Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Second Issue Of Crooked Magazine Has Arrived!

The second issue of Crooked Magazine is here!

We're talking the best Bo Flexler story ever, from Clair Dickson. Then there's "Thirteen Questions" with Anthony Bourdain's long lost brother and author, Sean Chercover-

Eric Beetner has wonderful story on the logistical problems that come after a hit, an area so seldom explored and that is more or less glossed over in crime fiction. Jake Hinson writes a truly haunting tale in which all is not it apparently seems.

Patti Abbott tells a tale of a man that has turn his life around from two major tragedies and find redemption for a lost love one. An aside, if an Upper Peninsula inhabitant is a "Yooper," what is a Lower Peninsula resident, a "Looper?"

Keith Rawson relates a piece of fiction that depicts a detective a little closer to real life, than the trench coat stereotype you typically read about. Then the whole tale takes a turn that even if you have read thousands of detective stories? You never saw this one coming.

Did you ever have one of those friends that no matter what you did, you just couldn't help them straighten up and fly right? Michael S. Chong spins a yarn about the inertia involved when you get in the gravitational pull of those that are falling and drag everything else with them. The protagonist unfortunately, does a pretty fair job of plummeting all by himself.

Barry Baldwin finishes up the issue with cop's tale. Take a gander at Issue #2 of Crooked Magazine.

Paulie Decibels Has A Story Up At Powder Burn Flash

Paulie Decibels has an excellent story up at Powder Burn Flash about "Sleeping It Off." Na zdrowie and cheers, Paulie!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Coming Attractions: "A Red Lipstick"

Lara calmly turned to the mirror and said as she dabbed her lip “I’m hungry and you’re gonna get us kicked out of here before we get a chance to eat…if they don’t call the cops first.” The mention of the police dimmed the wattage of Guy’s sneer for less than a second and only someone who knew him would’ve even noticed.

“I ain’t worried about the heat; I got them in my pocket like my blade. You should worry about what’s gonna happened to your five dollar backside if you don’t get out of this bathroom in the next minute. I ain’t waiting all day to order and if you’re not ready by the time the waitress puts my coffee on the table? Well, let’s just say you’re looking tired. Maybe you need a little vacation like Millie got. Might do you a bit of good to get some rest. A little beauty sleep.” Then he laughed like a poor Cajun’s version of The Shadow.

Guy turned on his heels and walked out, his purple zoot suit with red pinstripes a garish blur. Lara smiled even though it caused her almost as much pain as one of Guy’s punches. Everything had to fall into place like one of those complicated Rube Goldberg contraptions. The stakes were high. She had everything to lose and her life to win. Her hand shook as she raised her lipstick, then it became amazingly steady as she started writing.

-From the story "A Red Lipstick," in Astonishing Adventures Magazine Issue #5

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Probably The Closest This Blog Will Ever Come To Mentioning Id*l

Becky is in Starpulse again, and she has an article about the songs that American Id*l contests should avoid. It's a good article and this is coming from someone who avoids American Id*l altogether, but watches enough of E! News to ridicule the contestants.

Of course this gives her an excuse to write about Michael Johns, but we won't bring that up, will we?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Princess Requests Your Help For MDA

Princess Ladybug asks for a few shining knights and ladies to answer her call for help-

On Saturday, January 31st, the MDA office where I work will be at Grapevine Mills Mall before dawn to host the 2009 MDA DFW Stride & Ride.

My goal is to send at least one kid to camp. Thanks to MDA that only costs $800. That's amazing for one week at a barrier-free camp. Kids who spend the other 51 weeks of the year in a wheelchair or leg braces get a chance to swim, canoe, ride horses, and even ride on a zip line. Please make a
donation and help me reach my goal!

Remember that any size
donation is appreciated. So give what you can and what your heart leads you to give. $5, $10, or whatever you can. And then feel proud of the fact that together we're providing help and hope to kids and adults served by MDA in our community. Thanks for making a difference!

Also, please pass this on to anyone and everyone. I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"The Writing Is On The Wall" Is Up At A Twist Of Noir

A Twist of Noir has posted "The Writing Is On The Wall." For those who are squeamish about crime fiction? This is not your typical walk on the wild side, seriously. Would I lie to you? Ah, no, I write crime fiction, not non-fiction.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Return Of The Bad Lieutenant's Wife

Thanks to Flannery, I give you, the return of The Bad Lieutenant's Wife.

Half of you that come to this blog will say, "what is that? Did I read that right?"

