Back to The Bookstore

The most recent episode of The Bookstore is a fair bit of a self-indulgence. But this is my universe, so I’ll construct it as I like, thank you. Actually, the true point of these videos is simply to entertain and tell a story, and it is my great hope that do exactly that.  But I would be remiss in not utilizing it to also promote myself, so why not have Eddie profess me to be one of the greatest writers ever?  I was rather touched by his sentiment, even if he’s just doing so in a vain attempt to bait me into doing an event at The Bookstore.

I’ve upgraded to Xtranormal’s new movie-making program, which they call State.  It allows for more than 2 characters–which I’ve utilized here–and the ability to move characters around.  There’s a nifty voice over thingy that I will ultimately have to give a try, but for now…baby steps.

As with every project I ever undertake, I’m open to comments, thoughts, and ideas.  Additionally, I’m very (I think I mean to say VERY) open to you sharing these videos on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you socially congregate.  As well, you can visit the videos on my You Tube page, and add comments, likes, and so forth.  Don’t underestimate how much it helps.  Same with my books on Amazon.  It’s a public forum in which people who have never heard of me (like Stacy in the video) have the opportunity to read what other people are saying.

Ok, enough promoting. Here’s the fourth video in The Bookstore series, Going Viral.

 

Bowling for Jesus (repost)

It’s probably a good thing I can write.

Not to say that I am, or have been, incapable of doing anything else.  I know how to make toast, after all.  That’s an accomplishment.  No, really, it is.  I mean, if the difference between starvation, and survival onward to tomorrow, is a slightly browned piece of bread with butter and jelly, I’ve got it covered.  Not that I’m about to break into a refrain from I Will Survive, or anything, but if you hear some crunching in the corner, that might be me.

Anyway, enough about toast.  We can all make toast, right?  Please say yes.

Good.

So, I don’t remember my sixth-grade math teacher’s name, and it’s been bugging me for an hour.  Come to it, I can’t even remember what he looks like, though I do quite clearly remember it being a he.  Of course, I only remember one classmate–a boy by the name of Scott.  And I only remember him for that unfortunate vomiting incident that caused me to plead to my mother for new shoes, and forever altered how I respond to the smell of sawdust.  Sorry Scott.  Wherever you are, I hope you aren’t vomiting on someones shoes.  In an effort to actually move forward, I’ll call my teacher Mister Mister Sir, and get on with it.

Mister Mister Sir did a rather curious thing in class.  Each month he chose a Student Of The Month (the first letters were always in CAPS, lest the importance of the honor be diminished).  Now, being honored as Student Of The Month is, in almost every case, a worthy title bestowed upon the one student that either kissed enough tush, or cheated on enough tests to have the highest grade in the class.  It so happened I managed both with great skill.  But being Student Of The Month wasn’t merely a title in Mister Mister Sir’s class.  No, it came with benefits, the most primary of which was that you got to sit at a teacher’s-sized desk near the door, and grade papers all day, after which you went into the Grade Book and entered to grades.

The awesome nature of this power cannot be overlooked.  However, it wasn’t the greatest of the honors bestowed upon the Loyal Brotherhood of the Student Of The Months.  That honor came by way of a Polaroid picture taped to a piece of construction paper (mine was red, as I recall–odd that I can remember that but not Mister Mister Sir’s real name), with a brief bio underneath.  It was a typical roll-call of information: Name, Age, Birth date, Favorite Food.  I remember looking over the list and happily making it known to the world how incredibly special I was.  They would know all the most important information about me and envy me each every one of those thirty days.  The kicker was the last question, the one that nearly defined my entire life, post-Sir’s class.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Oh, boy.  That was the question.  The Question.  But I knew the answer.  I didn’t need to hesitate.  Didn’t need to take even a second of time to contemplate exactly what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to bowl for Jesus.

Mister Mister Sir mistakenly translated this not-simply-a-tidbit of defining information, and noted for all to see that I wanted to be a Professional Bowler.  Much though I was honored to sit at the High Desk, and spend a month of my adolescence grading papers and not learning a damned thing, I felt it was quite necessary to help Mister Mister Sir–enlighten even–understand where he had erred.

“Mister Mister Sir, sir,” I had said to him, early one morning before class had begun.  “I believe you may have made a mistake on my biography.  I don’t want to be a professional bowler.  I want to bowl for Jesus.”

Mister Mister Sir seemed a little put off by that, or at least that’s how I perceived it.  I now know he just needed coffee.  I see that face every morning in my mirror.  “I don’t understand,” he said, which I found to be quite obvious.  Of course he didn’t understand.  I needed to clarify.

“I want to bowl for Jesus,” I repeated.  “You know, stand up with my ball of reckoning, keep my approach straight and balanced, steer clear of the gutters, and roll my way through the ten pins with a proper angel.”

“You mean, ‘angle’?”

“No, angel.”  He stared at me, which I saw as an invite to continue.  “The proper angel is important.  You can’t just take the ten pins lightly, straight on.  You have to have an angel to guide you through and help you to, you know, get a strike.”

“What?”

He wasn’t getting it, which nearly frustrated me into silence.  Months I had worked on this, trying to get every bit of it just right.  And now here was a teacher of whom I greatly respected for choosing me as Student Of The Month, understanding none of it.  “The Ten Pins?” I tried.

“What about them?”

“It’s a parallel, Mister Mister Sir.  Ten Pins, Ten Commandments.  Angels, and staying clear of the gutters–you know,” and here I whispered, “Satan?”

