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Spending a quiet New Year's Eve at home by myself for a change. I've never done this, not once since I turned eighteen, so far as I can remember, and it feels almost decadent to do so in a way I can't quite explain. Also, honestly, I had such a good time on my birthday (thank you, everyone!) that going out and partying tonight just seems somehow redundant to me.

Instead, I think I'm starting a new tradition -- since my birthday is a time when I get gifts from other people, and Christmas is a time I focus on giving gifts to other people -- I think New Year's is going to become the time when I give gifts to myself. Namely, things I've been wanting and needing and will make my life better, that I haven't managed to get around to buying until now.

This year, it's a snazzy set of computer speakers -- one of my old speakers died a couple years back, and I've been limping along on the remaining speaker all this time -- and a cordless, illuminated keyboard. See, I don't have a desk -- my computer's in the living room, with my monitor on a laptop stand, and I lounge around on my couch while on-line. And I've developed a bad habit of using it in the dark, and trying to type with just the light from the monitor has been getting increasingly tiresome. I'm curled up with the keyboard in my lap, happy as a clam. (Not that I understand why clams are said to be particularly happy.)

I'll still be joining you all in a champagne toast at midnight, from the comfort of home.

___

I haven't posted much here in a long time, not anything important, anyway. In 2009, I had things going on in my life I didn't really want to face or reflect on. 2010 was mainly about recovering from that, finding my bearings, and starting to build a new life for myself. And now I've reached the end of this year and I want to look back on it, and I realize I miss having a written record like this one to help with that. So I think I'll be posting a little more from now on.

This New Year's Eve finds me looking forward to the coming year with hope and light and enthusiasm, in a way I haven't felt at New Year's in a long time. I can only wish the same to you and yours, and I'll see you all again when the calendar turns the page.

Reading.

Oct. 7th, 2010 09:35 pm
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HALLOWEEN HORROR READING - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29TH, 8:00PM


Wayward Coffeehouse
8570 Greenwood Ave N,
Seattle WA 98103


View this event on:
Facebook | Upcoming | Eventful
Wayward Coffeehouse presents their annual Halloween horror reading, once again bringing you two authors, to lead you twice as far into the dark.

JENNA M. PITMAN (womeninhorror.blogspot.com/) has been writing for Seattle area publications since 2007. Her work has appeared in "The Seattle Sinner," "Revenant Magazine Online," and "Planet Lovecraft." Her stories are featured in the anthologies "Night Terrors," "The Undead Nation" and the upcoming "Rock and Roll Is Dead."

MICHAEL MONTOURE (bloodletters.com/) is the author of "Counting from Ten and Other Stories," available from Stone Pine Press. His fiction has also appeared in "Doctor Who: How the Doctor Changed My Life." "Montoure's spare, striking prose outlines characters in deliciously twisted predicaments ..." -- Seattle Weekly

Plath.

Nov. 4th, 2009 09:18 am
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I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
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The code for this link graphic:
<a href="http://www.bloodletters.com/"><img src="http://www.bloodletters.com/pub/whisper2009.jpg" width="400" height="259" border="0"></a>

Friday, October 30, 8-10pm: Wayward Coffeehouse presents their annual Halloween horror reading, this time with two authors, to lead you twice as far into the dark.

ANGEL LEIGH McCOY (http://www.angelleigh.com/) is a game reviewer, game designer, and the head editor for the Wily Writers Speculative Fiction Downloads site. Her fiction has appeared in the anthologies "Ravens in the Library" and "Vile Things."

