Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spinetingler, My Contest and a funny - or not-so-funny - story...

Ah, silence is golden.

That’s what evilkev will be saying for the next few days, as he gets to stay up until all hours playing Grand Theft Auto in my absence.

Yes, I’ll be going through blogdom withdrawal in the extreme. But I leave you with goodies.

The New Issue of Spinetingler Magazine is now up for download or online perusal!

And I see that K. Robert Einarson, aka evilkev, has pinched the photo credit for my picture. Which is sort of justified, because I take credit for most of what he says. At least, if it’s intelligent.

But this issue features stories by fellow bloggers author Tracy Sharp, Dana Y.T. Lin, E. Ann Bardawill, and M.G. Tarquini.

Be sure to visit them and tell them what you thought of their contributions!

Plus, there’s an interview with author Tracy Sharp, (done by yours truly) and part one of my dissection of author Cornelia Read, whose debut book will be my accompaniment on my flight this morning. I expect to have it finished by the time I return.

Plus, I’ve written a Backlist Review, featuring the works of the charming John Rickards.


And, as for that contest, here’s the deal. Sandra has the answer. And it’s really, really simple.


What are the names of the two main characters in Suspicious Circumstances?

Email your answer to me at

When I get home on Sunday, I’ll be printing off thousands of entries and tossing them in a box, and on Monday I’ll announce the winner of a signed copy of Spinetingler Magazine’s 2005 Anthology, complete with two stories by me and a story by author extraordinaire, Stuart MacBride.

So try to have fun and not miss me too much.

And I really hope I’m not coming home to one email.

And the anthology is exchangeable for alcohol for people like Stuart, but only if I know you already have a copy!

And on that note, a joke. For Boy Kim, who will miss me.

I think.

Overview: I had to take my son's lizard to the vet.

Here's what happened:

Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was "something wrong" with one of the two lizards he holds prisoner in his room.

"He's just lying there looking sick," he told me. "I'm serious, Dad. Can you help?"

I put my best lizard-healer statement on my face and followed him into his bedroom. One of the little lizards was indeed lying on his back, looking stressed. I immediately knew what to do.

"Honey," I called, "come look at; "The lizard!"

"Oh my gosh," my wife diagnosed after a minute. "She's having babies."

"What?" my son demanded. "But their names are Bert and Ernie, Mom!"

I was equally outraged. "Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we didn't want them to reproduce," I accused my wife.

"Well, what do you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?" she inquired. (I actually think she said this sarcastically!)

"No, but you were supposed to get two boys!" I reminded her, ( in my most loving, calm, sweet voice, while gritting my teeth together). Yeah, Bert and Ernie!" my son agreed.

"Well, it's just a little hard to tell on some guys, you know," she informed me. (Again with the sarcasm, you think?)

By now the rest of the family had gathered to see what was going on. I shrugged, deciding to make the best of it.

"Kids, this is going to be a wondrous experience," I announced. "We're about to witness the miracle of birth."

"OH, Gross!", they shrieked.

"Well, isn't THAT just Great! What are we going to do with a litter of tiny little lizard babies?" my wife wanted to know. (I really do think she was being snotty here, too. don't you?)

We peered at the patient. After much struggling, what looked like a tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later.

"We don't appear to be making much progress," I noted.

"It's breech," my wife whispered, horrified.

"Do something, Dad!" my son urged.

"Okay, okay. " Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it next appeared, giving it a gingerly tug. It disappeared. I tried several more times with the same results.

"Should I call 911?" my eldest daughter wanted to know. "Maybe they could talk us through the trauma." (You see a pattern here with the females in my house?)

"Let's get Ernie to the vet," I said grimly.

We drove to the vet with my son holding the cage in his lap.

"Breathe, Ernie, breathe," he urged.

"I don't think lizards do Lamaze," his mother noted to him. (Women can be so cruel to their own young. I mean what she does to me is one thing, but this boy is of her womb, for God's sake.)

The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the little animal through a magnifying glass.

"What do you think, Doc, a C-section?" I suggested scientifically.

"Oh, very interesting," he murmured. "Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"

I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside.

"Is Ernie going to be okay?" my wife asked.

"Oh, perfectly," the vet assured us. "This lizard is not in labor. In fact, that isn't EVER going to happen... Ernie is a boy. You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as they come into maturity, like most male species, they masturbate. Just the way he did, lying on his back." He blushed, glancing at my wife. "Well, you know what I'm saying, Mr. Cameron."

We were silent, absorbing this.

"So Ernie's just...just...Excited," my wife offered.

"Exactly," the vet replied, relieved that we understood.

More silence. Then my vicious, cruel wife started to giggle. And giggle. And then even laugh loudly.

"What's so funny?" I demanded, knowing, but not believing that the woman I married would commit the upcoming affront to my flawless manliness. Tears were now running down her face.

"It's just...that...I'm picturing you pulling on its...its...teeny little..." she gasped for more air to bellow in laughter once more.

"That's enough," I warned.

We hurriedly bundled the lizards and our son back into the car. He was glad everything was going to be okay.

"I know Ernie's really thankful for what you've done, Dad," he told me.

"Oh, you have NO idea," my wife agreed.

2 - lizards - $140...
1 - Cage - $50...
Trip to the Vet - $30...
Memory of your husband pulling on a lizard's wacker -..... Priceless

They lay eggs!!!

(Shame I'll miss all your reactions to this one!)


Bernita said...


JamesO said...

It hardly seems fair to enter this competition, since I have a copy of SC here on my desk.

On the other hand, it's underneath the large pile of urgent work that arrived uninvited, barged in like a drunken relative and demanded my instant attention. So at the moment I don't actually know the answer.

But I guess I'd better enter. I mean, I fancy reading the Spinetingler anthology, but I'm way too cheap to actually buy a copy;}#

Erik Ivan James said...

Yup, I'm in the right place. This is Samdra's blog.

Boy Kim said...

Interesting. A story about a pubescent lizard. Masturbating. For me. (I mean the story's for me, not that the lizard was masturbating for me. Obviously.)

I wish I could say I was touched. But I haven't been for a while now.

James Goodman said...

That was great!

E. Ann Bardawill said...

This only furthers my suspicions that Ernie and Bert were... y'know... in real life... y'know... playing with their little meat puppets...
not that there's anything wrong with that...

It's perfectly natural until you go blind and stuff.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Have a grand few days off, Sandra! You've earned it. And thanks for a great issue. I'm still reading, but the stories are looking good and I'm enjoying the interviews.

Sandra Ruttan said...

James, I expect you to enter! Or I'll be most displeased!

Anonymous said...

OMG, awesome lizard story!

James Goodman said...

I will try not to disappoint you. :D

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Yes, Sandra, what a GREAT issue of Spinetingler. hehehe. I'm reading slowly - enjoying it on the couch with some hot tea and organic chocolate chip cookies.

We'll miss you, but have fun!

Bonnie Calhoun said... on the monitor...that was a good one Sandra...LOL

Spinetingler looks great!