Monday, June 24, 2019

Rish Outcast 142: The Real Monster Here

Stuck driving to the airport, I ponder the recent funeral for my cousin, my own moral barometer, and a line from Sam Raimi's DARKMAN that has always bothered me.  
Oh, and spoilers for "The Servants of Twilight," TRANSCENDENCE, and life itself.
Note: This one *might* be a T.M.I. episode, you can decide.

Just Right-Click HERE to download the episode directly.
Just Left-Click HERE to support me on Patreon.
Logo by Gino "The Unreal Monster" Moretto.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fatherhood of the Wolf

Today's Father's Day, and I'm reminded of a couple of days ago when I was at the thrift store, and I walked past a couch with a bust or sculpture on it.

I stopped, and looked again.  From where I stood, it was a brown sculpture of . . . the Lon Chaney Jr. Wolf Man.  Cool, huh?

So, of course I went back to examine it.  The 1941 Wolf Man has always been my favorite Universal Monster, and it tickled me to discover there was a bust made of it, even if it was clear that it was just a fan that had sculpted it, rather than a professional.

But then I looked again.  It said, underneath the head "You're Number 1 Dad."

What the . . . ?

I looked again, and now it was clear that it was no movie werewolf, but this was a sculpture of an ordinary man with a bushy moustache.

I was disappointed, to say the least.

But isn't it possible that, over the years, Larry Talbot married and settled down and became some kid's number one dad?

I'd like to think so.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Rish Outcast 141: What Happens In Vegas . . .

What DOES happen in Vegas, kids?

To find out, I guess you gotta support me on Patreon.  You see, this is one of those Incentive Episodes, wherein Big Anklevich joins me for a tale of woe and of wonder in the nation's capital, Las Vegas, Nevada.  Check it out HERE!

Note: It has been brought to my attention that the nation's capital is NOT Las Vegas, Nevada.  Sorry about that.  Maybe it's Reno.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Rish & Marshal Talk About DRACULA UNTOLD

Once upon a time, Marshal Latham and I had a movie podcast called "Outfield Excursions," wherein we talked about a movie he picked one show, and a movie I picked the next.  At least that's how it works in theory.

Well, I sort of forced the guy to sit down and watch DRACULA UNTOLD because I had gotten it from the library and enjoying the way it began, I paused the movie and called Marshal up to tell him about it.  If you want to hear our discussion about the movie, and whether I regret that phone call, you can check it out RIGHT HERE at the Journey Into... website.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I Perform "Whatever Comes After Calcutta" On Pseudopod

It's been a long time (. . . gettin' from there to here), but I was recently asked to do another story for Pseudopod, the Horror podcast.  I may bellyache about it a lot, but I really do enjoy narrating and voice acting, and doing one of the Escape Artists shows is a much higher-profile gig than any of my own podcasts.  And hey, they pay their narrators now, so I can do these things for something other than the honor of it.

This week's story is "Whatever Comes After Calcutta" by David Eric Nelson.  And it is surprisingly long.*  About seventy minutes, in its final form, and these things don't edit themselves.  It's about a lawyer who goes home and finds his wife in bed with another man, gets shot, goes after the couple, and stumbles upon what looks like a public lynching in a small Ohio town.**  The townsfolk seem to have found themselves a witch.

The story is really dark, but there's something so delightfully absurd about it that . . . well, I was delighted.  I'd have probably pestered Big about running it on our own podcast if it had come our way.

One of my favorite Stephen King stories is "Nona" (from Skeleton Crew), and this story includes a remarkably similar moment to that one.  It reminds me of the time when, before I was a podcaster, I recorded a handful of King and Joe Hill short stories for posterity (none of which I still have), and "Nona" was one of them.  If there's not an official version out there, I might do that one again.

Anyway, I sat down and recorded it, and discovered it was considerably longer than the stories I usually do for Pseudopod.  Heck, it'd be long even for the Dunesteef.

But it's available now, over at THIS LINK, and if you like my work, it's what they call in show circles as a tour de force of Rish Benjamin Outfield's storytellin' abilities.  If you don't like my part-and-parcel way of narrating, though, I warn you . . . get out!  Get out now!  The 'casts are coming from inside the house!


*As of this writing, I've been working on it for ninety minutes, and it's only about halfway edited.

**Although, I looked it up, and Calcutta, Ohio is four times bigger than the town I grew up in, so it's all relative.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rish Outcast 140: Closet Case

In this episode, I share my short story "Closet Case," and ponder its worth.

It's another of those stories I wrote for an online contest . . . another contest I did not win.

But let's ponder it together, huh?

Hey there, why don't you download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE?

Hey there again, why don't you support me on Patreon HERE?

Logo by Gino "The Mollusk" Moretto.

Please note, Episode 141 (the next show) is one of those episodes that only the Patreon supporters get.  It's me and Big Anklevich discovering what, exactly, happens in Vegas . . .

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Marshal & I Talk The Star Wars Trailer

The internet is filled with a lot of lame, frustrating, and offensive things.  Among the things I hate on the internet are:

1.  Pop-up ads.

2.  People who post videos of people getting maimed or killed for others' enjoyment.

3.  Religious intolerance.

4.  Illiterates that post messages involving words and sentences anyway.

5.  Institutionalized racism and hate-mongering.

6.  People bashing the SW Sequels while at the same time praising the Prequels.

7.  Statements that boil down to "my ignorance is equal to your knowledge."  (you know what I'm talking about)

8.  Conspiracy theories.

9.  People that say that if you love DC you must hate Marvel, or vice-versa.

10.  Same thing with "Trek" and "Wars."
11.  Political attack ads.
12.  People who write in all-caps.
13.  Click-bait, dishonest headlines/titles.

14.   Crazy blood-thirsty right wing propaganda.15.  Crazy blood-thirsty left wing propaganda. 

16.  Anything relating to 2002's EQUILIBRIUM movie.

But kids, one of the *worst* things on the internet, and on YouTube specifically, worse even than whatever you're getting upset I didn't list above . . . are trailer reaction videos.

