Tuesday, September 30, 2014


As far as I can tell, my little experiment is a success. My blood sugar readings were fairly level throughout the day. I felt like shit when I got home, but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't work-out or write. Of course, one day isn't enough research, but I have a good feeling about this.

If this works out, I figure I'll only need my other pill for cheat days. I hope that's the case.

Monday, September 29, 2014


First of all, wow. I've done 75 of these fuckers? I thought I'd surely get bored with writing them by now, or at least I'd run out of ideas or inspiration. I still might. Who knows? Hopefully, I'll get to 100. That would be cool.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to try an experiment. Don't worry, I'm not going off of all my meds. I will still use my hypertension and high cholesterol pills. My problem is with the 'Beetus medications.

For a while, I'm sure you've all noticed me complaining about low blood sugar. That's pretty good for someone with a bad case of the 'Beetus, but my blood sugar was getting dangerously low. I started getting the shakes. I started feeling ill and off balance. Things like that. It threw me off so badly that almost every time I felt that way, it ruined a night of writing for me. I started drinking a can of Coke at lunch to even things out, and shockingly enough, even after occasionally adding a Monster in the morning, my blood sugar was STILL too low when I tested it at home. I got a reading of 80 that day, which is nuts.

But I don't want to drink that stuff anymore. I beat a lifelong caffeine addiction, and I'm afraid I'm going to get hooked on it again. Going through withdrawals for that was not fun. (Plus you get dirty looks from recovering junkies, which is kind of embarrassing.)

I currently take two medications for the 'Beetus, and I take each of them two times a day. That should give you an idea of how bad my case was when I first started out. I think I'm out of the woods on days I don't resort to cheating on my diet (which happens a lot more than one would think; NOT cheating, that is).

Tomorrow, I'm ditching one of my meds, and I'm going to keep a careful watch on my blood sugars, just to see what happens. If I get the results I think I'm going to get, I'll continue with the experiment. More as it develops . . .

Eat your damn oatmeal.


Those of you who have followed me a long time know that GUNSMOKE and MAVERICK have had a major influence on not just my writing but also my life. There are a few others, namely HAVE GUN-WILL TRAVEL and WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, but there is yet another . . .

RAWHIDE is one of the best written western TV shows in history. It's not my favorite, but I have to admit that a lot more writing went into these episodes than any other show, at least in the first five seasons. After that, things went downhill, even though there were still great episodes.

That's not what I'm here to talk about, though. I want to discuss the unsung hero of RAWHIDE: Eric Fleming.

Most of you know me from my horror writing, so I'm pretty sure you'll mostly recognize Fleming from his work in a movie called CURSE OF THE UNDEAD. It was one of the very first Weird Western movies EVER. It was shit. I'm sorry, but it was. Yet it was the first outing of one of my favorite sub-genres.

To those of you with longer memories, you'll remember Fleming as the star of RAWHIDE. He played Gil Favor, trail boss. Clint Eastwood was equally billed, but let's face it. He was second fiddle to Fleming, the real star of the show for seven seasons.

Again, that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about Fleming, not Favor.

I knew he'd had a shitty life, but I didn't realize how shitty it was until I read the recent history of RAWHIDE by David R. Greenland. But before I get into that, let me give you my impression of Fleming as Favor.

When I was a kid, I hated him. I always sided with other drovers because I thought he was being unfair. He's the boss, and fuck him. But . . . watching the series as an adult, I understand him a lot more. Yes, he was stern, but he had very good reason to be. If he couldn't get these crazy drovers into line, he would never succeed at getting these steers to market. As an adult who wants to succeed at things, I totally get that. Fleming had the right stuff when it came to portraying a firm leader. He had a human side, but he didn't tolerate disobedience. He was fair, but he didn't let shit go. You had to do what he commanded, or you were out. Fair enough.

Fleming was an unlucky son of a bitch. Seriously. You'd think a TV star was in a good position, but he wasn't. Let me explain.

I was an abused child. You know that. I've also surrounded myself with people who were abused children. You probably also know that. However, Fleming was so abused that there's only one person I know who had it worse: Robert Tannahill, my partner on THE COCAINE! BROS. Rob had it rough, worse than anyone I know which is why I give him a lot more latitude than I'd give anyone else. I love him as I've loved no other male human being in my life. We've had our rough patches, but, well, you get it.

I don't know what Rob would be OK with me talking about, so I'll skip it. Instead, I'll talk about what Fleming had to go through. Fleming, who was born as Edward Heddy Jr., was once beaten by his father so bad it kept him in bed for a few days. Young Fleming got stuck with a bone disease when he was a kid, and his father didn't visit him in all the six months he was in the hospital. However, when Fleming came home, his old man had no problem beating the shit out of him, even though he needed crutches to get around. Could you imagine beating the daylights out of a kid who got around on crutches? Me, neither.

Fleming's dad was such a cunt that Fleming tried to shoot him once when he was nine. According to Greenland, the gun jammed. He doesn't explain the momentous beating Fleming must have gotten due to this attempt. I know my stepfather would have at least cut my balls off for something like that. Regardless, Fleming hopped a train to get away from his family and wound up in Chicago, working for gangsters during Prohibition. The poor kid wound up getting shot for his troubles, and the authorities decided to return him to his father. This happened AT THE AGE OF 11.

Luckily for him, the cops saw how afraid he was of his old man and left him with his mother instead.

Six years later, he ran away from his life of poverty to join the Navy. It was during this time that he wound up getting terribly injured in an accident. Two hundred pounds of steel fell on Fleming's face, completely destroying it. I'm surprised he survived such an accident. It took four plastic surgeries to reconstruct his face, including an eye he thought he was going to lose. From all accounts, he was ugly before, but this actually made him look better. Hollywood better.

Did I mention that he had a club foot that he had to wear a brace for? That would probably explain his life of going barefoot, since shoes tended to fuck with him pretty badly.

He gave acting a shot and got reasonably good success at that. However, I think he would have been happier being a writer. Whenever he wasn't in front of the camera, he was reading a book, which understandably put off other actors on RAWHIDE. Clint Eastwood was wrestling with the other actors--literally--and pulling pranks and generally having a good time, but Fleming was too busy reading. He wrote a couple of episodes of the show.

Fleming clashed with the supposedly creative forces of RAWHIDE often, but it wasn't for his own betterment. It was for all actors. At one point, he made some labor deals which benefited everyone on the cast.

He hated working in front of the camera. He wanted to write novels, and he was planning on doing just that. He had a few contracts to work through, and then he could retire to the home he'd built on RAWHIDE money. All he had to do was get through one last movie role, which he'd scored after being fired from the show that had made him a big name.

(Wrongly, by the way. Even Clint Eastwood, who had publicly feuded with Fleming many times, said that the network was making the wrong choice by firing Fleming and promoting Eastwood to the star of the show. It should be noted that Fleming was approached by Sergio Leone, who wanted an American actor for FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, the first great spaghetti western to ever be made. Fleming, along with other American actors, turned Leone down. However, unlike others, Fleming suggested that Leone might want Eastwood for the role. As all of you know, even my non-horror fans reading this now, Eastwood accepted the deal and became an international star because of his involvement with Leone. (For $15,000, no less!) Because of this moment, we have Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood. Instead of getting Eric Fleming as the Man With No Name--who really did have a name, by the way--we got Clint Eastwood, who really was the best choice. However, Eastwood wanted to get out of his CBS contract for RAWHIDE in order to make movies, which is why he suggested that CBS should fire him instead of Fleming. It didn't work out that way.)

Which brings us to the final moment in Eric Fleming's life. You'd think that a guy who suffered as badly as he did would get some sort of reward, right?

According to Charles Marquis Warren, the creator of RAWHIDE, Fleming was "a miserable human being." Greenland goes so far as to say that Fleming agreed with this assessment, calling himself "bitter" and "twisted."

Shortly after being fired from RAWHIDE, Fleming got a job for a movie being filmed in South America. He was filming a scene that should have probably been performed by a stunt man when his boat capsized, and he was dragged down by the undertow.

It is irrefutable that Eric Fleming was devoured by piranha. However, no one knows if he drowned first or was eaten alive.

I desperately hope that he drowned first, but from all accounts, he was very athletic. He was an able swimmer.

I personally think the piranha killed him.

I hope for his sake that I'm not right. I can't stand the idea of someone like him, abused from his earliest moments on this planet, dying in such a hard way.

He was forty-one and the first RAWHIDE actor to die.

I feel a great deal of kinship toward him. I hope his passage from this world wasn't as hard as I think it was.

