Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I WON A CONTEST!!!111!!!!!1!!1!!! (*feels so obnoxious and doesn't care*)

I wanted to post about this as soon as I found out, but I had to leave for work. I just got home, and I know many of you already follow Sarah at Falen Formulates Fiction

...and already know BUT those of you who don't... I WON A WRITING CONTEST!!!1!!1! It's amazing. I never win anything. Even my Cracker Jack boxes are empty of prizes.

Here's my entry. Be sure and go to Sarah's page to read the other entries if you're not already following her.

We were to choose between six prompts:

•After 3 weeks, a lost dog returns home to its master carrying an unidentifiable bone in its mouth

•After waking from a coma, a woman discovers she can smell fear

•When a crackpot inventor is killed by one of his contraptions his brother - also an inventor - finds himself compelled to finish the work

•A man discovers a large sum of money in his wallet and can't remember where it came from

•Use the quote "I pray every day that it will stop, but it keeps getting worse."

•After a violent thunderstorm a man discovers a rain-soaked diary among the debris in his yard

.....and because I'm ME and can never decide on anything (it's torture for others to watch me choose a candy bar at the gas station) I was inspired to test myself and incorporate all of the prompts. My idecision has been labelled genius.

I'll take it.

Untitled Because I Was Too Daft To Remember to Title It

The first crack of thunder of a Texas storm is a sure sign to unplug everything promptly. Lightning around here seems to aim for electrical poles instead of lonely trees in fields. One of Murphy's laws, whoever he is. I'm pretty sure he should be impeached or something, though. I hate his rules.

The storm that blew in at dusk raged until dawn, and when I left for work I found my dog had run off. Never a brave soul, I named him Spike to give him some confidence. So far it hadn't worked out so well. I called his name for several minutes, then gave up.

Next to my car's tire was a soaked book I'd never seen before. Curious, but running late, I tossed it onto the floorboard to scope out at a later time.

I'd no sooner closed my car door and started the engine when a rapid tapping on my window startled me. I rolled down the window and gave my neighbor a vague smile. He always unsettled me with his nervous fidgets and darting eyes. It did not help that he was gaunt with long black hair that always hung in his face, obscuring his features.

"Quoth the raven," I said with a smile.


"A gentle tapping at my… nevermind." The man never understood my humor. "What d'you need, Ray?"

He arched a brow at me, seemingly annoyed. Perhaps he knew I thought explaining a joke would be futile in his case. "Did you see anything…odd last night?"

"I don’t watch American Idol."

Ray frowned deeply at me, so I tried again. "No, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Why? Your dog run off, too?"

He didn't own a dog. I knew this, but it was my way of letting him know Spike'd gone missing and he should keep a lookout.

"Not yet," he replied, which I thought was odd. Perhaps he was trying to be as funny as me. He shouldn't do that. It's like trying to fly a plane after watching the pilot. Only not as dangerous.

He glanced down the street nervously, then scurried off without another word. Chocking it up to him just being the local crazy inventor, I rolled up my window and proceeded down my driveway.

As I checked to make sure the coast was clear to enter the street, I saw Ray at his truck with rope, tying something down in the bed. Curious to a fault, I pulled up at the curb and rolled down my passenger window.

"What's that thing?" It was a metal box with knobs and switches. It almost looked like a giant toaster that'd been steam punked.

"Nothing. Something my brother made."

Right. The dead one. I didn't want to bring up touchy subjects.

"Oh. Well, good luck with it." It was a lame dismissal, but I had to get to work.

I pulled into the nearest coffee drive thru and ordered a hot java, but when I whipped out my wallet to pay for it, all I had was one hundred dollar bills. These paper items did not belong in my wallet. In fact, it was at least three month's wages. I knew I'd had nothing to do with them materializing in my wallet. I paid for the coffee with my debit card.

I wanted to go home and back to bed. It was a strange day already, and I'd not gotten to work yet. When I got to the office, I took the wet book inside with me. I put it under my office fan to dry it out some.

"I pray every day that it will stop, but it keeps getting worse," said my boss behind me.

"I know I'm late again, but my dog ran off," I said. "I'll get better, promise."
She gave me a disbelieving look and walked away.

I peeled open the damp book to discover it was a diary.

