thing to do is wait it out, about two to three weeks for the seasoning to even out.

These really are delicious, crunchy chips. Not too oily. They don't smell of peanuts. They are addictive.

Mmm...I need a bag.

The BBQ are spectacular. The plain are boring. The Dill chips are just odd and hard to find. But if you want a BBQ chip that isn't too sweet (like Lays BBQ) or too hot like many other brands, this one will make you happy. But don't eat their plain chips, they are dull, dull, dull.

Other chips are okay. Lays are nice and salty but a bit oily. Ruffles have an aftertaste but give good crunch. Doritos smell a bit like feet and stain everything orange. And Mike-Sells just suck.

But for a good BBQ chip, you have to go Grippo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Writing With A Potty Mouth

Now I admit if you’re writing Christian fiction or a book on the saints, you may not have a use for foul language, but for the rest of us, how do you handle it?

Where does the line fall? I think it all comes down to character. No, not your character but rather that of the person you’re creating. If you’re writing a book on prison, then having your characters speak in sanitized Queen’s English isn’t going to be believable.

A murderer isn’t going to to say, “Oh darn you, you rotten scoundrel. I’m going to have to stab you in your posterier with my shank.”

Cussing is almost required in that situation.

But how much is too much? We’ve all watched movies or read books where the f-word becomes so overused that it doesn’t have any meaning anymore. As a writer, you’re going to eventually get a feel for your character’s cadence and style.

Until you get a feel for it, here are a few tricks to help you.

If you’re not sure if the swear words should be there, then take it out and read the line aloud. Would you still know your character made that statement? If the answer is no, you’ll probably need to put it back.

But that doesn’t always work.

So ask what is the point of the swearing?

Is it for emphasis? Is it showing a character’s anger, strain, or loss of temper? If so, then use it sparingly so it stands out like a red dress at a black and white ball. The use of one ‘fuck’ will catch the eye of the reader more than if you litter the page with it.

However, if the swearing is to show the character’s upbringing or true demeanor, use the foul words more in dialogue and less in description. Remember, every word your character says or doesn’t say reflects on who they are. Description reflects more on the narrator/writer.

How does it show character? A person answers, “Have a nice day,” with a “Screw you, Asshole,” isn’t the same person who’d answer it with “Fucking hippie” or “Thanks, you too”. These three answers reflect three distinct personalities. So all words, even the bad ones, really matter.

What if it’s situational swearing?

Try asking yourself, ‘Who is this person talking?’ and ‘What kind of day are they having?’

Always consider your situation.

Even a priest might say “hell” if he just got shot in the groin. But whether or not he says it illuminates who this priest is as a person. If he suffers in silence, passes out, or prays for his shooter, it gives you a look at his true character. People under extreme stress usually stop pretending and be themselves.

Don’t be afraid to say damn, hell, shit, fuck, and piss. But don’t love it so much that you don’t when to hit the erase key. Keep your key questions in mind. Why is there swearing? Who is my character? What kind of day is my character having? Does it make the same statement without the bad words?

After awhile, you won’t need the questions, you’ll just know.

Until then, have a nice damn day.

*Also posted on my collaborative blog, Journeys In Ink.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Excerpt from 'A Father Knows...' (Fiction)

It's loud in the evenings in Morganstown. Cars drift by, music blaring, a mix of Mexicana and rap that swells into a headache behind my right eye. I feel the beat there now, pounding. Or maybe it's my heart that pounds out, "No, no, no" but I feel the answer, a cold bubble of truth that lodges like a knife in my gut.

I know but I don't want to know.

He's standing on the steps of his mother's apartment building, his teeth flash as he laughs with a skinny boy with FT shaved into the back of his head. But I don't see that other boy; I see him, my son.


Just his name and he freezes, his dark eyes wide, the dimple disappearing from his cheek.

I grab his arm, digging my calloused fingers into the plump flesh underneath.

"Dad?...Dad?" someone calls but I'm already dragging him across the street, ignoring the screaming horns and swear words. His skin is slippery with sweat but I yank him after me, not stopping when he stumbles. The music beats in the background like an accusation, ringing in my ears.


In the park where I took him to play as a kid, I stop. He trips and falls to his knees, blubbering. The swings sit empty and silent behind him as big sloppy tears pour down his cheeks, leaving wet circles on his blue t-shirt.

