Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
2. Keep things lively in the bedroom. Don't get complacent when it comes to sex. Routine is important for flossing and prostate exams, but it can kill a marriage (although often not fast enough to be really useful). Don't be afraid to use a variety of marital and visual aids in the bedroom. Just remember to keep your ears open and make sure you hide them before your spouse comes upstairs.
3. Get a good night's sleep. The Harvard Journal of Pretensiousness reports that couples who sleep at least 10 full hours a night only have to see each other, at most, fourteen hours a day.Reducing the amount of time spent awake with a spouse can add years to any marriage. If you are really serious about making your marriage work, try sleeping in shifts.
4. There's no such thing as a "white" lie. A lie is a lie. So you might as well make yours a whopper. If you’re lying in bed and your wife asks if you took out the garbage, say "I'm doing it now;" or "Twice already.”
5. For the guys: If you go to a men's room and there are 30 urinals and there's only one guy peeing in the first urinal, you will always go to the furthest urinal to do your business. This has nothing to do with a successful marriage, but it's still true.
6. Eat out often, even if it is with each other.
7. Don't forget the little things. Always remember to clear your computer's history and cookies before turning in for the night!
8. Role playing. Ladies, make up an imaginary "friend" who you met at the gym. And whenever you feel like pointing out the many flaws of your mother-in-law or other member's of your husband's family, just start complaining about your "friend." -- "I know Connnie means well, but she can be such a condescending bitch sometimes!"
9. Don't knock marriage counseling. Don't waste your money on it. But don't knock it.
10. Hobbies. Don't be afraid to take up a hobby that only you enjoy. Like Vodka. Or Resentment. It's amazing how having something to do all on your own can help those awkward "awake" hours fly by.
That’s it. You’re welcome.
Comments, suggest revisions, and order's of protection are, as always, welcome. Not always read.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Ten Ways To Get Noticed
The only thing writers need more than money, is attention. In the end that’s all writing is, the cumulative effects of a lifetime of begging for attention. I bet you were a middle child, weren’t you? Or perhaps your parents ignored you for more interesting hobbies, like work. Did your happiest days in school always result in a visit to the principal’s office? Ladies, did you get a special “thrill” when you wore a skirt or dress that was just a tad too short? (firstname.lastname@example.org, all pics returned in kind).
You know what I’m getting at. You’re an attention whore. You thrive when you know people are talking about you, and you wilt when you think they’re not. Every time a writer adds a chapter to their never-ending novel, or uploads yet another blog post on what they ate for dinner, what they’re – what you’re – really saying is, “I’M HERE! I’M HERE! LOOK AT ME! ORBIT AROUNE MEEEEE! In my own case, I spent several months actually shouting those words, which only resulted in about $7.85 in quarters and dimes and three escorts off the premises of the New York Port Authority. So now I write.
But writing is just the secret knock that gets one into the Pay Attention Speakeasy known as the public. It doesn’t ensure notoriety. It isn’t enough just to deliver a great story. You need to find a way to get the bastards to sit down and read you. That ain’t easy.
Mel Gibson has the Jews, Charlie Sheen has hookers and tiger blood, Tiger Woods has golf clubs and Viagra, but what do we, the dirty and unread have? Words that no one has time for, that’s what we have, and it doesn’t matter how many exclamation marks you use in your story, people will still ignore you.
Okay, so we can all agree that we’re pathetic and needy. But what do we do about? How do we get the world to pay attention to us, and by “us”, I mean me? Well, I’m not going to tell you how to do that, because the more people that look at you, the less that look at me. I will, however, pretend to offer valuable advice here, and hope you waste valuable hours trying to implement my pearls of wisdom (she really hates when I call them that).
I wrote the greatest book, available for free only at wastewords.com and Imagone.com if you order by Tuesday! #publishorperish, #amsickofwriting, #buymebitches
Twitter is a fantastic way to get people to notice you. Here’s what you do. Open a twitter account then get people to notice you. This is usually done by “following.” You follow everyone you can think of and wait for them to follow you back. Since you are a writer (I know, you are enjoying the small thrill of hearing someone call you a writer; it is my gift to you), you’ll soon find that the only people who can pretend to stand you are other writers. In no time at all, you and your couple hundred of writer friends will be lavishing each other with cries for attention!
