Monday, July 17, 2017

The Podcast That Dares 19: The Big Goodbye

This is my essay about the parting of the ways between Big Anklevich and me, in podcast form.  Also, Fake Sean both helps and hinders.

As always, Right-Click here to download the sound file.

What follows is the text/blog post version of the above podcast, which should be close to word-for-word.


June 5-7th, 2017

So, there may be a bit of T.M.I in this one, but probably not a great deal.  I may have to ask Sir Fake Sean to assist me on a couple of points, but then, he may not be necessary.  Is he ever necessary?  Tee hee, now he knows how it feels.

So, this has been an interesting year for me, 2017.  I was a real writer (ie, I wrote every day) for a couple of months, and was blown away by how much I accomplished.  I've been making weekly trips to my childhood home to work and maintain it, which has been kind of surreal, though sometimes enjoyable.  My friend Jeff went away to Germany, then came back to attend his son's high school graduation, left again, came back to attend his other son's college graduation, went away, then came back, collected his wife and daughter, and actually left for good (though the yo-yoing had had the effect of making it never seem particularly real any of those times).

And now, Big Anklevich, my podcasting partner and cohort, has loaded up the truck and moved to Bever--Houston, moved to Houston.  And that's a bit more abrupt, since he quit his job on Friday, on Monday I helped him move boxes, and on Wednesday, he was driving into the sunset.  Although the sun sets in the west, according to my Travis Tritt collection, so he was driving away from the sunset when he went.  I dunno, maybe he took the scenic route.

It's strange to lose two friends like that in so short a time.  Jeff, I imagine, I'll still see from time to time, since he left his parents and two sons here, and we never did finish watching "Supernatural."  Big's wife got a job at the Houston-based wing of her company (a promotion, I do believe, which is nice), and while Big was worried about not having a job in Texas, he did apply for a Houston TV editing job, and I hope that he gets it.*

Big was here when I moved here, my tail not only between my legs, but partially run over and hanging by messy tendons, my attempt to make it in Hollywood not only a failure, but a cautionary tale told in every institution with a film program and held up as the anti-La La Land when young people dare to dream beyond their little backwoods upbringing and middle-class origins.

While Big and I met in college, we didn't really become friends until after (he was one of those guys who would corner me in the hall, and slap me with my own flailing arms, going, "Don't hit yourself, don't hit yourself!" until I proclaimed him king (or queen) of the school.  You know, I don't know that I ever got an apology about that.  Through emails we achieved some sort of weird friendship, and when I became persona non grata in Los Angeles, he told me he could get me a job at his TV station.

Of course, when I became persona ditto non grata there, he was the one who told me I could either quit or possibly serve jail time for inserting a shot of raw meat during a story about Jared Leto.  But after that, we stayed close, started a podcast together, and aired an average of three episodes a year ever since.  It became a tradition to go over to his house on Sunday nights to hang out and record, and then when his wife got a crazy night job, it became Monday nights, which continued up until this week.

This Monday, I went down to my ancestral home (I like saying that even though it was built in 1977) to mow the weeds, then I hopped in my dad's old pickup truck and drove to Big's house, volunteering to fill it with trash I'd take to the dump for him, and ending up staying a while to help him move furniture (including a massive, unwieldy treadmill that not only refused to go where we wanted it to, but dug a huge divot in the wall of the stairwell as we were trying to get it from the basement to the moving van--unsuccessfully, despite the destruction, I might add).**  Big had four piles of items from his house: stuff to give to his sister, stuff to take to Houston, stuff to donate to the thrift store an hour away, and stuff to throw out.  All of the latter stuff we loaded into the bed of my dad's truck, including all the food Big's wife emptied out of their freezer, and covered it with a big mattress so it wouldn't blow away.

We were sweaty and dirty, and my back hurt just from the couple of hours I helped Big carry and load stuff . . . I can't imagine how bad his hurt, since he had been doing that all day, and the day before.  I meant to get back to my hometown right away, to make it to the junkyard before it closed (I texted my brother asking what time it closed and he still hasn't gotten back to me), but knowing this was the last time I'd be seeing Big Anklevich, I hung around longer, until the buyers of Big's house were coming over to look at the place (I wonder what their reaction was to discovering a huge hole in the wall of the stairs that hadn't been there before), and his family had to vacate it.  So Big and I went over and got dinner, talking a little more, before I finally decided I needed to head home, realizing it was too late to go to the dump and I'd have to another day.

The old country road I took to get to his house I hadn't driven in more than a decade, during the visit to his house when there was the terrible snowstorm that inspired my story "Stormy Weather, and it is basically a forty mile stretch of road alongside farmland and empty rolling hills on one side, and a lake on the other.  There is Big's town (now ex-town) and then nothing until you get to the village next to the village where I grew up.  About a third of the way through the drive, there was an insanely loud boom under the truck, and not having experienced that before, I guessed it had either been an aerosol can exploding or one of the big garbage bags from the freezer popping.  It freaked me out, but there was no change in the truck, so I shook it off and kept driving. 

About ten minutes later, there was a bit of seizing in the truck's engine, and then a second loud boom, this one only turning half my hair white, since I was a bit more prepared for it than the first.  It felt like it came from underneath the truck, not from the engine or the bed of the truck.  My dad's Ford is a 1971, and he had it my whole life, changing out virtually every single part of it over the years, but I was getting nervous now.  That sound could not be normal, could not be right.  I decided to slow down a little, just in case I was overworking the truck, but the temperature gauge (which was a new addition in the last five years) claimed the overheating was not the problem.

I was halfway home now, and while I was nervous about it, I kept on driving, worried that I might not make it back.  Of course, the fact that the truck kept lurching every minute or so, as though there was no gas in the tanks (which there was, I was pretty sure), kept me from enjoying the no-radio, no-air conditioning, no-scenery drive through no-man's land.  The jerking of the truck increased in frequency, and I started shifting it into Neutral any time there was a downhill slope, hoping that it wasn't the transmission trying to go out.  I slowed down even further now, having discovered that the lurching only occurred in fourth gear . . . but soon it happened in third gear too.

And second.  Every minute or so, there would come the loud boom under the truck (though none were as startling as the first two were now), and once I could only go about twenty miles per hour, I decided I should pull the truck over and let it sit a while, just in case I had overtaxed the old Ford.  I had entered mosquito country, and what can only be described as a swarm of them filled the vehicle and I was forced to roll up the windows and spend my breaktime smashing them.

By now, the sun was setting and I should have made it back, even going under the speed limit.  The back road was fairly untraveled, with, I believe, only two vehicles passing me in all the time I was driving/coasting so slowly.  My dad's truck has two gas tanks, so I did switch from one to the other, just in case that was the problem (doubtful as that seemed, though I thought that kind of seizing of the vehicle could be due to air bubbles in the gas line, that guess based on nothing and no experience).

I got the truck started just fine, pulled out of the little entrance to a ranch where I had parked it, and got back on the road.  I got it up to about fifteen miles per hour before it began seizing and booming, reminding me of a non-charming version of the noises a Model T made when it was starting up in old TV shows.  Now there was no chance of getting it up into fourth gear.  Unlike the times before, the engine actually started to die on me as I was driving.  I'd shift into Neutral, turn the key again, and get it started, only to have it die on me again a block or two down the road. 

