I am not the liquor!

Ok here’s the deal. I got massively fucked up tonight. At the moment i seem to have three WP accounts  and they all overlap. But I still wrote a little. Whats your excuse?


Small steps can end up racking up a lot of miles.

As you all may remember I talked about creating habits a few weeks back. As my output on this blog has shown, making the effort to turn a behavior into a habit can pay off if you stick with it. At the time I was trying to make posting to this blog a habit, and I have more or less succeeded.Yes I could still do better, I still forget to post on a weekend sometimes, or If I go out with my buddies on a Friday night, But overall I think I’ve been very successful at creating the habit of posting daily.

So now its time to build on that success. Up till now I’ve been making posting to this blog the very first thing I do after I get home from work. The problem is, by making posting to this blog a priority, I have been neglecting the entire reason I’m trying to build an audience. Which are of course the books I am writing. After my conversation with MishaBurnett yesterday, I realized I need to take the same discipline I’ve been applying towards posting on this blog, and apply it to finishing one of my WIP.

As a result, today I decided to evolve my habits to help me achieve both my goals. What this means in practice is that instead of coming home and posting on this blog first, I will now create the habit of working on my WIP first, and then posting to this blog. That’s why I am publishing this post a  a few hours later than I have been. Instead of sitting down and writing my blog first, I spent a couple hours writing. And I did well. Not only did I add 1500 words to a WIP I’ve been neglecting, in doing so I broke the 40k word mark, which is a first for me on any project. So expect my daily posts to come a little later in the evening from now on. Because my new habit is to write first, post second. If I weren’t a drunken idiot, I’d have known it should have been this way from the beginning. But I am, so I didn’t. Live, learn, and try to get a little bit better, every day.

Bonus Writing Sample – Hoodoo Man

Based on some advice I received from Misha Burnett, I am going to be going back to my earliest project “Brotherhood of the Iron” which some of you may have read samples of here and here. I am going to stick with this, which I am about 35,000 words into until I finish it. Because of this “Hoodoo Man” which a couple people seemed to like will be put on the back burner. But as a gift to those of you who liked and encouraged me to continue with “Hoodoo Man” (MishaBurnett and MobiusWolf I’m looking at you) here is the entirety of the story so far. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish “Brotherhood of the Iron” quickly and move on to the next project. Keep in mind its still not edited but I did at least run spellcheck because I can’t spell which I figure has not gone unnoticed. Y’all have probably read the first bit, but it goes on from there.

Hoodoo Man

Chapter 1 – Red tailed Hawks, and Red Rocks.

So there I was enjoying a beautiful Kentucky afternoon while renewing the widow Abner’s brownie wards when some damned fool in a city truck (and if you don’t know what a city truck is its one them fool jacked up trucks with a nice shiny paint job, too much chrome, and no gun rack in the back window) comes barreling down the road too damn fast, skidding out on the turn, crushing the woven beech wood, Hawthorne and silver bell knotwork I had been preparing to bury at the northeast corner of the widow’s property, scattering my candles hither and yon and damn near running me over in the process.

As I was deciding whether or not to throw a couple low grade curses his way and trying to decide which one to use (I was leaning toward making the dumb bastard a magnet for lice, only temporarily of course) I was interrupted in my cogitating by Deputy Dalton’s 97 ford bronco screaming down the same damn road. At least Jed knew how to drive on dirt and managed to stay on the road, and Sheriff Garrett who was riding shotgun did have the good manners to throw me an apologetic wave as I got yet another cloud of dust and gravel square in the face, but to say my day had ceased to be pleasant was an understatement.

Well there I was cursing under my breath about idiot city boys who come up into the mountains with bad intentions and the idiot cops what chase them when I got a twinge in my right earlobe that told me something bad was about to happen. AS if my day wasn’t bad enough now there was gonna be violence. Exasperated I looked up into the clear blue Kentucky sky to see if I might have an ally up there when I spotted Hank circling on the thermals looking for a meal. Hank’s a crotchety old red tail but he and I had history so I sent my sight up into the sky and made contact.

“Need Ride, Help” Hawks aint much for long winded conversations. Fancy-pants eloquence tends to piss them off.

“Rabbit?” See what I mean, no hemming and hawing, no unnecessary jawing, just straight to haggling.

