Like Gas On A Fire

Been quite a week. Saw the last ultrasound of my son before he’ll be born (poor boy, he looks like me). Finished a script, which is now off into the wilds, trying to gather financing like a big Hollywood Katamari ball. Started early development on another film project. Sent off two novel synopses. Wrote like a mad motherfucker and finished the novel, Double Dead, topping out at ~90,000 words.

And then last night I get home from “baby class” — where we were injected with deep panic regarding car seats — to discover that Writer’s Digest has named this blog one of the 101 Best Websites For Writers.

First, I must extend a sincere thank you to the folks at Writer’s Digest. I don’t know who was responsible, exactly, but they should know that I appreciate it. A wonderful surprise.

That said, I must also extend with that a sincere warning, as well.

You have made a terrible error. A grievous error. (Man, “grievous” is a great word.)

You know how sometimes you have an out-of-control toddler or a dog with bad habits, and someone inevitably rewards the child or dog and then someone has to step in to say, “Don’t encourage him?”

Mm-hmm. This is like that.

Good heavens, why would you encourage me? It’s like pouring gas on a fire. No, not even that. It’s like giving meth to a grizzly bear. Then giving the grizzly bear a jetpack and a Turkish scimitar. No good is going to come of that. Sure, you want to see what the grizzly is going to do. But it’s just not safe. It’s not even sane.

That scenario has no positive outcome.

The only result of putting this site on such an estimable list confirms that you’ve filled my head with the airy delusions of legitimacy. It’s like you’ve handed me a license from the government, and printed on this license are the benefits of said licensing, and those benefits listed include:

“The right to make up writing advice and claim legitimacy despite only threadbare authority;”

“The right to fustigate readers about the head and neck with false bravado and eye-watering profanity;”

“The right to use words like ‘fustigate;'”

“The right to guzzle a pony’s weight in liquor while doing all of the above.”

You’ve not only unlocked the cage door. You’ve thrown the key into a dark and endless abyss. This will have terrible repercussions. Twenty years from now, I’m going to be telling my then-20-year-old-son something and he’s going to say, “Dad, I don’t know if that’s right, I don’t think anybody actually found the Humbaba from the Epic of Gilgamesh in Lake Erie. You’re just making that up.” And I’m going to whip out my copy of Writer’s Digest and point to the 101 Best Websites For Writers, and I’m going to just tap #43 gently and clear my throat obnoxiously, thus indicating my false expertise in everything everywhere ever always. And then my son is going to ask me, “Dude, what’s a website?” And I’ll answer, “It’s like a dinosaur, except with more pornography. And don’t call me ‘dude,’ I’m your father.”

Then he’ll ask me, “What’s a writer?”

And I’ll just cry and remind him that writers all went extinct in 2013 when the price of e-books hovered roughly around “one possum tail and a handful of dried leaves.”

So, haters who think I’m gonna shut up? Oooh. Yeah, sorry. Like I said, gas on a fire. Conflagration, whoosh. Now I’ve a whole head full of illusion, my ego like a fatted calf.

Those who continue to dig on this site, well, buckle up, penmonkeys. The ride is only just getting going. Turns out, terribleminds ain’t going nowhere.

Thank you again to Writer’s Digest.

Now —




  • Dang man. That’s ALL awesome news! Finishing a book, getting a kid, AND being added to the Best 100 list.

    Although, you’re right; I am now totally afraid of the meth-grizzly beast to come.

  • Oh, MAN. Chuck, didn’t you get the email? that was a mix-up. You were supposed to be on the 101 Websites to *Avoid*. …. (at least for those with sensitive constitutions.)

    I’m with Gareth. LOL. Congrats on the legitimacy. Do you think the meth-grizzly can be persuaded to move furniture?

  • It’s times like this that bring my favorite quote from “The Losers” the movie to mind.

    “It’s kind of like giving a hand gun to a sixth grader. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but you’re pretty sure it’s going to make the papers.”

    Congratulations on the awesome news, and this site is chock full of awesome advice, so keep it up.

  • Humility will get you everywhere. While I don’t always agree with every word you eject on your blog, it is a constant source of inspiration. You get people to want to write. That alone deserves you to be in the top 101 sites for writers. Besides, last count there were only 102 total.

    You know birth I hear it pretty painful. I can’t begin to ponder that pain compounded by a baby pushed forth with a full grizzly beard. That’d be kind of scratchy.

    • @Ron Earl —

      Heh, thanks. Hell, I don’t agree with half the things I say — I change my mind on stuff all the time. Mostly, though, I think it’s important for writers to talk about and think about what they’re doing instead of treating it like it doesn’t mean anything or like it’s somehow easy — so, I try to do that in my, I dunno, moonbat-guano-filled way.

      Birth is painful, yep. And the wife plans on doing it sans meds, so I think the scratchy baby beard is going to be the least of her problems.

      The spectacles will probably hurt the most, to think about it.

      — c.

  • Good job! Hey, when I randomly found one of your blog posts via Google, I was instantly hooked. There isn’t enough of “this” (I hold my hands out to indicate the world (site) as a whole) on the internet. I don’t feel bad wasting my time around here! Plus it gets me thinking and working creatively. Congratulations!

