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Con Report: ReaderCon 25 in Burlington, MA


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

First off, something that has nothing to do with anything:

I FOUND AN INDUSTRIAL DANCE PARTY IN DES MOINES! And it is happening THIS WEEKEND!

Boo and yah.

Secondly, I’m HOME! In the past two weeks I went from Iowa to Massachusetts to Chicago to Detroit to Iowa.

Weirdest thing I saw on my way to ReaderCon 25 in Burlington, MA? This sign:

rabbits dead or alive

Recreation of Pennsylvania Sign

Best thing about my drive to ReaderCon 25? M-EFFin AUDIOBKS! I listened to John Waters’ Carsick, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, and Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin – all on the way to ReaderCon…because it is a damn long drive from Iowa to Massachusetts.

And and AND, holy crap, the Pope of Filth still has it, because Carsick made me laugh so hard I thought a clown was climbing out of my mouth. It’s John Waters’ account of hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco. Divided into three sections – a novella on the best that his trip could go, a novella on the suckhole worst it could go, and then the nonfiction account of what happened for reals…talk about interstitial. If you dig handjobs in derby cars, Connie Francis fantasies, and beautiful warped worldviews, this book is for you. It is vulgar, hilarious, and has everything from stick-and-poke tattoos to philanthropic weed moguls. You absolutely need to listen to it on audiobook – John Waters narrates it.

rosemary's baby gifThe Colorado Kid was pretty damn good. But…Rosemary’s Baby? WOW. I’d only ever seen snippets of the movie…and the book…the book is RAD. SO RAD. The story of a woman who doesn’t know she is carrying the son of Satan, this book could’ve gone cheeseball – but it wasn’t. Ever. It was on the level and the ending is legitimately unsettling. Ugh. Seriously. I feel gross thinking about the ending. I don’t know how I would feel about it in print, but via audiobook, the story was heightened by the narration of MIA FARROW. Yep, she who played the lead in the 1968 film adaptation. <3

BUT…none of that has to do with ReaderCon.

WHICH WAS AWESOME!

ReaderCon is a favorite con of mine. I know SO MANY PEOPLE! It’s getting together for a massive hugfest with a few dozen folks I don’t get to see, but once a year and then there’s PANELS! and READINGS! to boot.

Here’s the rundown of what I saw this year.

Day 1: Thursday, July 10th, 2014
8 p.m. – Erik Amundsen: A Reading

Do you know Erik Amundsen? You should. Check him out here and here and here!

9 p.m. – Theatre and the Interrupted Ritual with C.S.E. Cooney, Greer Gilman, Andrea Hairston, and Ken Schneyer

Dissecting the import/magic that can be created in both daily life and on the stage when routine becomes ritual…just frikkin wow. Loved this panel.

Day 2: Friday, July 11th, 2014
11:30 a.m. – C.S.E. Cooney: A Reading

Guess who was in another Year’s Best anthology? C.S.E. Cooney. You should READ HER!

PLUS! She has a new ebook out. DIG IT!

witch in the almond tree by cse cooney

A rad witch romance by C.S.E. Cooney

1 p.m. – Gwynne Garfinkle: A Reading

Anyone who writes Universal movie monster poems has me in her corner forever. LOVE YOU, GWYNNE!

1:30 p.m. – Caitlyn Paxson: A Reading

GAH! Caitlyn Paxson read an excerpt from her unpublished, YA novel about a group of friends trying to save one of their crew from an underworld. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

2 p.m. – The Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Hall with Tempest Bradford, Ellen Kushner, Sofia Samatar, and Delia Sherman

What the hell is interstitial art? Think of it this way, if a house party was raging and each of the rooms was taken up by a genre – sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, contemporary lit, etc. – the interstitial art is the raccoons partying in the walls between all of them.

Check out Interfictions – the leading (print and online) journal of fiction, nonfiction, and art that bleeds through genre lines.

4 p.m. – The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours

I LOVE MY FRIENDS!

The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours are a trio of writers and musicians including C.S.E. Cooney, Amal El-Mohtar, and Caitlyn Paxson. Their live performances are filled with storytelling, music, poetry, and theatrical readings. Currently, they are working on an album and book (tentatively) called Ballads From a Distant Star…to boil it down, it’s a collection of music and poetry based on the idea of what if old time folk music was created out of alien abduction tales?

I had the honor of being a guest reader in the performance, as did the fabulous Nicole Kornher-Stace. She read from her novel Archivist Wasp (upcoming from Small Beer Press) and I read from There Is No Lovely End.

*

After dinner at a Chinese joint and random shenanigans with friends, there was an Ellen Kushner-created Impromptu Song and Story Circle! Folk songs! Hella rad readings! I was able to hear the work of Carlos Hernandez – who frikkin slayed me with a story of a reanimated Fidel Castro. I heard Viking tunes, murder ballads, sorrowful songs…and, people, I did something I never do. Ever. I sang. Because I wanted to share something of myself with all these people who were sharing themselves, some of whom I knew, some I didn’t. I sang Cock Sparer’s “We’re Coming Back.” There was something completely fitting about singing a tune about holding on till the next time you get to see your friends with a room full of likeminded folks I get to see only once a year. And the room didn’t sink into a hellpit or explode, so I guess it went ok.

Day 3: Saturday, July 12th, 2014
12 p.m. – New Models of Masculinity with Erik Amundsen, John Benson, Kameron Hurley, Catt Kingsgrave, and Bart Leib

Good talk on creating male characters that don’t symbolize oppression in all its given forms. Badass.

1 p.m. – The Shiny, Candy-like Zombi with Dale Bailey, Scott Edelman, Catt Kingsgrave, John Langan, and Sarah Langan

Why the hell are we all still attracted to zombie stories? God only knows. Only got to see half of this panel and wished I had saw more.

