Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crack The Darkest Sky Wide Open: The Cover Revealed

The cover for Crack The Darkest Sky Wide Open, the anthology which also includes stories by Tj Klune, S.a. McAuley, Abigail Roux, SJD Peterson, and introducing Jason Huffman-Black. Set for release May 17th, 2013... of the Common Era. Cover artist Kealan Patrick Burke.

"Of humanity there are darker tales. Stories that take some squinting to see through. Unconventional stories. Tales that threaten to break the heart by cruel twists of fate, the dogs of war, or demons that are all too real; whether they be of unrequited love or a karmic slap in the face. Happy endings take a time in coming, and some never arrive. But through all the darkness there is light, a glimmer of hope and wonder...if one has the will to see it."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life in a Northern Town, Part 1

I'm running this story here first just to see what type of response it gets. It's a serialized story of four short chapters. If it goes well - I'm writing it week to week - I'll expand on it:

He sings, his voice as thin as tissue paper.  Not saying that it's a delicate thing. He can tear your heart right out, by god. His song is a sad, plaintive thing. All of them are. He's begging us, begging me, to listen, to try and understand the pain. It's just him and his guitar. Every weekend he's up there on that tiny stage in this dark pub on the edge of a mining town.

And he's beautiful. Not in the rock star way. His nose is maybe slightly crooked and his face can look a bit drawn in the wrong light. Sometimes he lets his hair grow long and then seems to forget about ever combing it. But his eyes are rocks of wisdom and sorrow. His fingers chisel through that pain. They're the only ones that seem to know how.

His name is Nick.

During the week he works in the mines like me. I see him, but I doubt if he's ever seen me. He doesn't seem to see anyone. In that we are similar. Both of us keeping to ourselves. I don't know what's on his mind and more than I know the day I'll die. My own mind is filled with thoughts of home. Of my da. He's dying, you see. Ain't no use in trying to deny that. He's been dying for a couple of years now, every day worse than the one before. My da is a good man. He's worked in these mines since he was 13, even before he met my poor departed ma. They got him in the end, though. The mines get a lot of us. They're selfish places and you should know it going in. I mean, they're called "mines." It's right in the name, ain't it?

Da knows how important these weekend trips to the pub are to me. Especially when Nick is singing. He insists I go. "Git," he says in between deep, phlegm-laden coughs. "Go see your singer friend."

"We ain't friends, Da," I tell him. "I don't even know him. Just like to hear him sing."

"Well, go hear him sing then. I'll be fine here with your aunt Beverly. She takes good care of me. Now, git. Have yourself a good time." If he had any money, he'd give it to me.

Auntie Bev takes good care of him, it's true. But I still worry. He's my da. I worry I won't be there when the mines take him. Eventually I'm convinced, though, and I head to the pub once my auntie arrives. And so, here I am.

What's this, then? Deep in thought, I was, and he looks straight at me. I'm in the very back of the pub, keeping to myself and leaning against the wall with a beer in hand, but I swear he looked right at me just then. Oh, my heart, my breath. Right at me! I never seen two prettier stones in all my years in the mines. I better pay up and leave. Ain't no way the night will get any better than that. Man oh man. This is something to tell me da.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The List: Books and Botox

1. My sister, Amy Morrison, aka Amy Arvin, has been hired by Empire Press to do the cover for my upcoming books The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles & Men and its fabtastic prequel Azrael & The Light Bringer. This is in no way nepotism. Believe me. If anything we're Joan Fontaine and Olivia De Havilland. (Does anyone get that, or am I too much of a nerd?) Here's a sample of her work and the style we're aiming for:

2. Cover artist Paul Richmond has chosen Woke Up in a Strange Place as his favorite cover he's ever done. I remember first seeing this and my jaw literally dropping. I might have even drooled. I'm gross. Clearly, one of the best covers of 2011 and if I were a better selling writer, Paul would have won something for it.

3. My men and music site Daventry Blue is now officially closed. It was a lot of fun, but I had said everything I needed to say with that blog, that being "Hubba hubba wonka wonkaa ooooo!" I appreciate the thousands and thousands of visitors. You made four years of my life fly by. I WANT THEM BACK!!

4. The French version of Simple Men is set for release on February 12th. This joins the Spanish, Italian, and, of course, English versions. Unfortunately, I'm not fluent in any of those three languages, so I have no idea what I wrote.

5. I had my first botox treatment. How do I look?

Seriously, though, it was for my foot. My face is still as Arvinian as ever.

