Man Out Of Time

Holidays open social media windows with pictures of manufactured perfection. I field some questions from my kids then gunslinger stare down my phone before backing down. I gave up the fight a long time ago. Now, I just amuse myself with apathy.

This week’s gargleblaster week’s ultimate question: “Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?”

Here’s Elvis Costello’s best song. I identify with it so well.

You’re No Good – Five For Friday

Self-awareness is a superpower. I believe this. One of the things I learned in therapy was if you own your crap, then you can get past it and concentrate on what you’re good at and try to be happy. I suck at a lot of things. But for my friend, fellow writer, and neighbor (she lives in the same town as me), Melissa, aka @realgirlmelissa from Quick Stepp http://melstepp01.wordpress.com/ and a fellow columnist at Lefty Pop http://www.leftypop.com just wants me to list five. For her “Five For Friday” blog hop, here are five things of which I’m no good, at all.

5) Relax. I’m 90 mph all the time. I don’t like sleeping in, lying around, hanging out, or chilling like a villain. When I watch a ballgame, I’m on Twitter, writing, helping my kids, running errands, or folding laundry. I fidget, pace, wander, flutter, loiter and babble. My wife and 3 daughters can sleep half the day and do nothing, very well. Not me.

4) Remember. This started a few years ago due to middle-age but I’ve always sucked at names. I’m great at faces or peculiar things regarding a person. But matching a name to someone is nearly impossible for me. My kids are known as “that one”, “what’s her name”, and “you know, her”. This is usually encompassing people I like and love. So if I forget your name, it’s because I dig you and include you in my wacky world. Roll with it.

3) Art, other than writing. I’m a writer so technically I’m an artist. I’m also a solid bad guitar player. But when it comes to any other artistic pursuits, I’m awful. I can’t draw, paint, sculpt, or design. I’ve taken acting classes, done some improv, and been onstage doing standup comedy 3 times and didn’t bomb, so I guess I can gab, but anything else, I’m terrible. We’re doing a photo shoot for my third book, Woman of Troy, this weekend. My wife, 18-year-old daughter, and her BFF are handling everything.

2) Style. T-shirts and blue jeans do me just fine, thank you. I live with 4 women. They dress me. I’m not allowed to leave the house without their permission. They handle my haircuts, clothes, and demand I wear a beard because they like it. My wife says it’s sexy and my 3 girls say it makes me look like a dad. Honestly? I don’t think they trust me to shave, There was a bloody incident in 2009 that we don’t talk about.

1) Handyman. Let’s be clear. I can do the basics. I was raised the son of a used car dealer and both my grandfathers worked on and sold cars. I can change a flat and tinker with preventative maintenance. My yard is cut. The mower runs. I just changed out a door knob with key lock after an hour of thinking I broke it. Point? I have no patience to be handy. I’ve worked with Habitat With Humanity because I’m a killer liberal but other than hitting nails, don’t trust me with power tools. I’m more of a helper than a builder.

There you go, Melissa. Five things I suck at.

Linda Ronstadt joined Nirvana, KISS, Cat Stevens, Hall & Oates and others in the rock hall last night. Here’s her version of You’re No Good. It’s the best one. I rule at music. So, at least I have that going for me.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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Go Insane

I walk into the kitchen, trying to remember why I should be there. A bowl of cereal with milk disaster is splayed over the linoleum floor.

“Girls!”

All three are upstairs. I turn around and see my golden retriever licking his yawn.

 

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

100 Word Song – I’m Shaking

The one thing you can’t explain to non-writers or people who don’t spend time online is how you can form relationships with like-minded people that don’t live in your neighborhood, shop at your big box store or have a kid on the same little league team as yours. Dawn aka @mooivrouw is a textbook example of this. She writes at The Dawnie Project http://www.thedawnieproject.com/ and is one my closest music freak writer pals. She lives near Chicago and gets to see all the coolest concerts. We share a major love of Jack White and his 14 different musical projects including his 2012 solo album Blunderbuss. Leeroy asked Dawn to pick this week’s 100 word song and she chose Jack’s I’m Shaking from that album.

For my 100, we go back to Silas in that seedy hotel room in Sarasota, Florida.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/100-word-song-flowers/

Silas closed the door. He buried his forehead into fiberglass and watched his hands tremble.
Olive grasped his waist and cooed.
“Everything’s okay, Silas. No one but us know, And trust me, Zola’s not talking.”
Silas pushed her arms away and turned around.
“Really, Liv? She’s living at Bart’s, doing God knows what for him, and I k…..”
Olive jumped within inches of him, placing her left hand over his mouth.
“Bart’s gone and that’s okay. Zola, show him.”

She pulled off her blouse, turned her tall, lithe figure until her back displayed three cigarette burns.

Silas’s entire body shook.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from, NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Jack white’s I’m Shaking. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and link up with the green Mr. Linky button.

