Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, February 29, 2008


today, at the art museum, i watched a gentleman sit down at a bench.

then, he took off his suit jacket.

he folded his suit jacket and draped it over his arm.

then, in the middle of a somewhat crowded art museum, he took off his belt.

i held my breath, hoping that was the end of my adventure today. please, god, let that be all he does tonight...

and, it was.


in other news, i just heard from Cat Rambo of "Fantasy Magazine" and their lovely publication has just picked up a story of mine called "Gods of the Spiderhole".


Thursday, February 28, 2008

signing update for this weekend

ALAS! We have a serious foobar!

The Barnes and Noble in North Richland Hills with whom I scheduled a signing months ago assured me that the very first day they could possibly let me in the store was Sunday, March 2. They had an event on Saturday, and they could only let me in on Sunday.

Then, I find out, courtesy of ace reporter Michael Merschel of the Dallas Morning News that this store had me listed and scheduled for a Saturday.

I had always been scheduled for a Sunday at North Richland Hills. I went and got a signing on a Saturday at a different store, because I had *always* been scheduled for Sunday.

I called the store to figure out what was going on. They, apparently, *never* have events on Sundays. (???) They assured me they had scheduled me for Saturday.

I ended up double-scheduled.

Naturally, I'm going to favor the store that hasn't dropped the ball with me. (This is, believe it or not, the second time this store has let me down. I am disappointed with their community relations manager, but there's nothing I can do about that. It's still a fine store, with many fine staff members.)

I'll be swinging through the North Richland Hills store at approximately noon on Saturday to sign some stock. Then, I'm going to go to the signing that's scheduled at a Barnes and Noble in North Arlington for my scheduled 2:00-4:00 signing.

On Sunday, I'm going to go in to the store and just hang out, in an unofficial capacity, in case anyone wants to meet me. I'll be the guy drinking coffee with the big, yellow bag that looks like it got run over by a car.

So, let's review the schedule:

Saturday, March 1:
12:00 PM - Barnes and Noble in North Richland Hills, across from Northeast Mall, to sign stock.

2:00 PM-4:00 PM - Barnes and Noble in Arlington on Copeland Street, near the intersection of Collins and I-30 (on the southern access road.)

Sunday, March 2
2:00 PM - I'll be hanging out at the Barnes and Noble in North Richland Hills, across from the Northeast Mall until about 4:00 PM, if you want to come by and meet me.

These things happen. Everybody, adjust your plans accordingly, and tell your friends!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

my apologies, dearest Emily

i heard a fly buzz when i killed
the realness in the boom
was like the realness in my cares
between these ears of storms
my breath - gathering squirms
in the last onset when the kings -
force witness - in the boom
i held my keepsakes -
pined away - what ocean of me was tangible

then it was there i supposed a fly -
between the light and me -
with truth - a certain stumbling buzz -
with force my shadow sailed - because
i could not bear to see

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Ho, these bulbous growths... Oh, I have grown Blurbs!

Check this out, party people. I have acquired me some blurbage. It's like foliage, but it helps people pluck the leaves of the book, instead of merely falling in the autumnal season. Or something poetic. Like that.

Seriously, though, check out the nifty blurbs!

That is all for today, party people.

Maybe tomorrow, I'll rip the poetical riffs upon you. Today, I lost my train of thought when I got the e-mail about the blurbs, and about confirming my travel arrangements for BookExpoAmerica...

Edit to Add:

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! My baby made it to the Philippines before I did! Charles A Tan, my main man in Manilla, posted a *picture*!

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Night Flight" from Tipton Poetry Journal #7, and two pictures of a party

Night Flight

saw Montreal’s hair at night

a glowing angelfish trapped in a hook of light

cities: scattered deep-sea shapes

all tendrils wrapped in foggy tissue

pulsing firefly glow of cars

flew farther, above Saint-Jean, Drummondville,


deeper into the black after Sept-Iles

the ocean opened

her midnight maw;

deep below

leviathans hunt flesh

those beasts as big as cities

swallowing all the creatures

of luminescent blood
(Tipton Poetry Journal #7... #8 is out right now, wherein you can read cool stuff like this)


All right, party people, I know you want pictures of the book launch party. We only got two. We were busy throwing the party, you see.

