An open call for contributors

Now that I am entering into the world of contracted professional authors, one of the biggest changes to this blog is about to occur.  I am now making an open call for contributors!

If you are interested in contributing to my blog, please bear in mind the following guidelines:

  1. I reserve final say on all contributions – if what you contribute doesn’t get on my blog, it’s not personal.
  2. Be as entertaining as possible, but keep it tasteful.
  3. Be on point – reviews, articles and contributions about literature get top billing, followed by tips and tricks and advice/how-to’s for writers.
  4. Attack and “gotcha” pieces will not be posted.
  5. Please share – the more we share, the more people read – as the saying go “you do business with me, I do business with you!”

That said, please CONTACT ME (click the link).

Piers Morgan’s departure gives CNN a golden opportunity to land a blockbuster host


The New York Times is reporting Piers Morgan, the British talent judge-turned-CNN replacement for Larry King, has reportedly announced he will wind down his talk show in March.

Thank God!

Morgan’s problem was actually way more than just a failure to connect.  Having watched him a few times, Morgan appeared stiff, contemptuous of American culture, and having an overall lack of interest in anything that didn’t happen either outside Hollywood, New York, or London.  By his very appearance on a nightly basis, it was as though he lived in a bubble.

The question is now “who will replace Morgan?”

Should CNN Chief Jeffrey Zucker decide to find a successor to Morgan, he will need to go way further than just someone to mind the store.  Zucker will need to hit a Grand Slam to have any hope of bringing CNN back to par with Fox News and even MSNBC.  Here are a few potential hosts Zucker should consider in the event he decides to continue the current slot as a newsmagazine.

Katie Couric

The Upside – Couric has talk show experience and is able to think on her feet.  She brings in the coveted 25-54 female demographic, which is considered advertising gold.  She also tends to draw educated women, which makes her a direct threat to MSNBC and, should Zucker decide to require a more objective broadcast than Morgan was capable of delivering, Couric is capable of following orders.

The Downside – Couric is notoriously unpredictable in presentation.  Adding her may also require Zucker to consider making the slot a live-audience program, as opposed to a sit-down interview show.

Jay Leno

The  Upside – Leno has the sort of juice with the highly sought blue-collar white male demographic Fox News currently has a stranglehold on.  His ability to appeal to an older, more mature, working class audience makes him a sure winner, and he has proven to be able to land big-name guests and put on a serious face as necessary.

The Downside – With no journalism credentials, Leno will have to rely on his staff for interview points.   Even more to the point is that Zucker would have to completely retool the slot to allow Leno to work within his wheelhouse of comedy, which could put off more news-oriented CNN viewers.

Randi Rhodes

The Upside – Rhodes, the one-time standard bearer for Air America Radio, has the sort of gritty, in-your-face approach that CNN has been lacking for years.   Just as important, Rhodes connections within the Democratic Party could draw A-list politicians, which draws exactly the sort of viewers CNN prefers to cater to.  Her experience in the New York and Miami markets gives her the media savvy needed to survive in the big leagues.

The Downside – The chances of moderate and conservative politicians and guests appearing on a show featuring Rhodes without major ground rules in place are zero to none.  She has proven, on more than one occasion, to be just abrasive enough to alienate viewers.  Finally, Rhodes is likely to be quite resistant to any efforts by Zucker to tone down her overt liberal views.

Art Bell

The Upside – Having built his own radio program from the ground up, Bell has a proven knowledge of the broadcasting and entertainment business.  He also has a willingness to touch on the fringe subjects which King eschewed and Morgan bristled at.  Bell also could draw guests who would bring a lot of non-traditional viewers to the network.

The Downside – Bell’s reputation for attracting the lunatic fringe and conspiracy theorists runs directly counter to CNN’s overall philosophy, assuming it still has one.  Also, Bell is, unfortunately, not exactly a camera-oriented sort of person.  Add to that the fact Bell would undoubtedly insist on total control of the content and nature of the program, something Zucker will likely never agree to.

Anderson Cooper

The Upside – He’s a CNN anchor with juice, and has proven, time and again, to be reputable and able to connect with viewers. He’s also a familiar with the sort of newsmagazine Zucker would likely put into place in that slot.

