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Sammie & Budgie

Good Ol' Sammie Boy

An Excerpt from the Novel Sammie & Budgie by Scott Semegran

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Chapter One

I discovered that my boy, Sammie--my son, my first child, my spawn, a chip off my ol' block, my heart and my soul--could see the future, that he could tell me what was going to happen before it happened, when he was in the third grade. I discovered this by dumb luck. Now, what I'm about to tell you, I'm telling you in the strictest of confidence. I mean, I'm telling you because I feel you need to know and I just don't go around telling everyone in the goddamn world my business because, well, it's my business; but I like you and that's all that matters. My boy, Sammie, was considered special by all accounts, not just special because I learned he could see the future, but special for two reasons: 1) he went through intensive testing and was designated as a child with special education needs by the State of Texas and 2) he's special because I said he's special. A father knows what a father knows, and I knew, without a doubt, that my boy was special. It's true.

Even before Sammie Boy was born, I had a feeling he was special (I call him Sammie Boy all the time--even now--because that's what I like to call him). When he was still living in the cramped efficiency apartment that was his mother's womb, he would kick and punch all over the place in a manner that made me feel like he was communicating with me in some type of fetal Morse Code. His mother would always tell me, 'Play our baby some music because I've read that playing our baby music while it is still in utero helps its intelligence.' So, I would do that. I'd get a Walkman or iPod or whatever was around, I'd put some classical music on, and place the headphones around his mother's overgrown stomach, and play the music loud so Sammie Boy could hear it. And whenever I would start the music, he would start kicking and punching all over the goddamn place, more punching when he disliked the music and less punching when he seemed to like it. Whenever I played any pop music, good ol' Sammie Boy seemed to hate it. He'd start punching and kicking and jabbing and stomping at such a furious rate that I thought he'd bust out of his mother's stomach like one of those hideous alien babies in the Alien movies. I played him all kinds of music to see what he would like: classical music, rock music, hip-hop music, country music, and even movie soundtracks. But the type of music that I discovered that he liked the most was jazz music, particularly John Coltrane songs and albums. He loved the shit out of some John Coltrane music--all the punching and kicking and stomping and jabbing and head-butting would cease the minute this music started. It really did, especially when I played the album Blue Train.

But what really made me aware of the fact that my boy Sammie was special was the day I picked him up from elementary school and he told me his after-school counselor was going to hurt herself in a serious way. I thought that to be a very strange thing for him to say, since Sammie didn't particularly have a malicious bone in his body, but was unsettling even more since my boy wasn't known to tell lies. Outside the school, out in the back where the playground and basketball court stretched beyond the portable buildings, I watched all the kids run and play while his counselor stood alone, keeping an eye on the children. It was a warm, humid day and the kids swarmed around the counselor like excited bees circling a sunflower.

I knelt next to my boy, placing my hands on his arms, and braced him gently, when I said, "What do you mean she will hurt herself?" Now, you have to understand, my boy Sammie was the cutest kid you will ever lay your eyes on, with big, round, brown eyes and a round face, tussled brown hair that never seemed to keep the style it started with in the morning, and a smile that would make a serial killer renounce his depravity and perform cartwheels in a field of daisies. Even in this serious situation, where I would have to compose myself to find answers, I had to fight the urge to pinch his cheeks and giggle. He was just that cute. "She looks fine to me," I said.

Sammie Boy looked over where the counselor stood, his sparkling, brown eyes examining her, the lids closing slightly as he peered at her, as if making out what her next move might be, and resolute sadness appeared on his cute, little face. "Daddy, can I ask you a question?" he said.

"Of course, my boy. You can ask me a question."

"Will you be mad at me if I tell you the truth?"

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The Great and Powerful, Brave Raideen

The Great and Powerful, Brave Raideen

A Short Story by Scott Semegran

The little boy sat on the floor in his room surrounded by his toys--Micronauts action figures, Hot Wheels race cars, Star Wars action figures and vehicles, Evel Knievel doll and motorcycle, Shogun Warriors in various sizes, and a pile of Legos intermixed from various sets. His name was William. His mother called him Billy, just like his uncle who died ten years earlier in the Vietnam War was called, but he liked to be called William. More than anything, he liked to play in his room all by himself with all of his toys surrounding him on the floor. In his room, he was safe. He liked that.

He had a vivid imagination and enjoyed introducing the different toys to each other, intersecting their fictional worlds into one. The few times that other neighborhood children were allowed in his room, they had an issue with that, the fictional worlds colliding.