Yes, you did. It was and is, "an online forum in which you the reader, combine as many as four disparate movie titles into one." Read on to see where the title came from-

A friend of mine and I had a conversation years ago, where we came up with a word-slash-title game. You combine two disparate movie titles into one, as if it was a natural thing all along. Thus, "The Bad Lieutenant's Wife" was born.

So, using the aforementioned as an example:"The Bad Lieutenant" and "The French Lieutenant's Woman," become "The Bad Lieutenant's Wife."


"Three Men And A Little Lady" + "The Lady In The Lake" = "Three Men And The Lady In The Lake."

This was before Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I think, but I'm not entirely sure. So using a movie with Kevin Bacon, "The River Wild" and couple that with "A River Runs Through It." You get the "The River Runs Wild Through It."

Any movie with "Friday" in the title is too easy. "The Friday The 13th After Next," right?

You can mix eras up, by taking something older and combining it with something a little more recent. Thus, "Bad Santa At Black Rock." You can use a maximum of four titles, because things tend to be confusing after that.

If you can, before posting your submission, please type in keywords of your titles, click "Search Blog" to make sure that your combination is not redundant.

Surely, you the reader can do better, "Jude Law, The Obscure"...well, that's not really a movie title compilation, but you get the idea.

Give it a try, if you believe that you can compete with the awesomeness of Secret Agent Flan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For Super Editor Katherine Tomlinson

"It's Jay Butterfat," the voice on the other end said. "Did I get you at a bad time?"

"Not at all," I said, recognizing the deviated septum of the veteran Broadway huckster. "I was just sitting by the phone studying its remarkable contours."

"Good. Lemme bring you up to speed. I'm in Boston with a scalding drama that looks to be the biggest thing to hit Broadway since Death of A Salesman. All it needs is some belevling---to smooth out a few rough edges. First time playwright. One of those sensitive myopics who hollers infanticide every time you ask for a line change. Finally had to have him committed, which is not easy to do legally when the person won't go along with it. Anyhow, the nitty gritty is that I'm this close to a Megaball hit if I can just get in a fresh mind to a little re-juxta."*

From A Little Face Work Never Hurt by Woody Allen
Zoetrope All-Story Fall 2008
*This is dedicated partly to Johnny Dollars, but mostly to Super Editor Katherine Tomlinson for working with me, not bringing in the re-write squad, and for not having me committed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quin Brings The Six

Quin brings the Six Sentences about a slippery skirmish in Athens, Georgia. Take a gander.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Six Things Meme

Like a Berlin Wall made of cork, the details have really been escaping me this past week. Freida Bee tagged me and I thought the meme was going to be half-pictorial, like hers was, but it turns out that was just a clever introduction to it. I lined up goofy pictures and had half of a storyline written this morning, then I found out this was not to be the case.


At any rate, that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun, right? This is how it goes-

The Rules:

A) Link to the sexy manshrew who tagged you.

Actually, it wasn't a "manshrew," but Freida, Queen of The Bees. I'd make a semi-innocuous comment about "honey," but I don't know her all that well and her husband would probably make the trip from Texas to kick my ass.

B) Post the regulations on your blog.

No rules except, keep it semi-civil.

C) Write six random things about yourself:

Okay? So...

1) I am extremely susceptible to music and that's not just with songs I love, but also the songs I like, and even the ones I hate. Every time the Apple iPod ad with "Around The Bend" by The Asteroids Galaxy comes on, it takes me a good twenty minutes to get it out of my head.

2) I am King of The Run-on Sentences, view the first sentence in number one.

3) I've never met a non-filled pasta that I haven't liked.

4) I can't say the same about people, there are too many people who are hollow inside.

5) I've been flaking lately, sorry. So since my hair is turning gray, does that make me a Sugar-frosted Flake?

6) I couldn't care less what most people think about me, but memes strike a chord with my compulsions. So while on some days I don't want to do them, I'm afraid I won't be ever tagged again and I relent. That's right, I'm a Meme Masochist.

So who am I tagging?

Aldo. I know he's busy, but he said he would post more this year and he hasn't ; )
The always entertaining Paulie Decibels.
Pamila Payne, whom you don't know yet, but you will.

Augggh! Writer's Tunnel Vision

All apologies, I posted a story and someone explained to me that it wasn't supposed to be posted until a later fault, I didn't read the requirements. Sorry about that.

So it was already published and I changed the publishing date and time, which usually saves it for later, English Beat...yet, it didn't. The post will be back on February 10, 2009 and again, I apologize.

