(insert pithy rejoinder here)

Karma

Hellis Loses Her Mind on an Airplane

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3216573-2967628339-ren-2The Universe is trying to convince me that I am a hot bubblin’ cauldron of crazy, I shit you not. The story I am about to tell to you actually happened to me on a flight not too long ago.

Let’s take a moment to set the stage: (more…)


Hellis Cures Insomnia With…Murder

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17238374-lBear with me while I explain the title of this post. I suffer from bouts of insomnia which leave me with a lot of unstructured time on my hands. This is not a good thing, because I have yet to find a constructive way to fill that time. In other words, I don’t always make healthy choices.

So this opening is not doing much to alleviate doubts about my current mental state or potential guilt. Let me begin again: (more…)


SciFi Face-Off!

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Today I have decided to pay homage to the late, great Gene Roddenberry on what would have been his 93rd birthday by conducting an interview I believe he might have enjoyed. Now I ask you, what better way to pay tribute to one of the greatest contributors to the SciFi genre than to have a face-off of Starship Captains? Ladies and gentlemen I give you…

JAMES T. KIRK    VS    JEAN-LUC PICARD

(more…)


Start-ups, Writing, and Foot Porn

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HE Ellis Blog Fact: "Glenn Close Feet" is #38 on my all time list of search engine terms

HE Ellis Blog Fact: “Glenn Close Feet” is #38 on my list of search engine terms

I hate myself right now.

Not a desperate, self-loathing kind of hate- it’s more of an “ironic trombone” kind.

You see, I decided to trade my uber time-suck of a management job for something part-time in order to free myself up to write and blog and spout my personal irreverent form of rhetoric. This idea sounded good at the time, until I realized that it had been nearly fifteen years since my last job hunt and that I had technically already quit my job (my former boss said so. I asked him).

Now what I am left with is plenty of time not to write, but to search for my awesome new job that will not be an uber time-suck in disguise. So after a whole lot of hits and misses and a sketchy offer of a career in foot porn (my feet are adorable) this happened: (more…)


The Doppelganger Hellis

I am officially traumatized.

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would never post pictures of myself, simply because I absolutely LOVE the fact that most people wonder if I am really a dude. The problem is that now even I am not so sure, because something has happened that has shaken me to my core.

People, I have found my twin.

It all started innocently enough this morning, with me at my computer putting the stories together for F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES. I had a tab open with YouTube as I always do, listening to music in the background. My Glee-obsessed daughter suggested I listen to a channel that featured songs the show had covered. One of the featured bands was Journey. Sounds innocent enough, right?

WRONG.

Call it fate or irony or twisted divine intervention, but for some reason I decided to pull up the background tab just as a video loaded on the cue; a video that will haunt me for the rest of my days. I stared in horror at what I thought was my reflection, the truth slowly dawning on me one terrifying, note-filled moment at a time. For you see ladies and gentlemen, I look incredibly, unbelievably, motherfuckingungodly similar to Steve Perry. Give him big boobs and a small nose and it’s me, in all of my sad, stuck-in-the-80’s glory. I even have that same top, I shit you not.

So for those of you who may have wondered what I look like, look no further. I look like Steve Perry. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to cash some cleverly forged royalty checks, right after I show this to HR Nightmare and do some REAL damage.


Hey Archon! Happy Birthday, Eh?

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I am taking a rare free moment to honor the birthday of a truly great man and even greater Canadian; Justin Beiber  Archon’s Den!

As a resident of the Canadian Riviera (better known as “New England”) I live in awe of a country that possesses badass versions of all the things we admire ourselves for- moose, maple syrup, hockey, beer, WINTER.

We, as New Englanders, have developed a kind of a hero worship for Canadians because of it- sort of like the kid who thinks he’s good at baseball, but knows for a fact his big brother IS.

This is how I feel about my friend, Archon. He’s every bit the wordsmith and tale-teller I humbly attempt to be- not to mention that he has a heart the size of Canada itself.

Besides, anyone from the same country that gave us SCtv and RUSH isn’t going to be a hoser, eh?

For those of you who have yet to experience this curmudgeonly cunning linguist, click on the Archon-ic moose below for a sampling of one of the cleverest minds the Great White North has to offer. Until then…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARCHON!

