Friday, July 29, 2011

Movie Reviews!

Sucker Punch

This movie has nothing to do with Sucker Punch Press. This movie is about whorphans. Whorphans are underage, parentless prostitutes living in an orphanage for prostitutes. The fights are all fake, as in they don't really happen. They represent something that would otherwise be boring and take like 30 seconds of screen time, and you'd still say it was a waste of film. Like one battle represents the stealing of a kitchen knife(wuuuuut?).

Sucker Punch is all dumb action. Think The Expendables but with hot whorphans. Sounds good, right? Except that unlike The Expendables, they don't acknowledge that it's all dumb spectacle. You know how between battles, Statham was like, "dude, bro," and Stallone was like, "brah!" and Statham's like "Wuuuuut?" In Sucker Punch it's just like that, except it's all weeping. And that makes you care A LOT.

Mimic 3: Sentinel

This is Rear Window meets Mimic 1. I like that they tried to be different, even though in this case by "being different" I mean "exactly copying a great film." This is probably better than I expected it to be.

The Shortcut

The Shortcut is a real contender for the worst movie I've ever seen, and I've seen a number of Brain Damage Films (Terror Toons wuuuuuuuut?). Okay, this is going to sound really stupid, but I added this to my Netflix Instant Queue because I saw that it was a Scary Madison production, ie a horror movie by Adam Sandler's production company. I figured that at least meant it would have some money behind it. But it's cheap. And it's dumb. And not even entertainingly dumb. And boring. And not even entertainingly boring (wuuuuuuuuut?).

Sandler is famous for hiring his friends whose careers would otherwise be entirely dead. This movie was written and produced by someone with the last name Sandler whose only film experience according to IMDB is this horrible movie.

The Tomb

So, the kids from the hugely-acclaimed American Beauty have had it a bit rough. Thora Birch, it turns out, is pretty but is one of the worst actresses of our generation. Mena Suvari... I don't really know what went wrong with her career. Did you see the 2008 Day of the Dead? I mean, a girl's gotta make a living, but wuuuuuuuut?
Wes Bentley, though, is a good actor. Here's his problem: he's creepy intense as fuck. And not creepy intense in a Christian Bale way where he can play badasses, but in a Keane kid sort of way. And so I don't know if he chose to end up in horror movies or if it's just what he could do because of his whole face situation, but he's a pretty great Edgar Allan Poe in this. It's an okay movie.


Wuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? Wuuuut?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Insanity: One Reason I Like Horror

Though my tastes are migrating, for a very long time I have been extremely interested in fiction that explores epistemic uncertainty. Epistemology is the philosophy of how we get knowledge of the world. It basically started with Descartes, who tried to get down to what he could know for sure. He eliminated everything except himself through a thought experiment that boils down to: you can't be sure that you're not dreaming.

You can't be sure you're not in a coma. You can't be sure that you're not in a computer simulation of the past. So you can't be sure of anything.

I love horror where a person loses the ability to trust their senses and their logic. The world starts going weird, and all of a sudden you're frozen, because you no longer know how to interact when cause-and-effect goes out the window. We get a pathetic amount of information from our senses, and consciousness is basically a self-checking program attached to a cause-and-effect processor, and if you've read abnormal psychology books, you know how easily it can go haywire.

Lots of people enjoy this type of horror and scifi, but I think I like it extra super much because of a weird disorder that I have: night terrors.

There are two types of night terrors. There's panic attacks at night that awaken people with a big adrenaline rush and the feeling that they're being attacked. A lot of the time this is caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood that creates a primal, reflexive response to drowning. I don't have this type.

I have the type where, for the first hour of the night, my body isn't always paralyzed. I have nightmares with my eyes open. I see spiders and snakes and attackers lurking in corners. I often fear that something is going to stab me through my mattress.

So I take a small dose of klonopin every night to dull my thoughts during that dangerous first hour. I first got medicated after nearly breaking my foot on my metal bedframe when I caught it with my heel while trying to stomp snakes. It's good that I'm medicated. Men have accidentally killed spouses and children while having a night terror. I got this condition from my mom, who is a small woman. My dad has funny stories about her charging him. I, however, am a 6'6 heavyweight kickboxer, and it would be very easy for my stories to not be funny. I once couldn't figure out how to open the bedroom door when I was convinced I was being attacked, so I knocked through it. The door stayed closed, and I pushed the entire frame out of the wall in one piece.

Anyway, it's a weird feeling, not being able to trust your senses. I can often remember the night terrors if I'm woken up out of them, and so it goes contiguously into my "sane" consciousness. It's like a short taste of severe schizophrenia.

Luckily, between the medication, keeping my stress low, and not playing video games or watching spider documentaries right before bed, I don't have night terrors too often anymore. I used to go through long stretches of having night terrors every night.

Ummm...and that's one reason I like horror.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Caring Is Cool!

So, remember when I said that writing forums can sometimes annoy me? Here's an entirely different reason, and one that seems to be specific to indie author forums.

Someone posted a link to this blog post by a writer named Michelle Davidson Argyle, and mentioned that she liked it. The post is about how Michelle thought that publishing a book traditionally would make her happy. She found that it didn't, and that as a writer, you have to enjoy the process and whatnot. Because of all the struggle related with getting published, all the rejection and loneliness, a lot of writers place a big prize at the end and believe it will make them happy. It's what allows them to push through. I constantly have to adjust my mentality to live more in the moment in regards to my writing, so I think it's a very cool post.

But these other writers proceed to try to out-pragmatic each other. They talked about how of course publishing won't make you happy. One talked about how he thought it would make him money, he couldn't believe anyone would think it would make them happy. Basically people ragged on this woman for being sensitive and a dreamer.

What bullshit.

I admit that there are writers who genuinely feel this way. These writers are also known as "total fucking idiots," because if you're in writing just to make money, you're a moron. Any writer not starting from a position of fame who is smart enough to write a book good enough to make a lot of money could have  made more in a much more reliable fashion, like finance.

But I don't think that these writers all really feel this way. I think that people are trying to act tough. I think that people try to act too cool for school. Admitting that you care isn't cool. The battle of who can care less is one battle that can be won without any talent or risk. And if you aren't having good sales or getting good story publications, acting too cool to care gives you armor.

Pragmatism is something the world forces on you. It means relenting to reality and giving up on what you want. IT IS NOT ADMIRABLE, though it is sometimes necessary. And I prefer to never associate with people who are pragmatic by nature, not by circumstance.

So feel free to care and dream. I won't make fun of you. 

Coral Moore (yes, at least 2 Corals read this blog, necessitating the surname distinction) sent me a link to the new official Pulling Teeth cupcake:
Awesome! She found it at the kickbooty Cupcake Blog, which I would visit more often but it always makes me hungry (even [especially?]when the sweets are spattered in blood).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

People Are Booooooooring, Kinda

You know how you can't usually write dialogue exactly how people speak because it comes out really annoying? Even though you're trying to depict truth, you usually have to do it a bit abstractly. It's lying, but they're small lies, right?

Okay, watch a dating show, read some looking-for-relationships-not-just-sex dating ads, then try to create some characters and not feel like a huge phony.

Almost a decade ago, I was totally addicted to those dating reality shows. Blind Date is the one that really comes to mind. And Singled Out on MTV. What I loved best was when these people would describe themselves. Now, these people are extroverts, obviously. So they usually said things like, "I love having fun. I love partying with my friends and being spontaneous. I'd like to meet a person who likes to have fun and go out and laugh and have a good time."

Holy shit. If I watched a Blind Date marathon, by the fifth episode I wouldn't know if I was going to laugh myself to death or kill myself to death.

But that's only the jerks who try to get on reality dating shows, right? What about the average person?

You used to be able to see how the average person saw themselves on myspace. One place that you can still get the experience is a dating website. I cruise them, looking for someone to replace my wife with, and then I kneel at her feet and slather them in kisses that I'm with her and not some woman who likes "to have fun. That can mean getting spontaneous at a club or spending a quiet night watching movies. Wants to meet someone else who likes to have fun. Enjoys movies and walking and listening to music and" hopefully getting spade and neutered goodgoddamn!

So how do you justify writing interesting characters? Sure, you have to give the reader a reason to prefer reading your book to just living boring life, but writing phony characters isn't the way to do it. If you can't believe in the characters, you can't care about them, so you can't care about what happens to them. So while I enjoy writing over-the-top characters, I wouldn't want to do it all the time.

And a writer doesn't have to. Because while people seem entirely shallow when they describe themselves, it's because the average person isn't introspective and doesn't know much about themselves, or if they do, how to transmit that information. As a writer, you get to use perspective and epiphany and whatever to take the boring, average person and give the reader the best of the character. You get to give everyone how the character sees themselves, consciously or unconsciously. Which is pretty cool.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You Own the Farm, Too

I've tried to stay away from internet discussions of writing craft and theory for years. At least with random people on a forum. You can really only get the basics. So I abandoned Absolute Write years ago.

I hang on the Kindle Boards a lot. The people are nice, the signatures are nice, and it's THE place to learn about indie publishing. But after a few aggravating discussions, I'm keeping entirely out of any discussion of craft and theory. If I can tell that's what a thread title is hinting at, I don't even click, because I know I'll be tempted to jump in and then it'll cause way more anxiety that it's worth.

It's funny. The "gatekeepers" are optional now. We're free to publish novellas and short story collections and even plays. We can write an entire novel in second person like it was the crazy '80s again (like the smash hit Bright Lights, Big City). But other writers want to jump in and give you hard rules even faster than the conservative old publishers! It's kind of like Animal Farm. The new bosses are worse than the old. Luckily, we've all learned to walk around on our hind hooves, and no one can lock us out of the house. Some writers would force you to write in the way they do, but they can't. So don't ask them what they think. Because they know they can't force you, they try to scare you, instead.

When you join a critique group, you get most benefit from learning how to pick apart someone else's work. You eventually learn to translate that to your own work, becoming more objective about it. You will get good macro-level notes from some people, but it's only occasional. It will basically happen for one of two reasons:

1. The person understands what you are trying to do because they like what you're trying to do. When choosing beta readers, choose people who like the type of work you're writing! YOU CAN'T MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY. Don't bother with the opinion of people you could never please with the piece you wrote.

2. The person is an editor. Maybe that's not their job. They're probably another writer. But they have the ability to see what you're trying to do, how you're not achieving it, and what can help you achieve it. These people are fucking GOLDEN. I took workshops from a writer like this, and I learned so much. And to some degree, I think I learned to take developing fiction for what it's trying to be, not what I want it to be. So I have ended up with quite a few people who want me to read for them.

So my advice is that if you've put in your dues, do what you want to. Know what rules you're breaking and why, and how you can make it work anyway. Then, if you want, ask people of type 1 or 2 for feedback. But please don't ask for the general consensus on if prologues are okay or how much goddamn profanity you should use. You'll get a billion different answers, and each one will be correct for that person if they were writing your story. But they're not. And as we all know, prudes are always the loudest about making their opinions known, so you're going to hear the most about the least interesting possibility, screeched in the name of "the readers," who are apparently too moronic to deal with anything not spoonfed to them from a baby food jar. They'll even cite studies of what readers prefer!

Maybe their readers. My readers expect my writing to occasionally be difficult and a bit experimental, so that's obviously what they want from me. Because I haven't tried to write to the lowest common denominator, my small audience is better than their audience. My readers are more adventurous and curious, and want to experience something new, not mentally chew cud.

For  me, there's nothing more exciting than when a writer pulls off something you never thought anyone could. It would be awesome if everyone would keep an open mind and let each story speak for itself instead of having rules that apply across the board even when a writer manages to break the rule but pull it off. You miss out on a lot of great art when you think that way, and nothing is ever lost by approaching new experiences with an open mind.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing, Origami, Netflix Instant

Several times I've watched this awesome origami documentary called Between the Folds (available on Netflix Instant). I just watched it again yesterday. It's really mind-blowing, and I highly recommend it.

