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>Little Miss Hannibal…

June 30, 2011


Monsters in small packages, The Killing is dead, a new Tim Greaton release, and Fat Duck – a new routine….
Evil wears a pink dress: It’s no secret that I consider myself to be one of the most fortunate fathers on the planet. I have three wonderful children who are all growing up to be equally wonderful and talented adults. My oldest is now twenty-one and recently moved into her first apartment; I’m happy to say that her landlord does not allow pets. So, why is that good?
‎My wife and I didn’t realize what a precious little monster we were raising until my daughter was about three years old. As a pretty serious bodybuilder at the time, I would get up each morning at about 4:30am to drink my protein powder and egg mix before heading out to the gym. Imagine my surprise when I opened the refrigerator to find our new tiny kitten shivering in a bowl of soup. I’m guessing the soup had probably been warm when the little creature first sat there.
And my daughter got worse from there, enough so that I would leap out of bed at the slightest hint of her maniacal laugh. One morning, I heard her cackle and bounded out of bed to find the kitten drenched on the opposite side of the bathroom from the still-flushing toilet. If my crime scene reconstruction is correct, she must have dropped the kitten into the bowl and flushed. That poor thing must have made one giant leap clean across to the other side of the bathroom—no small feat for a tiny kitten 😦
Then there was the time she dropped the same cat from a second floor window….
But it was one morning when I woke hearing her talking to someone that truly terrified me.
“Go ahead, touch it,” I heard her say to her little brother.
Terrified, I kicked free of my blankets—but it was too late! Already, my toddler son had exploded into tears. I burst into the living room to see him plopped diaper-first on the floor, holding his finger up to me, a giant wasp between his legs.
His hysterical crying was only matched in volume by my daughter’s gleeful laugh.
Fortunately, she grew out of it.
Now all grown up, my daughter recently said, “A policeman stopped me for an expired registration today, Dad.” Then like a hand model she pointed toward her smile. “But he couldn’t resist this face and let me go.”
I remember loaning her the money to get her car registered only to have her show up a few days later with only about half the money she owned. Before I can say, “Where’s the rest?” she says, “You know you’re impressed, Dad; that’s the most I’ve ever paid back.”
Then she saunters off with that smile.
Come to think of it, maybe she’s still a monster J.
Fat Duck’s my outdoor son: Last week I said I’d like to see Fatty reach a new pinnacle of success. And, now, we can safely say that it has happened. Fat Duck has a new routine that leads him ultimately up onto the porch each night at between 7 and 8pm. Here’s how his day goes…
Fatty rests easy all night in the safety of his pen on the porch. During this time he enjoys one or two full bowls of clean water and at least three slices of bread. Come morning, he expects me to open his cage and feed him another two or three slices of bread before he wanders off the porch (sometimes with a little encouragement and sometimes after leaving me with several “gifts”). Of course, the rest of the day is spent either in the shade by the pond or on his hay bale acting as our lawn ornament.
Then at about 5pm he starts to wander the hundred feet or so back along the side of the house. His wandering always seems to end somewhere between the house and barn. Then for the next couple of hours, he looks completely confused as he walks back and forth, constantly glancing up at the porch. I’m convinced this is when he thinks, “I really want to go up there, but they’ll kick me off if I’m too early.”
Then finally just about the time twilight hits, he migrates to the stairs, hops up one at a time, and sits next to his pen.
That’s about the time my wife or children see him out the kitchen window and say, “Your son is ready for you.”
My Review of The Killing (season finale) AMC television show starring Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman and Billy Campbell.
My rating (zero out of five stars)
The last episode I will ever watch…, 29 June 2011
It’s probably important to say that I saw every one of the thirteen episodes of Season One. Like many reviewers, I thought the first couple of episodes were great with strong performances and quirky characters. The mystery was convincing, as were the personal problems that seemed to be cropping up for everyone from the cops to the suspects.
But then something terrible started to happen. Actually a number of terrible things started to happen. First, the characters started to fluctuate from good to bad. Some viewers would have called it human, but I called it intentional misdirection. The writers wanted us to assume everyone on screen could possibly have been Rosie Larson’s murderer.
So, let’s say that we’re comfortable with the constantly stirring pot and the incredible panoply of red herrings the writers used to make us believe virtually anyone, maybe even the murdered girl herself, could have done it, all in the name of keeping the viewers uncertain and guessing. Maybe this is exactly what a real murder investigation is like, but to me it felt like cheating…not unlike when the writers of Lost swore their island wasn’t a dream or a vision of purgatory, but then it turned out to be exactly that. No, for me the writers of The Killing were jerking my chain just a little too much. I might have given up on this show sooner, but I had been waiting the entire 12 episodes to learn who the killer was. So, I figured it was worth seeing it through to the end. Besides, maybe once I understood the mystery, I would feel better about all the misdirection.
And then comes episode number thirteen…unlucky number thirteen, it turns out. So what happened? That’s easy: NOTHING HAPPENED…at least nothing in the way of a murder being solved.
This burns me in so many different ways, not the least of which was regretting the thirteen hours I had invested in this charlatan of a television show? The unwritten contract was that I would watch and would ultimately learn the identity of the killer. What makes it even worse for me is that AMC waited until the last minute to renew the series. What would the producers have done if they didn’t get renewed? My guess is that we, the viewers, would have been screwed.
But the joke is now on them. I believe many of us have learned our lesson. Those producers can’t be trusted, therefore when I learn the identity of Rosie Larson’s killer, it will be from Yahoo news or someone discussing it within earshot. Because one thing is absolutely for certain: I will never watch another episode of The Killing.
Bones in the Tree, update: As I promised, I finished the first draft of this story. It’s in editing stage now. At last count it runs about 36 pages but will likely be trimmed back by ten to twenty percent. The story will be posted for free on Smashwords and a few other sites by Tuesday 5 July 2011. It will also be available for 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble the same day.
If you read it and like it, please leave a review. If you don’t like it…well, silence is golden J.
Thanks, Mark Reeder, for your amazing comments regarding The Santa Shop (Paperback)
His review…
««««« (five out of five stars)
Simple Truths and Powerful Themes, May 12, 2011
From the very beginning the idea of a Santa Shop caught my imagination, but what kept me reading were the believable characters, simple truths and powerful themes wrapped up in a delightful package of iridescent prose. Tim Greaton is not just a writer, he’s a consummate storyteller. His books should be on everyone’s short list of must reads.

