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Dead Blog is Dead

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

How do, lovely pals?

You may have noticed this blog died.

I deleted a whole lotta personal information that was on here. I debated trashing the whole shebang, but dang, I saw some good shows. I want that info up. Those bands are still fantastic and deserve yer ears.

Iffin you wanna pal around with me, I’m more often found on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Everybody knew it was going to happen. The rains, man, the rains. Weather Channel said there was a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CHANCE of rain. Ugh.

Which meant…I was carrying around a poncho and umbrella for most of Saturday. They ended up being near useless. When the Weather Channel stated “rain,” they meant to say “torrential downpour.”

It proper-fucked the music schedule. BUT this is the kinda fest where people deal with the shit and keep going.

No, seriously. There was shit. Not much, but some. In an unfortunate moment of planning, one of the port-o-potties was at the bottom of a hill in a bit of shallow land. When the rains came, the water rose, and whoa-geez, though the port-o-potty remained standing, it, um…overflowed. From then on, it was either taking a high road up the stage hill or walking way-far-around to avoid the Shit Zone.

Let me take a moment to say, aside from the very manageable and pretty laughable incident above, the port-o-potties were AWESOME. Nobody likes pissing in a hot plastic box, but the company that ran the waste company was AMAZING. They came out every morning to clean the bathrooms.

I’m spending a helluva lotta space here talking deuce-crates, but it’s IMPORTANT. The only thing worse than bowel-dropping in a sweatbox is trying to do that same function late in a fest after some jerkwad has pissed all over the toilet paper and it smells like a pile of vomit Frankensteined itself alive long enough to menstruate over a dead rat. The port-o-potties at Muddy Roots were just as clean on Sunday as they were Thursday night. That’s frikkin awesome.

Moving on.


MUSIC! There was so much GOOD STUFF!

But here, I apologize again. I didn’t see everything. I didn’t even see some of the headliners. The weather was rain or drizzle rain or drizzle. By the end of the night I was feeling wet and cold and like I wanted to sit with new friends and listen to the music from my hill with food and shelter. I am a wuss. So what. I still had fun.

Here’s what I saw!


Joey Henry’s Dirty Sunshine Club

What a beautiful goddamn man, Joey Henry is. His projects – The Dirty Sunshine Club and the Calamity Cubes – remind me of Ray Bradbury saying, “You must stay drunk on writing, so reality cannot destroy you.” Henry writes of life’s setbacks and halleluiahs. His lyrics are earnest, existential, and imaginative and often feature relationships at the forefront. The clarity of his commentary on the power of love…He puts me in awe and jealousy, as a writer.

Rickett Pass

Imagine if Dell McCoury had a loveable shithead apprentice with face tattoos and a band…there’s Rickett Pass. Cocaine, blame, heartbreak, swayable slowdowns, feverish livin’…definitely worth checking out live.

Dead Soldiers

Dead Soldiers are the type of band that start playing and, BANG, it’s like yer cannon-shot into a movie William Gay wrote. (And if you haven’t read the great Southern writer William Gay – HOLY SHIT, come on. Dark…but no without hope.) They have an ambitious sound that ranges from woozy sing-a-longs to grim-graced introspective numbers. I like this one.

…my only problem is that, WTF…when did they start? I came from Rickett Pass expecting to see Blackbird Raum and Dead Soldiers were on.

…when Blackbird Raum did go on, they had to shorten the hell out of their set. I know it was a common theme of the day, but this was before the big rain happened.

Blackbird Raum

Don’t know Blackbird Raum? This is them:

Anarcho folk punk. Hell yes.

Lou Shields

One night, Ramblin’, Catastrophe, and Coffee sat around a fire.

Ramblin’ said, “Where the hell we going?”

Catastrophe said, “Dunno, but I got some disasters for when we get there.”

Coffee said, “Hmph.” She was too satisfied with herself to notice anything else.

Lou Shields appeared and sat fireside. He drank the coffee, pocketed ramblin’, and constrained catastrophe under his hat. Then he got to singing as he walked away.

Helluva bluesman, right there. And – look – he makes art, too.

Last False Hope

I was weak-kneeing for food by the time that Last False Hope came on. I watched them from my hill kingdom of Snack and Drink.

If you don’t know of Last False Hope, they are a feral, shout-it-out Americana act with an impressive fiddle player and madly energetic live shows.

Maybe because the weather has started to turn autumnal and it’s putting me in a monster movie mood or maybe because I have a morbid storybrain all the time, but I can totally imagine their song “Two Dollar Pints” being played in a horror movie while a serial killer is rhythmically macheting folks apart while line dancing.

The Weirdos

First wave punk oddities who prove that 30+ years after the fact, you can still be pissed at the world, strange, and out to have a good time. Booyah.

Hangdog Hearts

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I only caught part of the first song…because I realized it was 9 p.m. and at 9 p.m…

reverend beat-manReverend Beat-man


By this time, the world was wet. Very. Very. Wet. Which made under the tent at Beat-man a mudpit. I hipshakeswayed on the edge of all of it, but here we are – two weeks after the fest – and my boots are still covered in Tennessee clay.

Reverend Beat-man…I just. I –


::face first into rhubarb toast and coffee::

::wakes up::

::slurps coffee off placemat::



…as for The Blasters, Gravelroad, Mudhoney, and Legendary Shack Shakers, you were goddamn gorgeous, too. But I was cold and wet and enjoying the company of folks under shelter…so I heard y’all from my hilltop.

For those that don’t know The Blasters…their song “Dark Night” was in Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn. I KNOW! So hot. That song. Goddamn. It makes me want to write dirty, sexy, roadhouse erotica for fun and profit. They have Many. Good. Songs. Find them. Listen. Love. Send me your sexy dance videos.

And the Shack Shakers, sweet Eris, they are a hella fine band. Find them. See them. Buy all of their things. You want a crowd-walking crazy stage show with the best agridustrial, almost carnie leadsinger of all time? Go see Wilkes perform w/ the Shack Shakers.



Hitch yer horse back here in a coupla days for Day 3.


EDIT! Miss Day 1? Here it is. And here’s Day 3.



It has happened. I am officially a tumblrhead. I spend lots of time over there. LOTS. Like I post art every day and random awesome all the time and occasional thoughts fairly often. Which means I don't get over here that much.


But let us despair not. Life is good.
I have new hair. Here it is.

And wrinkles in my forehead. Which means I am wise? Right? RIGHT! Sure. Let's go with that.

