The Strange ObserverInterview by Becky Fritter
By nature of the beast and by his own admissions, Mike Birbiglia does not fill the mold of stereotypical class clown. Far from a gregarious powerhouse of wild humor, the manner in which the slightly reserved comic delivers a line is less focused on drawing a short unison laugh from the crowd; rather, he weaves the line into a string of strange and dreamy observations about the world that leave his audience not only rolling on the floor but highly engaged.
In addition to a few Comedy Central specials, numerous comedy festivals and regular reading excerpts from his blog (My Secret Public Journal) on The Bob and Tom Show and other radio programs, Mike boasts on his résumé late show appearances for both Conan O’ Brien and David Letterman and his newest project: a self-exposing one-man Broadway show co-produced by Nathan Lane entitled Sleepwalk With Me. read more »
Okay, I think my staff and I all have "eyes-bugging-out-of-our-skulls" syndrome. It's a rare condition. It afflicts those who have been working around the clock to launch a massive new version of an expansive author website.
I won't spend too long on a history lesson because you're all probably itching to explore the new site. What I will do though, is thank you all for your patience. Believe it or not, this site really is over a year in the making. Many of the features and options you are now being presented with, we fought tooth and nail to get into our 2008 version. But a series of bad circumstances just led us to a wall. And rather then get to build upon that version of the site, it soon became all about weathering the storm and steering you all to safety.
Today, that storm has cleared. So without further ado, here are your new features:
New Writer's Workshop
- Submit, read and review stories with greater ease
- Earn points for helpful reviews and comments
- Qualify to have your work read and reviewed by Chuck Palahniuk
- Qualify for the potential to be included in an Anthology Chuck will be publishing of the best stories in 2010
- New Writer's Desk lets you monitor new activity in the Workshop
- We have a new version of the Drupal forum with a cleaner, fresher look and layout
- Mark All Forums Read actually works now
- There is now a 'Jump to Button,' at the top of all threads
- When there is a new Reply, if you click it from the forum listing, it will take you right to that post in the thread
- In Topic View, you can now see a "pager" navigation for threads that are more than 1 page. Example: Page 1, 2, 3...
- In the main Forum index, "Last Post by [username]" is now a link that jumps right to it
- It no longer shows you the first post of a thread when you go to Page 2, Page 3, etc.
- There are now more navigation options on the bottom of long threads
- Not to mention, a new Community Dashboard, which serves as a hub for all forum and community activity
- Awesome new user profiles with dynamic layout
- New convenient User Box with avatar view
- New sidebar activity boxes
- Out with the old search, in with a new custom Google search engine
- Updated Blog layout and Group features
- Our Book Recommendations page returns
- New sub-forums for Pygmy and Movies In Development
- All new Book and Movie pages
- A new Haunted movie page
Okay, digest that all in while you explore the site. 2009 is going to kick ass!
Greetings, all! 2009 is officially underway, so I wanted to take a little more time to hone down and elaborate on Chuck's wonderful post from January 2nd. There's a lot to digest there, and while Chuck got to the meat and potatoes of it, he didn't quite explain all the other amazing things that were featured on the dish.
First though, let's revisit those big bullet points again, just so I'm sure you all understand exactly what is happening here: read more »
- In early February, we are unveiling a new version of the website.
- This site will feature a brand new Writer's Workshop. This is not our old Workshop with some added bells and whistles. Rather, this is a completely updated Workshop, with a whole new interface.
- Starting in February of 2009, we will be selecting approximately five Workshop submissions each month that will then be sent to Chuck Palahniuk.
- Chuck will read your work, review your work, and best of all, suggest ways to improve your work.
- Then, at the end of the year, Chuck and the editors on our site, will select the best stories of that year, to be published in an Anthology for 2010.
- The Anthology will include an Introduction by Chuck, and he will even go so far as to seek out and fund the publication of this book.
Last night our writers group met at Suzy’s house, and we took turns announcing what we’d accomplish with our writing in the coming year. After a decade of this ritual it’s too easy to simply resolve to complete a current project, then begin and complete another. Something feels a bit automatic, and that robs the process of any value.
