Short Story – Lunch with Clara

200px-Lurker_AboveAfter last week’s story, which was super dark, I decided I wanted to write something funny this week.  I also noticed that I’ve been writing a lot of science fiction and horror but not a lot of fantasy.

So I started with thinking about some of the creatures from my old Monster Manual and things grew from there.  I’m not entirely sure at what point I decided to turn my characters into teenagers but when I made that decision, it changed the entire direction of the story.

This one is a lot more dialogue driven.  Go figure – I’m a playwright.

And I can’t tell you how much it amuses me that this story features a ghoul named “Eugene.”  The name Eugene always makes me laugh.  I’m sorry to anyone named Eugene.  I can’t help it.

As always, I really enjoy feedback on these stories and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read them.

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What’s Next?

Josiah_BartletI loved “The West Wing” and in that I was not alone.  I think many of us – conservative and liberal alike – would prefer to vote for Jed Bartlet.  We want that idealized version of a President to be a real person.  He wasn’t a perfect person but he was thoughtful and compassionate and oh so damned smart.

When he had made up his mind on something, he’d simply ask “what’s next?”  It was a good question because you are never done.  There is always a next step.

I would identify myself as a Socialist so of course I was a supporter of Bernie Sanders.  He was speaking my language and even if he didn’t get the nomination, I wanted the Democratic Party to know that I’m kind of tired of their rush towards the middle.  I know a lot of other people who were excited about Bernie and who, for whatever reasons, hated Hillary.

They still hate Hillary.  And now some of them seem to want to hate Bernie too.  They feel betrayed because he is endorsing her and will be campaigning for her.

I’m not going to lecture anyone about voting third party.  If you honestly think Jill Stein would make a good President (I don’t), vote for her.  If you supported Bernie and are switching to Trump or Johnson, I don’t totally get it because he’s a Socialist and they are not.  But it isn’t my vote.  It’s yours.  Use it however you feel is most appropriate.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/21

Leslie Jones Gets Trolled off Twitter

If you haven’t seen the new Ghostbusters, stop reading my column and go.  It isn’t the greatest movie ever but it is very good and it should make a pile of money just because of shit like this.

Trolls, spurred on by the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos (I might have misspelled his name but I don’t give a fuck), bullied Leslie Jones right off of Twitter.  In response, Twitter banned Yannipopcorn for violating their terms of service.  He claims this is the end of Twitter.  He claims it is a violation of free speech.

Maybe Twitter just flew into the side of US Bank Stadium.

Maybe Twitter just flew into the side of US Bank Stadium.

Well look, Yolopenguin, you keep going on about free speech when you really mean consequence free speech.

 

The rest of us are going to see Ghostbusters again and again for two very important reasons.

One, Leslie Jones (and the rest of the cast) is awesome.

And two: Fuck you. Read More…

Short Story – Before the Darkness

lightning-over-water_270_600x450This story requires a longer than usual preamble.  

First, I’m going to offer a trigger warning because this story deals with rape (not graphic), imprisonment, and torture.

In my stories, I’ve shied away from the idea of women as victims because there is just so much fiction out there about the victimization of women.  Part of this is because of the fact women are so frequently victims of violent crime in our society.  But part of it is simply, I think, a failure of imagination.

There are so many more facets to women than how often they are victimized in our society.  It seems unfair to focus on that one thing. 

This story grew from asking myself what had happened to the monster before Frankensteien revived it. From there moved to a place that was very dark and explored the idea of a woman as a victim.  I don’t know if I did it well but I do know that it felt right for the story.

But it is a story about women as victims.  If that isn’t something you want to read, I totally understand.

Thanks, as always, to those of you who read my stories.
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Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/15

Rudy Giuliani Says Black Lives Matter is Racist

In a classic white guy move, Rudy Guiliani makes the Black Lives Matter movement all about him.  He doesn’t seem to understand that the statement “black lives matter” is not the same as “white lives don’t matter” or “black lives matter more.”

Instead, he focuses on black people trying to find a voice and calls it racist.  He tells the BLM protestors that they are doing it wrong because they aren’t protesting every murder in Chicago.

Chicago is a big thing with the right.  They bring it up all the time.  Why isn’t BLM protesting every death in Chicago?

Like old black men who die of a heart attack because they drank too much coffee? Why isn't Black Lives Matter trying to shut down Starbucks? What a bunch of racist fucks!

Like old black men who die of a heart attack because they drank too much coffee? Why isn’t Black Lives Matter trying to shut down Starbucks? What a bunch of racist fucks!

Hey, good question, Rudy!  While you’re at it, why don’t you ask why people who are against the Death penalty don’t protest every death in America?

And hey Rudy, you’re pro-life, right?  So after you go to those pro-life rallies, do you ever go to a rally protesting parents who beat their children to death?  If I used that argument on you, would you call me racist?

Black Lives Matter is focused on a specific part of the black experience in America.  It is not the only part.

But – and this is the crazy thing you don’t get Rudy – they are all related.  You can protest one particular part of the problem (police brutality that disproportionately targets black men) and have an impact on all of it.

However, when you tell the BLM movement that they are doing it wrong, all you are doing is proving their point.  They are saying white America needs to stop thinking about race from our point of view and spend a little time trying to understand it from their point of view.

And then we say “but you don’t understand my point of view.”

And we wonder why they block traffic so we’ll listen.

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Short Story – Icarus Air

for web Aero News Dreamliner-Solar-April-1-OnlyThis week, I started with the thought I was going to write a modern story about the mythological character of Icarus.  And I sort of did.  At least I did in the sense that the main character of the piece is named Icarus.

I kind of veered off course from there.  Things got kind of post apocalyptic and a tiny bit steampunk-y.

As with all of my stories, I hope you read, comment, and share.  This is an important exercise for me and it really helps to have people read and react.  Thanks!

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 7/8

I took another week off for CONvergence and oh my did this week get full of all the things.  I kept a few old articles but let’s start by taking a look at what happened this week.

Philando Castile was Murdered by Police

I know there are people who claim we should wait to judge until all the facts come out.  It is interesting to me that every person who has said this to me is white.

I’m not suggesting these people are racist.  I’m suggesting that these people need to listen to the facts that are already there and recognize that magnanimously suggesting that we need to know all of the facts before we “overreact” is part of the problem.

Every person of color I know is already well acquainted with the facts.  They know that the officer who killed Castile will have a reasonable sounding excuse that he feared for his life.  He may face a trial and he may face some public backlash but – and this is really important – no matter how unpleasant those things may be he will still be alive.

This is what he looked like. Just so we all remember that he was a human being.

This is what he looked like. Just so we all remember that he was a human being.

Philando Castile will be vilified by clueless people who will find reasons he deserves to be dead.  They will tell the rest of us that we don’t know what happened at that traffic stop and he probably deserved to be pulled over.

He doesn’t get to defend himself.  He doesn’t get to tell his story.  To anyone waiting for all the facts to come out, please remember that the only person who gets to tell their story is the man who killed him.

And if you believe his race didn’t matter, you really haven’t been paying attention.

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