Affection for Rejection

The reviews for my book BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife are dribbling in like an old man standing at a urinal. Here are some words I pulled from the reviews that have been used to describe the book:

  • Irreverent
  • Deeply Reverent (???)
  • Humorous
  • Well-written
  • Weird
  • Charming
  • Disturbing
  • Goofy
  • Thoughtful
  • Thought-provoking
  • Thoughtless (just kidding about this one)
  • Engaging
  • Dizzying Kaleidoscope of Perspectives and Styles

You can read the reviews yourself on Amazon. Because of those overwhelmingly positive reviews, I’ve made a decision …

Continue reading “Affection for Rejection”

BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife – A Look Inside Tale #2

The year is 1968. The hot rock & roll bands are the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Monkees, although I distinctly recall girls in my grade school class talking about how much they loved the Turtles. Why can I remember that bit of minutiae and not that garbage day is Tueday?

Anyway, I go back and forth. The Beatles are the greatest rock and roll band ever, right? Sure, we all have our favorite other non-Beatle bands. Mine include XTC, Squeeze, Cage the Elephant, Springsteen & the E Street Band, Wilco, Tame Impala, The Clash, Crowded House, and many others. And I’ll choose to listen to those bands over the Beatles more times than not. But still, the Beatles are tops, right? Right? Well, maybe not.

I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the Rolling Stones recently. They released this song earlier in 2020 around the start of the COVID quarantine.

It’s not a great song, but it’s certainly a good tune that sounds exactly like a Rolling Stones song should sound. They are still producing good new music after more than 50 years! And they’re not half dead like the Beatles. Sure, the Stones lost Brian Jones early on, and Bill Wyman has retired, but Mick & Keith are still going strong with Charlie Watts on drums and Ron Wood on guitar. I’m starting to give the nod to the Stones over the Beatles simply due to longevity.

So, what does this have to do with my book of short stories titled BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife, available on Amazon? Well, Tale #2 is titled “A Monkee to Die For,” and revolves around a Davy Jones promotional visit to a California record store. In the story, not only is Jones featured in an indirect way, but the Rolling Stones and Beatles also get mentions. My video excerpt in this post from Tale #2 involves a demonic being explaining to a 12 year old girl smitten by Davy Jones that the Rolling Stones may not be as icky as she thinks. Take a look and listen.

Continue reading “BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife – A Look Inside Tale #2”

BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife – A Look Inside Tale #1

I have gotten side-tracked with all this inauguration stuff. I need to get back to hawking my book of 16 short stories titled BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife while also entertaining you, my valued readers (he said, sucking up to his readers in the hope of making a book sale and earning a few measly coins from Amazon).

In a non-COVID world, I would normally be out on a promotional tour of truck stops and gas stations throughout the Rust Belt of the US reading excepts from the book, with or without the venue’s consent, which can make for an interesting book reading. The readings featuring sock puppets are normally the favorites of people who happen to come inside for a rotisserie hot dog or shower. But with COVID, I have resorted to video readings.

Let’s dive into the first story titled “Doggone.” All 16 stories are connected in some way to the afterlife, and this one finds the lead character, Jerry, waking up in the afterlife confronting God. But not God as humans may typically imagine God. God is in a bit of a different form here, and why not? I won’t give too much away, because I know you are dying to read it (pun intended).

This video clip features me reading about Jerry’s indignation at being the victim of a practical joke played on him by God.

Continue reading “BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife – A Look Inside Tale #1”

About the Artist

Isn’t the featured image on this blog post a beautiful picture? It spoke to me. It spoke to me and said that it had to be my cover pic for my book of short stories called Beyond: Tales of the Afterlife. However, it also told me that I was too fat, so I didn’t speak to it for a while. But we finally sorted out our differences, and I just knew that it had to be the cover for my book. The biggest hurdle was that I was not the artist and didn’t really know the artist and live nowhere close to the artist and well, you get the idea. It was a longshot. The lesson learned is that sometimes asking is the hardest part. The artist said, “Yes.” She also was cool with me stretching the aspect ratio of her painting to fit better as the cover pic I finally used.

The artist’s name is Linda and here’s her online studio … riverjazz.studio. My personal favorites are her abstracts and florals. Here’s an example of one of them she created just the other night …

Continue reading “About the Artist”

BEYOND – Tales of the Afterlife – A Glimpse Inside & Bonus Offer!

I recently announced the pre-release of my book, now available for purchase for under a buck! But why would you want to purchase? Well, I can give you 16 reasons … the 16 short stories in the book. Well, maybe 15. My editor hates one of the stories that I quite like. You can be the judge. Purchase, read, judge.

