Monday, May 28, 2012


The following is an editorial.

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States of America.
But let's pause to point out a couple of fallacies that have developed over the years.
First, this weekend is NOT the start of Summer! Granted, we are now well within the better (warmer) part of Spring, but the Summer season itself does not begin until June 20 this year.

Second, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHY we have this day, for it is a lot more than just a three day weekend away from work and/or school.

Today is set aside to remember those who have served within America's various military branches, especially those who gave their lives defending this country to protect the freedoms and civil liberties that you have.

Not all those wars and battles have been "popular" amongst my fellow American citizens, but there is absolutely no denying the bravery of the men (and women within the last couple of decades) who have served within the various branches of the Armed Forces.                            

One should always hope for a peaceful resolution to any conflict.
Yet we must also be realistic that that option is not always available to us.
When there is absolutely no other alternative, we should be glad that there are those willing to fight and, if necessary, lay down their lives so that others might continue to live and be free.

Other countries around the world have similar practices and policies. This weekend is just America's turn.
So please don't forget the Veterans of years past and the service personnel of the present who made today possible as you enjoy your cookout, ballgame, or whatever.

The above was an editorial.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


WHAT great responsibility???
Hello Everybody. It's the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States of America, so Ms. Waxy Dragon and Autumn the Puppy are not here today. Thus writing this weekend's Sunday Funnies falls upon me, your humble Editor-In-Chief.
Now Memorial Day itself is no laughing matter, so let me try to entertain you with some jokes.
Since the ladies were asking questions over the last couple of installments of this column, let me pose a few of my own.

When you leave the optometrist after an appointment, should you say "See you later?"

Is Stu really a good name for a cook?

If Shakespeare's right and "All the world's a stage", then where is the audience sitting?

If you follow the Boy Scouts' motto of "Be prepared", then doesn't that make anything unexpected expected?

What's the point in singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" when you're already there?

If a word was ever misspelled in a dictionary, how would we know?

Remember those who defended you!
If a psychic truly sees something disastrous happening in the future, shouldn't they warn someone for free instead of charging them for the information?      

What if there were no rhetorical questions?

If love is blind, then why is lingerie so popular?

On that note, please remember that there is a LOT more to this holiday than just a three day weekend from work and school, and we hope to see you back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-lthjr

Saturday, May 26, 2012


*This is the Memorial Day weekend in the United States of America.
*Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, USA.
*The Indy 500 Race is scheduled to start tomorrow afternoon.
*Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise, based upon the original release of the very first film, Episode IV: A New Hope.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week:

*It has been revealed that an unidentified infant in Rome, Italy received the world's smallest artificial heart, as a temporary measure to sustain the child's life until a replacement heart could be found. Knowledge of this feat was not made public until May 24, long after the new organ was transplanted at Bambino Gesu' Hospital. Doctor Antonio Amodeo led the surgical team for both procedures.
*The news doesn't look good in North Korea, according to an Amnesty International report. Thirty state officials allegedly met with "accidents" in the change of power between Kim Jong Un and his late father, Kim Jong Il. Meanwhile, the North continues to pursue a nuclear program, despite claims that up to SIX MILLION citizens of that country are going hungry!
*While debate continues whether or not the retaining walls to the cooling pool of the nuclear control rods at Fukishima Daiichi's Reactor #4 could withstand a potential earthquake, Japanese officials conducting a media tour reported the situation cleanable, but with a projected timeline of up to FOUR DECADES to complete the extremely difficult work. The power plant was ravaged by natural disaster in 2011.
*To celebrate Facebook's Initial Public Stock Offering, founder Mark Zukerberg married long time girl friend Priscilla Chan last weekend. The small, select group of attendees thought they were going to celebrate Chan's recent college graduation until the ceremony actually began.
*The Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station, thus signaling the beginning of the commercialization of outer space.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Bahraini.
*Sadly, Bee Gee Robin Gibb lost his battle with cancer at age 62.

*"I'll Have Another" won the Preakness Stakes, now giving him two-thirds of the 2012 Triple Crown in horse racing. The Belmont race will be held in June.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen, or visit any other reputable news source.


This is the Memorial Day weekend in the United States, but the date is a LOT more than just the start of summer!
How much do you really know about this important weekend?
Let's find out.