If you guys got any pictures, or want to tell any stories, now's your chance. Drop a comment below. Tell me where to see pictures.

I had never played Rockband before that moment in time. I am Kurt Cobain in a suit. 'Twas most fun.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

i must say

Seriously, thank you, everyone, but Dark Recesses Press was able to get in touch with me.

There, that's said. Thank you, *everyone* for letting me know.

I just finished up ConDFW, and I had a great time.

Must unpack bag. Must unpack head.

And, just to let you know, Dark Recess Press was, in fact, able to get in touch with me. Everything's fine. You can stop letting me know, now.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

MacAllister Stone, Head Editor of Coyote Wild, Interviewed

Word to the wires, I'm interviewing more folks.

This one keeps herself busy, and never got back to me with the second round of questions. Still, I'll post the questions I asked into the silence anyway, just so you can wonder if she will ever answer these questions.

You do know Coyote Wild Magazine, right?

I cornered the head editor, MacAllister Stone, and managed to squeeze two questions out of her before the slush fell on her head and crushed her.

J M McD) Please, introduce yourself to the world. Who are you, and why are you in charge of Coyote Wild Magazine, and why did you choose to start your lovely publication?

Mac)I'm MacAllister Stone, I run a large website for writers,, and the attached forums.

I'm one of those people who doesn't remember not being able to read -- I've been reading nearly as long as I've been able to talk. I've been a fan of speculative fiction since, as a precocious kid, I found a box of old SF paperbacks that someone had left on the swap shelf in my dad's auto-shop.

A couple of years ago, a friend I'd been beta-reading for sent me a story that an editor I really respect had asked to look at, if and when she ever finished it. I adored the story. I also lamented that I couldn't find enough of those stories I really really love to read. I was reading a number of online 'zines at the time, and subscribing to another half-dozen print publications - and they were all good...but the stories that really got to me and stuck with me? They seemed few and far between.

So that sort of percolated on the back of my mind for a while, and in the meantime, I got more involved with Absolute Write, and more involved with my own writing. I attended Viable Paradise X, ( ) and went to my first Worldcon ( ) in Los Angeles. Somewhere in that stretch of time a friend of mine, Lori Basiewicz, said, in one of those late night chat conversations you have when you're both a bit punchy from too much work to do, "We need to start an ezine." ( Lori's blog: )

Lori has since moved on to other writing and publishing pursuits, but we'd never have made it through that first year without her.

Essentially, we had a some simple goals: We wanted to publish good stories and poetry and nonfiction. We wanted to pay writers, even if we weren't paying a lot, we wanted to pay for those words. Mostly, we wanted to find more of the stuff we really, really love to read.

J M McD) Tell me about the kind of stories you wish you had gotten the chance to publish, but missed. What are some of the favorite stories of yours that someone else got, first?

Oh...that's a really hard question! There are so many fabulous short stories out there, that weren't ever submitted to me. And there've been a couple of stories that WERE submitted to me, that I thought were really too good for a penny-a-word market, so I sent them away to submit to pro markets before they signed a contract with Coyote Wild.

Three cases come to mind, though. We planned and researched contracts and how to run an ezine for over a year, before we did our first issue of Coyote. And the 'zine has been online for over a year, at this point. For that whole two and a half years, in the back of my mind, I was considering a Coyote-themed anthology, because...well...y'know...not that anyone is banging down my door to put together an anthology...but it could happen, right? Then I'm at a little con last year, in the dealer room, and what do I see? Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have done a Coyote themed anthology: Coyote Road
( )

So I bought it, of course.

Even worse? It's really, really good. ( There's a good review here: )

Then, last summer, I was visiting with a writer who has a poem in the February Coyote Wild (Triumph XVIII: Maya - Shweta Narayan ) and she mentioned a story she thought I might like to see. The more we talked about it, the more excited I got. Then she mentioned that Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling were looking at it, but if they didn't buy it, she'd send it my way.

They bought it. Damn their eyes. They scooped me AGAIN. Shweta's story will be in their Beastly Bride anthology. I still haven't even gotten to read it.

