Sunday, November 22, 2015


I didn't share something with Twitter tonight. I had a lovely revelation about what my life on Twitter is, but I don't think that Twitter needs to know just yet.
And for once, I'm okay with that. I'm okay with keeping this little happy secret just for me. I like how it makes me feel inside. Maybe I'll tell the people it involves, but then again, might not.
For now, it's my lovely little metaphor.
Mine, all mine.
And I'm going to keep it that way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Social Worker

There was a time when she enjoyed seeing them in her office. Those were the days when she could get them a hot lunch and a shave. But those days were long gone. Now, she might point them to one of them in the direction of a fleeting bed in a halfway house, but that was about all she could do. It was heartbreaking in a town like this, when so many of them came to make their fortunes and ended up on the street. 

She used to think that she could do something to change things by handing out sandwiches and hygiene kits at the shelter at night, paying for them out of her meager salary, but the men told her different. 

“It’s nothing against you, ma’am.” They’d say respectfully, “We appreciate what you’re doing for us, but we don’t need food. We need a place to sleep at night where can feel safe.” 

She couldn’t argue with that. Feeling safe was important while you sleep. 

So she gave them somewhere safe to sleep.

She bought a old car, a old house, got herself a new life in a place where no one would moniter her comings or going. She didn’t have family to worry about her, so living a life on the streets wasn’t something that they’d question. She spent her nights at home, sure, but during the day, she pulled on a cap and pushed her shopping cart, talking to the same people she’d tried to help–but this time as an equal. She found out who was sick and who was getting better, and made a note of it in her files–she kept the files she’d made as a social worker, kept her access by working on Saturdays and drawing her pension. Every now and then, she’d hear a name–someone who was ready to give up, but the man wouldn’t let do so. EMS kept picking him up when he was passed out on the sidewalks, thinking that night would be his last. They’d take him to the hospital and they’d pump him full of meds and food and fluids and send him out to try again. 

Well, with her help, they didn’t have to try again. 
She did her research. Found out ways that you could poison someone so that no questions would be asked. And a street person? No one would care if you chopped them up with a chainsaw and left the parts around the city. Only that would be cruel. 

She made friends on the street. Handed them a sandwich and a warm blanket, sat besides them as they ate and the poison took hold of their body. Held their hand as they drifted off into sleep, and kept passersby from calling 911 until she was sure they were dead. Then she vanished into the darkness and let the police take care of things. It was kinder this way.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Surgeon

“Some days, I want to stick a needle in a vein just for fun.” He breathed, hand feather soft on her shoulder, “No drugs, no vials, nothing. Just let the blood drip out onto my skin. I like the feel of blood on my skin.”

“That why you’re a surgeon?” She asked, looking up at him, “Because of that?”

He shook his head, slowly, like there was something he wanted her to find out, “That’s not why I’m a surgeon.”

She leaned forward, naked breasts tempting him, “Then why?”

He smiled as he wrapped his hand around her neck and twisted it, “Because it’s a way to get rid of the body.” He said as she went lifeless in his arms.

She was light in his arms as he carried her down the steps. He’d matured in that respect after one day having to convert his bedroom into his surgery. After Mathilda, they’d all been smaller than him. Less adipose to dispose of, anyway, when he did his dissections. He’d gone to medical school thinking that it would help with the urges, help him want to heal, not kill, but it turned out that it did just the opposite. The things they taught him, the fragility of the human body, it made him the perfect killer. He knew just how much pressure it took to break a neck, to dissect the vertebral artery every time. He picked his victims with care, too. The chiropracter they’d visited always went down for their death. Never murder, just malpractice.

He turned around to enter the surgical theater, the lights coming on as the doors opened around him. The familiar rush ran through his body as he saw the gleam of the instruments that his tech had laid out for him, not knowing exactly why she did so a few times a week. She was a good woman, if a little slow. He laid the body of the woman down on his table, turning on his stereo as he went past. Like many, he enjoyed operating to classical music.

The opening bars of a Wagner opera filled the room as he turned on the other lights. He lighted to do it in stages, to see the table there, alone, the chrome of his instruments flashing in the shadows. Then their light, followed by the one over his anesthesia setup. You never knew when you’d need anesthesia. The light over his scrub sink was last, this one the darkest, for it was the one that marked the end of things. When he was finally done with his masterpiece, he’d shut off all the lights but that one, and wash his hands one final time.