But I know his luck was shit. From what I could tell . . . I can't say it.

If there's an afterlife--and I highly doubt there is--I hope Eric Fleming has found some kind of reward there.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


In my entire life, I never noticed a moment of true love between my mother and father.

I'd never really thought about it before. I don't have the same family values as the rest of America supposedly does. I obviously love my family, but I don't have the same connection, and I have to wonder if that's because I've never seen my mother and father so much as kiss each other.

I'm not the worst boyfriend in the world, but I'm pretty bad. Holy shit, it took me a long time to realize this. No one wants to believe they're the problem in any given relationship, but I know how I am. That's the primary reason I've done my best to stay out of any romance in the past few years. I've had several chances lately, and I'm glad I never took them because it would have only led to disappointment.

I don't want to be bad at this, but until I figure out my own shit, I'm not going to put a woman through the nearly impossible position of being romantically involved with me.

I don't hold it against either Mom or Dad. I know that things were fucked up between the both of them. While they might have been high school sweethearts, they were clearly not meant for each other. I know too many people who blame their parents for their intimacy issues. I'm not that guy. I recognize that what happened between them might have had an impact on the way I handle myself, but when it comes right down to it, I'm in charge of me. Not my parents. ME.

Those of you who have known me for quite some time know I'm not a traditionalist. I couldn't care less about traditional values, because that phrase means nothing. Politicians talk about it but only because they know it's a meaningless phrase that turns on people's thought centers so they can vote for that particular slimeball. If we're really talking traditional values, then we must be talking about guys who have a bunch of wives with a ton of concubines. Clearly, none of these cocksucking politicians mean this. At least not in America.

But there is a part of me that wishes I'd been raised by two people who loved each other. It doesn't matter if those two people took the traditional roles of mother and father. I would have been fine with two fathers or two mothers or whatever. Just so long as there were two people who unconditionally loved each other, who both wanted to raise me to adulthood as an intact individual.

I am a bastard. Traditionally speaking. My mother and father were never married. I lived with my mother, and I got to see my father on weekends. I grew up thinking that was the regular way of handling such a situation.

Do you want to know something horrifying? Maybe--JUST MAYBE--there's nothing wrong with that. If the two people involved no longer love each other, why should they stick together? Just so long as they share the responsibility, it should be OK, right?

I get that. The rational side of me understands that. I just wish that once--ONLY ONCE--I could have remembered my mother and father kissing each other. Like lovers. Like two people who had created a life together.

It's not a deal-breaker. I'll be OK without this. I just want to have this memory in my head.

My mother's dead. My father has his own family. I can never have what I truly want, and that's fine. I just wish things could have been different. I have love notes from my father to my mother, and that's cool. But I have no memories, and that's what's hurting me the most.

I had my problems with my father's current wife, my second step-mom. We're OK now. We've worked it out. In fact, I like her a lot more than I would have thought when I was a kid. She has a certain irreverence which I highly respect. I just didn't get it when I was younger.

I never got along with my mother's husband, the father of three of my brothers. This guy physically abused me for many years. I have scars on my body because of him. When I was a kid, I hated him. I plotted ways that I wanted to kill him. Now, as an adult, I know that he was sick in the head. He had mental problems. It's not excusable, but I understand him now.

But he's dead now. So fuck him.

I'm not traditional in any way possible, but through most of my existence, I wanted that traditional life. It took me until my college years to realize the error of my ways. When you're young, it's easy to hate. You think you're being rational, but it isn't until you're an adult that you realize the truth. You know that things are waaaaaaaaaaaaay more complicated than you thought they were a mere two years ago.

I'm sorry. I had to stop for a moment because I broke down in tears. I couldn't help it. My mother died four years ago. When it first happened, I felt an overwhelming grief. It took me a few weeks, but I got back on track. However, every once in a while, it comes back to me. Out of nowhere, it will hit me, and it will cripple me, at least for a night. This is one of those nights.

Never mind that. What I'm trying to say, even though I've taken the long way around, is that on an intellectual level, I couldn't give less of a fuck about the traditional way of doing things. On an emotional level, though, I wish I had at least one memory of Mom and Dad loving each other.

Just one.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Today, while hungover, I referred to PUSHING TIN and AMERICAN OUTLAWS on Twitter.


I would have included THE QUICK AND THE DEAD in this post, but I actually liked that movie. Like, a lot. And if you're looking for a great Jesse James movie, you need to see THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. It's one of the most beautiful movies ever made. It's like a novel but in movie format. That sounds silly, because everyone knows movies made from books. But once you see this movie, you'll understand what I mean. It's a novel you can just watch instead of read.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


OK, so maybe the title is misleading. I imagine comic book fans are reading this hoping for a debate about the golden age versus the silver age versus the bronze age. (Hint: if true Comic Book People are involved in this argument, bronze isn't going to win. It will be either of the remaining two.)

I'm actually not here to talk about that. Besides, if you know me well enough, you know my answer to that one. If not, that's a discussion for another day. Instead, I'm here to talk about bags and boards.

When I first read comics as a child, I didn't have much reverence for them. I did put them in bags, but there were no boards. I tended to bundle story arcs into one bag. But I threw them all into comics boxes where they wouldn't support each other.

When I got back into reading comics, I wasn't much better. It took me a while to realize that I might want to protect these things because I will want to read them again someday. After that realization, I bagged and boarded like a pro. Except . . .

We can all agree that places like Mile High Comics are pros, right? Good. We'll get back to that in a second.

I buy my comics from a local shop, but sometimes Diamond stiffs my guy. Sometimes, I have to go to another local shop. And if they don't have it, I have to go to places like Mile High. If I have to do that, they ship my books . . . IN BRONZE BAGS.

Those of you who don't give a shit about comics have stopped reading by now. The rest of you know what I'm talking about. The different ages had different sizes, so you need to get a bag that will fit the age of the comic you bought. I buy almost exclusively bronze, because I don't care much for golden and silver, since those are almost exclusively superhero books, and I don't like superheroes. However, bronze bags are really small. I can't tell you how many of them I ripped trying to get my comics back in them after I read them (because the only time I have bronze bags is when I buy from places like Mile High).

When I get supplies, I always go for silver age bags. They're not too big, and they don't get ripped up if I try to fit a book in there. They also aren't hard to deal with, unlike bronze bags.

I just realized how boring this post is, so I'm going to stop and go to bed. Goodnight, fuckers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I've been submitting stories for publication for longer than I've been a legal adult, and when I get a slew of rejects for one of them, I generally figure out what's so wrong with it that no one wants it. Occasionally, though, I have a story that I think is amazing, and it can never get into my head why so many editors would reject it.

I'm in one of those cycles right now. I swear, I have a story that has been rejected four times this month, and I don't do simultaneous submissions. OK, it might be a tad bit more highbrow than what I usually write, but still, it's a serviceable horror story. The only notes I've gotten back on this thing stated that the ending bothered the editors, not because of content, but because of lack of content. Yet, I think in this case, a lack of content is a thousand times worthier than content, because it explains a lot about the characters involved. It drives me nuts.

It was slightly inspired by Jack Ketchum's "The Box," and when I say that, I mean that it shares a vague thematic similarity. I go off in a completely different direction, of course, because this is 90%-based on a true story that really happened to me. I don't spell out the other 10%, but I have a definite intention with the mysterious ending. I just can't figure out why so many people have a negative reaction to it.

I wrote it four years ago, and it's been making the rounds since then, but this month has been ridiculous. It almost has as many rejection letters as my reject champion, "The Hand That Shook the World" (which was finally published last year after being on the market for almost fifteen years). Tomorrow, I'm sending my story out again. It's close enough to the end of the month that I can't possibly be rejected a fifth time in September, right? RIGHT?!

Then again, the last time I sent this one out, it came back to me less than a week later, so . . .


When I was a kid, I used to write mysteries. Grim, grotesque mysteries where a lot of unpleasant things happened to generally good people. When I got older, I graduated to horror, where even more vile things happened to characters who didn't always deserve it. My mother and my grandmother would tell me that I wrote really well. Why didn't I write something nicer instead?

Fast-forward to now. If you're hanging out with me at some gathering or other, and I've been drinking, chances are good someone will eventually ask me to tell a true-life story. I've been through a lot of horrible sexual incidents, like the time a burn victim accidentally shit all over me, and that's what I usually talk about. It never fails to gross people out and make them laugh at the same time. There are even a few people I got to gag at these stories, just by letting a few choice words dribble out of my mouth.