The third story I immediately think of is a story that I DID get to buy (mostly, I suspect because Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling never got to see it, Muahahahahahahah!) Barbara Gordon's smart and lyrical The King of Elfland's Stepdaughter ( ) in the second issue of CW.

Here's the thing, I'm still a reader, first and foremost. So the question is sort of moot, as long as those stories are getting published so that I get to read them.

I sent her some followup questions, and they were never answered, alas.

Here they are, in all their unanswered glory. Perhaps, she will enter the comments thread and finish this, despite how time has smashed her ability to meet my Saturday deadline on this interview!

JMMCD) What do you think are the big differences in the organization of an on-line magazine versus a print magazine, and why did you choose the on-line format?

JMMCD) Speaking of great stories, you've been able to attract some top talent from day one. Elizabeth Bear appeared in your inaugural issue. James D MacDonald and Debra Doyle are in one of your recent issues. Did you do any extra work to spread the word, in the beginning, or did they just miraculously find you?

Friday, February 22, 2008

will you be there?

Whenever I think of Dallas, I think of a long, unbroken highway looping into the darkness around cities and plazas and construction sites, and the road just runs and runs and runs, three lanes or two lanes or eight lanes, and all these tendrils of concrete warp and twist around each other in an automobile moebius.

I'll be up in north Dallas this afternoon at ConDFW.

Lots to do before then, though.

I gots to jet.

Tomorrow, we'll have a rel treat, and I'm going to give you a hint.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

i have decided...

i have decided that from now on, and until i have completed the entire list given, i shall only buy new books that appear on the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." list.

has anyone else noticed how spectacular the taste of my readers happens to be?

jesus h. christ, this list is currently a "who's who" of the awesome authors of sci-fi/fantasy. sarah monette, jeffrey ford, george r.r. martin, gene wolfe, and michael chabon?

every time i look at this little list, i feel humbled. this tendency is only exacerbated by the passing of time.

i am small.

in other news, i will be at ConDFW all weekend.

Saturday Night, come celebrate the launch of my little book in the Con Suite at about 7 o'clock-ish, to about midnight-ish.

I will be providing beer, food, and the entire soundtrack of the massively incredible Anime series "Cowboy BeBop".

That's right, geeks, I have the *entire* soundtrack.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I can't believe I forgot to mention this!

I got interviewed!

There's really two interviews. First, there's the interview at the Amazon BookBlog. Then, there's the comments thread where I reveal some of the things edited out of the official interview.

Nauticles and I are most pleased.

Thank you Jeff VanderMeer for dragging my book out of obscurity and into the limelight where I feel humbled by the things other people bought along with my book.

train lullabye

Riding my bike home in the dark, i passed a large train depot near the Trinity River.

This long trail along the river, near the depot, is one of the wild places in the city. Wild dogs chase the squirrels there. Sometimes armadillos creep out onto the concrete. Sometimes, at night, you can see things moving in the corner of your eyes that shouldn't be moving, at all.

Always at night, in the wilder places.

The train depot is a huge thing - they're always huge things - with all these spare parts in piles and cranes in the skyline waiting to lift things too heavy for human hands.

Trains in long lines sleep there, waiting for morning.

And they sing there, too.

You can't hear it unless you're very quiet, and listen for the nightmusic, like what crickets would sing if they were the steel and the size of whales. The grinding gears and brakes and bits of steel sing a long, slow melody that sounds like sleep and dreams.

F#... up to G... down to D... up to A. Each note held a long time. Each note in order. Then out of order.

The lullabye of trains.

Abandon your cars, good people of the internet, and discover the world outside your own door, where wild things are, and the corners of the city blur with the cosmic.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ever get the feeling...

people are sayin' stuff about you and you have no clue what's going on?

Translation, please?


Monday, February 18, 2008

if there's one thing my ex-gf's can agree on...

if there's one thing all my ex-girlfriends can agree on, it's that i have a real knack for prattling on endlessly about myself.

I have been preparing for interviews since the day I started dating!

I owe Jeff VanderMeer a debt I may never be able repay. He pulled my book out of obscurity and plastered it all over everyone's hyperreality awareness filter.

