Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Published Stories

My piece Beat of the Alley, was published in the anthology Desolation Blues last month. The entire thing is a great read and shouldn't be missed. The stories are reminiscent of the Beat era of the '60's. The character in this piece is used in a number of short stories I try to do in Beat, but tend to end up more like a Dark Urban Fiction genre. I like the character, who as of yet remains unnamed after four stories. I think maybe it will be interesting to have an entire collection of stories all with the same character that doesn't have a name?

Here is another piece. You can read the entire zine, The Weekenders Magazine, Issue 4, right from this blog by using the flash tool below.  I have a piece, Reading Doughnut Danny, published in this online magazine. Special thanks to +Ryan Swofford for putting all the issues of this magazine together. I've been fortunate to be published in all the issues so far.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My First Short Story Submission, Post 2

I looked for the story I sent to William Safire but haven't found it yet. I did find the draft typewritten letter to him, dated May 18, 1983. It's pretty funny. Note the hand correction. I typed it on onion skin paper because that was the easiest paper to make corrections back in the day. The blue line must have been from some moisture reaching the file that this letter was enclosed in, all the writing in the file had the blue line.

Also in that file was some damn good writing from a 22 year old kid. I might submit some of these for publication. I even wrote poetry back then, I forgot about that.

Letter to William Safir in XL size. If interested, use your browser magnifying tool to make it easier to read.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My First Short Story Submission Part 1

The year was 1983. I was a college graduate that jumped into Ronald Reagan's recession with both feet and got stuck in the mud.. I worked in a Turkey factory, making slightly above minimum wage. I worked a lot, partied a lot, and wrote short fiction and humorous letters to college friends that  had moved away. The era was before the word processor and the personal computer. I sat at my electric Brother Typewriter and banged out twice as many words as mistakes.

I lived in Turlock, California in a big old house built in 1915, with two female roommates, both artists. I read the San Francisco Chronicle on a daily basis but Sunday was my favorite edition because it had the Pink Sheet. Any event that was in Northern California and especially San Francisco was listed in between its bright pink pages. The events were not the only items of interest, but regular features such as At The Drive In, by Joe Bob Briggs and On Language by William Safire. William Safire's syndicated column looked at the origin of words and new lexicon being brewed up by politicians, business and popular culture.

I purchased a clothing item one day and noticed that it was made from 'Virgin Acrylic.'  Back in '83, there was no recycling of plastic. How do you get 'Virgin Acrylic?' Why would you list 'Virgin Acrylic' on a clothing item? Like a consumer would be fooled into thinking it was maybe Virgin Wool?  Anyway, I wrote a humorous tale of Virgin Acrylic and sent it off to Mr. Safire. Perhaps he would use it in his language column or maybe he would pass it along to someone that might know what to do with the story.
William Safire

My first rejection, but a nice rejection it was. This busy and well known man, speech writer to presidents, sent me a personal note back in his own handwriting, telling me it was interesting, but not his cup of tea.

I've still got the note somewhere and the story. Perhaps I'll post it on the blog if I can find it. (That's why I named this Part 1) I've submitted many stories recently and many have been accepted for publication, but I'll still remember the first and the man who took the time to give a kid a kind word.

The Pink section changed when the San Francisco Chronicle was sold by the founders family, the de Young's to Hearst Communications. I stopped reading the Chronicle not too long after that. The paper wasn't the same without columnist Herb Caen and the feel of the paper changed from being an Institution  to being just another Daily Rag. Not to say I don't check the on-line edition every once in a while, because San Francisco is a city like no other.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Weekenders Issue 3 is out

So, if you want to check out some of my writing, plus some writing of other really talented people, plus some great art, there is about 100 pages of the stuff at The Weekenders Magazine Vol 3 located at My piece is Estuary Trip, which by the way, I rewrote into a screen play and submitted into a short film contest. We'll see.

Cool Huh?

I've already got Volume 4's story finished. It's waiting for my writing group to flesh it out and throw flaming barbs at it or me. I say Volume 4, but that's only if the esteemed editor, Ryan Swofford, accepts it. Anyway, give a read and leave a comment or 2 for me.


Went through my novel Bear Justice for the umpteenth time and submitted it to the Novel Reading Group that I am part of for a December critique.

That's and update. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Death Of A Website

My first website highlighting my great idea for the next pet rock. The idea struck in the early years of this century, I think, 2001 or perhaps 2002: The Hillbilly Dinner Napkin. You can find it for the next couple days at and after that, at

A friend gave me his program Web Studio so I could learn how to build websites. I had my idea, a story and  a program and I built a website around it. There's been a few changes since the original, but basically it is still the same since I placed it on the World Wide Web.

