Showing posts with label Writing 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing 2014. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year and Mind the Social Media

A Happy New Year to all as I spend it safely indoors, counting on others to usher in 2015 with style, panache, and drunk fail videos for some 2015 You Tube compilation.

Writing continues at a frantic pace for a joint eBook-softcover release probably around the first week of February. If you're a resolution maker, here's one from a famous guy from back in the day.

h/t: Johnny Carson

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Last Second eBook Shopping

Christmas Eve and all is hopefully well. But if you still haven't hung your electronic stockings by the chimney with care then here are a few eBook options that'll brighten the faces of all ages and tastes. Good authors—I know them, including me—good writing and a few bargains mixed in make these works worth the click. Scroll on and, I say, Merry Christmas!

For whom the bell trolls!

Undrastormur: A Viking Tale of Troublesome 

How do you cope when trolls show up at your village with an appetite? In this short fantasy by TV animation writing ace Roger Eschbacher learn what young Erik must do to save his people. Suitable for young and old alike. Under a dollar. (That's .99 in Kindle-speak.)

Justice and fun in one rea

Jury Doody

Yes, this is by me and details my adventure on jury duty trying to tease out the truth in a bizarre case of spousal assault. Here is the real LA Law in a quick amusing read suitable for teens and up and available for under a dollar. Also available on Smashwords.

Offensive tales that attack.

Appalling Yarns

Unnoted recluse and veteran TV cameraman Dutch Heckman has assembled a collection of offbeat tales so dark they illuminate Black Holes. Read why Oscar is a likable ogre, and marvel at what happens to Risky Ventures when his luck runs out. Something to offend everyone. Adults only. $2.99.

Do you really want to check your cell phone at dinner?

Aunti Jodi's Helpful Hints

In a changing world, Aunti Jodi guides you through life's thickets with wit, humor, advice, and a glass of champagne—for her, that is. Jodie Adler's light-hearted look at mores and manners is the perfect gift for that special someone who really needs a hint. Suitable for teens and up. $4.99.

There's no place like om for the holidays.

  The Little Book of Big Enlightenment

Enjoy the fun as a guru and a marketing hack trade snark and barbs in the pages of the latest pop spirituality text detailing a path to instant  enlightenment. Who is Big Spirit? How do they benefit from stopping your rapid climb to the top of Mount Serenity? Once again, this one's mine and suitable for teens and up. $1.99. Also available at Smashwords.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Five-Page Power Writing Tip

Image: Better Movement

New writing strategy as I press forward with 50 Shades of Zane Grey. I've broken my chapters up into threes and write in bursts of five pages. Not every chapter comes out to fifteen pages, but close enough. I find that five pages in a separate document limits my bad habit of drifting back to "fix" yesterday's stuff instead of pressing on. When I falter, it's only five pages.

Another plus is I can build mini-arcs into each five page packet, giving me tiny-cliffhangers within each chapter. Five is a very manageable number and I'm not frozen by the thought of how much further I have to go.

There's all kinds of ways of doing things and right now this is mine. I'm encouraged by how fast and how much I'm getting done. So far it beats word count as a daily metric.

Here is your Old West Word of the Day: GAY CAT—I know—defined as one who cases banks and towns for future jobs. (I'm sensing criminal activity here.) How language does change.

Friday, November 28, 2014

50 Shades as Read by Ellen

h/t: The Ellen Show

In the same spirit, 50 Shades of Zane Grey combines the steamy world of exotic sex with the Old West in a blend of leather, whips, and lariats, but all used differently in a satirical send-up of the best-selling trilogy.

Read Part I, II, III, and IV of 'Zane Grey' here on Write Enough! And look for the complete eBook and softcover versions on Amazon in February, right in time for the '50 Shades' film premiere.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

50ZG Part III

(After her reporter friend is wounded covering a saloon shooting, bumbling innocent Anna Ironhead agrees to interview mysterious railroad tycoon Lash Grey. In the company of a laconic, heavily armed frontiersman, Anna sets out on a dangerous journey across the Wyoming Territory, dogged by a number of squabbling entities living in her head. Suddenly Anna and the frontiersman find themselves confronted by a notorious bandit.)

Image: Wickipedia

“A most good day and I must rob you,” he says to Butte. “Ah, but who is this delightful young lady? Surely not your wife.”

A wife? How could anyone think of me as a ‘wife?’ Nevertheless, I feel a feminine thrill course through my clumsy body.

“Not married,” says Butte and spits. “But she’s with me.”