“Oh,” he said, rather dry and indifferent.  “This is a religious thing, isn’t it?”

I felt my shoulders drop somewhere below my knees.”Well, no.  I mean, yeah, kind of.  But not, if you know what I mean.  It’s kind of a religious sort of thing that I talked to my preacher about.  Of course, he didn’t understand either.  But I think that was just because the Idiot Gnomes got to him.”

“The Idiot Gnomes.  That’s what my father calls them, anyway.  They break into your room at night, on days when you’ve been particularly bad, and steal your brain cells.  They turn you into an idiot.  That’s why I try to be good and come up with good ideas all the time.  I don’t want to be an idiot.”

“But you want to Bowl for Jesus?”

“Yes!  I do!”

Mister Mister Sir smiled, laughed a little, then stood up and walked to the wall where my beaming visage sat in all its Polaroid-glory.  He removed the construction paper, walked back to his desk, made quite a scene of crossing out Professional Bowler with a marker, then quickly wrote something I couldn’t make out.  He walked back to the wall, and re-posted my shrine of glory.

He nodded, and returned to his desk, where he downed nearly a full cup of coffee in one gulp.  After a moment of hesitation, I walked to the wall and stared at my biography.  I stared at it for about two minutes, contemplating.

“You can bowl for Jesus all you want, kiddo,” said Mister Mister Sir, now standing behind me.  “But you damn well better write about it afterward.  Weirdness breeds entertainment, and I’m pretty sure you’re gonna breed just fine.”  After which he walked out of the room.

I’m not sure at what point in the month that Scott vomited on my shoes, but I know that it was about the same time that I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  If not for Mister Mister Sir, and his biographical misstep, then for me and my wardrobe.  I wanted to wear nice, clean, warm, slippers all day, somewhere free of random vomit, and the gag-inducing smell of sawdust,

It’s a good thing I can write.

The First Flap

Though I don’t yet have a specific date, the next book in the Anointed trilogy (it seems to require a name of some sort to qualify it as a trilogy, if for no other reason than to amuse me and my publisher), Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, will be in stores in spring of 2011.  It still seems a long way off, but that’s the process, and I have no choice but to wait it out, nervously tapping away as the editorial process ensues, as characters and plot lines are dissected, as event dates are put together, and as the reviews and blurbs trickle in.  In the meantime, however, the preliminary jacket art is in, and I can’t help but feel like it’s headed in the right direction.

The subtitle is yet to be added.

No telling where it’ll wind up, but it definitely represents the theme of the book well.  I’ll post the changes as they are made.  Feel free to drop in your thoughts.

——–

“Bishop” Eddie Long.

Who made him a Bishop, anyway?

He made his first public statements regarding the sexual misconduct charges Sunday morning, at 8am, from the pulpit.  The mere fact that his first statements to the charges were delivered from the pulpit is more telling than anything he said.  How better to draw further attention to the “church” and bolster its reach than to have the media in attendance, broadcasting your (lack of) denial, while thousands of followers scream and holler and praise JeebusAlmighty.  It was a circus.  It was exactly right for what he is.  If you read the transcript, it’s quite obvious from the outset that he’s proud of the attention–the opportunity even–that this scandal has brought his church.

“Good morning New Birth. And good morning to all our other guests.

And I would be remiss not to say good morning to the world.

You all may be seated in the presence of the Lord.

I do want to remind folk that we’re here at 8 every Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning.

And I’ll be here next week.”

The other bit that struck me was, fittingly, at the end of his presentation:

“Please hear this. Please hear this: I’ve been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man. But this thing I’m gon’ fight.

And I want you to to know one other thing. I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”

He never denies the accusations.  He never defends his actions.  He simply states that it is a hard time for him, that he’s been accused, and that he–the pastor of a mega-church–feels like David, fighting for his life against the giant, Goliath.  I believe he may have that bit backwards, however.  These young men, whether honest or deceitful, are not Goliath.  The man who deemed himself anointed by God, the “Bishop” of 25,000 people willing to put money on his name, the person that is as much a politician of faith as he is an admitted multi-national corporation, stands with far more might, and far more capable defense than young men, who are armed with nothing more than accusations, and a date in court.

—–

From the shelves of the departed Wordsmiths Books vault, I leave you with a video of the Harry Potter cover band, Draco & the Malfoys.  They were one of a few who passed through, and one of my favorites (though the Remus Lupins are right there as well).  Their performance–with the rest of the gang that day for Wizard Rock–ranks as one of my favorite memories.  If you are a Potter-head, and haven’t heard these guys, then by all means, give them a listen.

Trolling about in NYC

Taking the author’s tour of NYC for the next 4 days.  I’ve been here before, so it’s not your “country boy in the big city” kinda deal that is trademarked with open mouths and schedules chock full of touristy sites.  It’s still an amazing place, and it still leaves ME waddling in awe and inspiration.  I’ve never come to New York on MY own, with no guide (read in: friend) to show ME the sites or take me to great little shops in Little Italy where stories linger through time (I’ll share that one later).  But, I’m here, I have book events at The Tank on both Monday and Tuesday (where I will silently sing birthday wishes to ME, and will disallow others to do the same out loud), and I have brought the camera to let you see what I am seeing.  In order to do this proper, I’ll just have to check in as I pass through the hotel and update posts daily.  So, what you read now will have more later.  I’ll make sure to let MY Facebook friends know when the updates are in, and I’ll be dumping all of my photos there as well.

And so begins Day 1.

6:30 am:  I wake up, even though I don’t need to get up for another 45 minutes.  I’m a travel geek, and have, on many occasions, departed from quality sleep to get things going, jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas (albeit at 4 am, 3 hours before mom & dad are comitted to waking).  Coffee!  Quick!  I manage half a cup before I realize I didn’t need the caffeine to begin with.

8:00 am: Alice drops me off at MARTA.  I make it to Five Points, and switch to the Southbound train, where the automated voice informs us all that the train is going Northbound.  I quickly send the all important message to Twitter (& Facebook): “Oh MARTA, you do live to entertain.  Telling ppl on southbound train that its going north.  Very cheeky.”  I realize at this point that I needed more caffeine.

9:00 am: I arrive at the airport, where I realize at check in that airlines have changed their luggage check in policies.  No longer is it free for the 1st bag.  Now you pay $15…IF, IF that is you meet the size and weight requirements.  Ugh.  Are you kidding me?  I should have figured out a way to just carry on.  I would have threatened the lady that I would send me pet dragon out of hiding to destroy the minions of Air Tran, but she was really nice.  No worries Sandra, here’s my card.  Abuse ME.

10:20 am: I board the plane, sitting across the aisle from a young woman, who felt it necessary to bring her floatation devices with her.  Both of them.  They seemed to fit pretty snug in her shirt, and I don’t know what her plan was to deploy them.  Anyway, she slept the whole trip with her mouth wide open.  And I mean, she slept.  Hard.  Comatose like.  Through the take off, through the landing, and through most every other inconvenience in between.  I thought of grabbing her once we got off the plan and suggesting that she steer clear of any opportunity to fall asleep in the presence of her fellow college students.  But then I thought she probably already had, and if I looked hard enough, I could probably find the eveidence online.

1:13 pm: I grab a yellow machine of death for MY march into oblivion–or Manhattan, whichever came first. 

The View

The View

“Hello Mr. Cab driver.  Please don’t make me sick today.  Kthanx,” I said in a Tweet.  He didn’t listen.  Instead, he drove at breakneck speed through the barriers of time & space.  Somehow I managed to coerce him into dropping me off a block shy of the hotel, rather than sit in traffic and sneak up on the hotel a foot at the time (note: cabs DO NOT charge by the foot). 

1:47 pm: I am at the hotel!  YAY!  Here’s a few images from the 24th floor.  The ironic placement of McGraw Hill does not escape ME (though that is not entirely due to the publishing aspect, but because of sister Ali, who was convinced that Faith Hill & Tim McGraw had formed a business).

McGraw Hill

McGraw Hill Back for more later...So, an eventful end to the day. Here goes:2:24 pm: I wrote the words, "Back for more later..." and proceeded to flop on the bed & watch some of the Braves/Sox game. Completely useless info, but it made ME happy, so pfffbbbbbtttt!4:00 pm (or thereabouts): I make my way out onto 40th street, head over to 9th and walk the 5 blocks to 45th street to find The Tank, where I will be, as I've mentioned, the next two nights. I took this picture:The Tank

While I took this picture, I heard a tumble and groan to the left.  I turned and discovered that an elderly man–whose name I would discover was Billy–had lost his balance and fallen on the sidewalk.  I ran over to help him up, and with the assistance of another gentleman and one of Billy’s neighbors, helped escort him up the street to the entrance to his apartment.  He seemed to want to fall backward with every step, so it was quite the chore to get him there without him falling again.  So, there you go.  Welcome to The Tank.
 
 
 
 
 
 
4:50 pm: After wandering through Times Square, where I witnessed the most butts in the air ever at a Yoga gathering celebrating the Summer Solstice, I headed on a pizza hunt.  I wound up at Monetti’s Pizza, and partook.  While sitting there, enjoying MY pizza, a young couple (youngish?) passed by in order to pay for their grub.  This is the part of the conversation I heard.
Young Lady: “Am I overbearing?”
Young Man: (after a careful pause) “Well, yeah, sometimes.”
Young Lady: (takes this in with a nod) “Well, you know, I really think we need to get moving with things.”
Young Man: “What?”
Young Lady: “I mean, marriage.  You really need to propose to me.  We need to get married already.”
At this point, the guy looked over MY way, lowered his head (and his voice) and said something to the effect of: “We really don’t need to be talking about this here.”
Conversation WIN!  Pizza & Entertainment!  Well done Monetti’s!
 
5:00 pm:  I had the world’s biggest Caramel Mocha Frappuccio. 
It kills!

It kills!

It’s as big as the city!  And delicious!!! WOOOOOO!
5:30 to 6:45 pm: I wander through Central Park, where I see a whole many bunches of weird people, some bubble blowers, a photo shoot of a young girl that was beyond awkwardly dangerous and was just ultimately bizzarre, and accidentally ate an Oreo Ice Cream Bar. 
I have discovered, also, that though the majority of the pizzaria’s are five or more blocks from here, I will not be short of porn, should the need arise.  Apparently, there is an urgent need for porn and adult novelties on 40th street.  Should you ever be in NYC, and succumb to lonliness.  Or something.
Ok.  8:09 pm: I’m done with MY blog for the day.  Either Union Square and Battery Park tomorrow before the event, or Grand Central Station and the Public Library (I WANT TO SEE A GHOST DAMMIT!).  Either way, I’ll have more for you.

