Sunday, February 28, 2010

Suff and Nonsense

Okay. I am sad about the earthquakes in Haiti, and in Chile. I am grateful that the tsunami didn't damage Hawaii. But I have been bummed, and tense, and I need to look on the bright side. I know it's shallow. But images of death and destruction aren't going to be good for me this morning. I will pray for the people in the disaster zones. I will donate what I can. But I need my head to be in a happier place. SO, while it may risk appearing to be in bad taste, I'm changing gears rapidly.

Have you seen the Old Spice Commercial? You know, "The man your man can smell like." OhmiGod. I HOWLED with laughter. I keep watching the silly thing. First off, they know women. "Look at me. Look at your man. Now back to me." How many women have you seen DO this when a hottie comes in the room? "Look down" when the only down is that little towel. It's great. Seriously great.

New book coming out. Should be hitting the shelves about now. Trip coming up. Good things are happening. Just need to concentrate on that.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Okay guys. I haven't done a breakfast serial in a while. But since I'm in the middle of a ping-pong match with Sylvia Day on the Paraoddity blog (my joint blog with Cathy), I think I'll catch you up to speed on it, and refer you to that location if you want to keep up with it over the next few days. :)

*****************************************
Sunlight streamed through the crack between the drawn curtains. It was warm, which was good. But it was blindingly bright. If I could've rolled over I would've. Unfortunately, I was handcuffed to the bed . . . naked.

My husband was so not going to be happy with me.

Nor was he likely to believe me when I told him the absolute truth. I did not have a clue how I got here. Wherever here was. From the decor (or lack thereof) I was guessing a motel room---a cheap motel room. I mean really, olive green shag carpeting? Jungle print curtains? Please.

I lay there, listening. Even in good hotels you can hear a certain amount of movement from the neighboring tenants. Nothing. Dead silence except for my own harsh breathing. Not good.

“Sleeping Beauty awakes.”

The voice that rumbled from the far corner of the room was made more frightening by its familiarity. My head turned, and I blinked away the phantom spots of white in my vision. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness cloaking the deeper portions of the room, I found my husband seated in a dilapidated chair in the corner. His forearms draped over the scuffed wooden arms and one ankle lay casually atop the opposite knee. He seemed to be one with the shadows, a phantom presence in the eerie quiet. So very still. A predator relaxed but precisely focused.

Ridiculously, I was as aroused by that dangerous quality in him as I was wary of it. I knew the moment I first saw him yesterday morning that he was going to be trouble. Gorgeous trouble. Insanely sexy trouble. But trouble all the same. Still, I’d said my vows only hours later with Elvis as a witness. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...

Looking on the bright side, I no longer had excuses to make. On the negative side, however, it seemed my monumental bad luck with men had somehow managed to get worse.

I glanced at the clock. No more time for fun and games.

I took a deep breath, steeling my nerves to pretend that there was nothing wrong. Getting hysterical wouldn't help me now, although it was always an option. "Um, sweetie, I do try to be open to new experiences, but couldn't we have done this someplace a little nicer--say my suite at the Luxor? And hon, you do remember, I have that big board meeting this morning. I really do need you to let me out so that I can get ready."

"That won't be necessary." a woman's voice this time, sounding imperious and more than a bit bitchy.

I twisted on the bed to see her standing in the bathroom doorway. It was like looking in a mirror. Tall, cooly elegant, she was wearing my suit, my Jimmy Choo's, my jewelry. For all intents and purposes she was me. She certainly looked more like that hideous picture on my driver's license than I do.

Okay, now it was time to panic. This was no sexual adventure run amok. What in the hell was going on? I tried to think of something to say, but couldn't. I was speechless. Completely at a loss. Not my usual problem, by any stretch.

"What are we going to do with her?" Ms. me asked.

My husband's response was cold. "I'll take care of it. You have to get moving. She always arrives at least ten minutes early to every meeting. You don't have a lot of time. We'll do a sound check when you get in the car."

"Are you sure? I can . . ."

He interrupted her with a rumbling growl. "I said I'll take care of it."

“Suit yourself.” She glanced at me. “You always did like to get your hands dirty.”

He turned his head when she moved to kiss him, accepting the press of her lips to his cheek with a stony face. “Hurry up, or you’ll be late.”

Her lips curled at his dismissive tone but she left without another word, sashaying out the door with a slutty stride I’d never use. My jaw clenched along with my fists. I may be restrained at the moment, but she wasn’t getting far.

The door shut and I looked at Jack, eyeing him with the calculation I should have used yesterday. He was tall and lean, solid and ripped with muscle. Despite his strength, he lacked the bulkiness I had no taste for. Instead he was elegantly dangerous, his power restrained by an iron will. I guessed that I’d pierced that icy control last night, if my sore muscles and exhaustion were anything to go by. But neither of those aftereffects would stop me from kicking his ass.

Jack stared at me as he stood, his gaze meeting mine before traveling the length of my sprawled form with tangible heat. “I confess, I expected more from you.”

“You weren’t complaining last night,” I shot back, hoping that was true since I couldn’t remember.

“When you left the Luxor with me, I thought I’d blown my cover somehow.” He approached, reaching into his pocket. “I couldn’t believe that the widely lauded Agent Jocelyn Tan would risk blowing her assignment to get laid.”

“Hey,” I protested, my fists clenching. He knew why I was in Vegas. And that was bad no matter which team he was playing for. “At least, we got married first.”

A ghost of a smile curved his hard mouth. He withdrew a key and reached for the cuffs. “You allowed a demon to take your place and now she’s going to get within breathing distance of the council regent.”

The moment the cuff lock clicked open, I jackknifed upward, delivering a head butt to his nose that sent him stumbling backward with a vicious curse. I was off the bed with a deft roll, leaping past him toward the bathroom. “Don’t suppose you know the trick to my car’s ignition,” I shouted over my shoulder.

I barely made it to safety of the grimy bathtub before my Benz exploded, the blast ripping through the flimsy motel fa├žade and shattering the room as if it were made of matchsticks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Paraoddity

Okay guys, the ping-pong match with Sylvia Day is going on on the Paraoddity blog. At this point our heroine is still nude, cuffed to the bed in a cheap motel and found out that she's about to be impersonated. It's Sylvia's turn next. I'm having a wonderful time and really hope y'all will stop by and follow this as it develops.

I'm still behind on everything, which is annoying, but at least the wekend is coming up. I am going to stop by the Forum, which I haven't been able to get to for (BLUSH) weeks.

Also, have that manuscript I need to work on. And Cathy sent me the first section of the book. But honestly, I tend to wait for the whole thing if at all possible. I like to read it through like a book first to see how it hangs together before I start picking it apart, i.e. editing.

Okay, gotta go. Gotta forum, gotta exercise, gotta pay bills, do dishes, and get ready for the day job. OY. Makes me tired just looking at it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Computer is Fussy

I've been trying to get things done this morning and my computer keeps fussing at me. Very annoying. Still, I can't blame her. She's "of a certain age" (much like her owner) and has had a fairly rough life (again, ahem). But I still get annoyed when things move too slowly, or not at all.

I am playing a game on the Parraoddity Blog (the joint blog for Cathy and I, located at http://catadamsauthor.blogspot.com/ It is called "ping-pong" and I'm playing with Sylvia Day. At least I hope so. We'd originally hoped to have a few more authors play, but everybody is on deadline and can't do it right now. So, we'll see how it goes. If no one else posts, it will wind up being a short story by moi. But I think Sylvia can fit me in. I hope. Really.

This is going to buy me time to start contacting Visiting Dignitaries again. Because (oops) what with deadlines, and um, deadlines, and oh yeah, did I mention DEADLINES(!!!) we haven't had a chance to fit in a bunch of new interviews.

Looking very much forward to EPICon next week. Can't wait to see New Orleans. Have the housesitter/cat-sitter lined up. Am making arrangements for Lucky the Wonder Dog today. Am also doing lots and lots of businessy things that are boring, but necessary for life to run even relatively smoothly.

Author copies of the book coming out in March (Serpent Moon, and if you haven't ordered yet, why NOT? PLEASE . . . first week sales are critical for things like hitting lists, which is critical for repeat buys by bookstores, etc.) (Okay, off of my soapbox now). ANYWAY, got my copies and signed them. Taking them to Cathy for her sig as well. I'm going to bring a couple with me to EPICon. One or two for the organizers for being nice enough to invite me. And one or two as prizes for any fans that can manage to pop by and say "Hi." But only one or two. So you'll have to be lucky and prompt to get one.

Oh, and I need to draft the newsletter for March. February has vanished. Yes, it's a short month, but REALLY. I feel like I just BLINKED and it was gone. OY!

