Ophelia Crane

Click here to edit subtitle


Adventures of your average every day writer!

view:  full / summary

Checklist for the Coming Spring!

Posted by Lokispark Publications on February 5, 2017 at 1:05 PM

Checklist for the coming spring…

First draft of rEvolution – In progress…but the story is starting to get bigger than I anticipated. Still hoping for spring, though.

Collection of stories – Completed! Yes, yes, I didn’t mention that I was compiling a book of short stories in my last blog. I didn’t really know if I had enough stories to put together a decent book. As it turns out, I do. Now, it’s not the tome that many writers tend to put out, but I thought it would be nice reading while you wait for the other novels I’m cranking out.

So what is this book? It’s entitled Three A.M. It showcases several stories I’ve written over the years. True to form, it sticks to no particular genre. You will find horror, science fiction, abstract, and even erotica. Yes, I have written erotica in my life. The one with the best response over the years is the one I included in this anthology – The Faery Ball. For those of you who’ve read it, I’m sure you’ll want a copy of this anthology to keep you warm at night. Do be a dear and make sure to tell your friends it’s in this collection. 

Three A.M. is scheduled to be available in mid-February.

Next on the list…

The Pride: Sacrifice Book Crossing donation – Right now! So I have about seven copies of The Pride on my shelf right now with no homes. I got to thinking that they’re not doing any good sitting on my shelf, so I’m going to donate them. Where? Well, that’s where BookCrossing.com comes in. If you don’t know about it, here’s how it works. Each of the seven books will have a tag on the inside cover with a number written in it. If you should find one of my books, then read it! Please! After you read it, take that number, go to Bookcrossing.com and enter it. From there you can see where the book has been and who’s read it. But it doesn’t stop there! Keep donating it. Drop it off at your local library or book store. Leave it on a table in a restaurant. Keep it circulating as long as you can. Bookcrossing will track the book on its journey. Fun, right?

I’ll start leaving the books wherever I happen to be in the Detroit Area. If you should find it, Read it! Then tell Book Crossing about it!

So, that's the news for now, stay tuned. I've got a lot of work coming soon!



New Year, New Work

Posted by Lokispark Publications on January 1, 2017 at 8:55 PM


So, as it happens, I’ve been pretty busy writing new things to put out this year. Not to mention trying to navigate the normal troubles of life. Things like my day job, putting myself through school, daughters getting married, daughters starting high school, etc, etc. Normal life things.

This year, however, I’m determined to get some serious production done. First thing’s first…


Cracked Blooms

The comedy about nurses working a doctor’s office in the age of screwball customers (you guys that work in retail know what I’m talking about) is only about three episodes in sadly. Writing a show based off of real life is difficult particularly if one is still working in that environment. It’s not impossible, however, and all things considered, the other ten episodes should be done by next fall.


The Pride: Royal Blood

The second book in The Pride Series has been pushed back to 2018, depending on how my other works come along. The story of the Tsavo Lions moves forward with Sa’iya, the eldest daughter of the Lion Prince Saro. As the next in line to the throne, she finds herself in a place between the life of a warrior and the political life of the heir presumptive to her grandfather’s throne. When members of the court plan a coup, she has to decide where she fits or else she and her family will perish. Sounds kind of neat, huh?

The plan has always been to get it out later next year, but life events have caused my muse to decide that something more important needs to be written first, leading me to my current project…


I’m not revealing any details about this one yet as it’s still in its embryo stage. That is to say, I don’t know if I’m having a boy or a girl or a three legged Rottweiler just yet. What I do know is that I plan to complete the first draft of this one by the spring. I have to be honest though, I’m kind of hoping for the three legged Rottweiler.

What I can say about the new work is that it's coming from a very personal place this time. I've been doing a lot of soul searching and I think it's long overdue for me to comment on the state of the world before us. I hope you all like it or if you don't, then I hope you at least read it and blog about how much you hate it. Hey, any press is good press, I always say.  

So, new stuff soon! And there’s always room for more along the way. Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll have quite a catalog to peruse through. Happy 2017!


