Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Thursday, July 30, 2009
  Post Cards from the Road - Part One

I’m writing this from one of my favorite places on earth—Cathedral Rock Lodge in Sedona. Back another lifetime ago, my husband and I and our best friend and his partner used to come here to celebrate New Years. The owner, Carol, was accustomed to closing the place for a family gathering but after our first stay, we became part of the extended family and invited to stay.

Times change. Carol retired, my friend’s partner died, life sent us on different journeys. This is the first time I’ve been back here in fourteen years. My friend and I drove from San Diego on a nostalgic trip and after the craziness of Comic Con, it’s a wonderful way to decompress.

We are the only ones here. This beautiful lodge is empty. The economy accounts for some of it. But I can’t help thinking Carol’s absence accounts for most of it. She was the soul of this place and while the scenery is still magnificent, her absence is felt. Or maybe it’s the ghost of all those New Year’s celebrations in the past where four people who loved each other toasted a coming year and promised to be together forever.

I hate growing up.

I should talk about Comic Con, I suppose. Comic Con is crazy. It’s hectic. It’s sensory overload to the max. I reconnected with wonderful authors like Jackie Kessler, Chris Marie Green, Charlaine Harris, Caitlin Kittredge, Samantha Sommersby.

Speaking of Samantha, she hosted a dinner in her beautiful home with her terrific husband and kid (Max, whose Spike duster I SO covet) and parents. The food was superb, the wine excellent, the conversation ranged from raunchy to ridiculous and we had a blast. The best thing was that we were away from the crowds for a few precious hours. There is a frenetic energy about Comic Con that drains the life from we introverts.

Caitlin Kittredge and Jackie Kessler

Diana Rowland and Charlaine Harris

Sam's parents and son

If you're interested, I’ll post pictures later of sights from Comic Con. My good friend Kris Bochum took LOTS and is sending me a disk. The costumes alone are worth the price of admission.

And I did get an autographed copy of the Writer featuring Joss Whedon. Once again, Kris with her Whedon lottery record in tact, was one of the lucky few who got to meet him. She was kind enough to have him sign something for me, too. I didn’t make any of his panels, though. I think my days of standing in line for two or three or four hours to get into an auditorium are over, much as I love the guy.

Here are a couple of photos sent by one panel member, Dacre Stoker (yes, of those Stoker's). the Panel title was: Bram Stoker: Was he the Joss Whedon of His Time? Good panel, good audience, great subject. Thanks, Maryelizabeth Hart for organizing it. Also, the links I provided are to the authors’ blogs so if you so choose, you can connect and read their Comic Con entries which I’m sure will be far more informative then mine.

Another interesting note: people walking around the Con with “Twilight ruined Comic Con” signs. Don’t really know what it meant, but found it intriguing.

I did meet a couple of authors for the first time, though and that was a pleasure. Rob Thurman (who is a—gasp—woman), Amber Benson at a Borders’ Signing (yes, that Amber Benson), and J. F. Lewis. More on the panel and signing at a later date.

Book Six is off to the editor. I had a breakfast meeting with Jessica Wade (editor extraordinaire) and we’re on track for the release of Retribution, though why the cover isn’t up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble seems to be a mystery. I hope you like this book. I think it’s pretty good, though the next, Chosen, should (hopefully) knock your socks off. I can’t believe I’m saying this because hyperbole about my own writing is NOT in my nature.

PS Did just find out that Retribution is a RT Book Reviewers Mag Top Pick for September!!! WhooHoo...

PPS The best friend I mentioned earlier? He’s a journal keeper complete with pics and running dialogue. He just asked me for my “porn” name. What? Turns out it’s the name of your first dog and the street you grew up on as a child. Sportsfans, meet Taffy Magnolia. I kind of like it. His name is “Perk” and here’s an example of his work. “Scooter” is our other traveling companion. A Min-Pin named Paris who thinks she’s a Great Dane.

