Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.

Archive for the ‘Shame-Filled Self-Promotion’ Category

July 15th, 2014 by Mere Smith

If You Want To See Me Puke Onstage

Evening (/morning/afternoon/6:02 p.m. GMT), ladies and gentletoads!



A rare update from the whirlwind my life has become. All willingly and eager, fear not – but I can see Exhaustion from here, and she’s waving. So I’m trying to take care of myself, trying to walk slower while doing more faster. Two deadlines this weekend and a reading/signing on Saturday night, which is technically the reason I’ve called this board meeting, but it feels impolite to shill you without foreplay, so…

Répétez. Begin at the beginning.

As you may have noticed, the blog’s kinda taken a back seat at the mo’ – fabulous things are afoot, but there’s only so much writing you can do in a day without your brain dripping out your nose in grey splats. Things should calm down soon, though, and I plan to come back here and regale you with all my wacky adventures in… yeah okay I’m totally making this up. (The wackiest thing I’ve been doing lately is listening to Sia’s new album on repeat. Wild times.) At the very least, I’ll try to make future posts unsucky and not-boring. That is my A-1 Quality Writing Promise™ to you.

The great news is, I’ve started working with some sharp-ass producing partners who came to me with a very unusual idea – and now I’m getting to collaborate and elaborate on that idea in every direction. There’s no graphic novel or video game to adapt this time, just a premise, so I’m getting free rein to craft conflicted characters and indulge in world-building (oh hi favorite things ever) in a very specific – but still classified – “mode” that is challenging me like no other project I’ve done. So naturally I’ve fallen in love with the damn thing.



More as it progresses. ‘Til then keep it under your hats, palookas. That’s why I posted it on the internet. It’s private-like.

Elsewise, in an effort to maintain my energy and sanity, I’ve been working out at the gym like a motherfucker. Getting up at 5 a.m. five days a week: cardio, weights, kickboxing, yoga. Basically I’m living on endorphins and espresso at this point – not an uncommon state for a writer – in addition to enough ibuprofen to do laps in. Anybody reading this in their 20s best be enjoying your youthful resilience or I swear to Christmas I will beat that shit out of you. For me, now, almost every day some body part or other starts whining: ooh, my shoulder, ooh, my calves, my back, my ass, my toes. Places that never used to hurt after I exercised, but surprise! you wake up and you’re a few months from 40 and you didn’t even think that thing back there was a muscle, much less that you could tweak it by sneezing on the elliptical machine.

It’s times like this – the morning times, when my feet hit the floor, the joints in my body cracking loud and continuously like microwave popcorn – I remember a TV clip I saw years and years ago, a sports reporter interviewing a decathlete, a guy who’d chosen to keep competing despite a strained hamstring.

The – clearly dim – reporter asked later, “But weren’t you in pain?”

The decathlete answered, “Well, we do ten sports. There’s always something’s gonna hurt. Soon as you accept that, you stop worrying about it.”

There’s always something’s gonna hurt.

Well I’ll swan, from the mouths of jocks…



….Buddha speaks.

Meanwhile, between the soreness itself and the magma-hot Indonesian muscle rub I use to combat it, the searing pain reminds me I’m alive.

And holy shitsnacks am I really, really alive lately.

So alive, in fact, I’m doing something I never thought I’d do: standing up in a room full of people and reading my writing aloud.

(I’m ruining that slick segue to say, “Did you catch that slick segue?”)






Under the aegis of Shades & Shadows, a dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction performance series, I’ll be reading an excerpt from my book…





…at the California Institute of Abnormal Arts (honestly, who didn’t see that one coming?) (okay, maybe the reporter), located in North Hollywood:




I, for one, feel very reassured to see John’s Lawn Mower & Saw right across the street. If ever a company name cried out for dark fantasy, “John’s Lawn Mower & Saw” ranks right up there for ominous titles. These Shades & Shadows folks know what they’re doing.

More specific details:



I’m not sure why I’m billed last, but I’m pretty confident it’s a badge of honor. Either that, or someone paid them to put me on at the very end so I’d have the whole show to work up enough anxiety vomit to spew over the entire first row. And now that I think about it, that sounds way more plausible than the first explanation.

Here’s the deal: I have seven minutes to read, and a couple ideas for passages to use – but I know these stories so well, it’s hard to take a step back and decide which section might be best for people who aren’t familiar with my work. So in the Comments section below, or if you’d like to contact me through Twitter (@EvilGalProds), I would LOVE to hear suggestions from anyone and everyone who’s read Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death. Maybe a favorite scene, favorite character, favorite moment – fact is, I’m begging for help in not putting a bunch of people to sleep with my yappity-yap. It’s either this, or show my boobs onstage, and frankly I think the boobs thing will only hold them for 30 seconds – which still leaves me six and a half minutes to fill. Nobody wants to see what comes after that.

I pre-appreciate and thank you for your advice, and I hope to see you Saturday*!


P.S. Cowface will be available for sale at the show (with free Evil Gal bookmarks inside!), and I’d be thrilled to sign anything you bring. Even body parts. Even severed body parts, because in California that’s only, what? A misdemeanor, tops? I WILL DO THAT SHIT FOR YOU, FRIEND.




* Those seated in the first row may want to bring plastic sheeting. There’s a possibility it could get very Millie Brown Does Gallagher.

April 10th, 2014 by Mere Smith

Unlike Scatman Crothers, I Made It Out Of The Overlook


I learned how to do that – the whole inhale, exhale thing – while I was up in Washington the past few months.

