Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Noir At The Bar - We Have A Date, A Time, A Place... Now We Just Need You

Remember when I mentioned Noir At The Bar L.A. the other day?

Did I say we'd need a couple months to get our shit together? Sorry, I meant days. Thanks to the efforts of Eric "One Too Many Blows To The Head" Beetner we now have a date, a time, and a spot.

And Duane Swierczynski. Swierczy will be gracing us with his divine presence and reading from his new novel FUN & GAMES, which is set in L.A. So, you know, synchronicity.


Sunday, July 17th, 8:00pm at The Mandrake Bar (2692 South La Cienega Boulevard) in Culvery City.


View Larger Map

There's a distinct lack of signage and it's a nondescript white building wedged between two other. Like this.




We're still lining up readers for this thing, but I promise they'll be good... Rather, they'll be of high quality.

Though one of them might be me. Just sayin'.


Now for THE WARNING (dun dun dunnnnn!).

This is the weekend of Carmageddon, the closure of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. The whole goddamn thing's going to be shut down from the 10 to the 101 in both directions.

*cue panic*

Doesn't mean you can't get here if you're in the Valley, just means you're going to have to go around it. Try the 101 to the 110 to the 10. Or cut through the canyons. It's summer, they're pretty.

And they shouldn't be on fire, yet.

In fact, if you cut through the canyons you might be able to see some of the spots Swierczy set his book. Man, we're so fuckin' meta over here we don't know what to do with ourselves.

Anyway, hope to see you there ready to listen to violent commentary on man's inhumanity to man or just to hear a bunch of drunks talk about shooting people.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stealing Candy (Wallets) From Babies (Strollers)

Los Angeles, CA

A few weeks ago two women were videotaped by security cameras stealing a wallet from a purse left hanging over the handle of a baby stroller at a swap meet in Downtown L.A.

Take a few minutes and watch the video. It's an interesting lesson in tag team pickpocketing. The victim, a young woman in a blue and white striped shirt, has no idea it's happening. The two pickpockets, however, have her made the entire time and do a pretty good job of acting as each other's lookouts and diversions without tipping their hand to the other shoppers what they're doing. I mean, they got away with it.

Well, they sort of got away with it. I mean except for that whole "getting caught on camera" thing.

Once the video was aired the LAPD got enough tips to identify the women as Bertha Dona Vargas, 55, of West Covina and Norma Lizette Reyes, 51, of Los Angeles.

Somebody pulled out the ugly stick

Detectives served warrants at their homes on Wednesday in West Covina and Silverlake, but alas, the ladies were not at home. Police expect they're hanging out with friends or relatives.

If you've got any ideas where these seasoned professionals might be holed up, give Detective Mike Mazzacano at 213-972-1231 a ring.

Oh, and folks, do yourself a favor and don't leave your wallets hanging out like they've got a fucking sign that says, "RIP ME OFF".

Really, we'll all be happier.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Noir At The Bar L.A. - 'Cause St. Louis Can't Have All The Fun

There's this thing the cool kids have been doing out in St. Louis.

What? Yes, there ARE cool kids in St. Louis. Shut up.

Fine writers like Jed Ayres, Scott Phillips, Matt McBride, Chris La Tray, Anthony Neil Smith, John Hornor Jacobs, Dan O'Shea, Malachi Stone and Frank Bill - who's got a short story coming out in Playboy.

Have YOU been published in Playboy? NO, YOU FUCKING WELL HAVEN'T SO SHUT UP.

So what am I talking about? I'm talking about Noir At The Bar.


Every so often these miscreants and psychopaths get together and read filthy, nasty, violent and REALLY FUCKING GOOD noir fiction to a room full of fools who sit there slack jawed at the verbal assault. If somebody doesn't walk away feeling like they've had their soul violated there is something seriously wrong with them.

And I am fucking tired of missing it. So, we're doing one out here.

That's right. We're gonna spend a night hanging out and reading really violent, depressing, nasty noir at ya.

Eric Beetner, Mystery Dawg and I are figuring out where and when. Emails are going out, calls are being made, our people are contacting their people.

But we could use your help. See, L.A.'s too goddamn big.

Eastsiders don't want to go west of La Brea, Westsiders lose their shit over going downtown. Folks in the South Bay think LAX is too far north.

