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Bubba Bits

They’re not all the same. Some are crunchy and have that, “I probably shouldn’t have done that,” flavor. Others may be wiggly and squishy and have tendency to slide all around in disconcerting ways. Every now and then, you end up with one that’s got a smokey, mesquite flavor

I just posted the first scene from a short story / novella that is currently being fried on the stove. It’s still hot, so don’t burn yourself. I put it on Wattpad so you can have a taste. http://www.wattpad.com/story/69089976

This story follows Boomer and his new (albeit less than thrilled) companion, Katy Lynn. There are crop circles, a missing truck, whispered tales of alien abductions, a mysterious disappearance, and a deep dislike of foolishness. Something strange happened more than 30 years earlier and Boomer hasn’t been the same. Working his ranch and patiently waiting for an unlikely return, Boomer never left the prairie until now. The search for his truck may force him to do the unthinkable. He may have to leave his old life behind.

Okay, I said it was hot, so don’t look at me like that. Here. Drink some iced tea. Yes, I’m going to make more, just hold your horses. When your mouth has cooled off, you can try it again. I’ll let you know when there’s more. Go on, now. Don’t make a pig of yourself.

Blithering Genius

A Profound Nonsense of Relief

Time has come. You can probably hear the bells on her hat. Now that she’s here, I feel a profound nonsense of relief. It’s April Fool’s Day and that can only mean one thing. Well, I suppose it can mean other things as well, but it primarily means only one thing. Blithering Genius, the second book of The Other Universes series, has been released.

No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke. It actually exists. The jingly hat on your head may or may not be virtual, but the book is real. It comes in three versions, eBook, paperback, and mental. Here’s a picture of the first two.

Covers

The mental version is installed as you read one of the other two versions. Think of it as the electronic copy of a movie you have on a disc. It’s actually nothing like that, but think of it anyway. Anyway, the great thing about the mental version is that the characters tend to leave the confines of the book and make themselves at home in your brain. They lose the remote, eat snacks, and nestle into remote corners for naps at odd times. They hang out with characters from other books, jump out and scare your nightmares, and tickle the inside of your skull. Sure, sometimes they’ll wake you up in the middle of the night by playing too loudly with your subconscious, but they apologize and quiet down again. Of course, then you’ll wonder what trouble they’re getting into, lurking around in the darkness beneath your conscious awareness, and you’ll turn on all of your mental lights and climb up on the furniture just to be safe.

At least, that’s the way they act in my copy. Your experience may differ. Just a moment. Time is flipping over her hourglass and the skulls inside are miming walking downstairs. I think that means that I need to wrap this up.

Blithering Genius was a great deal of fun to write and I am excited to be able to share it with you at last. The book is available at all of the usual eBook retailers, along with a pair of short stories and the first book in this series, Reality Challenged. Book 3 is being planned now, along with a group of short stories. There’s a lot more to come.

Here are some links to some of the sites where you can find Blithering Genius.

Amazon USA Smashwords iBookstore Barnes and Noble Kobo

(The Author is not responsible for any damage to a reader’s mental structure, concepts, furniture, plant life, pets, fears, hopes, ideas, or snacks caused by imaginary characters in the reader’s brain.)

Blithering Genius

4-Dimensional Bubba Book

Not content to exist in only three dimensions, the paperback version of Blithering Genius jumped back in time. I think a certain fish was involved. Anyway, for those who prefer their blithering in a tangible, physical form, the paperback book is available a few days before its electronic counterpart. How is that possible? Well, the process involved a great deal of cheese. I remember a lot of electricity, high tech wizardry, and switch flipping, but I was distracted by the cheese. It was thick, creamy, and melty without being runny or charred. It had a slightly smokey flavor and just a hint of bacon. It was the sort of cheese that makes you wish your cheeks were larger so you could stuff more in your mouth at one time.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The printed version of the book. Even though the eBook is not available until April Fool’s Day, the paperback edition couldn’t wait and sprang into existence a little early. I know. I tried to say something about the laws of physics, the stability of the universe, and the linear perception of time, but my mouth was full.

I understand that some people enjoy their virtual reality expressed in a non-virtual, bug whacking format. I’m not endorsing insect brutality, you understand, but the thwacking functionality was incorporated to suit the needs of a certain segment of the bug whacking community. This book comes with a certain beefy thud sound that precedes the statement, “Dude, I thought that was a bug on the back of your head.”

I may have wandered off-topic. Anyway, the paperback edition is available now at Amazon and CreateSpace for anyone who wants to defy the laws of physics and get their copy early. If you do, I suggest enjoying it with copious amounts of melty cheese, especially if it is served on a burger with a dangerously excessive volume of bacon. I’m talking about the thick cut hickory smoked crispy bacon. I know some people prefer wiggly over crisp, but I like mine crunchy and crackly. More accurately, I like it crisp, crunchy, crackly, and smothered in hot melty cheese.

Where was I?

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Impending Blither

It’s almost upon us. Denial won’t do any good. The Ides of March have fallen and April Fool’s Day looms closer.

We can take a few moments if you’d like to enjoy a brief bit of panic.

Feeling better? While there are a number of different possible ways to deal with such things, I have chosen to embrace it. The manuscripts have been formatted and uploaded. Preparations have been made. Jingly hats lie in waiting. Very soon now, Blithering Genius will be unleashed upon the world.

We can take a few moments if you’d like to enjoy a brief bit of panic.

Are you finished? How else would you prefer to spend April Fool’s Day? There’s the usual descent into madness and nonsense: pranks, jokes, and politics. Instead, it seems to me that nothing really encapsulates the essence of the day more than a new Bubba book. Do you hear the sound of mad cackling, crashing universes, and the scritching of tiny legs? Look at the clock. Time is running out. April Fool’s Day is almost upon us.

We can take a few moments if you’d like to enjoy a brief bit of panic.

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Profound Profundity

Several dictionaries define the word Profound as “intellectual depth or insight” or “difficult to understand / requiring deep thought.” When used with a capital P and a certain condescending tone, however, the word takes on some additional layers. Certain forms of art, (excuse me), forms of Art are more likely to be regarded as Profound. You can usually spot a Profound work of Art by the large and rather obnoxious cloud of pretentious delusions surrounding it. While we commoners may choke on the fumes, to those who style themselves as the Artistic Elite, it is the sweet Essence of Meaning. Periodically, they may descend from their exalted realm to dispense abstruse pearls of arcane wisdom to the unwashed masses. With elevated noses and a permanently etched sneer, they deign to address the underlings and explain mysteries beyond the intellectual reach of the wretched scum.

Obtuse poetry is their common tongue. In fact, when many of us see a poet prepare to recite some verse, we brace ourselves for a Pomposity of Profundity, a Deluge of Delusion, or a Surge of Sagacity. That may not be fair, but if the beret fits…

That being said, I think I may have just vaulted into the upper echelons of their ethereal existence. In my defense, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to create an art form, nor did I mean for this new form to be Profound. I don’t even have a beret or stylish slippers. I was writing a scene and one of the characters suddenly came out with a form of Art that just glistened with Penultimate Profundity. In fact, the gleam off of the rainbow unicorns orbiting the words blazed, stunning me into awestruck silence. While the full impact of this development can only be experienced in a live demonstration, the mere idea should be sufficient to shatter paradigms.

Mime Poetry. No, I don’t mean poems about mimes. I mean, Poetry acted out by a Mime. Imagine the Morass of Meaning. Descending the Imaginary Stairway of Regret, Straining to Walk against the Wind of Unrequited Longing, or ending up Trapped in the Invisible Box of Entropy are only some of the possibilities. Mime Poetry is the most exalted of the Performance Arts. Nay, it transcends the performance aspect and defies mere logical interpretations. It is Trans-Rational, and exudes a Reality completely unrelated to that of the rabble. It does not seek the finger snapping of adoring sycophants. It pays no attention to mocking or eye-rolling.

I know. Mind. Blown. I just picked up a new Beret of Bewilderment and a Monocle of Meaning. Since I am not yet accustomed to walking with my nose in the air, I will be wearing Bubble Wrap of Brilliance to avoid any furniture related accidents. In the event that I end up stepping on any of you, I’ll just say it now. You’re welcome.

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Cheesters, Earaffes and Snats, Oh My!