The thief holds me in his brown-eyed gaze, a smile upon his lips. “May I have your name, most beautiful sparrow? In return, I will not rob you so much.”

“Anna Ironhead,” I murmur.

Leaning forward in his saddle, he replies, “Only a little bit could I hear.”

“She’s a murmuring woman,” says Butte. “You’d better come closer if you want to hear right.”

“You tell me her name.”

“Don’t reckon I will.”

“Even though I could shoot you today and you would remain shot?”

Butte spits out another stream. “If you’re Romegas, and I reckon you are, you won’t shoot me.”

Despite his low moral character, I find the bandit’s smile enchanting.

“Ha, yes, you know of me. Oscar Romegas kills no man lightly because then I cannot rob him again.”

My Inner Spinster returns with syrup dripping from her chin. She stomps her foot in fright. I whisper to the bandit, “Should you steal from us, Lash Grey will, no doubt, be personally insulted and send detectives to haul you before justice.”

Amused, Romegas rides closer, “You are like a little bird singing in a derecho.”

Butte calls out, “She said Lash Grey will sic the Pinkertons on you if you don’t clear the road.”

Nodding as if weighing this new intelligence, the bandit urges his horse nearer to the wagon. “Such a mighty friend to have. They say he is a Dandy Man of the first rank. But why would a great man like Lash Grey visit with poor people? I assume no. So you must have money. I assume yes. Give it to me now.”

“I suppose we’d better hand over what we have,” says Butte. He reaches for his hat while addressing Romegas, “Keep my poke up here.”

“Not for long.”

In a swift move, Butte removes his hat and grabs a pistol, a four-barreled pepperbox—secured to his thick brown hair by means unknown—and fires. He wounds Romegas’ horse. I am almost deaf from the report going off so close to my ears. Simultaneously, Romagas fires both pistols. His twin .36 caliber rounds splinter the wagon box and shoot off the handle of Butte’s boot knife.

Terrified, my Inner Spinster and Inner Bawdy Woman run for cover. They crouch behind a ropy portion of my brain. I prepare to faint, but a nagging thought holds me in the conscious world: these men are terrible shots. At point-blank range, they have damaged a wagon, wounded a horse and missed one another despite clear intent to do otherwise. They would not last an hour in R.I. Perryman’s.

Weaving like a sapling in a cyclone, I prepare to resume my faint when over Butte’s shoulder, I catch sight of a large dust cloud. From the west, the cloud moves rapidly in our direction, parting briefly to reveal war ponies. Holy triple cow pie. My loudest murmur fails me. I can only point, making noises like someone who has swallowed a shawl.

Art: Rhyodon Shishido

Weapons leveled, Butte and Romegas see nothing but each another.

“Blasted pepper-box. Always shoots low.”

“Were I not out of practice from not shooting so many people, you would stand at the Gates of Heaven, explaining your foolishness in testing Romegas.”

“I’m game for another go. Let me draw my Smith.”

“You will draw nothing but your last breath.”

“Indians,” I murmur at last.

“Anna, hold on. I gotta ventilate this bandito.”

“‘Anna.’ I will whisper your name tonight in my sleep, after I drop this teamster with the impressive moustaches.”

“Coming fast,” I whisper. “Right for us.”

“What is she saying?” asks Romegas.

“Something ‘fast’ and ‘fuss.’ Can’t put a hand to it.”

A round cracks overhead with a sound like a bee. Butte and Romegas turn, as the Indians gallop faster, firing from distance.

 “Damn it all—pardon me, Anna. Arapaho, I reckon.”

Romegas shakes his head and sneers. “You have the eyes of a salted ham. They are Nez Perce.”

Butte munches on a corner of his moustache. “We can finish this now, Romegas, and the Indians will hang the winner, head down, over a slow fire. Or we can run like hell and complete our business later.”

“No one wounds Romegas’s horse,” snarls the bandit. “You will live until we meet again.” He favors me with his brilliant teeth. “And you, my confection, have the most wonderful big eyes. You could hunt mice at night without hindrance.”

Panic and fright give way as I blush and loudly murmur, “Is that a compliment?”

“More gracious wording awaits you another time.” Romegas wheels his tan mount and gallops quickly to the east.

Butte drops his pepper-box, and snaps the reins. Our wagon lurches across the rolling terrain as the team flies forward. I bounce and sway, fearful at the possibility of being captured, despoiled and tortured to death, all in one day. It seems like a lot.

And yet, I bask in the compliments of Romegas. He liked my eyes. He really liked my eyes. But then my Inner Spinster calls out from hiding, reminding me that Romegas is a bandit. He would have swiped my hand bag. This extinguishes the glow of his recent compliments.

