Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tweeting about Twerking?

Who will be the 5000th person to read this blog? Who will click on a link on Linkedin or Facebook for the big 5 oh oh oh? Today will be a blog about blogging, not a tweet about twerking, or a twerk about tweeting, there will be no more mention of Miley Cyrus in Syria to boost numbers. What you click is what you get.

My wife was the one who suggested that I start blogging. She was annoyed that I was posting too much on Facebook. There is a time and a place to post too much information, it's called Twitter. I haven't posted on Twitter in months. I am still on Facebook too much, but that's another column for another time.

I've had a blog before, back in my Myspace days. At one time I was getting a few thousand people a day reading my silly stories. In the days before Catfish, I routinely added EVERY pretty face that asked for a friend request including Tila Tequila. I've also had my column where thousands of people have checked me out. I am supposedly getting paid for my examiner column, about two or three dollars a month.

This blog has been more intimate and unpaid. It has allegedly focused on my writing, but the real world has slipped in on occasion. I've also posted about family, work and other aspects of my life. I was hoping that the blog would win and award and then be turned into the next Sex and the City, but it didn't and it's not.

So to you, Mr. or Ms. 5000, as well as those thirty before and thiry after; thanks for you incredible support. I seem to be getting more hits every day, so the blog is getting bigger and bigger. If you have any suggestions on how to get me to 5,000 a day, please let me know. I want to write about real life and not tweet about twerking.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Nude pics of Miley Cyrus's secret marriage in Syria

I'm closing in on 5.000 hits on this blog, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the popularity of each day's blog. Most days, my goal with this blog is to express my innermost feelings on writing and on life, and ultimately turn it into a book that can inspire other writers to keep on writing their own works. However, there are days when I just want people to read me.  Today is one of those days.

I could call it Ashton envy. Did envy of you see the film, Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher? Didn't think so. I know people do watch his TV show, but have you ever heard people talk about it like they talk about Breaking Bad?  So why does Ashton Kutcher have so many twitter followers? Don't even get me started about the Kardashians. I'm pretty sure one of them has a book or two out there.

Which brings us to Miley Cyrus. Does anyone over eighteen own her album? She inspired more twerking, excuse me more tweeting that anyone else recently, much more than the pending war in Syria. The obvious suggestion is that we send Miley Cyrus to Syria.

So today, I admit it, I've put all the popular hashtags in one story and we will see how many more people than normal check it out.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Catfish on my Computer

Have you ever been catfished? Although I am long out of the target demographic I watched a few episodes of the MTV show Catfish which investigates people who have been communicating online if one suspects the other of not being who they claim. The expression "catfished" gained national attention when Manti Teo, the Notre Dame superstar found that he wasn't communicating with a woman who later died, but with a man with a crush on him.

I had heard Jim Rome's interview with Mante Teo that he gave after Lannay had "died," but before the big reveal. I nearly cried. This guy could read offenses, but he couldn't read emotions on the other end. Teo wasn't just catfished, he was deep fried catfished with hushpuppies on the side! Lannay hit him harder than the Crimson Tide front line.

The first episode of the Catfish TV show I saw involved very sad, a slightly overweight and seriously lonely eighteen year old women thought she was communicating with a college student from San Francisco. It turns out that while he was indeed a college student, he wasn't the guy in the picture. That man just seemed mentally disturbed, but not dangerous.

Last night's episode was actually terrifying. The woman in the picture turned out to be a belligerent drunken jerk with a beard. This jerk looked like he was going to get in a fight with the hosts on a national TV.  Nev, one of the hosts, was actually on crutches and the man nearly pushed him over. As an attorney, I've seen assault charges brought for less.

I will save my personal catfish stories for another time. I have 5,000 friends on facebook I don't know if all of them are who they say they are. If they buy my books they can read them under any identity they want.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013






Ulysses ended his odyssey in ancient Ithaca. This odyssey began in Ithaca New York, and has never ended. At twenty-two, I was a senior in college at Cornell, returning from Spring break from the mythical land of Myrtle Beach. Hell had frozen over and then thawed into a sulfur and brimstone slush as I approached our mailbox in the aptly named Collegetown student ghetto.  A chill ran through my gut, this would be the last time I would be returning to Ithaca. In two months, I would be on my way out like a bat out of Hades.

 Unfortunately, the only way back out of Ithaca was through the mailbox.

I had applied to several law schools and the replies were waiting for me.  One single acceptance letter would change my life—a golden ticket or a holy grail. I had a vague idea of what I wanted out of life, only that I wanted my life to matter. I expected that the answer to the ultimate questions would be found inside the envelope along with the acceptance letter.

My girlfriend, the Penelope to my Ulysses, decided to go back to her place and asked me to call her with the good news. “Surprise me,” she said.

My two roommates had already heard their fates from the admission gods. One had been accepted at Harvard, Yale and Columbia. He was also thinking of applying to Hawaii as an out of state applicant, just to make sure that he would be accepted into every law school in the nation.

My other roommate was accepted into Michigan. He didn’t hesitate to tell me, “I got into Michigan, what the hell do you know?” in his thick Long Island accent.

I didn’t know how to respond, what the hell did I know?

I stayed outside in the cold and opened the first letter, from Stanford. Three years in sunny Palo Alto sounded perfect right now. At first I thought I had been accepted, the first sentence of the letter congratulated me on my outstanding achievement. It took me two more sentences before I realized that I had been rejected and I wasn’t going to be a high tech patent lawyer in the Bay area. I threw the letter in the slush. I had a few more to go, so I didn’t worry.

The second letter came from the University of Michigan. Go Blue! Corporate law in the Midwest perhaps?

Michigan didn’t bother to be nice in their terse letter. I felt like my heart had been clawed by a wolverine.

The sun was setting and it was growing colder by the minute. I went into the cramped living room of my apartment, glad that my roommates weren’t there. I didn’t find the answers I was looking for in the next four envelopes. I was waitlisted at Northwestern, Georgetown, Duke and North Carolina. How the hell did I make it onto four waitlists? I feared that I would be on a waitlist for the rest of my life and unlike Ulysses I would never find my home.

In many ways I was right.

