Blunder Bus

So, I finally got around to that writing prompt for writing the worst you can manage for ten minutes straight. Not only did I manage to do that, I managed to end the story. And not only that, it may be one of the worst endings of any short or long story I have ever read! And short stories are legion in their bad endings.

Blunder Bus

The sky was ludicrous in its hysteria. Avenger! Stealing upon our peaceful perch awaiting the bus. Was it a magic bus? Time will tell. The sun had been hot on our necks until that cool breeze chilled our flesh and whipped the debris of man’s discard around our bodies and crowns.
And just as the sky darkened and the rain hit upon our foreheads, cresting the horizon from down the street arrived the bus! Sweet chariot! Sidney, Lance, Penny and myself all stood up at the same time as if for roll call. But no one had called us – ever. The bus lumbered up the rest f the hill and then fell upon us and its door swept open with a witchy sound and sour breath.
The moon was our light and the night cold as we made our way to the back of the bus. Or as far back as we could make it – but our way was blocked! There would be no back of the bus for us! Was it taken by the cool kids? No, there were none of those where we come from. There is only wisps of names, faces and impression. Does this sound dumb? Penny is red, lance is like a spear, and Sidney is sad or, the color of a rain soaked morning. See?
“Onward, Dober!” I yelled at the driver.
“My name ain’t Dober, you cretin, it is David!”
“Ah, yes.. Well…”
Dober was not an impression. He was in full detail. And he was the same thing to everybody.
The bus took us several blocks and stopped in front of an uncertain patch of ground by a nondescript building. It could have been anything, and would always be nothing. Why were we here? Dober swung the lever and the door folded open. He turned and looked at us expectantly. We had stood, the four of us, but we knew not why nor knew this stop was ours. We didn’t know why we had entered the bus either. Penny nudged me and nodded around her. Everyone was looking at us.
“Well,” said a little bird of a lady, “this is your stop.”
So we got off.

Dude! It is pretty bad! Unfortunately, I don’t think the prose is that terrible. But notice how it was day in one moment and then less than a minute later it is night? I got that one from a movie called Murdercycle. This alien motorcyclist is chasing these people he enters one side of a tunnel and it is daylight, seconds later when he comes out the other side it is night, moon and all.

But I think the crowning achievement of this piece is its utter pointlessness.

You are welcome. I should have a Patreon page!

Reading and Writing, Anime, Pac-Man and Other Things: Part Deux


Instead of my usual spiel about writing intentions, or, just as frequently, rationalizing a lack of progress, I thought I would share a couple of tidbits of a different nature. After all, if you go to George RR Martin’s blog you won’t see him carrying on about why it has been nine years since the last written installment of his Game of Thrones series (the HBO series, eight seasons began and ended since we last finished an installment).

I don’t know (having only read his novel Fever Dream) but I expect he has been writing or something, but talking about it isn’t something he has been doing. So why should I?

I write, mainly, in a program called Scrivener (highly recommended) and I had thought that all the files of stories I had started were in the open command. I did not know that I had a whole collection of stuff much older in a sub-folder called Back-ups in the Scrivener library. A couple of these are more than ten yeas old. Sometimes after a long night of bartending I would get home bubbly with beer and start pecking away at whatever had been pecking away at my brain, close the app, and go to bed and forget it.

A couple that caught my eye was the weirdly named The Vengorian Phantasm. I am pretty sure that is one of those that presented itself as a name with no material except what I could eek out onto Scrivener. Another was called The Mind (boring name) and represents (now that I have read it again) my first real thoughts onto the subject of God and religion.

A third one is one that I did not forget about, but thought I had lost all copies of is Race to Eternity. I have about ten starts to this one. This one grew out of the The Mind and one of them features the story happening in many different times at the same time. One piece involves two outlaws at a camp fire, the Demon Reaver and the unHoly priest Orzis.

One observation. When you look back at stuff this old quality doesn’t really register so much as you encounter an aspect of yourself (your creation) as something new. I do not remember writing these, I do not remember how or from whence they came. And, as I was reading them, I did not really know what was coming next.

Time is late and I must retire.

I still have to find out what is up with Jemmy and the Flacon….

Reading as Research

As my unemployment stretches into its second month, I am taking a renewed swing at writing. I am starting smaller. I usually have very high expectations for my writing resulting in  rarely getting practice at the rudiments. I am trying to fling out 32nd note arpeggios in Dorian before I have mastered the plain major scale in quarter notes. I like symbolistic, weird fiction. But I can barely narrate someone getting into their car to pick up a six pack of beer from the gas station. Of course let’s not pretend such an action is not weird in itself!

