The NecroNomNomNomicon: Cookbook of the Dead

Availble on Itunes, B&N, Amazon, and most other Ebook retailers.

The NNNNO’CN was read by Piers Anthony (yes, THAT Piers Anthony!)

He had this to say about it:

…a rather original story centered on fantastic cooking – literally fantastic, literally cooking – merged with a boy and dog story. It’s pretty wild from the start, with the boy’s mother a superlatively bad cook getting into a televised cooking contest, and demonic figures being fended off by the dog. There is romance along the way, and plotting by evil figures, and of course that carnivorous sheep. I think young readers will like it.

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Help!

This week has been craptacular.

My mom died.

My dog is in surgery for a tumor.

My wife and baby are on the other side of the world.

So, for charity (mine) I’m releasing my ebook early.  please buy a copy to help fund the surgery and plane ticket to my moms funeral.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547421

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Funny choices

SO I was working at Umpqua Community College a few years ago, and I was tasked to lug 50 iPads to the student center and use them to take surveys.

Sat there ignored for hours, when a woman plops her ample posterior into the seat across from me, vapid eyes blinking.

So she wanted to do the survey, and as she did it, she was oh-so-eager to tell me how she was  transferring from our modest community college, to some place … in Minnesota, I think.

Get this.

To take classes in crystal therapy, aura therapy, and past life regression.

OK, that’s her right to throw away her efforts in a real school to play make believe up north. Bravo to her. Her parents will be so proud.

But here’s the thing:  A day/month/few months into the new curriculum when she realizes that she can’t actually do anything the books tell her to be doing, (except as pure delusion) will she, out of embarrassment, presumably pretend that she’s got these magic powers and contrary to everything that is real and forge ahead in her “classes”?

So, will she lose her already loose grip on reality, or snap back, feeling incredibly stupid, and attempt to continue with a real education again?

I told her that once she graduates, to be sure to look up the Amazing Randi, because he’s offered a ton of money for many years to the first person who can demonstrate the kind of abilities she’s wanting to learn.

Fuck.

Hogwart’s isn’t real, you damned hippies.

Maybe the very real debt this fraudulent school will burden her with will help teach her a genuine lesson.

…But I doubt it.

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Broken

Its come to my attention that I’m kind of a crybaby when it comes to animal movies.

I am a huge animal lover (and eater, let’s be honest.), but a dramatic movie where an animal gets hurt trying to help someone gets me all misty eyed every single time.  (Even that episode of futurama where fry’s dog makes an appearance.)

But I was watching some kids movies with my little Elyza, and found myself tearing up as well.

I attribute this to not having a normal, healthy home life.

I guess I’m just broken.

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Memories!

I came across an old copy of Dream Park in my garage, and thought I’d pass it to a friend to read, as all good books must travel from reader to reader before finally expiring to weather or broken spines or some other equally horrible fate.

However, in the book, I found this:

clifford

Yes, that’s me in the Clifford the Bog Red Dog costume (not that you could tell). This was back in, oh, 2004? I worked at a Barnes & Noble at the time, and still do, to this day, consider it to be one of my top three jobs ever.

I mean, what literary nerd worth his salt never fantasized about working in a bookstore or library? I know I did.

And look at me now, a published author (albeit in a small magazine in the UK) reminiscing like an old man over his glory days. (except that I have no glory days of sports to relate, with the exception of LARPing, I suppose. Some people consider that a sport.)

That costume was heavy and unwieldy, and were it not for the battery powered computer fans in the head that made the unbearable heat somewhat less than lethal, I might have expired, like something quite melty. All of that, however, became insignificant when I heard the kids cheering for Clifford  …for me. So I busted out my best moves, and danced and played, and acted along to the book that was read.

That was the best day I had had in a very long time.

One day, when I finally hit the BIG deal for one of my novels, I hope I can sit in that store, In the Irving mall, predictably in Irving, Tx., and sign books for fans. Then it would have come full circle for me.

Hope it’s not too far off.

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…funny thing happened in the hospital

SO there I was,

watching my wife in labor, desperately trying to bring my beautiful daughter into the world, and so, as it often does, a pretty little girl entered the stage and made me feel love like no other.

It made me feel forgiveness.

It made all of the abuse I’ve suffered, the screaming, the words meant to drag me down and feel useless like the loser she wants me to be, as well as blows to my head and body with fists of anger –and sometimes dangerous objects. This woman gave me my daughter. I forgive her.

However, in the room afterwards, with her friends present, she remarked how she abuses me, so that she can be good to others, I replied how she pulled a gun on me and had to wrestle it away from her. The nurse that was present looked at me in horror, and then shut down her emotional reaction.