Time for a Drinking Game!!

Posted by Lokispark Publications on October 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Soooo….I am a huge fan of the Evil Dead series and Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi movies in general. So, it’s no surprise that on Sunday nights, you will more than likely catch me watching Ash vs Evil Dead series on Starz. Recently, it occurred to me while watching an episode of the show (now in its sophomore season) that there should be a drinking game for it. A quick search online told me that no one has as of yet produced a comprehensive one, so I figured, eh, why not me?

So, here we go. My version of an Ash v. Evil Dead Drinking Game to play with your friends!

1. One drink for every time someone/thing turns into a Deadite.

I know what you’re thinking, here, and no everyone won’t be drunk two minutes into the show. Yes, the ‘turning into a Deadite’ thing is a part of the whole plot, but surprisingly, it usually only happens once or twice during the thirty minutes that you’re watching…unless it’s a season finale or something, then you might have to bust this rule down to a sip.

2. Two drinks every time Ash says something racist or sexist.

Double that if he manages to do it in the same sentence.

3. One drink every time someone gets covered in blood/guts/goo.

This one happens at least twice literally EVERY episode. As a bonus, you can add a bet for how long it takes for someone to get splashed with something. Tip: Potential betters should stay within the 3-5 minute range for best results.

4. One drink for every ‘Jefe’ uttered.

Make that two if it’s Pablo that says it.

5. Chug for every creative/unique kill or attack

So, this one is a special. Any Deadite can attack Ash with a knife or an axe. It takes a special kind of monster to try to kill you as tiny little doll.

6. Three drinks for anytime Ash loses a loved one.

That appears to be the theme of Ash’s life. You’d think it would happen more often. It doesn’t though. Ash has only lost a few people so far in the series.

7. One drink for every time Ash has a plan

Two if it’s a dumb one.

8. Two drinks for every drug done/mentioned.

Yes, two….in keeping in the spirit of the show.

9. One drink every time Ruby/Kelly/Any female character does something bad ass.

Because girls rule!

10. One drink every time Ash puts on the chainsaw.

Because, come on. You know you love it when he screws on the chainsaw.

11. Two drinks for every Ash-ism.

You know, like; “Hey, She-Bitch! Let’s go” or “Hail to the King, baby.” Do I really need a reason for this one?

That’s about all I could come up with. All things considered, I imagine that with just those eleven, you will more than likely get smashed within the first half of an episode. I strongly advise that all participants play responsibly!



To My Pet Hulk

Posted by Lokispark Publications on October 14, 2016 at 11:45 PM

Dear H,

We need to talk. Seriously.

First, let me just say that I don’t have a problem with you. Personally, I’ve always liked having you around. When you’re on deck, you let everyone know how strong I really am. You see, there is this idea that a person who doesn’t brag about their prowess or who is soft spoken and reserved is somehow weaker than the rest of the pack. When the empty cans find themselves posting up to me as if I would run screaming in the night from their loud posturing, you have always let them know who in the fuck they are dealing with in no uncertain terms. You roar and the jungle knows to back.the.fuck.up. In that, Dear H, you have always been my protector. You’ve always looked out for me.

That being said, there is a time and a place for you to show out and I don’t think you’ve ever got a handle on when that is exactly. You don’t care about my job or if anyone is staring. You don’t care who is in your way be them family, friends, even small animals...even large animals. You could give two shits about my personal belongings - particularly the items that shatter loudly. Broken bones and lawsuits are of little concern and so are police officers and while you have yet to break any laws, I worry about spending the rest of my life in jail because I could not get your under control in time.

And here’s the thing. Fundamentally, I don’t mind your antics. Sometimes, people go too far in what they say or what they do. Sometimes, certain people really need to know where your line is so that they don’t ever cross it again. I accept that you are inside me for a very important reason. Should real shit pop off, I have no doubt that I will walk away leaving a trail of devastation in my wake. You will carry me when I need to survive against an insurmountable threat to myself or my family. When you are at the helm, I am a storm in a raging sea. I will destroy entire civilizations with a wave of my hand. I am the kind of natural disaster that history books still write about thousands of years later.