And my story, "The Two Annies of Windale Road", has been published in Mythic Delirium, Issue 2. Which you can read HERE!

Besides all that...geez, I can't get enough of the new Possessed by Paul James record, There Will Be Nights When I'm Lonely. Seriously, that man. HE IS SUCH A GOOD SONGWRITER.


AND IT IS MY BIRTHDAY IN 2 DAYS!  Yep. Yep. YEP! It is a good week.

PS - Feel free to let me know your favorite living lyricists. Cause I'm always looking.


Muddy Roots 2013Large festivals can bullshit you on Sundays. Hell, they bullshit you all the time. They schedule a badass act when gates open, then again at abt 5 p.m. then again abt 10 so that you spend your whole day at a fest that, really, you wanted to see three bands at. Which blows. Which is why I don’t go to festivals…outside of usually hating large throngs of people, the sun and how much everything costs.

But Muddy Roots isn’t your average festival. Inevitably, there will be something happening on one of their three-ish stages that you want to go to All Day Long. There is no filler. Not even on Sundays.

Heck, Sunday was so packed full of gouda you coulda spread it on a sammie and served it with tomato soup. My ass was traveling all over the place, catching half-sets and then moving on to the next wondertent.

The day started with banging trash cans, and that’s a good thing.

White Trash Blues Revival – 11:30 a.m.
I’m not a musician. I’m a writer. I love music, but I’m by no means any kinda expert here. Which is why I’ve never heard of a diddley bow before. Don’t judge. And if you aren’t judging, but think I’m talking about Bo Diddley, I’m not. A diddley bow is a plank with a single string nailed to it with a glass bottle used as a bridge. It’s an instrument of the Deep South that gives off an uncanny, grimy outcry.

I bring this up because Joe Bent of White Trash Blues Revival plays a skiddley-bo – which is a diddley bow, but he uses a skatedeck as the base and two strings over a Red Stripe bottle. Breen (from Left Lane Cruiser) plays trashcans. When Left Lane is touring, Dirty Pete Diva is as likely to hit the cans as a stale keg. Meanwhile, Ando’s throbbing washtub bass keeps all the fellas steady.

I imagine White Trash Blues Revival as the kind of band you’d find jamming at a cornfield potluck with the moon overhead and go-go-dancers of both genders in jean shorts and PBR pasties whooping and flailing.

I dig it.

Post Script - Jack White wants to show you how to make a diddley bow.

Sterling Sisters – 1:30 p.m.
About a month before Muddy Roots, Sterling Sisters came through Chicago as support for Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. I’m glad I got to see ‘em Chicagoway, because for whatever reason, somehow I only caught the last song or two of them at Muddy Roots.

What you need to know – yeah, yeah, George Cessna is Slim’s kid. So the fuck what? He’s doing his own thing. His own wailing, dark, melodious thing. There are echoes of the dark roots jive that stem from the Auto Club, but The Sterling Sisters have an operatic soundtrack quality, rock-edged and unique to them – largely due to the unearthly and alluring voice of Scout Paré-Phillips who has a tinge of Joni Mitchell in her.

If Herzog ever did a documentary of Muddy Roots, I think a good slow pan night montage scene of blurred dancers, smokers, drinkers, bands and the night sky could be backed by The Sterling Sisters.

Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy – 3 p.m.

Ever wondered what Nashville in the 1920s mighta sounded like? Get you some Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy with their countrified Jazz Age sound.

Places I imagine Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy playing:

  •   The main deck of a hotel riverboat with a depressed Mark Twain impersonator slinging back drinks in front of ‘em because he had a dismal poker night and slept-in past the free continental breakfast.

  •   Behind the false wall of a barber shop gambling parlor with shimmy dancers encircling them.

  • In a garret in New Orleans with a stained glass ceiling and a mason jar chandelier.

Slaughter Daughters – 3:30 p.m.
I was eyeing my watch throughout Carrie Nation because, lo their high speed, high test brass and grass was giving me the most pleasant palpitations, Slaughter Daughters were scheduled to come on half way through Carrie Nation’s set.

If you like your folk tunes infused with raw power, sex and mythology, search no further than the Slaughter Daughters. Slaughter Daughters is a Portland via Wichita trio comprised of Cece Honey on guitar, Ari Rose on banjo and Ster D on the upright bass. They are an ominous form of bluegrass rooted in influences as varied as Cab Calloway to Those Poor Bastards.

Goddamn, they’re good. They’re as likely to croon Art Nouveau, early radio voices as yell blue murder that pulls at your guts. Then they’ll stitch you back together with a high harmony.

Calamity Cubes – 4 p.m.
Somewhere in Mississippi there’s a one-room museum at a crossroads. There’s one display shelf in this one-room museum and that one display shelf may only be observed at twilight on the 13th day of the 13th month. (If you don’t know how to get to the 13th month, well, you’ll have to buy that intelligence from a devil like everyone else.) On this one shelf – wooden, splintered, near a dusty window – sit three jars.

Kody Oh! took a sip from the clear jar and perhaps he drank the soul of an acrobat because he’s the most writhing, contortable, steady standup bass player in roots music today. Joey Henry took a swallow from the red-tinged jar – and this is only guessing – but I think it was filled with the heart fluid Woody Guthrie because Henry’s got affliction and affection enough to fill seventeen songbooks. Then Brook Blanche came striding in and imbibed from the last jar – the green jar – and God only knows how, but part of Howlin’ Wolf’s booming and bombast stored itself in his stomach.

I don’t know how the Calamity Cubes stumbled upon the 13th month, the twilight and the jars, but they did…or maybe they didn’t – but black arts have to be at work for that much badass to be in one band.

Cutthroat Shamrock – 5:30 p.m.

The bastard children of Bill Monroe, Joe Strummer and the Pogues can be seen in Cutthroat Shamrock. Not quite a Celtic punk band – Cutthroat Shamrock has widened their genre to Appalachian Punk Rock. In a previous interview, Benjamin Whitehead stated, “We’re not really Irish or Scottish; we call what we do Appalachian music, because the Scots-Irish settled these mountains. We’ve taken the bluegrass and the Celtic music and infused it with our own thing.”

Their newest album, A Path Less Traveled, is a riot of songs on rotten misfortunes inspirited by a bullheaded, sing your way through life’s shitstorms standpoint.

Sidenote: Matthew Ryan Sharp did the art for the current album and it is GORGEOUS. You can find more of his work here and here. OI! I want his work in limited edition prints or original on my walls. LOVE.

Rachel Kate – 7:20 p.m.
Rachel Kate has a bit of blues queen in her. You think you are in for a soft singer songwriter and then she opens her mouth and is as likely to yodel as make trumpet noises as go all Koko Taylor on your ass, rattling your heart and the windows.

DAMN YOU, RACHEL KATE! Here being the second place I almost cried at Muddy Roots. I’m a marshmallow. Or a baby sloth. Or a pillow. I am something spongy and yielding and OI, when the hell did I get so fucking emotional? Maybe I should go eat glass or babies to harden up my insides, but I defy you to hear the song “Dancin’ Shoes” (written by Kate’s father) live without your heart spinning into your ribs.

Red Simpson – 8:30 p.m.
I didn’t get to see much of this legendary gentleman. What I did see was Red Simpson singing with Bob Wayne. It felt like Simpson was passing down the honor of living, writing and singing road songs to his great admirer.

Dash Rip Rock – 9:00 p.m.
Dash Rip Rock will sing about pot one song and cover Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” the next. In other words, there’s something for everybody in their garage roots rock. They’re a trio that sounds like the band you hear playing at a Louisiana house party where someone was tossed enough to think it was a good idea to try and dance with an alligator.

Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies – 9:30 p.m.
Shit. Well, shit. Bob Wayne and James Hunnicutt were scheduled at the same time. So I only caught half a set from both.

Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies play fast. Real fast. Tighter and faster than the best friend you finally banged on prom night. He’s constantly on the road and his songs vacillate between lawless turmoil and feeling a moral twinge at that turbulent living.

James Hunnicutt – 9:30 p.m.
But no matter how fast Bob Wayne’s band was, my heart was with James Hunnicutt.

Shit, whose heart wasn’t? Doesn’t matter if Hunnicutt is playing his originals or blistering out Misfits covers, he captures the crowd with golden vocals that cover you in love, regret and second chances at living full of reverence for the day.

If there is such a thing as a loving pit, you’ll find it at a James Hunnicutt show. Someone is bound to sling an arm around your shoulder and encourage you to sing along and you’ll start smiling and they’ll be smiling and you’ll question how the hell you’re grinning so big at music so full of shadows, ache and candor, but it’s because how…how could you not be shining like a fool over a song like “Don’t Let Teardrops Fill Your Eyes”?

That man is a trucker-hat-wearing, beauty-proclaiming dreamboat unafraid of wearing idealism and sentiment on his sleeve.

Possessed by Paul James – 10:30 p.m.
I find it appropriate that there is a silver and apricot sunset outside my window as I think on Possessed by Paul James.

You know that third time I almost cried at Muddy Roots? POW. During this show. Because how can you not, man? How can you not? A blog ago, I mentioned the idea of music that made you feel like you were at church. It has nothing to do with the gospel. It has to do with feeling like you are part of something bigger. Part of something important. Part of something that cares about you – or at least notices that you’re there. That’s how a Possessed by Paul James show goes down.

Possessed by Paul James will gain your respect with his speed, his roguish fiddle, his elaborate banjo playing, but his lyrics will lasso ‘round your soul and squeeze. Ten to one, he’ll invite half the audience on the stage and hundred to one that every damn person in the crowd ends up singing, even if they’ve never seen him before.

It was the perfect end to a gorgeous festival – one arm slung around a new friend and the other arm around my lover – swaying and singing to a man’s songs bent on bringing truth and beauty into the world.

Ok. Ok. So many of you are like, but Patty, wasn’t Black Flag on Saturday and I’m all WHO THE FUCK CARES…THE MONSTERS PLAYED.Tank Girl Galaz Mama But I leap ahead of myself.

Saturday was more blissful than a midnight bowla melted peanut butter, marshmallows and cheerios. It was epic. Musta drank the world’s weight in water and glistened it back out again.

Up until Saturday, I didn’t really spend much money, but hell, once I get a shovel in the merch hole…I don’t stop digging till I’m in a Vernsian pit. I spent what I brought, but I didn’t hit up the bar atm. That means WIN. But, yet again, I go leaping over magnificence. Can’t be hauling yer ass when I’ve only showcased a third of the music.

If Friday was bossin’ so hard Springsteen’s hanglows hardened, Saturday amped it to Roddy-Piper-They-Live levels of rad. Like, Jason Galaz you gotta be Tank Girl and Samuel L. Jackson and Johnny Cash’s threeway lovebaby, the misfit, badass, sincerity you got in you to pull this many fine and furious folks to one bill.

I am not exaggerating. Saturday was that good.

GatorNate and the Gladezmen – 11 a.m.
GatorNate is a coon-tail wearing ginger playing guitar, harmonica and a sampler accompanied by WillyMatt the Honeybadger on the drums. They’ve waded outta the Florida wetlands to get you bopping to their mad swamp hop sounds.

Who the fuck knew? GATOR ROCK? SWAMP HOP? SWALE SAMPLING? These things exist. My brain feels bigger. My creative field of vision expanded.


Muddy Roots – every year, every damn year – it inspires me. It makes me less afraid to go full-tilt on my own writing, because it demonstrates if you have the passion, drive and skill to get shit done and you go at it with iron tits and the expectation that it’ll be a hard road, folks eventually take notice.

Relentlessness. Earnestness.

Anais Nin said, “I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.” Damn right. This is what Muddy Roots is – people creating their own genres, venues, record labels, wonders and worlds.


Left Lane Cruiser – Noon
Fort Wayne, Indiana, thank you for spitting out Left Lane Cruiser, a band so devilish nasty, it made a sunny afternoon feel grit-slicked as a gravel-slipped drunk. If you like Son House and the later work of R.L. Burnside, you’ll dig on the blues rock that Freddie and Brenn of Left Lane Cruiser throw down.

I want to see a burlesque show soundtracked by Left Lane Cruiser. Somebody make this waggle-hipping happen.

Hangdog Hearts – 1 p.m.

Hangdog Hearts
Currently in a solo incarnation, Hangdog Hearts features Austin Stirling’s exemplary capacity to play banjo, harmonica, bass drum and sing. Oh wait, and he’s a natural born storyteller. And he makes you want to dance. And even though he’s a one man band, he throws his whole body into creating full, rowdy, fervent songs that agnostically hint at possible higher powers that are as likely to look out for you as cut you loose.

And he makes gorgeous jewelry and is known to pass out free patches and GEEZ, I REALLY, REALLY LOVE THIS BAND. See him on tour. Buy his everything. But he doesn’t have an online store…so to buy his everything you need to SEE HIM ON TOUR or go to his facebook page and message him.

Rachel Brooke – 1:30 p.m.
I only caught the end of Rachel Brooke’s set on the main stage after moseying out of Hangdog Hearts with a sixteen ton smile. Ms. Brooke and a drummer elegantly enthralled the sun-dazed crowd.

Ten Foot Polecats – 2:15 p.m.
Do you know what a dirty shot is? It’s when you close out a bar and, after a full shift, you’re still so broke that the bartender – who hates your cocktail serving ass – buys you a drink, but because she hates you, she just empties the last sips of almost empty bottles, no matter what kind of liquor, into a pint glass. What you got is a hellborn bastard drink that you know you shouldn’t down, but do anyway. The dirty shot inevitably leads to a lost night – and a great trio to score your demise (and possible redemption) is the gutbucket soul of 10 Foot Polecats.


Then there were fried pickles. Yes, my darlings. My dears. My wanton hustlers and friends. FRIED PICKLES! Not spears, mind you, but SLICES of salty empyrean. Professor M. and I sat under a food tent, hiding from that cataclysmic orange orb, downing le bad bad food. I’m still drinking gd green smoothies to right myself from all the fried splendor. We were within earshot to hear Sean and Zander at the main stage.


Hellbound Glory – 4:45 p.m.
Yep. Hellbound Glory did it again. Made me smile. Made me swoon. Totally worth seeing live.

Dad Horse
Dad Horse Experience – 6 p.m.
Dad Horse Ottn wants to lift your spirits with his banjo and foot-organ. You can’t throw a candle at the sun and think you’ve made the sky brighter, so, instead, Dad Horse goes into the dives, the basement parties, the sinpits and tentshows and, through a German interpretation of American roots gospel, makes the world a more better place.

…If Twin Peaks had a traveling preacher, it’d be the Dad Horse Experience.

Deadbolt – 7 p.m.
I really, really wanted to see Deadbolt. They are surf weirdos who play the occasional power tool. Seeing their deadpan, gallows humored rockabilly would’ve been filler to my bucket list…but…but…Joseph Huber was playing. I saw Deadbolt set up. I saw them continue to set up…and then I moved my ass over and watched Joseph Huber play.

Joseph Huber – 7:20 p.m.

::deep, calming breaths::

I am ok. Really. I’m ok. But, seriously, what a fine motherfucking poet that man is and he plays hella banjo and he seems to be the kind sort and he BUILDS FURNITURE and PAINTS. I’m not joking. Go check out his website and then, if you could please buy me one of these and one of these, I’d thank you mightily.

An Old Mountain Tune
Fell Off the Wagon
Tongues of Fire
Dance Around the Daggers

I can’t do it. I was gonna narrow it down to the top three Huber tunes you should try if you don’t know him already and I can’t. Four. I give you the above four…and that is only off his newest album. Do it. Listen. He plays the kinda music where me and my ShawnaBanana end up singing at each other in our awful, awful, out of tune voices and it is all ok, because the music is loud and people have arms slung around each other and everyone is swaying and the night feels right. Life feels good, even in all its inconsistencies and hardships.

I admit it. Here is one of the moments that I almost cried at Muddy Roots. I don’t know how or when it happened, but I have become a big ol’ softie. I now feel life more deeply, both the bitter and the beautiful. Listening to Huber, watching the joy of the crowd, being with new friends and old…the closest thing I can say it felt like was the best of times singing in church when the weight of the world washes out of you.

Goddamn Gallows – 8:30 p.m.
Ever wonder what Ol’ Scratch plays in Hell’s elevators? Look no further. The Goddamn Gallows are a gonzo carnie hobo band equal parts eerie, ferocious and innovative. Mikey Classic gives winking-eyed pirate face while belting out gutterbilly moans as Fishgutzzz beats the standup bass and plays foil to TV’s Avery’s lunatic miming of everything from jerking off to ODing while he plays (mainly) washboard and accordion. Baby Genius beats the drums and Joe Perreze plays banjo and if you see them live…you will never see the same show twice.

Muddy Roots goes nuts for the Gallows. NUTS. Actually every show I’ve ever seen the Gallows has gone nuts. Note specific to Muddy Roots...it’s a surreal thing…seeing six-year-olds rushing the stage to dance to a songs like “Waiting Around to Die” while the rest of the audience turns into a pit or slackjawed with awe.

The Monsters
The Monsters – 10 p.m.
Holy shit. The Monsters KILLED IT. Like motherfucking slammed that stage into submission with their red jackets, black lapels, matching turquoise guitar and bass and voodoo, rock’n’roll, um mau mau power. And even though they ripped the main stage to splinters, Beat-man was humble and apologetic saying the show was a mess (it wasn't) - re: busting two strings - which I blame on the guitar gods trying to keep balance in the universe. That much awesome in one fucking place probably could cause some kinda gd wormhole or alternate dimension Evil Dead skywarphole.

I was on the front line of nerdo wonderkids, dancing at the edge of the stage with Ms. Amanda and her mustachioed Joe and their lovely family. Professor M…well, he had the moonshine in him and one minute he would be behind me dancing and the next he was in the pit.

I just.
I can’t.
::breath comes in all fluttery::


Black Flag – Midnight
I stayed for the first four-ish songs and it was basically a whole hell ton of a theremin over Black Flag songs and where the energy was up and the crowd mightily enjoyed themselves but I needed to flail myself into Nod.


In rad news, today is Saturday and in a coupla hours I get to go see Cutthroat Shamrock play at a Celtic fest about an hour south from me. Which means f this blogging s, for now. I’ll toss y’all Sunday’s music tomorrow.

Happy weekend, friends.

Muddy Roots 2013 Review, Part I: Thursday - All Upon a Foggy Night

I would like to thank whatever gods may be that I didn’t fall off a cliff in Tennessee. This doesn’t sound like something to crow about, but hey, it was getting dark. I was anxious. I had the lovely ShawnaBanana and the handsome Professor M. in my car. I hate getting lost. I especially despise being lost in front of other people. I’m a proud sonofabitch. But oh well. About 20 miles outside of the June Bug Ranch, we missed a turn. We’d been driving for eight hours. Instead of getting to Muddy Roots in abt a half hour…it took another hour and a half.

