Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry New Year!

Ah, a week off! It feel so wonderful. I'm getting some productive things done, finishing up the reading of all the tiny-story submissions and putting them into order, getting them off to Lisa. I finally got to replacing the fluorescent tubes in my storage room, so now I can see the bottles of wine on the racks, and it's easier to pick and choose when the friends come over. I got the last of the leaves raked (I know it's late December, stop reminding me.). Heck, I even cleared out a clogged drain all by myself! [I rule!]

After 3-1/2 days off with 6 more ahead of me, I can honestly say, I'm so ready for retirement. I'll be so busy, it can't really be truly called retirement.

Oh, and just to add randomness to this pointless post, let me save each and every one of you 19 dollars. You can skip 'The Ringer' and 'Wolf Creek.' My friend's teenage son really wanted to see the Johnny Knoxville one, so we got dragged. Ugh. During most of 'Wolf Creek,' I was cheering for the madman, 'Please kill them already!'

Well, enough reading my needless ramblings. Go make something.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Have Yourself a Tiny Little....

Merry New Year, folks. Just to let you know. Lisa and I have officially closed the Tiny submission. Over the holidays, I hope to have a lot of extra time to sort through them all and get to some semblance of a final collection for Lisa to illustrate and for submission as a potential publishing project to an agent or direct to a small publisher. For everyone who submitted tinies, I hope to see a lot of you represented in our final collection, and DON'T stop creating. I only hope we inspired you to create, and I hope the inspiration continues.

And don't let the Tiny format die here. Keep writing them. Submit them to magazines. Post them to your own site. Remember us when you talk about them. I'm proud of the form, and I really hope it catches on. I think it's my first grasp at really starting something toward a trend. Everyone has a tiny in them!


Wednesday, November 30, 2005


If you haven't read the work of Gregory Maguire, I urge you to read through every novel he's written. I'm now reading his latest, SON OF A WITCH, and it's as good as everything else he's done [Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror].

To whet your appetite, here's one simple little quote from SON OF A WITCH, that had me laughing and snorting on the train last night. Buy it! Read it! He's amazing.

"'I hate to be obvious,' added the Scarecrow, 'but you'd have saved yourself a heap of trouble if you weren't too cheap to invest in a leash, Dorothy.'"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It Might Be Time...

Three things this morning came together that I'm afraid might be telling me something.

I'm finishing up ANANSI BOYS, and the green fedora hat really struck me. I was standing on the train, and I saw my reflection in the window, and I realized, wow, you're 39 years old now. Do you think it's time you stopped trying to pull off 4 earrings? Then I looked over, and there was a man wearing a jaunty bowler. The world is saying it...

Maybe it's time to trade in my earrings and become a hat guy. You know, one of those old man hats that you have to buy from a men's hat shop. One you have to be fitted for. No more Kangol for me.

You know what? Nah... forget it! I'm fighting it. I will die an old man, and everyone will whisper, 'He always dressed so age-inappropriate.' Bury me in Hollister.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Reading Tiny Stories

Well, folks, I just wanted to put in a note here about our Tiny Stories project. That damn baby took my attention away. These kids today! It's all about them!

Anyway, after Lisa yelled at me, I've started sorting through and reading all the tiny stories you all have submitted. I'm loving them, really. Great work, folks! Since it's taking me a while to read and review, if you feel compelled to create any more, there is no reason why you shouldn't continue to send them in. This isn't an official contest with a prize or anything, so I don't mind that there was a deadline that came and went. We just want to show off some good fun stories of 100 unique words. So send while I read, I'll read while you send, it'll be fun... so you remember, here's the original posting describing what you should be writing. Remember it's for the hope of getting something put together that we can do as a fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund...

More creativity! More writing! More bashing your head against the keyboard!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Overheard on the Train

"I Googled myself. Nothing came up. I must be really boring."

Not a Good Morning at the Broadway Cafe

The cook hands a woman next to me a foil-wrapped sandwich. She says to him, "I don't want that." He says, "What?" She says, "That's a fried egg. I asked you for scrambled." Confused, he puts it down and turns back to the grill. At the register, a woman asks for Special K. The cashier grabs a cereal box from above her head. The woman says, "No. Special K, please. That's Kellogg's Corn Flakes." I notice a woman pacing near the deli counter. She's calling back, "We called in the order. It was supposed to be ready for pick-up. 12 assorted bagels and spreads on the side." Man, I'm glad all I ordered was an english muffin with peanut butter and jelly. Got to my desk. No jelly. ***sigh***

Monday, October 24, 2005

Horror Films

I love horror films. I'm sure most of the people finding me recently do as well, based on the links that are being followed into this blog. Why are so many horror films so very very bad? Like any genre, there are certain rules and constraints that everyone follows. I'd love to see someone be successful with something that doesn't conform, but that makes it an even harder proposition to write and produce.

You all know some of the rules. Bad behavior is punished. The hero is blameless. Children should be in mortal danger, but they can not be eviscerated. If there is a woman who has been wronged, she has to get her revenge. There are others. You have to have a handful of false scares. The hand that grabs the shoulder from behind turns out to be the boyfriend not the monster. Around half way through the movie, the audience has to understand why the scary events are happening, like they moved the headstones but not the bodies or we are polluting our environment.

But for me, most importantly, if you have otherworldly or preternatural apparitions, ghosts, monsters, etc., their powers have to make sense. I need to understand exactly what their powers are. If each person who gets killed, dies in a totally different way from all these different powers the nasty-thingey is capable of, I'm going to get very annoyed. If your nasty-thingey is a ghost who can not travel through a quick Scotch-taping of the crack under a door, then how come this same nasty-thingey can lift a human body and send it flying through a window? If there's Scotch Tape keeping a door closed, how about you send a knife flying through the air to cut it? You can't change the rules for every scary scene you want to put in your movie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

That's My Boy!

Parker went for his very first stroll today! His mom reports that she took him out in his brand new stroller to go enjoy the 75 degree weather and let the neighbors ogle. I wonder if he'll ever try a goatee. I bet he'd look good with one. You know he's gonna be a hottie. 1/2 Polish, 1/4 Italian, 1/4 English. My guess is he's gonna end up with sandy blond hair and blue eyes. But you never know!

Words I never thought I'd have to learn:
mucous plug

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Parker Delay

Well, the deadline came and went, and now, Lisa and I are the ones with the big job... of reading all those tiny stories! I'm so amazed at the results. Stories came in from all over the world.

I'm sorry I didn't post more leading into and through the deadline. It's all Parker's fault. Blame Parker! That damn kid... already causing problems! What's the matter with America's youth! They have no respect for authority!

In the coming weeks, Lisa and I will be reviewing the stories, and Lisa will be diligently coming up with an illustration to pair with each one. Since this is to be a viable project that we pitch for possible publication as a fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, you won't see the final project here on this site (for free reading), but we'll give you updates on how it's going.

Now on with your regularly scheduled blogging. I promise if you continue to read my blog, I'll offend and bore, surprise and confuse you. And once we've gotten through the slog of putting TINY STORIES together, I have other ideas for group global projects. :) You are so not off the hook yet.

Whoever coined the adage, "Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger" never considered dismemberment, disease, obsession, hormonal imbalance, addiction, scarring, or the unquenchable need to create.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

October 11: National Coming Out Day

And he did!
Welcome to the world, little Parker.
Born at 10:52 am and weighing at, ok ok maybe not little Parker, a whopping 9 pounds, 2.1 ounces.
Well, he was due on Sept 29, but it seems that little P (ok, maybe not all that tiny after all) is already on gay time. Never arrive too early to a party! Build up anticipation first. Already a little drama queen.

And don't you know he shows up on October 11. National Coming Out Day.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Who knew!