“Mouse?” You gotta be tough with red-tails, you get a rep as a pushover and next thing you know they’ll be asking for a whole damn sheep, though what in the hell a red-tail would do with a sheep I have yet to figure out.

“Squirrel. No Squirrel, no Ride”

“Squirrel” I agreed and spit on the ground to seal the deal. Old hank came plummeting down in a predatory dive centered on my head, and if you aint ever had 2 and a half pounds of raptor homing in on your kisser you got no damn idea just how intimidating it can be. But I held my ground and looked him square in the eye and just before I got a face full of talons he flared out his wings and dropped to the ground on the other side of the gob of spit just as light as a butterfly landing on a rose. I sat down and focused my eyes on his, there was the familiar feeling of being on a merry go round moving way too fast and next thing I know I’m looking out of Hanks eyes as he flaps those big old wings and lifts of like the avian death machine he is.

I’ll tell you, if you’ve never seen through a Hawk’s eyes then you got no damned clue just how piss poor human sight is. Hell I was judged 20/20 back when I fought in the great war and my eyes hadn’t gotten any worse by the time I served in WW2, but Hank made me fell like I’d spent my life half blind in one eye with an eye patch over the other. He could see the ticks on a dog ass three miles away. Well he could have if he had had any interest in ticks, or dog’s asses.

As we circled up into the sky I pointed out the candy apple red truck that has just then taken yet another turn too fast, resulting in said truck being quickly and forcibly stopped by a red oak that was even older than I was. As I watched in horror through Hank’s superior avian vision I saw some damned fool dressed in too tight jeans, too shiny boots, and the reddest shirt I have ever seen in my life come out of the car with the biggest damn handgun It had ever been my misfortune to lay eyes upon.

“Is that damned fool trying to fire a deagle one handed?” I thought to myself?

Hank, being as privy to my thoughts as I was to his eye sight began to to look around in rage, utterly offended by the idea that an eagle might be trying to horn in on his territory.

“Where Eagle”

“Not eagle, deagle” I replied with a mental image of the ridiculous gun.

“Noise hand. Pah”I shit you not, he actually thought “Pah” I believe Hank may have spent more time around me than is healthy for any bird.

By this point the deputy’s bronco was skidding to a stop in front of the garish truck, but unfortunately for old Jed the cloud of dust and gravel he created in doing so obscured his view of the crazy fool with the oversize gun, and now I knew why I’d had my premonition. I could tell by the way Deputy Dalton and Sheriff Garrett were getting out of the car that they assumed the city feller was hurt and only I knew better. Damn it, this was gonna end up costing me a rabbit after all.

“Hank, Bad man. Bad noise hand. Hank hunt”

“Rabbit?” I hate it when I’m right sometimes.


Once we were agreed things happened pretty fast, Hank streaked down like a bullet, flaring his wings and extending his talons just as the crazy bastard with the idiot gun raised his hand to fire, only instead of the big bang he had been expected he heard himself scream as the pain of his wrist and forearm being shredded hit. For one crazy second he looked into Hanks eyes and I could see the madness within his. Hank and I both shuddered at that because there wasn’t nothing natural about that particular kind of crazy, and it had more than a touch of damnation to it.

Well old hank flapped his wings and got out of there likety-split, but by that time Deputy Dalton had seen the gun on the ground and the hawk flying away and while he looked confused as hell he’d been trained well. He had the city boy on his stomach in the dirt and his arms cuffed behind him before he asked any questions. The last thing I saw before Hank turned back to where I left my body was Sheriff Garrett tipping his hat to Hank and I while shushing the deputy. Les always had been a well mannered boy

As hank winged his way back to my body I looked down to see the widow Abner standing over my still form, pointing her finger at me and apparently doing some shouting. I had a feeling I’d have a sore noggin If I didn’t get down there quick like so I sent Hank a mental image of a rabbit on my porch at sundown, and he seemed just fine with that. Gathering up my sight I focused on the back of my own head (Looks like its about time to get back to the barber shop) and sent my self back to my own mortal clay.

