Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Soooo Close...

Just wanted to let everyone know that I should wrap up The Dance this week. So in honor of this momentous occasion, I will be posting a chapter everyday until it is finished.

It has been a roller coaster ride and I know that quite a few of you have took to the characters like they were your neighbors, but all good things must come to an end. The big question is…how will it end? With a bang or with the singsong rhythm of the Zragration tongue?

I would like to thank all of the readers who have contributed ideas to help move this story along. Hooray for you! Let’s give yourselves a giant round of applause.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Nate the Snake

A truck driver is heading west across the Arizona desert. He has been driving all night, and as the sun starts to rise, he feels the need to stop and commune with nature. He pulls to the side of the road, parks, and walks out into the sagebrush.

As he is standing there, looking around at the beauty of the early morn, he notices a lever sticking out of the ground. After a few moments, he walks over, walks all the way around, and then reaches out to grasp the lever. Just as he does, he hears a voice say, "Don't touch that lever."

The driver jumps about two feet off the ground, and as he comes down, he looks around. No one is to be seen. Thinking it was just his imagination, he again reaches for the lever. Again the voice yells, "I said don't touch that lever!"

Being more prepared, the driver senses the location of the voice and looks down under a sage brush. There he sees a small snake.

The driver, in much astonishment, said, "Was that you that just spoke?"

The snake said, "Yes. I have to keep people from touching that lever. If the lever is moved, it will be the end of the world."

The driver, still rather astonished, said, "What is your name? And will you talk on TV?" The snake said his name was Nate and that he wasn't interested in going on TV; anyway, he had to stay and watch the lever to see that it wasn't moved.

The driver said, "Look, I will get the networks to send out camera crews. That way, you can inform the entire world about the danger of the lever."

Nate thought that over and allowed as how there was a great deal of sense to the idea. The driver, true to his word, got the network camera crews out. They put on broadcasts in which Nate warned the entire world of the dangers of moving the lever.

A few weeks later, another truck driver was going through the area. He was following an oil tanker, and the tanker sprang a leak. When the driver's truck hit the slick, it went out of control, and he found himself headed straight for the lever. He remembered seeing Nate on the TV telling about the lever and so he knew that if he hit it, he would cause the world to end. He strove, with all his might to maneuver the truck. Finally, at the last moment, he was able to swerve, but he ran over Nate, the snake, and killed him flat.

The truck driver was heard to say "Well, better Nate than lever."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Still Here...

Wow! I love long weekends. We were able to partake in not just one, but two massive Thanksgiving Day smorgasbords. We spent Thursday with my family eating and watching football. Well, as much as I could watch after the effects of the Turkey set in. It was nice catching up with family I haven’t had an opportunity to see in a while and watching my brother’s team (Broncos) take on my wife’s team (Cowboys). In case you haven’t heard, the Broncos won. If I were the Dallas Coach, I would be searching for a new kicker, because the one they have sucks.

Friday, we went to my other family’s house for dinner. Afterwards, I set up a Black Jack game to give my Father in law an opportunity to learn how to play casino style before he took a chance with real money. After we realized that the dealer (me) was on fire and everyone lost their chips, we moved on to a friendly game of Texas Hold ‘em. Would you believe that I won the entire thing? I couldn’t, not after the week of bad luck I have had. I didn’t post about it here, but yeah…I have had a rash of crazy bad luck. That’s all I am going to say about that.

My nephew stayed the night with us last night. He is all about his new MP3s right now. So, I am spending a little time with him to explain the dos and don’t about owning a MP3 player. Don’t do illegal downloads, do enjoy your music, that sort of thing.

Well, we are off to have a little work out and kick back for a while in the hot tub. I hope everyone is having a marvelous weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Eat well, laugh hard and share your love. May your day be filled with joy and turkey comas.

I would also like to have a moment to consider the lives of those less fortunate. To the people out there that have no families, have no one to share this day with, or worse have a family, but can’t afford to feed them, know that you are in my thoughts today. I donate as much as I can, but I know that no matter how much I do, it will never be enough to help everyone and I’m sorry for that.

Now that I have that out of the way, I hope the rest of the day is filled with the creation of memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's Quiz Time

It’s time for another fun little quiz. I borrowed this one from M.T. Reiten.

I am:
Robert A. Heinlein
Beginning with technological action stories and progressing to epics with religious overtones, this take-no-prisoners writer racked up some huge sales numbers.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Which one are you?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crime and Punishment

Once there was a parrot and he swore like a sailor. He belonged to a goody-goody little old man. The old man said, "Parrot, if you don't stop swearing, I will put you in a box!" The parrot kept on swearing. So the little old man put him in a box. The parrot kicked the sides and scratched at the box until the old man took him out. The parrot kept on swearing. The little old man said, "If you don't stop swearing, I will put you in a cupboard!" The parrot kept right on swearing. So the little old man put the parrot in the cupboard. The parrot was kicking the walls and making a lot of racket until the little old man finally took him out. The parrot kept swearing so the little old man said, "If you keep swearing, I am going to put you in the freezer!" The parrot kept right on swearing so the little old man put him in the freezer. The bird was making quite a racket for about 5 minutes then it was all quiet. The Little Old Man was beginning to get scared, so he opened up the freezer. The bird quietly stepped out, his hands folded in front of him. He said, "I will be good as long as I live! By the way, what did the chicken do?"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Another sunny day in paradise...

It was a brisk morning at Mohawk Park. I checked the temperature right as we left the house and it was a balmy 41 degrees. That, my friend, makes for a great morning to have a run. Yes, today my wife took on the Turkey Trot. It is a 10K race, weaving it’s way through a scenic route. Notice that I said my wife. I haven’t participated in many races this year and I don’t intend to start now that it is face-numbingly cold. My wife is either very dedicated or a whole lot of crazy. Perhaps, it’s a little of both. All kidding aside, I admire her tenacity. She looks at running the way I do writing. It’s become and obsession. A day without it, leaves us feeling a little unfulfilled. We feel guilt for the wasted opportunity.

She ran like a gazelle being chased by a lioness. If she keeps improving at this rate, it wouldn’t surprise me to see her start placing in opens. It is enough to boggle the mind. Proud doesn’t even come close to capturing the feeling I have for her accomplishments. She finished the race in just barely over 53 minutes. It was unbelievable, a personal best.

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Our friend, Kim, also braved the cold. She came in at an hour and four minutes. What a trooper.

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I would like to send out a resounding “Yay!” for both ladies. Good job to you both.

Luckily, we had the hot tub for them to soothe their aching muscles in now. I knew there was a reason I put that thing in. : D

Anyhoo, I will keep this short (yes, I am thinking about those wasted opportunities) and turn my attention back to working on The Dance. I would really like to finish this story by the end of the year.

I hope everyone is having a marvelous weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hi There...

I am still trying to get my schedule back in order over here. So, rather than let the blog run idle for another day, I have elected to throw you this little jewel from my archives. I hope you enjoy it.

Musings from the Workplace
There is a guy in my company, who shall remain nameless, that seems to have an extremely skewed sense of reality. He will sit in a meeting and complain how things didn’t go exactly how he planned no matter how much money he threw at it. The rest of us usually just look at each other with raised eyebrows, because we know that if it is a bad idea, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw around, it won’t fly.

After what seemed liked close to an hour of his rambling, belly aching and excuses, my mind started to wander. Now don’t get all judgmental on me; I know I am not the only one that glazes over when they are inundated with nonsense. I found myself imaging, as I often do, that he was an aspiring writer trying to get his first book published.

"Sir, your mail has arrived. It would appear that you have a response from the William Morris Agency on your book." Jeeves says, handing Mr. X a stack of envelopes.
"Well, it’s about time. Don’t they realize how valuable my time is?"
"Apparently not, sir. Will there be anything else?"
"That will be all Jeeves." Mr. X replies with a dismissive wave of his hand.
A confused look sweeps over his face as he reads the impersonal form letter. He crumples up the letter and slams his fists on his desk.
"Coming, sir." He calls from the other room.
"Get Owen Laster of the William Morris Agency on the phone for me."
"With all due respect sir, I don’t think they like to discuss proposals over the phone."
"He will discuss it with me. Just get him on the phone." He declares, sitting back in his chair as he waits for Jeeves to return with the number.
Jeeves silently dials in the number and places the call on speakerphone.
"Hello?" I voice echoes out of the speaker box.
"Owen, this is Mr. X. I wanted to talk to you about a proposal that I sent to your company."
"This is my private home phone number! How did you get it?" Mr. Laster demanded.
"I have my ways. Listen I think there has been some kind of mistake. I received a rejection letter today."
"I was just about to sit down to dinner, call my office if you are hell bent on discussing this over the phone."
"This won’t take long, as I have said it is clearly a mistake. I sent you a proposal for the next best seller of all time. Hell, we may even be talking movie rights and the whole nine yards."
"What was the book called?"
"The downside of being rich. It is about all of the hassles that I have to face every day just to keep a firm grip on my money and try to make more of it."
"Seriously? Did I mention that I was about to eat? I don’t have time for practical jokes. Mannie, is that you?"
"Mannie? No, I have already told you that this is Mr. X." He replied shrugging at the speakerphone as if Owen could see him.
"Well I am sure whoever looked at your proposal, gave it careful consideration before deciding to decline on it."
"You didn’t review it personally? I sent it directly to you."
"No, Mr. X, I didn’t. I have an entire staff that is dedicated to doing that very thing."
"Well, I still think there must be some sort of mistake. Preliminary results show that it will sell very well."
"Do tell."
"My wife said that it really captured the essence of what a day in my life is like. Three out of my four maids said that it was absolutely riveting."
"Only three?" Owen asked with a smirk.
"Well yes, the other one doesn’t speak English. My Au Pair says that she reads it to my children every night and they love it. My butler Jeeves says that it is the best thing that he has ever read. Isnt that right, Jeeves?"
"Quite right, sir."
"My gardener says that he has considered translating it to Spanish so that he can share it with his whole family. My driver even asked if he could have an entire Sunday off so that he could read it in one sitting."
"Yeah, I am sure that is why he wanted a day off." Mr. Laster quipped.
"That is what he told me. He is still reading it in his off time. I guess he is a slow reader."
"How big of a book is this?"
"Well if I keep it down to a font size of 8 and only use half inch margins, it is only a few hundred pages or so."
"No I mean words. What is your word count?"
"Oh, it is in the area of four hundred thousand."
"Four hundred thousand words? Are you insane?"
"Well I have a lot to say and I didn’t want to deprive anyone of any of my thoughts."
"Mr. X, let me stop you right there. This isn’t going to happen. There is not a publisher on the planet that will publish your book for you. Have you considered Vanity Press?"
"Well we will just have to see about that. I will have the last laugh when I am at the top of the best sellers list."
"Good luck with that!" Owen said before hanging up the phone.
"Jeeves find out how much it will cost to publish my book on our own."
"Yes, Sir. How many copies should I inquire about?"
"Good point, find out how many copies I have to see to be #1 on the best sellers lists. Then make twice that many."
"Very well, sir. I will start on this first thing tomorrow."
"I bet the guys in the office are going to love it. They always seem to enjoy hearing me talk."
"Not nearly as much as you do I am sure." Jeeves muttered under his breath.
"What was that Jeeves?"
"Not nearly as much as they will enjoy reading them, I am sure." Jeeves replied after clearing his throat.

But then I realized that the throat clearing was coming from Mr. X as he waited for my response on why his idea wouldn’t work. Oh, well. I am sure that my answer wouldn’t have been any different if I had actually been listening to him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's Over...

Ladies and gentlemen, we have hot tub. I have a few minor loose ends to tie up, but by the end of the day, I should be able to call this project complete. I hope to resume my normal blogging duties this week.

