Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
At any rate, that man is still very much with us and cats like Aldo Calcagno, Christopher Grant, and Col Bury are keeping the tradition of the man called "Tribe," going on strong. Mind you, there are plenty of great crime fiction sites, but these guys follow Tribe's tradition of crime flash fiction for the people, by the people.
As long as you follow the criteria of each site and you don't bring the weak stuff, you are in. No hoops to jump and no oddly distant rejection letters that make you wonder if the editor even read your story at all. Here is "Beef Wellington, It's What's For Dinner" and you even get the little side note/coda that I attached back in February 22, 2007-
They say that a man who defends himself in court has a fool for a client. So one of these fools told me that the law says that you have the right to be tried by a jury of your peers. Of course, the same fool had pizza for his last meal so that shows you where his head was at.
“Peers.” Ha, that’s a good one. If they’re my peers, then I’m an innocent man. Hold on, maybe I misspoke. I’m not claiming to be innocent…I’m just saying that I wasn’t guilty of this crime. Each of the two times that I’ve had to face the twelve people sitting to the right of the judge, I’ve never seen a familiar face.
By familiar, I mean someone who has even remotely looked like they’ve experienced even a fraction of the things I’ve experienced. They are not my peers. My peers know what I’ve gone through. My peers would’ve known right away that everything I’ve done, I did to someone else before they could do it to me.
By familiar, I mean someone who has had to risk their life to just to go to the store. Someone who has been shot at, just because some joke of a man was high and thought that I looked at him funny. Someone who has given his best friend a roof over his head and food, only to have that friend try and kill him over fifty dollars that wasn’t his to begin with.
So like I said, I’m not innocent, I just didn’t commit this crime. But the things I’ve done in life, who would believe me? I’m not even sure that I’d believe me if I sat in that jury box. I know I thought my real peers would understand, but let me contradict myself again. Who were my fake peers to judge me? Walk a mile in my shoes and you’d cut off your own feet.
Still, I’m not bitter…though I’m not exactly resigned to my fate either. I just know that it is my time…they’re going to get me one way or the other. My appeals are as exhausted as my spirit. I’m out of options, but I guess the one thing that I can do is to fuck them up for my last meal.
I want some of that beef Wellington that I’ve always heard about and some lobster, fuck that pizza crap.
Note: This story relates to my fascination with the last meals of death row inmates. Invariably, they tend to choose comfort food or the food that they miss the most from outside of the prison walls. So I always have wondered why haven't I read about someone who wanted something just a little more eloborate before the chemical drip.
I would've elaborated more, but Tribe set a 500 word limit.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Over at the other side of the pond, they bring a fresh perspective to noir and quite frankly, it tends to have a little more depth than most (though, not all) of American crime fiction. It is my belief that among those writers to change things up over here, will be Paul D. Brazill. He shifts from the abyss, to humor, to poetry, and all with amazing ease.
I will give you an opportunity to see for yourselves, by giving you two links to some of his horror writing:
His story "This Old House" is up again at A Twist Of Noir, and let's just say Bob Villa wouldn't last a minute in that abode.
And part of Erin Cole's Thirteen Days of Horror, comes "The Friend Catcher."
Monday, October 26, 2009
I said, "don't scream."
C'mon, give me a break, stop screaming already!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Beach says, "The strange man dressed as Carmen Miranda walked into the bar and demanded to know who had taken his pet iguana."
The Professor says, "On the sidewalk, fallen between the cracks was..."
I went with the latter. Here is "The Sidewalk."
“On the sidewalk, between the fallen cracks, was what looked like a twenty dollar bill.”
“Now, I will pass pennies right on by, and if I feel particularly limber in my advancing age on a given day, I will go after a dime. Nickels? Not even. So there was what looked like a twenty-dollar bill and I was on it like a kid hopped-up on sugar at a birthday party, in front of a freshly opened piñata.”
“Well, I hate to pass good money, but I really should have left this alone, because instead of Andrew Jackson on the bill? A picture of Pamela Anderson graced the illegal tender, and not a particularly good one. And the bill itself came with strings attached…literally, with a wire-thin metal cable that went below the sidewalk.”
“A wooden cage came down and trapped me like a lethargic and awestruck rat. Dumbfounded, I slumped down on my keister and that’s when they swarmed me. No, not bugs, but their high-pitched screams sounded similar to mosquitoes. They were blue Pygmies…or were they?”
“They were only five inches tall and they weren’t African, but they had on the same attire as Pygmies and they had blow darts…lots and lots of blow darts. It felt like a dozen beestings and I went from dumbstruck to woozy. My head felt like it weighed about one hundred pounds, and one of the miniature monsters grabbed a forelock of what was left of the hair on top of my head on my way down.”
“My skull bounced hard against the concrete and the little blue imp’s hold did not relent. I saw how they appeared out of the blue so fast, the little monsters had ropes dangling from the top of the cage that they rappelled down from. This one was brandishing a spear and he was about to poke me in my eye, when a purple cloud appeared around the cage.”
“They screamed in unison, ‘the Mauve Miasma! The Mauve Miasma!’ I laughed against my will, as their panicked running amok on my body tickled me. The swirling pale lavender cloud descended down at an alarming rate and the little fiends screeched and coughed as they collapsed on me. I soon followed them into that unwanted slumber.”