The sun went down.
The fog drifted up.
The roads curved.
Headlights drifted past shotgun shacks and the eye flashes of animals.

Fourth Street. That is what we missed. “GPS it!” was the general consensus. Using a smart phone an hour outside of Nashville didn’t smack of hubris, dear reader, but here is my advice to you while driving through Tennessee, have printed directions. If you ef up and miss a turn, backtrack. Trust no phone.

The first phone told us to go down a slightly mountainous road that ended due to construction.

The second phone took us into what looked like a national park. The road disappeared into a parking lot. Another fork of it ended in a boating dock. Dark woods abounded. There were no street lights. It’s not an awkward horror movie set up at all – getting out of your car with your headlights pointed towards a darkened park ranger’s office then walking around an oversized pickup so that your passengers can’t see you as you shamble to the only light available – a shadowy woman holding a candle in an open doorway while she whispers to two men.

No, they had no idea how to get to the June Bug Ranch, but they gave us directions to a gas station.

The gas station had at least heard of the June Bug, but had no idea how to get there. They could give us directions to a Dollar General that could probably give us directions the rest of the way. Except the Dollar General would be closed by the time we got there, so we should drive about a mile past the Dollar General to get to another gas station more in the general vicinity, so they could get us better directions.

On the way to the Dollar General, the phone GPS began to work and it took us on a white-knuckle adventure of driving curving, rolling, one-and-a-half lane roads while the fog thickened.

This whole drive, I am thinking to myself how last year I made this drive alone and partially in the dark and I didn’t have a damn problem so WHAT THE HELL? ::sigh::

We got there.  We set up camp in the dark behind a monolithic wooden banjo propped up on a hill near the showers and the bar.

There had been grand plans to see the Goddamn Gallows and Calamity Cubes at a pre-party in Nashville, but we three were like FUCK THE CAR, NO MORE CAR. We stuck around the June Bug and got to see part of Husky Burnette’s set and all of Hellbound Glory – who, by the damn way – covered Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” which made me seven forms of sweet on them.

Muddy Roots 2013 Review, Part II: Sweat, Sun and Dirty Fun on Friday

OI! It was brow-dripping, swass-swinging, Seventh Circle hot on Friday at Muddy Roots. Somewhere out there, there's a picture of me skinning a cucumber for lunch stuffs ridiculously red-faced and sad-sackin.

Let me emphasize a few things here:

1.    I hate the sun.
2.    I am not an outdoors kinda girl.
3.    Summer can suck it. It is the brownhole of all seasons.
4.    When I think of camping, my perfect experience is a cabin in the woods with wi-fi and bonfires at night – not waking up sweating in a tent and cooking shit over a burner.

This is how amazing Muddy Roots is, people - it can get my prissy ass outside all day, every day for three days straight, slatherclogging my pores with sunscreen and tent/car sleeping.

Jason Galaz is the badass creator behind Muddy Roots. Officially, it is more than a three-day concert. Muddy Roots is a record label, a promotions giant and four worldwide music festivals. The first Muddy Roots Music Fest came about in 2010 because Galaz wanted to see all his favorite bands in one place. Dude basically took a whole bunch of insane, unknown, mega awesome sidestage bands and created a fest for them in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t matter if the fest made money, what mattered was that these blues, bluegrass, country, punk and roots musicians could meet up, meet fans and a community could grow.

2013 marks the fourth year of the Muddy Roots Music Fest in Cookeville, TN. It was my second.  It’s a goddamn roots music wonderland of moonshine and mayhem – and if you’re willing to pass a bottle (of booze or water) or even give a nod and a smile – you’ll be making friends.

You drive into the June Bug, check your tickets at the bar, set up camp wherever you choose (no hook-ups though), then all that’s left is to check out the midway. The Main Stage is a huge wooden affair half surrounded by trees. Performers are shaded, but most audience members aren’t. There’s a cage and a stripper pole on each side of it – which hilariously get used to capture rogue dancing children, more often than not. As you walk away from the main stage, it’s a straight shot down vendor alley where you can get yourself everything from jalapeno cheddar hush puppies, big as your fist for a dollar to fried pickles and burgers and PBR. Merch booths and food are mixed betwixt three other tent-covered stages of varying sizes. All the music is centrally located, and for being so close together and easily walkable, there is very little sound-bleeding to interrupt one act from another.

Epic shit that happened Friday.

Filthy Still – 2:30 p.m.
Filthy Still is the kinda band that can sing about benders in Tijuana and dinosaurs with equal authority and vigor. Jesse Roderick sounds like a maniac carnie barker, all growls, shouts and intrigue, while Matt Olson beats the beautiful shit out of the banjo.

I like me some Filthy Still. A lot. An epic lot. Like fuck yes, I can stomp flail to this jar-drinking, sad-singing, occasionally nerdy punkass bluegrass. They came out of Providence, RI...which explains a lot. I mean, come on…Lovecraft town? Of course you are gonna have some gorgeous, Mad Max lookin’, road dog freaks fall outta that town.

Carolina Still – 3:30 p.m.
Half naked fiddle player. Quite obviously, that’s not the most important aspect of their set, but hey, if you wanted to get me a gaggle of them for my birthday, I’d keep ‘em. They could bedside table and bureau roost and fiddle me to sleep. --- And here is when I wish I was an artist because the idea of a darkened bedroom with crow-perched-fiddle-sandman would be an AWESOME woodblock print.

Carolina Still are a hella catchy, energetic barndance band. Be on the lookout for them. They’re worth it.

Ray Lawrence, Jr. – 4:30 p.m.
Ray Lawrence, Jr. is the King of Dick Jokes at Muddy Roots. Ok, ok, that’s maybe cutting him down. He’s more than that. “Dickens Cider” was the obnoxious standout that I might’ve actually liked more if it wasn’t so long, but outside of that, Lawrence impressed me as a soulful and dedicated writer with an old time voice. Saving Country Music interviewed him back in 2011 and Lawrence said,

“Music has saved my life more than once. I’ve always had my music to fall back on. Some people have to fall back on a regular job. Something goes wrong for me, my music is the thing that pulls me out. When I wrote “When You Lose Everything You Have”, I realized you can lose your house, your car, your clothes, everything you got possession-wise, but if you lose love, you lose everything.”

Brownbird Rudy Relic – 6 p.m.
Holy shit.

