Snowpocalypse 2015… and Beyond!

Snowpocalypse2015backdeck Is it spring yet? Not here, but that doesn’t matter. Snowpocalypse 2015 has (hopefully) ended, and those of us who survived can celebrate by stocking up on iron (more about that further down). Or diving into reading and writing projects. I’m doing both. Care to join me? Here is a list of writing and reading activities I’ve either done in years past, or plan to do this year:

  1. Read or write poetry. Join a progressive poetry group.
  2. Reread a favorite book from your childhood.
  3. If you have children or are a caretaker of children, read to them.
  4. Buy a book for a child.
  5. Watch a movie based on a favorite book.
  6. Get a writing or reading buddy.
  7. Create a book cover for your book-in-progress.
  8. Map out a publication timeline for your WIP.
  9. Watch youtube videos of your favorite authors reading excerpts of their work and giving lectures or talks. I highly recommend Stephen King and Harlan Ellison.
  10. Read chapters of some of your favorite books out loud, and make notes of how you would improve the writing.
  11. Get involved with a local library event during National Library Week, April 12 – 18, 2015 (USA).
  12. Support your local bookstore by shopping on Independent Bookstore Day, May 2, 2015 (USA).
  13. Donate books to a book charity. If you don’t have any books you want to donate, buy some new or used and donate those.
  14. Attend a local author reading.
  15. Take a free online class. It can be a creative writing class, a literature class, or any class.
  16. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Commit to strengthening the strengths, and improving the weaknesses.
  17. Start or join a writing or reading group.
  18. Commit to writing a set number of words per week, or per month.
  19. Submit a story to a call for submissions for an anthology.
  20. Apply for a residency retreat.
  21. Write a book review and post it on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, make one.
  22. Attend a writers’ conference.
  23. Read an edited and polished excerpt of your writing out loud at an open mic night.
  24. Enter your writing into a contest.
  25. Join an association, like the Independent Book Publishers Association.
  26. Write or read a novel outside your usual genres. If you do that already, then check out my genre list.
  27. Go on a solitary writer’s retreat of your own making.
  28. Read banned or challenged books during Banned Book Week, September 27 – October 3 2015. Tell people.
  29. Go on a literary pilgrimage to visit a place where a favorite author lived or wrote about.
  30. Write the draft of a novel during NaNoWriMo.
  31. Donate books to a juvenile detention center, homeless shelter, prison, half-way house, rehab center, or place of worship. Call to make arrangements first.
  32. Get a Fisher Space Pen and keep it next to some paper on your nightstand!

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And so I’m back! And at a less frenetic pace than last year. At the end of January I had to go to the ER for severe anemia… Then spent about a week at home just managing to crawl in and out of bed… After countless blood tests, and a month of recovery, my iron count is almost up to human level. Next month I have a hospital visit for even more tests. Maybe they’ll find another part of my internal parasitic twin (I’m assuming I have one. Where else is all my iron going? They already found my twin’s kidneys, so I assume I didn’t fully ingest her in the womb. Live and learn.)

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In the meantime, I (rather, my hubby) dug myself out of Snowpocalypse: Snowpocalypse2015frontyard

(This is my front yard. The snow is still over my head.)

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And I found (actually, I won) this: CMStewartBWP

Horror author J. Thorn gives away scary things at his Dark Realms website.

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And HDWP Books was hacked, but our fearless leader Charles Barouch saved the day! Check it out, I have a short story in every Theme-Thology anthology so far…

Theme-Thologies

Authors

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Speaking of my stories, my over-arching project this year is working on the novel I wrote during the last NaNoWriMo: MEATFUL THINGS. I feel like I have a solid draft, and I’ve been steadily improving it as my own health improves. I have some beta readers lined up, but could always use more. So if you’d like to provide feedback on a complete supernatural horror novel of approximately 52,000 words, shoot me an email (click on the “Who is CMStewart?” link), or leave a comment below. I’ll be sending the draft, along with a few book critique questions, to my beta readers at the end of March. Thanks!

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Signs of the INVASION

_CMS0076Drat! This one got me. I was completely caught off-guard.

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_CMS0083Rampant animal-kissing. One of the prophesied signs of the INVASION. It’s in my cult’s holy book (visible only to me).

