Monday, November 30, 2020

February Sweeps . . . Day 300

This was it--the three hundredth day in a row of writing.  Not bad for a hairlipped dog with no teeth, as my Uncle John would say.  A lot.

So, the powers that be tried to derail me today with another headache.  My nephew stayed home from school because he felt sick, and my sister said she too had a headache today, leading me to believe that the end was nigh.

But I haven't got a temperature, I don't feel bad anywhere else (except my knee, for some reason), and when I ate chicken and gravy for dinner tonight, it tasted great (they say that loss of taste is a COVID symptom).

Roger looks great!

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 3510

Push-ups Today: 100
Push-ups In November: 1241

Headache or no headache, I forced myself to go to the library and sat down and tried my hardest to get to a thousand words.  In the end, I was just under, and I had one more sentence to write, but then I went over a thousand, and didn't want to waste the time cutting it down to be exactly a thousand.  You understand.

Words Today: 1004
Words In November: 26,532 

Not a great number for the month, but I'm not going to get down on myself.  Life will do that for me.

My Voice On "Gerald" On Campfire Radio Theater

Johnny "The Butcher" Ballentine has released another excellent audio drama over at Campfire Radio Theater.  "Gerald" is a little boy with an imaginary friend that turns out to be plenty real . . . and totally evil.

This was darker than . . . well, take a look out your window around 5:30pm this week.  Dark, dark stuff.

I had no memory of voicing the dad on this story (none*), but it's done with an actual child actor as the main character, and dang, that kid is good.  Everybody was.  CRT gets its share of awards, and they're definitely deserved.

Check it out HERE . . . if you dare.

*Although there was something familiar about my lines.  I had to look it up to see how long ago I sent the lines in, and it was August 2018.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 299

So, one more day of writing, and I'll have done this for 300 days (I've already blogged 300 days in a row).  I got this.

In other news, STAR WARS actor David Prowse died today, another loss due to the pandemic.  He played Darth Vader in the Trilogy, the greatest pop culture character of my lifetime (unless you count Jack Deth in TRANCERS), and that's something.  Marshal and I will surely talk about him when we do our next episode.  He made the convention circuit over the last twenty years, and would always sign "Dave Prowse IS Darth Vader," which I liked.

Now on with the countdown.

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 3399

My mom is always trying to dissuade me from going out running at night.  She worries that I will get run over or fall down and break something or, I dunno, run into thirsty Cenobites (her words, not mine).  "At least take along a rape whistle," she urges me.  And I never listen.

But two nights ago, her words came back to me as I was going around the same corner where I saw the ghosts, and a truck was right there, coming toward me . . . driving on the wrong side of the road.  Now, I don't know why they would be on the wrong side.  Maybe they were drunk, maybe they were texting, maybe there was a cat in their lane and they swerved to avoid it, or maybe they were Anglophiles, but they came right toward me, and only drove past because they didn't want to hit the parked car I was running alongside of.

It gave me pause, but not enough to stop running or not to run the next night.

But tonight, I was thinking a lot about it as I neared that corner, and went as far as to get up onto the sidewalk and run there for a while.  Big mistake, as there's no light under the trees overhanging the sidewalk, and suddenly, bap!, my foot hit a jutting-out slab of sidewalk, and down I went.  I biffed it hard onto the sidewalk, in the parlance of cool kids of my generation.*

My hands took the brunt of it, but my knee hit too, and I lay there for about a second thinking, "She can never know about this." But I also thought about Jackie Chan and Tom Cruise getting hurt doing their own stunts, so I got up and started on my way again.

I hobbled a little bit, though, and decided to just turn and head for home, not because I couldn't keep running, but because I probably shouldn't.

But as I made my retreat, I thought about Cruise and Chan, and on my headset, "Gonna Fly Now" by Bill Conti started playing.  So I turned around again and kept running, even though I'd fallen. Before long, my knee felt fine, I was running like normal again, and it was all good.  I didn't even really feel the cold.

When I get home, I told myself, I can take a picture of my bloodied hands, and everybody will think I'm tough.

Of course, now that I'm home, my palms are scuffed and pink, but don't look cool enough to take a picture of. 

I spent an hour or so on the couch watching "30 Rocks" (I keep meaning to put on another show--Jeff must've mentioned "The Good Place" three times during his visit, but I don't get around to it), and realized halfway through the second show** that the couch was super comfortable, like being molested by a marshmallow, and all I had to do was . . . close . . . my . . . eyes . . .

But that would've meant no writing today, at all, on day 299.

So I made myself get up and go to my room, and record a chapter of "My Friend of Misery," and that one chapter became three.  I FINALLY got to the end of Part 1, what I was going to send to Big so we could run it on the Dunesteef.  And that's at about the thirty-two thousand word mark (of now 42,000 words).

Look, I don't know if Big's a better writer than me, but he writes these gargantuan, nigh-unto-endless novels, with twice or thrice the word count of the longest thing I've ever written, and I simply can't do that.  Almost unquestionably, "My Friend of Misery" will end up the longest thing I've ever written, and it's just exhausting, way too long, maybe by triple, maybe by more.  And I'm sure it's rife with plotholes and inconsistencies, and the fact that I have had Brielle Montrose and her brother have the same conversation not only three times in a row, but all within about five chapters.  Maybe it's not good, but I have to proceed as though it is.  I have to, or all this work has been for nothing.  And chances are, if I like it and am passionate about it, then other people will like it too.

Maybe not, but I'm not giving up.

Words Today: 363
Words In November: 25,528

*Were they cool, though?  Was saying "biffed it" as asinine as saying "that's so sick" is today?

**I'm trying to binge the whole series, but there are three episodes they've removed from the rotation in 2020 because of culturally insensitive jokes (blackface) that makes them unstreamable.  I wish I had the strength to seek out those three episodes elsewhere, but I haven't bothered.  It's not like "Community," where the episode they made unavailable was the best episode of the entire series (or perhaps of all television shows ever), but I may be wrong and never ever know it.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Rish Outcast 183: Journey Into Another Dimension 2

In this episode, I present the second chunk of my strange novella "Journey Into Another Dimension Through A Portal Near A Truck Stop Restroom."

I encourage you to enjoy it.

To download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE

To support me on Patreon--hey, you would've heard this last summer!--Left-Click HERE.

Logo by Gino "Survivor Into Another Dimension" Moretto.

November Sweeps - Day 298

This morning, I went over to the Escape Artists podcast website to see the name of a story I recorded for them years ago, and saw that I have a page of my own there, listing all the readings I've done for them.  I was surprised to find my name on eighteen stories/episodes, certainly all more listened-to than my own shows.  That's pretty neat.*

I had lunch with Jeff (our last one), and then I went over to the library.  For the last month, they have been claiming I hadn't returned a movie, which I was sure I had returned (I even went through their stacks to see if it was there or not).  But whoops, going through a box I brought from the cabin, there were three DVDs and a book, all overdue.  I'm lucky they hadn't charged me to replace them, just the late fees.

