I Really Started Something

I know it’s been too long since my last blog post. It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything here on the site; I have posted 11 sandwich reviews that include our recent forays into the wonderful world of meat alternatives. Some have been decent and others have been veggie bacon.

But my main focus recently has been on trying to finish my book. And I can say that it is done. The final copies have been ordered and should be here in about a week. Once they get here, I can send the copies to those who pledged, and then tell everyone where they can get copies of their own. This will obviously necessitate a blog post or two, so stay tuned.

I will also be documenting my thoughts on crowdfunding and self-publishing. I just began working on this, but you will be able to find all of this right here.


Finally, I mentioned in my last blog post that I might publish a past writing assignment detailing the grudge that I’ve apparently had against Dionne Warwick since high school. With all of my attention on finishing All Beautiful Creatures*, I hadn’t given this other thing too much thought. That is until I woke up to the following Google alert a few days ago:

You’re right, Ms. Warwick. I Really Started Something. And here it is: the sophomore-year story that I wrote after my class studied Dante’s Inferno. We were told to write our own individual stories about who we would encounter in one of the levels of Hell.

Well, guess who I found in the Eighth Circle?

By Shady’s Bluff

The most popular pledge level of my Kickstarter includes a collection of my first animal stories. I knew most of them were on a flash drive, but I also knew that I had illustrated versions (made with free clip art) of some of them somewhere. I printed them out at some point and never saved a digital version of them, so this week I started going through all of my old stuff to find all of my stories.

In the process, I re-discovered a few things I had written of which I am still really proud, going all the way back to elementary school. Some of them I will add to what is being sent to those who pledged accordingly. Some I will include on this site. And with at least one of them, I will see if I can re-work it a little to see if it can be a children’s book.

One of the things I am ready to share here is a poem I wrote for an assignment during my senior year of high school. To be honest, I don’t remember what the assignment was, nor even writing the thing. It’s called By Shady’s Bluff, and I will say that I wrote the last stanza a few nights ago before posting it here. Everything else is as it was when I turned it in almost 19 years ago (and received a score of 122 (?) for it, along with a “Great!” from my teacher.)

Another writing assignment I might eventually include on this site is one revealing my apparent extreme dislike of Dionne Warwick (long before she disrespected Beyoncé.) Seriously, how many high school kids have extreme grudges against R&B singers 40+ years older than them? I was a weird kid.

All Beautiful Creatures* Update #2

As you can see, the project has hit its goal! Sure, the not-so-healthy, pessimistic part of me is still telling me that backers can cancel their pledges up until the end of the month, so I shouldn’t start celebrating just yet. But it was still a great moment when I checked my phone after a nap on Sunday to see an email informing me that the project had successfully reached its target.

It is fantastic to know that there are people out there who support me and (hopefully) like what I write. I had a few goals when starting this project, but the main one was to push myself to finish this book that I started back in 2005. I would work on stories on-and-off, but life happened and I’d go long periods without writing anything. Yes, I wanted to finish the stories and get the book out there, but I also apparently needed a little push to get it done. And I knew people trusting me with their money was what would be the thing to do it.

So, even though the project still has 12 more days until it can be officially successfully funded, I still want to say how immensely grateful I am to everyone who has pledged, who has trusted me, who pushed me to finish this book, so that people can physically (or digitally) have something that I created and love.

And then I can begin working on the next books, whose progress you will be able to follow on this site.


In other All Beautiful Creatures* news, a portion of Larry the Lyin’ Lion is now posted as the Story of the Week. This one is a little different in that it’s more than just a straightforward narrative; it’s a story told through limericks.

I cannot say that I much understand poetry without a designated rhyme scheme, but I love limericks. I’ve loved them since my dad’s dad, my Papa, introduced me to them tell as a (too-) young child. Sure, many of the ones he shared were inappropriate, but they also served to teach a young, impressionable boy about the type of abnormally-proportioned men one could encounter from a small Massachusetts island town. So basically, he was just fostering an interest in poetry, geography, and biology.

Give my poem a read and let me know what you think. And if you haven’t already, pledge to get yourself one of the first copies of All Beautiful Creatures*.

All Beautiful Creatures* Update #1

We’re a few days in and already more than a quarter of the way there.

For each week remaining on the project, I will post a portion of one of stories featured in All Beautiful Creatures* HERE.

The tentative schedule of stories is as follows:

May 3-9: Harry the Hyperactive Hamster
May 10-16: Kippy the Kleptomaniac Koala
May 17-23: Larry the Lyin’ Lion
May 24-30: Petey the Procrastinating Pig

If you haven’t pledged yet or if you want to follow its progress, you can find the project HERE.

Thank you for all of your support.

May Day Updates

Despite the fact that I launched my Kickstarter project last night, this is a post that is not about it. Except for this part: please go HERE to pledge your support. I’d truly appreciate it.


Mayday! Mayday! It’s May Day!
In honor of today being May 1st, I’ve posted a story about trying to celebrate May Day with a surprise for my first crush. Like with most of my stories, I had no idea what I was doing.


We got a little behind on our 77 Sandwiches posts, so here are the latest ones we’ve made and reviewed:

#30 – Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Marinara, and Meatballs on French Roll
#43 – Chicken, Melted Swiss, Ham, and Dijon on Ciabatta
#73 – Pickles, Peppers, Pepperoni, and Mozzarella on Ciabatta with Balsamic Oil and Vinegar