Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Musing

Random bits and pieces of thought on this final Monday of February.

*First, having seen this, I may have to reconsider last Monday's post.

The man could wield a mighty axe, that's for sure.

*Watched the Academy Awards for the first time in I don't know how many years last night. It makes me realize how far behind I am on movies. I hadn't heard of most of the stuff that was nominated. The show was mostly enjoyable, though I'm reminded once again that High Definition is good for two things: sports, and seeing any and all wrinkles and unsightly blemishes on a person's face.

*Speaking of sports, today is the National Hockey League's Trade Deadline. That means I'm going to be struggling to work on revisions while trying not to be distracted by TSN's Trade Tracker or Jay Onrait's online blog (also from, which is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the web, even though, not being from Canada, I don't get half the jokes. And I'm hoping my Bruins don't mortgage the farm to get Rick Nash.

*Blogger drives me crazy. About once a week I have to go and re-follow Cynthia Chapman Willis' Blog and The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. I don't know why.

*We had more snow this weekend than we did all winter. I actually had to use that...uh...shovel, yeah, that's it.

That's all for today, have a good week, all.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Should I, or Shouldn't I?

A few weeks back, I asked the question do you Need to Know? in regards to what sure looks like my new WiP. There was some back and forth on this, over how much you needed to know, compared to how much my characters would know. To summarize, Some Great Event was going to plunge my characters into a world without technology. No lights! No cars! No motor cars! Not a single luxury.* It would be like going back 150 years in time. The debate in my head at the time was whether the reader needed to know the cause of this event or not.

Well, I knew. I had the Big Idea in my head, and I knew enough about it to know what to look for on line, to see if it would have the effects I thought. The event in question was along the lines of an Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP. It's conceivable that an EMP event could result from high-altitude nuclear detonation or from a 'natural' occurrence, such as geomagnetic storms. These events could knock out the nation's power grid, disrupt communication, and render useless almost any electronic device we have. Cheery stuff!

The idea popped into my brain back during Hurricane Irene. When we woke up on hurricane day, one daughter was at a friend's house, the other had a friend who had spent the night with us. We lost power. Now, I keep an old-style analog phone handy so that I can call the electric company when the power goes out. Within five minutes I'm on the line listening to that irritating mechano-voice telling me they have no idea when power will be restored (probably because I'm the first one reporting it). Anyway, I had one girl to drop off, and one to pick up. By a miracle, I reached my daughter when the power at her friend's house came back on for about ten minutes. I said, "I'm on my way," dropped one off and picked up the , and everything was good, but it was one of those seeds, one of those ideas....what if the power never came back on? What if the phones didn't work at all? Or the cars? What then? What happens next?

Photo by Roy Higson
Anyway, while poking around for EMP information I came across a work of fiction that made me feel like someone had crawled into my head, pulled the idea out of it, jumped back into their TARDIS and went back a couple of years to get the jump on me. The book in question is William R. Forstchen's (New York Times bestselling author!) One Second After. Small-town setting? Check. Event that knocks us back to the stone age? Check. Society trying to hang on? Check.

I considered buying it, but didn't. Considered requesting it one inter-library loan, but didn't. Instead I dug back into my own work and plunged ahead a little, and then stalled out on it, having decided that I really, really want to get the other thing out on query. Then on Tuesday I stopped at the library, and it was there on the shelf. I picked it up, read the jacket (which focuses more on the forward by Newt Gingrich and how the book 'has been discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon), and wavered: Should I, or Shouldn't I? If I read it, it might save me time. I might decided my idea is too similar to his, and I should either stop writing or change my story. Or it might confirm that they're different enough, that there's plenty of room on the shelves for my story and his. What would you do? Would you read it, or wouldn't you?

I wavered on that one for a few minutes, then checked it out. I'm about halfway through now, and it's reassuring. I think the stories are different enough (at least so far). I think the bookshelves are big enough for another book on the topic -- I just need to figure out what comes next, and how it all ends. And I need to finish off that other thing. Have a great weekend, all.

*Surely you know where this line came from?

Monday, February 20, 2012


Donna K. Weaver tagged me this weekend. Not oly did she tag me, she had the decency to notify me ahead of time that I had been tagged, AND gave me the taggy question things in advance. Now, with the Origins blogfest last week and the 11 Questions thing the week before, I admit I’m a little crispy around the edges. A New Year’s Resolution to be more involved in bloggy festival kinds of things will only take you so far when you’re crispy around the edges.