Clarification: I posted it without paying attention to the date that we were all to post. I wasn't trying to upstage anyone, though that's what it would've amounted to. If you popped in here this morning, you could've read it and that wasn't supposed to be the case.

When you set the a publishing date and time on Blogger, it usually adheres to that. I reset the publishing date and unfortunately, it just reposted the story, instead of waiting for the new date.

To give you an idea as to just what is going on, I am a whole week in arrears on a story for one online magazine, hoping to get another done for another E-mag (though I'm not certain that either will be accepted) and I have a meme to do.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


From Beckyland, comes

Every year, English teachers from across the country submit their most amusing similes and metaphors gleaned from high school essays. I’m not sure if this is really true or simply an urban myth, but here are some of the “winners” from 2007. But even if some under-employed writer wearing only a tattered robe wrote them in an unheated basement, they’re still funny.

My favorite was, "she grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef."

Check them out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Paulie Decibels Debut on Powder Burn Flash.Com

My mate, Paulie Decibels has debuted on Powder Burn Flash with a little ditty about being "In The Dog House."

Top ho, Paulie, good stuff!

Best Of: "La Venezia Appassionata"

Nearly three years after writing this, I have just noticed right now that I misspelled "passion" in Italian. Mi dispiaci. I wasn't going to do another "Best Of," but this week's episode of "No Reservations" brought back a lot of memories.

If you haven't read this before, I guarantee that you won't know where this is going, and except for the ending when I was writing it, I didn't either. I give you "La Venezia Appassionata" (Passionate Venice) and the word "passion" has less to do with my love for the city, and more to do as a jab at the many soft core pron movies that played in theaters in Italy when I was there.

I Don't Know My Clowns...

I don't know my clowns, but I do know eyes and I correctly guessed just who was under that clown makeup. You'll have to go over to Bubs's site to see what I'm talking about, I won't post clown pics here. Also while you are over there, check out his version of "Florida, or Germany," he does it best.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Check Out The 6 S, "Obsession" From The Princess!

Princess Ladybug has finally took the plunge and the result is a Six Sentence story called "Obsession." Take a look, you will be pleasantly surprised by her first effort (I love it, but I'm biased like that).

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Winner Of Caption Contest #1 Is...

Oh, this is going to be difficult. There weren't a lot of contestants, but that doesn't mean that there were no quality entries, quite to the contrary. So, one more time for those who aren't familiar. The idea was that someone had to write a caption for this picture...

...and the winner would get a mention of them or their blog, plus a large cup from my Cafepress shop. So I will list my favorites by the name of the author and by their first name in alphabetical order-

"This just in, an Earth-breaking announcement."

Doc, hit all the cultural references better than Letterman or John Stewart, but this made me laugh the hardest-

"Where's the rest of your 'Rockband' game?"

Paulie Decibels almost won me over with a Madness-reference, but I prefer-

"You could put someone's eye out with that!"

Quin Browne knows the classics and while Doc made me laugh the whole time I read his quotes, this made me laugh the hardest-

"It only looks smaller than six inches."

So? I made a choice and then I asked The Missus. I read her the quotes and she kept trying to see who wrote what, but I wasn't havin' it, because I wanted to make sure it was unanimous and she says that Doc is the winner!
Doc has a fine blog, "Social Zymurgy: The Culture of Beer," that has a mixture of philosophy, writing and the occasional illustration. The thing I respect about Doc the most besides his fine musings, is that he is an auto-didactic like myself. He is also quite a raconteur.
He is also married to the wonderful Flan and they have the parenting-thing down to a science.
So congratulations, Doc, you've won my first ever caption contest!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best Of: "Think Inside The Box"

The "Heist Man" cometh...that is, the third in the series of his stories. The third, "Retribution," was just published in Crooked Magazine, and the first was $8,400 A Carat.

Here is the second, "Think Inside The Box."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More On Caption Contest #1


I know it's a new year, but good gravy, you can't think of anything?

Come on, you are not still hung over and I know that you're not going to take this lying down, are you? It's a caption contest, you get a little fame, you get a neat prize, and damn it, you get bragging rights.

Click away here, show me your best and make me proud.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Best Reading of 2008

Let me preface this by saying that some of these books came in 2006-07, but I didn't get to them until this year. If there is one thing that did not dish out a heaping bowl of suck in 2008, that was the literature that came out. Now your results obviously, might vary, but that's probably because you don't read crime fiction.

Nevertheless, if you don't? I suggest-

If Chelsea can't make you laugh, you are brain-dead, and yes, it is as simple as that. She will offend you, guaranteed, but she will also make you laugh. The laughs will outweigh your outrage.

