Friday, May 30, 2014

RUN DISNEY 2015

I am all set up for Run Disney 2015. 



I am registered for the Marathon. I have picked out my flights, have a deposit on the hotel and park ticket package. We are staying at the Port Orleans resort, going to the park for 5 days, and running a kids race with the family at Disney Wide World of Sports. I have my mickey ears with my name embroidered on the back to wear while I run the marathon. We even plan to spend one day at Universal Studios to play some Quidditch.

Bamn! #RunDisney done up right.

The only thing that is missing is that I am not running, and have not run a mile in 45 days. I suppose you call that faith. Faith is trying to cross the ocean without a boat. Jump in the air, start rowing, and before you hit the water, the boat will appear. Then again, Faith without works is dead, and I have now turned my will and my running life over to the care of Tri-covery massage who have secrets nobody else seems to know. Results are promising, and it just confirms to me that Doctors are just people dressed up as doctors.  Stay tuned. 

**Also, a big shout out and huge thank you to blogger Miss Zippy for her review of On the Lips of Children on her blog today. Thanks Amanda!  Check it out and the other running book she highly recommends for folks like me who moan about their injuries a bit too much -->Running + Reading = Perfect Combo

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TIME OF DEATH by SHANA FESTA

My friend, fellow author, and owner/operator of the site Bookie-monster.com, Shana Festa, has a new book out this week. I have been doing book reviews for Bookie-Monster the last several months, and Shana has been such a pleasure to work with. If you are open to it, they are accepting requests for reviewers. (click here). Promise it will be as great an experience you will have doing book reviews for any site out there.

Now Shana has signed a deal with Permuted Press, and has her own book on a topic she has a PHD on, Zombie Fiction. In the history of all time, and a little bit before then even, I don't think there's ever been an author more set up than Shana Is for this release. In her role as Bookie-monster owner/operator, she's undoubtedly made contacts with a million publishers and a billion authors. I invite you to check out Bookie-Monster and the novel, "Time of Death"

Here's the offical press release from Permuted Press, the leader in Zombie Fiction.

TIME OF DEATH: INDUCTION

When no one or nowhere is safe, where do you go to escape the monsters?

In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life.

And they’re hungry.

Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.

Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.


BUY THE BOOK

Monday, May 26, 2014

FREE BOOK FOR SAN DIEGO RnR MARATHON RUNNERS


This week is the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. The run takes place on June 1st.

The San Diego marathon is the event that Macon from my novel, On the Lips of Children, planned to run in order to prove himself. Finishing the marathon was to be a test of his strength and perseverance.

But during a shake-out run the day before, Macon falls prey to a bizarre family living in a San Diego to Tijuana drug tunnel, and he gets tested in more ways than he could have ever imagined.
26.2 miles never hurt like this.

If you're reading this and running the San Diego marathon (or half), send an email to xmarkm@gmail.com and I’ll gift you a kindle version. Grab a copy now, and you'll be done reading by Sunday, and the event will seem like a breeze.  I can’t think of any better way to taper proper.

Email your first and last name so I can confirm you are registered, and you’ll receive a gift right back.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

HIGHLIGHTS OF MY RACING LIFE


As I go into my 5th week of no running (besides a few strides), I have this fear in the back of my head that my running life is over. That whatever I return to will be so far from what it was, that I can barely call it running. Instead, my legs are on their death bed. My running life is taking in its last breath, and the highlights are flashing in front of my eyes (as happens in death, so we hear)

Here are the moments that I expect to see:

Grand Rapids Marathon 2010
This was the Boston Qualifier race that I sought after for ten years. There is a moment in the race I will never forget around the 21 mile mark. I KNEW I was going to make my BQ time. I didn’t THINK I could make it, which had happened so many times before, but I knew it. I raised my fist in triumph and felt such a swell of Godly Mojo.

Boston Marathon 2010
I will never forget the start. It was like visiting a post card, and when the jets flew overhead I realized it wasn’t a daydream. The finish line on Boylston street had the energy of a blackhole and sucked in runners with such force to the end of the race. All of us willing. Permanent memory burn.
 
Cruising to the Boston Finish
Detroit Marathon 2000 and beyond
I was so terrified my first marathon in Detroit, but it was around mile 15 when I felt as good as if I had just started running, and I finally let myself relax and take it all in. I ran with tears to the end. Crossing the Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River makes for a perfect morning. When the sun rises while you cross the bridge with the raging river below, it’s like God waking up to peek at you with a glowing orange eyeball and saying, “well done, my son, well done.”
  
New York City Marathon 2012 and 2013 
I will never forget the canceled marathon day, and the ‘run anyway” central park miles so many runners put in. Best analogy is it was like Who-ville when the Grinch tried to steal the presents of Christmas, but couldn’t take the joy away. A year later, the start of the New York marathon over the Verrazano bridge with cannons booming and helicopters hovering and the New York Cityscape on the horizon was an out of body experience. The run through Brooklyn was perhaps my favorite running portion of any race ever. I smacked hands of every Brooklyn resident I could, and I am sure they are now spreading the dust of my fingerprints across the big apple even now.
 
Slapping hands in Brooklyn
 Chicago Marathon 2001- BQ failure (first of many failed attempts)
Chicago was my first big city marathon, and the expo was like stumbling upon buried treasure. I was in awe. As for race day, I don’t think I was ever so determined in my life to accomplish something. At mile 20, when I felt the BQ time slipping away, I tapped into my primordial muck way deep below the surface that I otherwise never would have known existed. I pushed my legs such that they cramped and bulged as if a human head were trying to emerge from the muscle. I pissed blood. I become a Zombie the last mile, begging to be shot in the head. It was not to be, but  I learned a great lesson. I was in 3:10 shape easy during training but ran my best race the last 20 miler rather than waiting for the event day. We learn more by failing than fear of failing. Odd how a marathon PR, (3:17 in this case), is remembered as a failure.

Walt Disney Marathon 2015
Oh the joy! The shiny, happy people, dressed in running gear and character costume, cruising by Space Mountain and through Cinderella's Castle, hitting all the parks and running through them like I've always dreamed. It was so much fun!  I am glad I wore the Pluto ears rather than the Mickey ears during the race (Pluto hardly gets enough play). The next day I walked through the parks with my kids and enjoyed the rides with a new pleasure.

Hey, wait! This hasn't happened yet! 

DON'T BURY ME, I'M NOT DEAD YET


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

AMERICAN IDOL and JENA IRENE

I never watched American Idol until this season. I could not have told you a single thing about it even after hours of torture. But this season, someone from my hometown is the finalist and I've been watching closely the last few weeks.
Jena at the local High School
You can't shoot a snot-rocket in this town without hitting a "Vote for Jena Irene" poster. She's everywhere. And the funny thing is, all of a sudden, everybody knows her and is her friend. Any store you go into: a bakery, a barber, a grocery store, they all claim that "Jena used to shop here/eat here/visit here/work here when she was younger." Everyone's proud, and rightly so, because she's got more talent that this town should allow. Seeing her grandparents watch her perform at North Farmington High and bust out in tears of joy made me bust out in tears of joy. (my wife suspects I'm going through menopause.)

I feel ya man.
 Her competition, Caleb Johnson, is a damn powerful singer himself. His version of "Dazed and Confused" was inspiring, but he seems to me more of the perfect front man for a Led Zeppelin cover band than an artist in his own right. Jena's version of Elvis's "Can't Help Falling in Love" and Radiohead's "Creep"  have her personage stamped all over it.

Of course,  I am a bit biased. Did I mention Jena used to babysit my kids when she was younger?
...that's a lie. But, Yo, Vote for Jena

Monday, May 19, 2014

MILK-BLOOD NAMED ONE OF SUMMER'S MOST ANTICIPATED READS

The folks over at The Horror Bookshelf: A Blog Dedicated to Dark Fiction, have named MILK-BLOOD one of the most anticipated reads of summer saying:

I read Matthews’ prequel, The Damage Done (available for free on Amazon), and it blends the horrors of addiction with a supernatural element to create a unique and horrifying short story that sets the stage for Milk-Blood, which is sure to be a truly terrifying and gripping read from this extremely talented author.

 Check the blog out here






Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NO RUN FOR 30 DAYS MAKES JACK A DULL BOY. HERE'S WHAT I'VE LEARNED


Unless I relapse today and break out in a five miles, I will make it to 30 days without a run. After nearly 2 years struggling with an injury, I finally got an MRI which discovered a tear in my Quadricep

Of course it has taught me a few things.


1. REALITY ISN'T MEANT TO BE AN ALL DAY THING
I always felt that the hardest part of being sober is being fully immeresed into reality 24 hours a day. Like a TV that is always on, always blaring, and you can't turn it off, can't step away. SOBER stands for Son Of a Bitch Everything's Real. One of the best ways to make reality more tolerable and to enhance it into something with incredible joy is to go for a run.