Everyone, please, for my sake and yours, go to the bookstore and pick up one of Jeff's many gorgeous tomes. My favorites are "Shreik: An Afterword" (which I loved so much that I cornered his editor in an elevator just to tell her that I loved this book!) and "City of Saints and Madmen", which just got re-printed. Hooray for reprints!

I wish I could live in Ambergris. You will, too, very soon.

And, if you want to keep up on his latest book,check out this little link right *here*!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

i survived my first in-store signing...

the management assured me that i did a great job.

they had ordered 31 copies, and when i was walking out, they had three left, sitting on the shelf. i think they had a couple hiding in back (but there was only seven at the end of the day, anyway. some of the stuff might have sold from the people that were thinking about it and wandering the store browsing!)

We had to scramble and scrounge a bit to make sure my little table was stocked with enough books twice. TWICE!

And, I seriously have to thank the wonderful staff of Borders Books on Hulen and I-30, and the manager, Lee Cocheneur, for a fantastic first-ever signing. They gave me Seattle's Best Coffee. They had a really nice table set up for me. They let me borrow an easel when I discovered mine was missing a piece (which I later found in my apartment...).

I'll have pictures up, as soon as my parents send them to me.

The weather was terrible, and I'm so proud of my friends and family for coming out in spite of the storm. Thank you everyone!

HEY! I'd like to thank Justin and Leah, who apparently found out about the event from this little blog. I had the great pleasure of meeting them in person.

Woohoo! New friends!

That was my first bookstore signing, and I have to say that it was great fun, and I'm still very hopped up about it.

And now, I drink a little alcohol... because I earned a beer.

Sunday, I'll be doing a reading and signing at Eurotazza Cafe on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth. (

Oh, and last but not least, here's a picture of the lovely and talented Adrienne Kress using her mystical powers to read my book backwards. (Some people really work too hard to know the ending first. Seriously.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Interview with Richard Dansky

I'm doing my first book signing this afternoon, and I'm already tired of talking about myself.

Thus, today, I have a special treat: author Richard Dansky took time out of his very busy schedule to answer questions about his excellent Gothic horror novel, Firefly Rain!

Joe McD: This book is really about the strange struggle between men and women - whether fathers and mothers, sons and mothers, friends, lovers, enemies... all primarily in a binary as male and female. The men are merely actors in the struggles of the will of women. Was this accidental or intentional? Is this something you've noticed as a resident and student of the south? Who are these women, and where did you go to come up with them?

Richard Dansky: I don't actually view it as a male-female dichotomy. To me, Firefly Rain is much more about definition by opposition, and the fact that the narrator has been identifying himself by who he's not for his entire life. So in that sense he's placed in opposition to some of the strong female characters and presences in the book, but he also defines himself as an outsider to the town when he's dealing with the men of Maryfield, and as a Southerner when he's talking to Jenna. If there is a male-female dynamic in the book, to me it's part of the much larger question of who Jacob Logan is versus who Jacob Logan isn't.

As for where the women in the book came from, the answer is "everywhere" – observation, extrapolation, memory, and anything else that seemed to come together to make the people who inhabited the book. None of them are based on anyone specific, and only one had her personality in part defined by her role. That would be Officer Hanratty, and with her I started by simply trying to take the hoary cliché of the small-town southern cop and turn it on its head. In any case, as the book went on and she got her own voice, that element of her genesis proved less and less important to who she ultimately became.

Joe McD: Groovy. How do you allow other characters to define themselves? Do you think other characters define themselves by what they aren't and come to any revelations?

Richard Dansky:
This is probably backwards from what your average creative writing teacher might tell you, but generally my characters define themselves through their dialogue. The more I write in their voice, the better a sense I have of their diction, their idiomatic usage, their sentence structure and patter. All of that helps me figure out more and more about who they are and where they're coming from. I guess in so many words, I let them tell me who they are, and work out the details from there.

As for whether any of the other characters define themselves in Firefly Rain, well, that would be their story, not Logan's. Though I have to confess, Jenna very clearly knows exactly who she is, and that makes her an eminently suitable rock for Logan to cling to in this storm of his own devising.

