Blood of the Bean II Author Reading Schedule

Here’s the schedule for the author readings at Blood of the Bean II.  I hope you can make it.

5:00 ­ 5:15 Denise Broussard
5:15 ­ 5:30 Ethan Nahate
5:30 ­ 5:45 Frank Summers
5:45 ­ 6:00 Stina Leicht
6:00 ­ 6:15 D.B. Grady
6:15 ­ 6:30 Rhodi Hawk
6:30 ­ 6:45 Hank Schwaeble
6:45 ­ 7:00 Robert Stikmanz
7:00 ­ 7:45 Dear Lioness
7:45 ­ 8:00 Skylar White
8:00 ­ 8:15 Gabrielle Faust
8:15 ­ 8:30 Joe McKinney
8:30 ­ 8:45 Nate Southard
8:45 ­ 9:00 Lee Thomas


Blood of the Bean 2

I’ll be appearing for an author reading at Blood of the Bean 2 in Austin for the 2nd annual Blood of the Bean 2 author reading.

Here’s the official press release:

Aug 13, 2010 – AUSTIN, TX – For the second year in a row some of central Texas’ most intriguing authors will gather once again to share their recent work. From 5pm to 9pm at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin, Texas the thirteen writers will each perform fifteen minute dramatic readings from short stories to novel excerpts, that will be certain to chill the hearts and minds of all attending. Participating authors include Lee Thomas, Joe McKinney, Gabrielle Faust, Nate Southard, D. B. Grady, Ethan Nahate, Stina Leicht, Skyler White, Robert Stikmanz, Rhodi Hawk, Hank Schwaeble, Denise Broussard and Frank Summers. The wide variety of styles and influences from the collaborative of literary voices represents a distinct cross-section representation of the strength of today’s Texas writers in the horror and dark fantasy genres. All authors will have copies of their current and past work on hand for purchase and signing.

Blood of the Bean 2

“Wow!  Usually, one would have to visit the maximum-security wing of a state penitentiary to find so much imaginative energy dedicated to violence and mayhem gathered in one place.  Who could resist such a treat?” Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of “Damnable”

, replied when asked about his participation in the 2010 event.

“My original intention in the creation of the BLOOD OF THE BEAN event in 2009 was to give local dark genre authors an additional opportunity to reach a new audience they might otherwise not had access to. Kick Butt Coffee provides a relaxed, yet highly creative atmosphere that is conducive to facilitating the promotion of indie arts in Austin. The meshing of the horror/dark fantasy genres with an already integral venue was a natural fit and after a successful debut event, the demand was there, not only from the audience, but from the authors as well, to make it an annual gathering.” Remarked BBII founder Gabrielle Faust, author of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic vampire series “Eternal Vigilance”.

As aforementioned, BLOOD OF THE BEAN II will take place at Kick Butt Coffee on October 16, 2010 from 5pm to 9pm. 5775 Airport Blvd. More information on Kick Butt Coffee can be found at http://kickbuttcoffee.com/. Kick Butt Coffee not only serves some of the best coffee Austin has to offer, but also provides a full bar and limited, but delicious, food menu. Happy Hour is from 4:15pm – 7:15pm with $4 Mocha Martinis and $1.50 Lone Stars. As author Rhodi Hawk said herself, “Scary stories and mocha martinis! Witching season has gone civilized!” Or has it?

For more information on the thirteen participating authors:

Lee Thomas: http://www.leethomasauthor.com/
Joe McKinney: http://joemckinney.wordpress.com/
Rhodi Hawk: http://www.rhodihawk.com/
Hank Schwaeble: http://www.hankschwaeble.com/
Gabrielle Faust: http://www.gabriellefaust.com
Nate Southard: http://www.natesouthard.com/
D. B. Grady: http://dbgrady.com/
Ethan Nahate: http://nahteboy.tripod.com/
Stina Leicht: http://www.csleicht.com/
Skyler White: http://www.skylerwhite.com/
Robert Stikmanz: http://www.robertstikmanz.com/  
Denise Broussard: website coming soon!
Frank Summers: http://www.franksummers.com/


I hope to see you there!


Something Springs Eternal

[Title Goes here ]My story “Desolation Springs Eternal” will appear in Allegory, The Triannual Online Magazine of SF, Fantasy & Horror.

Also, I will be a guest at two upcoming conventions: SoonerCon and FenCon. Hope to see you there!


Great Pics from Amateur Astronomer Peter Shah

It is amazing to me the things a person can do by following their passions. Great Britain’s amateur astronomer Peter Shah has taken some amazing photographs of our universe from his garden shed.  

His set up set him back about 20,000 (that’s about $32,000 in USD)

He has some really amazing photos.  

The Leo Triplet The Pleiades M31-The Andromeda Galaxy

Check them all out at his web site and gallery.

Well done, Peter.


Oren Lavie’s “Her Morning Elegance”

Oren Lavie’s Her Morning Elegance video is quite a treat.   The music reminds me of a cross between Nick Drake and Michael Franks.  The video is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel’s Steamroller from the 80’s, rich with nonsensical imagery rendered by stop action photography.  The images are presented within the context of a young lady dreaming in bed.  Give it a watch, if you haven’t seen it.


Oren Lavie's "Her Morning Elegance"


White Christmas in Texas

We had a rare White Christmas in Texas! (Okay, the snow didn’t quite cover the the tops of the grass.)

Texas White Christmas

At least one of the dogs liked it:

Doggie likes Texas White Christmas

Merry Christmas!


Music of the Spheres

NASA put together a nice little “dance of the planets” video of Saturn’s moons as filmed by Cassini, put to the music of “The Nutcracker.”

Saturn's Moons

Merry Christmas!


Why I Write

Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac

I recently encountered this quote from Jack Kerouac. It pretty much sums up the reason I write:

I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down.
— Jack Kerouac


FenCon VI 2009

I had a great time at FenCon this year.  This makes the sixth year I’ve made it to FenCon.

Rather than give a complete blow-by-blow, I’m just going to hit the highlights.  I’m sure a lot happened that I won’t even touch on, since there are so many tracks to follow.

Writer’s Workshop

Keith R. A. DeCandido
Keith R. A. DeCandido

Conducting Writer’s
Workshop at Fencon VI

I had pretty much committed to myself that I wouldn’t do the writer’s workshop this year.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing them . . . I love doing them.  But the time commitment is fairly substantial.  If you’re in class with nineteen other writers, that’s nineteen critiques you have to do.  That’s a lot of crits.

But then I heard that Keith R. A. DeCandido was teaching the class, and that it was to be a series of lectures and question and answer sessions with no crits involved.  Count me in.  And I’m glad I attended.  Keith did a great job of covering the business side of writing.  And as he put it, he tried to cover the topics that no one else covers.  He did an excellent job.


Tom Smith
Filker Tom

The Filk presence at FenCon continues to be strong.  Carla Ulbrich was the musical guest of honor.  She’s always been one of my favorites.  She’s an excellent entertainer and performer.  Her hubby, Joe G performed also.  He’s technically dazzling, interjecting Michael Hedges-like two-handed tapping techniques, and his own brand of humor.  And Tom Smith was at his hilarious best.


I went to several panels, and they were all good.  Of special note was the “Endings” panel with C.T. Adams, Paul Black, Lois McMaster Bujold, Paul Cornell, and my friend Julia Mandala.  As the panel put it, lots of people hammer into our heads the importance of starting a story off with a bang.  But ending with a memorable ending that is surprising yet satisfying is a huge challenge and often overlooked.

The DIY Self-Promotion for Writers and Artists with Kurt Miller, Real Musgrave, Muff Musgrave, Gloria Oliver, Rie Rose, Steve Wedel, and Cat Conrad was excellent. I heard this same theme time and again at FenCon this year: There’s only one person in charge of your career: You. 

The main guests were great.  Paul Cornell is insane.  In a good way.  I also enjoyed Lois McMaster Bujold.  Her keynote address wasn’t a speech at all.  Right away she opened up the session to questions.  The audience kept her busy.  The session could have gone on for hours. 

One of my perennial favorites is the “Four Redheads of the Apocalypse
press conference, where Yard Dog Press writers, and friends, Linda L. Donahue, Julia S. Mandala, Dusty Rainbolt, and Rhonda Eudaly presented a press conference–in character–each of them portraying their character creations in FROTA.  The session was capped off by a visit from Selina (Satan) Rosen who maintained the force her evil will by threatening to punish the disobedient by making them eat barbecued marshmallows.

Selena (Satan) Rosen Linda (Bunny/War) Donahue
Rhonda (Death) Eudaly and Juli (Famine) Mandala Dusty (Pestilence) Rainbolt

R2D2 at FenCon VI
at FenCon VI

Of particular interest was the life-sized R2D2 showcased by Glenn Pipe from Dallas Personal Robotics Group.  R2D2 is a remote controlled robot that Glenn has been working on for many months.  It moves about and makes the endearing sounds of the “realthing.”  One really cool aspect of R2 is that he has an onboard camera and Wi-Fi that allows passers by to “tune in” with a personal device such as an iPhone, and see what R2 sees.  Glenn can also use an iPhone as a remote control for R2D2.  This is really cool stuff.

The thing that probably floated my boat more than anything was Howard Waldrop.  I caught “An Hour With Howard Waldrop” hosted by Brad Denton. 

Howard Waldrop at FenCon VI
Waldrop at FenCon VI

Stories (the spoken kind) flew as Brad and Howard regaled the audience with tales of days gone by.  During the session, Brad questioned Howard about the myths and legends of Howard Waldrop, and Howard debunked or affirmed them.  Brad recounted of having heard that some fans had seen Howard on an elevator at a con just minutes before he was to participate in a reading of his works.  Howard wrote studiously on a yellow legal pad.  Legend has it that when asked what he was working on, he told his fans that he was finishing the story he would be reading to his audience in a few short minutes.

I attended Howards reading on Sunday.  And sure enough, moments before his reading, I saw him seated in the hotel bar, writing in his yellow pads.  Later he confessed that he was notactually writing the story.  Rather he was transcribing it into larger print so he could see to read it.  Hearing Howard read was a real treat.

That’s it for this year.  I hope to see you at the next con.


From Another Life and Another Time

A quick note about posts older than March 22, 2006: These posts originally appeared in my first blog run under the moniker of MoonDawg.  Why a pseudonymn?  I couldn’t say for sure.  It just seemed a little safer . . . a little more fun. 

But I really enjoyed writing many of those posts, so I have decided to migrate them over to this blog.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. 

I recently took my moon-dawg.com blog site down, but you can see these posts in their original format here.