Month: April 2002 Page 1 of 6


Drove out to the park by the “lake” with the bébé. She’d fallen asleep on the drive over, so I sat in the car and read Gormenghast while I waited for her to wake up.

We chased gulls and watched the ducks and dogs wiggle their tails. The sand blew in our eyes, so we walked up to the playground. We climbed the stairs, we slid down the slides, we laughed at the kids chasing each other and fighting.

Snippet: Nothing You Do Makes Me Happy.

My jaw dropped.

She shrugged. “I’m not human, you idiot.” She shrugged again, and her body fell out like a cheap hair extension.

I didn’t have to say a word. Not necessary around telepathic aliens. Talk about relationship problems. I giggled like a girl.

“No, not all women are from Beta Centari,” she said. “Just me.”

I laughed harder.

“At least think about what I asked you!” she exclaimed, and stomped her foot as if she still had one. “Men! I don’t understand. Always the same…I can read every thought that crosses your mind, but I still can’t make one happy. Think about it. What can I do? I am your ideal. I am the woman that you’ve always wanted, and you don’t want me! What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Harder still. Tears formed in my eyes.

“Shut up! You never listen to me!” She eyed my bowling trophies on the shelf, screeched, and melted them into slag with one shimmering gesture. “You are so…uncommunicative!”

My diaphragm ached already, but I wasn’t nearly done laughing. I knew she could read it in my mind before I’d be able to say it, but I said it anyway. “Women. Always jumping to conclusions, acting like they can read your mind.”

She collapsed into what I assume was the alien version of a sobbing mess. It wasn’t pretty. Later, after we’d held each other (if one can be said to hold a warm blob of jell-o) and had our kinky makeup sex, I explained it. She didn’t understand, but she knew I told her the truth. She left me.

I felt better.


Hmm…the new things that she’s doing aren’t really glaringly new. Except that she can sit up now. She’s not very graceful about it — and get her excited about it, and she’ll kick her legs (and tip herself over backward).

The other new things are intangible this time: If you snuggle a toy into her arms, she looks both at the toy and at you. If you drift a blanket over her head, she’ll laugh, shake her head, and smile at you. If you say “Come here” in a “come hither” kind of voice, she’ll laugh and smile — all of these things seem to say to me that she understands that not only are you the person who is doing these things to her, you’re doing them with her, to play with her, to make her happy, and she likes that. It isn’t that she’s just playing anymore (although sometimes she just plays), it’s that she’s playing with someone.

This, too, feels good.

Dance of Joy! Dance of Joy!

I’ll be published in this month’s issue of Banshee Studios, with the flash fiction, “Love,” also posted here on April 20th.

Ahhhh. It feels good.

Update: The new issue doesn’t come up until May 1st.

Reviews: The Man Who Wasn’t There & a Nancy Kress non-fic book.

We watched “The Man Who Wasn’t There” last night. Hmmm….reminds me of a couple of kids who’ve dragged out every toy in the toybox and put about a third of them back. I was waiting (we rented the DVD) for a section in the extra features called “WTF?” Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie…it wasn’t crap by a long shot. I’d probably watch it again.

I’m reading a book by Nancy Kress called Beginnings, Middles, and Endings. Actually, I’ve already read the book once; now I’m going back and working my way through the exercises. I’ve been looking for this book: a very direct, very basic writing book. Not flighty, self-serving, or easy stuff. A good book when…you’re me. I.e., you write tories and you’re not sure why they don’t work as well as you want. I agreed with each individual statement Kress made…but I found myself getting more and more irritable. She was right. I was wrong. Grrrr.

Happiness is…

“I said, ‘Are you an Asian thumping monkey? Thump once for yes and twice for no.’ And then she thumped eleven times.”–Lee, talking about Ray.

Keep this in mind, De

There are people who can write journals that are worthy of being published. Kafka, for instance. This blog, on the other hand, will never see print.


Because it’s my freedom. I don’t have to edit if I don’t want to.

I’m starting to feel the pressure, while I’m writing anything but a grocery list (except this) that everything I write has to be Good. Real Good. Not

quite yet Pro, but Real Good.

Ugh. I can’t think of anything else that could make a writer more impotent. So…everybody that sweats over their entries, trying to make them consistent, funny, intriguing, etc., well, good for you. I’m going to be a goober, however, say: nyaa nyaa nyaa. Get your butts in gear. This is the stuff that I write in my down time.

Ya brag sometimes. Right after a rejection letter (“Finally, your story may have been rejected, not because it lacked a new idea, or was misspelled or mispuntuated, or because the writing was not ‘professional’ enough, but simply because it failed to rise above the other 849 that month.”) strikes me as a good time.

And back from the mail… “One Cool Million” has come back from Asimov’s, with a form letter.


Damn form letters anyway.

Tenterhooks, again. “Customer Service” has gone out again, this time to Clean Sheets.

Snippet: Wish Fulfillment


All at once in a puff of steam or smoke there appeared a contraption much resembling a lotter ticket dispenser. “Free Tickets!!!” yowled a shiny decal stuck to the face of the thing. The machine stuck out the tongue of a ticket, so I took it. I whipped out my lucky penny and scratched off the silver coating (every worthless piece of crap has one).

“One Free Wish! (Please play again.)”

Hell, free wishes are worth what you pay for them. I yanked another ticket off the roll and scratched away…

My hand was poised over the hundredth ticket or so when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Drop that ticket, miss–you better start paying for those–”

“M’am,” I corrected. “And I ain’t got to pay for nothin’. Get your hands off that ticket.”

“Free tickets don’t come cheap,” he said, and tried to rip the one I had out of my hands.

I snorted and resorted to violence. Wham! Crash! Slash! Gurgle and ugh! Don’t mess with this momma. I squinted. Say (I thought he looked familiar as I was kickin’ his ass), wasn’t that the harassin’ bastard Edwin Graves? I wondered where he got off to after he got fired and sent to Montana.

I picked through his pockets. Money, car keys, house keys, credit cards–I liked the idea of runnin’ up Satan’s own pissboy’s expense account–and a faded ol’ lottery ticket.

“One Free Wish! (Please pleay again.)”

What a chump, that Eddie. Which reminded me of the ticket. I scratched it off: “Get out of Hell FREE!” No point in letting that damned Eddie have that final trump. I tucked it away safe, where I could get it when I needed it–never you mind where.

So I kicked out his wife, and I exploited his kids and his dog for cheap labor, and I moved into his house and started up a mail-order business in cheap novelites. And like I said, you ain’t gotta pay for nothin’. Especially if you don’t sign for it like Eddie did. Mortgage payments are still coming out of his dead, dumb butt.

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