01. What was Memorial Day originally known as?
02. When did the Memorial Day tradition start?
03. Why was the last Monday in May originally chosen for the observance?
04. When did Memorial Day become an official holiday in the United States?
05. Who was President of the United States at the time?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open THE ANSWERS BOX and reveal the results from May 19's Puzzle Corner.

The clue was: Let's Make A Deal host forms a musical duet.
We received a LOT of e-mails from confused people trying to figure out the answer, based upon current game show host Wayne Brady.
But the ORIGINAL Let's Make A Deal host was Monty Hall, which makes the answer Monty Hall and Oates!


mind   equals "A lot on one's mind."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Issue 3 of 4 from Blue Water Comics

There are as many different genres as there are writers and the format in which one can present their work.
Amongst those is comic books, and within that group is a dear friend of mine by the name of Ken Janssens.
I had the honor of first meeting Ken in person at the 2011 Pulp Ark Convention, and while he was unable to make the journey again this year, we have maintained our friendship over the medium in which we first met: the Internet.
Recently Ken was nice enough to answer a few questions about what he's been up to lately.

Ken Janssens: I have two projects at the moment I'm very excited about. The first is an eight page preview story running in the Free Comic Book Day anthology by Prometheus Comics ( named “Technophobe”. The other is my Sherlock Holmes mini-series from Bluewater Productions entitled “Sherlock Holmes: Victorian Knights”.

"Technophobe" appears within

Lee Houston, Junior: There has been much produced about the original consulting detective since the days of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. How did this work come about?
Ken: It's a start of a new mystery that takes place in the English countryside. The Sherlock Holmes mini-series came out of my running collaborations with Bernie Lee. The two of us have worked on multiple projects together and the Sherlock Holmes story was originally supposed to be a one-shot at his TwilightPop company. After several conversations with Darren Davis, the project moved to Bluewater Comics and was made into two mysteries and a four-part mini-series penciled by Matt Martin. I'd like to thank Darren. He has been quite good to me.

Lee: You've also worked in the New Pulp field, creating and writing The Cerebus Clan, Aloha McCoy and, my personal favorite: Sherringford Bell, amongst your straight prose work.
What is New Pulp to you?
The writer, either mugging for the camera or lost in thought

Ken: New Pulp is a great balance of the adventure of the first half of the twentieth century and the aspects and format of the new millennium. The best thing about it is that New Pulp has no limits, yet somehow the writers in the New Pulp community all know what the boundaries are. It's a very odd animal unto itself.

Lee: Why do you write what you do?
Ken: It's because of my father. Whether it be the old movies and other media he exposed me to or just what he passed down in his genes, I have loved the written word and stories (especially of the “noir” variety) my entire life. I would be lost without this outlet.

Lee:  What inspires you to write?
Ken: You name it. Everything I take in can trigger something in me.

Lee: What has influenced your style and technique?
Ken: Many things. A lot of my style comes from reading or watching what I deemed as the great detectives growing up. Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Jupiter Jones, Batman, and even Scooby Doo shaped me to what I am today. Of course, I`ve had other influences in the last quarter century, but the above are my building blocks.

Lee: Scooby Doo, huh? Okay then. Velma or Daphne?
Ken: Daphne.
Lee: I've always been a Velma fan. Anyway, what would be your dream project?
Ken: Writing some of the down-to-Earth characters from DC comics like Green Arrow, the Question, etc. But most of all, I would love to work on the characters from Batman and the Outsiders. The first issue of Batman and the Outsider by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo was the first comic book I ever picked out.

Lee: Where do you foresee yourself within the next few years?
Ken: Hopefully working in television, writing on a series. Also, I hope to have my hand in a few comic book series too.

Lee: Has there ever been an interview question you have not been asked but would love to answer, and if so, what is it and your response?
Ken: Hmm, that`s one of those “Ì`ll know it when I see it” scenarios and except for this, I haven’t seen one yet.

Lee: Before we go, any other projects you would like to promote?
Ken: I`ve got many irons in the fire, so to speak. I`ll let you know when I can talk about them. :-D

Lee: Well, it's been great talking to you again Ken.
Ken: My pleasure.

The work of Ken Janssens can be found either through your local comic book store or via

Monday, May 21, 2012


"Where's the chocolate?"
Hello Everybody. Ms. Waxy Dragon back with you once more, as we take another look at some of those mysteries of life that make one stop and wonder: "WHY?"

If we have Burger King and Dairy Queen, what happened to the Prince and Princess? Did they get dethroned? Have the King and Queen not gotten around to creating heirs yet, or have the royal siblings just been dealt out of the deck at some point with no one being the wiser?

