Sunday, September 30, 2007

young wine, it is a shame that you will never learn the true glory of life, for I am drinking you far too soon.

You will never experience the undertones of blackberry and the ripe aroma of currants. You will never feel the smooth release of the perfect symphony. No, your notes will remain messy and sour. Your chorus will always stutter. And they will all be young tarts singing soprano with too much make-up, and too much attitude.

I will be left with a bad taste in my mouth because I am putting up with you.

Still, I have the fine wines for when I will not be drinking alone. For I am too ashamed to admit to others that I would drink this young wine before her time.

I open the bottle. I drink it all down, greedily. I grimace at what I am doing. I can't help myself, because the best way to clear the aftertaste is another glass.

Young wine, I'm sorry I've spoiled your expectations. I'm sure, in time, we could have crafted a social symphony together. Women would have been dazzled. Men would have nodded their heads in approval. And children would have been born from the memory of your perfect song in the moonlight, in that way that cherished memories have of holding people together.

Young wine, I'm lying. I'm not sorry. You may be too tart, and too rough on my pallate. But you're all mine, and sometimes I like to be a spoiler of wines.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

found something cool

look on page 7 of this...

J M McD has got a crazy scheme

So, lots of folks are interested in Wizards of the Coast's open call. One question I hear a lot is what kind of books they're buying. Nobody seems to have a real clue because the books aren't out yet. People ask me about it everytime I mention it among writers (and lots of you readers are writers, I know...)

Well, I have a book they bought. I want to increase readership of said book.

Here's my plan - see if you want to participate - I've got one chapter that should give you all a really good idea what kind of book this company just bought. I'll only show you one. Not two. Not three. Not five. Just one.

You must #1 Promise me you will respect Copyright. You will open the file. You will read the file. You may talk freely about the content of the file, but you mustn't cut and paste the file, or alter the file, or post the file to Scribd.

I ask that you #2 mention in your blog, or website, or favorite message board (preferably not one I attend to regularly, folks...) that you got to take a peek at the first chapter of LAST DRAGON by J M MCDERMOTT available in FEBRUARY 2008 from WIZARDS OF THE COAST DISCOVERIES. If you'd like, you can scribe a little mini-review of just that chapter saying you liked it or not, and why.

Easy, right?

If a friend or a family member want to take a peek, too, go ahead and send them the file, unaltered, with the rules (which are also written out in the file, so even if you forget they should see it first).

I'm hoping they do #2, like the book enough to buy it, and tell their friends about it and pass on the first chapter to others.

I'm also hoping that all of you writers out there will get a better idea of what Wizards of the Coast is buying by getting at least a small sample of something they bought.

You can get my e-mail from my profile.

Friday, September 28, 2007

ick... I really shouldn't try to write steampunk

Ick. I had best avoid steampunk and faux-British narration techniques if this is any indication:

I was quite bored most of the time in the country. The village schoolteacher was a very old, near-sighted fellow by the name of Mr Derrykeep. He had long ago forgotten everything he was supposed to be teaching, and forgotten also where he placed his glasses, his chalk, his jacket, his lunch, and his very mind. I had learned quite nearly everything my city school had to teach, and did not like to babysit the village children while they tried not to learn their letters at all.
Since Mr Derrykeep couldn’t recognize his students one day to the next, or tell when they were in class or not, I had a tendency to abandon my studies entirely. There were no other boys my age in the village – or girls, for that matter. The boys my age in this rugged country had mostly lied about their age to join the service early, or had hid in caves among the hills to avoid conscription upon their seventeenth birthday. The girls were mostly volunteering in the hospitals and hospices and factories and farms. I was a lone figure in a quiet village full of old men, overworked women, and young children.
I felt like the last boy in the world. I felt like this whole war had been constructed by invisible machinations between the Liverspudlians and the Gerrymandrians to ruin my life for good.
I was a worldly city boy from Liverspudlian City, and a restless sixteen. My father had been conscripted early in the war, and he currently served as an officer aboard a war zeppelin in the southern shores. As bored as I was, I had tried to convince my mother to allow me to conscript early, but this would have required lying about my name and age. My mother adamantly refused, and wrote furious letters, including my deguereotype, to all the recruitment stations for three counties. She explained it to me thusly. As my family were rather important folks, we would never lie about anything in the public record. Even a patriotic lie could be used against us by conniving courtiers.
Naturally, I did not believe her for a moment, but I allowed her to tell me that reason.
I probably could have hitchhiked back to the besieged city and signed up at the first recruiting station that didn’t pay any attention to mother’s letters on the subject – which would be nearly all of them. However, as miserable as I was, I was not gumptious and presumptious enough to seek a change in my own life. I was the kind of lad to whom things happened. I was not that other sort quite yet. Thus, some boys are men quite young for they take a handle of their lives. Other men are boys a long time because they are the person to whom everything happens.
I skipped school, and that was as much gumption as I had. I walked around the country, throwing stones and watching the clouds and hunting hares with a slingshot.
I was a terrible shot, and never caught a thing.
Mr Marbury had crafted the slingshot for me. He was an older man – they were all older men in every village – with only one leg. The other leg was an elegant constructs of gears and pneumatic pumps to give him all the balance of a normal foot, with five toes and an Achilles tendon and everything. (Normally, he wore boots, but I had asked him once why one of his boots made strange noises like a large clock. He pulled off his boot and showed me his replaced limb sodered into his kneecap in a manner that looked most painful, but he assured me it didn’t hurt a bit.)
The village still had a large flock of sheep. Mr Marbury had to watch very closely lest the young men hiding in the hills snuck off with the village’s mutton. He kept a long rifle with him. If I was walking with him, he let me carry it. Country boys are accustomed to long strolls with rifles. I was not. Mr Marbury talked casually about the weather and the status of the sheep and the state of teatime with all this dreadful rationing, but he knew I wasn’t paying attention.
I was holding a gun.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

a shout out to charles tan, my main man in manila

i vanity google. it's an obsession. i also watch the amazon ranking go up and down. but mainly i vanity google. i found this:

Bibliophile Stalker: Wizards of the Coast Discoveries Open Call

charles tan, on his blog, is the very first person that i do not personally know who is excited about my book. i know lots of people in the interweb that mostly complain that their favorite shared world is being ignored in early 2008. they can suck it. my main main in manila, charles tan has posted excitement about my book.

