Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guess who's running my life?

It ain't me. Right now, I'm just a twig floating down the Mississippi of life. The characters I channel into various stories have more going on for them than do I.

Jake is pushing me along in OT (that's how I'm referring to "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor" from now on). After working all day I stopped for dinner at Elmwood Taco Stand, which is supposedly Mexican food but is really just some combination of Italian and Spanish. They ain't got no Tex-Mex up here, and I didn't have a chance to hit Marix while I was in LA so I'm jonesing for anything that's stronger than El Patio frozen dinners.

Well, ETS has this thing they call an enchilada that's no excuse for anything...except, it serves to salve my demanding taste buds enough so I can keep going. It's ground beef or beans half-wrapped in a corn tortilla and drowning in taco sauce then smothered in cheese and baked, whereupon a line of sour cream is slopped across the top and then sprinkled with black olives. No rice. I'll have to make my own enchiladas, soon, just to have something decent in the way of Tex-Mex.

Anyway, as I ate, I started putting the plot points of OT onto sheets of scrap paper with notes of what ought to be where. Since this is a mystery, I need to have a good idea of what's going on so it's not as easy to figure out as most of Sue Grafton's books. I figured that's how I'll spend the evening and most of tomorrow.

Except...Jake had other plans. I wound up watching "The Big Sleep" again (the 1946 version with the re-shoots; not that lumpy thing that was initially shot in 1944). Not that I minded; I love the movie. But I've seen it two dozen times...and yet, I got ideas from it...and realized that I need more humor in the story. I was also starting out with Antony in the wrong place in his life and needed to shift that before it became set in the stone of my brain.

In the middle of all this, Brendan popped in to let me know he's almost ready to start pushing on POS, again. And he's open to helping me make it into three full novels that delve deep into his world instead of a long one that skims over it, to an extent. To which I sighed, Okay.

That's when Jake laughed and said, Get to work, because I've got another mystery for you to write. And then he tells me about it -- The Danish government is suspicious about the death of one of His Majesty's soldiers in Afghanistan and want Jake to look into it, quietly, because they don't want to make an issue out of it if the explanation offered by the US Commander who was in charge at the time is correct. And of course, it's not...and all hell threatens to break loose over Jake and Tone.

Dammit, I could stop working right now and still not have enough time to finish all the stories I want to tell. I have an idea for a rock musical set in the near future. I want to update "Anna Karenina" to modern times, with a gay angle and using St. Louis and Kansas City in place of Moscow and St. Petersburg. I'd like to shift "Blood Angel" into a book. Same for the two parts of "Darian's Point" I've already written as scripts and the story that begins the whole mess.

It'd be nice if I could make some money off this, but nobody wants my scripts and none of my books are selling that much, anymore. Not even HTRASG. And LD is just sort of sitting there in Kindle format. But all I have going on for me right now is the writing so I don't know what else to do and...

Oh, for god's sake -- I'm whining, again. Old habits do die hard.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Just when I think I'm an idiot...

Someone who is, supposedly, much more intelligent than I does something so mind-numbingly stupid, I feel like a genius. I'd dealing with that while handling a number of international book dealers who are, apparently, unable to follow simple instruction, even when they're given those instruction written to a 5th grade level.

You see, in the last few years, international trade has become more difficult thanks to customs regulations being tightened and customs officials trying to actually find problems in imports and exports. Whenever they do, they can seize goods, charge nasty fines, and maybe even make a few bucks for themselves. That's what Canada was doing with their customs officials; they got a percentage of any fines they levied...then came 9/11 and fear was added to the quest for cash.

Well, now that most governments are going broke thanks to their amazingly insane focus on cutting taxes and firing government employees and killing their economies rather than trying to help keep those economies going, they're being even more difficult to deal with.

Now something to keep in mind is -- books going into the US or UK are zero rated for duty, meaning no matter how expensive the book is, if it's a book, you don't pay duty to get it into the country. Period. But you do have to declare it at full value. That's the law. And book dealers know this. I know because I've discussed it with so damned many of them.

But what do some still do? Under-declare the value of the books they're shipping into the US or UK. That's a felony. When it's discovered, the book gets seized, you get threatened with jail and fines, and from that point on your shop is under the customs microscope. It's ridiculous because it achieves nothing in savings but can wind up costing you thousands of dollars or pounds.

The problem is, even when you send out e-mails with letters specifically detailing exactly what needs to be done to bring...say...a million-dollar shipment worth of books into the US for a fair, so many supposedly literate people just will not do it. Then will claim we never told them that was needed, even though we can see they not only received the letter of instructions, they acknowledged getting it in an earlier e-mail. And when they do supply the paperwork they're asked for, half the time it's wrong. Export licenses (which can be necessary for certain types of books coming out of the UK) do not match up with information on the packing lists. Only part of the information that is needed on the packing list is on it (and that's with them being sent an example of what information is needed).

These are not uneducated people. Many of them are highly literate and have inventories that would make any library in the world ecstatic if they had even half the books. Yet they act as if we're still in the 1950s, when theirs was a rarified world and customs was sleepy and unconcerned about their shipments. It ain't that way no more and they can't accept the new reality. Customs officials will now go to the internet to find out the prices of books they think are undervalued...and have caught a number of dealers by doing that very thing.

But no matter how many times someone is caught trying to pull a fast one, they keep on trying. Maybe they're just crazy as a whole; having worked at an antiquarian book shop, I can attest to some of the people there being bat-shit crazy. After all, didn't Einstein say one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

Hm...maybe I shouldn't complain about feeling so smart. It don't happen much in my universe.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taxes done

Massive headache...and that's after working with a CPA, not even doing them, myself. I'd get drunk but I have to work in the morning...and the fact is, I can no longer afford to drink anything but water from a tap or eat anything but cans of Campbell's soup for lunch and dinner (I don't eat breakfast). No writing done, either.

Instead, let's just leave today with a touch of irreverence.
I don't fall into any of these camps, not the way I view the universe, but right now I wish I had what the last guy is having.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Maybe it's just me, but it seems the right wing freaks are out to take America back to a time that never existed except on TV and in the movies, and Liberals are out to let them do it. The Republican Party's and the Tea Party's push to outlaw abortion -- not end it, just outlaw it -- has reached fever pitch. They seem to think no one got an abortion until Roe v. Wade was decided, which was nonsense.

Besides, their actions belie their stated claims -- that they want to end it. They don't. Not really. If they did, they'd also be making sure that women had access to contraception and education on how to keep from getting pregnant. After all, the only way to end a practice is to make it unnecessary, but at the same time these liars are forcing the shut down of Planned Parenthood clinics all over the country by defunding them in any way they can, and they're even trying to make contraception seem the same as abortion. That's ridiculous.

Basically, men (and a few women) are forcing women to undergo a life-threatening process based on a ludicrous belief that the moment an egg connects with a sperm it's a human being. And pregnancy is still life-threatening; women still die in childbirth. Not in the numbers they used to, but far too many to just ignore. To them, women are nothing but breed mares and supplicants to the men in their lives, and that is their truth.

But this isn't all the right-wing is doing with the tacit acquiescence of the left. Laws have been passed in several states, under the guidance of the NRA, that allow citizens to carry firearms and shoot anyone if they feel threatened enough. In Florida, it's known as the "Stand Your Ground" law, and it's been used to get a number of people off from murder charges, the latest being a white man who shot a black youth to death for reasons that remain murky, at best...but which are being rearranged by the right to make the victim responsible for his own murder. And liberals are going along with it because we want to know the truth before we decide; no rushing to judgement for us, no sir.

We on the left seem incapable of understanding that the truth means nothing. It's an ephemeral idea that can be manipulated to cover anyone's ass in any situation, no matter what the facts. Sometimes in direct violation of the facts. The truth is, quite literally, whatever you want it to be. Pontius Pilate knew that 2000 years ago, when he asked, "What is truth?" of a man he was about to condemn to death despite finding him innocent of any crime.

You think I'm over the top or going off the deep end, here? Just listen to Mitt Romney's comments from day to day and see how many times he says one thing in one location, then says something else in another, and when confronted by it, says he never said that first thing in the first place. Even though it's on videotape. Bill O'Reilly's done the same thing, as has Rush Limbaugh. And they know if they're brazen enough and yell back loudly enough, their voices become the "truth" while the rest of us are lost in the filth of their lies.

Want more proof? Look what's happening with Trayvon Martin, the black kid who was shot to death by a white man named George Zimmerman. Look at how the "truth" is shifting. I read a couple of places that Tayvon weighed about 140 lbs. Zimmerman weighs 240 lbs. But now Zimmerman is claiming he was jumped by this kid, beaten up on the ground and HAD to shoot him to save his life. That's becoming the truth, now. And helping back it up are photos that make Trayvon look like a hood and that make Zimmerman look like an everyday citizen.

And then there's the matter of his race. Zimmerman's father is anglo and his mother is Peruvian, so he's of mixed race. Lately, all he's been is Hispanic, which for some reason means that Trayvon's murder could not be race-related. Why, I have no idea. It's just the new truth. Even liberal friends of mine are referring to Zimmerman as Hispanic and have berated me for referring to him as white. Which he is as much as he's Hispanic. But that's no longer the truth.

Truth is just a concept that can be manipulated and molded and rearranged to suit anyone's preferences. We on the left seem to still be clinging to the idea of it as an answer to the excesses on the right, not understanding that the right has reached the point where they know they can flat out lie and get away with it, because Liberals will think, "Now everyone can see they're lying," while the vast majority of people just plain don't give a shit. And it won't be until Liberals start manipulating the truth with the same dexterity as Conservatives, and learn how to use it against them with the same force that they use it against us, that we'll be able to stop this backwards march into obscurity.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Skirting the edge of reality

More of "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor". I don't know where the hell this will wind up.


We were taken to the infirmary, if you wanted to call it that. Two beds against one wall, examination tables against another, locked cabinets over a sink, all about as cheap as you could get and still meet the minimum standards of jail life. Tone was curled up on one of the beds, facing a wall. He wore his tan slacks and that deep red plaid shirt he loved so damn much, no socks or shoes. I slowly rounded the bed and saw his forehead was bandaged over his left eye. And his hands held tight to each other. And his face was slack and his breathing ragged. Blood crusted his face and shirt.

I kneeled and leaned against the bed, watching him, carefully. His eyes shifted and he saw me and smiled. “Took you long enough,” he whispered.

“I had to do an end run around the guard dogs,” I said, softly. "How you doin’?”

He shrugged. “Been through worse.”

“No shit. What is this? You got some fetish about hospital ERs or something?”

“I’m sorry. I was just looking for Matt and those cops stopped me and -- .”

My stomach dropped to the floor. “Matt?”

“Yeah. He been in contact, yet?”

“C’mon, Tone,” I said, forcing myself to focus on the moment and not let my mind go nuts, again. “You know how he gets when he’s hackin’. Same as when he’s playin’ a video game. The world vanishes. So...when was the last time you saw him?”

“This morning. He hopped out to get a thumb drive.”

“Where?” I asked, incredulous. “If he went to Palm Springs, he might not get back till midnight.”

“It’s not that far,” Tone said, frowning at me.

“But it is that distracting. And Matt’s got that happy puppy thing going that brings out the mommy-Queen in any gay man.”

Tone sighed. “Of course. He’s probably on his seventh PiƱa Colada and third blow job.”

“Why’d they bust you?”

"Said they found a body in the desert and wanted to ask me about it.”

“Body?” I looked at Consuelo.

She looked at Chief Arnold, who rolled his eyes. “You know how many illegals get lost crossing that desert, and die?”

“And how many times do your officers arrest and question people in town when one is found?” she asked, sweetly.

He sighed and left the room. I turned back to Tone.

“So what’d they do to you?” I asked.

He looked straight at me and I knew I’d been right, even as he said, “I dunno. We were talking and suddenly I was on the floor, and I couldn’t see straight.”

“You remember what they were saying before that happened?”

“They’d called the Texas AG. I’m going back in chains, but being a fag, I’d probably like that.”

“Sounds like a closet case, to me,” I said, making myself smile. “Was he cute, at least?”

“Tall. Runner’s build. Kind of a dork, but Matt’d like him.”

“Short-short hair on top?” He nodded. “Thick wedding band?”

He frowned. “I’d nod but it hurts my head too much.”

“Haven’t they given you anything for it?”

“I’d shake my head but...”

“Right.” I got to my feet. “Can we get some pain meds, here?”

A chunky guy seated in a chair by a tiny desk said, “No.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Not authorized.”

“Consuelo, isn’t it considered cruel and unusual punishment to withhold medication from an injured prisoner?”

“Take it up with Chief Arnold,” said chunky.

Consuelo sighed and reached in a pocket to pull out a slim container. “I have Midol,” she said. “Will that work?”

