Friday, September 20, 2013

When it comes to law, experience counts.

I say a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff on this blog, most of it well above my paygrade, but if there's one thing I know about, it's law, and if there's one thing I know about law, it's that when you're in trouble of ANY kind you need a lawyer.

People invariably have one of two kinds of legal problems: a minor one or a major one.  If you have a minor legal problem, it won't be expensive or time-consuming for a lawyer to give you advice and help fix it.  If you have a MAJOR legal problem, well, it's going to be a bit more expensive, I'm sure -- but don't you NEED a lawyer if your problem is a major one?

Of course you do.  And experienced lawyers are the best kind.  Like the Ludlum Law Firm, and Attorney in Clinton NC.  The firm's been around for 35 years, doing criminal defense, DUI, and traffic cases.  The experience they've gained in that 3 1/2 decades of being in court and working with (or against!) prosecutors will no doubt serve them, and their clients, well as they try to minimize or eliminate the harm that comes from making a mistake.

Experienced lawyers know which judges are particularly harsh, how to negotiate good plea deals, what types of diversion programs might be available to avoid a criminal conviction and get help for the underlying root causes of many criminal or negligent acts, and more.

If you need a lawyer, click that link.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"I always knew I was going to Hell..."


TODAY, I am on Andrew Leon's blog Strange Pegs, with PART TWO of the terrifying short story "This Is How I..." being written LIVE based on READER SUGGESTIONS.

Andrew is the brilliant author of great horror/spec fic stories like "The House On The Corner" and the brand new serial horror story "Shadow Spinner." Kids who can control shadows? CHECK. Man with no eyes? CHECK. Otherworldly father who must judge his son for leaving Eden? CHECK, I THINK.  Shadow Spinner is available in complete, hard-copy book form, or you can get it electronically in chapter-and-section format.

CLICK HERE to to go Andrew's blog,

CLICK HERE to go to Andrew's Amazon author page.

But first, the girl of your dreams becomes the ghoul of your nightmares, as Anne learns, just before she dies of a way she can avoid going to Hell.  It's a gruesome life she leads for centuries after that, but it beats dying... just barely.

A contemporary horror classic, "Temporary Anne" presents the terrifying tale of a woman who avoids eternal damnation by sending others to take her place, scrambling to avoid the minions of Mephistopheles while searching for a way to allow her ravaged body to serve her indomitable will. The frightening images -- demons made of ice, babies' souls consumed -- will stick with you for as long as Temporary Anne exists -- which is FOREVER.

Get it on Amazon for $0.99!  

And follow the blog tour to get a live short story, This Is How I..., written based on your suggestions:

1. PART ONE was on Life Is Good on Friday 9/13
2. PART TWO is posted today on Strange Pegs: 9/16

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Taking The World By Storm! (Books)

If you have been on the Internet in the past several years, then the odds are you have felt Alex J. Cavanaugh's presence.  Alex is not just an extraordinary writer of extraordinary sci-fi, but also is (I believe) 2,317 people, judging by his sheer output.  THE MAN NEVER SLEEPS, which is lucky for us because it means he's finished his sci-fi trilogy with the release of CassaStorm!

To celebrate, Alex is taking the world by storm, via a massive blogfest in which his readers were asked to submit questions to him and he'd answer! Any question! Anywhere! Any time! With ANY NUMBER OF TOPPINGS... sorry. My mind tends to focus on pizza.

You can visit and Comment on Alex’s blog this week for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag!

Now, here's the question I asked:

Which would you rather have exist in real life: Muppets, or Dinosaurs?

And Alex's answer:

Muppet dinosaurs! I’d like giant, felt dinosaurs in assorted colors. Preferably big and scary but with funny voices.

"We love Alex!" -- Muppet Dinosaurs.
Brilliant answer, Alex. It kept your political future alive by angering neither the Muppet NOR the Dinosaur voting populations.   