It’s not always easy to breathe in L.A.

Sure, there’s the smog and the choking pretentiousness of your fellow man, but sometimes the city itself sits heavy on the chest. The deals, the traffic, the people. Makes it hard to get air in. You small-sip it, never noticing how each sip gets smaller – until suddenly you’re Giles Corey being pressed to death – SPLAT.

L.A. was SPLATting me.

So I went to stay in a small cabin on a small hill, 20 minutes outside a small town, in order to write a spec script, which I did… minus a couple unfinished scenes I’m still battling like some fucking Game Of Thrones character who won’t die: the Beric Dondarrion of scripts. (That one was for you, bro.) However, spec aside, I found a lot more than I expected in that cabin – a lot more than I expected in me – like how to finally



Deeply. Fully.

I’ll write about my experiences soon. For now they’re still fermenting in the old brain juice – and as the ancient philosopher Orson Welles once said, “Ye shall blog no whine before its tyme.” He was a weird guy.

But other things press!

(If you hadn’t already noticed, this post’s gonna ramble. I am an out of practice blogger – which intellectually is, like, one step above coral – and I got a lot of ground to cover, so give a bitch a break.)

First let’s talk about this:



That’s right, ladies and germos,

APRIL 12 – 13

I will be at

BOOTH 157 – BOOTH 157 – BOOTH 157

(I call that “cheap 3-D”: 3-Damn Times)

UCLA alums, I have already offered to lay down cover fire if shit gets real.

Naturally, I’ll be accompanied in this endeavor by my fellow author and co-founder of The Asylum Collective (unclench! I’ll get there!), Eric Sipple – also known as my webmaster-slash-bitch, aka W/B, aka Sippy Cup.

And yeah, I do call him Sippy Cup. He still answers my texts. Who’s got the low self-esteem now, YOU SIXTH-GRADE BITCHES?

Whoa. Middle-school flashback.

Point is, this weekend I’m gonna be in downtown Los Angeles shilling books, motherfuckers –



like the one right up there

plus this one down here



and this next one too, which I only wrote 2% of but

was edited by Leslie Marinelli, publishing mogul extraordinaire



These are all really fun books – ones I swear you won’t regret reading unless you’re really trying to be an asshole – and if you’re nice – or even better, if you’re not – I’ll sign them for you! That’s right! Totally ruin a brand new book by scrawling my stupid name in it – I will DO that shit for you, man – because you’re my friend, faceless anonymous blog reader!

I can’t speak for Eric, though, who will be shamelessly flogging his own book like a sad old hooker with tits to her toes. Just don’t throw pennies at him this time, okay? It’s mean and it makes him cry. And being mean and making him cry is my job.

Speaking of which, earlier I mentioned The Asylum Collective, and you were like, “Whaaaat?” and I was like, “Unclench! I’ll get there!” and now we’re here.


Eric and I have been kicking an idea back and forth for a little over a year, and in the next few paragraphs, I’m going to give you the smallest amount of information I can get away with without someone going, “Well why the fuck did you bring it up?”

The Asylum Collective really started coming together after I wrote this.

I hadn’t intended for that blog post to become some sort of art manifesto – actually, I’m pretty sure it’s still not a manifesto, since I don’t know how to write a manifesto; rather surprisingly, there was no Manifesto Writing course at Brown – but through the process of writing that post, a bunch of nebulous stuff I’d been turning around in my head suddenly clarified. Thoughts about art and social media, the nature of inspiration and collaboration between artists, the currently-shifting rubrics for cultural gatekeepers.

The Asylum Collective will be a website.

And yet it will be so much more than a website.

We’re months away from launch – hell, with our schedules, maybe several, several months – but we knew the project was a fucking behemoth from the jump, and we’re not going anywhere. We hope you stick around, too.

For those of you who don’t know, the very name, The Asylum Collective, comes from the imaginary “asylum” I run on my Twitter account (@EvilGalProds) – the joke being, of course, that you’d have to be crazy to follow me.  So the Asylum is already in existence in one platform – we’re just going to build an expansive new wing – where you can draw on the walls.

But if I told you any more, I’d have to lobotomize you.

September 27th, 2013 by Mere Smith

WOTS You Missed…

So to be perfectly honest, after two solid months of working on books, I’m a little worded-out.

Instead, here are some pictures (1,000 words a pop, mind you — I may be tired, but I’m not cheap), to share our experience at…


The night before, dinner at The Harlem Underground (excellent jambalaya!)…


Left to right, @EvilGalProds, @saalon, @Lionnesss, @onikaze, his friend Carolyn, and @LWQuestie 


Later that night, picking a GRAND PRIZE WINNER@OnOneCondition!


The next day dawned cold and windy.  Pre-set-up…


BAH-KOW! Post-set-up…


Our lovely Toronto tour guide, @Lionnesss, in her limited edition EGP “Welcome To The Asylum” shirt…


Next three pictures by @NYPinTA




Lots of readers, and one Crazy Cthulubunny Guy…


Now imagine this stretching on for over a mile…


Our special You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth section, edited by @TheBeardedIris


Me signing books, Eric decapitated… just the way I like it.


Look, Ma! Groupies! (left to right, @Lionnesss, @NYPinTA, and @LWQuestie)


Me ‘n’ Demoncow reppin’ the 310 in Moose Country…


(photo by @Lionnesss)


After it was all over, the exhaustion set in…


…until we got back to the Airbnb condo, grabbed some take-out, and started planning the next phase of our global media empire!


