Tuesday, February 28, 2017

One Job

***ONE JOB***

I’m pretty sure you all have seen those “You had one job” memes floating around during your internet adventures. They normally end with, “And you failed” or “And you nailed it”. What I’m getting ready to talk about is something I believe will fit the criteria of the latter. Before writing this journal, my day has been just another “lazy day”. No creative work has been done, the plans to go to the Y have been cancelled, and the only productive thing I did in this 24-hour span was wash and dry my laundry. I could have just as easily spent some time under my oxygen mask and recovered whatever energy I lost that day, but no. There’s something deeper going on here.

I was beginning to wonder if I had too many tasks on my plate. Sure, I now have four major projects going on at the same time, but as long as my focus is divided evenly among them, I feel overwhelmed rather than in control. It’s the reason why I turned down an opportunity to review Andy Peloquin’s upcoming book, which is the third installment of The Last Bucelarii series. I felt bad about saying no to him, considering what an awesome writer he is and all he’s done for me and my brand over the years. He assured me that everything was still cool between us, so that makes me feel slightly better.

I’m starting to wonder if I should focus on these projects one at a time instead of all at once. And when I say focus on them, I mean finish them entirely before moving onto the next project. With this kind of sharp attention, it means I’ll have to miss a few weeks at the WSS because I won’t be working on Demon Axe those days. Everything else will have to take a backseat to the current project, but that’s what it’s been like even before I made this “One Job” decision. I kept worrying about what needs to take priority and if I work on one thing at a time instead of jumping between projects, I can finally get some shit done.

Earlier tonight, my always awesome and insanely beautiful beta-reader Marie Krepps has finished critiquing the last of my Poison Tongue Tales stories, which means it’s now my turn to make those suggested changes and polish it into a publishable book. But at the same time, I also have three other projects which need attention: writing Demon Axe, reading “What Hides in the Darkness” by KL Cottrell, and beta-reading “Benevolent Slayers” by Marie Krepps, which comes out in late May. I asked Marie if it was okay to put off beta-reading for her until I got everything sorted out and she said yes. In her infinite sweetness, she also told me not to push myself too hard when editing the hell out of those Poison Tongue Tales stories. I want to hug her right now!

Editing Poison Tongue Tales is so easy, a caveman can do it. It’s a matter of getting through all of those stories since I have so many of them. As far as Demon Axe goes, my most recent chapter is fifteen and there are usually twenty of them, give or take, in any novel I write. Finishing Demon Axe is also going to be easy as pie, but Poison Tongue Tales comes first since it’s closer to being a published book and Demon Axe is only a rough draft. That just leaves me with Benevolent Slayers and What Hides in the Darkness. Marie has always shown patience with me and I’m eternally grateful for that. As far as KL goes, don’t worry, babe, because I haven’t forgotten about you. In fact, I never forget about any of my creative commitments. It’ll be worth the wait!

It’s time to get into business mode, my friends. Four major projects and it all starts with Poison Tongue Tales, the easiest, yet longest assignment I have. Marie has a wonderful habit of making editing easy for all of her clients. That reminds me, I should ask her about her cover-making services since PTT is close to being published into a book. The question becomes, what will I want my cover to look like? I don’t know the answer yet, but it’ll probably involve a poisonous creature tongue. It is, after all, called Poison Tongue Tales.

Tomorrow morning, it’s game time. If I have to go to the Y to exercise that day and then take a nap afterwards, I’ll still have the energy to push through. If I’m exhausted that day, I’ll spend some time with the oxygen mask until I’m ready to go. I’ll heed Marie’s advice and be easy on myself while at the same time following my own creed of being a hardworking author. It’s been a whole year since I’ve published a book and that was my second poetry book, which is called Necrograph. In just a few short days, we’ll go from death writing to toximancy. Let’s get busy!


“Well, I’m the king of Boggle! There is none higher! I get eleven points off the word quagmire!”

-King Adrock from The Beastie Boys rapping “Putting Shame in Your Game”-


Funny story about that. It wasn’t Boggle, but while playing Scrabble, I once got 40 points from the word bitch and 70 points from the word goddamn. I won both of those games fair and square. I knew my English degree would be good for something one day.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Upcoming Concerts


I had second thoughts about posting this blog entry because I didn’t want it to seem like I was arrogantly bragging. The only reason I’m posting it is because another week has gone by and I’m out of topics to discuss. So I figured, why not tell you all about upcoming concerts I’m attending? Heavy metal and rock music in general has always been a source of creative fuel for me. My current WIP novel Demon Axe uses such grinding music as its central theme. Consider these concerts to be further research (and in some cases personal therapy).

The first concert I plan on attending is not musical at all. It’s Garrison Keillor doing monologues. And before you ask, no, I wasn’t thinking of him when I chose my penname Garrison Kelly. Yes, I know the two names sound similar, but it’s just a coincidence. Besides, my first name really is Garrison, so…yeah. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Keillor since listening to Christmas-themed tapes of his in the late 90’s. His sound effects rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was very inspiring to my Lego adventures for some reason. I’ve always associated the horn noises with Tony Twister (Time Twisters) and bird squawking with pirate parrots. Now that I’m all grown up and we’re in a fierce political climate, we need Mr. Keillor now more than ever.

On June 24th at the Tacoma Dome, Roger Waters is putting on a show with both new material and old songs. He’s putting out a solo album this year called “Is This What We Really Want?” and I can’t wait to snatch it up. Roger was a huge inspiration to me during his time with Pink Floyd. He was always standing up for the underdogs of society, which included students in mean-spirited schools (“we don’t need no education”). He has the wisdom of a sage and he knows it.

Speaking of Pink Floyd-related concerts, on July 1st in Seattle, a tribute band called Brit Floyd is going to play at the Paramount Theater. I like the idea of tribute bands because the real thing isn’t going to be around forever. If it’s already gone, where are we to get our fix? Brit Floyd, that’s who. I’ve seen The Pink Floyd Experience back in 2014 in Bremerton. Awkward date aside, it lived up to the hype, so I expect Brit Floyd to do the same.

On August 1st at the always lovely White River Amphitheater, Green Day is playing a concert with Catfish and the Bottlemen as the opening act. I have no idea who Catfish and the Bottlemen are, but this is a good chance for them to earn my respect. This will be the third time in my life I’ve seen a Green Day show. They always have an audience member come onstage and play instruments with them, to which I’m always nervous that the crowd member will fuck up and make things awkward. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see them for the third time.

And finally, later in August, Incubus is also playing at the White River Amphitheater, but with Jimmy Eat World as their opening act. Like Green Day, this will be my third time at an Incubus show. When last I saw them, they opened for Linkin Park at the Tacoma Dome in 2012, where my brother James and I reunited with a childhood friend named Sean. I know Incubus will be just as awesome in 2017.

In addition to these concerts, there was another one I was considering going to, but opted out of it. Metallica (along with Avenged Sevenfold and Gojira) is going to play at Century Link Field in Seattle in August. This is a metal head’s wet dream come true. And then I saw the ticket prices and considered my parents’ recovery time between Green Day and Incubus (since they’ll be the ones driving). As much as I’d love to worship at the altar of James Hetfield, I just can’t do it this year. But even so, that’s still five concerts I’m attending this year and I’m grateful for all of them.

That’s what you really have to remember as you have these wonderful life experiences: be grateful for all of them. The more grateful you are, the more you attract things to be grateful for. It’s not just a bunch of new age mumbo-jumbo; it’s the truth. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


Marie Krepps is at it again with her twisted creativity. Since she’s been one stream of never-ending awsomeness when it comes to beta-reading Poison Tongue Tales, I’m going to be the same thing for her when it comes to beta-reading Benevolent Slayers, a fantasy novel she kept on the shelf for a whole decade before deciding to dust it off and try again. She’s quite the prolific author and I’m jelly of her longevity. I’m also peanut butter. Hehe!


And now that we’re on the topic of beta-reading and editing, if you follow me on Deviant Art, you would have noticed three short stories in your inbox. Those are all Poison Tongue Tales entries and there will be three more tomorrow, three more the next day, and three more after that. In the case of tomorrow, you can look forward to polished versions of “Demon Hunter”, “Descent”, and “Deus Ex Machina” (holy shit, that’s a lot of D’s!). I’ve put Poison Tongue Tales off for far too long and it’s only fair that I keep up my end of the bargain for Marie-Pie. When I eventually publish this sci-fi, fantasy, and horror collection, it will be my fifth book overall (if you don’t count the three now inactive books on my Good Reads page). Wish me luck!


It has come to my attention that there aren’t a whole lot of fast-paced action sequences in this novel. That makes me sad. So to make up for that, chapter sixteen is going to involve a battle between the elf kingdom and the corrupt Paulson City police, which is of course led by the always spiteful Roger Zee. Keeping track of this many warriors is always a challenge for me, but it’s one I accept. There’s also going to be a special focus on Raven and Arthur Triscloud vs. Roger Zee. It’s clearly not a fair fight; the Triscloud family needs more soldiers.


Speaking of ass-kicking sons of bitches, Scott Percival is next on the chopping block. He was the main hero of the short story “Shield Me”, where he had to protect his prostitute girlfriend from a vicious madame named Carla Madder. The story itself is more than just a bloody battle; it’s a question of forgiveness. Can Scott stay by his girlfriend after knowing what she did for a living while he was off at war? The simple answer would be yes considering the story’s economy, but things aren’t always as simple as they seem.

And since Scott Percival is modeled after WWE wrestler Roman Reigns:


“All you dudes out there who’re saying I can’t wrestle, calm down, relax, take a sip of your beers, and shut your mouths.”

-Roman Reigns to an abusive WWE audience-

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Demon Axe, Chapter 15

As lovely as listening to new age music during traumatic stress was, Daniel Mercer knew he couldn’t live in angst forever. The kind of therapy he needed would have lasted longer than one measly stay at a hospital. But Daniel had a job to do. He had people who depended on him. He had the souls of his dead friends to atone for.

The burden was weighing so heavily on his shoulders that he wasn’t sure his spine could hold it all. As soon as he gripped his sonic weapon with the tightness of a chokehold, his spine didn’t feel like ordinary bones. It felt like solid steel. His muscles felt like impregnable armor. His heart was pumping diesel and jet fuel.

With one victorious scream into his microphone, the straps on his bed snapped like the bones of anyone who dared put their hands on Raven Triscloud. The door tumbled over like the dead corpses of anybody who desecrated the memory of Daniel’s friends. Nurses, doctors, and even Shawn Henry himself fell over like a biblical tidal wave knocked them down.

Daniel’s breathing was raspy and vigorous as he stepped out of bed and changed into the fresh clothing Shawn brought form his apartment, not giving two shits if anybody saw him naked. Everyone knew what he represented when the came out in a red Demon Axe T-shirt, black jean shorts, and black combat boots with gray socks.

The doctors and nurses gazed upon him with a hodgepodge of amazement and fear. Even Shawn was taken aback by this newfound level of power.

The Lord of the Pit grinned his evilest grin as he tapped his microphone into his palm for rhythmic effect. He could hear the electric guitar playing in his head and it filled him with the true definition of demon death juice. In no uncertain terms, he shouted into the instrument of destruction, “I am Iron Man!”

Even though Shawn and Daniel were minutes later riding in a cop car, they preferred the adrenaline-fueled rage of a Demon Axe CD over the standard police radio. Communicating with other cops was out of the question since Shawn couldn’t tell who was on who’s side. He could have asked for backup and got a machete to the throat instead.

Shawn and Daniel banged their heads to the grinding guitars, thunderous bass, deadly drums, and throaty vocals the first Demon Axe CD was known for. Daniel even screamed along to the lyrics while Shawn flashed a smile at him. This wasn’t musical torture. This was the second coming of a rock and roll god.

It didn’t matter that the cop car’s ultimate destination would be the same outdoor arena where Roger’s first strike took place. Even as the road signs and landmarks looked familiar to Daniel, he didn’t cower in fear any longer. He just kept rocking and rolling to his own music, same as he did when he rode the tour bus to this concert with his old friends from young years.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” said Shawn as he pulled up to the parking lot of the outdoor arena and saw that an entire squadron of cops and cop cars were guarding the portal to the elven world. There they were with shotguns locked and loaded looking as stoic and mean as if they were actually guarding something important. Never mind the fact that they were clearly working for a “higher power”, or a certain elf with a blade who thought he was everybody’s deity.

The music stopped, but Daniel never lost his sniper-sight focus. If his facial expression could kill, this arena would have served as the site of a secondary massacre. He even managed to look scarier than the cops, giving Shawn a little bit of a nervous vibe. “Are you ready, Daniel?”

“I’m always ready when it’s show time. Let’s do this shit!” he growled before pounding the dashboard and stomping out of the vehicle with authority. Shawn was hesitant to follow knowing what these cops might do to him and Daniel, but he trudged along anyways.

“Halt! Don’t come any further! This is private property!” shouted the leader of this squadron while his underlings aimed their shotguns in Shawn and Daniel’s directions.

“I’m a cop, you idiots!” yelled Shawn. “If you shoot me and my friend, you might as well be committing treason! Hell, you’re probably doing that anyway knowing who’s beyond that portal!”

The captain turned his attention to Daniel and roared, “Drop the weapon before I…”

“No, dip shit!” bellowed Daniel into his microphone, the tsunami-like sound waves forcing the cops to drop their shotguns and cover their ears. Regardless of what political power they were serving, they were going to listen whether they liked it or not.

The Lord of the Pit jumped on top of Shawn’s car and unleashed a firestorm-like speech upon his audience through the devastating microphone. “When I was growing up in Paulson City, I was always told that the cops were the good guys! That they were here to protect us! That they actually gave a shit about our lives! And then I start paying attention to the news and I see you guys shooting unarmed civilians and beating the shit out of minorities! Just when I thought you fuckers couldn’t sink any lower, you start working with Roger fucking Zee!”

Instead of curling up with their ears covered, the cops slowly stood at full attention as if they actually gave a damn about what Daniel was saying. The heavy metal god screamed into the microphone some more. “Yeah, I know, I know. Roger Zee has the entire police force by the balls! He’s got dirt on each and every one of you! He’s targeting your families and friends! You’ve got no choice! I’ve heard this pile of crap for far too long now! You do have a choice! You just make the conscious decision to give up your freedom in exchange for comfort! And here I thought I was the pussy because I couldn’t get over my trauma!”

Monstrous breaths echoed across the arena and Daniel’s fiery eyes scorched the souls of everyone he spoke to. To further his point, he pointed down at Shawn and growled, “You see this motherfucker?! You see him?! He did something that all cops should aspire to do! He saved somebody’s life even when the pressure was mounting against him! He raged against the machine and brought justice to an already unfair exchange! He saved my life! And if he hadn’t shown up when he did, I would be goddamn dead! Just so you morons know, he too felt Roger Zee’s blackmail! He too had his family and career threatened! He did what was right anyways! Imagine that: cops actually doing their jobs!”

The cops’ facial expressions morphed back into intense anger, not at Daniel’s harsh criticisms, but at the fact that he was right all along. One of them even yelled, “Preach!” while throwing his fist in the air.

“You want me to preach?! You want me to fucking preach?!” roared Daniel. “Here’s the deal, nimrods! You can either clear a path to the elven world or I can keep shouting in this microphone until your ears and assholes are both bleeding like crazy! What’s that shit you macho men like to say?! Lead, follow, or get out of the way?! I think it’s time you start practicing what you preach! You want to be the good guys?! You want to serve and protect?! Then grow a backbone and some testicles and do it!”

The captain’s face turned solemn as he broke harsh news to Daniel and Shawn. “That was a hell of a speech, Mr. Demon Axe. But if you go flying through the portal right now, you’ll be smack dab in the middle of a war. We can listen to you talk all day long. But I’m not so sure our guys beyond the portal are going to be so receptive. We’ll see if your rage-a-holic oratory is going to be enough to pull my men out of a fight. And when I say fight, I mean bloody ass massacre. Elves vs. humans in a big ass battlefield. But hey, you’re used to controlling wild crowds, right?”

Daniel frowned and lowered his microphone before dropping to his knees. “We’re too late, Shawn. We’re too damn late. I spent too long in the hospital when I should have been doing my goddamn job!”

The Lord of the Put repeatedly punched the top of the car with the blade end of his microphone aimed at the metal, to which Shawn bull rushed him and yanked him off the car by his ankles. Daniel unleashed a colorful burst of swear words while Shawn had his arms wrapped around the singer in an attempt to calm him down. The detective even slammed Daniel on the hood of the car and that finally got the musician’s attention.

“Listen to me, damn it!” bellowed Shawn. “Up until now you’ve had a hot streak of aggression and rage! Don’t throw it all away just because you think we’re too late to stop anything! We’re pretty fucking far from late, my friend! So buck up, put your big boy boots on, and let’s march through that goddamn portal together! Move it!”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Alcohol of Fame

How could you do this to yourself?
How could you endanger your health?
How could you put them through hell?
Is it too late to ask for fucking help?

