Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

In a mood so this fits me...

The song is my attitude, at the moment...including the goofy accent..

The dancing is amazing and all in one take...and is the actual sound, not dubbed, because it's one of the few times they're dancing on a wood floor and not tile o can even hear Ginger giggle halfway in.

As for the rest, everything's caught up in print...and Amazon's flipping me off on both an order I placed and updated counts of my books' sales. If I published through them, alone, I'd never know what my books have sold.

It's stupid.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Begone bitch...

I have nothing to say or add to that racist, lying, piece of shit whose show got cancelled thanks to her inability to shut her fucking mouth. I feel no loss from it; I didn't watch the first Rosanne show because, to be honest, I disliked her as a person and comedian even back then. I'm kind of sorry her fellow cast-mates and producers lost their jobs, but they're worth millions, each. They'll all be fine.

What's horrendous about this is all the crew members, who aren't rich like them and who probably needed the job. Now they're out of work in a business that's hard to deal with when things are going smoothly, and who also have to handle the stigma of having been employed by a bigoted nut job. I already see comments from people who say, "They worked for her so must have supported her."

Guilt by association is easy. I, myself, do it. I know people who are Republicans and vote the GOP line, and are decent people, but to me...what I see is they support the GOP agenda...which includes hurting gay men and women like myself. Do these people, themselves, support that? No. They "disagree with it." But they still vote for the assholes pushing, I see them as guilty of it.

Same for Christians. When someone tells me they are, I back away from them. I've been at the wrong end of Christianity too damn many times to ever trust one of those people, again, yet I'm sure many of them are fine people who honestly try to uphold the teachings of Christ. BUT...the ones who use it as a cloak for their totalitarian agenda are the ones you hear about and who take all the attention because the rest "take the high road." Which means they're going to let the evil bastards win...which is, in a way, a tacit form of support. And that is glaringly obvious to me.

So I halfway expect a number of people who worked on the show will get hit with a blacklist because they, in effect, helped to support a vile excuse for a human being's ludicrous rantings...and never mind they had mortgages and car payments and kids in school and stuff, things that were more important to them. They helped that show look good and run well...and that's a tacit form of support for Rosanne's hate.

I hope it doesn't go that way, for their sakes...and yet...I do wonder about them...

Monday, May 28, 2018

All done with reformatting...

Okay...all my dark books are now formatted in the same basic style, just with slight differences appropriate to the story...and with typos and errors corrected. I like how they look a lot more, now...less amateurish. All are told in first person and have some very intense scenes of non-consensual sex (or near rape) in them. In order of writing, they're...

AKA: HTRASG. It's a rough, brutal book told by an ex-con who's never had a break, filled with anger and pain and yet hopeful.

AKA: PM. A much sneakier book about a techie who's gay bashed and forms a vicious sort of revenge, in answer. This has my first really good cover. 

AKA: RIHC6. This was 2 books, initially, but I combined them and used this story as the prelude to a murder mystery. It gets very rough...but manages an HEA at the end...sort of.

AKA: BC. My Russian novel, a tragedy of three people colliding and sending each other on a path to destruction. Only one come out of it, but that's the way of the world.

AKA: LD. A farce of a situation told by a fictional character in the story that has dark undertones but also a chaotic mix of humor and ludicrousness.

AKA: OT. A full-fledged murder mystery with political and sociological overtones, where family, friends, cops, the system of justice and the church cannot be trusted.

All of them criticize today's legal profession as well as the church, politicians, the gay community, and society as a whole.

I left David Martin and The Alice '65 out because they are the complete opposite of these books, and because their formatting was already set up right. Besides, their covers are sunshine and light in comparison, and I didn't like the juxtaposition...

I'm funny, that way...

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Another one bites the dust as the last one bites back...

HTRASG is now reformatted to look nicer, inside, and it was work. This was my first book and, while it's also my shortest, it had a lot of things that needed updating. But it's all done, now, and Porno Manifesto is the last one to do...but it's being difficult, at best. For some idiot reason, I made the margins wider in my reboot, a few years back, and didn't notice a lot of the quotation marks were wrong. I feel like a complete idiot.

So I have to go through the whole book to make sure they're set up right, since I'm using Times New Roman as the font. I like how it looks and it's easy to read, but it is finicky. If you have a space before a quotation mark, like this -- ", it thinks you're starting a new sentence instead of ending one, so they face the wrong way. It's not obvious in the font I have on this blog (I don't have TNR Font available), but it looks goofy as you read.

Anyway, by the time I got done with settling the layout for the reformat, I had an additional 10 pages left to fill in order to keep the book at I added the first chapter from RIHC6. What the heck; it's the followup book. Now it's at the length I want. Tomorrow, I'm going through it and correcting the friggin' quotation marks. That'll be an all-day job. Cool.

I watched the first 2018 episode of Midsommer Murders on Britbox, as a way to relax, and found I really didn't like it. It felt a bit loose and some of the explanations as to what was happening were...convenient. With Vera, I believed these were cops on the job, even if I didn't think the mysteries were always top-drawer. This one...nowhere near as sharp in the dialogue and attitudes. And while the mystery's resolution wasn't as bad as In The Dark, it was still unimpressive.

Dammit...Prime Suspect and Vera spoiled me.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

BC is done...

I've uploaded the new formatted version and have started on HTRASG. It's a short book so is going a lot easier. then comes PM and I'm set for the rest of the year.

Just to pat myself on the back, here's another section of BC I'm proud of. It's after Bobby's suicide, and Eric's been shocked into realizing he helped bring it about. He's been sitting in his apartment for a week and is horrified at how the media and people who also pushed Bobby to his death are distancing themselves from it...and he has reached the point where he needs to either rebuild his life or follow Bobby into death.


The simple act of picking up trash helped me shift my focus back to reality. What I was doing wasn’t being trendily weary, nor was I happily drifting on a cloud of incoherence for all that time, gallantly allowing my mind a chance to heal in preparation for the rest of my life. The fact is, while watching the news I kept reliving everything that had happened over and over and over in a crazy hope that if I did it often enough, the outcome would change. If not for real, at least in my own head. I understand that’s a sign of insanity. That may well be true, but the fact was I could not honestly (and coherently) face the honest to God truth as regards my part in this disaster. Not just yet.

I finished filling my second Hefty bag and went to a window to see how the garbage looked, like I’d done so many times in the last couple of months for no particular reason. Funny thing is, for the first time the bin was empty. Nothing but leftover smudge to see. I carried both bags down the stairs and dumped them in then looked up just in time to make the trip worthwhile.

It was overcast and cool. A hint of winter rain was in the air. An almost breeze was tickling the tree just to my right. And a hummingbird danced past to play in the flowers on the bush to my left. I watched as he whirred and darted and checked out the buds and dipped in for a sip (at least, I think it was a he). His wings were almost invisible, they moved so fast, and he was a lovely combination of dark neon green and bright neon red, with hints of purple, blue and gold glimmering through and eyes like little black pearls. So tiny. So fragile. So busy with his life. So heartbreakingly beautiful. Then he stopped. He perched on a branch, breathing heavily, and looked back at me as if to ask, “What you lookin’ at, bub?” I grinned, still without thinking, and went back to my apartment.

I peeled off my shirt and jeans and everything and set the shower to going as hot as I could stand it. I let the water roll over my face and ‘cross my shoulders and down my back and stomach and legs. Then I leaned back against the side of the stall and let the steam rise and fill my lungs and heart and soul. I didn’t zone in there, though; deep down I knew the hot water would soon end and I’d have to finish in cold if I took too long. I absently began to lather up. Slowly, almost carefully, I cleaned every part of my body I could get to. I flashed back to the day after my encounter with Allen and the shower I never took after Doctor Finnerman and the SANE and nurse Pavel and Grant and Iglesias and my deep desperate need for the oblivion of sleep and everything else were done with me. I vaguely recognized the sense of non-urgent-urgency I’d had since that day was gone. I could simply luxuriate in the cleanliness of the soap. The beauty of the shimmer it left on my skin. The scent of it taking me back to a day before I’d been tainted. I shampooed, rinsed, repeated the actions, all by rote. And yet, not. This wasn’t like the time when Moritz had told me to bathe. This was just...well, it just felt nice. Wonderful. I finished the moment the water turned tepid. Perfect timing, for once.

I stepped out and wiped the condensation from the glass and looked at myself through the pattern of streaks and drops left behind. And I flashed back to that hotel room only two (three? four?) months prior and realized that was the last time I had seen myself in a mirror. Comparatively speaking, I looked neither better nor worse. It was like I’d gone into a holding pattern, waiting for clearance to continue my slide into hell or whatever fate I would allow for myself. But this time I could see more than just the deep disgusting differences in my psyche. My eyes were still hollow instead of bright, but they were also cold. My skin was pasty instead of rose hued, despite the hot shower, and it too was cold. I’d lost a few more pounds and it showed in how much deeper my cheeks sank. It was me at fifty before I was half that age. It was pathetic.

I ran some lukewarm water into the sink and shaved, something I’d never done naked before. I know it’s an odd thing to think about, but the thought simply came as a “never did that before” jog from my memory. I gently dried off with my one semi-clean towel, rolled some deodorant under my arms and strolled over to the closet.

I didn’t own a chest of drawers; all my underwear and socks and sweaters and foldable items of clothing were laid on a shelving unit shoved into one corner. I picked out a pair of briefs, a white t-shirt and pair of black socks and pulled them on, right there...something else I never did. Then I took the only clothes I had left on hangers — a white cotton shirt and that long forgotten pair of torn black Dockers — and slipped into those. The pants were loose, so I cinched the belt a notch tighter. Two notches. Doing that helped hide the damage to the material enough to where if you weren’t looking for it, you’d never see it. I found my black shoes (the ones that were always tied) and shoved my feet into them, then I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. I still had not one bit of thought or emotion at seeing this “crystal-chic” type freak staring back.

I got my wallet, got my car keys, gave Jag a pat on the head and left.

My Volvo started up on the first try and I pulled away. I still had zero idea of where I was going or what I was doing. I just drove. East down Pico. Under the 405. Past Westside Pavilion. Over the tiny hill by Beverly Glen. Straight to Fairfax. Left toward the Hills. Passing Ethiopian and Jewish shops and restaurants, then passing the museums and Farmer’s Market and the humongous Grove shopping center and CBS and Canter’s up to Melrose. Then right to head down the strip.

The high school was busy. Traffic had yet to be jammed with the lunchtime crush. Meters were open everywhere. I stopped at one, plunked in a quarter and walked along. There were a few tourists looking around with disappointment at how sedate Melrose seemed, even with its wall murals and occasional head shops. “It just ain’t like Haight-Ashbury, Oliver, that’s fer dang sure.”

I turned down a side street and turned, again, to head down the alley. And two doors down stood Rene’s thirty year-old Mercedes carefully parked in one of the two parking slots. The aroma of his lunch preparation danced up to greet me like it was overjoyed to see the prodigal son.

“So this is where I’m going,” I thought as I wandered up to the door.

I looked in...and there was Rene, unchanged, dipping his finger into a pot to test the sauce. Steam swirled around him and tickled through the silver hair that still flew out from under his chef’s cap. He wasn’t happy with what he found, so he grabbed a pinch of this and a dab of that to fling into the pot. Then he stirred the sauce. And saw me. His expression did not change, nor did he hesitate in his stirring; he just glanced me over.

I gulped, my mind a blank, my mouth dry. But then words began popping out, soft, croaking, whispers of, “I’m sorry. I left you in a bad spot. No excuse. I’m so sorry.”

He checked another pot, still casting little glances at me. It needed a dash more salt.

I kept babbling. “I’m going out to get another job. If I can. I think I’m pretty good at waiting tables. I — I was hoping I could — well, could I give you as a reference? I know it’s asking a lot — but I need to — to...”

Rene motioned me in; I entered. He pointed me to his ratty little table covered with paperwork and such; I sat in the one chair. He pulled down a plate, put some Ravioli Caruso on it and set it before me; I stared at it. Silverware wrapped in a tacky red napkin appeared by my right hand; I looked up at him.


“Eat,” was all he said, then he turned back to his pots.

I ate. Slowly. Tasting every bite. Loving it. No, luxuriating in it. The warmth of it drifted into my stomach and gently spread into my heart then through my whole body. Oh, sweet Jesus, it was Heaven, purest Heaven. I licked the plate clean, and I mean that literally.

When I was done, Rene appeared by my side, again. “I can use you Tuesday, Thursday lunch, Friday, Sunday night.”

I felt like I’d been slapped with cold water. Did he say what I thought he said? “Here? But I — I — didn’t...”

“Can you work lunch, today?”


“I need a host. We have a big party coming. You park on the street?”


“Put it by my car. This time only. Then prep the tables. Laila is alone until noon. Again.”

He turned back to his pots. I couldn’t move. I was afraid that if I did, I’d see nothing but my dreary four walls instead of these happy steaming pots and hear my pissy neighbors instead of the plinks and plops of Rene’s cuisine nearing perfection and smell the cabbage crap Mrs. Vanden was cooking instead of the insanely gorgeous aromas combining in this tiny kitchen. Then Rene looked at me and gave me an irritated flip of his hand to tell me to go.