But I promised to take a look and I did, and I got hung up on the question #1:

If Abe Lincoln and George Washington got in a fight, who would win--and why?

This question took me way back in time. In an earlier phase of my life I worked at an environmental education center. We worked with a lot of kids from New York City, and we also worked with animals, such as hawks and owls, lizards, snakes and such. And it seemed that, whenever we did these programs, some kid would raise his hand (it was almost always a boy) and ask, “If you put the hawk and the owl (or substitute any combination of animals from the program) together and they fought, who would win?” I never thought I’d see this question applied to two of our greatest Presidents.

I gave it a great deal of thought, and my first reaction was Lincoln, because of his tremendous wingspan. Even though George was a man of strategy, a man who fought and defeated the greatest military force in the world, I thought he'd have trouble getting inside the big man’s reach. And I figured that Lincoln had to be pretty strong, too. I mean, we’ve all heard the tales of his youthful days splitting logs, right?

So it looked like Lincoln. But then something popped into my brain, something also from the past. When I was in college, I had a roommate who was big into martial arts films. And the biggest martial arts star ever, before Jet Li and Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris, was Bruce Lee. The Dragon. And in one of the oddest sights I have ever seen, Lee, who was maybe 5’6” after a really good morning stretch, mixed it up with 7 foot, 2 inch basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the movie Game of Death:

This is the image that kept running around and around in my brain as I tried to answer the question. That is what I saw for poor George going against Lincoln. What hope is there against that kind of reach? And yet, the five minute fight scene (you can see it here) gave me the answer: In a fight between Abe Lincoln and George Washington, George wins. Because George is Bruce Freakin’ Lee to Lincoln’s Jabbar, and nobody beats Bruce Lee. Sorry, Abe. And sorry, Donna, because that’s about as far as I got, even with the weekend lead time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What a Week

Wow, it’s been quite a week.

The Origins blogfest exhausted me. It was a lot of fun digging that old story out and pulling excerpts from it; I’m glad my mother saved it, and I’m glad I didn’t just toss it in the circular file when I found it. I’ve really enjoyed visiting other blogs and seeing how other writers got their starts. At first I tried to see patterns, but there really are none. For every person who got their first burst of inspiration at the age of 11 or 12, there were three who can vividly remember writing when the were five or six, and some who never picked up a pen until they were forty. No patterns, we’re all different. Thanks again to DL, Matt, Katie and Alex for putting that one together.

This week also saw the Is It Getting Hot in Here? bloghop, put together by Cassie Mae and Hope Roberson. I had considered an entry, but I’m glad I didn’t. Not because it didn’t look like fun, but because it was just too much for me. As Dirty Harry said:

Again, though, I had a lot of fun reading a lot of posts this week, and I had to splash some cold water on my face after reading a few of those entries. Nice job, all!

And, of course, in the Real World we had Valentine’s Day. I’m not a big Valentine’s Day guy, and, thankfully, my wife isn’t big on it, either (although, as she points out to me, “If it was important to me, it would be important to you”). However, I did get her something. I gave her a story.

It was a piece I first wrote in my Writer’s Group, started on April 3 of last year. I wrote it off a prompt, but knew as I was writing it that it was destined for my book (In fact, there's a note scribbled in the margin that says 'This could go before the beach party'). We usually read what we've written that day to the group, but I did not. On the surface, it was because I wanted to share a finished short story I'd started two weeks earlier and I didn't want to hog all the reading time. Deep down, however, I think this was an example of what Stephen King would call "writing with the door closed." Everyone in the group knew I was writing a book, but I was keeping it all close at the time, not ready to share at all.

I brought it home and cleaned it up, and dropped it in before the beach party. Less than two weeks later I typed THE END, printed out Parallel Lives, and stuffed it in a drawer. Hooray!

When I read the book six weeks later I was no longer happy. The piece did not fit.

