Thursday, July 20, 2017

Get Off My Lawn!



WRITER? DJ? CHILI COOK? MINISTER? OR JUST ANOTHER ANGRY OLD MAN?


I'm a writer. I’m also a husband and a father, a strip club DJ, a chili cook, an ordained minister, and a lover of books. I was encouraged to try and write professionally by one of my college professors, and the first piece of writing I ever sold was published in 1988 by HORRORSTRUCK Magazine. It was an article about rock songs with horrific imagery, and it was printed in their final issue. Since then, I have seen my work appear in a wide variety of small press and pro publications and websites, from the DAYTON CITY PAPER and MAGIC REALISM to ADAM FILM WORLD, GENESIS, and DAYTON MAGAZINE. For 3 straight years, I served as a judge and helped organize a regional poetry and short story contest for the DAYTON VOICE which drew hundreds of entries. I've been a contributing editor to three different literary magazines, and my short fiction has won several small contests. Over the past two years, I've edited custom publications promoting the nearby cities of Hamilton and Montgomery and the 20th U.S. Air Force Marathon, all in association with Cincy Magazine. Also recently, a short humorous piece I wrote was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition.
My name is Tim Walker, and I'm 52 years old. I live in Dayton, Ohio with my wife and our two children. I love reading and I do a lot of it. I also love music, writing, spicy food, weird fiction, animals, offbeat films, cooking, and spending time with my family. I was born in Huntington, West Virginia in August 1965 -- I then lived in nearby Barboursville until I was 12, when I moved to Point Pleasant, home of the Mothman and site of 1967's Silver Bridge disaster. My family later relocated to Fairborn, Ohio, and in 1983 I graduated from Fairborn High School. Go Skyhawks! I've lived in the Dayton area ever since, except for 2 years when my wife and I lived in the San Fernando Valley. I spent most of my childhood living in trailer parks -- never really minded it, either. While living out in California, I hosted a weekly talk show on KSEX Radio, an internet radio station, which was called "Lust for Life". At a recent job interview, I was called a "freak" by my potential employer... he may be onto something.
I started working at Emery Worldwide, an overnight air freight courier, one week after I turned 18, and I stayed there for 12 years. I love books and review them when I can. An old Factsheet Five reader, I’ve always been interested in zines and I’ve published two. I've won a few trophies at local chili competitions for my chili, minor stuff but still fun. I spent 3 years dressing and singing like Ozzy Osbourne, performing at local clubs in an Ozzy/Black Sabbath tribute band called Damaged Soul. For 6 years, I was general manager of the Flamingo Showclub, a gentleman's club in Dayton. I am currently a DJ at The Harem, another local club. I worked for several years on an assembly line for Navistar International, building school buses and heavy duty trucks, and I'm hell on wheels on a forklift. While I was at the Flamingo, we became known for staging outlandish promotions like Mashed Potato Wrestling, Topless Karaoke, and our very own game show, "Are You Smarter Than a Stripper?" As an ordained minister, certified by the state, I have officiated at over two dozen wedding ceremonies. During my first ceremony, the couple exchanged their vows while the three of us stood in the middle of a river.
I once met and chatted with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi while backstage at Ozzfest. One night at a karaoke bar in Burbank, I sang Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” with backup vocals provided by Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and Society One’s Matt Zane. I've drunk beer with Zakk Wylde on his tour bus several times. I've interviewed Joe Jackson, Wynton Marsalis, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Jane Wiedlin, Christine McVie, and Derek Trucks. I've met Clive Barker, Herbie Hancock, Penn Jillette, Vince Neil, Jenna Jameson, Vinnie Paul, Maynard James Keenan, Larry Flynt, Gene Simmons, and Nine Inch Nails bassist Danny Lohner. I've eaten dinner with Ron Jeremy and Dennis Hof, with Jesse Jane (before she was a star), with Steve Rasnic Tem, and with Mike South, y'all.
I believe in literacy. I believe in fantasy. I believe in the power of imagination. I think that with words, courage, love, strength, and determination, we can make the world a better place.
[If you enjoy this blog, feel free to connect with me on Facebook by clicking HERE or on Twitter by clicking HERE

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Preoccupations

Preoccupations: Steve Rasnic Tem. JG Ballard. Jeff Vandermeer. Nathan Ballingrud. Laird Barron. Thomas Ligotti. Joe R. Lansdale. The New Flesh. David Lynch. Harlan Ellison. David Cronenberg. Todd Rundgren. Thomas Harris. Joseph Campbell. Miles Davis. Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Bruce Cockburn. Chili. Annie Proulx. Mozart. Neo-Noir. Thomas McGuane. Jimmy Buffett. Stephen King. Clive Barker. John Simon. Gemma Files. Thomas Pynchon. Neil Gaiman. Neil Young. Stanley Kubrick. Surrealism. John Coltrane. Barry N. Malzberg. Tool. David Foster Wallace. Kathe Koja. Jeff Lynne. Indian food. Herbie Hancock. Dennis Etchison. Franz Kafka. Jorge Luis Borges. Bruno Schulz. Planet Drum. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Joe Jackson. Laurie Anderson. RA Lafferty. Thomas M. Disch. Samuel Delany. Prince. John Hiatt. Mythology. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Steve Erickson. Hunter S, Thompson. Alan Moore. William S. Burroughs. Robert Williams. Grant Morrison. James Joyce. HR Giger. Gottfried Helnwein. The Neon Gypsy. Robert Crumb. Pink Floyd. Tedeschi Trucks Band. Cornell Woolrich. James M. Cain. David J. Schow. Jim Thompson. Christa Faust. Maurice Sendak. Roald Dahl. Francis Bacon. Salvador Dali. HP Lovecraft. Pizza. Ernest Hemingway. Harper Lee. Mark Twain. Re/Search Publications. TS Eliot. The Grateful Dead. Dan Simmons. Ray Bradbury. Isaac Asimov. Hannibal Lecter. Arthur C. Clarke. Norman Spinrad. Edgar Allan Poe. John Shirley. Bruce Sterling. Schizophrenia. Lewis Shiner. Brian Evenson. Shamanism. Jeffrey Ford. CV Hunt. KW Jeter. Frank Bill. Todd Robinson.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Narcan Debate -- How Many is Too Many?

"Jane, you ignorant slut."

Each week the Dayton City Paper newspaper runs a section entitled the Debate Forum. It has proved to be one of the more popular sections of the paper -- in fact, I've been told by some readers that it's the first (if not the only) section of the paper to which they turn each week.

The premise is simple: each week the editorial staff chooses one timely and somewhat controversial topic to address, a topic which lends itself easily to two diametrically opposing points of view. Forum moderator Sarah Sidlow writes a "center" piece which introduces that central question and describes how people on either side of the topic might feel, then two writers step in and, with 800 words each and the weekend to work with, they try to explain and defend their opposing points of view. Usually, though not always, one writer is very much a left-leaning liberal, while the other is a more right-wing conservative. The writers are chosen by the paper's editor-in-chief, Amanda Dee, and -- in my opinion -- she generally chooses writers she feels are passionate about the week's topic, and have a well-defined opinion on the central debate question.

I participate in the debate forum as often as possible. (Hey, I'm a working stiff just like you, and those kids need new fidget spinners). Also, as you might imagine, my work tends to appear on the left side of the page.

This week, the debate question was exceedingly simple: "Are Municipalities Obliged To Respond to Repeat Overdose Victims?"

Check it out, if you're so inclined, by clicking HERE and comment if you can. The editors love feedback from our readers, even if they're not from Dayton. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

As Franz Kafka once said...


Great Writing From Raymond Chandler

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge."

— Raymond Chandler, "Red Wind"