Category Archives: News

My 2013 is Going Out With a Bang!

awesome

Well, this has certainly been a pretty kickass year overall for Cat13, despite not writing too many new things — especially when factoring in the second half of the year! Is it a coincidence w/r/t the number 13 and its sheer awesomeness? The moon’s gravitational pull on the tides? Swamp gas? You’ll have to decide. . . .

I found out around June that my “collectio[novel]la” Shenanigans! was a Finalist for a Next Generation Indie Book Award.

My newest short story, “Now You See Me” was published over at Bartleby Snopes, which then managed to snag “Story of the Month” honors for October!

InDigest Magazine had a killer relaunch recently and “Mr. Twitchy,” a chapter excerpt from my forthcoming novel Human Services is featured in the latest issue (and live online).

There rumblings on the music front too. Without too much build up, here we go guys/gals: some remixes I did a long time ago (1999*) before it was easy to do using Traktor or Serato [yes, I know I’m old]: A Gravitaas Playlist: “SDK Sampler Ninety-Nine,” in all its (pseudo-)glory!

More news on the music front, the extraordinarily- and multi-talented Peter Tieryas Liu used a few of my tracks in some new video reviews, which is both awesome and humbling! I’ve listed two below:

HTML Giant featured Peter’s review of The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting Improvised Men by Gabriel Blackwell.

— And inspired by his review for The Lit Pub, Peter created a video for Janice Lee’s Damnation.

I’m working on a collaboration essay for The Good Men Project. More details to follow!

There is also some big news/a possible killer opportunity brewing for something on the horizon — but even I have to wait ’til Monday for more news.

Stay tuned (and bring on 2014!)!!

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2001: A Space Odyssey and Also Possibly Acid

_Technics SL1200

Confession time: I had never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey until last week. It’s embarrassing and I feel like my only punishment is the humiliation that stems from admitting this publicly. The movie’s great (obvi.)! Here’s my other confession: I’ve never read the book either… [#DodgesStones] But I’m going to. Totally. Not just because i’m promising to do it on the Internet where “everyone” can see me, either. But because I need to see how Arthur C. Clark decided to write the ending to the book because, in the movie… I don’t even know. I live-tweeted it while I was watching, though. It went something like this:

@JoeMOwens: Dave gets to Jupiter & drops extremely high-grade acid. Trips for like 25 years. Wakes up in a sterile hotel suite.

@JoeMOwens: Old man Dave: “Fuck, I broke my favorite crystal goblet and even older me is dying in a bed over there!”

@JoeMOwens: Oldest Man Dave: “This monolith is totally tilted the wrong way & doesn’t have any good channels. Think I’ll turn into an embryo.”

@JoeMOwens: Embryo Dave: “I’m as big as the fkn Earth!” #StarChild

Can anyone confirm or deny my accuracy here? It was only like 26% tongue-in-cheek. Seriously…

Speaking of 2001:ASO, have you guys seen THE HAL PROJECT yet? It’s worth checking out for the awesome screensaver alone!

What’s the deal with the turntable pic above? Good question! I recently got my listening space set up in the new house and my Technics SL-1200 is basically the centerpiece. It’s by no means the most expensive record player you can buy, but it’s not necessarily cheap either. (And, historically, it’s been top DJs’ weapon of choice for as long as I can remember.*) I think I paid $599 for it in 2002. Little did I suspect that, 11 years later, the same model, used, would fetch about the same price as what I paid for it, brand new. Check the eBayz if you don’t believe me.

I’ve even seen some going for $1,000 or more; now that was a good investment!

Astronomers recently discovered an exo-planet that originated from a different galaxy, so that’s pretty freaking amazing!

Have you upgraded your iPhones to iOS 7 yet? No? Why not. It’s awesome! If you, or someone you know is having reservations about upgrading, Gizmodo has you covered: “How To Talk Your Friends and Family Through iOS 7.” Even my mom loves it! You can thank me later.

Also, I really need to talk to you guys about Breaking Bad, but I have to wrap my mind around where the narrative currently sits. It’s so incredible, I’m basically speechless. Last night’s episode, “Granite State,” was a perfect followup to the wild and emotionally-taxing ride viewers were taken on last week in arguably the series’ best episode, “Ozymandias.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever looked forward to an episode of TV more than I am for the series finale this coming Sunday!

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Rededicating myself to something or another again

I’ve said this here a million times: I need to blog more. Three+ months is a LONG hiatus!

It’s not that I don’t like it: I do. It just gets shoved down the priority list more often than not.

Professionally, I’m still happily working at Metropolitan Community College’s Writing Center, but I’m also teaching English Comp. 1 and 2 at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. I’ve got some really smart kids, too!

On the writing front, I’ve got a brand new short story going live over at Bartleby-Snopes next month, which is awesome! Ever since I started trying to share my words with peeps, B. Snopes has been on my list of places I wanted to see my work published. I’ll probably make a huge deal about it when it’s actually available to read!

Have you seen this Breaking Bad thing? I guess it’s a pretty big deal. (OK, just kidding; I’ve been addicted to it for a while now and this season is insane!) I am, however, late to the Sons of Anarchy party. The show’s pretty great! I’m finally getting around to watching season 5!

I made a reading goal to myself this year. In addition to reading 60 books total — a paltry number compared to some — I decided I’d read both the entirety of Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series (10 books) and Iain M. Banks’s Culture series (also 10 books). I think I’m on track.

Since writing a primer for the first 3 Malazan books over at HTML Giant, I’ve finished two more and have a decent start on the sixth book, The Bone Hunters. Here’s my one [long] sentence review of the series so far: It’s the best fantasy series I’ve ever read, including- but not limited to- both George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (even if you include The Hobbit).

Since I always like my fantasy fix with a side of sci-fi, I’m also currently reading my 7th book in the Culture series. Since these books aren’t exactly chronologically written, the order in which you read them isn’t quite as important as it is with the Malazan books. If I remember, I’ve read them so far in the following order — books: 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 7, 6, i.e. I’m currently reading book 6, Inversions. My good friend Peter Tieryas Liu has reviewed the first two books in the series, Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games, both of which are excellent, but aren’t even as good as the series gets!

Oh, and speaking of, I’d like to put out an APB for George R.R. Martin: More specifically, book 6 in The Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter. WTF, George?! Write faster!

Things are also simmering nicely on the “Pangaea project” front. More on that to come, so stay tuned for that too!

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Some Good News for Grey Sparrow Press

My publisher, Grey Sparrow Press, got some good news I definitely needed to share!
[n.b. line breaks mine]:

“We have received a request for subscription from Yale University for our journal.

“I owe a large debt of gratitude to our volunteer editors [all of whom survived a year with the Sparrow] Annam Manthiram, Joseph Michael Owens, Timothy Stobierski, Amanda Casolo, Townsend Walker, whom I have worked with since the beginning, our amazing writers and I can’t list them all but surely everyone here, Sita Bhaskar, Marko Fong, David Atkinson; Joe after he retired from the Sparrow, Samartha Vashishtha, Bhisma Upreti, Marie Williams, Thomas Smith, Angela Ellis, Julie Mark Cohentruly so many more, and our artists and photographers — BIG BIG Hugs. Love to you all.

“And Professor John Roche, thank you for that fabulous Snow Jewel issue that actually was the one that determined purchases… Incredible poetry and more.

“I don’t know how UC-Berkeley had a copy, but that was why they contacted Grey Sparrow!”

–Diane Smith Fuller

Also, this news is in addition to The University of California – Berekley Rare Books & Manuscripts requesting copies of all Snow Jewel and Grey Sparrow publications (including Shenanigans!), and the University of New York – Buffalo, which is taking our journals too!!

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peterbd says I am the G.o.a.T. — How could I not repost this?

Random things are random (obvi.), but they’re also often awesome. Tonight I got a random email from the elusive peterbd and it managed to redefine the term “awesomeness.”

There were/are “lols” aplenty!

20. joe is greater at creating electronic music than most people.

19. joe is better at creating electronic music than this guy: http://www.blackbookmag.com/polopoly_fs/1.54529.1352141269!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_411/image.png

18. joe became the g.o.a.t without selling out and moving to new york

17. joe michael owens > terrell owens and his relatives

16. joe’s writing can be found in multiple places and none of it sucks because it’s impossible for joe to write anything shitty as evidenced by his non shitty writing resume

15. joe is the only man on earth that could wear overalls and still look smooth

14. if you type ‘joe michael owens’ into netflix, a documentary titled g.o.a.t: the true story of joseph michael owens will be your only result. this is an unofficial documentary that chronicles joe’s life as a young prodigy on his way to being the g.o.a.t. interviews include his friends, family, and those who witnessed his incredible rise to fame. the documentary currently has 4 1/2 stars on netflix. it was directed by steven spielberg

13. joe wrote ‘we always trust each other, except for when we don’t’ which didn’t win a pulitzer prize, but when you’re as good a writer as joe and you wrote the awesomeness that is ‘we always trust each other, except for when we don’t’ you don’t need no goddamn pulitzer prize to validate your genius

Continue reading

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So Many Projects, So Little Time…

Weird clock DaliHow do I get myself into these things?

I can’t say no; that’s where the problems start.

It’s OK, I suppose. I’d rather be busy than bored, but by some recent tabulations, I’m averaging about 90 hrs. of work each week.

If something’s gotta give, then sleep is that something.

It’s O-K, but just barely.

Teaching four classes, working at the college’s writing center, training CPR & Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI) classes, writing grants and proposals (plus freelance editing etc.) — it sort of takes a toll on one’s “free time.”

Free time. Now there’s a novel concept. . .

Speaking of novel, time spent actually writing novel(s) and stories has really suffered. I mean, I want to write. I can even [occasionally] magick some time out of thin air that I could use to write. However, by the time any of this happens, my brain feels like it’s been submerged in a jar of molasses. Or maybe sorghum. I dunno, something dark and viscous.

I was whinging (ask a Canadian) the other night on Twitter about this predicament, saying something to the effect of “Having trouble just thinking about writing #LongDays…” and Justin Daugherty offered some simple advice but advice that was probably spot on nonetheless: “Do it. Writing is the most important thing.”

Fuck yeah it is!

I got a little bit scribbled into a notebook but it was better than nothing. It was better than putting it off until tomorrow and tomorrow became tomorrow became next week etc. &c.

Writing: Make like Nike and just do it!

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Happy New Book Day!

Books March-27-2013

Today’s been a really kickass book day!

First, a surprise arrived from my good friend David S. Atkinson (who’s easily the coolest guy I know) in the form of the rare(ish) white version of Adam Levin‘s THE INSTRUCTIONS (one of my two favorite books of all time)!!

Also, my ARC of Benjamin Percy‘s RED MOON showed up, ready for a through reading, skinning, analysis, drying/tanning, mounting and, ultimately, reviewing!!

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Goodreads Shenanigans! Giveaway Winners

I just wanted to take a quick minute to say congrats to the winners of the 2013 Goodreads Shenanigans! giveaway (which ended March 4th):

Smily H.
Athina S.
Aaron L.
Carl G.
Eliza B.
Rhonda F.
Chris P.

The press review copies all went out in the mail this morning (one is even headed to Canada).

I know it was a giveaway and just about everyone likes stuff, but I still can’t help being incredibly humbled that 589 people entered the giveaway!

In the end, I hope you all enjoy this short collection!

Shenanigans Goodreads cover

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Tick-tock… New things are coming up…

AWP 2013 starts this week, so expect some news/updates from Boston.

Oddly enough, as far as panels etc. go, the event I’m looking forward to most is a reading by the venerable Samuel R. Delaney.

I could try to explain why, but I think Tammy Sayler does a really good job on her blog: “Literary fiction or science fiction? Top 5 Inspirations For Why I Write Science Fiction

Lots of other new writing/literary things are on the horizon as well, my friends. Lots.

For now, enjoy The Clock of the Long Now.

Stay tuned!

Long Now Clock

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Year(s)-in-Review // Year-in-Preview

I’ve been feeling contemplative lately. I’ve been reminiscing about 2011 and 2012, to be specific. Truthfully, they were pretty damn good years (aside from an almost crippling case of writer’s block toward the end of 2012). They were pretty good, but I think I can top both of them in 2013.

In 2011, I became the blog editor at InDigest Magazine; I did a reading at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN; and I had a short story accepted in [PANK] Magazine, which was- and is- certainly one of the highlights of my writing career thus far. I also got to do an interview with the magazine, which was truthfully almost as cool/fun as getting a story published.

And as great as 2011 was, 2012 turned out to be even better!

My collectio[novella] Shenanigans! was published by Grey Sparrow Press on the 50th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite books, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; I became the blog editor at The Lit Pub; I got to do an interview with the lovely, talented, and wonderful J.E. Reich at Art Faccia; and I got to play the kickass literary text-based adventure game, EXITS ARE, with Best American Short Stories author, Mike Meginnis!

So how could I possibly top the past two years?

My ultra-top-secret epic collaboration project is finally gaining some traction.

I found a way to push through a prickly plateau in the novel I’d previously shelved in 2010 (Human Services).

But most importantly, I think I have a much firmer grasp on who I am as a writer and on what I’m capable of producing. I’m not making any unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, unless you count “read more” and “write more,” but I just look at those as rededicating myself to my craft.

It’s a prevailing sense of optimism I feel about 2013. The apocalypse happened and no one noticed. It probably just means we need to get our asses back to work.

That’s what I’ll be doing.

You know where to find me.

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