Ever since I woke, I smell the fear of others. I wish I'd just slept until I died. I'm so tired of feeling like a freak…

Entry after entry was like that. A woman had developed the olfactory abilities of a canine upon waking from a coma. Weird. Or she was crazy.

Three weeks passed, and I'd given up on Spike. When he did come home, he had a long, strange bone in his mouth. I decided his name had given him confidence after all. I renamed him Spike the Buffy Slayer.

Tahereh's also got a contest at: which rocks my socks and jams my brain. I can't rhyme for shit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So Sayeth Moonrat

To enter the contest, I gotta repost the blog. If you've already seen it on her blog, just ignore me. If not, head to her blog! Join the contest!


Ed Ass got its 500,000th hit today. This makes me feel old and venerable.

Naturally, I wanted to celebrate. I mean, with you guys, since you made it happen. But how?! No one has yet invented a giant internet pie.

Jamie Harrington, clever thing, had the idea that I have a giveaway contest, the prize being a first 20 pages crit. So that's what it is! I'll give away one crit of a book's first 20 pages (size 12 font, double spaced, .5 margins for you sneaky sneakies out there).

You'll be automatically entered to win if you do any or all of the following things:

1) repost this on your blog


2) retweet my Twitter announcement


3) link to this post on Facebook (make sure you include @Moonrat in the post so I'm notified of it)

I'll close the contest at 11 pm EST tomorrow (March 31). The Rally Monkey will randomly select one winner without my input (as if I could make him listen to me, anyway).

Yay! I'm really excited now.

EDIT: Okay, it's driving me crazy. I know I saw someone give Soulmates Award to Tahereh and I can't find the post again. I'm going nuts. Anyone remember who did that? She said she doesn't think she got it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Followers Celebration

So, I'm doing the total cop-out with the contest idea. I've got too much going on right now (death in the family) and my heart's not in it. But I can't just let this momentous numerical magic go unnoticed, so I made some little signs you are free to partake of and put in sidebars... or completely ignore. I was going to make an 'award' but I'm still reeling from the last one that was half-success/half-failure. This time, these are simply a gift from me to you: my awesome peeps. Take one. Take all five. Take none. Up to you.


My first impulse was to show my enormous love for my followers, so I made this one:

but that seemed a bit boastful.

I decided to go with something far more believable:

but I worried it might set a precedent. I can't afford a thousand followers, after all.

This led me to think I should try something more subtle:

Truer words were never written. You're a writer, and that's incredibly sexy. Boy, girl, hey... I'm not picky.

After looking at these three beauties, I thought to myself, "Well, self, you sure are making this all about YOU, aren't you?" So, I decided to try something more universal among all writers:

To write is to be insane, yes? No? Oh... um. Just ignore this one then.

Although I'm still slapping my own knee at how terribly clever I am, I thought the above might not ring as true to the rest of you as it does me, so I tried a more simple approach. IN BRILLIANT COLOR!!! *AH MY EYES!!!* I forbid anyone to sue me if they get eye strain:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I know I just posted, but...

Holy crap! I have 58 followers! How did that happen? This is an auspicious occasion because I started my blog 58 days ago and got my 58th follower on my 58th day so I want to do something special. Not a lot of fame for the number 58 is there? Now, if I'd gotten my 69th follower on my 69th day... well, we won't ponder what kind of contest I'd inevitably contrive. It'd be DIRTY. Like... okay, my page is unrated, so I won't go into details, even hypothetical ones.

I've gotten a couple awards and will post those in the next couple of days (in case you gifters are wondering what the hold up is or if I'm ignoring them or hoarding them).

Progress report: I finished chapter 2 of my new WIP. It's a satirical fantasy... sorta. Query interest for Lesser Evils: 0. Rejections: 35. Outstanding: 23.

TO MY NEW FOLLOWERS: I post little short stories, about a page long. They are on the side bar under Interpretive Rants if you ever ...yanno... get bored and want something to read.

So back to the point... something special for 58/58. Any ideas? Contest? Group hug? Cyberpimping?

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Prognosis Isn't Good

This one I wrote last summer when I was pretty sure I was about to die. Clearly, I lived. At the time, however, I was making lists of my belongings and deciding who would inherit what, e.g. Dad gets the giant Pink Floyd poster, Mom gets the DVD collection, eldest child gets the Koontz books, youngest child my stuffed animal see my point. Luckily, I've lived long enough to finish my manuscript. Go me! I'm rather glad I lived. I love my DVDs.