he is the first person to do so.

if i had a free copy of my book to mail to him, i would do it. because charles tan is my main man in manila, and i am very happy to see such a crazed lover of all things fantasy to demonstrate honest excitement about my book.

i lift this cup of tea to you, charles tan, my main man in manila!

cut and pasted from a website

B&N Customers Who Bought This Book Also Bought

* The Children of Húrin
Alan Lee, Christopher Tolkien, J. R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Alan Lee

* Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Gregory Maguire, Douglas Smith, Douglas Smith

* The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set
Pauline Baynes, C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes

* Knife of Dreams
Robert Jordan

* Micah
Laurell K. Hamilton

Huh. Pretty diverse bunch of people buying my book, then.

edit: here's from Amazon -
Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Trilogy, Book 1)

Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Trilogy, Book 1) by C.E. Murphy
$10.17
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Series, Book 1)

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Series, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews
(54) $6.99
A Lick of Frost (Meredith Gentry, Book 6)

A Lick of Frost (Meredith Gentry, Book 6) by Laurell K. Hamilton
$16.47
Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville Series, Book 3)

Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville Series, Book 3) by Carrie Vaughn
(39) $6.99
The Devil's Right Hand (Dante Valentine, Book 3)

The Devil's Right Hand (Dante Valentine, Book 3) by Lilith Saintcrow
(17) $6.99
› Explore similar items: Books

Interesting to know...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the sad story of mr moth

i encountered a moth on the landing outside my apartment. the concrete was an excellent disguise for the mottled black and gray creature. i was lucky i had noticed the creature in time not to step on it. i bent over and investigated. the black and gray bump with the feathery texture was like a rock carved from cotton. i asked the creature if i could take a picture.

the moth said, "no."

i recognized the voice. "mr toad, is that you?"

"i was a toad, once. now, i am a moth. please, call me mr. moth."


"how on earth did you become a moth?! i thought you were trying to become an accountant or an angel!"

"ah, of course. well i remember my youth, seeking out the love of a woman or the love of a dog. alas, i was a fool. i discovered, instead, the love of a cat. a wicked siamese as large as a bobcat wanders these halls, too. it found me lurking for love. it gently rubbed my back, and purred rapturous nothings into my ear. i followed the cat into the treeline where the wicked creature carved me open. the wicked feline extracted everything from me except for my bones. this, alone, should have killed me. however, cats do not like to kill their victims. even after all my bones had been stripped, i was still alive. the cat - playfully - re-fashioned me into a moth. these feathery strips you see are actually cartilage that was sliced to ribbons. these eyes are empty. all the black spaces in my mottled wings are, in truth, an absence. the perfect camouflage of concrete is mostly due to the holes all through me."

"this is terrible! poor creature, is there anything i can do for you?"

"no," he said, "i will just wait here. i have learned many new things as a moth. for instance, moths don't come from caterpillars. moths are the product of housecats that carve moths from the living bones of prey. we are, all of us, works of extreme craftsmanship. every winter - when moths seem to die - we are collected up into a grand exhibition and a team of elder cats choose the finest, most beautiful moths and reward the winner with a piece of very stinky cheese. the wicked siamese has me under close surveillance lest some bird find me before the masquerade ball. i am, frankly, terrified of him. if you see him, can you please run over him with your car?"

"oh, no, i could never do such a horrible thing."

"regardless, thank you for your company, good sir. i do not know what moths become when beautiful women kiss them. i wait here, patiently, hoping to discover that i have become an actor, a musician, an artist, or some other kind of beautiful, broken soul. dogs don't seem to notice me, though. i suspect this is due to some interspecies politics that i do not quite grasp, or else some magic feline spell."

"cats are, assuredly, magical creatures, mr. moth. they are more magical than politickal. mr moth, i am very sorry for you. yet, i am also hopeful that some lovely woman will come along and kiss you into your new, healed life. may i take your photo, and maybe a woman will find your picture and fall in love?"

"no, good sir. not this time. i do not want the wicked cat's craftsmanship on display for all the world to see. besides, i can see you do not have your camera with you right now, and you'd have to go inside and inconvenience yourself. this would, i suspect, make you late for whatever thing you are in such a rush to attend in that jacket and tie. might i suggest changing out of jeans into good, old-fashioned slacks?"

"i appreciate the advice, mr moth, but this is appropriate attire for my current function. i feel sorry for you, sir, and i wish you all the best. i will respect your desire not to be photographed."

i bowed to the moth. he bowed to me. he spread his wings and flew away, away, away.

Monday, September 24, 2007

irony hidden in business speak

(a man in the lobby answers his bluetooth phone. he stares out the window at the road while he talks. he watches north dallas hummers and sportscars and luxury automobiles zipping along like bullet trains.)

I’m actually on a time-management seminar, I’m on a break…
We’re going to be doing this in October…
No, no worries, the only complaint was things were moving kind of fast, but other then that, we’re okay.
No problem.
All right.
Okay.
Bye.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fencon IV recapped

Fencon IV was most fun. If you ever meet author Steve Perry, ask him to do his superman television show recreations. Also, Connie Willis is just as nice as you always heard she was.

And, of course, the panels were interesting. Today I attended one about Fast Draft by author of Charmed and Dangerous, and lots of other stuff, Candace Havens.

(I know, Candace, I should have been taking notes like everyone else, but I have my system and I will NOT mess with it. And, I am only looking for little tips to improve the system I got. And, I learned what I needed, and took the tips you had that applied to me.)

Since NanoWriMo is right around the corner, let me point you here: http://www.candacehavens.com/html/workshops.html

First-time novelists, or anyone looking for some good first draft advice, can find good info there.

Other then that, little bits and anecdotes will probably pop up later. In the mean time, let's see some pictures.

Connie Willis and some weird guy, who always had to take a moment to remind himself that he does - in fact - speak English every time he was in the vicinity of this fantastic author:


Many Girls in costumes, one of them dressed like J M McDermott:






Hey, isn't that a YardDogPress author, and one of the four redheads of the apocalypse, Rhonda Eudaly?

Yes, and don't tell her husband I have a picture of her in the special "art show dress"...

edit: After reviewing all the pictures, my favorite was the quidditch player. She had a fen-tastic costume, with lots of groovy details. She also offered to let me hold her Nimbus, and any girl who lets a Muggle hold their Nimbus is definitely awesome.