“Grab your bonnet,” yells Butte as we descend into a rocky wash.

I almost topple from my seat as we rattle and careen down the trail, along the bottom, and up the other side. More shots. Whock as a bullet passes through the wagon. I think of the dynamite cases and pale.

I see the Indians clearly now: lean, coppery feathered men with carbines, bows and arrows, and skull-splitting hatchets. They race ahead, yelling and laughing, to cut off our escape. To the north, beyond our straining horses, I spot another dust cloud.

“Might be a second war party,” says Butte. He sounds anxious. His eyes dart about as if seeking another path, some exit from the ground itself. “If so, our elk is most truly skinned. But don’t fear, Anna, I’ll put a bullet through your head.”

My Inner Bawdy Woman croons sarcastically that Butte’s offer is a sign of true love West of the Mississippi. Then she lifts her skirts and sprints for my left ear, seeking escape from my head. Interesting. Where would she go? However, my Inner Spinster also flees the same way. They collide, tussle, pull hair, curse, and scratch. My left ear loses all sound-gathering ability. An arrow strikes the wagon near my feet. Butte glances at its markings and nods in satisfaction.

“Knew they was Arapaho.”

Image: legacypitchengine

Part I, Part II, Part IV

(Part Four will go live on Wed. Nov. 26)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

50ZG Part II

Image: Long Range Hunting
Hooves clop, harnesses jingle as the wagon moves at a leisurely pace, rocking gently over a dirt road. To the west rise the Bighorn Mountains, shorn of snow in the late summer. For some time now, the driver and I have ridden in silence. My Inner Spinster despises this hazardous trip. She wants to return to Wolf Tongue at once. When I disobey her wishes, she punishes me by kicking my mandibular muscles. This causes my jaw to open and close. My teeth clack together. I sound like a marionette.

“Hungry?” asks the driver. “I got hardtack wrapped in coyote lung.”

 “No,” I whisper, then lie, “I have a jaw affliction.”

Perhaps ten years my senior, the driver has long brown moustaches, a battered hat and hands rough and calloused, eyes blue and forthright. He smells of tobacco, stale beer, cordite, coffee, and a body unfamiliar with soap and water for at least a fortnight. Hence, he smells like an average man in the Wyoming territory. Except for Harney. Harney bathed every eight or nine days. He once told me this in strictest confidence, fearful other men might overhear and mark him a dude. Quasi-cleanliness was Harney’s most bearable trait.

Still frustrated, my Inner Spinster urges me to note the sheer amount of weaponry available to my driver. In addition to a holstered cavalry pistol, he carries a Smith and Wesson .44 stuck in his wide leather belt. A hunting knife handle protrudes from the man’s scuffed boot. In the wagon bed, within easy reach, are a Henry repeating rifle and a shotgun. Double cow pies with mustard: he is loaded for panther.

I refuse to allow weapons to weaken my resolve, and my Inner Spinster storms off to make flapjacks. Where in my head, I wonder, are the stove and ingredients?

Aside from the long arms, the wagon bed holds a number of heavy crates. I turn to the driver and whisper, “Such interesting cartage.”

“Dynamite, mostly. Railroad’s planning on running a line from Switchback Junction to Wolf Tongue. Least that’s what they say.”

I blush and bite my lip and murmur oddly.

“One more time?” My blush deepens and I murmur again.

“You’re something of a murmuring woman, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” I whisper. “And there are times when, quite unconsciously, I make a sound like a Canadian goose.”

“Whatever noise you favor, sing out loud and proper if you spot anything wearing feathers that ain’t a bird.”

“I will,” I murmur.

“Ya gotta bark louder than that. Mind if I chew?”

Art: Rhoydon Shishido
Shaking my head ‘no,’ I decline his offer of a plug. The driver takes a bite of tobacco and works it around his mouth. Soon he locates a comfortable spot in the side of his cheek for the chew to homestead. Except for periodic spitting and the rattle of the wagon, we ride in silence. In the distance, I see a neat, gray farmhouse with cows munching grass near a well. I think of my family far away. I recall my father’s most recent letter. I have memorized every word.

‘Dearest Daughter, Chopped down a spruce last week. Some of it hit a fella named Amos Carterette. He’s different now. Your mother still lives in the root cellar and has come to favor it over the rest of the house and barn. She collects mole hides, believing them to be of cash value. I buy some as it pleases her to beat the band. She sends her love and says you should follow your heart. Scandal has died down and you could come home now, I expect. Hope you are well and not killed by smallpox.

