On this date in 2012, I received in the mail my first "physical" prize for my writing. I'd won a full scholarship to Augusta's Sandhills Writing Conference, but aside from notes from published authors and an agent, I had nothing PHYSICAL to show for my work... until I entered a World War Z promotional contest to write a new "Zombie Survival Rule," and won the above poster. In case you're wondering, my entry paid tribute to WWZ author Max Brooks' dad, Mel Brooks, from his film Young Frankenstein: "Fire is good. Fire is our friend. Fire is not a zombie's friend." Simple, but it made an impression on someone, so I got a World War Z Survival Rules poster to show for my effort. It's still hanging in my room, too! (The picture popped up on my Facebook Memories, so I thought I'd share!)
So, once again, I'm way behind with the #WritAWeek2018 projects... but I thought of an idea for a longer work. At least, I hope it's a longer work. I'm fleshing it out in my head during my personal space-out time, so I may start soon. If I do it like one chapter per week, and write about six chapters (a tall order), I'll be caught up. Of course, there's no law dictating that each chapter has to be of any great length. It's going to be narrated by at least two different voices, and the narrative switches between them, not unlike my Halloween story, "The Blog of Eternal Funk." I don't know much about the plot, just the main character's name, and the title: The Narrator. And it has nothing to do with the Family Guy bit with Morgan Freeman. ;-) More on this when I get started.
In the meantime, I need to think of something else to write to make up for some lost time on my New Year's Resolution project... but knowing me, my brain won't be able to ditch the ideas for The Narrator for anything else until it's at least halfway composed, and then I'll get bored with that project and switch gears. But maybe this time it'll be different! Let us pray...
I'm trying to remember exactly how many weeks I'm behind on #WritAWeek2018... and what recent occasions I could write a belated work about. The last entry was on May the 4th... "Star Wars Day." But, that story wasn't ABOUT Star Wars Day, it was about the following day, Cinco de Mayo... or, as it's called in the story, "Jar Jar Binko de Mayo." At first, I hated that name, but now I'm grateful for my friend Tony for allowing me "Revenge of the Sixth." Now there are at least three Star Wars days! Though, with George Lucas's birthday, the anniversary of the original movie, and the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story next week, this May is more like Star Wars Month.
There were events in April I didn't chronicle with a written work, either. I wrote one about a comedian inspired by the "Weird Al" Yankovic concert I saw on 4/14, but nothing for Earth Day, I think... I could do a quick Random Haiku...
Earth Day Random Haiku:
"Each spring brings Earth Day.
With recent discoveries,
Mars Day may come soon."
Hmm... That led me to think of another one...
"Earth Day? Why not make
Mars Day? That would make the late
Ray Bradbury proud."
In addition to Battle of Pueblo Day, there was Free Comic Book Day on May 5th... so I could do something with that...
FCBD Random Haiku:
"May's first Saturday
brings free comics, which I like
more than May flowers."
Then came Mother's Day... I wrote a Mother's Day story years ago (part of what was intended to be a series that I haven't expanded upon), but I suppose I could write a belated Mother's Day story or haiku... something.
Belated Mother's Day Random Haiku:
"Moms are our first loves.
Mother's Day's over, but I
know mine forgives me."
Four down... and since I was a couple weeks behind on May 4th, and that was two weeks ago today, I must be about caught up... even if haikus are a cop-out. I have to check my calendar to be sure, but I must be pretty close to being on time... I just need to write the intro to The Narrator... More later. Thanks for reading!
A little Star Wars Day (though for me, it's Star Wars MONTH) flash fiction, with thanks to my good friend, Tony Civitarese, who is celebrating his first May the 4th as a father today.
(This is also my #WritAWeek2018 for this week... and yes, I know, I'm still at least two weeks behind.)
After celebrating May the 4th the previous day, I went to a Mexican restaurant the next day, still wearing my Star Wars t-shirt. A pair of frat boys downing beers stopped me as I headed toward a table.
One said, "Don't you know Star Wars Day is over?"
"Yeah," said the other. "This is Drinko de Mayo!"
I said, "Oh, no-sa. To-dy eesa Jar Jar Binko de Mayo!"
They kicked my ass until the cops arrived. Next time, I'm saying "Revenge of the Fifth," even though I always quote Episode III's title for the following day: Revenge of the Sixth!
In case you missed the update on the home page (or Facebook or Twitter), yesterday, 4/26, was not only Alien Day, but also my grandmother's birthday. It inspired a haiku in my head, but today is the first time I've gotten a chance to write it down. Like I said in an earlier blog, a day late, a dollar short. So here's my 4/26/2018 haiku:
"My grandma's birthday
falls on Alien Day. Do
you think she's from space?"
I remember the standup portion of Open Mic Night on April 13, 2018, most of all. The lanky comedian asked the crowd if anyone in attendance would soon be married. One man answered, "In three years."
The comedian took advantage of the man's Southern accent by saying, "Are you hoping that by then you two won't be related anymore?" It seemed off the cuff, and it drew several laughs, but it left me with a pressing question: Was the Southern man a plant? I didn't see him in the dark club, and even judging by his voice I couldn't tell where he was seated, so I couldn't ask him, so I decided to ask the comic himself.
After he had left the stage to considerable applause, I made my move. I was a little embarrassed, because I thought he might make fun of me for not knowing better... but I started to ask, "Excuse me? I thought you were very funny, but the wedding joke... Was that scripted, or--"
Suddenly another man appeared behind the comedian. I found out later that it was the Southern man who had been laughed at during the performance. He had a gun. I tried to warn the comic, but the shots were louder than I was... and faster.
I got my answer, though the comedian did not live to tell me.
As I mentioned on the homepage, yesterday was World Poetry Day and I didn't know until today. However, since I need something for Week 13, and I'm not going to miss out on the opportunity to write a poem, I'll write one now...
"We rely too much
On social media.
If we miss one day,
We're out of touch.
Numbers and lists.
Losing a phone's worse
Than slitting your wrists.
To go off the grid,
But try doing that
Without flipping your lid.
No news, fake or otherwise,
No word of disaster
When tragedy strikes,
No hashtags to show your support.
And on stressful days
When you take a break,
You come back a day late, a dollar short.
You've missed a made-up holiday
People don't get off with pay,
But when you miss it, you might shed a tear.
For the next World Poetry Day
You'll just have to wait
Until March 21st of next year."
I went from over a week ahead to almost two weeks behind! Yikes! Fortunately, a day worth writing about was Sunday, so here's a haiku...
National Grammar Day Haiku for #WritAWeek2018 Week 10:
Day tells us to "March forth." Or,
March 4th. Whichever."
For Week 11, I'll use something I found out via the doctor this morning...
#WritAWeek2018 Week 11 Random Haiku:
"I found out today
That I'm allergic to dogs.
I'm gonna miss her."
Kidding, of course. We're not getting rid of Cheech, I just have to get some allergy medicine. MORE medicine. Boo!
As I said on the homepage, I came up with a question today, to which my brain provided a punchline. Here's the question, followed by the punchline:
Q: A straight woman who hangs around gay men has many unflattering names, but what do you call a straight man who hangs around lesbians?
A: An optimist.
It's not much as far as a written work goes, but I'm going to count that as my 9th #WritAWeek2018 thing. I've lost track of which week we are into 2018...
According to my calendar, this upcoming Tuesday begins the eighth actual calendar week of this year. So, I'm ahead of schedule! YES. If I start slacking off around the middle of the year, I'll still be able to keep up if I stay productive these first few months writing things like stories, essays, jokes, and poems...
Speaking of which... I thought of another story I want to write, but I haven't gotten to it yet. It's been on my mind a LOT lately, so I doubt I'll forget. This is going to take some exposition...
Around 1999 (YIKES), I wrote a story called "Change for a Dollar." It's really dated in that it centers around a pay phone robbery to retrieve a lost bicentennial quarter, stolen from a prized collection given to the antagonist by his grandmother. Because life imitates art, MY grandmother recently gave me and all of her other grandchildren rolls of bicentennial quarters, just like in this story I wrote almost two decades ago. So I got to thinking a lot about that story, and it made me want to revisit the characters...
At the end of that story, an arrest is implied. Someone is framed for murder. That was almost 20 years ago, when pay phones were still commonplace. If that story were true, the framed individual would probably just be getting paroled right about now. And they would likely want revenge. So... the seeds of a sequel were planted, and those seeds have been growing. Pretty soon, I'll be ready to write the story. I'll have to post the original story for reference, but I think I want to edit it first to make sure it leads into the sequel I've come up with.
