On Writer’s Block, Reasons/Excuses/Explainations, and Working It the Fuck Out

Nobody wants to hear another story about how you couldn’t write right”
- Circa Survive

It’s been a really long time since I’ve updated my blog.
It’s been a really long time since I even tried to get anything published.

So, let’s work it out.

I’m trying to write every day, like Henry told me to.

This seems just as good an excuse as any:

This morning I threw my hat in with a dozen or so Bizarro authors who are going to take Bradley Sands up on his offer to band together and do a novella in a month, a la NanoWriMo, for April.
People like Cameron Pierce and Carlton Mellick III can churn out a novel in three days. I am not one of those people.

At first I was hesitant because I don’t have anything substantial to work on. Then I realized how stupid that is, how long its been since I wrote anything longer than a page or two (of fiction) and that even if it sucks I ought to do it for practice’s sake.
And I should tell everyone about it so I have to follow through, or I’ll look like an idiot.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Scribbling in journals about boys I had crushes on (hint: damn near every dude with a pulse) and wanting something more. Weird rants, bits of ideas for things I would never expand. But always writing.
Until the last couple of years.

A Brief History/ WTF Happened (some of which you may or may not already know)

In 2010 I went to a writer’s workshop that birthed the idea for my book Trashland A Go-Go. The book was put out by Eraserhead Press in 2011 and I sold the shit out of it for the chance to win a contract with EHP to write more books.

The year I wrote Trashland was fucked. My closest friendship was put to the test when my friend met a dude, not uncommon among lady friends. Then more so, when that dude’s best friend died while driving his car that we were all in, the day after I slept with him.

Any one out there keeping score: that’s two men I’ve slept with in the last 3-4 years who are now dead.

It was complicated to say the least. We all moved into my apartment, and it was my hope that we’d be a support system for each other during a fucked up grieving period. Things never really work out the way any of us plan.

During that time my friend/mentor Kevin Shamel told me to write the idea from the workshop for that years NBAS. He gave me two weeks to complete the story before we went into edits. I took three.

It was exactly what I needed to move forward. I still cried, I still thought about it, but I had something else to focus on. A reason to make myself stay home and work toward something instead of drinking my face off. Which I still did.

Rose and Kevin presented us with our books for the first time in Rose and Carlton’s room in the Ad House at the Edgefield and I started to cry the minute it was in my hands. Because I worked for it. Because it was there. The culmination of all the shitty feelings I’d had during that time, and a bunch of other times, but it was printed by someone who thought it was worth publishing.

I spent the next year focusing on sales, pushing my book to earn the chance to publish more books. I didn’t worry about new words. Those would come later. There would always be more words. I worked on some stories about the adult shop where I was working and not much else.

My parents were proud. Both readers. Both grossed out with what I put out into the world, but proud nonetheless. (My dad brags about me to the people in his biker organizations.)

Continue reading

Adventure Blog: Sturgis, Mount Rushmore and Airport Creepin´

So many excuses, with laptop breakage, job loss and transition…but here ya go.

Better late than never?
_____________________

I woke up at 5am, gathered the last of my toiletries and walked to the airporter in the morning mist. I followed an elderly couple from the building to the bench at the center of the parking lot where the bus picks up the passengers. The man made two trips back and forth from the building to the bench, carrying their suitcases to where they needed to be . His wife stood under the awning, out of the wet air.
He told her there was coffee inside.

In the airport after security checks I still had time for bad coffee and a greasy breakfast sandwich. I checked my email and trip itinerary obsessively like I do when traveling. I eavesdropped on strangers and people-watch like I do when I’m alone in crowded places. The intercom sounded several times asking for Ja Rule.
Waiting for my connection in Denver, I was sitting at an airport bar when the intercom called out for Corey Haim to please pick up the white courtesy phone.
Either someone was messing with the folks at the information desk or I am a terrible listener.
I continued to watch people. What they carried with them, how they killed time between flights, their luck with finding available electrical outlets. I counted three women in neck braces between SFO and Denver.

The flight to Denver had been on a nicer plane. A beast with televisions installed on the back of each chair. The child next to me was ill mannered and kicked the back of the seat in front of him, crawled all over his mother and refused to sit still.
“No, James.” she’d say weakly, obviously annoyed but used to this type of thing. He’d smile at her and continue whatever he was doing that she had asked him to stop.