Alcohol of fame
Your career’s going up in flames
Alcohol of fame
You’ve only got yourself to blame

Snort a little cocaine, shoot some heroin
Chugging Oxycontin and good old Vicodin
Popping Viagra while committing mortal sins
The pressure brings you to your dirty shins

Alcohol of fame
Your excuses are so damn lame
Alcohol of fame
You make zombies look so tame

Everything of yours is going down the tubes
You’re fucking yourself with bloody lube
You’re smashing up your own hotel room
Wake the fuck up or meet your own doom

Alcohol of fame
Your pathetic stories sound the same
Alcohol of fame
Watch it all go down the drain
Alcohol of fame
Psycho visions swirling in your brain
Alcohol of fame
Watch you dying in the coldest rain

It’s never too late to turn back the clock
And drag your sorry ass back to the top
Admitting you’re wrong is the first step
Lying to yourself is the bridge to death
You can be clean and start over again
Or you can be the author of your life’s end
Make a decision, don’t think too hard

The road to recovery is no holds barred

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Wonderful Day to Take a Nap

It’s a wonderful day to take a nap
With a cute little kitty on your lap
A wonderful day to take a snooze
Dream away your moodiest blues

The rain is pouring, the puppy is snoring
Everything else is delightfully boring
Lullaby music is playing so softly
Sleep like you’re in the arms of your mommy
Under the blanket so cuddly and warm
Keeping you safe from the rainiest storm
Counting the sheep as you fall asleep
Snuggling with them feels so sweet

It’s a wonderful day to take a nap
With a cute little kitty on your lap
A wonderful day to take a snooze
Dream away your moodiest blues
A wonderful day to rest your bones
Turn off the TV, unplug your phone
A wonderful day to have a dream
Until the sun shines its bright beams

Pour yourself a glass of warm milk
Wrap yourself in a blanket of silk
Snuggle with puppies and kitties
Whether they’re big or just itty-bitty
When you snooze, nobody will lose
Stay in your bed as long as you choose
Listen to raindrops on your window
Listen to the mighty wind blow

It’s a wonderful day to take a nap
The weather outside wills start to sap
A wonderful day to take a snooze
Until the sunshine brings colorful hues
A wonderful day to rest your head
In the softest and warmest of beds
A wonderful day to snore and drool
Until your pillow becomes a pool

Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop
The wind and rain won’t stop
Come inside for a place to hide
Under the covers, you sweetie pie
We’re one big cuddly family
Of animals and sweet little peas
It’s a wonderful day to nod off

In the beddy-bye ever so soft

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Cyborgs and Sorcery" by Marie Krepps

BOOK TITLE: Cyborgs and Sorcery
AUTHOR: Marie Krepps
YEAR: 2017
GENRE: Fictional Short Stories
SUBGENRES: Sci-Fi and Fantasy

A downtrodden cyborg must find four sacred items in order to restore peace to the warring kingdoms in which she lives. A warrior and her falcon companion must stick together in order to survive being hunted a clan of monstrous wizards. A treasure hunter struggles to remain calm as her crow companion keeps running his mouth in the middle of a search. A security guard’s family prepares a huge dinner celebration for him knowing it could be the last time they see him. Four tales of intense drama, cybernetic awesomeness, and mystical wisdom have been unleashed onto the world by the always prolific Marie Krepps. She proves once again that even the shortest of stories can pack the biggest punch.

Of all the stories in this collection, my favorite would have to be Mason’s Promise a.k.a. the one about the warrior and her falcon friend. The kinship between Celeste (the warrior) and Mason (the falcon) is as realistic as it is captivating. They have their arguments every now and then, but in the end, they always have each other’s backs. If a story is going to be called Mason’s Promise, you’d better believe there’s going to be some heavy trust and familial bonding. While I won’t spoil the ending, I will say that it’ll hurt worse than a falcon claw ripping your heart out. It hurts because Marie Krepps makes you care about these characters. Her stories have always been a vicarious experience for any reader, but this one exemplifies it the most.

I’ve always praised Marie’s abilities to show instead of tell and this short story collection will be no different. I’ve already mentioned how much of a heart-wrenching story Mason’s Promise is. But what about the others? What about Four Items (take a wild guess which one this is)? A cyborg’s quest to find her own humanity is always compelling since there are some humans in the real world who have the same struggle. Welcome Home, Brother has an ending that nobody will see coming, but when it hits you, it hits like a wrecking ball to the gut. Red Stone will be a huge deal for millennials due to the wonderfully placed reference of a certain 1980’s cartoon about vehicles that change into giant robots. Come to think of it, there isn’t a single bad story in this collection. There’s something in it for everybody even if sci-fi and fantasy aren’t your go-to genres.

One more strength I would like to point out is that Cyborgs and Sorcery is, and I’m not completely sure on this number, the sixteenth book published by Marie Krepps (if you’re counting stories she published under her real name of Ashley Uzzell). No matter what the number actually ends up being, this latest addition to her personal library shows that she has longevity in her career as an author. She is durable when it comes to writing long novels and she sneaks in a few short jabs with her collections. And the best part about her having this much mileage? She’s still a young adult who has a bright future ahead of her. If she continues to write wonderful stories like these, she won’t have to worry about the future ever again.

If you’re looking for awesomely-written short stories that will keep you entertained throughout this rollercoaster of a ride, look no further than Cyborgs and Sorcery. Yes, it will feel like it’s over too soon, but that’s the beauty of Marie Krepps stories: there will always be more because she’s the iron woman of Generation Y. No matter what book of hers you decide to pick up, she will never disappoint and she will earn your respect from the very first line. Excellent work, Marie! How does a passing grade sound to you?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lysergic Bugs Bunny Cartoon

What’s up, doc, besides your cock?
Enough with the talk, it’s time to rock
Purple elephants and yellow zebras
Acid rainfall for continuous seasons
Epic battles with bloody violence
Crushing kick from a kung fu tigress
Your imagination is running wild
Like it used to when you were a child

Lysergic Bugs Bunny cartoon!

With all the colors painted on your brain
Pour your heart out all over the page
Paint a picture with your rainbow blood
Make some music with your stoner bud
Unicorns with those devilish horns
Dark elf sex too X-rated for porn
This is your art; it comes from your heart
Nobody will tell you it’s just a brain fart

Lysergic Bugs Bunny cartoon!

Is it genius or insanity? Who gives a shit?
Just have lots of fun while you’re doing it
Just one star? Give me a fucking break
You’ve seen many stars reflecting off the lake
A golden raspberry is a delicious fruit
A clown’s costume is a business suit
Gobbledygook is the perfect hook
Certain to sell a shit load of books

Lysergic Bugs Bunny cartoon!
Let’s all trip out like buffoons!
Necromancy written out in runes!
Pyromancy will be the law soon!
Theomancy is for the looniest loons!
Electromancy is for the metal tunes!
Let’s go crazy! Let’s get naughty!
Drop your drawers! Shake your body!


Lysergic Bugs Bunny cartoon!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day


Valentine’s Day is now in our rearview mirrors and for many single people out there, that’s a good thing. They like to call it Singles Awareness Day because they don’t have anybody to share their special day with. I used to be just as angry and bitter about it as anyone else who hated this holiday. And then when this year’s Valentine’s Day came and went, I realized something important for coping with future February 14th holidays.

How is this day different from any other? It doesn’t have the magic and joy of Christmas. It doesn’t have the dark fantasy charisma of Halloween. It doesn’t have the food devouring of Thanksgiving. It’s just a normal day of the year. Yes, it’s love themed and there are a lot of chocolates and candy available. But if it’s sweet treats you want, get a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at your local convenience store. If you want a stuffed teddy bear, buy one on Amazon any other day of the year. If you’re in a relationship and you have to wait until February 14th to get some true romance in, there’s something wrong with your chemistry. To my way of thinking, celebrating romance one day a year is like celebrating any other mundane activity whether it’s doing laundry, washing dishes, or going to work.

Would you like to take any guesses as to how I spent my Valentine’s Day? I can tell you that it wasn’t anything like last year where I ate my sorrows away with a large Pizza Hut pizza. Sure, my “heavy metal of the day” on Face Book was “This Love” by Pantera, but that’s not the point. I spent February 14th doing laundry, not only my own, but also my parents’. My parents are Baby Boomers who can’t climb the steps as fast as they used to, so they rely on me to ferry clothes up to the garage to wash and dry them. Not only do we now have fresh laundry, but my mom has gained a lot of appreciation for having me around the house (not that she didn’t already have it to begin with). In between doing loads of my parents’ laundry, I watched WWE Smackdown and ate take-out sushi that my brother James brought home.