Why don't I ever tell good sex stories? The same reason I write about vicious things in fiction: good is boring. You don't want to hear a story in which everything turns out OK in the end. For example: someone is telling you about a guy who tried some dangerous stunt or another. The guy in question succeeds. How boring is that? You want something to go wrong. It has to go wrong. Conflict is such an important part of story that it is ignored at the storyteller's peril.

I actually do have a few good sex stories, where nothing went wrong. Where everything ended with mutually satisfying orgasms and after-sex cuddles. I was even contemplating telling one of them here, but . . . I realized something else about the good true-life stories. Sometimes, they're so good that you want to keep them for yourself.

I was going to tell you the best good sex story I have, but I'm actually going to keep it for myself. It was wonderful, though. Plus, it involved outdoor sex, which is my favorite kind of sex.

Sometimes, when I go to sleep at night, I think about that incident, and it makes me smile. I wish she hadn't moved away, even though she was one of the people who suggested that I should write nicer things. She wanted me to write poetry about flowers and mountains and shit.

OK, maybe that relationship might not have worked out, anyway, but still. I wonder if she remembers me in the same fond way as I think of her.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Whenever I finish the first draft of a novel, it always leaves me in a weird position. I take a few days off from writing, and then I have to figure out what I want to do next. I can't just launch into the next draft, because I'm just not ready for it yet. I need to let it cool down. I need to become unfamiliar with it, so I can edit the fuck out of it later. I'm a hard-ass when it comes to editing other people's shit, but when it comes to my own? Not so much. I have to wait at least a month before I can do the next draft because when I become unfamiliar with it, I can pretend it's someone else's book. And then I can be a hard-ass again.

I always work on short stories in that time, but right now, I have so many ideas, I don't know what to work on. There's an army of them marching through my mind. I've got notes on all of them, but wrestling one of the fuckers down is always hard for me. I never know if I'm feeling one of them when I start. If I lose interest quickly, I've chosen poorly, so I have to make sure that I'm right the first time.

Oddly enough, I have a shit-ton of ideas for novels right now. That never happens after I've finished a first draft of a novel. I'm almost tempted to start work on one of them instead.

I've been writing since I was a little kid. I've been writing professionally since high school. You would think by now, fourteen years after I graduated college, my idea mill would have slowed down. But no, it's only going faster and faster. Sometimes, I wonder if I'll survive long enough to get these ideas out of my head and onto paper (or my computer monitor; fuck, you get the idea). Not only that, but I'm juggling so many things aside from writing, like Strange Story Saturdays, Forced Viewing, The Cocaine! Bros. and so much more.

And then? Then there's the lazy side of me that wants to sit back, relax and let shit work itself out. That works for some writers, but looking back on my own life, it really doesn't work for me. I have to stomp that odd compulsion out like the insect it is.

I won't be writing tomorrow. Instead, I'll be working on what I'm going to write the next day. Wish me luck.


Tonight's episode of 21 JUMP STREET actually brought me to tears. Doug Penhall falls in love with a narcotics undercover agent only to find out she's a junkie. Some of you know that I've had a long-term relationship with a junkie. I won't mention her name for various reasons, so if you're one of the few who knows who she is, please don't blurt it out.

Briefly, I've been friends with her since 1997. Four times, we dated each other. Two of those times, I was crazy enough to propose marriage. One of those times, she wisely turned me down. The other? She was crazy enough to say yes, and then we broke each others hearts later.

This isn't about that. She's always been fucked in the head for as long as I've known her and longer. She wasn't always a junkie, though. When she acquired that habit, I didn't comprehend how much of a life-changer it was. Not just for her, though. For me, too.

My first experience with this side of her life threw me off so badly, I didn't know what to make of it until years later. The third time we were romantically entangled, she'd been clean for a long time. She'd just had a daughter, and her pregnancy was the only thing in her life that had ever cleaned her up. We've always loved each other, but we were in love with each other at our strongest by this point. We were going to be married, and I was going to adopt her daughter as my own.

And then an old friend of hers showed up. She was struggling with her addiction still, and I didn't understand. This guy showed up, and he was also a recovering addict. My instinct told me to get this fucker out of our lives, but I still wanted to be the understanding boyfriend. Because I didn't get the addict mentality, I gave her my blessing to hang out with him.

The next thing I know, she's asking me to make one of the worst decisions of my life. She wanted to use one more time, and then she swore she'd never use again. My first instinct was to say no, but I tried to put myself in her shoes, and I realized that if I was ever addicted to something, I'd want to do it one last time before quitting for good.

I know. You don't have to tell me how stupid I was.

Her friend got the shit for her, and while I babysat her daughter, she went into the bathroom with him, where he shot her up. I should have known in that moment what a terrible mistake I'd made. But . . . I rode it out.

The next thing I knew, she'd chosen her friend over me. Our last conversation at that point was her telling me that she was really choosing heroin over me, not this other guy. (As if that would make me feel better.) He was just the fucker who could get it for her. It broke my heart, and I walked away.

She went through hell after that. That fucker beat the shit out of her, although she gave every inch back to him (especially when she bit his fucking tongue off, which was great). But in that time, she lost everything. She even gave her daughter up for adoption. About a year later, we became friends again. Soon after, we became lovers again. That was another rough time, because I had to drive her to the methadone clinic a lot, so she wouldn't have to fall back on heroin. Not that methadone is much better. I hate it almost as much as I hate heroin.

But never mind that, and never mind that she started getting dope again. What I really wanted to talk about was an incident after we broke up again. We were still friends, but I made her promise that we would never be lovers again. She has a certain degree of power over me, and I know that if she tried again, we'd fall back into the same stupid pattern. But she promised, and since then, she's been as good as her word.

But here's the thing: I gave up trying to save her. I was there to help her if she asked, but I couldn't put myself through saving her of my own volition.

This led to the second to last evening we ever spent together. By that point, she was living on the streets, and since it was her birthday, I wanted to treat her to an evening in a decent hotel room. Not the ghetto shit she was used to. Unfortunately, she scored earlier in the day. She knew how much I hated to see her fucked up on dope, so she went to the bathroom to shoot up.

Her problem, though, was that she'd shot up so much in her life that most of her veins had collapsed. She couldn't find one she could use. She came out of the bathroom naked with her purse strap tied around her arm and a needle in her hand, unused. Blood oozed from half a dozen puncture wounds.

She sat on the bed and cast her dead eyes at me. She spread her legs to show what I was all too familiar with. But she didn't make a move toward me, as if she'd remembered her promise, even at this fucked up point.

I took a towel from the bathroom and I wrapped it around her, covering her nakedness. I then held her as she bled all over the floor and the bed. I wanted to cry more than anything else, but I didn't want to make her feel worse, so I held it in.

She kissed me. Nothing like a lover's kiss. Just a gentle peck on the lips.

And then she found a vein she could use. She nodded off in my arms, and I had to take the needle from her foot.

The next day, we went about our lives as if nothing had happened. I saw her one more time, but I probably shouldn't talk about that one. Not because anything inappropriate happened, but if I did, most of you who don't know who she is would figure it out. After that, she ran into a lot of trouble. She's been clean for a year now, but only because she's been in prison.

She's hurt me more than anyone currently alive on this planet, but I still love her. Thankfully, I'm not IN love, but still.

Tonight, Doug Penhall discovered the truth about the junkie he'd fallen for and had introduced to his kid in the hopes that something would come of the relationship. He arrested her. I'm not a cop, but even if I was, I'm 100% certain I wouldn't have done that if I was.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Longtime readers will remember my brief career as a pornographer. Even newcomers might know about this; if you're viewers of Strange the World (especially this episode, which is NSFW-ish, since my dick is seen on Kevin Strange's phone in one scene), you'll know certain elements of my past.

When I was younger, I thought I'd sell my talents as a writer cheaply in the name of porn. As it turned out, porn was waaaaaaay more lucrative than regular writing, especially since I was willing to write gay porn.

But never mind that. It's all documented, and you know about it. Here's something you might not know: writers today don't have to deal with tear sheets. Some of you older writers might recognize the term. Back in the old days, if you wanted a regular writing position with a publication, you had to send them tear sheets. In other words, you had to take your contributors copies and rip out the pages your work is on. Then, you send them to the prospective publisher with a query. If you're lucky, you get hired. If you're sorta' lucky, you get a reject letter with your tear sheets back. If your luck completely sucks, then you get no response, and you have to find new copies of your shit so you can get fresh tear sheets again.

Luckily, I came in near the end of the tear sheets age. I didn't have to do this very often. Even so, I didn't feel comfortable with destroying the only copy I had of my shit. What did I do instead? I made photocopies. Keep in mind, this is in an age when your basic home printer did NOT have a scanner or photocopy capabilities. So, what did I have to do?

I had to find a photocopier for public use. I could go to the library, but they charged 10-cents a copy. However, the drug store charged 5-cents. I had to go with them, because I could barely afford to copy my own tear sheets.

As you can imagine, back then I wanted work as a pornographer because at the time, it was the only genre I had success in. Of course I'm going to look for more work in that area. So I had to send in tear sheets. So . . . guess who had to make photocopies of his tear sheets? IN PUBLIC?! That's right.

Picture this: I'm standing in line at the pharmacy photocopier. The little old lady in front of me is having problems because she doesn't understand the technology. I have to give her words of advice to fix it. As soon as she's gone, I have to make my own copies. One of which involves a guy sucking his own dick. (OK, that wasn't on a tear sheet, but I wanted to have something I could slip into friends' belongings, just to fuck with them when they least expected it. Many of them were alpha males deathly afraid that someone might find evidence that they were gay. So yeah. Fuck 'em. But there is plenty of smut on the pages I'm copying. So yeah.) I'm copying all sorts of horrid shit, Meanwhile, the young woman behind me is waiting for me to be done so she can copy her son's medication instructions. How awful a person must I be?

Could you imagine what would have happened if the copier had jammed? Or if something else had gone wrong? What if I'd walked away to get help just as my copy came out, and the single mom behind me tried to sneak a few copies in? What would she say upon seeing the horrible acts of full-penetration porn she'd find on the tray?

It was honestly nerve-wracking, because for as much shit as I talk, I would be very embarrassed if someone discovered I was copying porn at a pharmacy copier. That's creepy might-fuck-your-child-if-you-turn-your-back shit.

Luckily, that never became an issue. No one ever caught me copying pictures of dudes getting their dicks sucked, either by dudes with impressive cocks or by chicks with great tits. But I'm sure I would have been in the police reports if I had been. Yikes.

Friday, September 19, 2014


I find myself in an odd situation. I'm watching three old TV shows on DVD, and they've kind of synched up so that they've all reached the point of changing casts near the end of their run. People lose their shit over TV shows that suddenly have drastic cast changes. Not me. I mourn for the past, of course, but I look forward to any new cool shit that might be in store.

Take STARGATE SG1, for example. (And STARGATE ATLANTIS, for that matter.) I always loved the show, but it went over several personnel changes over the years. I'm totally happy with how it turned out, though. Great characters were replaced with great characters. That's the key: you can't get shit shit to replace cool shit.

But with the changes in these three shows? I'm a bit nervous. Let's break it down a bit.

MAVERICK. I've been a huge fan of the show my entire life (for more evidence, see this old entry in the Goodnight, Fuckers series), but I've never seen anything beyond two episodes of the fourth season. Why? No one gave a shit about them. Not even Columbia House wanted to bring them back. Let's face it: James Garner is the best Maverick you can get. Jack Kelly is great, but he just can't match Garner's charisma. I just got season 4 on DVD, and Garner is only in one episode, which was filmed for the third season but got delayed due to contract disputes. He's replaced by Roger Moore, a cousin Maverick from abroad. I like Moore, but I just can't see how he can fill Garner's shoes. Not to mention the fact that there's another Maverick cousin that's going to be introduced soon. Jack Kelly's Bart Maverick is great, but I don't think he can carry the series without Garner's Bret.

21 JUMP STREET. I never thought I'd like this show, but I got the first season for a dollar. I can't express how surprised I was at how good it was. Yet the final season? Johnny Depp left after one episode (which was filmed for the previous season; sound familiar?), and Dustin Nguyen doesn't even make an appearance. Their replacements? Eh, they're less than inspiring. I don't have a great deal of hope for the rest of this final season.

SLIDERS. When this show was first being aired, I kind of made fun of my brothers for liking it. The production value was awful, and it had the fat kid from STAND BY ME as the lead. But . . . they turned me on this one. One of them got me the first two seasons for Christmas, and I couldn't help but be drawn into it. The production value is still awful, but the stories are amazing. The characters are top notch. But . . . we lost one of them last season. We lost another one this season. I've been warned we're going to lose yet another later this season, to be replaced by a brother. This sounds disastrous. When you use a sibling to replace a main character, it's always desperate. But I've made it this far, so you can be sure I'm in it until the end.

It's sad, because you know that such shake-ups are ALWAYS about the actors getting fucked in contract negotiations, but sometimes, it really does lead to great storytelling. Not often, but sometimes. I'll let you know how I feel about these three shows, when all is said and done. (And they really need to release the final season of MAVERICK soon.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


The first time I ever learned about hanging someone to death was probably from an old western I'd read as a kid, but when I first SAW it, at least in fictional format, it had to be in a movie. But when I was a kid, they never showed hangings like they really were. They'd just show a guy on a stool with a noose around his neck, and they'd kick the stool out from under him. He'd fall maybe two inches, and then he'd strangle to death on the rope.

When I was a kid, that seemed kind of far fetched. By that point, I'd been so badly abused that I figured it would take a lot more than a rope constricting around my throat to kill me. I'd had hands around my neck, cutting off my gas, a few times by then. Being of a scientific mind, I decided to experiment a little.

Keep in mind, I was eight at the time. I wasn't familiar with the laws of gravity just yet.

Anyway, I took a jump rope to the playground when everyone was gone, and I tied one end to the top of the monkey bars. I tied the other end around my neck. I waited a moment, and then I let myself swing.

My first instinct was to grab the bar and pull myself up, but I had to stop myself because that wasn't a part of my scientific method. I let myself hang like that, and to be fair, it hurt a lot. After a mere five seconds (although it felt longer), I knew that if I did this long enough, I would die. So I stopped. I noted it in my psycho-child notebook and moved on. It wasn't until years later that I discovered that there was a certain drop to a hanging. By that point, I totally got it. I would never pull a scientific experiment like that, not even as a first grader.

Here's the fucked up thing, though: I did this in broad daylight, and while there was no one at the playground, there were at least five houses nearby, where if anyone looked out their front window, they would have seen me doing this. No one stopped me. Either I tried this in different times, when no one gave a shit if a kid died, so long as it was not their business, or my neighbors were okay with me perishing in such a stupid manner.

I must have been a shitty kid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Once upon a time, I was an invincible monster. I ate whatever the fuck I wanted to, I could out-drink anyone except the corpse of Jim Thompson, and I managed to do all of this while maintaining a decent weight and only ever getting sick once a year. Granted, that once was usually catastrophic, but it was only once a year.

Now I have to watch what I eat, I can't drink to excess and my weight has skyrocketed while I get sick more than once a year. What the fuck happened to me?

Many of you can point out that I'm not as young as I used to be. That might be true, but it's only been a few years. How can so many things go wrong in just two or three years circles around the sun?

I think it's something else. Someone said to me--I think it was Fitz, but I'm not certain--that my system is a lot like a transmission that hasn't been flushed in a long time. It might work perfectly, but once it's diagnosed and flushed, it goes to shit.

Everything was going fine for me up until the end of a relationship between me and a woman with Hep C.  Don't get me wrong, I took every precaution to not catch it. It's a blood disease, not an STD, although you can get it if the sex is kind of rough or you're fucking her on her period. (Okay, so the sex got rough a couple of times. And yes, I fucked her on her period once--the one time that the condom came off, of course.) When the relationship was over, I decided to go in for a check up, just to be sure I was clean. I think the gestation period of Hep C is three months, so I waited four, just to be sure, before I went in for a doctor's appointment.

He got back to me later with good news and bad news. The good news? I didn't have Hep C. Yay! The bad news? I was diabetic, I had hypertension and I had high cholesterol. Yikes.

Since my awareness of these problems, my body has been breaking down. I wound up with gingivitis and lost a tooth (for which I have an implant), my pancreas rebelled against me, I suffer from low blood sugar all the time, I'm getting sick waaay more than once a year (as evidenced by me missing work yesterday and today, hence this piece), I lost my gall bladder, I wound up getting an abscess right next to my dick, I get terrible headaches from a broken tooth which refuses to get fixed even though I had a root canal done on it and a variety of other things.

I'm sure I've had many of my problems for a long time, but what if I hadn't gotten it diagnosed? Is the power of the mind so strong that I would have gone on long after my health problems should have taken me out? Because I feel like that tranny that didn't have a problem until it was flushed out. I'm falling apart even when I'm behaving myself.

