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Trump Card

Posted by Michael Tardiff on Thursday, November 10, 2016,
Okay, I told myself when I started this blog a million years ago that I would never turn it into some political soap box. This is first and foremost a blog about writing: the craft as it relates to our culture and my own time on Earth.

But, seeing as how everyone this side of the Andromeda Galaxy has an opinion on the recent presidential election, I suppose it would be appropriate for me to add my ten cents to the kitty.

I have no intention of defending Donald Trump or condemning him. I voted f...
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Hello, My Name Is Mr. Tardiff, And I Am A Tamale

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Thursday, March 31, 2016,
Okay, so I'm not really a tamale. But I sure would like one. And you are what you eat, as they say. So I guess I should say I will be a tamale in a few hours.

Life has thrown me a few curves as of late. I won't bore any of you with details, but let's just say the curves are not all bad (though that implies they aren't all good, either). One good curve: I have happily completed the renovation of my master bedroom and office, which has made my writing life a much more pleasant and feasible one.

A...
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Return of the Dead Guy (aka Revenge of the Wordsmith)

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Friday, January 8, 2016,
Hello, everyone. Well...all three of you, anyway.

I've had an extended break from blogging (most of which was unintended) and now I'm back to sully the text-waves with my diseased ramblings once more.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. And if you aren't the type to celebrate the annual festivities, then I hope you had a wonderful three months (but, seriously...get a life and start drinking and scarfing delicious food like the rest of us). My family has made it through a rough patch...
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UFOs and Bran Muffins (With Video Links!)...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Thursday, September 24, 2015,
Anyone who takes a nickle tour of my house will realize how utterly insane I am. I possess in excess of 1000 books and have read nearly every one (I haven't read Corrosion Resistance of Metals yet...so sue me). I used to have a habit of purchasing books every 30-60 days, usually a crate at a time. Borders, when there was a store called Borders, used to be kryptonite to my wallet, sucking the lettuce from that leather sandwich faster than Furious Pete downs a super burger:

https://www.youtube.c...
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Come On Baby, Write My Fire...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, September 16, 2015,
Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. Let's see what I've learned.

1. Gout sucks. Actually it hurts. Bad. The comedianne Carol Burnett once remarked that giving birth was like taking your bottom lip and pulling it over your head. Well, gout in your foot is like taking your big toe and touching it to the little tow on the same foot...via round the Achilles tendon. Mercifully, the pain is only bad for a couple of days. Satan can go chew on someone else's metatarsals for a change.

2. My ...
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Down the Rabbit Hole We Go!

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Monday, August 24, 2015,
You know how it is: one minute your doing research for a short story, reading articles and watching YouTube videos about the sordid history of televangelism, and the next you're whisked away on Willy Wonka's nightmare barge of click-bait recommended videos.

I swear I've once looked up a recipe for fried rice and wound up learning more than I care to know about the Illuminati connection to Mormonism and the supposed mating habits of reptilian aliens from the Pleiades. But hey...I made some good...
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Captain Martini Olive and the Attack of the Radioactive Underpants

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Tuesday, August 4, 2015,
How's that for a headline? It's got nothing to do with the subject of this post, I am just feeling silly and stupid, which is to say normal. Actually, I've been away from the blog-o-sphere for almost a month and am itching to write something, regardless of how mundane or insane. Although some radioactive underpants would be nice.

Anyway, I've been hard at work on another short story, making it the best I can before letting it fly free of its cage, which is to say my mind. I want to complete a ...
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Wordsmithing Basics 4 (or was it 5?): Me, Myself and You

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Tuesday, July 14, 2015,
I'm broke and couldn't be happier about it.

When my lovely wife and I have money, most of it gets pumped into the renovation and upkeep of our demolished domicile...which is nice because we have to live with fewer boxes and we actually get to have those little luxuries in life like floors and doors (I wish I were joking). But when the money runs out every-so-often, I get to do things like write and blog. And take a shower. And eat.

So, I am happy I'm broke for the next couple of months. I can f...
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The Origin of the Specious (aka The Descent of Meh)

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, June 24, 2015,
I've just completed my latest Prodigal Online Offer Program [TM]. I've completed many POOPs before, but never this disappointing.

A POOP is when I basically list two or more of my short-stories on a simultaneous basis at a deep discount (in this case, free) on Amazon Kindle, in the hopes of generating some name recognition and general good-will-towards-men. But God-dang-us, everyone! This POOP was the worst. I always hope...usually in vain...for some reviews. And I welcome all opinions, as lon...
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Warp-Speed Ramblings of a Warped Mind

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Thursday, June 11, 2015,
I have just published my latest short story, The Banal Mister Baxter, on Amazon:
 
http://www.amazon.com/Banal-Mister-Baxter-M-Tardiff-ebook/dp/B00ZDWFH76/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1434060053&sr=8-2&keywords=m+h+tardiff&pebp=1434060058718&perid=24E35A933ED2458387B2.


The story is currently only available for Kindle, but even if you don't have a Kindle, you can download a Kindle reader and read it on your desktop computer. And if you don't have a desktop computer, just how in the heck are you reading...
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Army of Dorkness

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Friday, June 5, 2015,
Every year on or about my birthday, my wife and I go out to dinner and a movie of my choosing. If that sounds boring, you don't have two young kids (and are thus still sane).

This year we went and saw Mad Max: Fury Road. We both had a great time and felt like our $10 tickets and $5000 bucket of popcorn were a good investment (after all, they put extra butter on the popcorn). This isn't redlettermedia.com, so I'm not going to analyze the movie or give any type of detailed review, but I am going...
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Superkindlefragilefictiongastroenteritis!

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, May 13, 2015,
Writing sucks.

In fact, the only thing worse than writing is not writing. Except publishing. That sucks even more. In fact, the only thing worse than publishing is...well, nothing. Publishing just sucks.

I don't mean the state of being published, either. Even to a self-published button-pusher like myself, seeing something of mine for sale in the real world is an enormous thrill. Earning money from a sale is even better, like chocolate-covered unicorn farts (and you'd know that's pretty spectacu...
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It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Ending (With Men)...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Thursday, May 7, 2015,

A couple of days ago I took my son to see Avengers 2 in the theater and, despite the $4000 bucket of stale popcorn and Diet Coke that contained more diet than Coke, we both had a good time. I'm not the world's biggest Marvel fan, but I understand the appeal for 11 year-old boys and anyone who wants to forget about life for two hours.

I remember enjoying the first Avengers movie a couple of years ago as well. I especially remember the last few moments after the credits, when the victorious gr...


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Talk To The Hand (If That's Your Thing)...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Friday, April 24, 2015,
"So, what are we gonna talk about today?" he said.

I shifted in my seat and tugged at the bottom of my sport-coat.

"I thought maybe we'd discuss the importance of good dialogue."

He snorted: "What would be the point of that? Everyone knows good dialogue is like good breeding: It doesn't draw attention to itself by proclaiming how clever and edgy it is."

"Well, maybe everyone doesn't know it."

"You can't be serious. Other that the grammatical mechanics like specific punctuation and the like, ...
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Salman Rushdie and the Temple of Dumb

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Tuesday, April 14, 2015,
I read recently that Salman Rushdie, the British author of note, has opened a Goodreads.com account. This would not normally be news, except the fact that in his zeal for all things internet-y, Mr. Rushdie swiftly wielded the mighty Goodreads Sword of Justice (TM) and gave To Kill a Mockingbird only three out of five stars. The day following his literary faux-pas, he committed a public mea-culpa which boiled down to: "I'm sorry. I was just screwing around with this new toy and did something I...
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A Riddle Inside a Mystery Wrapped Up In Bacon...Mmmm...Bacon...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Thursday, April 2, 2015,
Nothing profound today. Just some random ramblings of a diseased mind.

1. Amadeus is one of my favorite movies. I think it's because all of the actors are speaking in their native accents and there is little or no attempt by the director to affect contrivance on anyone's speech or behavior. This is off-putting to some people, but I think it makes everyone seem more ordinary in their roles, as if they don't know they are in a 20th century costume drama. That lack of contrivance is something I a...
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The Farce is Strong in This One...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Thursday, March 26, 2015,
I've had one of those weeks.

You know what I mean.

Seven days ago I crafted a lengthy blog post on grammar and punctuation, but none of you got to read it. Some little gremlin in my computer decided to make everything go away about five seconds after I typed in the last period. I know it sounds like an error between the chair and the keyboard, but I know it wasn't my fault (I spent ten minutes after the disaster doing my best Han Solo impression...repeating 'it's not my fault' after the hyperdr...
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In Search of Spock's Mysteries...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, March 11, 2015,
I really didn't want to come on here and talk about the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy. There's very little that can be said of him that hasn't already been said and unlike someone like William Corliss, whom I've already mentioned in a previous post, his accomplishments are more-or-less public knowledge, so to praise him would be tedious and of little value.

From what I've gathered, everyone liked Mr. Nimoy, regardless of their political affiliations or age. He seemed to be a genuinely good p...
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I Have No Tool Shed, and I Must Scream...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Friday, March 6, 2015,
By night, I write stories of fantastic lands and wondrous times. By day, I cook, clean, teach and renovate my jalopy of a dwelling into something akin to Wayne Manor. Normally, my diurnal dilemmas aren't an impediment to my nocturnal shenanigans, but this week I've been constructing a nice big tool shed in my backyard and it has taken the wind from my sails.

