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Thursday, June 2, 2011


The kettle started to shriek and Marty snapped the book shut and grunted out of the chair. He went to the stove and removed the kettle from the stove, pouring the steaming water into a coffee mug with a picture of a cartoon bear on it. The mug said Yosemite National Park on it in script that wrapped around the picture of the bear. His sister had bought him this mug when her and her husband and her brood of kids went to the park. She was always going places. She lived currently in Galveston, TX where her husband worked as an accountant or an actuary or a gravedigger.

Marty reached in the cupboard for a box of tea bags. There were two of them in the cupboard: a yellow box for the morning and a blue one for the evening. He grabbed the blue box and pulled the last tea bag from the box and soaked it in his mug.

“I’ll need to go to the store tomorrow,” he said and nodded his head in agreement as he bobbed the bag in the water. Vapor condensed on his wrist.

He thought about his sister and the places she’d gone. He didn’t understand her, never had, not even as kids. One day she’d called to him and told him to follow her, and when he rounded the house he saw her standing over a spot on the lawn and looking down at something in the lawn. He walked up to her, reaching for her hand as he always did at that age. On the ground was a tiny bird and it opened and closed its beak in silent suffering.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Year of the Novel: Vacation Blues...JK! Vacation Awesome! Writing Staycation, 2011!

So, as it turns out, not having a job is really very good for writing novels. I put my two weeks in at the bank about eight business days ago and, as is common in the banking industry, I was immediately terminated. Don't worry, y'all, me and the bank are still cool but they just didn't want me stealing trade secrets or customer info or whatnot. At any rate, since I wasn't starting the new job until after Memorial Day, I decided to pretend that I was a real professional writer and get some serious work done on the manuscript.

I found out a few things about my writing self during the eight business days of writing staycation, 2011.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Swear the Bear's Head Looked Too Small Last Year: Thoughts on Bear vs Shark and Bear v Shark

During my time in bands I played with a great many artists that would later be fairly successful artists, not in a Rolling Stones kind of way, but in an able to make a living off of music for a few years kind of way, which is a big freaking deal in the modern musical market. At one point I played with these guys, and this girl, and these guys, and these guys too (in fact they ended Oblivion's ten-win winning streak in battle of the bands in Southeast Michigan, no small feat, I tell you), and some guys who later went on to make this. While all of these bands and artists are very talented, I rarely went to see any of them unless my band was on the bill with them.

Only one "local" band ever had the distinction of making Tres Crow a huge freaking fan of theres. That band was Bear vs. Shark from Ypsilanti, MI. I was introduced to these guys when Ben and I were freezing our asses off trying to tape flyers for an Oblivion show to cold streetlights, and we kept seeing BVS flyers everywhere. We covered most of them up because it was a dog eat crow world in the U of Michigan music scene circa 2001and clean streetlamp real estate was hard to come by. Anyway, we were in the midst of covering up one of these BVS flyers when someone walked by and told us we sucked balls and that Bear vs. Shark was better than our shitty band. This person actually said that to us. We looked at each other, then shrugged and kept flyering, but from then on I started to pay attention to BVS because I hated them because they had at least one fan more than we (Oblivion) had. I was jealous back then, a lot.