Thursday, July 17, 2008

Novel Update

This is another sort of - almost - not really an update on the novel. I've had another crazy idea for a different story. The very basic sketch of it is as follows:

It would be a pulp crime detective novel with all the typical trappings of that genre: loaded descriptions and melodrama centered around a tough talking detective type with a gorgeous secretary.
The twist?
The detective is a lesbian.
The secretary is just coming to terms with her own homosexuality. And she has a kid.

I'm kind of in the research stage right now. I don't want to put off this vibe of being a pervert, I genuinely want to explore the genuine feelings of someone in this situation, while still having fun with the action mystery stuff.

The reason I'm putting this out there is maybe it'll motivate me to actually write the damn thing. (I must admit I'm nervous about painting myself into a genre corner that would alienate most of my readers).

Any thoughts, comments, or snide remarks on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a mill,


Thursday, June 5, 2008


Those of you that have read this blog for a while know that in April, I participated in the April Poem A Day challenge over at Robert Brewer's blog, Poetic Asides. I proudly completed that challenge, writing a poem for every day in April. He has continued to post highlights of each day, and my poem from day 21, "'Cause Here's the Thing" just got highlighted!! If you'd like to see it for yourself, surf over to Day 21 Highlights. Scroll all the way to the bottom for my poem, and check out some of the other talented poets as well. Thanks to all of you that have supported me thus far, and rest assured, the novel will soon be back in production as soon as other bits of my life fall back in to place.

Thanks again!


Monday, June 2, 2008

A Little (Not-So) Update

Unfortunately, yet again, I don't have a real update on the novel other than I have been pretty busy/tired/stressed lately, and I find myself taking stupid quizzes online or playing nuisance games in the few spare seconds I get to try to calm down. I am working right this minute on a short story I thought of, so hopefully, that starts the creative pump and I can get back to business. I hope.

Peace, Love, and Purring Kitties,


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Poem a Day, Day 30

WOO-HOO!!!! I HAVE GONE ALL...THE...WAY!!!!! I have completed the poem a day challenge for April! I'd like to thank all of you that read my poems and put up with me this month! I'll be back to novel writing soon, in the mean time, today's challenge was to write about an ending, so without any further ado, here's my poem...

The End of Apathy

Landing in Dublin, we could do anything.

We had proven to ourselves that we could

go anywhere,

be anything.

In a candy store, the funny accent said

America was under attack. Must be some

radio drama.

At a pub that night, we watched as planes

smacked the towers

In a continuous loop

a continuous loop


Ireland sympathized, it's citizens asking

if we knew anyone there.

We're from Missouri, so no.

We sympathized, the cliché holds true,

Many New York Police and Fire Fighters are


We all agreed something needed to be done.

Our 'elected' leaders certainly did something.

Squandering the world's confidence,

they filled their war profiteering pockets.

We played our video games, watched our reality shows,

and generally didn't care as the world was ransacked

in our name.

Now is not the time for apathy.

Now is the time to dream

to hope

to vote

Now is the time to not allow another election to

be stolen, because there will simply be too many of us.

-Justin M. Howe

Poem a Day, Day 29

Yay!!! I got myself caught up!!!! Only one day left! Whew! Today's two fer Tuesday challenge was to write a poem about exercise, or a poem in 2nd person. I decided to combine these, and had a lot of fun!

Exercise Can Be For You!

Is going to the gym just not for you?

Do you look at that machine in the

corner holding up your jeans and think

some day you should probably use that


Why don't you step outside? That's right,

you don't need those muscle men and Barbie

dolls staring at your cellulite-infused thighs

while you try desperately to find your

rhythm on the stair master. Why stay inside

your home when the fresh air and the blooming

flowers beckon?

Do yourself a favor and ride a bike, take a

hike, do anything but go to the sweat-smelling

gym or stay in your musty home.

Act now, carbon dioxide may get the best of

this planet soon, so hurry and get outside

before it's too late!

-Justin M. Howe

Poem a Day, Day 28

This one takes a little explaining. This challenge was to write a sestina. This was probably the hardest challenge yet. I'll let Robert Brewer explain how a sestina works:

* It's a poem consisting of 7 stanzas.

* The first 6 stanzas have 6 lines; the final stanza has 3 lines.

* There are only 6 end words to each line throughout the 39-line poem.

* They rotate in the following pattern:

1-End Word 1

2-End Word 2

3-End Word 3

4-End Word 4

5-End Word 5

6-End Word 6

7-End Word 6

8-End Word 1

9-End Word 5

10-End Word 2

11-End Word 4

12-End Word 3

13-End Word 3

14-End Word 6

15-End Word 4

16-End Word 1

17-End Word 2

18-End Word 5

19-End Word 5

20-End Word 3

21-End Word 2

22-End Word 6

23-End Word 1

24-End Word 4

25-End Word 4

26-End Word 5

27-End Word 1

28-End Word 3

29-End Word 6

30-End Word 2

31-End Word 2

32-End Word 4

33-End Word 6

34-End Word 5

35-End Word 3

36-End Word 1

37-End Words 1 and 2

38-End Words 3 and 4

39-End Words 5 and 6

Usually, the best strategy is to pick out 6 words you think you can have fun with and that are probably somewhat flexible in how you can use them (this includes modifying a word here and there--like changing "cold" to "clod" to fit your purposes). Maybe throw in a word that is a little unique--if you really want to challenge yourself. And remember to have fun."

Did you get all that? Don't worry, I had to keep the window with this explanation next to the window I was typing in. Anyway, here were my words:

1 Trust

2 Killing

3 Lovely

4 Distant

5 Trade

6 Night

And without further ado, my poem:

Shining Armor

In this world, is there anyone you can truly trust?

Who can you, when everyone is out to make a killing?

You meet that special someone, who is simply lovely.

All too quickly, one or both of you become distant.

If it is the other, don't you wish you could trade?

All too quickly, she turns to another knight.

It could happen in the dead of night,

When even your eyes you can not trust

You can't sleep, for your love she has traded

For the guy if you saw you would likely kill.

You would chase him down if you saw him from a distance

for stealing your soul, you're only love.

Don't get me wrong, I've kept my true love,

I continue to hold her all through the night.

Though sometimes I'm accused of keeping my distance,

She stays, and though I'm unworthy, gives me her trust.

Of my heart, she has made the kill,

Though revived, of her, I would never make a trade.

For her, a life of solitude I have traded

For eyes ablaze and skin so lovely,

If anyone hurt her, I would likely kill.

In my best shining armor, I would be her knight.

If I did that, she would not question that it was me she could trust.

More often than not, though, I choose to stay distant.

I gather no comfort from my distance,

For compassion and intimacy, I would gladly trade

I am so undeserving of her trust

Yet she stays, making me feel lovely.

Yet I'm still awake at night,

trying so hard for my timidity to kill.

And why is it this hard to kill

that thing which makes me seem distant?

That would make me a brave and noble knight,

chivalry being my trade,

I would rescue the damsel, so lovely

and in me, she would know she could trust.

She could trust me to make that kill

And keep her love close, never distant

Worthy would this trade make me, to hold her through the night.

-Justin M. Howe

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poem a Day, Day 27

This challenge was to write one side of a phone conversation...


No seriously, who is this?

You're serious?

I knew it!

Thank you, thank you so much!



I understand that.


Ok, take it easy.


Ah! I should have said...

-Justin M. Howe