But there’s a time and a place for all that and the bottom line is that you don’t seem to know that.
And I know it’s hard - particularly right now. The climate in our world has changed a lot of people. People who used to be relatively kind and civilized are now rude and angry. Years and years of unresolved issues amongst so many groups of people are now bubbling over and invading everything all around us. You know as well as I do that those people are coming for us on a daily basis. I get it.

But you need to stop. Seriously, before somebody gets hurt. Now, I know I can’t really stop you once you get going. Trying to tell a pet hulk to chill once you’ve got your “Hulk Smash” thing on is quite ill advised and for me...well, I’m pretty powerless once you decide to push me out of the way and take over.

So, what I’m proposing is that we get a nice cage for you. Now, wait, I know how that sounds, but think of it more like that reinforced cabin in Agents of Shield instead of a cage, per se. We can outfit it with a king size bed...or whatever is above a king size for those really hard days...like maybe a God size bed or something. We can outfit it with a video game system and a big screen tv with Netflix, maybe a little porn, even. Hey, it’s Red Wings season. Wouldn’t you rather lay back and watch the Wings rather than bash someone’s face in?

Now, I can’t promise that the cage will hold you forever. I imagine the walls will get worn out and the door hinges might get rusty allowing you to bust out on occasion, but I promise you that I will try to keep the cage in good shape so those break-outs are occasional at best. I’ll find better outlets for you too so that you won’t go stir crazy. Maybe we can take up kickboxing or watch horror movies together? Or maybe we can get constructive and take up skeet shooting or increase our writing workload or work out more than once a week?

Listen, in all honesty, I want to work this out. You’ve been a part of me since I was born and I imagine we'll be together until I die. Just understand that I have to function in our semi-civilized society on a daily basis. I have to keep a job and keep social services from taking my kids away and keep myself out of an orange jumpsuit. I want to live a healthy and happy life with you, okay? Say you’ll think about it, at least. In the meantime, what do you say we pop some bubble wrap to take the edge off? It’s not breaking windows with a bat, sure, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers right?

You’re ever-present alter ego












An Open Letter to America

Posted by Lokispark Publications on June 14, 2016 at 8:50 PM

  Dear America,

I can’t.

I wanted to post something on my Facebook, my Twitter, but I can’t. I just can’t. Not anymore. Because it’s all the same drivel that everyone else is saying. “It’s a tragedy, a travesty, a horrifying thing that shouldn’t be happening in a society so diverse and blah, blah, fucking blah.”

Not that any of it is any less true, I just can’t.

I feel like I’m living that Groundhog’s Day movie in that I can almost predict the course of events from this point out. Citizens will grieve. We will change our profile pictures to honor the fallen. We will rant in endless posts about banning guns and Islam and faggots and the media. The politicians will feed our fears and fan the flames until we are so frightened of what may come for us that we will vote for the loudest can in lieu the most qualified. Laws might be passed, but probably not. If they are, they will be ineffective and almost laughable. And next week, we’ll be on to the next story about how Kim K had the nerve to wear flip flops and cornrows to some black-tie gala in Hollywood.
And we’ll all go back to sleep until someone else dies and then the cycle turns all over again. We will do it over and over again because we are not learning anything from these events. We are not doing anything to change ourselves as a society, because, truly, that is the only way things like this will stop. We all have to move towards evolution or we will disintegrate like so much paper in a campfire.

So…I can’t. I just can’t. The ability to stop and think has abandoned us for the most part. We are only reactionary in our responses. We are screaming in rage at each other. We are shifting blame to whoever is the most vulnerable or convenient at the time. We are even resorting to making up horror stories so to pull in those few who are still questioning the lie of they are all out to get us. In short, we’ve stopped thinking and started reacting. We’ve de-evolved to our reptilian brains in a world that needs calm and reflection instead of striking.

And in doing so, we are ripping ourselves apart from the inside.

