What The Living Forget…The Dead Will Remember

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The things crawl and caper and drag themselves from their Mother and emerge into the world and thus begins the Dead Age. The world sleeps as they rise but as dawn breaks screams chase the sun into the clouds as blood paints the streets. A man falls into wakefulness at the sound of something scratching at one of the doors. He rises from dark dreams and glances to the place his wife should be and his shoulders slump. Day one hundred and forty three. One more day in Hell. The scratching comes again and he turns his attention to the noise and heads towards the kitchen and the back door. As he passes through the kitchen he glances towards the wall clock and sees it is only six in the morning. He had been out of work for a while now and the last thing he wanted was to be waken up by some idiot with the wrong house. Paper boy. It had to be the paper boy. The man reaches the door and looks down at himself and sees that he is hanging free of his boxers so he tucks himself back in, straightens his undershirt, and unlocks and opens the door.

It’s Greg.

Jesus Christ it’s Greg.

His face is sunken, his eyes gone, and he is covered in dirt but it’s him. Oh god in Heaven it’s his little boy.

The man stumbles forward, tears streaming down his eyes. First it was the job, then Maggie left, and then his boy, his boy, his beautiful little boy had died. The man shook his head, he blinked his eyes but there, there was his boy. His boy was back. He’d come back to him. The man started to bawl and reached his arms out to Greg.

The boy wavered a moment, took one tentative step forward, then another, then third and he opened his mouth to speak and put out his own arms. The man smiles down at his son. The thing that had once been Greg pulled its arms back and then plunged its skeletal fingers deep into the man that had been and the man screamed as blood and gore spilled out across the thin arms of his boy. The man tried to pull away but was losing too much blood and he fell onto his knees and looked into his boy’s eyes and saw nothing. The man tried to scream but the thing’s teeth sank deep into his throat and blood washed across the boy and in another moment the man was gone and all that was left of him was meat for the thing and its friends as they made their way to the feast. 

CEMETERY EARTH

A Book Of The Living Dead

Red Re-Do 2 Red Re-Do 8 Red Re-Do 13 Red Re-Do 14

A Glimpse Of The Shadow

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   This is one of the many pictures I took today for the cover of A Shadow Over Ever. You get a feel for what I am aiming for, the general idea I was going for, without seeing the for real-real image I have chosen. I wanted something that evoked Pete Anders, the main character of the book. I wanted references to him because he is the heart of the book. He is the drive of it. I have really struggled for a long time on what to do with the cover – drawing, painting, photo – and whether I should have someone else do this or whether I should do it myself.

This is one of about thirty images I took but I have a rough idea which one I want to use. Some work to do on it but I think it’s a pretty solid image.

And yes, yes that is a cardboard tombstone.

1. Innovative baby. And cheap. That’s me, innovative and cheap.

Also…

2. Pete’s headstone was made of Styrofoam so I figure this is a nice tribute to that, as well as just looking weird.

So there you go…a brief peek before the book hits this Summer. The thought is to release in August with a Flint release party to launch it.

For now…

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Motorcity Nightmares 2011 – In Pictures

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www.meepsheep.com

What Wasn’t Used…

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When you start out with any sort of project you have a million ideas, a thousand plans, a hundred notions, and about a half dozen things that come through and Red Dreams follows that track completely.

As usual I went through a few ideas on the name but this time around Red Dreams really stuck with me. I liked the way it evokes a type of dreaming, and seems to pull together the notion of being haunted in your dreams. I think we all have the dreams that are not just bad but are literally haunted, where we are followed by the things that chase us, our fears real and imagined. With the name came the idea for the cover, which was to show a bloody hand clutching some bedsheets. I have been drawing the covers for my books and chapbooks and ‘zines since I began this crazy journey and stepping out of my comfort zone was important to me. I love drawing the covers but I really wanted to try something different. With the cover I wanted to convey the throes of terror you have in the Red Dreams and what it is like to have them follow you out, into the real world. For a moment, for a second you think that you are surrounded by all the monsters of the world and that everyone you love is dead. For that moment you are alone. That is the cover I wanted. I sketched out the initial ideas and tried a few times to solidify it but was too worried that my lack of conventional drawing skills would limit the power of the cover and the cover HAS to pull you in. If the cover doesn’t work then the people don’t move past that. So the cover has to work. Which is why I went with the photo. It’s my sincere hope that the cover works. I love it. I love it to pieces. The rest, the rest is all the frosting that I have to get working on – the promo work and all that. But the book, the book, as sudden as it came together there was a plan. There is always a plan. And the plans will be revealed, inch by inch by inch.

Next, well, next friends comes the release, but before that, some teases.

Today comes the other art. The photos that were not used. Amanda was very, very patient with  me as I poured fake blood all over her hand and posed her and took my shots. So here are the shots that were not used, one that was, and what we ended up with.

And Now I Shall Give You…RED DREAMS

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So here it is, the new book and the new cover. I edited it and layed it out myself first and then did the cover and…was told by wiser people that it needed some work. With the help of Amanda Emery and Marcus Bieth I was able to really nail this thing and really like how it came together. So happy. The book is another dark collection of stories and is 214 pages. I am still working out the price but will get all the details to you when I post the link for purchase. The book is getting approved so hopefully that will happen soon.

WOO!

 

 

New Art and Another Fun Event is Over

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The year is winding down and as it does, so do the events I am in. This past weekend I did the second Books and Authors event put on by Leon & Lulu’s down in Clawson, Michigan. Leon & Lulu’s is a fun and funky furniture and knick knack store set up in an old roller rink. It’s hard to sum up what they sell exactly other than to say…a little of everything. This year’s event was another well run machine with even more authors than last year (double I think) and just as much energy. I only sold a couple books but it’s hard to complain when there’s free snacks, energetics staff and authors surrounding you, and you get to sit on a terribly comfy couch all day. I spent most of the day chilling on the couch with the lady but managed to snap a few fun pics of the store. You’ll also find my newest painting. Acrylic on canvas and such.

Service Street Fair 2010

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A couple weeks back I was able to take part in this year’s Service Street Fair down in Detroit. This is a small fair that takes place just as Fall is beginning down a side street near Detroit’s Farmer’s Market. The street is home to a lot of artists and indie scene folks and both years I have done the show were fun. Sadly this year, like last, had pretty rotten weather, which kept people away but it was still a good time. You have to love and admire people putting these small shows together for the sheer love of it. Good music, great people, and lot of talented people and it was a pleasure to be out there, despite nearly freezing to death.

Oh The Places I Have Been…

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And by going places I mean that I have been to Flint and Detroit. HAHA. Here are some belated pictures I took recently.

Some are from Flint’s Back to the Bricks , our huge car cruise/show to honor the love affair with the automobile. The second batch of pictures are from The People’s Arts Festival. Nothing really artsy here, just fun stuff I took.

The Book Bizarre That Was…

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I have been putting together and helping to put together events for a few years now and you never, ever get over the sheer shock and joy of seeing an event come together successfully. And sure, part of that is the pure ego of HA, WE DID IT but just as big is the fact that out of nothing you created something. The Book Bizarre rose out of the notion of three Flint writers that it was easier to work together to promote our books than it was to try to do it all alone. And from that alliance grew this event. Author Dangerous Lee had done what writer Glen Birdsall and myself couldn’t – and that was to book a local art gallery for a book event. After she booked it, Dangerous felt it might make more sense for the three of us to work together on an event there and make it a true event and me, always wanting to make these things bigger, figured the more the merrier and brought up the idea of adding more writers to the event, a notion they both took to immediately.

The way this all came together happened very quickly because we booked a month out so we had scant time to promote it and to get people set up for it. With a brilliant flier from friend and designer Eric Lillieberg we were able to get the word out there and slowly but surely we booked our guests. The cherry on top was a last minute television interview I did thanks to my girlfriend, miss Mandie Emery, on a local news broadcast and then came the event. As I said, it’s always pretty amazing when you work all those hours putting together, promoting, then setting up and event and when it is a success it’s a fantastic feeling. We had our hiccups – some silly hangups the venue had during our event, some authors that were there solely for themselves, and a guest we had not booked but who the venue told could just ‘come out and set up’ – all in all though, it was a pretty smooth running event. Astoundingly so. We were just flying by our butts with an idea how we were doing it but nothing set in stone so when it came together, when people came out, when people didn’t hog the mic and abuse it, when we didn’t have any outright rude guests, well those are all small miracles. And if you can walk away saying that it was a good event and that people had fun, then there’s little more you can ask for.

There is more that I can say though.

Wow, sometimes you forget how many talented writers and poets we have in the Flint area but events like the Book Bizarre really serve to remind you that they are out there. We had such strong, passionate performers and storytellers. We had such good work. It is a shame that more events like this are not happening here and it’s my hope that we can do this next year and can take what we learned and make it an even stronger event. It is always a drag when you do see the artist or writer that comes to these events, brings nothing but themselves and their stuff, and they are there solely for themselves. It sucks because events like this are all about community and building a community, and when you don’t take part in that you really are hampering yourself. It really shows too because these are the people always about self promotion and about the sale, so much so that it seems to hurt the integrity of the work. Thankfully that was a limited aspect of the show and everything was a success. I owe so many thanks to so many people, my partners in this, my friends that helped out, the performers and authors, the audience, to everyone who supported us. It was truly a night that made you happy to be a writer and happier still to be part of a community that will support them.