Tuesday, May 30, 2017


From today --

Tasha's tired seemed to be making the barista sad.  The barista's hair was heavy on the frosted side of the spectrum.  Unnatural white, threaded with black.  It put Tasha in mind of an iced cinnamon roll.  She thought about asking if the Cowgirls Coffee stand sold iced cinnamon rolls.  She was almost at the point of sleepless delirium where she might ask if the barista's head tasted like an iced cinnamon roll

Monday, May 29, 2017

Exit The Skin Palace - Dawn and Monty sketches

Exit The Skin Palace - Book Blurb

New and improved book blurb!  

It goes a little like this:

     One second, 12-year-old Monty Slaybaugh is screwing off, killing time before the birthday pool party to end all birthday pool parties.  The next second...
     Monty's dead. 
     He's not in Heaven.  He's not in Hell.  He's a ghost.  One more shuffling shiftless soul in the Game Room - a rust-colored wasteland, the dustbowl of the damned.
     Shown the ectoplasmic ropes by a former shopping mall Santa's helper, Monty even trips back to the land of the living only to discover the girl he never even got to kiss is in danger.  A sadistic killer is closing in on her. 
     No one can see Monty.  No one can hear Monty.
He can't touch anything.  He can't even "ghost" through anything.  He's a little boy ghost.  A joke. 
     And like any of the dead on either side of the great divide, Monty must obey the rules.  Those rules have enforcers.  Ghosts can hang for their crimes.  Ghosts can forfeit their souls.
    The clock is ticking.  Caught between the cruel enforcers of the afterlife and the evil intentions of the living, Monty is about to discover there is more than one way to exit the skin palace. 

Previously, it went like this:

You're 12. 

One second, you're screwing off, killing time before the birthday pool party to end all birthday pool parties.

The next second...

You're dead. 
You're not in Heaven.
You're not in Hell.
You're a ghost.
You're just another shuffling shiftless soul in the vast, arid, rust-colored wasteland, the dustbowl of the damned.

You can go back.
You can visit the land of the living.
You might even discover the girl you liked is in danger.
The girl you never even got to kiss.
A killer is closing in on her. 
You can try to save her.

But realize...

No one can see you.
No one can hear you.
You can't touch anything.
You can't "ghost" through anything.
You're a boy ghost. 
A joke. 

And remember...

On either side of the great divide, the dead must obey the rules.
Those rules have enforcers. 
Ghosts can hang for their crimes.
Ghosts can forfeit their souls.

There's more than one way to exit the skin palace... 

The same sauce, but now specific.  The Stand has a bit where King describes Harold Lauder as one of those people that write fiction from the 'You' POV ("You're hated by everyone.  Little do they know, you hate them, too.").  

For some reason, old age no doubt, I can't get Smashwords' pre-order page to upload a damned thing.  I sent an urgent message to their help desk.  Given the national holiday, I'm sure they'll hop all over it.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Grammarly Speaking

Investing in Grammarly is self-delivering a cold, unforgiving bitchslap to the chops.  I suspected but never knew just how horrible my grammar was until some near-sentient hunk of software could shed blinding light upon the multiple atrocities.  

Exit The Skin Palace is now more or less good to go.  Still needs a cover, but Jenny is all over it.  And the e-manuscript still gets to go through the Smashwords nuking session, but after that -- and one more no-longer-capable-of-objectivity-read through -- it will be released.    

Grimgrack has a first draft done.  Sort of.  Mostly.  The problem being, now that I'm working more on getting Exit out the door, creative thoughts pivot towards Exit's sequel - Surfer On The Drift. Also, Exit seems like everything is there.  Grimgrack is still a minor shambles.  A review of the Aykroyd/Hanks Dragnet comes to mind, where the critic sang the flicks praises, in large part because for the first time post-SNL, Aykroyd gave a full, vital performance.   

Given verifiable facts - the sad number of Lucid and The Lipless Gods downloads, the paltry number of reviews (paltry = 1), my utter inability to self-promote, etc. - no one really gives a sweet toot what I finish writing after Exit.  Except me.  I'm still stunned I whacked Grimgrack out so quickly.  Hopefully, Surfer can bubble on up to the surface in the same guttering speed.   

In other words related news, all I've been reading are graphic novels and Bukowski.  The former mind-stuff for teenagers, the latter the kind of pitying, shambling self-epic attractive to 20-something straight white boys cored with a nigh undrainable reservoir of self-pity and world-hatred.  Nonetheless, I downed three collections inside the last 24-hours with no plans to ease up on the pedal anytime soon.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017


From today --

And outside the apartment, right beside them, on Tasha's left, this old woman, both hands wrapped around the grips of a stainless steel walker.  Chipped plastic flowers were twined around the walker handle grips.  The old woman totally owning a smelly slender brown smoke pinched between her brick colored lips.  Somewhere in the bowels of her apartment it sounded like tiny little old lady dogs were tearing each other apart in the cage match to end all cage matches. 

Friday, May 19, 2017


From today --

Ned's mouth opened and shut.  His legs went out from under him.  He sat.  Looked at his trembling arms.  They looked like he'd been through the self-serve line at the barbecue house, remnants of self-control chip, chip, chipping away.  Next time he'd forgo the plate.  Using hands.  Nothing but mouth next time.  Right now, on the grass, Ned squeaked.  Ned bled.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


From today --

Yelling now.  A little too strident.  'Bill O'Reilly losing his shit struggling to intro a Sting song' strident.  But Cudney was popping down the steps to the apartment courtyard fast as he could.  He had to yell.  And like a dick - these were steps he'd taken a thousand times prior - he slipped and nearly went down on his ass.  A last moment nab of the railing all that recused him from being a stack of sprained meat waiting for the cops to arrive and take him away.