Fractured Holidays

It’s been a weird holiday season.

As some of you know, in May I moved out of our family house and my soon to be ex and I have been splitting custody of my son 50/50. The divorce is in progress, a constant source of joy in my life, as you can imagine. Nonetheless, things are largely amiable between my soon to be ex (soon2bX? Maybe I can get that bit of 733t speak going), and my son has adjusted wonderfully.

So this is the first holiday season of our fractured family life. We spent the first several months of the year in mediation working out in tedious detail an agreement that the soon2bX has largely torn, shredded, and shat upon, but in that agreement we’d planned for my son to be here, at my new place, for Christmas this year.

As we got closer to the season, we realized that, if we stayed with our usual schedule, she’d have him for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though I’d have him for the other five days of the week. I suggested we just do the holiday as a family this year (we did that for Thanksgiving, and it went well), and I’d just come to the house on Christmas Day.

So that’s what we did. I told my son to call me when he got up, and I’d head right over, because I didn’t want to miss anything. He called at 1:50 am. I headed right over, because I’m game and, as I said, I didn’t want to miss anything.

As you can imagine, it made for a very long day. Naps were taken by the older two of our trio. But we had a great time, because we always functioned very well as a family, even though my romantic relationship with my wife was as vibrant as that between two corpses. Who never knew each other. Buried in different cemeteries. In different nations. On different planets. Ah, good times.

Now, the fracturing of the holidays gets even more granular, as it’s New Year’s Eve, and within the hour I’m due at the house for dinner…then we’re all coming back here to my apartment to hang out, play Little Big Planet, watch something maybe, listen to tunes, and welcome the blessed year when we get rid of the worst damn president this country has ever had. It’ll be a good time.

But still, there’s some psycho-spiritual whiplash, all the jumping back and forth, and the times my son isn’t around are shadowy. I feel even more mortal than usual, and I feel pretty damn mortal as a general rule.

But hey, I’ll be seeing him in about forty minutes, and my year will begin in his presence. And that should chase some shadows away.

Happy New Year.

Santa Claus Is Coming…

There’s a very special Christmas story I would like to share with you, but it’s a story some of you should probably stay very far away from. It’s called Santa Steps Out, and was written by a gifted fellow named Robert Devereaux. Here’s the review:

In the opening lines of Santa Steps Out: A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups, we learn that God the Father had to “cut His vacation short” and is in a “towering rage” about it. It appears that while the archangel Michael was running things, the world got pretty screwed up. “Michael…you know that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are never to cross paths. It’s one of our Father’s most solemn injunctions.” Ah, that Tooth Fairy. She’s also got her hooks into the Easter Bunny.

Robert Devereaux is a master of vivid scene setting, especially gory scenes and sex scenes. There is a lot of sex in this book–mostly happy, lubricious sex that is sometimes downright amazing. Prepare for a strange and stimulating ride when you hop in the sleigh with Santa and witness all his adventures. Prepare to see childhood figures–figures known principally for delivering gifts in the night–in a whole new light. Devereaux is exuberantly polytheistic and well-grounded in Greek mythology, so along with the horror and humping, you’ll be entertained by some notions about where all these immortals may have come from in the first place.

I’ll leave it up to you whether you can take, and even enjoy, what this story has to offer. Me? Well, this is my own short review of the book from way back in 2000, when I gave it as a Christmas gift to a bunch of people:

I Want To See This In Claymation

This book IS over the top, and will easily offend those who offend easily. That’s fine. But the pleasures of this book don’t stop at its provocative nature. It’s also a genuinely creative, nigh brilliant, meditation on human sexual/romantic relationships, through a lens of cunning myth and trounced commercial archetypes. At the heart of the book, even at its most horrifying, is a nearly spiritual regard for the place of the carnal in our lives, and the spiritual enrichment that comes from the joys of the flesh…however you might find those joys.I highly recommend this. It’ll crack you up, it’ll keep your attention, and it might even stir your mind.

The book is unfortunately out of print, but easy enough to find used online. It deserves to become a holiday tradition. UPDATE: as of  Dec 2010, the book is available in Kindle format from Amazon at this link.

Order Doc Wilde Now!

One of various “Big Days” in the life of a first time author has arrived. Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom can now be pre-ordered at Amazon.

If you plan to order, and have yet to do so, please order through this link:

This is the same link that I now have on the site (which the link in the right column goes to), so you can always get to it there if need be.

The reason for this is that I am now what you call an “Amazon Associate,” which means I get a bit of extra cash off any sales I refer their way through that link. Extra cash means more possibility of food and caffeine, which means a higher probability of future Doc Wilde books you can enjoy. ;)

Barbie Is Cool. Who Knew?

I cannot believe that Mattel is cool enough to do something like this, but apparently they are:


From the official site:

In 1963, Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, gave us a tale of terror not soon forgotten in his film “The Birds.” Dressed in a re-creation of the stylish green skirt-suit worn by the film’s ill-fated heroine in an iconic scene, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” Barbie® Doll celebrates the 45th anniversary of the acclaimed film. From the doll’s classic ensemble to the perfectly painted expression to the accompanying black birds, every aspect captures the film’s infamous appeal.


I wrote my first book when I was about four or five. It was called The Blue Stallion (there was a black stallion, and a white stallion, so I figured, why not a blue one?), and was about five pages long. The stallion fought a mountain lion, and was victorious. I even illustrated it myself, showing a faith in my artistic ability that I lost not too long after that.

I always loved books, and always knew I wanted to write them. But I remember precisely when I consciously decided that it was going to be my job, not just one of the many varied and wondrous activities I was going to engage in while living my magnificent life (cowboy, spy, zoologist, astrophysicist, movie star…). I was in fourth grade, and I read Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Fog Horn” in an anthology. The story evoked such emotion, such a sense of deep eternal sadness, that it overwhelmed me. I’d always loved to read, and read damn near constantly, but that was the first time I truly grokked the true power of literature. And I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to it.

After that, I did, at least while growing up. I was always reading, but also always writing. I kept a bunch of stories going all at once, the same way I read, and as a result of both activities I actually managed to learn how to write. Then I grew up and started my lifetime of depressed procrastination. That’s another story though, and sad to say, I’m gonna put off writing it.

All this is preamble to a special holiday gift I’m gonna give you, which is a story I wrote in seventh grade, and is, far as I can tell, the earliest work of mine I still have on hand. I wrote it for a writing contest at a local college, and in the weeks leading up to the event, I boasted to everyone I could that I was going to win first place. I annoyed everyone with my arrogance so much I had them rooting for my downfall. Then the day came, and I won first place, which probably did not improve me as a human being, but did boost the ol’ ego (which actually needed the boost a great deal, confident as I was in my writing).

After this success, I had my first experience with an actual editor. I started writing a serialized space opera tale in the school newspaper, in which the heroes travelled the spaceways in a craft driven by a Bussard ramjet, named after Robert W. Bussard, the scientist who envisioned it. In spite of repeated protests from me, the editor changed it, every damn week, into a Buzzard ramjet, because, after all, Bussard wasn’t a word (and still isn’t, according to my spellcheck, which ironically doesn’t even offer up buzzard as a possible correction).

But I digress. Here, for your enjoyment or derision, is  a science fiction story by the thirteen year old me, uncorrected in any way despite many strong impulses. Merry Christmas. Continue reading