Here’s a peek inside at the Table of Contents along with some editorializing on each of the stories …

Continue reading “BEYOND – Tales of the Afterlife – A Glimpse Inside & Bonus Offer!”

BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife – Now Available!

Well, it took a while, but my book of short stories is finally finished. You can actually read it. It comes complete with real words, full sentences, paragraphs, grammar, quotation marks, hyphens, and mostly coherent stories. And not just a handful of stories, but SIXTEEN of them. You are guaranteed to enjoy some of them. I’ll detail each of the stories in future posts, but suffice to say that they are written to elicit some laughter and contemplative thought concerning our ultimate destination.

How much? How about under a buck at $0.99. That’s less than 7 cents a story, or under 6 cents per story if I include the preface. Why would I include the preface? Well, it’s pretty funny, but I also class it up by quoting Shakespeare. That’s right, THE Bill Shakespeare. Not Jack Shakespeare, my neighbor down the block. Here’s how it starts …

“William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.”
That’s just one of hundreds of Shakespeare’s quotes that I don’t understand. I’m not sure I even have a mortal coil. I think the surgeon removed my mortal coil during my emergency appendectomy.”

I’m sure the first 2 paragraphs of the preface have convinced you to buy this book. Click this Published Works link to purchase. Go ahead, do it. Not later. Now. Go on. I’ll wait. There, doesn’t that feel better. Now you have hours of chuckle-filled reading entertainment ahead.

And so ends the first of endless posts shamelessly promoting this book. Get ready for more.

Word Whore

You’ve all enjoyed suckling at the teat of this blog for free for 5 years now. But let’s be honest … most of this is crap. Free was the right price. Almost 200 weekly Mite Be Funny cartoons? Cartoons about mulch? What’s going to happen to this blog when I won’t have Trump to complain about anymore? You’ll be presented with seemingly endless angry screeds about pointless minutiae in my life like too much lint in my pants pocket. Oh, that galls me. I hate it when it makes little lint balls. See? See where this blog may be headed? And don’t even get me started about socks that don’t stay up and slide down and bunch up in your shoes. That’s the worst.

Or, we could make it interesting. It’s time to put your money where my mouth is and make a tasty deposit. I’m having new business cards made: Jim Flanigan – Word Whore. That’s right, I plan to sell myself. Well, not myself as in my body. That ship has sailed. But I will sell my writings. Check out the Published Works page on this blog. There you can buy my published short story without buying the book, my political potboiler novella from earlier this year, and my new book of short stories about the afterlife (Coming Soon!).

So, take a look at the Published Works page and pony up some of your loose change from between your couch seat cushions to make me a successful Word Whore, Paragraph Prostitute, Story Strumpet, Chronicle Courtesan, or whatever you want to call me. But please do check me out. My words are now available for a cheap roll in the literary hay.

Testing … 1 … 2 … 3

There are some changes coming to this website, including ways to spend your money. So, we will use this specific post to test this blog’s new ecommerce ability while offering you a useful product that I myself heartily endorse and just so happen to sell.

With talk of a COVID-19 vaccine coming soon, the USA has thrown all caution out the window and COVID cases continue to reach all-time highs almost daily. We’re #1? My family and I are still taking precautions. One of those precautions includes disinfecting our daily mail and groceries. I know, the odds are unlikely of catching COVID from a postcard or a banana. But I like keeping the odds low, so we continue to wipe down our groceries. But we can’t wipe down our mail or each individual grape. So, we use this thingamajig called the Purify O3 that is actually a CPAP sanitizer.

It generates ozone. Ozone is a marvelous disinfectant. I call it an ozonerator, which is not a word. I explain that is disinfects through ozonification, also not a word. The important thing to remember is that ozone is very effective in killing coronaviruses. So, this is what I do with the mail …

Continue reading “Testing … 1 … 2 … 3”

Weekend Milestones – Part 2

If you missed yesterday’s post, I finished writing a book this weekend. No, not a sequel to my Parasitic Twin novella, but a collection of short stories. As I warned I might do, the title has already been changed to “Beyond: Tales of the Afterlife.” But there were other milestones reached this past weekend.

Continue reading “Weekend Milestones – Part 2”

Weekend Milestones – Part 1

I finished my book of 18 short stories after just a bit over a year and a half of writing work. But I didn’t view it as work, because I enjoyed it immensely. I did hit a snag 2 weeks ago when I finished the last story. Then the daunting tasks of compiling the stories into one document, creating a table of contents with links, doing a final edit, and choosing a title stared me in the face. Ugh!  I love the creative process and hate the tedious details. But I hunkered down and finished the work this weekend.

