Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Was it like this for everyone?

For those interested in such things, when I got LASIK, this is what I saw.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Free ebook giveaway is coming soon...

Although I have ranted against the practice in the past, I have decided to have a free giveaway of the Kindle version of False Idols and Other Short Stories for a week upon publication of my next book, for promotion's sake. Amazon also has a new feature, which allows people who have bought the print version from them to have a free ebook copy. (If you've bought it somewhere else, let me know, and I'll hook you up.)

The only problem is, to do this easily, I'll have to join the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program, which gives Kindle exclusive rights to sell my book. This is a little annoying, that means I have to (perhaps temporarily) pull it out of the Smashwords markets, the most notable being Apple and Nook. This isn't really an issue for me. I've sold hundreds of ebooks on Amazon, and about three on Nook. I've sold one on Apple, but having an exclusive Apple ebook store makes no sense, as i-products have a free Kindle app anyway. Thank you very much to all who have purchased it, especially those who have written reviews.

I hope everyone has had a happy 2014 and a Merry Christmas. Stay tuned!

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

For the over-thirty crowd...

I've just made up a new phrase, "Busier than a no-legged man in a Weeble contest." Feel free to use it.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"...and that's all that I yam..."

"So, you can see fine now?"
"That's right," I told Mandy, The Doctor says my sight is 20/20, which is pretty awesome for the first day. I still have a lot of dryness and irritation, though. I also have a really cool red ring around my eyeballs, which will unfortunately go away in a week.
"Wow," she said, "You're like a brand new Daddy!"
I thought about this for a moment. "But what if I like being the Daddy I am?"
She made a face at me, and went back to playing Wii Power Rangers.

So what if I do like being the person I am? Yes, I've done a million stupid things, made uncountable mistakes, good, things, bad things, been kind, hurt people, been fat, thin, too trustful, too suspicious, felt I've let myself down, been proud of myself... the list of bad and good things goes on and on. Are there things in my past I'm not proud of? Yes - but they're mine, they make up me. I love me, the good and the bad, and if I'm your friend, it's because you're awesome. I can't imagine wanting to be anyone else. All I can do is own it, and be proud of that. Yes, there have been times I haven't felt that way. So what? It's all part of me. Some days, I've woken singing Jim Croce's line, "Hey tomorrow, you better believe that I'm through wasting what's left of me." Other days I've woken, given myself a mental high-five, and gone on my merry way. Whatever. As the great late Frank Zappa said, "You are what you is, and that's all it is."

It looks like the book is going to be delayed until the new year, which is just the way it's going to have to be. The scouring s coming along nicely, but it takes time, and needs to be perfect. Besides, the kindle version will come out first, and it will be a pain in my anus if all the different versions have different copyright years. I'm only allowing myself to stare at the computer for a half hour at a time, through sunglasses. The doctor says I'm healing perfectly, so why fornicate it up?

Anyhoo, peace, love, and soul - time to get back to work.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, December 19, 2014

LASIK recovery is getting boring...

"Hey mama, don't you treat me wrong, come and love your daddy all night long! All right now, hey hey, all right..."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pretty, Pretty Please?

Dear J. J. Abrams: I know George Lucas lowered the bar to the Earth's core with the prequels, so you can't really damage the Star Wars universe any more than he already has. There is only one wish I have of you. Do anything you want: Have Jar-Jar become a Sith Lord, bring back the Ewoks, have Luke, Leia and Han have a granny threesome - but please, I'm typing this on my knees right now - do NOT bring Hayden Christensen back as the ghost of good Vader/ Anakin. If you do, I can't be held responsible for my actions.

The world feels boring and sad these days. I had a bizarre dream about watching the Minions from Despicable Me with a man I didn't know, who had ginormous boobs that hung down to the floor. Feel free to analyze that all you want. Vacation is almost here - my first real vacation in eleven years (as opposed to furloughs or unemployment) and I'm treating myself to something I've always wanted. Happy to be employed all this time. Of course, it's always possible I'll be laid off the day I come back. Not expecting it, but it has happened. "Hope for the best, expect the worst," as the Mel Brooks song goes. At least I've been employed long enough to take vacation. The poop plant has been good to me. Unless, of course, the poop gas is slowly killing me inside...

The final edit of The Lies of the Sage is coming along. The best suggestion I can make to writers - have your phone read your book to you. (Moon+ Reader Pro for Android does a great job of this.) I've caught all kinds of things I would have skimmed over otherwise. I have to admit, I'm worried people will feel gypped that it ends on a "to be continued" note, but as I've said before, they seem accepting of it with A Song of Ice and Fire. As far as anyone not liking or over-analyzing its content, well, as they said in the old days, "Quod scripsi, scripsi."

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, December 12, 2014

Can't believe he's 17!

Birthday surprise! First time should always be at a midnight theater showing. :D

TTFN
-Tony
 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Only Slightly Narcissistic

New book coming out means a new author photo for Amazon:

Monday, December 08, 2014

Manly Men!

Real men don't bitch and whine about having to work outside three winters in a row. We proudly do what is asked of us, and when our toes blacken and fall off, goddamn it, we serve them up as cocktail weenies!

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, December 04, 2014

First Glimpse!

So here it is, the cover and title of my first novel. I'm hoping to have it out by Christmas, at least for Kindle. Comments and suggestions are more than welcome. (Click on the image for higher resolution.)

TTFN 
-Tony
 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

My brain seems to be leaking today...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving No. 2

Thankful for old friends. Still arguably the three sexist men in Basking Ridge!

Thanksgiving No. 1

Selfie With Your Sister Day! Feeling thankful for them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Analyze Tony: The Thanksgiving Special

Last night, I dreamt that I was at a small restaurant that looked like a cottage. The waiter was the snooty maître d from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, ("Yes, call police.") and wouldn't let me use his bathroom.

