If you are not yet aware, my first, full length, Norman Oklahoma novel is now available for pre-order for just 99 cents. Click here if you'd like to get it now before it becomes $3.99 when it is released on April 28, 2018.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about Norman Oklahoma.

The Regarding Norman series is a chance for me to talk about all the dumb things I've done with Norman Oklahoma.

And by dumb things, I mean releasing books or stories that weren't ready, then taking them down, then trying them again, only to take them down again.

Sounds exhausting, right.

It was.

But I had to do it. I had to get through all of that to get to where I am now.

So let's talk about all that.

Last time I talked about how Norman Oklahoma got started.

Today, let's just go from there.

The first book I started, but never finished, was back in September of 2009 and was called:


I had grand plans at the time (still do). Norman was going to be pulled into another world, a fantasy world, where he had to find a pair of magical guns, the Golden Guns, and with them save the world.

I was 9,941 words in before I walked away for reasons I can't remember.

Looking back through those 9,941 I am surprised to find how much of it I'm still using. And not just for Norman Oklahoma. Some of it I'm using in Then a Penguin Walked In.

So I present to you now, the first chapter of Norman Oklahoma and the Quest for the Golden Guns, unedited. Nothing has been changed since it was first written eight years ago:



The Sun rose in East, which was typical of the Sun, really. I mean, everyone knows that, right? Everyone knows that the Sun rises in the East and then sets in the West?

Of course, the Sun isn’t really “rising”, that’s just an illusion that our brains create as the Earth itself is rotating in space. So while it looks as if the Sun is moving across the sky, it’s actually standing still, as we rotate towards and away from it.

But everyone knows that. Right?

Well, not everyone, I suppose. I mean, small children and folks of low intellect wouldn’t know that. Of course, I don’t belive that niether small children nor folks of low intellect would be reading this book.

Now I’m not saying that only those of high intellect could really get into a book like this, and I’m quite sure that anyone of high intellect who actually reads this book would agree. No, I’m speaking primarily of those people who can’t read.

Not that I’m saying that folks who can’t read are necessarily low on intellect, they could be doing mighty fine in the brains department, but were just never allowed the opportunity to take their brain out for a walk now and again due to a poorly run public school.

Of course, I ain’t saying that there’s anything necessarily wrong with the American public school system, or any school system world-wide. I’m just saying, is all.

Well, dang. I have to apologize here real quick as I seemed to have strayed somewhat from the central point of the story there.

To those of you who were willing to soldier through my little lapse in narrative coherence, I’m awfully sorry.

I’ll start again.

The Sun rose in East, which was typical of the Sun, really. What wasn’t typical for the Sun however, at least in the eyes of most scientists and intellectual-type people, is the way in which the Sun rose.

Most people view the Sun as nothing more than the star that is at the center of our solar system, the star around which all of the planets in our solar system revolve and from which they receive light, heat, and sometimes energy. What most people don’t know about the Sun however, is that while all of the above may be true, its primary existence is to annoy people and make them slightly irritated…the whole light, heat, and energy thing just being a happy byproduct.

There is a wide variety of sadistic and cruel ways in which the Sun can make someone relatively uncomfortable. There is, of course, the old favorite, the “sunburn”, which, when used properly, can leave the Sun’s victim in severe to moderate pain for days on end. The sunburn however, is just one, yet highly used, weapon in the Sun’s arsenal. The methods in which the Sun employs to inflict pain and misery really depend on the Sun’s prey, and of course, the Sun’s mood.

For the entirety of June, 1674, the Sun spent all of each day shining into the eyes of a Welshman named Sulwyn. Despite where the Welshman went, the Sun found a way through. Regardless of what Sulwyn used to shield his eyes, the Sun found a way through. In spite of any and all inclement weather, the Sun found a way through. In an almost child-like defiance of all known laws of physics, the Sun found a way through. It was not an unusual occurrence to find the unfortunate Welshman crying softly to himself, following that trying month of June, 1674.

On a Saturday in July, 1987, a woman named Fran had the temerity, at least from the Sun’s point of view, to spend a day of fun and relaxation at an exclusive private beach in Malibu. Her plan was to spend the day in a reclining beach chair, lazing the day away with a good book and a cooler full of ice-cold beer. She intended to stay in that comfy portable recliner until the Sun went down and she was completely and fully, for lack of a better term and to use the parlance of the times, shnockered. The Sun however, had other plans, and quickly put an end to her little scheme of public drunkenness. What the Sun did, which was genius, really, was to direct a single concentrated beam of sunlight directly on each of the beer bottles as she pulled them from the cooler. This beam was so powerful, that by the time Fran had removed the convenient twist-off cap, the beer inside the bottle was well above room temperature. Fran, who was not a big fan of warm beer, soon found herself in a general state of annoyance and comp
lete sobriety. Not one to give up, Fran went through all twelve bottles of beer in the cooler before she gave up in what can only be described as a “huff”, and went home to watch the Price is Right. The Sun had won again.

However, in all of the Sun’s history of torture and mayhem, it had never waged such a campaign of terror as it did upon one man who currently dwelled in a modest sized, one level, home in the small town of Traxlerville, Kansas, population thirty-three hundred and growing.