I held out my hand, grinning. She popped out two and I helped Tone sit up and whip ‘em down, swallowed with some water out of a bedpan because the asshole wouldn’t even give us a cup.

“Hm...I detect the charming essence of Lysol, 1950,” Tone said. “With a hint of ammonia. If this doesn’t clean me out, nothing will.” He leaned back a little, shifting his neck around like it was stiff, and all of a sudden, he looked like this scared little puppy who’d finally realized just how big the world was. His eyes got a little bigger. His shoulders drooped just a bit. Then he said, “Jake, I don’t want to lose you.”

Right to the gut. I made myself smirk and say, “Cut it out; you know I’m yours forever.”

“But I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. Dealing with assholes who just want to hurt us. Me and you and – and Matt. What if he's not in Palm Springs? What if he's -- ?”

"Sh, sh, sh, sh, sh," I whispered. I knew exactly what he meant and how he felt, but I needed to get this settled before I dealt with Matt. I slipped a hand around the back of his neck and started rubbing it as I said, “You ain’t goin’ back to Texas, Tone. Neither one of us, is.”

“But I violated the terms of the probation and...”

“Tone, we’re not going back. Trust me on this. Trust me. Okay?”

He looked at me for a long moment then nodded and said, “Okay.”

Monday, March 26, 2012


That's what Jake is doing. I wrote 8 pages, this evening...well...7 1/2 adding up to nearly 1500 words. Just another moment in the middle of the whole thing where something's going down and I'm not sure what yet.

The whole story is exploding around me, with bits of paper now stuffed into a manila folder holding explanations of what is happening and why it's happening, and I'm already at the point where I wish it was done so I could see if it makes sense.

I got to writing after I replaced the RAM in my laptop and bumped it up to 4, I think. It's faster, now, and seems more in control of the programs...but I haven't given it a real test run, yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Didn't sleep much, last night. My mind was too busy in its deeper recesses doing god knows what. I hate it when that happens.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Je suis Moliere...

...before he realized his gift and only wanted to do tragedy.

I just watched the French film, "Moliere", and first thought was it's "Shakespeare in Love" lite...and just to be clear, I really like "Shakes..." Even own it. And watch it when I need a kick in the pants to write. I think the final image is one of the greatest depictions of a writer's -- hell, ANY artist's -- reality: Walking alone, across a wide, pristine beach, the only marks on it from where your feet have tread, advancing upon an unknown wilderness.

The set-up in "Moliere" is very similar -- he's a broke lout who's great at comedy but wants to write tragedy because that's "the investigation of the soul." He winds up in a situation where life becomes art when art affects life, love is gained and lost and repaired in ways not expected, and he becomes one of France's greatest playwrights. But what struck me most was a simple exchange between Moliere and the woman he loves, long after she's proven to prefer his comedy and told him his tragedy sounds like a braying goat.

"Unhappiness has comic aspects one should never underestimate."
"How could I joke about that which makes me weep? This type of comedy does not exist."
"Well, then... invent it."

Which he did.

Of his works, I've read "La Malade Imaginaire" (The Imaginary Invalid) and "Tartuffe", in English translations. I've been working a little on my French but will punch that up; I hope someday to read them in their original language.

I hope some day to be as good as him. Better get my butt in gear.

Verizon FiOS sucks

Crappy internet service all day, working in and out. This happens, on average, about once a week. I'm considering other options -- anybody got any ideas? I'm even open to paying the cancelation fee to get rid of this shit.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reviews and renewed

This review of "The Lyons' Den" was posted on Amazon, recently, by a guy named Bogey "B"Gene.

Kyle Michel Sullivan (aka Theodore J. Bentley, the third) gives us a new side to his ingenious writing and imagination. This is a mystery that is campy, fun and just a pleasure to read. If you are a KMS fan, then all of his other works begin to fall into place after reading this. This is a story that is so hard to describe without giving away too much, and I'm not willing to do that (when you read it, you will understand), except to say "just how real are those imaginary characters?". This is so different from his other works, but still has the vivid details that draw you in, characters that leap off of the page at you and you feel like you know them personally. OK, so I'm a little prejudiced because I like his (train of thought) writing style. This will become a remembered treasure.

I'm actually relieved. I was afraid the story would be hard to follow and swallow. Now if I could just get a few more...

Man, I tried to slack off, today, and go for a nice walk in the rain...well, drizzle...but Jake wouldn't let me. He made me finish the crap I needed to finish (I'm looking for paid writing jobs, again, and had to e-mail out some letters and samples to those who've posted seeking writers they're willing to pay) then slammed me down in front of the computer and made me get back to VOT.

Hm...I don't like that acronym. JBatVoOT? Looks too Dutch, and he's Danish, now. Gotta think about this.

Anyway, I did get to at least fix some food -- Tilapia in picadillo, boiled red potatoes and cucumbers with ranch dressing; I've been eating a lot of fish, lately -- and now it's "Focus!" time. He's a domineering little shit, this Jake. Brendan could take lessons...although that's a completely different set-up. With POS I'm spooked about getting the story right and want to spend at least a year in NI to dig into the PRONI and CAIN files, and just read through newspapers of the time. I did some of that when I was in, 6 years ago...and was shocked at the things the anti-Catholic crowd would say, and which the paper would happily print.

Of course, with POS I could spend the rest of my life researching and getting nowhere. But I'm still so damned unsure of my sociological foundation, I can't see it getting done within the next five years without this research. And even then I'll be wary of showing it to anyone actually in NI. I've already been shot down, once; don't need that, again, anytime soon.

Okay...Jake's kicking my chair. I have his music now -- Sola Rosa's "Humanise" -- and it's playing in the background as he's beaten up by a couple of cops. He wants the moment to be over with so...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jake takes control

And away we go. I'm pretty sure this moment will be in the middle of "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor", just as it's about to careen into chaos.

I reached the door and found it open, but before I could start down the road to, What the fuck, I smelled something that reminded me of last winter. I slipped the key in the latch and pushed inside. I saw a pair of shoes on the floor in front of the sofa and a jacket dropped on top the coffee table. A laptop was open and on, papers scattered around it, and Enigma quietly drifted from its speakers. And, finally, there was Tone in the kitchen, looking at me as he poured hot chocolate into a soup mug. He didn’t even try to speak, just gazed at me with smiling eyes as he plopped in a few marshmallows.

Suddenly, my shoulders felt straight, again, and my heart was close to bursting. I couldn’t take my eyes off him as I wandered over to the counter separating the kitchen from the dining room. He offered me the cup. I took it, and it was hot. He loved to boil this shit, but oh dear God how safe and warm and perfect it smelled. I sipped at it, carefully so I wouldn’t ruin the taste by burning my lips or tongue, but it being near scalding made the marshmallows melt so much more quickly, building that sticky white foam over the top, and on a cold day just holding the cup'd warm you to your toes.

As usual, he’d used a mix. Not Swiss Miss but good enough for him to add a Hershey’s dark chocolate bar, giving the flavor a bit of a bite. I lowered the cup, letting the aroma fill my soul. He smiled, reached over, wiped the cocoa and marshmallow from my moustache, and licked it off his fingers. And I’d have died for him, right then.

It must have shown in my face, because his eyes flickered with concern and he came around the counter and wrapped his arms around me and I set the cup down and held him close, and any need for tears vanished in the strength he let me draw from him. Yeah, maybe I’m the one who’s sure of himself, the one who’s in control, the one who’s capable of fighting back as hard as he needs to...but Tone, he’s steel. He’s granite still locked in the ground. He don’t move unless he wants to. And sometimes you just need to know there’s somebody there who won’t wash away like the sand.

I don’t know how long we stood like that before I gave his neck a gentle kiss to let him know it was all okay, again. So he brushed his cheek against mine and tipped his nose to mine and said, “Your cocoa’s cold.”

No, it was just warm enough, now. So I sipped more of it. I didn’t have words, right then, and he understood.

“I checked the fridge,” he said, his voice still soft and powerful. “So I made a trip to that rip-off of a mom and pop place on the 184 and we’re having Tilapia baked with Piccadillo Relish, saffron rice, steamed carrots, a green salad with oil and vinegar, and a nice cold Chardonnay. And I know you don’t drink wine, but you’re having some. Okay?”

I nodded. When Tone gets that tone in his voice, you don’t argue with him.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Catching up on my reading

I just finished a fun little crime novel set in Belfast -- The Point -- that's been taking cues on how to write from Guy Ritchie's films. Move it. Faster. Don't stop till you drop. Ignore the boring bits of life. The speech patois was fascinating and the characters fun if a bit over the top, but Raymond Chandler was considered over the top in his day, so...

Next up is "The Cold Cold Ground" by Adrian McKinty, a murder mystery set during the time of the hunger strikes, back in the Spring of 1981. It's bigger and weightier, looks like.

I'm also going to be seeking work. My office is shutting down during the month of August till just after Labor Day, and I don't have anything in the way of backup to pay my bills that month...short of getting cash advances at extortionate rates off my credit cards. I'm getting my taxes done, next week; that will determine how much I have to come up with. If I can claim my little brother as a dependent, since I am pretty much supporting him, it might not be so bad. We'll see.

I'm spending this weekend planning out a strategy and seeing what I can do. Where I can go. Who I can bug. Of course, I'm also considering just not paying taxes, this year, and using the money I have saved for them to live on. But then I think of the penalties and the problems that'd cause...and still sort of wonder if I could get away with it.

Naw, I'm not larcenous enough.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Finished season 4 of "The Big Bang Theory" so now just need to catch up with season 5. Too bad they don't do a season of reruns, anymore; they're sprinkled all through the year so it's had to find the ones you've missed...tho' since I deliberately haven't seen any of the new ones, I could hop in anywhere, I guess. But I'd like to watch it from the beginning. I'll have to check and see if I can do that on ABC or the production company.

It's weird, but I like Sheldon the most on the show. And I get huffy when the others pick on him. He really is defenseless, and some of their jabs are cruel. I sort of knew a kid in college who was brilliant when it came to math and science, sort of like what we now call an idiot savant. But he could not handle human interaction and was very awkward, in general. He took a photography class with me, and this is where I learned that I can be far too impatient when it comes to shooting photos. I want to point and shoot, and by doing that, I turned out decent photos. But I soon saw that if I'd just taken my time and let the scene set itself, they'd have been ten times better.

The big lesson was when I saw this great pathway through a wooded area of Brackenridge Park, in San Antonio, not far from the headwaters of the San Antonio River. The lighting was nice. It had a great 3-d feel to it, with the ever-encroaching foliage mingling with the sun to form a sort of tunnel-effect. Lovey. I shot the last of my film roll of it, in varying speeds. I was putting my camera away, I glanced up the path...and saw a rider on horseback crossing a hundred feet down it. That would have made the perfect picture. And I had no more film, and the light was beginning to fade. I've tried to be more aware when I take photos, ever since. Doesn't alway work, but...

Anyway, this guy, for all his brilliance, could not figure out how to even load the camera without scratching his film. His focus was hit and miss. His exposures were horrifying. And he knew it. But he had to take the class to satisfy a curriculum requirement. I invited him to go out with me on a shoot, once Saturday, but he looked at me like I was crazy and walked away. The professor tried to help him but he couldn't accept it. So he wound up with a "C", and that was out of kindness.

Anyway, Sheldon reminds me of him, as well as myself. What's nice is how his interactions with Amy Farah-Fowler have helped make him more human...and her. He reminds me a bit of me at a much younger age -- good at one thing - art - and that made me feel enough like I was worthwhile, so that I could keep going through the crap of junior high and high school. People could attack me for anything and I wouldn't care; it was only when my work was viciously dismissed by an art teacher in 8th grade that I was wounded. I didn't even take art the following two years, not till I was a junior in high school and surrounded by strangers.

Well...weird the things that come to mind. So should I now break into a rendition of Barbara Streisand's "Memories"?

Hell with it. I ordered new RAM for my laptop. Pumping it up to 4 gigs from 1. Then I can upgrade to Lion and keep my .mac address on that, at least. Upgrading to Microsoft Office for Mac will cost $300 and I didn't even price PhotoShop. Same goes for Final Draft; I'll need to upgrade that just to be able to see my scripts. If this isn't extortion, I don't know what is.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Technological blackmail

I've just been informed by Apple that if I do not upgrade the OS on my computers to Lion, I will lose my @mac e-mail account. It will, in effect, vanish. To do that, I'll have to buy a new desktop computer and add a gig of memory to my laptop. I will also need to buy new versions of PhotoShop and Microsoft Office...or whatever the things are called, now. Perfect.

I knew I'd have to do this some day, but I was putting it off as long as I could in hopes of building up enough reserves to not have to go into debt for it...and would have the time to learn a whole new system. But Apple has taken it upon itself to give me an ultimatum. And I don't do well with those. I get stupid and angry and stubborn and the first word out of my mouth is usually, "No." Even with a gun effectively pressed against my head, I'm still of a mind to tell Apple to take a flying leap and shift my e-mailing over to another account.