The tentative working title (subject to change based on my whims) is “Beyond Life: Tales of the Afterlife.” Here’s a brief tease about what each of the 18 stories is about.

Continue reading “Weekend Milestones – Part 1”

Short (on quality) Story

I hope to publish another book this summer. No, not a sequel to My Parasitic Twin Wants to be President. You wish! This will be a collection of short stories on a common theme.

I send my stories to my cousin who also happens to be a professional editor. She seems to take great delight in finding and editing my mistakes, and then typically provides some words of encouragement like “this one should definitely be in your book.” She is my mentor. I am her … mentee? manatee? mental?

I’m down to my next-to-last story, and this one didn’t go as I had hoped. I received no edit. I received no encouragement. I did not pass GO or collect $200. Instead, over the course of several emails, my cousin/editor described the story as:

  • Not engaging
  • Boring
  • Preachy
  • Saccharine
  • Unlikable
  • Opposite of uplifting (would that be downlowering?)

Gee, I hope she wasn’t holding back so as not to hurt my feelings. Her guidance and edits have made me a better writer. I absolutely value her opinion. But so far, two other test-readers have liked the story. Hopefully, I will get more feedback from other test-readers this weekend.

Maybe my cousin/editor was too busy with editing projects. Maybe she didn’t even read the 4,000 word story. Maybe she just glanced at this blog to get a general idea about where my writing is today. If that’s the case, I heartily agree with her assessment.

Flanigan Fiction Finally Freed!

Well, the big Book Release Party for the book that has my short story in it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. I am somewhat relieved that I don’t have to be in a social situation with other nerdy writers. Being with myself all the time is bad enough. The book is being released online initially through the publisher’s website at Crow Woods Publishing, and eventually through Amazon, etc. Here’s a mention of my story from the publisher.

Elvis Listing on Crow Woods

I find it so fitting that there is a misspelling in the description. And just a touch of humor? Maybe it would have been funnier if the publisher hadn’t removed a joke.

Anyway, here’s the pic that inspired my story …

Elvis - Eric Semelroth - Imitation A La King 1998

If you are interested in an unabridged version of my story with all jokes intact, contact me.

Details coming about more Flanigan Fiction due for release soon. Consider yourself warned.

 

Party Time!

I had sort of forgotten about a book of short stories being published with one of my stories in it until I got an email with an invitation to a Book Release Party! I imagined getting fitted for my tuxedo for the event. Leave it a bit loose in the crotch for dancing.

Tuxedo

Visions of my red carpet arrival danced in my head.

Continue reading “Party Time!”

Got Questions? I Have Answers!

Yesterday, I announced that a short story of mine had been accepted for publication. As a bonus, I found out that I get to supply a short bio and answer some questions. Of course, I plan to submit a totally ficticious biography describing me as a left-handed, free-thinking Methodist with a proclivity for public outbursts in pig Latin. Okay, so that last part is true. Oway ymay!

Here are the questions I have been asked to answer …

Continue reading “Got Questions? I Have Answers!”

One Small Writing Step Forward

I signed my first writing contract this past weekend. I’m trying not to make too big of a deal out of it until I ink the movie deal. I’m sure that will be coming shortly after publication.

I’ve been writing this wildly uneven blog for 4+ years now to hone my writing skills. I have tried anything and everything that has crossed my suspect mind. Some things have worked. Others, not so much. I mean, really, cartoons about mites and mulch?

But all the practice must have worked because the short story I submitted for consideration was easy to write, and it was accepted for publication in an anthology of short stories. Take a look …

Continue reading “One Small Writing Step Forward”

I Finally Got It Write!

I started this blog 4 years ago to become a better writer. I got derailed as the Trump Train careened wildly into the White House, and this blog devolved to a series of angry screeds, questionable memes, and mildly-amusing (at best) cartoons. I continued that cathartic path for the benefit of my mental health, yet somehow I did hone my writing skills. I have a non-fiction book that is 2/3 done, but also badly in need of a rewrite. I will get to that as soon as I finish a book of short story fiction which is about 1/2 done and looking good. And who wouldn’t want a Best of Mite Be Funny coffee table book?

Raise hands

Fine. You can put your hands down. Anyway, my editor/cousin convinced me to submit a short story for publication consideration to someone she knew compiling a book. I had to write about a picture that the publisher had published previously in one of her art books. I chose this beauty.

Elvis - Eric Semelroth - Imitation A La King 1998

I received this email from the publisher a couple days ago …

Continue reading “I Finally Got It Write!”

