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 Incompetech.com, 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

*This one ended up being "Touching the Other Side," which I finally put out there around Halloween.

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 moved back from California, 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.  Damn.

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.  Remind me to publish it sometime.

Monday, April 08, 2019

March/April Madness - Day 39

I only managed 65 words during the day, in the couple of minutes I sat down and wrote. 

I got my bicycle out of the shed this afternoon, cleaned off the layer of dust it had accumulated, and pumped up the tires as best I could.  I say "as best I could" because I could see a certain how you say, flatness, under me as I rode around.  I'm out of shape (as is my wont), so I only managed half the route I usually ride (rode, since it was, what, 2017 the last time I rode the bike?). I didn't have any excellent writing ideas during the ride, but I did come home, get some work done, and then wrote for a half hour or so at the end of the night.  Luckily, that increased the total substantially. 

I finished up the Big Confrontation, as I've been calling it, and that will mean that, if I write any significant amount tomorrow, I will reach "the end."  I felt like I COULD have finished the story, if I'd gone to the library today, or if I'd really buckled down (if I'd really wanted it, in other words), but no, I think I can do that tomorrow, with little trouble. 
And that's something to look forward to.

Words Today: 1365
Words Total: 28,488

Sunday, April 07, 2019

April Madness - Day 38 (4/7)

Today,  took my nephew for a ride in the car (my eleven year old nephew, not the one I attempted to murder with drain cleaner on Wednesday*), off to get Slurpees, since the sun was shining.  But as I drove around the roundabout near my place**, I heard a clanging sound, and thought I ought to stop and see what had happened.

Well, it appeared, strangely, that I had hit the handle of a screwdriver, since that was lying in the road behind us.  And the rear driver's side tire was hissing, letting me know it was soon going to be flat.  So, I started up again, and intended to race over somewhere to get the tire fixed, but it was Sunday, a day when everyone expects the Lord to protect cars from needing repairs or tires, and the only place open was in the next town, which I did not dare try to reach on a rapidly-deflating tire.

So, I had to take off the tire, borrow my brother-in-law's car, and take it in to be patched.  My nephew helped me unload it and said, "There's something inside the tire."  I mentioned it to the mechanic, and he said, "Yeah, sometimes the tire pressure gauge breaks off inside the tire."  I didn't know that was a thing, and it strikes me as crazy we'd have a gauge inside a tire.  What is this, the 21st Century?

But yeah, you probably know where this was going.  To get straight to the punchline, what was inside the tire was . . . the blade of a screwdriver.  Somehow, I had hit it just right to go into the rubber, break off, and stay in there.  The mechanic said that because of this, the tire was irreparable, and I'd have to get a new one . . . tomorrow, because they were closing up for the night.  I said, "Fine, just set me up with the cheapest tire you have, and I'll come back tomorrow."

So, the next day, I took my mom's car over to get the tire first thing in the morning, and wouldn't you know it, they were out of the cheapest tire they sold, but they did have a more expensive one.  But lucky me, the guy was going to waive the labor charge for re-mounting the tire . . . because I was going to be doing that myself.  Really, they ought to erect a statue to this guy somewhere.

Now, this story is neither exciting nor enlightening, but I felt like sharing it because . . . hey, who gives a Ziplock bag filled with half-frozen diarrhea if I write every single day anyway?  Couldn't I just switch it up a bit?

Words Today: 814
Words Total: 27,123

*Did I not write that up more extensively or do a podcast about that like I said I would?  Shoot, sorry.  I know that would've been a laugh riot.

**Christian H. Bale, do I hate roundabouts.  94% of people around here drive through them wrong, often speeding through as though they're yellow lights about to turn red, or red lights in a brothel district about to turn not-red, and I don't give crap one whether they save time or trouble or save taxpayers the price of four more stopsigns.  If I ran the zoo, I would convert all roundabouts to four-way stops, and damn anybody who gets in my way.  You can always vote for the other gu--  Oh, you already did.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

March/April Madness - Day 37 (4/6)

So, I came to the library again this afternoon to see if I couldn't achieve something similar to what I did yesterday.  I did speak with Big after yesterday's post, and he seems to be doing better than me in his daily word count for the month of April (despite having started a day later), but he's still working on the story we were going to swap for Christmas . . . 2018.  So, no matter who wins, we lose.
Today, I've reached the point where I could be writing the Big Confrontation scene at the end of the book.  I could be doing that, except I'm blogging instead.  You see, I am the worst of people.  I have tons of free time and opportunity, and don't take advantage of it.  Then, I look in the mirror, realize I'm getting old, and have the temerity to feel sorry for myself.
Don't be like me, Junior.  Stay in school.*
So far, I have written forty words.  Even that took some effort.
And just now, I wrote an email.  Anything to keep from writing, kids.
I'm at 82 words, but wow, I ought to focus.  I will try.

