Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Mystery Life Form in NC Sewer

I am reminded of numerous horror films at this point.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Yes, it's the latest meme. I've been tagged by at least three people, so here goes.

"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?

Not having children.

Envy: What do your coworkers wish they had which is yours?

My vicious charm, good looks and success with the ladies.

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?

Not enough.

Lust: What really lights your fire?

Women with a BA - bank account.

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?

The snippy attitude Honey Bunny, my stuffed rabbit, took with me this morning.

Greed: Name something you keep from others.

The secret of existence.

Sloth: What's the laziest thing you've ever done?

Aside from the short answers to this meme, this: I tag Danielle, since everyone else has been tagged (that I know of).

The title to this post was Liar Liar Pants On Fire and good gravy, is that last part true. It was 108 degrees F in these parts today and the triple digits are forecasted for the next several days. My response to the realization that I will be working in such heat: FUCK!

Due to various emergencies, Ground Zero (my vermin story) got little love this weekend, but I hope to fix that tonight. I tried writing a serial for thaumatrope since they are open for serial submissions, but that ended up sucking worse than a malfunctioning sex doll.

Time now to go listen to the Funky Werepig.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Rawks

A 60-foot Gundam statue in Tokyo Bay, that lights up at night!


Now I fully expect a 400-foot tall Godzilla statue that roars on the hour.

Despite a hellish week at work (made all the more crappy by all my various pains, be it back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc), the writing has been going very well, at least until today. Tonight I am too zonked and sore to write. Instead, I researched potential markets and contemplated expanding a couple of those 100 word micros I did a while back into longer flash pieces. My Vermin tale, Ground Zero, has been coming along great. I've now reached the final act, which naturally is when all hell breaks loose.

On top of all that, today I got an acceptance from Tweet the Meat for a Tweet story I subbed. Plus, last night I got an acceptance from Lurid Lit for Pruritus Maximus, a story that is equal parts humor and horror (at least for men). Time now to pass ou...

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Godzilla Tree

I once lived in a small town called Galt, situated in the heart of the San Joaquin valley and located at just about the halfway point between the greater Sacramento and Stockton metro areas. The area is mostly farm land, with patches of trees here and there. When I lived there, I worked in Stockton, 20 miles to the South. One day not long after moving there in 1999, while making the home commute for the first time, I noticed something odd in the distance when I approached Galt from the South. I spied a giant tree far in the distance, located somewhere in the heart of the city. From the freeway, the tree resembled Toho's Titan in profile. I thus dubbed it The Godzilla Tree. A couple times I tried to locate the tree by driving around town, but it seemed to only resemble the Big G from that one particular angle. I looked for that tree everyday while driving home from work. Then in 2003, I sold my house and moved. I rarely get out that way these days, but today I had deliveries in those parts. When returning North, I spotted my old pal The Godzilla Tree. Part of me imagines it uprooting itself and then stomping around town, squishing people like bugs. I'd take a picture of it to post here, but as mentioned earlier, the only way to see its resemblance to Godzilla is from the freeway...and I'm not about to stop and stroll out into the fast lane to get a clear photo.

The Vermin tale continues to develop. Another 400 words tonight. Hopefully more tomorrow. The only death so far is a cat, torn to pieces by...well, you'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good Weekend

I had a fairly productive weekend, logging several hours of writing. The Vermin story is finally coming along nicely after weeks of being stuck in limbo. I should really thank both Alan W. Davidson and Natalie L. Sin for unknowingly helping. Alan posted a Characterization Checklist on his blog the other day that reminded me of a few crucial things, while a short story of Natalie's that I read provided the impetus to make my characters more "flavorful." Once I added a few more character traits (some good, some bad), the story really came alive, so thanks, you two!

My back is feeling better, but it's a return to work tomorrow. I hope these new pain killers can do the job if I need to call upon them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Is The Weekend Here Yet?

This week has been a real pain in the backside. Well, more like the back. My lower back started hurting Monday afternoon and has not quit. The soonest I can get to the doctor is Friday afternoon, so I've been muddling through work each day, going sloooow and leaving early in order to get home, pop some muscle relaxers and start applying heat and cold to my back. This isn't the first I've had back pain and I'm hoping that I can avoid having the muscles become too inflamed and swollen. If that happens, they'll pinch the sciatic nerve and I really will be immobile. I've had that happen twice before and I do not wish to repeat the experience.

Writing has taken somewhat of a backseat, but I have made steady, if slow, progress on my Vermin story. I also wrote a flash piece but haven't subbed it because it just seems to be missing something that I can't identify at the time. I'm torn between calling it a crappy flash story and considering it as the opening for a longer piece. I dunno. What I do know is that I'm tired of all the aches and pains.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thin Ice

More shameless self promotion. My story Thin Ice is now up at Flashes in the Dark. It was inspired by a true event that happened to my mother when she was a girl waaaay back in the 1930's. I actually wrote a non-fiction piece about the event about twelve years ago and sold it to the Good Old Days nostalgia magazine. That was the first time I ever sold anything I had written. Now, years later, I've taken the same basic premise and put a horror spin on it. Mom grew up in Illinois, but in keeping with the supernatural element of the story, I moved things to the South West, Arizona in particular.

