|This is the first G-rated short story I've written since joining the WSS contest on Good Reads.|
Jessica HarleyThe similarity between the names Jessica Harley and Jessica Haggar are mind-boggling. Their back stories are similar as well. But I assure you with 100% conviction that Mike Haggar’s daughter from Final Fight was not the inspiration for Jessica Harley, so put away the fan fiction pre-writes for a moment.Jessica Harley by Garrison-Kelly
Jessica Harley was from a movie script idea that never got off the ground called The Trauma Force. It was detective fiction similar to The Shield, brutality, leather jackets, sex, drugs, violence, and all. Jessica was the wife of lead character Shawn Harley and kidnapped away from him during a drug bust. Mrs. Harley wouldn’t be found until the end of the story, which smells of Final Fight logic, but trust me, it isn’t.
Jessica was the name of my online girlfriend from 2002-2005. Though we never kissed or made love, we were indeed in love with each other. Whoever said teenagers don’t know what love is never felt the magic between me and Jessica. The blood sugar s
I was once told by my best friend Zero Urrea that the most likely reason I find the Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic award for wrestling and MMA fascinating is because I’m a natural born Nightmare Fetishist. I agree wholeheartedly with him. I’m a guy who listens to creepy music for fun. I draw pictures of Pink Floyd putty faces. I reference Diablo II at every available opportunity. Finding this particular Wrestling Observer Newsletter award interesting should blend in perfectly with those other examples. In this year alone, I’ve found 12 different candidates for a winner (despite the actual awards not coming out until January 2015). I’m going to start with the two worst ones first and work my way down the list. We’ve had some…heartwarming ones this year.
1. WWE exploits the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Exploitation isn’t anything new for this particular company. They exploit death, they exploit heart attacks, and they even exploited the supposed weight issues of one Mickie James. Taking advantage of an ongoing war between two countries should be a piece of cake for them. Around the time Vladimir Putin sent his armies on the battlefield, WWE introduced us to Rusev and Lana, a pair of Russian conservatives who mock America and President Obama every chance they get. Add to this flag desecration and soldier bashing and you’ve got a recipe for a very angry crowd of Americans. Way to go, WWE! You’ve stirred the pot yet again!
2. War Machine beats up Christy Mack. Okay, so this isn’t really a promotional tactic in the best sense of the word, but it is sad to hear about nonetheless. War Machine is a trained mixed-martial artist, not some punk off the streets. Christy Mack is his porn star wife who’s half his size. War Machine has a history of misogyny and assault arrests. Let’s stir the witch’s cauldron and see what we come up with. A prison sentence for War Machine and broken bones, bruised skin, and a near death experience for Christy Mack. Bellator MMA did the right thing in firing War Machine following his arrest. But is there more we can do for Christy Mack?
3. Matt Brown saying on his pod cast that female MMA fighters should compete topless. Apparently, Mr. Brown isn’t happy with the low number of knockout victories in the UFC recorded by female bantamweights. So what does he do? Makes a misogynist comment on the internet. Seems reasonable, right? I’m being sarcastic, by the way. Sara McMann, a female fighter, responded to this crap by saying Matt Brown should have fight in a Speedo from now on. Ronda Rousey took a less complicated road by saying, “Who’s Matt Brown?” Exactly, Ronda. Exactly.
4. Bad News Barrett insults a kid from the Make a Wish Foundation. In order to keep the fictional world of wrestling believable, wrestlers are encouraged to stay in character even in the public eye. Mr. Barrett took it a little too far. In other words, he enjoyed his role as an English pessimist a little too much. He told a cancer-stricken kid some “very bad news” in the form of eventual death, saddened parents, and high medical bills. Hell yeah, the kid cried. The Make a Wish Foundation tried to make it up to him by offering a visit from John Cena and he cried some more. The only way the kid would stop crying is if he was visited by Daniel Bryan instead. No, that’s not just me being a Bryan fan boy again, that’s the true story.
