New Big Thing: The Krampus

krampus cover

A poor quality picture of the real thing

I did a quick version of the Krampus book to get it up in time for Krampus eve tonight. This is just a stopgap measure. I’ll make a better one when I can get a scan of the chapbook in high quality res (hint, hint anyone who’s got a copy and a scanner…). I had this low res version of the cover that I think is just a camera photo. I had some high res PDFs, but only of the first draft of the poem which was missing Joey’s artwork and well, that’s no good! But wow, is iBooks Author easy to use. I’m thinking of doing a photo book of my Ireland shots (thanks, Allan, for the suggestion) as well as a couple other image-based projects. Because you know how much I need more ideas. I joked this morning that I’d have to find Ray Milland because I have too many ideas for just one head.

I am pleased with how well known the Krampus seems to be these days (or is it just the people around me?). My pal Mildred even sent a story about Krampus celebrations going on at U Indiana.

Of course, you can hear me read it, too!

Oh, also I was also tagged by Richie Narvaez, my twitter pal, for The Next Big Thing, so check out his post. And be good so the Krampus doesn’t get you tonight! And if you’re really good, this might be in your stocking: the print edition!

Happy Birthday, Joey!

If I had remembered in time, I would have sent a card 😦 Without my computer to remind me I remember nothing. Shall I just get you this? Hope your day is wonderful.

Happy St. Nick’s Day

Or did you get the Krampus instead? Well, my lovely Krampus chapbook designed by The joey Zone is out of print, but you can hear me read it as a podcast. I hope to scan it and get an electronic version available soon, but things are just so hectic (when is that not true?).

I had a lovely lovely time in Connecticut with all the crew. It was great fun that didn’t last nearly long enough because I had to come home. Thanks so much to the Queen of Everything for being such a fabulous hostess, my birthday twin Marko and everybody who came. Thanks too to Elena for giving me lunch the next day and — whoohoo — knocking out an idea for a new Jane Quiet story! Fingers crossed she gets time to start drawing this week: an Egyptian theme — how’s that sound?

I got my author copy of the collection Exposure from Cinnamon Press that has my short story “Rothko Red” in it. Quite a lovely little volume. I also got notice that I have three items in the new issue of Femspec, reviews of King Kong Theory, Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy and Women and the Divine. Yes, it had been so long since they were submitted that I had completely forgotten about them. Guess I better remind myself to add them to the CV. This is why I need minions!

All right: back to grading. The end is near! I should have all my grading done and submitted before my birthday — whoohoo!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween and Maith Samhain! I didn’t get cards out this year, so this will have to do. Thanks to The joey Zone for passing along this lovely Levy-Dhurmer illo.

Good Stuff

Thanks to Lisa and Lori, I had my first visit to Capital Q Smokehouse, home of great BBQ in the capital region after the usual Tuesday at Mahar’s (the best bar in the world). Wow — some very tasty brisket, cornbread, coleslaw and home fries. Good sauce, too. Huge portions, of course, so there’s a lot left over for tonight, too. Lori is returning to North Carolina the end of the week, so she will be missed — although we will probably have months of continuing to chuckle over Lisa’s “rack” remark…

And ages ago I meant to put up this picture of the lovely finger puppet The joey Zone sent me of the fabulous Oliver Reed from the Hammer film The Curse of the Werewolf. Gorgeous, ain’t it?

Second day of teaching: the bookstore did not get my texts in for the sophmore medieval course and now I find there’s a new edition of the Broadview anthology due to come out the middle of this month. Argh! Meanwhile deadlines continue to nag at me — just grateful Monday is a holiday. I know the semester’s just started, but I need it!

Jaws of Suspiria

I already wrote a bit about Jaws and my long connection to it, but I don’t think I’ve yet got around to the student reactions. It’s hard to keep track of things in the midst of the mad swirl of the summer intensive. I’ve made things even tighter by planning to run down to Connecticut this weekend to see folks before I go off to the UK June 1. The quick Connecticut dash is meant to include a quick hello to Marko at the Punk Rock Jukebox, girlie night with Miss Wendy and the Queen of Everything, Saturday lunch or something with Miss Wendy and Elena, then Sunday brunch with the Boojums.

It will be more relaxing than it sounds.

Okay, Jaws: the students were not accustomed to thinking of this as a horror film, since most of them saw it as kids. The music has become so iconic, it’s hard to imagine hearing it the first time or the impact it had (all kinds of impacts). The two halves of the movie complement each other so well, yet are completely different: we go from the crowded beaches of Amity to the endless ocean, from a whole town of people to just the three men and yet you don’t feel that transition as a jarring change. It’s a well-constructed film. Good thing they had so much trouble with Bruce the shark and had to keep him out sight for longer than they planned. It works.

Suspiria, on the other hand, is a spectacle but a far less coherent narrative on the whole. I expected to have a bit of trouble getting the students to appreciate it, so I was pleasantly surprised to have spontaneous expressions of appreciation for it. It’s a Technicolor feast, it’s an expressionist blood bath, where the glory of the gory explodes all over the screen — often at the cost of logic or reason (not to mention the often utilitarian dialogue) and of course, the true crime of dubbing Udo‘s voice with some bland American’s. Nonetheless, the students appreciated it. I think they’re getting to be real connoisseurs, which is very cool.

Today it’s body/queer horror with Clive Barker and a little bit o’ Cronenberg.

Who’s a Fool?

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages…

Must be spring! [h/t ThejoeyZone]