In it, a number of the best origami artists in the world give their opinions on the art form. One statement that has gotten me thinking every time is, "Painting and sculpting is art by addition. Carving wood or stone is art by subtraction. Origami is art by transformation."

The reason this line gets me thinking is because I've always briefly tried to apply it to the art of writing. At first, it seems that writing is art by addition. You add words to a page. In the case of a long piece, like a novel, a writer can really feel this building process. I write by scene, so besides word after word, I become very conscious of building the story scene by scene.

But honestly, I think that it's at least as accurate to call writing art by subtraction. Whether a writer is trying to describe something from the real world or something from out of their head, it's impossible to tell everything. Proust tried his damnedest. Sometimes Stephen King does, too. But really, one of the skills that often separates really awesome writing from adequate writing is a knowing what NOT to say. You take your vision, and you carve away from it until you have its essence. You figure out how to transmit it to the reader with as little as you can.

I think that's why I like minimalism so much. It's impressive to me when a writer can make every word count, or even make a word do double or triple duty. It's also why I suspect most of the great writers have loved short stories. You have to write novels for the readers, but when it comes down to challenging yourself artistically, the short story is where it's at.

The characters in Psychomancer are way out there: the luckiest man in the world, the world's most powerful psionic, and a guy with CIPA who writes a column about strange deaths. So I chose a maximalist voice. I simply piled on thought after thought until the characters were realistic, despite their very fantastic or strange natures. Given enough words, you can make any character believable, which is good, because I'm both a character writer and a strange writer (writer of the strange, writer who is strange...). But the character depiction I'm probably most proud of is Keith Harris in Burden Kansas. A number of people have told me that he's realistic enough to remind them of uncles and grandpas, even though he's doing wild stuff like capturing vampires. I consider it a big accomplishment that I managed this in his own minimalist, hardass, completely external voice.

So I'm not sure if writing is more addition or subtraction. Physically its addition, but mentally it's often subtraction. I don't think it's transformation. But maybe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Katie Salidas: Horror and Paranormal

I've heard about this paranormal genre. I don't know a ton about it, except that it sells and horror doesn't. But that can't be the only difference. Katie has a new paranormal novel coming out in her hit Immortalis series, so I figured she'd be the person to educate us. And here she is:

What is Paranormal? Is it Horror? At first you might think so.

When I originally began writing the Immortalis series, I mistakenly thought I was writing a horror series. I assumed that because I was using vampires (and later, adding other supernatural creatures) that this automatically put me into the horror category. But as I researched more into the various genres, I found that there was a definite distinction in how you classify things. Technically speaking, I write Urban Fantasy, a subgenre comprised of Fantasy and Paranormal. 

The creatures in the paranormal realm are the things that “go bump in the night” and scared the crap out of us when we were little. Let’s face it, some of those creatures still scare the crap out of us. Take Zombies for example. Nothing scares me more than a half-dead corpse running around looking for brains to eat. However, on the flipside, I don’t find vampires the least bit scary. Yes, I do have a screw loose, but this is where I feel the distinction comes into play. No, not my mental issues, the fear factor.

Horror is meant to scare us. It’s meant to make us look over our shoulder to see who might be there. It’s meant to get our imagination working and to see creatures lurking in the shadows. It’s also meant to be intensely gory and gruesome. When that zombie comes to attack, you get every last detail down to the taste of the spongy gray matter being mashed in between the zombie’s rotted teeth.

Paranormal, on the other hand, is meant to entertain using the elements of the supernatural world. Sure, there is an element of fear there, and there can be some gory details, but that is not the driving force in a paranormal story.
Urban Fantasy, which is the subgenre that the Immortalis series exist in, uses the paranormal creatures: vampires, werewolves, witches, and yes, there is a zombie too, in a modern-day setting. Originally having some horror roots (remember that was what I originally thought I was writing) It does allow for some of the gory and gruesome details you would come to imagine with drinking blood and killing your prey to survive. However, since my protagonist is the vampire, I get to soften it a bit by giving you the reasons behind the bloodlust and the feelings she has while taking her prey. In a way I have attempted to take the gory and give it some intimacy. At least, that’s what I was going for. But either way you see it, I think the Immortalis series strikes a nice balance between those scary creatures and the mystery of their dark world.