Where was my home anyway? I had spent my high school years in Albuquerque, but when I was accepted into the University of New Mexico Law School, Albuquerque wasn’t even an option. I had ended up in upstate New York for a reason, to escape New Mexico like Bruce Springsteen sang about getting out of his home town in every song of his early career. It would be like Bruce playing the Stone Pony in Asbury Park for the rest of his life—Born to Return.

Maybe Albany or Buffalo wasn’t so bad after all. I was already thinking about beginning the application process anew.

There was one final envelope that had fallen to the floor next to a pile of dirty underwear. I didn’t know whether the pile belonged to myself or one of my roommates. I tore open the envelope-- “Tuition and fees are due at this date,” said the University of Colorado Law School.

Colorado? The one in Boulder? Didn’t I bounce check to them? Of all the schools in the entire world, why did it have to be in Boulder?

Freud had said that there are no accidents, and I think that the bounced check was done on purpose. I had told my mom and apparently she had secretly sent another check into the registrar.

Sisyphus had been cursed to roll a boulder up a hill for all eternity for his hubris, and now Boulder was literally rolling down on me. I had spent part of my undergrad at the University of Colorado as the token nerd in the coolest frat—I would be Pinto in Animal House without the losing his virginity to the Mayor’s daughter on the fifty yard line scene in the film. When I had transferred out of CU to Cornell, it was one of the happiest days of my life.

I was hoping to avoid my fate about returning to Boulder, besides I still had a few months to go.  Boulder couldn’t be all bad, I had this vision of ending up as an attorney in Aspen, closing billion dollar real estate deals in the morning and skiing under the Little Nell lift in the afternoon.

Life on the wait list continued over the next two months. I hadn’t heard anything from the other law schools when graduation came in June.  As commencement chairman, I carried the senior class flag along with my Penelope. I had the absolutely perfect moment of my young life as we entered a stadium filled with thirty thousand cheering parents.

It would have to work out, right? As I received my diploma from Cornell’s president, I stared out at those thirty thousand faces. I would get off the wait list and be able to start my life.  

 I returned home to Albuquerque for the summer, just for the summer I said to myself. I had a good gig working at the Attorney General’s office. People would ask me where I was going to law school and I didn’t reply. Ulysses and his crew had been tempted by the Sirens, but one by one my sirens stopped singing for me. North Carolina rejected me first, then Georgetown, then Northwestern and finally days before school was supposed to start, Duke declined.

My beautiful girlfriend from Cornell wrote me a Dear Jon letter when I didn’t get into Duke that last week of August. Penelope had turned into the Circe the witch. Ulysses won his Penelope back with his archery skills of course, but I was all out of arrows.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in,” Al Pacino had said in the final Godfather film. Boulder might as well be an asteroid with its own gravity that was pulling me back. Pinto would have to be a pledge all over again.

The end of summer, I drove up I-25 north with a great deal of sadness, like driving deeper and deeper into the heart of an impenetrable darkness with every mile of interstate, except this darkness was trimmed with gold, CU’s colors. When I made it to the ten thousand foot top of Raton Pass between two mountains I felt like I was crossing between Scylla and Charybdis, there was not turning back as I descended into Colorado. After 444 miles, I hit downtown Denver and saw those gleaming sixty story buildings. At least I’d end up on one of the high floors right?

Just north of Denver, as I made the turn off onto US 36 and headed northeast to Boulder with a tear in my eye. I didn’t feel like my odyssey was ending the way I wanted.

Once past Broomfield, when I saw the Flatirons once again, my sadness went away instantly. They don’t have flatirons in Michigan that was for sure. Perhaps Boulder wasn’t the worst place in the world, after all. Ulysses had spent time on an island or two along the way and this was just another island.

We started classes and I was impressed by my classmates. They were as smart as my friends at Cornell without seeming to be as competitive. The key word was “seem” of course. In New Mexico, people aren’t always competitive. In Ithaca they I enjoyed classes first semester and somehow managed to do pretty well. I remember thinking, if only I hadn’t blown Criminal Law I would have made Dean’s List. I figured I would have plenty of chances.

I had been in school my entire life so I began to burn out, even in Boulder. If I had Ivy league edge, it was quickly blown away by the Chinook winds that Spring. Civil Procedure stopped being civil. It soon became a Daliesque nightmare of pleadings and responses connected by colored chalk lines. Criminals running from the law soon became covenants running with the land as the first semester Criminal Law case became Second semester Property class and my lowest grade got even lower. Contracts class put out a contract on me.

My grades were all over the place, but I ended up in the bottom half of the class. I wasn’t like Cyclops with my single eye focused on schoolwork. Second year, I did mock trial and was on the school’s team as one of the witnesses. We lost to South Dakota. North Dakota I could understand, but South?

I started writing for the school newspaper my second year. I would end up as editor in chief in my third year. Not to toot my own horn, but I was Editor in Chief of the third best law school newspaper in the nation by the way.

I wrote an editorial called “A Third Year Looks Back,” in the law school newspaper. In some ways that article was the first real Jonathan Miller story.  When the issue came out, I stood in front of the entrance to the law school and handed out copies to all who entered. I didn’t know it at the time, but my literary career began at the moment the first student took one of the papers and smiled at me.

(I found “A Third Year Back” buried in a trunk all those years later. It sucked.  I had my paralegal type it and then I started to edit it to turn it into this story you are reading now. All that remains of the original are the words “sulfur and brimstone slush.”)

My legal career search never quite got on track. The quest for careers also began in quixotic earnest in the second year. Interviews were a lot of fun until they got to the “g” word. I flirted with the big time and flew out to Hollywood for one interview at an entertainment firm. The interviewer looked like something out of central casting. Get us a good looking fatherly type to play the lawyer whose daughter runs off with the skinhead drummer. I think the interviewer did ask me if I played any musical instruments. In any event I was not optimistic when a three hundred attorney firm wouldn’t validate my twenty dollar parking tab.

So many years later, I can now reveal that I interviewed with the CIA when they came to campus. I didn’t want to be James Bond, I wanted to be James Bond’s barrister. I made it pretty far along in the process, but I failed the lie detector test when they asked me who I was. I still didn’t know.

I swallowed some pride when the big firms and Federal agencies fell through. I actually did get a call from an Aspen law firm, but they couldn’t make me a firm offer in time, so I took a summer job with the largest firm in Las Cruces, New Mexico (southern New Mexico?!), and was embarrassed to say that I actually enjoyed it. Perhaps New Mexico might not be so bad after all.

The Spring semester of my final year, I was able to ski until May. I remember reading Rules of Evidence flash cards as I went up the chairlift at Arapahoe Basin, and I felt glad that I had gone to school in Boulder.

Unlike Ithaca, there were no envelopes waiting for me my final days in Boulder. I was going to be one of the fifty percent of the students graduating without a job, and I didn’t have any immediate prospects.

When I graduated that June, I knew that like Ulysses that my odyssey had only just begun.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miley Cyrus Masterpiece Theater

My goal is to be the Miley Cyrus of darkly comic southwestern legal thrillers, without the twerking. I am not sure what twerking is, and not sure my middle aged bones can handle even ten seconds of twerk. Still, everyone is talking, excuse me everybody is tweeting about Miley's at the VMAs over the weekend. She is no longer Hannah Montana, Hannah Nevada or even Hannah North and South Dakota put together. She is bigger than  that after only two songs, one of which wasn't hers, but Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. 

Maybe I am getting older, but I wish that the TV set had blurred more of Miley's performance.

My goal of course is to write something that everyone will tweet about over the weekend. As I write about the southwest, my goal is to be Hannah Tenth Judicial District without blurring any ethical lines. The problem is that I don't want to go write the literary equivalent of Miley Cyrus's performance.

I do indeed have something coming out onto the internet in a few weeks. I'm putting the final touches on Laws & Loves which are allegedly true stories of my early law career. Unlike Miley, I'm doing a lot of editing.  At one time, Laws & Loves was called "Legal Lapdances." In fact, a collection of my stories with that very name won the Southwest Writers non-fiction book proposal category five years ago and people loved the edgy titles. I am too old to be edgy. There will be no lapdances, legal or otherwise in this collection. I do like the title Laws  & Loves, but there will be more about laws and less about love.

Even though the Laws & Loves focuses on my stories up till I was age 36, it is now PG 13. There are no swears, no sex and certainly no twerking.

I was just reading Forbes Magazine's list of the highest paid entertainers, and Miley was not even in the top ten. The number one performed was even older than myself, and she made her 350 million the hard way--through hard work, constant touring and skillful marketing. She would never resort to cheap shocks like Miley Cyrus. Her name-- Madonna.

Perhaps I don't want to be the Miley Cyrus of darkly comic southwestern legal thrillers after all... I wanna be like Madonna!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Skyler is Falling or Gunn Control

Do you hate Breaking Bad's Skyler White?  In a recent New York Times editorial, actress Anna Gunn describes that there are now Facebook pages dedicated to hating the character and in some cases, these sites have mentioned death threats against the actress. Personally, I would not be eager to attend a barbecue at the White's pool, but isn't a death threat against an actress for her character going a little too far?

No one threatens James Earl Jones for playing the voice of Darth Vader.

I was extremely impressed by the quality of the writing in her editorial. Anna Gunn is a tremendous writer as well as a great actress. I'm not going to wade into the debate over the reasons behind the hatred. I definitely agree with her point that "I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives."
 When I was writing Rattlesnake Lawyer, some of the rejections and bad reviews were a little too personal especially when they found that the main character too unsympathetic. When you put a lot of yourself into a fictional creation, and people respond with vitriol, you can take it personally.

I'll be watching the next few episodes to see where Skyler goes.I do hope she lives. I definitely hope that Anna Gunn will be able to put the character behind her.

Breaking Bad could have featured a rival for Skyler-- a sort of Michell Pfieffer in Scarface that Walter could take away to his mansion. That might have actually created more sympathy for Skyler.
 The recent confrontation between Skyler and Lydia gave a taste of  what might have been.

I was on Team Skyler by the way. Still, I would rather watch a spin off featuring Lydia.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Red Wedding, Rattlesnake Wedding

I'm signing Rattlesnake Wedding at Barnes and Noble today, head to head against George Martin of Game of Thrones fame who will be signing at the Marriott Hotel less than a mile away. Needless to say, George Martin will win. He will sell hundreds if not thousands of books from one to three, while I will be happy to sell dozens at best.  I doubt that George Martin even knows who I am.

There are some similarities in our works, there is the infamous "red wedding" scene in his book where everyone dies at a wedding. I have a similar scene in Rattlesnake Wedding. My scene is a lot less red. I try to have strong female characters in my books just like he has in his books.

A major difference between us is that his fans are begging him to write faster, while mine are hoping that I will slow down.

I haven't made it through Game of Thrones, but Martin has inspired me to keep writing. My goal is to have a series on cable. Obviously Hollywood is looking for the next Game of Thrones. Judges sit on the bench of course-- Game of Benches anyone?

How about  Game of Rattlesnakes?

I have toyed with the idea of having a legal thriller set in Westeros or some medieval world. I did take a class on English legal history in Law School so I can probably come up with a good idea or two. I also read the Lord of the Rings and the Once and Future King (the stories about King Arthur) when I was younger. However, the more I think about it, I don't really know a broadsword from a branding iron.

Will anyone come to both signings? There is actually that possibility. Assuming that Martin sells out of one of his books, some folks might drive the mile down Louisiana Boulevard to pick up one of his books, get it signed and then go back to get it signed. They will encounter me sitting in the front of Barnes and Noble, and might actually have a dollar or two to spare. We'll have to wait and see.

Who knows? Perhaps in a few years, if Martin doesn't finish his next book and I do get a TV deal, I will be the one at the Marriott. George Martin, I'm coming for you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Barnes and Oprah, Batman and Noble

I am signing at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, August 24. Oprah once signed at a Barnes and Noble in LA, Jennifer Garner, the current wife of the new Batman, Ben Affleck, signed there as well during the height of her Alias fame. How do I know? Well, both of them had billboards on Beverly Boulevard advertising their signings. Well, I won't be having a billboard promoting my signing. I won't need one.

I will be sitting in front of the doorway. There will be a little sign advertising that I am an author, and yet some people will still think that I work as a security guard for the mall and ask directions for the bathroom or for JC Penney. I make it a point to talk in a soft voice and tell them about my latest book. This time, I will still be promoting Rattlesnake Wedding.  I bill the book as a romantic legal thriller set in New Mexico. If someone says that they haven't heard of the book, I usually make a joke--"That's my fault, not yours." I don't really get the joke either, but it breaks the ice.

