Sunday, November 30, 2008

You've Got Meme On Your Shirt...

My Best Online Friend Forever Katie Schwartz tagged me and while I don't know who originated it, I know that Da Monk and Bubs had it on their pages. What's the meme called, I don't know, I'm too lazy to look it up. At any rate, here we go, Perry Farrell-

1. Five names you go by

1) The pronunciation of my name that I thought was correct, until a Danish woman straightened me out when I was twenty-four.
2) The pronunciation of my that is actually correct and what my In-laws with dere New Yawk accents, actually pronounced correctly as well.
3) My nickname, which was the bastardized version of my actual name, which no one in my family or my neighborhood could pronounce. Everybody at work calls me that or...
4) my last name.
5) Cormac is how people address me online, but I don't recognize it half the time. Whenever I see that on someone else's blog in reference to me, I'm like "who's that bastar...oh, they're talking about me.

2. Three things you are wearing right now

1) Levis.
2) A "Get Fuzzy" t-shirt.

The first panel features Satchel The Dog: So you write movies? You're a writer?
Quentin Tabbytino: Among other things. Yes.
Bucky The Cat: In fact, Quentin Tabbytino here is famous for his brilliant dialogue.

The second panel features Satchel: Really? How do you know what to say? I wouldn't know where to start!
Quentin: Well, for example, say I'm trying to write dialogue for someone who got punched in the nose...

The third panel features the word: SLAP

The fourth panel features Satchel: Oop! Son of a...
Quentin: I would write "Oop. Son of a." See, it rings true.
Bucky: Genius. Pure Genius.

3) Underwear. I don't wear shoes in the house, it's an Hawaiian/Asian-thing.

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment

1) To be further along in my writing career than I, I mean "world peace," yeah, that's it!
2) For Obama to step in and get this ship uprighted right now, not '09, RIGHT NOW.

4. Three people who will probably fill this out

1) Quin.
2) Tanya.
3) Paul, I believe you never done a meme.

5. Two things you did last night

1) Had an email conversation with Katie.
2) Watched Adult Swim with The Kid.

6. Two things you ate today

Not a damn thing and the sooner I get this meme done, the better.

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone

1) The Missus from the Autoshow (The Kid met Mario Andretti!).
2) I texted Katie, Quin and my cousin on Thanksgiving.

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow

1) Work.
2) Writing, partly because I hate work.

9. Two longest car rides

1) Parma to Sant'Eufemia d'Aspromonte, that's almost the whole boot of Italy, people.
2) From a certain East Bay suburb that is so despised by me that I won't mention its name, to Orange County.

10. Two of your favorite beverages

1) Though I can no longer afford it, I crave Sambazon.
2) Anything from Jamba Juice or Odwalla. I don't eat healthy, but I drink healthy (with plenty of sugar to go with it).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

When did that become a word?

So I'm cleaning out my old e-mail box and I see an old Time Magazine article in which a show runner had to show up to a screenwriting symposium without his two main writers, who got fired.

But if you're going to go that road with Heroes—with its gigundous scope and cast—then you should probably do some major paring down of characters.

Wait a minute, I'm still not used to "ginormous," which apparently is now an official word and now there's "gigundous?" I'm sorry, my ears cannot tolerate "gigundous," it sounds like a podiatrist speaking in Hindi about a foot condition.

Eh, don't mind me, I'm just cranky because my XboX 360 died.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Horror, Courtesy of The Baroness And Hachette Book Group USA

Look what came in the mail a couple of days ago, courtesy of The Baroness and the Hachette Book Group USA, The 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time.

So far, I've re-read "The Tell Tale Heart" for the first time since the Carter Administration and it seemed more terrifying back then. I read"The Bottle Imp" by Robert Louis Stevenson for the first time and I am about half-way through "Green Tea" J. Sheridan Le Fanu.

Make no mistake, these tales are scary and they are riveting, but one the thing that sticks out the most is loonnnnggg prose of the 19th Century. Why say it with just one sentence, when you can say it with at least ten more? I guess because they had the luxury of time back then, they decided to reflect that with their writing style.

Now, I'm not saying this takes away from the tension, I'm just saying that the most terrified people of that era, were probably the book editors.

It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas...

Way to usher in Christmas, denizens of a certain Long Island town!

