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1) St. Supery
2) Upcoming Dates
3) Borderlands Books Best Seller Lists

ST. SUPERY

Once again...so much going on, so little time to explain it all. I think that's what makes twitter so appealing. You might not be able to say *a lot* in 140 characters, but you can say enough. Another really cool thing that has made me a "follower," or fan - whatever you want to call it - is the community. Where else can you post a tiny note about your favorite "every-day" wine (meaning as a good value, one you could open at any time without fear of dollar bills falling out of it as you pour--not meaning mediocrity), and have the winery respond back?

We were treated to a VIP tasting, a nice little gift, and my name was on the announcement/welcome marquee just inside the lobby. I took a photo of it, and facebook/myspace users can see it as my user photo (server is still an issue right now, so I can't post it otherwise at the moment). I twittered a play-by play of the wines, which was fun, and we came home with another case of our favorite Merlot (2000 vintage this time), and a Magnum of the 1999 Meritage (what the Elu was called before). My thanks again to Lesley for setting up such a nice afternoon for us, and to Joe for always taking good care of us in general.

Afterwards we headed over to Rubicon Estate so I could get some writing done, which was fruitful (no pun intended). Four poems in two hours was not a bad turn out. Apparently we'd just missed Francis Ford Coppola by 10 minutes...but we've seen him there before, enjoying a cigar and a glass of wine in his usual corner. They have a new hummingbird nesting right above the upper left are of the Café doors in a break in the wall stones. My thanks to David for taking care of us there.


UPCOMING DATES

Well, kiddies - it appears I'll miss the St. Patrick's day parade in SF. I'm Houston bound this Friday, through the weekend. Next week, however, you are all invited to Bonny Doon Vineyard's Cellar Door in Santa Cruz to enjoy their Albarino release and some decadent oysters, while I get up from time to time to read some poetry inspired by them. The event is from 5-7pm, and should be a lot of fun. It also gives me an excuse to surf down there, provided the weather cooperates. We're back up North on the 21st, just in time for a Pirate house-boat warming party. It was supposed to have happened already, but alas...our fearless Captain has been waylaid by travel.

That's about it for March (thank goodness).

BORDERLANDS BOOKS

I'm pleased to note that when I read the March Newsletter for Borderlands Books, that BARFODDER is a bestseller in Trade Paperbacks, at #2. It's the little things in life that make me happy.

Reviews, New Mini Me, and The Stir

This just in from Brian Freeman at Cemetery Dance - you too can post a review of Barfodder:

"We're trying to do some things to encourage our customers to write reviews
on our site for books they've recently purchased from us.

If you want to let your readers know about our customer reviews feature,
they can write a review no matter where they bought the book. There's a
link at the bottom of your page
for people add a review. They just need an
account with our online store to actually submit it."

In other news...my new Samsung NC-10 travel laptop has arrived. It's tiny, black, and very shiny. It fits in my handbag, and will make writing on the road (and locally) much more accessible than carrying around my notebooks and journals and cocktail napkins. (Though I suspect it would look awfully pretentious to cock and load the thing at a bar or restaurant).

And...I remind you to listen in on The Stir tomorrow if you are in/around NY at around 5:30pm EST/2:30 PDT. You can stream it 24/7 via the link on the AM WCSS 1490 website. You can also call-in and ask me odd and/or embarrassing questions.

LitPunk, Zombies, and Deadland

Thanks to everyone who came out for LitPunk last Saturday and packed the house. It was incredibly fun, and I had a blast. Not sure who walked off with the copy of Barfodder that I was reading from - but the way I figure it, you must have really liked it to want it that badly. John Shirley tells me there will be more of these, and I think that's a great idea. My favorite performance of the night was Rudy Rucker's cyberpunk zombie story. Really great group of writers reading really great stuff.

I stopped off at Borderlands Books on my way to Scott G. Browne's release party for Breathers: A Zombie's Lament, which is a most excellent zombie tale, and will eventually be a Fox Searchlight Film. Great party, and congrats Scott!

You might remember his reading from a piece of that story for last year's World Horror Convention's Annual Gross Out Contest. Since I can't make it to Canada this year, I've asked Scott to host this year's contest in Winnepeg in my place. Rest assured, it will be awesome.

(And back to my pit stop at Borderlands)...

Daniele Serra's art has finally arrived from Italy for my graphic novel, DEADLAND - book one, which he is illustrating. OMFG, this stuff is beautiful. It's very, very special for several reasons:

1) There are three different very high-quality large art prints with a tagline from the book on each, numbered and signed by us both, 3 each.

2) There are three matching canvas prints, numbered and signed by us both, 1 each (except for the one of the Alligator God and Oscar, which there were two made, and I have 1 of the 2).