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_CMS0088Mass casualties. An obvious sign of the INVASION.

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_CMS0084What? Mough? What mough? Whatmough? An INVASION of WHATMOUGH!

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_CMS0094The word “vegan” at a state fair. Yea! A hippie INVASION!

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_CMS0095A solar power INVASION overthrows The Establishment! Gonna stick it to The Man!

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_CMS0079The horns. We’re doomed.

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_CMS0078Poor kid got a flesh-eating bacterial infection through a scape on his hand, probably.

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_CMS0087An INVASION of bovine butts.

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_CMS0096Sunflowers infected with sunspot slime.

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_CMS0099Tomatoes infected with Joe DeWitt disease. They still look yummy, though.

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_CMS0098ALIEN PODS!

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_CMS0101This semi-infected bunch of greens was selling for 20 bucks. I spared you the photo of the fully-infected greens.

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_CMS0104This is what GM pathogens do to a grape.

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_CMS0110So I opted for a fried pickle instead, and spotted 2 furries and a green-faced zombie.

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_CMS0086Charles Caleb Colton rose from the dead. He’s now a zombie. We had a nice chat about the anthology I’m in before I had to whack him with a shovel.

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_CMS0093The Gideons were raptured in a rare reverse-INVASION.

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_CMS0092An INVASION of PEZ!

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_CMS0109Implements of threshing.

*_CMS0107And impalement.

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_CMS0106Yes, we are experiencing an INVASION. But you may be able to save yourself…

In time for Halloween, Amazon has an anthology of 15 stories documenting the INVASION, including a story by yours truly!

Check it out: INVASION

INVASION-Graphic2

American Gothic

My American Gothic

American Gothic

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have seen my last post, vaguely describing my alleged extraterrestrial abduction.

Since that posting, I’ve regained some memories of the event, and even discovered I had the wherewithal to take some photos immediately after my abduction.

(I was immobilized during my examination in the extraterrestrial spaceship, so was unable to photograph the aliens or the inside of the ship.)

On or around July 10, 2013, I was beamed aboard a spaceship from the planet Saturn. I spent the next month or so being forcibly restrained and studied, as many Earthling have been studied by Saturnites before me. I was probed with needles around my feet, ankles, and lower legs. The needles were tiny, but I suspect I had an allergy to the antiseptic, as the resulting pain was lasting. I still bear the scars from the needles:

Note the probe injection marks and the bruising from the restraints.

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I took this photo in night vision mode. This is the extraterrestrial spaceship which abducted me:

This is a spaceship from Saturn, I'm pretty sure. Note the scale distortion caused by plasgravitid waves.

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Also taken in night vision mode, this is the extraterrestrial spaceship landing strip across the street. During the daylight hours, it is disguised as a lawn ornament display:

Though I was abducted by Saturnites who most likely used this landing strip, I believe my neighbors across the street are Mercurians.

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My abduction and probing was stressful, but I am honored that the Saturnites chose me as a test subject, and am forever grateful they returned me to Earth in an infinitely more suitable and pleasant environment. I can now plant my garden, and include Earth’s most perfect fruit, the non-GM tomato. (Photos next summer.)

My old new abode is at 0:25

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My American Goth

American Goth

That GM tomato was evil, I tell you, EVIL. I had to do it.

Stewart Royalty at Dunnottar Castle, part 2

AKA

Schoolgirl Photoshoot

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Here’s how this project started:

Stewart Royalty at Dunnottar Castle, part 1

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So Christmas New Year’s Day Valentine’s Day Easter has come and gone and I’ve finally finished my tartan jumpers. I am pleased with how they look, and proud that I made a couple outfits I can wear in polite company.

I made each jumper by sewing 2 pieces of material together- a bib and a skirt. The skirts are wrap-around and fasten with 2 buttons. I pleated the 2 tartans differently according to the pattern of stripes. This resulted in the red jumper wrapping around my waist 1 1/2 times, and the blue jumper wrapping around less than that. The result was unattached side corners on my blue bib. I remedied this by sewing Velcro to the inside of both sides of the waist, securing the bib corners to the skirt. You can see the Velcro stitching to the left of my thumb.

