17th September 2014

Rose Moon e-book in production!

Yes, dear ones, a limited edition e-book of Rose Moon is in production. What does this mean? It means final edits, final touches to formatting and an illustration for the cover are all sizzling toward done. Get your fork ready! This release will be available directly from this website only, albeit in both EPUB and MOBI formats. I am driving toward an October 1 release date. I won’t put up a pre-order button until I finish the cover illustration. Check back in about a week.

posted in Robert Stikmanz | Comments Off

30th August 2014

Coincidentally

In Peru, August 30th is the feast day of Santa Rosa, Saint Rose, patron saint of that country and of indigenous peoples of the Americas. August 30th is also the birthday of my late mother, Rose. The only possible connection I can draw between Mother and Peru’s patron (besides mental illness mistaken for spirituality) is that, beyond the Catholic Church, Saint Rose is venerated in the Anglican Communion, and my maternal grandfather affected high church Episcopalianism. It’s a stretch, especially since the Anglican feast of Saint Rose is August 23rd, but stretch a little farther. My birthday, July 28th, is Independence Day in Peru, proclaimed by José de San Martín and the Liberation Army of the South in 1821. What do I have to do with Peru? A single case may be mere coincidence, but two cases are unquestionably MORE coincidence. Strange things happen under inscrutable skies, pilgrim.

posted in Robert Stikmanz | Comments Off

6th August 2014

Ready on this end

Paypal, that vigilant guardian of small business interests, has written to ask if my account remains active. So much time has elapsed since a purchase was made from this site that they have come to suspect the retail operation of this enterprise has gone dormant. Nothing is farther from the truth! Inventory and shipping materials are on hand, and I am poised to ship on a day’s notice. The stumble that has led to Paypal’s concern is a fall to zero in order placement. What can be done to ease Paypal’s fretting? The most direct action is the best action. Buy something. Please. Click on one of the “Buy Now” buttons in the sidebar, and pass a few greenbacks through to the Confabule account.

An item taking up more space than defensible in the warehouse here at Intergalactic HQ is the audio CD of Gary Warner Kent reading my short story, “Death on the Toilet.” You can double your sense of accomplishment by ordering a copy of the CD. This will relieve Paypal’s concern, and clear a bit of room for the print run of Lightning Water, by M. S. Lewis, that will be hitting the Stikmantic catalog in a few months. Act before September 1, 2014, and I’ll throw in a Dvarsh temporary tatoo with every CD shipped.

News soon on Rose Moon! Check back (and buy something then, too!)

posted in Confabule, Death on the Toilet, Gary Warner Kent, Lightning Water, M. S. Lewis, Rose Moon | Comments Off

18th July 2014

Bravograndia: it is my feet that find the way

The Serene Realm of Bravograndia was born of pride and sadness. Its nationhood, and the love of its citizenry, is rooted in the blend of peoples and habitats, each necessary, inextricable, that gave rise, among others, to me. The sadness that called it to being is the sadness of a lover of people, a lover of creatures, of plants, a lover of all their communities and the community of which they are all parts, a lover’s lover mired in a society that has discarded or suppressed ideals that alone can redeem it.

Bravograndia thrives as a mental refuge, a redoubt of hopes and dreams unassailable by the polities that claim its landscapes. Its foundation is rooted in those landscapes, the life that inhabits them, and all the nations of the Bravograndian expanse. It is to Bravograndia that I belong. Homeland of my spirit and aspirations, it overlays, or perhaps interpenetrates, the territorial pretensions of imaginary (if heavily armed) republics.

Long before I could put a name to the Serene Realm, it called forth my loyalty. I was born in the imaginary nation of the United States, in the imaginary State of Texas, in the City of Houston, second child and second son of Donald and Rose, residents of the City of La Porte. Precocious, I understood from an early age that actual values shaping the world had little to do with values publicly expressed, and that if the latter were hollow, the former were horseshit. For better or worse, it was the hollow word that resonated within me. Despite the pressure of market and peers, I was inoculated with language meant to mouth but not hear. Unable not to hear, I made that language song and the song a ruler by which to measure the frontiers of emergent Bravograndia.

