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In the continuing saga of my three year old's scatalogical interests, he was pooping on the toilet and my wife pointed out his poo in the water. 
He looked and went, "No, it's just shit!"
Cue maniacal laughter from his dad.
Then, just now, he stuck his rear in his brother's face and went, "Look at my butt cheeks!"
He is his father's son.
AsaParenting PoorlyPoo
So I tell my friend, Jan Jordan, who also happens to be a gourmet cook, "I really want to learn how to make pasta."
Without hesitation, he replies: "Oh, that's easy. You just open the bag and put it in boiling water."
So one of my faithful readers finished Robby the R-Word today, and she, being an elderly lady, liked the writing, but didn't like the "f-word" being used so much (she must have not been paying attention while reading Minister of Justice) and hated ... HATED the lesbian sex scene in the middle of the book. 
She seemed to be OK with the lot lizard sex scene toward the end of the book, and the sex scene where a dude beats his wife to death during the act, but two consenting adult women—oh, hell no.
So it's not sex scenes she's against, it's just lesbian sex. She even overtly approved of the underage sex scene in Minister of Justice.
Now, don't get me wrong. I like this lady. Always have, always will. And I think it's perfectly OK to not like a book. In fact, I give her kudos for being able to coherently elucidate exactly the reasons she didn't like it. So I'm not talking shit about her. Instead, I'm using her to make a point: not every book is for every person.
The dozen or so other readers I've heard from personally all loved that scene—and the book. But a reader I like didn't. At least she was honest about it, which I also treasure. 
All that said, you'll never know just how offensive the lesbian sex scene really is if you don't buy the book and check it out for yourself!
Ha! See what I did there? I just sold ice to an Eskimo! (Hint: the lesbian sex scene is way more offensive than that Eskimo line). Shoo. Go buy the book.
ReviewsRobby the R-WordSplash of Girl-on-Girl sex
I chose that headline because of the double meaning, obviously. 
I love to watch The F Word on FOX. That said, i don't think a lot of people are watching it, and I'll explain why.
The show is hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, a Michelin Star chef who is as famous for his tirades in the kitchen as for his universally lauded dishes. Each week, he posts the recipe he will be featuring that week on Twitter, and then, during the live show on Wednesday nights, he will sometimes feature some of the dishes prepared by viewers. 
But lately, he hasn't been, and when I went to the recipes earlier today (they post them the day before), they only had 16 likes—for a nationwide show. 
That said, I'm a Gordon Ramsay disciple, and that means I have tried to fix his recipes each week (skipped the chicken parm last week, though). This week was the first week I posted a picture on Twitter for them to peruse, although my pork chops in week 1 were to die for, but I cooked them after the show had aired. 
The dish above is a New York Steak, Sautéed Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes and homemade Smokey Barbecue Sauce. Overall, I'd say the dish was a great success (though I'm glad there are no comments on here, because I'm certain Jan Jordan would have something smartass to say about the aggressive sear on my steaks). The outside of the steak did get a little crispy, but the inside was cooked to medium-rare perfection. 
Overall, I think the recipe is largely a keeper, although I'd change up the barbecue sauce a little because I don't like chipotle that much. 
My wife is a vegan, so I took two vegan burgers, coated them in the rub used on the steaks, and cooked them on top of hot grapeseed oil. She said they were delicious, so I guess the rub is definitely a keeper. Other than that, to make the meal vegan, I only had to leave the Worchestershire sauce out of the barbecue sauce (it has anchovies in it), and use margarine instead of butter in the sautéed mushroom sauce.
Anyway, watch The F Word on Fox on Wednesdays. It's a fun show, and any show that can engage me enough to make me want to cook its recipes before it airs is a good show.
CookingTVGordon Ramsay
I finished writing Father of Malice in February. If you haven't read the ad nauseum entries below, I wrote the entire thing (just over 90,000 words) in two weeks. 
That's all well and good, but I hate writing query letters (essentially a four or five-paragraph pitch to agents asking them to represent the book. I wrote a query letter toward the end of February, and sent it to one agent, which was a mistake. Because the query letter sucked. It focused on the protagonist and his struggle, which isn't a bad thing on its face, but the danger in the book, the horror, stems from a much larger picture than the main character, and the query letter I wrote back then woefully failed to capture that.
So last week, I gave it another shot. I haven't sent it out to any agents yet, but I thought I'd post it here. Somehow, seeing something in public helps me view it with new eyes. So here it is:
Haskell City is being stalked by an evil so ancient, the darkest recesses of human nightmares can't recall it—a shadowy malice that spreads, both killing people and replicating itself with brutal efficiency. The malicious force is infiltrating surrounding cities, including the strange cult outside town that worships it. 
Scott Drury, a big-city editor forced to take a job at the tiny town’s newspaper after a scandal at his old paper on the west coast, is thrust into the middle of a supernatural war he doesn’t believe in, much less understand. The mysterious antique library at his new house seems to compel him to fight the son of an archangel — just as his new girlfriend wants to pull him away from the fray. Could the demigod embattling the city be using Scott as a pawn in a celestial war to instigate an epoch of evil on the earth?
In Father of Malice, (90,000 words), the reluctant and unlikely forces of good face off with a tangible evil intent on foisting a 700-year reign of terror upon mankind.
I am the author of two trade-published novels — Minister of Justice (Moonshine Cove, 2016) and Robby the R-Word (2017, Promontory Press) — and a true crime book, Deadly Vows (2015, New Horizon Press).
I'm not sure if this is the final form the letter will take or not. Right now, it's just an exercise to get my mind working so I can refine it to send to agents. I don't allow comments on this site, but if you want to tell me what you think, email me here
UPDATE: Now that I've let it sit for a few days, I see a lot of weaknesses in that letter. The first two sentences repeat each other, and the first one is too long. With too many adjectives. The third sentence should end at "supernatural war," and should delete "on the west coast," since Scott was already established as a "big-city editor." No need to belabor the point. The fourth sentence should change "at" his new house to "in". That sentence should also delete everything after "archangel". No need to introduce a character here that doesn't get mentioned again. Fifth sentence, "embattling" is a weak word; "on the earth" could go, too. These are all just notes for me. Feel free to ignore them.
UPDATE 2: Here's my new iteration of the query letter:
Haskell City is being stalked by an evil so ancient, the darkest recesses of human nightmares can't recall it—a shadowy malice lurking just outside our most animalistic fears. When a man is instantly mummified in a seedy motel, the malicious force infiltrates the small town with a speed and force no one can resist, including the strange cult outside town that worships it. 
Scott Drury, a big-city editor forced to take a job at the tiny town’s newspaper after a scandal at his old paper, is now unwillingly thrust into the middle of a supernatural war. The mysterious antique library in his new house—and the ghosts of the people dying in the city—compel him to fight the son of an archangel. Could the demigod silently slaughtering the city be using Scott as a pawn in a celestial war to instigate an epoch of evil?
In Father of Malice, (90,000 words), the reluctant and unlikely forces of humanity face off with a demigod intent on foisting a reign of terror upon mankind.
I am the author of two trade-published novels — Minister of Justice (Moonshine Cove, 2016) and Robby the R-Word (2017, Promontory Press) — and a true crime book, Deadly Vows (2015, New Horizon Press).

