Sunday, October 18, 2015

Si Fi Shalt Nots

I’m constantly getting fascinating emails from my friend Jeff Walden and I’d decided that perhaps the public might benefit from his words of wisdom. On a personal note I am so tempted to write a story that incorporates all of these “hard sells.” But that’s just my rebel nature.

So, here is Jeff’s latest email:


I came across the ebook science fiction magazine Clarkesworld. Their submission page includes the following Thou Shalt Nots, which I found educative and amusing. And I was so counting on doing that story about a talking cat who wields a talking sword…

I’ve never heard the term “trunk story,” but I imagine that it’s a tale you wrote years ago and have kept in a trunk for a long, long time (solely to prevent yellowing of the paper, of course). Now you are dusting it off. So, here’s a question: When does a story that you wrote a while ago and that you have been sending around become a “trunk story?” Is there an accepted period of time between now and the last go-round that relegates it to the status of trunk? And would a race of intelligent elephants…

Though no particular setting, theme, or plot is anathema to us [Clarkesworld], the following are likely hard sells:

  • zombies or zombie-wannabes (seriously, I'm not kidding)
  • sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, wicked witches, or demonic children
  • stories about rapists, murderers, child abusers, or cannibals
  • stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
  • stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
  • stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
  • stories in which the words "thou" or "thine" appear
  • talking cats or swords
  • stories where FTL travel or time travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
  • stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a' comin', Communion wine turns to Christ's literal blood and it's HIV positive, Satan's gonna getcha, etc.)
  • stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
  • stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
  • stories about your RPG character's adventures
  • "funny" stories that depend on, or even include, puns
  • stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
  • stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
  • stories originally intended for someone's upcoming theme anthology or issue (everyone is sending those out, wait a while)
  • your trunk stories

Jeff Walden

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Warped View on Evolution

As you read this I want you to be opened minded, because I am going to dispute the fact that we have evolved from apes. Now hear me out before you make judgment and I will explain my reasoning on this subject and it has nothing to do with any religious beliefs.

First, all you have to do is look at your toes to begin to understand where I’m coming from, because frankly, they’re pretty much worthless. If we were more advanced than apes shouldn’t we be able to do things with our toes? Like hold things the way they can? Or even better than them?

Second, if you look around at all of our senior citizens using walkers you have to ask yourself, wouldn’t it be better if our arms were longer and we could hold ourselves up better. We wouldn’t fall nearly as often as we do. Plus it would be really nice to be able to reach things way up in my cupboards. Or at least have the agility to be able to just hop right up onto the counter to get something out of reach.

Thirdly, I don’t like having a long narrow neck. It’s always causing me problems. There are roughly 14,000 broken necks suffered in the U.S. every year. Wouldn’t it be better it our necks were thicker and shorter like that of the ape?

So what am I saying? I’m not saying that evolution doesn’t exist, but I'm not so sure that we evolved from the apes. Perhaps we're a little too full of ourselves to think that we are better than apes. It seems to me that apes have it going on. Just look at the hair on their bodies. Think about the money that would be saved that could go to better use. No worries about fashion or sunscreen or expensive wrinkle creams. If we have all that hair we'd just embrace it. No more waxing, shaving, plucking. Apes have no need or use for all that self-inflicted torture.

Even their form of communication is far more advanced. They let out various grunts to let you know what their mood is and all the apes around understand. And if they really, really, truly get pissed off at one another, they don’t pull out a weapon. They throw shit. Think about it. No more mass school shootings. School shittings…yes…but…that’s a small price to pay. Right? Take a shower. You’ll be fine. (There’d be a whole new meaning to the phrase “you’re shitting me, right?”)

So there you have it—if we truly are evolved from apes then mother-nature has totally screwed us over, because seriously I think humans are a step back in the evolutionary chain.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I love toddlers! But I have discover some rules that each toddler should learn to adhere to. Please don't take this the wrong way. This is not for parents...this playbook is only a suggested guideline for all up-and-coming toddlers. It should be taken in the good-natured fun it was meant to be.

