Monday, June 29, 2009


I'm sorry I've been neglecting you again, faithful blog. The last two weeks have been tough. I have been getting some writing done though. Some quick points:

Dad's home at my brother's house. We're all going to be taking turns helping him through the day.

I finished a first draft of a story today. The working title is "Thank You, Mr. Goldman."

I haven't even begun to read stories for the next Fiction Crawler and it really should have been completed by now. Gads!

Got two hours of sleep last night, thanks to Monday morning and my crappy dog. Grrr.

I saw the documentary "Dreams with Sharp Teeth" the other night. Wonderful. I love Harlan Ellison. More details on that (the movie, not my love) another time.

That's it. Hope to talk to you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Dad Stuff

Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes and good thoughts. From what I heard the other day, Dad's days were numbered, but I saw him today and he looked great. He may be released from the hospital tomorrow because they say there's nothing more they can do for him. I think this got him excited. He ate today and walked and had a bit of physical therapy. He was wide-eyed and swearing up a storm this evening. As I've said, this certainly isn't the first time he was supposed to die but decided not to. My brother said that seventeen years ago a doctor told us that Dad had six months to live.

In fact he did live six months. And sixteen and a half dozen more. And we're still counting.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Dot and the Line

I think Dad's ready for the end, but to his disappointment he's too healthy and will pull through as he always does. He seems to be getting stronger. Today he was eating a lot more, talking a lot more and joking. I suspect he'll be back to work in a couple of weeks, mining uranium. His pick glows in anticipation.

I just listened to Will You be an Astronaut by Greg van Eekhout on Escape pod:

And if you listen to the story, you may learn why it reminded me of The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics.

Cable television in the seventies was a wondrous, magical thing. There were still only a handful of channels, but for those of who grew up with only four, twenty or so channels brought a cornucopia of entertainment into our lives. I remember Channel 27 fondly. You could watch Batman on 27! Five days a week! And Batman, yes, Adam West's Batman, was the greatest thing on television.

On Saturdays, Channel 56 ran "The Creature Double Feature," two monster movies back to back, everything and anything from The Phantom of the Opera to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Later, at 4:30 Channel 27 ran a Charlie Chan film, then at 6:00 an Abbott and Costello film (those guys made a hell of a lot of films), then at 7:30 they'd run a half hour of classic Looney Tunes shorts. These guys OWNED my tubby little couch potato ass.

Sundays were a mixed bag. 56 ran movies at 12, 2 and 4. Stuff like Houseboat; Pillow Talk; The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming; that sort of thing. I got some outdoor time on Sundays. Occasionally, a movie would fall short of the two hour mark, even with commercials (remember Ronco Records?), and they'd have to stick a cartoon in to fill the gap. One of those gap-fillers was The Dot and the Line. See? I had a point.

Ivory's at the house today for her Internet fix, so I paused Escape Pod to tell her to look for The Dot and the Line. We found it. Now so have you:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Am Not Originally From Kansas

I just saw Dad. He looks much better than he did a few days ago. The Hospital People have been giving him sleeping pills at night and a nurse and my sister have been forcing food down his throat. Food and sleep go a long way toward curing what ails you.

Now, to clear the air, I want everyone to know that I am NOT originally from Kansas. I am not even unoriginally from Kansas. I have not been to Kansas to have gone somewhere else so that I might say, "I just came from Kansas." Not now, not ever.

I have never passed through Kansas on my way to somewhere else. It might take me a moment to find Kansas on a map, EVEN if the word Kansas were printed on it, EVEN if it was a map of only Kansas and nowhere else. In my decades of working with the public, I do not recall ever having met someone who told me they were from Kansas. Nor do I recall ever having watched a sporting event featuring Kansan participation. The only people I've ever seen from Kansas were played by actors who were not from Kansas. No one that I have ever met, heard from, encountered or read about, has ever accused me of originally being from Kansas.


Any questions?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Loneliness On The Sofa

Just talked to Dad. He still sounds rough but says he's feeling better. The sisters (mine, not his) are heading into town today and tomorrow from Austin and Connecticut. The former wife and I are going to see him tomorrow after work.

Hey! I'm headlining on the Sofa this week on Aural Delights no. 89. Blast off!

