Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy mudda-puckin Halloween!

I went to this movie with my wife and another couple. The memory of it is all four of us leaving, getting in the car and driving home with nobody saying a single word. I'm not sure if Se7en is my favorite horror movie, but it's in the top three.

Now, go eat some chocolate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friend's, I mean congrats to the homies

Been a couple of weeks, huh? Well sue me for having the swine flu, bitches. Sorry, still a little cranky...not feeling up to snuff does that to me.

But it's been a busy few weeks for mis compadres. Since I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm not a self-centered prick, I'm going to discuss them.

First, a big congrats to a couple of the Snutch Labs crew. Kurt Dinan and John Mantooth both received honorable mentions from Ellen Datlow in her Best Horror of the Year. See here: Kurt and John are assholes.

Plus, congrats to Kurt and his family on their new son with the awesome name. Sam Dinan is a fine, fine moniker.

A lot of friends, acquaintances and big names on that list...too many to go into, but I'd be an ass if I didn't give the proper recognition to Trish Cacek and Steve Tem. They're both kind of de facto mentors for me, great people as well as uber-talented writers.

Also, another Snutcher, Erik Williams, signed a contract for his novelette, THE REVEREND'S POWDER, and it should be available next summer. He's holding back on all the details until the publisher announces it, but I'm a blabbermouth.

For those interested in free fiction from a titan in the horror genre, the Library of America has posted Thomas Tessier's story, NOCTURNE. Tom is one hell of a nice guy and probably my favorite genre writer. And congrats to him on the recent addition to his family, too.

Finally, Paul Tremblay's new novella, THE HARLEQUIN AND THE TRAIN was reviewed in LOCUS - a pretty big deal:

"Tremblay’s main thrust seems to be that anyone can become evil when subjected to the proper pressures, and that the line between the banal and the monstrous is thin and ever-shifting; the case he makes is compelling, and messy, and creepy as hell. The human potential for monstrous behavior is always scarier than external monsters, anyway. The Harlequin and the Train is a memorable read..."--Tim Pratt, Locus Magazine.

Want more insight into Steve Tem, PD Cacek, Tom Tessier or Paul Tremblay? Check out the Snutch Labs chats we've had with them: Snutch Labs bloggity blog

And to wrap up, let's talk about me - or at least look upon me in all my splendor. Erik's posted the evidence pictures from last month's KillerCon. Awesome effin time!

You know, they're right. Pimpin ain't easy. Posting links is a pain in the ass.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Now, some good news

I'm glad to announce that my previously mentioned collection, POSTCARDS FROM PURGATORY, has been sold (again) to Sideshow Press. Presale begins about January and the collection should finally see the light of day around June of 2010.

The original and reprinted art of Russell Dickerson will still be included, along with new art from Tom Moran, and a new cover - which might be the best news of all. It's been expanded to sixteen stories, including the first three Money Run stories - "Of Lot Lizards, Love and Money," "Degrees of Persuasion" (my personal favorite), and "Tossing Butch, Saving Theodore." I hate to brag, but I think "Tossing Butch..." might be the most important story in the history of the gay midget tossing genre. The collection will also include an updated introduction by Thomas Tessier, which is a huge ego boost for me - like I need that.

More details to follow... (Oh, the drama!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

First, the bad news...

And by saying "first," I mean there's much more news to follow, but none of it would make sense without the bad news first.

My collection, POSTCARDS FROM PURGATORY, is not going to be published by Doorways Publishing after all. I have nothing but nice things to say about Doorways and Brian Yount and their crew, but timing wasn't working on our side. I still talk to Brian every week, mostly to give him crap about how bad the Reds suck, and the decision was mutual and very amicable. But for those of you looking forward to a book with a postman standing next to a trash bin on the cover, I'm afraid I can no longer help you out.

But let's not dwell on the bad news.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fine! I'm back already - sheesh

Where have I been? Wouldn't you like to know! Actually, probably not.

It's a long story, but...

I'd began on my novel in earnest in April and decided I wasn't doing anything else until I managed to finish it - for good or for bad. So guess what? I'm blogging, huh? So that means...with the novel?