Joe McD: I've met your wife, recently, in New York and I have to confess that I hear very much of Melinda in a few of the female characters in this book. Who is Melinda's favorite character?

Richard Dansky:She tells me that it's the author, and I really know better than to argue.

Joe McD: The nature of the curse on the one hand seems self-inflicted on the one hand, and imposed on the other. On the one hand, the son is responsible for his sins. On the other, the curse he experiences - and the town experiences - seems to vastly exceed the crime. Can you tell us about curses, and what they mean to you?

Richard Dansky: It's a question of perspective, I think. Is Logan actively cursed, or is he reaping the consequences of his own actions? He did promise he'd come back and he did break that promise, and so if you turn the logic of the situation around you can see why there might be some strenuous efforts taken to make sure he doesn't get a chance to break that promise again. Then again, it's the letter of the promises that are made – and not just by Logan – that causes the real problems. It's the adherence to the absolute ideal of "I'm never going back" or "I made a promise that I'll keep no matter what" without the tempering of human conversation that leads to the conflict at the heart of the book.

Joe McD: Even the curse seems to extend beyond its own intent in many ways. Where did your inspiration for this particular curse come?

Richard Dansky: You can probably take it back to a couple of different sources. On one hand, it's a much-chewed over riff on something my wife said to me about the farm where she grew up – "You don't sell family land." Eventually, what came out of that was thinking that if you made that commitment to the land, what if the land made a commitment back to you? And, of course, things went just horribly wrong and twisted from there.

The rest of it, I think, you can just trace to living in the South and looking around. The plant growth down here is so lush and so all-encompassing, when something's abandoned or not cared for you can see the ground take it back for its own. That's a motif I've played with a lot in my writing, in places like Shadows in Green and elsewhere, and this is another way it's manifested itself.
For my part, I find I'm not hugely interested in "curses" in the classic sense, particularly now that the Red Sox have won a couple of World Series. I guess it's part of my peculiar tastes in horror writing – I'm not entirely interested in "Evil" with a capital "E", because big-letter Evil never made much sense to me. The stuff that really moves me is the writing about people, their motivations and choices, and the consequences of those choices coming into collision. Supernatural elements, then, are a way of calling that out and highlighting the conflict. They're an element that I enjoy hugely, both reading and writing, but I find them – curses included – more interesting when they're a manifestation of what the characters have done.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The French English Speaking People Seem to Love Me

Found at Amazon France just this morning.

Détails sur le produit

* Broché: 400 pages
* Editeur : Wizards of the Coast (5 février 2008)
* Langue : Anglais
* ISBN-10: 0786948574
* ISBN-13: 978-0786948574
* Moyenne des commentaires client : Aucun commentaire client existant. Soyez le premier.
* Classement parmi les ventes : 239 en Livres en anglais (Voir les Meilleures Ventes dans la rubrique Livres en anglais)

I think that means my little book is suddenly #239 in France.

Which is BAD ASS!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday Night, in the Con Suite of ConDFW

You shall come to my book launch party, Saturday Night in the Con Suite.

Because, in case you didn’t know...

here comes your new king of sweet chaos dreams
crown prince of peripatetic whisper keens
to the queens with my tap dancing teeth
stoic stone jack burning all ancient wreaths
i’ll be the ten, nine, eight, seven, six
coal-black diamonds of burning tongue tricks
i’ll be the five, four, three, two, and Ace
of singing spade blades. I now command your face!
drop all that other meaningless shit
and gambol in my white and black spaces a bit.
this voice in my head says you’ll never regret it.
I can lend you some cool in case you need it
Just pick up my book and face it and read it
And so fucking cool you can be there to launch it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Photoshopping... Tsk. Tsk.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

file under: "This is why we can't have nice things!"

I ran over my computer with my car.

Yesterday, I was going to put some groceries in the trunk, with my computer, and jet. Discovery: keys still inside.

I leave everything right there, behind the car, and run inside to get the car keys.

So, instead of doing the smart thing, and putting everything into the trunk, I completely space out. I hop into the driver's seat. I start to pull out.


