My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Jun 8

WordPress 4.8 is here!

Category: Life

So, we are now running WordPress 4.8, and… it’s nothing drastically different, again. Still, there are some neat new little things, but nothing that wouldn’t be astonishingly boring to most readers.

That’s that, then.

No comments

Jun 7

WordPress 4.8 tomorrow…

Category: Life

So, WordPress 4.8 is out tomorrow… I’m excited to see what’s new, hopefully something drastic.

No comments

Jun 6

The lyrics game is won!

So, the lyrics game is over… we have a winner! Reader, Eve, rocked out a perfect set of answers to win a bundle of three really spectacular records, The Both, Either/Or Extended Edition, and Mental Illness via the iTunes Store.

Here’s Eve’s display of badassness:

Hi Mike!

Just found your post with story and quizz!

Here goes:

1- Artist The Both. Song: Hummingbird, album: The Both.
2- Artist Aimee Mann, song: How am I different? Album Bachelor No 2
3- Artist : Nirvana. Song: Radio Friendly Unit Shifter. Album In Utero
4- Artist Elliot Smith. Song: Rose Parade. Album: Either/Or. (love that album!)
5- Artist Priscilla Ahn. Song: Lost Cause Album When You Grow Up.
6- Artist Death Cab For Cutie. Song: Champagne from a Paper Cup. Album You Can Play These Songs with Chords.
7- Artist Elliot Smith. Song Angel in the Snow, Album: New Moon. (love that album too:D)

Hope that sums it up! Did I make it?!

Congratulations, Eve, and thanks for reading!

Speaking of reading, if you haven’t had a go at Music in the dark, the flash fiction that started this game, give it a read. I’d love a little more feedback.

 

No comments

Jun 5

Lyrics and what-not… and a game! II

So, seeing that nobody won my lyrics game, though lots of folks viewed it, perhaps the game’s a little too rough. I’m going to give away a few answers to see if we can’t get a winner…

Here’s the lyrics list, with a few answers filled-in. I don’t want to make it too easy. C’non, people, hit the google machine! I want somebody to win!

But I got a message from the hummingbird, he gave me a warning in disguise… 

Just one question before I pack, when you fuck it up later do I get my money back? – Aimee Mann, How Am I Different?, Bachelor No. 2 (Or, The Last Remains of the Dodo)

I love you for what I am not, I did not want what I have got…

Won’t you follow me down to the Rose Parade…

Oh it’s all just a lost cause… – Priscilla Ahn, Lost Cause, When You Grow Up

Drinking champagne from a paper cup is never quite the same and every sip’s moving through my eyes and…

Don’t you know that I love you? Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life, only a frozen still life… that fell down here to lay beside you. – Elliott Smith, Angel in the Snow, New Moon

Like I said, the first person to note the…

Artist

Song title

Record

.…for each song wins a bundle of three of my favorite records, The Both, Either/Or Extended Edition, and Mental Illness via the iTunes Store.

Just leave your guesses in the comments for this post. Comments left on Facebook, or Twitter, or my e-mail, or anywhere else don’t count.

5 comments

Jun 1

Lyrics and what-not… and a game!

So, I wonder… Did any of my readers who read Music in the dark know all the songs playing on the fellow’s iPhone at the story’s end? I picked them at random, whatever popped up on my mix, I used it in the story. It was sort of an exercise, making the story fit the songs, while still keeping the story intact. Two of the songs are super easy, they’ve had plenty of exposure. The others are more obscure, which is a shame, they’re beautiful songs. That said, let’s play a game…

The first person to note the…

Artist

Song title

Record

…for each song wins a bundle of three of my favorite records, The Both, Either/Or Extended Edition, and Mental Illness via the iTunes Store.

Just leave your guesses in the comments for this post. Comments left on Facebook, or Twitter, or my e-mail, or anywhere else don’t count.

2 comments

May 27

Music in the dark

Category: Creative Flash

It’s dark. The room’s dark, the world’s dark, his thoughts are dark. The electricity gave up and gave out last night, or the day before, or what the fuck ever. No more tv, no more internet, no anything if it isn’t running on batteries, and those batteries aren’t long for this world either. So, here he is, in the dark, in his shit-hole bedroom, in his shit-hole apartment. Though, the apartment may as well be on Mars, it’s some alternate reality, he’d need a goddamn time machine to even see it again. He locked himself in the bedroom because it was the last lock left, the end of the line; lobby-door, up four floors, apartment door with its deadbolt. Broken. Broken. The weight of bodies and the weight of time breaking locks and smashing doors until only this last lock, this last door remains. He can hear them scratching, pressing, fumbling against the door and that last lock that won’t hold them back. They’re the tick-tock of the tiny gears inside the clocks that killed Christ. They don’t stop.

