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Posts tagged “young adult

Fluffy’s Fateful Faux Pas

fluffy-harry-potter-3-three-headed-dog-historys-famous-dog-ark-animal-centre

fluffy-harry-potter-3-three-headed-dog-historys-famous-dog-ark-animal-centreWelcome to day four of BLOGSHORTS: a ten day, ten story, 110 word writing extravaganza.

Each participating blogger chooses a pooch a day from a list of dogs, thunk-up by our fearless leader BLOGDRAMEDY, and then writes a short story featuring their dog of choice.

Each story is 110 words in length and can feature as much or as little of our canine friend as we like.

Today we travel beyond the land of Muggles to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to meet with our favorite three-headed dog, FLUFFY!

FLUFFY’S FATEFUL FAUX PAS

Fluffy tucked El Guapo’s speakers into his ears and for one blessed moment let the smooth, mellow sounds of Coltrane drown out the incessant bickering between his two ex-wives.

Fluffy often used his stolen quiet time to reflect on the course his life had taken. He dissected every decision and evaluated every consequence. He ran scenarios over and over again in his mind, asking himself what he might have done differently to have avoided the fate that had so tragically befallen him.

But no matter how many times he replayed that fateful day, Fluffy always came to the one sad, inevitable conclusion:

He should have never called He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, “Lord Moldywart.”

Revisit these soon to be canine classics:

BLOGSHORTS DAY ONE: Tea Cup Cujo

BLOGSHORTS DAY TWO: Toto’s Ruby Red Booty

BLOGSHORTS DAY THREE: Lassie Learns the Truth

TAKE YOUR BLOG FOR A WALK AND THROW THESE GUYS A BONE:

Blogdramedy

1pointperspective

SteveBetz 

Joe’s Musings

Jtailele’s Blog

MC’s Whispers

Shouts from the Abyss

Lenore Diane

Fix it or Deal

RETURN TOMORROW FOR A VISIT FROM EVERYONE’S FAVORITE PROPER POOCH, EDDIE!


F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES Update!

Fairy Tales

For a larger image – click at your own risk

Hellis here, taking a quick break from the grind to remind you it’s almost time for the release of the Blogger Compilation Project, F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES! If you’ve signed on to contribute please submit your story as soon as possible. The moment I have all contributions in I’ll release your book! All contributions should be sent to heellisgoa (at) gmail (dot) com

Our two newest contributions are offered by the sweet but sassy Sandylikeabeach as well as the never bland VanillaMom. Check these two ladies out for some inspiration for your own Fairy Tale!

For more of the Blogger Compilation Project read the novella,

ICONIC INTERVIEWS

- The world’s most beloved holiday icons presented in a collection of irreverent interviews that take on the backstory of their imagined existences.

 


Somebody Shoot Me – An Ode To My Mother

A Conversation with my mother the day I told her I finished my novel.

ME: “Well Mom, it’s done. I finally finished it.”

MOM: “Finished what?”

ME: “Uh…my novel. The one I’ve been working on for the past year. Yeah, it’s done.”

MOM: “I had no idea you were writing a book! What is it about?”

ME: (sighs) “It’s a young adult novel about a teenager named Sawyer Hayden who–”

MOM: “Sawyer? Oh I don’t like that name.”

ME: ”Well it’s too late to change it now. ANYWAY…he wants a basketball scholarship so he–”

MOM: “Basketball? But you don’t play basketball! And why are you writing about boys anyway? You’re a woman who lives in New Hampshire! I know what you should do. Join a writing group and try to make friends with that woman writer there…

ME:  Please don’t say Jodi Picoult.

MOM: …the one who writes all those nice cancer books. You know who I mean.”

ME: (sigh 2x) “Her name’s Jodi Picoult, mom.”

MOM: “No, that’s not it. Well, whoever she is I hear her books are very popular.”

ME: “FINE! WHATEVER! JUST LISTEN!” (deep breath) “In my book Sawyer asks his brother River to help–”

MOM: “RIVER? Oh I don’t like that name either. Why did you pick such ugly American names? With so many nice names in our family to choose from you–”

ME: “HOW ABOUT RAPHAEL? THAT’S WHAT I NAMED THE DAD SO HOW ABOUT THAT?”

MOM: “Finally a name I like! It’s about time you remembered you’re Italian.”

ME: “Ok…but just so you know, I made the dad Spanish.”

MOM: (appalled) “NOW WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST MAKE HIM ITALIAN? HOW AM I GOING TO TELL THE FAMILY IN ITALY THAT MY DAUGHTER WROTE A BOOK ABOUT SPANIARDS AND NOT ITALIANS?!”

ME: “I’M IRISH TOO, MOM! WHY DON’T I JUST MAKE HIM IRISH LIKE MY DAD, HUH? HOW’S THAT SOUND?”

MOM: “Spanish is fine.”

ME: “CAN WE FOCUS NOW? PLEASE?!”

MOM: “Yes, yes. Continue.”

ME: (sighs, molto frustrato) “So SAWYER leaves his father and moves to Nebraska–”

MOM: Bites lip.

ME: “NOW what’s wrong?”

MOM: “Well…why does he have to live in Nebraska? It’s a land locked state.”

ME: (rubbing temples) “What does Nebraska being a land locked state have to do with anything?”

MOM: “I don’t trust the seafood in land locked states. It’s too expensive. What you’re really paying for is the truck to have it delivered. They don’t fool me.”

