Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Anti-Resolutions

Today is officially the last day of the year 2009. Some people are pulling out the party hats, hanging streamers and balloons, and maybe setting up some fireworks. Of course, I can't leave out the resolutions. I always make a few for the year and rarely ever keep them. So, I'm joining in the fun (as I hope you will to) and flipping the switch. Here are my anti-resolutions for the year 2010:

  • I will not fall in to the pit of social peer pressure or rejoice in the fad of jumping off of bridges for the sport of it.

  • I will not hire a man name Frankie Knuckles to retrieve the money my brother borrowed and refused to pay back.

  • I will not reconsider hiring Frankie Knuckles every time my brother talks his way back in to our house after being too lazy to live with yet another one of his friends.

  • I will not toss my 100 + book collection out the window to free up shelf space for my Precious Moments shrine.

  • I will not purchase a baseball bat via the internet to teach some people the vital lesson of noise pollution.

  • I will not stalk every yard sale in the city in an effort to find the prize object which will bring the annoyance and aggravation of a ghost moocher to my home just to have something personal to blog about.

  • I will not indulge in the simple mindedness of our neighbors who are banking on our dachshund impregnating theirs for their monetary pleasure.

  • I will not develop a marketing plan to sell our nine feet of snow to those few who have never seen a flake of it.

  • I will not indulge in tweeting every nanosecond of my new desk chairs existence for the mere fact he's just not that in to me and is here against his will.

  • I will not contemplate world domination just to prove to the Brain how four seasons of partnership with Pinky hurt his chances for success.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year 2009 Review

2009 is coming to a fast close. Time to review my yearly progress. I have to say I did better than I thought I would.

Challenges: This year I participated in several writing/reading challenges.

Page-a-Day - this was a goal/challenge I set out to complete this year. The goal was to write a page-a-day everyday (except for one allotted day of rest) for the entire year. I recorded each day I wrote and it all added up to 159 days, a little over half a year. I guess that's better than nothing but will shoot for a full year in 2010.

AbDWriMo - February marked the month long Nano-like writing challenge for the website Authors By Design. The goal was to write 15,000 words in 28 days. I ended the month with 14,288.

Read 12 Books in 2009 - the purpose was to read 12 books cover to cover in the year 2009, signed up in February, and mine ended with 13 thanks to a book review I was asked to write (my reading list).

NaNoEdMo - With March came National Novel Editing Month. I finished surpassing the 50 hour requirement. Managed to edit four (finishing three) short stories: The Not Known, The List, Love and Lost, and A Tale of Two Sisters.

2nd AbDWriMo - this challenge was much like the first except half of it was writing and the other was editing. I wrote 14,605 words for the first half and didn't complete the editing portion. The site went down around this time and felt it didn't really matter, although it should have.

Website - Before Nano began, I updated my website. There are several features I haven't added yet but got the ball rolling in October.

NaBloPoMo - This challenge coincided with Nano. Post to your blog everyday for the entire month for a chance to win a prize. I set up my first Nano blog, Sinister Tales, and posted excerpts from my writing project everyday. Didn't win anything but still felt I accomplished something.

NaNoWriMo - This was the last challenge of the year and considered the biggest. 50K in 30 days. Completed with 53,736, especially proud of that.

Submissions/Rejections/Withdrawals/Contests: Not as many as I should have had

- I submitted three short shorts to Tweet the Meat. All ended in rejection. I also submitted to their contest and lost.

- Submitted a short story The Boy in the Book to Authors By Design Twisted Fairytale contest. Also didn't win.

- Submitted Blood Diary in December 2008 to Pseudopod and received a rejection in February.

- Withdrew Phantom House from a project Janrae Frank started Things are Not What They Seem Anthology after two years in limbo. I waited through all the ups and downs with this project but ultimately felt my little story wasn't getting anywhere.

- Submitted Sealed With Anguish to Fear and Trembling Mag. Ended in rejection.

-This acceptance was received last year but I received the finish project and my first writing "pay check" in January for Phantom House and Dark Sunset in the Authors By Design anthology.

I think I had a semi-productive writing year. All the challenges kept me writing/reading but didn't do as well when I was on my own. Along with the lack of submissions, I'm hoping to improve for 2010. Finish updating my website. Make out a list of magazines/ezines/anthologies/contests I want to submit to. Edit the pile of short stories I have laying around. Really get my stuff out there. Hopefully when December 2010 comes around, I will have more to show for it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ghosts of Lone Jack - Review

Spinning Moon Press, April 2009
Paperback, 255 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9800369-0-9
Tweens 12 and up
Author Interview - Coming Soon
Ordering Information: | Time Bandit Books

What do you get when you mix a piece of American history, ghosts and children? The Ghosts of Lone Jack By: Lance Lee Noel.

Jared Milhouse spends what seems like a quiet summer at his grandfather’s farm in Lone Jack, Missouri. A chance encounter with a female spirit during the tail end of a baseball game changes his life forever. With the aid of his acquired new friends of the Crossroads Club, his dad, grandfather, two town eccentrics and a couple of amateur ghost hunters, he explores the story of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War and looks for the key to release the town from a decades old curse.