Here's a preview of what you'll get in 

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.” – Edi’s Book Lighhouse

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together."- Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes “With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

 “…the racial conflicts propelled much of the plot in this story, driving home a message that's relevant to our own world and giving the book an interesting texture.” 
- C. Lee. McKenzie, author of Alligators Overhead

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:

Amazon -

Alex J. Cavanaugh -


Saturday, September 14, 2013

I prefer to call it "FootballNarok," but then I've always had a thing for Norse Gods. (Nassau Ungranulated.)

A brief update on the ALL BLOGGER ALL WRITER fantasy football league that is NASSAU UNGRANULATED!

Author Rusty Carl -- who wrote the brilliant book "A Dead God's Wrath" (among other works), posted about it on his blog The Blutonian Death Egg this week, in a post titled "Footballocalypse!!"  Excellent use of exclamation points, Rusty -- you don't want to overdo it.

I'm sure you already read Rusty's blog and own all his books, but on the offchance that you have been under a rock for several decades and do not/have not own/done those things:

Click here to go to his blog,

Click here to go to his Amazon author's page where you can buy each of his books for just $0.99!

Or just look at this for a while:


But seriously, check out Rusty's stuff. He's awesome. 


ROOM WITH BOOKS: This team, run by Patricia at Room With Books, is 1-0, and scored 117+ points in the season opener last week.  has Eli Manning at Quarterback, and Arian Foster at running back.  

Eli Manning football fans will recognize from his time on the Tumblr "Eli Manning Looking At Things."   Arian Foster's    just this guy, you know?

ROOM WITH BOOKS the blog gives you "all things books," and boy, does Patricia deliver.  If you like books, write books, read books, use books to balance out your bed until you get around to fixing that loose board (um... guilty...), then check out Patricia's blog by clicking here

Bonus points if you can tell me who I'm sort of quoting about Arian Foster.

Friday, September 13, 2013


"Temporary Anne," my all-new, all-terrifying, horror novel, comes out TODAY! To celebrate, I'm writing a short horror story LIVE! Well, not live, but sort of: I'm writing it AS I GO, on 10 different blogs, in sections, with each plot twist chosen by those blog hosts and their readers!

Part ONE is up today and hosted by Tina Downey at 
Life Is Good

Tina, an ice-wall climbing, Super-8 Monster loving, someday-going-to-Mars blogger, tells hilariously engaging stories about her life; check her blog outnot just TODAY, for the introduction to the superfrightening This Is How I... short story, but EVERY DAY.

CLICK HERE to go to Tina's blog and check this out.

A contemporary horror classic, "Temporary Anne" presents the terrifying tale of a woman who avoids eternal damnation by sending others to take her place, scrambling to avoid the minions of Mephistopheles while searching for a way to allow her ravaged body to serve her indomitable will. The frightening images -- demons made of ice, babies' souls consumed -- will stick with you for as long as Temporary Anne exists -- which is FOREVER.

Get it on Amazon for $0.99!  And watch for the blog tour where you can win free copies of this book and all my others.  The tour will be:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yemas de Santa Steve Jobs: iPhone scores a Buffalo Win! (Nonsportsmanlike Conduct!)

Yesterday was the unveiling of the new iPhone (TM!), now featuring 100% more plastic.

I like to start these posts with a sexy picture related to the topic.
This is one of the pictures that comes up if you google "Sexy iphone."
I don't know what kind of deal she made with what kind of supernatural entity,
but I'm very afraid.

I felt like the unveiling of the new iPhone -- now made of the same kind of material (TM!) that your kids' toys are! -- was the perfect time to talk about the Buffalo Bills and the new sports-related phrase that I have come up with: The "BUFFALO WIN."

Or, if you must have some hype,

Buffalo Win 

Longtime readers know that I am a fan (?) of the Buffalo Bills, the only football team to have not gone to the playoffs in this milennium, and longertime readers know that I also am not a fan of Steve Jobs, who I consider to be improperly canonized given that while he may have been an innovator, he also (publicly) was a complete jerk who managed to make even the simple act of buying a sofa some sort of stupid, egotistical, phenomenally annoying zen koan, apparently taking 8 years to purchase a couch, about which task his wife said:

“We spoke about furniture in theory for eight years...We spent a lot of time asking ourselves, ‘What is the purpose of a sofa?’” 

That kind of stuff drives me nuts.  The purpose of a sofa is to sit on, and if it can serve a secondary purpose of not necessarily showing stains from the time Mr F put macaroni and cheese on it, then that sofa has achieved everything it ever dreamed of in life.

Well, almost everything.

Steve Jobs, privately, drives me nuts because it was apparently at his insistence that all Apple devices not use certain kinds of programs, which means we spent money on an iPad to help our boys learn to talk but that iPad won't play "Curious George" games on the Internet because of some gripe Steve Jobs had, and it means that iPad doesn't have buttons that are intuitive or easy to use, because Steve Jobs had a fear of death, or something, and, also, I have had to pay more than $9.99 for books for the past several years because Steve Jobs was so ticked off that Jeff Bezos' Amazon was working that Jobs got Apple and other companies to violate antitrust laws by price-fixing books.

Steve Jobs: Genius icon Robber Baron One Percenter.

Anyway, that's why the unveiling of the new iPhone (now made of material less durable than that Pepsi (TM!) can you're holding!) was the second-best event this week, an event so noneventful that the only people who really paid attention to it are the people who still know all the characters on Mad Men -- hipsters (and Slate) who speak only SEO and exist in a tiny loop of buzz reinforced by NPRs Pop Culture blog and Tumblr.

McKayla Maroney is not impressed with the Movember Iphone Eli Manning Is Looking At.

The iPhone's biggest feature -- besides now being made of the stuff which used to be used to pack it in for shipping -- in fact was that because it is so cheaply made, now regular folks can afford it!  This complete downfall of Apple went unremarked on in every single article about the new iPhone.  Or so I'm guessing. I didn't read any articles about the new iPhone, opting instead to get all of my news about it from Twitter, which means that while I think I've got the basics of it, I'm a bit confused about why Jimmy Kimmel twerked on one, or whatever.

But let's assume that the 43,000,000,000,000 words written about the new iPhone (shown below)

Can also be used to flip burgers (TM!)

didn't mention the fact that Apple has officially lost, because people don't like to make the Major Powers (Apple, the NSA, J.K. Rowling) mad by pointing out how stupid they are (NOT YOU JK ROWLING PLEASE DON'T SUE!), so it's up to me to point out that Apple has officially lost.

Or, to put it more hypefully,

Apple Has Officially Lost! 

Apple's whole thing all along has been how sleek and beautiful and high-tech and SUPEREXPENSIVE UNAFFORDABLE YOU CAN'T GET ONE SO SHUT UP all their stuff has been all this time: while ostensibly trying to put an iPhone in everyone's hand, what Apple was really doing (besides trying to figure out a way to get Iran or North Korea to nuke Samsung because lawsuits only go so far, know what I'm saying?, here's a couple of billion for your coffers, third-world despot) was trying to convince you that you wanted an iPhone but couldn't afford one.  Apple was like Cadillac, or maybe Rolls Royce, or maybe something else that was expensive (Starbucks coffee), marketing itself as something everyone would have, if they could afford it.

That was the real appeal of Apple, right? That's why they had commercials reveal that Zooey Deschanel is so breathtaking

...Wait for it...

-ly stupid

Finish a sentence, will you!

that she had to use a computer to tell her if it was raining while she stood in front of a window.

Stars! They're just like us!


The point was that the stars could afford iPhones, no matter how terrible Suri was at actually working, and iPhones could therefore be smaller, less functional, less affordable, and more easily tracked by the NSA than all other phones, because none of that mattered: they were expensive and if you had one, it was like having a Mercedes.

Which no longer is the case, because now anyone can own a Mercedes, or at least the hood ornament, which is probably why Apple made the plastic phones come in all sorts of colors: it's the only way to tell the Sneetches apart anymore, and it's how Apple can try to have their elite image while still allowing Kmart shoppers to get this blue light special: Even though they are marketing cheap, plastic phones, now, Apple wants people who only Tweet about "Downton Abbey" on an iPhone to know that there is still a way to tell if people really have an iPhone: if you have a colored one, it's cheap and plastic, so that'll be the new code among the tiny minority of people who still think Apple will be a company in 2020 (it won't, because Steve Jobs cannot have enough temper tantrums at enough minimum-wage baristas from the afterlife to keep his company going): if you have a colored iPhone, you've gone through Sylvester McMonkey McBeans' machine and are not really one of them.

