Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Mango!

I don't talk about every new episode here, but you've waited so long I feel I should mention this one. Episode 22 - Today's Special!

http://bewarethehairymango.com/episode-22-todays-special/

52 in 2010!

Welcome, new follower Larry! He's the guy I told you about yesterday. Click on his furry face to learn more about him.

Thanks to all of you who bought a copy of Larry's and Skeet's e-book for Spider and Jeanne Robinson and to those of you who helped to spread the word. You guys are incredible! Tony is very happy with the numbers and we'll get the official total on our good works in the first Aural Delights episode of 2010, which I'm sure I'll mention all over the place.

If this link works, there might still be time to help! http://www.starshipsofa.com/shop/lord-dickenss-declaration/

In other news: Happy Old Year's Night!

2009 sucked! 2009 brought me divorce, a nosedive in my credit rating, the loss of my father and a burgled home now less one MacBook, PSP and iPod. As the wise Grant Stone says, "See ya in hell, 2009!" The shittiness took its toll on my writing. Looking back at the 2008 year in review I wanted to write 90 stories and a novel in 2009. What the fuck was I thinking? I also wanted to make 200 submissions. What I actually did was write a paltry 29 stories (many of them twit-fic and flash fiction) and made 81 submissions. Admittedly, it was one of my better years. One thing that tripped me up was a regular writing and abandoning of supposedly unfixable stories.

However some good things came out of the writing year. I finally won my years-long battle with Process Five and put his tale down in a story called Three Kingdoms. My twit-fic made its way out to people via @thaumatrope, @nanoism and @outshine. I started my own podcast, Beware the Hairy Mango (and I know some of you are asking, "Why are you writing this Matt, and not recording a new episode?"). And I wrote some stories I'm really happy with including Thank You, Mr. Goldman; A Body is for Driving and The Empire State Building Strikes Back! The soon to be happening podcast, Cossmass Infinities bought my story Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range, so in 2010 we'll be able to hear those bears speak (maybe with Scottish accents!). I sold a few stories to Everyday Weirdness, and sold stories to Fusion Fragment and, I'm very excited to say, GUD magazine (Look for it in Issue #6). My story, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat was published by Blood, Blade and Thruster, and then almost immediately picked up for the main fiction spot by StarShipSofa's Aural Delights.

"So stop bitching!" you say. Well, bitching is my nature.

The goal for 2010 is to write 52 stories. This is doable if I can control myself. I figure I can produce 4,000 words of polished, final draft in eight hours. Double that for fucking-around time, so If I can give 16 hours a week to my short stories, I'll have it. Submissions? We'll say 200 again.

There we go. That's it for goals. Yes, I want to do a couple of other things, lose a few pounds, watch Wagner's Ring Cycle (just DVD, nothing fancy) and keep the house cleaner (Cleaner is easy. Clean is hard.), but these are all peripheral things. The writing is what merits the concerted effort.

I hope every one of you has a wondrous and happy 2010! Make it happen!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

StarShipSofa's Spider Robinson Fundraiser!

UPDATE: I feel like The World's Most Gigantic Ass for not mentioning that Larry's E-book is illustrated by the wonderful Skeet Scienski! http://www.skeetland-art.com/Home_Page.php Sorry Skeet!


Click here to help Spider and Jeanne Robinson!

Today's the big day! I hope that all of you are out there blogging about StarShipSofa's fundraiser for Spider and Jeanne Robinson. We had a fantastic response on Twitter yesterday. Thanks to all of you who tweeted and re-tweeted. I saw something like two-hundred tweets about the fundraiser. That's fantastic. I got a couple of notes during the day from Tony at the Sofa saying how he could see donation traffic picking up yesterday. I'm hoping we'll see even more traffic today.

Why? Because if people are actually blogging about it today, like we've asked, the message will reach people that it didn't reach on Twitter. We'll reach science fiction fans who don't use Twitter and we'll reach non-science fiction fans as well.

Why should you donate?

THE SHORT VERSION
1) It's a good cause, you big silly!
2) It only costs about $5.00, American.
3) You get an awesome e-book!

THE SLIGHTLY LONGER VERSION
1) From Spider's Blog: Earlier his year a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Andresz Busczowski, helped Jeanne Robinson beat back a rare and virulent form of biliary cancer. But it’s so rare even he can’t say how much time he‘s bought her, how soon it might recur—and her latest blood tests have been so discouraging they’ve now decided she needs to start chemotherapy as soon as possible. Besides the prescription drugs to counteract the chemotherapy, she needs special therapies and supplements, counseling, and extensive diet and lifestyle changes, to reduce her stress level and the strain on her liver to as close to zero as possible. All those things are expensive...and like many artists today the Robinsons were already running on fumes financially.

2) ONLY FIVE BUCKS! (More if you want to give more!)

3) You get Larry Santoro's excellent e-book novella, Lord Dickens's Declaration. Listen folks, a lot of you don't know Larry Santoro's work. In fact, most of us Sofanauts hadn't even heard of him until his stories began appearing on StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast. But let me tell you . . .

Wow.

That's Larry's work in a nutshell. I didn't know this guy from Adam a couple of years ago and now he's one of my favorite writers. He's been hiding out in the theater world and in Horrorland, sharpening his pen and now he can slice atoms with it. Larry controls his words, they don't control him, and at the same time he feeds them out like ten-thousand feet of kite string to play in the sky. They think they're running free, they don't know. All the while he knows where every one of them runs and what they're going to do next.

And Lord Dickens's Declaration is an absolute blast. Alternate history, steampunky, put-your-brain-in-a-box-and-don't-stop-shaking-it cool. The story features a world in which historians are the big guns and a computer which stretches across hundreds of acres (sometimes), called The Beast, sends those historians back in time. And let me ask you, have you ever known historians to put things back where they found them? Me neither. And that's what drives this mad world. It's 1902 in a world where Jesus ran the Roman Empire and a ninety-something Edgar Allen Poe runs North America. Occam is the man and who the hell is Charles Darwin?

Buy this book. Read this book. Enjoy, enjoy this book. Rest the rest of the righteously smug, knowing that your pleasure is also a Karmic write-off, all 100% of your electronic money is helping good people who are seeing a rough time.



And then tell all of your big-hearted friends to pick up a copy as well. Thanks!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Catching Up

I had the official list of my completed One-Thousand stories on my laptop (which is gone now, in case you're just joining us). I spent the last couple of days piecing the list together again and realized that I hadn't mentioned my last three stories.

117: The Girl with the Halo
118: Introduction to Olfaction (Page One)
119: The Empire State Building Strikes Back!

The first two were done back in August, the third just ten days ago.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec. 30th Blog Rally for the Robinsons

UPDATE: I feel like The World's Most Gigantic Ass for not mentioning that Larry's E-book is illustrated by the wonderful Skeet Scienski! http://www.skeetland-art.com/Home_Page.php Sorry Skeet!