An Apocalyptic Twilight

Today, I offer you what I consider to be a tasty treat.  However, first, here are some links, and feel free to watch this video of Stephen Colbert doing his thing with Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter.  Had trouble posting it, so you’ll have to just click the link.

  • Santana has made a heartfelt, and somewhat desperate plea to our new President.  I can’t think of a better request in these robust economic times, when people are so busy with work and excess that they have nothing better to do.  Thank you, Santana.
  • I’m a statistic!  I’m so proud of myself for involuntarily participating in an American Survey!  You gotta laugh, right?  Right?
  • I am an avid fan of baseball.  I am also an avid fan of Chick Fil-A.  This just rocks my world.
  • Apparantly, wealthy people in Britain are just as prone to excessive snobbery and isolationism as their counterparts in America.  Poor Goolgians, just doing their job, and this is what they get
  • Let’s see…you’re telling me it took a spear to the head to learn this lesson?
  • “Mom!  Dad!  I made it into UC San Diego!  I’m going to college!  My life is finally turning up!”  Uh-oh.  Acceptance Fail.
  • Now you have to hear it as well.  I’m not going to be the only one, dammit.
  • I am both a fan of, and a friend to, Paul Jenkins.  In the world of comics, he is one of the iconic figures.  Great writer, wonderful British wit.  His Origin story of Wolverine is still a revered work in the industry.  Now, it’s becoming a film, and I have to admit, that I am excited.  It would appear that more than 100,000 people were obviously more excited than I am, and have seen the movie before it’s even out.  Lucky bastards.

Here’s a link to the Southern Authors blog.  I did a post yesterday (just scroll down), and somehow managed to decide that the dvd release of Twilight was a great subject matter to discuss.  In fairness to ME, though, that movie was just so awful it was worth every minute.  I mean, it was so poorly directed, so horribly acted, so predictable in its cinematic attrocities, that I was riveted.  Completely spellbound.  Ok, that’s a stretch, but I was entertained.

I liken that movie to a book that I carry around with ME everywhere I go.  I find the temptation to read it at MY signings to be too compelling to resist.  It too, is so bad, it just circles right on around to good.  It’s a cult-classic to all those who have read it, or at least parts of it.  It is Apocalypse South, a print-on-demand book by Kyle Watson.  I hold no pretense that Mr. Watson will wander upon my blog, but if you do, good sir, by all means contact me.  I can sell this book a thousand times over if you want to help out.  Granted, you should be made aware that I would not be selling it on its literary merit, but rather, on its lack of it.  In fact, MY wife Alice had decreed that Mr. Watson’s use of something she calls, “adjectnouns” is, in fact, a groundbreaking technique that is difficult to consistently maintain.  For example, “forest woods”, or, “forest trees”, or, “shirt uniform”.  I’m just randomly opening the book here.  There are a ton more. 

One of the most entertaining bits of this book (and there are SOOOOOO many to choose from), occurs shortly after the rapture takes place–on I-285 in this case, though I debate whether or not this already happens on a daily basis–and general hysteria has taken those “Left Behind” (oops, did I say that?) by a gripping force that is only just a touch over-dramatized.  Judge for yourself, though:

Dakota glances back at the line of gasonline under a car fire.  The sparks from the car are just enough to light up the gasoline trail headed right to Dakota’s shoes.  He takes of running at full speed.  The car explodes and Dakota dives onto the pavement.  He slowly begins to sit up with his clothes torn.  He has sustained cuts and bruises throughout his body.  Dakota tries to maintain his composure when he notices the back of a woman lying on the side of the interstate.  He can hear her crying.  She looks so much like Desiree from behind.  Believing it may be her, he forgets about his pain and rushes over to her.  he presses his hand on her shoulder.  She turns around screaming out loud.

“Where is my baby?”  She grabs a hold of Dakota’s shirt, “have you seen my baby?  He was just in my womb.”  Dakota is stunned that it isn’t his wife and is horrified by what she says about her missing baby.  He is sorrowful for the lady, but his emotions don’t last long as he hears a loud noise approaching them.  he looks up towards the sky and sees a passenger plane coming right at them.  Then he looks straight ahead of him and views a herd of people stampeding toward them.  He realizes everyone is running toward the exit ramp to escape the coming plane.  Dakota helps the lady up off the pavement.

“Lady, we must hurry up and move or we’re both going to be killed.”

“I can’t go,” she replies, “What about my baby?”

“Your baby is gone and we have no time,” he responds, “We must run.”  He begins to run, dragging her along by his waist side.  She is sobbing tears of pain.  The herd of people are gaining ground on Dakota and the lady.  The airliner takes a nose dive onto the interstate.  Thunderous explosions erupt as the plane crashes.  Debris is flying all over the surrounding area.  Dakot realizes that he has to do something quick or they will be killed by the stampeding people or by debris from the plane crash.  They are inches away from being crushed by the people.  Dakota leaps just in time onto a grassy hill under the bridge, and next to the exit ramp.  He holds onto the lady as they roll down the hill and the mass of people pass by them.  Some of the people are being hit by debris, causing injuries and even death.

Even death?  NOOOOOOOO!  Sorry, I had to say something.  It’s near impossible to even type that without wanting to break in and make comments.  The book I own, which I’ve had for nine years now, is actually written in quite thoroughly by MYSELF and others who have braved a read/edit as well.  I actually signed off on page 83, as it was seriously beginning to hamper my writing efforts.  I didn’t hear the whole book until Alice (MY books by Alice professional) read it during a road trip a few years ago.  Since that time, I’ve made a concerted effort to spread the wealth.  If not only for the entertainment value, then for the illustration as to how one does not go about writing a book (and why some POD books are such a negative drain on self-published authors).

Just typing it has worn me out.  Perhaps I should go read Twain, or Tom Robbins, or some other high-grade, literary mind to recharge.  Actually, no, I’d rather have some bacon.  That should do just fine.

A Conversation with Christ

Quite a treat today.  What I bring to you today is a conversation with the one and only, Billy Christ, CEO of The Christ Corporation!  The fact that I had the opportunity to sit down with this religious icon, this man who has overseen quite a tribulent time in Christianity over the past 33 years was humbling to the say the least.  I may not agree with His position on much of anything, but it’s a rarity that He speaks so candidly with an average blogger/writer like ME.  Usually, He reserves that for the media folk.  But I managed to find Him on a day that He was rather contemplative, as He nears the end of His term, and He was more than willing to accomodate MY request.

But first, I offer you today’s links:

  • It would appear that Oprah’s boarding school is turning into a sex academy.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I’m sending in my application and resume immediately.
  • Ugh.  I’m doing this one for Alice, because I could barely even get through the article.  The New Kids/Adults on the Block are starting their tour over, right here in Atlanta on May 28th.  Didn’t anyone tell them that their newest album actually sucked?
  • WWCD?  Really, what would the world do without Stephen Colbert?  Hey, as long as I still get the moon, he can have the space station.
  • “Now, you see what daddy just did there?  I told the man to get the money out of the drawer.  But as you can see, honey, I’m still pointing this gun here at him, so he’ll do it, and he’ll do it without trouble.”  Ah, what fathers will do for their daughters.
  • In October, a new Robert Crumb book comes out, and I will wait in line to get one. 
  • There’s nothing like a good, heartwarming resurrection story to stir the soul as we glide toward Easter.
  • From the Onion.  I added this one because I’ve always had a problem with people who botch great movie lines.  Inconceivable!
  • And this one is entirely for ME.  I enjoyed the TNG reunion on Family Guy, but I’m a geek and I’m stoked to see what J.J Abrahms can do for the franchise.  Yup.  For realz.  I’m AM that dork.

It’s rained a lot in Atlanta lately.  Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you, but it’s puddled things up pretty fair everywhere, and the water is absolutely coated in a vile layer of pollen.  I was a bit conscious of this as I approached the home of The Christ Corporation.  The opportunity to sit with Christ was monumental, and the last thing I wanted to do was track mud into His pristine home.  I mean, it’s a monolith of glass in this expansive park-like garden, and there’s limited sidewalk space, most of which was, as mention, pooled in yellow-gooped mini-lakes.  I was fortunate, however, in that the lobby was ginormous, and had ample mats with which to wipe my feet clear.  After five minutes of obsessive wiping, I trudged on.  Despite the energy of the place, and the numerous televisions blaring evangelical sermonizing (the tag read something about GFC Atlanta), it was surprisingly quiet.  I waited for a while until a mousy looking guy in glasses that reminded ME of a Martin Short/Smithers clone emerged from an elevator and shook my hand.  His name was Arvid, or Armin, or something like that.  I was a bit overwhelmed and slightly nervous, so forgive MY inability to remember.  Either way, he prattled on about Christ so completely, that I began to look around the elevator for cameras.  Surely, Christ was watching our arrival.  Nobody could be so enamored with another without knowing that said individual was watching.  And to be honest, I was reviewing the questions for Christ in MY head, so about all I caught was something to the effect of, “He will be remembered by us all.  More from some, than from others.”  I only remember that because this Arvy guy had this supreme look of sugary-donut delight on his face, kind of the same I’ve seen about town in the Ansley area, if you follow.  I decided at that point that I would not step out of the elevator first, unless my notebook had ME well covered.

We arrived on the twelfth floor, passed a rather grumpy, but quite pretty, secretary named Mary, wandered down a hallway that was lined with pictures (God, they were cheesy kind of Buddy Christ images, for those who have seen Dogma) of the previous men who have sat in the Divine chair of the CEO.  We reached a door with a plackard that read, “Billy Christ, CEO” and simply walked in.  I was somewhat aghast.  I mean, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I thought a baptism, or something of that magnitude, was in order.  Would it be that easy to get into Heaven?  Just a door marked “Heaven” and you walk right in?  No dousing, no prattling on about MY sins, and sitting in judgement and stuff? 

However brazen our entrance, we were there, and nothing could have prepared ME  for the sight.  I don’t know if it was the view of downtown Atlanta through the monstrously large glass-paned face of the office, or the rediculously large conference table, or the furniture strewn about so heavily that I thought I had walked into a high-class fringe-society version of IKEA, or if it was just the mere presence of Billy Christ, standing before his desk with a grin like I’ve never seen.  I mean, I instantly knew that this man was never unhappy.  His smile wore a permanance that immediately warmed ME, and he was dressed (I am admittedly no great judge of fashion for the record) in a suit that easily out-paced MY monthly salary.  He propelled his hand into MINE, greeted ME, and said the word “outstanding” in every sentence, as if it were punctuation to be praised.  Arm…whatever his name was excused himself with a patient bow, and Christ invited ME to sit.  I remember thinking, as I looked at His desk, and its various accutrements, laptop, His coffee mug, and even the chalice of wine that sat atop his desk, that up to that point, I had no idea what “refined” meant.  In case you were wondering, it means, “likely to net you a nice take if you sell it on ebay.”  Just so you know.