Instead of that, I suggest that Apple instead embrace my new concept, the "Buffalo Win" (REMEMBER THAT'S WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT?)

The "Buffalo win" concept came to me this past Sunday, when I was not watching football because I had better things to do.

Pictures like this don't just find themselves, you know.
Also: Rashida Jones shows up if you google "Zooey Deschanel."
Not that I'm complaining.

The Buffalo Bills, who had a chance to make one kind of history this past week -- by starting Jeff Tuel, their backup quarterback who wasn't even drafted and would've been the first undrafted rookie to start a regular season homeopener -- ever! -- as well as being a powerful image of a team that actually lost all hope of the playoffs even before the season officially began -- instead failed to make any kind of history other than the kind of history I made up.

I sincerely apologize for that sentence, but I'm assured it's grammatically correct.

The Bills played, instead, their quarterback "E.J. Manuel," who I'm told was the least qualified quarterback to go in the first round of the NFL draft -- YAY, BUFFALO?-- and gave me even fewer reasons to try to watch the game against the Patriots* (*they cheat), not that I could've anyway because no station was showing it in my market.

So instead, I opted for the equally-exhilarating course of putting up shelves in my spare room and following the game on Twitter, and then got (briefly) (almost) excited when the Bills led with six minutes left in the game.

It was at that point, though, that I had to load my two youngest into the car to get them to the swimming pool I'd promised them in exchange for accidentally dropping a screwdriver on one's head, and so I missed the final six minutes of the game on Twitter and got into the car and put on ESPN radio and learned that the Bills had lost.


But they did BETTER than expected, commentators said, and fans said that E.J. looked "solid", which is good because it's very very tough to be a quarterback if you are in a gaseous or plasmatic state, and overall the feeling was that things were looking pretty good for the Bills.

Aside from that 0-1 record thing, BUT WHO IS COUNTING? OTHER THAN THE NFL?

Later that day, the same thing would happen with the Green Bay Packers, who put up a better than expected fight -- and only one illegal bounty hit on Colin Kaepernick YAY! --

Later, Mathews would run over Kaepernick in the parking lot, and explain he "hadn't heard the whistle."

The Packers, who have now lost to the 49ers in consecutive games, to end and begin their seasons, weren't about to admit defeat just because they had been defeated:  fans and commentators and even people who know about football.  Bleacher Report (NOT in that last category) said that despite the loss, the Packers proved "capable of dealing with anyone", which is not to say "capable of beating anyone" and found solace for Packers fans in the idea that the game wasn't over even until just after the game was over:

The Packers will not face a better opponent all season, and yet forced the Niners to play more than 60 minutes to beat them (the pass falling incomplete well after the clock expired).
The Packers didn't give up -- even after the game was officially over and the 49ers were heading off the field! NEVER SAY DIE!  I heard that Green Bay just scored a touchdown yesterday morning.  TAKE THAT SAN FRAN.

So we've gone, as a country, from honoring McKayla Maroney for adequately summarizing how to feel about not-winning, to deciding that losing isn't losing, it's almost-winning.

For the first time ever, parents are correct when they say it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game, and even though somewhere the ghost of Vince Lombardi is barely restraining the ghost of Steve Jobs, that's where America -- its tech gadgets and sports, at least, which are America -- is headed.

To the "Buffalo Win."

I came up with the concept of calling an almost-win a Buffalo Win when Drew Magary on Deadspin pointed out that Buffalo Bills fans are the only fans who routinely wear "Conference Champion" t-shirts -- the point being that if your team was an NFC or AFC champion, then either it also won the Super Bowl (which means that the conference championship isn't that big a deal) or it lost the Super Bowl (which means that your team is Buffalo).  So why celebrate a conference championship? Because you almost won.

Bills fans, Magary said, also wear fans celebrating Frank Reich.  You don't remember Frank Reich: Frank Reich led the single largest comeback in college football, and then went on to lead the single-largest comeback in pro football, and then went on to lose the Super Bowl, and now is selling plastic iPhones at a kiosk in the Buffalo Galleria.

(Actually, he runs a chain of successful boot shops, and invented a stand to display footballs that also looks like a football field!)

I heard he also designed an Escher Staircase display for fine art, but it requires 13 dimensions to
work properly.

The point of all that being: Frank Reich's probably doing okay for himself.  Also: Buffalo fans are pioneers in the field of making losing seem like almost winning.

A viewpoint I can get behind: Why should we have just winners and losers? I mean, besides the fact that if we don't keep score and everyone's a winner all contests immediately become meaningless? And why shouldn't we celebrate almost winning? That way, Peyton Manning can continue to be considered great!

We need to expand our thinking, create new jobs, as it were.  Don't you want new jobs? Why should we limit ourselves to just wins and losses?  How will we ever measure those near-wins that increasingly are the best anyone can do and all anyone shoots for?

So with that in mind, I came up with the concept of the Buffalo Win.  A Buffalo Win, as you've gathered by now, is when your team doesn't actually win, but does better than people expected or, barring that, at least looked good losing.

The "Buffalo Win" will revolutionize society.  Take my own occupation, lawyer.  Well, it's not actually an occupation. I mean, it doesn't occupy me very much.  I spend a lot of time blogging.  Like now.  But that's beside the point.  The point is, if the concept of a Buffalo Win takes off there will be even less pressure on me than there is now, and I already exist in what is essentially a pressure-free life where I can spend my weekends trying to bake eponymous foods, like Yemas de Santa Teresa, which I recently made and which are essentially just condensed egg yolks rolled in sugar. I do not recommend them.

You'd think a dessert popularized by impoverished nuns and named in honor of a Saint who
reportedly had the power to levitate would at least have nougat.

If "Buffalo Wins" -- note the similarity to "Buffalo Wings," similarly an idiotic concept that caught on among amazingly stupid people with disposable cash sports fans -- catches on, lawyers like me will not have to worry about whether a jury is crushing so hard on our client that they decide to forget about the whole "murdering our child" concept, and instead will simply tell our clients "Hey, we got a Buffalo Win! You're going to prison."

Under this thinking, Tea Partiers don't have to take solace only in the fact that gerrymandering means they will control the House of Representatives for another 20 years despite the fact that they embrace a failed, racist philosophy founded on "hating the black guy people elected," and can instead celebrate Mitt Romney, their Buffalo President!  The Academy of Motion Pictures Whatever could hand out Buffalo Oscars -- that's what it means when a picture tells you it was nominated for an Academy Award, after all: when you see "Nominated for Best Picture" on the DVD cover, it means (A) that picture lost and (B) for some reason you're still buying DVDs. Have you not heard of the Internet?

Buffalo Wins are a way to embrace losing and cushion the blow of being second best, at best, and even if you think you're not already using the idea, you're wrong.  Obama's recent attempt to bomb Syria because if you don't use those missiles they expire, only to back down and say "Okay, well if you promise to give us whatever chemical weapons you have leftover, we'll pretend this never happened"? That's a Buffalo Win for interventionism!

So I propose that from here on out, we no longer have just "wins" and "losses," but we add this third category: Buffalo wins.  You can still lose, but under this method losing would be largely confined to those teams or persons that do horribly, or are Danica Patrick, which is the same thing, really.  Sports pages, financial sections, whoever else keeps tally on things (accountants? I don't know) should immediately start toting up whether a team got a win, a Buffalo win, or a loss.  We'll all be better off for it, and at the very least, Apple's CEO will get another six months on the job, during which time we can look forward to the release of the cardboard iPHone.

Pictured: Your kid's Xmas present, 2014.