I owe a lot to this website, not the least learning what it takes to sell stuff on the web: People searching for what you've got. I remember loading my website and waiting for the cash to come rolling in. Not only didn't the cash roll in, but visitors didn't either. To this day, after being online for 10 years, I still get less than 100 visitors per month showing up on this site. Recently, most of those visitors show up from Russian Porn Sites according to my visitor logs. Don't ask me why.

I tried though. I sent samples to late night comedy shows, hoping for a television mention to spur some interest, no luck. I showed these at various motorcycle events I attended and sold leather at. I had samples for sale in my store. Everybody gets a kick out of it, but no one every decided to purchase twenty of them for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Did I make some money off the site? Not as much as I spent over the years. I sold a dozen of these to the Iselton (California) Chili cook-off committee. I got a few more sold on line, but really not much. The domain is comming up for renewal and it's time to put it to rest. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Because of this experience though, I did find out what it took to sell stuff on line and tools to do it. If you do (or I should say did) it right, an individual could get right in and make a damn good business. I did it, I found a niche and worked it, sold tons of stuff and if I would have played my cards right, I might have floated to the top, but I didn't.

 Today, not so easy to sell on the web. A lot of competition and the Big Boys have locked in the first couple pages of search: Amazon, WalMart, Ebay and more. It was the wild west when I got started, but Return on Investment became harder and harder to do with on line advertising, hucksters were pitching programs to be millionaires by selling your used stuff on Ebay and the New Economy was this wired world. Sorry, that came to a crashing halt. The little guy is locked out again, perhaps you can recycle stuff on Craigslist, become a virtual scavenger, finding stuff and listing it for free.

Have a good laugh.

RIP: Hillbilly Dinner Napkin

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Publication plus Friends that I help

A couple of updates today.

First: Last night Ryan Swofford uploaded Volume II of  The Weekenders Magazine.  I've got a story in Volume II also called Dysfunctional Beat.

Ryan dedicated a lot of this Volume to writer Bud Smith. I came across some of Bud's writing before, but was really taken with his short story that appeared before mine in Volume I of The Weekender's Magazine. Volume II has a lot of his writing plus an interview. Well worth the read.

In other news. Last night I sat down with some of my local writers to discuss Affinity, A Bird in a Glided Cage, written by Mary E. Merrell, which is in it's final rewrite. It is a mid-grade urban fantasy novel that I think kids will really like. Mary has written lots of other stuff too and you can find her Real Estate Romance novels on her website, appropriately named after herself,

Last but not least, on October 1st, another one of my group released a Paranormal Romance Book, Only in Her Dreams. You can get the book at Amazon for kindle or in paperback. It's written by Christina McKnight, who recently updated her website. It really looks AWESOME. She's a fellow Blogger user and you can find what she is up to and get more information about her books at

Christina currently has some promotions going on for her book, so check it out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Weekenders Magazine Beat Anthology

I saw a post on Duotrop (a writers website) from The Weekenders Magazine looking for submissions written in the Beat Style. I like Beat, so I thought of a story, penned it and sent it to my writers group for comments. I'm lucky I got such good critics.  Most enjoyed the story but pointed out my shortcomings. I quickly corrected and sent the story in. It was published on line on sometime after September 15 and you can find the link by pressing here The Weekenders Magazine Vol 1.

My story is on Page 50, but don't miss the other great reads in this volume: The poetry by Kevin Ridgeway is great. I also dug the short story by Bud Smith, so much, I read it twice. Artwork is awesome too. The entire magazine is a great read, especially for those of us that enjoy underground, literary stuff. Many thanks to Ryan Swofford for putting it together, along with his editorial companions. Get a copy for your coffee table, waiting room, whatever.

I'm looking forward to the next one.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What I really want to hear from the Candidates:

Make a commitment to send them to jail...

We've all been listening to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama talk about stuff that quite frankly, is unimportant compared to the pressing issues facing American's today: Telemarketing Phone Calls.

It's time to face facts, the Do Not Call List  DOES NOT WORK. I remember the halcyon days when as a family we sat down to dinner and invariably the phone would ring from a telemarketer. There were two things so very different than today.

1: Whoever was on the phone trying to sell you something, spoke English, clearly and convincingly, such as "Sir, if you do not get our whole house water purification system, don't be surprised if you wife becomes frigid. It's a proven fact that when children drink non-purified water during their formative years, IQ's drop to that of Neanderthals and they may develop large occipital crests, marry overweight and smelly..."

 And 2: "Hold on," You would cut in.  "Don't call me again. I am on the Do Not Call List."

All you had to do was mention that. You could hear the person on the other end of the phone line tremble with fear.

"I'm sorry sir, I didn't know. I will remove you from our list immediately and you won't be bothered again."