I’m a terrible flier so I slammed two glasses of wine in Denver before boarding my flight to Rapid City. I caught a nice mellow buzz and fell asleep just as the tiny plane hit turbulence.
My little brother Tommy and his fiance picked me up at the airport and drove me into Sturgis where my dad was falling in love with this years Indian in Journeymen blue.

I grew up going to motorcycle rallies and runs. My dad has been riding longer than I have been alive. I’ve never before seen so many motorcycles at once.
The sound never bothered me. It makes me feel warm and I think of home.

I’d never seen so many people trying so hard to be “bikers.” You can spot them by their squeaky clean tennis shoes and bare legged women who shouldn’t get on the back of a motorcycle if they value their own skin. Half the attendees posturing, imitating stupid television shows and trying to impress the old school, who just remember what it was like when it actually meant something to get to Sturgis.
“We spent half the week on the side of the road working on our bikes. Hell, I didn’t even make it all the way here the first couple times I set out.” said my dad.

Since the event is so large and so many people converge upon the area, the local hotels make it a point to make all the money they can. They raise all the prices because they know that out of towners won’t have a choice. I called around and found that most hotels were going for $200+ per night.

For a Comfort Inn. It ain’t the fucking Ritz.

Locals don’t seem to mind going out of town for the week. Some of them even rent out their homes to visitors. A club member’s wife knew someone who had recently purchased a house in Lead, just outside of Deadwood, a small mining town outside of Sturgis. They moved in a week prior and then moved back out to let twenty-something bikers squat in their house for a few days.

The house was on top of a hill with steep stairs and a driveway filled with motorcycles. There were three rooms with beds, plenty of air mattresses, sleeping bags and tents in the yard. The week before the trip my dad filled the house with air mattresses, checking for leaks. He claims efficiency, I’m pretty sure he was building a fort without me.
(He saved me one.) Tommy and Bree brought an extra tent and sleeping bag for me. One of the Journeymen blew up the mattress while my brother put up my tent. No one would let me do anything, so I cracked a beer, enjoyed it for a moment, and went to find Kim Bobo. We hugged and played catch up for a while, but she was badly dehydrated from the ride the day before and wasn’t feeling well. I needed another beer. I let Kim rest and went outside to talk to everyone else.
I threw my suit case in the corner of my tent and made sure my pajamas were on top so I could easily access them later in the dark. I stepped carefully through a yard filled with tent posts toward the porch where I found a bottle of Fire Ball which I grabbed excitedly before even bothering to ask who it belonged to.

Long Hair James came out of the house through the laundry room holding a crystal candle stick and a bottle of Casadores. He set both down on the table, poured one into the other and knocked back the shot.
I guess the residents of the house hadn’t unpacked their shot glasses. Sometimes you’ve got to improvise.

We sat on the porch and in the yard. Talking, catching up and enjoying the cool South Dakota evening. Ralo’s father was a professional wrestler. She told me about how the first time we met she was talking about growing up around a bunch of men with wacky nicknames like Tank and Beautiful Bobby Wolf.
“And you laughed and said ‘Me too.’”

The day I arrived was my brother’s 21st birthday. Ralo and Long Hair James wanted to make sure we did something to celebrate, which turned into taking a cab to town and going to see LA Guns at an old opera house that the taxi driver swore was abandoned until we arrived in front of it.

There were maybe thirty people in the audience. We got seats in the center and settled in. James bought everyone a beer and the show started.
I drank every beer he handed me. Even the ones I didn’t want. He’d ask, I’d tell him I was fine, and he’d hand me another beer. Tom collected them under his seat. James was a man who did not know the meaning of “no thank you, I’m okay.” and I didn’t mind one bit. (thanks James!)

LA Guns started their “unplugged” set. (They were definitely plugged in.)
“I’ve been a vampire for fourteen years…” the singer crooned. I turned to my brother.
“That’s not that long. I mean, In vampire years…”
After a handful of songs the guitarist played a few bars of something familiar. Everyone else went outside to smoke. Long Hair James shouted “BLAAAAAACK SAAAABBATHHHHHH!”
We cheered, we whistled, we ask for more Sabbath. He stopped playing the song and the band conversed briefly amongst themselves. They ended their set with a bunch of cover songs and got the most applause while covering Violent Femmes ‘Blister in the Sun” then launched into a cover of ‘All Along the Watchtower.”
I looked around to make sure everyone else could hear it too. Just in case I was a waking Cylon.
When they finished the last song the crowd clapped and whistled but not as loud for their original song as for the covers. The guitarist leaned into the mic and said to the small audience “You make me feel like a whore.”
Drunk, I shout back “YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF!” then walk out to the lobby where they have an antique iron lung on display for no apparent reason.