ME: “Fine. You know what? I’ll change it to a coastal state–”

MOM: “OOH! You should make it Hawaii! I’ve always wanted to go there. You know they filmed that show LOST in Hawaii. But then you couldn’t use the name Sawyer. Hey! Now you can change that too! I always liked that doctor Jack–”

ME: “MOM! It can’t be Hawaii because Raphael is a long haul truck driver and that’s how Sawyer gets to Nebraska to live with his grandfather so he can get a basketball scholarship.”

MOM: “Well why does he even need a scholarship? With the price of seafood nowadays the father should have no problem paying for–”

ME: “You know what? Forget it. I didn’t write a book. I made a quilt.”

MOM: “Oh don’t be so sensitive. Tell me what the grandfather’s name is. Something good I hope.”

ME: “GUS.”

MOM: (flinches, thinks and then says) “So SAYWER leaves a man named RAPHAEL to live with a man named GUS?”

ME: “Yes but mom, Gus is awesome. He’s a biker and a southern rock roadie with…bad…ass…tattoos…”

MOM: (near tears) “What happened to my dainty daughter who used to love to read books and write stories and listen to music?!”

ME: “She changed her name to Sawyer.”

 

FOR MORE MIND-NUMBING MATERNAL MASOCHISM VISIT:

CONVERSATIONS WITH MY MOTHER


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


NaNoWriMo Versus The Queen Of Self-Distraction

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This time last year I put up a post entitled Why No NaNoWriMo which chronicled my need for self-distraction whenever I sit down to write. How I accomplish writing a blog at all I’ll never know. Needless to say, this year has been no different and I’ve yet to finish the second novella in my REAPERS WITH ISSUES series. What’s got me blocked this year is:

The Oakland Raiders – Walking Dead – Firefly’s 10th anniversary re-release – Coconut Rum – my promotion – Tom Elias – raising a daughter as stubborn as me – learning to love Scifi – wristsaroundtheworld – Junior’s shenanigans – Frank Stallone’s faulty brakes – Prince Charming’s charm – and this little ditty right here:


F*ck Me – It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again

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I know I’m four days behind in this post, but better late than never as someone much more clever than I once said.

For those of you who may not know, NaNoWriMo stands for NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH which basically describes an online community of writers gathered together to practice their craft. You can create a page similar in style to Facebook where you connect with others and draw support from the world of writers.

Anyway, it’s NaNoWriMo time again, and I of course have signed up to fail. The good news here is that I have my second novella, REAPERS WITH FANGS to finish, so I am determined to be successful this year. Who wants to be my buddy and crash and burn succeed with me? I promise it will be a glorious disaster success!

H.E. ELLIS @ NaNoWriMo

If you’ve already joined up, leave a link to your NaNoWriMo page in the comments. For blog posts penned by folks far more dedicated to their craft than I, please visit:

TOM ELIAS

JOE HINOSA

VERY NORMAL

JENNIFER VAUGHN

SIPS OF JEN AND TONIC

OUT WHERE THE BUSES DON’T RUN


The Early Bird Catches The SPaM

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Even though I’ve been taking a break from SPaM in order to write the REAPERS WITH ISSUES series, I had to come back today in order to introduce to you all someone truly special. For those of you out there who may not know, there is a rockin’ chick among us who is somewhat new to blogworld. I’ll let her About Me page speak for itself:

Essa Alroc is an Orlando, Florida based freelance writer who published works include “The Blurb About Freshness on the Back of Your Deodorant” and “Understanding Your Utah 529 Plan”. When she’s not at work, fantasizing about setting her cubicle on fire, she is working on her first full length novel.  It is not about deodorant or financial aid plans.

With blog posts entitled TEN WAYS TO GET FIRED or HOW NOT TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND one can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of Essa Alroc.

1. Your writing style is edgy, to say the least. What influences do you attribute to forming your particular writing style?

I was born and raised on heavy sarcasm and using humor in the place of emotions. My life’s motto is if your going to bitch about something, at least make it funny. That way people will actually listen.  When I was growing up, I was an overweight kid with bad teeth, who wore my brothers hand me downs. If it wasn’t for my incredible ability to hurt someone’s feelings, I would have made one hell of a target. Luckily for me, the weight came off, the teeth got fixed with braces, but I never lost the ability to come up with some seriously scathing commentary.  I also still wear my brothers hand me downs.

2. You live and write in Florida. How does living in the south influence what you write?

Florida both fascinates and horrifies me. I have a theory that something to do with the heat makes the people here crazy and violent. What I like about this state is that things that would be ridiculous anywhere else seem normal in Florida. I draw on a lot of my experiences here for both my fiction and non fiction work and I never seem to run out of things I write about it. What I dislike about Florida is all the rapes and murders…and lack of Jack in the Boxes. I miss their curly fries.

3. Your page MAKE ME YOUR BITCH speaks to your ability to write for hire. How does writing for someone else’s project differ from writing your own, and what can someone expect in the way of services?

My first love is humor writing, but in today’s market, it’s not a viable career option. Luckily, thanks to the plethora of jobs I’ve had, I’m able to write about a large range of subjects and still make them readable (and g-rated). My goal when I’m writing someone’s page is to get them SEO hits and at the same time, give value to the reader who was searching for their page in the first place. When someone types a query into a search engine, they’re not looking to get sold something. They’re looking for an answer to their question. My goal is to answer that question and still make my clients page come out on top. At the same time, I have to keep it free of my personal opinion and four letter words. Sometimes it’s easy, like when I’m writing an article about medical marijuana. Sometimes, it’s impossible, like when I’m trying to come up with 10 things I like about Mitt Romney. Number 1 was his hair.

