Saturday, February 27, 2010

Amazon.com's ABNA contest

It's a first step and I'll take it!

My novel "Drop Dead Cadillac" is one of a 1000 general fiction novels in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest to move into the second round of editorial reviews.

Since the total number of entries for the contest is 10,000, I'm happy about this.

If you are interested in reading an excerpt, it should be available on the amazon.com website under ABNA contest.

If not there, I have the first two chapters on Scribd.com (http://www.scribd.com/doc/20069062/Drop-Dead-Cadillac-Chapters-1-2).

"Drop Dead Cadillac" is a Marlowe Black Mystery set in NYC 1951.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Zombie, my Zombie


How-to-enjoy that first touchy-feely date.

By now, you must be breathless with anticipation. Relentlessly, you tracked him down, watched, and waited for him at midnight of the last six full moons, until finally you saw him. Your heart raced as he shambled across the uncut lawn, dodging tilted and ancient bone white tombstones at Mount Clementine's Cemetery.

I know you felt hesitant, understanding that each word, every movement might be misconstrued by him. After all, he has been festering beneath six feet of earthworm-ridden moist loamy earth for decades...at least.

Yet, now his history is not important, only the excitement of the moment of first contact.

Therefore, here are a few tips to make the night special, this most exciting time of you life.

First, prepare to ignore the following: the way his hands feel kinda like raw fish in a pail. The way he smells, kinda like chop meat left out on the counter for a few days or months.

Second, when you run your fingers through his hair, hide your disappointment, even horror when clumps of it cling to the delicate flesh of your palms, follicles caking under that expensive manicure you got just for this occasion.

Third, as his lips graze yours hold the kiss as long as you can...about as long as you can hold your breath. Never, I repeat, never allow his tongue to touch yours until you feel certain it will not...well, you know, break loose at an inopportune moment. Do keep in mind, that your Zombie really is dead. He might be animated, but expectations beyond that should be kept in check.

Fourth, when he places his hands on your lower back, do not shudder. If you do, not only will he feel it and know you are quite repulsed, but your quivering muscles might jar loose a fingernail or two, or more and, well, guess where they might end up. That's right; at the end where you do not want them.

Fifth, let's back up. Before you even meet the first time, I suggest you invest in a Zombie bag. The Fifth Avenue Zombie Bag has a number of pockets, all lined with a space age waterproofing material. It also has a double strap like the backpack you carried in school and it comes in colors that blend well with your first meeting place...the cemetery. Colors like cool morning mist green, shimmering moonlit freshly turned earth, gleaming headstone off-white, and my favorite, pink veined gray granite. Oh, it's wonderful!

Sixth, use your Zombie bag whenever something comes loose and well falls off. He will want to reattach fingers, toes, even limbs before returning home before the next sunrise. As they fall off, plopping greasily to the sidewalk, slip on your kid leather, rubber-lined Fifth Avenue Zombie Gloves and quickly, discretely scoop up the part and slip it into an empty pocket. Do not worry; the Fifth Avenue Zombie Bag has fifty-five pockets of varying sizes. However, a word of warning here, try to avoid examining the parts or pieces. Unpleasant surprises might spoil your date.

Seventh, sneaking your Zombie into your home might seem easy, but occasionally Zombies cry out, producing a loud gargling snarling sound that is both repulsive and alarming. He cannot control this urge and often the noise will be loud enough to get every dog in the neighborhood howling. Lights will flip on, and neighbors will open front doors shotguns in hand. Well, it would not do for you to become a Zombie before your time.

Eighth, intimacy is, well, let's put it this way, forget about it! Remember that old timey saying "Loose lips sink ships?" Now a bit of basic logic compiled with what we already know about Zombies and disassociated body parts and you get the picture, right? Remember, physical intimacy as in more than just hooking up, may end up down right disgusting or worse. You may need a trip to the emergency room. Think about explaining what happened.

If you apply all of these helpful hints to your first and, well, every date with your very own Zombie, life will be sweet...in more ways than one.

PS: Some Zombies are truly nasty ex-humans so beware, or you may be the prime rib he has been waiting for. Mace or a Taser will work wonders in these situations.

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Copyright February 20, 2010: Larry Schliessmann, all rights reserved.
This article is not to be shared. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold by you or given away by you in whole or in part, that is an infringement of U.S. copyright laws. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Living Eyes Syndrome in Writing

Or, eyes of mine wherefore art thou now?

I am an avid reader, but have a problem with some writers that I really need to get out in the open.

To keep this simple, I will ask some questions and because basically, I am seriously sarcastic by nature, I might even answer one or two.

One: When you write, "Their eyes met?" Did two people pop out their eyes first, hold them aloft so they might get to know each other's as couples?

Two: "His eyes roamed the room." Do you keep them on a leash so you can reel them in when you need to see something?

Three: "Her eyes darted about." Looking for an object to inflict punishment on, correct? Darts of anger flashed from her eyes! Can you see those little lightning bolts? ZAP!

Four: "Her eyes fluttered when he kissed her." Is this while they roamed the room, or have they returned for the close-up experience fluttering with angel wings (like tiny cupids) while hovering overhead?

Five: "His eyes went up and down her body." Now that's just plain creepy, although not quite as bad as "He eyeballed her." Okay, I want to make some comments here, like, what else, exactly, did he do while eyeballing her, but I'll let you fill in the blanks.

Six: "His eyes scanned the area before entering." I know, something like question 2, however, the disassociated shiny and intelligent, no doubt, orbs are now taking independent action to a new level. Kind of like 007. They are about to enter an area, but we do not know what or even why.

"Seven: "She eyed me when I approached." Sounds like tiny wet global weapons. Eyed him versus shot him between the eyes, kicked him between the legs. The idea makes parts of me shrivel with anxiety.

Eight: "His eyes stared down at the floor." Okay, that's a redundancy 'down at the floor'. My question here is: if his eyes are doing the staring, what the hell is he doing while they stay busy? Does he need time to think without distraction?

Nine: "He kept his eyes on the box." Guess that's better than keeping them inside the box. Someone might close the lid, and then what?

Ten: "Her eyes met his for the first time." Sorry, I had to do this variation of number one, and here is my question. What did her eyes do when they met his for the second time move beyond visual flirtation? Think fluttering.

Eleven: "He suddenly sat up, eyes back on his PDA." Where were they before he sat up? In his pocket or resting on the palm of his hand? And then just a few paragraphs later "His eyes were still on his PDA." Now I'm just confused. Why leave them there? Are they of no use elsewhere? How long can he go without?

Twelve: "She wiggled her eye at me." Or "blinked her eyes at me." Eyes do not blink, eyelids do. And wiggle? Please. Certain body parts wiggle while walking. You can wiggle you finger, or um, well you know, um your toes.

Thirteen: "His eyes drifted towards the door." Leaving him standing in the dark, no doubt. Perhaps it's better he is in the dark.

Fourteen: "Exasperated, she rolled her eyes." Did she shake them first, blow on her fist? And what did she get? Snake eyes, you lose!

Fifteen, the last for now: "The stranger's eyes fell on me hard." Ouch! I mean, how hard can they fall? Did the stranger just nod too vigorously?

Sorry, but eyes cannot act as disembodied independent individuals out to show you or a companion the way. I mean some of this stuff can be downright gross, and now that you are aware of this problem, see what happens whenever you come across one in a story.

If you're a writer, please for the love of God, stop it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Time for some fun!


FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE PHILOSOPHY OF AMBIGUITY, AS WELL AS THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE...

1. DON'T SWEAT THE PETTY THINGS AND DON'T PET THE SWEATY THINGS.

2. ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR.

3. ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.

4. IF MAN EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS AND APES, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?

5. I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, "WHERE'S THE SELF-HELP SECTION?" SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.

6. CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD?

7. WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?

8. IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?

9. IF SOMEONE WITH MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES THREATENS TO KILL HIMSELF, IS IT CONSIDERED A HOSTAGE SITUATION?

10. IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?

11. WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO "GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?"

12. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?

13. IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?

14. WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?

15. WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION BATHROOMS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL CLEAN THEM?

16. IF A TURTLE DOESN'T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?

17. CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?

18. IF THE POLICE ARREST A MIME, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?

19. WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES?

20. HOW DO THEY GET DEER TO CROSS THE ROAD ONLY AT THOSE YELLOW ROAD SIGNS?

21. WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?

22. ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON'T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

23. DOES THE LITTLE MERMAID WEAR AN ALGEBRA?

24. IF YOU SPIN AN ORIENTAL PERSON IN A CIRCLE THREE TIMES, DO THEY BECOME DISORIENTED?

25. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?

26. IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?

27. IF YOU ATE BOTH PASTA AND ANTIPASTO, WOULD YOU STILL BE HUNGRY?

28. IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?

29. WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD 'LISP' TO HAVE 'S' IN IT?

30. WHY ARE HEMORRHOIDS CALLED "HEMORRHOIDS" INSTEAD OF "ASSTEROIDS"?

31. WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN'T SHOOT AT THEM?

32. WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?

THE MAIN REASON THAT SANTA IS SO JOLLY IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE ALL THE BAD GIRLS LIVE.

34. DO INFANTS E NJOY INFANCY AS MUCH AS ADULTS ENJOY ADULTERY?

Author unknown, but has a terrific sense of humor!
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