“GODLY BUSINESS” by Tylor James (READ HERE, published in Penumbric Speculative Fiction).

Fellow Friends of the Macabre,

It’s with immense delight that I share this very strange, twisted tale with you. Godly Business is a story about a business man, Eddie Rednick, who discovers God’s gigantic corpse and decides to take advantage of this most (un)holy of business opportunities. If you enjoy the Grotesque, the Weird, and Unpredictable, consider reading this tale here: https://www.penumbric.com/currentissue/jamesBusiness.html

Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine is a free, online magazine with plenty of talents to behold. Feel free to dig into the other stories as well.

Thanks for reading this somewhat informal newsletter, fellow readers, writers, and friends.

And keep tuned for my upcoming book, due in just a few short weeks (April 22nd) —- my second short story collection, MATTERS MOST MACABRE. You may even pre-order it for kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Z7LM8TZ


Tylor James


MATTERS MOST MACABRE (cover reveal/upcoming book by Tylor James)

Greetings boys and ghouls,

Just wanted to bring to your attention that I’ll have a new book out near the end of April! By my estimation, this is my very best work yet, and I’m hoping you’ll even consider nabbing a copy. What we have here are thirteen tales of the strange, the grotesque, and the macabre.

Here’s the wonderful cover design by Greg Chapman:

Here are the contents/stories:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Day the Stories Died
  3. Independence Day in Holebrim, Texas
  4. The Drip
  5. Godly Business
  6. Box of Chocolates
  7. The Typewriter
  8. When the Joke Grows Sharp Teeth
  9. The Shape
  10. Helga’s Helping Hands
  11. The Thing in Gregory Thornton’s Basement
  12. Order of the Wolf
  13. Avery’s Dog
  14. Everything is Broken
  15. Concluding Essay: The Stories Behind the Stories

I’m hoping fellow readers of dark/horror/weird fiction will enjoy this collection immensely. If you’re interested in reading some tales of mine, yet perhaps not invested enough to buy this book, I recommend reading WEIRDSMITH: Issue One, a very slim book containing just two stories of mine. It will give you a quality sampling of my work. Weirdsmith: Issue One is available on amazon for just .99 cents on Kindle, and $7.99 for paperback.

In other news, I’ve got tales popping up soon in April issues of The Periodical, Forlorn, Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine, and a future issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly.

Stay scary, friends,

Tylor James.


Dear gentle reader: This book is 311 pages of horror and oddity. Imagine the following, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.
A blood-thirsty tow-truck driver.
A professional gabber discovers a magic telephone.
A mad scientist feeds his failed experiments to “the Beast”.
A cursed lake with a pair of haunting eyes at its murky bottom.
A skeleton whom enjoys reading William Shakespeare.
A married couple doomed to an afterlife of bickering inside a shared coffin.
A small-time criminal doomed to transform into an underwater creature.
Two young boys discover the dark magic of Halloween in 1933, the final year of prohibition.

Daydreams of the Damned, a collection of twenty-two stories, has all the horror, weirdness, and gallows humor one can handle! Tylor James offers readers a diverse selection of tales which will terrify and entertain for hours on end.

And best yet, the book is cheap! $9.99 on paperback  and $4.99 on Kindle

What a deal, eh?


That is my pitch to you, gentle reader.

To be honest, self-promotion makes me uncomfortable. BUT, I believe in this book. I’ve worked hard on it for a year and a half. I think it’s a good read with some really interesting stories. Therefore, you may want to consider buying it!

I’ll leave it at that.

Thank you for reading. May you all stay safe out there.


Tylor James.


Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James


Greetings, friends.

I’m excited to announce my debut book of short stories will be released this Friday, on April 17. It will be available in paperback and on kindle. The cover was photographed and designed by my good friend, Matt Voorhees.

Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James

Now, imagine these items, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.

A blood thirsty tow-truck driver.

An undead married couple.

A mad scientist bent on creating the perfect brain.

A small-time criminal who turns amphibian.

A man who can’t kill the evil Voice inside his head.

A skeleton who enjoys reading Shakespeare.

A haunted lake with two yellow eyes glowing at its murky bottom.

And much, much more!

Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity is a collection of twenty-two stories which will thrill you, terrify you, even make you laugh!

paperback  $9.99

kindle  $4.99

An link for purchase will be published on this blog, once the book is live.

Stay tuned, good friends. It’s about to get exciting!

AMERICAN MONSTERS, 2020 (How Frankenstein, Wolf-Man, Dracula, & Gill-Man Make An Assassination Attempt on President TRUMP!): A Short Story by Tylor James.

Greetings, fellow readers! The following tale was initially going to be published in my debut short story collection in 2020. However, I realized there were two characters in this story still owned by Universal Studios (Gill-Man & Larry Talbot), and therefore I risked the possibility of a lawsuit for publishing it. AMERICAN MONSTERS 2020 is a fun story, one which made me laugh quite a lot while writing it. It’s also a contemporary political piece, and of course, free for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!



by Tylor James


Frankenstein’s Monster walked into Chaney’s Grocery Store at the corner of Whale Street. Fifteen minutes later, he walked out with a paper bag under his arm. His large boots thudded on the pavement.

He leaned against a parking meter and drew out a fresh pack of Camels from the bag. He lit a cigarette, drawing smoke deep into his lungs. The cigarette was good.

People came and went beneath the street lamps. The sky was black, no stars. He began his walk home. People on the street gawked up at him. Some of them screamed. Others ran away.

People were always this way; full of fear and idiocy. So it was since the day Dr. Victor Frankenstein galvanized him into the world. It was tough at the beginning. Real tough. In those days, he didn’t even have a name. “The Monster!” the village idiots called him. But now his name was Frank. He’d immigrated to the USA, obtained a social security card, and had gotten used to the world. Mostly.

He had his cigarettes, beer, and a house where he paid rent. He had a woman, short and stout, who was unafraid of him and provided pleasure once a week (usually Sunday afternoons). He had a day job too, working at a factory downtown, assembling electric motors at break-neck speed. He liked all of it, except for the job. The manager was a grouchy old hag.

“Better speed it up, Frank!” she’d screech. “You’re down a dozen from yesterday.”

“Meehhhhhhrrrggggg!!” he’d say.

“Don’t give me that or you can forget about a pay increase!”

“Mrrrg . . .” he’d say.

What he wouldn’t give to strangle her! His thoughts turned to more pleasant things — to Veronica, his weekly visitor. Frank felt it stiffen in his pants; what Veronica referred to as his frankenfurter.

He stubbed out the cigarette on his front stoop and went inside to make a ham sandwich. Then he plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV, groaning at the sight of President Donald Trump giving a speech.

He hated Trump for his stupidity, arrogance and bad policy decisions. He hadn’t voted for him in the 2016 election, nor would he in 2020. Impeachment was a possibility, though unlikely. Frank turned the station, stuffing the sandwich into his mouth.

Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein played on the oldies channel. One of his favorites. He leaned back, chasing the sandwich with a bottle of Budweiser. He belched. Scratched his balls. Picked at his ear canals. Then his nose.

After three beers, he passed out on the couch, dead to the world. As he should be.

Frank awoke to a great crash of thunder and lightning. Rain and hail pattered upon the roof of his house. The sensitive bolts on either side of his neck ached like an old man’s bones. He looked out the window at the rain, the street lamps and the empty streets and thought about the old days. It made him wistful.

He grabbed another beer from the fridge and sat, elbows on the window sill. He stayed that way until morning. The rain and thunder faded. The sun arose, lighting up the horizon with pinks and golds and reds.


Frank looked at his face in the bathroom mirror cabinet. He turned his head left to right, noting his pale green complexion, the dark bags under his eyes, the silver staples in his forehead rusted with time, and, of course, the bolts on his neck.

I’m one sharp lookin’ dude, he thought. He ambled into the kitchen wearing his Universal Monsters bathrobe and had a cup of coffee. Then he got dressed in his usual black attire and thudded out of the house.

Klinker’s Korner was a dirty little pub on Main Street. He met Lawrence Talbot there, old friend and district attorney for Wisconsin. Talbot smiled as Frank walked in the door, stooping his head so he wouldn’t smack it on the frame (a practice which took many years to master).

They shook hands. Lawrence had a kind face with deep, sad eyes.

“How’s it hangin’, Frank?” Lawrence smiled.

“Not bad, Wolfie. How’s things?”

“Better than ever,” he replied, sipping a Bloody Mary.

“You don’t say?”

“I met a woman,” he nodded. “A really fine, beautiful person.”

“You dog!” Frank grinned. “Good for you, Lawrence. Really.”

“Thanks, Frank.”

“What’s her name?”


“Nice. So, have you told her yet?” asked Frank.

Lawrence gave him a blank stare.

“Told?” he asked. “About what?”

“Oh, come on. You know! That every night of the full moon you transform into a hairy beast?”

“Oh! That!” Lawrence laughed. “Yeah, I told her. She’s okay with it. More than okay, in fact.”

Really?” Frank asked.

“She says it turns her on. She’s got the full moon circled on her calendar, even. She can’t wait for me to turn.”

“What a girl!” Frank exclaimed, shaking his head.

The hunchback bartender came around. His name was Igor.

“What’ll it be Frank?” asked Igor.

“Pint of the Spotted Cow, please.”

“You got it, Master.”

Igor brought him the tall glass of beer. Frank sipped at the foam, grateful.

“How’s your Dad these days, Frank?” asked Igor, wiping down the bar with a towel.

“Been dead a few years now,” he said. “I killed him.”

The hunchback stopped wiping down the bar. He stood there, staring at his reflection upon the shiny countertop. Then he shrugged.

“Can’t say I blame you,” Igor replied. “Your father was a real asshole to work for, you know.”

“I know,” nodded Frank. “He was an asshole to work for and to have a father for.”

“I can believe that,” Igor said. “Holler if you need anything.”

“Will do.” Frank took another sip of beer. Igor went to the opposite end of the bar, flirting with the ladies down there. The ladies weren’t interested. Their pretty faces shriveled with disgust.

Lawrence and Frank stared up at the big flat screen mounted upon the wall above the bar. Trump was making another speech, this one about immigration. Trump wanted Mexico to pay for a wall.

Lawrence and Frank shook their heads.

“What an idiot,” said Lawrence.

“I know,” groaned Frank. “Don’t you just wish someone would just off that guy?”

“Oh, sometimes I do,” he replied. “Though I dunno if it’d make much difference. ‘New boss same as the old boss’. You know. That old hat.”

“Sure,” said Frank. “The majority of our reps are screwy, the VP not excluded. Get rid of one self-serving screwball and he’s replaced by another. But still . . . this guy . . . Trump. He’s the screwiest commander-in-chief this country has ever seen! And man, we’ve had some screwballs in our time, haven’t we?”

“Sure have,” Lawrence chuckled. “Remember Nixon?”

Frank gagged.

“How about Reagan?” he continued. “Clinton? Bush?”

Frank shook his head sadly. “As bad as all those guys are,” said Frank, “their idiocy pales in comparison to this guy. I mean, look at him.”

Lawrence looked. They both did. The President’s yellow hair bounced in the wind. His mouth was wide, opening and closing like a stupid fish.

Frank spit his beer out on the bar.

“The hell did you do that for?” asked Lawrence.

“I’ve just got an idea!” Frank replied, wiping his lips.

Igor came over with a towel, frowning, wiping up the mess.

“Hear me out, Wolfie. What if we got the gang back together?”

Lawrence raised an eyebrow. “You mean, get Drac?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “You, me, Drac, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy, everyone.”

“What about the Invisible Man?”

“No.” Frank shook his head. “We’d never find him.”

“Good point,” said Lawrence. “All right. So we get the gang back together. To do what? Reminisce? Play cards? Get smashing drunk? All the above?”

“That sounds good, but no. We get the gang back together and we take a trip to Washington D.C. We get ourselves into the White House. Then we find that bigoted, liver-spotted, yellow-haired, science-denying, corporate-shill-fat-boy-plutocrat TRUMP and then . . . ”

Lawrence was at the edge of his seat now, his eyes wide.