So I went outside and peed in his mailbox.

Then I went back inside and laughed at him because I peed in his mailbox.

I went outside, where the mailbox was lying on the ground. I peed all over it.

I went back inside and laughed at him again.

Then I went back outside. There was a hole in the ground where the mailbox post had been, and I peed in that.

Then I woke up.

Analysis?

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Executive Rant Privilege

Hello out there in TV land. I know it's been a while since I ranted about the world around us, I've been focused on getting the next book out. Ok, I've been playing Wolfenstein, The New Order as well, but that doesn't involve much brain power.

Look, an amnesty for five million illegal immigrants is just a stupid idea. The problem is, while unemployment is down, it's because people have to work more for less. Many in my own union already have to work at 80% of scale. Look at all the retail workers who must work on Thanksgiving or be fired. Everyone is already paying more for less medical benefits because of Obamacare. A surge of millions who can legally compete for those jobs will only make things worse. And after this amnesty, there will be another glut of illegal immigrants waiting for the next one (as there was after the Regan amnesty. That is the real concern, not the people who are here now.) Those workers will be as exploited as the current illegal immigrants are. Exploitation will not magically go away.

"But Regan and the Bushes-" -I don't care. Just because they did something idiotic, that's not a reason for President Obama to do it as well. Since last month's election was a setback for the Democrat party, this is just pandering for votes for 2016 - just as it was then.

"You're just racist." -Fuck you, I'm being realistic. Read over my reasons again, and pretend it's a republican president's executive order instead of Your Guy.  My views on this are strictly "Hate the game, don't hate the player." I can't blame anyone for wanting a better life here, but our cities are overcrowded, and our economy is barely holding together.

"But we're all descendants of immigrants." -Yes, legal immigrants, who were let in when the system could handle more citizens. It can't right now. End of story.

"But the evil 1%..." -Will NOT feel the brunt of this at all. Read over my reasons again. Like Obamacare, this is being spun as only being a burden to the super-rich, while it's the Middle Class (which everyone claims to care so much about) which will have to shoulder it all.

"But they've paid taxes!" -Think of it as visiting a hotel. You agree to stay for a while. After that, if you refuse to leave, you're there illegally-even if you continue to pay for you hotel room.

Love and peace out.

TTFN
-Tony




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dance, Polygons, Dance!

And the modeling for my next book cover continues...

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bending Polygons to My Will

I've begun digital sculpting for the cover of my next book. Any guesses on what this might turn out to be?

TTFN 
-Tony


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Coming soon to an online store near you...

So, as you all know, I've been working on this novel of mine for years now. It was finished years ago, I've just been scouring and scouring it to bring it up to a publishable standard.

The problem is, I have over 81k words so far, which, at the industry standard of 250 words per, comes to about 325 pages. I'm at a huge cliffhanger point at the end of the second act. But I've seriously beefed up the second act from the original finished draft, and added a lot of issues which need to be addressed in act three. Without even adding these resolutions, act three (which has yet to be scoured) is another 110 pages. I'm happy to be working full time, but at the rate I'm going, this means at another year before I'm finished, if I just leave things as they are--which I don't want to do. It will probably be two years if I do it in a way I'd be proud of, maybe more.

Another issue is I'm not the same person I was when I wrote the original "finished" draft. Things have happened that have changed my views on certain things forever, and I don't feel the third act is honest anymore.

And I'm getting impatient.

So I've decided to make it into a trilogy, or at least a two-parter. A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones) has done well ending each book with a cliffhanger, and no one seems to mind. Hell, they're beating George R. R. Martin's door down to read the next one. Also, I can feel like I'm not just a one-trick pony, and have something else out there, in case I'm run over by a bus tomorrow, and no one ever gets to read the damn thing at all. I wouldn't want anyone to feel gypped by ending on a cliffhanger, but the trend these days seems to show people enjoy anthologies.

So friends and neighbors, I'm aiming for a Christmas release, if not sooner. I still have to come up with a good trilogy name, a good book title, and a cover...

Thoughts?

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, November 08, 2014

"It's a box of f***ing nothing!"

"Many years ago today, something grew inside your mother... that thing was YOU!"

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Just Say November

Here I am, another morning laying on the floor trying to make my sciatica manageable before work. My life needs some "quality of" back in it.
Another midterm election has passed, another year of everyone professing their ideologies, how whatever the guy on their side does is good / excusable, and whatever the guy on the other side does is uncaring and unforgivable. Of course, I'm perfect and above all that...
Ugh, I just want to sleep, perchance to dream...
Today marks one year at the Jamaica shit plant! It's been eight years since I worked in one shop longer than six months. I feel loved. Sniff.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Father Daughter Quality Time

Laying on the floor, watching South Park with Mandy before work. It's the Succubus episode, (I need about tree-fiddy!) I put something called Biofreeze on my lower back, which makes my upper butt cheeks feel all cool and minty.
So, the Master is a woman now. Seriously. This is why I've hated Doctor Who having showrunners ever since the Jon Nathan Turner era. If you want to start your own show, go ahead, and do whatever you want to the characters. But don't take a show that's been around for fifty years and remake it in your own image. (Why couldn't it have been Adric?) All right, my hipster rant is concluded, I'll just go watch my Roger Delgado DVDs... alone... sniff.
I'm old now, I'll be forty-two on Saturday. My parents are coming to visit so I don't have to drive (sitting for a long time makes things worse.) Only six weeks until I finally take vacation. I'm going to do something I've planned for years...
"Say... you don't have three dollars and fifty cents, do you?"

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Why?????

I hate you, Stephen Moffat. I hate you with the white-hot fire of a thousand suns.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

And the science gets done, and you make a neat gun...

The apprentice is getting married, and everyone is giving him their advice. I just looked him in the eyes and solemnly said, "There's no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake." When all else fails, be confusing.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, October 24, 2014

Almost there...

Just a reminder, don't forget to tune in to hear me on The Speculative Fiction Cantina, tonight at 6PM Eastern! (Reading from "Ad Aware," answering all the important questions, what more could you ask?)

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Worth 1001 Words

By the way, for those of you who use Instagram and want to see images from my amazing life, my tag is EgotisticalTL, same as Twitter.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And the Readers' Choice is...

The blog/ facebook/ email votes have been tallied, and it seems the story the most people want to hear me read is "Ad Aware." ("False Idols" and "Heaven 2.0" tied for second, with a few votes for "Soul Mates.") Remember to turn in your computers to The Speculative Fiction Cantina, this Friday at 6 PM Eastern!

In other news, my back is FUBAR once more, after spending a week climbing around on top of pipes, and then sitting on the couch, playing Rabbids on the Wii with Mandy for too long. One disaster at a time...

Thanks again to all who participated.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interview and a Reading

I'm going to be a guest on The Speculative Fiction Cantina, on Writestream, at  BlogTalkRadio, next Friday, October 24, at 6pm Eastern. Just tune in then at the link below:


As part of the show, I'll be reading an excerpt from one of my short stories. So the question is, which one? I'm leaning towards "Ad Aware" because it's the shortest-they only want a 5-8 minute passage. So please, tell me, which would you like to hear? I'll tally up the votes on Monday morning, so I can start practicing.

See you next Friday!
(Well, I won't actually be able to see you, unless you decide to send me a selfie or something-but you know what I mean.)

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Joy of Rain

Another beautiful morning. I think it's supposed to rain. At least it's a Saturday. I have spent the last few days climbing on top of pipes in a filthy basement, drilling into a ceiling, raining concrete dust on me, my S&M safety harness chafing my thighs... At least I'm not stuck at a desk.

I've decided to restore two naughty scenes to my book, that I had previously reduced to a literary camera panning to the fireplace or window. I'll just have to give my mother a special edition, with those pages ripped out. Or maybe changed entirely? They could go to church instead, possibly confession. Or maybe say a Novena?

As a parent myself, I'm continuing the American tradition of being a prude when it comes to naughtiness and my children, but being fine with graphic violence. I've let my almost seventeen-year-old son watch a few Game of Thrones episodes with me. Guy getting a sword through the back of his head with blood spurting out of his mouth? That's fine. Daenerys Targaryen walking around naked with her dragons? Sorry kid, you gotta leave the room.

I finished binge-watching the HBO series, I have to read the books now. Tyrion is my favorite character. He embraces his dwarfism with pride, instead of being ashamed of it. He's brilliant, brutally honest, and constantly tries to act in as noble a manner as possible, although his (antagonist) family will never overlook his handicap. Besides, the actor and I were apparently both born in the same hospital, although a few years apart.

Anyway, heading out to NJ with the kiddies today. Looking forward to meeting up with my old friend Troy tonight for a few fermented beverages. Time with good people gives me happiness.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Well we all should be, dammit.

I've met a few other writers who are always jealous and undercutting. Thank you Suzanne Casamento for being a supportive friend instead, and pointing out a sci-fi promotional opportunity. (Details to follow when I have them.) You rock.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday, Bloodless Sunday

Sunday has once again come upon me. The day itself isn't bad, it's knowing I have to go back to work tomorrow. Work itself isn't even bad, I just seriously need a vacation. Why don't I take one? Well, I'd have to take money out of my 401k for my vacation pay, and that kind of sucks, especially since the IRS will have it's way with me over it. Maybe next year, if I don't have furlough.

It's nice relaxing all weekend, being lazy and not going anywhere. I started watching Game of Thrones. It's an amazing show, and I absolutely love the animation during the opening credits. I love when CGI is almost completely unrecognizable as CGI - The art is in hiding the art. But I can't hear the theme song without imagining South Park's parody lyrics over it. ("Wiener, floppy weiner, one wiener, next to another wiener...")

I finished rewriting chapter ten, which means that all that's left is a daily scouring. Writing isn't really hard, it's the worry of judgement. Judgement over your plot, judgement over your characters, judgement over your grammar... especially since I've self-published. Not to whine, but self-published books are held up to ten times the scrutiny of traditional ones.

I'm seriously toying with the idea of attempting to go the traditional route with the finished product. I'm a great proponent of self-publishing, and I know there is a lot of quality self-published work out there. But the truth is, no matter how many four and five star reviews I've recieved, I know no one will take my writing seriously unless I get an agent to represent me, and a publisher to invenst money in me. This means even more scrutinizing, and that it would probably take at least an additional year once the damn thing is finished to see the light of day-if I am successful. I'll have to see. Hell, at 300 pages, I'm only 2/3 done.

I've lost fifteen pounds in the past month. The weird thing is that even though I can fit my whole arm down the side of my jeans and they're practically falling off of me, I haven't gone down a size yet. Maybe my current ones were of a larger cut, and the newer ones are smaller? It doesn't really matter, I can just wear a belt.

It's been a fun weekend, playing Rabbids on the Wii with Mandy, writing, frying bacon, watching 90's films with Joe, kvetching at Doctor Who for becoming a soap opera about Clara, getting in arguments with and blocked by a facebook friend who turned out to be an ideological zealot... all in all, an interesting time. My life is draining, it's nice just to take it easy now and then.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thank you, out there...

It's a wonderful shot in the arm when people I've never heard of, thousands of miles away, like False Idol's facebook page. Hope you enjoy it! :D

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, September 26, 2014

Send these two idiots over there.

As one of the most non-PC men on the planet... I officially declare that these guys are fucking assholes: Fox News presenters mock female pilot who took part in campaign against ISIS.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Drove My Chevy to the Level Bubble

FINALLY got my Equinox, completely paid for with overtime and book sales. Still holding onto the Jetta until it self-destructs like the Bluesmobile. I need something to drive to the shitplant.

TTFN
-Tony


Monday, September 15, 2014

If You Have to Ask...

Dear fellow Objectivists:

Please stop trying to make Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and other ISPs out to be Dagny Taggart on the net neutrality issue. Their Super PAC donations, heavy lobbying, and tax incentives have clearly put them in with Orren Boyle. That is all.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Light at the End of the Tunnel


I spent my day and evening with the Morlocks beneath the streets of New York City. A lucrative overtime shot. Half of it will go to my September dues, and the other half will go to getting my windshield replaced. I suppose I should feel thankful that I'm able to tread water.

I've finally begun shopping for a new (used) car. You would think that it would be simple: Do my shopping online, check out the CARFAX, go in, give it a test drive, haggle a little on the price, pay it, and leave.

No such luck. The first car I checked out, the dealer immediately told me there was an additional $2000 on top of the advertised price, because I wasn't financing. I turned around and walked out. The salesman said, "No, no, wait! We can work something out!" Working something out meant adding on another $2000 in "fees." I laughed in his face, and said I wasn't paying anything more than the advertised price, plus tax, tag, and title. He said he would go to his manager, but I had to decide RIGHT THEN if it was the price I wanted. I just laughed, and asked him who he thought he was kidding. What, did he think we were in a game show? He didn't like that. He then said that before he went to his manager, he needed a $100 "good faith" deposit. Again, I laughed hysterically at him, which was worth seeing him get all red in the face. Seriously, he expected me to put down $100 so he could talk with his boss. I'm sure they would resist refunding it until I demanded legal action, or bought some car from them at some ridiculous price. At that point, I left. At least the experience was entertaining.

The next car I checked out (at a dealership on the other side of Queens) the salesmen were much nicer, and didn't try to hard sell me or add on a bunch of fees. Unfortunately, the car they advertised for a great price-with a CARFAX report that said the airbags had never been deployed, and it had never been in an accident-Had had both airbags removed. Not only had they been removed, but the dealership hadn't even attempted to replace or fix the car. The steering wheel was badly duct-taped together, and the passenger-side bag holder was badly taped up as well. Technically... not deployed. Again, I left. At least they were respectful and didn't try anything ridiculous. I think they were baffled that I wasn't desperate.

Anyway, still wired from all the... not Red Bull... what was it I drank... Monster Zero drinks. Watching old TV shows on Netflix. Maybe I'll play a bit of Borderlands on Steam and go to sleep.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It Never Ends

Squeezing onto an overcrowded bus, after waiting 35 minutes...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Good Grief, It's Chapter Number Nine

I've finally scoured Chapter Nine of the still yet untitled novel to perfection. 70,682 words so far. Every time I do a word count, I think of the old Monty Python line: "I don't want you to get the impression it's just a question of the number of words... um... I mean, getting them in the right order is just as important." 

I always blame work for cramping my output, but I've gone through a lot of personal crap in the past few months as well, especially losing an old friend. This chapter also required a lot of rewrites because as it's the penultimate chapter of the second act (to use a theatrical term) a few characters are about to do some things that are contrary to their established nature. I needed to make sure the seeds were well laid to make the changes believable. 

Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish, how did books ever get written before word processing? 

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Just Gotta Be Me

If I always pretend I'm something I'm not, does that make pretending my true nature? Would forcing myself to not to do so then be fake? Discuss.

TTFN
Tony

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dream Weaver

Why is it that in my "normal" dreams, there are usually only one or two other people, but my lucid dreams are ridiculously crowded? Also, when I ask any of these people who they are, and why they're in my brain, they turn their backs, and refuse to speak to me. It's quite vexing.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!


And yea, was it written that I should have ice water dumped water over my head for charity...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dah-Day!

Check out this video I animated a few years back for Baze & His Silly Friends! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday, August 04, 2014

Mortie's Blog Tours


Hello, everyone. This is Mortie the Gefilte Fish, guest-blogging here with Mortie's Interviews. Today, I'm interviewing carbon-based lifeform, author, electrician, and all around swell guy, Tony LaRocca. How are you, Tony?

Tony: Fine, thanks.

Mortie: Now, for those who don't know, this is what we call a "Blog Tour," where authors answer a few questions, and then tag a few of their author friends to continue.

Tony: Yes, I was invited by Suzanne Casamento, author of Fingerprints and Choosing Tally.


Mortie: That's just wonderful. Ok, now that we've done the restrospective plugs, why don't you tell us a little about yourself. What do you have published?


Tony: At the moment, I have a science-fiction short story collection, titled False Idols and Other Short Stories. It has a little bit of everything: nuts and bolts, horror, fantasy, comedy, drama... That's the great thing about short stories: you can have different types, themes, and tones. With a novel, it's all one.

Mortie: Which story has gotten the best response, do you think?

Tony: I would have to say "Heaven 2.0." It's pretty much a pact-with-the-devil story, but people tell me they've enjoyed the characters and humor.

Mortie: That's the one about the dog?

Tony: And ancient Japanese cat-demons.

Mortie: Yeah, but I noticed, no fish.

Tony: What?

Mortie: You have stories about dogs, cats, all kinds of scary bugs, even a cyborg-dragon, but no fish. How come?

Tony: Well... if I came up with an interesting story about a fish, then I would write one. But if I just tried to force it, people would be able to tell.

Mortie: I see. Moving on.

Tony: Good.

Mortie: So that's it, one book? That's not a lot.

Tony: Well, in addition to the short stories, I've written three novels over the years. The only problem is, there's a phenomenal amount of work involved to get them up to a publishable level. I've been polishing one for about a year now. It went much quicker when I was unemployed. I'm about halfway done.