The Battle of Lone Jack was a very real conflict that took place on August 16, 1862. This being one of the most appealing aspects of this story. Another being the actual battlefield is reportedly haunted: phantom campfires, smells, voices and apparitions of Union/Rebel soldiers. I admire the author’s intentions with this novel. Use a real piece of history within a fictional plot as a teaching tool for kids. I liked the story premise. The protagonist, Jared, is a character kids can relate to. I think one of the major problems I had with it was the story structure. It could be a lot tighter than it is. It starts off a little slow. The descriptions are a little hit or miss at times. Slows the pacing of the story. When some of the characters go in to details about the battle, the regional dialect tends to get lost at times. I want to hear the story but have it sound like it’s actually coming from that character and not a historian.

Another problem is all the point of view transitions. The big action scene towards the end is all over the place. Definitely on the verge of confusion. One or two point of views would have been better than like five. Then there were the rookie mistakes: spelling, grammar, scene blocking, etc. All of which should have been taken care of during the editing phase. I think if the author took a bit more time with editing he could have made it so much better. The Battle of Lone Jack is a story worth telling but how you tell it is just as important, especially in this case as some of the proceeds are being donated to the Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield, Museum & Soldier’s Cemetery.

All in all, this is a book worth the purchase. Perhaps not written in the best of the author’s ability. But one kids will enjoy for the fruits of a ghost story and a history lesson blended together for their entertainment.

Monday, December 07, 2009

I'm Back...I think

So, I took the month off for National Novel Writing Month...sort of. I posted my write-ups via Write Anything. But let's face it. Four blogs is one too many especially when you're trying to keep up with the daily 1,667 word goal with the use of pen and paper. So here's the month in review:

Wrote. Wrote. Wrote. Slept an hour or two. Wrote some more. Pulled out a few handfuls of hair. Wrote again. Thought about tossing something out the window, leaned towards the novel. Wrote. Called off the "sacrificing computer" ceremony. Ultimately finished out the month with 53,736 words. Another successful Nano to add my belt.

Now in to December, I have a bit of good news and bad news. I'll hit you with the bad news first. My cat Garfield, the little monster...I mean angel of my life for the last seven or eight years, died early morning on December 1st. He had been sick for the last month or so. Didn't want him to die but I'm glad he isn't suffering anymore. Rest in Peace, old friend...

Now on to the good news. Despite saying they were going to stay for only a week, my brother and his girlfriend are moving out of our house several months after the fact. Finally, peace and quiet. Though I doubt it will last long. They'll screw up or run out of money and be back here sooner or later. There's always a reason. However, I'm going to enjoy the quiet for as long as I can.

Next, the wet news. Yes, I said wet. Early this morning, I had the pleasure of walking in on a little "spill" in the kitchen. I'm not exactly sure what happened but a leak was sprung in the kitchen. I stepped ankle deep in the pond rapidly forming on the tile. And one of our mats tried to make a break for it. Of course, I had to notify the warden of the situation and he was moved to a secure location for the time being. The water turned off under the sink and the pond sucked dry. Crisis adverted until it could be properly evaluated. I'll keep you updated when more details become available.

Last but most exciting, I'm hosting a contest at my other blog Ghost Stories. Offer up your opinion and you will be in the running for a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate! Check out the details.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Give Thanks

Today, citizens of the United States celebrate a day to be thankful for everything you have in your life. Thanksgiving was historically a religious observation where the pilgrims gave thanks to God for surviving a brutal winter, a harvest festival that expanded three days. Our modern day celebrations are compared to this meal held in 1921. Although it’s not the first official Thanksgiving in this country.

A similar harvest festival took place in 1619 at the Virginia Colony and some say it dates further back to 1565 when 600 Spanish settlers held a mass of Thanksgiving after arriving safely to St. Augustine, Florida. However, it wasn’t a harvest festival and thus, some refuse to acknowledge it as the first Thanksgiving in the New World. President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving about 200 years after the Plymouth celebration. However, it was not made an official national holiday until 1941 by Congress.

In the United States, many people will be participating the tradition of eat Turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. For those of you who are not celebrating Thanksgiving, you could always take this time to give thanks. There is always something to be thankful of: family, friends, a great writing career and a wonderful life in general. It doesn’t exactly have to be a national holiday for you to show how appreciative you are. What are some things you’re thankful for?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sinister Tales

Was it the ghosts? Or perhaps Simon found an entrance after all. Either way the noise rendered me frozen. No sound proceeded it at first. Then furniture tumbled over, sending a candle in a glass container rolling in to the hallway. The evidence mounted in Simon’s favor. Another crashing sound. Why was he in a spare bedroom? If the book was anywhere it was in Aunt Lilian’s room. He had been in this house numerous times. He should know which room was which. In effort to identify the intruder, I slowly sulked to their location.

Avoided spots I know creaked with age. Articles of clothing flew in to the hallway followed by a few mumbles. As I approached the doorway, I listened for the familiar identification. A sample of their voice. A familiar saying. Something. The person remained eerily quiet as they tore the room apart. I had to see who it was. Leaning towards the entrance, I gradually peered through. The man’s back was to me but I knew it wasn’t Simon. This man appeared inches taller and was wearing an onyx suit. Simon had blue jeans on. Not many people in this town opts for a suit, especially in this heat. Who could the man be? I looked on as he dumped the contents of drawers on to the flower. He sifted through the stuff with his foot. Disappointed, he pulled out another drawer and repeated the process.