We waited for our cab and James went into the Silver Star lounge across the street. I followed him inside to tell him how much time we had until our ride arrived. On my way in I passed a young guy, twenty something, alone. He had a three piece Sons of Anarchy back patch sewn to his vest and I openly laughed at him as I walked by.
“Did you SEE that shit, James?” I asked.
“I was going to take it from him, but I don’t think it’s worth going to jail.” he said, staring him down across the bar.

Wednesday morning was the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame induction breakfast. And I was hung over.
This year they were honoring my father along with six others. A lawyer and some custom bike builders. My father was specifically inducted into the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame for all the work he’s done for motorcycle rights and safety.
Each inductee was given five minutes to speak to the audience. Most of them spent that time saying thank yous. My dad used it as a platform to further publicize what he’s working toward.
“Any one who knows me knows that this will be brief.
One of the things I tell them in my seminars is that when I was riding into their neighborhoods what I noticed was a lot of room. So take that territorial shit and get over it. There is plenty of room for all of us. Another thing I tell them is that there are only so many colors in the rainbow, so get over that too. As long as your patch doesn’t look like mine, we’re okay.
I also tell them that if they want to go out and get into a fight on a Friday night…go to the cowboy bar.”

And that was the end of his speech. Had the mic not been attached to the podium, dropping it on the ground and walking off stage would have fit perfectly as an exit.

I sat through the presentations about the other inductees, listened to them thank their families and try to raise money for the museum. I excused myself twice to throw up and when we returned to the house, I laid on the couch for the whole of the afternoon recovering from the night before and let the flies land on me.

We woke early the next day and began packing up camp. We scrubbed the toilets and floors, did dishes, replaced groceries we’d used (mostly coffee and toilet paper) and washed all the bedding and towels.
JD passed around a small black notebook and everyone wrote a thank you letter to the owner of the house, chipped in and left a stack of cash inside the book. We left them with a house so clean it was almost impossible to tell we’d been there, save for a few blue feathers that had shed from a boa that Ralo demanded that I accept from her.

We stopped off in Rapid City when my Dad´s clutch went out and I scored a sweet leather jacket for $40, then it was off to Mount Rushmore where I saw some guys carved into a rock that didn’t seem as massive as I imagined it would be, and they charge $6 for an ice cream cone.

It was delicious.
Since my suitcase was still in Ralo´s car, we had to drive to Wyoming to drop off my dad and get it. A storm was moving in and as we headed into the blackness my brother looked over at my dad and said “This goes against every instinct I have.´
After driving hours in one direction, we turned around to drive back to Rapid City. Back into the storm. I had a flight to catch the next evening and we took some dry clothes to the folks who got caught in the storm on their bikes.

Long flat stretches of highway so black that you only know that the horizon still exists when the lightning flashes and illuminates the sky for a split second. In that flash you can see the line between the sky and the road in a pale pink glow.

Going around Mt Rushmore there are deer in the middle of highway. Tom flashes lights at them and they scurry off. A mile later we see signs telling us to watch for big horn sheep.
That will fuck up your car.

Got into a Super 8 motel at 4am and paid $190 to sleep for a few hours and was denied a late check out. My flight didnt leave until 5pm, so I went to Denny’s across the street from the hotel, where they were so slammed that I wanted to help them run food- server instinct.

Waiting for a taxi outside of Denny’s I’m watching a morbidly obese woman on crutches struggle out the door. I remind myself that It’s not polite to stare, look away and scan the passing traffic for my cab. When I look back, a woman in her party with bug eyes and buck teeth wearing hospital scrubs smiles at me. I smile back. She grins wider and holds up a pamphlet with a picture of a bear on it. I smile back and say “ooh!” she continues to smile an crawls into the backseat of the SUV.

Checking in at the airport the girl at the computer next to the woman helping me looks at her screen and sighs. “I’m looking at how many flights we over sold. We’re in truh-uhhh-bull.”
My own flight was over sold by 2 seats. Another on Delta, where they are so desperate to remedy their error, that they offer to reschedule the flight as well as a $600 voucher. Suddenly the quiet airport is buzzing. There are few things you can’t get for the right price.
The woman next to me keeps prodding this guy to volunteer to take a later flight. He has an “important meeting” in the morning and says he would like to but can’t.
“Talk him into it” she says to the guy at the gate.
I can’t help but wonder why she doesn’t volunteer herself. He strikes a conversation with her and they start talking bikes. He’s showing her photos from his cell and sounds more excited about the steak he had at the roadhouse than any motorcycle.
“It’s been about 15 years since I’ve been on one. I’ve been telling my wife I want to get back on one. It’s a lot of fun. But its been a long time.”

In 15 years you haven’t managed to get on a fucking motorcycle? Clearly, you don’t want it that bad. I can’t imagine my father, or anyone else with a passion for two wheels and the open road, waiting a DECADE AND A HALF to get on a bike.

Some people are conversing behind where I am seated. The men are looking out the window contemplating the storm rolling in.
“Man, look at that lightning.”
I wasn’t looking forward to the storm in this teeny plane, almost certain that I would vomit on someone, if I didn’t get struck by lightning first.

The officer at the bar sipping coffee tells the bartender that there are flash flood warnings. I sip my vodka and sigh into my book. He asks how I’m doing. I tell him I’m well, just hoping I’m not stuck here. He says so long as there isn’t too much lightning we should get out fine. The longer I wait at the gate the closer the grey clouds push in.
Ten minutes before our flight is due for departure the intercoms sounds and the man at the gate announces that we’ve been placed on a ground hold. Everyone but me is worried. I have four hours between flights.
Still, I’d rather not wait for anything. I just want to crawl into my bed.
An hour after my flight should have taken off I’m sitting at the gate listening to a bunch of folks from back east talk to one another while reading WE LIVE INSIDE YOU for the third time. They talk about their bikes on a truck somewhere outside, saying that if they have to stay later they will go get their bikes. One of them says that a least they aren’t missing ride time. If they were really so concerned with time spent riding…why were they flying?

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Creep #20: Ball Gag, Please

My lap top is still broken. I plan to have a friend of mine perform some robot surgery on the little guy but, the most Californian thing I have said since “The morning fog makes my yoga mat slippery”, I want to wait until Mercury Retrograde is over. Mock me if you must.
You could better expend that energy by buying me a new laptop.

Point being, this was posted from my cell using the WordPress App. So, again hope it’s working out for you.

I work in a smut shop and sometimes the customers bother me enough that I have to write about them. Since I can’t be mean to their faces. I collect these stories and call then CREEPS. Several of them are available in issue seven of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. Others may never see the light of day. We’ll see how it goes.

Funny how the woman talking about ball gags made me wish she was wearing one.
It wasn’t the sound of her voice. The tone and frequency weren’t particularly offensive. Just that she was talking. That she could talk.

Two women opened the door and hesitated at the entrance.
“Why not?”
- inaudible response-
“Oh, come on. We can’t get in much trouble…”

I heard the the knob from the deadbolt we recently changed and poorly installed clatter to the floor. Everyone lets the door slam behind them.

I was standing behind the counter and putting matching pink and red lingerie sets, surely made from some highly flammable poly blend, on new hangers. Trying to fool what few customers we may have into thinking they are new product.

The first woman entered and gestured at me. “See, she seems harmless.”

The second woman, obviously here against her will, didn’t look at me. She gazed after he friend, exasperated. “Why would she be?”

The first woman was almost in awe of the shop. That such things could be for sale to the general public. At first she seemed to delight in trying to embarrass her friend. She didn’t stop talking for more than a moment and when she wasn’t yakking away, she was texting.
Her ringtone was too loud. A long conch warning like Lord of the Flies. I pictured her a wild boar rotating over a fire on a spit with a shiny red apple in her mouth.
It was at this moment that she turned to the mannequin next to the counter.

My boss purchased two of them. Molded plastic faces that were something like an anime Harley Quin. Huge eyes with gaping, joyful, clown mouths. They were terrifying. So terrifying that I wasn’t the least bit upset when one day I bumped into one, knocked it over, and busted her head off.
The mannequin at the front counter remained in tact. Her face still frightened me so I covered it with a full face mask, harness and ball gag.

The first woman stared at it. She raised her hand and then let it fall dramatically to her side as she sighed “Oh, allllllll this. This is just too much.”
The second woman forced a smile and milled around waiting for her friend to finish shopping. “Shopping”. “Observing” was more like it. “Gawking” was more accurate still.
The longer she roamed the sales floor the more she came across things she found offensive.