This "bah, humbug!" is for you! All that for minimum wage, yo...

But then Black Friday turns even more evil, with two guys turning a Toys R Us into a John Woo movie, minus the doves.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Best Of: "$8,400 Per Carat"

Enjoy the Heist Man here, because he's in limbo, elsewhere. I believe his third story is about to be rejected for the second time.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area back in the 90's and into this century, we had jewel couriers getting robbed left and right as they got out of their cars, or just before they entered buildings. It was done mostly by Colombian gangs, or at least that is what the papers speculated.

So I thought up a character who goes wherever the merchandise tempts and takes him. I was lazy with names at that point and a lightbulb went off over my head when a clip of Dustin Hoffman doing a certain Eugene O'Neill play, gave way to the name "Heist Man." Of course knowing my lack of theater knowledge and the fact that the TV was muted, it was probably him doing "Death of A Salesman."

At any rate, here is the Heist Man as he first appeared in "$8,400 Per Carat"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Alterna-Title-Sequel-Tive Part III

So Flannery said of this post, yesterday "might be fun to have a 'fill in the blanks' contest." I thinks that's a great idea and I'll shoot for that next Monday, when my writing schedule is a little less hectic. In the meantime Miss Flan who owned The Bad Lieutenant's Wife Game like no other including its creator, why don't you try this?


Being a former aspiring screenwriter, why don't I adapt the same reverence and accuracy for the source material that Hollywood does, while even out "Hollywooding" Hollywood and going to the pointless sequel right off the bat.

I'll give you the original book title, and then I'll follow it up with the shameless pseudo-Hollywood rip-off, okay? As an example...The Original: "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" My Sequel: "Been There, Wish I Hadn't Done That." Got it?

The Original: "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" The Sequel: "The Smell of Pee Grows On My Brooklyn Stoop"

The Original: "Hop On Pop
The Sequel: "Hopped-Up Pop"

The Original: "The Witches of Eastwick"
The Sequel: "Your Yeast Infection Keeps You In Check"

The Original: "The World According To Garp"
The Sequel: "The Hurled Accordion Is Sharp"

The Original: "The Satanic Verses"
The Sequel: "The Satanic Knock-Off Purses"

The Original: "The Tropic of Cancer"
The Sequel: "The Topic of Pantser"

The Original: "The Sound And The Fury"
The Sequel: "The Paparazzi Hound Suri"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Tale Of The Word Pad Thief...

...or doing my own crossword puzzle, the hard way.

I have a laptop, though since the slot for my wireless card broke, I haven't used it much. I don't bring it to work as of late because of security issues there and it doesn't have Microsoft Word, which is my preferred means of writing (it has a bare bones version of Works).

At any rate, I write by hand on occasion, though I write with difficulty. I learned how to use chopsticks before I learned how to write, so I hold my pen like this...

...and that is the chicken scratch that comes out. It's usually not as neat as this either, as my hand has a tendency to cramp up after a few paragraphs.

So my main M.O. is to use a computer at work that has Word Pad only, but Word Pad is all I need to get a basic draft down. If right now you thinking "why doesn't he just use load Word on to his laptop?"

You're using logic.

Stop that this instant.

I'm a writer and am prone to quirks, don't ya know?

So I use Word Pad to type it up during lunch and then I have to get the hell out of there, because then I would have to explain why I'm using the computer. Note, there is no Internet on that connection, just an Intranet if you want to check your pay stub, so it would be safe to assume that I'm not surfing for p*rn.

Only three people from work know that I write and about five people knew that I used to screen write. The point being it's a big secret as to just what I'm up to and if you understand the poisoned culture in my workplace, you'd realize that it does me no good to tell anyone just what I'm up to.

Last week I had a pretty good thing going and I was on a roll. I was over the moon as I went to print it and I was greeted with this...

What...the...f*ck? The worst of it was the way my writing meter times out, the middle is the part of the sentence that I cannot remember for the life of me. So I had to fill in the blanks so to speak, or imagine an esoteric writing crossword puzzle. Now mind you, I obviously know where the story was going, but my problem was getting each and every word right...not so easy.

BTW, the damn printer did it again two days later, the rat bastard machine.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Paul David Brazill.