Nobody goes to the Valley.

So the question is, where the fuck do we hold this thing?

We're taking suggestions and checking out places. So if you can think of somewhere that would let us do this let us know. If we can have it at an actual bar great, but more importantly we need a place that we can set up chairs, have a corner somebody can stand in and read at everybody else, and isn't so loud you can't hear what anybody's saying.

And it's gotta be free or at least VERY VERY CHEAP.

So, we'll see.

Anyway, send questions, suggestions, ideas or naked pictures to noir.bar.la@gmail.com.

Give us a couple months to get our shit together.  It's going to take a while to get this train running, but it'll happen.  And we'll let you know when it does.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ladies And Gentlemen, We Have A Cover

Here's a story for ya.

So I got this book, right? CITY OF THE LOST. And my editor, Betsy Wollheim over at DAW, says she wants to get a comic artist to do the cover. Maybe some illustrations, too. She asks me if I can think of anybody who might fit the tone of the book. It's noir-ish, hardboiled, violent. Sure, it's urban fantasy, but it's a crime novel.

I say, thinking it'll never happen because, you know, it's me, I'd like this Sean Phillips guy. Amazing artist. He's worked on a shit ton of titles like Wonder Woman, Batman, Marvel Zombies, Sleeper. The list goes on.

Lately he's been doing the Criminal comics with Ed Brubaker. Recently he did a thing with Don Winslow for the L.A. Times called SUNSET ON SUNSET that is fucking phenomenal. I mean Winslow's good, but Phillips hits the artwork out of the park.

The man knows how to draw L.A.

I mean, seriously, what are the odds I'm gonna get Sean Fucking Phillips to do my cover. That's like getting an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle for Christmas. And a blowjob.

So then I get an email with the subject:
Sean Phillips is on board.
I nearly creamed my jeans right then.

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the cover to CITY OF THE LOST.

Oddly enough, that hole's the least of his problems.


Monday, June 20, 2011

When Research And Real Life Collide

Los Angeles, CA

So yesterday I'm digging around for some fun facts on cocaine for my next book. As far as you and my friends in law enforcement are aware (Hi Brent!), I've never done the stuff.

Really, I'm medicated enough as it is thank you very much.

Anyway, I ran into this interesting little tidbit on how since around 2002 more and more cocaine (50% of confiscated shipments in the U.S. and U.K. in 2009) has been cut with a drug called Levasimole. It's an anti-parasitic.

That's dewormer to you and me.

Really. You got a tapeworm, this is the stuff for you. It gets fed to pigs and cows on a regular basis to keep them bug free.

For a while the medical community was also looking at it as something to help with colon cancer. Something to do with its immunosuppresant qualities, but that didn't pan out and doctors have largely stopped using it.

Fun Fact #1. Nobody seems to know why they're putting it into cocaine. It doesn't seem to be a bulking agent, since there's just not that much in it. About 6%. It doesn't actually do much to enhance or mimic the high. It's not like you're putting Benzocaine in it to make your nose numb or Ritalin to make you speedy.

One theory is that it's a tracking chemical for inventory and shipping purposes. Like taggants in Semtex.

Fun Fact #2. It's been discovered that Levasimole in cocaine can make your face fall off and kill you.

See, one of the side-effects of Levasimole is that it can kill skin cells. Doctors have known about these potential side effects for some time (at least early 2009 from what I'm finding), which is another reason it's not used much on people.

And today, according to the L.A. Weekly:
A report published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology said six patients developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks and other parts of their body and, in some instances, suffered permanent scarring after they had used cocaine.

Doctors in San Francisco had previously reported two similar cases there. Others have also reported on users of contaminated cocaine who developed a related life-threatening immune-system disorder called agranulocytosis, which kills 7 percent to 10 percent of patients.
And you thought cocaine was bad on its own...

Or knowing this crowd you probably didn't.

Anyway, in case you didn't know it before, stay away from the white powder drugs.

If they don't fuck you up, the cow dewormer will.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hey, Did I Mention You Can Order My Book Now?

I found out the other day that my first novel, CITY OF THE LOST, is available for pre-order on Amazon. In the UK, even. I'm not sure what the plans are fir digital, yet, but I'd fully expect there to be a Kindle edition at the very least.

