Sarcastic Parrot

View from Hotel

 

My parrot sits,
rainbow plumage,
on the balcony rail
far above the bustle
turning a wry eye
to watch me eat my omelet.
LOOK! AWWKK! I’M A HUMAN!
His sharp beak scratches at me
Then . . .
I’M SO DRUNK! AWWKK!
His mocking beak spits at me
tottering drunkenly, slovenly
side to side
on the precipitous rail.
Another fluffy bite of chorizo
MY! BEST FRIEND! AWWKK!
His pointed beak darts up and down
SORRY MARK! AWWKK! SORRY MARK! AWWKK! SORRY MARK! AWWKK!
His broken record hawks at me.

The wind whips around the building’s corner.

A tasty sliver of sausage
riddled with fat
slides past my tongue and gets
sideways, my eyes wide
OH GOD! AWWKK! MARK PLEASE! AWWKK!
His insinuating beak accuses as he
falls backward from the rail.
The attenuating wail becomes lost
as I hack the fatty pork
back atop my omelet.
I stare with tears at the plate
and my sarcastic parrot
alights back
on the rail.

Death in a Graveyard

 

Death walked amongst the tombstones in no particular hurry. His cloven feet had been specially fitted only a week ago, but now his shoes were rubbing. He should have broken them in. No use in whining about it now.

 

He looked down at his legs. As it turned out, duct tape did not fix everything. His flesh was still strung together haphazardly, with the bones exposed and shinning a bright white here and there. No matter how many times a day he ate, no matter how many plates of Burrito Supremes with extra beans he put down, no matter how much he lie around and took whole weeks off at a time (in which no one on Earth died, not that anyone noticed) he was still skin and bones. Literally. Still, after hanging out with Famine for a few days last spring, he couldn’t really complain. He was a pot-bellied pig compared to Famine.

 

Reaching his boney hands into a small, black sackcloth, Death grabbed a vial. It was about the size of a baby turtle minus the shell. Never seen a turtle without its shell? Never mind, it’s a little underwhelming anyway. To better explain, it was about the size of an Argentinian, three toed sloth in its twelfth week of gestation. Give or take a few ounces.

 

As Death glided silently through the dew-ridden grass and past numerous fake flower arrangements, he uncorked the vial. Maybe that’s a misnomer. It wasn’t a cork that was holding things inside the vial; it was actually the souls of one thousand and four Billy goats born on a summer’s solstice. Cork, you see, is slightly porous over millennia, and the souls of Billy goats are not.

 

The nubby carpals held slightly over the opening while those souls scattered in all directions with a panic that was devoid of any real purpose. Every so often, one of the souls would come across a train or screaming child and the goat soul would suddenly go stiff and fall over. This is because they were fainting goats in their past lives. Old habits die hard. At any rate, no one living noticed, and after a few seconds the goat souls hopped back up and continued on with their panicked travels.

 

There were only four million, seven hundred forty six thousand, nine hundred eighty eight drops, so he would have to choose carefully. It sounds like plenty, but there are a huge, huge amount of dead people all over the planet. Like billions. Probably a lot more than that, but I don’t want to sound braggy or pretentious by spouting off arbitrarily large numbers. Fine, I don’t really know the number, but it is really, really more than you could imagine without thinking about it for an amount of time that would also be so huge you really wouldn’t want to take the time to think about it, and then, well you see where that could end up going.

 

When Death chose a plot, he tipped the vial and let one drop of viscous, glowing purple liquid fall from the its open mouth. There was a moment of silence as time stopped and the lavender droplet fell through a vacuum of anticipation. When it finally passed through the Earth’s epidermis, there was a sound akin to a miniature, clown’s motorbike slamming its brakes on. A parade squelch of tiny rubber tires finding purchase on a summer Main Street in a small, Midwestern town. It was quite counterintuitive and very unnerving. He wasn’t sure of the physics involved, but was certain that said substance had no actual mass in this plane of existence and should therefore not make a sound at all. So the fact that it did made him question the one who had sold him the concoction. But that was a few thousand years ago and to tell the truth, he wasn’t certain if he still had the receipt, having kept it in a corked vial.