Depending on the crowd, the economy, and my attitude, I will sell anywhere from 20 to 50 books. I do best on cloudy days with no rain. August is usually a very good month for me as is November. No matter how well I am doing there will always be a "lull" a thirty minute to an hour span where I do not sell a single book, no matter what I say. I will always go into a minor depression, wondering why I ever became an author. Out of nowhere, someone that I don't expect will buy a book and I will be back to being as book selling machine.

When I've traveled to a Barnes and Noble in Boulder, I've once placed an ad in a local paper and spent two hundred dollars. That ad didn't lead to a single sale. I actually sold more the next night in Broomfield without any advertising at all. I did get a few people show up when I had a full page write-up in a paper.

I have been profiled on local TV show here in town, but that didn't lead to any sales. So, I'm on my own tomorrow.

What would happen if I had a billboard like Oprah or Mrs Batman? I don't think that would necessarily lead to a line out the door. Still it would be nice . . .If Oprah or Batman himself want to give a plug to my book, I'm certainly not going to say no.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Barnes and Bubonicon

You've hard of Barnes and Noble, but Barnes and Bubonicon? I'm definitely signing at a Barnes and Noble bookstore this weekend. I might also sign at the Bubonicon fantasy festival.  I've sold more books at the Barnes and Noble in Coronado Center then any other venue, anywhere in the world. I like the store so much that I often go there on weekends and read movie and science fiction magazine. When I am at Bubonicon, I feel like I've been sucked into the pages of the science fiction magazine and stuck within one of the panels staring out at the world. It is not necessarily a bad experience.

I sell a lot of books at Bubonicon as well  . . .

As I've said in previous blogs, at a Barnes and Noble signing I met the actor who played Thor. He was in town filming the Avengers. He did not buy my book. At my Bubonicon signing I met three people dressed up like Thor, one dressed like Loki, and one dressed like Thor's furry pet goat. (I didn't know Thor had a furry pet goat, but the person in the costume explained that he did now!)  The costumed Thors didn't buy the book, but the pet goat did. And bought one for his or her  friend who was apparently dressed up like Thor's pet cat.

At Barnes and Noble I feel like I am in America. At Bubonicon, I am in Asgard, in Westeros, and if I'm not in Middle Earth, then I am in Middle Earth Adjacent.

I have a Barnes and Noble voice and a Bubonicon voice. There is a wider range of people coming through BN, so I vary my sales pitch for them. At Bubonicon I focus on the fantasy aspects of each of my books, law is its own fantasy world I suppose.

So drop by Barnes and Noble. Drop by Bubonicon too. If only there could be a place called Barnes and Bubonicon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Junk in the Trunk

Last night, I went into an old trunk looking for buried literary treasures to see if anything was worthy of being added to the Laws & Loves collection. I was looking for my first story that had ever been published as if it was the holy grail of my writing. It felt like James Cameron going to the depths of the ocean in a little submarine. I didn't find any valuable jewelry in any shipwrecks this time, but the journey was half the fun.

On the top level of junk, I found a crumpled copy of "Trial Date" a published story from ten years ago that I had long  forgotten about. It had appeared in my column in the East Mountain Independent and was about dating a woman, discovering that she had been charged with a crime and watching her trial. I had changed the details so much to protect the innocent that I could no longer remember the real details. After a quick read, I tossed it back.

Below that story, I found "Interviews from Hell," which had appeared in a forgotten publication called the New Mexico lawyer. It contained stories about bad job interviews of other people. I can now reveal that every story was about MY interview from hell. It was a fun read, but it would take too much to make it my story all over again.

I kept going deeper and deeper into the heart of a literary darkness.

I then found a keeper, a story from twenty years ago that had also appeared in New Mexico Lawyer called Planning Profession pales compared to law" it was about my adventures as an urban planner in Chicago. It has one of my favorite lines I've ever written "a green belt is something an urban planner wears with a gray suit." I don't know, why but that line still made me laugh. I'm going to have my assistant type it up.

The trunk got messier as I got to the bottom. I mixed up articles I'd written with articles written about me. I also had some term papers at school, including one that got a C. I finally found what I was looking for, what I considered the first real Jonathan Miller story. I was the editor in chief of the law school newspaper and my final column was called a "Third Year Looks Back." The story needs some pruning as there were inside jokes about professors that had long since expired, and expressions like "just a tad," but damn it, it was good. You can indeed see where the writing began.

I then decided to go even deeper. I realized that I wrote nothing of consequence in college. I found a few poems from high school that had received a C plus. Reading those poems now, I realize a C plus was generous.  I finally came to the base of the trunk and found an "organizer" notebook with football players on it. It contained the handwritten novel I wrote in seventh grade. Don't ask how long ago that was.

It was a science fiction book about superheroes. It was called Star War, and was written before Star Wars. I could not read my own cursive handwriting. However, I realized something, I started my journey as I scribbled those lines about an interplanetary war. It will never be published, but that isn't the point.

I spent another hour organizing the trunk, and then I closed it. It was time to come back to the surface.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Breaking Better? Breaking Worse

I'd like to break better, but I know I'll break worse. Sunday, I spent all morning revising my old non-fiction material to turn it into a book. If I were to get the material edited to 99% pure, turned into a screenplay by Adam Sorkin, and then have said screenplay directed by Martin Scorcese, it still wouldn't be as good as last night's episode of Breaking Bad. I didn't think these last episodes could possible live up to the hype.

I was wrong.

I was obsessed with Lost a few years ago. However, I've only been to Hawaii once and I've certainly never been to an uncharted island on the space time continuum that is the cork on the bottle of the smoke monster or whatever. I live in Albuquerque. On the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, one scene took place twenty yards from my office, and another took place less than a mile from where I was watching it last night. I saw them film another scene and I think you can hear the distinctive sound of my car's engine on the first episode.

Lost made the unreal seem real. Breaking Bad is making the reality even realer, if that is possible. I've mentioned that I now work in the building that served as Tuco's hideout?

So what am I trying to write? Laws & Loves Part I is a collection of my non-fiction writing, with Part I focusing on my adventures as a young lawyer. I'm hoping to get it published as an e-book later this year in conjunction with some other projects. I'm trying to arrange the stories into something resembling a character arc. In Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan says that Mr. Chips becomes Scarface. In Laws & Loves, the hero based on me goes from being a naive young lawyer to Atticus Finch. Well, let's just say he won't get there until Part III and IV. Did I mention that it could also be male version of Sex in the City without the sex, the city or the shoes?