But, this was a difficult decision, that took careful surveying and re-surveying of all the photos taken of me with the many girls in costumes.

Um, I'm sleepy. And, I'm going to go watch some football.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

you know you wish you were here




it is official: werewolves pwn vampires (because p.n. elrod wasn't on that panel...)

also, don't you wish you were here?

me with e-friend drachin8 and her hubby (look in the background... Hey! That's the lovely and talented Shanna Swendson!), me with very famous paranormal romance novelist cathy clamp (who is also super nice), and my personal favorite: me with horrified cosplayers! (not in that order, of course...)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

untitled



I'll be out of town all weekend, (Addison is really far away from my native Benbrook, and I will be staying with family closer to the event) though I will try to post updates from Fencon.

Don't hold your breath, folks.

Until then, might I suggest reading the hilarious fantastickal romp Diva and Massimo are both enjoying:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In Honor of the Foinest Holiday: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Seek ye a great and mighty tome for yer long, arduous sea voyage?

The bestest of books be by, about, and for pirates. But, besiden these tomes, the bestest book of the sea be "MOBY DICK", but it be havin' a problem. 'Tis in need of translationalism into the foinest of speeches: PIRATE.

"Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--havin' little or no doubloons in me purse, and nothin' particular t' interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see t' watery part o' t' world. It be a way I have of drivin' off t' spleen and regulatin' t' circulation.Whenever I find meself growin' grim about t' mouth; whenever it be a damp, drizzly November in me soul; whenever I find meself involuntarily pausin' before coffin warehouses,and brin'in' up t' aft o' every funeral I meet; and especially whenever me hypos get such an upper hand o' me, that it requires a strong moral principle t' prevent me from deliberately steppin' into t' street,and methodically knockin' people's hats off--then, I account it high time t' get t' sea as soon as I can. This be me substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his cutlas; I quietly take t' t' ship.There be nothin' surprisin' in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly t' same feelin's towards t' ocean with me."

THAT, me hearties, is a fine beginnin' to a fine tale for a long, windless night.

(special thanks to project gutenberg and the english-to-pirate translator)

super dead boy

I used to be a policeman
In the urban jungle
Until I arrested a headhunter
Who did not like to pay his taxes
He pricked me with the devil’s thigh bone
Immediately I became a zombie
By day I hide my affliction
Regenerating in smelly restaurant dumpsters
At night I stumble through the alleys
Hungry for justice!

I am everybody’s favorite super dead boy
Fighting crime all night long
When I encounter my enemies
I devour their brains!

I discover the evil doers
In their secret hideaways
Drug dealers and pimps and gangsters
All of them have tasty brains
They keep trying to shoot me with bullets
Or stab me with knives in the body
As if they’ve never seen a zombie movie
After eating, I play guitar on the rooftops
I never eat the brains of good citizens
I never eat any children
In fact I am quite popular
Among a local group of goth girls
Who maintain my website!

I am everybody’s favorite dead boy
Fighting crime all night long
When I encounter my enemies
I devour their brains!

I am surprisingly sneaky
Though I am not very fast
I creep up on my enemies
While they are distracted with their evil deeds
I bite their neck very quickly
Then I chew their face off
It can be quite bloody
But people always seem to cheer for me
My only weakness is my rotting flesh
Which is why people I save give me pickle juice!

I am everybody’s favorite super dead boy
Fighting crime all night long
When I encounter my enemies
I devour their brains!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

bye bye bye bye bye bi berlin

i took a greyhound bus to berlin from the houston downtown metro
rode over an ocean, across a couple alpine meadows
rode that bus on and on until the tubas played in cheap cafes
and beer came warm with limo in ein biergarten on a nice summer day
the bus was leaving back to houston but i stayed because your face
your face was there your tongue spoke turkish and your eyes said grace

got a job in the cheapest part of town
work for cheap tips at a cheap diner downtown
and when i'm fired i do something else entirely
work sweeping floors at a train station
them trains chug and on and on and on merrily merrily merrily merrily

bye bye bye bye bye bi berln
high high high high high heels and hairy legs
i i i i i can't come in
why why why why why do i have to explain it to ya

don't say you're sorry baby
say don't worry baby
these days don't change change change
don't say you're sorry baby just say don't worry baby
these days don't change change change

{an elderly gentleman steps back from the curtains with an accordian and plays a jig. a monkey dances with a cup of coins in his hands. he holds out the cup and shakes it and the few coins inside rattle rattle rattle and nobody gives a dime because nobody gives a damn. the man, angered bows graciously, and stepss off the stage, angrily. then, it occurs to you that it was a woman with a moustache and the monkey was a chihuahua with an excellent costume, and you don't know what to think about that silly dancing dog in a monkeysuit.)

hopped a train one day instead of cleaning sliding windows
took the train to new york city where the whole world goes
i spend my weekends in paris where the moon rests on my shoulder
someday i'll move to moscow because i feel older hwhen i'm colder

bye bye bye bye bye bi berlin
high high high high high heels and hairy legs
i i i i ican't come in
why why why why do i have to explain it to you
don't say you're sorry baby, just say don't worry

these days will never change.

too many choices

whilst driving across town, i stopped at an unfamiliar grocery store in a better area to buy my weekly meals.

i was a little horrified by the bread aisle. there were SO MANY choices for plain wheat bread that i spent a good five minutes pouring over the shelves looking for plain ol', "wheat bread".

too many choices hurts my brain. the difference between "cracked top wheat bread" "nine grain wheat bread" "jerusalem rye wheat" "honey oat wheat" etc... etc... is, frankly, inconsequential. give me the plain, normal, unexciting, non-designer wheat bread. cheaper, and tastes the same when you smother it in peanut butter and jelly.

this got me thinking about how there are too many choices in the world, so it is impossible to be happy with what i have. i never know - in the back of my mind - if i am getting the best possible experience out of my toast and sandwiches. i will constantly wonder which will taste better. i will seek out recipes and reviews, hunting for the generally accepted superior taste marvel. i will always look upon my eggs and toast with doubt.

unless, of course, i ignore the myriad of choices and labels, and purchase plain wheat toast and happily consume exactly what i desire and never let the worldwide media machine and breadmakers confuse my palate.

this is, of course, a metaphor for love.

more importantly, tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays.

tomorrow is international talk like a pirate day.

i am already shivering in my timbers in anticipation!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Robert Jordan passed away

When I was first starting writing in the genre instead of what the creative writing professors told me I should be writing, an important rite of passage was either embracing or rejecting the Wheel of Time. Everyone had to deal with these books. Everyone had to position themselves in relation to these books.

