• Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.


    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder

    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton


    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar


The Novel That Wouldn't Be Named

That is, the one I've been working on for almost a year (or I think that long, I am never good at keeping track of those things). Usually when I working on a novel or a story, a name emerges, usually toward the end of the first draft. I never come up with a title until then.

But now this new one just refuses to give one up. For a long time, I've just had the working title - which I won't share, in case that ends up being it, but it better not, because it sucks.

Deep into second draft now, and working slow (as usual), but trying to get immersed into the whole Mexican vibe (the novel begins in Mex.) I keep thinking at any moment something will rise out of the sea I call my subconscious and yell at me like a drunken mermaid. Hey, wait, the Drunken Mermaid - that has possibilities. Um, right.

Anyway - my other books, the ones with names, are on a free promo right now. Click one of the pics on the right to pick one up. I have another short, Dunked, which is available, but at Slurpee prices (I think it's a buck).

Lastly, here, for the first time is a teaser for the new one. It is called, um, well, you know.


Chapter One

The camera lens inside my head rotated and light flooded into my vision. I focused on a patch of wall that was the exact shade of a honeydew melon. The colour looked so perfect that I almost forgot about the .45 pointed at my forehead.

“Wakey-wakey jackoff.”

I fast-tracked through my brain. I had dipped into a touristy joint that sold overpriced Chili Rellenoes to the polyester bermudas and flip-flop set. I recognized Mr. Charmer on the account of his glowing bald head and ugly-ass lizard tat. Two Pacificos and bowl of tostados later, I followed him into the bathroom and—

“Who are you supposed to be?” Charmer nudged an extra crease in my forehead.


I looked at the walls again. What a damn nice colour for a bano – more like south Florida than Mex.

“Fish for what?” Another nudge. “You were watching me at the bar. You some sorta perv? Is that some sort of homo term? Fisher? Following me into the john. I should rap you another one.”

The rest of my head caught up with my vision. I got the not being awake part, and the growing pain at the back of my head.

“How about I do some of my own fishing wise-ass?”

He pulled out my wallet and riffled through it like he was about to do a magic trick.

“Humpf. So that’s your name. Well big-fuckin-whoop. You ain’t fishing this guy you son-of—”

I yanked hard on his dangling shoe lace that I’d grabbed while he flipped through my ID. It was enough to throw him off balance. I slammed my hand under his wrist and smashed the end of the 45 into his forehead. The way he handled it, I don’t think the guy knew how to fire it anyway.

“I hope you didn’t barter for this piece of junk. You bought it on the Malecon, didn’t you?” I slammed my knee into his chin and kicked hard into his chest. His trailer trash ass skidded across the floor. “Probably right next to the sand castles. And you call me a jackoff.”

The bathroom door flew open. It was the overly-bicepped guy that Mr. Charmer had been slamming tequila with at the bar. I was still half into a crouch when he took a wild swing at my head. A quick feint and a duck, and then an uppercut into the basket. He face-planted, gasped on the floor like a trout on the beach. Charmer got up from his ass-over tea kettle posture and came at me hard.

I stopped him with his raised, and shitty, but now cocked, revolver.

“So, here’s the thing. I actually know how to fire these.”






Oscar picks - 2014

Time for my usual Oscar predictions - had a lot of success these last few years in the pool. There could be a a couple of surprises that upset it tonight, but here goes:


Best Picture - 12 Years a Slave (I'd rather it was American Hustle, but oh well>

Director - Alfonso from Gravity (cuz he's won everything else

Actor - Matthew M. (again, I'd rather it be Christian Bale - best thing I've ever seen him in.)

Actress - Blanchett (cuz everyone says - but I love Amy Adams)

Supporting actor - Leto (a lock)

Supporting actress - Jennifer Lawrence (it will be close)

Screenplay - American Hustle (my fave movie of the year often wins this)

Adapted Screenplay - 12 Years a Slave

Cinematography, and pretty much all the other tech awards - Gravity (Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects) - they might not get film edting, but they will get the rest.

