tammy ho lai-ming interview

My interview with the lovely, talented, and brilliant Tammy Ho Lai-Ming went up at Monkeybicycle today. We talk about her poetry, expatriatism, love, and her work as an editor and academic.

She’s a cool person.

Remember to send me your submissions for your own interviews! We’re always looking for content at Monkeybicycle, and since this is a new part of the site, I’d love to see it grow.

The indiegogo campaign, Revenge of the Scammed has entered its final six days, and we still have over $500 to raise before we’re fully funded. Get ye hence and revel in some amazing rewards! I would absolutely love to see this fully funded so I can pay off my debt, and we can make a truly amazing anthology, which also pays its contributors. Check out the link or click on the picture below to see what kind of rewards are available.

 

It’s immensely touching and beautiful to see how this has come so far. I had literally zero expectations for this, but since we’ve come this far, I’d love to see it go all the way. So help us get there.

I’ll forever be in your debt.

What else? Watched some great films.

Her by Spike Jonze is so beautiful and amazing, and it’s everything I tried to capture in a novella I wrote a few years ago about falling in love with an AI. Spike Jonze is amazing, and the acting is great here, even Scarlet Johansson, whom I normally can’t stand. It’s beautiful and touching and heartbreaking. It’s a lot like love.

Drug War is a disappointing Chinese thriller that doesn’t really give us much of anything. The problem with Netflix for me is that they think everything made in Asia is something that I’ll automatically love, regardless of actual quality, and this was a definite failure for me. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t very good.

The Great Magician is sort of similar, except I liked it more, probably because Tony Leung’s there to make everything okay. It’s a funny enough comedy, but it’s not exceptional. I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn’t see it again.

I can’t remember what else I watched recently. Probably that’s it.

There are so many films to always be watching, but I’m trying to keep this sustainable.

Anyrate, I finally began 13 Angels Screaming at the Mountain, and am about to jump back into it, once I stop being weary. Writing like 5,000 to 10,000 words of content a day really makes it difficult to transition right into fiction. It’s like my fingers are too tired to type properly. But that’s the job, yeah?

the unknown show with bud smith

Had a great time talking to Bud Smith at the Unknown Show. We talked about my new books and about the indiegogo campaign for The Revenge of the Scammed Anthology. It was my first time being on live radio and I think it went pretty well. Bud’s an awesome guy and I got the end of his conversation with Joseph Quintela, who’s one of the coolest guys I’ve met and has published my work more than anyone else. He’s an artist, poet, and editor doing so many interesting things, it’s hard to even pin down what he’s up to year to year.

But, yeah, the indiegogo’s doing pretty well, and we kicked over the $2,000 mark last night. So many great rewards still available and I hope you can help out and get some great rewards for yourself. For some surprising reason, the most popular reward has been the fingerpainting, which no one expected. It makes me laugh, but it also touches me deeply. This whole campaign has been so amazing and so beautiful and I’m constantly overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity.

 

But, yeah, it’s still very cold here and I’m still feeling down, but the interview made me feel better.

Also, now that I’m the Interview Editor at Monkeybicycle, I’d love to see your interview submissions! So interview somebody awesome and send it my way. Here’s the submittable.

Not sure what else to say.

Thank you to everyone.

I feel I should say that more often.

the last of the year in interviews

The final interview of the yearlong weekly interview series brings us back to the man who started it all. It’s JA Tyler’s birthday today, and this is my interview with him at Monkeybicycle. I’ve known JA for a few years now and he’s truly an amazing person, and he does so much for the writing community and young writers like me. He’s a pleasure to talk to, to know, and he always has great advice. Along with that, he’s one of my favorite writers, and, I think, one of the best around, so it’s an honor to call him a friend.

Read his interview and then buy his books. All of them, probably.

I spent last night with Girl with Oars & Man Dying again, almost exactly two years after I first read it. It’s magic and it’s beautiful and it’s perfect. It’s sublime. I love it.

