Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Troubled Times

Has it really been three months since I posted here? Sheesh. I knew I was getting busy with other projects, but in the back of my mind I kept meaning to post something. Before you know it, a quarter of a year has gone by! Wow. So here's a quick status update:

Shadow's B-Movie Graveyard - Again, the movie site has taken a back seat to make time for other things. I've been itching to get back to it and I do have a review in progress, I just don't know when I'll get the time to finish it. Probably not until 2011, with all that's going on around here now.

Writing - Alas, I have not written a word in months and months. That hasn't stopped me from jotting down ideas, I just never get around to working on them. If 2009 was the year I proved to myself that I could write and get published, 2010 was the year of self reflection and delayed aspirations. Numerous things have conspired to keep me busy and away from this blog and my online writing friends, but I won't get into the boring details. I'm hoping to get my schedule sorted out soon and get back to regular writing. Maybe 2011 will be the year of kicking oneself in the ass.

However, despite a lack of writing, I have subbed a few stories that were completed last year. Everything has come up rejected with the exception of The Transcendental Man, the time travel story that I originally wrote for the Time in a Bottle antho. They promptly lost it and after a year (and prodding by K.C. Shaw) they finally found it, too late of course to make the cut. I let them keep it for consideration for the second volume, but methinks they lost it again, cuz after 638 days, I have yet to hear a word from them. No matter, I decided to sub the story to Permuted Press' Times of Trouble antho and after months of waiting, I learned today that I made the cut! This is even more gratifying because I subbed the story under my real name and not my JTC horror pen name. And again I will be sharing a TOC with the fast-rising Aaron Polson. I will dog his every step until we both have multi book contracts.;)

So, I have no idea if anyone even checks in here any more, but I just had to stand up and shout out that small bit of "yay me!" I hope everyone is doing well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Words Fail me

So I've been away a lot for the last few weeks. It's the busy season at work, so that has taken up a lot of time, plus all manner of other things here at home. For the last month or so, I've only been getting the chance to catch up on blogs and what not about once every week or two. So imagine my utter shock and disbelief when I logged on earlier only to learn of the passing of Jamie Eyberg. I never met Jamie, but still considered him a friend. He was one of the first to comment on this blog and always had something positive and constructive to say. All my other complaints of the last week seem so trivial now. My first thoughts upon hearing of his passing were of his and Ann's two children. My heart goes out to them. I cannot even imagine how tough it is for them right now. My second thought was of all the stories we won't ever get to read. In truth, I am still trying to process this tragic news and find that I am feeling a great sadness. I'm just gonna go and have a drink in memory of my friend.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Worst. Week. Ever.

Last week sucked.

Monday - 12 hour day. Nothing overly crappy happened. Just a long ass day.

Tuesday - While loading my truck at the Chevron rack, one compartment on my tank truck overfilled. THAT COMPARTMENT WAS EMPTY. It overfilled due to their malfunctioning equipment. Still I was the one who got locked out for a week and has to take a class before I can load there again.

Wednesday - At my first delivery of the day, I got sprayed with diesel. No, I need to amend that. I got SOAKED. I had go the rest of the day with diesel fumes filling my nostrils.

Thursday - I Slipped and fell and hurt my shoulder really, really bad. So bad that I can't raise my arm all the way. At a certain point when lifting, it begins to shake. Torn rotator cuff methinks.

Friday  - Arrived at work to learn that my coworker was in a motorcycle accident and broke his leg.

Overall a truly craptacular week. This week had better go more smoothly.

Now that the bitchfest is over, we now return to the normal sporadically used blog of Jameson T. Caine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Opening The Vault

So over the holiday weekend I opened up the famed treasure vaults here at Shadow Manor, looking for items to sell on eBay so as to fund my OOP book recovery project. Many a wide-eyed niece and/or nephew has stood slack jawed at the merest glimpse of the vault's contents and no doubt they would have readily agreed to part with their young souls were I to offer them the chance to get their grubby little digits on the items within. Alas, no amount of pleading or flat out wailing on their part will convince me to allow such juvenile persons alone time with such valuables. For the most part, the items I chose are things that I really cannot see myself ever having  use for and/or opening, or they are multiples of things that I already own.  Now I just hope someone buys this crap stuff. Click the photos for the super size versions.

