I CAN HAS BESTSELLER?

January 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

In case you couldn’t tell from the Chesterton quote on the blog’s masthead, I might as well admit that I’m not the most internet-savvy blogger out there. Most of what happens on this world wide web of ours is old news before I feel like I’ve had time to properly digest and form an opinion about it, so I’ve never really been on trend since I started this blog. As a result, some of my most current and popular posts are long essays about Kerouac and the Marx Brothers.

And while I’m proud to have sold more physical copies of my new book than digital copies, I would like to improve my internet skills over the course of 2014. With that in mind, I’m excited to debut my new official author photo here today:

580633_10201756195005423_270491401_nIf there is one thing, I, as a (prematurely) old person know about the internet, it is that it is ruled by cats and controlled by their cuddly henchmen, kittens. As a result, I’m attaching this pick of me and my little buddy Murray to every blog and website I have in hopes that it generates more buzz than the boring old pick of me looking contemplative with a cup of coffee that I have been using.

So, assuming this fluffy photo has stoked your desire to click links and spend imaginary money, head on over to slashserial.com for a free preview of the first chapter of my novel, then head over to Amazon or Smashwords to download your copy of the first episode for just 99 cents!

Announcing SLASH Episode Three: “Boy/Friend”

January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m proud to announce that the third installment of Slash, “Boy/Friend”, is now available in all major ebook formats.J-Episode Three Cover In Episode Three, a new slash story finally gives Alex the chance to prevent another murder and convinces her that Perry, the show’s nosy new guest star, is behind the mysterious deaths. Despite her lackluster investigatory skills, Alex has an easy time keeping a close eye on him because this week’s script includes their big make-out scene.

You can find it in any ebook format–Kindle, Nook, ipad, pdf, whatever–at my smashwords page.

Or you can get it for your Kindle from amazon here.

It is also available for your Nook directly from Barnes and Noble’s site.

There is also a handsome physical version, much like the mysteriously minimalist first two episodes, but with a pink inner cover. If you live in the Twin Cities, you’ll be able to find it at Common Good Books in St. Paul or Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis by the middle of the month; you can stay tuned to the facebook group for announcements about when they receive the latest deliveries. Or, if you live elsewhere, you can mail-order it from my Etsy store.

I normally reserve the free previews for http://www.slashserial.com, but since this one is mostly comedy, I thought I’d post it here, too. To get a sense of the series as a whole, you can preview the whole first chapter here and an excerpt from Episode Two here, but all you need to know for this scene is that Alex is painfully shy and trying to foil a potential serial killer without drawing too much attention to herself.

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As soon as she had skimmed to the end, Alex started searching for some way to contact Sylvia Camp, the young woman who played Mel.

Audiences so loved Sylvia’s sassy courage that they’d been demanding a spinoff even before season 3 ended: Momma Mel and Mel’s Many Munchkins were leading title suggestions on the Internet (though Alex had always thought Mel’s Mammaries would best capture the appeal). In the true test of whether a character had seized the nation’s subconscious, kkslash.net had been inundated with slash stories starring Mel over the winter and spring. A few featured her and Stephie making love, but Alex always felt like she was cheating on her fantasy when she read them—and preferred to read about Mel giving it to Lissa, anyways. Despite America’s yearnings, Sylvia hadn’t been content to play Mel for a minute more than she needed to; during the few discussions Alex had managed to sustain with her, Sylvia bragged that she was hoping to use Koop’s Kitchen as a stepping-stone to more serious acting. So even though Alex had heard—during one of Lissa’s jealous tantrums—that PJ had offered Sylvia a recurring role for the fourth season, she’d left the show for new roles as soon as her contract was up.

Since moving on, she’d easily surpassed Alex’s level of fame with a few talk-show appearances, and this summer had been scantily-clad in nearly as many magazines as Lissa (though she tended to be in Maxim air-brushed bikini shoots as opposed to candid tabloid up-skirts). With two B-grade teen comedies on her CV, Lissa was still more famous, but, searching the Internet, Alex realized Sylvia might soon eclipse her as well.

