Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges coming February 4, 2014!

Howdy folks!

Here’s a big update on that book I’ve been promising you. I’ve got an official release date now, and it’s only (as of this writing) EIGHT days away. Yup, Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges is finally coming out in ebook form for real for real on Amazon and Smashwords on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, and hopefully to Barnes & Noble & Kobo & all those other cool ebook places within a week or so after that…

If you want a real book book version, that will take another couple of weeks at least, but that should also be available on Amazon before the end of February.

ASHESCOVERamazonHere’s the Amazon cover design forAshes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges, featuring a brand new painting by mighty mighty Marybeth Chew.

The story behind the picture (I’m making it up now, it’s not in the book at all) is that this young woman (we’ll call her Kathy) is at a family member’s funeral with a slightly older cousin (Georgia) who always gets her into trouble.They’re supposed to be in mourning, but people deal with these things in different ways, and these two are in one of the side rooms at the funeral home goofing around and making funny faces at each other. This is Georgia’s camera, capturing the moment when Kathy makes eye-contact with her grief-stricken mother, who has just walked in.

Over the next couple of weeks, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the brand new Flickerlamp Publishing YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtKnBfgusDYmM9N7bC2LC2w

for a bunch of crazy content as soon as the book comes out. More details to follow.

Catcha later,

Eric

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Two new ASHES TO ASHES, ORANGES TO ORANGES illustrations revealed

Here are a couple of illustrations (and blurbs about the accompanying stories) from my coming-soon book Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges. Art by Marybeth Chew, of course. I hope you enjoy them:

09Nothing Concrete1Nothing Concrete: A swingin’ businessman finds he’s no match for his new secretary, who enjoys jumping off of buildings.

10Breathing LadyThe Breathing Lady: A young woman must stop her “aunt” from pilfering her birthright: a supernatural artifact known as “The Breathing Lady.”

Talk soon.

Love, Eric

 

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Good news, better news…

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I know I’ve been talking up my beautiful book since forever, but here’s some good news:

It’s coming really soon- talking weeks, not months. Actively into the formatting stage and waiting on a few details here and there. And here’s some even better news:

I’ve got this Facebook author page now, and if you like it by Monday, 1/20/14, I’ll send you a copy of my terrific tome, (yes, that one, Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges) at LEAST in digital form absolutely free. No further obligation and no salesman will call.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Henderson/452450994880740

So pop on over and take make short work of that business, and in a week or two or three, you’ll say “Whee, Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges for me!”

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“My Big Sick Movie List” is a dumb joke, but here it is…

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So, just a couple of days after I wrote my epic post about how much I love Something Weird Video, I found out that Mike Vraney, the founder of Something Weird and the “41st thief” himself, is no longer with us.  Mike died of lung cancer on January 2nd, and that sucks. I never met the guy, but I hung out “around” him a couple of times, and one time I got a piece of his business correspondence as filler paper in a box of films I bought. He was THE guy responsible for bringing old-time exploitation to modern audiences, and he did a lot of other cool stuff, too.  If anyone’s interested in Mike’s story, I’d suggest checking out his commentary track on the SWV DVD of H.G. Lewis’s Something Weird, where he & Dave Friedman tell the whole Something Weird Video story.  It’s inspiring and beautiful and will make you yearn for a touch of the carny in your everyday life.

So then the week after that I got sick. Like ugh-holding-my-stomach-for-two-days-straight-to-make-the-hooks-inside-hurt-a-little-less sick. It wasn’t fun, but this great thing happened where the kid wasn’t allowed into the sick room and I could actually put on movies I wanted to watch. I slept through a lot of them, and through parts of a lot more, but it was the most movies I’d seen by choice in a long time. Yep, you saw it comin’:

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My Big Sick Movie List

Spider-Man, the ’67 Collection –  disc one – see? SUCH a dumb joke. I watched disc one accidentally, I like the later discs better after Bakshi gets in charge and it’s all psychedelic watercolor weirdness.

sketch2Suddenly, Last Summer – I don’t know much at all about Tenessee Williams, but I’ve seen this movie a bunch – so badass. Katherine Hepburn brings the crazy.