Could Laws & Loves be the basis of a TV series? Why not?. I've had a lot of interesting things happen to me as a lawyer that would work in a TV setting. I'm thinking Netflix right now.

I finished up writing at noon yesterday thinking that I had something with the thirty-five thousand words. I think it is the best thing I've ever written. As I took a run, I actually started imagining the casting and dreaming of the royalties that would come next week after a million people downloaded it.

And then I saw last Breaking Bad and realized how far I still have to go before I could break even half as good. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Blue Meth on the Menu

Is blue meth on the menu tonight? Tonight we're watching Breaking Bad with my mom at her house.  My family has had a ritual of Sunday night dinners out for as long as I can remember, but for the next seven weeks, we might be breaking that tradition.

When my father was alive, I would go over to their house up in the hills. After he died, I would meet my mom at a restaurant, halfway between us on a place off Paseo del Norte--either Chinese at Best Lee's or the pizza and pasta bar at Tomato Cafe. Now, that I'm married, the tradition continued, my wife and I would meet her for a Sunday dinner.

I sacrificed the Simpsons for Sunday family dinners. That might be a good thing, the Simpsons  hasn't been good for years. There have been over 500 episodes of the Simpsons, so missing a few didn't really matter. Breaking Bad doesn't run every day, so missing an episode is a big deal.

For it's entire run, Breaking Bad was on at eight, a civilized hour, we could eat at 6:30 at the Tomato Cafe and be done in time to make it home for the start of that ominous music. Now that the show is on at seven, that would be impossible. Why is Breaking Bad starting at seven? Isn't that family hour? Isn't that when families used to watch the Wonderful World of Disney?

My mom is still hip in her seventies, still a culture vulture. She also liked Mad Men on Sunday nights. We will bring the Chinese food or the pizza tonight and settle into watch the sunset and then watch the show. We will save our witty repartee for the commercial breaks.

We like our Breaking Bad the way we like our Italian food served, family style . . .

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tipping Point

I really feel like I'm close to a tipping point in my writing career. Then again, I've been at a tipping point for thirteen years. So when will I finally tip? At next week's signing at Barnes and Noble perhaps?

I've read the Malcolm Gladwell books about success, including Tipping Point. He talked about the ten thousand hours that someone needs to devote to their craft. I don't even want to calculate the thousands of hours I've already put in. It's more than ten thousand.

With my 5.000 Facebook friends, 1,200 Linkedin connections, not to mention the hundreds of people I see every day, it is only a matter of time. Somebody will say something about me to someone who does have the power to tip everything over. I have to stay positive at all times.

Last night at a Hastings, I sold a dozen books in a short space of time. Any one of those folks could be a book blogger and pass the book along to their connections. All it takes is one and you never know who it is.

Barnes and Noble signings are interesting because of the sheer volume of potential tippers. I should sell around forty books. At one signing, the Hemsworth who played Thor was shopping in the store as I was signing. Had Thor decided to buy the book, I would have been literally struck by a thunderbolt.

So I will keep plugging away. You have to stand tall in order to tip over.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Breaking Windows

There are only seven more episodes of Breaking Bad. The Breaking Bad Window will last about one year. Breaking Bad Window? Right now, Hollywood is looking for the next Breaking Bad after six million people watched the season premiere of the old Breaking Bad. I assume that most of the five thousand of you who've read this blog are thinking the same thing, "I've got your next Breaking Bad right here."
(I assume your pointing to the left side of your brain as you say that).

I think the window for us is not large. Someone else will put out another show on another network that is billed as the next Breaking bad. It will be Breaking Mediocre and then Breaking Bad ratings and then Breaking Canceled.

We'll hear anti-heroes are out this year. Don't believe me, look at Mad Men. Several shows tried to imitate the Mad Men vibe and failed utterly. There have been no zombie shows on network TV since Walking Dead.

Breaking Bad, Walking Dead and Mad men are on AMC. Perhaps I should pitch a show about sixties advertising executives who turn into zombies and make meth. Zombies on meth? That  actually isn't a bad idea. It will probably be on Starz next week.

So how I am trying to break through the window? Laws & Loves. my collection of non-fiction will be published as an ebook in the next few months. This blog might be published as well. If my novel, Rattlesnake Wedding wins anything in the New Mexico book of the year awards, I might be pitching that as well.

However the paradigm has changed. I don't think I will be pitching in the old sense of taking a meeting with someone out there. New Mexico has changed.  New Mexico now has an active film community. We might be able to do something ourselves. We could make a five minute sample, post it on youtube. Get our friends to watch it and pray . . .

But the Breaking Bad window is indeed open right now. But it won't be open forever . . .

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You Can't Win 'em All!

I had a plan, an excellent plan. I submitted this blog into the Southwest Writer's Contest. I was going to win the grand prize and get a big deal. Producer Vince Gilligan would happen to be reading the story in the paper and option it, and a series based on the blog would have Breaking Bad's time slot on AMC this Spring . . .

This was not that far fetched, I had won and taken second in the category before.  A good friend of mine has won the contest and got a multi-book deal and his stuff wasn't that much better than mine.

Everything looked like it was on track when the blog made the top twenty a few weeks ago. The plan even an unexpected boost when I became involved with the Southwest Writer's Anthology project. I had buzz. All I had to do was place with the blog, and I would be breaking good.

Unfortunately Sunday night, I learned that not only did this blog not win, it hadn't even made the final three. My dream was over before it began. Or was it?

I also had a back-up plan, a Plan B. My collection of short non-fiction has won the Southwest Writers contest before, twice. I never did anything with those collections, which is now is a sprawling 80,000 words.
It is now called Laws and Loves. It can easily be turned into several ebooks.

So we're going with Plan B. Sometime this Fall, you will see the first installment of  Laws and Loves on as an ebook.

As for this blog, I'm going to keep on blogging even if its not a winner. Who knows, maybe this will be a winner next year.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Albuquerque: Beyond Breaking Bad

You're watching the final season of Breaking Bad and you're wondering is everybody on Albuquerque on meth? If not, is Albuquerque a city worth visiting for the sober among us? You might be surprised. Albuquerque has several spots that belong on the jetset circuit. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul haven't been the only stars in town. Recent filming has attracted the likes of Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington who bragged about the charms of New Mexico on the David Letterman show.

Since the advent of Indian gaming, there are several tribal casino resorts cater to the A-list. Fifteen miles to the north, the Tamaya Resort, (, recently hosted members of the real jet set.  According to the local news, well-heeled politicos flew in for a top secret event a few weeks ago. Presumably they ate at the Corn Maiden restaurant which features food that can only be described as nouvelle tribal dining in a classic adobe setting.  The golf at the Twin Warriors golf course has magnificent desert views to talk politics and other sundry business between holes.

"Closer to home, but far from ordinary"  was the slogan of the Sandia Casino ( and that's certainly the case. The biggest and arguably the best casino in New Mexico is a seven story resort with thousands of slots and high stakes table games. The Bien Shur restaurant on the top floor features American cuisine with sunset views of the the resort's namesake 10,000 foot Sandia Crest.  The bar on the patio also has cigars and live music. It's the closest feeling to a high end Vegas resort, but with New Mexico charm.

There are two new changes to the Albuquerque gaming scene. Seven lucky miles south of town, the former Hard Rock casino has been transformed back to the Isleta Resort (, after the Isleta. The casino has ditched the generic hard rock trinkets for tribal flourishes and is an improvement. It is a tribal resort that actually feels tribal. The resort's pool was actually featured on an episode of Breaking Bad where it was supposedly a spa.  Considering the resort's rural location in a more lush setting near the Rio Grande, lush for New Mexico that is, Isleta is the more relaxing choice.

Albuquerque also has horse racing in the Fall and while the Casino at the Downs ( most certainly does not  belong on the jetsetter's docket, the bar and Crown Room restaurant feature great places to watch a race or two.

For those who don't gamble, the Hotel Parq Central ( is an oasis in Albuquerque, literally a converted asylum. It features the best sunset views of Albuquerque's skyline and is the place where the stars go after filming wraps for the day. Albuquerque also has a nice funky shopping zone, the Nob Hill District (,. Bryan Cranston himself still owns a home there even after filming has stopped. 

Albuquerque doesn't just break bad, it might actually be a good choice for a weekend away.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Before Bad was Broken

My novel, Rattlesnake Lawyer almost became Breaking Bad before there was a Breaking Bad. The novel broke so bad that it never made it on the air. Twice. You could say that Breaking Bad was almost the next Rattlesnake Lawyer.

While Rattlesnake Lawyer was a legal show, its premise was that an innocent was thrust into the world of New Mexico crime and catches a bad case of felon envy. He realizes that it can be good to be bad, in fact bad might be better than good. Unlike Saul Goodman, the hero tries to be on a good man in a bad world. My subsequent novels all followed the same theme.

Way before Walt and Jessie, I was living in New Mexico and working on the book. In the nineties, Rattlesnake Lawyer was optioned by Viacom before it was even published. I made some real money as producers tried to shop it around for four years. A famous writer even wrote a sixty page script based on my work. At one time, I was about to be published by a major publisher and a show on Fox, but  I honestly don't know if the book wasn't published because the TV deal fell through or the TV deal fell through because the novel wasn't  picked up. Needless to say, by the end of the nineties Rattlesnake Lawyer didn't rattle so much.

I actually had a job in Hollywood writing a show called Arrest and Trial, but that's another story.

I had another chance to break good a few years ago. A famous show runner read the book and wanted to turn it into a series for reals. I did another round of the Hollywood shuffle, and sold the book in the room. Unfortunately, the producer had a falling out with the publisher and he didn't want to call it Rattlesnake Lawyer. Not even!

Still, despite that the show that wasn't Rattlesnake Lawyer, it was still the basic story of an innocent lawyer stuck in New Mexico. This took place before tax breaks however.

Right before we could sign a deal with the networks, there was a writer's strike and the project went into turnaround. The option expired and I was out of Hollywood for good. You could write a book about my latest adventures. Oh wait, I already did.

I am now ready for my next close-up Mr. DeMille.  The tax breaks are back. My books are doing well, and even the New York Times is writing about Albuquerque. I'm quite content to have Rattlesnake Lawyer be the next Breaking Bad, even if it should have been the other way around.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Is Breaking Bad too Big for its Own Good?

I'm watching Breaking Bad on Sunday, you're watching Breaking Bad on Sunday, one of my friends who had his cable shut off is going to the Marble Brewery on Sunday to watch Breaking Bad and drink Breaking Bad beer. Actually he will try both Breaking Bad beers, the dark and the white. It seems like everyone in Albuquerque is watching Breaking Bad, talking Breaking Bad, or checking their smart phones to read blogs like this one about Breaking Bad. Or so it seems . . .

I work in the building that was allegedly Tuco's Hideout, so I break very bad indeed, but even I am wondering about the hype. I can't help but think of one of the last big things to come out of Albuquerque, the Shins. Their apex of course was when Natalie Portman in the film Garden State told Zach Braff to listen to music that would change his life. Does Natalie Portman watch Breaking Bad? It feels like her character was going around America telling people to sample the show.

More people watch Duck Dynasty than Breaking Bad. More people watch America's Got Talent than Breaking Bad. More people will watch the Smurfs 2 in theaters on its second weekend than will watch Breaking Bad.  Cranston was dancing badly with Stephen Colbert this week to the tune of the Daft Punk song Get Lucky. Cranston has gotten lucky in deed. By the way, more people will probably download the youtube video of Bryan Cranston dancing with Stephen Colbert to the Daft Punk Song Get Lucky song than will watch Breaking Bad on Sunday.

It doesn't really matter. The hype is good for the show and after the recent New York Times article it's good for the city, my city. Assuming Rattlesnake Lawyer is finally made into a TV show, I'm certainly not going to pitch it as the next Smurfs 2

I can't wait to hear which Breaking Bad beer is better, the dark or the light.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stephen Colbert Punked my Mom!

My goal is as an author is to be interviewed by Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report. My mom was already interviewed by  him. Hopefully, I will do better than my Mom.

Colbert was a humble interviewer on the Daily Show at the time, a very long time ago. He hadn't fully become his "character" at the time, but perhaps that made him more dangerous. He could get away with a lot more.