I apologize to those of you who wrote to me, wondering why hadn’t posted their fix chapter of The Dance. I will try to make it up to you and I hope that the disappointment of not reading what happened between Ryla and Jerry yesterday wasn’t too great a burden to bear.

All kidding aside, it did warm my heart to receive so many e-mails wondering what happened. Thanks to everyone for their concern.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Where did the week go?

I have decided that the main reason I need a hot tub is to recover from installing the hot tub. I have been digging ditches, running conduit, clearing wood and dirt, had the pad poured and quite frankly…I’m a little beat.

We are taking my son to a TU football game today. It is their last home game and since it’s my wife’s alma mater, she really wanted to go.

I had a rather lengthy post about being a vet, rolling around in my head, but on top of all the reasons above, my day job kicked into hyper drive and I haven’t had time to work on it. So, instead I thought I would re-post this poem about being a writer.

Ode to Writers

I answer the call
From my inner voice.
When the muse tickles my ear,
I have no choice,
But to put pen to paper, fingers to keys.
And so, the journey begins
With eyes so bright.
Innocence abounds
As my imagination takes flight.
The masterpiece takes shape
And my mind reaches for the stars.
I envision interviews with Leno
And my poetry read in bars.
The book is complete.
I hold it up with trembling hands.
The only thing left
Is for it to find its way to the fans.
I drop queries in the mail
And hope for the best.
My patience and resolve,
Will soon be put to the test.
Still the fantasy remains.
I will be the next big thing.
My fame will surpass
Anne Rice or even Stephen King.
Days, weeks, and months go by
Without so much as a word.
At last, I receive a letter
Address, written in my hand.
It is addressed to dear author
And they're not buying.
Well, what do they know?
Perhaps an agent is what I need.
I answer an ad in a magazine.
They like my work and for a small fee,
I will be published in no time,
Just you wait and see.
They had the speed,
I will give them that.
I had a dozen rejections,
In no time flat.
Don't let it get you down kid,
You've written a best seller.
We just have to find it a home,
Get it in front of the right feller.
Just send me more money
And we will be on our way.
I have a question or two
Before we proceed.
I've read through your list of publishers,
And I have to say,
You, sir, are a hack, a swindler, and a cheat.
If I had more than P.O. Box
With which to find you,
Your ass, I would beat.
My innocence has been replaced
With apprehension.
My sleep is still filled,
With the first timers dreams.
My words will be read
And hearts will be moved,
Emotions will be stirred.
With a single book,
I could change the world.
Someone, somewhere will read my words
And will be inspired to do great things.
I dream of a series of books,
crossing all genres.
I dream of books on tape
And book signings,
With throngs of people waiting
For a signature or at least a glimpse.
I dream of an adoring public
That falls so hard for my characters,
They become a household name.
All of this and more I dream.
No matter what happens,
I will always have my dreams.
My dreams are not goals,
They are fantasies and as such,
They will never be crushed.
I am a slave to the muse,
A whore for her voice.
I am a man that hears voices.
I argue with myself
And put it on paper.
I am a visionary,
A dreamer,
A fiend for the written word.
I am a writer.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy HNT!

This is a tattoo on my left calf:

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This is a completely unrelated thought to ponder:

The sweet sensation of water cascading down the back of a man oppressed gives off the fragrance of freedom. For that one glorious moment he forgets where he is as the rain pounds out a steady rhythm that beats his mind into a trance. He is free to ponder the plights of his life. The rolling thunder instills the feeling that the rain will eventually wash away the sins of the world, making it a new place, a safe place, a place of opportunity. Freedom is a fragile thing. Never do anything that will allow someone take it away from you.

Happy HNT!

To play along, click this button and visit Osbasso.

Yeah Right....

Wow, are scammers getting smarter? This one actually took the time to look up my name and contact me personally. What’s up with that?

Solicitors & Advocates
Block 1, Flat 5, Rue du Boulevard,
PB 562,

Attn:James Goodman

I am Barrister Victor Mark, a legal practitioner, I am the personal attorney to Mr.Goodman, a national Of your country, who used to work with Shell Development Company in Lome, Togo. He used to be my client .