Don’t be fooled by the smiles. We hate each other. No, seriously. (Is anyone still buying this?)

Last but definitely most, here’s a more personal video my dearest Finance put together of our Toronto trip. Yes, that is him, and yes, he is always that weird. Can you imagine anyone more perfect for me?

(Note the continuous Travel Bitchface I wear whenever I’m near/in an airport. Poor Finance.)

September 24th, 2013 by Mere Smith




The day you’ve all been waiting for! Or at least, the day I’ve been waiting for, since I’m ULTRASUPERSTOKED to share these stories with you!  Wherein “share” means “you give me a nominal amount of money and then I give you the books — do I look like I just fell off the turnip truck?”

How do you get them? Well, there are three — count ’em, THREE! — ways you can obtain these little motherfuckers.



Want me to write some crazy shit in your book? Order signed copies and I’ll write anything you want! (Anything that doesn’t have to do with Nazis or the Klan, that is — unless it’s “Fuck Nazis!” or “Fuck the Klan!” Either of those, I’ll totally do, and I’ll even draw a little happy face next to it.) This is a limited time offer, as we’re running out of first editions (we had tremendous sales up at Toronto’s Word On The Street Festival, which was fantastic, but means there aren’t too many left), and also, I can’t be all nice and a good person and sign y’all’s stuff for twelve hours a day. Who do you think I am, Neil Gaiman?


 Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death

(or as it was recently called on Twitter, COWFACE OHSAD, which I kind of love),

are available HERE


The Blood Room

are available HERE

Order a signed version, tweet me @EvilGalProds what you’d like to me to inscribe (or if it’s private/creepy/weird, let me know, and you can DM me, you freako), and maybe — just maybe — you’ll get a free Evil Gal Productions bookmark slipped inside!

(created by Karen J. Wellenkamp at RagtagDesign.com)

Ordering signed copies means a little additional shipping and handling (since it’s all in-house, as in, “I am mailing them from the actual house I live in”), and your books might take a little longer to get to you (1-2 weeks), but in the meantime, you can pursue…


Hit up The Amazon! Granted, they get a big chunk of my the money, unlike with the signed editions, where I clear the whole profit (of $2 – ’cause we roll dirty rich up in hyeah), but some folks like their books really fast and OCD spotless. I get this. And oh my friends, I have the solution: ORDER TWO COPIES FROM EACH OPTION! That way you get my amazing autograph — a really big M and S with a whole bunch of loops and swirls after ’em — to keep on your bookshelf and show off to friends who probably won’t care very much but that’s their loss — AND a copy you can have in your grubby little hands within a couple days!


 Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death

are available HERE


The Blood Room

are available HERE

If you’re interested in e-books, you can also snap up the Kindle versions from Amazon while you’re there, OR…


Help an indie sister out!

Yes, just like Amanda Fucking Palmer, I truly believe people want to help other people, especially people who’re taking risks and chasing their dreams. Or rather, stalking, chasing, and then taking down their dreams like a tiger does a hippopotamus. I don’t know whether tigers really eat hippopotami — actually, I’m pretty sure they don’t even live on the same continent — but that’s what this is like. Just trust me.

So join the grand social experiment! Be part of the new media revolution! You tell me what you think my books are worth, set your own price, and within minutes you’ll have the electronic versions transferred to your favorite reading device, because BONUS:

If you order through our pay-what-you-want system, you get BOTH e-books in one bundle, instead of having to order them separately through Kindle!

Want to support the arts and lots of swearing?


(available in Kindle and ePub formats)





is @OnOneCondition!

Congratulations, @OnOneCondition! I’ll be contacting you shortly for your address!


Coming Soon:
The Unabridged #WOTS Adventure!


September 17th, 2013 by Mere Smith


Welcome to the new Evil Gal Productions!


Yea, O my people, I have seen the promised URL, and it is good, and beautiful, and a shitload easier to read than the last site.

The new digs are, of course, all due and thanks to the efforts of my webmaster-slash-bitch (W/B), Eric Sipple (@saalon) – who built the place — although I’d like to point out that I chose, like, two fonts and said, “Move that thingie to the right – no, I mean the left” a bunch.  So I was totally involved. From a theoretical standpoint.

Feel free to take the new tour, check out a couple of my favorite posts, hit the oldies but goodies by winding your way through blogs organized by AN ACTUAL COMPUTER PROGRAM THAT ERIC WROTE OUT OF HIS HEAD WHAT THE FUCK, and maybe explore some Evil Stuff, where you can cruise through the GallerSquee, browse the Creepy Evil Wall of Shame, then, hey, do me a favor and look in on Regulatory Panda; he feeds on oversight, y’know.

So this is great, right?  A brand spankin’ new website I’ve barely fucking profaned yet! But wait – it gets even better!

Because it’s #WOTSWEEK!

Besides launching the new blog today, I have TWO awesome things to accomplish in this post, the first being:







Cover reveals of my two new books!

(which come out on Amazon Sept. 24!)




These covers for Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death and The Blood Room were created by the amazingly talented Karen J. Wellenkamp (@quotergal) of RagtagDesign.com, specially for the Word On The Street Festival – as was our indie-pub mascot, Demoncow!





Now, this would have been crazydriving enough for any mere mortal, but then Karen went above and beyond – above and beyond any hint of sanity, anyway – and also designed all the neat-ass swag we’ll be handing out from our booth in Toronto (that’s booth 181, folks!): bookmarks, postcards, and magnets. (The magnets are only available with purchase, though – ‘cause those shits are solid cool, and if they’re free, we’ll be out in an hour.) Honestly, if I’d known the stuff was gonna look this good, I would’ve said to the hell with all the book mishegas and just gone up to sell the swag.

But… but where IS the swag, Mere?  Where are all the pretty swag pictures?

And oh, you adorable little Bambis.

This place ain’t called EVIL Gal Productions for nothin’.


You don’t get to see the swag yet!



Until tomorrow, that is, when Eric will post a salacious blog on his site starring our most gorgeous indie-pub marketing beauties in all their au naturel glory.  (Every model guaranteed to be at least 18 days of age.)

Meantime, only one more announcement to make:




You do?

Goddamn right you do!  Who doesn’t want to win a Motherfuckin’ Grand Prize? Commies, that’s who! So don’t be a commie! Or at least, if you’re going to be a commie, be a commie who wants to win a Motherfuckin’ Grand Prize! Because in honor of #WOTSWEEK and the new site, we’re gonna have ourselves a drawing, and here’s the haul, y’all:

  • One signed paperback copy of Broken Magic
  • One signed paperback copy of Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death
  • One signed paperback copy of The Blood Room
  • Free e-books for all of the above – transferrable, if you like to share!
  • One signed paperback copy of You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth
  • One Demoncow magnet
  • One Magic magnet
  • One Cowface/Blood Room postcard
  • One Broken Magic postcard
  • One Evil Gal bookmark
  • One Broken Magic bookmark

Seriously, look at all that stuff!  That’s a lotta fuckin’ stuff you can regift! And you can be eligible to win the entire Word On The Street Deluxe Set if you do just one thing:

Succumb to the dark forces, put your email address in this box, and join my subscribers’ list!


(Rest assured, there’ll be no spam here, muchachos — and your email address will be kept Super Seekrit. You’ll be notified about new blog entries, gain access to subscribers-only discounts, and perhaps — once in a blue moon — get some new scripts or fiction shoved up your inbox. But that’s it! No more! Stop being so grabby!)

YOU GOTTA ACT FAST, THOUGH! The Word On The Street Drawing is only open from the time this blog is posted until 12:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, the day of the Festival — when a random winner will be chosen from my subscribers’ list, and then announced via live-tweet from the booth! Maybe I’ll even take a humiliating picture of Eric to tweet with it. (Ha! “Maybe”.)

So slap your addy in the box and take a shot at winning a Motherfuckin’ Grand Prize — and know you’ll never miss a thing from me or EGP!



Eric’s Emporium De Swag


September 15th, 2013 by Mere Smith

The Final Countdown

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!

At long last we’ve arrived at our exciting, weeklong dash to



(that’s Canada)

Word On The Street


Sunday, September 22

Queen’s Circle Park

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

After thousands of emails, texts, phone calls, Skypes, edits, re-edits, re-re-edits, re-re-re-edits, bitchings about perfectionism, proofreadings, layout clusterfucks, crying jags (FYI: totally not mine), endless and infinitesimal design changes, certainties, abrupt 180s, customer support harassings and generally busting our asses 24-7 for over a solid month (and sorry ’bout the resulting blog-neglect, by the way; don’t mind the cobwebs), my fellow author and webmaster-slash-bitch (@saalon) and I are finally ready to head to Canada’s largest book fair this weekend, with FOUR BOOKS to flog!

BROKEN MAGIC by Eric Sipple


THE BLOOD ROOM by Mere Smith

YOU HAVE LIPSTICK ON YOUR TEETH edited by Leslie Marinelli

(including the story, “Round-Headed Baby” by Mere Smith)

However, since we know many of our online friends and readers won’t be able to join us (what with that whole “traveling to a foreign country” thing), we’re making a special effort to include y’all in the run up to our becoming




(Yeah, there’s gotta be a better name for what we do.  That’s a fuckin’ mouthful.)


Prepare yourselves, as we have many announcements and surprises in store for you this week, including: alternating blog posts from us every day about the process we went (and are still going) through, the cover reveal of my new book, Cowface And Other Hilarious Stories About Death, sneak peeks at some of our exclusive Word On The Street swag, and a very, very special surprise on Wednesday!

But today’s little gem?

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce our project mascot, derived from my latest book:




designed by the one and only @Quotergal of RagtagDesign.com


Please give her the same sacrificial offerings in the Comment Section as you would hope to receive yourself.

Now, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that DemonCow has become my avatar for the week — and you may also know that for the last month, I’ve been tweeting interesting facts about Canada. Or at least, facts that find interesting.  For example, did you know that Canadians eat more Kraft Macaroni & Cheese than any other nation on Earth? These things are important cultural touchstones, people!  Don’t you think it’s time we learned a little something about our neighbors to the north, rather than just making fun of their snow and their “eh?” and their outstanding health care system and low, low rate of gun violence?

