Living in St. Jude, a 110-year-old dying city on the edge of the Mississippi, is tough. But when a letter informs fourteen-year-old Cinque Williams of the passing of the father he never met, he is faced with an incomplete past and an uncertain future. A curse meant for his father condemns Cinque to a slow death even as it opens his eyes to the strange otherworld around him. With help from the ghost Willy T, an enigmatic White Woman named Iku, an African Loa, and a devious shape-shifter, Cinque gathers the tools to confront the ghost of his dead father. But he will learn that sometimes too much knowledge can be dangerous—and the people he trusts most are those poised to betray him.
First four chapters are free, depending on how good you are at solving puzzles.
Reviews – What’s Being Said About Tone Milazzo & Picking Up the Ghost
African magic and folklore color this unusual coming-of-age story . . . . [T]his debut entertains with an original approach and mix of breezy humor and dark fantasy.
If Salvador Dali were an author, his work might resemble Tone Milazzo’s Picking Up the Ghost. Okay, maybe Milazzo’s book has a little more structure than Dali’s melting pocket watches. But there is no doubt that Milazzo can paint a world with words, and the surreal setting he created for this coming-of-age adventure is both dazzling and terrifying. . . . [E]ven if you’re not an urban fantasy fan, I definitely recommend this book. Milazzo has unique style that is downright weird, but has a literary quality to it. I think we can expect more great stories from him.
Coming in at 14 inches and about $800, I present The Stack 2016. I made a real effort to stay out of those 50% off bins, that helped save my back.
Professionally, the convention went as well as could be expected. Comic Creator Connection put me in touch with a very promising artist for Dead Woman and another for Hayseed Hercules. My science-fiction-beats-Cthulhu pitch was dead in the water as none of the artists knew much about the Mythos.
Me: This story takes place 10 years after humanity defeated the Mi-Go in their first interplanetary war.
Artist: What’s a My Go?
Networking at Comic Con is always awkward, especially as a writer without an artist. The artists in Artist Alley seem to be after the on-the-spot consignment money, and I didn’t want to interrupt the publishers as they were talking about their party plans. Next year, I need to have full project submissions, script and art, if I’m going to break in there. That’s the goal.
I’ll be using WordPress to post my Comic Con pictures. Apologies to my email subscriber in advance.
Created as a low-cost classroom aid, the Neo2 has found an unintended use as a distraction-free writing device. It’s basically a keyboard with a little bit of memory. I call it the ‘first draft machine.’
For me, the first 20 pages are the toughest. On both novels, I wrote the opening long-hand, because while the computer is great tool for writing, it’s an even greater distraction. Why work on that 90,000 word book for the next three years when I could come up with a 140 character tweet that might get 2 likes? But transcribing 20 pages is almost as painful as writing it in the first place. With the Neo2 I can get the focus of a pad of paper, without the wrist cramp and ink stained fingers.
I jammed out 286 words last night, felt the tug of Internet addiction a few times. I’d reach for a mouse that wasn’t there. But since the Neo2 has no network, the impulse was cut short. It runs on 3 AA batteries that last for months, so no hunting for a table close to a plug at the coffee shop. With the LCD display I can read it in the sunlight. I can see myself writing on this in the backyard, on the road, or even while camping. Spellcheck and thesaurus are also built-in, I probably won’t use them. I’ll save my editing for after I export into Scrivener.
Speaking of export, there’s two ways to do it. You’ll want to download the Manager software, for Windows or Mac to transfer at a reasonable rate of speed. As an alternative, you can always plug the Neo2 into a computer as a USB keyboard and have it type out your file into a word processor. But that takes forever, even at the fastest speed.
They don’t make these anymore, but you usually can find them for around $40 used.
In a medium where death is temporary, semantic satiation has drained ‘justice’ of all meaning, and heroes fight each other as often as the villains, these two words set fandom on fire. Captain America a Hydra sleeper agent caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Rewriting the past is never popular.)
The outrage washed right past me. Taking comics seriously, that’s kid stuff. (More like, forty-year-old man-child stuff.) On the list of things worth my outrage, what a corporate entity decides to do with it’s intellectual property is near the bottom. Furthermore, Captain America’s part of the G.I Generation. And this swing to the right’s just playing to type.
Take my dad; A man who benefited form the New Deal as a kid, and voted to disassemble the social safety net for everyone else every chance he got. He served as a Navy minesweeper in World War II, yet thought Hitler had the right idea. Decried discrimination against Italians everyplace he imagined it, and wouldn’t visit a doctor with a Jewish name. He’d of fit right in with what’s become of so much of the G.I. Generation, the Tea Parties and the Trump Train.
(BTW Happy Father’s Day, everyone.)
So why shouldn’t Steve Rodgers be a Nazi in all but name? We have our own Captain America.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Me: Quick question; are we subject to maritime law while in this ride?
Cast Member: …sure.
The Haunted Mansion
Cast Member: There’s no smoking in this ride, sir.
Me: Oh it’s okay. This isn’t tobacco. It’s sage!
Cast Member: Please step out of the line, sir.
Star Tours–The Adventures Continue
Me: The initial conceit of this ride is that C3-PO isn’t a qualified pilot. But at ten times an hour and a duration of 4 minutes, and thirty seconds (subtracting the 30 seconds spent in the hanger), running ten times every operational hour since the ride opened on June 3, 2013, C3-PO has the equivalent of 3592 hours of flight time. That’s three and a half times what NASA requires of it’s astronauts. If this ride is going to stay in continuity the narrative will need updating.
Cast Member: …sure.
The Taxi (not a ride, just the taxi)
Me: Hey! You’re our cabdriver from last night. Guess It’s a Small World after all, huh?
Cabdriver: …is okay.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Me (turning around from the driver’s seat): I’m going to need everyone to cough up $5 for gas money.
Other passengers: …no.
Cast Member: Please get out the car, sir.
was a lot of fun, and I don’t think I’ll visit Disneyland under any other day. By accident, it was also Bats Day
and honestly, I think the two should continue to coordinate and blow people’s minds.