I need your help.

Quickly: Science Fiction author Spider Robinson's wife Jeanne is fighting cancer and they're both fighting to pay the bills. 100% of any money used to purchase Larry Santoro's excellent e-book, "Lord Dickens's Declaration," will go directly to the Robinsons. Here's the link:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/shop/lord-dickenss-declaration/

Dec 31st is the last day that people can buy Larry's story. I'd like to end the fundraiser with a bang. Let's get the word out all over the web to let people know on December 30th, there's only one day left to help. Why December 30th? Because if there's only one day left people won't put it off and say, "I'll do it later. I still have time." Make sure you link to the purchase page!

If you've got a blog, please use it. Tell your friends that are into speculative fiction ahead of time and ask them to blog as well. And let's ask the big boys to mention it, like BoingBoing, Gaiman, Scalzi, VanderMeer and whomever else you can think of. One last big push to help some good people in a bad situation.

Please tell me what you've done here, even if it's just sending some e-mails or tweets. Or post a link here to your blogpost. And if you happen to get a confirmation from someone like Cory Doctorow, then the rest of us won't all be bothering him for the same thing.

A few minutes of your time is all I ask and it could make a huge difference for the Robinsons. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Please Help Spider And Jeanne Robinson!


This week StarShipSofa is proud to announce Aural Delights no. 111, Part I of Lord Dickens's Declaration by our own Larry Santoro. Lord Dickens's Declaration is also available for purchase as a limited edition e-book only for the month of December and all proceeds will go to Spider and Jeanne Robinson to help with their expenses due to Jeane's illness. The Sofa appreciates whatever you can do to help spread the word. Blast off!

Aural Delights No 111 Lawrence Santoro Pt 1

Lord Dickens’s Declaration is a novella by Lawrence Santoro which is an accompanying piece to StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1.

The story will be podcast free in three parts starting today but

to help the Robinson’s you can….

Purchase the ebook

You can purchase the ebook via PayPal or a credit card starting at £2.99,

ranging up to £100 if you would like to contribute more to Spider and Jeanne.

purchase-button

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks And The Sofa

Hey, you guys, It's time once again to nominate your favorite contributors to StarShipSofa's wonderful Aural Delights show for The Sofanaut Awards. These are nominations so you can pick as many favorites as you like. I'm eligible in three categories. Just sayin'.

Best Main Fiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat
Best Flash/Short Fiction: A Hard Rain and Brothers and Sisters All
Best Fact Article Contributor: Fiction Crawler, Movie Talk Special - Watchmen

Thanks a bunch for listening! You can vote here:

http://sofanauts2010.questionpro.com/


Next, I want to wish all you Americans and ex-pats out there a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow and you know, I've had a shit year (debt, divorce and death, among other plagues), but I still have a lot to be thankful for. Family and friends like you guys, chief among them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lastly, I have totally sucked at plugging the Sofa lately, so let's remedy that right now:

Aural Delights No 110 Cory Doctorow

Editorial: by StarShipSofa Stories by Sean Keough

Fact Article: The Sofanaut Awards by Mark Bormann

Fact Article: With A Little Help by Cory Doctorow

Main Fiction: To Go Boldly by Cory Doctorow

Fact: Film Talk by Rod Barnett

New Titles by Tony C Smith

Narrators: JJ Campanella, Paul Caggige

Art Cover by Skeet

The Sofanauts Awards 2010 VOTE NOW!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Night Music

Here's another performance from Night Music that I love and remember. This time it's Debbie Harry. Hiram Bullock is over there singing and guitaring next to her and David Sanborn is wailing. What a fantastic show this was. It's a shame it was canceled after only two seasons and shit like Full House went on for what? Like a decade or more?

The song is Calmarie from Debbie's Def Dumb and Blonde album. The songwriters are two people named Toledo and Vasconcelos. Is it Portuguese? Sounds like it, but what do I know? I'm only half Portuguese.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_klppfz2gk

I Wanna Be Good

Have I mentioned I love youtube? I saw this performance a few times back in the eighties on the awesome Night Music show, which I absolutely loved, even more than youtube. I've been looking for the song for two decades and just found the video tonight. Happy Happy! It features Karen Mantler and Her Cat Arnold doing a song called "I Wanna Be Good." The band is introduced by host David Sanborn (Yay, Sanborn!) and pianist Carla Bley (whose ex-husband hangs at my store and most of us think acts like a dick). Karen Mantler is Carla's daughter and David Sanborn's son is the group's bass player. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUYBW11GCiY

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pay What You Want For GUD!

Dig it: GUD magazine is selling their pdf copies at whatever price you want to pay (unless you want to pay in chickens or something stupid like that). Load up, but try not to be a total cheap-ass. The money each issue earns is split between the magazine and the contributors. Get a deal and help them make a little scratch!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Surveillance Does

No, not surveillance does, but surveillance does. You're pronouncing it wrong. Oh, hell, you'll see. I've been asking everyone I see about this movie and no one has heard about it. I looked it up today and it seems to be in limited release, so maybe that explains it. It looks awesome from the trailer. A ridiculous and stupid type of awesome. A so bad, it's awesome type of awesome. I can't wait.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp5CsXOrIds

A New Tack

You know me, I change my mind more often than I change my socks (This explains my odor). I've been sending out cleaned up drafts of chapters of my novel, The Inner Workings of the Artificial Mind, to a small group of friends for over a year now, and it's only been twelve chapters so far. I did it this way as an experiment to kick me into gear on the project (obviously didn't work very well) and to show the curious how the book was going to evolve over successive drafts. Since I lost a lot of my notes with the abduction of my laptop weeks ago, I've taken the opportunity to re-evaluate this method after salvaging what I could of the remainder of the novel from old drafts.

I don't think I'll be sending any more chapters out for quite a while. I'm going to write the current draft through to the end of the novel and then do another draft of the entire thing. I'm finding it a lot easier to get through it that way. When more stuff is ready, and I'm sure that will be next year, I'll ship it out to those concerned. Right now, I'm enjoying the work and I don't want to stop enjoying it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Bears Shall Growl

This is nifty! Paul W. Campbell's upcoming podcast, Cossmass Infinities, will be doing an audio version of my story Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range next year. Yay! Paul narrated my story Brothers and Sisters All on StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast earlier this year and I thought he did a wonderful job. Can't wait to hear what he does with the bears. I'll let you guys know when it's available.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Intersection of Fantasy & Native America

Hey, folks! Amy H. Sturgis, whom you all know from the StarShipSofa podcast, has just co-edited a scholarly work on Native America, fantasy and the intersection thereof called The Intersection of Fantasy & Native America. Eat it up right here:
http://www.mythsoc.org/press/fantasy.native.america/

Tahiti Screams! A story for every mid-life crisis. Episode 17 of Beware the Hairy Mango can be heard here: http://bewarethehairymango.com/episode-17-tahiti-screams/

Thursday, November 05, 2009

GUD News, Everyone!