::pauses to reflect and make sure a heightened reaction is appropriate::
::nods to self::
::dances in room while listening to Brownbird on Reverbnation::

Yep. Holy shit. Ok, so if you catch Brownbird Rudy Relic’s jive online, it’s got some ragtime revivalist gusto…but sweet baby Moses, see him live. Only giving him four feet by five feet and a metal folding chair? Doesn’t matter. That black rimmed glasses man will get his retro fabulous ass standing on that chair, hopping it across the stage while singing and playing guitar. How do you hop a fucking chair across a stage? I have no idea. He did it. He’s got pre-war blues, Mexican dreamboat ballads and guitar-flipping theatrics down. And really, really, HOW DOES SOMEONE MAKE A KAZOO SOUND SOULFUL? HOW? Totally a likable guy on and off stage. I shoulda bought a shirt. I want to buy a shirt. In fact, hey, look, here is where you can buy a shirt.

…Ok. Now there was a pause in the action. Not because there wasn’t anything going on…more like there was still too much going on and I needed to damn well eat. I know at some point I had vegan hot dogs. I heard tidbits of Fifth on the Floor and Mikey Classic and His Lonesome Spur while in search of water and food.

Hooten Hallers – 8:30 p.m.
I LOVE THESE GUYS. You got Andy Rehm, an insanely high-voiced-crazy-bastard-falsetto drummer, and the throaty blues of John Randall on guitar. You want regret? You want bitterness? You want anger, hate, love and all the glory and holes between? You want all the mess of life to an ass shaking, sometimes slithering, slip it in beat? Hooten Hallers got you covered, baby. MROW.

They make me want to grind up on my good looking man. Damn. Yes. The Hooten Hallers sound like they should be played in a red light district whiskey shed with poor lighting and loose morals. Amen.

Bosom Buddies and the Dixie Dames Burlesque – 9:30
Cooch tent in the woods in Tennessee? I’m there. Only caught the last two acts, but there was some feather stripping, fishnet jiggling, glove-tossing gorgeousness going on. LADIES, SERIOUSLY! You are goddesses. That you can keep that level of finery going on in a dirt-kicking, hot, drippy campsite with less than ten hot showers and no proper place to change…hell yeah.

Joe Buck Yourself – 10 p.m.
Joe Buck looks like a hillbilly cryptkeeper. He has a drooping Mohawk and deep set eyes with skin as pale as the moon in a melodramatic poem. Dude’s hot. Not joking. He’s beautiful. ShawnaBanana agrees with me. In addition, his drug-train, motherfucker-strewn, muddy watered, grave-digging, proud Tennessean tunes are a driving force within the roots world. Just when you think you know what Joe Buck’s got in him, he pulls a “Bitter is the Day” on you. Fucker is surprising in the riffs and risks that he takes. He’s also a humble son of a gun who constantly thanked a jubilant crowd for their ardent support.

…Muddy Roots is special. Musicians are connected to fans. Many of the fans are musicians. The whole scene is built on a we’re-in-this-shit together attitude. Helpfulness, thankfulness and family are themes that ran a deep and sincere river all weekend.

Reverend Beat-man – 11:30 p.m.
I’m in love with Reverend Beat-man. I’d never heard of him until Muddy Roots released their line up and then, then…Jesus h. I mean, speaking of Jesus, the first song I ever hear of Beat-man’s is “Jesus Christ Twist” and it is a heavysick sound on an album called, I shit you not, Surreal Folk Blues Gospel Trash Vol. 1. I KNOW. My heart thumps harder and wetter thinking on it.

Beat-man does his one-man-band thing.
He’s the lead singer of The Monsters.
He’s the founder of Voodoo Rhythm Records.

He’s a disturbo magnifico maniac  --- like if Hazel Motes of Wise Blood and a Swiss John Waters raised a psycho dance song kid. Fuck and yes, he had everyone hollering during his set. Only it wasn’t only Beat-man, he had two of The Monsters up there with him driving the crowd into a frenzy.


And that was it for me and my fella that night. I was spent. He was spent. I know. I know. Go ahead and yell. I didn’t get to see Those Poor Bastards at 1 a.m. I am an idiot. We were idiots. It’s true. But I have seen them before on multiple occasions (they are fucking awesome – see them live – Lonesome Wyatt is likely to show up with a fog machine and a giant cat statue…he’s an oddly lovely musician and writer). I was falling over tired. Maybe if I was a boozehound or had been slamming coffee I could’ve powered through…but as it was, my maw was yawning so wide I coulda been a sin eater for the world. Me and Professor M. hauled ourselves up the hills and nuzzed up to one another and it was a hella perfect moment with Wyatt cackling down on the midway and the crickets and night creatures wailing nearby.


Come back for more tomorrow. I'll have the rest of the weekend...from Dad Horse to Black Flag to Rachel Kate.

Geez louise, it was a fine frikkin time. I nearly cried three times, because apparently at 30, I am now a goddamn softy. Make too much of it and I'll give you a knuckle sandwich, but I'm just saying, there are some beautiful damn people that make and go to this fest.

But more on that tomorrow. Gots to get ready for workin' the library. Tonight we are hosting Holly Black.

Yes, be jealous. She is an amazing author and she's coming to my library for a reading and Q&A on her most recent book, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Life is good.

Hard Soil and Cyborgs

1. If you have a fiver and like documentaries and roots music, chuck that greenback at the folks of Slowboat Films. Their doc, Hard Soil, is in production. It records the riotous and inspiring underground roots music scene.

If you like what you see and want to help out, support their Indiegogo.
Want to see what other films Slowboat has done? Check it.

They'll be filming at Muddy Roots. What is Muddy Roots? Come on down to Cookeville, TN to find out. Everyone from Reverend Beat-Man, Jayke Orvis, the Goddamn Gallows, The Monsters and Deadbolt - in addition to 50+ other bands - will be there. Think about it as the largest, most passionate, heavily tattooed group of roots music freaks in one space this side of paradise. It's Johnny Cash meets the Ramones plus camping.

Come on down and dance with me. Get in on a genuine, friendly music scene.

2. Cyborgs. You were promised cyborgs.

I am working on a cyborg story. I am working on a cyborg story because WHOA, BIOHACKING IS HELLA INTERESTING!

My cyborg story is...kind of like a post-human Bonnie and Clyde meets Robin Hood tale. We'll see where it goes. I haven't actually written a damn word except for the first line...but I am sketching out a world. Character names. Government institutions. Music. Settings. Research. There's a hellton on youtube that is helpful and lately I've been reading a mound of cyberpunk manga like Blame! and Biomega. It has assisted in shading a world in my brain built on the backs of Stephenson and Gibson.