The man refused to turn in my direction. What was he looking for? The book? If only he would show his face. I could toss something. Cause some kind of noise and get his attention. However, that would bring attention to my own location. Where were the ghosts when I needed them? I wouldn’t have to wait long. A door from below slammed shut, echoing throughout the house. The man twisted in my direction. My eyes grew wide. It was the last person I ever expected to see.

To be continued...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vocabulary for Charity

I know I’ve written concerning this before, but it’s something you can’t say enough about. National Novel Writing Month can be a stressful time. If you need something sort of fun to do and learn while donating charity, is the website to visit.

American computer programmer John Breen set up FreeRice in October 2007. In March 2009, he donated it to the UN World Food Program. The premise is simple. You play a word definition game in order to help donate rice to the United Nations World Food Program. Your food donations are paid for by sponsors.

Here's how you play:

  • You’re given a word and four definition choices.
  • If you pick the right one, you donate 10 grains of rice and get a harder word. Three right answers in a row moves you up a vocabulary level.
  • If you get it wrong, you drop a vocabulary level and get an easier word. Plus you’ll get a second chance to get it right later on.
  • There are 60 vocabulary levels in all and according to the site and several subjects to choose from including math, science, and geography.

Here’s a chance to improve your vocabulary skills for your Nano novel or other projects and help feed the hunger. What is the highest vocabulary level you reached? My best is 35.

Friday, November 06, 2009

What's Your Nano?

Last year, I decided to create a personal goal for myself. The minimum daily word count is 1,667 words (when it is all broke down). I set a goal to meet that minimum everyday in November. When I crossed the 50,000 word finish line, I also achieved what I set out to do.

This time around I wanted to up the stakes. I'm still meeting the minimum but I also created my first Nano blog called Sinister Tales. The purpose was to post excerpts everyday in November. It goes along with the theme of my Nano project. I also signed up for National Blog Posting Month. This technically takes place during every month in the year but November counts the most. I saw it as an extra incentive.

Instead of doing a series of short stories, which is what I have been doing every Nano since 2007, I am writing journal entries in my main character's voice. She's a wealthy city girl who lost her high paying job. Then, her life of luxury was the next to go. She learns her aunt has died and left the house to her only niece. The girl remembers visiting her aunt as a little girl and knows the house is haunted. She decides to use this opportunity to capitalize on the situation but doesn't get what she was bargaining for. Below is the excerpt from Day 4:

"Maybe they all have. Maybe it was all one big conspiracy. It would certainly explain Simon's demeanor. Would explain a lot of things. Was the answer that simple though?

Simon was my only link to anything. I asked him if he could help clean up the place. Maybe get the screws out of the windows. He hesitated at first. Maintained the smile with obvious discomfort. He didn't want to answer the question. I assured him he didn't have to. He wasn't bound to my every need. The offer seemed to heighten his confliction. He wanted to leave but something was keeping him here. I told him if he had more pressing matters to please go and take care of it.

He stammered. Said he didn't have any appointments for the day. Offered to stay and help me in any way. His smile faded. He turned and walked to his truck. Simon pulled out a tool box and walked past me. he avoided eye contact. It was like he was blaming me for keeping him here. He took out all the screws from every window. Never argued. Didn't say much of anything. After completing one task, just asked for another.

It was like he was afraid to be idle in the house for any period of time. The more he was willing to do the faster the house would be clean and smelling better. Plus it was stuff I didn't have to do. So, I stood back and let him.

I watched as he tackled one project after another. He tried ever so hard to play it cool, but he wasn't fooling me. I know he'd rather be anywhere than in this house. I wanted to force him to drop everything and go. I didn't want to be there by myself but I couldn't make him stay. It broke my heart observing his bravery. I tried to focus on the cleaning but found it difficult. The dust and mold all made me want to vomit.

By dusk, every surface had been disinfected. Dishes washed. Refrigerator cleared of spoiled food. Sheets washed. Floors swept, mopped or vacuumed. Our hard work transformed the house in to something livable. It didn't even look like the same place. I felt quite proud of myself I did domestic work. First time in like...ever. So much accomplished with no interruptions...of any kind. The time had come.

Simon had to go back to town. I was left with the decision on whether or not I would follow. I now had a house to sleep in. We had no strange occurrences all day. Could I survive a night here...alone? I had my car. I could take comfort in that. If anything happens, I could just leave. No big deal. I had food. All the utilities were still connected. I needed to save as much money as I could. No reason not to stay. Well...there was one. But nothing happened all day. There's a chance nothing would happen tonight either.

I wasn't exactly feeling completely sure about my decision. However, I was willing to take the chance. Simon, trying to hide it, was happy to leave. I gazed at his departure. I was left to face whatever the night held for me...alone."

What personal goals have you set for yourself? What is your Nano project?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Did you see the VMAs? I have to admit I'm not one who just loves to watch award shows but every now and then I scope one out. The Michael Jackson tribute was great. Loved Madonna's speech at the beginning. I guess it wouldn't be a tribute without one Jackson participating. Glad it was Janet. Great performances by Pink and Lady Gaga. I have to say I like her music but Lady Gaga's choice of wardrobe is a little much for me.

I still can't believe Kanye West ruined Taylor Swift's VMA moment. How much of a jerk do you have to be to jump on stage and do that? I mean fine. You like Beyonce more than Taylor. Doesn't mean you should snatch the microphone from Taylor and make a fool of yourself telling everyone that. Don't like the guy and never will.

