Maddie’s bizarre book club 2, plus porn stars reading aloud

Haunted Air 1
Haunted Air by Ossian Brown

Merry Spring! Tis the time for daffodils, blue skies and wildly raging hormones. But wait, get that poor nude fellow down from the Wicker Man, you can burn him later. First on the agenda is a new pile of extremely odd books.

1. The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington. One of the surrealist crowd and lover of Max Ernst, Leonora’s life seems as bizarre as any of her work. The book itself is intriguing and oddly refreshing – the main characters are all women in their 90s, an age group usually included in fiction to generate sympathy or to hilariously utter a swear word at the wrong moment. However these are real characters featured among the increasingly bizarre carryings on.

Haunted Air by Ossian Brown
Haunted Air by Ossian Brown

2. People With Holes by Heather Fowler.  The nominal first story in this collection made my brain crackle, which is my way of saying I found the thoughts it induced exciting. I will say there were perhaps one too many ‘people turning into animal’ stories but that’s my own opinion obviously, and there are plenty of other varieties of story. For any fans of magic realism or anything a bit different this is for you, and the way she writes pulled me right in.

3. A Million Versions of Right by Matthew Revert. Definitely an odd’un, this is also very funny. If your mind can take the battering from this surreal short story collection (one character’s job is to insult walls) I promise you chuckles a plenty.

That nice actress lady Stoya
That nice actress lady Stoya

4. Haunted Air: ‘A Collection of Anonymous Hallowe’en Photographs America c. 1875 – 1955‘ by Ossian Brown. Haunting, weird, fascinating and a little disturbing, this is literally a bunch of photos from various sources on Halloween, and yet it’s much more than that. Who are they? What did they do just seconds afterwards? With photos reminiscent of Diane Arbus, needless to say the foreword is by David Lynch.

Well, there we are! A few books to be going on with until next time. In the meantime here is a post about some lovely pornographic actresses, including that nice Stoya Doll, reading poetry and prose aloud. NSFW, kind of.

Surreal short story published: ‘A Piece Worth Millions’

Well hello there, never thought I’d see you again. Are you still doing those paintings? Yes, I’ve met someone much better than you. Oh, who am I kidding, come back to me! The nights are so lonely…

Anyway…I’ve had a short story published in issue 10 of Polluto Magazine, which describes itself thusly:

Polluto is the award-winning literary magazine from Dog Horn Publishing. Since 2008 we have been scouring the dark, twisted and just plain weird corners of the world for the kind of writing that we love.”

Can’t say fairer than that eh, and as it’s a lovely foggy day in England (hopefully it is everywhere, but somehow the law of averages says I’m wrong) I suggest you pop over here to have a look. My story is the one about a ‘human life claimed for art.’

From street to surreal: a mini bag of artistic joy

I don’t claim to be down with the hip cats daddio, you dig (what is with these outbreaks of Kerouacism?)? But during my occasional work as a life model I’m exposed to art from the old Masters to more recent fare like Jenny Saville, and I like to nudge the pickle jar of artistic interest now and then. Here are a few things that have aroused my eyes lately.

First off you should skip over to Slinkachu’s website. You may have seen his Little People before – he does do other things but Little People became quite popular and I love them; miniture vignettes of tiny plastic people left around cities such as this entitled “They’re not pets, Susan:” theyre-not-pets-susan_slinkachu

And this, Slinkachu-little-people-i-can't-actually-graffiti“I can’t actually graffiti:”

Next up blog Bizarro Central are continuing their countdown to Christmas with a new post on a different weird artist each month, today being Oleg Dou.

Finally (I said it was a mini bag, I got painkillers to take and The League of Gentlemen to watch Goddammit) are two films I recently saw of a surrealist or dada nature.

Dreams That Money Can Buy, directed by Hans Richter and featuring the visual work of artists such as Man Ray, Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp, is a surprisingly sweet and very pretty journey through the dreams sold by a young man who just wants to pay the rent.

Finally is Luis Bunuel‘s The Exterminating Angel. The premise is so simple and the ending got him into quite a lot of trouble with the Vatican (you’ll have to watch it to find out why, I’m giving nothing away), and it’s fascinating. Guests at a lavish, upper class dinner party find themselves unable to leave, sinking into desperation and degredation as the days wear on.

Well, that’s it! I’m going to have a cup of tea now, have fun putting your eyes on all the art and that. Byee!

Interview with author Jeremy C Shipp

Hello my little slices of pepperoni. You may remember American bizarro author and all round anomalous egg Jeremy C Shipp from such books as Cursed (which got him nominated for the Bram Stoker award), Vacation, Fungus of the Heart and Sheep and Wolves.

He kindly assented to an interview regarding his work and writing in general (and to not press charges; I mean, kidnap is such a strong word) and here it is:

Which of your books is your favourite, and why?

J: One of my books that is near and dear to my heart (and spleen) is Cursed. The story was a blast to write, primarily because of the character Cicely. She’s a loveable weirdo with a heart (and spleen) of gold.

 

What impact has the Bram Stoker nomination made on your career?

J: I would say the main thing is that more readers have tried my books. Also, the nomination gave me  super powers. For instance, with the power of thought alone, I can transform sporks into slightly smaller sporks.

 

What’s the one (or more) thing you keep in mind when writing gets difficult?

J: This is your dream, Jeremy. If you’re not going to fight to live your own dream, then you’ll have to live someone else’s. And that’s no fun.

 

How do your ideas come to you?

J: Dreams, nightmares, personal events, world events, people on the street, people in the clouds, a little goblin named Bob who lives in my skull.

 

Is it possible to make a successful living from writing?

J: Yes. Mostly, it just takes a lot of work and dedication. And skill. And luck.

 

Who are your heroes?

J: Super Grover, my family, my friends, Hayao Miyazaki, Joss Whedon, Felicia Day, Kurt Vonnegut, Larry Blamire, Tree Trunks.

 

Is being a Bizarro writer a natural state of being, or do you sometimes have to push yourself to make your ideas even weirder?

J: It’s my natural state. Sometime I have to push myself to make my ideas palatable for human consumption.

 

What goes through your mind when you see your published book/story?

J: Hooray! Book! Time to sing and dance and eat chili cheese fries!

 

Did (or do) you have to do a lot of networking to get your stuff popular?

J: I enjoy entertaining and connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter, and I believe it’s on these sites that most people first hear about me and my work.

Thanks Jeremy, you may live another year. Bye!