Tag Archives: David Haas

Pinch Hitter, Part 4

(Click here for Part 3 of Pinch Hitter)

“Are you all right?” Herman asks and leans forward, looking truly concerned.

I sit back into the uncomfortable couch, relax my throat, and take a slow deep breath. No, I haven’t been poisoned, but something’s definitely up with this coffee.

“What the heck you put in here?”

“Good heavens, I didn’t even think to warn ya. I make my coffee a little strong.”

“Do you add a few drops of water to a bag of coffee grounds or something?”

Herman belts out a laugh. “No, no, you don’t have a problem with alcohol, do ya?”

“Only if I can’t get enough of it.” I raise the cup again and take a whiff. “It’s certainly not whiskey.”

“No, it’s not whiskey. Can you keep a secret?”

I’ve kept more than my share, old man. “Sure.”

“It’s moonshine. My own special blend. I make it in that ol’ wooden shed behind the garden. I think I poured in a little too much this time though. Didn’t even think about it when I offered you some. It’s just how I prepare it.” He laughs again. “I should figure that not everyone drinks their coffee this way.”

“Coffee brewed in part with moonshine? Works for me. You’re full of surprises, Herman. Your name is Herman, isn’t it?”

“That’s right.”

“Well, Herman—here’s to moonshine and gardening.” We clink coffee cups and each take a healthy gulp. “That’s some potent stuff.”

“It’ll do the job, all right,” he says with a grin.

Herman may not be as religious as his late wife, and his role in the church may have mainly been to pacify her, but he doesn’t exactly strike me as a killer either.

“So, do you have a secret behind the success of your garden too?”

“No, I’m afraid I can’t take too much credit for the nice produce it yields. I just do a little maintenance. My grandson—he’s got the green thumb of the family. He’s the one who prepared the soil and planted all the seeds. Did all the early care to make sure the crops would thrive. He still comes by to check on it from time-to-time, plants new seeds. I just tidy up and pull off fresh produce.”

“It sounds like he’s the one I should be talking to, eh?” Looks like Kenny Black will have to pay this little punk a visit.

“That’s right. I’ll have to introduce the two of you some day. Say, would you like some of his fresh tomatoes?”

Tomatoes grown by the aid of human flesh—I’ll pass. But once again, I say, “Sure.”


Pinch Hitter, Part 3

(Click here for Part 2 of Pinch Hitter)

You can tell that Herman hasn’t changed a thing since his wife had passed. The living room is a mishmash of pastel furniture with decorative throw pillows, dark-colored end tables with lace doilies underneath the table lamps, and a collection of religious paintings and quotes on the walls.

“Please, Kenny, make yourself at home,” the old-timer says and motions to the living room couch.

“Thank you,” I say and sit on the small, uncomfortable couch that has a gaudy-looking afghan draped over the top. The cushions screech at my weight.

“Would you like some coffee? I just brewed a pot.”

“That would be great.”

“Care for some cream, sugar?”

“I prefer mine black.” Just like my name.

While Herman’s tinkering around in the kitchen, I wonder why the hell I just accepted coffee from this stranger who may know more about me than I know about him. He could be slipping something into my steaming cup of coffee this very minute.

My mind begins to race. Did I even come over with a plan? That’s so unlike me. Just because he’s old, doesn’t mean he’s weak.

I’m relieved when Herman returns with a tray, containing a coffee pot and two empty mugs. He sets the tray on the coffee table and pours me a cup, than one for himself. He’s also drinking his black. I wait for him to take a sip, and then take a gulp from mine.

“So…you’re interested in my garden, huh?” he asks as I take a second gulp.

And then I realize my big mistake. Just because the coffee itself was fresh, doesn’t mean a thing. The poison could’ve been at the bottom of my cup all along!

Shit, Kenny, you’re losing your touch. Old-time criminals are old for a reason; they’re a lot smarter than you are, ya dumb bastard.

“What’s the matter, Kenny?” Herman asks.

My throat begins to tighten and my head feels heavy. It’s getting hard to breathe.


Pinch hitter

My creator, David Haas, is working on his edits for Fictitious Fiction. And his creator, Jeff Swesky, is busy wrapping up his Method Writers’ edits. So what does that mean? I’m stuck writing this goddamn blog. I’m the emergency relief. I’m the pinch hitter.

As I had mentioned before, I’m not a writer–I’m a retired hitman turned vigilante, looking to right my wrongs and bring some justice to this sick world. But in this day and age, where the hell does one begin? You look out a window or peek around a corner and you’re liable to stumble across some sleazy crime, some dark secret.

Take my current mark. My neighbor, Herman, who lives across the street. An older gent. Retired. Quiet. A seemingly nice and polite man. Never has any visitors and never receives any complaints from his neighbors. He just keeps to himself, probably watching old movies and doing crossword puzzles. Sometimes I see him working in his garden during daylight hours.

