revenge of the scammed anthology fully funded

 

The Revenge of the Scammed Anthology’s indiegogo was fully funded on Saturday! I’ve not been home so I haven’t been able to write something proper for it, but this is going to be my attempt.  There’re ten more hours of funding, so if you feel like getting in on this, there’s just a bit of time left.

This is a thank you. It’s just the beginning of the thank yous I owe, and I’ll keep learning how to thank you all better.

Where to even begin. When I found out that my bank account was cancelled and all my money was gone, I was devastated. This happened on Thanksgiving Day, and I pretended nothing had happened so I didn’t ruin the holiday for anyone. Also, i couldn’t call the bank till the next day, so I just held on, hoping for the best. The best, as you all know, did not arrive, and Wells Fargo told me, essentially, that everything is my fault and not only will they not help me, they won’t even be my bank anymore.

So I ran all over town, talking to police, and so on to figure something out. Nothing happened, until Nate Tower decided we should do something about it and he pushed this anthology forward and I set up the indiegogo.

I honestly never imagined anything would happen with this. I thought we’d make a couple hundred dollars to make the anthology and that’d be it. It would go away and I’d keep trying to dig myself out of the hole I found myself in. Nate even asked me the first day if I thought we’d make $100, and I said maybe. Within twelve hours we had raised $1,000.

I say we, but I really mean you.

All of you have been so unbelievably amazing. None of this would have happened without the many contributors or without the funders. Some of you did both, and I can’t thank you enough. JA Tyler, Ryan W Bradley, J David Osborne and Broken River Books, Phil Jourdan and Perfect Edge Books, Ryan Werner and Passenger Side Books, Pure Slush, Sam Snoek-Brown, Susan Tepper, Alex S Johnson, Alex Pruteneau, Ben Tanzer, Gregory Sherl, and I’m probably missing someone but I hope not. These are the people who gave extra to make this happen, and then there are the contributors to the anthology. There’s no final line-up yet, but I want to thank everyone who submitted something and tried to help me out. I want to thank everyone who liked us on facebook or shared it on facebook or twitter or anywhere else.

I’m forever in your debt and I owe you all so much. You’ve given me the ability to start again and push forward without a stone around my neck called debt.

I’ve since started banking with a credit union, which is pretty awesome. Wells Fargo also decided to cancel my credit card, so there’s that inconvenience too. I’m finding new work, though, so I’m actually fine now. I would’ve been pretty crippled for the first half of this year, having all that debt hanging over me, but now I can get back to doing what matters.

I’ll be starting on the rewards that I specifically owe soon, so expect some singing and some painting, as well as a few biographies, and a novella.

I wish I could tell you all how much this means to me, how beautiful and wonderful I think you all are. It’s amazing what this community of writers have done for me. I’ll be seeing as many of you as I can at AWP, and I’ll try to grab most of you a beer, or something.

I love you all.

Thank you so much.

down by the water

That video makes me lauuuuuuuugh and I like the song, too, because it reminds me of high school.

Anyrate, watched Woochi yesterday, which is sort of a Korean action fantasy comedy, which I enjoyed maybe more than I should have. It’s too long and probably not actually that good, but I liked it.

Watched Timecrimes the other day, which is basically a Spanish version of Primer, in that it’s a lowtech time travel film where unlikely people bend time around them and run into all kinds of difficulties. Very interesting film that’s almost entirely awesome.

We’re down to the last four days of Revenge of the Scammed so help us get those last $445!

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.

13 angels screaming at the mountain

is going to be the name of my next novel, which is going to be a giant monster novel that stretches over about 150 years, I think. Maybe more. It should be a great deal of fun to write, and I think it’ll start sort of as a comedy, then move into existential horror, because monster movies are never really about the monster. They’re about us, and what it means to be human in a world that doesn’t want us.

Or at least that’s how I see everything.

So it’s going to be surreal and hectic and probably sort of insane, but there will also be an enormous mountain of light and thirteen angels screaming, so there’s at least that image to look forward to.

Watched Frances Ha last night by Noah Baumbach and I sort of hateloved it. Noah Baumbach is one of my favorite american directors, but I really didn’t like Greenberg, and this was sort of a mix for me. Sometimes I hated it and sometimes I loved it, but I think that means it was successful, given how Baumbach loves to push awkward at the viewer. It’s definitely worth seeing, even though it’ll frustrate you and the rent prices of New York will amaze you. She was paying almost as much for one room as I do for an entire house.

Got a few new freelancing jobs, which should provide consistent pay, which is great. Last month was pretty slow in that regard, but this month should be much better. I mean, it already is. And if the indiegogo gets funded, I’ll basically be healed from my tragic money problems.

Speaking of, we’re coming to the end of the campaign and there’s still a way to go. So do anything you can to help out. Get yourself some rewards, spread the word, share the link, whatever. I would greatly appreciate it.

Already the response has been so amazing and I can’t begin to thank everyone for doing so much for me. It’s been an amazing gift to know how beautiful you all are, and how kind the world can be.

But, yeah, please spread the word and get yourself some amazing rewards. Every single one of these is something I would buy without hesitation, so you won’t be disappointed by anything in there.

Thank you, and I love you.

the newest new year

The year started off weird, but last one ended great. After midnight, the night sort of became a blur and every thing I did following that can only be described as peculiar, weird, reckless, and mostly just annoyingly foolish.

But that’s my life, yeah?

Spent all of yesterday recovering from all the drinks I drank.

Anyrate, because I’ve fallen so far out of my old habit of daily film watching, I’ve decided to try to watch at least one film every day. This really isn’t a difficult thing, and for years I watched several films every day, and then read two or three books a week, too. So I’m going to try to get on that schedule again. But, with that in mind, I watched Computer Chess last night, which was only all right. It seems like the kind of film I’d love, but it all seemed sort of pointless. Pointlessness is generally fine, but, I mean, I don’t even understand why the film was made, to be honest. I liked it well enough, but it seemed to be a film that simply points at interesting ideas, as if that makes a film interesting. Nothing’s developed or explored and nothing really happens. It’s clear that the lives of at least three of the characters will change maybe dramatically sometime after the events of the film, and maybe that’s enough.

I enjoyed it, and maybe I just have a cool reaction to it because I was tired and hungover.

I also have the intention to post here more often, and probably to post a lot of little fragments of this giant world I’ve created and developed for basically my whole life. It’ll be sort of contextless paragraphs about existence there. Probably only of interest to me, but hopefully it becomes more so by the time my next novel comes out, when people can read a novel set in that world.

The indiegogo campaign continues! We have $1,200 to go in the next eighteen days, so get out and help me out! Also, get yourself some awesome rewards in return.

I’ll probably be writing my giant monster novel next week. It becomes clearer and clearer in my head every day, so now it’s just a matter of putting the words down.

 

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.

be careful, my children

Be Careful, My Children

And so the novel’s finally complete. Be Careful, My Children. Oddly enough, the first draft is almost exactly as long as I thought it would be. Got the final 5k words written just now and we’ve reached the end of a very strange journey.

I won’t post the chapter this time because then you’d have the ending, and that’s a weird piece of information to give, but I will post a short piece of that last chapter.

Before the Tree before the world before Time came to this place there was the Father. The Father found the child Goddess dreaming and He listened to Her dreamt song coursing through Him and all the everness. He lifted Her up but still she slept. Small with hair as black as the neverness and eyes vibrant and purple. Color did not yet exist like it does now but the Father saw Her eyes and fashioned color and Light. He fashioned these from the notes of the song. With His hands He grabbed the notes and swirled their essence into the everness and from them bubbled the world. The world was a sphere of Nothingness but the song promised and envisioned so much. The Father bent the song towards the world He molded and the song gave life and Light to the sphere but also Death and so we know the Goddess as the Goddess of Death and Light. Within Death there are a thousand thousands lives and within life there is but one Death continuing forever in all directions and across all dimensions but our infinitesimal Deaths are but a grain of sand on the shore of eternity. When the world was fashioned and still the song persisted the Father tied the notes around the world binding us and our world to the Dream. With this finished He watched the lives of the world come into being and He smiled. The Father watched over us and the Goddess dreamt. The more the Father watched the more He understood the sorrow of life and He saw lives blinking in and out of existence before He could name them or love them and He returned to the song and tried to bend it to better serve life on the world. But the Dream and the song are not for this world and so they cannot be made for it. The Father finally understood and when He understood he lay down upon the world and ripped open His chest. The Father killed himself to breed our world within the Nothingness of yours. From Father’s chest sprouted the Tree and the Tree became the heart of the world. It used the Father’s body to create itself and His blood became the rain forever Cycling and his bones became the Dust. Every drop of semen in His testicles became a brother and we brothers fashioned our homes from the organs and skin of the Father. And so through the Father we learnt creation and from the Goddess we learnt Death and from the two of them we learnt the Cycle. For Father returns to us every four seasons to give us life new and when we seek through the everness it is the hands of the Father guiding us through the Dream.

So, yeah, things just keep getting weirder in the novel. The language of this final chapter wasn’t what I expected it to be but I think it turned out all right.

Finished it later than planned because of Chelsea’s holiday party, which was really fun, but it meant I was hungover yesterday and lost the entire day to film.

Watched Only God Forgives, which is probably perfect but also just very bizarre. I’m not a fan of David Lynch and this was very Lynchian. I loved the silence of it all because I think film should have way less talking, and the aesthetic was so strong and perfectly executed, and everything was held back the way I like, but I guess I just didn’t actually care about most things that happened. So I suppose that’s what missed for me. It was like a perfect thing that I just didn’t care about enough. Still, though, definitely worth watching.

Also watched Robot & Frank, which is a pretty cool film about a man spiralling into dementia who befriends his robot caretaker and uses the robot to help him rob things. A pretty interesting film that’s often funny but also a moving meditation on what life is and what it means to be alive.

Now I’m in that weird post-novel space where everything’s bright and easy and lovely but also sort of opaque. The novel was meant for Broken River Books but I don’t really think it’s a good fit there. It may not be a good fit anywhere. Maybe it’s a bizarro novel, accidentally and finally. It’s on the short side, too, but I don’t know. I have several hours to reread, edit, rewrite, and assemble the novel into place.

