Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm taking a vacation loyal fans! See you in 2 weeks

While I'm gone why not scroll down and check out my older posts?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Part 4 of Writing the Literary Masterpiece

   Ladies and gentlemen, the conclusion of our tale.  

Part 4

The epilogue

    All right, all right, I know. No way in hell could you get away with that in a literary masterpiece. I just wanted to spare you Grandpaw’s long-winded soliloquy. So anyway, let’s pretend Grandpaw’s had his say and move ahead to the final scene where the family looks out into the morning sun and the hope of a new future.
   Here Jenny leaves us with her final thoughts...
   I feel loneliness in the pit of my soul. A loss, as if something’s been roughly torn from me. I miss Grandpaw, Granny, Big Elvis and our farm back in Oklahoma. I want to go back to that time when we were all one family, each one of us an important piece of the other. As if all together, we made up yet another person, one who was happy and content and at peace with the world.
   As Grandpaw lay dying he said to cherish those special memories. Because things change and can never be the same again. Our only hope is to try to find those kindred spirits who will enrich our lives during our journey as we, hopefully will enrich theirs. He said a lot more, a full three hours worth before he passed on. I didn’t hear it though because I had fallen into a coma and according to Pap, am lucky to be alive. He says when Grandpaw gets to jawing he could literally suck the life right out of you. I am grateful for my blessings.
   We saw a help wanted sign outside a local farm today. The owner said he had a big crop and needed all the workers he could get. He says he’ll pay us the going rate and put us up in the cabin out back until we get on our feet.
   This morning I saw the sun rising over the California skies and I reckon a new day is rising for us as well. I know there will be a hole in my heart for a long time and only hope that it will be filled with the joys and hopes that each new tomorrow brings.
Jenny Trueheart

   Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo, sob, sob. How sad and yet how inspiring!
   In our next lesson I’ll show what to do when you are overwhelmed by your sudden success and descend into madness, alcoholism and poverty just like all the other literary masterpiece writers. Until then, remember, don’t just write right, write smart!
Zackary Richards

   And there you have it! Our lesson is complete and now you too can go out and create a literary masterpiece worthy of a Nobel Prize. When you do win (and you will) you WILL be asked about reoccurring themes, symbolism, juxtaposition and all sorts of artsy-fartsy crap the illuminati will claim permeates your novel. When questioned, smile wryly and say that you prefer to leave those interpretations to the imagination of the readers.  This will give the impression that you are high-minded and unaffected by the necessities of day to day life. Remember, my friend, are an Artiste!
   One last note* When Hollywood offers you a boatload of money, and I mean real money. Enough money to keep you in top shelf liquor and expensive prostitutes until they find your rotting corpse in some fleabag hotel, take it and run like hell! Because let’s face it, novelist’s lives usually don’t end well and you’re going to want to con your relatives into believing you remembered them in your will. This way you will probably get a proper burial. Hopefully before they discover the money’s gone.
   And speaking of money…
   Did you know this story is merely an excerpt from my short story novel, Storytime? Did you know that Storytime contains 22 other short stories? And that it has 9 five star reviews? And that you can download the entire 425 page novel to your electronic device for only $2.99?
   So click here and download your copy. You’ll be glad you did!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Part 3 of Boobs Writing Literary Masterpieces

      Welcome back students. So let’s review. In Part 1, we discussed the basics of Writing a Literary Masterpiece. In Part 2, we discussed how to construct a plot. (IF you’ve missed those posting, scroll down and click on OLDER POSTS) Here in Part 3, we introduce the trials and sorrows and pain and suffering and tragedy and loss and misery and horror and…
      Okay, okay! Anyway, here’s where you have Fate test the resolve and faith of the Truehearts before they can rightfully claim their eventual triumph.
      And now Ladies and gentlemen, Part 3!

