"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards." - Robert A. Heinlein

Friday, October 12, 2018

Review -- "The Goat Parade" by Peter S. Dudar

The Facts: After a few years of not having enough time to read anything, I've basically insisted on carving out a few minutes a week to try and read anything for fun--basically anything that is not for class. Given my belief that most writers really do try to help out each other, I've decided to write reviews of everything I read in my particular genres: fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror at the moment. Maybe, at some point, one hopes, a little science fiction.

The Book: The Goat Parade by Peter S. Dudar (2018, Grinning Skull Press). I bought it from the author himself at the Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls, Maine, this past summer. 

The ReviewThe Goat Parade was both very different and better than I expected it to be. I went into the book expecting a good Satan-driven horror story, in the "booga-booga, devil's gonna getcha!" style, which frankly, given Dudar's storytelling skill, would have been pretty awesome.

Instead, what I got was a story about people, four in particular, whose lives were hurtling directly at each other, all due to the puppeteer's hands of a barely-glimpsed Satan. These people, of decidedly different moral and ethical stances, along with some others, find themselves manipulated in some cases, destined in others.

To what? Toward the ending, of course. I won't describe it, but it is not what you expect it to be. This is a violent, intelligent horror story that...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Possibly It's Time to Get Back to Using This Thing

The Writer's Washroom has been around for about a decade, and it saw regular use for about three years, irregular use for the lion's share of the time, and pretty much misuse and neglect for the last couple.

I have not treated it well. With Facebook as much of a player as it is when dealing with expressing one's news, opinions, thoughts, and pictures of cute animals, blogs are pretty much nothing anymore.

Yet a few people keep them. After discussing politics on my FB page a week or so ago and realizing that there is no way I will ever stop being political on Facebook, I'm trying to think about how to tweak things.

I do believe that politics are important, and I have no interest in segregating my writing life from my personal beliefs. I also have no interest right now in starting a separate author page because I don't want to maintain two FB presences.

And why not remind you that this anthology is still available?
(I'm even, as impossible as it is to consider, thinking about blowing the dust off the ol' Twitter account and seeing if it still works. Yes, this does have a lot to do with the previously-mentioned Diabolical Plots' upcoming publication of "Beldame." If a website does a lot of its promotion through Twitter, it makes sense to utilize it. Diabolical Plots has a large Twitter base, and fans of theirs might become fans of mine.)

Sorry for the fragmented feel of this post; I actually wrote it over a couple of days, unsure as to what I was saying, let alone doing.

I guess I'm going to try this out again and see if an "old-school" blog has a purpose. I promise to keep it free of politics. I'm also going to do my darnedest to keep it clean(ish). One other thing. Since this is about writing, I think I'm going to post reviews of things I read here. I'm not going to review everything I read--mostly because I don't have time to read much, unless it's for class--but I'm going to try to review everything I read in my genres.

I'm going to post this to Facebook... maybe to Twitter... and see if I get any response from the social media platforms.

Please do me a favor: if you come here from a link at one of those sites, would you let me know either here or there with a comment? I'd like to see if there is anything to this experiment.

Thank you!

Monday, September 24, 2018

"Beldame" Schedule at Diabolical Plots

"The way-ay-ting is the hardest part..." -- philosopher T. Petty
This is the shortest time gap between posts in years... and frankly, the most I've posted in a year in... um... years. I might need to do something about that. But I digress.

Diabolical Plots, the future home of my short story, "Beldame," has released its upcoming fiction schedule, so I know when "Beldame" will be published and in what form.

On or around March 2019, they will release their e-book anthology, Diabolical Plots Year Five, and then in January 2020, "Beldame" will be published on the website, along with fellow authors T.J. Berg and Mari Ness. However, their newsletter subscribers will get the fiction a month early, which means, yes... if you're a subscriber there, you'll get "Beldame" as part of your 2019 holidays goodie bags.

I'd like to say, "More information as it becomes available, but I think that's it." So to recap...


Monday, August 20, 2018

"Beldame" to be Published at Diabolical Plots

It has finally happened. One of my short stories, "Beldame," a modern fantasy that is probably my most upbeat (so far) tale will see print in a major market, Diabolical Plots. From what I can tell, it should be published either online or in an e-book anthology sometime next spring.

Besides the fact that I'm over-the-moon excited to see one of my personal favorite stories reach the public, I feel a need to just brag for a moment:

Diabolical Plots is a major science fiction/fantasy zine and is actually an SFWA-qualifying market. This means that I will be able to join the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America as an associate member after "Beldame" is published.

So, to recap:

"Beldame." Aaaaaaaaaghhhh!

Diabolical Plots. Aaaaaaaaaghhhh!

SFWA. Aaaaaaaaaghhh!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Semi-Colonic Irrigation is No Longer a Thing

I'm sorry to say that I've just found out that the planned anthology, Semi-Colonic Irrigation, which would have been the home of my first published poem, "Scenes from a living room at 4 a.m.," will no longer happen.

These things happen, so I'm not upset. But what it means is I may have to find another market for this poem. It's not horror; it's really not any genre. It just is what it is.

Let's see what happens to it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"California Screamin'" is Out!

Sweet, sweet anthology goodness.
Happy Halloween! It is with great pleasure that I announce that the California Screamin' anthology from Barking Deer Press is now out and it's available.

Coincidentally, it happens to have one of my short stories in it, a tender little ditty called "O For a Muse of Fire."

This story, which began as a class project at Southwestern College and got the Full Danielle (Kaheaku) Editorial Treatment, is a close look at obsession, love, sex, and creativity in a small Cali beach town.

So... very much like real life, yeah.

Seeing how I love doing this, let me share the TOC with you. This is a damn fine read.

"Between the Dreams and Screams" (poem) by Lori R. Lopez
"An Introduction" by Jonathan Maberry
"The Dark Watchers" by E.S. Magill
"Agency Cost" by Aaron C. Smith
"The Mount of Death" by Kevin David Anderson
"The Perfect Playground" by Chad Stroup
"Manananggal" by Billy San Juan
"Feed Your Muse" by R.W. Goldsmith
"Bumming Smokes" by Brian Asman
"Kenneth is Drowning" by James Jensen
"Feast of the Goddesses" by K.C. Grifant
"June Gloom" by Kevin Wetmore
"Hidden Depths" by Alexandra Neumeister
"O For a Muse of Fire" by Nickolas Furr
"In the River" by Jean Graham
"Eyes of the Salton Sea" by Sarah Read

Pick up a copy at Amazon and enjoy!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Short Story, "O For a Muse of Fire" to be Published in California Screamin' Anthology

I am happy to announce that my short story, "O For a Muse of Fire," will be published in an upcoming anthology by Barking Deer Press entitled California Screamin'. For this themed anthology, all the stories are sent in, and about California.

Though many members of the San Diego chapter of Horror Writers Association are involved, this is not an HWA project. It is independent.

I'd also like to announce that this short story began as a project for a mass media class at Southwestern College, taught by the inestimable Max Branscomb, whom some of you might remember as the publisher/advisor of the Southwestern College Sun newspaper. It makes me feel good to know that this story will see daylight soon.

More details as I know them.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Morbid Metamorphosis" Is Out, and it's Awesome!

Okay, to be fair, Lycan Valley Press' anthology, Morbid Metamorphosis, has been out over a month and it was available on the day I originally said it would be -- June 13.

So why am I just getting around to announcing this?

Because I've been stupidly busy and I literally have not had time to compose and write this silly post. Many of you know that Liza and I (and the woofbeasts) are spending about a month in a desolate canyon below a desolate mountain about four miles beyond the ass end of nowhere. (If you want to know why, ask me. I don't feel like writing it here.)

However, this summer I am working full-time as a private teacher/tutor hybrid-type-thing and I am spending about 3 hours on the road each day, in addition to my 9 hours onsite. So... not much time for anything? Not much. I've been a social media ghost since the end of June, and will mostly like be spectral until well into August.

What's that -- I should be telling you about this book? Oh, crap, yes. Morbid Metamorphosis, Lycan Valley Press' inaugural anthology has some amazing stories in it, and that's not an exaggeration.

My short story's title, "Hyde and Seek," might give a hint or two if only you remember this is an entire anthology around people who are both more, and less, than human. I'm also pleased to say that this is the second story based in my own Challenger's Club setting to see publication (following "In the Wardrobe," in the amazing A Darke Phantastique).

Morbid Metamorphosis is available at Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats. I am certain it's available in other places, but not kidding -- I haven't had enough time to look.

Given that I usually categorize my horror-ish work as Dark Fantasy... if you feel a need to scratch a quasi-historical, semi-literary Dark Fantasy itch, pick up a copy.

But remember, the kindest thing you can do for any and all writers is leave a review. Thank you, and happy reading!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Morbid Metamorphosis: The Trailer and the TOC

Morbid Metamorphosis is scheduled to be released on June 13th. Before it gets here, feel free to check out the full-length book trailer (by Kevin Hopson) above. And when you're done, get an eyeful of the ridiculously awesome Table of Contents (TOC).

As far as I know, this is not the story order. I'll make corrections when I have them.

Introduction / Robert Nelson

"Become Him" / Greg Chapman

"Joey's Grove" / Roy C. Booth and R. Thomas Riley

"The Skelly Effect" / Terri DelCampo-Nelson

"Keep the Change" / Dave Gammon

"...and Thou!" / Nancy Kilpatrick

"Crowded" / Rod Charles Marsden

"You Are What You Eat" / Jo-Anne Russell

"Spirit Walk on Sour Ground" / M.J. Preston

"The Lake" / Stacey Turner

"The Death Vaccination" / Tina Piney

"The Moonlight Killer" / Suzanne Robb

"Pickin' to Beat the Devil" / Franklin E. Wales

"The Catamount" / Donna Marie West

"Vile Deeds" / Suzie Lockhart

"The Corkscrew and the Void" / Cameron Trost

"Paper Trail" / Daniel I. Russell

"Little Spark of Madness" / Simon Dewar

"Under the Weight of Souls" / Amanda J. Spedding

"Clay Danger's Balls" / Ken MacGregor

"Ezzie Does It" / Erin Shaw

"Febrile" / Gregory L. Norris

"Hyde and Seek" / Nickolas Furr

Monday, May 2, 2016

Semi-Colonic Irrigation: The Name May be Funny, But it's Actually Very Serious

The name of the upcoming book is Semi-Colonic Irrigation. It's funny, yeah? A nice bit of genial rudeness.

It's not that. Well, not just that.

The semi-colon tattoo is a relatively new bit of art you might see on people, but it's not just the next hipster thing in today's trend-o-rama.

It's serious. Very serious. But not dead serious.

This is what it means:

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life."

So the anthology, Semi-Colonic Irrigation, will be using true stories and fiction, prose and poetry, genres and real life to help shine a spotlight on depression, suicide, and mental illness. This is not just a good cause; it's one of the best causes.

For me, it means I'm pleased to be joining the Semi-Colonic team. One of my poems -- which will, for the moment, simply be known as "...4 am" -- will be published in the anthology. "...4 am" will be my first professional poetry sale, and frankly, I feel a little weird about it. I never quite thought I'd be a published writer and poet.

But what's life without a few interesting twists and curves. We react to them or we don't. We're human; that's what we do.