Tag Archives: short story

The San Francisco Reading with Chuck Palahniuk Round-Up: Pics, Recap, and a Story About a Cold Sore

10.21.2014: I fly to San Francisco to read with Chuck Palahniuk at DNA Lounge as part of his Beautiful You tour.

The club starts out completely empty:

IMG_7604They set the mood with the lights and Chuck starts arranging logistical stuff for the reading:


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“Ultimate Grand Supreme Super Sexy Baby” is now available as part of the Spark Anthology, and you can get it for 50% OFF (limited time)

Spark: A Creative Anthology (vol. II) is now available, featuring my story “Ultimate Grand Supreme Super Sexy Baby.” It’s a sort of dark take on Toddlers & Tiaras. Here’s an excerpt:

            Mothers and aunts, they were all hovering over some little girl sob-coughing in a too-small hotel suite, saying, “You’re going to be so beautiful, darlin’,” delivering curling iron burns and spraying, stealing the air out of the room.

Applying more glue.  Applying glamour.

Singe.  Pull.  Glue and spray.

Every pageant mom knows you always do the hair before the makeup.  Top-to-bottom.  “Otherwise, first blister-burn they get and it’s Niagara Falls,” they’ll tell you.  “All that makeup turns to mud.”

These preparations seem to matter little now considering the reputation of Alaska Scott and all that precedes her: the cash and crowns and all those magazine covers—most notably, the December issue of Pageantry Monthly, featuring an article in which she’s aptly described as “too perfect to be normal.”

It makes these moms wonder if she’s ever complained about those common pre-show afflictions, the scalp-bubbles and respiratory problems from sucking in all those airborne polymers—if she’s humanly capable of throwing a “royal shit-fit,” as they call it.  While these other princesses pick at their hair scabs and scuff shoes, Alaska effortlessly carries five pounds of lustrous Texas curls, stacked sky-high like tiers of wedding cake.  Neck straight and posture perfect.  She’s smiling, pacing heel-to-toe in enamel Mary Janes with her mother looming close behind.

Madison Scott escorts her daughter through the center aisle of the convention hall, dripping diamonds from her ears and wrist.  Her neck.  Real gold and gemstones draping fake tits, the adverse of these other moms with their Silpada pseudo-regalia on double-D floppers.  Madison perches a spray-tanned hand on Alaska’s shoulder, steering her through the crowd of white trash mommies and grandparents hooked up to portable oxygen tanks.  Past the drunken dads in the audience babysitting diaper bags and faux designer purses.  These matriarchs watch their doom parade by in the form of a five-year-old blue-eyed angel that is Alaska Scott, always smiling and posing—even when she’s off-stage.  The pair approach the registry, checking in with the pageant director with only moments to spare.

Spark coverThe entire anthology is over twenty pieces, consisting of fiction and poetry from a mixture of new and established talent. You can check out the ebook format by going HERE. Or, you can check out the print edition by going HERE.

To get 50% off, simply enter the coupon code V2-TIETZ-FRIENDS during checkout. Make sure to share and keep spreading the word.

A big thanks to Brian Lewis for putting this all together and letting me be apart of it.

“The Fashion of the Christ” is now live on Amazon

Fashion of the Christ cover picThe Fashion of the Christ is now live over at Amazon!! Buy it for 99 cents by clicking HERE!!

Lending is enabled and Amazon Prime members may read for free.

Here’s an excerpt:

           Heads of congregations, although attentive to their new flock in search of council, saw the laws of supply and demand at play.  Churches became more business-minded.  Exploitation, some claimed, as collection plates were no longer optional and altar boys began stationing themselves just outside the main entrances to collect a cover charge of $10 or $20 per person.  $50 on Sundays, $200 to sit in the first row of pews, and at more forgiving churches, a “kids worship free” policy.  The only thing higher than attendance was revenues, and so new concepts of VIP seating and Fast Pass saw their inception into a religious context.  Catholic churches began charging for confessional booths like phone sex; $5.99 per minute to repent to “our most gracious Lord” so that “he may forgive me and restore my Internet.”

            “Please,” they’d say, “grant me reprieve for my transgressions and bring back Dancing With the Stars.”

            “Allow me passage into thine kingdom and a way to check my Gmail account.”

If you read and enjoyed the story–by all means–please share. You can help spread the word by tweeting, posting to Facebook, reviewing on Amazon, sharing your favorite quotes, etc. Feel free to hit me back in the comments section on your thoughts.

“Ultimate Grand Supreme Super Sexy Baby” is now available for pre-order in Spark: A Creative Anthology (vol. II)

Spark cover“Ultimate Grand Supreme Super Sexy Baby” is now available for pre-order in Spark: A Creative Anthology (vol. II). You can pick up the entire anthology for as little as $2 (suggested donation is $5) by going HERE. Print copies are also available.

Here is the first paragraph of my story:

Mothers start grinding their teeth when Alaska Scott enters the room—technically, a convention hall inside the Radisson Hotel, furnished with a modest stage and about a hundred wounded chairs from basement storage.  These women rubberneck to the main entryway, suspending any last minute preening of their own darling daughters: the slouched hairdos or mascara clumps.  An apple juice stain soon to be remedied with Kleenex and spit.  That paradigm of glamour and grace, Alaska Scott—she stands poised while the rest of the mini princesses wrinkle their gowns and eat boogers off French manicures.  Not one of them will incur the standard smack on the hand because, as any of these mothers would admit, “Better she eat a little snot than cry all that makeup off.”

The anthology features work from authors:  Robert J. Sawyer, George Wells, Alexis A. Hunter, and many more. Cover art by Charles King. When a full TOC comes out I’ll make sure to update.

UPDATE: the anthology’s official release date is July 1st, 2013