Archive for December, 2007

My 2007 Blog Year in Review

Since it’s that time of year where we reflect on where we’ve been. (Plus, I’m gearing up for a jaunt out to Seattle for the Hollywood Jesus Annual Gathering where I’ll be one of the speakers. They want me to do a presentation about my blog On Magical Negroes.) So I thought I’d end the year with a look back at some of my favorite blog posts … written by me. You know, in case you missed any of them (in no particular order despite the fact that my favorites top the list):

Horror Premises: White People are You Kidding Me? – yeah, I knew once I hit post that this was going to be my favorite blog of the year. If only from the amount of giggling Chesya and I did while “researching” it.

A Writer’s Dark Night of the Soul – one of my blogs for “Blogging in Black.” My angst-ridden plea to when the muse goes silent and/or it goes too long between validations (i.e. that golden ticket known as the acceptance letter). Though my interview with Alethea Kontis was another fave.

Prayer of Emergence – because sometimes I need to be reminded of a few things.

On lighter notes, there’s nothing like medical procedures and my family being, well, us. So we have The Catheter Incident, Restaurant Debacles, and Broaddus Family Tradition Continues.

Take Your Ass Home – nuff said. None of us are so important we can’t go home.

Betrayed by Faith? Growing Through Disillusionment. You’d almost think there was a theme to some of my musings this year. Actually, both were “blog homework assignments” (it’s a thing that happens on my message board: different folks get tagged with topics to blog about).

Black Self-Image

Who are you having these conversations with? Part I and Part II.

American Idol – in my rationalization for watching the show, I was reminded of how this is analogous to the business of writing, both as a writer and as an editor.

Speaking of other threads of thought through the year, there was the “Community Series”: Participatory Community. Earn the Right to Speak. Earn the Right to Complain. Community Crutch.

A few Friday Night Date Place blogs can be mentioned. The Right to be Picky. For the Love of Money. A Thief Always Gets Caught. By the way, you forfeit the right to feeling “blogged at” if you’re calling me up and end up using the phrase “you ought to blog about this” in the conversation.

Of the columns I write for Intake/Indy.com, Pipe Down IPS gets an honorable mention only because it generated so much mail for me. Sheesh, considering that I write about race and religion fairly often, I can’t believe cheering at a graduation proves to be the most divisive issue I’ve written.

And a few of my Hollywood Jesus reviews were personal favorites: 300, Pan’s Labyrinth, Doctor Who/Torchwood, Transformers, The Riches, and Sunshine.

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Friday Night Date Place – Hooking Up for the Holidays

It’s that time of year. We’re in the throes of the holiday season. Starting around Thanksgiving running through Christmas and then New Year’s Day, we are in the grip of a collective mania. The stress of being and dealing with family. There’s the self-inflicted (and sometimes inflicted by well-intentioned family) pressure of being alone during these times. This time of year can do funny things to people and their thoughts. No one wants to be alone and we especially don’t want to be alone this time of year. There’s a reason why suicides increase around this time.

It may also cause some folks to re-think some of their ex-s. Sometimes it can seem (read: be rationalized) as a rekindling of old feelings. Sometimes “the time apart” has allowed you to re-evaluate their relationship and increase a desire to reconnect with them. Folks can be seen in entirely new lights when compared to the prospect of being alone.

I only have two questions when people ask me about getting back with ex-s, particularly this time of year:

-this person is an ex for a reason. Have those reasons or that person changed? (The sad thing is when the break up occurred only a week or two ago and the person is trying to convince themselves that all the faults their ex had are no longer there or they’ve made a radical turn around or “learned so much” in those two weeks).

-how fair is it to them? You’re talking about stirring up old feelings, possibly opening up old wounds that may or may not have healed, for the possibility of getting together to ride out the holidays together. Now, I’m a “cards on the table” sort of guy, however, even if both of you go into this with your eyes wide open, how fair is it to rekindle a person’s affections only to drop them after the holidays?

I don’t know. Hopefully you’re both grown ups, but I can ‘t help but think that it’s better to ride out the holidays in the company of friends and family as your “connectivity crutch” rather than entangle someone else’s emotions in the mix. If you’re sincere about re-connecting with that ex, wait til after the holidays. With the cloud of pressure and expectation lifted, you can see more clearly. It’s a genuine light of day for you to see if your feelings are what you think they are.

