Author Archive

Happy Independance Day Tobago!!!

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I feel so embarassed, every year I promise myself that I’m going to remember Tobago Independance day, but every year I forget to send them a card. This year was no exception.

I felt bad enough about it, but when I was researching Tobago on the web, I realized that they don’t even have a national anthem with which to honor their Independance Day.

To kill two birds with one stone, in honor of T.I.D., I have written them a National Anthem. I call it “Oh Tobago”

Oh Tobago! Tobago!

We so proudly sing your name!

Though you were found many years ago

You’re still basically the same.


Your nearest neighbor’s Trinidad

Down in the Caribbean Sea

You may get a great deal of rainfall

But that’s OK by me!


Your chief export is coral

Even though nobody cares

You may have your share of troubles

But you don’t have to worry about bears.


Oh, Tobago! Tobago!

Let’s raise our voices and sing!
While other countries all start wars

That’s not your kind of thing!


Your Chief Secretary’s Orville London

A noble man and true!

Of all the island nations

Tobago we love you!


Oh Tobago! Tobago!

We so proudly sing your name!

No matter how much time passes
We hope you’ll stay the same!

This Week’s Word: Alphabets

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Alphabets is a hard word to write about. I came up with a unique solution. Its not a perfect solution, but its as close as I’m going to come, I think. It was fun to write and let me explore the genre of crime noir, which I have always liked. That being said, settle down now for…

The Case of the Missing Heir
A Dick Lamont Mystery

Part 1

A cool breeze blew across the city. It was the first cool air people had felt all summer. You could judge its effects all over town. On the upper west side, people, trapped in their air conditioned rooms for the last two months actually poked their heads outside, you could see some of them heading down to the park for a stroll or a picnic lunch.

But down south, past the dye works, the people weren’t so lucky. The breeze died out before it got to them, like so many other promises made by the city – it was good for the folks with money, but tended to run out of steam when it got down to the less privileged.

Come around my neighborhood, you won’t see the privileged few, guys in three piece suits being driven to their brokerage firms. My upstairs neighbor is a retired prize fighter, took one too many blows to the head, now he works as a pipe fitter. Next door, there’s a lady who makes a good living being “friendly” to people, if you know what I mean. Most people from uptown wouldn’t be caught dead coming to my office, but, apparently, the woman sitting across from me was different. That’s the thing about being a private detective, people may not invite you to the posh parties, but they’re always glad to see you when the chips are down.

“Doll” wouldn’t even begin to describe her. Her name was Roberta Greenmount and she was quality all the way from her custom tailor suit-dress all the was down to her silk stockings and direct-from-Paris heels. She sat across the desk from me, looking me over like I was something she found in her toilet. I didn’t mind, though. You don’t hire a private eye for his looks, you hire him for results, and I was the best in the business.

“Everyone else has told me its nothing,” she said, “but I know something’s wrong. Deep down, I can tell,” her voice choked a bit, as she spoke. She was either sincere, or a better actress than Helen Hayes. I was voting for sincere.

“Freddy’s been missing for longer than this before,” she went on, after staunch a few sniffles on a handkerchief, “He’s a bit of a wild child. Father always insisted on spoiling him when he was younger. Freddy has a self-destructive streak. There are binges, you know, women, gambling, even some drugs, but deep down…deep down he’s a….” she started sobbing.

“Good kid,” I finished for her. She nodded.

How do you tell somebody that their brother is a louse? I’d given up trying. They could have stolen the family silver, hocked grandma’s wedding ring and spent the whole was on booze and hookers, but he’s still a “good kid” deep down, underneath. It always seemed to be the sisters that came after them too. Families are funny that way.

“I get $150 a day plus expenses,” I said to her. I tried to be gruff, but when I said it she broke into a million dollar smile. After a smile like that, I would have done the case for nothing.

“Just so we’re clear,” I say to her, to try to bring us both back down to Earth, “I get my money no matter what. Even if he’s been killed, arrested or what have you. You get me?”

