Archive for the Books Category

What’s up, 2013?

Posted in Books on December 31, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

3:53 a.m. New Year’s Eve.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’ve been a bit reclusive these past few months, Michael’s Loyal Readers. And, before you say anything, I do want to offer my deepest apologies for the rude absence.  I know, I know… Yes, I do remember that I made a promise to keep my dear husband’s blog up. What the heck, right? Trust me, MLRs, my intent was absolutely genuine.  But, truthfully, the grieving process has been quite the hardhearted beeotch.  We’re talking crippling. The skillful and horrific words Michael crafted never came even close to personifying the dark, lonely, and scary truths of loss like this…

BUT! Luckily, my faithful companion, Insomnia, encouraged me to make use of the time and keep good on my promise this morning. So, F’ you, Grief, we’re going to attempt to be productive today! And, as cliché as it is, New Year’s Eve seemed as good a time as any to reflect on the talent, love, friendship and loss of my dear, sweet Michael Louis Calvillo.

At this point, you’re probably anxiously wondering, “Well, c’mon, what do you have to share? Hmm?”  I know, you’re waiting. You want something. It’s been a while. You wanna know what’s crackin? What’s going on with the earthly MLC world that Michael prematurely left behind? Can we expect more from MLC? Tupac continued giving the world more of his talent posthumously. We know MLC can do it too.

Well… yes, of course, you can definitely expect to see more from Michael Louis Calvillo in 2013! For starters, Bad Moon Books will be publishing Michael’s novel Bird Box in the early part of the new year. Yay, right? And, trust me, Michael’s Loyal Readers, you are going to love this one! In addition, as most of you know, Michael left behind a plethora of completed unpublished works (“Jefe, what is a plethora?”). So, needless to say, this upcoming year we will be working on securing loving publishing homes for Michael’s titles and decide on the appropriate timing of releases. Seriously, I promise to keep you all updated! Promise, promise. Virtual pinky swear!

Full Novel (Bad Moon Books; TBA 2013)

Full Novel
(Bad Moon Books; TBA 2013)

Also, in Michael’s honor we have been successfully running our charity club Lancers for Life at Lakeside High School. I am serving as the club advisor, along with my department chair and friend, Debbie Hanlon, and Deja (our daughter) is the club’s president. Since the beginning of the school year we have offered support to three families affected by cancer. We have a very kind and compassionate group of students that have really dedicated themselves to helping others and they have done a great job coming up with ideas on how to help others in need. We are all really looking forward to seeing this club become a permanent resource for our Lakeside students.


By the way, if you haven’t already, please “Like” us on Facebook.

Also, if you’re interested in donating to Lancers for Life, PayPal donations are accepted at Our club is so appreciative of the overwhelming encouragement we continue to receive and feel fortunate that we are able to provide support for these families because of the generosity of so many. So, a big “Thank you!” to all those who have supported Lancers for Life.

In closing, Michael’s Loyal Readers, I’d like to share a couple of links with you. Recently, Mr. Carl Alves facilitated a tribute to MLC featuring some of Michael’s most respected and loved writer colleagues. Very touching and beautifully stated words about MLC. Thank you to all who shared such beautiful words about our dearly missed Michael Louis Calvillo.

It’s hard to imagine a happy new year without the love of my life but someone once told me, “Sometimes you have to fake it to make it!” So, here’s to a happy and healthy new year, y’all!

Enjoy the Silence

Posted in Books on September 30, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

In my nervous anticipation yesterday, I mentioned to someone that tomorrow (the 30th) will be the 6 month mark of Michael’s passing. Always terrible at math and yes, that includes basic counting, I still can’t believe I threw an extra month on there.

Be patient with me. Time and space has compressed in weird little ways since April 30, 2012.

