Sunday Short Story Day

Week five in the books. . . .

  1. In the Hard Nowhere by Chris Rhatigan from Watch You Drown (ebook) (01/29/2012)
  2. Padre by AJ Hayes from Pulp Ink (ebook) (01/29/2012)
  3. The Creation of Ice by Sandra Seamans from Pulp Ink (ebook) (01/29/2012)
  4. The Dame, the Doctor, and the Device by Chris F. Holm from A Rip Through Time (ebook) (01/13/2012)
  5. Scales by Louise Erdrich from The Red Convertible (Harper Collins) (01/30/2012)
  6. The Crawling Sky by Joe R. Lansdale from Son of Retro Pulp Tales (Subterranean) (01/30/2012)
  7. Sleep, Creep, Leap by Patricia Abbott from Damn Near Dead 2 (Busted Flush) (01/31/2012)
  8. Black Step by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (01/31/2012)
  9. The Shrewd Variant by Kieran Shea from Needle: A Magazine of Noir (Spring 2010) (02/01/2012)
  10. .44 Blues by Kent Gowran from Needle: A Magazine of Noir (Spring 2010) (02/01/2012)
  11. Countdown by Eric Beetner from Needle: A Magazine of Noir (Spring 2010) (02/01/2012)
  12. The Blood Bay by Annie Proulx from Close Range (Scribner) (02/02/2012)
  13. Pills by Donald Ray Pollock from Knockemstiff (Anchor Books) (02/02/2012)
  14. Battles, Broadswords, and Bad Girls by Charles Gramlich from A Rip Through Time (ebook) (02/03/2012)
  15. Chaos in the Stream by Garnett Elliott from A Rip Through Time (ebook) (02/03/2012)
  16. Darkling in the Eternal Space by Chad Eagleton from A Rip Through Time (ebook) (02/03/2012)
  17. Furlough by Alan Heathcock from Volt (Graywolf) (02/03/2012)
  18. The Final Painting of Hawley Exton by Chad Eagleton from A Rip Through Time (ebook) (02/04/2012)
  19. Zed’s Dead, Baby by Eric Beetner from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/05/2012)
  20. Your Mother Should Know by Allan Guthrie from Pulp Ink (ebook) (02/05/2012)
  21. Giganthomachy by Donald Ray Pollock from Knockemstiff (Anchor Books) (02/05/2012)

The highlights for me were the Louise Erdrich story, the Joe Lansdale story (amazingly, the first piece of his fiction I’ve ever read that I can recall!), and “The Blood Bay” by Annie Proulx, which was just a blast of a story to read. Also finished that A Rip Through Time ebook, which is well worth your time if you dig pulpy time travel stuff, written by some of the best in the business.



Photo Finish Friday

An Instagram Edition.

Thought I’d do something different and try posting some of the Instagram shots I’ve posted this week, since that has comprised the bulk of my photo messing around lately.


Photo Finish Friday is the brainchild of writer/blogger/world traveler Leah J. Utas.


Sunday Short Story Day

Week four, still going strong.

  1. Special Topic: Terrorism by Hal Niedzviecki from Look Down, This Is Where It Must Have Happened (City Lights) (01/22/2012)
  2. The Woods by Benjamin Percy from Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf) (01/22/2012)
  3. Pig Helmet & The Wall of Life by Pinckney Benedict from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/22/2012)
  4. An Orphan’s Tale by Jonathan Woods from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/22/2012)
  5. It’s Too Late, Baby by Annette Meyers from A Hell of a Woman (Busted Flush) (01/23/2012)
  6. The Sutton Pie Safe by Pinckney Benedict from Town Smokes (Ontario) (01/23/2012)
  7. Florianne by Daniel Woodrell from The Outlaw Album (Little Brown) (01/23/2012)
  8. Ballad of Larry Plank by Derek Nikitas from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/23/2012)
  9. Five Revelations Concerning Jenny L. As Told To Maura C. By A Compassionate Angel by Laura Benedict from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/24/2012)
  10. Falling Out Of Love by Larry Brown from Big Bad Love (Vintage) (01/24/2012)
  11. The Mud Below by Annie Proulx from Close Range (Scribner) (01/24/2012)
  12. Care of the Circumcised Penis by Sean Doolittle from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/24/2012)
  13. The Morning After by Jedidiah Ayres from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/24/2012)
  14. Underground Wonder Bound by Richard Thomas from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/24/2012)
  15. To Build a Fire by Jack London from The Great Adventure Stories of Jack London (Bantam) (01/25/2012)
  16. Hair’s Fate by Donald Ray Pollock from Knockemstiff (Anchor Books) (01/25/2012)
  17. Outside Lou’s by David Cirillo from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/25/2012)
  18. Everyone Grieves in a Unique Way by Anthony Neal Smith from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/25/2012)
  19. Big Artie by Malachi Stone from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/25/2012)
  20. Vampires are Pussies by Chris La Tray from Noir at the Bar (Subterranean) (01/25/2012)
  21. Peacekeeper by Alan Heathcock from Volt (Graywolf) (01/26/2012)
  22. Slippy for President by Steve Almond from The Best American Erotica 2005 (Touchstone) (01/26/2012)
  23. Good in a Crisis by Alethea Black from I Knew You’d Be Lovely (Broadway) (01/27/2012)
  24. Helper by Joseph Bruchac from Indian Country Noir (Akashic) (01/27/2012)
  25. The Killing by Benjamin Percy from Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf) (01/28/2012)
  26. Lusus Naturae by Margaret Atwood from McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories (Vintage) (01/28/2012)

