Wednesday, September 12, 2012

“Nuns on Top” is base | Mountain Xpress | Asheville, NC

Mountain Xpress printed my letter criticizing the crudity of their article announcing Thirsty Monk owner Barry Bialik's proposed expansion "Nuns on Top" and urging the editors to ask Mr Bialik to change the name to something better suited to Asheville. I continue to urge everyone to write Mr. Bialik at asking him to change the profane, sexist, and crude name to something befitting family-friendly downtown Asheville.

 “Nuns on Top” is base | Mountain Xpress | Asheville, NC
Dear Editors of the Mountain Xpress,
I am a citizen of Asheville, a strong supporter of local business and a frequent reader of the Mountain Xpress, my most trusted source for news in Western North Carolina. Your articles are usually the finest journalism covering the area and often champion what is best in Asheville and the surrounding area, fighting to make Western North Carolina a better place for all. 
So I was surprised and appalled at the language Emily Patrick chose for the opening paragraph of her Sept. 5 article "Nuns on Top set to join the Thirsty Monk,” and equally shocked that the editors allowed it to be published as written. The name of the proposed establishment is bad enough, an issue I have taken up with owner Barry Bialik and urge you to do the same, but Ms. Patrick's references to nuns mounting the Thirsty Monk in addition to monastic life getting "boozier" is uglier and grosser than the name alone. It certainly highlights the profane and lascivious nature of the name, but even if the name is risqué, I expect better journalism from the Xpress; I expected a journalistic spirit that does not sink to the basest of humor, degrading women, Christianity and our city in one-fell swoop. 
I strongly urge at least the rewriting of the article for the website. 
I support Bialik's entrepreneurial success and cheer that a bar I consider on of the finer downtown establishments is expanding its space and offerings especially in these times of economic struggle. I trust and respect the Mountain Xpress and admire its general integrity and solid public voice, hoping that voice continues to ring clear and true. But the proposed name and the language of the article tarnish our community, the Thirsty Monk and the Xpress. Asheville is a better city than that, the Thirsty Monk is a better place than that and Bialik is a finer man than that. 
Please refrain from such low and cheap humor — even when it stares you in the face — and consider publicly and privately asking Bialik to change an unfortunate and profane name, one he shouldn't want associated the great name of Thirsty Monk. 
— David Michael Mayeux

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An open letter to the Asheville City Council

Honorable Mayor, Distinguished Councilors,

I am a citizen of Asheville, a city that I dearly love, and a member of the parish of St Lawrence. Due to work, I will not be able to attend tonight's meeting of the Council that determines the fate of the Haywood St lot whose destiny rests in your hands by the providential hand of God, but I wanted to make sure that I shared my voice concerning the hopes for the Haywood St development. I have looked at the various proposed plans, and I see merit in them all. But I urge you to consider with favor the Diocese of Charlotte and the Basilica of St. Lawrence's proposal for the St. Lawrence Plaza. Being so close to the issue, it is hard to be objective, but I have given over my heart in prayer and while I do not think that any issue of such importance should be dealt with objectively, I have tried to consider this with the eyes of reason, as well as those of heart.

In many ways, for me the issue is not one of aesthetics—I actually think the McKibbon Hotel Group did a nice job of conforming their proposed architecture to match the Vanderbilt Apartments—or of finance—of COURSE Asheville could use the taxes—but one of family

Our city thrives on tourism, and I'm elated that so many people find our city interesting and beautiful enough to be worthy of their time, interest, and yes, money. But Downtown is the heart of the city, and with Haywood St the site of Malaprops Bookstore, Earth Guild, the Woolworth Art Gallery, the Chocolate Fetish and many many other fine business ... it is the heart of Asheville's renewal from a listless old resort town. And yes, with the Basilica at one "end" and Church St essentially at the other, it is a spiritual heart of the city as well. It is a street of cherished family memories. What brings tourists into the city and into Downtown are not the amenities or the nearness of the hotels to our city's heart and soul, because those amenities and spirit were there before the hotels. Tourists love the purity of our city, that it is a place that we lovingly care for and make our own. We gladly share with open and charitable arms to any who visit, but Asheville is home first, which is why it's so inviting to visitors.

Every home has a guest room, but it's never smack dab in the middle of the Family Room. When houses become so filled with guests that you have to set up people on the couch ... people notice, and then what should be a fun visit, becomes a cramped and awkward situation. Putting up a hotel on Haywood St is filing up the family room with guests (and we all know what Mark Twain said about guests and fish). We don't want that; they don't want that.