Traced on a map, the Serene Realm centers on the great watershed of the river known on one bank as the Rio Bravo and on the other as the Rio Grande. Its southern edge follows the Rio Panuco from mouth to source; its western border is the continental divide. The most northerly point of the Bravograndian expanse is somewhere on slopes in imaginary Colorado that drain to the source of its namesake river. More generally, its northern border follows Palo Duro Creek to the Prairie Dog Town Fork and east along the Red River proper until,  in the vicinity of Highway 910, in the imaginary State of Louisiana, it jumps to the Mississippi. The border jumps again to include the entire north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, grading finally into disputed lands east of Picayune, in the imaginary State of Mississippi. To the southeast, it is washed by the Gulf of Mexico. An epiphenomenal nation hidden in plain sight, these are the conceptual and material frontiers within which I formed.

The Serene Realm of Bravograndia is a parliamentary anarchy with no head of government and no head of state. Recent efforts to tally indicate that either thirty-six or forty-two parties currently hold seats in its single Chamber of Soliloquies. The count is complicated by the fact that I hold the proxy for every constituency, and some days distinctions between camps can be drawn more readily than others. Some allow for no distinctions at all. There are days replete with diplomatic missions to meadows and clouds, to lunatics and dreamers, and to numberless invisible worlds, upon which I, as Solitary and Unique Minister Plenipotentiary of the Serene Realm, am pledged to attend. Even those days, however, prove no inconvenience to tourist or immigrant. Bravograndia requires neither visa nor passport, no record of immunizations, no special currency, no minimum purchase. At any hour, from any point, travel with good will and generous spirit to the edge of what is taken for granted. With no backward glance, turn sharply into “What if…?” Greetings and welcome to you who lift your sights, clear your mind, and wish.

posted in Bravograndia | Comments Off

1st July 2014

From the patio this morning

The strawberry gives back

The strawberry gives back.

posted in Robert Stikmanz | Comments Off

21st June 2014

Tomorrow and tomorrow and now

Future vision of myself as a lonely old man trying to hold attention of busy folks came recently into focus. The experience was sobering. People’s eyes really do look like they glaze over when their interest strays. The eyes, that is, of individuals who hold still long enough. The eyes of those too quick to be caught simply see right past one. Right past me, at least.

This learning experience was not among strangers. Those who suffered my conversation, or who fluidly avoided it, were creative people that I know, like and admire. They are not unkind. To the contrary, their discomfort was a result of the fact that they did not turn and walk away.

Seeing the stress I caused others was sobering, but not really surprising. These past couple years I have had to confront the effect of my presence. I have had to rethink my place in the world because, with gray hair here and sixty approaching, behavior that was acceptable in a forty-year old—or even a fifty-year-old—is now creepy. As I have to keep reminding myself, the majority of interactions in any given situation on any given day are simply courtesy. Silly Robert constantly mistakes this for friendship.

The lesson underscores a direction increasingly indicated by the world in which I swim: stay out of the way, don’t bother people, and focus on art. I wish it were different. I wish I were as interesting as the things I create, but I am not. Fortunately, every project in development here at the HQ benefits from solitude. Rose Moon, for instance, waits even now for undivided attention. In that there is a kind of grace.

posted in Rose Moon | Comments Off

15th June 2014

The Rose Moon, 13 June 2014

The Rose Moon in a handheld shot, about 5:30 a.m. on Friday the 13th of June, 2014. Actually a few hours past full, but in the night of fullness.

The Rose Moon in a handheld shot, about 5:30 a.m. on Friday the 13th of June, 2014, Austin, Texas. Actually a few hours past full, but in the night of fullness. Looking out from my front door, across Manchaca Road.

posted in Robert Stikmanz | Comments Off

1st June 2014

Next up, the Rose Moon

That’s right, dear ones, the full moon of June is the Rose Moon. Also known as the Strawberry Moon (when wild and heirloom strawberries really ripen—or used to, before climate change), but that’s imagery for different poeticisms. Because the action of my novella happens under a particular moon of a particular June lurking in a never specified future, I stole the term as a neon signpost of a title. The non-fictional Rose Moon of this year fruits on the night of June 12/13. Should you give it a look, ask yourself what it could possibly have to do with future tech, explicit sex, hallucinogenic drugs and ancient Mesopotamia. Look forward to announcement of an answer later in the year.

posted in Robert Stikmanz, Rose Moon | Comments Off

11th May 2014

Once upon a day in May

Not that anyone will notice, but I’ve restricted some ability for readers to comment on this site. My in-box was overwhelmed with demands that I moderate trackbacks and pingbacks from spamming sites, suggesting a sudden failure of the anti-spam plug-in. Wham! No more trackbacks or pingbacks allowed. Likely this will prove no inconvenience for biological friends.