The Downside – Strangely, it would not be his homosexuality.  That would actually be a drawing point.  Instead, Cooper’s single downside is his greatest asset in the news world – a single minded focus on the news.  Any talk show host would have to be attack multiple subjects simultaneously – Cooper’s wheelhouse is news interviews, not casual chatter. 

Contract signed, time to celebrate and be grateful for one night


We interrupt this regularly scheduled snarkfest to bring you the following announcement:

February 17, 2014, I signed a contract for publishing of my first full-length novel, A 38 Day Education, with Solstice Publishing of Farmington, Missouri.  The deal is for 3 years and, while nothing is guaranteed, is a huge step in the right direction.

Please stay tuned to this blog, my personal official website, and my Facebook and Twitter feeds for further updates on this.  Meanwhile, I’m as happy as a pig crapping on top of a mudpile full of corn.

Yep, I feel so good that even a totally disgusting image like that can’t bring me down!

That said, I want to thank all of you for following this blog because, without you and your support, I am just another dude spewing random thoughts.  On Sunday, I was just a guy trying to get my writing on and build my literary game.  Today, I am now a contracted writer who has now got a realistic shot of being on Amazon’s bestsellers list.  That alone makes it all worth it.

Special thanks to Solstice Publishing, Gilbert Literary Agency and, above all, my wife, Tanya, my son, Cherrakee, my three kitties, my siblings and my parents, who have supported me thus far.

Hockey spat leads to Russian and American officials arguing over bribe techniques

Sochi – Following the American team’s win over the Russians in Men’s Hockey, the Russian Federation has demanded that all future hockey games be played without American officials or, at the very least, bribes be paid in dollars instead of rubles.

“We must ensure that future travesties of sport such as this are not repeated,” an anonymous source for the Russian Federation said earlier today.

A spokesman for the Russian hockey team blamed the loss on the presence of an American referee, claiming there was bias in officiating.  The American team considers the argument ridiculous, with a representative of the United States Olympic Committee offering a rather unique take on the matter.

“Russian politicians suck balls,” the member said.  “Any reputable agent knows that you pay bribes in dollars, as the exchange rate for rubles is ridiculously low.  Seriously, rubles are toilet paper in the United States.  Russia needs to stop being so damned cheap.”

Members of Russia’s intelligence agency, the FSB, were also disciplined for failing to gain what government agencies called “adequate information” regarding the composition of the officiating crew.  One agent told the press “had we known the makeup of the officiating crew, we would have ensured that sufficient inducements would have been provided for a more equitable interpretation of the rules.”

When the USOC member was asked for comment on the matter, she cackled uncontrollably and suggested the Russian agent “go back to Moscow and look for James Bond, since he seems to be able to drive tanks through their streets with impunity.”

The Russian agent’s response was puzzling.

“I’ve never even seen Hunt for Red October….and we did pay in dollars.  Wait, Australia uses dollars, right?”

Coming Monday Night to Atlanta – Snowjam II: The Boning


Call it “Snowjam II:  The Boning.”

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Atlanta and all of North Georgia, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday and running through Tuesday at 7 p.m.  While this is bad enough, the NWS forecast also speaks to a potential extension of the watch from Tuesday through Wednesday.

Still fresh off the wounds inflicted by Snowjam I, Atlanta is staring down the barrel of a combination storm feature sleet, freezing rain, snow and ice with potential accumulations ranging from a quarter inch of ice to 3 inches of snow.  Naturally, this depends entirely on the station you watch so, rather than have to jump from site to site, here is a basic breakdown on what each site is essentially saying for Monday night: (National Weather Service):  We’re boned.

WSB-TV (ABC Ch. 2):  We’re boned.  Everyone get ready for the apocalypse again.

WAGA-TV (FOX Ch. 5):  We may be boned, but none of the models are in agreement just yet!

WGCL-TV (CBS Ch. 46):  The National Weather Service has alerted Atlanta of impending boning well in advance, but we really have no effing clue at this point in time.

