A guest post by graphic novelist Nevada McPherson.
The Louisiana native uses his experience in the Marines to create a fictional story following the lives of a Road Repair Platoon in Iraq as they come to terms with both life at war and life at home. by Rien Fertel War stories often expose the complicated relationship that exists between soldiers and their terrain, the physical spaces they inhabit: the trench-dug dirt and boot-sucking mud, the battles for inches of land, the earth they die fighting for and which eventually swallows us all, whether we’re soldiers or not. In Iraq, “Every inch of that place, every grain of sand, wanted desperately to kill us,” Michael Pitre writes in his outstanding new novel Fives and Twenty-Fives (one of Deep South's fall reads). Born in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, Pitre joined the Marine Corps in 2002, served as a communications and logistics officer over two deployments in Iraq, and attained the rank of captain before resettling in New Orleans. Pitre’s title refers to the lengths of the tactical safety zones that Marine convoys employ when investigating possible roadside bombs. Keeping by the fives and twenty-fives measurements (five meter radius from a potential explosive devise when in vehicle, twenty-five on foot) remains essential for the members of the Road
Think it's safe to say we're all terrified after last night's opening episode of "American Horror Story: Freak Show." Sarah Paulson with two heads, Evan Peters with lobster hands and Kathy Bates as the Bearded Lady were a welcome respite from Twisty the Clown, who is sure to reappear in viewers' nightmares all season. We live tweeted the show with @AynW and @NewOrleans (where the show if filmed even though it's set in Jupiter, Florida). The clown scared the pants off just about everyone, and Jessica Lange wowed us with her version of David Bowie's "Life on Mars." If last night was any indication, "Freak Show" is going to be the creepiest season yet — and possibly the best.