Haywood St has a nice symmetry to it: I already mentioned the spiritual houses that cap both ends; there's an even number of eateries and shops, county and city services; architecture of historical interest, particularly in the S&W building and, again, the Basilica. Why not achieve greater balance of Haywood St, with public spaces at both ends, Pritchard Park to the North and the St Lawrence Plaza to the south. In fact, I have often thought that the particular curve of Haywood St at that location, creates something of a dead-end for tourist traffic. Opening up that space with a Plaza opens up that end of the city, so that more people flow toward the Grove Arcade and the other wonderful shops that border it. Some of you have shown an interest in whatever funds become available to the city related to this development  being available for affordable housing. Homes should be at the heart of this matter, and it is wonderful that the Basilica's proposal includes such homes in its design.

You have heard all these arguments, but it boils down to this: our city, our community, should consider family first, always. The St Lawrence Plaza is a good idea, and it's one proposed by your friends and your family at St Lawrence Basilica. Thus, the St Lawrence Plaza is in the best interest of the city; it is in the best interest of Family.

Thank you,
David Mayeux

Monday, September 3, 2012

the lexical treasures of m. john harrison

M. John Harrison has the richest vocabulary I think I've ever encountered in an author. His adjectives, especially, come from obscure realms of biology (esp. ornithology), geology, medicine, and what I imagine to be crumbling tomes of cant and argot.  The list below are words from his Viriconium stories the epic The Pastel City and mind-boggling A Storm of Wings. Every page was a lexical treasure trove of obscure words but were bon mots one and all, inspiring the imagination with their poetic sound. I kept pen and paper ever at my side as I read.

I share because, if you're reading this, you likely someone who enjoys arcane additions to your lexicon, or you know that I do, so you put up with it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Phonetic Limerick

Some Friday morning doggerel for you:

Of odd spellings and sounds, he'd enough—
Duane complained, they were all very tough.
Said his teacher, Ms. Proulx,
"That's enough; you are through."
Said Duane: "Don't you mean that I'm thruff?"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Revised Ending: Take 1

Final Battle Harry by Laura McCandles

I rather enjoy the Harry Potter books, enough so that the books are a frequent topic of conversation. I laud the series as a whole, Book 6 in particular, and above all the series' devotion to friendship and love. So when Deathly Hallows ends in Voldemort's defeat by a wand technicality, with only slight nods to love and friendship playing their part, I was upset. Rowling disposes of her central and powerful theme and gives her readers and the story short shrift. So keeping in mind that I have never written anything of note, never been published, and I whole-heartedly respect and praise Rowling, I offer an alternate ending plot outline to the Deathly Hallows that appeals to the storyteller in me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

continuing the Discordian Society "Mythology"

In addition to the longer bio I wrote for the Roanoke-based Discoridan Society, they asked for a piece of a length better suited to press releases. Considering the mercurial character of the band, I went with a completely new version of the band "mythology," one inspired by Jorge Luis Borges story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," a Philip K. Dick speech, quoted below, and White Wolf's role-playing game Mage: The Ascension, of all things.

Discordian Society Links

In theme parks there are fake birds worked by electric motors which emit caws and shrieks as you pass by them. Suppose some night all of us sneaked into the park and substituted real birds for the artificial ones. Imagine the park officials’ horror when they discovered the cruel hoax. Real birds! And perhaps someday even real hippos and lions. Consternation! the park being cunningly transmuted from the unreal to the real, by sinister forces.
--Philip K. Dick, "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later"


excerpt from The Second Encyclopedia of Tlön entry “UR.”

The Discordian Society, which made its first appearance in this unreality in 200X, is perhaps one of the finest examples of an ur. The conscious universe, aware of the suffusion of creative fakery by mass markets, manipulated the series of superstrings required to unveil this hoax. This apocalypse manifested when Davz 'not here' Annarelli began plucking at bass strings, the vibrations of which caused the collapse of the ersatz music's wave function. Once observed to be fake, it could no longer sustain itself, and instead the Discordian Phenomenon (DP) was given form. Delighted and intrigued, Dave added more sounds--guitar, vocals, keys, rhythm, truth, horns--forming the Discordian Society, and the synthetic fabric of popular music not only continued to pull away but rip.

To the listener, the sound of the Discordian Society is simultaneously familiar and alien, a common association with urim. It is perceived as having proceeded from jazz, prog rock, and funk, yet also “remembered” as their progenitor. Most fascinating to sociologists, quantum physicists and psychologists studying the DP is that as the listening audience accepts as real the apparent counterfeit of the familiar, fake music. This then punctures a small hole in perception, and the larger acceptance of the false unreality is slowly unravelled and replaced. It is conjectured that as the influence of the Discordian Society's sound spreads (the Society has been observed in collusion with artists Larry Keel, Yonrico Scott, Ozric Tentacles, Hot Politics, Col. Bruce Hampton, The Mantras and Ani Difranco), what we falsely consider as reality will be accepted as merely an elaborate fiction, and the mind will be transfigured to the true reality that is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

late night poetry

silken cords drawn tight and bite my skin,
bind my limbs, your words a spider's thread
hold me, steal my breath to panting, gasping.
I drown in your slow penetrating venom,
at each pulsing, pounding heart's beat--
the rhythm in your eyes, your promises, presence--
I deeper sink; this laced blood rushes through veins,
flushes skin, pinpricks eyes, and the roar of you fills my ears:
philosophies and dreams, your phantasies.
I cannot fight--I crave surrender--these bonds
embrace my flesh like lovers' hold or a drowned man's shroud
exquisite pleasure in the pain of surrend'ring self to be in you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Helena Silence, Professional Psychic

Helena Silence is a professional psychic and best friend of Cosmo Grove, the tabloid reporter from my murder mystery project. Beautiful and kind, Helena uses her gifts to help others, and has on occasion lent Cosmo a hand in his investigations, though the extra set of arms and legs and corporeal eyes are generally more useful than her third eye ...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Aaron Tupelo - The Donut King

Meet Aaron Tupelo, 'the Donut King,' a character from my latest fiction project--a murder mystery! Aaron Tupelo is the owner and operator of the Donut King, and may or may not, be Elvis Presley, alive and well and serving fresh doughnuts and coffee 24 hours a day/6 days a week.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Questing, Pilgrim Way

Inspired by Bill Griffin's "Sojourner," John Masefield's "Sea-Fever" and Sam Seaborne's "What's Next" speech.

The Questing, Pilgrim Way

We must out to the black again, to the roads beyond the sky,
And all I ask are soaring ships and stars at which to aim
the rockets whose cheering roars, emboldened flame,
Launch us to the sea of silver stars whose beauty makes us sigh.

We must out to the black again, for aeons now have shone
the beacons' summon to beyond the sea, the sky, the stars.
And all I ask is a solar wind to the legacy that's ours:
To explore is human destiny, to pursue the great unknown.

We must out to the black again, to the questing, pilgrim way,
To find new holy lands, new stars, new worlds, and realms
For countless souls on gleaming ships, brave pilots at the helms--
All for sunrises of stars unknown, new worlds' glorious day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Discordian Society

Band "Biography" written for Asheville/Roanoke-based band The Discordian Society.

This and none of the following are a lie.


The Discordian Society has no definition.
--Principia Discordia, 00032

There are conflicting accounts of the birth of the Discordian Society:

ONE PUNGENDAY, the 23rd in the season of Confusion, Davz "not here' Annarelli consulted his pineal gland:
a vision of musical notes randomly played upon the ebon æther--out of this chaos of sound, patterns emerged, Mandelbrotian fractals of notes and chords, scale-regressions and apophthegms--a golden apple falls: to the pretty one--players and singers. Out of discord came harmony; then harmony merged into discord. Revealed was a cabal of musicians in anarchy anointed by Eris. From harmony there is DISCORD, from anarchy there is SOCIETY. Dave awoke, took a leak, smoked, went back to sleep.
The Second Account

IN THE PROPHECIES of Saint Gulik, it is revealed that in this Age of Bureaucracy--when we are ruled by a piece of office furniture--Eris shall call for the sound of a new prophetic nonsense, hidden in the patterns of form and harmony. Step back, and it is cacophony; step in, and it is discord that encodes the music of the sphere-incters. It will be music for the end of the world or the beginning of a new one. In this time, the mad piping of the Crawling Chaos plays on, even through the Balanced-Balance which is Stagnation. The vessel of sound which is the band will shape the notes, give rhythm to the piping with chthonic tones that shift and pause and stop the endless drone of static noise, unbalancing the balance, and thus usher in the Age of Disorder: a Discordian Society.

Meditating on these prophesies, Dave said "Screw that, I want to form a band."

The Classical Greeks were not influenced by the Classical Greeks.
-Principia Discordia

A) Some Episkoposes have a one-man kabal. Some work together. Dave never explains.

B) The Discordian Society can be described by the quantum thought experiment known as Schrödinger's Symphony--the orchestra exists within the pineal gland of the Cosmic Embryo. If you crack open its skull, a symphoton fires; it will either strike and shatter the pineal gland, and the orchestra will play, or it will miss the pineal gland and the orchestra breathes fitfully in silence. Until the skull is opened, the orchestra exists in a state simultaneously playing and silent.