Okay. Looking at the list of other stuff I can't in good conscience keep rambling and boring you here.

Later.


Cie

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Best of Intentions

I came to work early with the best of intentions. I had e-mails to do. I had posts to do. I had calls to make. I was going to KICK ASS!

And then Cathy came in early, and we started discussing the best way to work the details of the climax of the book that is due in March. And lo and behold, the time is gone and I have to get to work!

OY!

Still, plotting is VERY important. So I don't begrudge it. . . much. I just wish there were a LITTLE more time.


Cie

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When In Doubt - Punt

I know how to make up stories. I know how to write them down. I'm good at that. I'm getting better at it too. It's amazing what working with good editors can do. (Although the whole LOVE/HATE relationship some of them have with serial commas is a bit confusing for me. Book Editor 1 - LOVED, Book Editor 2 - Mild dislike, Book Editor 3 - hate with all sorts of other views from short story editors along the way.)

ANYWAY, it was my dream to be a multi-published author, and I'm getting to live it. Most of the time it's wonderful. But like any job, there are going to be things you don't like. THAT is just part of the game.

I have goals. I'm working toward them. This is important. Because if you don't grow, you stagnate and die.

I have strong opinions. I don't usually say them out loud because they frequently disagree with the opinions of people I respect and I'm not a big fan of confrontation. And I respect the people I disagree with. They may be right. I could be wrong. That doesn't keep me from having my opinions. And since most of the things we disagree on are things that you can't prove one way or the other, what's the point of arguing?

(Although honestly, I know people who like to argue just to argue. They say it's "stimulating." Bully for them. I don't like it. And if they pull that sort of thing on me we wind up having a very serious discussion. Basically saying that if they continue to bait me, it'll be the last discussion.) I realize that may make me sound like a hard ass. But I seriously do not like confrontation. Note, I said I don't like it. I didn't say I wasn't good at it. But it's like using a bazooka to kill a gnat. And that makes me look like an ass in public. Which is embarrassing.

Another big problem - expectations. Everybody has them. They have them of themselves, and they have them for everybody else. Bosses pay you. They have an expectation that you'll (1) show up; (2) on time every time; and (3) produce product. They also expect you to do what you're told. This is why they give you money. You take the money you agree to that and you should probably expect to (1) show up; (2) on time every time; and (3) politely work. I have, however, previously worked in retail with folks who want the money, but have no expectation of doing the work, and are highly offended at the thought they should have to. Their expectations, mine, and their employers were very different. Note that most of them were very rapidly fired---because they didn't meet their employer's expectations.

I am not meeting my own expectations. This sucketh. I cannot fire myself. I simply have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again. And forgive myself if I can.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday? You're Kidding, Right?

Okay, I cannot believe that this week has been going this fast! I mean, CRAP, I've got things to DO. And most of them are not yet DONE. ARGH!!

Thank you for the captioned pix. I needed the laugh. Work has been fast and furious, writing has been fast and furious, and we are rapidly moving in to the travel schedule. In fact, EPICon is coming up VERY shortly and because of unexpected move stuff my flights may need to be re-arranged. Which, of course I'll be paying for. BUT it's because of possible move stuff. And THAT is a good thing.

I've got to get moving. Work to do. No miles to go yet, but soon.

BEST.

Cie

Monday, February 15, 2010

I MUST be good today. I MUST be good today. I MUST

For the most part my life is pretty good. Oh, there are things I'm working on, because that's what you do.

You:
move forward,
learn what you can,
try not to screw things up too much,
be good to the people and animals you love,
make a decent living
and have a little fun while you're at it.

This is life.

Combining the second to last and last one is tricky. They're not mutually exclusive, but they tend to be like a pair of freestyle fighters duking it out for the amount of time I give them.

My to do list right now is (if I actually wrote it all down, which I am terrified to do) massive. The last time it was this bad it was in the triple digits. I think we may be moving toward quadruplity. (Yes, I made that word up. Get over it.) And the animals have decided that I am too stressed. Despite the fact that I took yesterday off they think I should rest, and play. (Lucky the Wonder dog has voted for "chase the tennis ball" while Tibbs the top cat is pushing for "shiny tassle on elastic at the end of a stick." Inkspot the Infamous is kneading his claws and snuggling up against the arm, which is making accurate typing just a teeny bit more difficult than it needs to be.

So, I MUST be good today. I must NOT get sidetracked by fun internet things or not-so-fun householdy things and I must WRITE.

