Mr. Mercedes, and am now on to a book about urban legends called The Choking Doberman and Other Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand.

"The Choking Doberman and Other Urban Legends" by Jan Harold Brunvand.

Actually, in between those two books I quickly read The World’s Shortest Stories.

"The World's Shortest Stories" edited by Steve Moss.

Edited by the late Steve Moss, this book collects extremely short stories from a wide range of authors. And I mean “short” as in “each story clocks in at (or under) 55 words,” which looks like this:

"Bedtime Story" by Jeffrey Whitmore.

Obviously, this is why I flew through it in an hour.

My good friend Jamie gave me this book for Christmas in 1998 (back when she was my good girlfriend Jamie), but I couldn’t remember if ever actually read it so I decided to give it a quick read.

Reading this book reminded me of a short story I wrote a few years ago called Robin’s Permanent Life-Change. I can’t remember why I wrote it other than the fact that the idea for it was sparked by my Aunt Robin. It doesn’t come in under the 55-word limit that the book requires of its stories, but at only 81 words it’s still pretty damn short. Check it out:

Robin’s Permanent Life-Change

Robin’s perm had been sitting on top of her head since Jimmy Carter sat in the Oval Office. She didn’t care what current trends dictated or close friends thought; she loved her perm, and she especially enjoyed the time she spent with Gladys, her hairstylist of nearly 35 years.

But when Gladys died suddenly of heart disease, Robin made a decision that would change her life forever: she would finally begin construction on the time machine she had designed decades earlier.

Anyway, I might be able to cram one more book into 2017, but we’ll see.

Maybe I’ll read the Bible for Christmas,

-Shady

Advertisements

Nightmare fuel!

I know it may seem like I sit at home all day long, drinking beer and updating The Blarg, but the truth is I spend much of my day writing.

Lately, most of my writing has been on long-form projects. Because of this, I sometimes write a short (most times comedic, other times not so much) to break up the monotony of those longer projects. But while these shorts are fun to write as an exercise, nobody ever really gets to read them.

To remedy this, I’ve decided to share them here. I’m doing this for two reasons:

1. I like to share! That, and it’s better than having them sit on my computer.

2. It’s my hope that someone might be inspired to actually do something creative with them. Want to film one as a short? Awesome. Interested in animating one? Go for it. Feel like performing one live onstage? I dare you. All I ask is that you give me credit and send me a copy of the final product.

The thirty-ninth of Shady’s Shorts is called “Five Little Monkeys.”

Download it by clicking below.

DOWNLOAD “FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS”

Number thirty-eight,

-Shady

“Five Little Monkeys” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Created by Justin Shady, ©2017.

Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes."

…Elie Wiesel’s Night quickly, and I’m now about halfway through Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

This book is a bit of a departure for me in that I don’t read a lot of fiction, and even when I do it’s never Stephen King. Not that I dislike King, I genuinely enjoy his work, but for whatever reason I haven’t read a King novel in nearly 25 years.

Other than reading through Night Shift for a second time a few years ago (after I bought it for Kathy for… something), I haven’t read a King book since he released Dolores Claiborne in 1992.

Mr. Mercedes also seems to be a departure for King himself who, with Mr. Mercedes, is straying from the horror genre he is primarily known for and instead trying his hand at a fairly straightforward detective novel.

We’ll see how the second half shakes out, but if it keeps me intrigued (or surprises me) I may check out the other two books in the trilogy.

Thinking about what I should end 2017 with,

-Shady

Another visitor!

…for popping in for a night while visiting from Dallas.

The guests never end… and we love it,

-Shady

Tiggins shot this photo of Meatshake on Sunday, October 29th, 2017.

Grey still calls out to her,

-Shady

Steve! Laura! Married!

…for getting hitched! We were honored to be a part of your big day.

West attended his first and second weddings within one week,

-Shady

…of the new theme is up! Here it is:

This admittedly may be harder than I anticipated,

-Shady

A few months ago, our good friends Erik and Robyn gave Grey and West (but let’s be honest, it’s really for me) an amazing gift.

In 1981, Colorforms released a set of Muppet Shrinky Dinks. I assume everyone reading this is familiar with Shrinky Dinks, but just in case (as I recently ran into three people who had no idea what I was talking about), here is a description from the Muppet Wiki:

Shrinky Dinks are craft kits that consist of several sheets of flexible plastic, printed with coloring-book style line drawings. Young shrinkers cut out the pictures and color them in with colored pencils or markers. When the pictures are baked in an oven, the plastic pieces shrink down to make small, hard plastic curios.

You can learn more about the set I’m about to reference here. It’s the second set listed—the Muppets Play Set—not the Piggy/Kermit set listed at the top.

Anyway, Erik found someone online who was selling the lot of original artwork from the set. Like, the actual drawings and paintings the set was created from.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

It’s a massive amount of artwork. Here are a few pics.

These are the actual (I assume) gouache paintings of the character sheets:

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Also included were the paintings of the stage set and theater:

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

The lot even included original art from the packaging, like this “how to” painting.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Some of the artwork came with parchment layovers that had handwritten instructions of how to most accurately match colors and print plates.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Also included was a large mockup of the box.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

There is so much cool art in this set (it’s gonna be a bitch to frame), but this is my favorite piece:

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Keep in mind this artwork was created when I was just four years old. Insane.

Thanks for the thoughtful and generous gift, Erik and Robyn. Here’s hoping Grey and West like the Muppets!

They better if they know what’s good for them,

-Shady

…of the new theme is up! Here it is:

Keep those guesses coming,

-Shady

...small, unmarked bills.

It always ends badly,

-Shady