“Help I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone…”

Just got word that my presentation proposal, “Singing the Body Electric: The Symbiotic Relationship Between The Twilight Zone and the Literature of Speculative Fiction” was accepted for the 2013 Rod Serling Conference!! Now to finish constructing it–it’d been on the back burner for a bit.

The conference, up until my previous go ’round, had always been held in town here, where Rod Serling lived and taught.  This year, the conference will be out in Los Angeles where Serling worked.  I knew this beforehand and thus, no WFC or Dragon*Con for me this year unfortunately.  But I’ll still be at Readercon!

@SF Signal’s Mind Meld

…I answer a question of mythic proportions!
I could’ve gone a lot of places with my answer, starting with my extensive knowledge of Norse mythology in third grade, starting with Marvel Comics’ The Mighty Thor, through my extensive cross-referencing with The Encyclopedia Brittanica and poring through the footnotes of every mythology book I could get from my grade-school library.  But, that would’ve just been geeking out instead of answering the question.  And when the big kids at SF Signal offer you a seat at their table and ask you a question, you best answer it!

“Keep on talking all you want. Well you don’t waste a minute of time…”

Next weekend, I’ll be at the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in Toronto.  Won’t get there until late Thursday, though.  If you aren’t able to find me at the bar, or with the Dagan Books crew, you’ll be able to catch me at Vaughn East at 3:00 pm Friday at my first panel ever…

You’re probably thinking, “There goes the neighborh…” “How did a yahoo like you get on a WFC panel?”  Probably because of the book I co-edited, Bibliotheca Fantastica.

So yes, I am ostensibly relevant to the panel’s interests.  But still, I look at that lineup of my fellow panelists, and all I can think of is…

I switched the lyric from Steve Winwood’s “Freedom Overspill” that I was going to use as the title of this post.  It was originally a line from the bridge…

You got no right going around
Talking ’bout the things that you do

But screw all that because, hey, ZOMGI’mgonnabeonaPANELatWFC!!!ZOMG!!!  So, here I am–rather, there I’ll be–hopefully caffeinated, fighting off my imposter syndrome, and talking about books!

“Make a scene tonight, and read about it in the morning…”

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 120) came out last Thursday.  I talked about the anthology Bibliotheca Fantastica for Dagan Books, and for which the edits are coming along very nicely.

I’m only getting around to putting this up now, since I’ve been busy with the edits, and with preparing for my first trumpet-playing gig in 8 years.  This is related, trust me…

And I don’t mean just getting my lip back in shape.  I had to get my ear back in shape too, since I was tasked with transcribing the horn line to Blondie’s “The Tide Is High.”  It’s been about 8 years since I’ve done anything like that, too.  But it was for a good cause — a fundraiser for the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes.

My performance was far from perfect, though.  It’s my own fault, especially since I had to pull a Chet Baker because of my travel schedule — in 1988, he’d blown off all the rehearsals for his Last Great Concert in Hannover, Germany but showed up the day of the gig and rocked it.  However, smack-addicted Chet Baker was still a better trumpet player than I ever was on my best day.  Still, I was pleasantly surprised at the results.  People asked me if I’m inspired to play again, considering the dearth of trumpet players in the music scene in this town.  I don’t know.  I am inspired, however, to watch The Commitments again, since I’d been quoting Joey “The Lips” Fagan all week: “The Lord blows my trumpet.”

Anyway, this sort of brings up a personal issue for me, in that I’m not as anonymous as I used to be.  Not as compartmentalized.  Not so long ago few people knew “Don the Co-Worker” was also once “Don the Martial Artist,” or ever “Don the Jazz Trumpeter Wannabe.”  Now, some of them are finding out about “Don the Writer” and “Don the Editor.”

But now it’s all coming together.  I’m not as carefully covering those track as I once was.  I’m even opening the doors a bit, and maybe that’s a good thing. Besides, it’s getting so I can’t cover those tracks as much, even if I wanted to.  I’ve now been on the Functional Nerds podcast, as well as SFSignal.  I’ve been filmed reading.  Nope, no hiding it now.  I might have mixed feelings about it, but I’d better get over them PDQ.

Anyway, since the gig was an 1980s musical revue, the theme song for this post works on every level…

I’m taking a day to recover.  It’s been a helluva couple of months, and I’m totally depleted.


From a cool t-shirt.

Galen, from the Inkpunks crew, invited me to do a guest post for them.  I did a little Sally Fields “You like me! You really like me!!” dance in my head.  Little did she know how hard I was banging said head into my desk trying to come up with a worthy post, before she mentioned, “Oh yeah, a bunch of folks are doing posts about workshops.”  The big ones.  The ones all of us genre writers want to go to–Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, Uncle Orson’s, &c. The ones that a lot of us can’t take six weeks away from life to attend.

At least, not directly…

Check out “Autodidactic Asphyxiation” at the Inkpunks blog.

ReaderCon or Bust!

After tomorrow, I will be in-between jobs.  And during that in-between time, I’ll be at one of my favorite places on earth, ReaderCon!  I’ll be at the July 15th release party for the novel Broken Slate by Kelly Jennings, which is brought to you by the fine folks at Crossed Genres.

The party will also feature readings by folks who’ve published stories in Crossed Genres, such as Camille Alexa, Barbara Krasnoff and, yes, yours truly

The price of admission is a tweet, blog post, or Facebook update about Broken Slate.  I’m five chapters in, myself, and I’m finding myself slowly riveted by the main character and his world.  So, if you’re there, click the link for details and come say hi.

The Seekrit Nonfic WIP — Revealed!

I’ll be giving my first academic presentation ever at Ithaca College’s 2011 Rod Serling Conference in September.  The conference is “an interdisciplinary academic conference dedicated to the works of Rod Serling.”

Here’s my abstract…

Where Else Would You See a Story Like This: H.P. Lovecraft Adapted for Rod Serling’s Night Gallery

Writer H.P. Lovecraft describes “Weird Fiction” as a literary form which focuses on evoking atmospheric and psychological dread, as opposed to the simple description of physical horror.  Adapting this literature for film and television typically relies on the depiction of physical horror as a concession to visual media.  Two successful attempts to adapt weird fiction with its sense of dread intact are found in the anthology series Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, where such weird tales as Lovecraft’s own “Cool Air” (adapted by Rod Serling) and “Pickman’s Model” (adapted by Alvin Sapinsley) found a natural home.  An exploration of Serling’s and Sapinsley’s individual approaches to adapting Lovecraft’s work for Night Gallery will show how, despite allowances that were made for the television medium (and in some instances, because of them), they succeeded to a greater extent than other film and television adaptations of the same material.

Now, I just have to finish writing the paper. I already know that I’m starting the presentation with this video clip…

Maybe I overdid it with the cloak and dagger, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything publicly until I got the proposal submitted and received a response.  I did tell a few select individuals what I was up to (Though I accidentally spilled the beans a bit when I was interviewed on Functional Nerds a couple of months ago).  But the folks I told were the ones I trusted to talk me out of this if they felt they had to.  I’m glad they didn’t!