“After a wild weekend of turning tricks at Comic Con, Perk and Taffy rounded up their friend, Scooter, and pointed the pimp mobile east for the wild town of Yuma Arizona. Taffy allow her long, flaxen bleached blonde mane to fall gently around her ample yet youthful boosum. Scooter made her presence known by laying across Taffy’s silken white legs…the car vibrating beneath her hot, jock buttocks. Meanwhile Perk rode herd on the surging Mitsubishi…a car called “Endeavor” for reasons unknown.”

And I think I have a vivid imagination!

PPPS Just read Mario's last post-- my heart is heavy.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
  Life is not all sunshine and chocolate
Mario here:

It was somber this week in the Acevedo home. Our dog, Midnight, has gone to the big kennel in the sky. She was sixteen years old. The decision was not easy. She had seizures, kept falling over because of weakening hips, and suffered from worsening incontinence. But it was the bone cancer in her skull that forced us to put her down.

Here's Midnight as a puppy, being chaperoned by our cat Spotty, who is still with us.

Midnight in her prime.

We bought her for $30 from an animal shelter. She was a Lab-Pointer mix and would have made a great hunting dog. She had natural pointing behavior and when you walked her off the leash, she'd range in front of you left to right. She was also a powerful swimmer.

A loveable and well-behaved dog, she was also very stubborn, hence Nickname No 1: Cement Head.

The afternoon we took her to the vet, Midnight was excited by the trip and the attention. The injections are given in a cozy room with a loveseat, candles, a picture of a dog walking away from you down a woodsy trail, and framed odes to our departed pets. We were sad and quiet those first minutes and Midnight, keeping true to her personality, broke the tension by proving Nickname No 2: Poopmachine. A vet's assistant cleaned the mess up but the coziness turned stuffy with doggy poop smell.

The final minutes:

My son Emil tending to Midnight after the sedative injection.

While convinced we were making the right decision, obviously no one had asked the dog. She had come along willingly, enthusiastically, trusting, when our true purpose was to have her killed. What treachery. After the sedative injection, Midnight circled the room for several minutes. Her hind legs then gave out, and she finally fell over. I'm amazed how expressive eyes are. She's a dog, I'm human, and as she lie there, I could read the confusion in her eyes. In true Midnight form, she collapsed with her butt in front of the fan for the humidifier and she started to fart. I pulled her away from the fan to make the last minutes more bearable for us the living.

Then the second injection.

The vet told us to expect one deep final breath before the end. Instead, Midnight started to chuff loudly before she lay still. My sons, Alex and Emil, started their final goodbyes. I hope that when my end comes, I go surrounded like this by loved ones .
Thursday, July 23, 2009
  Winner: What was I thinking?
Mario here:

Jeanne's at ComicCon doing God knows what. San Diego is her stomping grounds so she's probably busy dragging our fellow fantasy authors to the local dives and dens of iniquity and corrupting their pants off. Meaning, Jeanne is too...umm...satiated with adult beverages to blog. So she asked me.

We have a winner.
From unseelieme.

Okay, this is my dumbass (and also most humiliating) moment. It was a few summers ago. I was hanging outside scoring a nice tan in shorts & a bikini top. My husband & I wandered over to the neighbor's fence to say hi. Now, I have to inject here that our neighborhood is wide open. The residents of at least six houses can see in my back yard because I live in a freaking fishbowl.

Anyway, as I'm standing there talking I feel a tickling sensation on my shoulder, heading down my front. I look down & there's a huge daddy longlegs making its way along the edge of my bathing suit.

So I hate spiders!(Yes, I know they're not spiders but they f-ing look like them.)
I let out a shriek that would rival any zombie flick victim and swat at it. This draws the attention of not just the couple I'm talking to, but other neighbors in nearby yards. Of course, the damn thing drops right inside my cleavage and endeavors to crawl between my top & my right breast.

You know what's coming, right?

I began a campaign of loud screaming (insuring everyone's full attention) & ripped my top off, jumping about & swatting at my now bare breasts.

Yes, I flashed the entire neighborhood.

When I realized what I'd done, I calmly put my top back on & slugged my husband (who was staring at me wide eyed & stunned). Then I excused myself & went inside.

I think that tops your moment.

Or untops it. Thanks for the wonderful visuals.

Besides this fantabulous t-shirt, you'll get plenty of shwag, to include whatever Jeanne managed to steal at ComicCon.

Unseelieme, please email mario at marioacevedo dot com with your snail mail address and your t-shirt size. This time, if you run into spiders, at least you'll be covered, courtesy of Biting-Edge.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
  The Dog Days
Mario here:

It's July, the middle of summer, and it's been hot.  Denver hot, anyway.  No humidity like Atlanta or nuclear heat like Phoenix.  But hot enough.  Meanwhile, Jeanne is off in San Diego cutting loose at Comic Con.

For those who haven't heard, the Denver Book Mall is closing down.  Ron and Nina Else, proprietors of Who Else! Books and big time supporters of local authors, are moving their wares down the street to the start up Broadway Book Mall.  

Today, I attended their inaugural book signing, featuring James Van Pelt (left) and Alastair Mayer who have stories in the anthology, Footsteps.  The premise: long after humans have disappeared, aliens are fascinated by what we left behind on the moon (the only remaining evidence of our civilization).

At the signing, I met our favorite werewolf author,
Carrie Vaughn, who has a YA dragon book out in 2010.

Here's the awesome cover.
Read Carrie discuss the book on her blog.

We're not in August yet but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying a great summer read, August Moon, by Jess Lourey.  (Check out her book trailer
If you can't get to Minnesota, reading this book is the next best thing.  

You can almost taste the Nut Goodie bars (and feel the mosquitoes).  Lourey's an expert in delivering the quirky humor and oddball mayhem.

My mystery writer pals and realtime PIs, Colleen and Shaun, keep a blog Gams, Gumshoes, and Guns, and this week you can read about hacking some one's cell phone. 

USA Today has a couple of Biting-Edge relevant articles about the book biz.  Two genres that get put down by the snobs are romance and anything remotely associated with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.  Yet, while other book categories are taking a beating in sales, romance and Meyer are growing (meaning the snobs aren't buying that many books).  Since I know many romance writers, I found this article a bit patronizing, as it implies that romance wasn't a serious genre until academic writers delved into it.  Conversely, read how Harlequin is launching a YA supernatural series aimed at the Meyer crowd.  Any thoughts you Twilight readers?

Remember the contest: What was I thinking?  We have room for more entries.

Head over to the ultra-cool blog, Pop Syndicate.  I posted my take if the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor was not only the first Latina but also the first witch to be nominated to the US Supreme Court.

Stay cool.

Thursday, July 16, 2009
  Why Can't I Sleep?????
Late again—another of those nights when I got about three hours sleep. Lately, I can’t seem to sleep through the night. Any suggestions for insomnia? Except the anesthetic drug, Propofol, which is thought to have killed MJ. I don’t like needles.

Now, on to the BIG news—my illustrious blog and critique partner was named Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year for 2009!!! Let’s hear it for Mario. The coronation ceremony was conducted at a picnic last Saturday in a Denver Park. Highlights included:

Pic of Mario and the two candidates, Kay Bergstrom ( who doesn't have a website but whose impressive list of books can be found here) and Pam Nowak

Pic of Mario with his entourage (he’s very big with the tween set)

Pic of Mario being his usual sophisticated self after getting lei’d. By me, of course, I didn’t think the big day should pass without a memento of some kind.

Next up. The release date of Retribution in fast approaching. August 25. Got my first review from Kimberly Swan’s Darque Reviews. If you are interested, here’s the link. She gave it a starred review!! Thanks, Kimberly.

It’s up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble sites but still no cover. However, you can preorder if you have a mind to…

I’ll post my full signing schedule in a couple of weeks. Nail biting time again.

And I have my Comic Con schedule. If you’re in San Diego, here it is:

Thursday July 23rd
Signing at Penguin Booth #11-17
11 am

Saturday July 25th
1:30-2:30 pm Signing to follow in the autograph area

Off Site Borders event
668 6th Avenue
San Diego CA 92101

Authors: Patrick Rothfuss, Rob Thurman, Thomas Sniegoski, Amber Benson, Seanan McGuire, Jeanne Stein, Kat Richardson

Panel discussion and book signing celebrating science fiction and fantasy.