REBOOT: Blah. I hated both of those. So I completely rethought my thinking, or whatever. Here's the new one:
The last situation Scott Drury thought he’d find himself in was a fight with an angel’s malicious spawn, who invades the minds and bodies of regular people, inciting them to viciously murder those they love most. They don’t teach that kind of stuff in journalism school, and he certainly never ran across any half-angels or spirits at his old job as a big-city newspaper editor. Now, however, in a small town in Oklahoma, he has been thrust face-to-face with the offspring of the Angel of Death.
What’s Scott supposed to do—critique the thing to death? The ghosts of the recently killed who are haunting him don’t seem to care that he’s not qualified, as they beg him to stop the spreading malice before it infects even more people. Digging deep for courage he’s sure he doesn’t have, he must stand up to the evil, or face becoming its captive for the rest of his life. 
In FATHER OF MALICE (90,000 words, horror), humanity collides with supernatural powers bent on foisting their wills on humankind, and Scott Drury must come to grips with a sullied past that cost him everything once and threatens to do it again. Combined with themes of workplace trysts, teenage angst and coming of age, the terror comes from the depths of depravity lurking inside humans.
I am the author of two trade-published novels — Minister of Justice (Moonshine Cove, 2016) and Robby the R-Word (2017, Promontory Press) — and a true crime book, Deadly Vows (2015, New Horizon Press).
I think that's much better.
UPDATE: No. Those all suck. I'm working on an entirely new idea. Ignore all the shit that precedes this sentence.
Father of MaliceQuery Letters
The title to this entry was going to be the queen of physical comedy, but I figured, in the wake of the Bill Mohr racism thing, that might come off as horribly homophobic.
Of course, me saying that is a lot like the band Guar, responding to the Bill Mohr thing, saying, "Hey, we use the N-word all the time, and no one gets upset!" I guess being non-famous has its benefits. 
But I'm talking about David Hyde Pierce, the actor who played Niles on Frazier. If you're unfamiliar with that show, skip this entry.
I couldn't call him the king of physical comedy, because no one beats John Ritter, but Pierce is a close second, and I think, quite underrated. In Frazier, his prime source of humor was his unrequited lust (at least unrequited for several seasons) for Daphne, the nurse to his and Frazier's father. That lust led to so many funny moments, from the first time he tried to push himself up to sit on a counter and failed miserably until his head hit a pot rack, the vent hood and he slipped to the ground, or the infamous ironing scene, where he cuts his hand, faints at the sight of the blood, then awakens, sees the blood and faints again, repeatedly. 
He is, without reservation, a master at playing the straight man while stumbling all over the place, never breaking his fuddy duddy act. 
Perfection. If you haven't watched Frazier in awhile, I recommend it, if only for David Hyde Pierce's amazing performances.
The dead grass there is Roundup's fault. There's a steep drop-off there that I can't hit with the mower. Shut up. Anyway, the drain side of the pool is now plumbed with PVC. After we get the pool to a swimmable condition, I'll also plumb the return side, but it's working for now, so it can wait.
When we bought the house we're now in, it had stood vacant for several years; it's way out in the country, the real estate listing online only listed half the square footage and neglected to mention many of the house's amenities, and the owners had moved to Oregon, so they weren't maintaining the property. 
Anyway, I got all that taken care of once we bought the house, but we bought the house in late autumn or early winter, so I didn't mess with the pool. 
Well, a thousand bucks later, let me tell you: mess with the pool as early as possible. 
The pool's winter top had slid off, and our property is loaded with trees, so the bottom of the pool had like a foot of rotted leaves in it, and the rest of the pool was brown like a swamp:
Dead squirrel, anyone? Yes, that was the water in the pool. The fragrance was sublime.

