Best. Infographic. Ever.

The most epic infographic in the history of the multiverse, created by ultracool transmedia pro Carrie Cutforth-Young, quoting a grumpy tweet I made today about infographics. (Click the image for a larger version.)

He falls for the Facebook. He is killed by ad.

I occasionally post a peculiar message on Twitter and Facebook -- "He falls for the booty. He is killed by knife." -- because it's an undeniably weird frickin' thing to say, and because its strange backstory amuses me. But I got my own dose of strangeness when I posted the message to Facebook today. Behold, why I both loathe and begrudgingly admire Facebook's user profiling technology:

booty

As one of my pals on Facebook reported, "Only 824 people like the booty? This surprises me!" :)

--J.C.

Welcome to America.

Spilling store-bought coffee on your Ralph Lauren button-down while sitting in your air conditioned late model car and eying a pretty lady walking down an absolutely safe street. It's a nightmare world in which we live.

New digs, new office

I get a lot of questions from folks about writing and rituals: How many words do you write a day? What software do you use? Do you listen to music when you write?, etc.  Over the years, I've also encountered questions about my workspace: What does it look like? I recently moved from South Florida to the Denver area, and have spent the past month working hard to make my home office (which I use for my creative writing and the day gig) a warm and welcoming place for me to herd words for hours on end. I'm becoming increasingly proud of the office, and -- partly to finally answer the question What does it look like? and partly to selfishly, proudly preen at how it's shaping up -- I reckoned it was time to post some photographs. I pray you'll indulge me. :)

Here's a shot from the far corner of my new digs: my sole bookshelf is on the left (I'm ditching hard copy in a big way, forsaking the fetishization of printed books and buying ebooks almost exclusively now), and my main desk is on the right. The darkened monitor resting on the filing cabinet is for my Mac mini, which I use as the house's wireless streaming media server.

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For curious tech-heads: On the main desk, I've got a vertically-mounted MacBook Pro running the show, a 27" LED Cinema Display, some Bose speakers for audio, and a ScanSnap document scanner.

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Another shot of the desk, before I added the speakers and a statue of Thoth, the Egyptian god who invented writing (whose photo follows this one):

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thoth

Some spiffy bling on the bookcase shelves include my collection of fan-made, hand-crafted "Beta Clone" figurines and my small Transformers collection. (You can take the boy out of the 1980s, but...)

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Being surrounded by inspiring artwork always revs my creative engine. Here's a rundown of some of what's now on the walls.

First up, a priceless hand-painted portrait of The Spirit by the late Will Eisner, one of history's most influential comics creators. I wrote a profile about him for The Palm Beach Post in 2000, and he sent me this magnificent piece as a thank you. Eisner was the best.

Eisner

Next up: a delightful propaganda-style poster supporting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund -- a worthy cause. I bought this guy about 10 years ago, I think. Finally had it framed when I moved to Colorado.

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Here's a exceptionally dramatic and cool print of a Soviet-era propaganda poster. It reads, "We will smite the lazy worker." It's placed behind me, and looms like a thundercloud. Whenever I get whiny, I think of the mantra behind my head and keep typing.

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More art, on the far walls, include this awesome print of the cover from the June 1957 issue of Amazing Stories. Humans rising up against their robot oppressors? Can't beat that with a stick, folks. The magazine also has a great story from Harlan Ellison in  it. How would I know?

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Some more geeky goodness, including a print of artwork from the uncut edition of The Stand, signed by artist Bernie Wrightson, the original page 22 from Superman: Metropolis, painted and signed by Ted McKeever, and a sublime signed limited edition print of a girl wearing a jetpack. Because girls with jetpacks are, and will always be, awesome.

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I still need to acquire a futon for this far side of the office (sleeping accommodations for guests, and a soft place for me to sit), and perhaps an area rug to make some colors "pop" throughout the room, but aside from that, I think I'm all done decorating. :)

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Hope you enjoyed the tour. If you have any questions about my setup, give a shout in the comments. I'll see if I can answer them!

--J.C.

Fandom Addendum: Beautiful Creatures

Another terrific thing about Dragon*Con and the mighty power of fandom? Pretty ladies willing to pose with bashful writers! Such as: A devil girl who didn't need a pitchfork to put me in my place...

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...a she-trooper and a blue-skinned Jedi...

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...and Swoopy, for whom I'd do anything.

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--J.C.

90 Seconds Of Pure Badassery

This is one of the coolest Hollywood action sequences I've seen in recent memory ... and it doesn't hail from Hollywood. Feast your peepers on this jaw-dropping 90 seconds from the Telugu-language film Magadheera. According to Wikipedia, the 2009 movie has the distinction of being "the costliest film produced in Telugu film industry." Budget: $7 million. Behold the badassery.

(via The Daily What)

--J.C.

Hug Club

The first rule of Hug Club: Tell everyone about Hug Club. The second rule of Hug Club: TELL EVERYONE ABOUT HUG CLUB.

And if this is your first night at Hug Club ... you HAVE to hug.

--J.C.

In Which I Shake My Cane At Whippersnappers

From me, tonight, on Twitter: "There is an entire generation for which the term 'LP' means nothing. I am old."

And then: "No, whippersnappers. 'LP' does not mean "Linkin Park." I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS. GET THE [REDACTED] OFF MY [REDACTED] LAWN"

And then: "I will always call albums LPs. It's in my WRETCHED, WITHERED GEEZERFIED DNA."

And then: "All of youth culture just sent a carbon-dating crew to my house. After a brisk analysis, I am apparently FIFTY THOUSAND YEARS OLD."

And then: "Don't mind me. Me and my buddy OSTEOPOROSIS are sitting here on the porch swing, drinking Country Time and listening to the phonograph..."

And then: "Good gravy, there's nothing like gumming a Whitman's Sampler until it finally melts in your toothless mouth. FLIP THAT LP, OSTEOPOROSIS!"

And then: "Off to run over some white-earbud-wearing punks with my Hoveround. I'VE GOT YOUR MP3s RIGHT HERE"

At which point Buddy Brannan said: "When Melanie got her Hoveround the rep said that the echoing voices at the Grand Canyon were the old people going over the edge."

To which I replied: "@bbrannan No. It's the sound of YOUTH CULTURE GETTING SMASHED UNDER THE MIGHTY HOVEROUND'S WHEELS"

And then the mighty John Cmar said: "@jchutchins I'm sure you shouted SUCK MY OSTEOPOROTIC FEMUR-HEAD, BIEEYATCHESSSSSS!!! #mybodyisanelderlywonderland"

To which I replied: "@Cmaaarrr That's EXACTLY what I said. The fountain of spittle was glorious, as I didn't have my teeth in. #MyLiverSpotsTasteLikeAwesome"

To which he replied: "@jchutchins There's nothing like gum-slurred froth-speech to put the young'uns in their place. #ifonlymyprostatedidntweighmedownso"

At which point I could not reply, as I was wheeze-laughing. For I am a geezer.

As you were.

--J.C.

Get therapeutic with the "Personal Effects" coloring book!

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Personal Effects: Dark Art is about an art therapist ... so it only makes sense to celebrate its June 9 release with art! Download this very tongue-in-cheek Personal Effects coloring book, featuring artwork from the novel. Print it out, make copies, and have a Personal Effects release party -- with coloring! -- in your home on Tuesday! It's bloody fun for the whole family!

Feel free to send J.C. a photo or scan of your coloring pages. He just might post them here on the site.

Personal Effects: Dark Art. It's more than a (coloring) book. It's an experience. If you haven't already, order it here and support J.C.'s print novel debut.

Behold the awesomeness of Cat Shit One

Stellar computer animation. Ultra violence. Rabbits.