Later, in the hall, as she sat at the station outside the room, she remarked to me how I have broad shoulders to bear that burden (of abuse).

I can’t help but wonder, would she still have a job if she ever uttered those words to a woman?

 

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The Living Will

This was for a class, and I’m not entirely sure that I like it.

 

The Living Will

            Although the night was as dark as a black cat in the basement of a psychopaths’ mind, The …pressure of the things around him kept him from falling astray of the path which he traveled. Silence  followed him, disturbed only by the soft sound of the grass under his feet, as if sighing in relief that he had moved on. The cold night air left unseen plumes of breath trailing behind as he pressed onward.

            Almost there. he thought, as the clouds parted, revealing the moon, swollen and silver, that cast its cold gaze on the graves that he tread past, illuminating the names of the unfamiliar dead. At the top of the hill he slowly climbed, a large marble mausoleum looked down over the resting places of the small town of Snyder, its boundaries blurry and marked by remnants of wrought iron fencing that had collapsed from years of neglect.

            As the mausoleum grew nearer, the air grew colder, making him regret that he had not invested in the thicker, more expensive, and presumably warmer parka that sported the Gore-Tex label down at the shops. Shivering, he finally stood before the imposing marble edifice and traced his fingers over his family name, engraved deeply into the stone, which defied time and weather to wear it away.

            “McIntyre” He muttered as he pulled a large, old-fashioned iron key from his pocket and with a loud clunk, unlocked the door to his family’s sepulcher.

            Behind glass panels, brass plaques read the names of those that slumbered within.

            “Nathan. I thought I told you to not talk to those wops,” His grandfather spoke from decades past.

            “You never saw them for who they were, Gramps, only for their families.” Nathan paused, his eyes passed over the numerous military awards that lay on velvet pads behind the glass.

Nathan pressed on, shoving his cold hands into his parka.

            “Come to Nana, boyo. I have some licorice for you.”

            Nathan sighed and looked at the plaque he stood before. Delicate needlepoint and lace were displayed and preserved behind the glass.

            “I miss you Nana.”  Memories of summers spent with his grandparents while his parents “worked through” some issues they had, flooded his mind. The scents of the kitchen, always warm from baking bread or cookies, swam through his memory.

            “Don’t cry, Nate. Your ma and da will pick you up soon enough. Nana has some gingerbread for you.”

            Nathan stared at his scuffed and worn shoes, deep in thought, before looking back to his grandmother’s handiwork.

            “Was I so easy to pack away? Did they not want me?” Nathan paused, surprised at his vehemence, he wiped the spittle from his lips, then in a whisper, “Did they even love me?”

            Nathan brushed his fingertips across the cold glass gently, and turned to go deeper.

The next plaque was his younger brother, the prodigal son, beloved by his parents, taken from them by an angry husband who found great offense at his presence in his bed. He felt somewhat relieved that he had left home and sought his place in the world long before William was born. The incessant praise that their mother had showered him had also ruined him, making him narcissistic and vain. He felt glad that he never really knew him, because if he had, the reality of the blatant favoritism would have made him hate him. Really hate. Not just the bitter feelings of resentment when mother rabbited on about Wil when he called. It was this small mercy that left him no feelings either way when he learned about his death. He knew that even in death, Wil would forever be the favorite son.

As Nathan neared the back of the vault, he approached his parents plaque, noting the lack of personal effects with detachment.

            “Nathan, you’re going to stay with your Nana during the summer, Daddy and I need to go somewhere, and they don’t allow kids”

            “Son, I am disappointed in you, that trashy girl is low class trailer trash”

            “Nate, your father needs some alone time right now, so go to your room and do your homework.”

            “Why couldn’t you have been like William? He’s so smart and popular”

            Nathan turned his back on the plaque, “Goddammit, that’s my wife you’re talking about! That piece of shit William spent all of the family money on whores and drugs, but I’m not good enough?” He pulled a well-worn photo from his walled and pressed it to the glass.

            “See them?”  he shouted “They’re good kids, they are successful, they married and had kids of their own, but you’d never know because you wouldn’t even let them in. I’m glad you died before they ever got to know you. Your memory dies with me, and good riddance!”

            Nathan sat down on a stone slab bench at the rear of the mausoleum, its coldness penetrating the pants and thermal underwear beneath them, numbing his legs. In the corner of his vision, he saw the final plaque, but could not bring himself to read it. The temperature dropped again as the night drew on, causing him to huddle into himself in the darkness, lit only by streams of light from the pregnant moon outside that  illuminated the tombs’ plaques.

            Nathan whispered, almost silently, unwilling to face the final plaque.

“Who will remember me?”

As if in response, leaves blew in on an icy gust that sounded to him, almost, like

“The living will.”

 

 

 

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