Friday, January 16, 2009

Fight, Write Or Die and Other Notes

My children often make me laugh, simply because of things they say or do or reactions they may have to things I say or do. My daughter, whom I write about a lot, often gets that chuckle out of me, even when she is in psycho mode, as she has been in today.

Ah, psycho mode. My daughter really hit it home today and I had to get on her a lot. I felt bad about it but there is only so much lip you can take from anyone, much less a child. But, that is really a story for another day.

The story for today in How My Children Scare Me is as follows:

Catherine and I were standing in the doorway of our bedroom. Well, I was in the doorway. She was in the bedroom. I said something, she remarked back.

“Woman, don’t make me come over there,” I said and pointed, jokingly, mind you.

She put her arms out and said, “Come on over here.”

She went all thug on me with the arm gestures and posturing. I started toward her and then stopped. We stood nose to nose and then it dawned on me: she was trying to provoke me into a wrestling match. Normally I would be all up for this, pun intended. But, there is something you need to know about the whole scenario that was about to play itself out: my two children are my wife’s henchmen.

Yes, you read right. My wife has her henchmen and they are seven and four years of age and vicious.

Catherine could be in the bedroom and I could be in the front room. She could laugh at a comment someone made on the phone and all of a sudden I hear one of my kids say, “Quick, Mommy’s in trouble.” The next thing you know Chloe and Logan run into the room where I am at and start wailing on me. I’m not talking love taps here, folks. I’m talking honest to goodness wailing, as if they were beating up someone their own size.

So as we stood toe to toe and I was about to pick her up and drop her to the bed in one of the Underwriter’s famous moves (inside joke, sorry folks for those who don’t know), it dawned on me. I started to chuckle.

“I know why you can be so confident in yourself right now and why you don’t back down but try to egg me on.”

“Why is that?” she said all innocent-like.

“Because all you have to do is laugh or scream out and they’ll come running.”

She smiled. “That’s right. Don’t forget it.”

Catherine made a fist at me and all I could do is shake my head and walk away.

Now, I’m sure some of you are saying, “what? Walk away?”

Yeah, I walked away. No, I’m not one to shy away from some good old wrestling with the wife. The truth is my children scare the living crap out of me. I am of the firm belief that they really are trying to hurt me when we wrestle. My son, Logan, doesn’t even call it wrestling. He yells out, “I’m gonna beat you up, Daddy,” before he tries to tackle me.

They head butt, folks.

They hit, folks.

They kick, folks.

My daughter even likes to pull hair.

To quote Linus Van Pelt: I’m doomed.

Once the little ones have a hold of me they can be vicious. And all the while, Catherine is usually laughing in the background.

And they say I’m the one who needs to be nicer to folks?


In writing news, I received my second rejection yesterday, this one from Shock Totem for a story I really want someone to pick up one day. But, that is okay because today I had a story accepted. This story may end up being the basis to something much longer. It is titled, “The Legend of Hollis Williams,” and I wrote it specifically for the website Six Sentences. What’s even better about this is that it goes live tomorrow!

So, check it out when you get a chance:

Six Sentences

That puts me at two acceptances for a 4% total of where I want to be at the end of the year. Remember, my goal is 50 publications THIS year.


On another note I have done pretty good with keeping my 1000 words a day pace going. As of yesterday I was sitting at 26,572 words in the first fifteen days of the year. That’s better than 11,000 words more than what I wanted at this point.


Though my story, The Woodshed, may not garner a full Stoker nomination I did receive word today that it got a second recommendation. Obviously, this made me feel good, but since we’re not supposed to lobby HWA members to read and recommend our stories for Stokers, it will more than likely fall short of the amount of recommendations needed to garner an out and out nomination.

At any rate, if you would like to read The Woodshed, you need to purchase Dark Distortions Volume I. It was put out by Scotopia Press and Molly Feese did a wonderful job of editing the story. She is one of those editors you just love to work with.

Check out Scotopia Press and Dark Distortions here:

Scotopia Press


And one final thought. When I was writing for NaNoWriMo someone posted a thread in a forum about a neat little website that helped them reach their goal of 1667 words per day, which is the minimum amount in order to reach 50,000 words in one month and consistently write every day.

The website is called Write Or Die.

I had completely forgotten about this website until the other day when I stumbled on it when looking for something else. I had a few minutes so I clicked on the site and then typed in that I wanted to type for 10 minutes. The pressure to write without stopping was intriguing since I like to stop and mess around in the middle of writing. Not for long, mind you, but only for a minute or two. I’ve actually stopped writing this three times since I sat down about fifteen minutes ago.

I typed and typed and then the timer went off and I kept on typing. I ended up typing for about twenty minutes and putting out 884 words. They may not have been the best quality of words but it did what I wanted it to do: forced me to write without stopping. Even though I only did it in the medium mode, I still felt the need to just type. It was like there was a gun pointing at me from inside the computer, warning me to write and not stop, lest I pay for it with a bullet to the brain. A zombie I am not so I don’t really have a reason to want a bullet to the brain, yah know?

If you want to check out Write or Die, look here:

Write or Die

Well, that’s it for now. Until next time, I’m AJ and I’m out.


  1. Hey! I can leave a comment? Last time it didn't seem to work.

    Children seem to love beating up parents. I laughed aloud more than once. lol!!

    AJ, I sincerely hope you get the 3rd nomination. It is a very disturbing story, and for "Horror" that's a complement. "The Woodshed" has been recommended twice, and only needs one more time. I have read Bram Stoker Nominated horror stories, and this certainly fits the bill.

    I may go read it again before I go to sleep tonight; it is one of THOSE stories that remain with you. That's how you know a great story from simply a good one: when they remain with you for months, perhaps years after first reading.


  2. AJ, don't kids do the cutist things - not! Sounds like a lively bunch (wife included). But for me, having kids was worth it all. And being nice may not be all it's cracked up to be.

    Woodshed is an awesome story (not the story I'd pick to read just before going to sleep). Good luck with it!

    I checked out the write or die website. Wrote stuff (not sure it made sense) for 13 minutes (551 words). My problem is backing up and correcting all of those typos. Thanks for the link, it was an interesting experiment.


  3. Welcome to the blogosphere, AJ. Good first post. Check out my blog if you have time. Have you considered joining Open Salon and posting these simultaneously there? I think you can do it there and on My Space Both

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