Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back at it...

After a month or so spent writing shorts, I've spent the past week getting back to work on the New Book. Said New Book comes in at a little over 52,000 words right now, and after a refamiliarizing read-through/polish of each and every one of those words, I'm pretty sure it's the best thing I've ever written. It's the second in a series that begins with Dead Harvest, a series that recasts the struggle between heaven and hell as a Golden Era crime pulp. There aren't words to express how much fun I'm having playing in this particular sandbox. I sincerely hope I get to do so for years to come.

Oh yeah, and the New Book has a name: The Wrong Goodbye. Not too terribly long from now, it'll have an ending as well. Fingers crossed y'all get to read it someday.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crime Factory #1 Now Live!

A little jailbird told me the first issue of Crime Factory is now live. Go check it out here.

Am I in it? Nope. But some mighty talented people are -- people like Dave White, Steve Weddle, Frank Bill, and Hilary Davidson, just to name a few.

Seriously, from the looks of it, Crime Factory's one hell of a venue, not just for short fiction, but for reviews, excerpts, the whole nine.

So what're you waiting for? Get outta here and get reading!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A man can't just sit around.

Larry Walters had a dream. A fairly common dream, at that. Larry Walters dreamed that he could fly. The problem was, Larry's vision was poor, and he was thus ill-suited to become a pilot. Most people, faced with similar limitations, might let go of such a dream.

Larry Walters was not most people.

On a sunny summer day in 1982, in his modest backyard in San Pedro, Larry boarded a makeshift aircraft comprising a lawn chair, a seat belt, and forty-odd weather balloons, armed with a pellet gun, a CB radio, and a cooler full of sandwiches and beer. His plan was to release the line that tethered his craft to his Jeep, rise to a height of thirty feet or so, and have himself a little picnic. Then he'd just shoot out a couple balloons and float gently back to earth, just as easy as could be.

But Larry, it would seem, was not so good with basic physics. When he released the tether, his craft rose 15,000 feet in the air. According to some reports, he didn't dare shoot out the balloons, for fear the chair would tip, so instead, he did what any reasonable person in his situation would do: he drank.

Eventually, he drifted into the approach corridor of Long Beach airport, disrupting air traffic. Imagine for a moment what that must have looked like to the folks waiting for clearance to land: a drunk man in a lawn chair with a gun, some three miles above the ground. He did finally touch down safely, though not before getting tangled in some power lines and knocking out power in the entire Long Beach area.

It goes without saying that Larry, upon touchdown, was arrested. Seems the FAA took umbrage with his violation of restricted airspace. But by the time they nabbed him, the story'd spread, and a few crack reporters witnessed his arrest. One of those reporters asked why he'd done it. Larry's response? "A man can't just sit around."

I love that quote. I love it because it's so simple (stupid, even, given that Larry literally did, in fact, sit around), and yet tells you a lot about the man who said it. People thought his dream of flight was unattainable. Thought his flight itself was stupid. But that didn't stop Larry. Didn't deter him in the slightest. And when questioned on the matter afterward, his answer was more or less a what're you gonna do? shrug.

Becoming a published novelist is a silly dream. There's no money in it (usually), and God knows there are plenty of books on the shelf already. My friends and family are supportive, sure, but I think most of 'em find the whole endeavor a little peculiar to say the least.

Do me a favor; take a gander at the links down on the sidebar. Those men and women get it. They should; each one of them's a Larry Walters. Like Larry, they all seem normal enough on the surface; most have day-jobs, mortgages, kids. But on the page?

On the page those folks can fly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Congratulations, Sophie!

I'm delighted to report that Sophie Littlefield's fantastic debut novel, A Bad Day For Sorry, has been nominated for an Edgar! Pop on over to her blog and congratulate her, and if you haven't read Sorry yet, then by God, go buy it; you'll be glad you did...

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's not easy being "Green".

Just finished my second short of the year, a nasty little slug of noir called Green. As in weed, money, envy, inexperience, and nausea, all of which manage to make an appearance. After really slogging to finish my last short, this one wrote quick, for which I'm grateful. Now it's out the door and wandering the scary, scary world (or rather, sitting in the inbox of the friend who requested it), so I'll let you know if and when it finds a home.

In other news, there is no other news. But hey, the new year's a little over two weeks old, and I've already got two new submissions. Not too shabby, that. Now all I've got to figure out if I'm tackling short #3, or if it's back to the book for me.

Man, I love it when the words keep coming. Best damn buzz there is...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

That's right, cobwebs: don't get comfy.

Just a quick followup post to say that apparently A Native Problem doesn't suck, because I've just gotten word from David Cranmer, Editor Extraordinaire, that it's going to appear in Beat to a Pulp's first-ever print anthology!

I can't tell you how psyched I am about this. For those keeping score, this is my first anthology publication, and I'll tell ya, it's a doozy. (For the record, I think it should be spelled "deusy", but whatever.) David's got great taste, and Beat to a Pulp is one of my favorite 'zines going. And man, what a lineup he's put together for this anthology! Randisi. Crider. Littlefield. Abbott. Reasoner. Not to mention the patron saint of modern pulp, Charles Freakin' Ardai. (I swear, I'd plunk down actual dollars American to read Ardai's grocery list. And yeah, I'm pretty sure that is his middle name.)

Jealous? No need to be! Turns out, there are still a few spots left to fill. So what're you waiting for? Write well, and write fast.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Year, New Story, New... crap, I should really have a third thing.

Tonight, I put the finishing touches on my first submission of the new year, an adventure-pulp/noir/horror sort of deal, chock full of cannibals and tentacles and badass men with guns all wanderin' 'round the jungle thinking badass thoughts (now with BONUS! Science geekery!). It was written at the request of a friend for an upcoming anthology, and if he digs it, then deets to follow. If not, pretend I never said that. In fact, since I just used the word "deets", pretend I never said it either way.

What's it called, you ask? (Yes, I know no one really asked that. Be nice to the punch-drunk writer giddy from finishing his first short story in quite a while and play along.) A Native Problem. Which it occurs to me could be perceived as somewhat scandalous, but really isn't so. Unless scandal would make folks more likely to read it, in which case, it is a controversial masterpiece on the order of Scarface, Audition, or that weird-ass pornographic comic Alan Moore put out a few years back. Only really not so much.

Okay, off to rest and relaxate. And I promise, with the new year upon us, I'll try to pop in here every week or so to dust the cobwebs and whatnot. (Dust for cobwebs? I don't plan to keep the cobwebs themselves clean. No matter.) The point is, stay tuned. I've got a feeling things are gonna get interesting around here...