This morning in fact, the morning in which our story begins, the Sun was preparing itself for day nine hundred and sixty-four of what it liked to call “Operation: Early Wakeup Call”.

The man in question, the man who had somehow managed to incur the wrath of the Sun, wanted little in life. Being the hard working man that he was, he wanted nothing more than the opportunity to sleep late in the mornings.

This particular morning, was no exception. The man had been up late the previous night, suffering from a particularly nasty case of “Too Much Pizza”, and had not been able to drift away into the blissfulness of slumber until just three hours earlier. Due to this unfortunate circumstance, which could easily have been avoided if the man was born with the ability to just say “no” to a large, deep dish, barbecue pizza; the man just wanted to spend the day in bed, sleeping soundly and comfortably until sometime in the late afternoon. The Sun however, had a different idea, and reveled in the fact that the man insisted on sleeping in a bedroom with a very large window that happened to face east.

The man, who was the sole occupant of the aforementioned house with the aforementioned bedroom, had taken great pains to fight back at this most vengeful celestial body of gas by placing a nice set of mahogany blinds over his large bedroom window, and even took the extra step of installing a pair of thick, black curtains to hold back any of the sunlight that might be able to poke its way through the blinds.

The Sun however, would not give up, and sent its most powerful beams towards the man’s bedroom window with such force that even the mahogany blinds and thick, black curtains had to stand up and take notice.

But it was a useless gesture. The man’s defenses were just too good.

The Sun then tried a different tactic, sending down probing rays of sunlight that flitted across the window’s surface, looking for something, anything, any break in the man’s defenses, any hole, no matter how small, that would allow the Sun to shine through and wreak its havoc upon the sleeping man. The Sun, after minutes and minutes of careful probing, finally found a way in, and it seemed to shine just a little bit brighter in sadistic glee. One of the beautifully polished mahogany blinds had been chipped. Not a big chip, but big enough to let a beam of light, no bigger than the lead from a number two pencil, shine through.

But what about those thick, black curtains, you might ask. Well, as anyone who has ever owned a pair of curtains knows, if you don’t shut them just right, there will be a gap somewhere between where the two curtains meet, and on this morning, there was a gap, and in one of those universe shattering coincidences that you only read about it books like this one, that gap just happened to be aligned with the chip in that solitary mahogany blind. And so, at precisely 6:32 AM, Central Standard Time, the Sun found its way into the man’s bedroom, and commenced with Operation: Early Wakeup Call.

As the man slept, covered from toes to nose in a comforter so thick that it can only be described as “plumpy”, a thin shaft of sunlight crept through the breach in the window’s defenses and shown as a point of light on the man’s blanket, hovering somewhere just above the man’s heart.

As the minutes ticked by, the point of light drifted slowly up the man’s chest until it had, at least, reached its goal, the man’s eyelid, and the light-sensitive orb it protected. The Sun then appeared to beam even brighter than before, bringing down upon the man’s eye its full, glorious power, pushing with almost unlimited strength as if trying with sheer force of will to wedge open the man’s eyelid.

The man stirred. The man groaned. The man woke with furious anger and shook his fist in the air at the Sun as his mouth brayed a string of unintelligible mutterings that may or may not have been curses in which the man accused the Sun of not having a father.

Finally, after much stretching, scratching, grunting, mumbling, yawning, more scratching, a little more stretching, and good long thought in which he tried to remember if there was any of last night’s pizza left in the fridge, the man decided that it was time to get himself out of bed and greet the morning. As he sat up, he could almost hear a squeal of delight come from the Sun, who had once again won the battle.

Once the man felt confident enough that there was no longer a place on his body in need of a good scratch, he rose from bed, with more of the yawning and the stretching, and made his way to the window. He threw back the curtains, pulled opened the blinds, and was well on his way to soaking in the glory of the morning when he suddenly discovered that his groin area was still in the need of some really good scratching.

This man was me. My Name is Norman Oklahoma, and as I stood there at my bedroom window, silently scratching myself with vim and vigor, angry over my defeat by the Sun, but feeling more and more confident that a wonderful day was just ahead, a walrus was letting itself into my kitchen and was fixing itself a cup of coffee.

I'll be honest with you. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this chapter and have always tried to fit it in in various stories. But it has never worked.

It should have been the first chapter to The Adventures of Norman Oklahoma Volume One (available for pre-order now for just 99 cents), but I pulled it. I cried when I did, but I felt the book jumps right out of the gate with the opening line about the Walrus. To have this chapter (much edited) be the first thing a new reader reads? I felt it was too slow of an introduction.

However, I really like the idea that the sun, or the Sun, is a character in the book. That it is a conscious being. That it's petty and immature and enjoys screwing with people.

In fact, there is a chapter still in The Adventures of Norman Oklahoma Volume One (availableforpre-ordernowforjust99cents) that calls back to this chapter. Not as overtly as it used to, before I pulled this chapter, but it's there.

Next time, we'll move forward with the Golden Guns. Chapter Two.

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