Today I turn 25. I’m writing this halfway through another night shift at the Goddamn Hotel. Earlier, a man repeatedly rang the front desk bell while I attempted to check him into a room, all while asking me, “Does this piss you off? Does this piss you off?” Anyway, it did indeed piss me off. I informed him of this and he did it once more and stopped and after he left I screamed into a pillow for a couple minutes.

Last night I participated in a monthly event called One Page Salon at the North Door in Austin, TX, with Andrew Hilbert, Zach Chapman, Patrice Sarath, David R. Perkins, and Philip Hauser. The event is, basically, each author reads one page from a work-in-progress. I was the last to read, so I read the last page from a novel that doesn’t exist titled Who Killed Lisa Winslow? I impressed the audience by first announcing it had recently been picked up for a Hulu original starring Al Pacino and Paul Giamatti. Halfway through the reading, probably after the second reference to a “dick tentacle”, most of them caught on that I am a lying piece of shit.

Here are some pictures from my reading:




As you can see, I am still very much a disgusting fat person. I’m sorry.

I have two more readings scheduled for the month of July. On the 13th, I’ll be attending the Cockroach Conservatory Launch at Radio Coffee & Beer in Austin. Music by Scott Collins, Evan Runyon, Xavier-KITEZ, and Batty jr; readings and appearances by myself, Michael Louis Dixon, Cheryl Couture, and more! Hosted by Andrew Hilbert. Then, on the 28th, you can catch me in St. Louis at Meshuggah doing a Noir at the Bar with Jedidiah Ayres, Jen Egan, Amanda Gowin, Chris Orlet, Scott Phillips, and Tawny Pike. And, of course, near the end of August we will be at Killercon in Austin. My small press, Perpetual Motion Machine, is the convention’s sponsor.

Here are some writing/editing updates:

  • The Nightly Disease is still available, self-published under PMMP after DarkFuse fucked me over and filed bankruptcy. Reminder: if you purchased the novel through DarkFuse, I was never compensated for it, as the publisher neglected to pay me any royalties for the paperback and eBook. Maybe one day I’ll see a check from the courts but I sure doubt it.
  • I have finished two new novels, both of them currently without a home: Carnivorous Lunar Activities and Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them (in previous blog posts I’ve referred to this latter novel under various other titles, such as Cirrhosis and The Evocation of Mother. For now, I’m sticking with WWSAWWBLOT). I’m shopping both of these novels, as well as a new story collection titled Give Me Your Teeth, to small presses and agents. More news on these three books when any becomes available.
  • Lori and I edited a new anthology together. It’s called Lost Films and it features new original stories from the following talented folks: Brian Evenson, Gemma Files, Kelby Losack, Bob Pastorella, Brian Asman, Leigh Harlen, Dustin Katz, Andrew Novak, Betty Rocksteady, John C. Foster, Ashlee Scheuerman, Eugenia M. Triantafyllou, Kev Harrison, Thomas Joyce, Jessica McHugh, Kristi DeMeester, Izzy Lee, Chad Stroup, and David James Keaton. It’s actually also Lori’s birthday today, so if you wanted to get us both a present I highly recommend pre-ordering a copy of this anthology.
  • David James Keaton and I are currently reading hundreds and hundreds of stories submitted to us for our new “pizza horror” anthology, Tales from the Crust. The open call period is now over, so please don’t send us anything else. We’re hoping to have final decisions made by the end of August.

Last week, Paul Michael Anderson (author of Bones Are Made to be Broken) joined us on Castle Rock Radio (my Stephen King-themed podcast) to discuss SK’s short story “Squad D”, which has never been published before. King once submitted it to an anthology titled The Last Dangerous Visions, way back in the day, to editor Harlan Ellison. However, Ellison correctly rejected the story. But also, that anthology? It was never released, either, and its entire history is very weird and interesting. Paul, notable Ellison scholar, was kind enough to tell us all about it. This was on Wednesday, we had this conversation, this hour-long podcast about Harlan Ellison. On Thursday morning, after I got home from my night job, I stayed up until almost noon editing it, then uploaded it and promptly fell asleep. Hours later, Lori shook me awake, hysterical, screaming that we killed Harlan Ellison. I looked at my phone and found my messages ambushed with people implying we were responsible for this unfortunate news.

While I seriously doubt we had anything to do with his death, it is true: the dude died the same day I uploaded our Harlan episode. It’s very weird and I’m not sure what else to say about it. Harlan wasn’t a great human being but he was a good writer and a good advocate for writers’ rights. I don’t know if I have any other thoughts about the issue right now, but if you’re interested in listening to the episode, you can check it out here.

Also, hey, if you wanted to get Lori and I another birthday present, why not go subscribe to our podcast? And also rate and review it on iTunes? That won’t cost ya a gosh darn thing! But it’ll certainly help us a ton. Every rating the podcast receives on iTunes, the higher it’s bumped and the more of a chance random strangers will discover it.

Being 25 doesn’t feel much different from being 24. I stopped drinking several months ago and I feel the same. I wasn’t an alcoholic by any stretch, but it also wasn’t doing me many favors, so fuck it. I had started relying on it too much whenever I performed for an audience and appeared on a podcast and I could see how something like that could take over a person’s life, so I stopped cold before anything could progress. I come from a family of addicts. I understand the score.

I should probably have specific goals for this new age, but I don’t. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. More work on Perpetual Motion Machine, more writing, more podcasting, more live performances, more complaining about how tired I am on twitter. The same old, same old. Maybe I’ll sell these three books I’m shopping around or maybe they’ll fade away into the great nothing like we all eventually do. I’ll write more books and I’ll publish more books and I’ll record more podcasts and I’ll get on more stages and make more audiences laugh and then and then and then I don’t know.

I guess one day I’ll be dead and that will be fun and cool.

Until then, I’m still on Patreon.

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