Friday, December 30, 2016

Conforming to Society


I can’t remember who exactly said it, but I read a Wikipedia article where the lead singer of a punk band talked about the necessity of conforming to society in order to fulfill responsibilities. In other words, doing what you’re told will give you worth in the eyes of your boss even if you don’t agree with your orders.

However, there’s a huge difference between doing what you’re told to earn a paycheck and changing your mindset to contour to the boss’s beliefs. When teenagers work at McDonald’s, they’re not doing it because they’re zealots of fast food. They’re doing it because they want money for an X-Box or a new car. Conformity takes place in the mind, not in the body. No sane human being would ever bomb a Burger King or spray poisonous gas in a Wendy’s in the righteous name of McDonald’s.

Money isn’t everything, but it is something. We all have to have it in some form or another, whether we’re keeping a roof over our heads or finding entertainment. Sometimes you have to do things for money that you never thought possible. But does that mean you’re a puppet for whoever you work for? No. Does it mean you have to give up on your original dreams? No.

If your boss does something morally corrupt, you could just as easily look for another job behind his back. If you need time to work on your dreams, wait until you get home. Even if you work seven days a week, you can use at least a modicum of your free time to work on other projects. Yes, you’ll be tired at the end of the day, but if you set aside time for yourself, it can be achieved.

What you do in your private life and what you believe in your own mind are nobody else’s business but your own. Your mind is a personal haven where you can say or do whatever you want. You can have violent fantasies, sexual fantasies, adventures, and other trains of thought without invasion. Yes, people will try to invade your private sanctuary with insults and abuse, which is why it’s important to maintain your individuality and suppress thoughts of conforming to your haters. Being an individual is a skill, but as long as you remember who you are and why you do what you do, it can be done.

I’m currently reading another one of Andy Peloquin’s books and it’s called “Child of the Night Guild”. The opening scenes depict a cruel drill instructor named Master Velvet trying to force small children to obey him at all times by starving them, beating them, and screaming at them. While the children do bend to his will, I’ll bet you anything that somewhere in their minds they’re thinking about kicking this guy in the nuts. He controls them by changing their birth names to numbers, but other than lost memories, I still wonder why these kids don’t just gang up on Master Velvet and beat him into powder.

There’s no rule that says you have to like what you do for a living or like who’s in charge. There’s also no rule that says you can’t use your employment as a stepping stone for bigger and better things. You can work at a convenience store, pay your bills, and set aside some money to publish that next great novel of yours. It doesn’t happen right away and your soul will feel crushed from time to time, but it can be done. Everyone tells you how hard it is to be an artist, but nobody tells you how hard it is NOT to be an artist. Think of all your favorite authors, actors, and musicians and what they had to go through to get to where they are today. And yet, they managed to achieve their dreams.

Putting on a grocery store apron doesn’t make you a zealot any more than earning a paycheck makes you a conformist. Do what you need to do to survive and then be yourself when you come back to your private life. If you like wearing rock band T-shirts, put one on when you get home. If you like watching Real Time with Bill Maher even though your boss likes watching The O’Reilly Factor, watch Bill Maher’s show when you get home.

If you need help remembering who you are, surround yourself with friends and family who believe in you. You might have to search far and wide to find these people, but it’s worth it. It might even be as easy as doing an internet search. Someone out there loves you for who you are. Not everybody wants you to change into something you’re not. No, you don’t have to conform to society in order to survive. Society isn’t always going to be your friend. Only people who love and respect you can be part of your own society. Do what makes you happy and be with people who will make you happy. You deserve the best, always.


I somehow have the feeling that there should be a transition chapter between 10 and 11. But as it is, when chapter 10 ends with a bonfire argument, chapter 11 begins with a heavy metal concert at another venue. Daniel Mercer instantly forms a new band with members of I Am Death and Juice and they miraculously know how to play Demon Axe songs. Monk robes, scary masks, and crazy stage names aside, the new band won’t be called Demon Axe. It’ll be a combination of those three bands: Demon Death Juice. Again, these things happen instantaneously even though concerts sometimes take weeks or even months to book in advance, not to mention hours of practice the bands have to go through to get their songs right. Do we have time for rational solutions to the transition problem? Could months pass without another terrorist attack from Roger Zee? I need to sit on this one for a while before I write the damn thing.


Uneven tits aside, I’d say that Raven Triscloud turned out well. Now it’s time to draw a villain since a hero was featured in the last picture. That’s how I’m going to pump out Dark Fantasy Warriors: hero, villain, hero, villain, hero, villain. This time, we’ve got Carla Madder, the razor-toothed, overweight madam from the Poison Tongue Tales 2 story “Shield Me”. This woman could easily be the most frightening character I have and that’s saying something considering most of my villains are psychotic necrophiles who rape and murder without mercy.


“Love me or hate me, just debate me.”

-Ronda Rousey-


I just found out that Ronda Rousey lost to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 via TKO in under a minute. That makes me sad. It also makes me wonder where she’ll go from here now that she lost two title matches in a row. The last time she lost a UFC fight was when she dropped the Women’s Bantamweight Championship against Holly Holm. She considered suicide after that match. After her first stare down with Nunes, she needed to be consoled. If I could hug Ronda right now, I would.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Revenge Porn

Liz Ronaldson wondered how badly her body would be broken after jumping off of the suspension bridge into the icy waters below. Would her legs snap in two? Would her neck crack in different directions? Would it be over in an instant? Regardless of the two-hundred foot drop, shattered bones and punctured organs couldn’t compare to the pain she felt in her heart and soul. As she gazed hypnotically into the waters below, tears cascaded from her eyes. She tried wiping them away with the only puffy coat she had, but the tears kept coming. No matter how many times she snorted and sniffed, the loose snot wouldn’t stay up her nose. She was ready to jump. One…two…

“Hey, loser, you got five dollars on you? Gimme that shit!” She saw the incident take place only a few feet from where she planned to jump. The three bullies pushed around the smaller kid like a torturous game of volleyball, all while making wisecracks about how he was allegedly on welfare and food stamps. The smaller kid hauled back and slapped one of the bullies across the cheek. The shoving match ended with the bullies staring at the kid in shock. They swore at him with whip-cracking voices while punching him relentlessly, causing the little guy to huddle on the ground and cover.

Liz’s suicidal sorrow turned into fiery rage. Her tears became hotter. Her stomach was burning with homicidal tendencies. Her fists were clenched tightly. Reaching around for the nearest weapon she could find, she picked up a lead pipe and shouted to the bullies, “Hey! Knock that shit off! He’s just a kid, you fucking idiots!”

The bullies ended the beat down like they were told, but only to laugh and point at Liz. “Hey, look! Miss Ronaldson’s got something big in her hands! Hell, I got something big too after seeing those naked pictures!” taunted one of the bullies, resulting in even more obnoxious laughter.

Liz chucked the lead pipe at the bullies and caused them to cover up with their arms as they ran off like little bitches. The former teacher continued to throw rocks, rusty nails, glass bottles, and anything else she could get her hands on until the older kids were out of sight. Some of her projectiles hit their marks, but only did enough damage to elicit an “Ouch!” and nothing more.

“That’s right, you pussies! You’d better run like the goddamn wind! If I ever see you fuckers again, I’ll kill you all!” shouted Liz while flailing her fists in the air. Even more tears poured from her eyes and stained her tattered jeans and newspaper shoes. The little kid, which she now recognized as one of her former students, was tearing up as well. Bloody gashes covered his arms and face, but being homeless didn’t afford Liz access to proper healthcare supplies.

Liz approached the banged up kid and ripped off pieces of her fluffy jacket to use as bandages for his wounds. Neither teacher nor student could stop crying, but Liz wiped her own tears away long enough to form coherent sentences. “Hi there, Seth! You’re okay now. Everything’s going to be okay.”

“No, it isn’t,” murmured Seth Luke. He wiped his eyes with his bloodied arm and recognized the angelic face of his recently fired English teacher. “Miss Ronaldson? Are you homeless too?”

“Please, call me Liz. I don’t deserve to be called Miss Ronaldson after what happened with those pictures. So many of my friends and family saw those.” Liz smiled sadly and shrugged before changing the topic. “What am I saying? You’re the one who got beat up. They got you pretty good. I think there’s a hospital around here somewhere. Are you well enough to walk with me?”

“Thanks for helping me, Miss Ro, I mean, Liz,” sniffled Seth. He shivered in this chilly afternoon air due to him only wearing a short sleeved shirt.

Liz gazed upon him sympathetically and took off her own jacket to wrap him up. “There you go, Seth. You’ll be all warm and toasty in no time at all.”

“Thanks, Liz, but don’t you need a jacket too? You’ll freeze out here,” stammered Seth.

“I’m not going to need a jacket for where I’m going,” said Liz while gesturing towards the edge of the bridge with a nudge of her head.