1:30 p.m. – Sofia Samatar: A Reading

Have you read A Stranger in Olondria yet? You should. Hey look. Buy it here.

2 p.m. – Nicole Kornher-Stace: A Reading

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Read Nicole Kornher-Stace. Read Nicole Kornher-Stace. Read her. Look to Small Beer Press for further details.

3 p.m. – Dark Fantasy and Horror with Jeanne Cavelos, Ellen Datlow, Gemma Files, Jordan Hamessley, Jack Haringa, and Steve Rasnic Tem

Is there a difference between dark fantasy and horror? If so, what is it? The best distinction that I thought came out of this panel is that horror sets out to cause dread or terror. Dark fantasy sets out to use elements of horror as worldbuilding. Re: Near Dark is different in tone and purpose than say…Twilight. Near Dark seeks to cause unease through vampires that will dance to the Cramps and eat your face off. Twilight seeks to cause sexual tension (not scare tension) through a vampire/human relationship.

6 p.m. – Ken Schneyer: A Reading

Fucking eh. Love me some Ken Schneyer. He is gd hysterical. You. Must. Read. Him.

6:30 p.m. – The Works of Mary Shelley with F. Brett cox, Gwynne Garfinkle, Adrienne J. Odasso, and Diane Weinstein

I don’t know much about the life of Mary Shelley. This made me want to read a bit more about her.

7 p.m. – John Langan: A Reading

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I can’t wait to read everything that John Langan has ever written.

7:30 p.m. – Glen Hirshberg: A Reading

And damn, Glen Hirshberg read a helluva creepy vampire tale. I dig it.

Day 4: Sunday, July 13th, 2014

…I left early.

I know! I know! I missed Ellen Kushner, Gemma Files, and Sonya Taaffe readings! But  I had to get through at least 4 hours of my drive on Sunday. Nicole Kornher-Stace and I drove to her place.

And.

And.

My car did quite fine for the 4 hour drive from ReaderCon to her town. But then, of course, we get off the highway and my breaks are all like GROAN OF A THOUSAND MOANING GEAR GODS. It sounded like I ran over a metal stegosaurus and was dragging his fatass down the road. Not. Good. So we left my car at a Midas with a voicemail begging them not to tow it, that I would, indeed, be there in the morning to talk about what work it needed, and then phoned Nicole’s husband to pick us up.

Ugh. I spent the rest of the night praying to Eris that whatever was wrong was an easy fix, in-stock, and cheap.

Which it ended up being at least two out of three. My bank account is still whining from the exertion. BUT! It was only the breaks on one side. It got fixed and I was able to leave midday from New York for Chicago…about an 11 hour drive.

Which I did.

But I’ll save that for my next recap…TALES OF A BOOK LAUNCH!

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Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

I did it.

It took gut-churning grit and determination, but I did it. I published my first novel, There Is No Lovely End. <—- See what I did there? I LINKED TO WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT! What? You can buy my book? SO WEIRD! I am used to seeing it in a stack of ratty, coffee-ringed papers on my desk. Now it’s all bound and beautiful.

Note: I should say…I didn’t publish this book. The curmudgeons over at Odd Rot did. Odd Rot is a small press “…located in the crumbling remains of a curio emporium next door to a gentleman’s club, across the street from a graveyard.” It is run by two bookworms who specialize in macabre and peculiar fictions. I have never met them. I do not even know their names. They refused to tell me what else they have published – if anything at all. The closest contact I ever made with the pair was traipsing knee-deep in debris (shattered pickled punk jars, rotting miniature books on embalming, bone frame fragments, etc.) and seeing a Nosferatu-esque shadow on the wall reading a book. It skittered away once I called over to it. The only reason I signed with their press was because I received a letter (written in an unidentifiable, brown, chunky liquid on large, yellow leaves) stating, and I quote,

If you do not publish your first novel with Odd Rot, your coffee will furthermore smell of manure, your personal library will fox and turn to ash, and your pen will be stalled – unless writing about modern baseball.”

They also flattered me immensely and sent a raccoon jawbone necklace in the post. So here we are.

Know what makes a pretty book prettier? When you put a BONE ON IT!

cover there is no lovely end

Photo Credit: Chris Cahill

In additional news!

Hear ye, hear ye, I HAVE A BOOK TRAILER! Done by the Fantastic! Patient! And Astounding! Rule2 Productions. With music by The Goddamn Gallows! What? You love the Gallows? ME TOO! Check it:

And if all that weren’t enough to give a gal a grand grin…I AM GOING ON TOUR!

OK, just a mini-tour…but, hey, if you are around Boston, Detroit, or Chicago come say hello. Here’s my schedule the next two weeks:

July 10 – 14, 2014
ReaderCon, Burlington, MA

Friday, July 11th, 4 p.m. – The “Inspire” room – I will be guest reading with the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours.

 

July 16, 2014
There Is No Lovely End Book Release Party

Lizard’s Liquid Lounge, 7 – 10 p.m.
Chicago, IL

 

July 17 – 20, 2014
DetCon1, Detroit

Friday, July 18th, 4 – 8 p.m. – Artists/Author Alley Table in the Ontario Exhibit Hall – I will be chatting and selling my book.

Saturday, July 19th, 11 a.m. – Nicolet A – Econ 101 of Self-Publishing Panel

Saturday, July 19th, 3 p.m. – Joliet A – Join Elwin Cotman and myself for a reading!

Saturday, July 19th, 5 p.m. – Nicolet A – Science Fiction and Heavy Metal Panel

…and then…somewhere around the 7/24 I have a private bookclub event. And then… THEN! I will rest on July 25th. It will be grand. I will READ A BOOK! Not my own. Someone else’s. Perhaps, I’ll finally get to read the Long Hidden anthology.

