In progress: Moonshine

A body-swap story inspired by Shelley, not just Frankenstein, but also “The Transformation,” a tale I read a while ago and which really got me by the throat. What I love about the story is that the Doppelganger and the protagonist get all mixed up in the end, bits of one left behind in the other.

Because, you know, it’s not always easy to say which is which—the good self and the bad. Which the harbinger and which the savior?

Pulp never lies.

Anyway, the story is set just outside my home town, a place I’ve renamed Union Falls in previous work, near Moonshine Falls, NY. My friends and I used to hang out at the falls when we were kids. Ride our bikes there and splash in the gullies, wear bright clothing so the poachers’ rifles wouldn’t get us. It was remote and wild and scary as hell. Those were good summers. We’d head out after breakfast and come home for dinner, maybe. Maybe call from a friend’s place where we’d stopped for a plate of whatever their mom had going. Or maybe just grill us some cheese and take it upstairs to where someone’s big brother would be watching TV and sucking on a joint next to the open window. And always the lake.

In my dreams I’m always on Route 90 heading toward that place and the lake is to my left, so I’m heading north, and I always wake up just before I get there.


Women Writing the Weird: Out Now at Dog Horn Press

"Women Writing the Weird"As promised, WWW launched on Halloween. I don’t have my copy yet, but you can get it here. I’m excited to see my story, “Lion Man,” out and proud and in such great company…am prepared to be amazed by my colleagues.

Also out and about is my poem, ‘Some Kind of Monster,’ at Go(b)et Magazine. Very cool brave new publication putting out stuff, the likes of which you won’t see anywhere else.

The novel has gone to the agent, which leaves me with a huge amount of time on my hands. Plenty to do, just not the motivation to do it.

A few things have got me excited. Jeff and Ann Vandermeer’s new site, Weird Fiction Review. I read John’s Pelan’s piece on First Ladies of Fear, namely Mary Dale Bruckner and Greya La Spina, which inspired me to download Old Mr Whiley onto my kindle. Reading it now; it’s creepy. But the site is top drawer as you’d expect. Definitely a time thief, but hey, I got time.

Dead Zone

I will
I will not revert
This, the beginning will begin
the whole new first days
of light
I am in control born
strong, no longer
(or still slightly)
in recovery
post traumatic
sex starved food starved wine coffee pills
work-crazed altitude sickness non-stop
doubt and words creaming coming non-stop

But now this stillness
I am cleaning the fridge
(the novel is written)
I have ordered new seal for the door
of the fridge
Sticky jars from last year stuck to the door
of the fridge
I will cook with ghee

The iPhone chimes incoming
from the Flight Centre
I will book our trip
New Zealand or Hong Kong
We will go away
I will not write I will not teach myself
to write again
I will lie by the pool (if Hong Kong)
I will hike (Queenstown)
not miss the kids
not miss my work

not feel cleaved
from everything that makes me real.

I will cook with ghee.

When Genres Attack, guest post

… The agent totally gets it. As a prolific writer of poetry that involves everything from crop circles to telekinesis, he totally gets writing that fuels a desire for ‘another world, and yet one to which we feel the tie.’  Borrowing from Melville. That Melville…

read more of my post at this blog here

And a lot more happening besides. Editing the ms now, then will return to the blogosphere to reclaim my social mediocrity!

Mark Lawrence’s post on Clarion: Read it and weep, and cheer.

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages, but [excuse here]. Mark Lawrence is the author of Prince of Thorns, which I have yet to read, and will as as soon as [explain here]. But no, I will. It’s in my Amazon cart, just waiting for my VISA card to roll over. Needless to say it’s getting raves. But wait. Read Mark’s guest post on Clarion Blog first. Now. And tell me if you didn’t cry, give god the finger, and then effing get back to work.

With a vengeance. For all the needy sons and daughters out there, and all the Mister and Ms Marks jotting, and sketching, and notating, and humming at 4 am in hospital waiting rooms everywhere.

