Thursday, November 16, 2006

SF Pulp Parody

"Animatronica," the third (and last, I SWEAR it!) of my science fiction comedies was released as an ebook via Fictionwise this past Monday. Naturally, I hope that it sells a bazillion copies. Recommend it to all of the engineering frat boys you can think of. Tell them that it goes really well with pizza and a cold brew. The new mystery, "Corpse With the Key," came out about two weeks prior to that, and made it to slot #5 on the ebook mystery best-seller list. Not that it stayed there very long, mind you, but it did GET there. Now I have to buckle down and finish a science fiction book I'm working on, before I can get back to another mystery. It's a full life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Venus Fix

Dear Editor,

It appears that this new-fangled Internet contraption isn't just for porn anymore: it's also a tool for book marketing. Being a hack, I'm too busy pounding out dross to do any online promotion of my own, but MJ Rose is apparently going about it cleverly.

If you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my fifty-city book tour, which my publisher is of course paying for in full, and whip the talented unknown writers my publisher has provided me with until they've finished my latest book. Because everyone knows that successful authors don't write their own stuff. JK Rowling and Stephen King are really the same committee of five anonymous writers.

--Ima Bestselling Author

Friday, July 07, 2006

Everybody's Doin' the Meme-bo

Laura Lippman, over at her blog The Memory Project.

has posted anther on of those meme thingies, which basically consists of asking a lot of nosy questions and challenging people to answer. Originally, I think. you were supposed to demand answers form three specific people, but I'm glad to see people have quit doing that.

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?

No. Been stopped and questioned a few times. One time I gave the officer a lecture on civil liberties while using the hood of a friend's car as a dais. This is why I don't drink Tequila anymore.

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?


3. When’s the last time you’ve been sledding?

2002. Last snowfall we had here.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?

Is this an offer?

5. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, no? And what is life but a form of energy?

6. Do you consider yourself creative?

Most of the time.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?

Yes. As Billy Crystal put it, "You got blood in your car?"

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?

Angelina Jolie. The kind you don't take home to mutha.

9. Do you stay friends with your ex’s?


10. Do you know how to play poker?

Is this an offer?

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?


12. What’s your favorite commercial?

Currently. "Stunt City"

13. What are you allergic to?


14. If you’re driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?

I'll roll them, but not outright run them.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?


16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?

Sox, baby.

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?

Yes. It didn't go well.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?

I remember them in the morning but they fade by the end of the day unless I write them down.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

Watching Raising Arizona for the first time, so whenever that came out.

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?


21. What’s the one thing on your mind now?

Sex. Duh.

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass Barbie is?

No but I can figure it out.

23. Do you always wear your seat belt?

Yes, otherwise the car won't stop dinging.

24. What cell service do you use?

I refuse to answer.

25. Do you like Sushi?


26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?


27. What do you wear to bed?

Fake antlers.

28. Been caught stealing?

Not yet.

29. What shoe size do you have?

13. wide.

30. Do you truly hate anyone?


31. Classic Rock or Rap?

Classic Rock althought there is some rap I like.

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?

See question 8.

33. Favorite Song?

Won't Get Fooled Again.

34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?


35. What food do you find disgusting?

Sea Urchin.

36. Do you sing in the shower ?

Yes, but only Gregorian Chants.

37. Did you ever play, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”?

Is this an offer?

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?

Oh, my friends and I rip on other friends who aren't there all the time, but we share it with them when they show up. It's a guy thing.

39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?

It's what I do for a living.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?

Is this an offer?


Hello, phellow pharts!

I just finished the first draft of my latest novel.

I am Very Excited about this.

I'm going to go celebrate with a fun-tastic game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Suggestions needed

Dear Editor:

Thank you so very much for the kind invite. When I received my certificate, I tearfully rushed to my family, showing them the honor that had been bestowed upon me. They acted underwhelmed, however, I'm sure that deep down they were pleased tht I didn't rush over to the neighbors and brandish the same yellowed document in their faces.

Especially since our beloved pooch had just done his business in their yard, and said neighbors would have surely pummeled me and beat upon the head and spine.

In any event, having been accepted into this sacred sanctum of hackdom, I have a query for my new brethren. Does there exist an apt metaphor that might replace "white-knuckled?"

Your servant,


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Your Outrageous Review of The Hack Writers Guide to Young Adult Fiction by Bruce Anders

Dear Ed (you don't mind if I call you Ed, do you?),

I have just read the squirrelous review you wrote about Hans Christian Anderson's new book by "Bruce Anders" in Phartissimo and I am uphauled. I'll have you know that without Hans Christian Anderson's writings about Young Adults we would not have movies like "Ice Princess" that featured a Vampire Slayer's little sister skating in a rink and winning prizes, a lot like "Rocky" and "The Karate Kid" now that I think about it, except without any of the fighting with her fists, which is what her sister did, and which was deliteful fambly entertainment.

I haven't read the book yet, but you are wrong to say that it's abcessed with sex. Hans Christian Anderson never rote about getting laid (or is it lied? I can never remember), although that Sarah Michelle Geller was pretty hot, and she--well, never mind, but your wrong.

An Incense Reader

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Romancing the Troglodytes

Dear Editor,

I'm confused. That fact has nothing to do with this letter, other than as a possible excuse for my rambling.

For years now, I was under the impression that people loved a happy ending. Our murder mysteries, our fantasy and sci-fi, our dramas, our sit-coms...they all have happy endings. Even our soap operas, if they had endings, would end happily (if to very bad music.)

We like the good guy to win, the bad guy, at the very least, to get his head shaved with a cheesegrater, and any love interests to end satisfactorily with boy getting girl.

Lest anyone be tempted to board a vertically enhanced equine, I'll agree that, understandably, the HEA is not a requisite for literary fiction or for Movies for Guys Who Like To Be Depressed. I read to be depressed and impressed once in a while myself. But by and large, even horror films try to end with the monster blown to chunky bits with irregular edges to make fitting them back together take long enough to film a sequel.

I said I was confused. Oh all right. To the point.

What is it about romance that makes people who don't read it feel so damned superior? Try for one second to ignore the clinch covers and the purple back-cover copy. Why are people so threatened by romance? I have been fortunate so far in that my only encounters with this attitude have been brief, light-hearted, and easily deflected.

But as I was shopping the other day, a man walked by a box of series romances and said to his fellow shopper, "Ya know, when I retire, I'm gonna write those." I asked him if he had any writing talent. He said "Who needs it?" Then I asked him what was his favorite prime-time sit-com. He said "Family Guy."

Forgive me for tempting you with the urge to agree with this literary giant (who will soon, if my curse works, develop a scabby rash in places he can't reach) but I wanted the opinion of an expert. Barring an available expert, I'm asking you.

What should have been my response to this man?

A proud Charter Pharter
and purveyor of smut with happy endings.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Dear Editor,

I've been trying to make my way through this quagmire of digital fog known as "The Internet", but I find myself distracted by a most distracting phenomenon: that of repetition.

The same words are used, over and over and over again.

Words like: quagmire, digital, phenomenon, hack, characters, plot, murder, example, pwned, the, and, and.

My only recourse in this situation is obvious. I must find an alternative to this Internet. Something with a smidgeon less net, perhaps.

Can anyone possibly help an old lady?

Yours in exasperated exasperation,
Myrtle Grugenstein