Sunday, April 18, 2010

Truefax of the Morning

Please think of the environment before you begin publishing.
(Via Al Dorantes, Via Very

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sleigh Bells at SXSW

Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells plays Carniville at SXSW. Expect the rest of my reporting from SXSW to post soon.

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

There was a lull in the television watching last night, so I took up a book as I am often wont to do. The Reverend peeked curiously.

"What's that?"

"Oh. Um. Well. It's called Mr. Darcy's Diary and it's...hmm. I guess it's Pride and Prejudice re-imagined from Darcy's point of view."

"So, it's Austen fan fic." Rev cuts to the point very easily.

"Well," I hedged. "Not really. I suppose not? It's..."

"...Austen fan fic."

He's right. I didn't want to admit it, though, and tried the very tenuous argument that it was published. It wasn't just on somebody's blog. Weak and untrue. Just because I was holding it in book form didn't excuse that it was a story based on characters previously created by a different author.

Fan fic.

I hadn't meant to read it. I often found myself in front of the shelves at Barnes & Noble, staring at a neat and offensive line of books using Darcy, his dear Elizabeth, and their cohorts. There's been something of a boom. I didn't cave until now. I read an excerpt, I wanted more.

I used to be very bothered by the idea of someone sullying beloved characters with their own twist; it's imposing on the original author's voice. But when I was MUCH younger, I realize that I didn't feel the same. Some of my first pieces were weak ass Stephen King ripoffs (including an epic sequel to IT...the person that I collaborated with this on knows who she is).

This is all leading to the question I pose to you now: is it okay for me to be enjoying fiction?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

National Poetry Month's National Poetry Month (and today is Edna St. Vincent Millay's birthday). I do like to celebrate the much maligned medium of poetry in small ways every year.

This time around, I was kindly referred by Marley Magaziner to an email poetry list run by Geraldine Doetzer. She does a poem a day in April and has featured some really great stuff this time around: Margaret Atwood being my favorite. If you want to get on the list, let me know and I'll pass your email along. There's not much of an April left, but Geraldine does this annually.

And then:

I haven't written a poem in quite some time. Some of the first words I wrote on paper were "poetry," as I sure was the case with a lot of writers. It's immediate, it's accessible, if you're not concerned about style you can simply play the "free-form" card. Since then, I have worked in every other medium I could find to avoid poetry. I was really really scared of it, but I did it anyway. It's called, in honor of that, "A Brave Act."


I’ve become afraid of poetry,
afraid to even start,
sure that I will be too confessional,

Too afraid of putting more words
(real words, not a quip)
into the http://pool.of.information
dot universe.

And I’m afraid of time, too,
when scrawling on the bus,
afraid of wet, sideways eyes
though I used to be so brave about this.

It has become so much easier to consume.
Even now, I scan the input for something to process.

This constant consumption
leads to swelling,
which leads to bursting.

Then. The incoherent mess
of the exploded content.
The mutual gaze of the abyss is
this immediate access to each other.

(A note here:
it’s even easier to regurgitate
than consume!
Dangerously deceptive indeed!)

Contact without
all the messiness of contact.

“You get out much?”
the bus driver asks me.
“It depends,” I say
but I do not finish the sentence:
“It depends on what I want people to think
what actually happens.”

I think of eyes reading this
and I am anxious.

I have done everything to avoid poetry
in every medium available to me;
yet I still dream of Ernest Dowson,
hunted down by the letter ‘v.’

Monster Island Cover Preview

Here's the cover of the comic jam book we'll be premiering at this month's Pittsburgh Comicon (April 23-25). Three writers, three artists, one huge story.

Online ordering will be available after the convention, I'll update here with a link.

Writers: Rich Bernatovech, Al Dorantes, and Kristin Ross
Artists: Rey Arenzo, Jamie Fay, and Michael Wood

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Magic everywhere in this bitch."

Last night, at a friend's gallery opening for her photography studio, I saw this video over the shoulders of her husband and my fiance. They were hunkered over an iPhone, one earbud each, immersed in what was on the screen.

"Um, is that ICP?" I asked. They're not the sort of fellows that you would expect to see sharing headphones to take some time out and watch Violent J.

Since I just watched a bit of it, with no sound, my initial reaction was that Insane Clown Posse has a bigger video budget now and the white outfits were a bold choice.

Today I find that it's making the rounds on the Internet, so I watched it with sound. I now understand why they were so transfixed at the gallery last night.

Do take a few moments and watch this. It's ICP, so I hope you'd intuit that it's NSFW. In my opinion, it goes on about a minute too long, so when the instrumental fade out begins in earnest it's fine to just stop. This is about the WORDS.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Just a buncha profanity."

Yesterday, on the incline (my public transporation and a Pittsburgh tourist draw), I was trapped in a car with four other people. Two of them were your standard frat boys. Maybe they fancied themselves skater boys, I can't tell anymore. The line is blurred.

But I digress.

I had my headphones on, but my iPod was paused. I often use this technique to eavesdrop on conversations, but this time I was the subject of the conversation.

"Her pin says she killed Amanda Palmer," Boy 1 observes, looking at my bag. He's referencing my 'I Killed Amanda Palmer' pin from her first solo album.

"Yeah, that girl from Twin Peaks?" Boy 2 asks. This is a fairly good guess, as things go. I'm kind of impressed.

"Nah, I think it's something else. Look it up on your iPhone."

Boy 2 complies. Type, type, type.

"So?" Boy 1 demands.

"I dunno," Boy 2 says, puzzled. "It's just a buncha profanity."

Priceless. The icing on the cake? Boy 1 shakes his head sadly and comments, "I don't get it. Why don't we know stuff like that?"

I don't know, Boy 1. Why don't you?