Saturday, January 27, 2007


Behold. The back cover to Mike Heffernan's anthology A DARK AND DEADLY VALLY, due out from Silverthought Press in February of this year.

I just got the galleys to it -- and to the Bluffton book, JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE -- and am up to my limpid's in commas and re-spellings.

I would like to post Alex McVey's illustration for my story, "At Angels Sixteen" but I haven't a clue how to do it. The world of electrons is getting harder and harder for Old-Century types like me to fiddle!

"At Angels Sixteen" centers on the tail gunner of a B-17 Flying Fortress who faces some elemental problems staying alive over Schweinfurt during the air war in Europe. I can't show Alex's very shiny art, but this......this is the critter, herself.

I've always been a little in love with the -17s; actually saved nickles and dimes and bought a big picture book about them when I was 7 or 8; actually been IN the tail of one; actually aloft in her -- a dry run, a just for fun run, nobody shooting. No payload. I was maybe five. The year was maybe 1947 or '48 and my dad and I were at an air show at Spaatz Field in Reading, Pennsylvania. A lot of 17s were left back then. I think they were still in the arsenal at the time but my old man wangled us a spin. Maybe it was my uncle Bohny -- that's pronounced "Boney" -- who was a captain in the Corps and a pretty scary guy.

It's all vague but the ride! The ride was scary and wonderful! Chattery, windy, like riding a boxcar with loose slats on a curvy stretch of bad rail. Of course I loved it!

I've never spoken to a single -17 crew guy from the war who hasn't choked a little, remembering. Remembering what? The ride, the guys, the time. Of course they were soldiers then and young...we all choke up over youth.

As of January, 2007, there are only 14 of the old Forts still flying...

Hell, why am I nostalgic over an old warbird? My youth? I was near enough to smell it but was never in the shit. War is good for a horror tale or two but that's is as close as I ever wanted to be; as close as anyone ever should be.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another Book, Upcoming Readings and Some Added News

This funny old place carries a lot of personal and public history. I'll tell you about it...

But that's the new book...

Here's a quick note to let you know that I've got two readings in Chicago this month in advance of the publication of "Just North of Nowhere," and my story in A DARK AND DEADLY VALLEY.

The first is on Thursday, January 18th at 7:30pm at Cafe Ennui, 6981 North Sheridan Road.

The second is on Monday, January 29th also at 7:30 at The Red Lion Pub, 2446 North Lincoln Avenue. This is the Twilight Tales venue. Later this year, Twilight Tales will publish a revamped and expanded version of their anthology, TALES FROM THE RED LION. I'm pleased to report that TALES... will include a somewhat updated version of my story, "Cordwell's Book."

Stop by have a listen. You can also stop by Twilight Tales online and buggle about and find some really nifty stuff! In addition to stories, information, good people with whom to chat, they've also got podcasts...the which include my story, "Little Girl Down the Way." It all begins at:

Some new business...

The photos. They're settings. Locations for a new book I've been fussing with most of my adult life. I'm finally sitting down to write it -- not that I haven't done so before. Oh, I have...plenty of times. I've got hundreds of pages about these places. Problem is, they were unfocused, they were little time trips. It's taken a while, but I think I have a handle on the places and the people and am beginning to figure out what they're trying to say.

This greens-topped birthcanal back alley is the start of a lot of stories.

It's where we found ourselves and figured out what we could do, what we couldn't do...and what scared the hell out of us.

Quite a few of them find their way here...

The reading at Ennui on January 18, will be from this new book. It doesn't yet have a title but it's working-tag is "The Dogboys and WAS..." By the way, WAS is prounounced 'Whaz' -- as in 'whazoo' -- and, yes, we get that information the first time we encouter WAS!

I hope it tickles your urges! Hope you stop by Ennui and The Lion.