2. CARDIO IS KING
I've been doing more weights, but as much as I pick things up and put them down, it just isn't the same. Cross-training and weights help to refresh and energize, but they just don't tap into those deeper parts. 

3. STEVEN WRIGHT IS A GENIUS
One of my all time favorite jokes goes something like this:

"I saw a cop, but then I remembered it was Halloween, so it could just be a regular guy dressed up as a cop, but then I realized that's all a cop really is anyway"

Doctors are just people dressed up as doctors. Yes, they are experts, but they are also the people you went to school with who were lazy and cheated and skipped class (I know, because I did those things too).
In my case, doctor okayed cross-training and suggested leg weights. I followed doctors orders and did light leg weights. Nothing strenuous at all. Leg extensions. Squats. Something told me this may not make sense, doing weights on a torn muscle, but I wanted to do this right. Well, it made things noticeably worse, and put me back two weeks. I have since stopped, and noticed an improvment. I certainly think strenght training can prevent future injuries once I"m healed, but, damn it....


4. TIME (YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE, ASK A BUSY PERSON)

All that time I spent running. What would I do with it? Well, the answer is, not much. I find that the more I have to do, the more precious I treat the time. Without running, I have watched far too much reality TV. "American Idol" (Jena Irene is from my hometown), "Love It or List It", or another favorite, "Million Dollar Listing - New York"
Frederick of Million Dollar Listings

5. CREATIVE JUICES COME FROM SWEAT
My brain gets lubricated from a run, ideas seep in, characters come alive and speak to me. Now I got nothing, so I sit at the computer and type "No Run for 30 Days Makes Mark a Dull Boy"

6.THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED
Listening to music while running makes the songs come alive. Dare I say it is like watching Pink Floyd's THE WALL high?  It just makes more sense and becomes a full body experience. In the back of my mind, I fear my recovery will never be complete, and I'm done. Bye bye my american pie...


AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, May 12, 2014

MORE PROOF GOODREADS IS A GOOD PLACE

I love Goodreads like a five year old loves Pirates. It is an arena where the line between writers and readers has been erased, especially since so many of us are bits of both. Many times the review itself is as creative a piece of art as that which is being reviewed.  For example, this splendid piece by Carol from Star Angel Reviews.   Rated PG for Partly Gorey.


Review of On the Lips of Children
Right now Mr. Matthews, I am very upset with you – all day I have been trying to figure out if you seriously left me hanging like that….Really? I would really like another book - *tapping my foot – and like SOON! Can you please clean up the missing pieces?  I know there is enough story to squeeze out another book – so how about it?



The Prologue kicked ass….the beginning of the story drug…..the middle picked up and by 60% - I couldn’t put the sucker down!

 

Now when I first read that Dante was sniffing the “bath salts” – my son giving us the lecture on these suckers at our family Thanksgiving dinner is what came to mind ---- “Mom,” he says, “It is not going out to the store and buying up those perfumed crystals for your bath water, and taking them home and snorting them.  Bath Salts is just a name made up for designer drugs that are similar to meth.”  And that sucker looked at me like I was the dumbest person on earth….go figure – so I thought it would be simple for kids to get their hands on them and that was the reason for the Zombie Apocalypse that was breaking out…..so sue me!

Ah Shit…I went off on a tangent again – back to the review – so yeah, it was gory and parts were heartbreaking but I’m still pissed at the ending….Hahahaa…I just remembered how Dante wanted to take off everyone’s face so he could see what was going on behind the face.  Dante was the shit but I absolutely loved how he got his back in the end. (yeah-his story ended *pfft)



Re-Cap
Do you know who really live in the tunnels that connect Tijuana to California?  Did you ever think that cannibals live in those tunnels just waiting for vacationing suckers to stumble upon them?

Well Macon and Erin had no clue – and why wouldn’t they trust the hotel clerk when he told Macon about a short cut to get to the ocean quicker?  Macon was running in the marathon the very next day and couldn’t strain his muscles too much…so why not take Mr. Mex up on his suggestion?

Would this really be a horror if Erin didn’t go to follow Macon with their 6 year old daughter, taking the same path?  Who are these people living under the overpass and how come they are so close to the tunnels?



When Macon finally makes it to the ocean and meets two little children at the end of the dock and the little boy starts sucking the blood out of his calf which is bleeding, didn’t Macon think things were a bit “off”?

Macon gets back to the hotel only to find Erin missing and a strange message on his phone….money in exchange for Erin?  What is going on?

From this point on – when Macon makes it back to the homeless freaks is when the story really gets good with blood sucking, eye popping, head bashing, skin gouging gore!!



The ending?  You know I never give away the ending…but in this case – I really can’t.  See that, Mr. Matthews?  The readers want an ending….OK…that’s not true….I want the ending – so just message me and let me know the outcome of the 4 people left outside the tunnel – please?

Friday, May 9, 2014

MOTHER'S DAY

Mother indeed is the word for God on the Lips of all Children.


Happy Mother's Day 
To Woman Everywhere
Even if you never gave birth, because, 
to quote my character Janice Woodward from The Jade Rabbit;


" ...being a mother is the birthright of all women, and our children are scattered about like dandelion seed. The little bits of white dust that fall on your nose are the ones you’re supposed to take care of. It doesn’t matter where they are from or if they look like you."


Thursday, May 8, 2014

THE MARATHON IN WORDS: DEAN KARNAZES NAILS IT


If running a marathon could be accurately described in words, it would be something less

than what it is, but this recent article by Dean Karnazes really comes close for me. Here are some highlights.



"The Marathon is not about running, it is about salvation."

"There is no luck involved in finishing the Marathon, the ingredients required to tackle this formidable challenge are straightforward: commitment, sacrifice, grit, and raw determination."

"The Marathon rattles you to the core. It deconstructs your very essence, stripping away all your protective barriers and exposing your inner soul. When you are at your most vulnerable, the Marathon shows no pity. The Marathon tells you that it will hurt you, that it will leave you demoralized and defeated, crushed in a lifeless heap alongside the roadside."

"You fight back, however, and stand courageously at that starting line, nervously awaiting that gun to go off. When it does, you put your head down and charge into the abyss, knowing honestly in your heart of hearts that you either paid your dues or that you skimped along the way. There is no lying to yourself here, the Marathon sees right through excuses, shortcuts, and self-transgressions."

The Dean
The Dean
Check out the full article on Runners World
The Marathon, by Dean Karnazes


Monday, May 5, 2014

MILK-BLOOD: THE COVER REVEAL

     As I announced last week, I have another book coming out. 

MILK-BLOOD is what happens when a writer and a social worker visit the inner city of Detroit. Based on a real setting and with more truth to the tale than you may believe. It is planned for release in July. Here's the cover: 



What's it about? 
    Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already
addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can't stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.
      For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly's true father, and both want their daughter back.


The cover is from Elderlemon Design run by Kealan Patrick Burke and to be edited by Richard Thomas of Dark House Press, (who just announced a two book deal with Random House). A couple of authors got a sneak peak. Here's some feedback:

"MILK-BLOOD is a discomforting story of true inner city horrors, told by characters so real they pop off the page. Add the supernatural mix to the story and it really grabs you by the throat. Mark's writing shows a remarkable assuredness that I caught a glimpse of in On the Lips of Children, but has really flowered with this piece. Very much recommended!" 
~ John F.D. Taff, author of Little Deaths and The Bell Witch

Three advance review copies are being given away on Goodreads. 

But that's not all.
There's a companion short story that is FREE on amazon and serves as a prequel, 'character origin' story. Click here for the 15 page read, The Damage Done, which promptly got three five star reviews since it was published last week. 

MILK-BLOOD The story you are about to read is entirely true. I know there was a disclaimer that called this a piece of fiction. It has to say that. So now if you are damaged while reading the story, I am no longer liable.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

REAL RUNNERS. REAL WRITERS. AND PENGUICON


REAL RUNNERS
  • Celebrate an effective snot-rocket.  
  • Cherish the burn of their chaffed body parts in the shower after a hot, summer long-run.  
  • Get moody and broody when they are injured and can not run.

REAL WRITERS 
  • Have their own domain name on their blog without blogspot in the url. ✓(finally) 
  • Go to cool conventions, rub elbows, act artsy and speak in esoteric terms.  ✓ (saturday) 
  • Get moody and broody when they are injured and can not run.

I will be at the Penguicon convention in Southfield this Saturday hanging out with a bevy of geeks and freaks, listening to author panels, and seeing way cool writers like Ernest Cline of Ready Player One and Julie Hutchings, Books of the Dead published author of Running Home.

What is Penguicon?  Imagine your happy place...
...a happy place where all geeky interests are represented, explored, and respected. A place with hackers, makers, foodies, open source software junkies, anime buffs, and science fiction fans of all ages and backgrounds come together in a hotel for a weekend and totally blow the roof off.






GARDEN OF FIENDS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR - NOW AVAILABLE

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror IS ALIVE!! $4.99 for Kindle $12.99 for paperback  (buy the paperback, and you can get t...