I see this come up on Absolute Write and on writerly blogs all the time. Someone asks the question: How do you know when you're finished? How do you know when something isn't right? The answer is, You just know. And as much as I wanted to love this piece, as much as I wanted it to be in Parallel Lives, the simple truth was, it was a square peg. It didn't work. I just knew. So it came out, and I have to tell you, it didn't really make me as sad as you would think. I've found that cutting has almost never been as hard as I've thought it would be (Yeah, yeah, wait 'til an agent or editor says "This scene that you absolutely love more than anything else absolutely, positively MUST GO, or no publish for you!"). I ripped it out and consigned it to the mothball section of my hard drive.

But it wouldn't go away. Since then I've taken that piece out and worked it and reworked it several times, and almost got it. But it was never just exactly right. Each time it came out for three or four days, and each time it went back, a thing that refused to bend into just the right shape.

Until this week. 

On Monday, with Valentine's Day looming, I had an idea. I opened the story up, renamed it again (eleveneleven8 and then eleveneleven9. And I'll note that it had at least two other names before getting the eleveneleven designation) and got to work on it. On Tuesday, I looked it over one more time. And I just knew. It was right.

It's nothing much, an 1100-word (1111, to be exact, hence the name) quasi-narrative, 2nd person meditation on falling in love. I printed it, put it on her desk with some truffles (the chocolate kind, not the mushroom kind), and there it was. Maybe not the biggest, showiest Valentine's Day gift in the world, but probably what she wanted most of all. "It reminds me of us," she said after reading it. Which was exactly what I thought way back in April, and maybe why it didn't work in Parallel Lives.

I think there's significance to this in my development as a writer. When I put that story on her desk I knew to some extent I was playing with house money. I expected her to see the similarities to our own story, expected that she'd be a sucker for the sentiment in it. It's easy to be confident when you know the deck is stacked, but even then it's been difficult for me to share in the past. I feel like I'm turning a corner somehow, and I like it. I'm not quite ready to declare that there's a NEW ME, not ready to change the name of the blog, but it's a good feeling, that's for sure. I hope I can continue riding this wave when the queries go out and the inevitable rejections roll in, but that's a subject for the hopefully not-too-distant future. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Monday, February 13, 2012


One day Allen Foster and his friends Billy Jorgenson, Laura Cummings, and Mary Sandoff were driving to Centerpoint when Billy said, “We’re almost out of gas.” “Oh, great!” Allen said with a look of disgust on his face. “We’ll be stuck out here in the middle of nowhere! The next town is nearly 15 miles from here!” “Well we’ll just have to hoof it,” said Mary. “I’m not walking 15 miles,” retored Allen. “Stop the car Billy I’m going to see if there’s any gasoline in the trunk.”
 Oh, dear God, I don’t think I can do it. I don’t want to write it, you don’t want to read it.

Okay, that’s a lie on both counts. We’re writers. We’re maybe not as egomaniacal as some of the performers who strutted before the cameras at last night’s Grammy Awards, but we do love to talk about ourselves, and we also love to hear how others got started. So, while there is some truly cringeworthy stuff ahead of you, I’ll plow on, and so will you, because today is the OriginsBlogfest, so here is my Origins Blogfest tale. 

Edit because I'm an idiot: I forgot to say that Origins is co-hosted by DL Hammons, Katie Mills, Matthew MacNish, and Alex J. Cavanaugh. Thank you for hosting this great event, it's been great fun to read so many stories!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know I’ve talked about this before. But since I don’t tag my posts (idiot that I am) I don’t have an easy way to go and find where I’ve  referenced this before. So here it comes again. The words quoted at the top of this post are mine. They are the opening lines to my Epic Story, “The House of Evil.”

I wrote this story in 6th grade, and it’s the first piece I remember writing. I’m sure I wrote stories before that, but it’s the first notable one – it’s also the earliest example of my writing that has been preserved for posteriority. I found it while sorting through my parents’ possessions, shook my head at the thought that they saved it, and probably did a bit of laughing and crying over that fact.

Kids – especially kids who love to read, and I was one of them – love to create stories, so I’m sure I wrote noteworthy stories before committing The House of Evil to paper, but Brady Bunch scripts written with my sister and comics poking fun at a chinless kid who lived down the block that my brother and I did don't really count. I'm sure I wrote some actual stories, but I don’t remember any of them at all until October 22, 1976. That was the day Mrs. Fucile, my favorite teacher, ever, posted a picture on the blackboard and told us to write a short story. The picture was of an old Victorian house. In my words:

The house was a large one about 3 stories with a small cupola at the top. It was very old. You could by the fact that the shutters swung on rusty hinges and the shingles were broken or chipped. All the trees were bare and ready for winter. The lawn looked like a garden of weeds.