I pulled it over into the soft-shoulder, probably a mile or less from where I'd last pulled it over.  I didn't know what I would do, because there is no cellphone service in my little town, let alone out in the boonies where I was currently stranded.  But I flipped on my phone and . . . weird, there was a signal.  Maybe like the singer of "You Sexy Thing," I too believed in miracles.  I called my brother, asking his advice about the truck.  He didn't know (which vexed me, as I had assumed my brother inherited my father's knowledge of all things mechanical), and suggested I call my aunt (who lives less than a block from where I grew up) and see if she would come and pick me up.

As I hung up, my phone began to ring.  You see, my sister had driven down to the ancestral home to steal gas*** and seeing my car there, had wondered what became of me.  She had left and driven to where there was cellphone service, and called me, worried that maybe Dad's truck had broken down on me.  You see, she told me, that truck used to break down on my dad all the time, and he'd either have to walk or hitch a ride back to town (the man did not believe in cellphones, unlike the singers of "You Sexy Thing," not that there was service in our part of the county).

Well, I tried the truck again, got it to drive a hundred feet or so, seizing and booming, until I pulled it off onto the soft shoulder in a place where I thought a tow truck could fit (not that I had much choice).  My sister was turning around, going back to where there was no cell service, and would call me again once she reached that back road where, amazingly, she would be able to call and look for me.  It was full dark now, and I sat in the truck with the hazard lights on, swatting mosquitoes and pondering what I would have done had there been no cellphone service.  Guess I would have walked, hoping someone would come along, being sucked dry by a zillion bloodthirsty insects, or if nobody picked me up, knocked on the first house I found, hoping they'd let me use their telephone.

My sister found me eventually, and we called a tow truck, choosing to have them come the following day instead of at night when the rates were higher.  My sister drove me to the ancestral home, where I was a bit too exhausted to do much more than edit Abbie's book before falling asleep on the couch, but setting my alarm to wake me up after half an hour.

I woke and got in my car and drove home, arriving a little after two am, when I had intended to be home by seven pm or so. 

I told my mom about the truck, and she was worried about how much it would cost to fix it (and really, at this point, is any amount low enough to fix a 1971 Ford pickup truck?), I was worried about all the garbage in the back.  My worry increased when the temperature rose to 98 degrees the next day, and to 100 degrees the day after.   Yikes, to say the least.

Big was having car troubles of his own--he'd had a van in the shop pretty constantly over the last two weeks--and the most recent problem didn't look like it would be fixed in time for them to leave for Texas with it.  He talked to the mechanic--the same one he'd been paying to fix his vehicles for what seemed like a month--and that guy told him he was too busy to work on the van . . . but he still expected to be paid for taking a look at it.

Big told me that, because they couldn't very well leave without one of their primary vehicles, we might get together again, just to go to a movie or eat something good and greasy (in another life, we'll open a restaurant together called Good 'n Greasy, and get the same kind of glares from the tofu crowd that I give that creepy business called Fetal Fotos.  Shudder.

Ultimately, though, the new mechanic wanted so much to fix the van that Big and his wife decided to just abandon the thing and look for something better when they got to Houston.  So he drove off, family in tow, and sent me a text to let me know he was on his way.

Oh, and he also sent me a text a day later to mention that their other vehicle broke down and they were stuck in Albuquerque trying to get it fixed.  Seems like neither of us has a way with our four-wheeled friends.

This has been a bit of a ramble (this particular blog is the place for it, though, wouldn't you say?). I don't know what will happen with Big living in Texas and me . . . well, does what I currently do count as living?

Big has assured me that the podcasts (Dunesteef and That Gets My Goat) will continue, and that we will re-commence our traditional Monday night get-togethers, except now via Skype.  I'm not sure how that will work, since we always met somewhere convenient after he got off work, ate some food, and talked before even considering recording anything.  And we had, for the last few weeks, forced ourselves to write, side-by-side, which was practically the only writing either of us got done on some weeks.  I doubt we'll do that via Skype.

It will be interesting, I guess.  Big is sure to make new friends and me, well, that's pretty unlikely for me, but I may focus on my writing or get loads of new audiobook assignments.  Either one might be nice.  Regardless, this is the end of an era, that point where things are changing and you romanticize what came before, regardless of how bright the future is.

So, there you go.  A bit of a ramble, I realize, but like I said, this is a place for ramblings.  And, like I said, who knows what's around the corner?

Handjobs for everyone!

Rish Outfield

*Aside One.  So, I've talked about the pseudo-term I've named "Fradenscheude," where you are displeased by the success of your friends, and applied it to my one-time roommate Chris writing two widely-released movies in two weeks last August.  But I can apply it to Big as well.  I thought he was not appreciated and/or treated well by his job here in non-Texas, and I think anybody would agree with me, considering he put thirteen years of his life into it and never got a promotion or an award or a single handjob, but if he went off to the Lone Star State and suddenly, people recognized his talent and hard work, and he became a huge success . . . I suppose I would resent him for it. 
I dunno.  I like to think I'm bigger than that (no pun intended), but I've talked about my work friend Austin, and his immense talent as an artist before, right?  Well, almost from the moment I discovered he could paint, I encouraged him to put his stuff out there, to get a booth at a comic-con and sell copies of his work, or at least make a few prints and sell them on eBay, and it was hard enough to get him to finish a painting, let alone put it out there for people to buy and/or judge.  But finally, as of this week, Austin is doing it.  One of the little cities around here has an annual art festival (which, aside number two, once showcased a drawing I did of a sasquatch molesting my Great Auntie Gretchin, but my artwork was so bad, they just thought it was a hunter shotgunning a grizzly bear [true story]), and Austin bit the bullet and got a booth to sell prints of his mostly Lego-related paintings.
Aside Number Three.  I hate it when people refer to "Lego" as the plural form of lego rather than "Legos."  It's just one of my pet peeves, and I don't care if that's the way it works in Danish or Swedish or Romulan or whatever language-speaking people invented the Lego.  Oh, and before, when I said "true story," that totally wasn't a true story.  I did a drawing of my dad shooting a deer, not a sasquatch, and I never had a Great Auntie Gretchin, though I refer to her often.  Sorry.
So, Austin set up his booth and I was proud of him, and told him to mark my words, he'd sell so many prints he'd have to send his wife to make more copies while he manned the booth, signing prints and making change and fending off handjob offers.  Oh, that's my second handjob reference in this essay.  By comedy rules, one more will be coming, though I'll have to switch it up.
I took my nephews to the carnival and celebration yesterday, partially so I could excitedly try to get them to ride the Zipper with me, the world's greatest carnival ride (if my summer 1992 memory is correct, that is)--which they refused to do, by the way, sigh twice and shame the devil--but also so we could check out Austin's booth and give him a little moral support.
And the poor guy had only sold one print that whole day . . . to a guy from work who only did it out of pity.  How terrible, especially since I had been the one to push Austin on, practically begging him to take the plunge of selling his work.  Oh, and another lie I just told, I know Ben, the guy who bought the print from Austin, and he is literally incapable of pity (or any positive emotion, unless self-righteous pride counts), so I don't know why he bought the print.  Regardless, Austin may or may not make enough on his art to pay for the booth, let alone end up knee-deep in twenty dollar bills and teen girls' phone numbers.
Which is a roundabout way of me saying that I want Austin--and my buddy Big Anklevich--to be successful, I just don't know how I would feel if it happened.  One more aside: I went to a panel at the last writers conference where a woman talked about mentoring a young writer with their first book, giving tons of notes, introducing the writer to an agent, only to have that first book scooped up and bought by a major publisher for a six figure pricetag.  The woman told the story with a smile on her face but not in her eyes, expressing that that sort of thing will happen, and you have to be tough enough to keep on keepin' on even if it's not you that gets the book contracts and/or handjobs.
Boy, I really like using and/or, don't I?

**Aside, what, eleven now?  Somehow Big and I were able to carry this gargantuan thing down his stairs when he first moved into the house, only gouging the walls twice.  This time, however, we simply could not get it up those stairs, either hitting the railing, or smashing fingers, or actually embedding it in the aforementioned hole in the drywall.  I once wrote a story ("Don't Tread On Me?" I may have called it, though that title sucks . . . let me go check.  [Okay, Aside Twelve: it was called "Run Into The Ground," which is a much better title.  I'm proud of you, boy]), about a woman who buys a second-hand treadmill, only to become possessed by the spirit of the previous owner.  That evil treadmill was only slightly more malevolent than Big's own.  Heck, I was probably inspired by the Anklevich treadmill to write the damn story in the first place.

***Okay, last Aside.  This probably sounds mean to say, especially since she's my sister and she rescued me.  But my dad had these big tanks of Unleaded gasoline in the backyard just waiting for the day when Barack Obama came to take everyone's guns away, and my mom had decreed that they could only be used for when people came down to do work on the house.  My brother announced that, if my sister drove down with the sole purpose of filling up her gas tank for free, that that would be considered stealing the gas, hence my use of the term.  My apologies.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 14th & 15th

I hate to say it, but we're halfway through the month.  And that means . . . ah heck, I don't know what it means.  I'm a step closer to death is all.

July 14.

I held on to a bit of my sickness from the day before today, so I slept and read more than I wrote (though I did grab my notebook and force myself to scratch out a paragraph before getting to work on my blog [which was five days behind], adding up the numbers and still being a bit distressed that all my writing this month [including an Author's Note that might not technically even count as writing] barely equal a short story).*

Maybe I can set a bigger goal for August.

Words Today: 128
Total Words: 4412

July 15.

A "friend" of mine on Facebook reported their writing achievement for today, and it was more than I have managed all month.  To that I say . . .

Well, let's keep profanity out of this.

I went to the library for a few minutes before it closed, and typed a couple more pages on my novella from earlier in the year.  Last time I typed up an additional scene I had jotted down in the margins, then today I reached the point where I put a little box with INSERT SCENE in it.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really work with the narrative as a whole, and it either comes too early in the relationship, or it is the same scene a later conversation covers.  I will have to figure out a way to make it work, which is a part of writing I don't particularly enjoy.

Oh yeah, and in the library, there was an attractive young woman walking by with a tight grey t-shirt on that said, "Taco Tuesday!" on it. I admit that her boyfriend/husband caught me staring at her chest and gave me the stink-eye. But the thing is, on her shirt, under "Taco Tuesday!" there was a picture of a slice of pizza.

Words Today: 142
Total Words: 4554

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 12th & Unlucky 13th

July 12.

So, I forced myself to write to the end of my "Journey Into..." story, which clocks in at around 18,000 words.  I suppose it will be the next thing I publish, if I ever get/make cover art for it.

Words Today: 378
Total Words: 3990

July 13.

Today is probably as evil a day as Arbor Day (though not as bad as Febrary 14th), but it also gave us the birth of both Harrison "Get Off My Plane" Ford and Patrick "Poop Emoji" Stewart.  I mostly did what I wanted on that day (including, sadly, drinking three Pepsis instead of my usual one), including watching CIVIL WAR with my nephews (probably gonna take them to see SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING this weekend), but I did drive over to the library and work for an hour.

Unfortunately, I got mildly sick later (maybe three Pepsis is too much for anyone), and ended up laying down for the evening, and falling asleep hours earlier than I usually do (which had the positive effect of me waking up two hours before my alarm the next morning, and getting work done before I would have normally woke up).

Words Today: 294
Total Words: 4284

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 10th & 11th

July 10.

In case you're just joining me . . . well, you've missed nothing.

I'm writing every day in July, and keeping a record of my word count.  So far, my output has been slightly better than shameful.

Still, today wasn't so bad.  I took my notebook with me to lunch, and stayed an extra couple of minutes to finish a paragraph (this is on my YA story), and at the end of the day, I sat and wrote on the other project.

Words Today: 600
Total Words: 2729

July 11.

I had to drive down south and work today.  I didn't get much done, but I did sit and write for a few minutes.  Not a lot, but . . .

Oh wait, what's this?  I couldn't sleep at night, so I decided to write a bit more between three and four am.  Maybe it's all gibberish, but it's still gonna count as words.

Words Today: 883
Total Words: 3612

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 8th & 9th

July 8th.

So, I went to the library again today.  I was going to be a real writer!  But seven or eight minutes after I sat down, a voice announced that the library would be closing in fifteen minutes, and the lights went on and off.  I tried hard to write for the next ten, but then they announced it would be closing in five minutes, and they actually sent employees around to harass anyone who was still on the second floor. 

Darn.  Kinda makes me wish I hadn't spent the first fifteen minutes at the library on the toilet.

I finished editing another Outcast episode, this one due to hit toward the end of August.  When I got to the end, I realized it was going to be about ninety minutes long, so I decided to split it in two.  Maybe that's crass of me, but I walked around the block and recorded about twenty more minutes for it so the two episodes will be about an hour each.  Hopefully somebody feels that's extra content, instead of being ripped off.

Words Written: 196
Total Words: 1921

July 9th.

Nothing to report here. Yeah, I wrote, a little. All it would've taken was a teensy bit of extra effort, and I would've been finished with JIADVAPNATSR (that's "Journey Into Another Dimension..." for you sane folks). Then who knows what I could go on to achieve?

The world may never know.

Words Written: 208
Total Words: 2129

P.S. I thought about Dan Hedaya today, just before posting this, thinking about him (specifically, how Alicia Silverstone was supposed to have been the fruit of his loins in CLUELESS), and a bit sad he died, remembering seeing him in a "Person of Interest" shortly before . . . his passing?

But . . .

I doubted my memory, and looked it up.


You're welcome.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Rish Outcast 77: Here Comes the Rain Again

Rish decides to podcast during a rainstorm.  When that fails, he talks about narrating Abigail Hilton's new book.  Also, Fake Sean discovers that being's believing (whatever that means).

Don't know why you'd wanna, but you can download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.

Want episodes early, and various bonus content? Support Rish via his Patreon. Hey, it's better than genocide.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

July 6th & 7th

Still going, though not at any breakneck speed.

July 6th.