It takes longer to have a baby than it does to write a short-short story! Still waiting!

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Real TINY

Well, folks, something I haven't reported on this site before. How funny that the deadline for Tiny Stories and my own tiny seem to be coinciding.

I'm sitting here with my good friend Julie who is having contractions every 10 minutes. We're having a baby together, and it looks like our own little Tiny may arrive some time tonight or tomorrow.

I hope the rest of you are churning out your own little tinies before the deadline on Monday.

Lisa, I owe you the stories so you can read them and start thinking about illustrations! I'm a little distracted at the moment, but I promise to deliver as soon as I can!

Love to all,

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Who knew!

I guess it's the week for noticing people in line at breakfast. Today it was in line for one of those little street carts. You know the ones, with the little foreign man inside, usually with odd facial hair issues, selling coffee, bear claws, and pre-buttered bagels. The woman in line in front of me, who was about 102 (but didn't look a day over 65) and just a little bit too small for her straw-colored mop of a wig, looked up at him and rasped, "Can I have a Sanka?" Who knew they even made that anymore!?!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Nutmeat. That one's still going through my head. *giggle* *giggle* nutmeat... hee hee...

And In Her Honor...

At lunchtime, I walked right by the stupid-looking healthy eating place on 23rd Street with the sign outside that says, "Try our Nori Wrap and Nutmeat Salad." I walked right by there, went to McDonald's, and ordered a #3 Extra Value Meal with Dr. Pepper. Then of course, I had to have a twist cone with chocolate dip from Mr. Softee. Eggwhites, indeed.


A woman in line behind me at the deli counter this morning ordered, "May I have two egg whites with one slice of cheese on 7-grain bread -- dry? And please put the bread through the toaster twice." She deserves to be slapped silly about the head and shoulders until she begs for a piece of fried ham with a slab of butter. Seriously, woman! Live a little! For crying out loud!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


New Neil Gaiman AND New Gregory Maguire! What a double-packed book season it will be! When am I ever going to get to the new Augusten Burroughs manuscript that's on the floor of my office?

Saturday, September 17, 2005


According to the AOL "Blog Trends Survey," nearly 50% of bloggers say they do it because it serves as self-therapy, and one-third of bloggers who responded say they write frequently about self-help and self-esteem topics. The survey also revealed that when it comes to relieving real-life pressures or dealing with personal issues or tragedies, six times as many respondents prefer to write in their blog or read blogs written by others suffering from similar problems rather than to seek counseling from a professional.

Um, well, since all creative outflow is therapeutic, this really doesn't mean anything now, does it?

Friday, September 16, 2005

For all Science Geeks

I met the most fascinating woman yesterday. Her name is Lori Andrews. Her first novel, Sequence, comes out next year, and I'm reading it now. It's a really good thriller about forensic investigations using gene and DNA research. I bet it will become one of the more popular mystery series. But in her real-life, she's in the world of the Human Genome Project and research and the law, etc. Check out this website she runs. It's so full of intriguing stuff, you'll get totally bogged down reading stuff on it:

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Still Lame

Yep, Thursdays are still lame. They're so lame, I actually blog. Sheesh, now that's a day with nothing to do! I'm happy with the continuing flow of tinies making their way in. I think we'll have a good pool to review.

I was browsing shelves in the B&N on Union Square yesterday, and I discovered a book I'd never heard of before, so I had to buy it. The Dark Chamber, by Leonard Cline. Published in the 1920s, recently reprinted by Cold Spring Press. Not like I'll get it read any time soon, but it's now very lonely and sad on my bookshelf with all my other unread books, waiting like deathrow inmates. If anyone has ever read it, please post a comment and let me know if it's any good.

Yesterday, I was chatting with my good friend Laurie. She had just gotten over to her town library and signed up for a card. I commented that every time I move to a new town, after a few months, I make the pilgrimage and sign up for my library card, then never use it ever. I don't feel guilty about it. I think it's important to have one, but I'm different. If I want a book, I beg one off a friend if it's from a company I know, or if I really want it, I buy the darn thing. I've donated more books to libraries than I have borrowed. The thing about most libraries is, all the books seem to have been purchased in the 1950s. Hey! What the heck did I BUY The Dark Chamber for? My local library probably had a copy... probably from the original printing, actually, that hasn't been borrowed in 40 years.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I hate, in no particular order:

Boring speakers
Bad coffee
Krispy Kreme donuts
Biographies of Benjamin Disraeli

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Oh Look, It's Thursday Again!

Yeah, Andre!
Yeah, Martina!

Everything old is new again!

I'm still in my 20s, right?

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Saturday and Sundays, well, those are a given.
Friday is T.G.I.F!
Monday is the blue day, the first day, the 'I don't like Monday' day, back to work, back to school, let's face it, it's sad day, but hey, that's something.
Wednesday is Hump Day, Hurdle Day, the middle of the week. Wednesday is Sundae if you're from the Northeast.
Tuesday, well, Tuesday's a lost cause. Let's not dwell on it.
Then there is Thursday.

Thursday. It's not quite the weekend. There's nothing special about it. It really needs a good publicist. Seriously. Thursday -- nothing good will ever come of it. Nothing extraordinary ever happens on a Thursday. What can you do with it? You're not in college anymore, so you can't go out on a whirlwind bar-hop. You still have to get up early tomorrow. It's not the first day, it's not the last day, it's not much of anything. Thursday needs a cause. It needs to separate itself from that loser Tuesday and establish itself as something to be considered, something not to be taken lightly.

I don't know -- maybe I'll make popcorn tonight.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Just a note to keep the project on the top of my blog. We're linking more people to the submission and keeping the word out. Keep your stories coming in. Keep your juices flowing. Hey, it's a Saturday morning. What better way to spend a few hours than working on your 100-word short story? I'm finding the challenge is comparable to these annoying sudoku puzzles but more creative.

So keep them coming, keep writing, keep creating!

And welcome to all who found us through the CBLDF link!

The original post can be found at:
And remember the new deadline is October 10!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


There is a serious threat to your welfare out there in the world. Don't get caught like I just did! It insidious, pervasive, persuasive, and threatens your personal freedoms, peace of mind, and weekends. It will suck your life away faster than The Machine in The Pit of Despair. This newest of evils is... sudoku. Do NOT get lured in by its promise of working your brain and making you think! It will suck away your time, your evening, your free-time. You'll have one on your desk next to your computer all day, working away at it. You'll discuss the 'levels of logic' and 'difficulty' of the solution steps. You'll see 9x9 grids in your eyelids when you close your eyes. Numbers will fly at you. You'll dream of the legendary 27x27 solvable variety. Leave it be. Do not touch it. Let it go the way of every trend before it, Rubik's Cube, Pac-Man, Pokemon, ponchos. I'm already lost, but save yourself. I warned you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Corporations from Daddy's Point of View

Dear old Dad had a great way of looking at corporations and the crazy stratifications of personnel within. How promotions took place, etc. He worked for some companies that were notorious for this sort of thing: he said that basically, within a large corporation, you will find that people are promoted to their level of incompetency. How does that work? If you do a good job, you are promoted. You continue to get promoted as long as you do a good job until... you reach a job in which you are not totally competent. Then you are left there. So the higher you look in a corporation, the more incompetency you will find. So yes, upper management is where you will find the greatest level of incompetency. So if you're wondering why you work for such a moron, the answer is easy: it's built into the system.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Anatomy Lesson

I never knew. Almost any of it. As I have alluded to a few times in long ago posts, I'm currently in a program to become a certified massage therapist. It's just something I've always wanted to learn how to do. The idea that you can spend an hour with someone, and afterward, they feel better physical and mentally and even emotionally, it's just an amazing thing.

So far, the anatomy and physiology lessons have been incredibly eye-opening. As someone who works out (sometimes too much, sometimes not in weeks), I knew a little bit about muscles -- pecs and abs, biceps and triceps. But wow, it's amazing once you started learning it all for real. To think that almost everyone walks around, sits and bends, throws and stands, and for the most part, nobody knows their own body. Now, even with the little bit I've learned so far, when my neck is sore, I'm busy concentrating on it to figure out of it's levator scapulae or scalenes, suboccipitals or just trapezius. Rotator cuff muscles? Oh let's not even start!

The human body is absolutely incredible. And who knew that old song is actually wrong!!! The ankle bone's connected to the shin bone... Now everyone please have a great weekend. Work on your tinies (you know there are a lot of tiny things inside the human body you could write about!)... I need to go study up on Lateral Humeral Epicondylitis.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Here's a link to a great story. I thought this was absolutely hysterical. Kudos to the author!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tiny Things


A germ, virus.
A splinter.
A bug.
A palimpsest.
A wink.
A wart.
A tack.
A bead.
A drop of liquid.

tiny: adj., [-nier, -niest] extremely small * n., a very young child (plural, -nies). [Late 16th C., tine]

Friday, August 12, 2005


Hello all,

I never stop reminding, do I? Keep on writing your tinies. Keep sending them in. We're talking up the project, and we really hope to do something with it once we're all compiled. With writers from around the world, all of us newbies, it's a special kind of project. I've had folks tell me they've never written anything before. I've had people tell me they can never get inspired to sit down and finish anything (heck, that's me, too!). Keep talking about it. Keep posting on your own blogs. Tell your friends. I recently saw on a blog tracking system that we made "hundred words" the ~1,700th most used phrase in blogging. That's pretty cool. Let's get it to the top 1,000! :)


p.s. I have a *gasp* date tonight. I'll let you all know how it goes. I hope I don't spill marinara sauce on my shirt.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


The conductor on the morning train is an extremely annoying woman who grates on everyone's nerves on a regular basis. Every now and then, someone tries to be nice to her. This morning, the woman behind me asked her if she's taken a vacation yet this summer. And she effusively belted, "Oh, well now, no I haven't, but thank you so much for asking. It reminds me that I put in for a week off at the end of August. I have to put in an extra prayer to Jesus that I get it." Now, I'm sure train conductors are important, but having their vacation time approved by Jesus? That's a bit of an overkill, isn't it?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Room 101

In George Orwell's 1984, if you got out of line, you were taken off to Room 101, where you would be tortured by visions of your worst fears. So it leads to the question.... what is in your Room 101? What would the powers that be attack you with to beat you down into submission?

I have to think mine would be a room full of hungry old women all telling me what to do at the same time. They would definitely be playing Nicholas Cage and Jim Carrey movies. Eggplant would be served with every meal. And the old ladies would talk incessantly about the weather, their health, their relatives who aren't there, and they'd be full of helpful advice, like, "You know, they say you should eat dinner early, so you can digest before you go to bed. I like to have dinner done by 5:30. That way I can watch my shows."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Hello all your scribblers!

I'm taking the initiative to extend the deadline for submissions for TINY STORIES project. If you need more info, please scroll back through the archives on this site.

Also, for all those who submitted stories, please keep working on more! I'm so happy with the results, it's going to take me a while to sort through them all, figure out the easiest way to work with Lisa on choosing what to put into a collection and have her provide illustrations for, etc. So I don't see a reason to stop accepting more submissions while we continue to cull and peruse, plan and review.

And again, please please please continue to spread word about the project. We're gluttons for punishment! Or is that punishers of gluttony?


Keep on sending in your 100-unique-word short-short stories. Let's push the deadline out to.... my birthday... October 10. Two more months to create and pull your hair out.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

2 Types of Men

Here's to my friend Natalie who offered this realization a long time ago.

There are two types of men in this world. One will take you to the carnival and win you a teddy. The other will take you to the mall and buy you a teddy... and make you wear it for him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'll Never Understand Women

It's either 200 dollar 4-inch heels from a designer store on Fifth Avenue, or it's 2 buck flip-flops from Target. And that's in the same week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I think they have it all wrong, these terrorists. If they were to attack the commuter rail lines, I wouldn't be able to get to work. This really isn't the greatest way to instill fear in people. The sad thing is, most Americans probably wouldn't be mortified or shocked if they targeted the White House or the Capitol. You want to really get under people's skin in this country? Target the American Idol try-outs.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I Think They Are Missing the Point

OK, horrible about what is going on in London. Commuting through Penn Station everyday and seeing hundreds of police officers and National Guardsmen carrying assault rifles out in the open is quite nerve-wracking.

There is a huge campaign being waged to keep people aware and, as NJ Transit puts it, vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings. Report any suspicious packages, and don't leave your baggage unattended. Unattended baggage. Well, folks, these are people that are strapping on backpacks full of explosives and blowing themselves up. Somehow I don't think being aware of unattended packages necesarily protects against their modus operandi. I think instead I'll keep myself aware of non-unattended backpacks strapped to gentlemen with unkempt beards, chanting to themselves, especially if I see any exposed wires. I don't think they necessarily grasp the concept of 'leave a bag unattended.'

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dog Days

Man is it smoldering here in New York City today! I just opened the window to check on the temperature, and a wall of oppressive heat and humidity hit me in the face. Now I'm sure we can't compete with poor Lisa stuck in the middle of the desert in Palm Springs (what is it today, 120?), but hey, you know... it's a dry heat. hehehe.. I bet that'll annoy her.

Am I really blogging about the weather? You've got to be kidding me. Isn't it bad enough that we have to deal with phone calls from cousins and fathers and siblings that go no further than, 'hey how's that weather, huh?' Now I'm actually discussing it where we should be talking about creativity and writing and Karl Rove. No, I just can't go there. I'd rather talk about the heat index.

My mantra is, 'No matter what happens the rest of the week, this weekend, I'll be at My Happy Place.' Ah, deep tissue massage scheduled for Saturday morning. I caaaan't wait!

Now please go back to your pens, turn up the air conditioners, and scribble out some more tiny stories for me. Lisa and I have been really enjoying this project, and I believe we will be extending the deadline to keep you all working hard. More news on that to come.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Shuttle Delay

This morning on the train, where I'm sure you will note I do much of my thinking, the space shuttle came to mind. Recent delays for the launch probably have a lot of people wondering about all the problems they seem to have. A plastic window protector falls off and possibly damages a tile, canceling a lift-off. Then yesterday, a potential problem called off the launch again with the astronauts already buckled into their seats.

Well, don't worry too much about it. Every intricate system has glitches like that. But for NASA, it's just more natural that you cancel or delay. Everything has to be exactly right for a launch through the atmosphere and into space. You have to be careful. It's not as traumatic as you think -- it's just that the media report on it.

Imagine if New Jersey Transit (or any other mass transit system) worked like that. "Attention passengers, Amtrak is reporting switching problems on their tracks into New York Penn Station. We are canceling today's train service until we can better assess the situation. We're sorry for the inconvenience. We estimate this train will be rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Probably, but if the problem persists or the reports are not complete, we may rerun this train again in two weeks." Every time they lose the center-door lights, we'd have to scrap our mission. And we couldn't travel when it rains.

While I don't my boss would approve of this work schedule, I think it would be kinda cool to have to wear those suits. It might be difficult to fit us all into those seats, but it would be so worth it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


You know, folks, I realized on my way in to work this morning... you can't really offer total strangers helpful suggestions or constructive criticism. Very rarely will they ever appreciate it. You can't say to that businessman who thinks he's well-dressed, "What were you thinking... brown shoes with a blue suit!?" Women in ponchos will never be grateful when you point out that ponchos are so last season. And no one ever takes a total stranger's advice to heart when you suggest alternative hairstyles that would be more flattering to bone structure.