I’ve been inspired by a few people lately. Mark is one of them. I don’t want to resort to the old, ‘if he can do it, then anyone can.’ Because anyone can’t. Being up against it does not make you a good writer. But if you are already amazing—as Mark is, and if you don’t believe me, then check out some of his stories, here—AND you’re up against it, and still manage to be amazing, then you are an inspiration to the rest of us. So thanks Mark, for sharing, and for actually caring enough about art, along with all your other cares—to take the time to inspire us. Yeah.

Dad, and Mam, and me. We made a trio, there in our borrowed black, him cursing God for the taking of a baby, me with the laughing gas and the tears rolling down my cheeks, and Mam twisting so slow on an invisible wrack, every muscle at war with every other, and no sound escaping past her teeth.

Mark Lawrence, from ‘During the Dance’

‘Cyber-Hippie’ Michael Hart dies

Micheal HartSad to see that at the ridiculously young age of 64, Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, was found dead at his home in Urbana, Illinois. Described by admirers as an ardent technologist and futurist, Michael Stern Hart was to the eBook what Grove Press’s Barney Rosset was to print—making out-of-print literature available to millions, here and now.
Project Gutenberg, begun by Hart on July 4, 1971 with the typing of the Declaration of Independence and downloaded by six people over the Arpanet, grew in increments over the first two decades. To support the project, Hart worked a variety of odd jobs, furnished his house from garage sales, built his own computers from discarded components, and avoided doctors. By 1989, Project Gutenberg had completed its 10th eBook, but it was only after typing in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland that Hart really saw the writing on the wall.  A bunch of kids he knew and their friends were so excited about reading Alice on the computer that they all climbed onto the one chair in front of the monitor, breaking the chair and  crashing them to the floor. Yet they still kept reading.

To say that Hart was encouraged was just one of the many understatements that could be applied to this larger-than-life guy. He began work with a new fervor, digitizing one literary text after another, convinced that the future of reading was electronic, and that one day we would be able to hold a world of words in the palm of our hands. From that day on, according to the LA times,  ‘any time anyone owed me a favor’ he said. ‘I said, ‘Here, type in some Hamlet.’

PG now offers more than 30, 000 free books in sixty languages. Today the most read ebook on Gutenburg is the Kama Sutra (25,000) downloads, followed by The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (18,000) downloads. According to the NY Times, it relies on the work of volunteers who scan and proofread without pay, adding to its list at the rate of hundreds of books each month.

The NYT quotes Hart as saying in 1997, after having created only 313 ebooks on PG, that he was ‘just waiting for the world to realize I’d knocked it over’. A year later, Wired Magazine named Hart as one of the 25 people who were ‘actively, even hyperactively inventing tomorrow.’ Steve Jobs was included on that list.

The Furies

For  a class I’m taking on The Oresteia, I’m loving the Furies, the  most ancient of the Greek goddess, from the age of Titans. Born from the  blood of Uranus when his son, Chronos, chopped off his penis…  basically vengeful witches sprung from the dick of a bleeding ass.
For a class I’m taking on the Oresteia, I’m loving the Furies,
ancient goddess from the age of Titans. Born from the blood of
Uranus when his son, Chronos, chopped off his penis…
basically vengeful witches sprung from the dick of a
blooding ass
I just wish I could come up with something half as good,
vengeful, bloody, passionate, tormented… you don’t
want to piss these ladies off.
And this is Dali’s portrayal, nothing comes close to it.

7 Lisas by Swan; and bad news bosses.

I’m liking LisaLisaLisaLisaLisaLisaLisa, by Swan, at New Dead Families. It’s absurd, but not heartless, the emotion and humor ring true. And funny, like when he does this: ‘Dear Lisa, is it cold there? Do you miss me? You’re so good and pretty and nice. I mean fastidious, punctual and thrifty…’ and he only does it twice. Which is kind of elegant.

I’m hating terrible bosses. Four people have told me stories about their terrible bosses today. Really terrible. Slaverous bottom-line flunkies. Fly them. If only.