If you guessed that it’s time for tetched ol’ Grandpaw to take a dirt nap, you’re right. But wait! Before we can drop kick his ass out of our tale we must first introduce...THE AUTHORITARIAN OPPRESSOR!
You see, the underlying story in all literary masterpieces is little guy versus big guy. Evil Yankee soldiers oppressing sweet southern belles, corrupt government officials oppressing courageous immigrants and of course, cruel policemen oppressing the poor and destitute. So let’s get right to it!
The Truehearts, tired and hungry roll into California hoping to encounter some kindly farm folk who will take them in, maybe even give them jobs. Sadly, as they make their way through the various towns they come upon makeshift road signs that depress and frighten them.
Scram Okie shitheels!
Hit the road you farming scumbags!
Welcome to L.A.
Yes, things look pretty grim. Granny’s got the brain fever, Big Elvis is dead, the radiator’s leaking and worst of all, they’re fresh out of corn squeezins!
So what do we do now?
Why, we bring in the Authoritarian Oppressors of course!
In this scene the Truehearts have come upon a fire hydrant in a small town. Needing water desperately, they open it and proceed to fill two pails. One for the radiator and one for Granny who’s “jes’ burnin’ up”.  It is at this point two policemen come around the corner.
“Tis a hot one today, isn’t it, Clancy?” the first officer says.
“Indeed it tis, O’Toole,” comes the reply.
“Saaaaaayy! What’s that down the street?” Clancy asks.
“Ba’ gosh and begorra! Why, I believe it’s a bunch of migrants up to no good!”
“Get out your truncheon, Clancy, while I slip on me brass knuckles.”
Once again Jenny narrates:
As I was pressing a cool wet cloth against Granny’s fevered brow and Pap was filling the radiator, I seen two policemen walk up.
“All right, and what do yer think yer doin’?” Officer Clancy asks Pap.
“Well, officer,” Pap replies. “Just getting a little water for my truck and ol’ Granny. It’s a mite powerful hot today.” Pap then puts down the pail, closes the hood and rests his left foot on the fender.
“Well,” says O’Toole sadly, disappointed that no law is actually being broken. “No harm done I guess. Good day to you, sir.”
As Clancy and O’Toole put away their weapons and are about to leave, Grandpaw jumps out from the flatbed.
“Dad-blamed revenuers!” he shouts as he pulls his shotgun and fires.
As Clancy’s hat gets blown into confetti, O’Toole jumps into Pap’s arms and with only the pogo-stick leg to support them, Pap and O’Toole start bouncing up and down as Grandpaw tries to draw a bead.
KABLAM!! KABLAM!! goes the shotgun as the headlight and radiator cap are blasted to Kingdom Come.
“Let’s go! Let’s go!” shouts the family housekeeper, Miz Aureola, as she jumps behind the wheel and starts the engine.
In a cloud of black smoke, Pap tosses O’Toole into Clancy’s arms and vaults into the open passenger-side window.
As the old truck peels down the street, the policemen pull their guns.
“Look out, Jenny!” Grandpaw yells as he dives in front of her and is hit square in the chest by one of the policemen’s bullets.
As Grandpaw slumps into a chair on the flatbed, Jenny cradles his head in her arms. “Oh, Grandpaw!” she says crying.
Now, as we all know, no one in these stories ever simply dies outright. Noooo! Hell, you could have lopped off Grandpaw’s head with a machete and tossed a Hail Mary pass with it and we’d still be subjected to a half-hour of balloon juice from the old coot.
Although Grandpaw is clearly an idiot, it is now time for him to say something almost Shakespearean to make sure there’s not a dry eye in the house.
“Jenny girl sit down,” Grandpaw says holding his chest.
Jenny sits down at his feet.
“Now, I’ve lived a good, long life,” he says. “And if I’ve learned anything it’s that...”
Miz Aureola and Granny look at each other and roll their eyes. “Haven’t we suffered enough?” they seem to say.  Then Miz Aureola sees a pothole in the road ahead. Granny sees it too; nods at Miz Aureola then slides open the rear window and calls Jenny.
“Jenny, come see yer ol’ Granny for a second will yer, honey?”
“Keep talking, Grandpaw, I hear real good.” Jenny says as she gets up and makes her way over.
“Well, like I was saying,” Grandpaw continues. “I was a mere pup when my Grandpaw, Augustus J. Trueheart said to me, ‘Boy, wherever there’s a cop beating on a guy, I’ll be...’
“Yes’m, Granny?” Jenny whispers.
Timing it just right, Granny puts her arms through the open window and hugs Jenny tightly just as the truck hits the pothole.
“Yoip!!” Grandpaw exclaims as he is jettisoned off the truck and into a roadside pile of pigshit.
Granny releases her. “Just wanted to give my little angel some lovin,” she says.
Jenny smiles. “Thanks, Granny, I love you so much, and Grandpaw too. Why I could...” she then turns and sees Grandpaw is gone.
“Granny! Where’s Grandpaw??!!”
“I reckon the good lord took him to heaven,” she replies, trying desperately to keep a straight face. It isn’t easy when she notices that both Pap and Miz Aureola have their hand clamped over their mouths to keep from laughing out loud.
“That quick?” Jenny asks astounded.
“The Lawd works mighty fast,” says Miz Aureola. “Probably wanted to git him to heaven before suppertime.”

