Last night I was heading out for a late dinner with a friend. I opened the door and was greeted by three sheriff’s deputies. At this point, their guns were still holstered.
Next week, work wise, I have two book launches. A book launch typically takes a great deal of preparation for it to be successful and both of these are requiring a decent bit of last minute work on my part.
As my regular readers know, I work at home. My apartment is a ghetto-chic single bedroom I call Area 51. The building has 21 units and was originally built as an extended stay hotel for the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. Some people think the building is run down, the owner advertises it as “retro,” down to the lime-green appliances.
Area 51 is pretty small, about 500 square feet. For most of November I was working there then spending every evening writing my NaNoWriMo. Once December kicked off, I was working full-out to get these book launches prepped.
By yesterday, the walls, tastefully covered with “retro” 80s panelling, were closing in.
Around 4pm my friend Cassandra called to see if I wanted to hit the Asian place near here for a late supper. I jumped at the chance. I planned to work until 6:30 or so, then meet her.
By 5:30 my mind was spent. I had been working for about 12 hours and I.was.done. It was already dark and cold outside, but I decided to take a walk anyway to clear my head and get some fresh air.
I pulled on my dark coat, put on my Cookie Monster beanie(tm) and headed out into the night, walking down the residential road adjoining my building.
Here are a couple things I didn’t know before leaving…
First, this past week there were two break-ins at homes in the neighborhood. Second, the suspect was a guy about 5’10” to 6′, wearing jeans, a dark coat and a beanie. (You can probably see where this is going…)
I wasn’t planning on a long walk, just getting some air, so I walked about a quarter mile, stopping in front of a particular house to admire the Christmas lights. Then I turned and walked back. A car drove up behind me just as I turned, and I retreated to the side of the road, but it turned into the house’s drive.
I get home, shave, put on a clean shirt. I don my coat, grab the box I was bringing for Cassandra, open the door and…
Three of Blount County’s finest. (I would have said “the Three Stooges” but there wasn’t anything funny about them.)
I’m not sure why, but most law enforcement officers tend to be on the short side. Maybe that’s just me. All three were shorter than I am, and I am average height. One had a 70s porn-stache. The others were clean shaven.
“Can I help you?” I asked, not having a bit of fear. There’s no way they could have ever found the body I left in Kansas City and even if they had, there was no way they could tie it to good ol’ Fictional Boy.
“Sir, can you please put that package down and step outside?” Even though it was a question, it seemed more of a command. He was the shortest of the three. Seeing these three I made a mental note to research that for my current book.
I put down the box and step out onto the balcony/walkway. I’m 5’10”, 5’11” in my boots, and I was wearing jeans, a dark coat…you get the picture…and so did they.
“Sir, do you have any identification?” I produced my driver’s license. At this point half the building was out in the parking lot watching. Turns out the Law & Order trio had been going door to door and had knocked on 10 before arriving at mine.
“Mr. Fictional,” said the only deputy apparently capable of speech, “have you been out walking this evening?”
“Yes, I just walked down the road a bit. Getting some fresh air.” Even though I wasn’t lying, it kinda felt even to me like I was.
“And while you were walking, did you see a car following you?” This question threw me a bit. Following me? Maybe a serial killer was stalking me! (Cause that’s how I think.) I narrowly escaped death!
Well, no, not exactly, I explained. A car came up behind me, and I stepped off the road a bit because I am an idiot and was walking in the dark in dark clothes, but it turned into a driveway.
“Sir are you carrying any weapon on you, even a pocket knife?”
No, I assured them, I was currently weapon free. I thought about making a joke “no, but my AK-47 is inside” but decided against it.
“Would you empty your pockets please,” shorty looked at my license, apparently he has an injury causing short-term memory issues, “Mr. Fictional?”
I emptied my pockets onto the bench my neighbor and I use to sit and smoke. Cell phone, money clip, keys. A couple crisp hundreds were visible in the clip…just like a criminal would have…
Deputy Shortestone handed my license to Deputy Ron Jeremy and he headed down to one of the patrol cars, probably to run a criminal background check with the FBI, CIA and Interpol.
While he was gone, the two deputies stood, silent. I gotta tell you, that’s unnerving. They just looked at me. Deputy Jeremy returned eight hours later and handed me back my license.