I always figured I'd die at a young age. Now? My premature death seems certain. No matter what I do, I just can't seem to fix myself. I've tried not living with all of my bad habits, but somehow I feel worse. My blood sugar gets so low that I'm in danger of falling into a coma. So clearly my body needs a few bad habits to stay alive. The only problem is figuring out which ones to keep.

Maybe if I hadn't gone to the doctor when I did, I would be the Terminator now.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuckitty fuck fuck. Goodnight.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


A long time ago, I enjoyed getting naked at parties. Yeah, I was That Guy. I was in much better shape back then, so I was completely comfortable in taking off my clothes while hammered out of my mind. (One of my friends once told me that back then, I looked like an underwear model.) I remember one party in particular when I was on my friend's balcony--naked--shouting at people down below in the parking lot.

Then I got fat again, mostly due to one of the worst break-ups I'd ever gone through. I stopped caring about myself, and I packed on a lot of weight. I'm still struggling to get back down to my healthier weight. However, I still got naked at parties. It was just from the waist down. (I have a pact with the universe. I keep my shirt on my horribly fat body, and the universe rewards me by not showing me horribly fat people with their shirts off. This has worked out pretty well.)

Then, I got this awful pad of fat that hid some of my dick, so I stopped getting naked at parties. However, I still took dick pics so I could make people laugh. I had to pull that fat pad back so I could extend to my full length, of course. Even though I'm probably getting too old for this, I still have a good collection of dick pics on my phone, enough to make an arresting officer very, very uncomfortable if he looked at that particular folder on my phone.

I don't send them out very often anymore, though, mostly due to one of my friends. She has a great sense of comedic timing when she's drunk. When she's not? Eh, not so much. But when she's tanked, she's fucking hilarious. Jason and Jori of Forced Viewing fame held a camping party in their back yard. They live in unincorporated Lombard, so they live in a semi-rural area, perfect for camping. The morning after the party, I woke up with a raging hard-on, so I decided to jerk off in their back yard so afterward, I could take a piss that wouldn't arc up in the air and maybe blow back on me (the wind was kind of strong). I took pictures, of course, and I showed them off.

Shortly afterward, I went to an unofficial work outing and started showing off those pictures to my co-workers. They were all used to my bullshit by that point and laughed it off to my usual craziness. (Keep in mind, by this point I'd published my cock in TABARD INN #2, so quite a few people were already familiar with it.) But then I showed it to this one friend, and she knew exactly what to say to me. Because she was drunk. And she's incredibly funny when she's drunk.

I showed her the pic, and she said, "This is your dick? Why are you showing off something this small? Are you proud of this?"

This is genius. Utter genius. There is no way I could have responded to that and maintain some form of dignity. If I denied being small, I would have come off as desperate. If I tried to be self-deprecating, I would have come off as pathetic. Anything out of my mouth would have sounded terrible. I could be hung like Ron Jeremy, and there's no way I would have come out of this well.

What did I do? There's only one thing I could have done: I laughed my ass off. She'd gotten me good.

So yeah. I don't send off many dick pics anymore. I don't get naked in public too often. However, I still fuck with people. Not anyone who would actually take offense, of course. This isn't about harassment (or even getting laid). This is about making people laugh. It works 99% of the time. The other 1%? That's the one friend who humbled me in a great way.

[This reminds me of something Jason pulled once. Whenever he throws his Rock Band parties, I just tell him to pick a song at random for me to parody. I'll do anything and make up anything. But this one time, he chose a song by Snoop, and not being too familiar with his body of work, I couldn't make up my own words. During the performance, I said, "Fuck it, you got me." I surrendered. I haven't fucked with his Rock Band parties since because he got the better of me.]

I just realized, this piece makes me seem like an ego maniac. I have a degree of egotism to me but dick pics and Rock Band parodies are not the definition of my self-importance. To those of you who may have forgotten, I have a great deal of suicidal moments, which I've written about several times in Goodnight, Fuckers, so there is a huuuuuuuuge amount of self-doubt in my heart. I'm not writing this to look for sympathy or to come off as a dick. I'm writing this so you can laugh at my own stupidity, of which there is a lot.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


A lot of people know me as a bizarro writer. I've written bizarro a few times, but I don't consider myself a bizarro writer. (Maybe this caused me to lose votes for the Wonderland final ballot in regards to TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE. That would suck, but I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it. The fact that anyone read that book is balm in Gilead to me.)

A ton of people know me as a horror writer. I've written horror more times than anything else I've ever written, but I don't consider myself a horror writer.

A smattering of people know me as a crime writer. I've written crime a few times, but I don't consider myself a crime writer.

I consider myself a writer. Period. Anything that pops up in my head? I'll write it. Even if it's a gothic romance. (And believe you me, I have a gothic romance idea in my head. I've had it for at least twenty years. I just don't know how to write it yet.)

I've said it many times: Joe R. Lansdale is my favorite living writer. Notice I didn't clarify the term "writer." The guy has written in so many different genres, I couldn't modify the term if I had ten million years. I wouldn't want to, either. Since I was a kid, I wrote mysteries. Secondary to that were horror stories. After that, I wrote just about everything, including straight-up literary stories that might have caught the attention of the Paris Review, if I'd been more mature at the time.

This isn't to say I'm a snob. I'm far from it. I just don't get the need to classify everything. I get the desire to fit a story into a particular box, at least when it comes to marketing (for one), and finding an audience (for another). But to label the person who created that story? That's insane.

And honestly? Labeling a reader is kind of crazy, too.

I love horror stories. I also love bizarro. I love SF tales and on occasion, I get a kick out of those supposedly straight-up literary works, at least the ones that don't involve a parent dying of cancer just so the protagonist can learn something about him/herself. I would never call myself a horror reader. Or a bizarro reader. Etc. I'm a reader. Period.

It seems kind of silly, but a lot of writers and readers seem bent on making their various genres EXCLUSIVE instead of INCLUSIVE. This baffles me so much, I can't get my head around it. As a writer, I try to see things from EVERYONE's POV, but this one? It's too crazy for me to figure it out, aside from the fact that those who seek exclusivity are those who want to feel like they're in a club that no one else is allowed into. I get people wanting to feel special, but I don't get people wanting to push like-minded people away.

A bizarro writer recently said something reprehensible. I get why this person said it, because I understand a desire to not be pigeonholed. Yet at the same time, he said it in such a way that is inexcusable. It was poorly thought out. He caught a lot of heat, and he should have.

I generally like the guy. I've enjoyed his books. I can't speak for personal involvement, because I personally don't know him. I've never had a single exchange with him. But he went off on a particular genre, saying things that aren't true to make himself seem more important. Again, I get the desire to transcend, but to shit on something for self-important reasons is crazy.

I'm not a horror writer. I'm not a bizarro writer. I'm not a crime writer. But I love horror. I love bizarro. I love crime. And I love everyone who writes and reads in these genres because I want to spread word about the things I enjoy.

When I was in college, I started writing reviews for the local newspaper. Here's the thing, though: I only wrote reviews of things I enjoyed. Why? Because I wanted to spread word about a work of art that turned me on. I didn't want to be the lone voice shouting in the wilderness. I wanted someone to discuss these things with. It took a great deal of stupidity and/or evil to get me to write a bad review. In my two years of writing for a biweekly paper, I wrote only ONE bad review. (I don't have the numbers for after that, but I know that bad reviews from me were very rare in that time.)

I love a lot of things, and I want more people to love those things, so I have something to talk about with them. If a stranger comes up to me and professes a love for those things, I accept them immediately without question. It doesn't matter if they're a different color or GOD FORBID a different sex. I love talking about this shit with EVERYONE.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't get the hate getting thrown about in particular genres. I get the egotistical need to be better than others, but I don't understand why anyone would apply it to readers and writers and other people who experience pop culture. To those who bitch about women "pretending" to be into comics? Fuck you. To those who hate a black Spider-Man? Fuck you. To those who dismiss an entire genre because you think its practitioners are focused on bullshit? Fuck you.

Try to think things through. Try to think about what "the more, the merrier" means. Try to decide if it's better to have a conversation with no one (hint: that sucks) or someone (hint: that's cool).

Let love in, fuckers. Stop being obstinate. You hated on popular authors for stepping up and helping unpopular genres, and for what? Are you so bent on your too-cool-for-the-room persona that you're OK with sacrificing genuine readers for people who will merely reaffirm your so-called independence?

If you really love the genre of your choice, be it horror, bizarro, SF or whatever, you would want to share it with others. When you get down to it, I think our various interests intersect quite nicely. Those of us who genuinely love these things are willing to share. Those of us who aren't? Those of us who think you have to earn love of certain things? Those of us who think you have to exhibit appreciation of certain things from an early age?