After taking care of that (they still wouldn't check the overdue items back in, claiming that they had to go into quarantine for three days first), I went up to the second floor to try to get some words in before I went to Jeff's to watch some more "Supernatural."

Unfortunately, I dragged my feet in getting my writing done, and then once I got into it, I really got into it, and used up all of my allotted time.  When I got back in the car and called Jeff, he was off doing something with his son, and said it was too late to go over.  So, I didn't know what to do with the rest of my day.

I exercised and ate and then watched a movie (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, and man, was it good), and that was that.  I needed to go on my run, but winter is here, George R.R., and I had no idea what running one and a half miles would feel like in sub-freezing temperatures.  So I put on my sweats, and then grabbed a hoodie to wear over it.  I went outside, and within a hundred feet, I knew it wasn't going to work.

It was cold as hell, sure, but all the physical exertion made me warm everywhere but my hands.  I soon had to tie the jacket around my waist and keep running that way.  But even then, I amazed myself by actually having sweat run down my forehead by the time I made it home.  I wouldn't have believed it.

But to misquote Darkman, I'm learning to believe a lot of things.

Push-ups Today: 100 (kind of a magical number)
Push-ups In November: 1141

Sit-ups Today: 200
Sit-ups In November: 3288

Words Today: 1528
Words In November: 25,165

*I'm reminded that when Malachi Throne died, he lamented that of his huge body of work over the decades, all anybody ever wanted to talk to him about were the two episodes of "Star Trek" he did.

Friday, November 27, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 297

Two days ago, I was going to visit my friend Jeff again (he's leaving in a couple of days back to Germany, never to return), when I paused, unsure of what to do.  Jeff's wife Emily had spent all last week with her sisters, and this week, it turned out that one of them got sick . . . with a certain flu-like contagion that has been sparsely covered on the news this year.  And now Emily was feeling a little under the weather.

I would be spending time with my mom for Thanksgiving, and she gave me a hard time about going to Jeff's, so I called him on the way, and asked what I should do.  He basically gave me the Obi-Wan Kenobi, "You must do what you feel is right, of course," and I ended up turning around and driving back home, apologizing that I wouldn't be spending the afternoon at his house.

And when I got home . . . I started to feel a sore throat coming on.

Now, I've had this happen before this particular Plague Year, and I don't honestly know if it's psychosomatic or not.  But I did my normal exercise (as much as I could muster), and went on my run, and afterward, I was tired, but I didn't have a sore throat anymore.

So today, Jeff invited me over, and I did go.  But I ended up wearing a mask the whole time.  That was strange, to have a mask on for several hours like that.  But I thought, "What the heck?  Nobody's going to make fun of me for it," and Jeff's own daughter was wearing a mask in the house herself.

I forgot to put the number of words I wrote yesterday in my blog post, so I looked back on my Will Choner document in progress.  And there was a whole sequence where a woman donated her mother's wedding dress to Goodwill, and then two years later, meets a man and gets engaged, so she hires Will's team to find that dress.  It's not a lengthy piece (about 586 words*), but I had no memory of writing it.

Guess you get tired of hearing me say that kind of thing, huh?

Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In November: 3088

So, I counted up the words I wrote and it was less than three hundred, which the Magic Spreadsheet considers zero (heck, maybe they consider it less than zero, since you wasted your time and still get no credit for it--maybe you'd have been better off not writing at all).  But ah well.  I'm still counting it.

Words Today: 279 
Words In November: 23,637

*It must have been from Wednesday, because that's how many words I had that day.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 296

Today is Thanksgiving, and I am sleepy from overeating.  It was not a large gathering: just my sister's family and me, my mom, and then my older sister and niece came over (after going out and getting a COVID test to prove they were okay to visit).  After dinner, my brother-in-law's son came over and brought his Nintendo Switch.  We all played Mario Kart for a while, and while it was really enjoyable (except for the part where my nephew climbed on me to make me lose the race)--

--I was done after half an hour or so.  The boys, however, all played for several hours, again and again, until the sun was down, and the day was gone.  My sister decided to get them a Switch for Christmas, so I imagine the hours and hours of playing will not be a novelty anymore.

Normally, we have relatives come over from Las Vegas, or at least my uncle and his monsters will come over for Thanksgiving.  But this year, even my brother stayed at home (which I'm still not quite sure of the reason for . . . I suspect he thinks that the Coronavirus is a liberal hoax to make minorities vote or make homosexuality mandatory).  But we still had a much bigger gathering than most people, I imagine, and the food was good and plentiful.

Besides the obvious--the Monolith, Taylor Swift, the sunset--I am thankful for a lot of things.  Today is a day to focus on the positive, on the good things, to try to turn a blind eye to our problems, the things we lack.  I like Thanksgiving.

A bunch of people--religious folks, mostly--have been posting on social media all week the things they are thankful for.  Each day, I have been doing it too, posting something I'm truly appreciative of (haven't mentioned boobs, though), and reading what other people are listing.  It has been really inspiring and wonderful.

But . . .

One of my high school friends got on Facebook yesterday to talk about how Feline AIDS is the number one killer of domestic cats.

Actually, she got on there and said that it might be insensitive for people to get online and post about how much they love their spouses or their kids or their brothers or their cars or their eight inch dongs or their summer homes or their legions of screaming Korean fans or their health, because there are people out there that don't have those things.  Lest ye brag about the many things thou hast been gifted with on this special day, won't thou please think on the children?

Oh, eff you and the cat you rode in on.  Nobody gives two alien dildos for the lonely or the poor or the sad or the people who name their pillows after your sisters on the other 364 days of the year*, so thanks for taking away the one day when people try to focus on their blessings, Debbie.  

Not all of us have been married four times, kids.  Some will be lucky to get married more than zero.

Sorry, I should not have let that make me angry.  I'd apologize, but then I'd have a hard time getting to sleep tonight on my vaguely human-shaped pillow.

Now, I'm not sure if it's okay for me to make a list (including boobs and the refrain in that Dua Lipa song) of things I'm thankful for on this day.  But I can't live in fear that somebody will take something the wrong way, especially if they've come to my own bloody blog . . . otherwise the terrorists win.

Thanks for the day, and all that is good about it.  

Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In November: 2988 (kind of a step down from the weekend where I did a thousand, but ah well)

Words Today: 359
Words In November: 23,358

*Except for Christmas, I will give you that one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 295

The Monolith.

It's all I can think about.

How can I write when a mysterious metal monolith was discovered in the Utah desert?

