Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Hi, blog!

I kind of hate you at the moment. And blogging. It is draining me. Blog blog blog blogblgobgoblgoblgbogbgoblgoblog. So I'm taking a break.

See you on the flipside, blog.

Peace, love, and naps,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Some updatery

My review of City Slab #12 is now live at The Fix Online. Go on, check it out.

I worked on artsy stuff for most of the weekend. Got some comics done for the ones for The Stars Down Under, as well as MyLifeComics. I even doodled! It's been ages since I just sat and...doodled!

Today I went to the park for the first time in many months. To say it was divine would not even come close to describing the experience.

I still plan on submitting a story to the new open submissions period for Sword and Sorceress, but I started another piece for the time being. Sci-fi and about food. Everyone knows I'm a foodwhore. So, yeah, I'm working on this one for a bit.

And lastly, Battlestar Galactica has been great so far. I only wish it was back on Sunday nights.

There you go. Five random things makes an entry.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Books in 2008, #13

#13. The Situation by Jeff VanderMeer

This is, in short, weirdly fascinating. It's also not really a book, but rather a novelette packaged like one so for the sake of my sanity I'm just going to count it here among the others. The Situation is the story of an office's innards and its quirky employees, an account of a place both strikingly different than what we might know and yet all-too-familiar to those that have spent time in a gray-walled cube slaving over market reports and the like. It is the journey of an unnamed protagonist who has just been put in charge of a new project--to create a ginormous fish, from scratch, big enough that it can swallow a child whole. But of course.

Can I admit something here? Yes? Okay, I will then. All of this reminded me somewhat fondly of that scene in Beetlejuice where Adam and Barbara end up finding out that the afterlife is merely a convoluted office setting, brimming with paperwork and monotony. Of course, the characters there were monstrous, sure, but also comical. Here, where our leading worker's fellow employees are shapeshifters, things are less laughable. In fact, they are very much subverted, making them both unclear and interesting. My favorite would have to the Mord, once simply known as Mord, a bird lover who quickly mutates into something more quietly menacing, and all within an office's walls.

Which is really why I think I liked this the most. It's the mix of normalcy and surrealism, the juxtaposition of paperwork and info-seeking beetles, the horror of a manager made completely of ignitable paper, the way isolation creeps in just as hauntingly as it would in any situation. There's a sense of loss, a sense of confusion, an understanding that everyone hates you, and finally for our working friend a chance to break away. It's not exactly how he'd have liked to go (it involves a slug, and for those paying attention earlier on they know exactly what this means--serious business), but it is an end fit for a nobody worker bee.

The Situation is available as a free download from Wired. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm a cover whore

Just saw that the cover for Kaleidotrope #4, which contains my short story "She's a Hearth", is now up:

As a fan of pipes and robots, I must say that I approve. What do you think?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Books in 2008, #12

#12. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Feeling the urge to get better in touch with nature, Bill Bryson, after spending some twenty plus years in Great Britain, decides to walk what many see as not walkable: the Appalachian Trail. It is a stretch of path that goes on for 2,100 miles, from Maine to Georgia, and is brimming with trees, bears, and history. Joining him on the trek is his pal Katz, a man who at first seems incapable of walking the length of a shopping mall. The two of them quickly discover that the AT is not what they were expecting. It has its ups and downs, its quirks and faults, and its Mary Ellens.

While some of the minute details of A Walk in the Woods had my eyes glazing over, the wit and charm of Bryson and his observations were more than enough to keep me turning the pages. Now, he most certainly does not walk from Maine to Georgia, but he is more than successful in getting himself back to man's roots. And small victories, in the grand scheme of Mother Nature, are much more acceptable.

Parts of the narrative hit home, especially since I have some strangely fond memories of a walk I once took with my parents, father at the ship's wheel, where Sunfish Pond was "only a little further" away. It's easy to see how Bryson and Katz grew quiet or agitated on the AT, how in all that beauty a little madness can still grow.

So yeah, a fun read, though sometimes thick on the details. Especially enjoyable for fans of the outdoors. A final warning: the cover is misleading.