I went.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Okay...BC is done reformatting...

I'm making one last pass through the book in pdf form to make sure it's in order, but overall it seems to be. 490 page -- about 450 of them the actual novel; the rest are title pages and a sample of The Lyons' Den at the end, to be goofy. What's fun is, it's the same number of pages as the previous one. It had to be to work with the cover.

It certainly looks better than it did, especially the page headers. I had one hell of a time getting them to work well enough in the previous version...and they never did look completely right...but now it's nice and neat, with the page numbers at the bottom of the page. Helps to know what you're doing, even if you don't know all the tricks on how to control Word's quirks.

It's a long book and pretty tough to read, at times, but I did some writing in it I'm proud when Eric's sitting on a front porch in a house near Dallas, sipping icy lemonade on a warm summer night with Samuel, a man who went through the same thing as him years ago at the hands of the same man...and who's reading Allen's version of what happened --

I let my mind drift...wander through the night, through air that still pressed against you like a blanket, both warming and cooling at the same time. I listened to sleepy brush critters mingle their chittering with bleating frogs in the brush and owls calling in the trees. I caught a whiff of honeysuckle on a soft breeze, sweet and thick with bloom. It added to the tang of the lemonade. I thought about nothing.

I grew so still, I could hear the blood swishing through my veins, slow and rhythmic, almost like it was scraping the walls of my vessels. I could feel the bones and tendons move in my elbow as I raised my glass, drawing against each other in vague protest. It was like I’d stepped out of my body to take inventory of every sensation I could think of and thought it was some brilliant achievement. I could easily have drifted off into the night, leaving behind all coherent thought and pain, but then I noticed Samuel had stopped reading.

I looked at him...and in the shadows and soft porch light I lost the soft creases and lines that hinted at age taking hold of his face, lost the loosening feel of his cheeks, lost the hint of a second chin, saw him probably as he looked twenty years ago — young, innocent and almost beautiful, seeming more like a brother of mine than Bobby could ever have. In a cold moment of clarity, I understood why Allen would choose him to further his story; he was the bastard’s ideal.

He finally looked at me and shook his head. “Man...that Allen is really somethin’.” I let him take his time to continue. “This thing he wrote...that’s not me.”

I'm glad I'm doing this, ro remind myself sometimes I do okay...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bobby Carapisi redone...partially...

I've been working on reformatting BC, this evening, and Word is not being nice. I'm not sure what the deal is, but it seems if I don't do the changes in a certain way, it wipes them out. For example, I'm breaking each section apart so I can better manipulate the header; I don't want it on the first page of a chapter. So I spent an hour setting up a new header for each page, with the footer for page numbering. To do this, I have to go through a massive process of opening up the header/footer at the beginning of each section and telling each one for 6 pages that they should not link to the previous. If I don't do it that many times, it ignores me. Then I go in, add the text and numbering, make sure they're in the font I want...and after that, all pages in the full section should take them in a uniform fashion until I hit the next break.

Except...when I start doing this on the next section...all my even number page headers and footers vanish. I have to break the sections completely a section with no header/footer between the sections that have them...before I add text to the headers and footers or it thinks I want to go back to default and I have to start all over, again. Then that time, since I've separated the next section from the next sticks. Drives me nuts.

But...the book is already looking a lot better. If all goes well, I should have BC, HTRASG and PM done by Monday, since it's a 3-day weekend. And I may make some typo corrections to A65, to help it be neater. It's about time to consider working up the paperback, so it'd be a good idea to solidify it as I have a hardcover copy on display at a book convention in NYC, next week. I'd go down for it, but the books from the London Book Fair at Battersea Park's Evolution will be returning to the US and I'll be prepping for my trip to Miami, the following week.

Gotta pay for my writing habit in some way, since the books ain't pullin' their weight.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

RIHC6 is reformatted...

I just uploaded the file to Ingram Spark and it's been accepted, at no charge, so we shall see how it looks when I get the PDF proof. But I do like how it looks, now, in my own PDF version...very clean and neat. Almost professional. It would be completely professional if I could work out how to make words automatically hyphenate when I justify the text instead of just adding spaces between the words to fit the justification.

What's nice is, if I do decide to put it into a box set with OT, the paperbacks are already the same size -- 5.5x8.5 inches. Worked out well. Not sure how to do that, but it's something I can look into later.

With BC, HTRASG and PM, I'm going to try a simpler route. I want them to just look good, not amateurish, like they do now...though BC might take some work. It's a big book. Nearly 200,000 words. I can't take as long as I did with RIHC6 because I only have the free option till next Thursday. But I'm getting on it, tomorrow.

There's a possibility I might be able to make a short trip to Belfast, the end of next month, and visit the prison museum on Crumlin Road. I can't afford to go all that way on my own, but one job I definitely have in the UK has segued into another potential one...and if that one comes through I'll have 3 days between jobs. So...I can't talk myself out of it. Brendan's also pushing.

I also want to see if I can scope out the Castleragh police station area. So it'd be a 2-night stay...and I'm shaking my head at my financial irresponsibility...but it's important for PS so it's happening...if everything comes together.

That's still a big IF.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

4-Star Review of OT on Smashwords...

This is from Dvahood posted on both Smashwords and GoodReads. WooHoo!

This was a very intense and at times complicated story. Jake is a man with a complicated past and messed up family trying to find out what has happened to his Uncle. Tone, is his lover. I didn't really get Tone, maybe if there had been a bit more of his backstory I would have understood their story-line a bit better. The main story-line was The Vanishing of Owen Taylor. It was intriguing, twisty, and fast-paced. It flowed well and the imagery was well done. Most of the secondary characters were well fleshed out and interesting in their own right. The character interactions and dialogue made sense and were realistic. At times I found it was challenging to follow how Jake reached the conclusions that he did, but everything came together in the end. I really loved how the little guy 'put the screws' to 'the man', but hated how the little guy 'put the screws' to the little guy.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a complicated murder mystery and doesn't mind it served up with a strong and angry gay man willing to fight back.

For those readers who may have triggers, there are two off-page rapes, an on-page attempted rape and a couple of violent gay bashing(s)...

This is what I'm looking for...and I can see what she means with her complaints. I'm realizing RIHC6 and OT are really too closely aligned for OT to stand completely alone...but it's out there now. Maybe I will do them as a set, some day...

...And let the freak-outs begin...

Monday, May 21, 2018

I may never be allowed into some people's homes, again...

I found this series of photos reversing the roles of Han and Leia from Star Wars and I just about died.

I find this photo amazingly erotic -- and I'm not into girls, at all. But her in control like Han, and him her's like a moment from my script, Carli's Kills, come to life...
This guy is Dove Meir, an actor who's about 40. FORTY! Damn, I didn't look this good when I was 20.