Yeah, that's not done. I anticipated the jump from short stories to novels would be difficult and a long process. I just underestimated the long part. The good news, I'm unusually happy with what I have down so far. Typically, I hate everything I write until like the sixty-fifth draft - then I'm just so tired of it, I have no opinion.

However, I've had another opportunity come up to where I've had to put aside the novel for a bit. I'm back to the usual process of hating the work (being the new project), but slowly it's getting there. I'll update on that in the future.

Anyways, I've found something odd about this blog thing. Sometimes people read these. Imagine that. And I attended KillerCon in Las Vegas this past weekend and got quite a bit of flack for my cyber-absence. All along I've thought I don't have much to say or share, but on the plane ride home, I realized I actually do have quite a bit of news. So, I'll be sharing that over the next week or so. Yeah, I'm a tease.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Creamed Cramer, with a side of pleas.

Last night, the best journalist in the country undressed the feigned outrage of financial clown and scumbag, Jim Cramer. And yes, it's a sad commentary when the best questions we get are from Jon Stewart...he's clearly biased, completely cops to it and usually looks more for laughs than insight. But usually, he gets the insight.

The much-hyped evening turned into a well-thought-out condemnation of the country's financial structure, and more importantly, the media (sensing a theme from me?) who not only ignored the current financial crisis warning signs, but cheered for it and the insanity that led to our current situation.

I can't help but wonder where our country would be right now if two events never occurred: First, when Secretary Paulson, who had kept the company line of "the fundamentals are strong," as his message right up until his act. That act being "the sky is falling, give me seventy billion dollars and look the other way." Then Mr. Cramer going on The Today Show telling his sheep to "sell, sell everything."

And who points this out? The financial gurus of CNBC? Fox and all their financial reporting (funny how the Wall Street Journal missed this)? Bloomberg? No, a comedian who never succeeded until his current format had to expose the "shenanigans."

What happened last night probably ended Cramer's career. It also probably raised Stewart to an entirely different level. Which, on one hand we need, but is a disturbing thought that things have deteriorated to the point that the guy who serves as our best watchdog was the exagerrated stoner guy from Half Baked.

current jam: Ida Maria, I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Goddamn Bob Dylan...

I hate it when he's right, but the times, they's a changing.

First, Stephen Page leaves the Barenaked Ladies. Okay, BNL will never be accepting an award from the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, but they've also been severely underrated. Funnest band I've ever seen in concert, and over the last nine years, the only band I've seen everytime they've come through Denver - usually between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I get it...he effed up. Bad. As a group they'd sold out, made some deal with the devil, er Disney. Released a Christmas album and a children's record with big things on the horizon - possibly millions of dollars lost for the group. And as a band, you can't forgive somebody for that. But god, it sucks. I saw BNL at Fiddlers Green, when it was still Fiddlers Green, with my wife seven months pregnant with our son. I saw them in the theater district when my wife was eight months pregnant with my daughter. And it will never be the same. Change really blows sometimes.

Speaking of change, tomorrow is the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News, a Colorado mainstay for 150 years. It was my parent's paper of choice when papers mattered. It was my wife's paper when I met her. It's a stupid thing to think of, but it's played a part in my life since I've been born.

But, more serious than the loss of BNL, the crisis in America's newspapers is a serious issue. Since Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine and the constriction of media ownership over the last twenty-five years, a vital part of our country has been dying a slow, apparently unnoticed death. An uneducated electorate is a dangerous electorate. I have no doubt Bush won his second term because of the lack of media presence calling him out on the bullshit of the previous four years.

Media today is a joke. It's TMZ. It's Murdoch. It's Disney. If Nixon pulled the shit he did today, he'd get away with it, but we'd sure as shit know which days Brittney decided to leave her undergarments at home.

Undoubtedly, part of the problem is the interwebs. Free information means no advertising dollars for newspapers. The other major issue is the consolidation of media ownership. But the biggest problem is the media consumer - you and me. Mostly you. Just saying

Where's the fucking outrage? Goddamnit people! Our country was started by some pissed off dudes who took on the most powerful empire in the world. Now we're so fat and satisfied, we don't care that our country has been in two wars in a row that were not declared by legal means. No, the president can't declare war - only congress has that power, and even though congress gave Dickhead authority to use military force in Iraq, no declaration of war ever was passed. Shouldn't this bother us somewhat? But so long as we get our Cinemax and American Idol and our iPhones work and the microwave doesn't burn our popcorn, we don't care.

And as long as the media can feed us pablum, we'll eat it up. We'll decide elections on three-word slogans, whomever has the most money to repeat those slogans always winning. We'll ignore important issues, possibly boring issues, to read about Octo-mom. Well, that's not true. Most of us won't read anything.

Change has been a theme this country's heard a lot about the last 18-24 months. Some of it sux.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Double Root Canal

Pretty much enough said. Except, damn, that's a violent procedure.

C'mon Vicodin.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Somebody shoot me

Pain is a constant companion of mine. I have some herniated discs in my neck that can range from a minor annoyance to excruciating. I played sports in school and landscaped for most of my twenties, and the forty-something me isn't too overjoyed with the twenty-something me's complete disregard for my body. Of course, my twenty-something me would call the forty-something me a pussy - and wouldn't be completely inaccurate, either.

But over the last few months I've discovered a new type of physical pain that deserves a special classification. An agony so perverse and detestable that I think I've come as close to understanding childbirth as I ever could. Except with childbirth, you know it's going to end, and you can get an epidural. And before you ladies jump on my case, I'm not saying this hurts as bad as childbirth, I'm saying it's as close as I can get to understanding it.

I've had a toothache for six months now. I've had a cap put in and a cavity filled. I've been to the dentist more in the last three months than I'd been in the last twenty years. And if I had a gun in my house right now, I'd shoot myself. The pain is constant and over the last five days has grown to such proportions that I can't sleep for longer than twenty-minute spans. I pop Vicodin like candy, and it's powerless against it. I can't lie down because it triggers a pain attack - and I don't know if that's a medical term, but I'm coining it as one right now.

I have an appointment with an endodontics specialist tomorrow to see if they can ascertain the origin of this. If he can't, I'm going to tell him to take all of them out. I'm not kidding.

It starts on my right side. I've determined it's usually the "six" tooth on their charts - the one that kind of resembles a fang. The throbbing begins, and pressure builds, before shooting up to my temple. Within minutes the entire right side of my face is being pelted with tiny fireballs - my gums, my ear (fuck it hurts my ear), the sinuses in my cheek, and in the really bad attacks, down my throat and into my nose.

I can't sleep. I can't concentrate. I can't write. I'm not a father or a husband. I'm a blubbering fool, calling for his mommy and reaching for the Orajel and another Vicodin.

I don't really have a point for this post, but I thought it'd make me feel better. It hasn't.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Open Letter to the NBA

A little background: I used to have Nuggets season tickets - when they were horrible. They should give me tickets just for going to those games. That said, I'd rather the Nuggets win a championship than any other team I root for. Hell, I'd rather the Nuggets win a championship than I breathe every hour. But, as you will see, I'm soooooooooooo pissed.

To Whom it May Concern:

I just returned home from the Nuggets/Spurs game, and I want to know who in the NBA to complain to about the Spurs sitting out all their talent.

I saved for weeks to buy this game. My son is nine-years old, and this is the first year he's shown any interest in sports. I explained to him all day who Duncan, Ginobli, Parker and Bowen are, and I show up and only Bowen plays and only a half game. I understand if somebody is hurt, but they rested them? These people make seven-figure (some eight-figure) salaries, to work three hours a night, eighty two nights a year. And they're tired?

If this was a music festival of eight bands, basically, the top three bands didn't play, and the fifth played a half a set. I paid to see these people, and as such, I should expect them to play. This is not acceptable. I paid $73 per seat to watch a JV team.

I understand it's not the Nuggets fault, but it's very hard for me to ever consider attending an NBA game again knowing that it's a crap shoot to see who plays. Somebody's injured? Fine. Somebody's tired...screw you. That is an insult in every way. And it's not the first time. Shaq did it earlier this year. If you're so old you can't play every night, retire. Don't ask me to support you. It's like watching the E-Street Band, but Bruce Springsteen is backstage icing his package after sliding into the camera.

I'm tired every day I go to work. Shut your stupid, whiney butts up and give me my money back.

Sam W. Anderson

Friday, January 30, 2009


Today, my father turns 67, near as I can figure. Happy birthday, Dad, and thanks.

My father and I are about as different as two people can be. I'm not really sure we're from the same gene pool, and I think the milkman used to leave extra butter, but that's beside the point. He thinks Rush Limbaugh is a flaming liberal, and if I were any more left-wing, I'd be gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Dad pulled himself up from a childhood of poverty and became a financially successful man. I came from a world of relative privledge and now stuggle to make ends meet sometimes.

But I respect no man, like I do my dad. Especially now that I'm a father myself. The "this is how it is, and I know you don't believe me, but I went through the same stuff, too" speeches were true.

Dad left a leg in Vietnam, but never once complained about it. In fact, he called it the best thing that ever happened to him, because it forced the government to pay for his education - vocational school. He bowled, played volleyball and occasionally would play one-on-one with me in the driveway. The one-on-one ended when his prosthesis slipped off and he hit his chin on the wooden leg that remained standing, knocking him out. I so still took it to the hole. I learned that from him, too.

When I was three, I'd steal his leg and make him hop after me. I'd run outside with it, and I believe that's when I became known to the neighborhood as Goddamn Sam.

He used to be a Marine. He became a Marine because when it was time for him to get drafted, the Army, Navy and Air Force sent him recruitment materials. Since the Marines didn't, he joined them.

Stupid jokes are his thing. Puns mostly...elaborate puns. Like half hour stories that end with the punch line of "Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes." He apparently has a lot of free time to put these together.

He spent something like eighteen hours in a rice patty, his entire unit dead except for one other survivor. The Viet Cong sat in the jungle, arms aimed the rice patty, but unwilling to move in because of a tank that was behind his vehicle. The tank was disabled, but Dad thinks the enemy didn't know that. He'd been shot in his left arm so it was useless. In his right hand, he spent hours removing the pin from his grenade, determined to take as many out as he could if they came to finish him off. Once he'd removed the pin, he kept his hand on the safety, waiting for hours. If he'd have dozed off, I most likely wouldn't be here.

Enduring all this, he never displayed any signs of PTSD, not that I'd ever seen. He thinks psychology is for pussies. I need therapy if there's pulp in my orange juice.

He's a math genius. He can give square roots off the top of his head. Until I got to college, I thought I'd never be as smart as my dad. I'm not smart like my dad, but I'm as smart as him. And he deserves a lot of credit for that.

I disagree with a lot of things my father did in his life. I think he would, too. But then again, I ain't too happy with a bunch of shit I've pulled. Even with that, he's the finest human being I've ever known. For a Marine to endure the sensitive pansy I could be, and to do with understanding and guidance, it speaks of a far deeper person than one sees on the surface.

I've seen him cry twice: At my brother's funeral, and once after a temper tantrum when I told him I hated him. Sure I was a stupid kid, but to this day, I feel terrible for that.

Happy birthday, Dad. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The sports crap blog entry

Okay, all Hell's broken loose in Gaza, we're bringing in a new president, economic woes abound, but in my shallow life, the sports world's been rocked lately.

First - Shanahan being fired. Can't say I argue too much with it. I think he's a Hall of Fame coach, but things weren't clicking anymore. I have friends argue about how good the offense was despite losing seven running backs, but two facts remain: He presided over a collapse of historic proportion and has won only one playoff game since Elway retired.

Who's the next coach? Spags from the Giants probably. Wouldn't be shocked to see some Marty ball in Denver, though. Assuming it's not the latter, I think whoever gets the job is merely keeping the seat warm until Kubiak's contract runs out in Houston. Yeah, I said it.

Second - Carmelo's injury is freaking huge. The Nuggets are jinxed. I could see them competing this year, but a long-term injury to your best player is too much to overcome. I think they'll be competitive for a few games, but by the time he comes back, they'll lose their identity. I thought they had a legitimate chance to be a top two seed in the west this year. Right now, I think they sneak into the playoffs again. It's a crushing blow.

I don't have a third.

Writing - I finished a story that's crap and I'm trying to turn it into something. But I've written pretty consistently since last post. That's the main step...produce, then worry.

This song is over, thought I had something more to say.