Blog fiction

employment ad

English major for F/T high level position needed immediately.  Must be able to sit at a desk and bark orders.  Writing emails or reading all day is allowed.  Should have experience in sitting, staring.  High pay, benefits, paid lunch hour.  Early retirement option.

Blog fiction

what do i think of f. scott fitzgerald?

He was a great man.  He took me in when I was slumped against his door in the middle of the downpour night.  He clothed me, showed me a new life and a new love.  We skipped stones in Monet’s garden, walked along the Seine at dusk.  There was the paper airplane incident.  We laughed so giddily and so frequently I sometimes wondered if there was a time before this, or if there would be a time after.  I hoped not.  When he told me his stories he substituted my name in for all the characters.  It was confusing.

How I wish I could return to those carefree simple times.  Me and F. Scott Fitzgerald, living together as brothers.

Blog fiction reviews

dear mr. spielberg

We haven’t met, but I have a big favor to ask.  I’m a lifelong fan of yours, since ET came out when I was 3.  Far be it from me to impose, but this is a matter I cannot entrust with any other director.  Please make Jurassic Park 4.  Make it for me, make it for the children, make it for selfish money reasons: I don’t care.  Just make that movie.

Let’s face it, neither of us is getting any younger.  Jurassic Park is fantastic, but how long has it been?  Almost twenty years?  Way too long.  Not to be rude, but The Lost World was kind of phoning it in, and JP3 wasn’t even directed by you.  The world needs another Jurassic Park movie, and we need it from you.

Jurassic Park is far and away the best dinosaur movie ever made.  I know because I’ve seen a lot of dinosaur movies.  They range from terrible to pretty bad to campy.  People think they can slap some dinosaurs into a movie and sell tickets.  They don’t care about dinosaurs like you and I do.

You took a great story (possibly Michael Crichton‘s best work) and used the most advanced technology available to bring those dinosaurs to life.   Not only that, you crammed that movie with dinosaur in-jokes and little homages to the people who spent their lives researching dinosaurs.  Jurassic Park has layers.  It does not, however, need to be your final word on the subject.  There is plenty more to explore.

I know you’re busy so I’ll end this letter with my humble suggestions and be off.  Get Tom Hanks and Cate Blanchett, hire a screenwriter who actually cares about dinosaurs, and get your pal George Lucas to make the visual effects.  You can shoot it quickly between Academy Award movies if you want, I don’t care.  Just make it so I can go out and see it, please.


love, kid shay

Blog fiction

tattoos i almost got

All tattoos would have gone on my forehead, unless otherwise noted.

Eddie Vedder riding an eagle
The album cover (gatefold) to Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holyhouses of the holy

Abraham Lincoln slam dunking over LeBron James
Art Garfunkel’s hair
Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe
Flying Marioflying mario
An ad for Jack Furrier’s Western Tire Center (me & my car’s best friend – yeah!)
I think that about covers it.

Blog comic book fiction


Scenic Byways is now in the esteemed company of The Sound and The Fury, East of Eden, and The Bluest Eyescenic-byways-oprah

Oprah Winfrey yanked a copy of Scenic Byways out from a pile of memoirs by twenty-year-old first-time authors and chose to elevate it to the status of National Treasure.  Thanks, Oprah!

You can buy Scenic Byways here.  Unfortunately I’ve run out of O Book Club stickers, but I will sign your copy if you ask.

Blog fiction

an evening at mcbone manor

Though I haven’t actually been to McBone Outpost #1211, I frequently find myself imagining an evening spent at that ancient, deathly estate.  What would it be like to visit the current headquarters of Palin-hating, Denzel-Washington-loving, Stabbone and McGraw?

Let’s try to paint a picture, shall we?

My wife Isis and I arrive at the gates by horse-drawn carriage at dusk.  A mist hangs over the estate.  I stroke my beard thoughtfully.  Isis, prone to cases of the chills, says she feels chilled.  It’s true, this time there is a definite feel of mortality in the air.  As if our lives may very well be snuffed out at the stroke of midnight.  Undaunted, we tell our driver to carry on.

A movement between the trees.  Isis thinks it’s a werewolf.  I say, pshaw, it’s only a trick of her over-active imagination.  Either that or it’s a regular wolf.  Isis begins to withdraw from reality.

As our carriage pulls up to the entrance, the door creaks open.  Though we are ten feet away, the eerie air from inside the manor gives us both goosepimples.  No doorman is there to greet us as we enter, and yet the door swings shut behind us.  The lock closes on its own accord.  There is no coat rack, yet it matters not.  Isis and I are colder than when we were outside.

A shadow against the stone wall is our first sight of our host, Lord McGraw.  He glides toward us as if propelled by an uncanny pulley.  No wheels or rope are in sight.

“Please, let us retire to the dining hall,” McGraw coos.  “My wife and I have long been expecting you.”  He begins to laugh, gently at first and then gaining in intensity until he coughs violently.  Isis and I glance at each other; we were not aware the Lord said anything resembling a joke.

