In A Strange Place

I’m in a strange place. 

No, I don’t mean I’m in Luxembourg or something. (Which is an awesome place, and close to where I used to live once upon a time.)  I’m in a strange place with my writing.  I want to start another book while my WIPs are being critiqued, but I don’t know which one to start first.
from Bing!
I hear the voice of one of my favorite characters in my Mafia book.  She’s letting me know she’s not ready to be put aside just yet.  She has more adventures to share and I’m tempted to listen to her.
from Bing!
Another voice, not nearly as strong, is calling me to continue writing a book I started many, many months ago.  Although started is loosely used. I think I have all of five pages written.  And, every one of them needs to be edited before I continue.

I feel like I’d be happy to settle into the familiar world of the mob again.  It’s a fun place for me to travel in my imagination.  Yet, that smaller voice calls from a place I haven’t explored yet - horror.  Not scare the crap out of you horror, more like horror lite, if that’s even a thing.

Would I be happier trying something new?  Or, cozying up with the mob?  Both worlds are fairly scary, but which one would be more satisfying?

I think I’ll quiet my mob chick first, then pop over to the world of horror for a bit.  I’ll see which one motivates me to keep my rear in the chair more often.  Something tells me it’ll be the mob.  But, maybe that’s because I have a gun at my head.  Figuratively, of course.

Are you ever torn between ideas or projects?

Speaking of horror, has anyone been watching the latest season of American Horror Story?  What do you think?  

Can you believe Twisty the Clown:

is really this guy, John Carroll Lynch?:

Yeah, me either! 

Enjoy your week, everyone.  And, watch out for those pesky clowns….

Slim Dyson Rides the Party Bus (Contest)

Today is the day to vote over at A Beer For The Shower on the Party Like Slim Dyson Contest I entered.  Please swing by and take a look at the other entries, they are quite good and I hope I can get earn your vote.

****REPOST FOR THE CONTEST (I have no shame)******
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  It was challenging taking on several of their characters but meh, why not?

For the Slim Dyson novel, The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson, click the link.  It's only $2.99 on Amazon and I'll be buying it the moment I wake up!  Check out Bryan on the cover!


I met Slim where he was staying at The West Chin Hotel in downtown Denver until he left for Hollywood.  I don’t know how he could afford this place, even being a millionaire.  They opened the door for me and I was glad I took the time to put on some mascara, eyeliner and lipstick someone threw away in the bathroom at the Diamond Shamrock.  People could be so wasteful sometimes. This makeup looked fabulous on me and once I wiped off the white film on the outside of the eyeliner and the mascara, they worked just fine.  Although it made my eyes itchy.  They were some nice folks at that Diamond Shamrock.  They even put a wooden block on the key to the bathroom so you wouldn’t lose it.

“Are you ready Slim?” I asked.

“Yes, ma’am. Thank you for this day out, Diane. I needed it.” Slim said.  Slim reached into his pocket and pulled out some nickels for the doorman and put it into the doorman’s gloved hand.  The doorman said, “No need, Mr. Dyson, your gratuities are included.”  The doorman quickly dropped the money back into Slim’s hand.  He was such a gentleman, Slim was, Emmy was a lucky gal. 

Slim was the nicest person I had ever met.  I had been on the streets for a year before I meet him and he took me under his wing.  I was really sad to see him go, but happy for his newfound fame.

I heard the doorman clearing his throat as we were walking away.  I looked back and saw him wiping his hands on his pants.  Poor doorman, he must be concerned about the flu.  I had heard at the shelter it was bad this winter.

We hoofed it towards the 16th Street Mall and talked about his stay at West Chin Hotel.  He said he liked it but he missed the comfortable green cots of the shelter and he wished he could bring one of those cots to West Chin Hotel.  He said that bed was like being strangled every night it was so soft.

 I asked about his shindig two nights ago.  They had thrown him some kind of publicity party.  Slim didn’t like to brag but rumor had it he met Sandra Bernhard and she wanted to take him home that night. “No thanks,” he had told her, “I already have a home at the shelter.” He also met Norm MacDonald, star of some new sitcom about fancy cars. I kept seeing the previews on the televisions through Everything Must Go Now's storefront window.  
I had planned the perfect surprise party.  All of Slim’s buddies from the shelter were going to meet on the 16th Street Mall Ride bus, ride it a few loops for old times sake and then present him with his going away gift.  We’d stay warm, we’d be able to gather the food left behind by the passengers because, golly, they left behind some of the best things!  Auntie Anne’s was my personal favorite along with the Starbucks coffee.  It was perfect.

