Thank you so much to everyone who showed up for CAKE AND PROSE: A BOOK RELEASE CELEBRATION. The evening offered a beautiful mix of art—literature, theater, and music. The Margo Jones was the perfect venue, and we had the perfect audience: friends, friends of friends, and a few delightful strangers. It was a privilege to hear my stories read by such talented actors, providing a new perspective on something so familiar. Plus, Greg Schroeder. The guy does not disappoint. He’s an incredible musician and an all-around badass.
I recorded the event. It’s not a professional recording—just me with my trusty Sony digital recorder—but it’s all there, every story and every song. Enjoy!
Cake and Prose (1 hour, 37 minutes)
This event benefited the Birthday Party Project. All money collected at the door went to support their efforts to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthday parties. Last Friday, we raised enough money to provide a party for 75 kids. If you choose to listen to the audio, please consider donating a few dollars. Read more →
I’ve been invited to participate in a panel discussion next Thursday at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Downtown Dallas. The title of the event is Mean Business: Women in Comics. Heather Lowe, manager of the fine arts division, will be moderating it.
Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
1515 Young St., Dallas, TX 75201
4th Floor Performance Space
The four guests are:
Iris Bechtol, Gallery Director and Adjunct Professor of Art at Eastfield College in Mesquite, TX
Keith Colvin, owner of Keith’s Comics
Taffeta Darling, media personality and host of the webshow “Fangirls”
David Hopkins, writer, graphic novelist and co-host of Fanboy Radio’s “Indie Show”
It’s not the first time I’ve spoken about women’s issues in comics. But now, fortunately, I have a moderator and three other people to bounce around ideas. It should be a great discussion. If you’re the kind of person who likes to discuss women in comics, welcome! We’ll be on the fourth floor.
Cake and Prose is a unique presentation of essays, short stories, and music. There will be readings from WE MISS ALL THE GREAT PARTIES, performed by local actors (Brad McEntire, Bryan Pitts, and Maryam Baig), and live music by the talented Greg Schroeder.
Plus, there will be cake. Let’s not forget the cake.
- The event will be on Friday, May 1st at the historic Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park.
- Admission is a pay-what-you-can donation to The Birthday Party Project, cash or check accepted. It’s a wonderful non-profit that brings joy to homeless children throughout the Dallas area.
- Cake generously provided by Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery in Arlington. They have the best cakes in North Texas. Absolutely delicious.
- The event starts at 7:30 and will probably last about two hours.
- Parking isn’t terribly complicated at Fair Park, but you will probably need this webpage to guide you.
- Copies of WE MISS ALL THE GREAT PARTIES will be available for sale (both paperback and hardcover).
Facebook event page at:
If you can’t see the event page, it probably means you need someone to invite you. (Facebook is weird.) Just post a comment or send me an email, I’ll add you to the list. Either way, please come. Facebook is not necessary for your attendance or your acceptance in this life.
Why the hoopla?
Read more →
This weekend, I finished Moby Dick (Or, the Whale). D.H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world.” And I’d have to agree. It is truly strange, even by today’s standards. At first, I liked the book, then I hated it, and then finally I loved it. The book has an odd charm that isn’t fully realized until you get to those last chapters.
The premise is absurd: A captain seeks revenge against one particular whale. The intermingled drama and comedy is positively Shakespearean. Certain scenes are terrifying and surreal, such as Captain Ahab’s speech after his harpoon glows from the lightning strike. The tension between Starbuck and Ahab is fascinating. Like a classic tragedy, the ending is both inevitable, predictable, and still shocking. And yet, the novel is wrapped in the tedious journalistic details of the whaling industry in the 1800s.
Moby Dick would be an easy novel to abridge. Simply take out all those chapters that go into explaining everything you never wanted to know about the genus and species of whales, the anatomy of whales, how different countries hunt whales, maritime whaling law, the mythic and symbolic role of the color “white,” and how whale oil is stored and shipped. However, there’s something about these chapters that contribute vitally to the whole.
One of the greatest treasures within Moby Dick is the hidden wisdom–thoughts on life and death, faith and disillusion, love and loss. My favorite passage, which captures all of it in one heartbreaking bundle, might be: Read more →
Last Friday, I spoke at Union, a spiffy coffee house in Dallas that I’m fairly certain is a church in disguise. That’s a thing, isn’t it? Churches pretending to be coffee houses. This one is more subtle than most. The pastor is a good guy. (He calls himself a “community curator”… what does that even mean?) The place is cool. And Union certainly beats going to Starbucks. If you go, I doubt anyone would start asking you about the sorry-ass-state of your immortal soul. You’re safe.
Anyways. Union invited some fellows from D Academy to speak at its Naked Stage series. All of it was to promote the Big D Reads event in April. I was one of the speakers. Most people spoke extemporaneously and did a wonderful job. However, I wanted to prepare a written essay that I could share—a call to arms against anti-intellectualism in America.
D Magazine’s Frontburner blog shared my essay. And now, I’m sharing it with you.
I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller. Read more →
My short story collection — WE MISS ALL THE GREAT PARTIES — is now available on Amazon, both paperback and Kindle ebook editions. Support the indie author in your life (that would be me).
You’ll be surprised. Indie authors look and sound like real authors, except they get a larger percentage of the sales revenue! It’s amazing.
Actually, I don’t know if this is true. However, I do know that I’m not handing over a percentage of my book’s revenue to a publisher to tell a distributor that I’m good enough for them to list my book, and I’m not paying an agent 10% to tell the publisher that I’m good enough for them to read. And I’m not paying a publicist to tell readers that my book is worth their time. I’m just giving a huge chunk to Amazon, and they’re selling my book.
Welcome to the outland territories of American literature. I can’t promise you I will ever be legit. But I won’t stop writing, and rudely shoving it in your face. Thus, we’re at an impasse. You will simply have to take a chance on my book. It’s scary. It’s reckless.
The book contains 10 stories about odd encounters and personal exploration. More specifically:
A young man in search of meaning connects with his dead girlfriend’s son. A group of men in Wisconsin start a poetry group while waiting for their favorite bar to be rebuilt. A woman discovers her husband has been hiding a secret. He also wants to rob a bank. A basketball player continually relives the last six seconds of his worst game. An amateur chess player encounters greatness. A girl attempts to leave a small town. But before she goes, she learns the story of one who stayed.
Read more →
I’m looking for an intern. I need someone who can think and write. The writing must be concise, balanced, purposeful, and artful. The thinking can be messy or organized, gut-driven or analytical. As long as you don’t indulge in idiotic behavior or spurn intellectualism, you’re good.
You will be writing for Imaginuity. It’s a great place with great people.
What will you get out of the experience? You’ll get paid. And I’ll pick up the tab on lunch from time to time. Mostly, you will get the benefit of my mentorship. After three months, you will be so damn employable that any creative agency would be crazy to pass on you. It will be hard work, but you’re a writing badass. You can handle it.
Contact me, if you’re interested.
SUBJECT: The box says “World’s Finest,” and I have no reason to doubt.
A general address to the faithful workers contained within this creative space for the specific purpose of parting from you your hard earnings:
Salutations and good morn! My daughter, an earnest capitalist in the truest sense of the word, has beseeched me to act as her agent in the selling and distribution of fine chocolate confections. Wherefore such actions? The chief aim being to raise funds to support her school, and if I may venture, to pay the monthly salaries of the buffeted pedagogues. I digress. If you would like such delectable candy, you may ask yourself, “How can I afford such wondrous treats? Surely, since the box proclaims the sundry sweets as the ‘WORLD’S FINEST CHOCOLATE,’ how can I afford it? It must require my own life’s savings!” Nay. Fear not, gentle plebeian, the chocolate of which you speak, requires only two bills. And not the one’s bearing Franklin’s sour visage, but that of our noble Washington. Two dollars for a box of chocolate, upon my life, I speak the truth. Come visit me at my work station, and I will gladly officiate the transaction.
In the interim, thank you and glad tidings for your generosity.
Wordsmith and protector of strategic methodologies for the purpose of enhancing our client’s bounty
Post script: This is what befalls, hence you listen to the Moby Dick audiobook on the highway to work.
Some thoughts on the release (finally) of the Fantastic Four teaser trailer:
- I’m digging the Philip Glass score.
- Not digging the obligatory light shooting in sky to open a portal.
- The official website describes it as a “contemporary reimagining.” I’m conflicted. I don’t want this movie to tread the same ground as the other movies (3, including Roger Corman’s). But would I prefer to see what Marvel Studios would do with the FF in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Yeah.
Read more →
From WIRED: “After watching this clip we wanted to file this under ‘Greatest Movie Ever Made’ even though it’s probably a little too soon to make that call. That said, we’ve got a feeling, deep in our bones, that this movie will be spectacular. George Miller looks like he’s out for bloody vengeance, seeking to rain down hate on anyone who’s dared make an ‘action’ movie since he left the post-apocalypse behind.”