As this involved a legal case with pretty high stakes, I won't go into the details. I've searched in vain for a Youtube clip, so I'm using the youtube of my mind. According to my mom, she received a call from a production company to interview her about the case. They actually came to her house. She made them coffee.

According to my mom, Colbert acted perfectly normal before the interview. She thought she would finally get her point across to a national audience. During the interview, she talked about the case, but the course of the interview went off on a tangent. Instead of talking about Constitutional Law, he made her point in various directions and asked her "From over there?" several times. When the interview ended, she had expressed her views, and was confident that she had proved her case to the court of public opinion. She had argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court after all.

The final result was two minutes of my mom pointing and pointing. It wasn't about the case, the court or even the constitution, it was about comedy. I have to admit that it was pretty funny.

My mom would receive a very good settlement for the case, so in some ways she had the last laugh.

I doubt that Colbert even remembers the interview, but I will never forget it. So, Stephen Colbert you have been warned! I intend to be so famous as an author that you just have to interview me in the final segment of the show. It's time for something we call Point-Counter Point.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Writing for Beer

There are no novelists in beer commercials. While watching the beer commercials during shark week, you don't see authors. I sure wish that after a hard day of writing, I could play beach volleyball with my fellow southwestern literary darkly comic legal thriller writers and then chug a couple of Miller 64s. Heinekin is now making commercials that are mini-movies, but no one is ever shown writing or reading.

There was an Algonquin Round Table, where authors drank to excess back in the day, but I doubt that Dorothy Parker and her vicious circle drank Coors Lite, unless they did so ironically. Toulouse Lautrec drank absinthe alone, or with the courtesans of the 23rd arrondissment not Michelob Ultra with mes amis.

Reading is also an act one does in the privacy of your home, or during the lunch hour at work if you want to avoid your co-workers. While there are book groups, the reader is not reading the book over Budweisers at the pub.

Both Novel writing and reading are solitary practices

Or are they?

Many of my best friends are novelists and they are far more sociable than you might imagine.  There have been  joint signings which become friendly competitions. Selling a book to a stranger might as well be getting digits from a beautiful babe with Vince Vaughn at a Hollywood party.

I did see the Rock Bottom Remainders, an alleged rock band which featured Stephen King and Amy Tan, at the LA Times Festival of the Book. Stephen King does rock and he sometimes does it with other people. Stephen King doesn't drink anymore of course, but he was certainly sociable.

And book signings themselves can be a good way to meet readers. What you do after you meet your readers is a story for another blog.

So Bud Lite, Miller 64, Michelob Ultra and especially Heinekin, please make a beer commercial for authors. Just no dancing and no volleyball...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The A-rod of Writing part 2; or Blogging on Steroids

Alex Rodriguez was closing in on the record for home runs before his suspension, I'm focusing on hits--the number of people who click on this blog. I'm approaching 5,000 hits, but I worry if I should be the one using steroids to boost my numbers.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how many people read this blog every day.  I provide a link to groups which helps, but I'm not sure which links work and which links are duds. I get comments from film makers, but not actors. There are days when a good people read the blog over night, even though I haven't posted anything new. I've spent a few bucks "promoting" the blog on Facebook and watched the numbers gone down. That's like A-rod spending money on steroids that don't work.

I try to write something almost every day, yet I find that my numbers go UP when I take a break. I suppose that makes me more like a pitcher than a hitter. Then again, pitchers use steroids too.

How would I promote the blog? How would I put a blog on steroids? I suppose I could advertise some more, and provide more and more links to strangers. I have actually talked to a publicist. I could also switch from writing about writing to writing about celebrities. I did that for awhile with my examiner column, but writing Lindsay Lohan scandal does get old after awhile.

For some reason, 5,000 hits is a big deal for my blog. I don't know how many actual distinct people that is. I don't know whether I have a core of 5 people who've read me 1000 times and keep coming back, or 5,000 different people who've read me once and then never linked again. In any event, this blog is probably coming out as an e-book in a few months, and I'm hoping every one will follow me to Amazon.

I don't want to be the A-rod of Amazon, my baseball metaphor is the Amazin 1969 Mets. The title already writes itself-- Amazin on Amazon! It will take more than 5,000 hits however!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shark Porn

It's "shark week" on various TV channels, and last night I saw a program that could only be described as "shark porn," literally. There even was a warning label during the commercials. During the mating scenes, I averted my eyes just as I did with the feeding frenzies. I've only had one shark in my novels, but I can see why sharks get their own week. Cats get the rest of the internet, but that's another blog.

Ironically, my favorite shark reference in literature was in a Woody Allen film, Annie Hall. Woody told Diane Keeton's Annie, that a relationship was like a shark, it had to constantly keep moving in order to survive. "What we have here is a dead shark," he said.  He won an Academy award for writing that scene.

As for the shark scene in my book, it was based on a real experience. Several years ago I was dating someone and we had dinner at the restaurant inside the Albuquerque aquarium. There was a pregnant shark, however I don't know if the little shark was still born or just got stuck coming out of the womb. The mother shark kept swimming, and I was tilting my head trying to focus on the baby shark. This was literally a once in a lifetime experience-- birth of a predator or perhaps death. I think a TV crew was on the way . . .

I wasn't able to learn what happened to the baby shark because my date kept telling me to look at her. "Look at me, don't look at the shark! We need to talk about our relationship!"  I think men are genetically wired to look at sharks as opposed to having in depth talks about relationships. Our own shark, well our potential relationship, died that day.

I don't remember the name of the woman, I still can picture the shark's eyes however, and the eyes of the pup.  I've never seen a shark photographer get a wedding announcement on the New York Times Weddings and Celebrations page.

I put a version of that real life encounter in my novel, Conflict Contract, where Dan breaks up with Jen Song. It's a cute scene, and the pregnant shark makes a cameo.

I hope to set an upcoming novel in Hawaii and bring some of my existing characters back . . . including the pregnant shark. I'm not saying how that shark got pregnant as I'm not going to write a shark sex scene. I will leave shark porn to the professionals . . . and the sharks.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Breaking Bad's Best Moment

While we're on the subject of Breaking Bad starting next week, I'd like to discuss my favorite  moment of the show, perhaps the best moment of television ever, the death of Gustavo Fring. My goal in life, with all 4,183 of you as my witnesses, is to write a scene that strong.

