Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Veganic garden pics

I'll post more pictures when the garden starts feeding us.

Cari waters the herb garden...

Carrots, lettuice and cucumbers...

Corn n' squash

Beets n' green beans

Vegan prom pictures

Purple Rain 70's and 80's style vegan prom here in PDX!
Food donated by blossoming Lotus,Papa gs organic vegan Deli,Proper eats and Black sheep Bakery. Prizes donated by Herbivore clothing, Vita cafe and Bob's red mill!

TVW sponsored by integrated medicine group and NW Veg!

Photo 1: Vegan Prom organizers Cari Beltane and Deanna Cintas

Photo 2 : Best dressed may have been better titled most effort!

Photo 3 : The dance floor!

The Desert: intense military horror!

The Desert by Bryon Morrigan
Dark Hart Press $16.25 (through powell’s here in Portland)
278 pages

This is a great first novel written by a newcomer that I read over a month ago and kept forgetting to post a review of. Set in a dual time line of the early days of the latest U.S. invasion of Iraq and a more current atmosphere of the conflict. The desert is only the second horror novel I’ve read to address the current war. The only other one I know of is John Shirley’s underrated HellBlazer tie-in Warlord.

I am not sure what the author did when he was military intelligence but his bio says that was his job. The experience shines on every page and gives the author a credibility important to the overall impact of the book.

A story of ghosts and demons haunting the arena of conflict reminded me of the Korean film R Point however the desert is better plotted and executed. The scares are piled on like a thick gravy on mashed potatoes. There is a lot here for horror junkies to get there fix on. Zombies, ghouls,ghosts all make themselves apart of the show in solid way that is never gratuitous. The setting sets this novel apart and it is highly recommended.

Is it perfect? It’s a pretty amazing book that will establish Morrigan as an author on the rise. As a reader I only found two things to nitpick.

A lot of the reviews have compared this book to Aliens as a military drama. I wish I had not read that blurb on the back of the book because it highlighted for me a major difference and the only weakness in the Desert. The desert focuses on three characters through the majority of the action. In Aliens Cameron did an excellent job of setting up brief but memorable characterizations so when the aliens started picking off people we felt each one. Each death brought a strong impact.

Morrigan did a great job with the characters but this book needed a few more characters to flesh it out. Certainly as a writer I understand how hard it is to juggle so many characters but it’s an essential element of the military drama. The only other minor criticism I have was the over use of exposition. The characters did a lot of explaining in long dialogues.

That being said I look forward to more work from this author. The action was intense, the tension solid and it played amazingly well as movie in my head.

Try Vegan Week Photos

Photo 1: Beccky puts new vegans together with mentors at the opening event.

Photo 2: Vegan powered Bike rally meets at the vegan Mini-mall.

Photo 3: White Lies: anti- Dairy lecture at Sweet Pea Vegan Bakery.

Some of my favorite photos from Try vegan Week Portland June 7th to the 14th 2008

We mentored 24 new vegans. Every night of the week we had about 30 people at the workshops and 58 on Thursday night of the week. We came in under our budget and we learned alot to make next year bigger and better.

Thanks to Heather,Chris, Mindy, Randall, Liz, Deana, Chelsea, Ren, Peter, Jill, robert,Nettie, Chef al, Donna, Mat rossel,Beccky, ron, Liene and others I am sure I forgot. Sorry...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Book deal,book signing and a new blurb

Sorry the updates have been slim, as I post this I’m one day away from the biggest event I’m ever been apart of organizing. That’s here if your interested. To the point of the post.

First and foremost! Two book deal with Afterbirth books in Seattle. I submitted the second edition of my short story collection Screams from a Dying World. After reading it Afterbirth not only only offered to publish it but extended an invitation to also publish my first novel.

So after discussing a little bit of the details were moving ahead. This is exciting because I love the women over at afterbirth, and they recently published duncan b.barlow’s novel supercell anemia. Duncan is an old friend and was a huge influence on me to become a writer and even vegetarian. (You must get duncan’s uber strange novel!)

So up first will be the second edition of Screams from a Dying World. This edition will include the same six stories as the first edition but much more. It will be a trade paperback with new artwork, with 5 new short stories and a novella. Double the length of the first edition so I am stoked.

In other Screams news got a new blurb for the first edition I’ve been sitting on…

“David Agranoff’s Screams From a Dying World is a kaleidoscopic burst of strange stories and righteous anger, balanced by a real concern for the future of our species, and more importantly, the ever-more-ravaged sphere we inhabit. Ghosts (both vengeful and sweet), omni-sexual mutants, angels, aliens, and the arrival of a wonderful new voice— what more can you ask for from a one-sitting read”- Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of Angel Dust Apocalypse and Extinction Journals

So what comes after Screams…

Afterbirth books will release my Wuxia pan / dark fantasy / horror novel Hunting the Moon Tribe. This novel began life as a screenplay Hunting the Moon Tribe was a first-round finalist in the Dimension Films Open Door screenwriting contest in 2002, and a quarter-finalist in the Nicholl Fellowship contest(non-professional contest sponsored by the Oscars) in 2004.

Fans of Chinese Ghost story, the Bride with White Hair have found the novel of their dreams. I tried to pay loving homage to films in that genre while giving it my own spin. I’m currently working on a third and final draft. Really proud of how it’s going.

After that I’m on summer vacation and going to try to do a one month novel. My buddy Gina Ranalli recently wrote a one month novel House of Fallen Trees. Her first horror novel and it blew me. So in the spirit of healthy competition I wanted to see if I could do it myself. Armed with an outline I’m starting in July. We’ll see.

Speaking of July…

Chicago Bizarro fiction fest!
July 10th 7 PM at Quimby’s bookstore in Chicago’s wicker park

David Agranoff co-editor of The Vault of Punk Horror
Garret Cook of author of Murderland
Eckhard Gerdes author of My Landlady the Lobotomist
D.Harlan Wilson, Author of Dr. Idenity

Reading, signing and providing you with books!