4. Tell us about STRANGELY SOBER.

Strangely Sober was a novel born of frustration. Frankly, I was tired of reading about unworldly heroines who need the hero to show them how things are done. I’m not like that, and I don’t think most women are like that. Having a vagina doesn’t make me a bumbling, clumsy, insecure mess who can’t handle life on her own.  I’ve lived a full life and I think a lot of people have. I created my protagonist, Angelica Salvatori, AKA Sal, because of that. She drinks too much. She smokes too much. She lives everyday like zombie apocalypse is right around the corner.  She adapts and re adjusts as necessary. Personally, I think that’s what life is all about.

5. Tell us about ASYMMETRIC ANGELS.

I wrote Asymmetric because I didn’t feel ready to let go of Sal. There were some loose ends to tie up from the first novel and I didn’t think her story was over yet.  Asymmetric has been a challenge to write, because it’s got some strong religions undertones in it, despite the fact that I am not remotely religious. It’s a sequel to my first novel and its where my heroine, Sal, tries to create a shaky opinion on faith and at the same time, tries to adapt to a world that is constantly changing for her. Asymmetric is a novel about getting to know yourself. It also has explosions, a high body count and a recurring Gary Busey hallucination. Can’t disappoint my readers while I’m trying to be artsy.

6. How does blogging effect writing, if at all?

Blogging is a release for me. Its entertainment writing in its highest form. I don’t use my webpage in my portfolio, because it’s my hobby. I don’t allow marketing on it, and even my own marketing blurb for my business is kind of a joke. I don’t want my readers distracted by ads. I want them to laugh. I don’t censor myself and I don’t want to do that for a sponsor. All my blogs are born out of an everyday experience that can be made ridiculous using the right words. The world is a ridiculous place, and the ability to laugh at that ridiculousness makes us powerful.  I laugh at the Westborough Baptist Church, the economic crisis and child prostitution because I understand the power of humor. I go by the lessons I’ve learned from George Carlin and Richard Prior. ANY topic can be made funny when given the right delivery. That approach makes me fearless in my writing.

7. What have you learned most from writing your novel?

Be prepared for change. When I originally wrote ‘Strangely’, it was called ‘Unforgettable’ and it was written about a schoolteacher with eidetic memory. Two days before I released it, NBC released a show called “Unforgettable”, about a cop with eidetic memory. Instead of releasing it anyway, or trashing the whole series, I adapted it, changed it, until it was a completely different novel. Now, I’m glad that happened, because ‘Strangely” is about 10000 times better than what it was originally.

8. What advice would you give other would-be novelists?

Put your novel away for 6 weeks after you finish it and then read it again. It’s like being a first time reader. Maybe you realize your novel is, in fact, genius. Maybe you realize its crap. Maybe NBC puts out yet another shitty crime drama show and you have to start all over. Either way, you’ll be glad you did it.

9. Who are your favorite authors?

I love Jacqueline Susann, because she made trash literary genius. Read “Valley of the Dolls” closely and you realize that Neely O’Hara is Scarlett O’Hara. I love Piers Anthony because he makes sci-fi/fantasy a commentary on politics that hasn’t been met since Orwell’s “1984”. Finally, I love Tim Dorsey because he writes about Florida with tongue in cheek humor that delivers both admiration and disdain for this wild and crazy state. If Serge Storms were real, I would totally be stalking him.

10. Where do you see your next project taking you?

Well, the final book in the bar series, Gio’s Gift, is already breaking my heart because I’m murdering off a character I’ve grown very attached too. After I’ve uncurled myself from my sobbing emo ball, I’ll be working on something I’m calling the Dark/Light series, which I’m hoping comes to par with some of Anthony’s more political novels. It will be my first foray into science fiction and is loosely based on Nietzsche assertion that God is dead. Personally, I don’t think God is dead. I think he’s a sandwich artist at Subway…at least, he will be in my book. I hope eventually to make enough from my humor and fiction projects to focus on them full time. I think as long as I keep typing away and putting my best literary foot forward, it will happen.

Or I’ll wind up a sandwich artist at Subway.

 GET A FREE DIGITAL COPY OF STRANGELY SOBER TODAY ONLY BY CLICKING BELOW:


CITIZENS OF BLOGWORLD – I BESEECH YOU

BloggerIdol

My fellow Blogglanders,

I’d like to take a moment to step outside of the humor box and use my blog post today as an opportunity to spread awareness for a cause I truly believe in.

There comes a time in the lives of all bloggers when we find a need to step back and reflect on our journey through the virtual utopia that is Blogworld. Some of us have come here to broaden our horizons and to find inspiration within the photo or travel blogs that pepper the Freshly Pressed page. Many of us find comfort and community amongst the animal lover or mommy blogs of WordPress. Still others use their blog to extract humor from the banality of the workday life and to share their plight with the blog world around them.

But once in a great while there comes a blogger who stands out among the rest- a blogger who effortlessly straddles the line between tragedy and comedy. A blogger who bucks convention with his often times controversial opinions on the validity of religion or the sanctity of marriage or the awesomeness of Star Trek. A blogger who challenges the status quo, strives to enlighten both men and women alike, and who boldly laughs in the face of clowns.