Holy Zuckuss and 4-LOM getting married in a private ceremony in upstate New York, I hate trailer reaction videos.  And I'll never watch another one . . . ever.  You could tell me that the love of my life circa 1992 was watching a Harry Potter trailer and interrupts it to say, I only wish Rish Outfield were here to watch it with me . . . with his pants conveniently absent," and I still refuse to ever watch a single trailer reaction video. 

How dare you for even trying to tempt me?!

Having said that, Marshal Latham and I got together the other day to give our thoughts about the new Star Wars trailer, and the revelation of its title, THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.  It's our Delusions of Grandeur podcast's latest episode, and it can be found HERE.

Go check it out, why don't you?  Or, barring that, at least comment below something that you truly hate on the internet. 

Thanks, guys.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Rish Outcast 139: At Length...

So, here I talk about writing and releasing stories, and wonder how short is too short, and how long is . . . wait, is this description too long?

If you absolutely must download this episode, Right-Click HERE.

If you absolutely must support me on Patreon, Left-Click HERE.

If you absolutely love chalupas . . . well, you're not alone.

Logo by Gino "Baseball Bat Length" Moretto.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

1 Shade of Grey

It has been rainy these past few days (worse for Big Anklevich in Houston than for me; he said the roads pretty much flooded out yesterday), and we had a couple of those days where it looks like evening in the middle of the day. With it, for some reason, comes the melancholy. And with that, comes me writing in my blog.

So, I did fairly well with my daily writing goal in March and April.  Not great, no, but fairly well.  I finished a sketch, I finished an awful little flash fiction story, I finished my Rocky Mountain Vampire story (which I need to look over and cut two thousand words from), started another sketch, and most significantly, finished the second book in the "Lara and the Witch" series/trilogy(?).  I didn't finish "Balms and Sears," and that's a bummer, but I worked on it a bit, and got it closer to the end.

That's me dwelling on the positive.  I didn't work on a lot of podcasts during those two months, but once I quit writing every day, I managed to edit both a "Delusions of Grandeur" episode (only three weeks late) and a "That Gets My Goat" episode (which is/will be only two weeks late).  I also narrated and edited a lengthy story for Pseudopod, and voiced a character for a Horror Addicts audio drama (three episodes' worth, though I think there are six more I need to do). 

So, that's positive too.  I also managed to sell quite a few toys in the last couple weeks, and money is good to have.

But boy, why I am I so bummed out today?  It can't just be the grey skies, can it?

I set a goal for myself to publish a bit more in the month of May, and that usually means stories and audiobooks in addition to podcast episodes.  I need to sit down and determine, in writing, which finished book I'm going to produce in audio next, and what story/stories I have in text that I could make available for purchase.  They don't make me much money (in fact, I usually make the same for all my writing that I make for selling one or two action figures--or three, if they're pretty worthless figures), but back when Big and I used to get together and talk about our writing careers (it took all of my strength NOT to put "careers" in eye-rolling quotation marks), he'd stress that the more items I had out there (to read or purchase), the better it was in the long run.  I remember making a goal, when I first started self-publishing, of putting out one story a month, and for a while, I did it.  But now, it's more like one every quarter, or worse. 

I can do better, but will I?

I did an audiobook for a very nice lady a couple of years ago, and she certainly seemed to have liked my work, enough to say she'd remember me when it was time to do an audio version of her next published book.  And that happened recently, and she emailed me to ask if I would do it.  Which is great, an honor, even.  But I don't do books for free anymore.  It's just too much work, you understand.  And a guy emailed me just last week to say that he's heard my work and really likes my voice (which is nice, an honor, even), and wanted me to audition to do his book.  But that too, would be for free.

And I'm torn.  It's cool that they want me to do it, but again, it's so much work . . . and I have soooooo many other projects I could do for free.  Hell, the Dunesteef is free, and when was the last time I did one of those?

Still, I don't want to be rude.  And you never know, maybe one of those books would sell a million copies (or even a thousand, which would be a step up for me), and I'd be amazed at a royalty check of more than it costs to eat a meal that can't upgrade to large fries and a drink for an extra fifty cents.  I OUGHT to at least check out the two books on Amazon, see how they've been reviewed, and if they've sold anything. 

I ought to do that, but so far, I haven't.

And why haven't I kept working on the third Ben Parks book, "Sins of a Sidekick?"  It'll be awfully awkward to release the fourth book ("A Sidekick To Miracles") if the third book's not out there.  Hmmm.

Big's been really into making videos these last few months, filming himself (mostly) talking about toys and uploading them to YouTube.  In the same philosophy as with writing stories, he's been working hard to upload as many as he can, so that if someone discovers his work (and likes it), they can find many more offerings where that came from.  Sometimes his enthusiasm is contagious, and I have thought about making my own videos many times since he started.  When it was nearing the anniversary of starting my Patreon (, I thought it would be cool to make a video of myself singing a thank you song, so I grabbed my camera and set it up, only to discover that it was broken.  My one year old nephew has become quite destructive, and his favorite pastime of late has been to grab something--preferably something forbidden--and run away with it, or simply throw it on the floor as soon as he's gotten it.  He usually does it with cellphones or cutlery, but he had been known to do it with my (Faux-Pro) camera as well. 

So, when the camera wouldn't work, it didn't take Lt. Columbo to figure out why.  I went online that same day and ordered a new one, purposely choosing an eBay seller in the United States (he was in Los Angeles, he claimed) so I could get one in time for my anniversary.  It was marked as Shipped the next day. 

But it didn't come.

I'll eventually do a Tales of eBay Horror episode about all this, but to make a long story short, the seller was actually in China, and was taking two weeks off for the Chinese New Year holiday, so couldn't respond to my complaint.  When he returned, he insisted that he was in Los Angeles, California (this he did in broken English, which in his defense, is way better than if I tried to speak Chinese), and when I complained to eBay about it, and asked for a refund, they said I had to wait until a certain date in the future before they'd give me one.  By that point, the camera had arrived, but my Patreon anniversary, and the other project I was anxious to make a video about, had both passed. 

There is a (kind of) hilarious punchline to this story, but I'm feeling sorry for myself, so let me leave that off.

Now that I have a camera again, I could really go to town, but I remain uncomfortable in front of the camera, and have only used it once.  I bought two different 2018 Star Wars TIE Fighters that I wanted to do a video about the differences between, but I don't want to be the guy on the video . . . I considered asking my eight year old nephew to do it with me, but I don't know if that will work.  And I found an old AT-ST Scout Walker at a thrift shop that had a weird paintjob, and thought it would be a fun video to document me trying to paint it myself . . . but I didn't want to be in that video either (maybe I could just be the hands you see painting it, and do the video that way).  And I thought about sitting down and recording me reading one of my stories (maybe "Closet Case," maybe "Know When To Walk Away...", maybe "The Blame Game," I dunno), in an attempt to both put a story of mine on YouTube and (try to) get used to my face in editing.*

But I haven't.

I'm sorry to whine so much.  I really have it easy, compared to most of you.  But unlike most of you, I will surely die alone and unmourned.  So . . . an even trade?

Anyway, this has helped.  It would help, I predict, to write these goals down and work on them each day, to remind myself when I find free time on my hands.  And I do have plenty of podcasts to edit, and those sure feel good to finish.

Never mind, then.  I'm going to get back to work.

Rish "Viva La Chalupa" Outfield

*You are free to ask, "Unca Rish, why do you appear in Tales of eBay Horror videos if you hate seeing your face so much?"  To which, I can only say that all of the videos (but one) I have done in shadows or in the dark (by design), and the one episode I did in brightness (Episode 7) I could barely stand to edit.  But hey, TODAY would be a great day to get out there and record a show, since it's so cloudy and rainy I expect Master Yoda to show up and help me get my ship out of the bog.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Tales of eBay Horror 7: You Are A Liar!

This is the oft-delayed seventh episode of my eBay video series, wherein I complain about selling on eBay.  It has been said, though, that I only focus on the negative* . . . so in an effort to remedy that, I will share a(nother) POSITIVE experience with the online selling site.

After that, however, I go on my longest rant yet in an episode entitled "You Are A Liar!"

Special thanks to Gino "Seldom A Liar" Moretto for the series logo.

*Of course you'll have a bad impression of New York if you only focus on the pimps and the C.H.U.D.s!

Friday, May 03, 2019

Peter Mayhew - What A Wookiee

I've often told the tale over the years that I saw STAR WARS at a most impressionable age (I was eight), and was whisked away to a far off galaxy, which made me believe that droids, Jedi Knights, and Wookiees really existed.  I think part of the beauty of George Lucas's lived-in galaxy was that parts of the movie seemed to have been shot like a documentary, of a place you could really visit, if you knew where to go.

Of course, I knew reality from make-believe at age eight, enough to know that it was a movie and not reality, but the point was that, the boy I was could suspend his disbelief, and buy into the world(s) of STAR WARS wholeheartedly, choosing to forget that it was all make-believe.  And the slouching, hairy slob that I've grown into is still able to believe . . .

And speaking of hairy beasts, Peter Mayhew died this week.

It was interesting to see all the outpouring of accolades and affection in the press for Mayhew these last couple of days.  Apparently, it wasn't just me his character touched, and a lot of folks recognized the SOUL of Chewbacca coming through, despite being buried under twenty-three pounds of yak fur.

I was on a flight out of Los Angeles in 2002, and Mayhew was at the airport flying out at the same time.  I asked him if I could get a picture and he told me to wait until we were boarding, so a bunch of people didn't recognize him and also want a picture.  You see, he was pretty hard to miss (or mistake for somebody else).

A couple years later, I paid to get Mayhew's autograph, and that's cool, something I still have, and joins Uncle Owen, Admiral Ozzell, Artoo-Deetoo, and Princess Leia who I was lucky enough to meet before they died.

But Chewbacca's still out there.  Apparently, nobody's ever really gone.

Boy, you said it, Chewie.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rish Outcast 138: Anybody Wanna Buy Some Coffins?

Okay, finally.

Here is the episode where I cart out my salespitch for the oft-delayed "Ten Thousand Coffins" novella/audiobook. I talk about its inspiration, the frustrations in getting it out there, and dance around the central conceit of the story.  Hey, could you just buy it so we can move on?  

You can't always get what you want, after all.

Oh, I heard 10,000 Maniacs' cover of Because The Night yesterday on the radio (yes, I still listen to the radio.  I am THAT old), and was reminded of where their name came from* and wondered if that's where my title came from.  I recall toying with calling it "A Thousand Coffins" and then upping it to various numbers, depending on how the title sounded.  I think I picked 10,000 because it sounded the best spoken aloud (better than 50,000 or 20,000, anyway), but it could have sounded good because there was a band years ago called Ten Thousand Maniacs.

Here's a link to the TEXT VERSION.
And here's one for the AUDIO VERSION. This one has the WhisperSync option available, and I'm curious, have any of you ever read/listened to one of those WhisperSync books? How does it work, exactly?
Thanks to Austin "Danger!" Douglas and Gino "Bridge Out!" Moretto for the cover art!

To download the episode, just Right-Click HERE.

To support me on Patreon, just Left-Click HERE
*There was a gory B-movie (I think by Herschel Gordon Lewis) called 2,000 MANIACS, and the band misremembered the title as 10,000 MANIACS.  When they learned of their mistake, they had already gotten used to the band name.

Friday, April 26, 2019

March Gladness - Day Final 4/26

Good news, guys.

I had allergies yesterday, took a pill, got groggy from it, finished editing a story (for another podcast), and fell asleep . . . never having written the whole day.

Yeah, the good news is that this little experiment is over.  After who knows how many days, I didn't write, and the chain is broken, and I am relieved.  Part of me wonders why I wasted so much of my time in the first place.

The bad news is, I didn't even get a novel's worth (according to the Hugos definition) of words in this whole run, over all the stories and sketches and rewrites I worked on.