“And then? What, Frank? What do we do?”

“We kill him!”

“Yes! You’re a genius!” said Lawrence. “Why have I never thought of this?”

“Because I’ve got the brain,” said Frank, tapping the side of his head. His head sounded as if he were knocking on a tortoise shell.

“OK,” said Lawrence. “I’ll go home tonight and make some calls. See if I can get everybody in.”

“Great. Give me a call. Let me know what you come up with.” Frank guzzled the rest of his beer and slammed a three bucks down on the counter. Igor nodded his head thanks. Lawrence stared down at the bar, frowning.

“What’s the matter, Wolfie?” Frank asked.

“Well,” he said. “If we’re going to assassinate Trump, we’ll have to do it on the night of the full moon. When I’ve changed. I can’t do much as I am now . . . I have small hands. I’m weak. But the wolf inside . . . that part of me is strong.”

“Of course,” Frank replied. “We’ll do it on the full moon. When is that? A week? No big deal.”

“But that means Karen and I won’t . . . uhm, you know. She’s really looking forward to that night, as I’ve told you.”

“Just tell her what we plan to do,” Frank replied. “If she’s reasonable, she’ll understand your absence. Trump has got go, man. America has made a terrible mistake. And this country just might just be stupid enough to elect this buffoon for a second term! We can’t let that happen. America voted for him, sure, but that doesn’t mean it deserves him.”

Lawrence’s eyes welled with tears. “You’re right, Frank. He’s got to go. Next week. On the full moon. I’ll call up the others.”

Frank nodded. “Talk to you later, Wolfie. Take care.”

“Yeah, you too, old pal.”


One Week Later – On the Night of the Full Moon

The gang took a bus to D.C. They rode in at dark. There was hardly any other choice. Dracula had a curfew. He had to be back home inside his coffin of earth in Transylvania before daybreak. People on the bus stared at the four of them sitting quietly in their seats.

In one seat sat Frank (he chose the window seat) and Dracula (his long black cape strayed into the bus isle, tripping people up). In the seat behind them, sat Lawrence (with only a few hours before the full moon) and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (he’d been out of the lagoon for too long already. His gills were tired and sore.)

The Mummy stayed back home in Egypt; he was apolitical. Nobody bothered trying to locate the Invisible Man.

The four of them had been partying it up and were pretty drunk. Frank kept a silver flask of whiskey under his jacket. He handed it to Creature for a swig and when he’d gotten it back it was nearly empty. The Creature, as it turned out, drank like a fish.

“Damn, Creech,” said Frank. “Save some for me next time, will ya?”

He hung his head in shame, opened his mouth, gurgled.

“Apology accepted,” Frank replied.

Lawrence began to sweat. Thick, coarse hair on his palms and cheeks began to sprout.

“We better get to the White House soon,” said Lawrence, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief. “I don’t have much time.”

“We’ll be there,” said Frank. “I’ve got it all planned.”

“My dear Monster,” said Dracula, his accent thick. “Are you positive this despot is resting where you say is? Or has he gone to another country perhaps, out of some vain posture of diplomacy? Have you considered, perhaps, he may be staying at his friend Kim Jong Ill’s house tonight?”

“Relax, Drac,” Frank replied. “I checked his Twitter feed. He’s staying in tonight. Trust me.”

“I trust you, Frank,” he smiled, canines peeking from under his upper lip. “I’ll be flying away long before the sun comes up, of course.”

“Of course.”

It was an agreement. They had one night. One night to assassinate the President of the United States. Then Wolf-Man would transform into Lawrence Talbot again, Dracula would fly home, Creature would swim home, and Frank? Well. As long as he wasn’t caught and locked away for trying to assassinate the P.O.T.U.S . . . . He’d be returning to his modest house in Wisconsin, drinking beer and eating ham sandwiches.

The Creature sat nearest the isle. He enjoyed pinching the bottoms of damsels walking by. Oddly enough, all of the women he pinched featured striking similarities to Julie Adams.

They reached their destination. Frank, Dracula, Lawrence, and Creech got off the bus. The night air felt cool on their skin. The streets were busy. Dogs howled in the distance. Lawrence’s ears twitched.

Dracula was jubilant. “Ahh, Children of the Night!” he exclaimed. “What music they make!

Lawrence scoffed.

“This a ‘way!” said Frank, holding out his cell. The GPS guided them through the busy streets. People turned their heads, laughing at them. They thought the four of them were just people, dressed up in Halloween costumes.

The pale moon rose steadily into the sky. Bones cracked and shifted beneath Lawrence’s sport jacket. He moaned.

“There, there, Lawrence,” said Dracula. “It’ll all be over soon.”

Lawrence nodded, frowning.

Then, there it was: The Commander-in-Chief’s historic, white mansion. It sported tall windows and white pillars, a lush, green lawn, well-trimmed hedges, a water fountain and a long black fence out front. The US flag flapped in the wind upon a pole.

“What a splendid, accommodating abode,” Dracula said. His dark eyes wandered along the street, then settled on Frank.

“So,” he said. “What is the plan, Frank?”

“Well,” Frank replied, scuffing his black boots on the sidewalk. He’d been the one to insist everyone gather together. Now, here they were. What next?


A bat fluttered against the president’s window, its wings tapping against the glass. Donald stirred in his bed. Tap, tap-tap, tap-tap-tap-tap. Donald groaned, tossed back the covers, rubbed his eyes and squinted at the window shrouded in moonlight. An eerie howl sounded from a great distance. He shivered. There was nothing at the window. He pulled the covers over his bulk and went back to sleep.

The bat’s wings resumed tapping against the glass. An aggravated Donald threw his feet upon the floor and thudded over to the window. He looked out onto the lawn and the trees and the garden lights below and saw nothing, heard nothing. He gritted his teeth, now eyeing the walls around him. “God damn rats in this place! That’s what’s making this racket! How dare there be god damn rats in here! I’m the President of the United States, for Chrissakes!”

Another howl outside; a long, dreadful sound. Donald looked left, then right through the window, then opened it wide and leaned out.