Aural Delights No 89 Matthew Sanborn Smith

Editorial: Forums by Tony C Smith

Flash Fiction: The Git by Jay Lake

Fact: Search Is Too Important To Leave To One Company – Even Google by Cory Doctorow

Fact: Mervyn Peake Part 1 by English Assassin

Main Fiction: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Fact: Gunfight Intro by Jeff Carlson

New Titles: Edge Of The World, In Ashes Lie, Orphans Triumph

Narrators: JJ Campanella, Paul Caggige, Ray Sizemore

Advertisment: This podcast is brought to you by Download a free audiobook of your choice today at

Main Fiction first appeared

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bumpy Roads, Take Me Home

We thought dad might be coming home from the hospital today, but his heartbeat was irregular. He seems to have a cold. That may be because he's weak. He hasn't slept or eaten much for days. Years ago he told me of days of prolonged terror and adrenaline during the war (he was an infantryman in the Pacific in World War II) and I asked him how he was ever able to sleep under those conditions. He said eventually you collapse from exhaustion. So, I'm hoping that he'll get a good sleep tonight because his body isn't capable of staying awake anymore. I think some sleep will do wonders for him.

Thanks to all of you out there who are sending your good thoughts and vibes in our direction. He's a tough old bird who's been at death's door dozens of times and has always pulled out of it. He has an amazing will to live.

My life's been feeling extra lumpy these past few days. Part of that, I think is from working through the weekend. Friday and Saturday are usually extra busy errand days for me and when I pile the job on top of that, I get a bit worn. Mondays and Tuesdays are often rough because I have to get up early and I usually get less than eight hours sleep over that forty-eight hour period. Put it all together and I'm not at my best by Tuesday night.

But Wednesdays and Thursdays?

I'm like a god among men.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still Kicking

We thought we might lose the old man today. He had a heart attack last night and the docs cut him open (am I sounding Runyonesque?) thinking an artery had re-closed and they'd have to do another bypass, with only a fifty percent chance of survival. What it was was fluid around his heart which they already thought might be there but unrelated to the heart attack. No need to cut further. At any rate, Cliff spits in death's eye once again.


Can't Think Of A Title! What Kind Of Writer Am I?

Welcome follower #10, pointman74250! Normally I'll say a few words about the new follower, but I have no idea who this guy is! I'm practically a celebrity, having followers I don't know. If I do know you, pointman 74250, wait a couple of days before you tell me. I want to bask in this feeling.

New Thaumatrope story the other day. You can read it here:

The writing break is over, only it doesn't seem like it is because I haven't had any time to write. It's over in my head.

And, just because I haven't posted a vid in a while:

This is supposed to be funny, but you know you could tune into SyFy on any given Saturday night and find a gem of exactly this quality.

And-And, because I imported this blog onto my Facebook page (under my double secret codename Matthew Sanborn Smith) and last time I tried it the blog at Facebook didn't show the vids I'd posted, here's the link for today's vid(eo):

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Taking A Breather

I'm taking a little writing break. It might last a day, it might last twenty years. Who knows? I'm going to do some reading. I'm not thrilled with what I've got on my writing plate at the moment (that's right, I write on a plate, doesn't everyone?). It all seems pretty mundane. I want to do something different but I don't know what yet. I'm thinking.

The boy's back in the house for the summer and I'm very happy to say that he's reading voluntarily and asking me for books. Yay! He's reading the Pendragon and Ranger's Apprentice series and he told me he just began the first Elric book. Double yay! His summer reading list is really lame, a bunch of that depressing shit that schools throw at kids. Racism, poverty, Holocaust, post-apocalypse. Not our thing. I think I'm going to give him a pass this summer. I'd rather he read what he enjoys now that he's finally doing so, rather than sour him to reading once again with yuchy stuff.

The high school my daughter will be attending in the fall made Newsweek's list of top U.S. high schools as, I found, it usually does. This year it's number 312. I think that's cool.

I go to Google's street view thingy every few months hoping that views of my childhood homes will be accessible. they aren't. The damn view veers off like about a quarter mile from the cool house, the one built in the 1840's. Someday. I get sad looking at the old town though. I'm cut off from that life as by an ocean.

Paul's got a trailer for a cool looking movie called Air Doll over on his site:

Here's some of that hard-hitting shit you'll only find at The Huffington Post:
GOP Dominated By White Conservatives: Gallup Poll

It's this kind of investigative journalism that gives me hope that all will not be lost when the last newspaper disappears. Who knew there were conservatives in the Republican party? Or that they were white? It gives me chills to know that they've been lurking there all this time.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Veritable Potpourri!

Just finished a draft of Chapter 11 of The Inner Workings of the Artificial Mind and sent it out to those who may have cared once.

A new episode of Tank Riot is out. If you haven't listened before, I highly recommend it. I've never had such an enjoyable time learning about stuff I didn't know that I didn't know. The new episode is on Emma Goldman. What? You don't who Emma Goldman is? Neither do I. That's why you and I must both rush out into the net and listen to episode 74!

I actually cleaned today. The boy helped. See, we had Internet intermittence (The Goog claims I've misspelled intermittence, but I looked it up, so suck it, The Goog!) so the netty entities sent a man out. Well, the place was in its usual state: catastrophic. So we cleaned. When the daughter came over today, she couldn't believe it. "You can see the floor!" she said. "You can sit on a chair!" It was like Christmas all over again. And speaking of Christmas, I took down the Christmas tree today as part of the clean-up. The fixer-man did all his business outside and never stepped in the door, but I was happy that the place was clean. Or cleaner.


I think that people who have friends have an easier time staying on top of things like that because they're thinking, "My friends could come over at any time!" Now I know how the other half lives. Quite a heady sensation.

I found this wonderful thing today. Wolfgang's Concert Vault. I'd known about the memorabilia from a spot on CBS Sunday Morning, but I didn't know that there were thousands of concerts online for free. This is one of those things that I think everyone but I knew about. You have to sign up, but it's pretty awesome. Besides, what's to stop you from writing complete bullshit on the sign-in if you want? Not that I ever would.


For some reason, Blood Blade and Thruster changed the address of my story, so here's the new address in case you haven't yet read The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat. But honestly, I can't believe you wouldn't have read it yet.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where I Brag On My Girl

My daughter, Ivory, graduated eighth grade yesterday. She was valedictorian in a class of one-hundred and nineteen students. She won a reading award from her teacher, another award for a perfect score on the reading part of the FCAT (Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test), and she won a Presidential award supposedly signed by the O-man himself. She's been accepted to a magnet school for the arts and she's challenging herself by taking on the toughest course of classes they have. This is all by her own initiative. The girl goes through books like other people change socks. I'm not only proud, I'm impressed.

My Sofanauts episode is up here: if you watched, you know the attempt at video went awry. If you didn't watch, you know the attempt at video went awry.

I mentioned two of my stories during the show, so if you've come here looking for them, here are links:

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat at Blood Blade and Thruster (I know, I posted it yesterday. Won't kill me to post it again.) :,3,

For the Love of Ceelie at Fusion Fragment:

I'm a bit pissed at myself for not entering the nanoism contest I mentioned the other day. I completely forgot about it. Hopefully one of you guys didn't forget and can wave some prize money in my fat face. But here's another contest: miniWORDS 2009. You can submit up to three 50 word stories by August 10th. The winner gets £250! Cor blimey! Don't forget this one, Matt!

All Better Now!

Yay! Please enjoy my ridiculous story, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diplomat, at Blood Blade and Thruster right now!,3,

Once again, if you're around the Internet today (June 5th) at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, check me out at as we record episode 8 (I think) of The Sofanauts, the audio of which you can enjoy on Saturday or anytime thereafter at

Thursday, June 04, 2009


No, not story 600, but blogpost 600.

Here's the link to my nanoism story:

I wanted to link to my story in Blood Blade and Thruster, but there's still some kinks to work out. See, I had some aliens communicating with each other telepathically and to distiguish telepathic thought from other stuff in the story, I put these greater than, less than brackets < > around the words. Here's the problem: html also uses those, and when you try to print a story with those brackets, nothing inside of the brackets shows up, because the stoopidheads at the Internet Board think those are secret instructions not to be shared with the public at large. And so, in my story right now at Blood Blade and Thruster, you get passages such as this:

Zek thought to his two companions.

thought Vron.

Krogar asked.

Which may lead whomever is reading it today to think, "What the fuck? This is some surreal shit!"

I sent an e-mail, alerting the staff to this and even sent another version of the story using square brackets [ ], so hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow and I can post the link here.

Here's a link I can safely post. Fiction Crawler 7 is up at StarShipSofa. Check it out:

And on Friday we'll be recording the latest episode of Sofanauts. You can watch us, while we're recording, at the new LIVE page: at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time on June 5th. Check it out. It'll be unedited, so maybe someone will say a swear word!

Writers! Time's almost up for the nanoism nanofiction contest. Check it out:

And John Joseph Adams is looking for stories to fill his anthology:

Good luck to all of you! That's it for now. Sleepy time is heading my way.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Story Updates

Sorry I've missed a few days, folks. Stories 112 and 113 are out the door. Last Supper and A Body is for Driving, respectively.

My @nanoism story isn't up yet, but you can find my new @thaumatrope story here. Mine is the one by Matthew Sanborn Smith (also known as upwithgravity). And I believe I'll have a story in issue 4 of Blood Blade and Thruster, coming to a screen near you in just a couple of days if all goes well. I'll post the link then.