Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Go A-Mangoing!

Had a sparkling idea the other day. In the past, I've mostly taken my vacation time in one to four hour increments so I could cut out of a boring day at work. This year, I needed to take a week off to move and that very move fouled up my plans for MuchoMangoMayo 2014, which were already contingent plans. The other day I thought, "Why not take another week off?"

I asked around at work, certain it would screw something up for somebody. Fortunately, I'm delightfully unnecessary! So I'm taking the first full week of May off and I can get the fibrous bulk of MMM 2014 done then. Hooray! The only thing that could—wait, not the only thing. One of the things that could screw everything up is if I get chosen for jury duty next week and get stuck in a trial that lasts for weeks.


Hmmmm . . .

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Poster Syndrome

Sorry I haven't been here in a couple of months. I moved across town and it was hairy working that around my day job. I did take a week off, but then all sorts of awesome people I usually don't see were in town and available, so they took precedence.

I went to ICFA a couple of weeks ago, hung out with old friends, made new ones, spent too much money on books, had the most magnificent steak of my life, soaked in Ellen Klages' tales of Clarion down under, and got brain freeze with Ian McDonald. It was awesome.

Because of these things and my short story writing frenzy the first two months of this year, I am, as usual, way the hell behind on Mangoes. My boss, who's a fan of the show, says I was even farther behind last year. I still have to record all four April shows (yes, there will be an April 30th show this year), and of the thirty-one shows I need for MuchoMangoMayo, I've only finished writing the first one yesterday! I hope to have the second done today.

I inadvertently shot off story 148 of The One-Thousand the other day. It was a twitter story and I submitted it before even realizing I'd taken another step toward my goal.

The Boy made supper for me today. Ravioli and garlic bread. A nice surprise for my exhausted ass. And for the rest of me as well.

Another Cerberus story is nearing completion! I always have to check the spelling on that. Being a comic book geek, I always want to write Cerebus. It's a fine line between a three-headed dog and a talking aardvark. Anyway, the current version of the story is deep and cloudy (that's good). My esteemed co-authors have begun to write some things that are just beyond my comprehension and I'm loving it.

I have other writer friends and acquaintances who talk about having imposter syndrome, which is crazy, because they're all great, published writers. I was explaining to one friend recently that I've always had the opposite problem. I'm convinced that I'm much better than I actually am, and why hasn't the world recognized my genius? Rather than living in fear of being caught, I live in disappointment for not being caught. How boring life would be if we were all satisfied. Embrace your issues. Hold them tightly. Love 'em up.

Sunday, February 09, 2014


I got 147 off while it was still January, but I sometimes forgot, sometimes didn't feel like mentioning it here. Now it's 3:45 am, I'd really like to sleep, but that's not happening. I don't feel like creating and I don't even feel like consuming, so here I am.

147 is only partly mine. It was another joint effort by Cerberus, and I am part of that joint. That's all I have to say about that .

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On Finishing And 146

Finished story 146 tonight and sent it out the door. Wouldn't it be great if the rest of the year rolled on like the last couple of days?

What happened is I thought I'd write a new story for Charles Coleman Finlay's guest issue of F&SF within the two week submission period. But I got off to a bad start this year because of my crazy, dizzy head (which is all better now, thank you), so I figured I wouldn't finish in time and submitted another story.

Yesterday after a couple of false starts at even newer stories, I realized I had literally hundreds of partial stories lying around on my hard drives, and why not finish them up? "Finish what you write" is an old maxim that Neil Gaiman, for one, always offers when asked for writing advice. I made a new wallpaper for my computer that's just a white background with the words, "It's all about finishing stories." Then I remembered a roughly thousand word story that seemed good to me even though I once thought I should add more. I reworked it and that was 145. Today I finished that story that was meant to be for F&SF and that was 146. So there you go. Tomorrow, I'll look for another unfinished story I can finish.

Maybe you've got some unfinished business too. Of course you do.

Now I'm off to record and post a couple of Mangoes!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Finished and sent out story 145 tonight. And then I celebrated that by submitting another story.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Harlan's New Glass Teat

Have you subscribed to Harlan Ellison's YouTube channel yet? Why not? He's not only a writer worthy of being one of my literary heroes, he's also lots of fun to watch. The link is here: The channel seems to include all the brilliant spots he did for Sci Fi Buzz in the nineties (Harlan Ellison's Watching)! Here's a little taste:

Saturday, January 04, 2014

My Head Is Spinning

I woke up dizzy on the 2nd. That's not normal. Checked my blood pressure, it was good. Went light-headed through the day, hoping I wouldn't get dizzy while driving. Whenever something funky is going on in my body, I assume I'm going to die, it's just a question of when. I got home without being dead yet. I lay down that night and my head went nuts. The lights on my digital clock zipped back and forth like Katherine Hepburn's maracas. "That ain't right," I wisely told myself. I asked my daughter to bring me to the ER. They did a CAT scan and EKG. Fortunately, it was just Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, which sounds horrible, but focus on the "Benign" part. If you care, you can read about it here:

My doctor had me lie down with my head over the edge of the table or whatever you call that thing I was lying on. She tilted my head back and to the left and I got crazy dizzy. She said she'd never seen such a clear reaction. She called in another doctor and four nurses to watch the show (after she asked my permission). She did the trick again and they all enjoyed my dancing eyeballs. She later went through the whole Epley maneuver with me (referring to the following video, in fact) and the worst of it was over.


They gave me meds and sent me on my way. Yesterday I still felt weird and got progressively dizzier as the day went on. I took the day off from work and got the medicine, Antivert, which unfortunately did not make me less dizzy, but made me super tired. I spent about seventeen hours in bed, twelve of those sleeping. I probably won't take anymore unless I'm having trouble sleeping. Today I feel odd in a different way. My head is thick and I don't necessarily feel vertigo, but things aren't exactly locking into place. My moves are slow and deliberate. I'm hoping I'll feel progressively better as the days pass.


Sunday, December 29, 2013


The ex-wife is from Trinidad and she bakes this unleavened bread she grew up eating. Do you know what she calls it? She calls it bake. Sometimes, instead of baking it, she fries it. Do you know what she calls it then? Sorry, folks. If you said fry, you would be wrong. She calls it fry bake. Theoretically, if she were to make dumplings, she might call it boil bake. However, it would not surprise me if she called it boil fry bake.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christie Yant In Analog!

I'm a little late to the party, but I have to tell you my awesome friend, Christie Yant, has a story in the January/February 2014 issue of Analog called This is as I Wish to be Restored. It's so short that I don't feel I can tell you about it without revealing too much, but there are extremely cold, dead people, and obsession, so that's compelling you, right? I took a while to mention this because I was waiting for a copy to come into my store and it never did. So I bought the e-version, read it, liked it, and am now telling you about it. Go get yourself a copy, paper or e, through the fiction dealer of your choice. Dig on Christie's story and, as a bonus, you'll find great stories by other authors in there too.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All Of This Is Yours

You are Life. As long as you breathe, you are The Anti-Death. You are organized intelligence and the enemy of entropy, no matter what your place looks like.
This is your world. This is your universe. You own what you can see, what you can taste, you own what you think. Those others with money, with power, are no better. You may think they have you. They don't have you. We're all equal in a thousand years. You have you. Take yourself back.
All of this is yours, these people, this air, this palace of ideas. Enjoy. Savor. Savor. Savor.
Take it.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013


Hey, folks! I just uploaded a new edition of my story Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range at Amazon:

This edition features an afterword on the making of the story, including the original flash fiction version and an alternate origin version. I also improved cover design, so it's less embarrassing if a friend spies it on your e-shelf.

From the description:

Ridiculous and poignant, frightening and hopeful, Fluff and Buttons on the Teddy Bear Range tells the story of Jack, a bear with little left to live for, but driven on by hate for the dark race that lives just beyond the villages of his people. Having lain dormant for some time, the creatures have returned to feed. Jack's last hope is to protect the life of Froo Froo, the she-bear who once loved him. But Froo Froo doesn't want protection, least of all from him. Brett Alexander Savory, Co-Publisher of ChiZine Publications says of Fluff and Buttons, "This is one of the best stories I've read, period."

Please buy several copies today!

Friday, December 06, 2013

I Appear!

UPDATE: We're going to attempt to record a live episode of Beware the Hairy Mango at Big Dog. It could go horribly wrong. If you're a fan of the show, you know that would probably improve it.

I'll be at Big Dog Comics in Fort Pierce, Florida tomorrow, Saturday, December 7th, from 2 pm to 4 pm, acting all authorial and shit. It's part of an author/artist day there that runs from 1 to 8. I don't have anything to sign, but if you want to bring something in, I'll sign it, even if it's something like a set of salt and pepper shakers. I might do a little reading or two if the boss is cool with that. If you're reading this, you probably won't be in the area, but call the store and demand that I be given something nice.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Goal Post

I got on board with the concept of goals long, long ago. The very name of this blog and a great deal of the posts on it concern one of my biggest goals. After a couple of decades of chasing goals and breaking promises and sucking balls, I have finally come to realize that goals are not the right way to motivate myself.

I didn't mention it to most of you, but about three months ago I decided I'd had enough of this writing thing. I was going to keep writing the Mango, but other than that, I was done. I was quitting for a number of reasons, one of which was that I had become a slave to The One-Thousand. The goal, not the blog. I was trying to crank out stories just because I had a time limit, not because I was excited about what I had to say. There was no point in that and, more importantly, there was no joy in that.

About a month after I quit and put it out of my head for a bit, I allowed some evil writing thoughts back in. They are, after all, insidious.

Well, okay, I wouldn't mind doing that particular writing related thing . . . 

Hmm, that would be a good idea for a book . . .

That sort of thing. You know.

Although I keep using the past tense as I speak of quitting, I can't bring myself to publicly say that I'm writing again until I actually finish something. Story 144 doesn't count because that was some rewriting for a thing I planned on finishing before I quit. But I am quite excited about some projects. And that may be a better motivator for me: Go do what you're worked up about. I'll still track the stories here. I'm just not tying myself into Windsor knots worrying about getting them done by a certain time. There was no fucking way I was meeting that goal with my current life situation anyway.

Quantified goals, like everything else, work for a lot of people, but they may not work for you. Don't spend decades wrestling with yourself over it. Drop it and move on.

Yeah, I'll change that jazz up at the top of the page eventually. When I get around to it.