April 30th is the day my life fell silent. That day, my dear sweet husband sought to find the peace and comfort he so deserved. Today, I reflect inward on the love and life we shared. Truthfully, there isn’t a moment that crawls by that I don’t pine for that beautiful life once again. However, I have learned to take comfort in the silence forced upon me. It’s allowed me to understand a part of the many things Michael has taught me (all of us) about love… One specific thing Michael taught me is that to love is to truly have gratitude. (Michael had a very Zen quality about him, right?) I know I was fortunate for the precious love I experienced in Michael. I even knew that at the time. I didn’t come to the realization after his passing. I didn’t have to lose him in order to appreciate what I had. In fact, Michael and I always marveled at how “lucky” we truly were. We never took for granted what we were so fortunate to possess.

Appreciate the love you have each and every day…

Michael also taught me that love isn’t limited to the passionate love between lovers but it extends to those who impact our lives in a variety of ways. He felt gratitude for everyone. Not just those who we saw on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, or those who made the Annual Halloween Party Invite List, or those who were easily labeled as “friend” or “family…” He had love in his heart for so many. (In all the years we were married, I only heard him say he didn’t like about three people. Trust. If Michael didn’t like you… You had to be some kind of jerk.)

Last weekend, some family and I went out to Las Vegas to attend a Tribute Session held in Michael’s honor at an annual horror writer’s conference called, KillerCon. We were so touched that a Tribute was organized to recognize Michael’s talent and friendship in the field of horror writing. Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Gene O’ Neill, Brad Hodson, and John Palisano made up the panel of speakers for the tribute. My husband had true love in his heart for every one of these men (and so do I). Ben, Gene, and Brad shared readings from the newly released, second edition of Michael’s first novel, I WILL RISE. Last on the panel, John straight put some verses on smash that Lisa Morton scripted (Translation: John rapped some rhymes that Lisa wrote very well). John also did a really cool “Apocalypse Now” style reading with an acoustic guitar that had us all in awe. Many others, including Michael’s favorite publisher, Roy Robbins, as well as one of Michael’s co-author and friends, Michael McCarty (referred by MLC as the “Cool One”) shared their personal remembrances. Our family is so grateful to all the involved contributors and attendees, including James Wrath White (KillerCon’s organizer), for making the Tribute a meaningful and heartwarming experience. Michael would have been genuinely thrilled.

Ben, Gene, Brad, and John
Make up MLC’s Tribute Panel

After Michael passed, everyone promised Time Would Heal. I can’t tell you how many times I insincerely nodded only to placate them. Because, truthfully for me, it felt as though each day intensified the pain I felt in losing Michael. Each day brought into light that this was reality and not some effed up dream. I would never see or hold my Michael again… How was I supposed to go on? What was I supposed to do? Who am I without him?

The operative word: “I”

Michael rarely thought of himself before others. He was such a good man. Being married to him was such a blessing. He always made me want to be a better person. He taught me so many lessons in doing so. What nerve did I have in focusing on me over everything else that continues? Life is not about us. It’s about love. It’s about finding ways to improve this world we share with others. Making a difference. Living life with purpose.

So, with that in mind, these days I try not to focus so much on my personal pain but rather on what remains. I know exactly what Michael wanted for me (us). It’s the same I would’ve wanted for him. Happiness. I am thankful for the loving kindness that remains in my heart for others who are still here. My daughter, Deja, my family, my friends, my students, my pets… the list goes on.

Thank you, my dear friends and family, for giving me hope that I still belong here.

Reunited and it feels so… good?

Posted in Books, Love, News, Rants, Raves on August 3, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

I am a terribly sentimental person. Maudlin, in fact. I admit to having a very self-indulgent attachment to most everything! I probably have movie stubs of every movie Michael and I ever went to since the day we met. I’m bad. I mean, really, really bad. Seriously. If there’s a popcorn kernel lodged at the bottom of my purse, I sit and wonder if it was from a movie that had significant meaning… Better hang on to it just in case, right?

Michael, on the other hand, was not sentimental. He was a very simple man in a lot of ways. He loved music, videogames, books, and movies but never felt the need to hoard the physical casings of any of it. Well, he did collect books… But, if a friend or family member showed the slightest interest in any of the above… Yours! He simply didn’t hang on to many material items. Don’t get me wrong. He saved certain mementos. In fact, just last month I found a restaurant napkin tucked into one of his shoe boxes that I wrote a love message to him on.