This led to lots of undeserved criticism from many fronts.

Lots of young aspiring authors went to town bashing the books (for a brief time, I was one of them).

For me, this light came on somewhere along the way and it occurred to me that I wasn't bashing the books. I was actually rejecting this tradition of fantasy, of whom Robert Jordan was the most prominent modern author.

In fact, the books are pretty goddamn fantastic. The Great Hunt has a spectacular ending. The maddening level of anthropological knowledge of Robert Jordan was apparent in every iota of detail in the books. The man earned his fans the old fashioned way, and kept them coming back for more over and over again.

I don't know what will happen with the ending of the final book of the series, now. I know his widow ought to get all the time she needs to grieve before she has to deal with the horde of ravenous fans chomping at the bit to get this next, unfinished book.

And, in the meantime, there's plenty of time for the rest of you to check the books out for yourself, and understand why legions of fantasy fans just clamped up and will be depressed for weeks, at least.

his pages and pages at Amazon

the twenty of robots

hearing many good things about a literary magazine, but utterly incapable of locating the little publication among friends, relations, and bookstores, i bit the bullet and purchased a subscription sight-unseen.

got it in the mail last week. had a chance to read it.

the cover was an illustration for the tarot card, "the twenty of robots".

which is just about the coolest thing i have seen in weeks.

the magazine? most exceptional. MOST exceptional.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #20 officially gets my stamp of highly recommended reading.

thank you, small beer press

Sunday, September 16, 2007

messing w/ people on craigslist

whenever i am convinced i need to read awful, terrible poetry, i read craigslist. missedconnections usually has the worst stuff and the most blatantly depressing weirdos and crazy people.

i like encountering weirdos and crazy people on-line because you don't have to also smell them or listen longer than your piqued curiosity. (crazy weirdos do tend to ramble...)

anyway, i was getting drunk and reading bad poetry on craigslist and decided to contribute to the awful-ness.

saw this ad from someone:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/mis/423848883.html

"CHESHIRE CAT"

"miss your sparkling eyes
and your grin
as you disappear
you make me giddy
which way should i go?"

i posted a response to it thusly:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/mis/423941301.html

"RE:Cheshire Cat"

"Never a kitten, never a cat
Puppy-dog, hang-dog, good-dog, or stinky bad
wet dog, or hurt dog with big eyes sad
You look for a rake, who won't come slinking back
these dogs never smile, unless they bare teeth
and always a dog, madame, and always a thief"

which is bad poetry. bad poetry i cranked out in like two drunken minutes just to mess with people. a thousand lonely hearts jumped up at the thought that i may be referring to them. the vague, passive-aggressive world of whiffed eye contact communicated through initials is just too much fun to laugh at.

anyway, i doubt the response was written by the same person because this time the writing got clunkier and they misspelled a few things, but this is the response to me posted:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/mis/424038899.html

"Re:RE:Cheshire Cat"

"loyal theif who stole my soul
i should have asked for your help
take stock
in your character you are better than this
ask me back
my good sir, my best friend
i'm sorry
my chesire cat"

Oh, you know I had to respond to that. I mean, What the heck was that? Was that a poem? Man. Wow. What are these "theif" things and why are they loyal? Ask you back? You know I'm not real and I'm just the bastard messing with people on a massive message board because it's WAY more fun than cleaning my floors.

So, I post my response. No matter what happens now, I'm walking away from this. I mean, seriously, there could be some person out there hoping that their ad got to the right person in the universe, and that person just happened to write back in brilliant, gripping (*cough* crappy bullshit *cough*) lyric!

http://dallas.craigslist.org/mis/424267620.html

"RE:Re:RE: Cheshire Cat"

"be wary of teeth that linger in your head
longer than the dog in the bed
lest the tooth fairy reach beneath your head
finding nothing there, reach for your teeth instead

it isn't the dog that's stolen your heartbeat
it's yourself like reverse cheshire, all flesh, no teeth."

don't hate me because i'm evil. love me because i'm evil and you like to watch, too.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

excellent visual and audio intro to intelligent dance music

a new product for yamaha makes what idm musicians "do" o their keyboards and touchpads a visual thing to watch.



is it the most useful product for 1,5000 dollars? no. still, quite cool if you can afford it and tire of the laptop screen.

radio chatter

j-area 1 to rover
f-he's on the way j____. it's my fault, i was a little late.
j-all right, then. don't let it happen again.
f-i'll make it up to you by being nice to you all next week.
j-don't kill yourself.
f-that'd probably do it!

Friday, September 14, 2007

a video



a video because i am too pre-occupied to think up anything else.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

de chirico and the demon, casting their spell

A minister – a man who expelled demons – looked upon the painting in horror. A demon hid behind the face of Mercury. The painter had hid the demon there, standing behind himself hiding in the face of Mercury, so that together – with the pieces of both man and demon souls wrapped in the acrylics – they could curse the foolish ones that stared too long at the canvas. Those foolish men and women that sat in benches and tried to sketch out the shapes and colors by hand shall never achieve this artist’s skill. The patrons that gawk and gape shall fall in love with bad paintings and become laughingstocks. The gallery attendants that stand around and blankly watch to make sure the art never moves will feel the evil inside of them, of sparked and sparkling imaginations in dull professions. This, the minister saw.
The minister called over the security manager. The minister shouted his holy warning to the ceiling.
“Remove this painting, lest the museum wallow in this terrible curse!”
The security manager, a practical man, decided that the time had come to expel the minister from the museum.
For, this is an art museum, after all. Curses are just as important as Christ’s Medieval Blessings and the Iconography of saints.
The painted curse will wait for you. Do not look too long lest the evil fill you up.
And if you do look too long, seek out a blessed saint to expel the curse. Sit in front of the painted blessings until the holy eyes close.

(de Chirico, after his time walking with the demons, selling his soul for glory and fame, then fell into arrogance. he declared himself the greatest painter, the heir to titian. he decried the moral decrepitude of his times. like all who sold their soul to the devil to be the greatest of anything, he was unappreciated and derided and he lived a long life in shame, wrapped in the cloak of classicism in a world devoted to modernist regressions.)

[I'd share with you the painting itself that inspired this post, however it is not an easy thing to find in the world, and it is also certainly an evil thing to find. a beautiful, evil thing.]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

oddly enough (interesting facts about the english language)

the word “palindrome” is not, itself, a palindrome.

“homonym” does not have a homonym

“antonym” has no opposite.*

“phonetically” cannot be spelled phonetically.

“mnemonic device” is actually not anything’s mnemonic device.

“onomatopoeia” is not, itself, an onomatopoeia.

finally, there is no other way of saying “synonym”.


*some argue that synonym is the opposite of antonym, following that the opposite meaning of "similar-meaning" is "opposite meaning", when - in fact - the opposite of "similar-meaning" is "nothing in common whatsoever" which is *not* opposite. opposition requires a relationship to the former, like colors dripping in and out of negative film and photograph. antonymous meaning requires a relationship. Thus, there is some similarity. a good example: "small" and "large". these two words are antonyms. however, they have something in common. they are both sizes. the opposite-of-synonym to "small" might be something absurd like "salmon", or "gazebo", or "and". these are not antonyms. get it?

will you be at fencon iv?

www.fencon.org

i'm particularly looking forward to p.n. elrod and rachel caine giving their little talk about how real publishing works.

you know p. n. elrod don't you?

rachel caine?

anyway, it's september 12, which is a palindrone (?) of 21, so i figure now is the time to mention it. find a sitter. find a ride. good luck finding me, because i'll be incognito as just another fanboy hitting on the costumed girls.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

i have confirmed that i am...

i have confirmed that i am now in every bookstore i have ever known or can think of.

barnes & noble finally has my book up in their computers for pre-order.

and there was much rejoicing!

how i feel about the war in iraq

real simple question: would the fighting end if we stayed for fifty years?

real simple answer: no.

the sunnis and the shias will still be fighting each other whether we are there or not.

thus, let's stop sending our people into the violence.

they teach you this in the princess bride. "never get in a land war in asia!"

i expect our president to get in a deathmatch with a sicilian any day now.

if a democratic candidate wants my vote, here's what i want:

1) universal healthcare.

2) gay marriage.

3) out of iraq.

real simple agenda, i got.

anyway, i was watching the news and this speech president bush gave about how it isn't the government's job to bail out the citizens from bad loans and bad mortgages. i agree with him. that is not the government's job. the government's job is to prevent the malicious loan sharks from unleashing their odious, unscrupulous (yet, somehow, LEGAL) ways upon the general public.

lemme see if i can find the speech where he said the words that made me want to throw my monitor across the room...

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2007/08/31/bush.sots.mortgages.cnn

Yeah, that's the one. He harangues the people who are losing their savings and credit ratings over unscrupulous mortgage practices, instead of discussing ways to make these bad fiscal policies and immoral companies that hurt everyone bound to our economy a thing of the past.

hm. typical.

Monday, September 10, 2007

i shouldn't have put this in the cover letter

looking for secondary markets, i wrote this in one of my cover letters about a horror story that could use some re-printing.

"
I hand-re-copied the story in blood (with a pen clutched in a severed hand that I held by the wrist to scribe upon old medical bandages stolen from dead people). Then, I scanned the story into an evil text editor (powered by the heart of an orphan). Then, I used the eyeballs of slaughtered angels to check for errors. Then, I forced my slave monkeys to re-type the words into this e-mail. Afterwards, I killed the monkeys and fed their corpses to the evil tech support company in my closet. The evil telephone tech support staff chewed while teasing their hapless customers.

It was horrible, really."

That was very unprofessional of me. I am ashamed of me.

I did it, anyway. I'm glad I did it. It made me happy.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

bowdlerized

if life were bowdlerized, i wonder what would be left of it.

no one would ever be able to express their hatred with lewd gestures. instead, we'd resort immediately to combat. this combat would, of course, be bloody and elegant, and at the end the victor would be the one who did not resort to trickery to try and gain an advantage. since everyone would always try to use trickery to gain an advantage in life, we would all be villains. since we are all villains, none of us would get the girl and ride off into the sunset. instead, we'd squat in our own bile - figuratively speaking - and die miserable, and alone. thank goodness we're allowed to bite our thumbs at our enemies, instead.

no one would ever be able to kiss too deep. the tongue would be reserved for witty repartee, and glorious pre-battle speeches. since the vast majority of life involves neither witty repartee, nor battle speeches, most of us would lose the use of our tongues entirely as anything but tasters of food. this food would all be healthy, of course, and would thusly taste like something between straw and paste. thus, evolution would favor them that have no tongues at all. in fact, we probably wouldn't have lips, either, because kissing upon cheeks does not require the soft, cushoin-y landing pads that prevent us from damaging each other when we're digging into someone else's skin. would we really need a mouth at all?

also, bathrooms would only exist for very, very soapy baths. we must maintain cleanliness, but god-forbid any voyeuristic tendencies slip our eyes below the surface of the water. no, we must smother ourselves in soap and bubbles of soap and different colors of soap and we must certainly not enjoy the sensation of the fizzing and scrubbing all over our selves. since no one ever uses the toilet at all, i'm afraid that all the people of the world would be full of shit.

and, of course, there would be no love-making, no pregnancy, no menstruation, no erections, nothing at all so sinful. children arrive via stork. prior to this, they are constructed by elves in Jesus' workshop, somewhere near the South Pole, and sent only to the chaste couples that would love and nurture all rosy-cheeked bumpkins to a proper, wholesome puberty wrapped in swaddling and bows and ribbons.

i was thinking about this, because of this thing someone said about Larry Niven. How the books were good, but what the heck was up with all those sex scenes?

I never had a problem with Larry Niven's sex scenes. I usually thought they were important to the story.

I asked the guy who would bowdlerize Larry Niven if given the chance this question:


"If someone was writing the biography of your life, would you want it to have a sex scene?"