I walked back to the secret labyrinth hallway in search of more hanger clips and heard her voice, completely aghast at something.
“Oh my GOD! Are these REAL?”
I didn’t care enough to look back and see what. The answer was probably yes.
She picked up stripper stilettos, fetish style toe shoes, glass dildos, and handcuffs. She made her way to the toy room at the back of the shop, touching everything along the way. Her companion trudged along behind her, dragging her paper shopping bag on the ground.

I finished hanging molotov lingerie as they walked back onto the main floor.
“No. I’m just not into it.”
The first woman said this firmly, defensively and walks away from the second woman. “No. Just. Not into it. No.”
She walked back to the front door, the second woman a trail of beige behind her.

The door slammed and the lock fell off again.

We really ought to get that fixed.

(it’s since been fixed, so don’t get any bright ideas, jerk)

Adventure Blog: SF PRIDE 2013

I’ve somehow managed to break both my laptop and tablet within three days of each other. I also scalded the fuck out of one hand with soup and lodged a bunch of broken glass in the other. Mercury Retrograde is adorable.
The point is, I wrote/posted this entire entry from my cell using the WordPress app. Hope it’s working out for you.

This year’s PRIDE adventure served as not only the usual gay celebration, or the fact that gay marriage is now legal in California(’bout fucking time) but also as a mini vacation for me. Which is, of course, the most important part.
I work six days a week. Four of those days are double shifts. With summer upon us, all the girls at my sushi job are requesting weeks at a time off. An actual vacation is out of the question until Sturgis. So, I took Sunday off to go to the Gay Pride Festival and Parade.

I’m complete fag hag.

Even though my friends and I took an early bus down to the city, it was so crowded that there weren’t any seats available. We spent the entire 1.5-2hr bus ride standing. Which turned into what we’ve dubbed “urban surfing.”
Standing up on the bus while traveling requires some skill- stance, weight distribution, reflexes, and a firm grip. Next Olympic sport? Maybe X Games?

The bus was mostly filled with teenage girls. Squabbling, obnoxious teenage girls. I was fantasizing about sterilization with red hot pokers by the end of the ride.
One applied makeup the entire time. She packed it on thick with little to no blending technique. Cheek bones streaked with harsh lines of blush and bronzer. I fought the urge to tell her to fix her fucking face, figuring that maybe the queens would read her later. When her face couldn’t handle any more pigment, she started on her friend and made hers the same. They look like baby prostitutes. I was torn between the urge to laugh or lecture.

Sidenote/mid-post rant: What is it about PRIDE that makes young girls take off their clothes to celebrate the homosexuality of another person? Am I just getting old? Is it because I’ve never been one of those skinny bitches?

We walk the parade route, eying the spectators just as much as the parade. Checking out costumes both ridiculous and awesome until we are in need of cold beer. We wander outside the chaos in search of an open bar.

Inside Club 93 it’s hotter than outside. But there is shade, music, a place to sit and ice cold draft beer. We sit at the end of the bar and watch two bartenders handle the packed bar with grace and efficiency. I make sure to slip extra singles onto the bar.

Heather heads further into the bar, braving more heat to wait in the impossibly long line for the bathroom. Once inside she finds toilets that could only be flushed by sticking your hand inside the tank.

While she waited in line her boyfriend and I were approached by a couple of guys and we sparked a conversation about Ginuwine while ‘My Pony’ played over the sound system. They bought us drinks, tried to feel out Kyle’s sexuality, and were disappointed but not discouraged when Heather returned and they realized he was straight. Instead, fancy LA ‘mo Flavio asked if he had any homosexual relatives, because a girl can dream.

A pretty blonde girl enters the bar. She’s hammered and in an Australian accent, shouts her offer to marry anyone, male or female, to stay in America. “I JUST WANNA GET MY GREEN CARD Y’ALL!”
Single Serving Friend, Alex (who is smitten with Heather and insists upon multiple photos with her) says he will take her up on the offer, but she has to pay him.
“I’m just MONEY to you!” she says, complete aghast.
“And I’m just papers to you, honey. What’s the problem?”
Seems like a solid deal to me.
So, if any foreign born gay men need a beard and/or green card wife, hit me up. I’m your girl.