Except it would probably happen there, too, in some way, form or fashion. We are now slaves to technology, and our pockets are being picked by everyone on all sides. Scum like Goldman Sachs (who manages investment accounts) screw their clients over for decades and nobody does anything. You want your mobile phone to accept calls? You have to upgrade to a new one...every 3 years. Then there was the whole mess with TVs, with us having to buy a digital set in order to receive signals; do it or you don't get all the channels, since those digi-boxes don't really do the full job on an analog TV. And it's always been that way for computers, to an extent; but lately it's become more-so.

Makes me want to go Luddite.

Deadline is the end of June. Clock is ticking. I am stewing. Grrr.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

French films

Tonight, I watched "The Valet", a French comedy directed by Francois Veber. (The French title is"La Doublure", which I think means "The Stand-In".) It's a joyous little romp where a schlub of a valet winds up having to live with a supermodel so her rich, married boyfriend's wife won't find out that he's cheating on her. Complications ensue.

This is one of the few films where I wish it'd been longer. running time is quoted as 85 minutes, but that's including titles and credits. It's really just barely 80 minutes and moves like it's been shot from a cannon, but I think a couple of comedic possibilities were missed. For example, when the valet is approached to be part of the deal, there are a few lines along the lines of "You've got to be kidding me" and "Where's the camera?" But then they cut away and it's all decided. That could have been a perfect riff along the lines of "Who's on first?"

I think of that because I watched an episode of BBT where Sheldon and Amy Foster-Fowler did that with such straight faces and neat timing, I nearly died. I also threw a moment of that into LD, where Daniel's trying to explain the goings-on to the sheriff with Van's help and it confuses things even more.

Anyway...what's great about this comedy is, the schlubby valet is actually played by a schlubby-looking actor, so when these amazingly gorgeous supermodels come walking up to him, the joke is a hundred times funnier. It'd be like if, in an American remake, the valet is played by Jonah Hill or Zach Galifianakis instead of Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper (which is probably how it would actually be cast).

There are also moments of weight that are chucked aside, like when the supermodel begins questioning her situation. Or when the valet believes the girl he loves is lost to him, forever. But still, it was pleasurable souffle, which I topped off with 2 more episodes of BBT.

Now you want to hear what's crazy? I'm already contemplating beginning work on Jake's book, "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor". I just finish a magnum opus, and don't even want to take any serious time off to recharge the batteries.

Workaholic, much?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Done with "Inherent Flaws"

This book is now 341 pages long and 77,871 words. And once I started adding in more of Vinnie's emotional turmoil, it flew back onto the page...or into the databank. And now it's done. I probably need to do one more polish for typos and missing words and such, but I can now let this settle and simmer and no longer be part and parcel of my self-flagellation as a writer.

God, right now I just hope it makes sense.

I'm open to getting feedback, if anyone out there is brave enough to read it. I've done spell-check.

Man, my back hurts. I've been sitting in this chair for too long...and can't face another moment before my computer.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The meaning of time

I have no idea how it works. I just know occasionally it vanishes around me, while other days, it takes forEVER to get through an hour. Like today. I swear, I looked at my watch three times expecting it to be 4pm and it turned out to be 1:30, 2:15, and 2:45. I was close to pounding my head on the desk to try and jolt this slo-mo state of mind out of my brain. But now it's better...and I'm sure the weekend will zip by in its usual fashion.

I watched "Harry and Tonto" the other night, and thought it was okay, even though the script was lumpy and inconsistent. But something else bugged me about it and I couldn't place my finger on what that was...until this afternoon. I was never unaware of the camera. Many of the set-ups were clumsy, the editing was awkward (though it might have had more to do with the bad choices of the director), and so much of it was so ABC, it was like a film school project by an average student.

The only thing that made the movie livable was Art Carney as Harry. He had a naturalness about him that almost made some of the more ludicrous moments believable. Like when he's picked up by a hooker en route to Las Vegas and gets laid for $100. In the middle of the desert. In a Mustang convertible.

It got me to thinking about other road films I've seen that were so much better. Like "Kings of the Road" and "Scarecrow" and "Sullivan's Travels" and "Grapes of Wrath" and "Paper Moon" and the like. In none of those do I ever remember thinking about the camera placement or any awkwardness in the script. They had chemistry, people helming them that knew what they were doing, and great screenplays. I actually wonder what "Harry and Tonto" would have turned out like under the guidance of Peter Bogdanovich or Jerry Shatzberg. And Wim Wenders goes without saying.

I'm finishing IF this weekend. I'm tired of futzing around with it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Enter emotion

I'm now up to 245 pages out of 320, and 74,100 words, total. I finally figured out part of my writer's block was, I was skating over a section of IF that really needed to be expanded upon and deepened with emotion. It was far too important to be ignored. Now I'm close to figuring out where to bring this character in who's going to add to the turmoil, even more.

I'm stopping now because I'm building a nasty little headache. I've been getting those a lot, lately, when I usually don't have any. I wonder if it's a brain tumor? Hmph...wouldn't THAT make my like fodder for a movie of the week?

turns out LD is up online in a special deal with Amazon -- they get to offer it to their Prime customers and advertise Prime with it for 90 days prior to its publication in paperback. Doesn't seem to be working, though...and I'm not even sure what Prim is. Guess I'll have to see.

Eyes ache, too. Too much computer time.

American education

I cannot believe how many kids who are in college cannot spell or use simple English grammar. Mine isn't perfect, not by along shot, but I don't confuse what "then" and "than" are for (tho' I have noticed myself accidentally typing one in place of the other, sometimes, but I usually correct it). I also know the difference between "your" and "you're" as well as "its" and it's", yet somehow the few college guys and girls I've chatted with on FaceBook do not.

Okay, those are easy to me but can seem confusing to people, I'm sure. After all, when we moved back from England, it took me years to remember to spell "colour" and "honour" without the "u". That being said, I was cognitive enough to learn it and finally figure out why, (on my own, since not one English teach who marked off for "misspelling" would tell me why). But when it reaches the point where they spell "bible" as "bibel", over and over? Seriously? That is today's college material? Small wonder Rick Santorum makes fun of people going to college; most of the institutions aren't even on the same level as grade school, anymore.

I'm sure the culprit is that period where kids were encouraged to spell words like they sounded, with the assumption they'd go look the word up on their own to find out how it's really spelled, once they found they're doing it wrong. Wrong. They don't care. Tell 'em to get a copy of "Strunk & White" and they shrug. Point out that "it's" is not the third person possessive and they respond, "You understood me." From the context, yes. But try pulling that when you want to program a computer, you little jerk.