 

Death wondered to himself what the sound should sound like. What kind of ring it would have to have to please the ears or, at least, make sense based on the drop’s apparent liquidity and the grounds limestone mix. Like a heavy rain drop slapping some mud? A small, seedless grape being hit with a tennis racket? And if it didn’t have to make sense, as apparently it did not, then why not something more fanciful? Something like a woman’s quick, orgasmic moan, or the mischievous laughter of three dead children? Or for that fact, what about something you could actually listen two over and over again, millions of times, without getting bored out of your mind with it, like John Lennon’s Mind Games. And wouldn’t that be appropriate and fitting?

 

Another teardrop of magenta lightening passed from the chilly graveyard air to the casket below. Squelch!

 

“Fucking seriously, then!” Death raised his voice, and then quietened, looking around and feeling at once embarrassed with his outburst.

 

Death continued into the night. In his wake, no pun intended, the grounds began to loosen in places as the dead clawed their way from their claustrophobic, little resting places. And if you thought about like that, it was more of a rescue really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

God is laughing

MickieDees


The small plastic balls of varying color bounced around inside the nets as small hands flailed, a few of the balls breaking free and rolling past our feet. My son of three, smiling away, crawled out of the balls and disappeared quickly into one of the tubes, as did many others.

People abound and pigeons galore, we looked away and chewed our burgers slowly, trying to keep the wind from carrying the fry bag away. Sprinkling salt into the puddle of ketchup. Talking about the weather, my job, and bills to be paid. Then a scream. It is my child’s scream.

Terror. He’s hurt. Perhaps twisted an ankle and fallen down a tube? A busted lip? In a fight with a larger child? Following the scream from outside we see his face through the clear plastic of a corner section.

The others had left and the maze had turned thick… dark, empty. He had probably circled once, maybe twice, with nothing familiar, the walls of the labyrinth impenetrable. Trapped with no way out.

We pointed out directions as we tried with calm voices to settle his heart, elephant tears rolling from his cheeks. As my wife walked to the tunnel entrance and hollered to provide direction, I couldn’t help but realize the silliness of it all.

A small laugh giggled its way up in spite of his tears and terror, and as he turned to follow the voice I wondered how he could be frightened at all. In the mind of my child it was the end, with no way out and no hope. And there was no one else around to help. His fate had been sealed by a colorful tube with a bubbly, convex lens through which he could see the outside world but never reach it.

Safety couldn’t have surrounded him more that day if it tried and the unnecessary screams were calmed in a short time. His tears and terror soon forgotten as he attacked another section of the playground. We settled back to dipping fries and I couldn’t stop laughing.

As a result of this encounter with terror and loss of hope, I wonder if in my most pitiful of states, my darkest of hours, in which all of my hope is gone and there seems no way out, if God is looking at me and wondering why I’ve lost all hope and given up. Why I am crying at all. Why I can’t just stop and listen.

God is whispering through that dark tunnel so I can find my way.
He is watching from very close by.
And my tears and terror will end soon enough.

And I wonder… no, I’m certain.
He is giggling all the while.

The 3 A.M. Epiphany – Exercise 157

Firing Weapon at Night

The hot asphalt is drenched in sweat. A turnout of over 3,200 triatheletes this year. Over six million viewers and close to six thousand users paying for direct links. And although they’ve been outlawed in several countries, we know of plenty underground linkage providers that have parallel sensory links with embeds. The users feel everything the tri’s feel. Everything. But that’s for big gold. Only the toppers can afford that. The rest of us down here at street level have to gorge ourselves on second hand electro’s and coarse-fitting neurals.

The runners have weaved their way through the sweltering January heat, through the smog pits, along the outer rim of the ground zero crater for the 2025 nuclear attack on what used to be Los Angelos. The initial swim through the shark infested waters of Upper Mexico left around 2,500 participants. That’s another 200 over what was eaten last year. They’re thinking about moving the swim lanes again, as the sharks are starting to gather in greater numbers every year at the currently designated lanes. There have also been reports of people illegally chumming in the areas a few weeks prior to the games. You can’t really blame them, though. After the amount of money they lost in the years following the 80 percent games, people were very forgiving when it came to rigging and cheating. They called it the 80 percent games because almost 80 percent of the participants survived. Nobody is interested in games where everybody wins. What’s the point? Where’s the danger? The adrenaline? People were paying record prices to link to tri’s that crossed the finish line. When they unplugged, they were just exhausted. Not much of a rush for the price. Things are much more exciting now.