So you see, we’ve managed to unload the annoying old goofball without looking like the bad guy. Which leaves us with the heart rendering and touching conclusion where the Truehearts reach their new home and realize that somehow, in some bizarre mental state, probably brought on by eating paint chips or drinking turpentine laden moonshine that the misery and loss they’ve endured over their journey has benefitted them and made them stronger and better people.
So stop by this Friday for the triumphant conclusion and final chapter of ‘Let Me Show You, the Average Boob, How to Write a Literary Masterpiece’.  

           Just a quick note. This piece is an excerpt from my short story novel, Storytime. Storytime has just received its 9th five star review. Click here to see what others are saying about it.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Part 2 of Showing the Average Boob How to Write a Literary Masterpiece

    Here in Part 2 We pick up where we left off Tuesday.    

   Now for the story. In this type of novel you should open your tale with sprawling literary metaphors and incomprehensible descriptive adjectives. Here’s an example:
   The night fell like a raven’s wing across the face of the alabaster Moon. In the distance the hanging branches of the Apoloosa trees kissed the mossy, yet gentle shore of Lake Terracahoochy. Alidapples and mudspinners splashed wildly as they feasted on the cukaberry bugs that lit too near the crystalline surface. The air was warm, moist and thick with the rich aroma of damp earth. Life was good.
   But then the rains stopped....
   Uh-oh! Trouble’s a-brewin’! Right? You see, it doesn’t matter that there is no such thing as Apoloosa Trees, alidapples, mudspinners or cukaberry bugs because these types of books are read mostly by professional students who have been in school so long they have no idea what the real world is like. Their impression of southern people is that they are kindly, hospitable and for the most part...retarded, so it seems quite likely to them that alidapples and cukaberry bugs are just folksy names the retarded southerners made up for lake fish and flying insects. (Note* keep in mind that somewhere along the way one of these scholarly brainiacs might have accidentally taken a physical science course and could question your research. If that happens just put on your best Foghorn Leghorn voice and reply:
   “Sir! Ah say, sir! You have impugned mah dignity with your salacious and mean-spirited accusations! Ah demand, ah say, demand an apology, not just for myself but for the fine, fine people of the South whose very honor you have sullied!”
   Terrified you might challenge him to a duel, he will immediately withdraw the question and apologize.
   So, we have our setting, characters, and incomprehensible metaphor laden opening. Where do we go now? This is where library books about the dust bowl come in handy.  
    Fill the first few pages of your novel with a boatload of little known facts. This will make you appear academic and professorial; then move right along to where the cow pie hits the rotary cooling device.
   In our story, the Truehearts lost their farm to the evil banking guy and have loaded down their rickety old truck with all their worldly belongings in hope of starting a new life in California. During their journey it is your job as the author to throw at them every conceivable horror you can imagine.
   An example:
   “Maw,” Jenny says. “I’m afeared that Granny’s got the brain fever.”
   “What makes you think that, honey?” Maw replies.
   “Well, the fact that she’s got her backside pressed against the window and is mooning a truck full of rabbi’s has got me a mite worried.”
   “Hmmmm,” Maw says. “I reckon you might be on to something.”
   Here’s another example. The Trueheart’s truck has broken down on the top of a steep hill. It’s unbearably hot and Pap is tinkering with the engine. As the family mills around, Grandpaw gets an idea.
