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Another Story Prompt

I was out skiing the other day, and ran across this:

There’s a dizzying array of possible stories here, all sorts of inspiring prompts.

Did one of the people involved with the romance memorialized on the tree come back after things went badly, hacking away at it with a Bowie knife (a birthday gift form their former lover), over and over until all evidence was gone? Did the third end of a romantic triangle find the original carving while on a walk through the forest and obliterate the initials of both their unrequited love and their hated rival? So many different stories.

Anyway, happy Valentine’s Day, folks!

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The Existential Horror of Garfield

The other Garfield

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of Garfield!  To celebrate, please enjoy some favorites of Internet Manifestation, Garfield Minus Garfield, which gets to the very heart of what makes the strip so deeply melancholy and unsettling, and the horrifying Lasagna Cat, where Garfield strips are acted out by real live people.

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Sing Us A Song, You’re The Great Old One

Like me, you may have experienced feelings of dread when listening to Uptown Girl, or seen visions of cyclopean ruins when Captain Jack comes on the radio.

Well, now we know why.

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The Power of Names






I have a connection with Binghamton, New York, so it was with interest that I read about the city’s double-A baseball team name change, despite my generally solid indifference to baseball.  But of course, you may have already heard about it, thanks to the fact that they’ve opened the name change to an internet vote, and limited the choice to some frankly bizarre names (Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Rumble Ponies, Stud Muffins, or Timber Jockeys).  I assume that Boaty McBoatface hangs heavy over their decision not to let folks on the Internet actually suggest names, but given that they should have asked someone who had, like, good ideas.

This is something of a sore point for me, since my alma mater, in the same area, used a committee to decide on a new mascot for SUNY-Binghamton (shortly after another committee decided to stop calling it SUNY-Binghamton).  Granted the old mascot “The Colonial” was kind of dumb, but the new mascot, the Bearcat, is worse.  Not that I have anything against bearcats, per se.  I mean, look at the little fellow:


No, the problem is that the committee that decided on the mascot had somehow heard of bearcats but never bothered to research what they were, and in fact, based on their press release, labored under the misapprehension that bearcats are mythical, like griffins, or hippogriffs.  So the logo looks something like a pissed-off bear rather than a cuddly, musk-emitting rodent.

It seems Binghamton just has trouble with sporting names, because this latest committee seems to have developed a strange fixation on Binghamton’s connection to carousels.  Which, okay, be proud of the carousel thing, I guess, but Binghamton has so many other historical connections that seem a bit more vigorous and manly than carnival rides.  For example, the famous shoe people Endicott-Johnson started there (technically in the suburbs of Endicott and Johnson City, I guess).  Why not call them the Binghamton Booters, or Ass-kickers?  And of course, IBM was big in Binghamton once.  How about the Binghamton Business Machines?  There’d have to be some awesome logos for that.  The flight simulator was invented there – how about the Binghamton Fake Flyers?  Or the team could be named after the local delicacy – the Binghamton Spiedies sounds athletic, right?

All that said, “Timber Jockeys” works, I guess.

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Belated Tuesday

Redneck_Eldritch_cover_namesAnother Tuesday passed, a while back, which means it is (was) time for another Redneck Eldritch sneak peek: Taxed, by Scott William Taylor.

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A Very Special Tuesday

Redneck_Eldritch_cover_namesNot only is this the Tuesday you get to see the sneak peak of my story (The Gears Turn Below), but it’s also the Tuesday where the anthology we’re talking about goes on sale!

So check it out – makes the perfect Mother’s Day present.

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Yet Another Teaser

Redneck_Eldritch_coverThe third story preview for Redneck Eldritch is up!  This time it’s the fine story Recording Devices, by D.J. Butler.

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I am the proud owner of several (mainly) loyal pets.  For the most part, they perform their roles as expected (lying around or enthusiastically sniffing things, respectively).  But every now and again, one or both will give me this look, as if I’ve just done something very peculiar and possibly transgressive.  The last time this happened, I asked the hound “Do I look like a weirdo?”  Nothing odd about that, but the disconcerting thing is that having uttered that, the whole of the “Captain Vegetable” song from the golden age of Sesame Street sprang into my head (except for a small gap after Eddie says that spaghetti is a “lovely thing that looks like string”).

I’m trying to come up with something else I recall so clearly from my childhood (or more likely, college years), and coming up empty.


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baseballWe don’t normally discuss sports around this blog, but the Baseball Hall of Fame is just down the road from me in Cooperstown.  And with Halloween approaching, I thought I should link to this wonderful article about that famous institution.

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As a writer, I catalog all my experiences, naturally, and try to make sense of them for later use.  But recently, I discovered something bizarre and inexplicable. Everything happens for a reason, of course, and the universe has an order to it.

So why does Hanes underwear come in a resealable bag?


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