“K-killed? Oh, Mr. Lamont, you don’t think….”

“Look at it from my position,” I say, “You say your brother has been missing for a week. You tell me he gets wild, goes on binges. A man like that can make a lot of enemies.” I’m trying to prepare her for the worst, but I guess, I’m too much of a gentleman, because I smile and try to soften the pill a little bit, “Of course, that’s probably not what happened, but you have to be prepared for anything.”

“My word’s my bond, Mr Lamont,” she says, the determined look on her face just makes me fall in love with her that much more, “You’ll be paid no matter what.” She reaches across the desk to give me her hand.

“Nice to have an understanding,” I say, shaking her hand, “Now when did you last see your brother?”

“Our family owns a ranch, about ten miles outside of town. Freddy has a room there, he usually stays there when he’s on the outs with father – which is most of the time,” she adds with a smile, “I saw him when I stopped by there last Sunday. I can take you out there, if you like.”

“Probably as good a place to start as any,” I say with a shrug, and I get up and grab my hat.

“Quite a place,” I say to Roberta, when we get to to the ranch.

“Really, Mr Lamont, you flatter us,” she says, flashing me another award winning smile, “Its just a ranch house.”

“Sure,” I say, because I don’t want to embarrass her, but most people on the south side would have called her simple little “ranch house” a mansion. Then there was the land, it was on a twenty acres lot if it was on an inch. Money is a funny thing. A guy might get a $20 bonus in his paycheck and flaunt it like he was the King of Egypt. Other people might be rich as Creosus, but actually seemed embarassed by it. Roberta was definitely one of those.

The inside of the house was dark and musty. I could tell nobody lived here on a permanent, at least for very long. We walked into the den. On one wall was a TV set that was bigger than my entire office. There was a door to the left that looked like it opened into some kind of office. There was a staircase that led to the second floor.

Up the steps I could here the sound of water running. Roberta told me that it was probably Zachariah. She didn’t call him such he sounded like the old family retainer. They let him live here, in exchange for him taking care of the house and grounds. Sounded like a good deal to me.

“Vera, my little sister, doesn’t like this place much,” said Roberta, “Mostly its just Freddy and my father who come out here, and father just comes out to do work for the environmental group he chairs.”

While she’s talking, I take a stroll into her dad’s office.

Xeroxes were stacked all around the room. There’s a small copier in the corner. They’re the cheap kind of fliers that you see hippies hand out at Anti-Nuke rallies. They all seem to be protesting something called the Cedar Hill Development Group.

“You wouldn’t think to look at him,” said Roberta, “But my father is quite the activist.” The pride she feels is obvious in her voice, “I remember, once…” but the words die in her throat, and instead of singing some more of her old man’s praises, she screams, and points to a dark figure in the corner of the room. For a minute, I thought it was a pile of laundry, but it was too wet, too shiny.

“Zachariah!” Roberta screams, “He’s been murdered!”

To be continued (or not)…..


Friday, August 17th, 2007

Illustration Friday’s word for this week (well last week, sorry, I was feeling poorly) is “emergency.” This naturally suggested a topic which is near and dear to my heart, namely, total effing paranoia and blind terror about almost every aspect of life. Hope you enjoy it!

State of Emergency

Have you ever lost a sock when you wash a load of clothes?
It almost always seems to happen, doesn’t it? You wash a load of clothes and you wind up short by one sock. Where does it go? Most people think they just fall down behind the washer, but that can’t be what happens, because you lose so many socks, that if they were all behind the washer, you’d have noticed by now. You’d have seen them stick out from behind the washer, and that would be that.
It must mean that someone is stealing the socks. I believe that they are being stolen for “nefareous purposes.” Most people don’t seem bothered by this. They don’t seem to care about someone breaking into their homes and stealing articles of clothing from them. I called 9-1-1 about it, but they said not to worry, that everybody loses socks. I think that’s precisely why we should worry about it. They could be stealing our socks to use in some strange Voodoo ritual. Or, perhaps they want to harvest skin cells from out of the socks, to make clones of all of us. It could even be something more unpleasent than that. There are all sorts of nasty things living on people’s feet.
Did you know that there are over a million tiny organisms living on your body? That’s another thing people don’t seem to be worried about.
There are millions of microscopic creatures living all over your body. From dust mites and bacteria, all the way up to tiny little parasites, invisible to the naked eye, they are all living on you, feeding on you, slowly eating you away, bit by bit. It doesn’t matter how much you wash, either, you’re just clearing the way for new things to move in. You can’t get rid of them, believe me, I tired. It makes me all itchy, just thinking about them.
I called 9-1-1 about it. I told the operator there were millions of tiny organisms living all over me, eating me away. She told me that wasn’t a real emergency. I told her, it may not seem like a real emergency to her, but if being slowly eaten away by a million microscopic organisms wasn’t an emergency, then I’d like to know what was. She said something very rude and then hung up.
I think that they are hiring ruder telephone operators than they used to. It concerns me. I called up 9-1-1 to report it, but they did not wish to discuss it. That made me quite angry. Suppose a man’s head exploded, I asked them, and he called up 9-1-1 to ask for an ambulance, and they were rude to him. That man would be denied important life-saving treatment, I told them. It wasn’t any good, though, the operator wouldn’t listen to me. She sounded like a very “nefarious” sort of person. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was in league with the sock thieves. I was so insulted, that I almost didn’t call them back to warn them about the air.
Over the last one-hundred years, through the use of the internal-combustion engine, we human beings have so poisoned the environment that the air we breathe is practically poisonous. You can see it in photographs of big cities in the summer-time, a nasty brown layer of smog hanging over the cities. That’s the air that people breathe and its practically toxic! I felt that it was my duty to warn someone. The 9-1-1 operator didn’t seem to agree with me, though.
Walk down the street of any big city. Not only is the air unsafe to breathe, and the water unsafe to drink, but there are people who actually try to hurt you. There are people with guns and knives waiting to rob you. The 9-1-1 operator says that people like that aren’t everywhere, but that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? If you knew where they were, you could avoid them, but they could be anywhere. Nasty, evil people looking to rob you or do Lord knows what could be lurking around every corner. I just felt that people should be told about it, that’s all, they go about their lives not seeming to notice at all. I’ve seen people walking down the street laughing – they actually laughed, even though large unpleasent men with guns could be waiting for them around every corner. The 9-1-1 operator warned me that if I kept calling, she would have me arrested.
There are dangers everywhere you look. If you get in the car to drive somewhere, it could explode, or swerve and crash into a truck. If you walk down the street, you could be mugged, or there could be a gas-line explosion, or anything. Why can’t people understand how dangerous things are. Life is so good, life is so sweet, why aren’t people more worried about losing it!
That got me thinking about people. It doesn’t seem right that people aren’t more worried about the hazards all around them, so I started thinking, what if they weren’t really people? What if they were clones made from all the stolen socks. What if they were sent to this planet off all the real people, by poisoning the air, and attacking them in the street and putting millions of microscopic organisms all over their bodies. What if the real people were the ones who were still worried about things like that?
I was very upset. If alien clones had invaded the Earth, I felt that somebody ought to know. So I called 9-1-1.
That was when the police came. At first I was happy, at first I thought, “Ah ha! About time they finally did something!” All they did, though, was to put me in a hospital. I know they must think I’m crazy, but I’m not. I’m just concerned. Its not so bad in here, though. There’s a guard at my door, to protect me in case anyone should try and break in. There’s foam padding on all the walls, which is there to cushion me in case I fall over. They have me in a harness, too, which they say is to prevent me from hurting myself. I don’t think that I ever would hurt myself, but better safe than sorry, I suppose.
For a while, I felt really happy, because, after all those years of worry, I finally felt safe. Then I got to thinking, all these things wouldn’t protect me if the ceiling caved in. Its funny, isn’t it, how no one ever thought of that before. We all just go about our lives blithely walking into buildings, without worrying that the ceilings might cave in on us. People should be warned, I’m surprised that no one thought of it before.
I wonder who I can tell?

