Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond with Illustrations by Dave McKean

New books came into the department yesterday so, of course, I sat at the desk and leafed through a few of them. A few caught my attention, but it was David Almond’s Mouse Bird Snake Wolf caught my eye. Now there are a few Almond books on the shelves already, but nothing that ever interested me enough to sneak a peek. So maybe it was Dave McLean’s illustrations that pulled at my attention, but I assure you it was the writing that kept me glued.

Creation myths have always been my favorite topics because it stirs the author’s and reader’s imagination (Atheist note: I just don’t regard them as science). David Almond constructs a beautiful, yet incomplete, world where children’s imagination holds the same power of the slumbering gods, reminding us that we’re all creationists (in the simple sense of imagination, mind you). And like all imagination, we can create the wonderful and awesome and the deeply dark and disturbing. And let us never forget that is us that inspire gods, not the other way around.

And what images spark from Dave McKean’s imagination. His depictions of the world and the creatures created by the children leave the reader enraptured.

This beautiful, yet chilling, book deserves a spot in your children’s bedtime story shelf as it is a delight for both adult and child.

About the book (inside flap):

The gods have created a world—they’ve made mountains, forests, and seas; people and beasts—and now their days are fat with tea and cake, mutual admiration, and long naps in the clouds. But the world has curious gaps in it, and Harry, Sue, and Little Ben set out to fill them. They conjure a mousy thing, a chirpy thing, and a twisty legless thing. As each creature takes its place in the living world, the children’s ideas grow bolder until the power of their visions proves greater and more dangerous than they, or the gods, could ever have imagined. It is possible to unmake what’s been made?

Enter the world as dazzling as it is familiar in an original creation tale conjured by master storyteller David Almond and visionary artist Dave McKean.

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf
by David Almond with illustrations by Dave McKean
Candlewick, 14 May 2013
ISBN: 9780763659127

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf is available in hardcover with a paperback edition released in January 2014. You can pick up a copy at Amazon (Hardback/Paperback) or Barnes and Noble (Hardback).


The World Belongs to You by Riccardo Bozzi

“The world belongs to you. And you belong to the world,” begins Riccardo Bozzi’s minimalistic children’s book (illustrations by Olimpia Zagnoli). I stood there in the children’s department at Barnes & Noble holding the current generation’s The Giving Tree. A simple book with deeper meaning carved into the pages. It is nothing far from beautiful. It’s beauty and tolerance embodied. A must read for people of all ages and for your personal library.

The World Belongs to You by Riccardo BozziAbout the book (from Amazon):

You belong to the world, and the world belongs to you; inspiring words for graduating students and anyone experiencing a time of change in their life. This beautifully crafted book is an uplifting gift for people of any age. Stylish graphic art paired with deceptively simple text make this book to be read over and over again.

The World Belongs to You
by Riccardo Bozzi
illustrated by Olimpia Zagnoli
Templar (12 March 2013)
ISBN: 978-0763664886
Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.8 x 10 inches

The World Belongs to You is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Deposit Information Here

Army of Love

This morning, my phone was bombarded with e-mails. None of which, by the way, had anything to do with the plethora of jobs I applied to recently. Housed in one of the e-mails was a message from WordPress, telling me I’ve been “pinged” by one of my followers. Dreading what reference lay in wait, I opened my WordPress app – which is handy only for comments, not for actual posts – to see what her post read. Apparently, I was “tagged” in a post that insists that I tell my readers (all 11 of you!) a bit about myself – ten things, actually. Because I’m not one to disappoint gypsies – haven’t you ever seen a horror movie before? – I feel obliged to follow through. However, I will not tag any one after this because I wouldn’t know who to start with.

10 Things About Ennui Prayer You Probably Didn’t Want to Know but Are Going to Know, Unless You Close the Tab

Because I loathe countdowns, I’m going to do this starting with #1. I know, I know. Boo! You’re not fun.

