Friday, April 29, 2011

Crazy weekend ahead

This weekend should be fun. I have a birthday party for a college buddy of mine tonight at a place called The Lime. How can you go wrong with a place named that?

Lime sounds alive. I think.

Also, you put lime in rum and coke which happens to be my drink of choice.

As it stands, I am at the place, but the birthday guy and his cronies (fools all) are late. Late for your own birthday party, haven't even left the house. Lame. Though I have been late for my own birthday parties too... So there is that to consider.

Tomorrow I have to do some house duties, and write.

Sunday, the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. Wonderful seats, I might post a pic while I am there.

Then I suppose I can write some more.

Hooray for the weekend, I hope you all have a great one too.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I did not even come close to my goal yesterday.  I hammered out a mere 500 words after all my talk of 2,500.  Welcome to Suckville.

Residents: 1.

I am sitting down with renewed vigor tonight.  I shall overcome.

Write. Like. Your. Life. Depends. On. It.

...until your friends ask you to play Call of Duty: Black Ops with them.

Or family gets mad at you...

But write I shall.

Peace out gangsters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cat video and Novel Updates

Finally, I have critiques of my manuscript coming in.  This is wonderful for two reasons.

The first is that it means even though I had to ask, someone has read my story. "Yay" for begging, coercing, paying, and promising.  Although the story has holes and spots that need definite editing, the general mood has been positive.  Also, they seem to be reading it quickly once they pick it up.  Readers finish it in a matter of days, which speaks to a decent flow, or page turn ability.  So that is exciting.

The second reason why this rocks my socks, is that now I can use their fresh eyes, opinions, questions, and thoughts in general, to make a good story into a decent novel.  That is what this is all about, after all. 

Tonight I hope to hit 40,000 words in my WIP (work in progress).  We will see how far I get.  That would be a 2,500 word run tonight, so I really need to get busy.

In other news, my book cover is decided.  You will have to wait to see which one I selected, but I promise you that you will be pleased.

On that note, sorry for the short post.  As I usually do in such situations; please enjoy the video below and forgive me.

Special thanks to beta readers, @marnimann @christinmowery @allieburkebooks Chris, Paul, Aaron, and Jen.

#amwriting, #BNFF, #ForNothing

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Revenge of the Nerd; A College Misadventure

We went over how nerdy I am in great detail last week.  If you missed it, you can find that story, in all of its (ahem) glory, here.  Just because I was, and really still am, a nerd does not mean there weren't a few attempts at stepping out of the nerd box and into the realm of those select few we call, The Cool.

Nerds. We had nothing all through eighth grade. We picked up steam in high school, but it was never enough was it?

Sure we had moments where members of the math team thought we were hot.  A very few of us may have pulled the cheerleader who got her college freshmen fifteen early, like sophomore year of high school.  Maybe, just maybe, you went to a school where nerds were viewed as cool due to some twilight-zone fluke.  I went to one of those schools, and still was not a member of The Cool.

So it goes.  Life isn't fair.

But I wasn't the kid who had "Andrew Is Gay"  (Their words not mine.  I have no problem with my brethren who prefer those of like build, musculature, and facial hair.) spray painted in the center of the school courtyard.  I had a friend or two, mostly nerds also.  I managed to get by.

I felt there was hope I might yet enter the world of those car owning, bad grade, good-looking, types.

I might yet transcend my genetic walls and infiltrate The Cool.

This theory, my hypothesis indicated, involved a lot of drinking and bad decisions.

Fortunately, this coincided with college.  You have already heard about Miss Piggy.  She wasn't the first nor was she the last.  Hell, I am perfectly aware that I might have been her bad decision, but let us not get bogged down in details.

Enter freshman year of college.  I mean, some time when I was 21.  When I was 21, my brother (who also attended UF with me) and I decided to do Power Hour. For those of you in The Cool, I need not explain the rules.  But for my nerdy counterparts the game goes like this:

You drink a shot of beer every minute for one hour.

Brilliant?  Yes.  So brilliant, that somewhere along the line I decided my red plastic cup was not sufficient for drinking.  I filled a Captain Morgan bottle with beer from the keg.  Fast forward some hours.  I don't remember much except that there was a party.

I am up on a balcony over looking a pool.  My brother and maybe a half dozen of our friends are below in the pool chairs.  There is a girl from high school, who ironically liked nerds in high school.

The apartment balcony where the fuzz caught me beer-handed (and also I got a kiss).

She gives me a kiss.  Jubilant, I look over the rail for witnesses, where I see my brother and friends all cheering me on.  At last, victory, sweet victory.  The nerd gets his due.

Oh, he does.

Lifting my handle of Captain Morgan bottle filled with beer, I salute my comrades below.  Arms spread out, I am, for a moment, king of the world.

But wait.  Suddenly, everyone from the party has moved inside.  I am alone on the balcony and my friends and brother below are yelling.   

This celebration seems to have gone on longer than it should. Crazy bastards.

But the masses must be appeased.  I raise my hands yet again...

...and someone taps me from behind.  I look down at those below, who have suddenly been silenced.

Why the look of dread?

I turn.  And come face to face with a pig.  No, not Miss Piggy in her rumpled saggy goodness.  The fuzz.  The 5-0.

In a panic, I send my bottle over the railing with a CRASH of finality as it hits the concrete below.

Face creased and brow furrowed, he tilted his hat back, flash light at the ready.  "Can I see your I.D. please?"

The details don't matter.  Suffice it to say, that at $75.00 for an open container infraction, this being cool thing wasn't making sense economically.  After about four more years of that nonsense, I humbly submitted myself to lifetime of nerd-om.

That, my friends, has made all the difference.

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Interview With Nicole Ireland, Author of A Second Chance

 Nicole Ireland has her debut novel on the shelves.  I invited her to visit my blog and let us in on the secrets behind A Second Chance.   Since I hate speeches, read below:

Me:  Nicole, give my friends the skinny on who you are and what you do.
Nicole:  During the day I juggle being a mom with working from home all while feeling like a member of the walking dead. (Insomnia’s a bitch!)
Workwise, I’m the Reality TV Curator for MySpace. (Yes, that’s right. I said MySpace. It’s still around. And better than ever, in my opinion.)
I’m also a freelance writer, as well as a compliance coordinator and administrative assistant for a pizza dough production company.
At night, that’s when I let my hair down and frolic with the people who live inside my head. They’re a rowdy bunch.
Me:  I think interviews should always have an icebreaker, so here’s mine; “What is the craziest thing you have ever done?”
Nicole:  That depends on your definition of crazy. I’m not generally prone to moments of craziness. Well, I do talk to myself on a frequent basis, but that’s normal for writers. Right?
Honestly, the craziest thing I’ve ever done was when my brother, my best friend and I decided to snoop around the farm behind my parent’s house. We decided to check out the farm’s old guest house that no one used. While we were in there, the entire building started shaking. What caused it, we’ll never know. But I can tell you we high-tailed it out of that house in record time. We were, as the saying goes, scared shitless.

Me:  Recently you released your novel A Second Chance.  A review by "Doubleshot Reviews", gave it their highest ranking, a Quad Expresso Shot which means:
You don't already own and have read this book multiple times? What's wrong with you?! Put down the coffee and go buy this book!
How did you go about finding the right people to review your work?
Nicole:  I’m just so damn charming they come to me, like a moth to a flame. LOL!
Seriously, though, I have made some amazing friends over the years who understand who I am and what I’m trying to accomplish with my writing. A lot of the reviews you see are ones they wrote on their own accord, which I’m grateful for.
As far as the review from "Doubleshot Reviews", I’d actually sent Heather Faville a copy of A Second Chance for her to read and give me her insight on. At that point I was actually questioning whether or not I should publish it. I was afraid it sucked, and I needed the opinion of someone who I hadn’t known for years to tell me the truth.
So imagine my surprise and delight when I read her review. I can honestly say I broke down into tears. Hell, during moments of uncertainty over the past couple of weeks I’ve returned to that review for a pick me up.
Some of the more recent reviews have come from fellow authors that I’ve asked to review my work because I felt they’d give their honest opinion and not just say what I wanted to hear.
And while I’ve been lucky thus far, I’m dreading the day I get the hated one-star review. I know I’m not exempt from them. No one is, so I hope when my turn comes, I can focus on the positive ones I’ve received and not let the one-star one bring me down.

Me:  The next two questions are things many writers wonder.  The first is fun.  The second is more, technical.
From where do you draw your inspiration?  Specifically, where did you pull the inspiration for your main character, Annabelle Dixon?
Nicole:  I draw inspiration from my own life, as well as from stories I’ve read, my friends, my family, my children, TV and my own dreams.
As far as Annabelle Dixon is concerned, the inspiration for her was me. I know some authors frown on basing characters on one’s self, but I’ve experienced a lot in my life, and I think sharing some of those experiences could help others.
As for Annabelle’s battle with cancer, all of the emotions and fears she experienced are ones I felt while awaiting biopsy results a few years back. It was a really rough time. I kept looking at my children and asking myself all sorts of “what if” questions. The last thing I wanted was to leave my babies without their mom.
In addition, I also drew on experiences from fellow family members and friends, some of whom one their battle with cancer while others weren’t so fortunate.

Me:  How would you describe your writing process?  For instance, some writers just sit down and go.  Others need to develop an outline, a back-story, and character histories.  How was A Second Chance put on paper?
Nicole:  It depends. I’ve outlined stories in the past, but I’ve found that more often than not, the stories always undergo a significant amount of change from their original concepts, so now I shoot from hip, so to speak.

Me:  Finally, my blog is full of random facts about me.  I believe people are interested in not just a novel, but also the person who creates the story.  In that spirit, tell me five unique things about Nicole Ireland.
1-    I once was a junior firefighter for our local volunteer fire department.
2-    If I could be any mammal I’d be a dolphin.
3-    I’m parts French, English, Irish, Native American and Norwegian.
4-    My favorite food is Japanese, followed by Italian.
5-    I’m a country girl at heart. Big cities, traffic and smog are not for me. I need wide open spaces, green grass, tall trees and clean air.

Me:  Thank you so much for joining me on Cat Get Off My Keyboard.  I know several people who want to purchase your novel, so where would they go to get a copy?
Nicole:  Thank you for having me, Nick. It’s been a pleasure. I just hope I didn’t bore everyone too bad. (Me: You did not.  You clearly kicked ass.)
 As for where you can purchase A Second Chance, it’s currently available via Smashwords and Amazon. I’m still waiting on PubIt!, Barnes & Noble publishing platform. Once it’s available on B&N, I’ll post it to my site, so for those who want to wait to purchase through B&N, I suggest stopping by every few days to see if it’s available. I will update my site as soon as it is.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nerdy Nerd McNerderson

In high school I was a huge nerd.  I still am, but back then the difference was I tried to be cool.  Somewhere along the line I managed to make decent grades, do fairly well as a wrestler, and go to college and brought home the finest piece of ass (also very nerdy) north of Pembroke Pines.  But before my college days, I was just a nerd, trying to get by.

Me, aged 11, a few years before high school
I read at night, with a flash light, under the covers.  I thought that, perhaps, I was pulling one over on my old man. Bedtime is for suckers or in the words of 50 Cent, "Sleep is for those people who are broke."

The net result was the magnificent pair of CIA specs on the boy above, an outrageous verbal SAT score, and a whole bunch of nerd-tastic tendencies.  These tendencies included, but were not limited to: 

1)  Laughing at my own jokes.  Fuck off.  The timing of jokes takes a while to develop, as much time as say a dose of testosterone...

2)  Gladly imitating the character Fuller from Home Alone. Dammit, the truth hurts.  The quotes, "I don't want to sleep on the hide-a bed with Fuller. If he has something to drink, he'll wet the bed." and "Lay off the Pepsi, Fuller" echo in the recesses of my brain.

3) Being compared with Lucas from the movie Lucas, didn't phase me...fuck.  Yes it did.  It stung then and still stings now.  My brothers still love to call me Lucas.  One day, they'll get theirs.  *shakes fist at the heavens*

4) Also writing blogs is nerdy, but guess what, you're reading this so what does that make you?  Come to think of it, people watched those movies too...

5)  The glorification of nerds in public makes me smile.  I recently read on a Jimmy Johns poster that you should be nice to nerds because one day you'll end up working for one.  That warms my heart, until I realize that, either there were way more people nerdier than myself, or that statement is simply inaccurate.

Tomorrow, my post on the Revenge of the Nerd, and his glorious college misadventures.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What a funny dog

Okay, so over the last couple days, I have been spending time with family and took the out to Miami first chance I got.  It has been really fun, totally inhibited my writing (some of you might have seen my tweets on the subject) but has been worth it.  Since I don't have a ton of updates I will leave you with this hilarious video, which is a true story by the way.

Before I let you read it though, I would like to say thank you to all my new followers.  I really appreciate you spending the time to check in on me from time to time.  Special thanks to @Jen_Conroy who was my 70th follower!  (Stalker comment notwithstanding hehe):

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Stories: Book One; Book Trailer

Fellow author Tymothy Longoria has a really unique twist on stories we have all heard before. Legends will be reborn. I present his book trailer. Thanks for the video Tymothy! It is always exciting to present work from a fellow #BNFF

Feel free to leave comments, as I assume Tymothy would love feedback as well!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Cover Hell

As you know, my art team has been preparing my book cover for my debut novel. The art is decided, but the font and exact wording is still being debated by my internal team. By team, I mean my two art fellas (who rock) and me. Basically, it has been narrowed down to four possibilities. We took a vote and each picked a different one as our favorite. Then, I opened it up to eight of my trusted friends and family; I ended up with another split decision.

Either all of the covers are good, or none of them are. My family, friends, and readers of this blog all say they love the artwork. They love the font too, just the fonts THEY picked- which none of them agree on. Frustration.

End result? I am just going to pick it and be done with it.

As a side note: My Mr. Potato(e) Head blog became my top read blog of all time almost instantly. I guess titles matter, and of course I might have a few more lovely readers now as well. I really appreciate those of you who leave comments, subscribe, follow my blog, and re-post on various media forums. Much love Brotesticles and Ladies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Screw you, Mr. Potatoe head...err Potato Head

I like to call myself a writer.  It is on par with calling yourself a mathematician because you can add.  I string words together, weave a story, and hopefully someone likes it somewhere. I can write good. I mean well.  I mean, I don't mean well (I'm actually a devious bastard), I mean to say that I can write well, sometimes.

But certain things piss me off about the English language.  For example:

1) Why is there no agreement on the correct way to spell potato(e)?  Google has both! So both must be acceptable.  Though to be fair it does italicize one version or the other and ask in customary Google fashion, "Did you mean Potato(e)?"  Ugh. And then has it like four slots down.  So screw you Mr. Potato(e) Head and all the pain you have wrought me since kindergarten.

2) Redundancy bothers me, oh it bothers me, bothers me.  When people say things like, "the best jelly in the WHOLE ENTIRE world."  Fuck you.  Whole surely works as well as entire, or else the words are not as all encompassing as I think they are.  For the love of God, pick one.

3) Read and read and red.  Seriously?  We couldn't come up with anything original?  Take for example, I read books.   What does that mean???  I have done it in the past or I am currently doing it? Bite me.  I don't even care anymore.  I could talk about that one until I was red in the face.

4) Lead and lead.  Ummm.  Not as angry about this one, context is everything.  You get a pass Mr. Lead... (but guess which one I used there?)  Leeeead or Led? Hmmm? I guess we will never know.

5) A box becomes boxes, but an Ox never becomes oxes.   This has screwed me on words with friends so many times.  Is there a letter I could write to the folks at Webster?  Probably knot.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time crunch!

So I just finished my guest blog for Nicole Ireland.   Hopefully that will release in the near future.  I got home from work late, so that ate up a bunch of time I wanted to use for this blog.  But since I don't have the time to give you a legit post, please accept this video as my apologies.   I must go and write now.  I have a weekend goal of 35,000 words so I am still 6,000 words shy.

P.S. I will b hanging out with my schitzo mom this weekend so there is likely to be another funny story.  I might even do a Sunday blog post, if it is good enough!

With out further ado:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Original Book cover "For Nothing"

Recently I made a post with the type of book of cover I have decided to go with for my debut novel, For Nothing.  The art work is mostly finalized and you can view it here.  But the original artwork was pretty intense too.  My art team sent it to me so that I could post it on my blog, and here it is (your thoughts would be most welcome as always):

Jesse Horst did the art, and you can view his stuff here.  Jesse and his partner on this project, graphic design artist Joey Zgoda, from Zgoda Design continue to impress.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words...

I drank too much scotch.  Look at these lovely ladies.  I have it on good authority that they have the best of taste.  I hope you enjoy the picture.  Also, I am still doing the guest blog for Nicole Ireland, so be on the look out for that.  Her website is here and has some awesome people lining up to tell a tale or two, I'm honored to be among them. 

I might delay the launch of my novel on the Kindle for a few weeks.  It is taking my beta readers a bit longer than expected to get back to me and I realize it doesn't matter how fast I think I can make corrections, it won't be as fast as I like.  I hope the crime thriller will be worth the wait.  Well, I don't hope, I know it will be.

Sorry for the brief blog today, but I will be back tomorrow, refreshed and hopefully 1500 words deeper into this fantastic trilogy I am preparing for all of you.  If you like Knights, and Portals, and Monsters, and Political Intrigue, and something else I can find to capitalize, then this trilogy will be for you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Wedding Bromance?

Weddings are a ton of fun.  They are counter-productive to writing goals, but they are a ton of fun.  Especially weddings where there is an open bar.  These types of evenings are almost magical in nature, and this one was not the exception.

We met at the bar while our lovely ladies were talking over bacon wrapped scallops and the smell of lamb shank permeated the cocktail hour.  At first it was an innocent rum and diet coke, for me.  He had a scotch and water.  A subtle handshake.  A laugh.


"You went to Gainesville?"

"I'm a Gator too!"

I felt the magic brewing, but "she" wanted a soda, and so I went to fetch it.

Then the cocktail hour was over and people were taking their seats.  But wait!  Where is Patrick? The crowd closed in, I tried to find him but the hunger of the masses blocked me out and he was gone.

Damn it, I thought as I scanned my assigned table.   Not here.

I was unsure where he went, the lights were dim and my eyes hadn't adjusted yet.  There must have been a hundred people packed into the ball room.  She grabbed my hand and said something sweet.  Grumbling, I pulled away and said, "I'll be right back, I need a drink."

"Sally, I need a rum and diet, better make it a double".  I said.  Sally could tell I meant business and I think she poured a triple.  It was more like straight rum with a splash of diet coke.

"What is that? Rum?  Scotch and water for me."

The room froze.  I knew that voice.  "Patrick?"

"Hey Nick, weddings are lame aren't they?  I need a scotch."

"Sally, I need a scotch too, with water."

Sally clearly hated her job.   She took my rum back, muttered something, and poured the scotch.  You'd think I hadn't tipped her all night by the look, but would of thought I tipped her a Benjamin by the pure scotch.  Thanks Sally.

I made some awkward comment to Patrick about scotch putting hair on the chest, and he laughed.  So delightful.  But duty called, and we went back to our tables.

But then the dance floor called louder...

I saw him there, throwing a fishing hook into the crowd of lesser dancers, and his lady caught the hook in her mouth as her reeled her in.  At this point, my feet weren't moving, or propelling me forward, I was simply floating.  Jen followed, worried or irritated, I can't be sure.

"My god."  Patrick turned.  "Did you just throw the fishing hook?  I LOVE that dance.  I do the lasso myself."  Pointing at her I said, "Go out to the middle of the floor lets show Patrick the lasso."  She obliged.

"I have never seen the lasso before," he said.  "That was amazing!  Wanna go get some more scotch?"

And we drank some more scotch.  Then we had some scotch to chase it down.  Then we double-fisted some beers at last call at the open bar.  Then we made sure we met up at the club house for scotch afterward.  We left everyone and sat at the bar leaving a few very concerned and curious women in our wake.

"I just don't understand it.  What about us?" I heard one of them say.

