Eviction Notice

What happens when you pit a landlord against a tenant that’s possessed by a demon? Find out who is the greater of two evils.


Eviction Notice

Dean eased the door open. A funk washed over him, ran down his throat, and turned his stomach. The room stunk like a raccoon carcass cooking in the bowels of an outhouse. There was a silhouette on the bed, a lump beneath the covers. He flipped the light switch. Nothing happened.

Patience waited at the door, double-fisting rosary beads, praying into her knuckles.

Reaching into the Velcro pouch between his keys and his tape measurer, Dean produced a flashlight. He clicked it against his thigh, while his free arm cradled a stack of documents.

Ignoring the bed, Dean surveyed the rest of the room. There were splinters, wood chips, and glass shards in the entryway. Fragments of light bulb led to the scattered remains of four wooden blades. There was a twinkle at the foot of the bed; the gold housing of the ceiling fan, several steps from the motor, and the chrome mounting device.

Dean shook his head. “The floor’s going to need to be refinished, and that fan was vintage.”

Patience mouthed the words. “She did that.” Her breath whistled through her teeth in ever increasing intervals.

Dean shrugged. He shined his light on the gap where the fan had been. A pair of wires dangled from it, waiting for a gust of wind to make them whole again.

“That’s a fire hazard.” He thought aloud.

A stain streaked across the ceiling tiles. It was as black as tar at its thickest point and as yellow as piss at its faintest. There was a clear splatter pattern; an arc of bile from the bed to the closet on the other side of the room.

Dean pinched his nose. “That biological hazard is gonna have to be bleached out.”

Patience motioned to the lump on the mattress. Continue reading Eviction Notice

#YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen Part 2

TITLE IMAGE 2This is the second collection of my best Tweets under the hashtag #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen. Click here to catch up on the first part. These were inspired by @KMWeiland. Her blog is an excellent resource for writers looking to become authors.

These come at the special request of Jessica West (@Wes1Jess on Twitter). Be sure to thank her if you get some amusement out of these.

Conflict Continue reading #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen Part 2


TITLE IMAGEYou know you’re a writer when you realize that you have some form of psychic ability. Your words are telepathic messages. You can communicate with people you will never meet, in places you will never go, in eras you will never live. You can get inside their heads, make them see what you want. You can evoke emotions and plant ideas. You can change minds.

You know you’re a writer when you realize that daydreaming is the purest form of lucid dreaming. That reality is subjective, that it’s within your means to change it, to doctor the record after the fact.


You know you’re a writer when you go from dabbling with an outline, to compulsively refining a novel. You know you’re a writer when you steal away like a drug lord with a second cellphone, like a spouse concealing graphic sexts, or a politician trying to dodge a blackmail scandal.

Inspiration strikes and you have to answer the call. If you’re on the clock, duck into the bathroom, hide behind the coat racks, or crawl beneath your desk. You’ve got to jot something down before it evaporates. That clever phrase won’t last long on ice. You’ve got reach for your notepad, type on your phone, or scrawl the words across your arm.

HR might call that time theft but that’s their corporate culture. You’re the counterculture.
You’ve got a secret life to attend to.

You know you’re writer when you realize that your thoughts have value. That there ought to be a record of them. That immortality is an attainable goal to a scant few that are bold enough to go for it.


The first time I saw the #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen hashtag was in a post by @KMWeiland. She writes advice for writers working to becoming authors on her website. She deserves the credit for introducing it to me.

On Twitter #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen has been my goto hashtag. It’s a quick way to spark my creativity on a fifteen minute break. It’s a springboard for conversation. It gets me thinking about my process. Sure it’s riff on Jeff Foxworthy, but it’s come to mean something important to me. I’d like to see more writers using it.

Giving credit where credit is due, this post is the brain child of Jessica West (@Wes1Jess on Twitter). I’d been posting these for over a year. She suggested that I post a collection. This is the first part. Continue reading #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen

Love in Lowercase

LoveAn Ode to Love Songs

What is this feeling called love? We get an education in it from song titles.

It’s a crazy little thing. Tender, sweet, and strange. It’s tainted and it stinks, but we’re addicted to it. It’s our drug. We’re love stoned. We’re crazy in it. It’s all we need, provided we can get enough. We would do anything for it (but we won’t do that). We can’t buy it, because it don’t cost a thing. We keep it locked down. We don’t take it to town, don’t throw it away, and don’t flash it around.

