NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

The eternal question for scribes?

In this new social media landscape, the question becomes: Is blogging dead? It just may be...

Watch: The 'Front Page Palooka' Book Trailer

Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DRINKS WITH ANDRE - #fridayflash

The other night at Smitty's I was bummed since there were more men in the joint than usual. Even more annoying was that I was stuck next to Andre, quite possibly the most annoying dude on the planet because he didn't know squat about bar etiquette.

Like most of us, I hated Andre because when he was in a good mood he'd be the guy flaunting everything he owned -- from his Swedish watch to his German car -- all the while basking in wretched French cologne.

Now I'm the kind of guy that usually drinks and drives American - I don't want to know about your foo-foo wines or Cognacs and I especially don't need to hear your problems all night when I have my own.

But he wasn't in his usual good mood the other night. It seems Andre's lil' cufflink - the exotic one he really didn't deserve - recently found itself in the French cuff of a better shirt. I told him he needed to get over it ASAP.

After hearing a thousand reasons why he needed her back, I bought him four shots of Jack, got him beyond sauced, and thoroughly enjoyed watching him puke in the parking lot from my bar stool.

Head hung low, his Tiffany chain smacked him in the eye. I smirked and scooped up the dough he left on the bar and jammed it into my back pocket.


I wanna get my hair cut here... Thanks to Barry Northern for the pic. Thanks for lookin' out...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


That ever-so-busy blogger Paul Brazill over at his popular blog got this lil' mini viral ball rolling when he was awarded this nifty Circle of Friends badge to five bloggin' buddies. Spreading like a wildfire in the Hollywood hills, it managed to make its way over to me. Thrice. I'm blushing...

I thank the always-talented Laurita Miller, Erin Cole and Barry Northern for thinking of Bukowski's Basement in their prolific circle of friends.

Now I'll pass it along to others (that I feel deserve the badge, without repeating recipients).

1. Musings Along Electric Avenue

2. Winedrunk Sidewalk

3. Thoughts from Tess

4. Daniel's in China

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Burger King has unveiled plans to sell beer and burgers at a Whopper Bar — a new BK concept to compete with casual dining restaurants — in Miami Beach's tourist-heavy South Beach. The South Beach Whopper Bar is scheduled to open in mid-February.

Don't look for the hooch, though, at conventional Burger Kings. That's not in the plans. But more Whopper Bars — which offer an assortment of burgers, toppings and beer — could be on tap in tourist hot spots such as New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, says Chuck Fallon, president of Burger King North America.

A brewski at the new Whopper Bar — served in special aluminum bottles to keep them extra cold — fetches $4.25. Or, order beer as part of a Whopper combo and your bill will be $7.99 — roughly $2 more than the same combo meal with a fountain drink.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


My noir piece, "An Unlikely Partner" is up and live in a Noir-arama Double-Double Feature of talented scribes on the tasty blog At the Bijou.

You will also find three delicious thrillers from the talented Kevin Michaels, the prolific Paul D. Brazill (who is everywhere online btw) and the super cool Bijou curator Absolutely*Kate, who's print project Harbinger*33 will showcase 33 super-talented scribes.

Please click play to enjoy an
audio reading of 'An Unlikley Partner'

Due to some minor technical 'movie theater' difficulties (damn those embed codes), I have an audio component to my noir that is not live on At the Bijou at the moment. So in the meantime (while the projectionist is working on the problem), I'd love for you to read along since it's my first full-length audio reading. Be warned, though, I'm no Barry Northern.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


About a month or so back, I wrote about my former work colleague Wallace Stroby, who's third novel "Gone 'Til November" is out today in major bookstores. BTW, it's been getting some pretty damn good reviews.

He recently posted an enlightening blog post explaining why there was a five year-lag time between books. In fact, he had started writing a completely different novel altogether and pretty much hit the wall and scrapped it.

He says: The next morning when I woke up, I knew I'd decided to bag the novel, all 188 hard-fought pages of it. And when I came to that realization, I felt a tremendous sense of relief flooding through me. Not long after that, I started working on a short story about one of the characters who would eventually figure in GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER. And suddenly writing was fun again.

To read more check out the post at his blog HERE.

And please, if you're a fan of pulp, noir or gritty crime, give his work a look.

Monday, January 18, 2010

SHE NEEDED A JOB (flash fiction)

Clark County was supposed to be her salvation. Instead it became her handicap.

When she got the call from her cousin that this town called Las Vegas was wide open with possibility, she hopped on the first bus clutching a suitcase and Harlequin.

Over the course of the four-day bus trip, she wondered what kind of job ol' cuz would land her. As a medium-shot for a gambling hall somewhere in the desert, maybe he'd get her something in the casino office, she thought. Even though her steno skills were just moderate, she did learn to type pretty well. At least that's what Mr. Bellog, her typing teacher, always said. But then again, he was sweet on her.