My Dinner With Andre – The granddaddy of reality TV, except that Andre Gregory, he of the liver spots and over-sized sweater, has more interesting adventures than the Kardashians,  the Osbournes and sixteen pregant 16-year-olds put together.

Going Greek – I worked on this college comedy for 2 weeks or so back in 2000 (I was the 2nd boom op), but had never seen it. It didn’t make me laugh. I did, however, find myself in the “behind the scenes” footage, and I thought this still (with Charlie Talbert, who played the title character in “Angus” and me through the window) was kind of charming.

Charlie

Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen – A Tex Ritter western.

Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones try to do something nice. It doesn’t end well.

The Song Remains the Same – Led Zeppelin plays Madison Square Garden, and plays sketch6with swords and stuff.

Daughters of Satan – Tom Selleck buys a painting of a witch being executed because she looks just like his wife. It happens in the Phillipines.

The Blood Drinkers – A b/w Filipino vampire movie tinted with color.

Room 237 – Awesome new doc uses the different ways people look at the Stanley Kubrick movie “The Shining,” to talk about how humans mentally negotiate media in general. Recommended.  Watched it again with the commentary.

Making  ‘The Shining’ – Vivian Kubrick’s behind the scenes footage – on The Shining DVD.

Eugenie – RIP Jess Franco.

sketch4

Heavy Metal – Taarna is mean, and I like her.

Logan’s Run – When it comes to movies shot in malls, I prefer this one over ‘Dawn of the Dead.’

2001: A Space Odyssey – I woke up for the weird part at the end.

Death Curse of Tartu – Won me over a bit more this time. Still, it’s no ‘Sting of Death.’

Sting of Death – The movies I like the most are the ones with the most obnoxious color palettes. Do the Jilla-Jalla-Jellyfish!

Svengali – Pre-code awesomeness.

Scandal in Denmark – Pretty funny Scandinavian caper/fairy-tale/comedy.

Pagan Island – One man alone with thirty beautiful native women. “Where I come from, that’s called a kiss.”

sketch1Zeta One – Weird British spy/nudie movie, partially set on the planet Angvia, a beautiful soundstage where half-naked women crawl through cardboard tunnels.

Alabama’s Ghost – Another old favorite, from the director of Roseland & Godmonster of Indian Flats.

Begotten – Hey, you mean there really is a “sick” movie on this list? Yeah, that’s right, I couldn’t watch it, though. I only made it a few minutes in. The atmosphere was altogether too creepy. Crickets instead of music. What I did see reminded me in a way of a more serious  and disturbing ‘Tetsuo, the Iron Man.’

Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore – Excellent Something Weird-produced doc on the altogether amazing Mr. Lewis, who put the B in Ballyhoo, and who famously said “No one ever walked out of a theater because of a ragged pan.”

The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird – Gorgeous French animation from 1952. The story is secondary to the elaborate cityscape “set” the characters run (and fly) around in.

Annd…. that’s it. I felt better and hadda get up and do stuff. Maybe next time I will fake the ill so I can watch more closely. Love a movie on this list? I wanna know all about it!

sketch3

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For the Love of Something Weird

"Poor Rooney" - Bill Kerwin

“Poor Rooney” – Bill Kerwin

My love letter to Something Weird Video ran a little long, so I put it on its own page… to quote the South Park disclaimer “due to its content, should not be viewed by anyone.”

http://franticflicker.com/for-the-love-of-something-weird/

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The Float Tank, Altered States, and What is Important, Really?

man_with_circulatory_system_flatI went to the float tank today. Here’s my disclaimer: Talking about my own brain seems kind of masturbatory to me to begin with, so it’s several feet outside my comfort zone to talk about what my brain is doing while my body is lying naked in a shallow pool of warm water.  Inquiring minds want to know,  so I want to share, but I’ll try to stick to the facts. P.S. I just read through this again, and I’m not sure I succeeded.

