The Versatile Blogger Award + Two Announcements

Let us begin this post with a disclaimer: I don’t normally do chain mails things. Not if it’s blogs or Facebook status updates that read “… I bet most of my friends won’t copy and paste this to their own status…” Even if it’s about cancer or kitties, or kitties with cancer, I don’t give a shit. I just don’t do them and generally despise reading them.

SAVE TUMOR CAT - Pass this along or you'll go to HELL!

However…

I’m going to break that vow right here, in the name of promoting fellow authors and other shit I like. All of that being prelude to this: my good friend A.J. Brown has bestowed upon me, for reasons that can only lead to a conclusion of brain damage on his part, the Versatile Blogger Award. If it had come from anyone else, I might have just ignored it as Internet nonsense, but I do love me some A.J. Brown, so the exception has been made. Now, let’s get it on.

What the fuck is the Versatile Blogger Award? Dude, click the link above for more info.

What does one do once they’ve won the award? Besides holding a party in their own honor, getting totally shitfaced, and passing out facedown in the bathtub, they’re supposed to do this shit:

* Thank the award-giver and link back to their blog in your post. (check)

* Include a link to the original blog, The Versatile Blogger Award. (checkerino)

* Share seven things about yourself. (I’ll always talk about myself. See below)

* Pass this award along to fifteen blogs you enjoy reading. (er, no)

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. (still undecided about this part as it seems pretty lame…)

* There is no deadline for responding, although I would imagine that being “fairly prompt” would be the polite thing to do. (DON’T YOU FUCKING TELL ME TO BE POLITE, I GOT POLITE RUNNING OUT OF MY ASS, I’M SO OVERSTUFFED WITH POLITE YOU SONOFABITCH!)

Before we go further, I already know I can’t name 15 blogs I enjoy reading, whom I would also pass this thing along to, nor would I do that anyway. That would be the chain-mail aspect about this that makes me break out in a rash. But I will contact the person whom I name as my Versatile Blogger (if I end up doing that) and let that person do with this as they wish. And besides, most of the blogs I like have a large readership and are probably inundated by similar stuff all the time, and I have no interest in spamming them with this. But I will link to them and spread the word and the love around like it was fucking peanut butter. Oh yeah, baby, peanut butter love…

First, I’ll share seven things about myself that you, Captain Reader, may not know:

1. I hate oranges. Hate those fuckers. Can’t stand the taste, can’t stand the smell, don’t like orange juice or orange soda or orange candy or orange julius. Add some vodka and make it a screwdriver? You just ruined perfectly good vodka. Nice going, ass.

2. In January, I self-published a novel under a pen name. I’ve been trying to decide how to market the thing since it’s, you know, published under a pen name, but I might as well announce it here. It’s most decidedly not bizarro, which is why I didn’t put it out under my own name, and I confess to being curious about the whole self-publishing deal. I thought I’d try it myself, if for no other reason, than to get a better idea of a different facet of the publishing world besides just the writing side. The novel is Mr. Flashback by Son Porter (and it’s $0.99 for the Kindle here on Amazon). Don’t ask where the name came from, there is no real significance to it. It’s just easy to remember.

3. Speaking of books, I will have a new one coming out soon. Grindhouse Press will publish my novella King of the Perverts sometime this summer. I can’t tell you how stoked I am about this book, and also about working with Grindhouse. They put out great pulp horror and bizarro and their books look, and are, utterly fantastic.

4. For you horror fans, I make this admission: I absolutely hated Richard Matheson’s book Hell House. Just hated it. I found it to be dumb, cheesy writing and not at all scary. I spent the whole book yelling at the idiot characters. Flame away.

5. That’s two things I hate, so I better list something I love: severe thunderstorms. It doesn’t matter if the tornado sirens are going off, branches are flying through the air, rain is pelting my face, lightning is exploding all around – I’m that dumbass who stands out in the middle of a thunderstorm, hoping to glimpse for myself a tornado. If I had the money, I would take one of those tornado chasing vacations in Kansas or Oklahoma.

6. The first thing I ever wrote was a fully-illustrated fanfic of my favorite cartoon when I was about 6 or 7, Battle of the Planets (G Force). I loved their spaceship, the Phoenix, and always wished I could have found a toy version of it. I never did, but it apparently does exist.

7. I spent nine months of my childhood inside an iron lung.

OK, that last one is not true. I’m actually just a big fat liar.

Now, on to the blogs I regularly check out:

1. AJ Brown’s Type AJ Negative: Lots if introspective stuff about writing and fatherhood, being a husband, and juggling all those things. And as I mentioned, AJ and I have a little long-distance bromance going on, so… (blush)

2. John Skipp is Yer Pal Skipp!: No, this has not been around long, but the few posts Skipp has up so far have been so inspiring and helpful over the past month that I find myself checking regularly to see if he has a new post up yet. That’s why it’s here.

3. John Scalzi’s Whatever: I can’t not read whatever Scalzi posts, because more often than not, he writes exactly what I’m thinking about a particular subject. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, SCALZI!

4. The Cubs-centric baseball blog Bleacher Nation: I’m gonna throw a change-up here (PUN!) and add a sports blog, because goddammit, I gots me some roots in sports writing. And this is my list, so blah.

5. The something of Andersen Prunty, Lowered Expectations: Not exactly updated regularly, but when it is, it is always interesting and entertaining. Currently, he’s holding a contest for readers to create a cover for his upcoming book, Fill the Grand Canyon and Live Forever.

6. Nathan Bransford: More of an occasional read for me, but regularly updated with interesting news and insights into publishing and writing. Worth the time.

7. JA Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: The always interesting but equally annoying Konrath expounds on sticking it to the man through self-publishing. I like his transparency and willingness to share numbers and info, but am equally enraged by his insistence on posting in the third person. That just bugs Lowe.

8. Caris O’Malley’s Hipster Librarian: There is never a time when Caris fails to make me laugh. A great majority of that time, I’m laughing at him, but still, you can’t argue the results!

9. Kirk Jones’s bizarrojones: Kirk likes to examine bizarro and horror art and literature through a scholarly, professorial lens. I like to read Kirk and pretend I’m smart like him.

10. Redneck bizarro robot genius, David W. Barbee: Goofy fun from a bizarro son of the south. God Save Us, George W. Foxworthy!

11. College football fun from EDSBS: OK, one more sports blog. If you’re not a college football fan or observer, you probably won’t get much of what’s here, but if you are, and you do, then this shit is gold, more often than not.

12. Um… hmmmmmmmmm… There are other blogs I occasionally read, but I think I’ll stop this list here. I will reserve the right to come back and add to this list when I inevitably remember the ones I forgot to include.

If you made it all the way through to the end of this, then I now have one question: why? If you can answer that question in no fewer than 200 words, I will email you a free copy of Son Porter’s dynamic debut novel Mr. Flashback. Send your essays to: lowe435@gmail.com

OK, bye bye!

Another interview to waste your time on…

My friend and southern contemporary, A.J. Brown, chose me to be his first guest on a new interview series on his website, Type AJ Negative. Give this a click and a read, and if you still have any respect for me afterward then I’m not doing my job right. But I promise to keep trying.

And if that wasn’t enough, here are a couple of older interviews, one by excellent author Lee Thompson and the other by William Pauley III for his site The New Flesh.

OK, I’ll stop now.

2-Minute Drill: John (JAM) Miller

We’re back after a refreshing few days off and ready to humiliate someone new. Today’s victim is the ringleader of a derelict group of humans at Liquid Imagination. He is well known to many who will read this post, so introductions are hardly in order. But we’ll do it anyway, because this is our damn website and you’re not the boss of us!

The 2-Minute Drill is 5 quick questions and 5 quick answers from someone you probably haven’t heard of, but should hear from. This isn’t some rambling, long-winded author interview here. We dispense with the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks. We ask the tough questions and get the tough answers that you need to know.

Incredibly tiny obligatory headshot

John Arthur Miller is known to most as simply, JAM. Some says it’s because he rocks, but don’t believe the hype. This is a calm, calculated man with intentions of taking over the world. He has said so many times in public, and he lets slip just one of his diabolical plans below…

2-MD: Your book “2012: Kin Bin Tin Nah” is not actually about the Mayan thing, is it? Tell the truth, it’s really just the verbatim recounting of a dream you had after you accidentally ingested your dog’s canine pain killers. Isn’t it?

JAM: Actually, it was a dream that came to me after digesting YOUR dog. BURP! Pardon me.

2-MD: Winter Olympics are coming up soon – who’s your favorite to win the ice dancing gold?

JAM: The most skilled skater, meaning, the one in the short dress. Er… just to be clear, she should be a lady.

2-MD: In a near-future world where the exclamation “Yippee!” has been outlawed because its utterance kills kittens and causes cervical cancer, what new word will you use to show your happiness, both genuine and forced?

JAM: I refuse to use the word ‘YIPPEE’ because it ends in ‘pee.’ I use ‘YIPPIE’ because it ends in ‘pie.’ Which would you rather have in YOUR mouth while saying it?

To answer the question: YOWSAS! (thank you Brandon Rucker and John C. Mannone) 

2-MD: If there was a party over here and a party over there, and you decided to wave your hands in the air and shake your derriere, what three words should be articulated when you’re gettin’ busy?

JAM: No 3 words. Instead, 3 sentences: 1) Help me I’ve fallen and can’t get up; 2) you can’t touch this; 3) Da’ party’s over here, da’ party’s over here!  (2-MD: Oh, sorry. The correct answer is, of course, Whoomp! There it is. Kind of a trick questions since it’s actually four words, but you can hash that out with the fellas from Tag Team. If they’re not too busy in the recording studio, that is. We’re guessing they’re not.)

2-MD: Let’s play Sophie’s Choice: a 3-book deal from Simon & Schuster, or the life of one A.J. Brown. You don’t get both. One will be shredded into to tiny, pulpy bits. Choose…

JAM: I would choose AJ Brown, simply because I will not relinquish my right to chop him up into tiny bits and feed him into the Chicago water supply, thus replicating his genius. His evil will infect millions–a million AJ Brown’s eating inside the brains of Chicagoans, possessing them utterly. Next, with an army of Underwriters (AJ’s nickname), we march on New York City! YEE-HAW!! (I meant YOWSAS!)

We had a feeling he’d pick that one. John Miller has answered these questions in a timely and ridiculous fashion, which is all we ask for here on the Drill. Tradtion (JAM: TYPO! I thought you were a journalist! Now YOU’RE going into the Chicago water supply along with AJ!) holds that we now link to something of John’s for you to buy, for which he will likely receive mere pennies in compensation.

Introducing The 2-Minute Drill: A.J. Brown

Welcome to the first installment of what promises to be a wildly popular feature here on Assorted ShitzenGiggles (at least in my own mind, anyway) – The 2-Minute Drill.

The 2-Minute Drill is 5 quick questions and 5 quick answers from someone you probably haven’t heard of, but should hear from. This isn’t some rambling, long-winded author interview here. We dispense with the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks. We ask the tough questions and get the tough answers that you need to know.

Our very first 2-MD guest is a man who goes by many names, including A. Jefferson, Jeff, AJ, and Miranda when he’s in that mood, a man from South Carolina with dozens upon dozens of publishing credits to his name, which happens to be A.J. Brown. Let’s get right to it…

2-MD: How long have you been a Southerner, and do you have any plans on learning how to speak the King’s English properly?

AJ: Southerner? Them’s fightin’ words, boy. And who is this King fellah you speak of? 

2-MD: I’ve noticed that you like to name characters in your stories after people you know in real life. Is that due to your sheer laziness, or is it simply an attempt to spite your enemies?

AJ: Mostly laziness, but occasionally I like to make folks feel like someone cares about them… It’s all a ruse.

2-MD: What’s your favorite cheese?

AJ: Toe…

2-MD: If you were chosen for a Man vs. Animal reality TV fighting show, which animal would you prefer to face in a fight-to-the-death cage match?

AJ: I like animals. Can’t you tell by the deerskin coat? Can I choose an in-law, instead??

2-MD: Does your wife know what you’re up to, mister?

AJ: Well, she thinks I’m six one, but I’m really just under six foot—it’s them boots that make me taller…

AJ, 2-MD thanks you for your time. More of AJ’s odd ramblings (and possibly clues to his next victim) can be found here: A.J. Brown’s crappy website