Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Dopeman...

It was once said by a man who couldn't quit,
dopeman, please, can I have another hit?

When I was a kid, I always had my nose buried in a book, a comic or a magazine. My first serious girlfriend once told my mother that she'd never met anyone who read as much as I did. When I was seven, my mother bought me a poster from the book-mobile that had this strange little drawing of some unidentified furry thing and a quote attributed to Francis Bacon:

Some books are to be tasted, some to be swallowed, and others to be chewed up and swallowed whole.

Since then, I've not read anywhere near as much as others, but a shitload more than most, and I agree with that quote wholeheartedly.

But even so, there are a mere handful of books that have gripped me with such force that I simply could not stop reading. The ones that fall into the "to be chewed up and swallowed whole" category.

It by King was one.

Sleepers, by Lorenzo Carcaterra is another. That one.. oh man.

The Girl Next Door, by Jack Ketchum. Oh yeah baby, right by the throat until I got to the end.

And most recently, a book pushed upon me by Brian Keene.

He was doing a signing for his latest release, Dead Sea, and after catching up a bit, he held a book up with an unassuming cover and grinned at me.

The kind of grin that a smack-pusher has on his face when they see a monkey chittering on someone's back and they're holding some heavy weight of China white in their coat pocket.

Warren Ellis' Crooked Little Vein is the book. It's the same Ellis that's the pen behind a shitload of graphic novels.

I started it Saturday evening, and after blowing project deadlines, hurrying my kids to bed and singing him a speed metal version of bedtime songs, I ran back to get the book and kept on going.

At times, it's by far one of the funniest things I've read. The voice of the main character is of a guy you'd want to sit at a bar. The cast of characters is flawed and imperfect, and weird and strange and damned interesting.

It's literary heroin, and I'll pick up anything else this guy puts out.

Go get it. First hit's for free baby.

Hoover! I said HOOOOOOOVER!!

You just can't make this kinda shit up:

The Hoover and the Dwarf

Monday, August 20, 2007



All right.. it's been a week and a day since HorrorFind Weekend and I've finally recovered. I had a fun time, as I always do at these things... being around writers and other like minded people does have a battery-charging effect. But this year was a little disappointing as there wasn't enough book vendors or publishing houses. Hopefully this was just an off year, but aside from that, it didn't pull any enjoyment from the weekend.

I went with one of my best friends, Doug, and after arriving, as he and I sat at the bar having a beer, the first person we recognized was Padrone himself, Tom Monteleone. He came up to us with his wide smile and after enthusiastic greetings, he ordered a vodka tonic and we shot the shit for a few minutes before he left to go tend the Borderlands table.

Then I made a passing reference to hammering a fork and making a snake gig. This prompted Doug to call our friend John to taunt him.

Doug and I had a few more beers. And then a couple more.

A couple hours later, our friend Tim arrived, and the drinking commenced.

We ended up drinking and grabbing a bite to eat with JF Gonzalez and a couple of guys who manage a liquor/beer store in Maryland. These guys came in handy later.

Horrorfind's classic gathering spot is in the front of the hotel, and in past years, our crowd has pretty much taken over the spot. It's rare that I go out and don't spot someone I know... this year... not so much.

We wandered outside around 12:30 or so, and... tumbleweeds blew through. Well.. maybe I exaggerate just a bit, but there wasn't anyone I recognized.

Several moments later, Dallas Mayr (Jack Ketchum) strolled out of the building. He looked like a cat that had eaten a canary, and walked up to us.

"Evening fellas. How you doing? I'm pleasantly buzzed right now."

It's rare for Dallas to be strolling around alone, but we took this moment to hang with him a bit. Then Steven Lukac and Drew and crew came out... the rest is a bit blurry... but it was generally fun.

Saturday came, and corazón de mi corazón showed up with daughter in tow.

We laughed ourselves absolutely silly for the next hour, mostly about Wafflehouses, Tucker Max, and toothless vagrants.

Later that evening at 5:00, I had a reading in Salon F.