That's all I got for ya.

Hey world, here's a ::hug::
Now go away. I'm busy. Writing. Figuring. Yeehaw.

Swear to Eris, the best damn times of my life have been spent cutting a rug, talking 'round a kitchen table or squirreled away in a solid book. This week...this week had a helluva lot of beauty in it.
It could have easily been spent pining and downcast, as every damn writer I know is in Boston at ReaderCon, but hell, I am meant for more than moping. I kept busy with shows.

::chest splits and intestines flop out in the shape of musical notes::
::pokes at notes with a quill::

Thursday I went to the Abbey Pub to see Lou Shields and Soda Gardocki with ShawnaBanana. Both are one man bands, though Soda's been known to travel with a band when the world puts one behind him. In various incarnations he's opened on tours for greats like Wanda Jackson, Jack White and the Ramones.

I'd never seen a full set by Soda before and only heard him on Spotify with a full-backed band. And hell, that man, that man doesn't need a band behind him to make a crowd holler and sway. His voice is black velvet and gravel and he can play some hella dirty banjo.

He can also talk about books - and not only books - female authors. His songs are chock fulla mighty women. Dude even co-wrote a song with his grandma - the intro to the song said with a chuckle, "My grandma's motto was, 'I like my liquor strong and my men weak." He was done with his set when Banana and I begged him to do a cover of "Jackson". It's a male/female duet and we'd heard on good authority that Gardocki did both parts. Soda pulled out a deep-set Johnny Cash bass-baritone and then...then he went all high pitch, hilariously squealy for the June Carter part. Know what I love? An artist that takes themselves seriously. Know what I adore even more? An artist who can laugh at themselves. It makes me want to fling money at them in any way possible.

Other Thursday night highlights: Lou Shields' cigar box guitars made from spare parts and broken skateboards, meeting more folks in the Chicago roots music scene, having Banana straddle my lap like a koala, puppy piling on the Abbey's outdoor furniture.

Friday I went with my dark-eyed fella and a few other characters to see The Tossers play at a Chicago Irish Fest. Immediate nostalgia hit me twofold. 1. It was held at the Irish American Heritage Center...the last time I was there it was with C.S.E. Cooney (now of the far Rhode Island way) to see a play. 2. The Tossers have now been together for 20 years. 20 YEARS. That's insane. I remember seeing them at Off the Alley, this little all ages dive, when I was 14. Then I was like - no way. No way. It has been 16 years since I have seen the Tossers. How the hell did that happen? Weird. I danced. I sweat. The Chicago night crawled under the tent and goosed the crowd while we basked in all the classics. Need a song for a bender? The Tossers have one. Poor and outta booze? Yep. Woke up in jail? Check. Classic folk songs? Yup. They even have a diddy from the way back they play when their lead singer is tossin his guts off the stage.

Good times, had by all. I am fond of any song that can cause me to link arms with friends and sway. Which the Tossers made me do. Excellent.

Saturday I worked 9-5 at the library and then went straight to Banana's house wherein she fed me CHILI LIME TOFU TACOS! Om nom nom. We scrambled over to 4 Miles 2 Memphis for a free show. Yep, Soda Gardocki - a Chicago native who flees town in the winter months - was playing again.

Saturday ended with Banana and me and onion dip. So, so much onion dip. LOVE HER ONION DIP. I don't care if it is only a packet of a frikkin powder and vegan sour cream. She makes the best onion dip evers.

What else? I feel as if more was done this weekend. Oh. I worked on Sunday, too, then got to hang out and nap around.
Monday was helltons of busywork and then. And then. AND THEN!

I went to Reggie's to see, hold your breath here ladies and germs,

...Antoine Dukes - who sounded like a strawhat singer outta the '20s. Bonus points: he had a pointed mustache
...Rachel Kate - who put me in a good mood and almost made me cry. Yep. Both those things can happen AT THE SAME TIME! Bought a shirt and a CD. Her voice is an errie power folk river and, wow. I want you to know her. I want you to know her because not only was she uber talented, but she was super nice.
...Filthy Still - who got me and Banana boot-pounding the floorboards, as they always do.
...Mikey Classic - who gives the best GD pirate face out there while he one man bands it between Goddamn Gallows tours.
...Molly Gene One Whoaman Band - who HOLY EF...gawd. That woman. That woman takes my breath away. She plays the bluesiest hillbilly shit I've ever heard. Slide. Banjo. Guitar. Harmonica. She plays a homemade footdrum that has a snare, high hat and bass in it. Her. You need to see her. I mean, if EVER she is passing through your town, do it. She's a cowboy boot wearing, hellraising, gutteral singing, head swinging, wild one not afraid to get dirty and give it all. LOVE. THIS. WOMAN!
...and the gutbucket soul of Ten Foot Polecats

It was an insane week and I was busy enough that I didn't pine too heavily on not getting to go to Boston and hang with all my gorgeous writer friends. Next year, you maniacs, next year I will go to ALL OF THE CONVENTIONS.




You Cut What Off???

My hair.

I cut my hair off. I shaved 90% of my head. POW POW POW! and perhaps ZAP! Maybe even a ZAP POW.

Because? Because WHY THE HELL NOT? o.o! Because it'll grow back if I don't like it and I have to say, it's pretty damn ok. I mean, WOW! I have a decent shaped head. It ain't like I shaved it all off and then OH NO! PUMPKIN GROWTHS or strange HORNS or SOFT DIVOTS or ARCANE NOSTRADAMUS MOLES were hiding under there. It's been about two weeks and I'm already rather fuzzy and wanting to shave it down to no guard again. Which means - HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE! - my hair is growing. Which, anyone who has known me a smidge plus, knows I have had issues with my hair being a stubborn bitch on the growth front. I mean, it ain't never gonna be Cleopatra thick, but at least I know that it GROWS. Bastard hair.

Hey look. Here I am:



It's weird. It was supposed to be about Sarah Winchester. Instead it is more about the medium who told her to move West. It is bloody and gritty and I like it. I am sick of it, but I like it. And so does my mom. She is reading it and told me so. Huzzah.

And it is with beta readers. I'm telling you, folks, it is like at least 80% FUCKING AWESOME! I mean, I know. I know. I will need to tighten it. I will need to fix some things - and if I sell it, I will have to fix it all over again for an editor or publisher - BUT HEY! It is done and I am proud of myself. I have done drafts before...but never this FULL. It is... It is... 603 pages and now it is done and I'm like FUCK IT! FINALLY! I can move on to other shit.


