Tom and __________

Tom and ___________

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? No? What about someone you know? Probably. These friends are made for many reasons, but we often think of them as being a kid thing.

But what about animals?

Ever see your cat or dog stare at the wall when nothing’s there? Sure, it could be a ghost or a portal to an evil dimension. Or it could be something benign.

If animals are people too, it’s only right that they create these friends just like many of us. Drawing from Tom and Jerry and all their crazy antics I used the comics (yes they have comics too, but then again, what doesn’t?)

Ol’ Tom Cat got into a lot of trouble over the years, didn’t he? Chasing that little turd around trying to get him out of the house once and for. Or maybe, he was never chasing a mouse at all. Maybe, he was chasing something bigger. Maybe, he was chasing… Himself. (!)

Check back for updates! (Probably weekly)

Tom and __________

Aww, isn’t he precious?!

One Last Day

One Last Day is the manuscript I have actively been working on full-time for the last 5 years. It is literary fiction told through the eyes of Resident Manager Alex Carmichael, a Scottish immigrant who has been stuck at the job his whole life. As for what it’s about:

Resident Manager Alex Carmichael often thought his senior home was behind the times. But he never thought it was literally a day behind the rest of the world.

It made sense; a rotten apple became crisp and fresh, a woman sprang back to life after half an hour of failed CPR, and the digital calendars show yesterday’s date. Alex eventually discovers the phenomenon can even bring people back to life, but it comes with a catch—they can’t leave the building, and they only live for a single day.  

Using this power to give people at the local hospital an extra day to say goodbye to loved ones, Alex vows to keep it secret from the world, knowing it will be reserved for the rich and powerful if discovered. Just as he begins to wonder if the stress is worth it, Alex realizes how much of an impact one day can have on a person’s life. He understands this more than anyone.  

Because today is his last day. 

 

This page is devoted to One Last Day and the progress made towards publication.

Randoms

Just like it sounds. Anytime I find something fun or want to be clever, here be the place for it.

Monkey George

George Washing-less

Don’t give up the pizza!

Normal dieting is a lot like this.

 

And it’s hard. As fat old TV personalities say, “I have to die from something!” and seeing what some people choose to eat on diets like a 32 oz smoothie for an entire day, I’ll take the premature scythe. As horrible as those fad diets are, they don’t really work, do they? Often, after a little while, they end up like this.

Be chubby or give up the point of living? Tough call. How about neither? Over the past five years I’ve developed ways to devour entire pizzas and still lose weight, no gel pills required. Don’t believe me? Fair enough. Yes, there’s a catch; it’s not as easy as going out to get a triple-all meat pizza hut with a size of cheesy bacon bread. The key is homemade, making these things with different, healthier ingredients. I have unlocked this incredible secret. And I am willing to share without even the cost of Handling fees.

A Kilo for Kilo

Growing up, I remember that old Video Only commercial talking about consumer reviews and thought it was the most ridiculous thing. Fast forward and not only do I read dozens of these things before buying anything, I even check Fakespot to make sure the reviews are legit. If they’re not fake, then I take the time to read through these dull, boring aspiring textbook authors that look like they’re trying to lull readers to sleep.

So I added a little habanero.

Informative and entertaining don’t have to be exclusive. And I’ve started this quest to make the web a better place.

The Writer’s Conference

8-10 Writer's Conference

Trying to get to an agent in the last pitch session

The Writer’s Conference. The Ivy League of authors. And perhaps the one place where writers go out of their way to talk to people. For once, the ice is already broken. We’re all here because we like one thing: bars writing. In one way or another…

Continue reading

How a Business Book Applies to Writing

Recently, I read The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. And even though it’s a tool hijacked by Amway recruiters,  it has some solid principles of good business strategies that I’ve always personally stood by. But what about the writing itself? Not so great. While it’s a world I don’t plan on entering, it got me to think about writing, and how if you want to use writing as a business (aka, make money with it) some of the ideas translate well to quality writing.

They have 5 laws of “Stratospheric Success”, which I’ll draw from to make “The Laws of Stratospheric Novel Writing”(No aliens required). To keep it simple, I’ll only use three. And like many laws, you break it, you buy it.

  1. Be authentic

As easy as this sounds, it’s one a lot of people have a hard time following. As a youngling, I was one of them. I remember writing stories growing up and being obsessed with the Flesch reading ease test and the grading level it gave in Word. But since this isn’t actual people, but a program (and an old one at the time), it’s not like it could actually read or interpret my words. So how do they do it? With MATH!

206.835 – (1.015 x Average words per sentence) – (84.6 x Average syllables per word) = Readability Ease

And for grade level,

0.39 x Average words per sentence +11.8 x Average syllables per word -15.59

So obvious, how could I miss it? 206.835, of course! Using MATH to figure out if words make sense! I wonder if the reverse is true…?

0x =   Sox Wow! It is!

And trying to adjust my writing to increase my grade level to make me feel smarter did no favors to the writing. Phrases like “As soon as he had a grand enough inferno initiated” for starting a campfire doesn’t do much good for he, the fire, or the reader.

This is often the case when authors try to write to please someone else. And whether that someone else is your friends, publishers, or an imaginary audience, changing to try to fit someone else’s ideals usually means lower quality for everyone. And if you don’t believe me, agent Chip MacGregor touched up on this in a recent blog post.

2. Take constructive criticism

This is mostly for trying to get your work published, since if you’re writing for fun or for yourself, who cares what anyone else says? Giant pizza-cats planning to turn the universe into a litter box from within the sun’s core? Sure.

But for query letters, competitions, and the like, if you want someone to look at it and they have an idea to improve it, it could be for the best. Of course, some people will find problems in everything, even Jack Black’s best song in the world. So when that happens, look back at number 1; are they trying to change the story to something that’s no longer yours? You might be better off ignoring it. But if they genuinely want to help you make your story better, keep the advice in mind.

3. Read!

While it’s true that a solid way to get better at your own writing is to read, there’s another reason for that. You want people to read your work, right? Other people want the same! Wow! What a coincidence!

Reading is in essence giving back to the community. Like taxes. Or something good that’s the same thing. Tom’s shoes maybe? No, more like stuffed gorillas.

Reading other authors helps in a lot of ways. It helps them feel valued. Or get a bigger paycheck. But it also helps you. You can get positive inspiration–things that you’ll want to add to your own writing–or negative inspiration–things you definitely don’t want in your own writing–that will improve your writing either way. Plus it can give your Netflix queue a break.

And always remember, vigilantes break the laws for the greater good!

Using Double Meanings To Foreshadow Plot Twists In Comics and Stories

The true motive behind writing Mysteries; outsmarting people.

A Writer's Path

by Pekoeblaze

Well, although this is a quick article about foreshadowing plot twists in comics, stories etc… I’ll have to start by using a TV show as an example.

As such, this article may contain some mild SPOILERS for the first season of “Game Of Thrones”. Likewise, I’ll also be describing a slightly disturbing scene from the show (albeit one that isn’t quite what it appears to be).

The night before I wrote this article, I started re-watching the first season of “Game Of Thrones” (with a plan to re-watch the first three seasons) and one of the things that really surprised me was the number of subtle clues about future parts of the story that I noticed in the early episodes. Most of these were really cleverly handled and they can probably teach us a lot about foreshadowing.

View original post 550 more words

Batmen Towing Logo

Unbeatable Towing You Need And Deserve

I came across this little gem at work. It’s a real site, but unfortunately, not so much creativity for the pages themselves. I could fix that for them. But if anyone needs towing in Riverside, CA, come here.

At Batmen Towing Inc, We’re Always Watching

Batmen Towing Protection

Whether it’s in the middle of the afternoon or Dark Knight, count on us to rescue your car. We glide over the competition with benefits such as:

  • Riddled by car problems? Let our car detectives solve your puzzles with roadside assistance.
  • Lock your cape in your Dodge Crusader? We’ll unlock your vehicle with state-of-the-art tech.
  • Other tow trucks Robin you? Your Pennies are Worth more with us!
  • Our top-of-the-line equipment is reliable and won’t Fries up when you need it most.

Cat got your vehicle?

If your car was impounded, we’ll keep it protected. We don’t believe in killing cars if you can’t pay, and we we won’t divulge your car’s identity without proper documentation.


