Time flies when you're repeating boring old aphorisms.
The last six months have been fairly busy, my loves. And if I'm being completely honest, I suppose one of the reasons I haven't been a-bloggin' much lately is all the turmoil I discussed back in June led, oddly enough, to a much different routine. So what has your Uncle Jimmy been up to the last half-year? Well, let's run it down.
So I haven't been going tremendously hard at the fiction much, a somewhat disturbing trend over the last year. Well, I guess it's not disturbing so much as unexpected, but regardless, I've only had a couple li'l fiction things see the light recently. The first of such is a short story I wrote called "They Need Some Good Worries," which takes its title from a line of dialogue in The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and that's where the similarities end. It features Mal and Bronson, whom some of you might recognize as players in my small-time crook stable of fictional San Diegans. I'm a pretty big fan of this one, and am proud beyond words to have it appear in Needle magazine, an actual print publication. My name in print doesn't drive me in the way it once did, but it's still a sight to see, especially in such a magazine that features (in this self-same issue!) the talents of Dennis Tafoya, Kieran Shea, and Ed Kurtz. The stories by these writers alone make this issue one of the best of Needle yet, and naturally I am delighted to share page-space with these cats.
A good buddy of mine was asking me for book recommendations, something indie-published, as he likes to give support directly to the authors whenever possible. I says to him, I says, brother, did you come to the right place. Or should I have said "the write place"?! (No.) Well, not to be self-serving, but I shot him over to Johnny Shaw's two-fisted site, Blood and Tacos. Yes, my ARVN love-letter to all the boys down on the Da Nang, "Never Say Goodnight in Saigon," which originally ran on the site, is now also included in the print version, Blood and Tacos: The Beginning, available here! Get some.
I've just recently edited the last few stories for the next issue of Crime Factory (which are tremendous stories, by the way, especially "Aloha BBQ" by Matt Asprey, I can't wait for you guys to read it), and it just now occurs to me that I have barely (if ever?) mentioned CF's latest publication wing. Yes, Cameron and the boys down under have taken it upon themselves to delve into some actual publishing, though for the life of me, I dunno why, and I'm sure they'd be hard-pressed to explain it to you at this point. Suffice it to say, we down at the Factory wanna get more crime-fiction goodness into your grubby mitts, and this is the way to go. A project near and dear to our hearts is the anthology, Lee, in which each and every story features my favorite actor of all time, Lee Marvin. The book is chronological, following Lee Marvin's career from his war days through his drinking days to his dying days in my contribution, the knee-slappin' whiz-banger, "Lee Marvin Is Dead." We also have lovely novellas such as Jed Ayres' Fierce Bitches and our latest, Jake Hinkson's Saint Homicide. If you want blood, we got it.
The non-fiction department down at Callaway Acres has been working at a pretty full tilt. I reviewed the great comic book Blacksad for The Artificial Selection Project, and I had yet another article published over at Splitsider about what every former writer for The Kids in the Hall is up to now, aptly titled, "What's Every Former 'Kids in the Hall' Writer Up To Now?" But the biggest deal is that I recently came on staff at Serial Optimist, a site I have been enamored with since they ran a piece on Ilana Glazer last year. Believe you me, no one is as aware as I of the irony that I'd be writing for site that is serially optimistic, yet here I am. Already, I've had some tremendous opportunities to write about the stuff I love, like comics and music, and especially comedy jokes. So please swing on by and check it out, it's definitely my favorite site I've ever written for, and that is no small feat.
