Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wherever I May Roam...

Everyone has that one friend who always seems to be moving to a new apartment, right? He’s the guy who, every six months, without regard for his best friends’ vertebral integrity, packs up all his shit and relocates. Well, among my circle of friends, that asshole is me. Like the Beach Boys promiscuously said, I get around. And, as a writer, that’s pretty cool. Because even though all my pals now have debilitating hernias, I’ve lived in a diverse range of places, and it’s done wonders for my writing career. From the building where the drunk guy who slept regularly on the lawn to the dorm room next door to a gay nymphomaniac, each place has left its unique mark on my literary endeavors.

Even though I was in school when I started writing, the place I wrote my first manuscript was not my college dorm room. And it wasn’t just because of the pillow-biting yowls of delight coming from the neighbor’s room. It was because I loved the outdoors. So I scribbled my first script longhand on a legal pad in an outdoor amphitheater. And it was there that I befriended Marbles, the squirrel with elephantine testicles. 

In exchange for stolen bananas from the cafeteria, Marbles taught me that if I was ever going to succeed in the stark, painful industry of publishing, I would need to proudly display my testicular fortitude…without getting an Indecent Exposure citation, of course.
After college, I moved into a Denver high-rise apartment I couldn’t afford, with a girlfriend I (eventually) couldn’t stand. The place was sweet, but was so tiny that I had to step outside just to change my mind. It didn’t have an office, but it did have a perfectly good laundry closet. 

Both my chair and my desk were of the folding variety. And despite the gymnastics required to get into and out of my “office,” and the fact that the underwear drawer was my armrest, I cranked out about forty short stories and my first Fantasy novel in there.

The next place worth mentioning was a few years ago, when I was in grad school. I lived in a house with a young couple, whose shouts could be heard incessantly through the paper-thin bedroom wall we shared. I never could tell whether they were fighting, fucking, or murdering cocker spaniels. But living with terrible roommates taught me a valuable lesson:

There, in my tiniest bedroom to date, I consumed mass amounts of Tanqueray and beer, and learned the glorious joy of writing puerile, juvenile humor. It was also the first time Bryan and I wrote a complete novel together.
Shortly after that I moved to Chicago, to fulfill my lifelong dream of having a girlfriend. And despite being in the mold-ridden garden level, it was a cozy little place. Even the funky egg smell went away after the nice man from the gas company came to fix all those old leaky meters in my bedroom. But it was the neighborhood, not the apartment, which gave me so much inspiration. Whether it was the hundred screaming children at the local urban water park outside my window…

Or the occasional neighborhood bonfire…

…There was an endless supply of story ideas just waiting to be plucked, bagged up, and sold by the ounce, like those nice, young hoodlum dropouts urban entrepreneurs so often did on the street corner. Naturally, it was here that this blog was born, one hot-waterless day as I was trying to warm myself up with a frosty beer in the shower. It’s also where I wrote my parts of The Missing Link. By the way, TML just finished a 5-day free promotional thingie on Amazon, and was downloaded over 15,000 times.



Music: Manchester Orchestra
Beer: Fat Tire

Addendum to post as of 2:38 MST...Our novel, The Missing Link, is now in the top 100 bestsellers of three separate PAID genres on! Cheers mo-fos!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jack and the Giant Greenstock

          [Today's post is my first adult bedtime story for the blog (Brandon created the first two), and, as always, was inspired by alcohol. Enjoy!]

          Two twin brothers spent their days drinking in a bar. However, unlike most twins, these two were not related, were different ages, and didn't resemble one another whatsoever. It was a curious thing, really. But 
that may have just been the alcohol talking. And talk, it often did.

          See, the twins had a very good mutual friend named Jack. 
Jack often gave them advice, and it was always terrible. He told them jokes that weren't funny. He told them about 'smoking hot' women who could have been mistaken for Gila monsters. He told them that they weren't talking loud enough and needed to shout everything they said, and to repeat it over and over and over and OVER again...
          Jack was kind of a dick.
          But on this one occasion, Jack had a good idea. Or, at least it seemed like a great idea...after ingesting a third of him.

          The twins both wanted to go, but they had no idea how they could possibly get to the Apple factory if it was in the sky. So Jack pointed them toward the reputable black gentlemen in the alley out back, who had magic beans for sale.

          And ate them they did...

          And suddenly, a gigantic green profit margin sprang from the ground, growing higher and higher into the sky, with no end in sight. The twins began to climb.

          The twins climbed and climbed, past the iPad release, past Siri, and even past the death of Steve Jobs, until they got to the magic castle in the sky, which looked a lot like a Chinese factory run by overworked 10 year old boys.
           It was guarded by a fearsome giant... a corporate giant, to be exact. And no one that tried to get past the giant was able to. The twins, thankfully, just stopped listening to him and walked around him. The others, meanwhile, were held captive by the giant's giant-sized promises.

               Past the corporate giant, the twins were excited to find the golden goose and its golden apples, which wasn't so much a "goose" as it was a "mentally retarded goat," and it didn't so much "lay" these apples as it "explosively shat them out."