5. Dana White criticizes Jose Aldo after his featherweight title defense against Ricardo Lamas. Dana White criticizing people isn’t anything new for him. He made a whole reputation out of spewing vitriol at those he deemed unworthy. Last year, he was nominated for a MDPT award for criticizing George St. Pierre after he had a successful, yet controversial title defense against Johny Hendricks. Does anybody see why the same shouldn’t be said about this year’s trash-talking with Jose Aldo?
6. WWE burying CM Punk after he retired from wrestling. There had been talks of him not getting along with management and having an injured body, so retirement would be completely justified. Spewing hatred at him to the point where nobody cares anymore is not justified. Love him or hate him, CM Punk gave eight years of his life to the WWE. He put on great matches, won multiple world titles, and earned the respect of every fan who came to see him. What could possibly be the reason for putting him down?
7. Triple H’s unprotected steel chair shot against Daniel Bryan’s head. Ever since Chris Benoit’s double-murder-suicide, the WWE started taking better care of their wrestlers. This included things like fewer hardcore matches, stricter drug testing, and above all else, no chair shots to the skull. Last year, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton used chair shots to the head during a street fight and were heavily fined for it. A year later before Wrestlemania 30, Triple H smashes a handcuffed Daniel Bryan in the head with a steel chair and quite possibly aggravated his neck injuries. Do as we say, not as we do.
8. The Authority burying the roster in their promos. Triple H was nominated for a MDPT award for the same thing last year. He and Stephanie McMahon should be nominated this year. If you want people to be interested in your product, they have to be interested in your talent. The audience has to have at least a small shred of hope that their guys will win. Guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose had no such luck. I believe TV Tropes refers to this as Darkness Induced Apathy. Look it up. It’s horrifying.
9. Jason High manhandling referee Kevin Mulhall after a controversial stoppage. Beating up referees in professional wrestling may be acceptable to them, but in MMA, it can get you fired from whatever company you’re in. Dana White was so pissed off with Jason High that the former said Mr. High will never be a part of the UFC again. If there’s one thing Dana White can’t handle, it’s poor sportsmanship. Just ask Paul Daley.
10. WWE awkwardly inviting Michael Sam to show up on Monday Night Raw to give them publicity with his story. I don’t follow football, but Michael Sam’s story is special to me. He is an openly gay football player and there aren’t many like him. The Westboro Baptist Church wanted to shut him up with their “God Hates Fags” signs, but their scare tactics fell on deaf ears. Why would the WWE suddenly be interested in having Michael Sam show up in their show? So they can exploit him? They’ve exploited everything else that came their way, why not Michael Sam’s story?
11. WWE booking Paige as a vulnerable Divas Champion. With the number of matches this British diva was scheduled to lose, she should easily be a shoo-in for Most Underrated. To give credibility to a championship belt is to make the champion believable. How is the WWE Universe going to believe in Paige if she keeps losing non-title matches and being dominated in her victories?
12. The Bella Twins’ personal assistant angle. We’ve seen “bitch” and “slavery” angles in the past and the most recent one is from 2010 when The Nexus enslaved John Cena. After Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella takes place at Hell in a Cell this Sunday, it will be no different from 2010: frustrating storylines with no hope for a future and complete burial of an otherwise entertaining talent. Lovely.
As I’ve said with last year’s awards, you don’t have to be a wrestling or MMA fan in order to appreciate these. If you’re an author, you can also appreciate them, because these storylines are bad mojo for your books. They will haunt you forever. Isn’t that right, Kathleen Hale? We’ve got ears, say cheers!
***FACE BOOK POST OF THE DAY***
“Liz Carmouche’s last name sounds like a dessert topping. How fitting!”