Our conviction to service is an immovable object

Unlike some towing companies, we aren’t Two-Face. We’ll never decide your vehicle’s fate on the whims of a coin flip. And we won’t be Jokers when it comes to treating you and your car with respect. We’re careful not to add any Dents to your car and can take you to an honest, local mechanic so it doesn’t get a Deathstroke on the way to the repair shop.


Call the batmen first for towing services in Riverside CA

We’re not just the unbeatable towing service you need, but the one you deserve

Tom Loves to Ride

Tom and ________: A Ride to the Park

It was a pleasantly warm day. Sunny, but not hot. Tom loved these kinds of days the most, the kind of day that was too nice to stay indoors.

In fact, it was such a nice day that Tom thought he’d take a stroll to the park. The park! There were swing sets and slides and picnic tables and all kinds of fun. Tom had just made up his mind when he remembered what a drag it was to walk all the way to the park. If only he had a way to get there faster… Continue reading

Video Game Knowledge

Every Important Fact I Need I Learned From Video Games

Video Games can teach you a lot of things about life that you just can’t learn anywhere else. Here are 55 things they have taught me that will stick with me my entire life. Feel free to add anything!

1. If you have over 50% body fat, your lifespan actually increases. You can be sliced, stabbed, kicked, punched, shot, or even walk out of an explosion. Obesity saves lives.

2. If you get shot, simply hide behind a wall for about 10 seconds and you can go about your life as if nothing happened. Feel free to repeat as often as necessary.

3. If injured, merely touch the first aid kit and be healed! No procedure or contents required!

4. Your lifelong friends will betray you for money eventually. Just give it time.

5. Thugs paid to work for a villainous cause are undeterred. They will even chase after you if the building they are in is rigged to explode in seconds.

6. Only people on your side can ever change their mind about their beliefs. A little bit of cash can bring out the devil.

7. The 1998 Lions will beat the Broncos every time.

8. John Elway can repeatedly run 100 yards and make a touchdown.

9. Beware of the mastermind. They may look old and feeble, but sitting in their chair all day makes them more formidable hand to hand fighters than a black belt.

10. The more you hurt someone, the faster, stronger, and more versatile they become.

11. There is always room on your body to carry another gun.

12. The clone of you is always more powerful in every way.

13. If someone throws a red turtle shell at you, turn a corner immediately!

14. Eating food cures injuries. This includes bullet wounds, broken bones, and anything that doesn’t kill you.

15. Certain birds have feathers that can bring someone back to life.

16. There is, in fact, a mushroom that can make you triple in size immediately.

17. Magazines are negligible when loading guns. Only the amount of bullets matter.

18. Untrained tweens can destroy a tyrannical empire. They learn to fight along the way.

19. The military always screws over their best men to make them even tougher… And they always seek vengeance.

20. A one-winged airplane can be fixed midflight by touching a hologram.

21. If you jump off of certain objects just the right way and land at just the right place, they will bounce you a thousand feet in the air. You will land unharmed.

22. You can freeze time and assess the situation whenever it feels necessary.

23. There are ancient ruins in every forest.

24. Rattlesnakes love to hide in antiques.

25. It is possible to get a doctorate before becoming a teenager.

26. Children can run through hundreds of monsters and demons unscathed. Adults must fight them off. It sucks to grow up.

27. You can retry unwanted events to make them turn out better at will.

28. If you punch the ground hard enough, you can actually send out a shockwave that can kill everything.

29. Front flips and cartwheels make bullets pass right through you.

30. Ken Griffey Jr. can hit a home run every time as long as he has time to point to the fence.

31. If you hit a golf ball right in the sweet spot as hard as you can, it will start on fire.

32. Anyone who shows you a burn is a liar. Fire doesn’t leave any traces. But it still hurts.

33. 1 in 10 people look exactly the same. They even wear the same clothes.

34. Flight can be attained by attaching a raccoon tail to your butt and running fast, then jumping.

35. Bullets can be found frequently in the corners of warehouses or abandoned office buildings.

36. Wooden boxes always hold valuable objects.

37. You can run twice as fast as normal by stepping on certain floor panels.

39. The more attractive a person, the better they fight.

40. It is easy to sprint in heels and a dress.

41. Men in standard military uniforms are stupid and die from fender benders.

42. The color of a person’s clothes determines what weapon they will carry.

43. A Smith and Wesson Revolver does the equivalent damage of a tank shell.

44. You can tap someone on the shoulder and hide in a box and they’ll never know there was anyone there. Seriously.

45. Dead people’s bodies dissolve into ammunition.

46. A flipped over vehicle always explodes.

47. Gravity can be changed by pulling a lever.

48. All places that conduct research are fitted with a self-destruct module.

49. There is a substance that can heal someone in critical condition or even bring them back to life the moment it enters the bloodstream.