Yesterday I signed the contract, so I feel on fairly solid ground when I say this, but it's in my nature not to take too much for granted. Greatest Uncommon Denominator, otherwise known as GUD magazine, is going to publish my story, Maisy's Many Souls in issue number 6 next spring. GUD is a great mag that's absolutely packed with fiction, something like 200 pages an issue. You can buy print copies through their site or get a great deal on the .pdf versions of each issue. Check them out, love them up. I'll let you know when issue 6 comes out.

Maisy's Many Souls was a sort of a turning point for me. As I was writing it, I knew that I had somehow jumped to another level in my work. I think this is common among creative people, though I can't speak for everyone. I shall indeed speak for myself. I get to a certain level of quality in my work and I think I'm becoming incredible, and "Hey, this time I've really got it!" and then I don't get any better for like, two or three years. Then I lose all hope (But I don't stop, that's the key). Eventually, I suddenly leap forward again. Damn, two adverbs in that last sentence! And you call yourself a writer, Matt? So the evolution of my skill includes punctuated equilibrium, that's all I'm sayin'. Anyway ANYWAY, I enjoyed Maisy's even as I found something disturbing underlying it. I hope you enjoy it and find something disturbing there as well. The characters became real people, saying real things, and they steered me more than I steered them. It was wonderful. Just hold onto that curiosity for another six months, will ya?

Episoide 16 of Beware the Hairy Mango is up! And out! And through! The Fall of the Soy Milkers! Go listen! And Episode 17 should be done later today! Exclamations!!!

Today, I'm including everything in my word count. That includes whatever work I get done on the novel, whatever I add to today's Hairy Mango story, this blog post and even my damned e-mails! Hell, why not Twitter too? I'm in that kind of mood.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My Stuff

Rather than listing everything I've done over to the left under Read (or listen to) My Stuff, I've decided to trim it down to a few choice pieces and then stick a link under those (See the rest here!) where you can see everything (nearly) on my "about" page at bewarethehairymango.com. Take a look at what's there and maybe you'll find some stuff that you'll enjoy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

C'est La Vie

Fifteen minutes of Halloween as I write this. Probably be over by the time I post. I'm going to go back to my novel The Inner Workings of the Artificial Mind. I've salvaged what I could from .Doc files sent to friends of the first twelve chapters and an old .rtf and google doc, but I'm sure I had stuff on my (apple) pages file which I can't get to. Oh well. C'est la vie, right, baby? I'll put together what I can and move on.

My productivity has been shit this year. I don't know why. I'm not objective enough to dissect the past year and see what went on. Don't know if it will get any better. Not sure if I care.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mow No Mo'

First off, Episode 12 of Beware the Hairy Mango is up! It's called, "The Next Vampire Story." Go listen to it!

Couldn't we help the environment if we all stopped mowing our lawns? More grass would mean more carbon is being held in vege-spension, right? Not only that, but we'd emit less carbon dioxide because we wouldn't be running our lawn mowers. Spread the word on this. I can't stop mowing because those in charge of the place where I live apparently frown on unmowed lawns. I even had a cop hassle me about my lawn once. But if we can get the idea out now, maybe ten years from now it will be a movement. Let's go! No mow!

A new StarShipSofa is out there, ready for the taking! Go get it!

Aural Delights No 104 Sean Williams

Poem: The Send-Off by Lyn C. A Gardner

Fact: Talk by Amy H Sturgis

Intro to Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams

Main Fiction: A Map of the Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams

Fact: Progress Report 4 by Lawrence Santorow

New Titles: by Tony C Smith

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

StarShipSofa - Aural Delights No. 104

This week StarShipSofa is pleased to present Aural Delights no. 104. Blast off!

Aural Delights No 104 Sean Williams


Poem: The Send-Off by Lyn C. A Gardner

Fact: Talk by Amy H Sturgis

Intro to Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams

Main Fiction: A Map of the Mines of Barnath by Sean Williams

Fact: Progress Report 4 by Lawrence Santoro

New Titles: by Tony C Smith

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Important Lessons

1) There are bovine growth hormones in the milk that we drink. (The former wife and I kinda figured this from the effect it had on the Boy's body. We only buy organic milk now.)

2)Corporations have a great deal of input about what the news shows us.

3) It is not illegal to broadcast lies on the news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1pKlnhvg0

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Some Stuff From Your Negligent Host

I've got about a million things to talk about, so why haven't I been blogging? Because I'm a knucklehead. Here are just a few things so I have something to forget to blog about tomorrow.

Beware the Hairy Mango is up to episode 9!:
http://bewarethehairymango.com/episode-9-boss-conversion/

In it, you'll hear that my house was broken into a couple of days ago and my laptop was stolen. Mega-bummer.

The new StarShipSofa is out:


Aural Delights No 102 Charles Stross

Editorial: StarShipSofa and the Future by Tony C Smith

Cover Art: Evan Forsch

Poem: Clone Assassin by Lyn C. A Gardner

Fact: Movie Talk by Rod Barnett

Fact: Science News by JJ Campanella

Flash Fiction: The Arrival of the Cogsmiths (oil on canvas, by Turner, 1815) by Fábio Fernandes

Main Fiction: Down On the Farm by Charles Stross

Fact: Progress Report 3 by Lawrence Santoro

New Titles: by Tony C Smith

Narrators: Julie Davis, Chris Booth, Diane Severson

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Solomon Kane Trailer

Some of you may know that Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan, is one of my favorite authors. Another one of his heroes, Solomon Kane, will be featured in his own film at the end of this year. The trailer looks great. It's taken some liberties with the source material (who's surprised?), but it feel quite Kaney. Take a gander:



You've got a good three months before it comes out. Plenty of time to read the book:

Sofa Stuff(ing)

StarShipSofa Stories Vol. 1 is now available here:
http://www.starshipsofa.com/anthology/

You can buy a real live book or download the pdf for free. Buying the book helps keep the Sofa flying. Here's the table of contents. Lots of big names in there and lots of great writing. Give it a go!

Table of Contents
  1. “Into The Blank Where Life Is Hurled” by Ken Scholes
  2. “London Bone” by Michael Moorcock
  3. “The Second Coming Of Jasmine Fitzgerald” by Peter Watts
  4. “Lester Young and The Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues” by Gord Sellar
  5. “Vampire Kiss” by Gene Wolfe
  6. “Vinegar Peace (or The Wrong-Way Used-Adult Orphanage)” by Michael Bishop
  7. “Godzilla’s 12 Step Program” by Joe R Lansdale
  8. “Jesus Christ, Reanimator” by Ken MacLeod
  9. “The Sledge-Maker’s Daughter” by Alastair Reynolds
  10. “Mars: A Travelers Guide” by Ruth Nestvold
  11. “The Empire of Ice Cream” by Jeffrey Ford
  12. “The Ant King: A California Fairytale” by Benjamin Rosebaum
  13. “In The Olden Days” by Spider Robinson
  14. “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear
  15. “Little Girl Down The Way” by Lawrence Santoro
In other Sofa news StarShipSofa is proud to present Aural Delights 100! It's a special all short fiction episode with behind the scenes info on how the book above came into being.