Ouch. Love hurts.

Strangely, he also held sentimental value on a pressure washer and an old tripod that his father gave him. (Some of you already know that Michael’s father, “Daddy-o,” suddenly passed away just one day before Michael received his cancer diagnosis.) The pressure washer was a gift from Daddy-o when we bought our first home. Michael used it maybe once? The tripod was very old. We’re talkin’ old-old. I thought, “We have two tripods here. One is very old. The other new.” Seemed simple which one to get rid of but since the old one belonged to Michael, I asked him out of respect whether we should bid farewell to the old rusty tripod. He told me Daddy-o gave him that tripod in his youth and he used it to create videos from his band days. Alas, we have two tripods. One old. One new. These were the only two things I can recall him asking me to hang on to when we were packing up to move out of our home last year while he was sick. (Oh, there were also two buckets of weird orphan wires and cables he refused to part with… don’t ask! I didn’t.)

Snakes? I hate snakes!

Anyhow, some time last year, Michael’s 20 Year High School Reunion was announced. Michael was invited to a “VVHS 1992 High School Reunion” group on Facebook. He silently poked around the group reading the announcements and statuses people posted. One thing Michael found interesting was the amount of alumni that had passed. We’re talking at least 10?  I don’t know. That might not seem like a lot to you but when you’re talking about people your age that you used to know… It just didn’t seem normal. Michael read the “In Memoriams” to me… various cancers, random illnesses, suicides, MURDER!? C’mon, the Class of ’92 are only in their late 30s! As he was reading them to me, we had one of those brief “Elephant in the Room” moments. Neither of us said a word about what Michael was personally battling. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to be one of “them.” But honestly, if Stage IV Cancer didn’t make you hyper-aware of your own impending mortality, seeing that list certainly made it clearer. Cancer or not, you have to come to terms that life is quite random and we are not guaranteed tomorrow no matter what your current health status is.

My dear husband mentioned the reunion to me again in early February and pondered whether he wanted to attend or not. The organizers had chosen Las Vegas as the reunion spot. I suppose they all thought it’d be more fun to meet in Sin City rather than the “humble small town” we grew up in. In any case, we talked about possibly attending. We both thought it would be fun to get away to Las Vegas and catch up with some old classmates. (Michael and I both attended the same High School, although he was a grade level higher than me and we were not in each other’s social groups.) However, at some point in late February, we stopped talking about it all together.

The Victor Valley High School Class of 1992 will be reuniting this weekend. I’m actually sad we can’t be there. Today, as I thought about Michael’s reunion, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the legacy Michael left behind. Yes, I know, Michael’s Loyal Readers, my sentimentality is one of the things that makes healing from the loss of my dear sweet Michael so incredibly difficult. But… I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring on the pain, I say.  In fact, as the old adage goes – misery loves company… So, join me, won’t you? Let’s stroll down Michael’s legacy and reflect upon his endless talent and passion for writing (each image is a link):

Published Novels, Novellas, and Collections

Full Novel
1st Edition
(Lachesis Publishing; 2007)
Finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel

Full Novel
(Bad Moon Books; 2009)
Black Quill Award Winner – “Best Small Press Chill: Readers’ Choice”
Black Quill Award Winner- “Best Cover Art & Design: Editors’ Choice”
Black Quill Award Winner – “Best Cover Art & Design: Readers’ Choice”

Short Story Collection
(Bad Moon Books; 2010)
Bram Stoker Award Finalist – “Superior Achievement in a Collection”
Dark Quill Award Winner- “Best Dark Genre Fiction Collection: Readers’ Choice”

(Delirium Books; 2011)

Full Novel
(Morning Star Press; 2011)
Preliminary Ballot – Bram Stoker Novel list