What else? Bart, Bonnie, and Charlie are in town, so we had a very good time the other night, which caused me to spend yesterday sort of a ruinous wreck of human, but tonight we’ll do it again, this time with the Hambro, who’s always a pleasure to see. Just went to the library to get some of the books I requested, so I should have some goodness to occupy my time before they arrive.

I have one more post to write before the year is done, and it’ll be a recap of the year, because that’s what you do, yeah?

Still not sure what to do for New Year’s but Lake & Irving seems to be where I’ll end up.

Lake & Irving is a restaurant started by my good friend Dewey and his brother, Chris. Both of them are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, and Chris has, I think, ten years of experience as a chef at a Hawaiian 5-Star resort, so they come pretty decorated. More than that, they just make awesome food at a reasonable price. Lots of great beers, too, and the interior is so perfect. I really should write a proper post about it soon, but just know that it’s a great restaurant and bar here in Uptown, so if you live in the Twin Cities, treat yourself to some amazing food for a good price.

But, yeah, I guess that’s it. Still doing research on the giant monster novel, which still just means watching godzilla and Evangelion and so on, but the project grows and I’m excited to start writing it. Also, should have cover art soon for a very cool surprise.

It’s 45 degrees out and it’ll be -10 tomorrow, so I think I may try to do anything outside.

Till next time, which will probably be Monday or Tuesday or whenever I have time.

Oh, almost forgot to mention, the indiegogo campaign just broke the $1,700 mark! So many great rewards still to be claimed.

Thanks to everyone who’s been so helpful.

sausage making

As we do every year on the solstice, tonight the family makes sausage, which my dad calls the sausage party. It’s one of the greatest days of the year! Drinks and food and making forty pounds of sausage.

Anyrate, my interview with Robert Kloss and Amber Sparks went up this week. They’re awesome, and this is also the first full interview of the interview series. Next week will be the incredible JA Tyler to round out the year.

I can’t remember what I wanted to say in here. It’s been an odd week, I guess. I keep feeling all these projects rising and I just keep putting my head down and trying to do work for money. I think it’s a difficult time of year to find work, maybe. Or I’ve just been unlucky.

The indiegogo campaign has slowed considerably, but that’s okay. I imagine people are busy with the holidays and so on. I’ll pick up pushing it after, I think.

 

And if you don’t feel like giving to me, think about giving to Gregory Sherl.

 

He’s struggled with OCD for several years and he needs money to get well.

more novel talk

But also my interview with Nick Antosca went up at Monkeybicycle.

Only two more for the weekly series, and next week is sort of open, which isn’t ideal, but that’s the way it is. I have a few interviews in the works, so there’s no real fear here.

Things are getting wild with the novel and I just wandered over the 9k mark. It was meant to be more noirish, but I guess this is my kind of noir. Another detectiveless detective novel with a bunch of narrators, but things are getting pretty crazy, and I’ve drifted further and further into science fiction and fantasy the more I write. And so though this is meant for Broken River Books, it may be an awful fit there, but only time will tell, and it’ll only matter if I finish this by next week. Hoping to hit 12k before I go to sleep, which is very doable. Chelsea’s coming over soon, so I won’t be doing any more work until she sleeps.

It’s exciting though and I’m sort of just letting the ideas spill out. The best part is inventing mythologies/religions to contextualise a civilisation’s culture that doesn’t exist, and so I’m dreaming up all kinds of things.

Just finished this chapter, which is either an insane ramble or a factual exploration into what it means to be one of these odd tiny men.

 

Dust. It all comes back to Dust but it’s not really dust, or at least not the way we think of it. Everyone wonders how they remained hidden so long and why they only just emerged into existence. Trust me, it has little to do with Park and everything to do with Dust.

Park only appears important because she took the pictures and because they ate her, possibly alive, and made a carnival of the grotesquerie. But Park was brought there. Summoned. I know, I know, but bear with me, because this is important. More important than anything else you’ve probably heard. Have you even talked to the childfuckers? You won’t believe it and no one wants to admit it, but they know more about the niños than anyone else. You don’t live right along with them for that long in an intimate fashion without learning some things. And these are the kind of things the Growers would love to know about.