Also, the giant monster novel sort of formed and crystallised in my head as I was writing this, which is exciting. I think that might be what I write next.

Also, getting very close to the date of a super secret surprise, which is actually the weirdest thing I ever wrote.

Anyrate, the indiegogo campaign reached and passed its halfway mark this weekend! Big thanks to everyone who contributed, but especially Matt Dodge who pushed us over the midway mark. I’ve known Matt for a very long time but we’ve only talked a handful of times, which is sort of weird. He’s a musician and he just had a new album come out.

But, yeah, still so many great rewards, including a new one from Passenger Side Books, who’s being generous enough to donate five bundles of all their chapbooks. That also comes with the anthology! So check it out and thank you, sincerely, from the bottom and top of my heart. It means the world to me how awesome my friends and even strangers have been during all of this.

progress !

The Revenge of the Scammed Indiegogo has slowed down considerably, but we’re still doing an amazing job. Next week I’m going to begin rolling out some of these rewards and hopefully attract more attention to it. I figure if we can hit the halfway point this week, we’ll be in very solid shape.

Still recovering from the loss, and the only way for me to do that is to just keep working. More work, better work, done more often. So I’m in a constant hustle to try to make up for all I lost. It’s not ideal to be climbing a mountain only to have someone push you back to where you began. But the only thing to do is give up or just start climbing again. This campaign is going to be huge in assisting me back up there, but a lot of this is still on me, to pick myself up and keep pushing.

But, yeah, loads of great rewards still available and the anthology is going to be awesome. I’ve received such amazing support from so many people. It makes me want to cry from how kind everyone is.

But I soldier on.

Already hit 5k for the day on Be Careful, My Children which puts me at about 17k total, and I should have no trouble reaching 20k tonight. I may even be able to reach it in a few hours.

Here’s a chapter, because why not?

She wasn’t born Angel de Paz Pizarro, but became her through will. She grew up in Pyonyang, an orphan like Park Jiyun. Because of her name and her clearly hispanic ethnicity, no one would have any trouble accepting a name like Angel de Paz Pizarro, no matter how audacious it is. Most people don’t know her native tongue is Korean and that she only learnt Spanish later, like everyone does. If you pay attention to the way she speaks, you’ll even notice the Korean accent.

Her given name was Kim Haneul and she grew up in the same neighborhood as Park Jiyun, if you can believe it. In the same apartment complex, even, and they were friends from a very early age. The only two people with the most expertise on the niños were also eaten by them, and raised within the same building in decaying Pyonyang, the last of the great Korean cities. Most people believe that Park Jiyun’s family was killed when Seoul became a crater and most people believe Haneul comes from Mexican diplomats also killed in the Seoul disaster.

These two have been bound together for their whole lives and no one knew. There are even rumors, absurd as they may be, that the two were telepaths, and communicated throughout their lives, even hundreds of miles away, even after Jiyun died.

There’s some evidence to that. It can hardly be coincidence that Haneul showed up at Antiguoniño only days after Jiyun left. Long before the book was published or even close to finished, Haneul was there.

I’ve been trained not to believe in fate or coincidence but there’s something to these two women and the niños, and it’s something larger than setting and time. It almost makes me believe in the quantum magic alleged. You hear the whispers, don’t you? How they’re were psychically linked, or how the Dust of the niños calls them? How the Tree is a bridge between dimensions or realities or is some secret explanation behind string theory, despite it being disproved centuries ago? How the gods of the niños have become our gods and set a series of events in motion that will lead to some future cataclysm?

If these gods always existed, why are they only relevant to us now? What does that say about godliness? Do gods only matter when you’re aware of them or when you believe in them? Are the niños gods? Are they evolved versions of us or are we evolved versions of them? Are they one of the many missing links in our evolution, or are they something separate and new entirely?

And if they are a species so separate from us, is it murder?

I mean that in a very real way. We don’t consider it murder or cannibalism when we eat rats or wolves, so why should they feel regret over the consumption of some higher or lesser being? And who’s responsible? How do you find a criminal in a population if every citizen is guilty?

You see, I just don’t see the purpose of all of this. I don’t see what’s to be done or why anything needs to be done. I think it’s clear they want nothing to do with us, and I think it should finally be clear that we should have nothing to do with them.

Do you believe the Dust calls you? Do you believe the gods have finally revealed themselves, and, after all this time, the european men really were its image and likeness?

Is it significant that Jiyun and Haneul share all these similarities?

I don’t know. I truly have no idea.

But don’t believe everything you hear about these two, and believe almost nothing you hear about the niños. Those who spend time with them become drunk on the uncanniness and those who study them see only their own projections.

We discovered a new world in this dead and dying one and we’re working tirelessly to reduce or aggrandise it, depending on who you ask. Eventually you’ll have so many blurred versions of the same stories told wrong that you won’t be able to tell the truth when you finally see it. Maybe you ought to go there and see for yourself.

Better yet, ask the niños. Let them speak for themselves.