Monday, January 16, 2017

Rish Outcast 62: I Went Out Walking

(...With A Bible And A Gun)

Rish goes for a walk up in the mountains in summertime.  He waxes poetic, trying (unsuccessfully) to describe all that he sees.*


Story next time, okay?



If you're up for downloading the episode, go ahead and Right-Click HERE.

*Originally, I had a very different description of this episode, but I was confusing this one with another that's coming later.  Consider yourself warned.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Buy My Story "Remember the Future" On Amazon

Just can't get enough of Rish Benjamin Outfield?  Of course not, or you'd be kilometers from here.

If you're up to it, check out my short story "Remember the Future," available at this link.

It's a story I wrote not long ago about a high school girl, Tali Murray, who gets cursed by a witch: when she makes eye contact with someone, she sees how they will die.  She meets a boy, sees his future, and wonders if it is set in stone.


I know, I know, you didn't need all that.  I had you at high school girl.  Well, feel free to go over and buy the story, if you wanna know how I handle that particular ubiquitous premise, done to death, I fully recognize.  I'm still deciding whether to run it on the Outcast, but while I deliberate, check it out!

Rish Outfield, Quoter of Debbie Gibson Songs

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rish 'n Marshal talk about ROGUE ONE

I never really plug episodes of the Dunesteef on this blog.  I figure that a thousand times as many people listen to the 'steef as read my blog, so why would I ever bring it up here?  It'd be like trying to promote a television show in a book.

And the same goes for my podcast with Marshal Latham, "Star Wars: Delusions of Grandeur."  We came up with the idea of doing the show a couple of years back, and I thought I was oh-so-clever in the naming of it, only to discover that there's already a blog and a podcast called "Delusions of Grandeur" out there (and I think there used to be one called "The Star Wars Delusions of Grandeur Podcast" too, which sucks all the more.  If I had to do it now, I'd come up with something embarrassingly obscure, like "Squid Head and Zuckuss's Mynock Roast and Talk Show."  Maybe it's not too late.

But that's a show I don't think too many people listen to.  We've put the call out for various listener-participation shows, asked people to suggest topics, requested comments, and I once offered a limited edition Disney Store Talking Boba Fett 12 inch figure as a prize to anybody listening (I didn't want it because Jason Wingreen's dulcet tones had been replaced by the Prequels guy).  That figure still sits at the bottom of my closet, covered in dust, dirty socks, and let's face it, probably stuff much, much worse, instead of being sent out as a prize.


For the best, I suppose, t'would've cost a fortune to ship.

Anyhow, there's a new episode up (number thirty, in fact), wherein Marshal and I pretend to talk about Padme Amidala, then talk about "Star Wars: Catalyst" and ROGUE ONE.  Because Big and I had already done an episode about the new movie, I tried hard not to repeat what I said before with Marshal (whether I succeeded or not is up to you).  But there really is a lot more to be said about ROASWS (which is short for the official title, and I hope nobody uses it). 

You can find the link RIGHT HERE.

So, from now on, every time Marshal and I put out an episode, I'm gonna mention it here.  You never know, the podcaster's life you save may be your own.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Rish Outcast 61: Abject Failure (Solo Edition)

Way back in summer of 2015, Big and Rish recorded a That Gets My Goat episode where we bowed our head in shame for not writing our novels in ninety days.  Then the episode sat, for months, gathering dust and compounding interest, until one day I did post it.  But little did I know, I had recorded a Rish Outcast companion piece to be released when that show dropped.  And this is that show!


I talk about writing goals, not succeeding in those goals, my first audio collection (which you can buy RIGHT ABOUT HERE, or steal HERE), about the legacy of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, and continuing to hate/misunderstand the YA genre.

So, dated as it might be, this might only be the third-to-last 2015 Rish Outcast episode.  Fun?



Would you like to download the episode?  Just Right-Click HERE!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Sour Decembah

So, December is over too, and I was sick for a long stretch of it.  It could've been worse . . . I know somebody who was sick so long, they dropped out of school and right off the face of the earth.  But maybe I caught it too.  I'd feel sick for a few days, then start to feel better, only to be sick again for two or three days after that, then the process repeated.  It was like one of those lingering illnesses that people had in Dickens's day.  My mom worried that maybe it was a plague that would winnow down the population a little, like you get.

Nevertheless, it screwed up my voice something fierce.  I've never been able to record a great deal at one sitting (it doesn't help that there's usually only an hour or so of free space on my recorder at any one time, despite keeping a blank soundcard in the glove compartment of my car for just such emergencies), but I managed very little recording, and what I did put down, sounds awfully nasal when I edit it (I worry that someone might ask me to do it all over again, but that may honestly be for the best).

Regardless, here we are in January, so it's time for a little reckoning.