To go with the outfits, I altered my husband’s tuxedo shirt (with his permission). I re-hemmed the bottom and re-seamed the sleeves and sides to make it fit me better. Then I cut off the collar and sewed on a new collar I made from scrap material from the bottom of the shirt. The cuffs were floppy, so I folded and sewed those as well.

To top it all off, I sewed a couple matching headbands.

Because I didn’t use a pattern, and knew very little about sewing, I climbed a steep learning curve with this project. Many of the pleat stitches are redundant, as are some of the hem stitches. The waists don’t perfectly match up when they’re wrapped around, and I have some bare corners where I didn’t extend the bias tape all the way to the edges. On close inspection, the shirt collar looks like a mad spider sewed it. (I ended up sewing several passes of zigzag stitching to join several layers of bias tape with pleats on a curve). My seam ripper got a good workout. But overall, I’d say this project was a success!

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Here I am extensively modeling my tartan jumpers:

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And now a BONUS KITTY PHOTO for those who scrolled through to the end!

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Stewart Royalty at Dunnottar Castle, part 1

A medieval castle on the shore of eastern Scotland . . ancient allied clans . . a modern-day writer with Scottish ancestry and a love of tartans.

Thus was the chain of events which led me to this post.

A couple years ago, while envisioning the setting of part of a novel, an iconic image materialized- an imposing castle on the edge of a rocky cliff. This vision was so spectacular I wondered, “Is this castle real?” I immediately went searching online for images of cliff-side castles, and I found it . .

TripAdvisor.com

I was so enamored with Dunnottar Castle, I researched its history and layout and wrote a detailed scene incorporating my findings . .  but soon realized that scene didn’t flow with the rest of the novel, so I set the scene aside, until a couple years later I found this flash fiction challenge . .

Darkness Surrounding, by Dieki Noorhoek

. . which is, I’m sure, the opposite side of Dunnottar Castle many years ago. So I revised my scene for the challenge.

In the meantime, thanks in part to the kilt-wearing juggling writer Christopher Gronlund, and his wife, future kilt-sewer Cynthia Griffith, I was inspired to rekindle my interest in tartans, kilts, and sewing. I researched Scottish clan tartans and picked out my 2 favorite by appearance- “Royal Stewart” (co-incidentally, “Stewart” is my married name) and “Keith and Austin,” which, to my pleasant surprise, is the tartan associated with Dunnottar Castle!

Dunnottar Castle became the seat of the chief of Clan Keith in 1639 . . ” -wiki

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Before I continue this winding tale, a few points of clarification:

1. This 2-part post is NOT meant to be a guide to sewing anything resembling an authentic, traditional kilt.

2. Back in the day, the “Keith” clan and the “Austin” clan merged and are now collectively know as the Borg “Keith and Austin” clan.

3. Within a single or collective clan, there are many variations of that clan’s tartan. This is especially true of the “Keith and Austin” tartan.

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My goal: sew a couple of kiltish jumpers using my Simplicity Trumps Everything* method. Here’s something like what I want to do:

VintageCostumers.com

For kilt-making instructions, Gronlund recommended Barb Tewksbury. While I did check out her kilt-making methods and found them inspirational, I ultimately decided to stick with my original Simplicity Trumps Everything method.

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(For ideas and inspiration on how to make an authentic, traditional kilt, checkout Barbara Tewksbury’s and Elsie Stuehmeyer’s book, or visit Griffith’s blog about her experiences sewing traditional historical costumes.)

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I searched and scoured the internet and finally found both my tartans in one place in 100% cotton (I find wool scratchy).

I preferred the darker version of the Keith and Austin tartan, so after checking several stores and finding no fabric dye, I searched online for a “home brew” fabric-dyeing method. It seemed simple enough- make a HUGE pot of extremely strong hot tea and / or coffee, salt it, and submerge the fabric in the brew, making sure there are NO air bubbles. While I did this, I don’t recommend it, unless you enjoy spending hours dunking, soaking, and wringing a heavy tartan.

Then I cut, folded, pinned, and ironed my tartans, pretty much free-style.

Next month, my mother-in-law will assist me with machine-sewing my jumpers! (She has hand-sewn kilts before, but that wasn’t fitting with my STE method.)

Check back after Christmas to see my finished jumpers!

Update: Stewart Royalty at Dunnottar Castle, part 2

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*Simplicity Trumps Everything:

1. Is there an even easier way to do it without it falling apart / exploding / crash-n-burning?

2. If “NO,” then go ahead and proceed with the plans you have.

3. If “YES,” with the new, even “easier way” in mind, go back to step 1.

Halloween / Zombie Survival Guide

photo by David Shankbone

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you survived the REAL, FINAL APOCALYPSE as predicted by Harold Camping. (Turns out Camping isn’t much of a math person.) Now you probably think you can enjoy Halloween without the nagging worry of undead, unraptured zombies stalking and infecting you. (As for me- I knew I would survive the non-apocalypse, because I’m already one of the undead.) But before you get too comfortable, I gotta tell you zombies are real . .

For any late-comers to my blog, take a gander at my 3-part story: I got the zombie spores in me.  Then the zombie spores turned me into a zombie. Did you know zombies can re-generate limbs? Yep. Lucky for me, or I wouldn’t be typing this now. And those already familiar with the above trilogy would do well to re-familiarize yourselves, because . .

If you still think my tales are safely in the sci-fi section . .

Think again.

And with all the catastrophic climate change, nuclear radiation, pesticides, and herbicides causing mutations in the already genetically engineered spores accidentally / on purposely released into the open fields, human zombie spores are just around the corner.

STILL don’t believe me? Then believe the USA government’s official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s real. All we can do is prepare ourselves for the inevitable zombie apocalypse and the resulting mob cruelty and mass disrespect.

And console ourselves with candy.

To stock up on good karma, here’s a list of the most cow-kind, most chicken-respectful (vegan)* cookies and candy** on the USA market, alphabetized by brand:

A

Airheads Taffy

Anna’s Almond Cinnamon Thins

Anna’s Ginger Thins

B

Back to Nature California Lemon Cookies

Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Big League Chew Gum

Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy

Brach’s Orange Slices

Brach’s Root Beer Barrels

Brach’s Star Brites

Bremner Wafers

C

Charms lollipops

Chew-ets Peanut Chews (Original)

Chick-o-Sticks

Chocolove Cherries and Almonds Dark Chocolate Bar

Chocolove Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar

Chocolove Orange Peel Dark Chocolate Bar

Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate bar

Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar

Cracker Jacks

Cry Babies

D

Dem Bones

Dots

Dum Dums

E

Entenmann’s Fudge Delights Fudge & Mint Cookies

Everest Gum

F

Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate)

Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Oatmeal Macaroon)

Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)

Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)

Ferrara Wafer Swirls With Chocolate

Fireballs

Food Lion Animal Cookies

Food Lion Ginger Snaps

Food Lion Oatmeal Cookies

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Assorted)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Creme)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Fudge)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Double Creme-O’s)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Duplex)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Mini Chocolate & Vanilla Cremes)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)

Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)

Food Lion Sugar Cookies

Fruit By the Foot

G

Ghirardelli Twilight Delight Intense Dark

Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Mix

Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (Original)

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Sandwich Cremes

H

Hubba Bubba Bubblegum

Hubba Bubba Gum

Hunt’s Snack Pack Gel Snacks

J

Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)

Jujubees

Jujyfruits

K

Keebler Vienna Fingers

Kool-Aid Gels

Kozy Shack Jammin’ Gels

L

Lance Choc-O Cookies

Lance Peanut Bar

Lance Sugar Wafers (Strawberry Creme)

Lance Sugar Wafers (Vanilla Creme)

Lance Van-O Lunch Cookies

Landgarten Pumpkin Seed Snack – Dark Chocolate

Lemonheads

M

Mamba

Mary Janes (Regular and Peanut Butter Kisses)

Mike and Ike

Mrs. Freshley’s Oatmeal Crème-filled Cookies

Murray Butter Cookies

Murray Cinnamon Grahams

Murray Coconut Bars

Murray Southern Kitchen Iced Oatmeal Cookies

N

Nabisco Double Delight Mint’n Creme Oreos

Nabisco Ginger Snaps

Nabisco Halloween Oreos

Nabisco Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Nabisco Nutter Butter Sandwich Cookies

Nabisco Oatmeal Cookies

Nabisco Oreo Chocolate Ice Cream Cones

Nabisco Oreo Cookies

Nabisco Oreo Thin Crisps

Nabisco Spiced Cinnamon Cookies

Nabisco Teddy Grahams (Chocolate and Cinnamon)

Nabisco Uh-oh Oreos, Spring Oreos, Chocolate Creme Oreos

Nature’s Path Deep Chocolate Cookies

Nature’s Path Ginger Spice Cookies

Nature’s Path Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Nestle Double Chocolate Thin Mints

Now and Later

Nutter Butter Bites

P

Panda Licorice

Pure De-Lite Coconut Bars

S

Safeway Fudge Mint Fudge Covered Mint Cookies

Skittles’ Mints

Smarties (U.S. version only)

SunSpire Organic Dark Chocolate Almonds

Sour Patch Kids

Super Bubble

Swedish Fish

SweeTarts (regular)

T

Twizzlers

V

VeganSweets marshmallows

Velamints Mints

W

Whole Foods Organic Chocolate Truffles

Z

Zotz

*List complied from PETA and PETAKIDS.

**May contain trace amount of animal-sourced ingredients.

Hopefully I’ve provided you with the resources and information you need to make it through Halloween alive . . or at least undead, thanks to a sugar OD . .

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And here’s a creepy, campy, rockabilly bonus video for those who skimmed through to the bitter . . or rather, sugary end.

Have a Happy Halloween (while you can)!

Writers Get Their Drink On . . Plus Cock Tail Recipeeps

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Ahem. We of the ivy-towered writerly persuasion are known to imbibe now and again as the occasion calls, to further fuel our fevered muses, do we not? So OBVIOUS is the highbrow calling of our spirit-quaffing that I really needn’t bother with placating the proletarian OR the bourgeois masses with the tapestretical subtleties- yea, the chakra-dwelling agni of the artist-muse conduit which is called . . er . .

oh hell, where’s my beer???

Found it.

So do writers tend to have addictive personalities? Or is that all hype and myth? Stephen King wrote the razor-sharp “Cujo” in 1981 in an alcohol- and drug-induced stupor, and barely remembers any of it. In 1987 his family emptied the contents of his trash can onto the floor: beer cans, NyQuil, Valium and Xanax bottles, and cocaine and marijuana baggies. So he sobered up. Some fans think King’s post-sobriety novels are notable for their comparative fluffiness.

KING’S THE KING, MAN, HE’S THE KING!!!

What was I saying? Oh yeah . . Is writerly sobriety worth it?

You know, we writerly types aren’t fooling anyone. Whether it’s beer or wine, sangria or Everclear, we like to get our drink on. And it’s not to fuel our muses. It’s to make the loneliness of writing a tad more tolerable take the sting out of yet another thumb-nosed rejection slip drown the gut-wrenching, hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing despair OHMYMITHRAPLEASEHELPMEEEE

OK. Just had another beer. I feel better now. Where were we . .

You say you don’t drink? You’re not a writer. No way, no how. You say you have 20 published books and you’ve never touched a drop of alcohol? Well . . then you at least have tried apple cider at some point, right? Yes? Alright, we’re back in business. Apple cider counts as hard liquor on Mars. You squeak by as a Martian writer.

Anyway, whether you’re a writer from Mars, Earth, or Betelgeuse . .

Welcome to the Writers-Are-Drinkers-Club!

As a member, part of your welcome package is some dubious advice à la Hemingway and Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers.

Of course, we won’t forget the biggest party favor.

Funny story about my first hard liquor drink- it was Wild Turkey. I must’ve been around 10. It was at my aunt and uncle’s house. The adults were chatting in the kitchen, and my cousins were in the playroom. I was sitting at the mini-bar in the front room, looking at a bottle, and wondering why the alcohol was called “Wild Turkey.” I also thought the drawing of the bird was interesting, and that a drink named “Wild Turkey” with a picture of a pretty bird must not be all that bad. Knowing it was a “grown-up” drink, I had to move quickly. I grabbed the bottle off the bar, unscrewed the cap, and took a swig without first smelling it (pretty fast, eh?). HOLY CRAP Lucky for me it was a small swig, and I managed to not retch or fall off the stool. And to this day I don’t know how Gonzo did it. And I’m still a lightweight. Whisky is my least favorite liquor. But I’m partial to rum and vodka cocktails. And wine. And beer. And wine and beer cocktails. I guess I’m partial to cocktails in general.

