Sunday, August 29, 2004

Shooting the Schmitt

I hung out this morning with Schmitt.

Oh, you wouldn't know him. Even my brothers don't know him. I just met him this morning myself, and so far he seems like an okay guy. Quiet though.

John Schmitt has a bench under a tree in the cemetery next door as a memorial to him from his family. I took a short story I'm working on out there and walked around, sitting and shooting the shit with Schmitt for a while, and trying to figure out some things in the direction of the story.

Have I mentioned it's peaceful out there? If you don't get caught up in the whole "dead-bodies-underground" thing, it's a park... just with not so many people. Living. And there's not many girls out there in bathing suits suntanning either... or people playing frisbee with their dogs... but anyway, I digress. It's a peaceful place and easy to let your mind drift off.

Our time here is so short, it's amazing, and we're all faced with demands on it (time spent deleting spam offers for cialis, viagra, toner, hot horny grannie trannies, lower mortgage rates and how to sell shit on Ebay) and all of us have a ridiculous amount of choices to make.

We can do something worthwhile as long as we're here... something that makes us happy.

Or, we can sit around piddling our puds.

I know what a lot of people's mindset is. Hell, we were called the why bother generation.

Why bother? In case anyone hasn't noticed, our world is turning into a cesspool. We will not go out with a bang, but with a whisper, of this I am firmly set in my beliefs. Oh there'll be other 9/11's, you can be assured. If you think some guy with a towel on his head isn't going to blast some more stockbrokers or take out some celebrities if he gets the chance, (oh, and he will - look no further than that RIDICULOUS color-coded level alert that Homeland Security is using - we should be ALERT? PUH-fucking-LEEEEEEZ), then you're dead wrong. It'll happen. But one of these times it's not going to be a bomb. It's going to be a package the size of an envelope. A prescription bottle. And it's going to be emptied into a main water reservoir so it can feed into thousands... millions of homes... and the passengers it carries will be too microscopic to get filtered through that Britta water system. And you can damn well bet it'll be contagious to the nth degree.

That's how we're going to go.

Why bother? We live in an environment with a hundred different kinds of cancer. Used to be casual sex. Fuck that, put your dick in without capping it now and you may as well be playing Russian Roulette. Our culture is full of school shootings, overpaid entertainers and underpaid teachers.

Our generation will have no social security and one of the largest national deficits in history.

Why bother? it's easy to fall into this, and I live in a region where that mentality is not the exception, it's the norm.

Well, I'll tell you why bother. Because you're still here, that's why. Because we all have talents. Not God-given, sorry, I don't play that game. you have talents, many talents, and they're your own - use them, because if you don't, then it's a fuckin waste. That's why. Push yourself. Raise your own bar - not because of what other people say - because you should.

Because if you don't want to bother, then quit breathing my fucking air. If you want to just trudge day in and day out, waiting to die, then why put it off? Go wear a gas oven hat and get out of my way.

Contribute. Do something. Get off your ass.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go
to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
- Martin Luther King, Jr

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Shotgun Rant

What sort of fucking cosmic rabbit hole did I fall through that enables me to deal with stupid people all the time? I'm telling you... each time I think I've reached the threshold... the champion of all idiots... someone else comes along to take the gold and raise the bar for the next person. And lately, it's coming in waves... way too many to even single out an example. Are you shitting me? Isn't there some Lee Harvey Somebody with a rifle out there interested in these people? Really?

And while I'm at it... let's sidestep for a brief moment into religion. (Yes, I know... I travel this road often. A friend of mine recently said I have issues on religion... well no shit).

If one of your kids did something wrong, you'd punish them, right? Time outs, spankings, waving the gun around... whatever is your parental method of correcting your children.

Now, having said that... after you've doled out the punishment... let's fast forward a bit. Your child is now an adult... with children of their own... YOUR grandchildren. Upon first seeing the little pink newborn, would you punish them all over again for what YOUR child had done years and years ago?


Okay.. let's go on... you're old. Decrepid. Your grandchildren have grown, and now have kids of THEIR own. Would you try to punish all of them again for what YOUR kid did?


Ridiculous, isn't it? That generations of your offspring would receive punishment through their innocence for something they had no connection with.

And yet... millions (billions?) of christians buy into this and agree that.. yes.. Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and on and on, and blah-blah-fuckin-blah.

This is the sort of shit that gives me fuel to stay awake and work at night.

That and angry music.

just how damaged have I become?
when i think I can overcome,
it runs even deeper.


Saturday, August 21, 2004


And this has to be mentioned in some form, even though I won't forget it.

At HorrorFind, one of my best friends was waiting while I listened to a reading. Keene saw him in the hallway and asked him if he was waiting for a reading, and he replied "Naah, we're waiting for Bob."

Keene: "Sorry man, I checked, there's not a Bob Ford line."

Buddha: "Yet."

flaunt your balls.
- b

Scorpion Sting

Right now I'm reading a short story collection, "Dangerous Red," by Mehitobel Wilson. Geoff Cooper told me to get it, and said it was on his "Why fucking bother" list, meaning it's so good, it makes you wonder why you should bother trying to write.

It's good. It's damn good, actually. It's filled with short stories that hang with you for a long time after; leaves an itchy spot in your thoughts, like a mosquito bite on your brain. But I don't have one of those lists like Coop does. Nor do I ever want one. Oh, don't get me wrong - there are times when I've read shorts - some in Bel's collection being them - that I've read the way the author handles description or a certain passage, and thought "Fuuuuuuuck, that's good. That's fucking amazing." But never have I thought why bother trying. Because it just pisses me off and makes me want to try harder.

Brian Keene shot me an email this week with an old blog posting of his that talked about his first attendance at a Stoker Awards, and the events at the World Horror Con that led up to it (including what I consider a great piece of history where he and Coop got Richard Laymon's daughter to eat earthworms on stage during a gross out contest - how fucking cool is that?).

He knows where I want to go, and after all the shit he's dealt with and the work he's put in to get to where he's at, I'm sure he feels somewhat like a friend trying to talk another friend from jumping into the deep end of the pool when they don't know how to swim. But he's never said anything to try to discourage me from it. If anything, he's been encouraging me, without actually encouraging me, if that makes sense.

Wouldn't do any good if he tried to talk me out of it anyway. it's in my nature.

Ever read the fable about the Scorpion and the Frog? Google it.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Happy the Man

...when you look up in the sky
You can see the stars and still not see the light.
Well I know it wasn't you who held me down
Heaven knows it wasn't you who set me free
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.

- Eagles, Already Gone

Workin on a story with a title I'm stealing from The Cure - Happy the Man.

more to come.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Story Fodder

My daughter turns five this October.

Today, out of the blue, she told my wife that this house is old and there are ghosts here.