While I’ve got you here I should report on progress with Rose Moon, and other activity. Rose Moon progresses. I’ve penciled about a quarter of the manuscript, a few pages at a time because I remain lazy. The usual excessively purple prose that must be chopped from my early drafts is being chopped. I’m trying to make sure I get all of it, so nothing grows back before final draft, but you know how that goes. I’ve also begun reading a book called, “Learn FontLab Fast.” With an end to Rose Moon in sight, it is not too early to marshal resources for the new Dvarsh initiative.

I also find myself somewhere along the way with a new video project. Working title is Don Quijote/Lonesome Prairie. This project further explores the use of successive hand-drawn images a la [hands]. Like [hands], the new vid will feature an Irish bouzouki soundtrack. Estimated completion date is the same as for everything I undertake: whenever it can walk away on its own.

The time seems to be one of suspension. Moments feel pregnant with energy of something about to happen. I’m a plodder, passing the wait by attending to details. After all the investment, I’m going to have to live on this ark even if it never rains. That’s why I plant dill and strawberries.

posted in dvarsh, Rose Moon | 0 Comments

12th April 2014

Rose Moon draft 4 just in time for the Blood Moon

Last weekend I completed a fourth draft of parts 3 & 4 of the novella in progress, Rose Moon. After such a long time focused on other concerns, it’s nice to once again live inside an unfolding story. A fourth draft is sufficiently crafted to show the work’s eventual face through the rough, and I’m heartened by what I see. Like Entranscing, this novella provides foundation for my world that is assumed but never described in the originally planned core novels of The Hidden Lands of Nod; however, Rose Moon is better realized than Entranscing, which remains more a detailed plan for a novel than a finished book. A difference is that with Rose Moon I am doing a better job of keeping my role as organizing sensibility reined to appropriate gaits.

Since finishing the fourth draft of parts 3 & 4, I’ve mostly set the work aside to deal with non-art issues. I did shift all four parts into a single manuscript file, and decide that from this point I’ll revise it as a book rather than separate episodes. Also, the draft I completed last weekend ended with an epilog stuck behind part 4; subsequently, I realized the epilog is actually a scene from early in a future book. It has been removed.

I completed this draft of Rose Moon in time for the “Blood Moon,” which hype is not entirely mine. If you’ve consumed media in the past few days you know about the total lunar eclipse over the western hemisphere on Monday, April 14. All the talking heads are calling it a “Blood Moon.” I hope it is, and I hope the skies are clear for sampling. The current forecast for Austin predicts scattered thundershowers on the 14th. May they scatter elsewhere than around Stikmanz HQ, where the need for lunar red is practical. It’s a rare color, bright with magic.

posted in Entranscing, magic, Rose Moon, The Hidden Lands of Nod | 0 Comments

    Audio CD now available
  • Death on the Toilet Audio CD
    a story by Robert Stikmanz, read by Gary Warner Kent
    $5.00 (Plus Shipping and Handling)
    The Way It Grows
  • The Way It Grows: An Introduction to Dvarsh
    Non-fiction Fantasy, 90 Pages, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9838137-0-5
    Bookstore Price $12.95
    Our Price $12.00 (Plus Shipping and Handling)
  • Nod's Way Dice

  • Nod's Way Oracle Dice
    With Dice Bag and Pocket Reference Card
    AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY
    FROM THIS SITE!

    $5.00 (Plus Shipping and Handling)


    Prelude to a Change of Mind
  • Prelude to a Change of Mind: The First Book in the Hidden Lands of Nod
    Fiction, 144 Pages, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9827426-0-0
    Bookstore Price $9.95
    Our Price $8.00 (Plus Shipping and Handling)
  • Entranscing
  • Entranscing: The Second Book of the Hidden Lands of Nod, newly revised
    Fiction, 132 Pages, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9827426-2-4
    Bookstore Price $9.95
    Our Price $8.00 (Plus Shipping and Handling)
  • Sleeper Awakes
  • Sleeper Awakes: The Third Book in the Hidden Lands of Nod
    Fiction, 552 Pages, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9817443-9-1
    Bookstore Price $21.95
    Our Price $15.00 (Plus Shipping and Handling)