MICHAEL MONTOURE (http://www.bloodletters.com/) is the author of "Counting from Ten and Other Stories," available from Stone Pine Press. His fiction has also appeared in "Doctor Who: How the Doctor Changed My Life." "Montoure's spare, striking prose outlines characters in deliciously twisted predicaments ..." -- Seattle Weekly

Calendar links: Eventful | Facebook | Upcoming | zvents



The code for this link graphic:
<a href="http://www.bloodletters.com/"><img src="http://www.bloodletters.com/pub/feeding2009.jpg" width="400" height="259" border="0"></a>

Saturday, October 31, 8-10pm: Come enjoy terrifying stories about everyone's most basic need, at the grand opening of THE NIGHT KITCHEN, the restaurant that's finally bringing high quality late night food to downtown Seattle. (http://www.nightkitchenseattle.com/)

Calendar links: Eventful | Facebook | Upcoming | zvents
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Well, that was one heck of a decent weekend, if by "weekend" you mean some arbitrary number of days toward the end of the week which might begin on, say, Thursday, when [livejournal.com profile] windbourne took me to a preview screening of Zombieland, which is now, seriously, one of my favorite movies ever. Even though I spent most if thinking, "You poor bastards couldn't get Michael Cera, huh?" 'Cause the lead character is totally a Michael Cera character, even if he was in fact played by Jesse Eisenberg. But, yeah, this movie is all kinds of fun.

Friday I didn't really do anything, except finally try Bluefin, which was both surprisingly good and startlingly over-priced.

Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] retcon and I went down to the Puyallup Fair. Slightly cornball idea, but we could both stand to get out of the house, so I thought I'd suggest it. We had a great time. I went with the intention of going on rides that were outside of my comfort zone, and that was kind of awesome. (Riff, on seeing me hook my glasses in my shirt collar: "You might want to put those in your pocket. This ride goes upside-down." Me: "Oh, okay -- wait, what?") We ate Inappropriate Food and walked around looking at stupid shopping-channel type crap and at animals. Although we didn't spend long looking at the horses, because we both lack the genetic component that makes you interested in horses. Namely, a double-X chromosome.

Afterwards, we went and did a little thrifting, to prepare for going out to the Mercury for "Class", a school-themed night. Riff put together basically an Angus Young outfit, a look that worked way, way better for him than it really should. I grabbed some black shorts, a red plaid tie and a gray sweater-vest, and in a stroke of what modesty forbids me from admitting was pure genius, a couple of Cliff's Notes.

I went home and finished the outfit off with some tall boots, a white button-down shirt, a gray blazer with a school-uniform-looking patch on it, and various pins and badges. I looked adorable. I spent the evening clutching the books to my chest like a shield and cringing and apologizing for being in the way. I didn't think it was possible to have that much fun being anxious and socially awkward. I was threatened by bullies, unsuccessfully hid my cigarette from teachers, and had a cute girl tell me she'd pay me to write a paper for her. It was so. Much. Fun. I can't even tell you.

Then on Sunday, Ahna and I went to see the Pet Shop Boys. And right now, you're just mildly thinking, "Oh, right, that band who did West End Girls, oh, that's nice," and that's because you haven't been to one of their concerts. They put on an amazing stage show, with multiple costume changes and dancers with insanely great choreography and digitally-projected computer animation and -- it's more performance art than just "a concert". A full-on spectacle. You totally need to go the next time they come through town.

.... And the weekend's not over yet, apparently. Tomorrow night, I'm going to go see "Wicked" again, this time with [livejournal.com profile] elocinnuala, which is going to be awesome.
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Okay, team. Tuesday. And Tunes thereof. You know the drill.

I've included my usual link to this week's MP3 below, but first, before you hear the song on its own, you should check out this really insanely well-done American Psycho-inspired music video. Umm, unless you've never seen American Psycho, in which case, a.) you're probably not going to have any real appreciation for the video, and b.) remind me, why are we friends again -- ?

And now, if you can manage to get the imagery of the video out of your head, just listen to the MP3, and read the lyrics if you're not familiar with the original, and see if you can tell why I've been listening to this song over and over again for days now:It's a cover of the old Talking Heads song, and gives it a fresh coat of slick, cheerful, AutoTuney goodness. This has been making me feel happy, light, calm but energized, accepting and Zen. It's just what I need right now, in other words. I guess I am already there.

lyrics )
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.... Sorry for the short notice on this one, but:

Wayward Coffeehouse has been having a regular "Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author Reading Series" for a while now, and they decided my work was close enough to fit in.

We've had this scheduled for a while, and there were supposed to be one or two other authors scheduled to read that night? And for all I know, there still are, but I've never heard any confirmation about who they might be. I'd been planning on promoting this more when I had the other writers' names to announce, but, well, here we are at the last minute. :)

So come out and see me! I'll most likely be reading "Tuesday Calling" and "The Wedding Present" unless anyone else has any special requests, and probably something else besides, time permitting.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author Reading - Michael Montoure, others TBA
Wayward Coffeehouse

http://www.waywardcoffee.com/
8570 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle WA 98103
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Time for Tunes for Tuesday, kids.

First, shock yourself awake with everyone's favorite twenty-first century disco band bringing their own insanely glam touch to an old Pink Floyd standard:Now knock your chair over and kick it out of your cubicle, 'cause you're gonna need room to dance:Finally, take the rest of the afternoon off, and drive around with your windows down, listening to this:

Painted.

Jun. 15th, 2009 12:56 pm
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I have to give massive, massive props here to Michael, Crystal, Riff, and Kimmie, who gave their weekend to helping me paint my condo, a project I started and abandoned -- oh, the better part of a decade ago, actually, and living inside the unfinished results has been pretty insanely depressing. But now my home is well on its way to being a proud and brilliant gleaming white, and I can't thank my friends enough.

We completely finished the living room, the dining room, and the hallway, including the interior of the hall closet, and I tell ya -- it looks fan-freaking-tastic. We even got a decent start on the kitchen. Both it and the bedroom are, sadly, not very big -- so it's really not going to take a lot to finish the place.

This is just the start. I finally have the time, energy, and cash-on-hand to start making this place livable, in a way I haven't managed since I moved in here -- what, fifteen years ago? Something like that.

And when I'm done ...

....I think I'm finally going to have a housewarming party.

Crypticon.

Jun. 3rd, 2009 10:06 am
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And now for another installment of Short Notice Theater:

Going to be at Crypticon this weekend?

I'm going to be doing a reading on Saturday at 10:30pm in the Olympic Room.

If you like horror, you should really come, and not just for my reading -- the con was a lot of fun last year, and I got to meet a lot of familiar faces from horror movies I know and love. Hope to see your smiling and/or terrified faces as well. Cheers!

Rats.

May. 1st, 2009 04:19 pm
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So that link-correcting script I mentioned the other day that I wanted to write? I figured out exactly how I want to do it, and I think it's going to be pretty easy, actually. But it'll be using the XML output of the Export tool both here and on LJ to figure out what posts map to each other, and, well, it looks like the Export tool isn't working on Dreamwidth, yet.

I've submitted a support request about it -- once that hurdle's out of the way, it shouldn't take me too long to write.

LJ tags.

Apr. 15th, 2009 11:47 am
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Feels a little weird to use "LJ tags" here. I mean, I know it's the LiveJournal codebase, but shouldn't they be "DW tags"? :)

(Of course, it's going to take me a while getting over the cognitive dissonance at seeing people use the abbreviation "DW" for "Dreamwidth" anyway. I'm used to "DW" meaning, well, "Doctor Who." Big shock there.)

Editing.

Apr. 15th, 2009 11:42 am
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Import's done, except for the comments. I'm circling around my shiny new account, kicking the tires, and everything looks good so far.

Only thing that's going to be annoying -- and I don't *have* to do this, but I really *want* to -- is going back and editing all the links I've made to posts in my LJ account to point toward the correct imported post here.

If I were a clever little monkey, which I am, I'd just write a script that would go and do it for me. I even have a rough idea in my head how it would work. I just need to find the spare time to do it. I'll have to post it to [site community profile] dw_nifty when I get it working.

Importing.

Apr. 14th, 2009 08:58 pm
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So here we are, then. Hello, Dreamwidthers.

Trying to import my LiveJournal over here. It's ... not going well? The import of my LJ entries was "queued as of 11 hours ago", and the import of my comments was "init as of Never", which doesn't look terribly promising.

.... Is this normal? If you're reading this and you've managed to successfully import your entries, did it take anywhere near this long? Do you think it's completely stalled and I should try again, or .... ?