It was at that time, as I gazed hopelessly around the office, taking in all the ornate Goodness that it held, that I found Christ staring at ME.  Now I don’t profess to be religious–not in an organized way anyhow–but I felt Him look through ME.  He has a deep, penetrating, other-wordly stare.  In a way, it was much as though He had simply vacated Mind for a moment, and had taken to wandering the Universe, or perhaps just the Office, in search of Grace.  Or something grace-like.  Anyway, He snapped to and said, “So…”

I jumped in my seat trying to get my notebook out.  And then I began:

“You’re coming to the end of Your term as Christ.  When do you expect that You will announce Your retirement and, upon reflection, how do You view Your tenure as Christ?”

Christ pondered it briefly, that smile ever-persistent.  “I’m told that I’ll know when to make My announcement.  God will show the way.  I can’t be certain, but it may be that I won’t know until I know that I’ve been given the knowledge.  It’s a tried and true method, I am told.  And as to My tenure, well, that’s a rather involved question with a lengthy answer.  I would be remiss to say that I have not enjoyed My time, or that I have not accomplished many things that will forever leave a mark.  However, I am a man of great humility, and I leave the boasting to those who follow me.  Or perhaps the Council.  They like to express their thoughts about Me often.” 

He laughed then, and…hm…how do I describe this?  I don’t know, really, but I swear to you, the sound came from under the desk, as if there were some sort of time-delay, or perhaps even that it arrived ahead of His motion.  Regardless, it was the first of many laughs that had ME quite unsettled by the end of our conversation.

“What would You site as Your greatest acheivement?”

“Greatest?  What a word!  Outstanding!  Some would say the affiliation with, and branding of the GFC’s–God’s Favorite Church, that is–of which there are now fifty-five at last count, is My greatest, as you say, acheivement.  Others have pointed to the weekly Offering, which takes place here at The Christ Corporation, and has given millions an outlet to seek My blessing over the years.  But I’m partial to the contract I negotiated with a certain vineyard in California–which must remain nameless for propriety, you understand–that has reinvigorated the somewhat stale version of Communion Wine that was previously served here, and in our GFC Atlanta affiliate.”

“Wine?”  I was somewhat taken aback, but cautious.  “You believe an upgrade of Communion Wine to be your greatest acheivement?”

“Oh, most certainly!”  He pinged the chalice with a flick of a finger.  “It is California’s finest, after all!’

I collected MYSELF, flipped through a few pages of MY notebook as if searching for something, then found some reserve and moved on.  “It’s a turbulent time, economically.  Unemployment is skyrocketing, the markets are soft, and families are struggling to keep their homes, their cars, and their children’s future from being absorbed by a lack of, or decrease in, income.  What would you say to them, given the reported jump in revenue, stocks, and overall financial security of The Christ Corporation?”

Billy Christ heaved a little sigh, then His smile returned.  “I would tell them that it validates the need for Christ.  For Me.  For the Offering.  If times are tough, where else should you turn?  Government?  The lottery?  Ha!  This is what the Offering is for.  If you wish to put money on the hopes of a wish and a dream, why not invest it in your soul?  Sure, these are difficult times, but now is the time to turn to Christ, to Me, for help.  Now is the time to invest in real hope, the promise of a better tomorrow, in the hands of a loving God.”

For a moment, I pondered that, but my need for a follow up was enveloped in His smile.  It was quite remarkable.  Really.  I moved on.  “You have a Twitter account, and a blog.  Do you find using these modern tools of social networking has brought you closer to the people?”

“Oh, yes, well, I find them useful, yes.  To be quite honest, I’m still a bit leery of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I find them to be a wonderful outlet to keep My followers in touch with my activities, but My time is so limited that blogging is very difficult.  Twittering is–”

“Tweeting,” I said politely.  One does not recklessly attempt to correct Christ.

“Yes, yes, that too.  They are both very easy and brief, therefore more accessible to My schedule.  I like the Twitter, very much in fact, but I tend to forget it somewhere through the day.  And, I’m quite disappointed that I have so few followers there.  I cannot hope to compete with that Shaq individual, and he doesn’t respond to My Tweeterings, which I admit, is somewhat frustrating.  I like to do it, but I believe I look forward to my retirement, when I need not bother with such things, a great deal more.”

“I know your time is short today, so I’ll just ask one more.”  He nodded, and eyed the Communion Wine with a very satisfied grin.  “You mentioned your retirement.  What will you do, and will you miss being Christ?”

He thought about this for a long while, and for a few seconds, I was beginning to feel like He was not willing to answer.  Then He locked on ME, and His broad smile returned.  “Forty-two,” he said.

“What?” I asked before I could stop myself.

“Forty-two,” he repeated.  “It’s a reference to–”

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, yes I know.  The Ultimate question to Life, the Universe, and Everything.”

“It is?”

“Yes.  What?”

He furrowed His brow.  “Oh, very well then.  I had often wondered what it meant.”

“You didn’t know?”  Christ shook His head.  “Well, then…”

Christ stared at ME, encourged ME with a simple nod.  “Yes?”

“Your retirement?”

“Yes, I will be.  Very soon, in fact.  Too soon.”

“Uh,” I waited, hoping the conversation would get back on track of its own accord, but it did not.  Christ smiled, and drew the chalice closer.  He seemed rather anxious to partake of the wine, and it almost seemed to ME that it was far too sanctimonious an act for an average ME-kind-of-person to witness.  Therefore, I called the conversation to a close.  “Yes, so I’ve heard.” 

We said our farewells, and Armind returned to escort me back to the lobby.  I left somewhat bewilidered, but gratified all the same, to have had an opportunity that no other person in MY place had ever had before.  Hopefully, as a new Christ is Anointed, and the transition is underway, I can parlay this opportunity into another.  If not, well, I’m itching to talk to the Disciples.  I hear they’re always willing to talk.  Here’s hoping.

For more information, and further details of the tenure of Billy Christ, visit this site.

Letting Facebook Do the Work For ME

Quote of the day is from a CNN article about the growing concerns of the growth of Twitter: “I keep getting the fail whale.  Twitter got too popular too quickly.  I blame Shaq.”

The Fail Whale

The Fail Whale

A few bits today before moving on:

  • Terribly sad, sad news from Miley Cyrus.  I just don’t know if I’ll be able to go on. 
  • If you smoke, you should quit.  If you don’t care that I care, then at least think of your wallet.
  • I’m very disappointed that math was never quite like this.
  • What? Twilight isn’t real?  GTF out of here already!  I want vampires dammit!
  • The Pope has decided, for some reason, to offer his Holy insights on condoms.  Really?  Condoms don’t prevent disease, they make it easier to transmit them?  Is this a South Park episode?
  • A Republican hottie?  No way!  Thank you Mehan McCain!  There is hope for the future, and it has washboard abs!

Ok, enough for now.  I like links by the way.  You get many more.  Just not today.  Let’s talk about ME again.

In the ongoing effort to initiate you all into the finer nuances of ME, I have decided that further information is required into who, exactly, I am.  You should be thrilled now.  I’ll wait a sec for the effect to take root.  (Insert Jeopardy tune here)  There now?  Excellent.  Given that it would take some time to get together a list of oddities regarding ME, I decided to let Facebook do it on MY behalf.  So, from the meme of “25 Things About ME”, I offer you this look into MY life thus far.  Where necessary (by “necessary”, I mean to say, “Where I so chose to do as I wished”) I have made alterations or additions to the original.

1. If I could sit at a computer all day and simply communicate by the written word, I would do so, which would ensure that you all continue to find ME “funny and uplifting”. Or something like that. Talking…er…not always so much.

2. I have a dog, Curbie (or Poohsie Poo, as Alice calls him), 2 cats (Maggie the Hungry Bitch and Ray the Mildly Retarded), a rat (named One), and two bunnies (Nyven the Sweet and Cadbury “TARROC” the Bunny).  I am fond of them all, but find that having a 65 lb dog sleep on MY legs at night makes it difficult to move.  I deal with it.

3. Until very recently, I had no idea that women (generally speaking) actually found ME attractive.  I’m still not sold on this idea.  I avoid mirrors as if I were a vampire.  Which I might yet be.

4. I’m much better at being Timmy Christ than Billy Christ. Could be a function of self or of desire.  But Billy’s way more funnerer.

5. When I was, like, 8, I stole money from MY mom’s purse at home to go buy a big Chewbacca figure. No joke. Very sad. Unfortunately, MY mom happened to be in the store at that time and walked up behind ME while I was in line to pay for it. Um…not good.  Hearing, “So, whatcha got there son?” still haunts ME to this day.

6. I don’t believe that I am that good of a person. I don’t know why I feel that way. Maybe because I live in my head and know what’s there. You’d probably feel the same.

7. I don’t enjoy being poor. I refuse to be that way much longer.

8. I smoked for a week when I was 12. I got tired of rushing home to brush MY teeth before mom got home and quit. Way too much work.  I’m not that motivated.

9. After failing to cut the lawn (as ordered) at 15, I told my dad–from the lay sanctity of the sofa–“Do you ever notice how work gets in the way of having fun?” Genius.  I decided that day to be a writer.  Nothing could help ME realize MY dream more.

10. I went to a Debbie Gibson concert. Yes, I know. Just know that I am still not embarrassed by those 4th row seats.  And then I balanced that out later that year by going to see Motley Crue. Oddly, the canceling out effect did not take place. I somehow still remember the DG concert, depite MY best efforts. Total Recall? Memory wash?

11. Do not read MY work in my presence. I will hover. I’m terrified you won’t like it.  Additionally, do not read over MY shoulder while I type.  I don’t like the stalker feeling you leave ME with.

12. I miss MY cat Rocky. He was the best. I blame she-must-not-be-named to this day.

13. I came very close, in ’94 or so, to just getting in MY truck and driving off. Don’t know where I was going, but I just wanted to disappear. I had everything I needed packed, cash in MY pocket, and all the desire in the world. I stayed because of family.

14. I refrain from drinking to excess because I have seen firsthand what it can do to a person. I am sad when I see it happening to people I care about. And I won’t say anything to you because it’s your damn life you’re ruining.  I’ve got MY own problems you probably don’t have time to work on either.

15. I wonder at times if I am, in fact, Truman. I’d like to speak to the producer please.  Still one of MY favorite movies, in case you were wondering.

16. Cheese should not just be a food group, it should be a spiritual icon of hope.

17. If I had it to do all over again, I probably wouldn’t. MY littany of stupid decisions and faulty awareness have made ME who I am. I’m fine with that.  You should be too.

18. I am not hopelessly addicted to fantasy baseball as some may believe, though I will never cease to enjoy the banter between Billy Christ and Kim Jong Ilstein.  To the fray I feel I can now add the one we call, “Shank”.