My novels are available on Smash Words, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor, txtr, Oyster, Flipkart, and Scribd. American Darkness is available on Amazon and Lulu as well.|
American Darkness (contemporary drama anthology)
Brawl Mart (urban fantasy novel)
Confessions of a Schizophrenic Savage (poetry and song anthology)
Garrison’s Library: garrisonslibrary.blogspot.com/
Sitka: June 19th, 2014 Cat of the Day: catoftheday.com/archive/2014/J…
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: My favorite way to deal with writer’s block is by imagining the scenes of my stories from beginning to end. Sometimes when I’m alone (or at least when I’m sure I’m alone), I’ll do a back and forth dialogue between characters out loud. If it wasn’t for this method, the characters in my current novel Fireball Nightmare would all be two-dimensional wash-ups. It’s supposed to be a fast-paced bloodbath, but stories and emotions are just as important as the high-octane violence, if not more so.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
A: Listen to your heart. Write about things you feel are important to you. Taking advice from others is okay and often recommended, but ultimately, you’re the one who makes the final decision on your writing, not the audience, not the editors, not the admins, just you and you alone. If somebody tells you your writing sucks, put as much distance as possible between yourself and that person. Nobody has the right to bring you down. If you still feel like your writing sucks, then keep working on it until it doesn’t. Never give up hope.
Q: How do you get inspired to write?
A: I draw inspiration from a lot of different sources whether they’re from other books or not. I’m a huge fan of heavy metal music and I often use it to channel aggressive feelings in my writing, especially during scenes of violence. I’m also a fan of professional wrestling as evidenced in my 2014 dark fantasy e-book Brawl-Mart. People like to criticize wrestling for being “fake” and I always tell them that Harry Potter is also fake, yet nobody’s complaining. Yet another source of creative fuel comes from the computer game Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. If it wasn’t for that game, I wouldn’t have such a fascination with barbarians. Deus Shadowheart, the main character of Fireball Nightmare, probably wouldn’t be a barbarian or even in existence if it wasn’t for Diablo II.
Q: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
A: When I was a child, I loved playing with Legos and I had a set from the pirate franchise that was a volcano with a swinging skull door in front. I called this set the Volcano of Doom and it has since been the inspiration for the main deity of Fireball Nightmare, Vahd (which is just a respelling of the acronym for Volcano of Doom (VOD)). Realistically, Fireball Nightmare is just an excuse for me to use a favorite barbarian character of mine named Deus Shadowheart and an idea I had for a dark fantasy apocalyptic role-playing game I made up called Valley of the Damned. When two kick-ass things come together, it’s instant magic. The makers of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup know this very well.
Q: Describe your desk.
A: It’s a hand-me-down from my older brother and has been in my possession since 2008. I have to be careful with it because it’s small and shakes easily. The upper tier has my computer screen, pencils, flash drives, and tissues on it. The middle tier holds my fan, house phone, speakers, tape player, keyboard, and sometimes a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. The bottom tier is where my computer tower, printer, and power strips are located. In addition to writing stories and poetry, my rickety desk has also been used to draw some…interesting pictures.
Q: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
A: I’ve lived in many places over the course of my childhood, but the one place where reality hit me the hardest was when I was going to high school in Chehalis, Washington. My freshman year was best known for the verbal bullying I have endured and almost committed suicide over. Due to the crippling PTSD (and eventual schizophrenia) I’ve suffered, most of my writing is influenced by dark and disturbing themes such as death, bullying, mental sickness, sex, and violence. I do have lighthearted stories in my archives, but I will always be known as an R-rated author.
Q: When did you first start writing?
A: I’ve been writing all of my life, but the time when I started taking it seriously was January of 2002. My first writing project was a videogame idea called Final Fantasy Hardcore. It had the same magical premise and romantic leanings as the games in the Final Fantasy series, but it was set in a dystopian future and had tons of mature content. My two favorite characters from this series are a charismatic barbarian named Deus Shadowheart and a perverted scientist named Dr. Scott Cain. Ever since scrapping Final Fantasy Hardcore, I’ve been trying to find a story for those two to be a part of. I think I’ve finally nailed it with a dark fantasy novel I’m currently writing called “Fireball Nightmare”.
Q: What’s the story behind your latest book?