6. Woke Up in a Strange Place was mentioned in another book! How cool is that? Jackson Cordd discusses it in his book Cleats in Clay. I'm a pretty girl, Momma! Now, I can leave this planet with my alien brethren with the knowledge that my name will live on.

7. And finally, Tj Klune, me very own boyfriend, won the Goodreads M/M Romance group award Best M/M Romance of all time for Bear, Otter & The Kid. I'm so veddy veddy proud! That book is going to be read and loved for years to come. Which is awesome. Because he's coming with me. In space. With the aliens. Where no one can hear him scream. In bed.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Ramble...without corrections

Reading House Of Leaves by {Mark Z. Danieleski     }, and it has inspired me. This is what I shall do with my hospital exoeriences from a few years back when I was in there for pnuemonia. It would make a great horror epic. Believe me, it was a horrifying experience. All kinds of doors I maybe shouldn't open again. But what the hell. It's not like aanything supernatural will actually happen if I DO write my experiences down. OR WILL IT?  I like doing ALL CAPS intermittently. There's a blogger and designer named David Mason Chlopecki who wwrites these hilarious and often very touching rants weaved through his other posts of very fetishy guys, and he has transformed the use of ALL CAPS into an art form. I recommend his site, House of Vader. Hmmm. Two "houses" in a row. One of leaves, the other of vader. I assure you that was wholly unintentional. OR WAS IT holy unintentional?? Like some divine thing just seeped into my brain, or some subconscious thing is bubbling up. What will I think of next? If it deals with homes we'll know I'm right. Alas, no. A new song by The Chevin just came on and my mind was diverted? distracted? My attention was taken off the houses as I admired the instrumentation and production values of the song. The song is called "Drive". I guess one could live in his car, like a house. Many have. By the by, I occasionally do these rants in my attempt to fissh for ideas for my writing. I'm not going crazy. i'm ALREADY THERE!! We all go a little crazy sometimes. That was PSYCHO, Right? Norman Bates? I hear there's a TV series baased on that story coming soon. TV has gone very dark the last few years. There are so many shows about serial killers with said killers as the leads. AMERICAN HORROR STORY was a let down this season, huh? Hey, Ryan Murphy. You don't hve to use EVERY idea your writers throw least not in one season. But what do i know? He's succesful. Must be doing something right. Or maybe the viewers bloodlust is just so damn higgh. We're all Romans in the Colisseum, yrlling for more blood, more gore, and we want it now. Shock us. But that's impossible. Some of us have been through enough in real life to be desensitized by the fake gore on screen. Wow. That felt too deep. I've given too much away. I might shave my beard. This weather is drying me out. It's gross. I'm gross. Grossy Josey. Ha. Drew Barrymore. Remember that movie? Which one was that? Never Been Kissed, I think. Ever see her in Grey Gardens? Amazing work. Who knew the little girl from ET had that in her. Every empire has a rise and a fall. We are here to keep records. I wonder if the man who invented time kicked himself when he started to age.I think I'm actually starting to be okay with my body. Wierd, huh? But then, I guess that comes with age. Is it wisdom or apathy? I might do this rambling thing more often. I'm thinking. Thinking hard. Is thinking hard? Damn. I've given too much away...again.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Top 10 Most Visited Posts of 2012

Click on titles to see the posts.

10. In which I posted photos of me and some of my book covers: The Author & His Work

9. In which I discuss my failures in gym class as an adolescent: Gym Class Hero

8. In which I channel Shakespeare...if he were a lousy poet: Sunday Morning Blog Poem

7. In which I unveil the cover for Zombie Boys, among other things: The List: A Few Little Things

6. In which I describe how I got sick and everything after: Me - The Story of a Fall

5. In which I tell of my future plans: The List: Big Things Ahead

4. In which I interview myself about GRL: Conversation with Myself About GRL

3. In which I show and tell what I did at GRL: The List: What I Did at GRL

2. In which I offer and excerpt of my pervy story from Seventh Window, 'Roids, Rumps, & Revenge":
 EXCERPT: 'Roids, Rumps, & Ravenge'

1. In which I posted a two part video of me and Tj Klune interviewing each other. In two days this got more hits than any of my other posts did all year: Eric Arvin/Tj Klune Epic Interview