19. I don’t make friends–REAL friends mind you–often at all. But if you are my friend, well, suck for you right? I mean, really, you want to be MY friend? Haven’t I scared you away yet?

20. I used to believe that writing a memoir would be pointless. But, over the years, as I continue to do stupid things that produce rediculously hard trials, I realize that even I am entertained. God, I’m an idiot.  Be prepared to laugh at MY expense.  I will leave you countless opportunities.

21. I am not atheist. I am not agnostic.  I am also not Mormon, thank you, 8lb 6 oz Baby Jesus.  I believe in God, and I believe in spirit.  And I believe that I will talk your ear off about it.  But I am not religious.  I don’t believe in organized “anything”.  I believe only an individual knows what is in their heart.  Don’t try to tell ME what’s in MINE.

22. I am a reality tv junkie. I totally dig watching people make asses of themselves.  I still dream of being on Survivor.  I would likely be the first contestant to vote others off Agatha Christie style.  DIE STUPID PERSON!  DIE!

23. When I was 12, I wanted to be a professional bowler. Kids laughed at me so I wrote horrible stories about them. I decided being a writer was way cooler. And therapuetic.  For the record, I did bowl in tournaments when I was 20 or so, averaged about 200, and topped out at a 299 for a high game.

24. As MY publisher can attest, I loathe the rules of grammar. I think they should destroyed as soon as possible. And, I, don’t, get, commas, or…elipses. 

25. I want you to succeed more than ME. Even more than that, I want to help you do it.  Just don’t let your pride get in the way.  You’ll regret it.

Funny thing is, I don’t do these memes often, but I like this one.  I’ll probably do it again at some point when I don’t feel it will bore ME to no end.  Feel free to opine.  I know I do.

Writing Devil Fiction Makes God Happy

And so it begins…

It’s been some time since I remember stating that I should start a blog.  They’re useful things, after all.  Especially when one feels they have something of relevance to say, or promote.  In my case, I have ME.  And, as such, I will promote ME (Caps are necessary in order to inflate my ego) as necessary, and hope that you (sorry, no caps for you…this is show is about ME) get some facet of enjoyment out of it.  So, let’s just start with an introduction of sorts.  Things you must know about ME in order to fully appreciate anything that I may decide is worth writing about:

  1. I am the author of Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO, which debuted on March 3rd of this year.
  2. I am, according to the Tacoma Public Library system, a purveyor of Devil Fiction.  Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see what I mean.
  3. I have been writing this past year as Billy Christ, the outgoing CEO of The Christ Corporation, and an overall buffoon.  He has a Twitter account, and a blog (in which he has yet  to fully figure out how to use).  In a very short time, Timmy Christ will be anointed and will take over.  I expect he (or would it be He?) will have much to say.
  4. I am not an atheist, an agnostic, or a member of any organized religion.  I believe that if you can breathe, you have the capacity to decide for yourself what to believe.
  5. I am addicted to Facebook.  I am almost always on, doing something.  Very sad.  Fun, but sad.  I loathe Myspace, but I do have an account.  I check it like it’s a sick grandparent I don’t want to watch die.  Oh, The Christ Corporation has a Myspace page as well.
  6. I am an avid Fantasy League Baseball player and I will bore, or entertain, you with the ongoings of one particular league I am in.  The chatter between a few of us can be glorious and hilarious at once, as we all play in character.  Billy has the reigns on this one as well, for now.
  7. I owned and operated Wordsmiths Books, in Decatur, Georgia, from December 2006 through March 2009.  Alas, it is no more.  Its memory is a source of penultimate joy and sadness.
  8. This is what I wake up to every morning:

Not that face in particular, but one that is not too unsimilar.  In fairness though, this is what she sees when she wakes up:

 Blah.

In order to avoid making this entire post a list-oriented detailing of ME, I’ll bypass further numbering and save that instead for a Facebook meme that more accurately described ME in an entertaining, yet less than literary, way.  Oh, a further note of use.  I am no friend of Grammar.  I will slam the door in its face if it attempts to visit.  I have a restraining order against grammar and insist that it speak only to those who edit my words.  Grammar can go to Hell.  Elipses…are…my…friend, and, I, don’t, use, commas, correctly, if I use them at all.  Do not attempt to point out flaws in my grammar, or lack thereof.  I will get a restraining order against you as well (“And if you don’t believe me, I’ll put a jihad on you, too.”).

What I hope to utilize this blog for, aside from having an outlet that is purely ME-centric, and without the weight of Christ guiding my words, is to promote and encourage discussion of whatever inane subjects I wish to talk about.  I’ll drop some bits from Anointed, write unpublished additions from time to time, bore/entertain you with the Fantasy League Baseball (forever to be FLB henceforth) exploits of the Chrysler Salvation, tap into the myriad selection of religious news of the day (looking for conversation here folks, otherwise I’ll just look at myself in a mirror and watch MYSELF talk), and lastly (or perhaps just thisly, as there is likely to be more) give a once in a while look at how not to run and operate a bookstore.  Or perhaps any business at all.  Learn from me here.  I know I’m trying to.  Regardless, there will be a very ME-present atmosphere to everything, as I wish to promote ME and only ME (and on occasion you, if it benefits ME).  Though cheese is pretty important to0.

So as to keep this intro brief, I leave by way of offering you a glimpse of sheer stupidity.  This, from another my favorite sites, Fail blog:

Be glad you aren’t that oblivious.