Me, too. So on Day 1 of #WOTSWEEK, familiarize yourself with our destination and learn:


Some Interesting Canadian Facts

  • The first image in available regularly scheduled television broadcast, in September 1952, was the station logo – upside down.
  • Ottawa has over 247 neighborhood outdoor skating rinks. They’re called “streets.”
  • It is illegal to PRETEND to practice witchcraft. Actually practicing it? Apparently fine.
  • 1 out of every single Canadian is Tatiana Maslany. (Bolded for truthiness.)
  • Lacrosse and hockey are Canada’s two “official” sports, because “nice” Canadians like to beat each other with sticks.
  • William Davies, whose pork-processing plant gave Toronto the name “Hogtown,” died after being butted by a goat.
  • Go to Dawson City, Yukon, and you can join the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club.” All you have to do is finish a drink (of anything!) with a real human toe in the bottom. The club’s motto says, “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow – but the lips have gotta touch the toe.”
  • Canadians call whole milk “homo milk” – because it’s homogenized – not because of its fabulous fashion sense.
  • Spread Eagle, Newfoundland, is next to Conception Bay, with a beautiful view of Dildo Arm. (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.)
  • Our demure northern cousins also use the phrase, “The Big O.” But they’re talking about Montreal Olympic Stadium.
  • The town of O’Leary is home to the Prince Edward Island Potato Museum. Admission $5. Potato-themed gift shop.
  • The CIA says the average Canadian lives 3 years longer than the average American. Too bad those 3 years are spent going, “Brrrr.”
  • The average person in Canada watches more than 20 hours of television per week. (Pfft. Amateurs.)
  • Canada is such a feminist country, the national animal is the beaver.
  • Ontario’s SNOLAB is the deepest clean laboratory in the world, dedicated to the study of neutrinos and dark matter.
  • In 2012, Manitoba was named “Slurpee Capital of the World” – for the 13th year running. An average 180,000 Slurpees are sold each month.
  • Canadians divide their year into the following seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.
  • Along the east coast of Canada, McDonalds serves a seasonal sandwich called the McLobster, a soft roll containing lobster, diced celery, and salad dressing.
  • In 1967 the world’s first UFO Landing Pad opened in St. Paul, Alberta. The Minister of National Defense attended.
  • Dawson Creek is actually a town in British Columbia.
  • Loch Ness Who? Canada has its own lake creature, Ogopogo, who allegedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.
August 7th, 2013 by Mere Smith

You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth


Check this shit out!




All work and no play put Mere on top of the Amazon Best-Seller List!

Also probably in a home, but that’s not for at least a year. Or maybe a little less.


Right, so that last post where I said I have two books coming out in September?

 You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth


This is my third book and it comes out TODAY! 


(And yes, my third book is coming out before my first book and second book,
but there was a scheduling thing and you know what? Just go with it.)


Now granted, I’m stretching a bit, calling You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth “my” book. After all, I wrote one pseudofictional essay (so, like, 2% of the words) and then didn’t do any of the reading, decision-making, editing, designing or layout, because I’m enormously fucking lazy and I hate all that “working” shit. I mean, sit me down in front of a keyboard, I’ll bang on the buttons, but that’s pretty much all you’re getting from me. Though in all fairness, nobody asked me to do any of those other things like designing or layout… but I suppose it’s for the best since, again: enormously fucking lazy.

In reality,  “my” book is actually “our” book and the “our” are a bunch of sassy-badassy women I am proud to know and read online (and who you should read, too – make sure you check their bios for URLs!), all of whom deserve more credit for this book than I do, none moreso than Leslie Marinelli (@TheBeardedIris), our beloved editor, with whom I had a long, earnest email exchange over altering the sentence, “And then I farted.”

(Turned out we both hated it – I fucking hated it when I wrote it, but couldn’t come up with anything better on my own — until Leslie and I collaborated and came up with “writhing colon.” Much more evocative; I’m quite proud of the line now.  As for her, I’m sure she wishes I had never told you any of this.)


But why did you wait so long to talk about this book, Mere?


Hey first, how’d you get access to my blog and why are you yelling at me in bold?

And secondly, the folks responsible for this anthology swore all its contributors to Girl Omerta, which is nothing to screw with. You think cement shoes and the deep sea are scary, try anonymous midnight texts quoting Gwyneth Paltrow:


Beauty fades! I just turned 29, so I probably don’t have that many good years left in me.


Some days I feel like everyone in my world has plugged themselves into my kidneys.


I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.



That’s fucked up, y’all.

Everyone should want to eat cheese from a tin.

Hence I kept my mouth shut despite my desperate desire to shriek from the highest heights, “I’m in this awesome-tits new book and I’m the third story and that’s gotta be some kind of special fucking numerology, right? I have superpowers now?”

Thus, without further ado,

You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth



There are scads of talented, intelligent women’s voices in here, and besides that, mine too!

July 28th, 2013 by Mere Smith



(When my wordy ass is your TL;dr it might be time to get an editor. – Eric)

I write.

A lot.

And in a lot of different ways.

I write TV shows, movies, novels, short stories, essays, blogs, poetry – shh, don’t tell anyone; it’ll ruin all that cred I just built up by saying I write blogs  – and pretty much everything else it’s not illegal for me to write.  (Because when your bank says, “Stop writing checks to Cash for five million dollars because you do not have five million dollars Cash, you insane person,” apparently that’s like some law you’re supposed to follow.)

(Isn’t this the year of Glorious Mistakes? Why don’t you give it a try and see how it goes?)

A lot of this writing I get paid for, which some writers will say is “really nice,” or that they’re “very fortunate” – but me, I will flat-out tell you to your face that getting paid to write is fucking bugnuts orgasm dream-glittery awesomecakes, and though I have been fortunate in some respects, I have also written and produced my chair-flattened ass off through sleepless nights and skipped vacations and mental breakdowns so fuck that “fortunate” shit, I earned it.