It's Cat Shit One, a Japanese series (perhaps better known to American mangaphiles as Apocalypse Meow). I don't think I've witnessed anything more rad in my life.

Hat tip to buddy Michael Hejja, who found it via Artistically Chill.

--JC

Awesomeness is always looking for you. But are you looking for it?

In my house, it's usually bad news when the phone rings at 6 a.m. This morning, my cell rang at 6; the ringtone told me it was an unknown caller. By the time I'd stumbled out of bed, the ringing had stopped ... and a text message was waiting for me. The area code was from Michigan, which meant it was 5 a.m. in the caller's neck of the woods. I read the text message.

hey sorry, checked out site, did not know u wrote book. i hope 2 hear from u soon. i did wait 4 a few, did not c u leave. -- Miss Bliss

It's no secret that I've posted my cell number here on my site -- I want to be as accessible as possible to folks, especially for business opportunities. It appeared as if the mysterious Miss Bliss scored my digits here. But I know no "Miss Bliss," and certainly wasn't waiting for her, wherever she was.

(Interesting aside: My next podcast fiction project, The 33, features a main character named Bliss. How's that for coincidence?)

Now, there are two paths to take in "wrong number" situations like this. Ignore the caller (or in this case, texter) ... or be as helpful as you can. So I texted back:

Are you sure you have the right person? I don't think I know a Miss Bliss...

Michigan-based Bliss replied minutes later:

Nah, look like a lot of people. sing in this band and i thought ur name was jeff. his pic is on main page. long hair, sings 4 another band. does zeppelin, great range, a lot of Robert Plant? thought you were him, sorry

Swell. I was helpful. Mystery solved. I replied:

Sorry Bliss ... Wrong guy. Good luck tracking down Jeff.

Now here's where things get interesting and fun -- and it completely reinforces my philosophy that 99 percent of the population are cool, decent folk. Bliss texted:

Wont be 2 hard, lol! ... ur book sounds interesting! r u going 2 do film? I have done scifi before. independent is the best!

Sensing an opportunity to shamelessly promote my stuff -- as an indie artist, you're always looking for more fans / customers / connections ... and if you're not, you're doing it wrong -- I replied:

Thanks! Check out the free audiobook at 7thSonNovel.com! Hope you find Jeff!

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Bliss soon replied, and if you u need a strong intimidating gal, and do a film, let me know. i am a pro model. acting is fun, keep in touch!

Come to find out, Miss Bliss is indeed a pro model, and this "wrong number" adventure has provided me a chance to meet someone spiffy -- and just as important, share her work with you. Artists helping artists, baby. This is what indie networking is all about.

Obviously, you can see what Miss Bliss looks like from the pic in this post -- a gallery is below -- and if you're based in Michigan and have a need for Miss Bliss' modeling or acting talents, you can find out how to contact her via her ModelMayhem webpage or at 248-979-3950.

In closing: Awesomeness is always looking for you. The question is, are you looking for it? Keep your eyes peeled, be open to serendipitous moments and opportunities ... and never be afraid to answer the phone at 6 a.m.

--J.C.

Another fan-submitted, Hutchins-inspired pic

There must be something in the water today: First, Lance emailed me a delightful 7th Son-related photo, and now superfan Wired Pig is getting in on the action! Take a gander at this photo, snapped by Wired Pig himself. I'm apparently selling appliances during this holiday season...

Hutchins Appliances

Who knew? I can only hope my appliances are packed with cliffhanging features such as "the ice maker that delivers a half-glass of ice, them makes you wait a week for the rest", etc.  :)

Thanks for thinking of me, Wired Pig!

--J.C.

TEH CUTE, IT BURNS: Clone Army Status...

Check out this awesome LOL pic sent by 7th Son fan Lance Hirakawa. It's perfect, and even features the proper number of Beta Clones!

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Tee hee! Thanks for the pic, Lance! Find more silly LOL dog pics at IHasAHotDog.com.

--J.C.