The Sacred Art of Tweeting

I’ve been on twitter since 2009. When I first joined I was just curious and wanted to see what this new social media wave was about. Initially, I hated it. Twitter felt like an endless sea of facebook statuses.  I started selling some short stories and promoting my music and I felt like twitter might be able to push me to the next level. The thing I didn’t anticipate was how much work it took. Tweet after tweet after tweet.

Six years later, it’s my favorite social media platform. I find it so much more engaging than facebook or google plus. And I’ve been able to make a good number of book sales just through connecting with other users and getting to know them.

The twitterlands is such a vibrant space. I love tuning in. However, sometimes I feel like I’m at loss as how to increase my follower count or become more engaging. I think the secret formula is to be yourself and try to start some interesting conversation threads. Also, I think this needs to be supplemented by putting out more books and art in general.

I’m writing all this mainly because one of my tweets really took off at the start of May. You can read it below.

It’s such a simple tweet and I didn’t expect people to respond to it so well. I do sincerely believe communication is key in all relationships. 185 retweets and 226 favorites is crazy to me. Imagine if I maintained that consistency throughout my timeline. This gave me the boost I needed to see what else I can with twitter and how far my reach can extend.

I’ll keep y’all posted on what happens and follow me on twitter bruh bruh.

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(Seoul)ful Beginnings

A few of you might be wondering what the hell I’ve been up to and why this space has been so quiet. Well, that’s a good question. I’ve been settling into my new command in Seoul, South Korea. Originally, I was supposed to be going down to Daegu. Then some bigwigs decided to just keep me in Seoul which is cool since this is a poppin city.

I finally got some internet in my life so I’ll be able to keep y’all updated more frequently. I know haven’t dropped any art in a while, but a few things have been bubbling behind the scenes and have finally came to fruition.

First bit of news: I got a new short story titled “A Home-Cooked Meal” published in the newest issue of Dark Moon Digest. This is my first publication in 2016 and I’ve been wanting to get in this magazine for a long time. Plus, I set this story in Spain and sprinkled in a good amount of Spanish.

Second bit of news: Chris Lambert (author of Killer & Victim, and editor at Red Fez magazine) asked me to record the intro for a new podcast that’s focused on craft, writing, etc. for Red Fez. Of course I had to jump on the opportunity and you can hear the final result at the link below.

I know it’s only May, but I have a few more surprises up my sleeve. So keep your eyes here.

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King Space Void (Book Review)

51LS2O93OKL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBeing in the military I tend to a travel a lot, to the point where airports are my third home.  On the way back from LA (specifically #AWP16) I settled into the exit row and cracked open King Space Void by bizarro newcomer Anthony Trevino.

Dane Shipps works inside the guts of a giant planet eating entity known as King Space Void. He never questions his existence or the floating God he worships until a couple of pods make a crash landing into his workspace. He meet a dangerous woman who makes him question his existence and he joins her to meet King Space Void, collect some answers, and ultimately destroy his God to save the universe.

This is one of those books that makes you question blind faith, becoming a cog in a corrupt corporation, and becoming “woke” in general. Trevino does it in subtle way  and doesn’t bang you over the head with social commentary. His prose is crisp and the novella doesn’t overstay its welcome.

King Space Void is a fun slice of Kirbyesque bizarro sci-fi and a solid debut from Anthony Trevino. I’m excited to see what else Trevino has to offer in the future.

Buy it here:

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The #AWP16 Experience

dark delicacies book signing.jpgLast Thursday I flew into LA for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs aka #AWP16. I stayed at the Milner Hotel (about a 15 minute walk to the convention center). The first day I ate some food at Big Wangs, solo dolo, came back to the hotel and passed out. I woke up, called an uber and went to the Book Show, a cool independent bookstore, to watch a bunch of book readings. I got to see some impressive readings from old and new friends such as Gabino Iglesias, J. David Osborne, Rios De La Luz, David James Keaton, and Cameron Pierce. I linked up with a few of the people above and we cruised over to Angel City Brewery had a few beers and talked about life. It was a cool open space with tons of crisp graffiti and interesting food trucks and vendors outside.

Friday, I grabbed a smoothie from Whole Foods and ventured over to the convention bukowski, me, and andrew.jpgcenter to actually see what AWP was about. There are rows upon rows of tables full of publishers, mfa programs, vendors, etc. It’s a bit overwhelming. Everyone wants to know if you write fiction and/or poetry, and wants you to buy their books. I linked up with Laura Lee Bahr and she introduced me to a bunch of people including Francesca Lia Block before bringing me over to the Eraserhead table. It was cool to link up with everyone again. Brian Allen Carr and Andrew James Stone invited me out to lunch and we had some great seafood. I went back to AWP and bought way too many books. Later on, a big group of us went to The Stocking Frame, a moody restaurant for the LitReactor/Broken River Books after party. We all sort of floated around and decided not to go to the reading afterwards because there were may too many readers and it would’ve been exhausting sitting through that.