Further exploration of eBay opened up another avenue of possible income: old computer games and books. I was astounded at the amount of older things (going back to the commodore 64) that people were buying and I am literally loaded with such stuff. I was this close to throwing out a lot of those old clue books and things. Who knew some people were willing pay 50 bucks for some of them?

Monday, June 28, 2010

To Sell Or Not To Sell

So after cruising eBay quite a bit lately, I've drawn up a massive list of OOP books I want. Naturally, this great literary recovery project requires funding. I began looking around my house for things to sell. The first thing The Other Half suggested was all the unopened toys I have. Some of you may recall the pictures of my "Man Cave" last year and the toys that could be seen in them. Those were just a small portion of the crap stuff I have. The only problem is, I'm not quite ready to give up that stuff. Likewise with the near mint copies of Dragon magazine I have. I have over a hundred of the early issues and I know some fool geek out there would love to get his greasy hands on them. I really have no use for them, as I have all the issues on CD and can access them much easier that way. Still, I'm not sure if I want to part with them. Maybe I can sell a kidney or something?

For some of you around my age, maybe you recall the old animated show Star Blazers? The Americanized version of the great anime Space Battleship Yamato? If you remember, then feast your eyes on this:

I sooo want a U.S. release for that.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: Megalodon

I’d never heard of this film until I saw the DVD on the shelf at the electronics store. Since it was cheap, I bought it. Sharks both scare and fascinate me, and I’ve read up on them quite a bit over the years. I was already familiar with Megalodons, having read about them in the late 70’s. After teenage years spent at the beach surfing (during which I had my own encounter with a shark), I’ve grown more fascinated with them, so movies like this always interest me. Too bad the film is rather plodding, slow and underdeveloped. I watched it once. Then I watched it three more times for this review. That’s enough for me.

Lessons imparted by this film:

1. The best way to provide oxygen to a person suffering a panic attack, is to crowd around them in a tight circle.
2. Savage storms strong enough to prevent rescue at sea will not produce much in the way of wind or rain.
3. Engaging in tag with an eleven ton Carcharodon Megalodon is not the smartest game to play.
4. Deep sea mining routinely makes use of anti-matter for demolition purposes.

Go to review.

In other news, my writing has once again stalled. Halfway through this year and I've written six or seven thousand words, maybe. Right now, I'm all about the world building; researching various things, using different programs to draw maps of my made-up locales and so forth. This in itself has rekindled another old hobby: Dungeons and Dragons. I have absolutely no one to play the game with and am not about to seek out other gamers via the local game shops, but I find myself looking at all my old D & D books and wishing I had managed to collect all the ones I had wanted. In times past I would have been SOL, but with fabulous things like Ebay, I can find those older books I missed out on 15 and 20 years ago and finally obtain them. Somebody stop me before I max out my credit card!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where's The Beef?

I've quite literally been beefing up lately. The Other Half works for a farm management company and as a result, we are often on the receiving end of lots of free produce - fruit, veggies and nuts (I go bonkers on the pistachios when those come in). Every now and then when some livestock are slaughtered, we get some meat. Well, last week it was the cows turn and we ended up with loads of beef: prime rib, T-bones, ribeyes, porterhouse steaks and several pounds of burger meat. By the end of this month, I'll be sick of it all, but for now I'm in beef heaven.

The 10th anniversary issue of Blood Moon Rising has been posted online, featuring my flash piece, The Customer. Long time readers may recall an even shorter, work in progress version from last year. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Writing has been slow this week, with my shoulder problems keeping me from getting much done. Still, I have managed a few words here and there on an untitled short as well as more fleshing out of the novel I hope to do in November.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Musical Inspiration: Rie Tanaka

The past few days have been the first in some time that I have actually felt like a writer again. For too long now I've been dealing with one family crisis after another or some larger than life project that requires all of my focus. It seems that things may be settling down and I can get back into my earlier (as in 2009) groove. I finally got to the requested re-write from the Times of Trouble antho from Permuted Press. That was sent in and the editor replied favorably to the changes, saying that I had a good chance for the finals. I am really hoping to make the cut on this one for two main reasons: 1) Since my story is Science Fiction, I wrote it under my real name, and 2) PP books actually show up in my local bookstore so it would be entirely possible for me to find a copy and see my name. Here's hoping. After getting to that rewrite, I perused Duotrope and subbed three other stories to various markets, then wrote some tidbits on a new story before jotting down lots of notes for another. All in all, a productive few days.

This week's musical inspiration is the song Ningyohime by Rie Tanaka. The song was one of the themes used for the end credits on the Chobits anime. For those unaware, Chobits was an anime about personal computers shaped like real people...hot young females to be exact (don't ask where the reboot button is). A poor student named Hideki finds a discarded one and eventually wonders if she may one of the fabled Chobits series, a computer that is far more evolved than others. Despite the often playful and (mostly) wholesome nature of the series, there is still an undercurrent of tragedy and loss. Somewhat haunting, this song really conveys a sense of longing and unrequited love. Plus, hot Japanese female singers are a nice counter to all the hot Japanese male singers that Nat posts!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review: Hunchback Of The Morgue

This movie somehow manages to squeeze in a veritable cornucopia of horror story elements, including a mad scientist, a hunchback assistant, a warren of creepy catacombs, a series of murders, a crazy experiment conducted in secret, an inhuman monster, a small town European location and a liberal dose of blood and gore. Despite the gothic undertones inherent in the story and setting, the film takes place in a (then) contemporary 1970’s German town. The narrative takes a while to set things up and get into proper gear, but once it does, things unfold at a lively pace.

Lessons imparted:

1. Drink enough beer and you'll literally drop dead.
2. Robbing graves in a cemetery while it’s still light out and not expecting to be seen while doing so is a rather foolish notion.
3. Repeatedly breaking into and then back out of a women’s prison is an easily accomplished feat.

Go to review.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Already?

Bloody hell. It's June already? Why didn't anyone tell me?! The past month has kept me quite busy. Unfortunately, most of it has been away from the computer and my writing. More health issues in the family, longer hours at work and several projects around the house that could no longer be put off (I'd been procrastinating for years on some of them). Maybe, maybe, MAYBE with the new month some order will descend on the chaos that has been my house. I sure could use some. While not writing very much, I have been sneaking in a few moments here and there for some research or to jot down notes for later use, so I'm going to consider that as keeping on the ball. Yep, that's what I'll do.

For fans of the Graveyard, YES, that new review will be coming soon. I've just been lazy about getting to it with everything else going on.

And yes, I finally changed the name of the blog to reflect the banner above. I've been meaning to do it forever now, but kept forgetting when the first of each month rolled around. Being the stickler for details that I am, I refused to change it at any other time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Scroll of Anubis TOC

Looks like the TOC for the Scroll of Anubis anthology has been finalized:

The Lockwood Collection, By Mary Rajotte
Amunet, By Rhiannon Frater
The Companion of Jacob Bleek, By Jeffery Scott Sims
The Rise of Terefini, By John McCuaig
Let Justice Be Done, By Alva J. Roberts
White Cloud's Return, By Janett L. Grady
Family Under Wraps, By David Bernstein
Styx and Stones, By Malachy Coney
Kiss of Death, By Jessy Marie Roberts
The Jaws of the Jackal, By Patrick Rutigliano
Caves of Gold, By Jim Bernheimer
The Baron and the Cat, By Megan R. Engelhardt
The Legacy of Seshat, By Jameson T. Caine
The Dry Man, By Amanda C. Davis
Amun’s Curse, By Carey Burns
Beneath The Floorboards, By Robert Essig
The Book of Osiris, By Charles Kyffhausen
Balam, By Megan Bamford
Mistress of the Scarab, By Miles Boothe
Egypt, PA, By Wayne Goodchild
The Lurker In The Depths, By Michael C. Lea
The Desecrators, By Paul A. Freeman
Pharaoh’s Best Friend, By Adam Blomquist
The Eternal Resurrection, By, M.S. Gardner
Calixite’s Curse, By Deborah Walker
Abu Timsaah, By Zachary Thomas Tyler
The Pyramids of Rock Lake, By Derek J. Goodman
The Curse of Djer, By T. Patrick Rooney

Yup, I managed to get my comedic take on mummy thieves in there. Gotta love that cover.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nightmare Imagery

I think it's safe to assume that just about every writer out there, published or not, has at one time or another fueled one of their stories on something taken from a dream or nightmare. Be it an entire story idea, a setting or just a quick image, I'm sure we've all done it. The other night I had a dream that was filled with such nightmare imagery that I fail to see how I cannot use it in a story. The subjects of the dream? Tarantulas.

Now, let me be clear. Spiders rank number two on my list of things that cause instant heart failure and/or the spontaneous calling for "Mama!" If you must know, number one on that list are sharks and some day I will regale you with the story of my long vanished surfing days, when on one fateful day I had a close encounter with one of Satan's fishes. But that is a story for another day (or ask Mercedes Yardley, she's heard it). Anyway, back to spiders. I hate them. They freak me out big time. This stems from waking up in my crib as a baby and seeing a huge specimen just a few inches away. I cried and screamed and hollered up a storm that would have put a banshee to shame. So what if it was just a piece of stuffing from my teddy bear? I thought it was a spider and ever since then, spiders have been the enemy.

The really strange thing about my tarantula themed dream from the other night is just that: it was a dream and not a nightmare. Despite the abundance of eight legged hell spawn, and their proximity to me in the dream, I never felt any sense of fear or loathing. It was quite odd. I awoke with such an odd feeling of awareness, as if on some subconscious level my mind had come to a realization about the dream spiders that I had not yet processed. The images and ideas in that spider dream would normally have freaked me out big time (especially the part where I was concealing tarantulas in my mouth), but even in the dream things were calm. I plan on using those ideas and images in a story at some point, because I'm sure it will scare someone. I just need to be patient and wait for the right story to come along.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: Zombies of Mora Tau

Wow, what a lifeless movie. No, really..bad pun aside, this film was boring. About as exciting as watching tryouts for the flea circus. A bunch of Americans travel to Africa where they meet more Americans. Seems there are some diamonds in a sunken wreck off the coast, but it's being guarded by a bunch of zombies. LOTS of talking, arguing and yelling ensue. This one is dark, hard to see and has characters that you want to see pulled to a watery grave. Overall, a real snoozefest.

Lesson's imparted by this film include:

1. Every ship has at least one crewman named Johnson.
2. Zombies are clean freaks, maintaining pristine abodes.
3. Zombies have swimming skills that are only eclipsed by those of Michael Phelps.

Go to review.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

When It Rains

After two solid weeks of rearranging the interior of the house, I thought I had reached the point where I could return to a normal schedule.


The Other Half's dad had to hospitalized due to low blood sugar. The following week (this past week), her mother went in for surgery. Her dad was so stressed by everything - coupled with his bouncing blood sugar levels - that he had to be taken to the hospital again. My poor wife has been run ragged, and she is nearing the point of utter exhaustion and mental breakdown. Right now her dad is at home and her mom is doing good in the hospital, recovering. I took some days off from work last week to help, but man am I pooped. It's been a hell of a month.

For fans of the Graveyard, a new review is coming soon. It's been written now for weeks, I just have not had the time to proof read it. Tomorrow I should have the chance to do that.

On the writing front, I have not written a damn thing in weeks, but that is about to change. I got the news today that my submission for the Permuted Press "Times of Trouble" time travel anthology made it past the first elimination round (meaning it didn't get rejected right off the bat). The editor asked for some mild rewrites and expansion in some spots, so I'm gonna work on that this week, too.

Another bright spot has been reconnecting with an old friend. We fell out of touch over the last few years, but hopefully we can keep the lines open again this time.

It's back to the day job tomorrow. :(

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Great Spring Rearranging

About two weeks ago I came to the realization that I was rapidly running out of bookshelf space. The bookcases in my office: crammed. The DVD shelves in the bedroom: overloaded. The bookcases in the downstairs library: close to bursting. The solution? The four big bookcases given to me by my mother before she died. They've been sitting out in the garage for the last few years and the time finally came to clean them up, move them into the house and use them. Alas, things could not be that simple. Are they ever? Those four bookcases don't really match any of the others, so I wanted to keep them all together on one wall. This necessitated moving half the freaking house around. Because various bookcases were bought separately, not all match and are the exact same height. Others were inherited and are unique. Thus the great move went like this:

1. Move the four bookcases from the garage into the library.
2. The three bookcases usurped from the library would go upstairs, one to my office, two to the bedroom.
2. Move two existing bookcases from my office to the bedroom.
3. Move two different existing bookcases from the bedroom to my office.
4. Completely rearrange the (now) 8 bookcases in the bedroom.
5. Remove collectibles from one large bookcase in living room and place into two barrister bookcases given to us my The Other Half's mother.
6. Move this now empty bookcase and use it for books.
7. Move four small bookcases from various locations around house to bedroom.
8. Move one (of two) TVs from bedroom to office.
9. Rearrange entertainment center downstairs.
10. Buy wood and cut new shelves for various bookcases.

Of course, in order to do all this moving, all the books and DVD's in these bookcases had to be removed. Great googly moogly! I never knew how many I had until I went to take them out and keep them in the same order. There were books and movies stacked EVERYWHERE! Some books moved from one room to another, but for the most part, they stayed where they were at. The really tough part was because The Other Half has a pinched nerve in her neck/back, she can do very little physical work. Thus it fell on me to move everything by myself. With my bum shoulder it took some work, but I managed to get everything done over the last two weeks - and this is why it's been so quiet on this blog...I've been utterly exhausted. Now, after all this moving, there is plenty of shelf space for more books and DVD's. At least for another five years or so. After that, I have no idea what I'll do.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Musical Inspiration: Tenebre

Today's musical selection is the theme from Dario Argento's 1982 giallo-thriller, Tenebre (also known as Unsane). Tenebre or Tenebrae is a Latin word for darkness or shadows. The film follows a writer who arrives in Rome only to find somebody is using his novels as the inspiration for committing murder. As the death toll mounts the police are baffled, and the writer becomes more closely linked to the case than is comfortable. The music is by the legendary band Goblin, who provided music for many a horror film, including George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. The Tenebre theme has a very disco-like vibe to it and I can't help but picture guys in leisure suits dancing to it or chicks on roller skates zooming around to it. Needless to say, it is currently the one piece of music that I cannot get out of my head. Give it a listen:

The French electronic music duo, Justice, sampled the music for their songs Phantom (which you can hear below or here) and Phantom Part II. This leads me to wonder, when is sampling a good thing, if ever? Some artists only sample specific beats and riffs, while others sample larger pieces. Where is the line drawn between being so creatively challenged that one has to lift music from others and the desire to take an older piece of music and put a modern spin on it? From all accounts, Justice had Goblin's blessing, so die hard Goblin fans cannot get too irate. Personally, I prefer the original version, but that's just me. Oddly enough, this sampling theme fits with the movie Tenebre, where a writer has his words co opted by a killer and used in several bloody murders. Now I just need to snag a copy on DVD. Fortunately, a newer special edition is available, since the original edition went OOP quite some time ago.

Review: One Million AC/DC

Simply put, this movie sucks worse than a malfunctioning sex doll. A tribe of cavemen deal with horny apes and hungry T-Rexes while simultaneously inventing pornography, wine making and BBQ. When not engaged in one of these activities, you'll find them screwing non stop. Hey, at the rate these morons get themselves killed, the Earth needed repopulating real quick.

Made in 1969, this film was nothing but a cheap "nudie" made to play on the grindhouse circuit. Nowadays the only grinding will be your brain as it comes to a crashing halt when watching this utter mess. This is the very first film in The Graveyard's history to score my lowest rating possible: The Toilet. Seriously, all copies of this film need to be consigned to the sewers along with the alligators and cannibals.

Lessons imparted by this film include:

1. "Going Ape" had an entirely different meaning a million years ago.
2. Even in prehistoric times, blondes were trouble.
3. All cavemen were capable of copulating without having to remove their fur clothing.

Go to review, if you're willing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's In A Name?

For the last couple weeks I've been outlining the story for Lair. Everything is going along great, but I am experiencing something that for the life of me I cannot seem to surmount very easy: naming my characters. Oh, I can shut my eyes and see them in my head. The color of their hair, their families, their jobs, their personalities, their quirks....but not their names. I have never had so much difficulty coming up with names for these folks. I've tried random name generators on the Internet, but while that has given me some names, I tend to dislike most that are suggested. I've tried mixing up the first and last names of people I know, but am afraid that if they do ever read the finished product, they'll be offended somehow. What to do? How do you come up with names for your characters?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Character Pool

Throughout most of the year 1997, I crisscrossed the country as a long haul big rig driver (or over the road driver using industry jargon). You know that song, "I've Been Everywhere?" Well that was me, darn near. I made it to 44 out of 48 contiguous states and visited every major metropolitan area with the exceptions of Miami, New Orleans and Washington D.C. I met a lot of unusual people in the many places I passed though and started jotting down notes on some of the more quirky/memorable ones for use as character outlines. These characters went into a file I referred to as my "Character Pool." I had no specific story in mind for them and often they had no name, but I maintained the list for future reference.

Alas, that file was one that went bye-bye in the tragic hard drive crash of 09', though to be truthful, quite a few of the characters in that pool had hardcopy backups. Since then, I've jotted a few more down in a new (and properly backed up) file. Lately I've been going over them, trying to decide which ones I might use in Lair, the novel I will be attempting to write soon. Some fit my general idea for story setting while others do not. Still, even these may help spark some creative mojo in crafting new characters. Fleshing out these people and their backgrounds has turned out be a rather fun task and I find myself already imaging certain scenes and dialog exchanges based solely on their personalities and relationships. Of course, some are going to come to some very bad ends. Hehehe. Time to take some notes and refill the Character Pool.

Does anyone else have any specific ways for creating characters?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review: The Angry Red Planet

New at the Graveyard this week is the 1959 (or 1960, depending on source) scifi flick, The Angry Red Planet, which tells the tale of four utter morons and the first manned expedition to the planet Mars. Too bad the Martians didn't tell us to stay off their lawn before we put all that time and effort into making the trip.

Lessons imparted by this film to remember include:

1. Bombers are used to ferry Generals from base to base.
2. Hot girls are always more important than the threat of radiation.
3. Rockets are like a TARDIS: bigger on the inside than on the outside.
4. Loafers are standard issue foot wear for rocket crews.
5. Bulova is a contractor for NASA.

Go to Review

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time To Reel Them In

I'm the type that nearly haunts Duotrope when I have more than three or four pieces out in submission land. I'm on that site constantly to see if any new responses have been reported from the same markets to which I subbed. When I went on my temporary break from writing a few months back, I had five stories submitted to various places. Sometime in December, one was accepted. The other four are still out there. They had already been out for some time when I went on my break. During the time I was focused on the movie site, I paid no attention to how long they had been out, but now I am seeing that the four stories have been out for 170, 225, 324 and 374 days, respectively. Two are zombies stories, one is a flash piece and the last (the one that's been out the longest) is a time travel story.

The time travel story is gonna stay where it's at. It went to the Time in a Bottle antho where it was promptly lost. It wasn't until K.C. Shaw mentioned to them that I had also subbed that they found it. Since the TOC for the book was already finalized by then, I had the option of withdrawing the story or letting them keep it for consideration for volume 2. I went with the latter. The other three stories however, may need to be addressed.
Am I right in thinking it's time to query and/or withdraw them?

The new issue of Ghostlight Magazine is now out. This one features my story A Private Misery, the idea for which came to me one day when I wondered what would happen if an itch in a sensitive and private area would not stop. The awesome Aaron Polson also has a story in this issue and by my count this is the fifth time I have shared a TOC with him in a book or magazine. I guess they have to balance out his genius with my drivel.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Musical Inspiration: The Fog

When writing, there are times when I am so into "the zone" that I can ignore all manner of distractions while on other occasions I need almost complete and total silence in order to get anything done. Often I will play some music or have a movie running in the background to help get me in the proper frame of mind. Naturally, a lot of the music is rather creepy, given the genre I most frequently write in, but there are plenty of times I go for something more uplifting. Tonight's selection is the theme from the original version of The Fog.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Sometime on Sunday, the old Graveyard rolled over 100,000 hits. That's just the counter for the home page, so I'm sure collectively it's garnered a few more than that, but I've only kept track of that one page. That may not be very many for a site that's five years old, especially when compared to similar sites, but I'm rather proud of it.

On the writing front, despite dabbling with a short story over the last week, I find myself drawn more and more to the ideas I have for novel length tales. Writing short stories was supposed to help me get into a regular groove and work out some kinks. Now I find that I'm not too eager to return to smaller projects and really want to tackle something longer. Naturally, all my ideas for longer stories involve a monster of some kind. The one word titles I use to refer to these ideas are Lair, Nest, Arisen, Parts, Hunter and Jars. Aside from the creatures, I fear that the stories are much too similar and am trying to think of ways to help them stand apart. The first one, Lair, is the most developed (I actually went on a road trip to research stuff for it) and probably the one I'd tackle first. Who knows what I'll do. Any advice?

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I have decided to merge both of my blogs, as I am tired of juggling two different ones. As I get my new writing schedule in place - one that allows me to work on both fiction and my beloved film reviews - I need to find ways to save time and consolidating THIS blog with the one before your eyes seemed the logical choice. More additions and changes will follow, including a name change for this one, as evidenced by the banner above.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What To Do?

Last night was a total loss. I fell asleep shortly after seven PM, and other than the five minutes at eleven to take the dogs pee and then haul my ass up the stairs to bed, I slept straight through to when my alarm went off at 5:20 this morning.

Tonight I began looking over my various "in progress" stories as well as my idea folder. For all intents and purposes I have not really written anything since October, so I'm trying to figure out where to pick things up. Work on an existing WIP? Start a new story based on an idea in the idea file? Perhaps brainstorm a new idea and story? For right now, I opted for the second one. I tried looking over the existing WIP's, but since it has been a while, I wasn't feeling much enthusiasm for them. Thus, I figured to actually get to writing, it would require something new. I chose an idea that I had been bouncing around in my head for some time. Right now it is painfully rough, but I just want to get accustomed to writing each night again before I worry about the numerous edits it will need.

Work sucks. The only bright spot is being pretty much invaluable to the company. Right now I am the only one who can operate both a fuel truck and an oil truck while maintaining an up to date familiarity with all our products AND current customers.. Each department has its own dispatcher and they've both been fighting over who gets to use me. Too bad oil usually wins. It's been moving all those damn 400 pound drums that helped screw up my shoulder.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Sheesh. Has it been that many weeks since I last posted? I can't believe that much time has gone by. No, scratch that. I can believe it. So where have I been? Let's see...

Once the new year rolled around and I wrapped up my big movie site project, I took a few days to rest and get ready to hit the keys again in crafting fiction. Then I got sick. A bout of sore throat-stuffy nose-raging headache extended my stay in bed. Once I got past that, the real humdinger hit me. For months I have been dealing with a growing pain in my right shoulder. In January that pain decided to become a full on damaged rotator cuff. Suddenly I couldn't move my arm much without it hurting really bad. This required a round of doctor visits, x-rays, shots and physical therapy that I am still dealing with. Through all this, I felt little or no desire to sit at the computer. As the days went by it was easier and easier to let this blog, my writing and other things just slide. Turning 41 didn't help my mindset much, but I am slowly trying to pull myself out of the funk and get back into my earlier groove.

One thing that helped was receiving some contracts to sign as well as some contributor copies. That really made me want to get back to my stories. So, hopefully, I can maintain some degree of regularity with this blog and my other endeavors. To that end, I may do some redesigning. I may not.

So what did I miss?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 In Review

A new year has arrived. Time for the obligatory year in review post. Before we get to 2009, I must first report on the month of December:

Words written: 0
Acceptances: 1
Rejections: 0

There that was simple. Now for the entire year. As I've mentioned a time or two before, 2009 was the year I finally got serious about writing. This stemmed from discovering 52 Stitches in 2008 and on a whim, whipping up some stories to submit. Two acceptances later, I was encouraged enough to keep going. Since I consider myself a newbie, my only goal for the year was to be consistent with my writing, editing, revising and submitting. I think I accomplished that. So for 2009 as a whole we have:

Stories written: 33
Stories sold: 29
Total acceptances: 30
Total rejections: 44

My goals for 2010 are the same for 2009, except this year I want to take the time to craft my stories better. It could be easy for me to claim that since so much of what I produced sold this year, it was good enough. The thing is, much of it was stuff I felt could be better, so "good enough" just doesn't cut it. Instead of churning out stories like mad, I want to take the time to really make each one shine. I've proven to myself that I can write and sell, now I want to write better. That and participating in Nano this year are my only real goals.

So here's to 2010! Woot!