Thanks for reading, and if you want to check out my work, you can find me at

Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition... that's the hard part.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging, twenty-five year old Alyssa is rescued by the most unlikely hero: the handsome and aloof vampire, Lysander.

His gift of immortal blood initiates Alyssa into a frightening, eternally dark world filled with: bloodlust, religious fanaticism, and thousand-year old vendettas.

With Lysander as her guide, Alyssa will have to learn what it takes to survive in the immortal world. She'll have to find the strength to accept her new reality and carpe noctem; or give in, and submit to final death.

Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She’s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she’s missed more than anything.

Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan.

Pandora's Box (Book 3)  Release day - July 12, 2011

After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.

Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?
When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.

Powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?

And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being?

Alan here again. You can win a copy of Pandora's Box! Just leave a comment with your debit card number favorite cookie recipe or your thoughts on the relationship between horror and paranormal fiction and you could win! I'll announce the winner here tomorrow.

Check out the whole one-day blitz at . You will find a whole list of other posts and interviews and places running contests so that you can double, triple, quadruple, or even purple your chances of winning!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Have a Big Butt

I have a widget stuck to the home screen of my phone for notes. I'm extremely forgetful, so I leave myself reminders where I'll stumble upon them.

If you recall, I mentioned that I'm writing a series of flash fiction, each based in an awkward moment. My niece took my sister's phone and sent my wife a text that said, "I have a big butt." I thought of how funny and horrible the results could be if the situation were different. So I put a note on my phone to remind myself to write about it.

I still haven't written that piece of flash fiction, so every time I turn on my phone, I see a note that says, "I have a big butt." What's great is that, for just a split second, I don't remember what it's about, and it reminds me that I do indeed have a really big butt, from deadlifting.

I'd post a picture, but that seems like a mistake.

"I’m excited.  Very excited.  For a long time now I’ve been avoiding vampire films and novels because I hate the direction vampires have been taken in contemporary times.[...]But then this past week I watched STAKE LAND and read the novella BURDEN KANSAS and suddenly my faith in vicious, scary, and blood-thirsty vampires is being restored."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Holding a Kindle, Continued

I'd say that the manner in which you decide to hold your e-reader is probably the most important decision you'll make all day, but that would be a lie.

It's definitely the most important decision you'll make all day.

Last time we discussed one-handed holding methods. Not long after making that post, I saw this device:
The ezegrip. For one-handed, nude e-reading, it looks like the gadget to get. What I think is particularly nifty about it is that it collapses back to flat when not in use, so that you can still fit your reader into a normal case. Now, it does seem to permanently adhere to your e-reader, but the fact that you can fit it in a case anyway mitigates this to a degree. I think I'd attach this upside down, as I don't want my entire hand held, just my index and middle fingers. It comes in graphite and in white.

But in the comments, two-handed reading was brought up. Sometimes, it's fun to devolve and read with both hands. Sometimes I like to walk around on all fours. Seriously, though, I'd bet most people read their e-readers two-handed, since most devices don't have a page-turn button in the center.

Both of the cases I use for one-handed reading suck for two-handed reading, because they have soft spines. If you want to hold an e-reader old-school style, you need a solid spine like a paper book has. The unlighted official Kindle case was good for this, but had the side-effect of wrecking my Kindle. So I have one case that's optimal for this style, and you can have it too, for $2 or less!!!!

That's right, with just a composition notebook a razor, some packing tape, and a binder clip, you too can look like an incredibly slow reader until people are forced to check and see what you're staring at so intently, realize that the notebook is just a case and interrupt your reading to discuss how neat they think that is.