Just then, my phone dinged a text. All three looked down at my phone, laying face up on the bench.
Please don’t be my dealer…please don’t be my dealer…
“Sir, there have been a series of break-ins in the neighborhood and when you were seen walking, stopping in front of a house, then suddenly turning and walking away, the homeowner who saw you became suspicious. Sorry to have troubled you.”
They climbed down the stairs back to their cruisers while I gathered up my stuff.
The text was from Cassandra “Where are you?”
“I got arrested” I replied.
I’m good at writing. Believe me. I am good at writing books. I know words, believe me. Big words. Words with meanings. Words with lots and lots of letters.
Those other writers are hacks. They don’t know words. They don’t know sentences. When they’re writing their NaNoWriMo novels they’re not bringing in their best, their brightest. They’re using little words. “Be” verbs. Not adverbs. Not adjectives. They bring in the words that can destroy NaNoWriMo.
But when I finish my novel – and I’m going to write a great big novel. A novel like no one has ever seen. When I finish my novel, they’re not going to be allowed to publish those words. My novel is going to be so big, so bright. I gotta tell ya’. It’s going to be YUGE and they’re going to go back to where they came from and use those little words, those words with no imagination, no style, and self-publish them at Amazon and no one’s going to buy them
But my words will get picked up by every major publishing house. You’ll see. Just watch. I’ve used words all my life. Big words. And I know something about words.
Let’s make NaNoWriMo great again!
You think your attempt pathetic
When you try to wax poetic
You’ve created envy
In me never ending
In mastering the phonetic
My computer is in the car and my laptop is upstairs and Waco just left for water aerobics and I just noticed Twighlight Zone is on the television and this puppy is so cute in his after-surgery cone head and it’s a pain to write on my phone and I really should catch up on Facebook and it’s going to rain later so I should be out on the deck now and tomorrow I am quitting smoking so I should indulge in that and I’m kinda sleepy still and I need to take the puppy out and…
I’ll bet the title ticked you off, huh?
That’s OK. I figure it’s a pretty divisive title. If you can stifle the fire of your ire for a bit, let’s see if I can defend it, K? Thanks.
When Trump first came on the scene, he made bold claims about what he would do as president. Instantly everyone talked about how he couldn’t do many of those things. You can’t legally require Muslims to register. You can’t deport 11 million people in 2 years. Heck, you can’t even find them in 2 years. The president doesn’t have unilateral authority to do whatever the fuck he wants.
That’s called checks and balances. It’s there, in that Constitution thingy. I read it once.
Most reasonable people realize his bold ideas are unpossible to implement. Either they violate the Constitution, or he could never get them past congress, or they are just, well, unpossible on their face.
But people who support Donald Trump are either blind to these realities or support him for other reasons, like they want a glimpse of the First Lady’s lady bits.
How is this like Grandpa Bernie, the lovable curmudgeon hero of the middle class? Some of you are ahead of me already. For those who took the short bus to the blog, I’ll explain:
While people love to hate Trump, people love The Bern. Sure he smells a little oldmanish, but he makes good points. The wealth gap is a problem. Healthcare is a problem. The middle class is struggling in basic areas.
I agree with him 100% when he identifies the problems. Heck, on some of them, even Trump does.
But think through what he says he is going to do: Single payer healthcare for all. I heard about that once. This black guy came to Washington and sweated bullets to make it happen. In the end, Congress wouldn’t go for it. They won’t go for it with Bernie, either. Not because it’s not a good idea. Not because it doesn’t work well in other countries. Just because they are ideologues. They don’t yet “Feel the Bern.”
(As I side note, I DID feel the Bern. I found it surprisingly leathery and a little sticky. He seemed to enjoy it though.)
How about free college for all? Again, radical move. It would put us on par with other western countries. At least it’s not illegal (I’m looking at you, Trump) but without a complete change in Congress, it’s not going to happen either.
Is it possible Bernie will be elected and then suddenly all the red states (and a few of the blue) will defenestrate their current senators and congressman/women and replace them with Stepford Wife like Bernie Bots? It is possible, it is not remotely likely.
On the Trump side we have bold ideas (whether you agree with him or not, you gotta at least say he says bold things) that cannot in the foreseeable future ever get implemented. On the Bernie side, you see the same. You may like one and not the other, but they’re kinda similar.