StarShipSofa Aural Delights No 100

Intro by All!

Editorial: We’ve Reached 100 by Tony C Smith

Fiction: End Of Oil by Gwyneth Jones

Fiction: Bob The Dinosaur Goes To Disnyland by Joe R Lansdale

Fiction: Two Dreams On Trains by Elizabeth Bear

Fiction: Thought War by Paul McAuley

Fiction: Feast or Famine by Naomi Novik

Fiction: Billy In Dinosaur City by Terry Bission

Fact: The Pulp Story by Lawrence Santoro

Narrators: Peter Seaton-Clark,, Gareth Stack, JJ Campanella, MCL Studios, Amy H Sturgis, David M Smith (my Dad) Cori Samuel

Music for Congratulations 100 by Kevin MacLeod

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beware The Hairy Mango!


There are buckets of news touting swell things, but today I've got to mention the release of my very own podcast into the cold cruel world. Beware the Hairy Mango! That's not just good advice, that's the name of my podcast. Fans of my flash fiction will dig it, because I read one of my stories, lifted from this very blog (among other places), on each episode. What are you waiting for? Get over there and listen!

http://bewarethehairymango.com/


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Salt Line

Go check out The Salt Line by my friend, Grant Stone, in text or audio right here (for free!):
http://www.wilywriters.com/blog/?p=1015

I have something nifty coming up. I'll tell you about it sometime in the next couple of days.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

StarShipSofa Stories, Vol I

To celebrate the one-hundredth episode of Aural Delights, StarShipSofa is releasing its very first print book, StarShipSofa Stories, Vol I!



From Tony:

"StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1 is only a few days away from going on sale. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover art, designed by Skeet.

"Skeet’s brief was to create a picture that would pay homage to the 50s SF pulp magazines. I think he’s produced an amazing piece of work.

"Get ready for the 16th September when the book will be available to buy in print form. There will also be a new website and free eBook released on that day.

"I hope you think it captures the style and feel of the SF Golden Years?"

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Moon Is Disgusting

A half an hour ago, I didn't know this guy existed. Thanks, William Gibson and Colin Peters for shouting about him. I watched a different vid first and asked, "What the hell is that thing?" Why, it's The Magic Pipe, of course! As a very mundane bass player, all I can say now is, "Cool!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wGMsOhaPJs&NR=1

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dad

My dad passed away yesterday. As you may know from previous posts, he hadn't been well for the last three months. I'll talk about him in some future post. We're having a viewing here in Florida in a few days, then a funeral in Connecticut on Friday. We're asking that instead of flowers, people donate something to the veterans' charity of their choice. That's all for now. I'm taking a fiction-writing break until I get back from Connecticut.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sauntering Out Of Control

There is erosion out on the far edges of me. Far edges because I think I'm pulled in tight. And there is crumbling out there and I'm watching it all with a strange calm, wondering at it like I'd wonder at the stucco cracking. Life isn't spinning out of control. It's more of a saunter. There is no interesting thing that happens at the end of that out of control, unfortunately. I'd like a good story to tell, of madness and despair and guns and firetrucks. But honestly, that's just in the movies. In real life, once you've sauntered out of control the only difference is a different batch of shitty things crop up in your life. How dull am I that I can't even lose control in a way that would grab my own attention?

I could really use a little something interesting right now. I'm not even going to go so far as to ask for exciting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Eighth Age Is Up

The Eighth Age is up at Everyday Weirdness: http://everydayweirdness.com/e/20090812/

Wrote a flash fiction piece early this morning, The Girl with the Halo. Don't know what I'm doing with it yet. It may become 117 if I find the right place.

116

116 is out the door. It's called Rule #1. I had something else I wanted to say. I'll remember as soon as I hit "post."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tiny Stories In The Wine

Had a story on Thaumatrope today. The site was revamped a couple of weeks ago and it looks fantastic. Also, each author gets a page now which is incredibly cool. Now I can put all my Thaumatrope stories in the sidebar with one link. Note the dates, as some of them were holiday related.
h
ttp://thaumatrope.greententacles.com/contributors/upwithgravity/stories/

Tomorrow, The Eighth Age is set to run on Everyday Weirdness. I'll post a link then.

I'm heading outside in about an hour or so to see the Perseids. Won't you join me?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Yay!

I sold The Eighth Age to Everyday Weirdness! It should be up on their site next week. I'll post a link when I see it there.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Like It Rough

This is a post about wiping my ass.

I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like soft toilet paper. I like it thin and tough with lots of paper on the roll. For over ten years Big Roll toilet paper was my favorite brand. It met all my requirements and it was cheap too. It was a Walgreens brand and I would shop at Walgreens for toilet paper and nothing else. I would go out of my way to buy their stuff.

Bastard companies often cheap out on their products to sell you less of something at the same price, rather than selling you the same amount for a higher price, hoping you won't notice. I didn't gripe too much when they took a roll that was 4.5 inches wide and quietly made it 4.05 inches wide. I did notice what you did though, bastard Walgreens, don't think I didn't. But now they've gone soft and I'm through with Walgreens and Big Roll. For now I'm buying something I like even less than the new Big Roll because I'm pissed at them. I won't even tag this post because I don't want to give them any more attention than I've already given them.

I will find the right toilet paper for me. I might have to buy industrial stuff that's used in public bathrooms by the case. So be it. Think of me the next time you wipe. If you've read this far, I know you will.

This is the kind of thing that gets me blogging again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Pie, Wiv Chips, For Free

Been away too long. But I've been writing. I was frozen up for the last couple of days. Then I decided to call the story I'm working on a first draft, start work on the second draft and now everything's flowing like I swallowed a bottle of cod liver oil. The story is called The World Tree House.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmiK7cIx-pU

Sunday, July 12, 2009

115

Thank You, Mr. Goldman went out the door yesterday, 115.

You can read my first Outshine story here http://twitter.com/Outshine. It ran July 11th, 2009, in case you're reading this a long time after the fact.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

One Of My Favorite Things In Life

I saw this ten years ago, loved it, and saw it again today and still love it. It's stuck with me all this time. I told the boy about it years ago, we often say it and he saw it for the first time today and he also loves it.

So.

I've loved it long enough that I can declare this one of my favorite things in life. If I ever have a deathbed and I'm asked "What was best about your life?" this is one of the things that I will say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApmvDU5RmyY

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ugh!

I'm sorry I've been neglecting you again, faithful blog. The last two weeks have been tough. I have been getting some writing done though. Some quick points:

Dad's home at my brother's house. We're all going to be taking turns helping him through the day.

I finished a first draft of a story today. The working title is "Thank You, Mr. Goldman."

I haven't even begun to read stories for the next Fiction Crawler and it really should have been completed by now. Gads!

Got two hours of sleep last night, thanks to Monday morning and my crappy dog. Grrr.

I saw the documentary "Dreams with Sharp Teeth" the other night. Wonderful. I love Harlan Ellison. More details on that (the movie, not my love) another time.

That's it. Hope to talk to you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Dad Stuff

Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes and good thoughts. From what I heard the other day, Dad's days were numbered, but I saw him today and he looked great. He may be released from the hospital tomorrow because they say there's nothing more they can do for him. I think this got him excited. He ate today and walked and had a bit of physical therapy. He was wide-eyed and swearing up a storm this evening. As I've said, this certainly isn't the first time he was supposed to die but decided not to. My brother said that seventeen years ago a doctor told us that Dad had six months to live.

In fact he did live six months. And sixteen and a half dozen more. And we're still counting.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Dot and the Line

I think Dad's ready for the end, but to his disappointment he's too healthy and will pull through as he always does. He seems to be getting stronger. Today he was eating a lot more, talking a lot more and joking. I suspect he'll be back to work in a couple of weeks, mining uranium. His pick glows in anticipation.

I just listened to Will You be an Astronaut by Greg van Eekhout on Escape pod:
http://escapepod.org/2009/06/05/episode-202-will-you-be-an-astronaut/


And if you listen to the story, you may learn why it reminded me of The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics.

Cable television in the seventies was a wondrous, magical thing. There were still only a handful of channels, but for those of who grew up with only four, twenty or so channels brought a cornucopia of entertainment into our lives. I remember Channel 27 fondly. You could watch Batman on 27! Five days a week! And Batman, yes, Adam West's Batman, was the greatest thing on television.

On Saturdays, Channel 56 ran "The Creature Double Feature," two monster movies back to back, everything and anything from The Phantom of the Opera to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Later, at 4:30 Channel 27 ran a Charlie Chan film, then at 6:00 an Abbott and Costello film (those guys made a hell of a lot of films), then at 7:30 they'd run a half hour of classic Looney Tunes shorts. These guys OWNED my tubby little couch potato ass.

Sundays were a mixed bag. 56 ran movies at 12, 2 and 4. Stuff like Houseboat; Pillow Talk; The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming; that sort of thing. I got some outdoor time on Sundays. Occasionally, a movie would fall short of the two hour mark, even with commercials (remember Ronco Records?), and they'd have to stick a cartoon in to fill the gap. One of those gap-fillers was The Dot and the Line. See? I had a point.

Ivory's at the house today for her Internet fix, so I paused Escape Pod to tell her to look for The Dot and the Line. We found it. Now so have you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmSbdvzbOzY


Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Am Not Originally From Kansas

I just saw Dad. He looks much better than he did a few days ago. The Hospital People have been giving him sleeping pills at night and a nurse and my sister have been forcing food down his throat. Food and sleep go a long way toward curing what ails you.

Now, to clear the air, I want everyone to know that I am NOT originally from Kansas. I am not even unoriginally from Kansas. I have not been to Kansas to have gone somewhere else so that I might say, "I just came from Kansas." Not now, not ever.

I have never passed through Kansas on my way to somewhere else. It might take me a moment to find Kansas on a map, EVEN if the word Kansas were printed on it, EVEN if it was a map of only Kansas and nowhere else. In my decades of working with the public, I do not recall ever having met someone who told me they were from Kansas. Nor do I recall ever having watched a sporting event featuring Kansan participation. The only people I've ever seen from Kansas were played by actors who were not from Kansas. No one that I have ever met, heard from, encountered or read about, has ever accused me of originally being from Kansas.

NO
NO KANSAS NO
NO

Any questions?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Loneliness On The Sofa

Just talked to Dad. He still sounds rough but says he's feeling better. The sisters (mine, not his) are heading into town today and tomorrow from Austin and Connecticut. The former wife and I are going to see him tomorrow after work.

Hey! I'm headlining on the Sofa this week on Aural Delights no. 89. Blast off!

http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090617/aural-delights-no-89-matthew-sanborn-smith/

Aural Delights No 89 Matthew Sanborn Smith

Editorial: Forums by Tony C Smith

Flash Fiction: The Git by Jay Lake

Fact: Search Is Too Important To Leave To One Company – Even Google by Cory Doctorow

Fact: Mervyn Peake Part 1 by English Assassin

Main Fiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Fact: Gunfight Intro by Jeff Carlson

New Titles: Edge Of The World, In Ashes Lie, Orphans Triumph

Narrators: JJ Campanella, Paul Caggige, Ray Sizemore

Advertisment: This podcast is brought to you by Audible.com. Download a free audiobook of your choice today at audiblepodcast.com/sofa

Main Fiction first appeared www.bbtmagazine.com

www.starshipsofa.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bumpy Roads, Take Me Home

We thought dad might be coming home from the hospital today, but his heartbeat was irregular. He seems to have a cold. That may be because he's weak. He hasn't slept or eaten much for days. Years ago he told me of days of prolonged terror and adrenaline during the war (he was an infantryman in the Pacific in World War II) and I asked him how he was ever able to sleep under those conditions. He said eventually you collapse from exhaustion. So, I'm hoping that he'll get a good sleep tonight because his body isn't capable of staying awake anymore. I think some sleep will do wonders for him.

Thanks to all of you out there who are sending your good thoughts and vibes in our direction. He's a tough old bird who's been at death's door dozens of times and has always pulled out of it. He has an amazing will to live.

My life's been feeling extra lumpy these past few days. Part of that, I think is from working through the weekend. Friday and Saturday are usually extra busy errand days for me and when I pile the job on top of that, I get a bit worn. Mondays and Tuesdays are often rough because I have to get up early and I usually get less than eight hours sleep over that forty-eight hour period. Put it all together and I'm not at my best by Tuesday night.

But Wednesdays and Thursdays?

I'm like a god among men.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still Kicking

We thought we might lose the old man today. He had a heart attack last night and the docs cut him open (am I sounding Runyonesque?) thinking an artery had re-closed and they'd have to do another bypass, with only a fifty percent chance of survival. What it was was fluid around his heart which they already thought might be there but unrelated to the heart attack. No need to cut further. At any rate, Cliff spits in death's eye once again.

Yay!

Can't Think Of A Title! What Kind Of Writer Am I?

Welcome follower #10, pointman74250! Normally I'll say a few words about the new follower, but I have no idea who this guy is! I'm practically a celebrity, having followers I don't know. If I do know you, pointman 74250, wait a couple of days before you tell me. I want to bask in this feeling.