   “Jenny,” he says. “Go fetch that old broomstick handle and shove it in the tailpipe.”
   “Yes sir, Grandpaw.”
   As Jenny scurries away, Grandpaw pulls Pap out from under the hood. “Listen, boy,” he says. “I have had jes about enough of this tomfoolery. Now you stand aside whiles I start this here engine.”
   “But what do you know about engines?” Pap asks. “You ain’t never owned nothing but a horse and buggy your whole life.”
   “That’s right! And the old ways is still the best ways. Why, when my old mare wouldn’t move I’d jes pick up my handy broomstick handle, stick it in her tailpipe and she’d git to moving right quick!”
   “I done as you tole me, Grandpaw!” Jenny calls out.
   Grandpaw sticks his head under the hood. “Now go turn over that engine, boy!”
Pap shrugs, goes over to the driver’s side window, reaches in and places his finger on the starter. “Ready!”
   “Turn it over!” Grandpaw shouts.
   Pap pushes the button.
   There is a sound like a thunderclap as a cloud of black smoke bursts from the tailpipe launching the broomstick like a javelin. It clunks Big Elvis on the back of the head as the wheels jerk forward, the hood slams down on Grandpaw and the truck proceeds down the hill.
   “Hep! Hep! Hep!” comes Grandpaw’s muffled cry, his arms and legs flailing wildly.
   See how simple it is?
   Now let’s move on to the tear jerking moment when one of these nitwits bites the dust.    Who will it be? Well the safe bet is to knock off the black guy. Why? Well, in these stories the black guy is like the unknown away team member in Star Trek with the red shirt. Doomed, Doomed, Doomed!
   But first, he must perform an act of unbelievable courage and loyalty. So, let’s have him rescue Grandpaw as the truck careens down the hill.
   “Hep!! Hep!! Grandpaw bellows as the truck picks up speed. Big Elvis, whose head is just starting to clear after being clunked by the broomstick, sees a shortcut to the bottom. WITHOUT CONCERN FOR HIS OWN SAFETY, Big Elvis charges down, his muscular legs pumping like crazy.
As the spare tire is jarred loose and starts to roll down the hill, the truck veers off the road and heads toward the cliff. Big Elvis, seeing this, gives one last burst of speed, dives in the open driver’s side window and pulls the brake.
Just inches from the abyss the truck comes to a stop.
    After climbing out of the truck, Big Elvis pulls Grandpaw out from under the hood. The old man is winded and deeply grateful.
  “Big Elvis,” he says with heartfelt appreciation. “You are, without a doubt the finest nig....
   WHOA! Hold the phone! Back up, back up!
   Although our story takes part in the early thirties where the N-word was commonly used by both black and white, we are PRESENTLY living in the world of political correctness and unless you want to kill your book’s chances of making it to the bestseller list, tread very carefully here.
   An alternative.
   “Big Elvis, you are, without a doubt the finest African-American to walk God’s green Earth and I’m sure that if not for the white man holding you down, you would have become the president of the United States.”
   Yes! Much, much better!
   “Well thank you, Mr. Trueheart,” Big Elvis says. “I too believe that there will come a time when both black and white will live together as brothers and in peace and when that day comes...”
   As you can see, Big Elvis is rapidly becoming a bit of a windbag. So to keep the story moving along, now would be a good time to reintroduce the broken loose spare tire.
   “All men, be they black or white,” Big Elvis continues.” Will join hands and...
   “Land o’goshen!” Grandpaw shouts as the tire plows into Big Elvis sending him sprawling over the side of the cliff.
   Ta-Da! Problem solved.
   One of the best things about writing a literary masterpiece is that you can knock off as many characters as you want. In fact, it is almost expected that at least one of the family members will kick the bucket during the journey.
   So, who will it be? Who will it be?