A father’s love to you, Your Father, Danelaw Ironhead'

Home. I could return once more to Lakestump, Minnesota. To the bogs and the mosquitos and winters so cold the fish froze solid in the lakes and were sold in ice bricks. I think of the plain town folk who have a tendency to marry close to hand, as it were. At least in Lakestump my father, and, possibly, my mother would love me—if she could be torn away from mole stalking.

“You ever meet this Mr. Lash Grey?”

Startled, I blush and bite my lip. “No. I’m interrogating him as a favor for Miss Harrison of the Wolf Tongue Gazette.“

“Grey’s a powerful sort and plenty ambitious. Grey and Grey Railroad might even buy up Union Pacific. Or so they say.”

Worried about myself and my thoughts and all the people who live in my head, I realize I know little about the man I am to question. “What else have you heard, Mr. Parker?”

He smiles and I see that his teeth prefer solitude. “Titus Claudius Parker, at the quick and ready. But most around here just call me, ‘Butte.’"

“Very well, Butte. I am Miss Anna Ironhead. ‘Anna’ to you.”

I grow dizzy at my forwardness. What has gotten into me? Were it not for my astounding plainness, Butte would, no doubt, mark me as a camp woman.

Butte ejects tobacco juice between the horses, making a wet splatting sound. “Anyway, they say this fella Grey is a Dandy Man with a hankering for peculiar delights, if you cut my sign.”

“Oh that surely couldn’t be true.”

“Never been seen outside in God’s good air with a woman. That’s what they say. What’s more, they say he’s got a brace of real long ring fingers, often considered the brand of a Dandy Man.”

 “I’m sure I don’t understand.”

“Reckon you’ll figure it out in your own time.”

Higher rises the sun and I open my parasol, disturbed by Butte’s queer talk. What does he suspect about Lash Grey? And does Butte Parker truly think me capable of comprehension and understanding? Or is he being polite, the way one compliments the hairstyle of a woman with facial burns?

We pass a small ranch with horses penned up, watching us with long silly faces. I would love to ride a horse, but fear my toad-like appearance would cause the animal to bolt, fall, break a limb, and require prompt dispatch.

Image: Legends of America
My nose wrinkles at the scent of discount perfume, of a type often purchased by the quart from San Francisco. Sure enough, the smell foreshadows the arrival of my Inner Bawdy Woman. She leers and slaps her fleshy flanks and calls out, in a voice made hoarse by tobacco and strong drink, that I should throw myself at Butte Parker. A toothless frontiersman is the best I can ever hope for. Before I can feel mortified, she performs a lewd act with a portion of my motor cortex. This causes my arms to flap like vulture wings.

Butte casts me a sideways look. I burn crimson with humiliation and shame, unable to stop flapping for close to a minute. Spitting, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth, touching his tongue to the top of his lip, Butte waits for my arms to stop, then says, “That business there, flapping; that a regular, everyday occurrence?”

Before I can bite my lip and whisper another excuse, there is rapid clatter of hooves, a blur of movement. I have no idea where the rider comes from, but even Butte is surprised as he tugs back on the reins, stopping the wagon.

Before us on the trail, a lean man on a tan quarter horse blocks our passage. Upon his head sits a pearl gray bowler. In his hands are a brace of Colt Navy revolvers pointed at Butte. Perhaps a little older than I, the rider sports dark good looks and a mouth filled with gleaming teeth. His own healthy teeth—I can scarcely imagine—would make this rider a royal catch for any woman in the territory.

Part I, Part III, Part IV

(Part Three will go live on Sat. Nov. 22)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Enjoy '50 Shades' Satire

(Half the first chapter of Fifty Shades of Zane Grey. If so disposed, please leave a comment.)


 In my awkward ungainly way, I run toward the saloon. I imagine the very worst: Eileen without an eye. Eileen’s brains leaking out like giblets from a cracked gravy boat. Eileen wounded DOWN THERE. I only know that my dearest best friend was shot and has called for me. My Inner Spinster wags a finger and warns of serious trouble. Then she kicks a portion of my optic nerve, causing my right eye to flicker. I have trouble focusing and tumble over a horse trough. Brushing myself off, I run along a dusty street to the scene of the gunplay.

A crowd mills around the entrance of R.I. Perryman’s Sporting Palace. Half the Wolf Tongue men seem to be present. They talk and spit tobacco, occasionally striking the ground. Only grudgingly do they allow an ugly clown woman such as myself to pass through their ranks. On the rough wooden planks near the batwing doors, I see a blood-soaked Eileen. She sits up against the wall; her robin’s egg dress is splattered a ghastly red. My heart leaps into my throat and stays there, beating against my tongue and causing my teeth to vibrate.

“Took your time,” Eileen tells me. I blush and look down as she scribbles furiously on a notepad. Tearing off a sheet of paper, she hands it to a young boy. “Run this over to the Gazette. Tell the editor it’s the shooting at Perryman’s Faro table.” As the boy scampers off, I marvel at Eileen’s sand. She is adventurous, and attractive. I am a lowly dishwasher, awkward as a three-legged sheep.

In Perryman’s huge, bullet-holed window, I take stock of my overlarge hazel eyes and unruly dark hair that seems determined to vex me at every turn. I roll my big eyes, exasperated by my own plainness. I bite my lip. I murmur inane things of no weight. I make a soft honking noise like a Canadian goose.

“Stop honking this instant,” says Eileen.

“Jeez, sorry,” I whisper.

A .45 round has creased Eileen’s forehead, leaving a streak of blood like the war paint of a Cheyenne Dog Soldier. More seriously, she has been shot clean through the right breast. But far from simpering in pain, as I would have done, Eileen is angry and frustrated.

“Anna, you must conduct my interview tomorrow.”

“But I know nothing of the newspaper game.”

“Physically, I am a shambles, not fit to interview a peddler, let alone a railroad titan. All my questions are written down. You have only to ask them. With your wholesome beauty and charm, you will shine like the seat of a tramp’s slacks.”

 My beauty? But I was ugly as sin in an outhouse.

“Please,” says Eileen. “Do not deny me. This interview was difficult to obtain. Why a secretive railroad baron should respond to my request while denying others is, perhaps, a mystery you will solve tomorrow.”

Heavy breathing on my neck causes me to blush. I know who hovers behind me. Fresh-faced, ambitious, Harney Calhoun is a few years younger then I. His feigned attentions to me are both disturbing and annoying in that order.

“Hey, Anna. Hot night in town. Oh, and the stage out of Millipede got held up. Just came over the wire. Wanna go for ice cream?”

Eileen looks up sharply at Harney, “Tell me of this new mayhem.” 

On the porch beyond Eileen, one-armed Doc Monker steps over several corpses and kneels besides a wounded cowboy. Using modern Civil War medical techniques, he employs an iron probe to dig out a bullet from the man’s intestines. The cowboy’s screams, plus the promiscuous amount of blood, effectively quell my appetite for sweets.

“You know, Harney,” I murmur, “there are injured people requiring attention.”

Harney looks irritated. He is tall with an Adam’s apple so pronounced it appears to be a young head living in his throat. “I’m not saying we’d have to eat here. We could sit inside the shop.”

I roll my eyes. Eileen rolls her eyes. Even the gut-shot cowboy rolls his eyes.

Harney peers down at Eileen as if suddenly aware of her state.

“Hey, Eileen, you’re bosom-shot, or am I off the mark?”

“You’re like a prairie hawk, Harney. You miss nothing. How many robbers?” She holds her pencil poised over the blood-dotted notebook.

I break in quickly, “Please, Eileen. I’m not a reporter with your nerve and skill. I wash dishes at the boarding house. My hands are thick with pork chop grease.”

“You will clean them by tomorrow, I presume?” says Eileen, face fixed on Harney. “What property was taken?”

Doc Monker, the gut-shot cowboy and several onlookers glance toward Harney, who beams at being the center of attention. “I was done keying a message to Blind Man Falls when it came over the wire from Millipede. The Marshal there said Romegas held up the stage, sure as jack beans. Romegas stole thirty-four dollars in silver and a fella’s new pearl gray bowler hat. He left behind his old hat. I guess it was used up some.”

There is so much going on. My inner spinster presses her hands over her ears and says, ‘Aye yi yi yi yiiiii.’

Art: Rhoydon Shishido

“Took a man’s hat. That ain’t right,” moans the drover.

Someone in the crowd says, “That Mexican’s a mean bastard if you cross him.”

“Clever in his way,” says Doc Monker, cleaning his probe by wiping it on his dusty slacks. “For financial reasons, he hates killing anyone in a robbery. Then he can’t rob them again at a later time.”

My heart remains in my mouth, making it difficult to speak. I bite my lip. “Eileen, I can’t do your interview. Please don’t insist.”

“Anna, you must go and I will not accept ‘no.’ Do you realize this interview could establish me as a reporter of the first water? Why, it might even propel me all the way to Hay City and an editorial position on the Intelligencer.”