He's a fine wit, a bon vivant and he's new to blogging. The name of his blog is "You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?" Please make him feel welcome.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whenever You Get A Chance

BTW, whenever you get a chance? Please, pop on over to Cormac Travels and click the poll I have over there.

Best Of: "Strawberry Quick"

Sometimes as a writer, something just clicks and you get on a roll where the words flow on like a smooth, glassy wave. I was just a passenger on board with this short story and the characters were the ones doing the actual surfing, but if you appreciate crime fiction? You'll probably love this wave as much as I did.

I give you "Strawberry Quick."

I hope you enjoy it, Mr. Brazill.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A "Fictional" Writing Quote

"I am a writer Mr. Marlowe, and that is my job -- to be a lightning rod for ideas. To try them on the way people try on winter coats. If I didn't, I would be terrible at what I did. And a coward."

As said by a fictional version of Bertolt Brecht to Phillip Marlowe from "In The Jungle of Cities."

"In The Jungle..." is a short story by Roger L. Simon from the anthology "Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My First Review

Hey, Geoff of Eastern Standard Crime gave "Swerved"

Three Hats!

The other critics were not so effusive-

Ian Rankin says "he's a Mars bar that's been left in the fryer entirely too long, if you know what I mean."

Dan Brown says "In one regard, I'm sorry that I've spent any time at all around Cormac. You'd think with that last name, he would be a somewhat regular fellow, right? On the other hand, yes, I did base Silas on him. Obviously he's not an albino, but his tendency to flagellate himself...well, I've said enough."

Jackie Collins says "if I were to write a book about him, it would be titled 'Hollywood Hacks."
Tom Wolfe says "do you know what that bastard did the last time I was in the Hamptons? When I went swimming, he dyed all of my suits green. All of them and all the clothing in my suitcase, for good measure. He's not an author, he's a menace to civility and I'm lighting a great big bonfire to his insanity."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where Have I Heard This Before?

Somehow this Fusco Brothers Cartoon sounds hauntingly familiar...

I think somehow...

...I've heard it before.

I don't know, it must be my imagination.

Best Of: "Right Between The Sound Machine"

"Right Between The Sound Machine" was a new take on an old myth and there is a lot of the old San Francisco that I remember in this story...uh, just barely. This piece was some of the most fun I ever had with JJ's Friday Flash Fiction and recently, Uberm*lf tried to bring the old FFF back. More power to her and anyone who reads this post, should please support her endeavor.

For the first time ever, I've added a jpeg to one of my stories. This will give all of you that haven't been to San Francisco, a visual reference point. Actual translation: I could add physical descriptions, but I want to leave the original Friday Flash Fiction intact.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"All That Women Desire"

Kari was done with that two-timing bastard, Heath. It was the unfamiliar ring-tone that kicked the whole thing off. In specific, it came from the pre-paid cell phone that he forgot to turn off before he came home. She griped the phone tentatively and looked towards their bathroom, where he singing in the shower after their tumble in sheets.

The wrong kind of epiphany illuminated inside of her before she even glanced at the number on the screen-

Some days Heath's endurance was better than it ever had been and on other days? He was just tired, lethargic and he became irritable about the tiniest things. And for someone who was working as much overtime as he was, why did he always hit her up for money?

Kari nearly ripped her clothes as she got dressed for work. The lone consolation to the anger and sadness that was on the verge of overwhelming her, was the satisfying sound of Heath's cell phone breaking into three pieces over his head as her throw struck true.

"If a casino gave out as many second chances as I gave him, it would go broke," she mumbled as she put her apron on. She worked at the greasy but quaint diner just outside of Red Bank and she cried through her entire shift. Her tears killed many an appetite and the paltry tips that the unsympathetic diners left her, made her feel even worse.

Every so often, Valter the Serbian fry-cook looked up from his grill. He bit his lip as he mulled her blues over and he decided to make her something special. Just past closing time, he told her that he had just the thing to cheer her up.

Kari's puffy eyes seemed to brighten in anticipation; she had no idea what Valter was up to. He went into the kitchen and brought out two steaks...

...covered in icing. Valter stepped back, clasped his hands together and beamed like a child.

"What is this, Valter?"

“It’s what all American women want; I hear them say it everyday.”

“I’m sorry…what is this?”

“Why, it is beefcake.”