The timer is huge this year. It’s neon yellow numbers are over 30 feet high in the amber sky, and you can even see it through the pollutes from almost a mile away. Everyone is crowding the road. The first time idiots who make their way to the front of the masses find out too late that when the timer runs out, they are suddenly part of the games, whether they like it or not. In the frenzy, everyone pushes forward, expectant, and those little two foot gaps that existed between pavement spectators disappears. There’s no way to turn around and sift back into the crowd. You wanted front row, buddy you got front row.

The timer is ticking down now. 38 . . . 37 . . . 36 . . .

The crowd’s murmur is intensifying; some of the tri’s family members are screaming for them to Run! For the love of God! Run! But the exhaustion is setting in and the pollutes are filling their lungs. Tri’s aren’t allowed to wear their masks for the last part of the race. Their throats must be burning pretty bad right about now. People linking in are probably hacking and coughing away in their little underground playpens. Choking on what is, to them anyway, imaginary particles of acid rain, CFC’s, ammonia, and enough carbon to choke a horse, if there were any still in existence.

12 . . . 11 . . . 10 . . .

The crowd is going beserk now. You can look out over the sands and see ripples of excitement coursing in waves through the masses. The runners near the line expend whatever energy they have left to make it before the countdown ends. A few groups of ten or twenty make a last ditch effort and make it across in small desperate clutches. Everyone knows that if you miss the countdown, the only chance you have is to form a clutch with the unlucky RBI’s on the outside.

3 . . . 2 . . .

When the timer hits zero, the crowds are deafening. You can’t even hear the gunfire. You can see it though. Flashes of red from the tips of the weapons and the runners forming and reforming groups as they struggle for the line. Some of the front row spectators are dropping.

The big gold players, they pay big for the first shots. During a race three years ago, a man paid a month’s food ration to have the first five minutes to himself. He had all twenty weapons in a row, filled to capacity, and emptied them all in the first five minutes. Only three or four tri’s out of a couple hundred got by. It was a slaughter. Viewings were at an all time high.

They can’t all be like that, but this race looks to be a solid 30 percenter. No shame in those kind of numbers, folks. This is ViewLink One bringing you live coverage as always, right from ground level. Remember, we stay connected until the end.

The 3 A.M. Epiphany – Exercise 2

Hospital Hallway

You walk into the doctor’s office and there is a heavy smell of antiseptic and death. There is no one at the front desk so you stand in front of it like a confused tree. Five minutes tick by and no one returns to the desk. Other patrons sit with straight backs, spines so erect it makes you uncomfortable. You are wearing a T-shirt, faded jeans, and a pair of muddy sneakers. Looking at the other patrons, you see everyone else is wearing their Sunday’s best. Ties and brooches, diamond earrings, shiny black shoes that make hard clacking sounds on the floors of important buildings. You look down at your shoes to see your left one is untied, so you lean over and retie it.

Sitting down without signing in will make your visit a useless one. You will never get seen. There is no sign-in clipboard on the counter. The other patrons are eyeing you with careless pity. You do not make eye contact with them. You listen for footsteps. Perhaps someone is about to open the door and call out one of these citizen’s names. You have waited eight minutes. You are now this room’s center of gravity; its focal point. If someone throws this room across the universe in a wide arc, your path will remain a smooth curve on an unseen graph. You decide to sit down at the chair closest to the front desk. Someone will come in and you will see them and jump up and take your rightful place at the head of a two person line. Or the person will come back from their bathroom break and sign you in.

You stare forward at nothing, making yourself invisible. No one can detect you in your invisible chair, surrounded by an invisible cloak. You focus on nothing and you are nothing. You are unaccounted for with no name on a paper that is not on the counter.