So, I believe I set four goals for the month of December:
1.  Finish my Broken Mirror story for the Dunesteef, 
2.  Finish "The Calling 2," 
3.  Finish reading "Star Wars: Catalyst," 
4.  Publish the audio for "New Year's Day."

I also vowed to record a lot of the two audiobooks I had committed to that month (both due in January).  So  . . .

1.  I did finish that story.  It's called "The Holiday Trip (Guest-Starring Captain America and Bucky)" and it's available in the most recent episode of the Dunesteef.  You can probably buy it here as well.



2.  I also finished "The Calling: Reunion," which is what the sequel is currently titled.  I made a list of possible titles when I started writing it, and they all started with R.  I believe "Reunion" is the one I'll go with, but "Reawakening" doesn't totally suck.  We'll see what I decide on.  Also, no idea how long the sucker is, except for probably three times as long as the first installment.

3.  I finished reading the book, though it was two days after ROGUE ONE came out (I even took it to the theater with me, but only managed a page or two).  But ah well.

4.  I didn't publish nothun!  But I did finish editing the audio yesterday, so that means I'll probably publish it . . . I dunno, someday.

Beyond that, I also was tasked with writing a story for the family Christmas party, and I did that as well.  It was called "Merry Christmas, He Said," and I'll probably put it in a holiday collection one day, since I have at least seven or eight Christmas-themed short stories I've written over the years.  Maybe more.

So, I accomplished three of the four goals (or two of the four, if you're mean)(or four of the five, if you count writing the one I hadn't set as a goal), and that ain't bad.

I saw a couple of Facebook posts where people boasted (is there a nicer word for that?) about how much writing/publishing/selling they did in 2016, and it's not hard to feel like a manatee's dingus when I compare my output to theirs.  But you can't do that.  Your life is not their life, and it's pointless to measure yourself by somebody else.  You can only measure your own accomplishments, recognize there's room for improvement, then move on.


So, here's the part where I could either end the post, or create some New Year's Resolutions.

But I dunno.  Resolutions don't really work on me, at least not year-long ones.

I need to publish "Calling 2."  I can do that, I think (even though some of it is written up in a notebook, and will need to be typed).  I can do that before 2018.

I do plan on writing another Ben Parks story.  I jotted down some notes for a Christmas one which I wish I had managed to get in this month, when the holidays were on my mind.  But ah well.

I can set that for a resolution for January.  1.  Write that "Sidekick" story.  I should start thinking up a title for it now, so it's not a year later when I come up with one.

2.  Record, edit, and re-record Abbie Hilton's new short story collection "When We Were Young."  Holy Adele, that's a good title.

3.  Publish the audiobook for "New Year's Day."

4.  Publish "Remember the Future."

5.  Record and edit the audio for "Remember the Future."

6.  Finally publish "Newfound Fame."  There's really nothing stopping me there except deliberation and self-doubt.

There, that's six.  That's pretty positive.  And pretty doable.  Who knows, maybe this year will be a good one.  You never know.

Rish Outfield, New Year's Grey

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Rish Outcast 60: Stormy Weather (Part 2)

Rish presents the rest of his story "Stormy Weather," and continues to talk of his inspiration for it, while dodging low-flying planes.




Music in this episode was "Ossuary (Air)" by Kevin McLeod of Incompetech.com.

If you're in the mood to download the episode, just Right-Click right HERE.

*If you want to read the story in text form, click HERE to buy it.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Oh Princess, My Princess

(I originally wrote this post on the 27th, but accidentally unplugged my computer and lost it all.  I like to think it was better the first time.)

When I was just a child, my aunt Barbara came to my grandma's house, crying (this was August 1977).  Grandma comforted her, and all I got was that my aunt was upset.

When she left, I asked what was going on.  "Oh, Elvis died," my grandmother told me.  "He was Barbara's first love."


I interpreted that as an old boyfriend of my aunt's dying, until my mother explained it to me that Elvis was a singer, someone my aunt had never even met.  Now I was really confused, but I never forgot that day (for some reason), though I didn't understand it.

Today, I understand.  Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia Organa is gone.  And it struck me hard--harder than it should have maybe, to hear of her death at only age sixty.


Except for some girl I saw on a Burger King commercial, and then got all weird in my stomach, Princess Leia was my first crush.  When Luke Skywalker saw her hologram and said, "Who is she?  She's beautiful!" I took note and said, "Okay, now I know what beautiful is.  If I'm going to pass for human, I'd better pay attention."


One of the many times I was watching STAR WARS, my dad was on the couch with his newspaper.  THAT's the girl you like so much?" he asked (he had seen the movie when it first came out, and hadn't bothered to take me, which I always regretted, even if he didn't).  "She's pretty homely."

That was the first time I remember hearing that word, and I always think of him saying it in the scant occasions I hear it said.  But to me, Princess Leia wasn't at all homely.  To you either, I'll wager.


I was a little boy, and STAR WARS was my world (or worlds, technically).  And she was queen of that world.  Well, technically Princess, but with her parents gone, wouldn't that mean . . .

No, I'd guess that with her world gone, so would any title associated with it.  Sigh.

I didn't mention the slave bikini in JEDI.  I think I was just too young for that to make as much of an impression on me.*  Oh, I would later, sure, think that was the bee's knees, but even then, it was relegated to gawking at young women cosplaying the outfit.  Princess Leia was sacred.


Of course, Carrie Fisher wasn't just Princess Leia.  She appeared in THE BLUES BROTHERS, SHAMPOO, THE 'BURBS, AUSTIN POWERS, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY..., one of the SCREAM sequels (I think 3), HANNAH & HER SISTERS, UNDER THE RAINBOW, and JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK.  And those are just the ones that immediately come to mind.

I never read any of her books, but she was hilarious in interviews, and I fully expect the books to be sharp and entertaining.  The last one was called "The Princess Diarist," and yeah, I think I'll pick it up.

This is a pic I took of myself when it was announced that Disney would no longer allow "Slave Leia" merchandise to be sold.  I self-took a bunch while wiggling my finger, thinking I could make a gif of it.  But I never did (big surprise).


Speaking of which, I always intended to write a Princess Leia fanfiction story about how she was a young Senator from Alderaan and came to understand just how corrupt the Empire was, ultimately joining the Rebel Alliance, only to discover that her father was already a part of it.  But I never did.

Maybe I will now.


Unlike my Aunt Barbara, I actually met Carrie Fisher once.  It was at the Star Wars Celebration 2 in Indianapolis.  They had a big signing room for all the SW celebrities, and the lines ranged from zero to about fifteen minutes.  I stood in Fisher's line for about two and a half hours.  When I got up to the front, I expected her to be grouchy and frustrated from all the mouth-breathers* wanting her to autograph metal bikini pictures.


But I was surprised when she thanked ME for waiting so long just to meet her, and was funny and cordial.  She looked at the photo I had her sign (Leia with the bun hairdo) and said, "I don't know who this was, but I'll sign it anyway."  Sure, she had probably said that a hundred other times that day, but I appreciated the hell out of it.

Here's a picture I like of Carrie and Anthony Daniels during the EMPIRE shoot.  But I never noticed before today, that's George Lucas on the left of the frame . . . which film was always his least favorite in the series again?


Sadly, on Christmas Eve, right before leaving for my childhood home, I read that Fisher had had a heart attack on a flight to Los Angeles.  It was reported, many tributes came in, and I fully expected to return to Internetland to hear that she had passed.  But no, her mother, Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, issued a statement that Fisher had stabilized, and I, at least, breathed a sigh of relief.  We were out of the woods.

No go.  My buddy Big texted me at 11:05am on December 27th, saying "Carrie Fisher didn't make it after all."  He works for the news, and let me know first.

I took it surprisingly badly.  I started writing this post then, then when I lost it, I wasn't willing to do it all again.

Most disturbingly, Carrie's death was announced with reports of the hospitalization of her mother almost immediately after.  Debbie Reynolds too passed away a day later, which is a sad confluence of events.


Death is inevitable, I understand that.  But 2016 really dished it out.  And Princess Leia really meant a lot to me, and to a lot of folks from my generation.  It was really cool to hear other folks talk about what Leia/Fisher meant to them, and I look forward to talking to someone who was a young girl, and saw her as a role model, becoming an actress, a freedom fighter, a soldier, or royalty later on because of that influence.

We've still got one more Star Wars movie with her in it to look forward to, and I wonder what that will be like.  It can't help but paint your response to the film, in the same way that THE DARK KNIGHT did with Heath Ledger or THE CROW with Brandon Lee or (apparently) the last FAST & FURIOUS flick after Paul Walker died.  To see General Leia in, hopefully, a larger role than we did in the last one would be a treat.

I was probably going to see "Episode VIII" anyway, but . . .

So, here's to Princess Leia.  She truly belongs with us among the clouds.

Rish Outfield, Scruffy-Looking Nerf Herder


*That reminds me: I spoke to Warwick Davis once about whether he was intimidated working with Fisher in his scenes, her being hot and all, and he seemed to think that was funny.  "I was eleven years old," he said, laughing.  That was older than I was, but okay.

**Which, technically, I am, no confusion about that.


P.S.  Here's Carrie Fisher one more time, summing up my feelings about 2016:


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Buy My First Audio Collection

Originally, I had typed "My First Audio Collection" as the subject line here.  But hey, why bury the lead?