But I also write stuff I don’t get paid for, like the obscene amount of time I spend crafting witty 140-character bons mots for Twitter (in my head: Parker incarnate; once posted: the idiot keyboard-punchings of an inbred Sasquatch) (punched by a Sasquatch is exactly what it feels like). Still, I enjoy Twitter immensely, not only for its writing opportunities – you have to be funny, fast, and succinct – something I, more of a long-form gal, always need practice with – but also because the people you follow on Twitter – the very real, human people you come to know through daily check-ins, week after week, sometimes years – they become more than avatars, updates, words.  After a while they become friends.

@saalon*, however, is like one of those tropical parasitic worms you don’t even realize you’ve picked up until it’s too late and it’s feeding off your liver and you’re in the hospital with jaundice hooked up to a bunch of machines and death seems a mercy.

(This…this is the nicest thing you’ve ever said about me, Mere. I need a moment.)

Yes, we’ve formed a merry little hate club within our shared circles on Twitter, @saalon and I – my acting the part of Murderous Badass de Sade, and him the Brechtian Cowardly Lion.  I insult him the same way I insult my brothers – which is to say, profanely, violently,  demeaningly – only without any actual affection attached because… eggh.  I tolerate his persistent intrusion into my life because I occasionally find him useful, and this one time when I was depressed he sent me cupcakes that were bigger than my head.

And I found that useful. (You didn’t get diabetes, so I didn’t.)

@saalon is also extremely organized (my wife just laughed herself into unconsciousness) and knows how to do things – things adults know how to do, like running my website, making travel plans, setting up schedules and deadlines, and somehow forcing my computer to stop doing that weird rrrrrclick sound – from 3,000 miles away in Pittsburgh.  None of these things I could do on my own.  Well, I mean, I guess I could learn to do them but I’m very lethargic and if he wants to be all Hey Gee I’m Competent Guy (this is making me feel great about keeping this website up), hell, be my guest…

One thing @saalon also is, is a writer, same as me.

He published a book called Broken Magic last year, and this year he decided to go to the Toronto Word On The Street Festival — which is this gigantic fucking book fair that over 200,000 people attend every year — to promote and sell it.  When he told me he was doing that, I thought it was a cool, brave idea (wait, what?) – real indie Amanda Palmer TED Talk Art Of Asking proactivity – though I made sure to tell him he’d never sell a single copy and his failure would no doubt disappoint his wife for the last time causing her to leave him after which he’d inevitably die alone in an apartment redolent of cat urine (oh, that’s better).  Like you do.

But then, since he knew I’d been mulling a short story collection for a while, and one of my paying gigs was almost over, he asked if I wanted to publish the collection and come up to Toronto to share the excruciating experience of two people with mood disorders trapped in a tiny booth all day facing down the Canadian Literary Horde.

And I was all, “Hell YEAH I wanna do that!”

And he was like, “Yeah?”

And I was like, “HELL yeah!  But do you still have to go?”

(And now I’m like, “How drunk was I and why didn’t that much alcohol kill me?”)



(that’s Canada!)






We’ll be selling brand-smackin’ new books!

BROKEN MAGIC by Eric Sipple

THE BLOOD ROOM by Mere Smith

(and my newly-published collection!)








I, personally, would love to see any and all members of the Twitter Asylum, as well as all readers, potential readers, TV geeks, their families, friends, general practitioners, their general practitioners’ general practitioners, AFP fans, gravediggers, pirates, and kaiju!

Join us in Toronto!

(Please! You can’t leave me alone in that booth with her! That’s too much pain to bear!)

* @saalon, aka Eric, aka Sipple, aka Nipple, aka Sipple the Nipple, aka Princess Sippy Cup, aka Sissycat, aka Sisyphus Sissycat
June 2nd, 2013 by Mere Smith

A Rerun? Debatable.

As you may or may not know, I’m a guest on “The Debatable Podcast” today (their first anniversary!), and due to my mouth being so incredibly fucking large and mechanical with the yap-yap-yap, I will also be the guest on next week’s episode, since they had to split my interview into two parts so as not to overwhelm you with my giant crazy.

[[Disclaimer: My giant crazy is totally overwhelming even in short bursts. Caveat streamer/downloader.]]

But what can I say? For me, it’s cheaper than seeing the shrink, plus y’all aren’t all up in my face giving me good advice I know I should take, but will resent you for anyway.  Win-win.

I mean win-win for me.  Y’all’re the poor schmoes who’ll be listening to the yap-yap-yap.

During the podcast I talk about my life, how I started writing, the various shows I’ve worked on, and a whole bunch of other stuff that’ll probably prevent me from ever getting another job in Hollywood.  (In other words, I’m honest. Really, really stupidly honest. Oh, and sometimes slap-your-mama profane. Kind of a trademark.)

For those of you who don’t already know me, though, or follow this blog, I’m re-posting links here to my 2012 series, “The Pilot Season Experiment,” which explains the almighty suckhole that is TV staffing season — and why it is especially sucky for anyone with a cooch and some tits.

So if you prefer your Mere Smith seen-but-not-heard (and really, who doesn’t?), feel free to enjoy my agony in its text version.

Otherwise, hie thee to Debatable!


* * *


One woman’s descent into

actually giving a shit what she looks like

for the sake of a job.


THE INTRO  – My heartfelt, well-intentioned, yet painfully shallow mission statement.


STEP ONE – Botox, bitches!


STEP TWO – Hair today, gone tomorrow! (Ugh, that was awful. I hereby fire me from my own blog.)