   Come back next Tuesday and find out!

   As always if you enjoy my blog you can read a Free sample of any of my stories by clicking on the cover of the books in the slideshow above. You can also join or invite a friend by clicking on the buttons below.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Let me Show You, the Average Boob, How to Write a Literary Masterpiece.

   Are you tired of being looked down on by those snooty literary types? Ever wish you could walk the halls of some prestigious university and be fawned over by students and faculty alike? Well, now you can! Just follow these few simple rules and you’ll be writing a literary masterpiece in no time.
   “Me? Write a literary masterpiece?” you say. “But doesn’t creating a great work of art require some amount of literary genius, some superhuman mastery, if you will, of word and phrase?”
   What? Nah, any chucklehead can do it!
   “Oh, really? Well then… tell me more!”
   Okay! Let’s start by choosing a setting for your story. As we all know all great literary works take place in dreary, dismal, surroundings. War is good. In fact, the Civil War is very popular. Nineteenth Century Europe is good too. (Charles Dickens did everything but shoot Oliver Twist out of a cannon yet was praised by critics for his compassion.) Then there’s the Holocaust, the Great Depression, the trials of immigrants, etc, etc.
   You see, creating a futuristic world, plotting a dazzling who-done-it or building suspense in a courtroom drama takes an enormous amount of creative talent. Your characters, setting and dialogue must be unique and believable. Take George Lucas’ Star Wars, Stephen King’s The Shining or Andrew Klaven’s Animal Hour, all truly visionary yet looked down upon by the literati. So why drive yourself crazy trying to create something new and inventive? Just pick some brutal time in history and pretend to address real issues and real human problems and you’re on your way.
   What are real issues and real human problems, you ask. In a word, misery.  It simply cannot be a literary masterpiece unless it features some poor schmoe getting his ass handed to him.
   So... what horrible time in history shall we choose? Well, let’s get started by spinning the Wheel of Misfortune and...
   Why it’s the suffering of the Okies during the great Dust Bowl! Oh the hardships, the trials and moral dilemmas! Woo-Woo! And the best part is you can throw one catastrophe after another at these poor ignorant bastards and still come off as a caring, good-hearted humanist.
   Okay, now that we’ve picked a setting, let’s create some characters. First, you must have the sweet, freckled-faced girl who is going to be a writer some day and you just know she’ll succeed because she has so much darn spunk. We’ll give her a folksy name of course, like Jenny or Becky. No Chers, Farrahs or Queen Latifas here. (Note*-- Rule # 1--All characters, places and things MUST have folksy names.)
   She’ll be a good kid, help out on the farm and live with her extended family--Pap, Maw, Grandpaw, Granny, the kindly black employee and the family dog.
   Okay, now let’s get to know the rest of the cast.
In all these stories the father, Pap, has a problem. Either it’s a gimpy leg or some other physical defect brought on from working so hard. In most cases, he falls under the tractor, is struck by lightning, or accidentally shoots off his own foot. (Sometimes all three. Sometimes all three at the same time.)
    As for Maw, she’s always working, either scrubbing floors, taking in other people’s laundry or digging the family well with a soup ladle.
   For the grandparent character, there is usually only one. If you pick Grandpaw, remember that he’s almost always what they call ‘tetched’ and is used mostly for comic relief. Have him get his head stuck in a sewage pipe or fall off the barn roof. Basically, he serves as nothing more than an annoyance until the touching scene where he dies redeeming himself. (Pulls the kid out of a burning building, pushes her out of the way of that tractor that’s always driving around by itself or gets mauled saving her from the animal that’s got the brain fever.)
   If you chose Grandmaw, remember that although she has virtually no education, she is nonetheless a storehouse of wisdom and knowledge and looks a lot like Aunt Bee from the old Andy Griffith show.  
   Now for the kindly black employee. Like the grandparents, you can usually only pick one, either a male farmhand or a female housekeeper. If you chose the male his name must be preceded by the adjective BIG—as in Big Jim or Big John. In these stories there is NEVER a male black character that isn’t BIG. Why? Well, just try introducing a character named midget Bob or Tyrone the dwarf. (See? It just doesn’t work). And so, for our purposes, we will name our character Big Elvis.
   As for the female, it’s always a safe bet to name her after a flower. For instance, Violet, Gardenia, Aureola, you get the picture. One other thing, she must always address the young female character as honey-chile and say things like “lawdy” and “praise be” even though she probably has an engineering degree from MIT (remember, keep it folksy).
   Same rules go for the dog—he must be some type of lovable hound and have a name like “Ol’ Blue” or “Duke”
   {I should also point out that in these stories the word reckon is used a lot. I don’t know exactly what reckon means but throw it in whenever you can. Also remember there was a lot of brain fever going around in those days so if one of your characters begins to really piss you off, by all means brain fever the sumbitch.}