Other panels I plan to attend: Dollhouse with Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku and the Tru Blood panel with Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball and the cast. Of course so do the other 120,000 attendees at this con.

Other news items that caught my eye this past week:

Superman's birthplace -- restored house of creator Jerry Siegel -- to be unveiled Saturday

A group of comic-book devotees and fans of the many popular incarnations of the hero came together last year to raise money to restore the 90-year-old house where Superman was dreamed up by Jerry Siegel.

This is an interesting story. Check it out here.

You knew it was coming:

Kindle rip-off from China

By Paul Biba

From E-Ink-Info.com, a Chinese company called Peking University Founder has duplicated the exterior, at least, of the Kindle 2: They say they will release it by the end of 2009, in Japan, for around 210$ (the kindle is available for 299$. . It includes a cellular connection (they say it needs a SIM card) to download new books, and will use their own ‘Apabi’ ebook software. The screen is ‘about’ 6″, not sure what kind of display yet.

In the same vein: The next generation reader? For all you techies who have to have the newest: Pixel Qi Introduces Color/Video Screens for E-Readers and More

Maybe an entry for the contest? If this isn’t a “what was I thinking moment”, I don’t know what is.

1 dead at Pamplona; first goring death since '95

PAMPLONA, Spain - A charging bull gored a young Spanish man to death Friday at Pamplona's San Fermin festival, the first such fatality in nearly 15 years. Nine others were injured in a particularly dangerous and chaotic chapter of the running of the bulls.

A new Vampire Con celebrating “the world’s first convention devoted exclusively to Vam-Pop culture.

The weekend-long event debuts August 14th –16th, 2009 in Hollywood, CA. Vampire-Con kicks off on Friday and Saturday with a Vampire Film Festival at the New Beverly Cinema featuring special guests and prizes

Check out the details here:

Considering the images they use to advertise:

Felix and Mario are SO there....

A clip from the Dollhouse episode I hope to see at ComicCon== Epitaph One

Okay-- that's all I have for now but remember: the contest is on until next Thursday. You still have time. I’m going to bring back something from ComicCon to throw on the prize pile so besides books and swag and a tee shirt from the Tattered Cover, there will be a special surprise in there, too—
Sunday, July 12, 2009
  What was I thinking?
Mario here:

First of all, many thanks to all of you who posted birthday greetings.  Makes getting older more tolerable.  I got some great presents.  My sons gave me an iMac with a huge monitor they call the Jumbotron.  Said it was for my tired old eyes.  Much appreciated.

And then, Jeanne and Ron and Nina Else of WhoElse Books gave me this book.  They said it was an academic study of popular culture.  I have my doubts.  But thanks, I'm enjoying my research.  (See, Jeanne is the corrupting influence, not me!)

The contest is going great.  We've got some amazing stories.  Remember, we tweaked the rules.  You can post an episode that happened to a "friend."  Don't forget our super cool prizes.  Our little Devil Duck can't wait to get unleashed.

Vampiric news:  Katherine Ramsland wrote an investigative book, Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today and you can read a review here.  Funny, Jeanne and I make our living writing about vampires, real vampires, the ass-kicking kind, not weepy fangless wimps, yet Ramsland never asked us experts.  Maybe it's because Jeanne and I aren't into role-playing and all that poser BS.  We prefer to bust caps with a 9 millimeter.

I'm not a Woody Allen fan.  His movies lost me years ago.  Yet I saw Whatever Works, and enjoyed it quite a bit.  The cast looks like it could've used a few more rehearsals and the plot
was a bit forced but no more so than the ranting that passes for political discourse these days.   Here are the stars, Larry David as the misanthropic Boris Yellnikoff, and Evan Rachel Wood as the guileless Melodie St. Ann Celestine.  Patricia Clarkson stole the show as Marietta, Melodie's mom and bitchy foil to Boris' kvetching.

Big shout out to Alexandra Sokoloff for winning a 2009 Thriller Award for Best Short Story, The Edge of Seventeen (in The Darker Mask).  

And here's something for you lovers of slash fiction.  Dancing soldiers!