A contemporary horror classic, "Temporary Anne" presents the terrifying tale of a woman who avoids eternal damnation by sending others to take her place, scrambling to avoid the minions of Mephistopheles while searching for a way to allow her ravaged body to serve her indomitable will. The frightening images -- demons made of ice, babies' souls consumed -- will stick with you for as long as Temporary Anne exists -- which is FOREVER.

Get it on Amazon for $0.99!  And watch for the blog tour where you can win free copies of this book and all my others.  The tour will be:

They don't promise you a free iPhone. Yet. I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Now that you've blown all your money on a new iPhone that is... um, plastic? that really something the world was asking for? A cheap, disposable version of an overrated tech gadget that exists, these days, only because Apple's lawyers are adept at using vague patent language to help take money away from Samsung's marketing department?

Anyway, now that you've blown all your money on getting that -- in red! (TM!) -- what are you going to do for the rest of the stuff you need? How will you get groceries? Clothes? Books? OTHER THINGS?  You've got no dollars, man.

May I suggest that you check out the 2013 free samples available from All Free Samples? They've got the best free stuff online. and tons of offers, at that.

Right now, on their front page, for example, are offers for free Snapple, coffee creamer, Airborne (TM!) lozenges, and that's just for starters.

All Free Samples is this huge guide to how to get free stuff.  Did you know Amazon would let you trade in old stuff for gift cards? I didn't -- until I read their site and saw it there.  So knowing that, you can unload some of the old books or gadgets you've got, get some gift cards, and get new stuff (stuff that's not made of plastic! (TM!))

They've even got a listing of free apps for iPhone, so you don't have to worry about paying for something to do with your new Walkie-Talkie toy.

Check the site out today!

Monday, September 09, 2013

This is what you listen to when you write about the most evil being that ever existed. (Playlist)

Looking for a bunch of songs that somehow go together? Try a PLAYLIST! Like this one.

This week Friday, I am releasing a brand new book, 

Temporary Anne.  

And so to help get you in the mood for that, here is an entire playlist of creepy songs, with passages from the actual book mixed in to get you a feel for what you'll be getting.  

My name is Anne. With each day of my life, my actions brought me closer to Hell. Now, with each day of what is left of my existence, I struggle to avoid the fate that was set out for me -- or rather, not just to avoid it, but to master it. 

1. Sad Sad Song, by M. Ward:

Book Passage that Goes With:

What I saw more clearly than the sea was a flowing, pulsing, corpuscle of heat and fire.  Hell is not fire and coals and brimstone.  It is hot, to be sure, or at least my entryway was because I would get no closer than that at that time.  Hot enough that it felt like my eyeballs were blistering.  Hot enough that my skin felt tight and dry and pulled off and shredding already, even though I knew I was still in the ocean because there it was around me.  But this was not flames and hot rocks and burning trees.  It was like flesh made into fire.  If you have ever seen someone cut open in an operation, and seen the quivering, gelatinous, slobbering mass of cells and slime that make up the layers between our skin, you have seen what my Hell was built of: a flowing, slimy, quivering, pulsating mass of burning material. 

Hell is the inside of a blister that stretches across infinity.  

2.  Missed Me, Dresden Dolls:

Book Passage That Goes With:

The arm is reaching towards me, coming over the nurse’s shoulder.
She leans into me.
I see two of the demon's eyes move slightly as it focuses on me. 
It pulses, as though sighing.  
The questing arm sways forward, testing the air between it and me. 
The nurse leans closer.
I see, as she does so, her pale and sweet-smelling skin, and nesting just above her breasts a locket that I knew from experience held a picture of her boy, the boy who wanted to get an A so his Mama would make him another cupcake, would hug him and put his test on her refrigerator, holding it there with a magnet shaped like a puppet. 

3.  Country Death Song, Violent Femmes:

Passage That Goes With:

I slowly put both hands onto the sill and gripped it tightly, the exposed bones in my fingers making dry, rasping sounds on the wood.  The mother stopped making noises.  I knew she had heard or sensed or felt my presence and so I moved.  I pulled myself up quickly and I pressed my dessicated face against the screen and scrambled with my legs and pushed through it, hurtling myself forward onto the counter and watching as the mother, still clutching my great-great-granddaughter, backpedaled away from me and shrieked in terror of a sort I have heard often before.  I was snarling and drooling, and I banged my kneecap on the faucet that stood in my way, I felt a piece of bone drop out and heard it clatter on the metal of the sink as I lunged at the mother, my spindly arms outstretched and my hands splayed, skin flapping and feet scrabbling for purchase.