50. Millions of square miles of cities filled with mercenaries and fortresses filled with all manner of rooms can be built in minutes. Too bad roads don’t get repaired that fast.

51. Putting away library books always leads to something good.

52. Everyone speaks English. Even aliens, zombies, nazis, and animals.

53. People will wait an eternity for you to respond to a question without getting impatient.

54. You can keep a 5000-pound dragon in a 10cc red and white ball

55. NEVER attack a chicken

Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman

Book Review: Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman

Link to original posting here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RG5TCC0M9TSX0/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01JOEK5WK

I liked this one. Definitely more in the upbeat/humor department, so if that’s what you’re looking for, come here!

You know how there’s that idea that book clubs don’t actually discuss books? Cooperman took that idea and ran with it, while at the same time, making sure that some ACTUAL books are discussed. An interesting take on book clubs, I know.

I’m not saying the Book Club in the story itself has many conversations about books–the goal was to keep it SOMEWHAT realistic at after all–but they’re brought up elsewhere. This as done as the opener at the beginning of every chapter, where a trademark section of famous books are brought up and related to the character that the chapter will focus on. And at least several DOZEN popular books are mentioned with enough detail that at least the Cliffs Notes were browsed.

It’s a clever idea, but it’s also the reason I’m knocking off a star. Because sometimes, the major conflict or plot point was spoiled in these mini-synopses. I’m a pretty well-read guy, probably eeking my way into the low thousands of books read, and I’ve read a decent portion of the books Cooperman brings up at the first of the chapters. (Where’s Monte Cristo anyway?!) But not ALL of them.

I know most classic pieces are too old to warrant a spoiler review, but still, several times the ending of one of these stories I HAVEN’T got around to reading was brought up… Yeah. Not my favorite thing. It’s not on the level of ruining who Darth Vader REALLY is (!) but I think it would’ve been better to use this method without the spoilers; it’d be like me spoiling the “special ingredient” from the description. Still, It really is astonishing how many separate books Cooperman could tie-in to her characters and for me, it’s the new record–at least for explicit comparisons.

So if that’s not a big deal to you or if you’ve read ALL the classics because you have The Flash level of speed reading, then absolutely give this one a chance. It’s kind of an unusual premise, and an unusual take on the con(wo)man tale, but it works. I mean, granted, some of the plot is a little absurd–I’m not a big fan of the ending (Oh wow, big surprise!) for instance–but there’s nothing so wholly unfeasible, so blatantly inconceivable that The Twilight Zone looks like a documentary in comparison.

Character wise, the women are the stars. While there’s a couple blokes here and there, they’re more bit parts, supporters, that sort of thing. Starting out, it’s pretty clear who your two protagonists are. The brilliant and comedic Annie Baker (Who I know from school! Just, a non-fiction one) and the suave and beautiful Sarah Sloane. Annie’s an oddball and has some issues, but the biggest issue with Sarah might be that she’s made from the ingredients of The Powerpuff Girls minus Chemical-X; she’s equally smart as Annie and has unTrumpable moral standards, friendly, warm, helpful, so on. The Chuck Norris Standard of Quality.

Their tale is told through third-person, but uses much more than three people. In the middle, Cooperman gave chapters to so many characters I thought were minor that I started to question if there were any protagonists at all. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, they had some humorous and empowering anecdotes after all, but they were all bunched together, which I thought was an odd choice.

There’s not much in the questionable content department for this book either. Sex and language are pretty sparse, though strangely enough it may be F-tomic bomb that’s dropped the most, maybe half a dozen times or so. There are no sex scenes or anything like that, and no glamorization of the worst of humanity (depending on your opinion of child therapy that is).

It’s an easier read, but that doesn’t mean it’s not complex. An impressive amount of knowledge and research was poured into this book but conveyed in simple English. There’s plenty of themes and symbols to go around, but if you don’t care about such things, the book is set up in such a way that missing them doesn’t detract from the story. I certainly missed a few at first glance, and figuring them out later added another layer instead–don’t think I didn’t notice the beverage of choice!

So if you’re looking for something with less gloom n’ doom with a couple of laugh-out-loud moments and a focus on positive themes like self-empowerment and motherhood, give this a try, and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Tom and _________: Best Friends for Never

Tom loved his mama.

Being the only animal in the house, Tom savored every morsel of attention he could snatch. Tom and Mama spent lots of time together. She let him curl up with him at nights. She took him out walking and to the beach. She even let him lick right off of the spoon.

Tom Mama

“Nom nom!”

Tom loved his mama.

But one day, his mama got a call. Rinnnnng rinnnnng! Rinnnnng rinnnnng! Rinnnnng rinnnnng! Tom never did like the ringer. Mama would ignore him when she was on the ringer. She’d push him away when he wanted attention. But he got used to it.

This time was different.

This time, Mama put down the ringer and Tom dashed over and rubbed against her. Puurrrrrrrr! But Mama still ignored him. He tried again. She still didn’t move. Tom hated the ringer! Finally, Tom stood up and stretched his paws up as high as he could and looked at her.

Mama picked him up.

“Tom, Mama just got the call she’s been waiting for! Mama’s going to be a real-live author!” Tom purred proudly. Mama’s persistence paid off! He knew how much this meant for her.

But then Mama looked sad.

“Mama’s gonna have to go away for awhile.” Tom’s ears fell back. “But don’t worry! Mama will make sure someone will come by and keep you company. Mama will be back in no time! You’ll just love auntie!”

The next day, Mama left. “Don’t forget about me!” She called out. As soon as Mama got in that yellow beast, Auntie stepped in the house and closed the door behind her.

Tom didn’t know what to think about Auntie. But when she started making chocolate cake, Tom’s favorite, he thought it wouldn’t be so bad.

He was wrong.

“Oh no, Auntie don’t let no cats in the kitchen! Get!”

Auntie Kitchen

“I said GET!”

Tom was surprised. Mama always let him in the kitchen. That night, Tom slept in the cat bed for the first time in his life.

The next day, Tom thought he would give Auntie another chance. Until they showed up. Auntie had her own friends. And they decided this was their house.

These monsters chased him.

Tom Bites

“Can’t we be friends?”

They bullied him.

Tom Attacked

“That hurts!”

And they wouldn’t let him play.

Tom Tennis

“Wanna play a game?” “Not with YOU!”

Tom didn’t know what to do. This had always been his house, but then these bullies…! It wasn’t fair! Why did he have to be bullied? Why did he have to do whatever they said?

 

Tom Dressup

“Dance in your little costume, DANCE!”

How could they be so mean? Why did they have to be in charge? Tom didn’t know what to do. Mama was gone. He didn’t have any friends.

Tom was lonely.

 

Tom Lonely

“If I could only have some friends…”

The monsters, they liked being in charge. It was fun. Tom didn’t know what it felt like. Was it really as fun as they made it seem? If only he had someone to tease…

That’s when he finally saw a friend.

 

Jerry and Nibbles Milk

“TWO of them?!”

 

 

The only problem?

 

 

No one else could.

 

Jerry and Nibbles (Gone)

“Why hello there… FRIENDS!”

 

Spam Can

Scam in the Spam Can

We all get scam emails, probably every day. And in the midst of winning foreign lotteries and lost royalty reaching out, there’s some real gems. While they’re trying to steal your credit cards, you identity, and even your dog, they might as well be a little more direct. They should try something like this instead:

From: <AmericanBanker911@hotmail.com>

Subject: Your Bank Account has Been Suspended

Dear Valued Member,

This email is to advise you that several invalid login attempts have been made at your online account at either US Bank, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo. To protect your privacy, the specific bank has not been identified and your account has been temporarily suspended.

In order for your account to be reactivated, please update your information by sending us the following information: Name of Institution, Username, Password, Mother’s Maiden Name, Name of First Pet, High School Mascot, and Model of First Car.

Your account is important to us. Please reply as quickly as possible so your account may be reinstated.

American Bankers Protection Union

Note: Attempting to log in to online banking before replying with verified account information will result in permanent termination of account and all funds within.