WHACK! The bat’s fangs launched into Donald’s cheek. He screamed and cried and hammered at the bat, inadvertently battering his own face. He reeled backward, collapsing upon the hardwood floor. The bat bit mercilessly at his forehead, cheeks, chin, nose, even his tongue.


The doors of the presidential suite burst open. Two secret service men rushed in. The bat flew out the room, down the hall. Donald whimpered and stuttered in the arms of the secret service, his face a bloody prune.

“My God, Mr. President! What’s happened?”

“B-b-b-bat!” Donald replied, his shoulders hitching with sobs. “A drone bat! It was CHINA! I know it! CHINA sent in a drone to ASSASSINATE ME!”

One of the agents used his walkie-talkie to alert the night guards and other members of staff, putting the White House on lock down. “This is Code Red,” he said. “I repeat: Code Red!”


The great, black bat attacked the men guarding the White House entrance door, swooping and diving and biting them into hysterics. With this distraction at hand, Frank and the Creature climbed over the black fence, ran across the lawn, up the red carpeted steps and into the White House.

The guards tumbled down the porch steps onto the lawn, their faces bitten into unrecognizable, blood pieces. The bat suddenly burst into a cloud of fog. Dracula appeared and entered the mansion, locking the front door behind him. He joined Frank and the Creature at the staircase.

Staff and secret service men reeled in terror as the three of them walked up the stairs. Some collapsed in shock. Dracula, Frank, and Creature walked up to the second floor. The agonized howls outside grew louder.

Dracula stopped in front of the president’s wife’s room.

“No, Drac,” said Frank. “The presidential suite is this a ‘way.”

“I’m aware of that, my dear Monster,” Dracula replied. “But it is many miles from D.C. to my homeland Transylvania. I’d like to take a bride for the long flight home.”

“I like your thinking, Drac. Creature and I will be in the president’s suite . . . ahem . . . impeaching the president.”

Creature nodded, the gills on either side of his face opening and closing enthusiastically. Dracula knocked on the door of Melania Trump’s bedroom.

“Come in!” said the voice on the other side. Dracula entered, holding his black cape over the lower half of his face. His dark eyes beamed with mystery, romance and evil.

Frank and the Creature entered the presidential suite, just down the hall. Donald sat at the end of his bed, the breeze from the open window chilling the room. His head rested on the shoulder of one of the secret service agents. He was sobbing. Snot dangled out of his nostrils in long strands.

“There, there,” said one of the agents. “We’ll help you get China for this, Mr. President. And we’ll even get Mexico to pay for it. We promise.”

Donald nodded pathetically, sniffling. He held a tiny mirror up to his face and asked, “How’s my hair look, boys? The news will want to cover this within the hour.”

“Your hair looks great, Mr. President,” said one.

“Yet, it looks very full,” replied the other.

“Ahem,” Frank interjected, switching on the light.

The secret service agents stood up, drawing their guns. “Move one step and we’ll shoot!”

Frank laughed. The Creature gurgled. The President screamed like a girl. The Wolf-Man leaped through the open window, launching at the agents.

Wolfy tore and bit at the men’s necks. They screamed until their tracheas were ripped out. Donald cried, bumbling toward the door. Frank grabbed hold of the President’s pudgy neck, lifting him up off the ground. Creature’s webbed feet jumped up and down with joy.

Wolfy occupied himself by running out into the hall, shredding remaining staff members to a bloody pulp. People outside the room screamed. Pistol shots rang out. None did Wolfie any damage. The bullets weren’t silver.

Trump’s eyes rolled back into his head. His face turned beat red, then corpse blue, then moon white. His tongue lolled out one side of his mouth. His throat made low, croaking noises. His legs ceased their kicking and his arms hung limp. Frank released Trump from his iron grasp. The body thudded violently onto the floor.

“We’ve done well, Creech!” said Frank. “Now, let’s go find Drac and see how he’s progressing with his new bride.”

They exited the presidential suite, its floors drenched in blood and tracheas. They opened the door to Melania’s room. Drac’s butt bobbed up and down between a pair of long, quivering legs. Melania groaned. The Creature cocked his head, gills expanding.

“Hey, put that thing away, Creech!” said Frank. “We’ve got business to tend to. We’ll let Drac and Melania to tend to theirs.”

The Creature bowed his head. He wanted to stay and watch. They closed Melania’s door and ambled down the stairs. Upon each step; a severed arm here, a severed leg there, some intestines, a decapitated head, a spleen, and a plethora of other dispatched anatomies.

The Wolf-Man stood by the front door, licking his bloodied paws. “You did a fine job, Wolfy!” said Frank. Creature clapped his webbed hands, gurgling praises.

Wolfy raised his head and howled. It was a howl of triumph and glory. The Revolution had begun.



Frank sat with his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office. On the phone was Lawrence Talbot, his new VP.

“So you think free health care is really the way to go Lawrence? Uh-huh. Great. We’ll hold the meeting in my office tomorrow morning. We’ll draw up a plan, then send it to Congress. Okay. Thanks, Lawrence. See you tomorrow.”

He hung up. Good old Wolfy. His ideas and advice were inestimable to Frank as the new president of the United States.

Sure, he hadn’t been officially elected. He’d just sort of taken over. Nonetheless, Frank had become popular in a short amount of time. The media loved him. So did the majority of the country, according to opinion polls. Even a few conservative congressmen approved; a fact which surprised Frank the most.

It had all worked out okay, really. The Creature had been gifted a villa on his Black Lagoon, accompanied by a babe who looked identical to Julie Andrews. She catered to his every whim (and was paid for it of course, on Frank’s dime). Dracula had returned to Transylvania with his vampire bride, Melania. Everyone was happy. What else could he ask for?

A knock at the door.

“Come in!”

A secret service agent entered. His cheeks were hairy. Canines protruded from beneath his lips. “Mr. President,” he said. “I’d like to take the night off to be with the wife. It’s a full moon tonight, Sir.”

Frank nodded. “Say no more, Paul. I’ll be fine. Go make your woman happy.”

“Thank you, Mr. President! Thank you!”

He left in a hurry, howling down the hallway. Frank smiled, knowing he would always treat his staff with the utmost courtesy and respect.

He leaned back in the luxurious, leather chair and dreamed of the future. It was destined to be a future where political monsters were extinguished and, at last, the poor and working class had a real voice. It was a chance to create the America they deserved; an America of great education, universal health care, a conversion from coal, gas, and oil to sustainable energy sources, taxation of the rich, and an overhaul of the criminal justice system.

President Frankenstein was going to work his hardest to make America truly great again.






© All Rights Reserved. Tylor James. 2020

READING in 2020 (Books I Read in 2019 — Books I want to Read in the New Year).

Greetings to my fellow writers and readers.

I was impeccably fortunate to have read so many fascinating and entertaining books this year! I read an eclectic selection of hard-boiled pulp, horror fiction, the cross sections of science and spirituality, existential philosophy, and fantasy.

Some of the authors of these books have even responded to my fan mails (I have no shame in geeking about this fact)!

Having a bunch of extra time on my hands this year has especially enabled me to diversify my reading.

I’m wondering what books my friends have read this year? What books do you desire to read in 2020?

In my humble opinion, books are the among one of the best reasons to live. I also find that I value my public library card far more than even my driver’s license.


Here, in chronological order, is the listing of every book I read to completion in 2019, two of which I was lucky enough to get published in!

1) Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski

2) Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

3) The Outside by Colin Wilson

4) Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Stephen Mitchell translation)

5) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

6) Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King

7) Strange Weaterh by Joe Hill

8) Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit by Krista Tippett

9) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

10) Freedom From the Known by Krishnamurti

11) No Death, No Fear by Thch Nhat Hanh

12) Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe IDispenze

13) Mother Teresa In Theory & Practice: The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens

14) Secret Windows: Essays & Fiction On the Craft of Writing by Stephen King

15) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

16) The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

17) I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

18) Houses of the Unholy by JG Faherty

19) On Writing Horror: A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association

20) How to Write Pulp Fiction by James Scott Bell

21) Emerging American Horror Writers: Midwest Region (in which my story “Welcome Home” was published)

22) Hell House by Richard Matheson

23) The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

24) The Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

25) Offspring by Jack Ketchum

26) Red by Jack Ketchum

27) The Courage to Create by Rollo May

28) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

29) Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

30) A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell

31) The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

32) The Essential Harlan Ellison: A Retrospective

33) Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene

34) High Cotton: Stories by Joe R. Lansdale

35) Pulp by Charles Bukowski

36) Living Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

37) Gwendy’s Button Box by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King

38) Existentialism Is A Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre

39) Smoke & Mirrors: Short Fictions & Illusions by Neil Gaiman

40) Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

41) Stardust by Neil Gaiman

42) Ghost Story by Peter Straub

43) The Lottery & Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

44) Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton

45) Ghosts: A Haunted History by Lisa Morton

46) Turn of the Screw by Henry James

47) Catch & Release by Lawrence Block

48) Shearing Time by Sara De Luca

49) Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters & Hot Rod Horror

50) Five Novellas by Jeff Strand

51) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories by Washington Irving

52) The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

53) The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

54) The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

55) The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral values by Sam Harris

56) Bag of Bones by Stephen King

57) Thinner by Richard Bachman

58) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

59) On Writing by Charles Bukowski

60) Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

61) Locke & Key Vol. I by Joe Hill

62) The Death That Walk (edited by Stephen Jones)

63) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

64) Accursed: A Horror Anthology (in which my story, “The Typewriter” was published)

65) Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development.


Now, as for books I’d like to read in 2020 . . . Well, the list is possibly infinite!

But, I suppose I’d like to read some more classics. Perhaps Dickens, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky.

As for particular titles, I’d like to read The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud, Moby Dick by Herman Mellville, How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Questions & 20 Attempts to Answer by Sarah Bakewell.

And oh yes, my friend Jack Ontario will be releasing his debut book of poetry this upcoming January! A fine volume of poetry entitled, “Sunburst Woman”.

How about you, fellow friends and bloggers? What might you be reading? And what books have you read in 2019?


The Writing Life: Publications, Rejections, Submissions, & Unsolicited Writing Advice!

Welcome to The Writing Life! This column is dedicated to the art and craft of writing.

My name is Tylor James. I’m a writer of dark fiction. My intention with The Writing Life is to inform and entertain — all the while allowing readers and aspiring writers a peak into my creative life.

First, the good news. ACCURSED: A Horror Anthology features my first paid publication, The Typewriter. This excellent volume of short stories about cursed items (everything from typewriters, to Christmas ornaments, to tattoo ink!) was published in paperback and ebook earlier this December.

I’ve been published in previous anthology books before, yet never paid for my work — until now. As you can imagine, I was pretty excited when the book arrived in the mail. Take a look at the wonderful cover artwork done by Eloise J. Knapp:


Working with editor Jonathan Lambert was a great experience. He was very courteous to me and helped fashion The Typewriter into the very best story it could be. For that, I’m thankful. I recommend fellow writers of horror to submit their work to Jolly Horror Press for their future anthology releases, so long as they think they’ve whipped up a good tale.

Honestly, ACCURSED is a great collection of stories, all of them written by a talented writers. Therefore, I highly recommend fans of the genre to check it out!

One other positive news item: My fifty word story BLUE CHRISTMAS, was accepted and published by Fifty Word Stories, an ezine. Although Fifty Word Stories does not pay for stories, they do have a drawing for “best story” at the end of every month, which can win a writer $10. For those interested in reading my flash-fiction piece: Click Here.


And now, it is time to mention some of my most recent rejections!

For writers, rejection is a constant game of, “Oh? Rejected again? Well, TAKE THIS!” and the writer submits his work to yet another publisher for consideration. It’s like Newton’s third law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Wolfpak Publishing and 18thWall Productions reject my creature-feature horror novel, They Dwell Beneath. This novel is currently be considered by eight other presses, and I’m hoping to hear a ‘yes’ back from any one of them.

Aggregate and Tell-Tale Press rejects by short story, The Ultimate Torture of Charles Nevermore. This is a futurist tale about a literary outlaw and a subversive, underground movement of readers and writers.

TDotSpec rejects my shot story, The Eyes of the Lake — and yet provided very helpful advice in regards to re-crafting the story.

The Dark rejects my short zombie story, No Way Out.

Monster Porn Podcast rejects by short story, Bad Brains — and yet editors Bret and Matt were impeccably kind, lending advice regarding the betterment of the story.

Have you had work rejected lately? If so, just remember it’s only part of the business. Keep submitting, and keep writing. 

In Other News

This is the last column of The Writing Life for 2019. Looking back on some of the things I wrote in January and February of this year, I notice how far I’ve come in my ability to craft effective prose.

A lot of things I’ve written this year, in fact most of what I’ve written, has not been good enough to publish. But, I’ve also written plenty of damn good stories too.

So, for the record, here’s the tally for 2019:

I’ve written approximately 265,000 words.

I’ve never written so much in my life as I have this year.

And yet, when comparing it to some of the early 30’s and 40’s pulp fiction writers, it isn’t all that impressive. Those guys (Erle Stanley Gardner, for example) had an output of nearly a million words per year!

It’s hard to believe those writers were even human. In fact, I have my suspicions . . .

Yet, I am proud of the work I’ve done this year. I’ve come a long way as a writer, and have a long way to go still. I suspect there will never come a time in my life when I have finished learning how to write serviceable prose.

Writing is an art with a depth that is truly infinite.

Of the 265, 000 words I’ve written, I’ve created one short novel (They Dwell Beneath) and forty-five short stories. Plus several blog posts, The Writing Life Column, dozens of poems, songs, and essays. Not a bad year at all!

And thank you, fellow readers and writers, for putting up with my bragging.


This is advice about the craft of writing. Advice you never asked for, and which perhaps could hinder or outright destroy your aspirations as a writer. Without further ado, and as non-glamorous as this week’s advice is, behold:

Keep writing! 

When a story is looking ugly, don’t stop writing. Either finish it, or start a new story, poem, essay, whatever it is. But do not get up and walk away from your art. Sit down and write. Even if it is just one page.

You had an intention to write. Now it is not going as well as planned. That’s okay. All the same, you must continue to write. That is how we improve our work.


Thank you to fellow readers and writers for their interest in The Writing Life. I hope you’ve found this column to be serviceable and entertaining. A very happy new year to you! May it be filled with love and art.

your friend,

Tylor James.

Write What You DON’T Know: This Week in . . . The Writing Life!

Greetings, friends.

It’s getting cold outside, so come on in, get cozy, and welcome, to another edition of the The Writing Life. 

Life. It is to be lived, of course, but for a writer, it is also to be written. One cannot help but write about what one goes through. It’s a part of that old cliche, vomited from the mouths of countless authors and instructors: “Write what you know.”

I agree, and I disagree.

On the one hand, if we write only about what we know, how are writers ever to branch out and create something vast and new? If we are to write only what we know, how is one to write a story about extra-terrestrials on a far away planet? Surely we know nothing about that. Or how is one to write about an alternate dimension poulated by tiny humanoids? Or a history that never happened? It is, I think, to live inside an oppressive box — writing about only what one knows.

On the other hand, as I’ve stated, one cannot help but write what one knows. What one knows seeps through the spaces between the words we write. It lingers upon every thought, like a strange odor one is never able to get rid of.

We write, ultimately, about ourselves and what we think and feel about the world. What we know. As Henry Miller so aptly said, “The writer writes in order to discover himself.”

And so it is. For example, this evening I’ve written 1700 word short story about an old, world-famous playwright. He’s terribly and morosely addicted to coffee and he obsesses over his work to the point of fatality. When I took a step back from the story, I realized I was writing about myself, and my addiction to caffeine, and my obssession with words and the work I put into my writing.

And so, although we are not always conscious of doing it, we are writing about what we know all the time. We must.



(My Personal Favorite Segment of The Writing Life!)

Oh, boy, folks! We’ve got some exciting news in rejection emails today! Believe me — I’m not being factitious, I’m being thrilled. Here’s the low-down, for the record:

Metaphorosis (magazine) rejects my science-fiction story, Crash Landing, and my strange-pulp tale, Fish Out of Water. A nice thing about Metaphorosis is this: the editor has a quick response time, and will leave feedback, if you so select that option in your submission.

Möbius Books rejects my debut horror novel, They Dwell Beneath. This is only my second rejection of this novel, and am waiting on plenty more. I look forward to each rejection like a bite of delicious pie. The right attitude is the only way to survive in this game.

Writers Resist rejects my story, The Hating Game, a flash-fiction piece which comments on the contemporary phenomena of “online trolling”.

Asimov’s Science Fiction & Fantasy rejects Crash Landing. The editor politely advised that I submit using the standard manuscript format. I thought I’d been doing that, but, as it turns out — I haven’t! I am learning things every day, and this, ladies and gents and fellow pronouns, is a biggie. In the immortal word of Homer Simpson, “Doh!”

Not One of Us rejects my story, Johnny Bad Apple, a story I’d written in 2018, about the vicissitudes of fame and fortune in the life of a rock star.

In submission news, I’ve sent out at least ten to fifteen submissions to various magazines as of this week. Wish me luck, fellow readers and writers, as I wish all of you luck.

Yet, a quick addendum to that — as writers, we make our own luck, don’t we? With much practice and endurance — yes, that will be our luck!



To conclude this week’s fine edition of The Writing Life, I shall disperse the usual allotment of unsolicited advice. It is this:

Write what you know AND, if you can manage it, attempt to write what you don’t know. By this I mean, quite simply, write about your loves and hates and passions (what you know), but try not to “stay safe” by not taking chances with your writing.

When you take chances, you may end up with thousands of words that fail to capture a compelling story. But, those thousands of failed words will teach you things. And the things you learn, as long as you keep reaching for the ungraspable, will lead you to bigger and better stories. And it will lead you, not least of all, to a bigger and better future. 

“Man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” — Robert Browning, English poet and playwright (1812-1889).

Until next week,

your constant writer,

Tylor James.




100 Subscribers – A Thank You Note. PLUS, a relaunch of my blog: “WELCOME TO MY WRITING LIFE”!

While perusing my blog stats the other day, I noticed I’ve gained exactly one hundred subscribers. Thank you to all who follow this blog, to all who read, like and comment on my posts! I hope you’ll stick around awhile, because I’ve got some exciting plans ahead.

I don’t post often, but this habit, as of this moment, is over. From now on, expect to be hearing from me on a frequent basis.

I’ve been writing like a madman this year (nearly 300,000 words written, last time I checked), and yet I’ve been posting only once in awhile. The reason is this:

I want to earn a living by writing stories (be kind, for god-sakes, and at least attempt to stiffle your giggles!), but I can’t earn an income from my stories if I post them here. Magazines will not accept work that has appeared online. And so, I must hide them away, and submit them in private.

Writing, as they say, can be a solitary gig.

This year, so far, I’ve written one novel and forty short stories — ranging from  horror to science-fiction to western to pulp to weird/uncategorizable fiction. And it’s been a hell of a lot of fun.

Are all of my stories masterpieces? Nah. But I’ve learned a lot, and out of those thousands of words, I believe I’ve spun some pretty fantastic yarns.

So, this is the plan: Although I cannot share with my subscribers my stories, I can still share with you my life. I can share with you the labors of my daily grind, the pounding of the keys, the churning of the words, the sending out of submissions tethered with eager hopes like messages in a bottle tossed to sea . . .

I can share the gargantuan amount of rejection emails I receive from editors of little- known indie magazines and famous magazines alike. I can share with you what’s it’s like to be me. My inspirations, my struggles, my hopes, my dreams, and my failures.

I know, deep down (and forgive me if this sounds the least bit arrogant) that I am a unique, special man. And I don’t want to pass from this earth being the only one who knows that.

I believe my subscribers are unique and special as well. And I want to share with you. So, please, do stick around. Get to know me, and if you comment and share your thoughts, perhaps I’ll be fortunate enough to get to know you.

Stay tuned, and welcome, to My Writing Life!

Your kind and constant scribbler,

Tylor James.





Dealing for Mr. B (Short story, pulp style)

The boys were running late and that was dangerous. Mr. B expected them to be there at a certain time and they were running late because of Eddie. They’d gotten halfway across town before Eddie turned out his pockets, showing they hadn’t brought the money. Jim called him an airhead and a slacker, always too high to know what he was doing.

“Mr. Bilgewater expected us to be there at 6:30 p.m., SHARP!” Jim shouted. “Now it’s 6: 33, and it’ll take us at least 20 minutes to get there!”

“Relax, dude,” Eddie replied. “We’ll get there.”

“Of course we’ll get there you idiot!” he screamed. “Problem is he’s going to kill us!”

Eddie waved his hand at him, blubbered his lips. No big deal.

“We were going to be famous in this town,” Jim said. “Everybody at school was finally going to respect us. Now we’re going to be what we’ve always been, Eddie. Nuthin’!”

Eddie rolled a joint, lit it, inhaled.

“Put that shit away!” he scolded.


“I said put it away, you slacker! We’re on a professional run, not some half-baked road cruise, you lousy—”

“Jeezus, alright!” Eddie cut him off, stabbing out the joint. “You need to take a chill pill, man.”

Sweat stung Jim’s forehead as they approached the toll bridge that led to the Bilgewater mansion. The dirt flung from beneath their tires as they drove down the gravel road, over the bridge, screeching to a hault in the smoothly paved drive. They sat in the cab.

“Give me the dough,” Jim snarled.

Eddie shrugged, handing him the envelope. They jumped out of the truck, sprinted up to the large front porch, and rung the doorbell. Eddie gazed up nonchalantly, spotting the security cam zooming in on them from one high corner. He waved.

“Knock that off!” Jim grunted, slapping his hand down.

Dude,” Eddie said. “That hurt!”

“Shut up.”

The oak double-doors opened to a grim faced butler with piercing blue eyes and a pale, wrinkled complexion. “You’re late, boys. Master Bilgewater is most disappointed,” he said.

Jim gulped and let out a high-pitch giggle.

“Sorry, dude,” Eddie shrugged. “It wasn’t our fault. We got caught in traffic. Right, Jim?”

Jim smiled wide.

“This way, please.”

The butler turned and walked into the entryway, then up the large, red carpeted staircase. They followed, glancing at one another with expressions of apprehension. Eddie reached into his pocket, pulled out a roach. Jim slapped his hand again. He put the roach back in his pocket.

The staircase led them to a long, wide hallway. Doors flanked each wall. If they had numbers on them, Jim would have thought the Bilgewater Mansion nothing more than an upscale motel. Eddie glanced at the doors and wondered what may lay behind them. They both stopped in their tracks when they heard a scream behind one of the doors. It came from behind. They turned, looked.

“No cause for concern, boys,” the butler said. “Merely one of Mr. B’s partners. They love to scream. It’s what we pay them for.”

He continued down the hall. Jim and Eddie started at each other dumb founded as the woman let out another scream. Was it a scream of agony, or pleasure? It was impossible to tell. Eddie began to tremble.

“I’m freaking out, man” Eddie whispered.

“Me too,” Jim whispered back.

They followed the butler up a second flight of stairs, then a third, until they reached yet another hallway, and at the end of it, a metal door with an EXIT sign above it. The butler held the door open for them, nodding once. Jim and Eddie walked out into the blinding sun on the roof of the Bilgewater mansion. The sun was beginning to set, shedding piercing rays from the horizon.

Then their eyes fixed on the swimming pool; a long, wide rectangle with half-naked women jumping in and out of it. Jim gasped. Both of the boys’ mouths hung slack.

“Whoaaaa,” stated Eddie.

A short man, balding, wearing a black and red robe with dragons on it stood to one side, each arm around a supermodel waist. The women were much taller than the man. They towered like giant goddesses. The man’s fingers delicately slipped in and out of their bikini bottoms, occasionally reaching around and pinching their behinds. The girls giggled. The man laughed.

“Master Bilgewater. Our company has arrived, Sir.”

He turned and eyed the boys through a pair of aviators.