My already mentioned best friends, Doug and Tim were there. Doug's wife, Amy and his mother, Grace. My wife, Jen, and my cousin, Kristie were there as well. Steve Lukac, and Kelli and Amanda Dunlap, as well as a couple guys filming a documentary, and another guy in the back who I "think" goes under the screen name "Slimey."

And of course, my reading slot room mate, Gord Rollo.

This year was a bit different from last year. I do presentations a lot, so getting in front of people doesn't really bother me. But reading your own work in front of people... yeah, that's a bit tricky the first time.

This year though... I felt relaxed. Not exactly what I'd say old hat, but comfortable there in front of everyone. I saw people's eyes glass over as I read. Saw one of the film guys' eyes get red at the edges.

And I always know I'm hitting a mark when I see Lukac's mouth open as I'm telling a story.

After the reading, a crewwwwww of us went to dinner and as the night went on, we drank.

And drank.

And um.. well.. we drank.

I went to a VIP/celeb party and hung with Michael Laimo , Gord Rollo, Steve Lukac, Beth Blue and a host of others... had a great time talking with those guys.

Thankfully that night, there was at least a bit more people out front, but not much.

By the end of the night, Tim had gotten the rumbly-tumblies and visited the porcelain god (this fills me with a certain amount of glee, as I've only see him vomit twice in my life, and he almost never - NEVER - gets hangovers. I on the other hand.. well..). Doug had crashed hard into his bed.

I, being the utter and vast repository of Captain Morgan Private Stock that I am, hung out with the crew from Fearnet.com and marched onward to sunrise, then returned to the cave to snore my ass off.

I'm still tired, but recovered and looking forward to my next live reading, wherever that may be.

Tune in tomorrow, when I tell you the book that Keene didn't only push on me, but shoved it into a syringe and injected into my veins so I'd become hooked on whatever the author's writing for life.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I was away at HorrorFind over the weekend, and as soon as I can find my liver again, I'll post, but...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

For your Viewing Pleasure

For reasons I'm not going into just yet, I did a google tonight for different variations of wrestling midget and I have to say... there is some ODD shit on the net.

For your viewing pleasure...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Runnin from the Devil...

Before I get into today's moment of zen, I've got to remind the three of you who come to read this thing that I'll be giving a reading at this year's HorrorFind Weekend in Hunt Valley, MD.

I'll be doing a reading Saturday night at 5:00 in Salon F. I'll be sharing a reading slot with the talented Gord Rollo. I'll be there Friday afternoon onward and it would be cool if you'd be there or at least share a drink with me.

This means YOU, Michael Laimo.

Now we return to our normally scheduled rant...


I just got back from running two miles tonight.

It's really fuckin hot out and this is the third time this week I've done a two mile run.

All together, I've probably hit about twelve or thirteen miles in the past month.

Nothing was chasing me.

And I wasn't chasing anything.

Until I sat down here at my desk and began to blog... and realized I was chasing after myself. Or more accurately, the person I've become. Sometime during the past year... the person I've been turning into left my ass in the dust.

If last year at this time, I'd met me now... I wouldn't recognize myself.

This past year?

Oh baby.

There's been some changes all right. It's been a year of polarity. I've done a beer with goods and a shot with evils. I've danced with trust and pinched betrayal's ass.

I've had a little menage et trois with life and death and came out on the other side.

But I am definitely not the same guy I was last year.

I'd like to think the central core of a person remains intact... that we all have a kernel of good at the base of us that remains constant and evergreen. That no matter how bad things may get, that soft, chewy center is the glue that keeps everything else intact.

But aside from that, the fact is people change. They're exposed to new ideas and concepts. They learn. They grow.

Well, most of them do. Others just keep repeating the same thing over and over like a record stuck in a groove.

The thing is, what do you do with those changes? How do you greet them? You can run from them, sure.

The thing is, it's like running away from death. You can get away with for a while, but trust me on this, baby... you ain't never gonna out run it. And one day... you are gonna die.

Embrace whatever's coming your way. Don't run from it. Don't run after it.

Run with it.

Free Read by Brian Keene

Clickhere and go read this.

You'll be glad you did.