Monthly Archives: June 2007

Techno Cherries

Cherry season is here at last (I heart cherry season)! Even now that I’m lucky enough to be able to get cherries just about any time of the year, I wait. I started eyeing them last month, when they first turned up at £6 for a half a kilo (around 12 sad pathetic weak dollars a pound). But I waited, less out a sensible frugality than for the same reason that I don’t celebrate Christmas in November, no matter how damn early the stores drag out the decorations.

Instead I watched and waited for the price drop that swings open the door of cherry season like the fiscal Advent calendar.

So how appropriate that my mom sent this just days before my first cherry acquisition of the year:

Meet your Great Grandpa James! He loved cherries. I have fond memories of him piling us into the car and driving to the cherry orchards every weekend during cherry season. All of us (including him) would pick/eat as many cherries as we could. He always had a big smile in a cherry orchard. He died when you were 8 months old.

She attached two pictures, and noted that she’d used her new computer, its Comic Life program, and the scanner “to tweak the original photo enough to finally see his happy face.” Behold:


Hey, I finished that thing at work that was taking up more than a reasonable amount of time. It went well. Yay. But it also means that I’m spuh-ent (sorry, having Sesame Street Electric Company flashbacks now…the bit with the two mouths on opposite sides, like a late Beckett play on TV only more cheerful).

So without further ado or parenthetical references to educational children’s programming and Irish playwrights (unless I can’t help it: Electric Company Sesame Street! Sean O’Casey! Schoolhouse Rock! Oscar Wilde!), here is my Week 2 story excerpt:

After another late night at the office she stood in a grocery store, listlessly considering her frozen vegetable options. She didn’t see the vampire reflected in the freezer door, but she felt her, standing behind and to the right.

“Chocolate,” the vampire said, leaning close. “Bring the cart.”

Mariah followed her to the baking aisle. The vampire watched in silence as Mariah selected chocolate, mostly dark and bitter.

“Spices,” the vampire said.

“Which ones?”

“All of them.”

In the dim light of the bar the vampire had looked almost ordinary, not so different from any other object of desire sitting on a barstool. But the bright light of the grocery store slid off the vampire’s waxy skin, and Mariah understood that the fluorescent fixtures in a grocery store could just as easily hang from the ceiling of a morgue.

The story is on track to go out tomorrow, by the way — I just need to make one last pass through it. Hooray! Reading Rainbow! Brian Friel!

We Three Things of Disorient Are

1) I don’t think I’m alone in this:

When I make friends with folks who turn out to be writers — especially writers in the early stages of their careers who cannot yet point to a giant validating pile of published material (i.e. my peer group) — there is a moment of trepidation when I first read their work. The bipartite worry is best summed up as, “What if I think it sucks? What will I say?”

Which is why it was such a glorious relief when the first story Al gave me to read kicked ass. And it’s just been reprinted online, so I can point everyone to its alt lunar goodness.

2) Yesterday was my brother’s birthday! Happy birthday, Aaron!

3) I just realized that my pal Tracy’s birthday was earlier this month. Since I was not in town to consume the traditional flaming birthday drink, I need to think of a really good way to make it up to her…


Here it is nearly the second week of the Clarion West Write-a-thon, and alas, I must report that I did not successfully complete my revision of “The Diplomat’s Holiday” — damn thing grew a massive, undigested lump of a flashback yesterday. Now the story’s present and past are out of balance, and I’m not going to be able to fix it in the next hour or so.

The good news is that I just read through my intended Week 2 story, “The Last Taste”, and it turns out the sucker is practically done. I really just need to dial down a sex scene and off it goes to Weird Tales, I think.

So I’m moving on to the second story, with the intent to double back and finish off the first one this week.

The opening paragraphs:

Mariah had spent weeks watching from a distance as the vampire ordered drinks she never raised to her lips. Tonight it was neat scotch. The vampire studied it as if the amber trapped an exotic insect.

“If you ask to be turned I won’t even bother to kill you,” the vampire said when Mariah sat down next to her. “I’ll just nod to the bouncer and you won’t get in here again.”

“I don’t have a request,” Mariah said. “I have an offer.” When Mariah rehearsed this she’d allowed a dramatic pause here, perhaps making room for an inquiry. Now she knew if she hesitated she wouldn’t be allowed to finish, so she pointed at the scotch and said, “I can remind you what it tastes like.”

Off we go…

Take That, Capitalism!

I got home from work tonight at 11:30 PM. To be clear, that’s work-work, not something-fun-after-work. Whip out the tiny violin please / thank you. Moving on to the good part:

What did I do when I got home from work-work? I sat my ass down and work-worked on my story. Yes, indeed I did. I feel good about that. I think I will reward myself by giving a couple of bucks to Clarion West.

Goes off and does the PayPal thing.

Notice that I have just acted in a way contrary to market forces. At the end of a long day of capitalism I turned right around and broke it. Ha! I broke capitalism! Okay, fine — I just gave it a tiny little paper cut. Still I say, Ha! And perhaps someone is interested in splashing a bit of lemon juice on capitalism’s fresh paper cut…

In any case, here is the promised mid-week story excerpt, officially dedicated to
Lib “Everything I Touch Turns to Porn” Erty”:

She saw another diplomat at the bar and reflexively concealed her expression, then reasserted her freedom with a long, slow grinding of teeth. Only a month before he’d been on the opposite side of an exquisitely mannered and deeply vicious legislative exercise.

He obviously didn’t want her to sit next to him, so she did.

He turned to her, his face alive with far more distaste than he’d revealed in seventy-nine hours of negotiation.