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

EXCERPT: Honeysuckle Sycamore, Ch. 12 - The Finale


It was not hard for Honeysuckle Sycamore to find Peat Moss. The valley itself exposed the monster’s agitated rassling in the shallow water of the river as the sound of it echoed and bounced off the hills. The vengeful spirits had once again descended upon Peat Moss after having scattered in fear of Grit’s howl. They pecked and hammered mercilessly at him. Now there was no crossing back over to sanity for the giant, and this made his ferocity an even more dangerous thing.
            He rolled about in the river, struggling with an unseen adversary. He did not at first see Honeysuckle standing on the river bank with a determined rage in his eyes. The glaze of spirits had hampered his sight. Without waiting for the monster to pounce first, the Passion leaped into the stirred waters, bounding onto Peat Moss in a lightning flash. He had not moved as fast since the night Dogwood had been killed. This moment held the same intensity, but now he was not retreating.
            The action caught the monster off-guard, for he had never been confronted so. Honeysuckle knocked Peat Moss beneath the still churning current. It took all of the smaller sprite’s strength to do so. Yet, Peat Moss rose almost immediately with a deranged roar, the water pouring from him as if he were a mountain rising from the sea. Honeysuckle could now see the spirits which soared over and around Peat Moss like a towering cyclone. Peat Moss charged at him, throwing Honeysuckle across the river like a feather being tossed about by the wind. He landed on the banks, dazed, but would not give up until Peat Moss was gone from the valley for good. He rose just in time to see the monster’s red fire eyes glaring at him in lust and hate. But Honeysuckle was past fear. Something else took hold of him; that of the memory and hope of everything he had ever loved. Dogwood, Jess, Grit, the Valley, the River.
            Near him, he found a shard of rock; an arrowhead used by the valley folk for hunting, left behind years ago. He challenged the monster again, and the monster accepted.
            The immensity of Peat Moss would have decimated Honeysuckle on impact, and the smaller sprite knew this. So, just as they were about to collide, Honeysuckle leaped into the air, grabbing one of the long lichen tendrils of Peat Moss’ mane, and swung himself over and up until he was squat on the monster’s backside. He slashed at Peat Moss, cutting him deep, drawing thick, black streams of blood. Peat Moss howled in discomfort and anger, struggling to reach for Honeysuckle. But Honeysuckle dodged and gashed at the massive hands.
            The sprite reached around for Peat Moss’ throat, trying to find its vulnerability. He grabbed the monster’s mane, pulling out strands of lichen. Peat Moss’ head tilted back in a hateful growl, leaving his throat an easy target. Honeysuckle drew the arrowhead across it, and though blood was drawn, the skin was too thick, too rough. And it was too late.
            Peat Moss’ large hand found the sprite’s leg at last and pulled Honeysuckle over his head and into the river. There he held him, Honeysuckle struggling for air beneath the giant’s hands. An enormous sense of gratification and arousal overcame Peat Moss. He no longer noticed the banshees and spirits that still tried to thwart him. He drove into Honeysuckle with his thick penis even as he continued to drown him, holding the sprite’s head below water but his bottom up and open.
            Honeysuckle flailed beneath the monster’s hold, but it was of no use. His strength could never hope to match that of Peat Moss. He could no longer bare it, the pressure, the torturous need for air, the relentless pounding, and so let go. Let the euphoria come in. The lovely, terrifying euphoria. And as he did so he saw Dogwood in the water beside him. Lying on the river bed shaking his head, as if saying not to give up. But how could he win?
            Then something happened. The monster released Honeysuckle, and Dogwood faded like a wisp with a twinkle in his eye. Honeysuckle rose with a gasp, choking up water and struggling to stand aright. He was prepared to be knocked about again by the monster, to be played with. Perhaps, tortured for hours before being eventually killed. But Peat Moss was no longer interested in Honeysuckle. He stood silent and still in the water, staring to the shore as if mesmerized. Even the spirits had quieted around him.              
            Honeysuckle had drifted a ways down stream. He spotted Grit on the shore. She walked unsteadily toward the river’s edge, falling and thrashing as she came deeper into the current.
            “Grit, no!” Honeysuckle cried. “Go home, Grit!”
            But she did not listen. She didn’t even move her head as if she had heard him. Her attention was on Peat Moss alone. She waded to him and he waited for her. Honeysuckle tried to get to them, but hadn’t the strength now to cross the distance. The current was too strong.
            Soon Grit stood face to face with Peat Moss. He grunted in strange recognition of her, raising his hand for her face.
            “Grit!” Honeysuckle screamed, struggling through the water toward them.
            As Peat Moss touched Grit’s face, her expression changed from one of aching sorrow to harrowing contempt. A moan, plaintive at first, then cresting to a high-pitched rage, filled the air. Honeysuckle covered his ears and stared in awe. The spirits fled, scattering like leaves. Peat Moss also tried to hide from her deafening cry, but she caught his arm and he could not wrest it. Grit’s slit of a mouth suddenly curled and grew until it was a large hollow hole in her face. And then, to both the horror of Peat Moss and Honeysuckle, it stretched further until its size was surreal, mismatched with her form. Her face disappeared until only a gaping chasm of mouth could be seen, inside of which was nothing but blackness.
            Peat Moss struggled against her, but his strength was nothing now. He raged and hit at her, but it did no harm. Then, with one sudden movement, like a wave overtaking a village, Grit came down upon the mighty monster, swallowing him whole. The waters stirred in the spot where he had stood.
            “Grit?” Honeysuckle whispered.
            She stood silent for a moment, her arms out from her sides as if she were a scarecrow hung. Suddenly, she began to heave and convulse. With a sickening gag she vomited forth the remains of Peat Moss into the river. Black liquid mess. Down the hiding spirits descended around her, picking at what remained of the monster. Feasting on him as he had done on them. They crowded around Grit, shrouding her to the point that Honeysuckle could no longer see her. He knew she was there, though, for he could still here the sickening continuous regurgitation.
            And then it all stopped.
            The spirits scattered once more, content with their vengeance. Grit stood alone and wore out in the water. But as Honeysuckle came for her, something else happened. Everything about the Passion Grit began to soften and color. Parts of her seemed to melt away revealing a newer, fresher being. To Honeysuckle’s astonishment, before him in the river now stood Grit, though devoid of sorrow. She had eyes, real eyes, and a beautiful, bright smile.
            “Father,” she said loud and sure to Honeysuckle Sycamore. Her first word began the change in the valley. Better things to come.

            Honeysuckle Sycamore and Grit nursed Jess Bethel back to health. Jess was dazzled and delighted by Grit’s new self, and she delighted in doting on him the way he had on her. Jess giggled too at the tiny arguments Grit and Honeysuckle would get caught up in, like a father and child at times, other times like two adversarial playmates (“The sunflower is the prettiest flower!” “No! It’s the honeysuckle!”). When Jess was able, the three of them took walks through the lonely forest, admiring it in a way they hadn’t been able to before. With new eyes and free of fear.
            Soon after, the mood in the valley changed once more. The days became the stuff of yesteryear; sweetness and happiness and warm days. Forest creatures returned or came out of hiding and played openly on the banks of the river. Bumble-birds twitter-bussed through the air and deer paraded through the shallow streams. Word soon reached the ears of the outside world that the valley had returned to its true form. The monster Peat Moss had been destroyed. And so, little by little, the valley folk began to return. They reclaimed their places by the River, renewed their love and appreciation for the valley. When they discovered how Peat Moss had been defeated, they brought gifts and food to the Passions in the chapel, and even rebuilt the chapel itself, strengthening the walls and fixing the roof.
            Though nearly extinct, new Passions were being born every day once the valley folk returned. Born from nothing but love and frivolity. Once again, Passions were being chased from pumpkin patches by broom-wielding matriarchs. Once again, a poor scarecrow went naked through the summer and into autumn. Honeysuckle had never been happier. He knew Grit would be leaving soon, that she would want to go out and adventure as any sprite would. But he chose not to think on that. He chose instead to think on what was right in front of him in the valley by the river. Jess Bethel, Grit, and, when the moon was just right and he peered just so into the river’s current, his Dogwood.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The List:: Our Christmas Vacation

1. A little ditty I came up with whilst the snow storm was delaying my boyfriend's flight: 

"My boyfriend's pissed and he's gonna start a riot
Hey-la hey-la, my boyfriend's pissed
They told him not to come but he ain't gonna buy it
Hey-la hey-la, my boyfriend's pissed..."

2. My summation of the Paranormal Activity films I watched with Tj: guys are jerk holes. Listen to your wives, dipskittles! You gots a demons in your house!

3. Words from the dictionary of Arvin, otherwise known as E-pedia:

talkward - when one stumbles and stutters over words while the center of attention
cowsworth - as in, "that sandwich had a whole cowsworth of cheese on it!"
chesticles - first used in my Jasper Lane books, referring to a man's beefy pecs
truthsetto - like a falsetto, but more honest
Disney kiss - lips puckered, no tongue
"I once punched a mountain" -  Tj's interpretation of what I say and sound like when I'm on Ambien.
The Lurve - The famous Parisien museum...according to Tj
The Macedonian Era - According to Tj, some ancient era of time
monkery - the place where monks reside
testicle difficulties - According to Teej, technical difficulties...with your balls
donkey sham - "thank you"....a derivative of German

4. Listening to music deep into the night with someone who understands the simple pleasure and joy of listening to music: priceless. Yup. He's meant for me.

