Friday, May 31, 2024


A bold, new crime novel reviewed in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga:

It’s noir:

There’s cockfighting:


In Spain:

Thursday, May 23, 2024


You really know you’re a writer when you have these needs.

First, you need to write. Duh, but it’s amazing how many wannabes I’ve known over the years beat themselves up trying to become a writer without writing.

Next you need to get published. If I haven’t been published in a while, I get depressed. This year I’m feeling good, with a Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories, “Lost in Trumptopia” in Our Creative Realidades: A Nonfiction Anthology, and (a drum roll please) “A Wild and Woolly Road Trip on Mars”—a new Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars story–coming soon in Chicanofuturism Now.

If I have a long dry spell, it can get pretty grim. I have to remind myself that I actually have a career. Blogging and social media help, but there’s nothing like getting published. Talk about addiction.

But, still, that isn’t enough. You need to have people read and react to it. It's nice to be called a genius, but I even like it when someone gets pissed off or offended.

And then, oh yeah, there’s making money, but that's a whole other pendejada.

I’ve been nervous about Guerrilla not getting “real” reviews, but meanwhile, I’ve been getting proof that people like it.

Like Jan Karlo, one of my students from the Gonzo Science Fiction, Chicano Style class He was impressed enough to go on to read Cortez on Jupiter, which was based on the title story of my collection and do an Instagram story on it. He also did one about Guerrilla.

I was delighted and put them both on Facebook and Twitter. And here at Mondo Ernesto.

Self-promotion. It becomes a way of life after a while.

It also makes me feel good, in the mood to get back to making my Paco Cohen stories into a novel . . .

Friday, May 17, 2024


You can read them via links in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga.

Examples of the Chicano renaissance:

With Santa Ana winds:


And aliens:

Thursday, May 9, 2024



I left you hanging with a mention of another drug that I didn’t give up after the bad trip.

That was caffeine.

(I never got into tabacco products. Nicotine had no allure for me, but that’s another story . . .)

I wasn’t a coffee snob being persnickety over the specifics of a concoction with lots of milk products, flavoring and spices. This was drug abuse. My relationship with caffeine was what allowed me to write about addiction. Again, research. 

I liked it black—what the baristas these days call “cafe Americano”—and strong. I couldn’t imagine starting a day without a few bitter cups to get my nerves jangling.

At home, I would use instant coffee, which the current generation finds shocking, but when you don’t care about esoteric taste sensations, it provides a way to bring on a buzz that has near-hallucinogenic effects.

Another perk is that it’s legal, and socially acceptable, a psychoactive drug with an entire industry devoted to making it available. Imagine an alternate universe where addicts on the street consume supercharged crack/fentanyl-like caffeine products while law-abiding citizens enjoy cigarettes and chewing gum laced with coca and opioids. There but for the grace of Xochipilli . . .

After a while, I began to notice the jitters making me sloppy, in writing, and my day job at Borders, where they provided free coffee for the employees—fiendish, huh? At my yearly doctor’s checkup my blood-pressure was always a little high.

“Did you have any coffee today?” the doc would ask.

When I said yes, he’d tell me to skip it tomorrow and come back and I would be okay.

Then my dad died.

He had high blood pressure, and heart disease got him.

I remember a high school teacher saying, “For a lot of people, their first sign of heart disease is their death.”

I made some adjustments in my diet and decided to give up caffeine. And since my wife, Emily, had decaffeinated earlier, and was sneaking more and more decaf into my (now non-instant) brew, it was easy.

It hasn’t seemed to affect my writing. Most of the stories in Guerrilla Mural of a Siren’s Song were written under the influence. The later stories are different in that I’m an older writer who has managed to learn a few things. I must admit that my first drafts aren’t quite as messy as they once were, sort of . . .

I still drink coffee, decaf, and I seem to get a placebo-effect buzz off it.

Sometimes when in an outback areas where they have religious objections to decaf, I’ll down some regular–because I believe that Puritanism is a bad idea, never say never–and it’s . . . fun!

But whatever it is, the more you use, and the older you get, it gets less fun.

George Carlin in his old age would keep one joint in his house, and when he’d get stuck writing, he’d light up, take a toke, and get back to work. That’s the way I am with caffeine these days.

Because it’s the work that’s important. And who knows what kind of “research” it may require.

Speaking of which, I have more research I need to get back to . . .

Friday, May 3, 2024



Chicanonautica about Arizona politics again, over at La Bloga.

Some folks were partying like it's 1864:

It's religious frenzy time:

And people are getting hot and bothered:

Kinda Buñuelian: