The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

Random passages from A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

So I wrote a little parody of talking cat cozies — yes, there is a genre of mystery novels where talking cats help little old ladies solve mysteries. TALKING CATS.

Read the first page. DO IT NOW.

Now, click with your mousity mouse to read page two of A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER.

So I come to a difficult decision. A fork in the road of writerdom.

Door No 1.: Abandon the Evil Cat and his adventures in midstride, which would be sad.

Door No. 2: Drop everything else and write 300-whatever pages of A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER.

Door No 3: Let the scientists clone me and do both.

Door No. 4: Do like some famous authors and put my name in BIG LETTERS while the schmuck who “co-wrote” the book has his name in agate type.

Time is precious, as in I don’t have any right now. Later in the year, sure.

Not now.

And I have things to do.

But it nagged at me. Even in the midst of writing other things at work, or writing things for fun at midnight, Evil Cat scratched at me with his sharp claws and whispered to me.

I told him to go away, that I’m trying to write a Serious Novel, and by serious I mean somewhere in between pretentious literary nancypants nonsense (FREEDOM) and sci-fi trash involving trolls, elves or armored dragons in spaceships. (Sadly, I am not making that up. Those novels exist.)

Evil Cat cut the brake lines of my car.

So: I picked Door No. 5: Write random passages of A BOWL OF WARM MILK OF MURDER with choice photos of evil cats, stolen from the series of tubes.


(from a funeral scene, with Evil Cat peering in from a window to the Eastside Methodist Church)

The Woman and the Boy have water on their face for the girl in the wooden box.

They sing songs from the black book. They hug each other.

I have not read the black book, though it seems important. I do know that they sing songs to the Bearded Man, who lives in the sky, and give him pieces of paper. Then when the snow and frozen water comes, the Bearded Man comes down from the sky in his box, pulled by the deer with horns, to  give children the toys made by tiny slaves with pointed ears.


This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

About Guy Bergstrom

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot.

8 comments on “Random passages from A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

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  5. joeynga
    April 24, 2012

    Take that glittery teenage vampires and robe-wearing-tots with magikal twigs!


  6. joeynga
    April 24, 2012

    I too, would easily part with my dead presidents, handing them gladly over to you for a bowl of this murderous warm milk, and get this…so would my 13 year old son (who is an amazing reader). This could be a cross-generational hit. And of course the grannies in Gloucester would kick their non-crafty cats to the curb, and gladly adopt your conniving creation, Mr. Whiskers.

    If my 13 y.o. (a savvy reader) loves this, then you’re golden. Trust me on this one 😉


  7. cynthia hartwig
    January 10, 2012

    I’ve only been following you for a couple weeks and it’s interesting to watch you get loopier and loopier. Wonder if this is correlating to some strange lunar tides? Too much work? Too little work? A Van Gogh-inspired ecstasy? Do not abandon the cat. He yowls for thee.


  8. Elise Logan
    January 10, 2012

    I need more. This is wonderful. Truly. You need to write this book. And publish it so that I might give you paper with pictures of dead presidents. Or perhaps Dutch cheese.


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