Horror fan communities online were abuzz with news of Bull God: adapted from an acclaimed novel by an enigmatic director and starring Sylvia Camp, the minutest details of production were daily news, including the location where principal filming had begun a week ago. Alex was thrilled to finally have her research provide an answer but, as she’d only hit dead ends so far, was unsure of how to proceed. The studio lot where they were filming was between her apartment and the Koop’s Kitchen studios, but she couldn’t just show up at Sylvia’s trailer: Hey, remember me? The short lady who looks like she’s thirteen and always stares at your breasts? Yeah, thanks, I’m good—just stopped by to warn you: last night I read a seemingly-prophetic piece of fan fiction in which Lissa Blaine and I fucked across the hall from your corpse…

It would be easier if both ends were anonymous, so she decided to call in a bomb threat to the entire studio. While the phone rang, she realized, first, that she didn’t know what to say and, second, that she shouldn’t call from her own phone. As a result, she was thankful when a recording asked her to leave a message or call back during normal business hours. It was still only 4am, so she showered and dressed, then refreshed and refreshed her search results to make sure she wasn’t already too late when she left her apartment at 6.

She called again from a gas-station payphone, and when a man answered—“Thanks for calling DM Studios, this is Chet. How may I help you?”—she realized she still hadn’t thought of what to say. “Hellooooo?”

“Um, yes, sorry,” she tried to speak like a man, from deep in her throat. “I’m calling today to report a bomb threat.” While satisfied with the gravelly affectation disguising her voice, Alex was disappointed her meek manners shone through.

“Oh, no,” Chet said blandly. “Did you actually see the bomb, or is it just suspicious activity?”

“I’ve seen the bomb myself, yes.”

Chet continued, only slightly more concerned, “Because the New York City block in B6 is being used to film a pilot for a new bomb-squad procedural called Tick, Tock, Boom. Were you in B6?”

“No.”

“Jeez, okay. I’ll call security right now. Where were you?”

“I’m not going to say.”

“Sorry?”

“I don’t want you to find it. I hid it.”

“Oh shit: so you aren’t actually ‘reporting’ a bomb threat, you want to make one. You’re calling to threaten with a bomb.”

“Sure, I guess. Yes. Consider yourself threatened.”

Finally, Chet sounded worried: “Why?”

“Um.” Throat getting raw, Alex croaked, “Because of your… culture of promiscuity which you promote through your films and programs… with loose sex and scantily clad women… and men, too, I guess… and gays and…”

“Then fuck you,” Chet interrupted, and Alex hung up.

Merry Christmas: Free ebooks for all!

December 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

With 2013 nearly over, I wanted to take a moment to say thanks for all the interest and support you, fine people of the internet, have shown for my literary humor this past year. The joke-a-long posts have brought a steady stream of readers to the blog, Revolver was good enough to publish one of my short stories to their site, and I’ve released the first two episodes of my serial novel Slash. I’m really excited to share the rest of Slash with you throughout 2014, and am happy to have everyone who downloaded a copy, joined the FB group, or signed up for the email list along for the ride. As a thanks for all the love, I wanted to offer a little Christmas present to anyone interested…

photo (1)

Last weekend, I took part in a really fun local artists sale at the Carleton Artist Lofts here in St. Paul. In addition hanging out with great painters and crafters, I sold a bunch of copies of Slash. As a sort of salesman’s insurance against rejection, I also had a sign-up sheet for the email list promising a free e-reader copy for whoever signed. People seemed to really respond well to it, so I thought, why not open the offer up to the world at large as a Christmas present!

So, if you want to receive a free digital copy of Episode One, just fill out the boxes below, or email me at kitschenfan@gmail.com, putting your preferred e-reader format in the subject line–anytime between now and January 1st, 2014.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See y’all in Episode Four!

Announcing SLASH Episode Two: “Wish/Fulfillment”

November 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m proud to announce that the second episode of Slash, “Wish/Fulfillment”, is now available in all major ebook formats.Slash - Cover - Episode Two-Amaz In Episode Two, a second deadly coincidence finally convinces Alex that there is a connection between the creepy slash stories and the real world. Her attempts to figure out who might be behind this creepy correlation lead her to discover Koop’s dark secret and Perry’s curious habit.

You can find it in any ebook format–Kindle, Nook, ipad, pdf, whatever–at my smashwords page.

Or you can get it for your Kindle from amazon here.

And it will be available at Barnes & Noble for your Nook in a couple of days.

There is also a handsome physical version, much like the mysteriously minimalist Episode One, but with a shocking yellow inner cover. If you live in the Twin Cities, you’ll be able to find it at Common Good Books in St. Paul or Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis by the middle of the month; you can stay tuned to the facebook group for announcements about when they receive the latest deliveries. Or, if you live elsewhere, you can mail-order it from my Etsy store.

To see what Slash is all about, you can check out free previews of Episode One and Two on the website, www.slashserial.com.

Now Available in the Real World!

September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Now Available in the Real World!.

Check out the handmade book I’m hocking these days and shout out your favorite independent books stores in the comments below so I can get a copy to you. And I promise there is fresh TOJitW material coming in October.

My novel SLASH is now available online!

September 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

I’m proud to announce that the first installment of my serial novel Slash is now online. Slash is a metafictional erotic thriller / comedic murder mystery / romantic slasher that has lots of uneasy laughs I’m sure will appeal to anyone familiar with this blog. Episode One is titled “Reality/Show” and is now available for purchase for just $2.99.

Slash - Episode One Cover BIG

You can find it in any ebook format–Kindle, Nook, ipad, pdf, whatever–at my smashwords page.

Or you can get from amazon here.

I hope to have it at B&N.com soon, but as I say above, you can get it in an epub format for your Nook at smashwords. If you absolutely have to get it from Barnes and Noble, I’ll announce it at www.slashserial.com as soon as it is available.

So you know what sort of twisted mess you’re getting yourself into when you click download, here’s a synopsis:

Alexis Bledsoe would die if anyone found out about her secret crush. As star of TV’s #1 family drama, she’s certain coming out of the closet would end her career. Worse still, her one true love is America’s hottest actress, Lissa Blaine, who just happens to play her older and prettier sister each week on Koop’s Kitchen.

So Alex hates Lissa, too: wishes her dead every time she stumbles onto a tabloid cover with a cocktail in hand and some new B-list beefcake on her arm.

Desperate for an outlet each night after filming wraps, Alex closes the shades on her trailer and reads slash fiction on internet fan forums: trashy little tales written by viewers about an imagined romance between her and Lissa’s characters. All unbelievable moans and trite whispers, Alex believes them a secret best taken to her grave–until an anonymous author begins to post violent slash stories that seem to foretell the death of the cast of Koop’s Kitchen.

When real life actors start dying in scenes suspiciously similar to those Alex has been reading, she is forced to search the stories for suspects and clues instead of steamy caresses. And with everyone she knows a potential perverted murderer or future victim, keeping her true self a secret is more a matter or life and death than ever before.

To entice you further, the whole first chapter of Episode One is available for free on the website, www.slashserial.com. Each episode is made up of four such chapters. Surely worth $3, right? If you need to be teased even more, sign up for the mailing list at the bottom of this post and you’ll get a snippet from chapter two, along with free previews of each new episode before they’re available.

This has been the culmination of a lot of work for me, as I’m sure you’ve noticed from the drop off on production at this blog. But now that I have some epublishing know-how and momentum, the busy-work of publishing the remaining six episodes should take less of my writing time. While O’ll still be bothering you about the episodes when they come out, I hope to get back to regular posts about humor in lit in the coming weeks. See you then!

Facetious Flattery

July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

With the second season of The Newsroom airing on HBO this summer, I thought this would be a perfect time to reblog this silly little vignette I wrote up during the controversy surrounding The Newsroom last year. With all the work I’m putting into slashserial.com, I haven’t had much of a chance to post anything new here, plus The Newsroom season one has finally made it on to Netflix, so my little parody isn’t as uninformed as it was last year!

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Facetious Flattery.

One of my favorite non-prose writers, Aaron Sorkin, has been in the press and all over the internet  lately because of his new show, The Newsroom. He’d been getting a decent amount of criticism for plagiarizing his own writing from previous shows and then last week, he fired the show’s entire writing staff—except for his ex-girlfriend—before they started on a second season.  I haven’t seen The Newsroom yet (I like to wait for DVDs and take down a whole season in a week), but as an Aaron Sorkin fan with an admiring familiarity with many of his other shows and movies, I feel like I have a pretty decent guess at how these two items are related.

“THE WRITING ROOM”

by Evan Kingston

The writing staff couldn’t help being a little frightened when they showed up for their first day on The Newsroom.  They were all Aaron Sorkin fans: Steve studied the cadence of Sports Night dialogue before every script he wrote, Kevin cited The West Wing as the reason he got into television, and Corinne even dated Aaron for a while—and persisted in her belief that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was underrated, even after its auteur had broken up with her.  Nervous at the prospect of meeting one of TV’s greatest writers, they engaged in rapid chatter while taking nervous laps of the office’s busy hallways.

But when Aaron called them all into the writing room and introduced himself, he assuaged each and every one of their fears with a stirring speech, replete with Biblical and musical theater references, about how they were going to change television—and America itself—with the work of the coming weeks.

“But I don’t want you to feel too much pressure,” he concluded.  ”Just know that the only thing you ever need to do to make me happy is come in to work every day.”

“I’m really disappointed in all of you.” Aaron said to begin their meeting the next day.  ”Every script you guys gave me—the entire season—is complete crap.  Start over.”

It took a long silence for any of them to work up the nerve to respond, and Kevin was first. “Can you at least tell us what we did wrong, what sort of direction to go in?”

“I brought each of you in on this show because you have good taste.  So go back and look at the work I did on Sports Night—a show that was too good for TV—or West Wing, where I made America better than America ever could.  That was great TV; use it as your model, your guide, your template.”

“We can do that,” Steve beamed.

“You can’t do anything right.”  Aaron said at their next meeting as he slid their stacked scripts into the recycling bin he’d brought with him to the table.  ”These were more like your old scripts than anything I’ve ever written.”

“I don’t know about everyone else’s,” Steve offered meekly, “but I modeled the arc of each act and the pacing of each scene exactly after your Emmy winningWest Wing episode, ‘In Excelsis Deo.’”

“So it’s got the right structure and pacing.”  Aaron made a fart noise with his mouth.  ”Big deal.  You’re still missing most of what makes any writing great.  Where’s the awkwardly pompous male lead, his intimidating father figure, a driven yet manic woman?  Everything that makes a story interesting?  Where’s the enticingly unavailable redhead?”

As the staff worked together all night, Kevin took charge, his confidence eventually leading him to declare, “If you haven’t seen Kevin write Sorkin, you haven’t seen Shakespeare how it’s meant to be done.”

When Corinne laughed at his reference, he seized the opportunity to declare, “You have beautiful red hair.  We should go out to dinner sometime.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m sort of maybe going to be unavailable soon, so I probably shouldn’t,” she evaded.

Once she’d turned down each his thirty subsequent advances, they focused on repopulating the show with proper Sorkinian archetypes.

When they presented Aaron with their new scripts in the morning, he hung his head.  ”This isn’t happening.”

“What could possibly be wrong with them now,” Steve pleaded.  ”We reworked every character exactly to your demands.”

“A character is defined through dialogue,” Aaron corrected.  ”So how can they be like Jed Bartlett if they don’t say what Jed Bartlett says?”

The next day, Kevin turned in a skillful pastiche of the greatest Sorkinisms ever, lines from a dozen different projects artfully arranged to form a surprisingly coherent plot.  Steve turned in the pilot for Sports Night, with most of the character names changed.  Corinne blew off the assignment by saying she hadn’t had time the previous night.

“I think it’s too little, too late, guys,” Aaron sighed after looking them over.  ”These are close, and I’m proud of everything you’ve learned from me while working on the show, but these scripts are still missing that final touch, the right few words.”

Kevin guffawed.  ”What? ‘By Aaron Sorkin?”’

“I know it’s harsh,” Aaron continued, “But this isn’t TV camp.  It isn’t important that everyone gets to play.  I’m sorry, but you’re fired.”

Steve, hoping it was just Kevin, asked, “Who?”

“‘Whom,’” Aaron countered pedantically.

“Actually, in this instance—”

“All of you,” Aaron interrupted.  ”You’re all fired.”

The entire staff shuffled out, except for Corinne.  ”Even me, Aaron? I emulated you one better than everyone else.  I am wearing your shirt.”

Aaron paused for a moment before smiling.  ”I thought it looked tight.”

END

If you’re a Sorkin fan, I hope you got a few laughs out of that and caught a few of the Easter Eggs.  I really do love Mr. Sorkin’s work and am looking forward to ignoring the critics and deciding for myself once Season 1 of The Newsroomcomes out.  If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, satire is probably a ways further down the list, but flattery nonetheless.  Or, to parody the quote that stands as this blog’s subtitle, what works can one trivialize except those of great importance.

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