This is with another guy, whose name I don't know...but apparently this is now a meme or theme or something. I may go looking to see what happens with Luke...but I don't think it will be anywhere near as entertaining as this...

I do hear that Lando Calrisian might be pansexual in the new Han Solo movie. I seriously doubt it will be as much fun as full-scale gender swapping...

I wonder how Star Warriors feel about it?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Slow motion...

I'm going through RIHC6 to check the quotation marks; seems when you do an em-dash to end dialogue, the quotation mark flips the wrong way. I hadn't noticed that when I first set this book up, so I'm sure it's happened all through HTRASG and PM and BC...but I did figure it out with OT, LD and A65 so corrected them. It's just a painstaking process.

I'm also shifting anything I'd put quotes around, to emphasize names or thoughts, into italics. I like how it looks and it gets the same idea across but in a cleaner, simpler way. There's a lot of them...but this is the last step in the reformatting of the book. Once it's done, I'll upload the PDF and go through the nonsense of Ingram complaining because it's got color embeded even though it doesn't.

I've been able to keep it at the same page count, which means no changes needed for the cover unless I want to...and I'm halfway thinking of removing the log-line at the top of it. I really like the starkness of it. The mystery. The danger. The words at the top distract from that. It also says a lot about the story, really, without the verbiage, and it's only a composite of 3 images I got from Shutterstock. One of my favorite covers.

I like the covers for Porno Manifesto and The Vanishing of Owen Taylor, too. Those came together nicely. The covers for HTRASG and BC are just too busy, to me, now, and while I like LD's cover, it's good, but not perfect. A65, however, is in a category unto itself. I'm glad I took the time to find it because it works great, but my head still hurts from all the pounding against the wall I did over it.

For PS...if I can't license the image I want for it, I don't know what I'll do, instead.

I'll cross that bridge when the book is done.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rape In Holding Cell 6

I went through my docx copy of this story and reformatted it, corrected grammatical mistakes I stupidly decided made sense, and made it look more like a professional book than a self-published vanity novel. While doing so, I reread it...and I'm damned proud of it. I call it one of my adult novels because it has some very intense sexual moments in it, but it also has a protagonist who's borderline insane, driven there first by grief and then by fear for the safety of a man he loves.

I hadn't realized just how nuts Antony is in this...but he's dangerous. He believes in a scorched earth policy when dealing with those who threaten him, and has since he was a child. Yet he also loves his Jake so deeply and completely, he'd die for him. The problems that explode are when his emotions take over from his brain, without him realizing it, and he makes mistakes that nearly destroy him. He's not a hero or even an anti-hero; he's a psychotic fuck who also has some major redeeming qualities to him.

I decided to update the formatting because this book is the real lead-in to The Vanishing of Owen Taylor, and I want them to be consistent with each other. Margins. Contents page. Block justified instead of left justified...something that really made the book seem amateurish. And I can update it at no cost on Lightning Spark till the end of the month, so I'd be a fool not to take advantage of this.

It's sold okay -- not on the scale of How To Rape A Straight Guy, but that one's title is so provocative I halfway think people read it just to see if it lives up to itself. So far, no one's said otherwise and, in fact, I've gotten some pretty nice feedback on it...mostly of the shocked sort from people who never thought they could care about a man who commits a brutal rape. When I get those comments, I preen like a peacock.

I think I'll reformat Bobby Carapisi, next. It's another book people are shocked by...and horrified by...and the truth is, I was way too heavy with it. I'm not rewriting it; just using it to remind myself I prefer Tolstoy's humanity to Dostoyevsky's wallowing in the brutality of life...and need to keep that in mind when writing. As I've said before, Shakespeare put comedy even into his tragedies because he knew the audience needs the respite.

Still in the process of learning that...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Okay...scene submitted...

I sent my 6-page scene from The Alice '65 to ABC Discovers and expect nothing back, but it was free and maybe it'll get someone to read the book. You never know. I got some interesting feedback to use on it, so I think it works...and it made Adam happy. Now I can return my focus to Place of Safety and begin the step outline for the Houston section of the book.

Brendan's pushing me to take it as far as I I am. I'll try and take it even darker and yet funnier, if possible, using some of my own experiences living in San Antonio during the 70s...and those of some of my friends. People I know. Not everything has to be from your own this book is proving to me.

I'm going to try a slightly different manner of writing the book. As I go through and work up the first draft, I'm also going to shift over to other books I want to write, in an attempt to keep from becoming too caught up in how massive the thing is. I've sort of tried this before without much success...but I want to do it, again, just to see what happens.

I've got Underground Guy to finish, which is really just a fun piece of gay erotica cloaked in a serial killer mystery and focused on a bastard who's forced to see what damage he's doing to people. Not sure if he'll change...but no demands, either way.

I've got Carli's Kills, which would be a fun piece to do for women, with Zeke being objectified by Carli in a way men objectify women. Make it as erotic as possible without much in the way of language or crudity. Just to see how explicit I could be without a single cock or dick or pussy mentioned it...maybe no foul language, at all. It would be a simple book to shift over from script format, I think. We'll see.

I could do the same with Blood Angel, though that would be more intense. Sex connected to murderous horror, with Gabrielle and Dmitry covering both versions of it -- gay and straight. Maybe I'll change the battle over Tristan to one where each is trying to bring him to their side, drop this The One shit, since that's really pretty hackneyed.

Or...I could go the opposite extreme and make The Cowboy King of Texas into another rom-com like A65. Counter-programming with something light and farcical.  It's a thought.

It just all shows me how much I have left to do...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Catching up is hard to do...

Today I spent preparing applications for UK export licenses for some American book dealers going to the London Book Fair. It took hours and hours, and I couldn't even do all of them because I ran out of blank application forms. We have a package of them in our London storage, but don't do me no good here. So my colleagues will have to do the remainder of hand, in London. Not fun.

Just to let you know, because of a lot of cultural fraud and manipulation by various groups in past years, the EU worked up a system by which books, for example, that are over 100 years of age and valued at more than $55,000 have to get an official okay to be shipped out of the region. Each country, has its own little specifications and some can be very difficult. The UK is relatively the easiest of them all to deal with.

First you have to have an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration Identification number), which an American company can get in the UK if they show a need for it. Then, if you're bringing the books or artwork in for an exhibition or fair, you have to provide proof of import entry, fill out a long form that's in triplicate (I type them and go very slowly, because typos are very much frowned upon), submit documentation of the book's value, a description, copy of the import entry and signed application...and usually you get the okay within 5 days. Not always, but usually.