Have I ever told you I hate being right so damned often. Well I do. No sooner am I back behind my own eyes when a gnarled old piece of ash thwacks me right on top of my skull. At the same time the not so dulcet tones of a eighty eighty year old woman in full schreechifying mode comes barreling into my eyes and I am confronted by the not so comforting sight of Widow Abner’s wrinkled digits pointed right between my eyes. From the ache in my crown she must have been talking for a good couple minutes and had decided to punctuate every sentence with a thump on the top of my pointy little head. Now like any self respecting man I don’t leave the house without a hat on but that old piece of cloth and felt didn’t offer much in the way of protection, even when it hadn’t already been abused by an old woman with more sand than sense. I still wasn’t quite up to actually deciphering what in the hell she was going on about but I saw her jab her finger at me and threw my hand up just in time to catch her walking stick in my right hand, and while it stung my palm something fierce may hands are well calloused, my scalp not so much.

“Now Damnit Lizzie, how many times have I told you that the kind of crap that was cute when you were a chubby legged toddler aint so cute when in your eighties and more gnarled that that old hunk of wood you call a cane?”

“Well he finally deigns to speak with me, lawd a mercy, aint I just so blessed. And here I thought the layabout I’d hired, and already fed lunch to I might add, was just taking advantage of my good and naive nature by taking a nap when he was supposed to be working!”

“Lizzie you know damn well I wasn’t sleeping, you’ve seen me hitch rides since you were knee high to a grasshopper”

“Well I didn’t hire you to go out hitchin now did I. No sir I did not, I hired you to make sure them damn milk stealing Irish monsters wouldn’t be curdling my cows cream so I did”

“For one thing, I was helping out Sheriff Garrett, for another I’m nearly done, and for a third if you don’t put that damn rod down I’m gonna put you over my knee and spank you worse than I did when I caught you trying to trying to steal a cheese wheel from the Buckner farm.” I punctuated that last statement with my hardest stare, the one that had convinced many a young man in the Somme that leaving the trench was far less scary than staying in it when I’d given an order to move. And the crazy old bat just laughed at me.

“I’m so sorry Unca Zeke, pwease don’t spank me, I’ll be a good girl” Now if you aint had an eighty eight year old woman try and hit you with the puppy dog eyes let me tell you, its a damned disturbing sight.

“Lizzie that shit stopped working on me when you was four, and you aint nearly so cute now as you were then” And Ill be damned if the old biddy didn’t cackle even louder. I swear there is something damnably odd swimming in my families gene pool.

Well right around this time I see Deputy Jed’s bronco pull up and Old Sheriff Garrett gets out the driver side door, and waves the deputy off, before taking off his hat and clearing his throat.

“What in the hell you want now Les? You already took this lazy excuse for a workingman off his job once today and you know damn well that ever since my dear earl made the mistake of trying to shoot one of them damned brownies they got a grudge against this poor old woman”

Now Les had always been what you call, easy going, so he just cracked a wry grin to that particular verbal assault.

“I just need to talk to uncle Zeke for a few minuted now mam, and besides the way I remember it was you who tried to shoot the brownie and poor earl was to scared to stop you”

“What an utter calumny! I will not stand here and be insulted on my own land. You better finish this job before sundown of we’ll see how well your hoodoo stands up to a couple barrels of double aught!”

And with that she turned on her heel as smartly as any Hun officer ever had, and marched off, stamping her cane into the ground with every step like she was calling cadence. Les and I waited till she had cleared the rise and was on the other side before we both fell about ourselves laughing for a good few minutes.

“Talk while I’m working Les” I said as I picked up some branches and began reweaving them into the knotwork I used to protect my crazy niece from the meanest damn hill fairies in at least 9 counties.

“Well its like this Zeke..” He paused, wiping the back of his hand against his forehead, pulling out his old handkerchief and mopping his brow. “I think we got a problem.”

Now I’d known Les since the day midwife walked out of his daddy cabin with him, and the only times I could recall him ever being this reticent was when he needed to ask me a favor. And while Les wasn’t no rootworker, he’d picked up a fair number of tricks in his thirty years as a sheriff. So if he thought he needed my help he probably did, and it was probably worse then he thought. Now of course I was gonna help, not only was he family but he also held the only political office I actually respected. Didn’t mean I was gonna make it easy for him though.

“We got lots of problems Les. Not only is there a by god literal New York Yankee in the white house, The Wildcats still aint made it to the series, and if’n I don’t get these wards done by sundown you’re gonna have to Arrest your cousin for killing your uncle”

Les got a decent chuckle out of that, but I could tell his heart wasn’t really in it. So he followed the advice I’d given back when he was still wearing short pants and kids wearing short pants was still a thing. He took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and dealt with it head on. I say a lot about my family, but one thing no one has ever sand is that we don’t got sand.