Don’t forget to follow all the agents and publishers on Twitter. If there were ever two groups of people who crave attention more than writers, it’s agents and publishers. Just remember, someday you may actually need one of these people. So, no matter how many times they post about the zany antics of their cats or children; no matter how often they talk about how overwhelmed they are or their heroic strives to get to all those e-mails; THINK BEFORE YOU REPLY. Remember, you don’t get credit for keeping your mouth shut for their first ten thousand posts. You only get penalized for that one time you accidently told them to STFU (that’s Twitter Talk for “Shut The Fuck Up).
FACEBOOK!!! “Splinker is editing!;” “I just doped up the kids on Nyquil, gave hubby a chubby rub, and now I can write!”
You’d be surprised at how many people actually look forward to reading your status message on Facebook, if the answer “none” surprises you. Facebook is like Twitter, but with way more features, so that makes it WAY more annoying! That’s not your fault. You’re just a writer (you’re welcome), not an internet God. It isn’t your fault that Facebook hasn’t found a way to let you hawk your book 102 times an hour without pissing people off.
The thing to remember when using Facebook is, if you don’t do it, someone else will. Don’t sit back and be a target for repetitive spamming. Take the initiative and be the spammer. Try to be creative though. Facebook has enough people lamenting about laundry day, or long work hours, or their disappointment with ‘Desperate Housewives.’ You’re a writer (calm down). Be creative when annoying the masses.
BLOGGING! “Ten Ways to Get an Agent’s Attention;” “The Future of Publishing!;” “Don’t Take It Out On The Dog!;” “What Publishers Want”
If there’s anything more interesting or sought after than blogposts on writing, I can’t think of it. I thank God and Al Gore every morning for giving me the gift of the internet, and all the blog posts that come with it. If you haven’t started blogging yet, stop reading now and do it. You are a serious writer (I just keep on giving) and you have a lot of important stuff to share with the world. Don’t waste it all in your book. Take a few tablespoons of Metamucil and BLOG!
The key to successful blogging is to keep doing it. Two or three times a day, if you can. Don’t worry about what you are writing. No one cares. I can promise you that I don’t, anyway. Just blog, blog, blog and blog. Blog about food. Blog about how hard it is to write. Blog about what you would do differently if you could go to your prom again. Blog about anything, just be sure to work in a plug about your book and where people can download or read it. Don’t forget the all important link: http://www.amazon.com/Inside-My-Shorts-Quickies-ebook/dp/B006NGE8QW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325086465&sr=8-1 Feel free to use that one for your first few entries.
In the end, getting attention is as easy now as it was when you were three. Just keep repeating the same thing over and over, ignore what everyone else is doing or saying, and increase volume as necessary.
Splinker is the author of “I’ve Been Deader,” a near perfect blend of horror and comedy and is seeking representation. The first 10,000 words can be read here: http://www.authonomy.com/books/14162/-i-ve-been-deader-/
He has published “Inside My Shorts: 30 Quickies” available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. It’s a collection of short stories guaranteed to make him happy you purchased it. http://www.amazon.com/Inside-My-Shorts-Quickies-ebook/dp/B006NGE8QW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325086465&sr=8-1
If you read this article, don’t forget to comment and pretend you enjoyed it, so I can do the same for you. Thanks!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The clock upon the wall is broke,
listless hands no longer mark time.
No urgency encroaches here.
Old ghost stories-- memories of memories,
wrapped in brittle, flaking parchment
entombed in a dusky one bedroom.
Mute telephone, faded pictures cloaked with dust,
a mob of brochures and flyers gather at the door-
to bear silent witness to her final voyage.
Two days before Christmas and Jonathan’s mother had been crying. Even with his door shut and her bedroom at the other end of the hall, he heard her sobbing. First the phone call, dreaded but not unexpected. Then the sobbing. Then... and then what?
Then I woke up here.