There is that grindhouse Exorcist meets Last Picture Show play I've always wanted to write (which is gonna be a radio play in its first format).

There's a Jo and Fenn novel I want to write. Those two broads that fight monsters together and are best friends? Yeah, them. I want to write that novel and I can guaran-damn-tee you it ain't gonna take no seven years. I am shooting for 4 months. If that. BUT I don't know. I even have...ahem...a small, but rad publisher's interest -ish. That's another story for another time. Not now.

I don't know, kind and lovely people. I feel so FREE. I have not felt this weightless in AGES. I can do any damn thing I want to do. I can write whatever I want and not feel bad that I am neglecting The Novel. I can move on to Other Things. It is frikkin faboosh.

Invading MadisonLandia for WISCON!

UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. What a whirlwind GD weekend, man.

Friday went like this...WORK WORK WORK. Get distracted at work. Not want to be at work. Thinking about leaving for Wisconsin for a writing convention. Getting a headache. Listening to everyone in the workroom talking way too loudly about their grandkids and grilling small animals and big animals and BBQ sauce and their four day weekends and meanwhile my headache is stupid and blegh, but not screamy, but I am like whatever and WORK WORK WORK some more.

And then.
I get to the point where I am all Bartleby, "I would prefer not to."
So I leave work 3 hours early and go to...

The magical land of Madison.

No, seriously, Madison is frikkin awesome. The houses are all Victorian pretty and rambly and they look like they should all be 1890s or 1950s boarding houses. They have porches. PORCHES that I want. Or balconies. I dig it, man. Plus on Saturdays they have this EPIC farmers market that goes all around the town square in front of the capital building. SNAZZY.

Each year fantasy and sci-fi writers plague Madison for WisCon, a feminist sci-fi and fantasy writing convention.

I admit, this year I was frazzled. I should have taken Friday off. Officially, the con starts Friday. Panels and readings are going on. But I couldn't spare the dang vacation time. BAH! But Anyways, I got there and it was beautiful because I walked in the door to two beautiful friends (Ms. Katie and Ms. Alex) who swooped me off to eat a Himalayan joint a jaunt down State Street. Nom to the frikkin oh yeah. And because I descended on WisCon later than normal, by the time we got back to the room and I was registered and had my badge and what not, it was time to MAKE THE PARTY ROUNDS!

This is how it is. Panels and readings and business by day. Hotel parties by night. Writers, they are a mad lot. Usually a mad, drunk lot. Meaning, I changed out of my gray pin-up dress before anyone could swill, sidestep then spill on me.

There was karaoke...did you know that "99 Luft Balloons" is really an apocalypse song? ME NEITHER? Benjamin Rosenbaum kindly explained the spec-fic nature of the song to me after he sang it in German. I think it was German. His rendition was impressive and sounded much more punk rock than new wave. I liked it infinitely better than the original. Speaking of Mr. Rosenbaum, he is a FAB writer. You should buy his short story collection, The Ant King and Other Stories.

Then there was the Queers Dig Time Lords party. Because yes, absolutely yes, there needs to be a LGBTQ Dr. Who party. The party was in honor of the book of essays, Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Dr. Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It, put out by Mad Norwegian Press.

Quite honestly, there were a zillion parties on floor six and I went to all of them and then I fell over into bed, wherein I PRACTICED!

What could I possibly practice in bed? Nothing lascivious last Friday, my darlings. I had to read aloud and time my novel excerpt and give it another go-through because on Saturday I was scheduled for a reading. POW! That's right. Who be reading all up at a con? Me! I figure if this is gonna be the only con I go to this year, I need to damn well read at it. And I did. BUT FIRST! There was lots of other stuff.

Saturday hit and DANG! there was some hella good programming going on. Favorites of the day:

Strong Female Characters Vs. Kickass Babes - where Alex Bledsoe, Holly McDowell, Julia Dvorin, Rebecca Holden and Caroline Pruett discussed what made a strong female character outside of sheer physical strength.

flyerOuter Secrets - Was a poetry reading by The Secret Poetry Cabal. - HAIL ERIS AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, what a hella good poetry reading. I mean, crap. I lose words thinking about it. There were about eleven readers and every damn one of them was phenomenal. Standouts were Amal El-Mohtar, Julia Rios, Gwynne Garfinkle, oh hell. All of everyone who read at this reading was mind blowing

THEN IT WAS TIME! Time for my reading. OK, well, first there was more delicious food and some random booth-cuddling with pretty ladies I hadn't seen in a year, BUT yeah, reading time.

I am always a bit shakey and nervous before a reading. It doesn't matter that I've done hundreds of these, by now. Doesn't matter if I practice. My stomach is fluttery and my hands want to shake, no matter how many times I've read through my piece.

Can I say that, wow, just wow, I read with some incredible broads? Lisa Bradley...if you don't know her, you should. She kicked my ass with her poetry. Alex Dally McFarlane is an academic spec fic writer that always makes me feel smarter after having read or heard her. Shira Lipkin is a wonderwoman who seems able to be all places at once and will write anything if she likes the person doing the double-dog-daring her to do it. Our reading was called Spindles and Spitfire. This was the program description:

Join us for a reading packed full of sinister whimsy, hidden hearts, folkloric sensibilities and SNACKS! Lisa Bradley dances with the skeletons in her closet. Shira Lipkin will apparently write anything if you dare her to on Twitter. Alex Dally MacFarlane works at a spindle of bones and gold. Patty Templeton writes hellpunk in a handbasket, full of ghosts, freaks and fools.

And so we kicked ass and gave out candy. THEN!

TWO PEOPLE! not one, TWO! Came up to me and told me that they came to the reading because they wanted to hear more of my novel, which they had heard part of last year. And I was like WHAT? WHAT? HOLY CRAP! You remembered me? And my novel? And you want more? I mean, OF COURSE YOU WANT MORE! YES! I WILL FINISH THIS DAMN THING! And so it will be.

Did I mention I am almost done? Like for reals? Like I have a to-do list that is less than one page of a yellow legal pad and SHIT IS GETTING MARKED OFF EVERY DAY! Whap. Pow. Zap. Huzzah. June 7th it's going to beta readers.

There was more. There always is. My more included getting home, a man with a banjo, the new Arrested Development and writing a hellton.

Smoochie boochies. I'm out.


Patty Templeton

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