That bubble of cold breaks in my belly and spreads through my bones. I'm trembling. He's trembling.

"Darius, don't lie to me, son. Did you do it?"


He's on his knees, his eyes rolling wildly, looking at anything, anyone but me. To me, we are the only two people in the world. The vein behind my eye throbs. I yank the gun from the waist band of my jeans and I press it against his forehead. He moans. The cold wraps around my heart until each beat of it rips a bigger whole in my chest.

"Darius, I will know if you lie. I'll know."


To be continued...

How to Write Naked

Put your pants back on, it’s not that kind of naked.

Writing naked is to write without fear.

When you’re writing, do you hear a little voice in your head that says things like, “What if your mother read that?” or “What would the people at work think?”? Most writers have those annoying little voices, mine sounds like a constipated grandmother. You can’t write good prose if you write in fear.

So how do you teach yourself to let go of all that anxiety?

I suggest sitting down and writing about the most embarrassing, disgusting, or scariest thing you can think of. Go ahead. Start with one sentence. Something you would never let yourself say out loud because it’s not the polite thing to do.

My first sentence, “I hate my mother.”

Do you have that queasy feeling in your stomach? That’s a good thing. It means you tapped into a part of your thoughts that makes you uncomfortable. If you edit what you write before it even hits the page, your characters will be stunted in the long run.

If you can’t get past that fear that someone will judge you for it then tell yourself you can tear up the paper the moment you’re done.

Are you writing?

If you don’t have any idea of what to write, I suggest a very explicit sex scene. If you’ve never written one before, you’re hand will shake, you’ll sweat. You might even wheeze a bit but it’ll be good practice for you.

For most people, writing an explicit sex scene is as naked as you can get on the page. Just don’t write the actions, write the parts that frighten you. Do an S&M scene, write a raunchy scene. Be bold. Put your Grandmother in a leather thong and give her a feather whip.

Writing about sex doesn’t scare me much. However, I find emotional nakedness to be frightening. I’d much rather write about boobs and butt than write a character that kills dogs or drowns newborns. I find that kind of character repulsive. But if I can’t get beyond that instantaneous fear, I hurt my writing.

Don’t let your internal editor stifle what you want to write. Perhaps you aren’t interested in writing about sex. Fine by me.

What scares you?

Does your character secretly find her newborn annoying? Does he have sexual fantasies about the family priest? Does she want to drown her mother in a soup tureen?

Remember, nothing you ever write has to be read by another person. Write it exactly the way you want, be mean, be sexy, be nasty. Tell people you want to pee on kittens. No one ever has to know.

Always write as if no one will ever read it.

Then put a lock on the file for a couple of weeks then take it out and read it again. Is it good? Do you feel that you were being absolutely honest on the page?

If you were a stranger, would this piece of work speak to you?

If the answer is yes, you’ve won the battle. You’re on your way to becoming the kind of writer others only dream of being.

You may never publish this writing but you’ll know you can. You’ll know the next time that you need to write your evil, disgusting, strange characters, you’ll be able to do it.

You’ll be able to be bold and write without fear. Now you can take off your pants…just kidding.

Remember to Write Naked!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I like Pizza, most of the time

I like pizza. Most people do.

But like any food, people can screw it up.

First, anyone who tells you all pizza is the same is an idiot. It varies greatly. Some will tell you they like all brands of pizza, these people too are idiots. The world is full of idiots, you just get use to it.

Anyone who thinks a Totinos frozen pizzas are even close to real pizza goodness must have lost his/her tastebuds in a tragic accident. I feel sorry for them. Totinos are foul. Edible under extreme duress only.

The good news about them is that they are a dollar. Yep, a dollar. No one dollar pizza is wonderful. The crust is flaky, almost like a flattened biscuit, the sauce is a bit sour, but the cheese is so-so. If you cover it in your own pepperoni and your own sauce, it gets a bit better but still not great.

DiGiorno’s frozen pizza is pretty good. They have real honest to goodness cheese. Now, I’m lactose intolerant so if I’m going to spend an hour bent over with cramps, I want it to be worth it. They are worth it. The toppings are real meat and not plastic fakes. The crust crisps up pretty well. Its a nice frozen pizza.

As nice as a frozen pizza gets anyway. Its like saying a girl is a real nice hooker. You don’t know if its a compliment or not but it sounds pleasant.

Tony’s, Red Baron’s etc…fall some where between the two. Not as gag inducing as Totinos but not as good as DiGiorno’s.

One note of caution…never, ever eat a diet frozen microwave pizza (gagging). These suck. They really do. I don’t care how much you lie to yourself, that is not good pizza. It is not close to good pizza. Pizza doesn’t microwave well. People who eat everything out of the microwave might as well eat the cardboard box, it’d taste almost as good.

If you want low-fat pizza, make your own. Lord knows there are a dozen ways to make it with less calories and more taste.

I told myself I wouldn’t do this. I actually wrote myself a note. No recipes in the blog. No freakin’ recipes in the blog…but do I listen? No, I never do.

The two easiest homemade low-fat pizzas to make are the BOBOLI LAZY PIZZA and the Tortilla pizza.

If you are like me, if you have to spend more than ten minutes cooking it then you’d rather eat potato chips out of the bag, this is the home-made pizza recipe for you.

Get a BOBOLI Pizza Crust, THIN VERSION. These are pre-baked. Yes, a pre-baked pizza crust. Genius. They are usually in most groceries stores, hidden away. If you have a Kroger’s, they are usually in the pizza sauce aisle next to the Tortilla/Salsa display. I don’t know why; I don’t work in Kroger’s marketing department. The exception is the Kroger on Mall Road. They hide their crusts and don’t carry the thin version. Silly bunnies.

Cut crust into 8 pieces. Whole crust is 17 Weight Watcher’s Points. And no, you shouldn’t eat the whole thing.

Buy the Kroger Pepperoni Pizza Sauce. It’s cheap, it tastes good. Its a bit on the sweet side as sauces go. There are two main thoughts on pizza sauces, classic sour or new sweet. I like sweet. If you want sour, may I suggest a jaunt through Italy? Tomato sauces need sugar to cut the acidity. A little sauce goes a long way. For one WW point, you should more than enough to cover your pizza.

I buy the Hormel Turkey Pepperoni. Okay, it isn’t as good as regular pepperoni. I could blow smoke up your butt and tell you that it is but it isn’t. But it is about 85% the same and hidden in the pizza toppings, I can live with that. But for some reason, it smells a bit like licorice when you open the bag. I have no idea why. The smell goes away when you cook it. I use 18 pieces. Two WW Points.

For the love of GOD, use real cheese. Fat-free cheese sucks donkey toes. Admit it, you’d rather have real cheese. Some things aren’t worth skimping on such as a good divorce attorney. All dairy products make me sick, but with pills I can tolerate small doses. So, I use real cheese, about 1/4 cup. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but how much cheese do you need? 2 Points

Bake the whole think at 450 degrees. It’s done in about 8 minutes so don’t dawdle. Serves 8 slices at about 3 points per slice. You can add veggies. I don’t recommend it but you can. People always try to sneak in the veggies. It’s a sickness.

You can add two more points of extras if you want, more cheese, more pepperoni, even god-forsaken mushrooms. The total pizza averages between 22 and 24 points on Weight Watchers. You shouldn’t eat the whole thing. I do but you shouldn’t. Show some self-restraint (giggles at the thought).

The good things about this pizza is that the crust is pre-done so if you only want one piece of pizza, get out your scizzors, cut out a triangle of crust, make one slice, and eat. The rest of the pizza dough circle can be taped shut and eaten later. Don’t you love duct tape?

This pizza from start to finish takes like 8 minutes and that is if you take your time and make it pretty. Use paper plates and you won’t have any dishes besides a spoon for the sauce and the pizza pan. The pan isn’t even damp because you don’t need to spray it. The crust is pre-done…no oil required. I’m giddy at the thought.

Oh, I forgot the tortilla pizzas. First of all use flour tortillas. Corn tortillas are not for pizza. And if you even whisper wheat, I will hunt you down and force feed you cod liver oil. Wheat pizza crust…oh my…all that fiber. Makes me want to take a crap to think about it.

Take your tortilla pizza crust, spritz it with 0 calorie oil spray. Don’t have any, rub it with some butter, adds calories but you should have bought some 0 calorie spray. The stuff never goes bad. Its like sour candy, good forever.

Pop it in the oven, on 400 degrees. Get it a litte brown. Take out of the oven. Use an oven glove, balled up t-shirt, old boxer shorts to protect your fingers. I forgot to tell you earlier, the pan gets hot in the oven. Be careful. Now, you’ll sue me for blistered fingers. Save me from America.

Okay, now add sauce, turkey pepperoni, and cheese, pop back into the oven. Don’t worry about the tortilla bubbling up or getting stiff, this is perfectly normal. That sounded dirty. I didn’t mean for it to sound dirty. Just ignore that. But it is normal. The crust browns and bakes super fast. You are done in less that 7 minutes from start to finish.

Eat it. Its reasonable tasting, the calories are good. Does it taste like Pizza Hut? No, but it does the job.

Okay now I’ve got to make dinner. Anything but pizza, I’m sick of talking about it.

Sometime in the future, we’ll talk about delivery pizza and how Pizza Hut ruined a sure thing.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Finish Your Book Already!

Do you know what keeps seventy-five percent of all aspiring authors off the bookstore shelves?

It’s not getting an agent, putting together a killer query, or even writing a bestseller. What keeps them off the shelves is quitting before their book is finished. I’m no different from those writers. I’m insecure about my talent. I’m a bit lazy at times.

I like the idea of publishing my book but the work involved is daunting. First, you have to have the idea, then develop it, write a minimum of sixty thousand words on it. When you finish all of that, you get to start editing and then edit again.

I don’t think anyone ever finishes editing, they merely stop.

Writers get frustrated, I get frustrated. This is why most people quit before finishing Chapter 7 of their rough draft.

Go on, admit it, you have a half-written novel either in your desk drawer or on your computer right this minute, don’t you?

I thought so.

Don’t feel bad, I have two.

Those two novels starts were mostly dry runs where I tried to figure out what I wanted, what I wanted to write, who I was as a writer. Mostly, they were crap. But…if I spent the time to finish and edit them, they might be publishable.

I dropped the ball and that is completely my fault.

My current novel attempt, Plum Crazy, benefited from my failures. I have a better idea of what I want and expect from my book. I’m clear on the general plot including start, major climaxes, and ending but I left a lot of room for improvising. I like to improvise and you have to go with what works for you.

Recently, I’ve doubted my idea, my writing, my voice, basically everything about this book. I stopped writing. Not because the book was bad but because I let my own insecurities strangle my creativity. I let me get in the way of me.

I’m forcing myself to write the next chapter even though I think it’s horrid. Sometimes, I’m convinced that a three year old monkey with a typewriter writes better prose than me but I’m putting the ink on paper. Why? Because you can edit almost any piece of crap into a readable story if you have patience and a dab of talent.

But you can’t edit blank pages.

So if you want to be published, your first and most important task is a simple one. Just finish your darn book.

And while you’re at it, could you write the next chapter of mine?


*Also published under my collaborative blog, Journeys in Ink.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Spiritual Accessory???

Perhaps it's the cough medicine or an asthma induced hallucination but I just watched a commercial selling the perfect 'spiritual accessory'. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

It's a gaudy over-sized cross that if you squint through a tiny peep hole you can read an etched print of the Lord's Prayer. I think the first prayer should be your vision is still good enough to read that super tiny print.

Then, the announcer says it's perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas gifts. I'm telling the men out there right now that if you hope to get a birthday blow job, do not give a prayer cross.

For one thing it makes women think of God and women dwelling on God do not want to give you a joyful feeling in your pants. Sorry but it's true. If you find a woman who gets all turned on by a prayer cross, keep her because she's a rare find.

Second it's a gaudy piece of jewelry covered by kindergarden crystals and silver plating. It looks cheap and not in the costume jewelry sort of way. Like a bad gift from grandma sort of way.

You won't get laid if she's thinking of grandma either.

And ladies, if you ever by a prayer cross on a chain for a man in your life, I think I'll hunt you down and give you a smack for your stupidity. Most men do not wear 8 ounces of religious dime store glitter around their neck.

Plus did anyone consider the fact you have to take this hunk of metal off each time you want to try to read the prayer? On, off, on, off, on off. Just tattoo it on your feet and look down, it'll make more sense.

BTW...this is NOT a spiritual accessory. I don't know what the hell a spiritual accessory is but I'm pretty sure it doesn't hang around your neck like an tacky Christmas ornament.