What was I saying? Oh yeah . .

Gronlund, this one’s for you:

Beastie Boys-Honored Brass Monkey

malt liquor (may substitute super-sized regular bottled beer if you’re a lightweight and don’t want to hurl after consuming)

OJ (the drink)

Drink malt liquor / beer to label.

Fill to top with OJ.

Drink.

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Oh my Mithra! I can’t believe I watched that video all the way through, and then actually posted it! What about my writerly reputation? Now somebody on Facebook Twitter G+ might not take me seriously as a writer anymore! . . only another Brass Monkey can console me know.

Ahhhh. I feel bebber. An at lease that video wasn’t funny Rebecca Black parody videoie.

OK thass mean, an I’m not mean drunk, so gonna make it up ta ya. Here go cleanse yer brain palate.

brain- get it? b-rain? beer-rain? mever nind.

An cheers!

Big Fat Fiction Genre List

FT.com

Fiction genres may be determined by the content, literary technique, tone, and length of novels.

“Genre conventions,” as defined by Robert McKee, are “specific settings, roles, events, and values that define individual genres and their subgenres.”

So you want fiction genres? I’ve got fiction genres. The first list includes most of the popular and recognized genres and subgenres of fiction. Note that some subgenres of one basic genre will overlap with other subgenres of other basic genres. There’s no established consensus of what constitutes a “fiction genre,” so this list may change as I see fit. In deference to wiki, I excluded the categories of “Young Adult” and “Graphic Novel” from the first list of fiction genres: “Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, new-adult, young-adult, or children’s. They also must not be confused with format, such as graphic novel or picture book. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined, often with subgroups.” -wiki

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We’ll start with what I consider the 2 broadest fiction genres. Not all fiction falls under these two labels- in fact, I’d say most fiction does not. But I included these at the top of my list to represent the extremes of a spectrum:

AIRPORT NOVEL / PULP FICTION– Written for maximum market appeal, with minimum consideration given to other novel elements.

LITERARY NOVEL– Written with minimum consideration given to mass market appeal, with maximum consideration given to other novel elements.

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Next, we’ll move to the basic genres and their subgenres:

ANTINOVEL– Written without many of the familiar conventions of a standard novel.

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GENERAL– Written with many of the familiar conventions of a standard novel. Also may fall under another basic genre label.

subgenres: Bizarro, Cross-Genre, Fabulism, Gothic, Historical, Magic Realism, Slipstream, Urban Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Men’s Fiction, Genderqueer Fiction

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ACTION / ADVENTURE

subgenres: Cross-genre, Historical

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EROTICA

subgenres: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Action-Adventure, Erotic Fantasy, Erotic Horror, Erotic Mystery, Erotic Romance, Erotic Science Fiction, Erotic Suspense, Erotic Western, Gothic, Historical, Paranormal, Shapeshifter, Vampire, Non-Vampire Monster

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FANTASY

subgenres: Bizarro, Contemporary, Cross-Genre, Dark Fantasy, Fabulism, Fairy Tale, Gothic, Heroic Fantasy, Historical, Light Fantasy, Magic Realism, Paranormal, Science Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Shared World, Silkpunk, Slipstream, Steampunk, Superhero, Supernatural, Sword & Sorcery, Urban Fantasy, Vampire, Non-Vampire Monster, Weird Tale, Weird Western

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HORROR

subgenres: Apocalyptic, Bizarro, Creature Horror, Dark Fantasy, Extreme Horror, Fabulism, Gothic, Historical, Horror Western, Magic Realism, Noir, Paranormal, Psychological, Science Fiction Horror, Serial Killer, Shapeshifter, Shared World, Slipstream, Soft Horror, Supernatural, Vampire, Weird Tale, Zombie, Monster Other than Vampire / Zombie

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MYSTERY / CRIME

subgenres: Crime Fiction, Detective, Hardboiled, Historical, Noir, Police Procedural, Private Investigator, Supernatural

