Okay, God. I Apologize

For what I don’t know.

Last week after a brief tête-à-tête with an idiot jaywalker I gave her the finger and she screamed “Racist” and I replied “Idiot Ass is color blind.” But we’ve gotten so far off the porch on political correctness it’s become illegal to fart at the zoo. The karma police don’t have time for that sort of offensive minutia. And Idiot Ass is color blind.

Thursday a hard drive full of personally curated audio samples got flaky and died before I could back it up. Fortunately it was (mostly) a copy of a drive on an old computer in the garage. I got a new external SSD. When you go to copy a drive you’ve been maintaining the contents of since 2006 (the year of the first and only big crash that ate 20 years worth of sampling data) you realize just how much shit you’ve accumulated and how easily 723GB pares down to 232GB that’s useful. Like editing the written word. But it still takes hours to comb through, sort and copy.

Friday morning I scratched my left eye. I have no idea how. At first I thought I had an errant eyelash or some boulder in there, but after a day of trying to flush it with saline I knew better. It’s unwise to leave anything about your eyes to chance so I hit the urgent care down the street. I got antibiotic drops. Even better I got a black eye patch. Arrrrr, Matey!

Sunday morning my dryer stopped getting hot. I know why, but I won’t call Oprah and blame anyone publicly for my suicidal feelings. Instead I ordered the part on Amazon, watched a video and dismantled my dryer. With one eye and no depth perception. I could hear the power screwdriver saying with not a little eye rolling “To the right, idiot. The screw is to the right.”

Monday afternoon the part arrived. The old politically incorrect saying “So simple a blind man could do it” shone on me like the Star of Bethlehem because screwed back together and switched on it performed like new. A 45 minute job that took three hours. And saved me $700. And I only got a small nick on my left hand and no blood.

Tuesday morning my wife got her second cup of coffee. I went for mine and the bottom needle in the Keurig broke. The fault message was “clean the needles.” Which I did, loaded another pod and when I pulled it after failure two the needle fell out on the floor. Okay. Take a shower, go buy a coffee maker.

I have soft close toilet seats. All they require is a gentle tap and the pets can’t drink out of them. No one (grandkids) can bang them in the middle of the night. No one gets grossed out lowering the seat and lid. Tap n go. I raise the seat so I can tinkle while the shower heats up, and out of nowhere I’m doing my thing and the fucking hinge on one side of the seat breaks. The lid stays up, the ring nose dives into the commode and takes up residence ass end up like the Titanic while, to avoid splatter blowback, I implement some knee bends and redirects in an attempt to pee through the hole.

Now there are two things that need mandatory repair before the sun rises.

I got a dual purpose Keurig on sale. Pods or carafe. Screw me once needles, but not twice. I should mention the replacement part is half the cost of a new machine and according to most of the reviews it’s good for a day to four months. Plus I had to wait a day for it. Screw. That. I almost bought another brand of dually but it required the insertion of various adaptors on the pod side to function properly. Screw. That. I was able to obtain the seat replacement at the same store. It’s the little blessings, you know?

Now it’s Wednesday. I might not get out of bed.

NVDT #83 – “Y’know, anymore I take Viagra just to keep from pissin’ on my shoes.”

Michael “Rocky” Johnson – Men’s Room, Southwest Guitar Show, 2015


Prompt – How often do you overhear an awesome one-liner or witty comeback, and tell yourself you need to write that down to use for one of your characters?

Who, me? Duh...

“Jack-sown, my man!” Dash interrupted Jackson’s rummage through the laundry basket. “Bruise on your arm needin’ backstory.”

“I was helping Cynthia with a script…” he shook out an inside out black Van Halen tour t-shirt, eyeballed it.

“Just put it on, brother. Ain’t nothin’ gonna show on a black shirt ‘cept white cat hair or fresh love juice. That one bein’ clean, the inspection an all be like, know what I’m sayin’? Lemme see… Cynthia…” He closed his eyes, index fingertips to temples. “Ah, yes. All spice extra nice apple bottom ex-centerfold plays softball on my brother Casper’s wet dream team. How might you be persuaded to, as is commonly said, give it up?”