A click on brilliant blue words is followed by the last, and another collection of letters fills up my screen. Each sentence causes already scared eyes to go wider, and I’m certain Death has come to take me home. It doesn’t ride a pale horse or even pedal in on a pale trike. It creeps in slowly like paranoid cells of doom that slither betwixt binary code and absolutes.

So sayeth the website that lets me enter my symptoms into convenient little boxes.

Who needs doctors, right? I’m sure the guy who wrote this has a medical degree or they’d not be allowed to maintain a site full of medical information. The Internet is a highly regulated entity, after all, and there’s rules. I mean, Jojo the dog-faced boy has a site and he can’t have it unless he is dog-faced. The world has to make sense. There is order in the chaos, and it manifests itself via the electronic impulses that fuel my shiny-box-o-information-highway.

I’ve read the signs in the most literal sense, deciding the stars cannot predict my digestive habits nor my body’s ability to defend itself against cell destruction, and instead read actual words. These words tell me the light at the end of the tunnel is hanging on the wall of an x-ray room, and within its rays glow ominous areas of darkness that mock me with a hazy but discernable smiley face.

Except there’s more than two eyes and the smile looks more like a Charlie Brown stripe. Or sort of like a crushed bottle of mini- M&Ms, and all the candies are scattered around in my body instead of nice and safe in my stomach, floating in acid and Diet Dr Pepper.

Although, now that I look at it, it’s possible the darkness is shaped like the Virgin Islands, which is incredibly ironic on many levels when I think about its location. I’ll leave that open to interpretation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ode to Wojtek

Today's post is a long time coming. Some of you have mentioned my banners at the top and bottom and wondered about them. My dearest friend in the whole wide world took pictures of himself to portray my MC in the manuscript I'm querying currently. He's in Poland. We met years ago through and about eight months ago I wrote this little short about him and posted it on dA.

His page is linked on my sidebar under Wojciech Zwolinski on the sidebar. He did the covers for Melissa de la Cruz's vampire series, the Polish translation. Please, go check out his work. He's amazing (and one of the most popular artists at dA *totally pimping*). He came to America last summer and spent three weeks with me. The above image is a picture I took of him at the Grand Canyon, as he's ALWAYS behind or in front of a camera. I think it was born attached, actually. Yes, I manip'd the crap out of it.

Here's "Ode to Wojtek" (his nickname)


Again, I find myself watching the clock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Only it doesn’t make that sound since it’s digital, as most clocks are nowadays. Have we lost something as a society by not having the sound of impending doom echoing loudly in the dark as we sleep? The sound is just in my head, counting off the minutes until it’s okay to call.

I don’t remember what his face looked like the first time I saw him, I only remember the circumstances, which is odd. I normally remember the expression on someone’s face when they first meet me, but we still haven’t met so maybe that’s why I can’t recall. He entered my life through a photograph, years ago. Someone I don’t talk to anymore told me to look at him, so I did. I thought he was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.

I disliked him immediately.

We all do, don’t we? Hate the beautiful people just a little bit for being so lucky while we’re not? The internet being the imperfect medium it is, I also perceived arrogance, vanity, and a sense of superiority in him. This judgment was based on nothing but the photographs he posted and the comments he left. It’s enough, isn’t it? We all do the same. We decide a person is deep or shallow, friendly or hateful, cynical or optimistic, and all by interpreting their work and their words with our own voices.

I was dead wrong, and I’m ashamed of myself.

He is that breath of life I needed, the extra piece that was missing from the puzzle that is me. Through his eyes I see the world anew, and gods save me, I feel hope again in a way I haven’t in a long time. I can forgive him anything, overlook any fault without prejudice, and love him precisely as he is. He is my little brother from a littler mother, and though he is just as flawed as any of us and asserts he is no saint, I would still sacrifice a boatload of toddlers if it meant keeping him alive, giving the gift of him back to the world.

Mostly because I hate kids, so it wouldn’t be that hard. I’d hesitate at a boatload of dogs, though.

Sorry, sweetie. You’re just not that special.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Awards Time!