My Thanks: I once dreamt of writing for a living. Though a lot of my time is spent writing for nonprofit corporations and charities around the country, work that is incredibly fulfilling and that I will continue to do long after it is required on my end, each and every day more of my income comes directly from readers of my books. Please know that I couldn’t be more sincere in my appreciation.
  1. >Okay, so little Miss Hannibal sounds like the girl I once was. I had this cat named Walter, whom I took out to the backyard water bucket and baptized. He shot out of there with the shocking force of a jack-in-the-box, fur drenched and limp as a saturated dishrag, shaking and slinging water all over me and my clothes, and then darted under the pack house and out of sight. But at least he’d been washed clean his sins 🙂

  2. >Wow Tim, your daughter does have an evil streak! I was never that bad. The closest I came to torturing the cats was when I was six years old. For a short while my parents rented a house on a ranch. The owmder maintained a herd of cows and one bull there. Because we were in the country, cats came to us as many got dumped out there. At one point we were feeding thirteen of them (most were outdoor only). Anyway, I had watched the rancher come and round the cows up for the vaccines and thought the whole process fascinating. In turn, I decided to do something similar to the cats but building my own set up like the cows had but something that could keep jumping cats from getting out. In a row, I put milk crates, boxes, etc and placed a cat in each one. Then I built the little gate that holds their heads while they get their "shot". That was actually just a pen I would lightly poke at them. Just like the cows, once they had their turn, I set them free. Managed to do that to all thirteen cats. They may have been a bit traumatized, but none the worse for wear.

  3. >Love your stories abut your kids. They really take us on a journey, don't they?

  4. >tim, i hope i'm doing this right.. i really need to sit and read how to post on your blog, its all new to me.. i love your writings, it doesnt matter to me what it is. you have always been able to bring things to life, and make the reader feel like they are right inside your story, watching.. i have sent out the link to your blog, but i will send it to others telling them why they should follow you.. who would ever guess that you would write so great, you and i know that you didnt have the best role models at home or the best of bringing up.. be proud, i know i'm very proud of you!!

  5. >well, this is the 2nd time i have tried to post, so hopefully this will go thru.. i will send the link for your blog to some more people that i know, and tell them why they need to follow you.. i love reading everything that you write, it doesnt matter what it is. your writings make the reader feel like they on in your pages, watching the story goes along. who would have guessed that you would become this great writer. you and i know that you didnt have the best of role models growing up, nor did you have the best home life, but look at you now, be proud of yourself, pat yourself on the back.. i know i am very proud of you, and i love talking to people about your writings!! keep up the great work, whether its fiction or non-fiction my mind and eyes are always ready to read your writings..

  6. >Debra, You were a little —- Amen :-)Mistress, I would call that creative abuse :-)Grace, Thanks for the comment. As a kid who grew up in a difficult environment, I take it as a high compliment to think my writing can take someone's mind off the present…even if only for a few moments. Thanks again :-)Jackie, I always love hearing from you. You got both comments correct 🙂

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