Archive for June, 2012

This is where the magic happens, where my imagination comes to life. This is my office. I use to do my work while sitting on the floor. I would prop my back on the side of my bed, my computer monitor sat on the bedside table, and the keyboard sat in my lap. Now I have a desk, and as you can see, Shardae allowed me to have a section of the bedroom wall. Yeah, I’m doing it big now.

Do you see that computer sitting on my desktop? That’s my most prized possession. If there was a fire in my home, the computer would be the first thing I ran to save, you know, after I secured my lady and child. I remember being a kid and having my folks ask me what I wanted for Christmas. “I want a computer,” would always be my response. Then my folks would comeback with, “What else do you want?” I didn’t want anything else. Owning a computer was my greatest desire. I guess I always knew I wanted to be a writer… that and I really wanted to be able to play Solitaire whenever the mood struck me. After being denied a computer for three consecutive years, my reply to what I wanted for Christmas became, “It doesn’t matter.” Why ask me what I want if I was never going to get it? I’m 25-years-old now and my response to, what do you want for Christmas, is still, “It doesn’t matter.”

Well, when I became an adult and started making my own money, one of the first major purchases I made was to buy a computer. I didn’t start writing right away. I did a bit of poetry, but I mainly listened to music, watched DVD’s, and of course, played Solitaire. One day I pawned my computer in order to pay my car note, but I made sure I got it back, and once I had it I promised never to pawn it again. I had a feeling that my computer was going to be extremely valuable in forging my future, so I couldn’t risk losing it. I never pawned my computer again no matter how tight money got.

I wrote my first book on that computer. I was pretty proud of myself, but I didn’t receive any encouragement from those around me. I tried to get the story published, was discouraged at the result, and I postponed my dream.

Sometime later, I remember accidentally dropping my monitor and breaking it so I couldn’t use my computer. I was unhappy about that. Shardae and I had just started dating then and she got me this old-fashion, bulky monitor from her sister. Shardae has always reluctantly supported me. And by reluctantly I mean, she voiced her disagreement about my decision to be a writer, and she has never read a word I wrote, but she does stuff like find me a monitor to replace my broken one, or rid my computer of viruses when it got sick that one time. It was Shardae who inspired me to work on my second book, Agape. I finished it back in 2009, but I never got it published. It’s now due for publication this September.

I eventually got a better looking, slimmer monitor and around that time I began to write seriously. The next book I would write was called, The BoogeyMann. I wrote dozens of short stories on that computer, and four novels. When everyone else was trying to discourage me from being a writer, my computer would encourage me with a swiveling screensaver that said, Bennie L. Newsome. The computer was my personal cheerleader, voicelessly yelling my name.

My computer and I have come a long way. We have achieved quite a bit and the two of us are still working to obtain greater heights. If there was a fire in my home, the first thing I would rush to save is my computer, you know, after I secured my lady and child. I do plan on replacing my computer one day, with a more updated model. The machine is not what I’m attached to. It’s the dream that a little child had years ago. The dream to be a renown writer like his favorite author, R.L.Stine. So yeah, I’ll replace my computer with a faster, sleeker model, and create another swiveling screensaver that will read, Bennie L. Newsome. And that new computer will continue to cheer me own as I trudge onward to greatness.

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Tag! You’re It!

Posted: June 23, 2012 in Ravings
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hello, everyone! Once again, it has been a long time since I’ve written a blog, but there has been a lot going on in my life. There has been a lot of good things going on, a bit of bad, but all and all, there has been a lot. 

Anyway, as I sat on my front porch, reading Stephen King’s collection of short stories, Skeleton Crew, MsKatykins (http://teaandtantalisingtales.wordpress.com/) sprinted up those steps that led to my dusty porch with its groaning floorboards, and slapped me on the arm. “Tag, you’re it!” she yelled. MsKatykins tagged me in what is called “Blog Tag”, then she ran back down the stairs and raced across the yard.

“Dang it, MsKatykins!” I yelled. “You knocked my book out of my hand! You got the pages all dirty!”

I picked my book up from the porch, then I watched as MsKatykins giggled while fleeing around to the side of the house. I intended to resume reading my book, but it was pretty hard to ignore the challenge MsKatykins had presented. After a bit of internal debate, I put down the book and went in pursuit. “I’ll get you!” I yelled playfully.

The rules for playing blog tag is as follows:

You must post the rules
Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged
Tag (eleven) people with a link to your post
Let them know they’ve been tagged

Here are the questions I was given:

1. What is your favourite ice-cream flavour and why? (I love the fact that I can hear MsKatykins’ accent in her writing.) Anyway, my favorite ice cream flavor is cookie dough. I haven’t had any in a very long time, but I love the combined taste of vanilla ice cream and cookie dough.

2. Do blondes really have more fun? It doesn’t matter if you’re blonde, brunette, or redhead. Life is a blast for attractive people, and for the unattractive people, life sucks.

3. What is the weirdest dream that you remember having? (I’m talking sleepy dream here.) My dreams usually consists of a dark sky and a red sun. So one time, I had a dream where the sky was blue and the sun was yellow. “That’s weird,” I remember saying.

4. Did you grow to become/do what you always dreamed of as a child? If not, why not? I just started dreaming last year so ask me this question in a couple of years and I’ll give you an answer.

5. What is the most annoying fad that you’ve ever succumbed to?Twitter! I joined Twitter to network, and I hate it. It’s nothing more than a gathering place for Spam. And they don’t have a like button.

6. If you could steal someone’s identity for a day, who would you be and what you would you do as them? If I could steal someone’s identity for a day, it would be Donald Trump. I would set up a bank account in Bennie Newsome’s name, deposit a buttload of money, then pay off all Bennie’s debt.

7. Where would you most and least like to visit in the world? I would love to visit Middle Earth, maybe frolick with the elves, and I would definitely steer clear of Hogwarts. Hogwarts appears to be a dark and depressing place.

8. What, in your opinion, is one of the best/most useful inventions ever and why? The best , most useful invention is bacon bits (real bacon). With the invention of bacon bits, bacon  has become seasoning in my house. I sprinkle that stuff on everything.

9. If you could be any other species, what would you hope to be? Is rich a species? Because if it is, I hope to be that.

10. If you could see one music act dead or alive, back stage, first class treatment, who would it be and where and why? Eminem…my house…because I don’t like traffic.

11. Do you have any superstitions? Yes. I believe that if you go to a graveyard after nightfall, evil spirits will kill you, and the undertaker will find your lifeless body the next day. And I don’t say “Bloody Mary” or “Candy Man” in any mirror, in the dark, because I believe…well, the undertaker will find your lifeless body the next day.

Alright. Now that I answered the eleven questions I was given, here are the questions I came up with.

1. Chick Fil A cows say, “Eat more chicken.” If you could promote the consumption of an animal, what would it be?

2. If you had a time machine that was good for one trip into the past and a return trip to the present, where would you go and do?

3. If you found a bag of money and you only had two hours to spend it before the cops closed in on the money, what would be your first stop?

4. Have you ever sought to obtain superhero powers?

5.If you could be a superhero, what powers would you want?

6.Deaf, dumb, or blind…which would be the worst handicap?

7.What is your dream career?

8. Is that your current career? If no, why not?

9. Do you entertain telemarketers who call your home, or do you cuss them out right away?

10. If you were at a restaurant and your waiter/waitress came to your table without a pair of pants, would you pretend like you don’t notice and order food to avoid the awkwardness? Or do you get up and leave?

11. Did the cleanliness of the underwear factor into your decision (referring to question number 10)?

Once again, I’m breaking the rules by not selecting eleven people. I’m lazy like that. Instead of selecting eleven people, I’m choosing one. Laurie (lauriejlong.wordpress.com), tag, you’re it. If anyone else would like to answer these questions anyway, feel free to treat this like Facebook and tag yourself. Let me know so I can read your answers.

Before I proceed with this, I want it noted that I absolutely hate chain mails in all forms. Of course, this one isn’t as bad as the text messages people send me. You know the one. The text that says you will miss out on a blessing if you don’t send this poorly written crap to however many friends. Yeah, this ABC virtual chainletter isn’t as bad as the text message, but I still hate it. I have received a nomination one other time and I was deeply honored to have been thought of — as I am in this instance as well — but it came with too much work and I didn’t participate. The only reason I’m doing this is because of my nominator and blogger friend, Laurie (www.lauriejlong.wordpress.com). I’m not doing this because of who she is, but because of what she wrote on her acceptance of the nomination. Her comment about me not being too cool and that I owe her one made me laugh, and she’s right, I owe her one. So here goes.

I’m not sure if I got the rules right, but apparently, I am suppose to accept this nomination in front of all my readers — and I hope you all don’t think any less of me for this; especially if you are the one who I nominate at the end of this ritual.

“I accept this nomination. I would like to thank Laurie for thinking enough of me and my ramblings to even consider me for this award; and I would like to thank God. Without Him, none of this would be possible.”

Alright, now that the acceptance is done, I believe I am suppose to list anything I want in alphabetical order. It doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as it’s listed from A to Z. Therefore, my topic is “What Not To Feed Me If I’m Ever At Your House.” I probably will never meet you, but just jot this list down in the off chance that I’m in your neighborhood and I stop by.

asparagus, broccoli, coleslaw, Dominoes Pizza (I can eat it, but I prefer Pizza Hut or Papa John), enchiladas, fat free snacks, goat cheese, hamhocks, indian food (and chinese food for that matter)jalapenos, kidney beans. Laughing Cow Cheese (sounds too much like Mad Cow Disease), mayo, Neopolatin icecream (nothings wrong with it, but the strawberry is usually the first to go and I don’t want your leftover chocolate and vanilla), onions, peppers, Quakers oatmeal–plain, ranch salad dressing, salt free anything, tomatoes, urinal cakes (never had one and they don’t sound tasty at all), vinergarettes, watermelon (had more than my share as a kid), xanthan gum, yams, and zuccini.

Okay. Now that that’s done, what’s next? I’m suppose to post the image of the ABC award somewhere on my page as a widget. I won’t be doing that, so on to my nominations. If I have nominated you, know that it wasn’t because I bear a grudge against you. I nominated you because I figured you would be less likely to cuss me out for sending you this chainletter. If I didn’t nominate you, I don’t know you well enough to involve you in a practical joke. Here goes.

I nominate the following:

mskatykins…host of Before I Forget… www.teaandtantalisingtales.  She has been nominated before. This probably increases her changes at winning.

chantel…host of Word Blurb… www.chantellyb.wordpress.co m

yeltnuh… www.ephemeralstream.wordpress.com

DA Chaney… www.dachaney.wordpress.com

Andrew… www.shutupdad.wordpress.com

After nominating these five individuals, I am suppose to notify them by posting a comment on their About Me page. I will not be doing that either. But that shouldn’t matter. These people click “like” on most of my post so let’s see if they actually read them. If they do, then they will be rewarded with a nomination for a reward that may or may not be fake. Thank you all for bearing with me.

— The Ravings of a Madman

Includes my first accepted short story, “Summer Assignment.”

June has finally arrived which means that approximately a year has passed since my first publication. I don’t remember it like it was yesterday (I can barely remember yesterday), but I do remember opening an email from Denise Brown of May December Publications. I was braced for another rejection. Instead, I was met by the words, “your short story has been accepted into our anthology, Chivalry is Dead.” Of course those weren’t the words exactly, but you get the gist. I got my first acceptance in March of 2011 and I was a published author that following June. I may not remember that day well, but I do recall being very excited. I rejoiced silently to myself because my girlfriend was in the next room and I wanted to wait for the right moment to tell her the good news. Although, when you see a grown man prancing happily around the house, its not hard to figure out what’s going on. So I told my girlfriend, I told my mom, and I told my brother, Darryl. My brother was the only one who seemed genuinely happy for me. My mother and girlfriend lost interest when I told them that there was no monetary compensation. And they wonder why my first book wasn’t dedicated to them.

 Anyway. Since my first publication, I have had a butt load of short stories published in numerous anthologies. Some are very good stories, then there were those that didn’t translate well from my imagination to the computer. I had a short story nominated for a Pushcart Award. It didn’t win, but I was extremely honored that the editor thought it was good enough to submit. I also had a very good short story accepted into an anthology that will feature a renown bestselling author. That anthology, Songs of the Satyr, should be coming out soon. My latest and greatest acceptance was a poem that’s scheduled to appear in a Hallmark book entitled, Thanks Mom. Then there are those that I was embarrassed to see in print. Needless to say, I won’t elaborate on those. But all the success I did have started with a short story called, Summer Assignment. It read like a middle grade story while being filled with adult innuendos. The story was all humor and no horror, but it appeared in an anthology that has a wicked cover and some gruesome tales. I’m a comedic writer who likes to write tales for the young and old alike. Not everyone likes the stories I have to tell, or the way I tell them, but those people are usually the mentally depraved. They’re not happy unless you’re hacking someone’s head off, or spilling their guts. I can do that, I have done that, but I’m more at home with tales like: Summer AssignmentFrightening ClichésThe BoogeyMann. I rather have fun and make people laugh than scare the crap out of them.

And with that being said, I would like to thank Denise and Todd Brown at May December Publications for accepting a childish and silly person such as myself. They specialize in speculative horror, and yet they gave me my first short story acceptance — which was anything but horror. They also published my first young adult novel. They’re not the most perfect independent press, and the edits have not always been to my liking — I’m sure my lack of formatting didn’t help matters — but my work was published in a timely manner and the contributor copies always made their way to my doorstep. As a writer, I have grown and so have my aspirations. I don’t submit work to the smaller presses like I use to (mainly because I don’t have time to write like I use to), but I will never forget that I started out with a press called May December Publications. Terrible name for a horror press, I know, but would a zombie by any other name be less likely to crack open your skull and eat its innards? Nope. The results would pretty much be the same.

 

–The Ravings of a Madman