A lady in a white coat emerges from a small doorway behind the counter and you jump up like a rabbit during hunting season. You will soon exist. You will soon be a part of a process with a name, a time, an insurance card, and a phone number. These are all properties of you, and since they exist, you must therefore also exist.

The lady opens your mouth to say something, but another lady comes through the main door and opens your mouth instead.

“I am ready,” you hear yourself say.

“Wonderful,” you feel yourself thinking, and the words emerge from the lady’s mouth.

You intend to smile and her lips part to show pearly white teeth.

She leads you down a long, polished concrete hallway. The walls are white. The lights are bright. Nothing to hide here. When you turn and enter the room, there is an elderly lady lying on her back. The cold, silver puddle of steel lies underneath her. There are instruments lying in front of you. A scapel, tongs, pliers, garden shears, lighter fluid, a translucent bag of leeches, and a small kitten actively trying to escape its cage. The woman has already been opened from belly-button to sternum, a crimson meat flower ready for pollenation. You step forward and as you reach for the lock on the kitten’s cage a small, rustic farmer-looking gentleman rushes into the room, boots leaving clumps of red clay all over the floor.

He says, “Sorry, sorry . . . this young citizen is here to have her gall bladder removed.”

The woman in white says, “Oh . . .” and then turns to you and says, “come with me.”

You turn to look at the room one last time on your way out. Everyone is smiling. Their smiles are wide, like a youth minister’s. The kitten hisses at you. The woman on the table breaths through a tube. You make your way down the hall again. The smooth floor becomes textured. The walls are made of cotton. The nurse stops and suddenly turns to face you.

“I need you to cough,” she states. You can tell by the manner in which she says this that she has said it millions of times. You try to repsond, but cannot. “I need you to cough,” she states again. The walls begin to dissapate; the cotton turning a soft, slow black, like survivalist tinder. And then without warning the floor is gone and you are falling at 9.8 meters per second.

“Sweetie, I need you to cough,” the nurse says. You emit a dainty wisp of air on your third attempt. The room spins and time is no more. You open your eyes again and the nurse asks if you would like more blankets. Yes, you would. How you convey this, you are not certain. You are not fully self-aware, but this person is standing in front of you. You are not invisible. She can see you.

Before time is fluid again, you think for some reason of Juliet, your cat. Have they fed her? You must do what the nurse and doctors say and heal quickly so you can get back to your garden. So you can dig your wrinkled fingers in the dark, wet potting soil and give life to your flowers and herbs.

The 3 A.M. Epiphany – Exercise 1

Lava Storm

There are flames everywhere. I’m sitting in the window seat of the bookstore, sipping my coffee.

Exactly three people are on fire. Two are dead. It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Only six of the people outside are wearing green. One of the dead is clad in all green, but his foot-tall, striped hat was blown off with the wind from the initial impact. His beer mug, however, is still clenched firmly in hand. One wonders if these priorities will carry over to the afterlife?

The people around me are choosing three different methods of panic. Nine of them run screaming to the back of the store, looking for a way out. Four older German ladies run screaming to the bathroom, a solid structure in the middle of the store. That would help in a tornado, but not for this. Who wants to die in a public bathroom? Apparently old German ladies. There are two stalls in the men’s bathroom, but I have no idea how many are in the ladies. I thought about a quick glance once, just to see, but the thought of getting caught was too much. Two people, a loud-speaking, maudlin hipster couple, are behind the coffee counter huddling with the baristas. The woman who has received her double chocolate-chip frappacino has kept hold of it as she dashes behind the safety of the expresso machine. You can have my overpriced caffeine and diuretics, these citizens are saying, when you pry it from our cold dead fingers.

The two people who are on fire are being put out by four men who have come from the bar across the street. They are dragging the limp bodies back through the door of the bar. The stuff that was burning them is like Greek Fire. Their clothes and skin, the men were able to put out, but the amoebic lava that had crawled its way into the flesh, that was still burning them from the inside out.

There are two mopeds, six bicycles, and one motorcycle outside. There are 36 flowers in the median, evenly spaced in a checkered pattern. They are all fake.