I think you're missing the point.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I was mostly quiet in high school. A lot of you might be surprised to know that, since I'm an extremely talkative, very social person now. But back then? No. I kept my mouth shut. But I made exceptions.

Looking back now, I don't know how my teachers put up with me. Whenever I had to give a speech, I went so far off the reservation they probably should have all given me F's. Yet every time, I got an A. How is that possible?

In speech class, they made us recite a short-short story or a poem. Everyone found some meaningless garbage no one remembers now to pretend to be into because it described how a flower grew out its pedals. Me? I read Stephen King's "The Man Who Loved Flowers." Yikes, right? In another class with a similar mission, I went with King's "Paranoid: A Chant." That doesn't sound right for any student, right?

In English class, I had to teach the class something about any book. I decided to compare THE STAND by Stephen King (I'm sure you can see a pattern) to LORD OF THE RINGS. Keep in mind, this was back in the day when talking about LORD OF THE RINGS would brand you as a geek, and geeks were not cool back then. I earned the respect of my teacher, but none of my fellow students gave a shit.

I even got the opportunity to read my own short stories to a class, even though they were really shitty back then. Seriously, I don't know how I got away with it back then.

In fact, I forgot about the whole thing until earlier today, and I pondered why I did it. The only thing I can think of is this: my fellow students were not my intended audience. I was after my teachers, but not in the way a brown-nose would want attention. No, I wanted to fuck with my teachers a bit. Maybe even challenge them. Even back then, I knew my tastes were vastly different from the majority.

What I didn't expect was my teachers to embrace me and my odd way of going about things. I thought of myself as an unconventional iconoclast back then. I had no idea that these teachers wanted someone like me to come along. Every teacher has to deal with students who don't give a fuck. They just want to get their minimum-acceptable grades and move on. Teachers, more than anything, want to know they've made a difference in their students' lives. Making a difference is a rarity, at least it was back when I was in school.

So . . . here's my list of teachers who helped me a great deal. Ms. Fanning from 7th grade, who read my stories and encouraged me from an early age (even if they contained questionable material for a boy of 12). Mr. Sibley, who shaped my life more than I was even aware of until now. Without him, I would have become a superficial asshole obsessed with my own dick. Not only that, he introduced me to my hetero life mate, Rob Tannahill. Without Rob, I would not be who I am today. Then there's Mr. Tourney, who taught me how to question everything, especially my own government. And thanks to Mr. Langner, who taught me that writing was more than fantasy fulfillment.

I didn't get to meet many interesting writers in college, but I did take classes with Ron Wigington. He taught me to cut all the bullshit out of my work. He helped me break out of other writers' styles and helped me to find my own.

I'm sorry I was always a cunt in class, from junior high to college, but I like to think I got a few laughs. I like to think I entertained. I like to think I maybe helped someone get through a boring class by telling a few jokes.

But never mind that. I'm supremely grateful to those who accepted my mad bullshit and helped me be a better writer.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


As I'm sure some of you are aware, I read the new DICKS tonight. Garth Ennis is more widely known for writing PREACHER, HITMAN and THE BOYS. There are a few readers, however, who know him for DICKS. It is an incredibly obscene book, so many of you might not know about it. I've been a fan ever since I got back into buying comics in the 'Nineties and discovered #3 at Graham Crackers in Wheaton. (This was back when Caliber published the book.)

Here's the thing, though: as soon as you finish reading an issue of DICKS, you can't help but be affected by the voice of the series. Everyone--and I mean EVERYONE--is Irish in the book. Shakespeare is Irish. Michelangelo is Irish. Even the fucking devil is Irish. (There are exceptions. Texan Dubya makes an appearance, as do UVF soldiers, who HAVE TO BE British.)

For at least an hour after reading a new issue, I can't help but THINK with an Irish accent. Everything is "ballacks this" and "yer head's cut, mate" and "up ye" and all of that. And the next thing you know, I'm using the word "cunt" as punctuation. Hell, as I wrote this paragraph, I couldn't help but write it in my head using an Irish accent. Jaysis and shite.

It got me thinking about other addictive voices in fiction. Right off the bat, because he comes from neighboring Scotland, is Irvine Welsh. It takes a while to get into one of his books, but once you do, you can't help but think in a Scottish accent. Unbidden, without having read a Welsh book lately, I've shifted gears in my head. Now I'm hearing my thoughts with a Scottish accent. Fitba and cuntybaws.

Closer to home, we have Joe R. Lansdale, my absolute favorite living author. He's so laid back with his East Texas style, it seems EASY. Obviously, it's not, but it just settles into your mind, and you'll find it hard to not speak with a drawl and use colorful phrases like "hotter'n two rats fucking in a sock."

The most addictive voice in the world, however, is Hunter S. Thompson's. Not only did he change the way I think, he also changed the way I act. That's an incredible thing to do. Those of you following the reruns of my DUI Diary are probably not surprised to discover that HST was a main influence on them. Without his suggestions, I would have crumpled and let the Man fuck me in the ass instead of fighting and rolling the dice. Even beyond that, I find myself talking about "stomping the terra" and "killing like a champion" all the time. It's hard not to finish my letters and emails without a grim "mahalo." I even got into the habit of ominously muttering "omerta" when someone needs to keep a secret. Everyone else on this list? You can get them out of your system, at least until the next time you read something by them. HST? He's there to stay. He's laid eggs in my head, and they're constantly hatching.

Don't take any guff from the swine. And you can't stop here. This is bat country.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I swear to fuck, I can't figure out what's going on with my body right now. I've been testing and double-checking results, and I'm in a bit of a quandary.

OK, it would seem that when I behave myself, I've been getting super-low blood sugar readings. Ordinarily, that would be good considering my 'Beetus. However, my readings are so low they're fucking everything else up.

When I act like an animal--these days, not way-back-when--my readings are a bit high, but they're acceptable. I'm getting mixed messages here.

After adding everything up, I can only assume I have two choices. Everything else sucks, because if I behave myself AND take my meds, I find myself in a hateful position where I want to vegetate instead of do anything useful. Here are my choices.

Keep up my meds but add some sugar to my lunch (maybe a can of soda). This will keep me from going into a diabetic coma while still obeying my doctor, more or less.

Or . . . I can disobey my doctor and cut one of my meds out while sticking to the plan I have now. This is fiscally irresponsible, since I just bought a three-month supply of my meds, and I'm still waiting for my doctor to get back to me in regards to my most recent blood test.

I think I'm going with the latter, at least for now. I'm tired of being angry all the time. Also, I can't fall asleep at my job. I certainly can't fall asleep while driving home from work every day. And I definitely can't bring myself to waste $40 worth of meds. I think I'm just going to add a bit of sugar to my diet. Hopefully, I'll be able to control myself so I don't need to get my feet chopped off. (Although if I had to lose my feet, it might be cool to lose them as a special effect for THE EXPENDABLES 4, if they're planning on that happening. Chuck Norris is in that series now, right? Bill Hicks wouldn't cringe too much.)

I couldn't write tonight because of my diabetic incident. I couldn't exercise, either. I loaded down on sugar until I reached the point where I was hopped up and bouncing off the walls. Except now I have to go to bed, so I administered a bit of booze to take the edge off. I feel like I'm living a lonely, isolated version of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET right now, a version that involves no money at all. How awful is that?

New blood sugar experiments begin tomorrow. I'll report the results then, if my mindless whoring of my work doesn't get in the way. Fuck.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I remember when I was in high school and college, I kept a journal. I wrote in it every night, even if I had nothing to report. It was a part of my ritual. Then, I started acquiring a social life, and there were nights when I didn't write in my journal, either because I was too drunk or because I was getting laid or because I simply wasn't home from a night of partying yet to do so.

Still, whenever I was home and conscious and had the time, I'd write in my journal.

I just realized that it's been almost a month since I wrote in it. In fact, it's starting to look like one entry a month is the pace. What happened?

Two things, I suppose. I stopped writing about what I was reading in there because I joined Goodreads and have been posting everything there instead. Also, I started doing Goodnight, Fuckers, and that took a lot of steam out of my composition notebook journal.

Tonight, I wrote in my journal just to write in it. I had nothing of value to say, but still, it was kind of weird. My handwriting has gotten worse as I get older. It used to be orderly and readable. Now it's like a madman started scribbling on paper just to get the squiggly lines out of his head.

I wonder if I'm going to just quit the ol' journal and continue on with this. Or maybe I'll quit this and go back to the old way. I don't know. I've got too many other things to think about, like finishing up my new novel. I think I'll be done with the first draft this weekend.