French Teen Posts His Own Translation of Harry Potter, Is Arrested

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

OK, if you haven’t heard about this yet, here’s the story

The short form is that a high school kid from France, impatient that the French translation of Harry Potter won’t be released until October decided to do his own translation of the first three chapters, and post them on his web-site. Shortly after he did this, the police came and arrested him for copyright violation.

Now, I love the Harry Potter books. I think J.K. Rowling is richly deserving of every success she has had heaped upon her — but come on. Defending a copyright is one thing, but I think it should stop short of sending impatient teenagers to jail. For one thing, he seems to be a much more able translator than the one who was officially hired — he certainly seems to work faster. Perhaps Scholastic should have offered him a job (or maybe just sent him a nasty letter telling him to take his translation down) before siccing the gendarmes on him.

Now, as a fan, I certainly respect the rights of fans not to receive any spoilers before reading the book. Ms Rowling herself feels so strongly about this that she waited until several days after the book was published before going on national television and revealing spoilers. Still, perhaps I am an anarchist at heart, but I really don’t think that Harry Potter sales are going to plummet in France just because of this kid’s website — or, at least, not to the extent that the kid should be arrested for his enthusiasm over this series.

Maybe the folks at Scholastic never had to take a foreign language in High School, but I can guarantee that a High School language student’s translation of ANYTHING will not affect sales of a professionally published translation. I translated an essay or two during my tenure in High School and if they ever resembled, either in meaning or in spirit, the original work, it was a quirk of fate so far-fetched that it could be considered a miracle.

By way of demonstrating this, I would like to present a brief excerpt of how I believe this French teen’s translation would read if it were translated back into English. I would like to stress that I am making this up entirely. Nothing I write is based on the new Harry Potter book, its illicit translation, or anything else. There are no spoilers/copyright infringements here. Please, please do not arrest me.


Harry the Jar-Maker and the Halls of Death

It was to be a day of great auspiciousness/lucky joy for Harry the Jar-Maker. For being today the day of the anniversary of his being born.

“May luck shine down upon you,” was saying the friend Hermione of Harry, “You are greatly to be forunate.”

“Indeed,” quoted friend Ron, “much happiness be with you on today.”

“Yes,” was saying Harry, “Thanks are given to you he she. If only fears (or possibly dreads/longing) of Voldemort were not being present. I long that he does not take a life of perhaps ours.”

“Do not worry of this?” declaimed friend Ron with laughter, “Is it not so? Will we need him now? Enjoy of the Bertram Boat’s Multi-Flavored Legumes which is being my surprise towards you.”

And Harry did this but it was the flavor of ear-candles. The multitude of friends gave great laughter


And on, and on, and on…Scholastic has nothing to worry about.

Illustration Friday: Well, wait and see…

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

I’m not telling what the Illustration Friday word of the week is this week, since it will ruin the end of my story. I will say that this week’s word is the last word in my story. Of course, if you came here from the Illustration Friday website, then my vain bid at secrecy is useless, but oh well, them’s the breaks.

My offering for this week is a gripping drama which I have entitled “No Stone Unturned”. Enjoy