It is this singular blogger who I believe can deliver us all into an era of change and lead us down a path of righteousness and light. That is why I, Hellis of Bloggerland, am asking its citizens for their support and their vote for EDWARD HOTSPUR as champion of the BLOGGER IDOL contest.

“Amongst the weeds of the world, a flower grows…”

CAST YOUR VOTE FOR EDWARD HOTSPUR HERE:


The Publishing Process In GIF Form

THIS IS A GREAT BLOG POST FROM FORMER UBER AGENT NATHAN BRANSFORD- AN AUTHOR WHOSE BLOG IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION IN REGARDS TO AGENTING, EDITING AND PUBLISHING. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO I GIVE YOU THIS EPIC REPOSTING OF HIS TAKE ON THE PUBLISHING PROCESS IN GIF FORM!

At first you’re thinking of writing a novel and you’re all…

But then you have an idea!

And you go…

But then you hit page 50 and you’re all….

And then you hit page 75 and you’re all…

But you power through!!

And then you’re finished!!! You have finished a novel!!

Only then find out you have to start querying agents.

So you write your query letter…

You obsess over it…

And then you send it out to agents and you’re all…

Then a couple of days go by and you’re all…

And…

And…

But then you hear from your first agent!! And you’re all…

And…

And it’s a rejection. But it’s just your first one so you’re all…

Then you get a few more and it’s more like…

But then! An agent calls! And they love your work! They want to represent you! And inside you’re like…

But you don’t want your agent to think you’re crazy so instead you’re like…

And you love your agent! When you say “yes” you want to…

 

But instead you go…

And then it’s time to submit to publishers. You are back on submission, and you’re like…

Then the editors start saying….

And…

And your inbox starts looking like…


And you’re all…

And…

And…

But then your phone says your agent is calling. And you want to be like…

But instead it’s more like…

And it’s an offer! You have an offer! And you feel like…

And…

And…

And…

And then you go celebrate with your friends and they’re all…

And on the car ride home you’re still like…

But it’s time for revisions. And you pretend you know what you’re doing…

And it’s back to…

But then you’re done! You’re really really done! Only your book doesn’t come out for another year. And so you’re like…

And…

You get your cover and you’re all…

But then publication day approaches! And your reviews start coming out and it kind of feels like…

But some of them are good! And you’re like…

And then your book is out there! People are reading your book!

And it feels pretty good!

And there’s only one thing to do. Start the whole thing over again.


Dear Hellis – A Letter To My Fifteen Year-Old Self

1987

I got this idea from fellow rockin’ chick Darlene at THE DAILY WOMAN. Make sure you check out her post which is witty and insightful as opposed to mine which is…well, you’ll see.

Dear Hellis,

You know how you are absolutely certain that you are going to take off to New York and become a dancer/artist/photographer after high school? Or how you are NEVER going to get married or have children, ever? Well here’s some advice I’d like to give you from the future to make your impending reality bearable.

1. Get off your high horse and date a nerd. Trust me on this.

2. Start studying for the S.A.T.s NOW.

3. Yeah, don’t get attached to all the awesome. Or to your ass, because in twenty years it is going to expand into epic proportions.

4. Your English Lit teacher is NOT correct. What you write will not forever be considered, “the sub-moronic ramblings of a semi-functioning illiterate.”

5. Teenaged boys lie. Even the nice ones.

6. Don’t listen to your father.

7. No, your hair does NOT look cool like that.

8. George Michael is gay. Don’t waste your time.

9. What makes you popular at fifteen doesn’t mean shit when you’re forty. Grow a personality now.

10. DO NOT MARRY THE HOT ROMANIAN GUY BECAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE LOST BOYS!!!!!

For more “Dear Me” letters visit CHATTING AT THE SKY.


Happy Blogiversary To Me!

COVER

TODAY IS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MY BLOG! TO COMMEMORATE THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION I HAVE DECIDED TO RERUN MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST.

PLEASE TO ENJOY…

So yeah, I wrote a book.

I must have been high when I wrote it because there’s no other explanation I can give for my 120,000 word upper YA novel where the only noun I used more than “boner” was “blood.” It goes without saying that I’m self-published. I didn’t even try to submit it traditionally. Can you just imagine the poor agent who gets my query letter?

“My novel, THE GODS OF ASPHALT is complete at 120,000 words and is the first in a series of five books that for some reason I’ve decided to write out-of-order. Each one is told from the point of view of a teenage male protagonist who has exactly zero supernatural powers (unless you consider perpetual erections a superpower). Oh, and it also has Spanish subtitles.”

Yeah.

On the good side, if you’re like me and are just a little too into music, motorcycles and all around badassery this is the book for you. If you’re not, I’m sure Jodi Picoult’s got a blog somewhere. You can find the opening to chapter one at the top of the page under the tab GOA REVIEWS and you can find my book on line at:

SMASHWORDS

AMAZON


Have A Heart

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When I set out to write The Gods of Asphalt it occurred to me that I would need to choose a town for the character of Sawyer to live in. Since I had already decided that Sawyer would be extremely tall, I thought the place he’d choose to call home should not be a metropolis, but a wide open town that possessed a classic, mid-western charm.

Call it luck or serendipity that on February 14, 2011 I discovered quite by accident the town of Valentine, Nebraska. Best known as “The Heart City,” Valentine participates in an annual re-mailing program where thousands of pieces of mail flow into the local United States Post Office so that they can be re-mailed with a special Valentine’s Day postmark and verse. The perfect town for a young man who renounces love to then find it, I thought.

Unfortunately Valentine did not escape the wildfires that have plagued the mid-west for the past few weeks. The devastation is wide-spread geographically as well as financially, with their losses reaching into the millions. Since Valentine and its surrounding areas are predominately agricultural, the devastation will be felt well into the future due to the loss of livestock and farming.

Below I have included information on how to make a donation if you choose to. As for my part, I have decided to donate all my proceeds from any Gods of Asphalt book sales for the next thirty days.

DONATIONS

THE GODS OF ASPHALT eBook at Amazon

THE GODS OF ASPHALT Paperback

VALENTINE FACEBOOK PAGE

WILDFIRES IN NEBRASKA

 


Prince Charming Has Left The Building

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These past few weeks have seen many milestones at my house, but none more so than my oldest son, Prince Charming, turning eighteen and graduating high school.

From the day he was born he’s been a non-stop ball of energy who gave his father and I, both full of energy ourselves, a run for our money.

First there was elementary school where he was expelled from Kindergarten for setting off the fire alarm and causing the Fire Department to respond not once, not twice, but three times in one week. Somebody wanted to take a ride on the engine.

The next eight years were a blur of parent-teacher meetings and organized after school activities, all designed to burn off his excess energy. You can imagine how ecstatic his father and I were when he managed to graduate from the eighth grade and went on to play high school football.

High school brought new concerns in the form of girls. “Prince Charming” isn’t a name I came up with– it was bestowed upon him by his female classmates who responded to his reputation for being gentlemanly. You better believe I take full credit for teaching him that.

And while Prince Charming was a great kid he struggled academically and worked for every grade he got. Everyday his father and I worked right along side him to get him where he needed to go. When he took that walk up to the podium to accept his diploma, there wasn’t a dry eye in our family. My son has come a long way from the first time we held him to letting him go today.

To the right is the first picture I ever took of my son Michael (he’s a man now so I guess I can say his name). The picture is of him with his father at three days old (Yeah, I’m onto you, HR. Don’t think I didn’t notice you wearing my Doctor Feelgood concert tee shirt. I knew you had it!)

It’s kind of frightening to think that my son is older today than HR was in this picture. Both HR and I take pride in raising a kid who made better choices than we did. We can only hope to say the same thing about Junior someday. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

*** CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL ***



Love Letters Gone Wrong – Twenty-Two

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It’s time for another round of LOVE LETTERS GONE WRONG! Every Friday I feature a LOVE LETTER GONE WRONG submitted by an anonymous blogger. Sunday morning I reveal the secret admirer’s identity with a link to the blogger’s home page. If you’d like to submit some truly heinous love letters please send them to heellisgoa@gmail.com.

This week’s love letter one wrong was written by a blogger who commented on the THINGS YOU CAN’T UNSEE post. Check out this post and then return to the comments here to guess who the secret admirer is. The first correct guess wins a free copy of my ebook.

***************

Dearest Ruth,

I loved seeing you again last Thursday. It was hard waiting to see you, but you are a busy lady. And then, when we were together, it was really hard to talk to you. I know you asked me questions, but I found it difficult to get the words out. I’m not like that all the time. Anyway, I couldn’t help but stare at you the entire time, and I was wondering if you’d like to get together sometime outside of work.

I loved staring at your face. I love that you let me. I love everything about it, from the lower lashes, to the slight jowling, to the 47 nose hairs – I feel like I had time to know you, thanks to your patience. You are amazing!

I hope you will accept, because I have this great idea to get some caramel fondue and Oreo cookies at this dessert shop I found. And you already know I’ll have clean teeth and a good smile!

Love ya,

Dean


Sawyer SPaM

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This seems really odd to say, but today is the birthday I assigned the character of Sawyer in my novel, The Gods of Asphalt. His birthday features prominently in the book so I thought I’d answer some questions I’ve been asked over the past year about his character.

1. Why did you pick April 30th for his birthday?

I knew from the beginning he would wreck a motorcycle on his birthday so I needed it to take place during warm weather– but before his high school graduation. Research revealed that Nebraska high schools let out the first weekend in May so there was my time crunch. I wanted the added insult of him screwing up his life the instant it became his to own. Besides, Sawyer shares his birthday with someone pretty awesome.

2. Why did you pick Sawyer for his name?

Sawyer is sort of a default name. In my real life there is a real River, although he is nothing like the River character (I based the River character on someone elses life entirely). I always knew that I would name the character of the blonde older brother River, so I had to think of a name that was in the same vein for the younger brother. Thus Sawyer was born, and not Steve.

3. Why is Sawyer so tall?

Sawyer is tall because it allows him to be good at basketball. Sawyer needed a way out of his father’s life so I gave him basketball because it offers scholarships as well as being the perfect sport for a kid who lives on the road. Football requires gear, baseball requires a team, track requires good weather but basketball can be played anywhere, anytime with anyone. All you need is a ball.

4. Why do you describe Sawyer looking the way you do?

My kids helped with this one. My son Junior HATES being called pretty when compared to his good-looking, blonde older brother Prince Charming. I described Sawyer to my daughter and she instantly pulled up a television show called BIG TIME RUSH and said, “I think you are describing this guy.” In that moment James Maslow became my vision for Sawyer. I even wrote a little snippet in my book for him. I’m my daughter’s hero for that.

