Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Wake me up when this post is over

Posted: November 15, 2009 in Uncategorized
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I was going to make a post about posting to my blog, but it seemed like an incestuous relationship. The results would probably be stupid and have a low forehead, so I’m pulling out.

So, this is not a post about posting in my blog. I won’t belabor the fact that I’m sitting in a hanging chair on our patio, barefoot with the sun beating down on my keyboard, leaves of the mango tree reflecting in the surface of the pool, lizards sunning lazily etc. etc.

Shit.  Now I’m dozing off.  Fuck it.

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Chapped!

Posted: September 23, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Got some good news on the writing front. My story, “Smoked,” was accepted by Bucket ‘O’ Guts Press for publication in 2010 as a chapbook.

I’m psyched. This will be the first a story of mine will be out there all by itself, naked, exposed for all to ridicule. Nate Lambert, the editor, called the story “fucked.” High praise indeed from Mr. Natty Dread himself.

B’O’G is a new outfit, but they’ve started strong with their first title, Catherine J. Gardner’sThe Bitter Aftertaste of Olive Lemon.” Ms. Gardner has a talent for creating nightmare worlds inhabited by characters unsure of their place in the world. Are they part of the dream, or part of the dreamer? Or something worse? Thoughtful and frightening, without a single bucketload of entrails to be found. Gland fans needn’t worry, Ms. Gardner adds tasty dollop of her classy (if twisted) brain to the mix.

My story? All I can say is that Nate better empty out his fucking trough. It’s gonna be a messy ride.

Well, hell.

Been about a month since I updated this here blog. Twitter is so much less hassle, and is SO much more copacetic to my short attention span.  El Bloggo just doesn’t fit into my awesome fast-moving techno lifestyle.

Blogs are SO 2005-ish. I mean. Really. They have that smell.

In the interest of furthering my goal of total web pimpination, however, I shall now provide you with brief dispatches from my glamorous trans-global jet-setter lifestyle.

Destination: Utah.

Contrary to anticipatory trepidations, I was not forced to sell my wife to the Cult of Mormon in order to enter. Instead, we (me, wife, son) were strapped into a Hyundai Sonata and forced to drive to ridiculously beautiful natural landscapes.  Specifically, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.  At each of these collections of holes and/or rocks, I felt a strange compulsion to hike until my legs fell off and snap pictures until my index finger was worn to a stub. Also rode a horse, went over rapids in a rubber boat and discovered, while pinned down in a trench by withering crossfire from two guys named Travis, the subtle taste sensation of the elusive Yellow Paintball.

Of course, all this was prelude to the main event.

We cashed in a bunch of miles and flew first class (natch!) and on the return flight from Vegas, I sat in 3C. I had just gotten comfortable when a small young twentyish blond female zipped into 3D before I could get up to let her in.  After a while, she mumbled something like, “uh, looks like the cabin door’s still open… think I’ll go to the lavatory…”

“Go for it,” I said in my suave jetsetterando tone.

She obeyed.

While she was gone, I couldn’t help but notice that she left her boarding pass sitting on the spacious first class armrest.  The name:  Anna Kournikova.

That’s right, kids: I let Anna Kournikova go to the bathroom. 

With great power comes great responsibility, and I kept my cool. Okay, I sniffed my pits. After a week of Utah, you can’t be too careful. Otherwise, I gave no outward sign of recognition when she returned and fiddled with her phone for a while. Soon, it was belts on. She yanked an enormous white pillow out of her bag, slipped on a blindfold, pulled her hood over her head and went to sleep.  Really.  Except for the rock on her left hand worth that was worth more than my house, she looked like just another hibernating nun.

When we set down in Miami, I made a witty comment about the torrential rain. She didn’t say anything.

But that’s just how we roll in the first class cabin.  Subtlety and discretion at 35,000 feet.

We have more than our share of weird critters roaming our yard. Hey, it’s Southern Florida, a natural refuge for the cold-blooded — and not only the criminally insane kind.  Last week I found the discarded skin of an Everglades Racer snake.  Almost four feet long.

Tokay Gecko (gekko gecko)

Tokay Gecko (gekko gecko)

Today’s featured critter: the Tokay Gecko. We only have one of these beasties. He lives in a downspout at the back of the house and his calls are a delight. They’re loud and completely off the wall — although, as a gecko, he can easily walk on the wall (or the ceiling.)

Here’s a recording, although our dude has a much fuller tone (the male call is halfway down the page.)

These suckers will bite and will not let go unless you submerge them.

Also referred to as the “fuck you” lizard by soldiers in Viet Nam (I can hear that in the call: FUCK you, FUCK you….)

I almost drowned ours a couple of years ago.  One day I was out in the yard and saw a thin hairless tale disappear into the top of the pipe.  It had to be a rat (aka Miami Night Squirrel) so I blocked the bottom  with a rock and shoved the hose in the top.  After running the water for maybe 15 minutes I moved the rock, and a funky pink dinosaur nose sticking out.  I felt terrible, but he came to in a few seconds and climbed back up.

Headline from the Miami Herald this morning:

Alligator Alley is closed; wildfires threaten

From the article:
A growing wildfire in the Everglades has authorities warning that Alligator Alley, closed since Wednesday evening, could remain shut down until Monday…

A wildfire fueled for days by 10,000 acres of dangerously dry Everglades vegetation may force authorities to keep Alligator Alley closed for the weekend, creating headaches for travelers…

The Florida Highway Patrol has kept the highway closed since about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, when smoke from the fire began billowing over the roadway in spots of Collier County and Big Cypress National Preserve…

This is from my story, “Smoked:”

The River of Grass was burning.

It hadn’t rained in months.  The cloudless sky had become a cauldron of eye-burning haze as the fires burned deep into the ancient muck, turning the dark blood and soul of the ‘glades into air pollution.

The creatures of the Everglades were on the move, fleeing the holocaust in search of life-saving water.

Other refugees had thirsts less easily satisfied. Exhumed by flame from Florida’s graveyard of convenience, the toxic souls of the vengeful dead, sustained by the ancient geological evil that resided in the primeval limestone bones of the peninsula, joined the smoke and wandered in the hot aimless wind.

Hopefully, the toxic souls of the vengeful dead are still resting fitfully.

Finally.

Finished the first draft of “Smoked,” a story I’ve been working on for months.  I’m so freakin’ prolific it hurts.

The ending needs a lot of work and will be rewritten several times over, but it’s an ending.  It’s 5000 words and needs to lose some weight.

In a first draft, it’s just baby fat.

This is another of my “Tales from Beyond the Urban Development Boundary.”  The UDB stories are all set in South Florida.  A couple have been published, one will be in the upcoming print issue of Necrotic Tissue, and another, “Red Tide,” is (I think?) shortlisted for the “Dead Bait Anthology” at Severed Press.  They received the story, they’re closed to submissions, and they haven’t rejected it.  At least, not to my face.  I did email the editor but haven’t received a reply.

We’ll see.

“Smoked” may be the best of the bunch.  Or not.  Maybe I’ll know six months from now when I finish the second draft.

I’m so s-l-o-o-o-w…

Many people don’t realize what a big state Florida is. Nine hour drive overnight from Miami to where I am right now, trying to update this blog using my parent’s old Windows 98 machine.  Sorry for the typos, but  I can only see about half of what I’m typing so this should be innaresting.

Anyway… add about 4 more hours to the drive if you were doing the full state from Key West to Pensacola.  It’s as bad as Nebraska.  (Not really…)

Came up with my son for a 4-day visit.  These visits are always a bitter-sweet thing (my mom handles the sweet and my dad covers the bitter) but they do okay for 85 and 89 (not saying much — although the old man was helping me dig a hole in the back yard so we could chainsaw some tree roots,  and he can still handle a shovel… not that the though of clobbering him with it hasn’t crossed my mind a few times.  And the chainsaw and  hole would have been a convenience.

Considering that he lives on sausage and coffee he’s in  pretty good shape.  I guess piss and vinegar keep keep it from congealing in his veins.

Hate to leave, but can’t wait to get back home.