We've had issues with American dealers insisting that since their books are only going for exhibition, they don't require an export license to be brought home. Not true. Even if it's brought into the UK and taken straight out, again, you have to get a license (unless you're not declaring the book, but if you do sneak it in and sell it, then the provenance is all screwed up...and no institution will touch anything that does not have a legal paper trails of its history, anymore).

Of course, we've also had British dealers tell us certain items I know require a license do not require one. And others have told me I'm wrong when I say their license is expired or filled in wrong, because I'm American, not British. So I refer them to the Arts Council, who issues the licenses in the UK, to be disabused of their opinions. It's amazing how stubborn and obtuse people can get until smacked down by authority.

And some still try to pull shit...and they sometimes get caught. Then it's all, You have to help me! Which we do as best we can. But sometimes that means getting a lawyer familiar with customs rules and regulations to handle the situation, and that ain't cheap. But if you want your $100K worth of books back you got to fork it out.

I once made the mistake when I was at Heritage of trying to be sneaky in order to get a book to a dealer in Italy. It got snagged and took us thousands of dollars and months to get it back, and got another dealer in trouble because he'd sold it to us without the proper paperwork involved. After that, I went strictly by the book... to speak...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Reworked and ready-er...

Made it more contained...more explanatory...more of a synopsis of the story, really.


A state of the art kitchen in chrome and brass. CASEY, a beautiful young woman in a cocktail dress, leads ADAM in. The same age as her, he’s bookish and in a suit. Party music and voices rumble from another room.

Good God, this is bigger than my flat in Ruislip.

That where you live?

She takes two tubs of Mac & Cheese from a cupboard, pours in water and pops them in a microwave.

Nora and I, till we parted. Couldn't afford it on my
own. Casey, what’re you doing?

You said you were hungry. And the food being served
out there is crap...

But is this all right?

Why shouldn’t it be?

It’s not your home, it’s Lando Grissoms’ and —

Hey, I helped that son-of-a-bitch find this house! Spent
months looking for it, all over town. Connected him
with my decorator. I was here more than I was at home.
Besides, I bought these, and I’ll be damned if I leave
anything behind. It’ll just go to waste. He — he thinks
Mac and Cheese is beneath him, now.

...Sorry. And may I say, your Lando is a fool?

...He’s not mine, anymore.

Then why did we come to his party?

Had to. Make everyone think I’m well and good.
That’s so fucking important in this town. Always
land on your feet. And having a man with me who
nobody knows — what better way to prove it?

ADAM I your rent boy?

Oh, stop. There's water in the fridge.

The microwave dings. She pulls the tubs out and carefully peels off the covers. Adam gets bottles of water. She pulls out silverware and hands him a tub with spoon.

Chow down, baby.

Thanks. Cheesy pasta...mum calls this nourishment
for heart attacks, but when in starvation mode...

He digs in. She toys with hers as she looks around.

Lando Grissom. I’m still trying to figure out how he
and I got together. Self-absorbed brats should never
partner up.

I don’t see you as being like that.

You don't know me. I don’t know me. I should’ve
known him. It’s not like I hadn’t seen him around, at
parties, awards ceremonies. Different girl, every time.
But I was too focused on another actor I was dating.
Vinny. A nice guy who couldn't decide if he was gay,
straight or bi. But he did like being with me; got him
sympathy from the gossip rags.

Don’t they like you? Why?

Oh, on my first series, someone on the crew called me a
demanding little diva. And it’s still brought up whenever
something goes wrong. Like it did when I caught Lando
with some bitch. Who knew smearing his car with doggie-
doo would make headlines around the world?

Did it?

You must’ve seen the Telegraph, Daily Mail...

I pay them no mind.

Good. It’s all bullshit. Vinny’s the perfect example. His
then boyfriend saw me in Neiman's and warned me, He's
using you, so don't be surprised about me. I wasn't; I can
add two and two. That's what I told him, and he nodded
and walked away. The Inquirer turned it into a screaming
match in the middle of cosmetics, photos arranged to look
like we were about to get into a knife fight. Vinny got
outed, and I was disparaged as the other woman in a gay
man's life.

Not really? That must have taken some rather bizarre
gymnastics in in the writing process.

They did backflips, pommel horse, you name it. Anyway,
one day I was at a party and my limo vanished, and Lando
gave me a ride home. And we talked. And we started seeing
each other. We were tabloid fodder by the second date, but
at least this spin was positive. He was kind. Attentive. Loving,
even though I was a bigger name than him. Dozen movies
to my credit. Two series. I liked him. I wanted him with me
always, so got him onto Ilithium Four.

Adam focuses on his tub of food.

I’d rather not remember that film.

Oh? Oh, Adam, are you one of those preferred the book

It was a classic work of science fiction and he was not
at all correct for the character he portrayed and he — sorry,
I — I didn’t mean to — I mean, you were good in it but...

Oh, stop. It was a piece of crap. But I enjoyed making it.
Enjoyed the whole shoot. Lando and me. Five romantic
months at a beach resort near Cape Town. You ever been?

No. I dislike travel.

But you just flew thousands of miles to here...

Only to collect the book your grandfather’s donated to
my university.

I think you’d like Cape Town. Lando and I, we looked all
over that city. Once we even took the last cable car up to
Table Mountain. God, that ride. Clear sky filled with red.
City lights glistening in the evening's shadows. Millions
of them. Each one representing a person whose life was as
distinct and meaningful as ours. The beauty of it...such
overwhelming we whispered up and up — I
started to weep. So Lando slipped to behind me. Wrapped
his arms around my waist. Put his chin in the crook of my
neck. Soft. Tender. And he whispered, That’s real cool.

Adam covers a laugh with a cough and bite of the Mac & Cheese.

Yeah, Shakespeare reborn. But I didn't care. I was in
love. The tabloids got a lot of niceness to fill their pages,
for the next three years. Did wonders for my reputation
as well as his career. Till two weeks ago. And now look
at me; in his kitchen, comfort-eating and spilling my guts
to a man I all but blackmailed to be here. Perfect. And
cut. Print. That’s a wrap.

I know I didn’t want to come, but I’m not sorry I did.

You’re sweet. Definitely not what I thought you'd be.

Nor are you what I expected, really.

Adam, let’s be real — you hadn't even heard of me
before you came here, had you? I mean, you watched
Ilithium Four on the flight over. You said so.

ADAM brothers and sister would know of you. They
watch the telly. Follow social media, whatever. But the
truth is, for me — books are my life. If it's not a volume
that goes onto a shelf, nothing else matters. The only reason
you and I even met is because my university insisted I make
the journey instead of a colleague.

Insisted? They made you to come all this way to pick up
my grandfather’s silly book? We couldn’t just FedEx it?