Once we’ve lost that loving feeling, we won’t want to live without it. That’s the power of love. It will keep us together. It will tear us apart. It’s stronger than death, and we will kill for it.

We’re nobody until somebody loves us, but nobody loves us when we’re down and out. Fools fall into that love below. How deep is our’s? We rock the cradle of it. We hate ourselves for feeling it. We give it a bad name.

Love is a battlefield, it will conquer all. It bites and it hurts, especially the ones we feel it for. Stop in the name of it. Love vigilantes take no prisoners. We look for it in all the wrong places. We wonder if it was ever love? It must have been. All is full of it. It’s like oxygen. It’s in the air.

Babies do it. Puppies do it. Muskrats do it. Radars do it. We do it on trains, we do it on roller-coasters, and sometimes we do it in shacks.

Is our love strong enough? Can we prove it, justify it? We think we love you. We know that sometimes that just ain’t enough, but we can’t get enough. All we need is love, but sometimes even love is not enough.

Love is patient. Love takes time. True love waits. We’re waiting for a real love, no ordinary love, one love, not a bizarre love triangle, but a love supreme. We’re waiting for it to lead us back. To lift us higher and higher.

Maybe we don’t always feel it eight days a week, but Friday we’re in love.


I’ve written many a love song back in my day, but following piece is one of the scant few with the word right there in the title. Continue reading Love in Lowercase

Gimme Some Truth

Why Writers shouldn’t Succumb to Peer Pressure from Social Media


“All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth”
-John Lennon

As a writer, I know that no publishing house will have me until I have an established presence online. It’s up to my peers to vet me. Agents just look at the metrics. So I’ve reached out and found some like minded folks. They’re all in the same boat, but have different ideas on how to get to their destination. While some participate in the discussion, others shout into a vacuum. While some share their ideas, others push a product. While some explore the current environment, others make themselves a destination. Some seek friends, others seek fame.

Writers who seek meaningful interactions band together. They guest blog, host challenges, call for beta readers, and write reviews. They collaborate, happy to spread the credit around. They unite under the banner of the same hashtag. They make us noobs, feel like we belong.

Sadly, if there’s one rule on the internet, it’s that the moment you have a thriving community, it becomes a marketplace.

Here come the self promoters, the over sharers, the brand builders, and the platform growers. Here come the life coaches, the inspirational entrepreneurs, the goal setters, and the list makers. Here come the social media gurus, the analytic mystics, the reach readers, and the clout crunchers. Here come the quote bots, the platitude programs, the advice automatons, and the stock phrase generators.

They’ve found the last refuge of genuine sentiment on the Internet. They’ve come to put a dollar sign on it. Continue reading Gimme Some Truth

The Tragedy Of Headshots (Audio Short)

(Download the instrumental version here)

The Tragedy Of Headshots

There is a tragedy to headshots
These eight by ten obituaries
These manilla folders
Leaking blood, sweat, and tears
Across the varnish
Of your desk

This innocent flesh of ours
Freckles bursting through the make up
These desperate smiles
These vacant eyes

Opened so wide
So you can see the hope
The hope that might bind you to the photograph
Through a sweet nexus of sympathy

Sympathy that might turn into consideration

These big gray eyes begging you
To terraform our homes into sound stages
To turn our landscapes into cardboard backdrops
To use our ash trays as stage markers
To put a spot light where the sun used to be

Can’t you see this face next to your lead
In your park bench picture?
Can’t you see these lips pressed to theirs
Framed up in your rule of thirds?

Or are you auditioning us for a role
That has already been cast?
Letting the understudies
Sit in the lead’s chair
If only
To keep it warm

There is a tragedy to headshots
These smiles frozen in celluloid
These sad points of reference
To the afterthoughts that we’ve become

Waiting in your lobby
I should’ve known
That I’d never get
This part

Contrast is Cool

Photo by Keane Amdahl follow him on Twitter @FoodStoned
Photo by Keane Amdahl follow him on Twitter @FoodStoned

Why Choose a Genre?

Into every life an avalanche of books fall. Readers have more choices now than they’ve ever had. Endcaps filled with hardcovers, have been replaced by screens filled with thumbnails. What once took up valuable bookshelf real estate, now takes a few measly megabytes. Readers are overwhelmed with options.

Its up to authors to whittle the selection down, to label our own work, to categorize our magnum opuses for the sake of brand recognition. We have to take our ninety-thousand word story and sum it up in one word; the genre.

This isn’t that easy.

Your story traverses the vast expanse of emotional landscape. It’s equal parts horrifying and touching, bitter and sweet. It’s painted in the full spectrum of human experience. Your characters suffer, they lust, and they laugh.

Your story is escapist fantasy, but doesn’t require the mind to travel too far. It explores the heights of the imagination, but its rooted in reality. It takes place on its own world, yet it’s an allegory for the one we live in. It’s universal, but it’s intensely personal. It’s a product of its era, but timeless in its simplicity. It’s not just your story; it’s your legacy.

Now how do you sum all that up in just one word? Can you brand it, pigeon hole it, lump it in with all the others? Can you catalogue it for easy browsing? Can you give us examples of ones just like it? Is it this meets this? Is it pink or blue, a skirt or a cape, a heart or an explosion? Is it a retelling of a reimagined reinvention of a remake, or is it a fresh take on an old-fashioned formula? Is it a beloved cult classic, revived for the twerking generation? Which great myth have you added cellphones too? Continue reading Contrast is Cool

Playing with Fire

Photo by Keane Amdahl follow him on Twitter @FoodStoned
Photo by Keane Amdahl follow him on Twitter @FoodStoned

Have you ever had the nightmare where you’re being chased through an endless subterranean maze? You can never put enough distance between yourself and your pursuer. They’re breathing down your neck. They’re hot on your heels. One false move and they’ll bite down on your jugular. How would you like to be on the other side of that chase scene?

Here’s your chance to sneak into someone else’s nightmare, to be the monster on the prowl, to see through its red luminescent eyes. This is your chance to be the urban legend that terrorizes urban explorers, to be the name they’re too afraid to whisper.

“Mr. Soot.”

This was going to be the introduction for an article on mixing genres called Contrast is Cool. My favorite stories defy expectations by merging two elements and making them clash. This was going to be the example that illustrated my point; R rated horror versus a young adult fairy tale. Turns out, it was clever enough to carry itself.

This story owes a debt to @Raishimi who edited it and offered many useful suggestions along the way. Her contributions make this one of my best pieces. For solid writing advice and the stories to back it up, check out her site here.


Playing with Fire

The caves echoed with laughter, the free spirited cackles of youth. They were too far away for their words to retain any meaning, but their tone bobbed up and down with flirty inflections. One voice was giving, the others were receiving.

This was the wake up call Mr. Soot needed. It was time to go to work. He yawned from his perch among the bats; cracked his neck, and let go of the stalactites. Belly-flopping onto the stones below, the impact was enough to loosen the tinder in his lungs, but not enough to get the fires started. Interlocking his fingers, he stretched his arms out, cracked his knuckles, and brought them down on his solar plexus.

His shoulders quaked as the fires revved up, only to sputter to a stop. The spark had flared, but there was no ignition.

Hitting his chest again, he felt a surge of adrenaline, followed by a surge of gasoline. His fingers blurred as his engine came roaring to life. Continue reading Playing with Fire

Missing Time (Audio Short)

(Download the instrumental version here)

You wake up in a room with no idea how you got there. There are clues, but your mind struggles to piece itself together. Who are you? Where is this? Why are you here?

This audio short is an account of my own experience with amnesia. It’s by far the best audio short I’ve ever posted.

I wanted to blur the line between the atmosphere and the music. I’ve taken foley FX and created a soundscape. It’s a living breathing hospital. Doctors swarm. Elevators ding. Sirens blare. A heart rate monitor keeps the time. My heart is the beat.

The music compliments the story. It’s haunting, hypnotizing, and soothing. Textured strings tumble over gentle piano. The melody builds as the revelations bubble to the surface.

The instrumental version would make fine music to inspire your writing.

Enter the PRISM (Audio Short)


A comedy about what happens when the NSA make the mistake of looking through a writer’s search history.