It was the power of the bromance.  The stars aligned.  Magic trumped science.

I awoke with a start.  It was nine in the morning.  Had it been all a dream? Cruel gods.

But then I got it, a text so reassuring I almost put my 401k on it.  "Is it safe to assume you feel as terrible as I do today?"

He felt terrible!  This was amazing news!  I hadn't just dreamed him into life like my second grade girl friends....

And then he followed it up with this gem, "I would be lying to u if I said I didn't just throw up scotch and the chicken."  Glorious.

I got some breakfast with the family, all smiles.  But then it hit me.  He lives in Miami and I live in St.Petersburg.  Was I, gasp, a one night stand?  I sent him the question, palms sweaty, and waited.  Hours went by.  Maybe I should call him? That wouldn't be cool though.  I had to wait it out.

6:41pm: "Oh please...last night was too fantastic to be considered that."

Bam.  And now we're Facebook friends.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping busy, book cover, trilogy, guest blog, and #BNFF

This weekend should be fun.  I have a wedding to go to and that is always a blast.  I never remember what happens at weddings, just whether or not I got drunk.  Sometimes I remember the venue.  Generally though, it is a good time and I am looking forward to seeing some good friends of the family take the leap.

I have been writing up a storm lately.  That's encouraging, but I am withholding judgement on the quality of the writing until I go back and look at it with a clear mind and have the rest of the story out of my head and onto the screen.  I find myself wanting to stray from my outline, as ideas crop up, and I wonder whether or not that will be detrimental in the long run.  We shall see.

Word count = 27,500.

That would have me at a bit more than a third of the way through book one of this trilogy.  I guess I have to have a working title for it so people will know what I am talking about and for now I will go with The In-Between.

Exciting news as well, I will be doing my first guest blog with my pal Nicole Ireland sometime this week. You can check out her blog here.  She has a list of sample works on her page and is really doing everything right on her blog.  She has live blogged Season 7 of American Idol, worked for, and has covered celebrity news in the past. So this should be fun and I am looking forward to it.

So, despite the guest blog, working on For Nothing's cover, and getting into the In-Between, there is rumor of me and a few of my #BNFF putting together a website and Facebook networking apparatus.  

Who is the #BNFF? 

Only the BEST group in the world; Best Nerd Friends Forever.  

Membership that I know of includes:


And according to rumor:

So, needless to say, I am keeping busy.  But I love that people actually read this blog.  I am having a good time networking and hearing tales from writers across the ol' blogosphere; so don't be shy in those comments!  Have a good weekend everyone!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Cover Concept

These are two dueling concepts my cover art team are putting together for me.  Some really solid work by artist  Jesse Horst.  Check some of his other work here.  Jesse and his partner on this project, graphic design artist Joey Zgoda, from Zgoda Design have really been genius in their adaptation of my original concept.

They have the landmark Shea's Theater in the background and have silhouetted my protagonist, Rafael Rontego, on the cover.  A bit of blood splatter hits the bottom of the cover, and I like the overall effect.  Now I just need to settle on a title to see what it will ultimately look like.

The art team has a few more ideas they are putting together, then we will pick which one looks the best, and go from there.  Really fun and exciting stuff.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Memories...sweet memories...

When I went to the University of Florida I knew two things.  I was going to get an awesome education and I was going to have a good time.  Since no one likes to hear about sitting in lecture halls, or astronomy class, or Mr. Baum’s logic class (which I took just to share a class with my brother) I am going to tell a story that may or may not be true and may or may not have anything to do with me.

There once was a gentleman who turned twenty-one years old; let us call him Mr. Awesome.  On this particular day, he had a buddy named “Pope” that came to visit him from Tampa.  Oh what plans of debauchery they had! 

The plan:
Go out and drink
Find women
Bring women home
Eat pizza

The plan started off as smooth as ice.  They drank all sorts of alcohol that they had heretofore never had legally.  They drank before they went out, they drank on the way to parties, they drank at the parties, they drank, they drank, and they drank.