Dust is sacred and it’s everywhere in Antiguoniño, That’s not what they call it, by the way. They call where they live Life and everything else Nothing. This is fundamental to understanding them but the anthros are more concerned with contextualising them within our world. To them our world doesn’t exist. It’s also why they probably had no problem killing Park, and why they don’t trust us. Their word for us is a slur and though it means foreigner or alien, it’s more akin to calling me a chink or you a spic. They’re not trying to pull us into the context of their reality–they’re trying to banish us. That’s something Park didn’t realise, and also what the childfuckers don’t realise. But I guarantee you, all of those women will be dead within a couple of years, maybe even just a couple of months. They may not be eaten, but it’ll be something horrifying like that. But we’re not simply other to them, we’re nothing. We’re nothing from the nothingness that surrounds their world.

To them, the world is a cycle and their lives repeat endlessly. All of this happened before and it will happen again, and their shaman tattoo their lives onto their backs when they create their masks. Spirals represent the course of life. Circles represent the course of nature and existence. The masks identify them and separate them but also bring them all as one. And all of this comes from the Dust, which is the very soil that nourishes the Tree. They are Dust and we are all Dust. The Tree exists because of Dust and Dust birthed it into the world a hundred million years ago, long before humanity ever had a notion of existing.

The Dust lives and it sings. We can’t hear it but they can but it calls us too, though we don’t know or realise. That’s why Park found it, and that’s why so many haven’t. It’s not enough to just run into the desert chasing dreams. You have to be called or you won’t arrive. We don’t know anything about the Dust except that it exists and it covers everything. Most people you talk to won’t realise the significance of this since the world we now live in is full of crumbling buildings and broken roads and there’s dust and smog and dirt everywhere, but it’s important that the Dust covers every inch of their world.

Old stories exist about the naval of the world, the cradle of humanity. I’m not saying this is that naval, but it may be the heart, the heart hidden in the wild desolation of history.

Dust is their god. The anthros believe they have a host of gods and that this create their culture, but really it’s the single god with a billion aspects covering every inch of the world. Before they create their masks and accept the Dust permanently into their skin, they have names. Every child niño has a name, but when they create their mask and accept the Dust, they give up their name. Only when they lose their name do they begin to live.

That’s another thing that separates us. Because we carry our names as badges of honor they consider us less than nothing. We are the nothing from the nothingness carrying all that is nothing with us. That’s why they’re stealing from us. It’s to mock us. They’re teaching us a lesson about possessions. We’re so obsessed and blind with what we have and own that we can’t even see them for what they are.

They’re not a solution or a utopia. They don’t belong to us and they don’t want to be a part of our nothingness.

I think the Dust, though, is something quantum mechanical. It’s like magic and it’s infused deep into every cell of their world. It gives them life and also every part of their world. Their relationship with the wolves, their relationship with their environment, their relationship with one another–it all comes down to Dust. It gives them the ability to create new life, which is how they procreate.

All of this is speculation, granted, but it makes sense if you just keep following me down this rabbit hole.

There’s an old story but there’s never any time to tell it. It has to do with the Dream that is existence and the Tree that connects all realities. But this Dust is that Dream made real. The Dream of the Dreamers shapes all of this, and all other universes that whirl round just past reality’s veneer, and there are billions of universes just on the otherside of this dimension. Imagine reality to be like a six sided die. This die is our reality and the six dimension belonging to it. But if we turn this die over, there’s another die, and another die, and an endless number of dies, each with their own dimensions to their own realities. The niños–again, this is our term and they just refer to themselves as Us–aren’t necessarily from this reality, but they’re also not necessarily from another. This tree isn’t necessarily from ours or another’s either. On every habitable planet on every reality there is a Tree like this and it connects us and binds us all together, into one knotted multiverse and the world of the niños is more of a transitional place. It’s a home between worlds, between realities. It’s why you can’t see that Tree until you’re almost running into their home world. A tree that high should be visible for kilometers and we definitely should have known about i sometime through history, especially when we ruled the skies and space. But no one saw it then because it didn’t exist then and it didn’t exist then because the Dust didn’t call us. Do you see what I’m trying to say?

