i first started working on what would eventually become 'the ring around the rose' for a creative writing class when i was 16 years old. the story was much shorter, of course, but even then i knew that more was going to happen to declan and dyomee - not all of it good - and that there was a huge cast of characters involved, waiting in the wings.
now you can hold the first paperback of the first part of the story in your sweaty little hands, and for just $9.95.
shameless hucksterism, of course, but it all comes down to that, in the end... even waldo's hat.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Thursday, October 20, 2016
the root problem is that those who own the franchises for the majority of the world's religions see them as a matter of, 'if you can't use religion to control people (and thereby gain money and power), what good is it?'
the need to feel that we are a part of something larger than ourselves - even if that something is a group of folks who think that they are more 'in the know' than 'religious folks' - is hard-wired into our monkey minds, right alongside sex, late-night pizza cravings, and the desire to kill anything 'other'.
religious leaders turned this need into a means of production, but never got past that stage, or even realized that there might be something more.
religion (and politics) is all about story. if the audience identifies with the characters, finds comfort in them and vindication, they will do almost anything to support that story. while this is clearly a form of mental illness, it can be useful for more than convincing people to give up their money, kill, or die.
story can be used to convince people that they are not someone who would kill for, die for, or be misled by storytellers. that they each have a story that is just theirs, written and lived by them, and that their story is the only one that matters... not religion, politics, ideology, philosophy, country, ethnicity, gender, sport teams, television, books, or anything else.
and that's just the beginning.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
This is a snippet of a scene from the next Andi McCarthy (Nerd Girl) book:
Fast Eddie lived out on the north side of town, where split-level houses built in the 70’s were divided by scrubby fields. Eddie looked like Bill Murray, kind of - acne-scarred and balding - and he had 5 or 6 kids (Sarah was the only one I knew by name, and then only because we were in the same Lit class) who all looked completely different and didn’t seem to have a mom.
There was a large crowd gathered in the dark in front of his house, mostly guys, and I could hear Eddie preaching about the aliens over a cheap speaker.
“I didn’t believe in them, at first,” said Eddie. “I was skeptical, just like you. I thought it was my kids pulling a prank, ‘cause the aliens are little fellers, just like them. But then they took me to their spaceship, and we went up into space.
I want to make it clear: They didn’t probe me. Instead, they showed me the Earth, and you know what I saw? From outer space, there are no borders between countries. This planet just looks like a marble - a little, blue and green marble with clouds.
“And the aliens said to me with their minds - that’s how they talk - ‘Eddie, we like you guys. We like football and Skynyrd and Coors. But you’re messing up your planet and we don’t think you’re gonna last. You need some direction, and we want to help. We’re picking random people to endow with wisdom’ - that’s just how he said it, endow with wisdom - ‘and we picked you, Ed, on account of you seem like a man who’s got his shit together.
“‘We’ve got this machine that can juice up your brain. It can make you a genius, Ed, about anything that you want to know. All you gotta do is tell us what subject you think will do your planet the most good.’
“I thanked them and blinked a few times, ‘cause that’s a big honor and a tough question to ask a guy when he hasn’t even had his supper yet. I told them I’d need to think about it.
“‘Take all the time you need,’ they said. ‘As long as you’re with us, time doesn’t exist, so your kids won’t even worry about you.’
“That was really cool, ‘cause that was on my mind, you know. So I stayed with those guys a bit, and they picked up other folks and filled them with wisdom about stuff, and I listened to the things that they said they wanted to know. One lady asked to learn all languages, so she could help people communicate better. Some guy from Grand Rapids wanted to know how to get us to stop fighting over oil and shit. Some old gal - I think she was from Pensacola - wanted to know how to cure every worldly disease.
“All these folks were endowed with wisdom and let loose, until finally it was just me and the aliens again.
“‘Well, Ed,’ they said, ‘do you have any idea what you want to know yet?’
“And I said, ‘Yes, I have. I’ve always wanted to know more about car parts.’
“This stunned them. ‘Car parts?’ they said. ‘You want to know everything that there is to know about car parts?’
“I said, ‘Yep; I’ve thought about it a lot and that’s what I think will do the world the most good, ‘cause the guys down at Auto Matt’s don’t know jack shit.’
“So they put me in their machine, and they filled me with automotive knowledge. I know everything there is to know about hemis, valve covers, fuel filters, slant sixes - everything. And just like I promised those little fellers, I’m passing my knowledge onto you.“If you head back to the barn, I’ve got everything you need to make your ride as smooth as alien wisdom can make it. I’ve got the best used tires, rebuilt trannies, and stereo systems in the galaxy, and all at reasonable prices. Kids, why don’t you take our guests back and show’em what we’ve got?”
“If you head back to the barn, I’ve got everything you need to make your ride as smooth as alien wisdom can make it. I’ve got the best used tires, rebuilt trannies, and stereo systems in the galaxy, and all at reasonable prices. Kids, why don’t you take our guests back and show’em what we’ve got?”