“Its you’re kind of problem Zeke, My kind too if I’m being honest, its one of those weird cases where what you do and what I do get all mixed up together.”

“You mean like the Sawyer clan case?”

Les shuddered visible “Oh Gods I hope not, but mebbe”

‘Huh” I buried the little knotwork fetish at the corner of Elizabeth Abner’s property, lit a candle, spoke a prayer and sent my shine down through my fingers and into the dirt. I could feel the walls of spiritual energy snap close like a mousetrap. A fine bit of work. Standing up and dusting my hands off on the knees of my old overalls I looked at Les Garrett, and I could see he was afraid, but only because I knew him so well.

“Well I reckon you outta start at the beginning then, I suppose we might as well talk in the truck.”

As we walked down the dirt road towards where I’d parked my truck I saw a hint of a face peeking out from Lizzie’s house and threw her a wave. The sun was heading down and I knew damn well she wouldn’t leave it before down for nothing, no matter how much she trusted my wards.

Once we got on the road Les fished around in his breast pocket, pulled out a little bag and tossed in on my lap. “What do you make of that?”

“I don’t know. Rock candy maybe?” I wasn’t being a smart ass for once, the little red crystals really did look like rock candy.

“heh. I guess some folks might consider it a type of candy, but if I ever caught someone giving it to a kid I’d skip the courthouse and take him straight to the hanging tree.”

“drugs then” Les had had a mad on for drugs ever since Donny had come back from the Nam with a head full of bad memories and a worse heroin habit. I wasn’t quite as evangelical about them myself, but I wasn’t the one who had found his own son dead in the outhouse one morning either.

“Crystal Meth. Its one of the bad ones Zeke, makes people mean, paranoid, violent, and damn near immune to pain. Keeps them up or days straight and makes them think they can do anything. Worse it makes them think they got the right to do anything.”

“Hmmm. I thought that stuff was supposed to be blue?”

“Don’t tell me even you are a fan of that damned show? Glorifying goddamned drug makes, pushers, and killers” Like I said, Les is a bit evangelical when it comes to drugs. “No in real life it aint blue, but it usually aint red neither. And to tell the truth this stuff makes the regular stuff look like cough medicine.”

“How so?”

“I…. Its hard to explain Zeke. I mean we’ve sent samples to every damn drug lab in the state, to the boys at Quantico, hell I even called in some favors and got them assholes at langely to take a look, and so far as any of them can tell its just run of the mill meth. Much purer than normal but just meth they say. But then again none of them can tell me why its red. And Zeke this stuff don’t just lower a mans inhibitions and make him think he superman, it turns them into to monsters. You remember Jack Reid’s boy Billy?”

“Tow headed boy, slow in the head but strong as an ox?”

“That’s him”. Les paused and I just knew what came next was gonna be bad “We’ve been keeping this under wraps on account of how we don’t want folks to panic, but he killed his Momma and his Daddy. Hit his daddy in the head so hard so many times his skull was pulverized. And the things he did to his Momma? Dear god you don’t want to know. I wish like hell I didn’t. Thing is, when the drug wore off he was so mortified by what he done he called in the station, confessed to his crimes over the phone, put his daddy’s shotgun in his mouth and pulled both triggers. And you know what we found in his pockets Zeke? A little baggie just like that one on your lap, with nothing more than a few grains of red sand in it.”

No I understood why Les was so scared. Billy Reid had been soft in the head, but he had also been the sweetest damned boy I’d ever known. His daddy had to hire help come butchering time cause despite the fact that billy could probably kill a full grown bull with a single punch he was so damn sensitive his Momma had to take him into town when it was time to butcher the pigs. If he heard so much as a single squeal he’d be bawling his eyes out for days. He didn’t have a mean damned bone in his entire body. Hell if you asked me to bet my life on the last person on earth who would commit murder Mother Theresa would have lost to Billy Reid. If this shit could do that to Billy Reid, it could make a monster out of anyone. “you say the chemist’s couldn’t figure out what made it different?”