No Stone Unturned

It had all come down to this…
    Dr. Merkatur sipped his brandy while the great white persian cat purred contentedly on his lap. To think, he had been so close, so many times before without success.
    In Marekesh he would have captured him, if it hadn’t been for that freak rainstorm. In Hong Kong he was within a hair’s breadth of capturing the infuriating man, but he had escaped, as always, with a wry remark and a curt nod of the head. In Bangladesh, the story had been the same.
    Berlin, though, had been a different matter. In Berlin he had finally caught the great secret agent, Edward Stone.
    Merkatur had overseen Stone’s imprisonment himself. The chains that bound his wrists and ankles were pure titanium. He had been drugged with morphine, to make sure he was placid and disoriented. Stone had been stripped naked, and his hair and teeth had been checked thoroughly for concealed weapons. The bunker they were in was located ten miles underground, and Stone now occupied the only room in its lower level. The walls of the room were reinforced concrete over two feet thick. The room’s only feature was the hook where Stone was chained to the floor. The room had been soundproofed so the spy’s cries for help could not be heard by any of his underlings. The only door to the room was of the same design as those Lloyd’s of London used for its high security vaults, for which Merkatur had the only key.
    By now, the cyanide gas should have been released, rendering Stone quite dead. Just to make sure, though, a series of industrial lasers then fired into the room, followed by a shower of hydrochloric acid.
    The Doctor bit his lip in impatience. With a wave of his hand, he summoned two henchmen, and the three of them went to Stone’s death chamber.
    A cruel smile playing about his lips, the evil genius pulled out the key to the door, and slowly, savoring every moment turned it gently in the lock, like a lover.
    He leapt out of the way as the door swung open and the two henchmen aimed machine guns into the room, releasing a spray of bullets. Better to be safe than sorry, thought Merkatur.
    After the noise had died down, the malicious dwarf got up from off of the floor, dusted himself off and went to inspect the room. He peered through the smoke, and saw the titanium chains lying open on the floor in a pool of acid. It was impossible. It was too horrible to even believe. Stone was missing….

Shooting the Moon

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Illustration Friday’s word this week is “Moon.” My entry is entitled “Shoot the Moon”. I may wind up editting it, I did it all in one sitting, late at night while on vacation. Yawn, its time for bed.


    Do you want to know what I don’t trust?
    The moon, that’s what I don’t trust.
    Have you ever worried about what’s going on up there? The way it hangs over us every night, just looking down at us. That’s the biggest clue right there. Of course, the government doesn’t want us to think about that, that’s why they staged those lunar landings back in the 60s.
    Now don’t worry, buddy, I’m not one of those guys who think they filmed the moon landings in some movie studio in Burbank. That’s ridiculous. Nobody in Hollywood knows how to keep their mouth shut. They’re all commies anyway, if they’d filmed the moon landing there, the word would have been out the next day.
    They filmed it in Canada.
    ‘Course they did? They work cheap up there, I tell you, the average Canadian’d kill his mother for a five dollars American. Besides, even if they talked, and got somebody on the phone and told ‘em they were filming the moon landing in some Canadian movie studio, who’d believe them? They’re Canadian for Crissakes! Foreigners ain’t got any say in American politics.
    So they filmed the moon landing up in Canada, and nobody knew the difference, because whose gonna try and call the government out?
    I know what you’re gonna say: What about the astronauts? How’d they get the astronauts to play along? They didn’t. They didn’t film the astronauts. That’s why in all the old films from the moon landing, they had those huge helmets covering their faces, and when they talked, their voices were all full of static, like they had a bad connection. You couldn’t tell who the hell they were. The real astronauts never went anywhere near the moon landing. They hired actors.
    Neil Armstrong. I bet you any amount of money you’ll never guess who they hired to play Neil Armstrong. Go on, guess, you’ll never get it, not in a million years.
    Cary Grant. They shipped Cary Grant up to Canada to play Neil Armstrong in the moon landing. That’s why he didn’t do much work around then. The government hushed him up. They had blackmail on him, you see. The government’s got blackmail on all those big Hollywood stars, they can make ‘em do whatever they want.
    Take the Kennedy assassination. I bet you think it was Kennedy that got assassinated in Texas. It wasn’t. You’ll never guess it in a million years. It was Eddie Fisher. They were worried about safety for Kennedy, so they got Eddie Fisher to go around pretending he was Kennedy. So, when they assassinated Eddie Fisher, Kennedy went to go live in a bunker and run the government and that’s what he’s been doing ever since.
     Its this big bunker up in Canada. Oh sure, all the big name American politicians really live in Canada. In fact, America bought Canada back in the fifties. It cost them $280 and a case of beer. Eisenhower bought it because he was having an affair with Elizabeth Taylor and wanted to have someplace they could go where they wouldn’t be spotted. Besides, ol’ Ike was smart, he knew that someday they might need someplace to film the moon landing.
     Why? Well that’s obvious isn’t it? Ike couldn’t risk anybody landing on the moon, because of all the nuclear waste. They’d been testing A-bombs on the moon for years, and if anybody landed up there, BLAM there went our tactical advantage. You see, it was all about tactical advantage for Ike – that and Elizabeth Taylor.
    So, they government had to hire somebody to pretend to be Elizabeth Taylor while Ike was up with her in Canada – so they hired Judy Garland. Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t really Elizabeth Taylor – Judy Garland was. It wasn’t even Judy Garland, either, what Ike didn’t know is that Truman had replaced her with Maxine Andrews in 1945. Her voice had started to go, and Harry figured it would be too damaging to American morale to lose a popular singing star like that, so he had her replaced.
    The politicians are doing that all the time. Nobody in Hollywood is who they say they are. The same with the government. They’re all just figureheads. The real power is all up in Canada. You think the president of the United States is really George Bush. Think again. I got two words for you: Tom Hanks. George Bush wasn’t photogenic enough, so they sent him up to Canada. Tom Hanks has been running things, ever since, only he’s not really running things, since its really Kennedy up in a bunker in Canada.
   You gotta open your eyes, buddy. Look around you! If you can’t trust the moon, then who can you trust.

The word of the week is “Poem”

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Illustration Friday has spoken, this week’s work is poem, and so I have written one. Here it is:

The World’s Worst Poem

I’ve been a writer all my life,
From childhood ‘till I took a wife
And one thing that has caused me strife
Is that no word rhymes with “purple.”

You could write all day and all night
From sunset until dawn’s first light
You could work and curse, swear and fight
But there’s nothing that rhymes with “month.”

I met a guru in Pakistan
He’d gone from Rome to Khazikstan,
Wherever he went, this great man
Still couldn’t find a rhyme for “orange.”

This is the moral of my tale:
You can try, but to no avail,
To rhyme some words you’ll always fail,
Tho’ they pay you in gold and silver.


Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Well, here it is pals and gals, the first of my Illustration Friday posts. The word this week was “discovery” and my story is about what happens when you notice a little lump…


     I first noticed the lump one morning as I was brushing my teeth. I know that when you discover something like that, you should report it to your doctor immediately, but I was running late for work and it didn’t seem all that important.
     The lump was about a foot and a half in diameter and an almost perfect sphere, except that it was attached to the side of my head. It was bright purple in color – well lavender, really – with long silky hairs that might have been covering a large eye directly in its center. I didn’t really examine it all that closely – like I said, I was late for work.
     At work, I think people noticed the lump. Marjorie, our admin assistant, looked like she was going to say something, but she didn’t. I stopped over at Frank’s cube for a few minutes to talk about our fantasy football league, he looked a little worried, but I guess he thought it would have been impolite to say anything.
     During my lunch break I slaughtered all the puny humans that resided in our company’s primitive office building with my telekinesis. I had a meeting scheduled right after lunch, but nobody showed up, as usual. It had probably been cancelled and everybody just forgot to tell me. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing solitaire.
     The whole thing with the lump had been kind of depressing me, so I figured I needed a change, so after work, instead of taking the bus like I usually did, I levitated home – on the way, I destroyed City Hall, which was good because I’d been promising myself I’d get more exercise. I made a note to see about joining a gym tomorrow.
     It was Thursday and I usually watch “Starsky and Hutch” on Thursday nights, but that night the show had been pre-empted. They kept showing news footage of me destroying City Hall. When I saw myself on TV, the lump on my head looked a lot bigger than it had that morning – that worried me a little bit, but I figured it wasn’t really that important. After all, if it had been something bad, I wouldn’t be feeling well, and I felt fine, actually better than I had in a long time. I shut off the TV, offered up the evening prayer to Bl’Ar’ateth the Flame God, and went to bed.
     I woke up early the next morning. Actually, it was the screams that had woken me up. Apparently, during the night, I had gotten up and ritualistically slaughtered almost everyone in my apartment building, leaving the survivors to die a slow and painful death surrounded by the corpses of their fellows. This wasn’t a big deal, I was always a light sleeper. Also, I had grown a third arm coming out of my stomach.
     I went to work, but the building I worked at wasn’t there any more, so I figured that meant I had the day off. I was going to call Susan, in Human Resources, just to be on the safe side, but I remembered I had killed her yesterday. So I went to the zoo instead.
     At the zoo, I recorded all the species of plants and animals on this planet that might possibly be a threat to my race. This would come in handy when the mother ships landed on this pitiful planet. Suddenly I felt a keen sense of regret that I had killed my boss yesterday – he was always trying to get me to think ahead like that.
     I fought the National Guard that afternoon, it was kind of boring. The lump itched a little bit, but I figured that was just its eye getting ready to open, I wasn’t really all that worried about it.
     The next day, I destroyed the White House, forced the president to kiss my feet (they had turned into tentacles, actually) and swear an oath of fealty to the invasion force of Altair VII. Then I went on television demanding the immediate surrender of all Earth’s governments.
     I’m eating more aluminum than I used to. Occasionally sparks of lightning leap from my fingers. Whenever the eye on the lump opens, I feel myself in communion with ancient primal deities anxious to get a toe-hold in this dimension. Also, I’m afraid I might need glasses.
     I know its probably nothing, but I’m still a little bit worried about the lump. I should probably get it looked at…one of these days.

