Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fertilizing For The Future

Pardon my French ... but the world is going to shit.

There are few things under the sun as pure as the joy of a child. And nothing brings on that joy like Christmas morning.

I still remember that eager anticipation I felt the night before ...  The vow to stay up and listen for even the faintest of sounds from Santa ... The straining to hear the tinkling of bells ... the heaviness of my eyelids.

Then the surprise come morning when i realize I did fall asleep. The bounding from bed and rush to the tree.

Yep, that was pure joy.

But what if? What if I arrived at the tree only to find this stinker of a gift idea. 

Sadly this little gift for kids is real. and even worse it is making the hot items list. yeah it's hot all right. It's a regular steaming pile of ...

From what I gather the kids playing this game take turns walking this plastic dog which is crammed full of a Play Doh like substance. The leash has a button that when pushed makes "gassy sounds." Eventually the gassy sound is followed by a plop and the lucky kiddo gets to clean up the aftermath. The "winner is the first child that gets to scoop poop for the third time.

Hell, not even Charlie Sheen would call that winning.

Come on people. Bring back jack, pick up sticks, hell the Stretch Armstrong I got in 1977 was better that Doggie Doo. Sure I busted it pen and to this day that goo is still stuck to the baseboard in my dad's house but at least Stretch wasn't crammed full of shit, or a substance meant to replace excrement.

Where do we go from here? A game called, Who wants to Change Granny's Depends?

As kids we don;t realize it, but it ain't that far a trip from childhood until adulthood. The time will come when every responsible adult finds themselves int he backyard, shovel in hand, wondering where they tookt he wrong turn that lead to them shoveling Fido's crap on a Saturday afternoon. Let's not speed up that journey by ruining your kids Christmas with work passed off as play.

On second thought I might just buy my buy the special edition Scotch Bright SpongeBob Action Figure complete with particle removing scrub action. That way I can watch the ball game Christmas day rather than doing dishes.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Open Up and Say Ahhh ...

In recent days my grandmother, my dad, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law have all been in either the hospital or emergency room. In any case they have been subjected to time in a hospital bed.

Okay, it goes without saying that those forced to occupy a hospital bed are in some way incapacitated, injured, or in pain. They are in an emotionally vulnerable state. They are stressed.

So riddle me this? Why the hell are hospital bed TV remotes such a  pain in the ass? Why must you go through the whole damn array of station in only one direction. Why must these institutions of health torture their already beleaguered patients by making them continue to push the damned button when they accidentally overshoot their desired television station by one?

Are all hospital bed remotes this way or only here in Amarillo?

I get the fact the same remote calls the nurse, raises the head and feet of the bed, but really in this day and age of technology a channel down button is too much?

It is my belief this is just another example of the health industry sick and demented sense of humor. Why else would they make you parade around in a gown with your ass hanging out after a tonsillectomy?

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Back Cover

I feel bad that 90% of my recent posts have been about THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES but many of y'all have been with me for so long that I feel compelled to share this process with you.

I hope all of this isn't coming across as a big SCREAMING commercial BUY MY BOOK but once again I have to show y'all something. This time the back cover with the teaser blurb.

What do y'all think?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

From a Flame to a Fire

Let's go back in time 6 maybe 7 years. That is when I first dipped my toes into the waters known as social media. It started with a few blogs. (reading them, not writing them) Most notably the famed and ever fabulous Miss Snark.

Miss Snark's blog was written by a literary agent. It was a beacon of truth and light in a swirl of confusion and lots of we writers flocked their like alcoholic moths to neon beer sign. We were thirsty for the plain spoken knowledge she dispensed. Sadly Miss Snark hung up her blogging stilettos back in  '07 but the archives remain a treasure trove of information. I wish the great Snarky One would return and offer her take on the state of publishing, e-books, indies, and self-publishing, but I'm sure she's off with Killer Yapp and George Clooney soaking up sun and avoiding general nitwittery.

Like I said, many writers hung out there and most if not all of my early blogworld friends came from there. Some are still around but others have vanished disappeared. Many who were unpublished at the time have gone on to sign with agents and see their books printed.

As the years have gone by my social media network has grown and expanded to include many folks who are not writers, but I'd guess that a full 60-70% of those I interact with are writers. and talented writers at that so a huge proportion of those have one or more books available for purchase. Once upon a time I tired to buy every book written by every online friend I have. Regardless if it was a genre I'd normally read or a subject I cared anything about. 

But as the list of people I call friend grew and the talent of those people blossomed that got harder and harder to do. I've finally given up and only buy the books that interest me or that I can give as gifts to someone else who I think will really like it. I do at times feel guilty when I do not buy a friend's book, so I still try and do my part helping them promote. I might mention the title with a  link on my blog, or tweet about it. Share the cover via Facebook, let them guest blog at my place or whatever else I can think of.

In less than two weeks my first full length book will be released and I will finally join my crowd of talented friends. Of course I'd love for everyone of y'all to buy a copy but I understand not everyone finds bulldog masturbation stories funny. So I guess what I'm saying is don't feel guilty if you fall in that camp. Writing is subjective and there is no story or book that pleases everyone. But even if THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES isn't your cup of tea I'd be quite ecstatic if you mention its release to your cousin Larry, the crazy guy down at meat market, or the hillbilly that lives next door.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Feedstore Chronicles

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'm curious ... what are a few of the words this cover says to you?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Circle of Life? Or Conical Dunce Cap?

Y'all know me. I love meat as much as anybody on this planet. If you've read this blog for very long at all you know I enjoy hunting and harvesting my own elk and venison.

But apparenlty I don't love it as much as the guys in this news article ...

2 hospitalized after fight over dead deer in Pa.

You can click over and read the story if you wish but here is my version. I've changed the names to better reflect the characters involved.
Jimmy Ray Dupree is out hunting. J
immy Ray Dupree shoots at a deer wounding it. 
Jimmy Ray Dupree tracks said deer to the property of Tough Tony Titwiler.
When Jimmy Ray Dupree finds the deer Tough Tony Titwiler is already skinning the deer.
Tough Tony Titwiler tells Jimmy Ray Dupree the dear is his, a gift from a friend who shot it earlier that day.
The men argue until Tough Tony Titwiler tells Jimmy Ray Dupree to get off his property.
Jimmy Ray Dupree leaves but is not satisfied so he goes and recruits help from family member Bobby Joe Dupree.
The Duprees return to the scene and in my favorite part of the story the news articles says Jimmy Ray Dupree and Bobby Joe Dupree were both listed in stable condition after being hospitalized for injuries suffered in the altercation.

There are two lesson to be learned here. ONE) Shoot better so you don't merely wound your prey and TWO) Don't go get someone to help you fight unless they are actually going to be a help.

Come on guys. It's idiots like you guys that give we hunters a bad name. Maybe they can take lesson from Mark Zuckerberg.

Monday, October 10, 2011


It's once again my turn to host My Town Monday's over at the official MTM blog, but I didn't have a chance to write out a proper post so I'm cheating today by posting a couple of videos instead.

A glossy, tourism video ...

Amarillo native John Rich singing the tune George made famous ...

Stop by the MTM blog to visit other locales.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cover Girl

Very soon I'll be able to share the cover art for THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES.  I have had one look at it myself and other than two very slight changes I was pleased with it. I asked them to move the longhorns and tramp up the girl. Yeah, I know that doesn't mean much to y'all without the image, but it will later. My acknowledgement page is written and submitted and all that is left is my photo (which I take later today) and the about the author bio.

I'm getting excited and hope everything comes together in time for the planned November 1st release date. Several things are int he works as far as speaking engagements, signings, and readings. I'll keep y'all posted. I plan to do a small book tour in the spring not to the traditional bookstore venues but to feedstore's and out of the way honky-tonks. If you can't sell humor to drunk people who can you sell it to?

As the release date gets closer I've had several; people inform me that the title is incorrect. These well-meaning folks like to point out that feed store is technically correct and right they are. However you can have feed, and you can have a store, but trust me when I say there is only one type of joint that is a FEEDSTORE.

It was also suggested that some might forgo even picking up the book because of this glaring grammatical mistake. I suppose that is true but anyone that is that uptight and anal is unlikely to enjoy stories regarding bulldog masturbation, mythical blowjobs, and irate Emu's by the name of Englebert. The original series of blog posts that inspired the book were called THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES and so is the complete coming-of-age story. (For those who missed those posts back in 2007 they are gone now but don't all those stories plus some more are in the book and in a better more polished presentation) Did I mention it will be available November 1st?

