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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Blog's Final Farewell

As much as I hate to say it, I failed as a blogger. But there is a silver lining. Okay fine, it's chrome-plated nickel, but who has money for silver these days? The good news is that I have finally caught up to the rest of the world and I'm on both Facebook and Twitter so if anyone is interested...

http://www.facebook.com/mcmullenwrites

and

https://twitter.com/mcmullenwrites

It does help that I can post from my phone for both of these, seeing as the only thing I'm using the computer for these days is to write. But hey, I'm writing! And publishing! Perhaps one day I'll even make money doing it ;)

Monday, October 8, 2012

No One Is Going to Read This

But just in case anyone is reading...

I fell off the blogging bandwagon almost two years ago and a lot has happened in the time. My husband hit the big 4-oh. My sister got married. My parents lost their house to a flood and are now settling into new house in a higher elevation. My weight has remained steady, but keeping it there is more work that I'd like it to be.

AND...

I finished my book. The one I was bitching about for years. It is done and in the next week it will be available through Kindle for the grand sum of $.99, but I also plan to do the free promotion.

The hard part now is going to be figuring out how to promote it. I may start a book blog, I may make a Facebook page, I will NOT tweet because I still can't get the hang of that nonsense.

Hell, I can barely figure out the new Blogger format.

But whatever I do decide, I'll post something here. In the event the universe is watching.

-The ghost of ambition past


Monday, January 10, 2011

I Invented A Flying Car

Not really, but I could have. If I was alive 100 years ago.

I've shirked my internet responsibilities in favor of my favorite pre-internet past time, reading. I spent the last week on H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a number of short story anthologies of the science fiction variety. Since I'm currently financially restricted to the free offerings of Project Gutenberg, I'm getting to see the present, recent past and near future through the eyes 100 years old or more. Thus, I am inclined to write words such as "thus" and equally inclined to dwell once again on my quasi-obsession of the failed future.
This lead me to the realization that I've actually done quite the opposite. In 2004, while writing my doomed-to-never-see-the-light-of-day novel, I predicted personal GPS devices, netbooks and the advancement of smart phones into what we know them to be today. In all fairness, all of these concepts were likely in the works when I fancied that I invented them, but still, I think I deserved the right to do a little w00t dance in my mind.
There was but one piece of fictional technology that I conceived that has not yet seen the light of day. For all I know, someone is working on it and it too may be available for mass use in years to come. I hope for the sake of anyone who goes to the cinema that my humble concept does not go the way of the flying car.
I envisioned technology by which one would be able to see an unlit computer or phone display in complete darkness. My invention began with night vision contact lenses that allowed the wearer to see as perfectly at night as in daylight. From there I expanded my fake technology to work with hand held computers that would appear blank to anyone other than the wearer of the specific lenses that were coded to the light frequency of the specific device.
Think about it. How cool would it be to go see a movie and not spend half of it blinded by the person two aisles below who thinks "no texting" is a suggestion rather than a rule?
Now if only there was a way to convince the guys that walk around playing music out their phone's speakers that the headphones they paid $50 were likely made to enhance the pleasurable aspects of listening to music whereas the phone's tin can speaker is an insult to the artist they clearly revere enough to tell the whole world that they listen to.
I may never drive a flying car, but in the event that my concept above never comes to fruition, don't think I won't have one of my robot minions give the theater texter a few etiquette lessons of the laser beam variety. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

If You Aren't Already Inclined To Think Us Odd...

...This is what I gave Jason for Christmas this year:


Yes, that is a drawing of our dog, Luke, attacking a zombie priest. I had an incredibly talented artist draw this for me. Her name is Silva Noir, and she is also the artist responsible for the sweet, sweet not.a.lion t-shirts for sale over on You Suck At Craigslist
If you find yourself in need of amazing art at a very reasonable price, here's her website.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It Was A Dark and Stormy Christmas

If you are unfamiliar with the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, click that link and become familiar with the awesomeness that is bad writing.
As I may have mentioned a few hundred times before, I used to fancy myself a decent writer, but I've spent a fair number of years not writing much of anything so I am surely rusty at the least. I also used to have an insatiable appetite for books. No really, dip them in an egg wash, coat with breadcrumbs and deep fry them, I guarantee they are as tasty as anything you might find at the state fair. But I also enjoyed reading them, yet this too was something that I had gotten out of the habit of doing. So a few weeks ago I downloaded the Kindle app for my phone and, being the cheapskate that I am, I've been plowing through the hundreds of classics that I downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
As I had hoped, reading has sparked my interest in writing once again, but I'm taking baby steps. I plan to submit a few deliciously bad entries to Bulwer-Lytton, then graduate to slightly less bad creative endeavors here. From there I may try my hand at a short story, or perhaps a novella. If I persist through to a full fledged novel I will have surpassed my own expectations several fold, for I thoroughly expect to crash and burn on stage one.
Writing takes practice, and surprisingly, bad writing takes far more practice. So consider this my first exercise. I've concluded, through no actual study, scientific or otherwise, that the detective fiction genre holds the record for having the worst opening sentences of all fiction. Really though, with detective fiction it isn't just the opening lines. There is a reason this stuff is parodied.
Paired with the fact that I did indeed promise holiday themed blogs, I now present:

