Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

The New Cover for Azarius

Azarius, my first book, will be re-issued in an e-book edition from Crossroad Press any minute. David Dodd did the cover for the new edition. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Making of a Halloween Story

I may have mentioned here or on Twitter that travel usually produces creative energy for me. As Halloween approaches, I've been reminded of a Halloween horror story I wrote a few eons back. It's called "Like Candy From a Baby," and it's a tale of an evil man who gets his just desserts, quite literally.

It was eventually slated for an anthology Edward Lee was working on, and he noted it almost made him throw up after he read it. That anthology never came about, but "Like Candy From A Baby" is now available in my collection Scars and Candy.

Dark stories inevitably lead to the question: "Where did you get that idea?"

I don't have a specific nucleus for the story, but it came about after a trip to the World Fantasy Convention in Seattle one year. World Fantasy is always held around Halloween, and I drove down from Alexandria, LA, that year to Robert Petitt's house. He lived in Baton Rouge in those days, before a Louisiana version of the Sons of Anarchy led to his relocation.

From there we drove to New Orleans and hopped a flight to the Northwest, and I read Razored Saddles on the plane, especially, at Robert's urging, Chet Williamson's "Yore Skins's Jes's Soft 'n Purdy He Said."

World Fantasy is a great con, and those were great convention years for me. Tons of friends were always on hand, and activities were non stop.

Robert was always a good traveling companion for me, more outgoing than I and thus better at meeting people. That was the year we met Wayne Allen Sallee, Yvonne Navarro, Beth Massie and many others. Dean Andersson and Nina Romberg were in Seattle that year as well, and many, many cool people were on hand.

When it was over, we headed home, and I was buoyed by the energy of being around new and old friends, kicking around ideas and attending readings and the like.

I'm not sure exactly when the tale sprang into my imagination.

Maybe it was while I slept on Petitt's couch and dreamed, but at any rate, as I started home I had a Halloween tale in mind and I picked up a pocket tape recorder I kept with me in those days and dictated the first lines about an awful man named Frank Church who had insidious plans for a Halloween house of horrors.

It's about an hour and a half from Baton Rouge to Alexandria. By the time I'd made the trip, I had a story on my tape recorder. It was a little verbose and badly worded in parts, but I transcribed and polished later.

Maybe creativity is confluence.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Biblioholic's Bookshelf: Straw Dogs AKA The Seige of Trencher's Farm Seventies movie tie-in-edition

I haven't seen the recent Straw Dogs remake yet, but the original is a brutal Sam Peckinpah tour de force with Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. I found this movie-tie-in edition of the film's basis, The Siege of Trencher's Farm, a few years ago.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back from the Apple

Christine's wanted to spend a few days in New York City for about an eon, but conflicts kept prohibiting until we said "Dammit, we're wedging it in." 

It was a good decision, since NYC is such a smörgåsbord for eclectics. 

Christine's in a bit of a "Colonial-influenced" place at the moment, so we spent a while at the Museum of the City of New York on a docent-led trip through an exhibit called The American Style: Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis. That dovetailed into a visit to the MET and the American exhibits where re-created rooms from many eras almost let you step into the past. A room from a Frank Lloyd Wright mansion was a highlight.

We planed a couple of shows, off Broadway's Relatively Speaking--a series of one acts by Ethan Cohen, Elaine May and Woody Allen--and War Horse at Lincoln Center, thinking those represented a pretty nice spectrum. They did, of course. Tight, funny comedy-dramas peopled with stars-you-know make up Relatively Speaking, while War Horse, is, of course, a spectacle that's emotionally engaging from the start and you really do forget those are puppets and not real horses.

But we also wanted to be flexible and open to opportunities. We watched a good chunk of the Columbus Day Parade, and, on a whim, we managed to catch John Lithgow being interviewed (by Bill Moyers) about his memoir Drama: An Actor's Education at the New York Public Library. That opened with inspiring remarks from NYPL's president about keeping ideas and knowledge accessible to all in the digital era. 

We  spent a morning at James Robinson Inc. as well getting deep insight into the history of silversmithing from one of the proprietors. 

I've been a bit creatively fatigued of late, so it was really a wonderful trip that worked without a hitch or hiccup. It was nice to let everything inside relax a little, let my brain decompress and just absorb for a while. 

I enjoyed getting familiar with the subway again, with hoofing it through neighborhoods and along the edge of Central Park and through shops in Soho. 

I don't have anything eloquent or profound at the moment. It's just good to recharge in a spot where the energy is so high. 

Further reading

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