An aspiring author confronts the literary demons of the world and sets off in search of an agent.

Friday, November 15, 2013

How Do You Put a Giraffe in a Refrigerator?


Click on the image to advance
Share/Bookmark

The Period and the Comma: A True Story!


Click on the image to advance
Share/Bookmark

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Playful homage to The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The Demon doesn't know much about small towns in England. Neither have I  the foggiest notion of what an English idyll might be, but mindful of the gaps in my understanding of the Brits, I will proceed to take on the The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.

Here's the original:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey,
but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen


Here's the Demonized version:


When Barney Fartbother mysteriously vanishes, the town of Padfoot hardly notices.
Sure, they will need a special election to fill his vacancy on parish council, but it seems
a piddling matter, at most. But soon, a series of very un-Padfootian occurrences,
horrifying incidents, verging on the occult rocks the village to its very core. Mysterious,
perplexing, unfathomable. What could be behind it all? Is it possible that a single vacancy
is the causal element in the unraveling of the once proud and unflappable town of Padfoot?
Is this proof that nature, as well as small towns, abhor a vacuumn? Or is it, once again, proof
that readers of this blog are too easily amused by the Demon's lame sense of humor?
  


'nuff said!
Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 14, 2013

When Characters are Just a Dream

How would you feel if you were a character in a book and it was nothing more than a dream? That's a topic two of my characters discussed:

“Well,” said Ottomotto, “shall we go down the Rabbit Hole?”

“That’s not a rabbit hole," replied Hotaru.
 
 “I know it’s not. It’s just an expression from the book Alice in Wonderland.”

“Oh, that book!” scoffed Hotaru.

“Sounds as if you don’t care for Alice in Wonderland.”

“Truth be told,” came her tart reply, “I don’t.”

“How can you NOT like Alice in Wonderland? It’s a fantastic adventure filled with wonderful characters.”

“I’ll admit it’s a fun read.” Hotaru turned to face Ottomotto. “But it was pretend, not real. At the end of the book Alice wakes up from her nap and tells her sister, ‘Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream.’”

“What’s wrong with that?” asked Ottomotto.

“How would you feel if you were a character in a book and discovered your great adventure was nothing more than a dream? Wouldn’t you feel as if you’d been ripped off? If it happened to me, I’d be totally bummed!"

How would you feel? Wouldn't you be bummed?



Share/Bookmark

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Misery Is...Thought for the Day

I found this old sketch I did a number of years back. Worth thinking about...





Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Is there an Archangel of Stories?

In an earlier post, Story is NOT the by-product of magic!, I cited the following quote from Elie Wiesel: 
"God made man because He loves stories."
This leads me to wonder: If God so loved stories, could be there one angel who happens to be the Archangel of Stories?





Share/Bookmark

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Time Before Stories

Where do stories come from? This question led me to write the following short, short story.


The Time Before Stories


A long, long time ago there were no stories to tell and no books to read. It was an age we now call, The Time Before Stories.

In those dreary times, children tossed and turned, struggling to fall asleep, their restlessness fueled by some nameless desire, unspoken yet uncomplicated, whose name was simply the title of a bedtime story waiting to be imagined. The question, ‘Child, what did you dream about last night?’ was never asked for there were no dreams worth remembering. How could there be in a world without fairy tales?

Untold were the legends of courageous men and women going off to fight the good fight. Unread were the fables by which life’s lessons are learned. Young people did not stay up late to read of dragon versus dragon slayer and nary a myth was whispered about the ancient gods.

In The Time Before Stories, there were no Alices tumbling down the rabbit hole to explore Wonderland; no Peter Pans refusing to grow up in a place called Neverland; no Winnie the Poohs hunting the Heffalump; no Hobbits, be it Bilbo or Frodo or otherwise, undertaking perilous journeys to places such as Mt. Doom; and no young wizards, with or without lightning bolt scars, standing strong against the purveyors of dark magic.

The world sorely lacked for imagination.

However, all that changed with the arrival of a man known as Fabula, whose name means story in Latin and from which comes the English word, fable. He was neither wizard nor sorcerer; magician nor conjurer; enchanter nor warlock: he was a thaumaturge or ‘one who works miracles.” 

It was Fabula who planted the seeds of the Tree of Tales, thereby giving us the miracle of stories. From where these seeds came, or how the thaumaturge found them, is not known – he told no one. Throughout the ages, rumors and theories have abounded – even today, it remains one of the great ironies that the story behind the Tree of Tales has yet to be told.

Though we do not know the origins of the seeds, we do know their discovery required a journey lasting ten years. During that time, Fabula met with and spoke to countless individuals, many who were interesting and a few who were extraordinary, but only five were blessed with an eloquence, empathy and wisdom beyond any of their kin. They were: Octavia, the Silver Fairy of the Northlands; Accipiter, the Red-Chested Hawk of West Africa; Damh, the White Stag of Rhydenfyre; Otarian, The Elfish Lord of Cryptomeria; and Omorose, The Beautiful Child of the Nile.

Fabula returned home with his acolytes, who called themselves the Fab Five, to plant the Tree of Tales. Just one year later, the tree’s silvery white buds burst open to unleash creativity upon the world and, much like its blossoms, characters and storylines started unfolding in the imaginations of Octavia, Accipiter, Damh, Otarian and Omorose. There, beneath the canopy of that glorious tree, the Fab Five labored, creating the craft of stories. Word of the miracle spread and in just a few years’ time, storytellers and authors could be found in every corner of the world. Scores of individuals flocked to the Tree of Tales, drawn by the sweet scent of imagination, and around the tree a village grew – the one we now know as Storyhaven.


Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Literary Agents from Outer Space!

Just for fun!


Made with the Pulp-O-Mizer,
the customizable pulp magazine cover generator!



Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How would I describe myself as a writer?

I am a distinctively unique, inimitably odd, one-of-a-kind author. My heroes start out with big dreams only to find themselves waylaid with the curse of zero confidence. Somehow, in spite of the latter, they find a way to accomplish great things.



Share/Bookmark

The Groundrules!


'nuff said!


Share/Bookmark

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Playful Homage to FUSE by Julianna Baggott.

The Demon enjoyed Pure by Julianna Baggott (nothing like a good dystopian novel on a rainy day to cheer me up!). The second book in the trilogy, Fuse, has just been released and I am looking forward to reading it. It also means it's time for the Demon to do what he always does when he likes a book, offer up a playful homage...


Instead of: 




Let's imagine:



Book Description

February 19, 2013 The Purr Trilogy (Book 2)

What's all the fuss about?

Up til now, Pressia has had quite the adventure. She met some really gnarly, yet cool people like El Capitan, Helmud and Bradwell. She even found her long lost brother, Partridge! Then the jealousy kicked in. It was inevitable, actually. Partridge was a Pure, he got ALL the attention.

"What am I," seethed Pressia, "chopped liver?" 
"No need to get so snippy," snapped Partridge.
"Well, aren't you the special one in the family? Listen up, Bro: you may be Pure on the outside, but you're nothing but a Putz on the inside!" 
"Hey, this is supposed to be a dystopian future," a mirthless smirk distorted Partridge's face, "not a disstopian future."
"Good one!" Helmud grunted approvingly. 
"Stay out of this," warned El Capitan. 


Okay, enough of this. Quit wasting your time on my blog and get yourself a copy of Fuse.

'nuff said!



Share/Bookmark

Friday, February 8, 2013

Green Pine Trees, Cranes and Turtles

In 1955, twenty-five young Japanese women who had been badly scarred by the atomic blast at Hiroshima were sent to New York City for reconstructive plastic surgery. They became known as the Hiroshima Maidens. Almost all returned to Japan afterwards. However, one remained in the United States, moved to Los Angeles, married and had four children. 

In this story, I try to imagine what happened when a young daughter becomes curious about the scars on her mother's face. 



Share/Bookmark

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Zero Heroes Writing Challenge

This is a follow-up to my Zero Confidence Fairy Tales post. This time I would like to propose an anthology where famous writers write short stories addressing the following challenge:

We all have our heroes, be it real or fictional. But what if you woke up one day and realized you could not recall who your heroes were? You try to summon them but neither name nor image comes to mind.; it is as if the knowledge has been wiped from your brain. You feel as if an essential component of your persona has been stolen and you must, at all costs, get it back. Write the story of your quest to reclaim this lost knowledge.  Good luck!

By the way, I wouldn't mind if a publisher contacted me about making this book a reality.




Share/Bookmark

Android Dreams, Cats Purring and E-books!










Hmmm...Philip K. Dick once wrote a story entitled, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Now I wonder if an author who publishes solely e-books dreams of electric cats?



Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Short Story: That's the Finest I've Ever Known

A new short story!



Share/Bookmark

Monday, January 21, 2013

An Eudora Welty Haiku

I was reading the short story, A Still Moment, by Eudora Welty in which she described an encounter with a snowy heron.
"He watched without moving. The bird was defenseless in the world except for the intensity of its life."
This feels like the stuff of haiku to me, hence:

The bird, defenseless.
The intensity of life
clinging to this world.


Share/Bookmark

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Haiku of the Discouraged Writer



Share/Bookmark

Zero Confidence Fairy Tales

I have an idea for an anthology series to which I would like to lay claim: Zero Confidence Fairy Tales. Each collection would feature stories by famous writers imagining ways to overcome the challenge of losing one's confidence.

The first book in the series would offer the following challenge to our intrepid writers:
Imagine a curse has been laid upon you; it drains every last bit of your confidence as a writer. Each time you confront the blank page, the horror of having Zero Confidence overwhelms. Write the story of how you regained your confidence (Note: This is, of course, a bit of a paradox, but what the heck!).
Remember,you are writing a fairy tale. For purposes of this anthology, let's borrow/modify a few ideas from Tolkien's On Fairy-Stories. Your tale should include these elements:
Escapism:  By this we mean escape from an accursed condition. Each writer should consider the specific nature of the curse that robbed him of his confidence. What elements of the curse is specific to your condition/circumstances as a writer? Why did this curse befall you?
Recovery: In this case, recovery means a return to, and a greater appreciation, of your normal (i.e., mundane) condition as a writer. What is that you (re)discover upon regaining your confidence?
Eucatastrophe:  This was Tolkien's term for the sudden, unexpected turn of events that leads to a happy ending. This may be the most challenging aspect of your story, coming up with a turn of events that absolutely makes sense given the context of your writing career.
I don't know about you, but I'd love to see the likes of Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami and others take a shot at this. Heck, I wouldn't mind if a publisher contacted me about making this book a reality.





Share/Bookmark

Friday, January 18, 2013

Short Story: Dorothy Gale's Second Chance

A short story about Dorothy Gale of Wizard of Oz fame and her encounter with Frank Baum.


Share/Bookmark