Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday Threads Challenge Entry

I don’t like knives. I’ve carried a few. It’s part of doing business these days. Sometimes when you have to make a point, a blade can make a statement…if you know what you’re doing.

That’s why I was sharing a bottle of vodka with the eight inch gash on my ribcage. That’s why I spoke through clenched teeth while Rudy stitched me up, again.

“It’s deep. When are you going to give this gig up? You already look like a poster from a butcher shop.”

 “I’ll quit when guys pay on time. It’s a cause and effect relationship.”

“I’ve seen the effect. Did it fit the cause?” Rudy snipped off the last length of thread and tossed the bloody needle in the alcohol-filled metal tray, now cranberry red.

“I pulled my stiletto and explained the facts. He pulled out a friggin’ machete and presented a counter-proposal.”

“A machete? You’re jackin’ me.” Rudy grabbed the bottle from my hand a slugged down a shot.

“Oh yeah, it was that big.” I shrugged and winced.

“Did he pay?”

“They all pay, one way or the other. He just paid a little more than he expected.”

I pulled out the severed ear from my shirt pocket and tossed it onto the table. “Add this to the collection”

Rudy then slid it into the black box, now almost full. In a fair fight against a big blade I shouldn’t have stood a chance…if I fought fair. I don’t. Now he knows better.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WriterWorld of Horrors

New WriterWorld Theme Park

Many who know me have come to accept (so they say), my quest to become an ‘author’. I use that particular word to differentiate from the word ‘writer’ which I take to mean someone that hasn’t been paid. If I’m wrong, keep it to yourself. I really don’t care. I’m not looking up the Webster’s definition.
As one can see in my towering and insightful previous post, I’m new to the game. Like any clueless buffoon, I pick up info on the virtual street, glean what I can from agent’s websites, read the established rumor mill blogs, etc. Since I’m already writing novels, in many ways this is akin to learning skydiving basics after you jumped from the plane. That’s probably why there’s such a narrow margin between ‘successful new author’ and ‘the dimwit that had to be picked up from the ground with a wet/dry vacuum’.
Since learning tools are essential and since fun is…well…fun, I’ve come up with an idea for an exciting new theme park that informs, thrills, amuses, enlightens, and in some cases, kills.
No onto the virtual tour:

The Social Media Labyrinth:

This complicated learning experience has one entrance and three exits. In between is a series of interactive screens asking question, your answers control servos that open select doors, permitting you to continue to the escape you earned.

Are you a hopeless Pollyanna that sweats corn syrup with every saccharin response?
Then you are funneled toward the exit that has a charming elderly couple that wants to introduce you to their three dozen cats, show you four hours of slides from their trip to Moose Jaw, and question you on why the grandchildren had to grow up. Answer wisely or they put strychnine in your tea and scones.

Are you a bi-polar mess that puts every disturbed thought on the web?
A licensed therapist is standing by to hear your inner pain. After that a video presentation is viewed by a drill instructor that tells you to smarten up and get-the-hell-over-yourself. Bring your prescription card. A pharmacy counter is also part of this exit.

Did you play the game right? Did you increase your following and charm everyone you connected with?
CONGRATULATIONS! You have done the near impossible. In return for your genius, you are greeted upon your escape by a flashing neon sign, asking, ‘That’s great, but did you get any actual writing done?”
There is a bar under the sign. Draft beer is a buck a glass. Box wine is available by the bucket.

The Back-Patting target range:

This interactive and exciting game has you blindfolded, listening to ten fellow new writers/beta readers. Nine will tell you that your manuscript has the makings of a timeless epic that enthralled from start to finish. One will inform you its completely incomprehensible and you need to start over. The blindfold is removed and you are challenged with hitting the truthful soul with a thrown rock. Choose wisely or you are forced to join the panel of ten to engage the next participant. Bring your own helmet or rent one for $5 prior to entering.

The Ride of the Red Pen:

The premise is simple. Upon entry you are handed a poorly formatted, thoroughly mediocre 150,000 word YA vampire fantasy and proceed to a cornucopia of specialized editors. Each one reads through and marks up sections with fountain-pens refilled with your blood. If you survive, you emerge victorious holding a 10,000 word instruction manual on how to convert a walk-in closet to a guest bathroom. You are required to sign a disclaimer before entering. No jewelry, cash or gold fillings are given to your next of kin.

Publishing Thunderdome:

Answer three questions pertaining to your chosen means of publishing. Answer well and you get to select a deadly weapon to compete against another two writers that were STUPID enough to choose different means from yours. Three go in, one comes out. Martial Arts instruction self-pubber’s are excluded from competition.

The Trail of Tears:

Mostly instructional, this allows new writers to watch a moderately successful published 'author' reflect, through a video montage, how much of their life was lost due to their chosen craft. After the display, a licensed accountant comes in and hands the person a revolver with a single bullet. The challenge is to see if the writer pulls the trigger, after being informed with a series of charts, that they’ve been working for two decades at $.015 per hour. Wear a raincoat. Avoid the front row.
As you can see, this will be a tough sell. Funding is difficult in these trying times but I feel the premise is solid. Join me soon for part two where we explore my ideas to inform through terror.
I’m also open to other ride ideas, so feel free to share.
Pleasant dreams…muahahahahahahaha