The pump wouldn't start, so I switched out the capacitor and got it running. 
Not the simplest of problems to track down.

Then the leaf trap next to the pump started leaking from a huge crack down the side that someone had sealed with bad epoxy. Then the seals started leaking. 
So I discovered the trap is hard to find, which meant I needed to fix the bad repair job, which I did. Twice. On the third repair, the flexible hose leading from the pool's leaf trap to the pump's leaf trap broke a fitting as I was tightening it. Fuck that shit. Frustrated, I went to Lowe's and bought a bunch of PVC pipe, which is what you see in the picture above. OK, that problem solved, now I just have to work in cleaning up the outside of the pool and letting the chemicals do their trick on the inside. I'm going to replace the other flexible hose with PVC later, but right now, everything's working, so I'm not jumping right into that one. 
I said all that to say this: Remember when I said all little boys think wieners are funny and posted a picture of my five-year-old pretending his corndog was a wiener? Well, my three-year-old was "helping" me plumb the PVC, but all he could think of to do was, you guessed it: 
That barn behind him, by the way, I think is hideous. But my wife loves the "patina", so red and silver it stays.
Anyway, apparently, if you find a piece of pipe laying around, it automatically becomes a wiener.
This is the pool's water this morning, which still isn't swimmable, but much better than a swamp with a dead squirrel floating on it. You can see about three feet of hose beneath the water there, which is a major improvement.
It has taken my wife and me working steadily for two weeks, tons of chemicals, lots of broken skimmer equipment and enough frustration to make Gandhi punch someone in the throat to get the water to a place where you can see anything beneath the surface. Hopefully, now that the filtration system is fully operational, it won't take much longer to see clear water.
The moral is dual: Wieners are always funny. And make sure you take care of your pool, because fixing it after neglect is a major pain in the butt.
AsaAxlCountry LivinDIYFamilyParenting PoorlyWieners
My complimentary copies of Robby the R-Word arrived today in the mail. So, of course, I re-read the book, which I've read like a hundred times to date.
My good friend, Jan Jordan, is reading the book now, and he mentioned today that he really loved Chapter 10, which is also my favorite chapter, which describes the world from Robby's perspective, and a surprisingly emotional memory of his mother, which chokes me up every time I re-read it.
This re-read, however, I also got choked up on a much later chapter, which I hadn't to this point been affected by. Honestly, I hadn't expected to be affected by the book after this many reads, but a much later chapter that describes ... well, I'm not going to spoil it for you, apparently ... also choked me up. I've never been affected by something I've written in this way, so I guess what I'm saying is, BUY THE BOOK
You will not regret it. Guaranteed. 
Robby the R-WordBuy My Shit
Fuck you, Calista Flockhart. 
You sit out the entire second season of Supergirl, and as a result, I decide I'm not going to buy the third season. 
And then, in the season two finale, you show up and make me remember why I loved this series. Emotional, personal, realistic, believable emotions crystallized in a hardass boss who has a heart of gold buried beneath the hardened surface.
Supergirl is shit without Calista Flockhart, and if she is in Season Three, I'll buy it. And fuck you, CW, for holding her back for an entire season. If she'd  been in the show more over the past season, I would have never complained. 
Realize a good thing when you have it, and pay her double, triple, to travel to Toronto and film the next season, because she is the only good thing about this show.
TVCalista Flockhart
My Three Year Old, just now: Daddy, let me tell you a joke.
Me: Okay.
Asa: Why is your butt around the corner?
Me: I dunno. Why?
Asa: Because you ran over it. (Cackles maniacally)
The story below appeared on my news site.