    Now for the sake of instruction, our family, the Truehearts will have all the characters used in these types of stories. But before we begin, it is important to throw in a little back story to create empathy for our characters. So let’s start with a scene featuring Pap.
   Pap will have lost a leg but because they are so poor, a proper prosthesis is out of the question. It appears that Pap will never walk again when, out of the blue, Grandpaw comes up with the brilliant idea of sawing off the lower part of Jenny’s old pogo stick and attaching it to Pap’s stump. Clever ol’ Grandpaw, inventor, he.
   Jenny narrates this scene where Pap tries out his new leg,
   I saw Pap make his way out of the bedroom and head toward the stairs. That new leg Grandpaw fitted him with makes a sproinging sound when Pap walks but I do declare he seems steady enough. I felt so proud, him being so courageous an all. When he reached the staircase I noticed the ceiling above angles down sharply leaving very little headroom. I was about to say something when Pap took hold of the handrail.
   “Well, here I go,” he said. He was cautious the first couple of steps then, as he got more confident, picked up speed. I reckon he forgot that Maw waxes those stairs right regular.
   “Oh-Shiiii!” Pap shouted as his good leg slipped and he pitched forward. Having lost his grip on the banister he began whirling his arms like a pair of airplane propellers. Then, forgetting his right leg was hooked up to a pogo-stick, he aimed it at the nearest stair and when it hit, Pap bounced up and down like a ping-pong ball under a short legged table, banging his head again and again on the low ceiling.”
    Boinka, Boinka, Boinka, Boinka, he went.
   “Whoaaaaaaaaaaa!” Pap shouted, as he ricocheted down the stairs and was catapulted out the open window.
   Poor Ol’ Pap!

   You see, what we’ve done here is combine human suffering (Pap bouncing down the stairs like Tigger on amphetamines) and Jenny showing her concern (Poor ol’ Pap). Result—your reader’s now love this poor, simple, decent, hard-working family and, you, as the author, are a thoughtful, caring, literary masterpiece writer. I guarantee they’ll eat it up.

  Since it’s my policy not to exceed two pages per blog post this as far as I can go today. But if you stop back Friday you can read some more. Or if you simply must read the rest this very freaking minute, go to
And download Storytime, my book of short stories. Storytime contains not only this story but 22 others. (So far 7 five-star reviews!) Free on Kindle for Prime members (Amazon is presently offering a one month free trial so if you sign up you can read the whole thing for free) and only $2.99 for everybody else.

   As always if you enjoy my blog posts you can read a FREE sample of any of my books by clicking on the cover of the books in the slide show above.  Or become a member by joining this blog or invite a friend by clicking on the buttons below.