I don’t consider myself a spiritual person, but I am curious about different kinds of consciousness and things.  In case that already sounds like new age noodling, I’ll rephrase it and say: I’m not religious, but I did used to enjoy experimenting with drugs. Better? Yes, that’s much more clear.

I turn 43 tomorrow. I learned to meditate as a teenager and have practiced it on and off (mostly off) as a stress-relief, problem-solving, parlor-trick sort of tool ever since then. Then about five years ago, I had this weird experience.

There was this record series in the ’70s called environments that was meant to take you (in an audio sense, anyway) to another place. A typical environments record might have the sounds of a thunderstorm on one side and the sounds of a mountain stream on the other. I had a few of them, and they were pretty cool. Then I got this one with a side called “Induced Meditation” that was supposed to shove your brain right into a meditative state.

Well, I turned off the lights and crossed my legs and put this record on, and it worked amazingly well. It worked so well that I reached a point in my meditation where I felt my body and my brain fall into a deep sleep and I was still somehow there watching it happen. The only thing I can think of to compare it to is the way TV stations would go off the air in the old days – “This station concludes its broadcast day,” and then there would just be static. Basically, I sat there for a couple of minutes watching the static at the end of my own broadcast day, and it was seriously profound. Like for really real, no-kidding nirvana. I would tell you that it looked like an endless, and endlessly moving plate of fluorescent spaghetti under a blacklight, but that really sounds like bullshit.

Anyway, when I came out of this, maybe two or three minutes later,  I felt amazing. My basic primordial urges to eat and to love felt satiated, and I was totally refreshed, just all the way all good, peace-on- earth-goodwill-to-men in a way that I’d maybe never felt before.

I tried for a couple of weeks to get back there – I played that record a lot of times, but I never quite made it. Then I started to feel like I was pushing for it too much, and I thought I might give myself a seizure, so I gave up.

So then a month or two ago someone posted a link online and I found out about this new thing with float tanks. Float tank is a more publicly palatable term for an isolation tank, or a sensory-deprivation tank, which have been around since the ’50s. The basic idea is that it’s dark, you’ve got earplugs in, and you’re in body-temperature water with hundreds of pounds of salt dissolved in it so that you float like a cork. And then you don’t see or hear anything, and you’re just floating there, and then, it’s great. Presumably, you sort of meditate and trip out and explore your mind or something.

Of course, as a child of the ’70s, everything I know about sensory-deprivation tanks comes from the movie “Altered States,” about a guy who takes a lot of drugs and floats in a tank and eventually regresses into a prehistoric ape-man. I’ve always loved that movie, and I’ve got some experience with meditation or whatever, so when I found  out there was a place that offered the service that was reasonably close by, I decided I needed to give it a try.

So this morning my wife & daughter & I hoofed it down (about an hour) to the floating center, and gave them a hundred bucks for my hour in the tank. It seems expensive, and it is, but like I said, my birthday’s tomorrow, and I really wanted to check it out.

First they had me watch a video on a tablet that told me a lot of stuff I’d already learned from online vids, like “you gotta shower before and after the tank” and “don’t get that salty water in your eyes.” They would play music when my time was up, and yes, they promised it would be loud enough that I could hear it even with the earplugs in.

The dude leads me to my room and leaves me there. There’s a changing area with places to put your stuff, then to one side is the shower room (mine had these crazy lenticular-looking tiles) and to the other side is the tank. They give you an extra seven minutes to shower before your actual float time begins, which seems fair.  I don’t think I took the whole seven minutes, though –  I was really excited to get in.  Oh boy, it’s almost time. Get the earplugs in, open the door, step into the tank, close the door, turn off the light and…

Yup, nothing. It’s called a sensory-deprivation tank because  you can’t see or hear anything. The water feels good and you float in it, but what do you actually do? Nothing. Flotation is not what you’d call an “active sport.” It’s more like a disc defragmenter for your brain. I spent the first few minutes floating there,  getting comfortable,  and then I stretched out as far as I could. And then I floated there some more. Tried to follow the little spots in front of my eyes, that was fun for a while. I’m feeling fine, relaxed, floating, stretching.