What is Wrong with this Blog?

The title of this post could apply to this blog from the very first post, but it is especially applicable now. It used to be that readers could count on a post full of drivel from me almost every single day. You may have noticed (and rejoiced) that my posts have become more sporadic and less Trumpy. As for the latter, I am just sick of that saggy skin sack of lies and monkey feces. Sorry, that’s not fair to monkeys.

monkey mad.gif

Wow, touchy. I said I was sorry. Anyway, I just want Trump impeached and voted out in 2020. I find nothing funny about him any longer.

As for the sporadicity (not a word, but a potential album title) of my posts, that’s another story.

Continue reading “What is Wrong with this Blog?”

Your Righting All Wrong

As I continue to write more short stories, I have a cousin who is editing them. She has been a professional editor for decades. I know …

lucky

I am, but not just because she is editing for free. She’s always been like a big sister to me.

aw Aw, right?

I guess that’s why I got her a pair of Fancy Bitch socks for Christmas.

fancy bitch

She’s got a bit of an edge to her, so she loves them. In turn, she just sent me a book. I think the gift is a not-so-subtle tip to use better grammar when writing. If you are serious about becoming a better writer, GET. THIS. BOOK. Oh, sorry, my caps lock and period keys sometimes get stuck due to peanut butter in the keyboard. Here’s the book …

Continue reading “Your Righting All Wrong”

Write On!

This post is dedicated to all the aspiring bloggers and writers that may read this. No pics, gifs or ‘continue reading’ links to click.

I have officially finished a piece of writing outside of this blog that brings me great satisfaction. My book? Well, maybe not so much. It is about two-thirds complete, but I don’t like it as much as I had hoped. If I don’t like it, how can I expect the general public to like it? Of course, Trump was elected, so I guess quality product is not that important to the general public after all. Further proof of that is that many people consider The Big Bang Theory to be a funny television show. Spoiler alert … it’s not. Anyway, my book is not abandoned, just shelved for a while as I have delved into short story fiction.

When I started writing this blog 3+ years ago to get some writing practice in an attempt to become a better writer, I could not write fiction. Yes, I had tried it in the past, and the attempts were cringe-inducing. I kept one of those attempts to inspire me to do better. Now I have a fictional short story that I really like … A LOT! Wow, I sound almost Trumpian there in praise of my efforts.

But my point in this post is to encourage YOU to keep writing. Take chances. Take risks. Write something different. Write for yourself. You never know where it may lead you. It is taking me down an unexpected fictional path. Well, the path is not fictional, but the resulting stories are. When our internet was out this past week, that was reason enough for me not to work, and I pounded out a first draft of a new story that I also very much like.

I have seen fellow bloggers try to take new paths before with disastrous (my opinion only) results, abandon the project, and go back to doing what they do best. That’s okay. Not all new projects are successes. Case in point … the My Fave Faves feature on this blog. I publicly abandoned ship on the second post of that feature because I realized that even I didn’t care about it. But I like writing about music, so my new feature called New Music for Old Rockers will likely hang around for a bit. It’s a new path for me that pleases me, at least for now. It’s less about me, and more about the music. I’m not interesting, but the music is. I have seen others bloggers branch out in new and interesting (again, my opinion) ways, finding a new path for their writing. Write On!

I would also encourage you to get an editor. I am fortunate to have a cousin who is also my godmother, but who I consider more as an older sister (sounds like a Tennessee family tree) that is also a professional editor and published author. She was the one who had been encouraging me to write for years now. You can blame her for this blog. While she liked my first fictional story, she red-lined it up pretty good in her editing process. I let it sit for six months, partly due to my 2018 mid-term election activity and partly due to wounded pride. After the election, I picked it back up, finally understanding that my cousin, the professional editor, has more skills and experience than I, the hack blogger, will ever have. She was trying to make my story better, and she did. I accepted the edits and it is no less my story, but with a professional edit. So get a second set of eyes on your creations. It can be a blow to your pride, but well worth the experience.

Where will I go from here with my short-story fiction? I guess if I write enough of them, that could be a book. I’m not sure, but that’s the path I’m headed down now. I will not be publishing them here. I feel comfortable in saying that if you are reading this blog, then I can’t trust you or your judgement. You will have to be content with another Mite Be Funny cartoon tomorrow. I know, I know. I announced a hiatus for Mite Be Funny, and there was much rejoicing. I even attended several ‘Mite Be Funny Ends!’ parties. I started Mite Be Funny with the unrealistic goal of 100 cartoons. Tomorrow will be #102. I can’t stop. It pleases me. That’s my point in this post. Write what pleases you. Write On!