Monday, September 15, 2014

Want To Hear Me Read A Ghost Story?

Some of you will recognize this one. I'm going to be recording many of my dark stories and posting on Youtube and setting up podcasts for iTunes. Speaking of creepy...

The Black Book Of Children's Bible Stories is my upcoming novel of supernatural horror. If you want a free copy follow its Facebook page - I will be announcing promotional giveaways. "Once there was a haunted house hidden so well you might be living in it still."

UPDATE: Here's a link to a podcast of the reading.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Americans Totally Give In To Fear (A Video)

I uploaded a video of a reading. More to come.


The Black Book Of Children's Bible Stories is my upcoming novel of supernatural horror. If you want a free copy follow its Facebook page - I will be announcing promotional giveaways.

"Once there was a haunted house hidden so well you might be living in it still."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

As Americans, We Totally Give In To Fear

My fellow countrymen:

This morning your president lied to you. At a ceremony honoring the victims and survivors of 9/11 he repeated an insidious and harmful fable. I don't blame the man. Honestly. He's only repeating something people in the political and media class have been telling you for more than a decade. But I have to confront the lie. We have to face the truth.

Here's what the president said:

We carry on, because, as Americans, we do not give in to fear.

That's ridiculous. What contemptible nonsense. Who the hell told him to say that? And what country does he think he's talking about?

Americans almost always give in to fear. Giving in to fear is what we do first, before we've tried anything else. Even things that might actually work. You don't have a military bigger than the next dozen militaries in the world unless you're literally scared of everyone else on the planet. On September 11 we witnessed countless acts of heroism, of course. Don't misunderstand me. But the vast majority of people in this country collectively crapped our pants, abandoned our core values, allowed our government to shred the parts of the Constitution it didn't like, and stuffed everyone with an accent into a detention facility. Then we began a campaign of invading all the countries on our to-do list and launching night raids and rocket attacks from flying killer robots. Does any of this sound like refusing to give in to fear?

Getting jumpy and hysterical about threats is what we do as a people. In the past few years we've repeatedly given in to our fear of - and this list is not comprehensive at all - drugs, gay people, African Americans, Mexicans, Iranians, Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, atheists, socialists, the UN, FEMA, Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs, the war against Christmas, the knockout game, the feminist agenda, vaccinations, rainbow parties, and sexting. Unless you are a white man who has just shot a crowd of people in a school, we are ready to overreact to you.

We have a global surveillance program to collect the data on your phone, police forces that look like the bad guys in a GI Joe cartoon, and a foreign policy that involves killing civilians in numbers that dwarf the death toll of 9/11.

We're cowards, we've betrayed our principles, displayed a complete lack of concern for foreign lives, and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Ah, but that's just it. What we refuse to do, is give in to shame. Or guilt. Or moral compunction. Or whatever you want to call the little voice in our heads telling us we're being jackasses, and that none of this will end well unless we get some control over ourselves and act like adults.

Neighbors and citizens: It's time, okay? It's past time. We've never done it before, but let's really consider the option of not giving in to fear, just this once, just to see what it feels like.

We have nothing left to lose. I mean that.


The Black Book Of Children's Bible Stories is my upcoming novel of supernatural horror. If you want a free copy follow its Facebook page - I will be announcing promotional giveaways.

"Once there was a haunted house hidden so well you might be living in it still."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We'll Get A 4% Bump In Sales If The Cashiers Have Been Crying

We need to get more aggressive. You already know that. I didn't fly all the way up from Tampa to tell you people something you could have read in the last annual. We have to pump impulse purchases in the short term and Experience Club card enrollments over the entire quarter.

Now listen to me here: The key... is crying.

Yes, crying. We did a pilot program in some of our stores recently, and we discovered the figures jump if the sales associate looks like he or she just came out of the restroom after sobbing for a full 30 minutes and then somehow got their crap together. Sobbing, okay? They don't have to look like someone hit their puppy with a car. They have to look like someone held them at fucking gunpoint and made them run the puppy over themselves.

I'm not talking red eyes and snot here, though. We clear on that? The bump happens when they look like they're holding it all in. Think dignity, people. I want eyedrops and tissue at every station. Don't explain it.

We don't quite know why. Customers might feel sorry for them. They might be more likely to have a kind of human moment or some crap. But who cares? Look at the figures. Look at these goddamn figures. We have three and four point bumps in five stores across the mid-Atlantic. We have a couple of duds in St. Louis. Don't know why that... And see this fucker in Buffalo right here. Eight points. An eight percent increase in promotional sales and a - hold on, here - 10 percent spike in card enrollments. I don't know what they were doing right in Buffalo, but we've got room to grow with this.

We brought you guys in because we're going to experiment. We want to expand the program, and we want you to play with it. I want to see random firings at the beginning of every week. Random. Pick the nicest, hardest-working grampa greeter and throw him out like you caught him masturbating in the toy and hobby aisle. I want closed door meetings where you scare the hell out of cashiers until they're babbling to everyone else, and then you go after the others for gossiping. You see what I'm saying?

Get creative. "Steve, I just got a message, and I think your kid sister's in the hospital or something. Janet, right? Yeah, you can call them back as soon as your shift's over, buddy." We won't know what works until we try everything we can. But we're going to make some money at this.

Look, you don't stay competitive at a modern American company until you take every human interaction you can and find a way to squeeze it until it shits nickels. That's exactly what we're going to do, people. And who knows where this will end. Am I right?

Get back to work or you're all fired. Ha. See?


The Black Book Of Children's Bible Stories is my upcoming novel of supernatural horror. If you want a free copy follow its Facebook page - I will be announcing promotional giveaways.

"Once there was a haunted house hidden so well you might be living in it still."

Monday, September 8, 2014

9/11 Anniversaries And The Existence Of Hell

Hell is real. You don't have to believe in anything to know it exists. That's one of its properties. There's no fire, clamor, chains, or stinking pitch. No monsters here. Hell is almost completely quiet.

It's always the blue hour, just before dark. A suburban street near a strip mall maybe, or an office park. A small cement plaza in a bedroom community. Perhaps the entrance to a subdivision with a brick gate and tasteful shrubs. It looks nearly like the place you live. Of course it could be any location. And the development stretches into the distance, so it's hard to know where you are.

You can't see the stars. You don't recognize people who walk past on the sidewalk or zip by in cars. This world is lit mostly by screens. They all seem to have one. Drivers glance at phones and bus bench commuters study their tablets. Massive televisions peek out from picture windows as they silence whole families sitting together. Constellations of them flicker in the dusk and illuminate the way for you. Each with a bit of text and a thumbnail, or a video feed. A different story happening in a different place. In the half-dark you hear everyone around you whisper about what they're seeing.

Terrible, they whisper. Such a terrible accident.

Numberless screens and countless atrocities. And a thousand, thousand excuses. All the people murmuring around you have different ways of saying the same thing.

It's tragic, but I guess it's just what happens in war.
Nobody meant for it... unpredictable...
Been happening for forever...

Awful but necessary...
Nobody on our side wants to do that to civilians...
These things happen sometimes. women...

We have to do something. It's not like we want to inflict that... children...
We try. We try our best. We're not bad.

You can hear their voices low and soft on every corner, and in every parking lot. In each gated village and in all the glass-walled lobbies. You can hear them even now, can't you? Because you don't come to this place after you die. No, you blink in and out of it many times each day. You say these things to yourself, and for a moment you are of this kingdom. For a moment it seems more real than home. The other day you took someone's child. You did that. Yes. And you pretend you didn't. You have so many ways of pretending you didn't.

A man firing a gun into a crowd isn't innocent, is he? What about a man firing a gun into many crowds for many years? For more than a decade? What about the people who hire an army of such men and set them loose in crowds and in cities and small villages around the world? The results were predictable. They were. You knew it would happen.

And now I will tell you the secret of hell. What you whisper transforms into something else. It echoes in the dark, and the dark comprehends it and answers you.

Look at that package, it says. Just sitting there. That doesn't look right.

It's not my fault. I didn't know.

What's he doing over there? What's he up to?

It's not my fault. I didn't know.

Why are they sitting on the plane together like that? What's going on?

It's not my fault. I didn't know.

Every excuse is an unattended bag. Every evasion about every death is a man standing in the line next to you. And you get used to it, don't you? You really do get used to it. It seems so normal now.

Your eyes adjust to the dark.

Eventually you won't believe you belong anywhere else. And that too, is one of the properties of this place.

Stay safe.

Be seeing you.


The Black Book Of Children's Bible Stories is my upcoming novel of supernatural horror. If you want a free copy follow its Facebook page - I will be announcing promotional giveaways.

"Once there was a haunted house hidden so well you might be living in it still."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"We're Not White Guys, Megyn Kelly" By Jesus and St. Nicholas

Hey Megs:

Santa, here. I was hanging out with your Lord and Savior, stringing some popcorn in heaven, and we figured we'd drop you a line. We don't want to make too big a deal about this -- we're both pretty multicultural -- but we want to get the record straight.
We're not white people.

I'm sorry if this bothers you. But it's the truth. St. Nick and Jesus are not, and never have been, from the dry part of the bird.

First of all, modern concepts of whiteness just plain don't apply to a first century Jew and a third century ethnic Greek from what is now Turkey. We're not anywhere on your little crumbled Saltine Venn diagram.

But there's something else that deeply infuriates us, and it needs to be said. Your viewers - and a large chunk of your country - hate and fear folks who look like us. Do you realize that?

Look at a reconstruction of my face by the St. Nicholas Center. Really look at me. I am a bearded, sienna-shaded gent from the Near East. Your network spends all day flashing pictures of guys who resemble me to justify drone strikes, profiling, and torture. I'm not a jolly elf to a Fox News viewer. I am the freakin' bogeyman. And, I'd like to point out, so is my Nazarene buddy over here, whose birthday is coming up. Sarah Palin pretends she's ghost-writing for the guy, but she wouldn't get in a cab he was driving.

If Jesus Christ and I got seats together on the flight next to any of your viewers, they'd piss themselves and demand that TSA goons zip-tie us both. They would. And many, many other Americans -- even folks who call themselves liberals -- feel the same way.

This season is supposed to be about universal love, and your company uses it to incite fear and distrust. You use it to pander to old white people with faulty memories about some golden-age America that didn't really exist. But that vanilla image of us in the center of all this nonsense -- it's exactly what's wrong with you, your network, and your whole country.

You're getting coal from me, hon. But JC wants me to point out that his naughty list is a little more permanent. Think about it.

Claus out.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Blog Is Going Into Hibernation Until Next Year

Greetings Internet:

I am working on the novel -- The Black Book Of Children's Bible Stories -- and I've reached a place where it sucks up all my writing time.

As a result I will not be updating until early 2014.

99.9999% of you do not care, because you have cat videos and pornography to contend with. For those that remain, I apologize. I'm only one man, and my talents are limited. If you've been putting off reading my ebook, The Big Money, now's the chance to part with that 99 cents burning a hole in your pocket. Kindle and Nook versions are available. But no pressure or anything. I don't want to spoil what we have here.

Anyway, have a very joyous holiday season, and I promise to come back in the New Year with guns blazing.
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