Monday, December 30, 2013

Meanwhile, Six Months Later...

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.