Day Five: The Reckoning

It started out peacefully enough…

…and we’d managed to miss the international potato art festival.

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Gone Daddy Gone: Vent Yer Vents, Prompt Yer Promotes

(A photo from back in the day, when I was promoting Ann’s boxing career. We never did get that elusive title shot against Ali’s daughter. But Ann was a solid 25-1-1, with 23 knock-outs, before the inevitable slide when I hired Mayweather Sr. as her trainer. Ended up 34-12-1 and broke outside of St. Louis, fending off rats. Man, those were good times. But, I gotta say, we both find the writing and editing a lot easier.)

Ann and I are taking some desperately needed R&R over our (seventh!) anniversary weekend (four days, sun, sand, margaritas, reading). There won’t be no posting until Wednesday-ish. May you all be safe, well, and happy.

And, if you’re around, feel free to post on any of the following topics: your current or future reading, your current or future projects, or any pet peeve topic you just can’t stop thinking about no matter what and posting here might just save your sanity. Those sorts of things. No fighting, though! And no kissing!

Finally, will leave you with some choice linkage from this blog over the past few weeks, beyond what’s still on the front page.

Goodbye, intertubes. Goodbye, all you fellow weirdoes…until next time…

The Pathology of Derek Raymond’s Dead Man Upright and a longer post on the first four Factory novels by Raymond.

Godzilla Poop

Bookdeath Tips on PR

Sfar and Trondheim’s Dungeon brilliance

Clowns: Not Just For Brunch Anymore!

Bad Asses Move a Dragon Head

Consequences of Buying Weird Stuff at the Grocery Store

Finch from Inception to Interior Layout

And, finally, a sneak peek at a link I’ll be featuring on Omnivoracious next week…

< late-breakin’ link to my Graphic Novel Friday feature on The Best of Simon and Kirby–great book.>>

[Oh, yeah–and Charles Tan is apparently trying to lure me into some kind of trap by posting this and this:]

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Amy Stewart’s Wicked Plants: Bear vs Castor Bean, Whomping Willows, and Terrifying Mushrooms

I truly love this book, and was fortunate enough to catch Amy Stewart between gigs and interview her for Omnivoracious. Check it out–it’s a good one, and funny.

Jeff the Silly: Imagine this scenario. You’re up against a Kodiak bear. You have the ability to conjure up a six-foot version of any of the plants in your book to help fend it off. Which plant, and why?

Amy Stewart: Hmmm, I’m going to need something fast-acting, so that rules out castor bean, and I guess it also rules out the coyotillo shrub, which is cool because it causes paralysis–but later. So I’m going with curare, a South American vine that can be used on poison arrows. It’s actually a muscle relaxant, but it works so fast that it causes birds to fall out of trees. This assumes, of course, that the Whomping Willow is not available…

Also check out just how great the book is design-wise, in addition to the amazing PR kit for reviewers:

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Re-Imagining the Situation

(Two of Eric Orchard’s sketches for The Situation)

Work progresses on the graphic adaptation of “The Situation” for The artist and general mastermind is Eric Orchard, but he needs a detailed outline to work from–something that has enough flexibility for him to bring his own ideas and imagination to the project but structured enough to provide focus.

So, something that isn’t really like your normal comics script, as I understand it–a hybrid of sorts. Beneath the cut you’ll find an excerpt from what I’m turning in today, with the caveat that the final version of both the text and the finished comic may be vastly different. This part is like drawing a rough map.

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Short is the New Cool: Four Collections That Use the Right Words

(Seriously? You don’t have any of these? Okay, well, you’d better have started acquiring them by the time I get back from the gym, or I’ll beat the reading into ya…)

I just posted a new Omnivoracious feature on four excellent collections that I think deserve your attention, possibly even your love. I’d also note all four publishers produce excellent books in general.

Apparently, it was my week to read and then blog about it. Have I made up for the Godzilla poop post yet?


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“Predecessor” from Conjunctions Now Online (along with Hand, Marcus, and Carroll)

When I posted about Conjunctions and my story “Predecessor” the other day, I didn’t realize they’d also put the story online, along with a few others. Here’s the link to the main page, and to the individual stories.

“The great man’s home lay within thick woods, beyond a churning river crossed only by a bridge that looked like it had been falling apart for many years. The woods were dark and loamy and took the sound of our transport like a wolf taking a rabbit. The leaves passed above us in patterns of deep green shot through with glints of old light. There was the smell of something rich yet suspect in the chilled air.”

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Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy: Good, Bad, and Ugly

My review of Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy just appeared in the Washington Post. Here’s the opening:

Sloppy yet smart, Chuck Palahniuk’s “Pygmy” veers from sublimely ridiculous to just plain ridiculous, sometimes within a single paragraph. An infiltrating agent from a nameless authoritarian country, Pygmy poses as a high school exchange student and joins the Midwestern family of Donald Cedar. “Host father,” as Pygmy calls him, works for the Radiological Institute of Medicine and has access to biotoxins. Pygmy and his fellow undersize operatives hope to unleash a biochemical Operation Havoc on an unsuspecting United States.

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Strangeness in the Mail…and Elsewhere

(This was on some booktv show for like 10 minutes before it changed. No wonder people think books on TV be borin’.)

Cat sitter walks in the door. “Um, there’s got to be a story behind those.” Points to the giant blow-up penguin and the huge dragon head. Me: “We’ve got a friend in Australia….sent us penguin…penguin wars…then bought dragon head…at daughter’s place but now we have it. Er, at night people outside think they’re humans.” A kind of suspicious, confused look from cat sitter…but that’s not what I want to talk about today. (Nor do I want to talk about Bib-stalk making my cheeks turn red.)

No, some slightly weird books done come in the door. Like, for example, this one:

It looks like a bone, but it must be a book. ‘Cause I review books, not bones. Caitlin R. Kiernan can do both, I believe, but not me. And how did they get my home address? That’s a little weird…

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Booklife, Predecessor, Shriek–Linkerage

(Me at Utopiales in Nantes a couple years back. This photo was taken after three days of epic food poisoning, and I was thinking please gawd let me die rather than suffer through another interview or panel. Shortly thereafter, I participated on a panel where the moderator asked me a question and I said I had no interest in the question whatsoever–next!–mostly because my brain had been scooped out of my skull by then. I keep this photo as a reminder of my least impressive performance.)

….I hope you’ve enjoyed the last week of posting. I’ve had fun digging into the guts of Derek Raymond’s work and posting about hiking, in particular. These entries make me no money and pull me away from the work I need to do to survive as a freelancer, but I find them so deeply satisfying that I’m willing to take the hit; doing such things contributes to my peace of mind. I’ve thought about putting a paypal donation button on this blog, but am not really sure I like that idea. So, if you enjoy the blog, consider buying one of my books, especially the stuff published in the last couple of years.

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