I just sold a flash fiction to Eggplant

27 12 2012

I just sold a flash fiction to Eggplant Publishing’s “Miscellanea: a Transdimensional Library”! Thanks Raechel! http://ow.ly/gnLDT

Did I tell you I used to make cheap comm

24 12 2012

Did I tell you I used to make cheap commercials for cable TV? I wrote this last week. It’is based on a realtor I worked with… http://ow.ly/gl1um

THE DiZASTAS (written last week, based on idea from when I made cheap commercials)

24 12 2012


(Either role can be played by either sex, but must be near in age to each other)

Scene: an office with maps and house blueprints. A sign reads “DiZasta Developers.”
A person who is dressed in a tacky suit (Rudy) types at a computer. The door bursts open and Phil bustles in. Phil wears similar apparel.

P: Good news! We got the land for the price we wanted.
R: Fantastic! I’m working on the advertising copy right now! What’s on this property?
P: This property is hot, but it’s got challenges.
R: A challenge is an opportunity waiting to be mugged. Hit me!
(P points to map locations)
P: Here is the old turkey farm. And here’s where they dumped the old refrigerators. And here is the medical waste incinerator. And this is an official EPA Brownfields site.
R: And we want to build quality single-family dwellings on this land, reasonably priced.
P: But before we even get to the land, we’ve got problems. The County Council is going to get sore!
R: Why?
P: We said we would build fifty homes, but we’re going to build 500.
R: Another example of big government getting in the way of small business. Good news: I donated to all of their campaigns.
P: The invisible hand of the free market! Next!
R: The brownfields is a toxic waste dump.
P: I called the Corps of Engineers! I bought tons of dredge to cover the brownfields.
R: Wait! (Types at computer) “Scenic Bayside Views!”
P: Poetry!
P: Here’s a challenge. This used to be a turkey farm.
R: So? “Located in a historic agricultural area!”
P: The turkey farm has high levels of arsenic.
R: Go figure! Know what else is uses arsenic?
Both: Rat poison!
R: “All land certified ‘vermin-reduced.’”
P: But what about the used refrigerators right here? It’ll cost a fortune to haul them off!
R: WHOA! We are not made of money!
P: We repurpose the refrigerators! It’s green and eco-friendly!
R: I like it! What do we do with them? WAIT!
P: What?
R: Slap some paint on them! We turn them into a playground for the kids! Spaceships and submarines! (Mimes closing a hatch) “Dive! Dive!”
P: Not just a playground, it’s …“An imaginarium for the kids!”
R: (Types) Poetry!
P: Here! Here is the big challenge! The old medical waste incinerator!
R: Why the fuss? The waste was incinerated!
P: The ash! The ash and other residue is still there! Big mountains of ash!
R: Ash is good for gardening, isn’t it?
P: Yeah!
R: Hospitals are healthy, aren’t they?
P: Yeah!
R: Mix it with the dredge, lay it over the foundation of the incinerator: “Plots available for gardening!”
P: Poetry! Now we get to the houses. I spoke with the contractors.
R: Yeah?
P: The builders are saying we need wall studs every nine inches.
R: WHOA! We are not made of money!
P: I told them to put studs every three feet. Saves on wood.
R: “Our construction is green and eco-friendly!”
P: The builders are saying we’re going to need this much to lay the sewer, water, and gas lines!
R: WHOA! We are not made of money!
P: I made a few calls and I found out…Habitrail is having a clearance sale.
R: Keeps our overhead reasonable! I’ve got enough for the ad. Conveniently located to all bridges, highways, and airports!
P: Affordable! Low-interest financing guaranteed!
R: If you lived here, you’d be home by now!
P: Resting peacefully!
R: And our slogan: This is not just your new home…it’s a DiZasta!
P: Poetry!


(See the pun DiZasta = Disaster? See? Huh?)

P.S.: I just saw that my last sketch fro

21 12 2012

P.S.: I just saw that my last sketch from Dec. 2nd did not post in its entirety. Here is all of it. http://ow.ly/giFzu

A sketch that came from Improv 400 class

21 12 2012

A sketch that came from Improv 400 class…


(Either role can be either sex or any age.)
Scene: a swimming pool.
Lifeguard is waiting by the gate of the pool. Murphy walks up.

Murphy: Hey, can I get in?
LG: It’s a few minutes before we open.
Murphy: Yeah, but I’m just going to do some laps.
LG: We’re supposed to open at noon. People keep sneaking in here.
M: Yeah, but you’re here. It’s just a few minutes ‘til noon.
LG: Well…why not?
(Opens gate)
M: Thanks a lot!
LG: So how’s things?
M: Things are okay.
(LG picks up pool skimmer and starts to work on the pool. M takes off his sweat suit, revealing swimwear)
M: I’m glad you’re skimming. Pool’s got a lot of junk in it.
LG: People messing around. Wind. People sneaking in and their trash gets all over.
M: Right. You see the announcement in the lobby? Mr. Gunderson’s missing!
LG: What, the really tall old guy?
M: Yeah!
LG: I caught him sneaking in here last week! You said “missing”?
M: Missing!
LG: Geez! The guy’s a jerk, but I hope he’s okay. That’s the second person missing in the development.
M: Second?
LG: Yeah, in “B” Building. Lady named Somesuch.
M: Hey, you mean that big lady who was swimming in here all the time?
LG: In the lime green suit. Her.
M: I heard about her in my police auxiliary meeting. I didn’t put it together that it was the lady who swam around here.
LG: Sheesh. She lived in this pool. Just about to grow gills. She sneaked in here all the time too.
M: Mean temper.
LG: About bit my head off about putting too much chlorine in. People doing all sorts of crap around here. I hardly have time to do basic stuff…like…skimming.
(Lifts a small something out of the pool. Peers at it.)
LG: Um…hey.
M: Yeah.
LG: What’s this look like to you?
(Both look close.)
M: What? Is that? A finger!
(Nods, looking sick)
LG: Just came up with it. The pool needs shocking.
M: Whose finger?
LG: Shouldn’t we secure the scene? Or something?
M: Yeah! Set that down! I did a class on what to do at a crime scene!
LG: Great!
(Sets down the skimmer.)
M: Do you have a plastic bag?
LG: Yeah! I’ll take out my sandwich.
(Takes out sandwich in plastic bag. Removes sandwich. Shakes out the crumbs. Gives bag to M)
LG: You’re not going to touch it, are you?
M: No, it’s just like walking my peek-a-poo. Turn the bag inside out, and…..
(Picks up the finger in the bag. Turns bag inside-in, then seals the finger inside. Both peer at the finger.)
LG: There’s a reward for information on Mr. Gunderson.
M: Yeah, but that could be Mrs. Somesuch.
LG: Looks more like Gunderson’s finger.
M: What?
LG: It’s a long finger. Gunderson’s tall. I don’t know! Wait!
(Picks up skimmer.)
LG: There might be more.
M: We should call the police.
LG: Yeah, but…what do you think they’re going to do? Use their own skimmer anyway, right? We have to confirm for the reward.
M: (doubtful) Okay. It’s murky.
LG: Yeah, I need to put more chlorine in. Wait!
(Pulls up skimmer. Both peer.)
M: Oh jeez. A foot!
LG: That’s a big foot!
LG & M: Gunderson.
LG: Reward!
M: I’ve got something to put it in! A condom!
LG: A what?
(M unwraps and unrolls a condom around the foot. LG looks a little insecure at the largeness of the condom.)
M: We really need to call the police!
LG: No, I want to see what else is down here!
M: Because in my police auxiliary class, they talked about wounds, and these…parts? These are ragged! Like they’ve been bit or —
LG: Oop! Got something big! Reward, here I come!
(Pulls the skimmer. The skimmer rises higher than the water level. Both look in terror. There is the sound of an old woman’s labored breathing.)
LG: Good morning, Mrs. Somesuch.
M: Nice gills.
(A shadow rises and darkens over them.)
Lifeguard: You were right. I should skim the pool more often.
(The two cling to each other as the shadow closes upon them. )


My story “Shadows Under The Skin” appe

16 12 2012

My story “Shadows Under The Skin” appears in the anthology “Bonded By Blood 5” from SNM Horror http://ow.ly/g8Xv7 http://ow.ly/i/1fUdc

Appropriated By The Other: “The Blob” to

10 12 2012

Appropriated By The Other: “The Blob” to “The Body Snatchers”

We’ve all seen Romero’s comments about zombies representing the tide of consumerism. Some critics say that the original “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was supposed to be about the fear of communist subversion. The original version of “The Blob” has had very little theorizing about it, aside from it being just great camp fun. These monsters are all exploit a great fear: being appropriated by an outside power to destroy loved ones.

Why not vampires? Why aren’t vampires included in this list? Because, for their supposed wickedness and sinfulness, vampires still think and feel. It has been easy to imagine vampires regretting their evil, shunning their appetites, and yearning to be human. Can you imagine someone making a Twilight knock-off of The Blob? This spectrum of monsters has had all humanity excised, leaving only the useful husk.

The creatures here have these qualities: destruction or absorption of the victim in body, or even in mind, so that it can gain more victims through impersonation.

The most chilling parts of these movies and books were the first few days. The toddler shrieking and shunning her Body-Snatched mother, while the unsuspecting father watches puzzled. The wary neighbor who decides to go take a shower. What question could you ask that a Thing or a Snatcher couldn’t answer? (“So…how was that trip through outer space?” “Oh not bad. Not ba – dammit!”)

Have you read or seen “Phantoms”? Dean Koontz created an ur-monster that ate then impersonated a whole army division in an evening. How about “Blood Music” by Greg Bear? An intelligent viral infection decides to make the world more efficient, with hideous yet miraculous results for human consciousness. You could even argue that “IT” by Stephen King works, because Pennywise leeched the sympathy from the folks of Derry, took over their minds, and ate the townskids.

In the not-soon-enough-released SF thriller “Antiviral”, the appropriation is turned on its head. The movie imagines a black-market trade in celebrity genomes so that you could: a) inject yourself with a flu of Joseph Gordon Levitt, and b) have a black-market steak from cloned muscles of Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Let’s take it in other directions. First: a Twilight knock-off. The novel series “The Host” plays with this idea by having all of Earth possessed by alien minds. But if we go farther, The Thing would be the most likely candidate for a romantic treatment. The Sparkly Thing would already have absorbed countless alien creatures, and have access to their powers. It would be the most sensitive and proficient lover depending on who it’s eaten. And no babies to gnaw from wombs, as the baby would just ooze on out.

Second: a protoplasmic King Thing like the Changelings from “Deep Space 9” using the rest of the Universe as reference materials.

Or some semblance of a victim’s consciousness may survive and battle The Thing which consumed it. Imagine writing that from the absorbed victim’s perspective.

A tame Thing used as a familiar and counselor for a magician.

Fun Fact: Hey Comedy Improv People! Did you know Comedy Olympic founder and pioneer Del Close has two connections with The Blob? He wrote a horror comic book series with one story featuring a blob-ish creature. Del also appeared in the 1988 gritty-reboot of “The Blob” as a Baptist minister preaching The End Times. Which was written by Frank Darabont of “The Walking Dead”.

The first comedy sketch I’ve written in

2 12 2012

The first comedy sketch I’ve written in 20 Years! At http://ow.ly/fKkjy

My First Script In Almost Twenty Years M

2 12 2012

My First Script In Almost Twenty Years


(Scene: Manhattan 1968. An uptown diner. GUY WOODHOUSE sits with MINNIE CASTAVET at a table. GUY is a handsome man in his mid-thirties, just starting to get crow’s feet and wrinkles. MINNIE is a woman in her sixties, clothing a little chintzy and make-up a little overdone. GUY is anxious and agitated. MINNIE is stern; her patience is being tested but she wants to soothe the younger man’s nerves.)

Guy: Minnie? Mrs. Castavet, I don’t know if I can go through with this. I don’t want Rosemary to be hurt.

Minnie: Oh, we give you some sedative to put into her custard and we will do the rest. We take care of her health and she’ll become the wife of Guy Woodhouse: the most acclaimed actor of our times. She’ll have the best of everything.

Guy: Yeah. But what’ll happen to the world?

Minnie: Guy, we’ve been over this. To hell with the world. Rosemary’s perfect for us. Perfect for him.

Guy:  No. You are insane.

(Rises to leave. Larry  enters.)

Larry :  Guy! How’s your blushing bride Rosemary?

Guy: Larry? Minnie…this is Larry, my agent. Um, Larry, this is Minnie Castavet.

Minnie: Pleased to meet you, dear.

Larry: Guy, I heard you on the payphone outside my office. You said you were having a meeting to get help on your career. I thought I’d sit in and share thoughts. This is the meeting, right?

(Guy is uneasy. Minnie is puzzled. Larry  sits.)

Larry : We’re all ears. You would help Guy’s career, and in exchange?