Oh, God, no! No! It’s an Alice ’65 — an 1865 edition of
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! Only 25 are known to
exist. The risk of sending it via UPS or FedEx — God only
knows what could have happened. I was chosen because
it’s in my area of expertise...and I’m also the best cataloguer
they have. In fact, I’m the department joke, the way I lose
myself in where I forget meals and meet-ups
and anniversaries and such. Nora was often aggrieved.

C'mon, baby, you really that bad?

She wanted me tested for autism. Said I'm too easily
distracted by minutia. Then one day we met for tea and
— and she told me to get on with my life. Such a simple
phrase, that...yet totally without meaning.

He notices a slip of paper on the refrigerator.
Meat-flies; water-vaYter; come-comb; house-wees?
Is Lando trying to learn German?

Huh? I dunno. He was in Berlin doing publicity, a few
days ago. And Paris. And Sydney. And Tokyo. You
name it they loves their Lando Grissom.

He looks at her.

Don't they love their Casey Blanchard, as well?

...Not like they used to.

He hesitates...turns back to the list. Writes on it.

Well...pronunciation's off on these. So here we go,
meat should be flysh. And water is vasser. If you plan
to do it, do it right. That’s why there are so few Alice
65s; the illustrator hated how the first print turned out
and insisted the book be completely redone. So it was.
(looks at her)
As for the pasta, it was lovely, but now I think a nice
chicken curry with saffron rice, sag aloo, raita, samosas
in plum sauce, and big bottles of Taj Mahal would be a
perfect capper. No tabloids allowed. No explanations.
No sorrows. Just some quiet time away from it all. Our
own little redo of the evening. Are you open?

She smiles at him, for the first time.

Sounds lovely.

Brilliant. Now I’ve never snuck out on a Hollywood
party, before, but I doubt it’s difficult. So...shall we
put it to the test?

He dumps his empty tub in the trash. Casey finally does the same. They exit.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Got done early...

This packing job went very quickly so I'm headed home after everything's picked up, tomorrow. It wasn't an easy job, and my nose is still irritated by the dust involved, but I'm happy I got to do it. And even happier to be done. I'm not happy with this La Quinta. Half the plugs don't work or only barely do. Not cool and makes me nervous.

I managed to rework the scene for A65, make it more self-contained using bits from the book as background. I doubt anything will happen with it, but it keeps me pushing forward.

I'm also updating the format of my first 4 books -- HTRASG, PM, RIHC6 and BC. I can make the grammar better, too. I used to insist on doing some dumb things, once upon a time. Lightning is offering to do this for free till the end of the month, and I'd be an idiot not to make use of it.

I'm adding a character to PS, a Jewish guy who's friends with Brendan's cousin, Scott, and who gets caught in Israel during the Yom Kippur war. When he comes back, he finds the only person he can talk to is Brendan, because they've both been in a war zone and seen people killed right in front of them. It's a bit obvious, but hopefully by the time I'm done working it in, it will seem organic.

That's all I want my books to be -- organic...unlike me...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I thief from me...

It's funny...the first scene I posted, between Curran and Geri on a rooftop, was written years ago for a script I abandoned because I couldn't figure it out. I took that for a moment in the novelization of The Alice '65. When I was told of a competition seeking a 6-page scene between 2 actors, after telling myself not to I surrendered and pulled that bit out to rework it. Came out to exactly 6 pages.

And made no sense. No matter what I did to it. So I backed away, planning to ignore the competition...but then Adam came knocking and said, "If you give it back to me and Casey, it could generate interest in the book, even if it goes nowhere." So I reworked it into a scene...and it's exactly 6 pages...and I changed a bit to make it an inclusive moment between the two of them...and I like it.


I'll do a bit more to it to polish it up and clarify what's going on, a bit better, and send it in. But the only reason I'm willing to do it is because there is no entry fee. If they were charging to enter, I wouldn't have thought twice about ignoring it. I've put too damn much money into script contests that achieved nothing to even think of doing it, again.

This one, I'm doing it to keep getting Adam's and Casey's story out there. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, as well, so there's my justification.

I just did something similar for Jake in The Vanishing of Owen Taylor. I'm out for reviews, since no one I gave a free copy to is willing to post one on GoodReads or Amazon or Nook or anybody. Smashwords does require the book be got through them before you can post a review on their site, but I think I've worked around that.

We'll have to see.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

New idea for a scene...

To send in, more to get interest in A65 than anything else. Changed some things to make it work on its own.


A state of the art kitchen of chrome and brass. CASEY, a beautiful young woman in a cocktail dress, leads ADAM in. The same age as her, he’s bookish and in a suit. Party music and voice rumble from another room.

Good God, this is bigger than my flat in Ruislip.

That where you live?

She pulls two cartons of Mac & Cheese from the freezer. Pops them in a microwave.

Nora and I, till we parted. Couldn't afford it on my
own. Is this all right?

I bought these. Back when I spent a lot of time, here.

Oh. Casey, may I say that Lando Grissom is a fool?

You may.

And...we should not have come here.

Had to. Make everyone think all is well and good. That’s
so important in Hollywood. Always land on your feet.

ADAM’ve made your appearance, so let us depart.
Now. Find somewhere else to feed. My ticket.

In a minute. I don't want to leave anything behind; it'll
just rot. There's water in the fridge.

The microwave dings. She pulls the steaming boxes out, sets them on a counter and peels off the plastic film covers. Adam gets bottles of water. She pulls out silverware and hands him a spoon.

Chow down, baby.

God, cheesy pasta. Me mum calls this nourishment for
heart attacks, but...

He eats. Casey toys with hers.

Y’know, I helped Lando find this house. Spent months
looking for it. Fixing it up. Connected him with my
decorator. I was here more than I was at home. And now?
Now I don’t know why he and I got together; we're too
much alike.

I’d argue that point.

You don't know me. My mother thinks she matched us
up, but I'd already seen him around. Parties. Awards
ceremonies. He was up for a daytime Emmy back when
I was dating an actor from one of the Soaps. Vinny. A
nice guy who couldn't decide if he was gay, straight or
bi. But being with me gave him good press in the gossip

Have they always been at you?

I have a reputation for being a difficult out-of-control
bitch, and they keep trying to find ways of backing it up.
Filling pages in...oh, in England it’s like The Telegraph,
The Daily Mail, OK, Hello; I mean, you must've noticed
how they can be.

I've never paid them any mind.

You're unusual. It’s all bullshit, you know. Vinny’s the
perfect example. His then boyfriend saw me in Neiman's
and warned me, He's using you, so don't be surprised
about me. I wasn't; I can add two and two. That's what
I told him, and he smiled and walked away. The Star
Inquirer turned it into a screaming match in the middle
of cosmetics, photos arranged to look like we were
about to get into a knife fight. I was disparaged as the
other woman in a gay man's life.

