Peculiar yet blithely interesting links

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I will be putting links that I deem fit for your consumption here for you to peruse. They will be thinks that are funny, fascinating, poignant, or maybe even completely “what the fucky” in nature. Enjoy.

John ByronPeculiar yet blithely interesting links

It’s always there…

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It is.
That effervescent sadness that walks with me.
I wish it would go somewhere else…
But it continues to tread alongside me.
I tire of this rock.
I have felt this way for far too long.
But alas…
I do not know how to quit.
It is near impossible…
For most to know
the pain and effort
that goes into
You think that you have
Thank you for
the answer
to the
Serves me right.
I’m tired.
of being tired.
So tired.
only shows up
I will fight you,
I will win
As always.
I will
until I am ready.
I am stalwart in my resolve.
And I detest that.
I want to quit.
I cannot.
I am tired.
with this
that will not
so very tired.

John ByronIt’s always there…

Mr. Mann Reviews

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John ByronMr. Mann Reviews

Me… On writing

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I write.
I’m a writer.
That’s what I do.
I have written most of my life, in one form or another.
Lots of Poetry.
Qualified Tomes.
I sometimes miss the simplicity of writing poetry.
I could write whatever came out of my head, and then walk away.
Then one day, I tired of being lazy.
I say lazy, because I knew I was ready to move past poetry, if thats what you want to call my verse.
And then…
That is something altogether different.
For me anyway.
The story elements careen off of the inside of my skull like rampant wombats, and the mill just churns out ideas and facets.
So much so, that…
I can sometimes get mired in a pseudo fugue state.
the characters I create are (albeit temporary) alive, and…
That being said, The two worlds, the real, and the imagined fuse together for a short time, and
it’s easy to get pulled between the two, but the story needs to be written regardless.
My awesome and patient wife puts up with my seemingly aloof cycles, and I am grateful for that.
I feel that way, because I know for a fact that I would not have written as much as I have without her presence in my life.
I wonder if this happens to other writers, or maybe I need some meds… heh.
If it does happen to others, how do they handle it?
Not that it is an issue, mind you…
But more of an observation.

John ByronMe… On writing

Poetry… Tomes and tomes of f*cking poetry…

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I just completed sorting through what amounts to almost 40 years of poetry…

That’s quite a bit of material to sift through. And it was pretty cool seeing missives that younger self had written to older self. Like, “Yo!!! Older self!” (I’m paraphrasing here, as I am pretty sure that’s what what to be conveyed in the writing. Anyway…) “Yo!!! Older self! How are things? Do you have most, if not all of what you want? Was it worth it? Lemme know.” I remember writing that, but I don’t remember forgetting all about it. Yep. That made sense. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that it was interesting to see things like that. There is quite a bit that will make it into the three volumes, (Entitled Book 1: Admit Nothing, Book 2: Blame Everyone and Book 3: Be Bitter. Kinda going for that Little House on the Prairie Feelz) and a good bit that will not. Why the segregation? Well… I did a lot of rhyming in the early have of the poetry jaunt, and while some of the sing song stuff will find it’s way between the pages, I dunno… I seemed so easy to write, it feels lazy. Ok so… Rhyming and self pity. Now, while I am willing to admit that I was going through the process of dealing with a metric fuck ton of child abuse from my seller childhood, it seems as if I should have been manning up a little more, but who am I to try and tell someone what to do with themselves, even if it is me, and besides, it is a long way back. Nothing to be done from this vantage point. None the less, there is still more than enough to fill enough pages to sate your voracious appetites. Lots of love, pain, loss, blood, broken smiles, good times, thoughts, rumination, lamentations and the occasional off beat humor that my stilted wit has to offer. So, now begins the tedious task of transcribing the drunken, stoned and sometimes delirious rantings of the some time mad man into the cold, unfeeling Baskerville serifs font on a nice cream colored page. I may be good, it may be bad, but what the fuck… It’s my life and it’s the only one I have. I really don’t care how many see it, even if none do. My dream has been to see the words that have been, and always will be my lifeblood on the afore mentioned page, but secretly, I do hope you like it, but I will not admit that I just typed that.

-Off to work…

John ByronPoetry… Tomes and tomes of f*cking poetry…

New project, clutter and burnout.

