Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Still Do

Dear Spouse,

I know I joke about trading you in, about still taking you for a test drive, about hanging on to you until something better comes along.

The funny thing about that joke? It's on me. There is nothing better. I know that, and I knew that way back then. You are the better. The one that makes me better. Try harder. Makes me want to be what you think I can be. When that bar is sometimes seems too high for me to even think about reaching is when you put me on your shoulders, making me twenty feet tall, ready to steal the world if it won't come quietly.

So, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in good times and bad, I still do.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hafta! Gotta. Wanna?

  • fic•tion [fik-shuhn] is any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s). (from wikipedia)

This may piss some of my peers off. I'm okay with that. Ready for my next brilliant revelation?

You did not have to write that novel.

You wanted to write that novel. You may have felt compelled to write it. But, at the end of the day, you did not have to write it.

Believe me, I understand how characters can get into your head and scream to be let out. Heck, I have a whole barracks of characters, and they all take turns running up to the glass and bang on it to have their stories told. But, as much as they egg me on, it's still a want, not a need. 

When you have to write something, you are doing it for a purpose. You are trying to sell someone something–whether it's selling the boss on approving your budget, selling your constituents on keeping you in office, or recruiting more bigots for your hateful diatribes. The most important piece of your writing is THE MESSAGE, whatever your message is. Buy this. Validate me.

When you want to write something, you are doing it to tell a story. To answer  'I wonder what would happen if....'  The most important piece of your writing is sharing your creations. You're giving the world a piece of you, honing it, and putting a piece of yourself out there. Here I am. Enjoy me. 

That's not to say you can't pass something meaningful into your fiction. You can present an idea, or blend a movement into your stories. You're basing your work on humans, after all, for the most part. People have thoughts, and ideals, and beliefs. That's part of being human. Your fiction shouldn't ignore these things, and done as a part of the story, can be very effective and move people to tears, or to action. That's part of what all writing is. Manipulation. Pure and simple.

When your primary goal in your fic•tion is THE MESSAGE, you will fail, only grabbing the most loyal to your cause. Your fictional novel goes from being entertainment, with a side of activism, to an all-out manifesto. Bludgeoning your readers repeatedly with your MESSAGE will turn readers off. Your message will get lost, and the backlash will be astounding.

We've all read examples where the have to write has contaminated the want to write. Believe me–it shows. 

You owe it to your characters to showcase them, you owe to your readers to respect their ability to understand and interpret things for themselves, and you owe it to yourself to enjoy the fucking ride, without cursing the journey.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Tell me a story,"

Thorny asked us one day. He was very curious to know the background of this photo.  

"Fairy Jail" Featuring Cole Mohr by Armin Morbach 

"Who is he? What in the world is he wearing? How did he end up in jail? Is he alone? Are the cops amused or pissed?" Thorny wondered. My writer friend L.C. Chase and I wondered about it too, Thorny. 

We put our heads together and came up with Jailhouse Rock -- a short story about two best friends, a rave, glitter, an arrest, questionable negotiations for a 'get out of jail free' card, and an officer our hero has an overwhelming urge to throw down and eat for dinner.

Jailhouse Rock is a free read you can download from either of our websites (L.C. Chase or Xara X. Xanakas)  or direct from

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. (And check out the amazing cover L.C. did for it!)

For you, Thorny. You are my Superman. 


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Good luck with that

Maybe they should hand some of this out. It may help their problem.


Saturday, May 7, 2011


Well, someone's Saturday night is ruined now...


Sunday, May 1, 2011