New Thaumatrope story the other day. You can read it here: http://thaumatrope.greententacles.com/tweets/20090612/

The writing break is over, only it doesn't seem like it is because I haven't had any time to write. It's over in my head.

And, just because I haven't posted a vid in a while:



This is supposed to be funny, but you know you could tune into SyFy on any given Saturday night and find a gem of exactly this quality.

And-And, because I imported this blog onto my Facebook page (under my double secret codename Matthew Sanborn Smith) and last time I tried it the blog at Facebook didn't show the vids I'd posted, here's the link for today's vid(eo):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXoYK4b_q24

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Taking A Breather

I'm taking a little writing break. It might last a day, it might last twenty years. Who knows? I'm going to do some reading. I'm not thrilled with what I've got on my writing plate at the moment (that's right, I write on a plate, doesn't everyone?). It all seems pretty mundane. I want to do something different but I don't know what yet. I'm thinking.

The boy's back in the house for the summer and I'm very happy to say that he's reading voluntarily and asking me for books. Yay! He's reading the Pendragon and Ranger's Apprentice series and he told me he just began the first Elric book. Double yay! His summer reading list is really lame, a bunch of that depressing shit that schools throw at kids. Racism, poverty, Holocaust, post-apocalypse. Not our thing. I think I'm going to give him a pass this summer. I'd rather he read what he enjoys now that he's finally doing so, rather than sour him to reading once again with yuchy stuff.

The high school my daughter will be attending in the fall made Newsweek's list of top U.S. high schools as, I found, it usually does. This year it's number 312. I think that's cool.

I go to Google's street view thingy every few months hoping that views of my childhood homes will be accessible. they aren't. The damn view veers off like about a quarter mile from the cool house, the one built in the 1840's. Someday. I get sad looking at the old town though. I'm cut off from that life as by an ocean.

Paul's got a trailer for a cool looking movie called Air Doll over on his site: http://www.pulpmovies.com/trailers/air-doll

Here's some of that hard-hitting shit you'll only find at The Huffington Post:
GOP Dominated By White Conservatives: Gallup Poll
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/01/poll-finds-gop-is-dominat_n_209764.html

It's this kind of investigative journalism that gives me hope that all will not be lost when the last newspaper disappears. Who knew there were conservatives in the Republican party? Or that they were white? It gives me chills to know that they've been lurking there all this time.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Veritable Potpourri!

Just finished a draft of Chapter 11 of The Inner Workings of the Artificial Mind and sent it out to those who may have cared once.

A new episode of Tank Riot is out. If you haven't listened before, I highly recommend it. I've never had such an enjoyable time learning about stuff I didn't know that I didn't know. The new episode is on Emma Goldman. What? You don't who Emma Goldman is? Neither do I. That's why you and I must both rush out into the net and listen to episode 74! http://www.tankriot.com/2009/074/

I actually cleaned today. The boy helped. See, we had Internet intermittence (The Goog claims I've misspelled intermittence, but I looked it up, so suck it, The Goog!) so the netty entities sent a man out. Well, the place was in its usual state: catastrophic. So we cleaned. When the daughter came over today, she couldn't believe it. "You can see the floor!" she said. "You can sit on a chair!" It was like Christmas all over again. And speaking of Christmas, I took down the Christmas tree today as part of the clean-up. The fixer-man did all his business outside and never stepped in the door, but I was happy that the place was clean. Or cleaner.

Cleanish.

I think that people who have friends have an easier time staying on top of things like that because they're thinking, "My friends could come over at any time!" Now I know how the other half lives. Quite a heady sensation.

I found this wonderful thing today. Wolfgang's Concert Vault. I'd known about the memorabilia from a spot on CBS Sunday Morning, but I didn't know that there were thousands of concerts online for free. This is one of those things that I think everyone but I knew about. You have to sign up, but it's pretty awesome. Besides, what's to stop you from writing complete bullshit on the sign-in if you want? Not that I ever would.
http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/al/performers/all.html

Grrr!

For some reason, Blood Blade and Thruster changed the address of my story, so here's the new address in case you haven't yet read The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat. But honestly, I can't believe you wouldn't have read it yet.

http://bbtmagazine.presspublisher.us/issue/issue_four-june_july_2009/article/the_loneliness_of_the_long_distance_diplomat_06-3

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where I Brag On My Girl

My daughter, Ivory, graduated eighth grade yesterday. She was valedictorian in a class of one-hundred and nineteen students. She won a reading award from her teacher, another award for a perfect score on the reading part of the FCAT (Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test), and she won a Presidential award supposedly signed by the O-man himself. She's been accepted to a magnet school for the arts and she's challenging herself by taking on the toughest course of classes they have. This is all by her own initiative. The girl goes through books like other people change socks. I'm not only proud, I'm impressed.

My Sofanauts episode is up here: http://sofanauts.com/sofanauts/the-sofanauts-no-8 if you watched, you know the attempt at video went awry. If you didn't watch, you know the attempt at video went awry.

I mentioned two of my stories during the show, so if you've come here looking for them, here are links:

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat at Blood Blade and Thruster (I know, I posted it yesterday. Won't kill me to post it again.) : http://bbtmagazine.presspublisher.us/articles/THE_LONELINESS_OF_THE_LONG_DISTANCE_DIPLOMAT_06,3,

For the Love of Ceelie at Fusion Fragment:
http://www.apodispublishing.com/fusion/pages/09_ceelie.htm


I'm a bit pissed at myself for not entering the nanoism contest I mentioned the other day. I completely forgot about it. Hopefully one of you guys didn't forget and can wave some prize money in my fat face. But here's another contest: miniWORDS 2009. You can submit up to three 50 word stories by August 10th. The winner gets £250! Cor blimey! Don't forget this one, Matt!
http://miniwords2009.sharedspace.org/index.php

All Better Now!

Yay! Please enjoy my ridiculous story, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat, at Blood Blade and Thruster right now!
http://bbtmagazine.presspublisher.us/articles/THE_LONELINESS_OF_THE_LONG_DISTANCE_DIPLOMAT_06,3,


Once again, if you're around the Internet today (June 5th) at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, check me out at http://www.starshipsofa.com/live/ as we record episode 8 (I think) of The Sofanauts, the audio of which you can enjoy on Saturday or anytime thereafter at http://sofanauts.com/

Thursday, June 04, 2009

600!

No, not story 600, but blogpost 600.

Here's the link to my nanoism story: http://nanoism.net/stories/25/

I wanted to link to my story in Blood Blade and Thruster, but there's still some kinks to work out. See, I had some aliens communicating with each other telepathically and to distiguish telepathic thought from other stuff in the story, I put these greater than, less than brackets < > around the words. Here's the problem: html also uses those, and when you try to print a story with those brackets, nothing inside of the brackets shows up, because the stoopidheads at the Internet Board think those are secret instructions not to be shared with the public at large. And so, in my story right now at Blood Blade and Thruster, you get passages such as this:

Zek thought to his two companions.

thought Vron.

