The Puppy Brothers prizes, audio and prose.

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Audio and prose. There is a difference.

My short story, “The Puppy Brothers in: The Malevolent Mystery Meat!”, won two prizes at the 2016 San Mateo County Fair literary contest. The text story won honorable mention in a short story division. And my reading won first prize in the audio story division.

The honorable mention and the first prize shows the differences between a text story and an audio story. In my case, the story really came to life with my reading, although the story was exactly the same, word for word, in both versions. A judge said of the text version, “Great creativity but the story needs work. So much emphasis has been placed on the comic book style that story elements suffer. Please share this comment with the author.”

Message received with thanks! I am thinking that an audio story needs to be lean, while text needs the usual description, internal monolog, and other literary stuffing that good prose needs. My 2500 word story reading came in at about 15 minutes; getting a lot longer would really push the listener’s patience. Comic book style leans toward a script style of writing, but prose needs proper literary trickery to be fatter, juicier, BIGGER! So I will rewrite accordingly. My Kittygirl and Puppy Brothers stories would make a great story bundle.

Pitof and Bay: My worst nightmare!

Saw a little bit of the Catwoman movie on TV again. I remembered why I loath it. Saw a little Transformers also. And I had a thought that made me shudder.

Catwoman movie, directed by Pitof. Basketball scene. TOO! MANY!! CUTS!!! Do not watch if you are epileptic. (Read my review here.)

Transformers Dark of the Moon, directed by Michael Bay. Final battle scene. Robots vomited up by a junkyard. They fight like ax-heaving WWF wrestlers. Villain’s voice is deep macho gargling with gravel. Every line is a cliche: “You could never make the hard decisions!” “There can only be one!” “Who would you be without me… BROTHER?” “You didn’t betray me, you betrayed yourself!”

I beg of you, Pitof and Michael Bay, do not have a baby together. It would be the Antichrist, and its first (and last) movie would turn the audience into an anti-matter hellhorde. Earth go KAH-BOOM!!!

Who are my fanboys?

beth-barany-30-Day-Writing-Challenge-to-PLAN-WRITE-YOUR-NOVELI am taking Beth Barany’s Branding For Novelists class, which helps writers nail down exactly what their brand is. Such as who is my audience, what is my author bio, calls to action that I can do to help my marketing, and so on. And part of her lesson to make a branding statement says that if I say my audience is everyone, I need to think again.

I started writing my superheroine Super Holly for me, and anyone who wanted to read her. But I needed to narrow it down, else how will I know who I am really writing for? Did J.K. Rowling write for everyone? No, for little British boys and girls who felt oppressed by the snooty upper class! Did Stan Lee? No, for comic book geeks who wanted to read superheroes who talk, act, and have problems like real people (not those boring interchangeable clones that DC Comics was doing in the 60s)! So here is the audience I think I’m aiming at:

Females, kids, gays, and anyone else who is not a superhero fanboy, but would like to be.

How’s that? I think this is really who I am thinking of. Sure, I love fanboys, I am a fanboy! But us mostly white older male geeks are gonna die out in the next two or three decades, comic books and superheroes need new blood!

I wrote Holly because I love when the woman steps up and punches out the bad guy. Some superhero stories should be written for that half of the planet’s population. Boy, would I love for Super Holly to give Darkseid a BIG FAT BELT right in his genocidal kisser! And if that does not work, a super-telekinetically-enhanced kick in the you-know-where. And he’d better not use his Omega Beams on her if he knows what’s good for him, because they would fry Holly’s beloved blonde hair, and Holly would get steam-rocket-out-her-beaky-nose, GRRRRRROWLing Belker-The-Biter (Hill Street Blues) MAD!!!

beth-baranyThank you, Beth. You are making me think.

Starfire: Heart-touching or Posing?

The current run of DC Comics Starfire, as written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, has been lighthearted, funny, and even heart-touching. But DC Comics will soon reboot its universe again (yes, AGAIN). Starfire soon ends its current run with issue 12. From what I can find so far, she’ll be stuffed into (Teen?) Titans. How will Starfire be portrayed there?

A little heart-touching, from Starfire #1 of the Palmiotti and Conner run?


Or a lot of posing, from Red Hood and the Outlaws #1? Front…


And back.


Posing for the oh-so-tuff-macho-males is not outlawed, but making Starfire do it ought to be.