I just can’t. Not in this time, not in this place, because even as I write this, I know that while I might touch someone out there, you’ll forget. You’ll forget because Johnny Depp is divorcing his wife and Steph Curry was tempted by a ‘thot’. You’ll forget because there is a new season of “The Voice” or “Survivor” or “Game of Thrones” coming. You’ll forget because staying asleep is more preferable to the powers that be than the alternative. Being toddlers crying in the moment is much better than learning about what it is that has made us cry. And so, you’ll forget because toddlers forget their tears when something sweet, bright and shiny comes around. Maybe it’ll be next week or next month, but this open letter to you will disappear in the annals of internet history, buried somewhere beneath the cavalcade of Donald Trump’s rantings.

It has been said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It has also been said that insanity is doing something over and over again expecting different results. So here we are in the same position as we were when Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Newtown, Columbine, Colorado happened. We have not learned and we are insane.
I want to believe that we are better than what we have become and I can’t tell you that in any better way than that. We are better than this – ALL of this. But until we all figure that out, I can’t. Until we stop blaming entire religions on a handful of misguided fools, until we stop screaming over one another instead of listening to one another, until we stop seeing things like sexual orientation, gender, race, and religion as crimes punishable by death, until we realize that at the end of the day we all want the same things in this world, until we just start acting like human beings...I simply can’t. Sorry. I’m too tired.
On the day someone hears that not every Muslim is a terrorist and believes it, maybe I will.
On the day politicians learn that just banning everything in sight is a band aid solution and instead, start digging out the root of a problem to solve it, maybe then I will.
On the day men stop thinking that women owe them for that drink, that date, that phone number, I will.
On the day that everyone realizes that the words ‘transgender’ and ‘homosexual’ do not equal ‘pervert’, I will.
On the day that all religions are seen as tools of peace and not weapons for control and war, I will.
On the day that race and culture are celebrated by everyone, I will.
Until then, y’all. I can’t. For real. I can’t.

Wearily Yours,

-- O 


Strange Days

Posted by Lokispark Publications on June 4, 2016 at 10:00 PM


On my list of favorite movies forever and ever of all time is the 90’s James Cameron flick, Strange Days.


Now, I would imagine that there are only a certain number of people that know anything about this movie. In Michigan, if you saw this movie when it came out, you and I probably hung out at City Club way back when I was a Goth kid. It’s the same kind of Tank Girl, Johnny Neumonic, cyber-punk kind of flick that was popular back then.

So, this movie stars the man who would become Voldemort and the woman who would was Tina Turner in what was about four years in the future. Rather, the movie came out in 1995 and it takes place in 1999. I have so many reasons why I love this movie.

The fact that Angela Bassett plays a legit strong female character while being smoking hot AND classy at the same time. The social commentary on L.A.’s treatment of blacks in the 90s. Ralph Feinnes’ performance as the kind of hapless accidental hero. Juliette Lewis singing P.J. Harvey. Tom Sizemore…being Tom Sizemore…

What I’m going to talk about, however, is something that occurred to me today while watching it for the gajillionth time.

First, let me tell you that it took me a hundred times before I realized the actual point of the story as a whole. To tell you why, I have to lay out the movie for you. So, for those who haven’t seen it and might want to, there be spoilers coming. You’ve been warned.

Okay, so it’s around New Years 1999 in L.A and people are rioting…because, you know, the end of the world is coming.



You guys remember that, right? The world was supposed to end in 2000…or at least Y2K was supposed to obliterate us all by crashing every computer in the world.

For all your millennials out there, just so you know, nobody rioted that I’m aware of and our computers turned out to be just fine. Don’t believe everything you see in the movies.

Anyways, it’s the end of the world as we know it and there’s a new device out called a S.Q.U.I.D. deck. S.Q.U.I.D. stands for…uh…well, I forget to be honest. But what it does is allows you to view pre-recorded memories. It’s like, somebody wears the deck, has sex with a hot blonde, then sells it. The wearer of the recorded deck gets to experience the memory like it was their own. Pretty neat, huh? It’s like a VR headset with memories.

The main character, Lenny, (played by He Who Must Not Be Named) sells these memories, which is illegal because apparently it messes up your brain.

