Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why I Hate Bangs, Episode III: Revenge of the Scissors

My Bucket List
by Bangs

1.  Climb Mount Everest
2.  Go skydiving
X  3.  Mar the good looks of the most beautiful woman alive

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fifty Shades of Copyright Grey Area

***Congratulations on passing the million hit mark, Burnketeers!  This is your victory far more than mine.  In honor of this momentous occasion, I went to some trouble to contact a certain Ms. Stephanie Meyer Ms. E.L. James so she could help me with this blog post. To quote Ms. Meyer Ms. James , "Sure, Redleg, I'll help you out with your blog. You're so handsome and smart and much more talented than me." Ms. Meyer Ms. James was nice enough to send me a rather lengthy excerpt from the upcoming Twilight: Morning Wood Fifty Shades of Copyright Grey Area . It actually goes on. For a while. Like this. So I cut it for brevity's sake. Enjoy.***

"Oh, Edward Christian," Bella Ana said lustingly, "I want you in me so badly. I mean your love. In my love. And yet we never can be."

"True," Edward Christian replied, ripping his shirt open to reveal his sparkling, manly areola, "How ironic."

"Ironic, indeed," Bella Ana replied, referring to her own situation, "And yet, in a way, your 106 year old love for me bondage fetish constitutes statutory rape in any civilized country."

"Civilization," Taylor Lautner Jose said with a snarl, "Who needs it?"

"Indeed," Edward Christian agreed with his rival-cum-wolf rival-cum-photographer and his fleshy lover, "What irony."

"I don't need civilization," Taylor Lautner Jose continued, rubbing creamy brown muscle oil onto his well-oiled musculature, "All I need is the wind at my back, some Pacific Northwest Pacific Northwest scenery, and a 16 22-year old child to kidnap and attempt what amounts to bestiality regular human sex with. I mean, love. Pure, chaste love."

"I, too, was referring to love," Edward Christian was quick to pipe in, as he stared endlessly at Bella's Ana's perfect neck, because he loved her, and not because of any desire to actually do anything about the aforementioned love.

"Love," mentioned Bella Ana.

There was nodding all around.


It was a dark and stormy night when Taylor Lautner Jose took his shirt off. His shirt had been off since he had been in wolf photographer form right up until the very moment when he turned back into a human with just his tight jeans and shirtless. And then, since it was raining out, he was also glistening with rain. And also sweat. Because he sweated through the rain because of his fur Latino heritage.

"Bella Ana," Taylor Lautner Jose said, "I need you to rub me down with this anti-vampire anti-bondage fetishist lotion. I need it to, uh, ward off vampires bondage fetishists."

Bella Ana turned to look at Edward Christian for guidance. (Edward Christian, incidentally, was also shirtless, and applying his anti-werewolf anti-photographer lotion.)

"I'm so tormented," Edward Christian said, "Dark and tormented. But I will always do what is best for you, Bella Ana, because of my insatiable (yet chaste) lust for you. Do it, if you must. Taylor Lautner Jose must have his anti-vampire anti-bondage fetishist lotion rubbed all over his manly, steaming body."

And so Bella Ana began to rub down Taylor Lautner Jose with the glistening body oil, in full view of her actual boyfriend male dominatrix, which was kind of creepy and voyeuristic when you think about it, which they didn't.

Friday, November 9, 2012

3 Reasons Everyone (Even Republicans) Should Be Happy About the Election

As long as I broke my (not very) sacrosanct rule about not blogging about politics on Monday, I may as well break it again today.  (I’ve found that election day is a lot like Halloween.  Most of the year people consider it in poor taste to talk about blood and guts and gruesomeness, but on Halloween it’s okay.  Same thing for election day and politics.  So, I’m taking advantage while it’s still that season.)
I think I wasn’t too partisan on Monday, was I?  It’s probably fairly obvious where my loyalties lie*, but I tried not to be partisan on Monday and I’ll try again today.  Because there are some interesting things that will/have come out of the 2012 election that I think are worth noting, but I have to preface this by saying that Republicans and conservatives won’t appreciate this post right now.  I think in a few years they will, when the immediacy and emotional sting are gone.  So this post is for everybody, but it’s for Independents and Democrats right now and for Republicans more like in 2013.

Anyway, all of that is a preface for me saying that I think there are three really positive things that came out of this election, none of which are related to policy issues (in other words, if the outcome had been reversed and the sides had been reversed, I still hold this would be true.)  So let’s run through them real quick.

1.  Obstructionism Doesn't Work

2.  Votes of No-Confidence Don't Work

3.  You Can't Buy an Election

* card-carrying member of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party

Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't Fnordget to Vote

If it all possible please read this before the election, especially if you are a conservative.  It's magnificent and quite the opposite of condescending.

That being said, I usually try not to inject politics in this blog (hey, nobody's perfect) and I even had another blog back in 2010 that was strictly about politics, but that ceased to be relevant very quickly, so I deleted it.  However, all that being said, this IS a blog about language, and there is a language subject related to the election which I wanted to hit on before it curdles like old milk on Wednesday.

Loyal readers will probably recall my post on Weasel Words earlier this year.  (If not, feel free to refresh yourself on the topic.)  Now, on that subject, I noticed something during the presidential candidates debates that I didn't hear any of the pundits mention, which is fine because, as you know, pundits are obsessed only with important policy details and not the meaningless minutia and fine points of semantics that we linguists fret over.

Long story short it was this: Mitt Romney never used the terms "Massachusetts" or "Mormon Church" during the debates.  He talked about both subjects in the abstract frequently, but he only ever used the terms "my state" and "my church."  For a long time I didn't notice this simple but elegant finessing of language, but about halfway through the second debate, after I realized it, I couldn't stop noticing it.  It was like I could suddenly see the fnords.

And as the debates continued, I had to smile at the genius of it.  Anyone who follows politics knows that Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts and was a bishop in the Church of Latter Day Saints, usually called the Mormon Church.  So for those of us who already know that, we weren't consciously thinking to ourselves, "gosh, I wonder if he's talking about Texas and Zoroastrianism."  We just glazed over it and automatically made the associates in our minds. 

But then I thought to myself, someone who doesn't follow politics might not know that, and probably wouldn't think about it either.  They would probably just think, "oh, yeah, his church and his state, he was probably governor of some red state and belongs to some mainline Protestant church."  Except, you wouldn't actively think that, in fact, you would probably just assume he's the same as you, in instances when you might say, "my state" or "my church."  The point is, no one who was watching the debate suddenly realized Romney was a Mormon or the former governor of Massachusetts if he or she didn't ALREADY know that.  At least, not to hear Romney speak.

What I found clever about all this is that Mitt Romney's two biggest hurdles in appealing to his conservative base and, presumably, right-leaning independents, is that he was governor of the bluest of the blue states and belongs to a church that Evangelicals downright fear.  And he avoided addressing either of those albatrosses around his neck using a simple rhetorical trick:

Weasel words

Linguistics.  What subject can't they illuminate?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Well, it's that time again...

Hey kids,

Well, it's that time again.  You probably won't be hearing much from me this month, so hopefully you can enjoy catching up on the archives.  When was the last time you re-read The Terrifying Revenge of the B-Movie!!!?

Until then, though, why not weigh in on the title of my NaNo manuscript for this year?  Here are the choices, and if you can decode my clever naming convention, you can even suggest some more names in the comments.

1.  Notes from the Undead
2.  Notes from the Above Ground
3.  The Insulted and the Interred
4.  The Insulted and the Disinterred
5.  Gore and Peace
6.  The Master and Morgue-arita
7.  The Wight Guard

What should my new novel be called? 

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