I don’t care how you vote. Heck, in most states, how you vote will have no impact on who gets elected president anyway. I live in Tennessee, baring Jesus himself appearing on Bill O’Reilly and endorsing the Democratic nominee, those 10 electoral votes are going to the Elephant in the room.
Just don’t be silly and think Bernie can get the things he wants done much better than Trump can get his. You may like and vote for Bernie for all kinds of good reasons. Getting those things done shouldn’t be some of them.
Feel free to correct me in the comments if you disagree.
This morning Dr. Meg made a comment saying she took an online writing style analysis. I thought it sounded like fun, so I did. Since I write several different types of things, I did the analysis based on tags.
When I used my entire blog, the test came back H.P. Lovecraft.
When I used the sex tag, the test came back Cory Doctorow.
When I used the fiction tag, the test came back William Gibson.
When I used the poetry tag, the test came back with James Joyce.
When I used the romance tag, the test came back Stephanie Meyer.
That’s when I decided to stop. Permanently.
If you’re brave and don’t mind being told you’re E.L. James, you can take the analysis here.
This is me.
OK, not really. It would be me:
- If it were daytime.
- It it were summer.
- If I were actually done working.
Instead my marathon week continues.
In real life (yes, I have one) I own a small digital publishing company. We help people create books and “value added products” they can sell along with said books.
Some of the books are actually good – one of our writers hit the NYT Best Seller List back in November. Got to number 3. Not too shabby.
Our team does things like building websites, producing videos, writing advertising copy, schmoozing the rich and infamous. They’re a good team. We enjoy one another. Nice people. Joe is a little gassy, but we hold our noses because he brings the best food to Potluck Fridays. Come to think of it, the two may be related.
Today we launch a book. Good book. Written by a wonderful woman who is right now the bane of my and my team’s existence.
Built her website to her specs back in ’13. Yup. Every month since she’s been going to get us the content, going to get her book out, going to cover everything.
First week of January she tells me “got a firm date – we’re launching January 21.” She asked me again for a list of all the things she had to get to us – things like press kits, digital photos, content for her website pages. “No problem.”
Why do I always believe them?
Timeline is set. Deadlines for content pieces. They come. They go. We get her site – sans much of the content – “finalized” last Friday. She can’t walk through it with until Saturday. That was OK, I wasn’t seeing Waco last weekend. She said she would want some tweaks.
But she didn’t want tweaks. She wanted to tear down and rebuild the Hoover Dam. Damn.
I kindly explained to her in a Steven Hawking like fashion how time works. She stared at me blankly. “It’s just a couple things” she said. We negotiated what was actually possible for humans – even super-humans like us – to accomplish.
We whittled her list of 1,674,238 items down to a little less than 300. Yeah, I know. Late Sunday night (my time) the Indians dug in. Monday us US peeps joined the fight.
We did well. After a Monday of diligence and another night by our brown-skinned Asian neighbors, by Tuesday morning it was done. FINAL final walk through.
It was a 2 hour marathon call of “the sweetest little voice” demanding the most unreasonable things. She has the uncanny ability to convince you she’s just asking for a little more sugar in her tea.
Again, we compromised. Some of her recommendations had merit. But we still lacked content. We still needed a ton from her. She was working on it, “have it to you by noon.”
We went about the new list. Moral was flagging. I circulated (again) the picture of me dancing in my underwear at last year’s Christmas party to cheer them up. We rallied like Iwo Jima.
Now it is 6am Thursday. The book drops in a few hours. I have had a grand total of 90 minutes sleep since 8am yesterday and only 5 hours the night before. I’m beat. We’ve made it, just need to “turn the key,” but I am spent.
I am looking forward to a warm bed, a warmer Waco and a deep sleep tonight.
While trying to complete a simple task, the Indians destroyed the site.
Client calls to make sure the book sales pages are ready to go! Fortunately, we had already fixed those.
Client calls to tell me the video she gave us yesterday wasn’t exactly what she wanted, but in an act of God’s mercy she already had a replacement at YouTube.
Indians are finding more problems they created on the site. YAY!
Book is number 3 on Amazon. Can someone say BOOM?