Score - Gravity

Song - The one from Frozen

Animated - Frozen (a lock)

Short Animated - Get a horse (Disney)

Short Live action - Voorman Promblem

Foreign Film - Great Beauty (total guess, well based on stuff)

Makeup - Dallas Buyers

Costume - Great Gatsby

Documentary Feature - 20 Feet form Stardom

Documentary - Lady in Number 6


Good luck in your pool.



Next stop: Cuba.

Blog post to follow.


American Hustle - the Vibe of Survival


Not so much a review, as a holy crap, that is the best thing I've seen in years, sort of deal. For starters, I knew what it was about, I knew it was getting a lot of acclaim - hell, I was even alive and aware when Abscam hit the news. I only remember blurry black and white videos, some politicians and maybe a Sheik-guy, but it reminded me of another fascination I'd experienced as a kid/teen: Watergate. For more on this, read my last novel Fall in One Day. Except you can't because my previous agent turned it down. And so did another agent or two. And...

I digress.

I went to the flick with my movie (and seventies-loving) daughter. To be honest, I was ready to be unimpressed. I rarely like Christian Bale in anything. So it starts, and I'm liking what I see - sort of reminding me of the seventies vibe that I love so much (see most of the films I talk about in this blog - like Night Moves or The Long Goodbye). And then the first few bars of Steely Dan's, Dirty Work, rise up as Bale, Cooper and Adams slow-mo walk through a set of doors. Oh damn. Really? (For more Steely Dan addiction read Fall in One Day...etc.)

I read somewhere that O. Russell was trying to catch that vibe of the golden era of American Cinema. There are parts of the movie that feel that way. Sure, there is the hair, cars and clothes - but that never does it for me. It is the way it's shot. I'm thinking of movies like Three Kings or Traffic, that captured it better. But in the 70's, story and vibe was king. I guess story still remained king when a certain upstart filmmaker shot a shark movie against a haunting John Williams score - or a nerdy California left his hot-rod nostalgia and went into space opera - well, anyway, you get the idea. The whole story, character, vibe thing went dead. Notable exceptions here are independents like Jim Jarmusch (on my mind, as he is in my city this weekend) and early Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy).

But here is the thing, American Hustle captures something much much deeper than the period look and the music (though, the music helps a lot). It captures the soul. It is a movie about survival. I was riveted as the actor's each took turns taking over the movie. I somehow forgot Jennifer Lawrence was in it. And for the first third, she isn't in it much. Then I remembered some buzz around here. I wondered why, as she was in it so little - until the last 2/3 of the movie, where she basically kicks the shit out of everyone. But Cooper wrestles it back, and Adams... simply amazing throughout. A jaw-dropping performance.

The thing is, the whole centre of the movie is Bale. The guy I don't usually like - well, actually, the guy I hate. But here, he is it, he is survival. And he becomes someone totally not Bale, not even a bit. This alone should win him an Oscar. But it isn't about awards and such. I'm a movie guy, and a writer. I've seen a lot, read a lot, had lots of viewing experiences. That sounds like a medical procedure (Mr. Terlson, please lay down for your viewing experience). What I mean, is the intellectual, emotional (and somewhat soulful) experience I have when I see an amazing piece of art. At the Chicago Institute I stared a long time into Hopper's Nighthawks. I mean, a long time. And the experience was transcendent.

When the credits rolled, over ELO's Long Black Road (!), I asked my daughter not to talk to me. I just needed to soak it in for minute or two. I felt teary (no surprise for me at the movies - but this was different.)

I had just experienced something very real. And I went home thinking about survival. And I am still thinking about it.


Twitter me this

It seems like the twitter feed is broken, or very much behind - hell, I barely remember tweeting some of that stuff.

If you are a twitter-ite, twitter-afficiando, twitter-funkmeister, like me (staying away from the obvious: twit monikor), then jump over to there, and follow me at cterlson.

I'll see if I can get that thing over on the right working in the mean time.