They had another buddy named “The Shua Monster” as well.  The Shua Monster was a six foot tall ex-Navy man who was going to school on the GI Bill and his idea of a party was a bit more, err advanced, than these newly minted twenty-one year olds.  Having spent his free time partying when shore leave came around, The Shua Monster liked to make an event of everything; his roommate’s twenty-first birthday was not going to be the exception.  He had bottles of liquor.  He tried to hit on every woman under the moon.

The liquor might have brought his game down a notch because all three of these friends failed at the attempt to bring home women.  Mr. Awesome was less awesome.  The Pope was a man lost in sin.  The Shua Monsters, was too monstrous.

But they were also Americans.  And Americans never give up.  Even when they should.

The Shua Monster grumbled out, “Ehhn Betta Lil shBe’t”.  Which in Shua language means, “I am going to call some girls.”

He had it all set up that there would be a girl for him when he got home.  Meanwhile, Mr. Awesome and the Pope stumbled back to the apartment, thinking the night had been fun, and if they couldn't have women they could at least have pizza (despite their pizza issues in the past ,which is another story). 

But alas, pizza was not to be.

The Shua Monster was running amok in the apartment when the two friends arrived.

Frantically waving his hands, with blood-shot red eyes, The Shua Monster cried out, “Gy’e man the Sh’bleh!”
“What’s that?” said the Pope. “You have a girl coming over but you already have one in your room?”

“That is a conundrum,” said Mr. Awesome.
“Arg blah tr’bet le sh’bo!” The Shua Monster said.
“Okay, I’ll entertain her for you while you play hide the acrobat in your room” said Mr. Awesome.

They waited.  But the drinks from earlier were like kryptonite. 

“I’m going to bed,” the Pope yawned.  And to bed he went.

Still, Mr. Awesome waited, and eventually, the girl did come over. 

Knock, knock, knock.
“Well, hello there Miss Piggy,” he said.
“Hello,” she said, looking at the ground, turning just a bit more piggy pink.  “The Shua Monster said I should come over because you shouldn’t spend your birthday alone.”
“He did?” said Mr. Awesome.  “That is nice of him.  Well, I am a bit tired though, we could just hang out in the room and watch the church channel.”
“That sounds great” she said. 

Though Miss Piggy did not have church on her mind.  When they lay down to watch the television that Mr. Awesome turned on (quietly so as to not disturb his visitor the Pope who was sleeping on the floor), Miss Piggy aggressively pursued Mr. Awesome in his drunk and weakened state.  Did I say kryptonite was involved? Mr. Awesome was in no place to resist.

After a frantic few moments, Mr. Awesome walked Miss Piggy out.
When he returned, the television was off.
Weird, he had never turned it off himself…
Glancing sideways in the dark, it dawned on him, “Good night Pope”, he said.
“Good night, Mr. Awesome”.

The end. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Bounce House Fiasco

My niece turned three this weekend.  What a curious age.  She is half between a baby and a normal person.  She has every man in her life wrapped around her little finger and she knows it.  But it doesn’t matter.  We all shuffle in front of her waiting for her thumb up or thumb down that dictates the amount of three-year-old-love we get for the day.

There is only so much power we have against her little curls, ice cream covered face and toothy grin that shows baby teeth that might still be a little big for her tiny mouth.  But the voice comes out in an unmistakable order.

“The bounce house! Bounce!” she says.  She takes off in this weird wobbling run towards the bounce house that can only be achieved by someone still growing into her legs.

“Yes  ma’am.” I shuffle off only too happy to comply.  After all, bounce houses can still be fun at 28.  Right?

I chase after her like someone still growing into his adult mentality.  It doesn’t matter.  I kick off my shoes. As Dora the Explorer watches over us, we slide into the bounce house.  My niece is too happy.  She is jumping in little puffs of six inch leaps and laughing and running in hopping circles.  I am jumping away from her at a distance, pretty sure that the balance of power would be too strongly in my favor.

Then it happens.  I can’t help myself. I just can’t.

I time her leap and as she lands, I jump and smash downward.

In slow motion, my leap catapults the three year old girl into the air about three feet.  A leg goes left, a leg goes right, an arm goes up an arm goes down, and up and up she goes.