Bad Casey. Bad, bad Casey.

It died down. I saw Lando at a couple more parties, but
I was with this writer, then. Who suddenly decided he
loved his wife. I didn't know he was married.

You needn’t explain yourself to me.

Anyway, one day my limo vanished, so Lando gave me
a ride home, and we talked, and Mom said he was just
right for me. And we started seeing each other. We were
tabloid fodder by the third date, but this spin was positive.
He was kind. Attentive. Loving, even though I was a
bigger name than him. Had a dozen movies to my resume.
Two series. I liked that. Wanted him with got him
onto Ilithium Four.

I’d rather not think of that film.

Preferred the book?

It’s a classic work of science fiction and...sorry, but...

It was crap. But I liked making it, because a week into
shooting we were at a beach resort near Cape Town and
had an off day. I'd finished my PPK — Publicity Press Kit.
Lando'd done his, too, and it was getting dark, so we took
the cable car up to Table Mountain. It was the last car so
we couldn't stay up long...but the ride. Clear skies streaked
with red. City lights as we whispered up and up. Every
pin-prick of light down there representing people whose
lives were as distinct and meaningful as ours. Hundreds
of thousands of them glittering under the late evening's
shadows. The beauty of it — such overwhelming beauty
— I could barely breathe. I started to weep. Lando slipped
up behind me. Wrapped his arms around my waist. Laid
his chin in the crook of my neck. And then he whispered,
So fucking cool.

Adam covers a laugh with a cough and bite of the Mac & Cheese.

Yeah, Shakespeare couldn't have put it better. But I didn't
care. We gave the tabloids a lot of niceness to fill their
front pages for the next three years. Helped my reputation
as well as his career.

I find it difficult to believe anyone could believe anything
negative about you.

You’re sweet. But my first series...word got around that
I was demanding. A little diva. It’s followed me, no matter
how perfect I am. Keeps getting brought up when something
goes wrong. Like it did two weeks ago. And now look
where I am; in a kitchen, comfort-eating and spilling my
guts to a man who never wanted to be here. Cut. Print. On
to the next scene.

I'm glad I accompanied you.

You’re definitely not what I thought you'd be.

Nor are you what I expected, really.

Adam, let's be honest — you hadn't even heard of me
till I made you come on this party, had you?

He gives her a shrug and smile.

The rest of my family would know of you. They watch
the telly. Follow social media, online, phones, tablets,
whatever. But for me, if it's not a volume that goes onto
a shelf nothing else matters. But in truth, the only
reason you and I met is because my university coerced
me into flying here from London.

To pick up my grandfather’s book?

It’s an important volume, and we couldn’t risk having
it shipped via UPS or FedEx. Also, it’s in my area of
expertise, and they know that once I begin my research,
I lose myself in it, often to the point of forgetting things
like meals, meet-ups, anniversaries and such. Nora was
often aggrieved.

C'mon, baby, you really that bad?

She wanted me tested for autism. Said I'm too easily
distracted by minutia. Then one day we met for tea and
she told me to get on with my life. So I moved back with

He notices a slip of paper on the refrigerator.

Meat-flies; water-vaYter; come-comb; house-wees?Is Lando learning German?

He was in Berlin doing publicity, a few days ago. He's
off on the Pacific tour, tomorrow. Shanghai, Sydney,
Hong Kong, Tokyo, you name it they loves their Lando

Don't they love their Casey Blanchard, too?

Not like they used to.

He draws near to her.

I'm sure your next film will change all of that.

You’re sweet.

He turns back to the list.

The pronunciation's off on those words.

Everything's off on him.”

Then let’s go. The pasta was a lovely appetizer but
I could murder some Chicken Tikka with Saffron rice,
Sag Aloo, Raita, Samosas in plum sauce. How does
that sound?

She looks at him and smiles, for the first time.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Too busy to be busy...

When I wasn't packing archives and overseeing art being picked up for crating, I was working on four different quotes for future jobs, including redoing one that suddenly expanded. All of which had to be ready to send out today or tomorrow...and all of them are going out, tomorrow. The only time I had to actually work on PS was on the flight to Oakland and back.

At least I got some of Book 2 outlined, up to the point I needed to figure out what comes next. I've got this big blank space in the middle of it that needs filling and only have a basic idea of what should go there. But even just initiating the possible chapters helps give it a spine to start working from.

I also had an interesting argument with Brendan. The more I read of Philip Cunningham's book, the more uncertain I am that setting Brendan's early life on Nailors Row is a good idea. It was a very tight mini-community and I feel like that's setting the story up for comparisons and fact-checking that will be too hard to deal with. But he's adamant.

The area was referred to as Back of the walls, because the houses faced the south and west walls of Derry's inner city...and even that was broken down to smaller units -- like Friel's Terrace, which I think was close to Walker's Tower, the column on the right of this photo. But I'm still digging for that; so far I just know they were the last part of the houses on the street that were demolished during redevelopment.

I have a map from 1905 that shows Nailors Row wrapping around the corner, merging into Walker's Place and ending at Bishop Street, with plots of land backed smack up against the south wall...but I don't know when that was torn out. And it has what's long been known as Fahan Street down as St. Columb's Wells Street, so may not be accurate...but does show Fox's Corner, so...

I'll keep going with this...but I'm wary...

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Off on another adventure...

This time, I'm flying into Oakland for a job in Berkeley and then to see another possible job across the bay. All very tightly scheduled, so I'm sure to have lots of fun trying to keep to it. I don't like doing it this way, but not my choice. Next week's job will be easier since I'm driving to it and have a lot more flexibility in the timing.

I got more done on Place of Safety's outline. What's fun about having one set out is, when you have an idea you can hang in the right spot. I had a fun one regarding the end of Brendan's time in Derry, before he's shipped off to that makes him feel responsible for everything. It helps his reaction to a bombing make a lot more sense.

I'll try and get more done on the trip, but a job we're bidding on, that I thought I had all but worked out on Friday, changed parameters completely. So I'm digging through that to prepare a better quote. What makes it irritating is, I got bitched at for letting a subcontractor know about the change and ask him to adjust, accordingly, so we could get his estimate in a timely fashion. They basically said, "We don't know what it is, yet, or who's paying or what's going where," when I'd already noted half their concerns on the initial XLS costing sheet, so they told him to ignore my emails and told me to handle the client and get the final info from them. As I'm traveling.