Saturday, I grabbed another smoothie and a pitaya bowl from Whole Foods. Some random lady stopped me to ask about the bowl and we had a good laugh. I went back to AWP and ran into Brian Allen Carr again. He invited me out for some sushi with a friend of his. If you’re ever in LA, go to Sugarfish. The sushi was spectacular. I drifted around AWP the rest of the afternoon and bought a few more books. I attended a panel featuring Aimee Bender and a few others about weirdness in fiction. It was jam-packed and had me thinking about the weird aspects of crowd.  Then I went to the Etheria Film Fest VIP party with Andrew James Stone. We walked in and there were a ton of people dressed up as horror characters and a random kid dressed in a Michael Jackson type jacket doing backflips across the room. Ron Jeremy was chillin on a chair with a small posse. He dipped out about five minutes later and I swear the party got extra lame. They started letting everyone and anyone in. David Agranoff and I decided to be petty-next door and made fun of random people dancing. We went outside where all the cool kids were and chilled. Andrew and I dipped out, picked up M.P. Johnson and looked for the AWP rooftop party downtown. We tried to get in the side to avoid the line, but a guy stopped us and informed us that the party had ended at 9 pm. I guess literary types can’t stay up late.

book signing 2.jpgSunday, I grabbed yet another smoothie and the people over at Whole Foods knew my name by this point. I laid around the hotel and listened to music before I copped an uber to Dark Delicacies for my first book signing. There were a bunch of other cool bizarro writers signing books too.  I sat in between Michael Kazepis and Bix Skahill (I still need to write a book for him) and we cracked jokes and attempted to sell some books. I only sold a couple, but it was still a fun time. I dipped out a half hour early to join Laura Lee Bahr and friends for sangria.

I came away from #AWP16 feeling all sorts of feels. Shout out to Laura Lee Bahr, Andrew James Stone, and Brian Allen Carr for keeping me company the majority of the convention. And shoutout to all my other people (you know who you are). Now I’m motivated, inspired, and ready to finish a couple books I’ve slowly been chipping away.

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Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine (Book Review)

bde697edc576f03f4f2e4d8c8d1cf59e.jpgWhen I first picked up Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine I was immediately drawn in by the title and the eye-catching covers. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a blaxploitation comic book or some sort of prison related storyline. I was wrong on nearly all counts.

Bitch Planet is basically patriarchy run wild. Imagine a world were women can be reported for just about anything (seduction, talking back, in-compliance, etc.) and get sent to a prison-like planet called Bitch Planet. They’re supposedly being rehabilitated, but everyone knows its mind games and torture. No one is escaping Bitch Planet.

However, a group of females plan to defy the odds by breaking out of Bitch Planet and taking down the very system that has imprisoned them. They hope to achieve this by participating in an advanced form of football, but there’s a lot of backstabbing and drama going on behind the scenes.

Kelly Sue DeConnick does a great job of showing a world where women have no autonomy whatsoever. A group of shady individuals known as Fathers seem to run the government and have no sympathy for women . Plus, I can’t forget to mention Valentine De Landro who handles art duties except for Issue #3 (Robert Wilson IV). Landro utilizes crisp bold lines and an emphasis on heavy shadows to bring these characters to life. Nothing too fancy, but just right for this type of comic book series.

Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine is a fun yet compelling comic book that really opens up discussion about intersectional feminism and the ills of a patriarchal society without being too heavy-handed. I can’t wait for Vol. 2 to drop.

Buy it here:

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March Madness

I’m recovering from a slight col12809791_10153566743296553_4256995813350651092_n.jpgd, but we’re on the winning side. I graduated from broadcasting school earlier this week and successfully made it out of Maryland. I had a crazy nosebleed after graduation and bled all over my dress blues uniform and looked like the hottest mess alive. Now, I’m back in the Chicagoland area floating around like a ghost.

I submitted the cannibal hippies in the desert book known as God’s Leftovers to a special press I’ve been wanting to work with for a long time. They liked the initial pitch so I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll love the final product.

I’ve been knocking the rust off my tarot skills as you can see in the picture above. Just call me Young Tarot. I did some tarot reading for one of my instructors and it turned out to be accurate. He was worried I invited some spirits into his home haha.

Besides that, I have my business cards ready to go for AWP in LA. I may have gone overboard ordering 150 of em, but who knows how poppin I’ll be out there. Plus, I have stacks upon stacks of my first books coming in the mail soon. I’ll be slinging some books while I’m out there and I’ll be part of mass book signing at Dark Delicacies with a few other dope writers.

I can’t wait to hit the studio after my throat gets back up to speed. I need my voice to be golden to hit the booth.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you I’m flying out to Seoul, South Korea for my next duty station in the middle April. So there’s a lot of moves to be made before then.

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Graveyard Love (Book Review)

cover - Adlerberg.jpg

I’ve seen Scott Adlerberg’s name floating around the crime fiction community and I’ve heard good things. He has a few books out, but I chose to dive into Graveyard Love since it’s his most recent release and it’s published by Broken River Books.

Kurt Morgan still lives with his mom and takes frequent walks in the graveyard across the street. In the middle of a harsh winter, Kurt becomes obsessed with mysterious redhead woman who visits a certain grave at random times. He begins spying on her and then he starts to follow her. In the meantime, he’s stressed out while working on his mother’s memoirs. He finds out that the redhead has a lover and shit hits the fan from that point onward.

Adlerberg immerses us into this dark psychopath’s world through a first person narrative. There were moments where I empathized with Kurt to the point where I had to take a step back once he starts taking his obsession to the upmost extremes. I thought Kurt was just a sad guy living with his mom and dealing with a lot of pressure. Then he starts flying off the handle and I still want him to come back down to earth. Like c’mon Kurt you don’t need to get violent now; you’re really doing the most. You’re better than this (I think).

It’s hard to categorize this book plus I detest labels. It’s a potent gumbo composed of mystery, thriller, and crime fiction elements that all work together to bring you that flavor. Plus, the ending is phenomenal (you gotta see for yourself).

Graveyard Love is a fine piece of crime fiction and Adlerberg expertly strings the reader through Kurt Morgan’s frazzled psyche and shows you how far a person is willing to go for their obsessions.

Buy the book here:

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