This place, Paradiso, Antiguoniño, whatever you want to call it, it’s not for us and we only appear because the Dust lets us. And though the niños accept our intrusion into their reality, they do it only because the Dust wants us there. Why it wants us there–who knows? What’s important is that it’s allowing us there.

But so what do we do with this quantum magic Dust?

We do nothing! That’s the whole thing. We’re not there to possess or to change things. We’re there for some purpose greater than any one humans could dream up.

But the Dust reacts to us. It reacts to all life and it transforms it. The wolves were born from this Dust. People don’t remember but when the Moon broke and fell to earth, it created a Lunar Desert which became a Lunar Forest and from that Forest came the wolves. A new breed, but the same breed as the niño lupine. A cataclysm brought us together across universes, across realities, and it took the dissolution of all that we are to bring us to the Dust that was calling us so long. It may mean that the dust of the Moon is our future. We’re not there to steal, you see. We’re there to understand. When we finally figure it out, when the Dust gives us whatever it wants to give us or when it uses us however it wants to use us, the world of the niños will disappear and we’ll be left with our own Dust. Our Dust that came from the Moon.

I know this all sounds crazy, but just you wait. The world is changing and it’s ready to grow. It may even be what Ming and the Growers need to understand about this world. They want to make us biofreaks, but all they need to do to reunite us with earth is to figure out where our Dust is and what we can do with it.

It’s the Dream crystallised into our reality. It’s our Dream, if only we learn to grab it.

 

revenge of the scammed

Lots to update everyone on. I’ll start out with posting the interviews I’ve published in the last month:

Fish Bites Cops! by David James Keaton. Interview published 4/12/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

Understories by Tim Horvath. Interview published 27/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

My Pet Serial Killer and The Laughter of Strangers by Michael J Seidlinger. Interview published 21/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

The House Enters the Street by Gretchen Henderson. Interview published 16/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

The Shape of Blue by Liz Scheid. Interview published 6/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

Can’t believe it’s been so long since I updated, especially since I planned on doing it every day during November.

Anyrate, as many of you know, I’ve been defrauded. Nate Tower and so many others have helped me organise a very cool campaign to try to recoup my losses. I’m out $2,000 and I’ll write a proper post about the whole thing later. Maybe this weekend. But, for now, just check out the indiegogo campaign.

So check out The Revenge of the Scammed Anthology.

More than just helping me recoup my losses, it’s full of very cool content. The Anthology is going to be killer and then people like Ryan W Bradley, Charles Spitzack, J David Osborne, and so many others are providing amazing things for backers.

Here’s a list of the anthology contributors:

  • Jesus Angel Garcia
  • David S. Atkinson
  • Allie Marini Batts
  • Ryan W Bradley
  • Paul D Brazil
  • Darlene Campos
  • Garrett Cook
  • Sandy Barrett Ebner
  • Rory Fleming
  • Susan Gibb
  • Michael Gonzalez
  • Amanda Gowin
  • Douglas Hackle
  • Sally Heymann
  • Don Lawson
  • William Lemon
  • h. l. nelson
  • J David Osborne
  • Alex Pruteanu
  • Stephen V Ramey
  • Matt Rowan
  • Robyn Ryle
  • Michael J. Seidlinger
  • Grergory Sherl
  • Ryan Shoemaker
  • Sam Snoek-Brown
  • Ben Tanzer
  • Susan Tepper
  • Refe Tuma
  • Richard Thomas
  • Nathaniel Tower
  • Robert Vaughan

And, if you’re a fan of me doing things, there are all sorts of things I’m personally offering, such as my first novel, Ash Cinema, drawings, paintings, videos of me singing, personal biographies and novellas, and even my editing skills.