I'm just glad Beyonce did the classy thing and let Taylor make her acceptance speech.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Revamping My Site

Looking at my website, I decided it was time to make some improvements. It's simple but it looks a bit bare. I realized just how much it needed revising when I reread my bio. Not only are there typos but WriterBuddy shut down years ago and I'm no longer in a critique group much less running one.

I checked out some author websites for ideas. I'll be not only rewriting my bio but adding an author pic. I'm also going to add a few more pages: Nano, interviews, links, WIP, News & Announcements. Hopefully when I finish, it'll look a bit more professional.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rejection x 2


Thanks for your submissions to Tweet the Meat!
We will not be using any of your submissions this week. They were both good, especially the first one, but we've published a glut of cannibalism-themed stories lately.

We would like to encourage you to submit again.

Theme for 8/29 submission period: Fetish (Use your imagination)

(This week's secret tip: During our 8/22 submission period, we are also going to accept one or two stories with the theme of "Leather")

Theme for 9/5 submission period: Freak Show
Theme for 9/12 submission period: War

Thanks again for your continued support.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

History Saturday

Did ya know that Mary Surratt was the first female in the United States to be executed? In 1865, she was arrested and charged for conspiracy and with aiding the assassins and assisting their escape. Who was she accused of conspiring against? President Abraham Lincoln.

After her husband died, Mary moved with her two kids, Anna and John Jr., to Washington D.C. Her Surrattsville Tavern was being rented to a man named John Lloyd. To make extra money she began renting space in her Washington D. C. residence as well. During the Civil War, John Jr. became a confederate spy and messenger. He met John Wilkes Booth who became a regular at the Surratt boardinghouse.

Some believe Mary knew about the kidnapping but not the assassination plot about President Lincoln. As many reported conspirators came and go in her home, it's possible that through Booth's charm she turned a blind eye. Some women are willing to ignore a man's faults despite it all, but I have to say I have much sympathy for her. She was looking for some affection especially since her husband, some believe, may have turned her into a prostitute at one point. Booth provided that for her whether or not he cared for her or not.

She was arrested on April 17th. She was tried along with seven other men but claimed her innocence the whole time. The jury voted for the death penalty but also recommended mercy considering her age and sex. The recommendation was to give her life in prison, but in the end she was sentenced to death by hanging.

As the day approached, it is said that her daughter Anna went to the White House and spoke with the first daughter, pleading for her mom's life. However, she was told nothing could be done. On July 7, 1865, Mary Surratt along with the seven men was executed. She pleaded her innocence up to the very last second. She is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington D.C. Her son John Jr. was also tried as a conspirator but resulted in a hung jury. He was eventually let go.

There are claims that she haunts the two locations: Mary Surratt's boarding house (which is now Wok 'n' Roll Restaurant) and the Surrattsville Tavern. To learn more about Mary Surratt visit the Abraham Lincoln Research Site.

Reading Too Much

Even though I’ve been writing for years, I’m still fairly new to the publishing side of the field. What frustrates me the most is all the advice. The line between what’s right and wrong are blurred most of the time. I often feel confused. The latest confusion is reading too much.

Writers tell you to read when you are first starting out. You can learn so much from those who have succeeded in writing: techniques, approaches, etc. I read an article by Noelle Sterne in The Writer about not reading too much while your writing. I can understand the point of that. You don’t want to become too envious or start writing in their style. You strive for originality. My question is: When are you suppose to read?

I write horror. Developing an original idea in this genre is very difficult. So much has already been done. Reading is kind of crucial in this case. However, if you’re someone who is constantly producing material, when do you fit in reading time? When you need inspiration for a scene? Is there really a such thing as reading too much? If so, do you think reading deprivation is crucial in finding our own voice?

Repost via Write Anything

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School

There's this scene at the beginning of You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks character emails Meg Ryan's about Autumn. That he would go out and send her a bouquet of sharpened pencils if he could. Every year in August, I feel like doing the same. All the stores have the Back to School sales. I just feel like going on a big shopping spree.

Counting down the days til the season premiere of Supernatural, Sept. 10th! Can't wait to see how they defeat Lucifer....that's IF they do. I certainly hope they do....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Didn’t Win :(

Page-a-Day WC – 1,233 words

The results of the Authors By Design Horror Contest have been posted and my little story didn’t win. Oh well. The winning story will be published on the AbD blog.

I’m over 10,000 words in to the AbDWriMo with four days left. Totally going to make the goal.

Also found out that my step-grandpa passed out, threw up and had a mini stroke on Monday. The latest update reveal no change. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers please.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Still haven’t heard about my submission to the Authors By Design Horror Contest. It ended last week. Don’t know when they will make the announcement. Unless there was a lack of submissions, I don’t think I’ll win much less place. Wrote my story in a hurry and edited it even more so in a hurry. Wasn’t totally satisfied with it when I sent it in but didn’t have time to mess with it anymore. Oh well.

I’m currently participating in the latest Authors By Design Writing Month except this time it’s part writing part editing. Took a vote it was split. So, we’re doing both. We’re currently six days in to it and I’m not anywhere near where I should be. Feel a bit bad about that especially since Nano is just around the corner, but at least I’m trying.

We’ll see……

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Debate Begins

Soft vs. Hard lead pencils

I don’t use regular pencils anymore. I made the switch to mechanical ones a long time ago. However, during my school days, I always preferred soft lead pencils. They were easier to sharpen. I didn’t have to stand at the pencil sharpener forever watching the pencil get shorter and shorter as the point breaking off after each round. That was so annoying. Problem is soft lead pencils were always harder to find. Totally sucked.

Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Lot Going On

So, I’ve had plenty to be occupied with lately. My step-uncle moved out in to his own apartment. Mom and step-dad didn’t waste any time turning his former room in to a guest room. Then they painted the living room with a cross between tan and peach with a sort of bronze accent wall. Doesn’t look all that bad. The next room they were going to tackle was the room my brother use to occupy. It is now to be my step-dad’s computer room.

Of course, they can’t do much of anything until my brother and his girlfriend leave. They are staying with us for supposedly a week because they don’t have any place else to go or rather her aunt doesn’t want them in her house while she is away. Anyways, they’re here and I’d be really surprised if they don’t stay beyond a week. My brother got a job today. So, that should help move things along. He never really had a problem getting a job. It was the him staying motivated to keep it that was the problem.

On top of all of this, I’m still fighting with my dad via email. I hate that he acts like he has always respected wishes and how I’m feeling. He’s pretty much done the opposite. For example, there is this Lifetime movie called Prayers for Bobby. It has Sigourney Weaver in it. She plays this mom who is very religious. Her son one day tells her he is gay. She tries to fix him and keeps telling him that its a sin and all that. At one point in the movie, he had moved out and she sent him a sweater for his birthday I think. Along with the sweater were pamphlets about how being gay is a sin. My dad would do that and has done something similar. Last Christmas, along with a few other gifts, he sent me an article out of a magazine about forgiveness: when, how, etc. He was trying to send a very clear message which I did so also. I read the article, highlighted a few passages that helped prove my point, and sent it back. That’s the kind of stuff he does all the time.

Deep down I still have hope we can find equal ground.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I started doing blog carnivals on Ghost Stories a few months back. In every edition, there is at least one spam submission. It’s no big deal. I just expect it. In the latest, a link was submitted supposedly for TinyUrl which is a site I use often for Twitter. However, the following remarks were added with it:


Apparently, Teddy Wu pissed off someone and they thought to share it with me. Seriously, how do you respond to something like that?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Horror Contest

I know I’ve been absent for a while and no I don’t have a good excuse for it. So, allow me to get to where I am today. My writing home Authors By Design is working to get back in to the active role once more. AbD has a blog now. It’s taking the place of our newsletter. We have new private critique groups forming and a short story contest beginning on July 1st.

I’m working to get a critique group going for horror writers only. I was a little hesitant taking the lead on this as I’ve moderated a similar group for children/YA writers and it didn’t go too well. I’m giving this a second chance. Hopefully, everything will turn out alright.

As for the short story contest, here are the details:

Authors By Design Horror Contest

A Twisted Fairytale

Dear AbD members,

We are pleased to announce our first contest for the year 2009. The contest’s theme is A Twisted Fairytale. You may choose any fairytale you like and twist it into a horror story; stories must be 1000 to 1500 words.

Contest will be open to AbD members only. New members that will register for the contest must have at least 3 posts in the forums.

• 40$ gift certificate or 40$ cash into a PayPal account (author's choice)
• A handmade breast cancer awareness bag with office goods (donated by Lynne Chandler)
• Winning story will be posted in The Authors By Design Blog

Submissions open July 1st and close July 31st

Send your submissions to abdblog @ gmail. com (no spaces) along with your forum username.

Membership to the site is free and there are plenty of forums and active threads to fulfill the three post requirement. This is a good writing community to join. I’ve known a lot of the admins, moderators and members for like seven years.

If you’re not a member and have questions, feel free to ask me. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

When Do You Surrender?

Page-a-Day WC -
Repost via Write Anything

Two years ago, I learned of a writing friend’s acceptance to a horror anthology, a market which was still accepting submissions. I had a story that fit in the theme. So, I submitted it and of course, the waiting began. A writer headed up the project and posted updates on it’s progress. Everything, in my experience, seemed pretty standard. Unfortunately, the progress began to slow down mainly due to the writer’s health issues.

A few months later, life was all good again. A couple of people were brought in to help with the anthology responsibilities. All signs pointed to this book being published. I, however, had yet to receive word whether or not my story would be in it. I remained patient. Months after this new surge of activity, updates pretty much ceased or rather I never saw any. I talked to my writer friend and sent follow-up emails which suggested the project was still in the works. A few days ago, about two years after submitting, I officially withdrew my story from consideration.

Writing is a process. You submit and wait. Most guidelines list the market’s average waiting period. If you’re involved in a similar situation like mine, do you wait for two years before waving the white flag or withdraw sooner or wait it out for the official word? What amount of time do you consider is too long to wait? Does it matter if you know writers also involved in it?

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another Rejection

Page-a-Day WC -

I received word yesterday from Fear and Trembling Mag concerning the short story "Sealed With Anguish" I submitted. The decision was a no:

June 8, 2009

Sent via email to:


Thank you for your submission of "Sealed With Anguish" to Fear and Trembling. We regret to inform you that we cannot use your submission at this time.

This response to you is automatically generated. However, it has been and continues to be our practice to share with our contributors parts of the discussion about their works that might help clarify our decision. What follows is/are excerpted from the editorial team's discussion. Each team member's remarks are separated by a row of asterisks. Also, following the last excerpt, there may be additional comments from the team member processing this correspondence.