I find as I get older that I appreciate low-key events more often. I like low-key holidays, low-key vacations, and low-key concerts. Yes, most of the concerts I go to are heavy metal and hard rock, but instead of getting fucked up in the mosh pit, I take a seat in the bleachers. Sitting down between bands is easy on my legs, which is why I can no longer attend shows at the Showbox venues in Seattle or Studio 7 in the same city: they don’t have chairs. I even asked if I could bring my own beanbag chair to the Showbox and though the nice lady agreed I should be able to do that, they can’t accommodate me in that department. At 31-years-old and tipping the scale in the 300 district, I have to start thinking low-key, which includes being in a neutral mood on Valentine’s Day.

It’s funny, because I posted a synopsis in my folder at the WSS about a short story dealing with Valentine’s Day in a negative light. The story would have been called “I Don’t Believe In Love” and would be about a theater student doing a passionate monologue on how exclusive the holiday is. Instead of writing that short story, I wrote a chapter of Demon Axe where Daniel Mercer a.k.a. The Lord of the Pit was tortured with his own genre of music. Great stuff, huh? It’s like something out of A Clockwork Orange. Or it could be like Tales From the Hood with fully-clothed characters.

The only Valentine’s Day thing I really did was buy a gift for my beta reader Marie Krepps. I brag about her every chance I get, so it’s only natural that I get her something nice from her Amazon wish list. In a way, she could be my valentine despite the fact that she’s already married with four lovely daughters. Then again, valentines don’t have to necessarily be love interests. One year I had my black cat Pete as my valentine. Pete has since passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. But goddamn, he was a sweet little valentine!

Depending on whom you are or what your circumstances entail, Valentine’s Day can either be the happiest day of your life or the most miserable. If you like this holiday, more power to you and I wish you infinite happiness. If you hate this holiday with a passion, you don’t have to. If you’re really that starved for romantic affection, masturbate to some sexy You Tube videos. That’s what I did one year and those endorphins came rushing in like…well, you see where I’m going with this. But if masturbating isn’t your thing, then find some way to occupy your time. As long as your mind and spirit are busy with something to do, Valentine’s Day will be just as neutral to you as it is to me.

We’ve got ears, say cheers!


I’m getting closer and closer to the end of this first draft novel and I couldn’t be more excited! Chapter fifteen will start off with Daniel being released from his straps and knocking down the door to his room by bellowing into his microphone. Seems like a nice way to begin a chapter as far as I’m concerned, especially considering how Daniel Mercer has been easily-triggered throughout the whole story. He realizes how much responsibility he has on his shoulders and will now take this quest against Roger seriously. Or to put it in his oh-so-lovely terms, “Let’s fuck shit up!”


I have to be honest with you guys for a minute. I haven’t been writing as many Poison Tongue Tales 2 short stories lately, which means my character roster for the Dark Fantasy Warriors series is rapidly depleting. The next one on the chopping block will be Marco Said from “Staple Gun Gangster”, but after that, here are all the characters I have left:

  1. Bear Man, Human Bassist (Demon Axe)
  2. Dijas Kai, Lion Samurai (Screw the Zoo)
  3. Scott Percival, Cyborg Soldier (Shield Me)
  4. Seven, Undead Prophet (The Theomancer)
  5. Sonia Marquez, Human Mixed-Martial Artist (Demon Axe)

Your eyes do not deceive you. After Marco Said, there will only be five Dark Fantasy Warriors left, which will be just enough to complete my 100 Characters Meme by the time they’re finished. In this case, the meme will be used for drawings that I’ve done in color, which dates back to early 2016 (the year of death). I know doing Deviant Art memes isn’t the most exciting thing one can do with his or her time, but to my way of thinking, this will be my way of celebrating a milestone.


About a week ago, Marie Krepps asked me to beta read four short stories of hers which will ultimately be part of a published collection called Cyborgs and Sorcery. I’ve gotten through her two longest stories and she seemed happy with my snarky critiques. The next two stories are only three or four pages long, give or take, so on the day of my choosing I can blow through both of them and write a passing grade review for the collection the same day.


Q: What did Avril Lavigne say to Bullwinkle?

A: Hey, hey! You, you! I don’t like your squirrel friend!

Demon Axe, Chapter 14

In traumatic situations, doctors were supposed to provide delicate care so as not to trigger raw emotions. But when Daniel Mercer thrashed around in his hospital bed punching and kicking anything that moved, he had to be held down by the toughest of the tough. Three different nurses held his left arm. Two doctors held his right arm. One of the bigger nurses laid across his shins.

The Lord of the Pit roared and screamed his head off with his most demonic voice, but the medical staff’s pressure on his limbs increased even more. He got so cantankerous that they had to strap him in bed with leather buckles. Even in bondage his head bounced off the pillow as he howled like a wounded animal.

All it took was one jab in the arm and a press of the plunger. Daniel felt coldness running through his veins to sooth his burning anger. The volume of his possessed screams got lower as his breathing intensified. His eyelids became heavier than dumbbells. His clenched jaw relaxed to where his tongue was hanging out like a dog. While he wasn’t completely knocked out, he was drowsy enough that the doctors and nurses could wipe the sweat off their foreheads and breathe sighs of relief.

“I’ll take it from here, guys. Thank you very much,” said a familiar male voice. The medical staff huffed and heaved their way out of the semi-private room after such an exhausting struggle. Even with blurry vision and a relaxed mind, Daniel could make out the cue ball head of Detective Shawn Henry, the man who brought him to this hospital in the first place.

As the delirious snoozer tried to form words, Detective Henry placed a gentle hand on his shoulder to signify that he’ll be the one who does the talking. “You’re in a safe place now, Daniel. You were a pain in the ass to get here, but that just goes to show how much of a fighter you really are. I can only imagine what kind of pain you were in when Roger Zee tortured you. It’s one thing to use musical torture on somebody else. But to a man who built his entire life around that genre of music…it’s unacceptable. It’s like A Clockwork Orange for the good guys.”

Daniel once again tried to form a coherent sentence, but he ended up sounding like a drunken stroke victim. He seemed to get Shawn’s message with little nods here and there.

The detective placed a hand on Daniel’s knee and said, “You may not realize it right now, but we need you now more than ever. Roger Zee has the entire police force under his control. I should have never let him get to those computers. Even so, there’s still a chance we can put him away once and for all. I have a pretty good idea of where he’s taking his newfound forces.”

“…Lay-len…Lay-len!” said Daniel with a swollen tongue.

“Yes, Daniel, you’ve mentioned this Raven girl to me before. Is she your girlfriend?” asked Shawn, to which the Lord of the Pit flashed a retarded grin. The detective flashed a small grin himself and said, “Whoever she is, we’ll find her before Roger can hurt her. I know it seems like we’re wasting time in this hospital, but trust me, you’re in no condition to be chasing bad guys right now. You might be better in the morning, depending on just how long you spent at that black site. Either way, you’re the only one who can stop this madman. With that microphone of yours, you might even be able to talk some sense into my colleagues.”

Daniel shook his head and allowed his tongue to dangle from side to side like a pendulum of spittle. His attempts at “Uh-uh” grew stronger the more he realized what he was being asked to do.

“I know you don’t think much of your music right now. I know you think that you can’t do this without your band mates. But like it or not, you’re a huge part of this puzzle. While you’re not even close to being the one to blame for Roger’s violence, he’s taking a huge interest in your vocation, not to mention everything your music stands for.”

Shawn leaned in closer with this next sentence. “You are the creative force behind every music group you’ve been a part of. Even with traumatic nightmares, you’re one of the most imaginative people I’ve ever known. That scares Roger. He doesn’t like creativity. He shuns individuality. He wants this world to be just as boring and dull as him. You can’t let that happen. You’ve got to put a line through that.”

Daniel made a whiny groan in his throat while slamming his head on the pillow in disbelief. Shawn patted his knee and said, “I know we’re asking a lot of you. But this is a responsibility you were custom built for, my friend. Don’t think of these civilians as mere strangers. Think of them as audience members. They’re gathering around you so that you can put on a show for them. Not just any show, but one that will fill them with positive memories. Memories that will make them want to come back for more. Even with your most violent lyrics, you inspire an entire generation of listeners to face the hardest parts of life.”

The Lord of the Pit had a flat tire hiss and shook his head. Breathing a sigh of relief, Shawn knew he had to pull out the big guns to get this reluctant hero’s attention. He reached in his pocket and pulled out something that made Daniel’s eyes light up like Las Vegas.

“You see this, Mr. Mercer? This right here is the very first Demon Axe album. I bought it after the two of us met for the very first time. I admit, it was a god-awful interview at your house, but if it wasn’t for that, I would have never known about your music. I have to say, this is a pretty goddamn good album. I don’t claim to be the biggest metal head on planet earth, but even I think this is pretty fucking good. You and your band mates put a lot of hard work into every song on this CD. Your band mates gave you their lives, now it’s time to finish the job.”

Tears rolled down Daniel’s cheeks as he made little whimpering noises through his nose. Shawn grabbed a paper towel from the counter and wiped them away ever so delicately. He said, “I can tell you’re still not convinced. You somehow have it in you that you let everyone down by allowing yourself to be tortured. You didn’t let anyone down, Daniel. Some things in life are beyond our control. But this road that lies ahead of you, this road to recovery, it begins and ends with putting Roger Zee in his grave. To help you along the way, I brought another surprise for you.”

Shawn motioned toward the doorway and two nurses wheeled a gigantic radio into the room. The detective pulled out yet another CD, though Daniel’s eyes widened when he couldn’t tell what the album was. The Lord of the Pit made loud whining noises in anticipation of more torture. He thrashed around in his straps, but no amount of white hot rage could set him free.

The gentle piano music, on the other hand, could, at least psychologically. The pianist’s fingers danced lightly and gracefully across the keys, especially near the lower octaves to provide the sweetest lullaby to a pain-wracked Daniel. The whining and whimpering was reduced to silent drooling and a spaced-out look in his eyes. With his hands at his lap, he performed the one technique that got him through the death of his Demon Axe brethren. He tapped his left leg, then his right, then his left, then his right, almost in perfect harmony with the tranquilizing piano music.


Shawn smiled at Daniel and said, “Raven was the one who taught you that technique. That’s called EMDR. I’d definitely say she’s a keeper, my friend. If you don’t do this for anybody else, do this for her. She’s depending on you.”

Daniel formed another stupid-looking grin on his face while his eyes danced in different directions. Shawn covered his own face as he noticed a sizable lump growing in Daniel’s shorts. The detective jokingly said, “Too much information, buddy! Too much information!”

The Lord of the Pit chuckled in his moment of quasi-embarrassment and kept tapping his thighs until his eyelids closed for the final time of the night. Daniel’s face fell to the side of his pillow and he ended his evening with a combination of frothing drool and lawnmower snores.

Shawn smiled again and shook his head. Meanwhile, one of the nurses produced Daniel’s magical microphone and asked, “Where do you want me to leave this?”

The detective took it and said, “I’ve got a nice place for it when he’s ready to wake up.” Confident that the singer was lost in dreamland, Shawn placed the microphone handle in Daniel’s hand and closed his fingers around it. The cop was careful not to allow the mouthpiece near his drooling sewer hole, but it was right there when he needed it. Even in his subconscious’s theater, Daniel Mercer had a decision to make: run away and never turn back or fight like the warrior he was always meant to be.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

That's Not Love

Fondling her tits doesn’t make you a stud
She hates it even more when you grab her butt
This isn’t the classic tale of Romeo & Juliet
This is a traumatic nightmare she won’t forget
Every time you snap an unwanted photograph
Every time you crudely joke and nobody laughs
She’s thinking of spraying you right in the eyes
Even if it takes her more than fifty fucking tries

That’s! Not! Love! X2

Fifty shades of sexualized violence
Fifty shades of embarrassed silence
Fifty shades of suicidal misery
Fifty shades of unsolvable mysteries
Touch her again and you’ll draw back a stump
Arrogant preening doesn’t give you the right to hump
Your washboard abs don’t mean fucking shit
Keep your goddamn hands off her fucking tits

That’s! Not! Love!
That’s! Not! Love!
This! Is! A Crime!
You! Will! Do Time!

Great job, Romeo, you’ve found new romance
That’s why you’re wearing low baggy pants
It’s prison code for, “I want your load”
You’ll be squealing like a pig, croaking like a toad
There is no reward for sexual harassment
There is no future for a sexual assassin
I don’t give a fuck who the president is
Nobody wants your disgusting ass jizz

That’s! Not! Love!
That’s! Not! Love!
This! Is! A Crime!
You! Will! Do Time!
Passionate love is a legitimate emotion
But not when you’ve got a stalker’s devotion
Not when your dick is a lethal weapon
Not when you’re a sex offender level seven


This! Is! Not! Fucking! Love!

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Holding peaceful protesters hostage
Grinding individuality into sausage
Never knowing what will cause it
Bigoted tendencies out of the closet
A zealot in the worst sense of the word
Keeping the masses caged like birds
Clipping their wings so they can’t fly
Slashing their throats, they can’t say bye

I don’t believe in you or your ideas
I don’t believe in your verbal diarrhea
I don’t believe in the life of a zealot
I don’t feel the least bit fucking jealous

Keeping their eyes glued to the TV
Keeping your words far from PG
Keeping your presence hypnotic
Keeping your bombs atomic
When you offend, it’s for the ratings
When you pick fights, it’s race baiting
The midnight slot is too good for you
Shoot the TV with a shotgun boom

I don’t believe in you or your ideas
I don’t believe in your verbal diarrhea
I don’t believe in the life of a zealot
I don’t feel the least bit fucking jealous

The violence, the riots, they’re all your fault
The hoax, the jokes, in the wound goes the salt
The rebels, the devils, they’ve got your balls
The hellions, the zealots, they all must fall

At the end of the day, was it all worth it?
Did you achieve your ultimate purpose?
Did you get everything handed to you?
Did you get revenge on the ones you sued?
All you created was a world of dead shit
Flames and infernos are eternally lit
Did this to yourself with your puppeteer’s help
Let’s pull your string and hear you yell

I don’t believe in you or your ideas
I don’t believe in your verbal diarrhea
I don’t believe in the life of a zealot
I don’t feel the least bit fucking jealous
I don’t believe the blind leading the blind
I don’t believe it is heaven that I’ll find
I don’t believe in the life of an assassin

I don’t believe in politics for ransom

Pushing Characters


If you’re an author and you work in a relatively small space when it comes to your stories, you have to be careful about which characters you push and which ones are just for show. When I say push, I’m not talking about shoving them off a cliff and watching them fall to their deaths, although some characters deserve such a fate. The word “push” is wrestling lingo for heavily advertising a character and building him or her to be stronger. Wrestling companies push their superstars by giving them a series of wins and championship accolades. Authors push their characters by having them overcome difficult obstacles, show emotion when necessary, and generally be the star of the show.

Some authors have the ability to push multiple characters and make them look good while doing it (as opposed to overrated). The reason I mentioned working within a small space earlier is because I’m not one of those authors. There was a time when I had the endurance to write long ass stories, but that time has passed. My short stories and novel chapters are generally anywhere between 1,500 to 2,000 words apiece. Ergo, if I don’t have many characters in these stories, at least ones that I can properly push onto the reader.

I’ve been in situations where I had too many characters and couldn’t adequately describe them all, so I had to murder some of them. Killing off inconvenient characters is a literary sin due to the perceived laziness of not being able to develop that person. Hell, I could be accused of doing this as I’m writing Demon Axe. I’m getting set to write the fourteenth chapter and already eight major characters have died so far: G-Pac, Pig Man, Vulture Man, Bear Man, Tarantula Man, Lady Killer, Johnny Vega, and Sonia Marquez.

Eight fucking characters! While I realize that death and destruction are both central themes to any story about terrorism, I still feel like I could do so much more with these eight dead bodies other than have their spiritual essences torment Daniel during moments of insanity. I’ve even considered deleting Johnny and Sonia from this novel altogether, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

While I acknowledge that most of my readers are in no way wrestling fans (just ask the people who reviewed “Occupy Wrestling”), you had to have seen this analogy coming from miles away: The Divas Revolution. In 2015, WWE did a storyline where three factions of female wrestlers feuded over the Divas Championship and general dominance over the WWE. You had Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch), Team Bella (Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, and Alicia Fox), and Team BAD (Naomi, Tamina, and Sasha Banks).

What’s wrong? You have no idea who these people are? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The whole purpose of the Divas Revolution was to push all nine of these women into stardom. Considering they had limited TV time, what started off as a mass push ended up being a cluster-fuck of forgettable faces and undeveloped characters. It should come as no surprise that for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards that year, the Divas Revolution was considered the Worst Feud of the Year, second place for Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic, and third place for Worst Gimmick. Ouch!