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ROMANCE

subgenres: Chick Lit, Guy Lit, Genderqueer Lit, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Gothic, Historical, Paranormal, Regency, Romantic Action-Adventure, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Fantasy, Romantic Horror, Romantic Mystery, Romantic Science Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Western, Time Travel, Vampire, Non-Vampire Monster

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SCIENCE FICTION

subgenres: Alternate History, Apocalyptic, Bizarro, Contemporary/Near Future, Cyberpunk, Dystopian, Hard Science Fiction, Mundane Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction Horror, Science Fiction Western, Shared World, Slipstream, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Steampunk, Superhero, Time Travel, Weird Tale, Weird Western

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SUSPENSE / THRILLER

subgenres: Conspiracy, Crime Fiction, Espionage, Hardboiled, Historical, Noir, Political Thriller, Psychological, Romantic Suspense, Serial Killer

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WESTERN

subgenres: Alternate History, Classical Western, Contemporary, Horror Western, Science Fiction Western, Weird Western

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Special acknowledgement to Duotrope.com for providing most of the above subgenres.

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Here’s an alternate list provided by wiki:

And lest we forget: Physician Bluegrass Fiction

Here’s the next big genre: Online (Novels about people living their entire lives online.)

Here’s an expanded list of subgenres.

Here’s a list of ALL genres.

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Fiction writers, do you write with a genre in mind? Why or why not?

Odd, Bookish, and Popular Social Networking Websites

socialmediadudes.com
socialmediadudes.com

Here’s a list of social networking websites which I personally think are either odd (in a fun, gawkish sort of way) or bookish (great for writerly types). I also threw in ones I know are popular enough (or advertised enough [<-there’s a lesson to be learned from that, I’ll figure it out later]) to warrant a mention. I’ve only used a few of these, (I won’t tell you which ones) nevertheless, I can personally guarantee that all of them are major time-sucks.

Now back to that lesson thing. Advertising. Social networking. Selling books.

Are there any writers or authors reading this? Good! I’ve figured it out and I’m sure you have too:

aNobii– Find, shelve, and share books.

aSmallWorldLa di da. This is for the European jet set and world-wide social élitists. BTW, it’s invitation only. In your face, jet set and social élite wannabes!

blauk– Anonymously let others know what you thought of that anonymous stranger. Confess your secret crush. Insult your friends and neighbors. The Jersey Shore of social networking websites, except it’s anonymous (Snooki’s ghost writer hones her writing skills here). Age 10+ only, please.

Care2– Get your green living and social activism on at this petition-heavy network. For tree-huggers and left-leaners.

classmates.com– Connect with former or current institutionalees and institutionalizers. Share your stories of institutionalization. Age 18+ only, please.

dailybooth– Obsessed with your appearance? Like to take pics of yourself? Go here.

Daily Strength– Lean on me, I’ll lean on you. Mental and physical health support community.

delicious– Discover, share, and store your favorite websites on this website.

disaboom– Disabled? Find support and friendship within an online disabled community.

facebook– Get bombarded with endless game and quiz invites, and get your personal info put on display against your will at the same time. For mental masochists. Age 13+ only, please.

flickr– Photo-hosting and networking. Age 13+ only, please.

foursquare– Make a game of location-based networking. Mobile.

früehstüeckstreff.de (frühstückstreff)- What?? Yoüe’re not on früehstüeckstreff.de (frühstückstreff)?? That früehcking süecks. Müest live in Eüerope or Aüestralia, and müest be a hüengry morning person.

G+– Share info and read info via circles (segregated groups). You can’t stop the Google. Must have a Google account. Age 13+ or 18+ only, please (you choose).

gays.com– Get your gay on. Network with other LGBTs. Review and read about the LGBT scene.

goodreads– Looking for a good book? Have a good book? Check-out here.

italki.com– Share, learn, and practice over 100 languages, including Yucatec Maya, Luxembourgish, and Esperanto!

Jaiku– Microblogging. Google-owned. You can’t stop the Google. Age 13+ only, please.

Jammer Direct– Share your art. Or bitch and moan about being an unsigned artist. Or laugh and jeer at unsigned artists bitching and moaning.