“So they have. Thank you, Hanson,” he said. He turned to the girls. “Feel free to go for another dip girls. I’ve got some business to attend to.” Both of them leaned down, kissed his cheeks. Then they stripped, unclasping their tops and shimmying out of their bikini bottoms. They jumped into the pool with a dozen others, making a great splash! Bilgewater laughed, ambled over to a poolside table and sat beneath the shade of a large green umbrella. He motioned to the boys with his index finger. Come hither.

They came hither, sitting in the shaded chairs opposite of Bilgewater. The pool girls screamed and giggled. Jim’s eyes kept returning to the pool, feeling something stirring in his shorts. Hanson glided over with a silver tray. Another Guinness, Sir?

“Thanks, Hanson,” Bilgewater nodded.

“My pleasure, Sir,” the butler replied, setting the tall, sweating glass in front of him. Hanson disappeared as Bilgewater looked at his watch.

“I told you boys to be here, 6:30 sharp,” he said. “It’s 6:54 according to my watch. Not very professional.”

“We’re so sorry, Mr. Bilgewater, Sir,” Jim blurted. “We were halfway to your place when—”

Bilgewater held up a hand and lifted his glass with the other, gulping down the beer.

“No excuses,” he said, wiping froth from his lips. “If I say be here at a certain time, then you’d better be here. Normally I’d be very upset. But today, boys, be grateful I’m in a generous mood. Besides, what can I expect with a couple of lousy high school kids? Now. The money.”

Jim fumbled around his right jean pocket. At last, he pulled out the envelope, handing it to Bilgewater. He immediately began counting the bills.  After a few minutes, he dropped the envelope onto the table, looking up at the boys, grim-faced.

“A grand short, kids,” he said.

Jim and Eddie looked at one another, wide eyed. Eddie turned pale.

“B-b-but, we were s-s-sure it was all there!” Jim started.

Bilgewater leaned back in his chair and laughed.

“Just messing, boys,” he said, grinning ear to ear. “It’s all accounted for.”

Jim let out a sigh of relief.

“Oh, man! Thank Christ,” Eddie said, shaking his head. “I thought we were dead meat for sure.”

Bilgewater let out a cackle. “Hey,” he said. “You boys are alright. Wanna beer?”

“Sure, Mr. Bilgewater. We’d love one,” Jim smiled.

“Mind if I toke up instead?” Eddie said, bringing out the roach from his pocket.

Jim face-palmed.

Bilgewater smirked. “Whatever, kid.”

“Thanks Mr. B,” Eddie said, lighting the spliff.

“Hanson! Another pint of Guinness!”

Hanson was old, but swift on his feet. He nearly levitated over, silver tray over one arm, the tall delicious pint beading wet. Hanson set down the glass, bowed, floated away. Jim took a sip and grinned. He’d never had a Guinness before, but it was a hell of a lot better than the Budweiser and PBR his dad kept in the fridge.

“Aside from being late, you two did fine,” Bilgewater smiled. “Here’s your cut for selling the cocaine.”

From out of the pockets of his robe, he pulled out a thick roll of bills. He handed $200 to Jim, and $200 to Eddie. “Don’t spend it all in one place, boys,” he said. They grinned at each other. Two hundred a piece! What would they do with it all? As his spliff burned down to the nub, Eddie already had a pretty good idea what he’d buy with his cut.

“Now,” said Mr. B. “How are the prospective clients looking?”

“Pretty damn good,” Jim replied, feeling relaxed. “Ronny and Stew in my biology class are already asking for another gram. Half of the jocks on the football and wrestling teams love the stuff.”

“I’ll bet,” Bilgewater chortled. “Eddie? Prospects?”

“Yeah, Mr. B. Sold some to Mr. Kieps down at the Gentleman’s Lounge. Said he’d be interested in buying more than a couple grams.”

“Just what I wanted to hear. Now what I’m going to need for you boys is a list of names, numbers and addresses of clients. This list, along with everything else we ever do, is to be kept very secret and private. Got that?”

They nodded.

“I want you to bring this list along with you next Saturday, along with the money.” The Bilgewater gazed up and shouted, “Yo, Hanson! The bag!”

Hanson brought over a paper bag, with the “Rubin’s Café & Bakery” logo printed on its side and set it before Jim, who peeked in at its contents.

“This is a little more than last time,” Jim observed.

“That’s how we do business,” Bilgewater said. “You show me you can be responsible, I give you more product to sell, which means a bigger cut for you both.

“Now, boys,” he cautioned. “I want you back here next Saturday at exactly 6:30 p.m. Tardy slips will no longer be acceptable. I ain’t your god damned school principal. Got it?

“Yes, Sir,” Jim nodded.

“You’ve got it, Mr. B,” Eddie said.

“Finish up that pint, Jim, and I’ll see y’all this time next week. If you don’t mind, boys, I’ve got some other business to attend to.”

Bilgewater got up from his chair. He walked over to the poolside and stretched out his arms. The women surrounded him, wet bodies shimmering in the setting sun, breasts brushing his robe as they tittered and kissed his lips.

“Man,” Eddie shook his head. “If only we could be that lucky.”

“We will be,” Jim smiled. “As long as we keep dealing for Mr. B, we’re going to end up just as filthy rich, with just as many girls.”

“Really?” Eddie asked.

“Really,” Jim confirmed, drowning the rest of the beer.

Hanson led them back inside, past the strange hallways of doors emanating screams and sighs and then down, down, down the crimson flights of stairs, to the front door. Jim gripped the paper bag in his hand, delighted that Bilgewater hadn’t sentenced the both of them to the iron maiden after all.

He split the product down the middle with Eddie in the cab. Eddie would spend the week selling his half, and Jim the other. It was going to be another great week, building report with customers, thereby gaining cash in their pockets and fame among their peers. Jim started the rusty Chevy pickup and grinned.


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Tylor J. Mintz 2019.

 Using James Scott Bell’s random plot generator, I construct eda story with a swimming pool for a setting, a slacker for a minor character, drug dealing for a villainous act, and fame as the motive for that act. There is also to be a twist of “bridge is out”, which I’ve yet to write. This story is, therefore, a work in progress.