Illustrations From Non-Illustrators

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

There is a site, and I will name it by name, it is called “Illustration Friday” ( Every week they post a new word onto their web-site, and artists can post links to illustrations which they have done based on that word. Its a fun way for artists to stay in practice, and to make contacts and get their work out and about.

Illustration Friday has categories for different styles of artwork. They have a category for colored pencils, they have a category for watercolor, they even have a category for silk screens. They do not have a category for writing. I have not spoken with the people who run the site, but my guess — and I stress that it is just a guess — is that just because writing is not a form of “illustration,” they feel that it doesn’t belong on a site called “Illustration Friday.” I feel that this is a shamefully narrowminded position to take. I can’t draw worth a damn, but I’m a pretty decent writer, should I be discriminated against?

 The last time I looked, we were living in America, and living in America means being FREE! Right before Patrick Henry was killed during the Revolutionary War, he had just burst in upon the British Colonial Congress which was meeting that day in Virginia. To show his disdain for his colonial overlords, he leapt up upon the conference table, dropped his pants and began reciting the pledge of allegiance. He did this to ensure that future generations would be entitled to the freedoms which he was denied. That is why, I am proud to say that any man, woman or child can enter the Capital building at any time of the day or night, drop their pants, and recite the pledge of allegiance! Actually, a quick search on Wikipedia has revealed that you can’t do this, and if you did, it would qualify as a Federal Offense and you would go to prison. Furthermore. apparently, Patrick Henry wasn’t killed during the Revolutionary War and never dropped his pants at the British. It sounds like something he might have done, though, and that’s what Freedom really means to me!

So, I for one am bucking this whiny narrow-minded “we only want illustrations for our illustration web site” attitude of the Illustration Friday people. When they pulbish their word of the week, instead of doing an illustration, I am going to do a short piece of writing based on the word. I am going to post it here. If the Illustration Friday people won’t post a link to it, then my wife, who is actually an illustrator and participates in Illustration Friday, will post a link to my writing on her web site. Take that you British upstarts!

 Or, in the words of Patrick Henry, “Neener! Neener! Neener!”

 Watch this space…

Hello world!

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Hello, welcome to the new blog of Jason L. Smith. I’m going to start things slowly at first, until I can see if I have the discipline to update this thing on a regular basis. Hopefully it will be the home of short fiction and writing on a variety of topics.

 Enjoy, and if you like what you read, please let me know!