The screen fluttered, polarized for flashback, slowly came into focus…

Her hand paused at the split-point in the curtains. They were a soft white with an oriental tree dotted with a few blossoms motif that ran two-thirds of the way up from the floor. “I’m not sure what I expected of your decor, so I shouldn’t be surprised by the unexpected.”

“I had help.”

“Of course you did.” She pulled the curtains aside, cranked the window open, shivered slightly, rubbed her hands together.

“ ‘Think tasteful,’ is what I was told. ‘Not in terms of gender or guests. Think of your space as your own livable gallery.’ I quit listening after the curtains.”

She stared out the window saying with light rabidness, “Certainly you had to ask someone for advice on everything else.”

“Give me a little credit.”

“Credit only where it is due, Darling. Next you’ll tell me you’ve learned to cook, become a Godhead chef and wine sommelier. A world away from your roots as an inconvenient Bohemian.”

“Those would be lies. Bohemian suits me these days as long as the place stays clean enough to find the floor.”

 “That’s a relief.” She rolled the window almost closed. “What sort of day, I wonder?” She paused, distracted by a glance in the full-length mirror. “Where I was a day like this would be sometime in summer. A cold morning mist, an evening chill on its heels. Midday perhaps a brief, seductive kiss of golden sun with its empty promises of warmth. As self-righteously steadfast in infidelity as a lover caught in a lie.”

“Enchanting, my dear. I hope whoever you got that from is as long forgotten as they are dead. As we’re exploring the unexpected, the black is fetching, if not Puritanically severe. Anyone I know?”

“The loss of anyone you should know in this Godforsaken colony wouldn’t be the least lamentable to me. No,” she turned at last from the curtains, caught herself in the mirror again. “This is for me.”

“Mourning for yourself?”

“The death of my banishment.” She fluttered a loose lacey black sleeve in a tossing off gesture. “The end of my exile.”

“An exile as I recall completely of your own –”

“Darling! Your tone! Is it such a rancid memory that we can’t speak of it without you becoming tiresomely corrosive?”

“You left us, ‘Darling’. Without a word. And you have the nerve to celebrate it now, throw it in my face?”

“I simply asked what sort of day it would be, but since we’ve arrived at this destination, I shall try to explain…” She went quiet, full furrowed brow pensive. “One’s behavior in certain situations… may appear from the outside to be… selfish… When in truth they are acting, or reacting, unbeknownst even to them, in response to a… a higher calling.” She returned, gradually, from thoughtful to carefree. “Today I bury that chapter of my life and move forward. You must accept that, Darling.”

“So the formative work you were suddenly called to complete by unrecognizable spectral groanings in the ether is behind you? Look out feminism, I’m back? That’s your story?”

“Yes. You needn’t be bitter or snide. What?”



“I’m waiting for the part with the magic carpets and a Fabio clone Genie in a jeweled jockstrap to grant your last two wishes.” He stepped to the window, cranked it until the pane stood at a right angle to the frame. “Today the sun will burn off the drizzle and haze, it will be in the seventies by early afternoon. Depending on where you are, you might need a light wrap this evening. Or…” he stalled, looked deeply into the mirror… “a… cape?”

“Don’t be facetious, Darling. I suppose it’s the ocean that keeps the clime so temperate,” she said, absently. “I never found a warm beach in England.”

“I heard the French keep those to themselves.” He turned, still shaken by the mirror. “Here, this time of year, the surfers wear wet suits, but most of the Santa’s are in Hawaiian shirts. I told you, it’s like living in a shopping mall nine months out of the year. With mudslides, earthquakes and fires thrown in to interrupt the boredom. If you want cold beaches in summer, they’re up north.”

“That would be up by Frisco?”

San Fran-cisco. The City. No one says ‘Frisco’ except in old moves. Saying it out loud is considered gauche.”

“No more than Santa Claus in a, in a…” she got the giggles, turned red. “Oh shit, Jackson…”

“I’ve been waiting for the fold since ‘selfish’ came out ‘shellfish’.” He dropped the Xeroxed script on the coffee table, rolled his shoulders. “Who wrote this crap?”

“Someone who believes mirrors purchased from aging child stars in scenic, too clean ocean-side small town antique shops tell forever-fated-to-be-lover’s stories across the centuries?”

“Bull. Shit.”

“This junk sells, Jax,” she waved her rolled up script. “Look at your Golden Glob for Twice is as Good as Forever. Talk about some pure dee crapola.”

“Globe. Golden Globe. And it was for incidental music, not –”

“If you collected it in half a hotel ballroom in Anaheim with the studio tan techies and not on TV, it’s a Glob.”

“Touché. Are you sure this is a good idea for you, though? Career wise?”

“I don’t have a career, Jackson. I have some flattering partial nudies and a thin gold necklace for being foldout of the year, going on three years ago. Which means I’m an old lady now to the pimply faced boys who read that shit and I’m sick of signing three-year-old slicks of myself in a negligee at freaking conventions. I’m also short, so I’m always a Snickers bar away from being Rubenesque on camera. Like right now. And I’d like to eat a Snickers bar now and then without thinking about it. So if I drop four or five next week and can repeat this crap in under four takes I’ll have coaxed my final shot out of what’s left of my foldout capital. I do this film in a push-up bra and low-cut costumes that are as Victorian as your Impala and I can fund myself until the pysch Ph.D. starts to pay.” She dropped her glasses down on her nose, fanned the script.

“And eat a Snickers bar when you want one. Like this morning.” He glanced at her butt. “I get it.”

She smacked his arm with her script, he sported a small crooked grin when he picked up his copy from the coffee table.

“What’s with the smirk, cowboy?”

“You. This morning’s Snickers bar. Rubenesque. All of it. Reminded of something a friend of mine’s Dad used to say.”

“The smirk says I’m the trigger for that memory.” She folded her arms, rolled up script in her right fist. “Own it.”

He cleared his throat, dropped his voice. “So you wanna go to Hollywood, huh? Well, you should go.”

“Yeah?” her eyebrows came up slightly.

“Yeah.” He leaned, leered theatrically at her backside. “The walk will do you good.”

What do other bloggers do? Click the link below.


Thanks to JGM and “Big” Bill Jordan for the final tag.

Hey, Germany and Lithuania

Why the hell are you mining my site?

If you’re not really Germans and Lithuanians and you’re hitting me from VPN, tell me why. If you are Germans and Lithuanians, tell me why.

I’ll be glad to engage in a conversation. Failing that, I’ll take this site down and start over. Which would be ridiculous at this point because you’ve hit everything on here at least 4 times. I would like to flatter myself by thinking I am such an addictive writer that y’all can’t stay away, but my Mama didn’t raise no fool.

This site was supposed to be a place like SoundCloud where I could run my own gallery, so to speak. But 60 and 70 to upwards of 90 hits per day, no comments, no likes, just trolling the site over and over for several weeks has made me suspicious.

Not that I have anything worth stealing or plagiarizing, repeating or reprinting. Nothing incendiary, rarely topical and pretty much mainstream. So the shadow game is inexplicable.

Contact me directly or go away.

NVDT #82 – And Then, Um…Everybody Lived Happily Ever After!


Is (Are) ‘genre-bending’ and ‘genre hybrid’ a reality(ies) or a fallacy(ies)? Has plot changed since Shakespeare or the Bible?

Yes, they are. And not much. But first – Story time –

“First there was a mean lady. I ‘member her ‘cause she had some really, um, mean ugly daughters. They were so ugly their names were the Fuglies and ’cause they were so ugly was why the lady was mean ’cause she was gonna be stuck with them f’rever ’cause of it. An then there was a party in the castle an everybody wanted to go but ‘Rella couldn’t ’cause her clothes were sucky but some birds and mice got helped by a big dog so they could ran away from a cat and and they made a magic dress for ‘Rella but the mean lady an the Fuglies messed it all up an ‘Rella cried ’cause she couldn’t go to the party. And and then a mom who was a fairy came and fixed it all with a wand like Tinkerbelle’s only she was kinda fat not like Tinkerbelle but with the same wand and and and she wanded the mice into horses and ‘Rella went to the party in a pumpkin. Then, um, the pumpkin turned back into a pumpkin. An a man in white pants with only half his glasses ’cause he only needed to see one foot knocked on the door and and he, well, he brought the glass shoe inside to see who was there could wear it an the Fuglies cut off their toes even and there was blood an everything but the shoe didn’t fit their Fugly fat feet anyway, and and and then the mice ‘scaped ‘Rella and she ran downstairs to see the half glasses man an the shoe fit her! And and and then ‘Rella gave the mean old lady an the Fuglies the finger and…Um… everybody lived happily ever after!”

“Did your Papa read you this story?”

“Um… Yeah. An we ate popcorn and drank two lemonades.”

“And Cinderella gave the Mean Lady and the Fuglies the finger?”

“Well yeah ’cause they were total butt heads to her. Who you callin’?”


Deviations in language or other incongruous updates are not “bent.” Same story, same plot. It could become the Biker chick dystopia sub genre of Tough as Nails female lead genre. A sub genre of Hero’s Journey – RomCom Female lead, sub genre of Hero’s Journey – RomCom sub genre of Hero’s Journey – Comedy, Sub genre of Epic-Comedy… until we end up at the Adventure or Fantasy or Drama header. Which is why this conversation really belongs in the same room with people who think grammar rules should apply to dialogue, but it’s not. So…

Further confusion arises when film types randomly interchange Genre with Style, and when other articles posted on the all knowing internet misfire and call the basic elements of fiction plots. Posted by teachers who should know better. Worse, “Conflict” and “Resolution” are being taught as mandatory “story elements” in elementary school. Is peripeteia really a requirement to be entertained?

And the bastardized “Elements” of fiction are now trending to adults as “beats.” Check out most of the “how to” fiction writing being purveyed and you’ll discover “beats”’ are all the rage. “Beats” are the age old Elements of Fiction, repackaged. I assume for the benefit of the authors who are pandering to our crowd, hoping through lack of exposure by prior vocation or design that we are unaware their “secrets” are older than the written word.

Archetypes and stereotypes and genre and beats… Quick – Four Trickster Archetypes – uh, uh, Coyote, and, and Goldilocks, uh… B’rer Rabbit (and his Nigerian cousin Zomo) and Bart Simpson who grew up to be Dionysus! Great! Now, they’re all on Mars, shapeshifting and sycophanting their way into a giant Gefunkensnot 19 heist Three acts, nine beats, offstage violence, lots of humor. Go!

Difficult to pigeonhole? A whole new concept?

Crime Fiction- sub genre comedic heist or caper, dystopia.

I used to think that Genre was the costume, the set, the environment, the complete “om-be-awnz” inhabited and traversed by the story’s population with setting as a subset. I still do, quietly. It’s not worth entering into the story form vs genre vs style argument because at some point it’s simply semantics. Examples: Science Fiction is a certified Genre. Action/Adventure (sub Epic) is a certified Genre (or two). So what’s Star Wars? Mad Max? Mystery is a certified Genre. So is Horror. Is Alien a sub genre of Horror or Science Fiction or Mystery? See? Pigeonholing them can be done, but why bother… They’re all costume dramas of one kind or another.

Plot, though, makes more sense because it is the totality of EVENTS in the dramatic story form. The storyline. Plot is independent of genre and setting although sub genres will suggest form (procedural, say, which might be a quest…Jesus…). Plot is the infrastructure of the story, even if at times it seems to vanish or become ambiguous. However something is always happening on every page. Scenes are being set, characters act and respond (or don’t) to some activity by persons or nature and there are consequences, immediate or telegraphed or for simple entertainment value diversion. Whether or not those activities are part of a goal driven story (conflict and resolution) are not relevant because the goal might take an entire series of events (the plot) to be exposed. Or it might be two hours SOC in the St. Louis airport on Mother’s Day. I have an entire riff on what is valuable content here.

This page at The Pulp.Net will send you to the plot chroniclers Polti, Palmer, Heath and the Grandaddy of them all, William Wallace Cook. Think maybe you or someone you know has reinvented the wheel? Check out Plotto, the real deal wheel. Take old guy married to young woman. What can go wrong? The Miller’s Tale to A Perfect Murder and probably thousands of procedurals from cozies to time warp vampires to Midsommer Murders. More of that Genre cross curriculum activity. It’s also Number 213 in Plotto, with cross references for sub plot(s). Call central casting and embellish them in genre as you will, the story can still be boiled down to framework.

Genre and Plot. Plot is, Genre is subjective. Don’t believe me? Say no more…

To see what other hoppers think click the link below


Yes, I own Plotto. It will do nothing for skill, but it will help get Danger Barbie and Hunky Ken out of a grass hut in a monsoon because they got there and, and, and…