Soon I’ll Be Stuffed in Your Mailbox

This postcard will be going out from the cool-as-heck folks at the Lemery House to promote an upcoming reading. I’ve never been the subject of a direct-mail campaign before.

Gateway Characters (in Hell or Alaska)

Lately the mater familias and I have been watching Northern Exposure, a show I caught only haphazardly during its network run in the early 90s. At the time I much preferred the grittier fantasmagoria of Twin Peaks to the bucolic magical realism of Northern Exposure; as I’ve mellowed (i.e., gotten older), though, I find that Northern Exposure (hereafter referred to … Read More

Possibly the best review I’ll ever get

A special belated shout-out to gladiolii, whose blog post discussing my novel The Sword-Edged Blonde contains what may be the best review I’ll ever get: “The main character is cooler than I’d have expected, for an old guy.” Thanks, Kit, and I hope you like the next one as much.

Heroes: the Dragon Hunter

I don’t have a lot of real-world heroes as an adult. There are people whose work I admire, and whose accomplishments I find impressive, but for me a hero is about being as much as doing. The late Steve Irwin and Charlton Heston were heroes; among the living, Bruce Springsteen and George A. Romero currently qualify. But no one is … Read More

Less Than Meets the Eye

Recently a friend mentioned that she loved the Transformers movie, and I said I disagreed. When she pressed me for an explanation I demurred, for a couple of reasons: I wanted to marshal my thoughts with more clarity, and I didn’t want to sully an otherwise delightful group lunch with what could easily become a semi-coherent rant. But yes, I … Read More

The Music from Hell’s Waiting Room

Last night the family went out for post-dinner ice cream at the local Culver’s. We sat outside, since in the shade it was quite pleasant. However, we could still hear the background music, probably more clearly than the lucky folks packed inside. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, in order, the music from Hell’s Waiting Room*: Ever Changing … Read More

Winter Passing: between the reaching and the touching

Movies about writers tend to be pretty dull, because unless you’re sitting inside our skulls, what writers do is pretty dull. We stare at blank paper or screens, mutter to ourselves a lot, pace mindlessly and drink way too much (coffee and otherwise). Even writers with exciting lives don’t always make exciting films. For example, the atrocious In Love and … Read More

Death and Grazia

The city of Ur, now located in Iraq, is considered one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Its name has become synonymous, therefore, with the first recorded instance of something. And so, in that spirit, I give you Grazia, the Ur-Goth. Grazia, played by Evelyn Venable, is the heroine of the 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday. And she is in … Read More

Bloomin’ Shakespeare, part 2

Man, did I hate Romeo and Juliet. We had to read it in high school, along with the perennial Julius Caesar. At least JC had brutal gang stabbings, political intrigue and ghosts. And true, R&J had swordfights. But they were swordfights by boys our age in tights. Believe me, in small town West Tennessee in the Seventies, no one openly … Read More

Bloomin’ Shakespeare, part 1

In the process of cleaning out my study for its current use as the boys’ playroom (already the scene of an epic Nerf-sword battle between the Squirrel Boy and me), I came across Harold Bloom’s ginormous Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. As only someone absolutely certain of himself could do, Bloom gives you the correct (i.e., his) interpretation of … Read More