display | more...
I awake at 3 am for no good reason,
pass water, drink water, return to the womb.
This anomalous event
startling the surveillance teams
into waking their superiors

Red telephones ring
as leaders of nations confide their long-held suspicions
Hurried ministers meet
Debates rage long into the night
back and forth across the slim facts of the case
trawling for significance

But over the following hours
the talks peter out
debated into inconsequentials
so that no trace appears
in the morning papers

Gary and I spent the weekend at a small convention in Indianapolis called Mo*Con, which is hosted by Maurice Broaddus. Mo*Con is unusual -- perhaps even unique -- because it's a convention for horror writers and horror readers that takes place in a church and focuses on the relationship between religious faith (including personal struggles with religion and anger against dogma) and writing horror fiction. The other panelists were Brian Keene, Chesya Burke, and Wrath White. The con basically came about because Maurice wanted his church group to see that horror writers aren't a bunch of blood-chugging Satanists. Also, there was a potluck dinner, which is not terribly common at conventions.

It was a good weekend; the panels were interesting and we got to spend time with friends we hadn't seen in a while. I don't subscribe to any religious faith (but am not an atheist) and nobody tried to convert me. I found it a lot more tiring than a regular con because we were always talking to or meeting people so you had to be "on" constantly. Also, since we were in a church, I kept my filters on so I didn't let fly with a casual "fuck" or "shit".

This is the last con we'll be doing for a while. We wanted to go to Dragoncon in August, but we're tired and have a lot of work to get done.

In other news, Gary got word from Leisure Books that -- in order to give readers a better overall picture of the interlinked plots in his Cedar Hill series-- his novels In Silent Graves and Keepers have gone into second printings and will hit shelves at the same time as Mr. Hands next month. This is very cool, since the 1st printings for each book were in the range of I think 36,000 copies or so. So, they've been selling pretty well.

In August of '08, his 4th Cedar Hill novel will come out ... it's entitled Coffin County and it's the prologue to the entire series of novels, short stories, and novellas. If he plays his cards right, he might even be able to convince Leisure to take a gamble on a Cedar Hill short story collection after Coffin County comes out.

So, I'm back in Orlando, Florida in case anyone asks. I have a place to stay until I get better situated and have begun reconnecting with friends. This process is somewhat amusing to me in that when I had moved back to New Hampshire a little more than two years ago my efforts to reconnect with old friends always tended to be interrupted by problems that arose. These were invariably tied to the abyss that formed and then tried to swallow me whole before my departure. Past lessons left unlearned lead us to repeat the mistakes we made, and I may have finally learned how one person can completely deconstruct and destroy another.

I've also managed to get something of a part time job while I continue searching for more regular employment, a situation I refuse to comment further on as the person who employs me was directed by someone else to read what I write here. This makes me cringe.

After accepting this job I swung down the road and returned to the place I call my church for a couple beers. I had not been there in nearly three years and the place felt as if it were filled with ghosts. My attention kept being drawn to the booth I sat in after my move to Orlando in the fall of 1997. That visit had been the second time I had gone to the infamous Chili's after my move and I had decided to sit in a booth by myself rather than at the bar. And it was then that Tina sat down in the booth across from me and proceeded to tell me her life story and everything that was causing her high levels of stress at that point in her life.

And then I started laughing, which drew attention to my otherwise quiet self, because I found myself wondering what time it was. And so, like old times, I looked in the bar mirror and read the backwards numbers on the reflection of the digital clock in the kitchen. What was funny about this is that the clock had been in a location where I could only read it in that way if I was sitting on the stool closest to the kitchen, and during events described in Ring of Fire I convinced them to move it to where I could read it from any stool at the bar. They moved it five or six times while I sat there shook my head, "No, still can't read it," until I finally nodded and said it was in the perfect spot. And it hasn't been moved since.

The ghosts that appeared in my mind's eye during this, combined with some encouragement I received last week from he who is known as iceowl, started my mind back towards the project I began and never really finished some ten years ago, the story of my experiences, what brought me to Florida originally and what happened during the incredible period of time from 1997-1999, which was given the title A Dead Guy Walks Into A Bar by my current muse Tammy. And as I was thinking about all this, the bartender dropped a glass on the floor, it hit the mats behind the bar and broke. One of the servers said, "Those mats don't really keep glasses from breaking, do they?" The timing was perfect, so I laughed and said, "They never have." Tammy the Muse gave up working behind the bar after breaking an intolerable number of glasses in the same fashion.

I just shrugged and said, "I have a long history with this place."

And then the bartender, seeing my second beer was empty, said, "You'll probably want one more to make it three, eh?"

"If you only knew."

Life, and magic, is where you look for it.

Rebuilding a mystery.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.