WXIA-TV (NBC Ch. 11):  Who cares if we’re boned – we got the effing Winter Olympics going on, baby! (Atlanta Journal-Constitution):  See also Channel 2. (Marietta Daily Journal):  We’re boned, but we aren’t gonna’ hype it like everyone else is doing. (AM 750/95.5 FM):  We’re boned, but don’t hold us to it because forecast models ain’t worth shit right now. (WYAY All News 106.7 FM):  Wait, we’re boned?  News to us! (The Weather Channel):  Yeah, we’re boned, and its name is Pax. (my website):  Yep, we’re boned.  Make sure you buy your beer early and I’d appreciate an invitation to your Winter Storm Party.

Five Man Fails


This week has seen men behaving badly, foolishly, and like complete morons.  We have been programmed to be more in touch with our feminine side, but that misses the mark as well.  What we, as men, should be searching for is the essential things which define our gender.  That said, here are five “Man Fails” we need to be looking out for – those things we all do which make us look like either idiots, slimebags, or just unattractive fools, and give the lot of us a bad name.


1.  Oppositional-Defiant Dirt Fail

Fail Definition:  Do not confuse this ManFail with Misophobia, a legimate psychological fear of contamination.  ODDF is, simply put in the most objectionable manner possible, the “Pretty Boy Fail.”  This is the sort of behavior you see when a man does not want to get his hands dirty for any reason whatsoever. 

Why it is a Man Fail:  A man should be willing to get his hands dirty, both figuratively and literally, unless there is direct risk to life and limb.  Changing a tire, cleaning a clogged drain, planting and tending a garden (or a farm), and painting should never be beyond a man’s wheelhouse.

2.  Lazy Chauvinism Fail

Fail Definition:  Two words – “Women’s Work.”  This is the sort of fail you see when a man says “I have a girlfriend/wife for that.”  This is the epitome of laziness, and the sort of behavior a man should never allow himself to engage in.

Why it is a Man Fail:  Does any man want to be a servant?  No?  Then why expect a significant other to the do the same?  Mommy issues aside, any man should be able to do their laundry (or be willing to pay someone to do it), or cook for themselves (yes, cooking food over an open fire counts!).  As for child care and diapers, here’s a thought – if you can make the baby, you can change the diaper!

3.  Lack of Area Knowledge Fail

Fail Definition:  This is aimed at the arena of intimacy.  This is all about knowing your significant other’s body and mind.  Call it the “Are You Paying Attention?” Fail.  If you can’t remember your significant other’s birthday or, at the very least birth month, you are guilty of this fail!

Why it is a Man Fail:  Let’s face, guys!  We all forget a birthday or anniversary or special date, or even fail to notice when she buys that new dress or change her hair color.  It happens once in a while – take your lumps and learn from it.  It’s when you notice that tattoo on her arm that’s been there for four months and suddenly say “Hey honey, when did you get that?” or forget your anniversary date every year for three straight years – that’s a biggie!

4.  Creative Slacking Fail

Fail Definition:  Ever hear the saying “he works real hard at doing nothing?”  That’s what this fail is.  You see a guy going out of his way to avoid doing any sort of work, trying to better himself, cleaning the house, or doing something as basic and flushing the toilet.

Why it is a Man Fail:  You expect a child or teenager to slack off, but a grown man?  Unless you are smoking enough pot to keep Hostess in business all by yourself, this should not be happening regularly.  Get off your ass, go out with her, do the dishes, clean the bathroom, go back to school.  It’s simple:  get off the effing Playstation or Xbox, and move your damned body!

5.  Justifiable Non-Accountability Fail

Fail Definition:  This is, perhaps, the most idious fail of all.  This is the one where you look for every reason in the book to justify not just all preceding fails, but anything you have done wrong in your entire life, and blaming everyone else for it.  This is the “it’s not my fault” fail.

Why it is a Man Fail:  This one speaks for itself, but since some of us males are completely oblivious, here is the essential reason – if you are a grown man, you should be willing to be held accountable.  Yes, we all make mistakes; we should take our lumps for it.  You are respectable when you say “yep, you’re right!  I screwed up!”  When you try to turn it around and say “but you could have…” or “you should have…” you are now in on the bottom of the barrel.


We are all guilty of these fails from time to time, even if our core nature runs contrary to it.  We’re human, guys, which means we are imperfect.  But the most important thing to remember is that, if we pay attention to our fails, we can prevent them or, at the very least, atone for them.  When we hold ourselves accountable, we are more attractive.