3) We have not shopped this yet to a publisher (as Dani has more artwork to do), so these are going to be collectors items some day (we hope), aside from them just being amazingly cool pieces of art right now. Given that Dani's in Italy - it's a rare chance to own something cool. And when it finally goes into print you can tell all your friends you had it first - and are therefore way cooler than they are.

4) The signed prints are $50 a piece, and the signed canvas ones are $150. They are available exclusively at Borderlands Books, and at present they don't have a way to hang them without damaging them - so you'll need to ask for them by name. They will ship if you are not local.

5) Finally, to see the artwork check out Dani's "News" blog. Since my server is down I haven't found a way to post them yet. The post is titled "Art for Sale in San Francisco." The scans don't do the prints justice.

6) If you are purchasing a copy of Barfodder at Borderlands, I have left some beautiful bookmarks Dani did of the original Frontis Piece artwork, that did not make it into the Trade Paperback edition. They are giving a bookmark only to those who purchase Barfodder.

If you do stop in to see the artwork, drop me a line and tell me what you think.
THE BACKSTORY:

Last Saturday, after my signing at Borderlands Books, we headed over to the Variety Reading Room in the Hobart Building to see debg and Michael Boatman do a reading that benefited the Variety Children's Charity of Northern California sponsored by SF in SF, an excellent organization promoting Science Fiction in the Bay Area.

They gave away tickets to see an advance screening of The Watchmen, which has comic book geeks all over creaming in their pants with anticipation of how good or bad this represents the books we all know and love. (Variety Magazine, to paraphrase, called it watered down and 'safe.') Since amacker was there when I was lucky enough to get a winning lottery number, I asked her if she wanted to go. (Incidentally, I will note how you too can see this film at the advance screening in a footnote of this post, and help the charity [for a small fee]).

Rina over at SF in SF set us up with our names on the will call list, but she was given precious little else information-wise, so we just assumed we'd show up and find whatever table we needed, and then 1) insert popcorn, 2) lather at previews, 3) rinse at movie, 4) repeat when it actually comes out. Thank you, drive through.

THE PLOT DETAIL:

I had a slip of paper that gave the basic information on the event, and Amacker met me at the Metreon, which seemed suspiciously devoid of people. I had conflicting information from various employees of Loews stating that no, there was no screening today (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and yes, there was (insert blank stare here) but we have no information. The trouble with screenings is, they don't want anyone to know what they are screening, so they don't like to say the name of the movie. In fact, I am fairly certain they encourage people to lie a lot about it on principal.

After much wandering, we managed to find a guest services person who told us that there was a screening and that we should line up against the wall and wait for the organizers to arrive. We had noticed a mish-mosh of people behind a suspicious looking belted-off area over by concessions, so we headed that way. These were not what I would call Watchmen fans...and absolutely none of them looked like the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons. We shrugged, got in line, and then took turns getting foodstuffs, and then Amacker made a run for some Coraline 3D glasses, purely for amusement purposes.

When the time came to file in, we told the Keeper of the Line that our names and tickets were at Will Call, and he let us pass. When we got to the Black Laminated Gate o' Cinema Guy, we told him the same, and he told us to go to Theater 11. When we arrived at Theater 11, again, we were waved on through. The seating was easy to find, and we settled right down in the middle, where the movie viewing "sweet spot" is.

The movie started shortly after, with what we thought was a preview...there was absolutely no announcement of any kind. I didn't see Rina or any other SF in SF type folks, nore did I see funny colored hair, an over abundance of pasty white flesh rimmed with glasses, or a lot of black t-shirts with funny etchings on them--not even skeptical this-won't-be-like-the-comic-so-I'm-just-going-to-preselect-my-mode-for-auto-hatred looks.

THE PLOT THICKENS:

The "preview" was awfully long, but hysterically funny...and fairly soon, we started wondering if we'd gone into the wrong movie, or if maybe there was a 2-for-1, or something. After about 15 minutes, we forgot entirely about the Watchmen, and were fully engrossed in a different movie, because apparently it WAS a Thursday, and it WAS a screening, but it WAS NOT the Watchment. In fact, it was a movie called I Love You, Man.

Neither amacker, nor I can tell you how incredibly cool and funny this movie is. Some of the best quotes will come from it, and while I know Paramount is going to market it badly--you should go to see it anyway, because we said so. It has a wry sense of satirical humor that keeps you laughing through the whole thing. So much so, that we wondered afterword if the Watchmen could top it (despite the comparison being apples and oranges). We laughed our asses off. And then we put them back on, and laughed them off again.

I mean, seriously--the gratuitous placing of Lou Ferrigno and Incredible Hulk references alone was worth the time it took to watch it. Please don't let the movie's description mislead you into thinking this is a "chick-flick." It's definitely a dude flick disguised as a chick flick. It's even an I heart RUSH flick.

Srsly.

I haven't had that much fun watching a "romantic comedy" since Heathers and Chasing Amy (and all the subsequent tie-in movies after).

We *did* wonder what happened to our Watchmen screening, however, and after looking over the little slip (perilously trapped in the evil vortex of the bag I left at home because it wouldn't fit a full bottle of wine in it to smuggle in at the time) that had the date on it, I noted that the Watchmen screening is in fact NEXT week. Not this one.

With that, however...I give you these links to help you win a private screening of I Love You, Man in your hometown:

ILYM on Facebook and of course, the ILYM official Website.

Hey amacker - I LOVE you, man!

...And here's how you can see the Watchmen before anyone else in SF [for a small fee that goes to a great charity].

Tags:

San Francisco Chronicle on LitPunk

Ok – lots to tell you.

1. Long Live LitPunk! The San Francisco Chronicle agrees so far…
2. Interim site up
3. Super Secret Way Cool Project
4. Twits and Tweets


LITPUNK. Yup. That’s right. Get angry, wild, and vomitous. Only do it with us… Tim Sullivan gave us a great write-up in the San Francisco Chronicle for LitPunk, and why you should go this Saturday.

RAINGRAVES.com is getting a face-lift while on hiatus. I've set up a temporary site for you to bookmark and refer to on tour dates and such, until we fix the old site and migrate to a different host. (In case you were wondering, we were hosted by the same folks that WHC09 was, and they are no longer doing hosting since their massive server crash). Miss Blue is setting up a forwarding URL that will point raingraves.com to the current fix.

SUPER SECRET but WAY COOL project is under full swing, and has to do with the date listed as March 19th at a fantastic winery near Santa Cruz, CA. You *really* won't want to miss this. Good food, good wine, and good poetry. Trust me. When I get the green light to "officially" announce the details, I will.

For all the TWITS who TWEET out there - yep, I have finally joined Twitter, though I can't say its very punk rock of me. Gods save you all.
You'll be sorry you missed it if you don't show...

John Shirley presents LitPunk- a punk rock alternative to LitQuake.

Performances from:

John Shirley
Charlie Anders
Charles Gatewood
Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves
Rain Graves
+ others

7:30pm @
The Make-Out Room
3225 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA
415-647-2888

Be there!

Rainy
I am swamped. More swampy, even, than a Louisiana bog near the Myrtles in the heat of summer. But not nearly as swampy as New Orleans was post Katrina.

First and foremost, I would really like to thank Alan, Jude, Cary, and all the hairless cats for hosting a wonderful event for my signing last Saturday at Borderlands Books in San Francisco. I'm really looking forward to the opening of the café this summer.

Second, to my loyal readers, fans, and friends. It warms my gummy little black heart that you all came out on a grey, stay-inside-and-eat-good-soup day. Many of you had other obligations as well, and it was actually quite cool that we had about three different waves of people. I didn't expect to read as much as I did, and was recovering from a nasty cold--but foggy though my head may have been, I think I managed it all just fine, and I made sure everyone got to listen to something. A lot of credit goes to two things:

Diane's fabulous homemade cookies (and a very nice wine she brought as well), and Baine (aka Hunter)'s assistance throughout the day. Thank you to you both.

I was doubly glad to see so many friends, and even a handful of surf buds from our Bay Area group came by. There were even two wonderful 8 year old children...which seems to be a running theme in my life at the moment, in writing DEADLAND (the fate of the world rests in an 8 year old's hands). We also got a person or two from the Squid List - w00t. Others I recognized were Midnight's sister and brother-in-law, Serena Toxicat, Robert, lily_dove, Mot, Thumbelina, Val, Scott G. Browne, [afore mentioned Diane and Bob, Hunter, Surf Buds + guests] and others I am drawing a blank on right now (please don't be upset if I haven't mentioned your name). To those of you who are new faces and or fans, thanks so much for coming, too. This event was mostly about you.

Dani's art did not arrive in time from Italy, but hopefully some of you picked up the flyers left, and Borderlands will let me know when it *does* arrive, so you can stop in to see it.

Post event, Hunter and I drove back to my place and fed the fee-lions, ate a quick Caesar salad, and then headed over to debg and Michael Boatman's event at the Variety Reading Room, which was most Excellent. We were joined by the lovely (and very pinkish fuchsia haired) Amacker, who had just participated in a really cool Grilled Cheese Cook-off event.

There was a drawing for two tickets to see the Watchman pre-screening this week; I won one of them. Double w00t.

We decompressed at the Cigar Bar afterwards with Lily_Dove and Mot, and that was also lovely.

