Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consider This

I don't tell people how to vote, but I think I would be remiss if I didn't give you the opportunity to take a look at this guy. You're welcome to ignore this post if you like, but if you're on the fence about who the next president should be, I urge you to at least listen to what Ron Paul's stance on the issues is. Check out this interview with John Stossel and you'll get a good idea of where he stands and then you can decide for yourself:

He wants to pull out of Iraq immediately, stop spending so much money and restore our freedoms under the constitution. His message reaches across party lines and is attracting a lot of people around the country. On Sunday, he broke the record for money raised in one day by a presidential candidate with 6 million dollars. He's got over 18 million in the bank so far for the fourth quarter, and we all know money talks. Despite his lack of big media exposure, he is not a fringe candidate. The major media polls seem to indicate that he doesn't exist, but the internet polls and straw polls put him on top again and again.

The reason I'm sending this message out now is that if you support his message, you still have a chance to register as a Republican (if you're not already), and vote for him in the primaries. I see Ron Paul as the only viable alternative to the cozy corporate-sponsored government we've had for all these years and will continue to have with almost any other current candidate as president.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tonight's Homework

I don’t know all there is to know about dogs and I don’t pretend to. Maybe someone has already done a study on dogs and their poo, but if so I haven’t seen it. I don’t watch dogs poo generally, except for my pug, because I have to make sure she goes while she’s outside. So I also notice that right after she’s gone, she’ll go back and smell what she’s done. Sometimes in the quick walk around that follows a good bowel movement, she’ll smell it three or four times. You might think, “Hey, that must be a pretty good smelling dump!” But you’ll have to trust me when I say that it’s not.

So this got me to thinking. We’ve all seen dogs sniffing each other’s rear ends. It seems like that’s how they get to know each other. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and I wonder if it’s their primary sense, the sense they’re most dependent on, in the way sight seems to be ours. If other dogs smell their own muffins, I have to wonder if that’s not their way of checking themselves out, the same way we might check ourselves in a mirror. Maybe the dog is sniffing it’s business and thinking, “Yeah, man, I’m doing just fine. I’m smelling pretty hot today.” I urge you to watch dogs making poo and let me know if they smell it, and if so, what are your feelings on why they do this?

This is something very much like science in action here folks. I eagerly await your feedback.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our Oral Fixations, Foiled Once More

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The ships flew in so thick and so tight they scraped the paint off of one another’s hulls. Paint chips sprinkled down upon the peoples of the Earth. Once the sun emerged from the Naval eclipse, everyone looked so sparkly and beautiful and toxic. It kept us from licking each other, that’s for sure. So in the end, the empire got what it wanted, didn’t it? And without a shot fired.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

NaNoWriMo Update for 12/15/07

What? I thought it was over!

Hello everyone. I thought I'd keep my NaNoWriMo supporters updated on the progress of the novel over the coming year. I'm planning to send out update on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Not much new stuff has happened with the book so far. I've spent a lot of the last couple of weeks catching up with things that I didn't do in November and Christmas shopping. What I have done, is mapped out a series of deadlines for each draft of the book with the goal of October 30th, 2008 for sending out the book to a publisher. Then I can take Halloween off and start the whole process over again. Right now I'm re-reading the book to see what I actually have. As I do so, I'm making minor corrections, making notes and putting the scenes in the order I want them. I can also see what scenes I still need to write as I find gaps. This part of the process should be finished in just a few days. After that, I'll take a week or so to write rough drafts of those missing scenes.

If anyone has any questions on the process, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them. I've never finished a novel before, but I'm applying my short story development method to this book (My longest short story being only about 11,000 words) and that should be good enough. If any curveballs come up, well that's life, isn't it? There's always something to learn to make the next time better.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sex And Death 101

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Forget what they told you in Health class. Babies are all there right inside their mommies from the get go, thousands of them, just waiting to be activated. It’s the man’s ding-ding, you see, that stabs around in there until it happens to tap the “On” switch for one or more of them and then they start to grow. Unfortunately the “On” switch is also the “Off” switch, so a tragic number of people are deactivated nearly as soon as they come to life. Those of us that make it, well, we’re walking around with the switch of Damocles hanging over our heads, aren’t we? A tap to the wrong place and we’re dead, switched off like a bathroom light.

This is why people say things like “He knows how to push my buttons,” or “That really turns me on.” As a doctor, you’ve got to know all this stuff.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Last Time Tourists In The Big City

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The sweepers in New Boston polished the dark marble streets until they mirrored the city above them, and even with the traffic rolling over the roads all day long, we could check our teeth in them for bits of food. The reflections gleamed so sharply that, face down as we lay, we spent the last nanoseconds of our lives marveling at how filthy were the oily undercarriages of the buses and automobiles which ran us down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Gift Of The Canine

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The dogs started a vicious sneezing battle at the house and after a symphony of stacatto snorts and feral skin flapping the whole living room glistened with a slimy veneer of canine mucous and saliva.

“I like it!” Margie declared. “The place finally feels like Christmas.” And it was true. Even the pockets of dog hair interspersed with the presents beneath the tree took on the glitter of tinsel. She still needed money for Ted’s home colonoscopy kit which had been at the top of his list for two Christmases and a birthday. Now she had the means to raise it.

Margie invited the girls over quickly with the temptation of her famous lemonade (It was made with just a dash of relish for a special zing). Only a couple of the ladies showed at first, but they were so dazzled by the holiday excitement born of dog’s snout that they told their friends and soon the whole neighborhood marveled at Margie’s living room.

Margie declared that she would gladly do all of their living rooms the very same way for a small fee. They all had to have it. “Recession Schmrecession!” they shouted, and it was not an easy thing to shout, but such was the elation that was visited upon 561 Millar Road that afternoon.

As soon as she kicked everybody the hell out of her house, she gave the dogs extra milk to get their phlegm up and took them next door to the Deprenders’. Ted could examine himself every night if he wanted! And maybe that would take his mind off of Raoul, the pool boy. And without the expense of the pool boy, they would save enough money to get that pool she always wanted. She patted the bobbing heads of her panting St. Bernards. It was like a Christmas present for everyone.

If I Had One Wish

I would wish that everyone in the world understood the meaning of the word 'ironic' and knew how to use it in a sentence.

Yes, I know I could have made good use of that wish on world peace or something, but I'm feeling petty at the moment.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The E-Mail, The Next Day

by Matthew Sanborn Smith


Great time last night, thanks for having me. The concert was nice. Hanging out with you on your couch after the concert was nicer.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Firefly Ladies

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The women, though pierced, wore no metal. Those holes ran small and numerous across their smooth curved shapes. They oozed no blood but in the night their true natures were known. In gauzy gowns the ladies danced in the darkness before the moon shook itself awake, and where every hole broke their skin, light shone out. Spinning forms and long arms swam through the humid air and they appeared as sultry swarms of fireflies, flying fat and lazy about imagined axes.

Inspiration: This story was born of this very beautiful photo from flickr by Irina/Riri:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Clean Man

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The clean man had cleaned his body so much and so well that his outside squeaked. But there was something terribly wrong with his inside. He drank lots of water and liquid soap but he still felt dirty within. His grandmother removed her teeth to clean them and did a smacking good job of it, didn’t she? He wanted to remove his teeth. He wanted to remove his everything.

The clean man opened himself up and removed his insides, spreading them out onto a big sheet in the backyard. The parts were well labeled so he could put them all back in the proper order. He scrubbed and polished each bit and piece. He ran water from the garden hose through them until the color began to wash out of them.

Now it just so happened that the naked people from beyond the sea had chosen this time to land in the clean man’s yard. He lived well inland but their leaping boats with the big, paddley feet made landfall right there.

“Hey!” said the large hairy naked guy in the bow of the first boat. “You shouldn’t do that!”

The clean man looked at him. Looked at all the naked jiggling people standing on the decks of the jumpy boats.

“That thing you’re doing there, with the hose and such,” hairy naked guy went on to say. “Cut it out, I mean. It’s not good. You got bacteria and things. Some bad, yes, but some good. You’re gonna, you know, drop dead or something like that.”

The clean man turned off his hose and sighed. He placed each and every organ, kidneys, liver, onions, back where it belonged and zipped himself back up. The naked people whooped at their first victory in this new land and leapt into their next yard, many miles away. They were mistaken, however, if they thought the hairy one’s words had swayed the clean man.

The clean man gave up and never washed again. For the effect of the body followed the cause of the mind. And his mind, after seeing the naked invaders, would be dirty forever more.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The candle blew and Jeff was pissed. More cheap crap that Myrna bought at the discount store. Sure they had to save a buck, but come on. Wouldn’t they save more in the long run by buying better quality stuff? It was one of those forever arguments and it came up so regularly it defined them as a couple.

He scraped out the socket with an old screwdriver. Every time he went through this ritual he thought about his cousin Darren who got killed at six years old when he stuck a piece of wood in the socket. Even protected by metal, Jeff always got a little nervous screwing around with something so deadly.

He popped open the blisterpack and grabbed yet another cheapo candle from the package. “Why bother?” he thought, but did it anyway. He was probably going to have to replace this one in another week. He’d like to go out by himself and buy the good stuff but he couldn’t spare the money from his meager allowance and Myrna held the rest of the money. The cheap-ass candle didn’t even screw into quite right and wax shavings ribboned out from the edges of the socket as if it was a pencil sharpener.

Jeff flicked the switch on the wall and the wick caught, fire throwing a little light on the living room furniture. That was better, even though it wasn’t bright enough to read by. At least Myrna had paid the fire bill this month. Those times when the plasma company lost their patience and cut off flame to the house stuck in his head as the lowest of their many lows. They’d have to run the hot plate on half-used butane batteries, boil a little water and mix it with the tap to bathe. It was like living in the dark ages.

He wanted to run the fireplace to read and warm the place up but figured he’d better save energy. Hell, he could read by the Nelson’s outdoor fire next door. Frickin’ Nelson had a good job, and his wife liked to flaunt it at every turn. Look at the light out there! The damned kids were roasting marshmallows! Next they’d be swilling champagne. Christ, he could run his car for a week on what they were burning out there.

When was Myrna getting home? He went out front and looked up and down the quiet road for her headlights burning orange in the night. She never watched her power indicator and twice last month he had to fill a gallon tank full of fire and bring it to where she was. Irresponsible is what it was. They wasted twice the flame that way. Jeff promised himself that he’d hook the fire hose to the fuel tank just as soon as she got home. Someone had to act like an adult.

He turned back toward the house and his gut went cold. The house was on fire and it was going up fast. Those shitty, cheap candles! Jeff couldn’t bring himself to scream. He clenched his fists and tried to take a deep breath, but the smoke started a coughing fit in him. Stupid show off Nelson ran up with his new cell phone in hand. The can was so small you would hardly notice it if it weren’t for the white string that stretched off seemingly forever, connected to some tower somewhere. It had to be expensive. Nelson was trying to pull the line taught while he yelled Jeff’s address into the can.

“Plasma company’s on it’s way, Jeff. No need to thank me.” Jeff didn’t. Instead he hoped that Myrna wouldn’t come home now. He didn’t want her to see this. She’d blame him, too. They stared at the inferno for a good long while and Nelson clapped him on the back.

“Christ, Jeff,” he said. “Look at the size of those flames! You’re gonna have one hell of bill next month.”

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Big Finish

I have done it. 50,000 words in one month, and it's not so much that which impresses me, It's the nearly 26,000 words in the last five days. I have stretched myself, and learned that I can go a bit farther than I have before. I wrote nearly twelve thousand words on Thursday, about 4,500 more than I ever have before in a single day. And on top of that, most of those words made sense when they were strung together.

The novel's got a working title of "Twilight in Mumbai," and it's still going to be a long while and many drafts before it's beautiful. But it's cool that I have the first draft of a novel, a beginning middle and end and it's not too bad. Subsequent drafts will be longer of course. I'm hoping that you'll be able to read it in book form.