C) Frank Zappa was a prophet of Eris; Mr. Bungle sups from the Primordial Soup; Les Claypool subverts the Technocracy; John Zorn is a fantastic name; Jaco Pastorius was not influenced by Jaco Pastorius.

D) [This space intentionally left blank to conserve paper and electrons]

E) You've only one life, you might as well do everything that you want to do; if you're going to reincarnate, and if that's your state of belief, you might as well do everything that you want to do and try to do it while being a good person at the same time, so you don't come back as a fly or something crappy--no pun intended. Go live. Every person should have to sleep under a bridge on a cold night, once.

I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms.
I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy.
I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.
--Principia Discordia, 0009

The music breaks forth from the Region of Thud and draws a path out of pattern leading back to Oblivion. No two elements of the music are interlocked, but all five elements--destruction, creation, change, square, circle--interlock.

The music is a constant ritual of Baptism into Discord. The audience::the neophyte, stands at the centre surrounded by the five: guitar, keys, rhythm, horns, chaos. The music is naked to demonstrate that it is human and not a cabbage, expanding and contracting; swells and breathes in, exhales notes and chords in a Brownian Motion of music; reveals itself as an organism in symbiosis with the audience. The sound is a mirror that reflects and distorts the apostles who listen but do not sing out; who do not move, but dance.

It says little,
does less,

Listening to it would probably make you Philosophically Illuminized if that weren't so funny.

It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs.
-- PD, 00013

Confirmation Bias is the tendency to focus on data which confirms or supports our existing beliefs & discount data which doesn’t fit. In your brain, the thinker thinks, the prover proves. Random neurons fire & the Thinker comes to the conclusion that the sound of the Discordian Society is jam-band, jazz, prog-rock, or R&B; you are right-for the Prover develops patterns from the chaos that prove you are right. Converted to your own bias, you write theses & theological tracts proving the jazz label is wrong & the jam-band label, correct. The music is the original Rorschach Test of sound. You are also very, very wrong--you premises are false & random, created to confirm your presupposed conclusion, for actually the sound is [redacted - FNORD].

Is this the beginning of another cardboard day
Or is it the first day of the rest of the universe?
Will nothing happen or will everything happen?
--WEREWOLF BRIDGE, Robert Anton Wilson

Heard at the verge of a lucent dream: "Today the world, tomorrow the solar system."

Monday, June 4, 2012

helping a fellow ink-slinger & ashevillain

Asheville author/illustrator Steven Coyle German has started a Kickstarter Project to fund his first book, Annika Ash and the Lost Robot, an ambitious children's story.


Coyle shares

I’d ask anyone to support this book for several reasons. 
First, because it’s a beautifully illustrated, richly written, unique book that takes full advantage of a picture book’s inherent power to stimulate the mind.  
Second, supporting this book creates a strong message that perhaps it’s time to remove some of the existing boundaries in current children’s picture books.  
And Third, donating through Kickstarter specifically sends an unmistakable message that people are hungry for more unfiltered, pure voices than they’ve had access to previously.
I'm particularly impressed with his vision of creating children's books that are complex, subtle and full of depth:
The growing addictive need to oversimplify is alarming. I know it’s tempting these days to make information easier to digest by making broad, combative declarations but it’s getting out of hand.  Let’s start getting kids ready to face complexity at an early age [while] taking the utmost care to make sure nothing gets in the way of what all children’s picture books should be- heartfelt, warm, friendly and with a generous helping of silliness.
All I’m doing is adding insightful opportunities for anyone willing to probe deeper into the characters motivations and encourage the sensation that it’s ok to feel that you might not immediately have all the answers you’re looking for.
 A worthy goal indeed. For those who ask, "but what's in it for me?" the pledge rewards are pretty awesome, most of them featuring Annika Ash artwork by Coyle, ranging from computer desktop art and post-cards to a unique Annika Ash illustrated story!

So if you're in the habit of looking to support more local artists/authors and creators, help Annika find the Lost Robot!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Lady Annemarie

Artist's Bio/Statement for
Annemarie McAllister at TigerLily Studios.

[contains strong language - because Annemarie contains strong language.]

Imagine slicing open your brain with an obsidian knife, pulled from the tomb of an ancient warrior-shamaness, and peering inside your expanding mind; you find yourself in the Hall of Dead Gods discussing the radical need to fuck over the dominant paradigms with Jorge Luis Borges and Hildegard von Bingen while sipping on espresso laced with soma.

Now you have a pale notion of what it's like experiencing the art of The Lady Annemarie.