  1. I’m a bibliophile on the verge of becoming a book hoarder. In the house alone – the last time I counted anyway – I had close to 500 books. Some of these are duplicates of books I already own, such as Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and The Dhammapada. I have several shelves in my room crammed with books of fiction, philosophy, religion, writing, memoirs, erotica, history and popular culture. I long for library book sales and love thrift shops. I normally buy books to feel better – after every fight, depression spell, etc. I go out and buy books to make myself feel at ease. Addition? Yup, you can call it that.
  2. I’m also an audiophile. My computer is jam-packed with music. Most of it is serious business music, but there are a few albums/songs that are just for fun. I prefer records over CDs, but let’s face it, MP3 is where it’s at these days – portable wise.
  3. Oh, did I mention cinephile? Film criticism and theory piqued my interest in college. I’m so glad there was a course made available before graduation called Literature in Film. Old time movies are the best. I’m a fan of old Romero-esque zombie movies – zombies that run just piss me off. Sure, I love films that are funny. I’m not that much of a prude, but a movie by the Wayans brothers will probably never come across my path. Ever.
  4. I’m a minister for the Universal Life Church, meaning that I can legally wed people.
  5. I don’t subscribe to sexuality. That is not to say I’m asexual. I’m a sexual being, I just don’t think we can throw labels on it or should limit our chances at happiness.
  6. I started watching teen dramas from other countries – Skins, Slide, etc. – because a part of me wants to write young adult fiction. And because their storylines are more compelling than what’s on TV in the States.
  7. While I’m disgusted by the world, sometimes I think it’s better for it to burn than for us to fix ourselves. Mostly because we’re creatures of habit and we’ll never better ourselves, really. Maybe it’s time for the human race to just vanish.
  8. My first job was a door-to-door salesman. I was horrible at it. I only lasted a day. I don’t really consider it my first job, but I think it makes sense.
  9. In high school, I used to sell pornography to my friends. And by pornography, I mean, pages ripped from porn mags. It was safer than selling drugs because the punishments were laxer.
  10. While I’m completely nervous and fearful that I’ll be a horrible role model for a child, I do look forward to becoming a father.
Bonus Material
Videos like this make me anticipate parenthood.
Okay, I Lied. Again.
Because I don’t think I follow four people who I consider “friends” online – mostly because our interactions is minimal, not that I think you all suck, or anything – I’ll tag a couple of people. Especially since I think it’ll help you write about yourselves.
Writing & Writers

“Love is lame, so let me eat your brain”

Blog to keep track of my progress (currently private)

I started writing “Zombies in the Outfield” earlier last week, which takes place in the same world as my Gospel, TX project. Earlier today, I finished a really rough draft of my story which I posted on Tumblr just a little while ago. The Gospel, Texas Project is a blog dedicated to my zombie tales, though it’s not open to the public for the time being. The story deals with – you guessed it – zombies, called ghouls in the story. But really, it’s about a group of six survivors who are living inside a baseball stadium. The question of who is really in charge begins to tear their little world asunder.

I see ZITO as a film, rather than just a short story, but there are no rules that say it can’t be both. Of course, whatever the rough draft turns to be, it won’t be posted online. It won’t be posted at all, anywhere, save if I sell it.

The characters consist of narrator Henry (whose last name never revealed), a simple kid who’s been working for the baseball stadium for a few years. He’s smarter than he lets on, but because of a learning disability, he never feels like he’s amounted to anything – except that his mother kept insisting that he was meant for greater things. Venus (last name also never revealed) acts as a love interest. Helena is your typical, Southern Baptist, daughter of the church pastor. Al Johnson, who may or may not be African-American, acts as Henry’s bodyguard, always standing up for him when others are putting him down. Big Ted, the new guy in town who pretty much thinks he should be in charge of the ballpark. Raylan Jenkins isn’t really shelled out character wise. He doesn’t represent anything I hate in people other than he’s a follower of whoever is in charge, rather than whoever has the most logic. Other characters include the older man from Wisconsin, the former general manager; Lawrence “the Law” Hendrix, former field manager turned ghoul; Daniel Mercado who was the clubbie before Henry; and Henry’s Mom and sister – Yvette – who are only featured in his flashbacks.

Jason Walsh "Pericardium" (click to purchase)

In other news, while typing the rough draft, I was listening to Jason Walsh’s Percardium, which you can purchase here. I can’t review just yet because, as you could possibly tell, I’m burned out word wise and need to rest my thinker. But in one word, itisaverygreatalbumandyoushouldalljustpurchaseitrightnowbecauseIsaidso.


“Anything can be anywhere”

"I can spend a day. I love to talk about this."

I cannot live without books. —Thomas Jefferson

It’s not that much of a secret – I’m a book hunter. I hunt books. I’m a junkie itching for the next fix. In any condition, as long as their legible. I have a blog dedicated to my habit. I keep track of those I read on GoodReads. I photograph the fruits of my hunt. I have shelves filled with contemporary and classic fiction, nonfiction, poetry, religious, philosophy, horror, instructional, fantasy, erotic, sexuality books. Some public domain copies printed and bounded by yours truly. Tomorrow, I’m going book hunting with a close friend. I’ll bring home four or five more copies of books that’ll take me a few years to come around to reading. My reading queue runs into the next decade. I’m a stone’s throw from having a problem, which is a sheer indication that I already have a problem. I fear, like a Collyer brother, I will be crushed to death beneath cathedral of novels.

Earlier, I received some wonderful great news from GoodReads. Not only had I won a copy of a novel in a giveaway I signed up for, I also received an offer for a review copy of a novel of a giveaway I lost. I can’t wait to get them in the mail. Can’t wait until I crack open the book, breathe in the new book scent and lose myself in undeniable ecstasy.

I truly have a problem. One I’m not willing to resolve.

Title from Cadillac Jack by Larry McMurtry. Caption quote by Haven O’More. Thomas Jefferson quote from “Letter to John Adams, 1815.” All of which can be found in A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bookmanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes.

Writing & Writers

“I’d break the back of love for you”

I’ve been writing, though you wouldn’t know this because I haven’t been keeping up with this journal. It doesn’t matter. I don’t really see myself focusing on it too much in the coming year. And damn, how is the year not over yet? I don’t foresee 2011 being any better than 2010, but as long as I don’t die, it will be a success. Then again, it all depends how I die, if I should die.

I started writing The Poet of Boroughs, Texas a few nights ago. It’s coming along great, working on no notes because they’ve pretty much been burned or thrown away. Instinct, my friend. That’s what I’m writing with. Of course, it sucks. What story doesn’t suck the first time around? Aside from growing old and getting fat, this is where my heart is at least at the moment.

Forever the romantic, Poet is a love story based on a routine character/pseudonym I created a handful of years ago. What originally was going to be a story of my ex and I, transformed to one about a embittered guy named Poet (whose real name, like most of my characters, is never really established) who meets a random girl at a bar and starts a relationship. Somewhere along the lines, they get into some trouble and blah blah blah – who cares. What I’m working on is a frame story in which Poet speaks to a Detective Mansfield about the events leading to the death and burial of porn star/director Dick Masters – with a name like Dick Masters, there was very little I could do with the character. The Dick Masters story is actually what started the transformation of this particular tale. A few years ago, I wrote a story called “Ash Wednesday,” which is going by “Digging Graves” these days, in which an unknown narrator talks about a burying a body of a Dick Masters with a friend only known as The Poet of Boroughs, Texas – hence the project’s name.

Poet has taken a new persona from the previous versions – borrowing the personality of another routine character/pseudonym I specifically made up for Tumblr. After I feel that the story’s at a good point, I’ll publish a excerpt here – very unedited, I might warn.