The bus arrived, packed with holiday shoppers, and we boarded.  People were polite and gave us plenty of room as we made our way to the back of the bus.  I could tell the holiday spirit was setting in from the way people scooted in to be sure to give me space and I wasn’t even carrying my second duffel bag that day.  Although they must have had someone in front wearing to much perfume because I noticed some people were holding their noses as I walked by.  

I was going to have to make an exit from the festivities from our surprise party  to take me to the Visitor’s Center to visit our friend Jenny.  She could tell me if Officer Scronhole was on patrol today.  He liked to hop on the bus every so often and look for any regular riders to make sure they weren’t overextending our stay.  Jenny had been at our shelter for a short time and always informed us if he was on duty that day. I brought along some rolls and Jello wrapped in a napkin, her favorite, as a way to say thank you.

As I watched Slim walk towards the back of the bus, I realized how much I was really going to miss him.  He gave me my green Army jacket, the one he got after Milty died from that bad oyster he found in the dumpster behind the I-Hop.  Slim told Milty not to eat it because he didn’t think it was really an oyster but Milty didn’t listen.  The oyster wasn’t even in a shell, it was wadded up in a paper napkin.  Milty ended up dead soon after.  Since Slim was the one with Milty when he died, he got dibs to go through his stuff before the medics arrived.  If I remember right, Milty even had a pair of Keds that only had one hole in them.  Slim gave those to Martha.

“Stringbean! Crazy Al! Martha!” Slim exclaimed, as he worked his way towards the back of the bus.

“Shut the hell up and sit down!” Yelled the bus driver.  The poor man must have had a heck of a day driving the relentless loop back and forth past the mall, I figured.  It took mall shoppers up and down 16th street all day long.  The bus driver didn’t even charge us when we got on the bus.

That’s how nice all these bus drivers were, they let the passengers ride for free every single day. We even got to choose from four buses so when the driver got tired of seeing the same faces he could ask us to leave and we could get on another bus to visit all the fountains to take our quick baths and get some fresh water and some spare change, as long as it was nearing the police officer’s shift change of course.

“Sit down!”  He yelled again and put the bus quickly into gear throwing us into our seats.

“Yes, sir.” I said, hoping he would know we meant no harm.  We were crowded in back there.  All of us in our winter’s finest from the local Salvation Army or Goodwill.  We had agreed to get dressed up for Slim’s big day.

The next stop, I quickly got off and let Slim know he had a surprise coming and I’d be on the next the time the bus made the quick loop.  He seemed more than happy to stay on the bus and catch up with his old friends.

I found Jenny at the Visitor’s Center and she assured me Officer Scronhole was not on duty that day and the officers were busy with shoplifters and loiterers so we had nothing to worry about as long as we kept it down. 

I reached into my coat pocket and pulled out my package and carefully unwrapped it. I saw the Jello had seeped into the rolls and held back tears but Jenny exclaimed, “My favorite!” and reached across the counter to give me a big hug. Behind me someone cleared their throat and I knew I had to let Jenny get back to work.

I waited about fifteen minutes and Slim’s bus arrived and I boarded along with fourteen more of our friends.  We had kept our distance outside but once on the bus, we hugged and began catching up with one another as if we hadn’t seen each other in weeks instead of just a few days.  You never knew who was going to make it into the shelter or who was going to sleep by a bon fire. My excitement grew and so did Slim’s.  He exclaimed each and every person’s name as he saw them.  The surprise party was going splendidly.

“Keep it down, people.  I’m trying to think up here for Christ’s sake!”  Yelled the grey-haired driver, running his fingers through his balding hair and yanking his ball cap back down on his head.  I watched as he pulled some type of radio device from the wall of the bus and spoke into it before moving forward in his lamp-lit lane.

As the bus hit several more stops, I noticed more and more people beginning to exit from the front and wondered if there was another party in the mall we were missing.  Soon, it was our very own party bus except a lady or two up front. 

“Slim, you want some tunes?” Crazy Al asked.

“I would be honored, dear sir.” Slim said, bowing deeply.

