Friday, December 23, 2011

WritingTips 6

The Occupational Hazards of Writing

We are well acquainted with hazards of many occupations. Chemical plant workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals and the always present danger of explosions. The Discovery Channel has brought us the dangers of deep sea crabbing. We can just imagine all of the hazards of coal mining, logging (the most dangerous job in the world) and perhaps wild animal training.
Some of our more sedentary occupations have their built in occupational hazards. Office workers are exposed to chemicals in synthetic rugs and chemicals from printer and copier toner. And of course we can’t rule out the psychological hazards of office work such as being exposed to toxic bosses and/or co-workers. We can see how office stress leads to weight gain and even mass killings. Something is going on in America’s offices and it’s not being talked about at the coffee bar.

Writing has its own built in set of occupational hazards. Most people think of writing as someone lying languidly by the beach sipping a cool drink (perhaps in the south of France--whatever that means), and day dreaming about the next plot. Or some conger up the image of a guy hunched over an old type writer, with a pile of cigarette butts and crumpled papers lying about, grimacing and taking a swig from a bottle. I think the latter is closer to the truth. The hazards of writing:

1. Failed Relationships (What’s a relationship?)

4. Ill health

Writing is not easy. It’s even harder in today’s publish yourself digital world. In the old world of publishing, you got an agent to hold your hand (if you were lucky) and coddle you through the process. Then the editor and you battled to produce a “good” book, which of course meant sellable or saleable. Now it’s all about you and the reader in almost direct and instant interaction. Well the writing might not be instant, but the publishing is and so is the reader feedback when you are writing in the popular genres (romance, urban, vampires). If you don’t want instant feedback, perhaps write poetry or call your book literary. So you ask yourself:

a. Is my character believable?
b. Is there a big hole in my plot?
c. Are the scenes in a chronological sensible order?
d. Are there moments where my dialog sounds robotic and canned?
e. “Oh my god! I’ve used “nad” for and three times!” Yes grammar and spelling mistakes.

Of course it’s easy to correct those errors once your readers happily point them out to you with ratings of one * out of  a possible five ***** stars and comments such as “Did you use your pre-schooler as your spell checker?”

Being prolific and well ranked has some down side too. You’re churning out blockbuster after blockbuster, getting those five ***** nad (haha) AND making that paper. But your diet is pizza by the cardboard box load and maybe diet soda. There’s no time for the gym or sex. So we battle the bulge until fat wins the war.

So nope writing is not easy. I have a sneaking suspicion the only folks enjoying the South of France are the widows and widowers of famous dead writers. However as we head into the new year, let’s resolve to bring balance into our life.

1. Find time to get out of the house at least once every couple of days.
2. Hit the gym twice a week
3. If you must, write like  a maniac 330 days a year, but then take a month off.
4. Take a break between books. (Of course tell that to the muse who’s now the new spouse in your life making you feel guilty)
5. Watch your diet
6. Open the venetian blinds and let a bit of life in.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Amazon Zanies -- Come one Come All - Have A Prosperous New Year

Coming Soon
The Democratization of the publishing world does produce some zaniness out of this world. Yes even the mentally ill can get published. But I like a Democracy. It's all about freedom and choice. As the Pastor says, "The Doors of the Church are now open." The days of having Agents and Publishers slam doors in your face are soon to be a thing of the past. How do you make it happen for you?

1. Write Well
2. Revise Well
3. Edit Well
4. Market Well
Make 2012 your year to get published.
Amazon KDP   Barnes&Noble Pubit  Smashwords  CreateSpace

And now the zany...If this person can navigate their way to Amazon and get published, surely you can.

Re: My book size is small compared to my original document. 
Posted: Dec 17, 2011 9:52 PM    in response to: sunever

First, to answer Mr. notjohn, about me not having a credit card and thus not being worthy to publish, you must understand that not everybody on earth is supposed to have one, did you ever try to get one as a socially assisted? You can't, probably half or more of this planet never touched a credit card and they are as good as you, and that bring me to your second surprise as to the how in hell can I be so incompetent with word as to end-up with a 7.5 MB book! Well, this book is a lifelong investment, I spent 12 years on it, it got a million, yes sir, a whole million words, and that's why it is big, and that's why I'm under social assistance and can't get a credit card, you think you can write a million word books on weekends? I started this book at 26 as French Quebecker that barely understood English, and I didn't have time to make a stash of money for my old days, so I’ve been under social assistance until now to write this book and nothing else.

And another thing you must understand is that when you start such a quest, you don't think of the money at the end, or when you'll be done, and your sole goal and reason of existence is the book, so it just happen one day that you're finished. So one day I woke up and said the book was done, but I woke-up to the reality that I lost contact with the whole world too, I never used the internet in my life before finishing the book, in fact, this is the first ever text I write on a forum. As for the book, nobody ever read it until now, i battled a panoply of publishers at all sauces to come to the conclusion that they were only after money and they didn't want to read a line of a book, nobody ever published a million words book it seems while there are dictionaries and bibles all over the place, and the argument don't even stand as at .9 size it can fit as a thousand pages book, anyway this whole industry is a mess of profiteers, so either I self published for 12000$ while I can't spare 10$ or I abandoned and I would have done all this for nothing. But I discovered Amazon and until now, I’m very happy they exist.

Finally I’ll thank Mr. bkhitch and Mr. bigtoad; each answered half my question, but I’ll mention that I already passed my book through a few different previewers, with satisfactory results, I did mention that the online previewer showed things to be relatively good, nobody seems to have read that phrase, my problem was just that I was not sure about the end result as sold since it was almost half size.

Thank you all for your help. And by the way, if you want to know what a million words book look like as fat paragraphs, “a flower to life” is the book. 

His Book: A Flower to Life
Disclaimer: This in no way represents the quality of Amazon books and stories.

My Stories
My Manhood is Very Important to Me
Betty's House
Red Underwear
The 520i
The Cicadas

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Butterfly Killer

This is a sample from my upcoming Novel tentatively titled THE BUTTERFLY KILLER. This is my NANOWRIMO Project.
National Novel Writers Month

My name is Elliot. Gram called me Sweet Pee. P E E. I pissed the bed often. Another thing Gramp didn’t like. Said I made the house smell like amonia, except it was piss. Gram said I would grow out of it. Said my mama was a pisser until she was twelve. I was only six. Might as well get used to it.
“Only thing I gotta get used to is dying,” Gramp would say to her.
“Well I figure a butcher ought to be used to the idea of death.”
“You used to Carrie being dead?” Gram shut her mouth.“I ain’t used to nothing. Everyday is a new day and a new mystery. Everything I gut got a different soul. And that soul ain’t used to being dead. So it leaps right into something else.”
“I don’t know if hogs have souls.”
“Everything has a soul. Ever brute God made got a soul.”
“Do it hurt to die, Gramp?” I asked him
“Does it hurt,” Gram orrected me.
“I don’t know, Sweet Pee. The hogs don’t complain. It hurts to live. That’s where the pain is.”
“Is that why Mama and Daddy died, ‘cause they were hurt?”
There was silence. Just the scraping of forks against plates. Gramp took a big gulp of water. I watched the knot in his throat bob up and down as he swallowed. I once tried to swallow a jawbreaker whole so I could have a ball in my neck and it go up and down as I swallowed. All I did was turn blue and get a good whack in my back from Gram making me spit the thing clear across the floor.
“Well I wanna die so I don’t hurt,” I said.
“Hush your mouth, child,” Gram said in her high pitched church singing voice. “Hush your mouth. 

Other Works Available on Amazon

Free on Smashwords

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writing Tips 5

The Process

Make sure you are enjoying the process. Writing is a good deal about focus and and sacrifice. In fact in the early part of one's career, it's a great deal about sacrifice. You sit down to write a book or story that not one person has asked you to write. You might feel a little foolish at times as you're sitting at the kitchen table at 2am on a Saturday night banging those computer keys while the rest of the world is out partying. It takes a great deal in believing in self to take on that first book.

