The Official Website of Author L.A. Mitchell

Category: Dean Butler

When One Blogging Door Closes…

21st November


Okay, so back in the days of heavy blogging (remember those? Before other social media swallowed blogging whole), my blogging friends were like family. We shared poems, triumphant (and not so triumphant) entrances into the publishing world, our lives, our environments, our art. Though I was an early entry into the Twittersphere, I’m just now warming up to the site (I know, right?), and I’m still holding out on not doing Facebook (despite the persistence of some of my marketing guru clients). I have stayed in contact with many Vortexers via Twitter and LinkedIn. Some have stopped blogging altogether. Some have kept the blog fires burning.

When I sit down at my laptop, I’m far, far more likely to be all business. Freelancer girl. This is my chair of productivity, which is why I needed to set up my social interactions through my phone. I downloaded three feed-reading apps, decided on one, and entered all my old blogging friends into it. My hope is that I won’t lose touch when I take down my old Blogger site for good this week.

I don’t blog as much as I used to, but I do recognize the power of a blog – even now. Posts from years ago helped me to secure one of my many awesome clients. He said he felt like he knew me when he hired me. I guess Fabio and Dean Butler jokes will do that. I won’t post as often as those heavy blogging days, but I hope you’ll subscribe or drag me into your reader so that we might keep in touch. Sign up for my newsletter. Find me on Twitter. Leave me a comment every so often. Keep blogging if it still rocks your world. It still rocks a tiny corner of mine.

A Writer’s Utopia

19th September


Don’t judge me too harshly for tuning into the first week of Fox’s new show, Utopia. In my defense, I lasted about twenty minutes. And ABC has yet to cast Dean Butler in the role of old TV star on Dancing With the Stars. The Utopia concept is solid, the behind the scenes production is slick, the host is delightfully quirky in that Boulder/Austin/Johnny Depp/rubber-nose-and-glasses kind of way. What is the problem, you ask?

The casting is abysmal.

No, really. I wouldn’t even sick these people on my backdoor neighbor. I get that Fox wanted conflict. Conflict is the engine that drives stories (even if they are manufactured in the mind of a producer instead of an author). But if you’re going to tout this as some kind of revolutionary social science experiment, lets not scrape the bottom of humanity’s barrel. It’s like Lord of the Flies meets MTV. Where are the engineers? Doctors? Survivalists that might actually teach the audience a thing or two about life beyond a nudist colony?

Sadly, I’ll never get those twenty minutes of my life back. However, it did make me wonder what a writer’s utopia might look like:


Every citizen would have his/her own “retreat,” complete with noise-cancelling headphones, propane-heated stoves and napping space.

Every citizen would be limited to 500 words or less during tribe meetings to keep from composing dissertations and novels on the merits of starting a fire Kerouac-style.

Citizens who write horror are not allowed to give the post-dinner pep talk.

It isn’t enough to sell your work for money. You must also pitch in your soul. No doubt, the soul will generate more income for the tribe.

The babbling brook running through the compound would be brimming with coffee. That Utopia smells like your old high school social studies teacher is an unfortunate side effect.

Once per week, editors and agents would visit the gate, fat contracts in hand. Citizens could then vote them off in a grand “slush pile” ceremony.

What would your Utopia look like?

A Mental Pilaf Made From Quinoa, Denim and Bite-Sized Chunks of Dean Butler

21st February


One should not let an opportunity slip away to celebrate being number one. Okay, so it’s not the number one Publisher’s Weekly three-book-at-auction deal for the week, but it feels good. Ready? Wait for it…wait for it…
Dean Butler shirtless.

Yep. Test it out. Ga-head, Google it. Number one, baby. Woooooo!

I’m completely distracted today because I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I watched the celebrity-fat cinema experience that was Valentine’s Day then was sad that it was a good two hours of my life I’d never get back. Think of the literary masterpieces I could have consumed in that time. Think of the literary masterpieces I could have generated in that time. Not even a gay Bradley Cooper character was worth that.

Anyone here ever eaten quinoa? These little parasite-wormy-like grains love my keyboard. Normally I don’t eat while I write because I get ocular migraines and have to take screen-time-outs, but remember how awesome edits are going? I wanted to work straight through lunch yesterday and my quinoa wanted to jump ship to beneath my M key. Longest game of Operation with a mechanical pencil lead. Ever. And while we’re on bizarre grains, all this week I’ve been eating from a bread loaf labeled Ancient Grains.  Does the mere application of the word ancient make it somehow healthier? What about stoic grains?

Mostly today, though, I’m mourning the departure of my favorite jeans. So instead of working on my gun-chase-through-a-major-urban-area scene, I’m wisely flexing my writing muscle today by writing a missive to the Levi Strauss Company that they will, most likely, never see:

Dear Levi Strauss execs,

I have a been a faithful customer for longer than Madonna has had Devo chest armor. I hung with your brand through years when your designers thought hey, let’s spread those back pockets and make a woman’s ass look larger. I hung with you when your red labels went geriatric large-print and made me look like my backside was part of a presidential motorcade. I hung with you when waistlines plunged lower than The Situation’s IQ  because, hey, nothing is sexier than ass-crack-and, well, women don’t need to sit down anyway. But then you stopped making my favorite number and your outlet sales clerk felt my pain about as much as getting her text allowance cut by five. Jeans aren’t just pants for women. They are a full-on relationship. Thus, I am ending ours. Sure, Calvin Klein’s swanky back pockets are so far south it makes me look like I’m packing heat or worse–bad rap tunes on my ipod; and sure, DKNY jeans are sized for DiNKY elf-like creatures, but I shall prevail in my search.


A non-geriatric, non ass-crack consumer

Whew! I feel so much better. Thanks for letting me Ranty McRant. Now I can get back to some heat-packing of the fictional variety.