Sunday, May 30, 2010

106 Followers Contest

Why 106? Because that's the number of followers I have today.

The Rules:

I hate rules. Therefore, mine are simple.

1. Blog about it. Why? Advertising rocks. Anything extra you'd like to do is appreciated mucho.

2. Be a follower. Why? It's the polite thing to do.

3. Short story, roughly 500 words. Why roughly? Because I won't disqualify for over or under, so long as it's a complete story. I'd enjoy it if it's 1000. I'd be disappointed if it's 100. It can be any genre. I'd prefer funny or incredibly tragic. I'm like that.

4. Email it to because I want to consider them privately, not as posts. If you want to post on your blog, that's cool, but still email me.

5. The deadline is June 15th. Why? Because it's an anniversary of sorts for me so an easy day for me to remember. ***This has been changed to July 4th!

The prizes, you ask? Capitalism rears its head. This is also simple. It's up to you.

1st Prize: $40.00
2nd Prize: $30.00
3rd Prize: $20.00
4th Prize: $10.00
Honorable Mention: $6.00.

Why? Because it's the 106 followers contest, so I'm giving out $106.00. I'm not foolish enough to send cash in the mail, so these will be in the form of gift certificates to anything you choose. Bookstores, Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, I don't care, so long as it's a chain store I can find in Texas or one with a website I can order from.

Also, all contestants will have my undying devotion. I will prove this in a meager offer of editorial assistance. Have a query letter? A partial? Some sort of vague idea and lack direction? All contestants will receive honest feedback, if they wish. I'm no professional, and it won't hurt my feelings if you're not interested. Just bear in mind that I might not be timely if I have dozens to go through, but I will get through them all.

So, good luck, blogger friends of mine. I look forward to reading your work!

*****Whoops on the math. I fixed it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm easily distracted

Which is why I've not been around much. Real life things have been calling me and have left me with small time to be around. It doesn't help that my wireless keeps crashing since I'm the sort to curse and storm off rather than fix it, plus I did have that time away in Colorado which totally pulled my head out of writing for a while. It gave me a lot to think about.

Much to my amazement, I seem to have tipped over 100 followers. My sidebar doesn't show the number (unless I highlight the area) and I can't get the color to change when messing with the display options, so I gave up trying to fix it. See paragraph one, sentence three. My point is, I didn't even notice I was close to 100.

So, it makes me wonder if I should have some sort of contest or blogfest. You guys tell me. What's your pleasure? I'll tell you up front that a contest of mine would be about talent and not popularity. It'll have nothing to do with Facebook or Twitter point racking. It will be a contest to showcase your writing, as would a blogfest, so pick your poison.

In the meantime, another one of my shorts. Let me know if you can picture this guy in your head, even without a description. I can, but I wrote it.


The drop down list of my friends at the top of the page tells me you were online two hours ago. The comment I left you is from six hours ago, but you said nothing to me in return. I see the little picture that is what you’ve chosen to represent yourself in cyberspace. It is down on my list of recent visitors, but you said nothing to me.

I left you a note. The box turned from yellow to grey, so I know that you read it yesterday between noon and one o’clock. I kept checking because I could not wait to read what you would say in response. Yet, you said nothing to me.

I went to his page. I see you’re talking to him again. Why do I even care? You’re the idiot who smiles as he brushes your hair back from your face, knowing the words that fall from his pretty lips are lies.

I shouldn’t have told you my account name. I was safe from the world before, hiding in cyberspace where I could speak to people who understood me and did not call me names or kick my dog or throw my book bag in the ditch. I was safer with the freaks than I am with you normal people. Now you’ve told them all my name and they come to my page and mock me there, too. I had to change my account name again. I’m so tired of doing that.

Not to mention money down the drain from another subscription that bit the dust. I was almost at a thousand pageviews, too, you bitch.

I think this time I will pretend to be a girl from another country and cannot speak English well. It is so fun to intentionally massacre the language, to warp the words as they are thrown at me by others to warp me.

I mean, it’s not my fault I am the way I am. It’s everyone else’s. Every jock that pushed me, every teacher who mocked me in class, every girl that laughed at me when I tried to flirt, every relative who wouldn’t sit next to me at Thanksgiving… you are all the reason I need acceptance, but will probably hide in my one room efficiency apartment every night after I am back from working at my menial job in my fluorescent lit cubicle.

On the internet, I am a god. How can reality possibly compete?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blogfest... a bit late

Wow, I'm really, really sorry I worried you folks. I've been in Colorado and just got back last night. I returned to find emails and notes of being missed. I'll admit, it does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that people notice when I'm not visiting*stalking*their blogs or posting on mine. I've got A LOT of catching up to do on blogs.

I thought I'd be back sooner than I was so I had signed up for Roni's blogfest

It's a bit late, but here ya go. This is a scene before the one I posted for the Last Line Blogfest a couple of weeks ago. To set the scene a bit, Sam has been riding with a very religious truck driver and is at a truck stop in Limon, CO. He is back from the grave and in a radically different body with special powers he is still learning about and headed west because he has vague dreams that tell him to go where there's mountains. This is the scene where Sam and Scarlett meet. The reason they 'recognize' each other is because they are both unnaturally pale with long white hair and red eyes and their clothes are the same, except different colors (in case that part confuses anyone).

Rated PM for Potty Mouth:

The windows to my left piqued my curiosity once more, and I paused to browse pewter dragons and authentic Native American dream catchers made in China. Beyond the shelves I could see customers, and when my eyes fell on one in particular, my heart nearly leapt from my chest like an alien spawn on crack.

She looked down at a display of scorpions under glass. Her pale hair was separated into two tightly done braids that rested on her chest. She wore an ensemble of red, and chose to roll up the sleeves of her red poncho to near her elbow. Her eye shadow and lipstick were bright red against her pale skin.

Like a trod upon mouse, my nose squeaked against the glass I'd pressed up against, and her head snapped up in surprise. When our eyes met, I saw her irises were as red as mine. Lined thickly in that black junk girls wore, her eyes went wide when they focused on me. I wasn't sure if it was alarm or joy as she gaped at me.

Granted, I was pressed against the glass as unapologetically as any kid at a shark aquarium. At least the kind of kid that likes sharks a lot. Ones scared of sharks wouldn't have looked as eager as I no doubt did.

The spell was broken when she turned away and ran towards the door. Not sure if she was running away from me or towards me, I stepped back from the glass to wait and see which direction she headed when she got into the long corridor. I was mildly relieved when she approached me. It would have been embarrassing to have to chase her down in the parking lot.

She spoke first. A lot.

"You're like me, right? You look it. Dead, too?" She leaned in close and sniffed. "You look it, and kind of smell like it, too. What are you driving? You're driving, yeah? Going where I am, I bet. You have the dreams? Of course you do, or you wouldn't be here. Brown, huh? I got red, obviously. Thank God. I'd look horrid in brown. Not that you do. Well, you don't look fabulous or anything, but not bad."

"Did you actually…I dunno… want me to give answers here?"

"Huh? Oh, um, sure. I guess. I mean, I already figured it out for myself, except what you're driving."

"I'm not." I was curious how she was able to drive, but she already annoyed me and I wasn't sure I wanted to talk to her anymore. The only thing that kept my feet planted was the fact we were obviously connected somehow, and it was more linear than the Kevin Bacon Factor.

"You're what, then? Hitchhiking? That's dangerous, you know."

"Yeah, well lately I sort of feel invulnerable."

She smiled in a way that made me very uncomfortable. In a flash, she twirled a butterfly knife in her hand then stabbed me in the chest.

"Ow!" I hissed, turning towards the wall to yank it out before someone came along and saw. "You trying to kill… okay. I'll stop there, but OW! What the hell did you do that for? You tore my clothes."

She rolled her eyes, her hand open and expectant of her knife's return. "If you're going to be such an infant, you can stab me back if you like."

I was tempted. Won't lie.

I slapped the open blade into her palm and said, "I'm not being an infant. I just think your flare for the dramatic is out of place in broad daylight where anyone can see us."



"No, Scarlett's my name, dipshit."

"You're being pretty antagonistic to someone you just met, don't you think?"

"No different than I treat anyone. You're not so special I'll change my ways."

"I don't think you're… stable. Have a nice death." I walked away from her. Actually, I think I scurried like a rat away from her, but I don't want to split hairs.

To be honest, I was incredibly disappointed. She was the first person I'd met that was like me, and she was a lunatic. Normal people didn't go around stabbing others for fun. Seriously, it was random and illogical. Not to mention the fact it hurt like hell.


I really didn't want to, but I stopped.

"I'm… I'll try to be less… whatever," she said to my back.

"Whatever?" I said, turning around to face her. "Less stabby? Less insulting? I'd prefer both, to be honest. If it's too much to ask, piss off."

"Well, wherever we're going, I've got a car and you don't," she countered. "Want a lift?"

Decisions, decisions… ride with holy-roller, truck-driving stutterer from Deliverance, or with Tank Girl on amphetamines. It was an easier choice than I'd anticipated.

"I guess. Just don't stab me anymore. I don't have any other clothes."

"Cool, come on."

I looked around for Bill and wondered if I should tell him where I'd gone off to. I didn't want him to worry about me. I didn't see him, and I felt bad for disappearing on him, but I was sure the girl was a piece of the puzzle to my new life and didn't want her to leave without me.

Okay, I sort of did. I was conflicted. She was crazy.

Scarlett approached a car, and I prayed she was just pausing to mock it. Unfortunately, she unlocked it and got in. It was a white, two-door Pinto station wagon at least two decades older than I used to be. If that wasn't enough to rate a negative score on the Cool-O-Meter, it was also adorned in stickers from bumper to bumper along the bottom and sported purple flames on the hood.

"Whoever you stole this from probably thanks you," I said as I slid into the passenger's seat. The backseat was missing, leaving a large cargo area.

"Don't insult Martha. She's sensitive."

I snorted. "Martha? You're shitting me."

"My brother named her. She was his for years. Gave her to me when I got my license. Gave her back to me when I zombied. He's got Gerda now. She's a Gremlin, his favorite."

I made a mental note that Scarlett's entire family was unbalanced.

"I was lucky to get her," Scarlett said. "Hitchhiking is dangerous. You're brave for doing it. There's a lot of nuts out there."

She would know.

"No, bravery is travelling cross-country in this thing," I said. "Cross-street is even a risk."

"Get out and walk, if you like."

"Nah, I gotta be there when I'm right. I get the opportunity so rarely, you know."

"So, what's your name?"


"We're introduced now," she said as she held out her hand to shake.

I took it in mine politely, then the freakiest thing yet happened. I saw Scarlett for who she really was. Her hair was black and cut in a short bob, but other than that she was about the same, only shorter. Her complexion was pale, and her dark makeup was in place around her eyes, but her eye shadow was a rich purple. Her eyes went wide, and I knew she saw me, too.

"So, you're a short, dark dork and not really an ivory god, huh?" she said.

"I could say the same about you."

"If you wanted to walk."

"Which I don't."

"Then shut up."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More from The Project

Those that have been watching me for a while know that I post little 'shorts,' things that can't even be called flash fiction because they're not even a page long. I have a collection of these that I've written over time for what I call The Project. I doubt anything will ever come of it. I feel the need to say again, these are not ME. These are characters. I hope you enjoy.


The dishwasher sings its song of labor and the cadence isn’t in rhythm to the notes that escape my speakers. Yet, somehow it is a lullaby in the background to the angry sound of someone else’s pain, and together they bring me comfort. Or at least as much comfort as anything can anymore. The gods know my bed brings me none.