I stop the car after a mere foot or two, and casually walk around to the back as if I was the cat that had meant to fall into the toilet. I dove underneath the car - thankfully, everything was in between the two wheels, so nothing got >rolled on< - and pulled the computer and groceries out from beneath my car.

The computer still works, I think. It isn't over-heating. I mean, it's not like I didn't need a new one. I >always< need a new computer. I actually started to only buy used computers because they break just as quickly as the new ones and cost half as much.

I am most displeased that my custom, wicked sweet messenger bag commemorating my book - designed by the lovely and talented Roxanne Conrad whom you might know better as author Rachel Caine - now has these nasty black smudges from where it ground agains the undercarriage.

Everyone, you know you hear your mother in the back of your head right now. She's standing with her hands on her hips. She's looking down on you with a very stern, unsurprised look of patience that shrouds the rage and disappointment within.

She's saying "This is why we can't have nice things!"

Monday, February 11, 2008

cool contest courtesy of Jeff VanderMeer

Dip your toe into the valley of the true and strange right *here*

I actually don't consider myself "New Weird". This stuff was going on for years before I started writing good.

I consider myself kind of whatever is going to happen after New Weird.

I actually like the term "Fabulist" better. "Weird" comes loaded with "Weird Tales Magazine" connections. Fabulism nudges us up next to Borges, Calvino, and Kafka.

"Weird Fabulist", maybe?

Oh, well. I'll just keep reading the discussion over at Kathryn Cramer's blog. Ooh, or I'll peruse a copy of this book in stores right now:

Hey, another interesting thing that I feel I must mention. YA authors do not get the same New Weird respekt, and that stinks.

Want to raise some Weird Fabulist kids?

This is going to be dated as tomorrow's blog entry. Today, I have time to post twice. Tomorrow, I will not have time to post at all.

And, I - for one - entered the contest. So, if you win this contest, you can brag that you beat J M McDermott in a Weirdness/Writing contest. That would be mad bragging rights, because I am exceptionally weird, and lots of people seem to think I can write better than an electric turnip with a large bottle of flaming ink.

Hm, actually, I think the electric turnip would have me beat with or without a large bottle of flaming ink.

And, now I also really want an electric turnip.

That is all. Carry on.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

more lost prose

Blah. I'm still struggling to write coherently whilst riding the emotional roller coaster of a book release.

I'll get better.

I can't seem to figure anything out after just an idea or two, and then my hummingbird-like attention span flitters off faster than usual...


The woman who trained me warned me that strange things happened at museums, but that decades had passed and nothing bad had ever happened to anyone. She, of course, didn’t mention that the original director had had a heart attack in the parking lot, and died after just one step out the front door. She didn’t tell me about the crazy night security guards that weren’t allowed to carry bullets in their guns.
Basically, she lied.
I was new. What was I supposed to do? I needed the money, and it was a respectable place to work. I’d get free tickets to exhibitions that my mother, bless her sweet heart, would love to go see. I believed the woman that trained me. How could I not?
The first morning I was going to be trained we began our day at seven in the morning. We took soft cloths and scraped off the spiderwebs that sprouted every morning over the marble statue of a crouching Aphrodite. Of course Aphrodite had no head, and only one arm. Of course she was nude, nubile, and the kind of marble perfection that seemed to glow as if she were made of perfect, white skin. Of course, every night spiders we could not see sewed elaborate white dresses of purest gossamer.
When we wiped them with our gentlest rags, the spidersilk weaving melted away like wet paper until we had succeeded in stripping Aphrodite nude.
Then, we cleaned bathrooms. We cleaned windows. We swept and mopped the floors.
When the museum opened, we stood in the back rooms, waiting for problems, and cleaning what we could.
We never talked about the dress on Aphrodite. The next morning came, and we did it again to Aphrodite, stripping her nude of her gossamer dress.
I asked the woman how this could happen.
She smirked. “It’s best not to ask, most of the time. It’s just weird.”
Sometimes a pre-Colombian statue bled from its base, as if a reservoir of blood had swollen up inside of it and flooded down the base. We sprayed it with club soda and bleach and wiped it all up before it could clot.
We had an Italian reliquary, complete with a saint’s armbone. You had to look real close, but if you were cleaning the base, and you looked away for a minute and then looked back, you’d see that the bone behind the little viewing glass might have turned a little – just a little bit.
Sometimes the elevator took you to the wrong floor. We were supposed to think this was mechanical, but I knew it was something else. It always took us to the basement floor where the first president had stepped out to the employee parking lot and died with one step away from the building.
Nobody really talked about it, but the general consensus was that if the elevator took you to the basement, you were absolutely not – under any circumstance – to step out of the employee exit. Even if you had to leave, anyway, you first you went back upstairs, and then you climbed down a floor on the stairs.
After she was done training me – which was the third time I had cleaned up the blood on the pedestal – the woman who trained me quit and never looked back.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Oh no!