First let's talk about... 
  • Engage your parents during diaper changes. Rolling over at some stage in the process has proven to be effective, especially before the baby wipes have been used.
  • Escaping before the fresh diaper is put on will gain you extra attention and possibly cause you to giggle.
  • Make an effort to wait until AFTER your parents have dressed you in multiple layers to poop. They’ll enjoy the challenge.
  • Extra points if you can wait until you are safely clicked into your car seat, before letting out that stinky explosion.

  • Shout often, parents are known to be hard of hearing. Even if they acknowledge you, it doesn't hurt to repeat yourself several times, to make sure they understand, as well as whenever anyone new enters the room.
  • Whenever possible chase and terrorize the family pets, just to let them know who is in charge.
  • As you get ready to leave a park or playground, let your parents know how much fun going to the park was. One of the best ways to do this is by telling them loudly that you do not wish to leave. (Extra points if you make it look like a kidnapping.) 

  • Two rules to begin with: Clean houses are natural enemies to Toddlers. So, keep alert. As soon as a parent begins picking up toys move to a different room and spread toys out in that room. Once the living room is picked up make sure that it doesn't stay that way. Not only is this a fun game for your parents, but it is also a deterrent for burglars. Spread the toys strategically to form little toy land-mines.
  • Parents also appreciate creativity. A simple way to express this is to decorate various rooms with half eaten food. This will keep your parents busy and entertained for hours, especially if you can successfully hide food that attracts ants. (Living art)
  • It is also always a good idea to dump ALL of your toys out of the toy box before playing with any of them. (The one you want is most likely at the bottom.)
  • When possible, slide as many toys as you can under the couch, coffee tables, bookcases, or any place that creates a challenge to find. It will be like Christmas when the furniture is moved years later and the missing toy is discovered.
  • Extra points if you manage to get an adult to step on one.

  • Remember, your parents know and expect you to be curious. As far as you are concerned everything in this world should be under scrutiny, especially ALL phones. Feel free to take, hide, throw, and smash them-- as well as place them in the toilet. Remember, every "no" brings you closer to a "yes."
  • If someone tries to retrieve their phone from you, first scream and then throw it, this subtly lets them know that it makes you unhappy. 
  • You should always be curious when your parents are on the phone. Sometimes this gives them some extra exercise as they attempt to move away from you. However, if they hold the phone to you, wanting you to talk, it is important to immediately walk away.
  • If you are not able to walk away and your parents insist you talk on the phone. Scream something indiscernible into the phone as loud as you can.

  • You have the awesome responsibility of controlling the sleep schedule of the household. So, as soon as you wake it is important that everyone else also needs to wake up. However, at bedtime explain that you are not tired. Hold out until you become an emotional wreck--this is guaranteed to enhance your adorableness while asleep.
  • When parents are reading a book to you, understand that they tend to lose interest after the first page, so it is your job to keep them on their toes. This can be achieved by closing the book after the first page and getting another book. (Repeating the process with the successive books.)
  • Eating is always a challenge. If  you do not like the food served to you, throw it on the ground in disgust—try to aim for the cat or dog while doing so. (They sit under you for that specific purpose.) You can always ask for a cookie instead of dinner.

  • When all else fails, don't forget to smile, give hugs, and put on that irresistible toddler cuteness! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer

Jerrold H. Zar in 1992. (Still Fitting today...11 years later)

Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer

I have a spelling checker.
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when I rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
Bee fore a veiling checker's Hour
spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.
Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flair,
Their are no fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a ware.
Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays,
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting too pleas.
Sauce Unknown

Saturday, June 22, 2013

OMG I'm back!

Yes, After taking a hefty hiatus to write my novel I am finally back. In truth though, I think it's Twitter that has made me lazy. All I have to do is come up with 140 characters. That's just too easy. It's not even words... in fact it's generally something like fifteen words. Right?

