Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Nearly December!

I love December.

My birthday is coming up soon. And lots of my friends have birthdays in December. Both of my sisters, too. Happy Birthday, everyone! (M's is the 1st!)

December is considered the end of the year. It is the end of the year. But each year really begins in December with the solstice. And each year begins anew for me and those of us born in this month. This December is filled with newness for me.

Here's Every Day Fiction's new Table of Contents:

December’s Table of Contents

Dec 1 Jenny Schwartz Ravishing Readers
Dec 2 Kevin Shamel Uninventing the Internet
Dec 3 Steve Goble Waiting to Pounce
Dec 4 Tels Merrick Nov 5th
Dec 5 Robert Goffeney The Wizard’s Walk
Dec 6 M.Sherlock Death is a Weird Shade of Pink
Dec 7 Rachel McClain A Couch in a Clearing
Dec 8 Al Carty A Family Matter
Dec 9 Simon Smithson Waiting
Dec 10 Fred Warren Little Piece of Cloth
Dec 11 Kelly Swimmer Birds
Dec 12 Celeste Goschen Mr Gorzynski Takes the Plunge
Dec 13 Brian Dolton The Gallery of Illusions
Dec 14 A P Chapman Message in a Bottle
Dec 15 Dave Macpherson The Adjunct Professor of Cabbage
Dec 16 Mark Parenti The Doll
Dec 17 K.M. Rockwood Aftermath
Dec 18 Mark Rosenblum Do Your Dreams Have Robots?
Dec 19 Tapes Mr Merton
Dec 20 Bill Snodgrass Late Bloomer
Dec 21 Brian George Must Be Old Death A-Walking
Dec 22 Jason Stout Writer’s Block
Dec 23 Rosie Claverton Cultural Roots
Dec 24 Frank Zubek A Christmas Toast
Dec 25 Sarah Hilary Kanti Chooses Santa
Dec 26 Erin M. Kinch Fortune Cookies
Dec 27 Jon Peck Choose Your Booze
Dec 28 C.L. Holland The Marsh Lights
Dec 29 Liz Wright After the Tone
Dec 30 Dave Bara Something About Harry
Dec 31 Oonah V Joslin Picture of Innocence

My new story out on the second, Uninventing the Internet, marks a new milestone for me.

It is the 12th story in a row published by Every Day Fiction. That's one story a month for an entire year. THAT is something new. And it makes me happy.

In related news, though it's not quite December, I've had a story accepted this week at a new venue (both for me, and in general). My story, Late in July it Meanders Through the City, will appear sometime in the summer during the first run of 52 Stitches. It's horror flash fiction, one story a week for one year.

And finally.

Finally there's something new about Christmas around here.

We are shucking the grip of commercialism. We are shaking ourselves from the grasp of unfettered gift-giving, stressful shopping, and the all-around wrongness of the Holiday Season. I've always been bothered by Christmas. At least what it's become.

So this year, we're doing for others. We're concentrating on being grateful for what we have, and for helping others or helping the Earth. We're going to celebrate our new idea of The Twelve Days of Christmas, where we spend those days being more appreciative of each other. We will remember the true spirit of Christmas during those days--giving, loving, remembering, preparing for a new year, reflecting on the one just passed, coming together as a family.

We'll still give each other gifts. At least we'll give the kids things. One thing each from--something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

Here's what Terri and I want: Save Some Salmon!!

And Caspian: Horses And People Need Love!

Zane is more into the gifts still.

We gave the kids the choice, get stuff from people outside the family, or have them help you donate to a charity of your choice. Understandably, the three year old chose stuff. And quite gallantly and excellently, Caspian chose to find a charity. (Made us proud.)

We feel good about changing our view of Christmas. I'll even try not to lecture everyone on how it's so screwed up.

Newness abounds at the end of this year.

Yay for December.

