Category Archives: Writing

No Eyes On Pete!: A Short and Gruesome Mystery

electronic-blinking-eyeballs-xl“Look over here, sarge.” Flopkens crouched by the dead grass. “Here are the poor bastard’s eyes.”

Sergeant Pearson waddled over, all three hundred pounds of gut and toupee, and peered down. Sure enough, there on the green – blue eyes. Two of them.

“What the hell.” The sergeant moaned and plopped down on the sod. “What sort of perverted monster takes a man’s eyes?”

“Well, they’re here. They weren’t taken very far, anyway.”

“We don’t know that. Where’s the rest of…” The sergeant checked the notes. “Pete? He was a caddy, correct?”

“That’s what that dumb pro shop guy Curt told me. Pete Pearl. 22. Syracuse. He’s probably under the cart.” Continue reading

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Most Influential Blogger AND 1/8th of a Million Reads?!

If my reads were dollars, I'd be a 1/8th millionaire!

If my reads were dollars, I’d be a 1/8th millionaire!

Great day in the morning! This has been a big week here at Knowingly Undersold. First, after years of pretty infrequent writing, we reached that previously unimaginable tally of 1/8th of a million reads, and then we were nominated for Most Influential Blogger! My cup runneth over! Now, you may be taken aback at the unabashed navel gazing going on here, as this isn’t typically the sort of work we’re cranking out here at Sexy Architects and Norman Invasion Tales ‘R’ Us. But as the recognition and milestones are starting to pile up, I feel it is time to address the state of affairs here K.U. Continue reading

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This Bonkers New Cover Will Boost Book Sales, Right?

But what do I slap on there? The original cover was intended to give the messy 33% Non-Fictional story a sort of textbook feel. Thus, the template with the generic layout, the non-expressive font, and the totally uninteresting subtitling.

I still like it, don't get me wrong

I still like it, don’t get me wrong

Plus, there’s the index at the back of the book, to add to this textbook vibe, providing easy access to all the Antony and Cleopatra and cheap hand job references.

It's helped scholars and perverts immensely

It’s helped scholars and perverts immensely

Continue reading

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Dude, Your First Draft is Way, Way, Way Too Long

Gah! Not good, Dostoyevsky!

Gah! Not good, Dostoyevsky!

You’ve spent the better part of a decade laboring over handwritten notes, turning them into an epic narrative that saw it outlive three different personal computers, four jobs, three apartments, six girlfriends, two cars, and eighteen fish. You snuck off on lunch breaks to work on it, zoned out of conference calls, paid no attention while your roommates watched all of Breaking Bad, and now where are you? You’re 175,000 words completed, and the only thing that can be said is your book is way, way too long.

What the hell were you thinking? Did you really need 500 pages to tell the story of some sad consignment store owner looking for love and meaning in his humdrum Grand Rapids life? And no, it doesn’t matter if its great, it really doesn’t. You’re not Jonathan Franzen, and you will never get the opportunity to tell Oprah to go screw herself. You wrote this goddamn opera of commerce and innuendo, and you want to slay forests to get it five inches from the faces of housewives the world over, right? Well then it’s time to make with the editing, Charlie, and don’t be a pussy about it. Continue reading

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The Fall of the House of Vowels

The author, returning home from his day job

In my long and harried career of not writing for a living, my relationship with my crooked assistants had always been amicable, pleasant, and even enjoyable. Our partnership was one of mutual respect and camaraderie, and the fruits of our time together were considerable. But the years were difficult, and the course grew coarser, and my hoary associates bore the brunt of my opprobrium. It was frustration and weariness in part, but lo, it was largely devil intemperance that led me to ruination – yes, intemperance! I can barely bring myself to copy down the events – so chilling, so horrifying they were, and so recklessly egocentric and jejune I was! But the world needs to know of my epic folly! Read on, if you dare! Continue reading

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Editing My Dusty Old Masterpiece

You are privileged to herein grab a glimpse at my awesome skills on display, with my real time editing process. Everyone who writes has their own way of doing this, and usually they don’t wait years after the last draft to pick up and start hacking through again. However, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time pursuing insanely fruitless careers lately (movie extra, Presidential candidate, etc.) and am only now revisiting my completed but messy masterwork.

So let’s crack open the old Word doc and see how things stand, huh? I remember my first chapter being a real humding – what?! What the holy hell?! Seriously? This can’t be right. I don’t remember the first sentence being “Ye gawd Yardley, that crummy stumblebum?!” I wrote that?!? That doesn’t sound like my pitch perfect ear for dialogue at work. Can’t be. Continue reading

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My Sure Fire Money Making Writing Plan!

Sure, the Bible sequel didn’t pan out.  Seems the church wasn’t willing to sponsor the project and adamantly refused to do weekly readings from the new “good book.”  Fine.  I can live with it.  Also, editing the new book with a million covers and titles has proven disheartening, and the publisher is prepared to just call it Swill and release it without my approval.  You know what?  That’s fine, too.  Cause I’ve concocted my surest firest success yet.

 

bookstoreYep, I’m going to get into the world of crank-‘em-out mystery novels.  You know the kind – woman in her forties goes into a bookstore, says to herself that she’s looking for something that “looks like something I’d read.”  They hit upon the mystery section – bingo! – find a book that seems to have a pattern in its title, almost guaranteeing an extended trip with the same characters down non surprising roads for many books to come, and next thing you know, this slightly pre-menopausal lady is out on the back porch, reading about some taxidermist getting himself stuffed in a department store, populated by wacky employees, and bringing in a wacky detective with wacky neuroses, making for interesting reading and light, fluffy evenings of enjoyment.

