New Column and Westworld

I’m sitting in my office getting ready to type up my notes to my latest column for Gamut magazine. Over the past few months as Gamut has been ramping up, I made the decision that with Raw Bites, I was going to strip myself to the bone. I was going to dredge up all of the things about my life that still make me cringe before I fall asleep at night or during too quiet moments. It’s been work out. The piece I’m writing is definitely making me wince more than a little bit. By the way, I’ve got a new Raw Bites in Gamut #1 called “Bukowski San Pedro”.

No, it’s not about Bukowski in the least.

The piece is behind a pay wall, so if you don’t have a subscription already, you can go right here. Richard Thomas is setting the bar high with Gamut, it’s something special.

Me and Mrs. Rawson finished up Westworld today while the baby was napping. Final verdict, it was just okay.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect Johnathan Nolan and the Yu family (The show’s story editor and primary scriptwriters, Charles Yu, is one of my favorite contemporary short story writers. If you haven’t already, definitely check out Third-Class Super-Hero), but outside of Bernard (Jeffery Ross) and Maeve (Thandie Newton), I didn’t care about any of the other characters or their plot lines. There was some great acting and writing, but I don’t think I’ll be returning for season two. But then again, I’ve felt this way about a lot of multi-season, long form television shows lately. I find myself wanting shows to wrap up in a single season like The Night Of or American Horror Story.

Are any of you feeling this way about long form television lately, or is it just me?


Evening Soundtrack: Dave Brubeck

 

Welcome to Babytown & Other Goings On

 

Scarlett aka the cuddle monster

Anyone who follows me on social media knows that a couple of months ago, me and Mrs. Rawson welcomed this bundle of awesome into our lives. In case you don’t know, her name’s Scarlett Iris and she was born on Christmas. Needless to say we love her more than a stoner loves hash oil and Captain Crunch.

Life leading up to this kid was a little hectic to say the least.

First off, we thought it was pretty much impossible that she would ever show up. You see, ever since the birth of our first born, Sadie, almost ten years ago, we’ve been trying to have another kid.  But, for one reason or another, she just wasn’t showing up. Now this didn’t stop us from trying, but after about five years, I was fairly convinced there was no way we were going to have a second kid. The way I looked at it, we were lucky to have the first one and should be happy to have her because our oldest is flat out amazing. But the thing is, Mrs. Rawson’s stubborn (It’s one of the main reasons why I married her), and she didn’t give up.

But a year or so before I quit my soul suck of a job and started writing full-time, Mrs. Rawson more or less threw in the towel, too, and instead of having babies, we started adopting dogs.

 

Here’s one of the little shits we adopted

In fact, we gave three of them a home and they proceeded to make us happy campers and make our house smell like a hamster cage (Quick word of warning: Adopting chihuahuas is awesome because there’s so damn many of them, but they tend to be very territorial and will piss and shit everywhere if you have another dog in the house. Yeah, they’re fucking awful).  But the pooches did manage to fill the baby gap and are a hell of a lot fun. Then Mrs. Rawson started doing something else, we started dieting and exercising . Both of us lost weight, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves, and then Mrs. Rawson’s period was late.

It wasn’t like it hadn’t been late in the past, but this time out, it was a two whole weeks late.

Long story short, I went to the grocery store, bought Mrs. Rawson a pregnancy test and nine months later, we had eight and half pounds of cuddle monster on our hands.

Yeah, there’s a lot more to the story. Mrs. Rawson’s pregnancy was a little tough on her mentally (which, in turn, made things tough on me) and physically. Plus, we had a few medical scares outside of the pregnancy. First off, back in November, my blood pressure was so high that for the first time in my adult life I had to go to the emergency room. It was scary as shit but my doc ended up getting me on a solid drug regiment that got me straightened right out (I also had an ongoing ear and sinus infection that tormented me right alongside the blood pressure for three solid weeks). On top of that, my father-in-law (who also happens to be my best friend and who I honestly consider to be my father) was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through a pretty rough stretch of chemo and then surgery. He’s fine and the prognosis is good, but he’s still having to go through another round of chemo and radiation. It sucks, but we’re pretty sure he’s going to be okay.

But despite all the troubles, we did end up getting Scarlett, and she’s just as awesome as her big sister (who, by the way, absolutely adores being a big sissy), and is healthy and happy. And really, that’s all that matters.

Before you shuffle off, I’ve got a wee bit of writing news to pass along (You didn’t think you were going to unloadedget out of here without me tooting my own horn, now did you?) as well. first off, my third short story collection, Please Stand By, was accepted by 280 Steps Publishing, and it should be seeing the light of day at the end of 2016 (it seems like forever, but I’m sure it’ll be here before I know it). 280 Steps is a hell of an outfit and I’m happy to be apart of their already stellar lineup. Also, a new short story of mine will be appearing in the anthology Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns. The project was put together by my pal Eric Beetner, and I’m damn proud to be apart of it (Biggest bonus is I get to share page space with both Joe R. Lansdale and Joyce Carol Oates).

Next up in the news train is my writing pal and LitReactor (By the way, folks, I’m on a brief hiatus from LitReactor due to the whole baby thing, but I should be returning to duties in April) cohort Richard Thomas’ new online magazine, Gamut. The first year line-up is really something special. The fiction line-up includes the cream of the crop of dark fiction and poetry:

gamutStephen Graham Jones, Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Usman T. Malik, Matt Bell, Damien Angelica Walters, Letitia Trent, Mercedes M. Yardley, Alyssa Wong, Benjamin Percy, Lindsay Hunter, Axel Taiari, Amanda Gowin, Laura Benedict, Nathan Ballingrud, Dino Parenti, Ted E. Grau, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Sarah Read, Paula Bomer, Kelly Luce, Livia Llewelyn, Josh Malerman, Carmen Machado, Peter Tieryas, Kevin Catalano, Paul Tremblay, John Langan, Nina McConigley, Nik Korpon, Craig Wallwork, Steve Himmer, Antonia Crane, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kristi DeMeester, Tara Ison, David James Keaton, Cassandra Khaw, Nikki Guerlain, Lucy A. Snyder, JS Breukelaar, Helen Marshall, Amelia Gray, H. L. Nelson, Craig Davidson, Jacklyn Dre Marceau, Lincoln Michel, Jeffrey Skinner, Nickole Brown, Cate Marvin, Paul Guest, Blas Falconer, Carrie Jerrell, Gary Jackson, Erica Dawson, Laura Van Prooyen, Simone Muench, Charles Jensen, Ace Boggess, and Jeannine Hall Gailey.

And somehow me, Max Booth, and RK Arceneaux managed to weasel are way into this project as columnists. Richard’s got a Kickstarter going on right now to fund this bad boy with some really great rewards attached to it. You can go right HERE to chip in a couple of bucks.

And last but far from least, last Monday I had my first public reading in around five years courtesy of Brian spillersDunn and Robert Hoekman. These two have put together a great short fiction reading series called, Spillers, and I was lucky enough to participate in the third event along with Troy Farah, Ed Tankersley, Leah Newsom (whose story, “Walking Downhill” was a highlight of the reading for me), James David Nicol, and my pal and fellow Gilbert resident, Patrick Michael Finn.

The event was pretty damn amazing, with around 150 people showing up on a Monday night at the Crescent Ballroom to support the short fiction scene. I’ve got to give some mad respect to Brian and Robert for all the work they’re doing with Spillers, and I’ll definitely be attending the next event. By the way, if you’re interested in hearing my story, “Temporary Man Of The House” you can download it right HERE.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again when I update the website again in a year or so.