And for my writing buddies out there. My publisher TAG Publishing, LLC is holding a contest right now where you too could join their stable. Click below for the details ... Deadline in October 31st.

Great American Novel Contest Submission Guidelines Adobe Reader is required for the guidelines. Download Adobe Reader here: Adobe Reader

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Candy Porn

I've professed my love of Candy Corn before.

I've raved about the tasty white tip and how they should sell a bag of nothing but those white tips.

But no. No one is ever satisfied with just the tip -- they want the whole thing.

Candy corn is plenty satisfying by itself but again some people always want more. So they to add salty nuts to the mix.

I'm okay with this mix, we got the all important tip, the thicker base of orange and yellow and the salty nuts.

But is that enough for some? No, they gotta take things to a perverse level by adding even more ingredients.

Come on no one like crumbs getting all over their tip. Get those Wheat Chex out of there. And look at those candy corns with the brown bottoms. For the love of all that is holy, that is just gross. And those plastic, synthetic candy corn-esque pumpkins? They are not real candy corn. they over sized impostors.Why add a foreign object like this to the party? Let the real thing do the trick.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Sandman Ain't Who You Thought He Was

September is gone. October is upon us. Yeah, I'm stating the obvious but I'm a bit stupefied by how fast life rushes by these days. In less than a month, THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES will be out and still I'm busy writing the acknowledgment page, lining up my author photo and working with my publisher on the other final touches.

I'm forever saying, if I can just get through this week or this month life is going to slow down. However it never does. Forrest and his momma compared life to a box of chocolates but if you ask me it's more shoveling sand. Sure you can dig out a hole but soon as you do new grains are going to start tumbling in to take the space.

I have not been reading near as much as I would like but in recent times I have read two books written by friends.

John Wilsterman has the kind of sneaky wit that creeps in on you. Oh there is plenty of surface humor to his work as well but its that subtle funny that works best in his novel Beneath Juliet. John self-published Beneath Juliet and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to doing a bit of editing as a read along. But it is the rare book that I read, regardless of where or how it was published, that I read and can silence my inner editor. I'm not talking typos and grammatical mistakes. Heck i have a hard enough time noticing that stuff in my own work. It's more of a voice thing and how I would have written a  line or introduced a character or plot point. But I'm also a HUGE character guy and let me tell you John  has stocked his story with plenty of big and interesting fish. The story revolves around a strange Georgia lake and its shadowy past. There is a cold case murder and an accused serial killer. Yes, I did say the book is funny and it is, but it's also much more. Stop by John's site and order a copy for yourself to see what I mean. Beneath Juliet and its rich characters will keep you thinking about them for weeks after you've turned that last page.  

I also read The Man in the Cinder Clouds by a Rick Daley. I read this one on my Nook but it is also available for kindle. The Man in the Cinder Clouds is a middle-grade book with a unique twist on the Santa Clause legend. I plan to read this one aloud to my boys as we get closer to the holidays, but this is a book that the young at heart, regardless of age can enjoy anytime of the year. Rick offers his take on the origins of Santa in the most entertaining of fashions.

There are a million blogs talking about the changes within the publishing industry. about how independent publishers and self publishing authors are changing the way people buy books. To do anything other than sign a contract with the big New York houses uses to be frowned upon. At least by other writers and people with knowledge of the business but ti seems to me the reader,t he very people we sit long hours at the computer and write for don;t really care who how or why I book was published. At the end of the day it comes down to -- Was the book enlightening, entertaining, and worthy of the dollars I spent?

When that answer is yes, the author has reason to be proud. So I urge all of you, pick up a book and read whether it be from a big 6 publisher, an independent, or self published. When you pick up a book you can go anywhere in the world, right from the comfort of your couch.

One last thing. Not long ago I blogged about a very cool literacy project called the Black Stallion Literacy Foundation. At the time there PayPal was not functioning properly and you had to jump through hoops to donate to this worthy cause. But those issues have been fixed so if you tried before and was unsuccessful or simply hare just know hearing about it and have a few spare dollars you can change a kids life by donating a few dollars here, or to read and learn more click here.