Monday, September 8, 2014


I know this seems like a strange way to start a week of self-promotion. The title of this piece isn't even truthful. I really do want you to buy STRIP. But I've ceased giving a fuck. I've been having problems with this one. A lot of them. The reason I can't bring myself to care anymore is simple. The straw that broke the camel's back?

STRIP was supposed to be a Kindle giveaway today through Thursday, and the publisher gives so little a fuck about my book that they ignored my submission form, even though I sent it in twice. I don't know why they wouldn't approve it. It's not like this book is selling, anyway. We might as well give it away for free. Who knows? Maybe a few people like it so much they leave positive reviews. Maybe in the future, when the book isn't free anymore, someone will look at those positive reviews and decide to buy the fuckin' thing.

But that's too much work, I guess. So fuck it. They no longer care about my book? I no longer care about my book. It's not even a good fit with the rest of my body of popular work. Most of you come to me through my horror or bizarro work. How many of those people would want to read a crime novel from me? Granted, it's a hypersexed, ultraviolent crime book. It's incredibly offensive. It's so crazy there's a parental warning on the first page. But it's still a crime book.

So yeah. Who gives a fuck? Eventually, I'll do a print run which, according to my contract, I can't even sell. I can only give 'em away. But maybe if I gave away a physical copy, someone might read it. Anyone. At the very least, someone will use it as a beer coaster or to level out a coffee table. That way, it will come in handy. It will be used. Anything's better than a waste of space, which I guess it is right now.

Fuck it. Rant over. If you really want to buy it, you can do so here. I'd appreciate it if you do, but if you don't? I don't give a fuck.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Most people don't seem to get the concept of a heavy dick. It's obviously not a regular dick. And it can't be an erect dick. It can't even be a semi-erect dick.

There's no other way to describe it but to say that it's a bit more plump than usual without being aroused. Earlier this week, I woke up with a heavy dick. It was no morning wood, but it wasn't like it usually is, either. It's just thicker and longer without being hard. It doesn't even twitch.

It just looks and feels nice.

If you're lucky enough to wake up with it, it just weighs down your inner thigh more than usual. If you have to adjust yourself, it makes you feel like you're accomplishing something. I've taken several pictures, but I don't have anyone to send them to right now. Maybe I should work on that.

Or maybe not. Everyone says I should be with someone right now. They question my sexuality if I'm not. I don't give a fuck about that, though. I just know that right now is not a good time to be in a relationship. I've got too many things in my head I need to straighten out before I get back in "the game," as assholes call it.

So yeah. This heavy dick is wasted.

Goodnight, fuckers.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Art by Timothy Truman

DC canceled ALL STAR WESTERN this month, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. In a brief conversation I had with Jimmy Palmiotti, he told me that it’s a tough book to sell, which is why they were trying all sorts of gimmicks in it. Even though he didn’t say anything at the time, I could see it in his eyes. If Jonah Hex’s book isn’t canceled yet, it soon would be.

And now it is. I’m actually kind of glad. I’m a longtime Jonah Hex fan, and to see all the ridiculous bullshit they were putting him through hurt. I kept reading because I’m a completist. I have all of his appearances, even the stupid one in TIME MASTERS #3.

Back in the ‘Seventies, Jonah Hex first appeared ALL STAR WESTERN, an anthology book that featured regular characters. Some, like Bat Lash and El Diablo, were fun, and others, like Pow Wow Smith, were on the boring side. Hex was easily the best of the bunch. Shortly after his arrival, the book changed its title to WEIRD WESTERN TALES and got rid of the shittier characters to focus on the good ones. Hex was so popular that he eventually got his own book (leaving WWT to Scalphunter, who was fun but was no Hex). Hex’s solo book lasted quite a while, but interest in westerns started to wane, and in the first crime DC ever committed against him, they pulled a stunt designed to save the book. They should have just canceled the book. It had obviously run its course. Time to cut your losses.

No, they teleported Hex into the future and had him fighting aliens and villains who dressed like students at Nuke ‘Em High, using lasers and spaceships and all sorts of shit. They called the new book HEX, and it did not do very well. It swiftly came to an end, and Hex faded into obscurity . . .

. . . until Joe R. Lansdale saved him by reimagining the book as a horror western. Granted, the idea is almost as crazy as sending him to the future, but Lansdale is an incredibly talented guy. When he had Hex fighting an undead Wild Bill Hickok and shooting the shit out of underground monsters, it actually felt right. In all of Hex’s career, nothing supernatural ever happened. Weird? You bet. But supernatural? Never, not until Lansdale got his hands on him. He did three series, which were all fucking amazing. He’d planned a fourth one, in which Hex would go up against the God of the Razor, but I imagine it didn’t happen because he would have probably lost rights to his own character to DC, even though the book was being done at Vertigo.

Hex once again disappeared until DC, for some ungodly reason, decided to bring him back the way he’d been before the Vertigo books, and though it’s never stated, it’s also suggested that it happened before the events of HEX. (Thank fucking Christ.) I loved this new resurrection. It felt just like the old books but had a harder edge, all the way through to the end.

If only they hadn’t made that stupid fucking movie. If only they’d let the book end with the old DC continuity.

DC, please. Whatever you do, don’t bring Hex back again. If for some reason you decide to ride this old dog once again, here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t ever send Hex to Gotham City. Ever. There is no reason for him to be there. It’s a western book. He doesn’t need to hang out in the Batcave decades before it becomes the Batcave. He certainly doesn’t need to battle the lost tribe of natives living down there, as well as the giant bats.
  2. Don’t ever send Hex to the future. Ever. Did you not see how HEX worked out? No one wants that shit. I guess they figured he’d fare better in his future, our present. Pure garbage.
  3. Hex does not need to be a part of your stupid crossovers. He works best when he’s at the fringe of the DCU.
  4. Fuck you and your need to have him cross paths with Booster Gold. And while I’m at it, fuck you, Booster Gold. I never liked that guy.
  5. Hex’s most distinguished feature, the thing that got him the most attention when he first came out, is his hideous facial scar, which is known as the Mark of the Demon. So obviously DC had to get rid of it. Seriously, in the last few issues of ASW, he looks like a regular dude, nothing special at all.

And if for some strange reason you want to bring Hex back to the big screen, here’s an idea for you: don’t give him superpowers. He doesn’t have them and doesn’t need them. He’s a badass, heavy-drinking dead-shot with very few morals and an insatiable urge to fuck every whore in sight. It’s the perfect mix. Don’t add or subtract anything from it. [This isn’t a rant about the movie, though. I already did that here.]

The end of the recent book is kind of good, though. It was finally starting to get better after they got Hex back to his own time and way the fuck away from Gotham. (He met Batman, by the way. And Superman. And John fucking Constantine. And everyone else they hoped would get superhero readers interested in the book.) I hated his new look, but the stories were finally getting back to the basics.

But we’re better off without this series. Before I go, I should mention that they did something really clever in that final issue. For those who haven’t read it yet, SPOILER ALERT FOR THE REST OF THIS PIECE.

Waaaaay back in the day, when DC did a one-shot for their biggest western characters, they told the story about how Jonah Hex died: he was gunned down in his old age. He just wasn’t fast enough, and his eyesight was failing him. However, a sideshow guy had Hex’s body taxidermied and put on display. Eventually, he wound up in a warehouse, forgotten. His body somehow manages to last a long time, because Hex eventually finds it in the last issue of HEX. While the New 52 rewrote a lot of backstory, Hex’s remained fairly intact, and DC decided to hold on to this part of the old canon. In the future (our present), Hex finds his taxidermied corpse in a museum.

BUT! The final issue of ASW pulls a neat little trick on us. Remember, Hex lost the Mark of the Demon when a plastic surgeon fixed his face, so it would be impossible for that body to be Hex, not unless he managed to fuck up his face again in the exact same way, and how likely is that?

Turns out, when Hex gets back to his own time, there’s an asshole pulling all sorts of awful shit, and he’s calling himself Jonah Hex. He even looks a lot like Hex.

So yeah. Guess who that taxidermied corpse REALLY is. In the meantime, the real Jonah Hex has gone off to, um, become a pirate on the high seas. All right, maybe that wasn’t thought through all that well, but I really liked the trick with the corpse. It would be interesting to see if the DCU will hold onto that when they eventually go back to the old continuity.

Holy shit. I write a lot about Jonah Hex. Maybe too much. I’m going to stop now.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I've been working on my new book for a while now. I got a bit sidetracked when the idea for DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN came out of left field and became my priority, but even after I finished that one, I'm still having difficulties with this other book.

