Friday, August 31, 2007
I guess I went about it the right way. I made a list, grouped people, worked off that. It was hard not to be a smart ass, and for the most part, I succeeded in stuffing that part of myself down. For the most part.
My outline finally went off today. I'm pretty nervous about that. It's really hard to capture the humor I intend in such a stripped down format. It comes off sounding insane. Which, it kinda is...
Reward time: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, and nothing else the rest o' the day.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Fans of Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French rejoice. The duo is back for one more season of their hilarious sketch comedy show, aptly titled, French and Saunders. The two comediennes, seen here making funnies, swear this is the last season. We shall see.
Oh, and in writerly news, check out my new on sale date: 2/26/2008. Now I can say it's coming out in February!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Motel Hell is the kind of movie that warps children's minds--thank God. It's a sweet blend of horrors and humors, wrapped up in a natural casing that snaps right along. It's one of the first movies I'd seen to mix up the two genres. I was spellbound, and not just becuase the flick starred Porkies' own Beulah Ballbreaker.
I think we all know what's in that secret garden. It ain't fritters.
The next one, Humanoids from the Deep, has more tits and ass than Porkies, but sadly none of the fine acting (ta dum dum). I remembered watching this on pirated HBO as a kid, the shock waves dragging the image all over the screen. The preview here does a good job explaining how stupid the premise is. Enjoy...
Terror Train ended Jamie Lee Curtis's reign as Scream Queen, and you'd think after earning that kind of honor she'd acted in many horror films. Nope. Just five. After the Halloweens, she joined directer John Carpenter in the most underated horror film ever, The Fog (which has to be seen in wide screen to be truly appreciated), then Prom Night, and then this twisted flick...
I heard that a remake was in the works, but it turned out to be an entirely different movie. How could they recapture the magic of the original. They'd have to pull together Criss Angel and Rhianna, to match the star power of David Copperfield and Prince Protege, Vanity. Not going to happen. You go Terror Train!
The first time I skipped school was in the 7th grade. I'd tried before like we all do, pretending to be sick but all that got me was a trip to the doctor (yeah my mother actually followed through on that threat). When I was actually sick and stayed home, it was worse. Reagan was shot on a sick day. An airplane crashed into the potomac on a sick day. Prince Charles and Lady Di got married on a sick day. All horrifying. I started to make the connection. My illnesses were creating tragedy. There was something about staying home that was hurting people. I made a decision. I couldn't take any more days off for being sick. That was that. The Children made me skip again (but not at home). I left for the bus a little early, telling my mother that I would catch the bus at Tom and Kim's stop. She naively agreed. When I got to Tom's the movie had just started. His dad was a bus driver and left for work early, his mother was asleep. We tried not to scream.
I couldn't stop watching. Little zombies with acid fingernails, who could?
See? Who could? Who?
Monday, August 27, 2007
I had a really productive weekend, which surprises me, since, weekends are usually reserved for bad scifi channel movies, self-loathing, and grumbling under my breath. But not this weekend. I got off my ass and finished going over all the copyedits, and cleaned up the first chapter of Road Trip. I even got a chance to finish reading a manuscript and do a mini-critique for my goodest iFriend, Joe Schreiber*.
I know what you're thinking...
Hey Mark, are you on the cocaines?
No, actually, but thanks for asking. I've been working out like crazy. I'm up to six days a week, and the diet has me in full deprivation mode--I'll look like Christian Bale in The Machinist by the end of the year, or die trying.
If anyone ever needed an I.V. and a hug, it's this guy. Did anyone actually see this movie? It looked really freaky, so normally it'd be on the top of my list. Somehow it slipped through. Hmm.
We rented Vacancy on Saturday night, which despite a wholly blah ending, was very effective horror stuff for at least 2/3rds of the flick. Also rewatched some Tivo'd Jackie Woodmans. My favorite lines were between Jackie (Laura Kightlinger) and her Mom (Mary Kay Place):
Mom: At least there weren't any Muslims on the plane.
Jackie: That is a very uncomfortable fabric.
Anyhow, off to write more politically incorrect urban fantasy. Today's goal is to break the record for the most four letter words in a single sentence. Wish me luck.
*I'll be reviewing Eat the Dark, Joe's follow up to his Stephen King-esque debut, Chasing the Dead, next month.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Or could it?
Here's my confession...
1. I've never read Kurt Vonnegut. (I actually picked up Cat's Cradle the other day, so that's close)
2. I've never tried Ethiopian food. (Doesn't it have a lot of vinegar, or something?)
3. I've never seen Miracle on 34th Street. (Should I have? I only just recently saw It's A Wonderful Life)
4. I've never skateboarded. (I'm pretty sure this would be the last thing I ever did, Skiing nearly killed me)
5. I've never been in a fist fight. (Though Fight Club made it look plenty appealing)
6. I've never been to Mexico. (I've been to 48 states, out of 50, though, not North Dakota, or Minnesota)
7. I've never liked Star Wars. (I've seen them all, but wasn't impressed)
8. I've never bought a country CD. (Despite a fondness for Dolly Parton's personality, I can't stand the simpering warble of it. And tell me this, why do people who don't come from the south, sing in that twangy accent? It drives me nuts)
That's enough. Oh wait...one more thing...the title of yesterday's post was supposed to be "She Made Me Cry (in my pants)". Now, I meant piss, but when my wife read it she said, "that's dirty, no one wants to think about your semen." She's a perv. I love my pervy wife!
What do you have to confess?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Kristen Schaal (Mel on Flight of the Conchords) is coming to Bumbershoot, the big Seattle Arts festival, and I can't wait. Janeane Garofalo, too. Oh and some lesser known musical acts like Fergie, The Shins, Joss Stone, and Panic at the Disco.
It's the smaller bands that I go nuts for. Devotchka and the Horrorpops are in my sights. But, the golden mean is Natalie Portman's Shaved Head; they're playing on day 2 and I'll be there in my tight white jeans and skinny tie, faster than you can say "Square Pegs".
Who's with me?
You are The Devil
Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession
The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.
Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Mouth guard = $220!
So here's what I said, "That's okay, for $220 I can buy a lot of cotton balls."
*wipes hands of teeth clenching*
It'd be cheaper to get a prescription for Valium. Mmmm Valium.
Anyway, tonight I'm back to the copy-edit grindstone. Which sounds like a ton of work, when it's not really. All I'm doing is going over all the little red marks and erasing the ones I don't agree with. I haven't found one yet. Of course, there are like 5000 red marks, so I'll be over here knocking on wood.
Remember, I'm a comma tard. It doesn't matter that I've read EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES, when I write they just go in, like breaths. If the red mark is about a comma, then advantage copy editor. Every time.
Here's a little riddle for you:
It sounds familiar, eh?
Lastly, I booked my reservations for New York in November. Finally, I'm going to meet my editor and the marketing people. It'll be fun to meet Jim again, and hopefully I'll have super secret project in a viewable state by then. If I don't someone slap me.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I kind of feel like a retard that I didn't know more about the revolution in Iran, particularly since it was the topic of like every news broadcast when I was a kid. So, it's a good thing that Marjane Satrapi's brilliant graphic memoir, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is around to clue me in.
Told in vignettes, Satrapi's description of Iran's intellectuals colliding with religious fundamentalists, is at once, funny and tragic, adorable and shocking. It's a really good introduction to Muslim culture and slices right through media stereotypes.
I can't wait to pick up the next one, and I understand there's a movie on the way, so...
Next Book: A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore
SILENT SCREAM is set in a seaside mansion, doing double duty as a college boarding house. Scotty (Rebecca Balding of THE BOOGENS) has procrastinated her way into off-campus housing. She has no other option than to shack up with the creepiest screen family since THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. That's not saying the movie is particularly gory, it's not. In fact, it owes more to Psycho than any slasher flick. What is so frightening is the extreme lack of privacy, the dark claustrophobia, and those thick thick walls. Jesus! Plus, it's got Barbara Steele (Black Sunday) and Yvonne DeCarlo (Do I need to say where she's from?).