It was hard--man, that internet is an insatiable parasite!--but I did write at least part of the confrontation.  It's magic versus magic, and I was reminded of writing a scene in a screenplay, years ago, where two demons do battle, and how little my heart was in that scene.  We had seen Neo fight Agent Smith by then, and Gandalf battle Saruman, and probably Yoda fighting . . . jeez, was it Saruman again?  And I knew I couldn't top that.  Plus, that's not what the screenplay was even about (it was ostensibly a love story, though I wonder now what I'd think if I read it today), and I wanted to write anything but magic-users slugging it out. 
And this is similar.  These Lara Demming/Old Widow Holcomb stories aren't really about Harry Potter fighting Voldemort, but more like Neville Longbottom practicing second year spells with Colin Creevey in the room where Professor Binns keeps his old textbooks. 

And maybe that's okay.  We'll have to see, if anybody ever reads this book.

Words Today: 867 (as in, 867-5309)
April Words: 3,822
Words Total: 27,176
*Forever.  I mean it, just never graduate.  Be ten or thirty years older than the kids in your classes . . . just NEVER join the real world.

Friday, April 05, 2019

April Madness - Day 36 (4/5)

So, this was a Friday, the end of a week where I did almost no writing.  It's not that I didn't want to (okay, yesterday I didn't want to, but I had talked to Big who said that writing ten words in one day was better than writing zero, because it keeps training your mind that writing is one of the things you do every day, like eating, drinking, urinating, and in his case, farting), but I didn't carve out a time where writing was all I did.
Today, I went to the library and forced myself to sit down and start writing again.  I was worried about it, because I had written myself up to the point where Something Bad happens to Lara Demming (if you've read "Remember the Future," you know what that thing is), and I had little idea how to go about it.
So, I just jumped in.  I wasn't sure how horrifying to make it, so I just wrote it out, almost clinically, was only confusion on Lara's part.  Big loves to butcher innocents (in his writing, I mean), so I texted Big while it was happening, and he too was writing, during a slow stretch at work.  We bounced word count back and forth, which is pretty cool, and while I barely beat his word count for the day, he's definitely got me beat for the month.
But fiddle-dee-dee, tomorrow is another day.
Words Today: 1579
Words Total: 26,309


Thursday, April 04, 2019

Rish Outcast 135: Conference Sprawl (Part II)

Didn't get enough last episode?  Well, here's more of the same!
In this one, I keep on talking about the writers conference I went to, share some notes, share some empathy and some criticism.  But worry not, I believe there are no references to Ted McGinley included.*
And wait, there's more!  Later, Fake Sean Connery and Fake Ahnold will still have each other, even when the world runs out of lovers.

Feel free to download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.
Feel freer to support me on Patreon HERE.
Logo by Gino "The Mant!" Moretto**
*There WAS a special extended version of this show for Patreon supporters, if you REALLY can't get enough.
**A mant is a half-man, half-ant.  Mant!

April Madness - Day 35 (4/4)

This has been a much worse week than the last one, but I haven't completely failed in my writing yet.  I say "yet," and mean it.

So, yesterday was a bit of a shit-show, as they say in church.  I won't go into it here (I think I'll talk about it in a podcast sometime), but my nephew ingested poison on my watch, and we took him to one hospital, then another when we discovered the hospital only a mile away is not covered by his parents' insurance. 

Today he was home and recovering, and while everyone was a little freaked out, I'm not sure if it helps to dwell on it.  He's a destructive child, willful and dangerous, but he's our President, and we owe him our respect.

Whoops, forgot the topic at hand.

I think I wrote today.  I'll have to check the notebook.  I can't remember.  Oh, oh yeah, I wrote this right before I went to sleep: Dude, I am so tired right now. Sleepy, I guess I mean. But I shouldn't go to sleep without writing. Can I?

After that, I forced myself to write a couple of lines for my "Delusions" sketch, then slept.  Better some than none, right?

Words Today: 213
Words Total: 24,730

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

April Madness - Day 34 (4/3)

I keep meaning to go back to the library, but I haven't managed it this week.