Got this one from John Paul over at:
This one requires me to pass it on to some people who make me laugh regularly. Unfortunately, I cannot pass it on to Simon Pegg since he won't see it, so I chose these people:

Terry (I mean Satan's child) at
Penname Pauline at
Tehereh at
Elizabeth at
Emily at
Tiffany at

From dear Anne at I received this award:

The rules didn't seem very specific, so I'm just going to hand it out, okay?

Wendy at
Postman at
Shelley at
Stephanie at
Roxy at
Charity at

Now for some poetry. You KNOW you've been DYING to hear some of my poetry.

You are the window through
which I look and see the future.
Never gave it much thought before
since being alive each day is a surprise.

Now, with procrastinated perception,
it occurs to me the window panes
are actually the bars of a prison,
and the view is marred by grime.

Ain’t no ‘mount o’Windex
gonna make this future look bright,
and I’m pretty sure you’d frown
if I accosted you with blue ammonia.

This house of cards is tumbling
into the hearth I built that blazed for you.
Each face on the faded cards smolder,
and I swear the queen of hearts screamed.

If I died, I would come back for you.
I’d be like ghostly Swayze who learned
to move objects with intangible fingertips
Just so I could kick in your teeth.

Twice. A day.
For the rest of your miserable life
until we’re together again in ether.
If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eight True Things

Today's is a little different. There was a challenge at a different site I'm a member of that had you list 11 True Things. I'm posting Eight True Things. Three of my eleven I should never have put to paper. Yes, they had to bad for ME to question their good taste, right? So I deleted three of them. These are eight things I would say to certain friends/family if I had the guts to:

You push and pull at me, take away all of my mirth and test how far you can drag my sanity across hot coals, then hug me and tell me how much you need me. Your love is cold and vapid, and I worry about the monster you are becoming.

All it takes is the simple act of defending myself from your hostility to turn you into a monsoon of ill fate, twisting my words and intent into something that is an attack on you. Does it make you feel better to think no one is on your side?

You took her side without really being at all informed or bothering to understand the situation better. I am trying to concede it is because you want more people to like you, and you were always such a lost little boy who just wanted to make friends and be accepted. But, think on this: pretending to be something you’re not will only bite you in the end. People who love the fake you will not like the real you, so whatever you have obtained will have no more substance than my failed dreams. My respect for you is gone. Was it worth it?

The pseudo friendship you offer me is something I’m thankful for. It gives me something to laugh about behind your back daily, and most days I could really use a good laugh. I’m fairly confident you’ll never know how I mock you. Your ears hear only compliments, your pride only allows adoration, and the shallow river that runs through your frigid heart ends in a waterfall that descends into the abyss of your empty soul.

The block I’ve been around a few hundred times doesn’t have that great of scenery, though some of the neighbors wave as I pass them by and it helps me feel not so alone. When I think of you and your behavior, I wonder about the block you have wandered countless times as well. I imagine the sidewalk is perfectly smooth, so when there is the slightest crack in it or obstacle in your path, such a deviation makes your mind explode into a burst of brilliantly glowing self pity particles that light up the world around you. Do you honestly believe your heart has been broken more than anyone else’s? You have twisted your supposed pain into something you pimp relentlessly for money, making your own heart your prostitute.

Though I express daily the depth of what I feel for you with two little words less than five letters long at the end of each conversation, I doubt you understand how truly sincere I am. Perhaps because I don’t elaborate. Nor will I now.

As always, you took that joke and rode it hard and put it away wet, then threw it on the ground and stomped it down until it was nothing but a bloody smear. You need to learn to love the joke or it just bites you back.

I didn’t let you win. I’m still standing, as whole as ever I was, and that must bug the crap out of you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Soulmate Award


Awards sometimes feel like popularity contests or chain mail, don't they? Don't get me wrong, I love getting them, but then I worry the people I send them to are all, "Oh, crap. Another frickin' award that I've got to pass out." That is why, dear friends who have sent me an award I already have, I don't repost it. I don't want to bother people with reading more boring facts about me.

So, I decided to do a little social experiment. As with anything, there is no obligation to comply. I won't sick the blogger police on you. I've created an award where you share fake facts about your followers. The experiment is twofold, as I want to see where it goes, so rule three is to ping back to this post and comment that you received the award.

This is by no means a popularity thing. It was hard to choose five people, but I still love everyone. But from reading the blogs of these followers, I think we share a common vibe of strangeness. That isn't a rule requirement for who they choose, of course. Maybe they choose five people that 'get' the mystery behind public shaving, for example.

The rules:
1. Choose five followers/commenters that 'get' you
2. Write something fake (preferably not too mean) about them
3. Link to them, and link back to this post to comment your receipt of the award

Anne at Anne's ex-husband is a mob boss. Since the divorce, she has gone into the Witness Protection Program. Her real name is Millicent.

Nick at Nick secretly enjoys Harlequin romance novels. He aspires to be the next Nora Roberts under the penname Ned Robertson.

Justine at Justine won the lottery three years ago, but blew all her winnings on her collection of First Lady Barbies and Smurf memorabilia.

Lucy at Lucy is currently writing a thriller about dog show contestants. They are genetically altered, and in the end turn on their masters for putting them in stupid clothes.

Mia at Mia was a photographer for National Geographic, but her first love is making balloon animals. She was fired when her colorful hobby turned bad. The burst of her balloon shark startled a tribe of baboons into destroying all of her camera equipment, and they trashed the camp.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Peeping Tom

I post these fairly frequently and I know some of you enjoy them, but would you rather I wrote more about things in real life or something? A lot of writers' blogs have publishing information, book reviews, and stuff like that. I'm not trying to copy or anything, I just want to keep my readers interested. I love you guys and would hate for you to wander off.

Here's one that might be a little hard to follow because of the accent.

The faucet drips once. Then again. Soon its solemn echo is the counter beat to my heart’s crazy rhythm while I sit curled up in my father’s ragged recliner. I’m afraid to move 'cause I saw your eyes at the window again, the whites of them reflectin’ the light from the fridge when Gramps went to grab a beer. I hope that I’m in the shadows enough that you don’t see me hidin’ in plain sight. It’s been a while since the windows’ve been cleaned, after all. At least since before Mama died.

Do you miss her like I do? She had a great smile, so long as she didn’t have a bit of snuff stickin’ out ‘tween her teeth.

I wonder why you come. You never talk to nobody, and you never let nobody see you but me. You’re scary. I don’t mean to come off as rude or nothin’, but you make the hairs stand up on my arm even when it ain’t cold out. I see you growlin’ at Daddy sometimes, but he ain’t never hurt nobody. I told him th’other day that you is the Boogey Man, but he smacked me on my behind and told me I had an imagination like Mama’s.

Did she see you, too? Maybe you’re the one that made her heart go kaput. Startled her plumb outta her mind, I bet. Like the time she caught Daddy nekkid in the goat pen.

Are you hungry or thirsty for something? You’re always licking at your sharp teeth when you look inside. I can’t tell if you have lips, but everything does, I think. Maybe that’s why you don’t talk, huh? Your mouth don’t work right. I’ve seen you smile, though, so I guess you got lips somewheres. I seen you smiling through the bathroom window when I’m showerin’ all alone. Daddy don’t come in now that I’m gettin’ my girly unmentionables, but you still try to. I wonder if you’ll ever figure out that window latch.

Or if you would have if Daddy’d have let you. Won’t be happenin’ now, though. I told Daddy all about you this mornin’ and he’s been waitin’ for you. You know it, don’t you? I see you lookin’ around and wonderin’ where those noises are comin’ from. That’d be Daddy, Uncle Jeb, about a zillion dogs, and pretty much the whole entire neighborhood watch.

Teach you to look in my windows, perv. Whatever that means, but the way Daddy said it makes me think it’s not a good thing. He said ain’t nobody gonna be touchin’ his little girl but him.

He sure does miss Mama.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


So, enough about real life, yes? Let's get back to humorous crazy people, shall we?

Though my thoughts of you are antediluvian, I cannot suppress them when they jump out at me unexpectedly each time my mind wanders to the edge of the void that separates my reality from my senses. That great black depth that no bridge can remain suspended above because it gets sucked down into the abyss, nailed to the darkness by the memory of carnal hands and capricious words.

You carved the eyes from my obedience, then led it around like a kicked dog on a short chain. I think I love you a little bit for that.

Do it again.

The sun’s hot breath beats down on my neck, cooking my skin until it’s the color of your anger. My bruises were always the prettiest shade of plum and indigo, laced with traces of buttercup at the edges. You were always such a good artist and knew what color palette worked best to bring out the life in my flesh.

I close my book and look around for you, wondering why I come in search of you in rare intervals. You always pass by as though I’m any other stranger beneath the tree, your martial eyes flicking over me dismissively when you bother to turn your head. This time, I don’t mind so much. Had you deviated at all from how I anticipated you to, it might have been foredoom that the unexpected shadowed you still.

As it always has, and today is no different. Only this time I know what is to come, so the surprise is yours alone. And perhaps any passerby that is unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast. You love that shiny car of yours so damned much, I figured you could take it with you to Hell.

Over my shoulder I sling my bag, tucking the words of Poe between the folds of canvas. As I rise to my feet and kick the loose grass from my shoes, I hear the screams of the people who don’t find the fire as beautiful as I do. Regretfully, I realize marshmallows would have been real handy right about now, but I think it might be some sort of social faux pas to roast them over the burning corpse of what was once something that pretended to be a man.

I do so try to remember these little quirks of society. It’s a bother most days.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Query Mysteries... Personal or Not?

So, I'm not shy and have nothing to hide. As most of you know, I'm querying and have [ungodly number redacted] rejections. I don't mind rejection these days. I had a few bad moments for a a while, but for my sanity's sake(what I had of it) I decided to expect rejection and feel overwhelming elation for a partial request, followed by doubt of its sincerity. I'm still waiting on the latter. For the most part, there's no mystery as to the intent of a rejection, but I admit, these three have me a bit confused. So, fellow rejectees (or future rejectees), what say you in regards to these enigmatic responses?


Dear Christi:
Thanks for sending along the opening pages of Lesser Evils. Truth be told, though, I'm afraid these pages just didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped. I'm pressed for time these days and, what with my reservations about the project, I suspect I wouldn't be the best fit. Thanks so much for contacting me and for giving me this opportunity. It's much appreciated, and I'm sorry to be passing. I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

This seems personal, but I can't tell. It's the 'these pages just didn't draw me in as I had hoped' line. That makes me think they WANTED to like MY story from my query, but I sucked at my opening delivery and instead of setting fire to their email (an impossible task), they just rejected it. Maybe they have a form letter then just fill in the names where needed.

Many thanks for writing. You have an interesting idea for a book, and there’s a lot to like about your approach. But in the end I’m afraid that I didn’t come away from this quite fully convinced this was something I’d be able to represent successfully. I’m sorry not to be more positive, but thanks nonetheless for giving me a chance to review it.


Again, it's flattering, but I'm not convinced it's a personal rejection. They might say this to everyone. Not to mention they did not address me by name.

Dear Christi,

Thank you for your email query and apologies for the delay. I appreciate the opportunity to consider LESSER EVILS for possible representation, but I’m afraid I’m not the right agent for it. I already have a few time travel novels on my plate, and you deserve an enthusiastic agent who can champion your work. Of course this is only one response, and tastes vary widely among agents. I wish you the best of luck finding the right home for your work.


This one was the most baffling. They already have a few time travel novels they are working on? That seems incredibly unlikely considering the supposed few clients they take on in a year. Why would you take on more than one of a genre like this at a time, much less a few? Honestly, it sort of feels like a lie. It'd really have been best to just leave that line out altogether.

Two Contests I've Learned About and Decided to Pimp

There is a contest over on Chimera Critiques:

Their contest website is:

My browser hates me and won't let me use the link button.

The prize is a $20.00 gift certificate to a bookstore and a critique of your first chapter. To enter, they give you a starter sentence and you write a paragraph.

The site is pretty new and they'd like to get people to visit. They have forums for writers, blogs with writing tips, author interviews, book recommendations etc...

They've recently done an interview with Lisa McMann, author of WAKE, FADE, and GONE. You know, one of those published authors we envy so much. :-)

Speaking of enviable authors, meet Sean Farrell:

The prize is a copy of First Contact by Evan Mandery.

His contest is also fun. There's a picture of him, and you describe in the comments what he is doing. This picture:

Good luck with both!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The End of the World

I've had a busy couple of days and today's much the same, but I feel so neglectful of my peeps, so I'm posting 'one of my best' as proclaimed by readers at a writer's website I belong to where we post short stories for each other. I think it's just a bit silly and over-the-top, but it won an award, so maybe it's not too bad. I'm always the worst judge of my own stuff. Enjoy!


I don’t mean to come across as paranoid or anything, but I think I should definitely tell someone that the cockroaches in my upstairs neighbor’s apartment are conspiring to overthrow Wal-Mart. They’ve been pretty sneaky about it really. In fact, I’d have probably never noticed until it was too late, but the fire ants that blew my A/C unit last week told me in a fit of desperation, hoping I would bargain with them to spare their ant hill.

But I don’t negotiate. It’s the American policy towards terrorists. You might not be of the same mind that fire ants rank right up there with suicide bombers, but most of you have probably never had to deal with the little fuckers. Spend a summer in Texas, and then try to tell me that fire ants aren’t the spawn of Beelzebub. If they really put their minds to it, they could take down Wal-Mart, but evil begets evil, and they support Sam’s team.

Which is why they want me to stop the cockroaches who have seen the end of the world coming and now know an awful truth. It won’t be them at the top of the food chain, as always predicted. It’s going to be Wal-Mart employees, all of them surviving the holocaust and nuclear winter inside the thick cement walls of the job they are chained to (less than thirty-two hours a week, of course, or they’d have to be considered full-time and get healthcare benefits that would cover their lesions and irradiated flesh burns).

I told my neighbors about the cockroaches’ plan to bring the world’s largest corporation to its knees, but they just laughed at me. At first. Until they realized I wasn’t kidding. Now they don’t talk to me anymore. I swear, it’s like no one listens anymore. Not my parents, not my friends, and in the end, I might just hide in Wal-Mart with the employees when Armageddon comes. Unless they kick me out for loitering.

Sometimes I have to shake my desk just to get Darth Vader and the Joker to nod and agree with me. At least someone does, but that fucking Buddy Christ bobble head just stands there pointing at me, judging me, with that vicious smile painted across his plastic, distorted caricature. I think the spring in his neck is broken.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bibbity Bobbity Boo

So, I've honestly been sitting around the last couple of weeks being the star of my own self-pity party. Each obstacle in my life that I thought I could tackle with grace has crashed and burned in front of me. It pulled out the frayed rug from beneath me, and I've been floundering, folks.

Query interest: still a goose egg.

Malpractice suit: in limbo.

Job security: not so much.

Steady income: if every two months is considered steady.

Welcome to the Recession, I guess. I was doing pretty good until November and thought I was to be on track by last Monday, but things in my world have a way of coming to naught.


To the people who said, "Start something new!"... I laughed at you. I thought it was a ridiculous notion that the story I've been laboring over for years could suddenly be swept aside by inspiration elsewhere.

Yet my Fairymuse Mother has visited me. She dropped TWO story ideas in my lap yesterday morning, quite out of the blue while I sat taking notes at work. I wasn't even THINKING about writing and then BAM. Two totally different fantasy worlds, plots, obstacles, and even tones. One is humorous and the other is tragic. One is third person and the other is... shock of shocks... first person. I normally hate first person, but I've got this voice in my head that INSISTS I tell it from his uninformed perspective.

So life is... okay, not good, but notably better. I hope to be back to my nonsourpuss self in no time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Finding an Agent Analogies

We've all heard the analogies going around about what it is like to try to find an agent:

Speed dating.
A ho looking for a pimp.
Winning the lottery.

Of those three, I just want to declare that finding an agent is NOTHING like winning a lottery. To win a lottery, you absently pull a dollar out of your pocket while picking up a candy bar and 44oz Mt Dew, then vaguely remember later to check your numbers and discover you are a millionaire. Published does NOT = rich, and there's a whole lot more work involved than spending a dollar.

I think that the most accurate analogy to finding an agent is: Fishing. Only there's a lake the size of Erie, you are in a dinghy with one pole, there's only 1000 fish in the lake, and 25,000 other fishers.

Your query is your bait. Agents even tell you PUT YOUR HOOK IN YOUR QUERY. To tempt the elusive agent fish, your bait must be better than the other hook-impaled queries out there. Don't cover your query with color. The agent fish is wise to this flashy tactic. Your bait must be tempting, yes, but also MORE tempting than fishermanBob. The agent fish gets full easily and will only eat the attached manuscripts that truly hold its interest. Sometimes it eats the query, but spits out the hook and this is discouraging. Sometimes it swallows the query, the hook, part of the manuscript, and then still gets away.

Don't get discouraged! There are other fish in the Erie, yes? And like other fish there, you do not eat the agent fish. It's more like a trophy fish. You hang it on the wall, stuffed, and tell your friends at cocktail parties about the one that almost got away.

Does anyone else have an agent search analogy to share?

Here is where I shamelessly pimp... someone else

I enjoy all the blogs I read about other author's efforts for publishing, agents insights into the industry, and of course the Rejectionist for helping me feel smarter than some she sees, but my latest favorite site that always makes me smile is Lucy Woodhull. Her crazy sense of humor is right up my alley, and maybe yours, too. If you're having a down day, then I strongly suggest you go check her out. If you're feeling smart, you might also decide to follow her.

Her latest post is about the 'Writer Rules' regarding... pretty much everything. It's hilarious, and just might make you smile along as you imagine how it was as fun to write it as it is to read it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

You Are

Above and below are both products of my weirdness. Enjoy! This one is called You Are.


I hear you all the time now. You are that voice in my head. Not the good one that tells me to hold the door open for the elderly or has me tell a small child to sit down before they fall out of their mother’s grocery cart. You are the voice that tells me to do nothing so I can laugh when they fall down.

When I am alone at night and stare at the ceiling, you are the voice that tells me it isn’t safe to sleep. Not because dreams are dangerous or because there are monsters lurking in the shadows of my closet, but because you are waiting for me behind my closed eyes.

Hungry. You are a ravenous cancer that eats away at my sanity, destroying any bit of me that might have once passed for normal. Others watch me with suspicious eyes when I argue with you at the bus stop, but they don’t know… they just don’t know. You are the one they should fear, not me. I’ve caught you putting my dad’s gun in my hand, but I won’t let you win. I am stronger than you.

No one else sees it, but I know what you are.

You are the voice that tells me that the world is collapsing around me. You tell me I could light a bus filled with nuns and toddlers on fire and no one would care. You tell me it’s good kids take guns to school because it’s about time the bullies feared the geeks. You are convinced there is no such thing as a hero, only people in the wrong place at the wrong time that make stupid decisions. You say no good deed goes unpunished.

Samuel can’t walk now. You tell me he hit me first, but I don’t remember. When I looked down at my crimson soaked hands, I had thought the blood was mine. My life flashed before my eyes and I wondered if the people at the bus stop ever laugh at you when I’m not paying attention. It was a random thought, one that vanished as soon as I saw Samuel’s crumpled body at me feet. Mom says she’s afraid of me, and doesn’t believe me that you did it.

You get away with everything, and I’m sick of it.


Please comment. I love the feedback, and I'm so glad people enjoy my weirdness.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dear Lucky Agent Contest

This is a contest over at

It is for Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance writers. You submit the first 150-200 words of your manuscript, and they judge you. If you write in these genres, go check them out and enter. Come on. Be brave. Get judged.

We all love a little judgement now and then, right?

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Am

Above image is mine as are the words below. Sorry for the lag in posting. I had a bad weekend of Writer's Doubt and had a pity party of one on my couch, watching movies. So, without further ado, I give you I Am. Enjoy.


I am not what lurks beneath your bed. What need have I to creep into houses and hide in the shadows unseen? I fear nothing. Not because my power is infinite or because I am the very soil in which fear’s roots flourish. I am what carried fear in my womb, where it owes its allegiance, and what it needs to survive. It could never be my master.

I am smoke. I am beauty. I am everything that terrifies you and brings you comfort. When I am near, you feel me around the edges of your soul. My cold digits slide down your spine to taunt you with my presence, and I grin to myself as you look over your shoulder in search of me. I am the dark edges you see in your reflection when you look hard enough.

I am what wakes you in the middle of the night, what you see when your eyelids first flutter open, and then I disappear again into the ether as if I never was. I am not the cat to your mouse, no. I am the bat to your moth. I do not give chase as you skitter about with wide eyes and an anxiously twitching tail. Indeed, I give you wings and let you soar as high as you can go, then swoop in for the kill, my attack brutal, swift, and inescapable.

You doubt me sometimes. Though I know it is inevitable due to the games I play with you, it does not stop me from resenting you for not understanding you belong to me.

Shorter than some, but it was one of the first I wrote about a year ago like this, and it's my personal favorite.