Wednesday Warren – [CENSORED]

Any fool can swear. It takes true genius, though, to turn vulgarity into poignancy, a trick Warren Zevon manages with the song, “My Shit’s Fucked Up,” from the album Life’ll Kill Ya.

iTunes album link:

Memory Monday – Superman!


Action Comics

Because no matter what you did to celebrate the Bicentennial, it can’t possibly compare to Superman going back in time to make sure the Declaration of Independence is placed safely on the proper table for its signing.

(From Action Comics #463, Sep. 1976. Written by Cary Bates. Art by Curt Swan and Tex Blaisdell.)

This Week in Rejection!: Amazing Stories

A little context for this one…

Still a young ‘un (probably 13 or 14), I sent off my second-ever short story to TSR’s Amazing Stories magazine. The story was your basic haunted house tale. I think I tried to put some kind of twist in there, but I’m probably wrong. I was 13 (or 14)! What did I know about twists?

Anyway, the story begins with a description of the façade of the house, which is — of course — ramshackle and decrepit. Except for the front door. For some reason, I thought it enhanced the mystery and general weirdness of the house if the front door was in perfect shape. Brand-new. Everything else was falling down, but that front door was pristine. And so, in my description, I wrote of this tumbling-down house and included the line, “The fact that the front door was still intact was amazing,” trying to get across the sheer improbability of it, given the state of the rest of the house.

Click for a bigger version to read the editor’s reaction. Ouch. I’m sure he didn’t know he was putting a knife through a thirteen-year-old’s heart.


Amazing Stories rejection

Wednesday Warren – Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

I love songs that have their own mythology to them, songs that imply a rich backstory, but proceed in medias reslike great epics.

“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” from Warren Zevon’s brilliant album Excitable Boy is just such a song, recounting the story of a mercenary so hardcore and so tough that even after having his head blown off, he keeps roaming the earth. I used to dream of writing a story in which Roland shows up as a minor character and finally finds his damn head.

The eternal Thompson gunner, still wandering through the night
Now it’s ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland’s Thompson gun
And bought it

And here’s the man himself, crooning about Roland at the behest of David Letterman…

iTunes album link:

The album version is great (of course), but the live version on Learning to Flinch is truly amazing:


For roughly a year now, I’ve been teasing the existence of the graphic novel Colleen Doran and I have been working on. Well, the time for teasing is over. The book has a cover and a name and a premise, and we’re ready to share!

Click on over to this page for the skinny. And be sure to visit for a little “trailer” of the graphic novel, as well as the chance to sign up for the sample chapter that will be available soon!