Krogar asked.

Which may lead whomever is reading it today to think, "What the fuck? This is some surreal shit!"

I sent an e-mail, alerting the staff to this and even sent another version of the story using square brackets [ ], so hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow and I can post the link here.

Here's a link I can safely post. Fiction Crawler 7 is up at StarShipSofa. Check it out:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/20090603/aural-delights-no-87-adam-troy-castro/

And on Friday we'll be recording the latest episode of Sofanauts. You can watch us, while we're recording, at the new LIVE page: http://www.starshipsofa.com/live/ at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time on June 5th. Check it out. It'll be unedited, so maybe someone will say a swear word!

Writers! Time's almost up for the nanoism nanofiction contest. Check it out:

http://nanoism.net/meta/nanoism-nanofiction-contest/

And John Joseph Adams is looking for stories to fill his anthology:

http://www.johnjosephadams.com/?p=1760

Good luck to all of you! That's it for now. Sleepy time is heading my way.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Story Updates

Sorry I've missed a few days, folks. Stories 112 and 113 are out the door. Last Supper and A Body is for Driving, respectively.

My @nanoism story isn't up yet, but you can find my new @thaumatrope story here. Mine is the one by Matthew Sanborn Smith (also known as upwithgravity). And I believe I'll have a story in issue 4 of Blood Blade and Thruster, coming to a screen near you in just a couple of days if all goes well. I'll post the link then.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Twits

Keep two eyes out for upcoming twit-fic from me. I've got a story at @thaumatrope on May 31st and my first ever story at @nanoism on June 1st.

My daughter went to her first nighttime dance tonight. They called it a prom (even though it was eighth grade) and dressed up. Her mother and I had to convince our little anti-social butterfly to go. She ended up having a great time.

Almost done tagging everything. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Maybes And Might Bes

I'm finishing up a flash fiction story called A Body is for Driving though I may change the title. I'm also still fooling around with chapters eleven and twelve of TIWOTAM. And I want ice cream.

Not much else is going on. I'll be on The Sofanauts in about a week and a half. I may be on Aural Delights next week with Fiction Crawler 7.

Also, I'm working on getting all my posts tagged here because there is a small but ferocious group of people following me who are only interested in the flash fiction I used to post here. So when I get that done, I'll let everyone know, then they can just search for the flash fiction tag and all of that will come up. I think I have over two hundred pieces of flash tucked away here. Golly!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lavie Tidhar On The Sofa

This week StarShipSofa is pleased to present Aural Delights no. 86 a day early. Blast off!

Aural Delights No 86 Lavie Tidhar

Poetry: E7 by Curtis Hilgenberg

Fact Article: Extreme Geek by Cory Doctorow

Main Fiction: Transylvanian Mission by Lavie Tidhar

Fact Article: Survivors by The English Assassin

Narrators: Julie Davis

Paul Caggige

JJ Campanella

www.starshipsofa.com

Monday, May 25, 2009

Young Fellow My Lad

Today is Memorial Day in the states, when we honor our fallen warriors. My dad used to recite bits of this poem to me. My dad's still around, he just doesn't recite bits of this poem to me anymore. It always brings tears to my eyes. Even when I was a kid. Even when I read it just now.


Young Fellow My Lad

"Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad,
On this glittering morn of May?"
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad;
They're looking for men, they say."
"But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad;
You aren't obliged to go."
"I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad,
And ever so strong, you know."

"So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you're looking so fit and bright."
"I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad,
But I feel that I'm doing right."
"God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad,
You're all of my life, you know."
"Don't worry. I'll soon be back, dear Dad,
And I'm awfully proud to go."

"Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad?
I watch for the post each day;
And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad,
And it's months since you went away.
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit,
And I'm keeping it burning bright
Till my boy comes home; and here I sit
Into the quiet night.

"What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad?
No letter again to-day.
Why did the postman look so sad,
And sigh as he turned away?
I hear them tell that we've gained new ground,
But a terrible price we've paid:
God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound;
But oh I'm afraid, afraid."

"They've told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad:
You'll never come back again:
(Oh God! the dreams and the dreams I've had,
and the hopes I've nursed in vain!)
For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you proved in the cruel test
Of the screaming shell and the battle hell
That my boy was one of the best.
"So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad,
In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child,
In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy,
While life is noble and true;
For all our beauty and hope and joy
We will owe to our lads like you."

-Robert W. Service

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Bunch Of Things

Welcome new follower and fellow Twit, Meika! The army grows. Meika's a sculptor from Tasmania. Yes, that's a real place, Americans. If you follow him on Twitter (@meika) you know that he has a strange fondness for wallaby dung (no, really).

Here's some great music you can listen to online at NPR.org, probably for a limited time. It's a collaboration between Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch with lots of nifty guests like Iggy Pop and Frank Black among others. David Lynch sings! It's called Dark Night of the Soul. Just click the title, you'll get there. My favorite track is Star Eyes. Cool stuff!

Sent out story 111 yesterday, The Circle of Life. I took another stab at the novel (The Inner Workings of the Artificial Mind) today, reworking chapter 11 which was a confusing mess. I think I originally wrote it twice, with two different foci in mind and today I mashed it all together into one narrative string. I want to go back to it and reread it in a couple of days to make sure it doesn't completely suck, but it's done for today.

Also, I'm digging around in my head for a flash fiction idea for this contest. You writers out there may want to take a crack at it yourselves. There's money to be had! Yay, money! Not that I'm a whore, or anything. We prefer to call ourselves Ladies of the Night.

A nifty Sofanauts this week. Amy's on with Tony, Jeremy and Paul Raven. They talk Orson Scott Card, Star Trek, mundane science fiction and other geeky things.

That's all for now. Tomorrow, I'll post a poem for Memorial Day. Not my poetry, but some good stuff by a dead guy. You look at all the poetry out there and most of the good stuff seems to be written by dead people. Discrimination? You decide.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Mangoes Are Coming! The Mangoes Are Coming!

The bounty of my yard. If the sausage trees that Adam West tried to grow in Family Guy actually existed, they might look something like this. These aren't actually sausages, or dog poo, but tamarinds. The former wife makes tamarind balls with them, mixing them with sugar and something else. They're her version of junk food.




We've got two coconut trees in the front yard donated long ago by my father-in-law. He assured us they'd only grow to about six feet. Maybe those are Trinidadian feet, because the mother-fuckers got to something like twenty feet tall. This one is hella laden, though they've still got some maturing to do. As Merv said, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts.




The cashews have yet to come in. They're still flowersin' as the former wife would say. Lazy cashews!




And finally, we've had a couple of mango trees in the backyard for something like ten years and the bastards haven't done a thing for us. Now for the first time, we've got hot mango action happening back there. The stupid camera decided to focus on the trunk rather than the fruit, but the fruit doesn't look too bad. Soon it will be mango party time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Read Me

Here's the link for Purgatory is for Pencils: http://everydayweirdness.com/e/20090522/ Enjoy!