But now, I can move on to editing and podcasting, and maybe even publishing.

April Words:15,424*
Total Words: 38,778

What a relief.

*This may go up, if I write again this month.  You never know.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Marchpril Madness - Day 56 (4/25)

This was, all things considered, a pretty impressive day for writing.  Not because I got a lot of words (I didn't), and not because those words went anywhere (they didn't), but because, after a super long day, a long night seeing AVENGERS (it was after three when we got out of the theater), I still sat down to write before I went to bed.

I had an idea for another Star Wars story before the movie started, and met my cousin for a taco before we saw ENDGAME, and bent his ear talking about Darth Vader running into somebody he had saved during the Clone Wars as Anakin Skywalker.

I dunno if the idea is a very good one (any Star Wars idea is wasted work, since they can't go anywhere but onto the Delusions of Grandeur podcast, which no one listens to [not even you]), but I sat down and started writing it, getting the main points down, in case (as often happens), the whole thing faded away after going to sleep.

Words Today: 572
Words Total: 38,778

So, was today the end of my streak?

Avengers Spoiler . . . uh huh.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

March Madness - Day 55 (4/24)

I often feel pretty young, even if the calendar tells me otherwise.  Sure, the white hairs in my beard, or the way I feel like a refrigerator is on my back when I squat to tie my shoes SHOULD be a reminder that I ain't so youthful anymore, but I'm so mentally and emotionally immature that I seldom think about it.

Today, I turned on the radio, and a seldom-played Sting song called After the Rain Has Fallen started playing.  I grooved to it for a moment before thinking, "Man, it's nice when one of the new Sting songs gets played instead of just the usual old hit--"

But then, I realized that After the Rain Has Fallen came out in 1999.  Which was twenty years ago.  Heck, I'm gonna put that in bold.  Twenty years ago.  And I still think of it as a NEW Sting song.

I'm as old as the hills.

Anyway, as far as this daily goal of writing goes, I think I'll focus on publishing a little bit in May.  I could put out the last episode of "Tales of eBay Horror"* and see if I couldn't get a short story or two put on Amazon.  I could send out lines to my little audio sketch and see if there's a fan who would like to voice the bartender.  I could record a couple more pieces for future Outcast episodes too.**  I could even go over to Audible to see if there are any books I should audition for (the only reason I mention this is because an author I produced a book for in the past asked me to go audition for a second book, which is a real honor . . . unless you think doing another whole audiobook for free is beneath me).  You never know.

I got very little work done today. But I got some more revising of "My Friend," and that's fine.

Words Today: 335
Words Total: 38,206

*Well, the last episode of Season One of TOEH, anyway.

**Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

March Madness - Day 54 (4/23)

Will today be the day?  The day I break my streak?  The day I throw in the towel?

It could be.  It's after one-thirty, and I haven't written yet (of course, if you wanna be pedantic, I probably miss the deadline if it's after twelve and I haven't written yet).

But I'm not at all tired, so I think I'll still manage.

I drove down to my dad's house today for the first time in the season to mow the lawns.  I'd done it a few times when I went down with my brother or my mom, but today was the first time I'd done it alone.  I took my microphone and recorded an episode of my podcast, but it wasn't a very good one.  But still, much like writing, making new episodes is better than not doing it at all.

Being alone in that house after dark, I was reminded of my childhood fear of the basement.  I would have a recurring dream when I went down there and saw . . . someone standing among the half-finished main room there, someone I didn't know, who was malevolent and somehow alien.

I've had that same dream into my forties, so I imagine it'll continue long after the house is sold and someone else is living there.  I think there's probably a short story in that, but I don't believe I have written it yet.

While I was there tonight, I did go downstairs briefly, and the childhood memory returned to me.  I imagined turning the corner and seeing my father standing there, nearly three years in his grave.  A chilling thought . . . but I wasn't scared of that.  My dad and I had our differences (more than our share), but was never afraid he'd do me serious harm when he was alive, and I don't fear him now that he's not.

So, it would have to be someone else's ghost that I saw down there, someone I don't feel was a good person, and hence, might have sinister designs on me after their death.  That's a little scarier.

After I had finished, and it was time to go, I locked up the house and went through the back door (locking it behind me), then had to walk around the house in almost total darkness (the moon didn't rise until after one, for some reason).  That's another horror film scenario, and it would be pretty cinematic to walk right into someone in the shadows beside the house . . . or turn on my keychain flashlight and see someone standing in the weeds where the garden used to be.

Delightful, my mind is.*

But I realized just now that I'm stalling, writing this blogpost (now after two am) instead of writing a story.  Blogs don't count, the Word God once said, so I really ought to stop this and start on the actual writing.

...Well, not much.  Somehow, it's 3:28am, and I only managed three hundred words.  I spent a good long time on Wikipedia, though.  So there's that.

Words Today: 345
Words Total: 37,871

*No idea why I phrased that like Yoda would have.  Very sorry, I am.

Monday, April 22, 2019

April Madness - Day 53 (4/22)

Big seems to be writing every day, and has easily passed me by in words for the month (I believe he writes at least 500 words each day, often more, while I could write a single sentence and consider it a success).  My friend Jeff in Germany has also been writing every day in April, and he finished a story, his first in a decade or so.  That kind of achievement is pretty swell.

There are days when I want to do this stuff, and there are days when I don't.  Same with blogging.  Today, I'm happy to while away the hours updating my blog and creating alternate logos.  Tomorrow, I will probably feel very differently.  Ah well.

In the end, I spent a good few minutes revising today.  And it felt good.  Which is great, considering I honestly thought today was it, that I wouldn't be writing every day anymore, especially after barely managing any words at all yesterday, and not really caring about it.

I was thinking about next month, and what I should focus on, and that I haven't kept up on my podcasting or publishing (or even selling) since I've been writing and blogging about it at the end of every night.  We'll see what happens in May, but hey, at least today's count is pretty good.