I know my answer.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

never talk to strangers

someone told a guy leaving for college soon the old motherly adage, "never talk to strangers".

if college is about learning about oneself, then one does not know oneself before one leaves. thus, this old adage advises against talking to oneself.

perhaps this is for the best. an internal monologue can prevent the sort of inquisitiveness that leads to questioning the authority figures, the rules, and etc. talking to oneself is also impossible unless one is surrounded by other people and one makes such a thing impossible. one should always remain in a herd or a gaggle or other such groups to avoid talking to oneself.

definitely, avoid solitude at all costs.

it begins so simply, with questions like, "chips or cookies?" at the campus convenience store. then one asks oneself, "apple juice or coca cola". then, before one knows what is really happening, "is the existential vacuum of psychoanalysis just another aspect of slavoj zizek's empty ontological center, or is the ticklish subject actually another word for God?"

suddenly, BOOM, one has entered into a long conversation that unravels all the preconceptions of normal, consumerist, 9-5 life.

never talk to strangers, boys and girls, especially not the ultimate stranger: your Self!

Friday, September 7, 2007

working on a website

i'm trying to build my own website right now, in hope of not having to hire someone.

if anybody wants to volunteer their time and energy, let me know.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

reason why i shaved

when i was in germany, i fought constantly with my beard trimmer. something about all that foreign electrical current got inside of the little thing, juiced it up in odd ways. now that the device had seen the larger world, felt a part of larger electrical grids with strange new ways of connecting, well... let's just say a low-rent apartment in southwest fort worth sounded about as appealing as a dumpster bin behind an airport.

i did not know, packing my bags, exactly how far my beard-trimmer would go. i knew things weren't working out between us. we weren't really connecting daily, or even weekly. i disappeared for weeks at a time, recklessly allowing my facial hair to grow in weird ways. once, i even cheated with a pair of scissors in a hostel bathroom in berlin. i didn't tell my beard-trimmer about it, but when i returned to the trimmer, it just seemed to... know.

when i got on that plane to fly on home, i did not know if my beard trimmer would come with me. i packed it in my luggage. i wished it a safe trip.

in the airport, i pressed my hand against the glass, watching the luggage loading. i wondered if my beard trimmer would be there when i landed.

alas, when i returned home to the states, i unpacked and there was no beard trimmer. some foreign man swooped out of the wings unknown to me, and whisked my bird trimmer to a better life in some European city where vain men must trim their beards with a daily precision in time to the giant clocks outside of every window.

and i think of my beard trimmer when my beard becomes too scruffy. i mourn the loss of it. when my beard grows too scruffy, i scrape the hairs away with the jagged edge of chipped black obsidian - black like my mourning heart. (since chipped obsidian is actually quite difficult to find these days, i substitute the obsidian for a straight-edge razor and some shaving cream. not quite as black, or as painful, but inside i DON'T USE AFTERSHAVE! I let my face burn for hours in the pain of lost beard trimmers!)

thus, is my face naked of hair.

i shall grow the beard back again, for i do not recognize myself in the mirror without it. yet, i will still mourn my lost beard trimmer every couple months. i will drag knives across my skin and wish things could have worked out better between the trimmer and me.

i hope it has found all the joy it could not wherever it is, whomever it is trimming.

vague good wishes are all that are left, really, in every painful heartbreak.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

story i'm working on right now...

I'm working on this story right now. Here's a taste of it - that tastes like bugs.

"Then, I saw Kavith. His skin had gone from caramel brown to glowing red. He had bugs in his hand – red ones – that he had plucked from the walls. He swallowed them whole.

Inusha didn’t seem to freak out about this.

Lancaster didn’t seem to freak out about this.

Kavith’s eyes flashed red, brighter than his glowing skin. I smiled and his teeth were covered in red fluids from the bugs he had chewed down.

I held my breath. I watched in horror. I couldn’t hear the crunching sounds because of all the bugs singing, but watching Kavith pluck bugs from the walls and devour them, I heard them in my mind. I heard the chewing noises, and the squishing, and the screaming of the terrified bug.

Then, Lancaster led us all – Kavith with us now and the red in his skin fading away when we turned our lights back on – up the dry line, away from the bugs. We kept walking uphill until we reached a gated entrance to the sewer line right above a river. If it rained, and the river rose, the water would run down into the sewers, and who knows where it went from there."

i just ordered this magazine and i look forward to it very much:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

a little poem for the children

“How Prince Bert, in his Wheelchair, Saved the Kingdom From a Giant Spider”

Once upon a time, in a land far away
Three princes attempted to save the day
But before I tell you which one achieved victory
Let me tell you about these princes, three

Prince Wayne, the pain, played mean games
He liked to open every window in the rain
He startled the servants while they were asleep
He spit in folks’ hair, made princesses weep

Prince Stu, number two, was very smart
He played chess with grandpa, and drew fine art
He built neat devices to help the queen clean
In math, science, and history, he was an answer machine

Prince Bert, the hurt, once fell from a tree
And that was quite an emergency
Despite fairy doctors and a goblin nurse
Bert’s legs never worked, and this was his curse:

He could not shake a leg or wiggle his toes
He could not go skating when the moat froze
He could not jump on the swings or on the slides
Bert rolled in a chair with wheels on each side

Bert lived with his family in a big castle,
And did his best despite all the hassles
For living your life in a chair takes practice
To get good at the things people take for granted

Bert always rolled fast away from his brother Wayne
Wayne liked to tie the wheelchair to the huge royal crane
Bert tried to get Stu to play cars and trains
But Stu loved extra homework so much, he did Wayne’s

So Bert often rolled alone by the castle walls
He was stuck sitting down, so he couldn’t see at all
Over those big, giant, boring, dumb, old walls
Bert wasn’t happy, and his life was sure dull

Then this giant spider crawled in from the sea
And a terrible sight with eight big eyes was he
Eight big, long legs, each as tall as a building
And a big, hungry body with a giant tummy rumbling

A guard pushed the very loudest alarm
And the king on his stallion emerged well-armed
With all of his soldiers and all of his men
To force the giant spider out of their kingdom

Despite all the efforts of all the king’s men
The spider wrapped a web around all of them
Then the spider announced to the citizenry
The things that he wanted from them for free

“I’m so very hungry, and my food is so small,
I can’t catch enough to make my belly full!
Bake me bug cookies and tasty bug treats
or else I will crush you with all my eight feet!”