“Hit it, Stringbean.” Crazy Al said, looking over at Stringbean who was busy cuddling up to Martha and looking a bit unsteady.  Stringbean pulled himself away, cleared his throat and started snapping his fingers, nodding his head, tapping his toes and soon, Crazy Al joined in suit along with Martha who hummed a low tune.

Just then, the bus stopped and another round of passengers embarked onto the bus, including none other than Ms. Emmy herself, being assisted by her friend, Elsie. Emmy was wearing a beautiful, purple dress that showed off her well-rounded figure.  Elsie was, as always, looking sexy as hell.

“Emmy!”  Slim shouted from the back of the bus and began running towards her.  Cheering erupted from the back of the bus.

“Hey, freak in the stained Armani suit, shut the fuck up.  If I have to tell you again, I’m kicking you and all your nasty friends off the bus.  You’re scaring what’s left of my decent passengers.”  The bus driver yelled.

I began taking a head count and came up with twenty-six people.  We were a full house.  We should have had twenty-seven but Amelia declined saying she had to attend mass or something, I couldn’t recall but it had to do with holy hell.  She curses a lot like the bus driver so she’s hard to listen to and I tune her out sometimes.

When I knew everyone was onboard the bus, I stood up and began to make the special announcement about the gift we had gotten Slim.  We had pooled together our money and gotten him such a wonderful, thoughtful gift; we knew he would love it more than anything he would get in California.

As I began to speak, I felt a tap against my leg and saw the Moonshine Crazy Carl likes to make had already begun to make it’s rounds and I gave Herschel, our resident drunk, a sharp glance, then noticed many of our friends were already quite drunk themselves and gave him a kick in the leg and told him to hide it.  I didn’t want the bus driver to see it and kick us off the bus.

“Oooooh Suuuusaaassssaaaannnaaaahhhh, don’t you cry for meeeeeeaaahhhh”  Stringbean sang with all his might.  I could tell he was drunk too.

Slim was clapping and smiling and so were the rest of the gang who joined in on the chorus.  It was getting loud on Bus Number 337.

Suddenly, I heard a scream from the front of the bus.

“Don’t touch me you smelly, wretched beast!”  A woman in the front of the bus yelled, clutching her oversized yellow pocketbook.  Her face was scrunched in a look of pure disgust.

Again, the bus driver was on that radio device but this time he looked a bit frantic and he pulled the bus over to the side of the road.

“I’ve had it!  You filthy animals ride my bus for hours on end, round and round and round, now you use it as some kind of party bus?  You make me sick.  Denver doesn’t provide this for you drunken hobos, it’s for shoppers of the mall!  Get away from her, you disgusting pig before I kick your ass.”

“Sir, her phone was on the floor, I just wanted to give it back to her.” Said Parlie, named after the cigarette always tucked behind his ear but never smoked.  It was worn and tattered, just like him. He looked hurt and confused as he walked towards the rest of us, who were also very confused, some were drunk, but still confused.  We may be homeless but we weren’t crooks and most of the time, we weren’t drunks either.  We appreciated everything given to us.

“Sir,” Slim began. “I assure you, we mean no ill will.  We are just getting together for old time’s sake.  I’m leaving for Hollywood and I’m a successful, published writer.  My friends wanted to say one last goodbye before I leave them, that’s all.  If there’s anything I can do to make things better?”  Slim began to take several steps forward, his hands out to show he meant no harm.

“One more step, asshole,” In an instant the bus driver pulled out a gun from his waistband and held it pointed at Slim, then unsteadily waved it at all twenty-six of us.  “The cops are on their way. Don’t move.”

At the jail, Slim finally got what we wanted to give him, what we managed to pool our money together for, all $3.52 of it.
Even better, we all got served a hot meal and they let us spend the night together like the good old days!  Fame really does have it’s perks.


“Sebastian?  Sebastian Sellers, the famous director, is that really you?” Slim called, as he walked past the last holding cell after we’d all been released the following morning.

“Slim!  Get me outta here!  I’m supposed to be on set!  I didn’t steal anything from Brookstone, I swear!”  Sebastian pleaded through the metal bars.
What do you guys think of my cool, new banner over at my other blog?  It was designed by none other than my dear friend Dezz.  He surprised me on Friday and nearly moved me to tears with such a beautiful and giving gesture.  Thank you, Dezz, you are one of a kind!

Today is the day to vote over at A Beer For The Shower on the Party Like Slim Dyson Contest I entered.  Please swing by and take a look at the other entries, they are quite good and I hope I can get earn your vote.