But now…now I EAT CHIPS!

OH! WAIT! One last thing.

I HAVE A ZAZZLE STORE! Click the pic below to get there.

TOPHAT-01

(I will also have limited merch [possibly even cheaper] on my mini-tour. Hit me up live!)

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Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

As of the beginning of June…I AM IN IOWA!

…or that is not completely correct. The first week that I lived in Iowa, I was actually in Branson, Missouri.

Digression:

I went to Branson, Missouri with several amazing friends. Keywords: lakehouse, horror movies, fake meatloaf, boat rides, adorable puppies, badass friends, Mexican food, creepy Victorian shops, junk shops w/ epic, vintage postcards for 10 cents, ranch soda, wax museum. All of these things happened and more. Here was the trip to Branson in a peck of pictures:

pyro city gas station sign

rabbit statue at a junk shop  ranch and bacon soda. gross. dulcimer finger pointing sign patty templeton and frankenstein

MAIN STORY THREAD!:

Ok…back to reality. I AM IN IOWA! I’m staying in a cozy town about an hour outside of Des Moines. There’s an Irish pub called the Fiddle and Whistle that is phenomenal. There’s a pizza parlor called Zeno’s which has the best pizza…ever. Like EVER. They use provolone and I LOVE THEIR TACO PIZZA! Full disclosure: I would still believe these two businesses to be the best in town, even if my friends didn’t own them.

Speaking of these two friends, me and my professor are staying with his longtime friends for about three months. After that, well, we either stick around Iowa or shuffle on to another adventure town. For now, I’m hella digging Iowa. I still get my music fix with Des Moines (re: I saw the GD Gallows on Friday and the Calamity Cubes are coming up July 3rd). There is a gorgeous library. And…I am getting shit done.

Which leads me to…

MY BOOK IS ALMOST OUT! I think I will be able to go live with There Is No Lovely End by July 1st. Which is hella solid because there are two writing conventions in July (ReaderCon in Boston and DetCon1 in Detroit). I want to handsell the hell outta this thing. I have a guest-spot reading at ReaderCon with the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours and I’m all over programming at DetCon1.

See, look…here is a proof of the book:

patty templeton's book there is no lovely end

SO RAD!

conan excited gifAnd I’m working on merch! I have a limited supply of mugs, tote bags, a plentiful amount of buttons, stickers, and postcards that are going to be happening soon.

Everything is firming out and I’m epic excited.

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Con Report: WisCon 38 in Madison, WI


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

Recap Post 2…FIRE!

…Remember how, about a month ago, I freaked the hell out because I was on panels at WisCon? Well, I made it. I am still breathing, and shit went pretty well.

* * *

WisCon is the world’s leading feminist sci-fi and fantasy convention. It is a writers’ con, but you don’t have to be associated with the publishing world to attend. Every year, I meet plenty of librarians or booklovers who go because they like how it challenges their thinking and expands their to-read lists.

I’ve gone for the past five years. Each year my brain gets bigger because of it.

I’ve always read fiction at WisCon, but never spoke professionally on panels…until this year.

Holy shit.
It’s like I’m a real writer.
People actually paid attention to the things coming out of my mouth.
It was…terrifying…and invigorating.

I spoke on three panels and had one reading. Easiest way to get this done is to list out what I attended. So BOOM! That’s how it’s getting done.

Friday
2:30 – 3:45: The Once and Future Badass
Medieval People of Color, Kate Bachus, Victoria Janssen, Madeleine E. Robins, and ME!

This was my first panel. We talked about women who went to extremes to get shit done throughout history. The women I mentioned were:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the godmother of rock and roll who inspired Chuck Berry
Ada and Minna Everleigh: who owned the most luxurious, employee-friendly brothel in Chicago history
Hazel Ying Lee: the first Chinese American woman to fly for the U.S. Air Force
Nellie Bly: investigative reporter who went around the world in 72 days in 1888

Totally loved my other panelists. It was a great conversation that taught me about awesome women like Khutulun (the Monogolian, wrestling princess) and Ching Shih (a pirate queen of the 19th century that bent an emperor to her will).

4:00 – 5:15: Damsels of Color
Michelle Kendall, Andrea D. Hairston, De Ana Jones, Mary Anne Mohanraj

This panel dealt with stereotypes women of color face in both print and visual media. Hella lively, damn funny, and it made me put Hairston and Mohanraj’s books higher on my to-read list.

9:00 – 10:15: Spindles and Spitfire: A Reading
Lisa Bradley, Gwynne Garfinkle, Shira Lipkin, and ME!

Oh man, oh man, Oh MAN! Shira Lipkin killed it. I read an early chapter from my novel, There Is No Lovely End. Lisa Bradley read from an unreleased novel that is an updated Mad Max tale with a female lead. Gwynne Garfinkle read poetry revolving around classic horror characters…and I can’t wait till it’s a collection. I will buy the shit out of that book. It was an AWESOME reading.

Saturday

8:30 – 9:45: The Role of POC in Urban Fantasy
Jackie Gross, Victoria Janssen, Mia Coleman, Daniel José Older

C.S.E. told me, “YOU MUST READ DANIEL JOSÉ OLDER!” And I was like, eh, I will get to him eventually. She glowed about his short story collection, Salsa Nocturna. I put it on my stack…but that stack is so big, right? And now I’m like POW! I must read Daniel José Older. Dude’s brilliant and he happened to be on about a thousand panels I wanted to see.

This panel asked “How urban can fantasy be when it centers on white/white-passing leads with POC who appear largely as plot devices or servants to white leads?” It talked about erasure of POC from settings that are supposed to be highly diverse. Badass.

10:00 – 11:15: Cultural Appropriation: Non-western Viewpoints
Kat Tanaka Okopnik, Jaymee Goh, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Daniel José Older, Diantha Sprouse

This was an excellent panel dissecting power and oppression. It was an intense, occasionally humorous global perspective of Western culture as a colonizing influence.

***Seriously, Mary Anne Mohanraj and Daniel José Older…they are both in my next 10 books pile. For reals.

Side note: If I had to narrow down my book pile into the 10 I really want to read NOW…It would be:

  1. Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older
  2. Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older
  3. The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
  4. Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea D. Hairston
  5. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  6. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
  7. Black by Design: A 2-Tone Memoir by Pauline Black
  8. Graceland by Chris Abani
  9. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
  10. The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt by David Giffels

1:00 – 2:15: Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, the Panel
Lisa Bolekaja, S. Lynn, Sunny Moraine, Daniel José Older

…I feel as if there were more panelists than the official program book states. Apologies to those not listed.

Do you get the pattern yet? Anything to do with Daniel José Older is going to be rad. He and Rose Fox were the editors of Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Those on the panel spoke about their pieces in Long Hidden and what it meant to dig up stories from untold points of view.

I need to buy this book. While at the panel I heard about everything from a menstruation brothel story to Medusa’s untold tale. I WANT THIS BOOK!

2:30 – 3:45: Cities-in-Progress: A Reading
David Edison, Ellen Kushner, Daniel Jose Older, Caroline Stevermer

All of these authors. I want to read more of ALL OF THESE AUTHORS.

4:00 – 5:15: Welcome to Night Vale: The Panel
Juliana, Megan, Ty Blauersouth, Joanna Lowenstein, and ME!

My second panel! And I survived. Everyone was fabulous. We talked about diversity in Night Vale, the intense fan community surrounding Night Vale, and the horror tropes used or subverted within the show. Booyah.

Sunday

8:30 – 9:45: Beyond Christianity: Rituals and Religions in Speculative Fiction
Jonna Gjevre, Alex Bledsoe, Holly McDowell, Corkey Sinks

There is not much that can get me out of bed for an 8:30 a.m. panel. I mean, it’s gotta be great folks…and Holly McDowell and Alex Bledsoe got me out of bed. If you haven’t read either of them, GET ON IT!

10:00 – 11:15: Outrageous Women of the 19th Century
Cynthia Gonsalves, Beverly Friend, James P. Roberts, Georgie L. Schnobrish, and ME!

This panel was more presentation than conversation. The other panelists had known each other for many years and had been working their way through badass women by centuries.

I spoke at length abt Nellie Bly, Ma Rainey (Born in 1886…so she lived the first 14 years of her life in the 19th century before becoming the mother of the blues), and Nana Asma’u (princess, poet, teacher, and political advisor in 19th century Africa).

1:00 – 2:15: Panel Part 1: Ghost Dances on the Silver Screens: Pumzi and Older Than America
Panel Part 2: A Magical Experiment:  adapting The Fifth Sacred Thing to film.
Andrea D. Hairston and Joan Haran

Each woman gave a presentation on an academic paper they’d been working on. Hairston covered ghosts as sacred/demonic tricksters providing alternate perspectives on the here and now and the future. Haran spoke about the ecotopian novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and the current attempt to adapt it as a major motion picture.

…I really, really need to read everything ever by Andrea Hairston.

2:30 – 3:45: A Manifesto for Feminist Science (Fiction) Studies
Joan Haran, Andrea Hairston, Rebecca Holden, Sherryl Vint, Lisa Yaszek

I am not as brilliant as I would like to be, but the best way to improve yourself is to surround yourself with those you admire. Holy f. This panel knew a lot of shit about stuff. Like how I put that? I am at like a fifth grade level compared to the cognitive abilities of this panel. They dissected the inspiration, import, and future effect of scholar Donna Haraway, with particular reference to her most famous essay, “The Cyborg Manifesto.”

Yep, Haraway is now on my to-read list, but I hear she can be dry as hell. We’ll see….

4:00 – 5:15: Darkness, Light, Music: A Reading
Will Alexander, Haddayr Copley-Woods, Mark Rich, Mary Rickert

YEAH! Super phenomenal. Will Alexander especially. That dude, he is about the nicest guy you are gonna find at the con. He wrote a story about a husband/wife scientist team and the doom of the world that got me a half breath from bursting the waterworks.

8:30 – 9:45 Guest of Honor Speeches & Tiptree Award Ceremony
Hiromi Goto
Epic speech. You can read it here.

N.K. Jemisin
INTENSE! AWESOME! MEGA MUST-READ, BADASS speech. You can read it here.

Winner of the James Tiptree Award: N.A. Sulway for Rupetta

bmo adventure time dance gifAnd then, I went to a few con parties. There was a dance off at a party called The Floomp!…and I WON! I have no idea how, but I did. My prize: a broken, light-up tiara.

Hell yeah for rad, weirdo, hotel dance offs that make you not feel so bad about that first round tap out at the park district dance in 3rd grade.

* * *

And that’s it folks. That was WisCon. I didn’t get so nervous I threw up on other panelists and had a bang-up good time.

You should go next year and say hi to me.

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Show Review: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

PROLOGUE

I’m busier than a one-eyed cat watchin’ three rat holes. I apologize, dear friends, for not hollering around this blog often. Believe you me, once I press publish on the book (which should be about…July 1st [only 2 months longer than I thought it would take]) I am going to be ALL OVER YOU. I miss the swagger and fuss that is this blog. Tumblr is nice and all, but here’s a place where a gal can spread herself out.

As I haven’t been around, there are a few mega blogs that have slipped by my fingers. So I’m gonna do a few recap posts this week.

RECAP 1, GO!

Show Review: Muddy Roots Spring Weekender in Nashville, IN

The end of May is supposed to be warm, right? Nope. Not this time around. The Muddy Roots Spring Weekender was held in Nashville, IN on May 16 – 17. It was drizzling and cold. BUT! That did not stop the fest from kicking ass. Held at Explore Brown County, Valley Branch Retreat, the MRSW brought together abt 500 folks who love roots music. What was the main draw? Dr. Ralph Stanley. But I get ahead of myself.

Or maybe I don’t. Being as I waited about a damn month to write this blog…all I have are tidbits. So here’s what I’m gonna do. Give you a Top Five.

The Dread Templeton’s Top Five Music Moments of the Muddy Roots Spring Weekender!

::whistles and whizbangs go off in the distance::
::glittery flower petals drop from the sky::

5. Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band Closing Friday Night

Jayke Orvis is going to be a taking a slight hiatus from touring…and I got to see him one last time before that happened. Hell yeah.

If you don’t know Orvis, he started as the mandolin player in the .357 String Band, went on to play in the Goddamn Gallows, and then started the Broken Band. Dude plays mandolin faster than a meth cheetah runs.

Plus, Jared McGovern (upright bass) proposed to Liz Sloan (fiddle) at the end of the set….and, yes, I teared up. (Side note: Jared and Liz have a killer side project: The Urban Pioneers)

4. Dr. Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys Closing Saturday Night

Before arthritis caught up with him, Dr. Ralph Stanley was known for his distinctive clawhammer banjo playin’ and his keening, Appalachian voice in the legendary Stanley Brothers duo. Most folks these days known him because of the dirge “O Death,” which was featured in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou.

It was full-on night when Dr. Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys took the stage. It was witnessing history.

Though, if I’m being honest, it was a hard show to watch. Stanley is getting on in years. He doesn’t want to slow down, but he has. He is featured as a guest performer in the set. Seeing someone who’s 87 sing a song like “O Death”…it’s a beautiful, but dark moment.

3. “Lord Must Fix My Soul” by the Dad Horse Experience

Dad Horse plays basement gospel. He brings a dapper suit, usually with a cravat, and a foot organ to the show. He is a one man band who will lighten your heart with a mix of old mountain tunes and his own odd brand of positive energy. He can make songs about dead dogs and exploding buildings poetic.

Halfway through his set, Dad Horse said anyone who wanted to sit on stage with him could. SO I TOTALLY DID! Along with about ten others. When he sang “Lord Must Fix My Soul” we became his defector dancing choir. I had arms full of friends and sang loud. I do not sing. Or I do, but only in my car and in front of the microwave while waiting for tea water…meaning I sing places where I won’t be heard because…trust me, you’d rather have bees with machetes in yer ears. BUT for Dad Horse, I sang.

2. Seeing Megan Jean and the KFB

HOLY F, people. Megan Jean and the KFB (Klay Family Band). I just. I.

::pauses to catch breath::

I didn’t get to see all of Megan Jean, but what I did, I LOVED. It’s Megan Jean on washboard, vocals, and snare drum. Byrne Klay (her fella) is on banjo.

Weird and awesome shit about Megan Jean and the KFB:

  • Bet you didn’t know that banjo can sometimes sound like it has Latin American influences. Megan Jean and the KFB be like avant-garde roots world music. WTF? WIN!
  • Uh, you can absolutely play snare drum, washboard, and sing at the same time. Or, at least, Megan Jean can. Rad! And when she isn’t banging on the snare, the drumstick is between her boobs. It’s frikkin awesome. Reminds me of bartenders I worked with who put pens in their racks so there was always one handy.
  •  “THESE BONES”…no. I am not going to say anything. Just watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQp3u-dWhMg&feature=kp

THAT VOICE! Postcards from the afterlife? Hell yeah. This band totally makes me want to write stories. Lots and lots of stories. Like a story about sending or receiving postcards from the afterlife. LOVE.

After they played, I went over to their merch suitcase. Megan Jean is just about damn near the nicest woman ever. Not only is she a musician, but she’s a writer. She’s working on a musical involving Mata Hari. And she likes carnie fiction. So, yes, I love her.

She inspired the hell outta me.

….
AND! My top musical moment of the MRSW was…
….

1. James Hunnicutt Playing Cocksparer’s “We’re Coming Back

Here’s the thing, I don’t care what anyone else says. My blog equals my say, and I say that the best goddamn song at Muddy Roots Spring Weekender was James Hunnicutt covering Cocksparer’s “We’re Coming Back.”

It warmed the damn cockles of my heart.
I had my arm around my fella and was singing along.

The song sums up every gd Muddy Roots ever…knowing that somewhere out there there are people like you, who love what you love, who are directing positive, creative energy into the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voxswLwzLe0

photo(9)Post Script - Holy shit, seeing The Tillers was phenomenal. Dancing to “Old Westside“…yeah, heart-expanding moment. The Calamity Cubes killed it, like usual. The Pine Hill Haints…SO GOOD. I got crazy bat shirt.

…Ok, I’m gonna stop…because the whole damn weekend was great. You can trust Jason Galaz to create badass music fests. Dudes got a love for the music and the people he’s working with, and it shows.

Tags:

WisCon 38 Schedule


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

People!

It has been an atomic age since I’ve written about anything other than music. Mainly because I’m am BEHIND ON EVERYTHING! Like all of life. Even the music writing. I went to the Muddy Roots Spring Weekender and haven’t written shit about that. (And I saw Dr. Ralph Stanley, The Tillers, about a billion other bands, and was on stage for the Dad Horse Experience). I barely make it to the bathroom to piss on time, let alone blog on a consistent schedule.

For not having a “real job”…I am running ragged.

Remember that whole self-publishing thing?

WAY BEHIND!

Um. I now realize why people have degrees and get paid the big bucks for book design. Because it’s fucking hard. Everything takes about three times longer than I thought it would. But it’s all good. It’s getting done. The book will be out ’round late June.

