The weekend began Friday when Mike Gibbs came over. I made him watch Henry Fool and told him it was possibly the best movie about writing I've seen. Even after 13 years, it's amazing how relevant it remains. Then we challenged neighbors, listened to sirens, and tried to set the yard on fire using psychic power.
Got up in the morning and drove to Celina to meet the inimitable D. Harlan Wilson. Wilson is eight feet tall and made of steel. We took a 3 hour, anger-fueled trip across the wasteland of central Ohio, throwing litter out the windows and running other cars off the highway with our Road Warrior-inspired university vehicle until we reached Massillon to do our reading at Backlist Books.
It was tough getting into the bookstore, squeezing in around 5000 screaming fans, rabid for readings of fiction. It's no wonder why fiction is the most popular form of entertainment in America-- trumping sports, television, video games, the internet, drinking, douchebaggery, and social networking.
Lucy Snyder began the afternoon with a reading. Why was the reading in the afternoon? So the hepped-up litmaniacs could spend the rest of the evening digesting the spectacle they were about to witness. Gary Braunbeck followed. Some books were signed. Fights broke out. Security was deployed. Ne'er-do-wells were eliminated. Then it was my turn to read. I suppressed my gorge and read some stupid stories. At one point, my hands were shaking so badly I had to put my papers down on the table before me. They weren't shaking because of nerves. They were shaking because of the excited stomping and dancing of the 8000 fans. I was followed by D. Harlan Wilson. He rose from the floor, read his stories, got some laughs, and disappeared into the floor again, barely escaping a peglegged groupie who rushed him, claws bared. John Edward Lawson followed. He read some poems and nearly injured himself with a swift blow to the crotch. Mike Arnzen concluded the evening and read some incredibly funny poems/thoughts/song parodies. By this time the crowd had swelled to over 10,000. It was like Woodstock or something. The fire marshals had to come and break it up, thus ending the fun.
Everyone had a great time. Many books were sold. Many thanks to the great folks at Backlist Books for hosting a great get-together and John and Jennifer from Raw Dog Screaming Press for helping to organize the whole thing and inviting me along. If you're in the Massillon area and would like to support small businesses run by intelligent people who are not ghoulish monsters, you should stop in and pick something up from Backlist. They have a bizarro section featuring books usually only found online. They have all of my Eraserhead Press titles as well as my two latest, The Beard and Morning is Dead.
Now here are some updates:
I have signed a contract with Dark Regions Press to do an as-yet-untitled story collection to appear later this year or early next year. Table of contents and details will follow.
I will be doing a reading with Patrick Wensink, author of Sex Dungeon for Sale!, March 19th at 7 PM at the Night and Day Cafe in Dayton, Ohio (where I live).
Atlatl Press has announced its second release.
Grindhouse Press has announced book 001.
The next issue of the great online journal, The Dream People, will be an all-Prunty issue.
Stay tuned or, really, just try to stay awake...