Plus, if you connect with them now, you’re practically obligated to have to buy them a gift. If you’re truly thinking, wait til February 15th to re-connect.

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Cosby’s Call to Arms

I finally got around to reading the transcript of Dr. Bill Cosby’s remarks in commemoration of Brown vs. the Board of Topeka Education to see what the brouhaha was all about. I understand that a lot of my white acquaintances want me to co-sign what he said, having heard snippets of his comments, but with all due respect, what these were were the equivalent of a barbershop conversation. A family conversation where some dirty laundry gets aired in order to possibly work toward a solution. So that’s the context in which I make my comments.

Few people call out the problems. Teenage pregnancy, families without fathers, drugs, and the chasing of materialism without any thought to life in the long term. These are all symptoms of the true state of despair in which too many people live.

I feel like an old man complaining about today’s youth. Maybe I’m mis-remembering the past, but it seems to me that there was a time when black folks lived together in community. That we have someone lost part of our cultural ethic, having gone from marching in order to secure equal education to dropping out of school in record rates and playing “gangsta”.

Too many of us have bought into the lie that we have no choice, that there’s no point to dream, that no one cares. We’ve bought the lie of low expectations. It is intellectually easy to blame racism and the actions of “some” people within the community. Folks may have their own ideas about what “some” may be code for, particularly as an attack on the poor. However, I believe that leaving the conversation behind, not having it at all, or forgetting about the poor is truly attacking them. It may be easier to kill the messenger because that’s sure beats wrestling with the actual problems.

The conversations may be hard; even still, the solutions are easier said than done. But the conversations need to be had. Often and loudly because how we treat the poor defines who we are as a culture and as a country.

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Broaddus Family Tradition Continues

Basically, the NaNoWriMo thing didn’t really work for me, as I am in month two of hammering out the draft of a novel. But as I am preparing to write the climax of the story, I am quite cognizant of the amount of research I need to do so that the second draft of this beast is readable. Plus, researching is part of the process I absolutely love, especially “in the field” research.

Unless I get security called on me.

So, remember when I was telling you that we in the Broaddus clan—ever inadvertently, of course—seem to find ourselves asked to leave from various dining establishments? Well, apparently the force is still strong in this one (or maybe two or more Broadduses gathered in one spot is simply asking for trouble).

Let me begin by saying that I am not fashion conscious. I know, I know, clothes tell a story about us and I have a reputation as a clothes horse, but the simple secret is that I depend a lot on my siblings to properly clothe me. Sometime in high school, I quit caring what people thought about how I dressed or what people deemed fashionable (as evidenced in the pictures of me in high school and from the fact that one of my friends to this day complains about having to be seen with me in public back then). Fast forward twenty years and what kids today call fashion (dear Lord, I am now using phrases like “kids today”) truly, truly eludes me.

So if I’m writing a piece set in the culture of today’s youth, I have to do my research. So with me as Marlin Perkins and my sister as Jim Fowler (cause I’m certainly not going into the wild myself), we braved the Lafayette Square Mall. (Okay, now that I think about it, a Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom reference probably does have me only a couple years from yelling at kids to get off my lawn.) Now, I’ll admit, Lafayette Square has earned a bit of a reputation as the ghetto mall in our area as white flight has taken most stores north, south, and way west, but it’s still the one we call home.

We go to a couple of stores with me pointing out outfits, having her describe them, what would go with them, why on Earth women would wear such things, why God knew better than to give me a daughter, and why the hell won’t boys pull up their pants. I’m just saying. Her husband soon joins us (he’s all about the lulz and anytime Broadduses get together, he likes front row seats) which is helpful because he’s a bigger clothes horse that me and my sister combined (and primps longer than us combined, too).

Eventually we wander into Hip Hop Fashions, which by all rights should have been our first stop. I had just made the comment that “if you are wearing a hoodie that reads light finger brigade, you forfeit the right to complain about a manager following you around his store” when the manager, who’s nationality I couldn’t begin to guess, comes up to ask us what we’re doing.

“I’m taking notes.”
“For what?”
“A piece that I’m writing on fashion.”
“You can’t do that in here.”
“Do what?”
“What you are doing?”
“Writing?”
“Yes. You can’t do that in here.”

At this point, I’m standing there slack-jawed, not knowing if he was kidding. I literally had no response to this.