Traversing and transcending particular media, the Lady blows open the doors of perception and happily steps through, inviting us along for the ride. Since picking up her first crayola, the Lady realized her blood flowed with india ink, oil paint and modge podge. Fishes need water; trees need sunlight; Annemarie McAllister needs art. The studio is her temple, and the canvas is her altar where she sacrifices self for the sake of Light and Form, Color and Shape, Aesthetics and Substance.

Hailing from the North East of The United States of Discordia, the Lady attended The University of Arts, Philadelphia where she took every art class they would let her--and then some. However, the edges of the map and the horizons labeled "here be dragons" called her to travel and expand her consciousness. Those experiences led her to realize the Technocracy is expanding and artists are the hidden warriors fighting the battles in our minds, freeing us from the chains of slavery forged by crass commercialism, bubblegum pop culture, and authoritarian control.

She has found herself somewhat settled in that major crossroads of faerie trods and telluric currents, Asheville, NC, working as an artistic glazier, performing live-paintings at concerts, forming artists' collectives, holding art shows, and doing her part to inject chaos into the system. Painting is her passion, sculpture feeds the dæmon and Something Out There keeps feeding her brain images that must be shaped and formed and given birth. Let's pray that It's friendly because to see the art of the Lady Annemarie is to let it pierce the skin, inject the flow, and alter your mind.

Welcome to TigerLily Studios--step away from your comfort zone.

Friday, April 20, 2012

So go write already ...

Kind of a throw away entry, but I just got a copy of Liquid Story Binder today. I've never used it before, and all the options are a little bit overwhelming. However, those same options create potential for being able to approach a piece of writing from whatever type of thought process sparked it in the first place--whether it be flowing from an inspiring piece of art, a plot timeline, a certain character, a random collection of mind-mapped ideas, a series of chapter titles, just getting text on a page, etc. Liquid allows you to start from any of those and add or remove those elements and it all be interconnected according to how you focus.

And since it was a gift, I have no choice but to write something with it! I'm going to spend some time with its help files and tutorials, but then I plan to plunge in and get some characters on desktop space.

PS. ScriptFrenzy update: there is nothing to update. I have been an absolute non-entity with this script. I was fired up after the first seven pages, and then ... nothing. Rather than writing this blog entry, I should be making scenes and dialogue happen. 'natch.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

black marks on a white surface

ink·slinger (ĭngk'-slĭng'ər) n. Slang.  - a writer

ScriptFrenzy! Day One

The Office of Letters and Light, the people who brought you NaNoWriMo, also sponsor ScriptFrenzy! in the month of April. 100 pages of script material in 30 days for a screenplay, stageplay, graphic novel, or any storytelling project that would call for a script rather than a straightforward prose manuscript. I'm participating this year, scripting an idea that I toyed with a few years ago, but got nothing down on paper.
Peregrine West while backpacking in the Blue Ridge Mountains finds himself hurled into a spiritual landscape and making a Dantean quest across the American landscape on a quest for the Holy Grail.
That's my TV Guide description. I also like to call it Dante's Divine Comedy meets David Lynch's The Straight Story which is not completely accurate, but it'll do. In the course of the adventure, he will travel through Hell, Purgatory and to the gates of Paradise and across Iowa cornfields. I had some difficulty figuring out who Peregrine's Virgil was, and then while writing the scene in which this mentor appears, it was J.R.R. Tolkien, and that fit--as he too was a writer of epics (and a translator of Grail tales). Will he remain till final version of the story? Who knows. But I like the idea of my main character running around the Allegorical Landscape in quest of the Grail with Tolkien as his guide. He'll also run into a full cast of spirits, demons, angels, saints, sinners, fellow errant "knights" and fantastical creatures.

ScriptFrenzy's goal is 3.3 pages per day to make the hundred by the end of April. After a few hours work today, I'm at 6.2 pages. The Asheville Region (ably helmed by our fantastic Municipal-Liaison Jess) holds several Write-Ins during the month when participating writers get together and ... write. There's usually some pleasantries, and a little socializing, but mostly these events are meant to be mutual encouragement and cheerleading sessions. I definitely can't do them all the time, writing is too much of a late-night alone activity for me, but it is nice to get together with people to simply BE with them and write now and again with no other expectations.

This would be my first time attempting a full-length script. During college when I took a screenwriting course, I wrote the first act of what would have been a full-length script, but that was rubbish (this will be to, but it will be rubbish slightly honed by experience). This time I'm shooting for the hundred pages in the thirty days, and I'd like to make it to a minimum 120 pgs full draft (which I'll then cut, cut, cut).

ScriptFrenzy! seems a good excuse to start this blog, which I'll use to write about writing, share my writing, and share links to interesting things that inspire my writing.