A: My most recently published e-book as of now is American Darkness, which isn’t really a novel, but a collection of emotional short stories in a contemporary setting. There are 22 different stories jammed in this anthology, but the pride and joy of this series is one called “Another Brick in the Wall”, which obviously takes its name from the Pink Floyd songs. It is a classic verbal confrontation between a strict US History teacher named Sid McDonnell and a stressed out student named Sam Keith. This is a scenario I have always fantasized about, especially considering I had some rather unsavory teachers in high school and college who deserved a tongue-lashing.
Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?
A: My circumstances were the reason I chose self-publishing over traditional. I live in a town called Port Orchard, where young adult writers don’t have an outlet for their creativity. If I wanted to go somewhere to fulfill that need, it would have to be either Seattle, Bellingham, or Tacoma, all three of which are big cities that are too hard to get to. I don’t have a car or a driver’s license, so I have to depend on others for transportation. The people in my family who have driver’s licenses have schedules of their own and can’t ferry me to the big cities on a daily basis. Instead of stressing myself out by traveling to the big cities, I choose to use the internet to make my presence known. I have a lot of work to do in order to market myself, but I wouldn’t have self-published if I didn’t believe I could do it.
Q: How has Smash Words contributed to your success?
A: I haven’t sold very many e-books yet, but when the money starts rolling in, it will be because I chose Smash Words. Simply having a place where my writing can be immortalized is good enough for me. I write regularly on Deviant Art, Good Reads, Blogger, and Face Book. Smash Words is different from these places because it gives me a platform to organize my writing into a tangible product instead of just bits and pieces. Sometimes people need to see the bigger picture in order to make a decision about whether to be a member of an author’s audience.
Q: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A: Exercising my creativity is always a fun part of the business, but my favorite part comes from the feeling of accomplishment I get after I write something. I have taken something from my screwed up psyche and made something beautiful out of it. I liken this to the scene in the musical Pink Floyd the Wall where the main character smashes his hotel room in a fit of rage and afterwards makes a piece of art out of the remains. It’s a creepy way to think of my accomplishments, but then again, lots of creepy things go on in my mind.
Q: What do your fans mean to you?
A: My fans mean everything to me. Every time they give me a compliment or critique on my writing, it helps me become a better writer. Even if it’s a short compliment like “very well-written”, it’s enough to boost my confidence to continue putting myself out there. I’m shy at first, but when I begin to get comfortable with a group of people, we do so much for each other.
Q: What are you working on next?
A: It’s a dark fantasy novel called Fireball Nightmare. The first act, which is known as This Is Violence, deals with a forest-dwelling barbarian named Deus Shadowheart who will go to extreme means to protect his home from city developers. The main reason he does this is because he is a servant of the volcanic mountain god Vahd, who will erupt into apocalyptic fire if his forest is destroyed. The second act is called Valley of the Damned, but I won’t get into it right now because too much of the plot will have been revealed.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: This is going to sound ironic coming from a lifelong writer, but I didn’t actually become a bookworm until 2009 when I picked up a copy of The Cleaner by Brett Battles. The books I read in college were slow-paced and dull while The Cleaner was exciting and quick. It’s because of this drastic change in pace that Brett Battles will always be my favorite author. Others include fellow introvert Susan Cain, Sherman Alexie, Carl Hiaasen, and Stephen Chbosky. Realistically, I’ll give my patronage to any author who can dictate a fast pace with his or her writing. Bonus points to go to any author who can almost bring me to tears. I haven’t cried since 2007, but I came very close to doing so with many of the authors I’ve read books from, particularly Stephen Chbosky.
Q: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A: To be honest, I don’t have much of a professional or social life in my small town of Port Orchard, Washington. To put it bluntly, I’m unemployed and have very few friends. I don’t have much of a reason to get out of bed every day, so the closest thing to inspiration I have is walking to the grocery store to get three giant bottles of Diet Mountain Dew. Walking is a fun exercise that helps me clear my mind, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to rock out to heavy metal music on my MP3 player.