Standard Year in Review post

The problem with having a blog is that it all feels self-aggrandizing and a year-in-review post is the nadir of self-aggrandizing posts. It’s even more self-aggrandizing than using ‘nadir’ in a sentence. So with that out of the way I got drunk on flowery umbrella drinks and wrote one. Any typos I made will be left intact to help tamp down on the aggrandizement. Hopefully it just doesn’t even look like a word anymore.

Excerpts from the Diary of Theodore Miro, competitor on Season 2 of CryptoChefs
My second time out with the awesome folks at Mad Scientist Journal followed a contestant into the seedy underbelly of televised cooking competitions. If you’ve been binging the Great British Bake Off but think all their pies needed 240% more blackbirds, have I got the story for you!

To Another Abyss! from Spaceboy Books
Having my first novel published by a small press was definitely the highlight of my year. I knew that a Wodehouse-style comedy of errors steeped in Western Mass regionalisms (the different types of artists who congregate around the Five Colleges, a small but tenacious punk scene, Bob’s Discount Furniture,) would have a wicked niche audience and be a hard sell to agents. When I found Spaceboy’s submission call and saw their catalogue included a weird SF dystopia leaning hard left, I had a good feeling about sending them my manuscript. And now after rounds of revisions and an anxiety-addled blurb-busking — sincerest thanks to Erica L. Satifka and Wayne Gladstone — my farcical foray into fine art, film, and fish-people is out there in the wild, doing whatever books do when you aren’t prodding them with a red pen.

Oh Ghost of Mine
Something I really like in a novel is when the POV character isn’t entirely sympathetic and it’s to an extent the book is all a joke at their expense, but I understand how that can be super annoying to other readers. I was glad I got it out of my system with To Another Abyss, and this tie-in story follows Decca trying to start a little supernatural side-hustle. I’m wicked proud that it got picked up by Speculative City in print online, and produced as audio by The Overcast.

InFringe Festival
I’d been out of the loop with live readings for a year or two, but my friend Picolla invited me to be part of their Fringe show “Moved: an Evening of Poetry Inspired by Burlesque.” I was paired with a dancer named Eros Sea, who sent a brief description of the themes behind his set and the song he was performing to. It was from Frozen… which I’d never seen. So I wrote a flash piece about a ghost hitchhiker getting over his moping-on-the-roadside routine and hoped for the best! It went over well with the crowd, but honestly, there was no way I could’ve written something that measured up to the actual act from Eros. The man has poise for weeks and of course you shouldn’t click that link if you’re at work.

Oh god, conventions. Aaaaaah.
I tried to jump right in to the Published Author thing and went to a couple cons. I attended Readercon where I got to see some super interesting panel discussions and hopefully not be too socially awkward while meeting some of my favorite authors. Contraflow, a small con here in Louisiana, invited me as a guest. I got to sit on a couple panel discussions and even moderate a pretty thorough panel about SFF affecting change in the real world with Trisha Baker and Ernest Russell.

Many nerves were wracked in the process, but two stories and one novel makes this my most productive year so far. And I didn’t even have to handcuff myself to Twitter’s offices to get the attention.

To Other Similar Abysses!

Part of my day job entails coming up with Read-Alikes: little lists for popular books that can direct readers to other titles based on sharing similar themes, concepts, or aesthetics. For example, Laird Barron’s The Croning could be on a Read-Alike list for Jeff VanderMeer’s City of Saints & Madmen due to them both dealing with strange nonhuman entities and toying with the reliability of historical accounts. Diehard cosmic horror fans could probably quibble over the finer points of the comparison, but it’s a way of saying “if you liked X, try Y” for people who may not be that familiar with the genre.

And if there’s one thing common to the genres I like the most, it’s that lots of folks aren’t familiar with them.

So here’s a list of Read-Alikes for To Another Abyss. If…

Read More »

Transcript of “Elysian Trumpet for sale”

Earlier today on the New Orleans Craiglist, there was an ad posted that appeared to have been written by Irvin Mayfield. It was purporting to sell one of the city’s largest symbols of municipal neglect, the Elysian Trumpet. It may well have been a fake ad, but for those of us living in this marvelous-though-mishandled city, it gave us hope. Hope that a man could change. That someone could redress their own wrongs and swallow their pride like a thousand-dollar breakfast.

Of course I printed out a copy as soon as I saw it because I knew a humorless dick was going to report it.

Here’s a transcript of the ad. I do not know who those named at the end are, and I didn’t post the original ad. #MakeNOJOPay

Elysian Trumpet

$1,030,000 OBO
24k gold finish, gems, semiprecious stones, Fleur De Lis-all that stuff. This trumpet is NICE.
The Elysian Trumpet is one of the most guarded and elaborate musical instruments ever made. I’m only selling it because I need cash for a really good attorney and I’d like to go out for breakfast tomorrow.

It is insured by Lloyd’s of London for $1 million, and the policy is paid up through September. Horn comes with an armed guard. He’s been waiting on a paycheck from me for a couple months. Hopefully he won’t be so demanding with you.

I kinda share the trumped with some other folks who also think it is completely reasonable to spend buckets of money on one instrument when our city needs so much. I’m in pretty tight with most of these people, and they’ll do whatever I say, so it’s cool with them if I unload the trumpet.

Those people are:
Elizabeth A. Boh
E. Renae Conley
Richard Michael Conley
David Allard duPlantier, Spiritual Warden
Jeffery Brian Goldring
William H. Hines
Stewart Juneau
Big Daddy K
Ronald Markham Jr.
Ken Mask
Lance Ostendorf
Daniel Fredric Packer Jr.