4. Polka, Yves Klein-Blue

And The Book Passage For That One:

"I've been living in this cabin for 74 years now," he said. He looked around. He motioned to the chair. "I'm going to sit down. You're going to take me to Hell, but you won't do it before I tell you to."
                "How can you be sure of that?" I asked him.
                His hand, that odd right hand, moved again. I thought he was gesturing towards the wall, but he was not; instead, he made a flick of the wrist, as though he was lightly slapping something.
                When he did that, I flew back -- faster and harder than I would have thought possible, as though slapped by a giant hand myself. If I had needed to breathe, the wind would have been knocked from me. As it was, I was smashed into the wall behind me, the thudding sound echoing in my ears as my head cracked onto the wall. I slumped to the ground in a heap, and a few of the drawings scuttered down around me, knocked loose by the impact. One landed in front of me, a picture of a young girl, maybe 17, rendered with almost lifelike realism. She was wearing what was obviously a waitress' uniform. Her head was tilted at an uncomfortable angle and her neck was sliced in half. The blood spurted out, in the picture, onto the tray of food she still held. They're of people I've seen. And what I'd like to do to them, he'd said.

5. 9 Crimes: Damien Rice:

And the excerpt:

      I shriek as my substance burns.  The heat is hot enough to vaporize me, to turn me into motes of dust that would themselves be individually tortured for all eternity, but this dark one was not going to end my own tenure in an instant.  Cell by cell, an iota at a time, Mephistopheles crushes the life out of me and burns me, a miniscule portion at a time, and I howl and moan and yell as the hottest rages of Hell touch me, a heat that I could only have imagined those decades -- centuries?-- before when I had first glimpsed the blistering creation that Mephistopheles had waiting.

A contemporary horror classic, "Temporary Anne" presents the terrifying tale of a woman who avoids eternal damnation by sending others to take her place, scrambling to avoid the minions of Mephistopheles while searching for a way to allow her ravaged body to serve her indomitable will. The frightening images -- demons made of ice, babies' souls consumed -- will stick with you for as long as Temporary Anne exists -- which is FOREVER.

Get it on Amazon for $0.99!  And watch for the blog tour where you can win free copies of this book and all my others.  The tour will be:

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Wherein I play on stereotypical notions of French cuisine, and bitch about Internet security. (Captioning A New Yorker Cartoon)

It's time again to Caption A New Yorker Cartoon, the blog post where you get a feel for what it's like to be me as I... um, caption a cartoon.  OK, I mean this would be more exciting if that sentenced had finished up with "Surf a Tsunami" or "Battle The Incredible Hulk with my bare hands" or even "do anything but caption a New Yorker contest" but, then, that's life for you.

Or, rather, THIS is life for you, because you're still reading.

And, as before with this feature, I find myself irritated at the outset because as usual, the INCREDIBLE LEVELS OF SECURITY NECESSARY TO CAPTION A CARTOON have ENRAGED ME, so maybe I will become the Hulk? No, I need gamma rays.

I sat down over 15 minutes ago to do this caption, and noted right away that The New Yorker, which apparently has not only comics to caption and occasional comments by Henrik Hertzberg but also must be storing $140,000,000,000 in gold bullion, probably moved there to stymie thefts because Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis are busy, as I was saying, The New Yorker, upon my clicking to caption the cartoon, notified me that there was some new log-in procedure whereby I could use my regular log-in, rather than my cartoon contest log-in.

That's right: In the past, The New Yorker required two different sign-ins to caption a contest, but apparently with Bin Laden dead, we can all breathe in the sweet fresh air of liberty and sign in only once to make a funny (?) line about a caption.