5. Why is Sawyer’s jersey number 13?

Because number 13 belongs to Steve Nash, my all time favorite basketball player.

6. How come Sawyer can sing?

Because I can’t. No, seriously; basketball was what Sawyer was good at, but music was what he loved and what his mother robbed him of.

7. Does Sawyer ever get Sarah?

Hehehehe…..


My Secret Admirer – Eighteen

CLICK ME

It’s time for this week’s LOVE LETTERS GONE WRONG secret admirer big reveal! This week we did have a winner, so click the trophy to the right for this week’s secret blogger.

Here’s a recap of Friday’s post as well as my response at the bottom. If you’d like a free copy of my ebook take a guess or send a love letter gone wrong to heellisgoa@gmail.com.

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Dear H,

I’ve come to realize I am the only one for you, just because I may have let’s say “taken care” of the competition. But as I am writing this note on my clip board as a wander aimlessly around your house, don’t worry as to how I managed to get in but I can say I will pay for the hole in the roof.

 

That aside I must say, your choice of furniture is peculiar but the way it is (after I’ve made alterations) set out is pure amazing… I hope you like it. The only flaw for my love for you, is that your home does not have easy access to someone of my height but that said armed with my trusty foot stool I was able to reach those hard to get spots even managing to climb into your bed, my plan was to wait for you to come home to find me waiting for you but instead I decided to unpack all my clothing into what I presume is your wardrobe, and after going through just about all your clothing and admiringly wearing some items I might just have to take you shopping so that I can buy us matching vest tops that express our love for Snow White. As part of my work being a dwarf mob boss I am pleased to say anything or anyone you want can be dealt with making it easier for us to be together, money or resources are not an issue as you can see by the new jungle gym now found in your yard.

 

I have also assigned security to your kids and they are now on route to keep them safe you might want to drop them a call and tell them that the small green bushes that follow them with guns are there for their own protection. On that note I’m off for some shopping and I have some things to take care of, ill be back in a day or two.

Lots of love from but one of the 7 dwarves who now lives with you

xOxOx

P.s I think I left a gun in one of the draws please take case as it is loaded.

***************

Dear #7 (assuming?),

I surely do appreciate the added security on the kids, and yes, I had wondered where that draft and the jungle gym equipment came from, although around here, things appear in the yard randomly anyway.

I was intrigued by the stepstool refrences through your note. I have to admit that I’ve always fantasized about being in a situation where I’m the tall one, so that is something we’ll have to explore. However – and I hope this doesn’t deflate your Vienna sausage – I do want you to bring the other six friends you mention. I can’t tell you how long I’ve yearned for being taken care of that completely. Hope you and the six of your crew are “up” to me.

Waiting in anticipation,

H.E.

CLICK THE HEART BELOW FOR THIS WEEK’S SECRET ADMIRER:

***

***

***


Love Letters Gone Wrong – Eighteen

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It’s time for another round of LOVE LETTERS GONE WRONG! Every Friday I feature a LOVE LETTER GONE WRONG submitted by an anonymous blogger. Sunday morning I reveal the secret admirer’s identity with a link to the blogger’s home page. If you’d like to submit some truly heinous love letters please send them to heellisgoa@gmail.com.

This week’s love letter was written by a blogger who’s new to my blogroll:

A PLACE FOR NERDS

DELIGHTFULNESS

BUDDAKAT

HOBBLING AROUND

The first correct guess wins a free copy of my ebook.

***********

Dear H,

I’ve come to realize I am the only one for you, just because I may have let’s say “taken care” of the competition. But as I am writing this note on my clip board as a wander aimlessly around your house, don’t worry as to how I managed to get in but I can say I will pay for the hole in the roof.

 

That aside I must say, your choice of furniture is peculiar but the way it is (after I’ve made alterations) set out is pure amazing… I hope you like it. The only flaw for my love for you, is that your home does not have easy access to someone of my height but that said armed with my trusty foot stool I was able to reach those hard to get spots even managing to climb into your bed, my plan was to wait for you to come home to find me waiting for you but instead I decided to unpack all my clothing into what I presume is your wardrobe, and after going through just about all your clothing and admiringly wearing some items I might just have to take you shopping so that I can buy us matching vest tops that express our love for Snow White. As part of my work being a dwarf mob boss I am pleased to say anything or anyone you want can be dealt with making it easier for us to be together, money or resources are not an issue as you can see by the new jungle gym now found in your yard.

 

I have also assigned security to your kids and they are now on route to keep them safe you might want to drop them a call and tell them that the small green bushes that follow them with guns are there for their own protection. On that note I’m off for some shopping and I have some things to take care of, ill be back in a day or two.

Lots of love from but one of the 7 dwarves who now lives with you

xOxOx

P.s I think I left a gun in one of the draws please take case as it is loaded.


It’s SPaM…The Sequel!

*** YUP, I’M STILL WRITING. HERE’S A REPLAY OF MY IDIOT FRIEND AND UBER SIDEKICK JEB’S SPAM POST. HE’S BEEN AWAY FROM BLOGGING DUE TO SOME PRETTY AWESOME HAPPENINGS IN HIS LIFE WHICH I WILL BE FILLING YOU IN ON SOON ***

It’s time for another helping of SPaM (Shameless Promotion Mondays)

For today’s SPaM post I’m featuring someone I know personally. Someone larger than life both in appearance and personality. Someone who’s been like an obnoxious little brother, following me around making my life a living HELL. But I got him back by basing a character in my book on him. Then I threatened him with bodily harm if he didn’t make a companion blog to mine. And on that note I give you…

JEB

ME:  So when did you first realize you were a loser?

JEB:  When did we meet?

ME:  Are you telling me you can’t remember?

JEB:  I’m saying repressed memories fucking suck.

ME:  Alright, moving on. You’re in your senior year of college. What are your plans for the future?

JEB: Plans for the future? I don’t plan for the future. 2012 is right around the corner. I plan on getting 3 stars on this level of Angry Birds but that’s about as far ahead as I’m planning.

ME:  2012? Oh that’s right. You’re one of those SciFi loving, Firefly watching, half-virgins aren’t you?

JEB:  I’m not a geek. You just wrote me that way.  And Firefly is awesome.

ME:  Denial is not an attractive quality, Jeb.

JEB:  I deny being not attractive. Just ask Megan. Hi!

ME:  Calm your hormones and focus.

JEB:  You ask the impossible.

ME:  I begged you for almost a year to get a blog. What finally changed your mind?

JEB:  I discovered there was stuff out there other than porn. And you scare the shit out of me.

ME:  Being scared of females explains a lot about your love life.

JEB:  I’m not scared of females, I’m scared of YOU. So much rage inside such a small person. As far as females go I have no problem with them, as long as they can cook. If you’ve got time to paint your toenails, you’ve got time to make me a fucking pot pie.

ME:  So tell me again, who’s your girlfriend now?

JEB:  I’m in between social relations right now. I don’t like to be tied down. Well, wait…

ME:  You were a really good sport about letting me base a character in my book on you–

JEB:  That’s only because you promised it would get me laid.

ME:  So how’s that working out?

JEB:  Great for River. Me, not so great. Again, in between social relations.

ME:  How does it feel to be cockblocked by a fictional character?

JEB:  Kind of like losing an election to a dead guy.

ME:  Now that you have a blog, where do you intend to take it?

JEB:  Everywhere, I guess.

ME:  What is the one thing you’d like the blogging world to know about Jeb?

JEB:  That you got “Broomstick” from me (it’s in the book). Everybody needs something to laugh at, so it might as well be me. Also if they’ve got a sister, email me at—

ME:  And that’s enough for today. You can follow my buddy at JustJeb.

****************************************

If you or someone you know has something to promote, like a blog or book or music; just email me at heellisgoa@gmail.com. DO NOT PUT “SPAM” IN THE SUBJECT BAR.


REVIEW: Scenes From A Morning Drive

Scenes From a Morning Drive

SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE 

by Edward Hotspur

Nothing is what it seems in Edward Hotspur’s world. Inspired by the ultra-humorous author’s blog, his compilation book entitled SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE reads like a Lewis Carroll novel ghost-written by William Shakespeare as spoofed by Monty Python. More than just words, SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE is short fiction at its best.

With the weather often inspiring his moods and his esoteric musical stylings an ever constant soundtrack; Edward Hotspur waxes poetic on everything from road construction to cloud formations to office minutiae. His skillful way with words and unique perspective on love, life and laughter bring new meaning to the term “triple threat.”

Sometimes heartwarming, often tragic but always humorous SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE takes the scenic route through Edward Hotspur’s mind and shows you the world as you have never seen it before.


M3 Writer’s Spotlight

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Today I was lucky enough to score a book interview with the one and only Red from Momma’s Money Matters; a blog about, “Money, parenting, blogging, psychology…good advice delivered with a bit of snark and humor.”

In addition to Red being a blogging powerhouse and gracious post host; she managed to do what almost no one in the world has been able to do. Yes, Red convinced me to tell a dirty little secret about myself.

Yikes.


Les Broke My Cherry

COVER

That’s right people, I have been deflowered. Les the Great over at Bestbathroombooks gave me my first interview ever for Book One of my THE GODS OF ASPHALT series. Just as you might expect, it was long and hard and filled with tires.

What?

See for yourself by taking a hop over to Bestbathroombooks for his review and my interview. Don’t forget to stop by his own book page where you can pick up a copy of TOILETRY FROM A-Z where a portion of the proceeds go to colon cancer research.

And don’t worry, he’ll be gentle.


You’re Going On A Scavenger Hunt With HE and EH!

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This little ambitious project is brought to you by the people who brought you other things to read and do:

H.E. “Isn’t that chick a dude?” Ellis and Edward “Mind Fuck Hero” Hotspur! In this endeavor, there are some rules. They are as follows:

1) Read questions from this post and its corresponding post on Edward Hotspur’s blog.

2) Go nuts like a drunk monkey looking for the answers to the questions. There are 10 questions about Hellis, 10 about Hotspur, and 30 about 30 other people. Each one is about a little fact that might be easy to find, and might be difficult. They could be from a recent post, an ancient post, or you might just know it because your brain is like a walking Wikipedia.

3) You can make any comments you like on either blog, but you should probably e-mail us the answers. Unless you don’t care if you tip everyone off, in which case let’s play poker!

4) The first 5 people who get all the questions right will win:

**Free copies of Hotspur’s and Hellis‘ latest books!

**Blog posts about them, like an award or a SPaM or something very public, on one of our blogs! 

**A Million Dollars! (Note – winner won’t actually receive a million dollars.)

Now, on with the questions! Search the blogs well! Dig deep and don’t leave any stone unturned! The answers are NOT “within” in this case, people.

