Monday Updates...

Whew. Been writing non-fiction like crazy lately. It's been rewarding to exercise that different aspect of the writing apparatus over these last few terms (and I'm taking a pair of rhetorical theory courses this summer, so I'll be back at it in a few weeks), but I'm excited to get down to some fiction in the next few weeks.

A few observations:
  • In Search Of and Others is my favorite book so far of 2013. Ludwigsen's stories are haunting, beautifully rendered, and filled with insights into what it means to experience life through the prism of the fantastic. This is a collection that should garner some hardware in the coming months...
  • Kristopher Reisz's "Lord of the Tattered Banner" was a great, enjoyable read. Talk about your reluctant antihero! Fengr Tall-As-A-Mounted-Man is an orc for the ages. My daughter is really into Middle Earth storytelling lately, and I'm tempted to read her this one in installments over the next few evenings.
  • Speaking of installments, the next chapter of Remnants: A Record of Our Survival is now available.
  • Django Unchained was a decent film, but it felt a little more indulgent than the recent Tarantino fare. I enjoyed it, but it didn't have the narrative urgency of Basterds or Death Proof.
  • The Jaguars did a good job of getting bodies in camp to beef up the secondary. Cyprian looks like the real deal, and those corners that came off the board in the seventh round can really run. If one of them makes the team and contributes well, this draft is an 'A' grade overall...
  • My stories "South of Okeechobee" and the zombie tale "The Boy in the Cage" are available a la carte for the Kindle. These stories were first published in the collection The Silver Coast and Other Stories.
And now, for a little musical accompaniment:


Triumph of the Final Girl...

Curious about what I'm writing about at UCF? Anybody? No? Nobody?

Huh...well, I'll show you anyway.


I Love My Ducks!

So there is a ton of "news" that is really just a formal re-hashing of allegations against the Oregon Ducks for football recruiting violations that took place between 2009 and 2011. This investigation has been dragging on for so many months and years now that it's just become tedious. 

It's pretty clear that Oregon shouldn't have been dealing with Lyles (or any of this new crop of parasitic "talent scouting" services that have surfaced in recent years), and I'm hopeful that we can get this hearing done soon, take any lumps coming to us, and move forward. Having a program with integrity is important to me. As great as these winning seasons have been, I'm not too interested in becoming the next multi-sanctioned football factory. I want good athletes to play at Oregon because they want to be a part of a winning program and because they want to attend a great university.

I say this because I've been with the Ducks since the 1980s. I was following the team, and all Oregon athletics programs, when we were euphoric to hit the .500 mark. I was there when they weren't very good, and I've been there through our rise to national prominence, and I'll be there when these sanctions hit, and I'll be there, come what may, when we come out on the other side.

Why? Because I love my Ducks. Always have, always will. 

I can't wait to talk football. Let's get the penalties on the table now and move forward with this tremendous group of young athletes.

Because this is our time... 


My Thoughts and Prayers Are With Boston...

Spread love and be kind to others, today and every day...

Make eye contact and have respect for all, today and every day...

Nourish innocence and encourage laughter, today and every day...

Hug your loved ones and tell them that you love them, today and every day...

Pursue your passions with spirit and never be afraid, today and every day...


Evil Dead 2013

Just watched Evil Dead and came away thinking it was really an unorthodox way to beat drug addiction, but it probably has a high success rate. Survive that night and heroin is the least of your problems.

Also, Eric, what were you thinking? What part of "Don't read it, don't write it, don't think it" is hard for you to figure out? Seriously people, when you visit the creepy cabin in the woods, don't touch anything! It's like we tell our daughter when we hit the antique shops in Amelia Island: keep your hands to yourself, sweetheart.

I liked the film ('A') overall. Really nice opening sequence that will remind you of Kubrick's The Shining. The visuals were great, and there were some genuine jump-in-your-seat moments. I thought the prologue was heart-breaking, and that's the goal of a film on demonic possession: the corruption of innocence is the most shocking of sins.


Blockbuster is a Terrible Business

Over a year ago I ordered a copy of The Little Mermaid through our online Blockbuster account. I know it's a difficult movie to find (Very High Demand, says the queue online...yeah, right), but it's been a whole year.

I can't stand how this company does business. Jacksonville has more than 1.4 million people in the metro area and there are two stores in our area. The closest store to us is out at the beach, maybe eight miles away. I like to pop in browse the shelves from time to time, but this place is a joke. 

They have six copies of Lincoln, and a whole wall of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer

They always send scratched discs in the mail that barely play, if they send anything at all.

They've recently decided to purchase and distribute fewer new releases. Seriously, they have a "High Demand" label on Argo. Freaking Argo!

They never stop trying to sell me candy. They know me there. I've never bought a piece of candy at freaking Blockbuster. There's a freaking grocery store next door, and they try to sell me Whoppers in a half-gallon carton. They have 12" X 12" Rice Krispies squares. I might by a candy bar every so often if they sold them, but instead they sell diabetes in a tube. Seriously, this is candy? No wonder we're struggling with our collective weight in this country...

They have no copies of the Disney classics, but they have a wall of those stupid Barbie movies.

They internally censor. I can't even find a number of horror titles in their online database. I've been waiting for Suspiria for over a year as well.

They always have one person working there. A line forms, and the damned clerk still runs through a long spiel with every customer about buying their stupid candy and used crap and signing up for Dish network and getting unlimited game rentals. Today, I sat in line--this is no joke--for fifteen minutes before I lost patience and put the video down and went to the beach for a jog.

Blockbuster is a joke. I'm looking elsewhere...suggestions very welcome. 


Remnants: A Record of Our Surival...

But anyway, Dad’s theory of halves assumes that maybe 50% of the population contracted the blight. That created a very difficult social dynamic, of course, because that means that the other half of the population immediately became food.
~ Allie Keane

Remnants: A Record of Our Survival is a serialized multimedia narrative that will unfold in ten weekly episodes beginning on Monday, April 01. An apocalyptic thriller told in the epistolary form, the story can be read for free at the following sites:
With echoes of Alas, Babylon, The Stand, and The Road, Remnants: A Record of Our Survival is a speculative story with classic apocalyptic elements.

You Know When It's Good

If you spend any real time at the word processor, you understand that sometimes the writing flows and you just know in your heart and in you...