5. Burn, baby. Burn.

6. I have been told by someone who has read my horror manuscript The Rascal that it reminded him of the film Insidious, and now, after finally seeing the movie with Teej over New Years, I can indeed see it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

EXCERPT: Honeysuckle Sycamore, Ch 11


...Into the pitch of the woods Peat Moss carried the unconscious monk, Jess Bethel. Into the pitch of the woods followed every manner of spirit and phantasm, their cries of anger growing louder in the monster’s ears. He tried to block the wretched noise, covering one ear. In doing this, he let drop Jess’ legs so that now the monk was being dragged through the forest. But Peat Moss was not about to let go of his prize. He still held him in a constricting grasp.
            It was the appearance of a very real form, not an apparition, that halted the Passion’s trek. In front of him stood Grit, arms treading the air as if it were reeds she was searching through. Her face was vexed; she knew she was right upon it. That scent, that wisp of treachery she had been following stood directly in front of her now. The sense of danger she had felt that morning by the river, indeed, the sense of dread and grief that made up her very being, had never been stronger than it was at this moment.
            Peat Moss watched, Jess now being held by only one arm, as the blind sprite edged toward him. At the sight of her, he felt a curious kinship. He had known there was something of him in her. He felt her pain as an extension of his own self. He ventured forward, attempting to gain a close enough proximity as to touch her.
            Grit was immediately aware of his hate, his impending icy admiration. Peat Moss’ shadow crawled over her like a glacier imposing itself on an unsuspecting landscape. Grit recognized the scent of Jess, the pressure of his self in the air. He was not well. Her reaction was swift to this knowledge. With a cry that pierced through the spirits in the air, making them flee in fear, she shattered the frigid darkness that Peat Moss’ shadow cast.
            At once, he stepped back. Grit’s shrill aching cry made him double over. He dropped Jess completely to the forest floor, clasping his ears. Grit lurched and stammered over her own fear as she made for where she knew the monster to be. Her cry of anguish continued, and she reached for the Passion with long fingers that could rip a whole in the atmosphere. He had never seen such ferocity, not even his own when mirrored in the river could compare.
            Forgetting the monk where Grit now stood in some grand protective stance, Peat Moss fled into the woods with the spirits. He bellowed as his ears bled from the pain. Grit would have followed but he had fled too quickly. So, she returned her attention to the unconscious monk.
            As soon as he heard Grit’s wails ripped through the valley air Honeysuckle was racing to her. Dust and long grass flew in his wake. He felt a sudden guilt for having let her go alone into the forest. What if she had wandered into a cleft or a hunter’s trap? But then he realized the cry issuing forth from beneath the canopied hillside was not one of pain or fear. No, her wailing was like that of an animal on the hunt; an animal which, upon having caught its prey, was proclaiming victory before descending upon it. It made Honeysuckle shiver and he ran all the faster. He could not even feel the slight breeze, the flood of scattered spirits, as he ran through them on his way to find Grit.
            At last, he found her. She sat on the ground, holding Jess’ head in her hands as she moaned. Once understanding Honeysuckle was near, she reached for him pleadingly and he ran to her side and sunk to the ground. He feared Jess was dead, and quickly felt for his breath.
            “He lives!” Honeysuckle cried in relief. He kissed Jess gently on the forehead where honeysuckle-scented tears had fallen. Grit clung to Honeysuckle’s arm, her grip loosening once he had diagnosed Jess’ condition.
            Honeysuckle knew without asking what had happened. Only one thing, one force of nature, could cause him this kind of grief. He kissed Jess once again, but this time with adamant force on the mouth; a gesture like a promise. The young monk’s dazed eyes opened. Honeysuckle handed the care of Jess back to Grit.
            “You stay here, Grit,” Honeysuckle demanded. “You watch after our Jess.” He stood with as much purpose as he had ever done. “I have something to take care of.”
            Grit jerked as if she understand what Honeysuckle intended to do. She reached for him in an effort to stop him, but he was already gone.
            As he tread downhill, Honeysuckle Sycamore made the forest supplicant. His determination, his anger, his will, made every bow bend. Honeysuckle Sycamore was set to destroy Peat Moss once and for all.