The only picture…

I took a ton of pictures at the World Horror Convention, but because of some drunk woman knocking my camera out of my hands at the Leisure Books party, this is the only one that remains. The rest are on a memory card lost somewhere in room 708.

This is me with Steven Shrewsbury and the incredible Norman Partridge, taken just before Shrews and I boarded a shuttle for the airport. Listening to Norm talk about anything was the highlight of the entire weekend. The man’s a great guy, and a fuckin’ sage.

That’s that.

Just finished my thrid day of 5,000 word writing blitzkriegs.  It feels good like I’ve really accomplished something.  The rest of the weekend was spent drinking, eatnig, and sleeping (roughly in that order) while others did stuff like swam and floated around on tubes (I really don’t get the allure).  The A Family Matter rewrite is now hovering at right around 50,000 words.  If I can stick to my 2,000 words a day schedule, I’ll be finished up in just over two weeks.  Then I let is sit for a few weeks, get some fresh eyes, and do the polish.

Then we move on and start Something Horrible.  What’s Something Horrible?  Benny, Dan, Sarah… how would you react if something went terribly wrong at that proving ground between Dillsboro and Madison?

This one’s gonna be fun.

Is this how porn stars feel?

Having finished up a short story and sent it off to an anthology, I’m starting full-tilt on A Family Matter again.  I just knocked out 5000 good words on that sucker, and I’m flying high.  I feel all-powerful.  This must be how Ron Jeremy felt when he realized he was good for something other than imperonating a human-sized ferret.

5000 words tomorrow.

5000 words Monday.

Yeah, that’ll make for a good weekend.

Lost in the TV

So, last night was the season two Lost finale.  I’m much more satisfied with this year’s than I was with last.  We got some great new intrigue, and the pieces are in place for a full-tilt season 3.  Of course, season 3 won’t be full-tilt at all, but rather the simmer we’re used to.  I’m fine with that, even if the rest of the viewing public isn’t.

I’m sure a lot of people are going to raise hell about a lack of answers and the way the episode ended.  Just remember; these sad people don’t know what a cliffhanger is.  We’re better than them.

Welcome to the New Shit

So here’s the new website.  I’m going basic, rocking the WordPress for all it’s worth.  Sorry if this screwed up anybody’s xml feed or anything.  Along with this new look comes a new Biography and an updated Bibliography.  Those were fun.

So pull up a chair.  Let’s spend some time together.

The Night of 1000 Prawns

At last, the story can be told.

There may be some of you out there who have heard whispers of this horrific San Francisco event. It could be considered myth by some, legend by others.

Here, at last, is the truth.

It’s Saturday afternoon. We’ve just left Shrews’s spirited 4:30 reading, and we were hungry enough to slaughter and kill a score of republicans. Lucky for us, Keene had spoken to Jim Moore and Chris Golden, who stopped saying “Buy Bloodstained Oz” long enough to recommend a nearby Chinese place.

“They fed seven people for something like $45!”

I check my wallet. It whimpers in my hands.


And we’re off.

Our army of hungry souls consist of myself, Keene, Minh, JF Gonzalez, Shad and Nicole, Mike, and TC. We first swing by a nearby place called Crustacean’s, because TC wants seafood, but we quickly decide against the prices and make our way to the Chinese place.

And the Night of 1000 Prawns begins.

We are escorted to our table and inspect our menus. The Canton Meal looks like the way to go. Consisting of soup, fried rice, prawns, and at least seven other dishes, it should be more than enough food.

Should be.

A server joins us and Keene happily orders the Canton Meal for eight.

And then all hell breaks loose.

Keene: “You guys think this will be enough food?”

Me: “Yes.”

Everybody Else: “No.”

So the ordering begins. Three orders of eggrolls. A bowl of hot and sour soup (can’t complain about this one). Wrap chicken. Sesame and Pepper chicken wings.

And then TC smiles.

“I need three more orders of prawns.”

The table goes slack-jawed. For scale, let me say that one order is ten prawn, and one prawn is about the size of a toddler’s fist.

“Don’t worry,” TC says. “I’ll eat them all.”

So the soup arrives, followed by the rice. We’re doing okay. The wings and egg rolls come, as does the wrap chicken.

And then come the prawns.

Forty of those yummy fuckers, a mountain of breaded seafood. TC’s eyes go wide. I think I hear him whimper, but I can’t be sure.

The table rallies. We’re not gonna let this meal beat us. We OWN this fucking food. Efforts are doubled, conversation dwindles. Dammit, there’s chewing to be done! Slowly, the eggrolls disappear. TC manages to swallow ten or so prawns. The soup is consumed.

And then the main courses show up.

All seven of them.

Jesus stares in wide-eyed wonder. Minh breathes heavy. Keene can only laugh, and TC is broken. He can only stop giggling long enough to mutter “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” like Robin Tunney in Niagara, Niagara.

I fight back the tears that threaten to consume me.

We dig in, more determined than ever. Everytime we come close to polishing off a plate, however, our server brings two more. I begin to suspect the kitchen is trying to teach us a lesson before joining Keene and Minh in a chant of “Hail Hydra, immortal Hydra.”

Finally, our resolve disappearing, somebody says the most intelligent statement of the evening.

“We’re gonna need some take out cartons.”

When we finally roll out of there (after spending nowhere close to only $45), we are carrying close to ten pounds of food with us, which was probably less than what was left on the table.

I didn’t need to eat breakfast the next morning. That’s for sure.


I’ve been in a bad mood for two days since somebody pulled a hit and run on my car on Saturday, snapping off the driver’s side mirror and cracking the windshield. Funny stories will continue tomorrow.

Bye, Tess!

My friend Tess is moving to L.A. next week. She’s been accepted into film school. Knock ’em dead, Tess!

Oh, and I was out until 2AM with her last night. That’s why the rest of the WHC report isn’t up.

World Horror Con Report: Wednesday and Thursday

Disclaimer: I’m tired and accept no responsibility for typos or grammar errors.


After getting to the Austin airport early enough to grab a cheeseburger from Matt’s Famous El Rancho (Austin has the best airport food in the world), I boarded my flights to San Francisco and began my weekend. I need to throw out a quick mention that Continental has the worst carry on policy in existence. When I cram a bunch of crap into a backpack, I don’t want somebody to follow me onto the plain with a full suitcase and a guitar. Under no definition is that “Carry On.”

So I hit San Fran like a motherfucker, throwing my stuff into my hotel room (saying hi to my new roommate, Bailey Hunter of Dark Recesses), and then heading straight to the bar. In the elevator I ran into two coke-heads who I would eventually learn were Kelli and Kelly of Horror-Web. For the rest of the weekend, whenever something vibrant and loud was going on, I’d find at least one Kelli/y.

We hit the bar as a unit, and Brian Keene practically popped out of his seat to administer hugs. Say what you will about the Keene and his online persona. I’ve never met a nicer guy. In fact, he walked me around the tables, introducing me to every writer, editor and publisher.

“This is Nate Southard. He’s my protege.”

In the following days, he would introduce both myself and Steven Shrewsbury (Shrews) in this manner.

Speaking of which, Brian introduced me to Shrews and Minh, who would be my amigos for the whole fucking weekend. Between the three of us, there wasn’t a liquor, bookstore, or restaurant that was not our bitch.

So we all hung out for a bit, then ran to a pizza place to get dinner before running to catch Lost.

So there’s me, Brian, Kelli, and Don Koish of Necessary Evil Press watching Lost. Brian’s sweating over Sawyer, and I’m telling everybody how Eko makes me wish I was gay. Liquor is passed around, and Don nearly kills himself on some fucked up apple liquor. Brian prank calls Maurice Broaddus, and all of us team up to kill two cases of Corona the Kelli/y’s paid for. Kelli fluffed her pillow by smacking Cullen Bunn(who has a beautiful-looking Oni series coming out in April) in the face with it over and over again. We ran down to the bar, closing it out, and I talked to a Kelly Laymon who could do nothing but stare at my mouth. She would later cast her dinner about the sidewalk and elevator (at least, that’s what I was told).

At 2AM, I went to bed.


Thursday was the first day of the con-proper, so of course I spent most of it walking with Brian, Shrews, Kelli, Minh, Jim Moore, Solow, Christopher Golden, and a few others over many, many block to go check out Isotope Comics. On the way, we cut through the Tenderloin district, and I got to see the O’Farrell porn theater and strip club.

I did not jerk off in celebration, but I took a picture.

I’m happy to report that everybody agreed with me that the Isotope is the greatest comics shop in the world. James Sime provided us with three cases of beer, and Larry Young came out to say hi and ask me to sign the copy of Drive he had purchased. Lots of comics were bought, and lots of beer was drunk, then we walked fourteen blocks back to the hotel.

The rest of the day was spent checking out Brian’s reading (it was incredible), having Shrews introduce me to William Jones of Elder Signs Press, who agreed to let me pitch A Family Matter to him, eating more pizza with a dash of Chinese thrown in, and attending the wondrous Borderlands Books Party.

Where there was free beer and a bathroom in plain sight of a public basketball court.

That night, there was more drinking and schmoozing. I attended the party on the 7th floor (I can’t remember who threw it, just that there was MORE free beer. I think I crawled into bed at 2:30 or so, but details are fuzzy. During this day, I met Nate Kenyon and his lovely wife Nicole, Larry Roberts of Bloodletting Books, Steve Lukac, Jim, John Hay, Mary Sangiovanni, Dan and Suzanne (or is it Susan?) of The Other Dark Place, Weston Ochse, and a slew of others.

I’m Back

And I’m in pain. After numerous weather delays, sprinting up and down the Houston airport (probably a mile or more) from Terminal E to C to E again, I arrived home four to five hours late. I’m beat. My whole body hurts, and I’m going back to bed as soon as I finish this. The last time I ran that much was in high school, and it sure wasn’t at a sprint. The muscles in my shins are dead, unable to move my feet, so I have to flop them around when I walk.

But I had a great time. I’ll tell you about it later.