I did more than two-a-day several days this week, because I wanted to wrap up reading that Noir at the Bar collection. Speaking of which, it was 2011’s #1 bestselling paperback at Subterranean Books in St. Louis, the store the collection was put together to benefit. That’s pretty cool. Another good indication that you should buy it if you haven’t already. Just sayin’. . . .

Read some great stories this week. That Annie Proulx story is probably the best story I’ve read all year. Which surprises me because she’s kind of hit and miss for my tastes. Ben Percy’s “The Killing” was the best of his I’ve read yet as well. That dude writes from a place I can relate to more than few other writers. Plus he seems to be a good dude.


Photo Finish Friday

The Ansel Adams Meets Easy Rider Edition.


This is a self portrait of yours truly from August of 2007 (damn, that’s almost five years ago!). It’s from Yosemite National Park. I was on a work trip in the Sierras and wrapped up early. Since I was so close to Yosemite and I had never been before, I took a vacation day to go check it out. It is as magnificent as it seems — impossible to describe, really. It’s good to be reminded that, for all my longing to see other places around the world, there is a lot of stuff right here in the USA that can put me on my knees.

I was reminded of it because the following video came across my Google reader today, courtesy of one of one of my favorite feeds, Vagabondish. Fire this sucker up and watch it in full screen. I literally found myself brought nearly to tears watching it, especially the night scenes with the stars and galaxies passing overhead.





The J.O.T. Film Festival, Day Four

Monday night was supposed to be Coens Night at the JOTFF. Things started off with a bang.

True Grit

Damn, I love this movie; liked it even more the second time around than I did when I saw it in the theater. Makes me realize just how much I really don’t like the original John Wayne version. Love the book though, which reminds me — need to read more Charles Portis.

Things to note:

  • The take Jeff Bridges has on Rooster Cogburn crushes Wayne’s take. Crushes it.
  • People gripe about Bridges’s garbled lines. I think it fits the character perfectly.
  • Matt Damon is perfect as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. Does Damon ever not deliver (no, I’m not going to test the answer to my own question by seeing We Bought a Zoo)?
  • Same goes for Josh Brolin. He almost saved that P.O.S. Jonah Hex movie (which would have been awesome if I’d been in charge).
  • Despite all I’ve said about the excellence of the veterans in the cast, young Hailee Steinfeld pretty much steals the show. What an outstanding job.
  • Love the cinematography too. The locations they used in Texas and New Mexico are gorgeous.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the world needs more new Westerns. What a great movie.


When it was over, I fired up Netflix, eager to watch Fargo. They don’t have it streaming. My disappointment was huge. So I thought I’d watch Blood Simple. They don’t have that one either! I was enraged. Thought about making a run to the video store, which would have necessitated putting some pants on. I looked at the clock and decided I’d just call it a night and read a goddamn book. When I talked to her over the phone as I was making this decision, Julia said I should watch Miller’s Crossing. Which would have been the smart thing to do. But I can’t have Julia making suggestions on what films should run during the J.O.T. Film Festival. Sometimes a man needs to take stand. Show “true grit” and all that.


Next up: X Night.