My book turned my Aunt Mary Alice into a cute, fluffy sad-eyed dog!

(Consider yourself warned, readers. My book, apparently has magical transformative properties!)

No worries, just take this book twice a day until your condition clears up:

you know...

it isn't that I don't want to update this everyday. I do.

It's just that we're really short-staffed at the museum right now, and we're doing a lot of events and school tours that require odd hours.

If I have a choice between writing a short story (you did hear about my wicked awesome WEIRD TALES sale, right?!) and hammering those very unfriendly, uncooperative chapters into shape for another book, and writing a blog entry...

Sad to say, I will skip the blog first in a pinch.

That said, I seem to have a lot of new readers around here for some reason *cough*...

Here's a random selection of past posts, so you can familiarize yourself with these here parts, and mayhap stick around.

Door #1

Door #2

Door #3

Also, the ever-popular Post #200

Tomorrow, I expect to post a calender at the top with all my public appearances. Today, I will be figuring out *how* to do that whilst crippled with the tech-knowledge of a brain-damaged monkey.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

happy lent everybody

The young woman raids a drawer below the counter for sweetener to refill the counter’s container. Then, when the drawer below the counter wears thin, the young woman goes to the back room to the larger box there, full of sweetener. When the box runs down, they send for another from a warehouse full of boxes of sweetener. The warehouse, when it runs low on boxes of sweetener goes to a larger building – a factory – where the machines wrestle sweetener from the sugarcane. The sugarcane comes from an even larger place – Florida – which must, naturally, get its supply of cane seeds from an even larger place, indeed: Nature. Nature gets the supply from an equally larger place, I’m certain, but one that I cannot wrap my keyboard around, at the moment.

Dip your hand into the bin, and touch through the economic wires the space larger than yourself in the system, larger than everything.

It tastes so sweet.

Happy Lent, everybody. Don’t give up on the sweetener in your quest for self-enlightenment.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

holy shit.

From SciFi Weekly:

*click me*

From OF Blog of the Fallen


Say it with me now: Holy Shit.

all right, let's play a fun, new internet game.

I want to do for my lovely little book what XKCD did for chess.

Take my book somewhere cool. Read it. Take a photo.

Be on a roller coaster. Be on a helicopter. Be on the roof. Be in the middle of a rock show. Be behind the bar working at your local Starbucks. Be driving. Be riding a pony. Be at the World Series. Be hugging a presidential candidate. Be underwater. Be purple.

Have your cats and dogs reading the book. Have your little daughters and babies reading the book.

Take pictures. Send them to me @ sankgreall and I will post any and all photos (this is a family friendly blog, folks: no nudity or gore!) to the blog.

Let's make this lots of fun.

Anyone who gets their pictures posted to my blog will receive a LAST DRAGON button in the mail.

Play as often as you like, purple party people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

let the global domination begin...

LAST DRAGON just came out in stores right now, today.

I'll be putting together a post that will float to the top with events scheduled, and maps and stuff.

Until then, know this: I will be at the Borders Books on I-30 and Hulen in Fort Worth, TX on February 16th... *click me for details*

Then, if you miss the inaugural signing, I will be at Eurotazza cafe on February 17th at 2:00 PM for a reading and a signing, wherein books will be available for sale. *clickme for cafe location and information*

Now... Let's commence what is to be a regular feature of this blog. Pictures of books in cool places.

Come to signings and witness the giant poster that towers over kitties everywhere.

The talented bookseller Mark G- investigates the brand new, newly-autographed stock in his bookstore on Hulen south of I-20 in Fort Worth, TX.

(I've known Mark since the seventh grade and I can still neither spell, nor pronounce his disturbingly complex last name. I suspect, the literary technique of anonymity with the dash a la Mark G- exists because authors couldn't spell the fellow's name. You'd think I'd know it by now, but what can I say? In my defense, I have trouble remembering how to spell my disturbingly common and simple middle name.)

Finally, here's a lovely Borders store on Hulen and I-30, with books a plenty. If you wait until the 16th before you pick one of these up, I can sign it for you on the spot, folks.

"What," you say, "Where the heck are pictures of the AUTHOR with the book in hand?!"

If you want to know me, and what I look like, you'll just have to come to a signing.

In the mean time, I spent the last two weeks chowing down junk food as a very immature method of dealing with the abject terror of my first book's launch, and I have some bicycling to do before anyone takes my picture.

Off I go, onto my bicycle, and away!

Monday, February 4, 2008

my new system of morality

all right boys and girls, let's talk pragmatic philosophy for a few moments.

first, if the species doesn't survive, it doesn't really matter that much how tasty we make each other feel on the inside.

thus, until we can get viable colonies exceeding the blast radius of one supernova, most everything we say, think, eat, poop, and do can be judged in its morality on a simple continuum.

if it helps the species create viable colonies on other worlds, then it is good. the more it helps, the more morally good that action is.

if it hinders the species in creating viable colonies off-world, then it is bad. the more it hinders, the more morally repugnant it is.

you see, if we can't get off world, all other moral issues are irrelevant. who cares about the abortion debate if *all* of our unborn children will be killed from the inevitable supernova? Some of them may live longer than the others, but all of them will die if we can't get off world.

freedom if ideas to be shared, science, math, networks and social networks, and innovation are all morally good. they will help us as a species create viable colonies off world.

religions that hinder science, political policies that limit the access to ideas, and social policies that limit the scientific education of young people who could be solving the problems that will get us off-world are all bad. very, very bad. the more such things hinder our ability to exceed the blast radius of one supernova, the worse they are.

for this reason, i have also decided that science fiction is the most morally correct form of literature. it is the only form of literature that has, for generations, concerned itself with the ultimate survival of the species by grappling with the paradigms that will shape our life, or our death.

i shall be renewing my subscription to both asimov's and analog next payday. you should do the same. it is the only morally correct thing to do.

and, be sure to embrace this new morality for yourself. the survival of our species depends upon you.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

hey baristas...

i sat here and typed a story that is honestly terrible, but it keeps my hands moving while i wait for Tuesday for about an hour. i watched that guy back there working with you running his mouth and sticking a pen up his nose and telling you all about all his opinions about religion, school, politics, and whatnot, trying to impress you with how smart he is…

…and YOU were hustling all over the espresso bar politely listening politely asking leading questionswhilst cleaning, filling stock, washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, making drinks, helping customers, etc…

i bet you don’t mind because you’re nice, and you wouldn’t really want him to be in your way, anyway.

still, you never struck me as the delegation types, baristas of the world. maybe you should tell that guy to go check the trash and stock somewhere when he has nothing to do.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

free sample chapter

want to download a sample chapter of the book that comes out in THREE DAYS!

things you find when you vanity google and have creative commons'd works on the web

apparently, the world fantasy convention podcast interviews david morrell, then runs some commercials, then ends with my slow, brooding, blood-opium bang...

remember who had this dark story first, and who was smart to publish it first: Dark Recesses Press.


Friday, February 1, 2008

"Lovesong of Jack McNally" in Atomjack Magazine

Adicus, the editor, just told me I tied with one other fellow in the issue for his favorite story.

I'm honored.

link to

Check it out for yourself.

And, no, I'm not updating my blog quite as regularly as usual. I have a book coming out next Tuesday. I'm lucky I'm dressed, bathed, and not frothing at the mouth whislt in public. No updates until I get pictures of my book in stores, in hands, in cool places.

Send me pictures of your copy of my book!