LibraryThing– Gotta thing for libraries? Gotta thing for book lists? Swoon here. Age 13+ only, please.

LinkedIn– For yawning, business networking, and yawning. Also for yawning. Did I mention yawning? Yawn. Age 18+ only, please.

Livemocha– Learn 38 languages in an interactive community.

Meetup– Plan offline hookups meetups for various kinks activities. If you live in the UK, you may get lucky and hook-up meetup with this guy. Age 18+ only, please.

Myspace– View the fake profiles created by pedos, and the kids they cyber-stalk. Try to guess which is which. Age 13+ only, please.

Ning– Make your own websites and networks here. Age 13+ only, please.

OUTeverywhere– Come OUTy, come OUTy, where every you are! LGBT

ReverbNation– Socialize with musicians, managers, and groupies. Age 16+ only, please.

ScienceStage– Multi-media science platforming and networking. Video streaming.

Scispace– For scientists, by scientists. Invitation only. But don’t despair, you may request an invitation.

ShareTheMusic– Free and legal music listening and sharing.

Shelfari– e-shelve your books here.

SocialVibe– Network for charity.

Stickam– Get your chat on while you ogle and be ogled via video streaming.

StumbleUpon– Stumble your way through interesting websites.

Tumblr– Microblog. Real time- or auto-post.

Twitter– Microblog. 40% pointless babble.

Wattpad– Authors and readers unite! Also e-book sharing.

WAYN– Plan traveling rendezvous with fellow travelers. Age 18+ only, please.

weRead– We read books and talk about books.

WiserEarth– Organization-based social and environmental justice network. Age 16+ only, please.

ZOOPPA– Artists, work for free and sell-out at the same time here. Age 14+ only, please.

Here’s a longer list.

Do you have a strong opinion of a particular social networking site?

Banning the “A” Word, “B” Word, “C” Word, “D” Word

“Knowledge is power.”- Francis Bacon

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”- Alexander Pope

Every year in the USA, hundreds of books are reported as challenged or banned. The actual number is undoubtedly higher, as the American Library Association estimates only 20-25% of book challenges are reported. (2009)

The latest book censorship to make national news is NewSouth Books’ version of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

commons.wikimedia.org

NewSouth Books censors the “N” Word to “slave” and the “I” Word to “Native American.”

I believe censoring and banning books and words is morally wrong. It doesn’t matter what the book is. It doesn’t matter what the word is. The removal of a word from a published book without the author’s permission is a cousin of plagiarism. Banning a book from a library compromises the intellectual integrity of the library community.

Banning books is dangerous. Without many years of intensive education, most people are simply not smart enough to figure out how to live in harmony with others. This is where “freedom of speech” and “freedom of press” is helpful. People who are exposed to more ideas are more likely to figure out which ideas are good and which ideas are bad. This comparative reasoning is the basis of all informed decision-making.

Of course, not all books are appropriate for all people. For example, few would argue against segregating erotica away from the children’s reading room of a library. Segregation is not banning. Segregation will move a book to an age-appropriate area, while banning will remove a book from an entire community.

3.bp.blogspot.com

Behold the All-Powerful “N” Word

In modern western culture, no other word is more feared and worshipped than the “N” word. Since stripped of its trailing letters, it’s become even more looming and poisonous. Civilized people don’t say the “N” word, it’s just too raw and violent. And the more it’s worshipped and feared, the more powerful it becomes. The “N” word is even more powerful than the “G-d” word. Most people are allowed to say the “G-d” word, but relatively few are allowed the “N” word. The only people still saying the all-powerful “N” word in its entirety without repercussion are “B R” and “B C.” They are rewarded for spitting the “N” word to their “N”-immune minions, who devour it like a pack of profanity-starved sailors. But what about those of “M R”? Can you say the “N” word if you are 50% “B,” but not if you are 25% “B”? What if you are a “N-B” person raised in an otherwise “A-B” family? Is your family allowed to say the “N” word while you are not?

nationalpost.com

Let’s own ALL our words, and not let our words own us.

List of government-banned books.

For more information, visit the ALA.

Words and books can be controversial for any reason.

What is your opinion of censoring or banning words and books? Is it appropriate or necessary in specific instances?