Specific remarks about your submission:


Eh. Didn't grab me at the beginning, nor did the random paragraphs in the middle or at the end -- just not feeling this one.


I sort of liked it, but it really drifted off in the middle.


This correspondence was processed by: Scott M. Sandridge

(*Returning to automatic correspondence*)

Again, thank you for your submission and your interest in Fear and Trembling. Keep in mind that the remarks and comments above are the opinions of the editorial team. Other readers may disagree.


(Electronic Transmission -- Automatically Generated on behalf of)

The Fear and Trembling Editorial Team
Editor, Fear and Trembling

I like that they tell you why your submission is being rejected. Although I kind of wish they were a little more elaborate with the comments. Oh well. Will have to re-examine it and move on to the next.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

Strange Dream

Page-a-Day WC - 180 words

Last night I had this strange dream. Most I don't remember but my brain is fixated on this one. It starts out with me and a friend at the tail end of a keger. You know when most of the partiers are either passed out or on their way to it. So, I have a drink in my hand, laughing hysterically about something when this woman who looks like a young Holly Hunter comes up to me.

I don't know how I managed to piss her off but I did. She pounced on top of me. Some how I got a letter opener or a knife and just started stabbing her over and over and over. She rolled off of me on to her back but she didn't die. She morphed in to the blob thing, basically a maroon Flubber. Then scooted under a chair.

A few minutes later, the blob appeared again and morphed back in to the Holly Hunter double and tried to kill me again. This time I set her on fire but it still didn't kill her. While all of this is going on, I didn't react to it like a normal person. I wasn't freaked out or didn't even seem drunk. I acted as if it was an everyday thing. Anyways, she morphed back in to the blob and crawled away. I woke up after that.

I swear to you. I did not have Jell-O before going to bed last night.

Horror Markets

Anthologies are excellent markets for short story writers. Here are a few anthology markets looking for horror stories.

2012AD Anthology – This is an apocalypse themed anthology. Your stories must be based on the ancient Mayan prediction of the world ending on December 21st, 2012. Payment: 1-4.9 US cents per word. Deadline: June 18th, 2009

The Blackness Within Anthology – This one is also themed. Your stories must encompass all stages of Moccus’s reappearance from infancy to death (his middle age and near-future) and how his influence spread throughout the world. Payment: under 1 US cent per word. Deadline: When filled.

Heavy Metal Horror Anthology
– Heavy metal is the theme. Your story must contain this element in some way. The rest is up to you. Payment: under 1 US cent per word. Deadline: July 15th, 2009.

Shadows of the Emerald City Anthology – Many love the story of the Wizard of Oz. This is your chance to put your own horror twist to it. Your stories have to be based on the world of Oz. Payment: under 1 US cent per word. Deadline: July 31st, 2009.

Side Show 2: Tales of the Big Top and the Bizarre – For this anthology, they are looking for stories about side shows, carnivals, circuses, fairs, freak shows, and traveling shows. Payment: under 1 US cent per word. Deadline: When filled.

Repost from Write Anything

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Harper's Island

Page-a-Day WC - 192 words

The announcement was made. There will be no second season of Harper's Island. My question is how would they make a second season of this show? I thought it was a one time TV event kind of thing. After they kill a bunch of people off and reveal the killer, what comes next? A copycat?

The funny thing is all these people are dying and the remaining wedding guests are going on like nothing has happened. How do you do that? Personally, I wouldn't want to get married if half the wedding party are in the morgue. And, of course, they had to have a creepy ghost whisperer kid in there somewhere. Sometimes, I think they just tried a little too hard with this show.

And you know the killer is either someone associated with John Wakefield. John Wakefield himself or someone obsessed with the guy. It'll mostly likely be someone who seems completely normal but has underlining problems no one knows about. Probably someone close to Abby. I'll be totally surprised if the killer is none of that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spell Check Please

Page-a-Day WC - 237 words

I think I got ahead of myself on my thoughts about Stalkers. The stories are pretty good. It's the spelling mistakes that are starting to frustrate me. I can understand one or two, but I'm barely passed the halfway mark and the count is up to like six. Spell check, anyone? Wait....did they have spell check in 1989?

What's worse is the book's previous owner decided it was a good idea to go through it and mark out every swear word. Ok...not every one of them but most of them. I'm not talking about drawing a line through it. Scribble it completely out with a blue pen. I feel like I'm playing Mad Libs: obscenity version. Fill in the blanks with curse words.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The McDow Hole

In the 1860s, Charlie and Jenny Papworth with their infant son Temple made a treacherous journey to what is now known as Alexandra, Texas. Purchasing a spread next to Charlie's cousin Jim McDow's, they built a cabin 200 yards from Green Creek a.k.a. McDow's Hole and got settled. About five years later, Charlie and Jenny welcomed their second son. Unfortunately, not long after the blessed event, Charlie received word his parents had died. In their will, he received all of their furniture. The only way it could be transported was by train and Texarkana was the end of the line out west, 200 miles away.

Charlie made arrangements for the furniture to be shipped and set off with his wagon to pick it up. A decision he would come to regret. Increasing danger of cattle rustlers, worried him. He insisted Jenny and the kids not sleep at home; therefore, a routine was established. Jenny stayed in their cabin by day, preparing for winter and caring for their children. At night, she would bundled up the children and ride to either the McDow's or Keith's place. About a month after Charlie's departure, Jenny and the children didn't show up at the McDow's. Mrs. McDow checked with Mrs. Keith the next day and discovered they had not slept their either. The two women rode to the Papworth's cabin.