I know I could have, even should have, prepared myself better for this experience, bringing ideas I wanted to think about into the tank with me, but while I was actually in there, I didn’t feel I spent much time thinking about anything.

The only preparation I did was to come up with a general philosophical question. This was poorly-thought out and poorly-phrased,  but somehow I figured it might spin me off in some crazy direction and make it so I could say that this single hour had impacted my life more than any other. The question was “What is important?” That’s what I decided to ask myself and concentrate on during my float – “What is important?” When I remembered the question, maybe ten minutes in, my brain immediately spat back the answer, “Important is a word.” Which I guess could be kind of profound, if you think about it, but it’s kind of glib, too. Mostly, it felt like my brain was trying to shut me up so it could do its own thing.

I’m stretching periodically through the whole float. While it feels good, and I’m perfectly relaxed, I can’t help imagining that if I had any sort of exercise regimen, or if I’d done some meditation recently, or if I felt more comfortable in this comfortable new environment even though it was new, that I’d be even more relaxed, and enjoying my tank time even more.

I try my standard tricks to get into the meditative state, and they work, but I don’t stay there for long. Being completely alone is too novel for my brain, I guess, and it wants me to stay aware for the whole thing.

I’m surprised when I hear the music – it’s over already? I get out and shower again, then get some tea and hang out with my wife & daughter in the recovery room thing. There are a bunch of books in the room, including a bunch by isolation tank inventor John C. Lilly, and multiple copies of all the Carlos Castaneda books. There’s also a human head made out of glass, and some mini-pumpkins, for the holidays.  Interestingly enough, this room is the last stop on my tour, and the first place that any kind of new-agey stuff  rears its head.

My daughter is four. She makes faces at herself in the mirror, and has to be shushed (with a smile) multiple times. When we get outside, I feel good. There’s a footbridge that leads out through some reeds to a view of the river. The sun is out, and everything seems more intense and wonderful than usual.

On the way home (my wife’s driving, I’m still a little fuzzy) I think about how I didn’t come anywhere near that crazy meditation experience I had before with the environments record. But I feel really okay with that. I mean, of course reaching nirvana again and exploring the deepest recesses of my mind is important to me. But on the other hand – important?  That’s just a word.

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Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges: free preview now on Wattpad!

So now you can read three of the twelve stories in Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges (and check out Marybeth’s terrific art) right on your own home computation station or digital telephone. You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to sign in, just click on the links below to read the stories:

Elvis

 

 

A henpecked husband finds the solution to his life of servitude at the local ice cream parlor.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/9558355-peanut-butter-elvis

 

 

GirlLayers

 

 

Waiting for her boyfriend, a young woman has an enlightening conversation with a strange old man.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/9539994-the-girl-on-the-corner

 

 

CoverKoA

 

 

A lonely young woman becomes obsessed with an online video game with roots that run deeper than the internet.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/9517777-the-king-of-antarctica

 

 

As per usual, I also implore you to hoof it over to the right side of the screen and sign up for my email list, so you’ll know for sure when exciting things are happening -and they are, to be sure.

Your friend,

Eric

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Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges: It’s Coming Soon. And You Will Dig It.

Hi,

So here’s the skinny on my new book from FLICKERLAMP PUBLISHING, or as much as I can tell you right now.

It’s called ASHES TO ASHES, ORANGES TO ORANGES, and it’s a collection of 12 short stories, all of which get a little fuzzy and surreal around the edges.

This terrific tome will be available as an ebook and in a (very) limited print run. 3 of the stories will also be made available individually (for free) on Wattpad & Smashwords.

The illustrations (and also the cover art) are being done by my extremely talented friend Marybeth Chew. You can catch a glimpse of her brilliance here:  http://marybethchewpaintings.blogspot.com/

Exact release date is still TBD, but it’s looking like mid-late November right now. The artwork’s kicking ass from there to here, the stories are getting a final spiffing up, and the entire internet is glowing with excitement.

To make sure you’re up to snuff on the details of this release, type your email in the box to the right and click “Subscribe.” I promise not to sell your info or send you a bunch of dumb stuff.

Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges. 12 stories. Coming soon. Watch this space. Thanks!

Your Friend,

Eric

P.S. While you’re waiting, you’ll probably want to check out this other fine release from Flickerlamp Publishing…

Available as an ebook from Amazon or in a special full-color magazine format from MagCloud:

Mrs ShushmanMSSG MagCloud

 

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New Animated Flickerlamp Logo

I’m so impressed with this! On an endless loop for your viewing pleasure…

FLFog300

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Introducing Flickerlamp Publishing!

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Dear You,

Here’s the new thing, but it’s easy to get used to. FLICKERLAMP PUBLISHING is a brand new venture that’s going to be publishing my stuff for the forseeable future.

Flickerlamp is dedicated to “publishing exciting new fiction in multiple genres,” which means they’re into authors who are good and have a lot to say, but don’t fit neatly into a genre box. You know, like ME!  

You’ll be hearing a whole lot more about Flickerlamp in the coming weeks, but if you want to make sure you’re on top of getting all the news as of right now, there are a couple of things you can do:

1. Sign up for my mailing list on this site. That way you’ll be sure to know all about when my stuff is coming out and when I post stuff for free on other sites

2. ‘Like’ the Flickerlamp Publishing Facebook page. It’s so new that it still smells like chemicals, and the logos don’t fit right yet. Until Flickerlamp.net goes live, this will be Flickerlamp‘s main way of letting you know what’s happening. https://www.facebook.com/flickerlamp

3. Both of the above.

All of the infrastructure is just about in place, and we’ll be getting into some of my actual content soon, I promise. In the meantime, please take a moment to admire Flickerlamp‘s beautiful ‘full-on” logo (from the master himself over at www.k3n.com)…

styled-with-lamp

…and check out this wildly complimentary copy from the “about” section of the Flickerlamp Facebook page (it says some nice things about me!):

“Formed in September, 2013, Flickerlamp Publishing has already made a splash with the debut story collection by award-winning author A.M. Metivier. “Mrs Shushman Says Goodbye (& Other Stories of Death and Deception)” is a fascinating group of stories (four in all, the first one a novella) which has been very well-received, garnering attention in the U.K. as well as in the U.S.

“Mrs. Shushman Says Goodbye…” is currently available as an ebook on Amazon http://ow.ly/qc5kN or in a unique full-color magazine format on MagCloud  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/408098 

Read more about A.M. Metivier and her forthcoming steampunk/ fantasy series “The Changeling Chronicles” at http://www.changelingchronicles.com/

Coming soon is another debut. Eric Henderson is a writer who’s just starting to come out of his shell at age 42, but once you’ve read some of his stuff, you’ll wonder why he waited so long. “Ashes to Ashes, Oranges to Oranges” is a highly entertaining set of 12 stories designed to make you laugh uncomfortably and heap praise upon the very concept of imagination. It’s fully illustrated, too.

2014 will be a magical, breakout year for Flickerlamp Publishing, with further reliable releases from Metivier and Henderson, and exciting new novels by Darin Clementine and Tara Kiel.

We look forward to sharing exclusive info on this page about all the great surprises we have in store, so keep watching this space.

Remember, kids, don’t read in the dark, read by Flickerlamp!”

More world-wise words have seldom been spoken, I’m really for real and not at all jokin’.

Flickerlamp Publishing! Dig it.

Your Friend,

Eric

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