“Sitting Up With Grandpa”

August 31, 2009

My new story is now live at Fifty-Two Stitches. It appears almost two years to the day after my first published story, “Books,” appeared on the (now defunct) Delirium Insider website on August 31, 2007. Enjoy!

I’m going to celebrate my two-year anniversary as a published author (now, doesn’t that sound all high-falutin’ and important) with a screening of Halloween 2 this afternoon. I’ll be back soon with thoughts on that, and on Inglourious Basterds.

In “Stitches”

August 17, 2009

52StitchesCoverA nice little review of the anthology Fifty-Two Stitches is available here. My flash fiction story “Sitting Up With Grandpa” is contained therein. You’ll be able to read that story online (and for free) on August 30th simply by going to the Fifty-Two Stitches website. If you’re one of them old fogies who’d rather have their reading matter on paper, by gum, then click here to preorder the paperback.   

Here’s a line from “Grandpa” to whet your appetite: “Jimmy tried not to look at Grandpa, but part of his job was to shoo away flies that gathered around the body.”

Farewell Summer

August 15, 2009

Summer is almost at an end. Of course, here in the Deep (Fried) South, summer weather will continue well into September, sometimes spilling over into my beloved October as well. But summer as we recognize it – those three heat-hazy months of swimming, grilling, cutting grass, no school, sweating, and summer blockbusters – is almost at an end.

This has been an unusually busy summer at the cinema for me. I caught pretty much every summer movie I wanted to see: Star Trek, Terminator: Salvation, Drag Me To Hell, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (I know that’s not a lot, but truthfully, there wasn’t a ton I was dying to see in theaters this year.) Of those, only Star Trek really blew me away, and that’s probably because I’m no Trekkie, and I went in with my expectations low.

But now, as we near the end of the dog days, I’ve got back-to-back weekends where the two movies I’ve been looking forward to the most this summer – and, truthfully, this year – are coming out.

August 21 brings us Quentin Tarantino’s war flick Inglourious Basterds:

“And cousin, business is a-boomin’.” I can’t wait.

August 28 sees Rob Zombie’s “family film,” Halloween II:

I know people had problems with Zombie’s first take on John Carpenter’s classic slasher. I had problems with it. Zombie had problems with it, too. But the more I revisit it, the more I find to like. And this one looks like Zombie is going right for the jugular. Gritty, raw, and unrelenting. Again…I can’t wait.

Will these two films bring a somewhat lackluster summer cinema season to a blazing finish? Or will the disappointment continue? I’ll let you know.

Keeping It Irreal

August 10, 2009

My interview with former town crier/current irrealism novelist D. Harlan Wilson is now available at Dark Scribe Magazine.

I’ve signed up for a load of book reviews over the next month or so, so keep an eye here for a note on when they are available. Also, I’m planning a couple of posts on movies I’m looking forward to as we wrap up the summer theater season. Things are starting to gear up for my favorite time of year, so you’ll see anything here from football rants to grilling recipes to Halloween stuff – stay tuned.

R.I.P. John Hughes

August 8, 2009

John Hughes can’t be dead. He was too young. Numerically, he was 59, but he always has been – and always will be – a teenager. He had to be. No adult could get teenagers the way he did. And not just teens in the ’80s, which was when I was a teen and Hughes was in his heyday. Teen movies usually date themselves out of relevancy within a year or two because that particular group changes so fast. But not John Hughes Teen Movies. Those live forever, films that someone growing up in the 2000s can relate to just as much as someone from the dark and distant 1980s.

I have a lot of good memories tied up with John Hughes movies. Watching Sixteen Candles  over and over at my best friend’s house.

Watching The Breakfast Club with my cousin, only to have his father turn it off after hearing this:

Watching Christmas Vacation every Christmas with my family.

And watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the first time with my mom, both of us laughing until we thought we were going to pass out. The ending always chokes me up, though, and it seems a fitting way to go out. R.I.P. Mr. Hughes, and thanks for the memories.

Yea, though I walk through the VALLEY

August 6, 2009

Dr. Kim Paffenroth wrote a literary mash-up before literary mash-ups were cool. Check out my review of his Dante-meets-Romero epic, Valley of the Dead.