They all said to William, "Micronauts don't fight Star Wars people!"

"And why not?" William said.

"Because Micronauts aren't in the movie Star Wars, dummy!" they all said.

The other neighborhood children weren't allowed in his room after that. William spent most of his time after school in his room although he would occasionally venture into the back yard, a large grassy area with a tall oak tree in the back near the fence, a mostly completed treehouse perched up in its canopy. With two rooms to play in--one inside and one outside--his world seemed rather large; there wasn't much need to go anywhere else except for school. School, to him, was an evil place. He hated going to school.

William stood up one of his Shogun Warriors, the one called Brave Raideen (the tall one painted red and black with a bow and arrow and a crazy, silver mask that made him look like King Tut or something), and he said, "What are you going to do about that jerk Randy at school?" William made his voice as low and gravelly as possible to speak like what he thought Brave Raideen would sound like.

"I don't know," William said in his normal voice.

"You should do something to scare him real good," Brave Raideen said.

"Like what?" William said, curious.

"You should get the thing in your mommy's nightstand. That'll scare him real good!" said Brave Raideen, then laughing an evil laugh.

"Yeah!" William said, jumping to his feet. He tossed Brave Raideen to the side, opened his door, and ran down the hallway to his parents' room, his long, lanky arms swinging like those of a spider monkey. His mother heard him running and called out to him.

"Billy? What are you doing?"

"Nothing, mom!" he said, entering her bedroom and running around the queen-size bed to where her nightstand sat. He laid down on his stomach in front of the nightstand and reached under the bed. "Randy is going to be sorry he messed with me."

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Sammie & Budgie

Sammie & Budgie

Pre-order now! Release Date: Oct 1, 2017

sammie and budgie front cover 93x140From Kindle bestselling writer and cartoonist Scott Semegran, Sammie & Budgie is a quirky, mystical tale of a self-doubting IT nerd and his young son, who possesses the gift of foresight. The boy's special ability propels his family on a road trip to visit his ailing grandfather, a prickly man who left an indelible stamp on the father and son. The three are connected through more than genetics, their lives intertwined through dreams, imagination, and longing.

Simon works as a network administrator for a state government agency, a consolation after a promising career as a novelist flounders. He finds himself a single parent of two small children following the mysterious death of his adulterous wife. From the ashes of his failed marriage emerges a tight-knit family of three: a creative, special needs son, a hyperactive, butt-kicking daughter, and the caring, sensitive father. But when his son's special ability reveals itself, Simon struggles to keep his little family together in the face of adversity and uncertainty.

Sammie is a creative third-grader that draws adventures in his sketchbook with his imaginary friend, Budgie, a parakeet that protects him from the monsters inhabiting his dreams. Sammie is also a special needs child but is special in more ways than one. He can see the future. Sammie seemingly can predict events both mundane and catastrophic in equal measure. But when he envisions the suffering of his grandfather, the family embarks on a road trip to San Antonio with the nanny to visit the ailing patriarch.

Sammie & Budgie is an illustrated novel brought to you from the quirky mind of writer and cartoonist Scott Semegran. The novel explores the bond between a caring father and his children, one affected by his own thorny relationship with his surly father, and the connection he has with his sweet son is thicker than blood, going to the place where dreams are conceived and realized.

Read an excerpt here.

Praise for Sammie & Budgie:

"A quirky, mystical tale of a self-doubting IT nerd and his young son, who possesses the gift of foresight. Engaging and fun, with wonderfully crafted characters." --Derf Backderf, award-winning and bestselling creator of the graphic novel My Friend Dahmer

"Sammie & Budgie is instantly absorbing, its affable narrator hooking you with wit and whimsy, then reeling you into the boat, where larger revelations await. Scott Semegran is a lively, vivid storyteller, and this book will delight readers of all ages, while leaving them with plenty to ponder about their own lives. I loved this book!" -Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart is an Idiot, creator of Found Magazine, and contributor to public radio's This American Life

"Scott Semegran’s loose charm and conversational style brings his shaggy narrator to vivid life in this story of a loving, if imperfect father and his maybe-psychic son. A sweet story about an extraordinary everyday family, Sammie & Budgie will find its way into your heart, and stay there." --Emily Flake, New Yorker cartoonist, author of Mama Tried: Dispatches from the Seamy Underbelly of Modern Parenting, and creator of Lulu Eightball