I mean, let's face it. You see these mistakes daily. Whether it's a ponytail on a woman of a certain age or a gentleman desperately clinging to those long wisps of hair trailing over a bald spot the size of Lake Okeechobee. Heck, forget strangers. Sometimes you can't even say these things to a coworker who wears a plastic red flower in her hair. I guess, we all, in these situations, have to take in a deep sigh of disbelief and just take comfort in the fact that the mistakes of others make us look all that much better.

Keep your thoughts to yourself. Or even better, share them with your friends. Give the offenders fun and humorous nicknames to remember fondly the vision of their freakishness. Or better yet, you can blog about it!

Honey, you're a little too big to wear purple from head to toe. You look like Barney.
Sweetie, [note: I find starting off these comments with an endearing moniker soothes the shock], Sweetie, seriously, don't you think you're a little too tall of a girl to try pulling off that smarmy little bob of a haircut? You look like Emo Philips in drag.
Cookie-kins, there's a right way to wear eye make-up, and there's a wrong way. Can you guess why I'm pointing that out to you?
Poodle, and I call you that because of your hair, poodle, have you ever heard of conditioner? Just a dime size portion does wonders.
Dude, seriously, unless you're an art director, trying to pull off a ponytail with your male pattern baldness makes it look like that rubberband is pulling the hair right out of your head. You're half bald: deal with it, and cut that hair!
Pumpkin, seriously, orange shoes? With sparklies?!?

See now, some people say I'm a b*tch. But I say, my mom told me to do what I'm good at. And I'm really good at being a b*tch, so really, you can't blame me -- you have to blame her!

Monday, July 11, 2005

I've Been Ruined

It's true. I've been ruined for all men forever. I saw Fantastic Four this weekend, and while the movie itself was disappointing, Chris Evans has ruined me for all other men. No man will ever be good enough for me as I will unavoidably compare them to The Human Torch.

I can't wait for Mad TV or SNL to do the spoof of this movie to see what they do with a far-too-worked-out in a Chelsea Queen way Human Torch, calling out, "FLAME ON!" Yeah. You go, sister. Flame on. Uh huh...

Friday, July 08, 2005


OK, they can definitely expand the brand into other businesses. How about medical clinics... The 'I Can't Believe It's Not Heroine Methadone Clinic.'

Keep writing, and keep posting links to our writing exercise. We need more! more! more! So exciting... we're entering round two in the project. It's time to repost, reconnect, and extend. If everyone can please send a note to a friend saying, 'Hey, I heard about this great writing project you might be interested in...' with a link, that would be great!

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Brand Building

Something I've learned in my business life is how to maximize the value of your brand. When you create a brand from the ground up, you deliver not just a product but a promise of what the consumer should expect from that brand name. Once created, that brand name holds a perceived value and meaning to the consumer above and beyond the base value of the product it is attached to. I wonder why some companies create a brand and never cash in on what they have built.

One brand in particular has consistently delivered a powerful message for decades now. But why have they not put the power of their brand to its full potential? Everyone loves 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!' So why don't they deliver to consumers a full breadth of products:

'I Can't Believe It's Not Ground Meat!'
'I Can't Believe It's Not Parsley!'
'I Can't Believe It's Not HFCS!'
'I Can't Believe It's Not Eggs!'
'I Can't Believe It's Not Marmite!'
'I Can't Believe It's Not Dog Food!'
'I Can't Believe It's Not Bottled Water!'
'I Can't Believer It's Not Chicken!'

There's so much opportunity, and they're really missing the boat.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Back to Work

OK, long weekend of relaxing. Now it's back to work. My brain is only thinking about how relaxing the weekend was, so don't look to me for any spark of insight or creativity today. The only thing I was wondering came from when a small group of my friends were reminiscing about when Carl's dog Oberon got skunked in my backyard last year. You know, they always tell you to take a bath in tomato juice to get rid of the smell of skunk. But they never tell you how to get rid of the smell of tomato. And how do you get peanut butter out of your hair? Just some things I was wondering.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


How is your writing going? Keep those stories coming in.

Thinking about the theme, TINY STORIES, of course it doesn't have to be a physical tiny THING. Think about the senses... how about a story about...

a tiny... sound
a tiny... subtle scent
a tiny... tingle or touch
a tiny... flash, glitter
a tiny... unexpected taste

How about emotion/thought...

a tiny... memory
a tiny... idea
a tiny... feeling
a tiny... twitch, fear, scratch...


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Morbid? Am I Being Morbid?

You think THAT was too morbid?

Save the date! Y'all have to come to my funeral. On July 21, 2040. OK, well, actually, the funeral probably wouldn't be until a few days after that, right? So you have time to travel to New Jersey (ooh, now THAT'S morbid!)... :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

How Long Would It Be?

As a single person currently living alone, I sometimes wonder this morbid thought. If I died at home alone, how long would it be before they found me? Depending on the day of the week, the time of day, what's going on in my life, it could be days. Work is the only sure thing that I wouldn't show up for where someone would wonder where I was and take steps beyond one phone call to me to say, "Hey where are you? I thought you were gonna be here." I only hope if I slip in the bathtub, it isn't on a Friday night right after work on a weekend I have nothing scheduled for, or else they're never going to get that smell out of the drapes.

With a large group of single friends, we actually started an emergency contact list on our Yahoo Groups website. Though my other fear is also kinda real, too. If I died, and dear old Dad took care of it all, would he be able to contact all my friends? I guess more importantly, would he bother? Who wouldn't find out? Would anyone just feel like I merely disappeared out of his/her life? All the friends I have on the Internet would think I just flaked. My friends in other towns would just 'lose touch.'

HHmm... am I too young for a Medic Alert bracelet?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Keep Writing!!!

Derek from Maine submitted a tiny story about our tiny stories project! I had to share this with you all. I'm so happy to spread the frustration around the globe. Keep your stories and letters coming in... and keep beating yourselves about the head and shoulders trying to craft your stories...

Phrase Anatomy
by Derek Ash
Franklin, Maine

His site said “Hundred Words” but damnation, I have struggled discovering: It cannot be done. Nouns? Adjectives? Verbs?
Teeth ground dull, bald spots grown immense, blank computer screens leering lecherously, reveling in an author’s frustration.
Ideas so far: Turkeys thawing, butterflies postulating genetics, lost pens revealing divine disappointments, drive through serial killers.
Each shattered by limited description or plot.
Required subject matter? Tiny things.
Steaming bull’s shit!!!
Sitting, hours on end; pacing ferally; throwing fits and Ming vases.
Costs to my marriage alone? Incalculable.
Family? Torn asunder.
Sanity? Even deeper damage detected.
All for lack of just one more--

Friday, June 24, 2005

Who's Your Number One?

OK, stole this from Neil Gaiman's website. Someone pointed out to him that he is Neil Number One, meaning if you enter just his first name into google, he is the top search result. So that leads to the question: Who's Your Number One? OK, just some silly fun for a Friday afternoon.

So for me, Bob Number One is Bob Dylan.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Your Reading Habits Public?

Hey folks,
For those of us who publish, for those of us who write, for those of us who read, we really need to do something to ensure our freedom to study, read, research, learn is not compromised. Can it be the United States of America where the government is allowed to review what you are reading? And how will they use this information? Especially for those of us who read dark subjects: serial killers, mysteries, dark fantasy. Do I really want the government to have access to library records, bookstore sales, etc? If I read a dozen serial killer novels in a row, and then there happens to be a serial killer in my area, does that mean I will be vaulted to the top of the suspects list?

In my local newspaper, a writer made some very good points about the writer's life and these potentially dangerous, insidious laws. It's just a point of view that makes you think... do I have to think twice before I buy a book with a credit card or borrow one from the library? What will people think?

Besides. Somehow I think the truly evil people who really are plotting something will be a little bit more careful than to make their reading habits viewable. They buy the book with cash, not credit card. And if it's a library book they need to read, instead of borrowing it, I'm sure they'll do what we all did in college when we owed on already-overdue books. Go to the back of the library, throw it out an open window into a bush, and then go retrieve it. Oooh, bad people and library personnel, don't read this!

I'm saying this is a truly brilliant essay, but it does make you think:

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

We Love Our Kimmy

I have to quote my good friend Kimmy. Something she just said (ok, a little paraphrased for effect)...

"Don't piss me off. I could kill you with some chicken wire, a pack of chewing gum, and a magnet."

HHHmmm.... chicken wire, a pack of chewing gum, a magnet.... all 'tiny thing.' Anyone feeling inspired?


How come women can get away with wearing flip-flops to work if they have a few sparklies on them? How come women can get away with wearing shorts to work and calling them a 'split skirt?' How come women can wear spaghetti straps to work, but if i wear a tank top, I'll be yelled at and sent home? Well, I guess there is that menstruation thing... so we'll call it even.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lotsa Tinies!

Keep them coming! Even more came in today! Need inspiration?

One split second
A missing button
A crumb
An old note or letter
One glance or one eye contact
A key

Actually the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy revolves around one tiny thing, doesn't it? Interesting.

You Think You've Got Issues?

I can watch the movie WILLOW over and over and over. It's got to be one of my all-time favorites. I can quote practically every line. Love it, love it, love it. And the campier it got, the better.

You are my sun, my moon, my starlit night. Without you I dwell in darkness.

Mother! Traitor child, I must despise you now.

That is Razel? I expected something more grand and less... fuzzy.

Monday, June 20, 2005

TINY STORIES -- Keep 'Em Coming!

Hello, you creative folk! You're all doing an amazing job sending in your short-shorts (and I'm not talking about cut-off denim Daisy Dukes). Just a few notes based on the submissions I've gotten and comments I've seen, things I want to reiterate and say again even....

1. Your title does not count toward the 100 word count; however, just to make it fun, please use unique words in your title, too!
2. Remember your piece should still be a STORY. A snippet or description or poetic musing is nice, but I really want these to be narrative stories... that's what makes 100 words a challenge. Something should happen --- not just be described. Not a stickler on that, but if your piece has a narrative flow, it stands a much better chance of being selected.
3. If you've submitted a story, THANK YOU! I'm not sending out acknowledgments or thanks for every submission, so if you didn't hear back from me, it doesn't mean I didn't receive it. Of course, if due to your system, email, or general angst, you're concerned that it might not have come through, please feel free to send a separate email specifically requesting I confirm I got it.
4. Please please please continue to spread the word. As the days and weeks go by, our links get older and older. Continuing a steady traffic flow and continuing to spread the word with new links is the only way to keep this project fresh out there in blog and journal land.
5. Again, there's no limit to the number of pieces you can submit. While I probably won't include more than one, okay maybe two, from any one single writer, but that doesn't mean you should not continue to be creative for the entire month of July, send in pieces, and increase your chances of being selected for the collection.
6. Some people have made note that I work for St. Martin's Press. Yes, this is true. But I want to specifically point out, and split an infintive to do so, that this project is not sanctioned, owned by, authorized by, okay, it's got nothing to do with St. Martin's Press.
7. Seven? I don't really have seven comments to make, do I? You can't possibly still be reading this list.
8. Anybody see Batman this weekend? Fun. Dark and brooding. I enjoyed. But frankly, I am absolutely blubbering as only an idiot can over the Human Torch in the upcoming F4. Oh my stars.... *sigh* Can anybody get me Chris Evans' phone number? I'm sure if he got to know me, he'd.... oh, never mind. Just go back to your writing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Hey everybody, as those of us who obsessively look at our hit numbers can attest, your daily traffic is only as good as your links and active discussion. Please continue to talk about the TINY STORIES project on your website and spread the word. Please get your blogging friends to mention and link to it! We want lots and lots of entries so we can pick a fantastic best-of collection. Thanks for the comments on the difficulty level of the no-repeat rule. I think it's the whole slant of the exercise really. So I hope you can all make multiple entries! I know I'll be writing and writing.

Friday, June 17, 2005

My Sense of Reality Is In Shambles

Something like this could not have possibly been going on without everyone knowing it. Can this really be true? If anyone has insight, please let me know. This is almost as bad as the time on Thanksgiving Day when I was 33 years old when my father's girlfriend asked me, "So did you ever want to find out who your real parents are?" Seriously, something like this could not have been kept a secret all this time. Maybe it's like the adopted thing. Maybe this is something everyone else in the world always knew except me:

When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you "squeeze" for freshness or softness? Didyou know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie. They are: Monday = Blue, Tuesday = Green, Thursday =Red, Friday = White, and Saturday = Yellow. So if today was Thursday, you would want red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue- Green - Red - White - Yellow, Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember. Even the ones with the plastic clips have different colors. You learn something new everyday! Enjoy fresh bread when you buy bread with the right color on the day you are shopping.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Hey there, writing folk!

I'd like to hear from anyone hard at work on their writing exercises. We've heard from at least two people that think the no-repeat rule is maybe a little bit TOO challenging. Or it might end up causing us all to write a little too esoterically.

How are you all feeling about the challenge? Are you up to it? Do your writings end up sounding stilted, weird, awkward? Chime in on the 'comments' link, and let me know. Plenty of time to work on your story. This was never intended to be something you could churn out in 20 minutes. :)

What do you say, kids?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Hi folks, when we did this before, we discovered a few things about trying to write within the parameters of the exercise. First, Microsoft Word comes with a handy 'word count' feature in the Tools drop-down menu. However, I have found it doesn't always count words in the same way you or I would. I keep recounting one story I wrote, and I count 99 words to Word's 100 count. Can't figure out what it's counting and I'm not.

About policing your repeats. I've found the only sure-fire method to ensure you are not repeating a word is to enter your story into Excel in a single column. This actually helps with word-count, too. Then sort the column alphabetically -- any repeats will show up next to each other. Make sure you either kept your story in a Word file or save before sorting in Excel, the sort is kinda permanent! OK, it's annoying having to type it into Excel, but it's only 100 words... :)

Now go. Be creative.

[added, 3:40 pm] OK, I highly recommend inputting your story into Microsoft Excel after you write and save it in Word!!! One column, one word per cell, leave out all your punctuation, confirms your 100 word count, then sort the story alphabetically to catch any word repeats!!! Works like a charm. What do you know! I had a story that was 101 words long, and I didn't realize, and... neither did Microsoft Word!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What a Weirdo!

I caught myself again. Being weird in public. So I was at my desk, and it was time for a snack. I had to wash my fruit, but we only have one sink on the entire floor, and it's at the other end of the building. So I walked over, but on the way, I realized I had to pee, so I stopped off. In the bathroom, I didn't want to put my snack down on a counter of questionable cleanliness, and you know, you sorta need two hands, and that's when it happened. I caught myself standing at the urinal with a pluot on my head. Why am I so weird!?!

Monday, June 13, 2005

And Of Course...

Please feel free to spread the word about our short-short project to anyone you know who dabbles at writing. Feel free to link to the submission post if you have a website, blog or journal.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Tiny Stories

Lisa Snellings Clark ( and I are launching a project, and we want YOU to try your hand at it. We were both so pleased with the wonderful stories folks wrote for our recent writing exercise, and we want to try to make something out of it!