The second impact sets everything in the street on fire. The vehicles, the dead people, the plants, and even the asphalt in the road. The sidewalks are not on fire, the curb being the straightline separator. Everything between the two curbs is melting into the river of liquid Sun that was the road. The heat doesn’t penetrate the imaginary line either; a wayward burger wrapper sits a few inches from the volcanic pathway and doesn’t so much as turn black.

The book I’m reading costs twenty eight dollars. It has 320 pages. Why does a piece of cardboard in front of and behind the content of a book raise the price by thirteen dollars? The tax is ten percent here, but a membership card cuts ten percent off of the price.

There are two other people sitting at the window, watching and counting. One is a small boy and the other is a female college student. We will sit here for another thirty two minutes, until the fifth impact. That’s when the culling begins. But we count first. How many of them are left is important. To few and we’ll end up having to take care of this planet ourselves. To many and there’s always insurrection.

There are 346 other planets to resource, but when we’re done, we get to pick any of those for the Longevity. It is 2:31 pm in this time zone. There are twenty-four time zones.

All hail Lord Pox.

Beats 1

Kill Your Darlings

 

 

They surge with idealistic urges
ripe with poetic angst
against prejudicial columns and old bricks;
they turn mind-scraping cartwheels,
kaleidoscope cobwebs breaching their minds
little-bitty itsy-bitsy earth-shattering ideas
come and go
silent and unannounced
and ephemeral
and they know something wonderful has just passed through
their rusted lives
like a bullet train of condensed meaning

Life

An explanation flits like a drunken butterfly
in front of hazy emotions
whispering life’s secrets in their ear
in a subliminal, foreign language
too cheap to listen to
and too quiet to hear
over the din of raucous laughter

Interrobang ?!

Interrobang with explanation


I was editing my new novel when I ran across this sentence: “What the fuck?!”


I couldn’t remember how to handle the question mark and the exclamation point. Was ‘?!’right, or do I swap them, or maybe one goes outside the quotes? I had no idea. So I asked Google. And found this little guy:


interrobang


The interrobang. Turns out, a lot of grammarian purists will look down their noses at you if you use both punctuation marks together. The Committee of Right and Proper wants me to pick only one and use it. Which I could, if I didn’t want to be difficult. But I do. And besides, I like quirky things that no one seems to know about or understand. They remind me of myself.


Turns out if you are going to offend the elite, you can place the punctuation like I have above, the order being dependent on whether the questioning or the surprise is more important. I feel that in WTF cases, the person is slightly more confused and questioning than they are excited. Maybe if they had banged their thumb with a hammer, the exclamation point would deserve first place. If you can’t bring yourself to choose between amazement and confusion, you can really shun the literary OCD’s by using something that an American, Martin K. Speckter, invented in 1962. The interrobang. The glyph is a mesh of both symbols.


The word is a mashup of (interro)gation and bang, printer-speak for the exclamation point. It enjoyed fame through the 60s and then faded from use, but didn’t go extinct. It’s still available in several fonts. It was the first new punctuation mark in 300 years and the only one created by an American. Maybe that’s why we refuse to let it perish. You can see from the Google Ngram View below that it’s never really been popular, but if we can keep its interest growing at this rate, we should see the interrobang’s widespread use in just 500 years. Think about the future, people.


Google nGram View of interrobang


Don’t think it’s gradual demise is something to worry about? Just look at what’s happening to the semicolon.


Death of the Semicolon


So stop throwing around those goddamn commas like you own the place; semicolons deserve a little respect.


A funny quote from a worldwidewords.org article on the interrobang where a writer offers his own new glyphs:


Life, 15 Nov. 1968. The writer, William Zinsser, jokingly suggested amperstop (&;) “to catch that delicate moment when you want to say something more and then think better of it” and the percentoquote (%”) “to suggest that the person being quoted should be only partially believed.”


Now days we’ve taken punctuation to the next level by pimping them out as emoticons, and in the process separating the original meaning from characters entirely: (^_^) I have to wonder what the purists, who are offended by the interrobang, think of emoticons? The horror.


