The Horror (office)

Just noticing that the old pano of my office at Cutbank, it’s out of date—I’ve gone standing-desk. But there’s some Q&A there, still, that’s not here.

Anyway, to update, with TWO panoramics, as I can’t seem to spin slow/fast enough to do it with just one:

Yeah, I think I suck at keeping the phone at the same level/height. So it goes.

But that’s me standing over in the middle. Here’s what I usually see, rice bars and basketballs and Chris Ware and all:

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The Horror (Study)

Which is to say: where I write. Well, where I write when I’m writing in my study. Where I write when I’m writing in my office (on campus) is here.

But, this is home. The door of it, anyway:

And this is me standing in the middle of it all, trying to go as fast/slow as the arrow on my phone tells me. And, yes, there’s four five (just saw another) Waylon things in this pano:

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Werewolves & Me

Me in my office, playing with all things werewolf related. At least those I could reach without getting out of the camera’s eye. Also some talking, some reading, some injudicious swaying from side to side, like I just spilled koolaid on the couch but nobody knows about it, and I really-really need to get outside, like acres away, and play for about fifty-four hours:

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Trucks I’ve Had

I wish I’d taken more pictures. A part of my heart is still with each of these trucks. I remember dragging a chain out of the bed and leaving a big gouge on the bed rail of one. I remember loading a piano into one of the tall ones, in the sun, when I wasn’t sure I had gas money to get home. I remember a dog I picked up one day to get it a little farther down the road, and how it kept biting me and biting me. I remember pulling over in the ditch to write. I remember working through the night, trying to get them running again. I remember watching fireworks from the bed of the blue one with my wife, then, when the radio came on with its song to match the explosions, two-stepping out through the grass with her. I remember my daughter putting a tarp in the bed of the yellow one and then filling it with water, for all the kids on the block to have a swimming pool. And I wish I had pictures of each one of these. But you never think to get a camera out, do you? At least I never did. So, some of these are my trucks, and some are kind of stock photos—stuff I searched up.

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Society Isn’t Doomed

ba_sgj1a

mix Buzzfeed‘s “23 Things that Prove Society is Doomed” with Salon‘s “War & Peace on the Subway: How Your iPhone is Saving Literature,” then angle it through my publicists’ rose-colored glasses, and you end up with something a lot  like:

1. Sitting together and reading still counts as socializing:

↳ Via quoteinvestigator.com, once upon a time.

2. It’s considered polite not to read over your date’s shoulder:

↳ Used to be via empoweredteensandparents.com.

3. Fill the steps between class and the bus stop with a book:

↳ I wonder if these kids know they’re in the original of this image from betabeat.com?

4. Books, for all the many time-outs and half-times of the sporting events you attend:

↳ Somebody here forgot their book . . . (Originally via umhoops.com).

 5. “There’s such a glare in here, we’re all having to hold our phones at odd angles to see the pages of these books”:

↳ Used to be from 

picsofaznstakingpicsoffood.tumblr.com

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Reeling in the Years

Back in the late nineties, I’d see Stephen Dixon stories all over and flip back to his author bio at the end of the journal or whatever not because I didn’t already know it, but for the rush: it always said he had some three hundred stories published. I had maybe six at the time? Three hundred was an amazing, impossible, never-get-there kind of number. And I’m not there yet. This isn’t that post. Though I did just total up my stories from print- and e-mags and anthologies and best-of-the-years and textbooks, meaning there’s some doubling, even some tripling, and maybe a ‘forthcoming’ or three sneaked in (I did manage not to count novel chapters that ran in different places, anyway), but still, sitting at 201, looks like. Since my first publication in Black Warrior Review back in 1996 (well, ‘first’ would be this little mag MindPurge, then there was North Texas Review. But BWR was the first I got a check for. And checks matter). Still chasing Dixon, though.

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Scared Straight: The Conjuring

a very The House of the Devil poster, yes?

I keep thinking about these two kids who left the theater early. Say, ten minutes shy of the end, right when things were at their goriest, most sacrilegious frenzy. I mean, first and of course, eight- and ten-year-old girls shouldn’t be seeing The Conjuring. Boys either. I’m not even sure I was old enough to see The Conjuring, really. But I did stick it out all the same, and, because I stayed, I was processed through the horror. I saw the daylight at the end of the tunnel, and I moved toward it. Not those two girls. When their parent or sister or whoever it was finally got responsible and shepherded them out, it was only after they’d had all these images grafted onto their psyches forever. For them, now, this family’s still in that haunted house, the evil’s still out there, the nightmare’s never over.

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Cabin in the Woods intro/extro

sugarplum-fairy

[ this is the script of the pre- and post-words I gave for a charity event Cabin-screening Friday night, down in Manitou Springs ]

wolf kisses and bear traps

The slasher. We can all make a list of our ten favorite, yes? Which of course we consider the ten best. So . . . that list starts where? Psycho, Peeping Tom? Bay of Blood? Maybe, maybe not. Definitely Black Christmas in seventy-four, anyway. And let’s not forget Texas Chain Saw Massacre from that same year, which gave us a mask, that all-important signature weapon. And you can’t ignore Jaws, either. Which, no, didn’t involve masks or signature weapons, unless teeth can count, but there was plenty of stalking the nearly naked, there was plenty of blood, plenty of looking through the killer’s eyes, and, for about the first time, plenty of what would become so important exactly four years later: theme music.

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Look What the Cat Dragged In

the band

Don’t be afraid to embrace a song, or how it makes you feel. Remember the person you were when it touched you, or where you were — Brian Azzarello

At the end of December 2011, I finally read Robert McCammon’s A Boy’s Life. One of the more amazing reading experiences I’ve had—maybe I’d somehow known to save it for the month before I turned forty? Anyway, somewhere in it the grown-up narrator says how important it is to always keep listening to the new music, how that keeps you alive in a very important way, and then he goes on to list a lot of bands I’d never consider listening to.

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