So, I'm going to continue my lazy streak and blog some of my favorite...well...some of my tweets. So anyway, without any further ado, here they are:
  • # hmmm...It used to be called the pound symbol.When did it turn into a hash tag? The drug crowd has way too much influence on twitter. :)
  • I drank tequilla then mowed my lawn in honor of Cinco de Mayo.
  • My Hubby bought an power screw driver, not he's screwing everything up.
  • Since my house has lost values.I finally understand why my Realtor called himself a "broker"."
  • That feeling you get when you see an armored car and think, "Yeah, I could take that"? That's how I feel about ice cream trucks."-Chuck Watkins@ChuckWatkinsEsq
  • Don't you wish you had an "undo" button for life's everyday little "oh crap"s.
  • What do you get if you cross an atheist with a Jehovah's witness? Someone who knocks on your door for no reason at all. it's
  • Discovered a superhero today called 'Arm Fall Off Boy'  who’s power is to detach his own arm and use it to whack his enemies with." (It's real, see attached photo.)
  • #Fall-Off-Arm-Boy. It would be interesting to see him battle it out with Kick Butt Boy.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Okay…now it’s an effing game with you.

You hover around bugging the shit out of me

When I finally start paying attention to you…you disappear.

When I least expect it…there you are again.

You have a weird attraction to me.

Even when I can’t see you I know you are nearby.

But I want nothing to do with you.

I wave you off.

But you strike a pose as if threatening me.

Oddly enough that gives me some relief.

Hoping it may help bring an end to your sick game.

But as soon I get close again, close enough to whack you.

You are up and off, once more.

Son of bitch.

I see the mischievousness in your gross and unblinking eyes.

Quit touching my hand and stay off my computer you creepy little thing.

I see you for what you are.

I can only imagine the parasitic diseases you must carry.

Go ahead keep distracting me...

keep irritating me...

because sooner or later

I will win this game you started.

You creepy...



Thursday, September 8, 2011

I HAVE A VISION…well, I have a television.

I thought now that I have some extra time I’d get caught up on important things… like TV.

What I discovered was shocking!  Television, especially daytime TV, sucks!

I think the network executives know this because they seem to be trying to spice things up by giving shows violent names like Storage Wars, Karaoke Battles, BeatBox Battles, Towing wars, and my favorite the Cupcake wars. (What can be better than violence and baked goods?)

If creatures from other planets got a glimpse of our current TV shows they would have to assume that we are an incredibly petty race considering the things we seem to be battling over.

The food network is one of the worst. Do the executives there really believe that men are that stupid? Do they think that giving baking shows brutal sounding names is is going to fool men into watching a couple gay guys and some fat broads whipping up a batch of cupcakes?

While baking shows are given violent names, game shows are just becoming more violent. I remember when people use to sit in chairs, answer questions, and a buzzer was used to indicate wrong answers. Now, contestants are thrown off catapults and buildings. They are thrown into water and pelted with objects. There is even a show that gives contestants an electric shock for answering wrong. What has happened? 

Groucho Marx’s “You Bet your life” would have a whole new meaning in today’s world.

I also can’t stand the excessive narcissism of reality shows. The Fanny Pack (aka the Kardashians) are the worst with their inordinate greed and gluttony. Even the commercials for the show are benign. There was actually one commercial that showed the Kardashians at the dentist and said “find out which Kardasian has a cavity”. (I bet millions were shaking with excitement for that riveting episode.)

I find it hard to believe that anyone cares which one has a cavity, or which one pees on herself, or which on farted in public. Seriously, if you are waiting on the edge of your seat to find out which Kardasian had a public butt malfunction, you need to get a life even more than I do.

We live in a weird society.

There's also a bizarre show called “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant”. In almost every episode a woman is in a bathroom in pain. She thinks she has a bad case of constipation, but ends up with a baby in the toilet. I really just think they should rename the show “OMG…Look What I Just Crapped Out!”

Another popular reality show that bugs me is the one with the plastic women. Their facial skin is pull so tight that they look like reconstructed burn victims. They have fake boobs, fake hair, fake nails, and fake tans. What is it called? What else…The Real Housewives. (Plah-leeze…)  A real housewife would be in sweats, a stained t-shirt, yelling at her kids while burning some Hamburger Helper on the stove.