Upon their arrival, nothing seemed out of place. However, no one answered the door. The two entered the cabin, finding no sign of Jenny or the children, but all was not right. A scuffle had taken place leaving two overturned chairs and a small spot of blood on the floor. They feared the worst. The sound of a sob from under a bed brought them some hope. They found five year old Temple hidden and scared to death. The child attempted to talk but was never able to give a coherent account of what happened to his mother and brother. A search party was quickly formed.

A large, obnoxious man named Brownlow soon pointed the finger at the Comanche despite there not being any reports of them in the county. It was because of his insistence on their guilt that made him the suspect in some eyes. His quirt or whip was also found near the Papworth cabin. He claimed to have been by the day before to talk to Jenny and there was no way to disprove his statement. Therefore, the search party pursued the Comanche which led to no sign of Indians or the missing Papworth family members. Charlie returned two weeks later only to discover his world destroyed. He was told Indians were responsible but he grew to suspect Brownlow as well.

Back then, many took the law in to their own hands. Brownlow took advantage of this fact when he sensed he was under suspicion. He stirred up rumors about Charlie, calling him a horse their and rustler. Many refused to believe him but the damage had been done. In 1867, one vigilante group, led by Brownlow, raided the area, dragging men from their beds. They forced Charlie out of his bed, tied his hands behind his back and made him mount a horse. He and six other men were strung up on the Papworth's big pecan tree next to McDow's Hole. The group fled at daybreak in fear of being discovered. Charlie Papworth, thanks to his son Temple, was the only one to have survived. The next day, Charlie and Temple road off to the Oklahoma territory, never to return again. Later, on his deathbed, Brownlow confessed to killing Jenny Papworth and her infant son because she had witnessed him associating with known cattle rustlers.

Many who have stayed or lived in the abandoned Papworth cabin have witnessed Jenny walking in to a wall, scratching at the door, and the air becoming chilled. A woman has also been seen at McDow's hole floating above the water sometimes holding a baby. Is it really the ghost of Jenny Papworth or the ghost of some other unfortunate person killed on the land? Today, trespassers are not allowed in the area.

Page-a-Day WC -
Repost from Ghost Stories

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stalkers Anthology

Page-a-Day WC - 230 words

Has anyone read this anthology? It's kind of old, published in 1989. It contains novellas by Dean Koontz, John Coyne and F. Paul Wilson and stories by Rex Miller, Ed Gorman (who also edited it) and Robert R. McCammon.

So far it's pretty good. I liked the novella by Dean Koontz called "Trapped". It's similar to his book Watchers which I loved. I live in the country. So, mice don't really bother me but smart rats who put rat poison pellets in your breakfast cereal would terrify anyone.

BTW: The Barnes & Nobles website is offering 9 free audiobook MP3 downloads until May 16th. Here's the short stories up for grabs:

"The Babysitters Code" By: Laura Lippman
"Super Goat Man" By: Jonathan Lethem
"Best New Horror" By: Joe Hill
"Great Day" By: Kurt Vonnegut
"Fathers" By: Alice Munro
"Truth or Dare" By: Elizabeth Berg
"Ysrael" By: Junot Diaz
"Merrano of the Dry Country" By: Louis L'Amour
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" By: Mark Twain

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

History of Mother's Day

Page-a-Day WC - 174 words

Mother's Day celebrations date back to a Greek spring festival dedicated to the goddess Rhea, the mother of many deities. In ancient Rome, offerings were made to the Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Celtic Pagans celebrated the mother goddess Brigid. Here in the United States, we have Anna Jarvis and her daughter Anna for our celebrations.

The first celebration of Mother's Day here in the United States took place in 1858. Of course, it wasn't exactly called "Mother's Day". Jarvis organized Mother's Work Day to raise awareness of the poor health conditions in her community. Jarvis died in 1905. Her daughter, also named Anna, began campaigning to memorialize her mother's life work. She lobbied for a special day just for mothers. In 1908, a service was held at her West Virginia church in honor of Anna's mother. White Carnations, Jarvis' favorite flower, were handed out to those that attended.

Five years later, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution for all federal officials to wear white carnations on Mother's Day. However, it wasn't until 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill making it an official national holiday. Unfortunately, Anna was not pleased with the gift-giving tradition that became associated with the holiday. She was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a convention selling carnations for a war mother's group. Anna died in 1948 in West Chester, Pennsylvania poor having spent her inheritance campaigning against the commercialization of the holiday.

Today, don't just send a simple card. Write your mother a letter or show her how much you appreciate everything she has done. Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Book Borrowing Etiquette

Page-a-Day WC - 150 words

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone borrows something from me and returns it damaged in some way. It may be the control freak in me. I have this problem mostly with books.

I don't care if someone borrows a book from me but I expect it to be returned in the same condition it left in. A lot of times people fold down the corner of a page rather than use a bookmark. Or they messed up the spine so badly that pages are falling out. Or they loose the book jacket. Or it gets wet somehow. I understand accidents happen, but I don't like having to replace my favorite books because someone didn't care to respect my property.