“I awoke some hours later, just how many, I don’t know. It was still daylight, yet somehow I was directly across the street from the place where I had fallen down. An elderly man stood over me and asked me if I was okay. He helped me to my feet and gave me a reassuring pat on the back.”
“As he walked away, pushing a laundry cart covered with a blanket, I thought I heard those familiar high-pitched screams again. I was too light-headed to follow the man. As I walked past the window of a closed store, I was in for a shock. I was purple! My face, my arms, even under my shirt, I was purple!”
“What, I’m telling you just what happened, as it happened, and…”
“Murray, stop it. That’s enough. You’re embarrassing yourself and you are embarrassing me, if you think I’m going to believe that horseshit. I’ve been stood up by better men than you, and they were at least polite enough to be honest about it.”
“How could you not believe me?”
“Because,” Dottie says as she gets up and licks her fingers, “this is why,” and Dottie rubs her fingers across Murray’s forehead. The purple above his eyes comes off. “What did you use, Murray, grape skins?”
“I’m telling you the God’s honest truth! If I’m not telling you the truth, may I be run down by an over-caffeinated waiter.”
As Murray stands up, a waiter with a tray of food comes along and bumps into him, sending the two men and the food all over the restaurant floor. Dottie takes her drink off the table and pours it on Murray’s head, washing all coloring off her sputtering never-to-be Lothario. Dottie storms away like a speeding cloud that is an omen before a hurricane.
“I suppose you don’t believe I was run over by an over-caffeinated waiter, either!”
“Give it a rest, Murray,” the waiter grumbles. “You owe me fifty for the stunt, another thirty for dry cleaning and for the food.”
“You, my friend, will receive no tip from Murray Himmelman.”
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I am now going to have a competition of my own, and give away the set of five autographed “No-Cry” books by Elizabeth Pantley!
Anyone can enter, and to enter I would like you to write a blog post about an old-wives tale that has to do with raising a child, and whether or not you think it has any relevance today (you can find some here if you’re stuck for ideas).
Link to this post so I can find the posts of course and spread the word. I’ll post the books to the winner no matter where in the world they are.
And I will send something special- and not necessarily parenting related- to the person who refers the most people here, so be sure others know to tell me where they came from ;). The competition closes on October 29th.
Click here for details!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Pamila Payne brings nuance to crime writing, that's right, nuance. I'm not saying that other crime writers tell a story without it (big glass house, right here), I'm just saying she understands it perfectly...right before she hits you with the denouement.
Keith Rawson finishes things up with whipped cream and a cherry, via an interview with Reed Farrel Coleman and Ken Bruen.
Lo and behold, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, commies and conservatives, Cormac's San Francisco chili at Bier Magazine!
...or if you are out this way, Fat Tire or Anchor Steam!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
No, I won't resort to gasoline or henna, but I guarantee you that I will be a Firecrotch one day.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
...and around, and around, and around. The greatest value in that is eventually you will find something of quality...at least in theory. Regardless, yes I did discover a golden nugget inside of a green apple...Green Apple Books that is.
At the Green Apple Book Blog, they said that author Sherman Alexie was going to pop in for a quick signing. So I brought The Missus and The Teen with me for this event, only I didn't tell them just why were walking down Clement Street with two Sherman Alexie books and a camera.
"Are we going to see Sherman Alexie?
You know that despite my best efforts to misdirect and misinform to the contrary, The Missus said, "you know that (The Teen's) copy is already autographed, right?"
"What, we're going out to eat, okay?"
Of course she didn't go for it, so I said, "well, he can autograph it twice, all right?"
"You are not going to ask him to autograph his own book twice."
"Fine, I won't ask him to sign it twice."
We waited upstairs in the Philosophy section for Mr. Alexie, and I leaned on the Russian history (which is some kind of omen, considering Russian history plays a small role in the story I've been stuck on). I wanted us to get there early, which just made things worse. By the time he showed up, I was good and nervous.
Luckily, Sherman worked with me, as I sputtered and mumbled. He signed my battered copy of "The Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven," and he posed for a picture with me.
We talked for a few seconds and I thanked him for being such a wonderful influence on me. I meant my writing as well, but that was basically the only coherent sentence I got out where The Missus didn't have to translate it. He was nice enough to also autograph The Teen's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" for a second time without me asking, saving me from the frying pan wrath of The Missus.
I felt bad that I had offered up dogeared book for him to autograph, so I grabbed a copy of "War Dances" and you know what?
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
What kind of work day did I have last night? I'll put it to you this way; the denizens of Hades are now saying, "whoa, I just had the day from Cormac."
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Okay, no Rich*rd G*re jokes, damn it! It's Friday Flash Fiction time!
MRMacrum came up with the starter sentence and it is: "Hanging on with one hand, he considered his alternatives."
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
In 2nd place, "At Least I Felt Something" by Sophie Littlefield.
And The First Watery Grave Invitational Award goes to "Beast" by Hilary Davidson.
Congratulations to the winners!
Friday, October 2, 2009
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
- Woody Allen
"The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one... If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies."
– William Faulkner
From The Creative Screenwriting Magazine's Weekly Newsletter
Uh, yeah, Billy? Sorry, my late mom is off-limits.
But that's not all, don't miss Doc's revisit of Aesop!