Returning from Mo*Con III and resurrecting The Teeming Brain

What’s that? I run a blog, you say? And blogs are things that you have to update? Oh, yes. I had forgotten all about that.

Yes, it’s true, I took an unannounced and unplanned month-long vacation from The Teeming Brain. I hope the suspense wasn’t too much for those of you who tune in regularly. The reasons for the hiatus are various. Among the most prominent are the advent of summer vacation from my teaching job, which led to an unplanned but much-needed period of semi-hibernation from my public appearances, even the virtual ones here at the blog; the imminent onset of some serious changes in my living situation; my assiduous pursuit of several writing jobs, an effort that is beginning to bear fruit; and the necessity for me to devote a great deal of time, attention, and energy this summer to finishing up work on “Curse of the Daimon,” the first album from my musical project Daemonyx, and also on the revisions (sometimes extensive) for Dark Awakenings, my forthcoming fat book of fiction and nonfiction dealing with religion and horror, to be published by Mythos Books late this year. I’ll be having a lot more to say about these topics in coming weeks.

Then there’s the fact that I have been doing a lot of traveling. Three weeks ago I journeyed down to San Angelo, Texas and environs on a three-day tour for reasons that will remain unspoken for the time being. Then a couple of weeks ago I spent three days attending the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Springfield, where my video skills were put to use just like last year. Then, most recently — as in, last weekend — I journeyed to Indianapolis as one of the guests of honor for Mo*Con III, the third installment of a convention created by the original Sinister Minister himself, Maurice Broaddus, and devoted to exploring the intersecting issues of horror fiction and spirituality.

The Mo*Con experience was great. Other guests included Mark Rainey (“the legendary Mark Rainey,” as Maurice justly referred to him), Nick Mamatas, Kim Paffenroth, Bob Freeman, Lucy Snyder, and Chesya Burke. Plus a bunch of members of the Indiana Horror Writers were there. And Lucy’s husband, the inimitable Gary Braunbeck (one of whose books I browsed in the Springfield, MO airport before flying out on Friday), was present as well. And various members of The Dwelling Place, the groovy church-in-a-strip-mall building where Maurice serves as the “facilitator” (a minister by another name).

There was a party on Friday night involving chicken marsala, fettucine Alfredo, and a Celtic band named Mother Grove. On Saturday there was a panel on spirituality, moderated by me, followed by many varieties of chili for lunch. Then there was a panel about editing, composed of editors (including me) whom Maurice lovingly referred to as “those rat bastards who keep rejecting me,” since each of us had rejected his work in the past. Then there was a panel about issues of gender, followed by a late-night party with pizza at Maurice’s welcoming house in an Indianapolis neighborhood. On Sunday morning we all went to The Dwelling Place to attend the regular service, which had been retooled in honor of all the Mo*Conners being there. The centerpiece was a playing of the DVD of Brian Keene (“We all stand in the shadow of Keene,” Maurice said) talking about his personal spiritual journey as a writer at the first Mo*Con in 2006.

There was also much selling of books and other wares. I only found out this was going to happen shortly before the weekend arrived, so I got out the few copies of my Divinations of the Deep collection that were handy and also burned off some sampler CDs of 5 Daemonyx tracks, complete with Jason Van Hollander’s wonderful cover art. I ended up selling quite a few of these, which was gratifying. N.B., I’ll make some additional Daemonyx-related announcements here soon.

Here are images (kind of fuzzy, since I’m not good at converting PDFs to jpegs) of the flyers I handed out along with goods; click them to see the slightly bigger versions:

Daemonyx flyer

Dark Awakenings flyer

Beyond all this, there was something that has become known to insiders as the Mo*Con III.2 experience, wherein Nick Mamatas and I became refugees from an inclement weather situation that prevented flights from leaving the airport. We ended up crashing at Maurice’s house on Sunday night with his pleasant and patient wife, his two delightful kids, and a handful of other Mo*Conners. Weakling that I am, I became the only one to finally abandon the party and steal a few brief hours of sleep before the early-morning flight. Given the far-ranging nature of the conversations and debates that had taken place up until then, I can only imagine what all was talked about in the wee hours of the morning while I was zonked out.

And this was all after I missed my Friday morning flight to Indianapolis because Mapquest took me to a non-existent airport. (Yes, I had been to the Springfield-Branson airport umpteen times in the past. The Mapquest route just looked like it might be more efficient. Stupid me.)

There are other reports about the con that are worth reading. You can read Mark’s. You can read Maurice’s (complete with photos). You can read Bob’s. You can read Nick’s brief comments about his and my flight delays. Good stuff, all.

So now it’s back to the real world, including The Teeming Brain, which will be significantly more active for the rest of the summer. Hope you’re all having a good one. Gas prices getting you down? Or food inflation? More gathering economic doom? Weather weirdness? Never fear. It will only get more interesting.

In the meantime, I’ve got some creative pursuits to — er — pursue. Watch this space for ongoing news about Daemonyx, Dark Awakenings, and other stuff. We may be living in the proverbial Interesting Times of the Chinese curse, but there’s no reason why that should have any other effect than to make artistic pursuits even more engaging and passionate.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD, GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES, and HORROR LITERATURE THROUGH HISTORY.

Posted on June 19, 2008, in The Teeming Brain and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Welcome home, Matt. Glad it went well in Indiana. Sounds like your summer is a creative explosion of activity.

  2. Thanks, Cindy. Yes, things are active here in Cardinland. I hope the summer is going great for you and the family.

  3. Glad to see you back, chum. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

  4. “…I can only imagine what all was talked about in the wee hours of the morning while I was zonked out.”
    Mostly you =)))

    It was great to see you!! I thoroughly enjoyed all the 3.2 discussion before you zonked. [My report and pics are coming, I’m still recovering…]

  5. It’s always nice to have a new blog to read! Great to meet you!

  6. Glad to see you again too (in the virtual sense), Simon. I hope the new collection is gathering momentum for you. The recent news items at your site — appearances in BEST NEW HORROR et al. — make it sound like a swelling tide indeed!

    Great meeting you, Kelli and Michelle. And thanks for generating a comforting sense of paranoia for me, Kelli. Now I don’t *want* to know what was said while I was sleeping. πŸ˜‰

  7. Welcome back!

  8. Oh, don’t worry. Kelli’s blowing it out of proportion. What was said wasn’t *that* bad. I don’t talk bad about cute piano players. πŸ™‚

    It was great to meet you!

  9. Thanks, Grumpy. I hope the summer is going well for you. Savor it. Suck all the marrow out of it, so that when it comes time for you to die by returning to the teaching job, you will not find that you have not yet lived.

    Alethea — It was great to meet you as well. It’s not often one meets a Princess. And thanks for the reassurance about that late-night conversation. Paranoia is a horrible thing. πŸ™‚

  10. Ah come on, paranoia is fun… keeps you on your toes!! =))

  11. Matt, it was great to meet you! You have a lot of knowledge and I don’t how you can contain yourself! Listening to you all on the panel and late night garage talk/jokes was a real treat! Hope to see you next year!

  12. Thanks, Jenn. Great to meet you, too!

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