To review, the writing exercise is as follows: Write a short-short story of exactly 100 words in length… AND… don’t use the same word twice! [For samples, please look through the previous posts.]

The pieces we received the last time we did this were so good, we think we can compile some of them together and make a nice little collection. I will review the submissions and pick the very best ones, and Lisa has agreed to provide an illustration for every story that we accept for the project. We will then look for a way to get it published and make a donation to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund ( in the form of a share of any proceeds. So we’re putting out a call for submissions! Try it! It’s fun, and it hurts your brain at the same time!

The exercise:
Write a 100-word short-short story. Don’t use the same word twice (OK, we make an exception for contractions if you really really really have to, so don’t is don’t and do not is do not, but don't abuse this as a cheat too much -- see if you can work around it). This time we want the project to have a theme. Given that these are tiny stories, we want them to be ABOUT tiny things. Lisa and I have found so many different ways to explain what we are looking for, I’ll say it a bunch of different ways:

Little stories that are larger on the inside than they appear on the outside.
Stories that leave an aftertaste, that linger.
Special nod to stories that include elements of the fantastic.
Little things with big effects: lost keys, a scrap of paper, a chink in the armor, a missing screw.
The inexplicable in the definable, the fantasy in the reality, the uncommon in the everyday, that something under the surface.
The secret little things….
Now don’t let that constrain you – let it set you on your way…

Deadline: We want you to have enough time to work on your piece(s) and perfect it. So we'll set a deadline of August 5. {NOTE! THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 10!} At that time, we'll take a look at all the submissions and pick the very best ones for inclusion in the final collection. Multiple submissions are more than welcome, but please don't flood me. We will hope to have the finalists selected for inclusion in the project announced within a few weeks (hopefully by Labor Day or thereabouts -- we'll be more specific when we have a sense of just how many submissions we receive).

Submit your story to:

Disclaimers: By submitting a story for consideration, you agree to give us rights to it for inclusion in the project and all licensing and subsidiary rights to the collected stories. We can not at this time promise any monetary compensation, but you will receive full crediting of the work. At the time of any actual publication of the project, you will receive a more concrete, legal document to acknowledge that you have given us rights to your story. If you have any questions or concerns about this before you feel secure submitting a work, please feel free to e-mail me.

Authorship: You must include your full (real) name and physical address with your story submissions so that we can contact you if we decide to include your story in the final project. You must send your story in as a Microsoft Word document file, and your full (real) name and address should be in the text of the file along with the story.

If we get questions or concerns as we go, I will post here to this site anything we have to alter or modify as the deadline comes closer, so please keep coming back to see how we're progressing here. If you have any questions about genre, theme, length, etc. please feel free to email me.

Ready? GO!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Things You'll Never Hear...

....from a psychic who wants to get paid at the end of the session...

-- You might want to have that looked at.

-- Yes, they are all laughing at you.

-- You'll die a slow, painful death... alone.

-- You really need to rethink your wardrobe.

-- You'll never have to worry about money... cuz you'll never have any.

-- I'm seeing you finding the love of your life fairly soon... I'm getting... not a name... but... wait... yes, yes, I'm getting a number... it's on his shirt...

-- Your children hate you, your husband is cheating on you, and the dog isn't too fond of you either.

-- You have insurance, right?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Get Rich Quick Scheme

I've found it! I'll be a millionaire I tell ya! The perfect get-rich-quick invention...
Swiffer Socks! Dust while you walk around the house, then just throw them away!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hearing the Screams...

Well, I've been polling people this last week, particularly in the breakroom at school. So far, I am still the only one who hears the candy screaming. I'm sure there has to be others out there. Anyway, folks, regarding a new writing project, please check back in early next week for a new request for short-short writing exercises. The RatHag and I will be looking to try a more involved project that could turn into something exciting. We're hoping to get it figured out and posted by Sunday. So get those pen tips licked, stack your paper, and turn off the television. We want cogs churning across the globe for this one.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A Minor Brush with Dark Brooding Fame

Yesterday morning, I was in an elevator with Billy Martin, guitarist for Good Charlotte. Of course this was at the happiest place on earth... The Borgata. Now, mind you, I didn't realize it was him until after I let him go ahead of me with his rolling carry-on and he said, 'thanks.'

I thought he was probably a member of the band or a roadie, since I knew they were there from their concert the night before. But I'm not one to bother people in elevators or in public, 'oh are you .xx.x..x.?' I was sure of who he was when a small child approached him outside the doors to The Living Room, and timidly asked him for his autograph.

Now, BM was all dragged up in full complete black from head to toe, black belt with metal studs, hollow earrings stretching out his earlobes so they now have almost-fuckable holes, dark and foreboding, looking like the world should leave him alone, is it any wonder I didn't say hello. First thing, all I could think was, somebody get that boy a sandwich! When he stepped off the elevator first, I got that all-important rear view. Chile, let me tell you, that boy is a Buttless Wonder. But you know what? He's still adorable, even with his attempts at dark mood, his layering on of black and metal and punk drag, the thick layers of 'leave me alone' that I bet most notable people wear in public. And I was left with that all-important realization: I could do that.

See, I've been thinking I kinda want my next boyfriend to be an East Village punk dude with a pouty face, too many pieces of black clothing, metal-studs on leather belt, bracelet, (collar?), and heck, when I look at Billy Joe Armstrong, I think, yeah, even if he wears mascara.

See, you thought I was posting something about celebrity, Good Charlotte, etc., and in the end, nope, it's all about me. Billy Joe, call me.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Candy Screams.

OK, back to blogging... more on my own personal brand of weirdness.

Is it me? In the middle of an ordinary moment, I can see the brooding horror underneath the surface of even the most common of everyday items. The most innocent looking things. The cutest teddy bear is probably holding a boxcutter behind his back waiting for just the right moment. There's probably a razor blade in that crisp red apple. Yes, the bunny rabbit is a killer; the salmon mousse is poisoned; that doll is a psycho-killer; and yes, clowns and mimes freak me out.

Whenever I go for a snack at the vending machine, you know the one, with the candy all displayed on multiple levels held in place by spiral coils of metal, I think about the candy. Does it like being in there, clinging to the shelves, thinking only of the precipice, knowing that once it is selected, it will be pushed forward slowly, toward the edge, then jettisoned off to plunge to the harsh metal pan below? Can I see the fear in each Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, each roll of Life Savers, every Sun Chip? Is it that terror on Grandma's face on the cookie package? And why do they always put the potato chips on the top row?

Does it hurt them when they fall? Do they die? Do the pretzels bleed? Did they know each other? Do they miss the fallen? Did they have hopes, dreams? Am I the only one who hears the candy screaming as it plummets to its death?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Break Time!

OK, folks! It's time for a break. Lisa and I are hashing out a follow-up exercise, seeing what we can make out of this. Please keep posted to one or both of our sites for more information and possibly another call for short-shorts. This was way too much fun spreading the creativity and sharing with you all!

Love, hugs, and pen stains on your fingertips,


2 More! from Robert C. Johnson, Jr.

Hey! 2 for the price of one! Even more 100 Word exercises! Fantastic!

Lost Dreamer
by Robert C. Johnson Jr
June 2, 2005

At midnight laying in quiet darkness, seeking elusive altered consciousness. The dream sought is just an indiscernible thread hidden among dark dreamstuff weavings. More memory than imagining, never found. Always finding only dreams not wanted.

Remembering flight brings sweet melancholy. Lightness, distance, freedom, almost happiness.

As a child flying through every night, day hours crept by with longing for bedtime. Chance to shed so much weight, sad burden accumulated living ten short years. Nighttime, disconnected from that “reality”, experiences seemed crisp, sharp, tangible. Those daytimes, memories are smudgy, indistinct, surreal.

Drifting off, sloughing baggage, shucking inhibitions, clothes too, I flew.


Cry for Vampire
by Robert C. Johnson, Jr.
June 2, 2005

Their relationship still young, lacking scars as armor against hurt feelings, fragile lovers exchange harsh words, slammed doors.

A strange dark cloud coalesces. Half-seen, savagely beautiful tiny winged creatures swarm. Not just of shape and time, beings crystallized from cruel thought. Hunger manifest in miniature imitation, woman, man. Nearly invisible perfect bodies, wings shadowy leather.

Eyes squeezed tightly shut, tears brim, dribble down human cheeks.

Unseen minute feathery tongues lap, finding nourishment. Each salty lick laden with weeper’s sadness. Only this emotion can slake bitter thirst. To the deep well they return over, again.

Sorrow’s kisses which offer no comfort.

100 Words -- Pete Clark

Bad Pete Clark, Bad! Bad! Repeater!

Here's his edits:

Imagine vast landscapes expanding before uncontaminated, civilized neural pathways. Unfamiliar memes triggering horrific immersions in scale gone excruciatingly awry. Distance… purpose…identity.. sentience… exposed as baryonic shadows played upon quantum walls, formerly Totality, by flames ignited at Time Zero. Forces which hover just below the surface of humanity’s gestalt watering hole where everyone’s soul monkey stops, catching an all too brief yet absolutely necessary repast from unflinching, atavistic predators that never, ever cease chasing delicious morsels, swinging temptingly, piñatas stuffed with guilt smelling suspiciously like cheesecake, whiskey and timidity. We animals must eventually lose, struggling vainly against this enemy, Instinct. Damn .

100 Words -- Not Me AGAIN!?!

All right, all right. I see the theme trend. I'll jump on the bandwagon with you all. Here's a piece a little bit darker. I wrote it on scrap then transferred it to Word, so please police any repeats that may exist... enjoy!

by Bob Podrasky

Two wings, dozens more, uncountable flurries, black leathery beasts swarm, blotting out moonlight, descend upon the dark, unmoving form sprawled over rocky soil, completely covering it in a desperate, hungry bloodlust, first biting then tearing gouges into flesh, feasting, nothing untouched, unbitten.

At once, as one, all launch skyward leaving behind mounds of bloodied fleshy clumps, bone, gristle, meat, teeth, innards, unrecognizable until... shivering movements, gelatinous oozing, sticky liquid sounds, pieces merge, reform.

Reborn, renewed, alone, naked, strong, filled with that same devouring need. Must find blood... Lights mark distant houses, towns, cities -- fresh, juicy prey. It's feeding time.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I'm all caught up! I still know of a few friends working who have promised to send me a finished story, and I have one I wrote on the train home this evening that needs some tweaking that I plan on posting tomorrow or as soon as it's ready.

Everyone, please keep logging in to Lisa's site and mine. We're going to be putting out another homework assignment soon... this time with a theme... and we're going to see if we can make this a more in-depth project.

Keep writing. Anyone who wants to submit more stories, I'll gladly post more. And hey, feel free to comment on any of the pieces already appearing. Having someone read your stuff is great... hearing how it made them feel... priceless...

I really couldn't be happier with the results. You're all wonderful.

100 Words -- Nora Wright

OK, Nora claims to have been suffering from jet lag when she wrote this one, so if anyone spots any repeats, please post a comment, but it looks good to me.

It's Over
by Nora Wright

It’s over.

After all the months of preparation, stress, confusion, overt disagreements, silent rebellion, this incredible train rolled into her station. Then came nearly one hundred hours filled with excitement, joy, sheer terror, pain, enlightenment, boredom, anger, and finally, exhaustion. New acquaintances were made, old friends celebrated, good times enjoyed by everyone. Nobody slept, much.

My mind absorbed myriad experiences, struggling to comprehend such disparity. Emotions battled against each other without resolution.

Some stragglers breakfasted together Tuesday morning. We exchanged brief goodbyes. I pulled away from our empty hotel feeling a sharp, wordless ache inside me.

Another Balticon is gone.

100 Words -- Pete Clark

Sometimes you have to keep it in the family...

Lake You
by Pete Clark

Imagine vast landscapes expanding before uncontaminated, civilized neural pathways. Unfamiliar memes triggering horrific immersions in scale gone excruciatingly awry. Distance… purpose…identity.. sentience…all exposed as shadows played upon quantum walls, formerly Totality, by flames ignited at Time Zero. Forces which hover just below the surface of humanity’s gestalt watering hole where everyone’s soul monkey stops, catching an all too brief, yet absolutely necessary repast from unflinching, atavistic predators that never, ever cease chasing delicious morsels, swinging temptingly, piñatas stuffed with guilt smelling suspiciously like cheesecake, whiskey and timidity. All animals must eventually lose, struggling vainly against this enemy, Instinct. Damn it.

100 Words -- Bob Podrasky

OK, Princess Points! I've been working over-time, and I wrote a couple more. So indulge my histrionics as I post another of my own.

by Bob Podrasky

Paper plates, sporks. Juice boxes, sandwiches, potato salad. Frisbee, kite, soccer ball. “Sweetie, go downstairs. Find the wicker basket with red handles.” Upstairs, telephone ringing, muffled conversation. Not again you don’t. Footsteps coming down stairs. “Honey? I’m so sorry. Emergency at work. Picnic will have to wait. Can we try for next weekend?”
A child bounding back up, eager, excited. “Mommy? Where is Daddy going?”
“Your father has lives that need saving, baby.”
“What about our…,” eyes curling in disappointment.
Postponements, promises. Summers go by, holidays, Sundays. Childhood never waits, nor marriage.
“Pack that bag, kiddo!” Who needs him anyway?

100 Words -- Robert Glaze

My Own Evening News
by Robert Glaze

He sat there without anything to say. Staring at her packing suitcases made him feel complete abandonment. Why leave after six years? She left. Visiting favorite places they went only brought thoughts concerning suicide. Looking upon many old photos would just make nice days, go bad. Songs shared between them were now depressing. Anger ensued then vindictiveness. Shoeboxes flew from the walk-in closet, a firearm retrieved. Driving across town didn’t give much time for reconsideration. When all was said and done, five innocent bystanders lay dead, including an unrequited love.
Will we ever start believing that people kill, not guns?

Still More to Come!

I'm really enjoying posting all your tremendous works for all to read. Quiet readers, if you have some words of encouragement or if you enjoyed any of the works, please feel free to post comments! Still more to come tomorrow! Heck, it was a soft deadline anyway. No one's giving out grades here. Happy Wednesday, everyone.


100 Words -- Heather FaerieStar

OK, this is the most rewarding one for me, because of how it makes Heather feel.

"um, im not a writer, nor do i generally entertain the thought... but having made a haiku challenge for myself this year, i thought, what the hell, 100 words wont kill me, and i wonder if i could even do it. i did. im proud of it, because i completed it... i know you will receive better stories, but im sending mine in, cause i did it damnit :) and im proud of myself."

I'm proud of it, too, Heather. It's adorable!

Xander Wiggins III
by Heather FaerieStar

No introductions necessary for my cat, there is fur, it's striped. Normally kitty spends his days eating, sleeping, purring...simple. One fairly boring afternoon, sweet tabby happens upon a cozy blanket...perfect napping zone. Paws begin to gently knead, slumber follows...bringing awake-like dreams where he finds an adventurous winged faerie friend. This laughing mischievous creature toys with whisker boy, First buzzing about velvety ears expecting quick giggling when little lion hands miss--skilled escape artist. Soon our pair settle down, whispering secrets of love and life. Listening, remembering the hunter wakes, finds warm lap, curls up.