“No! No, you can’t do that!” argued Seth as he wrapped his bloodied arms around Liz. “I’m not letting you jump! I don’t care if I have to hold onto you for the rest of my life!” Even more hot tears drained the homeless teenager’s eyeballs to the point of redness. “You were my favorite teacher before they fired you! You taught me about being creative and making the most of life! And now you’re just going to jump off the bridge over some naked pictures online?!”

Liz wrapped her arms around Seth and said solemnly, “There’s more to it than that, Seth. It’s not just the naked pictures that became my scandalous secret. It’s about my career. It’s about my social and family lives. I made a bad decision when I let my bastard of a boyfriend take those pictures of me. I’ve lost everything and I can’t get it back. Once something is on the internet, it’s there forever. All I have left are the clothes on my body and a beating heart. I don’t want the latter of those two things if it just keeps hurting like this.”

Seth gave Liz his best puppy dog expression when he sobbed, “But I can help you get those things back! It’s not over until I say it’s over! You’re going to be okay again! I promise you!”

“Seth, that is so sweet,” sniffed Liz. “But you’re in the same boat as I am. We’re both alone out here with nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat. What can we do for each other now? Where do we go from here?”

“There’s always another way, Liz,” said Seth. “We have each other. We can be a team and take on the streets together. Just you and me! No jack-off bullies, no bastard boyfriends, no judgment at all. You taught me all about this, Liz! You taught me how important it is to care about each other and be there when we’re down. If you jump off that bridge, you’re going to be nothing more than a hypocrite! Maybe I’ll join you afterwards, who knows!”

Liz shoved Seth away from the embrace and transformed back into rage mode. “Oh yeah?! A hypocrite?! And what do you suppose I do about this?! I haven’t eaten in days and I’ve got frostbite on my fucking fingers! Nobody wants to give me the time of day let alone give me my life back, all because of some stupid fucking naked pictures! What am I supposed to do, just pick up a beer bottle off the ground and pretend there’s actually liquor in it?! Tell me how you’d solve my problems if suicide doesn’t fix everything, asshole! What would the great and wonderful Seth Luke do if he was half the master of his destiny that I’m supposed to be?!”

While giving his former teacher the gorgon death stare, Seth pulled a wallet out of his pocket with his school’s logo on it. It looked stuffed with dollar bills. “You see this? I plucked it out of one of the bullies’ pockets while those three bastards were beating on me! I was going to eat at McDonald’s or Denny’s with this kind of money! I was going to take you out for something to eat! But I guess you’d prefer suicide over a good meal! See you around, toots! Thanks for the life lessons! I really appreciate them!”

Seth turned heel and began stomping away. Watching him leave twisted a knot in Liz’s stomach. No matter how much she tried to deny it, Seth was right all along. Dying would solve nothing. Liz had just unloaded on the one person in this world who still cared about her. He probably didn’t even have an internet connection to see those pictures. He took to her lessons of not judging each other like a bee to honey. Liz’s heart shattered into a million pieces after realizing what she had done.

“Seth, wait!” said Liz as she ran after him. He turned to face her with his arms folded and an angry stare formed on his bloody visage. “You’re right. You’ve been right all along. Look at you. You’re in the same boat as me and you’d never consider suicide. You’re an A+ student in the truest sense. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. I’m sorry I yelled at you. Let’s take on the world together. I’d love to eat a decent meal with you. How about a hug?”

Liz and Seth bawled some more while coming in for a tight embrace. Two of the loneliest people in the world versus an uncaring, inherently evil society. The odds were stacked against them, but they liked those odds anyways. Death was not the answer. Fighting like a passionate warrior was closer to being the topic of an A+ paper, written by A+ students and teachers alike.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sloppy Joe

You’re a beta male on beta blockers
A fitness freak with the biggest knockers
A Mary Jane mind that’s off your rocker
Childish joker who plays the role of mocker
You think you’ve got bigger balls than soccer
As you put your hot pants in a tiny locker
You’ve got some nerve being such a shit talker
Your rabid obsession makes you a kind of stalker

Sloppy Joe, what the fuck do you know?
Are you smoking the pot or sniffing the blow?
Sloppy Joe, you do this all for the dough
For the biggest check you’d backstab your bros

You Gary-Stus have become old news
Older than the days of bebop and blues
Changing the channel is what we choose
No need to waste a perfectly good fuse
On someone who brings on a good snooze
Or someone too big for his baby shoes
Your macho persona is all but a ruse
When every argument is yours to lose

Sloppy Joe, where the fuck did you go?
Do you have enough butt-hurt steam to blow?
Sloppy Joe, get out of the front row
Not even close to being the star of the show

Barbarian warriors are turning in their graves
Even they’re disgusted by how you behave
They’re the bottom of the barrel, that’s saying a lot
A tough guy and super athlete you are not
A one-sided battle you barely even fought
You didn’t give this a whole lot of thought
If you open your mouth, don’t ever get caught
With tears in your eyes and a nose full of snot

Sloppy Joe, you must be mentally slow
Too many rocks that you came to throw
Sloppy Joe, it’s time for you to blow
Get off the stage, get off the show
Sloppy Joe, now where will you go?
Nobody wants to listen to you crow
Sloppy Joe, time to mature and grow

Don’t pick a fight with a stronger foe

I Want Presents

Dr. Kate Spencer peered through the peephole of Glenn Robertson’s padded cell with pity and sympathy. He just sat there cross-legged with thinning brown hair, a gray T-shirt, and blue pajama pants, repeating the same line over and over again: “I want presents.” Dr. Spencer thought about how bureaucratic her mental hospital had become: sedate, lock up, repeat. No cures, no real treatments, just keeping these poor people under lock and key. A solitary tear smeared Kate’s makeup as she thought about Glenn sitting there with that goofy faraway look in his eyes. All of those drugs and all of those treatments, what for?

The head doctor knew in her heart that there had to be another way to get through to her patients. There had to be more to this hospital than just the business aspect of it. Why did everything have to be for profit? Wasn’t there just one instance where human dignity trumped the almighty dollar bill? Kate knew she was risking her career by trying this new approach, but seeing all of these depressed patients weighed too heavily on her conscience and she couldn’t take any more of it. She wiped the tear from her eye and told the two orderlies that they could leave. They nodded and did so.

Dr. Spencer took a deep breath and steadied herself before entering Glenn’s cell with no protection from the nurses and orderlies. The mental patient didn’t take his mile-long gaze off of the opposite wall. He just sat there like a dope long after Kate closed the cell door. She said in a motherly voice, “Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there?”

It took a while, but Glenn turned to meet Kate’s eyes. He had a little bit of drool running down his chin as he said, “I want presents.”

“Yes, we all know you want presents, Mr. Robertson,” said Dr. Spencer. She sat next to Glenn in the same cross-legged position as her patient and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. He blushed and looked down at his lap. “Guess what day it is?”

“I want presents.”

“That’s right, Glenn: it’s that time of year alright. It’s Christmas Eve! I know Christmas is your favorite holiday. But before I reveal my big surprise to you, you and I need to talk about something. It’s about your health,” said Kate.

“I want presents.”

“I know you do,” said Kate as she fluffed Glenn’s horseshoe hair. “But you need to listen to me for a few minutes. I can’t help you otherwise. Glenn, do you have any idea how much time has passed since you first came here?”

The patient shrugged his shoulders and allowed a spot of drool to splash his pajama pants. Kate’s answer was, “Fifteen years. You’ve been living in this hospital for fifteen long years. You were admitted here at the tender age of twenty-five when your parents died in a plane crash. You had a traumatic breakdown. You couldn’t find work. You couldn’t find anybody to take care of you. So fifteen years later, here you are. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but that’s only because we’ve kept you sedated and drugged throughout most of your stay. I know it’s wrong, trust me, I do. My hands were tied, even as the head doctor of this facility.”

Glenn tucked his head and sobbed softly while sniffing mucus up his nose. “I want presents! I want presents!”

“You see, that’s the thing,” said Kate while patting Glenn on the back. “Presents are not going to bring your parents back. They’re not going to help you find a place to live or a job to work at. But what they can do is bring you back to that sense of nostalgia you once had. You loved Christmas. Your face lit up like a Christmas tree when you opened those presents. If I bring you back to that special moment, you have to promise that you’ll tell me everything. I want to hear more about your life than the fact that you want presents. Okay, big guy?”

“I want presents.”

“That’s the spirit,” said Dr. Spencer before planting a playful kiss on the top of his head. “Now, here’s what we’re going to do. Your cell has a PA system as you already know, which is what we use to wake you up and give you dinner or medicine. Well, today on Christmas Eve, your sound system is going to be used for something else entirely. Consider this your early Christmas present. You want presents? Here you go.”