SILENT SCREAM really takes me back. 1980 was the 6th grade, I think. The only person that loved horror movies as much as me was Kim Hall. We must have conned my father into getting us into 50 horror movies before high school. Those were the days. I think I'm going to wrap a Pepsi in tinfoil just thinkin' about it.
We saw the movie at the Parkland Theater, which has since burnt down (a Riteaid rose from the ashes). At the time, the Parkland was on its last legs. The plumbing was shot in the bathrooms, seats that people puked on were either removed leaving gaping holes in the rows, or simply covered in garbage bags. The place smelled like piss, but luckily the popcorn was good...oh wait, no, it was totally disgusting, too. But it cost a dollar. You tend to put up with a lot of shit for a dollar movie. The crowd was often scarier than the flick, anyway, and it wasn't unheard of to find the parking lot full of Harley Davidsons--this was back when a parking lot full of hogs could mean only one thing: Hell's Angels.
But none of that mattered on SILENT SCREAM night. The crowd was tense, quiet. The previews had built the film up to be the most terrifying thing ever, and it was, for an eleven-year old. Those were different times; people weren't desensitized to screen violence. So it didn't take much to scare us. SILENT SCREAM sent this particular crowd over the edge.
HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE is that horror movie where the brides get killed. I love the bit in the trailer that goes: every bride is frightened the night before her wedding. God knows Caroline was. Did I say trailer?
This movie is famous for introducing us to Tom Hanks. His opening death scene was what reminded me to toss this movie into the double feature. It's one of those scenes that if you think about long enough will cause you to alter your behavior, namely in theater seating. You'll see.
So that's it. Feel free to debate or debase.
Yet, still no one talks about it. I'm thinking conspiracy.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
"Teen boys have penises," I said.
First off, the theater wasn't packed and no wonder, the Cinemark thinks it's Neiman Marcus sans janitorial service. The shit was expensive and the floor was a sticky as a porno booth. So, with many seats available, why did the overweight family choose to sit next to Caroline?
The laughs began there. Caroline went into a spiel to the zaftig matriarch of this husky clan.
"Eew. I hate those seats. I had to sit in the corner last time; it was awful."
Jo and I shook with silent laughter. Caroline was foiled (she hates to share her armrest); the family squeezed in anyway.
The movie started and we were laughing from the first scene all the way through the end credits. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't. Suffice it to say, I was peeing myself!
On that note, anyone want to be pee pee pals?
Friday, August 17, 2007
Until then soothe your little heads with Bjork's Bachellorette, an amazing rags to riches to rags fairy tale set in the publishing world.
Don't you wish you had a great big book that wrote itself?
*We'll see if I can do it!
An awful image, it's truly amazing tmthomas
Nosy, Parker 00100
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Oh...only a puffy manila envelope, and everyone knows those are the best kind. Since I was driving, I just put it in the seat next to me, a thin layer of sweat crept onto my brow. I wondered. Wondered what the hell was inside.
Was it the Comic-Con swag Joe had promised to send?
Too light, plus how could it be here so soon, it's only been a couple of weeks since it ended. It takes the ponies a little bit longer than that to gallop all the way to Washington. No hurry.
After bracing it with a shaky palm at each turn and stoplight, like a favorite child, I squealed into the coffee shop parking lot and tore that bad boy open. I nearly fainted. I couldn't be seeing straight.
Or could I?
What was that peeking out at me. Crowning, if you will?
And before you ask, Yes! That is her pimp cup!
*honorable mention for those who find the secret message hidden in this post!
I have to thank Karen Taylor
Second, last night on Last Comic Standing, Ralph Harris beat out (that's out, not off) Doug Benson and the British Grillz guy in the head to head challenge, sending my boy Doug home. What the F**k? Harris was the least funny of the three. Now, my only hope for a funny champion lies with Ms. Amy Schumer. She may be a watered down Sarah Silverman, but I love her just the same. Let's get to know her:
Get to know Amy Schumer
Add to My Profile | More Videos
Today is day ten of the monstrously restrictive Atkin's induction diet, wherein I consume nothing but eggs. Joking. Meats, veggies, too. And lots o' the Diet Coke. I've gone to the gym nine days out of those ten and I'm elated to report a 12 pound weight loss!
A count 'em. 12.
Today is also the day that the copy edited manuscript is supposed to grace my threshold via the friendly Fed Ex delivery dude. That should be fun.
And if that weren't enough...
Today is the day in which we'll have couch. It should be delivered between 11:00 and noon. Can you imagine telling your boss that. I'll have those invoices you requested sometime after 1:00 but before 3:00, you'll be in your office, right? Not f**king likely.
Anyway, if that's still not enough for ya. I've got something to share, but that's comin' later.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
...and who could forget this classic? Mine's shelved next to Jules Verne.
If you'd like to see more of the collection, head on over to Something Awful for a whole mess of titles, so wrong they couldn't be more right.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Well, I do. Alone in the Dark was one of my teenage favorites; it starred Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau and the A-Team's Dwight Schultz in a surprisingly humor free role.
The setup: New psychiatrist is introduced to a handful of psychotic criminals (Preacher, Fatty, The Bleeder and Jack Palance) in a electronically locked ward. The psychos think the new shrink killed their old one. The power goes out, and so do the schizophrenics, out to find and kill the new shrink and his family.
This one was no mere slasher flick and the twist at the end is pure Craven homage. Plus, it's got a scene at a punk night club with the Sick Fucks, doing "Chop Up Your Mother" that's so funny.
Here's the opening clip, I think it stands up.
Yep. Still creepy.
Monday, August 13, 2007
About 6 months ago, without notice, the trash company changed the time for pickup from "Whenever They Want after Noon" to "Whenever They Want Before 7 am". I barely got the trash out that day, and every Monday since has been a horranus challenge of Biblical proportions. Put two and two together and, in this case, you get six, hours of sleep that is.
I'd be cranky as hell if I didn't have me a glass from the new McDonald's promotional campaign.
Those folks over at Mickey D's sure are progressive, next week I'm going to swing by for the "cracker" glass. What's your favorite derogatory slogan?
Hmm. Water. Will someone remind me to change out that picture for one with Mountain Dew?
"Sexy, funny, and twisted. You've never read anything like this!"
Tee hee hee. I'm being driven to madness by these compliments. To madness. Thanks so much, Richelle.
That deserves some pimping. And, because I forgot with Jackie's blurb, I'm puttin' her to work, too.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Here's why: last years Street of Dreams was awesome. Seven real dream houses and priced to match, multi-million dollar homes. This year's were like a 1000 square feet bigger than our own, and sitting on a lot the size of a 7-Eleven. They had interesting details, but certainly weren't dream homes. Yet, and this is a BIG yet, the prices hadn't changed. In one year, those houses went from 10000 sf to 4000 sf and the prices had not changed. Disturbing, and not the least bit fun at $18 a person for two less houses.
All was not lost. For, as we left the street, and came up to the bus to the parking lot, I noticed that our driver could be this woman's identical twin:
That's right. Tammy Faye Messner--moment of silence, God rest her soul, and all that. This woman was either TF's biggest fan paying homage with huge brushstrokes of cheap cosmetics, or Tammy had crawled from the grave, put on a few pounds and taken up Sunday driving in an off-duty school bus. Either way, we were messnerized, couldn't take our eyes off that huge rearview mirror, it was like a white trash art gallery with huge button earrings.
Fantastic, and well worth the drive on it's own.
Friday, August 10, 2007
First off, no scale. F**k that scale. Yep, that one right there. Do you really need a scale to tell you your fat? I think some clues are:
a) the buckling around the shirt buttons.
b) waistband rollover.
c) belt curling.
d) you're fat.
Just a few clues. I'm sure you have your own.
Second, I went back on the only diet that I've been successful with, Atkins. I'll be feeding on, pretty much, meat and any vegetable that'll force out water weight (Asparagus, anyone? Don't mind the smell, it's quaint). It helps that I like bacon. Ask me in a few weeks whether I still like it, and I'll probably kill you for the lifesavers in your pocket (are they warm?).
Third, I'm exercising daily (Cardio, Weight training, Delusions). Lucky for me, I'm not doing this alone, my wife and a friend are doing the same things.
You have to have support to lose weight, just like when you gain wait. Particularly nowadays, when social gatherings seem to have the solitary goal of fattening up the crowd. If you're fat, I bet you've got friends that are, too. Look around, I'm not saying it's a conspiracy; I'm just sayin' you have support to stay fat. It's there.
So my goal is total emaciation by my pub date. I won't be happy until all you faithful readers show up at my signing to find me wheeling around an I.V. and slurping my dinner of a diet coke.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I'm not exactly sure how to review this book, as it's more of a phenomenon, really. I can tell you this, it took me three weeks to get through it, and I'm normally a pretty fast reader. Maybe it's like how when you like a TV show enough to watch it, you set it up on TIVO, and then the network cancels it after you're already six episodes behind. What do you do? You certainly don't continue watching it.
This is not to say that Deathly Hallows wasn't a great read, it's not to say it was either--It could have benefited from a little editing (it totally dragged in the middle, don't try to say it didn't). What was awesome about it was J.K. Rowling's resolve to end this juggernaut of a series with a bang. It's no secret that characters die in this one; but--Jesus--did they die. And, she totally pulled together everything from the previous books, nice and tight.
So that's it. After all the hype, the controversy over spoilers and manuscripts leaking out like diaper overflow, it's over (except for the next two movies). I can't say I have a feeling of loss, or any feelings at all, and oddly I'm not left wanting more, either.
Next Book: Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Caseyby Chuck Palahniuk
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
...and from that mundane beginning it got seriously f**king funny. Jackie Woodman was one of my favorite comedies last year, and if last night's episode is any indication, I'm gonna be peeing myself and spit-taking throughout season 2.
Episode 1 had lesbian 4X4s, Treezus (a christian environmentalist group with knives), and Nicholle Tom with a mullet. I'm gonna go watch it again real quick.
Pass the peyote.
"Gruesome, ghoulish and utterly groundbreaking. Mark Henry is daring and
--Jackie Kessler, author of HELL'S BELLES
Uhhhh. Uhhhhhh. Uhhhhh.
**quivers in ecstacy**
For those of you who don't know, Jackie is a fellow paranormal author, her protagonist is a succubus that moonlights in a certain field involving g-strings and poles (both kinds).
Jackie and I have never talked before, but oddly, now, I love her. I'm building an altar to her in the corner of my office. Blessed be.
So...since this was the lovely setting for our hotel, why should I be surprised that despite massive upgrades throughout the Red Lion chain, our room would have the hardest bed known to man. We woke with flailing dead arms, dangling like wet pasta. But you wanna know something, I didn't mind. My second story view of the Denny's smoking area more than made up for any physical discomfort.
You can imagine.
What I did mind was the two women that brought their dogs to the conference. I'm a dog lover and I was still perplexed. Dianna, my con buddy, suggested that these were simply companion dogs for the mentally ill. I would have preferred to turn around at the sound of the barking to find Barbara Cartland being wheeled through the halls in her four poster bed trailed by a team of stenographers. Barbara is the only author allowed to bring her dogs, is that clear?
Oh wait, is she dead?