On the 7th June, 2002, my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Nouvissi express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their
lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.
I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$13.5 million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or declared unserviceable by the Security Finance Firm where this huge amount were deposited.

The said Security Finance Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official working days.

Since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives for over 2years now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you.

Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim. You can reach me via my private email address:

All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.
I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Best Regards,
Victor Mark ESQ.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Darwins

Are any of you familiar with the Darwin Awards? They are absolutely wonderful examples of humanity at its finest. Sadly, the stories you will find there are all true. They do have an urban legends section, just in case that sort of thing strikes you fancy, but rest assured everything else actually happened. Here is a little taste of the idiocy you will find there.

(19 March 2005, Michigan) "Unusual" and "complicated" is how the Missaukee County sheriff described the mysterious death of 19-year-old Christopher, who called 911 at 1:22am and calmly informed the police dispatcher that his neighbor had stabbed him. Suddenly he began screaming and begging for help. A woman was heard shouting in the background, "Why did you do this?" Deputies arrived quickly, only to find that Christopher had bled to death from stab wounds to his chest.
After an evening spent imbibing large quantities of alcohol, Christopher noticed a shortage in his liquor supply that could not be attributed to his own depredations. He concluded that his neighbor had stolen a bottle of booze! He menaced said neighbor with a knife, to no avail, whereupon he retired to his own apartment to brood about revenge.
Finally he figured out the perfect way to get back at that conniving bottle-thief: he would stab himself and blame the neighbor!
A witness saw Christopher enter the bathroom while he called police. When he emerged from the bathroom, he looked perfectly fine, but a moment later he began screaming as gouts of blood spewed from his chest. He ran to the door of the apartment, and collapsed.
The evidence pointed to self-inflicted wounds. Deputies found the knife that killed him in the kitchen, and an autopsy concluded that he had stabbed himself in the chest twice. The first wound may not have looked dangerous enough to him, so he took the knife and tried again, this time plunging it into his left ventricle. This wound was plenty dangerous: he had only two minutes to live.
Christopher died in vain. His deathbed accusation fell on deaf ears, as a witness stated that the neighbor was not in the apartment, and the neighbor offered to take a lie-detector test to demonstrate his innocence. All Christopher got for revenge was an accidental death sentence.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Oh...why not?

And now for something completely different. Here is a meme derived from the Canon of The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies by Bob McCabe. Enjoy…
All About Eve
Annie Hall
The Apartment
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery*
Blazing Saddles
Bringing Up Baby
Broadcast News
Le diner de con
Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Duck Soup
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Four Weddings and a Funeral
The General
The Gold Rush
Good Morning Vietnam
The Graduate
Groundhog Day*
A Hard Day's Night
His Girl Friday
Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Lady Killers
Local Hero
Monty Python's Life of Brian*
National Lampoon's Animal House*
The Odd Couple
The Producers
Raising Arizona
Shaun of the Dead*
A Shot in the Dark
Some Like it Hot
Strictly Ballroom
Sullivan's Travels
There's Something About Mary
This is Spinal Tap*
To Be or Not to Be
Toy Story*
Les vacances de M. Hulot
When Harry Met Sally...
Withnail and I

These are the rules of the meme as stolen from Scalzi’s Whatever.
For those of you want to make an online meme out of this, the idea is to put the list on your own blog/journal, bold the ones you've seen and put an asterisk next to the ones you own on DVD/video. Make sure to attribute the Canon correctly (to Bob McCabe and The Rough Guide to Comedy Movies).
Now for my analysis:

Films Whose Presence in the Canon I'm Particularly Gratified to See (pick up to five): Airplane, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Groundhog Day, Austin Powers, This is Spinal Tap
Films in the Canon Whose Presence Should Not Be (pick up to five): Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Graduate, When Harry met Sally, Rushmore, Toy Story.
Films I'd Pick to Replace Them (pick up to five): The Toy, Billy Madison, A Fish Called Wanda, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Tommy Boy.

I am not tagging anyone directly with this, but if you choose to participate, please drop me a line to let me know so that I may check out your selections.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Funny Stuff...

A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner.

"Good morning," said the young man. "If I could take a couple minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners."

"Go away!" said the old lady. "I haven't got any money" and she tried to close the door. Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open.

"Don't be too hasty!" he said. "Not until you have at least seen my demonstration." And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse shit all over her hallway carpet.

"If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse shit from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder."

"Well," she said, "I hope you've got a good appetite, because the electricity was cut off this morning."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Captain Destructo!

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This is how I’ve spent my day so far. Destruction and mayhem are the themes of the day. Lol! I had to tear out an old structure to make room for a new addition. We are taking a small break to go look at a new Spa and then it’s back to the grindstone. I still have to cut all that wood into tiny little pieces. I know this may sound odd, but I really enjoy smashing things. :)

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It will all be worth it, once we have the new seven person (one man, six women) spa to relax in. Sure seems like a lot of work up front, but I think we’ll be happy we did it in the long run.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Happy HNT!

Pucker up, Buttercup!

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The Quest

I have traveled far and scoured the world
On a quest for the heart of a dark haired girl

With skin so soft that my temperature rises
Her body, so beautiful, holds many surprises

One look from her eyes starts my blood to boil
Makes a carefree man like a dog so loyal

She chained my heart on the night we first met
With fire and passion, so wild so wet

My soul burns for the smile in my dreams
To hold her in my arms near that rushing stream
To give her my love while the angels sing

My love was pure, strong, and bold
Whilst I watched her strip from head to toe

My mind reeled, my heart beat wild
My hands shook like a frightened child

Never such beauty have mine eyes beheld
My mind succumbed to her charms as my blood slowly swelled

We shared our bodies like fiends possessed
We gave each other everything, nothing more, nothing less

She caught my eye and gave me a smile
A smile that stopped the hands of time
Before she whispered in my ear, your soul is mine!

This is a poem that I wrote for Ryla (from the perspective of Jerry). Both of which are characters in my latest book, The Dance

Happy HNT!

To play along, click this button and visit Osbasso.

Blog Info

I borrowed this from Snavy.

1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognizes you from your blog?

Oh yeah, baby. Hot is my middle name. Lol! All kidding aside, I don’t dress any differently when I go to the grocery store than I do going anywhere else (other than clubbing).

2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered?
No. I do not have photo shop – Perhaps I could look into that. I could erase some of the wrinkles around my eyes.

3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks e-mail you?

Yes, it used to give me fodder for the blog, but it still entertains me when I swap words with idgets.

4. Do you lie in your blog?
Not lie, per se…but I do tell stories (I mean actual stories, not out and out lies), so not everything you read here is true.

5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog?

No, not really. Why, do you think I am?

6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop?
No, it wouldn’t work. Anyone who knows me would know that I could no more stop writing than I could stop breathing.

7. Are you in therapy? If not, should you be? If so, is it helping?

No, the Haldol is working perfectly. My doctor said the voices in my head could take care of me from that point on.

8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones?

No to both.

9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog?
I have no idea what that means, so I am pretty sure I haven’t.

10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less?

I would like to say more, but I hear that I am a bit of an asshole.

11. Do you have a job?

Yes and it is slowly trying to kill me. Just kidding, I love my day job. I have a great crew that works for me and some good friends that I work with. To top it all off, at the end of the day, I know I am doing my part to change the world.

12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it?
Oh, hell yeah. Where do I sign up? Of course by decent it had better be at least 20% more than I make right now.

13. Which bloggers do you want to meet in real life?
Everyone that is in my blogroll (Yes, I realize that I have already met a good deal of you).

14. Which bloggers have you made out with?

Myself, but it was only practice for when I could find someone willing to make out with me. :)

15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have?
I usually act like I have less. People generally treat you with more sincerity if they don’t think they can take advantage of you.

16. Does your family read your blog?

My mom and my sis do. And I have a couple of Aunts that check it out from time to time and we can't forget my lovely cousins that frequent these pages.