I am reading this book at the moment. This is a point A to point B type book. It is a steak and potato book. I’m not knocking it. The guy writes an even narrative and can write a good action sequence. But there is no meta-narrative or anything, there is no symbolism, no tripping out. It is a black and white world, unambiguous. Good guys hunt the bad guys (monsters) who are trying to acquire power – the good guys have the clear cut job of stopping them.

It is a heavily machismo first person narrative. I want to create something similar in the basics. First person narrative, good guy and bad guy(s), good guy pursues something bad guy(s) try to stop him, or bad guys after something and good guy tries to stop him. No tricks, just a goal and the pursuit.

I have a starting point. Not being a Commando, gun and bravado/ monster truck type, I am drawing inspiration from one of my treasured books

and one of my treasured characters

Hopefully I can make the colors interesting enough that a plain story doesn’t bore me too much!

Not Posting Anymore of Horace Gumble

Unless someone actually requests it. I read the next few sections (first time I’ve read it since writing it) and it is really just raw material. It is like hitting the record button and then banging away on my guitar. I almost always produce something (more often on guitar than writing) that is material for story.

I had plenty of ideas that are good pieces for future story. I regret Dark Surfer is already a comic character as I thought of that on my own. Strait of Ambiguity, Cliffs of Despair, Riders Outside the Storm (thanks, Doors) are all good and usable.

I sort of pulled off a beginner’s attempt at a Christus Victor ending. For those that don’t know what that term means literarily (or at all) think of the ending of Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Which, if you haven’t seen the movie, you are missing a very good film, probably Eastwood’s finest. Better, even, than Paint Your Wagon!

A Most Interesting Writing Prompt

I got an interesting email from NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) today. It had tips on keeping mentally healthy while being cooped up for the plague.

One of them was a writing prompt.

“Writing Prompt: Write as badly as you possibly can for ten minutes.” — MariaV

Yes, yes, don’t I already do that? Ha ha! No, I don’t. The little I give to read is the best I have – albeit unedited first drafts.

It never occured to me to purposely write bad. Who knows? Perhaps it will be the best I ever did! Tomorrow I am going to give it a shot. I am going to give it a half hour. Maybe Friday, I have quite the full plate tomorrow.

— A funny thing happened earlier. I was going through my Scrivener backup files earlier today and came across a backed up story from five or six years ago called Beyond the Mist. Sounds like something I’d write. I started to read a segment and thought, “this isn’t too bad, but I have no recollection of any of this!” Turns out it was something I edited for some now defunct magazine SciPhi Journal I think it was.


The Legend of Bahquah. Bahquah, of what can we say? A model for us all. Yes. Though he cannot see us and cannot hear us, so complete is his selfness. We can be inspired by the eternity of his self satisfaction and hope to achieve for ourselves the heights of the Bahquah.

What the hell am I talking about you may ask? This is a mouth sound that I heard come out of a drunk’s mouth about a decade ago. The man, a regular where I worked, was a complete sensualist unable to see past the demands of the flesh (I haven’t been wholly innocent of that myself in my life fyi…). I was trying to get this guy to leave the bar one night as it was past closing time (you wouldn’t believe how hard it can be to get drunk people to leave a bar). His eyes slid to gaze vaguely in the vicinity of my head and verping a bit down his chin he proceeded to slur “bahquah.”

That sound – noise module? – stuck with me for some reason. I began to associate it with a cross between the Buddha and Satan from Dante’s Divine Comedy. For those familiar with Dante’s Hell, it is cold and Satan is largely incognizant. Bahquah the sound started to become Bahquah the future guru of the Age.

Shoot, I’m running late getting the dog out. I will return!



NaNo 2019

I won’t call it a bust, but I started and I just didn’t feel like participating after the first day. I really don’t have the kind of time now to devote to getting 50,000 words done in 30 days. I also got the story off on the wrong foot, and I would rather just let it stew in the back of my mind that push ahead on what my muse is screaming is the wrong path. I went comedy when I should have gone surreal. The goofy names and antics were supposed to be misdirection to deadly serious themes, but I dove into the yucks and there is only so far you can go with that before the misdirection because the direction.

Also, the title sucked (I had changed it from IDIOT THROUGH TIME to NO TIME NOW). Also the pug didn’t talk. Well, that is no fun. I am letting the story mulch in me brain for a bit.

In the meantime, I have another percolating story called JEMMY that I have started to toy with…

NaNo! Day One!

Supposed to be day two, but I do not have the kind of time I used to have and I had a rough start even getting the first line out.

I am only at 447 words but I will quickly make it up throughout the week. I was really stuck for a start. Regardless of what anyone says, it can be very hard to get the first bit out and get the ball rolling. I almost despaired of it and, wasting time, I was looking through my digital music library and I found the missing piece that got me going. It is THE GYPSY PRINCESS by Emmerich Kalman. It is a piece of early twentieth century operetta. Almost absurdly gay in its merriment to modern music. And, even though I haven’t a clue what they are singing, light and frivolous sounding.