First, here are the ones about the Other People:

Dragonfae - What two foods doesn’t Dragonfae like to eat?

Bestbathroombooks - Les’s book is published under what publishing company?

Verynormal - What’s Megan’s boyfriend’s name?

Calhoun - What is the #253 reason why Calhoun is still single?

Sightsnbytes’s Blog – What Canadian island is the base of operations for Sightsnbytes’s Blog?

The Fog of Ward - When Dayton isn’t writing, what does he do for a living?

Grafiklit - What is the name of Kat’s photography blog?

The Libra Chronicles - What is one definition of a sidecar?

HR Nightmare - What does HR like to drink for Christmas?

Is it Possible To See It All - Where is the first European City you should visit on Joe’s bucket list?

Rantonit – What is desitip #28?

Talker96 – How many times has Talker won the Sexiest Man Alive award?

Whorrible – What D.H. Lawrence novel inspired Jonathan’s works?

OhmygawdjustdowhatIsay – What piece of Star Wars memorabilia is hanging from Ginger’s Christmas tree?

The Wandering Atavist – The Atavist moved from Northern Maine to where?

 

NOW HERE ARE THE ONES ABOUT THE INFAMOUS EH:

What is the title of his first book?

What is Granite Countertop’s favorite candy bar?

What kind of salad does he like?

In what city is the Garden Station?

What is a HCG?

On the Starship Innerthighs, what creature is Spork?

What is Starship Innerthighs continuing mission?

What is his first crack song?

In the choose your own blog adventure, what kind of orchard can you pick to visit?

What writer penned his ASSBOOK blog post?

***************

Check EDWARD HOTSPUR’S blog for the other 25 questions. And most of all, Have Fun! Get to know one another.

This game will end on 31 January 2012, and the winners will be posted 05 February 2012. This is subject to change, of course, because I don’t have a script. Normal rules apply, and [insert legalese].

Edward Hotspur and H.E. Ellis



Love Letter Gone Wrong – Five

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It’s time time for another round of LOVE LETTERS GONE WRONG! Every Friday I feature a LOVE LETTER GONE WRONG written and submitted by an anonymous blogger. Sunday morning I reveal the secret admirer’s identity with a link to the blogger’s home page. If you’d like to submit some truly heinous love letters please send them to heellisgoa@gmail.com.

This week’s love letter was written by one of the featured bloggers who attended THE MEETING OF THE BLOGGER’S ALLIANCE  over at Kayjai’s Blog. Check out this post and then return to the comments here to guess who the secret admirer is. The first correct guess wins a free copy of my ebook.

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Dear H.E.,

I am your biggest fan. What I mean when I say biggest is that there is no one that adores you more than I do. I print out every blog post that you put up, and I have them put together in a folder with a drawing I’ve done of what I imagine you to look like. I’ve read Gods of Asphalt 17 times, and I can tell by your writing style and the things that you say on your blog that we are meant to be together.

I’m sure that sounds crazy to you, but if you would be willing to let me take you out on a date, I’m sure that you will feel it too. I thought you were a man at first, and that had me questioning my sexuality, because I never thought I was gay before, but your words just SPOKE to me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about you. When I found out you were actually a woman, I felt relieved, because now I know that we can be together the way we were meant to be, and I don’t have to worry about taking it up the butt.

I have to tell you something that really bothers me though. It really upsets me when you are flirty with that Glitterbutt girl on your blog. Wait… that’s not right. I meant that Sparklebumps whore. I know that she’s trying to steal you away from me, and what you can’t see is that she’s a manipulative little bitch. When I see how you respond to her in your comments, it makes me soooo upset; I’ve started having panic attacks when I see her comments on your blog. The only way I can feel better is by masturbating with shampoo while imagining you are here with me, caressing me and whispering that everything will be alright. I had to start using salon-grade shampoo though, because Herbal Essences was giving me a weird rash. What I’m saying, H.E., is that I am begging you to stop this relationship you have with that slut, because if you don’t, I’m going to have to take more desperate measures. I don’t like that Savor person either.

I imagine every day what our life will be like together; you will write your books, and I will spend all my time worshiping you the way you deserve. I can help you give your kids cereal in the morning, and I will even be the one to call and order pizzas for them and their friends. When Prince Charming gets married to one of the many girls that adore him, I will hold your head and lick your tears away for you.

I can’t wait until you realize the closeness that we share. I’ve never had anyone make me feel the way that you do. My Aunt says it’s because I live in her basement, and I need to get out and find a nice girl, but I know that you are the only one for me, and so I’m saving myself for you. I know that you will appreciate my dedication, and it will be worth the wait when our love can finally be consummated. Until then, if you would do me a favor and send me a high-definition picture of your boobs for me to hang on the ceiling above my bed, then I can fantasize about what it would be like to have you here with me.

This is the 7th letter that I’ve sent you, and I need to let you know that if you don’t respond promptly to this, my last letter, I will have to ride my scooter to New Hampshire and find you, to show you how much I care. I thought that my letters spoke for themselves, but maybe I am not a great writer like you are, and I will just have to prove myself to you in person. Please, give me a chance, because without you I’m lost.

With all the love in my heart, and all the lust in my drawers,

Kevin

P.S. I’m serious about the Sparklebumps issue. If you can’t be completely committed to me because of her, I will rid you of her manipulations.


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