The release date is January 3rd, 2012. I've got an ISBN and everything.

Shit's gettin' real, yo.

There's no cover art, yet, but I've seen the prelim sketches. I don't know how much I can talk about it, I'm still a little unclear on how this whole thing works, but I will say that it fucking rocks. They wanted to get a comic artist to do it and asked me who I wanted.

And then they got him.

Yeah, the people at DAW officially fall into the category of gods.

As soon as I know I can talk about it and post pictures I fucking well will. Believe me, you won't be able to get me to shut up about it.

The book's coming out in trade paperback and it is going to be gorgeous.

"But!" I hear you say, "I don't care about the cover. Is it crime? Is it urban fantasy? Is it sparkly unicorns with top hats fellating porcupines and prancing about the Maypole? I want to know what the book is ABOUT!"

And the answers are "Yes," "Yes," and "Keep your sick fetishes to yourself. Believe me, we're full up over here as it is."
Joe Sunday’s dead. He just hasn’t stopped moving yet.

Sunday’s a thug, an enforcer, a leg-breaker for hire. When his boss sends him to kill a mysterious new business partner, his target strikes back in ways Sunday could never have imagined. Murdered, brought back to a twisted half-life, Sunday finds himself stuck in the middle of a race to find an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality. With it, he might live forever. Without it, he’s just another rotting extra in a George Romero flick.

Everyone’s got a stake, from a psycho Nazi wizard and a razor-toothed midget, to a nympho-demon bartender, a too-powerful witch who just wants to help her homeless vampires, and the one woman who might have all the answers — if only Sunday can figure out what her angle is.

Before the week is out he’s going to find out just what lengths people will go to for immortality. And just how long somebody can hold a grudge.
It's very dark, it's very violent. I do things to midgets.

I mean in the book, not... Okay, there was that one time, but I was really drunk.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sure You Know How To Write, But Do You Know How To Read?

If you're a writer and you keep up with this writing thing you're going to run into a problem.

People are going to ask you for your opinion.

I'm not talking about, "Is this ice cream any good?" "Does this cock ring make me look fat?" "Do you think I should put the panda in the blender or roast it like peanuts?"

This is worse.  They're going to ask you to critique their story.  And when that happens, you don't get to just say, "Uh, well, it was... okay?".

Reading to offer a critique is very different from just reading.  You have to pay attention to different things, dig into the nuts and bolts of the story.  And you can't just vomit your thoughts out there to the writer.  

Believe me, that shit flies like a lead balloon.

There are right ways to critique something and wrong ways to critique something.  Not everything works for everybody, but there are some basics that I think a lot of people don't quite get.


Know What You're Looking For
When you're giving somebody feedback you need to look at more than just whether or not you liked it.  You need to think about structure, pacing, characters, plot.  

Is there a lot of exposition?  Is there not enough?  Was it done in such a way that the story ground to a halt?  Were you confused?  Did you not care about the characters or what they were doing?  Could you keep track of everyone?  Did you find them interesting/sympathetic/compelling/hateful/boring/etc?  How did you feel about the setting?  Was it descriptive enough?  Was it too descriptive?  Did it take too long to get going?  Did the story actually start where the story should have started?  How about the ending?  Too abrupt?  Did it take too long?  Was there enough payoff (however you define payoff)?  Did it leave you satisfied?  Did it leave you wanting more?  

These and a thousand other things.  You're not looking at this from an audience's point of view, but a craftsman's.


Know What They're Looking For
Somebody hands you a piece of writing and you do a fifteen page, point by point analysis comparing the piece to Sartre's views on the anguish of man and they come back and say, "Really, I was just wondering if I should have made the blonde a redhead."

Whether it's too little, too much or just not what they're looking for, feedback that doesn't fit what they need probably isn't going to be very useful.  Now, sometimes what they need isn't what they think they need, or, more likely, what they think you can give them and what you can really give them are two wildly different things.  If that's the case, well, give it your best shot.

Either way, ask them what it is they're looking for before you start spewing at the mouth.  It'll at least give you a starting point and it might help them solidify it for themselves.  If you decide to go off-road it helps to know where the road is in the first place.