A Puppy Post

This post is for my two dogs, who helped inspire my story over at Everyday Weirdness. Plus, I just felt like talking about something new today. These two are like my children, so they get spoiled something fierce. Be warned, this entry might be sickeningly sweet. As mentioned before, these two are Pembroke Welsh Corgis and are now about 2.5 years old. I know this makes them dogs rather than puppies, but we still call them our "puppy kids."

First up we have Sandy above, who popped up a few months back in my Man Cave pics. Her full name is Sandrine Liliane. She takes after my wife in that she is very sensitive. Any loud talking or sounds and she gets nervous. Her many nicknames include:

Sand Lilly
Colonel Sanders
Sandy Dandy Doop
Little Miss
Little Miss Kiss Kiss
Sandy Ruff Ruff Roo Roo

This is our male Corgi, Jag. His full name is Janus Argus Griffinus, but we just call him Jag. Jag is like me. He doesn't like being touched in certain areas (mainly his front feet) and is very excitable. Any commotion and he is up and barking. I often call him "son" but his other nicknames I've given him include:

Jiggy Jaggy
Jaggy Waggy Woo Woo

There's the three of us this morning right before our morning walk. And for those of you who may notice, yes, I no longer have Rob Zombie length locks and facial hair like in my Twitter pic. There's just too much gray hair to pull it off any longer.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Everyday Weirdness

Yesterday I arrived home and checked my email to find two new messages (yes, only two). One was from L.B. Goddard, co-editor of the Devil’s Food antho, advertising her appearance later on The Odd Mind blogtalk radio show (which I forgot to listen to live). While reading that message I noticed who sent the other email: Everyday Weirdness. I then opened that email and upon seeing only two lines of text, figured that I had been rejected. Then I actually read the text and was surprised to learn that my story, In The Dog House, was accepted for today. Read it HERE.

In other news, I’ve had a second story enter triple digit days while waiting for a response. The first was the horrid story Dark Recesses rejected after 177 days. Now, my piece for the Time in a Bottle antho, The Transcendental Man, has just reached 102 days. I’m wishing I had a time machine myself so I go forward and see what the result for that story is going to be.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rejection Relief

I just got a rejection from Dark Recesses Press after 177 days. I had submitted that story before the hard drive crash and as a result of said crash, I had totally forgotten where I had sent the bloody thing. I figured it would eventually come back as a rejection because the story was rather lame, but after so much time had gone by, I had nearly forgotten about it. I think this is the first time I am relieved at a rejection because since subbing that story, I've come to the conclusion that it SUCKS and the story needs to be retired. I would have hated to have that story represent me to potential new readers.

On the writing side, I spent tonight playing story tag team. I'd work on my Vermin story for a while and then when I hit a bump in the road, I'd jump over to another work in progress. When that one started to get difficult I jumped back to the Vermin story. Back and forth I went. Surprisingly, I got quite a bit done on both stories. The real test comes tomorrow, when I read over what I wrote and decide whether or not it's all crap.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

So Saturday, after running errands around town in the morning with The Other Half, I had the house to myself when she went to help her parents after lunch. No responsibilities and several hours to call my own! Prime writing time! I was eager to get to work on my Vermin story, but I was feeling a little tired, so I opted to take a wee nap first. As usual, I popped a movie into the DVD player before stretching out. The movie I chose was a "classic" monster flick from the early 60's, and when I say "classic" I mean that it is regarded by most people as crap. As I watched the film (which I have seen dozens of times) and started fading into slumber, something in the film jogged a "what if?" in my mind. I went ahead and snoozed and then got up and thought about this what if some more, eventually sitting down and writing a story called The Sea Hath No King. I polished it up Sunday and again today before sending it out.

I never did get to that damn Vermin story. It taunts me like some sort of...taunting thing. Tonight I intend to make some progress on it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hell Yes!

So I got home from the job today and started working on a new fantasy story. I know I should be working on that Vermin story, but when the muse points in one direction, it ain't wise to head in another.

Anyway, like I mentioned last night, this story is set in a fantasy setting I created moons and moons ago for both an AD & D campaign, as well as a place to set some stories. Over the years I created detailed maps, wrote up pages of information on the backgrounds of people, nations, places, histories, organizations, etc. In other words, A SHITLOAD of work. All of that went bye-bye in January when the hard drive crashed.

Or so I thought.

I was poking around in some old files today (actual physical files, not word docs on the computer) and came across a rather thick folder stuffed with paper. It turns out these were all my old, original hand written notes before moving everything to the computer. In some cases, they were even printed from those early wordperfect files. So everything I thought was lost, was here all along. I am quite pleased, to say the least. Especially since I had been looking at a particular map and was trying to remember the placement and names of major nations and cities. Once I found that old folder, I located an early map that had all that on there, so yeah...me jazzed.

On the flip side, I also located one of the very first stories I ever wrote. This tale was an Alien clone I penned (literally) in the 8th grade. Looking back over it, I cannot believe some of the things I had my characters doing:

1. With a killer alien loose on their spaceship and bodies piling up, the crew opts to stop everything and eat a a big meal - on more than one occasion! Seriously, they just drop their weapons and head for the mess hall to chow down.

2. These people fire guns like it was a rap concert. Apparently no one worries about causing a hull breach.

3. They also seem to be going nuts with flame throwers. Why they even have them on their spaceship is a good question. Another good question is why they use them in areas of the ship with poor ventilation.

4. Continuing in the idiots in space trend, they used an explosive device to open the airlock and gain entrance to a space station. It seems said explosives are stored all over the ship, easily accessed by anyone.

5. The Captain conveniently designates his successor for command of the ship just seconds before the alien pops out and kills him.

I would really like to think I've come a long way from those days. I mean now, I'd at least have an access code required in order to get at the grenades.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What The Hail?

So last night I went to bed at about 11:30. Usually I'm like a light switch - I close my eyes and I'm out. However, since I was still keyed up mentally from writing and submitting, it took me nearly 20 minutes to fall asleep. Then about 12:48 AM...WHAM (and with apologies to Mercedes, there was no murder)!!! I awoke to a sudden downpour of rain and hail that came out of nowhere. The weather man had said there was the possibility of some showers, but he failed to mention apocalypse-sized thunder storms. Not only was there pounding rain and hail, but the lightning was nearly non stop, illuminating the house like a scene from a horror flick. Now, having been all over the damn place (see all those red states in that map in Tuesday's post) I know that such storms are quite normal for many parts of the country, but here it is exceedingly rare, so it was kind of cool...until I tried to go back to sleep and the infernal racket kept me awake til 2:00 AM. I hope tonight there is not a repeat performance. Having grown up here in CA where it rains in the summer about once every 20 years, it just seems plain unnatural for water to be falling from the sky any time between May 15th and September 30th.

Finally worked on my Vermin story some, though I spent more time plotting it out in my head than actual typing. Also began work on a new fantasy piece set in an old AD&D campaign world I created years ago, but never really got to use. I'm wishing all the documentation and notes for it were still around, but all of that went poof in January's hard drive crash. I guess I have to build that world from scratch again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


One of my favorite writers died yesterday. I first discovered David Eddings back in the 80's and have been a big fan ever since reading his Belgariad series in high school. While I wasn't fond of how he wrapped up his last series, The Dreamers, I still felt the story and characterizations were awesome. He wrote with his wife, who died in 2007. I knew then that given that fact coupled with his age, meant it was unlikely he'd produce anything else. While he probably was done writing, it's still sad to hear of his passing and know there will be no more. His books brought so much enjoyment that I feel like an old friend has died.

On the personal front, today brought a rejection from the Hideous Evermore antho. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't supremely bummed out over this one. In fact, I've gone through a bit of depressed mood as of late, which has contributed to my lack of an online presence. A few rejections over the last two months - most notably ones like HE that I was really, really hoping to crack, had left me contemplating giving up the whole writing thing for a while. Rejected stories sat on my hard drive, as I didn't bother subbing them again. Thus, I decided to lose myself in a few good books and forget about it all.

Today the fog lifted. Sure the HE rejection SUCKED BIGTIME, but that's how the game goes. I subbed that particular story again (The Horror of Pine Hollow) as well as Planting Season, which had sat around since Necrotic Tissue said no thanks to it. Then the rewritten Deadliest Cachalot went out once again. After that I polished a flash piece called Thin Ice that had sat finished for several weeks and sent it on its merry way. So it seems my personal cure for rejection blues is to read a few books, get inspired again and jump back into the game.

Now maybe I can get back to that long neglected Vermin story.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So looking at the last post, it seems I've neglected this blog for over two weeks now. Well, nothing has really been happening in these parts.

I haven't done much writing aside from the Deadliest Cachalot rewrite, but that it isn't too time consuming. No, what I've been spending my time doing is reading. Normally, my job as a tanker truck driver gives me lots of time each day to read - when waiting in line to get loaded, when pumping off the load, etc. In fact, I can read so much during the day at work, that I don't bother reading at night. Unfortunately, the economy has decided to divest me of my reading time. We've lost two drivers at work (one quit, one was fired) while a third threw his back out and is on light duty. Combine all that with slower fuel sales and it means I get to drive the oil truck a lot more rather than just my fuel truck. This in turn means that I get NO time to read anymore during the day. This is one reason my "read 50 books in 09" list has been so short. Normally it would twice as long by now. Thus, after months of not being able to read, I've been burning through books over the last couple weeks, taking a break from writing to get "recharged." Or something like that.

May stats:
Rejections: 4
Acceptances: 3 (Thaumatrope, Tweet the Meat and Micro 100)

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