To cheer your big heart up, you know who you are : )

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quin Browne Asks...

Quin Browne asks on BrooWaha New York, "where have all the plastic cowboys gone?"

All the way from Utah, no less.

How Are You Going To Keep Them Down On The Farm?

There was an old World War I saying, "how are you going to keep them down on the farm, when they've seen Paris?" Well, you add a little Katie Schwartz and they'll do a 180° right on back. Not only has Katie interviewed Farmhouse House Magazine's editor Mike Dell'Aquila on her blog, she also has an essay called "My Legs Are Closed For Business," in "The Best of Farmhouse Magazine" premiering at newstands today!

Please pop on over and read Katie's interview with Mike.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ken Bruen is in Papercuts

Hey, author Ken Bruen is in the New York Times literary blog, Papercuts. In the Living With Music segment, they asked him what his November playlist is and...he listens to the Beach Boys?

Ken "Blood, Guts, Guns, And Jaysus" Bruen listens to "Sloop John B?"

Wha? No, I've checked the calendar and it's not April 1st. Some prankster must have deleted Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" or "Killer On The Loose" and replaced it with (snicker), The Beach Boys. Oh, Papercuts, that's high comedy, you wacky blogsters, you.

"Sleep Like The Dead"

The blue green apparition floated through the open door and came to a stop, hovering over Jesse's bed. Jesse opened one eye, pointed to the only chair in the room and said calmly, "welcome...take a seat."

The specter hesitated, and then other specters slowly materialized right by the chair. With the same tone, Jesse said, "take a seat...right next to the bank robber I shot, right next to the innocent bystander that was run over during a car chase, and right next to my partner who couldn't take all the madness that came with this job, and ate a bullet from his own gun.

"I've made peace with all of my ghosts a long time ago, though they'll never let me know a moment of peace." Jesse tugged the covers up to his neck and said "but know this; I've never missed a night...or a minute of sleep in all of my life."

Note, count the number of sentences and that will tell you who passed on this short without comment.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Katherine Tomlinson Does The Impossible

Katherine Tomlinson has done the impossible, she has interviewed magician Joel Ward without him disappearing or her being sawed in half. In Gourmet Food, she asked the wizard Ward what his most memorable meal was and how he is single-handedly keeping Apple afloat with his signature trick.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Best Of: "My Old Haunts"

From July 2007, comes the story "My Old Haunts." Please, don't be put off by the character, his behaviour will all make sense in the end...kind of. And by the way, no, this is definitely one of those stories where character and author are two different people/personae.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello, Chad Here...

Hello, this is Chad here and I'm speaking to all of you, regardless of your political affiliation. You all let me down in 2000 by not exercising your right to vote and what happened?

This creep got a good and long look at my privates. Because you couldn't take twenty-five minutes out of your day, my family and me (sob)...I can't even say it.

Look at the lust that was in his eyes, Ladies and Gentlemen. This was just wrong on every level and the eight years of therapy have done very little to help me with my fear of exposure issues. So do me and yourselves a huge favor and vote, please! We don't want a repeat of 2000! This can only be settled with each and everyone of you voting!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bad Book Covers

Here is a site devoted to Bad Book Covers. This one is for Beth because she is a B.C. fan-

The site page has the caption, "Not many people know about Bruce Campbell's short-lived career in p*rn..." Yes that's right folks, Ash is, The P*netrator! Coming straight to DVD in your town!

This came from an article in Torontoist about Bookninja's contest-

Earlier this month, beloved Canadian book blog Bookninja asked its readers if they felt top literary novelists faced unfortunate book rebranding "to meet the purchasing habits of an embiggened sector of stupid readers." A cover contest was proposed by founding editor George Murray, where readers were asked to create and submit their own wildly inappropriate covers for literary classics, and general bookish hilarity ensued.

Of course this one below is my favorite for all the wrong reasons...

So I guess this works on some level. Say, I don't remember Natasha Richardson wearing that outfit in the film.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Minnesota Had No Chance Against The Metamorphosis

Sure, the Minnesota Golden Gophers lost the game on an interception returned back for a touchdown, but realistically, they never stood a chance. Why? Because Northwestern has the swift legs and the sure arm of Kafka!

Seriously, how do you counter that? With Kierkegaard? With Heinlein? A giant can of Raid?