(Burning Effigy Press; 2011)
Bram Stoker Finalist – “Superior Achievement in Long Fiction”

Full Novel
(DarkFuse Publications; 2012)

Full Novel
2nd Edition
(DarkFuse Publications; 2012)

Full Novel
(Bad Moon Books; TBA 2013)

Published Anthologies

Short Story: “Consumed”
Edited by R.J. Cavender
(Cutting Block Press; 2008)
Preliminary Bram Stoker Ballot – “Superior Achievement in Short Fiction”

Short Story: “There’s No Place in a Sleeping World for a Wakeful Man”
Edited by Shane Ryan Staley
(Delirium Books; 2011)

Poem: “Devolution”
Edited by Christopher Conlon
(Dark Scribe Press; 2011)

Butcher Knives & Body Counts: Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film

Essay on the Formula, Frights, & Fun of the Slasher Film: “Embracing the Chaos”
Edited by Vince A. Liaguno
(Dark Scribe Press; 2011)

Short Story: “The Sad, Not-So-Sad, Ballad of Goat-Head Jean,
Ambivalent Devil Queen”
Edited by Weldon Burge
(Smart Rhino Publications; 2012)

Reviews Galore!
(These aren’t all of Michael’s reviews…these are only links to the archives for two Horror-Entertainment websites that he frequently wrote reviews for.)

Horror Entertainment Website
Movie and Game Reviews
Edited by Greg Lamberson

Horror-Entertainment Website
Game Reviews
Edited by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares
This website was a finalist for the HWA‘s BRAM STOKER AWARD for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction (2010)


Original Feature Length Motion Picture
Currently in Production – Summer 2013
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

“Chekhov’s Children”
Short Film
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

“The Promise Jar”
Short Film
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo, Robert W. Filion
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

Short Film
Written By: Michael Louis Calvillo
Directed By: Robert W. Filion

Gosh, this list doesn’t even include Michael’s cache of completed unpublished novels, novellas, screenplays, poems, etc. OR, the HUNDREDS of songs he wrote for the bands he was in… OR, all the raps he wrote for his students … OR, the raps he wrote just for fun… OR, all the beautiful love letters he wrote for me! (Sigh.)

And, yet… I still feel like I’m overlooking other things he wrote? (Am I? Probably.)

Well, in any case… I wanted to acknowlege all the amazing accomplishments Michael could’ve shared with his fellow alumni this weekend. Of course, if you knew Michael, he would have humbly kept all this to himself. His proud wife, on the other hand, would not have been able to keep herself from bragging!

Cheers, VVHS Class of 1992!

Michael Louis Calvillo
Victor Valley High School
Class of 1992

Posted in Books on August 2, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

Michael Louis Calvillo:

Thank you, Meli, for the lovely review of Michael’s LAMBS!

Originally posted on Dreadful Tales:

The Dreadful Tales Book Club is a celebration of horror fiction. The club affords genre fans the opportunity to share our enthusiasm for macabre tales and genre talent with like-minded readers and chat about our experience in the virtual hangout, The Psychopedia Necronomicon. Just as members cracked open Greg Lamberson’s zombie road novella Carnage Road for May’s Book of the Month, the horror fiction community lost one of its most talented members, Michael Louis Calvillo, after a long and arduous battle with cancer. Lamberson joined as a guest member to pick our June title and there was no question that the most appropriate choice was to honor the late Calvillo’s legacy with a reading of his posthumous release from DarkFuse Publications, Lambs.