Still happy to be here, enthusiastic about the site and all, but .... I'll be more enthusiastic when I'm all "moved in."
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So usually, when I do a Tunes for Tuesday post, I put up something I've been listening to for a little while -- a few days, at least. I can't remember when I've ever heard something new on a Tuesday and turned right around and posted a link to it. But today's that day!

Some of you may have already heard a truncated version of this already; I understand it's being used in television ads for the 2010 Lincoln MKZ. It's a cover of a song you already know, and probably like, if I know my friends list correctly, so here it is:

Shiny Toy Guns - Major Tom

Let me know if you do like it. Cheers.
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You know, considering how hard [livejournal.com profile] warren_ellis has been banging the print-on-demand drum lately, isn't it interesting that he didn't just put Crooked Little Vein up on Lulu? It came out from a traditional publisher instead, William Morrow. Gosh, why is that, do you think? Do you suppose he wanted, I don't know .... money? Exposure? To have his book carried in bookstores? To have magazines and other media actually review it? To give it some kind of weight and legitimacy, maybe?

I keep thinking to myself, "Maybe I should try all this POD stuff," since the cool kids are doing it, and it's supposed to be impossible to get published these days and no one's reading books anymore any way and and and --

And then I walk into a great big fuckoff bookstore like Barnes & Noble or Borders, and I look around and think, "Hey, wait a minute! Somebody's getting published."

What's my conclusion here? I don't have one.

Rickrolled.

Apr. 2nd, 2009 10:01 am
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..... Okay, so this might not have been my most clever or original April Fool's Day prank ever, but I had fun with it. Thanks to everyone, here and on Twitter, who played along with their comments. You kept a grin on my face all day, and I've been desperately needing that lately. (It's been a really hard couple of weeks, which is why I didn't really have the energy or brainspace to come up with anything that I actually thought would fool anyone -- just something that I thought would make you grin and wonder, "Oh, now what's he up to?")

Extra-special bonus points to anyone who actually spotted this: The purported title of the story, "Tricky Sale", was an anagram for "Rick Astley." (And if you saw my post on Twitter about how the story had a "similar structure and voice" to a story called "Age Proving You Uneven", you can probably guess what that was an anagram for, too.)

Oh, yes, and -- that first link I posted, to episode one? That link was real -- I really am working on starting a podcast, and as soon as I resolve some issues with my currently dead computer (and with me being a lazy bastard), you'll start seeing real updates from me about it. Cheers.

Podcast.

Apr. 1st, 2009 09:47 am
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As I announced on Twitter weeks ago (see what you miss by not following me there?), I'm starting a podcast of my short fiction. Podcasting has become a very good way to build a following as a writer, and since I've had years of practice reading my work out loud, it seems like a natural fit.

Episode one is here. I'm not 100% happy with the sound quality -- I've bought a better microphone since then.

Finally finished cleaning up and editing episode two, and I'm pretty excited about this one -- the first one was "Feeding the Flesh", a story that's printed in Counting From Ten. But this one's brand new -- you haven't heard this at a reading yet, and only a couple of people have read it.

By popular request, it's another one of my "Shadow Market" stories. This one is about someone who's just starting out in the Market, and is about to make his first sale -- to a strangely reluctant buyer. This will be the sale that makes his reputation ... if he survives it ....

Here's the link: Bloodletters Podcast Episode Two: "Tricky Sale" (MP3 format, 11min 48sec)

Let me know what you think. (Oh, and no spoilers in the comments, please, for those who haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.) Thanks!
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A friend of mine just posted a link to an interesting article:

Rapid Thinking Makes People Happy

This totally matches my observations, yet I'd never consciously realized that was what was going on, let alone articulated it so clearly. This probably also explains why high-tempo music with lyrics cheers me up, because my language center is being stimulated at plus-normal speed, and why driving fast in heavy traffic cheers me up like nothing else. This is going to be an incredibly useful tool in my anti-depression arsenal.*

____
* Which, frankly, I desperately need right now.

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