Here's an oldie but a goodie that STILL hasn't been answered. Why do you humans drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? One would think that by now, the issue of why it's called "Rush Hour" when nothing moves very quickly would have been addressed.

Why is it a TV set when there's only one in the room? Did you somehow get charged for two TVs but only received one? Or does the store still owe you a second TV? Then again, why would you want a second TV in the same room? Just how much can one watch at any given moment?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle? After all, if the stuff is supposed to bond anything together, then how do they manage to bottle it to begin with? I keep picturing glue factories with huge vats of glue, but no one's able to pour it into those bottles because the glue is stuck to the vat and won't come out.

In any event, I think that's enough for this week, because now my brain is starting to hurt.
Have a great week everyone and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


May 24th marks the 40th anniversary of the Video Game Age with the original release of the Maganvox Odyssey home gaming system in 1972.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week...
*At $38 US Dollars a share, Facebook, Incorporated raised $16 Billion USD in their Initial Public Offering on Wall Street yesterday.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Yemen.
*Sadly, the Mexican War against Drugs not only remains unresolved, but is currently heating up again in that country.
*Singer Donna Summer (Love to Love You Baby, Last Dance) lost her battle with lung cancer this week.
*The finals of the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant will be held tonight in Toronto, Canada.
*For their high school year book, eight ladies with the same last name got together and posed wearing the exact same dress and hairstyles. A quote, when read in alphabetical order based upon their first names, says "We know what you're thinking but no, we're not related." The octet all share the same last name (Nguyen) but come from eight different families, with no siblings amongst them.

*The first round of Interleague play for the 2012 Major League Baseball season begins this weekend.
*The Olympic Flame has arrived in England to start the last leg of its relay journey before the 2012 Summer Games begin in London this July.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen, or visit any other reputable news source.


Another weekend is upon us, and puzzle lover's know what that means!

Two separate things share at least once common word, and thus can be combined to form something new. Based upon the clue below, do you know what the new item is?

Let's Make A Deal host forms a musical duet.

Something familiar is represented by the image below. Do you know what it is?


We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, Roll over Beethoven and tell Tschaikowsky the news that we're opening THE ANSWERS BOX to reveal the results of our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inspired Puzzle Corner from May 12.

Disc Jockey Alan Freed is accredited with coining the term Rock and Roll music.

Besides Freed, the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers (Don and Phil), Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Sam Phillips, a talent scout who founded Sun Records.

Monday, May 14, 2012


"Farm Fresh" within these pages
Portrait of the writer as a young seller of his wares
He has posted much and interviewed many upon his own website at , but now the time has come to grant Sean Taylor his moment in the spotlight and ask him a few questions.
The Free Choice E-zine: Welcome Sean. Please tell us a little about your latest work.
Sean Taylor: Zombies versus Robots, This Means War is a prose expansion of the Zombies versus Robots comic book stories created by writer Chris Ryall and artist Ashley Wood, that redefines both zombie and robot fiction. I contributed the story "Farm Fresh" but am amongst some talented people, including Jesse Bullington, Nancy Collins, Lincoln Crisler, Brea Grant, Robert Hood, Nicholas Kaufmann, James A. Moore, Norman Prentiss, Rachel Swirsky, Steve Rasnic, Rio Youers, and Jeff Conner.

TFCE: And who do you root for in a battle like that?

SEAN: Any poor humans caught in the middle! Although sometimes the robots do tend to be a little more pro-human than the zombies. But each force has so many different types on their side, that it's hard to tell at times.

TFCE: You've contributed to many anthologies of late, including co-creating The Ruby Files. Can you tell us a little bit of how that came about?
SEAN: Bobby Nash is a friend of mine, and Richard/Rick Ruby grew out of our mutual admiration for the classic, hard boiled type of private detective that started in the 1930s. But what sets him apart from others is that we approached the series from the more enlightened era of today so Rick can interact with others, especially African-Americans, a lot more than he would have been able to during the series' time period.
In my story, "Die Giftig Lillie" I focus on Edy Rose Adams, who is
A co-creation with Bobby Nash
Rick's secretary and kind of looks out for him when she can, and Evelyn Johnson, a slinky jazz singer who knows any romantic relationship with Rick can never last, but intends to make sure he always remembers her.

