Horror at the Stanley

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Looks like this is the second Stanley Hotel post I’ve done here (the first). This time it’s for teaching, though. Also? Every single place I go on CU campus—bulletin boards, monitors, displays—I’m looking back at me:

This is that click.

And, for the media fun, here it is on the front page of Boulder’s Daily Camera, here‘s the cover story in Westword, and here‘s some video and a write-up from 9News in Denver. I would say click “here” for testimonials, but this is the first time this has ever happened. Gonna be be fun scary.

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Stories that aren’t (but are) stories

Which is really probably my favorite thing in the world: a recipe-as-story, a ransom-note-as-story. glossary-as-story. Much etc—honestly, I want to compile them all into a big book of happiness. Anyway, this non-story story, it lines up quite well with Daniel Orozco’s “Officer’s Weep” story, from his Orientation collection (and . . . was it originally in The Atlantic? seems like).

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Picking Up Things Instead of my Pen

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This post is not endorsed by facebook. Nor twitter. Though it is because of twitter I’m writing it. Just noticed I’m up to about 7100 tweets. So I did what any rational dude would do: opened my calculator app, multiplied “7100” by a guessed-at average tweet-length of 120 characters. Where that gets me is:

852,000 characters. So what I did then was open the latest novel I’ve written, which I’ve now pared down to 97K words or so, and did a character count on that:

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Writing: It Takes a Village

For the thing I’m writing right now, I of course needed info. This is just for today and yesterday, too. Here’s the process:

  • What’s a likely military-cargo plane out of the Middle East?  ➔ called my dad (retired USAF)
  • Where’s John Wayne buried? ➔ asked Google
  • How does a doctor get certified to perform surgery? ➔ facebook-mailed a doctor-friend (who’s also a writer)
  • What other Road Rage-ish kind of stories are out there? ➔ texted a friend, ended up talking about Lorenzo Lamas for many rounds, as you do (also discussed the wearing of vests without a shirt underneath)
  • What kind of plane would a doctor have, for weekends &etc? ➔ emailed another friend (USAF, and a writer)
  • What’s that Spider-Man cover with Pete in the middle, his troubles all around? ➔ asked on Twitter, and some very helpful followers seemed to already know
  • What’s a good body of water around Albuquerque? ➔ emailed a friend down there (narrowly avoided the usual slate of Walter White mentions I always have handy)
  • What’s James Stewart’s character’s name in Vertigo? ➔ “Scottie,” said Google, in kind of an insulted tone
  • How many gears would a 1981 Shovelhead most likely have, if it was somewhat stock? ➔ texted my brother, and he knew right off
  • For the details on a non-public ceremony coming up in a few pages? ➔ do I make it up, or do I ask friends who know it? I think I’ll just write it, then have one of them read it, tell me what-all I’m doing wrong, and how insulting I’m being (hopefully? some. this is supposed to be art, after all)
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    Sequencing a Collection

    Of flash fiction, anyway. Just stumbled on this—I forget who it was for (maybe Christopher Rosales, the editor? maybe myself-only?), but I know what it was for: States of Grace. The little pocket-sized book I still can hardly believe I was lucky enough to get published. Not e-, not even on Amazon, I don’t think. And right after it was all set in stone, I started kicking out more of these short-shorts, of course. Because they’re maybe my favorite form of all. I should do a part 2 to States someday. Or an expanded edition.

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    Building Your Bad Guy

    Was just on a panel about villains at Denver ComicCon—actually, my second villains-panel there—and then, just now, I went all the long way down to Alamo Drafthouse to see Footloose on the big screen for the first time in thirty-two years, then listened to the Sir Patrick Stewart episode of The Nerdist on the way back, and . . . it all left me thinking, I guess. About antagonists, and the building of them.

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    Writers, Writing (and not)

    Makes me half-nervous, making fun, as I know you see your own frailties best in others. But still—well, I don’t like coffee, or beer, or fine dining. But I’m sure I’m a poser in some way all the same:

    List of Things That Don’t Make You A Writer

    When I moved to Austin, I was surprised to learn that every guy and gal hanging out at a coffee shop was a novelist, every barista was sitting on a few truly outstanding, and unpublished, literary masterpieces, and everyone with a beard, a bike or a flowery skirt was either a great poet, the next…

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    A Good Week for Novellas

    Y’all been hearing the same thing I have? That we’re kind of easing into a novella-friendly space? Like:

    And more and more, I’m sure. As for what constitutes a novella, a short novel, a novelette, a long story . . . who knows. I mean: editors know. There’s word-count thresholds. Granted, they maybe vary from house to house, from mag to mag, but they’re more or less not all that different from one another.

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    Lake Access Only

    Which is a slasher I wrote  . . . two years ago? I’d just reread The Virgin Suicides, and thought, Man, that was cool, sure—along with American Psycho, maybe the book of the nineties—but, wouldn’t it be cooler if that royal first-person delivery could be used to deliver something with a lot of people dying in gruesome ways? So: Lake Access Only. Which turned out cool. At least, I verymuch dig it. Yet to sub it anywhere, though, as it’s a weird one. Also? I may dig into it this summer, see if I can make it work as a screenplay instead. Which’ll require just completely ripping its innards out, and putting completely different innards in. But that’s how adapting goes. Anyway, LAO, its kind of central . . . I want to say ‘secret,’ but it’s more of a reveal, which of course the slasher is special-made to deliver right at the end. That reveal in LAO, I just found it on the shelf at Goodwill. Which is to say, had I found this sunglasses case before writing LAO, I probably wouldn’t have written it, as it was already in the world, and things that are already in the world aren’t really worth writing about.

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