Kate pulled a remote out of her lab coat pocket and aimed it at the speaker box in the high corner of the cell. One press of the button later and the sounds of rhythmic heart beats surrounded the cell. Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump. Glenn’s stupefied trance turned into a silly grin with drool running down his T-shirt.

The heart beats were accompanied by a glockenspiel recording of the Christmas classic “Silent Night”. Glenn’s smile grew wider and he crouched further in his sitting position. He nodded off for a few seconds and then jerked back to reality. He nodded off again and woke back up. This cycle repeated itself until the song was over, in which case he fell backwards and made snow angels when Dr. Spencer stood up to give him room.

“I want presents…I want pres…I wan pre…I wa…pre….I…I…” His nirvana ended in a flood of tears when he realized the moment was temporary.

Dr. Spencer knelt down and held his hand in hers while petting his arm hair with her other hand. “I’m sorry, Glenn. I really thought this would have helped you. I didn’t know it would bring you so much pain. I’m sorry. I really am.” She slowly stood back up and hung her head dejectedly as she trudged toward the cell door.

“I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to go home!” sobbed Glenn. His snow angel motions were quickening and began to resemble autistic arm flapping instead.

Dr. Spencer gave him a wide-eyed look of shock as she heard the first real words he said other than “I want presents”. Yes, Glenn was still sobbing like the small child he believed himself to be, but this was the only real progress that no bureaucratic drugging procedure could have ever made. She knelt beside him again and rubbed his belly like a rolled over puppy-duppy.

“Listen to me, Glenn,” she said in a soothing voice. “We can’t let you out on the streets just yet. You can’t go back home. Another family is already living there. Your family has been so far behind on the payments that the bank had no choice but to foreclose on them. If I let you out now, where will you go? Who will you turn to now that you have no family remaining?”

Glenn relaxed his body, smiled at Dr. Spencer, and said, “I’ll turn to you!”

Tears welled up in Dr. Spencer’s eyes as she smiled at her patient. She rubbed them away with her lab coat sleeve, placed her hand on her chest lovingly, and said, “That’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard from my patients. You really mean that, don’t you? You’re not mad at me for all of these years I’ve kept you here?”

Glenn’s smile faded and the tears returned. “You’re the closest thing to a mother I have, Dr. Spencer. I love you.”

Both doctor and patient’s eyes became excessively wet at the outpours of emotion. It took fifteen years to get through to Glenn Robertson. Fifteen years of sedatives. Fifteen years of untested drugs. Fifteen years of being locked up for simply being sad. In this moment, they were free. Glenn wasn’t out on the streets just yet, but he was there in spirit. Dr. Kate Spencer wasn’t out from behind her desk, but her chains were loosening with every tear and every loving gesture. The doctor and patient hugged each other and sobbed into their shoulders.

They didn’t want to let go, but a boisterous male voice from the now opened cell door shouted, “This is bullshit!” Kate and Glenn looked up to see two orderlies with an electric lance in one hand and a bottle of pills in the other. One orderly bellowed, “Dr. Spencer, you know there’s a rule against this kind of treatment! Mr. Robertson is being treated for a serious condition and you’re just…”

“I’m just what?!” roared Kate while standing back up and acting as a border between the orderlies and Glenn. “Is it so crazy and insane to believe that people’s lives matter more than procedure? Isn’t there more to life than making billions of fucking dollars? You two don’t give a shit about these patients! You give a shit about cashing your paycheck and nothing more! If you want to get to this poor innocent boy behind me, you know exactly who you have to go through!”

The orderlies’ faces changed from authoritative rage to solemn contemplation. Everyone in this standoff was breathing heavily and anticipating the next move. “Okay, Dr. Spencer. I see exactly how it is. You’re absolutely right,” said one of the orderlies. “I do have to go through you!” In one swift motion, both orderlies zapped Dr. Spencer with their taser lances, sending her convulsing to the floor with blood trickling out of her nose.

Glenn shouted, “No!” and huddled over the fallen doctor, drenching her in tears and snot. The two buff orderlies grabbed him by the arms and roughly dragged him out of the cell screaming, “No!” and “I want presents!”

“Merry Christmas, asshole!” screamed one of the orderlies before Kate heard another zapping noise. The sounds of Glenn’s painful cries were drowned out by the doctor’s own fading into blackness. The last thing she heard was a weakened and raspy version of, “I want presents.” Her black vision was wet with waterfall tears once again. Where would she go from here? Would she get her own padded cell? Would she be fired? Was there a chance to sue this hospital? Whatever the case would have been, Kate knew even in unconsciousness that it was too late to save Glenn Robertson.

“I want presents….I want presents…I want presents….” she said to herself.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Multiple Works-In-Progress


A few months ago, I saw a meme challenge on Face Book where my author friends post the first few lines from three of their works-in-progress. Judging from how many people were doing this challenge, it made me wonder if authors really do like to write three different novels at once (or more). By the time it became my turn to do the challenge, I confessed that I wasn’t working on a novel of any kind, so I just posted the first lines of three Poison Tongue Tales short stories. Seeing so many of my author friends writing novels and getting them done in a timely fashion motivated me to start working on Demon Axe, which I’m halfway done with.

I have Demon Axe planned out from beginning to end, so it’s all a matter of finding the energy to get shit done. American Darkness 2 and Poison Tongue Tales 2 are both anthologies with WSS contest entries as part of the collections, so those are pretty much on a weekly basis. Prophecy is a collection of poems, which will eventually amount to one-hundred since they’re only one page long at best, but I only write poetry when I truly feel like it, no sooner, no later. That leaves me with Demon Axe being the only true WIP I write independently. If I was to do this Face Book meme challenge again, I would only have one paragraph to post (or first seven lines, I forget which one).

I’ve thought about tacking on another novel to work on. I often run the scenarios of each novel idea through my head as if they’re actual WIP’s. I for instance have a college romance idea called “Is This Weird?” where I incorporate my strange sexual fetishes into the main relationship of the story. I also have a pro-introvert high school drama called “The Silent Warrior”, which will have to go through a complete overhaul in order to make the main character less angry and more reasonable. If I was to work on a secondary novel alongside Demon Axe, I would want it to be a contemporary drama instead of a sci-fi, fantasy, or horror. I would want it to be the American Darkness to Demon Axe’s Poison Tongue Tales. For some reason contemporary dramas are easier to write.

That leaves me with a novel idea I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It’s inspired by the movie Clerks as well as my experiences with going to rock concerts and being around drunken idiots. It’s called “Chicken and Fries” and it goes like this:


  1. Maxine Bennett, Concessions Clerk
  2. Belle Anthony, Slacker
  3. Evan Olson, Maxine’s Bouncer Boyfriend
  4. Sean Steiner, Straightedge Rocker
  5. Nameless Concertgoers
  6. Nameless Boss

SYNOPSIS: Maxine started working at the Brown River Arena in order to save up for college. Since being hired, she has been yelled at, sexually harassed, and assaulted by intoxicated customers. When Sean Steiner and his touring band are the main attraction, beer and cigarettes are not for sale, which upsets the already wild fans. Instead of taking another minute of abuse, Maxine begins fighting back against the customers. On what she says is her last day on the job, she burns customers with pizza, splashes soda against them, dips their heads in the deep fryer, and even shoves chicken tenders down a customer’s shorts and burns his crotch. Evan tries to calm Maxine down on several occasions, but she’s unresponsive to his pleas. Things go from bad to worse when Maxine notices Belle, who called in sick earlier that day, partying in the audience and enjoying the music instead of taking her shift like she was supposed to. At the end of this deliciously violent day, the only one with common sense is Sean Steiner, who is the last customer to order chicken and fries for dinner. Sean helps Maxine realize just how much trouble she’s in by telling her a story of a time he smashed up a hotel room in an act of rage.

FUN FACT: The novel is called “Chicken and Fries” because that’s the most common thing the patrons order, just like cigarettes were the most common thing Clerks customers bought.

Nothing is permanent yet. I still don’t even know if writing a second novel alongside Demon Axe is a good idea. Yes, other authors are capable of doing it, but I’m not other authors. I’m not the kind of writer who pours everything onto a page and because of that I only write when I’m mentally and physically one-hundred percent. If I’m taking such a long time writing Demon Axe, I’ll probably take just as long to write Chicken and Fries. This is something I really have to think about before I dive into it. Until I make my decision, I’d like to know everyone else’s take on the subject of working on multiple novels at once. Is it a welcome side project or is it too much work at once? We’ve got ears, say cheers!


The new week started this past Wednesday and the theme is appropriately going to be “Christmas Eve”. After today, I have three more days to write my story before the submission deadline. I probably won’t do it tomorrow since it’s going to be Christmas and I’d rather spend time with my family. That leaves me with Monday or Tuesday to get shit done. My story will be called “I Want Presents” and is based on a disturbing dream I once had. Here’s the synopsis:


1.      Glenn Robertson, Mental Patient
2.      Kate Spencer, Head Doctor

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Christmas is getting closer as Glenn’s mental state worsens.