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I am getting ready to start my next project. Well… more like finish one I started 5 or so years ago. The Handlers. I am very excited to finish this one and put it to bed. It is pretty much done aside from… Well… the most important part. The ending. Got hit with a super dose of burnout on that one. But, I am ready to jump in and finish it.
But… before I can start I have to battle with one of my demons.


Just where the hell does it all come from?
I know…
While I am not a hoarder, I do like stuff. Knick knacks in fact. I use to be worse, but as I get older, my predilection for baubles is starting to piss me off. Every time I declutter one area, another begins to fill. So… I (Actually We as in my awesome wife and I) have made the decision to fervently declutter our home. We have already begun with our garage. Jesus! The crap we save because “We may need it.” No more.
Old carpets, broken picture frames, lampshades, scrap wood, dirt, dirt, and more dirt. Ugh!
Garage first, then coats and shoes, (per Brenda) and then my studio, which will be the most work. It has to get done though. When it comes to clutter of any kind, I can only take so much, before I snap. This goes for my computer desktop as well… I generally do not like more than 10 or so Icons on my desktop.
I know… Anal right?
I am in I.T. and sometimes I will see someones desktop that has over 100 icons just sitting there, staring back at me, taunting me with their stoic, and inanimate lack of control.
I cannot start a new project(or finish an old one) until this clutter is gone, and the clock is ticking…
John ByronNew project, clutter and burnout.