17. How old is your blog?
It was created in Apr 2004.

18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care?
Not yet and Yes, I pan to take over the world through my prowess with a blog. First they become readers, then they become an army ready to topple governments while chanting my name!

19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being depressed, slutty, or a liar?

No, I am an open book, so to speak.

20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing?
Yes, but it was in the form of books that the bloggers had published.

21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes?
No, I keep that hidden away with the money I get as a gigolo.

22. Is blogging narcissistic?
Do you think this blog says “look at me!” or do I need to try harder?
23. Do you feel guilty when you don't post for a long time?

24. Do you like John Mayer?
No, I would rather listen to just about any other artist.

25. Do you have enemies?
A few, but not as many as I have friends.

26. Are you lonely?
Only when my wife is away on business. It is a definite drawback to having a sugar mama.

27. Why bother?

It’s not a bother; it’s an obsession.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Just a Tease...

Just for giggles, I thought I would throw a little teaser your way. This is the first chapter of Drums of the Nunne’hi, due for release after the first of the year. I hope you enjoy it.

September 23rd, 1997
“Tommy, get up! We gotta keep moving, man,” Josh shouted over his shoulder to his fallen friend.

Tommy lay writhing on the ground, grasping his ankle and trying with all his might not to scream. The moon was out, but it wasn’t enough light to keep him from stepping in the hole as they ran for the tree line. At six foot, two hundred pounds it didn’t take much for his ankle to buckle from his momentum.

“Son of bitch, it hurts. I think it’s broken,” he panted as he rolled over onto his knees and tried to move it around.
“It’s probably just sprained. Give me your hand,” Josh offered, casting quick glances behind them. “We can’t stay out in the open like this. I don’t know if anyone else seen us make it out of there.”

Tommy tried shifting his weight to the left side enough to enable him to walk. It only took him a couple of steps to realize that he wasn’t going to be able to do it alone. He shot a quick look back the way they had came and turned his attention to how far they still had to travel before they could reach the safety of the trees.

“Josh, I am going to…,” he began, hopping on one foot.
“Quiet. Do you hear that?” Josh held up his hand as he cocked his head to one side.
Only the creaking sound of the leather in his letterman’s jacket could be heard on the night air.
“I don’t hear anything,” Tommy replied in confusion, looking behind them for signs of pursuit.
“That’s exactly my point! I don’t hear anything; no crickets, no birds, there isn’t even any wind blowing through the grass,” he said in a soft voice.

They watched the darkness roll towards them from across the field. The moon was going behind some clouds, robbing them of their only source of light. It moved with a speed that defied the stillness of the night.

“Josh, I can’t walk. I need your help,” Tommy whispered, flinching at the sound of his own voice breaking the silence.
“Huh, you’re on your own, pal. Best of luck to you then,” Josh said before trotting several paces away from him.
“Josh!” Tommy cried out, his shoulders sagging in disbelief. “I am truly screwed. What the hell am I supposed to do now?”
“Just kidding, dude. Let’s get a move on,” Josh said appearing at Tommy’s side from the darkness so quickly that it almost made him fall.

Josh put Tommy’s arm over his shoulder and they resumed their flight. Tommy quietly thanked the lord that they were about the same size. The darkness was all but complete. They were immersed in a blackness that felt almost tangible. As they pressed on through the void, both boys found it hard to breath. The lack of light and sound left them disoriented and Josh prayed that they were still heading in the right direction. Their footprints even sounded muffled as they trudged through the grass.

Thump. A single sound rolled through the darkness that surrounded them. It sounded like a single heartbeat pounding out of the chest of a giant. The sound carried through the air like a cannon shot. As its echo died away, it left them both with a cold shiver embracing their spine.
“What was that?” Josh asked, trying in vain to pinpoint the origin of the sound.
“I don’t know, but unless you really want to find out, I suggest we pick up the pace.” Tommy wished that he could find a way to keep his teeth from chattering.
“Maybe it’s the others. They could be just trying to scare us.”
“I doubt it. I don’t know if the others made it out of there. Hell, I was surprised to see you,” Tommy shook his head.
“Did you actually see any of them get it?” Josh struggled to maintain his grip on one last sliver of hope.
“No, I couldn’t see anything in that house, but I heard…”

Lightning crackled to life above them. It snaked across the sky, momentarily sparing them from the darkness. Josh was relieved to see that they were still traveling in the right direction.
“It must have been thunder that we heard,” Tommy offered in a voice that lacked conviction.
“Before the lightning? I don’t think so.” Josh redoubled his efforts, realizing how far they still had to go.

The thunder made its presence known in a low and grumbling voice. They nearly stumbled in their hasted to reach the trees. The silence that followed was brief, replaced by the heartbeat from before. This time the sound continued, slowly at first with a steady thump. Soon it began to take on a rhythm that unnerved the boys to no end. It was a sound they knew all to well, but had never had it affect them this way.

“It’s drums. Oh shit, Carl was right, dude. The drums are back. We never should have come here. We never should have done that. Why did I listen to you? What the hell did you get me into?” Tommy began to rant as his panic set in.
“Shut up, Tommy. We are almost there. Get a hold of yourself; if we make it to the trees we can hide.”
“How can you be so sure?” He wondered if anyplace would be safe for them now.
“The darkness works both ways, right? They won’t be able to see us any better than we can see each other. If we can make it to the trees we can hide there until morning,” Josh replied, as much to assure himself as anything else.
“It was dark in that house and they found us. I can still hear their footsteps.”
“And the screams, we can’t forget those god-awful screams. I just kept thinking that it had to be some sort of prank; that Carl had somehow set the whole thing up. He knew we were coming and wanted to teach us a lesson.” Josh flinched as a leaf caressed his cheek from the void.

The lightning lit up the sky again just as they passed the first set of trees. They pushed deeper into the woods, moving slowly as they felt there way past the branches. They wormed through the trees for what felt like an eternity.
“This should be far enough. I can barely hear the drums from here.” Josh helped Tommy sit down with his back against a tree.
“What are we going to tell everybody?” he asked after he made himself as comfortable as he could under the circumstances.
“That we were attacked by the Res Kids.” Josh slid down beside him with a grunt.
“Carl was the only Res Kid I saw tonight and he wasn’t putting up much of a fight, as I recall.”
“Well, what do you want to tell them? I am not going to say anything that will make us sound crazy. This town’s too small to get a rep like that,” Josh shook his head. “I say we blame it on the whole god damned reservation and let them explain what happened.”
“Hey, the drums have stopped. I bet that means they have stopped looking for us.” Tommy perked up for the first time since the sun went down.
“Thank god! They were driving me crazy. I still say we wait for first light before we try to…” Josh began, but was interrupted by the burgeoning storm.

A brief flash of lightning revealed a man standing in front of them, not more than five paces away. He was wearing buckskins tucked into calf-high moccasins. Seven feathers dangled from his hair in the wind that had sprung up an instant before. He stood before them with his arms crossed over his chest, a tomahawk gripped firmly in his right hand. His skin was gray and cold, not red like the boy they had carried into that old house. When the lightning faded, his eyes were still aglow. They emitted an eerie blue-white light that lapped at the edges of his eyelids as he stared down at them.

Tommy and Josh whimpered in the darkness. Josh didn’t know whether to pray for more light or pray that it wouldn’t return. His stomach knotted as he tried to make sense of the image he just saw. Was it a trick of the lightning or could he see through the stranger? Tommy had seen something like it in a sketchbook once, but he still couldn’t believe it was real. It had to be a trick of the lightning. Perhaps, his guilt was making him see things.

The lightning flashed again to reveal these apparitions everywhere the boys looked. There must have been hundreds of angry faces bearing down on them. The ghastly warriors brandished their weapons as they circled around the tree. When the darkness returned to cover them in its embrace, the air was filled with the screams of the damned and the sound of splintering wood.

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