I'm getting tired of screwing up all the time. Tired of making a mess of what I do. Whether I actually do or don't is immaterial. I think I'm working things right and it turns out I'm doing it all wrong...consistently. And now the world is full of people who love to not only point our your mistakes but condescend towards you while doing so...something I've noticed I can do, as well, when I know I'm right about something. I don't like that, in me or in others...but it seems I'm only able to try and stop it in myself, no one else.

I used to think I took criticism pretty well...but I guess I don't. Not really. I mean, when it's ludicrous I can blow it off...but the quiet kind gets under my skin and makes me feel even more the failure. That may be half the reason for my extreme need to rework my stories. I'm hardly a great writer; I have to rework my books over and over to make them even begin to make sense, and even then people read the first few pages and shrug the rest of it off...and...

Okay...time to back away...I'm shifting into whine-mode and that is not acceptable.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Insanity, defined...

Okay, for some reason I'm sending a scene into ABC for a competition, and I'd like to get some response to it, if possible. This would be the opening.



Overlooking the Los Angeles basin. Millions of glittering lights rival the stars for beauty.

(sings, Gregorian Chant)
In paradisum deducant te Angeli. In
tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres et
perducant te in civitatem sanctam

CURRAN is 30, fair, attractive, athletic, well-dressed, and a bit drunk. He leans against the railing to gaze out over the City of Angeles, overwhelmed at the endless, endless blanket of light.

Angelorum te suscipiat et cum Lazaro
quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.


Bloody hell.

He climbs onto the bannister’s corner, gains a careful balance. The ground twenty floors below; above him, only sky. He unzips his pants, whips himself out and pisses into oblivion.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old
man is snoring.

An elevator DINGS. Doors open. Out comes GERI ISHAM-TOPHER, lovely, dark, in a sleek dress, a professional camera hanging from one shoulder. She stops, at seeing him.

He keeps pissing.

It's not my intention to jump, if that's
your concern.

Y'know, there’s a men's room's by the

This was more convenient.

He motions out over the basin.

Bloody awful sight, eh?

What? L-A? I think it's lovely.

How can it be, when each light so
far below represents a human being?
Millions upon millions of them, each
wrapped in his own little world, lost
to all others in the fullest sense.

...That's one way of looking at it.

How do you look at it?

A sea of gold.

It doesn't overwhelm you, knowing how
easy it'd be to drown in?

I know how to swim.

Ah...but beneath this bright surface of
loveliness lies a cruel undertow of
loneliness, waiting to carry you straight
to oblivion.

If you hate it so much, why you looking
at it?

Because, I'm a bloody idiot.

He zips up and jumps back to land neatly on his feet.

Geri whips her camera up and snaps a photo -- catches Curran seeming to look out in awe at the glistening lights.

He turns to her.

Oh,'re paparazzi. Take
another, for scandal's sake?

He hold up a beer.

How many of those have you had?


I've lost count. The beer in this
country is pathetic. By the time I
have enough in me to matter, I have
to piss it all out. Ergo...”
(motions over the balcony)
I should stick to whiskey or wine.

Or water?

Ahh...the Mother Hen sort, are we?
Likes to keep track of moonstruck
chickies? Word of caution -- mad dogs
devour hens.

You're a mad dog?

One of my many monikers. What's one
of yours?


A pleasure to make your acquaintance,
Geri. I’m --

Curran Llewellyn. They’re lookin’ for
you, inside.

Let ‘em. Exercise is good for cats who
are fat.

But you’re guest of honor.

Honor? Merely the newest acquisition
for the football team.


Not in England.

You’re not in England, now.

Bloody fucking obvious. Why’d you come
up here, anyway? Sent to drag the spoiled
child back to his duties?

I just wanted some fresh air.

You hate this party as much as I.
(draws close to her)
Yes, I can see that, now. What fascinating
eyes you have, Geri, deep and dark with
shadows hiding pain and --

Don’ talk to me, like that.

...Sorry. I was just being an arsehole.
Another of my many monikers. You may now
lead me back to the lions, little one.
Parade me before the heathens so they may
witness what good their dollars have wrought.
I go as a lamb to the slaughter.

Take yourself; I’m not your mother.

Then why do you sound so disappointed in me?

He starts away. Stops.

Geri, I am sorry for --

For what? You haven’t done anything.

...Night’s still young. Enjoy your
golden sea.

He goes.

She takes a photo of him getting in the elevator. Looks back over the basin...starts to take a photo...but she stops...and she cannot move.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Nothin' to say, tonight, but this...

I am sick and fucking tired of the right wing wearing its hypocrisy as a badge of honor, not shame, and being told to be nice about it by self-proclaimed left wingers who seem awfully intent on silencing my anger at what's going on in this country. Here's my answer...

I wish I believed in hell so I'd know every fucking Christian evangelical would be burning in it, forever.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Confusion and complexity...

No writing done, today. I'm off to San Francisco on Monday and need to finish a quote for a library move. The person I spoke with told me it was 380 titles, some multiple volumes, and framed artwork...but in fact it's more like 4900 volumes because half of those "titles" are actually full shelves of various titled books. I counted them once I saw the photos. Just a bit of a difference that chucked all my preliminary work out the window.

This happens a lot more than is necessary. In fact, it's why we ask people to send us photos of the books they want to ship. Half the time those show the "regular-size" books are thick quartos (like smaller coffee table books) and occasionally elephant folios (as in massive). I ran into that with a job in Chicago a couple years ago, when a man who really should have known better told me 25% of a library he wanted me to pack was elephant folios while the rest were quartos and octavos (regular hardcover size).

It was 65% elephants, and that screwed up my plans, completely. I had to order more boxes. The job ran long. The client was pissed off. I had to leave the day before it was completed for another job we'd set up, so had to get someone to come in and finish the lesser books...which she was able to do without trouble but it was a major hassle. And...of cost twice as much as they expected. If he'd sent me photos, like I asked, we wouldn't have had the issues and could have cut the costs by 20%.

So...this evening was spent catching up on that. A 2-day job for just me became a 3-5 day job, depending on whether or not I hire a couple of assistants...and the cost is going to be very high. I have a feeling we won't get it, because people who have million-dollar libraries will nickel and dime you over every price point in materials and labor and freight. We were approached by a man who won a painting in an auction for over $200K and he wanted it shipped to him for the equivalent of $1.98 and whined because our rate would have been $3K. It's ludicrous.

One great thing about working at Heritage was, Ben and Lou Weinstein understood that sometimes it's better to spend the money and do it right rather than be mealy-mouthed and childish about every penny. It saves you money in the long run and actually helps you make more, because people are more willing to trust you when they see you won't cut corners over nothing. There were people in the antiquarian trade who were jealous as hell of Heritage, but you don't get to be the biggest shop in the business by being cheap-assed.

I miss that place.