On Wearing Disco Booty-Shorts

On Wearing Disco Booty-Shorts

*Disclaimer* In this essay I discuss the fact that I have a penis, and how that influences the etiquette and logistics of wearing extremely tight clothing. If you find that distasteful, feel free to skip this piece.

Halfway through 2013 I was 29, just about to turn 30 and my wife were having the time of our lives going to some most excellent parties and music festivals.. One of the prime components of this scene was the incredible costumes; the more garish-ridiculous the better. Swept up in the glamour, and wanting to be more fully a participant, I supported a kickstarter to gain an article of clothing more revealing and absurd than any I’d ever owned (or will probably Continue reading

Love, Werewolves & Algorithms – An Afterword

(A slightly altered version of this text first appeared as the afterword for my short story collection Love, Werewolves & Algorithms)

I’ve been writing short stories and selling them for fourteen years. I’ve been married now for a little over seven. The stories contained in this slim volume originate and were developed along several different points in that continuum.

Throughout my writing practice, I’ve had people comment on how they were particularly interested in this or that story of mine in light of what was happening in my life; a sentiment that has been shared, certainly, concerning some of the love themed stories contained in Love, Werewolves, and Algorithms. Personally, I feel as though there’s not a whole lot (directly) about my life in my fiction; at least my realtime life rather than my ‘life’ as dredged up from the murk of misremembered past. I feel somewhat vindicated in this thinking simply due to the fact that -generally speaking- when I write fiction there’s a lag of about 2 years between me first attempting to draft a piece and anyone else seeing it.

If there is ‘me’ in these stories, I think it’s through this particular lens; having a great relationship built on honesty and communication (and having a really freaking hot wife) allows me, and encourages me, to imagine the inversion. The instinct to write fiction usually develops, I think, from obsessively creating alternative history versions of the writer’s own life. I’ve spent far, far too much time conceiving of the world’s lamest ‘What if?’ stories; mostly concerned with what if I hadn’t done that (still) cringe-worth embarrassing thing in middle school.

Oh, so in my marriage we talk about our problems? What would happen if we didn’t? Throw in some werewolves and we’re good to go.

Considering the short stories I included in LWA, if there is a common thread to these relationships gone wrong (and hence a clue to what I feel, think, and am) it’s that all the relationships discussed are interrupted by some form of mediation, usually driven by fear of direct communication and the inherent vulnerability that attends it. In fiction it’s mediation via data mining by next year’s social network or scheming D’jinn; but in the real world there seems to be no end to the amount of ways (and the money to be made) in catering to people not directly talking to each other.

The only ‘happy’ ending here is the one where the mediation is brought to an end, so some teenagers can make out.

If I have advice, it’s to learn to relate to the people who are important to you without an intervening institution, mediation, or mythological being.

Even when it’s difficult.

Especially when it’s difficult.

Or at least it’s always worked for me. But then, I’ve always been lucky in love.

I hope you get lucky too.

<3

A love themed, valentines day [in]appropriate short story collection from author J.M. Perkins featuring werewolves, augmented reality, science fiction,  fantasy, social networking, and transhumanism.

Buy your copy of Love, Werewolves, and Algorithms here.

 

11 Books that Changed My Life & My Writing

1. Dune – For being a novel of the highest caliber featuring hyperintelligent post-humans with a nonlinear understanding of time, family, feudalism, eugenics, bigass/badass worms, ecology, religion, myth seeding, politics, economics, and more while still working as a novel driven by understandable characters who made me feel.

2. Haunted – For leaving me haunted.

3. Finite and Infinite Games – For encouraging me to stop treating life like (the wrong kind of) a game.

4. Ecclesiastes – For coming to me as a wise, small, peaceful voice amidst so much ash and vengeful bombast.

5. Understanding Power – For delivering on its title.

6. Neolithic Shamanism – For seeping into my waking dreams.

7. The Dark Tower Series (The Gunslinger if you want to narrow it down) – For “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed” and

“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

I aim with my eye.

I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

I shoot with my mind.

I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.

I kill with my heart.”

8. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats – For making me fall in love again with the music of the English language.

9. The Invisibles – For being a highly enjoyable and hugely disorienting psycho-spiritual trepanning.

10. Simulacra and Simulation – For being a work I only half understand and yet still manages to create a ‘they live’ style sunglasses effect when I look out on the manufactured world.

11. Booklife – For helping me get over myself and understand what being a working creative looks like.

 

Fatherhood – Seven Months In

Photo credit Lauren Perkins of StopGo Photography

TLDR

I Like it. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s helping me become a better person. I love my daughter.

Warning – Babies are gross sometimes and I spend a paragraph discussing poop. If that weirds you out, feel free to skip it.

Long Version

If what my mother modeled for me is correct, then the thing you do with babies to preserve your memory is record or chronicle the endless litany of firsts. The first time she crawled. The first time she smiled. The first time she passed a solid poop… that sort of thing. You glue fingernail clippings and teeth in envelopes pasted into a scrap-book, roll their fingers and feet in ink and press them to floral cardstock as your hedge against the vagaries of time and memory. I find exact measurements paltry and lacking – I have never understood my life as data points on a graph and doubt I would even when the datum is preserved paisley print memory album. The thing they try to lead back to, the thing they try to preserve is the feeling and what it meant; to both her, my baby, and to Lauren and I, her parents.

Rather than seek to cast ruler notches in amber let me do my best to preserve the sense of these early days; the warm-loam cub smell of my child.

If you’ll humor me, let me begin with the bad.

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