And every kitchen and mommy did their part
Cockroach-chip cookies and slimy snail tarts
The spider gobbled up disgusting fruit-fly-cakes
He even devoured shoe fly pies they had baked

The king, trapped in the web, cried out to his sons
“Boys, save the kingdom from this oversized bum!
The hungry spider will eat up every insect,
And then the birds and frogs, hungry, will defect!”

Prince Wayne, the pain, decided to go first
He forced along six princesses by threatening the worst
Together they took seven extra-long goose feathers
To tickle the spider’s feet until his sides burst

Alas had Wayne studied and done his homework
His plan might have been better, or actually worked!
Prince Wayne did not know that spiders have eight feet
So the spider merely raised up seven feet out of reach

While standing on one toe, the spider looked below
And splashed Wayne and the princesses a mighty blow
Of icky, gooey, globby, spider web on their heads
Then the giant spider tied them firm in their beds

With Prince Wayne defeated, the people lost hope
The spider was so happy that he had to gloat
The spider announced to all of the citizenry
The things that he wanted from them for free

“I’m so very hungry, and my food is so small,
I can’t catch enough to make my belly full!
Bake me bug cookies and tasty bug treats
or else I will crush you with all my eight feet!”

And every kitchen in the kingdom did their part
Cockroach-chip cookies and slimy snail tarts
The spider gobbled up disgusting fruit-fly-cakes
He even devoured shoe fly pies they had baked

The king, trapped in the web, cried out to his sons
“Boys, save the kingdom from this oversized bum!
The hungry spider will eat up every insect,
And then birds and frogs, hungry, will defect!”

Prince Stu, number two, decided it would be best
To challenge the spider to a game of chess
To the victor, the kingdom, to the loser, time-out
And the giant spider agreed without even a pout

Prince Stu nearly won, but became disappointed
When the spider said, “Hey, what’s that!” and pointed
Prince Stu turned, surprised, but hadn’t known cheats
The spider secretly snuck extra pieces with his feet

With Prince Stu defeated, the people lost hope
The spider was so happy that he had to gloat
The spider announced to all citizenry
The things that he wanted from them for free

“I’m so very hungry, and my food is so small,
I can’t catch enough to make my belly full!
Bake me bug cookies and tasty bug treats
or else I will crush you with all my eight feet!”

And every kitchen in the kingdom did their part
Cockroach-chip cookies and slimy snail tarts
The spider gobbled up disgusting fruit-fly-cakes
He devoured shoe fly pies that they had baked

The king, trapped in the web, cried out to his sons
“Boys, save the kingdom from this oversized bum!
The hungry spider will eat up every insect,
And then birds and frogs, hungry, will defect!”

Prince Bert, the hurt, rolled up to his father
“Dad, I don’t know why I should bother,
I can’t run or jump, I can’t ice skate
I’m not very mean, or smart, or great!”

“Son,” said the king, “I think you are wrong
And I happen to know that you are quite strong
Few would survive that fall from the tree
And you’ve soldiered on since you were just three!

“I know you’re strong enough to beat this spider,
Just gather the courage that you’ve got inside there,
And figure the weakness of your enemy
Before he gobbles up all of our kingdom’s bees!”

Prince Bert, the hurt, rolled bravely to the spider
And that mean spider couldn’t contain his laughter
“You’re in a wheelchair! Your tiny legs are pudding!
I’ve got eight legs each as strong as a building!”

“Jerk!” shouted Bert, at the spider’s laughter,
“You couldn’t make it in my world, Buster!
Sure you’ve got legs, but you never know
When something might happen to lay you low!”

“Fine,” said the spider, “I’ll play along
How hard can it be with wheels to roll on?
I’ll borrow your chair, and won’t use all my feet
I’ll use just these two like hands to push the seat”

The spider lifted Prince Bert from the chair
And mounted with six feet as everyone stared
Though the spider didn’t quite fit, he did his best
Prince Bert rode on the spider’s back as a witness

Prince Bert said, “Right, now see if you will
Have any trouble getting to the top of that hill!”
The spider, scoffed, and said, “That’s too easy!”
And pushed and he pushed and then sounded wheezy

“Hey,” said the spider, “I see your scam!
I push and I push, but when I move my hands,
I seem to roll backwards! You can’t climb hills
When you’re riding this chair and pushing wheels!”

Prince Bert said, “I can, and you can watch me do it!”
The spider dismounted the chair and put Bert into it
Without any problems, Prince Bert climbed the hill
Despite the gravity pulling back on his wheels.

Prince Bert said, “Now, see if you can,
Go to the potty with just those two hands!”
The spider laughed and said, “How hard can that be?
And after all my bug eating, I need to potty!”

The spider again mounted the wheelchair,
And Prince Bert rode on top but tried not to stare
For in the bathroom, the spider attempted the feat
He rolled the chair up to the toilet seat

When the spider tried to jump from one seat to another
He kept landing wrong, and couldn’t quite figure
how with only two limbs he could drop shorts to his ankles
and climb to the toilet seat without getting all tangled.

“Man this is hard,” he shouted, in defeat,
“Nobody can do this without use of their feet!”
Prince Bert rolled his eyes and said, haughtily
“I can, but this time you can’t watch me.”

So the spider waited outside the stall
While Prince Bert rolled in, and did it all
Afterwards the spider heard the royal flush
Then Bert washed his hands -- no fuss, no muss

“Wow, you sure are good at all this hard stuff
Giant spiders can’t imagine life being so rough.
It was fun playing with you, but I’m going to go back,
I’m still very hungry for tasty bug snacks.”

“You know,” said Prince Bert, “I bet I could show you
In case you end up with no legs below you.
When I was still learning to live in my chair,
My brother, Prince Wayne, helped me prepare.”

“Well, if it won’t take too long,” said the spider,
“I guess I can find out just in case, for the future.”
The giant spider followed Prince Bert to the crane.
Prince Bert hooked up the chair, and climbed out again.

Prince Bert crawled into the crane’s cockpit
He strapped himself in and watched the spider sit
In the wheelchair, which soon rose up to the sky,
The giant spider got scared, and let out a cry

“Hey, let me down! What do you think you’re doing!?”
Prince Bert kept that spider rising and rising
Bert didn’t stop until the crane was at the top.
Then Prince Bert left the spider there to rot.

The citizens cut the king free with his soldiers
(But they left Prince Wayne, the pain, until later)
The king raised a cheer for his victorious son,
Prince Bert, the hurt, fought a spider and won!

The giant spider, on the crane, realized he’d been had.
He decided he’d leap down and fight like mad.
But this wasn’t smart of that silly arachnid
When he landed, his legs cracked like pieces of plastic.

And all the king’s soldiers and all the king’s men
Carried the spider to their fairy doctor friends
Prince Bert, the hurt, also rushed to the ER
He had never meant to hurt that silly spider.

And fairy doctors and a goblin nurse
Did their best with the legs that had all burst.
In the end just two legs still moved for the spider
So the spider was going to need a wheelchair

In fact, after surgery, that goblin nurse
Came back with a terrible, awful curse
Apparently the spider was not supposed to be giant
And needed an immediate and severe diet!

When all was fixed up and the doctors had finished,
Prince Bert and the now kid-sized arachnid
Rolled home together in matching wheelchairs
And the people (rudely) couldn’t help but stare

For from now on they were the best of friends.
Prince Bert, the hurt, and his spider on the mend
Played trucks and trains and wheelchair basketball
And sometimes even raced along the castle wall.

And Prince Stu, number two, went back to his books
The princesses all practiced their prettiest looks
And the king and the queen and all of the people
Gave thanks to Prince Bert, who’s certainly not disabled

For Prince Bert, the hurt, had saved the kingdom
Despite his wheelchair. He even made a new friend.
And life was great for all but Prince Wayne.
They left him in bed, and tied down, Wayne remained.

Monday, September 3, 2007

the magic red riding hood

whilst walking in the woods, a young girl came upon a wolf, standing on two legs, and wearing a gorgeous red cape with a hood.

the girl bowed to the wolf. she said, "i have never seen a creature such as you before. might I inquire of you your name?"

the wolf bowed in return. when she spoke, it was clear she was a woman. "my name is difficult for humans to pronounce. however, i am often called 'red-riding hood' because of this magic cape that lets me stand on two legs and speak in a human tongue. this cape gives me a tongue of silver, a mind of reason, and the straight back of a proud child of Eve."

"what would happen if i wore the cape?"

"i do not know, little one," said the wolf. "forgive me, little one, for i must go to my grandfather's den. he is very ill, and he counts on me to bring him things to eat lest he starve and die."

"what are you bringing him to eat?"

"i have been busy hunting deer, but I have caught none. perhaps you can help me in my hunt. do you have tooth and claw and swift feet and the black heart of death?"

the girl shook her head. "i am an innocent, like the deer."

the wolf sniffed at the girl. "then, you'll do for now, little deer."

with that, the wolf ripped off her cloak, howled like a beast from all four legs and snatched the child up.

then, all through the woods, the girl screamed out for the woodsman to save her, to no avail.

upon reaching the den, the girl was flung down at the feet of the grandfather. the wolf, red-riding hood, threw her cape down as well so she could speak to her grandfather in the black tongue of wolves.

the girl, bleeding from where the wolf had bitten her, clutched at the cape to staunch her wounds and cover her face the way that children hide from the night beneath a blanket, for she was only a little girl.

the magical cape coursed a fire through her veins. though it did not heal her wounds, it did bend her back, bend her tongue, and give her the rage to ignore the pain. the cape gave the girl tooth and claw and swift feet and the black heart of death.

she held still, because she was wounded. she knew she could not kill two full-grown wolves, even if one was an old, sick man, unless she caught them by surprise.

the female wolf, standing up to leave, reached for the cape with her mouth. she was unconcerned of the bloodstains because the riding hood was already red.

the girl, filled with the magic of the cape, quickly lashed out with her teeth, and clamped down upon the throat of the unsuspecting wolf. the girl chewed through the jugular and lashed at the soft underbelly of the startled woof with feet that had become clawed and deadly.

the old wolf, watching his granddaughter die, knew exactly what to do. he snatched at the magical cape.

though he was too late to save his granddaughter, he was able to diminish the deadly girl to save his own hide.

he pulled the cape across his back, stood up like a city elder. he tousled his gray locks. he snorted at the girl.

"because you have killed my granddaughter, you have killed me. i am too old to hunt for myself. go with your life, child. go home, and never return to these woods lest my ghost howl your sanity away."

he pulled the cloak from his back. he threw it at the girl.

she did not put it on. instead, she held it in her hand, and clutched at her wounds with her other hand. she walked home from the woods with her new cape.

when she made it to her grandmother's house, her mouth was full of wolf blood. her tongue had tasted death, and she knew she would don the cape again, and run through the woods and hunt in the darkness.

later in life, she gave birth to a bastard son with the terrible eyes like an old wolf's. she named her boy 'Bisclavret'. she let him run wild.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

the hole is greater than the sum of what's been dumped into it

a musician told me the story of a club whose name i have already forgotten. we were talking about skanky bathrooms, and he falls into the tangent of the story about the club that had the nasty bathroom.

he was a punk rocker, playing gigs all over town. he had this quick little festival spot at a club with a skanky bathroom. this bathroom had two toilets, no sink, and no mirror. the toilets had no partition. these toilets had probably only been cleaned when the real estate agent was trying to sell the place, or the urine-spray was so juiced up on performance-enhancing drugs that the ammonia managed to scrub the place clean.

the punk rocker took one look at that bathroom, and one look around the club. he looked at his bandmates that had done the same. they all nodded at each other and didn't have to talk about what they were thinking.

when this gig was over, they were getting out as fast as they could.

they played sandwiched in between a couple other acts. they played seven songs fast, no encore. they bolted with their equipment before things got stolen and fights broke out.

about a week later, the punk rocker stopped in a convenience store near his none-too-shabby neighborhood. inside the convenience store, a wild-eyed man in dirty clothes grabbed after the punk rocker.

"hey! weren't you in that punk band at [that club whose name I have already forgotten]!" said the wild-eyed man.

the punk rocker, mystified, and a little frightened confessed to his musical affiliations.

the wild-eyed man was a fan. old school punk hadn't been heard in these parts in so long.

the musician thanked the man and left.

the punk rocker told me that he had never had anyone come up to him like that, despite being a musician for nearly twenty years.

i asked him if he ever played that club again.

he told me that he never went back to that place with the skanky bathrooms.

i didn't tell him what i was thinking at the time.

i was thinking that his failure as a musician was a hole far greater than the sum of what he had dumped into it.

he had abandoned the club that had given him his first fan.