In today's world though, it is much different.


"Hello dear kind sir. I am wanting to know if your credit card interest rate is can be lowered by just giving me information some of..."

"Wait a minute," you intercede. "Who are you?"

"I am from that most noble of American Large Debt Consolidation Firms using the American Bank of Dewville Delaware to help people. We..."

"Who? Dewville Delaware?"

"Yes, are headquarters are in Delaware, close to the US Treasury funding your debt with new debt can happen in an instant we can. Now, all I need is your Social Security number..."

"Who are you really?"

"Kind dear sir, I am with American Bank of Dewville Del...."

"I'm on the Do Not Call List and I would suggest you take my name off of your list before I report you to them."

"Let me tell you, money you can about how much save, using our."

At this point, normally you hang up and start thinking about the Do Not Call List and the fact that your dinner is now cold. You look at your children's eye, no occipital crests.  But the phone rings again, just moments after hanging up. You pick it up.


"Hello dear kind sir. I am wanting to know if your credit card interest rate is can be lowered by just giving me information some of..."

As far as I'm concerned, a well placed cruise missle is completely justifiable no matter what country  the callers are located in. I want my President to do this for me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Novel writers group is meeting tonight. I went over about 80% of @MaryMerrell7 book the last couple of days. Pretty good. I hope to finish it up in the next week or so. I put the final chapter together on my latest book two weeks ago. Last week I had a friend proof the Spanish Language sections for me to make sure they sounded like the way a true Mexican would speak.

So what is my new book about? Does Ergot of Rye mean anything to you? How about Mass Revolution when under the influence of psychotic drugs? How about a narrow minded Star Trek fanatic that manages to fall into the realm of espionage and revolution and helps change the world with the help of a famous revolutionary? It could be about those things, maybe more. Glen Bailey and his wife Doris are no Jason Bourne or Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but the job gets done because, or in spite of them. 

I put a little excerpt of the unedited book below this cool cover. That cover is cool.

Sifar Excerpt
 “I'll get that criminal, your Glen,” Machado said, “as well as Joaquin Murrieta.”

“Why, what did Uncle Glen do?” one of the boys asked.

“Nothing boys,” Verna interrupted. “I would suggest you move away from Officer Machado. I think he's had a tough day.”

“Verna Bailey. Is that you? I was just telling your kids that I can shoot with the best of them and I'm going after criminals that hurt my daughter. I can see him in that cloud of purple dust over there.” His gun pointed in the direction of the Pinata, The Pinata was large, mule shaped with pointed ears. It was a brightly colored, yellow with green ribbons hanging from the neck. It dangled from a tree with a sturdy rope.

“Don't,” Verna yelled at the police officer.

“Mom!” an excited young voice yelled.

Verna turned to see Glen running up to them. “Glen!” she yelled.

The instant Verna yelled she heard a slap across the horses flank. Glen had run behind the animal and slapped it as hard as he could with a leather belt. Simultaneously the echo of a gunshot cut through the air and the tinkling of candy hitting the ground from the Pinata could be heard. Instantly, the sound of hoofs hitting the ground moving  towards the foothills in the west was all that was heard. Officer Machado clung to the horse as it bolted and ran uncontrollably into the distance.

“Uncle Glen's dressed as Spock.”

Squeals and cries from children were heard as they converged on the Pinata's bounty, now laying on the ground.

“Glen, what...” Verna tried to finish but Glen interrupted. His eyes were dilated and he looked as if he saw nothing or everything all at once.

“Chief Science Officer here,” Glen said. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

What's Happening

I haven't written anything on this blog for a while. I really like satirizing the news, and I just haven't been in the mood to blog about it. I haven't stopped writing, no, I worked on a book, a novel, yes, I finished the novel too. About 400 pages of entertainment. It's got motorcycle gangs, cowboys, Indians, sex, violence, oceans, lawyers and more. 

So I wrote it. BFD. I gave it a title of  'Bear Justice.' I got the domain of the same name.  ( Made some art, did an excerpt and .....and ....I'm in a holding pattern. I put the book up as a file for my writers group to view and give feedback. So far after a month, only feedback on the first two chapters. The feedback was positive though.

I sent a copy to my niece. She smart. She went to college to critic and edit books. She's gonna give me the full red pen treatment. She writes a blog, she is not shy about saying things. You can read her blog of book reviews here

I like the artwork I did for it. I think that it may not be the best book I ever read, but it's not damn bad. Much better than a lot of books I have read. 

So I wait. Not really. I'm still writing.

New Novel, about 3/4 the way finished. Do you like Star Trek? Psychedelic mushrooms? Bread?  I haven't titled it yet, but it makes me laugh.

Have fun. I'll come back here more often, I hope