Posted: August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Word Blurb

The BoogeyMann – by Bennie Newsome

This story begins with a curious introduction to the Mann family, by all accounts an average, respectable family who have developed an odd way of disciplining their children – Mr. And Mrs. Mann are dead set against lying, stealing, cheating and bullying, but they don’t believe in physical discipline so theygo to some extremes to counter such behaviour. Despite this, two of their three children, Chloe and Benjamin, still manage to break the rules on a regular basis, landing themselves in trouble. The third child, Kayla, a do-gooder and rule-keeper, finds herself the victim of a bully.

Mr. Mann’s solution to his disobedient children and Kayla’s bully is certainly not orthodox, and his methods, we eventually learn, have proven problematic in the past. The story lends new meaning to “cruel and unusual punishment,” as we get to experience his unusual parenting methodology first hand.

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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.

I turn 26-years-old tomorrow. Yep. July 16th is my birthday and has been every since I was born…26 years ago. Well, May December Publications and I thought it was a good idea to do a free ebook giveaway in celebration of me turning 26. So let me sum things up for you. This ebook giveaway is my birthday celebration and your party favor is…well, your party favor is the free ebook. Won’t you celebrate with me? Bottom lip poked out, eyes wide, “Won’t you pretty please celebrate with me?” Go to the following link and get your party favor: http://www.amazon.com/The-BoogeyMann-ebook/dp/B007SC793O/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1342285364&sr=1-1 If you don’t want to read the book, just go on over, click the like button, and download it anyway. Don’t have an ereader? Amazon gives you a free Kindle app for your computer. I mean,  can we make this giveaway any easier? Well, that’s enough of that. Let this shameless plug lead me into today’s blog: A Spirit of Fear.

The Holy Bible states that God did not give us a spirit of fear. WAIT! Don’t you go running off! I’m not about to preach to you. I’m just making a biblical reference. Better now? Go on, catch your breath. Alright, let’s resume.

So the Bible states that God did not give us a spirit of fear. But I observe my five-month-old son and wonder where does fear come from if God did not implant us with it. How does Benjamin know what to be afraid of when he hasn’t learned what to fear?

Truth time. I roared at my son. It was a couple of months ago, and it wasn’t a malicious roar. You know the kind where you place your hands above your head, make finger claws, put on a crazy looking face, and, “WRRRRAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGH!” What do you expect? I’m the author of The BoogeyMann. Anyway, Benjamin became visibly startled, then his face scrunched up, and he began to cry. Of course his mother scolded me for that, and I’m like, “What?! How was I suppose to know he knew to be afraid?” I mean, really! How does a three-month-old baby know that this is frightening?

That wasn’t the only time I noticed that we, as humans, are born with a sense of fear. My child and I were walking through the hallway of our apartment. It was dark. I held the bouncer he sat in so his face was turned toward me. Just to make conversation, I said, “Hey, buddy. What’s going on?” Well, once again, he became startled, then his face scrunched up and he began to cry. “What’s the matter?” I asked as I hurried to get him into the light of the kitchen so he could see my face. “It’s just me. It’s Daddy. Not a monster.” It took a few seconds, but he eventually calmed down. There were a couple more instances of me roaring (because I like to roar at little babies, apparently). One time I was sitting right in front of him. He was staring at me. Eventually I tired of the awkward silence and said, “Hey.” The child visibly flinched, then cried. I’m like, “What the hell?”

“He didn’t expect you to say anything,” his mother said.

Whatever.

Because of these instances, I believe that we were born with a certain amount of fear. How would a baby know to fear the dark and monsters when he has not even seen Friday 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street? He doesn’t know what a monster is. Benjamin does not know what could possibly lurk in the darkness, and yet he already knows to fear these things. It’s crazy.

My initial theory was that we were given the spirit of fear. However, that time when Benjamin was staring at me and he became startled when I spoke brought another possibility to mind. In the animal kingdom (which we humans are a part of), mammals get their instincts from nursing on their mother. They learn their enemies from information passed on through the milk. They learn what to fear. When I saw my baby become startled, even though he had been staring at me the whole time, I realized that he could have gotten that scary side from his mother. She is (and don’t tell her I told you this) as scary as they come. I have gotten to the point where I have to say, “I’m about to touch you now.” I warn her that I’m going to touch her, I touch her, then she flinches. “I just told you I was going to touch you!” I say. Then she says something about her nerves being bad, or my hand was cold. Whatever. When I go through the apartment, I sometimes call out, “I’m coming to such-and-such,” or “I’m walking behind you. Don’t be alarmed.” There have been times when I would say, “I’m coming up behind you,” then I approach her from the side and she still becomes startled. She is just easily frightened. She won’t even let me have scary movies in the house, and I love scary movies. Probably why she doesn’t even read my writings which are suitable for children. Adventure Time on Cartoon Network freaks her out. Then again, Courage the Cowardly Dog gives me the willies sometimes.

Back to the point I was trying to make. Baby mammals get their instincts and fears from nursing. Benjamin breastfed for a time. If he got his fears from his mother, then that would be everything under the sun. Man! I sure hope it’s not inherited fear. A spirit of fear can be tamed. Inherited fear is for life. And I like to jump out of shadows, and from around corners, and roar. What am I ever to do with a scary child?

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

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.

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