Words Today: 1,765
April Words: 14,172
Words Total: 37,526

Rish Outcast 137: Todd, Jenny, and the Ugly Doll (Part 2)

So, in this one, I continue my walk, I finish presenting "Todd, Jenny, and the Ugly Doll," and I talk about the trouble with scary dolls.  
Dang, why wasn't that the title of this one?  "The Trouble With Scary Dolls."

If you'd like to download the episode, simply Right-Click HERE.
If you'd like to support me on Patreon, simply Left-Click HERE.
If you'd like to make a one-time donation to the show, not-so-simply find the PayPal donate button on the main page of the blog HERE.
Logo by Gino "Scarier Doll" Moretto.
Music by Kevin McLeod of, and "Creepy Doll" by Jonathan Coulton, both under Creative Commons 3.0 licenses. 
What dolls scare you?  Lemmee know in the comments.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

March Madness - Day 52 (4/21)

More allergies today, but I guess that's the price you pay for the end of winter, and the onset of summer.

I made an unpleasant discovery this week, when I realized I couldn't find my second memory card I use for recording audio.  I tend to record on one until it completely fills up, then switch to the other one while I edit (presumably) the stuff on the first one.  When the second fills up, I switch, and by then, I should be able to delete a few files from the first.

Until I lose one, that is.  I came back from Nevada last month, still editing a couple of audio projects, and when I went to switch my cards . . . I only had the one inside the recorder.  I looked around for it, and had no luck.  I even checked my suitcase, and decided since I hadn't seen it since that weekend I was away, I must have left it in Las Vegas.  But my uncle, who let me stay in his guest room, says he can't find what I'm describing left in there.

So that's vexing.  I have a couple of recorded stories on there, some panels I taped at my writing conference, a couple of unreleased podcasts (including a show Big and I started in 2016 or so and never completed), and the next episode of That Gets My Goat, which we recorded with Marshal Latham.  Big and Marshal have their recordings . . . but mine has vanished like a Rish at a social occasion.

A week from now, that TGMG will be no longer (as) relevant, so sadly, even if I do someday find the second memory card, I'll berate myself to no end and consider not even releasing it.  And that's if it's not forever lost.

The bright side (and it's an awfully dim one) is that it means some of the plans I had for my podcast this summer will have to be replaced, and I could end up doing something really cool then), but I hate that all those hours of work (not just mine, but Big's and Marshal's too) might come to nothing.

Now I have to think about writing . . . and I'm not able to.

I gotta write SOMETHING.  But what? *

Words Today: 236
Words Total:  35,761

*Started on a ghost story, though I'm not sure it'll amount to anything.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

March Madness - Day 51 (4/20)

I suppose, if my math is right (and it seldom is), this makes fifty days I've written since I started this crazy exercise.  Fifty ain't bad.

Apparently, today is a holiday of some sort.  Although I didn't celebrate it, I did experience First Day of Allergy Season, and then some.  I ended up taking three Benadryls, and by afternoon, I had a really hard time staying awake.  Of course, the Season has only just begun.

Yesterday, I jotted down a few lines (very few, actually) for a new "Dead & Breakfast" story, and I pitched it to my niece today.  She seemed to like the plot, but really liked the settting (the haunted bed and breakfast in Idaho).  So, at the end of the night, I sat down and started in earnest, on the first scene of the story.  I got a pretty good number--almost a thousand words, and I really ought to give it two more minutes, just to push me past that milestone, but I'm going to go to bed now, and see if I can't catch up on some sleep.

Maybe you should too.

Words Today: 977
Words Total: 35,525

Friday, April 19, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 50 (4/19)

All writing days can't be great ones.  I was busy the whole day, gone from morning till night, so the fact that I wrote a few words (on a new ghost story) is fine by me.

And you too?  Well, that's a relief.  Thanks.

Words Today: 354
Words Total: 34,548

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 49 (4/18)

I’m at the library again today (first time this week), and our friendly neighborhood homeless man is in his usual seat, either sleeping and snoring . . . or breathing as Darth Vader would after taking a lightsaber to the junk.  It’s really quite disturbing, and reminds me of the Stephen King story “Gramma,” where a little boy is left alone with his dying grandmother and her raspy breaths terrify him and light his imagination on fire.  Apparently, one of King’s earliest memories was the sound his own grandmother made as she lay dying in her bed, and he mined it for that story (which, coincidentally, shares its ending with at least three of my own stories.  Coincidentally, did I say?).
Abbie Hilton posted on Facebook this week that she finished one of her novels, after a day of writing that produced over five thousand words.

Five thousand.  We could almost buy our own ship for that.
It would be impressive if I could manage five hundred today, but instead, I’m blogging away, like I actually make money from it.*

I'll have to compare the "Misery" file from yesterday to the one from today to decide how many words I wrote. 

Sigh.  I don't really want to do that.  Do I have to?

Words Today: 1317
Words Total: 34,194

Actually, that's quite good.  I think I'll do this again at least once a week.  Until I stop.

*I told Big yesterday about Abbie’s accomplishment, and I told him that I couldn’t produce 5000 words in a single day if I was paid ten dollars a word.  He, being a bit more pragmatic than me, thought that he could, and I wonder if he’s right.  It seems to me that, if you were capable of writing that much in a day, surely you would have done so by now, say, on a day back in 2013 when you were feeling super inspired.  If you haven’t ever done so before . . . I just don’t think you’re capable.  It would be like George R.R. Martin finishing a novel in less than a decade.  And they DO pay him ten dollars a word.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 48 (4/17)

Only 175 words today, but I'm fine with that.  I was very tired, and really only wrote a bridge scene between two chapters/sections in the Lara/Witch story, since I had, for some reason, finished one day's writing in the middle of a sentence, and picked up the next day's with a new chapter.

But hey, those 175 words are important, because I'm not quite talented enough of a writer to just end a chapter in the middle of a sentence, and have the reader just assume I was making some artistic statement by doing it that way.