So, for this holiday season, help a poor wild ydde out and he’ll repay you in content!

It really means so much to me that this has been put together. I can’t explain how grateful I am and I’ll never be able to thank everyone enough.

So just know I love you and appreciate all you’ve ever done for me.

people and emails

My interview with Ytasha L Womack at Monkeybicycle.

She’s amazing and be sure to check out her site.

Wrote about 20,000 words of short stories this last week and I’m working on getting them all in final form, which I think I completed this morning. Doing a bunch of submissions tonight, probably. Also got an email from China Mieville telling me he can’t blurb my book but he’ll be looking for it when it comes out, which is pretty cool news. Also got an email from a publisher interested in the poetry collection I wrote earlier this month, which is pretty nifty. Hopefully it works out.

Going to try to write a poetry chapbook right now, hopefully have it ready for tomorrow.

What else? Oh, some good stuff on the freelancing front, but I did a bunch of edits for this novel I’m working on, and for whatever reason they didn’t save properly in the file, so I need to restart. And editing something twice is the opposite of fun. But, that’s the job. Should work out fine, but now I’m on a quicker deadline than expected.

Also, digitally going to Blizzcon next weekend to write about Heroes of the Storm.

Anyrate, Chelsea’s birthday went well and I go to see her in a few hours.

 

today was a day

And we celebrated Chelsea and Viviana’s birthdays. Viviana’s my new sister in law and she’s amazing and I’ve never seen my brother so happy as the day they were married, and every day they have together. I could probably write about my brother a lot, though I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned him on here. I could write books about him.

Anyrate, the world sleeps and I dream alive listening to From the Art of Mirrors by Max Richter, which is the most perfect sound available to ears. Chelsea and I watched a documentary tonight that makes me want to write the philosophy book I’ve been thinking about writing for the last couple months. Or maybe it’s the opposite of philosophy, as if that means something.

Interview with Joe Hall is up at Monkeybicycle and he answers questions awesomely. I’m writing lots of stories about robots, but really they’re all about the same robot, though they stretch across time and genre. There are a bunch of magazines that have deadlines for the end of the month and I want to submit something to all of them. Little did I know they’d all be about robots. It’s fun though. Hopefully one or eight of them will pay me money.

What else? Oh, shadowdancing:

a year in stories::forty four

My interview with the great Ocean Vuong went up yesterday at Monkeybicycle. He’s definitely become one of my favorites. Anyrate, this was rejected the other day, along with the previous story.

Dusted Deathly

 

When I was young we dreamt so large, so loud. There were nights I couldn’t sleep, what with the racket of us all dreaming at once. There’d be wolves howling, cats meowing, and mothers and fathers loving us. That’s what we dreamt mostly, and it’s what we dreamt loudest. Sometimes we dreamt so loud and so large that it spilt into the hallway and down the stairs to Madame’s room or wrapped round the orphanage to her window and she’d be accosted by the dreams of all us lonely kids drunk on hope.

She’d barrel in and wash us out, get us to stop dreaming of Dust and start cleaning it up. That’s what she called dreams: Dust. I never really got it but it gave me a complex. I guess that’s the best way to say it. I got a complex for Dust and while the other kids were all off cleaning it up and washing it away, I was sneaking off through the loudest nights to play with it in the halflight of the slivered moon fractured. That archipelago of moonDust catching light in the sky was one thing and it made me think of others, like maybe how this Dust in this orphanage I was accidentally trapped in was a distant cousin of that lit up far away Dust.

I’d make sure the light was catching just right and the shadows weren’t too thick and I’d set to whipping up the Dust. Like writing galaxies in the sky, I watched the Dust dance through night and halflight while those loud dreams kept everyone else busy.

In the Dust I saw things I can’t so much find the words for. Best way to say it, I guess, is that they were dreams comes real. But Dust is still just Dust, even when you arrange it so to sing like a symphony amongst the clamoring dreams of too many orphans.