TFCE: You've done a lot of work in the budding genre of New Pulp. What is that field to you?
SEAN: Personally, I'm more than happy to define New Pulp by the authors and the stories.
The stories are engaging and targeted to the common man and woman. That's as simple a line in the sand as I can reduce it too, yet it's open enough to allow interpretation that hopefully doesn't foster argument but circumvents it. Whether they scare, enthrall, titillate, or take the reader on a grand adventure, they're a simple contract between the author, the publisher, and the average reader. Pulp, both old and new, is escapist fiction. Like classic pulp, some is deftly written by literary masters, some is averagely written by good writers who know their trade well, and some is, well, some is quite bad.
In defining Pulp by the authors, I know that if I read a story by Andrew Salmon, even if it's a futuristic sci-fi tale, it's going to feel like a pulp, so it's pulp. If I read something by Tommy Hancock, it's going to be literally drenched in pulp sensibilities. And as I go deeper into the New Pulp movement, I expect to find more names that become synonymous with the words "New Pulp."
Those are my thoughts anyway. You're mileage may differ. 

TFCE: Why do you write what you do?

SEAN: Because they are the kind of stories I enjoy telling. They're the tales I love to read. They're, although it sounds rather high-falootin' to say it, the blood I bleed. I write what I do because I have to. I don't seem to have the options that other people have, to play video games or go watch a ball game, because something inside me compels me to get these stories out. It's a difficult obsession to explain, but it is what it is.

TFCE: Let's attempt that. What inspires you to write?
SEAN: Compulsion and obsession drive me to write, as does my selfish need to be remembered. Seriously. I desperately crave to be remembered one day long after I'm dead as someone whose stories live on and continue to be read. It's a personality fault, I know, but it is what it is, and I crave to be remembered for my work

TFCE: What has influenced your style and technique?
SEAN: There are two key influences that have had the most sway over me in terms of style and technique. 
The first is Ernest Hemingway. His straight-to-the-point way of writing narrative, and his knack for having people talk about everything but the most important thing on their minds really influenced my own style. He took the purple out of prose and streamlined it, and in effect created modern bookwriting. 
The second is comic book writer Chuck Dixon. He's in many ways the Hemingway of comic books. I learned from him how to cut to the important details and to always write in such a way to make a reader turn the page. He also taught me to give my bad guys something good to make the reader feel for them, and to give my good guys a bad trait to make my readers realize they're not the perfect white hat cowboys of the black and white serials. 

TFCE: What would be your dream project?
SEAN: I've done so many of my dream projects thus far--Rick Ruby, Blackstorm, Zombies vs. Robots--but one property I'd really, really love to have the opportunity to write is DC's The Metal Men. I've been a fan of them for years, and the dynamic that team has opens itself to so many stories in my head. I'd sacrifice a right arm (good thing I'm left-handed) for that gig. DC's recent universe reboot (The New 52) gives any writer a chance to start over from practically Square One, but so far The Metal Men have yet to appear in the New DC Universe. So if anyone connected with the company is reading this...

TFCE: Where do you foresee yourself within the next few years?
SEAN: I hope to be doing the same thing I'm doing now--writing stories I love to tell. But I sure hope to be doing it from the veranda of my new beach house that I'll buy from the sell-out money Hollywood gives me to option one or two of my tales. 

TFCE: You have been asked and answered many questions upon your own blog. But has there ever been an interview question you have not been asked but would love to answer, and if so, what is it and your response?
SEAN: Yes. Why the obsession with Drew Barrymore? My answer: Because I saw the movie Doppleganger and fell in love. That's why. 

TFCE: Any other projects you'd like to promote?
SEAN: Oh man, where do I start? Besides my blog and my official website at at
I've also contributed a story to the upcoming Pulp Obscura volume: The New Adventures of Armless O'Neil, which is a joint venture between Pro Se Press and Altus Press and there is a lot of other stuff in the works, so it's just a question of when and what's next.

TFCE: Sounds like you're quite a busy guy Sean, so we better let you get back to work. Thank you for taking the time for this interview.
SEAN: You're welcome.

The various works of Sean Taylor can be found and acquired through his websites, those of his publishers, and

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Hello Everybody.
We even has a special pink toned font to celebrate today.
Although not an official Federal holiday here in the United States, Mothers Day was established by Congress in 1908 at the urging of Anna Jarvis.
I was just a freshly weened puppy when I was shipped off to the local pet store, but we keep in touch. Mom and I howl at each other through the "Twilight Bark" (a 101 Dalmatians reference for anyone who has read the book by Dodie Smith) every once in a while to make sure our noses are cold and our fur's clean.
But anyway, before this goes off on an emotional tangent I would prefer not to go down, let's hear some good Mother's Day related jokes.

What did the mother bee ask the cranky baby bee to do?
Bee have.

One day a young boy came home from school and said to his mother, "I've got a sore tummy!" His mother said, "You'll be OK it's just empty. After you eat something you will be alright," and she was right. Moments later his Dad came home complaining of a headache. "You'll live!" said the boy knowingly, " It's just empty!"

What did the baby porcupine ask the cactus?

Are you my mother?

Do baby lambs ask their mommies for their baa-baas when they’re hungry?

What? Did you think I was going to insult someone's mother?

Silly Humans.
In any event, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
*hoooowwwwlllll...., bark woof arf Mom!*

Saturday, May 12, 2012



Today is the 80th anniversary of Goofy, who debuted in the animated short Mickey's Revue in 1932.
May 16 marks the 10th anniversary for the debut of Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week include:
*Before their Initial Public (stock) Offering begins, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin RENOUNCED his United States Citizenship in hopes of reducing the impending tax bill from the forthcoming event!
*Civil unrest continues in Syria.
*Children's author/illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) has passed away.

*Francois Hollande is the new President Elect of France.
*The Progressive Liberal Party won elections in the Bahamas by a landslide, and is expected to name Perry Christie as the next Prime Minister.
*Victor Ponta is the new Prime Minister of Romania.
*Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a third term as President of Russia.

*In separate incidents this past week, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama have both said they now support same sex couples, although the President added that it was up to the individual states to decide whether or not such unions were legal.
*North Carolina is the latest state to say "No" on the issue.
*Meanwhile, Republican Presidential candidate hopeful Mitt Romney has come out against same gender unions, claiming that is part of what's wrong with America and the Democratic Party.
*Rick Santorum, who is no longer in the contest for the GOP nomination, has officially endorsed Romney's bid, despite the fact that although the front runner, he still does not officially have the minimum number of delegates needed to secure the position.
*Newt Gingrich has officially suspended his Presidential nomination bid, although like Santorum, he is still on some of the remaining ballots. That only leaves Romney and Ron Paul in the race.
*The remaining state primaries are Oregon May 15; Arkansas and Kentucky May 22, Texas May 29; California, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota June 5; Nebraska June 10, Montana June 16, and Utah June 26.
*And for those interested, Gary Johnson is now the 2012 Libertarian Party hopeful for the White House.

*"I'll Have Another" won the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
*Ronnie O'Sullivan won the 2012 World Snooker Championship.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen, or visit any other reputable news source.


Good Golly Miss Molly! It's that time again!
Not only do we have another great Puzzle Corner coming your way, but it's themed this weekend around Rock n' Roll!
So crank up that CD player, break out those stacks, and let's get to it!

Who is accredited with coining the term "Rock and Roll"?

How many members of the inaugural group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum can you name? HINT: The Trivia Time answer is one of them!

We'll crank up the jukebox and reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) edition of The Puzzle Corner!

Within the letters of CINCO DE MAYO, you can find:
A, ace, acid, ad, ade, aid, aide, aim, Amen, amino, anime, aye
Cad, cam, came, can, cane, cod, code, con, cone, coy
Dam, dame, Dane, day, dean, decay, demo, den, deny, dim, dime, din, dine, done
I, ice, I'd, I'm, in
Mace, mad, made, maid, main, man, mane, many, may, me, mead, mean, men, mend, mind, mine, moan, mod, mode, money,
Name, no, nod, node
Ode, omen, on, one, (and)
Other words besides the 71 listed above might be possible.

AKA (Also Known As)
In the entertainment industry, Troyal Brooks is known more by his middle name Garth (Brooks).

Monday, May 7, 2012


Cover by Atula Siriwardane
Author/Actor Stephen Jared
Writers come from a multitude of backgrounds as varied as their genres
Recently, The Free Choice E-zine had the opportunity to chat with actor turned author Stephen Jared upon the release of his second novel Ten A Week Steale.

The Free Choice E-zine: The cover looks like the novel harkens back to the days of Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon. Please tell us a little about your latest work.
Stephen Jared: It’s set in the early days of Hollywood. A WW1 vet takes jobs from his brother who is the lieutenant governor of California. The vet thinks he’s just pushing around bad guys but then discovers his actions are part of a complex plan. He’s being manipulated to engage in corruption. Meanwhile, his girlfriend is an adorable silent film star who loves him desperately. Their relationship turns tricky. As he becomes public enemy number one, the movie studio doesn't want her seen with him because she’s a public figure. The book is a Solstice Publishing release.

TFCE: This is your second novel. How did you go from acting to writing?
JARED: I’m still an actor. I did an episode of iCarly a while back and just shot another episode where I returned as the same character that will air May 12, 2012. I have a small part in an independent film with Robert Carlyle (currently Mister Gold/Rumpelstiltskin on Once Upon A Time) coming out in the fall, called California Solo. I was writing screenplays without success. Over the years Hollywood has changed a lot, making it even harder to break in, and I changed a lot too, wanting to have a bigger voice in some of the creative endeavors I was involved in, wanting to look at a product and be able to say, “That’s mine. That reflects me.” Acting is collaborative and I enjoy that aspect of it, but it’s also nice to have something that’s all me—the way a painter does—a work of art with my name on it, and was created without me having to answer to anyone else.

TFCE: How are the two aspects of your career(s) similar or different?
JARED: They are similar in that what actors and writers express has to have a relatable component in order to draw an audience in, and then the work has to be believable and interesting enough to hold the audience. They differ in that writing is a creative art form while acting is interpretive. As an actor your job is to help another person’s vision become realized. The writer, on the other hand, provides the vision.

TFCE: Why do you write what you do?
JARED: I write in the areas that have always spoken most profoundly to me as a fan. I like the golden age of Hollywood. I like stories with a lot of exterior action and drama as opposed to a lot of introspective meditation. I like escapism, and I think if someone is seeking philosophical value in works of art that can be found in escapism; it just might not be as readily apparent. As example, Indiana Jones always loses the treasure in the end; that says something.

TCFE: What inspires you to write?
JARED: I think it used to be vanity more than anything else. I just thought it would be cool to be a writer. At some point, after many years, I think it became a way of putting the chaotic pieces of my life and the world into a cohesive whole so that I could understand life more, appreciate it more, and at least pretend to make some sense out of it. It became therapeutic. It’s a way of organizing thoughts and emotions. When I pick up one of my books and read it, I recognize what I’m reading as me. But it’s well organized. It’s coherent and it makes sense; and yet, amazingly, it’s my thoughts and emotions, which tend to be scattered even on the best of days. So there’s a terrific benefit to writing, just in coping with life.
TFCE: What has influenced your style and technique?
Also by Stephen Jared
JARED: Being an actor has influenced my writing in that it taught me to be true to myself. I think acting helped me to find my voice as a writer. This was particularly important when writing Ten-A-Week Steale, because a lot of writers covering that ground—a crime thriller set in old Los Angeles—might find it too tempting to slip into some other writer’s voice. I just try to keep things simple and tell the story in as dramatic a fashion as I can. I don’t think about style. I do, however, consider the tone carefully. Jack and the Jungle Lion has a light, brisk tone to it that obviously would have been wrong for Steale.  

TFCE: Where do you foresee yourself within the next few years?
JARED: I think my life will remain relatively the same. I hope it will. If within more conversations my name comes up, that will be terrific. I’d love to have strangers say to friends and colleagues, “Oh, if you’re a fan of classic movies, you have to read Stephen Jared’s books.”

TFCE: Has there ever been an interview question you have not been asked but would love to answer, and if so, what is it and your response?
JARED: I can’t think of one. But I will take advantage of the opportunity to push the cover artists I’ve worked with. Paul Shipper did Jack and the Jungle Lion and the Ten-A-Week Steale cover is by Atula Siriwardane. Both were directed to create covers that resembled old-Hollywood movie posters. I’m extremely proud to have worked with them. They did amazing work.

TFCE: Any other projects you would like to promote?
JARED: The new episode of iCarly (called iPear Store) is going to premiere May 12, 2012. As all the episodes do, it will repeat many times throughout the year. And, I’m nearly finished with the sequel to Jack and the Jungle Lion. Paul Shipper is working on the cover for that right now. Anyone who enjoyed Jack will not be disappointed with the sequel.

TFCE: Thank you for your time Stephen.
JARED: You're welcome.

Stephen Jared's novels can be acquired via in print or E-formats.



Pro Se Productions, a New Pulp Publisher noted for bringing monthly Pulp magazines into the modern era, announced TWO new releases today!

The latest issue (#9) of its award winning magazine Pro Se Presents features the first half of an epic new adventure set in the classic era of the Pulps, featuring a mix of new characters as well as fantastic original Pulp characters that are now in the Public Domain!

THE SONS OF THOR by noted New Pulp Author Erwin K. Roberts is so much of an epic that it will consume TWO full issues of Pro Se Presents. Finishing in Issue 10, this story looks at the prospect of the villains being as strong, if not better, as the heroes who stand against them!

"They believed themselves to be the chosen of the old Norse Gods. Thinking themselves even better than the current regime of Germany, they would rule first all of Europe, then the entire world. Heaven help the foolish who dare to challenge THE SONS OF THOR!"

Erwin K. Roberts
"Naturally I'm thrilled to have The Sons of Thor in print," said Roberts.
"There are four parts to the epic. Each has a main protagonist, plus one or more guest stars. This includes a character from the UK story papers who has never before appeared on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean. And some historical people appear too.
"Among those real people are a truly important part of history. The members the very real 369th Infantry Regiment called themselves The Men of Bronze, but earned the name Hellfighters From Harlem
"In addition to their combat record, the 369th Regimental Band is also accredited with introducing Jazz to Europe. I featured them in a certain Richard Curtis van Loan's first recounted adventure during World War One."

Pro Se's latest novel release, THE STING OF THE SILVER MANTICORE by P.J. Lozito, is taking New Pulp by storm. 

“Having appeared in two past issues of Pro Se Presents, the Manticore is already a fan favorite,” Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor-in-Chief of Pro Se Press, stated. “An instant hit since his debut in the magazine earlier this year; PJ’s hero has definitely struck a chord with New Pulp fans, both those interested in stories that read and feel like they were written in Pulp’s heyday and those who like new insights and twists on the old style. Giving the Manticore and his colorful cast of goodies and baddies a full length venue to play from was not only an easy decision, it was most definitely the best place for both writer and creation to display pure New Pulp awesomeness.”

"Hunting the most dangerous prey imaginable: criminals and villains who are out to destroy our society. Brent Allred and his mysterious assistant Bako wage war against enemies who mock the law, but will feel its strength by THE STING OF THE SILVER MANTICORE!
"The Silver Manticore, a masked marauder wanted by the law and criminals alike, is about to undertake what will be one of the greatest adventures of his incredible career. Drawn into a web of suspense and intrigue that will bring him face to face with his most dangerous enemy as they begin a battle that will span decades and generations!"

Featuring a stunning cover by award winning artist David L. Russell and exquisite formatting and design by Sean E. Ali (who also did the cover to Pro Se Presents #9) THE STING OF THE SILVER MANTICORE is destined to be a New Pulp Classic, appealing to fans of Action and Larger than Life Heroes everywhere!


Sunday, May 6, 2012


A dragon flew into a restaurant...
Hello Everybody. Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
For today's Sunday Funnies, I'd thought I just tell some jokes open mike style. Thankfully Mike and I are very good friends for him to be so open with me.
Or in other words, freestyle. So, with whatever comes to mind first, here we go!

What question must ALWAYS be answered "yes"?
What does Y-E-S spell?

What burns longer: a red candle or a white candle?
Neither. They both burn shorter!

If Cindy the candy counter girl is five foot three and wears a size five shoe, what does she weigh?
Candy, when sold by the pound.

A dragon flew into a restaurant.
Luckily the sky light was open.

Why is a bakery like a baseball team?
Because they both need batters.

Why are vampires so unpopular at social gatherings?
Because they're pains in the neck.

Who steals all the soap in the bathroom?
The robber ducky. <quack!>

Why is it always so hot in stadiums after the game ends?
Because all the fans have left!

Why are astronauts always successful?
Because they're always moving up in the world.

Well, that's all the space and time I have for now. Have a great week everybody and please join us again next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Today is May 5th, Cinco de Mayo in Spanish.
While many think the celebration is in regards to Mexico's independence from Spain, that event is actually celebrated September 16.
Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the Battle of Puebla, which took place on this date in 1862, making this year the 150th anniversary of the event.
Now Mexico's fourth largest city, Puebla celebrates the unexpected victory of Mexican forces against the French, who were occupying parts of that nation at the time.
The date is more widely known as a celebration of Mexican history, heritage, and pride.