Focus is the next hurdle to climb. The late Steve Jobs had an almost maniacal obsession about details of product design. Your book is your product. Your words are your design. Focus on each word in your product.

Some Helpful Tips

1. Focus -- Find that quiet space to work and only do work. Don't surf the net. I personally like to have the net up to allow me to do some quick fact checking on google. But if you're not disciplined, turn your connection to the net off. Put a mark next to the thing you need to check and do it AFTER you've done your writing.

2.  Sacrifice -- "What should I do this weekend?" "I know! Go to your local library and write!" Sounds like fun doesn't it? But it may be the thing you have to do to get away temporarily from the demands of family. Nope you cannot help find socks or comb hair or run Johnny to soccer practice right now. So it has to be your "Fun." Writing isn't a job. It's a way of life. If it ever becomes a chore, stop!
Of course don't sacrifice health and family to the point the kids are starving and becoming juvenile delinquents. But carve out every bit of time that you can to write and remain healthy and connected to family.

3.  Attention to Details -- You words are your design details. You have to be interested in the details, or else why write? Plots are great. But the details of spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and tone are equally important. It's all about you.

4.  Have Good Tools Handy -- Keep an online dictionary/thesaurus  bookmarked in your favorites folder or toolbar. Have a handy online Grammar guide available also. And by all means run your work through some kind of editing process. If you think a human is too expensive, try the many online editing tools out there. Make a small investment. You don't have to obey an Editor or editing software as if it's gospel. But if they suggest a change, consider it.

5.  Stay Involved -- Do as much of the work as you can yourself. Some people might want to farm out the formatting of their manuscripts. In my opinion formatting is a part of editing. You can catch a lot of things as you're going over and over your document as you get it in shape for publication.

Please feel free to comment and add to the conversation.

Harvey's Amazon Author Page
Harvey on Smashwords

These are not endorsements. Just tips and suggestions
Dictionary/Thesaurus Link
Grammar Link

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writing Tips 4

Be a Different Bait to Catch a Variety of Fish

This simple and somewhat cliche-est analogy came to me the other day. There's a lot of fish in the ocean. The successful writer has to offer different bait to catch all of that fish.  In essence the fish are the reading public (which includes writers.) The bait is the genre that lures them in.

To be a success in this new publishing model (or world) that is emerging, means you want to catch as much of the fish as possible for yourself. In order to do so, it is imperative to use different bait.

You might consider yourself to be strictly a literary "serious" fiction only kind of writer. But you might be limiting the amount of fish you catch and thus stunting your earning potential. Consider branching out into other genres. Perhaps you have work that while not totally successful in your normal genre, can be quite successful in the Murder Mystery world, or Erotica, Urban Fiction, Vampire or Paranormal World. Maybe all it needs is just a few tweaks and you're off into another genre. You've switched your bait and can catch more fish.

If you want to use a different Pen name, that's cool. Yes it is about "art" and it is about having a successful career.  Whatever genre you do, write your best..

Coming Home Tomorrow
Red Underwear
The Handshake

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good Writing Tips 3

Erotic vs Porn

Many people wonder what is the difference between erotic fiction and porn fiction. Some mistakenly lump it all under the category of "nasty." But that's just plain elementary school thinking.

Erotic vs Porn

1. The erotic is as much about story as it is about sex. More so. It is about the relationship between characters. In most porn there is very little relationship. In porn people meet, they drop their clothes, and go at it. Even though the sex is steamy, there is no story. One wonders, who answers the door naked and start having sex with strangers? You might see this a lot in gay porn.
Erotica allows for the slower buildup. The reader has time to immerse themselves in the situation of story and sex. Sparks the imagination and allows for daydreaming.

2. Erotica allows the taboo in a tasteful manner. The relationship between Minister and Church member, Professor and student, Coach and athlete. Who is going to seduce whom? Let your imagination run wild with the taboo. Imagine the prim and proper young English teacher being seduced by the star athlete (age appropriate of course). Why is the young woman on her knees in front of the handsome minister? Erotica addresses the taboo.

3.  Setting is important in erotica. You're not in the bedroom after midnight under the covers. I like to place characters in unusual settings and situations. Imagine the kitchen as pots steam on the stove. What could be going on behind the huge door of that mechanic shop with all of those chains and hoses, and the old car seat in the back office.  

4. In erotica, you're creating a world where people don't normally think of as being conducive to sensual and carnal pleasures. Being descriptive is very important. You don't need a page to describe the professor's study, but just mention a few odd objects he has on his desk and make us wonder how might they be used in the story.

I get bored easy if all I read is sex. Give me a story. I like to give you one. Even if it's short.  And of course no children allowed.  Please add your two cents or eight inches to the conversation.

On Amazon and Barnes&Noble

The 520i
I Did the Doo Rag
Coming Home Tomorrow

Also on Ibooks by Apple

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Do you have  a similar roommate story? Is the sexual tension so thick between you, you can cut it and so funky you get a whiff of it every time you pass each other in the hall? Well even if you don't have such a roommate, enjoy these two.
An Excerpt from Roommates

I am a Christian and proper young man.
When you take your clothes off  to clean my room and lay on my bed right in the middle of my funk--is that proper?
I do no such thing.
Ok, you caught me naked cleaning the house once because I thought you were gone whoring for the day over on Auburn Avenue.
I told you I was coming back in fifteen minutes. You get naked and put on perfume every time you clean the house, nigga?
I was trying to hide the funk in this house.
And I smell that shit you like to wear all mixed up in my bed covers.
That’s a lie. It’s the scent of one of your weak tramps you smell. I’m not the only man who wears Calvin Klein.

Roommates on Amazon
Similar Titles Available

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Did The Doo Rag

Short sweet and funny. Don't let the Doo Rag do you.

An Excerpt:

“Why don’t you take off your doo rag? I want the full effect of you. As it stands now, you are all scarf, and dark eyes. Where is your neck?”
“Crabs don’t have necks.”
“But still, baby, I want to caress your hair.”
“My sea anemones have not been combed. Besides, I love my doo rag. It gives me character. Now can we just get down to business? I don’t have all day. Good toilet water,” he said munching on the turd.
“Ok, Character, spread your legs. I don’t want to get pinched.”
Three thrusts of my throat and the doo rag shuddered, sighed and began reaching for his drawers.
“Is that it?” I asked.
“I got mine. You should have jacked faster if you wanted to come at the same time with me.”

I Did The Doo Rag on Amazon


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ancient Relics and Customs

1.  As many writers become "indie" and self published will query letters become a thing of the past? 
2.  Will Author/agent conferences become as quaint as old courting rituals?
3.  Will the slush pile be used to describe dirty snow and not buried manuscripts?
4.   Will corresponding with agents become as old fashioned as sending telegrams?
5.   Will begging and waiting turn into action and publishing?

Add your thoughts  to the slush pile.

Americana  Poems by Harvey  on scribd
The Blue Train to Heaven  on Smashwords
The Handshake on Smashwords

Red Underwear
Coming Home Tomorrow

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Betty's House

A new entry into the world a Urban Literature. A short story from award winner Charles Harvey

An Excerpt:

“Come on Li’l Bet, let’s go eat our chicken by the window,” said the tall woman. “Li’l Bet” picked up her tray of five pieces of bird, a double order of fries, three biscuits the size of saucers, and a triple cherry soda and followed the woman. I got my Two Piece “Po Nigga” Special. The Chicken n Biskit didn’t give a shit about political correctness. The Asians that ran the joint, sported grills over their teeth. Their grin was as menacing as a piranha’s. The restaurant was crammed with hungry souls smacking their lips around crispy brown thighs and breasts. I found myself squeezed between Betty and the big picture window crisscrossed with iron bars.
I looked up at the sky and it looked like Old Man God had hung his gray drawers out to drip dry. It rains very hard in Houston in the evenings. The good weather the Houston papers promised us snowbirds from Michigan, turned out to be one soggy lie. Job opportunity was another lie. In Michigan, I made twenty dollars an hour slapping decals on the big asses of SUVs. So far, the only thing that boomed in “Boomtown” was thunder. If I didn’t find work soon, I would be out of my hotel room and sleeping under the stars, the manager told me as he smashed a cock roach crawling across his desk. I asked him was that worse than sleeping in a bed with fleas? “If you don’t have my money by next Friday, the fleas are going to miss you,” he said.

Betty's House on:

Other Stories

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Good Writing Tips 2

Break Away From It!

A watched boil never pots. What the heck?  Such is my attempt to bring us writers back into the realm of creativity. Afterall we are writers before we are Editors, Graphic, Artsists, and Typographers. Yes those are all the hats the self published “indie” must wear. And don’t forget Publicist and Carnival Barker...oops I meant Marketer. I challenge all of us indies to take some time to break away from the job of writing to do the love of writing.

It’s hard when your have job (the thing that pays the bills) obligations and family obligations. But find a way.

1.   Get a hotel room. I do this from time to time. I prefer to be in a place that has water, since Houston has such a flat and monotonous landscape. If you can’t find a hotel, a quiet area in your local library will do.  I can’t do coffee shops, unless I’m just engaged in reading. A cheap Holiday Inn Select, or Motel 6 will work. Just make sure it’s clean and safe. And go alone. Spouse and kids will only distract. Even if they do try and be “quiet.”

2.   Keep stories bouncing along in your head. That’s what the writer’s head is for. Find the story in your stressful moments. Your moments can become your character’s moments. Even the most tragic ones.

3.  Get away from the project work such as formatting, marketing and editing. This is about creating something new. It’s not about perfection. It’s the new house. You’ll make it perfect later.

4.  Read. Stir up the creative juices by reading something good. Doesn't have to be in your genre.

5.  Don’t rush. Take your time. Let the quiet spririt drive your purpose and plant your seeds for creativity.  A watched boil never pots. Keep your eyes off the tasks of writing and just write. NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writer's Month) is just around the corner. This is a good time to flex those creative muscles.

Please feel free to post your comments and tips.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Coming Home Tomorrow

“That’s good—real real good,” Evans said in response to Louis’ “They’re letting me come home tomorrow.” Evans sounded like a father speaking to his young son, though he and Louis were the same age.
“Come home tomorrow,” Evans repeated.  “Yes come home tomorrow.”  A part of Evans was happy Louis was coming home.  He had grown weary of suffocating hospital rooms that had been Louis’s home for nearly a year.  He was tired of the Nurse’s syrupy banter and the all-knowing Doctor Gods with their high shiny foreheads.  The endless beeping and booping of machines made his stomach churn. He had heard the drama of death playing too many times--the wailing family members on one side of the wall while he and Louis watched Golden Girls or The Simpson’s on the other side. 
Evans looked at Louis and felt a warm burning in his belly. Louis had walked out of their apartment late one night with a backpack slung over his shoulder—walked out on two legs to another man’s car.  That car flew out of control on a patch of wet road and nearly crushed Louis in its metal belly.  It curled about Louis like a snake curls about its prey.  They had had to employ the Jaws of Life to pry Louis out of the mangled wreckage.  They used forceps to pull the guy’s penis out of Louis’s mouth. And now Louis Simmons was coming home. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good Writing Tips

Some General Writing and Editing Comments I want to Share

 The idea is not to rush. No one is demanding the latest read from us unless we are well known and established. I think we writers sometimes rush to put content out there maybe to cash in too quickly. Yes it gives the the so-called "indie" authored books a bad name. But I'm also concerned also about the reading public. It seems to me people younger than 40 expect much less from writers and seem to be willing to put up with mistakes in grammar and spelling. The "urban lit" genre is horrendous when it comes to grammar and spelling. Yet I frequently see these books getting star ratings of 4 plus and dozens of positive reader comments. I'm not knocking the genre and it certainly isn't for everyone, but I don't get this lapse in quality expectations from reader or author. Maybe the standard today is writing that resembles text and chat messages. 

I think I'm a decent writer. I was blessed to have had some training, but I won't put a story out or book unless it has had some "editing." Right now I'm focusing on putting stories on Amazon and B&N. For short work I'm only selling for $.99 I don't really want to spend a few hundred bucks for editing each story. But at the same time I want to put out a quality product. I discovered a pretty good Editing software after reading Smart Self Publishing: Becoming and Indie Author by Zoe Winters. She recommended a product from Serenity Software called Edit For Windows Software for Writers and Teachers. This really opened my eyes to my grammar and word usage mistakes. This may not be the best software for fiction writers because it does flag things in your character's dialog like contractions and slang, which is fine for your characters to use. However in the narrative portion of your work I found it was a good idea to take a look at the flaws it found such as awkward sentences, repeating words, punctuation errors and the like. It actually gives you 4 ways of checking your manuscript. So my suggestions are:

 1. Use some kind of editing software if you can't afford a human. Experiment until you find one that works for you.

 2. Read your work aloud if you can't afford a voice reader software. Actually read it. Don't just move your lips. It's a great way to catch awkward sounding sentences.

 3. Do as much of your formatting your work yourself. During the process of getting work ready for ebook publication, you will run across errors.

 4. Don't Rush! Potential readers will be glad they had to wait for a good reading experience.

5. Be willing to spend a few bucks on the industry standard for word processing, editing, and graphics. 

If you're an indie author, you're a business person. Take yourself and your potential readers serious.

Works by Harvey
Free on Smashwords
The Handshake     The Blue Train to Heaven

On Amazon
Cheeseburger     The Cicadas  Red Underwear

Monday, October 3, 2011

Smashwords Style Guide

Smashwords Style GuideSmashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent book for those involved in the process of getting their writing on all of the major formats used by popular Ereaders. Kindle, Nook, Kobo

View all my reviews

Harvey on Smashwords

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coming Home Tomorrow

Coming Home Tomorrow...

New cover, new ending. In the digital world of publishing nothing is static.


Evans glanced at the small red sign on the thick steel door it read: DEPT. OF PATHOLOGY AND MORTALITY.
“What's this room?”
“This is the morgue.”
“The morgue?”
“Yes the morgue. You don’t expect us to make out in the Baby Nursery with its large picture window do you?”

Now at Amazon

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Thing

The Thing (an Excerpt)

The soldiers stood waiting impatiently for the sun to shine. They stood next to the THING and bent their yellow flaxen and black woolen heads back. They scanned the sky earnestly. Steel gray clouds hung low, crushed their spirit, and made then look dwarfish. They spat, cursed, and shifted their feet as if they were grinding ants with their boots. Women stood with them, flank to flank. Their uniforms fit them like balloons and gave them hulking shoulders. They cursed louder than the men.
The Civillian populace stood on the sidelines fanning flies and.watching also for the sun. They were eager for a reason to wave their crimson and royal blue flags. They wanted excitement, some kind of violent diversion. Football no longer made their asses twitch in ecstasy. Not even when the players were pitted against wild boars, bulls, or wounded elephants. The Civillians wanted nore. They stood on the verge of a whorehouse of an orgasm. Only the shining sun could release this last nut of lust and blood.

My Manhood is Very Important to Me

My Manhood Is Very Important To Me (an Excerpt)

I believe this, you can be a punk, but you just have to keep that punk shit on the downlow, you know what I’m saying? You know, don’t be actin’ all faggish and shit--wearing lipstick, wigs, and that eye shadow bullshit.