“Shouldn’t you be sitting in the No Conscience section?”

“I’ll sit wherever I damn well please,” she said. “It’s a free country.”

“No thanks to you,” he said.

“Bite me,” she said.

So he did.

She pulled her arm back and lunged at him. “You son of a —”

They kept their hands around each other’s necks as they knocked over barstools, spitting, gasping, clawing.

“Hey, you two!” the bartender called out as he sprayed them with soda. “Get a room!”

So they did.

Horton Hears a Scam!

Got this missive from the spamcavern yesterday, apparently meant for my slightly-more-evil twin:

Dear Lindsley Heather,

The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who™ is recognizing you for possible inclusion in the upcoming 2007-08 edition. Your invitation is a result of the success your organization has attained.

Recognition of this kind is shared by thousands of Executive Men and Women throughout the United States and Canada. The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who™ acknowledges individuals for their achievements in their specific profession.

First of all, my “organization”, as they insist on calling it, is supposed to be superduper secret, so clearly it is a failure. Sigh. Now I have to dump out the clones, boil the mason jars, and start all over from scratch in a completely different shack in the woods. Thank you, Heritage Registry of Who’s Whoâ„¢.

Also, why would I be interested in sharing recognition of this kind with thousands of Executive Men and Women? As an Executive Man or Woman who has been acknowledged for achievements in my specific field (presumably personal cloning) I am disinterested in the sharing of recognition. Now if they publish a handsome leather-bound edition of the Heritage Registry of Who’s Lindsley Heather™ I will order hundreds.

Because even soulless cloned abominations should have something to open on Christmas morning.

Clarion West Write-a-thon Week One

Here we go!

As a reminder, the goal is to revise and mail out a story each week for the next six weeks.

Up first: “The Diplomat’s Holiday”…

The opening:

The Diplomat dropped her bag on the marble floor, allowing the delightful thud to complete its roll through the hotel’s vast lobby before shouting, “Where the hell is the porter?”

Two weeks, she had. Two weeks to be rude. To be unreasonable. To shout and swear and…

The Diplomat smiled.

Not Smile 47-R, only a touch haughty, used to silence an insecure opponent. Not Smile 23-H, indicating mildest disbelief and thus an invitation to further argument. Not even Smile 6-A, “The Mona Lisa”, the workhorse of any diplomat’s repertoire, an all-purpose concealer of ignorance, of irritation, of intention.

This smile was none of those. It was a wide, wolfish grin. It revealed everything.

Let the revision begin…

Like Watching the Odometer Turn to 50002

I had a notion that my five-year blogaversary was mid-June sometime — the 17th or 18th. Turns out it was the 15th. So here is my belated woohoo! to myself for five years of flood-stream-trickle-stream-trickle-trickle-stream from the Random Jane spigot.

Up next: the first official Clarion West Write-a-thon post…

Will Write for Money a Good Cause

Just about a year ago I posted my pitch for the third annual Clarion West Write-a-thon, which means we’re coming up on CW WAT IV. This year I’m not just hittin’ y’all up for money…I’m hittin’ y’all up for money while actually participating in the Write-a-thon!

You can find more detail at the Clarion West Write-a-thon home page*, which includes the tax-friendly phrase “501(c)(3) organization”.

You can also check out my CW WAT IV Love Page, featuring — along with a picture of me that might as well be called the Mona Lucifer — the following writing goal:

I’ll be revising and submitting one story each week. Characters in the potential revision pile include a vampire and her epicurean Scheherezade, a literal rat bastard, a figurative rat bastard, an imperial diplomat on a hedonistic rampage, a Ricardo Montalbot named Chareezmo (covered, of course, in rich Corinthian leather**), and a couple of hapless time salvagers. Also Leo Tolstoy.

This being an ‘a-thon, you can make your donation contingent on how well I meet my goal, or you can just kick in a few bucks via the Donate button on the Love Page. If you opt for the thrilling uncertainty of a condition-al-thon, I’d appreciate it if you’d post your intention (but not necessarily the amount) in the comments to help foster a healthy FEAR OF FAILURE to keep me on track. Because, you know, this isn’t just about raising money for a good cause — it’s also about getting six stories out the door. The Mona Lucifer loves a win-win.

How will I demonstrate on-trackness? Each Sunday starting June 17th I’ll post the opening of the story I’m working on that week. I’ll post an excerpt or two over the course of the week, and at the end of week I’ll let you know which market the story went off to.

That’s at least three posts a week! The joint will be hopping. We’re talking NaNoWriMo levels of hoppingness.

* Many thanks to Kira for doing such bang-up job on all the Write-a-thon pages.
** Many thanks to Stephen B. for letting me have this joke.


First, because it has been sitting patiently in my e-mail queue like a not-quite-empty bottle of vodka just waiting to be finished off and busted across the middle so it can cut a guy —

The ambition of every young bottle of vodka: just ask those bitty ones on an airplane. They’re all about about growing up big and strong into 750 ml so they can mess up a guy and taste human blood. Go on, ask ’em. Bloody mary mix is just practice.

Cherrybombed, the internetty home of the one and only DJ Cherrybomb, for whom bloody mary mix is also just practice (miss you and the crazy Sea-Town kids, baby).

And here is Allumination, the new blog of the man responsible for me having the following conversation with a minicab driver at midnight on a Sunday:

MCD: Were you at the club that was on fire?
Me: It wasn’t on fire. They just cranked up a smoke machine at the end of the last set.
MCD: But there was so much smoke pouring out the door…
Me: You should have seen the inside.

Also there were chainsaws, making a Faust concert quite possibly the safest place in to be in the event of a zombie attack.