As Lord McGraw leads us to the dining hall, we notice the pictures, of which there are many, are not hung from the walls but set on the ground as if to be hung later.  They are all covered in thick black cloth.  The sound of dripping water can be heard deep in the distance.

“Ah, you remember my lovely wife, Lady McGraw,” says Lord McGraw, gesturing at a woman seated at the dining room table.  Isis starts.  I cannot blame her.  Lady McGraw is as pale as death, with dark brown eyes and hair that tumbles almost to the floor.  She is wearing a tattered wedding gown, and though it looks old, it is as white as the day she was married in it.  I ask Lord McGraw how long ago they were married, for, though we have been friends since boarding school, events in his life have become hazy to me.  It is as if the mist outside has clouded my mind.

“Oh, ages ago,” responds McGraw, and laughs again.  He finds so many things amusing, and yet no one else is allowed to share in his merriment.  Isis gasps, for no apparent reason.

We all sit to have dinner.  The servants are obedient and silent as they place our plates in front of us.  As one slips around the corner I think I see a tail protruding from his waistcoat.  It can’t be true, I think to myself.  I just need to eat.

Eat we do!  An eight-course feast suitable for kings.  Almost every food is represented, and yet McGraw cannot go more than a few seconds without remarking how much worse it would be if it was slathered in a white glop he calls “mayonnaise.”  Lady McGraw seems to have a healthy appetite, but Isis cannot seem to nibble here and there.  I gently scold her.  Lord McGraw notices this and tells her to wait for desert.

“It will be a delight below the heavens!” he exclaims.

“You mean, above the heavens,” I say.

Lord McGraw gently laughs.

When desert is presented to us, Lady McGraw finally speaks.  Unfortunately, it is nothing more than a high-pitched wail.  It is so alarming, so unsettling, that even Lord McGraw cannot muster a giggle.  “She sometimes has nightmares,” he says.

“But she’s not asleep,” I protest.

“But it is night time, is it not?”  McGraw opens a curtain to present us the moonless sky.

After dinner, the ladies retire to their sitting room while Lord McGraw shows me the manor.

“Here is the game room,” he says, gesturing to a room full of sharp implements and a cabinet full of skull-and-crossbones canisters.

“This is our sun room,” McGraw points toward a windowless crypt deep in the bowels of McBone manor.  There are no chairs, only two empty coffins.  “Lovely,” I manage to say.

Lord McGraw takes me upstairs.  He has told me he likes to keep pigeons.  “They are calming,” he says, as we climb the rickety wooden stairs higher and higher.  I swear to myself that the house was not this tall looking at it from the outside.  Finally we reach the roof.

When he shows me the coops, I am aghast.  “Those aren’t pigeons!” I exclaim, for staring back at me are dozens and dozens of beady-eyed bats.

Lord McGraw tuts me.  “Tut tut, my friend.  These are pigeons.  The night is so thick you have imagined bats.  Why, I’ll bet your wife told you she saw a werewolf running the grounds earlier.”

“She did!” I say.

“The night plays tricks on even the most intelligent of us.  Specters and goblins appear when only leaves and hedges are to blame.  Lady McGraw once told me she saw the demon Argosphospheles standing at the foot of her bed late one night!  Of course that was incorrect.”  Lord McGraw turns swiftly around and heads back downstairs.  Gratefully I follow.

We find Isis and Lady McGraw staring at a quilt upon our return.

“This is a quilt made by the entire McGraw line.  My great-great-great-grandmother began it, and every generation has added to it,” says Lord McGraw.

Each panel seems to depict a massacre, a witch-burning, a pagan ritual, or a beast of horrific proportions.  “Lovely,” Isis remarks.  To me, she whispers, “we have to go.”  I concur.

Our hosts, though peculiar, have shown us every hospitality.  We thank them profusely, perhaps over-zealously, as we back out the door.

As our carriage takes us away from McBone Manor, Isis clings to my arm.  Her hands are ice cold.  I find that I, too, am shivering.  The further we retreat from those weird grounds, the more like ourselves we feel.  When we arrive safely home, Isis makes me promise to wait a “good long time” before accepting another invitation to Lord and Lady McGraw’s.  I find myself hedging.  It possibly has to do with the peculiar bite marks on my neck, but I see myself returning to McBone Manor very, very soon.

Blog fiction

goodnight moon: the movie poster

The wait is over for the long-anticipated Goodnight Moon movie poster!goodnight-moon-the-movie

Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this summer blockbuster is slated for release in 2018.

This blogger can’t wait to be first in line for the adaptation to one of my all-time favorite picture books.  And with a poster this evocative, the movie will certainly not disappoint.

Blog fiction

you probably think this post is about you

For years people have been asking Carly Simon who the song ‘You’re So Vain’ is about. Since she slept with Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger, she has – by extension – slept with 3/4 the population of the world. The song could almost literally be about all of us.

Carly has played coy since 1973; there is no reason to suspect she’s about to spill the beans anytime soon. So, my dear readers, I’m going to spill the beans for her. The song is a composite of men, as she’s long hinted it was. Who those men are will definitely surprise you. galactus-lores

1) Galactus. This destroyer of worlds was created by Jack ‘King’ Kirby in 1966 and has been causing trouble for superheroes ever since. He took some time off blowing up galaxies to sleep with Carly Simon in 1967-1968.skeletor

2) Skeletor. Though most of us know Skeletor as the rival to He-Man in the 1980’s, Skeletor was a freshman State Senator in New York in the early Sixties. He and Carly Simon smoked a little weed late one night and the rest is history. 348190444_a6910b821f_o

3) Alan Rickman. The Dark Avenger. Dashing, British, and sometimes quite evil, Alan Rickman has been burning up the silver screen for many years. Before that, he burned up the bedsheets with Carly Simon in 1969.jaba_the_hut_needlefelted

4) Jabba the Hut. Seen here with his favorite fuzzy bunny. Jabba the Hut loves to party, and coincidentally so does Carly Simon. When his stretch limo pulled up to a young singer/songwriter hawking tunes for change, Carly jumped at the chance to play for a “private party” back at Hut Manor.living_brain

5) The Living Brain. Who wouldn’t fall for this guy?

I certainly hope you have been properly educated as to the men behind the hit song ‘You’re So Vain.’ These men are all vain, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love ’em.

Blog fiction

The Falling Rock Iron Man Workout

atlasLast week our partner blogger McBone outlined a miracle diet that would guarantee a physique rivaling that of a Greek God.

Countless scientific studies have proven that eating the right food can make you healthy, and even keep you alive. But scientists also know that food alone cannot make you fit.

Are you sick of being so rail thin that girls see right through you to better-looking men? Or so chubby that children mistake you for an inflated beach ball or a ripe peach? Don’t let your insecurities hold you back any longer!

Falling Rock presents the Military Preparedness Exercise Regime (FRMPER for short). You don’t actually have to enlist in the marines when you’re done with this regime, but you could.

It’s so simple, even a moron could follow these directions!

When you wake up, do thirty squats before leaving the bed. Change into comfortable clothing. It’s important to dress appropriately for exercise.

Now do a quick 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, a refreshing 112 mile bike ride, and finish off your set with a 26.2 mile run. You’ll feel like Robert Downey Jr. in that movie nobody can remember the name of.

Every day you’ll feel yourself getting stronger, with all the extra confidence that goes along with it. Falling Rock guarantees you’ll be a muscled man-wich by the end of the month. Girls will be flocking to you (or boys, if you swing that way). You’ll never get picked last for the softball team, that’s for sure!

Get on the FRMPER and get into shape!*

*Starting a new exercise routine can cause unwanted health effects such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, tinnitus, blood in stool, hypothermia, hallucinations, and even death. Consult your doctor before starting a new routine.

Blog fiction

michael kors has got to go

michaelkors_05   Every weekend my lovely wife Isis and I sit down to watch Project Runway. We make our own decisions as to who made the best and worst design that week. Well, Isis critiques; I provide “color commentary” a la Fred Willard’s character in Best in Show. Non sequiturs, inappropriate jokes, completely bogus questions. Really, it’s amazing my wife puts up with me.

Anyway, the one thing we’ve both come to agree upon is that Michael Kors has got to go. Unlike Tim Gunn, who makes positive suggestions to the contestants, and Nina Garcia, who at least attempts to highlight both positive and negative aspects of each design, Kors acts as the resident curmudgeon, doling out insults with the verve of a man who is belatedly lashing out at his high school tormentors.

The question is, who can replace Michael Kors? Who can possibly replace the great Michael Kors? We at Falling Rock have compiled a list of names for the producers of Project Runway to consider.

Bruce Springsteen.brucespringsteenbandana
Seen here in 1986, “The Boss” obviously knows fashion. He lives fashion every day of his awesome, awesome life. He’ll give bonus points to designers who include, in their descriptions of their pieces, the phrase “this dress will allow the wearer to bust out of this nowhere town, go down that hard road, and find the light.” Right on.

Mickey Rourke.mickey-rourke_06
Rourke, in The Wrestler, bought his college-age daughter a bright green windbreaker with a “S” on the front. (Her name was Stephanie.) This alone puts him in the top echelons of fashion.

Sambora the cat.sambora-toaster-water-heater
Though our cat has never worn a stitch of clothing in her life, Sambora has a highly developed fashion sense. If by “fashion sense” you mean “thick coat of fur.” She did design a successful line of ripped-leg pants, of which me and my wife are the sole owners. She is not declawed.

So there you go, Project Runway. Take this blogger’s suggestions and run with them. I can’t speak for Mssrs Springsteen and Rourke, but Sambora’s schedule is wide open. You would, however, have to work around the 23 hours per day that she is asleep.