I decided to keep the meanings and developed my own punctuation marks:


Questrophe – apostrophe and question mark for possessives when you’re not sure if something belongs to that person or not.


Questrophe


Asterenthesis – parenthesis and asterisk for when you can only remember the first letter of a word. Why does the writer have to do all the work? Let’s leave a little mystery for the readers.


Asterenthesis


My wife’s is the Commaquest, a question mark with a comma for when you aren’t sure if a comma goes there or not. Want to place the commaquest between a noun and its restrictive form of identification? Go ahead.


Commaquest


My daughter’s is the Questation Mark, a question mark and quotation mark for when you’re not sure if they really said it or not.


 Questation mark

How To Write Your Own Perfect Sentence

Peter Pan First Sentence Diagrammed

 

After reading Stanley Fish’s book How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One, I decided to do something that I’m usually too lazy to do; actually practice some of the exercises in the book. But first, the book.

There is what seems like an implausible expectation in the title. You might be thinking, okay, I can see how someone could write a book about how to read a book. There’s a lot of concepts, styles, theories, messages, meanings, etc., that one could spend ages deconstructing and studying how to consume each work. But to try and pull the stage curtain back on a single sentence? But Stanley manages to do so, and I can definitely say that, although the central dogma is the same for understanding anything on a higher level, I learned some new and helpful things. And that central dogma is reflection.

All of us have, at some point, stayed up late studying or reading for pleasure and arrived at the point where we’ve read the same sentence four or five times and never gleamed any meaning from it whatsoever. The words are nothing more than that, words. And at some point, we’ve all listened to a professor wax poetic for what seemed like hours about hidden meanings in obscure books, as we sat drooling from the corner of our mouths and wryly imagining that the author was still alive so they could burst into the room and scream at the pontificator of pomp that they never created a work where a tree was the metaphor for how a father treats his son. There is surely a safe and happy place between these two pointless points, one devoid of meaning and one bloated with pregnant apples just out of reach, where one can reflect on a book, paragraph, sentence, or even a word itself (in context), and not feel empty or pretentious. A reasonable amount of contemplation where we can achieve more than visceral pleasure without looking at every glass of water in the book as an element of baptism or birth.

Stanley Fish introduces us to the formula – Sentence craft equals sentence comprehension equals sentence appreciation. If you write sentences, and then strive to understand them on a slightly higher level, you will appreciate them more.

The key is understanding the skeleton within each sentence. Once you understand this inner structure and can separate the framing from the interior decorating, you can then imitate great sentences by substituting your own fleshy content in place of the author’s. His first example is the beginning of Lewis Caroll’s Jabberwocky . This is the perfect separation of sentence structure and content:

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves

Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:

All mimsy were ye borogoves;

And ye mome raths outgrabe.

 

You can understand the layout of the sentence enough to substitute your own words and have it make perfect sense.

Twas dusky, and ye slimy toads

did swim and paddle in the pond.

 

You get the idea. And you can do this with any sentence once you spend the time to break it down and really understand it. He makes it a careful point not to get too caught up in the whole parts of speech naming or pointing out every single literary term. The main point is how the different parts of the sentence relate to each other; the philosophy of the sentence. Stanley points out a few main types of sentences. Subordinate is a rigid approach that sets up expectations and then follows through. Additive is a more stream of consciousness approach, where you might move from past to present and back to the past, or even jump around subjects without warning. Satire is a style that promises one direction and then moves in another. You can pick a style that suites you, but the subordinate is the easiest to imitate.

I like this because it’s an algorithmic approach to literary creation that seems, to a lot of people, a great mystery. It’s a method by which, with nothing more than reflection and a few awkward starts, you can create sentences similar to your favorite authors. It’s not impossible.

I handed my wife a Virginia Woolf book called The Voyage Out, and she picked out this sentence:

Angry glances struck upon their backs.