“What if we’re making our list of what we’re planning on buying?” my sister’s husband asked. To be fair, he didn’t really care, he just likes causing mischief and sees an opportunity for us to clown.
“You can’t do that here.”
“Shop?”
“Not with paper.”
“I’m a reporter.” Okay, I’ll also admit, writing a weekly column is a bit of a stretch from being a reporter, but I’m all about wrapping myself in the first amendment. And it’s not like I pulled out the “do you know who I am?” card.
“Do you know who he is?” my brother-in-law adds. “You know you’re about to make the paper, right?”
“We don’t need any of that here.”
“Any what?”
“Any papers. I don’t read them and I don’t need them. You have to get out now.”

So we leave. Kinda. Truth be told, other than my sister trying to explain to me the laws of physics pertaining to how to properly stand when wearing pants at least twice your size, we were done in that store. But not now. Now, we were window shoppers. Loud window shoppers. Who take notes.

“I said you can’t do that here,” the manager came out to say.
“Do what? Window shop?”
“I don’t need any of that. I’ve got something for you.”

So he phones security. It’s not like I could say I’d been profiled, cause being honest, a group of folks wearing “light finger brigade” apparel walking behind me would make me nervous whereas as they are his target demo. A gentleman of occasion such as myself, accompanied by his sister, his brother-in-law, and their children doesn’t exactly scream thug night out.

“Mommy, I don’t want to go to jail,” my niece says loudly, then puts on her “I’m too cute to jail” face. Yes indeed, another generation of Broadduses well into their training.
“We’re not going to jail,” my sister says. “You can’t go to jail for writing.”

I’m not going anywhere if you send a young cute female officer in an attempt to escort me anywhere. Being a Broaddus does come with an upside: some folks actually find us charming.

“Did you need security?” she asks me.
“No, but the manager did. But it’s about me, so you may want to see him first.”
“Okay.” She comes back out a few minutes later “Wouldn’t you WANT your name and store in a piece about where to find the latest fashion?”
“I know, right.”
“Well, you can do whatever you want out here.”

So we stood outside his store and continued to take notes. Eventually he came out and asked if I saw anything I liked and I said that I honestly couldn’t see myself in any of these outfits. Cause I’m a grown ass man.

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Food is NOT the Enemy

I love food. I think that it’s about time that I admit it. I love its taste. I love its color. I love its texture. I love its smell, and the warm memories that often go with that smell. I love the experience of eating. Yet I find myself at war with my body. I was a good soldier in this war. Each day I check my POWs, measured in terms of pounds lost. I take stock of the enemy’s forces by counting carbs. Waging military campaigns with names like “Atkins” or “South Beach”, I reconnoiter territory, setting some foods as off limits. And I close out the day by inflicting on the troops a boot camp regimen of exercise.

Okay, I’m too lazy to count anything before I eat, but I don’t want to get trapped in the tyranny of a (perpetual) diet. We make ourselves miserable, turning one of life’s simple pleasures into an ascetic torture. We remove the joy from eating.

So obvious fasting is one of those spiritual disciplines that’s not in the cards for me. As spiritual disciplines go, this was the one that always annoyed me. There is something about it that almost required you to proclaim “stand back, for I am holy, and I am fasting” (or maybe that was just me). However, this does remind me that there is a spiritual aspect to food.
Think of the fellowship that often surrounds the act of eating, be it with family or with friends, even co-workers. Think of how much more food is enjoyed when done in the company of people you love. Think of the religious ceremonies–communion, the Holy Feasts of ancient cultures, Ramadan, Kwanzaa–built around food.

My goal is to walk the line between gluttony and being a slave to a diet. Right now my “diet” mostly consists of me drinking water as my beverage of choice and having smaller portions of what I eat. Sure, I have a 0% muscle index and when I flex, nothing moves. And when my kids draw me, I am a bald face circle on top of another circle. Daddy the snowman figure. I’ve at least got to do something about that.

Long Memories for Taxes

November 6, 2007 local voters did what politicians always said we could do (as their excuse for not legislating term limits) but never did: we “voted the bums out”. It didn’t seem to matter what party folks were, the incumbents had to go. Anyone even remotely connected to the property taxes debacle had to go. And now the politicians are running scared because while they can schedule tax day as far away from elections as possible, property taxes come due awfully close to election time. Oops!

Suddenly our legislature has gotten bipartisan fever as they try to come up with solutions to the property taxes imbroglio, I mean, relief. They don’t necessarily want to push to raise income taxes, because we’d “see” that too painfully. An increase in sales tax wouldn’t be felt quite so acutely. The last thing they want to do is further penalize homeowners.

We live in the land of opportunity, seeking prosperity for ourselves and a legacy for our family. The lure of home ownership is part of what we’ve defined as the American Dream. Ownership means folks have a stake in the community. Higher taxes may seem like uptown problems, but—as Indiana faces a skyrocketing foreclosure (and bankruptcy) rate—we risk knocking the legs out of the housing market once folks realize they can’t afford the tax on their dream.

Many of us were clutching to middle class by our fingertips. I know that when I opened up my property tax bill, essentially our government was asking an extra three months mortgage payment out of me; or, to put it another way, an entire month of my wife and I’s combined salaries. I didn’t (and don’t) mind making sacrifices and paying my fair share, however, there is a tipping point.

There’s an old folk saying about how if you throw a frog into hot water it will immediately hop out; but if you put it in cold water and slowly raise the temperature, it will eventually allow itself to be cooked to death. While, this folk doesn’t match the reality for frogs, it does match the reality for tax payers. You increase our taxes all at once, you’ll get a revolt. Apparently if you raise them by degrees, we’ll allow you keep raising them.

All I’m saying is that it’s time to break out the thermometers people.

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Friday Night Date Place – When Love is Not Enough

Unfortunately, I’ve had ringside seats as a relationship close to our family’s is coming apart due to financial pressures. It’s the same old story: both having big dreams, no one finishing school, treading water in a string of crappy jobs, never getting ahead, constantly feeling pressure of barely making it from one paycheck to the next, and no one wanting to adjust their lifestyle downward. Though this could be the beginning of part two of the role money issues play in relationships, this is also one example of love not being enough, cause love don’t pay the bills.

To put this in a bit of context, I try to lead as drama-free a life as possible and tend to surround myself with drama-free folks (and by “drama-free” I mean the self-created variety. Life has enough drama without me or my significant other stirring up needless drama, stressing the relationship to the breaking point).

I’ve been in relationships where I have to do a certain kind of relationship algebra, calculating the deal-breaking point with a different set of variables. In this case, it focused on when one partner is dragging the other into the spiral of their madness. Wondering when they bring enough negativity and drama to the relationship that it threatens to consume anything positive about them; poisoning the relationship with their bitterness and hate. When they are so negative, so frustrating, offering excuse after excuse for wanting to wallow in their own self-created misery that is seems that their love language vocabulary being reduced to “I, I, I. Me, me, me.”

One of the things I’ve come to realize is that how a significant other reacts during hard or bad times reveals a lot about their character. It’s easy to rationalize their bad behavior, ill-temper, or general negative intensity when it’s focused outside of your relationship, but you have to be careful because eventually it’s turned on you. There’s usually plenty of evidence supporting the fact that they seem to have a case of short relationship attention span: how many family members they’ve pissed off, how many communities they’ve quit, how many relationship bridges they’ve burned. If nothing else, their lack of people skills may prevent you from establishing roots and deepening relationships.

When you find yourself the babysitter in the relationship, the designated adult, there’s a problem. Relationships ought to be a coming together of equal partners. It’s the only way the business of relationships (from managing the finances to communicating in order to reconcile) can be done. What you don’t want is to let things deteriorate to the point where you’re grabbing a screwdriver ready to drive it into your partner to put an end to the madness. I’m not saying I’ve seen that happen in a relationship before, but sometimes these ringside seats are kinda rough.

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JLA-Hitman – A Review

“Types of Courage”

Garth Ennis (Midnighter, The Boys, Ghost Rider) enjoyed the best runs of his comic book career when he was writing Hitman, Preacher, and Constantine. Hitman was always one of my favorites because it was his most mainstream work. Because he had to work within the constraints of the PG comic book universe, Ennis was forced to be more clever, not depending on his standard tools of over-the-top crassness and vulgarity. Yet he still retained the humor and humanity that bring his characters to life, after all, this is the same character that vomited all over Batman in his first issue. During his sixty issue run, Ennis managed to inject all kinds of ridiculous concepts and make them work (I won’t get into the zombie zoo animals).

Tommy Monaghan was a super-powered assassin who lived by his own code and for his friends, maintaining honor and relationships in a world of constant betrayal. With the title ending the way we all knew it had to end, we readers didn’t think we’d see anymore of the adventures of Tommy and his best friend, Nat. Then along comes JLA/Hitman.

To play catch up, Bloodlines was a storyline that ran through the DC titles’ annuals in the mid-90s wherein many people were infected by aliens and given powers. The meta commentary in JLA/Hitman about the heroes produced from that saga sums it up best: “those guys are really lame” (Green Lantern), with stories “inventing just the worst reasons for team ups” (Flash). Obviously, Hitman was a rare exception, but the situation that brings about this team up is a return of those aliens parasites which leads to the JLA bringing Tommy to their Watchtower on the moon to mount a defense. His methods stand in stark contrast to those of the assembled JLA heroes (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and the Green Lantern).

“Did you even stop to think once about what you were doing? About the moral implications of aligning yourself with this man? Did you consider the disgrace you would bring on yourself, on this league, on the institution?” –Batman

The framework for the story doubles as the theme of the story. A young reporter goes to Clark Kent (Superman’s alter ego) to question how the paragon of superheroes could ever have worked with a murderous thug like Monaghan. The chief question it explores is what it means to be a hero. There are moral implications of the methods of Tommy himself as well being associated with him. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is social relevance to examining immoral men vs. immoral methods such as torture and killing. Is this “doing what you have to do” mentality moral courage?

“About the promise and hope of it. About doing what you can do to help.” –Superman

There are things that (super) heroes aren’t supposed to do. Though we’ve seen before (Jack Bauer in 24 comes to mind) that sometimes they do have to get their hands dirty and still be able to maintain their heroic nature, but there is a price to be paid. I’m reminded of the account in the Bible about King David. He was “a man after God’s own heart” and was the warrior needed to defend the nation of Israel, but his hands were too bloody to oversee building the temple. That was left to his successor, King Solomon.

“I’m someone who does what he can. Aren’t we all?” –Superman

Granted, we’re all heroes in our own stories, but we also have a certain idea of what a hero is and are too quick to label people heroes without considering what we mean by the term. After all, even the best of people are but flawed vessels, yet flawed vessels are the only kind of person God works through. We were created in His image, there is good in us and any of us are capable of contributing something positive.

“Do not think you’ve found redemption by your actions here.” –Wonder Woman

Yes, JLA/Hitman was a love letter to the fans of Hitman, replete with in-jokes, John McCrea art, and appearances by the extensive cast of misfits we’d come to know and love. A chance for readers to re-visit an old friend and a reminder of how much this character was beloved. And it gives us an excuse to dig out those original issues or for DC to put the collected trades back into circulation.

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I Am Legend – A Review

“Light up the Darkness”

Adapted from the classic (1954) Richard Matheson horror novel of the same name, this is I Am Legend’s third incarnation on the screen. First there was Vincent Price’s 1964 The Last Man on Earth, then Charlton Heston’s 1971 The Omega Man and now it comes to us on the impressive shoulders of Will Smith. And yet, I couldn’t stop making comparisons to the movie Castaway, with Tom Hanks (you know, if you ever thought to yourself “Castaway was a pretty good movie, but it really needed vampires to liven it up a bit.”) I can’t imagine what an Arnold Schwarzenegger starring / Ridley Scott directed vehicle might have looked like (since this script was originally written when they were attached).

The movie veers between haunting and terrifying. Set in a desolate Manhattan, in the near future of 2012, nature slowly reclaims the concrete jungle with grass breaking up the roads and escaped zoo animals running free. Alone in this environment, we have a man and his dog. Will Smith, as Robert Neville, fills his day hunting, searching for other survivors, and striving for a cure for the disease that has left all but him either dead or changed. At night, he seals himself away against the roaming vampires (though they are never called that). Like Hanks, we are caught up in his spell of likeability and charm, the relatable everyman.

“God didn’t do this. We did.” –Robert

The movie is steeped in spiritual overtones and imagery, ever interesting considered the amount of science fiction in this horror work. Once again, we are presented with the consequences of the over reach of man tampering with the natural order of things, the same the same hubris presented in stories from the biblical, the Tower of Babel, to the classic Frankenstein. In this case, KV, the virus originally reprogrammed as a cure for cancer, instead spreads a different sort of infection. Survivors of it develop red eyes, reduced pigmentation, heightened aggression, and a sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation (sunlight). In other words, they become vampires in place of the zombies from 28 Days/Weeks Later. Military scientist, Robert Neville, proves to be immune from the effects of the virus and remains behind to try to find a cure.

