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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Guest Blogger - MR Sellars
may-hem [mey-hem, mey-uhm] - noun:
1. The crime of willfully inflicting bodily harm upon another.
2. Random or deliberate violence or damage.
3. A state of rowdy disorder.
4. My life between 5:30 AM and 10:30 PM 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
The alarm clock breaks through the drone of my CPAP machine, pulsing out its annoying demand for attention. I actually opened my eyes 20 minutes ago to the sound of a voice, but I ignored it as I usually do. Unfortunately, now that the alarm is screaming, the voice is back, and it isn't happy with me.
"Murv," Felicity O'Brien says, her musical Celtic lilt bouncing around inside my head. "We need to talk to you."
"Not now," I reply.
"Aye, but it's important."
"When isn't it?" I don't really want an answer.
"Do I have to get Rowan to talk to you then?"
"Felicity, it can wait. I promise we'll all talk soon."
She wanders off in a huff, not that I would expect any less from her.
The alarm squeals for the third time and the 18 minutes are up. This go around I switch it off completely. But, that only quiets the electronic chirp. There’s a new noise with which I must contend. Our geriatric cat is wandering up and down the stairs yowling as loud as he can. His "call of the wild" is punctuated by thumps and crashes as his cohort in crime—a gray tabby I simply call "the fat one"—is bouncing off the walls and furniture in a panic, all because he has just seen his own shadow. He's a little bit neurotic like that.
I wander down the stairs; pick my way through the feline carnage, and head for the kitchen. I start the coffee then set out a white bowl with blue accents on the corner of the island—Evil Kat is very specific about her preferences in breakfast dishes. I add a spoon, and then arrange a box of Raisin Bran next to it, just so. Finally, I head off to take care of that business everyone has to deal with first thing in the morning.
A few minutes later I’m splashing water on my face and washing the sleep from my eyes. Toweling off, I can start becoming one with the impending chaos. Back into the kitchen I wander. Evil Kat had ham and cheese for lunch yesterday. Today she will be having roast beef and Swiss on a spinach-garden vegetable wrap. I prepare it, wrap it, and place it into the fridge. I fill her snack container with the fancy, unsalted trail mix she likes so much—4 tablespoons, no more, no less.
The daughter will be having PB&J on whole wheat. She's currently stuck in a culinary rut, but of course, she's only 10 so there’s still hope. I place it into the fridge for safekeeping, and then line up their respective lunchboxes on the island, ready to fill when the time arrives. Now, I can pour myself a cup of coffee.
"Murv," Felicity's voice hits me again.
I jump. It's still dark in the house and I wasn't expecting her to sneak up on me like that. Of course, she always does, so you would think I'd be used to it by now.
"Dammit, Felicity," I tell her. "Don't do that."
"We really need to talk to you."
"I know, but not yet."
"You said soon."
"Yes, but not this soon."
"I'll let you know."
"Draoth," she says as she skulks off once again.
First cup of coffee in hand, I head back upstairs to the office. I find my bifocals and slip them on. Suddenly the world is far less blurry than before. I read the text on my monitor. 137 emails are waiting for me. Must be a light day. 17 of them I forward to my publicist and 10 of them to my personal assistant. They both know better how to handle them than me. 10 are just SPAM that managed to circumvent my filters. Of the 100 remaining, 12 are personal, 25 are friend requests from an extra large sampler plate of social networks, 15 are fan mail I can handle directly, 8 are Twitter follow notifications, 1 is an e-ticket for an upcoming flight to a faraway book signing, and 17 are answers to questions I have posed to my various research sources. The last 22 are FROM my publicist and/or my PA and/or my publisher. Those will probably need answers by day's end.
I log on to Ping.fm and update my Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, ad nauseum, all at once, greeting the world with one eye open and tongue planted firmly in cheek.
M. R. Sellars is listening 2 theme from MacGyver while building rocket launcher out of a tampon, dryer lint, cheerios & a burnt sparkplug
I'm never particularly serious in the morning. Even if I sound serious, I'm not. It’s just no way to start the day.
Now I hear the radio playing in the bedroom across the hall. That can only mean one thing—time is short. I click over to weatherbug and check the forecast. Clear and cold with a high around 28. The radio switches off and I hear feet hit the floor. Immediately following that I hear the clang of iron against iron. Satan himself, hearing the petite footfalls and knowing that my wife is now awake, closes the gates to Hell for the day and hides in his fallout shelter. For the Prince of Darkness, he really is a big wuss.
I've finished off cup o’ java #1, so I move a few more emails into their designated folders then head down the stairs. I’m only a scant few minutes behind Evil Kat. When I arrive she is feeding the four-legged cats because she won the coin toss. You'll understand what I mean by that in a minute. I pull down a tray, set it up with a bowl of Trix, some fruit, a glass of milk, and a gummi vitamin. I put it on the dining room table and awaken the offspring on my way to the basement. Once there, I clean the litter boxes. Now you understand what I meant about the coin toss. I check the hamper. What day is it? Friday. Laundry day. I'll get back to that.
I take out the trash. The neighbors think I'm insane because it's 14 degrees outside and I'm in shorts, a t-shirt, and a pair of worn out Crocs. No biggie. I have to maintain my rep as the crazy neighbor somehow, and this is as easy a way as any. Back inside I wash my hands then unload the dishwasher and start on my second cup of coffee. After that I pack the lunches I made earlier, line them up, then take a quick detour to sort the laundry.
"Can we talk yet?" Felicity is right there once again, harping at me. "Your distraction is gone."
"But yes she..."
I cut her off. "Daughter. School. You know the drill."
Felicity stamps her foot and shrieks. As she stalks off I can hear her yelling for Rowan and Ben. She's calling up the reinforcements. This could get ugly if I don’t hurry.
Back inside I pick something from the freezer to thaw, then check to make sure I have all the necessary ingredients to fix the dinner I have in mind. I don't, so I make a list and stuff it in my pocket. The offspring is ready to go. I pour coffee into a travel mug and load the paper-recycling bucket while she hops into the truck. 10 minutes later I am dropping her off at school. Cars are everywhere and no one is paying attention. A harried parent starts rolling across the parking lot without bothering to look in front of his car. I push my daughter and two other kids out of harm’s way then end up sprawled on the hood of the oncoming vehicle while screaming at the driver to stop. He's shocked, but I'm just angry. I give him a terse lecture about safe driving in school zones as he glazes over. He looks like he might be afraid that I’m going to pull out a tire iron and beat him to death. The truth is, I considered it, but I have too much to do and I don’t look good in orange, or stripes either.
Fuming, I leave. The kids are safely inside and I’ve successfully scared the parent enough that he is likely to be dropping by his house to change underwear before heading to work. And, speaking of work, I still have to drop off the recycling, run by the bank, check the PO Box, then hit the grocery for a gallon of milk, some black beans, and some frozen corn. I do all of that and finally make it back home in one piece.
Felicity is waiting for me. I knew she would be. I ignore her for the time being which just raises her ire even more. She’s a redhead just like my wife, so it’s starting to get a little dangerous in my world.
I have a handful of fan mail, 1 of which actually turns out to be hate mail, and another is somewhere in between. Seems the person who penned the latter read one of my books and now wants to save my soul. I hate to tell them this, but it’s already beyond redemption. I put away the groceries, and then pour the last of the coffee—now cold—into my mug and run it through the microwave before heading upstairs. Once in the office I stuff the hate mail into my "if anything suspicious ever happens to me look in here for possible suspects” file, then set the rest aside for now.
I sit down in my chair and roll forward to my desk. 32 new emails are cluttering my inbox. Nothing pressing though, so they will have to wait. I have a promise to keep. I look around for a moment and breathe a relaxed sigh, at least partially confident that the dust of the morning craziness has finally settled. I click a shortcut on my desktop, page down, and then rest my fingers on the keys.
"Okay, Felicity," I call aloud, just because I can. "Tell everyone soon is finally here. I’m ready to listen now."
Moments later, she, and all of the other fictional characters that live inside my head are talking all at once while I frantically take dictation.
* Public Display of Affection
(See Bio – Next Page)
An active member of the HWA (Horror Writers Association), M. R. Sellars is a relatively unassuming homebody who, in his own words, considers himself just a “guy with a lot of nightmares and a word processing program.” Legend has it he started making up stories to entertain a stuffed bear during his single digit years, then began writing them down sometime around his early teens when the growing catalogue of fiction started causing him to experience migraines. Although he had several short stories and newspaper articles published during his early adult life, it wasn’t until 2000 that his first full-length novel, Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation, hit bookstore shelves, officially launching the acclaimed paranormal thriller series which features a practicing Witch who aids the Saint Louis police department in solving bizarre crimes that have occult overtones.
Sellars says that the biggest adjustment he has had to make with his writing career is coping with the time spent away from his family while traveling on promotional tours. Still, he approaches the necessity of public appearances with the same humorously deadpan and satirical wit that he applies to life in general, stating, “As long as I have an RC Cola and a bag of peanuts, I’m all good, Bubba.”
All of the current novels in Sellars’ continuing Rowan Gant Investigations saga have spent several consecutive weeks on numerous bookstore bestseller lists as well as a consistent showing on the Amazon.com Horror/Occult top 100.
Sellars currently resides in the Midwest with his incomparably amazing wife, equally fantastic daughter, and a pair of felines he describes as, “the fat gray one and the stupid orange one.” At home, when not writing or taking care of the household, he indulges his passions for cooking and hanging out with friends. In order to satisfy his lifelong dream of being a satirical humor columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper, twice each week he removes his glasses, dons blue tights and a red cape, then blogs about the incredibly bizarre world that is his life as a writer, husband, and father. It has been said that his blog articles sometimes blur the line between fiction and reality. To that Sellars responds, “What line?”
M. R. Sellars can be located on the web wherever there is a virtual bar serving virtual single malt Scotch, single barrel bourbon, good Irish whisky, and decent beer. In other words, look for him on the major social networking sites.
Official Website: www.mrsellars.com