It's both a case and a curse!
You need pretty strong wrists, and a box-cutter or carpet razor. The more strokes it takes you to cut each line, the more paper dust you're going to create, so I suggest using something you can push hard with rather than an exacto knife. Other people have glued all the pages together, but one benefit of using tape is that it seals in most of the paper shavings. It's also much easier. Put something between the back page and the back cover to keep from carving all the way through. Be sure not to cut your fingers off!

The final touch is a piece of packing tape folded most of the way over on itself and slapped across the top. This will hold your e-reader in place. Obviously, it's not held in place very securely, so don't flap it around like an idiot. It's made for two-handed reading, so unless you're a total spazz I don't imagine your e-reader will fall out.

To display how great this $2 case is for two-handed reading, I'm showing you the above image of me holding it with one hand. I honestly considered if I could manage to operate my camera phone with my mouth. Aaaaaanyway...

Some people call it knowing what you want
Other people call it being finicky
Some people call it just plain nuts
Other people call it O-C-D!

But I'm krazy! I'm krazy! I'm krazy for my Kindle!
If I were a hobo, I'd carry it in a bindle!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

UFC 132

I failed my attempt at a new 400lb deadlift max today, so that was sad. But I watched the latest UFC, and that was awesome.

UFC 132 was really exciting, with more first-round finishes than any recent event, and some exciting upsets.

Here's my analysis:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blog Issues

I've got an interview up over at Iain Rowan's blog. Check it out, puhleeeeeeze. I think you'll find it entertaining.

One thing I think I should make clear is that I don't dislike thrillers. I don't read thrillers, so I don't have an opinion on them except that they sell well. Actually, that's not entirely true. I used to listen to a lot of serial killer thrillers when I was a document scanner, a lot of Sanford's Davenport stuff. Those are pretty silly, the ones with the themed serial killers.

I don't even dislike horror thrillers. I dislike that there seem to ONLY BE horror thrillers.

With all these disclaimers, you know it's gotta be a good interview!

So if you come to my blog instead of using a feed reader (I use google reader because I acknowledge google as my overlord ["And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords" – Kent Brockman "Deep Space Homer"]), you might have noticed a couple of changes.

First, I re-added the blogger navbar up top. I'm not crazy about how it looks, but I like that it make the blog easier to follow. You can follow with the google follow widget over in the sidebar, but I can't give that widget the top spot, so it takes a bit of digging. You can also follow in the traditional, rss way. But I have a feeling that so many writers use blogger that there are a lot who are used to clicking "follow" on the navbar, and I would like them to be able to if that's the case.

What do you think?

Second, I changed the comment field to a popup. I've wavered on this. On one hand, I HATE popups. On the other, I hate typing a comment and then navigating away or closing the tab too quickly and later discovering that I did so before the captcha came up, so my comment didn't take. I hate the thought that some people might have thought they left comments that never appeared. So I switched over to the popup.

What do you think?

And should I wear the blue or green polo today? What should I have for lunch? Will you please put me down for my nappy?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tercie's Final Waltz

My wife had a Toyota Tercel. I had a van. The van used too much gas, so we got a new car. Because my wife drove a lot more than me, she got the new car and I took the Tercel. Tercie Lou. My favorite car ever.

I'm 6'6". We called Tercie my car suit. I joked that if I couldn't find a parking space, I just stuck my limbs out the windows and wore it inside. If a car can have a soul and a personality, that one did. I miss it a lot.

We sold it when we moved to Cleveland because I wouldn't need a car for a couple of years. We lived right off downtown and I biked, walked or took the bus.

I loved not needing a vehicle. I hate driving. But now that we once again live in a sprawling Kansas City suburb, I wish I had Tercie Lou back.

My Ode to her, a piece of flash fiction entitled "Tercie's Final Waltz", is up at Golden Vision Magazine. Check it out.

My serotonin levels must be low, because writing this post depressed the hell out of me.

I tried and failed to find the pictures we took to sell Tercie on Craigslist. I did find the pics we used to give away our busted old couch at that same time. Chewie just wandered into frame and got comfortable. I think because we photograph him so much he assumes he's supposed to be in all photos.