It's coming along nicely, though in its embryonic/skeletal state, it looks a bit like a Grecian temple, I had fun today wrapping myself i...
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Je Suis Kiersten White (apparently)...

Posted by M . H. Tardiff on Thursday, February 26, 2015,
I don't know author Kiersten White. I doubt I'll ever meet her. I'm sure she's a lovely individual with talent and creativity to spare. She certainly doesn't look like me, have my voice or share my disdain for beets (well, I don't know about the last one, but my wife seems to think I'm odd in that respect).

So, how come everyone seems to get our identities mixed up?

It's my fault, actually. Back in 2013, I published a compilation of short stories under the title Paranormalcy. I invented the tit...
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B-B-B-Bad to the Bone, Heisenberg Style

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, February 18, 2015,
Ever buy a burger or a sub and have a mystical experience? Ever have a quick meal of something that is normally ordinary and mundane and have it be amazing? Have you ever had the flavors and textures just hit all the right notes, the varying degrees of quality in every part of the whole just synchronize until the usual discordant mess becomes one crisp, continuous sine wave of deliciousness? Writing is a little like that. Great writing is like lightning in a bottle, a rarity even for the best...
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Wordsmithing Basics 3: The Write, Creamy Center

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, February 11, 2015,
Writing, like driving a car, is not a particularly special skill, though it is useful. Anyone who can hunt-and-peck through the pizza-crumbs on a keyboard or shove a ball-point around a piece of paper without their hand cramping like Fred Sanford's during an arthritis attack can churn out a plot and some characters.

But then comes page two. Allow me to water-board my metaphor further: average writers are like people who drive to Walmart. Good writers tear up the course at Le Mons.

The real work...
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Indie-ana Jones and the Attack of the POD People...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, February 4, 2015,
Anyone who's taken the time to look will see all of my work is published by Halogen Press. I know the Editor-in-Chief there very intimately. In fact, I even sleep with him.

Now, before I give my wife cause for concern, I should point out that I am the Editor-in-Chief as well as the CEO, CFO, Lead Designer and the dorky guy who empties the wastebaskets every night. Halogen Press is a company I own and operate for the purpose of publishing my work. If asked, I would consider taking on other clie...
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Godspeed...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, January 28, 2015,
Just a quick post in tribute to today's place in history.

29 years ago today, the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded upon liftoff. I remember the day fairly well: my usually subdued father was visibly distraught and my history teacher cried openly during class.

Reagan's Challenger Speech

If you are not moved by this man's words, you have no soul.
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If I Were a Rich Amazon...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Tuesday, January 27, 2015,
I live a pleasant life, but rest assured when my time comes, I'll be able to jump through that needle-eye like a chihuahua through Saturn's rings. And that's okay. It has to be to be a writer.

Do writers ever make it big? Sure they do. Are writers ever wealthy? Sure they are. But you shouldn't write because you want to get rich or be on Jimmy Fallon with ScarJo on your arm. You should write because you like to tell stories, money be damned. The truth is, most everyone who puts finger to keyboa...
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Wordsmithing Basics 2: Poaching Eggs With a Doofus and a Man You Should Know (But Probably Don't)

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Wednesday, January 21, 2015,
I'm the kind of guy who reflexively bucks old-fashioned convention and tries to do things the hard way, partly because I'm stupid and partly because I am afraid of becoming rigid and growing blind to insights and alternatives. But sometimes, I discover the old-fashioned convention is indeed best.

Take poaching eggs for example. I could go buy some super-duper Eggomatic 5000 non-stick poach pan for $30 or I could just plop some eggs right into a swirling pot of boiling water with a spoonful of ...
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Wordsmithing Basics 1: Doing Research and Why My Wife Hates Me

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Tuesday, January 13, 2015,
All writers, from Stephen King to the lowliest indie on Amazon (who is still probably two steps above me), will tell you one of the first good habits to get into is to do copious research on whatever you're writing about. How that research is done is up to the individual, so I can only give you insight based upon my own preferences. Let's just pretend I'm offering you a big box of chocolates and you can take your pick. Hopefully, you get something delectable and not a taste sensation akin to ...
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We Have Ignition...

Posted by M. H. Tardiff on Monday, January 5, 2015,
Greetings readers! This entry marks my inauguration into the word of blogging, and boy, am I suddenly conscious of the fact that my life is a big meaty pile of boring. But that's okay, because I'll bet most everyone of you think your life's boring, so we're all in good company.

In all honesty, I've thought about what to write for about a month now, in between wrapping Christmas presents and ticking off items from my Watermelon List (that's like a Honey-do List, but so much bigger). I have a ...
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Independent Author and All-Around Provocateur

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