100 Word Song – Flowers

In an attempt to move along the serialized short story, Light of Day, about Silas and Olive, my two 19-year-old lovers on the road in 1989 Florida, I asked Leeroy to pick today’s song and custom it to the tale. He chose Talking Heads 1988 song, (Nothing But) Flowers, a sarcastic number about progress not always being the best thing.

With the unfortunate demise of Trifecta Writing Challenge, I’m hoping a positive by product will be more of you writing for 100 word song. I also joined my friend Christine’s aka @hanolsy ‘s Yeah Write link up, yesterday http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/the-great-gig-in-the-sky/ . Maybe they’ll let Silas and Olive hang out, occasionally.\

It was my wife’s birthday and also April Fools yesterday. I wanted 100 word song to be believed so that’s why it’s happening on a Wednesday. We’ll resume normal Tuesday morning activities next week. That gives you six days to write.

For my 100, we go back to the story, with Silas in the motel.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/the-twilight-zone/

 

Outside the Beacon Motel’s thin walls the rumble of cars driving the highway kept Silas awake. He couldn’t tell if it had been two minutes or two hours since he’d called Olive.

motelroomflowers

A Bible and a vase of flowers stared at him from a nightstand a few feet away. He stretched out on his stomach across the width of the bed and picked up the Bible and a black ink pen. He wrote on the inside cover.

God, Don’t leave me stranded.

Olive and Zola bounded through the door carrying cherry pies, candy bars, chocolate chip cookies and beer.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

You have 6 days from NOW to write 100 words inspired by Talking Heads’ Flowers. Use the medias that are social to advertise your 100 word masterpiece and link up to the green Mr. Linky button below.

 

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

The Great Gig In The Sky

Between slamming my knee into the door and a ninety-pound dog trampling my foot, I see stars. They’re sharp darts poking my eyes. After opening them under the night sky, I gaze my dreams dancing with the darkness.

Then I go write.

 

 I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

 

 

Finest Worksong

When you tell non-writers you’re a writer they always ask “so what are you working on?” or “well, what have you written?”. When someone tells me they sell insurance I never ask for one of their policies. If somebody drops that their landscaper I don’t want them to plant shrubbery for me. Writing is work, trust me.
My fellow writers know how this feels and that’s why they come up with ways for us to show off.
My dear friend and writing partner Tara included me in a blog tour where I can highlight my “WIPs” aka works in progress.
My Writing Process – Blog Tour
Step 1: Acknowledge the person & site that involved you in the blog tour – that’s me at http://thinspiralnotebook.wordpress.com/
Step 2: Answer  4 questions about your writing process
1) What am I working on?
From a non-fiction point of view, I tri-crated and help run a politics and pop culture website called Lefty Pop http://www.leftypop.com with my fellow writer friends Linda aka @modmomelleroy from http://www.elleroywashere.com and Natalie aka @thesingingfool224 from http://www.thecatladysings.com
My fiction projects are two different stories.
I’m writing a short story that I’m serializing on this blog. It’s called Light Of Day, about two 19-year-old lovers on the run in 1989 Florida. I love noir and have always wanted to write a gritty, dark, realistic murder love story. Here’s some of the story, about 7K words, so far
Also, I’m finishing my third book, a novella called Woman Of Troy, the sequel to my first one, The Ballad of Helene Troy, available on amazon.com for kindle and from lulu.com in paperback. It’s about a female rock musician in 2009 struggling with impending fame and a changing life. Here’s a page.
Anger bull rushed embarrassment when Helene realized she didn’t have enough money to pay for all of the items in her bodega bag. She swallowed then cursed under her breath, holding an internal debate over tampons and cat litter being more important than beer. She picked out the six pack of Guinness and handed it to the cashier. Her sheepish grin revealed new wrinkles around her soon to be 25-year-old mouth. The teenage clerk said.
“Oh my God, it’s you! You’re her, Helene Troy! I saw you at The Maze last week. You were like the most amazing show and like I totally usually listen to hip hop.”
Helene closed her eyes. She lifted her left hand and ran her fingertips over her forehead, causing the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap she’d worn to conceal her face to move and allow unwashed brown hair to fall around her face. She adjusted her hat, pushed away strands of hair and replied.
“Yeah, thanks. That was a fun show. I like hip hop, too.”
The cashier took a notepad and pen from beside her register. She shoved them in front of Helene.
“Can I have your autograph. I know that’s so lame but I just love you. My friends would never believe I met you without it.”
Helene laughed and turned to the tall man around her age in line behind her. She rolled her eyes and said.
“Sorry about this.”
He shrugged his shoulders and grabbed Helen’s beer. He acknowledged the cashier.
“I didn’t realize rock stars shopped here. The least I can do is buy her a beer.”
Helene bit your bottom lip and took the package from him. He said.
“Or six.”
Helene sighed, picked up the pen, looked at the bodega clerk and asked.
“So, what’s your name?”
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think either work in progress fall into much of a genre. I think both have original, unpredictable characters that don’t say or do what’s expected of them.
3) Why do I write what I do?
If I knew that, then I probably wouldn’t write. It all sort of just pours out of me. Some would say it oozes from me. I look for something that I would read, then make it grittier and meaner and more unpredictable, then change it all after it’s on the page.
4) How does your writing process work?
I hand write everything in notebooks or legal pads with number two pencils. I usually write while listening to music that the characters would listen to. Sometimes, I’ll just listen to music and plan things out in my head before a pencil is ever picked up.
By the time a computer screen gets involved, the story has been written, re-written, and planned out.
Step 3: Say who is on the week after (your chosen three) AND give a one sentence bio and link to their website.
One of my favorite writers also happens to be my neighbor, Melissa aka @realgirlmelissa from her great blog of serialized fiction and nonfiction rantings and ravings http://melstepp01.wordpress.com/
You, in turn, invite three writers to do the same a week after you, and so on and so forth. Check out Melissa’s entry at her place.
Here’s R.E.M.,

