Sample from Backward Compatible

1Sample section from my new release, Backward Compatible, a gamer geek romantic comedy.

“Why the hell do you want a fuzzy basketball?” I ask Lanyon as he throws money into the machine.

“It’s calling to me. I must have the fuzzy basketball.”

“You won’t get it, though. Because the goddamn claw machine is a trick. The feeble little grabber, the wobbly controls. It’s a scandal how poorly this game is constructed.”

Unfazed, Lanyon tries yet again. I’m forced to stand in the cold doorway of Denny’s at four in the morning while my idiot friend throws money away on a child’s toy. “You know, you could just buy one for half of what you’re spending to try to get it,” I say.

“Yes, but a fuzzy basketball won is twice as sweet as a fuzzy basketball bought.”

“Well, there’s no arguing with that logic.”

“Excelsior!” he shouts.

“Did you get it?”

“I got this inflatable pencil.” He hands it to me and I stick it under my arm.

“I thought the ball was calling to you?” I ask.

“The pencil was pretty loud as well.”

“Two of you?” The waitress seems about as happy to see us as I am to see a shit puzzle in an action game.

“No, there are twenty of us,” I mumble.

Her expression remains unchanged. “Two then?”

We nod. She drags us over to a booth by the never ending window that runs the length of the restaurant. A small breeze puffs out of it and makes my arm twitch.

“Pancakes,” Lanyon says in a deep, I’m a giant voice.

As I pick up the laminated list of Denny’s treats, my eyes catch sight of my own personal Silent Hill. “By the holy wet nipples of Horus.” I accidentally make eye contact and duck behind the menu. I never was good at camping.

“What is it? No pancake balls?” Lanyon asks in honest terror.

“I’m sure they have them.”

“Well, then all is right with the world. What can the problem be?”

“Katie,” I say.

“Her again? Forget about her. Why do you keep bringing her up?”

“She’s right over there.”

“No way.” Lanyon goes to turn in her direction, but I lunge across the table and yank his head back.

“Do not look. You’ll draw attention to us.”

“Yes. But a man wearing a goblin outfit choking a warg with a human face does not stand out. Relax. It’s no big deal,” he says.

“Are you crazy? It’s a horrible deal. She’s going to think we followed her out of the movie and then snuck around after her and tracked her into Denny’s and are now spying on her because I’m a creepy stalker lunatic who likes the taste of hair and terror.” I let my head fall to the table with a thunk.

“Well, that is basically what happened.”

“It is not. We had no idea she was at Denny’s. And I don’t know how I feel about the taste of hair. I assume I’m not a fan.”

“Listen,” Lanyon says, “lots of people go to Denny’s after a late movie. Look, this place is full of sad bastards with no place to go. Just like us. Just play it like we wanted to come here and talk about that hellacious shit farce of a movie.”

I must admit that’s a bit comforting. “That sounds normal. Not crazy or serial killer like at all. Good. Then let’s get some fucking pancake puppies up in this bitch.”

Of course, the waitress shows up next to me right as I say this. “How many?” she asks.

“How many do you want?” I ask Lanyon.

“Three is the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three.”

“We don’t sell them in three,” she says.

“Five is right out,” Lanyon yells in a ridiculous British accent. The waitress pauses. Her eyes betray a lifetime of dealing with overtired and overstimulated college kids nightly. “How about six?” Lanyon asks. “Is six okay?”

She nods. A series of questions that test the very mettle of my will follow, questions so irrelevant that they wouldn’t even make it into a James Cameron film. Eventually, after Lanyon and I earn our Master’s in Denny’s menu science, she leaves with our order. I steal a look back over to Katie. Hipster Seynar is dog fucking her leg with his hand.

“Maybe we should just leave?” I say.

“No. That will look even stranger. Besides,” Lanyon grabs my wrist with an iron manacle grip, “I’m not going anywhere without those goddamn pancake puppies.”

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Helix Crashing in Progress

14 years. I spent 14 years on this book. Not consistently obviously, but I finished it this summer finally. And now… editing. Hopefully that will not take 14 years. Anyway, here is a tiny excerpt:

The cold had broken and shining rows of lilies lined the dust caked path toward the shattered castle.

Two figures enrobed in the thick folds of long, gray cloaks walked toward the enormous stone construct. Their hands were linked in such a fashion that the folds of their cloaks connected, obscuring their flesh from view. They swept across the dry ground, seeming to float rather than walk.  The taller of the two stood well over six feet, about a foot taller than the other. He was taller in both height and stature. The other man was his companion but also his underling.  They were slight and bony beneath their garments; but their strength came not from their arms.  The stone building raked the clouds ahead of them, although called a castle, it had no moat, no drawbridge, nor door for that matter.  The main entrance was open to the elements and the rest of the building was a hodgepodge of odd looking angles and jutting stone.  It looked as if a three-year-old designed the castle. Though its chaotic design served to add to its imposing nature. The jagged angles were sharp and looked as if they could sever limbs. The twisted version of the castle’s mangled silhouette cut a fearsome picture in the night sky. Continue reading

Interview with the Wendigo

amazonI was able to sit down for a moment for a chat with the Wendigo, who plays a major role in Midnight Riders. Here are his thoughts on life, books, and destruction.

Tell us your latest news.