From DarkFuse Publications:

Plagued by a trio of murderous ghosts, Arthur has bigger problems than your average teenager. Young love, wild hormones, and The…

View original 812 more words

He’s Got the Moves Like Tupac

Posted in Books on June 22, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo
In an effort to honor my dear husband’s blog, I have decided to do my best to keep up with his promotions, updates, and reviews for him here. Michael was such a prolific writer that he left behind 8 completed novels and 4 novellas yet to be published, among a bank of short stories and poems. So, Michael’s Loyal Readers, be prepared for “hope in the midst of chaos” and maybe, just maybe, one day a rapping hologram of MC Mischief will put Tupac’s “resurrection” to shame.
In the meantime, we have Michael’s re-release of I WILL RISE to look forward to. Here is an announcement I posted on Facebook:
In hind sight, Michael’s health was declining when he received word that a second edition of I WILL RISE would be published by Dark Fuse. We were at Loma Linda Medical Center and although he was being poked, prodded, and was sick as hell, he was elated and eager to get home to work on his I WILL RISE revisions. I can’t tell you how much happiness it gave me to see him full of fire once again. I WILL RISE was Michael’s first published novel in 2007 (Lachesis Press) and was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. He was so happy to see this re-release coming together. The limited hard covers will include tribute pieces written by authors he considered great writers… and dear friends. If you’re interested, read the link to see how you can get a limited hardcover, trade paperback, or e-book copy! ~Michelle Stockdale-Calvillo
There are currently only 32 limited hardcovers remaining for purchase, but trade paperbacks and ebooks will be available for order September 25th. Please visit Dark Fuse’s site to get more details and/or order your copy.

Cover by Frank Walls

In true Michael form… I humbly leave you with a video of the infamous Tupac hologram performance. (Warning: As if you didn’t already know, Tupac is not for the kiddies.)

WHC 2012 (Utah, Here We Come…)

Posted in Appearances, Books, General, News on March 28, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

It’s been a loooooooong while since I posted here on the blog. And yes, I feel guilty. And yes, unaccomplished. But, alas, I’ve been going through some stuff (medical woes) and it’s kind of got me bogged down…

My plan is to get back to the daily (well, mostly daily) blogs soon, but in the meantime, I’ve got a little news to fill the void…

World Horror Convention 2012 is in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the end of this week (we fly out tomorrow). The event, chock full of panels, and cool readings, and all things horror, and literary, and awesome, should be a real blast. The convention is also playing host to the HWA’s annual Bram Stoker Awards (in their 25th year!). It so happens my novella 7BRAINS is up for an award (though I expect to be thoroughly stomped by the competition). Cool, huh?

For those hoping to meet up, or check in, or say hi to Michelle, or watch me embarrass myself, I’m on a panel about supernatural freakiness and then I’m giving a reading. The rest of the convention, we’ll be doing the rounds, networking, selling books, sigining books, and fingers crossed, making some new deals. There are also a bunch of nightly parties. Providing I’m feeling up to it, the plan is to attend a few of them.

Here’s my schedule – see you on the other side!


Thursday – Arriving!

Friday – Enjoying the convention…

8:00PMMass Autograph Signing with a billion other authors. Come pay me some attention why don’t you?

Saturday -1:00PM – I’ll be sitting in on a panel called, The Supernatural in Fiction. Why it fascinates us and its place in horror and other genres of fiction. Come watch me put my foot in my mouth! ;-)

2:00PM – I’ll be reading from a variety of works and hamming it up (most likely focusing on 7BRAINS since it’s up for a Stoker). I promise to entertain you. Also, I’ll raffle off some books! The chaos takes place in ROOM I.


And that’s that. Hope to see you all there!!!

Here’s the full schedule of programming as well…



My Cup Runneth Over

Posted in Books, General, News, Rants on March 7, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

My damn DVR is damn screwy when it’s nearing full. You miss one long weekend, Thursday thru Sunday, off TV, on vacation, and it’s bloody hell catching up. And worse, the damned DVR starts bugging out.

Rather than watch evening TV (syndicated sitcoms), I’m trying to play catch-up with American Idol, but the DVR it seems would rather have some fun at my expense! Damn technology!

Sorry, I haven’t stayed on top of my blogs lately. If it’s any consolation, Loyal Reader, my classes are being neglected as well. Oh, and that little writing career thing I’ve got going? Yeah, it’s kicking my butt up and down the street (THERE IS SO DAMN MUCH TO DO!!!).

Thing is I a took a bit of a health dip. New medicine and the multitude of adjustments has got my body crazy. I even went to Urgent Care (which I hate because they keep you around for hours and hours over a half-hour issue). One of my main goals in getting well is packing on the calories! Laugh and scoff all you want, but it’s true, and it’s every bit as hard as trying to lose those last ten pounds. In any case, I started feeling bloated. I took some tums and drank prune juice, but the problem wouldn’t go. Eating is tough. I can’t seem to stomach anything. This is not good. I need my calories!

At Urgent Care they determined I needed a blood transfusion (chemo got me so low…) and that some of the bloat needed to be drained from my abdomen.

An ENTIRE day of waiting went by. The drainage procedure took ten minutes tops.

I gotta go back tomorrow for the standard chemo treatment. My stomach is still bloated, so we will hopefully figure a way to make it go away.

Hate to complain.

I do have some good news!

My latest novel, LAMBS, is currently up for pre-order from DarkFuse. They are only selling 100, limited edition hard covers (signed by moi). Hopefully folks catch on and it sells out soon. For those of you less inclined to collect, or drool, over beautifully produced books, LAMBS, is also available in all e-formats! Read with wild abandon – there’s no reason to fear mustard stains or cringe at broken spines!


 (I pity the fool that don’t order this book!)



Award Season

Posted in Books, General, News on February 20, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

Award season is upon us, Loyal Reader! I love award season! The Academy, The Golden Globes, The Emmy, The Grammy, VH1 Special Awards, whatever, I’m hooked.

I write about pop culture because I like to read about pop culture. I went to the bathroom at my sister’s house and was pleased to discover she subscribes to PEOPLE. The magazine is written in such a conversational style, I often feel that it is talking directly to me. It’s a neat effect. Addictive, even.

In any case, in Horror Writer Land there are enough writers and readers to hold an annual, official, awards gala. It’s called The Bram Stoker Awards. Presented by the HWA, The Horror Writer’s Association, The Bram Stoker Awards is kind of like the Academy Awards for the Horror Writer Set. They’re fun and exciting for me and my people (what do you mean your people?). That I’ve been nominated three times helps. It’s actually my favorite award show on the planet, but I’m a bit biased.

(My people!)

My first novel, the nightmarish fever-dream, I WILL RISE, nabbed a Superior Achievement nomination for Best First Novel back in 2008 (for works from 2007). I lost. The competition was fierce. In the end, nothing could stop Joe Hill’s, debut, Heart-Shaped Box, from kicking IWR’s whiny butt all over the universe. The other two finalists hoping to best Hill, Mary SanGiovanni (The Hollower) and John Little (The Memory Tree), put out rock solid books as well.

The next year my short-story, Consumed (from Horror Library Vol.3), made the prelim, but didn’t advance any further. Same goes for the following year when my second novel, AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, made it to the prelims, but not the final. That was a major bummer. I really, really dig I WILL RISE and I am grateful for the recognition its nomination brought it, but FATE is more of a personal, emotional book, it felt award worthy, but not enough people read it to make a dent and move it on to the final ballot. I’m looking forward to doing another edition in the future. Paperback and affordable so more folks can check it out. We’ll see…

Last year my collection, BLOOD & GRISTLE, got nominated. I was officially a two-time finalist. There was no way I could expect, or even want to beat Stephen King. There is no possible way my books are better. I like them. They do what they do well. They’re good, trust me Loyal Reader, my books are much prettier than this bloggy talk, they’ve got stuff to say (and designs to scare you). But, Stephen King? No way. He is like our modern-day Mark Twain. He is America.  That’s like me trying to write a song about America better than Bruce Springsteen.

(Much, much cooler than an Oscar!)

Now that 2012 is underway, we are set to honor the works published throughout 2011. So happens my novella 7BRAINS made the final ballot for Superior Achievement in the Long Fiction category. My competition isn’t just fierce. It’s ferocious. John Little (this makes Round 2 for John and I going head-to-head - we are forever locked in mortal combat!), Gene O’Neill, Peter StraubCaitlin Kiernan, Brain Hodge. Sheesh!