Lenny’s kind of scummy. Not in a bad way, but rather in a used car salesman kind of way. He’s also addicted to using the S.Q.U.I.D. deck because they contain the memories of he and his ex-girlfriend, Faith.

Hang in there, I’m getting to the point. So, Lenny gets caught up in a scandal that turns out to be the recorded memory of a prominent black activist getting gunned down by police. He and his friend Mace (Angela Bassett) get chased down by crooked cops and get involved in this twisty turny scheme that turns out to have been orchestrated by his best friend (Tom Sizemore), who turns out to be sleeping with Faith (the object of Lenny’s obsession) and plans to set poor Lenny up for murder.

So, Lenny defeats his evil best friend, his ex-girlfriend is arrested, the corrupt cops commit suicide, and all is right with the world. The whole thing ends with Lenny kissing Mace as the new year rings in.

Now, I left out a bunch of stuff, of course, but basically, that’s how the story plays out and for a while, I didn’t understand the kiss between Lenny and Mace. They were friends, just friends, all through the movie. After all, Lenny was into Faith. So much so that he had a box full of S.Q.U.I.D. deck memories of the two of them together. He follows her and begs to allow him to be her valiant protector even though she’s telling him to go screw himself at every turn…


Then, on the hundredth time watching the movie, it hits me.
Mace is there for him, even though she doesn’t approve of what he does for a living, even though he’s still in love with Faith, even though she knows that his reliving their memories is just making him more obsessed and more in love with Faith. When the cops or Faith’s boyfriend’s guards beat his ass, she defends him like she’s Chuck Norris…literally. When he actually contemplates trading the all important tape (that shows the death of the black activist) for Faith’s freedom – Faith! Who doesn’t love him anymore. Who’s said everything short of “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE YOU LOSER!” – Mace is still there. She threatens to leave him on the curb if he does trade the tape, but let’s be real folks, she wasn’t ever going anywhere. You see, Mace’s there, by his side, the entire time.





And why? Why on earth does Mace do so much for Lenny??

Because she loves him. She’s loved him the whole time. Fairly early in the movie, we see her remembering why despite all these things, she loves him. At one point in time, when she needed somebody the most, he was there for her.



That leads me to the thought I had, on this, the gajillionth time watching Strange Days. Why didn’t I see it on the first time I watched this movie?? Her attraction to Lenny is pretty obvious in the things she says, the decisions she makes for him, that bad ass dress she wears to the big party at the end of the movie – That wasn’t for the party! That was for Lenny!


And then it hit me. If both Lenny and Mace had been black or if the both of them had been white, I would have seen it. I would have seen it IMMEDIATELY. I hate to say it because I always considered myself to be a pretty progressive person in terms of race, but I know that if Lenny had been played by Lawrence Fishburne, I never would have questioned it.

I used to say that I didn’t notice because of everything that was happening in the movie and there is a lot going on, but not so much that I would miss what the whole damned movie was actually about. Lenny’s character needed to move past his toxic relationship with the memories of his ex and move forward with the one woman who’d been there for him since jump. That’s it, folks. That’s the whole point of Strange Days…and I missed it because like a lot of us, I’ve been programmed to see a certain kind of leading couple onscreen.

Now that I see it, though, I can’t go back to sleep.




Research, it's a good thing.

Posted by Lokispark Publications on April 30, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Example of an actual quote

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of emailing me, then you know that I have a signature at the bottom of my email. It reads as follows:

If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight,

moonlight, no light

If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten


I will write always

I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to



I have been using this signature for about ten years or so. It was originally recommended to me by a very close friend of mine and of the many quotes one might use about me and my writing, it is the one quote that most accurately describes how I feel about the written word -- meaning, I’ll write forever. No matter what. Through rain, storms, sleet or dead of night, no evil shall escape my sight etc, etc.

So, recently, my laptop died on me and I was forced to reinstall everything I previously had on the system. When redoing my email, I discovered that I no longer had my beloved signature anymore. So, I was forced to turn to Google to find it – which is usually a fairly simple task. I type in the first line and find it immediately…but what I found with it really disturbed me. Let me illustrate it with one of the MANY memes I found it on:

Before I get into the problem with this picture, allow me to inform you that I am a big Henry Rollins fan. I mean, if you’ve never seen the man’s spoken word, you are really missing out. The guy’s relevant and funny and while you may or may not agree with his politics, he’s one of the most fearless public figures out there.

So, with this particular meme and general mistruth, you can imagine my utter sadness. Let me just get to the heart of the problem.

To whoever created this meme and whoever has been perpetuating this quote – Henry Rollins is not the author of this quote. He might’ve said it at one point and time, but he is not the author. The author is actually an Italian Poet, Dino Corvino.

Quotes are great things, really. I love a good quote – particularly one coming from Rollins. But please, people, can we do a little research before we create a meme? Is that too much to ask? I mean, the internet is littered with this misquoted line…which means lots of people think Henry Rollins is the author. He’s not. So…

This just goes to show, though, never trust a meme. There’s a terrible epidemic of quotes and pictures on the internet that no one has bothered to research. Hey, have you seen this one?

Yeah, that’s not Harriet Tubman. Not only is it insulting in that it’s suggesting that Tubman isn’t attractive enough to be on our money (And Andrew Jackson was?) It’s literally the wrong person! That is a photo of Lady Sara Forbes Bonetta, a slave who would eventually become goddaughter to Queen Victoria. And NOT HARRIET TUBMAN! Here’s the link proving it: http://www.snopes.com/young-harriet-tubman-photograph

And this one:

Fun fact. If any planet in our sky ever appears to us in this manner, we are all about to die. A planet that large being that visible in an earth sky would probably be the last thing any human would ever see before we were all obliterated. That’s just physics.

But if you doubt me, still, here you go: http://www.snopes.com/saturn-close-to-earth-meme/

Do me a favor, don’t take any meme at face value! And if you do believe a meme, take a few seconds to research it. Most of the time, it’s only a matter of typing in a description in Google. Or go on Snopes.com. But before you put it in your twitter, facebook, or instagram feed, look it up first. Like, don't be this guy.



An Essay for you!

Posted by Lokispark Publications on March 5, 2016 at 6:10 PM

Sooo, welcome to my page!  I cleaned up a little bit. What do you think? You likey?

Great! I want to present an essay that I wrote a little while ago while sitting at the front desk of my day job. This is my inner monologue. Thank goodness I don't speak everything that crosses my mind.

And so, this is my essay entitled: "IDGAF"

“Did you know you can trade in your Ipad for a new one if the battery runs out?”
I looked up from my computer screen. This woman, who I’d been attempting to check out for the last five or so minutes, looked at me over her checkbook. Her beady, narrow eyes were boring holes into my soul through the modified coke bottles on her face.

“I’m sorry?” I say.

“Your IPad. Like, if the battery runs out, you can replace it for 99 dollars. See, my last one ran out, so I took it back to the IPad store and they said they don’t open them up. But they replaced it for 99 dollars. Isn’t that awesome? This is a 700 dollar IPad.”

She smiles as if she’s just performed a magic trick.

I am trying to check her out. You see, we are not sitting on a porch somewhere drinking a beer. We are not sharing stories over a game of chess or spades or even pinochle. This woman is not my friend. She’s not even my acquaintance. She is standing at the front desk of my place of employment and she is paying the copay for her father, who has been seen as a patient there today.

So. She’s not even a patient.

And no one has said anything about an IPad prior to this outburst.
I stare at her blankly. I’m not in the habit of smiling when I have nothing to smile about, but I manage to force a smile and nod.

“That’s nice,” I say.

In reality, what I mean to say is: “I’m so sorry, but I really don’t give a fuck. I’m sure I look like someone who gives fucks out on a daily basis and based on that, I’m sure you thought I might have some to spare. I don’t, though. Sorry.”

She goes on. Now I have to hear about her boyfriend. Oops, she wrote a check from the wrong checkbook. That one’s Margie’s, her father’s girlfriend, you see. Boy, would that have been a mistake, because she would have seen that she had 25 dollars missing and ooh-ho-ho.

Still staring, I force a smile and laugh.

What I want to say is: “I don’t care. I really do not care at all. All I want is to check your father out so that I can get to the next patient. I do not give two fucks on the moon about your checkbook, or Margie’s checkbook, or your boyfriend or the fact that your father needed his diaper changed in the bathroom before he’s seen and you highly recommend the diaper genie for that sort of thing…”






I don’t give three fucks on Sunday. I don’t give three hundred Spartan fucks through the rolling desert. I do not give a sweet Texas Barbecue fuck at a cattle range. See, I did not ask why you needed to take your dad straight to the bathroom when you came in. I did not ask about your boyfriend or your IPad or your checkbook. Had I asked, I might’ve given a fuck. But I didn’t ask. That should have been your first clue.
Plainly put, I do not give a fuuuuucccckkkk.

Thus is the life in the world of customer service – in any degree. You sit at the front desk with all the Polite 101 home training that you were brought up with and you expect that there is a reason why you were taught not to express yourself in its true, raw form. You imagine your parental figures saying that “we do not say such things in mixed company” and you take that to heart. In a civilized world, we act as thus. When the fuck vault is empty for the day, we must present the appearance of having a plethora to give. Thus is thine lesson in proper customer service.

So, I smile. I smile and I nod and I give the appearance of giving a fuck as I have been taught to do by my mother and my mother’s mother. There I sit in front of my computer, smiling my forced smile as she hands me the right check and she and her father leave.

One day, when I’ve finally lost all my marbles, I will probably end up saying all these things to some poor unsuspecting person. Until then, I must maintain good customer service as best I can. Forced smile, blank stare, my mantra on repeat until the day when I do actually snap and all my training will indeed be for naught.
Sorry, no fucks here to give. Thanks for the boring story, but you should know…I don’t give a fuck.




Alone is not the same as lonely

Posted by Lokispark Publications on December 27, 2015 at 12:30 AM

I recently decided to have lunch at this little diner around the corner from me. It's Sunday and once again, I have forgotten that in the city of Ferndale, MI, brunch is an institution.

So needless to say it was really crowded. Like Really crowded. Like...

This is distressful to me, you see. I really like their salmon burger and I like to sit at the bar and have my salmon burger and cold cider in peace. As a result when it comes to these situations, I usually bring a book or dive into my phone to give off the impression that I am not available.

On this particular day, I was left relatively alone...which is good.

It is said that a writer has to enjoy being alone for long periods. I guess I fit that mold quite well. I've always liked being alone. When I'm alone, I can think. I'm free to work within the confines of my own mind.

Of course, there's a catch to that...since the confines of my mind tend to be a little...well...


But this is the curse of a creative mind. When all is quiet, the stories start telling themselves. In my mind, The Pride Books 2-7 are already written. (Yes, there will be more, I haven't forgotten).



I don't, however, want to be known as a serial writer. So, other stories are pushing their way to the forefront in order to get my attention. It's like a mob in my head most days.

I think other writers can relate. If I had the chance to write more, I would, just to relieve some of the pressure of my overactive imagination.

If the truth be told, I like having a brain that's always on that way. When I was little, it was enough for me to daydream. Daydreaming was like having HBO or Showtime running all the time. Many of my first stories came out of those daydreams.

Those are my actual first stories, by the way. :) Clearly, I wasn't an artist.

So, being alone doesn't bother me. Sure I get lonely sometimes, but when you have lions that turn into men roaming around and charismatic demons offering the world on a silver platter for a piece of a soul and families of gargoyles and aliens searching for a little piece of humanity, you never really get bored. The muse that lives in my heart colors my world and for that I am eternally grateful.

A Word to Sales People Everywhere

Posted by Lokispark Publications on September 23, 2015 at 8:30 PM

I am interrupting this blog for shameless promotion to bring you my own personal PSA about Salespeople.

Yes, salespeople. First, though, a little disclaimer.

