Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Damned New Year!

"They were all whooping it up, the optimism and booze flowing freely, awaiting the new year. I was nursing a beer, my back to the wall. I just wanted to make sure the old one left."

That's the opening (maybe) from a story I'm writing, featuring my Montreal barfly/P.I. Thomas St. Cyr. I think it's going to be called "A World in White," and it's part of my nefarious master plan for 2011 to get some fiction published.

So, okay, you caught me.

You've all been had.

In the tradition of egomaniacs everywhere, The Thrilling Detective Web Site is actually just a hollow shill; all this time it's been a blast of blatant self-promotion disguised as a reference site, a bogus marketing scam to plug my so-far unpublished (and possibly unpublishable) stories featuring Montreal barfly and off-the-books private eye Thomas St. Cyr...

Given that the site's been around since 1998 or so and this is the first time I think I've ever mentioned St. Cyr in these pages, I figure I oughtta get some sort of long con award.

But the plan is that, in 2011, I will get a few stories, including a few featuring St. Cyr, published. It's been too fucking long since I've had any fiction published. And publicly outting myself like this -- something I'm still queasy about -- may be the only way to get myself off my ass and finally do it.

Some of the stories are in progress; a depressingly large number of stuff just need final tweaking. And self-confidence.

So here I am, out of the closet and hanging in the breeze, just another wannabe writer throwing himself over the falls. Sigh...

What's on tap tonight?

The in-laws in Palmdale, California, and a few bottles of Maudite from a brewery in my hometown 3000 miles away in Quebec. Maudite is French for "damned," more or less.


The world.

Bonne année.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Well, it's that time of year again, and it feels good to be back at work on the site. My decision to get rid of (at least for now) the fiction, to add the "This Just In" and "Quote of the Week" features, and to use Twitter in conjunction with this blog seem to be paying off -- traffic has increased, and I'm inspired to try out a few new things. Like, my new "Christmas Issue" has a new Christmas-themed "cover" (oooh, look what Santa has!), a end-of-year list of My Favourite P.I. things of 2010 and a revised and updated List of Holiday P.I. Movies, Books & Stories that I think is sorta spiffy.

But the real plus of coming back from the dead is the sheer fun I'm having. I'd forgotten how much fun the site can be. So, please, spread the word: I'm back. And please, have yourself a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks for the Bailout. Can we screw you some more?

Dear Chase (insert your own bank's name here if you want to vent along),

Thanks so much for your pre-Christmas Gift. So you greed heads are now imposing service fees that penalize people who get paid in smaller increments that you would like?

Were I paid bi-weekly I'd easily meet your new minimum direct deposit, but because I'm paid on a weekly basis that doesn't quite reach it, I'll be penalized with a new $10 "service fee"? Because my salary doesn't arrive in big enough chunks for you?

Yeah, that's a good way to reward loyal customers who've used your direct deposit for years.

And what "services" will I get in return? The same old computerized phone system that turns a two-minute question into a 30-minute, option-choosing ordeal that ends with someone who can barely read off a computer prompter? Semi-competent, gum-snapping teenage tellers? Inconvenient bank hours? An ATM in an unlit, syringe-laden parking lot? An online "Secure Message Center" that deletes messages without sending them, thus requiring customers to seek alternate means of communication?

Please reconsider this policy. In times like these, working people need understanding from the banks -- not more unconscionable gouging. Remember who it was that bailed you guys out...

BTW, Canada has tons of banking regulations. But their banking system is also rated as about the safest and most secure on the planet. Unlike you blood-suckers here who are at, what, 17th? 18th? 19th?