Today might be the day I stop all this writing.  Sorry.

I worried that I was starting to get a sore throat tonight, and tried to calm myself down, tell myself it was no big deal, even if it meant Something.  But I made myself go on my run nonetheless (even though I couldn't manage all the sit-ups or push-ups I normally do), and by the time I got home, I felt fine.  Perhaps exercise does what folks say it does.

Next, I'll try to pray away the gay, see how that works out.

Sit-ups Today: 90
Sit-ups In November: 2888

Push-ups Today: 97
Push-ups In November: 1041
Push-up Bras In November: 0

Just saw a Geico commercial that said, "For bundling made easy, go to"  I wonder if "Bundling Made Easy" could work as my next Lara and the Witch release.

Does that work?

I mean, I think that it does, that it totally works . . . but that could be the Monolith talking.

I was surprised to get a call from Big A. around midnight (which is, like 4:45 in the morning where he lives).  We talked about Thanksgiving, politics, and The Monolith (!!!!), and then, when I finally hung up, it was time to either sleep or write.  I did a little of both.

Words Today: 586
Words In November: 22,999

Storage Unit Serenades 36


This one has sat for months, teetering on the brink of deleting it. But what the hey.


Pre-Eighties Songs: 9
Eighties Songs: 12
Nineties Songs: 7
Aughts Songs: 2
Teens Songs: 6 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

My story "Gatekeeper" on HorrorAddicts this month

My buddy Emz over at HorrorAddicts wanted to do something old fashioned with her Christmas episode of the podcast.  You see, it used to be a holiday tradition to gather around the fire and tell ghost stories, hence that baffling line in "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" about the scary ghost stories.

So, she put out a request for folks to read or present little ghost tales for the podcast.  And Gondor answered.

I sent a reading of "Gatekeeper," a story I wrote around 2009/10, but never really finished, and then, of course, I had to cut it way down to get it under ten minutes.  

Well, feel free to check it out HERE.  If you're curious about what the story sounded like before I had to cut it down, speed it up, and remove half the dialogue, well, stay tuned . . .

November Sweeps - Day 294

All my life (and yours as well), I've heard how women have it so much worse than men in every aspect 
of living, from having to wear makeup to difficulty hailing a cab.  But I was shaving my moustache last night, and to get the area right above my lip, I have to open my mouth, and sometimes when I do that . . . all the shaved-off hair goes into my mouth.  Just saying.

Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In November: 2798

This is Thanksgiving week, and a lot of people have been taking to social media to express their gratitude for stuff.  So I went ahead and created a Twitter account and each day, I’m trying to post something positive there.  Because of a certain someone, I pretty much only associate Twitter with negativity and lies, but I know that some folks—decent folks—seem to love it.  If I can use it for jokes and thanksgiving, well, maybe I contribute to the solution rather than the problem.

I’m now in the library, sitting in a seat I’ve not been at before, and really surprised by how good this keyboard is.  I always come upstairs, which is the Quiet Floor, where you’re not supposed to talk or let your cellphone ring or even fart particularly loudly (the sign on the wall proclaims, “Please, silent but deadly only!”), but the keyboards at the library computers are those old, hard plastic clackers that make a ton of noise, especially when I’m typing away like crazy.  This one, though, is a practically silent one, very compact, with keys that feel more rubbery than plasticky.  I’m going to ask for this cubicle specifically, from now on.

Last time I was here (at least I think it was last time), I was in a very down, depressed mood, if not necessarily wishing for death . . . well, leaving the door ajar for it.

Today is better, although I still feel that despair hanging out at the fringes of the room, looking in on me like my own nefarious Secret Service agents.  I wonder if, like an outgoing President, they will be following me around for the rest of my life.

If so, that’s a bummer.  I’d like to believe that one day a magical switch will be flipped and—CLICK!—I will just be able to go to a mall, or a grocery store, or a library like this one, and just be happy and unconcerned about it.  But like Elton John said, “I’m sleeping with myself tonight; Saved in time, thank God my music’s still alive.”  Which doesn’t really apply to me at all, but I’m going to go ahead and apply it to my writing, now less than a week shy of three hundred days in a row.  In my writing, I can be powerful, or funny, or loved, or brave, or cool, or surround myself with people who are.  I can craft stories that, at least for me, entertain or amuse or scare or, if I’m lucky, move.  And that seems worth doing, regardless of what my old man thought.

So, I’ve got about an hour to write some words, craft something of quality.

I ended up finishing the scene where Will and his uncle and best friend complete their first lost and found mission.  I don’t know if it’s any good, but it’s fun to write this group. 

Something that made me laugh the other day was Seth Meyers on his show gave this little gem: "In a recent survey, 86% of pet owners said that their animal's companionship has helped them through the pandemic.  The other 14% . . . have a cat."

Words Today: 1585
Words In November: 22,413

Monday, November 23, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 293

Wow, I'm still blogging.

Mondays are my busiest days working.  I got fourteen packages mailed, went to the post office AND FedEx, and still only made a dent in my shipments.  But that's how it's supposed to be in the days leading up to Christmas.  I had the opportunity to take on a job with UPS earlier this month (just a seasonal additional income thing), and I didn't take it, figuring I'd be hip-deep in regular work any day now.  Well, today was the first day in weeks it felt like the pre-Christmas rush.  And all it would take is forty or fifty more days like today, and my credit cards would be entirely paid off.

I also went over to Jeff's in the afternoon to watch a couple of episodes of "Supernatural."  We finished the ninth season, which was alright (one episode really sucked, and another one wasn't even an episode, but a lousy back-door pilot for a glossy spin-off show that never got picked up), but considering we started watching the ninth season in 2018, we'll have finished the show sometime around 2026.  Something to look forward to, I suppose.

It's nearly impossible to manage to come up with something interesting every single day for (nearly) 300 posts.  But this is something, at least:

You know how in every episode of "Quantum Leap," Sam Beckett would look in a mirror and see somebody else's face looking back at him?

Well, it'll come as no surprise that that had never happened to me in my decades on this earth.  But just like seeing a UFO, being pursued by feral children, and encountering that ghost on my run just this year . . . it actually happened to me this week.

I had come home from my run Wednesday night, the hardest and fastest one I think I had ever done (just pushing myself to see if I could, I dunno, get all sweaty when it's a cold winter night all around me), and after I went in the bathroom to change and splash some water on my face, I looked up to see . . . somebody I didn't know.

His hair was the same color as mine (though in a different style), and his face was approximately the same shape, but it was not me.  I stared and I stared, I touched my face, I said, "Hello," and the reflection copied me . . . but I did not know who I was looking at.

And since you already think this story is bullshit** I'm going to take it a step further: this guy was better-looking than me.  Yeah, I know that's not saying much, but after a minute of trying to figure out just who I was looking at, I accepted it and thought, "I think this is what's referred to as trading up."  Then I left the bathroom.

Today, it's the same old me again.  Darn it.

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 2698

Push-ups Today: 97
Push-ups In November: 944

Words Today: 302 (yeah, what can you do?)
Words In November: 20,828

Sunday, November 22, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 293

Today I did something I think I've only ever done once before.

Hey, I heard you say "Kiss a girl?" and I don't appreciate that very much.

Besides, I think the kissing a girl thing might have been a dream.

No, I woke up before my alarm and sat down and recorded some audio.  I only ever do it at night, because it's too noisy during the day, but in the morning . . .  And it was pretty quiet, in the house (the kids are all camping anyway), except that someone in the neighborhood has a chicken, and even though the windows were closed, I could hear it squawking or bawking or whatever the noise is called.  Strange that I've never noticed that before.

I recorded a story from about 2010 that I sent to the Dunesteef for the Broken Mirror Contest, and it lost.  I hadn't looked at it in ten years.  It's neither good nor bad, but yesterday one of my Patreon supporters asked if I'd ever put out that fourth audio collection, and I thought I could throw in this one as a bonus story or something.

While I was running last night, I was thinking of my Christmas story collection (one of the goals I set for 2020), and whether I could just release one with five or six stories in it--since that would be doable--and release another one in a couple years with five or six more.  That way I could just grab the stories I already have in audio, and not have to re-record stuff like "Naughty or Nice," or the Ouija board/Scrooge story, or actually recording "Silent Night of the Living Dead," which no one has ever read.* 

While I was at the library, I did a search for images of Christmas trees, and found one I could use for the cover.  So maybe I'll actually accomplish this goal (but it's doubtful).

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 2587

It's 1:41am and I have only gotten about ninety words for the day.  I'm tempted to call it good and just retire.  But I have to get 300 words for the spreadsheet to consider that writing.  Maybe I'll do a few push-ups to wake myself up.

Well, I didn't get much done, just the rest of the Will Choner story scene I had been working on.

Words Today: 389
Words In November: 20,526

*It takes place in a Toys R Us, and I considered releasing it on the Outcast the year that TRU went out of business (2017?).

**It's not.  I can't explain it except to say that maybe I overexerted myself with my run, and had burst a blood vessel in my brain or had a mini-stroke or something.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 292

Today is Saturday, and I awakened extraordinarily early (around 4:25am).  I got up, and hit the bathroom, and before I went back to sleep, my nephews got up to go fishing with their dad, and made a surprising amount of noise for that early in the morning.  They went off, hours before dawn, and I went back to sleep.

I woke up again shortly after, not sure why I couldn’t stay asleep, and I contemplated getting up and starting my day, maybe editing on the Star Wars podcast, but instead, I just lay there until I could sleep again.  

Do you do that?  Is it normal?  Or am I just extraordinarily lazy?  My little sister will often criticize my older sister for sleeping in till one or two on a Saturday, but I always assume she's just exhausted from the rest of the week and uses the weekend to catch up on sleep, not that she's a perpetual teenager (which I think applies to me pretty well).

I listed an expensive Spider-man figure for sale last week, and it sold yesterday . . . but today I couldn’t find it.  I went through my boxes, and my bags, and back through the first box I checked (in case I wasn’t thorough enough), and it doesn’t seem to be any of those places.  Usually when this happens, it’s because months have passed since the day I listed it and the day it sells, but this is unusual, since I had it out to photograph it, and now it has disappeared.

In looking for it, I discovered something: the memory card I’d been using for audio before my current one.  It had disappeared in February or March of 2019, and I was sure I had left it in Las Vegas when staying at my uncle’s.  But no, it was here all along, and only rediscovered now.

I plugged it in and looked it over.  There were two Rish Outcasts on it that never aired, and the That Gets My Goat Big and I recorded with Marshal for release in April (of 2019).  I never did get rid of the other two’s recordings, so I’ll set the release of that now-laughably-dated episode talking about THE AVENGERS sometime after the holidays.  Good news, if you care about that sort of thing (which Big and Marshal might).

Now it’s afternoon—nearly night by where the sun is in the sky—and I finished up my work and scurried off to the library before it closed.  They close early on Saturday (I know I say this every week, but it bears repeating Every Week, because students tend to be those who most use the library, and the one day that students most need the library, they close early*), so I have very little time to write . . . and I’m using it blogging.  I’ll probably look up something on Wikipedia too, because I never learn.

I’m in a far better mood than I was yesterday at this time, when I was mired in melancholy (ooh, cool story title), and aching inside.  I still exercised and wrote and watched “30 Rock” (the damn thing auto-plays, so I often awaken to find the television two or three episodes ahead of where I fell asleep), and those things did make me feel better.  The reasoning for my depression yesterday absolutely remains, but I don’t feel it quite as heavily on my shoulders, and that seems odd to me.

Sit-ups Today: 150
Sit-ups In November: 2476

So, I came to the library, wrote a bit on my sketch (I actually wrote “the end” when I realized it was getting too long, then continued it from there.  Maybe, if it’s well-received, we’ll do two of them), and then killed a full half an hour looking up insurance company slogans.  One of my goals for November is to find a title I like for the third Lara/Holcomb story (and November is nearly through).

I saw today that one of Met Life’s slogans was “Have you met life today?”  I like it so much, I’m considering using it for the third Lara and the Witch story, even though it doesn’t really fit.  But right now, I’m really leaning toward “Only Progressive Gives You The Option To Name Your Price.”  A little wordy, I realize, but it fits the young-girl-in-love aspect of the story.

Push-ups Today: 96 (with about twenty minute break in the middle)
Push-ups In November: 847

After my exercise, I made myself some soup (I've eaten more soup in 2020 than I did in an average decade of my life--partly because it seems healthy, but also because it is cheap), recorded the middle chapter for the next "Dead & Breakfast" release (which really helps the story feel more significant, whereas I worried before that it was so unimportant that I didn't dare charge anything for it**), and that added a few more words to my count.  

Words Today: 1778
Words In November: 20,137

*Of course, they’re closed completely on Sundays.  I wonder when that nasty practice will come to an end.

**This one doesn't really set anything up, so much as resolve a plot thread from "The Night Clerk."  It does mention Meeshelle for the first time, and establishes that the police are investigating the bed and breakfast, which was going to be a story I wrote later this year, before I got bogged down in the novel-length "Only Have Eyes," which I haven't worked on in months.

Rish Outcast 182: Journey Into Another Dimension 1

In this episode (from the start of the year), I present the first chunk of my weird novella "Journey Into Another Dimension Through A Portal Near A Truck Stop Restroom."

dare you to enjoy it.

To download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE

To support me on Patreon--hey, you would've heard this last summer!--Left-Click HERE.

Logo by Gino "Foreigner Into Another Dimension" Moretto.

Friday, November 20, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 291

I have to get some editing done today.  I have left it too long undone (I didn't get any songs done this week either--I started watching one the other day and turned it off in disgust).  

And speaking of disgust, boy, I'm not in a good place today.  I'm feeling down, and angry and incredibly worthless.  Oh, that's not new, not hardly, but it's been a while, and honestly, the exercise I've been doing since spring has helped.  But right now, that's far away from me.  I just feel empty, and sad, and lonely, and like such, such, such a failure.  All the sit-ups and jogs around the neighborhood and push-ups have all been for nothing.*

And I'm not blaming anybody here.  It's not your fault, or my parents' fault, or God's fault, or her fault, or life's fault.  It's on me.  I could've done better, worked harder, been less lazy, made better choices, tried 

I remember that time, earlier this year, that I started walking up to a girl to talk to her, and like the scared fifteen year old I will never not be, I turned at the last second and slumped off in the other direction.  How am I still that guy?  

But hey, none of these feelings are new.  It’s just been a while (and even that’s not true, it’s just that it hasn’t hit as hard as it did today).  And tomorrow will be better, or at least has the potential to be.

              "Even a housewife in Nebraska can sing the blues.  Anybody can sing the blues."
                                                                                                                         --Janis Joplin

I need to just keep going, to work, to try to be productive, and remember that I can’t be somebody else, but I can be a better version of me if I really try.

Guess I will head over to the library early, see if I can’t get a few words on (virtual) paper, and improve my mood.

(this is supposed to illustrate how hope and despair can occupy the same space,
but it hits me in a much more negative way)

Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In November: 2326

I guess it's fair to say that I hit the writing as hard as I could.  I got another new idea, this time for a sketch that may or may not be funny.  If it is, I've got a part for Big and a part for Renee, and we'll see if I work on it again. 

It's not that late and I've gotten all my exercise and writing done.  I really ought to sit down and record another chapter or two . . . but I won't.  Sorry.

Words Today: 1830
Words In November: 18,359

*Heck, I remember Big Anklevich, six months ago, saying that, "Hey, at least when you get the Coronavirus, you'll recover faster from all the exercise you've been doing."  And then I didn't get it . . . like some sort of cuck.**

**Sorry, this is the first time I've used that word, and it absolutely doesn't work for me.  There are certain words I cannot sell, and that's one of them.  I've also never had a post script with an asterisk before.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 290

Hey, you know yesterday or the day before, when I wrote about recognizing a young woman (a minor actress) even though she was wearing a mask?  Well, when I went on my run today, I thought about that, and how stupid it was for me to post that, and not even tell you who it was.

I told myself to get on the blog and remove that paragraph, sparing future generations a bit of my bullshit.  But I didn't.  So for that, I apologize.

However, it reminded me of this story, that I've never told before.  When I worked on the Fox lot (for the F/X network), I was allowed to drive around in one of those electric golf carts.  And it was very fun.  Occasionally, I would see famous people walking around--I saw Tyler Mane dressed as Sabretooth doing reshoots for X-MEN, I saw Ashton Kutcher (then just "The big dumb guy from That 70's Show"), and one time, my coworker and I were driving around, and we saw Angie Harmon coming out of the Studio Store (where you could buy Fox-related merchandise and DVDs but with a great employee discount).

My coworker, who I will call Carl, said, "Holy shit, that's Angie Harmon!"  I had never seen her in anything, but recognized her from the billboards in town for some obscure show called "Law & Order."  I said, "Dang, that is her.  That lady is ridiculously hot."  

Carl said, "You don't know how many times I have spanked it to Angie Harmon, man."  

And I said, "You should go tell her that.  She'd be super impressed."  

And Carl looked at me and said, "Really?  You think so?"

It is not really a very good story, come to think of it, but I remembered thinking about it later, and wondering what a famous person would say if they were told that.  Of course, actresses probably carry pepper spray for exactly that occasion.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to share that.  I still don't think I've seen Angie Harmon in anything.

So, today I got my work done by 12:30, then spent a good deal of time with Jeff again.  We went to the pizza place we always go to when we're together, and they actually had tables you could dine in at.  That surprised me.  Also, it had been nearly a year since we'd eaten there, and I'd forgotten how good the pizza was.  He told me how bad German pizza is, and I believe him.

Afterward, we watched GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and it was amazing.  I cried within the first minute, so I must be getting better.  I noticed lots of little things I hadn't picked up on in 2014 (or it's been long enough that I'd forgotten).  Did you ever see GOTG?  You really should.

Jeff gets tired early, so I left his house early again.  Now it's night, and I can't wait to do my exercise and run around the neighborhood.  It's crazy, but it's true.  I have really neglected my podcasting this past week or two, and I've had an Outcast episode I could have posted at any time, but keep not doing it.

Why do I have no motivation?

Alright, I ended up posting the episode, running, sitting up, pushing up, eating, drinking, watching "30 Rock," writing for twenty minutes, and nearly sat down to record another session (I discovered two sections of the "Dead & Breakfast" story I recorded on Sunday that hadn't been included.  That makes me feel a bit better about the story, since it seemed so short and inconsequential, and now I know that a third of it was missing, so maybe that was the problem), but was too tired.  And that's fine.  I'll work again tomorrow. 

Sit-ups Today: 166
Sit-ups In November: 2226

Push-ups Today: 95
Push-ups In November: 751

Words Today: 491 words
Words In November: 16,529

Deer Video 2020

So, I edited together the three or four videos I shot of the deer outside the family cabin this summer.  Apparently, they already have more Patreon supporters than I do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 289

A week from now, I'll be on the brink of writing three hundred days in a row.  Unless I blow it today, I mean.  And I may.

Forgive me for using Mola Ram in my logo today.

No, not because he's culturally insensitive.  FUCK that noise.  No, because I think I may have already used Mola Ram in one of the images earlier this year and forgot about it.  For that, I apologize.

Today I listened to Marshal Latham's latest Journey Into... podcast.  He talked about the loneliness of outer space, and that he loves stories that are about the last man on earth or the last man on a space station, or GRAVITY with Sandra Bullock.  And it made me think of writing a story about a guy on an outpost (the one where the sleeper ship is heading in my "Ten Thousand Coffins" book) who ends up becoming the last person alive there, due to an outbreak not unlike COVID-19.  I actually found myself pretty excited about the story and so, when I went to the library, it was that that I wrote about, rather than something I can count the words on.  