SYNOPSIS: After losing his parents in a plane crash, Glenn regresses into childlike behavior and eventually has to be institutionalized. It’s getting close Christmas and he refuses to say anything else but, “I want presents.” Kate and her staff of nurses and doctors have tried everything in their power to medicate Glenn into a normal state, but he seems to be getting worse every day. In a last ditch effort to make progress, Kate assumes the unlikely role of Glenn’s mother-figure and does something special for the holidays.


This will be the second drawing in a row that features a character from my latest WSS entry “The Theomancer”. It will be of Yeti, a gigantic mummy who serves as the gatekeeper between Krimson and Seven. Yeti is really just a direct copy of the WCW wrestler of the same name, but he’s different enough to avoid a lawsuit. Besides, Yeti gets a better push in “The Theomancer” than he ever did in WCW. After all, it’s hard to push a gigantic mummy when he’s best known for spooning Hulk Hogan and humping him from behind. I’m not kidding, that actually happened. What Culture jokes about it all the time.


“If you take all of the vowels out of Reince Priebus’s name, it says RNC PR BS.”

-Jim Cornette-

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Demon Axe, Chapter 10

Building a campfire in the grassy arena wasn’t hard to do considering so many victims left behind their pot lighters during the slaughter. The foursome could have just as easily crawled inside the Demon Axe tour van and ran the heater, but who wanted to be inside that beat up piece of shit anyways? The cackling flames in the early morning chill felt good against the shaking hands of Daniel Mercer, as well as his newfound friends in the form of Johnny Vega, Sonia Marquez, and Raven Triscloud. The Demon Axe microphone sat beside Daniel like it was his own child.

“So, Mr. Lord of the Pit, what do we do now? Do we hunt this Roger asshole down or what?” asked Johnny, his fists tightening at the thought of getting his hands on that self-righteous lunatic.

“Trust me, Johnny boy, there’s nothing I’d love more than to scream a few lines in his face. I might let you power bomb him a few times first. Maybe Sonia can lock him in a triangle choke with those long legs of hers. But you know what? Roger Zee isn’t going to make himself easy to find. You want to know why it took a long time to find Bin Laden? Because it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Or a nun a porn convention. Or a bloody coat hanger in a catholic church. Or a…”

Raven cut off Daniel’s dialogue with, “Okay, we get it. Roger is hard to find. It’s not like we have a GPS signal on him or anything like that. And I shudder to think about waiting for him to make another attack.”

“Wait a minute…” said Daniel like a light bulb was going off in his mind. “Yeah! Yeah, that’s it! I’ve got the microphone! Johnny and Sonia know how to wrestle! I say we put on a fucking show, baby!” The two wrestlers cheered with fists raised to the sky.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a second!” said Raven while waving her arms around defensively. “Daniel, you can’t actually be that dumb, can you? Yes, your microphone has these supernatural powers that can subdue pretty much anybody, but you’re talking about luring Roger Zee out in the open, basically daring him to attack. You’re inviting all of these people to see a show and they’re going to be victims! Do you not see what the hell it is you’re suggesting, Daniel? You’re using your own audience as fodder! I spent all of this time trying to convince you that the death of your band mates wasn’t your fault. If you put on this show in an attempt to lure out Roger, those deaths WILL be on your head! Is that what you want?”

“It wouldn’t matter if it was a Demon Axe show or a fucking Justin Bieber abortion,” said Johnny. “Roger is going to attack whether Daniel’s involved or not. It could be people on a subway, people at a football game, or even a fucking strip club, for god’s sake. If Daniel puts on a show somewhere, at least we’ll be there to stop this Dungeons & Dragons douche bag before he starts slashing shit to pieces.”

“He’s blunt, but he’s got a point,” said Sonia with a wink.

“How the hell is he going to put on a concert when all of his Demon Axe buddies are dead?! He can’t just scream into a microphone and expect people to dance around like puppets! He needs a guitarist! He needs a bass player! He needs a drummer! And none of those people can be imaginary this time!” said a frustrated Raven. In her mind, this debate shouldn’t even have been happening. It was just a case of testosterone (even on Sonia’s side) versus common sense.

Daniel had a shit-eating grin on his face when he said, “I think I might know some guys who will fill those roles. The night of the concert, there were two other bands that played before Demon Axe. One of them was an LGBT-themed band called Juice (what else are you going to call it?) and the other was a Muslim-themed band called I Am Death (again, what else are you going to call it?). I think some of those guys would be happy to play a few new hits.”

Raven laughed sarcastically and after being asked by Daniel what was so funny, she said, “Oh, that’s fucking rich! You’re going to ask two heavy metal bands who are probably more traumatized than you are right now if they want to be bait for Roger Zee. They’ve gone through enough shit already and now you’re going to put them through an even bigger shit storm. Were they even around during the attack or did they leave before it could happen?”

“Those guys are like brothers and sisters to me!” snapped Daniel. “I gave them a chance to open for me when nobody else would! They’ve done so much to help me in my career that this was the best way I could pay them back! If Juice and I Am Death decide to help me with my plan, I’ll make sure they get all the star power they can handle. Their careers are going to skyrocket after this show. All the hateful motherfuckers out there who harass them on Twitter and in public are going to have to eat their words like a big old turd sandwich! What do you think about that, Raven-Pie?!”

Raven held up a wagging finger and said, “First of all, don’t call me Raven-Pie. I’m not your granddaughter or your wife. And second of all, if you’re going to use your so-called brothers and sisters are cannon fodder, make sure they know what the fuck it is they’re signing up for. Otherwise, they’re never going to trust you again and they’ll fade back into obscurity. But I’m pretty sure that once they figure out what the hell is going on, they’re going to tell you to take your star power and shove it up your ass.”

“Do you want to catch this motherfucker or not?!” shouted Daniel. “Roger Zee is your project, Raven! He’s a product of your society whether you want to admit it or not! I’m handing him to you on a silver platter and you won’t even jump at the opportunity! And here I thought that blade you carry in your boot was for fighting the good fight! Turns out you’re just chopping onions! Either that or you really are crying about bullshit!”

Raven sighed and stood up before starting her way back to the portal. When asked where she was going by Daniel, she looked at him sternly and said, “If you think sacrificing a bunch of innocent people is going to get you what you want, then obviously I can’t stop you. Hell, your wrestler friends seem to be onboard with it and they could probably pile-drive my ass if I tried to stop you. Just know this: the next time your brain goes numb from the trauma you endure, don’t bother using that EMDR trick I showed you. I want you to live with that pain for the rest of your miserable life. I’m going back to the elven world to tell my king about how he wasted a perfectly good magic spell on you. I’m sure it’ll break his heart, but I’m telling him anyways. Goodbye, Daniel. I hope your plan is worth it.”

Raven opened the portal to the elven world underneath the statue of King Arthur Triscloud and hopped through without protest from her other three former cohorts. Daniel was left with a solemn expression on his face, as if the elf’s words stung his heart worse than any slash from Roger’s machete. Just when the Lord of the Pit was going to sink into depressive quicksand…

“Man, who gives a shit what she thinks?!” roared Johnny. “If she wants to go back home to daddy and whine until the apocalypse, then we don’t need her ass anyways! Trust me, Daniel, you’ve got this. Sonia and I will be bouncers at your concert if that’s what you want. The minute Roger shows up with that sick-looking blade of his, we’ll hold him still while you spit some lines in his face. And then all of your loyal fans can body surf his ass onstage so that you can take the world’s biggest dump on his chest. Doesn’t that sound like a plan?”

Daniel still had a contemplative expression on his face and refused to answer. Sonia snapped him out of it when she reached over and lovingly stroked the back of his hand. “Hey, rock god. Johnny asked you a question. Are you going to answer it or are you going to sit there and fantasize about your elf girlfriend all day?”

“She’s just a friend, Sonia. At least she was,” murmured Daniel.

“Yeah, and I’m your mother,” said Sonia sarcastically before scooting next to him and placing her thick arm around his shoulders. It wasn’t as tender as Raven’s, but it would have to do. “Raven doesn’t want to see the bigger picture here. Of course Roger is going to attack whoever the hell he wants. He’s going to keep doing it until his wing-nut beliefs are satisfied. Wouldn’t you at least like to see him before he pulls this shit again?”

Daniel’s expression changed from bitter disappointment to enraged confidence. His eyebrows were furrowed, his frown was intimidating, and his muscles tensed. “Let’s do this shit! I’ll even send Roger’s chopped off dick and balls to Raven as a Valentine’s Day present.” He then looked sexily at Sonia and said, “Or maybe I’ll give them to someone even more special.”