On the flip side of all this, I have been working on a secret project for an event in Santa Cruz right around the 3rd week in March, which will be HUGE. I could tell you about it, but I'd have to kill you...and I'm just not in the mood for murder at the moment. I'm far too perky today.

Next cool thing I'm doing that you should come to is this Saturday at LitPunk, hosted by John Shirley. If you don't know about this event by know, I have not been pounding it into your head hard enough.

Last but not least--the 877-DRK-POEM hotline has been updated. Provided everything is working correctly, you should be able to hear these:

Heart Wolf Hunter
Unemployed Writer
A Prayer for DKG
To all the PantheaCon goers who were at the private reading I gave at That Cliff’s Absinthe party on Friday night in San Jose, thanks very much for listening – I enjoyed meeting all of you.

1) THIS SATURDAY, 2/21/09, 3pm at Borderlands Books. in San Francisco. Signing-thing, Reading-maybe, and Q+A for BARFODDER: Poetry Written in Dark Bars and Questionable Cafes. All ages welcome, and there will be books available for purchase (er…that’s kinda the point). Cover price for the book is $20. There will also be art in *very* limited quantities for sale by the cover artist, Daniele Serra, for our joint work-in-progress (of which, book one is finished being written) DEADLAND. Afterwards, I plan to head over to check out Deb Grabien’s reading at 7pm, at The Variety Preview Room, Hobart Building, 582 Market Street in SF. *cash bar opens at 6pm.
2) NEXT Saturday, 2/28/09, 7:30pm at The Make-out Room in San Francisco. LitPunk! – a punk rock alternative to LitQuake. 21 and over , please. No books available for purchase. Performance reading, along with John Shirley, Charlie Anders, Charles Gatewood, Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves, myself, and others.
3) Friday, March 6th, 2009, 2:30pm PDT/6:30pm EST– I’ll be a guest on the radio show, The Stir – hosted by Chanin, Rebecca, and Carrie. WCSS 1490 AM in Amsterdam, NY. Those of you on the east coast can tune in on your evening commute home…
4) Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 – Poetry Workshop Host for Elyseum: A Paradise for Heroes and Writers in San Francisco (Not in Harbin…). Contact Scott G. Browne or Russell Gonzaga for more info on that if you are a member…we haven’t firmed up the details yet.
5) June 11th, 2009, 7pm at Dark Delicacies in Burbank. Mass-signing in conjunction with the HWA’s Annual Bram Stoker Awards, which brings me to #6…
6) June 12th-14th, 2009 at the 2009 Bram Stoker Awards Weekend, Burbank, CA.

A pending #7 would be April 30th-May 3rd, 2009 WHC 2009 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (and hosting the annual Gross Out Contest)…but that’s pending some things in the mix over the next few weeks.

Other pesky details:

Yes, the website is still down. I’m looking into another hosting service, but it will also need a re-vamp. Stay tuned.

No, the audio readings on 877-DRK-POEM have not yet been updated, due to the Holiday yesterday. They will be updated on the regular Monday schedule next week.
Whole lotta cool stuff is going on.

First, another review has come in for BARFODDER - this time it's a review by Alan Cranis over at Bookgasm. If people keep saying such nice things about the book, it's going to ruin my reputation. Tee hee.


Second, the readings have been updated on the 877-DRK-POEM hotline:

22 and Hennessey With Lime Sometimes
Luda's New Shoes
Cthulhu Haiku

Third, the line-up has been updated for LitPunk on 2/28 at the Make-Out Room, 7:30pm. This is John Shirley's gig, which I'll be reading at - described as a punk-rock alternative to LitQuake, and it includes the man himself, Johnny Strike from Crime, photographer/writer Charles Gatewood, Blag Dahlia from the Dwarves, Charlie Girl from Other Magazine and hostess of Writers With Drinks, myself and others. "Punk-inflected writers, punk rock songwriters, backroom novelists, articulate felons and other misfits will Howl in a forbidden tonality that would've made Allen Ginsberg wince with embarrassment!"

You might see a few of these (un)usual suspects at the signing on 2/21. Unofficially, that is. Heh.

I have a surprise for you.

As I type, three different pieces of artwork in the shape of prints, possibly even canvas, are en route from Daniele Serra in Italy to Borderlands Books in San Francisco. Dani gave Deadland a read, and decided he liked it so much, he wanted to illustrate it (no, really - I didn't have to beg).

If you know his work, you know that his prints are not easy to find wherever it is that you are.

I will be signing each print from the three amazing pieces of artwork Dani has done of Book One of Deadland, and they will be sold at my signing on February 21st. There are only three prints per each piece of art (and I think only one canvas). They are gorgeous. And they won't last. I suggest you show up early for those.

And bring me something from your garden if you have one. I just love stuff from other peoples gardens. Especially Lemoranges. (But definitely not ragweed).