Friday, April 15, 2022

WROTE Podcast Interview

I was on the WROTE Podcast talking with the ever-congenial Vance Bastian and Baz Collins about my upcoming Lethe Press collection Fear Itself, Burly, the writing and editing life, inspiration, and revising my second horror novel. I owe a great thanks to those two. In the interview, I even trace my earliest writing inspirations to comic books and Sunday matinees watching creature features such as "The Blob and "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" at the Port Theatre in Cornwall.

I also decided to talk publicly about the loss of my sister Kim this fall. Over the years, she had saved a stack of my earlier writings, including annual traditional Halloween stories and even the high school columns I wrote for the daily paper in my hometown. So since Kim always believed in me, and I miss her, I thought all of this worth mentioning.

There are shout-outs aplenty, including to my sisters, Steve Berman and Jerry L. Wheeler.

If you listen to some of it or any of it, please let me know how it goes. While I have the Irish gift for the gab, I cannot, ironically, tolerate hearing my own voice for too long.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Locus Magazine Awards hopefuls

Feeling pleased; as mentioned previously, three major Lethe Press projects I worked on in terrible 2021 are possible Write-in votes for the Locus Magazine Awards. The Locus Awards are an annual set of literary awards voted on by readers of the science fiction and fantasy magazine Locus, a monthly based in Oakland, California and are normally presented at an annual banquet.

I would be very grateful if you took the time to vote for any of these works, which I proofread:

Best Collection: Fit for Consumption, Steve Berman (Lethe). On the left.

Best Novelette: “Unwelcome Boys”, Steve Berman (Fit for Consumption)

Best Anthology: Burly Tales: Fairy Tales for the Hirsute and Hefty Gay Man, Steve Berman, ed. (Lethe). Bottom, centre.

Best Short Story: My hopeful Billy Goats Gruff redux, "Three, to the Swizz'!", a story appearing in Burly.

Very happy to say that my publisher, Steve Berman of Lethe Press, is up for Best Editor. Go, Duke!

I just filed a review of Charles Payseur's The Burning Day and Other Strange Stories (Lethe), up for Best Collection, with a prestigious speculative-fiction publication. On the right.

Michael Bukowski's ribald and wonderfully weird Monstrous Mythologies (Lethe) is also up for Best Art. Centre.

Here's the voting link. You need to register but need not be a Locus reader).

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Mad, stressful Wednesday, Possible Awards

What a mad, stressful Wednesday after a dry January in which I not only got rolling on my horror-novel-number-two revisions for Monstrous, the short-story revisions for my collection Fear Itself and filed a book review, I also landed a new job. But more on that later, once the letter of offer is all wrapped up.

Today’s been all worrying about ice damming on the roof, leaking into our master bedroom, as in 2021. Ice damming occurs when layers of snow and ice accumulate on the roof. The simplest way to describe it as that the bottom-most layer warms because of the ambient heat in the house, melting any snow or ice there, which then flows under the eavestroughs, frozen over with ice from the subzero temperature, and the water finds any which way it can into the house. So it's like a horny teenager trying to find any which way to get relief. 

Pardon the bawdy comparison, but I feel I'm allowed the dirty reference or two, given all that is happening simultaneously.

So I have been up there, not getting sexual gratification, mind you, but shoveling snow, or wiping the water leaking above the window into our room. That has been most of my day, really. Hence my use of “stressful”.

On the other hand, as is typical in the writing life, there are compensations. At the same time, I am feeling ... somewhat pleased?

Three major Lethe Press projects I worked on in terrible 2021 are possible Write-in votes for the Locus Magazine Awards. The Locus Awards are an annual set of literary awards voted on by readers of the science fiction and fantasy magazine Locus, a monthly based in Oakland, California and are normally presented at an annual banquet.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

My freelance writing career

Wow; found or rediscovered a fairly serviceable list of my freelance articles on my profile for what is now Xtra. Many articles are lost  (hundreds, in fact-years' worth of freelancing) due to the LGBTQ1+ Pink Triangle Press publication's rebranding and changing domain/website names and lack of archiving, but these ones are findable, at least.

Here you can find my profile.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Hometown Christmas dinner cancelled or delayed

The boy and my partner have the cold-like symptoms of you-know-what. The Covid Omnicron strain, or a bad headcold. Headache, chills, upset stomach-those sorts of symptoms.

They say you should assume that anyone with these symptoms likely has Covid and to isolate for ten days.

There are no more PCR tests (the rapid test you take if you have symptoms) available in our city. Ottawa Public Health is no longer taking calls or providing individual guidance, as they are overrun.

We are looking at isolating for ten days. Christmas in my hometown, where we were going to gather to honour the memory and Boxing-Day-supper tradition of my recently deceased sister, is essentially cancelled. We are staying put. 

Suffice to say that I have had it with 2021, with Covid, with my sister dying of cancer, and any other aches and pains this bastard of a year has wrought. 

We always have our own Christmas here, before travelling Christmas day, at least, so we have that, and each other.

Monday, December 20, 2021

John Candy and Catherine O'Hara in "Home Alone"

So, here is one of many reasons Canada's John Candy was brilliant. In "Home Alone", the 1990 Macaulay Culkin vehicle of debatable merit, Candy portrayed Gus Polinski, the Polka King of the Midwest, in a cameo. Polinski kindly gives Kate McCallister (Catherine O'Hara, another Canadian great) a ride home to check on her abandoned son. Their exchange in the band's van incudes this wonderful bit. Gus explains that he was indeed, ah, forgetful with one of his kids.

(I had originally included the transcript, but think this post is better without. I could tell you, or I could show you. And with the clip at a mere 49 seconds, you could do worse trying to improve this abysmal year.)

So, merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy solstice and happy everything. And don't leave any loved ones behind, eh?

Here's the scene.