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

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

By the way...

What is everyone doing? (Or is that an embarrassing question?) I'm working on the
third -- and LAST, I absolutely swear it! -- volume of my science fiction pastiche trilogy.
The characters are based on the pulps Futuremen, the plot is as dumb as I can make it, and
the idea is to cram in as many references to other writers' characters as I can possibly
remember. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the publisher to release "Corpse With the Key,"
the fifth in my Detective Mark Stoddard series. When I get done with the pastiche, I'm
going to write a sequel to "Murder at the Worldcon." Just an eBook slut, that's me.

What the world needs more of

Dear Editor,

I think it is a travesty that so few writers blog, and that many of those who do blog only infrequently. This world needs far more whiny, self-indulgent entries simpering that "I just can't focus!" or bragging that "I've been so very productive, I wrote XXXX number of words today." Because every single Net user wants to know just how many words you write every single day, writers.

There are a few beacons of light. Take this guy, for example. Just about every day, he told his rabid readers all about his almost unbearably fascinating writing life. Take this entry, for example:

"I've been trying to transfer over to the other laptop for hours, and there are still problems. I'm going to have to get my dad to install iTunes, OpenOffice, and my printer as those require admin privileges, and this house feels like a furnace. I tried using AbiWord, but it screwed up my OpenOffice files even after I installed a special plugin.

Extremely irritating."

Truyly, truly captivating. How could you not care all about his computer woes? The dullness is simply delicious: why stop at experiencing agonizingly tedious computer errors of your own when you can read all about those of others?

So take heed, writers: get gritty! Tell us all about life's minutiae and indulge your inner whine.

--Bo Dacious

Old-Fashioned Values

Dear Editor,

There was a time when Letters to the Editor began with "Dear Editor" and then said something about (a) how the newspaper got all the facts completely wrong, or (b) how the newspaper finally saw the light and endorsed the right candidate for County Sewer Maintenance Supervisor.

We didn't have any of this touchy-feely poetic crap back in the good old days. Another sign of the so-called objectivity of the Liberal Press, if you ask me.

Next you'll be writing letters to yourself disguised a disgruntled reader in the hopes of creating a controversy intended solely to increase circulation. Well, I, for one, have had enough. Cancel my subscription to Phartissimo forthwith.

--A Disgruntled Reader

Requisite Evil

Sinister snickers, clicks,
steel torture tools
gossip, conspiring behind me.

Sentinal glaring, daring,
cold cyclops eye
goosenecking down
with a blinding grin.

White-knuckled nerveless, numb.
The vinyl altar offers me, awake
to the Maxillofacial Medicine Man.
The rite begins.

Translation: I'd rather have a root canal
than start another blog,
but here I go.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yea, and we have gathered together among the..... I forget the rest of it. Anyhoo-it's so nice to have this wonderful black magic thing called blogosphere to finally gather round our Imperial Leader. He IS here, is he not? Aha-he lurks again...but verily do I hear his footsteps.

Anyone here going to TFest?

Veni, vidi, vici

I have given the secret password, and have reached the inner sanctum.

-- Marcia

O Febreeze!

As I stare at the spray bottle
The nozzle catches my eye
And though I try, and try,
I cannot adjust it

Too much scent is ruinous, alas
But too little would leave the room smelling like sweaty blue jeans, so crass
What, oh what, is the solution to my dilemma?
There is but one: to hurl myself from the window-a

Yeah, Baby......

Howdy y'all...

This was too darn easy to get here..... Hey, where is our phart-ful leader?

Who said it was easy???

First it didn't like my name, and then it didn't like my password.
I should have signed up as someone like Helga Heingenstratler.
(Oh, excuse me HelgaHeingenstratler -- it doesn't like spaces.)