This just in from Publishers Lunch:

Dakota Cassidy's SUCK IT UP PRINCESS, the first in a humorous contemporary series about ex-trophy wives and their painful reentry into the foreign world of Wal-Mart, coupon clipping, minimum-wage jobs, all while learning true love means more than botox and silicone implants, to Cindy Hwang at Berkley, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Elaine Spencer at The Knight Agency (NA).

Remember the contest.  The prize t-shirt would look great on you.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Okay, sports fans, we’re making a change in the contest. Mario’s original idea—the dumbest thing I ever did—was more an excuse for him to share his story than a good contest subject. Either that, or everyone is (A) out of town or (B) unlike Mario, too embarrassed to tell the world what a dumb ass he/she had been. So, to make it less embarrassing, the contest will now be “What was I thinking…” stories. And it can be your own story or that of a “friend” (wink-wink). We’ll give away books and a tee shirt and some swag, all in a handy-dandy Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers tote. We'll also give you more time-- deadline July 23.

So what’s been going on in your world?

Ready for Harry Potter? The Half-Blood Prince starts next week. Watch clips and trailers here and here.

Guillermo del Toro is writing a vampire novel. From USA Today:

Director and screenwriter Guillermo del Toro, who indulged his love for the fantastical in hit movies including Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy I and II, now is letting his imagination loose on vampires — in his first novel.

The Strain (William Morrow, $26.99), written by del Toro and thriller novelist Chuck Hogan (The Prince of Thieves), hits stores today… Del Toro's vision of the reanimated dead is dark, gory and palpably grotesque. His vampires hunt their victims in their comfort zones: on the streets of Manhattan, in the family kitchen and suburban backyards.

Next up for HBO: ‘Middlesex’ as One-Hour Series

HBO has optioned Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Middlesex and is developing a one-hour drama series based on the 2002 book.

Actor-producer Rita Wilson is executive producing, along with the project’s writer Donald Margulies.

The working logline for the potential drama series being used internally at HBO is that it "follows the life of Calliope Stephanides and the epic family history that may hold the answer to her complicated sexual identity."

How does one adapt a story about a hermaphrodite that spans 80 years? Should be interesting.

For you writers out there:
Open Submissions Call!

All Romance™ Needs You for the 28 Days of Heart Campaign to Benefit the American Heart Association

During the month of love, when everyone's attention is focused on matters of the heart, we at All Romance (www.allromance.com) want to help fight the number one killer of women, heart dis! ease, and we need your help and your submissions.

Beginning February 1, 2010, we will release one new short story per day for the entire month. All proceeds from the sale of these shorts, which will be offered exclusively on AllRomance.com as individual eBooks and also bundled into 4 eBook anthologies, will be donated to the American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org).

The 28 stories will be chosen from submissions received between July 1 and October 31, 2009. Any author who has an eBook available on ARe, or whose publisher lists eBooks with us, is eligible to submit. Submissions must be 10,000 to 20,000 words. Th! e preferred heat rating is 4 or 5 flames, though stories rated a hard 3 flames will also be considered. An explanation of the flame rating system can be found on our site. We are looking for a wide variety of themes and sub-genres, as long as the story is a romance.

The stories selected will be reviewed by an editor and provided with cover art, but please make sure submissions are as polished as you can make them before submitting. Previously published stories will be considered only if all rights have reverted back to the author and the story is no longer available for download elsewhere. Backlist and contact info for the authors whose work is chosen will be listed in the back of their story.

Submission details can be found at the link on the All Romance Home Page that reads Publishers/Authors

Questions should be emailed to cat.johnson@allromanceebooks.com. Final selection of participants will be made and announced in November 2009.

From the no f’n way department: Would you trust a glass floor that’s an inch and a half thick when suspended 103 stories in the air?

Only thing crazier than the Sears Tower platform above is this:

To leave you smiling, here's a product for all you e-readers out there.

The smell of e-books just got better

Does your Kindle leave you feeling like there’s something missing from your reading experience?

Have you been avoiding e-books because they just don’t smell right?