Instead, consider that a suitable goal should make you feel a little – or a lot – embarrassed with its aspirations. Maybe only the goals that seem “impossible” really inspire or excite us to take action. In my experience, I’m never excited to answer mail unless I can do that task in an outrageous, over-done manner. It always feels like more work to send a simple letter than an elaborate package. With that in mind, please consider that these resolutions are a first step toward doing something which seems completely beyond your abilities at the present time. None of us want to waste our lives. We all want to surprise ourselves as we discover our abilities, and we want to meet other people and accept their help in completing our plans. In turn, we want to help others reach goals which seem beyond their current abilities.
In workshop, Suzy wrote down each writer’s committed goals, and we each took a moment to examine our writing lives. What we didn’t like, we determined to change. What sounded exciting and motivating, we stated we would accomplish. Please take a moment to examine your own writing life. read more »
On behalf of ChuckPalahniuk.net, we want to wish you all a Happy Holidays! We hope that you're with family and friends this season, and that you get to relax and enjoy yourself. I've got a sister who's moving to San Francisco, so most my time spent in New York this week has been helping her pack and load moving trucks. But I'm finally relaxing on the couch now, with my laptop, staring at a lit up Christmas tree and watching Modern Marvels on the History Channel.
Let me take a moment to let you all in on some buzz in 2009 to get you all excited and curious. We have some exciting news. News so big, that Chuck is actually going to be revealing them on the site himself, on New Year's Day. So definitely make sure you're all logged into The Cult on January 1st. I can also tell you that big improvements are coming to the site. Probably not till around February. But these are changes we think you will all like and appreciate.
So until then, stay tuned. Just don't speculate too much. We want this to be a surprise, after all.
Our friends over at JoBlo.com just posted a helluva story. CHOKE is coming to DVD on February 17th, 2009, and here are all the details:
- My Name is Victor and I’m a Sex Addict
- A Mother’s Love, From the Los Angeles Film Festival
- Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session
- Audio commentary with Writer/Director/Actor Clark Gregg and Actor Sam Rockwell
- 5 deleted scenes with optional audio commentary with Clark Gregg and Sam Rockwell
- A conversation with Clark Gregg and Chuck Palahniuk
- Gag reel.
Big props to Mike Klimek for the heads up on this. read more »
If any of you are looking for a great gift for a friend or loved one this holiday season, we have it. Tshirts and DVDs are now on sale!.
First, we have our 'Choke' and 'Survivor' Tshirts, which (along with the rest of our inventory) are all marked down to $16 each. We also now offer Air Mail shipping, which is not as fast, but cheap. For those of you that want to guarantee shipment before Christmas, select Priority.
Welcome to December. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I personally drank too much the night before, and was so hung-over, I couldn't taste anything the next day. So alas, all that great taste was robbed from me.. Today, we continue with, what is easily, one of the best features from Chuck we have ever included on this site. Here's a recap, straight from the horse's mouth:
For the next three essays I'll be presenting three drafts of a short story I'm writing for a Dark Delicacies anthology. Folks have been asking for this kind of in-progress demonstration. Each draft will describe my process and choices -- and the finished, polished version will be out in the actual book.
Double FeatureInterview by Joshua Jabcuga
Thomas Jane is an actor who has taken on some iconic roles. He played the lead in THE PUNISHER. Mickey Mantle in 61*. And he's also starred in two films based on the work of Stephen King, most recently THE MIST. He's currently in post-production on his directorial debut, THE DARK COUNTRY. Thomas Jane is also no stranger to the comic book medium or its fans, thanks in large part to his work with fan favorite artist Timothy Bradstreet.
Tim Bradstreet is an Eisner-award nominated illustrator/production designer who has been working in the comic book industry for over twenty years. Perhaps best known for his work on books like THE PUNISHER, HELLBLAZER, and CRIMINAL MACABRE, Bradstreet's work has always had a cinematic quality that has jumped off the racks. read more »
This is a piece of news that can only exist with the awesome fans of Chuck Palahniuk. It seems someone has gone and set up a site where Chuck fans can take pictures of and swap their handmade Palahniuk items. Similar to how Chuck himself hand-makes a lot of items he sends out in his fan mail packages, idea organizer, Anna Knight, has seized inspiration from that and given it a home. From Anna:
I recently organized a Chuck Palahniuk Swap on a craft website, Craftster.org, and I thought I'd send a link to the gallery of it. The guidelines were that everyone sent 4 handmade items and some gag gifts like Chuck sends to his fans.
The gallery is here:
(You can click the little green tab towards the top that says 'show images only' to view the pics easier)
The original thread: