Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pure Suckage

It just hasn't been a good few days around here. I seem to be losing stuff left and right. First, for some reason I cannot explain, my Ipod got completely wiped. I have no idea how that happened. One day it was loaded with songs, the next day...nada. I was rather pissed and bummed out because a lot of the music I had on there was irreplaceable. All my stuff on the hard drive was wiped out earlier in the year, so the Ipod was my back up, but now its been wiped. Grrrr.

Then I found out that my movie website has been hacked, files corrupted and altered big time. Again, all the originals were obliterated in the hard drive crash back in January, so the stuff on the website server was my back up, but now much of it is ruined. It seems I can salvage a lot of the media files (photos, screencaps, video clips, sound bytes, etc) but the important stuff - the written material - may be a total loss. Considering that I had easily written 500,000 words (at least, it may be closer to 800k) for the site, that loss has me ready to hit the bottle.

The situation at my job has been very depressing as well. It's too long to even bother getting into. Besides, I don't want to bore you into a coma. Suffice it to say that while I am in no danger of losing my job, I seem to have gotten screwed over in certain areas. It's impacted my health because I am no longer a kid and can't perform such heavy physical work for extended periods without it taking a toll on my body. Plus, I'm not getting the hours I once did and as a result, am bringing less home. Overall, very discouraging at times.

And of course there was the rage-inducing news of a plagiarist that hit the web today. It baffles me how anyone could be so stupid. Did they really think they could steal from King of all people and get away with it? Sheesh.

About the only thing that seems to be going good is the writing. While I haven't hit the NY times best seller list (I have to actually write a novel first), I'm doing better than I expected for my first year. I may even give Nano a shot this year if I can work out a good idea. Still, aside from that one positive thing (OK, two things - my family being the other), everything seems to be rather crappy and I'm finding it hard to muster much enthusiasm for anything.

I did get one piece of good news today. Primeval has been saved from cancellation and will return for a 4th and 5th series. Yay!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Narcolepsy is Contagious...Right?

I think I may be suddenly narcoleptic. That happens, right? Everything is going fine and then one day, WHAM! Narcolepsy! This entire weekend I have been fighting to stay awake...and not always wining the battle. One weapon in my arsenal was Jack of all Trades by K.C. Shaw. That book is so engrossing, it's almost impossible to put down. I could have easily read that thing from cover to cover in a single sitting, but I have purposely drawn out the experience, reading a couple chapters each night. Alas, I am almost finished. Methinks I'll have to wait a few days before jumping into a new book, as nothing will be able to fill that sense of enjoyment that JOAT has imparted.

The new issue (number 5) of House of Horror is now online. Included in the new batch of tales is Taking Root by Aaron Polson, so all you fellow AP fan club members be sure to check it out. Also in this issue is a story called Planting Season by some turkey named Caine. You can check that one out, too if you feel like it. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pine Hollow Horrors

Damn, but it was hot today. It was pushing triple digits in these parts and the rest of the week doesn't look to be much cooler. I thought this was supposed to be freakin' Fall fer Pete's sake. I'll be glad to have a few less scorchers now that Summer is over.

There have been two recent rejections in these parts. On Friday, Beyond the Veil was rejected by Shroud, after having made it past the first round of cuts. To be honest, I was slightly surprised that it did that, so when the rejection came I wasn't exactly devastated. No one likes rejections, but this one didn't sting too bad. Then today, Ground Zero was rejected by the Vermin anthology. Since the basic idea behind that story as well as all the major plot twists were my wife's idea, she was a bit more saddened by the rejection than me. I just sent it right back out again.

I do have some good news. The new issue (#8) of The Monsters Next Door is now out. This issue marks the transition to print, though a free PDF version is also available. You can find that by following the link on the page above or just by clicking HERE. You can also buy a print version HERE if you so desire. Anyway, my story The Horror of Pine Hollow is in this issue (page 102 to be exact), so check it out and tell me what you think.

On other (slightly) good news, I was organizing my files last night when I came across a 2700 word zombie story that I had completely forgotten about. It was like finding buried treasure. It seems I wrote it while on vacation a couple weeks back, but I suppose my illness and other factors contributed to me losing track of it. After a good polish or two, I'll have to find a place to sub it, though for some reason duotrope seems to be on the fritz right now. Oh, well. This story ain't going out tonight anyway. There's time to wait.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Writing Fail & Book Pimping

Last week I sat down to write a fantasy short story. I got about 300 or so words into it and stopped because I've had easier times removing fence posts from dried concrete. The words were just not coming. I opened that story back up each day this past week and stared at it, hoping to conjure something, but nothing magically appeared. I just couldn't do it and wasn't sure why. Then when reading K.C. Shaw's new novel, Jack of all Trades (go buy a copy!), I realized what was wrong. Years back I read fantasy to the exclusion of all else. I did that for years before venturing into science fiction and horror. Because I read so many fantasy books in times past (literally hundreds of books), I gradually moved on to other things. I realized tonight that it has been a long time since I read fantasy regularly and because of that, the unique terminology inherent in such tales as well as basic knowledge of medieval/renaissance life has fled from my mind. At one time, I studied such things and poured over history books on life in the middle ages, but it's been so long since I did that, whatever I learned needs to be re-learned. So the end result is, I've given up on any fantasy stories until I can brush up on my facts. Poo! I had this neat idea about a wizard named Gabeus Fillymander who ran a private magical detective agency, but who was called upon a lot by the city guard to help solve crimes and mysteries. Naturally he is hiding a big secret from his past. Oh, well. Maybe someday.

Time for some book pimping!

First we have the 52 Stitches collection from Strange Publications, gathering all the stories from the project's initial year, including two of my stories, Nuts and The Confession. Available from Amazon.

Next up is the new anthology from Pill Hill Press, The Middle of Nowhere: Horror in rural America. Available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This one opens with my ghost tale, The Gallery of Final Repose.

And of course, we have The Devil's Food from The Monsters Next Door. My offering, The Faceless Ones shares this awesome book with notable names like David Dunwoody, Natalie L. Sin and Aaron Polson. Available from Amazon.

Even though I don't have a story in it (I did make the shortlist though!), the new Dead Bait anthology from Severed Press is now out. The aforementioned David Dunwoody and Aaron Polson have tales in this book, so you know right there it's packed with quality stuff. Available from Amazon.

Let's not forget the book I mentioned earlier, K.C. Shaw's Jack of all Trades. You can get it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or from the publisher. I advise the latter.

While you're buying books, be sure to get a copy of Cate Gardner's awesome chapbook, The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon, available from Bucket 'O' Guts Press.

Now I'm off to get in another chapter or two of Jack of all Trades before calling it a night.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back To The Grind

The only problem with taking so many days off work and spending most of them sick in bed watching movies, is now I am accustomed to my days unfolding like that and the thought of returning to work tomorrow fills me with a feeling of dread. Damn, I need to win the lottery. Of course, I need to play the lottery before I can win. So it's back to work for me in the morning. Thankfully it's only three days before I can be lazy again.

Speaking of laziness, I accomplished nothing today. Not a single word written, not a single thing read (aside from a magazine article or two) and not a single TV show or movie watched. What did I do? When not wasting time on the Internet cruising blogs, forums, news sites and such, I was hooked on Professor Layton and the Curious Village, a game my wife bought for her Nintendo DS. Since she was at work and I was at home, I decided to play it. Damn! Talk about addicting. I'm a sucker for games centered around puzzles and this one is loaded. I spent hours on the damn thing. In fact, the wife had to practically pry it from my hands just now so that I'd come upstairs and go to bed.

Church of the Deviate Minds was accepted by the Alienology antho today, which makes going back to work tomorrow a little less painful. That makes one less story cluttering up my WIP file. I've tried and tried and tried to come up with something for the Baconology antho, but every idea I have just sounds terrible. Plus, I can't figure out where to take half of them or how to end the story, so I may just have to move on to something else like Wolfology. Who knows.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vacation Recap

So nearly a week after my last post, I've returned to this blog. Not much has changed. After last Monday, I still was rather ill and rested most of the week, though each day I was able to get up and get moving better. I even managed to get out of the house some. I also completed a couple new stories and got them subbed, so I felt like I accomplished something. The Other Half was in some pain from her neck/back problems so coupled with my not feeling good, we really didn't get out to do the things we wanted to do on vacation. The exception was yesterday, our wedding anniversary. We went out for a day of shopping and fun, had a nice meal and watched a movie. It was a good day. Today I worked really hard on polishing Church of the Deviate Minds before launching it off. Tomorrow the wife returns to work, but I still have two more days of vacation before returning to my job on Wednesday. I plan to use that time to write as much as I can. We'll see how that goes. If the stuff I ordered from Amazon finally shows up, I may end up watching old Japanese monster films instead.

EDIT: To everyone at Agriculture Industries: Yes, this blog is run by Cindy's husband.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Still Alive

Man, did this surprise sore throat-stuffed nose-bad cough thing really knock me on my ass. I've been pretty much laid up the last three days. Sunday was the same as Saturday, with me sleeping and watching movies all day. I did feel well enough to stagger to the computer and pound out 1600 words on a new zombie story, finishing it. Today was more of the same: sleeping and watching movies. However, today I was feeling much better and spent more time at the computer, editing that zombie story several times before sending it off. Tomorrow I hope to be feeling good enough to be a bit more productive and actually enjoy my vacation. Just for the hell of it, here's the list if films I watched yesterday and today:

Kronos (1957)
The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Land Unknown (1957)
The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Darkness Falls (2003)

As you can see, I really love scifi and horror flicks from the 50's. They can be quite inspiring. One of the stories accepted last month was partially inspired by two old 50's flicks. Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Labor Day. Time to go drink more juice, pick out a movie and flop out for the night.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I feel like one of those sick people in a movie where a virulent plague is sweeping the land. I've been practically quarantined in my own house. The Other Half insists I stay in bed and rest while doing her best to fill me with juice and pharmaceuticals. I have accomplished nothing all day. Not a damn thing. Well, I did watch some movies. Being sick allows me the opportunity to peruse the DVD collection and view some favorites as well as films I have never seen before. So today I, while awake and lucid, watched Tarantula from 1955 with the ass-kicking John Agar and gorgeous Mara Corday. Then I was in the mood for some European fare, so I watched the 1973 Italian giallo film Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye and wrapped things up with the joint Italian/Spanish zombie film (but set in the UK) Let Sleeping Corpses Lie from 1974 (aka The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue). Giant man-eating spiders, mysterious murders in a Gothic castle and hordes of the gut-munching living dead. Yes, this is how I relax. Doesn't everyone?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Well This Just Sucks

Tomorrow is my last day at work before my vacation. I don't return until Wednesday September 16th. All week I've been eagerly awaiting this time off. And now I've gone and gotten sick. A really bad sore throat hit me out of nowhere today. I really hope it goes away, but I suspect that it will get worse before doing that. So now I get to spend part of my vacation in bed. Joy. So if I'm rather quiet for the next few days, you will all know the reason. If I'm not back by next week, it means I have probably succumbed to the Swine Flu. Wonderful.