Don't get me wrong. I love this book (so far). Some really amazing things happen in it. Unfortunately, it turns out that there are a lot of boring, yet necessary, scenes I have to write to connect everything, and that's been killing me. It got so bad that I wrote myself into a corner last week, and I've been barely doing any work on this fucker since. The most I got done was a hundred words last night, despite sitting in front of my computer for two hours. Yeah, that's pretty bad compared to my usual self-imposed 2K word requirement.

(I cheated a bit and pumped out a new Everyone's Got One piece, which I'm posting tomorrow. It didn't get me to 2K, but it made me feel better about myself. Plus last night's Goodnight, Fuckers? Not a bad day in all. But it wasn't the kind of writing I WANTED to get done.)

Last night I went out for a walk. Walks are great for finally knocking things loose in my head. Some of my best breakthroughs come during these walks, except they hadn't been helping me of late. However, last night's helped a great deal. I finally know how I'm going to end this thing, and more importantly, I know all the steps I need to go through to get there.

I rushed home and wrote it all down, and I'm writing the final scenes now. To be honest, things were so bad with this book I thought I might scrap it and move on. (Which would suck because it would be the second book in a row.) Now, I feel excited about writing it again. I even feel energized. I got 2K+ words out of my head tonight, and it was done pretty quickly. If you take out the research I did tonight, I probably could have gotten it done in 45 minutes. That's fucking awesome.

It's moments like these when I remember why I got into this business. It wasn't for the money (although having some would be nice). It wasn't for the fame (although having fame would lead to more sales, which leads to more money, which would be nice). It wasn't even for the pathological need to write (although I would do it anyway, business or no). It's really for that rush when things finally start connecting. When the pieces start forming a whole. When you know you're on fire, and you want to burn even more.

I think I'll be done with the first draft in a week. I wrote the last boring, yet necessary, scene tonight. From here on out, it's nothing but two-fisted, epic action. Things are finally starting to look up.


When I was a kid, I drove my grandparents crazy with my constant, undying need to enter a car through an open window rather than opening the door like a decent human being. I'd just grab the roof and jump up, and for the most part, I'd glide through the window like an acrobat and land in the passenger seat. (There were a few times when it just didn't work out. Painful times.)

I had this obsession because back then, I was a huge fan of THE DUKES OF HAZZARD. It's not as fucking weird as you would think. Kids love explosions. They love car stunts. They love high speed chases. But more than these things, they love to see a bumbling idiot get ridiculed, especially if that bumbling idiot is an authority figure. Yet even more than that, they love to see mean assholes get thwarted. Constantly.

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD had these things, so I watched it pretty religiously. I couldn't give two tugs of a dead dog's cock about southern culture or any of that yee-haw garbage. I just loved that other shit. But most importantly, them Duke boys shore knew how to get in a car.

As an adult, I've watched a few episodes, and they're awful. But as a boozehound, I DO appreciate a family bootlegging business, and I enjoy this particular aspect of the show. (Plus I appreciate seeing authority figures as bumbling idiots and mean assholes getting bent over at every opportunity.)

But even now, as an adult, I have a particular problem. I don't see a parked car with an open window often in these modern times, but when I do, I have an overwhelming urge to grab the roof, jump up and then glide into the passenger seat.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


You know those motorcycles with the sidecars attached? In my opinion, there is only one way to use those things. No, it's not by wearing a spiked helmet and driving your weird racist friend around in a war zone.

No, when I was driving to work this morning, I saw a dude on just such a bike. He was dressed like a normal guy in flannel, but his companion? It was not a weird racist friend muttering under his breath in a war zone. No, it was a dog. A pug. And that fucker looked like he meant business.

If you have a WWII-era motorcycle with a sidecar, and you don't have a pimp-looking pug riding shotgun, you are probably doing it wrong. This guy that I saw on my commute in to work? He was doing it right. Learn from his success, ye fuckers, and despair. If you don't, Indy Jones will put a piece of wood between your spokes, and then you'll be fucked, ye fuckers. Pay heed. Make this world more aesthetically pleasing.

Or else.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


From www.thomaspluck.com, because I'm too lazy to do my own picture.

I'm starting to think Gryphon Books isn't going to update their website with the new issue of HARDBOILED, the one that contains my story, "Daisy, Jeppke, and the Kid." It's the final issue, so I think it wouldn't be so important to market it. I'm sure it will eventually be posted here, but if you want to take the long route (so far, the only route), try getting it the old fashioned way. (Well, it IS an old fashioned publication, so you might get a thrill out of doing it this way.) Contact Gary Lovisi, editor and publisher, at this address:

Gryphon Books
P.O. Box 280-209
Brooklyn, NY 11228-0209

The single issue costs $10 (plus shipping, whatever that might entail), and it's definitely worth it. It has a posthumous story by C.J. Henderson in it. He's mostly known for his horror work, and while this is still a hardboiled story, it also has a healthy dose of horror to it. It's one of the best stories in the magazine. Plus, up-and-comer Thomas Pluck has a great story in there called "Firecracker." Jed Power's "The Man Who Sold Nothing" is a neat little mindfuck of a tale. Justin Swartz's "Jack B. Quick" is a great boxing story. There's a lot to like here. I hope you give it a try.

Monday, September 1, 2014


I am eternally grateful for today. Why? Not only did I get a day off from work, but I also had the opportunity to do ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING today. At first I wanted to see if I could spend the entire day in bed, but I did have a few unimportant things to do, which drove me from the comfort of my blankets. But still. I did ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING today.

No work. Very little reading. Most of my day was spent in front of the TV absorbing MAVERICK and 21 JUMP STREET (with a break for UNDER THE DOME, which has gotten better for the second season, but I wish they'd stop trying to be LOST).

I feel suddenly recharged. In fact, while wasting my day, I discovered that I finally know how I want to end this Jesus book that has been haunting me ever since I started writing it. Somehow, despite the fact that I did ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING today, I managed to get quite a bit done. Don't ask me to explain my very zen day. But it happened.

I'm always busy, and my thoughts race at a thousand billion miles per second. I had to force myself to do nothing today, and it completely rejuvenated me. Maybe if we spent more time relaxing instead of driving ourselves toward our own personal apocalypse every single day, this world would be a better place.

Did I miss getting my 2K words today? Yeah. In the long run, will it matter? Probably not. The idea horrified me, but the results made me very happy. Happy enough to completely fear tomorrow, which will bring me back to work, writing and all the things I managed to avoid today.

Fuck. Or yay. Either one. Probably both.


I'm a long-time fan of Troma, since I was a kid in the mid-'Eighties. Yet looking back on Troma movies now, one notices a difference. I love everything Lloyd Kaufman does, but . . . there is a discrepancy. Kaufman is 100% capable of making a movie that is serious and important with a lot of humorous elements. But now? I don't think he can do work that is the same way. He's too fixated on making humorous movies that have elements of serious tones and social commentary. That wasn't always the case. I think at some point he realized that it was easier to go for the joke.

Like I said, I will never shit on a Troma movie. I love Troma from top to bottom, left to right. But I know that Kaufman can do better, even though he settles for the cheap shit. Back in the 'Seventies and early 'Eighties, he went for the good shit (even if it was under a phony name like Sam Weil). I would love to see what he could do NOW with the tools he used in those times. It's easy to laugh at a Troma movie because everyone knows how silly they are. It's harder to consider what a Troma movie is saying because, well, everyone knows how silly they are. It wasn't always this way. It's been a long time since Kaufman went for the jugular. I think he could pull it off now, but there are a lot of people who are enamored with his present day persona instead of his older days as an iconoclast. They might be holding him back.

Don't get me wrong. His movies are important to those of us who want to look deeply into them. For the others? That's a different story.

I've met Kaufman a couple of times. I love his work. He's complemented me on mine. I would like to see him doing something more now. Something that doesn't fit in with what horror, bizarro and other fans expect. The guy has been around a loooooong time. He is capable of doing something else. I would love to see him try something different. Something that fits the Troma brand, but doesn't paint by the proverbial over-the-top numbers.

Troma, for the most part, is laughable, but it wasn't always that way. I would love to see something modern from them that didn't sink to expectations. I know he can do it. I just wish he WANTED to do it. Or that fans would LET HIM do something different. Something that didn't require over-the-top humor and silliness. Kaufman is incredibly intelligent with a lot of personal missions. It's just that Troma fans have required so much less of him that I think he's given up trying to excel.

I've read his books, though. He's capable of more. I just wish that there were more Troma fans like myself who would be willing to pay for more than just business as usual.