Latest Leif M. Wright book launches tomorrow

Monday, May 22, 2017, 9:21 AM

Disclaimer: This story is about Leif M. Wright, the owner of

Robby the R-Word launches nationally tomorrow.

Robby the R-Word, the latest novel by Leif M. Wright (me), launches nationally tomorrow, May 23. The book follows the story of Robby Turner, who has been trapped for 40 years inside a body that won’t move or communicate with the outside world. Now, however, he has received a special computer that lets him communicate for the first time, and people around him start falling victim to a mysterious attacker.

The book is important to me, because it’s dedicated to my cousin, Cydney Cox of Norman, and her toddler son, Maddox, who was murdered earlier this year. It was formerly dedicated to the late Kristi Fry of Muskogee and his youngest son, who suffers from physical ailments similar to Robby’s.

In the novel, which was written more than a year ago, Robby is severely handicapped after being traumatically beaten as a child. In real life, Maddox was killed in the same way, and, feeling helpless to do much else, I wanted to honor Maddox by changing the dedication.

The book had already gone to press when Maddox died, but I asked the people at Promontory Press, its publisher, if there was any way we could change the dedication page. The publisher didn’t even flinch. They rearranged everything so the dedication could change, even so close to the book’s release date.

The book is now available at, and will be in bookstores nationwide tomorrow. 

A boxful of the books is en route to me, and as soon as they arrive, we will have a launch party and signing. Keep posted here.

Here is the press release Promontory sent out about the book:

MUSKOGEE, OK – Promontory Press is pleased to announce the publication of Robby the R-Word, a chilling new murder mystery by award-winning author Leif M. Wright. The book is scheduled for North American release on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Robby Turner has been completely paralyzed for forty years. He’s a vegetable in a wheelchair — at least, that’s what everyone thinks. Then he receives a special computer that allows him to communicate. 

Now, brutal assaults and murders by a clumsy assailant have Detective Bain determined to catch the perp while struggling to keep her messy personal life from ruining her chance — and career. Meanwhile, Robby has been watching and hearing everything, and he’s been doing his own detective work. But can Bain trust Robby? After all, the clues are starting to point toward him.

“The plot has enough twists, turns and unearthing of unexpected connections between the characters to keep readers guessing,” says Publishers Weekly, adding that the novel “has a lot going for it.”

Leif M. Wright is the author of a previous novel, Minister of Justice(2015) and a true crime book, Deadly Vows (2014). A longtime journalist, computer programmer, professional musician, business owner and former ghost writer, he lives on a ranch near Muskogee, Oklahoma with his wife, three children and too many animals to count.

Robby the R-Word is available for order at and at fine bookstores everywhere.

For more information about Leif M. Wright, please visit: Website: Facebook: LeifMWright

I am the MediaRobby the R-Word