“Hay City, huh?” says Harney, as if asked his opinion. “Aiming mighty high, aren’t we? I’ll be there some day myself. This telegraphing game is only temporary. I’ve a hankering to go into the photographic impression trade. I got an old camera to practice with. ’Course, once I’m established, I’ll be looking for a wife.”

Harney glances longingly in my direction. I know he cannot mean me. I am 21 and unplucked due to my blunt, almost beast-like features. This must be mockery of some low sort. He continues, “We could have ice cream tomorrow. What do you say, Anna?”

To Eileen I blurt, “Where is the interview?”

“Switchback Junction.”

My Inner Spinster shrieks and runs around in terror. It makes concentration very difficult.

Turning to Harney, I say, “On the ’morrow, I’m doing newspaper work for Eileen. In addition, I may be having a womanly disorder. Modesty prevents me from saying more.”

“I guess that’s private woman stuff. But I’m holding a marker on that ice cream.”

I blush and smile weakly. Harney departs for the Gazette with Eileen’s notes on the stage robbery. Alone now, except for the gut-shot drover, Doc Monker, and a crowd of onlookers, I face Eileen and whisper, “Switchback Junction? Why not the Gates of Hades? The weekly stage has already left and the way is perilous with road agents and hostile Indians.”

A drop of blood rolls down Eileen’s nose. Her eyes cross, following its descent. “I’ve rented a wagon and secured the services of a driver. As you approach Switchback Junction, heavily armed men employed by the railroad will ride out to escort you safely to the interview.”

“Mighty chancy,” says the gut-shot drover. “Indians catch ya, you’ll take a week dying.”

“Mind your own affairs, cow poke,” snaps Eileen.

“Laundry ain’t a secret if you hang it outside.”

“Man has a point,” says Doc Monker, kneeling over Eileen. “Here, Miss Harrison. Bite this block of oak.”

 Eileen locks eyes with me. “Be in front of the boarding house at seven o’clock in the morning. Wear a good dress, a sturdy bonnet and a duster. Anna, this is so wonderful of you. You’ll do splendidly.”

I murmur in panic, but Eileen no longer listens. As Doc Monker spits on his probe for luck, Eileen bites into the wood block as if it were a moist cake. Soon her heels drum a merry tattoo against the planks.

Double cow pies.

And that is how I come to interview Lash Grey.

Part II, Part III, Part IV

New 50 Shades Satire

Art: Rhoydon Shishido

A portion of Chapter One appears tomorrow on this very blog. Set in the brawling sprawling Old West, 50 Shades of Zane Grey tells the tale of an innocent young woman with more people roaming inside her head than you'd find at a schizophrenic rave.

She falls for a railroad tycoon with sexual appetites one might call strange, even by the standards of contemporary Los Angeles.

Will our young heroine be corrupted or will she tame her feisty tycoon? Or will she be swept away by the charm of a dashing bandit, or give herself to a steadfast, heavily-armed scout with more guns than teeth?

50 Shades of Zane Grey starts tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 14 on Write Enough!

This story does not judge. If you like to be tied up, whipped, or have raisin bran stuffed up your fanny that's none of my business.

My task is to provide you with a laugh-packed, satirical romantic adventure.

Stop by tomorrow. The segment won't be long otherwise you'll click off to some geek comic book site or Russian co-eds. Who knows?

Read the first installment of 50 Shades of Zane Grey and do leave a comment. Let me know your thoughts on a story that dares to combine bondage and bronco busting.

Check out 50 Shades of Zane Grey tomorrow here on Write Enough! And never rope anything without professional guidance.


Saturday, November 08, 2014

50 Shades Satire Soon

It was a time in the Old West when cows ran free and women were hogtied.

Meet Anna Ironhead: clumsy, innocent, her head filled with imaginary people.

Meet Lash Grey: handsome, wealthy, with more sexual quirks than a Bangkok brothel.

Together they discover a love hotter than a burning wagon.

 . . . a passion deeper than a Cheyenne arrow wound.

 . . . a lust more primitive than basic western hygiene.

 The world around you will vanish as you plunge headlong into a torrid, page-turning realm of buried desires and telegraph sex.

Go where ropin’, ridin’ and romance meet on a regular basis. 

Coming November 14 to this blog.

The first installment of: 50 SHADES OF ZANE GREY.

Experience 50 times the eroticism.

. . . 50 times the gunplay.

. . . 50 times the annoying murmuring.


Chapter One premiers on this blog in six days. 


A story so steamy you'll lose weight.


Say it softly and it sounds like the ringing of a chuck wagon triangle.


