Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy or,Updates of Sorts

It’s been months since I posted here. I won’t bore you with my take on current events. No, I just want to pimp some stuff here.

On the home front, I recently completed an interview for a podcast at The New Panic Room Radio Show. You can find out more about The New Panic Room by visiting their web site. We talked about Under the Bronze Moon, my fantasy novel published by Sinister Grin Press.

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I also answered eleven questions in which you can hear me talk about why I’d abolish the internet if I was God for a day. Also, I explain why I think Sling Blade (Mmm-hmm) is the worst movie ever. Okay, maybe I don’t explain it but I remain steadfast in my conviction. So give the podcast a listen. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole show you can fast-forward to the 58:00 mark when my interview begins.

There will be news soon about my next novel, To Dream the Blackbane (Between the Lines Publishing, 2018). It is a dark fantasy concerning a hybrid private eye (half-man, half-dog) who just can say no when it comes to taking on jobs, no matter how deadly they may be.  Stay tuned for cover reveal, release date, links to reviews, etc.

Where books are concerned, I recently read Chump Change by Dan Fante. The author was the son on writer John Fante (Ask the Dust). He died in 2015. Chump Change reads like Bukowski, but Fante portrayed the pain of addiction much better than Bukwoski ever did. I am also revisiting some other semi-autobiographical novels—Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (and Capricorn), and some others in the coming months in preparation for my own semi-autobiographical novel that will be a foray into more realist fiction.

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Also, I recently succumbed to reading A Game of Thrones. I may or may not make it through the whole series. Don’t get me wrong. George R.R. Martin is good. It’s just that, like so many others, I watched the HBO series first. Over the years, people I know tried talking me into reading the Songs of Fire and Ice series. But I never got around to it.

Lastly, I recently watched The Hangover again. I’ve decided that there’s something inherently sad about the plight of those characters. My suspension of disbelief ended when Mike Tyson punched out Alan (Zack Galifianakis) and Alan ended up living through it.

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I’m joking. Alan needed to live.

More news soon…

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Behind the Black Door: Dreams and Story-writing

Last night, I dreamed I had suffered a stroke that left me unable to speak and with only limited use of my left side. Having already suffered a TIA almost a decade go, you’d think I would take the dream as a warning. I didn’t. Dreams, as we know, rarely mean what they portray.

In the dream there was this black door I had to find:

The black door was, in real life, a ramshackle cracker-version of a Bilco door that led to my basement. I called it my Game of Thrones door since it weight close to one hundred pounds after years of water damage. Anyway, the black door lies in a small scrap heap in my backyard as my house undergoes some renovation work. In the dream, however, I learned that I could make myself well again if I found the black door and passed through it.

All the makings of a story so far, right?

In my dream, the black door was “hidden in plain sight,” a bodiless voice told me. In my stroke-addled condition, I had to wander around center-city Philadelphia with the hope of discovering the black door I had removed from my house in real life.

Are you with me so far? Good.

It wasn’t easy, but I found the black door lying on a sidewalk on 12th Street near Pine. In my dream-stroke weakened condition, I was unable to lift the black door (having a sense that once I lifted the door up a portal would open in the sidewalk and I could fall into it, thus facilitating my cure).

Enter a Sandman, of sorts. A familiar face, who shall remain nameless, appeared next to me. In my dream this gave me a fright since the face belonged to someone I knew in real life, someone who, sadly, had passed a few years ago.

“I can help you,” the familiar face said, “but you have to touch my heart first.”

He opened his shirt to reveal what looked like a brick beneath bruised skin on his chest. I was unable to say anything since my dream stroke left me mute.

Before the dream ended, I shoved Mr. Dead Familiar Face aside with my good arm, gripped the handle of the black door lying on the sidewalk, and yanked on it with all my strength. The door tilted up, enough to reveal nothing but plain old sidewalk beneath it.

My dream ended as I wandered further along 12th Street, distraught over having to remain as I was—nearly crippled and completely mute. Or did it?

The black door is still in my backyard (see photo above). I don’t have the heart to lift it up. There’s no telling what doorway I might find beneath it if I do. Maybe I’ll write a story about this dream instead.