But I can’t think about any of that right now…because…OH MY GEEZ…

I am in prep mode.

Tomorrow, I head off to the world’s leading feminist, sci-fi convention, WisCon. It’s in Madison, Wisconsin and I’ve been going for the past five years. OK, OK. If I’ve been going for five years, why am I so nervous about this year?

This is the first year I’M ON PANELING!

Booyah. Somebody put on The Grown-up Writer Pants.

::spotlight shines on me sitting on the ground typing at a coffee table::

If you’re going to be there, hit up one of my panels. Here’s my schedule:

Friday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45, Senate A:

The Once and Future Badass: Historical Women Who Inspire, Challenge, and Unsettle Us

Friday, 9:00 p.m. – 10:15, Conference 1:

Spindles and Spitfire: A Reading (with Lisa Bradley, Gwynne Garfinkle, Shira Lipkin, and Me!)

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:15, Senate B:

Welcome to Night Vale: The Panel

Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15, Wisconsin Room:

Outrageous Women of the 19th Century!

running titan gif

…on my way to panels

…yup. Three panels and a reading. It’s exciting and TERRIFYING. Please just let me make it to my panels on time and not stare blankly at the crowd. But this is what we have notes for, right? Bullets points to bully the brain.

See you on the other side, folks.

 

Tags:


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

Friday night has come and gone – we’re solidly into Sunday – and my body is like YE BITCH, I SMITE THEE! Sides are sore. Two boot blisters. Yet, I am happy. I haven’t gone to many shows in or near Westerly since I got here in March (Tossers, Throttles, supposed to hit up GD Gallows, but their van broke and the show was canceled). That, combined with the ABSOLUTE LACK of 80s dance nights or industrial clubs in New London or Providence, left me outta my dancing pants for way too long. (Mind you: kitchen dancing counts for nothing; it be not vigorous.)

And so. And so. AND SO!

On Friday I was maggot-in-a-red-gash happy about hitting up 33 Golden Street in New London for Filthy Still, The Bloodshots, and Matthew “Mule” McKinley.

Sidenote: New London, you are effing awesome. FREE PARKING! Thank you.

33 Golden Street is similar to the Navidson family home or the Tardis – it’s bigger on the inside than it first appears. After passing by the smokers’ outdoor corner, you enter a foyer fit for no more than three folks, then a staircase drops past a wall of mirrors to a basement bar.

I LOVE BASEMENT BARS!  Sinholes, liquor pits, cocktail caves, intoxicant underbuildings – so fucking lovely. Why dark dive bars call to me, I dunno. I figure it’s because I enjoy going places that don’t feel real – like they should be movie sets. That prove there’s an independent, unconstrained, originative substratum to American corporate monoculture. Werner Herzog stated that, “One must dig like an archeologist and search our violated landscape to find anything new. It can sometimes be a struggle to find unprocessed and fresh images.” Herzog was talking of his belief that civilization will perish without new (cinematic) images. I believe the need for new images extends not only to art, but daily life. Can someone live fully while only experiencing the same seven restaurant chains, psychologically engineered entertainment, and the advertising that fills the cracks between?  

I can’t.

When I go into a bookshop, I want the displays at the front of the store to be there because the owner loves those books – not because the shop was paid to place the stock front and center. When I go into a coffee shop, I want to know that the playlist, the radio station, or the band is the favorite of the person behind the counter – not that it was aggregated as a suitable soundtrack conducive to optimal spending. When I go into a bar, I want to know that the shitty, comfortable decor – album covers, spinning PBR sign, red walls, what have you – they were chosen by someone who either loved that shit or just wanted something to cover the crack in the mirror on the back of the bar – not because they actually give a fuck if the spinning sign sold another 2 buck beer.

I do not like most authority figures.

I do not like those in positions of power using behavioral science to sell me on products and experience.

I find myself, more often than not, seeking out the music, the art, the books, and the movies that are built of passion, not product placement.

And hell, entering 33 Golden Street reminded me of all that. It is a glorious, dim-lit hole built to house casual billiards, amiable boozers, and interstitial bands.

If we are talking interstitial, we can talk Filthy Still (and much of the underground country scene out there). Because I mean, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY? Are they punk? Are they bluegrass? Maybe folk? Suffice to say, they are scumbag country and I GD love them. They get me cutting a rug. Re: a blister on each foot and my calves are bitching a day and a half later.

There ain’t many bands out there that can write an ode to uncontrollable shitting and have me dancing…but Filthy Still can do it.

I am reminded of a conversation C.S.E. Cooney and I had. She’s been devouring Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. One of the quotes that struck her was, “Besides, the contract with the reader is that this is not reality. It’s an invented world. There must be some blasted space in life…where we can be offensive.” The theme being: does art need a space to be offensive? What is crossing boundaries to create conversation versus just being an insensitive dick?

Filthy Still does this thing…they sing about benders, robbing folks, drunk driving…They sing about AMAZINGLY BAD DECISION MAKING. And I devour the hell out of it. Because they also sing about Bigfoot, titty bars, the world being made of dinosaur shit, and dancing all night. Everything they do is to a hella rousing ramshackle sound. Jesse Roderick plays a guitar that states “This Machine Fills Gas Tanks” and has eyes that go wide, that go deep. Matt Olson plays killer banjo and sings in a high-tone that’ll draw you from across the room. And for all the wrong that is going on in their songs – there is so much right, there is so much life. They bring power to the blood and can make a room of folks who don’t know each other swagger around with their arms around each other in the pit. Because who knows if those bad decisions given voice were real, are still real, or are just dragged forth from the pool of common experience. Everyone is someone or knows someone who has gone down a bad path…and what you need most is to know that there’s heart and humanity at the end of the road.

Fucking hell. All that is to say – see Filthy Still live. Buy their shit. They will make you dance.

And while you are at it, goddamn, The Bloodshots killed it as openers. Little Lesley fronts The Bloodshots – and if you were ever wondering if you could balance on an upright bass in heels – oh hell yes, you can…or she can. Damn fine rockabilly outfit, right there.  

And, as usual, Matthew “Mule” McKinley slayed the dirty, dirty blues.

Excelsior, bitches!

Tags:

Goodreads Says I’m Behind Schedule.


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

PAWSHAW, Goodreads! I refuse to feel bad about disappointing you. Yes, yes, I am three books behind schedule on my yearly reading challenge, but COME ON! Cut a gal some slack. I’ve read 4 novels, 2 poetry books, 2 graphic novels, and 2 nonfiction books in the past month. I am doing SO GOOD. Plus, I set down like 5 books about 40 pages into each of them because they weren’t hitting for me.

Hella highlight: finding Leadbelly by Tyehimba Jess at the library. Jess explores the high stakes, hard living of a legendary bluesman through multiple points of view, including Leadbelly himself, his jailers, mentors (like Blind Lemon Jefferson), lovers, neighbors, and John and Alan Lomax. The poems are short and conversational. It’s a hella must for blues fans and poets like gnashing on grit and history.

…speaking of poetry…I am blogging about poets EVERY DAY! over at my tumblr, Odd Rot, for National Poetry Month.

C.S.E. Cooney and I have been reading poetry to each other over tea in the mornings. Leadbelly consistently makes us gasp.

…but speaking of readings, WE HAD ONE! A literary salon, that is, on Monday. It was a small gathering, but a gorgeous one. There was chili and apple pie and between all the food breaks there was reading and music. Victor of The Friendly Ghost had his guitar, Moosher of The Vandon Arms had his banjo, Sita read about bugs that sucked frogs to skin sacks via Annie Dillard, Kelsey had some of the most crushing, socially-aware, radical poetry I’ve heard in ages, Cooney brought out her Dickens’ musical (that I swear to Eris is going to win a Tony), I had novel excerpts, and Jack showed up in time to sing The Misfits with Moosh to close the night.

There is something about having small literary salons in private homes. There was a discussion started after we had finished…where does one find readings and open mics in the area? Is it more effective to build artistic community in a public setting or to grow it from a private setting? Why bother to start a reading series in a public setting when you and the four friends who were in your living room are the only ones to show up to the coffee shop for the open mic?

I don’t have any answers, just an interest in seeing all forms of artists shine wherever they can find a spot to do it.

*

In totally random…I watched Norman Mailer: The American. HOW INFURIATING! I mean…shit. Mailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6uT9f3VzXc

And the one thing that I was left with wasn’t necessarily a need to finally read one of his Pulitzer-winners, but the want to research (white) male writers who abused or killed their significant others and got away with it. Should Mailer be defined by one inebriated evening that he stabbed his wife? Should Burroughs be more remonstrated for killing his wife? What about Charles Bukowski continuing the cycle of violence that began in his youth against women in his life?

It’s back to the same old, same old:

Can you separate an artist’s life from their work? Should you judge them by their work alone?

But added to it is:

Why do some writers become outlaw cult heroes for their (at times) disreputable lives? Do women receive the same glamorizing? I can think of more romanticized male druggies, drunks, and brawlers in literary history than females. In fact, I have one. Dorothy Parker. Off the top of my head, that’s it. I don’t think it is because these women didn’t exist, but I do think that women knew (and still know) that we (females) can’t even sit taking up much space on the goddamn train, let alone have our personalities overflow into the sloppy or harsh in our actions and writing without there being repercussions. It is a talk of (white) male privilege, history, and, frankly, a conversation I don’t know if I am smart enough to have. But I’m interested.

*

In a non-combative, happy closing: the art above is TEASER ART! For my NOVEL! by Matthew Ryan Sharp.

Tags:

Goodreads Says I’m Behind Schedule.


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

PAWSHAW, Goodreads! I refuse to feel bad about disappointing you. Yes, yes, I am three books behind schedule on my yearly reading challenge, but COME ON! Cut a gal some slack. I’ve read 4 novels, 2 poetry books, 2 graphic novels, and 2 nonfiction books in the past month. I am doing SO GOOD. Plus, I set down like 5 books about 40 pages into each of them because they weren’t hitting for me.

Hella highlight: finding Leadbelly by Tyehimba Jess at the library. Jess explores the high stakes, hard living of a legendary bluesman through multiple points of view, including Leadbelly himself, his jailers, mentors (like Blind Lemon Jefferson), lovers, neighbors, and John and Alan Lomax. The poems are short and conversational. It’s a hella must for blues fans and poets like gnashing on grit and history.

…speaking of poetry…I am blogging about poets EVERY DAY! over at my tumblr, Odd Rot, for National Poetry Month.

C.S.E. Cooney and I have been reading poetry to each other over tea in the mornings. Leadbelly consistently makes us gasp.

…but speaking of readings, WE HAD ONE! A literary salon, that is, on Monday. It was a small gathering, but a gorgeous one. There was chili and apple pie and between all the food breaks there was reading and music. Victor of The Friendly Ghost had his guitar, Moosher of The Vandon Arms had his banjo, Sita read about bugs that sucked frogs to skin sacks via Annie Dillard, Kelsey had some of the most crushing, socially-aware, radical poetry I’ve heard in ages, Cooney brought out her Dickens’ musical (that I swear to Eris is going to win a Tony), I had novel excerpts, and Jack showed up in time to sing The Misfits with Moosh to close the night.

There is something about having small literary salons in private homes. There was a discussion started after we had finished…where does one find readings and open mics in the area? Is it more effective to build artistic community in a public setting or to grow it from a private setting? Why bother to start a reading series in a public setting when you and the four friends who were in your living room are the only ones to show up to the coffee shop for the open mic?

I don’t have any answers, just an interest in seeing all forms of artists shine wherever they can find a spot to do it.

*

In totally random…I watched Norman Mailer: The American. HOW INFURIATING! I mean…shit. Mailer.

And the one thing that I was left with wasn’t necessarily a need to finally read one of his Pulitzer-winners, but the want to research (white) male writers who abused or killed their significant others and got away with it. Should Mailer be defined by one inebriated evening that he stabbed his wife? Should Burroughs be more remonstrated for killing his wife? What about Charles Bukowski continuing the cycle of violence that began in his youth against women in his life?

It’s back to the same old, same old:

Can you separate an artist’s life from their work? Should you judge them by their work alone?

But added to it is:

Why do some writers become outlaw cult heroes for their (at times) disreputable lives? Do women receive the same glamorizing? I can think of more romanticized male druggies, drunks, and brawlers in literary history than females. In fact, I have one. Dorothy Parker. Off the top of my head, that’s it. I don’t think it is because these women didn’t exist, but I do think that women knew (and still know) that we (females) can’t even sit taking up much space on the goddamn train, let alone have our personalities overflow into the sloppy or harsh in our actions and writing without there being repercussions. It is a talk of (white) male privilege, history, and, frankly, a conversation I don’t know if I am smart enough to have. But I’m interested.

*

In a non-combative, happy closing: the art above is TEASER ART! For my NOVEL! by Matthew Ryan Sharp.

Tags:

SO MANY LISTS…and Bouncing Breasts. Yup.


Originally published at Patty Templeton. Please leave any comments there.

SHEESH.

Like for reals. Like MY BRAIN IS EXPLODING WITH LISTS.

If you were ever wondering if you wanted to self publish a book in a reputable way…um, it’s hard.

::banner drops from sky with word “obvious” writ across it::

Here’s what I got going on lately.

TO DO!

  • Final manuscript read through
  • Deadline for graphic artist is mid-April
  • Collect cover, endpapers, title page, 2 character illustrations, 2 business logos, 1 space break emblem, small web banner, larger web banner
  • See if the long web banner is large enough/appropriate image to be made into a vinyl banner
  • If no, see if he has time for a vinyl banner design – must have title, author, website, avail in print & ebook
  • Send graphic designer checklist of all this random stuff

 

  • After art received from graphic designer, send to book trailer designer
  • Should get book trailer by May 1.

 

  • Get a proper PDF program for laptop
  • After art received from graphic designer, insert it into manuscript, create PDF
  • Once book PDF created
    • Get a proof, send to LOC so I can get LCCN # (so libraries like me/can catalog me)
    • Figure out how the hell to sign up for a LCCN #
      • Includes creating own publishing company
      • Get simple 1-2 page website for publishing company
      • Random: Get website domain for novel name, have it redirect to my current website
      • Get all other copyright language
      • Once I get the LCCN and copyright language, update the book PDF
  • Create new PDF, upload to CreateSpace, order another proof
  • Publish first week of MAY 2014!

 

There is a lot of other crap in there…but those are the main battles I have right now.

Oh wait, then there are these.

MORE TO DO!

  • Create Amazon author page
  • Need author photo before I can create author page
  • Decide on excerpt for social media/blogging outlets
  • Ask folks for blurbs
  • Start practicing performing/reading excerpt for convention circuit
  • Update personal website so it has a section about the book
  • Start looking at where I can do readings – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Arizona, Tennessee, Washington DC – especially, because I will be traveling these places this year anyways. — libraries, reading series, open mics, shows, etc.
  • Learn how to make gifs.
  • Use gifs in marketing to tumblr and random
  • Once art received, start making merch to sell and just for promotional value – buttons, stickers, bookmarks, postcards…maybe shirts. Maybe eventually someday tote bags or mugs
  • Look into author giveaways…
  • Research dealers tables at horror conventions
  • Create book discussion questions
  • Create lists of similar items
  • Sign up for google alerts
  • Start writing essays on self publishing stuff to cross promote my book on different platforms
  • Ask everyone I know for reviews on all manner of major and minor platforms
  • Organize book launch party in Chicago

AND THERE IS MORE. Lots of it. But that’s already a hell ton of list.

I feel as if I am forgetting important things. All. The. Time.

BUT! It will get done. It will get promoted.

 

MEANWHILE!

I read White Line Fever by Lemmy (of Motorhead). Yes, it contained many brutish, beautiful moments. I mean, he sometimes comes off as an asshole. And he knows it. Even with him being a sex fiend bourbon maniac, he is FULL OF HISTORY. The man saw Buddy Holly goddamn live. And the Beatles when they were still playing in hovel dive bars in Europe. He is an infuriating, but intensely fun read. And short. And the print is big. And if you don’t have time to read…there are several short and long docs on youtube that are well worth the time suck.

matoi from kill la kill And I’ve been watching Kill la Kill…which I really like, outside of two things

1. SPOILERS! …there be a few completely unnecessary, consensual (?) incestuous-ish moments between a mother and a daughter.

2. The transformations into costumes. I give this a pass…kinda. OK! Here’s a thing about me: I dig ladies and fellas. So…in one bucket is the OH MY GAWD. HAWT! reaction. And the other bucket holds the much heavier, sloshing about of REALLY? REALLY? Another pop culture moment where women fight in revealing outfits with JIGGLE SHOTS?

***I just got sucked into a thirty minute “feminism and kill la kill” google hole***

I have to chew on it some more. I like Kill la Kill. I like that it is a body positive show that stars a variety of women. Feminism…fanservice…female empowerment…there is a weird stew going on in my brain.

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