Minnie (to Guy):  All we want is to have your wife bear a child for…my client.

(Guy sits shamed. Larry pats his arm.)

Larry : You should have seen the deals I had to make with Zeigfeld. And in exchange, you help with his career?

Minnie: Yes. He guarantees the success of Guy’s acting career.

Larry  (to Guy): So you didn’t tell me this, why? (to Minnie) Does your client have a name?

Minnie: He has lots of names.

Larry : Okay. I get it. As long as the corporations are properly licensed. How do we know he can deliver?

(Minnie glares at Guy)

Guy: Now that he’s asking, I was wondering that too, see…

Minnie: Three simple words, dear.  ”Andrew Lloyd Webber.”

Guy (scandalized): Really?

Larry : Okay, then! Let’s talk! Guy, what does Rosemary say about this?

Guy: She’s…always wanted a baby.

Larry : Okay! So Minnie! What happens in case of non-performance?

Minnie: What do you mean?

Larry : Say your client is provided Rosemary and…he can’t seal the deal.

Minnie: He will seal the deal.

Larry : So you say. But things happen. Or they don’t. I mean, I’m thinking he’s an old guy and it’s been a while for him, right?

Guy: Um…Larry ?

Minnie: Oh he’ll seal the deal. He practically invented “sealing the deal.”

Larry : All we want is assurance. You have penalties in case Guy doesn’t fulfill, I’m sure.

Guy: Larry !

Larry : She doesn’t scare me. I deal with Joe Papp.

Minnie: Fine! In case of…nonperformance…Mr. Guy Woodhouse is assured lesser compensation.

Larry : A guest appearance on “Gunsmoke.”

Guy: Larry !

Larry : You’re saying he’s got all these connections! And another on “Bonanza!”

Minnie: Fine!

Guy: Larry ! I’m not sure I want to go through with this.

Larry : Why the cold feet?

Minnie: I was wondering the same thing.

Guy: To be honest…Rosemary’s not one-hundred percent board with this.

Larry : What? An opportunity like this?

Guy: She’s stubborn.

Larry : Okay. We do everything on the up-and-up. These are the 1960’s. If it comes to it, we just declare Rosemary incompetent.

Minnie: Incompetent? You can declare the woman incompetent if she doesn’t comply?

Larry : A wife would be crazy to hurt her husband’s career. Judges all over the world would agree with that.

Guy: Really?

Minnie: Yes. And isn’t it a wonderful world?

Larry : How’s that?

Minnie: Guy and I were agreeing that the world is going to hell.

Larry : You said it. Forty-Second Street? What a pit!

Guy: It isn’t so bad a world, Larry .

Larry : You kidding? War, drugs, poor people starving. Worst thing? Frankie Avalon just got a three-picture deal.

Guy: He WHAT?

Larry : Frankie Avalon got a movie deal. Going to Hollywood. That no-talent gigalo gets on screen again while a craftsman like my boy Guy Woodward suffers. A nobody. A nothing. Getting older every day –

Guy: All right. I’ll do it. Christ.

Larry : You know, Minnie, I had a thought. If we incorporate Rosemary, all the cribs and the diaper service and doctor’s visits become tax write-offs.

Minnie: Really?

Larry : Anyone who is vested in the “Rosemary’s Baby” corporation can write off any expense as operating costs. We could even keep that going for the next five tax years.

Minnie: What a delightful idea, Larry ! Say, we are using my residence to raise the baby. Can we write off a portion of our property tax…

Larry : …as a home office? Sure!

Guy: But we don’t want to be greedy here, right?

(All laugh for their own reasons.)

Larry : We are going to need Rosemary’s signature.

Guy: What?

Larry : I need to review the terms and have Rosemary sign the agreement.

Minnie: Do you?

Larry : Why not? You’ve spoken with her and she’s on board with this. She’ll make out like a bandit in this deal.

Guy: Couldn’t I just sign?

Larry : No, no. I want to drop by and say ‘Hi’, and congratulate her.

Guy: She’s resting right now. Maybe this evening?

Minnie (writing on a napkin): I think we are all finished here.

Guy: Yeah.

(Both rise to leave)

Larry : Oh, sorry to see you go! You should come back and try the pastrami. It’s to die for!

Minnie: You have no idea how true that is.

Guy: Larry …good-bye.

(Larry  picks up the napkin. A magic symbol is written on it.)

(Both leave. Larry  starts choking on the sandwich.)