11 February 2018

ALL SAINTS Release

With everything that's happened over the last few weeks I'd pretty much forgotten that I have a book coming out this week. I'm not really sure what I want to say about it at this point, except that this was supposed to be a big moment for me. I'd been working on this idea for about 18 years and am really proud of what I've written. And then...

I'd missed a few interview opportunities, had a plan to countdown here on my blog and on Instagram, had a few videos I wanted to make. But that's not how it happened.

So here's what I would've said about the book in the weeks leading up to the release:


  • It's bigger and more ambitious than anything else I'd ever attempted. 
  • The Maya cosmology is based on years of study I did while considering a run at grad school the year before I married Heidi. 
  • An early draft of this was the first thing I'd ever written. In the original version, Henry Collin runs away to Mexico after a horrible rafting accident that leaves two girls dead. Once I decided to put this book away I immediately began HELLBENDER.   
  • I think a book should be re-readable, and this feels like one of the most re-readable things I've ever written. It's got layers.
  • The yellow dog was in that old first draft, and there were two boys instead of three--Paco and Trejo.
  • At the moment, Danicka is my favorite character. So much so that I have started writing a historical urban fantasy series to show what she's been up to for the last 100 years. 
The book is available for order and should ship soon.


Here's the trailer in case you missed it the first time around:


 

31 December 2017

SMALL SPACE BIG LIFE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017 Travel to Portugal, Toronto, Walt Disney World



This is a collection of clips we put together to remind us of some of the things we want to hang onto as we roll into 2018. Scenes include shots from Lisbon, Nazaré, Óbidos, and Berlengas, Portugal, the Rock and Roll Hallof of Fame in Cleveland, Toronto, Broadkill Beach, Delaware, and Melbourne Beach and the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. On the day we returned from Portugal, we lost Francesca, our cat of thirteen years. The experience cast a dark shadow over the following months, and we vowed to wait until the end of 2018 to discuss getting another. As you can see, that didn't happen. On a random trip to Petsmart we saw Amélie and Madeline, the sisters we adopted from the Animal Friends of Barbour County, WV. Though they didn't erase the sting of our loss, they reminded us that life does indeed go on.

14 May 2017

ART CRITICISM FOR AMATEURS 101

Vincent van Gogh is peculiarly cursed to be travestied, misunderstood and reduced to a kitsch parody of himself. Look at the art section in your local bookshop and you will find a glitzy new publication of his “lost” Arles drawings being heavily promoted even after the Van Gogh Museum denied the drawings in it are by Van Gogh at all. Now more fake Van Gogh is on its way, with the release of the trailer for Loving Vincent, a feature film about the artist that has been made by animating oil paintings that ape his style. From WE MUST RESCUE VAN GOGH FROM BECOMING A POP CULTURE CLICHE, Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 23 January 2017

Then this came along:

High art needs all the friends it can get. Museum attendance is dropping all over the world, and earnest attempts to court the young and identify with the new are clearly not working. Something more eloquent is needed: unequivocal enthusiasm for great art in a language people in the 21st century understand.

How about a Louis Vuitton bag with RUBENS written on it in big gold letters over a reproduction of that 17th-century painter’s violent, exuberant and gorgeous work Tiger, Lion and the Leopard Hunt?" From JEFF KOONS' LOUIS VUITTON BAGS: A JOYOUS ART HISTORY LESSON, Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 12 April 2017

Kind of gross, if you ask me. But a critic doesn't produce--he just takes. He isn't even accountable for his own contradictions because opinions are an ephemeral commodity. Cultural toilet paper. An artist or writer takes real risks, and the mistakes they make may linger for generations, if they're lucky.