Speaking of comedy jokes, I finally started going up. Yes, no longer satisfied with just being some wise-ass, I am now going up on stage and saying jokes into a microphone. It's only been a few months here, but already I've been doing well, especially for such a rank amateur, and just as importantly, if not more so, I've met a lot of great friends and collaborators. One of my favorites is young Jeffrey Berner, who is the funniest person in this city, which is not a title easily earned nor given. He and I have begun a podcast, as is required by law of comedians in San Diego, and it's called If I'm Louder, I'm Right, wherein Jeffrey and I debate the real issues, and by the real issues, I of course mean the fake issues. We began with Ryan Hicks as our moderator, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we've had to replace our moderator each episode. But we're sure our current one will stick it out for the long haul. I hope you guys will listen and enjoy, as it is probably the funnest and funniest thing I'm doing right now and it seems like that shall remain so for some time to come. Each episode is only a half-hour, so you can knock one off while you take your lunch break alone in your car, or you can binge the fuck out on the episodes we have up already. Either way, if you don't like it, you're wrong.
The Stalins of Sound have been plugging right along as well. We recently came to a deal with Slovenly Records, home to such heavies as The Spits, to release our first full-length record. The album Tank Tracks shall be available to you, the discerning record-buying public, this coming March, and then there shall be much touring of the land, here and abroad. Stay tuned to this channel for more updates.
And I think that will do it, kittens. Have a good'un.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Welp. Here we are. Having a summah.
Things have been a bit tumultuous around ol' Callaway Acres in the first half of this year, my loves. The last relationship I was in went kerflooey almost immediately. The novel I was telling you guys about last time got its first rejection already. And my day-job was really sucking what was left of my soul right out of me up until I got laid off last week. I tell ya, it'd be enough to drive a man to drink. Fortunately, I'm not much of a man.
But if you've been paying any kind of attention, you'll notice that, despite the general expression of disdain that's kept plastered to my face, I've been a lot better about looking at the bright side a bit more. Sure, heartbreak ain't no fun no matter how many times you've been through it, but this time, I went ahead and put myself on the DL and have spent the last six months or so fully single, which has helped immeasurably in getting my head straight. Was a time where I was a serial dater (read: slut), who would seek to drown my sorrows in relationships. This time out, I decided to get on the wagon, and the good news is I think I'm about ready to take some baby-steps back out into the wild world o' women. So far, my luck has been holding strong on the not-quite side, but I am a lot more well-equipped to take it in stride than I've ever been. So gold star for me.
The novel thing was a real drag, but I really shoulda been better prepared for it. But even though that initial rejection was a real shock to my system, I got by with the help of my friends, specifically my writing cadre buddies Cameron Ashley, Keith Rawson, Johnny Shaw, and Matt Funk. I am convinced that I'm a good writer, but times like these can be trying on anyone's confidence. So it's good to know I've got me a support system, a net under this crazy trapeze. It wasn't long before I bounced back, ready again to tackle this crazy world o' publishing and make it do things that will make it ashamed of itself. So thanks, boys, and thanks to everybody out there who has read and liked and supported me and my stuff down through the years.
And job, schmob. The joint I was working at as a social media operative was my first foray into an office environment, and now I can say with the utmost certainty that it's just not my place in the 9-to-5 world. I had worked naught but shit jobs my whole career because even though the pay sucked, the responsibilities were minimal, freeing me up to pursue my writing. The trade-off of a big, fat paycheck (which I will miss) is great at first, allows you to get your feet under you. But as time wore on, the job became much more than the 8 hours a day it started out as, and my writing got backburnered more and more. I mean, you guys, I haven't finished reading a book in a month. A month! So needless to say, things are gonna be lean once again, but man, I almost don't know what to do with myself with all this time.
Well, actually, one thing I'm gonna do is help take this show on the road. The band I'm in, The Stalins of Sound, are hitting the road tomorrow and heading up the coast, 6 shows in 5 days, on the aptly-titled Summer of George tour. So if you're in San Francisco, Sacramento, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, and/or Oakland, I expect to see your shining faces amongst the adoring crowds that flock to each and every one of our shows*.
Not listed on the flier above here is the Tacoma show, which is at at house party somewhere with the Monarchies around 6 pm. If you're in that lovely, pungent town, find some of the cool kids hanging out on the corner and ask them where the action is.
Other than that, things have been kinda slow as far as output goes. My upcoming short story in Needle will be out soon, and I'll be sure to let youse know about that. I've taken to Twitter like a duck to some sort of liquid lately, writing a buncha jokes(?), so if you don't follow me there yet, my handle is @Jimmytheworm. Give it a go. And also my friend and roommate April Ventura has a one-woman show coming up for the San Diego Fringe Festival, down in the bad part of town during 4th of July weekend. I helped edit and write it a bit (though she really did all the heavy lifting), so come check it out if you're of a mind, and get your tickets here.
Well, babies, that's about it. I'll try not to let so much time pass between bloggies here, as I know how much you anticipate them. And now I'm going to go read comics and watch movies. I love you all*.
*void where false
Monday, February 18, 2013
Good morning, my babies. It's been a somewhat eventful couple months, though you'd hardly know it, since a lot of it has been behind the scenes. Suffice it to say, my personal machinations for world dominance have been going swell, so if those who have wronged me want to beat the rush and get their affairs in order now, I certainly wouldn't blame them.
The biggest step thus far was completed yesterday morning just around this time when I completed a very rough first draft of the novel I was babbling on about back in December. Yes, Lupo Danish Never Has Nightmares is that much closer to fruition, and naturally I'm very excited about that, since I've been wrasslin' with this manuscript for just over a year now. Parts one and two were more or less enjoyable to work on and with, but man, part three was a real motherfucker. So continue to watch this space for further details. The editing/revising process is not something I anticipate to be quite the chore, so hopefully sooner rather than later, I'll have more progress reports. Actually, knowing me, I won't say another word about it until the sum'bitch is at least sold because, despite all evidence to the contrary, I get sick of talking the talk while not walking the walk so much. Either way, whatevs.
While locked in the throes of battle with the ol' muse there, I also had to use one hand to fight with my latest Spiltsider piece. Back during that whole Leno/Conan fiasco, I remember thinking it a bit odd that a lotta my friends were so incensed about it, given that I clearly recalled Leno and Dave going through pretty much the same public feud back in my early high school days. Come to realize, most folks my age and younger don't give much of a fart about Letterman, Conan having won their hearts and minds. Which is fair enough, Conan is awful damn funny. On top of that, Dave has got quite the rep for being an all-out prick for some of the shit he's pulled, which in my case actually endears him to me more, since I find it easy to relate to that. Hence, "David Letterman Probably Likes David Letterman Less Than You Do," a defense/apology for Dave's/my behavior over the years. Adam Frucci, my editor over at the Splitsider's Comedy and Humor Website, wisely suggested that I downplay my own narrative in this piece, and though it took me much longer than was really necessary to make those changes, I'm very glad I did, so big ups to Adam for helping me not look like such a goddamn hack.
Looks like that's the only thing I've had published lately, but it does look as though my taking time away from short and flash fiction in order to concentrate on other, larger projects will begin to pay off in the year of Our Lord, 2013. Aside from the afore-mentioned novel, I've got a good number of projects in the hopper: my next Splitsider joint will be a treatise on comedy and suicide and how well they get along; I've got a follow-up planned to my Blood and Tacos story, which I'm looking forward to doing; Crime Factory is still going very strong, with this current issue containing some of the best short fiction I've read by Kieran Shea, Matt Funk, and Frank Wheeler (no small order, that); I'm currently helping my friend and new roommate April Ventura write her one-woman show, which has apparently been recently accepted for some sorta big-deal drama festival, so that might be neat; and I recently had a story accepted for Needle. Busy days down at Callaway Acres.
Well, I was gonna blah blah blah here about what I've been reading/watching lately, but frankly, I'm not that interested in what I've been doing, so I can't imagine anyone else would be. Mostly, I just wanted to keep the ol' bloggy up to date, check in and make sure my babies don't think I've forgotten all about them. So on that note, I'll sign off and get back to my stack of comical books.
Three-day weekend, you're the greatest.