Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Final Post of 2 0 1 5

I could rehash my so-called "accomplishments" of 2015, but my birthday vlog covers that area. (Click BROKEN RECORD if you want a repeat experience)

I thought about making a list of some of my favorite books, films, and such that I newly experienced in 2015, but that felt too much like a popularity contest.  (Though I will say that "Emoticons" by The Wombats was my jam!)

I decided to touch upon something I learned about myself this year.  It is something I've always known, but maybe never voiced to others, and barely myself. 

I realized, or maybe have just come to accept, that my writing has to originate from an organic place.  What brought this to the surface was my idea of writing a collection of short stories of various genres suggested by other people.  

It dawned on me that this was ultimately about trying to force myself to write, and that is not the way I've ever written.  My book/e-books, blog short stories, and other unposted/unpublished fiction started by accident. Something random, often a word or two unconnected to writing, triggered a chain reaction in my mind that possessed me until I finished.  Some have said my resolution of writing at least one blogpost a week is forcing myself, but I feel it is different beast.  

I guess I could say I write on absolute feeling.  If I am feeling a project, then I'm like a madman with my writing.  On the other hand, if I'm not feeling it, well, I try to write, but ultimately the project gets put on the back burner.  More power to the writer who writes something every single day, because that is not who I am.

My apologies to anyone looking forward to my collection of suggested short stories, and to the ones who suggested the genres.  The First Genre and all the others have officially been put on that back burner for the foreseeable future.  I don't see it as giving up, but more as a wait and see situation.  It is rare, but a few past projects have been saved from burning into obscurity, so only time will tell.

That is all for this year.  

As for 2016...

No expectations.  No promises.

Interpret that however you see fit.

And thank you for reading my inane ramblings this year.  I sincerely appreciate it.

Freak Out, 

P.S.  My favorite tale from the freakboy zone of 2015 is...

...because it brilliantly captures my mental mechanics, in my wholly biased opinion.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Offline, but not forgotten (Well, hopefully)

It wasn't my intention to stay offline for four full days...again.

Maybe I had planned to skip Thursday because my favorite Wi-Fi hotspot was only going to be open for two hours, and Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever was on.  Though if TLC were still with us, I would have been at the library for the full two hours.

Possibly Friday was going to be an offline day anyway because of all the hotspots being closed and it was far too cold to sit outside, even in a car.  Oh, and it was Christmas, which means food, family and Doctor Who.

If it hadn't snowed overnight and into Saturday, causing the morning to suck, I might have ventured to a particular deli hotspot for a couple of hours.  I was exhausted and didn't want to go anywhere, so my sis and I spent the afternoon watching Brokeback Mountain.

I seriously thought about going to my deli hotspot on Sunday afternoon, but I chose to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens again..  The geek is strong in this one, and I enjoyed it even more the second time around.

I must confess that I experience a certain amount of pleasing mental silence when I stay offline for a day or two or four.  I could have waited another day, or even until 2016, but I decided it was time.  Time to touch base with online friends/family who probably think I've vanished in some Nebraskan version of the Bermuda Triangle or been snatched away by He Who Walks Behind The Rows.

Freak Out,

P.S.  For more oh-so-riveting info on my previous four days offline, please click...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pacing and Munching (or Answering an Answer)

I wish you could have seen me on Sunday morning, pacing back and forth from the living room to the kitchen, grabbing a handful of dry corn-based cereal, and back again.  Swallow, repeat as long as necessary, until thoughts have become organized, or at least coherent, and automatic munching is no longer required.

What, you may ask, set me off on a silent tangent of scattershot thoughts, handfuls of cereal, with a free hand waving erratically to give outside life to the rampaging words in my chaotic head?  A question.  A seemingly easy question posed to me by a fellow scribe, and through our fascinating Twitter conversation, we seemed to find the answer.

The question was, "...who is your target audience?"

The answer was ultimately, "Open-minded people."

Of course, I couldn't let that answer satisfy me for long.  I had to pick around its edges, cut it open to see what was inside, digging for more information, more details.  Searching for a more specific answer to the answer through crazy pacing, stuffing my face, and wild gesticulating.

My untethered thought process skipped and jumped around, attempting to examine why I would answer that my target audience is open-minded people.  What is it about my writing to lead me to such a conclusion?