So now I'm an old fart who bitches and moans about kids, these days. Yeah, all I need is a lawn so I can start yelling, "Keep off my grass, you little fuckwits!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Despair, Depression, Ennui

I feel like a modern male version of Gloria Swanson, and if you don't know who she was, IMDb it...or check out "Sunset Boulevard."

I made my own veggie soup. It's good, but it is not sufficient for a meal...not even with cornbread (I bought some en route home, this evening, and cooked it up. And got ravenous an hour later. I didn't know I'd made Chinese.

Zyrtek kills creativity. I cannot sit at a computer and function; I fall asleep. Hence my lateness in posting. But it's that or sneeze myself into a stroke and sniffle and snort for hours on end. I'm beginning to see the logic in Sheldon's attitudes about health, i.e. -- don't touch me.

I watched more of Season 4 of "The Big Bang Theory" rather than try to write crap on IF, and in one episode, Amy Foster-Fowler has an unusually typical female reaction to a good-looking man's butt. It was funny watching this very logical, detached woman letting out whimpers of sexual frustration at first seeing this jock named Zack and finally touching him. What gave it punch, however, was this moment at the end, when she took Sheldon's hand "as an experiment" and revealed she feels nothing in the way of human attraction for him. All to his complete unawareness. Broke my heart.

I identify with Sheldon. Outsider. Socially inept. Clueless about life. Lack of self-awareness. I root for him to find some kind of happiness that's not based on statistics, analysis, observation, or condescension...not to mention fear of germs. Or "Star Trek"...tho' that one's not such a big deal.

And yes, I know I'm talking about fictional characters. Now leave me alone with my Jake and Antony and Eric and Daniel and Van...but not Brendan. He's pissed at me.

Zoning, again. Good night, Irene, good night, Irene, I'll see you in my dreams. Not. I'm gay. Make it Irving or Ian and then we'll talk.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chemically altered

Bad case of allergies, today, so took Zyrtek after sneezing and snorting all over the place...and it's got me so zoned, I can't concentrate on anything; I start dozing off. I just want bed.

IF is slowly reformulating the intro of that character, in my head. Baby steps but forward movement, at least.

Just zoned, again. I think I'll grab a shower and hit the sack. I'm worthless, right now.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fork in the road

I'm now at a point where I need to bring back a character in a different manner from before, and I'm not sure how to do it. It's a very intense period, not long after Serpico's been shot and it seems like his partner set him up, so it would be just right...but it feels...forced. Part of me wants to do it but part of me says, "You don't need this on top of everything else." It's irritating, because the characters are being of no help, whatsoever.

Not that I blame them. I'm just not invested in this story...and I can't figure out why. I should identify with Vinnie, really. He's a guy who just wants to live his life and have his family and retire with a pension so he can enjoy his leisure who winds up caught in some serious conflict because of his loyalties. Brendan's rather like that, but he's trapped in a time when his world doesn't care about such simple things. Vendettas begun 300 years earlier are still being fought and people being killed over them. I don't have that in IF.

Doesn't help that I really do not like the title, but it's not my choice. "Trainee" carried a lot more heft as regards the story. Vinnie's being trained by everyone to be their version of what a good kid...and then a good guy...should be, and he even winds up a trainee in the NYPD, to start. But "Inherent Flaws"? Weak.

Still, I got more done on it. And I may use a trick to re-establish this character. We'll see how that flies. Meanwhile, VOT is filling in more and more and is getting close to the saturation point.

Oh, and one final thing -- I HATE daylight savings time.

LD taking time

I did a lot of running around, today, then spent the evening trying to clarify and clean up my books on Shelfari, which is linked to Amazon. They do NOT make it easy and get snotty if you don't do things exactly right. Somehow "Bobby Carapisi, volumes 1 & 2" got combined in the system, which is not correct, and they want me to correct it. But I don't know how it happened nor do I have any idea how to correct it. Their system keeps showing 1&2 as being the same book with different covers. It's all so weird.

Anyway, I also updated my Authors Page on Amazon, and can now see that LD has started selling. I don't know figures -- Amazon has that weird "ranking" system that corresponds with sales...except when it doesn't -- but I've seen a couple of spikes supposedly indicating sale. And that's just in Kindle.

I got my hair cut at an interesting place in downtown Buffalo, today, and can see how I might like living in that area. It's all pretty post-industrial but some of the buildings are flat out beautiful. There's also a theater just around the corner from the place that has lectures and shows old movies on Tuesday nights. One big problem is, no grocery store anywhere that I can see. But if I was to stay in Buffalo, it's a thought.

I bought clothes at JC Penney's in support of Ellen and against those idiots calling for a boycott because she's the company's new spokesperson. I got two words in response to that crap -- fuck you.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lyons' Den available in Kindle!

I just found out, even though it's been up for a month.
But it's not available at Barnes & Noble, yet. It's my understanding the paperback is soon to follow; maybe that will be. But this makes book #8...not one of them self-published. Yet.

"The Lyons' Den" -- a writer's madness made hysterically real. Or was it?

UPDATE: Up to page 214 of IF's rewrite and this is the downhill side.  Still have a section to add, but not that much. Tomorrow's going to be pretty busy so I probably won't be able to do much, but it won't be too much longer before this thing's done. Then I'll need to do one more pass once I've gotten it back...though this time I may ask for outside opinions on it, to see how it's coming.

I'm now tahred...but I made it through another week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Don't feel like doing the dance

Some of what I've been working on with "Inherent Flaws"; Vinnie's working at a pastry shop around 1963 --

This one night, when Patty asked me to stay late. He closed the shop at seven and called out to have sandwiches piled higher than you could fit your mouth around delivered. Real Dagwoods. Then I had a coke and he had coffee as we chowed down.

We chit-chatted some about general stuff -- school, who my girl of the moment was, how his other helpers didn’t clean the tables as good as me...stuff. I didn’t know why I was still there, because it was one of Big Joey’s nights and he really doesn’t like new people standing around while he does business, but I wasn’t gonna gripe because Patty was paying me overtime. Then he said something that stuck with me.

“You’re a good boy, ain’t you, Vinnie?”

I shrugged and didn’t answer...mainly because my mouth was stuffed.

He smiled and patted the back of my head. “Good and quiet. I thought so. Stay that way.”