(Sorry. I had to rehire me. No one else would write all this for a bag of donut holes. I will.)


STEP THREE – Motherfucking SPANX. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.


STEP FOUR – What to wear over your motherfucking SPANX.


STEP FIVE –  War  Paint.


THE OUTRO – The story is resolved. Some important lessons are learned. And there’s a moral. Yeah, I said it. A fucking MORAL.


September 25th, 2012 by Mere Smith

I’m Kloutta Here! PART III — Fuck Popularity, I’m A Writer!

Klout wore make-up.

Glittery, shiny, vomitously gaudy make-up that only appeals during that narrow kid-to-teen window — simply because any make-up signifies adulthood – and since you’ve yet to learn the adult lesson of moderation, slap on as much of that shit as your face will hold!



Klout’s version of make-up, though, is the candy-colored temptation of seeing – pseudo-quantitatively! – exactly how popular you are compared to everyone else online.  It’s just like middle school, when an up or down thumb from a Mean Girl can define your social fate for years – either elevating you to one of the elite, or punching your ticket for the express train to Dork City.

Yet no matter where people end up, everyone still wants to popular.

Yes, everyone.

Don’t even bother pretending, all y’all “Well it doesn’t matter to meposeurs.

You’re all fucking lying, and we all fucking know it, so get the hell off your own pedestal and take your meds.

* * *

I joined Klout… oh, I wanna say a year ago, but maybe it only feels that way – like holding an excruciating yoga pose.

Every second lasted a day, every minute a millennium,  because once I was in its clutches – once I’d swallowed the illusion that “all the cool kids are doing it” – I was as helpless and hopeless as an 11 year-old girl swimming in purple eyeliner and a push-up bra.

Initially that was all right, though, because…

ZOMG!  The Mean Girl liked me!

(Every woman reading this knows what that means: good hair and cute outfits and romantic jocks [wha?] who will scrawl bad poetry for you on lined notebook paper, and aren’t afraid of the hallway PDA that will solidify your status as desirable.  Truth be told, in sixth grade I would’ve sold my own mother to human traffickers just to feel socially accepted.  Sorry, Mom.  Guess you’re lucky I was an irredeemable geek.)

Because back when I first joined Klout – compelled by that formerly dormant middle-school yearning (“But do you really like me?  Like, do you really, like like me?” ) – I was delighted to discover I already had a relatively high Klout score, thanks to my recent dive back into the net, where I was now spending upwards of 50 hours a week.  Blogging, tweeting, YouTubing, reading and commenting on articles – news, pop culture, music, science, art, technology – as well as on other folks’ blogs, which I found endlessly fascinating, as I’m always, subconsciously or otherwise, storing people and voices in my mental Character Bank for future use in my writing.

And since I still hadn’t found The Thing yet – that reason to leap out of bed in the morning – I didn’t even feel guilty about it.


Reading (the entirety of the Interwebs) is FUNdamental!


I called it “research.”

I was researching this new world – Internet 3.0 – and once more, slowly but steadily, relearning cyberspeak.  For example, discovering that 1) no one really uses the word “cyber” anymore, and 2) what the meanings of acronyms like “smh,” “ffs,” “fml,” and “asl” were.  (Initially I thought the last one referred to sign language, which confused the hell out of me.)

Becoming more proficient made me feel good – connected – in the inner circle – and Klout was with me the whole way, encouraging me to wear those shoes with that skirt (one +K!), to try this iridescent lip gloss (two +K’s!), to snog that acne-ridden boy in eighth grade because HE WAS IN EIGHTH GRADE, ffuckingfs!  (Three fucking +K’s!  BAM!)

God help me, I even convinced some of my online friends to join Klout.

Though I didn’t need any special help in this department, that may be the tipping point of why I’ll eventually go to Hell.

* * *

Then suddenly – oh holy of holies! – I found The Thing.

Or rather, it found me.  Like it always does.

I’d been going to meeting after meeting with production companies, networks, studios, and indie producers.  Sitting in rooms with excited Suits, bored Suits, kind Suits, dim Suits, brilliant Suits, Suits who stared right through me, Suits who told me, point-blank, “We’re not interested in any shows with a female lead” (true story!), Suits who said they loved my work… but just didn’t have a property that would fit my “special skills.”

(I’m relatively certain “special skills” means “vagina and opinion”.  As in, “We think you’re super good at all those action/horror/comedy/sci-fi/fantasy script-thingies.  But you have a vagina and an opinion.  So we don’t know what to do with that.”)

However, at last I found a production company that owned the rights to a fabulous graphic novel I got really, really excited about.  It was straight-up action — but big, operatic, set in an exotic milieu that’s never been explored in-depth on TV before.  (And considering shows like “B.J. And The Bear” and “I Was Impaled” have been made?  That’s saying a lot.)  I came up with a pitch – a pitch that added a little comedy, widened the world a bit – and before I knew it, the company had hired me to develop The Thing.

Now, not only was this a reprieve from my internal dictator – the one that periodically flagellates me with a whip made of “What the shit are you DOING with your life?” – but the project itself inspired me.  It brought on a deluge of ideas: characters, arcs, themes, emotional resonances, universe-building, and more.

In fact, it turns out The Thing is kinda like Soviet Russia: you don’t work on it; it works on you.

So I surrendered myself.  Spent hours and hours and hours (and hours and hours and… you get the idea) working and stretching The Thing like pizza dough blessed by Jeebus Himself: I started out with a pound, but the more I kneaded and rolled it, the bigger it got, until I had 4 tons of pizza dough, enough to feed the 5,000 a dozen times over.


For the record, this really is the world’s largest pizza.  How do you know?  Cranes.


So I was genuinely happy.

For a while.

But in those first heady months of developing The Thing, it seemed I’d forgotten the cardinal rule of being popular:

Pay continual obeisance to the Mean Girl — or you are in for a world of hurt.

* * *

I went on vacation.

Naturally, because I’m allergic to sun and beer, this just meant I went somewhere and stopped working on The Thing for a while.  This is good, and necessary – a lesson I learned the hard way several years ago – because if you don’t take a break every now and then, you will liquefy your brain and – much, much worse – you will find yourself hating The Thing.

And then watch out, bub – because The Thing will hate you right back.

Ask any former Soviet what happens after that.

Anyway, thanks to writing The Thing all day every day, my online involvement had dropped to its lowest levels since I’d plugged back in.  Correspondingly, my Klout score took a nosedive, and Klout started prodding me in the classic way of all Mean Girls.  You know, pushing me to do shit I didn’t really want to do, just to demonstrate my loyalty, just to stay in the group.

At first I was afraid (I was petrified!) (sorry, that’s—  it’s involuntary, I’m sorry), because finally, for once, I had been in the popular clique, and I didn’t want to lose my “prestige.”  Never mind that this “prestige” was based on an equation they wouldn’t tell me about – exactly like a Mean Girl – or that the rewards of this “prestige” were things like diet drinks and nail polish.

Fuck, this metaphor is getting scary accurate.

So while I was on “vacation,” I gorged on the net in a futile effort to prove my devotion.  Binged, bloated, and in the end, force-fed myself websites like one of those geese they later split open for paté.

But still Klout told me I wasn’t going to enough parties.

So I joined LinkedIn.  I joined G+.  I joined Tumblr.

Klout told me I wasn’t being funny enough to get Retweeted.

So I started pushing myself to come up with more jokes, one-liners, light and fluffy and blatantly desperate to be noticed.

Klout told me I wasn’t keeping up with the in-crowd, posting enough funny cat pictures on G+ or re-posting enough of someone else’s funny cat pictures.


I can’t talk about this part.


Basically the Mean Girl was saying I was no fun anymore, and inevitably bound for the Dork City Express — so I began frantically doing everything I could think of to raise my Klout score, which was still going down like a hooker at a stag party.

I spent more time on LinkedIn.  I G+’d.  I Tumblr’d.  I blogged, tweeted, left messages on every site with a Comment box…

…but nothing helped.

Down, down, down went my score, the little slut.

Apparently the Mean Girl had decreed that I was now -K unkool.

* * *

 So I came back from vacation and suddenly had two things to obsess over:

The Thing

 – and –

Begging the Mean Girl to let me back into the clique.

Pathetic, right?

Well, never underestimate the staying power of a lonely, bullied, emotionally-scarred childhood.

(It’s partly why we become Writers in the first place.  Functional people need not apply.)

And so I bowed and scraped and kissed the hem by continuing to spend disgusting amounts of time on inane online fuckery I didn’t even care about just to raise my Klout score — which, of course, took time away from The Thing.

Time — that commodity most precious to any Writer — something we’d kill to manipulate, if only we could go through that draft just once more, because we know we could make it better, swear to god, if we only had a little more time.  I was squandering it all on a Mean Girl who didn’t give an eight-millionth of a fuck about me, when I should’ve been paying attention to that true childhood friend I’d always taken for granted: the Writing.

Finally, after one weekend in which I spent — no shit, y’all — 18 hours online without writing a damn word of The Thing, it hit me like a bus in a Final Destination movie:


I’m not kidding.  It was like a physical kick in the gut, reminiscent of every shallow, awful “realization” I came to in middle school. “Realizations” like: You are never going to be beautiful.  Your teeth are crooked and your face is pimpled and you are stupid and weird and use long words nobody understands.  No one is ever going to like you.   People think you’re a loser, a fake, a joke.  (For the record, I am 99.98% cured of those thoughts today — and that leftover .02% only hits me when I’m already down, like an opportunistic yeast infection.)  However, now well into my thirty-somethings, I know those “realizations” are nothing but fears, and those fears can’t hurt you if you refuse their existence.

So that’s what I did.

I refused Klout’s existence.

I cancelled my account, and happily re-boarded the Dork City Express.

Luckily, The Thing had saved me a seat.

For much as I’d loved being one of the popular kids, much as it seemed to heal those wounds I’d sustained growing up, the true realization was that I didn’t need to be popular anymore.  I didn’t need to be constantly petted and reassured (no more than any other Writer, anyway).  I had found my self-worth in my work, in my writing — despite my “special skills” — and not even the Mean Girls could take that away from me.  At least, not without getting unpolished fingernails clawed into their glittery eyes.

And so this is the crux of my entire Klout warning: you can only have one Thing at a time.  Sure, sure, you can always work on several projects at once – what Writer doesn’t?  (Answer: The dead ones.)  But only one of those Things can be your BFF, and trust me, Klout is not it.  Klout was only waiting until I truly believed I was popular, so that my subsequent misery at being ejected from the clique would drive me to the ludicrous lengths I went to in order to re-ingratiate myself with it.

As my mom — a brilliant woman (whom I did not sell to human traffickers this time, either) — told me when I was in sixth grade, and which I am only now coming to appreciate fully:

If they don’t like you for you?

Fuck ’em.