Sure, there is the fluid sexuality in a couple of characters in DARK EXCURSIONS.  Not to mention the archaically modern microcosm the characters reside in.  I mean, in the literary world I created there is an electronically sealed door, but no mobile devices, yet there is at least one answering machine in existence.  Businessmen still carry briefcases, and at least 7 years prior to the beginning, there was an old-fashioned circus!  While I might not explicitly describe this circus, in my mind I pictured a caravan not dissimilar to what is seen in DUMBO or FREAKS.  Plus, the reader has to be open-minded enough to accept I never give a specific location or time for the story, or a name to the town/city that is the microcosm.

While in DARKENING STURGEONS, the town has a name, and while I don't say it, it is probably a safe bet Sturgeons is in the state of Nebraska in the U.S.  It is definitely a modern, small town setting with mobile phones and security cameras, and the sexuality of the characters are a bit more specific without giving direct words to note them.  How open does an open-minded person have to be to read and enjoy a story where quaint terms such as "straight" and "gay" are never uttered, but ends with (SPOILER ALERT) a man and woman kissing alongside two men kissing?  Plus, the reader has to accept the admittedly ridiculous solution to the mysterious disappearances, but I did originally conceive the story as a modern version of a 1950's American monster movie, so maybe it makes sense.

And then there is how discreetly I handle sex in my fiction, well, comparatively to other authors.  Not to mention a general lack of conversational cussing because I like to save swearing for emotional outbursts, not idle chit-chat.  I've had a different fellow scribe ask me if I was writing teen-lit, which made me laugh because some teen books I've read are more graphic than anything I've written.  Yet, I wonder if readers, even open-minded ones, are ever confused by the dichotomy of the liberal sexuality in my fiction combined with conservative storytelling.

And if I look at my known readers, who have expressed enjoyment of my writing, they are casually sprinkled throughout the spectrum.  Though, from what I've seen, my library readers seem to be Caucasian women of a certain age, but I can't honestly say DE was overly enjoyed by any of them, so I shouldn't base my reader barometer on those few.

Now, as I want to wrap up this rambling blogpost about my cereal-fueled self-examination, I wonder if I shouldn't try to specifically peg my readers.  A person can be open-minded about one topic, but shut down about another.  So maybe my target audience consists of various brave readers, from various backgrounds, with various interests, who are willing to take a chance on an unproven self-published author from a small town in the U.S.

Freak Out,

P.S.  Please consider reading the entertaining fiction of my fellow scribe who inadvertently inspired my pacing & munching...

Some horror...
Some sci-fi...
Some e-book...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday Thinking

Thinking about warmer weather, or at least no snow.
Thinking about El Dorado by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.
Thinking about other books I need to read.
Thinking about how I need to write the First Genre.
Thinking about releasing Darkening Sturgeons through Smashwords and/or Wattpad.
Thinking about pointlessness.
Thinking about wanting to put 2015 to rest.
Thinking about yesterday, today, but not too far into tomorrow.
Thinking about how cool it was having the theater all to myself during Creed.
Thinking about how that has been a recurring phenomenon in my life since Space Camp.
Thinking about loneliness.
Thinking about how I probably won't see Star Wars: The Force Awakens right away.
Thinking about how crowded the theater will be.
Thinking about how it won't really be Star Wars without the 20th Century Fox fanfare.
Thinking about how nobody seems to be asking, "Where's Lando?"
Thinking about how the prequels were crushingly disappointing.
Thinking about how Star Trek Into Darkness was ultimately a stupid parody of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Thinking about how I hope the BBC continues to search for the lost stories of Doctor Who.
Thinking about thinking too much.
Thinking about nothing important.

Freak Out,

P.S. Thinking about being obnoxious by including a link to other examples of my so-called writing at the end of each blogpost from here on out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I am currently reading "Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks" by John Peel.  It is a novelization of the second Doctor's first story.  The televised version is lost thanks to the BBC's lack of foresight of the rerun.

I am currently writing this blogpost.  I wrote a couple of pages of the First Genre, but stopped.  Maybe I'll get back to it.  Maybe I won't.  Maybe I have nothing left to write but the occasional blogpost.  It is a real possibility.

I am currently watching Scream Queens and iZombie, among other shows.  Scream Queens fills my Popular needs, while iZombie fills my Veronica Mars needs.  Though they are seriously entertaining shows on their own!

Freak Out,

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Day I Ate A Tumbleweed

Approximately two weeks ago I answered a radio quiz concerning the board game Monopoly.  My prize was a certificate for a Tumbleweed at the Tumbleweed Cafe in Broken Bow, Nebraska!

My prized prize.
(Ventnor is a yellow property.)
Arriving at my very late lunch destination.

The sun was shining on the Tumbleweed Cafe.

The main entrance.
(It made me think of a teepee when I was a lad.)

The main dining room.
(There is also a second room and a party room.)

A different perspective of the main dining room.

Just so you know I'm not delusional.
(I may have to eventually eat a Pitchfork, but no cheese sauce, please.)

A Tumbleweed at the Tumbleweed Cafe!
(I removed the pickles before taking this shot, and for extra flavor, I scooped some of my lettuce salad, with Dorothy Lynch dressing, onto my Tumbleweed before I devoured it.)

Remnants of a Tumbleweed.
(Most of my mess stayed on the plate, for a change.)

I'm stuffed.  Check, please.
(Good food.  Good service.)

And that is the day I ate a most delicious, and free, Tumbleweed!

Freak Out,

P.S.  If you should find yourself at the Tumbleweed Cafe in Broken Bow, Nebraska, please abide by the parking regulations...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Last Chapter

Words are devoured by my hungry eyes, as my heart races with each syllable.  How long have I spent in this book, with these characters? Hours?  Days?  Weeks?  Within the story, I've been with them for years, decades.

I have been enveloped in their joy, been drowned by their despair.  Their exquisite dream is my dream.  Their morbid reality is my reality. Connected through the threads of fiction, I greedily turn the pages of their complicated lives until I am confronted with the final leg of this literary journey.

The first page of the last chapter is before me, and I find myself hesitating. To finish reading the book means I will discover the fate of the characters I've come to know and love, but it also means I will be saying farewell to them and their surroundings.  With either choice there is potential heartache, so I must see it through to the end.  I owe it to the characters and their author.

Freak Out, 

P.S.  For those who are curious...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Alternate John Goes To Idaho

In an alternate universe...

On an alternate Earth...

Alternate John is traveling around the state of Idaho while munching on popcorn and listening to (and singing along with) the song "Private Idaho" by The B-52's.  He then finds a small diner and orders a baked potato, a side of mashed potatoes, and an order of potato wedges (or french fries), so he can savor Idaho potatoes in Idaho.

Freak Out,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Three paragraphs from a dreary November night...

I desire to reach deep inside this murky soul and grasp my still heart in a desperate attempt to squeeze life from its drying form.  Is it not the heart that beats life into the soul, which in turn is the inspiration for an artist's creation?  Without creation, is the artist not reduced to a shadow of the soul that once ignited his or her dreams into reality?

I feel the stagnation of thought, rolling through a barren mind-scape where once flowered a garden of possibilities.  Does not the dried earth cry out for liquid sustenance to rejuvenate its lush beauty, to be resplendent with life?  When the embryonic breath of rain finally descends, will it strip away the layers of neglect to reveal all that could be?

I must strive to find the passion that seems to have abandoned the entirety of my existence, leaving me with but a handful of muted sensations to carry me through the days.  Is it not a pantomime to laugh or cry but only feel a minuscule of what the countenance expresses to outside eyes hungry for your emotional comfort?  Without feeling, does the path not lose its purpose, breaking apart from its intended destination into a murky realm of empty stillness?

~17th of November, 2015~


Freak Out,

Sunday, November 15, 2015

From where I stand...

...all I can see is a wave of futility crashing upon the shore of failure.

Freak Out, 

Monday, November 9, 2015

"It's MY Podcast" - episode one

A Fictional Transcript of a Fictional Interview

(any resemblance to an actual podcast or podcast, dead, or product of a possibly deranged purely coincidental and should not be taken seriously)

~start of transcript~

(not-so-edgy rock music intro)

MICHAEL YARRINGTON:  Hey, this is Michael Yarrington coming at you live from my new studio!  Welcome to the first episode of It's MY Podcast because it is my podcast.  For my first guest, I have with me John L. Harmon, an unknown author from some flyover state.  Hello, John!

JOHN L. HARMON:  Hello, Michael, it's, um, a pleasure to be your first guest on your very first episode.

MY:  To be honest, when I came up with the idea of doing a podcast, I decided that my first guest should be someone whom I have creatively inspired and personally mentored through life.  Naturally I thought of you, John.

JLH:  (lengthy pause)  Gee, Michael, I don't know what to say, but thanks.  I guess.

MY:  You are welcome, John.  Now I suppose you want to talk about your latest oh-so riveting e-book.

JLH:  Well, I did travel quite far to be here, so yes I would like to mention Darkening Sturgeons.  It is a horror/science fiction tale centered around some strange disappearances in the small town of - 

MY:  That sounds fascinating, John!  Even though an e-book exposing the dark underbelly of the fishing industry isn't really my thing, I'm sure Marketing Sturgeons will find a limited audience.