Amen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Okay, today is either the 25th or 26th anniversary of my surviving having my kidney removed. You may feel free to tease me about losing count if you like. I am at least here to be teased. And I am very happy about that.

So raise a glass, or eat chocolate, pet a pet, or hug somebody you love on my behalf. It is a day to celebrate in the Adams household.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial/The Needle

The smell of rare steak lingered. It had been a good choice. I’ve always loved steak. Only one meal ever tasted better, and they weren’t about to give me that . Shame I’d kept the leftovers. But it seemed like such a waste. Of course if I hadn’t, would I even be here---waiting, the minutes of my life winding down.

The fava beans had been meant as a joke; fava beans and fine chianti. But the drones at the DOC have no sense of humor, so the beans were served as part of my last meal. Tasted like crap too. No chianti though. It might interfere with the drugs.

If there had been anyone I could have said my goodbyes last night. They have a special room for it. But there’s no one. No one will cry for me. Not even pretty Kerry, who came to me wanting protection in here. So pretty. So incredibly stupid. In here for identity theft and bad checks. Too stupid to not get caught. No doubt someone took him up on his offer. Not me. I don’t swing that way. Not even in here. And if I did, I’d want someone with a brain. There is more to life than sex.

What was that song? The one from Evita . . . I start to sing it, but I only know about a line and a half. Still, it startles the guard enough that he drops the keys. He’s pale, shaking. The new guy, saddled with death duty as part of his training. Guess he didn’t expect to find the condemned singing show tunes. I switch to humming the theme to Cabaret as he fastens the shackles on my ankles, his partner watching warily from out of reach, weapons at the ready. He’s so afraid. They both are. I can smell it on them, even over the heavy scent of Brut aftershave that new guy must’ve bathed in this morning. So afraid. It’s a turn on. But there’s no time for that. No more time for anything.

Cold metal bracelets fasten onto my wrists and I rise. There’s a trick to walking shackled. It requires kind of a shuffling gait because of the short length of the chain. We shuffle down the hall with me humming and the guards looking serious and smelling spooked. Part of me is tempted to turn around suddenly, go “BOO” just to see what they’d do. Probably piss their pants. Maybe shoot me. Would they save me in the infirmary so that they could put me properly to death? I give a snort of laughter.

“What’s so damned funny?” The new guy growls.

“Leave him alone Smitty. Don’t think about it.”

“I wanna know.” His jaw juts forward aggressively, and he glares at me down more than six inches of height difference between us. I just look up at him and smile. The face that had been flushed seconds before pales, and he takes an involuntary half-step back.

I’m shackled, walking toward the chair where the doc will end my life and he’s the one afraid. Ironic. Not that this moron would have a clue what that even means. Where do they find these idiots? Of course, it’s not like this is the kind of job people line up for.
We arrive, and they open the door with a little shuffling around. I make my way over to the chair, taking my seat like a good little boy. I snort again. If I was a good boy I wouldn’t be here. No, I’m definitely no boy scout.

I look through the window as they strap me in. Quite a crowd in the viewing room. Most of them look grim. The priest looks nauseous. I scan the faces looking for . . . ah, there they are. His parents. Pale, rigid and self-righteous as ever. She’s fingering the little gold cross at her neck. She’s lost weight, gone all stringy. I can see the pulse pounding in her throat at the same time as I see the reflection of the doctor moving in with the syringe in the glass.

Her eyes lock with mine, and a shudder runs through her body. She starts shaking. Sobbing, she buries her head against her husband’s strong shoulder.

He glares at me, rage burning white hot in his eyes. He wants me to burn, burn in his God’s hell. And maybe I will. Maybe I’ll burn, but if I do, I’ll be standing right next to his son.

Latex covered fingers grab my arm, I feel the stick of the needle, then a sensation that is both cold and burning as the plunger pushes the poison into my vein. Will I see him in hell? Or will everything . . .

just . . .

stop.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shooting for the Stars

Okay, sometimes I get these wild hair ideas. Out of the blue they strike like a bolt of lightning. I generally follow up on them, and they either succeed spectacularly or crash and burn with equal or greater awe-inspiring awfulness.

Today I had one of those. I have sent it out into the world and am now watching with anguish waiting for the results.

But if you don't try, you can't succeed.


Cie

I have decided something.

I have decided something. I have neglected the Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial for a bit. (I suppose I could say we've put it on a diet?) ANYWAY, tomorrow I am going to post the short-short story that I wrote that was based on my death row dream. It's a bit odd and possibly icky (depending), but there you go. Tomorrow then.


Cie

Stuff

Good morning.

Where do I begin? I'm sore and stiff (new exercise program apparently is using muscles that aren't appreciating being brought off of what they thought was a permanent hiatus), and tired. (Weird dreams. Not bad this time, but definitely . . . off.) BUT I'm also happy.

Remember the interview I blew? (Possibly in part due to the fact that I was getting over the flu and had a fever and was still on meds, but also due to the fact that I wanted it too bad and was nervous.) Well, either I didn't blow it as badly as I thought, OR my references pulled through for me, OR the other folks blew it too because I'm not completely out of the running. YAHOO! WOOT!! So it's not over. No ladies (fat or thin) have yet sung. Keep your toes crossed. (Fingers are for typing) and if you pray, pray hard. (If you don't I'll settle for positive vibes.)

ALSO the house that I liked appears to be back on the market. Again with the wootage.

My son bought me a copy of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I loved it. It is brilliant. It is also quite odd. Which gives me hope for the future. Something odd not only got published, it was a best seller and got rave reviews.

I am working on the travel plans for March and April. This requires a lot of juggling to get the animals cared for and also make time for things like spending a bit of time in Denver to look at the house, meet up with the kid and make time for interviews if need be. I am going to cons, but I may have to change the flights and eat the cost because of things that have come up. However, since they are good things and I'm receiving a couple of book checks soon so it's doable.

Okay, my breakfast just "dinged". (Thank you microwave.) I must eat and move forward with my life.

Be good, be happy, be well.


Cie

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roses and Welcome to Another Day

I like being single most of the time. One big reason is that I don't have to consult and explain and compromise on personal decisions. But there are things I miss. Snuggling. Really hot kisses that lead to other things that I miss just as much. And roses.

I love roses. I know they don't last. That's part of the pleasure. The ephemeral nature makes them more precious to me.

So today I bought myself roses. Yellow ones, tinged with pink (probably "peace" roses). (Because while I love myself, I don't LOVE myself. Besides, red roses aren't my favorite color. I like the orange tea roses and yellow ones much better.) They are on my desk making me happy.

Also making me happy is the fact that the scans of the galleys have gone to the publisher. YIPPEEE!

Now on to the next things.


Cie

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Neil Gaiman, Castle, Bejeweled and Procrastination in General

Okay, I came home intending to write, sort paperwork, and go over the galleys one more time before I send them off.

But I didn't want to.

BAD case of the "don' wannas".

So I watched an episode of Castle on Hulu. Then thought I'd stop by Twitter "for a sec." Which led me to Neil Gaiman's website (he's celebrating its' 9th anniversary) which had a cool video interview that was actually WAY longer than I really thought it was going to be, but also WAY cooler (Oh to be that clever and cool. Oh, and write that well too.) And somewhere in there I messed around a bit with the animals, and played a couple of games (Bejeweled and Dynomite) at which I did remarkably well, so that took quite a bit of time. Then I read LKH's blog and looked up and Oh CRAP wow, um, where did the time go?

DOH.

So, I decided I am going to blog this. Then I'm going to eat something light (because I haven't yet. OOPS) and go to bed. I will get up obscenely early and write and go over the galleys one more time.

Before I go, though, a quick comment question for y'all. Name three living people you'd like to meet and why.

I did this on Twitter.

First, the said Neil Gaiman, because he just comes off as so flipping cool and brilliant.

Second, Queen Elizabeth, because she's been a ruler for long enough to have seen some serious changes in history, and had to have a very interesting perspective on life, responsibility, the universe and everything.

And third I said, I should probably pick somebody ridiculously sexy and make jokes about it. But my taste in men is very specific, and I wasn't sure there was anybody seriously famous who fit.

But now I have had time to think about it. And I think I would like to meet again the man that I fell so desperately in love with at 15, who I got together with at 20 and blew it all to hell for so very many reasons that I'm not going to discuss publicly. Yes, I think that's who. I'd like to meet him, buy him a steak and maybe (if he still drinks) a beer and just talk. Because while I don't have many regrets, and I know that it took what happened then for me to become who I am---and I do like who I am, and what I'm doing with my life--I still am sorry. Because it was so painful, and stupid, and my fault.

Hmnnn

A very good friend of mine has often told me "It is easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission." I'm not sure it's true. AND it is not a great way to maintain relationships. People want input. They figure if you care about them, they should have knowledge ahead of time.

Which raises the question, how much input does who get in what? I don't live in a vacuum. My actions affect others.

I'm not married. So I don't need to get permission to go on a trip. BUT, I have animals, so I have to make arrangements for them to be cared for. How much input should the friends I normally ask to do this for me have in the planning process? I mean, they could just say no if it's inconvenient, and I could ask somebody else. . . but I generally don't and they generally don't. So how much sharing is appropriate?

Or I am going to visit my folks. I know that there are other people I'm going to want to see, and who are going to want to see me. Do I need to call ahead and clear the dates with them? If I don't, do they have the right to be pissed because I "knew" they'd want to know and I didn't tell them?

If I know someone is interested, but not involved, should I share?

I don't know. If I share, they'll give opinions (as is their right) and advice (generally very good) and want to discuss things. But if I don't take the advice, they will get annoyed. (I say this from personal experience. I mean, if I give this great advice, and you don't listen, it's REALLY hard not to say 'I told you.' Unhelpful as it is, that's human nature.)

I dunno. That's life I suppose. Like Sargeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes has the mantra "I see nothink, I know nothink" my mantra is "I dunno." (Actually, I think my mantra may actually be "Oh sh**.") All I can do is the best I can do. Most of the problems I've had with people were because of expectations. I had them and they didn't meet them. Or they had them and I didn't meet them. Most of the time it isn't even deliberate. I (and they) just blunder along doing the best we can. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking through a crowded room blindfolded and being told "Don't step on anyone's toes." And sometimes I'm just contrary enough to say "SCREW IT." Not helpful. But truth. Of course afterward I feel like a heel and an ass. . .

Again with the mantra(s) "Oh sh**. I dunno."

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ah Spam . . .

Hi Guys!



Only have a minute. Have been BUSY! Oy, and I'm not even close to caught up yet.



But today's micro post will be about SPAM. No, not the food stuff (which I have, by the way, never eaten.) But in my comments. Once upon a time my blog had readers (I know, you're shocked.) And they were the only ones who posted comments.



Now, however, I have fewer people who post and more SPAM. And not only spam my friends. Spam from foreign countries with strange phrasing or actual Chinese and/or Japanese characters.



I do wonder what those say. Although I suspect it may have something to do with Viagra. A lot of the others seem to.



ANYWAY, have a great day. I gotta get back to real life before it completely overwhelms me.





Cie

Monday, February 01, 2010

Writing, Businessy Stuff, and Night Terrors

Got lots of businessy stuff done today, and lots of home stuff. So I am now exhausted. I did manage to get a tiny bit of writing done as well.

Okay, I get nightmares. But seeing as how I am a writer, I incorporate them into the horror portion of my repertoire. Last night ended with a scene playing out.

The protag. was on death row, waiting to be taken to have the needle. He/she was not me. I'm not even sure what gender he/she was. (I'll use he for ease of communication though). He was an absolute psychopath and perfectly calm, even cheerful about the end of his existence. I knew that he absolutely deserved it based on the rules of society (which he scorned) and his own for having been foolish enough to get caught. If you're wondering what the condemned did, think chianti and fava beans. In fact, in a show of perverse humor the dream condemned had ordered them as a joke to go with his rare steak and was disappointed at the taste and the fact that wine wasn't allowed. He was also quite amused that the DOC had no sense of humor.

There was no one to cry for the condemned, which was perfectly okay with him. But it reminded him of "Don't cry for me Argentina" which he started to sing as the guards came to get him, only he didn't know more than the first couple of lines, so he switched to "Cabaret." Which bon homie completely creeped out the guards as they were fastening his shackles, amusing him to no end.

ANYWAY when I woke up I wrote it out as an extremely short story, first person from the condemned's point of view ending with the needle. The Needle, by the way, being the name of the story. I don't know if I managed to convey the true creepiness of it, and the absolute empty and alien nature of the condemned's soul, but I did try. But like some few of my other short pieces it is entirely too weird to fit comfortably into most molds, so I doubt it will ever find a home in publishing. Which honestly, may be just as well. But I'm not sorry I wrote it. Even if no one else ever reads it (although I did send it to my son, so he might. If he gets to his e-mails, which he may not). Because, pompous as it may sound, sometimes you really do need to do art for art's sake.