Mortie: What's it about?

Tony: It takes place in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future. There's a boy who dies, and his mother paints his mind into a virtual reality painting, which gets stolen by an army of cyborgs. They're also fighting an army of cybernetic insects, who were once humans.

Mortie: But no fish.

Tony: ...No. The novel started out as a short story, just about the mother and painting of the son, being chased by cyborgs. But then I started adding details, and back stories for the characters, and enriching their universe. One of the main characters is a female cyborg named Sigma. She actually started out as male in the short story, and was the main antagonist. There was a lot of (Clive Barker's character) Pinhead in him. I found myself in a rut one day-

Mortie: Which one?

Tony: Excuse me?

Mortie: Which day? Thursday? Was it in July? 2010?

Tony: I think it might have been as far back as 2005. I've been working on this novel for almost ten years.

Mortie: Wow, and no fish?

Tony: No. Anyway, once I changed him into a her, the character became much more interesting. She had an entire slew of different motivations. That's where the real magic comes in writing: the process. You can sit and plot and plan all you want, but when you start writing, all kinds of strange things pop up. That's what's so exciting to me, the bizarre things my subconscious dredges up.

Mortie: I see. So how does your work differ than others in the genre, then?

Tony: Well, it differs because it's coming from my subconscious, rather than someone else's. Authors create stories based on their lives and experiences. My stories are unique because they were dredged from somewhere in the back of my mind, instead of someone else's.

Mortie: Corny, but probably true. So that's the only reason you write what you do? Because your subconscious tells you to?

Tony: Sometimes. I can't let it just go at that though, it's like a puzzle. The aforementioned "Heaven 2.0" came about because a friend of mine chastised me that I had no female heroes in any of my short stories, so I wrote her a story full of them. I also worked in my friends' daughter and her dog as well. But my annoyance at online data gathering, banks who hide traps in the fine print, and love of folklore came through. "False Idols" wasn't originally intended to be a dig at Monsanto, or even religion, for that matter. I needed to give my main character sympathetic motivation, and those themes just came through.

Mortie: Well, "Ad-Aware" is obviously about advertising. Would you say "The Autumn People" is about 9-11?

Tony: No, that's about depression and loneliness. The whole backdrop of the 9-11 aftermath was just my subconscious bleeding through, dealing with what I saw when I worked downtown afterward. Actually, that story was influenced by an essay by Harlan Ellison, in which he talked about subtext. That's how the story started, with me trying to create an atmosphere. Likewise, "Shattered Possibilities" came about by trying to emulate the Firesign Theatre's skill in layering hidden meaning upon hidden meaning. If you're interested in the background of my short stories and their processes, you can read about them here.

Mortie: Ok, I'll do the hyperlinks, here. Come on, let's wrap this up. How does your writing process work?

Tony: An idea comes to me, and I'll jot it down, usually on my Android. I'll dive in, and see if it works. Sometimes, it does, sometimes it's doesn't. After the story has taken off on it's own for a bit, I sit down, and see what sort of general plot I can make out of it. Was what I wrote a beginning, a middle, or an end? What does it need to make it complete? Does it need more characters, backstory, a satisfying ending... I have to look and see what I have, and work out where I'm going. That's why this final edit of my novel is taking so long. I polished and fixed a lot of problems in the first half, and now much of the second half needs rewriting to make it all work. Then I have to read it over and over and over, either short story by short story, or chapter by chapter. I have to apply a lot of narrative Spackle to make it as smooth as possible.

Mortie: Well, thank you very much for your time. Again, you have been talking with me, Mortie the Gefilte Fish, and him, Tony LaRocca. The blog tour continues next Monday with authors Brain Hartman and Don Martin. Check out their blogs then!

Tony: Thank you very much.

Until next time, Shalom.
-Mortie



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Breastfeeding, facebook, God, and Satire.

Hello, everyone, God here. I'm guest blogging today to talk with you about a subject of celestial importance: breast feeding pictures on facebook.

Now, as everyone who has read the Bible knows, I did not create women's breasts to be bared. When I created Eve fully grown from Adam's rib, I made her hair just long enough to cover her upper naughty bits. Likewise, I created fig leaves with a natural Velcro that would stick to pubic hair-but that's beside the point.

The point is, I did not mainly create breasts for feeding, that's just a weird (and frankly, gross) side effect. I created them to be ogled. If you took all the breasts in the world, added up every second that they had been used for nursing, then divided that number by the sum of the times they had been played with, looked at, autographed, or dreamt about, you would get a ratio so infinitely small, you wouldn't be able to find it with a microscope. It's math, people. Boobs are for enjoying, not milking.

And what's with all this hatred for Nestlé? Just because Nestlé encouraged women in poor, underdeveloped nations to use their "free" samples of baby formula instead of nursing, which caused their (weird and perverted) lactations to dry up, making them formula-dependant? Is it Nestlé's fault the women couldn't afford the product once the freebies were gone, or didn't have clean water to mix with it? Were they really to blame for the the resulting high infant death rate? And now, when Nestlé is trying to buy up all the world's natural water supply so they can sell it back to your children in bottles, you're getting on their case again. Sheesh. Some ungrateful people...

But I digress. I'm asking nicely ladies: Stop this weird fetish of breastfeeding your baby in public, especially on facebook. Keep your sick, shameful practice behind clothes doors, preferably under a blanket. Remember, your breasts solely exist for the pleasure of men, so send them pictures of your boobs instead. Why not start with bloggers-especially Sicilians?

Dominus vobiscum,
Me

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday

So here I am, at the end of another Monday. My waistline gets larger, but strangely enough, my pants are becoming looser. This must be some conspiracy between my subconscious and the computer that runs the universe. Another workday has come to a close, another week begins. One day just seems to bleed into another. As Rowlf the Dog said in The Muppet Movie, "I finish work, I go home, read a book, drink a couple of beers, take myself for a walk, and go to bed." Sometimes I'm mad at myself for my lazy whining, but the answer to a difficult plotting problem I had had while editing my new (still unnamed) book has snuck up upon me, as so many of my writing answers do. Perhaps it was just a matter of time.

Speaking of writing, the talented author Suzanne Casamento has invited me on a blog tour. So tune in  next week to read all about my thoughts on writing, past, present, and future.

Also speaking of writing, Craig J. Clark (a very good bearded playwright and werewolf aficionado) has contributed to a compilation of horror film reviews, Hidden Horror. It's chock full of strange and forgotten motion pictures, definitely worth checking out.

In other news, the controls center I'm working in at work FINALLY has air conditioning. The hateful tears of the jealous are like manna to me, they feed my cold, black-but most importantly, cold-heart. If I'm going to suffer the stench of Queens's sewers, I may as well suffer in style.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dora the Poltergeist

Saw this in the apartment building basement. My daughter would be mad that I didn't bring it home, but it scared the crap out of me.

TTFN
-Tony

IF: Golden

Trying to get the hang of painting on my Galaxy Note 10. The return of the golden boy.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heroic Chicks on Battle Chickens

I'm lying here, listening to the rain. Clouds are bumping uglies, making sparks fly. I explain to my frightened daughter that clouds are huge, and yell at each other to get out of the way. I miss my parent's house, the sliding doors in the kitchen that give a beautiful view to thunderstorms on summer nights.

I've been rewatching Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, and wishing I had it in me to be so arrogant an author. Still working on the rewrite that's taking forever, but my characters needed better motivation. I can't think of the word without remembering Drill Sergeants screaming it at me, that I wasn't motivated enough. I can remember so many things. I'll probably get Alzheimer's when I'm older.

What if a person's left hearing aid was modulated up three half-steps, and the right up a fifth? Would they then hear their universe as a progression of minor chords? Would it drive them to insanity and depression?

Watching the end of Heavy Metal on Netflix. My daughter plays with her naked Barbie riding on a My Little Pony Pegasus, named Starry Farts, or something like that, and I'm reminded of Taarna from the end of the film. Of course I haven't shown it to her, I have SOME parenting abilities. Also, Taarna rides a giant chicken. (Hence my humble sketch.)

Take care, my friends.

TTFN
Tony

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In a perfect world, it's required readomg in schools across the country.

You know, not only is that Suzanne Casamento an extremely talented writer and a wonderful human being, but she's obviously also a woman of impeccable taste.

TTFN
-Tony

At least I'm never alone

Awww... so many friends to play with at work!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Selfie With Your Sister Day

Mets won, waiting for Huey Lewis and the News to start!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Slipped Discs Blues

Jelly doughnuts bulging on my sciatic nerve,
Twists me to the side, makes my spine all curved.
Every time I stand, I have to stretch the other way,
I tell everyone I'm practicing for when I do ballet.
It's no fun when all your discs have slipped,
And you have to walk around like someone kicked you in the hips.
My stomach is overflowing with NSAIDs,
Oh Lordy, won't you give me back my spine from 1993?

Tony LaRocca, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Yes, you!

You are good. You matter.
Happy 96th birthday,
Grandpa Parisi!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Night

I'm lying in the dark, which is where I usually lie. I wonder for  a brief moment if I'm laying or lying, and decide that at the moment, I truly don't care.
It's like when people say you should "give it up to God," it's always the bad stuff. No one ever gives up the good stuff. In the old testament, everyone had to sacrifice the best of their best. Now everyone just gives up the crap they don't want. No wonder we're screwed.
I keep getting fatter. The backs of my knees are the only parts of my body that are sweaty. Why?
I have to learn how to be funnier. Drama is too easy, too self-serving. Everyone wants to be listened to, nobody wants the burden of listening. The secret is never to whine about the comedy mask. No one wants to hear it. And yes, I get the irony that that's just what I'm doing right now.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sleeping Under the Watchful Eye of Jesus...

You know your sainted mother is cute when she puts this on the guest bed for you =)
TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Paint

I'm sorry I got muck everywhere,
Now it's stuck in everyone's hair.
They were once such pretty colors:
Cerulean, scarlet, and jade,
But they all got mixed together,
Now they look like something a dog made.
I tried so hard to make it good enough,
But the details were never just right.
So I tried again, and again,
But the paint underneath was still wet,
And now it's just a horrible fright.
I'm sorry, I really wanted to paint you something beautiful,
But inside, I'm just not the artist I wanted to be.
Maybe the Guggenheim will buy it for a million bucks.

-Tony LaRocca, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Polaroid Tattoo

Blonde, beige sundress, nose stud,
Underground R-train rail,
Polaroid camera on your upper arm,
Tattooed in high detail.
Do you want to record life-changing moments,
Instant gratification for memories?
Or are you just an art-school hipster,
Protesting Photoshopped Instagtam selfies?
Do you admire the engineering and chemistry,
Photons, silver halide, and water?
Is it an over-stretched metaphor for giving birth?
Are you Edward Land's great-granddaughter?
Are you documenting passing seconds,
Before they die like fading embers?
Or do you deliberately keep your past blurred,
Until you choose how you want to remember?
All these questions and more,
Stay undeveloped in my head.
I didn't want you to think I was hitting on you,
So I let you go instead.

-Tony LaRocca, 2014
   

Monday, June 09, 2014

Obvious Fishing

Finding myself writing all kinds if bizarre poems and songs. Wondering if I should share-or even worse, sing them...

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, June 07, 2014

I feel like I could... like I could...

Playing one of the greatest computer games of all time with Mandy. Sigh, I miss you Lucas Arts...

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, June 06, 2014

Friday!

Just... a few... more... minutes...

Monday, June 02, 2014

Strange Doodles and Stranger Dreams

It seems that after all these years, it's still impossible for me to attend school (in this case, a class for Confined Space certification) without doodling. Props to all the Whovians out there who get the reference.

I had a bizarre dream the other night that my paternal grandfather (who died when I was in first grade) had really been alive all these years, and had just recently died. I was furious at my father for hiding the truth from me.

The bizarre thing? I had the exact same dream, back in 2007. I knew it seemed familiar. That's the great thing about PDA's, you can jot down dreams quickly, and save them for referencing.

I wonder what my subconsciousness is playing at...

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, May 26, 2014

Illustration Friday: Universe


The Third Testament, according to me:

And lo, did it come to pass, that the polar ice caps did melt, and the seas did rise. And the people wailed and gnashed their teeth, and cried, “Oh Lord, why did you not warn us?”

And yea, did the Lord sigh heavily. “But you people must have known that you were poisoning your air, trapping carbon dioxide, and contaminating your food supply. Wake up, and stop lumping beliefs in with each other. Throw rotten kumquats at those who would convince you that caring about your environment is somehow tied in with religious and political decisions. It isn’t. You can believe that global warming is an ecological disaster, and still feel that Obama is a lying schmuck, if you wish. Science isn’t your enemy, it knows no religion or politics. Stop being so stupidly ideological.

“Science?” asked the people, “but why then does Your Good Word say that the Earth is the center of the universe, and was created in six days?”

“Look,” spake the Lord, “Thousands of years ago, that’s what made sense to a bunch of goat herders. They looked in the sky, saw things moving across it, and said, ‘Hey, the heavens are just a bowl on top of the ground.’ That was as far as their knowledge reached, so they made sense of what they observed. Now some of you look at the sky and think, ‘Lookie that, everything is moving away from each other really fast. In order for that to happen, there must have been some sort of really big bang aeons ago.’ Who knows? A hundred thousand years from now, you might have proof that that’s true, or that theory may turn out to be as silly as uber-knowledge-giving apples, and talking snakes. I gave you eyes to observe, and brains to work things out.”

“So, wait,” the people said, “You’re saying the story of Adam and Eve isn’t real? I'm not descended from a monkey!”

And the Lord’s face grew red, and he shouted, “No one ever said you were descended from a monkey, someone just figured out that you had a common ancestor! Jesus Christ, people, why do you think a pig’s heart valve is compatible with a human body?”

“So... You’re saying we’re descended from pigs?”

And thus did the Lord slap His forehead and rub it vigorously, for He was getting a migraine.

“Ok,” He spake, “Here’s what you need to know. If you truly love Me, and want to do My work, then for fuck’s sake, use the brains I gave you to seek out how My universe actually works. That’s the only way you can do that. Do you idiots think you just pray for healing, and it magically happens? It happens through the deeds of others. Those deeds can only be on level with your current level of knowledge. Some self-serving bastards have convinced you that evolution is evil, but you still give antibiotics to your kids when they’re sick. That came from evolution, morons. I’ll say it again: You want to do My will? You want to be My tool for answering prayers? Then stop insisting it’s sinful to look beyond what hut-dwellers thought thousands of years ago. Use your brains. That’s why I gave them to you. Learn how My universe really works, so you can do My work.”

And the people did look at each other, and said, “But if we do that, won’t we have to vote for Hillary in 2016?”

And yea, did the Lord let out a cry of celestial annoyance, and dissapeared into the aether. And thus did the seas rise, and those with cunning knowledge and foresight did own beach-front property in Ohio, and charged a fat wad for access.

The word of the Blog.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Schmaltzy, I know...

Text this to someone you know tonight. You never know who needs to hear it.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Good hunting, Alpha I!

I hooked up my new PC to the flat-screen television. Unfortunately, it came with Windows 8. Everyone wants to pretend their desktop is just a giant smartphone, right? Ridiculous operating system or not, retro-gaming on a wide-screen TV from your couch is just fun.

Quake I - the best FPS ever made (with the Darkplaces engine.)

Tie Fighter. Why oh why isn't there an updated version of this game? I would seriously throw money at you, Lucas!

Watching YouTube is fun too, you don't get the blocks with browser viewing the way you do through the Xbox or Wii. I had fun torturing the kids with 80's videos. According to my ten-year-old daughter::

"Land of Confusion": too weird.
"Take on Me": too romantic.
"Holy Diver": too scary.
"Just a Gigolo": too many girls without pants.

In other news, a security guard was shot Saturday night at the bowling alley right around the corner from my home. This is where I take my kids, where I've had birthday parties for them, for Christ's sake. It horrifies me that this can happen on my block. I feel like screaming the "in my bedroom" rant. from Godfather II. Seriously, what kind of piece of shit does that?

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, May 18, 2014

(Modest) Genetic Lottery Winner

Apparently, I can scrub up halfway decent. (With most honorable Papa-san.)

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Gospel According to Me

“I hate to bother you guys, but I have a real problem here.”

Over Jesus’s shoulder, Haniel could see Puriel rolling his seraphic eyes. “What do you need, boss?” he asked.

“I had this great idea, that I would make a few loaves of bread and some fish feed five thousand people. Look, I admit, it’s a little ambitious, but I’m sure it would really win them over.”

“Uh huh,” said Puriel. “And how do you propose to do this?”

“Well, obviously I stopped time-”

The angel gestured to the frozen multitudes. “Obviously.”

Jesus shrugged. “Yeah... I was going to go fishing for a few months, and bake a shitload of bread,” he said, “but with time being frozen, the water’s frozen too, and fire doesn't burn, so that’s out.”

“Yeah,” Haniel said. “Look, kid, we’re on the clock here. Freezing time takes a lot of energy.”

“Besides, we’re strictly here to carry out plans, not make them,” said Puriel. “Union rules.”

“Yeah, I know, I know,” Jesus said. “But maybe you guys could help me out, just this once?”

Haniel sighed. He rubbed his hands together. “Ok,” he said, “have you tried the multiverse?”

Jesus stroked his beard. “The multiverse?”

“Sure.” Haniel said. “It’s easy. You just talk to all the different Jesuses in all the alternate realities that don’t have to feed 5000 people today. They each give you one loaf of bread and one fish. Then, when the time comes, you trade something back to each one of them. A fish, an egg, lamb chops, whatever. It’s not going to be exactly the same.”

“How about a gold coin?” Jesus asked.

“Oh yeah, like that would work,” said Puriel. “Think. Caesar’s not going to be the same across the different dimensions. Each coin would look different.”

“That’s true,” said Jesus, “Especially in the reality where I have three heads.”

Haniel whipped out his Android. “Ok,” he said, tapping in a few calculations. “I have it narrowed down to five thousand multiverses where there’s no feast today, and the fish and wheat aren't toxic to the people here.”

“Oh,” said Jesus. “Well, do I ask-”

“They’re all coming up with the same idea at the same time,” Puriel said, as, with flashes of light, thousands of Jesuses (male and female) materialized, fish and bread in hand.

“It’s all here,” Haniel said, pointing to his smartphone. “I’ve got a schedule down for you. Tomorrow is fig day. You need to bring three figs a day to dimension 54b through Alpha-6 by sundown for the next four and a half years, or the miracle in those dimensions will fail, and the critical amount of souls won't be saved. Can you do that?

“Easy,” said Jesus, as his trans-dimensional brothers and sisters piled the fish and loaves before him. “Fig trees LOVE me.”

(The word of the Lord.)

TTFN
-Tony



Monday, May 12, 2014

Random moments of my life...

I woke up this morning with The Electric Company's sign songs in my head. Can't blame Z100 for that. "I like fish food, you do too... Don't look now, your hair is blue..."

Is it just me, or does the new Godzilla movie look like it's taking itself WAY too seriously. No Gamera or Mothra? Where's the fun in that? And now people are actually saying that the new Godzilla looks too fat. These are probably the same scrotal sacs who think that Cookie Monster needs to eat vegetables.

I have no idea why, but I have this recent obsession with the old DOS (and yes, I know it was on the C64 first) game, Impossible Mission 2. It's still impossible.

My aunt-in-law gave my daughter a feather boa, which she loves. Of course, there are fake purple feathers all over the apartment.

And in other news, The Schmoo was apparently murdered in our parking lot at work...


TTFN
-Tony


Sunday, May 11, 2014

There's nothing on. I just wanted to say hi. I hope you had a happy day, and that life is being good to you.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Brain Surgery via Minecraft

Hello there. It's Saturday. It's been boring so far. All week, I don't want to be at work, and then when I'm home, I'm too tired to do the things I should do for myself. I just don't know what to do for me anymore. I pigged out way too much today. My own way of dealing with things. Not a very healthy one.

I'm working on Illustration Friday. I'll be home alone tomorrow, so I guess I'll get started on Chapter Nine then. It takes concentration, and I don't feel like I have any at the moment. It's one of those days when nothing I do really makes me happy. Nice just to be around the kids, though. Some jackass tried to scam me earlier via text, wanting $600. I told him I spent all my money on my breast implants, but when my daddy came home from the precinct, he could give me a ride and we could "work something out." Didn't text back. Amateurs.

That sucks that the Xbox 360 browser doesn't support flash. Nothing supports flash anymore, which sucks, because there's so much great content out there. You would think everyone would adopt it as a fuck you to Apple, but no. I'd love to chill on the couch and play tower defense games on my widescreen television. Yes, I'm ambitious.

I keep having dreams where friends yell at me and tell me how stupid I am. Seems to be a recurring theme. Fine, I admit it. Maybe I can dream about something else now.

Wouldn't it be really cool to be able to tap Minecraft into the subconscious? One the outside, it would be all grass, and jungle and birds, etc. Then when dug down, there would be hidden treasures, secrets, and monsters below the surface. You could mine for buried memories. Then, when you got too close to the truth about yourself, the Endermen would come for you. The End and the Netherworld could be manifestations of your id. So you could either reorganize and restructure your brain, or get sucked into the lava of your own inner void by ghasts.

I think I would seriously enjoy that.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, May 09, 2014

Between the (Avant Garde) Lines

My daughter came up with a new one this morning: "Waking people up is bad manners, say you're sorry!"

A guy at here keeps a jar of pickled pig lips to snack on. There is no logical reason why they should be any more disgusting than any other porcine organ, they just are.

I'm in the trailer at work, thinking of ideas for a cheesy avant garde play or art film. The thing is, unless you're going for sheer Dadaism, it can't be all gimmick. It still needs a good plot to hold it together, or at least be really, really funny. Humor can forgive a multitude of sins.

For example, there's a can of Vienna sausages, atop of a deck of playing cards. How about a two-hander about a couple who play cards together all the time. They constantly eat canned sausages throughout the play. The dialog can be nothing but hooks. "Happy almost birthday, I'm sorry, I know it really upsets you, being so close to (incoherent while eating sausages) Day. Still, at least it's better than the time we ate shrooms, and you (incoherent)." "You bastard, you promised you'd never bring that up! It's not as bad as when you (incoherent sausage munching) with the neighbor's (incoherent)!"

I'm sure there's some Freudian subtext there.

I lost a good friend recently. When you can, tell the people in your life that they are good, that you're sorry for any hurt between you, and that they are wanted, needed and loved. Life is too short.

TTFN
-Tony