He blindly sweeps his hands across the floor, groping, searching. He knows it’s here somewhere, it has to be here. He bumps his hands against a pizza box, fingers grazing greasy cheese, stale bread, magazines, a bottle of MD 20/20. He’ll keep that, thanks much. Blankets, shoes, dog-eared paperbacks, so much useless shit. A t-shirt, it smells like her, the two sizes too big plain black t-shirt she used to sleep in, wore it like a nightgown. Feeling it in his hands, smelling the lilac shampoo and salt-smell of her sweat, simple scents of her, it physically hurts him. Sitting here in the dark, feeling the loss of her all over again, tears sting his eyes. He remembers the sense of peace he felt, always, just being near her. He adored her voice, her thoughts. Her everything. At night she’d slip on her dark shroud, that long silly shirt and nothing else, lying next to him in bed, her arm across his chest, her head on his shoulder. They made love in the mornings, she’d kiss him awake, smiling to say, “Hi there… How’s you?” They’d talk, she liked to tell him her dreams. Mornings were theirs, no matter what. She’d hold him close, knowing he’d be ready for her, ready to be taken deep inside her. He remembers how it felt to fade into her, to get lost in her hazel eyes as she asked him to come for her. He holds the shirt to his face, scent opening the way to memory, so vivid, so white hot and right now. Something heavy hits the door and the memories crumble like ash. Then is gone, she is gone, and that’s fucking that. He sets the shirt near the bottle of MD 20/20, the body and the blood, things deemed sacred.

Digging around under the bed, hands bump into something clunky, a wire running from the clunk to something small, sleek, glassy smooth. Yes and fucking yes, he finally has it, his iPhone tethered to his cozy leather-bound headphones. Old-School headphones, analog, faithful, no digital wireless Bluetooth fuck-all. So long as the phone has some life left, the headphones won’t let him down. Tapping the glass, and the room is bathed in blue white soft LED light, still plenty of spark in this particular battery. They’re pounding on the door now, he slips on the headphones. Soft leather cradles his head, the ear cuffs are big enough, padded enough to turn the pounding into a muffled thumping. Better, better, but he doesn’t want to hear them at all. He doesn’t want to know they’re there. Tap swipe swipe up down up a little tap, and his head is filled with music…

But I got a message from the hummingbird, he gave me a warning in disguise…

Fitting.

Just one question before I pack, when you fuck it up later do I get my money back?

He doesn’t know. He was always scared she’d go away.

I love you for what I am not, I did not want what I have got…

He closes his eyes. No, he absolutely doesn’t fucking want anything he’s got.

Won’t you follow me down to the Rose Parade…

The songs keep playing, reminding him of other times, other places. Thoughts leading to thoughts leading to thoughts.

Oh it’s all just a lost cause…

Drinking champagne from a paper cup is never quite the same and every sip’s moving through my eyes and…

He grabs the bottle of MD 20/20, takes a long pull. It’s awful, Kiwi and alcohol, some kind of nightmarish children’s cough medicine, but it does the job.  Warms his chest, blurs all the hard edges. He feels the floor shudder, an echo of what’s happening to the door.

Don’t you know that I love you? A loud cracking of wood that he feels more than he actually hears. Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life, only a frozen still life… He feels their foot steps, smells the shit and piss and death. He puts her shirt to his face one last time, pure, clean, safe smells. He fills his mind with her, her smooth pale skin, warm hazel eyes, eyes to lose himself in and never come back. Hands on his shoulders, rough hands, teeth at his throat, pain so bright. Still, he doesn’t open his eyes, doesn’t stop listening to the music.

that fell down here to lay beside you.

7 comments

May 27

Something experimental

So, I wrote something, short fiction, kind of experimental. Sort of a stream of consciousness, writing in the moment kind of thing. If it’s really awful, post your hatred in the story’s comments. Really, any feedback is of value; love, indifference, hate, whatever… post away!

Said experimental story is forthcoming.

 

No comments

May 23

Review: Borne

Category: Opinions

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer is one of his most unsettling and endearing novels; it has the brutal edginess of some of his earlier work, but also a nuanced softness to draw in readers who might not otherwise go for Weird fiction. Borne has its monsters, biotech abominations, hideous children surgically given vicious claws, the soft skin of their throats replaced with reptilian scales, anything to make them better killers that don’t end up prey to worse killers. See, the world has collapsed, no governments, no countries even, just cities and land, nameless decaying cities sitting on decaying bits of land. We kind of know the hows; climate change, war, pollution, the explosion of biotech. Biotech was supposed fix everything, but the minds behind the technology decayed just like everything else.

Borne’s story is told by Rachel, a scavenger in a place its inhabitants simply call, the city. Nobody is alive from “before” to know what the now useless maps used to label the place. The city is blessed, but mostly cursed by biotech that was birthed in the labs of the Company. When the Company realized that the city was beyond help, and hope, they simply started releasing their creations into the field. Creations like Mord, a ten-story tall bio-engineered grizzly bear of near-human intelligence… with the ability to fly. Though, somewhere along the way, that intelligence turned to madness. Mord’s original purpose was to protect the Company, but once again, decay stepped in;, it touched Mord, his mind, his purpose. He went rogue, smashing, tormenting, ruling the city through his deranged whims. Rachel is a scavenger for a former Company technician, Wick, her business partner, friend, sometimes lover. One day, while climbing a napping Mord, searching for the rich salvage that’s often tangled in his fur, she finds a… thing. It looks like some sort of sea anemone crossed with a squid that in sum looks kind of like a bizarre vase. It makes a humming sound and smells of the oceans of “before.” Its color shifts from purple to blue to sea green, Rachel has to have it. She is pretty sure it is biotech, and Wick is certain that it’s Company-related and potentially dangerous. Wick wants to cut it up and figure out what it is, what it was created to do, but Rachel makes a decision that will change their lives utterly. She decides to keep it, she even feels protective of it. The “it” soon becomes a “he,” and he is Borne. A sentient, funny, child-like, intelligent, caring person, who isn’t a human being. That’s one of the first things Rachel decides to teach Borne, that he’s a person. She raises him as her own, tries to teach him the lessons all parents hope to teach their children, especially right from wrong. Only later does she realize that while she feels certain that deep down Borne is a good person capable of finding a good purpose, he might also be a very dangerous person.

Borne is the sort of novel that can’t be neatly tucked into this or that genre, which is why it feels so accessible. I think just about anybody can pick up and enjoy it; there’s sci-fi, there’s grit and violence, there’s elements of modern Weird fiction, but ultimately it’s a story of people trying to be a family in a world that may no longer allow such fragile things to exist. It’s about the relationship between a mother and her child, a child who may have been created to be a monster, or simply a being with a morality that is suited for a monstrous world. Is it wrong to love him? Is it wrong to want him to be safe? To be happy? Through Rachel and Borne we get to examine such concepts, such questions.

The novel is also a true testament to VanderMeer’s skill toward world-building. Mord is a GIANT bio-engineered flying bear, yet nothing about him seems false, or overdone, or hokey. Mord feels as real and as serious as a heart attack. Borne is this anemone squid vase thing with multiple eye-stalks, whose shape and color can change at will, yet one never doubts the reality of his existence, nor does one ever doubt his personhood. The ability to create such characters and make them feel absolutely real shows a total confidence in one’s use of craft, confidence that in VanderMeer’s case, is not at all misplaced.

Borne is a must-read novel, one that will endure because it touches on questions almost everyone asks themselves at one time or another; Why do I exist? Why am I here?

No comments

May 19

Just thoughts

Category: Life,Random Thought

I’m tired.

I’m nervous.

I’m alone.

I miss… someone who probably doesn’t want their name written here.

I want to write about some books I’ve read, records I’ve listened to, movies I’ve seen.

I have a bunch of tattoos to post.

I realized the long-time goal of acquiring my dream headphones. They’re the headphones I’ll use until I quit breathing, which is a little morbid.

I’m a little morbid.

I’ve lost much.

 

1 comment

Apr 21

Kell!

Category: Life,Opinions

Meet Kell!

So, I often do things on a whim. Some weeks ago, out of nowhere I said to my assistant, Jillian, “Okay, we’re going to the pet store… I want a fish.” Specifically, a betta, true fishy loners. Male bettas kill each other on sight, and females don’t fare much better, save for their brief mating periods. They’re an odd breed. Still, they’re gorgeous, and require very little care aside from their meals. They breathe air from the atmosphere just above the water’s surface, making them ideal for folks who want a beautiful fish that doesn’t take up much space.

At any rate, I’m quite fond of my mysterious little betta, Kell, named after the equally mysterious magician from V.E. Schwab’s spectacular Shades of Magic book trilogy. Kell hides in his skull, or his cave, or rests on his little Betta Hammock. Really, a Betta Hammock, a plastic leaf anchored near the water’s surface so the betta has a place to relax and breathe easy. I bought it because it was pretty, but otherwise I figured it was a scam. Turns out, Kell’s enjoying a nap right now, it’s his favorite furniture.

More tomorrow.

6 comments

Next Page »