My Simpsons Episode

I wrote this episode in 1998, back when The Simpsons was still great and still the smartest show on television. When Phil Hartman was alive and an integral fixture on the show. When subtlety and acerbity were the norm. When movie allusions went largely unnoticed. When watching episodes more than once paid off with something you didn't catch in your first or second go-round. When writers like Brad Bird, Conan O'Brien and George Meyer were hardly household names. When Lord of the Rings was merely an epic novel, not a movie trilogy (you'll understand when you read it). Before Homer became the focus and the vehicle to demonstrably mock society. And before they’d ever even thought to cover topics like war or skiing (again, you'll understand when you read it).

Alas, when I wrote this episode, I was living in Boulder, CO with no access to an agent or the ability to get one. It seemed fate was against me, since The Simpsons would not accept unsolicited scripts. So when I sent this script off to them, they sent it right back in its envelope, unable to even read it for legal reasons (i.e., if they read and refused it, then I saw something in an episode that remotely resembled my script, I could sue them). Not that I'm bitter, of course. 

So here it is, in all its unread glory:
"Warring in a Winter Plunderland"

 

 

Lessons from an Arthropod

Unfortunately, I know far too much about insects than is practical or even remotely cool.

Unfortunately, because absorbing said insect knowledge was not my fault. Quite a while back, it was forced upon me during journalism grad school—when I was late to a meeting with a professor because an exterminator had overstayed his appointment at my house. Upon arriving at the meeting (which was, of course, to determine the topic of my semester-long assignment) and giving my excuse, my professor soon became enamored of the scintillating topic of insect ethics—more specifically, why we kill insects and look down upon them so. There was no thwarting her decision. I was fucked.

For the next semester I talked to no less than 19 entomologists, many on multiple occasions. In doing so, I devoted far too many brain cells to learning about our arthropod brethren. It was suicide, in tiny, six- and eight-legged increments. And enough weirdness to fill a moderately interesting 27-page feature article. But rather than subject you to all that, here’s the three-page introduction to my article:
"When Worlds Collide"

 

 

An Itchy Scalp is Better Than No Scalp

My most up-to-the-minute prose through the magic of blog (although, to be honest, I haven't added a legit post in a couple of years; we can talk about why with voices and stuff):
zactopia.wordpress.com

OR if you're in no mood to dilly-dally, take the shortcut and see how these entries grab ya:
on cubic poop...
on Octopussy...
on insanity...
on lead...
on nature's most underrated badass...
on Japanese lighters...
on lemmings...
on douchebaggery...
on sexual deformities...
on character flaws...
on the power of negativity...
on vicious puppies...
on dysfunctional advertising...

 

 

Questioning Faith

Whilst in journalism grad school we were encouraged to "make enemies" and stir up controversy with our writing, particularly in our opinion pieces. Well, I certainly accomplished that task with this editorial. After being published in UGA's school newspaper, The Red & Black, this article garnered more than a week's worth of hate mail and reduced a classmate to tears. Man, Southerners sure take their religion seriously:
"Prejudiced Pulpit?"

 

 

Dorothy was a Headstrong Bitch

This short story of mine won 2nd Place in a writing contest from over 1,000 participants in the Adult Fiction category (as in written by adults, not to stoke carnal fantasies). And for the record, I wrote it before Wicked came out. Here are the first six or so pages; consider it foreplay:
"The Uncensored Truth About Dorothy"

 

 

Sketchy Character Sketch

First three pages of a short story still in progress:
"The Shallow End of Insanity"