“Everything just fell apart.” –Robert

KV dehumanizes humanity, reducing them to vampire-like “dark seekers”. It is a contagion of social de-evolution. Spread from person to person until all have been affected. It is the condition that everyone finds themselves in, no longer what they were meant to be, no longer living how they were created to live, and no longer capable of communing with one another, much less anything else, they way they were meant to.

Though still outwardly human, they have lost the essence of their true humanity. They suffer from a profound loneliness, this loss of existential connection, that even Robert is are driven slowly mad just wanting so bad to hear someone just say “hello.” He tries to forge the semblance of connection with his dog (Sam) and even mannequin (Fred) [which again, was reminiscent of Tom Hanks losing his ball in Castaway or how attached we all got to the mouse in that other Hanks vehicle, The Green Mile]. Routine and discipline anchor him to sanity, living in hope of finding other survivors as well as a cure.

“If we listen, we can hear God’s plan.” –Anna (Alice Braga)

Despite the tragedy, the loss, the death, the destruction, and the seeming unfairness of life, God still has a plan and His Spirit still moves among people for a reason. Posters in the background of the movie continue to remind us that “God still loves us”.

“I can still fix this … I can save everybody. Will you let me save you?” –Robert

Robert tells the story of Bob Marley’s theory on curing racism by “injecting music and love into people’s lives … the people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. Why should i?” That’s the core message of the movie, that one man can make a difference, can provide hope for a new way of living, through blood and sacrifice to defend the cure. Through sacrificial love, by injecting love to light up the darkness, life can be lived in light of hope, be it a new colony or a new earth, a quieter earth, with the chance to do things right as a legacy to that sacrifice of love. Robert Neville is a Messianic figure that passes into legend.

Will Smith carries the movie through its long silences and terrifying sequences, displaying quite the range of emotions, especially in the scenes with him and his dog. Thankfully they put away the shaky camera pretty early on. While the desolation of New York after the devastation continue to haunt and the dark seekers terrify, it is the character driven nature (as Robert wrestles with both his faith and loneliness) and thoughtfulness of the plot that bring this movie home.

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Big Pimpin’ III aka Life as the Sinister Minister

I’m often asked how I can be a Christian and a horror writer and theory is one thing, but I rarely mention what this looks like practically. What it means this week is that I am busy preparing a non-fiction book proposal solicited by a Christian book publisher while working on a novel that combines street gangs, zombies, and the Arthurian legends.

Anyway, excuse me while I spam you all:

I have been interviewed over at On This Day We Become Legendary. (Now archived here)

An older story of mine—as in, “Temptation”, one of the first stories I ever wrote—is up on the Fear and Trembling website. It was an early experiment in voice.

This has been a big week for story sales: “Snapping Points” was picked up by MagusZine and will most likely appear in early January on MagusPress.com in the MagusZine section. “A Young Man and His Games” was picked up by Uncle Mort (Mort Castle, a hero of mine) coming out in Doorways Magazine in 2008.

The Hollywood Jesus Reviews 2006 – 2007 edition will be out soon. They’ve chosen several of my reviews for inclusion: 1408, 28 Weeks Later…, Ghost Rider, Lady in the Water, Pan’s Labyrinth, Stranger Than Fiction, TMNT, and Two Weeks.

I would write about the Broaddus Family Christmas party, but my wife has already done so, though she failed to mention my turn as one half of the Miami Vice duo.

(FYI, John Hay has made me promise to show some of our Broaddus Christmas Party movies as a part of Mo*Con III. We’ll see if my board moderators rise up to stab me in my sleep before those see the light of day again.)

And it wouldn’t be complete spam without mentioning my friends:

-Lucien Soulban has two releases out now: his Black Library Novel, Desert Raiders and his short story Serenade in the Horrors Beyond 2 anthology.

-Richard Dansky’s book, Firefly Rain, is going to be a Booksense Pick for January.

-Cullen Bunn’s comic, The Damned (which I have reviewed and can highly recommend) has been picked up for Spanish translation.

-Alice Henderson just learned that an anthology she’s in, MYSTERY DATE, will be published
in February 2008 by DAW (Penguin).

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If you want to make sure that I see your comment or just want to stop by and say hi, feel free to do so on my message board. I apologize in advance for some of my regulars.