The sixth of July is my brother's birthday (or it has been most years, not sure how Leap Years work), though I don't imagine we're close enough to wish each other a happy one anymore.  I saw him on the 4th, and gave him some cash for some comics from his childhood I sold.  That'll have to do.

It has been insanely hot the last few days.  I don't usually complain about the heat, because I like it and truly loathe the people who go on and on about it (it doesn't make it any cooler to hear you bitch, Auntie Gretchin), but that has helped give me the excuse not to write.  Heck, I can barely edit podcasts (though I spent Wednesday editing the next PTDNSIN, and the next day editing the Fake Sean song that follows it).

Here on my PC (that's Personal Computer, but it also means you're not supposed to use racial slurs or bigoted language around it), I've been putting the finishing touches on a project called "Journey Into Another Dimension Through A Portal Near a Truck Stop Restroom," a story I probably mentioned back in January of '16 when I started it.  I was quite enamored with that title through all of 2016 (even made a mock-up of a cover for it, which was an image about 80% covered with text) . . . but this year, I'm not so sure. 

I wracked my brains to come up with an alternate title, and decided on "Exotic Honeymoon," but it tells you much less than the original did.  And there's very little Punk Rock attitude with that title.  Anyway, I am at the end of that now, and after maybe one more day, I can put it behind me and start working on the other belated work.

I half-dread, half-look forward to it.

Words Written: 152
Total Words: 1165

July 7th.

Okay, today I actually got Some Writing done.*  It has been kinda pathetic, what I've accomplished so far, but it adds up, and it's more than I've been writing.  But today was the first day where I sat down and made myself do it, like I did in February, March, and April.  Unfortunately, it was all in my notebook, so I'll just have to type it again one day, and that won't count toward my writing goals.  Ah well, baby steps.

I took my notebook into a restaurant with me, wrote about three sentences before they called my name.  But then I forced myself to keep writing when I was done eating.  That's how it used to be, and how it needs to be again.  Basically, I wrote the opening of my YA nov--

Shudder.  I wrote the opening of my YA story.  Hopefully, that means there will be more.

Words Written: 560
Total Words: 1725

Rish "Writer" Outfield

*The capital letters tell you I mean business.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Celebrity D&D (Video Version)

In case you just can't get enough (all the things you do to me, and everything you said), here is the video version of "Celebrity Dungeons & Dragons," which should be exactly the same as the audio version. But is it?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

July 4th & 5th

July 4th.

On Independence Day, I drove down to my childhood home to mow the weeds and so my mom could water the lawn.  My niece went along and I asked her if she wanted to check a little stream down the road for tadpoles ("pollywogs," we called them when I was a kid).  She did, so we drove over and looked around.  Didn't see a one, whereas the last time we'd been by there, my nephews caught at least a dozen.

What we did see, however, were these little green leopard frogs hanging out on the bank, which would jump and hide in the moss when they'd see us.  As you may know, I become an eight year old whenever I see frogs (I often criticize Big Anklevich for devouring a Family-Sized bag of M&Ms at one sitting or eating every donut in the box, but I have my revolting, unhealthy obsessions too, don’t I?), so of course we spent fifteen minutes trying to catch them (they weren't very fast, but were extraordinarily slippery, and quite a challenge to grab).

We got two, stuck 'em in a container, and brought them home, where my niece and I made a lid for their enclosure out of mosquito netting and Legos.  That may sound stupid, but it was a fun activity for my niece and me, and it seemed to work pretty well.  They haven't jumped away yet.

Then we had a family barbecue (I cooked the meat), gorged ourselves, and I believe I fell asleep.  There were fireworks, and then my cousin invited me to go over to his place, despite me being tired.  I drove over around ten pm, impressed by dozens of fireworks displays as I drove.  At his house, we've begun watching that show "Legends of Tomorrow," and I've gotta say, there hasn't been an episode yet where I haven't mentioned, "Just have Sara kill them and this will all be solved."

Despite all this, I don't think I got any writing done.  I got home, and forced myself to type a few before I went to bed.  So, an anemic day/week, as far as word count goes.

Words Written: 114 
Total Words: 854

July 5th.

So, on the fifth I went to the library for the first time in, I dunno, fifty days.  I know that's where I get the most work done (besides the family cabin, where there's no internet, television, or even cellphone service), so I ought to go there more often, but it's hard to make myself do it.  I've even driven to the library, pulled in to the parking lot, then said, "Nahh, I think I'll go throw dirt-clods at red-headed children" instead.  That's on me.

Last Saturday, I went over, meaning to start the new month out right, but the bastards close early on Saturdays.  Who does that?*  That's on them.

Well, on the fifth, I finally manned up (or womanned up, if that's tougher) and went up to the Quiet Floor (where you just ignore the cellphones, despite all the signs that say to silence them).  I had intended to stay only an hour, but ended up being there nearly two. 

While not technically writing according to my July definition, I was typing up my novella "A Mark on the Sky" from my notebook.  I've now gotten it about two-thirds of the way typed, and when it's done . . . jeez, I dunno.  It'll probably sit on my hard drive, impotent and mute, while my beard gets whiter and whiter.  We'll see if I can break my usual cycle on that one.  As Aerosmith once told me, "Girl, you got to change your crazy ways.  You hear me?"

Despite the time spent in the library, I can't count that as writing, except what little writing I did do.  I'll do better next time.  Seriously, dude-looks-like-a-lady.

Words Written: 159 (which is crazy, but that's what it said)
Total Words: 1013

Rish Outfield, Writer (so far)

*It may be that all libraries do that.  But I don't have to like it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

July 2nd & 3rd

So, I was a little bit worried about how this month of July would go, with me pledging to write every single day, but almost missing the first day of the month.

And the second.  On July 2nd, which was my childhood friend Dennis's birthday (still is, I would assume) and always had significance to me, I had just as much motivation to write as the day before.  Namely, none.

I have a work-in-progress I've been puttering around with since the end of April or so.  I write on it a couple of days a week, and rarely very long.  It should really be a screenplay, I'm aware of the fact, and hence, there's very little incentive to work on something like that.  But at the end of the night, instead of working on that, I decided to jot down a paragraph or two on a story I wrote in 2016.  January of 2016.

And that was literally it: a paragraph or two.

So, here's my barely-not-failing-numbers for today:

Words Written: 191
Total Words: 476

July 3rd

The next day, however, I got an email from my pal Cameron, saying he was finally going to stand up to his father and/or kick the crap out of a Ferrari.  Oh wait, wrong pal.  This one emailed to let me know that he would be my surrogate writing coach, and would be happy to not only urge me on, but take the writing-everyday-for-a-month challenge alongside me. 

He also told me that he was my boyfriend now, Nancy.

Tonight, I went for a lengthy bike ride, rather than writing.  There were (are) tons of fireworks going off, so I used that as an excuse to pedal around for three-plus miles (although I guess you could use exercise as an excuse as well).  Sometimes I thought about where my life is going--never a good idea--and sometimes I thought about writing.

I did some work, sent some emails, and wrote just a tiny bit on (the end of) that story I mentioned from more than a year ago.  And by Thursday or so, it'll be time to start on something else.

I mentioned that idea I had for a YA novel in my last post*, and I really think I might have something with it.  But I am intimidated by the thought of trying to write a novel (we've been over this before, right?), and I just find that task too daunting.  I know, though, that if I just wrote a couple of hundred words every day . . . I could do it.  By December.

But I could still do it.  Guess I should increase my word count, huh?

Words Written: 264
Total Words: 740

Rish Outfield, Word Counter

*And also mentioned the nigh-unto-unbearable YA book I was slogging through, which I actually finished yesterday.  And the sad thing is, even though it amassed about thirty-one strikes during the ballgame, the book ended on a pretty strong note, so much so that I wondered how something like that happens--whether the author was building toward this final chapter the whole time, or had a theory (like mine about horror films) that the ending is the most important part and ended up working hardest on it, or whether it was editor-mandated.
And then, the author finished the book by bashing the Harry Potter series so shamelessly that I wish I had a time machine to use to go back to one of those times I was tempted to throw the book against a wall and give in to my inclination.  Let me know if you've got a DeLorean handy.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Rish Outcast 76: Miss Fortune

A year or two ago, I entered an audio drama in the "Masters of the Macabre" contest, the entry that would, sadly, be my last.  I wrote about it here.  It was brought to my attention that that episode was no longer available, but luckily, I still had the original production.

Featuring the voices of Renee Chambliss and my niece, "Miss Fortune" is a short piece written with awfully narrow specifications.  The location had to be a Festival, the monster it featured had to be Raw Head, and a specific tarot card had to appear (namely, The Hermit).


I recorded this episode after a particularly heavy snowstorm, and was going to save it until next winter, but listeners (well, ostensibly they were listeners) told me to go ahead and post it.  After all, it's winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Of course, you can always download the episode directly by Right-Clicking This Link.

And come support my Patreon.  Only the cool kids are doing it.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

July 1st . . . already?

So, earlier in the year, I made monthly goals and then reported on those goals, mostly writing-related.  It was actually pretty effective in getting me off my doughy behind and making me do things when I didn't really want to do them.  It didn't hurt that I had a friend who was working on his own (public) goals, and I could encourage myself by encouraging him.

Then, things changed.  I got a big audio assignment (and a nasty, smaller one), and decided to curtail my writing activities in favor of those.  May and June would be dedicated to finishing those obligations, and I told myself that then, in July, I would be a writer again.

And as Big said on several occasions this year, a writer is someone who . . . writes . . . every . . . day.

But today is July 1st, the start of a new month, the opportunity to be that thing again that does that thing again.  And I really don't want to.

I took my notebook to lunch with me, as I did during my prodigious writing days this past winter, and instead of toiling on my work in progress, I jotted down a couple of ideas for an abandoned short story from a year or two ago that I thought about turning into a novel.*

Now, the day is close to done, and I haven't done any more writing (not the kind where I can count up the words and boast about them, which was what I told myself I'd do every day in July).  In fact, I was tempted to watch television--a vice I almost never engage in--until the whole night was gone.

What's wrong with me?  Besides, the obvious, I mean.  When Big was here, he and I would delight in railing against that long-standing notion that doing something for x days in a row would make it an unbreakable habit, because we both discovered that that particular lie did not apply to writing.  But at least we had each other to complain to.

Now, though, I'm on my own, and I couldn't even manage to write one day in a row??  That's awfully pathetic, even by my own standards.

What should I do?  Publish this abortion of a blog post, then open Word and force myself to write a few words, so that I can say tomorrow, "Well, I wrote yesterday.  The least I can do is do it again."?

Shit, maybe I will.

Rish Outfield, Writer?

P.S.  Well, it isn't much, but I did write for a few minutes, and it wasn't nearly as painful as it could've been.  So, here we are:

Words Today: 285
Total Words: 285

*I am nearly finished reading a Young Adult novel by an esteemed, acclaimed, and prolific writer, and I'm absolutely hating it.  Time after time, I'd angrily tell the ether, "Okay, that's Strike Two.  One more strike and this sucker gets tossed across the room."  But I'd keep going, due to a martyr complex or something.  Because even though I loathe the book, I'm fully aware that its author is a better writer than I am.  If he is capable of such middling, cringe-worthy, sub-ordinary work . . . holy San Salieri, what does that make of my own writing?  Of me, who would rather clean a fishtank than put pen to paper?

Monday, June 26, 2017

My "My First Story" Essay on Emerian Rich's Website

A few weeks back, Emerian Rich, who runs the Horror Addicts podcast and webpage, which ran, I believe, five of my stories, asked for people's testimonials on their first story, which she would run weekly on her website.

I was happy for the chance to guest on this blog, since Emerian has always been very nice to me.  It was only after I had accepted that I discovered what we were supposed to be blogging about.  And the first novel I wrote was less than two years ago, only published last summer*, and there have been none since then.  What could I possibly talk about, then?

But in re-reading her invitation, I discovered it was "My First Story," rather than "My First Novel," which makes me wonder why I even included the above paragraph.

Well, why include anything, if you're going to have that attitude about it?  Come on, focus on the positive for once.

Like the fact that you can read my little blogpost at this link, if you feel up to it.

Rish Outfield, Blogger

*And read by, what, six people . . . two of which have since taken their lives?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rish Outcast 75: Goodnight Moviehouse

There really ought to be a comma in there.

So, this is something I recorded really recently when the local neighborhood movie theater closed down.  It was among the shortest episodes I've ever produced . . . so I decided to write a little something for after the show.  Padding, if you will.

Hey, you wanna download the episode directly?  Simply Right-Click on THIS LINK.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Perform "Single Parent" on Cast of Wonders

Happy Father's Day, you male mothers!

In honor of the holiday, I got to narrate an odd little story over at the "Cast of Wonders" podcast.  It's called "Single Parent," by Sarah Gailey, and it tells the familiar tale of a dad checking his kid's closet for monsters . . . and finding one.
"Cast of Wonders" touts itself as The YA Fiction podcast*, and once again, this term vexes me.  In this case, there's no one in the story that even remotely would count as a young adult (ie, teenager), as the three characters are in their thirties, a six year old, and a grandmother.  Plus, there's the dreaded eff-word in the first five seconds of the story, which my reading has taught me would caused a YA reader to spontaneously combust.

But my gut is telling me that YA is whatever the person selling it says it is, much like when I ran a Horror Film review website and constantly had to do battle with the definition of "Horror."  Which films would we review on our site and which ones wouldn't we?  Why would PSYCHO count but not REAR WINDOW?  Why did JURASSIC PARK, TERMINATOR, and KING KONG count, but not WESTWORLD, CYBORG, and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG?  Ultimately, the decision was made that "Horror" was whatever the hell I said it was, and if other people disagreed, well, eff 'em.

So, apparently "Single Parent" is YA, and if I disagree, eff me.

It is Horror, though.

The story is certainly interesting (as the man's wife used to be the one to dispose of pesky spiders and/or closet monsters, and now he has to figure out how to do it himself), and it's neat they had a Father's Day story planned enough in advance to get it out for the day.

Anyway, check it out if ye like, at THIS LINK.  At the very least, it's got a fairly good narrator.**

*Oh, and these guys are now part of the Escape Artists network of shows.  I must have missed when that happened.

