Surfing the Mucus Tsunami

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m almost nearly over the Portland Plague of 2012.  Basically I have a Nickelodeon studio set up in my sinuses, and neon green slime keeps flowing out of it.  How did I become infested with this grime, this gunk, this gooey Gak© of seasonal disease?  BizarroCon, that’s how.

me, Nick Gucker, my wife: all coordinated and shit like this is The Warriors.

Last weekend was the annual council of the weirdos, where my wife and I travel out to the misty mountains of Oregon to meet my publisher and get rowdy in the name of reading.  It’s a weird tradition, but that’s us.  Special thanks to our day jobs for allowing us the off time to celebrate literacy in our own way.

Weird, perverse, disturbing, insane literacy.

“Quick! Put a candle in me!”

The trip was physically taxing but spiritually invigorating.  It’s like diving down into some deep lagoon full of treasure and weird little singing and dancing sea monsters.  It’s great fun, a delirious multi-colored oxygen-sucking joyride through the boundaries of all that you once thought was real.

My house has a lot of plushy monsters in it

So here’s the gist of what happened.

Thursday morning I went into a gas station to get coffee for the ride up to the airport, only to run into an old friend from middle school who broke into my truck and stole my radio in high school.  He was on his way to work, and was even pretty nice to me, but I didn’t tell him that I’d be away from my house for the weekend.

I rejoined my wife in the car, we went to Atlanta, got on a plane, and took a deep breath.


Turns out John Skipp looks like a fucking boss in a bathrobe.  And Brian Keene = Wisdom for Life.  Winning marital supplements in a greasy bag.  Shane McKenzie doing what shall be henceforth called a “reating,” an epically disgusting mixture of reading and eating.  Pillow monsters made by unicorn expert Kirsten Alene.  Stories about being a federal prisoner, told by one of the nicest dudes in existence.  Reality porn, and the potential book advertising therein.  Lightning bolts of love to the face.  “Let me borrow your pen, I’ll give it back,” says Kevin L. Donihe.  “Goodbye forever, pen,” says David W. Barbee.  Chris Reynaga singing Tori Amos.  Mykle Hansen hosting the shit out of us.  Talking with Carlton Mellick III in the rain.  Fixing Bradley Sands’ shoe with a butter knife… he seemed impressed.  Putting events into place that caused a ballroom full of people to gobble like turkeys.  Slinking away when people call for volunteers.  Laura Lee Bahr and Jeremy Robert Johnson overtaken by that tidal wave of sticky sweet honey called victory (buy their books).  Readings, performances, shows, songs, all swirling around me like a Technicolor school of fish shooting sparks from their eyes and then…



Now I wait, and recover from the sickness of nearly drowning in awesome.  We’ll go back again next year, and maybe I’ll write a pitch that doesn’t foot-fuck its own face in the workshop.  Christmas is coming soon.  January is scheduled to be big in the schemes I’ve made.  A whole year till I take the dive again.  I’ve decided to pacify myself with this soon-to-be famous bit of internet bliss:


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