The same goes with David Sedaris. You might even cry with this book and it did bring a genuine tear to me eye. This is the most introspective of his books that I've read so far, but that doesn't mean that when the you laugh, you won't laugh hard. Neither of these books should be read in waiting rooms or in other social situations where your laughing out loud will embarrass you.

Now on to my favorite genre-

"It's Chinatown, Jake." Well this is not Chinatown, that is, it is not Jake Gittes's Chinatown, we're talking New York's Chinatown in 1976. While there is plenty of noir and a mystery to boot, those things are all secondary to the portrait of a Chinatown that none of us (outside of those that lived outside of there), has ever known. Ed Lin writes a good mystery, but he takes the long way getting there, and does such a job of showing you what every day life was in this hidden enclave, that you won't mind the distraction.

In "Say It With Bullets," our hero gets double-crossed and left for dead in post World War II China. The guy tries to live and let live when he comes back home to Philadelphia, and is promptly shot at by one of the guys that double-crossed him the first time.
"Say It With Bullets" has the protagonist searching for the antagonist across the Heartland of America, and the mystery is just which of his former friends is the one with itchy trigger-finger. Of course one of them is trying to bump him off before he discovers the truth. There is a great ending that is reminiscent of a certain Hitchcock film and for me to say more, would ruin it.

Many a writer can write romance and even more of them can write sex or p*rn, but only one author can truly write "steam." I'm talking about you pulling at your collar like Rodney Dangerfield, even when it is five below zero. I'm talking about the kind of book that will make a big 350 lbs. defensive tackle swoon, fan himself, and complain that he's got "the vapors" like some a tiny Southern belle, because that's what Meg Abbott writes-
She also wrote a great crime novel, but day-um, skip the Viagra, 'cause this would kick start a get the the picture.

All of the great authors of old in one great tome. If you love pulp or wanted to know about it, this is the book for you.

P*rn isn't pretty (I asterisked this like anything else around here, because I get tired of morons searching for all kinds of things that aren't on my blog and while I love my pron, some of these searches would make Larry Flynt just vomit). If you write this book off because it deals with an ugly subject, then you are only depriving yourself.
Upton Sinclair didn't write about subjects that would've been considered "wholesome" in his day, but where would we be if nobody paid attention? You will also be missing out on one of the best and rawest neo-noir books that you've ever read.

"The Brass Verdict" is classic Connelly, which means to all of you Connelly-neophytes? Excellence. Part of the ending is little too convenient, but, hey.

The end of Easy Rawlins? Read it, and then, tell me.

For those who don't want to deal with violence or gore (uh, Baroness, uh Quin)? I give you "Snakeskin Shamisen." A great mystery in which the protagonist, Mas Arai, is a septuagenarian Japanese gardener that probably weighs all of 110 lbs, max.
Like Walter Mosley's Paris Minton, Mas probably couldn't beat anyone in his weight class in a fair fight, but don't doubt his mind or his heart. Unlike Mosley's Minton, he doesn't have Fearless Jones to defend him.
By virtue of his size and race, Mas is the fly on the wall that is underestimated or ignored all together and Miss Hirahara just gives you enough of the basics of the mystery to go on. The reader is as much in the dark as the protagonist is and it's a real treat to find everything out just as he does.

If you were to take the premise of "The Crime Writer" at face value, you might find it a tad soap opera-ish. I'm not going to give it to you here, you'll have to seek it out. I will tell you that Hurwitz out-Crais-ed Robert Crais this year and this book is in my top three reads of this year.

In my opinion, this is best effort of Max Allan Collins in the last three years. Don't be fooled by the cover or the premise of hitman with a heart, Collins manages to pull it off.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Crooked" Magazine Is Here!

Geoff Eighinger of Eastern Standard Crime saw crime ezines falling by the wayside and he rushed in to fill the void, by creating Crooked Magzine. We're talking quality crime fiction by Sandra Seamans, Albert Tucher, Kaye George, Michael S. Chong, Eric Beetner, and Sandra Ruttan.

Not to mention an interview with Hard Case Crime publisher, Charles Ardai and a story by that surly hack, Cormac Brown, called "Retribution." It is the third story of the "Heist Man" series and if you don't read it, that Cormac bastard will fling tepid coffee at you.

And just to let the aspiring writers out there know, Geoff is also accepting submissions for the second issue. The story requirements:

• In the hard-boiled genre, noir or something along those lines
• A word count of 2,000 words or more
• The story cannot have been previously published anywhere else

If interested, please contact: