Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another One Under My Widening Belt

I finished and sent out story number 66, Conservation of Energy.

Shower County

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

It never rained out here anymore. Crops died, cattle followed. There were no clouds to seed and a rainmaker had run off with a nice chunk of the county’s change, though we kept the one ear that we tore off of him before he escaped. The ear didn’t attract any rain either.

Bob Miller’s son ran an engineering firm in Arizona and those folks had come up with one heck of an idea out there. The county commissioners flew out for a day to see how it worked and they liked it so much they sold it to the rest of us on pure excitement. The project was one year in the making and that was a tough year, but Bob’s boy sold us water on the cheap until we could get on our feet. When it was all done, we had ourselves a showerhead in the sky, thirty miles in diameter.

There was a big faucet-turning ceremony and everybody came out, all the kids, both pastors and the Grindlers even brought one of their cows. It was a good thing we were all there, because a faucet that size needed every available back to turn it. And then we had rain. For the first time in nearly two years we had a downpour to heal our dry, cracked earth. A couple crazies stripped off their clothes. They’d brought bars of soap with them and lathered up right there in front of everyone. Luckily, the sheriff was there too.

A land that dry won’t soak up the water that quick and to be honest, we were so happy to see rain that not a one of us wanted to be the one that said stop. Wasn’t long before we had another problem on our hands. Bob got on the phone.

His son said it was no problem. They’d run into the same thing in Arizona. His contractor rolled back into town a few days later. While we waited, they hauled out as much water as their tankers could carry. In a few months we had a nice big water drain, half as big as the showerhead and placed strategically in the lowlands.

It all seems like a happy story all wrapped up, but there’s things that most people, going about their daily lives, don’t consider. Like who’s going to clean out that drain? Sad to say, that job’s mine. Gives me the shivers every time I go down there. Where those giant hairs come from, I don’t want to know.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thank You, Mysterious Stranger

Thank you to Anonymous, who pointed out that the link for my story, Better Than Anything, was effed up. Fixed it. I got a mention on SFSignal last night which is always swell. If you're coming here blind, may I recommend my story, Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range? It's one of my favorites. Hit its clicky over to the left under Read My Stories. Enjoy!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ooooo, Pretty!

I did a bit of renovation on this old dump, as you can see. I also added links to my published stories over to your left (and down). Most of them are freebies, but there are a couple in mags that have to be purchased if you so choose. Next to the titles are the mags in which the stories were published.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I just found this guy's personal website through Stumble Upon and I have to point you all that way. Luis Santi Jr.'s site is Phatterism:

It's a cool set-up he's running over there and a fun blog. You'll just have to see it for yourselves.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Woman Done Left Me

My wife, daughter and my daughter's dog are now living in another house, leaving me, my son and my son's dog in this one. No divorce, no separation, just one family living in two different houses.

Today was a good day. Still on hernia leave, I spent the day at my wife's place, waiting for the DirecTV guy while she was at work. I had many hours away from the enormously distracting internet and away from my needy dogs. I had hours to write and came up with one shade of an idea, one piece of flash-fiction and one two-thousand word story. It’s amazing what you can do when there’s nothing else to do. I really need to get away from reality more often. So, anyway stories sixty-four (The Ones That Got Away) and sixty-five (Dust Dog) are in the bag, though they haven’t yet been sent out. But will be by this time tomorrow.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I didn't finish a story today (Friday). Everyone was home because of Good Friday. I did start a story, however. It's called, One-Man Submarine, Blessed by Loki. I think the title pretty much says it all. Crazy days on the way. There will be more story starts, I believe, before there are story finishes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Comic Book Villains

I saw the film Comic Book Villains yesterday. I thought it was going to be a fun little story about rival comic shop owners screwing each other in pursuit of their goals. Instead, it was a four-color Fargo. It was good, however, to see Cary Elwes as I'm a fan of both The Princess Bride and the video game, The Bard's Tale for which he voiced the bard.

I just sent out number 63, The Plastic People.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Clarke And 62 And Noodles

Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday. He was a great man and a great writer, the only golden age science fiction writer whose work from the thirties and forties still holds up today. We need more people like him in the world.

Story 62 is off to the races. It's called Salting the Earth Around Me.

I've made big improvements since my hernia operation two weeks ago today. I can tell because I'm back on my normal diet of Ramen noodles and Mountain Dew. I usually drain off the broth and just eat the noodles after they’ve cooled a bit, but now I’m thinking of boiling my Ramen noodles in Mountain Dew. Save a step, you see?. The chicken flavoring might not go down well with that, but I could leave that out. I might leave the broth in as well, in that case.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Number 61 Is Done

Number 61 of The One-Thousand is complete and on its way to an editor. It's called, A Spork in the Road. It was almost a poem, until I discovered that not only are there less magazines that buy science fiction poetry as opposed to stories, they don't pay as well, either.

One of the things I love about flash fiction is that you can create something that didn't even exist as an idea mere hours before. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Big 6-Oh

I began and finished story number 60 today, a flash fiction story called The Absorbent Man, and I sent it off to an editor. I need some dough so I'm going to write a lot of flash fiction for a while, embracing Tom Peter's Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast philosophy. I'll still be working on longer stories around those shorties. If nothing else, I'll finally start moving the counter up on the One-Thousand at a decent pace. We'll see how long this lasts before frustration sets in.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Listen To Some Great Science Fiction

I'm a fanatic about audio science fiction and podcasts about science fiction. I load my iPod with the stuff and listen to it when I'm doing things that don't require my full attention. This past week over at, Tony has posted audio versions of all five short story nominees for the 2007 British Science Fiction Association awards. Head over there and give them a listen, and you can vote for your favorite on their forums if you like. Tell Tony I sent you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Crust Psychology

Don't ever marry a person who leaves the pizza crusts. These people want to take all the good in life without accepting the not-as-good that fills out a life. They are shallow and immature. They'll eat you, all right, and you'll think they love everything about you. In truth, they love only your saucy bits. You won't know until the end because everybody saves the crust for last. Once the good times are over, you'll be nothing but crust with chewed ends and no one else will want you. You'll spend some humiliating time on a dirty paper plate before being dumped into a wastebasket and maybe some pathetic piece of you will think, "Oh, I'll bet that person misses me." But that person doesn't even remember you. That person is busy eating someone else's saucy bits.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lying Around

Well, I had my deherniation yesterday. This latest was a left inguinal hernia (that’s the crotchal area for those of you who can’t be bothered to look it up.) I had the right side done six years ago and I’ve been saving up ever since for a matching set. I haven’t taken anything more potent than Tylenol, as my prescribed meds made me nauseous last go around. I prefer pain to puke. All in all, I’d say this one has gone better. I thought it would be worse because I really had to be opened up this time around as opposed to the laparoscopic dealie before.

Anywho, it’s my back that’s really hurting me now as I have to move, stand and walk differently to favor my front. I can’t even piss properly, standing or sitting because the back pain is agonizing. I’m pissing into a paper cup while lying on my side in bed and then bringing it to the bathroom. Because I’m not psychologically prepared to shit into a paper cup, I have eaten next to nothing since the surgery hoping to put the poo off until I’m in better shape. I think, considering addiction number one (food) on my list of a couple of posts back, that should give you an idea of how painful it is.

I can only improve from here. I spend most of my time in bed with an icepack next to my goodies. I expect to be out of commission for three or four weeks, but I’ll have a better idea when I see my doctor on the thirteenth.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tip Me Over And Pour Me Out

A group of people in baggy mint green are going to pop me open in a few hours. Once my innards are exposed to the cold air they will insert a small piece of mesh in my nether regions and then reassemble me. I will inch ever so closer to my ultimate cyborg form.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The City Of Lost Children

I just saw "The City of Lost Children" online through Netflix. I've wanted to see it for ten years and just now got around to it.

What a gorgeous and inventive film. I recommend it to all of you even though some of you won't like it. It is a French film and it's subtitled. That turns some people off, but you may just want to watch it, rather than read it and enjoy the visual feast. Even the faces, the faces are wonderful, an entire cast of magnificent and interesting faces to absorb. You won't want to remove your eyes from the screen, and if you do, I'm afraid you won't be able, for they will be trapped like flies on sticky paper.

I've had "Alien: Resurrection" trapped in Tivo Limbo (Timbo) for months now, but I want to take a gander at it soon, as it's directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, co-director of this film. I want to see others by Monsieur Jeunet as well, "Amelie" and "Delicatessen" and whatever else I can find. See it, Love it, Taste it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Addictions:

I wrote these in the order that they came to me, so they’re probably close to their order of importance. That’s not something I’m proud of, but it does explain the circumstances of my life.

1. Food (More specifically: Fats, Carbs, Sugars) (Most specifically: Cheeseburgers)
2. Porn
3. Sleep
4. Ideas (The wilder, the better.)
5. Love (I bet you didn’t expect me to get all sappy here did you?)
6. The Written Word
7. Washing my hands (Which should really be #3 when you consider #2)
8. Comics
9. Science Fiction
10. Surfing (the non-physical kind, which goes without saying if you’ve ever looked at me. See also #1.). This surfing covers everything besides #2

Notice that I get my base physical cravings out of the way early on, then work on intellectual and emotional needs.

What are your addictions? Write them down in the order they come to you. Maybe it’ll help explain your life. Not that you’ll do anything about it, but wouldn’t it be nice to know?