There are several solutions in which I could solve my own Divas Revolution crisis with Demon Axe. I could expand it into more chapters to give my characters more room to develop. I could delete characters who never meant more than traumatic ghosts. I even considered having a chapter before number twelve where the imprisoned characters sit around and talk to each other about their hopes and dreams. Nothing builds a character quite like dialogue and emotion. Then again, why wrack my brain when all I’m trying to do is write a first draft? All great projects start out as fertilizer before they grow into redwoods and oak trees.

If you’re a fellow author or you just love to read books, this question of the day is for you. How would you handle character development if you have lots of characters who need it? Considering my author friends all write longer stories than me, I’m already anticipating what the answer will be. In fact, I can see it coming from miles away. To quote The Who, “I can see for miles and miles and miles!” We’ve got ears, say cheers!


There are two possible routes I could go down when it comes to this chapter. One of them is to follow the original blueprints and have Daniel give a pep talk to the puppet string cops guarding the gateway to the elven world. The other route is to have Daniel spend some time in the hospital, which would make the most sense considering how badly he was tortured in the previous chapter. While the latter would make the most sense, it doesn’t really give a sense of urgency when it comes to stopping Roger Zee from doing what he wanted to do. Decisions, decisions…


Just once I’d like to see a rapper with the stage name Apollo-G.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Demon Axe, Chapter 13

It didn’t matter how many times Daniel Mercer screamed for help, because not even his heavy metal death cry could wake the dead bodies left in the holding cell. As he sat in an even darker room with his hands and legs bound, the brutalized corpses of his friends kept flashing across his face like schizophrenic ghosts. He screamed for them to go away and stop haunting him, but the louder his screams became, the less his tortured brain cared.

No matter how many times he tormented himself with these images, it couldn’t compare to the actual strobe lights dancing and flickering across the room, each of them blindingly bright to where closing his eyes didn’t relieve the soreness. Obnoxiously loud music blared in the background and pierced his eardrums like a poisonous dart. Not even Daniel’s shrieks for help could drown out this familiar heavy metal beat. The same grinding guitars, funky bass, and machinegun drums that he had grown to love were being used to make his ears bleed. The vocalist’s death growls were indecipherable, though something about a “Valentine’s Day Massacre” seemed vaguely familiar.

“Turn it off, Roger! Turn that shit off! I can’t take it anymore!” shouted Daniel. Instead of getting what he demanded, the volume was turned to its absolute maximum and the strobe lights were even faster and even more grating on his eyes. The music could probably be heard from miles away, but Daniel was right here feeling his brain turn to mush, either through physical brain damage or going insane.

His eardrums went numb and his vision made him a candidate for Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder jokes until the end of time. In what Daniel thought was his temporary moment of freedom, the ghosts of his fallen comrades paid him a visit once more. The original members of Demon Axe were the first to show their floating heads and dangling spinal cords.

“You fucked up, Daniel. You fucked up badly, my friend,” said Vulture Man.

“When is enough going to be enough? How many more of us need to die so that you can keep making a living?” said Pig Man.

“We didn’t ask for our heads to be chopped off. We didn’t sign up for war. We wanted to play music. How the hell can I bang the drums with no arms and no legs?!” shouted G-Pac.

Tears rolled down Daniel’s eyes and added to the fiery sting he felt from the quickly blinking lights. He couldn’t even hear himself say, “I’m sorry, guys. I wish I could take it back.”

“Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first!” blared a familiar Arab accent. The image of Tarantula Man with a mangled body and limbs hanging in odd places danced into view. “You promised us paradise. You promised us heavy metal. Well, the only heavy metal I ever got was the blade of a machete! That shit hurts like hell! But it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as knowing my band mates will never see their guitarist again.”

“What about MY band mates, Daniel?” said Bear Man as he crawled into view with the lower half of his body missing and the rest of his body bloodied to a pulp. “Did you think I was going to forget about the boys and girls of Juice? Did you think Tarantula Man was going to forget about I Am Death? Just because you took our names and gave us these disgusting aliases, doesn’t mean we’re your permanent bitches!”

“Lady Killer?! What kind of a goddamn name is Lady Killer?!” The aforementioned drummer of Juice crawled across the floor leaving a pool of blood in her wake. “Face it, Daniel: this is all your fault. Every one of us is dead because of you! What did Roger Zee say about hastening the inevitable? Did it have to start with us?!”

The members of Daniel’s various bands all shouted together in a cacophony of swear words and vitriol that rivaled the heavy metal music playing in his torture cell. The tears became hotter and more plentiful. The rage inside him exploded like a gasoline fire. He could feel his limbs growing stronger and his teeth grinding away. In a voice he could finally hear, Daniel screamed, “Shut up! Shut the fuck up!”

“Why should they, Daniel? Are they saying things that you don’t want to hear? But isn’t that the purpose of heavy metal music: to bring the truth to light?” asked Johnny Vega, who had gushes of blood pouring out of him like a river of violence.

Sonia Marquez, who had no arms or legs, scooted over to Daniel with a wicked glare on her face. She rasped, “If I had my limbs right now, I would suplex your ass until the end of time. And to think, I actually had a crush on you. I would have been a hell of a lot better of a lay than that Raven chick you were running around with! What has she ever done for you anyways?!”

“Don’t you ever talk about her like that again!” Daniel roared, his fiery voice blowing away the spiritual essences of his former friends. He kept breathing fire and poison until all that remained of his traumatic insanity was the loveliest thing he had ever seen: Raven Triscloud in a purple Celtic dress. Daniel’s tears felt chilly on his cheeks as they soothed his burning pain. They were even more freezing when Raven blew him a whirlwind kiss.

“Find me, Daniel. Help me. You’re my only hope. You are our only hope. You must stop Roger Zee before he destroys everything we love,” said Raven in a beautiful high-pitched voice.

“I’m sorry, Raven…I tried so hard…I tried…” sobbed Daniel.

“It’s not over yet, Daniel. Not by a long shot. Find me, my love…find me…find me…” said Raven in a voice that got progressively softer until her spiritual essence was blown away by a tornado of obnoxious sound.

Daniel screamed for her to come back, but she never did. All that remained was a bright white light and the shadowy visage of a familiar middle-aged man. The raging heavy metal music was gone, the strobe lights were dim, but Daniel was so far down the rabbit hole that all he did was shake, grunt, sob, and bleed. He could barely hear the shadow figure call his name. There was no way this could be Raven or any of his friends. This man had a bald head. And pointy ears. And green skin.

Daniel, with now free hands, wrapped his fingers around the shadow man’s throat until he could feel the wind being sucked out of him. The grip became tighter than a hangman’s noose and more violent than barbed wire. Finally, the shadow man said, “Daniel, stop it! It’s me, Detective Shawn Henry! I’m here to help!”

The Lord of the Pit’s grip weakened until his arms were limper than spaghetti. That was all of the fight he could put up after being tortured for so long. His body felt like it had been crushed in a trash compactor. His skin felt raw and shredded like meat. His crotch felt wet and smelled like rancid fruit. His mouth, ears, nose, and eyes felt like he was drowning in a lake of blood and lava.

Despite the cataclysm of agony he was in, Daniel could comprehend what Shawn was saying as the detective held out a familiar shape. “I got your microphone out of the evidence locker and came here as fast as I could. Mr. Mercer, this isn’t a police station. This is a black site. We had it shut down for obvious reasons, but it seems Roger has brought it back to life.”

With a mouthful of biological sludge, Daniel struggled to say, “Where is she? Where’s Raven? I need her…”

“Don’t worry, Daniel, we’ll find her, whoever she is. But right now, the world needs you, buddy. I’m sorry for arresting you and bringing you to this awful place. My family’s lives were on the line. But given Roger Zee’s reckless ways, I doubt they’re even alive right now. Terrorists don’t keep their end of the bargain, which is why we’re not supposed to negotiate with them. I’d rather my wife and daughter be in a better place than spend another minute with that…that…” Tears formed in Shawn’s eyes as he wiped them away with his calloused fingertips.

Daniel spit out the venom brewing in his mouth and said, “The word you’re looking for is asshole, Detective! Roger Zee is an asshole! And if he lays one fucking finger on Raven, I’m going to kill him!” The burst of anger caused him to cough up more bile and blood.

“You have your microphone now, Daniel. You can do this! We can do this!” cheered Shawn.

