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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!


Just a quick note to remind you that the ARC contest ends when the clock strikes twelve. That's twelve where I am. Adjust your watches accordingly. PST.

Didnt' hear about any ARC contest? Well someone's got some hunting to do.

Winner tomorrow. Plus goals and shit! Tune in.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Review! Plus ARC Contest! Aaaah!

Happy Hour of the Damned has been reviewed over at Amber Katze's Book Blog, why not swing on by? You'll get to read a comparison that made me swoon.

Amber won the last ARC contest, making me wonder: Does a free ARC equal a good review?

Let's find out...

Leave a short review of your favorite book in the comments. It doesn't have to be written well, since I'm picking the winner at random anyway. It's just the cost of admission, plus anything to bulk up the TBR pile!

Good luck!

I'll pick the winner on New Years Day! If all these damned exclamation points don't collapse on me!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hazy Holiday Recap

I hope everyone's holiday was as awesome and exhausting as it should be. Ours was particularly crazy with Christmas Eve with friends, two Christmas dinners with separate families and the inevitable Christmas money shopping frenzy on Wednesday.

I got tons of great stuff, particularly from Caroline who created a framed collage of my whirlwind publishing year, bought me School House Rock! Magnets and these Oh-So-Swank Zombie Action Figures (I'll be expecting the victims set for my birthday)...


Feel free to be jealous.

Of course, there were books, too. I got C.E. Murphy's HEART OF STONE (just in time for the League of Reluctant Adults Book Club), Linnea Sinclair's DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES (for obvious reasons), Charlie Huston's THE SHOTGUN RULE, Dean Koontz's THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR and Jenna Black's THE DEVIL INSIDE.

As well as a certain ARC, that I'm not really reading yet, but decided to give Anton a holiday present in the form of photographic evidence.

Speaking of the League, how jealous are the other four gonna be when they see this?


That, my friends, is the handiwork of tmthomas. Trés lovely, oui? For those not in the know, that's me on the far right, Anton has the devil horns, the ladies can decide who's who from there. I'm not touching that one.

This also seemed to be the year of DVD series, 30 Rock, Supernatural and Nip Tuck all made it under the tree, which is oddly prophetic in regards to the plotline of Amanda Book 3. But, I'll leave it at that.

Speaking of Amanda, I'm still beating her into shape and January 15th is swiftly approaching to kick my ass, so I better get back to it.

Except.

Hold on...

Did I forget to mention this last present?


Smokey! Previously named Lester, but after the tragic molester comments of December 23, was quickly renamed.

Happy New Years E'erybody!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Y'all!

While I love the traditional Christmas carols, sometimes I need something that floats in weird. December Will be Magic, Again is my favorite next to the Cocteau Twins versions of Winter Wonderland and Frosty, and of course, The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping. Here's a few to take the chill off.







Enjoy your nogs!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

That's Not Egg Nog!

Because nothing embodies the spirit of Christmas more than a pottymouthed drag queen. Hit it Jackie...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Book Review: Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest



Ever since I found out my book falls into the category of urban fantasy, I've been on a book buying binge--not a reading kick, mind you, just an all out wallet busting frenzy. Bookstores love me. Amazon sent me a Christmas card. One of the first books I bought, Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest finally surfaced in my to be read pile and I'm so glad.

Priest's protagonist, Eden Moore, is a girl with issues--of the kind that seem to crop up only in the South, for some reason--family secrets and some very real skeletons in the closet. First up, some guy's trying to kill her and second, the three ghosts that follow her around aren't much help in the physical world. Eden's on a quest to find out who she is; a search that may prove her undoing.

When it comes to lush description and deliberate layering of tension, Priest is horror's go-to gal. Her swamps are as thick and wet as a roiling pot of gumbo, and her most frightening scenes creep into your head like kudzu tendrils, nightmares clinging to every root. You'll have to forgive the southern imagery, I'm still watching the scotch moss sway in Eden's world.

Good stuff. Grab your wallet.

Next Book: The Becoming (The Anna Strong Chronicles, Book 1) by Jeanne Stein

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Whisper from the Dark

Despite the popular theory that due to my sacrilegious experiments of the past two weeks I have been struck into ash by a freak sunny day lightning bolt, I am alive.

Barely.

I'm locked in this office with a few slices of bread and a tin cup full of water. I'm trapped by a self-imposed 3750 word/day goal, that must be fulfilled or I'll never make my deadline. My wife is my new supervisor. There's an accountability chart on the door. I have minimal access to wi-fi!

Hellish, I tell you.

Why must I slack off. Will someone please give me discipline for Christmas and not of the Mistress Dementia thank you for that heel in my groin may I have another variety?

Thank you, and goodnight.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oooooo! Announcements

In lieu of an actual blog post, I've made a very special announcement over at the

League of Reluctant Adults

Guess what? It involves books.

The winner of the Manny the Cat caption contest is...

Amber Katze!


Her entry was the most amenable to a John Waters-esque Baltimore accent.



All I can say is that Manny has a much cleaner mouth than my two dogs.

Email your address to me@markhenry.us (ps. I know you don't live in this country, that's fine), and I'll get that ARC out as soon as I can. Thanks for all the fun entries, people. Be watching for the next contest coming soon to your local Mark Henry web presence.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Tragic Development

The Jesus Experiment has come to a horrifying end. Last night, I went to check on our savior's progress since the addition of warm water to the equation. What I found was so shocking, so horrific, that I can't guarantee you'll leave this post with your sanity intact.

Alas...



I'm afraid this holey ghost is all that's left of Grow Jesus. A squishy gelatinous stain on the water. I fear for the state of my Jesusness. What will become of my holiday spirit?

I have suspicions.

Did the diabolical urgings of my so-called "friend," Matt, lead to Grow Jesus's early demise? Or is this horror a message from God? Is he so angry with the success of The Golden Compass that he's raining down damnation on our garden tub? Already, the prilgrims are gathering in our frozen front yard. Waiting.

I'm afraid they're misguided, there's no vision of God, here. But, wait...why are they all wearing black robes? What are they doing with that goat?

Evil lives here, now.



See? Pray for me, friends. Pray for my very soul, and send checks.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I Couldnt' Resist. Couldn't!

Warning: Excessive Gore, just like Mama used to make.

A White Elephant Ten Years in the Making

We're trying something a little different with Grow Jesus this week, before I go completely mad, jump in there with my robe and a fake beard and get banned by the Catholic League, I think we'll try to give J a boost with some warm water. I have it from leading authorities (my friend Matt) that if Jesus is still hard--and if we've learned anything from The DaVinci Code, it's that that was a distinct possibility--then he's not nearly as swollen and engorged as is possible.

I'd post a new picture but his lack of growth is downright shameful. So instead, let me update you on my whirlwind week.

On Wednesday we went to see Ms. Tori Amos, who might as well be family. I've been in the same room with her more times than with some of my cousins, so...

Tori's new album is one of those concept thingamajigs that's so hot with the kids right now...oh wait...what was that? No it's not. In fact, while the album, American Doll Posse, may be some of the songstress's best work, something about Tori's persona Pip, rubs me the wrong way. You see Tori recorded the album from the perspective of 5 different characters (Isabel, Santa, Clyde, Tori and the aforementioned Pip). The other four are close derivations of Tori's regular style which is piano driven intricacy, Pip, on the other hand wants to be a rock star. During the tour, Tori's been rolling out a different character at random for each of the concerts. I told my wife and our friend Jo, who was along for the show, that I'd rather open a vein than see Pip walk onto the stage for the Seattle concert.

Who do we get?

Yep. Black wig, Fuck yous and crotch-grabbing. Not Tori, Pip.

Blech.

For the first half hour of the show, Pip would rather hump the stage, and dance (poorly) rather than play her piano. I was not surprised in the least. This is my luck.

I'm applying for a patent.

The rest of the show was great, red wigged Tori came out and was awesome for nearly another hour and a half, and since the show wasn't on the schedule for an authorized bootleg, she did some cover songs (Smells Like Teen Spirit, Rattlesnakes, I'm a Believer-weird, I know). Any way here's a clip from the show...



Saturday, like a phoenix from the flames of procrastination I had an epiphany. I have this pesky homeless guy character that needed a special purpose*. Found it! I'd been hung up on his shit for days.

Then, later that night, at our yearly Christmas party white elephant exchange, I chose wisely! I think you'll agree.



This little treasure has been making the rounds for the past ten years. Don't be jealous, you two can start this most amusing of holiday traditions. Start with one bottle of dollar store mouthwash (you'll not that this astringent variety is FRESH, much like my old school dance moves). It also happens to signify a year of prosperity for the one who possesses it for that blessed year. Does this mean bestseller, folks?

I don't know. But the good luck has already started, cuz guess who got a grillz lollipop all gift wrapped and purdy?

Me...









How you like that, bitches? Hmmmm?

* Steve Martin reference c/o The Jerk and a brain full to the brim with useless pop culture references.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Procrastination is Bigger than Yours!

I promised myself a minimum of 2000 words before 6:00, which is 3 hours and 15 minutes away, and yet, here I sit clicking away at Youtube, responding to emails and seriously considering a full office clean-up.

Take this for instance...



Why the hell am I looking up The Mission--and not the Mission UK, to which they are now referred? The video is awful. But I loved that song in High School. Still do, really.

It seems I'm procrastinating on my procrastinating. Better get to it.

What keeps you from working?

*publishes post and then begins cleaning. for reals*

A Poor Showing...

It's Day 7 of the Jesus Experiment and while, yes, my holiday spirit has escalated--as seen here in this still-life I call "Ornamental Tree with Chinese Lantern"--Jesus's progress toward life-size has slowed to a crawl.


Last night, after watching this week's episode of I Love New York for the 3rd time--Sister Patterson is up to her old tricks--I thought Jesus, that bitch is crazy.

Jesus?

I grabbed the camera and took the stairs three at a time. Jesus was still in the tub, not yet risen to smite all the happy sodomites. I began to wonder, after about a week, what might our savior feel like? I reached in and gave Jesus a little feel and was surprised to find that he wasn't squishy at all. I'd assumed he'd be "tampon-like," but as it turns out, he's kind of porous like a pumus stone. Weird.

For comparison sake, here's the previous quarter shot and one from last night.



That growth is marginal, at best, and disappointing. If Jesus had only been squishy I could have gleaned a minor bit of enjoyment. Sadly, I'm distraught.

But, wait...

What's that sparkling on the tree?


Why, it's Maxine the Christmas octopus with only five tentacles. She's my favorite, and I guess that'll have to do, for now. Unless Grow Jesus balloons in the next few days, I'm afraid I'll be forced to drain him. That's right. Jesus drained. My holiday spirit in tatters.

I don't know what else to do...

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Grab Bag with Kitty Contest

This week we're trying something a little different at the League. Spicing things up. It's a free for all, and my topic is writing scenes. I've even thrown in a couple of excerpts for fun, and an exercise prompt, should you be so inclined. So...head on over.


My snazzy little HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED postcards came yesterday. And of course, I was excited and amazed at how awesome they look (thanks to the design team: Su at Earthly Charms).


Then, I caught wldhrsjen3, shay-writes and rhonawestbrook saying really nice things about the book, and forcing me to love them. So swing by and check out their reviews.

Also...this came in my email...


...and the more I look at it the more it's making me have a caption contest. The prize? What else? An ARC. So get to it hambones, I'll run it for a week.

BTW: The cat's name is Manny and he's Tez Miller's baby, all the way from Melbourne.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

Jesus!

My wife just emailed two pictures of the flooding in Olympia, where she works. I guess they weren't kidding on the news.



I think I'll go make soup, while I still can. Where's Jesus when we need him?

Oh...wait.

Mixed Assortment (Nuts and Chews), PLUS Jesus Update!

We're in the middle of a windstorm/rainstorm/flood event here in the Pacific Northwest. Hurricane force gusts (one happened just as I typed that--creepy, eh?), and urban flooding. We'll probably lose power soon.

So why am I so happy?

I just got an email from a book reviewer that was totally complimentary and kinda gushy. I was so elated reading it, I think I blushed. I was just as happy to see that Jenn, or goth_huntress (to those in the know), has some nice things to say about HAPPY HOUR on her livejournal and at Urban Fantasy Fans.

These guys are going to have me changing my pessimistic view on people. Maybe life is worth living. Who'd a thunk it?

Not dedbutdrmng. My friend RJ Barker's got a story in Shine called Automated Replies. It's a trip to a not so nice future, and in 373 words you don't have an excuse not to give it a shot*. I wouldn't lead you astray (well I might, but you won't know that until you've been led, now will you?).

Now...for the main event...

The Jesus Experiment

Oddly enough, Sunday turned out to be a weird day for Jesus. Like an awkward adolescent growth spurt, his left arm did most of the growing. It probably would have been terribly painful except for the whole holy thing. See for yourself (it's nothing short of miraculous).


Oh, yeah! I know what you're thinking, holy crap that's a frickin' halo! And it is. I didn't notice it at first. In fact my first thought was, "Has anyone seen Giles?**

Today, we have some significant growth to show you. If you'll recall, when Grow Jesus was freed from his plastic shroud, he was about the size of a quarter in my palm. Now look at him.

LOOK!


I'm scared!


That's it. Until next time. Please leave your prayers in the comments section. I fully expect my journal to become the next Lourdes.

*The big draw is the editor's comment: "there are no typos in this work."
**Obscure reference to John Carpenter's THE THING.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Trials of Our Lord (2007 Edition): Day One

Aw Yayah! The day has come my dear friends and the Grow Jesus experiment is in full swing. It even gave us reason to clean the bathtub, and we hate doing that--do you see what we do for you people? I say "we" because I have an assistant in this experiment, my lovely wife Caroline.

*round of applause*
*she bows*
then...
*gives the finger*

You might remember this guy...


That's right, it's your Lord and Savior (or some of yours)--please take note of the writer's hand, it has been miraculously freed from callous and is soft as baby ass.

Before Grow Jesus took the big dunk, comfortable and dry in my palm, I began to feel certain urges and couldn't resist a taste. Just a little one, nothing as sacreligious as a bite, or even a nibble. Body of Christ, and all. I guess you could say, I was compelled.

My review: Jesus is conspicuously bland. Much like the communion wafers on Christmas Eve (or any other Eve, I'd imagine). Maybe those Catholics modeled them after the true flavor.

Now...ON WITH THE TRIALS!!!

Here is the vessel...

The instructions called for room temperature water, so we had to figure that out, with a thermometer. It's a balmy 68 degrees, in case you're wondering.

I was hoping for enough room to display the nativity (empty manger, naturally), but sadly I was denied.

Plop...


We'll be measuring the progress in smiles. So check back frequently.