Tag Archives: Karaoke

#flashfiction friday: St. Patrick’s Day at the Drunken Sasquatch

There’s something about St. Patrick’s Day that brings out the crazies, even in Seattle. Or, should I say, especially in Seattle. If there is one night of the year when were-dragons should stay home and avoid the tavern, it’s March 17th.

Now in a place like Seattle, folks like me usually go unnoticed because the Emerald City is just that kind of town. The people are relaxed and accepting here. It’s like they don’t even see us.

Oh, sure, a few members of my community aren’t the kind of people most folks  want to know. Being a reporter, I tend to come across them in the course of my work, and let’s just say it’s not all rainbows and unicorn farts for  some of us anymore.

Modern society has ruined the weaker minded. You didn’t hear this from me, but some of the most unusual and largest thefts of metal can be laid at their door. Ever hear of the wholesale disappearance of live electric wires for the length of a city block? How about an entire condominium’s worth of  electric water heaters going missing?

In some cases, that stolen metal isn’t being sold for drug money, as the ordinary folk assume.

That would be normal, and being what we are, we don’t really do normal that well.

No, instead of financing drug habits, it’s worse.

This stolen metal shows up at Renaissance Fairs and Fantasy Cons all over the West Coast in the form of knock-off medieval armor, pseudo-medieval jewelry, and fake regalia, hawked by elves wearing obviously plastic Spock ears and cosplaying as Legolas.

But I digress—we were talking about St. Patrick’s Day and why a were-dragon like me avoids the Drunken Sasquatch on that day. I admit that bar is my second home under ordinary circumstances, but this is not a normal holiday. And while the Drunken Sasquatch is in what is known as the Scandinavian side of town, these normally sober, morally upstanding leprechauns of the Lutheran persuasion seem to come out of the woodwork.

These are people who have no knowledge of how things work in a neighborhood bar. Ignorant of the proper protocols, they will blithely sit on a regular’s favorite barstool with no remorse or fear of reprisal.

Don’t look at me like that. You’re thinking, “Dan Dragonsworthy, don’t be such a curmudgeon. They’re leprechauns–it’s their big holiday. Why shouldn’t they celebrate a little?”

Well, I’m not a curmudgeon. I’m smart.  First of all, these folks never set foot in Ireland. They’ve been here for three generations, like the rest of us.  And once they start pounding down the beers, these leprechauns do something no sane person would consider hanging around for.

Karaoke.

You know you’ve died and gone to Irish Hell when a marauding band of leprechauns, drunk on their entire year’s quota of green beer, takes over your favorite watering hole and turns it into a karaoke bar. There is no agony like that of ten drunken leprechauns, all insisting on singing the same three Sinead O’Connor covers over and over again, all night long.

Bloody Bill doesn’t even try to fight it anymore. He just lets them set up their machine and puts in his earplugs.

Me and all the rest of the regulars—we meet at Alfredo’s house for a little BYOB party, play a little cribbage, and listen to his collection of Pogues CDs all night long. For a vampire, he’s a pretty good host, and provides us with all the little Vienna-sausages and microwaved popcorn we can consume.

So, St. Patrick’s Day is the one night of the year when you will not find me in my usual chair at the Drunken Sasquatch. Instead, I’ll be drinking my orange juice at Alfredo’s and watching Harry Wolfe try to beat Grandma at cribbage.

He won’t of course. He never has and and he never will. No one can beat Grandma at her favorite game. Of all people, Harry should know that, seeing as how she wears his stepdaddy’s hide to church every Sunday.


St Patrick’s Day at the Drunken Sasquatch, © 2017 by Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved.

Green Beer, b y SpaceAgeSage from USA (Green Beer) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Skunk Fur Coat, By unknown / –Kürschner (talk) 19:02, 3 June 2009 (UTC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Filed under #FlashFictionFriday, Dragons, writing

Karaoke Noveling

science of relationships dot comGoodness knows I have read my share of badly written books over the last three years. There is no way to describe the agony of seeing a perfectly good novel devoured by excessive descriptions and overblown characters whose moves and emotions are described to the last detail.

So I don’t.

children of the elementi ceri clarkInstead I focus on the really awesome books I have enjoyed, many of twhich will never be best sellers because they are just one drop in an ocean of books.  But that too will change, I think.

Right now, there is this sort of Karaoke Culture going in regard to writing genre-novels. It’s an “anything you can do, I can do better” sort of philosophy, and while it’s not necessarily terrible, it’s flooding the market with less than stellar works by people who really only have one book in them, and not a great one at that.  At some point, this flood of indies will peak and then level out and those who are in it for the long haul will gain better visibility.

George R.R.Martin formatting issue 1 via book blog page views, margaret ebyIn actuality, every indie author is a Karaoke Star–at first we begin as amateurs who dream big, standing up in front of a crowd and putting our talents (or lack thereof) on the line.  We find out that the more you drink, the better we sound, and when you applaud our efforts, it only encourages us.

Young Woman Sitting Looking at Laptop ScreenSome of us become so encouraged, we quit our day jobs and go pro–to our families’ shock and horror.

Regardless of how badly written a book is, the author had passion for it, and just like the guy who mutilated “Billie Jean” with all his drunken heart in the Karaoke Bar the other night, the author did their best against huge odds.

I have some hard-earned advice for new authors, those of you who want to leave the ranks of the Karaoke novelists. If you are really serious about your work,  get your work professionally edited. Yes, it will cost you, but that experience will enable you to put a book out there that you can be proud of, one that will stand up to any put out by the big publishers.

George R.R.Martin formatting issue 2 via book blog page views, margaret ebyYou might wonder what prompted this little rant–I have just spent the week looking through five reasonably priced, beautifully covered indie books–only to discover they were poorly formatted, rife with newbie errors–beginning the book with a big info dump (been there done that)–thick, lush descriptions of “creamy blue eyes” (pardon, must barf now)–and threads to nowhere, obviously intended to entice the reader to get the sequel, which is now on my “No way in hell” list.  My response? “If you went to the trouble to find expensive art for the cover, you could have had the freaking mess professionally edited. Don’t tell me your friends edited it for you, because the way it looks now, your best chums aren’t doing you any favors.”

on writing

Indies–aren’t you glad I only review the books I like? I don’t want to be known for being a bitch, which is what I feel like when I read some of these travesties.  You see–I have been there.  I started out that way and I didn’t get it either. But experience is a real teacher, and more than anything, I love this craft, and want to be the best I can be at it, whether I sell a book or not.

Thus, after grousing and yelling for two days this week, I decided to reread an old favorite, and will be blogging on my review blog about a book that was published in 1997. I have read it twice, and each time I am swept away by it. Tomorrow, I will be talking about it on Best in Fantasy. My posts go up by 8:00 in the morning US west coast Pacific time. If you are curious as to what book I am talking about, stop by tomorrow!

EDIT:

Review of “Fall of Angels” by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

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