I wasn’t sure what he was talking about till this black Caddie limo...uh, Cadillac limousine pulled up at 7:20, sharp.

I almost didn’t notice because it was Fall and already getting dark out, but Patty knew, even though his back was to the door. He turned to unlock it then said, “Clean up, now, and take care of the customers,” and went into his office. I cleared off the table and went behind the counter to start squaring boxes for in the morning. Then this big brick of a guy opened the door and held it, and in strutted Big Joey. And I knew what was what; tonight was gonna be a big night and Patty had to stay out of it, and “good boys” are quiet and don’t run around telling tales.

I made myself focus on the box I was squaring as Big Joey walked to the rear booth and sat facing the door. Then the big guy, who I now recognized as his bodyguard (because he was in a suit as pricey as Big Joey’s, it looked like), locked it and stood waiting by it, like a gatekeeper.

Nobody said a word, so I headed over and asked, “What can I get you?”

He looked at me with these eyes, swear to God, I could see the devil in ‘em, and he said, “You’re new.”

I shrugged. “Six months.”

“But I seen you ‘round the neighborhood. Vinnie, right?”

I nodded.

He smiled and it changed his face into something human, then he said, “Be a good kid and bring me a coffee and Cannoli.”

“Coffee for him, too?” I asked, motioning to the bodyguard.

“Later,” he said, “but I like that you offered. Stunada (stupid) that’s here Monday nights -- you gotta spell it all out for him. But you, you’re a sharp kid, right?”

“Right,” I said. Then I took him his coffee and Cannoli and got back behind the counter.

Then this guy come up to the door and the bodyguard let him in without a word. He was stocky and didn’t look right in his suit, but his eyes were black with warning. I learned later his name was Dante and he was really Big Joey’s main guy, straight from 116th Street. “Dante from Harlem”, he’s called, but I heard he didn’t like it when people actually said that.

He strutted over to Big Joey and I could just hear him say, “They’re parkin’. Guy he’s with’s either a Mick or a Pollock.”

Big Joey shook his finger at him and finished his Cannoli, them motioned for more coffee. I got his cup and refilled it, then as I was setting it back on the table these two new guys appeared at the shop door. I mean really, I set Big Joey’s cup on the table then I turned around to see the both of them framed in the glass, like ghosts.I learned later their names were Kowalski and Moretti.

Kowalski was big, the size of a wrestler, and had these ice-blue eyes that looked dead. He carried a small cigar box with a red bow. Moretti was dark haired, in better shape, and only a little smaller. Both wore very expensive suits that didn’t fit them quite right. “Off the rack,” is how my Aunt Mary’d put it. The bodyguard opened the door without a question, and they strolled in like they owned the joint.

Big Joey stood and smiled as they came up to him, offering the usual greetings all around, then he and Moretti embraced and they all sat down.

Now I knew Moretti. Well, knew of him. Knew he’d grown up on the Meatpacking District and that he’s a New York City Police Detective. Got his gold shield a couple years ago, even though he hadn’t done undercover (or anything to earn it, according to gossip). Turned out Big Joey was not only his godfather but also his hook. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that Kowalski was a cop, too.

Okay, it’s one thing for people to come meet with Big Joey about favors they need done. Some stuff’s just too much trouble for the cops to deal with, like some kid knocking up a guy’s daughter and not wanting to marry her. Or one of the union guys getting a little carried away with adding on carrying charges for deliveries. Crap like that. But this? This was pretty heavy duty for a kid who’s fourteen and catching his first look at the reality of how everything in this world works.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Halfway to the moon

Driving home after work...and after a slice of pizza at Wegman's...I noticed a fat, full moon near the horizon, barely yellow and glowing in a soft haze. The halo around it was massive and gentle, and to the right two contrails had crossed in a hint of an X in the mist. My first thought was, "Werewolves are haunting London, tonight."

Moments like this remind me of how much of a night creature I am. When I worked at Book Soup, in West Hollywood, I didn't have a car. On the nights where I worked until midnight, I'd join some of the other employees for a beer then walk home along streets so devoid of traffic, it's like no one lived in the city. Even the few cars tooling down Sunset or La Cienega or San Vicente were so tender in their passing, it's like they were nothing but ghosts reminding me of the ethereal world.

There's a Norm's Diner about halfway between my apartment and the shop, and many times I'd stop in for a midnight meal. Eggs over easy with bacon. Sometimes a short stack or a waffle. Almost always a breakfast meal. And this was despite me being very short of cash, because those meals made my world complete, at that time, so were more ritual than nourishment-based.

Then I'd go to bed about 3, sleep till 11 and get ready to go back to work. It fit my whole attitude about being a vampire in a former death. All so dark and romantic and Mickey Spillane in the city of angels. It's amazing I was never accosted.

This was all before I got heavy and serious about my writing. Now I'm so lost in it, even when I'm not being able to spit out a word, I can't watch movies or go walking in the city in the wee hours because they take me away from the creative time.

Tonight, however, I made it to the halfway point on IF. Where things begin to unravel for Vinnie. Page 165 of 315; 71,400 words. And his voice is becoming surer and more consistent and meaningful.

But I miss my midnight walks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One of those days

I'm a lazy piece of crap. I hate getting up at 8am to go to work; my natural waking time is between 10 and 10:30 because my normal bedtime is 2am. So I make myself go to bed about 1 or 1:30 and do on not very much sleep, and sometimes it catches up to me. Like today.

Didn't help it was a pissy day at work. Problems with imports. Changes in exports. Customs officials deciding they want to prove they got some power by holding your shipment for no good reason. A pile of things that needed to be done that didn't get done because FedEx stopped talking to the thermal printer we have to use to print out labels with bar codes and their Tech Support being worthless. Cats having major attitude problems. I didn't leave till 6:30pm.

So I wussed and gorged at Elmwood Taco and got home late and did nothing but crap work. Now it's 11:30 and I've accomplished nothing on IF or VOT. Which brings on my whiney mode and self-flagellation. Like clockwork. Irritating.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm worth all the trouble.

Monday, March 5, 2012


VOT continues to make headway in my head, even as I rework IF. I may be a true schizophrenic person, or else damn good at multi-tasking. I dunno. Maybe it's the compartmentalization of my brain. Am I so much like a Mac now, I can use multiple windows? And how many different ways can I say the same damned thing about me?

Anyway, I have everything figured out for VOT, and now it's working its way into becoming just as hard-assed as some of my other work...which it should be, considering how vicious RIHC6 got.