The Lord of the Pit breathed heavily for a while and said, “Fuck heavy metal. Fuck it! I don’t need it anymore. I can’t listen to it now. If we’re going to kill this motherfucker…well, fuck, where are your goddamn tanks and drones and shit?!”

“Daniel, I know you’ve been through a lot, but if you give up on your music now, then…”

“Then what? I’ll actually have some peace for the first time in my life?”

Shawn’s expression became solemn as he grabbed Daniel by his back and legs and carried him baby style out of the black site. The Lord of the Pit, whose magical microphone sat in his lap, glared at the instrument of destruction with poisonous disdain and said, “I hate you, you stupid microphone. I fucking hate you!”

Friday, February 3, 2017

You Tube Videos


Whenever I’m in a creative funk or I just need to wind down, I’m usually surfing You Tube. My favorite channels are Wrestling with Wregret, What Culture, Wrestle Talk TV, College Humor, Buzz Feed, and Cracked. I also like watching random videos of You Tubers playing hacked versions of videogames, whether it’s a custom-made Mario game or an Open Beats of Rage version of Double Dragon or Final Fight. While I agree that binge watching You Tube videos is not the most productive thing I could be doing with my free time, the alternative would be channel surfing on my TV. I don’t have a gaming console of my own, so videogames are out of the question (unless I decided to use an emulator to play OpenBOR games or Nintendo and Super Nintendo games).

In all this time of watching You Tube videos, it made me wonder why I wasn’t making any of my own. I currently have one You Tube video in my uploads section and it’s twelve minutes of Smokey rolling around in catnip while I make a whole bunch of drug jokes. Surely there’s something better I could be doing with my digital camera. But the question is, what would that be? Could I use You Tube videos as another avenue of promotion for my books? Could I give my opinions on various subject matters? Could I shoot another twelve minute video of Smokey rolling around in catnip?

Even if I knew what to do with a You Tube account, I don’t have the fondest memories of the comments section on the videos I used to have uploaded back in the late 2000’s. My videos could be anything from drawing or photography features to songs that weren’t originally available for free play. Aside from my songs being taken down by WMG (Warner Music Group or Website Murdering Group, whichever one you prefer), I didn’t have the easiest time fending off trolls who wanted to criticize everything I did. I admit that I’ve gotten sensitive over the years with schizophrenia and autism weakening my mental defenses, but even so, not everyone can have the troll slaying skills of JK Rowling (if you haven’t seen her respond to Trump supporters, look it up on Buzz Feed; it’s fucking awesome).

The question now becomes, is it all worth it? Should I put myself out there to the You Tube public as a way of advertising my self-published books? I suppose I could do that, but all in all, it’s just another avenue of communication, no different from Deviant Art, Good Reads, Face Book, or Twitter. What’s the point of having another channel if my audience is going to be just as limited as it was before? That’s why I don’t submit stories to Inkitt.com anymore, because it was just another channel with nobody taking interest.

Another thing I would have to consider is being able to calm my nerves while making the videos so that I don’t stammer over my words or need multiple takes. I don’t know what it is about being in front of the camera that makes me nervous. I used to take acting classes in middle school, high school, and college, so I’m used to performing in front of a crowd. The only reason I was successful in those ventures was because I had a script to follow and I got lots of practice. You Tube videos and interviews are supposed to be spontaneous and free. If it sounds like I’m reading from a script, then my audience will know. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t like public speaking: because you’re not afforded the privilege of reading from or studying a script.

Given all of the cons I’ve listed for making You Tube videos, it makes me wonder why I’m even considering doing this. It’s because I see so many of my friends making them with a lot of confidence and it’s inspiring to me. I recently watched a video of former What Culture contributor Suzie Kennedy talking about what an awesome 2016 she had and she was the dictionary definitions of confidence and strength. I’ve also seen my beta reader Marie Krepps do a video promoting her Some By Day, Some By Night vampire series. She was very laid back and dare I say she has the cutest southern accent in the world. Aww!

The reason I can’t exude confidence like my friends can is because I don’t like the sound of my own voice or the way I look on camera. I don’t take selfies very often because every picture makes me look heavier than I really am and I don’t like to fake smiles even for photographs. I don’t record myself either because I sound like I’m whining nasally whenever I play it back. The more I talk about my onscreen presence, the happier I am that I chose to be an author. Introversion and privacy are valued in my line of work, so there’s nothing to be scared of.

If I ever do decide to make You Tube videos, it’s something I’m going to have to think long and hard about. I might even need to be convinced by someone else. You Tube seems to be the hottest way to get a public image out there, so that’s something else to consider. Then again, do I really have to read the comments section if I don’t want to? Is it possible to post videos and stay in the shadows at the same time? That would be fucking awesome if I could. If I ever did have fan mail to read or questions to answer, I’d have to screen each message first. Yes, I know I sound like a snowflake, but that’s not by choice; it’s called psychology, people.

The question of the day is, would you like to see me make You Tube videos on a regular basis and if so, what would you want me to talk about? We’ve got ears, say cheers!


Lord McCain is ready to rock and roll, which means it’s time for a heroic character to be on the chopping block. That heroic character is Tony Castle, the psychomancer from…well…”The Psychomancer”. He doesn’t solve Ashley Cormier’s problems for her; he just gives her the means and courage to solve them herself. I’ve tried to teach this lesson in a short story called “Deus Ex Machina” and it seems to have worked so far.


After a month of busying myself with other creative activities (as well as zombie walking), I finally posted the twelfth chapter of Demon Axe, where Roger Zee does what he does best and slashes the shit out of Daniel Mercer’s closest friends. Chapter thirteen won’t be any prettier as Roger takes Daniel to a dark room and tortures him with his own heavy metal music. The elf plays it at an annoyingly loud volume with flashing strobe lights for an extended period of time, hoping to make Daniel hate his own genre of music as a result of this torture. Guantanamo Bay prison guards used this torture method all the time with bands like Metallica, Demon Hunter, and Drowning Pool. Chapter thirteen will give you a terrifying glimpse into what it’s like to feel that kind of horrendous pain.


I still have two Lego sets that need to be built and photographed in some creative way. I have a Batman set that I got for Christmas and a WWE ring that I got for my 31st birthday. Maybe when I’m sitting around in the dark with nothing to do, I’ll get cracking on building those sets. Legos are a perfect alternative to channel surfing and You Tube browsing.


Marie Krepps has been working hard on critiquing my Poison Tongue Tales stories, so it’s only right that I keep my end of the bargain and actually make the changes she’s suggesting. Since I like to edit things three at a time, the next stories you’ll see updated in my Deviant Art gallery are “Bee Jay the Glutinous”, “Born to Die”, and “Cigaro”. I’ve got a lot of work to do to get them ready for publication, but I’ve never been afraid of hard work before, so it shouldn’t be an issue.


Now that “Once Upon a Pastry”, “Titan Screwed”, and “Child of the Night Guild” are all in my rearview mirror, my next reading adventure will be done as a favor for Marie Krepps. She has a friend named KL Cottrell who is in need of some thoughtful reviews, but is shy about public life. I’m always happy to help out a friend in need. Miss Cottrell wrote a trifecta of paranormal fantasy books in the Light series and the first one is called “What Hides in the Darkness”. I hope it’s a good one! I know it will be, but I’m hoping anyways.


“I get by in a world with no conscience by shouting it out and being anonymous. And the problem is, you’re just like me.”

-Three Days Grace singing “Anonymous”-

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Everything You Touch

Everything you touch turns to piss
Your ignorance is far from bliss
Your hate language is a goodbye kiss
Why should we put up with any of this?

A frog in one hand, your dick in the other
Pissing all over your human race brothers
You’d sell out your own goddamn mother
To see your face on a memoir book cover
You’d sell your soul for a million dollars
You traded your mind for a tight dog collar
You bought into a world built solely on lies
Now you think you’re Jesus Christ in disguise

Everything you touch turns to shit
Every slap in the face is a knockout hit
Every kiss to your loved ones turned to spit
Calling you out will send you into a fit

Go ahead and try to cut through the human chain
You’re the architect and author of your own pain
Every protest sign you’ve written to yourself
You’re the engineer and CEO of your own hell
For someone who preaches such insensitivity
You sure feel agony until the end of infinity
You say one thing then you do something different
You’re the warden and guard of your own prison

Everything you touch turns to vomit
You laugh it off like a standup comic
The only joke I see is your political career
We’re shutting down your campaign of smears

Enjoy your life as a D+ player
Enjoy your career as a spiteful hater
Enjoy your dreams never coming true
This has never been your red, white, and blue
If you’re so dangerous, put up your dukes
If you’re so inspiring, don’t make us puke
If you’re so noble, put up or shut up
Until then, you’re a troll who’s fucked up


Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Demon Axe, Chapter 12

For Daniel Mercer and his rock and roll crew, time moved slowly and painfully in the confines of their dark holding cell. Pain and disgust were etched on their faces as they ate spoiled bologna sandwiches compliments of the state. Tarantula Man held his sandwich meat and stared at it like it actually was a poisonous arachnid in his hand. His Islamic diet would never allow him to eat such rancid garbage, so he flushed his food down the toilet in the center of the cell and sat back down on the graffiti-covered bench.