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I'm sitting in the lobby of the Red Lion in Portland waiting for Caroline to rise and shine---the wifi reception in the room sucks dog weiner. Despite being a decent conference, full of fun film workshops (the comedy, the horror), I'm blowing off the last day of Willamette WC to spend some time with my girl.
Here's the rundown...
Friday was the first full day, Thursday being primarily for registration and pitch practices (which were so beyond painful to watch). So after meeting some great people at Friday breakfast, I get a call from Caroline, her train has been canceled (this wouldn't normally be an issue, she could have driven down from Olympia (about two hours) but the Volvo is leaking oil like a weepy zit. So half that day was spent driving up to pick her up and coming back. Fuck you Amtrak!
Saturday's workshops were awesome, Hollywood guy Luke Ryan did this mini series on deconstructing film genre that was entertaining and surprisingly pertinent to my stuff, and Liz Engstrom, horror and erotica writer, led a fun group through the construction of a "hot" sex scene.
The best part? Why all the soul-stealing, of course.
I'm talking about behavior snapshots. It's a holdover from my career as a psychotherapist, observing, taking notes. "You" may not recognize yourself in my fiction, but I will.
So the big question I asked myself: Why did I even go to this thing? It turns out my answer is a little flimsy. I was hoping to put the cap on this crazy year, sort of a pilgrimage to the spot where it all started. What I got out of it was something entirely different: a recharge. In fact, the outline of the book is done, the plot and comedy bits are solid. I'm happy.
Now we can just spend the rest of today shopping in Portland's awesome Nob Hill, and hitting Powell's one last time, WITHOUT the dread of not knowing where this book is going.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Aw yeah, that ferret f**ked them up. I somehow felt the need to scream "acting" so my dogs didn't get any funny ideas. Because they do get funny ideas. Very funny.
Speaking of dogs, or cats. Why, I ask, do veterinarians send home pills. I don't know about your animals, but I'd have a better chance achieving world peace, than getting a 5 pound Yorkie to swallow a pill, or even half a pill. Damn you Vet!
Now, to something writerly. I have this mind that wants to jump around from topic to topic and genre to genre (maybe you can tell). This is not a good thing in writing, or so I'm told. Take note: the goal of a new novelist is to develop a fanbase, a little recognition, and ultimately the ability to dump the day job. One CANNOT achieve this through genre-hopping. Let's say, for instance, Happy Hour ends up in the scifi/fantasy section (already a stretch but there are no comedy fiction sections), yet I've been writing a YA mystery, oh...and a literary horror novel, and an adult mystery. So if I sold these other three, where would you find me in the bookstore. Get it?
Genre hopping is publishing buzzkill. Name first. Name first. Repeat it.
So...I've been coming up with other urban fantasy comedy ideas, and that's been really working for me.
As for blogging, this'll be another light week. I'm off to Willamette Writer's Conference in about an hour, so...
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
It's called IF YOU LIVED HERE...YOU'D BE HOME NOW, a coffee table book crammed with lovely images of America's most crapulous domiciles. From trailers sinking into the mud, to motels where the most indiscriminate hooker wouldn't be caught dead pulling a train, IF YOU LIVED HERE...YOU'D BE HOME NOW will capture the majesty and charm of the American third world in glorious color.
This spectacular residence, for instance, is a real neighborhood showplace. Who wouldn't want to spend a lazy beer-swigging afternoon on that comfy couch picking cat hair off their microwave burrito? I know I couldn't resist.
Now this photo is what I'd consider tame. It would never make it into the book. I'm looking for nasty. Won't you help?
So...If you think your home has got what it takes, simply take a few pictures and send them to email@example.com. By doing so, you release all rights to those pictures, and understand that I, Mark Henry, will be adding horrendous comments about your home, all in the name of good fun. Your personal information will not be used, except for our correspondence. In return, if chosen (and if it's published), you will receive a signed copy of the book.
I've launched If You Lived Here...You'd be Home Now, the blog, to track my progress, so check in on the project periodically, I plan on posting some of the photos that don't make the cut.