JLH:  No, it's Darkening Sturgeons, and it's not about fish or the fishing industry at all!  The story is about a young chief deputy who must - 

MY:  I'm sure it will rocket up all the bestseller lists in no time, especially in seafaring communities.   Now I hear Dark Excursions, your four set e-book serial, is available in a single volume print edition.

JLH:  Yes, Dark Excursions has been available since April of this year.

MY:  Accomplishing something tangible must have been a new and thrilling experience for you, John.

JLH:  (lengthy pause)  I have to say, Michael, that holding a copy of my book in my hands was one of the most gratifying -

MY:  Yes, I'm sure it was.  Other than yours truly, who else has inspired you, John?

JLH:  Well, I have a great friend who has been a muse for a few of -

MY:  I meant people I've actually heard of.

JLH:  Oh.  In that case, there are three authors that I look up to.  Ira Levin, Jacqueline Susann, and Theodore Dreiser.  If I am even a fourth as good as they were, I would be proud.

MY:  You obviously didn't understand my question, so moving on.  What are you writing now, John?  Any new and hopefully interesting projects in the works?

JLH: October I asked five writers and one librarian for genre suggestions and I placed the suggestions in a -

MY:  I'm not one to interrupt a guest, but hold the phone!  What happened to your plan for a novelization of my audio soap opera parody masterpiece?

JLH:  I started to adapt P.I. but something wasn't working in the transition from script to novel.

MY:  You know, John, it was almost a year ago when you pounded on my door, interrupting my drink, er, thinking, and begged and pleaded for my permission to breathe new life into my characters.  And I, being a generous soul, gave you the a-o.k.  Now I find you have completely wasted my time!  
JLH:  I'm sorry, Michael.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll still write it, eventually.

MY:  Blah, blah, blah, blah!  I don't want to hear your [expletive] promises!  Get the [expletive] out of my studio, you [expletive] wannabe author!

JLH:  Screw you and your crummy basement!  

(footsteps/door slams)

MY:  (fuming pause)  Is that foul-mouthed ungrateful writer gone, Bernie?

BERNIE CARTWRIGHT:  John has left the basement.  I mean building.

MY:  Good!  I try to do someone unworthy a favor and this is the thanks I get!  

BC:  (brooding pause)  Michael, speaking as your manager, I recommend you stop being such a jerk.  We were lucky to have John on your first podcast.  After all, he was the one who gave you the idea in the first place.

MY:  Oh, you are so [expletive] fired, Bernie!  Get the [expletive] out of here!  I don't need anyone!  I can do this podcast on my own!  Do you hear me?  ON MY OWN!

(30 minutes of silence)

MY:  (unintelligible muttering)

~end of transcript~


If you are remotely curious to what the hell this was all about, please feel free to go click-happy on...


BANANA               JAR
Freak Out,

Friday, November 6, 2015

Another Trip Around The Sun

                                            Freak Out,

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Real Reel Life

Real Reel Life

by John L. Harmon

(July 29, 2004)


Here I am

In the film of my choice

A classic from long ago

Revisited, Reimagined, Returned

A sequel of sorts


The setting is the same

Changes have permeated the cast

Characters revealing their true colors

Now relating to one another

In vastly different ways


So I am finally readjusted

Feeling good with my choice

Beginning to see my purpose

Of rejoining this film at this point


Yet, I sometimes ponder

What it is like for others

When I make a special guest appearance

In the old film

On the old sets

Within the old story


How do my previous castmates perceive me?

Am I a vapor or a mist?

A spectral memory brought into life?

Perhaps I am the figure

Caught in the corner of the eye

Quickly gone when glanced at


Maybe I am seen as a fugitive

From an old silent film

A flickering black and white image

Not quite in focus

Moving faster than normal

A pantomime of speech and action

Not truly there

Cue fade out


I give a smile and a nod

As my image starts to dim

The flickering subsides

No, not dead

Back to my film I go

Just down the lot

A different soundstage

Of a different size


Now I am fully comfortable

In my celluloid skin

All my props transported here

No solid proof in the old film

Of me, myself and I

Just flashbacks for my former castmates

Memories that can be forgotten




I look upon the old film

Spinning the reels in my mind

It all seems so strange

Now that I am completely home

I have one more question to ask myself


Without physical proof of my existence there

       ...did I exist there at all?




The preceding was a long poem-thing from a different decade.  It is essentially about moving from one town to another, but I suppose it could also describe moving on emotionally from one state of mind to another. 

Freak Out,