That’s war for you, yeah? Some of us were probably left and unwanted but many more of us were just the unfortunate sons and daughters of people accidentally caught by bullets and bombs. Such is the world, I guess.

What I found after years of studying and collecting and playing with Dust is that the world’s malleable, just like a load of fragments cast about. If you rearrange them just so, you can make something new. Doesn’t matter if they’re Dust particles or stars or too loud dreams, or even people on the street. If you arrange it all right, you can make something real come of it. A composer turns wood and wind to sound and beauty, traffic lights turn mechanical contraptions into traffic and progress, and me with my Dust and dreams caught real built miniature realities unattached to what others perceive existence to be.

I stopped dreaming like the others. No one really knew because it was always so loud at night it was hard to tell whose dreams were shrieking loudest. But the decibels of my dreams got muffled ever since I caught Dust in my lungs and heard voices.

I made a new world with all those bits of Dust. I’d take them in my lungs, deep down, and try my best not to sneeze or cough or puke it all up. Sometimes I failed and I’d get this malformed monstrous blob that sent the rest of my tiny world into havoc, but, if I got it right, I had little Dust men and little dust women, and they made little Dust babies, even without me swallowing and bringing back Dust.

By the time I was fourteen and the orphanage was crumbling to pieces, I had built an entire world and watched as its civilisation grew and evolved. I had so many dreams for it, but the lives they made and developed for themselves were better than anything I ever could’ve made for them.

I was proud. You wouldn’t believe the kind of pride that comes with inventing a cosmos that you’re the accidental center of. After a while, I barely even had to do anything. Better than the best movie I ever saw, my little world of Dust grew big with life.

And then one day they turned to me and saw. They saw me and spoke to me. I could understand them because I saw this all come to being, but I couldn’t really speak it. Dust doesn’t talk the way we would. But I showed them my answers, drew it in their stars and skies.

It was the first time anything ever worshiped me and I wept watching my creation find their god.

And then the war returned home and the orphanage came crashing down. We all got outside, even Madame. Our dreaming may be loud, but bombs are louder and we set to fleeing the second we felt the ground shake and the earth break. But I couldn’t get to my little big world, and though I searched for them for weeks amongst the rubble, breaking my fingers and weeping smoke, I never found the reality I built from orphaned Dust and dreams that yelled.

Mostly us orphans stick together here in the military. We know we’ll die before this is all gone and our dreams are still loud, but the hope’s been lost. It’s more shrieking dreams these days, but we all keep something dear deep inside of us, for when we die.

When I die they’ll find my Dust, and then I’ll join them to say I’m sorry.

things be brewing

First, I’ll start off with my interview with Lindsay Hunter at Monkeybicycle. It seems like those are the only updates I’ve been making lately. Hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of posting. Got some more exciting things to post here.

I wrote another poetry collection of tanka, ryuka, and haiku. 125 poems over three days to go with the poetry collection I wrote this spring which was about 120 poems. It’s weird for me to write poetry, and I think I’ll only ever write this kind of poetry, though I don’t know if I’ll ever take it that seriously. I mean, I take it seriously enough to write it all out, but I don’t know what to do with it now that it’s finished.

I’ll figure something out.

Been stalled super hard on the YA novella because of Time and stuff. Freelancing is going not so great as I can’t seem to find new jobs. If I don’t find something by the end of this week I’m going to start really looking for a part time job, just to make sure money continues to flow in and I don’t end up with a big mess on my hands.

What else? Chelsea’s birthday approaches, as does our 18 month anniversary. I have a surprise in mind, but she can’t know, so shut up your face. I need to finally write my nephews a book too, which I’ve owed them for almost two years! Being a bad uncle on that front.

Probably some other things too. I want to write a post about Breaking Bad now that it’s done, and I still need to write about the last two seasons of Lost, now that I’m done watching that weird show. Also, started watching a new show I want to talk about but that’s for later.

That’s all for now. Till next time, Starchild.