Friday, December 28, 2012

My Plumber Ran Over Bigfoot!

Everything's connected. In a strange way, every detail, every little thing that happens to people is connected in a weird sorta' fashion. The circle of life, the odd connectivity that unites us all in a "what the hell's up with that" sorta' sensation.

My wife dropped a makeup brush into the sink. She, being much more handy than I am, took the trap out, yet the brush traveled further along its journey. To oblivion, I guess, to join the world where missing socks go. No matter.

Time to call in the plumber.

He showed up, chattier than Cathy. Friendly to the point where you wondered if you should start a neighborhood watch, he carried on, postponing his next appointment. He talked up my wife about the comfortability of humidity in the house. Being more social than I, she put up with it and nodded and "ahhed" accordingly. I--like all writers--eavesdropped from a safe distance, zoning out , but when he brought up "Bigfoot," he had me.

Last year, the plumber went to a baseball game with his wife and ran over Bigfoot. Something huge, hairy, scary, raced out in front of his truck and he ran it down. Hopping out, he found no trace of anything, other than a messed up front end of his vehicle. But he knew it was the big fella'. In return, the plumber gave Bigfoot a few back problems, I'm sure.

Now, I don't know how tightly wrapped plumbers are. They make more money than I do, but that ain't saying anything. But I believe him. The universe is a funky dancer, gyrating wildly while the mind remains a wallflower. I find it odd that I've always hankered to write a Bigfoot novel and actually, I dunno, try to make it readable. I know, right? Goofy. But, I've thrown down my own personal challenge. And for this particular plumber to come into our house--having killed Bigfoot with his four wheel truck of death--well...the fates are telling me Bigfoot's time has come.

I guess I'm saying, listen to your plumbers. They see things. They know things. He's reading my palm next week (and fixing the seal on the upstairs toilet).

Monday, December 17, 2012

These Mayans Have Gone & Ruined My Day

Well, crap, the end of the world is just days away and I haven't finished my Christmas shopping. I mean, why bother? If we're all dead, fruitcakes won't matter. Since the Mayans have been kind enough to give us some advance notice about the end of days, I've been thinking.

How does one prepare for the end of the world? I suppose I should start making amends. I need to look up little Markie Meyers and tell him I'm sorry I stole a comic book from him in the third grade. I could holler at the neighbor across the street, "hey, maybe you're not such a heinous bitch after all!" Nah. Scratch that. Seems to me I should top her list.

My daughter's somewhat of a calendar expert. She works at a calendar and games kiosk at the local mall. I asked her if she had any Mayan calendars. I wanted to see if they just disregard December 22nd through the 31st. Her response? "Whatever, Dad." (By the way, the two biggest selling calendars at my daughter's workplace? One Direction and Justin Bieber. Talk about portents of the end of the world!).

"Whatever." It's this cavalier attitude about the impending destruction of the world that's got me up in arms. I think we should all live the day like it's our last. I've been squeezing out so many extra "love yous" to my wife, daughter and mother, they think I'm a living Hallmark card.

And maybe I'm just procrastinating and don't want to finish Christmas shopping.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Doctor Is In!

I'm asking fellow writers to help me out here.

My wife teaches pharmacy at a local university. She's also an avid reader. Nothing sets her off more then when she reads a book and the author misuses pharmaceuticals. Sets her ranting and pacing the bedroom, bellowing to the ceiling about the unjust world where writers don't use drugs correctly in their tales.

Who pays for these literary crimes against nature? I do. I put in my dutiful husbandly dilligence, nod knowingly, mutter inconsequential calming words. Usually to no effect. I'm the recipient of her hellish fallout. I'm paying for your sins. It must stop.

Recently, I was lucky I used animal tranquilizers correctly in a book I wrote about dueling serial killers. Reseached it, apparently hit it right (so, FBI, if you're wondering why I researched such things, there you go. You can take me off your "list" now). Gold star for me. But beware you other writers.

So, here's the deal. And it's actually her idea. The good doctor told me to pass on to my brethren writers she's putting herself out there. She wants a world where writing and pharmacy can peacefully coexist.

We're serious here. If you have any questions regarding the usage of pharmaceutical drugs in writing, contact me, I'll pass the question on, and get back to you. I'd like nothing better because it means I'll quit being the pharmaceutical fall-out guy.

Caveat time: Gotta know you're a writer and cybernetically know you. Don't wanna' be giving out info into the wrong hands. (End of disclaimer).

(And don't feel shy to donate cash to the "Give Stuart West Peace Of Mind" fund. It's a good cause. Between us, we'll make the world a better place. Okay, this part was all my doing. Just don't tell my wife.).

Monday, December 3, 2012


Let's chat about flashbacks. Not the kind you get from past drug use (not that I'd know about that from my high school days. Ahem.), but writing flashbacks. I've spent enough time talking about eating ladybugs, I thought I might chime in with a, you know, bonafide post about writing (by the way, for those interested, the ladybug I put into my mouth actually survived my oral ordeal. Hollywood's interested in that story. Nicholas Cage wants in. He's proposed the title "Ladybug: Eat Hard." But that's neither here nor there).

I've heard from both sides. One writer told me flashbacks are a sign of weak writing. I disagree with him, but I know they can be over-used. I'm still new to writing and learning how to do it. Think I'll always be learning. But, to me, I can't write without flashbacks. The past informs the present/future. They're echoes like ripples from a pebble tossed into a lake. Everything's connected and begins in the past.

Now, do flashbacks stop the the current flow in a tale? Yeah, maybe. But I think they add resonance. I'm currently working on an adult thriller that's practically half flashbacks. Too much? I don't know. But the tale wouldn't have the heft without them. I'd love to hear from other writers on the topic. And readers, too.