Drive-thru conspiracies…

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If this is where it has to happen, then this is where it’s going to be.
I am a somewhat descent guy.
I have a job, I live in a decent community, I am not a member of any fraternal organizations and I generally pay my cable bill on time.
I celebrate Star Wars day on May the 4th, I don’t kick the neighbors pet armadillo, I kind of recycle and I thoroughly believe that children are not psychologically equipped to be used as ashtrays. Like I said, decent guy; I do not mess with anyone who does not have it coming. Oh… And that whole thing that went down in Mumbai last year? Not my fault. It was a wrong place wrong time. I mean, how could I ever transport that much Beechnut gum by myself? I mean… Come on! Seriously???
The purpose of this blog is to generally talk about my writing and things that are happening about a given book’s progress, or something in that vein. And… as that goes, you probably saw that my book has hit Audible, iTunes and Amazon. Yay! Now I just need to market myself. (something I am completely horrible at, but I am working on it.)
So… Now that I have talked at length about my book, I want to commiserate with you about a conspiracy that is near and dear to my heart.
Drive-Thru Restaurants.
I have come to the unwelcome conclusion that these trademarks of American culture are out to get me and have been for most of this man’s life.
Everybody likes a condiment of some kind. Personally, I am en extra ketchup and napkins guy. Maybe your poison is extra salt and pepper, hot sauce, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. What matters is when you pull up to a drive thru, there is always the expectation (however subtle) that things can and will instantly go haywire on you. Like for instance…
That whole split island drive thru thingie they have going at some of the fast food joints nowadays. You know, the places where, you pull up to the first island and you are looking the menu over while waiting for the garbled voice to come on, but they never do, and it’s not until the A-hole in the Tesla behind you lays on his non-masculine horn that this menu is a ruse, a Red Herring as it were. The real menu is up there, 30 feet way. This menu is just here to occupy your time while you wait. Grrr… So I pull up to the next one, well… almost to the next one. I usually will get stuck behind a soccer mom in an SUV that is laden with participation medals, while she’s ordering 14 more sugar heavy consolation prizes(each one custom, mind you) for the sad sacks who have yet to understand the meaning of winning AND losing because of today’s coddle factor, but that in itself is another rant altogether. I will try and not digress here. The islands are also generally split as well, so that if it is a slow day in the drive thru, you can avoid the false menu and drive right up to the real one, but then some other A-hole in a (insert mid-life crisis vehicle here) with his hair club for men veneer flapping in the wind, pulls ahead of you, utilizing that so called island split. I mean, come on! Who cuts someone off in the drive thru??? What is it? Caffeine withdrawal? Oh… and do not get me going on that split-Y thingie at McDonalds. That one really scares the f#ck outa me. Sometimes, it gets so crazy in there with suburban entitled, you would think that Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt were jockeying for position in that miasma of The Fast Food 500.
Back to the tale I am here for, I finally do make it up to the real menu and await the voice on the other end, and I am not disappointed as finally, a sound erupts from the speaker that I can only described as the way a drunken Optimus Prime would sound, while attempting to announce a horse race, with a bad case of the trots. Once I am reasonably sure that whoever or more so whatever is on the other side of that speaker has asked for my order, and is not performing an exorcism, I order. Now, lucky for me, I am mildy fluent in coast to coast, fast food speaker talk
“Can I get a #1 with no pickles and no onions please?”
“#&&*(@%$#(*&(*@“ is the reply. It sounds like that they are asking what I would like to drink.
“Coke please.”
“#*@%%$$^#%@^^#%@!!!” Oh… I obviously misunderstood them. How on earth could that every happen?
“Regular size please.”
“*&^@%#&@$&!%$@&&#?” Now, we are getting somewhere.
“Yes, could I please get some extra napkins and ketchup”
Convinced that all is well for once, I pull up to the first window as instructed. As the window opens, a large, hairy arm jets out of the window and I give the man my cash. After making change, my food and drink are thrust out the window and almost thrown into my car, and then they look you in the eye with their plasticine smile that looks more like a bored motel sign, and say “Have a nice day!”, in a way that you know that is in no way sincere.
I leave the establishment and sift through the bag, continuing on my way. Hmm… There is a box in the bag instead of the usual wrapped sandwich, which concerns me, Keeping my attention on the road as well as I can, I pull the box out and find that I have not been given a #1 with no pickles and no onions. No. I have in my hand a dry #5. What is that, you ask? That would be two pieces of bread and something resembling deep fried fish. There are fries, though they appear to have been cooked in cold grease, and… there are no napkins at all, nor is there any ketchup! And… It’s root beer, not coke!
Now, you are probably reading this thinking, just turn around and go back. Nope. No can do, as at this point, I am usually late for a meeting or I have just pulled onto the freeway or some other calamity of the first world. Joe Pesci had it right the first time. They F#ck you in the drive thru!
And this is how it goes no matter where I dine (as fast food goes)
My wife has discovered a conspiracy all her own with Starbucks. All she wants is a venti, nonfat with whip, hot chocolate. Easy right? Not once in the awesome and somewhat debilitating 17 years we have been together has she ever gotten what she wanted from Starbucks, but she is resilient, determined and ever so hopeful that one day, she will not get screwed in the drive thru.
I have considered ordering randomly off of the menu, just to see if there is a pattern to my dilemma, but I am not sure just how much more I can take when I have not eaten in so long. So I will often acquiesce and hit the vending machine at work and toss the Hormel Complete™ into the microwave and await the 1 minute time it takes to cook. The nice thing about Hormel’s line of microwavable foods is this… They really cook in 1 minute, they always taste the same whether that is good or bad and they do not disappoint. If you ever find yourself disappointed by microwave food, then you have unrealistic expectations about said food stuffs or, you are drunk, it’s three a.m. and you have forgotten that the Pedro Jimmy’s, Double hot Chimichanga (Now with REAL cheese) never tasted good in the first place. That would be akin to the chagrin that Taco Bell has never seen a Michelin Star.
Now, if you do not mind, I am going to busy myself sulking while I eat my Hormel Complete™.
John ByronDrive-thru conspiracies…

Mann Audiobook is finally available!!!

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Hey now!

Mr. Mann, (my latest novel) is now available in audiobook format! The crowd goes wild! No… Seriously, I can hear the crowd.

It is voiced by the indomitable Todd McLaren, and it’s available at any of the links below.

This project has been a daunting undertaking and this audiobook release signals the end for the moment.

In other words… Break time!





Thank you for your support!

John ByronMann Audiobook is finally available!!!

