Friday, January 25, 2013

Monkey Migraine is Dead, Long Live Nigel G. Mitchell

Last week, when I replaced my profile picture on Blogger and Disqus with my profile photo, it was kind of emotional for me. In doing so, I erased the last vestiges of my alternate persona, Monkey Migraine. I feel like I need to memorialize him.

Monkey Migraine started out back in the days when anonymity was the watchword online. I wanted to start blogging, but I didn't want to use my real name. I was sitting around trying to think of a name, and "monkey migraine" popped into my head. I'll be honest...I don't know where it came from or why I liked it so much. Maybe because my mother had crippling migraines for most of her life. I also liked the alliteration: "monkey migraine" seemed to have an odd symmetry. Also, I hate monkeys...for real. So the idea of a monkey in pain pleased me. I also imagined the logo, a monkey with little lightning bolts. And so, Monkey Migraine was born.

Over time, Monkey Migraine became more than just a user name. It became a personality. I found myself writing as "him"; wild, crazy, off-beat, obsessive, and goofy. If you look back at my early blog posts, you'll see what I mean.

But when I started writing for Geek Twins, my brother encouraged me to use my real name. I resisted it for years, but at the same time, I could see how Maurice's name seemed to make him more accessible. Also, it became harder and harder to interact with people in things like Disqus with the nickname and monkey logo. It's just not a name to be taken seriously. More importantly, I feel like anonymity is no longer the watchword on the Internet. With Facebook and other social media, being yourself is the norm.

The turning point came when I decided to self-publish my novel, Dead Links. I never even considered putting "Monkey Migraine" as the author of my novel, and it got confusing and silly to be talking about the book which clearly has my name on it while under the name "Monkey Migraine." I couldn't pretend to be someone else while promoting a book as Nigel G. Mitchell. It just all became counter-productive.

And so, by removing my Monkey Migraine logo, you can see the real me. You'll probably notice a resemblance to my brother Maurice.

Monkey Migraine Mountain will still be the place I put my more personal and bizarre stuff, but I'll be creating a new blog. We have a lot of writers who visit Geek Twins, and Maurice has been encouraging me to become a part of the online writing community. That's why my new blog is "Nigel G. Mitchell-Author, Blogger, Geek." You can follow my new blog at: Hope to see you there.

I have to admit that I'll miss Monkey Migraine. But I don't think he'll miss me.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Six Sentence Sunday: "Dead Links"

I'm joining the Six Sentence Sunday movement with this excerpt from my technothriller, Dead Links. If you're not familiar with it, the idea is to post six sentences from a work in progress or published novel.
The waiter's gun poured bullets into the cushions of the booth. Tufts of foam burst out of the holes to dance in the air like snow. The chatter of the Spectre ignited screams all through the restaurant, as well as the thunder of chairs toppling over and footsteps pounding from others trying to escape.

Amanda ran along the wall of booths, zigzagging to keep from giving their attacker a clear shot. A framed lithograph of an ocean scene shattered as bullets traced a ragged line across it. Glass rained down onto a screaming man sitting at the table.
If you'd like to read the rest of it, you can get the full novel at the Amazon Kindle Store.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Machine of Death: 'Alien Abduction' [Story]

The following short story was written for the second volume of the sci-fi anthology, Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die. The story was rejected, so I'm presenting it here for free. If you're not familiar with it, Machine of Death is a collection of short stories about a machine that takes a drop of blood, and prints out a card with a phrase that tells you exactly how you will die. It doesn't say where or when, and sometimes the card is so vague that you don't even know what it means, but it's never wrong. The title of every story is taken from a machine of death card. So here's my take on it:

UPDATE: I've moved this story to my new writing-only blog. You can read it here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

TwitWars: Steve Martin vs. Gweneth Paltrow [Pics]

Steve Martin wins. He's still got it.
 Posted by Gweneth Paltrow on 2/29/12 at 1:43 PM 

Posted by Steve Martin at 2/29/12 at 1:46 PM
[Via Crushable]