Wendigo rise from slumber to destroy.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Message of destruction important. Humans need know I will mash them up. Maybe eat.

What books have most influenced your life most?

A history of you. 100 American forests. Botany.

Continue reading

So your mom is following you on Twitter

This seems like an odd moment in life that is probably going to be all too common in the coming years. Recently, my email told me that I had a new follower both on my blog and on twitter. What a delight, I probably did not say to myself. So I took a gander at the handle of this fine person who, for whatever misguided reason, opted to follow me. And I was shocked to discover that it was my mom.

Continue reading

Sharknado: A Cinematic Treasure

Over the past several years, a number of filmmakers have embarked on a mission. That mission has been to warn humanity about the way it treats its home. This green realm, this variant sphere, our Earth. From Al Gore and his documentary, I forgot the fucking name, to some crap director who made End of Tomorrow or whatever the hell that shit was called, these filmmakers, nay these artists, have attempted to change the world. Change the world by showing us our folly through our ignorant destruction of the environment and what costs such destruction would reap. But no film, be it a work of fact or fiction, has ever resonated with a more soul-searing scar upon our environmental psyche than Sharknado.

Starting “20 miles off the cost of Mexico” immediately showcases the international significance of this problem. And more, what great work of art does not start with the phrase “off the coast?”

We are introduced to humans at our most evil. As they ruthlessly murder sharks. Why must these sharks pay the ultimate price? For what great benefit to science have our toothy brethren laid down their lives? Well, it was in order to have soup. Tons of dead sharks equal but a few ounces of this soup. What kind of a world puts such a value on soup? Where does soup even truly fit on the dinner scale? I don’t even like the word. Say it aloud: soup. Yuck.

(Editor’s note: If they noticed the script was called Sharknado, they really should not have been dicking around with sharks.) Continue reading

Asshole’s Log: Day 6

Today’s traffic driving comment. “Help I’m surrounded by boobs. So many boobs. Oh yeah, and they’re naked.”

Soccer is pissing me off. I don’t watch a ton of soccer but I do get into the various international tournaments – especially the World Cup. What I am starting to notice is that if soccer could just fix a few glaring problems, it would suck much less balls. The in-game penalty kicks, offsides rule, and endgame penalty kicks all serve to turn soccer from a decent well-balanced sport into an out of whack pile of dumbassatry in which one silly bad call changes the entire game. I am not going to go into detail because you don’t care and I don’t care enough. But damn it, FIFA, get your cleats out of your ass. Continue reading

Asshole’s Log: Day 5

Traffic driving comment: Naked college girl ax-kicks a bear.

Things that you half want to hear: “Yes I’m pregnant, but don’t worry. It’s not yours; it’s your brothers.”

I like specialty stores. It is a tragedy that the economy is being raped by the giant penis that is Wal-Mart. I think we all need to consider opening unique specialty stores to combat the growing shadow of monopolization. I, for one, intend to start a feed store that sells only chum. I may not make much money, but damn it, you will know where to go for all of your chum needs. And it seems unlikely that Wal-Mart will try to tap into the chum market. Continue reading

Asshole’s Log: Day 4

Things you don’t want to hear.  “You just won the grand prize. You get to spend an entire weekend with Justin Bieber.”

Traffic driving comment of the day: Cheerleaders wrestling naked.

I almost never eat breakfast. It has been lauded as the most important meal of the day and yet this logic seems flawed. For what is this almighty breakfast? Lunch is well defined. A sandwich or perhaps soup or salad well placed amidst your workday to provide you with sustenance. And dinner is the  hearty meal which ends your day of toil and provides the barrier betwixt working and the freedom of the evening.  Breakfast is the thing you stuff in your mouth after you brush your teeth. That seems nasty. Also what are the traditional foods of breakfast? As far as I can tell, jam any damn thing you want in between an English muffin and that qualifies. Ah, shark face and cheese on a muffin – yum. Also just stuff a random ass pastry in your face. That works too.  I say fuck you to breakfast. If I want waffles, then I shall eat them at dinner. The conventions of society will not imprison me. For the good of humanity, we must all join together and say fuck you to breakfast. Continue reading

Asshole’s Log: Day 3

greeThings you don’t want to hear. “That probably won’t detonate.”

I think we need to take a moment to mourn the death of  former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle. I don’t know anything about car racing and never watch it. However he had one of the greatest names in sports. Dominating other names such as Garth Butcher, Kaka, Milton Bradley, Dick Butkus, and Hugh Jorgen. Okay maybe that last one is fake. But in a time when names lack sexual connotation, we could always turn to the few, the proud, the awesomely named. Continue reading

Asshole’s Log: Day 2

I thought I would start this off with the phrase “Free naked girls.” Maybe that will drive traffic. 🙂

Things you never want to hear said to you. “Yeah, but the doctor said the cancer will kill you before the AIDS does, so don’t even worry about it.”

Clichés suck balls. Laugh it out of court.  I’ve been to court. Generally speaking, it is not a very raucous atmosphere.Very little laughter. I have seen men in wife-beaters and ripped pants plead their cases starting with the argument: “But I was never caught before.” Despite this being a pretty weak defense, neither the lawyers nor the judge began to convulse with guttural chuckles of delight. I cannot picture a scenario in which a judge begins to laugh and point at a defendant. Continue reading