Today is also Liberation Day (from the Nazi forces of World War 2) for Denmark, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands.
It is also Children's Day in Japan and South Korea.


Feliz Cinco de Mayo Amigos!
Today is Free Comic Book Day for those who enjoy and celebrate the medium.
Tonight marks the closest the (full) moon will appear to those of us on Earth.
Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week:
*On the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden's date with justice, President Barack Obama made a highly secured, surprise visit to Afghanistan to not only meet with that country's leaders, but held the first televised national address ever made from a foreign location when he announced that all US troops were being pulled out on schedule and that preparations were being made for the Afghan people to protect and police themselves against terrorist threats.
*While the authorities have arrested the man behind a bogus charity that allegedly was supposed to benefit Navy veterans instead of himself, the courts STILL do not know his real name, so the mystery man is being tried as "John Doe" until his identity can be discovered. Anyone with information regarding this situation is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service for the Northern District of Ohio at: 1-866-4-WANTED or text keyword WANTED and the tip to 847411 (tip411). Tipsters may remain anonymous and a cash reward may be available.
*A recent study into the British phone hacking scandal released by the House of Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee concludes that Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person to run a major, international conglomerate" and "exhibited major blindness to the actions of those in his employ" accused of wrong doings.
*Sadly, civil unrest continues along the Sudan-South Sudan border, Bahrain, and Syria.
*Although unfinished, the One World Trade Center Building has become the tallest building in New York City, taking the title away from the Empire State building.

*Incumbent President Barack Obama officially kicked off his reelection campaign in Ohio this week.
*There is still no definitive winner in the Republican primaries, although Mitt Romney maintains his lead over Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum, who is still on most of the remaining state ballots despite recently dropping out of the race.
*Meanwhile, the first proposal from the Republican controlled Congress for a balanced Federal budget? Cutting programs and services for the middle and lower classes while suggesting more tax breaks for the rich!

*Adam Yauch, a founding member of The Beastie Boys, has passed away.
*In a FOX News Sunday interview that is scheduled to run May 6, long time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek admits that at 71, he has thought about retiring, but loves the show too much to make a final decision on the subject. Yet the host also says people he has talked to about the situation urge him to stay on the program at least until the completion of his 30th season, which will be at the end of the 2013-14 season of Jeopardy!

*The first stage of horse racing's Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, will be held later today.
*Due to a recent injury, Yankees pitcher Mariano Riveria will not be able to resume playing professional baseball until 2013.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit an other reputable news source.


Another weekend is upon us. And considering what today is, let's start out with the obvious.

How many new words can you find, using the letters within the phrase CINCO DE MAYO?

AKA (also known as)
This new feature was such a hit last week amongst Free Choice E-zine readers, that we've brought it back for an encore sooner than scheduled.
We'll give you an alternate name for something, and you have to know what it's most commonly known as.

Troyal Brooks (in the entertainment industry)

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from April 28th's Puzzle Corner.

AKA (also known as)
The clue for our debut mystery item was: 

This classic comedy routine has been called  "The Thesaurus Sketch" by one of its original performers.

And this is Michael Palin's reference to "The Dead Parrot Sketch" from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

"A meal deal in Margaritaville" could be a Jimmy Buffet Special.

Friday, May 4, 2012


"I am NOT the droids you are looking for."
Hello Everyone.
Ms. Waxy Dragon here with a special reminder.
Today is May 4th.
It initially started as a pun, but believe it or not, this has grown into a special day for all Star Wars fans.
While George Lucas timed all the original movie releases for the Memorial Day weekend within their respective debut years, those who enjoy the characters and adventures in that galaxy far, far away Internationally use today as a significant focal point for their enjoyment of all things Star Wars.
Or in other words: "May the Fourth be with you!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Saturday, we had the honor of sharing with you the story of one little girl's emotional battle against impossible odds, as she sought to live life to the fullest:

Sadly, Avery Canahuati went into sudden, unexpected cardiac arrest Monday April 30th and lost her personal battle with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but the war against that deadly disease continues.

While Laura and Michael Canahuati are dealing with losing their daughter sooner than originally predicted, they have vowed to continue raising funds in Avery's name to help find a cure for SMA and announced that there are a few more stories to tell on her blog that being their daughter's full time caregivers didn't give them a chance to post before.

Information about how to make donations to continue funding research to find a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy can be found on Avery's blog at

Rest in peace Ms. Avery, with the knowledge that despite your brief time with us, you made the world a better place.