If you’ve been hesitant to jump on the e-book bandwagon, you’re not alone. Book lovers everywhere have resisted digital books because they still don’t compare to the experience of reading a good old fashioned paper book.

But all of that is changing thanks to Smell of Books™, a revolutionary new aerosol e-book enhancer.

Now you can finally enjoy reading e-books without giving up the smell you love so much. With Smell of Books™ you can have the best of both worlds, the convenience of an e-book and the smell of your favorite paper book.

Smell of Books™ is compatible with a wide range of e-reading devices and e-book formats and is 100% DRM-compatible. Whether you read your e-books on a Kindle or an iPhone using Stanza, Smell of Books™ will bring back that real book smell you miss so much.
Copyright © 2009 • DuroSport Electronics

Comes in New Book Smell; Scent of Sensibility; Classic Musty; Crunchy Bacon; Eau, You Have Cats
Monday, July 06, 2009


Animations provided by MySpaceGraphicsandAnimations.com

All together now, one, two, three--

Saturday, July 04, 2009
  Contest! Man, was I dumbass!
Mario here:
Happy Independence day and a Happy Fourth of July!

We're starting our summer contest today. Why today? Because nothing says Dumbass like the revelry of July 4th combined with the temptation of fireworks. At least to me.

Idle hands can't resist:

But first, the prizes:
A T-shirt from the Tattered Cover bookstore in Devil Duck red. And a Devil Duck, of course. Plus shwag (Check back on Thursday for those pics).

The contest, in 75 words or less: Man, was I dumbass! Post your submission as a comment. The contest will be judged by our panel of crack contest judges in India. (Yes, in order to reduce costs, Biting-Edge has off-shored our contest judging.) Submissions will be graded on originality, spelling, and of course, the all important dumbassness. Contest decision will be final and not subject to appeal or bribery or complaining. Contest ends Midnight, Thursday, July 16, 2009.

Me first:

As a young man, I loved explosions. Firecrackers were fun but I wanted the challenge of making a bigger boom, as in a bomb. I ordered a book which showed how to make all kinds of devices such as silencers, rockets, and bombs. I gathered explosive powder made of matchheads and from cheap Mexican firecrackers. The book suggested a detonator made with a cartridge and a spring contraption. I didn't have the suggested bullet so I substituted a much smaller .22. The spring contraption wouldn't set off the cartridge so I used a hammer to beat on the primer of the .22. Finally, on the third whack, the cartridge went off, shot backwards out of the detonator, and made the hammer sting my hand. But the bomb hadn't gone off. Well then, let's try it again. At that point, just before I struck a fresh cartridge, with the bomb attached to a wooden board that I was kneeling on, I realized that maybe this wasn't such a good idea. So I dismantled the bomb and waited until I was in army before I blew things up.

Your turn.

The Blog Beat.

Witches on the loose. Juliet Blackwell, known to us by her other pen name, Hailey Lind, has a forthcoming book, Secondhand Spirits, about a naughty witch in San Francisco. Check out Juliet's blog on Pensfatales.com

Our favorite real life P.I.s , Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes is holding an "open house party" the first week of July--post a comment July 1-7, and you're eligible to win books from Colleen Collins's backlist, cool "Writing PIs in Novels" T-shirts, and other giveaways!

Vampiri in Italia. My latest Lego vampire movie was featured on this Italian blog.


Saw Public Enemies. Very stylish. People were so fashionable back then, especially the killers and their molls. Johnnie Depp does a great job acting in a role other than a looney pirate or fantasy candy maker. Christian Bale likewise pulled off playing a straight-laced G-man without making me think he was Batman in civilian clothes.

Then there was Transformers that a friend wanted to see. The movie started okay but got beyond stupid after the first half hour. Unless you suffer from advanced ADD, then save your money.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
  Some weeks are like that...
Ever had a week when although nothing really bad is happening, you have the creepy sensation that it might? Premonition? Presentiment? Foreboding?

I’ve finished Chosen, got two pretty good ideas for the anthology stories due in August, am making plans for Comic Con and Dragon*Con and have signed contracts for the German and Norwegian editions of the Chronicles. So why do I feel depressed?