I'm not shilling books or anything, but I want to turn you guys on to some fun looking stuff that's come into the store in the past couple of days:

The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter by Holly Robinson

I love this quote from the back cover:

“Holly Robinson reveals a fascinating, untold chapter in the history of the Mongolian gerbil in the United State as she brings us back to a time before play dates, bike helmets, or other adult meddling in private childhood affairs and tells with vivid clarity of growing up in America in the 60s - 70s, all the while struggling to hide a terrible family secret–the barns in the backyard house 9000 gerbils.” –Donna Anastasi, President of the American Gerbil Society and author of The Complete Guide to Gerbil Care



Tiny Titans Vol. 2: Adventures in Awesomeness

by Art Baltazar and Franco

The art in this book rocks. It's exactly the style you see on the cover throughout the book.






Creative Cursing: A Mix 'n' Match Profanity Generator by Sarah Royal and Jillian Panarese

This book is AWESOME! This is the one that I'm showing to all my fellow employees. Truly a spiral bound good time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Eleven Percent Solution

I finally sent out Gray Holes, so that story is now number 110. I am now eleven percent of the way toward my goal. Make way! Make way!

My story, Purgatory is for Pencils should be up at Everyday Weirdness tomorrow. I'll post the link then.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

StarShipSofa - Aural Delights No. 85

The new Sofer's here! The new Sofer's here!



This week, StarShipSofa is pleased to present Aural Delights no. 85. Blast off!

Aural Delights No 85 Jeremiah Talbot

Editorial: The Sofanauts by Tony C Smith

Fact: Comic Book Outsiders

Main Fiction: Culture Activistv by Jeremiah Talbot

Fact: Science News by JJ Campanella

Narrators: Ray Sizemore

www.starshipsofa.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crappy

That didn't take long, did it? Actually, I'm just super-tired from a couple nights of little sleep and I also have a bit of a cold, probably caught from my daughter and probably because my resistance is low. Good news is that I have tomorrow off and I'm crashing early tonight.

Happy

Gaa! Already blew the once a day thing! If only I'd posted an hour and a half ago.

The big news is I'm happy! That doesn't usually happen, but I'm not usually this productive. In the last few days I finished a new story called Gray Holes (though it doesn't earn its number till I send it out), wrote a story for my boss to make her boss happy (and I had a blast writing it), got started on helping the daughter with her eighth grade graduation speech, and wrote, recorded and sent out Fiction Crawler 7.

Creation makes me feel good.

Hope I keep it up.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sorry, Bloggie

Sorry, Blog, I don't know why I've ignored you for the past week. I'll post short things and try to get back back to a daily routine.

I think that if Republican politicians keep pissing in their pants when they offend the far right loons in their party, they're going to wind up with two separate parties. There are a lot of sane Republicans who want no part of that crazy bullshit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom

Yesterday I wrote two twitfics called A Couple of Three Packs (106) and One Wheel (107). Today I wrote two pieces of flash fiction, Disease Control (108) and The Wind in His Helmet (109).

Today was Mother's Day here in the states. I bought the former wife some flowers and a card and breakfast. I usually wish her mom a happy one as well, but she's somewhere in Trinidad this month and not as available as she usually is.

My own mom died some seventeen years ago from colon cancer. She was fifty-nine years old. She was a good person. Mom had food for anyone who dropped by the house. She didn't like it when one person won everything on Wheel of Fortune. She wanted everyone to win something. She stretched a dollar till it wept to feed a family of seven fattish people. She was the ninth child of Portuguese immigrants. Her father died three months before she was born. When she was a girl she ran with the Girl Scouts for a while and loved it, but she had to drop out when it was time to buy uniforms because the family couldn't afford one.

She was the first person in her family to graduate high school and she worked as as a secretary to a coroner, hovering near the dead as she took shorthand during examinations. She met my Dad at the hospital where she worked. He was a veteran of World War II who had knocked around a bit and was a baker's assistant at the hospital. My uncle introduced them. She saw five kids into adulthood and put up with more crap from all of us (Dad included) than anyone should be asked to. She was very happy about the move to Florida after fifty-four years in New England. She had a pool, she had sunshine.

She brought her sister down to live with them, when her sister could no longer take care of herself. My Aunt Elsie had kidney problems, was on dialysis for years and apparently the medicine she was taking was shrinking her brain. That's what I was told anyway. The result was something very much like Alzheimer's. And mom helped Elsie, took her out, fed her, bathed her when it became necessary, until very close to the end of Elsie's life. It took a lot out of my mom.

Mom had medical issues that I wasn't told about. She beat cancer once, sick from chemotherapy. About a year and a half later it found her again. Her stomach became enormous, she looked pregnant. She wanted to die at home. A hospital bed was set up in my parents' bedroom and my dad took care of her, saw to her every need as she had seen to Elsie's. Mom fell in love with dad for a second time. Just days after my sisters went back home after saying their goodbyes, Mom let go of the struggle. The last time I saw her she was breathing very short and shallow breaths. She was aided by an oxygen tank. I asked her how she was and she said, "Not very good." We talked for a few minutes and I kissed her and told her I loved her which is something I didn't say very often. She died early the next morning after staying up all night talking to my father. My eyes have gotten all wet writing this.

She was born Laura Katherine Nobriga and died at a much too young fifty-nine years old. She loved romance novels and horror movies and loved to sing out loud even though I told her what a bad singer she was all the time. Needless to say I was not a model son, but I loved her and now that I'm a dad I understand that she would have loved me no matter how big a wiener I was. Mom's are great for that.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Denise Moody-Tackley

It took the daughter to the library yesterday and we enjoyed an unexpected treat: Art by Denise Moody-Tackley. She makes wedding dresses using the trappings of domestic life. And trappings is the appropriate word here. We saw gowns made from copper dish-scrubbing pads, mop-heads, safety pins, bedding, garbage bags and divorce papers. You can find a few photos of her work here, here and here. If you live near me, you can see her work at the St. Lucie County/IRSC/FAU library in St. Lucie West. I don't know how long her work will be there.

States the artist:

Examining how stereotypical views of women are constructed from the responsibilities of everyday life is the starting point of my work. For years I have been confronted with gender issues, boundary concerns, class differences, and the interpretation of the feminine identity. With the help of everyday objects that are inherent to a woman's life I create puns, wry and biting remarks about traditional women's roles.With safety pins, garbage bags, mops, doormats, and a myriad of seemingly insignificant objects, I build women's garments to question accepted notions of female identity. Long, flowing, traditional wedding dresses twist the idea of women's fashion and the ascribed roles they carry. What is believed and passed on moves from the internal to the external, clear markings and identifiers of expected women's knowledge worn like a badge, like a uniform.