Currently available exclusively on Audible.com is "The Calling: The Audio Fiction of Rish Outfield Volume One."  It's a collection of a dozen or so short stories, narrated by me, and all together in one place.  It also includes a couple of irritating pieces unavailable anywhere else (I believe this was Big's idea, who used to tell me I was wasting my time when I'd write microfiction, unless, as he put it, "you put it into a story collection as a sort of bonus track").


The collection includes an Introduction and:

Stormy Weather
 A Difficult Age
The Cemetery Tale
Lost and Found
Brighted
MagiClaw
Unconventional
Sleeptalkin' Gal
Passing Notes
Last Night of Freedom
Trick
Memory Lane
The Calling

The tiny stories are in italics.

My pal Gino Moretto created the cover for me . . . and look at that little "volume 1."  What do you think of that?

Before life got hectic once again, I was starting to compile material for a second volume, and I discovered that, without recording anything new, I have enough material for four or five more of these collections.*  Of course, I do keep recording stuff, new and old, and if I ever feel ambitious again, you'll be able to listen to it.

In the meantime, check it out if you get the notion.  I know you'll get to like it if you give a chance now.

Yeah, that was from The Locomotion, what about it?

Rish Outfield, Audio Dork

*This reminds me of something I heard about Johnny Cash.  His wife June Carter Cash died in 2003, and Johnny died four months later.  But during those four months, he went into studios and absolutely buried himself in work, recording track after track.  Then he passed away, and a couple of posthumous albums were released . . . but the producer of those albums said that there was still around SIXTY songs recorded by Cash that have yet to be released.  Wow.

Of course, I'm not comparing myself to Johnny Cash.  But still . . .

Sunday, December 25, 2016

George Michael R.I.P.

I wasn't going to blog about George Michael's death at only 53.  I didn't figure I had anything to say.

Since when has that stopped me, right?

But I'm an enormous fan of Eighties music, and will have words with any man who says otherwise.

And he died on Christmas Day . . . and it occurred to me that I got his album "Faith" on Christmas of 1986, and listened to One More Try on my knock-off Walkman while shoveling the driveway.  And I shoveled the driveway today (of a different house, but still), right before my uncle told me Michael had died.

I read what little was posted, and noted that one of the singles from that album, I Want Your Sex, was not released in some areas of the U.S., due to obvious reasons.  So I automatically remembered that Christmas '86 would've been the first time I heard that song as well.

And then I remembered my Uncle Len playing that cassette when we visited Las Vegas shortly after (might even have been my own cassette, though that's unlikely), and when we came to that song, he changed the lyrics to "I Want My Pez Candy."  Which is a bizarre, stupid memory that I think of way more often than I hear the song in question.

I liked Wham!, though never heard any of their records (did they have more than two?), and I think my uncle got that "Listen Without Prejudice" followup to "Faith," but I never did.  I like the cover Michael did of Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, especially the part where he says, "Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Elton John!" and the crowd goes wild.

The only other thing I remembered was Dana Carvey playing George Michael on "Saturday Night Live," when he'd appear on Weekend Update, and invariably would start shaking his caboose.  "Look at my butt, Dennis!  I've buffed it, shaved it, waxed it, shined it!  It's a perfect circle!  I know, I've measured it!  Scientists calibrate their instruments with my butt!"

It was one of the first impressions I ever learned to do*, and because my best friend was named Dennis, I would often say, "Look at my butt, Dennis!" in that voice, which must've amused kid me, because it made adult me laugh enough remembering it that I sat down and wrote a blog post.

"Kneel down and worship my butt, Dennis!"

I'm sad George Michael is gone, but I have to admit that his passing also made me smile.  Sorry.

Rish "I Need Some Time Off From That Emotion" Outfield

*Practically all of my impressions are Dana Carvey imitating somebody, sadly.

**What's worse, I tried my comedic skills on Facebook by posting:
The world was shocked to hear of George Michael's death today.

However, it was more shocked to discover that Andrew Ridgeley is still alive.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rish Outcast 59: Stormy Weather (Part 1)

So, sometime around the beginning of spring, Rish went for a walk and presented a story set in the dead of winter.  It's called "Stormy Weather," and it's been sitting around, waiting for the snows to come again.


Please forgive the incessant clicking and planes going on overhead.  Of course, 'twouldn't be the Outcast if the sound was excellent.



*If you don't wanna wait to hear the rest of the story, go HERE to buy it, or HERE for the text version.

*Rish 'n Big's "The Spirit of Christmas" episode over at the Dunesteef.

*Music in this episode was "Ossuary (Air)" by Kevin McLeod of Incompetech.com.

If you feel up to it, go ahead and Right-Click HERE to download the episode.  And bundle up!