Dead Reindeer Pull No Sleighs

Rudolph took a long drag off his fourth cigarette since entering his office less than ten minutes before. The Chesterfield was stale, as stale as a Christmas cookie in February, perhaps more so now that hydrogenated oils kept baked goods fresh longer than any comestible had the right to exist. He picked up the manila envelope that had been slid under his door at some point during the night and dumped the contents onto his desk. Surely the chief knew about this by now and would be calling him for a lead. This case hit close to home.
Dancer was dead.
Rudolph knew she had hit hard times since the layoff, and he was well aware that dancing wasn't the only thing she was doing down at The Jolly Pole, but the girl had a head on her shoulders and had always kept her nose clean. Sure, no one bought that line that she was only doing it to pay her way through med school, but The Jolly Pole was a class establishment, at least as much as an establishment that served watered down drinks to lonely businessmen looking to fuel their lonely motel night fantasies could be. But murder wasn't on the menu.
Rudolph cursed the day that Santa called them into the office only to inform them that they were being replaced by Sony's new old stock of Aibos and cheap pixie dust from China. If he hadn't lucked out and ran into the chief back in his beat cop days, and offered to sit atop his patrol car and blink his nose in place of the broken emergency light, Rudolph could have ended up in a worse situation. He thought about poor Cupid. Despite the foppish name, no one really had any use for a Valentine's day reindeer.
The door handle clicked and Rudolph looked up, expecting the chief to walk through with some lame line about cheap booze and red noses, like he had every day for the last 2 years. But the voluptuous silhouette that he spied through the frosted glass was not the chief, not unless the chief had hastily acted upon some hitherto unknown secret desire. With a deft motion, Rudolph swept the envelope and its sordid contents into the top drawer and crushed the Chesterfield into the overflowing ashtray.
Vixen.

She cast a sultry glance around the shabby office, barely concealing her distaste for shabbiness, before settling Rudolph with a smoldering look that would have made Texas barbecue out of any other reindeer. But he wasn't any other reindeer. He had a red nose and a memory like a bear trap, and he still didn't trust this dame.
"Rudolph, it's been too long." She flounced across the threadbare carpet and draped herself into the faded upholstered chair across from him. "You used to tell me that you couldn't bear to be away from me for hours, yet it's been years."
"Save it sister," he puffed through a freshly lit stale Chesterfield, "You're trouble and you know it and Dasher happens to be a good friend of mine. I can't say I didn't warn him, but he's a grown man who stands on his own four feet so if he gets hit in the tenders he has only himself to blame."
Vixen frowned. "Dasher, there's nothing tender about him anymore. All he cares about is that stupid business of his and talk of IPOs, ROIs and a bunch of other silly letters that I simply haven't the head for. Oh don't think bad of me! I'm as gentle as a lamb with him, I just wish he'd pay more attention. Sure he buys me nice dresses, but does he compliment me when I wear them? I should dress myself in stock quotes if I want him to pay attention."
"I'm sure you didn't come all the way down to skid row for a shoulder to cry on and those letters on the door say 'Detective Rudolph, Private Investigator' not 'Dr. Rudolph, Head Shrinker to the Rich.' So spill it."
"It's about Dancer."
Rudolph's blood ran colder than Santa's black, capitalistic heart. There was no way Vixen,wife of the most successful of all of them who ran with the A-list and had permanent reservations at the most exclusive restaurants in town, could have known about a murder that had only happened a few hours before. But it was no secret that there was no love lost between these two broads. Their cat fights back at North Pole were legendary.
"What about Dancer?" Rudolph's poker face would have made both Kenny Rogers and Lady Gaga proud.
"Don't play dumb with me. Who do you think slipped those pictures under your door?"
Rudolph raised one eyebrow and took a deep drag off his fifteenth cigarette. This case was getting more interesting by the minute, and he hadn't even had his first whiskey laced coffee of the day.

And there you have it, the beginning of some seriously bad Christmas pulp. Who dunnit? What did they do? Where the hell is this story going? Don't ask me, I didn't even think up this much plot when I started out. Feel free to imagine the rest, or not.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Raised By Tigers

Check it out, and I'm not just saying that because my husband is in the band and made the video, it's actually pretty bad ass. And none of this is computer generated:
**Edit: Fixed the broken link. Switch the resolution to 720HD before watching. It looks a lot better that way.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Something About Christmas

I promised some holiday-esque blogging, but I used up my best stories last year. This blog is making me a liar.
This is a odd year. Jason and I pooled our resources to create what we hope will be a fantastic gift for the folks we know, rather than work on a super secret gift for each other. Because of this, and because we finished almost a month ago, I've got leisure time that would normally be spent making mad dashes to the store on a daily basis. I wish I could say that this time is being put to good use, but in all honesty, I'm just sitting around reading stories on the internet and occasionally remembering to do dishes.
So until I can talk about the pretty spiffy gift, I'll just have to rack my brain for fun stories or post what ever weird observation I happen to make. That's how blogging goes, I guess.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Girly?