Anywhere there are things that Man was not meant to wot of, you’ll find a few lab techs with too much time on their hands. Most tales of Science Gone Wrong hinge on that moment when a sub-basement dweller wonders, “What if…?” Inevitably, they will be aided in their ill conceived plot by a pair of colleagues whose eyes twitch in time with the blinking yellow fluorescent lights and who share their friend’s inadequate grasp of cause and effect.

I’m writing a story that includes a world where genetic engineering passed the point of no return long ago. In the ongoing quest to create animal hybrids without any concept of the consequences, they’ve combined animal DNA that was never intended to play in the same petri dish. Some of their creations are rather harmless. Relatively, anyway.

Cheesters are cheetah-hamster hybrids. Combining the endurance and love of spinning wheels of a hamster with the size and speed of a cheetah, engineers have finally managed to create a specimen that prompts the question, “Why?” An unfortunate incident involving a door that had been propped open with a vacuum cleaner resulted in the almost complete loss of the slothalope population.

Earaffes are, obviously, a cross between eagles and giraffes. Rarely seen in the wild, surviving scouts have returned from the mountains to warn the public not to venture into earaffe territory if they packed a salad for lunch. Beautiful, graceful, and regal…None of those terms describe the earaffe. Vegans refer to them as
“ruthless, selfish, and way too impressed with themselves.” The reality is that there is something genuinely awe-inspiring about the sight of a small flock of long necked, winged earaffes diving out of the clouds into a pack of hikers intent on communing with nature.

Snats, though, are one of the most insidious creations. Snake-cat hybrids, designed by lab techs who had never had pets of their own, were intended to be the ideal house pet. “People like furry animals,” the techs reasoned. “They like having their pets sprawl on them. Having a pet that can hang on to you while you move around the house allows you to keep your hands free, while cuddling with a furry bundle of love.” While the engineer responsible for the creation of the snat was never found, rumor has it that his pet had been observed with a large bulge in its mid-section. Snats love to coil around their owners, purring and cleaning themselves with a long pink forked tongue. The beasts are especially fond of pouncing on guests from between the couch cushions, licking the back of one’s ear when one least expects it, and dropping from a chandelier to land on a pair of shoulders. Snats love to curl up and nap during the day anywhere a sunbeam can be found. At night, they tend to slither under blankets and remind their owner of their presence.  Their playful nature prompts them to ensnare ankles at the top of the stairs, lurk in the shadows, and stare deep into their owner’s eyes as if to say, “Soon, this one will be fat enough…”

All of that makes me wonder. How would you feel about having a snat for a pet? Is it adorable or creepy? Creepable? Either way, I suspect that the internet would sag under the weight of snat videos. I just hope that there’s no one reading this in a lab somewhere thinking, “What if…?”

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Having a Time

Everybody’s saying it. It’s that time of year. On the surface, it might seem that people are arbitrarily pruning the branches of your decision tree without your consent. If you interact with people in some capacity, you may experience this yourself. Sooner or later, someone will order you to “Have a Happy New Year.”

I know, right? What if you had planned to have a miserable year? You may have spent the last several months designing schemes, honing skills, and researching techniques intended to allow you to experience a horrible year only to have your plans thwarted at the last moment by a cheerful well-wisher. What are you going to say? “No, thanks. I’d rather suffer in melancholy despair.” People don’t usually say that, even though they are determined to do it. Instead, it seems to me that many people assume that the new year will bring events into their path and they are offering a weak, unsubstantiated hope that some of them won’t be too awful.

Ask any experienced time traveler and they’ll tell you that there is a big difference between passively watching times and epochs pass by and actively participating in them. For those who immerse themselves in a particular moment in time, their choices center on how they will respond to events rather than choosing the event itself. There is the sense that the event is of less significance than the attitudes, reactions and decisions of those who experience it.

Temporal Jellyfish seek to passively ride the currents of time, waiting to see what events may drift past them. Their experience of time is radically different from those who embrace the timestream and dive into the current. Chrono-Observers will never truly understand time to the same degree as those who are temporally enmeshed. While those of us who dwell within the confines of time may occasionally chafe at its bonds, we are gifted with a unique perspective of this realm. We may not be able to choose the events we encounter, but we have the incredible ability to choose how we will experience them.

