Deprivation Ivri Lider Oregon self That Door Is a Mischief The New People The Padişah’s Son and the Fox The Young Professionals work in progress

oh, hi

Three and a half months since my last post. Wow. I never intended it and it doesn’t feel that long. The calendar says so, though: the calendar and the season, which—here in Eugene—is pretty definitely spring although people where I used to live are still digging out from under Snowpocalypse ’15. (Can’t say I’m sorry to have missed that.) The calendar, the season, the randy neighborhood frogs ribbitting all night long, and my beard.

Yeah, laugh if you want, I’m growing a fancy big beard. I never believed I could! One of the tragedies of my genetic heritage—I’ll never go bald up top but never have sufficient hair elsewhere to please me. But maybe I was wrong! (Not about my chest, dammit.) This selfie is actually a month old: there’s more to the thing now. I’m going to stick flowers in it like an Instagram hipster. And there will be flowers.

The crocuses in the wooden planter are nearly over and the dianthus above too heavy but I planted a bunch of flower seeds that ought to poke their tiny green heads out of the soil any day now. Lobelia, love-in-a-mist, sweet alyssum, sweet peas, nasturtiums. Iceland poppies and cosmos to come when I pick up a suitable planter—maybe later today. All suitable candidates. So, you know, I’m generally pretty cheerful right about now despite badly screwed-up sleep patterns and a sinus infection that will not quit.

Reasons to be cheerful:

  • Mr ’Nathan Burgoine was a vocal Liam fan long before I completed That Door Is a Mischief so I’m p.r.e.t.t.y well convinced this complimentary review isn’t all down to my naming a couple of characters after him (and killing ’em both off)…or dedicating the book to him.
  • I’d never even heard of Big Gay Horror Fan before my attention was drawn to this review. It made me smile.
  • Mr Jerry L. Wheeler of Out in Print has been kindly disposed toward my work in the past but I kind of wondered whether he had too many review copies in his queue to squeeze my new one in. I was wrong. And pleased.
  • Oh, and there’s a gentleman who calls himself Constant Reader when he ventures into the swamp of the Amazon. (I know his real name. He’s been writing me kind letters and e-mails about my fiction for, goddamn, nearly twenty years. And I, I fear, am a rotten return correspondent.) Just recently he took it into his head (to cheer me up) to post extremely thoughtful reviews in aforementioned swamp. So far he’s hit three, including the very first review ever of the M-Brane Press Double of which half is my The New People; Deprivation; and The Padişah’s Son and the Fox. Thank you, sir.


  • Mr Ivri Lider (him again, you say) released his new studio album, Ha’ahava Ha’zot Shelanu [This Love of Ours], last month. I was briefly too broke to justify purchasing it—a tragedy of epic proportions—but now it’s on endless repeat on my iTunes. It strikes me as his most varied, accessible, and foot-tapping group of tracks since Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim [The New People] but what do I know, I don’t understand a word of Hebrew. Anyway, it makes me happy. Word is his side project, the ¥oung Professionals, will have a new album out soon as well. Those lyrics will be English, I expect.


  • The black widow in the corner of my bathroom (I’m convinced it’s a black widow) hasn’t bitten me yet. Nor Curious Jane, who follows me downstairs nearly every time. You can bet I’m keeping that door closed. I had forgotten how much more creepity-crawly indoor fauna there is on the West Coast than in New England.


  • It’s not expected to rain today.


  • I’m writing again.

Least likely for last, eh? I have a new novel in mind. First chapter-plus and a good bit of background material composed since early February. I’m not prepared to say much about it yet—so the in progress tab up top will continue to default to Bedtime Stories for the Boy Himself, Perhaps, a worthy project returned to the trunk again—except that the working title is The Goblin’s Bride, it starts out in Eugene (right here in a version of this very apartment!), and the lead character is a girl. A young woman, I mean—she’s seventeen in chapter one. For the moment her name is Helen.


Ivri Lider music recommendation The Young Professionals

hear this

Thursday 2 August was my late mother’s birthday. She would have been eighty-six. Also my imaginary friend Rusty Shirazi’s nineteenth, who shares Lee Jeffers’s birthday for reasons I’ve enumerated before. I was preoccupied with freelance work all day, though, and shamefully forgot the duple occasion.

Friday 3 August, yesterday, my muse of the last four or five years Ivri Lider released his sixth full-length studio album, Mishehu Paam (Somebody Once). Naturally I bought and downloaded it right fast. I’ve been w.a.i.t.i.n.g. His last, Beketzev A’hid Batnu’ot Shel Haguf (The Steady Rhythm of Body Movements), came out in 2008! I mean, the last four years haven’t been entirely barren of Ivriana—his side project with Jonny Goldstein, The ¥oung Professionals, is tremendous fun—but, well, Ivri’s solo work broke my ten-year-long writer’s block.

And so, how is it, the new album? Admittedly, Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim (The New People, 2002), the first album I downloaded, will always be the sentimental favorite and Beketzev A’hid Batnu’ot Shel Haguf on first listen made me wish to die, on second to live forever. So Mishehu Paam had a lot to live up to. The title track was promising: the video hit YouTube in May.

Heartbreaking visually, musically and vocally powerful.

The remaining twelve tracks? Took a couple of listens to creep up on me. No standout that’s going to displace “Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim,” “Al Kav Ha’mayim,” “Sfarad,” or my god “Bo” from the 2002 release or basically every track from the 2008 from my affections, but really. Yes. Yes.

Here’s the second video, “Mazal Tov Israel,” a doubtless terribly topical (if one understands Hebrew) collabo with Mooke.

Added to the soundtrack for the three stories I’m working on: “The Oily Man,” a tale from the subcontinent first mentioned back in May and Still. Not. Done. Dammit; another, as yet untitled, subcontinental story; and the fourth Liam story, “…and the Changelings.” And for the on-going revision of the novel in which Rusty Shirazi plays such a central part. (Happy belated, Rusty!) And the designing and the editing and the designing and the proof reading.

Exhausted, that’s what I am. Help me out, T¥P!

Ivri Lider music The Young Professionals


I have spent essentially the entire weekend (which, parenthetically, has not been a particularly good one) listening over and over to the exhilarating newly released first album by The Young Professionals, 9:00 to 17:00, 17:00 to whenever.

I’d been peripherally aware of T¥P all summer. One of its principals is Israeli superstar Ivri Lider, about whom I go on and on. But I hadn’t paid a great deal of attention as A) the project appeared to be directed toward an international—that is, English speaking—audience and a significant aspect of my infatuation with Ivri’s music has to do with my inability to understand the Hebrew lyrics; B) the first single was called “D.I.S.C.O.,” which, well, really? in 2011?; C) I had a lot of other stuff on my mind.

I was wrong, okay? I even like “D.I.S.C.O.” although my favorite tracks, I think, are “Wake Up,” “Deserve,” “Dirty Messages,” and the cover of Suzanne Vega’s “Blood Makes Noise.”

I’m still waiting for Fly/Forget, though, Ivri.