This is not about Christmas. In this entry I question what it means to be a girly girl. Above is a picture of the most common obsessions of the stereotypical girly girl. While I own a purse and shoes, I would not say that I am obsessed with them. In fact, I've been carrying the purse pictured above for a whole year without regard to season or current trend. I do own more than one pair of shoes, but the loafers pictured here probably get worn 80% of the time that I am required to be shod in something other than sneakers. I don't like shopping for shoes and I absolutely loathe shopping for purses. In fact, I pretty much hate shopping unless I'm at a specialty grocery store.
Yet, I'm totally a girly girl. I have a whole closet dedicated to hair and makeup products (admittedly, I barely ever wear makeup, but I have it if I need it). I get manicures and pedicures when ever I can afford them. Spa manicures and pedicures, none of this quick polish change crap for me, I'm girly. I named my car (Dodo, for she is part of a now extinct tribe). I speak to my dogs in cute voices. None of them are chihuahuas or teacup poodles, but girly girls can have mutts, right? I work in the beauty industry. That should totally seal the deal.
True story: At my last job, someone sent me an email that began, "Dear Mr. (my last name)." I thought it was funny, seeing as my first name is never shortened to Chris and I have what I believe to be a feminine voice (okay, it's a step higher than Bea Arthur's, but still....). So I jokingly told my coworkers that my gender was being challenged, to which one of my friends replied, "I'll send her an email back saying you have boobies." Another friend countered with, "And I'll tell her I've seen your shoe closet, she may be right."
So it all comes back to shoes.
Well, nonexistent readers, come back from the depths of the internet and weigh in. Can one truly be a girly girl with a mere 5 pairs of shoes?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Creepy: Why Is Yo' Mouth So Big?!?

I've developed a seasonal phobia. Blame it on the Burger King, or clowns, or the creepy painting in my doctor's office, or...well I don't know. But this guy does:
Yep, I'm scared of nutcrackers. Not all nutcrackers, I mean, those simple metal bars that one actually uses to crack open nuts are just fine. We even have  sturdier version that has a vice grip and handle for all the pecans we get every couple of years. But these creepy fellas that crop up mid-November and stare in that condescending, Snidley Whiplas mustachioed way freak me out. Like they're saying, "Go on, I dare you to actually stick a walnut in my mouth. You and I both know I'm just going to fall apart or launch a walnut across the room."
The worst part is that most of these Soldiers of Satan aren't even functioning nutcrackers. They come in all sizes from tiny ornaments to life sized blow up sentinels of electricity consumption.
Beyond the nutcracker, I haven't found much about Christmas that I don't like. I suppose the whole "War on Christmas" thing annoys me. Personally, I don't care if a store emblazons their windows with "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Happy Hanukkah", "Happy Kwanza", or even "It's December, Buy Stuff!" (though that would be awesome and if I ever own a store that's what I'm doing). The point to me isn't the name, it's the happy and merry part. I mean, come on, it's December, and in the northern hemisphere that means it's cold. People get crabby when they're cold so we need more happy and merry. And if blinking lights, mechanized snowmen and reindeer, pine trees, and electric bills that require a federal bailout make you happy, then I say awesome! Just pass on the nutcracker, okay?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh Tinker Tree, Oh Tinker Tree!

How flimsy are thy branches!

Seeing as I had neither the time nor space to embark on my insane project of making a tree out of hangers tape and green lights, we put up the tinker tree again this year. We tried to add lights, but the end result was as disastrous as you would imagine. This thing doesn't stand up very well when it's bare. We did add some new decorations this year:
We had to represent Hanukkah, though I admit to having no real clue as to how one plays with a dreidel so I made up my own rules. Every time I spun and it stayed on the table I won. This is a very hard game to play. 
I made this snowflake cookie star wood and glitter thing in 1978, which incidentally, is the year my crafting skills peaked. Notice how there's a drum in that picture, and the one above? Look at this next picture:
Look! Another drum! Obviously, I bought the drums because my husband is a drummer who now also makes drums, but seeing as there are so many on the tree, it has become a fair representation of our home (oops, I think I just heard Jason putting coal in my stocking). The airplane was added because it's about the same size as the plane I flew last year. Crowding the plane is an ornament I made last year. I told you my skills peaked 32 years ago.

Our local grocery store is now advertising that they have the freshest trees in town. Either I've been missing out on the culinary delights of Scotch pine souffle, or  that's a thinly veiled advertisement for drugs. Given the grocery store in question, I'm going with the latter.
Someday I'd like to have a real tree, but I don't like the idea of cutting down a tree for the sake of one month of decoration, and I don't like the idea of a fire hazard/dog disaster in my living room. So one day, when we are rich, I will have a large house with an atrium, where I will grow a magnificent pine tree that I will decorate every year. Granted, this doesn't solve the dog disaster issue.