To the hard working people who are just doing their jobs: I realize that in sales, sometimes you are required to do or say some things to people that you, yourself, would not normally say to sell the thing that you really feel I must have. You, call center worker offering me a bundle for twenty dollars more (or even less). You, the kindly woman going door to door selling candy for the disabled. And you, the third suited gentleman to show up at my door with the same product that two of your people showed up with this week. This blog is not directed towards you as I have probably never been rude to any of you - and if I was, sorry. You probably caught me on a bad day.

This blog is for the overachievers. The salespeople that take their job way too seriously and as a result have made it so that I now have to answer my door on a Sunday with a baseball bat.

Case in point: A salesperson came up to me while I was at work and the following exchange occurred.

Salesguy: "Hi. I was hoping I could speak to Dr. Blahblah? I'm from Tomcast and I wanted to verify something on the phone about his account."
Me: "The doctor isn't here right now, actually."
Salesguy: "Well, is there any way I can come back and speak to him?"
Me: "Sorry, but he doesn't really see sales reps. If you want, you can leave your info--"
Salesguy: "Well, when does he come back? I'd really like to come back and talk to him."
Me: "I understand, but he's not in right now and he doesn't see reps anyway."
Salesguy: "I just want to talk to him for a few minutes, though."
Me: "And I told you, he doesn't see reps."
Salesguy: "Okay. When does he come in?"
Me: "He's here two Mondays a month. That why he doesn't see reps."
Salesguy: "But I'll only be a minute and I can help him save on his Tomcast bill."


It's about here that I'm starting to get pissed. So, I'm looking for a fast end to his conversation before I get angry and end up saying something I shouldn't be saying at work.
So I say: "Listen, you seem like a nice enough guy, but you're not worth my job, so I'm sorry. He won't see you."
Salesguy: "Come on, you won't lose your job if I just talk to him."
Me: "Oh? You work here?"
Salesguy pauses for a second as I imagine he can see the mood has clearly shifted. You would think his instincts would be telling him: "Danger, danger, Will Robinson!" Well, folks if the red light went off in his head, he clearly decided to plow on anyway.

Salesguy: "Well, no."
Me: "Then how can you tell me if I'll lose my job or not?"
Salesguy: "Listen, I just want to talk to him. I'm just gonna keep coming back until you let me in."
 At this point I just glare at him for a moment as all the possibilities of this guys personal life roll through my mind. Does he do this to his girlfriend? Like: "Come on, let's go out to dinner. Please? Please? PLEASE? I'll just keep asking until you say yes!"

Me: "Okay, look, I don't want to argue with you and you're starting to make me angry."
Salesguy: "How am I arguing with you? I'm just asking if I can see Dr. Blahblah."
Me: "Okay, I say no and you keep going and you're not arguing with me?"
Salesguy: "The doctor doesn't want to take advantage of these deals--?"
Me: "I've said no and you're still going. No means no, sir."
Salesguy: "Listen--”
Me: "No means no."
Salesguy: "Fine, I'll contact him another way." He leaves.

Ahem. Here what we've learned from that little exchange. If his entire mission was to get me to talk to the owner and therefore score a sale, not only did he fail in said mission, but he made it so that if he or anyone from his company shows their faces around there anytime soon, he'll be shut down before word one. I would say he failed spectacularly.

So, this message is for every Salesguy that believes that forcing your product or service on a person is the best way to go. No means no. Even if we look like we might agree in the middle of the conversation and we say no. Even if you buy us donuts. Even if we seem like we're "that kind of customer". Even if you've sold something to us before. No means no and once you hear no, you need to stop immediately. Continuing on could result in swearing, bodily injury, or harassment charges. This goes for the trainers as well...maybe especially the trainers.


If I can impart a little advice? Has it ever occurred to you that being polite might work instead? Believe it or not, kindness goes a lot farther than date-rapey techniques. Maybe I'm not interested now, but if you were to, say, leave your info and politely thank me for my time, I might be inclined to call you later. Trust me. That works a lot better than harassment.
So take my advice. Please. It might save someone's self esteem or keep them out of the hospital...or jail.