Okay, maybe that’s not so bad. I like the ‘garden of weeds,’ actually. I’m not sure, but I might have actually used that recently. I’m plagiarizing myself.

The story is an interesting mix of ‘sensibilities’, I guess you’d say. There’s definitely the little kid-like, Scooby-doo feel to the piece: Four friends who, in my mind, were of college age driving in a car, stumble into trouble. But unlike Scooby-doo, there’s no solving this mystery. Unlike Scooby-doo, people really get hurt. Unlike Scooby-doo, there is no happy ending. There’s a bit of Stephen King-horror (and, interestingly in my mind, the ‘monsters’ in this story are human – there is no Lovecraftian, tentacled thing from the depths of hell here – the evil in question comes from humans. For all the horror King penned, the worst stuff in his stories was always what people did to other people) here. This story, I think, represents some of the earliest steps of my mind into the adult world.

There’s all kinds of influences evident in the story. Aside from the horror elements I was a huge fan of science fiction stories and B-movies. I had read Salem’s Lot earlier in the year – a good deal of my thoughts on this house came, no doubt, from the Marsten House in that book. I loved loved loved all things The Phantom of the Opera, hence the kids find a massive pipe organ in this apparently-abandoned house.

“So what’s so strange about a pipe organ?” asked Billy. “You mean you didn’t notice? Take a look around the rest of the room. Everything else is covered in dust except for this! It looks as though someone has been playing it.”
Hmm, I was at times strangely good about not using dialogue tags for every line, but I sure as heck didn't know to put each new speaker on a new line. Good to see I've learned something.

Alas, for our heroes, the sound of the organ “found it’s way to the sub-basement where a doctor unknown to them was working.” This would be the obligatory hidden basement laboratory of Evil Scientist Dr. McKinley and his assistant (hunchbacked, no doubt), Adrian (I may have read or watched Rosemary's Baby sometime that year, now that I think about it). Hearing the organ, the doc dials up a monitor and sees the four ‘kids’ in the house:

“I can’t continue my experiments with these people here,” he said angrily. “Wait a minute,” he said suddenly. “The one on the left would be good for my experiment. I want him and him only.” “What should I do with the others?” Asked Adrian. “I have no need for the others, you shall have to kill them. Now let’s get ready for the trip, I want shovels and flashlights.”

The mishmash continues. There’s grave robbing, and a set of experiments not unlike Doctor Frankenstein’s – only in this case, Doc McKinley is trying to paste a living mind into a dead body, which he will then reanimate. There’s booby-traps, a shovel to the head of the cop who could have stopped it all, remote-controlled suits of armor. In many ways, the story resembles the teen slasher flicks (minus the sex and drugs) that were still a couple of years off. Kids split up? One of them dies. Potential savior who can stop everything? He gets poleaxed with a shovel. I was ahead of my time, I guess.

I was also ahead of the class. I don’t remember any other stories coming close to mine in either length or content. It apparently wowed most everybody when it was read aloud, though I spent those 20 minutes or so inspecting every inch of the surface of my desk, afraid to look up. Afterwards, however, there seemed to be a definite change in tone of the short stories we continued to write. I’m sure it would have happened anyway, as we were all growing up and entering a new phase of our lives, but mine came first, so I’ll claim some significance. It seemed to loosen something up in the class, and that future stories – and we did a number of them that year – of my classmates were longer, and darker, too. In all honesty it probably would have happened anyway. I’m not going to overinflate my importance in this, kids of a certain age start to deal with the morbid. I was just the first in my class to have it so out there. I’d like to think it served as a good example, even if it was bad writing.

In hindsight, it wasn’t the best story I wrote that year. In addition to predating the teen slasher flick, I also wrote Toy Story (oh, heck, people have been writing about toys that come to life forever, who am I kidding?), and that one, I think, was better than this one (unfortunately, it does not survive). What The House of Evil did for me, though, was make me want to write. I’d never considered it as a possibility before. That picture, that house, just lit something up inside me.

Thank you for reading, see you on Friday.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Carrie Butler and Lisa L. Regan both tapped me this week, for this ‘11 questions’ thing. I was getting all set to break out the Origins post for today, before realizing that’s actually next week, so I should play along.

Being a member of a particular generation I can never see the number 11 and not think of this:


Now, I got tapped twice, and I’m not answering 22 questions, so I’ll do a coin flip. I read Carrie’s post first, so I’ll flip a coin for each question. Heads and I’ll answer Carrie’s question. Tails, and it’s Lisa’s. Unless I really don’t like the question, in which case I’ll switch. Or not answer. Right, here we go:

  1. (tails, Lisa): What is the first line of your current WIP? Hmm, I’m not sure how you define ‘current WiP’…Is it the one I’m actively writing, or the one I’m actively revising?
  2. (heads, Carrie):Plotter, pantser, or non-committed hybrid? I’m on record -somewhere, I just can't find the post - as objecting to the sound of the phrase ‘pantser’. I wing it. So I’m a winger.
  3. (tails, Lisa): What is your favorite guilty pleasure? I’m not sure I should answer that in a blog that has my picture on it, hah hah. Snickers bars
  4. (heads, Carrie. Wow, it’s true what they taught me in Statistics class) You’re stressed out – what snack do you turn to? I’m not much of an ‘eat to reduce the tension’ kind of guy, but my snacky bad habits are sweets like cookies
  5. (tails, Lisa): What historical figure from any time period would you most like to meet and hang out with? Benjamin Franklin. I don’t think he would make me feel like an idiot. Or Jerry Garcia. I’ve seen interviews with him and he looked like he’d be really interesting and entertaining to converse with.
  6. (tails, Lisa. Whoa, a break in the pattern!) Most consecutive hours you were without sleep because you were in a writing frenzy. I am quite fortunate that I am able to write during the day. I have never stayed up late because of this, though I think I did get up once or twice two or three hours earlier than normal because stuff was in my head trying to get out.
  7. (tails, Lisa. This is a bona fide hot streak now) What are your three favorite movies? Eek. I hate picking favorites, because things change. I would say Pulp Fiction, Jaws, and….err…uh. Well, we’ll go with two.
  8. (heads. Carrie heaves a sigh of relief): If you had to compete in the 2012 Olympics, which sport would you pick? Weightlifting. I’d get a gold for 12 oz. curls. Seriously, summer Olympics are not my thing. I’d go for the 100 meter dash, because I’d at least be able to finish it. Or steeplechase (the foot event, not the one on horseback), that looks like fun.
  9. (tails. It’s surprisingly hard to flip a coin well when you haven’t finished your first cup of coffee). Would you rather have one book published that becomes a classic or have multiple books published that sell well but eventually go ‘out of print’? Yes. The simple truth is I feel like I’ve got more than one story to tell, so I think I’d go for the multiple books that sell well.
  10. (tails. Lisa is coming up the big winner here) What was the weirdest moment of writing inspiration you’ve had? I don’t know that any of the ‘inspiring moments’ I’ve had are weird, really. Probably the moment that got me on what has become Parallel Lives. It wasn’t a weird moment, it was a conversation with my daughter, but what was weird was the way it got stuck in my head. It was not so much an explosion as a slow burn. I’ll talk about it sometime, if I haven’t already.
  11. (tails again) If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Hmm. Okay. Err, let’s take a look at Carries question: Describe your current book, MS or WiP in three words. Err, Umm, okay, see question 1, hah hah. Alright, I suppose I would go with something like poignant, romantic, and optimistic.

Okay, at this point I’m supposed to come up with eleven questions of my own and tag 11 more people. It’s 6:30 on Friday morning, I’m still not entirely awake, and, believe it or not, I have not been planning this post out since Monday morning. So, here’s a question:

Would you rather be run over by a steamroller on a hot day on an empty stomach, or on a cold day on a full one? Answer here, or somewhere else. Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Musing: The Ovechhead

No one would ever think of Alexander Ovechkin, international hockey star, as being a writer. And yet, he’s got a great piece of advice in this commercial from a couple of years back, when he was shilling for CCM:

In the event the sound (or the Ovechhead’s accent) isn’t clear, he says, “No one ever gets better at hockey by bowling. More practice for you.”

Sadly, after two commercials featuring the Ovechhead (you can see the other one here), Ovechkin signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok, whose commercials are far less entertaining.  I’m not sure what it was that made me think of this commercial recently, but it just popped into my head (so to speak). The way I see it, there are three ways to get better at writing:
  1. Write more
  2. Read more
  3. Get critiques/give critiques

Note that bowling is not on this list.

Then again, writing is not quite like hockey, though it certainly feels like a full-contact sport from time-to-time. Yes, our greatest improvement will come from planting butt firmly in chair with fingers not just poised over the keyboard, but actually typing and making things happen. Howver, you can’t write all the time, and you can’t spend all your non-writing time reading. It’s not healthy for the body, and it’s not healthy for the mind.

We need to take time away to re-fill the creative well. Stepping away from the computer or notebook or whatever also gives us the opportunity to observe others, listen to the ebb and flow and rhythm of conversations, maybe even pick up a tidbit or two that can become part of a story. Hell, go bowling, even. You might open your bag and get a surprise.

Thanks to Lisa L. Regan for giving me a nice award last week, it’s much appreciated. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that I can pass it on appropriately – I’m pretty sure it’s been given to just about everyone I follow, so I'll cop out for now and promise to think about it. Thanks again, Lisa!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bizarre Customs

I WOKE UP YESTERDAY MORNING to the sound of the Kinks singing that gender-bending classic, “Lola”. I flailed around in complete disorientation until I found the proper button to turn the whole thing off, and then had one of those whacko bursts of inspiration that we love so much. I sat up, suddenly wide awake, and knew – with absolute certainty –one thing and one thing only:

The groundhog was going to see his shadow.

I don’t know where the thought came from; it’s not like I spend a whole lot of time wondering over groundhogs and their shadows, but once I woke up a bit more it made absolute sense, a no-brainer in the first degree. In a winter where the ground has been largely devoid of the white stuff, the safe bet was for six more weeks of winter. “Book it,” I thought. “Phil is going to see his shadow.”

As a kid I operated under this assumption: That on Groundhog Day, the Grand Master of All Groundhogs, Punxutawney Phil, woke up, shambled along his burrow, and poked his head out, maybe even venturing a few steps beyond like an old man coming out on his porch to get the morning paper. Then I imagined him looking around for a few second or two, and either turning and going back down to get some more shuteye, or sticking around for a while, nibbling on the grass. Meanwhile, a small crowd was gathered a respectful distance behind a classy-looking wrought iron fence, recording the moment for posterity and ready to report to a waiting world.

It took a long time – maybe even all the way until when the movie Groundhog Day came out – before I learned the reality of the situation, and that Phil’s prognostication was based entirely on the whim of some weird old guys who claimed to speak Groundhog. I had already stopped paying serious attention to the reports from Punxatawney by then, anyway, so it wasn’t really a crushing blow. Welcome to Gobbler's Knob

Groundhog Day is one of those things that can be filed under the heading ‘You can’t make this shit up.’ A weather-forecasting marmot? Really? And a town that’s managed to build a big part of its economy off of said marmot? If you were a visitor to American and got dropped into Punxutawney, PA on the morning of February 2, what would you think? (Note to self: we have exchange students visiting from Brazil, Australia, France and Italy – ask the kids to ask the exchange students if they have anything like this in their countries) And that got me thinking: Every culture has its oddities, the strange holidays and habits that we largely take for granted if we live with them. And ‘culture’ doesn't just mean a nation - 'culture' extends all the way down into small social groups, too. For years, my friends and I had a ‘holiday’ that we celebrated every year, called ‘Castlegiving’. IMG_0145
We gathered up at some bar or other on Thanksgiving Eve for a night of revelry. At 2 in the morning we made the trek to a particular White Castle that, for one reason or another, we had dubbed ‘the Mecca of White Castles’ for a feast, which included a ‘benediction’ and speeches. Seriously. Castlegiving ran for 7 or 8 years, and one of our friends even called in to the pay phone in the parking lot as a way to participate by proxy (this was when cell phones were expensive and very large, so nobody had them). Again, file it under ‘You can’t make this shit up.’

As writers, we have to ‘make this shit up’ all the time. Groundhog Day, Castlegiving, whatever – what kind of strange things have you made up?

Have a great weekend, all!

Gobblers’ Knob photo by Voteprime
White Castle photo by John Uleis