Chapter One appears Friday, November 14 exclusively on Write Enough!

Art: Rhoydon Shishido

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rugg Wrestles Dalai Lama

He could have sat on the sidelines, but no, my friends. Paul Rugg has hurled himself into the whirlwind, joining myself and others in again beseeching His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to review The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. Rugg wished "Mr. Lama" to know:

Nihil Obstat

"JP Mac's The Little Book Big Enlightenment will change your it has mine. I'll give you an example: this morning when I woke up I didn't cry uncontrollably at the thought of facing another day. Instead I turned to page 32 of The Little Book Of Big Enlightenment and used one of its many helpful tips to find inner peace. Then I had coffee. Then I wrote a poem. Then I paid some delinquent bills."

And there's more over at Froynlaven

In the news, the Dalai Lama has just called for an inter-faith conference in India. How long do you think that took? A minute, maybe. ('Why don't we have an inter-faith conference right here in the sub continent? Okay? Make it so.') While waiting for inter-faiths to gather, His Holiness could be reading The Little Book of Big Enlightenment, because it is a very fast read. His wisdom will make a wise, but short, book even wiser. (But no shorter.)

Contact the 14th DL at:


Website Feedback:

Ask him nicely if he'll please review The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. Oh, and His Holiness has a spokesman named Galek Namgyal. That's probably who you'll end up talking to . . .  Galek the Gatekeeper. 

Don't be rude. Don't giggle at his name. However insist that Galek earn his soup by passing on your review request to the DL.

I mindfully thank you. Enjoy some kale.


Website Feedback: - See more at:

Website Feedback: - See more at:

Website Feedback: - See more at:

Monday, September 08, 2014

Dalai Lama Ducking Review

Image: Healthy, Happy Green Blog
 His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, promoter of world harmony, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, all-around Buddhist stud, has been asked by me to provide his thoughts and comments on The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. The Dalai Lama's insights on a short work that could revolutionize the field of spirituality will be invaluable. Despite a busy schedule, I believe His Holiness will approve of the phenomena of "rapid enlightenment," a three-step system guaranteed to bring a high consciousness to the great mass of humanity. I'm not saying the Dalai Lama is ducking the review. This is a man who smiles with compassion at Chinese commie thugs. But he is very busy with initiations, teaching and empowerments and might need a little nudge.

Help me help the Dalai Lama add his two spiritual cents to a groundbreaking, consciousness raising eBook, The Little Book of Big Enlightenment.

Contact the 14th Dalai Lama at:


Website Feedback:

Ask him to please provide his mindful comments on The Little Book of Big Enlightenment

And while I have already sent him a free review copy, let his Holiness know that The Little Book of Big Enlightenment is available at the following venues:

1. Amazon

2. Smashwords

3. Barnes and Noble

4. Baker & Taylor Blio

5. Kobo

Please tell his Holiness that it's a short work and he should be able to zip through the eBook in no time, especially if he skips the "Acknowledgements."

Thank you so much. I will post updates on the progress of the 14th Dalai Lama in reviewing my book on rapid spiritual enlightenment. 

Namaste, man. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Varieties of Writer's Block

Knox Comedy Live
 All I need are a few ideas. Usually I'll check out what's on—Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Phineas and Ferb, The 7D—then think of what might compliment, or play against, such shows. So far I have doodled the names of my neighbors, a telephone number for a physical therapist, and the word 'oakum.' Experience tells me Disney will want more.

When the going gets tough, the tough web surf. And in doing so, I stumbled across this old i09 article that not only explores writer's block but breaks it down into categories. For instance:

 "People lump several different types of creative problems into one broad category. In fact, there's no such thing as "Writer's Block," and treating a broad range of creative slowdowns as a single ailment just creates something monolithic and huge. Each type of creative slowdown has a different cause — and thus, a different solution."

And then they tell you even more. Value added? I think so.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

John P. McCann Sizzle Page

'Twas suggested I post a few episodes of my work in a pleasant spot. I've chosen here. Sadly, not everything I've written has yet migrated to You Tube, but this is a fair sampling.

h/t: animall23

h/t: TheKingofBarbarian

h/t: Animaniac Clips 4 YOU

h/t: MYTV 

h/t: soupintern

h/t: alxnotorious

And for the literary minded, some micro fiction under a thousand words.

Fresh Ideas

Update: August 2, 2016, May 17, 2017, July 9, 2017, June 26, 2018

Also book trailers for my horror novel Hallow Mass plus my romance parody Fifty Shades of Zane Grey (both written as "JP Mac") and my non-fiction tale of prostate cancer, all fashioned with iMovie and free things from the Web.

Cornerstone Media

Cornerstone Media

Cornerstone Media

And there you have a small, but hopefully pleasing, portion of my work.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Medicine Mauls Writing

TV Trope
 Back in June I got a physical. Ever since, it's been procedure after procedure for a variety of bodily malfunctions from an MRI to physical therapy to a chiropractor to a colonoscopy to this new prostrate biopsy thing on Monday. No half measures for me.

Good progress on my H.P. Lovecraft homage, as well as the aforementioned Dark Urban Tales. But maintaining momentum is tough when you're stranded in a doctor's office. They're often run like Disneyland, where you're moved into a room, giving one the illusion of movement, but then abandoned there for long periods. Thank God for Kindle!

So far, none of the medical findings have been serious, just vexing and time consuming. Enough. Away. To the lumber yard! (Or the next draft.)

Monday, June 30, 2014

More on Dark Urban Tales

Image: taptoe
In between battling neighbors over noise issues and loading up my schedule with medical appointments, I managed to wedge in a little writing over the last few weeks. I am having a delightful time crafting new short stories for Dark Urban Tales.

Three previously published shorts will be included:

"Death Honk"
"Fresh Ideas"
"Bummed Out"

In addition, there will be narratives about:

The fate of a dietary zealot in a cineplex inhabited by strange,
junk-food loving creatures.

An actor pursuing romance as his play collapses around him.

The Office meets Locked Up: Raw in a company where the most
vital rules are not written in the corporate manual.

A job applicant at a daycare center must outwit amoral
children steeped in Machiavelli.

Young urban professionals discover you
can't militarize the police without a little collateral

As mentioned, this will be my first softcover book, in addition to eBook formats on Amazon and Smashwords. For all the labor, the excitement hasn't dimmed.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Dark Urban Anthology Coming Up Soon

Image: Free Wallpaper
 Maybe even next on the publishing calender. Last week was a grind, as I wrote out a second draft on a short story that billowed out to over 6,000 words. As of today there will be eight stories in the projected anthology, including three previously published and five original. The theme is dark urban fiction. Not horror, but psychologically disturbing—much like my neighbors and certain members of  state government.

My H.P. Lovecraft comedy-horror tale simmers now on draft six. I'm giving it another week, then I'll see if I'm motivated to continue. It will be a full-length book released in soft cover and eBook formats sometime later this year. And that's the state of that for now.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Smashwords Formatting, Free eBook Giveaway, and Book Reviews

Writing on all fronts languishes. In animation, new studio leadership and extensive paperwork respectively stall assignments. In eBook town, my Little Book of Big Enlightenment has improved with rewrites, but grown longer. Rebuilding it to conform to Smashwords is a drag. Minor tech-like things always compel me to Web surf. But I'll finish up this week.

Pleasantly surprised by the five-day Jury Doody giveaway. Three additional five-star reviews and a total of 1, 096 downloads. Since the promotion ended last Saturday, I've sold four more copies. These aren't astounding numbers by any stretch, but small pieces in a larger mosaic that takes form over time.

Book and Kindle reading has accelerated lately. Four new books in  horror,  sci-fi,  literature and history are read and crying out for review.

I'd rather be writing, but formatting and social promotion won't take care of themselves. I've tried. Give them space and they still won't conform. Such is the way of things. As Hyman Roth said, "This is the business we have chosen."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Always Writing: Websites all writers should be on!

Neil Ostroff's blog offers a cool list of FREE spots writers should consider joining. Having turned in my DreamWorks assignment this morning, I'm off to check them out.

Always Writing: Websites all writers should be on!: I’ve been doing a lot of marketing/promotion lately for my books and have come up with a “must-be-on” list for writers who want to pro...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

See Lousy Book Covers!

They aren't kidding. Ponder the importance of designer skills as Lousy Book Covers presents the best of the worst.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Social Media Swamps Writer

Lovely Pics
Often mentioned, never dealt with is my growing conflict between writing and social media. As an independent author, I need to establish my presence online. But I find the balance hard to maintain. I should be focusing on the final rewrites to my next eBook. (Now available for preview here and at Goodreads.) Instead, I've spent the past ninety minutes "liking" the Facebook and Amazon author pages of other writers, screwing around with Twitter and Goodreads and wondering when I'll get over to Google +. My online presence is not large but all the little likes and comments add up. A hundred small leaks will cause a boat to founder as surely as a great hole.

Do other writers set a fixed time for social media? I'm open to suggestions.