Sunday, October 26, 2008

Exquisite Corpses for 10/25

We had another writing marathon yesterday, and we again played a few rounds of Exquisite Corpse, the surrealist game. Below are some of the results.

The hairy worm danced a red water tower.

A fuzzy mermaid invigorates a greenish book.

A spunky bottle eats a creepy hair.

A large shoe burped a red tiger.

I decided to mix it up a bit and see what would happen if we tried to make tongue twisters by making each word start with the same letter. I chose the letter "P" because it's just a funny letter. I think this has even been studied and comedians use P words because they sound funnier (admit it---Peoria sounds funnier than Houston). Would we tap into the collective unconscious and choose the same words or would we prove to be more individual? Read on . . .

The powerful puppy pulls the pudgy pile. (There was a collective "ew" after that one was read.)

A prickly pants pinches a poor puzzle piece.

A pretty penguin pokes a plump plot.

A pooped popinjay performed a perfect person.

A pretty pioneer pushes a pompous pot.

A pitiful prisoner pranced the precious piano. (I need to find a way to better explain transitive verbs . . . )

Over all, I think it's pretty amazing that only "pretty" was used twice. And, in retrospect, I'm sort of surprised there were no purples or pinks. So much for the collective unconscious.

Then Margo asked if we could use Halloween words. I sort of puzzled over it a moment then shrugged my shoulders and said, okay, make this round all Halloweeny.

An orange witch sickened a bloody goblin.

The frightening scarecrow tricked the ugly zombie.

A gruesome goblin scared the sparkling elm street. (I'd never before thought of "sparkling" as a Halloween sort of word, but it works here nicely, I think.)

A spooky brew boils the petrified ghost.

A harrowing black cat terrified a pumpkin-flavored witch.

A scary pumpkin scares a blood-deprived cadaver. (When I read this, I was sorry that we didn't get one that was something like "a scary pumpkin scares a scary cadaver." Scary, huh?)

Those are the corpses for this Writing Marathon. We'll do another New Year's Marathon in January. January 17, to be exact. Mark yer calenders now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a little YouTube fun

In an effort to increase interest in Necropolis I've posted a video of me performing one of the poems found therein. (With Jill Alexander Essbaum's permission, of course.) Not seeing how to do that embedded thing with the video, I'll simply ask you to click here to see it.

At least I hope that works.

Someday, I'll be proficient at this internet thing.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Necropolis in the Midwest Book Review!

See the review here or on the Amazon listing for Necropolis by Jill Alexander Essbaum, where it is published as a 5-star review. (On the MBR page, click on "poetry shelf" and Necropolis is the first book reviewed there.)

This is neoNuma's first appearance in the MBR, so this is very cool.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This, That, and (mostly) The Other Thing

Candace Chellew-Hodge and Bulletproof Faith

For my semi-regular gig at OutSmart, I got to interview Candace Chellew-Hodge, author of the new book, Bulletproof Faith. I've "known" Candace for a decade or more at this point---I've written several things for her webzine, Whosoever, and I've participated in her listserv, but I've never met her and until this interview, I've never spoken with her on the phone for longer than maybe 5 minutes (and maybe twice at that).

I had a good time talking to her. Listening to the recording, I was suprised to hear how much we laughed. Of course, as I'm editing the conversation for the magazine, we're going to lose a lot of that laughter, I'm afraid. I only have space for about 750 words and the point of the interview is her book, so as I focus the interview, I'm losing some of the fun stuff.

This is a hard lesson to learn as I'm doing more interviews for OutSmart. When I interviewed Tony Kushner, I felt like some of the fun we had got lost in the interest of space and focus. Perhaps this is how it is in this biz, to which I'm new. Maybe someday, I'll get to do one of those sprawling, ten page interviews you see in national magazines, but I guess every form has it's limitations.

But while I'm on Candace, I'm excited that I will finally get to meet her in November (the same month her interview will run in OutSmart). She'll be in Houston doing a workshop at Grace Lutheran Church on November 8. I hope we'll laugh as much (and more) in person as we did on the phone.

I've Been Quoted!

One of the first books I reviewed for OutSmart was Robin Lippincott's In the Meantime, which was just released in paperback. I picked up the paperback at the store where I work the other day, just to see the new cover that is on it. I then flipped to the first few pages of the book, just inside the front cover, where there were a couple of pages of reviews for the hardcover edition. Lo and behold, there's my review from OutSmart! My name isn't mentioned, just the magazine, but this is the first time this has happened. It feels like some sort of validation of my existence. I mean, I write these reviews and I sort of expect no one sees them. But someone saw this one and quoted it! I literally jumped and down and clapped my hands.

It takes so little, I know . . .

Nick Cave and Necroplis

For those of you who have gotten your copy of Necropolis, you'll note that it is dedicated to Nick Cave. Poet Jill Alexander Essbaum is a bit of a Cave groupie, which is to say she's seen him in concert so often that he's started dedicating songs to her from the stage. Deadheads have nothing on Jillie's devotion to Cave.

So I had a message on my voicemail from Jill, telling me that she was able to put a copy of Necropolis into Nick Cave's hands at a recent concert somewhere in North America (I can't keep up with Jill's travels anymore).

All of which is very cool. Maybe Nick will start to endorse it in his travels . . .

Nighthawks in November

Nighthawks by Evan Guilford-Blake looks on target for a November release. I suppose it's time to offer a pre-pub special. It's going to retail at $14.95, so let's say that if you order it before the end of October, you can get it directly from me for $10.00. It's a lovely piece of theater, hard and compassionate. Issues of prejudice of all sorts permeate a cast of oh-so-human characters, as their hopes and dreams are exposed and sometimes crushed before our eyes. If you ever wondered what those four people were doing in that all-night diner in Edward Hopper's painting, this is the play for you. Email me at neo (at) for more information about pre-pub orders.

October Writing Marathon

It's nearly time for another Writing Marathon. It'll again be at the Montrose Library here in Houston, on October 25, 10:30am-1:30pm. I'll write more abou that in a week or so. I think I'm calling it The Post-Ike, Pre-Spook Writing Marathon.

December Holiday Salon

I mentioned it some time back. I should mention it again. And I have tons to do on it . . . but it will be December 6, 3:00pm-6:00pm, at Sauté, 2303 Richmond, here in Houston. Jill Alexander Essbaum will be there reading, as will be Alan Berecka, another poet I'll be publishing soon (that reminds me, I need to make an official announcement about that). I'm talking to other artists, but nothing set in stone at this date. But put it on your calendar. It's going to be a good time and a chance to get some autographs and deals on neoNuma books.


Oh, yeah, you may have heard about this hurricane, Ike? It's still a bit of a mess here in Houston three weeks later. I can't imagine what it's like farther down I-45 in Galveston. We're slowly getting back to normal here, but I think most of Galveston is going to be looking for a new normal. And then I would hear from people in Chicago who were experiencing flooding due to Ike a couple of days after it passed us here. That was one mean mother of a storm. Keep the coast in thoughts and prayers. The recovery isn't going to all happen at once.

That's enough for tonight. Maybe if I blogged more often, I wouldn't have to write so much at one time, eh? But hey, I've been doing better than once a month lately. Baby steps, you know?

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