“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Friday, August 16, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA LISTENS TO AMERICAN SABOR



Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, reviews American Sabor, a great book about Latinx music in the U.S.A..

Pachucos can boogie:


Ritchie Valens sells Mexican folk to rock and rollers:


Santana plays Tito Puente:


Selena goes tropical:


And Los Lobos bring back traditions:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL THE ERNESTO WAY



People ask for my writing advice, even though after decades of pounding my fists bloody at the gates, New York still treats me like the most talented leper they’ve ever met. I don’t know how to take a manuscript and tweak it so it’ll sell right away. I don’t have a secret formula for writing a bestseller (and I have noticed that people who claim to have one have never had a bestseller).

What I do have is a whole lot of decades worth of experience as a writer, and getting published. I’ve had the cheap thrill of being called a genius, and I was smart enough to realize just how cheap it was. People seem to be amused by what I have to say about it.

Maybe it’s educational. Maybe it’s just entertaining.


Anyway, I’m currently working on Zyx; Or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin, and the going is getting weird. The joyous noodling around has gotten long, and complicated, and now screams for structure. I have multiple characters and plot lines that would go totally out of control if I just kept noodling. 

Try selling a novel built like a plate of spaghetti . . .

When I start writing anything,(including this) I make notes in brackets and all caps. I’ve found it to be a good way to outline my ideas, put down things that should be included from brainstorming and research. As I write, I delete what’s been covered, and go on.

Things have gotten so bizarre with Zyx that I’ve started putting the bracketed notes in boldface to make finding them easier . . .


Even though I do some outlining--stuff needs to be hung on a framework--I’m more of a pantser than planner. Being an artist trapped in a writer’s career, images come before words, and I like to keep them loose and sketchy. That’s because things change as you work on them.

As a writer, I’ve spent most of my life building a story-making machine in my brain. It goes way down into my subconscious. It’s always gathering things I see, hear about, and experience, selecting the best of the weird shit and rearranging it into stories.

Now and then you have to stop, take a deep breath, pull your nose out of the details, step back, and take a look at what the hell the big picture is becoming.


The good thing is, I don’t have to think about it; it works when I’m going around taking care of the day-to-day business. The bad thing is, like Emily and I have often said, a short story is like a bout with the flu, while novels are more like demonic possession. The monster in the back of my brain takes on a life of its own and demands more of my synapses, because it wants a more complex structure. The abstract expressionist splatter/jazz solo mutates into a widescreen, holographic, CGI symphony/Diego Rivera mural.

Try that while having a job, a family, and all the usual stuff of life!

Some people have the foolish idea that this is some kind of civilized activity. Heh-heh-heh.

So go ahead, try this at home. Stand back. See what happens.

I should probably get down to doing it rather than writing about it . . .


Friday, August 2, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA HAS FUN WITH VIRGINS & TRICKSTERS



Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, review Virgins & Tricksters by Rosalie Morales Kearns.
She's Puerto Rican/Pennsylvania Dutch:


Which can cause translation difficulties:


With an apocalypse:


And some santeria:

Thursday, July 25, 2019

BUY MEDUSA IN THE GRAVEYARD


That's right, my wife, Emily Devenport's new book, Medusa in the Graveyard, is on sale now! So go to your favorite online bookseller, or even a physical bookstore, and buy it.

Yes, it's the sequel to Medusa Uploaded.

Do it now!

Friday, July 19, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA TELLS HOW TO WIN THE EXTRA-FICTION CONTEST




Over at La Bloga, Chicanonautica announces the second annual Extra-Fiction contest, and give advice on how to win it.

Because, once again, I'm the judge:


Stories can in English, Spanish, or Ingléspañol:


Or maybe like this:


And I do expect my mind to be blown:

Monday, July 15, 2019

THE EXTRA-FICTION CONTEST RIDES AGAIN


Good news, American writers of indigenous-hispanic background (Native American, Chicanan, Latina/o/x) born in the USA or from Latin America residing in the USA! Somos en escrito is doing a second annual Extra-Fiction Contest. And I'm going to be picking the winners again. All the details on the prizes, rules, and how to enter are on the link.

So go ahead, blow my mind.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

ZYX TWEAKED


My novel-in-progress Zyx; Or, Bring Me the Brain of Victor Theremin is roaring along as I grab time to work on it as I run the gauntlet of my life. Since I don't always write linearly, I often go back, rewrite, rearrange, so I ended up adding something to the original opening section that I posted last year (I'm leaving it up for you cultural historians out there). This new opening gives more of a clue to the craziness to come:
 
Victor Theremin woke up in the middle of the night needing to piss.

It pulled him out of another dream where Death came to him as a candy skull-faced Catrina. She had glowing, ectoplasmic breasts on her naked rib-cage, nipples dripping black milk that smelled like fresh-cut peyote. What could lurk between her legs?


Friday, July 5, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA GOEST TO TRUMPTOPIA



The Fourth of July was on Chicanonautica's watch over at La Bloga.

So we looked for America:


Democratic hopefuls tried to speak Spanish:


Some Latinos are for Trump:



And we ended up on Whiskey Row:

Monday, June 24, 2019

UNFIT/PEACECON UPDATE


Good news fans of the time-honored physical book experience. Unfit Magazine Vol. 3, with my story “PeaceCon,” featuring my futuristic lucha libre character Steelsnake, is available in paperback for $3.99.

What the hell, here's a link to the site where you can buy it. Facebook seems to think that the site violates their community standards, so they won't allow links to it.

This is similar to what they were doing to La Bloga, refused allows links to it for years, then it mysteriously and abruptly stopped with out an apology or explanation as to what the infernal violations were.

Violating community standards is the story of my life.

Better include a link to the link where you can buy Unfit Magazine Vol. 3, just in case.

Guess Unfit really is “Fiction that isn't fit for 'Them.'”

Or as editor Daniel Scott White said, “I named it Unfit for a reason.”

Friday, June 21, 2019

CHICANONAUTICA ATTACKED BY THE HAUNTED GIRL




Chicanonautica reviews Lisa M. Bradley's The Haunted Girl at La Bloga.

It's got poetry:


And blurs the line with prose:


Aztlán desert weirdness:


And teratomas:


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