Sunday, February 26, 2017

Donald Trump VS the Dinosaur Ghosts: A Story in 63 Tweets

Donald Trump VS. the #DinosaurGhosts

1 Pumping oil derricks awakened the dinosaurs from their eternal sleep. 2/27/17 8:02am

2 They rose from the depths of a prehistoric swamp not unlike the swamp the president drained another swamp by adding 300 tons of mud and shit to it. 2/27/17 9:02am

3 They were coldblooded phantoms who thrived in the rising temperatures. #DinosaurGhosts: yet another consequence of global warming. 2/27/17 10:02am

4 What brought them back from extinction? Some said they resented SUVs burning their remains. They wanted revenge! 2/27/17 11:02am

5 Others claimed it wasn't a meteor but gay marriage that killed the dinosaurs. They just buggered themselves out of existence. 2/27/17 12:02pm

6 It was true. Both tyrannosaurus and triceratops were gay. They loved each other like they hated fascism. And they were fabulous! 2/27/17 1:02pm

7 It took 300 tailors to fashion their designer suits. Barney's, of course. 2/27/17 2:02pm

8 They crawled before no man. They sashayed! Their reptilian eyes mocked the haters with mirth and indifference. 2/27/17 3:02pm

9 They used any damned bathroom they wanted to, and ate anyone who stood in their way. 2/27/17 4:02pm

10 They appeared at a creationist museum, taking the Noah's ark exhibit by surprise. 2/27/17 5:02pm

11 They crashed CPAC. Met a Milosaurus forlorn beyond the gates. "Attention whores," it shouted. "Take me with you!" They ignored the beast. 2/27/17 6:02pm

12 They ate Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and little Marco Rubio. No one noticed. 2/27/17 7:02pm

13 They floated above an NRA meeting hissing at hillbillies, who popped off their pistols and sustained mass casualties from friendly fire. 2/27/17 8:02pm

14 Finally, someone noticed the facts staring everyone in the face. The #DinosaurGhosts were only eating republicans. 2/27/17 9:02pm

15 The president learned about their existence on FOX NEWS. "It can't be true," he said. "Fake News! There's no such thing as dinosaurs!" 2/27/17 10:02pm

16 His advisors had fossils brought in from the Smithsonian. DT just looked at them. "Stupid rocks. I like rocks that weren't dinosaurs." 2/27/17 11:02pm

17 They flew in paleontologists to present their evidence. DT asked them to draw pictures and bring them to life with growling sounds. 2/28/17 12:02am

18 "I still don't buy it," said the president after the presentation. "Dinosaurs are a hoax created by the Chinese." 2/28/17 1:02am

19 No amount of evidence could sway him from the personal belief he'd adopted on a whim. 2/28/17 2:02am

20 They had a lot in common, the DGs and DT. The all wanted to be the alpha male. They all refused to eat their vegetables. 2/28/17 3:02am

21 The scent of prey drew the prehistoric apparitions from the miasma. A scent much stronger than fear: narcissism mixed with intolerance. 2/28/17 4:02am

22 They sniffed around the White House, ignoring gun blasts from the secret service. Nothing harmed them. They were already dead. 2/28/17 5:02am

23 Trump fled to Mara-Lago, where he could be surrounded by friends who paid $200,000 to share his company. True friends! 2/28/17 6:02am

24 Even golfing offered no escape. They found Chris Christie half-eaten in a sand trap where he had been caddying. 2/28/17 7:02am

25 The president sought sanctuary in the deep south, only to learn that sanctuary cities were now illegal by executive order. 2/28/17 8:02am

26 He took comfort in crowds of adoring fans at an election-style rally, blaming the DGs on HRC and other straw men. He vowed to lock them up! 2/28/17 9:02am

27 The DGs followed his trail, leaving discarded red hats and broken confederate flags in their wake. Now that's good eatin'! 2/28/17 10:02am

28 DT flew back to his solid gold penthouse in New York, where 500-grand a day in tax payer money protected him. 2/28/17 11:02am

29 The dinosaur ghosts were hot on his trail. They were hungry, and he reminded them of orange-flavored sour balls. 2/28/17 12:02pm

30 They cornered him in the penthouse, licking their chops and rolling their eyes at the gaudy decorations. 2/28/17 1:02pm

31 Jr. and Eric got out their hunting rifles, then fled to Africa to shoot elephants. They were anxious to enter the ivory trade. 2/28/17 2:02pm

32 The president offered Melania as a sacrifice. He was planning to trade her in for younger model anyway. 2/28/17 3:02pm

33 The dinosaur ghosts sniffed the first lady as they would a wax statue. Was she a wax statue? Hard to say. 2/28/17 4:02pm

34 Bannon rescued him by feeding the dinosaur ghosts an alt-supper consisting of Priebus and Conway seasoned with Spicer. #RivalsForInfluence 2/28/17 5:02pm

35 Steve was chubby and slowed down the escape. "You're fired!" Trump said now that he no longer needed him. 2/28/17 6:02pm

36 Alone again at the White House, wrapped in a gold bathrobe, he looked like an elderly baboon decorated with discarded orange peels. 2/28/17 7:02pm

37 "It was the greatest electoral college victory in history," he said to the empty room. "Everybody says so." A TV droned in the background. 2/28/17 8:02pm

38 The dinosaur ghosts came at him again, hungry as ever. Who knew dinosaurs could be so hungry? #NobodyKnew! 2/28/17 9:02pm

39 He tried to ban them with an executive order, but the DGs defied it. A bunch of so-called judges ruled it unconstitutional anyway. 2/28/17 10:02pm

40 He built a yuuge wall to protect himself. Mexicans went over, under, and around the wall. The DGs passed right through. 2/28/17 11:02pm

41 He bullied the dinosaur ghosts, called them names, shouted "Wrong!" when teeth snapped the air above his ruffled wig. 3/1/17 12:02am

42 He pulled his arms into his shirt and waved his tiny hands in a gesture mocking the tyrannosaur's tiny forearms. 3/1/17 1:02am

43 He was sure Putin would come and save him, but he'd never lifted sanctions like he'd promised. No one came. 3/1/17 2:02am

44 The tyrannosaurus threw back its head and roared. The triceratops charged. The president threw his hair at them. No place left to run. 3/1/17 3:02am

45 His staff was all gone, either eaten or defected to the dinosaurs. "Eating the president is an excellent decision," they counseled the DGs. 3/1/17 4:02am

46 DT cowered in fear, pooped himself, and quit the presidency. "That's all we ever wanted," said the dinosaur ghosts as they chewed his staff 3/1/17 5:02am

47 Crazy Donald went home to New York, but there was still a problem: the existence of Congress and President Pence. The dinosaurs raged. 3/1/17 6:02am

48 In all the chaos, Ryan and McConnell had privatized Medicare, eliminated consumer protections, and suppressed minority voting rights. 3/1/17 7:02am

49 The speaker and majority leader were safe in their districts, protected by gerrymandering. The dinosaur ghosts were powerless to stop them. 3/1/17 8:02am

50 The roar that followed shook Washington and the country. The people stumbled out of their bubbles, rubbing their eyes in the sunlight. 3/1/17 9:02am

51 "Look," cried McConnell and Ryan, "these liberal dinosaur ghosts have come to eat you, raise your taxes, and take away your guns!" 3/1/17 10:02am

52 "What's more," said republicans, "they use private servers. Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!" 3/1/17 11:02am

53 The Disappearing Dinosaur Ghost Act passed in the senate. Among other things, it loosened environmental regulations. 3/1/17 12:02pm

54 The conservatives bombarded the crowd with lies, using tried and true tactics to turn the people against their own interests. 3/1/17 1:02pm

55 The dinosaur ghosts hovered in the air, shaking their heads in disgust. 3/1/17 2:02pm

56 But it was different this time. The people got wise. "Dinosaurs aren't against us," they said, pointing fingers at the corrupt congressmen. 3/1/17 3:02pm

57 "Hungry immigrants and dinosaur ghosts are taking your jobs," cried the pubs. "We need to go back to acid rain and segregation." #MAGA 3/1/17 4:02pm

58 But the people were awake now and politically active. "Why should we be afraid of them when you're the ones eating our lunch?" 3/1/17 5:02pm

59 "We'd rather live side by side with hard-working immigrants than do the bidding of billionaires living on private islands." 3/1/17 6:02pm

60 All across the country republicans went weak in the knees. The dinosaurs smiled their jagged smiles and then devoured the Congress. 3/1/17 7:02pm

61 And so it was the tree of liberty was refreshed with the blood of tyrants, a natural manure. New elections were held, districts redrawn. 3/1/17 8:02pm

62 And when it was done, the dinosaurs returned to their tar pits, holding hands. 3/1/17 9:02pm

63 Sometimes though, if you listen close, you can hear roars carried on the wind. Heed the warning: republicans are trying to screw you.  3/1/17 10:02pm

I hope you enjoyed Donald Trump VS. the Dinosaur Ghosts. The original #DinosaurGhost eBook is free at and 99cents at    3/1/17 11:02pm

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hey M Night Shyamalan, Stop Independently Coming Up With The Same Idea As Me!

M Night! Come on, man! I thought we were friends. And by friends, I mean people who don't know each other. What's up with you independently coming with a story about a guy with a murderous split personality just like I did? You even chose the same title as me! Geez Louise, couldn't you have come up with some other designation that perfectly encapsulates your narrative?

Just look at how awesome the book cover is that I commissioned from the artist Christiana Helgeson.

 Isn't that freaking awesome?! I had intended to publish my short story as a standalone, but I liked the cover so much I thought I might wait and see if I could grow the story into a novel. While I was dawdling, you totally beat me to market! 

What's with the rush? I know we live in a  competitive creative environment and everything, but have you ever considered taking the final print of one of your movies and just sticking it into a drawer for a little while? It's something to think about.

Despite the fact that, judging by the average Hollywood production schedule, you must have come up with your idea at roughly the same time, or even a little before I came up with mine, you should probably cancel your distribution deal and have your film removed from theaters ASAP. It only seems fair to me.

In the meantime, I'm going to get back to writing the other three novels I have in the queue before getting getting around to expanding my short story Split into a full length novel. 

When will I finish? Who knows? But when I do, I'd like to be able to sell the film rights.

Say... I don't suppose you'd be interested in directing?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Writing Goals for the New Year

I haven't posted in a while, but I have been writing. Yesterday, I finished the second draft of Blood Cries and submitted it to a group of readers. Based on their reactions, I'll give the book another pass and a polish before publishing.

Which brings me to my New Year's writing resolutions for 2017, also known as my writing goals for the new year.

1) Finish Blood Cries. By this time next year, I would like to have either self-published the book through KDP and Createspace or have an agent preparing to submit the manuscript to traditional publishers. That decision will come later and will be the subject of a future blog post.

2) Complete another draft of Dashboard Hula. For those who don't know, Dashboard Hula has been the great white whale of my writing career. I started the novel in 1996, and though I have produced flashes of good writing, I have never managed to produce a coherent story. Anyone with common sense, would have retired the manuscript and written off the lost time as a learning experience, but clearly I have no sense. Year after year I bring the book out of the drawer and year after year I have to put it back again. And guess what? I pulled it out of the drawer again this morning. I plan to spend every morning from now until May working through another draft. Will this be the year I produce my masterpiece? Not if the past is indicative of future success. Either way, I'm putting in the work.

3) Work through a draft of Franken-Bubba. I started this book about a redneck brought back from the dead by a deranged backwoods medical dropout in 2009, but have only produced about 15 chapters. I'm budgeting August through September to work through a complete draft.

So, what do you think of my goals? They seem pretty realistic to me. All I need to do is to stick to my plan and write a little every day. I can do that.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Defining the Humor Book Genre

As it stands, the humor book genre is ill-defined. Go into the humor section of a book store (or browse Amazon) and you are likely to find joke books beside books written by comedians next to humorous works of fiction. For some reason (Perhaps a lack of demand, perhaps the inevitable confusion caused by similar terminology) the genre has resisted stratification. Until now. The list below represents an attempt to define the various subgenres that traditionally fall under the humor umbrella.

General Humor Books
Typically, humor books are those designed around a central humorous concept, such as joke books. Modern examples include F is for Fail by Richard Benson, in which the humor derives from comments written by students and their teachers on various assignments, Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy in which the Nancy author/character writes hilarious letters to companies and publishes their responses, and The Internet is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius by David Thorne.

Books About Humor
These are (you guessed it) books about comedy and comedy writing. Great books in this subgenre include Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks, Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers and Guests by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, and Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life in Comedy by Judd Apatow.

Books by Comedians
This one is also pretty obvious. Books in this category were written by professional comedians. Examples include Dad is Fat by Jim Gafigan. The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and Born Standing Up by Steve Martin.

Funny Essays or Memoirs:
Another obvious one. These writers employ their comedic talents while telling their life stories. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, and Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.

Humorous Novels:
These are serious novels that also happen to be very funny. Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Classic examples include the books of PG Wodehouse and Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

Comedic Fiction:
Here's where it gets a little tricky. In these books, humor supersedes story. John Swartzwelder's The Time Machine Did It isn't likely to satisfy fans of mystery or science fiction, but diehard fans of The Simpsons will love it. Jack Handey's The Stench of Honolulu is another great example.

Did I leave out a category? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to recommend your favorite funny books.

Christamar Varicella is the author of the collection of book parodies, There Are Sneetches in my Breeches. He is also the founder of an Amazon affiliate store devoted to humor books.