Monday, February 2, 2009

Some Odd Ramblings and Pimping Out Some Friends

February is upon us, the Super Bowl is over and I throw props out to the Steelers and my friend Jessica, who is a true blue, Pittsburgh born fan. Congratulations Pittsburgh and Jessica. Thanks to Pittsburgh winning I won’t be rewriting that song those kids sang in the video you sent me.


My son goes to our church day school. Sometimes Catherine will sub for an absentee teacher and stay after and watch the children during staff meetings. Last Thursday there was a staff meeting and my wife hung out with the staff’s children in the nursery. Logan, my son, made Catherine lunch with the various play foods they had.

“Where’s my drink?” she asked after he served her lunch with no beverage.

A moment later he came back to her ‘table’ and gave her a ketchup bottle.

“Is this Coke?” Catherine asked.

Logan rolled his eyes. “Nooooooo. It’s beer.”

Oh boy.


Speaking of my son, tonight it was just he and I for a while. We played Hot Wheels and then we started to wrestle—a favorite past time of his. Somehow during the wrestling he sat on my hand and put both of his feet on my shoulder, putting me in one of those arm locks you see in the fake wrestling on television. I couldn’t help but laugh and then wonder where he learned this trick. We don’t watch wrestling. Not since my daughter was about three.

The next thing I knew we had morphed into cars—more importantly, characters from one of the Hot Wheels movies. I became Torro and he became Bert. We ran through the house, engines revving, tires screeching, racing through the World Race. At one point my son ran from the front room and into the kitchen. He grabbed the doorjamb and headed for the hallway and the bedrooms.

One slight problem.

Logan didn’t let go. As his feet went up in the air and my son went sideways he didn’t miss a beat. He squealed his ‘tires’ while he was airborne and sideways. He looked like a skateboarder without the board. I tried to catch him but somehow or other I missed and he landed on his . . . feet.

I stood there amazed, my engine suddenly idling without so much as a pop-pop-pop. My son, however, took off through the hallway and back into my bedroom where he leapt onto the bed without slowing down.


One more thing about ‘the boy’ and I’ll move on to other topics. Just before his bedtime we were watching that same Hot Wheels movie that we had been pretending to be characters from. It was the end of the movie and I stood up and stretched. Logan had his Hot Wheels tracks out—much like the ones in the movie—and had been playing as the movie rolled on.

At the end is a song by Smashmouth called “Hot.” I had my back to Logan but I could hear him singing the words he knew. I glanced down in time to see him dancing to the ‘hot, hot, hot, hot’ part.

He stopped dancing and looked at me. He shrugged and put his arms out by his side.

“What, Daddy?” he asked with a sheepish grin. “What?”

Do you remember those days when your parents would see you dancing or singing or talking to yourself and get all embarrassed when you realized they were watching you? If so, this was one of those moments.


This past weekend we all went on a nature walk along the new Cherokee Indian Trail in Cayce, just off Old State Road. The sign at the beginning said it was 2.5 miles long. Umm . . . using a word from my daughter: whatever. I think it may have been twice that length. We ended up carrying Logan halfway through it. That was a LONG walk for his little legs. The good thing is he slept well that night. We all did.

At any rate, we took some cool pictures and had a lot of fun. We found this really heavy chain not too far from a bridge and what looked like an axle of an old vehicle—the closer we got to it we realized it was the wheels and axle of possibly and old semi. How it got all the way back there is beyond me. I got some great story ideas, especially when we saw this log that looked like it could have been an alligator sitting just out of the water with his jaws exposed. No, it wasn’t a gator, just a log. Which is a good thing.


The month of January ended with me holding steady to a couple of writing goals.

The first of these is my thousand words a day quota. Yeah, I sound like a big bad cop.

“Excuse me, Mr. Brown, did you reach your quota for the day?”

”Why, yes sir I did.”

“Are you certain?”

“Umm . . . Pick up the phone the call is free. Safe Auto. . .”

Yeah, I know that was cheesy but that commercial played during the Super Bowl last night and I remembered thinking it was near idiotic but still funny. Poor cops.

Anyway, I did hold strong to my thousand words a day goal, surpassing the monthly objective of 31,000 words by a whopping 22,000 words. I ended the month of January with 53,327 words written. That translates to 28 stories, some shorter than others, some longer. I would say that was a good start to the writing portion of the year.

I subbed out 26 stories and heard back from nine of them within that time period. Three accepts and six rejects. Still, that’s not a bad average. That puts me at only 6% of my goal of 50 publications within the year of 2009. Still, it’s a head start and I’m excited about the progress so far.

I’ll start back submitting tomorrow. I have six or seven places I’m looking at right now. If you have any suggestions for places to submit to, pass them along. Don’t be shy. I don’t bite.


Just a couple of more things. An acquaintance of mine, John Mantooth, has a story in Shroud Magazine. John is a tremendous writer. I wish I could tell you that you could read it online but you can’t. So, why don’t you head on over to this link and order you a copy:

Shroud Magazine

Chris Perridas, a good friend of mine, recently wrote the introduction to the limited edition of Andersen Prunty’s ‘Market Adjustment.’

As Fran Friel put it, he is too humble of a man to toot his own horn so why don’t we do it for him. You can check out the limited edition of ‘Market Adjustment’ with Chris’ introduction here:

Market Adjustment

Now, for those of you not keeping score at home, my story, Sarah’s Playground, is currently up at SNM Magazine. It came in second place in their erotic horror contest for the February edition of SNM Magazine.

Check it out here:

SNM Horror Magazine

You have to scroll down a little in order to read the story.

Now, can I ask someone a favor? I try and keep a copy of each story I get published in a book. Most of the time I can print out the online stories at work. But, since this is a blocked site at work I can’t do that with this one. And, since I have no printer at home, I can’t print it out here. Would someone mind printing this one out for me and mailing it to me? If so, just send me a message and let me know you can do this. Please?

I would greatly appreciate it.

I think that is about it for now. So, until next time, I’m AJ and I’m out.


  1. Between wrestling, walking, writing and working - I think you have it covered! I can't imagine 53,000 words in one month (nor can I imagine counting them all). Good luck with your submissions!


  2. Thanks for mentioning me, AJ.

    And 53 thousand words? Where do you get your energy from, man?

    And congrats on your recent contest placing. You seem to have a knack for doing well in contests. Keep it up...

  3. Let me know if someone has already printed it for you, other wise I'll print a copy and mail it to you today. :D