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In this surreal road novel, Anthony searches for the father he’s never met: Andy Kaufman, the legendary song-and-dance man from the ’70s. There’s a few problems here, of course. A) Andy Kaufman died in 1984, and B) Thanks to a recent cancer diagnosis, Anthony doesn’t have much longer to live, either. However, new evidence has come to light that questions whether or not Kaufman is actually dead. Could he be in hiding, after all these years? Anthony is determined to discover the truth before his own clock runs out. During his travels, he will encounter shameless medicine men, grifters, Walmart shoppers, the ghosts of Elvis and Warhol, and the Devil himself.



Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Wizard of Walmart

The Wizard of Walmart - From Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Itch is the Bitch

I’m no longer using the word ‘D’ word for death. It’s too simple a word and ignores so much. In my new book Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman, I call it, Taking a Bus to Jupiter, based on a one scene play near the end of the book and the life of my protagonist, Anthony. 

 
Anthony: I’m seeing blood in my eyes. Then sunlight. The sunlight is drying the blood and turning it white. My blood is white. I see a bus. There’s a bus to Jupiter, and I don’t want to miss it. (Anthony reaches out to the bus. An actress wearing a mini-model of the Manhattan skyline moves on stage to him, reaches out to him. When he reaches for her back to steady himself, she pulls away.)

 --From Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman

 
How do I show death? How do I share my experience with the reader, the way that dying disassembled me. Mine was not a slow demise. I melted—down to 50 pounds of body weight, burned from CHEMO and radiation therapy and still fighting the lymphoma while being treated by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philly. I clung to life with tenuous tether. I don’t know why I held on. It just felt like what I should do.

“The itch is a bitch.”
 
That’s the battle-cry at the end of the book. Why do we struggle to hold on to every second of life? I’ve got this itch to live that needs to be scratched. I live for life, hungry for it, needing more and more, addicted and under its power. I longed to turn the page. Life is a saga of stories, and I yearned to see what was going to happen next. I was 18 and eager to see my life written out on back of the spirit of the sky and land, to define my vacant name, to see what I’d become.

Then, I slipped between worlds. A fog clouded my head. I no longer felt. Dying became as easy as living, and merely gravity, momentum kept me on either side of the spectrum. I remember feeling hollowed out like my soul had gone on a head of me, waiting for my body to finally expire. Dying is a process, a tailspin. That final connection was never made. My body never stopped. My heart beat kept beating.

The scene from the play symbolizes that feeling of reality disintegrating. It represents the hazy atmosphere and perspective. Snow fell in my eyes. It took me years to come back from it, to feel grounded in the living realm, and at times I still slip, can’t figure out what’s real, what has substance and what is that misty dream. I’m terrified I’m going to wake up to it, to find I’m still on that table being burned with radiation in one final dream before I wake—then wake from life.

The play is in the book. It’s the play that answers all the questions, satisfies the mysteries. It’s the revelation, the key. The paperback is out and will be in bookstores.

 
 
 
The second anthology in the Stargate Far Horizon’s anthology, Points of Origin, is available. I was thrilled to have a story in this collection, Hermiod’s Last Mission. Science fiction is the modern mythology, and I have a love of Stargate Atlantis. It’s always been a dream to write for the series, to add a chapter to the great saga enjoyed by millions of international fans. I dared to write about the last chapter of the fan-favorite race, the Asgard. Little is known about their final days. The last episode of SG-1 showed their collective suicide after summoning the humans to their new home world—and final resting place—to share the sum of their knowledge and technology. How did they come to that decision after years of resistance when they treated humans like children how couldn’t be trusted? That’s my story. Hermiod, posted with the Atlantis team, is commanded by Thor to observe human nature and present his opinion to the Asgard High Council.

 
 
This anthology is out from Fandemonium Books. It required approval from MGM, thus it is considered canon. It is a personal achievement to add to the story.