Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas: "Marty's Santa Thesis"

   Merry Christmas, indeed.  May I encourage, this Christmas season, that we look to the sentiments of love greater than the urges of hate.  Lots of heart-splitting news everyday out there, especially this fall and winter.  So, when you do pick a side--make it love, not hate.  Those are the only two sides in any fight, really.  Never easy for us to do, but the trying is better than the ignoring.  Anyway, to thank you for such a lovely year, may I present to you an awesome short story about three pages long about a young boy, Marty, who sternly believes that there is a Santa Clause, but definitely NOT in the way you would suspect.  Enjoy it and I hope it makes you laugh.  Happy Holiday!

Marty’s Santa Thesis


Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Marty and I believe in Christmas—that is to say the holiday when we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.  The Christmas imposter known as Santa Clause, on the other hand, I loathe with all my being.  How can anyone else not see the facts?  He is an evil, evil sorcerer.  Don’t believe me, eh?  I’ve compiled a list of ten grievances against him that I would like the pope to read.  Please take this real seriously.  You are the pope!  You need to stay on top of these things.


 1. The new Santa killed the original Santa Clause

It’s true.  There was a real Santa a long time ago.  He was a saint named Saint Nick—travelled to America with Columbus and all that.  But, does anyone call him that anymore? Does even Santa call himself that anymore?  No, because he is not a saint.  He is an imposter in Santa’s clothing.  He took his identity and moved right in.  Who is this traitor to Christmas you ask?  I’ve done my research on Google.  He’s the Krampus.  It’s for sure.  Look it up!  He now has this world right where he wants it, too.  Read on and you’ll see.


2. The new ‘Santa’ is the cause of the Commercial Christmas

He doesn’t need to force his ‘elves’ to make thousands of toys made of wood and plastic.  He used to, many years ago.  But today, he made a deal with the business world, like Macy’s, Walmart, Amazon, you name it!  They all bow to him.  JCPenny, Target, and even all of Wall Street—Santa controls them all.  He is the greed that binds them.  He created Black Friday!  He is the Christmas rush to buy, buy, buy presents, presents and more presents!  Santa brainwashed millions to believe that material things were more important than Jesus Christ’s birthday! 


3. He is always watching

That song!  Have you ever really listened to it, word for word?  His minions made it as a secret warning to us all!  You all know it.  ‘You better watch out, you better not cry.  You better not pout, I’m telling you why.  Santa Clause is coming to town!”  He’s watching us, always!  He can see your children.  He can see you reading this right now!  Just hear the words!  “He sees you when you’re sleeping!  He knows when you’re awake!  He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”  Those who stand against him, disappear. 


4. He bribes us kids to obey him

So, how easier to keep us under control as a society?  Start with the kids.  Presents don’t have anything to do with celebrating baby Jesus.  It’s not in the bible to exchange expensive gifts!  It’s all just a big scheme to keep us believing in this new Santa Clause, instead of focusing on the real meaning of the holiday.  He made us all greedy!  That’s for sure.  Krampus used to steal ‘bad’ kids away and kill them.  He has changed his very hostile ways into a much more cunning scheme to control us, not kill us.


5. He runs a sweatshop

Elves?  Seriously?  I know elves and those things look more like tiny people than elves.  They’re actually people who spoke out against him and now must do his bidding.  They all work in a sweatshop in a secret location known as the ‘North Pole.’  Probably somewhere in Greenland. Now, he forces them to assemble all our stupid things.  Ipods, laptops, DVDs, even Christmas ornaments.  ‘You better watch out,’ as they say.  You could be next!  I could be next!


6. He is a sorcerer

How does a man fit into a chimney to break into our houses?  I don’t even have a chimney, but he made it in somehow!  A sorcerer!  He flies and can be at any one place at any given time?  Teleportation!  Also, he is like a ghost.  No one has ever really seen him.  Invisibility!  He never ages anymore, either!  He’s, like, a thousand years old!  Still fat?  Same old outfit?  Does he wear that everywhere, even in Pakistan?  Shape shifter!  Sorcerer, for sure.


7. He is also a propaganda expert

Every Christmas season, it’s the same thing.  Go sit on Santa’s lap.  No way!  I am sitting on no stranger’s lap, let alone a thug in a ‘Santa’ costume sent by the sorcerer himself: the Krampus!  He likes to be in posters and in songs and kiss little children on his lap.  That’s crazy!  And parents just allow this?  Who knows where that lap has been!  Who’s to say they’re not pedophiles? He thinks he can fool people into believing that he is cute and will give toys to whatever us kids will ask for?  Clever trick, right?  Well, he didn’t pull one on ol’ Marty!  I’m the top in my class!  I don’t get fooled easy. 


8. He stole Christmas from baby Jesus

People are so afraid to recognize that Christmas is for Jesus.  It’s sad enough for the Krampus to take advantage of everyone’s ignorance and make it a taboo.  I know that little Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas all the way back when.  I get it.  But ‘we choose this day to honor him,’ as my religious teacher says.  At least educate the fools about the real Saint Nick!  Then, maybe they’ll all see the truth in it!  ‘Keep Christ in Christmas,’ as my step-twin likes to say.


9. He convinced the world that he does not exist

They say that the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world that he did not exist.  Well, that’s what ‘Santa’ did, right?  He convinced everyone that he’s just a myth, except for us dumb kids on Christmas.  Thanks to all you adults for playing right into that imposter’s hand!


10. Santa is a code name for the devil

      The Krampus has taken Santa for a simple reason: ‘Santa’ is jumbled for ‘Satan.’  Go ahead, mix the letters around.  I rest my case.  Help us, Your Excellency.  You’re our only hope.


-From Marty


p.s. Do I get a reward for telling you all this?  Just asking, because my Christmas stocking might not be so full this year.  I’m just too smart.  I know too much.  I guess ignorance really is bliss.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Thanksgiving: A Humble Author's Gratitude

This Thanksgiving was a very special one for me, as it was my first spent with my lovely wife at my home.  As a union, her family and mine had come together under one roof to eat and celebrate each others company.  We, like the two of us, were one in spirit.  That was a sobering moment for me to reflect on.  Without our marriage, these two family entities would not have ever broken bread.  Making this short, it was the largest and most memorable Thanksgiving I can personally remember.  The food tasted better, the wine was refreshing and the dessert made us heavy enough to stay seated in each others presence for even longer than expected.  This is what this holiday is really about.  Yet, on the same token, I must give thanks to those who came to visit me at my little book signing before Thanksgiving on Nov. 23rd.  It was an absolute honor to meet excited fans of some self-published fantasy author, just trying to break out and share his work with people.  There was a great joy in my heart as I discussed my work with them and watched them look over the book they purchased for themselves or someone else with longing to journey into its pages or have the chance to tell their loved ones on Christmas that, "I got it signed by the author for you!"  So, let me take this time to give thanks to God, my wife, my family and friends for making me a better man--but also to my "fans," or generous supporters, who shared that special day with me.  They gave me their time, their ears, their kind words and good tidings.  As a self-published author, that is the very fuel that drives me to climb further up the mountain.  I have no more fear or doubt about my destiny as a writer.  Great things are coming, no matter how far the climb is, I thank all of you for helping me up.  When I make it to the peak, we will celebrate Thanksgiving together.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Self-editing: The Marathon of the Modern Day Self-Publisher

   Having written seven novels and an array of poems and short stories, it has become evident that I am (not to toot my own horn) quite an excellent story teller.  I love writing dark fantasy and I believe it shows in my work.  However, nearly every novel of mine contains that blemish.  It is the dreaded editing mishap.  Perhaps it is a misspelled word or a grammar mistake--maybe even an indent put where it doesn't belong.  In the long passionate process of writing a novel that can inspire readers and die hard fans of the genre, it happens.  I miss one.  Maybe two.  Maybe, how many you said???  Best practice is to follow your heart with the story, but let a friend read it over first.  Give it to an objective reviewer you are close to.  To cover every base, hire an editor to give it the professional once or twice over.  Its your work, and you can't catch 'em all.  But, then again, a few here and there never killed the impact of the hopes.  I mean, movies have their inconsistencies in filming even the highly acclaimed and most watched.  Every game, especially the most played and celebrated have their glitches. I love playing Skyrim, but, man, those glitches!!!  Still, I love the game.  Why?  The experience.  Its my hope that if you do come across a blemish in my work, smile and find the humility in it.  I am not one to easily accept grammatical flaw in my stories, no matter how rare.  I am still so grateful for all those who have read and are reading my work now.  Your support and kind words mean everything to me.  Criticizing my editing is a part of the self-publishing process and I've grown from it.  Thanks for that--and thanks for having faith in my novels.  Positive feedback is the fuel I use to keep writing.  And, boy, I don't think that fuel will ever run out.  Its been on full for a long, long time. 

p.s. I'm still trying to get over the "K" in Mortal Kombat.  Why the heck is there a--oh never mind.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ebola has left the building

Well, that was scary.  Ebola, the dark, sinister force come to take the world by force, has shied away from the headlines.  But, was it every really a threat?  The media made it seem like a zombie apocalypse had come calling.  The bells rang and everyone was talking about it.  "It's here!  Ebola is here!"  Well, its gone now and it left through the back door like a second cousin who came uninvited to a party after spilling a drink.  It is truly amazing how mass hysteria can change conversations, water cooler dialogue.  I wonder if the public would have responded that way if the report was, "Ebola is in the country, but it is of no real threat to the public.  We have it under control."  Heck, who am I kidding?  Just announcing it is enough to make the society believe that it is even worse than it seems.  I guess what I'm getting at here is: Do your research.  Read up on things.  The media is one of the best fantasy and science fiction authors around, second to politicians of course. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ultron: A model for all real bad guys?

After reviewing the new Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, it reminds me how important a villain can be for a film or literary tale.  He, a robot, possesses the scariest attribute of a dangerous villain: total lack of emotion with absolute resolve.  My villainous characters have lots of human weakness and relatable characteristics, but none like the heartlessness of Ultron.  It is only when Ultron develops the human characteristics of pride and conquest that he begins to become vulnerable.  What are some of your favorite attributes of villains?