Hated That Second Chapter?  Then You Better Know Why
Feedback without context is useless.  Saying there's too much exposition and not saying where there's too much exposition doesn't do the writer a whole hell of a lot of good.  If you see a problem try to identify why it's a problem, where it's a problem and what you think might be able to fix it.  Sure, vague things like, "You need to tighten it up," can help, as long as they understand what you mean by "tighten it up."


You Might Want To Take Some Diplomacy Classes
I'm one of the editors for NEEDLE Magazine.  I'm the laziest one, sure, and "edit" is too strong a word.  I get some stuff handed to me by Steve Weddle and a month or two later I go, "Shit, I have to read that!" and then give him a yay or a nay on it.

I have the easy job.  Weddle's gotta go back and tell the people who didn't make the cut that it's not a fit.  Why he doesn't just say, "Blackmoore's being a dick, take it up with him," I have no idea.

So knowing this I try to take pity on the poor man and actually give him something useful to say.  Sometimes.  Other times I can be a little, uh, unkind.  Sorry.

Either way he somehow manages to take my lunatic rantings and condense them into the nicest possible rejections you can get. Because unlike me he's not an asshole and he likes to actually give people something constructive.

Now when I'm not going through Weddle's filter, which sounds a lot ruder than it is, I try to do the same thing.  I have no interest in discouraging any writers.

Okay, most writers.

Anyway, it doesn't do you any good and it doesn't do me any good.  Oddly enough I learn a lot about my own writing by going over other people's writing.  Outside perspective and all that.  

So as a critiquer learn to not be a dick.  Don't make sweeping pronouncements.  Qualify the shit out of everything.  Remember, you've just been entrusted with something that took someone a lot of effort, time and sweat to produce.  They're nervous.  They're probably looking for some validation that they don't entirely suck.  

Don't treat them with kid gloves, after all they're not babies, but being a bully and kicking over sandcastles is for five year-olds, not grown-ups.  So choose your words carefully.


All Of These Things Are Just Data Points
Now, this one's just as much for the writer as it is for the reader.  Your opinions are important or the writer wouldn't have asked for them.  That said, they ain't all that important.

Whether you liked the story, hated it, or were offended by it doesn't matter other than to inform the writer.  What they do with it is their goddamn business.

There's no right or wrong here.  She may have wanted to write a character that doesn't act the way you would like them to.  Maybe the protagonist is supposed to be an asshole.  That ending that made you go, "But, but, I want to know what happens next!" might be exactly what he's hoping for.


Remember Why You're There
It's about the work.  It's about making the writing better.  It's not about proving how you're a better writer, or about how you can find things to criticize, or about how you would write it.  It's about helping them tell their story with their voice.  

Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work.


Now I know I'm missing things, and I know that some of what I've said won't work for everybody.  But it's usually worked for me.  

So all that said, how about you?  When you're getting a critique what are you looking for?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Because Some Days You Just Want To Drink From A Flaming Tiki Skull

L.A. is in a constant state of rewrites.

It tears itself down, builds itself up again. Bit by bit it erases its history for something shiny and shoddy that will house a Vietnamese nail salon, a donut shop, a yogurt place.

Some of it is understandable. Sort of. Bunker Hill, for example. From one perspective it was damn near a shanty town when they tore it down in the fifties. From another, it was fucking criminal.

Either way, L.A. does not appreciate its history. We let things go that should never have gone and hang onto shit that should never have been.

Case in point, Kelbo's.

As pseudo-Polynesian, white-man kitsch goes you don't get much better.

The place was done up with nets, starfish, and lacquered pufferfish hanging from the ceiling. This monster lucite block on one wall with found object art embedded inside that was backlit to look like, fuck, I don't know, beachcomber chic?

The wait staff wore white patent leather loafers, white pants, blue Aloha shirts, like they were refugees from the Don Ho Show, whose music, incidentally, my grandmother listened to fucking incessantly. I hear Tiny Bubbles and I still go into convulsions.

The food was mediocre at best, but they had these spareribs that were, and I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to resort to Pidgin here, ono.

And then there were the drinks. My god, there were the drinks.

Over every booth in the place hung one of these, a backlit photo of a few of their specialties.

That one in the middle at the top? Yes, that is a motherfucking SKULL mug. What they don't show you is that it's ON FIRE. Really.

And the names of these things. The Wiki Waki Bowl, The Jet Pilot, The Green Dragon. You don't see shit like that these days I don't care where you go.

The restaurant opened in 1947 on Fairfax across from the CBS building. Then there was the one on Pico and Exposition, and three others scattered throughout the Southland.

Eventually, the wonder of drinking flaming rum out of a ceramic skull faded for some folks, though god knows why. I mean come on. FLAMING TIKI SKULL MUG, people. The fuck is your problem?

Anyway, by the early 90's the last of the Kelbo's locations, the one at Pico and Exposition, closed down to be replaced by a bikini bar. Sort of a strip bar? I guess? Only not nude? I'm still a little unclear on that.

And with that, Kelbo's and their spareribs and their flaming skull drinks faded away.

Sure, they were no Trader Vic's (which has also gone the way of the dodo), but they were distinctly L.A. They were part of a culture that was, maybe not good, but certainly interesting.

And there just aren't that many interesting places left.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

"Crap" Is Not The Same As "Stuff You Don't Like"

I really like bubblegum pop music.

No, really. The more auto-tuned the better. I can listen to that shit for days. Throw some Katy Perry or Rihanna on and I'm golden. Britney Spears? Hell, yeah. Remember Aqua from the nineties? Barbie Girl? I had that fucker on repeat in my car for like three months.

Most of you read that and don't give a rat's fart one or the way other, but some of you? Wow. Some of you really have an opinion on that. Either nodding your head, or looking at me like you just caught me fucking the dog.

Don't believe me? Look at an internet forum some time. Pay attention to politics. If it's one thing we're good at it's having overwhelming opinions on other people's tastes.

Like pizza? Broccoli? Pegging your boyfriend? Okay. Whatever works for ya. It's all subjective. Your taste is yours and ain't nobody can tell you you're wrong.

Not that people won't try.

And that's what seems to pass for a review these days. People looking at something and confusing "I don't like this," with "This is bad."

Take a look at 1 Star Amazon reviews and you'll see what I mean. Many, I'd say most, are along the lines of, "This sucks because I don't like it.  Waaaah!"

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I can tell a lot about something I'll like by the people who don't like it. The first thing I think of when I see, "I hated the language," is "What, English? It's written in Ancient Urdu? Linear B? The fuck are you talking about?"

Then, of course I realize they mean all the references to cockweasel, felchmonkey, and that good old stand-by, fuck.

And then I go buy a copy. Or five.

And that's valid. Taste is taste. Who the fuck am I to say they have to like it?

But it does raise a question. If taste is subjective, how do you effectively review something?

Spinetingler Magazine ran a series of reviews a couple weeks ago on stories in the anthology On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir.

The review by Ben Whitmer of James Reasoner's story, The Conversion of Carne Muerto raised a bit of a ruckus.

In it Whitmer posits that the story falls into a literary genre common to the Old West called "The Indian Hater", in which heathen savages rape the horses, ride off on the women and listen to the lamentations of their livestock, or something. And the strapping White Man goes off to kill them all because A White Man's Got To Do What A White Man's Got To Do.

It's an insightful piece. Thoughtful, well informed and interesting to read. He has a lot of examples of this genre and why he feels that this story is, as he puts it, "a minor variation of one of the ugliest stories in American literary history".

He doesn't tell you anything about the quality of the story until the end. He doesn't even tell you if he really liked it, though you know that it pushed his buttons, which is a different thing entirely.

Here's a spoiler. "But all I can really say about this story, is, shit, it’s depressing."

The review currently has 114 comments.

The interesting thing is how many of the commenters don't seem to have either read or understood the review. There are accusations that Whitmer is calling Reasoner a racist, which he isn't, or that he's flat out wrong, which given the examples he cites I don't think he is.

He's not accusing Reasoner of anything other than writing a story that happens to fall into a particular genre. There's a big difference between saying "This story is similar to racist stories that were written in the 19th Century" and "This author is a racist".

And I think this is an example of a good review. It's a review that got me engaged and got me thinking. There's nothing knee-jerk about it. If anything it made me want to read the story more. I have a copy of the anthology and I'm itching to get into it.