  • Hey now I have hipster cred. I can say I was here before it was cool. (I kid, Chuck this place has rocked since it’s creation as far as I care).
    And you say this is neither safe nor sane, but I think it’s at least implicitly consensual so at least they got one right.
    Congratulations, sounds like things are going well for you.

  • Chuck, if only you’d lightly edited paragraph 8 you could have made that *three* novel synopses in one day. I would read the hell out of the adventures of AeroHussar Methbear.

    Congratulations on the recommendation. It’s well-earned.

  • Declaring this right now, making it all official like:


    (Although I thought you were pretty legitimate before this. :-p But whatever. I drank the Kool-Aid a year ago. My judgment can’t be trusted.)

  • Congratulations on the shout out from Writer’s Digest. You definitely deserve it man cause I feel like this website has helped out my writing immensely and I’m sure other people
    Also, you should totally make Meth-addled bears into a short story. Or set it up as the next flash fiction challenge but maybe change it up so it’s any kind of drugged up predator beast. A smack addicted wolverine or a speed freak coyote would definitely be fun to write and read.

  • Next thing you know, they’ll be making you shave your beard and wear a suit, claiming you’re all respectable like.

    And don’t knock the jet-pack grizzly meth-head with a scimitar. That’s high concept, right there. Make it a steampowered jet-pack and you’ve got yourself the makings of a hit YA Steampunk adventure. ;-P

  • Congratulations!
    Though I have only read your blog for the past few weeks, I can see why Digest chose your site, questionable advice aside (kidding!), it’s entertaining. Just keep the blog posts rollin’ in and all is good.

  • Holy crap! That’s awesome!

    The fun thing is I was just reading the Penmonkey’s Paean last night to kick myself in the butt and “finish the shit that I started”.

    So yeah. Glad to know that Writer’s Digest is going to send more fresh blood your way. You will definitely have plenty of sacrificial offerings to the Writer Goat God of Eternal Suffering and Whiskey now! 😀

  • First — how big of a pony are you talking about? Because there are so fat ponies out there. I should know. I have one roughly the size of a barn.

    Second, is a meth’d up grizzly worse than the Kraken? (The original, not the horrible monstrosity from the remake of Clash of the Titans — a movie that made me want to cry, because it was so unlike the glorious fun of the original.)

    Third, I’m glad that your blog made it on the list. It’s become one of my daily reads. I learn. It makes me laugh.

  • Just remember when installing it to get in the car and drive your knee into the carseat (w/ no baby in it) to push it down. This way you’ll get the straps as tight as possible, with no slack.

    Just breathe…

  • Congrats to you! But more importantly to the person truly responsible for these accolades, the Beard! All hail the Beard!

    Totally awesome and well deserved. Kudos, dude!

  • I might have to head over to Writers Digest to rough a mofo up, because I think someone there is trying to take my place in the “Chuck is full of awesome” line. And I will cut a bitch.

    Seriously, congratulations on the very well-deserved accolades. See? I can play nice.

  • *looks around wildly cheering crowd*

    O. Right. Are we worshipping now?

    Ok. Uh. All hail the Beard! All hail the Beard!

    *Jabs fist in the air repeatedly*

    *Tries to stay as one with crowd and avoid Meth-Grizzly*

  • You all say your big Wendig fans, but I bet not a single one of your beards comes fat that you wanna do flashlight, much less laser. To be a true Wenbagger you have to possess style, dedication, and enough body odor to make time itself implode under the weight of your funky majesty. Also, it helps to have stamps. Why?

    Fuck you. That’s why.

    Chuck, congratulations on the listing! You deserve it. This site of your is a Mecca for the wordly-minded, a sanctum of prose in which allegory and metaphor stand strident upon the Alter of Bibliosophene, The Eight Tentacled Beast that Stalk the Recess Behind the Stove. All hail his majestic warbling keen! WARRO! WARRO!

    Jesus, I have no idea what I am babbling about.

  • Dude, now I can say I drank the Kool-Aid LONG before Writer’s Digest.

    Also, I’ll probably tell people it was all me, even though you don’t actually know that I exist, but that’s an insignificant detail that doesn’t really matter.

  • Don’t they slaughter the fatted calf? Perhaps use it as a burnt offering…

    What were we talking about again?

    No, no thank you. I’ve already had a lot of koolaid today. Well…maybe just one more glass. What the hell is that bear doing?

  • Absolutely fantastic! I’ve told everyone I know (and even people I don’t know, boy do they hate that) that you’ve got among the best tips for writers looking for a pick me up. Heck, I’ve told them you’re a hilarious read even if they’re not into writing at all. I bet you could even turn people into writers, once they realize it involves vast quantities of booze and an excuse to rave like a mad genius.

    Here’s to pushing it into the top ten the next time around!

  • Okay, I’m here, and Writer’s Digest sent me here. I have been reading shit on this site for the past hour at least, and I love it already. Hell, I read an article and went off and started a new short story.

    Can I borrow the meth-grizzly? My brother deserves what’s coming to him, I swear.

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