Happy Birthdays!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quick, What's Your Favorite Garden Tool?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Withersin, Wood, and the Aussie

I have been neglecting my keyboard. I traded it in for just plain boards.
The past week has seen the upstairs floors of my home torn to bits and reconstructed. It has seen me be a large part of that process.
Two rooms upstairs used to bounce. Like stiff trampolines. I'm sure it wasn't good for the house.
I'm not that handy with carpentry.
My lovely wife's attitude about home improvements is--hire someone.
I've been working on figuring out what I need to fix the floors for about four months. Finally, last month I got smart and asked a friend of mine who's always talking about the rad carpentry stuff he's up to if he could tell me what was wrong with my upstairs if I described it to him and sent pictures.
Then I asked him if he'd come fix my floors.
And he said yes!
So I met the Aussie for the first time in real life. We've known each other online for a few years, and it was cool to stand in the same room and hassle people together in real life. He's just like I thought he'd be. (only even better at laying floors!)
Brian came from South Dakota to show this Yank how to tear up hundred and twenty-year-old wood planks and replace them with gorgeous, strong new ones. He taught me how to use the new tools I had to buy (LOVE the mitre saw!!) and gave me an excuse to get a shop vac, and helped me get perspective on my ten-year-old, and cracked my ass up all week long.
And check out the floors:

Brian rocks. Even if he burns the ears of comic book store proprietors with sinful words like shit-hole.
Replacing floors rocks, but it takes time and effort. It takes time away from writing, my latest art project, reading, and being socially responsible. And from blogging.
All in all, the time spent is MORE than worth it. Much more. We have solid floors in most of the upstairs now. Terri and I are one step closer to having a bedroom. It's only been two years since we moved in.
So if I haven't written back, or read your story, or your blog posts, or just vanished suddenly from your radar, that is why.
Hopefully, I'll be back around cyberville a little more, I'll have time to write, and paint, and talk to all my pals. But I still have a lot to do with the floors. Brian could only stay so long and Terri and Zane had to come back from Milwaukee sometime.
When Zane isn't sick (yup) he'll be my helper as I pound all the nails below the suface of the boards. Caspian was our helper for the week we put in the floors. He was a tremendous help. It was awesome. Yay, Caspian!
While settling back in to my life not doing carpentry, I received the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines of all time, Withersin. It came a little early, it's not really out until the 21st, but I think that's because my story, Red and Black, is in it.
(clicking this will take you to their site)
I'm pretty excited about my story coming out in Withersin. I've subscribed to the mag for over a year--in fact, I'd best renew my subscription soon. It never fails to entertain me. From fine-tuned fiction, to unedited true stories, weird recipes like dried shark and sinister meat pie, interviews with dark delights like Chainsaw Sally, Morrigan Hel, and rock and roll scream kings, Withersin is chock-full of strange things. I love it. I'm happy to be included.
Red and Black is based tightly on the end of an intense relationship between a lovely, ruined woman and me. I'm calling it frenetic, after reading it again.
If you read it, please let me know what you think.
That's the news and I'm stickin' to it.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Goofy Duo Takes Space By Storm

Or something like that.

My story, Krupper and Jons, is out at Every Day Fiction. Please stop by and give it a read. It's a science fiction bit with a bumbling Starsky and Hutch sort of feel.

This is my eleventh story in a row at EDF. Can you believe that? I owe my newfound love of flash fiction to them.

While we're on that subject, be sure and look for the Every Day Fiction 100 Best Stories Anthology. I'm not sure of its release date, I know they're hoping for before Christmas. But if you're interested in quality flash fiction--it'll gonna be one big book of it.

I'm happy to share a spot inside its covers. There are many, many brilliant writers in there.

So that's that.

It's been a happy Friday so far. Even at the end of long, weird week.

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Not A Zombie

So we had this plan for Halloween: The three dudes would be zombies and Terri would be an innocent Betty hanging out with them. But then Zane decided a few hours before we were going to go terrorize the town that he didn't want to be a zombie. Three costume changes later, and he was his all-time favorite---Robin! He's had a Robin costume for at least a year now. It's like his second skin. He was a great Robin.

My sister (a zombie) brought along two of her kids, a vampire and the Grim Reaper. The neighbors showed up with another vampire, a witch, and spiderman.

The weather was perfect for Halloween. Not so great for photos of anything but fog. Here's some we managed: