Monday, January 9, 2017

City of Weird Contributor: Sean Davis

When I put together these profiles of the authors who contributed to City of Weird, I'm usually
talking about them as writers - naturally. But the stuff I could say about Sean Davis, who contributed the story "The Fixer," runs so far beyond writing that I don't have any idea where to start.

How about the fact that, as commander of American Legion Post 134 in Portland, he has totally transformed it into a thriving community center that hosts workshops, meetings, and literary events, collects food and clothing for the homeless, and more. As I'm writing this, he has the Post open as an emergency warming center for the homeless during a period of frigid temperatures and ice storms.

How about the fact that he spends his summers fighting fires?

How about the fact that he teaches writing at Mt. Hood Community College and Clackamas Community College?

How about the fact that he was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in the National Guard in Iraq?

How about the fact that this past year, he ran for Mayor of Portland, garnering loads of respect for his drive and his community organizing skills and his views on what should be done to support our city? And as a side-note, how about the fact that he also won the Portland Mayoral Doughnut-Eating Contest?

Yes, I took a picture of his page in my voter's guide. Guess who I voted for.

How about the fact that he periodically goes out on the hunt for Bigfoot?

How about the fact that Sean worked as the veteran's service coordinator for the war-and-PTSD-themed opera The Canticle of the Black Madonna (A story he wrote about it is here.)?

How about the fact that he was honored with the 2016 Emily G. Gottfried Human Rights Award for Emerging Leader?

Like I said, I usually talk about my contributors as writers, and Sean has plenty to talk about there, too. His book The Wax Bullet War was published by Ooligan Press in 2014, and he has written and edited many other large and small works, as well as being an accomplished painter.

The story he submitted for City of Weird (complete title "The Fixer: a Serial - 1 - The Duchess") was right up my alley. Framed as an old time radio show, it somehow mashes up the seemingly disparate themes of mid-Twentieth-century noir narratives and Revolutionary Russian history and modern day America and throws Bigfoot in there for good measure. This spring, the story will be made into an actual radio show and it, along with a handful of other City of Weird stories, will make its radio debut live from the UFO Festival in May.

On Friday, January 13, Sean will be reading from his story at Post 134. In fact, the bar at the Post is the Poppy Lounge, where the very first scene of "The Fixer" takes place. This past year when the place was under renovation, someone stuck a balloon configuration that looked quite like a blue octopus on Poppy Lounge's ceiling. I don't know why - but City of Weird does have a blue octopus on its cover. Coincidence? I think not. OK, maybe, but still.

Here's a taste from the opening of "The Fixer":

Her lips are the color of a fresh scar and she has the kind of eyes that hit you harder than one of my long-pour Manhattans. Straight brown hair flows over her left shoulder and down over her low-cut white blouse. A dulled copper locket hangs on a long chain between her healthy breasts. There’s no reason in the world a dame like her should be in a dive like the Poppy Lounge. It makes no sense, and when things don’t make sense, that puts me on edge. 

I’m cleaning the last bum’s slobber from a pint glass, getting it ready for the next bum, as I watch her glide from the door to the bar. She’s at least five-foot-ten, maybe six-foot, but with those long getaway sticks, it’s hard to be sure. There’s no doubt that she could be the death of a man, but that man would still be lucky, in my book. 

I ask her what she needs and her only answer is a sultry smile. Finally, she says in a Russian accent, “I’m looking for the Fixer.”

More info on Sean Davis is here.

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