When she arrived at the dusty terminal, her cuz wasn't there. He was late. But he wasn't lying - he did have a job for her - as a counter girl in the casino's all-night coffee shop. She lasted just three days and when Gus the manager fired her, she knew what she needed to do.

She brought out only two dresses. Figuring the red one would entice the most, she headed into the lounge and straddled up to the first put-together gentleman she saw at the bar.

As she was escorted out by a patrolman, she realized she couldn't even do that right.

Sitting in the cell alone, all she kept thinking about was the money she wasn't making.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


OK, guys... We all know that whiskey is a broad term for describing different variations of the spirit. Several regions and countries that make whiskey have their own distilling rules and regulations for the hooch to be considered official.

In the simplest of terms, whiskey is comprised of water, a grain and yeast (if you add hops to those three, you get beer), and is aged in oak casks. The way you manipulate these ingredients accounts for all of the different varieties.

So instead of being like Mikey in "Swingers" (above) and snagging "Any Glen...", check out this nifty cheat sheet that describes the subtle differences between this glorious giggle water.

Monday, January 11, 2010

HOUSE OF CARDS (poem & podcast)

Please click play to enjoy an audio reading


His new house is now a
As is the excrutiating
mortgage payments.
He won’t rest until they've been
there a year.
Only then will it seem real.
Yup, after twelve
months, he’ll put up his feet
for the first time.
And his wife will let
her hair down.
And then she’ll smile.
Only then, will it seem doable.
They’d be bonafide.
Only then, will he unpack.

"House of Cards" by Anthony Venutolo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Hosted by The Internet Archive, download MP3 here. Music by From the Hip "Melancholee" and provided by The Internet Archive.

Friday, January 8, 2010


As I languish through a miserable weekend with strep throat, not much is making me happy. This little tidbit, though, brightened my evening somewhat.

Professor David Nutt, one of Britain's top drug experts, is developing a synthetic alcohol substitute developed from chemicals similar in composition to Valium that could give users the pleasant feelings of tipsiness without affecting the parts of the brain that lead to barroom brawls, crippling addiction, and sleeping in your car.

To get the skinny, check out the article at Popular Science.

And for shits and giggles, check out this cute/maybe-not-so-cute vid (depending on your sense of humor) of a pug that's said to be drunk. Dunno if it's true, but the dog does look hungover as hell.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Next time you're writing witty banter between characters ask yourself -- I mean really ask yourself -- if you're ballsy with the words your characters utter.

Mark Millar is...

I've always admired comics creator Mark Millar. If there ever was a Bukowski-esque scribe in comics it's him. The reason being is that he's all out ballsy in his dialogue and makes no apologies for what he writes. Not to mention, he seem like a heck of a guy to grab a beer with...

His prolific work is highly entertaining without coming off as pretentious and, in my opinion, rivals almost anything by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) or Neil Gaiman (Sandman - which ranks as one of my all-time favorites).

This brings me to this admittedly shocking trailer for the upcoming adaptation of his comic "Kick Ass." The definitely NSFW vid comes complete with extreme profanity and explicit acts of violence, both of which are being doled out by a cute-as-a-button little girl. Those offended by cursing shouldn't watch.

And remember... Next time you're writing, think about dialogue. Maybe some of you may think this is just for shock factor, but you must admit, it IS different.

Enjoy... And remember, be ballsy. Like Mark Millar

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


All of us writers have a well we visit when we do our thing. Scribes like Raymond Carver, Jim Carroll and even Bukowski infused much of their own experiences into what they created.

Most mainstream authors, though, are plot-driven and may be compelled (even subconsciously) to perhaps "borrow" elements from different material. If you really wanna see how few plots there really are, check out The Writers Digest book "20 Master Plots and How to Use Them." Great book...

This brings me to something quite humorous I found online. James Cameron’s billion-dollar grossing "Avatar" just may be Disney’s "Pocahontas" in disguise.

For years, many screenwriters have been constructing their scripts to Joseph Campbell’s Heroes Journey, the mythic structure that has been utilized in many many Hollywood films. To illustrate, the underlying structure of Campbell’s teachings, check out the two staggering examples of what I mean after the jump.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I suspect we'll be seeing more and more of these kinds of stories.

Ten years ago, few imagined that by decade's end, people would be reading novels on cell phones. A lot has changed in the book world. The Kindle and other electronic reading devices have already started to make their mark, but they may begin to change the very words authors commit to posterity.

Check out this pretty detailed NPR (ick) piece and accompanying podcast which sheds light on this new landscape we're all about to experience.

To read the full piece click HERE.