The bar continues to attract other parade goers in search of beverages and a place to hide from the sun. We relinquish our seats to the next wave of patrons and navigate through the chaos to meet up with more friends.

In a smaller fenced off area there are people laying in the grass and art hanging on chain link fences. We soak up the shade while Jesse says his hellos to friends. To our left there is an older naked man getting a handjob from another man. They go on like this for a while until someone in a yellow safety vest walks over and tells them to stop. The nude man puts a black sock back over his penis, but now it sticks straight out, waving like a flag.

At the other end of the park there is another old naked man. There always is. His skin is baked into leather, his stringy blonde hair spillsout across his shoulders while he sits in a lawn chair, tugging at his pathetic penis while passersby try to look away. That’s the part he likes. The attention, the revulsion, making people uncomfortable.
He is succeeding.

Rachel and Jesse want to dance and I want to go elsewhere before the fat guy in the lawn chair pops. We head to the sound stage.
Good music, sunshine and cool breezes are all negated by the presence of a furry. Furries and mimes give me the creeps.
Jesse walks over to the furry and Rachel starts laughing. I turn around and a bare-chested man with a giant wolf head is coming at me. So I run. I take off into the crowd and the wolf pursues.

FLASHBACK: You are six years old at Disneyland and Donald Duck wants to hug you. His giant goon head scares the fuck out of you so you run. He chases you in circles until you cry.

“THIS IS DONALD DUCK ALL OVER AGAIN!” I shouted in terror as the teal and white wolf-man caught and embraced me.
I swat at Jesse, scolding him for telling the wolf to chase me.
“I didn’t tell him to chase you. I said ‘will you give my friend a hug?’ and you ran. You ran from a wild animal, of course they were going to chase you.”

The festivities are winding down and we all head toward the muni to catch a train into the Castro. Then we hear shots being fired. One. Two. Three.

A crowd of people run up behind us. Clusters of police officers run toward the sound. People duck behind tents and vendor carts. Rachel and I duck into a vendor tent and squat down behind the table while the large man working the booth scurries underneath the table, pulling the table cloth down behind him. Hiding in his own private fort and not really bothering to offer shelter to anyone else.

We hear the crackling sound of a taser.
Ambulances.

Sudden dominant police presence.

Chaos in the muni station. People are scared and the BART workers are on strike so the trains are extra crowded.

They say that the shooter disappeared into the crowd and two men were shot in the legs. They don’t say anything about a taser.

The muni station and the Castro are filled with cops for the rest of the night.
Thanks for looking out.

Dinner at Orphan Andy’s where a scruffy dude in flip flops and a straw cowboy hat breaks my heart with his homosexuality. All the good ones are gay.

Jesse and I hit a few bars in the Castro before declaring ourselves too tired to party any longer. We get a hotel on Valencia and call it a night.

The next morning we head to his doctors office to get the bandages from a recent minor surgery changed.

I watch the nurse pull out the packing and dispose of it. He leaves the room for a few moments and returns with a large bottle of saline. He fills an irrigator with it and begins injecting the fluid into Jesse’s open wound. Jesse bares down on the table while the nurse apologizes for the pain. Then he re-packs the wound with gauze, slowly stuffing the opening with tiny instruments.

“It feels like you’re stabbing me in the back with a tiny stick.” Jesse grunts.

“That’s because I am.” the nurse replies, his voice flat.

I stifle my hysterical laughter.

The nurse tells us about a previous patient with a similar wound, but deeper. This man went through a wound packing session screaming at the top of his lungs the first time. The second? He was basically asleep.

The nurse laughs, “I said to him ‘Did you take heroin before coming here?’ he said ‘Of course I did. You think I wanted to go through that again?!’ It’s premium pain treatment but there’s a stigma in this country. It’s, by far, the best thing around.”

And I can’t help but wonder, did this medical professional just indorse heroin?

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Rant: The Woman/ Fifth Grade Psychopaths

I watched a film called The Woman last night. While the acting was kind of weak and the story had its flaws, it definitely freaked me the fuck out.

Sure, there were two gore scenes (TWO!) that made me wonder if I was going to vomit. A rarity for a gore-hound like myself. But really, it was the central idea of the movie. Some horrible, sadistic, wife-beating, daughter-raping LAWYER finds a feral woman in the woods and TRAINS her to be civilized by chaining her up in his woodshed, firing a gun off next to her head, starving and raping her. He beats his wife when she protests, sets rabid dogs on the teacher of his incestuously impregnated daughter when she comes to their home, and goes on a rant about how women are no fucking good at all.