But that day was not today. He had a fresh body on the table, and that needed to be addressed. With practiced efficiency, he started to scrub. Ten strokes on each of the four sides of each finger, ten on the palm and ten on the dorsum. Ten on each of the four sides of the arm. Rinsing the arms, letting the water run down his elbows and naked chest. The water shut off automatically as he stepped away, reaching for the blue towel the tech had left hanging on a plastic covered steel arm. Just like he liked it. He slid his bare feet into the clogs that he left beneath the sink and padded towards his table. He gowned and gloved like he had every day for 10 years now–first the left arm in, then the right. Flip the right glove on and use it to pull the left up. Back up 5 steps to the contraption he’d created to tie the back of his gown, all those years ago. Spin to close it. Suppress the erection that threatened every time he tied the knot on the left side of his surgical gown. It didn’t do for a surgeon to have a hardon.

Stepping forward once more, he raised both hands in a silent prayer to the gods of surgery. This wasn’t a life to save, but it didn’t mean he wanted unsteady hands on his journey. He left her undraped, uncovered as he slid a needle into her arm, already connected to tubing under the table. He watched the blood drain, aided by gravity. Blood he would bathe in later, when this was done.

She was white and pale when he made his first cut, clean and sharp down her flat abdomen. He’d chosen her for her shape, the way he could see her intestines under her skin. Skinny enough that he could call her anorexic. But perfect to display the gut. No fat around the colon, very little obscuring the view of the mesenteric veins. This one was almost too easy. He realized that he was starting to miss Mathilda as he laid the colon out around her head like a halo. There was nothing for him to do, nothing for him to clean, just label the vessels and be done with it. His hands sped up as he tied on the tiny sutures to the vessels, practice making it something he could have done in his sleep. He’d gotten lazy with picking his victims, he realized as he slid her into the cooler and looked up at the clock on the wall. Only two operas for her. They’d spent more time in bed together than she had on his table.

The door to the cooler clanged shut as he made notes on the tiny card that slid into the holder on the door. Her body would be cooled to -40 in a bath of chemicals, slowly, to preserve the structures until he had the rest of the project complete. A series of dissections, each a microcosm of vessels and fascia and nerves, that, when viewed together, provided a perfect teaching tool–or the perfect piece of art. They’d find her body, eventually, insides replaced with those of another woman, leaving a coroner puzzled as to what had happened, how she’d ended up so far from home. But not for a long while yet. It didn’t matter to her. No one would be worried.

He slid the card, covered in tiny letters, into the sleeve, and padded over to the trashcan. His surgical gown went in there, followed by his mask and cap. He left the clogs under the sink as he rinsed his hands, the lights behind him going off as he turned on the tap.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


int. living room, day

BEN lifts up the window blinds, looking outside.

It's a bad day for frozen food.

MOTHER walks out of the kitchen, reusable shopping bags in hand.

What, sweetie?

Ben turns to her, eyes flashing.

Look outside, mother. It's not a good day for frozen foods.

Mother walks over to where he is holding the blinds open with one hand, looks out, shrieks, and drops her bag.

What is that?

Ben joins her, peering intently.

I think it's the apocalypse.

cut TO:

Outside House, day

Outside the house, the sky is red. Red like the sauce from a can of Chef Bayardee ravioli, splattered with ravioli like explosions. It's raining, but steam is coming off of where it hits the pavement. Coming over the horizon, towards the house at the end of the culdesac are shambling forms, clad in what once might have been tasteful twinsets. Beyond them, dragging at their heels, are soccer uniformed small childlike things that are no longer innocent. Burnt out minivans are everywehre, turned over like someon was trying to use them for cover.


The mother shrieks as the forms start coming over the horizon. Ben's eyes get very wide. He pulls back from the window and slowly starts moving towards the door.


She runs over to grab him. When she pulls him towards her, the fires are still burning in his very solemn eyes.

Mother. Why are you screaming.

Mother is still screaming. Then, she is joined by a second set of screaming from another part of the house. Mother lets go of Ben like he's hot. Which he might be.

That's Sam screaming too. I wonder if he is okay.

Mother stops screaming. The screaming in the other part of the house stops. She looks at Ben.

What did you just say?

Sam is screaming. Sam was screaming. Did you not hear Sam?

Mother lets go of Ben and backs slowly towards the living room table. When she gets there, she kneels, feeling under it. There are electronic beeps, and from under the table, she pulls out a shotgun. She stands up slowly, not turning her back on Ben, she backs up three more steps, to the china cabinent. More beeps, and a box of ammo goes into her coat pocket after she loads the shotgun. Back to the china cabinent, she studies the child that she thought was her son. The fires in his eyes have faded.



Are you there?

I have always been here.

Shot gun broken over her arm, she edges forward. The fires are no longer burning. She grabs the child by the arm, and pushes him in front of her.

Bring your brother down here.

She watches Ben go up the stairs. Once he's turned the corner, she loads the shotgun and puts the strap over her shoulder so she has both hands free to move the couch in front of the door. She grunts as she drags the couch, and two boys appear on the stairs. SAM is smaller than Ben. Their eyes burn with identical fire.

Hello sons.

Hello mother.

They come down the stairs in unison. Mother watches them, one eye on the slit in the curtains, where she can see shambling figures still comign twowards the house.

Go to the kitchen, boys.

The boys start quietly towards the kitchen, then there is a noise outside. Sam starts to spin like the tasmanian devil, a whirlwind as he goes towards the kitchen. Mother hands Ben the shotbgun.

Don't let them in.

Ben nods even more seriously as he takes the shotgun and turns to the door. Mother heads to the kitchen with purposeful steps, stopping at the lintel to pick up a large automatic rifle and 3 clips. Ben's eyes go wide at the sight of such a beautiful gun.

int. kitchen, Day

Mother walks into the kitchen, expecting chaos. The room is glowing red from the sky outside, but Sam is calm, standing on one leg in the middle of the room, eating chips and hummus, the bag of chips held securely under one arm. he takes no notice of the large and beautiful automatic weapon his mother is holding, nor of the fact that she is currently struggling to push a heavy kitchen table against the door. He turns slightly on one leg as he watches her move the table. In the back of the house, there are no zombies. Yet.

Mother finishes moving the table and looks around. There are big windows, just like the rest of the house. There are no other doors that she needs to block off. She look at Sam pointedly.

Why were you screaming, Sam.

Sam stops chewing, crumbs falling from his mouth.

You were screaming.

Is that the only reason why?

Sam shakes his head, nearly dropping the chip bag.

Why else were you screaming?

Someone spilled ravioli all over the sky. It's all messy now.

Mother sighs with relief. His eyes no longer have the flames either.

There's a loud banging on the back door. Both of them jump, and the ceramic bowl of hummus crashes to the ground, spilling hummus everywhere. Sam starts to scream. Mother looks out the window, and about passes out. There is DADDY-O, waving at them to come outside. A vehicle is right there, ready.


Ben comes running, shotgun held at the ready. She holds out her hand.

Let's go.

She and Ben pull the table away from the door. Gun slung over her shoulder, she picks up the screaming Sam, and they run to what they thought was the minivan, but is, in reality, an armored tour bus. Daddy-O has been getting ready. They get on the bus and start driving away.

And we fade out on episode 1.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Vignette 1

    "Don't apologize. Don't show weakness. The minute you do that, they'll be on you like leeches, waiting to such you dry and deposit the husk on the stoop... They can smell you a mile away, see you trembling through the back of their heads... keep strong, boy, and you might just make it out alive."
    "Was things always this way?"
    The old man shook his head slowly, sadly. "Nah, they weren't. But that's before living memory, cept for maybe Mama Tracy."
    "Who's she?"
    "Ol woman, lives down the holler. Liken her to a voodoo priest, some say."
    "She a witch?" The boy asks.
    "Mama ain't no witch. Just an ol woman who lived her whole live in the swamp. She learn what she gotta learn to survive."
    "How old she?"
    A shrug was most of the response the boy got, "Ain't nobody know." following the rhythmic roll of his shoulders that continued up into his face.
    "Well, you coulda ask."
    The old man got stern, "Doncha yo mama teach you it isn't polite to ask a woman her age?"
    The boy jumped, startled by the sudden sternness, already retreating below inscrutable eyebrows. The old main waited a beat for the boy's sake, then smiled, watching the child relax. The boy wasn't used to being scolded. His mother was much too kind for that.

    A quiet creak, and footsteps as the door opened. The boy's mother stood there, watching the two of them sleep--grandfather in his chair, the boy in a nest of blankets at the old man's feet. She smiled to herself and eased the door shut. Might as well let them sleep.

    Outside, the world was threatening a descent into chaos. The monsters the old man spoke of, scavengers who preyed on fear and self doubt, were out in force, feeding on the fear the sight of them created as they filled the streets.
    The old man woke with a start, hand dropping protectively to the head of the sleeping child below him. Outside, he could hear voices, saying things he never thought he'd hear again, not in this lifetime, not never. He'd lost friends to make sure of that.
    But somehow, they were back.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hello Friends

Hey all,

Long overdue update from AdC!

The update? We're still alive!!!!!!

That's about it, folks. We're still alive and kicking. On my end (this is Art, btw), not much has changed on the typewriter front, since the SM-3 came home with me. The fountain pens still continue to be a thing... A TWSBI Diamond 580, Lamy Safari, and Pilot Prera have been delivered since the first of the year. Before that, the big deal was finally getting a Vanishing Point, after wanting it for 10+ years.

Writing continues. I actually finished a novel, for once, but now, it means that I have to edit. And I'm not a fan of editing. AT ALL. I finished the edits on paper a while back, but they were substantial enough that I think it's going to be easier to just retype the whole damn thing, rather than try to figure out where the edits go, and what needs to be deleted vs what needs to be kept. So... I've been putting that off. I'm hopefully going to find motivation to type it up next month, and to do the edit on the stageplay I wrote about 10 years ago--I finally found a composer who is willing to write the music for it!

I think that's about it... Told ya, not much to update. I'm mostly typing this to get used to typing on a computer keyboard again--I've been avoiding computers and keyboards for a while, in favor of pen and paper.

Cheers, everyone.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


People, poll. Answer in comments.

Do you want to see random short stories or weird poetry?

Friday, July 25, 2014



Monday, July 7, 2014


Meee meee meee mmeeeeeep

Monday, May 19, 2014


Eep Epp eep epp eeeeeeep

Sunday, April 6, 2014





Tuesday, March 25, 2014





Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why I love typewriters

You know, they can be temperamental and break and flat out refuse to work, but at least they don't restart suddenly and lose and hour's hard work because the new windows and word DON'T SAVE AUTOMATICALLY EVEN IF THEY WERE SET TO!!

And to all the people who follow me on twitter--sorry for the outbursts and the language. The computer would have gone through the wall otherwise, then I'd be even further up shit creek.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Well, I should post pictures of the new acquisitions since last ITAM, but that's going to have to come later.
Until then, here are some numbers.
New machines: 2
Wild found: 1
Total: 5
Currently working: 2/5

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Episode 1

Here it is, the long awaited Episode 1! Find more details about the project at New! Epic! New! (Will link it when I get to a computer!)

And so it begins...

"And so it seems, gentlemen, that piracy is our only option!"
The men cheered, and in the back, one of the women giggled, "I do love it when that happens." she said, her eyes lighting up.
"It is quite a lovely enterprise, isn't it?" Her companion replied with a wry smile, "I'm sure by morning they'll have forgotten all about it."
"No." She wrinkled her nose, "No, you don't think so, do you?"
The captain shrugged, "Just an opinion, born of long experience. They are not the first to come ot this conclusion, and the will not be the last."
"So what are you going to do?"
Smiling, she flipped up the lapel on her seacoat, "Same thing I've always done. Take advantage of their indecision." Putting on her hat, she nodded at the innkeeper, "Good day, Miriam. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Good day, Captain Marlow." Miriam said after her, watching the coattails flick around the corner. A few moments later, as Miriam was making her rounds with the ale, she was stopped by a long haired woman sitting in the corner.
"Was that captain Jean Marlow who just left?" She asked, barely pulling the English pronunciation out of Marlow's given nickname.
"Depends on who's asking." Miriam replied, "You are?"
"Captain Selím. Marlow and I were once friends."
"Selím, eh?" Miriam set the flagon down on the woman's table, weighing Gene's response to knowing an old friend was in town, "Never heard of you. Pirate?"
"Of  course." Selím snapped, "What do I look like to you, a dragon slayer?"
"They're surprisingly diverse group, if you've never met one." She picked the empty flagons up off the table and loaded her tray, "Will that be all for you?"
"No. I'd like an answer, you fool."
"Then I suggest you go get it yourself."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New! Epic! New!

Epic! New! Project!

So. If you follow me on Twitter (@ anabstar), you may have seen randomness regarding backers and other things. Well, now that I probably don't have your attention, here's the news you haven't been waiting for.

About the epic new project.

So, earlier this year, mike speegle published Artifice online, in installments. I'm gonna kind of be stealing that same idea, the idea of the serial, published at intervals that will be random, rather than set, but it's still going to be happening.

The cool part is that you all get to help.

Yup. You heard me.

So. Here's how it's going to work--it's kinda like kickstarter but there's only one option and you don't have to pay any money.

What do you mean, no have to pay no monies?

To back the project, all it takes is being a willing conspirator. You mind find yourself receiving random questions and dialogue prompts from me, and if ou back the project, you're saying that you're willing to help... In return, you (or at least my perception of you), become a character in the short. No, not calling this a novel, because right now, it's more like a short improv gig. So, if you happen to respond to a dialogue prompt on Twitter, that's going to get incorporated in, somehow--this whole idea started when molly mullery responded very awesomely to a random tweet, and my brain just went from there.

Okay, bored now, so the rest of the random details... if you're interested in getting involved, you can leave a comment below, give me a shoutout on Twitter, or just keep an eye open for my next call!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

There's a moment

When you realize that your current level of Britishyness would make quite a lovely, rather foul mouthed character for you NaNoWriMo novel.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


SM-3 to anyone who will deal with its shit. And tantrums. And random refusals to work. Carriage used to return fine, now it grinds horribly.
Inquire below.

Friday, November 1, 2013


I was so excited, don't you remember? 

Yeah... That was yesterday.

Today is November 1. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

One Week One Week One Weeeeeeeekkkk!!!!!

Yes, the reason for the continual forum span is nearly upon us!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Help Wanted

Hi typosphere!
So eventually, I'll do a post about one of my grail machines that I finally acquired, but today, it's another question. I'm not looking to buy another machine right now, but for future reference, what are everyone's opinions on machines that can keep up with excessively speedy typing. I'm 70-80 WPM on a computer, and can probably get close to 50 on a typewriter... but the problem is that, at least with my SM-3, every time that I start to speed up, we run into the same old jamming problems that comes with lots of typebars flying in an enclosed space. So, typospherians, what are your favorite machines for speedy typing?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Once a scientist...

You know you are always a scientist when you have an idea and the first thing you reach for are a Sharpie and a paper towel.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

POLL!! Typing Style

Hey Typosphere!

Had a frenzied typing session on the Skyriter tonight (oh yeah, if you didn't know it, mpclemens hooked me up with one of my grail machines in his cleanout... I'll get around to posting picturesnstuff eventually, promise), and I had this epiphany of a question, which may have already been asked, but what the hell. I'll ask it again.

What's your typing style?
(Can't figure out how to embed the poll in this post, so check it out at the top of the sidebar!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Dunno what it is, but there's a shift.
Shifting away from fiction.
Towards... I don't know.
No, not away from fiction.
Just away from the idea that came back and wanted to be worked on.
We're taking some time off.
We need our space.

It kinda feels like getting dumped, when an idea pulls away.
You give it so much time, so much energy, and then all of a sudden,
It's gone.
Not gone.
Just... ignoring you.
For the time being, at least.

I could go back, back to the collected past of ideas,
And pull something out of the pile and see what can happen.
But I don't know if I want to do that.
For so long, writing has defined part of my life.
Who I am.
What I do.

I don't remember the last drought period, but there has to be one.
I could check the books, find it,
And maybe I'll do that.
When I have the time.
If I ever have the time.
That's when I'll go back and find an idea to work on.

But until then?
Until then, the nebulosity of the new and unproven floats around.
Just waiting.
Maybe someday, they'll want to come out.

Until then, I'll just be.