It was perfect for the goofy jaunt I wanted to send my characters on. A group of character, by the way, that I’ve been carrying with me for several years.

John Biscuit
Mopey Lederhosen
Clem Blule’
Ryebu Watanabe

And, yup, those pesky clowns will be in there as well. Perhaps not the same as the ones in Sad Face (like anyone has read it!) but they all know each other. You know they do.

I offer up the first part I managed to eek out today. No, people do not talk like these people. No, people do not, in general, act like these people. And that is my point, or my intention. I am not a realist, not in my writing, nor, even, in my life. Or, let’s say, I am a staunch realist, and, therefore, everything else is play.

Let’s Play!

It is tentatively called – IDIOTS THROUGH TIME – I believe I will be changing it. Then again, if I achieve a desired effect, perhaps I will not.

“Well,” said Clem, “it looks like a brilliant thing!”

“It does, doesn’t it?”

“Will it work?” asked Clem.

“It is hard to tell,” replied Flanammel, “all the tests have seemed to work. Luca here seems to have been unaffected by its use.” He pointed to a pug dog eyeing them from its bed a few feet away. The pug looked irritated and uncomfortable and yawned in exaggeration.

“Should we give it a whirl?”

“We shall!” exclaimed Flanammel excitedly.

At that there was a knock on the door.

“Who is it?” yelled Flanammel and Clem together.

A meek voice replied from behind the door, “It is I, Morley.”

Flanammel and Clem looked at each other. “Mopey.”

Morley, as his parents had christened him, was known by all as Mopey, Mopey Lederhosen of the somewhat notorious Lederhosen family of poets and self-employed philosophers. They were notorious not for their poetry, nor for their philosophies (although they all bore the mark of being highly uninspiring) but for their creative deaths. Nary died a Lederhosen from natural causes or disease, but more from pratfalls or bizarre sequences of happenings that left physicists scratching their heads. There was Lute Lederhosen who, in an ill-chosen adventure vacation, died in a game of mushroom roulette inside the Hoia Bacui forest. There was Diedrich Lederhosen, who preceded Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes, in the construction of the first hot air balloon. However he did not precede them in the first successful hot air balloon. The balloon actually balloon worked fine, but Diedrich failed to secure a bottom to the basket that could support his weight. While Diedrich was found in various places in a small Bavarian village, the whereabouts of his balloon are a mystery to this day.

Clem hurried across the room, opened the door and embraced Mopey in a hug and ushered him into the room. Mopey was a short man with small features, short stature and a small, shuffling gait. He had on a brown striped suit narrow rolled shoulders to match his brown hair parted in the middle and slumped down either side of his head. In his hands he held a quaint Homburg hat.

Flanammel called out, “Mopey! Lords! I would expect that we have already time travelled every time I see you! You could have walked off the stage of a Dickens novel!”

“Hello, guys.” Mopey said quietly. He walked over to the contraption in the center of the room. “Is this it? Is it done?”

“It is, and” paused Clem raising a finger significantly in the air, “Luca went through it just today and look.”
Mopey looked over at the pug laying in his bed.

NANO 2019!!!

Alright, last year I had to skip out due to my back problem. That seems to be doing fine now, so it is time to gear up for NaNo 2019.

And, as usual, I have such a full plate that I am only now starting to think of it. Hell, I haven’t even read what I wrote for 2017 yet. And RCIA and house duties take a good portion of my time. But I am going in with both feet. I think this year I am going pulp. Although I never did use my Alt-Star Wars idea. Not really separate I guess.

Friday starts the writing. I will post throughout as progress is made (I am not sure if a really have that many readers anymore, but I will act as if I do). In December I am going to pull up The Five Deaths of Horace Gumble and see what can be done with it. I think there are actually more than one story in that thing.

Now onto some planning…

I’m Back!

Hopefully for good this time. I’m on a four day a week, ten hour a day work schedule, so I should have time to do extracurricular activities like writing (I wish it weren’t a luxury but facts be facts, ma’am) and posting here. It won’t be a lot. Even today I didn’t get done with house stuff until about half an hour ago.

I even batted out a few chords the other day to the tune of AN ALTOGETHER UNSERIOUS BREAKFAST. Only a fragment and I keep those all in a giant mega-file like a guitarist would keep riffs. Keep rolling those fragments and things slowly come together after awhile. I would have wrote more of it at the time, but I was already three hours late for bed and I don’t have a slacker job. Here is the fragment (I have no fear this will be stolen!).

What a strange, strange world I live in. Not your world, no. Your world is as normal as normal gets. Which is to say it is completely Continue reading