All the while his son is watching. Learning not only to NOT value women as people, but to loathe them in that extra special serial killer kind of way, as is demonstrated when he thinks no one is home, goes into the wood shed and tears off the feral woman’s nipple with a pair of pliers. Which, of course, is condoned by his shit-bag father.
Yes, it was a horror film. It wasn’t the gore that was horrifying, it was this sick, sadistic man teaching his son his “values” and seeing him take to it like a fish in water.
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And then today I come upon this article on Jezebel and I can’t help but wonder how much of this real life horror story is learned behavior?

The world gets sicker every day.

The Fly (who has nothing to do with Jeff Goldblum)

If you asked the fly, whose life I saved yesterday, about the spider whose legs I broke and crushed before drowning this morning, he wouldn’t believe you.

You would tell him how I stepped into the shower and felt eight little legs break under my weight. How I lifted my foot and saw its crippled, semi crushed body stuck to the bottom of the bathtub. How I flinched a little when I washed him down the drain and then went about my regular morning routine.

He would be appalled.
flyJust yesterday I left an inch of melted whipped cream and milkshake slurry in the bottom of a plastic cup on the counter while I went to the restroom. When I came back there was a large black fly struggling in the sticky puddle at the bottom. The same fly that buzzed around my head, while I was reading or typing, for what felt like the last several weeks. Weighed down by sugar and cream, he fell on his back and was not able to roll over. I watched him flail about on his back for a minute and thought of poking at him with my straw. But I felt bad for him. I positioned the straw so that he could grab a hold of it with his six little feet. At first he drew back towards the opposite side of the cup. He must have thought I was going to crush him. I put the straw next to him and turned the cup on its side. He wrapped his feet around the plastic and shambled up the straw. He paused at the top, unsure of leaving the cup and its bounty behind. I tore off a small piece of a paper towel, set it next to him and looked away. When I looked back he was frantically rubbing his appendages together and over his face, cleaning himself like a hamster. He was using the smallest corner of the paper towel.

A man walked through the door so I picked up the cup and tapped the straw on the towel to shake him loose. He was not pleased, but I couldn’t very well have trash on the counter when customers come in. The fly hopped about on the glass while I greeted the customer and tried to slide the paper towel under it. It eventually got pissed off at me and buzzed a few feet away.

I finished my conversation with the customer and checked the counter for the fly.  In front of a plastic tub of edible body paint and bullet vibrators was the tattered half of a wing and sticky little speckles trailing off the counters’ edge.

Constance Ann:

Several of my CREEPS are in the new issue of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction alongside a slew of killer authors!
Pretty excited to see this <3

Originally posted on Bizarro Central:

issue7The premier magazine of the bizarro genre.

Issue seven features the novella “Noah’s Arkopolis” by David W Barbee short fiction by David Agranoff, Molly Tanzer, Andrew Wayne Adams, Shane McKenzie and Dustin Reade, comics by Andrew Goldfarb and SCAR, articles by Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Carlton Mellick III, Kirsten Alene Pierce, Garrett Cook and Bradley Sands, a spotlight on author Jordan Krall, reviews, and more!

Click HERE to order The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Seven)!

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Attack of the Photo Blog: BizarroCon 2012 Edition!

BizarroCon is an annual event held just outside Portland Oregon. Bizarros travel from all over the place to do workshops, attend readings and performances, meet, drink Rose O’Keefe’s amazing beer, talk shop and connect. This year we not only had people  from all over the country, but from Spain, Australia and England. We’re going international, bitch!

It’s a beautiful experience.
2012 was my third year in attendance and the sense of community never ceases to amaze and overwhelm me. The deep gratitude for everyone being a part of it resonates through the internet as soon as we all return home.

My first year: I was nervous and excited.
Completely blown away by a talented and beautiful community of artists, my heart swelled, exploded, reassembled and wanted nothing more than to be a part of it.

My second year: Terrified in the best possible way.
Published under NBAS for a year “trial”. Excited, proud, honored, determined.

My third year: Beyond grateful.
Signed to Eraserhead Press for a three year contract. Officially part of Eraserhead Press. Heart is again swollen with joy.

That’s right. For all of you who have been wondering how my NBAS trial went: I GOT IT!
EHP is signing me to a THREE YEAR CONTRACT!

I am still in shock.

First off, thank you.
Thank you to anyone who bought a copy (or copies) of Trashland A Go-Go, wrote a review, shared a link, told a friend and supported me in this endeavor. My sales were so much better than I could have dreamed. It means so VERY much to me.
Thank you to everyone at EHP for welcoming me.
Thank you to my fellow NBAS 2011- 2012 authors who were the best possible group to work with.Especially Spike Marlowe for her ridiculously thoughtful gift this weekend <3  I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and loving group to work with. I look forward to working with them for years to come.

Extra warm and fuzzy thank you to Kevin Shamel for all his hard work, being there, and just believing in me in general. His faith in me was a huge motivation to me over the last year.

I committed  the last year of my life to Trashland, the NBAS, and Bizarro as a whole and it paid off in the most fan-fucking-tastic way.
In 2006 my brother Kevin lent me copies of Teeth and Tongue Landscape and Angeldust Apocalypse. I was an instant fan. I never dreamed that I would get to be PART of this. And now I am and I couldn’t possibly be any fucking happier.

When I sat down in the very last row of seats on my flight home from Portland, I stared  out the window worrying about the weather because I HATE flying, and suddenly it hit me. I have a contract. They signed me. They want ME. I get to be a part of this.
I’ll spare you the weepy details. Let’s just say I was really glad I was sitting alone at the very back of the plane.

It’s very exciting, but it also means that I have a lot of work to do.
I can’t wait!

The rest of the weekend was a blast as always. I did the High Concept Workshop run by Jeff Burk on Friday morning and my pitch was “purchased” the most with Bizarro Currency- some sweet dinosaur trading cards.

Then it was off to the Writing for a Cult Audience workshop with Carlton Mellick III. I now belong to a publisher that hands out booklets like this:

The advice, in case you were wondering, is totally awesome and shit.
I also belong to a publisher that wants all of it’s authors to succeed. A publisher who believes in publishing authors, not books. What does that mean? It means they care about the author. It means they want to nurture that talent and brand. It means they are exactly where I want to be.

The rest of the weekend we had panel discussions, readings, art, dinners and the ULTIMATE Ultimate Bizarro Showdown! The Showdown is usually hosted by Jeremy Robert Johnson, but this year we were graced with the hosting talents of Famous Author Mykle Hansen. That man is a fucking delight. Every time Mykle opens his mouth I love him a little more.

Now there is nothing left to do but wait for next year and blow up Kevin’s inbox with story pitches.

This is also the Winter of the Desk. Three years in a row I have listened to authors on panel talk about how important it is to have a space to work in. Hell, I bought, read, and adored A Room of One’s Own. I should have gotten it a while ago. But I always had the excuse of “not having space”. Well, not a goddamn thing is being done with the giant box of dvds between my dresser and my overstuffed bookcase. Time to get my head back on straight. It’s been a really rough couple of months with working two jobs, the passing of my mother and working toward this contract. This weekend was exactly what I needed. I feel recharged, and I know I am not the only attendee who feels that way. Because it’s part of what we do there.

I could go on for days about every little thing, and how Wonderland Award Winning Author Laura Lee Bahr is the most fun roommate in the entire fucking world, even if she makes you cry when she wins things she very much deserves and drinks atrocious beverage concoctions. Then this blog would never end, so I’ll leave you with a photo gallery and a whole mess of captions.
Thanks again to everyone who made this event what it is. It’s meant a lot to me over the last few years, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
360 DAYS ‘TIL BIZARROCON!

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Several images were poached from C. V. Hunt and Tiffany Pedro Tirado. Thanks ladies!

Originally posted on Bizarro Central:

by Constance Ann Fitzgerald

I’ve been incredibly lazy. I’ve been on the couch or in bed watching tv shows and movies and not doing much else that could be deemed “productive” in any way. Since our stolen cable has officially been shut off, I depend on Netflix to entertain me during my laying about. Once I finished watching all the episodes of 30Rock for the seventieth time, it was suggested that I watch a show called Oddities from the Science Channel.
Oddities!? Yes, PLEASE!

I’ve seen all sorts of quack medical devices, mortician’s gear, various types of deformed taxidermy and still born things in jars, plasticized organs, straight jackets and circus sideshow performers. It’s pretty much the greatest thing I have ever seen.

But what REALLY got me was an artist named Vincent Castiglia. He stopped by Obscura to see if they would be interested in selling his paintings.

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