Summer doldrums? Or postpartum depression because I’ve finished another book? Nothing good on TV (except Merlin, that’s pretty good. Here's a link furnished by Gina to catch up if you'd like. And Leverage starts again soon)? What the hell is it?

Anyway, besides Farrah’s funeral and Michael Jackson’s family squabbling over who gets his kids (and their trust funds), there were a couple of other newsworthy tidbits this week.

Johnny Depp confirms he’s doing Dark Shadows. From SFX UK:

Johnny Depp has told Collider.com that work on Tim Burton's big screen remake of legendary US supernatural soap will commence next year, and that he'll be fitted for the fangs for the role of vampire Barnabas Collin.

“Dark Shadows is happening,” says Depp. "Tim is working on Alice in Wonderland which is obviously quite a large piece of work there. So when Tim is done with Alice and we get the script, which is very, very close, in order we’ll probably attack it next year. It’s exciting, very exciting. It’s like a lifelong dream for me. I loved the show when I was a kid. I was obsessed with Barnabas Collins. I have photographs of me holding Barnabas Collins posters when I was five or six. I’m very excited to do it.”

BTW, this great pic of Depp was one included in People Magazines 16 Sexiest Men—Some interesting choices. Check it out.

Something else to check out: Derek Tatum’s new/revised blog Mondo Vampire wherein he’ll …grab and discuss five random things that I like about vampires. Books, movies, art, odd facts, music, thematic elements...if it is vampire-related and I enjoy it, it's fair game. Now don't mistake this feature as a "best of," or even a comprehensive "favorites," list; my goal here is to show the wide variety available in the world of vampire lore and entertainment.

Derek is one of the multi-talented programmers for Dragon*Con and knows more about vampire lore (and lure) than I ever will.

Since I now know how to do this, I found another great video to share. Edward Cullen meets Buffy Summers.

We know this is exactly how it would go down, too, don’t we?

Now this did make me laugh this week so all is not lost. One of the winning entries for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:

Winner: Detective
She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida - the pink ones, not the white ones - except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn't wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren't.

Eric Rice
Sun Prairie, WI

For the complete run down of winners, follow the link above.

Lest you forget what prompted the wretched writing competition, I give you:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

--Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

Great stuff.

Actually, two things made me laugh this week. Maureen Dowd, NY Times Columnist talking about SC Gov Mark Sanford:

When there’s an Associated Press bulletin saying that he has found his soul mate but he’s going to try to fall back in love with you, change the locks…

Okay, so there were three things. From the New York Observer:

A movie review for (wait for it…) Nazi zombies! From Rex Reed.

Dead Snow
Running time 90 minutes
Written by Stig Frode Henriksen and Tommy Wirkola
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Starring Charlotte Frogner, Ørjan Gamst, Stig Frode Henriksen, and Vegar Hoel

Dead Snow is a Norwegian horror film, if you can envision such a thing without developing a cataract, about a group of randy skiers in a mountain cabin without cell phone signals (or indoor plumbing) who are attacked by Nazi zombies. You can’t make up this stuff.

He ends with: The result piles on relentless thrills and unimaginable horrors, with a shock ending guaranteed to make you scream out loud. Director Tommy Wirkola mixes gore with humor (the Nazi zombies are pretty funny, like Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein); the cadaverous makeup is outstanding; the actors do an admirable job portraying authentic-looking terror; and the fact that there is no conventional happy escape ending is refreshing. The director calls Dead Snow “Scandinavia’s first Nazi-zombie-horror-slasher-feel-good film.” I’m not sure about the feel-good part. The potential for tension and suspense is also diminished by screeching rock music that diametrically opposes the mood the film is trying to create. But as zombie movies go, it sure scared the hell out of me.

So, does that mean he liked it? With Rex Reed it’s sometimes hard to tell.

Don’t forget to come back on Saturday to check out the contest info. Frankly, I don’t have a clue why Mario wants to announce on Saturday, but who am I to argue? I’m sure he has his reasons. Just like he had his reasons for posting the pic of Emily with her pasties. Artistic something or other…

And just in case any of you out there are having the same kind of week I am, take consolation in this.

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