100 Words -- K. Hutson Price

I think you can probably tell which ones come from Lisa Fans... lock your doors and windows tonight after you read this one! Very cool...

Winged Assassin
by K. Hutson Price

Broken glass crunched underfoot. Good people sleep while I roam, peeking in windows. Searching. Sniffing down her scent. Black leather gloves, shiny with age, stretched over hardened hands and a gleaming silver sappara is all the better for slitting throats, dear. Knife-points stars cruelly cut through an ocher bruised sky, lighting paths through darkness.
But which to choose? This house? That one, where Kindertoys lay strewn about like Hugo’s aftermath? Complications. Decisions. Life’s full of them. Creation? No, thanks. Destruction’s my job. Seek out sinners. End it. Michael assigns cases, Gabriel –that’s me- takes care of business, doing God’s work.

100 Words -- The Lady of Shallott

And One from a mysterious mad woman...

by The Lady of Shallott

Slit throats glare back mockingly through hazy vision. Could such horror truly just happen? No fanfare, hardly any emotion felt. Death seems unfriendly now, considering pronounced pain endured in achieving it. Intrinsic guilt bears down before thoughts metaphysical return. Well-pitched lies conjure justification. Metamorphosis, afterlife, glory... crackbrain rationalization. Inevitably, crimson rivers of exsanguination make reality divert, falling upon delusion, unable or unwilling to recognize what ‘IS’. Smiling sheepishly while fingering the blade with reverent sensations, I reject gratitude for venerable actions. ‘You’re welcome, Dear Ones,’ muttered by unfamiliar voice, my own. ‘Time immediate. Move along. More souls require release.’

I Promise...

...more this afternoon. I have to go to a meeting now that will last the entire morning. Further adventures in 100 words will be back after this commercial break.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Woopsie! Hey, Laura Mann! You've got two 'the's in your piece! Can you edit it and resubmit abiding by the rules? Who made these stinkin' rules anyway.. oh wait, that would be me.

More homework for Laura!

100 Words -- Rosie Waller

They keep coming! One more before I hit the hay... what a fun day!

by Rosie Waller

There is a grassy bank where I sat and waited for people who did not come. Leant myself back against rucksack, expecting damp ground working throughtrousers. Gazed at feet in front, marking grass, crushing stems too brittle to spring upright after I'd left. Became aware of earth uncomfortably irregular beneath me. Still found contentment watching leaves waving above, clouds moving past behind them. Surrounded with glowing buttercups just above knee height, vetches below them, unripe seedheads everywhere. Heard wind moving trees, but felt gentle breezes. Warmed by sunlight, tasting blossom on air. Absent others stopped mattering. Life was good.

100 Words -- Robert C. Johnson, Jr.

Here are 100 different words from Robert C. Johnson, Jr., who had a really wonderful comment about doing this exercise that I'd like to share:

"All the stories I wanted to tell spilled way over. So finally I let go of all the 'story' and just told one true thing. Then it was just a matter of selecting the words that fit."

Another's Feelings
by Robert C Johnson Jr., May 28, 2005

Ever get a sudden feeling there's more to existence than you previously even suspected? I'd known Allen since 6th grade, been mad in love from 7th. We were best friends right at the start, and he didn't have clue one how I really felt. But I'm not telling that story now. This story's about Allen's dad, sorta. Mr. Lewis' funeral. Holding his son with these arms afterwards was an epiphany. Him sobbing, grief wracked. Such strong non sexual emotions shocked me, seemed truly alien. My heart broke for both of us. Al's loss so very plain. Mine just discovered, unexplainable.

100 Words -- Laura Mann

More of Lisa's fans offering pieces! From Florida...

by Laura Mann

Two parallel worlds, one of indifference, an other obsession. First creates isolation, distance. Second consumes entirely. A magnet, opposite polarities enjoined as single unit. It pulls and rends, twists, torments. Riding the ruthless roller coaster. Up then downhill again, WHEEEEE! What waits below?

Oblivious bliss, just kiss. Irrational dreams imbued with scenes of passionate things that may never be. Want and desire...craziness. I breathe, sigh, cry.

Run fast? Where?

Stay near? Around here?

Choices available?

None but eternal waiting.

Hate? No, love...agony, ecstasy, prevailing adoration...causes tears flowing on soft cheeks.

He does this to me.

Phone rings.

100 Words -- Alys Robinson

Our little homework assignment has spanned oceans! Here's one from Alys Robinson who was the first to get one submitted! Thanks, A!

by Alys Robinson

Rose. Velvet, blood, wine, old garnets caught by gaslight. Thorns prick, unmade decision, theft, deserted garden, who will know? Perfume, musk, sandalwood, enthralls, warm fog, drawn deep. Coughing, throat burning. White-fanged death howls down. Threat penetrates enchantment, fear takes hold. Running. Wolves pursue. Deep as forest shadow falls, concealment fails. Scent betrays, clinging like a lover. Comfortless, illusory refuge. Impossible hope strikes spurs into aching sides. Fluttering. Something inside beats, frantic for escape. Falling. Treetops, moonlit, twist into fantastic shapes. Tearing. Skin splits, shining silk emerges. Wings unfurl, spread luminescent, shining, across dark sky. The rest curls away, withers, crumbles.

100 Words -- Lisa Snellings Clark

OK, I'm posting these a little faster than once a day. I'm really excited about them. Thanks all for submitting! This is fantastic! So I promised I'd go first, which I did, and now let's hear from Lisa!

by Lisa Snellings Clark

I swim at midnight, remembering Father. His teaching penny, its shocking copper taste, erased emotion, stopped tears instantly, infallibly. Hard focus tattooed my childhood mind. Night forgets murk. Water feels clear, silky. Most have gone, our desert nearly…deserted. Fear followed the attacks, then panic, violence, chaos, looting, horrible smells and finally, terrible quiet. Sandy winds scrubbed everything clean.
Tomorrow, we few will trek with great difficulty up those snowy mountains, taking trucks until fuel supplies run out or roads become too narrow. For now, floating here, memories flow past like currents, preparing me.
All is packed, including one old coin.

100 Words ---- HOMEWORK!

OK, folks, we've got some really great submitted short-shorts for the homework assignment. Instead of just posting one, I'd like to post many over the next few days. Lisa really helped get the word out, and you've really delivered with some strong work. Lisa and I are discussing doing this exercise again, this time with a theme! So keep on the lookout on her site and mine for your follow-up project!

Now for the stories. I promised I would go first to ease you all into it. Mine's probably the most boring of all, so don't worry about your own. Folks, also please comment on each story as they appear, whether you liked it or not, etc. Also, we've all found it a little difficult to make sure we're not using a word twice. Everyone's been hunting for software tools that will help that task, so please police each other. If a submitted story by accident has a repeated word in it, please chime in, and the author will be asked to resubmit with the repeat fixed.

So here's my boring little story. Go ahead. Comment on it. I promise I won't cry.

by Bob Podrasky

“But Dad, why must I learn from making mistakes?”
“Experience, Son,” his father said. “There is nothing like figuring something out for yourself!”
Walking together in their garden, parent lecturing child, they stepped into the warm sunlight.
“When a gardener sows seeds, some fall on rock, where nothing can grow. Others find strong, firm soil.”
He contemplated this notion. Questioning results. Accepting losses, failures. Doing better next time. Seemed sensible, yet…
“So you see, it makes sense.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Tell me then its moral.”
“Discard all textbooks. Ignore warnings and directions. Heed not your teachers. Don’t expect any help.”