Inhuman Swill : Page 31
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

A couple of upcoming readings

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Tuesday Funk #38
I have a couple of upcoming events in Chicago I wanted to let you know about.

First, I'll be appearing on Tuesday, October 4th, as part of the Tuesday Funk reading series at Hopleaf Bar (5148 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL). (Sharp-eyed readers will recognize that I also serve as co-host of this series.) The reading takes place in the upstairs lounge. Doors upstairs open at 7:00 pm, and the show starts at 7:30 pm. I'll be reading a short story, "The Visitors at Wriggly Field." Please note that Hopleaf is 21 and over only. More info here:

http://www.tuesdayfunk.org/2011/09/tuesday-funk-38-october-4th.html

Also, I'll be reading a personal essay on Monday, December 19th, as part of the Essay Fiesta reading series at the Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL). I've read for Essay Fiesta a couple of times before, and it's always great fun. For more information about this charitable reading series, see:

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RIP Mark W. Worthen (1962-2011)

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Mark W. Worthen
My friend Mark Worthen ([info]nitewanderer) passed away unexpectedly yesterday. He was a horror, crime, and science fiction writer who worked tirelessly behind the scenes of the Stoker Awards for the Horror Writers Association and also served as HWA's webmaster. I wandered around in dark fog yesterday after hearing the news. I can't believe he's gone.

I first met Mark in 1993 when I joined a writing group called Xenobia in Provo, Utah. He was only a few years older than I was, and we bonded over a certain darkness and irreverence in our fiction and our worldviews. I wouldn't have expected it back then, but he's the person from that group that I stayed in closest touch with over the years. Through one circumstance or another, we both ended up moving out of Utah around the same time and leaving some misunderstandings behind. That was another thing to bond over, the feeling that we were outcasts and exiles.

While I went to New York City, Mark's path took him to South Korea. He was a brilliant linguist and specialized in teaching ESL. I was amazed by his adventurousness, but he had lived in Europe and South America already and from the stories he told later he took full advantage of his time in Asia.

Next I heard from him, he was in the Midwest, Missouri to be precise, with the love of his life, J.P. Edwards. It was probably around then that Mark asked if I'd contribute a story to his new online horror magazine Blood Rose (one of the earlier of its kind). I did, and actually ended up hosting the website for him (which I still do). It wasn't much later that I found myself traveling to Jefferson City for Mark and Jeannie's wedding, and found him happier than I'd ever known him.

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A-E-S-T-H-E-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y

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I overheard the most heartbreaking exchange yesterday. Well, it's not like I was eavesdropping, exactly. It happened right in front of me, while I was enjoying a beer and some lunch at the bar of one of my favorite local haunts. I posted the punchline yesterday by itself on Twitter, but I'm growing more and more dissatisfied with the constraints of Twitter and the way it tends to short-circuit my intent to blog. (But that's a subject for another post.) I think there's far more pathos in the full story.

I was reading a book so I wasn't paying much attention to the conversation between the guy to my left and one of the bartenders. "Hey," the bartender called to one of her colleagues, "how do you spell aesthetically?"

To my right, another bartender stalked over, grabbed a slip of paper and a pen from behind the bar, and scrawled something.

"Now we'll have to decipher his writing," said the first bartender.

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Golfers in the rain
with travel mugs of coffee,
like this is their job.

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Raaarrrr

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I come to you, love,
like a zombie in your thrall,
hungry for your brains.

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Butt

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stubbed-out cigarette
moldering wet in the sink
on the Paris train

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When worlds collide

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tf-postcard-2011-06.jpg
Since 2006, I've spent a week almost every summer at a workshop for novel writers—either Blue Heaven or a spinoff based on its organizing principles. And since fall of last year, I have co-produced and co-hosted a monthly reading series called Tuesday Funk at a Belgian beer bar on the north side of Chicago.

I'm pleased to announce that these two worlds will soon collide! I'm spending the next week at the Wellspring Workshop in Lake Geneva, WI, organized by Brad Beaulieu, but for one night only the group of us will be roadtripping back to Chicago to invade Tuesday Funk for a "Science Fiction Sextuple Feature."

This special edition of Tuesday Funk convenes Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 7:30 pm, in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., Chicago. Arrive early, stake out a table in the upper room, and grab a beer from John at the cash-only bar. We start seating at 7:00 pm and no earlier. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older.

Our readers will include Brenda Cooper, Sarah K. Castle, Holly McDowell, Gregory A. Wilson, Vincent Jorgensen, and Kelly Swails, not to mention, as usual, a Poem By Bill. We hope to see you there!

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Warmed by the flames

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It's been far too long since I had a nice flamewar. I think the last one, in fact, was about two years ago when a sister missionary I knew twenty-four years ago friended me on Facebook and then posted to my wall to say the F-word offended her and she knew I would stop using it and polluting her news feed with it. I didn't even have to respond. It was my wife and friends who did the dirty work for me. Nice to be able to get my hands a litle dirty again.

From: Random Person
To: Bill Shunn
Subject: Editing job

Mr. Shunn, I would like you to consider editing two 10,000 word stories of mine. I am attaching a sample to work on and resubmit to me so I can see the calibre of your work product - if you're interested in the job.

From: Bill Shunn
To: Random Person
Subject: Editing job

In other words, you want me to edit you for free? Fuck off. I'm deleting your email without looking at these files.

From: Random Person
To: Bill Shunn
Subject: Editing job

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I'm looking for some advice, friends. Laura and I will be traveling in France and Italy this summer. We are reasonably experienced world travelers, which of course means we have a small collection of electrical power adapters and transformers. Our last overseas trip, though, was three years ago, and in the time since our fund of small devices has proliferated. Between us we now have two iPhones and two iPads. We plan to bring those with us this summer instead of bulkier laptops and piles of books.

Instead of relying for power on a bunch of big transformers, I figured that Apple would probably make travel adapters that would be easier to carry and safer to use. It turns out that, yes, they do make a World Travel Kit with replacement adapters to plug your USB cable into. Unfortunately, they only seem to sell them in sets of six—one each for region of the world.

I need four European adapters, but I don't want to spend $160 to buy four full kits. Does anyone know of an alternative whereby I can purchase only the adapters I need? I'd prefer to buy Apple products, but that's not an absolute requirement.

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Rules for dog owners

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We often say, my wife and I,
that Ella is our first dog,
the one you make your mistakes on.
But for me, that isn't true.

My first dog was Jessie,
a runty black shepherd mix.
Some of the mistakes I made
with Jessie were things like

Don't scold the dog unless
you catch her in the act.
Don't let the dog bite you.
Don't ever hit the dog.

Don't buy a dog with someone
you don't like, let alone love.
All mistakes I wouldn't
ever ever make with Ella.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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