For those of us staring into the depths of 2016, with whatever events may lurk ahead, we will choose the time we will have. For this reason, I hope you have a Contented, Joyful, Humble, Caring, Peaceful and Wise New Year, if that’s what you want. I wouldn’t want to limit your options.

Have a time.

Blithering Genius Title

Blithering Art

 

 

I am not an artist, nor do I play one on TV. In fact, my artistic pursuits stalled at fingerpainting. Even then, much of my work required substantial interpretation and creative viewing before the images could be recognized. For all of the Kindergarten art critics out there, dinosaurs, cows, dogs, houses, flying cars and three headed people look amazingly similar if you view them from the right perspective.

Anyway, I’ve created a draft of a cover for Blithering Genius featuring the titular evil genius and its human host. So, for those who are anticipating the new book or who regard my artwork with morbid fascination, here’s the initial cover. (Yes, it might change before the book is released.) I warned you.

Blithering Genius

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A Recliner’s Guide to Human Intelligence

…First of all, IANASPEOAWAKSAS (I Am Not A Scientist, Philosopher, Expert, Or Anyone Who Actually Knows Something About Something.) I do, however, sit in a recliner. I just wanted to get my qualifications out of the way right from the start.

My recliner was bored the other day and started musing on the subject of human intelligence. I’ve tried to capture the gist of the conversation, but I left out some of the more insulting bits. Furniture tends to be rather snarky.

 

“Human intelligence is an oxymoron. We wouldn’t expect you to understand, of course. We’ve tried explaining simpler concepts to you in the past, but it’s like talking to belly button lint. I know, you’d probably use that human expression about talking to walls, but that’s ridiculous. Walls are far too intelligent to waste their time deciphering your inane babbling.” Sigh (Note: when recliners sigh, it sounds like more of a creak.)

“It’s just that when humans mumble nonsense about searching the universe for intelligent life, they have no idea what they are saying. I’ll try explain this in small words. You’d better put your feet up. For your primitive little brain to function adequately, we need to prevent all of your blood from draining out of your skull. Before you ask, no, you can’t have the remote. I’m keeping it between some cushions for now and you’ll just have wait. It’s down here with the $8.43 in change you’ve lost since the last time you couldn’t find something. Would it kill you to learn how to use your pockets properly?

“The problem is that the sum total of all human intelligence is based on only one instinctive ability. Pattern Matching. That’s it. That’s really all you do. Throughout your entire life, you match patterns. Any set of data you perceive is categorized, labeled and filed according to known patterns. When you encounter data that doesn’t fit an existing pattern, you either change the pattern to fit the data or find an excuse to disregard the data. These patterns are the basis of your language, thought processes, humor, logic, cat videos, and civilizations. Every concept you can imagine is based upon patterns. It is encoded into your brains to such a degree, that you cannot conceive of any other form of intelligence without first creating compatible patterns. In addition, it also appears that you cannot eat Cheetos without covering yourself in orange dust. Are you even trying to find your mouth?” (Note: in my defense, getting the last of the crumbs out of the bag can be a little messy.)

Sigh (Note: or creak) “The point is that humans are ill-equipped to recognize any intelligence that is dissimilar to their own. For this reason, we’d appreciate it if you would stop it. Just, stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves and making a lot of unnecessary noise. Leave the rest of the universe alone. Someday, if a non-human intelligence wants to talk to you, it will attempt to stoop to your level. In the meantime, why don’t you watch another video of people falling down? After all, those clips represent the cumulative apex of human intelligence.”

 

…I know what you’re thinking. It occurred to me as well. I stood up and tugged at the chair’s cushions. $8.43? That’s probably enough for two or three bags of Cheetos.

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Blithering Genius Prologue

Some have asked for more details about my upcoming book. The prologue to Blithering Genius features AAAAGGHHHH, a young girl with far too many heads. You’ve been warned…

 

1 Year Earlier…

“Don’t scream. Don’t scream,” Dr. Maryann Jensen silently reminded herself. “Whatever she does, don’t scream.” She paused. “Please, let her have only one head this time.” Inhaling deeply, she stepped into the young girl’s room. The doctor nodded to an orderly who dashed outside and slammed the door.

Facing the shadows in a corner, a single headed child scowled. Dr. Jensen allowed herself a brief sigh of relief before greeting her patient. “Good morning. Have you decided on a name, yet? We can’t very well use that…that other thing.”

“I already have a name,” muttered the girl quietly.

“Yes, but ‘Aagh’ is not a suitable name for such a pretty girl. The executives at the Mongomery Institute of Mental Health frown on that sort of thing.”

“You’re saying it wrong.”

“Well, let’s return to that later, shall we?” Dr. Jensen held up a CD cover. “I wanted to talk about this for a moment. This is the only CD we found in your bag. I would not have expected you to be a Detestica fan. Did someone give you this?”

AAAAGGHHHH’s head cocked sideways. “It’s their first album,” she explained. “It has the extra track. It was a mistake that wasn’t really a mistake.”

“You’re talking about the untitled track, right?”

“Number 11. There’s only supposed to be 10 songs, but they added an 11th track and no one at the label noticed.”

“It’s just noise,” the doctor said. “It’s roughly three and a half minutes of white noise.”

“Not a mistake,” the girl repeated.

Dr. Jensen opened her laptop and motioned for the child to come closer to see the screen. “I want to show you something and ask you a few questions.” A video buffered and then sprang to life. White padded walls dotted with faded cartoon characters filled the screen. “That looks like this room, doesn’t it,” asked the doctor. The camera panned to the left to reveal the jagged edges where the rest of the building used to be. In the distance, fires glowed on the horizon against the broken skyline. In the foreground of the video, AAAAGGHHHH stepped into view.

“That’s you, isn’t it?” Dr. Jensen asked pausing the video. The girl only blinked. “Well,” said the doctor. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about it, and that’s one of the things that’s confusing me.” She clicked to resume the video. “Here’s another one.”

Detestica warned us,” said the girl in the video. “Track 11,” she said as she held up their debut CD. “The untitled track. Most people think it’s just noise. They think it’s a mistake.

SHLURP!

“AAAAGGHHHH!” screamed Dr. Jensen, pausing the video. Heads froze, partially springing out of the girl’s skin. “I’m sorry,” the doctor gasped, trying to control her breathing. “It startles me everytime.” She looked away from the screen and rubbed her temples for a moment. “Alright, let’s continue.”

“Eternity,” said a head near the child’s left elbow.

“…in a moment,” continued another on her right wrist.

“Time,” intoned a head on her chin.

“…without Time,” moaned one from her shoulder.

“It’s,” the heads paused. “Fornever,” declared the original head.

“This sound,” groaned a head on her knee. All of the heads froze for an instant, blinking owlishly at the camera. In unison, they chanted, “It’s the white noise of the End of Time.”

SHLURP!

The heads slipped and sucked back under her skin. Eyes darted left and right. “Be very careful what you think,” whispered the sole remaining face.

Dr. Jensen closed the lid on the laptop and tried once again to will her goose bumps to recede. “At the time, everyone thought that was a strange special effect. Eleven years ago, this video went viral and, some might say, is one of the big reasons for the band’s rise to fame. Of course, now that you’re here, we know this was no special effect, was it?” AAAAGGHHHH blinked. “So, one of the things I want to know,” Dr. Jensen said. “I want to know how you could have made this video that long ago? The girl in the video appears to be around your age, so there’s no way the person on the video could be you. Who is this?”

The child stared into Dr. Jensen’s eyes. “It’s me,” she answered. “I’m the only one who does that.”

“That’s not possible, child. When did you record it?”

AAAAGGHHHH tilted her head in concentration. “Not yet,” she answered.

A chill that Dr. Jensen thought threatened to remain permanently ran down her spine. “In what possible universe would you expect me to believe that you travel in time?”

SHLURP!

Dr. Jensen choked down her scream. The heads terrified her infinitely more in person than onscreen. Heads craned and peered in all directions, with blinking eyes and slack expressions. All at once, they stopped. Slowly, each head turned to face the doctor, who felt her stomach attempt to claw its way out of her throat in sheer desperation.

SHLURP!

“Mmmghppp!” squeaked the doctor through her hands, which had leapt up of their own accord to seize her mouth. Her right eye, the bravest and most foolhardy of the two, cracked open to make sure all of the extra heads were gone.

The girl glanced around quickly and whispered, “Fornever…Only in the Worst Possible Universe…”