“Not a damned clue”

“”The I reckon you’re right, this is probably my kind of thing. Leave it with me, Ill go see what Stoney Sam can make of it. Want me to pick you up a jug of his corn? “

“Make it three Uncle Zeke” If I didn’t already know this was gonna get bad, that would have clinched it. Les wasn’t much of a drinking man, and a Jug of Sam’s finest usually lasted him half a year or more. If he wanted three?

“Will do”

“And Zeke, do it quick time if you can, I don’t want to bury any more families. “

“Reckon I will, now come over here and give your old illiterate hill william uncle a hug”

Les hadn’t hugged me that fiercely since the night of Donny’s funereal, and deep down in my water, I knew this was one was going to be really bad.”

As he got out of the truck to go back into the Sheriff’s office, Les was silhouetted for a moment by the setting sun, his white hair transformed into a multicolored halo, and I feared for my brothers great grandson without knowing why. So I said a quick prayer to Saint Peter for him, and hoped I could wrap this case up before anyone else got hurt. Thing about hope is, sometimes it’s our greatest strength, and sometimes its the cruelest damn thing on God’s green earth.




Help! I have Shiny Story Syndrome.

I have a confession to make. I am an addict. I am addicted to starting stories. When I first sit down with that beautiful shiny idea and my brain smells like a new car, its like an unbeatable high. The first few thousand words flow out of my mind, through my fingers and onto the blank page slicker than snot on a doorknob. The characters don’t just speak they sing. The setting is as clear as day, the plot moves like its on rails, and all is right and fine with the world.

Then inevitably it happens. Ill be 10 maybe even 20 or 30 thousand words in and it happens. I get another idea, and while I still like my current one, the new idea is new. It’s shiny. Its seductive and different and oh so clever. And so my work on the last idea starts to slow down, the characters aint quite so vivid, the setting not nearly so clear. So I figure, you know what? Lets take a break just for a little while, get the outlines of this new idea, the timbre of this new voice on paper, and I’ll come back to this. I’ll just bet you can guess what happens next. Yup. As soon as I’m 10 or 20 or 30 thousand words in, the next new idea strikes. And its new. Its shiny. Its…. you get the picture. Which is why I have a metric screw-ton of half finished drafts and not one completed work. Is there something wrong with me or does this happen to everyone? And much more importantly how do I deal with it? I’m specifically look for advice from all the successful authors (and by successful I mean you have actually finished something, possibly even published it) I am FB friends with or who might see this post on WP.

Some folks cant be reached.

I know, it sucks. You have a friend, a good friend. He isn’t some brain dead libtard. He isn’t  some moronic berkleyite. He might be more accomplished than you. Hell, he might even be a better man than you. He just has that one subject that he just isn’t capable of thinking about rationally. Maybe its unions, maybe its the “black movement”, maybe it’s Bernie. But despite this, you two are still friends, If anyone ever came for him or his, you would gladly die firing downrange. And despite it all you know god damned well if anyone ever came for you he would do the same.

So how do you deal? Do you pull the cuckish “we agree to disagree” BS? That aint gonna work cause y’all aint bitches, and no matter how hard y’all try to avoid politics its going to come up. You don’t back down because you aint no cunt, and he don’t cause neither is he. So the time comes, you wont back down and neither will he, but you don’t want to beat him into paste because he your boy, and he doesn’t wanna because you are his.

So then what? If you’re smart you walk away. If he is he does. The next day, you walk up to him, look him in the eye, and hug him like the brother he is. Because you both know that no matter much you disagree, when the shit hits the fan, he’s gonna be there for you, and if anyone ever fucks with him they going to have to go through you first. If you got a friend like that you get this, if you don’t…. I just feel sorry for you.

Signal Boost.

Jon Del Arroz is a science fiction writer who has recently been blackballed by his home convention Baycon, His own publisher is refusing to work with him anymore. What horrendous crime, what vile treachery, what utter deviant sin did he engage in to be so hated? He voted for Trump, and didn’t apologize. I don’t know this guy, and I have yet to read his books, though I will be buying them shortly just to spite the fascist left; but if you have a blog, link to his, if you’re looking to try a new author, give his new book a try. If we don’t stand together against these “people” they win. When we support each other we win.


Betsy DeVos Vs Morons.

This is a heartfelt message to all of America’s “overworked, underpaid” teachers. Now before I deliver this message I need you to face the nearest mirror, and look deep into your own eyes. And now tell yourself the one thing you have needed to hear all your professional life. “You are, most likely, a lazy fucking moron”. Oh I know you think you’re very hard working, but lets face it, you took a career track that lets you take 3 fucking months off per year, most likely because it allowed you to take three whole fucking months off per year. I realize you like to think that because you are an “educator” that you must be intelligent. So lets look at what you actually teach. The vast majority of what you teach is shit that the rest of us learned in our fucking childhood. Oh you think you’re smart because you teach high school chemistry. You’re teaching shit so basic most working chemists don’t even use it anymore. You think you’re smart because you teach high school math? Bitch I was doing algebra in my fucking head when I was sixteen goddamned years old. What makes it even worse is that you fucking morons couldn’t even teach the fucking basics if the answers to every problem you give your students weren’t printed in the back of the “teachers edition” textbooks you’re given. You know why they put the answers in the back of the textbooks you drooling mongoloids get; because the makers of said textbooks know that if they didn’t you window licking, self righteous, fucktards wouldn’t know what the correct answer was if it came up behind you and bit you on your corpulent, over sized asses. You aren’t underpaid, you’re getting paid exactly what you intellectually challenged cunts are worth.


Now maybe you think I’m being mean, or being unfair. Really? Cause the facts say that the absolute dumbest people on any given campus are, wait for it, education fucking majors. Now I’m sure some of my readers, the ones who understand economics, may point out that teaching is a very low paid field, which will skew peoples choices as to what to study. I agree that is true, but going back to my earlier point ask yourself this, how fucking smart do you have to be to teach kindergarten? If you know your ABC’s and can count to twenty, you can teach kindergarten. Middle School? Doesn’t exactly require much in the way of intelligence, since the average twelve year old is expected to be able to learn it. High School? I submit that if a subject can be understood by teenagers whose raging hormones basically make rational thought impossible it probably doesn’t take much fucking intelligence to teach that shit.

S0, now that we have established that teachers are, for the most part, blithering fucking idiots, let us move on to Betsy Devos. The teachers unions, and the democrats, have blasted this woman because she has no experience as an educator, put her own kids into private schools, and wants to expand charter schools. Well, since we’ve established that most teachers are fucking retards, and we all know that public schools in america are absolute shit, and that charter schools and homeschooling reliably gives children a better education than public schools, and that private schools do even better still; we can conclude that Betsy Devos is a damned sight smarter than her imbecilic fucking  critics. For one she didn’t major in education She majored in Business Administration and Political Science, which while not STEM subjects still rank far higher on the average IQ scale than fucking education majors. Second, she was smart enough not to subject her own children to the shit factory that is the public school system. Finally, she is a major supporter of the one and only alternative to the public school system that most of the urban poor will ever have access to, which means she is a damned sight more compassionate that the lazy, greedy dumb asses in the teachers unions.

Which is of course the real issue, you see teachers, and the teachers unions are reliable contributors to the democratic party, which in return funnels more and more money into the education system, despite the results getting poorer and poorer. Which is why the US spends more on education than any other developed country while still getting shitty results. That is what the opposition to Betsy Devos is really about folks. Money. Filthy fucking lucre. The money the Democrats funnel into “education” and the money the teachers unions funnel to the Democrats. They are afraid that Mrs. Devos might just end the eternal circle jerk of money and favors that has existed since well before I was born. I for one hope to all the gods and goddesses in all the heavens that she will, and it’ll take them all because all the devils and demons in all the hells are already on the side of the fucking public schools and the mostly greedy, lazy, witless fucks who work in them.

Good damned advice.

From insty’s joint but not from insty hisself.

FEBRUARY 7, 2017

DON’T GET COCKY: Democrats May Be On The Verge Of Becoming A ‘Permanent Minority’ Party.

No seriously, the cockiness, eschew it, as the Professor likes to warn during times of maximum gloating. Ask Zell Miller how his identical prediction in 2004 played out in November of 2006 and 2008 – and the following year, how James Carville’s equally Nostradamus-like prediction in 2009 that “Democrats Will Rule Washington for 40 Years” – worked out.

Good advice. The gods have given us self defeating idjits, but that don’t mean we can’t shoot ourselves. Don’t get cocky, keep calm and right on.