Very quickly, the library was closing up (they used to be open until nine, but now it's seven...and on Saturdays it's six!), but I was bummed that I didn't get anything countable accomplished, and now I had to go.  They made their announcement that the library was closed right after I shut my computer off and left.  The bastards actually turned off the lights upstairs as I was coming down the stairs, and I wondered about the one guy who was behind me up there (and told one of the employees that there was still a guy up there before I left).  I'd never been to the library when they were closed before.

I need to go to the bathroom now.  Just letting you know in case I don't pick up when you call.

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 2060

So, at the end of the night, I had a quandary: do I count the words I wrote at the library (which were considerable) even though I typically don't count story/book outlining as writing, or do I have to ignore them and dedicate myself to writing again?  I even considered going through and counting only the dialogue I wrote at the library, since (ostensibly) that will end up being used in the eventual story (and that's still a pretty good idea).

But in the end, I decided not to watch "30 Rock" and fall asleep on the couch (as I have often this past week or so), but to sit down and force myself to write a bit of the Will Choner story, so I would definitely have words, whether I counted the library stuff or not.

I guess it's the more productive choice, except I still have to decide how I'm going to count the words for the day.

Words Today: 1320
Words In November: 16,038

(so, this is only counting what I wrote before sleeping, and the dialogue from my outline.  Pretty impressive, considering)

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 288

So, I mentioned last week that my cousin got in trouble for having me over to his house (in trouble with his mom).  well, today he let me know that we are absolutely not to see each other for the next two weeks, not for lunch (where we eat outdoors, even if it's forty degrees), and not to hang out and watch "Mandalorian" and "Seinfeld" in his basement.  Part of me wanted to tell him to defy the gods, and just do what he wants, but that's not his nature, and we both have mothers who will play the "Dead Mom Because Of You" card, so I do understand.

I wish, in a way, that my buddy Jeff weren't visiting this week, because I would pack up and head to the cabin again (probably taking my dad's truck, in case there is snow on the roads).  I've never gone up on a Tuesday, only on a Wednesday around lunchtime, because of my longstanding get-together with my cousin Tuesday nights.

This week has been unseasonably warm (I actually wore short sleeves one day this week), so it would have been fine at the cabin, maybe fire in the furnace weather, maybe not even that cold.  But I'll never know, and when Jeff leaves next week, we'll probably get sub-freezing temperatures again.

Still, I'd like to go over there and avail myself of the cabin one more time this year, even if I have to bring a gallon of water like I did last year, and use the ground as a toilet (sorry if that disturbs your delicate sensibilities . . . but to a man of a certain age, EVERYTHING becomes a toilet).

"My Friend of Misery" is now up over three hours long.  I imagine it'll end up around five or five and a half, so that feels like something.  I've also gotten so behind on my editing now that whenever I record, I run out of space (since I don't tend to delete my audio files until the episode/chapter they were for is done), and have to try to figure out what is expendable (lately, it's been stories I've started to record and never finished, like the Lovecraft one that kept putting me to sleep).

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 1949

Push-ups Today: 60 (to make up for yesterday)
Push-ups In November: 656

I got together with Jeff and we watched Alfred Hitchcock's MARNIE today.  It was on my list because Marshal wanted to do a podcast about a Sean Connery film, and that's the one we picked, since it was also a Hitchcock, and we both enjoy talking about those.

Yikes, the movie was bad, though.  I remember not liking it when I saw it about twenty-five years ago, but if anything, it was worse this time (and made even worse when I saw it has an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, undoubtedly all of those reviews contemporary ones from fans of Hitchcock).  I remember seeing FRENZY around 1999 or so, and having heard that it was terrible, had very low expectations for it.  And FRENZY ended up being one I really, really liked, and I always wondered if it was because of my lowered expectations.

But MARNIE was bad even going into it expecting it to not be particularly good.  Even so, Sean Connery is endlessly watchable, so I'm sure Marshal and I will have nice things to say about him in it.

Oh, that reminds me: I saw a minor (local) celebrity today, someone I had never seen in person.  And they were wearing a mask, so my mind immediately said, "Nahh, you're mistaken."  Because how could I recognize somebody who I had never met in person before, and had no idea how tall or short they were in real life?  By her hair?  By her voice?  By her butt?  By her shoes?*  But I kept watching, trying to listen to her talking, hoping someone would call her by name so I would know for sure.  Or maybe she would lift up the mask and the mystery would be solved.

It didn't happen.

In the end, I walked right up to her, looked her in the eyes, and gave her a nod, then walked away.  I am 90% certain I was right . . . and that is weird.  How could I be so sure?  She had a blue cellphone in her hand at the time, so I went on Instagram as soon as I got home, and looked up pictures of her.  Sure enough, there was one of her from August, holding a blue-cased cellphone.  I rest my case, your honor.

Almost no words today either.  I recorded another chapter of my audiobook, ran out of space on my recorder, and then tried to write at least a hundred more words before I fell asleep (this was super late too, about 3:30 or 4:00 . . . see how dedicated I am, even if it's for no purpose whatsoever?)

Words Today: 308
Words In November: 14,718

*The shoes actually went along way toward convincing me I was right.  They were those checkerboard pattern Vans that girls of a certain age and financial status wear and are slavishly loyal to.  You don't believe me?  You will, Doctor Jones . . . you will become a true believer, heh, heh.

Monday, November 16, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 287

My friend Jeff arrived from Germany, and wanted to get lunch.  He came over with a mask on, and didn't come in the house, so I grabbed my mask and wore it in the car as we drove together to get food.  I hadn't worn a mask in the car before (unless I forgot to take it off from a store or something), and it was a little strange, but as we're not in the same household, that is apparently what we were supposed to do.

It is unseasonably warm this week (I could go to the cabin if I wanted to, and would probably have an okay time), so we were able to go to Tommy's Burger and eat on their park benches, just like old times (except it cost nearly ten dollars for a Combo 2 this time, which is pretty horrifying).  We talked politics for waaaaaaay longer than necessary, but Jeff has an interesting perspective, living overseas, and he keeps pretty informed about what's going on here, as depressing as that can sometimes be.

We took a walk around the neighborhood where he used to live, and even though I knew that if I went to his house, I would get no more work done, I chose to do so, and I was right.  His couch was right where it used to be (he bought the house right before moving to Germany, and his son has been living in it ever since), and we availed ourselves to a few minutes of horror movies.  The first we watched was an anthology TV movie from 1977 called "Dead of Night," which was pretty obviously three episodes of a failed "Twilight Zone"-type show that Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson did together (I think those two were responsible for TRILOGY OF TERROR a couple of years before, and this was a much less memorable version of that).

Also on the disc was another Dan Curtis program called "Dead of Night."  It turned out to be another failed pilot for a television series, undoubtedly shot on the "Dark Shadows" sets, and even at fifty-one minutes, was really drawn out and long (it was from 1968, and really felt like a pilot for a paranormal investigation drama, before I looked it up and found out that that's what it was).

I had brought two more DVDs with me, Alfred Hitchcock's MARNIE (which I was going to watch so Marshal Latham and I could talk about it on our movie podcast) and Alejandre Aja's CRAWL (which I heard good things about and grabbed for Halloween.  Jeff was afraid he wouldn't be able to stay awake through MARNIE, so we watched the highly entertaining girl-vs-nature flick instead.

I really enjoyed CRAWL.  It had (what seems to me, anyway) a pretty ridiculous premise, but I felt like they took it just seriously enough that I was able to go along with it.  There is a moment at the end when an alligator bursts through Kayla Scodelario's bedroom window that was Jason Voorhees-level over-the-top, but they'd had me for eighty minutes by that point, so I just laughed and played along.*

The neat thing about when Jeff comes to town (despite the fact that he's willing to spend 90% of his time hanging out with me) is that, because of his jet lag, he always has to go to sleep early enough that when he sends me home, I still have time to do the stuff I need to do.  So, after he dropped me off, I was able to ship a couple more packages, do sit-ups, and do my run (nice weather tonight too).  Then, I still had time to either write or edit audio.

And I haven't vowed to edit audio every single day this year, so the answer was easy.  I didn't get a lot of words, but as I keep saying, anything over 300 words is a success, so I'll take it.

Sit-ups Today: 166
Sit-ups In November: 1838

Push-ups Today: 50
Sorry, I screwed up (I did fifty, took a break, then fell asleep before I thought to finish the set. I'll do more tomorrow.

Words Today: 624
Words In November: 14,410

*There was also a part earlier when a guy falls in the water and is swarmed by half a dozen lightning-fast CG alligators that swim in from all directions as we get a God Angle Shot from above watching him torn into a human-sized Sloppy Joe . . . but I think we were supposed to laugh there.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 286


Good morning.  I had a dream that, somehow, I had found myself back in college, and I was seeing tons of people that I knew and was friends with or had affection for (people from various points in my life, the way a dream can go).  Excited, I sat on the front row at the first of my classes, while the teacher started passing out the books and assignments.  And I realized, "Oh, I'm not going to be able to keep writing and blogging every day, because this is a serious amount of work.  I guess today will be the last day."  

And then I asked myself, "How did I enroll in all this?  For what purpose?  And how am I going to pay for it?"  And a little voice inside my head told me the answer: because it's a dream.

And then I woke up.

I'm now editing Chapter 22 of "My Friend of Misery" (Chapter 25 is the end of part one), and just before I saved it, I saw a little space in the waveform where I had left five or six seconds of silence.  Well, that's the sort of thing that will get your audiobook kicked back in your face (months after you submitted it, of course), so I decided to listen to the chapter.  

For the first three minutes, it was fine (oh, I cut out a couple of mouth clicks, but there are literally hundreds of those in my recordings, so it's no surprise a few of those slip through), but even before I reached the silence, there was a repeated line.  Then later, there was a screw-up, me berating myself about the screw-up, and the fixed line.  And then . . . oh Lord Cthulhu, there was a whole section of unedited audio, with plenty of hiccups, and even a few hiccoughs.

I had missed that whole stretch, and had been erroneously about to save the file and move on to the next chapter.  So I took a few minutes to finish the chapter this morning before I started my Sunday.

But it gave me pause.  How many other chapters are like that, with mistakes and relines and sniffles and silence in them?  And a bigger question: why do I even continue to try to do this kind of thing, when it takes so much time, and provides almost none of the satisfaction of actually writing my stories?

But either I have a passion for this stuff or I have a talent for it, so I have to continue.  After all, I didn't make money on my writing for the first twenty years I was doing it.

Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In November: 1672

I'd put my writing today in the top three hardest days since I started.  Oh, I had a few (about forty) words written in the morning, so I could have gone the rest of the day without doing any more and still been able to count it, but it was only 44 words.  I went my whole day, doing other things, away from home, unable to write (though I had taken my laptop with me in case I wanted to crack it open and get some writing done), and then when I got home, I made exercise my priority.  

I did my sit-ups, my squats, and my run, and then I sat down and ate (much later than you're supposed to, if you don't want to be a fat guy in a little coat), and watched TV.  And I started to feel my eyes getting heavy, and this sense of tiredness and "boy, this couch is super comfortable" came over me.  And I had the choice: let myself go to sleep, or force myself to get up and go write something.

It took me four or five seconds to decide, and my body really wanted to take advantage of those seconds (you snooze, you lose, literally this time).  But I got up, and did my best to write the Uncle Armin scene for my story.  It was tough, and I don't even really remember what I wrote* in those moments before I went to sleep, but I could rest knowing I did the work, and could dream sweetly.

Words Today: 576
Words In November: 13,786

*Wouldn't it be hilarious if it was all paragraphs like "dsfakj eiru cmnxv spo poeriw odfifi sofio<Xc fajp fdjaalkf 33333333 d?"

Saturday, November 14, 2020

November Sweeps - Day 285

I fell asleep last night much, much earlier than I usually do (like I did last week when the electricity was running out and I chose to turn everything off in hopes of retaining enough power to use my laptop the next day).  That meant I woke up way earlier than I usually do too, so when I came out of my room to take a shower, my nephew (10) said, "Whoa.  What are you doing up?"  

I've gone to the library enough times that the librarians on the second floor recognize me, and they know what I'm there for (I realize that may sound sexual, but it wasn't meant that way).  I like it when I go someplace and they remember who I am.  Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

I remember Elmer over at Tommy's Burger when I was in college always knew what I was going to order and would say "Combo Dos sin cebolla" whenever he'd see me.  I loved that.  In fact, I'm going to make it a point to go to Tommy's Burger this week, even if it's way too cold to sit out on their tables, just for old times' sake.

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 1572

Push-ups Today: 94
Push-ups In November: 546

I hit the library earlier than usual, and nearly had the full two hours to write (not that I used it wisely . . . the Problem With Wikipedia arose and I followed a daisy chain of subjects for an unhealthy chunk of my would-be writing time.  If only I retained all of the knowledge I glean from reading these otherwise meaningless Wikis*).  I am still working on my Will Choner story, and took the opportunity to rewrite the bit I had lost, then going on to reintroduce Will's Uncle Armin, who was the catalyst for everything that happened in the first story, but was absent from the second one.

Uncle Armin is the Me character, the one that I saw a bit of myself in.  Oh, sure, Will is going to be awkward with girls and filled with unrealized longing, but Armin is an unmarried adult who either keeps having bad luck, or brings bad situations upon himself.  I haven't really developed him much, but I did intend for him to resent Beth Vance because of her money and her grandfather (who was not a particularly good man, despite his millions of dollars and concern for his daughter's child), and then was surprised when Beth hugs him and views him as part of her extended family.