I think, “Why, why did you do that?  Her back is parallel to the bounce house now and her eyes are wide and her smile becomes a perfect ‘O’.

She lands.  Then she lands again. And again. Then she lays there. Legs, arms, all over the place.  Surely, I have broken her.

Then she laughs.  She gets up and runs around the bounce house, leaps into the air and laughs again.  With a sigh of relief, I exit, and retire from bounce houses with three year olds. For now.  And my niece, well she lives to see birthday number four.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Barbra Streisand is seriously out to kill me

Or the version of her put forth by the group Duck Sauce is out to kill me.  I wrote earlier this week about how much I hate that song and lo and behold, the damn thing comes on again on the radio.  I really hope this thing doesn't have staying power.

Every year some lame song comes out that just won't go away.

There was the Barbie Girl song...

There was the Macarena...

There was Bananas...

And now there is this spawn of Satan.  Please go away soon.

Weekend is going well despite that song, and I will update on my niece's birthday and the jump house fiasco tomorrow or Monday depending on when I have time to do the story justice.

For now, I am off to write a bit of my novel numero two.

Goal is 25,000 by the end of Sunday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shelley Watters' Twitter Pitch

For a contest on Shelley Watters' blog:

Title: For Nothing
Genre: Crime Thriller
Word count: 84,327

A bullet rips the night, a Buffalo detective’s life, in a flash. Dueling an assassin in a dance of death the winter threatens to swallow all

*Attempt  1

This is my 140 character twitter pitch about For Nothing, a mafia crime thriller.

*Attempt 2 Tomorrow.
Screw it.  All these great suggestions made me want to get working on a re-write now.

So attempt 2:

A murder sends Alex back undercover into the Buffalo mob. As his prey traverses the underworld game of deadly politics, Alex seeks revenge.

Attempt 3:

A murder sends Alex undercover into the Buffalo mafia. His prey leads him through an underworld fraught with civil war. Alex seeks revenge.

It is between attempt 2 and 3 at this point.  If you would like, I would love to hear your votes!

Noah doesn't have crap on me?

It rained so hard yesterday that I looked up the blueprints to building an ark online. I didn’t know what a cubit was, so I stopped and fortunately, so did the rain.  I did notice that my family must really care about me, or had a premonition.  I received no less than four phone calls about the weather and how I should be careful.

I appreciate the thought.  Really, it is nice to know people care.

However, I can’t help but feel that there must be some reason my parents and siblings think an act of God is like to take me out.  My mom (remember) still thinks a fault line is under her house and wants me to stock canned goods in case we get hammered by a rift in the earth. 

My Dad, let me know that a tornado touched down in Tampa and was last seen traveling in my general direction.

Me:  “Thanks Dad, but I am ever the soul of caution.”
Pappy:  “Yeah right.  That’s you.”

Such little faith.

Me:  “It is really raining here.”
Pa-pa: “It is 80 degrees and sunny in the Keys.”

It sort of sounded like he said “suckerrrr” but he never actually used the words.

Me:  “Dad, the phone is breaking up, gotta go!”

Then my mom called me.  Three times. Once on my cell, another on my house phone and another on my cell again, in case I didn’t get the other two messages.   It is good to know I am loved and people care, did I mention that?

But she could just say this, “In case the earthquake doesn’t get you, I am pretty sure you are going to be flooded and washed out to sea. Oh and that tornado looks like it is going to smash you to bits if the tide doesn’t get you first.  Love you! By the way, I made some homemade lasagna and some cookies in case you survive.”

In other news…

My niece has a birthday this weekend, and that is exciting.  I love to give her presents.  I don’t know why.  I just do.  She is going to be three going on thirty and my brother decided to forego the petting zoo this time for a bounce house.  He said, “Yeah we can drink a few beers, kick the kids out of the bounce house and have a great time.”  Ah, parenting.

In a game of “Where's Waldo” my brother Adizz is still running around out west somewhere.  While he has been gone, he has become a YouTube sensation at my office because of videos like this that he makes:

Oh and I hit 22,000 words on my novel.  The cover art is moving along nicely for my ebook, and I am getting increasingly excited.  Have a great weekend fellas!