Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Two blog entries in two days? Yet another sign of the coming apocalypse. Well, just a quick note to tell people I will be at The Bookworm, one of Carbondale's premiere used book sellers, for a rare signing and author gathering, a week from Saturday, May 10th, from 2-6 p.m. I urge anyone with the urge (or cash in their pocket) to come out and buy a book or two (preferably from me!). I will have copies of TALES FROM THE CELLAR, TRUNK TALES VOLUME 1, IN-FLIGHT MOVIE, (hopefully) CLOSE ENOUGH FOR SCREAMS, ALL SUMMER LONG and a surprise or two as well. I like to do volumes that are uniquely associated with the signing, so I might actually produce a few volumes of THE MAN WHO TOUCHED THE STARS, a story I wrote for my bookbinding class almost a year and a half ago and/or GAS STATION ROSE, a poetry volume that will be dedicated to the wonderful Ms. Stephanie (mentioned in previous blogs extensively). GSR might not be ready by then, though. Not really sure if I'll have the time.

Also, I will sell books from my publishing venture, Annihilation Press. There are three volumes available at present: FIENDS BY TORCHLIGHT by Wayne Allen Sallee, JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE by Lawrence Santoro and HELL IN THE HEARTLAND, an anthology of Illinois-based horror and dark fantasy written by Illinois writers (co-edited by the lovely Martel Sardina). I'll probably offer a bundle package for people who want to pick up all three...kinda like buying them at a yard sale, I reckon.

Anyway, hope everyone can make it.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Times is f@#%king tough!

I don't have to tell anyone who's gone to the gas pump lately that. Times are tough. I fueled up the Jeep Liberty (hereafter known as "Gas-guzzling monster") the other day. Put $40 in the tank. Got just over 11 gallons, about 3/4 a tank. I drove by a gas station on Saturday. The price then was $3.68 a gallon. On Sunday, it was $3.58 a gallon. How can gas prices change so quickly? I believe we're being gouged, my friends. Perhaps we're financing a war no one really cares about anymore. I think we might be. I wouldn't mind so much---IF SOMEONE WOULD JUST COME OUT AND SAY IT!!!! That, and the tragic loss of lives on both sides of the fence.

Anyway, the reason I got on this little bit of a rant was because I just paid my heating bill. I use natural gas, and danged if that ain't through the roof, too. Just like a seedy porno, they're getting us from both ends! I've been shutting the heat off when the kids aren't here and trying to walk to work whenever possible (about one day a week, given my schedule with the kids). I don't know what the answer is here....but there's got to be some relief somewhere. An "economic stimulus check" ain't gonna cut the mustard,'s just going into gas tanks and heating homes.

On a lighter note, I got a writing assignment from a publisher who's publishing a three-volume set on Global Warming. I put in for seven articles (I needs the money....see above) but they assigned me one article. I reckon they're seeing if the old redneck can cut the mustard as an article writer. Little do they know I've written, at one time or another, for The Southern Illinoisan, the Gazette Democrat and The Carbondale Nightlife. I find non-fiction writing a painful bore for the most part, but it pays better than fiction writing. At least, until I sell the Great American Novel for multi-millions.

Yeah, and gas will be fifty cents a gallon next week.

Times is f#@%cking tough indeed.

Hang in there, my friends. More later, Roger

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Yesterday morning, at approximately 4:30 a.m., we had a 5.4 earthquake rock southern Illinois. I was already up at the time, nursing an upset stomach. I walked into my little study (a converted walk-in closet) and my laserprinter was rattling. Then, I noticed that EVERYTHING was rattling. Fortunately, there was no severe damage. An aftershock went through the area later in the day at approximately 10:15 a.m. It was in the 4.~ range. Just a reminder that we had a fault line in the area. Many of us had forgotten (me included). Of course, in our paranoid times, the rumors that a nuclear explosion had gone off hit the internet within minutes. Someone claimed that a rogue military team from Scott Air Force Base (up closer to St. Louis) had ignited a nuclear weapon. Now, while I'm a firm believer in the old saying "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you", reality also has to play a part in your paranoia. A mushroom cloud would have been seen. Radiation would not have been far behind. I was a big fan of the now-cancelled tv series "Jericho" and I do believe there are factions in our society stupid enough it irradiate the world, I also hope we have sense enough to keep our nuclear weapons underwraps. Of course, that's a delusion on my part....we're stupid, they're stupid. That's why some confused moron can think he's going to Heaven by killing innocent people in the Twin Towers. Sure, I understand the symbolism of striking buildings that represented America's capitalism, but, really.....what did those people in the towers ever do to Allah? They were just living their lives, trying to survive. I sometimes wish we had a big boxing ring somewhere and the leaders of other countries would grow a spine and crawl in the ring together, duke it out. It makes more sense to me than sitting half the world away, hiding in a cave, sending a videotape of how you're going to create fear. It makes more sense that doing a "terror alert" scale to scare the people. We all want to feel safe, feel that our children are safe. Spreading fear and mistrust amongst ourselves is juvenile for a society capable of so much more than that. You don't like something another county is doing? Fine. Put on the gloves. I'm voting for Arnold when that happens.

But, I'm not holding my breath.

Besides, the New Madrid fault will suck us into the bowels of the Earth before it happens....thanks to a nuclear warhead's ignition, I'm sure.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Black Oak Arkansas

Last night, I walked down to Stix Bar and Billiards and saw one of the seminal southern rock bands of the 70's, Black Oak Arkansas. Sadly, BOA isn't as well remembered as, say, Lynyrd Skynyrd, but they should have been. Their frontman, Jimy "Dandy" Mangrum supposedly was the influence for David Lee Roth's stage attire and personae in Van Halen. Well, Jim Dandy hasn't changed much. He's a little thicker though the middle than in his 70's heyday, but the man was a fireball of energy and enthusiasm. To be blunt about it, it was one of the best shows I've seen in a long, long time. You would not believe a 60 year old man could have that sort of energy and charisma, but he does. One rather drunk gal, who was dressed in atypical "slutty" attire, gave Jim Dandy a long and passionate kiss. Later, I overheard her tell a girlfriend, "My husband's gonna kill me." Rock n' roll, ain't it grand?

Anyway, Black Oak Arkansas has been around since the mid-sixties. Named after Jim Dandy Mangrum's hometown, the band had a few hits including "Jim Dandy to the Rescue". They didn't play Brad Moore's (and my) personal favorite, "Lord have mercy on my soul".....but it was on the set list. Diana, Brad's lady, got the set list and had Jim Dandy sign it. I had Jim Dandy sign five vinyl album covers, including their classic, "High on the Hog" (the promo for which leads this post). A surprise in the set was their rendition of the classic Tommy Bolin song, "Post Toastee" (Johnny Bolin, Tommy's brother, is BOA's drummer). Another highlight of the show was their version of "Heartbreaker" by Grand Funk Railroad. The song was dedicated to the late Ruby Starr, who provided the sassy female vocals on "Jim Dandy to the rescue".

All-in-all, it was an awesome show. Drivin' Rain (an wonderful rock band from Cape Girardeau) and Carbondale band, Poor King, opened the show.

The only regret I have about the show is that it's over now.

I advise each and every one of you go to your local music store and order "The Definitive collection by Black Oak Arkansas". High quality meat-and-taters music.

Lord have mercy, indeed.