The point of this story is supposed to be that Beth is able to discover the piece of herself that was missing and find joy through helping others find lost objects, and Will lives for that sort of thing anyway.  So perhaps Armin can rediscover a modicum of self-respect in helping the teenagers out, and turn his own life around (though I have no idea at this point how that will happen).

Writing can feel good sometimes.

So, despite the librarian shattering the silence of the second floor every few minutes with the startling intercom sound, warning everyone that they have to wear a mask and that the library will be closing in ___ minutes, I got quite a bit of work done--the most this week, at least.  And when they started flashing the lights and telling us to get the f**k out (which, I'll admit, could've been phrased more delicately--I think it was a substitute librarian), I quickly saved my work, emailed it to myself, and logged off before the system did it for me.  

Fool me once..., after all.

Words Today: 1911
Words In November: 13,210

I got some work done, did my run, turned on "30 Rock," and then bam! I was asleep on the couch again.  You know what I'm there for, baby.

*Part of it was related to the story.  I had one of the characters reference a mine collapse in Pennsylvania, where Will Choner had wanted to port and try to rescue the miners, but was forbidden by his uncle.  So I went to a list of mining towns in that state, to randomly pick a town where it happened, and then I started reading about actual mining disasters, and ultimately got to the entry on Centralia, PA, where a coal mine fire began in 1962 and is still burning today, the entire city except for seven remaining residents having abandoned their homes over the years, and it becoming an all-but-ghost town.  

Friday, November 13, 2020

February Sweeps - Day 284

Today is Friday the 13th.  There's no significance to that (I was born on a Friday the 13th), but I'm supposed to blog every day.

I hate to be a backseat executive, but Paramount should still be making FRIDAY THE 13TH movies.  They could easily be in the twenties by now.*

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In November: 1461

I did go to the library to write, but I must admit that my heart wasn't in it.  I rewrote a scene that was lost . . . somehow, somewhere (I think it was when the computer restarted last week while I was at the cabin, but I thought I'd recovered all that.  More likely, this laptop restarted during the night at home, and I didn't realize it had wiped out some of my daily writing.  I wonder if I counted those words for the day or if they too were lost).  I tend to go on Saturday afternoons, so maybe I'll get some major writing done tomorrow.

I spent an almost unbelievable amount of time opening every file of "MFOM" from Chapter 10 on and changing the numbers to make way for the new chapter I stuck in there.  I copied and pasted my reading of the chapter number from the subsequent file, then had to save the file as a new project, then had to create a new mp3 that didn't have the same filename as one of the others, then finally, deleted all of the old files (but part of me is afraid I screwed something up that way.  We'll see).  

There was no file of me saying "Chapter 21," since I recorded Chapter 22 after inserting the new Chapter 10, so I guess I'll have to set up the mic to do that.  But I think it would've been easier just to record myself saying "Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, etc." than trying to copy and paste from one file to the other.

It seems that every one of these audiobooks is a longer process than the one before.  I just reached the point in the story where I was going to write "end of part one" and send the file to Big Anklevich (I wrote the story, ostensibly, for him), because it had gotten out of my control (it was supposed to be a short story), but in its 40K word novel form, I didn't add the Part One and Part Two stuff.  Maybe I still should.

Also, in Chapter 22, I refer to the main character of Brielle as only being fifteen.  That gave me pause.  A lot of the story is her dating a boy, going to prom, hanging out at the mall and parties with her friends, and losing her virginity.  Fifteen seems awfully young for all that.  But I know I'm going by my own life experience, and I never did any of that stuff at fifteen.  Girls mature faster than boys, and I'm sure girls in the 21st Century are dating and going to parties at twelve, but it still makes me a bit uncomfortable.**

I've complained to Biggie a time or ten about being taken out of books and stories when the characters are supposed to be children or teenagers, but they're being written by a middle-aged or old man, and it sounds nothing like children or teenagers (I wish I had written down the line of dialogue from "Lost & Found" by Orson Scott Card where I had to read it three times--once aloud--because it sounded like something no human would ever say, unless it was Professor Stephen Hawking while stoned).  But I do worry that my writing is increasingly becoming that way.

(normally, I avoid using pictures with copy protection like this, but this illustration was perfect)

You see, teenagers--real teenagers--are not smart, and do not have a bard's grasp on the language, and when you listen to how they actually talk, with their insipid slang and reliance on words like "lit" and "sick" and "shtoog," you discover pretty quickly that nobody wants to read a story in which teens talk like teens talk.  I may be annoying to read because I will sometimes put "uh" and "like" in my dialogue, but even then, it's toned way down from how the real McCoy communicates (and yes, I said all this last month in my Dawson's Creek post.  But I forgot until just now).

I have called or texted my niece to ask her what certain things mean, or how a teenager would phrase a certain thing today (I still rely too much on Eighties terms like "awesome" and "cool" and "nice" and "Reaganomics"), but often, she just plain doesn't know.  I think it's because she's actually read a book for pleasure.

In related news, Disney just hired a director for a live action remake of LILO & STITCH.  Guess they finally ran out of good ones to do over.***

Words Today: 826
Words In November: 11,299

*I did the math in my head, and, counting FREDDY VS. JASON, there were twelve F13 movies.  Only twelve?  Would've it have killed them to make a thirteenth?

**I'm sure I've told this story before, but during the shooting of SPIDER-MAN back in 2001, I played a student at Midtown High, and we shot the school scenes at a real high school (I think it might have been Dorsey High).  I had been playing a teenager for months by that point, despite being older than Betty White by then, and we arrived while school was still in session.  To see what actual teenagers looked like compared to us, who we'd gotten used to seeing as "high school age" was shocking, and some of the kids walking around the halls looked like elementary school students.  It was a bit of a wake up call, though I believe, Kirsten Dunst was still a bona fide teenager.

***Oh, quit your bawlin, it just ain't that good.  I've never understood LILO & STITCH's appeal.  I saw it in the theater when it came out, was impressed by the animation quality and how catchy the Alan Menken songs were, but frankly never needed to see it again.  When people cite it among the Disney classics, I always know they're of a certain age, just like the Prequel apologists, just little and impressionable when it was released, but appreciating it only because it represents their childhood. 
And yes, I was joking before, there weren't even any catchy Menken songs in it.

Podcast That Dares 25: Sir Sean

So, I went ahead and took a break from my regular schedule to talk about Sean Connery, both real and Fake.   Warning: may contain songs.

Oddly, if you had a romantic evening the last "Podcast That Dares" episode...the baby might be born during this one.

To download the episode directly, Right-Click HERE.

To support me on Patreon, Left-Click HERE.

Logo by Gino "Sir Yawn" Moretto.