I’ve walked to the freezer at least three score today, but walk back to my desk empty-handed. I randomly stick my head in there and rest it against the cold surface, hoping that there will be jolt to my brain that will end this fog that muddles me. So far, it’s a no go.

The cardboard lined contents within are less satisfying than the cigarette that hangs from my mouth, and I can’t get myself to sacrifice one for the other.

Besides, the smoldering stick has fewer calories and zero trans fat and I’m
watching my girlish figure these days, even though watching it doesn’t make it shrink. With any luck, cancer will consume my folds of cellulite and I’ll be a lighter carry to the grave. I wouldn’t want anyone to strain themselves on my account, after all. Especially since my pallbearers will be strangers and my grave not as shallow as I’d prefer.


My leg shakes in the nervous fidget that pissed my mom off when I was a kid, but even after all these years, I can’t abandon the need to keep the leg moving. It’s a representation of my racing thoughts and my body’s desire to get started on one of the zillion projects that stampede through my frenzied mind in a blink. Doctors try to call it Attention Deficit Disorder, but that’s because they’re two-dimensional in thought and depth. They don’t understand that I just see so much more than they do, and my poor human brain can’t keep up.

Just another limitation of this flesh. Something I’ve grown accustomed to, but still resent.

Who is God? He is who I blame when everything goes wrong, that entity that conspires against me and makes this world a dark and terrible place just so I have a harder day. Sometimes, I worry that I’m too self-involved. God is the one that is never there for me when I need him. God punishes me whether I am good or bad. God is who I beg to make the pain stop.

Oh, wait. That’s you. Are you my God?

Funny. I thought you’d be taller.

But your inability to apologize is no surprise. With each word you throw at me like a dagger, you pin me to the wall in my mind. Careful now, it’s crumbling around the edges of the holes your words leave behind when they are yanked back out with a kindness that drips with falsity. Could have, would have, should have, can’t.

This is what I think when I hear you say you love me.


Time stops when the page is empty
and sounds are mere echoes in my eyes
faces and places, all long forgotten
and happily so, until that song plays

Yellow bunnies and pink chickens
poisonous plants used for decoration
orange squash savaged and set alight
each a holiday memory long buried

And even now I hear cheerful tunes
ones that make me want to rip off my ears
times best held at a distance in my mind
lest I stab the next perky chum in the head

Or maybe just that bitch at the office
I’ve been wanting an excuse, after all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tagged, too

I see a lot of my blogging friends getting tagged with this, and I got tagged by Terry Towery at
I'm not going to pass it on since I don't want to make someone do it more than once, so if you'd like to this lil questionnaire, by all means, share info about you! I love reading about everyone else.

Question 1: Where were you five years ago?

1. Well, it was May of 2005, so I was newly recharging my writing batteries with two stories I had begun in April of that year.

2. Spending every weekend at Scarborough Renfaire (which I spelled wrong and am too lazy to look up), at which time I sat both days of the weekend at a picnic table in FULL Ren gear with a pack of pencils and a writing tablet from the faire's open to close, working on my stories and ignoring my family (parents and sisters).

3. Driving a rickety truck I was too afraid to wash because the dirt held it together. It had no A/C and a vinyl bench seat. IN TEXAS.

4. Working at the job I still have, but I liked it then.

5. Living in a small town 40 miles from Waco.

Question 2: Where would you like to be in five years?

1. In a house of my own. Renting blows.

2. Working on another best seller... (yanno, after I've had a couple already)

3. Living moderately with a sense of security.

4. Behind the wheel of a '57 Mustang.

5. Above ground is something I'd settle on at this point.

Question 3: What is on your to-do list today?

1. Breathe.

2. Eat.

3. Go to work.

4. Write some more.

5. Go to bed.

Question 4: What snacks do you enjoy?