 

How hard could it possibly be?  I’ve never even considered writing a mystery novel, but honestly, it’s gotta be ridiculously easy.  I’ve read a few of the cheesy variety and you don’t even need a twisty plot.  All it requires is a quirky enough detective and a catchy title.  So let’s formulate this strategy. Continue reading

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Rejected Titles for My New Book

With 85,000 words down and only 10,000 or so to go, I figured it was time to start throwing out titles for the new book, just to see what the brass thought.  The last one went through dozens of names before we (mostly) agreed on The Sunshine Man, even though in retrospect something more appealing to the public should probably have been sought.  I say this as I still have two thousand copies of Sunshine sitting in a garage I rent out for the purpose in Wyalusing, PA.  If you want one, just go grab it.  I leave the padlock undone on purpose, so there’s no need to call the cops.  Take as many as you like.

Anyway, this book naming business has long been my Achilles’ heel, and as this new book doesn’t have a snappy character or town name that immediately would lend itself to front the tale, I’ve had to go through a great many volleys with the people at Histrionic Press, my publisher.  Here is where we’ve been so far: Continue reading

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The Life of J. Flagler Brownstone

The following is our first attempt in short form biography here at K.U., to later be used to prove non-fiction crafting ability, secure employment for the author, and then lord it over lesser biographers who couldn’t do either of the previous.

The Brownstone homestead in Sandusky

On a balmy day in May with the clocks all striking fourteen, the toddler J. Flagler Brownstone took his first step, off the family porch in Sandusky, Ohio, and broke his leg in two places.  This wouldn’t heal properly, due to the lackluster medical attention of his live-in besotted uncle Manfred Poxx, and would ultimately give Brownstone his trademark limp.  It would also allow him to wield a sword cane with great dexterity from his childhood on, a skill that would come in particularly handy when he had to kill his uncle many years later. Continue reading

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A Letter to My Alma Mater

Dear Keystone College,

Hey, how’ve you been?  Long time no see!  Looking forward to another school year, huh?  It’s just about that time again.  Ah, Keystone, we had some great times, didn’t we?  I almost miss you, undergrad.

So anyway, I’m not just writing to shoot the fat and chew the breeze.  As you may or may not be aware, I’ve recently attained a fair amount of success in life, what with my burgeoning political career, my advanced degree in creative writing, my relocation halfway across the country, and my complete avoidance of any crippling drug dependencies.  Yes sirree, I’m an exemplary alumnus to such an extraordinary degree that I think you should benefit. Continue reading

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Excerpts from My New Masterwork – The Bible, Part II!

Excerpts from the various books of the forthcoming bestseller The Bible, Part II, perhaps with the subtitle Revenge of the Christ:

 

The Book of Exposition 2: 3-5

And the again risen Jesus decided the most pressing concern of His now that He’d crawled from the grave was the need to take a shower.  An unholy funk clung to the Christ enough so as to water the eyes of passers by, whom Jesus misinterpreted as being ardent, overcome followers.  He passed by them, laying on hands for a quick blessing, and made His way to the nearest public spicket, whilst those touched by the Lord vomited in his wake.

The Book of Angina 7:14-18

And the wayfaring Jesus thus reached the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where He was greeted by the four headed monster Beelazarus of the seabound zombie nation of San Salvador.  Jesus recognized the vile beast as having once been the man He’d resurrected from the dead many years earlier, and now found it ironic that He would have to send the creature back to the afterlife.  And, as is His wont, Jesus wept. Continue reading

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My Destiny as Pertains to a Writing Endeavor

Famed author.  Presidential candidate.  Teen Wolf enthusiast. With all these titles under my belt, and all these planned-for accomplishments piling up like forgotten mail, what else could I possibly have room on my dance card for in the coming weeks, months, and years?  What psychotically huge and controversial project could I sink my teeth into for anywhere from one to three hours a month for the remainder of my life?  Well, it’s a doozy.  A writing project, a writing challenge, and it’s a sequel to something I didn’t begin.

 

“What a hack!” you are undoubtedly muttering to the kid next to you at Starbucks, upon the reading of this.  Well leave that kid alone.  He doesn’t care for your hullabaloo anymore than I do, and that ain’t much, sister.  It’s not like I’ve decided to tackle an unauthorized Harry Potter 8, or the fourth of The Three Musketeers, or Mobiest Dick, no no.  What I have in mind is much grander, and steeped in that noblest of all pursuits – straight cash, homey. Continue reading

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Pixar’s WALL•E – “A Masterpiece”

The landscape of cinema and entertainment was irrevocably altered on June 28th of this year, with the release of Pixar’s latest computer animated epic, WALL·E, which proved itself to be not only the best yet production of the Disney-owned company, but to be unquestionably, inarguably the greatest motion picture ever made. 

The Best Film of All-Time

That’s right.  Ever.  And it’s not even close.  This is a film in a class so distinctly its own that it barely can be squeezed into the existing parameters of how we define a movie.  It so outdoes everything that’s come before that it is almost like watching some new, far superior form of entertainment unlikely ever to be duplicated. Continue reading

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Lousy, Rotten Words

 Over the years while writing, or more often reading, I’ve run across a select group of words that I just don’t care for.  For the most part it’s nothing I have personal against the words. They never stole my woman or cheated me at cards or lured me into a van with candy as a boy.  No, it’s more the manner in which they were foisted on me that grinds my gears. 

 

There are things in this world that I absolutely hate, but the words naming them aren’t necessarily words I can’t tolerate.  Panda is a fine example of this.  As some of you may know, I hate pandas with all the passion normally reserved by the American male for the NFL, Coors Light, and Las Vegas.  I abhor pandas.  I can’t stand them. Their entire existence and society’s insistence that it continues despite any bit of interest in it displayed by the fluffy ignoramuses boggles my mind.  But the word panda itself isn’t verboten with me.  Hell, I liked Kung Fu Panda quite a bit. Continue reading

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