He woke up in the cave with the other children. He was lying on some sort of cot. It wasn't exactly dark. There was a little light everywhere but no real light anywhere. The first thing that struck him was the sound. He’d awakened to a low, electric throb that seemed to be coming from the floor, felt as much as heard.
"Mom?" It came out soft and raspy. His throat was dusty dry and made soft clicks when he tried to swallow. "Mom?" A little louder this time. The word came back as a soft echo, a chorus of other pleas accompanying it.
"Where am I?"
Jonathan sat up, taking his first good look around the room. It was large and roughly circular. His first impression was that it was more of a cave than a room. The walls were natural stone and glistened with condensation. If it was a cave, it was a heated one.
Several other cots were evenly spaced along the wall. Jonathan could make out a child on or next to each cot, some sitting up, others lying down. He could make out few details in the dim light, but the others appeared to be eleven or twelve years-old.
The only other object, placed in the center of the room, looked like a large, horse drawn carriage. Mostly shadow, it looked black, menacing and strangely familiar.
Then there were the chains. A thin iron chain manacled Jonathan's foot to the bed. About 7 feet long, it allowed him to stretch and move a bit, but not reach any of the other children. The sound of metal dragging across the floor hissed throughout the room and he guessed the other kids were also chained. A small voice croaked from the cot on his left.
"I'm thirsty." It belonged to a girl. She wore a large t-shirt that came down to her knees. Her legs were bare and she was wearing slippers. "What is this place?"
Jonathan started to answer, but again it came out as a whispered rasp. He was parched and had to work up enough saliva to start talking. It was thick and gritty.
"Don't know," he croaked. "How did you get here?"
"I -- I don't know. I remember being in bed. It was early. My dad had sent me to my room because.... “ He sensed the embarrassment in her voice. “Because I was fighting with my brother. I went to bed and then, and then I woke up here."
Jonathan gave a half-hearted tug on his chain. It was thin but strong enough.
"My name's Jonathan."
"Susan. Listen, how long have you…"
A section of cave on the far end slid open and bright red light spilled into the room. Two children entered the cave carrying buckets. Walking in opposite directions, they made their way around the room, stopping at each cot and pouring whatever was in their buckets into small bowls, handing them to each child. They swayed from side to side as they walked, reminding him of Oompa Loompas in that dumbass movie. It took him a moment to realize he wasn't looking at children.
One of the misshapen dwarves came to Jonathan's cot. He wore a filthy green robe and what looked like an old "dunce cap" that one only saw in bad cartoons. His teeth were stained dark yellow/brown and long, matted hair hung over his eyes. A thin scar ran from the left side of his mouth almost all the way up to his ear. He dipped a wooden ladle into his bucket and poured out a thick, yellowish liquid into a bowl.
The dwarf placed the bowl on the floor and started walking to the next cot.
"I'm not going to drink that! Where's my mom! What's going on?" Jonathan shouted at the dwarf's back. He kept shuffling toward the next cot.
"Everyone drinks it. If you don’t drink it, we'll bleed you until your dead."
Jonathan sat on the cot, stunned. What the fuck was happening to him. He was chained to a cot in a cave, and a dwarf was threatening to murder him if he didn't drink eggnog?
In the end, they all drank the eggnog.
Sometime later the cave opened again and another dwarf entered the room. He couldn't tell if this was the same dwarf he'd seen earlier. It shuffled into the center of the room and climbed onto the carriage. The eggnog was probably just eggnog, but Jonathon felt a little woozy.
'Sleigh. It's a sleigh.' Jonathan's eyes had adjusted to the dark and he could make out the running boards where wheels should have been. There was something in the driver's seat. He couldn't be sure but it looked like a body.
Not without some difficulty the dwarf climbed onto the seat, taking a moment to catch his breath. He held a single piece of paper in his hand. Another dwarf entered and began collecting the bowls, checking to make sure each was empty.
The first dwarf raised the paper in front of his face and began to read out lout.
"Vicky Ressler." Jonathan heard a small yelp from somewhere in the room. "June 13, 2010. Poisoned the neighbor's cat."
Ignoring her, the dwarf continued, "March 2, April 12, April 15, May 7 and 8, 2010. Skipped school to drink with friends."
Another squeak echoed off the walls. "How did…?"
"Susan Howard," the dwarf continued. Jonathan heard a soft gasp from the girl he had spoken with earlier. "December 14, 2010. Set younger brother's favorite stuffed animal – also known as 'Tigger' -- on fire.” A short pause. “In his room, while he was sleeping"
"It was an accident..." Jonathan heard the lie in her words, even as she cried.
The dwarf read out all ten names, listing their offenses, including Jonathan’s.
"Congratulations to you all. You are the top ten." He began to climb down from the sleigh, again not without some difficulty. "It is December 24, 2011, 11:58 p.m. As it has always been, since before the great thaw -- damnit!" The dwarf's boot caught in the sleigh's runner and sent him sprawling to the ground. "Godfuckingdamn sonofabitch shitass that hurts!"
The other dwarf looked up from collecting the last bowl. "Harry! It's almost time!"
Harry picked himself up and started running toward the door, still speaking.
"...Since before the great thaw," he huffed, "the wicked shall sacrifice and the spirit of Christmas shall dwell among us again! As it is written, there shall be --"
"It's midnight! It's midnight!" The other dwarf screamed.
"Bloody hell!" Harry didn't bother to finish his sentence. The door slammed behind him.
Jonathan tugged at his chains with renewed vigor. He didn't know what was going on here, but he knew he didn't want to find out. How did they know about that night at Cliff's house? No one knew about that! The things the other kids had done almost made him glad they were all chained to their beds.
I'm going to get out of here. I'm going to get out of here and find mom. Things will be different. I promise. I'm going to get out –
"SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT..."
The music blared into the room, painfully loud. Jonathan instinctively hunched his shoulders against the audio onslaught. At the same time, the ceiling erupted in a riot of color as thousands of Christmas lights began blinking on and off.
Then the thing in the sleigh began to move.
With the crazy new light, he could see it clearly. A skull peeked out from a filthy, rust-stained hood. It was dressed in torn red rags that hung loosely around its body.
Except there isn't any body. All bones. All skin and bones.
The music blared and Jonathan felt himself being pushed back on the bed with the force of it.
"ALL IS CALM, ALL IS BRIGHT"
He covered his ears and fell to his knees. The corpse was on the ground now. In one skeletal hand, it clutched what looked like an empty potato sack. Jonathan could see its jawbone rising and falling, but the music drowned out any words.
"YON YOUNG VIRGIN, MOTHER AND CHILD"
The thing started walking toward the other end of the room.
Thank you! Thank you!
Jonathan drew his knees to his chest and backed up against the bed. He watched the corpse shamble toward one of the children.
HOLY INFANT SO TENDER AND MILD”
The kid's mouth opened in a soundless scream, and then the corpse fell upon him. It buried its skeletal fingers in the kid's neck.
"Bryce Kaplan, November 23, 2010. Took mother's car. Crashed into neighbor's garage, killing the cat."
Jonathan had time to notice that walls turn transparent. On the other side, hundreds of dwarves jumped up and down, silently cheering.
But they're not dwarves. Not really. They're elves.
Blood sprayed from Bryce's neck and then the corpse leaned in and bit. It bit and it chewed and it drank and it bit, until Bryce was a puddle.
"SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE."
The corpse, dressed now in clean rags and slightly bloated from its first meal, moved on. The potato sack turned to red velvet with white wolf fur trim, and it wasn't empty. He could see there was some weight to it. By the time it visited Jonathan, its blood stained teeth were framed in a snow white beard, and Jolly ole' Saint Nick was filled with the Christmas spirit -- almost filled. If Jonathon screamed, no one heard it.
After, when all the presents were delivered to all the good little girls and boys, and all the cookies eaten, Santa returned with his sleigh and the elves set upon him with their small carving knives. There was a great feast and by mid-afternoon, the only thing in Santa's sleigh was a skeleton dressed in rags.
There's 30 more where this came from, although not all of them are as cheery :).