Archive | March, 2013

Various Peculiar Updates

24 Mar

I have a great idea for a Portlandia skit: a Meetup group has a big gathering at a restaurant. One or two members slip out early without paying their full bill. (Then again, I’ve actually used this in a novel I’m writing, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m copying Portlandia.) Jerks. If this happens once more, I’m not scheduling any more restaurant Meetups ever again. If people who look like adults would behave like adults, crap like this wouldn’t happen.


I have a new idea for a band name: Evil Aunt Ethel and the Sociopaths. I have so got to use her name after that aunt dies. Ethel, evil, ether, offal.


I’m currently in the process of going through a novel (working title: Skeleton from the Closet) and simply changing it from past to present tense. It has so many flashbacks that this works out much better.

Revision, Revision, Revision

18 Mar

I just finished this round of revision on a novel with the working title The Skeleton from the Closet, and it’s currently 536 pages long. I’m going to copy and paste it into a new document and put it in the present tense (except flashbacks) and cut out more.

It’s also time I drastically revise an old paranormal novella so that I can upload it online as an ebook, but I found out about a call for submissions to an anthology of speculative historic fiction and have started doing research and writing bits of a story for that.

So much to write–why would I be willing to do what relatives would like, which is suppress my artistic creativity in order to work for others for the sake of money? I did that for years, and I didn’t benefit from it, other than being able to keep up on rents and usually keep up on utilities. Life is too short for that.

Las Angeles Dream

5 Mar

In this dream, I was with a small group of people, visiting Las Angeles. We wandered in a busy, bustling downtown area, with tall turn-of-the-century buildings (I haven’t spent much time in L.A.) ….and at some point we were eventually standing on a pier at the edge of a large body of water. Many boats went by. This was reminiscent of San Francisco, but it was still supposed to be L. A.

Suddenly I thought I saw in the distance what looked like a fairy tale castle on a rock in the water, and I exclaimed, “Look! It’s a fairy tale castle!” The moment I said it, I realized that it looked just like a lighthouse, so I said, “Oh, no, it’s a lighthouse.”

Strangely, this lighthouse started moving toward us, bouncing a little in the waves, and I felt confused. As it came closer, it no longer looked like a lighthouse but instead was a long flat little boat on which were a bunch of trash bags full of recycling. But I saw no human aboard it, which I thought peculiar—someone had presumably fallen off their boat. Soon this boat—which was just a long, nearly flat thing, sort of like an extra long surfboard that ends in points, was just a couple feet away from the pier. As it passed me and floated next to the pier, I kept watching and suddenly there was someone standing on it (an emaciated Indian guy with a turban), and it didn’t just have trash but actually a clothes rack full of vintage clothing (such as bright paisley clothing from the 1970s, not truly old clothing), and some people were in the water and reaching for the strange boat. They wanted to forage through the things on this boat.

At this stage of the dream, the place felt somehow like India. I looked around at many people on a street—we were no longer on the pier—and all the people looked Indian and for the most part poor, as though we were in India (perhaps Bihar) rather than California. People had food stands at the edges of the street, like in India, and crowds walked by on the street. But I don’t recall any cows or stray dogs. A row of men walked around on the street while wearing a sort of fake boat, like during a parade; it was a bright blue fake boat. Poverty or not, people wore bright colors—again, as though this were India. However, they could have been immigrants; I remember thinking in the dream, while this was all going on, that Las Angeles must have a large Indian population.

I think this was in the same dream: the three or four of us (the small group I started with) met up with a group of three youngsters in their twenties, two girls and a boy, and they were probably homeless hippies. One of the girls and the boy were a couple, and I think the other girl was his sister. We ended up ordering a whole bunch of Indian food at a restaurant—it was take-out, and I could swear we were at a sort of drive-up window and all of us may have been on a giant motor-cycle-like vehicle; either that or we sat in a convertible with all the food in aluminum containers on our laps.

We took all this food to what was supposedly where the youngsters lived, or maybe it was only where they had decided to stay that night. A very nice, stout Indian woman lived there and helped us arrange the food on a long table in the kitchen. She supervised everything and seemed like a very nice and responsible person.

I was somehow the last person to collect my dinner, and my companions were no longer in that room, the kitchen. At first I didn’t see any large plates and was putting stuff on a very small paper plate and nibbling away at it before getting more food. Someone earlier had mentioned potatoes and beans, and I had seen the dishes in question when the guy mentioned them, but now I didn’t see that particular dish (technically it was two dishes—a big thing of baked potatoes, and a big thing of what looked like plain black beans). Before long, I noticed a small stack of white paper plates on the table. The top one had something spilled on it, so I reached under and pulled out a fresh one (or relatively fresh one) and filled it up. There were samosas and mashed potatoes and a bunch of other things (hmmm, that seems like a lot of potatoes, and mashed potatoes aren’t exactly an Indian food). I took this plateful of food into the next room, where everyone was hanging out.

The next scene I remember, I’m in this large, somewhat dark and gloomy concrete room with my companions. We’re at one end of the room, gathered around a long table. Other than the table, I think the only furniture was a great many chairs throughout the room. At our end—the far end of it—there was a big movie screen, and I think we were planning on watching a film. But behind us, closer to the door, were some mobsters or gangsters. Again, I think they were Indian and that most of the people in the room were Indian except the group I was with, who seemed primarily white.

The mobsters or gangsters were yelling at and threatening at least one person. Next thing you know, this mobster pulls out a gun and shoots it. That’s when we all got really tense. My group at the table stood up. I was watching nervously and took into account that both doors were located at the end of the long room where the mobsters were located, so we were trapped. Soon, with the mobster still holding a gun and pointing it generally toward our end of the room, my group all ducked next to the table. I was seriously afraid of getting shot, even though I was at the furthest end of the table, furthest away from the mobsters. I was afraid we’d all get shot and die, and I felt very nervous. There may have been one more gunshot, before I woke up.

My Mother Is Barking Mad

3 Mar

I do believe my mother has gone insane. The following exchange of text messages has brought me (not for the first time) to this conclusion.


Her: You have some fur in my freezer. Do you want me to send it to you?

Me: I’ve got plenty of fur here. Due to the spring weather, Cheetah is shedding profusely.

Her: So what should  I do with it?

Me: Why do I have fur in your freezer? From brushing Honeycat? Or do you mean food? If so, you can go ahead and send it. But if it’s fur, I’ll pass.

Her: It is yours, it has been in my freezer for 20 years, since you bought it. Jerry is cleaning out the freezer.

Me: OK, go ahead and send it to me.

Her: Shall do. Thanks.


I wrote the comment “Or do you mean food?” because it occurred to me that perhaps her phone automatically changed the word; this happens on my cell phone.

Before she sent the reply, “Shall do. Thanks,” I was convinced that by “fur” she meant “mold,” and she was messing with me. But that last response seems serious. I still have no idea what she’s talking about. I guess I’ll find out when I get the package.