For gits and shiggles, I created a YouTube page a couple of years back (or it might have been more recently, I honestly can't remember), and figured I'd put up a few Fake Sean Connery songs or sketches on there.  I had recorded a couple of Stephen King stories that I shared with a few people, and thought I'd post them on there too, since you can be a fan of him and not a fan of me, and I figured others might enjoy them.

And I've gotten a bunch of compliments, and some encouragement from folks to do more.  And while I'd LIKE to do more, there are other priorities, and recording fiction I do not own or have permission to do is way down the list.*  Having said that, I enjoy performing good stories, I am a fan, and (editing notwithstanding) I like being a narrator.

I've got a page on gmail that lets me know whenever there are new comments on my videos, and I check it every other day or so.  When I have comments, they're (nearly) always on the Stephen King stories, and while I'd be happier if "Tales of eBay Horror" were getting all the views, I'm good with strangers listening to my readings.

But having strangers check out my "videos" has its drawbacks too.  And today, I was surprised to find not one but two negative comments about my narrations.  One simply said the reading was weak, which I don't love to hear, but I could shrug off as being in reference to a story they didn't like.   The other, however, leaves no such wiggle room. 

This comment was directed at me, personally, and said that he just couldn't get though my narrations, that he hated my pacing and cadence, and--

You know what, why am I giving this a second thought, let alone writing a blog post about it?  Yeah, I'm a sensitive little flower, but who cares what one person (or two) thinks?  I happen to enjoy my narrations, they're not monetized, and if people don't like 'em, they can skip to something else. 

I need to not read the comments anymore.  Obviously.

Oh, and--

Yeah, that's supposed to be Mrs. Bates giving the finger.  Sorry for any confusion my editing skills may have created.

On the writing front, at the end of the night (again), I halfheartedly (again) spewed forth a few words, not feeling inspired or ambitious or that the work I was creating was particularly inspired (again).  But even so, writing every day makes those numbers go up and up, even on a supremely weak day like today.

Words Today: 175
Words Total: 32,877
Amount of Time Wasted On Finger Image: 46 minutes

*I did fear, initially, that the content would get flagged and I would, I dunno, have my YouTube page shut down, or that SS officers would appear at my door or something.  But I was encouraged when I saw there were actual, professionally-produced audiobooks just STUCK up on YouTube pages, and those were not being taken down.  So, my attitude has been, if these are stories that don't exist in Official audio form (old or obscure stories, for example), then I'd go ahead and post them, because the only other way to hear them would be to record them yourself.  Maybe not a legally-binding mindset, but the one I've chosen to live with.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April Madness - Day 47 (4/16)

The day is going to come (and unless I start a new project I'm really excited about, that day will be soon), when I look at this daily writing activity and declare it at an end.  Because I can't keep it up forever, and a huge part of me doesn't even want to.  For, I dunno, every day but one of 2019, I have worked on podcasts (or audiobooks, or audiodramas), and it can really be draining*, both physically, and to the creative muscles.

This blogging thing will have to end too, and I'm sure both of us will be happy about that.

But I can be proud of the words I have managed to put to paper (or pixels), and I'll probably give you a post-mortem where I talk about what I accomplished, and if you'll ever end up seeing any of it.**  And if I can finish "Balms and Sears" before this ends (spoiler alert: I won't), that would be a second novella completed, and more importantly, a second novella that probably would never have gone anywhere without this push.  And that'd be something.

No words today yet.  I did sit down with my notebook this afternoon, but before I even got a single word jotted (instead, I counted the words from the last two writing sessions, which is even less fun than it sounds!), it was time to go, so I'll have to make time for it later (if I can).

I mailed a package to a woman named Cassandra Scull today.  And wow, I think that name is cool.  It's "skull," but with a c, like that exoticizes it somehow.  I called Big up and suggested we write a story with her name in it, as we have in the past with a couple of names like that.  Then, to make matters worse, I got on Facebook, and said the same thing, encouraging people to post their pitches for a story or movie starring someone named Cassandra Scull.

This was the result:

Nobilis Reed wrote:
Undead prophetess has been hired by Hydra, now all the superhero attacks are coming up with nothing because the bad guys bug out before the heroes get there. Heroes lay a trap but the bad guys know about it beforehand.
The heroes have to recruit all the loose cannon unpredictable rogues to form a team to take her out.

Dave Wallace wrote:
Scion of a great family well known for a fortune made off a stolen paper towel patent, Cassandra turned her back on family politics and rituals. She longed to be a simple army cook slinging ground beef on toast, alas her seven-toed feet were too wide for boots. They were perfect natural snowshoes in her hunt for Yeti though.

Void Munashii wrote:
In a post-apocalyptic world, Cassandra Scull leads a biker gang called The Bone Runners on their continual quest for fuel, old tech, and survival. She has a lead on what may be the biggest cache of old tech the Runners have ever seen, but getting to it may prove that the undead are not the worst things roaming the corpse of the old world.

And Rish Outfield wrote:
Have you been wronged by a friend, spouse, parent, or boyfriend? Cassandra Scull can help. If you've experienced betrayal by someone you love, you can call upon her, and Cassandra Scull will seek that person out, wherever they are, and mete out her own kind of justice. But be warned, Cassandra Scull will come to whomever summons her . . . and of course, you might have wronged someone too.

Pretty fun, and maybe a story will come out of it one day.

As far as today goes, not much a story came out of it.  But still, there was something.  I worked, very briefly, on "Balms & Sears," and I still can't decide if the uncle is good or bad.  He was DESIGNED to be bad, I think, but I felt sorry for him when I first introduced him.  Maybe that's my own fault, my shortcomings as a writer.

But I can feel sorry for someone and still have them be a villain, right?

What would Cassandra Scull do?

Words Today: 182
Words Total: 32,702

*Like last night, where I realized I had been podcasting for three hours, and that, in that time, I had somehow lost track of my soul.

**One of them is a sketch I'll do on the Outcast soon, if I can find somebody to be the other voice.   It was written with a woman in mind, but I was leaning toward just having Marshal do it.  I dunno.