Available on:
Amazon, Smashwords,


I mean, I know Cheeseburger and Polo Mack, they some bad boys. Cause that’s what my Mama say they is. She call them “Northern Rats” ‘cause they hang around here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on the corner of 30th Avenue and Jefferson Street, where I live. “Come down here to thaw out in the sun,” Mama say. They draw ugly things on my Mama ‘s white picket fence. They and some more boys call themself the “Folks.” They draw moons and stars and pitchforks all over her fence. She don’t say nothin’ to them. She just give them her hot eyes as she slaps fresh paint over their drawins on her fence. But she yells at me ever’ time they come around.
“They ain’t never said nothin’ to me, Mama. And I ain’t never said nothin’ to them,” I plead with her.
“They hang around here ‘cause you a gal,” my Mama say.
  Even when I walk quickly by them with my head down in my shoulders like a broke-neck chicken, my Mama don’t be no happier. She says if I was a son instead of a daughter, I would run them wild nigguhs away from her picket fence.
But there is somethin’ else too. I don’t know if Mama knows it or not, but I am in love with Cheeseburger. He is tall and skinny and the color of Mama’s mahogany dinin’ room table. He’s got a long thin neck that I want to hug. His eyes make me cry ‘cause they so sad and dreamy lookin’ . I want him to be dreamin’ about me. My Cheeseburger’s got a short square haircut like my boy cousin who’s in the army. Cheeseburger wears a small diamond earring. He reminds me of my best girlfriend, Thelma, who’s willowy like a black weed. Sometimes I don’t know why I love Cheeseburger. One day I love his eyes. Next week it’s his chest. Then later, the sight of his thighs sends me to heaven. I wonder if my Mama knows how much I love Cheeseburger. Wish she would say, “That boy make you a good husband, Della.” But then I probably wouldn’t want him no more.

Available on 

Red Underwear

I ran this ad, you see, because I was tired of being a lonely guy.  For the last couple of years, since my wife ran away with her dance teacher, I've regretted the days because they catch me in their desolate clutches.  I know I don't exist by myself on some vast island, but I am alone.  Sure there is the mailman who drops envelopes through the slot in my door; there is the upstairs neighbor's dog who whines every night at the wind; and there are the boys on my job at Zippy Delivery who aren't too deep.  I asked one of them, “What is life?”  He said that life was pussy.  That's all he could think of.  So despite all of that stimulation along with the animal sounds of the city and   the man and woman next door who beat on and love on each other until dawn, I was still lonely.
I went to the bars.  But bar people try too hard to be cool and sultry, as if they're owners of the universe and their silk clothes and gold neck chains are vestments of royalty.  I found myself silently berating them. 

Also on Amazon

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School...WHEN DOGS BARK 2

Take me to school!

Young Bones

maybe it‟s because you
haven‟t traveled the path littered
with broken glass and stepped over
carcasses of despair, maybe it‟s
because your eyes shine bright with moon dreams
and maybe it‟s the silly things
like running naked through parks and mooning
old farmers riding ancient mechanical mules,
dancing until your skin turns liquid,
or doing that “flip” thing with your hair curled like fingers...
I don‟t know...
maybe it‟s just you calling me “poppi” that makes me
                        love you, young bones.

Courtesy of When Dogs Bark2  
Amazon.com 99 cents    Barnes&Noble  99cents  (Ebook only)
Ereader, Phone, or PC

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Blue Sea

The Blue Sea

Still waters churn deep
Sometimes all is swell with Madam Sea.
Then her hormones
Of whale piss and fish jelly
Get the best of her.
She comes ashore to shop
Her glittering eyes roll past your window
You vomit minnows
Before she smothers you in her black cloak
Then she’s calm again.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

YOUNG BONES ....From When Dogs Bark 2

maybe it’s because you
haven’t traveled the path littered
with broken glass and stepped over
carcasses of despair, maybe it’s
because your eyes shine bright with moon dreams
and maybe it’s the silly things
like running naked through parks and mooning
old farmers riding ancient mechanical mules,
dancing until your skin turns liquid,
or doing that “flip” thing with your hair curled like fingers...
I don’t know...
maybe it’s just you calling me “poppi” that makes me
love you, young bones.

From the Collection 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Milt's Watch

Milt's Watch

Time should be circular
Not digital. That way
We can retrace the lost minutes
Over and over again.

Take time out to read

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finally Out by Loren Olson

 an except from "Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, A Psychiatrist's Own Story." 

“Jason McGee,” is a twenty-seven year old man who lives in rural Tennessee. He describes himself as a Black American rather than an African American. He said, “The South expects certain things of you as a man, and being gay ain’t one of them. Down here, people like me ain’t gay or homosexual; we are queers and fags. For a southern black man, being called, sissy, fag, queer or homo is one of the biggest disgraces ever.” According to McGee it brings shame to your family and you are isolated because of it. He went on to say, “People would talk you into non-existence.” He believes that being “black and queer” would almost certainly make him the victim of a hate crime. He said, “I’m masculine, so no one knows who I don’t want to know.” 
McGee comes from a loving and intact family. His father is his friend as well as his dad, and he is not treated differently within the family. His parents accept his excuse that he doesn’t date because he’s busy with school and a job. Thus he doesn’t have time for it. His brothers are in long-term relationships with women and have given his parents grandchildren. He regrets that he will not be able to. McGee has several cousins who are gay, although only one of them is out and he lives far away. Starting at age eleven he began experiencing sexual play with one of them. It began by wrestling with his cousin and one day he ejaculated, but didn’t know what it was. They continued to have sexual play, but it always began with wrestling. Sometimes they were naked. Later they began to masturbate each other. 
McGee is a Baptist who says he loves God and loves his church; he belongs to a congregation comprised mostly of white people. Although he sees himself as gay, he is out to no one except his brothers, and he is out to them only because they confronted him when they discovered some gay porn on his computer. They asked him if he could change, and when he said that he couldn’t, they accepted him. He has no intention of coming out to the rest of his family. He believes coming out would mean “letting go of so many I love,” both in the family and in his church. He said that he does not come out, at least for a long time, because, “I don’t want to bring pain to my family and friends, myself too, but they are more important. It would hurt them to learn the truth. I am not hiding it from them but it is none of their business. But I don’t ignore my feelings because that would cause inner damage.” 
At times he struggles in his church because, “It hurts to hear (homosexuality) preached so hard against.” He says some of his church can’t see past what their eyes show them, but he said he’s not perfect so doesn’t expect them to be perfect either. He said that he reconciles the issue for himself, quoting Romans 3:23, “For all are sinners and fall short of the Glory of God.” Then he said, “ALL are sinners. All. Everyone, not just gays. ALL. In God’s eyes, no one’s sin is worse than another man’s sin. People are born in sin, so you can be born gay, as I believe I was.” 
McGee works full time in a laboring job while he attends college. He said that he talks country because “I am country.” He prefers blue grass music to rap, and some of his friends have called him an “Oreo,” meaning they think of him as black on the outside and white on the inside. He said, “Black is who I am, not who I’m trying to be, but I refuse to dress, talk or act like society thinks I should. I am my own man. I like what I like. I don’t care about the Majority.” 
He describes his sexuality as “complicated,” especially because he is attracted primarily to white men over the age of 45. He discovered that through an attraction to his male teachers. He has had a limited number of sexual partners as an adult. He is not looking for a relationship, but neither is he avoiding it. He said, “I don’t act out my sexuality, except maybe on line, and even then, I am not feminine by any means.” He said that his sexuality doesn’t define him or what he does because he doesn’t let it rule his life. 
When asked if he felt he had to choose between his ethnicity and sexuality. He said that a lot of people think you can’t be both, “But I refuse to do anything less. I can’t choose between the two; it’s not even a choice. I am a gay, black man.” He is cautious about how he acts around “certain minority groups.” Although he has come to peace with his sexuality internally, he is uncertain of what it means for his future. He wants a relationship and children. He said, “I look around and I see the type of man I like everywhere, and yet I can’t have any one of them. I see my friends with wives and girlfriends and I just go back home to my closet.” 
He remains uncertain how to handle the issue of coming out. He doesn’t see coming out to his parents as a possibility right now. He said he has talked with other black men who feel that they have more freedom and more options after having come out, but for him, it isn’t a priority right now. “I need to get myself figured out.” He said, “I'm still in the closet because I can't see what good coming out will do in this area. I hear about the free feeling you feel once you're out, but hell, I don't want to be alienated or hated either. There ain't no big gay community for support here. It's every man for himself. I get along fine, but it is still a challenge when you realize you’re alone.”

Get it at Amazon.com

I think this book provides some wonderful insights from a professional (MD and Psychiatrist) on the aspects os coming out. And it helps that he's gay. I've read excerpts from the book. It's not all about clinical analysis. 

Charles Harvey
When Dogs Bark 2 @ Amazon