Ah… The wiles and trials of life in the Guitar Center lane

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This is the actual text of an email I sent to guitar center…


Hey there…

So there I was yesterday, just sitting around, not bothering anyone, when I saw that I had an email from a manager at the Edina Guitar Center in my junk file. It said that I could get an easy 15% off when trading gear. Nice! I have just finished my latest novel, and I am so burnt out from writing that I could crush concrete with curled up toes. I figured that I needed a new axe anyway and I have some decent gear to move. So, the first thing I did was check your website for the store hours, because everything we see on the internet is true, right? Ah… Great! The website states that the Edina store is open until 7… Perfect!
So, I talk my wife into and then out of a mild domestic debate about driving the 70 or so miles to Mankato to my where my  old gear that has been steadily gaining weight from dust is stored at my good friend Mark’s house. Eventually my awesome wife(Yes, I do mean that) acquiesces and we make the drive. It was later in the afternoon than I(she) would have rather(ed), but hey… you were open ’til 7 and I knew we could make that time frame easily.
So, it was a flurry of:
Telephone poles zooming by.
Junk food
Great music
The smell of spring, or… thawing hog farms.
Litanies of “We’re not going to make it”
Phone calls upon arrival that sounded like “Where the F#!k is Mark, I gotta get my gear out of his basement!”
Dragging a slightly inebriated Mark out of Spinners Bar to get my gear
More litanies of “We’re not going to make it” coupled with “If they are closed, I am gonna be pissed!”
More junk food, poles and hog farms, oh… and some poor sap who looked to be getting a DUI.
And, we pull into your Empty parking lot around 6:30. No wait, I am lying. There was one car, but the big gate was down beyond the door, so…
Now, I want you to imagine my situation for one tepid moment as I slowly idled up to the door like an errant stalker where it states your hours. The hours that say you close at 6 on Sundays. This cannot be, I think to myself as my delicate and dreamy wife who is hopped up on sugar, caffeine and angst from driving150 miles round trip instead of watching her Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix gazes at me with a searing look that was somewhat reminiscent of the Eye of Sauron. Needless to say, I look up the website again on my phone and sure enough… It says that you are open until 7. It was with shaky hands that I showed my dear, sweet wife the page that stated that indeed the closing time said 7 and not 6. This in no way abated the seething typhoon that was silently, but surely heading towards my coastline. She gently pushed my hand down and smiled that smile that all spouses know means something totally opposite than what it is supposed to convey and said “We should go home now” and then wrinkled her nose in that cute little fashion that was usually very cute but at that moment was actually very, Very frightening.
I held up a finger and said hold on, as I called the store. I was surprised when someone answered. Great! I thought, maybe I will survive the night without having to battle Lo-Pan who was sitting next to my lusting after my green eyes. I explained my plight to the gentleman on the phone and he said “Oh… yeah those hours begin next week. Sorry, but even though the registers are closed, what were you interested in picking up?” I must say, I was impressed of the salesman trying to salvage a later sale out of a situation that was definitely heading the way of Yoyodyne Corporation. And, in his defense, I get it. I am sure that your salesman are paid commission or their base, which is probably minimum wage, The typical fade/draw scenario, but… yeah. So, I graciously hung up. I was cool to the guy, after all, it was not his fault that someone at Corporate pulled the trigger with an inkling of thought to my current situation. my time to achieve Minimum Safe Distance was non-existent. as I hung up the phone, I looked over at my wife who was reading the side of her Burt’s Bees as if it held all of the answers to life’s little travails. Actually, that was her way of not eviscerating my bowels with her fiery gaze. I started the car up and headed home.
So, in closing, my Sunday consisted of the following:
1: A wasted 150 mile, 3 hour drive.
2: A torturous evening of watching Lorelei, her daughter and the other neurotic and passive aggressive denizens of Star’s Hollow figure out how to avoid the simple and obvious answer to everything that was seemingly thwarting them on those six F#!KING episodes.
3: Silence aside from Alexis Bidel’s confusion over Jesses or Luke
4: I learned that indeed, the internet can and will lie to me.
5: Discovering there really is no cake.
6: Being frustrated that Guitar Center corporate probably put the heat on their webmaster to just “Get the new hours up on the site NOW! Who’s it going to hurt? I mean, come on, what’s another week or so? Don’t you know who I am!” I am fairly certain that, that is exactly how the conversation went, because I am in the same industry as the webmaster who didn’t have the guts to make a stand for the little guy.
Now, I have to take my wife’s care to work today, because it is loaded up with my gear. Can you imagine my coworkers laughing at the Hello Kitty flotsam hanging from the review mirror as I pull into work today? You owe me GC. You owe me big time!
Thank you
John Byron Parker 
Be excellent to each other.
John ByronAh… The wiles and trials of life in the Guitar Center lane