Sunday, March 13, 2011

A new novel that is a ghost story

A ghost story at a carnival

This is how my latest novel, By The Light Of The Carnival, opens:

Ken, a bald beefy carnie, took the old woman’s flabby arm to help her down off the last metal step. “Watch it.”

She landed on the flattened crabgrass while hundreds of light bulbs flashed behind her. “What a sight!”

He chomped down on his toothpick and said, “The ground is a little bumpy here.”

“Whoopsie daisy.” She let him hold her up as she looked down.

Ken pointed at her shoes. “Right here. It wasn’t like that earlier today. The ground has wrinkled up a bit. It’s sinking or something.” He laughed nervously.

She didn’t catch all that, having bad ears. “What a glass house!”

He nodded. “It’s a bit famous.”

The old woman finally let go of him. “I couldn’t believe it. That was really something. Just when I think I’m going to get ripped off at the carnival, I see something swell. That was worth every penny. Who was that ghost in the glass, or mirror, or what was that? What a sight! She was a doozy! The Bride of Dracula, I bet. What a sight! How’d you do that? It looked so real, so artistic!” The old woman laughed and patted the side of her neck as if she should check for fang marks.

“Did that scare you, lady?” Ken couldn’t understand her very well, her dentures seemed to be in the way of her tongue, but he assumed she was talking about the ghost. At this hour, many people saw something odd in there and commented about it. Some came out screaming to bring attention to it enough to sell more tickets.

The old woman smiled big. “That was a neat trick. The ghost lady looked like she’d seen something horrible, herself. The ghost has seen a ghost! That horrible sad face! Those eyes! Just full of terror. So real! But it seemed like World War II. That war was, what, how many years ago? It is today. Right?” She started to count on her fingers. “That was a while ago. Where did that time go? I felt like I was in the ’40s again as if it was just yesterday.”

“What’d ya say?”

“It’s like the ’40s in there! The ’40s! The ’40s! No disco!”

Ken thought she was saying orgies orgies oh disco. “Pretty sexy, huh, to see something like that. It’s old. Old as the hills. Must be the wood floor. It’s all old. Weighs a ton. Nothing sexier than a good old hard wood floor.”

The old woman looked up into the glass and tried to remember what she’d just seen. The memory was now oddly faded, like a dream. “Seems silly now. It’s only a maze. And I didn’t even find my way out the other side. Is there one? Or is this whole thing just a trick? I don’t think there’s a way out. I don’t think it’s big enough to have both ends. What a tiny thing. Shame on you.”

The power cut out of The Emperor’s Glass House and all its frantic lights went black. The bumper car marquee across the way brightly reflected off the front of the dark maze. Ken left her before she could cling to him again. He hurried off to reset the circuit breaker and grumbled, “Yeah, a neat trick.”

The old woman saw the ghostly figure again. The image was of a nervous looking woman in a 1940s gray wool dress, in the very back wall of the attraction; she was leaping from mirror to mirror as if terrified. However, the old woman couldn't be sure she actually saw anything like that at all. The fractured reflections from the rest of the carnival’s lights were so bright. She noticed backwards words flashing in the front glass. She wondered if it was a secret evil curse just for her.

She shuddered, turned, and saw that it was just the reflection of the bottom row of letters of the bumper car sign. She laughed at herself and put her hand over her heart. The power came back on and again the inside of The Emperor’s Glass House looked bright and empty. The old woman took out her pocket-watch and frowned. The glass face had cracked in half and the hands were stuck on midnight. She touched her nose and remembered that she’d smelled candle smoke, saddle soap, kerosene, and all kinds of other smells that had no business inside a glass maze. Now she smelled cotton candy in the air.

A stern bearded lady came by and plopped a big thick mat down at the bottom of the steps, as she asked the old woman, “Is this where the ground is sinking? They say it got uneven overnight. Crap.” The old woman stared at the other’s beard. The bearded lady angrily kicked at the mat to straighten it. “You okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“My watch! My watch!”

The bearded lady continued, “Some people don’t know what to say about that glass house. It’s a haunted place, many say. They’re so touched that they bring the feeling home with them. Some people love it, but others just stay spooked for a while. I bet you’ll tell all your friends and then they’ll come and buy tickets. It’s a shame we can’t fit wheelchairs up in there. No, you have to be able to climb some stairs. Tell your grandkids.”

“My watch.”

“Your what? What’s a what?”

“Watch!” The old woman showed the bearded lady the broken watch.

“Oh. Watch. It’s broke. Crap.” The bearded lady pointed down the midway. “You can win a new watch if you blow out all the red star. Do you shoot a rifle?”

“What?” The old woman pointed at her ear.

The bearded lady shouted, “Do you shoot a rifle?”

The old woman looked at the glass house, remembering soldiers in long coats. She felt sick and looked at the bearded lady in irritation. “Shoot guns?”

The bearded lady was looking at the ground. “Did we have an earthquake?”

Look at it at Amazon!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Sit Up Theory (from Punk Minneapolis)

an excerpt from my published novel

(This excerpt from my published novel is censored for the internet)

(The scene takes place at a pizza parlor where Raven and Becky are working)

“No way. Everybody thinks yuppies are so smart so they can’t get away with anything. They think punkers are stupid so it’s easy for us to just stand there and void out the register even with the manager right there. In fact, once Big Foot actually did laugh at me like I was stupid.” Becky chortled.

“Anybody can follow the principles of the sit-up theory if they want to.”

“What’s that?” Becky asked.

“Weren’t you ever in gym class?”

“Of course,” Becky lied. “Only the retards and cripples got out of gym class. Do you think I was ever a retard or a cripple? F### you. What’s the sit-up theory?”

“Have you ever done a sit-up?”

“Of course,” she lied some more.

Raven explained, “Well, the sit-up theory is that at the beginning of the year when they count how many sit-ups you can do, you pretend to barely be able to do only one. Then at the end of the year when they retest you and you can do two, they give you a good score because they think you’ve really made progress. It fools them every time. But, you were able to do two from the get-go!”

“Oh yeah, I did that. I’m cool. I bet you looked really stupid in gym shorts.”

“We all did.”

Becky lied, “I wore black fishnets with bits of cool things hanging off here and there.”

“The Uptown Socialist People’s Union will not be crushed!”

“Oh shut the f### up. Punks are for Anarchy anyway, space ships and Atlantis, and safety pins. Not Unions.”

“Our union is about revenge. An organized revenge, and to have a lot of fun at it.”

She smiled. “Oh yeah, party party!”

The blond guy brought back his application. Raven and Becky both ogled it, as she read, “Oh, hi Brett Smith. You’re twenty-three. That’s getting pretty up there. I see you’ve kept your tummy trim for being a guy that’s getting older. How many push-ups can you do? It’s not written down here. How can you not be dead? Middle class culture is so awful I don’t know why everybody in it just doesn’t die on the spot. You just rot away. I barely got out in time, but you don’t look like you’re even trying to free yourself.”

“You’re free until you go to prison.”

“And, indeed, you graduated. Wooh. But we wonder… did you go to school on the long bus or on the short bus?”

“Stop that,” Brett ordered. “Just give it to the manager.” They did. He left.

“What a dweeb,” Becky said. “I know there was an Izod somewhere on him. Maybe it crawled up his nose and ate his brain AAA-AA-AAH and that’s why we just couldn’t see it.”

LOOK at the blurb and reviews at Amazon!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bunny Umber the Punk Rocker

(this is a little excerpt from my published novel PUNK MINNEAPOLIS)

Bunny Umber, a totally decked out punker with four colors of dreaded hair tied up high in a crowning variety of knots and loops, lollygagged across the covered pedestrian bridge that spanned the Mississippi, linking the west bank of the University to downtown Minneapolis. Reading the graffiti along the way, she wished for something more clever than an A in a circle. Then she saw Jesus Will Save You.

In a flash she was reminded of a time when she was a little girl and had wandered off into the sanctuary of the Catholic Church and the statue of Christ floated down off the wall and pinned her to the floor. Though it had to be a crazy kid’s dream, certainly brought about by something like an unsafe artificial food color, it still seemed too real for her to forget. Her wild decade of punk parties and punk flings and punk drunks never took away the feeling that it had just happened recently. If she didn’t always pound herself over the head with being punk, she’d forget where she was, and once again feel so miserably tiny… so well spoken… so mommy’s good little Bunny honey.

“Love your hair!” a girl said to her, also taking in the sight of thousands of safety pins in rows down her ripped up fishnet tights.

Bunny Umber smiled and nodded knowingly. She loved to be looked at by all the poor drab college dopes who were struggling to be soulless cogs in the corrupt corporate slave wheel. Maybe seeing her grand punk countenance would inspire them to hope for true liberation. It was a hope of hers. Then for some reason, out of the blue, she thought about an Ouija board spelling out the simple little word N-U-N.

“Odd. I don’t own an Ouija board.”

Two male students looked at her in alarm. She decided they needed to be humiliated and bellowed at them, “The Goddess watches thee!”

One veered left and the other right. They tripped over each other, and then tried to catch each other. Bunny Umber smiled, satisfied. “I have power! I was visited by the powers of the spirit Anger and will lead the righteous into the new era of punk liberation!”

The young men ran off.

The back cover blurb:

At a pizza place in uptown Minneapolis, scenesters and a psychic try very hard to find the next cool party and a pure state of punk living in the summating year of 1989. Their overripe imaginations (and beer) bring out bizarre fatal accidents, memories of once being devil possessed, and a vengeful ghost of a hippie who had overdosed.

Go look at the reviews at Amazon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

I once hung out with Prince's girlfriend

You've gotta see this - I'm so cool (Well, I can name drop, anyway, like nobody's business!!!)


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

My book is reviewed in a movie magazine !!! Here's the online version of Impact Movie Magazine (it's there too). Click on the "reviews" button once you're there, and look for Merlin's Charge.