If you don't like something that's fine. I'm never going to tell you your taste is wrong just because it doesn't match mine. But if you don't like something, Jesus fuck, tell me why.

I'll listen even if I don't agree with you.

Friday, June 03, 2011

People With Whom You Do Not Fuck #3,673: The Barista

Costa Mesa

Next time you're grabbing an iced frappamochalattearino or whatever, take a gander at the tip jar. There's, what, $13.50 in there? Twenty bucks, tops?

Not much, right? Doesn't matter. If you snag that wad of singles and handful of loose nickels, you are going the fuck down.

Three guys (2 men and a juvenile) were seen stealing cash out of a tip jar at a Starbucks in Costa Mesa and took off in a stolen car. Did they just patrol cars after them?

No, they sent a motherfucking HELICOPTER to take them down.

Just picture it. Helicopter buzzing down the street NOE, taking out car antennae, blasting Wagner through their speakers. A screaming Barista, cute button nose, shoulder tattoo, just trying to put herself through art school, hanging onto the side with an M-60 in her hand, bullets ripping the pavement only a few feet below her.

"You want a motherfuckin' tip!" she screams.  "I'll give you a motherfuckin' tip!  Do not fuck with your professionally trained coffee preparation specialist!"

And then she shoots him.

Yeah.  I'd pay good money to see that on screen.

Anyway, helicopter.  Drama.  Sturm und drang.  For a fucking tip jar.

Man, those Costa Mesa pilots must be pretty goddamn bored.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Myths of Cities

I turned in the manuscript for my next book DEAD THINGS to the publisher yesterday and am mostly over my freakout about doing so. I know it doesn't suck, but I also know it's not as clean as it could be. No doubt there will be many notes on my creative use of commas at the very least.

I have a scene where the protagonist is thinking about a bit of L.A. history as he tries to track someone down.
Back in the Forties Chavez Ravine was a community of Latino families north of Downtown. Had their own schools and churches, grew their own food, kept to themselves.

The rest of the city liked it that way. Would have preferred they didn't exist at all, but, hey, you can only kill so many people, right? Not that they didn't try.

And then the money happened. Federal dollars to turn Chavez Ravine into housing projects. Kicked everybody out with false promises of new homes, then sat on the land until a guy who ran on what amounted to a "Kick the Mexicans out" ticket got elected, bought up all the land and plopped a baseball team in the middle of it all.

Fucked over landowners meet Dodger Stadium.
It's an oversimplifcation of what happened, but not by much.

And it got me thinking about what makes a city a city. The things that give it its identity.

It's not the roads, the architecture or even the people. It's the stories that accrete over time. The tales the residents tell themselves and each other. The rumors that spring up among outsiders.

And whether they're truth or lies, after a while they stop being fictions and histories. They become myths.

When non-Angelenos think of L.A. they tend to think of four things. Hollywood, smog, traffic and crime. Because that's all they hear about. After a while they all blur together. Mostly as a negative.

They don't hear about the other things, the wonderful and tragic things that don't make it out to the farmbelt. Hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian restaurants on Fairfax, the taco trucks of East L.A., the Zoot Suit Riots, the collapse of The St. Francis Dam, the 1934 flood that put The Valley under water, The White Lady of Griffith Park, The Selig Zoo.

Hell, even most Angelenos have never heard of some of these stories. There are countless I've never heard. This city, like any city, has stories stuffed between its bricks like mortar. Its what binds it together, gives it shape. No one could hope to know all of them.

Some of them aren't even true. The Lizardmen under Los Angeles, for example. But some people believe them, anyway.

And yes, I will be using the Lizardmen in an upcoming book. Just so you know.

God help me, but I love this town. It's completely insane. It's like dating that crazy chick that's great in the sack but tries to knife you in your sleep just to see if you'll holler. But then, isn't every city?

And one of the things I love about it, is that the stories never end. We're making them now. I wonder sometimes if that's the real reason I have this blog. To document some of the crazy, funny, tragic shit that goes on here. Worst case it's a clearing house for fiction prompts.

Incidentally, if you've never been, check out 1947 Project for some bits of old L.A. lore. They know their shit. Like, really know their shit.

How about y'all? What are your city's stories? What are the things that give your town its unique bent? I'd love to hear them.