The problem was, I could not remember my log-in.  Remember all that fuss about Google Chrome storing your passwords? I wish.  It's been so long since I last captioned a New Yorker cartoon -- nearly 7 months since this last attempt didn't win -- that I don't even use the email that I used to log-in last time anymore.

That email was my Yahoo! ID, and as we all know, Yahoo!, which was never a great company to begin with, has gone completely to hell in a handbasket in the past year, beginning with the fact that their email security was the exact opposite of the many levels of challenges needed to access a Cartoon Caption Contest at The New Yorker.  Apparently, Yahoo! had a policy of letting anyone use anyone else's email, judging by the number of times my email was hacked into to send advertisements for fat-burning drugs to my friends and business contacts and relatives, only some of whom actually had a need for those products.  (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)

So I had long ago sworn of Yahoo!, even though it was the only exclamation-point-based email system out there, but my The New Yorker sign-in was through my Yahoo! email, and I couldn't remember my password for The New Yorker, mainly because since February I've changed my passwords a few times to things, which is what people tell you to do, only if you don't access a website every day, and if Chrome DIDN'T remember your passwords, which Chrome DID NOT for me on this one, then you're screwed.

Because my option was to tell Yahoo! that I wanted to sign in with Gmail, thereby exposing my Gmail address and passwords to the Yahoo! "security" system, a 'system' that simply guarantees Yahoo! will hand my passwords over to Russian hackers who will turn my computer into a zombiebot.  OR I could answer the 'secret questions,' and so guess which one I opted for?

And so guess which one Yahoo! said was 'not available until September 6, 2013'?

That's right: Yahoo!, apparently playing hard-to-get, decided that if I really wanted to take a stab at answering my own secret questions and get access to my own email, I would have to wait a day.

So, reluctantly, I tried to sign in using my Gmail information, only to be told that I would have to "upgrade my account" by creating a new Yahoo! ID and password.  There was no option to bypass this step.  LOVE US, Yahoo! demanded.  I could not retrieve the email that would let me reset my New Yorker password without first upgrading my account to prove to Yahoo! that I was truly committed to having an account there.

I'm not dumb -- I'm sure that Yahoo! simply uses this stuff to boost its statistics, as the millions of people who were tired of having their identity stolen because Yahoo! was bought out by Nigerian princes tried to recapture a password, Yahoo! could boast that it had created X number of new accounts each day -- so I tried to just do a standard Yahoo! account, and it told me to choose a password between 8-12 letters or numbers.

So I tried.  I will tell  you what password I tried, with each result:

HITHERE-- invalid.
HITHERE8 -- invalid.
HITHEREGUYS -- invalid
HITHEREGUYS81-- invalid
THISSUCKS-- invalid
THISSUCKS-- invalid
IQUITNOW -- invalid.

NO combination of words that I tried was accepted as a password I was trying to create for my own account, but I did have to twice re-login using my gmail address, so if you get an email from my Gmail account suggesting you are fat, ignore it, unless you are fat.

As a result, I have been unable to log in to Yahoo! to get my The New Yorker password to log in to The New Yorker to get my official entry to the caption contest, so this is really a moot point here, as I will likely have to later on try to contact The New Yorker to reset my log-in, but that is the price you pay for freedom.  What was it Ben Franklin said, again? Those who are unwilling to constantly memorize and never ever ever write down a random string of characters in order to access a cartoon caption contest are nevermind the joke got old.

Let's caption this monkey!  (I'm toying with the idea of calling things, monkeys, as an affectation. Did it work for you?)

So we've got a centaur and a Centsnail. Snailtaur? Let's toy with that.  How does one become a centaur? BEST NOT TO GOOGLE THAT.  How about we pretend that centaurs are like machines:

"This is just a loaner."  

You know, like there's a Centaur Body Shop.  Go with that.  Ok, ok.

"I had to move to something smaller after the recession."  Possible.  Plays on the financial crisis, which is always funny, right? People love jokes about how terrible their lives are.

Look again.  Snails versus horses.  What about something like Zeus got distracted no, wait:

"I'm from the French version of your myth."

YES. That is it.