Go look it up at youtube right now, even if you've seen it before. I'll wait. I am not sure if it's medically accurate, or even consistent with the laws of physics, but the scene is shocking. It made me gasp. Obviously, the director did a "bang-up job" shooting the scene, the actor was astounding, but the show's writers came up with the concept.

Until that scene, my favorite scene in TV was on the first season of Lost. I still hadn't voted myself onto the island a few episodes in. I still didn't get it and didn't know if I wanted to. It was the episode which had flashbacks of Hurley winning the lottery and the famous numbers. Those numbers seemed to have nothing to do with the main island plot, the cast was still dealing with the mysterious hatch. In the final scene of the episode, it is revealed that the numbers are actually etched into the hatch. I was hooked and watched every Lost episode after that. I knew I was in good hands with the show's writing staff at that moment, and for the most part I was write, excuse me, right.

In film, I'm embarrassed to admit that my favorite scene is in the final Batman film, the Dark Knight Rises. I saw it the weekend after the Aurora cinema shooting, and was bawling like a baby.

As for my own writing, I do have my own favorite moments. For years it was page 220 of Volcano Verdict, where Luna is in a Mexican pharmacy and learns the identity of the drug kingpin. Now it's the final chapter of my latest book, Rattlesnake Wedding.

Hopefully, one of you 4,183 folks will go out and write something of your own. As for me, there's no Breaking Bad tonight, so I'll be on the computer trying to write a scene even better.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Breaking Better or Better Call Saul

Breaking Bad breaks next weekend.  I've also heard that the producers are moving forward with a spin off based on the sleazy lawyer character of Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul). I pitched my own New Mexico lawyer show to Hollywood, Rattlesnake Lawyer. Is Hollywood ready to rattle at last? Assuming Saul's show does come to pass is that good for me or bad for me?

Hollywood loves imitation. Let's call the show Better Call Saul. I can now go in and say Rattlesnake Lawyer is like "Better Call Saul" with a younger, smarter lawyer. Perhaps I can even pitch it to Vince Gilligan itself as a spin off of a spin off. "Better Call Saul SVU."

On the other hand, if the show is not successful, that could ruin it for me. Hollywood could go back into its "No one gives a damn about a lawyer in New Mexico." I always remember when I was pitching to a producer over the phone and he said those very words. And then he added "Why would anyone stay in New Mexico anyhow. People don't get that." I was looking around at the beautiful sunset at the time in my home that cost a fraction of his bungalow in Santa Monica. I said nothing.

There's always a chance I could get a job on the show. I do have a master's degree in screenwriting and seven published novels to my name. I did write 13 episodes of Arrest and Trial, but that was 13 years ago. Since then, I have represented a few thousand people in court, and done more jury trials then some Saul has episodes in a full season pickup.

Unfortunately someone who was a writer's assistant on a Law and Order show would get a job before me. 

Well, almost 5.000 of you have read this blog. Put the word out there. Better call Jon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

New Mexico on Film

We try to see all movies filmed in New Mexico, so this weekend we 're going to see 2 Guns with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. I actually jogged past them while they were filming. Was I hoping that I would be discovered, or at the very least get a pay or play option on my Rattlesnake Lawyer screenplay.

Don't laugh, Michael Eisner the head of Disney once gave a two picture deal to his ski instructor at Aspen. The result was a very forgettable film called "Aspen Exteme." Why not Albuquerque Extreme?

A few weekends ago,we saw The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. It was not a very good film, but it was fun seeing the locations we'd visited in real life. Apparently we might as well be known as the Lone Theatergoers, because the movie is losing a fortune. We should have worn masks. Who were those masked theatergoers anyway?

By the way, I was actually interviewed regarding the film industry a few weeks ago, when I was up in Santa Fe. I was wearing a suit and the reporter thought I was a producer. Cool!

My dry cleaners now has signed pictures of every star who passes through and gets their shirts pressed. Mark Wahlberg apparently likes heavy starch.

Louis, a guy at the gym, is now an extra in almost every film. He even claimed to have a love scene with Charlize Thereon. Thankfully for her, that was cut from the final film.

 I thought I had left Hollywood twelve years ago, but to paraphrase Al Pacino in Godfather 3, "Just when I thought I was out...they start filming a block away."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August is the Cruelest Month

It's August, are you thinking back to school? I'm reminded of an August many years ago when I knew I was going to law school in September, I just didn't know which school. Unfortunately that decision wasn't mine to make. You might say the same thing about my next book which is coming out this Fall.

That August, I had been accepted to UNM and CU, but still wait-listed at Duke, Georgetown and North Carolina. I was looking at law schools based on basketball rankings. I had already been rejected by Michigan, so I wasn't a wolverine. I hoped I was smarter than Duke alum Bobby Hurley or Georgetown's Alan Iverson. I would soon find out that I was wrong.

Even then I'd concede I was not destined to be the Michael Jordan of the law like the famed UNC alum, but I still wanted to go there. Hell, how hard could it be to become a 'Heel? I had also applied to non-basketball power Northwestern as a safety school, and I was wait-listed there as well. I can't think of a Northwestern basketball player, but oh well.

Over the course of that August, I fell out of the wait-lists, Nada from Northwestern first, then jerked around at Georgetown and then no contest at North Carolina. I was already in Boulder when I finally was denied from Duke, like Christian L denied Kentucky. At least I wouldn't have to worry about how to spell Coach K's last name.

As for the next book, an unknown person is making the decision for me. I've been told that the winners have already been selected in the Southwest Writer's contest by today. We won't find out until August 15 if we are finalists, and September if we are winners or possibly the story teller, the grand prize winner.

If this blog, entered as Rattlesnake Blogger places in the top three, it most likely be coming out this fall, regardless of whether it wins. If it is the story teller, I might be holding it back and submit it to a mainstream press. If it doesn't even place, I might just put it out anyway or just let it die an electronic death. My safety school, excuse me, my safety book, is Laws and Loves, a collection of my old non-fiction. That has already won and taken second, the two times it has been entered. I can publish the whole book, or just the first hundred pages or so.

I also entered the science fiction book, but there was no science fiction category. I am not that optimistic. However, if it places of God Forbid wins the grand prize, that opens up a  bunch of possibilities. Imagine a prized recruit choosing between Duke and Carolina . . .

TS Eliot had said that April is the cruelest month. I disagree, it's August.