Kaleidotrope #4 TOC

Well, here's the TOC for the fourth issue of Kaleidotrope, which looks like it'll be coming out shortly:

"Molting" by Andrew Howard
"Word Count: Negative 1" by Ashley Arnold
"The Three Wishes of Miles Vander" by Bill Ward
"Premature" by Mark Rich
"Paradise" by Adam Lowe
"White Sheets" by Mike Driver
"Rome (a Metrophilia)" by Brendan Connell
"Half-Sneeze Johnny" by Kurt Kirchmeier
"My Cthulhu Story" (a comic) by G.W. Thomas
"Furrier" by Flavian Mark Lupinetti
"She’s a Hearth" by Paul Abbamondi
"The Life and Times of a Hungry World, Told Briefly" by Alex Dally MacFarlane
"The Transparency" by Michael Obilade

"Househunting on Mars" by Bonita Kale
"Praise for What I Don’t Know" by Thomas Zimmerman
"Cracked Shells" by Beth Langford
"Spring in the Lab" by Alyce Wilson
"Farm School" by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff
"A Manual For Good Housekeeping in the Age of Global Warming" by Miranda Gaw
"Ivanikha" by Dana Koster
Two Poems by Franz K. Baskett
"Worldviews on a Desert Trail" by Jason Huskey
"Towards the Afterlife" by Aurelio Rico Lopez III

Bonus Shtuff
"Who Goes There," Betty Ragan's interview with Marc Schuster and Tom Powers
"The Rise of the Fembots: A Brief Introduction to Female Android Sexuality in Film" by Eric Borer

I recognize some names up there. Do you?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Seven weird superheroes

Here's seven weird superheroes that will, unfortunately, or maybe rather fortunately, never make it to big screen. I think I used to room with #4 in college...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Look, ma, progress notes

Ah, so I couldn't not start a new story. I'm telling you, it's an addiction at times...

Progress notes for 03 April 2008

"The Surviving Skalds"

New words: 223
Total wordage: 223
Deadline: May 16
Reason for stopping: Just plain ol' tired, folks.

Actually, I need to figure out how the surviving skalds actually play a part in this thing. See, I originally wrote about 500 words from the title itself, my muse, and then scrapped them. I was starting in the wrong place. But I still really like the title and now have to figure out where they are and what they are going to do once Luann and company stumble upon them.

Must think, think, think...

Darling du jour: The dockside inns of Anlaegar welcomed Luann and her brother's men by locking all their doors. (First sentence, too!)
Tyop du jour: if fleeing from the plaque.
Number of curse words so far: Just one. I must be growing up or something.
Character quirks: Someone can't count too well. Mathematics, it seems, is not a necessity for a mercenary that can swing a sword, I suppose.
Words Microsoft Word squirms at: sellsword, skalds
Words Microsoft Word loves, but should probably have a problem with: NA
Sustenance: Coffee with hazelnut creamer, some fat free Rocky Road ice cream coming up next...
Mean Things: The horror that is sleeping outside on a cobblestone street. Also, some shoving.
Other writing-related work: Signed the contract from Farrago's Wainscot for "Pigment" and sent it back, woo. Somehow, contracts are fun to read. I think I like all the technical jargon.
Other work not related to writing: I colored in tomorrow's comic for MyLifeComics, as well as wrote down notes for next week's batch.
Mail: Just a bill, yawn.
Animal Crossing: Wild World update: This section here is for Bitsy. I know she's dying to know. Today, I spoke with Pascal and he hooked me up with a ship's compass. Kind of neat. Also, if you need it, I got an ivory piano in my house. Finally.
The Internet is Full of Things: Oh, don't you know it! Too bad I'm eating ice cream and don't have time to search it for neat thingies.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Not an imaginary sale

Well, here's some Hump Day news:

79-day SALE of my short story "Imaginary Puissance" to Fictitious Force.

Editor Jonathan Laden has asked for a light rewrite, which will be no problem at all. His eyes caught some parts of my story's world that could be strengthened and I'm glad to have the chance to touch it up. I also just found a Word file that I saved where I defined over a dozen of terms used in the story. Yeah, I'm kind of crazy ADD like that...

So I have that to do. I finished the civilized cannibals story last week and it has already gone out to its market. I'd really like to try and write a new story for the next open submission period for Sword & Sorceress 23. Let's see, I know there's something else short fiction-wise I want to be doing. Oh right, review the newest issue of City Slab for the Fix Online.

So, I feel pretty productive. Also, if I keep selling stories at this rate I might actually begin to think of myself as a Writer, capital w and all.