Archive for the ‘Ravings’ Category

I write with a baby in my lap. What's your excuse?

I write with a baby in my lap. What’s your excuse?

I planned on writing my trademark blog — humorous and in your face — but I just don’t have it in me right now. It’s midnight. My fiancée is asleep, my child is asleep, and that’s where I want to be so let’s get this over with.

Aaron Gudmunson asked me to participate in something entitled Coming Soon! Blog Hop. I agreed because Aaron is a good guy. Then there’s the fact that I’m trying to be more social and less of a recluse. So I agreed to participate, but it’s one of those “chain letter” type blog post where you post a blog then get three more to do the same. If you’ve read any of my blogs before — which you probably haven’t — I have a great disdain for chain letters. Phut! <That’s me spitting. I spit on chain letters. But like I said, Aaron is a good guy. I met him in an anthology, I don’t remember which one, but I do remember his story and I liked it. Check him out over at, but whatever you do, don’t come back here. I’m rarely here anymore. But wait! Don’t go just yet. I have some news to share and a ridiculously generic interview to do. Stay with me long enough to read what I have to say then click on whatever link you want to take you away from here and don’t come back. Not because I don’t like you. I’m rarely here is all.

Before the interview I want to share some things with you. I would wait until after the interview, but I’m afraid you won’t last that long — premature evacuation is what the kids are calling it nowadays.

May 2, I have a humorous piece of work going up over at If the beginning of relationships started out as a job interview, how would the resumes look? Well, I wrote a resume in which a guy is trying to get the job of being some girl’s new squeeze. Check it out if you get the chance. If you forget, come back here, click on the link, then never return.

I also have a legitimate interview scheduled to appear May 6 over at Click on the link, locate the “Isolation” tab, and find my name. Should be fun.

I think that’s it. Are you still there? Good. Just hang on a little while longer. I swear I’m almost done. <That’s what he said. Here’s my Coming Soon! Blog Hop interview.

What are you working on right now?

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and thought, Man! I wish I thought of that first. I think that all the time. If I had a time machine, I would procure a busload of novels and travel back to before they were written and write them first. None of Stephen King works. What Stephen King writes should only be written by Stephen King, but I’d definitely become the author of Pirates of the Caribbean. Anyway, back to the point I’m trying to make. All of my current works in progress are kept top secret – with the exception of the publishers I submit to and literary agents, and I cross my t’s and dot my i’s with them too – until it’s published. Yeah, that’s how original my ideas are.

However, I can say that I am currently working on short stories for pro market venues with the intention of spreading my name and establishing a greater reputation. And I must say things are going very well so far.

Next question please.
How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Well, my work has by Bennie L. Newsome on the cover page. No other work in its genre has that.

Next question please.

What experiences have influenced you?

I came into this writing game thinking all I had to do was write, present said writing to a publisher, and fame came instantly. That was foolish, amateurish thinking. Rejections taught me to write better, acceptances taught me not to say yes to everyone who told me yes. If you’re published in a forest and there’s no one around to read it, are you really published? No. And this revelation taught me not to submit to just anybody. In the end, my experiences have taught me to have more patience, my writing has evolved, my standards are higher and uncompromising, and I’m a whole lot closer to my goal than I was when I started.

Why do you write what you do?

I write what I do because it’s who I am. My work is humorous at times because I like to laugh. Horror is my favorite genre to read, so of course I’m going to write about horrifying situations. If you notice me give a shout out to God in my work, it’s because I know He exists. I prefer to write for young adults and middle graders because they still read just for the love of reading. They’re not dissecting every sentence and proofreading the entire time. This is why I write horror, humor, or Christian fantasy for young adults and middle graders.

How does your writing process work?

My work stems from a single idea. The BoogeyMann came from me asking, “What if a man scared his children as punishment instead of whipping them?” Life is no Fairytale came from me imagining the prince in Rapunzel climbing to a third floor apartment instead of making his way to the top of a tower.  Agape was born from the question, “What if these crows following me were actually angels in the guise of birds?” An idea presents itself to me and I just start writing, no outline. I never know what’s going to happen until it happens.
What is the hardest part about writing?

Finishing. I can start a story easy enough, but once I get to the middle I have to force myself to write, and by the time I near the finish line, I’m crawling. Probably comes from not having an outline.

What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

Getting an advanced royalty check from a big publisher. I’d like to try that.

Who are the authors you most admire?

Stephen King. The man is a freaking genius. And I like James Patterson because his work can be ingested as easy as water, and he is a go getter. I love his work ethic. I also like John Grisham’s work, and J.R.R. Tolkien wrote my favorite books.

Who are new authors to watch out for?

How am I suppose to know? I’m too busy writing while reading the works of my role models. Plus, new authors are like roaches. There are a whole lot of us, we’re all over the place, and you never notice a particular one until it jumps off the wall and flutters in your face. And then you’re like, “Oh, s&%t! One of these damn writers flew in my face!” You slap ’em down and squash it with your foot.

However, this blog hopping dictates that I choose three writers to keep the “chain letter” going. I chose these authors (one didn’t respond and I don’t blame her), not because I’m familiar with their work — since I’m not. I chose them because they made an impact with me.

Rob Teun: He’s the most helpful guy I have ever met — probably because he’s from England. You don’t often see writers constantly promoting their peers, but Rob is always talking up others. He’s mentioning people on Twitter, Facebook, and he reads the works of others to leave reviews on designated websites. The guy is selfless, and because of that characteristic, I choose him as a new author to look out for. You can find his author’s page on

Shikhar Srivastava: He’s a fellow writer and Facebook friend. I always thought of him as a cool guy because of his posts, but one day – on Facebook – I proclaimed that I was on my way to being a bestselling novelist. Shikhar was the only one to comment on my post, and that comment was “#MeToo.” I watch as everyone writes and gets published and do “big” things, but still get nowhere. And they appear to be content with the hamster wheel. I, on the other hand, am shooting for the stars, and Shikhar earned my respect by stating that he shared the same intent. And for that, I chose him as a new author to look out for. Check out his blog space over at

Alright. Final question, then I’m going to bed.

What scares you?

Just about everything. And because I know fear, I can write about it convincingly.

Good night. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t come back.

–The Ravings of a Madman


This post isn’t really entertainment, nor is it informative. I’m just here to vent some steam.

So Shardae orders something on I’m not a fan of online ordering, because I prefer to take my purchases home right away instead of waiting to have it delivered. Shardae, on the other hand, prefers not to have to deal with people. Anyway, she makes her purchase and it states that it’ll take twenty-one days for the items to be delivered. That’s a very long time, we both think, but we reluctantly accept. What else can you do? Well, yesterday was supposed to be the day of delivery. Two days prior, she received an email stating that she would get a call from a delivery person to arrange a time to have the items delivered. She never received that call so yesterday I’m wait from morning to noon, but no truck appears. Shardae calls to inform me that she received a phone call from some guy. He says that the item won’t arrive until some time between 5:30 and 7:30 because of some trouble they’re having with a delivery truck. I’m disappointed, but I understand things happen. 5:30 arrives and I’m back on the lookout for the truck. Shardae comes home around 6 o’clock and we’re both looking for the truck. By 8:00 we’re like, “What the hell?” About 8:30, a truck appears, but its way down the street and there’s no BestBuy logo on the truck. Is that them, I wonder. When the trucks drives away from our apartment complex I think nothing else of it. We don’t have a monopoly on receiving packages over here at The Abbey. So Shardae and I wait and wait and wait then we go to bed around 10 — without delivery or a courtesy phone call.

This morning I feel a bit better, because of course we have priority since our package (which is paid for) was not delivered when promised. I wait until 12:30 before I call customer service who has no idea what’s going on. The guy who called yesterday calls Shardae at 1 o’clock to say he showed up at the wrong apartment and left. Is that really how business works? Really?! Shardae tells him that we saw a large truck (down the street, mind you), but it didn’t have a BestBuy logo on it. “Yep, that was us,” he says. Really?! Well, he offers to delivery it this weekend. Shardae asks if there’s anyway he can deliver it today seeing as its paid for (both the product and the delivery cost). He gives her a bunch of bull about the truck being used in deliveries outside the area, but if she really wants it delivered today he can do it at 9 o’clock, P.M.. Shardae says that fine. When she tells me about the conversation she had with the delivery guy, I’m seething with rage and wishing I had the opportunity to speak with him. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it delivered no earlier, but that wasn’t my purpose in wanting to talk to him. I simply wanted to give him a piece of my mind. Since I couldn’t tell him how I felt, I left a review on BestBuy’s site — almost the length of this flash story. I didn’t say what I wanted to say because I didn’t want to include cuss words and give them a reason to exclude my post. And just in case they decide to scrap it anyhow, I came to my blog to vent.

Alright, so after all that happens I’m fuming and surfing the net and I notice that Shardae has three new emails. Two of them are from BestBuy, letting us know that the delivery was rescheduled for next Tuesday. The hell you say!  I told Shardae, “If the delivery doesn’t come tonight, we’ll go over there to the BestBuy in Hoover to get our refund,” since the product is paid for and just sitting there.

You show up late… at the wrong apartment (and if it wasn’t so far down the street, I would have approached the truck and asked if they had the right place)… then you drive away without so much as a phone call to say, “We’re here in a nondescript truck, but we have the wrong place. Can you direct us?” Sticks and Stuff called to ask for directions when they delivered. I watched one guy who worked for Pizza Hut run (actually run!) up and down the sidewalk from apartment to apartment until he found the right one, and you better believe he got a good tip. But BestBuy knocks on the wrong door then drives away and never calls to explain what happened. I have to call customer service, who calls the store (because we had no idea what store the shipment would be coming from since we ordered it online), before the guy calls to say we showed up, we (meaning them) weren’t there, and so we left because we did all we knew to do. Get the fudge out of here!


–The Ravings of an Extremely Madman

“Hello?” That lone words echoes throughout this empty chamber. “Anyone here?”

"Life is No Fairytale", "Agape", "The BoogeyMann": these titles can be found at

“Life is No Fairytale”, “Agape”, “The BoogeyMann”: these titles can be found at

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here raving about whatever random thought that happened to cross my mind (clears dust from the furniture as I move about the place nostalgically). The Ravings of a Madman. That’s what this blog was all about. There was no advice given. No interviews posted. Nothing to really help anyone who stumbled along my blog. Just me raving, like some senile old man you might come across in your daily travels. (Clicks the light switch into the on position, illuminating the space). I actually missed this place. You see, I’m a writer. I was a full-time writer, dedicating at least eight hours a day to my craft. Not everything I wrote was good. Some of my stuff is genius. My young adult, horror novel, “The BoogeyMann” is pretty sweet. It has a four and a half star rating on Amazon, eight reviews. There’s my young adult, romance, “Life is no Fairytale.” In my opinion, it’s better than my debut novel. My latest release is “Agape”, a Christian, fantasy novel — my greatest body of work so far. Yep. I was a full-time writer, then my son Benjamin came along last year. With his arrival, I was instantly promoted to a stay-at-home dad like that guy on “Doc McStuffin” — you can’t see it, but I’m shrugging nonchalantly. Anyway, Benjamin demands a lot of my attention, resulting in me not being able to work like I use to. I thought I would have more time to work the older he got, but that turned out to be untrue. The more he grows the more mobile he becomes, and the more he moves about the more attention he warrants. I wouldn’t trade my son for anything in the world though, and thankfully I’ve been able to coast on my previous year of nonstop work.

My pride and joy, Benjamin.

My pride and joy, Benjamin.

That’s enough about me. I didn’t come here to give you a history lesson, but I thought it important to reintroduce myself. The reason I am here is to rave. What’s on the Madman’s mind today? Shameless advertising to children. There’s a previous blog of mine where I rave about advertisements. I hate advertisements. I think they should be only ten seconds, or less. They should have a lone person in front of a camera while holding the product they want to sell, and a plain background would suffice. Tell me what it is, what it does, then say goodbye — like a James Patterson book commercial. So you see my dislike for commercials, but there is something I hate more than aggravating advertisements. I hate commercials for kids.




This image from "Poltergeist" best illustrates advertisement effects on children.

This image from “Poltergeist” best illustrates advertisement effects on children.

Kids are gullible by nature and they want everything you put before them. My son Benjamin is not of the age where he  repeats, “I want that!” all day long, but the time will come and I don’t appreciate commercials that tell kids what to do. “Go ask your parents to take you to our website.” “Tell your parents to buy you this now.” “Drink water instead of soda.” “Go outside and play.” First of all, I know how to raise my child. Don’t come into my house and tell him to go outside and play. You don’t know where I live and if it’s a safe environment. I know how to distribute water and soda. Maybe I don’t want my child on my computer, and don’t have my kid asking for something you (advertisers) and I both know he doesn’t need. What makes me so angry about advertisements tailored for kids is the fact that they know parents are not so easily persuaded so they brainwash the children. Then these mindless zombies come to the adults begging for this and demanding that. Children are not smart enough to read the small print on these commercials. The small print that says, “We’re not responsible for any whippings you might incur.” And a spanking is what my child will get if he becomes a middleman for the money grubbing ad firms.

Sure, there are ways to limit a child’s exposure to stranger danger: lessen a child’s TV time, streaming from programs like Netflix, buying relatively commercial free DVD’s, or monitoring what they watch. Any of these methods could work, but it still burns me up to know that those no good scoundrels are still out there.

A blogger friend of mine, MsKatykins, asked how my son Benjamin was doing. Because no one wants to receive a response that’s the length of an essay, a respectful answer would be, “He’s fine. Just as active as ever. Thanks for asking!” That’s the proper way to answer such a question; however, I decided to blog my response because I’m not typical. I’m a writer who just so happens to have a kid, and that kid provides me with a lot of writing material. The child is a gold mine, or at least, he was a gold mine when he was younger. 

For those of you who have not been keeping count, Benjamin is six months now (he’ll be seven in a week). And during these last couple of months, the relationship my son and I have has matured. You’re probably saying to yourself that that’s good news, and I agree with you, but it doesn’t really leave me with a lot to rave about nowadays. You remember the ravings, don’t you? Well, most of you do. And for those of you who are new to The Ravings of a Madman, let me catch you up real quick. A few months ago, when Benjamin and I were getting to know each other, we were known to have our share of spats. After our falling outs, I would come here and blog about the arguments I (a grown man) had with an infant. 

And don’t get your dandruff up, no need to call child services. Our fights never ended in fisticuffs. We just got loud with one another. 

So, three months ago, Shardae went back to work leaving me and Benjamin to ourselves. It was rough going at first, and I will admit that I was terrified. I mean, who could I hand the baby off to when a problem arose — such as him crying for no particular reason. Well, I was forced to learn my baby and now there’s not a problem I can’t handle. As a matter of fact, I’m better with him than his mother (which I throw in her face on a regular basis), but that doesn’t stop him from favoring her more. For instance, he said his first word a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out to be “Momma.” Not “Dada”, who he looks to when he’s hungry, or needs a diaper change. His first word was “Momma.” That’s fine, though. I was just happy to hear him speak. Now, back to the point I was trying to make. Benjamin and I are in sync, so we don’t fight as much, which results in me blogging about him less (more like none). I mean, who wants to read me gushing about, “My baby just said his first word, y’all!” and, “My baby is rolling over!” or “My baby is eating solid foods now!” Yeah, it’s exciting for me and his mother, but you could care less, I’m sure. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Although Benjamin and I are on better terms now, we still have our share of arguments. Just the other day, I had fallen asleep on the living room floor (and I can’t recall why I was on the floor in the first place). I couldn’t sleep peacefully because it was uncomfortable, so I decided to retire to my room and nap in the bed. Well, Benjamin and Shardae was in the bedroom. Benjamin was playing on the bed, and Shardae was doing whatever she does on the computer. I flopped down on Shardae’s side of the bed — because Benjamin was on my side — and I tried to go to sleep. Notice the emphasis on “tried.” As soon as I closed my eyes, Benjamin started screaming, probably fussing at me to get out of the bed. When I refused to leave, he started hitting me and kicking me, while keeping up his hollering. 

“Hey, boy!” I said. “You have your own room, and your own bed. If you have a problem with sharing my bed with me, then you know where you can go.” 

And with that said, I dozed off — intermittently, of course. The boy kept kicking, clawing, and screaming. His mother eventually carried him into his room, and the dispute ended with Benjamin and I napping for quite some time — separately. So, Benjamin and I still have disagreements on a daily basis, but nothing blog worthy. 

MsKatykins, you probably didn’t want a response that’s the length of an essay, so to make a long blog post short, “Benjamin’s fine. Just as active as ever. Thanks for asking!” 😉

Once again, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog. I’ve been busy with one project after another, then there’s baby Benjamin to deal with. I don’t see how you other writers do it. You write, blog, read blogs, network, and review the work of other independent writers. That’s a lot to pile on a person’s plate. Of course, I could probably get all that and more done if I cut out videogames, naps, and television. Something to think about, I guess. While I’m on the subject of television, let me tell you something that has been bugging me lately. May I? Awesome.

The thing that has been getting under my skin is commercials. Once upon a time, I was a big fan of commercials, but they seem to be getting dumber by the season. Maybe it’s because advertisers feel like their target audience is getting dumber, I don’t know. “How are commercials getting dumber?” you ask. Well, take the recent Multi-Grain Cereal commercial they’ve been airing. The television ad goes on to tell you about how great the cereal is, then they end it by saying — and I quote — “people who eat Multi-Grain Cereal tend to weight less than those who don’t.” If there is one thing that I just can’t stand, it’s someone insulting my intelligence. I’m sure there are some who hear this and think, Oh, this cereal helps you lose weight. However, those of us who write — or actually read something other than magazine covers when standing in the grocery store checkout line — know exactly what it says. “People who eat Multi-Grain Cereal tend to weight less than those who don’t,” translates into, “Skinny people tend to eat Multi-Grain Cereal while those who are overweight are less likely to purchase this cereal.” Both statements are true; however, the first one can be misleading, and that’s the purpose, I suppose. That one line has aided in ruining the whole commercial watching experience for me. It’s a lot like those commercials that advertise a certain food, then say, “such and such combined with diet and exercise will help you lose weight.” Really? I’m sure diet and exercise could stand alone.

Commercials are nothing more than salesmen who no longer knock on your door. Nowadays, they bombard you during your favorite shows, they greet you as you go to check your email, they’ve even set up a social networking site called Twitter (you can’t tell me Twitter is not a gathering place for Spam). And then they treat us like we’re all stupid. Some of us may be, but not everybody. I don’t want some dealership to tell me the price of a car is this, then display half a page of small print that says something different, but they don’t leave the small print up there long enough for anyone to read the whole thing. They’ve even gotten to the point where they will put small white print on an eggshell colored background, so only those like myself who actually look for small print will catch a glimpse of it. And don’t get me started on these for profit colleges that dominate the thirty second time slots. I live in Alabama, and we have commercials for colleges like Virginia College, Southern New Hampshire University, one of them is some school located in California. “Get up off that couch,” they say. “Come on and enroll in an online class today!” Their goal is to get paid from us who get into debt by securing a degree in a field that will have no openings once we finish paying for that degree. These politicians are saying that the job market is looking up, but down here in Alabama, places are still closing and people are steadily scrambling for work. And those for profit colleges don’t even put that in fine print at the bottom of their commercials.

So yeah, I’ve grown weary of commercials. I think commercials should be restricted to ten seconds. They should be just long enough for the advertisers to tell us what they’re selling. “We have popcorn that’s already popped for you,” is all they should be able to say, let me see what it looks like, then make way for the next commercial. Show me what car you’re selling, then get on. I don’t need some professional driver doing tricks in a closed off set. I’m just driving around Birmingham; I won’t be doing donuts in the Sahara desert. Commercials suck, and that’s my rave for today.

My latest blog can be found over at my website: Stop on by. My website could really use the traffic.

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 ( 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 (, 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.