The cell had been deathly silent for what seemed like hours (even though only one hour had passed). Every member of Demon Death Juice along with the two pro-wrestlers sat with a miserable and pathetic hunched over posture. As Bear Man tried to stomach the abomination he was feasting on, he piped up, “I know we’re prisoners who’ve been stripped of our freedom, but do we at least have the right to some mustard?!”

For Daniel, it wouldn’t have mattered if his sandwich was covered in an entire bottle of condiments. He took a bite out of the center and gagged so badly that he doubled over. He spit out what appeared to be a dead mouse, complete with teeth marks and sloppy guts.

“Oh god, dear god…” Daniel kept repeating to himself as he held his stomach and rushed over to the toilet. He vomited so hard that it sounded like he was laying down vocals for the first Demon Death Juice album. Another stream of masticated mush came up. And another. And another. Everybody sharing his cell looked on with horror before throwing their sandwiches on the floor in rebellion.

The Lord of the Pit wiped his mouth on his bare arm before slowly standing up and approaching the bars with a predator’s pace. He grabbed hold of them and yelled out to whoever would listen, “Whoever’s keeping us here has a shit load of explaining to do! You arrested us for no fucking reason and feed us these god awful sandwiches like we’re a bunch of goddamn dogs! We’ve been sitting on our asses for who knows how long, so whoever’s out there, you’d better get your ass over here and tell me what the hell’s going on!”

Daniel’s sentiments were echoed by his rock and roll troupe, all five of them sitting up and roaring like animals. They sat back down again at the shrill sound of metal banging on metal. Even the high and mighty Lord of the Pit backed away to the center of the room. The clanging and banging turned into something sharp being scraped across the bars. The prisoners winced and held their ears at the awful shriek.

The sharp metal object stopped at the entrance to the holding cell, where an oil lantern was lit and revealed a green-skinned man holding a machete and wearing a black monk’s robe, complete with a hood shrouding his face. The prisoner’s nerves were jittery and wild as Daniel said, “No way. You can’t be!” The robed figure flipped his hood back and revealed the sinister mug of Roger Zee, elven terrorist. His sharp-toothed grin sent chills up everyone’s spines. Even Daniel was struggling to say, “I’ll be damned” behind his quivering lips.

“Don’t act like you’ve never seen one of my kind before, Mr. Mercer,” said Roger in his grating voice. “I bet you’re wondering what the hell I’ve been doing this past month. I sure as hell wasn’t taking a nap. I also didn’t spend my time behind a computer raving like a teenaged lunatic. On the contrary, I’ve spent my last month of inactivity…getting to know some people around here.”

Daniel crossed his arms and said, “Let me guess: you’re the one who’s got Detective Henry’s balls in your pocket.”

“Not just his balls, my friend,” said Roger with a wag of his long-nailed finger. “The whole department. I’ve got more balls in my pocket than a game of billiards. Everybody in this god forsaken precinct has something to protect, something to hide, something to lose. I had no idea your city cops had so much to cover up. Racial profiling, racketeering, extortion, political embezzlement, this shit goes on forever. But then again, they can’t all be criminals who are willing to give me their puppet strings over some blackmail, right? Well, not all of them. But enough. Most of them are just hardworking family men who don’t want to see their precious demon seeds get hurt. I’ve got enough connections to take over this entire city if I wanted to.”

“All this just to bring things back to the good old days, huh?” said Daniel with a condescending smirk. “Well, the good old days weren’t all that good! In your so called golden age, bigotry was considered normal, death was the status quo, and beating your wife was an act of discipline. You want to bring that shit back to life? Not on my watch, motherfucker!”

Roger bent backwards and chuckled before saying, “And how is that any different than today’s world? Huh? Bigotry is still normal, death is even more normal, and beating your wife is still a shit load of fun! I’m not really changing much with my so called acts of terrorism. All I’m doing is speeding up the inevitable. Surely, your friend Tarantula Man knows something about this.”

Without his stage mask, Tarantula Man’s white hot angry expression could be seen from the moon. He approached the bars with breakneck speed and barked, “Don’t you ever talk about my religion that way! I am nothing like what you hear in your little bubble! I’m going to raise my kids to be respectful even when scumbags like you are hastening the inevitable as you say!”

Roger held his lantern and machete-holding hands up in defense and sarcastically apologized with, “Whoa, whoa, easy there, big man! I believe you when you say you’re going to raise your children right! Okay?” The elf leaned so close to Tarantula Man’s face that they were touching noses. “After all, if they don’t act proper, you can always strap a suicide vest on them.”

The Muslim rocker took a swing through the bars and got his arm chopped off at the elbow for his efforts. He howled in miserable bloody pain as he stumbled backwards on his ass with Bear Man and Lady Killer tending to his wound.

“Anybody else want to try that shit with me?! Anybody?!” Roger proudly challenged.

Johnny Vega and Sonia Marquez, the two beefy wrestlers slowly stood up and took their places next to Daniel, who also had his muscles bulging and pulsating like blood bombs ready to blow. Sonia stared a fireball through Roger as she said, “If you still think beating women is a shit load of fun, let’s see you try that on me, bitch!”

“You don’t have your stupid little crowns anymore, amigo,” said Johnny while punching the bars. “Besides, it’s hard for someone like you to wear a crown with your brains leaking all over the fucking floor!”

“You fucked with my friends one too many times,” said Daniel, who was trembling with rage and ready to snap someone’s head off. “Up until now, I’ve been backing away from you anytime I had an opening. You chopped off my new friend’s arm. He’s never going to play guitar again because of you. And you, you’re never going to eat solid food again because your fucking teeth are going down your goddamn throat!”

Roger Zee laughed like a banshee and blew out the oil lantern, covering the holding cell in shadows once again. Daniel and his wrestler friends didn’t need the light to know where the elf was. They could smell his dick-licking breath from a mile away. The door opened so slowly that the hinges could be heard creaking and grinding.

Johnny, Sonia, and Daniel came out of the gates swinging like wild brawlers. They were certain their savage punches hit their marks, because they could feel the slimy flesh between their knuckles and fingers. Daniel even pierced his knuckle on one of Roger’s sharp fangs, causing a liberal amount of blood to flow from his hand. He didn’t give two shits and a flying fuck.

His veins were ready to blow like dynamite and he wouldn’t stop punching until he heard Roger let out a pathetic squeal of pain. “Ouch…ouch…no more…please…” Each cry for help was getting more sarcastic and it all crescendoed with evil hyena laughter that had everyone in the cell on edge. “My turn!” Roger shouted before the sounds of skin, organs, and bones being slashed pierced Daniel’s ears, causing the traumatized rocker to shriek a prolonged, “No!” and huddle to the ground in tears.

The oil lantern was alight once more and Roger waved the device around the cell to show Daniel that he was right to be traumatized and frightened. Pieces of his band mates and friends were scattered all over the cell with blood drenching the floor. Their faces were hardly recognizable with smashed skulls and popped out eyeballs. Daniel’s tears flooded down his face as he saw that his last circle of friends had left his earth forever.

He truly was all alone in this world. Every time he brought the metal scene back to life, it was taken away from him again. Every time he tried to have a positive thought, it was slashed to pieces. Every time he tried to live his life again, his happiness was ripped away from him like a teddy bear in a crying child’s arms.

Roger set the lantern down and petted Daniel’s hair in mock comfort while silently shushing him and whispering “sweet sounds” to him. “There, there, my little child. All is not lost. You can call me your friend anytime you want. You know what friends do when one of them is feeling down? We have some fun together. Good…old fashioned…medieval…fun!”

The lantern was blown out yet again and Daniel felt himself being dragged by his follicles across the bloody floor. He wished he had drowned in his own tears and in his fallen friends’ blood, for it would have been a friendlier ending to his story than whatever was about to happen to him next. “Just kill me already!” he pleaded. “Kill me, damn it!”