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Daily Rituals and Artful Living

I am lucky to work with a team of driven, dedicated and goal oriented people at Eraserhead Press. A typical “day at the office” is known to frequently involve

a meeting at the brew pub,

a video game competition,

or hanging out with Klingons

We work together in the office and we work separately at home. We work when we go out for drinks or to parties. We work while watching movies and while eating brunch. There is no difference between work and play. We are focused on our goals and are constantly exploring new paths towards obtaining them. The group energy is invigorating. The collective creativity that is at the heart of the Bizarro movement is inspiring and motivating. This group of story tellers is shaping a reality of their own design. A world that supports free-thinking, imagination, and individuality. We believe that there are more people out there that think like we do and we seek to connect to them through the fiction we create.

I just came across this site:
How writers artist and other interesting people organize their day

It has tidbits from all sorts of interesting writers about their daily habits. C.S. Lewis and W.H. Auden’s habits were my favorite to read about. I found C.S. Lewis fascinatingly fussy, pragmatic and sociable and W.H. Auden’s routine was manipulated with speed and barbiturates. I think it would be interesting to ask about the daily habits of many of the creative people that I work with. I know that I am always examining and tweeking my own routine.

In my opinion, the way to be truly happy about your productivity as an artist is to be able to incorporate your art into your lifestyle in such a way that life becomes art. Living an artful life, the creator is always at work. Art is a beautiful and enjoyable process. Some people think creating things is hard. It is easy, it is natural and it is done constantly every day. It’s only the matter of directing your creativity that is difficult to master. That is where habits are helpful and how routine can help tone the creative muscles.

But the flip side of it is the fantasy about what a writer’s life is like. I often encounter in new writers the obsessive quality of ritualizing the writing process. The feeling that in order to be a true writer they must go out to a cabin in the woods or that a bottle of wine and candlelight will inspire a great opus. I think the article on the daily routines of writers I mentioned provides some perfect examples to perpetuate that fantasy. Also any movie or book you ever read about authors will always glamorize this aspect of their process. I believe that there is a certain power to ritual, but there are also times when it can become cumbersome to the creative process. Without flexibility there can be no growth. And if you are not growing, you are stagnating. It’s never good to get too locked in to thinking that in order to be creative you must be in the perfect environment, or it has to be at a certain time of day, or that you need certain substances to get the juices flowing. All of these things might aid you, but they are not where creativity comes from, nor does the creative process rely upon them.

If you are reading this, I’d like to hear what you think. What are your requirements for creativity and how are they related to your routine?

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Come visit Eraserhead Press

If you’re in Portland, come out and visit us tomorrow.
It’s First Thursday in the NW Alphabet blocks.
The Eraserhead Press office is located inside a building called ActivSpace. ActivSpace rents office spaces to artists and writers. In the tradition of the NW art walks on first Thursdays we are opening up our space and setting up tables outside tomorrow. There will be lots of artists, musicians and Bizarro books!

If you live in town, come out and visit us Thursday night.

First Thursday

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Out now from Eraserhead Press:

It’s Shatner VS Shatners!

William Shatner? William Shatner. WILLIAM SHATNER!!! It’s the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

Featuring: Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, Denny Crane, Rescue 911 Shatner, Singer Shatner, Shakespearean Shatner, Twilight Zone Shatner, Cartoon Kirk, Esperanto Shatner, Priceline Shatner, SNL Shatner, and – of course – William Shatner!

No costumed con-goer will be spared in their wave of destruction, no redshirt will make it out alive, and not even the Klingons will be able to stand up to a deranged Captain Kirk with a lightsaber. But these Shatner-clones are about to learn a hard lesson…that the real William Shatner doesn’t take crap from anybody. Not even himself.

“It’s like Die Hard, but instead of Bruce Willis fighting terrorists it’s William Shatner fighting other versions of himself… In other words, it’s fucking awesome!” – Carlton Mellick III, author of Satan Burger

It’s Shatnertastic!

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The Faggiest Vampire

The Faggiest Vampire The Faggiest Vampire by Carlton Mellick III

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is the latest release from Spunk Goblin, an imprint of Eraserhead Press. The books I am publishing on Spunk Goblin are children’s books for adults (or kids with open minded parents).

This book is written like a Roald Dahl book, it’s funny and clever. It’s all about maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity and believing in yourself. It’s also about a mustache competition.

I absolutely love this book. I want every kid I know to read this book. It’s the only Carlton Mellick III book that has ever made me cry. It is such a sweet, funny, adorable story.

View all my reviews.

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So long 2008! Happy New Year!

Hey friends,

2008 wraps up with an extra “leap second” tonight. Just long enough for us to give it a quick kiss goodbye. It’s always fun at this time of year to reflect back and review what we’ve accomplished.

Eraserhead Press had a great 2008. We are grateful for all of the support from our loyal readers and the Bizarro community. It’s been a fun and productive year. We published 15 books by 9 different authors in 2008. We discovered six stellar new writers:
Jordan Krall
Andersen Prunty
Mykle Hansen
Tony Rauch
Daniel Scott Buck
Cameron Pierce

And published some of the best new work yet by Bizarro authors Kevin L. Donihe, Andre Duza and Carlton Mellick III. Exciting things are happening in Bizarro Fiction and 2009 should be the best year yet!

For now here’s a quick glance back at some of the events of 2008:

Carlton and I road tripped down to Salt Lake City for the World Horror Convention in March where we met up with Bizarro authors Andersen Prunty, Jordan Krall, Bradley Sands, Kevin L. Donihe, Gina Ranalli and Mitch Maraude

From WHC 2008

I went up to Evergreen College in Olympia Washington and participated in a panel on publishing in May and met up with Cameron Pierce.

Carlton went to Seattle for the Clarion West Workshop for six weeks in the middle of summer.

From Clarion West 2008

We attended the Locus Awards and met William Gibson and Neal Stephenson both authors whose work I have been a huge fan of for a long time.

From Clarion West 2008

Jeff Burk joined the Eraserhead staff and also became The Editor-in-Chief of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction.

From OryCon 2008

We attended the H.P. Lovecraft Filmfestival for the fourth time. The event is always a lot of fun. We shared a table with our friends from the Northwest Horror Professionals and made new friends with Andy Johnson of Cosmic Monkey Comics.

The First Annual BizarroCon was held at Edgefield in Troutdale, OR in November. This event brought together Bizarro writers from all over the United States. It was a four-day party which has spawned many great new collaborations and sparked new project ideas. We can’t wait for BizarroCon 2 to be held in October 2009.

Friday night at BizarroCon we served homebrewed Bizarro Beer for the book release party of Apeshit by Carlton Mellick III, The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck, Shark Hunting In Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce, and The Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere by Mykle Hansen

From BizarroCon2008

We started a children’s book imprint called Spunk Goblin. Spunk Goblin will be publishing dark, twisted children’s books for adults (or kids with open minded parents). Our first release on this imprint was The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck. It’s a beautiful, creepy, anti-war tale in the style of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton with beautiful illustrations by Evan B. Harris.

Eraserhead Press attended OryCon in Portland, OR for the first time. We partied with Klingons and made some new friends.

From OryCon 2008

We co-sponsored a book release party for the U.S. release of Steve Aylett’s comic The Caterer at Floating World Comics and had Bizarro authors Mykle Hansen, Carlton Mellick III, Daniel Scott Buck, and Jeremy Robert Johnson present performance art readings.

From Caterer Bizarro Release

Keep reading Bizarro fiction. We have lots of great plans for 2009!