I. Clayton Reynolds

I. Clayton Reynolds's reading.

Getting to Know Me - I. Clayton Reynolds

1. Are you named after anyone?

Unclear. My name may have been inspired by Isiah "Butch" Robertson of the Los Angeles Rams, but I wouldn't say I was named after him.


2. When was the last time you cried?
I watched Where The Red Fern Grows with my son. Cried like a baby.

3. Do you have kids?
Three. Saylor, Marina, and Seaton. They are wonderful...most of the time. :)

4. If you were another person would you be a friend of yourself?

Based on the opinions of people I care about...probably not. I'm kind of a hotheaded jerk.


5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Not as much as some. I'm fairly literal.


6. Will you ever bungee jump?

Very unlikely.


7. What's your favorite cereal.

Apple Jacks, baby. Always has been. Runner up, Fruity Pebbles.


8. What's the first thing you notice about people?

Whether or not they look like they mean to do me harm.

9. What is your eye color?

Some kind of brownish-green hazel mud color.


10. Scary movies or happy endings?

I like them both in equal measure. I miss feel-good comedies of the 80s that ended in triumph. Horror tends to be my most-watched genre.


11. Favorite smells?

Jasmine, pine forest, fajitas.


12. Summer or winter? I

prefer the in-between seasons, but to answer the question: In Texas I preferred winter. In Iowa I prefer summer.


13. Computer or television?

I spend too much time with both.


14. What's the furthest you've ever been from home?

Malibu, I believe.


15. Do you have any special talents?

A few. I draw, play music, write, tell stories, and I'm pretty good at trivia games.

16. Where were you born?

A little town in North Central Texas on the Chisolm Trail.


17. What are your hobbies?

Avoiding my hobbies, mostly. I build and modify electric guitars. I play with Photoshop a lot. Oh, I play guitar some too. I am inexplicably a huge fan of David Lee Roth, his entire career.


18. Do you have any pets?

My pet is a Blue Fronted Amazon Parrot named Tiki. I have had him for 15 years. The family has a dog, a border collie mix female named Courtney.


19. Favorite movie?

I like to say Lonesome Dove, but that was a TV miniseries. My favorite theatrical movie is probably a tossup between Secondhand Lions and The Blues Brothers.


20. Do you have any siblings?

I have a sister. She might even be more nuts than me.


21. What do you want to be when you grow up?

An Author and an Anthropologist. I'm almost but not quite both of those things.



My top ten books I read in 2014.


1. Animosity by James Newman -- A fantastically tense non-supernatural tale reminiscent of I Am Legend A writer of horror finds a dead body and his community can't separate him from his work. Best read of the year for me.

2. Burden Kansas by Alan Ryker -- I would never have read this had it not been recommended so highly. I was expecting Cowboys vs. Vampires and got a contemporary tale of redemption that I could not put down.

3. The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale -- An early 20th century period western with a typically Lansdale line-up of wacky characters. Humorous and heartbreaking. Lansdale seldom disappoints.

4. Blue World by Robert R. McCammon -- I read much of this in 2013, but I finished it in 2014, so I'm counting it. A collection of short stories and one novella. All of the stories are good and some are fantastic. "Night Calls the Green Falcon" is a contender for the best short story I have ever read.

5. Needful Things by Stephen King -- It's hard to believe I had never read this one, but I had not. My SK reading has been all over the place, and now that I realize the extent of the self referencing in King's work, I am reading those I have not read before in order of publication. After what has proven to be a weak streak with the exception of misery, I was not really looking forward to this weighty novel, but I was pleasantly surprised. A wonderfully interwoven plot with a huge cast of characters. I don't know how he kept it all straight honestly, but he pulled it off magnificently. Gerald's Game is next...should I be worried?

6. Ugly as Sin by James Newman -- This was the first I read of the two James Newman titles on this list. This story of an ex wrestler and his quest to help his estranged daughter was beautiful and heartfelt while being gritty and raw. Newman has the touch. Don't miss him.

7. The Five by Robert R. McCammon -- It's McCammon. It must be good, right? This is the story of a rock band on the road while being pursued by a killer. Just great characters and the compelling writing for which McCammon is known.

8. It's So Easy and Other Lies by Duff McKagan -- This is the only non-fiction on the list. I read about as much non-fiction as I do fiction, but seldom is the non-fiction a compelling must-read. What makes this book stand out among rock star autobiographies is that it comes off as very honest. Many suffer from the star's own legend he has created of himself. Not the case here. A mostly honest look at the tumultuous life of Guns N Roses and beyond.

9. Snow by Ronald Malfi -- I have a love/hate relationship with this book. The story is delightfully creepy. Strangers stranded in an abandoned town in a snowstorm realize they are not alone. I found the style of writing to be a little frustrating, though. In particular was the overuse of adverbs in dialog attribution. Everyone said or did something _____ly. So, it lost some points for that, but overall I really loved the story and the premise.

10. Ancient Enemy by Michael McBride -- This is a story set against the backdrop of the Anasazi/Ancestral Pueblo of the Mesa Verde area. This happens to be a pet subject of mine as I spent a good deal of my college life researching these ancient people, though I was focused on the Chaco era, not the cliff-dweller era. Regardless, the subject matter appealed to me greatly. The writing was good but not great. Had the prose been a bit more compelling this might have been at the top of my list, but the story fell a little flat.


Here's to reading more in 2015.

Seven Deadly Sins

No one tagged me and I'm not doing any tagging. Just wanted to play. So, here it goes.


1. Greed- What is your most expensive book?

I have a few signed limited editions of Joe R. Lansdale books, but they weren't terribly expensive. At one time I had a first Grant edition of Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass. That is the most expensive book I have ever owned. I have a Times Atlas of the World that didn't come cheap...if that counts.


2. Wrath- What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Peter Straub. He wrote what I consider to be the best horror novel ever (Ghost Story), but nothing else he has written has even come close for me. While all of his work is solid, it tends to underwhelm, especially when compared to the greatness that is Ghost Story.



3. Gluttony- What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?

I seldom re-read, but again, I'm going with Ghost Story here. It has the ability to bring my imagination back to life.



4. Sloth- Which book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

 I always think I'm going to read Atlas Shrugged someday. I doubt I ever will.



5. Pride- What book do you most talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

 I am not very well read in the classics. I guess as close as I get is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.



6. Lust- What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?

 Intelligence and self-reliance. A character who does not need a physical description for me to know that she is attractive.



7. Envy- What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

A hardcover of Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon would be swell.




Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 429 pages.

The Five - Robert R. McCammon

Currently reading

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
Joel Fuhrman