Angry glances. Angry is specific, emotionally. It lies between peeved and hateful. Not fighting mad yet, but on the way. Glances is plural, which tells us right away that there are many people who are mad, not just one. And it’s a glance, not a stare, which would be confrontational. Instead, these people aren’t about to let whoever they’re glancing at know their emotional state. Struck. These glances are being delivered with physicality. Looks that leave whelps. Upon their backs. It’s more than one person absorbing ill will from this crowd. That’s a decent amount of information gleaned from a short sentence, and all we had to do was slow down and take a minute to really get at the essence of the sentence.

Then, you define the parts of the sentence, and substitute your ideas and words. My definition for this sentence is – something nonphysical, preceded by a description, acting physically on something else. Here is my wife’s first and very literal attempt because she really didn’t understand what we were doing (She was bored the minute I told her the name of the book).

Frustrated stares physically affected their heads.

And a funnier one:

Pissed off passersby provided them with pitiful attempts at provocative looks.

And my attempt:

Useless hopes bounced off her horn-rimmed glasses.

No awards imminent here. But you get the gist. It’s the practice that counts.

Here is another sentence taken from Victoria Laurie’s book Ghouls Gone Wild:

I’ve always believed in ghosts.

It’s a first sentence, and a good one. It’s short and hits you quick and strong, like a jab in a boxing match. There is no hesitation. I’ve. It’s in first person, so by definition, it’s personal. This is not something one screams to the people in a food court. It’s something you might tell a good friend or a small, close group of people you trust. The reader is already in a one-on-one with you. They are perhaps being let in on a secret. Always. Not sometimes. There is no room for doubt. Always believed in. This is something that has always been, and isn’t it harder to question things that have always been? This isn’t a statement you have time to negotiate with. In ghosts. So you know what’s coming. This isn’t a book about trolls, goblins, or sorcery. Ghosts are real, and you’re going to be seeing and believing in them pretty soon, if you don’t already. Ghosts. Plural. This isn’t one angry relative hanging around the kitchen table during dinners. They are many and everywhere.

The definition here, or structure, is a personal pronoun contraction followed by an adverb that connotes a definite history followed by what you’ve always done.

We’ve always swam barefoot in creeks.

I’ve never parallel parked a car in my life.

And so on. I surprised myself when I realized that a lot of kids today, myself included, already experience this type of algorithm every day without realizing it on the Internet. We’ve all seen a meme (Rhymes with seem). In its simplest form, it’s an idea that spreads. Here are two examples, the second one is mine:

 

Politically incorrect Sister

 

 

Republicans 1

 

 

You can see that it’s a skeleton concept, or structure, that you can fill in with your own content, or idea.

So my point is this – If a bunch of satirical Internet junkies in their pajamas can make us laugh everyday by using the same concept and changing the text, you can do the same thing with any sentence you love and create a perfect sentence of your own.

 

 

Finishing My Novel in a Novel Way

Indiegogo The Village #2

 

Finding time to write. Every literary magazine in existence would have you believe that there is always time to write. There is not.

Long work hours, followed by long drives, errands, kids in sports, helping with homework, cooking, eating, cleaning, and you name it. When they all come together, being mentally competent or physically able to stay awake enough to write is sometimes impossible. Now that I’m unemployed, I can either spend every waking moment trying to find another web development job, where we can keep our rental house and not be homeless, or I can sit down in front of my laptop to write, and think about how if I don’t spend every waking moment trying to find another web development job, we won’t be able to keep our rental house and will be homeless. It’s hard to work on character development when you might not have a home in a few weeks.

So, I’m trying to kill two birds with one stone. The stone is Indiegogo. It’s a crowdfunding site that operates much like Kickstarter, but is a lot more lax on what the projects can be and how you collect the money. It’s like Kickstarter, without the red tape. If I reach my goal, I’ll be able to concentrate on finishing The Village by the end of January, without having to worry the roof over my family’s head.

I’m still working on a video where I don’t look and sound like a douche-bag, blink 45 times a second, or say ‘um’ before every single sentence. So it may be a week or so. But I’ve given the gist of what’s needed and why. I’ll be more detailed and hopefully pull at the heart strings a little more in the video.

I’ve also included the Intro and Chapter 1. Tell me what you think. Any and all feedback is welcome. If the campaign is active, you’ll see the link in the left sidebar.

Happy reading.