Author Archives: Chris La Tray

Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone

A month or two ago I decided I wanted to rethink this whole blog thing, and what I wanted to do with it. Well, part of that step was moving from this free version of a WordPress blog to my own hosted site. That work in process is at For now, all the original content — several years, in fact, the majority of which began life on a blogger site — is still here. Eventually I may move it over to the new location, I don’t know. But things are revving up to move forward, so if you are here, take a look at the new page. Most of the irrelevant, ridiculous stuff will still go up on my tumblr page. That might be worth a look, since the majority of it is just stuff I’m reblogging from other, more interesting people.




Blog Update

Still cranking away on updating what I want to do with this. I’ve set getting Julia’s updated DonkeyGirl website and store and all that as a priority first, though; made some good progress on that this weekend, and hope to have it live sometime in the next week. It will need tweaking after that, but it will at least be functional. Then I can turn more attention back to my own stuff.

A Bummer Weekend

It’s been a sad place around here for the last 24 hours after getting news that a friend of the family, Mike Davis, bassist for Detroit rock legends MC5, has passed away. Details can be found here on Huffington Post, as well as other places.

Angela Davis, Mike’s wife (and MC5 manager), is one of Julia’s oldest friends, so Julia has known Mike for many years. She’s been pretty upset, and I was choked up listening to her speak to Angela on the phone yesterday. In the last few years I got to know Mike and Angela as well, and they are some of the friendliest, warmest people I’ve gotten to meet. I was just relaying a story that happened at the Davis house to a friend the other night, which Mike detailed in a blog post called, “Repairman Narrowly Escapes Satanic Cult.” While they lived in Oregon Julia and I were fortunate to visit them a couple times.

The impact on the music world by the MC5, particularly as it relates to the rock music I prefer, cannot be measured. They were giants. Mike will be missed. I’m very sorry for Angela and their boys. I’ll miss talking music and bass playing, remakes and amp settings with Mike.

Short Stories

Week seven in my short story reading challenge continued unabated. Here’s what I read the past seven days:

  1. Out the Window by Lawrence Block from The Night and the Music (ebook) (02/12/2012)
  2. Battle for the Laughing City by Richard Godwin from Thrillers, Killers n’ Chillers (Online) (02/12/2012)
  3. Still Life With Skulls by Charles Gramlich from In the Language of Scorpions (Borgo) (02/12/2012)
  4. God’s Dream by Charles Gramlich from Strange Worlds (Space Puppet) (02/13/2012)
  5. The Great Divide by Shann Ray from American Masculine (Graywolf) (02/14/2012)
  6. The Black Widow Club by Hilary Davidson from Needle: A Magazine of Noir (Spring 2010) (02/14/2012)
  7. People in Hell Just Want a Drink of Water by Annie Proulx from Close Range (Scribner) (02/15/2012)
  8. Look Down, This Is Where It Must Have Happened by Hal Niedzviecki from Look Down, This Is Where It Must Have Happened (City Lights) (02/15/2012)
  9. Fort Apache by Alan Heathcock from Volt (Graywolf) (02/16/2012)
  10. Lazarus by Alan Heathcock from Volt (Graywolf) (02/16/2012)
  11. Love of Life by Jack London from The Great Adventure Stories of Jack London (Bantam) (02/16/2012)
  12. Schott’s Bridge by Donald Ray Pollock from Knockemstiff (Anchor Books) (02/17/2012)
  13. Nickels and Dimes by John A. Imani from Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail! (Switchblade Press) (02/17/2012)
  14. The Lady & the Gimp by Paul D. Brazill from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/18/2012)
  15. A Night at the Royale by Chris F. Holm from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/18/2012)
  16. Clouds in a Bunker by David Cranmer from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/18/2012)

American Falcon

The debut album is all mixed, and we mastered a couple songs to see how they sound. Sounds better than I ever would have expected. Artwork in process; this sucker should be out in March. I’m excited for people to (finally) get to hear it.


Here are three pictures (first two shot via iPhone, the third via Photo Booth; all processed via Instagram) to close this out; one from a hike last weekend in the desert, this one from yesterday cross-country skiing the Montana/Idaho border. And one that shows the brutal battle for desktop space. These make me happy. Except the desktop one.

Sunday Short Story Day

Had an excellent little mini-vacation to Arizona the last few days. Finalized some plans for how I intend to continue this blog that I’m kind of excited about. In the next couple few weeks I hope to relaunch it. I still post and repost various things on my Tumblr blog — mostly pictures — so keep an eye ever there if you care too.

In the meantime, I want to keep up with a couple things and this is still the best place to do that. My short story reading project is one of them. Here is what I read in the past week. Pretty heavy on the Daniel Woodrell stuff, as I took The Outlaw Album with me to finish. It was okay; I wish I hadn’t sprung for the hardcover edition. None of the stories really blew me away. I think I much prefer his novels by a wide, wide margin.

  1. Zed’s Dead, Baby by Eric Beetner from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/05/2012)
  2. Your Mother Should Know by Allan Guthrie from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/05/2012)
  3. Giganthomachy by Donald Ray Pollock from Knockemstiff (Anchor Books) (02/05/2012)
  4. The Thing Itself by Alethea Black from I Knew You’d Be Lovely (Broadway) (02/05/2012)
  5. How to Tell a Bird From Its Shadow by Ashley Rose Davidson from Whitefish Review (Issue #5) (02/06/2012)
  6. Taking the Long Way by Susan Ewing from Whitefish Review (Issue #5) (02/06/2012)
  7. Meltdown by Benjamin Percy from Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf) (02/06/2012)
  8. Swords of the Hills by Robert E. Howard from El Borak and Other Desert Adventures (Ballantine) (02/08/2012)
  9. Americca by Aimee Bender from Fantastic Women (Tin House) (02/08/2012)
  10. You Never Can Tell by Matthew C. Funk from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/09/2012)
  11. Night Stand by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/10/2012)
  12. Two Things by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/10/2012)
  13. A Whole Lot of Rosie by Nigel Bird from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/10/2012)
  14. The Horse in Our History by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/11/2012)
  15. Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/11/2012)
  16. Dream Spot by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/11/2012)
  17. One United by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/11/2012)
  18. Returning the River by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (02/11/2012)
  19. The Parker Panic by Michael Stackpole from Murderous Magick (Stormwolf) (02/11/2012)

The Susan Ewing story from The Whitefish Review was excellent. That is an outstanding little quarterly digest thing that I urge anyone who hasn’t heard of it to check out. I’d love to get something in there one day. I also loved Ben Percy’s “Meltdown” story as well.




I’ve decided I’m going to shut this blog down for a while. I think I need to rethink what I’m doing; it’s really not particularly fun anymore, and it’s a bit of a distraction. The decline to two or three regular commentors is proof it isn’t particularly interesting, and the only traffic I get and links being hit are people checking out images that aren’t necessarily what this is supposed to be about. So maybe I’ll restart it again at some point after a full reinvention, I don’t know. Thanks for checking it out. . . .


Super Snow Sunday

Spent the morning yesterday out putting in a few miles on snowshoes at the top of Lolo Pass. It was a gorgeous day, and the snow was perfect. There was also about twice as much of it as there was the last time we were there, just two weeks ago. I did a quick photo dump off both the camera and the cell phone, but didn’t do much to enhance them; I think they could be much better. They look cool in black and white as well, but color shows just how perfect a day it was.

At the Lodge

Some skiers just heading out

Obligatory trees against the sky shot

Julia makes her way up the hill

We met a couple coming down as we were heading out. They were excited by the view from the top, and the quality of the snow there. It was like piles of exquisite little crystals, all shattered into heaps that glittered in the sunlight. I tried to capture it on the camera, but didn’t really succeed. Still, the next couple images give you a little bit of an idea.

Snow crystals

More snow crystals

Finally, here are three shots filtered through Instagram.

Across the meadow

Intrepid Adventurers

Top o' the World


The pictures don’t really do it justice — it was just a fantastic outing. We may go up in the evening this weekend and do a moonlight hike. Hope we can pull it off. . . .