Best case scenario for moi? Everybody cancels and crosses each other out like the gunfight at the end of Reservoir Dogs and then I sneak away with the Haunted House like Mr. Pink with the diamonds (though I think he gets shot outside…)

If you haven’t given it a look yet, buy a copy of 7BRAINS. It’s $8! Cheap! And it’s short. You’ll jam through it.

Congrats to all those on the final ballot! Good luck to each and every one of you! Here’s the final ballot in all of its glory. Follow the link. Some great reading is represented…

Ever wondered how Horror Writer’s get down? Kinda of like this…

Mad Tales About Mad Men

Posted in Books on January 31, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

Damn, I’m writing under deadline! Under a dinner deadline! I want to be finished writing by the time dinner is served. The wife’s cooking some fancy potato dish that smells phenomenal.

So, what did you do today? Me? I worked. Hardly working. We are in the middle of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, the Jonathan Swift version not the horrid Jack Black bomb (and I’m a big Jack Black fan). Jack Black’s movie would have worked if he used the real text like this Hallmark mini-series. Ted Danson plays Lemuel Gulliver and Mary Steenbergen plays Mary, Gulliver’s estranged wife and Ted Danson’s real life, Curb Your Enthusiasm, marriage partner. They’ve got chemistry. This movie is about three hours long, but it moves nice. Gulliver tells his story in flashbacks that weave with the narrative, blending his modern predicament with fantasies that bleed between worlds. He sees little people and is committed for his crazy-eyed insistence that they are there (they are not). He talks to invisible Lilliputians. He is as crazy as a crap house rat.


(So good)

Gulliver tells his tale with ferocious abandon, disregarding the real world as he struts and preens, reliving sad old memories. He gets despondent travelling for nine years, weary from adventure after adventure. He misses home – there’s a running theme here – but he can’t go home. He can never go home. Not after all the wild things he’s seen. He drags them into his mundane life and the nefarious (not so much) Dr. Bates, the man who took over Gulliver’s practice during his travels and employed Gulliver’s wife and her son and lived with them in Gulliver’s house, has him committed to a mental hospital. Gulliver’s back…but that fool is insane! The mad house only gets Gulliver going, telling mad tales to mad men about the corruption festering in their bones.

Had a nice day, Loyal Reader.

How about you?

More tomorrow maybe…

The Calm Before The Calm

Posted in Books, General, News on January 20, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

It’s been a rough week, Loyal Reader. I spent most of it queasy, clutching my ribs, mumbling, ick, ick, icky. I’m still a little shaky. Not a 100% just yet, but getting there…

I finally made it in to work today (sad to report I missed most of the week battling pain medication and going insane). Rolling out of bed this morning I still felt a bit kooky, but I screwed up my resolve, rolled with my wife (we work at the same school – killer, huh?) and then went to work siphoning as much youthful energy as possible.



The crazy kids in my classes are great at bolstering my spirits. They’re awesome well-wishers. This cancer fight is an unruly mix of individual strife (damn, how I ache!) and collective compassion. My students know all about what I’m going through and we talk about it openly. I talk their ears off about radiation and chemo and needles. We have fun with the horrid stuff and keep it positive. It’s super cathartic. Besides, after three days of sitting on the couch with Wendy Williams (big fan), and Anderson Cooper (big fan), and Jeremy Kyle (not so much), work is a breezy dream.

Thus begins the weekend. For the first time, in a long time, the missus and I don’t have anything planned on the calendar. I am sooo looking forward to just chilling with my girl, watching movies, reading, relaxing, and recouping.

Oh, and hey, check it out! The HWA has released the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards (not the official ballot – that’s coming soon). 7BRAINS is a potential Long Fiction contender. There are some heavy hitters in the running and it’s gonna be tough to make the final cut, but it’s nice to be listed among so many great works. Follow the link – - seek out some titles, and go on a horror literature shopping spree (you lucky dog you)!


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