And on that note, I think I'll go revisit that story... now! TTFN
“Reformed Villains Anonymous”
The group gathered in the Metropolis high school gym for their meetings every Sunday at noon. Not all of them believed in the Sabbath, but out of respect for their nemeses, they decided that, if they were to take a day off from trying to destroy a planet or two, it might as well be on a holy day.
The mediator called out, “Alright, everyone, gather round. It seems we have a familiar face in our midst again, after a brief stint as a superhero. And in case you’ve spent the past twenty years living under a rock, or in outer space (I haven’t forgotten you, Arkillo), you may even remember his days as President of the United States. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Lex back to our group.”
The bald former hero of Metropolis stood up, his head hanging low. “Thank you, everyone. But I don’t know that I’m the villain I once was. It felt good being a hero.”
Arkillo nodded. “Don’t feel bad, Lex. I also enjoyed being the Sinestro Corps’ protector of this sector. It wasn’t until our leader once again accepted the Parallax entity that I was called out from my heroic duties to once again be a villain.”
The mediator replied, “Yes, but your Corps’ former leader was blasted to bits by the leader of the Green Lantern Corps. You chose not to become a hero again. If you truly enjoyed it, why stop just because a dead boss willed it, a boss whose successor turned the Corps into heroes?”
Arkillo shrugged. “Revenge, I guess.”
“But revenge against whom, Arkillo? The Green Lanterns, or the deceased leader who called you back to villainy?”
Arkillo leaped from his chair. “I am a villain,” he shouted. “Sinestro didn’t make me that way!”
“Forget, Arkillo,” Bizarro suggested, “last names allowed.”
The mediator smirked. “Thank you, Bizarro. You do understand that he means the opposite, right, Lex?”
Lex groaned, “I’ve been here before, you buffoon. I know how this works.”
Bizarro growled, “Be mean to Plastic Man, Lex! Plastic Man Bizarro’s worst enemy!”
The mediator cleared his throat and said, “Bizarro, you should know that hero or villain names are not allowed… unless, you know, your hero or villain name is your first name, like the majority of you here. Call me Eel.”
Lex snorted. “I don’t even know how you’re the leader of this group, ‘Eel.’ You’re not a villain. You were an incompetent thief who was set up, gained super powers by accident, and got revenge against your former partners before becoming an incompetent member of the JLA.”
Eel frowned. “But… I helped all of Superman’s enemies escape from their underwater prison. Surely that accounts for something.”
“That wasn’t in continuity and you know it!”
An Alternate Ending, by Roy Hudson
New York City had already been reeling in the wake of the stock market crash which had sunk the nation into a great depression… but now, there was another crash that had left a major impact on the city.
It was supposed to be The Eighth Wonder of the World. There are many emotions that follow the word “wonder,” but “terror” should not be the foremost. And yet, the greedy filmmaker who had chosen to seek a life of fame of fortune by bringing a foreign curiosity into an environment where it simply did not belong had made a killing… both figuratively and literally.
That filmmaker faced a barrage of legal charges, not to mention the end of his career, but he was not the only person the city found at fault. The theatre owner, the stage hands, the financiers, and even the panicked masses who had abandoned their humanity in a last-ditch effort to escape with their lives were all held accountable in a court of law. Not all of those pressing charges were bereaved, however… and not all those being charged were at fault.
The judge listened to as much of the case as he could stand before shaking his head and waving his hands to signal the plaintiff to stop talking. “Let me make sure I follow your case, sir: The husband of the grieving lady against whom you’re filing charges was running from the path of the giant gorilla as it fell from atop a skyscraper, and grabbed your wheelchair to push you to safety with him. He didn’t make it, and was crushed to death, but with the last of his remaining strength, he used his own momentum to wheel you from the path of impact, where your chair stopped, only to topple when the beast shook the ground, causing you to bump your head. You think the widow of this hero is at fault. What is wrong with you? I sincerely hope, for the sake of future generations of Americans, that men like you do not breed and carry this insensitive greed into the next century, Mr.… Am I pronouncing this correctly, Mr. Drumpf?”
“Ja, Your Honor,” the aging German immigrant replied, before adding, “though my son is considering changing his last name to something more ‘American.’”
Blog of author Roy Hudson..