“Oh, Daniel!” said Sonia as she kissed Daniel on his cheek and patted him on the back. “Come on, Johnny, let’s go.”

Sitting cross-legged, the giant wrestler looked down at his lap and said, “You know I would, but I can’t stand up right now.”

“TMI, Johnny! TMI!” shouted Sonia. Daniel on the other hand was laughing his ass off.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Theomancer

Krimson hated the way the masked snowmen were looking at him. Each of them were lined up on either side of the Frigid Highlands with skeletal masks that glowed an eerie shade of purple. The red ninja balled up his cannonball fist and knocked one of the snowmen’s block off. Underneath the shattered head revealed the dead body of one of his brethren. Members of the proud Raven Strike Society were buried underneath the guise of snowmen. The thought made Krimson sick to his stomach.

This was no time for such a weak reaction. With his red ninja gear, steel boots and gloves, demonic mask, and straw triangle hat, Krimson was dressed for battle. He stomped his way up the snowy hill, glaring with electrified eyes at each of the snowmen. Such disrespectful desecration, Krimson thought to himself. His blue-skinned muscles and bright green aura brought out his deathly side, which he would need for this upcoming battle.

The top of the hill was book-ended by the tallest snowman of all with his bladed mouth, cross-decorated black pope’s hat, and purple cloak that blew in the frosty winds. Krimson folded his arms like he was the true giant and spoke callously to the creature before him. “You must be the one they call The Theomancer. Seven is obviously to cowardly to come greet me himself, so he sends this popsicle to do his bidding. Seven is just like any other god: too afraid to come out of hiding when he’s needed the most. I intend to beat the answers I want out of him and you’re in my way, Theomancer. Are you ready to get your skull cracked in?” That last line was accented with Krimson cracking his bumpy knuckles.

The snowman’s eyes glowed with each piece of dialogue. “You claim followers of Sevenism are delusional, yet here you are thinking you can simply beat answers out of our lord and prophet. Even if you were to somehow have contact with him, the foundation of our religion has already been laid. No money-hungry king or bloodthirsty queen will ever give up their faith just because you’re foolish enough to venture to these sacred lands looking for a fight. Each of these snowmen contains the spirits of those who were even stupider than you. What makes you so special, human?”

“You want to talk about deities? You’re looking at one. I am Krimson, the God of Vengeance. I associate with the Raven Strike Society not because of their heretical beliefs, but because a world under their leadership will thrive while a world under Sevenism will crumble into dust. You’re standing in the way of that goal and for that you will pay.” Krimson held his steel fists up in a boxing stance while electrical and fiery energy flowed through them.

“If you want to complete your kamikaze mission so badly, be my guest. But know this: you’re not fighting with any mere mortal. You’re not even fighting with the Theomancer. Yeti is what I’m called. With Seven as my witness, I shall rip your heart from your chest and feast on it like a barbaric meal!” Cracks began to form in Yeti’s snowy shell, each of them glowing with a brilliant yellow light. The shell continued to crack until an explosive storm of ice and snow showered upon Krimson, who kept his arms in his face to block the assaulting weather.

No more was the Theomancer. In his place was a seven-foot tall mummy with slimy green skin, glowing yellow eyes, and razor-sharp fangs with maggots crawling around them. Yeti flexed his muscles and cracked his own neck before getting in a defensive stance and waving for Krimson to come at him.

“Let’s do this!” roared the God of Vengeance, whose chilling glare never erased from his face. Krimson rushed into battle with a flying kick that sent an aftershock of pain throughout Yeti’s body, yet the mighty mummy never moved. The red ninja continued throwing rapid fire punches and kicks around Yeti’s legs while the hulking creature tried swatting around the smaller opponent’s head.

Krimson dodged every swipe by ducking and rolling on the frostbitten ground. He could not avoid having both of Yeti’s hands grab his throat and hoist him in the air. Yeti glared at the God of Vengeance with a piercing gaze and rancid shit breath. Krimson broke free from the chokehold by placing a hard knee into Yeti’s elbow. The mummy growled in pain as his arm bent in a direction it wasn’t supposed to go. He grabbed himself by the wrist and popped it back into place, much to the disgust of Krimson, who had a hard time catching his breath.

While the red ninja was on the ground clutching his chest and wheezing, Yeti threw a hard soccer kick only to have Krimson cartwheel out of the way. The God of Vengeance launched his thick head into Yeti’s knee before throwing an uppercut to the giant’s groin. Yeti hauled back and screamed to the sky in unbearable pain, but only for a short while. He ducked his head down to meet Krimson’s gaze.

The red ninja felt queasy after smelling his opponent’s breath so many times in this fight. He clutched his stomach and resisted the urge to puke his guts out all over the snow. This time Yeti threw a kick and knocked the ninja backwards, rolling him down the hill and causing him to lose his lunch along the way. He sprayed a few snowmen with his stomach acids and melted their faces.

It had been a long and tiring roll to the bottom of the hill. Krimson laid there weak and helpless while Yeti was tromping down the hill looking to end this fight. The ninja’s vision was blurry at best and dark at worst. He was sure he’d join these snowmen in this blatant disrespect for the dead. And that was when he saw the faces of those he threw up on. The stomach acid ate the snow off their faces and caused the masks to drop.

Men, women, children, animals, all of them represented by these mummified snowmen. The markings on some of the adults’ uniforms suggested they were priests and took a vow of pacifism. They came to this sacred ground just to negotiate and bring peace to an otherwise violent world. They did nothing wrong. They were just innocents caught up in the crossfire. They were somebody’s son or daughter. They were somebody’s wife or husband. The dog corpses sickened Krimson to where he’d want to throw up again. The dogs had less at stake than the priests and they were viciously murdered and desecrated anyways.

Krimson felt a clawed hand reach for the back of his uniform and hold him up high. There it was again: that sewage-like smell. It was the feeling of eating rotten fruit that had been urinated on. It was the feeling of performing oral sex on a diseased phallus with open sores. That breath. That horrible Yeti’s breath. The red ninja didn’t think he had anymore food left in his stomach after smelling something like that. Instead he blew out naked stomach acid all over Yeti’s face.

The mummy’s eyes burned to where he had to release his grip of Krimson’s uniform. The red ninja plummeted on the soft snow below while his adversary danced around in pain like his face was on fire. Feeling weak himself, the red ninja didn’t think he could make it back to his feet. But slowly and with every last ounce of strength left, he was standing tall and striking his deadly pose yet again, renewed by the anger of his lost brethren.

“Seven! I’m coming for you, you sick son of a bitch!” shouted Krimson before throwing several haymakers and roundhouse kicks at Yeti’s breaking body. Cracks formed in his skin like broken pottery. Blood oozed out of him like spoiled fruit juice. Punches and kicks to the head, chest, arms, and legs, all of them with brutal speed and ursine strength. The assault ended when Yeti crumbled to the ground and bled all over the snow, his body nothing more than a pile of wrappings.

“Where are you, Seven?! Show yourself! Answer for your sins, you disgusting pig!” Krimson shouted to the sky, huffing and puffing after such an exhausting battle, not to mention the heavy vomiting that saved his life as well as weakened him. He dropped to one knee and glared harshly at the pile of wrappings. A victory well-earned, he thought to himself.

Out of the mummy bandages emerged a mere mortal of a man dressed in a black trench coat and black hat, both of which contrasted with his pasty white skin. Krimson stared at him in shock and then looked again at the mummy wrappings to see that the cracks and “blood” were all just part of a metal costume. “What the hell is the meaning of this?!” Krimson demanded.

“You called out the name of Seven. Now you’ve found him,” said the pasty individual with a wicked grin. “There was never any paradise. There was never any hope at salvation. Sevenism is a business model and nothing more. Just like any religion, it was a business model for controlling the masses. And they fell for it hook, line, and sinker. You can call me a prophet if you want, but I’m really just a salesman with too much time on his hands.”

Krimson pointed a nervous finger at Seven and said, “You…you son of a bitch…what have you done?! I’ll kill you!”

“Go ahead! Take your best shot!” dared Seven. “But what will killing me prove? Like I’ve told you before, the foundations of Sevenism are already in place. If you kill me, there will be another prophet slash salesman to represent my created religion. And another. And another. And another. Somebody is always willing to go down for the cause. And our cause is business! Business is booming!”

“This isn’t happening! No!” shouted Krimson.

“Oh, it is happening, my friend. I’m sure you’ll want to tell all of your friends about it, even those at the Raven Strike Society. Those atheistic fools are already set in their ways. But what about the rest of us who need Sevenism to get through our days? Will they be so trusting? Sure, why wouldn’t they trust the God of Vengeance? I’ll tell you why. Because you’re no god. You’re just a prophet like me and everyone who represents my religion.”

“You bastard!” shouted Krimson as he charged toward Seven, only to get a knife to his stomach by the false prophet. The ninja’s stomach was already aching from vomiting so much, and now his innards were spilling all over the snow as Seven gutted him alive. The ninja dropped to his knees and fell on his face in a slow and gory death.

Seven looked down at him, shook his head, and laughed like the super villain he was. “Time to make another snowman!” he said before licking the blood off of his knife in a lustful manner.

"Chomp" by Carl Hiaasen

AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
YEAR: 2012
GENRE: Fiction
SUBGENRE: Environmental Thriller

Mickey Cray and his son Wahoo are professional animal wranglers who need to scrape up as much money as they can to avoid foreclosure. Their opportunity at financial salvation comes in the form of Derek Badger, a reality TV survivalist who wants to use the Cray family’s reptiles as creative fuel for his show. When the egotistical Derek wants more convincing footage, he, the TV crew, and the Crays venture out into the Everglades, where the animals are wilder and more likely to bite something off. Tagging along on this adventure is Tuna Gordon, a black-eyed girl who wants to get away from her father’s abuse. In typical Hiaasen fashion, controlled chaos is the name of the game. Nobody is safe from Mother Nature’s harsh judgment, especially not the phony Derek Badger.

Yes, this is yet another Carl Hiaasen novel I’m reviewing, but Chomp is different from the others I’ve read due to its young adult audience. The swearing is minimal, the violence is slightly toned down, and most importantly, the content is educational enough to be taught in high school or college. Tuna Gordon has an encyclopedic knowledge of taxonomy, or scientifically naming organisms. Mickey Cray and his son Wahoo bring enough common sense to their jobs that Mother Nature looks down on them favorably. Julie Cray, Wahoo’s lawyer sister, knows enough about Florida law that she can gain leverage against any corrupt TV official. Kids have to know all of these things if they want to live in a cooperative and peaceful environment. The educational value of this book is priceless: be good to Mother Nature and Mother Nature will be good to you.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the budding relationship between Wahoo and Tuna. It could never be accused of instant love. In fact, they constantly deny that they’re in a serious relationship. But the things they do for each other are very much worthy of true friendship. They give each other clothing during the harsh weather. They give each other comfort when the subject of Jared Gordon (Tuna’s father) is brought up. Tuna even has a miracle drug in her tote bag for Mickey Cray’s headaches, which he got from having a frozen iguana fall on his dome. As a reader, you want Wahoo and Tuna (who both have fishy names) to thrive as friends and get through their roughest times together. You also want them to have as many cute moments as possible. You’ll get everything you wanted and more within the confines of this book.

The last thing I’ll comment on is how convincing of a villain Jared Gordon is. You won’t see him for a long time in the story, but when he pops up, you know there’s going to be trouble. He’s constantly drunk, controlling to everyone he’s around, and he’s also carrying a loaded pistol with extra bullets. Giving Tuna a black eye is bad enough, but when he takes over this story, you’d better take him seriously. Throughout his time in the story, I kept wanting Jared to get his butt kicked in the worst way. He was so evil and disgusting that nobody would have missed him if he suddenly vanished off the face of the earth. If he was a professional wrestler, he would be the quintessential definition of a heel. You want him to get his comeuppance? Wait a while.

With a fast pace, ridiculous characters, and environmental know-how, Chomp definitely earned its passing grade, much like any other Carl Hiaasen book. He has easily become one of my favorite authors, so much so that I refer to him as my “go-to” option whenever I need a pick-me-up. Chomp in particular should be required reading in high school or college. Not only would it give the students a break from slow-paced literary claptrap, it would also fulfill their educational needs and instill common sense. Having common sense is really the highest education there is. Some people have it, others need it desperately. What do you say, teachers and principals? Will you take me up on my offer? I’m sure Mr. Hiaasen would appreciate that very much!

Friday, December 16, 2016

My Body

My body’s a temple, my mind is the priest
Society’s standards don’t apply in the least
I never resist a Thanksgiving-style feast
Take an alligator bite out of the roasted beast
There’s no shame in having a belly like mine
As long as your meal tastes delicious and fine
Never mind the magazines, they only print lies
Everybody loves the taste of salty French fries

I’ll eat how I want; I’ll do what I please
Shallow values will bring you to your knees
My body, my rules; don’t tell me what’s cool
Your muscle head makes you a giant fool

You’ve got a stacked chest and chiseled arms
The steroids you take are bringing you harm
The smoothies you drink taste like raw sewage
Spinach and splooge, how could you do it?
You laugh at anybody with a big old gut
Tell them to lay off the food at Pizza Hut
Tell them to do sit-ups until their abs are sore
You’re the one with your legs up like a whore

I’ll eat how I want; I’ll do what I please
Shallow values will bring you to your knees
My body, my rules; don’t tell me what’s cool
Your muscle head makes you a giant fool

I don’t give a shit who’s on the magazine covers
I don’t give a shit about your supermodel lovers
I don’t give a shit about your Cross-Fit routine
You’ve still got balls the size of jelly beans
Quit stabbing yourself with the needle full of juice
Before your heart stops and your bowels are loose
You’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger or Terry Crews
You’re just a jock frat boy with too much booze

I’ll eat how I want; don’t give me advice
I’ll have the crispy duck with beef fried rice
My body, my way; I’ll be here all day
And live longer than you anyway
I’ll eat how I want; I don’t give a fuck
All those exercises must really suck
You torture your body for the hottest chicks

The bigger the needle, the smaller the dick

Perfectionism vs. Word Vomit


If you’re a budding author, you’ve probably heard this piece of advice before: “Write every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s carefully chiseled out or the worst thing written in the history of the world. Let the editors take care of your mistakes.” A lot of professional authors say this and for a lot of rookies this advice works. This is just my preference, but this particular piece of advice doesn’t work for me.

If I write something, I want it to be golden from the start. While it’s true that no first draft is perfect the first time around, I at least want to try to make it into the best thing I can. This is why I don’t write everyday: because there are some days where my brain is so foggy that I can’t produce that perfect piece of writing. To my way of thinking, if I can’t be good at what I do, then what’s the point? Do my editors really want to go through the nightmare of cleaning up my messes?

If you’ve ever seen my drawings before, you would ask why I don’t take the perfectionism route with them given their weird quality. Yes, it’s true that my drawings don’t always look like golden goose eggs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try. That’s the important thing for me: while I’ll never be 100% perfect, I at least have to try my hardest. Editing will be much easier if I actually make an effort to produce a good piece of art.

But like I said earlier, this approach to art doesn’t work for everybody, but it works for me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I used to have a huge ego back in my college days. It’s true: even the smallest criticisms would make me retreat into my safe place, and this was in my late teens and early twenties. When my creative nonfiction teacher asked the class, “How many people here don’t think their own writing sucks?” I was the only person who raised my hand. Of course, my big ego didn’t match up with my writing skills at the time, because I wasn’t a diehard reader yet. Instead of having high self-esteem, I was arrogant, both of which are two separate things.

As I got older, I realized that being overly arrogant was a terrible approach to writing, because I desperately needed to let my critics into my inner circle in order to get better. That’s when I reached out to Second Draft Critique Services (a subdivision of Writer’s Digest) for help. Of course, their services were quite expensive, so I could only submit short stories. I was nervous at first, but when I actually read their critiques, I was confident that I could make chicken salad out of chicken shit. That’s the difference between arrogance and self-esteem: arrogance means you’re the king of the world and self-esteem means you believe you can grow from anything.

But if it’s true that I don’t have a massively inflated ego anymore, why do I still feel the need to be a perfectionist? I guess the easy answer would be that old habits die hard. Then again, if I didn’t believe in myself at least a little, I wouldn’t be writing in today’s world. I’ve had my fair share of evil criticisms and it would have been easy to give into those people. But being stubborn and full of fire got me through those hard times. Only years later did I realize that positivity and kindness were the answers, not hatred and anger.

So it stands to reason that if I write word vomit as opposed to the perfect product, I would have sufficient self-esteem to believe that I can fix it and make it shine. I’ll grant you that, but consider this: if I write the perfect product, I won’t have nearly as much work to do when the time comes to edit. Editing can either mean a few grammar corrections or a complete overhaul of the story. To make the process less intimidating either way, I take the perfectionist approach to my writing.

I know full well that first drafts will always have mistakes. The current first draft versions of “Watch You Burn” and “Filter Feeder” read like acid trips. While being on drugs may or may not be a heavenly experience (I wouldn’t know), that’s not the feeling I want to give my readers. It may work for Pink Floyd’s music, but not me. I’m not Roger Waters or David Gilmour no matter how hard I try to be.

There’s another thing that I try to practice: not using other artists’ transgressions as excuses to do them myself. I watched Pulp Fiction as a teenager, so my very first movie script “Pumping Filter” had a bunch of swearing, violence, and racial slurs, all of which didn’t need to be there. Because it could never have been perfect, I abandoned the script altogether. Another example would be me listening to Immortal Technique’s music and thinking it’s okay to use homophobic slurs in my poetry. If you want to use creative fuel, make sure you analyze it first and run it through your mental filters. Because I couldn’t do that just yet, many of my hateful poems are no longer in my archives. Thank god.

So now the question of the day is, are you a perfectionist yourself or do you allow your writing to truly be a first draft? I’d love to hear other opinions on this subject whether you agree with me or not. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


When my brain finally agrees to cooperate with me, I’ll write something for the “snow man” prompt called “The Theomancer”. It goes like this:


  1. Krimson, Red Ninja
  2. Yeti, Mummy Giant
  3. Seven, Prophet of Sevenism

PROMPT CONFORMITY: There are snowmen all over The Frigid Highlands, each of them with creepy decorations.

SYNOPSIS: The true identity of Krimson is unknown, but he is believed to be an emissary of the Raven Strike Society. They are a secret organization of atheists dedicated to disproving the beliefs of Sevenism, the religion of choice for oppressive authority figures in this dystopian fantasy world. Krimson ventures to the Frigid Highlands to assassinate Yeti, the gatekeeper to Seven’s paradise. The battle between these two warriors is fierce and intense, but Krimson is determined to get answers and revenge from Lord Seven himself. The red ninja is believed to be a deity in human form, which is why he’s having moderate success against Yeti in the first place.

FUN FACT: This story draws inspiration from the Mortal Kombat and WCW franchises from the 1990’s. Krimson is a red palette swap of MK ninjas Sub-Zero and Scorpion while Yeti is the direct theft of a WCW wrestler of the same name. Seven is also taken from a former WCW wrestler, this time one of the alter egos of Dustin Rhodes. All I needed was an excuse to use the title “Theomancer” and now I have a reasonable story idea.


TWITTER TROLL: You’re a professional wrestler. Lift some weights or do sit-ups. Good God!

BARON CORBIN: It’s your girl’s fault. She keeps bringing cookies over late at night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Elmer Fudd is hunting for blood
He’s about to be peeled like a spud
Lion claws will rip out his intestines
Cockroaches will feast on the infection
You fuck with nature, you get the fangs
Your spine will snap with the loudest bang
Your ribs will crack like shattered glass
Vultures will devour your lifeless ass

Lions! X4

The lion’s den is far off limits
You won’t last two fucking minutes
Bring your rifles, bring your buddies
Doesn’t mean shit, you goddamn dummy
A pile of bones picked squeaky clean
A trail of blood to decorate this scene
Splattered brains the size of green peas
Shredded skin blown away in the breeze

Lions! X4

If you hunt for fun, your life is done
Rotting into shit underneath the sun
Mother Nature wants her planet back
The lions want to roll with the pack
A trophy doesn’t mean a damn thing
Who the fuck died and made you king?
I hope you brought your screaming voice
Fuck with animals and you’ve got no choice

Lions! Lions!
Gatekeepers to your burning hell!
Lions! Lions!
Dead humans leave a rancid smell!
Lions! Lions!
Don’t shit where the creatures dwell!
Lions! Lions!

Pray for your own necromantic spell!

Rise and Shine

Rise and shine for your fucked up mind
There’s no more time to relax and unwind
Get your ass out of bed, Mr. Sleepyhead
Rise like a zombie coming back from the dead

Rise and shine or your ass is mine!
Rise and shine, don’t fucking whine!
Rise and shine for the dollar signs!
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

Too many stories and not enough glory
A life of snoring is so damn boring
Work your fingers to the powdery bone
Your flesh melts like an ice cream cone
Your blood boils like a river of lava
Your wheels turn as you pen this drama
Do it all again on the very next day
This line of work is where you’ll stay

Rise and shine or your ass is mine!
Rise and shine, don’t fucking whine!
Rise and shine for the dollar signs!
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

This lifestyle isn’t just a stepping stone
It’s what you should be calling home
There’s nothing bigger, nothing better
To your own craft, you are a debtor

Something mysterious is holding you back
Energy and fire is what you fucking lack
You burned yourself out like a dying candle
The daily grind you’ll never be able to handle
Good morning is a hypocritical phrase
When all you want to do is laze in your haze
Stressed out, pissed off, fucked up, get lost
Now you know the deal, time to pay the cost

Rise and shine? Go fuck yourself!
Rise and shine? Go straight to hell!
Rise and shine? No goddamn chance!

Find another partner for your puppet dance!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Poison Tongue Tales


The last time I published a book was in February of this year and it was a collection of dark poetry called Necrograph. I think I’m about due to publish another book. The next one on the assembly line will be Poison Tongue Tales, a collection of short stories from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror varieties. It’s currently going through another round of editing from my overly awesome beta reader Marie Krepps. I specifically told her to look for places where I can show instead of tell and she’s done a phenomenal job of pinpointing those areas for me. What can I say? She does a lot for me and I try to repay her as much as possible.

So far she has given me notes on 17 out of all 50 stories in the collection. If you want to be alphabetical about it, it starts with Acid O’clock and ends with Gates of Hell. Ordinarily, I could polish 17 stories standing on my fucking head. I could do all 50 stories while doing the splits over an alligator swamp. I could do Poison Tongue Tales and American Darkness while sitting on a bed of thumb tacks. If all of these obscene analogies aren’t getting to you, what I’m trying to say is that editing a short story isn’t that hard to do. It’s not like editing a novel, like Occupy Wrestling, where I had to constantly change plot mechanics on my way to the final chapter. These 50 stories are all standalone in nature and only add up to three single-spaced 11 X 8 pages per story.

That’s why it pains me to say that I haven’t edited a single solitary story since Marie Krepps did her most recent round of critiques. No Acid O’clock, no nothing. Not yet. My reason for this has nothing to do with real life obligations or even mental exhaustion. It has everything to do with fear. That’s right. Something as simple and irrational as fear has stopped me from getting started on making these changes to Poison Tongue Tales. If I had to take a guess as to what this fear is over, I’d say it’s a fear of having a huge task in front of me. These new changes are going to radically transform the way each story looks, but it’s still the same kind of labor as before, so what’s all the fuss about?

I have no reason to fear critique as much as I used to. In my younger years, I had an over-inflated ego that would burst at the smallest suggestions. Now that I’ve surrounded myself with people who give a damn and are with me for the long haul, my sensitivity to critique has gone down quite a bit. I might even say that I’m immune to it now. So again, what’s all the fuss about? If I actually enjoy listening to Marie and her advice (because she’s hilarious and thoughtful at the same time), where’s all this fear coming from?

For far too long, Poison Tongue Tales has been considered a backburner project, meaning the WSS, Demon Axe, and everything else took precedence over it, even the Dark Fantasy Warriors, for shit’s sake. I have all the time and energy in the world to complete this simple task of editing the shit out of these 17 stories that Marie has compiled for me. If you want to talk about energy, I somehow found the energy to read 30-40 pages of my Carl Hiaasen book per day. The last time I showed that much dedication to a book was when I read “The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie (I hope the movie adaptation will be good). If I have the energy to blitz through a Carl Hiaasen novel, I should have the same energy to blitz through Poison Tongue Tales. The energy is there, but so is the trepidation. What the fuck, brain?

I know that an unexplained fear seems like small potatoes to you, my readers. Hell, you’ll probably want to flood my Face Book page with R. Lee Ermey memes after reading something like this. But I assure you, I can get over this fear in due time. I have four books to show for my worked up courage, why not have five? And then after Poison Tongue Tales, I have five different ideas for what I’ll send Marie next:

  • Filter Feeder (environmental urban fantasy)
  • Watch You Burn (psychological urban fantasy)
  • Demon Axe (unfinished heavy metal urban fantasy)
  • American Darkness 2: Black State (unfinished collection of modern day drama short stories)
  • Poison Tongue Tales 2: Warrior Spirit (unfinished collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories)

On a side note, Marie once told me that I use the word “warrior” a lot in my stories. She even joked that if my characters took a huge dump in the middle of the road, they would be called “shit warriors”. Not only did I laugh my ass off at that remark, but it’s also one step closer to me actually editing Poison Tongue Tales and not letting some bullshit fear get to me. If it’s finally time for me to “cowboy up”, then I’m shooting from the hip. Adios, amigos! Thanks for reading!


As you guys can see, Sonya Demonic is now posted online. I showed my drawing of her to my mom and she said that Sonya looked strikingly like my ex-girlfriend Brianna. I can’t say she’s wrong. Hehe! What’s next you ask? How about Ronis Wakizashi from my most recent WSS entry “Fire and Fury”? Sounds about right. I’ve always wanted to draw a half-Japanese redneck sheriff with a big ass shotgun and fuzzy beard. Actually, this might be more daunting than editing Poison Tongue Tales. Wish me luck!


This is the point from which I could never return and if I back down now then forever I burn. This is the point from which I could never retreat, ‘cause if I turn back now there can never be peace. This is the point from which I will die or succeed. Living the struggle, I know I'm alive when I bleed. From now on it can never be the same as before, ‘cause the place I'm from doesn't exist anymore.

-Immortal Technique rapping “The Point of No Return”-

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fire and Fury

Ronis Wakizashi chewed his breakfast steak and savored every juicy bite before the heavenly meal slid down his throat. It had been a while since he’d eaten at The Buffalo Brunch. Catching his latest criminal called for a celebration: tender sirloin steak, fluffy scrambled eggs, butter-drenched English muffins, and crispy hash browns. Ronis ate his meal without regard for the contents tangling into his scraggly beard or splattering on his bulletproof vest and blue jeans. He even managed to get a bite of scrambled egg on his cowboy hat, which took some serious talent.

His beautiful breakfast was interrupted at the sounds of heavy breathing from across the restaurant. Among all the patrons, the female navy sailor with the jittery hands and splashing coffee cup got his attention. Her breathing patterns included some slight squeaks. Ronis stared at her for a while then shook his head in annoyance before digging right back into his breakfast.

The sailor’s breathing deepened as tears flowed from her eyes ever so lightly. Ronis slammed his fork down on his plate and gave her another annoyed look, but she was too pumped on nervous adrenaline to notice. Even the waitress had to ask the sailor five or six times whether she wanted a refill on her coffee before she snapped out of her trance and said yes.

Ronis watched as the waitress poured coffee into the sailor’s mug. The navy soldier finally snapped when a splash of coffee burned her fingers. She shot up and let out a lengthy blood-curdling scream while shaking the burn out of her hand. The waitress apologized relentlessly and scanned the restaurant for other patrons staring at her, to which she gave them an awkward smile.

The sailor pulled a knife from her belt and wrapped one arm around the waitress’s throat. When the hostess screamed, the navy soldier snapped, “Shut up! Shut the fuck up, you stupid bitch! If I hear so much as a pin drop in this fucking place, I’ll carve your ass up from ear to ear!”

The waitress’s wailing was reduced to childish whimpering and a stream of heavy tears. Everybody stared at the knife-wielder, including Ronis, who kept a steady grip on his shotgun underneath the table. The Sheriff even had the nerve to keep eating his breakfast, gnashing a piece of English muffin with those smelly teeth of his.

“Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing, old man?!” screamed the sailor. “Breakfast is over! Now you all are going to listen to me before I slash this bitch’s throat!”

“I don’t think so, you stupid whore,” said Ronis with a scarily calm demeanor. He stood right up and pointed his shotgun at the sailor, who proceeded to press her blade tightly against the sobbing waitress’s throat. “Put the knife down, navy chick. You’re not going to win this fight. I’m the one with the shotgun and all you have is a little tinker toy. Are you ready to give up or do I have to splatter your brains all over the table?”

“You want to shoot me?” the sailor stammered. “You want to kill my ass? Go ahead! Anything’s better than living with this shit inside my brain! You’d be doing me a favor!”

“Alright, I get it,” said Ronis halfheartedly. “You’re a soldier who saw a whole bunch of nasty stuff overseas and now you can’t get it out of your mind. Hell, if I went through half of what you guys go through every day, I’d be messed up in the head too. Put you’ve got to put the knife down. Carving up that sweet thing isn’t going to give you relief.”

“No, it won’t,” admitted the sailor in a somewhat calmer voice. “But it’ll make people listen. You know why people like to show up at political rallies with cardboard signs? Because they want to be heard. And now I want to be heard too. If I didn’t have this knife in my hands, you’d be sitting there finishing your goddamn breakfast.”

“You got my attention, princess,” said Ronis. “Now tell me what you want. I ain’t got all day. You’re right: I do want to eat my breakfast, so make it quick.”

“Please!” begged the waitress through horrified tears. “Don’t make her angry! Just give her what she wants so that we can all go home!”

“Shut the fuck up, you skinny bitch, this ain’t any of your goddamn business!” Ronis shouted. He returned his attention to the traumatized sailor and said, “Now, you have the floor. Say something and say it fast. Otherwise, my trigger finger’s going to get really itchy. Are we clear?” No response. “Do you want a microphone and a stage or what? Talk, damn it!”

“You want me to talk?” asked the sailor. “Fine, let’s talk. After all, if I don’t say anything, I’ll just be another statistic on a government chart. I’ll just be another homeless bum on the streets who can’t find a goddamn job. Yeah, you think you know what I’m going through? Of course you don’t. You can sleep easy at night without having to worry if you’re going to die in your dreams. You don’t have to think about exploding land mines or gunfire blowing out your eardrums or your supervisor not giving a shit either way! I don’t want to fight this war any longer. I want to know what true comfort really is.”

“And you think you’re going to get true comfort by slashing a waitress’s throat?” asked Ronis. “There are only two kinds of comfort that will get you: sleeping easy in a six-by-nine cell or sleeping easy in a coffin. In the end, it doesn’t matter if your message is right or wrong. What matters is that you’re putting people in danger with your reckless behavior.”

The sailor’s facial features softened to a contemplative expression, generating silence between her, the captive, and Sheriff Wakizashi. It was a calming silence for all parties involved, but it was really just complacency when the sailor shouted, “Reckless behavior my ass! You haven’t seen shit yet!”

The soldier raised her dagger and forced a shriek out of the waitress as it came down with a quickness. The waitress bowed down on the floor with her ears covered after Ronis pulled the trigger, knocking the sailor to the ground and freeing the server from captivity. The waitress still screamed bloody murder while the other patrons watched in wide-eyed shock and horror.

Ronis, without a hint of remorse, trudged over to the waitress and the sailor’s body with his cowboy boots clicking against the brick floor. He fished several five dollar bills out of his jeans pocket and dropped them on the waitress, who looked up at him with puppy dog eyes and more hysterical sobbing. The Sheriff said, “There’s your tip for putting up with all of this bullshit. I’m proud of you.” No response. “What are you waiting for?”

The waitress scooped up her “gratuity” and ran out of the restaurant in a big blubbering hurry, which was amazing since she wore high heeled shoes the entire time. Ronis looked coldly at the sailor’s prone body and said, “You can stop acting now. That was just a beanbag shot.” The sailor slowly regained consciousness after acquiring a huge purple bump on her forehead. She tenderly touched the bruise and winced in pain after the slightest poke.

“What’s your name, sweetheart?” asked Ronis.

“Julie Clay. Seaman Julie Clay,” she said in a dizzied hush.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Sheriff Ronis Wakizashi. I should be taking you to jail right now to serve a long ass sentence. But I’m not going to.” He knelt beside her and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “That tough guy talk was just to see how far you’d really go. Intimidation has always worked for me in the past. It didn’t work with you, so I had to shoot you with that beanbag. Sorry about that. You really did have something to say and you weren’t going down without getting your voice out there. I admire that. You really are the dictionary definition of a soldier, Miss Clay.”

“What happens now?” asked Julie. “Do I need to turn around and put my hands behind my back?”

“I’m afraid so, Miss Clay. The handcuffs are a precautionary measure and I never leave home without them. The beanbag gun was optional. I don’t like shooting people when I don’t have to. My father was shot during a traffic stop, not by a crook, but by another cop. I’ve had to live with that shit for a long, long time. I wouldn’t know what comfort was if it came up and bit me on the ass. So I joined the force hoping I could make a difference with just this beanbag gun. But you, it’s not too late for you to make a difference. Hell, you’ve done a lot already with your military career. But before we can turn the clock back, you have to come with me.”

Julie’s breathing got progressively heavier as she held her hands up together and whispered, “Get me out of here. I don’t care where we go from here, just get me the hell out of this place.”

“It’s a good thing you don’t care where we’re going, because I’m not taking you to jail. Jail is for people who have nothing but evil and negativity in their hearts. You’ve got something more than that. I’m taking you to the hospital to be treated. You can’t walk around town with this kind of violent force. I know you don’t mean to do it. I know you don’t want to do it. So come on, let’s get you out of here,” said Ronis before hooking the handcuffs around Julie’s wrists and gently pulling her up.

As the two of them walked slowly toward the exit with Ronis’s arms draped over Julie’s shoulders, she asked, “Why are you doing all of this for me? I almost killed someone and you’re giving me an easy way out.”

“There’s nothing easy about any of this, Miss Clay,” said Ronis in a gentle voice. “But just because your road to recovery is a long one, doesn’t mean that the US Department of Justice has to be an oxymoron.”