"Through Semegran's tongue-in-cheek writing, we get to step inside a wacky world where each chapter is an adventure and we're led to see just where Sammie’s vision will propel us." --Mary Bryan Stafford, award-winning author of A Wasp in the Fig Tree

"A feel good story that captures the extraordinary love between a parent and child. This particular father nurtures the uniqueness of his son emulating the bond usually held between a mother and child. Together they capture the hearts of the chosen few who become intertwined in the life of Sammie's world. A reality-based fairy tale both entertaining and inspirational." --Bessie David, author of the novel On a Pedestal

"Sammie & Budgie is a heartfelt novel about a Daddy's love for his family. The reactions to Sammie's special gift are balanced on the dual edge of pride in Sammie's gift and fear that educators might view the gift differently. I was caught up with the honest exchanges between Sammie and his Daddy. There is a level of fun in relating the everyday activities of the children of a single parent home. This story will tug at your heartstrings." --Rox Burkey, co-author of The Enigma Series

Reviews for Sammie & Budgie:

  • Kirkus Reviews
  • Indie Reader

RetailereBookPaperback
Amazon $2.99 $15.99
Barnes & Noble $2.99 $15.99
Apple $2.99  
Kobo $2.99  
Google Play $2.99  
Smashwords $2.99  
Scribd - $8.99/month Link  
CreateSpace   $15.99

Goodreads

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Sammie & Budgie (Simon Adventures Book 3)

Paperback Info

ISBN: 978-0692926925 

Copyright: © 2017 Scott Semegran

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Printed: 290 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, cream paper, black and white ink, full-color cover with matte finish

Publisher: Mutt Press

Category: Fiction / Literary

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Mr. Grieves #152

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Buy the Mr. Grieves Book at Amazon.com! amazon

To read more Mr. Grieves comic strips, go here.

Boys by Scott Semegran

Boys

boys-front-cover93x140"The writing is sharp and unpretentiously thoughtful, and since each of the main characters finds solace in companionship, this is an affecting literary depiction of the comforting power of friendship. Each of the stories can be read on its own, but taken together, they make a coherent, thematic whole, skillfully produced.

An endearing collection that deftly captures the need for youthful fellowship." -Kirkus Reviews

These are the stories of three boys living in Texas: one growing up, one dreaming, and one fighting to stay alive in the face of destitution and adversity. There's second-grader William, a shy yet imaginative boy who schemes about how to get back at his school-yard bully, Randy. Then there's Sam, a 15-year-old boy who dreams of getting a 1980 Mazda RX-7 for his sixteenth birthday but has to work at a Greek restaurant to fund his dream. Finally, there's Seff, a 21-year-old on the brink of manhood, trying to survive along with his roommate, working as waiters and barely making ends meet. These three stories are told with heart, humor, and an uncompromising look at what it meant to grow up in Texas during the 1980s and 1990s.

Read an excerpt here, here, and here.

Reviews for Boys:

RetailereBookPaperback
Amazon $2.99 $14.99
Barnes & Noble $2.99 $14.99
Apple $2.99  
Kobo $2.99  
Google Play $2.99  
Smashwords $2.99  
Scribd - $8.99/month Link  
CreateSpace   $14.99

Goodreads

Add Boys to Your Goodreads Shelf

Boys

Paperback Info

ISBN: 978-0692470114

Copyright: © 2015 Scott Semegran

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Printed: 184 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, white paper, black and white ink, full-color cover with matte finish

Publisher: Mutt Press

Category: Fiction / Short Stories

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Books from Mutt Press by Scott Semegran Sold at Malvern Books

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Malvern Books in Austin, TX carries visionary literature and poetry from independent publishers, with a focus on lesser-known and emerging voices the world needs to hear. Now, they carry books from Mutt Press by Scott Semegran. Mr. Grieves, Modicum, and The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood; these are the selections from Mutt Press they carry. Please stop by and pickup a paperback. They also host book and poetry readings and musical performances, and provide a friendly meeting space for book clubs. Shop local, support small business and indie publishers like Mutt Press.

For more info about Malvern Books, please visit http://malvernbooks.com/. Or stop by at 613 West 29th Street, Austin, TX 78705.

For more info about Mutt Press, please visit http://muttpress.com/.

If you found my blogs, stories, cartoons, or other articles on my website useful or entertaining, then please visit my Books page and check out my novels as well as my comic strip compilation and my collection of short stories and cartoons. They are all available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover formats. For a pittance, you can purchase something great to read while supporting a writer with a large family and lots of mouths to feed. Thanks for your support, Scott.

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