What's proving interesting is, this attitude is not really translating into IF. Maybe it's because it's being told by Vinnie, a good Catholic boy, and he has this off-handed manner of telling the story. Sort of like Ace in "The Lyons' Den" but without the 'tude. He's turning out to be somewhat fragile, Vinnie is. Things keep popping in to add to that fragility...and it's making me just a bit uncomfortable. But it's necessary, considering how the story turns out. What'll be fun is the reaction of the guy whose life it's based on.

And now off to do some research on my latest choice of murder weapon. This one's gonna be fun, fun, fun.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Feelin' good

I finally wrote 5 pages...about 1000 words...on "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor" for Jake, and now he's willing to let me hunker down on "Inherent Flaws." I input changes I'd made onto a printed copy and have about a third of the story updated. I'm also working out a timeline and making a list of all the characters so I can keep track of things...and I'm finding parts of the story did not work where I'd set them. So those got shifted.

A couple of names got changed, as well, thanks to reality making an entrance; one of the hoods had the same name as an actual Mafia guy who got sent up to Attica. Another one couldn't decide if he was from Harlem or Little Italy. So that had to be clarified. I have some more restructuring to do, but it looks like the foundation is back on track.

And now I have a headache. Nothing nasty, just...there.

I've been following the nonsense about Rush Limbaugh and his all-too-typical comments about women (this one being that a woman who testified about insurance covering birth control pills is a slut, a prostitute). He gave off a weaselly non-apology once he realized he'd gone a bit too far, this time. After all, when a Democrat had referred to a female lobbyist as a prostitute, about a year back, he lead the charge to have the guy run out of town.

Of course, Rush has his attack dogs still willing to blame everything that's ever gone wrong in the history of civilization on Liberals, and they have been out in force. But it's too late. Not to protect Rush; he's worth hundreds of millions of dollars so can ride this out. No, his filth has permeated to the point where now high-school girls are being called sluts for being on the pill by other high-school girls whose parents told them all about what Rush said. His sickness has become a permanent part of the culture.

If anything has made me ashamed to be an American, it's the fact that this man (and others of his ilk, like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coutler, to name a few) has an audience. Has people who listen to him and believe every word spewed from his warped brain. And the only reason they do it is to pad their own pockets. They do not care that they're destroying everything that made this country great.

Well, I hope the SOB follows Andrew Breitbart's lead.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Head against brick wall time

Didn't work. I haven't written a word, today, despite being as low-key and indoors-y as possible. I did go out to get some groceries and pick up a prescription, but that's it. I just could not get the words to come out. To formulate. To do a damned thing in my head except lie there, still and silent and meaningless.

I'm on my third cup of tea...and if you know the size cup I use, it's really more like 47th. Actually, they are soup mugs. And it does soothe my psychoses. And make me pee at 4am.

Jake's being a bitch. I want to finish this draft of IF and get it off for feedback, but he keeps slipping moments into my brain for VOT, shoving me off track. And Antony's nowhere to be found, right now. Dunno why. But he's been incredibly silent during this whole process, leaving it all up to Jake and me.

FRT only got to Quarterfinalist in the StoryPros screenplay competition, and that's with me getting some extremely positive feedback on it from one of the readers. I got a copy. I couldn't have written a nicer version, myself. And so what? Didn't advance a bit beyond that "almost" point, again.


Oh, I am in a mood. Jake better be careful; I may add in stuff he doesn't want to talk about, like what happened when he was in jail for nearly three years, just so I can show him who's boss.

Who'm I kidding? He is. All my characters are. In fact, he's already told me, "Let's do it." Shit. Such is life in Kyle's big city -- gridlock of the brain.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Back to normalcy...

...of a sort. Catching up on paperwork and e-mails and such, and trying to figure out how much money I have in the bank to cover my bills. It ain't easy, keeping up with all of this stuff.

I'm focusing on the rewrite of "Inherent Flaws" so I can get that off the plate and slam into "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor." I did more notes while driving -- dumb, I know, but I never said I was smartish. Who I thought was going to be the killer no longer is, suddenly...and my ending changed, too. Who knows what it'll be by the time I'm finished. But it keeps deepening and expanding and doing my usual writer thing of becoming about more than just the story and characters.

Shit...Jake just came up behind me and nestled his chin in the left curve of my neck to look at what I'm writing, and to let me know it'll be fine. Jesus Christ, I wish I could bring that cool, calm, casual aspect of his out into my daily life and make it work towards my choice of career. Now he's just smiling.

Hm...maybe "The Lyons' Den" is more autobiographical than I thought.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


That's the Days Inn I'm staying in. I can have all the Fruit Loops I want (but have to go out and buy my own milk), the elevator loves to chat as it's taking you up (sounding like a tummy in need of feeding or else some Pepto), and the card that held my key and has my room number on it also has a diagram showing where your room is (and 12 ads, including one for a cigar shop). That's on top of reruns of BBT playing on the TV in the lobby. I feel so...I here.

I'd intended to be home by now instead of staying the night in Clark Summit, PA, but a last minute rerouting occurred. I had to run back to NYC to get a $1.2m book from BA Cargo and take it to a courier service so it can be shipped into the middle of nowhere for a client...not far from where they're having lines of tornadoes. I hope this guy's library is surrounded by solid steel. Anyway, I didn't get it done till after 4pm and it's an 8 hour drive so...

Of course, the route I was planning to take home from New Haven was also snowed on, last night, so maybe this way is better.

Jake is maneuvering the story around in ways I find interesting, and he's open to talking about how he feels about Antony, and why. He's read Antony's version of their relationship and thinks the guy's missing something important. What...I don't know yet. He's hinted at it, but nothing concrete has come up, as of now. I worked on VOT while waiting for BA to get the crate I was picking up and give it to me (only a manager could do that, due to the high value, and the one who'd been given the paperwork forgot about me so I had to remind them I was still waiting...even though I'd been standing in full view of the reception desk and using their counter to write on...causing some consternation because they'd forgotten which manager had the paperwork).

Of course, the story keeps expanding beyond just being a mystery; an elderly lesbian who was once a Rosie the Riveter has made an appearance, and the location has been set near Palm Springs, not in it, but still uses the disgraceful conduct of the Palm Springs Chief of Police to illuminate the homophobia of the area. Plus Jake has his musical motif -- The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy"...mainly because of the guitar intro. Now it's all I can do to keep from plopping him into a 1965 Mustang convertible and having him drive across the desert in that...which would be the epitome of Hollywood cool if not true cool.

Jake's just shaking his head and muttering, "I got no problem with AC when it's 110 in the shade."