January 1st, 2004


2004 Begin, 2003 End.

the year is over, the year begins.

it wasn't too bad, i don't think. outside some personal sadness, which i don't feel like discussing, and never here, really, i worked, i wrote, i sold some stories, and some stories and essays got published. the most recent of these was in forever shores, edited by peter mcnamara and margaret winch and the other was elsewhere, edited by michael barry. (never let a moment to promote go by, he says, hiding the words behind a cough.) there was meant to be a story in the magazine redsine, too, but the story of magazines failing before publishing me is a well known one (and to others, i am sure) and there isn't much to say beyond that.

i also started searching for a agent for my novel, which has so far have gotten me positive rejections that inform me that, while it is an interesting and well written novel, they are not confident that they will be able to sell it to its 'niche' market, as one said. still, gotta remain positive, and at the beginning of the year, here i am, looking all positive and not particularly worried about if it is commercially viable or not. but then this isn't the first time i've heard such things said to me, either.

for my thesis, there has been a few bumps and bruises and sighs, but i'm still on track, writing a novel that will most likely be just as commercially viable as the first, but which should net me a doctorate, and all the fun party games that come with that. ('is there a doctor in the house?" someone cries, standing over their pregnant companion. 'why yes,' i reply, 'but i can't help you with that, and i don't want too anyway.'

and last night, just to end out the year, there was tequila. i'm not much of a drinker, to be perfectly honest, but tequila is lovely, and occasionally comes with a worm.

i read a bunch of stuff, though i can't honestly say they were all published this year, and the things that stuck out were lucius shepard's floater, koushun takami's battle royale, jeff vandermeer's city of saints and madmen (maybe read at the end of 2002) and veniss underground, the collected works of walter benjamin, my continual and slow crawl through the complete short stories of jg ballard, zoran zivkovic's 'the library', jeff ford's the fantasy writer's assistant and other stories, alan moore and kevin o'neil's league of extraordinary gentlemen and moore and jh williams' promethea. there are a bunch of short stories and some academic texts that also are popping up, as well as a couple of other things like the lovely fritz leiber collections that have ever so slowly been coming out, and the continual reprint in work of avram davidson in limekiller, which i only got the other week, but adore, like most of davidson's work.

there was some music, and some films, though the music was better than the films. no lists (i suck a them, really) but i enjoyed the flaming lips' yoshimi battles the pink robots a whole heap, thought tex perkins' sweet nothing was fine, and tori amos' scarlet's walk, once i finally braved it, to be a welcome return to a whole album i could listen too of hers. i also found the band my morning jacket, which i quite like, and before they became the international noise conspiracy, they were refused, with an album called this is the shape of punk to come, which is fucking awesome, and leaves anything that was done later for dead. the john butler trio were the best live gig i saw this year, and i recommend to all, even though most of the live gigs i saw were pretty good, except for that one with the sleepy jackson where the crowd wanted to talk over the music. i've completely forgot to mention the new set fire to flames album, which is okay, cause i'm not putting any effort into this, because i'd have to also mention the live at sin-e double album of jeff buckley that was released too.

right now, however, i am listening to the new a silver mt zion cd, called "this is our punk-rock," thee rusted satellites gather and sing.

it's pretty cool.

anyhow: here's to 2004, to selling more, publishing more, finishing things, starting things, and getting more money for less work.
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