Monday, September 21, 2015

Throwaway Ideas

I've had some really terrible ideas. I mean awful. Sometimes they pop up while I'm reading. Other times, they might hit me in the middle of a conversation. Someone says something and I make ridiculous connections.

Bad ideas are the dark side of a creative mind.

I've gotten good at filtering myself over the years. Well, mostly. I do a lot of rewriting and even more apologizing. Fortunately, most of my ideas are amazing. Here are a few examples:

  • A Ferris wheel powered by hamsters
  • Better tasting roach spray
  • A book about fart sounds and how to mask them
  • Four tips on how NOT to give a eulogy

I particularly like that last one.

Tip #1: Don't animate the corpse to clap during the best parts of your eulogy.
Tip #2: Don't use a laugh track to compensate for lazy writing; you're not fooling anyone.
Tip #3: Don't prop the corpse up next to you and pretend to have a conversation with it.
Tip #4: Don't accuse anyone in the audience of murder without compelling evidence or a strong gut feeling.

An idea like this, I might develop into a scene. Or, it might help me build out aspects of a character's personality. I might start thinking, "What kind of eulogy would a particular character give?" or "what kind of fart masking does this character employ?"

Sometimes ridiculous questions can break a cycle of tedium and get our minds moving laterally again. And sometimes, they're just funny, and that's enough. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Just A Flesh Wound

Still alive. I had surgery about three weeks ago--my fourth in roughly a year, as it turns out. The upside to all the cutting is that I've now learned enough medical jargon to fulfill my dream of writing Boogie Schnauzer, Dog M.D. The downside, of course, is that I have such terrible dreams.

But I'm better now and hopefully my dreams will improve and whoever has my voodoo doll will stop poking it long enough for me to write another book.

In other news, quantum mechanics is complicated.

That is all.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Rumors of my abduction have been moderately exaggerated. I'm still here despite evidence to the contrary. 

For those of you wondering when my next book is coming out...I have no idea. 

Bad answer, I know. 

I have several works in progress--including the third Hunter Chronicles book--but health issues have derailed my writing efforts over the last year or so. And no, I'm not that old. 

Fortunately, I think doctors are finally honing in on the problem. Looks like it's either a parathyroid or kidney issue--not sure yet. Either way, I'm hoping to be back to full steam by the end of summer. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Untold Endings to Classic Children's Stories: The Case Against Growing Up

If you are reading this, you are most likely the worst kind of person. A turd. A blunderhead. A jack-a-napes. A one-eyed-lily-hustler. You, my friend, are an adult and there’s not a more horrible creation on the face of all of God’s green earth.

I know. I used to be one.

Wear a suit, a tie. Sit. Do things that rhyme with “sit.” Do what you’re told. Tell others. Use words like “greenhouse gas,” “Boolean,” and “rectal thermometer” with a straight face.

Pay taxes.

Maybe you’ve read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and The Jungle Book, or at least seen the movies.

I’m talking about what happened after Charlie, Alice, and Mogli grew up.

Take Charlie for example.

Back in the sixties Willie Wonka could clearly see that the tides were turning for chocolate factories, particularly his American-based holdings after the FCC forced him to shut down the Television Room what with the Mike Teavee incident and all. Lawsuits came aplenty. Willie chose Charlie as his successor and hotfooted it out, leaving Charlie with a magic boatload of problems.

But a Golden Ticket and an honest, good-natured disposition does not a CEO make.

The FAA confiscated the great glass elevator for improper licensing and safety violations. The FDA forced Charlie to destroy all edible trees and rivers of chocolate due to health concerns and unsanitary conditions. The real low point for Charlie came when the NSA raided the factory and deported the Oompa-Loompas who, as illegals, were stealing jobs from Americans. Operations ceased overnight, forcing Charlie to issue an IPO in order to raise funds and keep the factory afloat.

Charlie was getting sick of three letter acronyms, and had a few choice four-letter words he wanted to share—a bad sign that the disease of adulthood was upon him.

At some point, the magic leaves our lives.

Alice grew up to become a politician. She ran for president and chose the Cheshire Cat as her VP. He was all smiles and vanishing acts. She declared Iran as the new Red Queen and swore to slay her with her vorpal sword.

At the age of twenty, Mogli was arrested for public urination. He spent years drifting through the legal system.

In his later years, Charlie, as CEO of Wonka Industries, spent much of his time in board meetings crafting mission statements and sipping water from recycled bottles. He looked over graphs and itemized reports. And sometimes—only sometimes—he thought about Willie and wondered where the magic went.

Being an adult sucks. I know. I used to be one. Like Peter Pan, I refuse to grow up. I will laugh when someone says “rectum” and cry when someone does something mean. I will wrestle with my kids and wear sweatpants to work because I want to. And also because I work at home. I will have fun even if everyone else is serious and I will smile just because.

I won’t lose the magic.

Repeat after me: “I won’t lose the magic.”