          The twins were elated. They each grabbed a golden apple and cracked one open.

         The twins, now rich beyond their belief (and covered in a surprising amount of goat excrement), climbed back down the greenstock to Denver. And once more they asked Jack what they should do. Jack, in his infinite wisdom, told them this:     

          And that's the story of how Brandon and Bryan are no longer welcome in the Apple Store. It's also the story of how they no longer drink Jack Daniels, no longer buy weird pills from strangers, and aren't allowed within 200 yards of a goat farm.
          I'm sure there's some kind of lesson to be learned here... but it's murky, ambiguous, and smells a lot like goat shit.


[posted from my iPad]


Music: Le Butcherettes
Beer: Modelo Especial

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Miscellany and the March Onward

So, today’s post is going to be a bit of a deviation from the norm. Not in the “I’m going to pull down my pants and play with myself in public” sense, but in the “Sweet Christ, it’s nearing 11P.M., I’ve fucked off all week and Bryan is going to stab me in the liver if I don’t put together some sort of blog post for the morning” kind of way. Not that I’ve really been fucking off. It’s been a painfully busy fortnight. 
But I’d like to rewind the tape a bit and mention a success we neglected to tell you all about: Bryan and I finished our newest novel manuscript last week. We’re pretty stoked about that. It’s a tale of tragedy, triumph, and the art of devouring brains. No, it's not the heartwarming story of little Jeffie Dahmer's daycare days. It's about zombies taking over the city of Las Vegas. And it follows the struggles of such richly drawn and philosophically poignant characters as a black Elvis impersonator, a booze-addled janitor, and a feminist stripper while they navigate their way through the undead apocalypse of Sin City. I know, I know, but let me assure's far less classy than it sounds. We had a blast writing it and we’re looking forward to finding a new agent and/or publishing editor for the project at the writing conference we’ll be attending next month.
In other news, we the drunken duo have already charged headlong into our next collaborative project. And this one is going to be a bigger hit than polyester during the deadly days of disco. Except without all the latter-day fashion shame and regret.
I can’t reveal too much about the project, but I can confidently say that if Bryan or I have ever been even remotely close to having an original idea, this is it. And by "original," I mean something that will hopefully someday soon be turned into a bastardized Hollywood film adaptation and garner us sweet sweet royalty checks for years to come. But, we'll keep you posted on that. For now, I'll just have to content myself with those un-cashable promotional checks that the goddamn bank likes to taunt me with in the mail. 
On that note, I'm all out of coffee and am about to go pass out. I hope this post doesn't leave you feeling unfulfilled. But if it does, here's a link to one of my favorite old posts of ours that sadly didn't get much attention because it was written before we had many readers. And it's far better than this one. Go check it out. The Beartender and the Fake Grass.


 Beer: Avalanche
Music: Chopin's Nocturnes

Monday, March 19, 2012

How I Met Yo Baby Mama

        A good blog friend of ours asked a few weeks ago how I met my wife. And since 'at the state penitentiary' wasn't an acceptable answer, I guess I have to let you guys know how it was that I came to meet my blushing bride.
        It all started ages ago, back in the year of our Lord 2010, in a time of dating that wasn't nearly the same as it is now. We didn't have "meeting at bars" and "blind dates through friends" like you kids have now. No, we had a little thing called the "Internet," and it helped lonely people meet each other.
        So... I tried something a little different, and I signed up for a free dating site.

Unfortunately, right off the bat, the prospective candidates were not looking good. 

Sadly, from there it didn't get much better...

Yeah, I know, I know, she probably has a "great personality." Too bad she ate that too.


Didn't see that one coming, did you?


          Yep, I guess we were both a little shallow, because my profile didn't say a whole lot, and her profile literally only said "I have chinky eyes."
          BUT, in my justification, that made me laugh, which told me she had a sense of humor. Plus, all the other girls just said things like "OMG I love Twilight I want a guy like Edward" which is grounds for murder in some states.
          We e-mailed each other and hit it off well, so we met. For our first date, we went to all-you-can-eat sushi, which is a great first impression when you're double fisting greasy sushi rolls and popping buttons on your pants trying to out-eat the other person. At this point the courting process began. The verbal dance of seduction, if you will.

          WINNER! How can anyone top that? (We said none of those things, but that was a lot more interesting than idle dinner conversation)
          But as the night wore on, things seemed a little too good to be true. What was wrong with this girl? Well, suddenly, she told me; she had a dirty little secret.

           Yes, that's right, that was her big secret. And trust me, I was sorely disappointed... because I was really hoping she was a badass cyborg with a gun for an arm and high powered laser boobies. But I guess a gamer for a girlfriend wasn't bad either.
            The rest is history, and here we are, on the brink of our first wedding anniversary, with many more adventures to come. They say no one is perfect, and that is certainly true of both of us, but for a woman she's as close to perfect as I'm going to get... until technology allows me to turn her into a cyborg with rapid fire laser boobies, that is.
Stay classy, friends,

Beer: Modelo
Music: City and Colour