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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100 Word Song – Woke Up This Morning

Today’s 100 word song comes from my writing partner and good friend, Tar Rah aka @Tara_R from http://www.thinspiralnotebook.com . She and I are used to noir and shady characters as we co-wrote the stories about our female killers Millicent and Pauley. I’ve known Tara for nearly 4 years as she was one of the first writers I met after starting my blog. My 100 today is not only a new story episode of Silas and Olive called Light of Day about 2 19-year-old lovers on the run in 1989 Florida but also linked to Velvet Verbosity http://www.velvetverbosity.com ‘s one word prompt “mill”. Tar Rah picked Alabama 3′s Woke Up This Morning. You may recognize it as the theme song from The Sopranos. I went for atmosphere in terms of interpretation. The feel of this matches my 100. Go see Tara and Velvet. They’re amazing writers and better people.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/happiness-is-a-warm-gun/

Silence followed the bang. Silas’ hands shook, dropping the gun next to his legs on the sidewalk. Bart’s body sprawled several feet away, face down, blood oozing from his neck.. 

Silas’ throat constricted. Between quick, cutting breathes, pulled off his t-shirt, using it to wipe down the gun.

Assuming the two men who’d walked inside earlier heard the gunshot, he got up and placed the weapon in Bart’s right hand then ran toward a metal trash can as nausea waved over him.

Using his fingertips to mill for the container’s opening, he found it, lifted his head and vomited inside.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As akways you have 7 days from NOW to write 100 words inspired by Alabama 3′s Woke Up This Morning. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and the green Mr. Linky button below to link up and let me know.

 

 I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

Do I Wanna Know?

You want to know how traumatizing it is to transfer secrets onto a blank screen? Hitting send is opening your veins and your only hope for survival is the acceptance of other cutters.

*****blogger’s note****

After four years, a special community I found by chance on the internet is closing it’s virtual doors. Thank you Trifecta Writing Challenge http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ . Go see them ASAP and find a bunch of other writers who will make you smarter and more entertained.
This is my 33 word goodbye. Trust me, they’ll understand and dig the melodrama. Good bye Trifecta.

Here’s the best song you aren’t listening to, The Arctic Monkey’s Do I wanna Know?

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

100 Word Song – Anything

I owe Lindsay Lohan an apology. Every time she or some other celebrity check into the hospital for “exhaustion” I make fun of them. I could qualify for a bed, tonight. I traveled back to New York City last night and this morning, worked all day, then collapsed in my hotel room. Thus, 100 word song didn’t get posted in the morning, per usual.

One of 100 word song and My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog’s most loyal readers and writers, Carrie, from The Muse Unleashed http://museunleashed.com/ chose this week’s tune. Her Rachel story has been built through prompts and one day she’ll publish it all together and blow us away. It’s brilliant. Her choice for this week’s song is Hedley’s Anything, an infectious pop ditty.

For my 100, we go back to Silas and Olive on the run in 1989 Florida, my fiction short story tentatively titled Light of Day.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/gigantic/

Bart put up his hand and shouted.

“Stop! Streetlight’s out. If we need to run, this’ll be perfect.”

Silas pulled the Cutlass into an industrial area and turned off the engine. Bart watched two men walk into a warehouse office. Silas noticed a flyer flapping on a telephone pole in the light Florida wind. It settled enough for him to read its advertisement.

Go Back To School. Prepare Yourself For Anything. Florida Technical College. 233-2323

Bart swigged the last of his coffee and opened the door.

“Follow the plan, Silas, and we can do anything with the money we’ll have.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Hedley’s anything. Use the medias that are social to brag about your 100 then link up to the green Mr. Linky below.