Monday, April 15, 2019

March Madness - Day 46 (4/15)

This may amuse you (I know it did Big).  I reached the end of today (Monday), and wanted, almost desperately, to go to sleep.  But I had to do my words, right?  Those cursed, horrible, millstone around my neck, words.  I told you I would do it, and I felt I ought to do it.

So, I forced my flabby, carp-white unathletic arse to grab this Boy Emperor sketch I started, and write a few (uninspired) lines on it.  The total number was eighty-five words, which is even more pathetic than it sounds.

And I went to sleep, not content of a job well done, but at least able to say I hadn't failed.  Much.

The next morning, I was taking my shower, when I realized that I had spent the morning before in the waiting room, writing in my magic notebook.  I had already gotten a full session of writing done that day, and the stupid 85 words at the end were utterly unnecessary!

That, my friends, sucks.  As will the sketch I'm writing.  But at least it's writing.

Words Today: 571
Words Total: 32,520

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 45 (4/14)

I'm keeping on keepin' on.  Over forty days gone on this thing.

Before I write about not writing for the day (or hey, maybe I actually will, I don't know), let me mention briefly that I had my world shaken today.  I went into a 7-11, and passed by the donuts (kudos!), but didn't pass by the sodas (kurses!) . . . and then I stopped.

Above the Slurpee machine, I saw this sign:

See anything shocking about it?

Look closer.

There comes a time in everyone's life, when they wake up in the morning, and realize they're in the wrong major, realize they can't live without heroin, realize there is no God, realize they're never going to get that promotion at work, realize they're over the hill, realize there are more years behind than ahead, or realize it was no accident Chad just happened to be at the house that day Marjorie called in sick.  It changes your world view, opens your eyes, makes you see the world in an entirely new way, and slaps you across the face with a truth that you've been wrong for so, so long.

Apparently, the plural for Slurpee . . . is Slurpee.

I may never write again.


P.S. I did end up forcing myself to write, just a bit, at the end of the day.  Just a few lines in another insufferable Star Wars sketch.  But hey, it counts.

Words Today:179
Words Total: 31,949

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 44 (4/13)

I went to Big's blog today, and discovered he too has been daily blogging on his daily writing.  And he has a fancy logo he created for each related post.  And, he's handsomer than me.  Not a good day for discovery.

As I try to do most Saturdays, I ran over to the library and sat down to do some writing.  Okay, I always sit down to surf the internet--there's the priority, boys and girls--but I usually try to get writing in there too.  Today, still without a new writing project in mind, I emailed myself two documents: a short story I wrote in 2017 called "Radio Ga Ga" (ugh), and my lil novella "My Friend of Misery."  The plan was to open one of them, go through patching holes, and see where that gets me.

I chose "Radio Ga Ga" (sorry), and went through it line by line, in an attempt to fix its mistakes and/or make it better.  I wrote that story for a Broken Mirror pseudocontest, but thought that maybe I'd run it on the Rish Outcast, since I currently have no story episodes to edit.  I discovered quite a few typos (no wonder I didn't win), and a story that may not be good enough to run on the Outcast.  But there's something to be learned, even from stories that turned out no-so-good*, so I'm pretty sure I'll still run it on the show, and probably soon.

Speaking of that, though, it was the only writing I did, and how do you count rewriting in a word count?  Well, I guess I will take the word count of the original version of "Radio Ga Ga" (yikes), and subtract that from the rewrite's wordcount (dunno how else to do it).  It ain't a lot, but I also created this logo for my daily bullcrap:
So that's something.

Words Today: 245
April Total: 8,595
Words Total: 31,949

*If we ever do another Dunesteef episode, it's gonna be about a sketch I produced last year that just plain didn't work.  Afterward, Big and I would ask the musical question, "What do you do if it just ain't funny?"  Even though I don't look forward to that episode (otherwise, we would've run it in August or so), I think it will be enlightening.

Friday, April 12, 2019

April Madness - Day 43 (4/12)

Today was Star Wars day in the world of any SW fan who doesn't suck.  Yeah, I mean that with absolutely no wiggle room.  It was the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, which I didn't attend, but a bunch of folks with cameras did. 

So a lot of my day was focused on watching convention footage, watching and rewatching the trailer, and then talking to my three Star Wars fan friends about what they thought.  Marshal and I will surely record a podcast about it, which no one will listen to . . . but somehow I still feel like it's worth doing.

Is that weird?  Is that madness, of a sort?

Regardless, I still have to write every day, even if there's Star Wars going on somewhere.*

This was another one of those days where I absolutely Did Not Want To Write.  I had opportunity, and chose to do something else (like watch that darn trailer a fourth and fifth time), and at the end of the day, I wrote an email to my friend Jeff, explaining why I wouldn't be writing today.

And he wrote me back.  You see, it was late enough (after three am) that he was up and had started his day, and got my emails at what for him was, like ten in the morning.  And he encouraged me to write something.

I mentioned previously that Big Anklevich has been doing the daily writing.  And Marshal Latham actually gave it a college try (which is admirable).  But my friend Jeff, who hasn't written anything in nearly the amount of time since I had gone out of the country, has been trying to write every day too (on a ghost story, he told me.  I'd like to imagine he's writing one where the ghost of Lassie bangs the ghost of Rin Tin Tin), and has been keeping me posted on his daily numbers.

You see what I have wrought, Father?  Are you proud of me now?!

So, at nearly four am, after bugging Jeff, and having him bug me, I forced myself to finish writing the sketch from yesterday.  And that counts, friends o' mine.  Counts as words for the day.  Laaaate in the day.