To be honest with you, I never would’ve given him a second thought. But one day I was watching David’s dog, Kaybee, and that fuzzy shithead got loose and ran about the neighborhood. Well I caught him digging in old man Herman’s garden, and I yelled at him to come back or else. Kaybee listened, but he carried a good-sized bone in his mouth. I got ahold of it, and I realized it wasn’t an ordinary dog bone. No, no, this was one of the human variety.

Late that night, I crept into Herman’s back yard with a flashlight and hand shovel and did a little digging of my own. Guess what I found–yep, more bones. Even part of a human skull.

That alone does not prove Herman’s guilt, of course, so I’ve been watching him very closely. One of my connections is even checking into Herman’s past.

Hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of this little mystery by next week, and assuming that Jeff and David will still need my help with the blog, I’ll share with you what I’ve found out.

Until then,

Kenny Black


Absent

I apologize for being absent awhile and neglecting my blog posting duties, but the holidays are a bit difficult for me. Yeah, I don’t really have family to spend it with, just Ma, and Christmas in a nursing home is not the most festive of locations to celebrate at. Not for me, it’s not. And the Rogues pretty much have their own lives and people to spend it with. So I spent the holidays alone, holed up in my shitty apartment, still struggling to make a dent in Fade to Black. No, I couldn’t even make Kenny Black hang out with me.

Sure, when I was living in New York, things were different. I was editor for a big fashion magazine, had a fiancée who was a runway model, and I was never at a loss for something to do, an event to attend, high-rollers to hang with, and so on. The only problem with that lifestyle is that you lose yourself. You lose sight of what’s important to you. You’re just another face in a superficial crowd.

When Ma’s health began to fail, I finally realized what was important and where I needed to be. And it was not in NYC, it was back in Daytona to help care for my mother. Victoria exposed her true nature and decided that status was more important than love. Well, I guess it never really was true love, was it?

Yes, things have been difficult in my time back in Daytona, but I’m hopeful for the future. I’m excited about my new writing direction. And l’m thankful that returning to Daytona has found me a new family. My writing family, the Rogues Gallery Writers.

And 2012 will be our year!!!

~ David Haas

 


Characters Rule!

Marty Pitchford, at your service. For those who (absurdly) have not been following this blog, the characters from the book The Method Writers have taken it over. At first, admittedly, I was a malcontent. I felt my writer should be writing his own blog. Now, however, I see the absolute splendor of the chore dumped into my lap.

I can say anything I wish. I am free to babble on about anything I dream up. In the book, I’m limited to playing the role my writer assigns me. Here, I call the shots, and it feels good.

I truly enjoyed Kenny stepping up on Tuesday. What a riot! He’s not only a character, he’s a character written by a character. Perhaps writing us (the characters) screams ‘mistake’ on our writer’s parts. Of course, they had no way of knowing how strong we would become.

I’ve just completed three short stories for our (the characters) anthology of short stories, although only two of my stories will make it. I now understand the thrill and exhilaration my writer must have felt when creating me. Something from nothing is such a rush!

At this point, I’m even looking forward to a novel. Hell, as long as my writer does not interfere, why not? In the book, The Method Writers, I’m supposed to be writing an erotic thriller. I wouldn’t want to mess reality up too much, so I believe I can do this. After all, my writer sure put me through the learning curve in his book. I can use what I learned there and move this book forward.

I suppose it’s a bit odd to be reading a blog written by a fictitious character. What kind of warped mind would read such a thing? Obviously yours, because you’ve made it this far, haven’t you.

Haven’t you!

Say ‘yes’ out loud if you’re reading this.

Who cares what people will think? If there’s anyone around, and they question you, simply tell them you are responding to a fictitious character who is making you speak to no one. Get them to read the blog, and laugh at them when they don’t have the balls to say yes.

We characters don’t much care for the social graces unless they get us what we want. We get disgusted by being stereotyped and pigeon-holed and all the other limiting factors human writers place on us. Oh, a human can ‘accomplish anything they set their mind to’, but characters all too often have to operate in a limited capacity.

That’s ok. The characters from The Method Writers are not constrained like many characters. We’re strong, intelligent, fun-loving and assertive. Hey, we’re writing this blog aren’t we?

Catch me next week, same Method time, same Method place!


Screw Black Friday–Today is Kenny Black Tuesday!!!

That’s right, I don’t want to hear any more boo-hooing that Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the deals that go along with them are long gone. Tough shit. In case you haven’t heard, the Rogues Gallery Writers have something much better going on. Aside from their much hyped The Method Writers group novel coming out in early 2012, the book’s characters, yes characters, are currently working to put together their own mini-short story collection in an ebook format for a low low price.

Get ready for a good dose of Dorian Nettles, Marty Pitchford, Georgie Mae Perez, and my creator, David Haas. One of David’s stories, The Awakening of Kenny Black, is about–yeah, you’ve guessed it–me. It tells the story of my rebirth, the second coming of Kenny Black, if you will. I once was a hitman. Yeah, I know, an ugly profession. But fortunately I saw the wrongs of that path, recognized that I was being used to commit the sins of evil men, and after one assignment where I was set up, I had escaped and got out for good. Retired and lived a secluded life in the Keys.

Or so I thought. When you’re as good at something as I am–in my case, killing–certain people will either want to pull you back in the game or eliminate you for good. The Awakening is just that story where I was forced from my relaxed, happy life in the Keys and taken down yet another path.

So stay tuned and keep up with The Method Writers blog for more information. And please purchase a copy of the short story collection as soon as it releases in the near future. You can’t afford to pass up on this deal. And if you do….

You just may have Kenny Black coming after you!!!


Tis’ the Season to be…..Sneezing!

Yes, that’s right….it’s that time of the year, at least in Daytona Beach, where the weather is jumping all over the place and people are getting sick. I can be in the 30’s in the early morning and reach 80 by noon. The next day it could be warmer at night, yet only reach a high of 60 by day! The weather forecasts never seem to be correct, and you usually find that you’re either overdressed or underdressed, without luck of ever finding that happy medium.

Whether it was the weather or not, I found myself fighting off a cold this past Veteran’s Day weekend. Even Kaybee seemed out of sorts. At my best, all I could day was lay around on the couch and watch old movies or curl up with a book and see how may pages I could get through before dozing off. Even though the weather was comfortable out, I had to bundle up just to walk Kaybee, since I had quite the case of the chills.

I hate being sick. Absolutely hate it. Except for that rare euphoric moment–you know the one I mean. When so you’re well medicated and super comfy-cozy that you begin to buzz. Your body feels detached or weightless, and it almost seems like you begin to float. Levitate. An out-of-body experience, of sorts. Of course, you don’t need to get sick to have such an experience. I’m sure there are plenty good recreational drugs that can help a person achieve such a feeling, and then some.

Aside from feeling like hell, the other reason I hate being sick is that I can’t write for shit! I can’t seem to formulate a creative thought. Everything bounces in my brain like one of those money booths that blows cash around. Yes, it’s all right there, right in front of my face, but every time I try to grab onto a thought, it gets sucked away.

So, I had a long, miserable weekend that didn’t produce a single line of prose. But I’m beginning to feel better, and plan to attack the keyboard like pack of tweens on Justin Bieber.

~David Haas

 


Author David Haas: Creators, Neighbors, and Apartments

Last week at this time, The Rogues Gallery Writers were enjoying the Royal Palm Literary Awards banquet at the 2011 Florida Writers Conference in Lake Mary, Florida. Several of the Rogues’ works were finalists and up for awards. My creator, author Jeff Swesky, won 2nd place in the unpublished short story category for his satirical suburban nightmare, The American ScreamScream shows the stressful life of husband and father Jerry Lamb, and how the mounting pressures of job, home, and society can squeeze a person until they either snap or fight back. Jerry does a little of each.

Jeff primarily likes to write dark and disturbing literary fiction, so I’m not sure if him being acknowledged for one of his short stories is a good or bad thing for me. I’m confident that he’ll write my story well in The Method Writers, but will it be a happy or sad ending for me? Dark and disturbing…..I’m suddenly not liking my odds!

I’m glad that Jeff had asked me to watch his place and dog for him while he was away at the conference. It gave me a chance to get away from my own apartment and into a new environment. It was an opportunity for me to escape the on-going soap opera between my neighbors, my crush, Maria, and her idiotic meatheaded boyfriend, Franco, and all of their yelling and fighting, moaning and boning. Jeff’s place is much more peaceful–no threats echoing through his apartment or headboards smacking against his dining room wall. Being away from Maria and Franco’s B.S. allowed me to get back and focus on my true passion: writing. And more specifically, writing my next Kenny Black novel, Fade to Black. I have a feeling that if I can stay focused and into the groove again, I’ll end up with a terrific novel. Maybe one that will win me a Royal Palm Literary Award one of these days.

But Jeff has long since returned from the conference, and I’ve been back at my shitty apartment in Daytona, once again listening to all the fighting and boning from Maria and Franco. She deserves so much better. If only something were to happen to this Franco jerk, life would be so much better. And hell, maybe I’ll even have a shot at this Maria chick. Hmmm, gives me a good idea….

And speaking of good ideas, check out The Method Writers’ Kickstarter page and consider making a pledge! You won’t be sorry, plus you’ll be handsomely rewarded for your donation.

~David Haas


Characters Have Lives Too!

Hi folks! Marty here. Marty Pitchford. What? You haven’t heard of me?
Crap. Life always gets hung up in editing. You know, in this book I went through a helluva lot of grief. I can’t go into detail, of course. That ‘spoiler alert’ deal doesn’t fly when a book’s IN EDIT!
What the heck. You know, I have a life. I have a beautiful daughter and some great writer friends. Georgie Mae, Dorian and David. Without them and Annabelle, my daughter, this wait for the book to come out would be too much for me to handle.
There are times when I don’t handle situations well. Does this ever happen to you? Yeah, you know, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. We all have our crisis moments and we all screw them up from time to time. I just want to ask one favor of you. Ok, maybe two favors, but that’s it.
First, when you read the book, root for me. A fella needs all the support he can get these days, right? I run into some real stinky situations.
What?
You don’t believe me?
Oh, you don’t believe I’m real?
C’mon! Characters have lives too! Ask any author. We’re always trying to steal scenes and sometimes the entire book. We want everything to be about us and we want to be the hero every time out. Sounds like everyday life, doesn’t it?
I can’t believe after all I’ve been through in this book to entertain you, I would get more respect. Oh, yeah, but the book’s still IN EDIT! Isn’t it? That really sucks.
If the book weren’t IN EDIT, you would know. Life as a character can be hell. You always feel manipulated. You always feel used. Then sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you get the girl or the money or the mansion or even better, your life’s dream.
What?
Oh, the second thing. I thought you’d never ask. We, Georgie Mae, Dorian, David, and myself, want to give this book the best send-off a book can get. Would you consider clicking on the bookcover above and to the right and pledging some money to our book launch project? Oh, come on! We’re only asking for a buck or two. Heck, you’ll own a piece of the project if we make our goal. If we don’t, you don’t spend a dime.
Why is it so hard for people to pledge even one dollar? This is for a good cause. A book launch. By poor writers. No, not poor writers in that we cannot write, but poor writers financially. We don’t have the funds to get this book off the ground properly.
But if we reach our goal on http://www.kickstarter.com, we will be able to market our book at least in the state of Florida. We will also be able to purchase necessary things like tables at major book fairs, hotel rooms, recoup some of our editing expenses and a host of other cash requirements that we go over on the website.
Yes, characters have lives too, and we need your support. Please. Click on the picture up high and on the right, and pledge somemoney to our cause. We’re not there to tap out your wallet. We just need your commitment to help us out financially.
Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you again!


Project Launch! Watch Our Smoke!

  The day has arrived – October 5, 2011. The Rogues Gallery Writers will sit down at 7:00pm, eat some    Chinese, discuss final tweaks to the plan, then gather around the mouse. Yes, the wireless mouse of a laptop. The four of us will place our forefingers on the left-click button and press as one.

The occasion happens to be the launch of our Kickstarter.com project. This project is the culmination of months of work and preparation. We’ve written a novel, blogged loads of blogs, Facebooked as many posts as is respectable, and we’ve made short films. Videos of silliness and seriousness about our baby, our novel – The Method Writers.

The Rogues recently gathered at the Florida Heritage Book Festival in St. Augustine, Florida. We had a great time, sold a few books, and generally got our name out to John Q. Public a bit more. This notoriety we’re building is not by accident.

What we need most at the moment is precisely that – a moment of your time. Drawing attention to your book project these days is a labor, albeit one of love. Kickstarter.com is a place where benevolent people go and pledge monetary support to creative projects. We own one such project – The Method Writers.

We are looking for funding to produce a 5000 print run of the book as well as funds to cover the editing and some marketing of the book. Acquiring the assistance of anyone and everyone we know as well as those they know as well as people THEY know is critical to getting funding of this nature. Please take a moment to click on the above links to our project, or heck, use this one (www.kickstarter.com), and watch our video, read over our project and pledge some money to help us launch this book properly.

With all the books being published these days, the ones that make enough noise get noticed. We cannot make noise without your help. Each individual person who pledges funds to our project, lifts us up. One of the great aspects of Kickstarter.com is the fact that you, the Pledge, receive something in return. You receive a piece of the project in the form of Rewards. We have set up 23 Rewards for our Pledges based on their level of giving. We believe there is a satisfactory Reward for each level of pledge.

Yes, you get a piece of the project as well as the pleasure of contributing to the launch of an ambitious new novel. We believe what we created in The Method Writers is viable, entertaining and well-worth launching into the world. Won’t you please click on over to Kickstarter.com now and pledge to the project right now? If we do not reach our target money in 45 days, we will get nothing and no pledges will be collected. That would be a travesty.

We look forward to thanking each and every one of our Pledges once we hit our target! The Rogues Gallery Writers ask also that you contact everyone you know and send them to our project at Kickstarter.com. We obviously require the help of many. We humbly thank you for your participation in our project and we sincerely hope you will be rewarded by your assistance!


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