**Oh, and Fake Sean gets a bit of a shout-out in this episode too . . . so there's that.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Podcast That Dares 18: Celebrity D&D

Rish presents his most elaborate sketch yet, an episode of nobody's favorite reality/game show, "Celebrity Dungeons & Dragons."  With, of course, your host, Fake Sean Connery!

Thanks to Gino Moretto for his input (and the logo), and let's hope this goes over well.

If you wanna download this bad boy, just Right-Click HERE.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Unreliable Narrator

Not much here.  I just wanted to be able to use "unreliable narrator" and pretend I'm clever.  This is a segment of me falling asleep while narrating.

I was going to post this more than a year ago, when I was editing an E.C. Tubb audiobook and discovered the condition of my recording, but I forgot about it and threw away the outtakes when I got to that part.*

But here we are in 2017, and I've found another section in Abbie's new book that will do almost as well (in the Tubb book, I went on for much, much longer, but I've discovered the audio tends to be unusable no matter how many times I wake up and reline in that condition).  This may or may not be entertaining, it's difficult to say.

Even though I'm not quite done with my narration (I probably have a dozen or so more chapters, then I'll start on retakes), Abbie has begun to publish the audiobook in installments over on her Patreon page.  You can probably (possibly?) check it out HERE.

In the meantime, I will try to stay awake.


*Which is a shame because it was much more pathetic that this clip is.  In that one, I forced myself to carry on, despite my condition, until there would be twenty seconds or so in between lines where I had closed my eyes and only resumed when my head dipped and that woke me up.  Now I'm wise enough to just quit and say, "Well, there's no use continuing now if I'm just gonna have to record it again anyway."  It's like when you're falling asleep while driving, despite the radio and the window and slapping yourself.  Nowadays, I just pull the car over at the next rest stop or clear spot, and take a nap for half an hour or so, rather than risk actually zonking out right before a turn or cliff.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Marshal and I Talk Star Wars Convention Experiences

Hey, there's another "Delusions of Grandeur" episode up over at "Journey Into..."  This one was a long time in coming, because I'd often call Marshal Latham up and tell him what I heard or saw at "Star Wars" panels at local cons, and he did the same when he went to one.  So, if our regularly-scheduled episode ever fell through, we always had this topic in our back pocket.

Once again, I do appreciate Marshal's partnership on this show.  I know he's busy with the other aspects of his life, but he often is the one who suggests we hook up and produce another episode of "DoG" (as he calls it).  Maybe nobody listens to the show, but I will continue doing it as long as he wants to.

So, why not check it out at THIS LINK?  Seriously, why not?


In this episode, Marshal took a phone call so we recorded in two sessions . . . and then I accidentally deleted the second half while clearing old files off my recorder.  So, what I did was listen to Marshal's half and tell my stories into my recorder again, trying to get the timing right and figure out what I must have said to make him respond or laugh.  It ended up taking much longer than just doing the episode over again would have taken . . . and one of us was not thrilled with the result.

Besides the time I erroneously referred to his children as "Ugnaughts," it's probably the only time I've ever sensed Marshal was angry about something.  And guess what that made me?  Yep, angry too.  Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Out With The Old

In 2004, I went to my first comic convention.  It was while I was living in Los Angeles, and it was pretty exciting--so many vendors selling stuff that I might buy, if only I had any money.  Mostly, though, I went to panels (free) and stood in line to have artists do sketches for me (also free), but I did buy one thing that I remember: a black Spider-man t-shirt.

According to the calendar, it's been thirteen years since then, and I have to admit, that Spidey shirt has seen better days.  It's a bit faded, the neck is kind of stretched out, and there is cracking around the white spider symbol.  It had a good run, but I figured it was time to let it go.

Here's the last time I wore it.

But, I have money now.  And I waste it on things all the time that would make the 2004 me drop to his knees and curse the gods on Mount Olympus with Vesuvian Syphilis. 

So, I bought me a new shirt . . .

I sure have grown up in thirteen years.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Slumming Attractions

I worked quite hard on this.  Heck, even the trailer was a bit of a headache.

Hopefully, you'll be there when this goes live.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Governator Ad

I recorded this years ago for use in an episode . . . then promptly forgot about it.

If you listen, you'll see why.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Rish Outcast 74: If It Sucks...

In this one, Rish talks about what to do when you produce something that sucks.  And that's about it.

Oh, and Fake Sean waits for a star to fall.

If you're feeling up to it, you can download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.

And here's the link to "Varcolac," if you wanted to check that out.  Text version too!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mindless May

How can we be in May already?  What happened to 2013??

It's past the middle of the month when I'm typing this.  Guess I care a lot less than I did just a few weeks ago.  Sorry.
Here were my goals for April:
1.  Publish ONE more story.

Don't think that happened.  Unless the ones for Patreon count.  And they don't.

Oh, you know, I did end up publishing "Chalupadale - Next Exit" on Amazon.  I'm not even sure why.  Tis a silly story.

2.  Type up ONE more story and ONE novella.

Hmm.  I typed up "Murdertown - One Mile" and got "Library Week" formatted for publishing.  I guess those count.

I got stalled in the middle of the novella, though.  After going to the library twice or more times a week for February and March, I haven't even gone once a week in the last month.  And the library is where I force myself to sit and write (or type up writing) with absolutely no distractions.  I need to go again, I realize that.  But I also need a haircut. 

3.  Enter the two newest stories in the contests they were written for. 

Hey, this one's good too.  I sent out "Exchange at a Harvest Festival" to one, and "Welcome To Hell" to another.  Not sure if either story is very good, but that wasn't part of the deal, was it? 

Oh, and "Welcome To Hell" was my slogan for the decade of the Nineties, by the way.

4.  Finish recording and editing "Spanksgiving: A Spanking New Novel About Spanking."

Grumble.  Bossk in Heaven, I loathed that book.  I got to a point, nearly 3/4ths through, when I just threw my hands up and seriously considered stopping on it altogether, despite the hours of work I had wasted up to that point.  But I forced myself to finish it, and hope to never think of it again.  Although the details of it will pop up in a Rish Outcast one day in the future.

5.  Finish reading "Jager Thunder" and start recording chapters of it.

Yes, I did that, and that's what's taking up the majority of my time right now.  It's going extraordinarily well.  I'm hoping to get it in within the deadline, because, frankly, I've already started spending the money.  My phone's been semi-broken for a couple of months now, and I've vowed to reward myself with a new phone* as soon as I get paid for this.

6.  Work on current novella, "Taste the Blood of Van Helsing."

Man, I was proud when I came up with that title.  Still am, a little bit.  The problem with this project is, it was conceived with the Peter Cushing Abraham Van Helsing in mind . . . and that means as a movie, rather than as a story (or more likely, a book).  I've explained it before: a screenplay I can write, no problem.  A book?  Not so much.

And this piece is definitely supposed to be the (cinematic) story of the final adventure/mission/temptation of Abraham Van Helsing.  There's some good stuff in it, if I do say so myself, but I keep writing it as though it's a movie, with a pre-credits sequence, an opening scene, then a variety of setpieces working toward the end of three acts . . . which COULD be the end of the book/story, but doesn't work as the end of a book so much as it would a movie.  In a movie, you can tie up some of the loose ends and say, "Well, that's all the time we have, children.  There are more stories to be told, but that all depends on the box office.  Goodnight."  In a book, it costs the same to write an 800 page book as a 300 page one,  and I don't have it in me to write a 300 page book.

I'm still writing it, but in fits and starts, and I am about 74% sure I will abandon this one before the end, because of the way the writing is going, and because I know myself.

I'd like to be wrong.  But hey, I'd also like to get nominated for another Parsec Award.

7.  Record my D&D sketch for my show.

Wow, you're not gonna believe this, but I recorded that, edited it, incorporated it into a Podcast That Dares, made a video of it, and made a trailer video for that video.  I guess I was REALLY enthusiastic about the project.

Boy, I hope someone else is.

I will try to get that published by the last week of May or first week of June.  Hold me to it (of course, the Patreon guys get it first, so keep that in mind).
So, I'd say that's about six-and-a-half goals complete out of the seven.  I was typing up "A Mark on the Sky" and quit working on it, otherwise I'd have all of them done.  I also have another story ready to publish on Amazon, having created the cover art today instead of what I was supposed to be doing.  All in all, not too shabby.
 So, now is when I'm supposed to come up with new goals for May . . .
And, well, I'm kind of done with all this.  Sorry again.  No more goals, no more writing every day, no more craps to be given.  'Twas good while it lasted.

If it helps, Big seems to have stopped too.  And that's much more tragic.  Me, I'm still sort of thinking about writing (worked on my story today, in fact), but my priority right now is Abiton's "Jager Thunder" audiobook, and ye olde Rish Outcast.  So, those are still going.  
But I'll get back on the horse as soon as the audiobook is done.  That's sort of a goal . . .
Rish Outfield, Goal Eff Yourself
*Okay, probably a used one off of eBay rather than the kind of phones the people around me keep buying.  Look, you can't live on your own in Los Angeles--well below the poverty level and struggling to make rent each month--without learning to be frugal.  Okay, I can't, anyway.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fake Sean Patreon Promo (With Insults)


This was on the tail end of a recent episode, but feel free to share it with your dog, parakeet, or monkey.  Not the cat, though, please.

And be warned (maybe I'll do a whole post about it), the next episode of the Outcast is for Patreon supporters only.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rish 'n Marshal Tease "The Last Jedi"

Marshal has been very helpful in getting episodes of our "Delusions of Grandeur" podcast out.  A pity nobody's listening.

But you know, he and I are staying in contact, maintaining a . . . friendship(?), and hey, that there is reason enough to continue talking about STAR WARS.

In this episode, we talk about that teaser and ask a bunch of questions that will never be answered.

Here it be at this link.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rish Narrates "Malachi and the Ghost Kitten" by Abigail Hilton

This is the second book in Abbie's Eve and Malachi series.  I thought it was a little disturbing, but hey, I'm only one voice.

Well, a bunch of voices, actually.  But you know what I mean.

In this second book, Eve, Malachi and company encounter a scary house down the road where many animals enter . . . but none ever leave.  It's an interesting Horror-centric installment with the series, and I would've loved this one most of all as a kid . . . which would have disturbed my parents almost as much as the 2012 copyright on the book.

You can find my reading at this link, or you can probably scoop it up from Abbie directly for cheaper.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Rish Outcast 72: Episode from the Brown Depths!

So, I have finally published my Brown Depths Monster novella, "Newfound Fame," despite a number of hitches.

It's the story about the old man who was once in a movie, playing the Creature From the Brown Depths, and in the intervening years, the film has developed a large cult following.  And a legend of a curse on the production.  But is it just a legend?

I talked about it in this episode, if you want to remember with me.

In this episode, I talk about the project, what made it unique, and play a sample.

Plus, the Sobe Lifewater commercial!

If you'd like to buy it--and really, why wouldn't you?--the Text Version can be found HERE, and the Audio Version can be found HERE.

Feel like downloading the episode directly?  Just Right-Click THIS LINK HERE.

P.S. Okay, the NEXT episode will be for Patreon supporters only.  

P.P.S. And coming soon . . . CD&D!

Monday, May 01, 2017

Tarkin Doctrine

Marshal Latham, my podcast partner on the "Star Wars: Delusions of Grandeur" podcast sent me a clip from James Luceno's book "Tarkin" to read on the show, and it turned out to be really, really long.  But I still did it.
I made a little video of Grand Moff Tarkin to go with it.  This one isn't supposed to be funny (unless hearing me try to sound like Peter Cushing is funny to you).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Occurrence In Hall B

Big's old friend Dean once told him that, to make a living as a self-published writer, you had to have a hundred items available for sale.  Well, I've no idea if I'm even halfway there, but I really have to do better at putting stuff out there.  In the two months that I wrote every single day this year, I wrote two novellas and two short stories.  That, frankly, is astounding (for me, at least), blowing away any previous records I might have managed.

So here's another story ("Occurrence In Hall B"), one that I only wrote because I was entering a contest, came up with an idea that was acceptable but unremarkable, and forced myself to come up with something else.  It's about a young college student named Duncan (based on my buddy's kid, who works as a night janitor at the community college I also attended), who discovers that the corridor in B Hall may well be haunted.

As I've previously mentioned (over and over, I'm sure), cover art is my Achilles kryptonite, but for this one, I didn't do terribly.  I actually had Duncan take a picture of the hall where he worked, and sent it to Gino Moretto to see what he could make of it.  This time, I'm 75% sure I spelled the title right.

If you want to buy it AT THIS LINK . . . I certainly won't stop you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rish Outcast 71: Ladies Room

Too many stories about bodily functions?  Keep that stuff in the bathroom where it belongs.

Also, Fake Sean talks about Patreon, and hurls a few insults.

Look, if you wanna download this episode, just Right-Click THIS LINK, or Rick-Roll THIS ONE.

P.S. It appears the next episode of the Outcast will be a Patreon-only affair.  Be warned.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hulk PSA

This one is from 2012.  I know at least one person who really liked this.

If you are number two, please let me know.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rish Narrates "Feeding Malachi" by Abigail Hilton

Once, Abbie told me she had written a series of children's books.  I was quite impressed.  To impress her back, I told her I once wrote an Eighties Slasher movie script called "Sorority House Butchery."*  But a year later, she asked me if I wanted to narrate the series.

And hey, book one in the Eve and Malachi series, "Feeding Malachi," is available now on Audible!

It tells the story of a curious young rat who escapes her cage and goes exploring, discovering another cage belonging to a funny creature called Malachi, who is all tail and a big head with a flicking tongue.  Oh, and she also discovers what Malachi eats.**

I've never written a children's book (or narrated one), but it was fun, quick, and I'd be happy to share them with my own children.  If they could stand to listen to my voices, that is.


*Which was patently untrue.  I only started it.

**Spoiler . . . it's tofu.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Aimless April

Sigh.  Another month went by, and we're halfway through April.  I don't want to type up my March failure, but I at least knew that I had written every single day in February, and every day in March except one . . .

But then I discovered that wasn't even one of my March goals.  Bosskdammit!

My actual goals had been:

1.  Type up FIVE stories from notebooks.
2.  Publish THREE stories in text.
3.  Publish TWO stories in audio.
4.  Finish writing "Ten Thousand Coffins."
5.  Finish audio of first two books in AH's "Eve & Malachi" series.

So, now for the inevitable post-mortem of March goals...

1. Type up FIVE stories from notebooks.
I typed up one for sure, "Caller I.D.," which I've threatened often to run on the Dunesteef.  It had a partially completed sequel (which is already, sadly, out of date, since every sequel installment was going to cover a year, and I think that one was 2013), which I typed as well.  I believe I also typed up "Roll with the Changes," which was the October Scary Story I wrote in 2016 (not at all scary, though, but ah well).  Yesterday, I started typing another one, but it can't count for March.

2.  Publish THREE stories in text.
Sigh.  Nope.  I published one for sure ("Occurrence in Hall B"), republished "Like a Good Neighbor" (since I discovered a scene missing that I had never typed up from my notebook, and had somehow shrugged off*), and put "Chalupa Dale - Next Exit" up on Amazon, since it hadn't been available there before.  I also got the text file for my second audio collection ready to go, but didn't publish it (for no logical reason, except that there shouldn't be text versions of audio collections, but it's the only way Audible will let you self-publish something).

3.  Publish TWO stories in audio.
Well, this one I'm pretty sure I accomplished.  "New Year's Day" is up, "Varcolac" is up, and I published "Newfound Fame," but it still hasn't gone through (which tells me they had a problem with it . . . which also tells me that the extra work I did on it, with multiple voices and musical score, might have been for naught).

4.  Finish writing "Ten Thousand Coffins."
Ah, a good one.  Yes, that one is not only finished, but about 75% of it is typed up (rather than notebooked), meaning it will see release sooner than most.  Whether it's any good or not, well . . .

5.  Finish audio of first two books in AH's "Eve & Malachi" series.
Oh kids, I actually accomplished something.  You can buy them as we speak.  Guess I should do a post on that.

I'm not going to beat myself up over my failings, because the successes were pretty significant.  For a good while there in March, I was firing on all cylinders.  I got one thing done, then immediately started on another project, and amazingly, got that done.  I wrote two short stories in a week span after finishing my novella, and then started on another one. 

Once April arrived, though, all my forward momentum stopped.  I just didn't care anymore, because I wanted to focus on publishing, and I have two large audiobook projects on my plate right now.  So, I have been going to the library at least twice a week, but I've been using that time to type up stories from my notebooks, and it doesn't feel like wasted time to me.

So, for the rest of the month, perhaps I shall set these goals:
1.  Publish ONE more story.
2.  Type up ONE more story and ONE novella.
3.  Enter the two newest stories in the contests they were written for.  Which entails reading through them once more, making any revisions necessary, then--gasp!--actually submitting them, which is difficult for me.  At the very least, I've got at least one interesting tale out of this.
4.  Finish recording and editing "Spanksgiving: A Spanking New Novel About Spanking."
5.  Finish reading "Jager Thunder" and start recording chapters of it.
6.  Work on current novella, "Taste the Blood of Van Helsing."
7.  Record my D&D sketch for my show.

There, not so tough.  You see, Lord Vader, I can be reasonable.

Rish Outfield, Writer (Still)

*That was always a problematic story, since I started it at the end of one notebook, and then continued it in a later one, but didn't remember where those scenes were, so I ended up writing them again when I was typing it up.  And then, when I found the second notebook, I had two different sections of the story covering the same time period, and had to figure out how to reconcile them (me being me, I tried to combine them into just a longer version of that narrative).  But when it came time to record the audio for it, I was reading off the earlier version of the typed document, so it ended up different from the published version.  AND THEN, when I was producing it in "full cast" for the Dunesteef, I set up my recorder and re-did the scenes in question so they were the longer, later version . . . only to discover when I got the lines back from Bria that she had gone off the original version anyway, so that new audio was unusable.  Not to mention that I had aleady sent Big the later version to record his lines from, which didn't jibe with the Bria parts . . . sigh.
To make a long story slightly shorter, I did notice there was a scene missing when I was finishing up the Dunesteef version, and chalked it up to the two different versions, figuring the one on Audible was more complete, only to discover a week or two ago that scene in the notebook, never before typed up, and too late, frankly, to put into any but the text version (although, the version I release in my big audio collection will have the lost scene in it, so all that work isn't entirely wasted).

Delusions of Grandeur: Grand Moff Tarkin

In the most recent "Delusions of Grandeur" podcast (over at the Journey Into . . . page), Marshal Latham and I discuss the main bad guy in STAR WARS (or A NEW HOPE, if you prefer)(but never EPISODE IV), Grand Moff Tarkin.  We actually both sat down and read the James Luceno book about him and one of us watched episodes of "The Clone Wars."  Hopefully, our discussion is a bit different than the myriad other Star Wars podcasts out there.

Oh, and I do my impression of him too.  Maybe that makes us unique.

Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Roderick Usher PSA

Here's another video.  I really ought to do more of these.*

Around November, I got it in my head to stop drinking soda, even though it was one of the three things that gave me the most joy in life.  I tried many alternatives, and one of them was the delightful products the Sobe company puts out.

I assume people actually buy them, but I can't be completely sure.

*Around May I wrote one up while I was at work where President Obama is giving an address to the nation, announcing that (as a matter of national security), the ownership of or listening to Mary Wells's song My Guy was being declared a criminal offense.  "And I invite the nations of the world to take similar steps to safeguard the innocent.  Even you, North Korea.  Let's agree on something for once."  I realized I'd have to attempt an Obama impersonation, and I never recorded the thing . . . and now it's too late.  :(

Sunday, April 09, 2017

The Podcast That Dares Not Speak Its Name 17: Surprise Inspection

In the return of ye olde Podcast That . . . Rish shares a fairly old story with y'all, based on a surreal experience he once had getting his car inspected.  Tis called "Surprise Inspection," and there's a slight chance you will like this one.

Oh, it was brought to my attention after I recorded this that in many parts of the country, they don't require a safety inspection to register automobiles.  So, that either makes me lucky to have had to do so (otherwise, this story never would have happened), or it's bizarre and alienating to everyone listening.  One or the other.

And if you'd like to download the episode directly, just Right-Click this here link.

Oh, and don't forget the Patreon fund, where you can support my efforts, get episodes early, and exclusive content!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

My Novella "Varcolac" Available on Amazon and Audible

In 2005, I attempted my first Western story, "Birth of a Sidekick." In 2008, I wrote my second, "Varcolac," a Western Horror tale that, while very different in tone from the Ben Parks stories*, still centers around a pre-teen boy main character. In this novella, a family of immigrants comes through town, bringing with them unusual traditions, exotic accents . . . and death.

As usual, you can scoop up the print version over at Amazon (this link), or the audio production I created at Audible (at this link). Either way, I hope you like it, at least until the moon is full and bright.

Rish Outfield, Varcolactose Intolerant

*At least until I introduce the supernatural in those tales, which may not happen, but probably will.