Words Today: 498
Words Total: 31,704

*I didn't get to go to this Star Wars Celebration, which I totally intended to (having missed all of them since 2005), but the tickets went on sale the ONE DAY I was out of the country.  The one day in over twenty years, and when we got off the boat and somewhere with internet access, the passes had sold out.  Oh sure, you may be saying, you could still have spent a thousand dollars to get some, if you had really wanted to.
To which I say, yeah.  I suppose you're right.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

April Madness - Day 42 (4/11)

So, I finished the book yesterday, and now I don't want to write.  At all.
It is 1:37am, and I am considering just turning off the light and going to sleep, and that would make two days in the last 42 that I haven't written.
I created a new character for the last bit of the story yesterday, and wondered if I should have.  For some reason, all the significant characters in "Like A Good Neighbor," and its sequel have been female (well, save one, I guess), and so, when I had to create a doctor, two bystanders, and a nurse, I purposely made all of them female too.
And then I had this bit in mind where Holcomb uses her boob power to addle the mind of somebody, and that somebody just HAD to be male.  So I created a second doctor soley for use in that scene.
And I know what you're going to say: women can become boob-crazy too.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.  Don't kid a kidder, kid.  That's like saying, "Oh hey, there are some great basketball players in the NBA that are at the very top of the game . . . that are white."  Uh huh.  Whatever gets you to sleep at night.  What other bullshit do you have to sell me?

So, I guess the point I was going to make is, should I go through the story, when I put it all together and do a re-write, and insert a couple of male characters, or worse, give wieners to a character here or there that I initially wrote as female?  Heck, I just remembered, Lara's teacher in the first one was Mister Forko, and I think I referred to him as a lady teacher in this one. 

Oh, why did I ever think I could be a writer?  Why would I think that I could put something out that people would want to read?  Why would I continue to write everyday when there's absolutely no point in it?  Why, if God is both all-good and all-powerful, would he allow the Star Wars Prequels?

Okay, moment of truth.  If I'm going to write something today, it has to be now.

I wrote 545 words.  Only 2:14am now.

Words Today: 545
Words Total: 31,206

Rish Outcast 136: Todd, Jenny, & the Ugly Doll (Part 1)

In this show from last year (drink every time you hear a dated reference!), I go for a walk around the lake, all by myself.  Or with you, depending on how you look at it.  I talk, encounter a dead/alive duck, and share my story "Todd, Jenny, and the Ugly Doll" . . . or half of it, anyway.

If you dare download the episode directly, Right-Click HERE.

If you dare support me on Facebook, Left-Click HERE.

If you like Jonathan Coulton's Creepy Doll song, Left-Click HERE.

But whatever you do, DON'T click here!

Cover art and logo by Gino "The Handsome Doll" Moretto.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Locura en Abril - Dia 41

I got a few words in in the notebook today, only 123.  Thought I'd try for more.  Double or nothing, baby!

In case my lil details about The Childe are disturbing to you, let me share one more bit: It was my mom's turn to babysit The Childe today, and she was doing the wash downstairs, when she suddenly lost sight of the boy.  She looked around, sure he had been there with her just a moment ago.  Then she heard a sound.

The baby had somehow climbed up and entered the dryer, and was inside the clothes dryer.  She freaked out at this a little, and when I asked her if she had considered turning it on, even for a second, she said, "But I was out of dryer sheets."*

So, I'm at the library, with the intention of finishing this book.  I spent more than an hour puttering around, eventually typing up yesterday's writing from the mini-notebook (and second-guessing every line and bit of direction, for some reason). 
But now I'm going to put my head down and finish this thing.  The homeless guy's in his usual space, making the most disturbing breathing noises (seriously, they sound like a Japanese ghost, or someone makes in a war movie when they've got a sucking chest wound), but I plan to carry on.
Got my writing in, and only 801 words.  But two of them were "the end," so that's something.  Oh, and wait, I also wrote in my notebook today.  I've got to count those and add them.

I don't know what I'll focus on tomorrow (maybe continue on with "Balms & Sears," maybe write another weird sketch about a dude who loses his mind when he hears a certain musician . . . perhaps Bryan Adams this time), but it's neat to be done with another book. 

Words Total: 1276
Words Total: 30,661

*Okay, she didn't say that.  She was upset he had gotten in there and did wonder what might have happened had it turned on.  One thing's for sure, though: there will be more stories like this in the days to come.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

March Madness - Day 40 (4/9)

On Tuesday, I didn’t get much writing done, even though I thought I’d have amble opportunity.  My mom had another checkup from her surgery, so I knew I’d be in the waiting room with plenty of time to write.  But my sister had to go to work, which meant I needed to take her baby (heretofore referred to as The Childe) with us.  And The Childe will not be appeased. 

The doctor’s office had a great big saltwater fishtank, in fact the largest* I have ever seen outside of a zoo, and I thought that would entertain him (it certainly did me).  But he was not interested.  All he wanted to do was run around, explore, climb stairs, press elevator buttons, and see if there was anything he could destroy.

So I got absolutely no writing done.  Later, though, I grabbed a mini-notebook I used to carry around in my biggest winter coat (I wrote “Know When To Walk Away,” “Shoveling Match,” “Outgoing Transmissions,” “Hilton Helps the Hopeless,” and a story I didn’t recognize in it.**  I used to bring a similar notebook with me when I’d go to (or sneak into) movies in Los Angeles, so I could write during the wait before they started, and maybe I should again.

Anyway, I came awfully close to finishing the second “Lara and the Witch” story, but didn’t.  I introduced a doctor, and wanted to give her an unusual name, but when I told Big what it was, he did not seem to think that would fly.  He may be right, but it’s more important that I finish the scene and write the final scene in the story, and then, those most important two words. 



P.S. By that, I mean “Tomorrow, I will,” not “Tomorrow is the most important two words in writing.”  Duh.

Words Today: 897
Words Total: 29,385
*Seriously, it had to have been into the thousands of gallons.  I could have fit inside it and stretched out my arms without touching the glass.

**It was weird.  I read through it a little just now.  It’s about a guy who is picking up a woman he just met for a date, and a little girl answers the door.  He is surprised, since the date didn’t mention she had a daughter, but the little girl behaves in a very peculiar, unchildlike way, and it tests the guy’s patience to the point where he suspects this is a prank or some kind of test the woman does to see if a man’s worthy to go out with her.  But it turns out that the woman doesn’t have a daughter . . . and that no little girl lives in the house.  Again, I have no memory of writing it, but it’s totally the kind of thing I write, and it’s in my handwriting.