1. Chex Mix.

2. Chex Mix.

3. Animal crackers (mostly their heads).

4. Chocolate.

5. Chex Mix.

Question 5: What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

1. I'm sure I'd still write.

2. Create a financially stress-free life for all friends and family.

3. Buy a new body.

4. Travel a lot. To places I can reach in a car. I have an illogical fear of dying in a plane the moment I win the lottery, so no more flying for me. Then again, a plane would probably just crash into my new house.

5. Self publish if I wasn't already. I'd probably just buy a publishing house for all my friends to use. :-)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Line Blogfest

For Lilah's Last Line Blogfest,
I submit the last several *coughdozencough* lines of chapter 4 of my WIP.

To set the scene a bit so you know WTF is going on, My MC Sam and Scarlett are both returned from the grave. They've already discovered their bodies reform themselves if damage is done to them. They've just met this day and are still strangers, and are also seventeen. They are being 'called' west, but they don't know where to. They are in her crappy white Pinto station wagon in Denver at the moment, after having travelled across Kansas. They are leaving Denny's at the moment, trying to decide where to head from there.

Oh, and he thinks she's a lunatic.


I left the waitress a buck-fifty, which was over twenty-percent of our seven dollar meal. Quite generous, I thought. As we walked back to the car, I glanced at the nearby interstate and the cars speeding down it. In them were people who knew where they were going. I envied them.

A thunderous sound startled me, and I snapped around in search of its source. Scarlett, too, searched the darkness from her side of the car.

"What the hell was that?" she said.

"Fuck if I know."

We looked around a moment longer, then it resounded again so loudly I covered my ears. Other patrons of the restaurant passed us by with curious eyes, unfazed by the resonating echo in the night. It seemed they were either deaf or had not heard it because only Scarlett and I could. When it struck a third time, a flash of light accompanied it from the sky, turning night into day. My lifted eyes saw dancing circles of color against the clouds.

"A sign?" Scarlett asked across the hood of the car.

"I guess. Words spelled out would be a lot more helpful, though."

"Text message of the gods?" Her tone was amused.

"Hey, divinity shouldn't have limitations."

The lights stopped dancing. I almost apologized to the sky for my disrespect. Maybe the divine disliked being mocked as much as any human.

"Way to go. You pissed them off," Scarlett said. "Say you're sorry."

"You're not serious," I said. True, I'd the impulse to retract my statement, but I wasn't actually going to speak to floating colors above my head.

"Yes, I am. Do it, or don't get back in the car."


"Like you mean it, too. Not one of those fake forced apologies your mom makes you give your brother."

I didn't have a brother, or a sister for that matter. I knew that wasn't the point, though, so I looked up at the lights and said, "Sorry if I pissed you off."


Scolded by the crazy chick. My afterdeath had reached an all new low point.

"I'm sorry if my remark was offensive to you in any way," I said to the luminescent colors, feeling like a world class jackass.

The lights circled again, then drifted away slowly, heading south.

"Get in!" Scarlett said, throwing open her door. "They're going to show us the way!"

That was a pretty wild assumption, I thought, but I did as I was told. For all we knew, the lights were going to lead us off a cliff. Or to a used car dealership.

Scarlett peeled out of the parking lot and sped down the street. I wasn't sure her Pinto could take that kind of abuse, but negative remarks about her car while she was excitedly speeding down the street seemed a bad idea. It was harder to keep my mouth shut when we nearly caught air going over train tracks.

"Dead or not, you need to obey the rules of the road before you send other people to the grave," I said, gripping the door handle in anxiety.

"You know what?"

A rhetorical question I loathed. I almost answered sardonically, but kept it to myself.

"Shut up," she said. "I'm not going to kill anyone. You don't count. You're already dead."

"Well, I'd prefer not to be dismembered again, thanks."

She shot me a confused glance, then her eyes returned to the road.

"Watch out for the...!"

"I see it."

The Pinto narrowly missed someone edging their Mustang out from a gas station parking lot. They honked loudly and the driver gave us the finger.

"Being with you is almost more excitement than I can handle," I said.

"Yeah, I get that a lot."