But an interesting new wrinkle to this month is that Bigglesby Anklevich said he was going to throw his hat into the ring also, and write every friggin' day. 

Of course, he's said such things before.  And that pudgy saint Marshal Latham said he'd write every day too.  It's easy to say, but a bit harder to do.  Like defenestration (I know, I tried).

Words Today: 241
April Words: 1262
Words Total: 24,517

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

March/April Madnesss - Day 33

So, it's the second day of a new month, and I'm going to continue this thing.

You may be wondering where my Rish Outcast episodes are, and why I've fallen behind.  I really have no excuse, except that I had the Optimus Prime sketch set up for the first, and that took up the time it would have taken me to upload another episode and publish it.  I wish it were easier than it is to get things posted, but haven't you discovered by now that EVERYTHING takes longer than you think it will?

Anyway, I only got a few minutes in with my notebook before it was time to go today, but I have a few minutes right now I could either blog or wri--

Okay, I'm gonna write for a while.

I got 269 and 41 in my notebook this morning, and 102 on my sketch tonight, which, I believe, makes five hundred and eleven (which is a single word more than yesterday).  Not great, but I'll take it.

Words Today:  511
Words in April: 1021
Words Total: 24,276

Monday, April 01, 2019

March Madness - Day 32

This was a pretty long day.  The kind of day you have regularly, but not me.  Oh no, not me.

My mom had surgery in the city at seven am.  Seven, for the love of Mike's Hard Lemonade, and I had volunteered to take her there and bring her home.  But that necessitated getting up at six (okay, I actually slept in until 6:10, but don't hold it against me), and driving her up there, then hanging out in the waiting room until she got out.  I took my trusty notebook, and wrote on "Balms and Sears" for a couple of minutes, then decided to go out and get me a donut. 

I love donuts.  The way you love, say, your spouse, or your eldest son, or long uninterrupted bowel movements, that's how I love donuts.

But the Walmart a mile away didn't have any yet, so I drove around, trying to find a Winchell's or a . . . dang, what are the other donut chains called?  I remember one with a yellow sign, what was it?  Or was Winchell's the yellow sign?

Duncan Donuts, I think was the biggest chain in the U.S., at least when I was younger.  Is that the one with the yellow sign?  There was a donut place directly across from my hotel room when I stayed in Chicago, and I peered down and looked at it, at the city around me, and the people walking around like Ant-men on the sidewalk below me.  It was glorious.

Oh yeah, donuts.  So I tried to find a place, and couldn't.  I drove all the way toward the mountains where I knew of another Walmart, and got some there (the sun was rising right there to the east, pretty much blinding me and making me wonder how often people plow into other cars or pedestrians when the sun is just coming up), then meandered back to continue writing.  But when I got back, my mom was already done and wondering where I had gone.  Whoops.

Still, that should have given me plenty of time for writing and editing, since my morning alarm went off while we were still driving toward home.  Unfortunately, later that day, my sister pointed out that the washing machine downstairs was leaking all over the basement floor, so we had to quickly pile up boxes and make a path out the garage door to get the washer out of there (it had broken some kind of seal that kept the water inside when it spun), and order a new one. 

There was a little good news there, and a little bad news, but no writing news (the good news was that I discovered a box of Marvel Legends figures from 2014 and 2015* that I had forgotten about.  The bad news is, I could do no laundry, and after all the manual labor, I smelled pretty bad.**).  So, sadly, I only got 130 words in today, that I can think of.  Let me double-check.

Oh yeah, at the end of the day, I started editing a "Delusions of Grandeur" episode where I wrote a Star Wars sketch last year and mentioned I might write another one.  So I started it out, and ended up writing three hundred and eighty words on it.  And I'm gonna count it as writing too.

Words Today: 510
Words in April: 510
Words Total: 23,864

*I imagine I'll get a hundred bucks or so for them.  Maybe more.

**And I am pretty renowned for smelling bad, even on a good day.  I remember a couple of years ago, when I still worked with Austin, they hired a woman named Carolina who had no sense of smell, due to a childhood snorkeling accident.  So Austin described me to Carolina as, "Can you imagine what the Devil smells like, being surrounded by all that sulfur and people sweating and being tortured all day?  Now, imagine if the Devil shat his pants . . ."  Carolina was promoted not long after that.

I Read "The Joining" By A. VanCluth

Well, this is a first. A listener has sent in a story, and I'm going to read it "live" on video. This could set a precedent, so be warned.