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Jazz, Jesus and the 1 Star Review

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jazzEvery so often there comes a moment when we see ourselves through another person’s eyes. Determining whether that’s good or bad depends entirely on what we see. Most of my epiphanies are delivered in the form of my sister telling me my ass looks fat in my jeans, whether I ask for her opinion or not.

Commentary on my fat ass or bad breath I can handle, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the reality of personal feedback in the form of reviews for my novella, Reapers With Issues.

Before I begin I’d like to state that every reader who reviewed my work negatively did not condemn me personally for what I’d written, despite not particularly enjoying the book. I’ve read reviews of other books where the reviewer took the author to task, and I am happy to say I’ve been blessed with a classy group of readers who didn’t feel the need to blast me.

I guess what confounds me most is that I expected there to be more blow back for subject matter. Portraying Jesus as a closet homosexual and writing a scene where Genghis Khan violates a shi-tzu wasn’t going to win me an audience with the Pope, and I knew that going in. I also prepared myself for a critique of the quality of the writing itself, which as it turns out I didn’t receive much of. What I did get was essentially the same question, asked in so many words, of what kind of person could conceive of the Reapers idea at all. Again, good or bad depends entirely on what we see.

[enter the dreaded introspection process]

The first thing I did was try to answer the question of what kind of person I am. Despite an obscene amount of navel-gazing I am no closer to that answer now than I was when I began. My motivation to write Reapers With Issues was just as strong and the subject matter just as easy to conceptualize as Gods of Asphalt’s was, so identifying a specific default in thinking didn’t pan out. The truth is that I’ve got a hundred different stories buzzing around in my head; everything from harmless children’s stories to British comedies to even more Reapers sequels (oddly there’s nothing milling around in there that remotely smacks of Erotica, but that’s a post for another day after an hour on a couch).

So after an even more shameless bought of self-contemplation I began to ask myself a different question, “Why do any of us write what we write?”

Do we choose our genre or subject matter because of who we are, or because of what we make of the world around us? I imagine it’s no coincidence that Reapers With Issues was written during the darkest hours of a friend’s battle with cancer, or that Gods of Asphalt was written while stuck in bed, listening to my two teenaged sons bicker amongst themselves and argue with their father.

It is also not lost on me that I wrote Reapers With Issues from a third-person point-of-view, allowing me to observe at a distance the story of a Reaper whose best efforts to gather souls are thwarted by a Savior, or that the overall theme of Gods of Asphalt is how brothers cope when their mother isn’t around.

I suppose in the end what we choose to write comes from the harmony of both who we are and what we see. I’ve learned that whether my writing is received as harmony or dischord depends entirely on who’s doing the reading, and no amount of alteration of my “music” will accommodate everyone.

For the record, I’m fine with that. I am a Jazz fan, after all.


Happy Normal Birthday!

Cocktails-2It’s time once again to celebrate our favorite Brit’s birthday, Megan from VeryNormal!

I’ll admit to having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to top last year’s send off, but this year I think I’ve got it covered. When I imagined what I’d likely be doing if I were in England right now,  the answer became instantly clear. Why I’d be drinking, of course. So this year I’ve decided to create a drink specifically for our Megan, and name it accordingly. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you:

The Induced American

Named because you will likely be driving on the wrong side of the road after you knock one of these babies back. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (sorry they aren’t metric)

1 very thin sliver habanero pepper (because she is so spicy!)

2 slices fresh ginger root (because I like her with red hair best)

1 1/2 fluid ounces gin (because gin is British)

3/4 fluid ounce lime juice (because…well, because I like lime juice)

1/2 fluid ounce simple syrup (because she is so sweet!)

1 cup ice cubes (just because)

Directions

Muddle habanero pepper slice and 2 slices fresh ginger together in a cocktail shaker until pulverized, about 20 seconds. Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice. Cover and shake until well chilled. Strain with a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of ginger on a toothpick. Drink a toast to Megan and the Queen!

Happy Birthday, Megan! Have a drink for me!

TO WISH MEGAN A HAPPY BIRTHDAY VISIT:

VeryNormal

FOR THE FULL COCKTAIL LIST VISIT:

Archon’s Den

El Guapo

HR Nightmare

Sandylikeabeach


A Sad Farewell To Our Girl Libby

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885524_10200246963650690_1031184110_oThere is no easy way to deliver the sad news that our young friend, Libby, has lost her brave battle with cancer. On the evening of Sunday, March 17, Libby spent her last few hours mercifully free of pain, surrounded by the friends and family whom she so dearly loved.

I will admit to struggling for some time with the crafting of this post, wanting my words to do Libby’s life justice. I was desperate to seek out and find the good within the tragedy, to find meaning in the joyous birth, brief life, cruel illness and untimely death of this beautiful young girl. Twenty-four hours later and the words still struggle to come.

My first attempt at a post was meant to be a memorial to Libby’s life and her legacy of positivity despite adversity. Luckily for me I was blessed to know Libby personally, and as anyone who knew her well will tell you her positivity wasn’t hard to find. Both spirited and stubborn, quick-witted and compassionate, Libby’s energy and light drew in everyone around her.

Yet despite being a direct recipient of her love and energy, my words failed me. There just weren’t adjectives enough to describe all that Libby was in life. Every turn of phrase was deemed woefully inadequate. Naturally, I started over.

My next pass at a draft focused on the struggle to seek out the positive in loss, even a loss as tragic as the death of a child. I crafted nearly a page of generic comfort words, each sentence painting a picture that paled in comparison to the miracle that was Libby. Needless to say that draft never saw the light of day either.

I had all but given up when I decided to take a break and update Libby’s Wrists Around The World page, hoping to regroup and get a handle on just what it was I wanted to say. As I read down the list of names on her FRIENDS OF LIBSTRONG page and saw pictures in her GALLERY of wrists of people from all over the world, it hit me-

You. Me. All of us. WE are her legacy.

Strangers who with a click of a mouse became family. Writers who donated their work for her benefit. Readers who bought books for her cause. New friends the world over who donned wristbands and thought enough of a child thousands of miles away to carry her with them, to memorialize her struggle in a snapshot. It became clear to me in that one, glorious moment that the very best way to honor Libby and her life would be to live our lives well, to continue to give of ourselves freely, selflessly, and to demonstrate daily the good that resides in us all.

Libby’s bravery brought out the best in all of us. What better way is there to honor her than to do our very best everyday? As long as we are brave enough to answer that question, Libby’s life will have meaning. Libby, within us all, will live on.


Hellis In Love – A Romantic Monday Offering

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RandyPan_220wHello Everyone, it’s me, Hellis, live and in person. Well, in spirit. I’ve been away from our little corner of this virtual Utopia we call Blogworld because I’ve been spending time with the new love of my life. Yes, people I am in love, and have decided to use Edward Hotspur’s ROMANTIC MONDAY post as an opportunity to introduce him to my world.

The latest object of my affection is a man like no other; he is fun-loving, free-spirited and young at heart. His childlike innocence attracted me immediately and before I knew it I was hooked. Today I’d like to introduce you to the man who captured my heart and is sure to steal yours. Without further ado I give you…Randy Pan.

peter_stand_largeNow, before some of you start sending emails to a certain tall, SciFi-loving Cowboy let me explain. Randy isn’t your ordinary, everyday Pan-fan. He’s living his dream everyday in a way that shames me as a writer. It took me a year to work up the testicular fortitude to query agents with my GOA novel while this guy was laying it all out there for the world to see. There was no fear of judgment or harassment on his part. He exposed his life and his soul in an act of bravery that humbles me. And while I will admit that it is taking every bit of self-control to not mock the living shit out of this guy; I have decided a better use of my time would be to honor him here.

So here’s to you, Randy Pan. May your tights not chafe, may your loafers be light, and may every jock who beat you down in high school scratch himself to death because of a raging, unchecked venereal disease.

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For more Romantic Monday Posts visit Edward Hotspur


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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Yes, you are correct, it is my birthday. I know this to be true because I follow Edward Hotspur’s blog and El Guapo’s blog and Ginger’s blog and Sandy’s blog (as well as kind email wishes from Trask Avenue, LeClown, and many a sweet comment from my good friends John E. and PMAO). All better blogs than mine, because quite honestly I completely forgot it was my birthday until I read them. Wait…more to the truth I forgot again that it was my birthday since my kick-arse British friend Megan wished me a Happy Birthday the night before (suck it, HR and Elias. She beat you to it).

It’s been through these good people that I’ve made even more friends today, and perhaps have even sold a book or two. That being said, I am not sure mere words can describe what all your birthday wishes mean to me. Without knowing me personally, you may not understand what a Dickensian upbringing I had, and how kind words and well wishes I never received as a child mean the world to me now. You have all become my family, and I am grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for sharing my day.

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