I just think that if you borrow something it should be returned undamaged. If it does get broke, you should at the very least offer to pay for the damages, depending on what the item is. It's just common courtesy.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ghost Stories Carnival May Edition

Halloween Text Generator -

Welcome to the May 2009 edition of Ghost Stories Carnival.

The purpose of this carnival is to gather articles about the paranormal from around the blog-o-sphere. If you would like to submit an article for the next Ghost Stories Carnival, please read the guidelines.

So, without further ado, sit back and start clicking away.



NAOMI presents SPOOKY CASTLE GHOST CAUSES STIR posted at Diary From England.

floslib presents The Paranormal, Belief, and Skepticism posted at Spirited Script.

Ghost Stories presents The Seven Sisters Inn posted at Ghost Stories.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents 10 Facts About Buying and Selling A House of Horrors posted at The Digerati Life


Vanessa Wolf presents Save me from myself posted at Wide Awake in Wonderland, saying, "This is largely humorous (as is my blog), but it does cover my (former) very real fear of aliens + some related stuff. No hard feelings if it's not appropriate!

Thanks! Vanessa"

Romeo Vitelli presents Hunting The Wendigo (Part 1) posted at Providentia, saying, "A two-part essay on Wendigo folklore and the actual cases that it inspired."


This concludes the May 2009 edition of the Ghost Stories Carnival. THANK YOU for submitting your links! If you would like to see your work showcased in the June 2009 edition, please submit your links here.

If you submitted your link and don’t see it here, that probably means I received it after the deadline.

Thanks for visiting the carnival participants and don’t forget to check back June 2nd for the next Creative Carnival. Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Page-a-Day WC - 203 words
Repost from Ghost Stories

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Managing Time

Page-a-Day WC - 229 words

I decided to monitor my internet time for the next couple of weeks if not during the entire month. I've noticed I spend about three to four hours a day on the net. I guess that may not be a lot compared to some people.

Majority of that time goes to maintaining blogs or checking social networks. I hardly do any chatting anymore. I don't even bring up my yahoo messenger upon signing on. May or may not be a good thing. I haven't decided yet.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Tweet Story

Page-a-Day WC - 168 words

This is my attempt at a tweet story. I don't know. Does it make sense to you?

Footsteps paced outside her room. “Who’s there?” The air grew cold. She pulled the sheets over her head. “Why did you abandon her?” he said.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Drabble This, Tweet That

Page-a-day WC - 164 words
Repost from Write Anything

After publishing last week’s post, I came across a new market. Tweet the Meat is a Twitter-based horrorzine. You have 140 characters to write something scary. How can anyone bring on the fear in 140 characters or less? I didn’t think it could be possible but after reading a few tweets, I guess it is.

I’ve had a few people on occasion tell me the idea of writing short stories is considerably challenging for them. I find myself in the same boat with drabbles and now tweetzines. How can you get your message across with such restrictions? Can a reader be truly entertained with less details rather than more? In English, we may see it as confining. However, with languages exhibiting polysynthesis (one word meaning an entire sentence in English), it’s less restraining.

With the invention of Twitter, tweetzines were sure to pop up sooner or later but where did the concept of drabbles originate from? The idea began in the 1980s with the UK science fiction fandom. The actual 100-word format was established by the Birmingham University SF Society. The word “drabble” comes from the Monty Python’s 1971 Big Red Book, applying to a game where the first person to complete a novel wins. The term now is used a little looser. Some consider drabble as short stories of 1,000 words or 500 words. Personally, I think it should only apply to the 100 word limit. Then there’s half-drabble (50 words) and double-drabble (200 words).

Can it be done? If it weren’t possible, no one would be doing it. I challenge you to tweet a story today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Karma Cards

Page-a-Day WC - 189 words

Thanks to our upcoming garage sale I'm now the proud owner of a deck of Karma Cards. I've always wanted a deck of Tarot cards. I've heard some writers use them for character developing and whatever. Maybe the Karma cards could be used for a similar purpose. I haven't had a chance to read the book. I also have a set of Rune stones with instruction book. Unfortunately, I'm missing one. Maybe we'll eventually find it somewhere.

I'll be glad when this all over.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Garage Sale

Page-a-Day WC - 164 words

All week, we have been preparing for our big garage sale on Friday and Saturday. Mos tof the junk we're getting rid of belonged to my step-grandparents. I know my step-dad is looking forward to it. He'll finally have room in his shop to do whatever. Though there were a few gems among it all. I bet you don't know what this is:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Writing Again

Page-a-Day WC - 202 words

Guess what.....Guess what.....Guess what??? I actually wrote today. After a twenty-three day hiatus, I put pen to paper and wrote something today. I probably should have done it sooner. Really doesn't matter now. I'm getting back in to the routine. That's all that counts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wookey Hole Caves

In its 50,000 year history, Wookey Hole Caves has seen it share of inhabitants such as the Neanderthal man and Romans. At a constant temperature of 11 °C or 52 °F, the caves are a prime location for maturing Cheddar cheese. In 1935, Chamber 7 was the location of the first successful cave diving expedition in Britain performed by Graham Balcombe, Penelope Powell, and their cave diving group. However, Wookey Hole Caves is most known for a certain witch.

Stories surrounding this legend vary. A woman wronged by life in some way decides to take her frustration out on the females of the village. In one version, the villagers banded together and requested the services of a monk from Glastonbury. In another, the witch curses the romance of a couple. When it fails, the man becomes a monk and seeks revenge on the witch. Either way, the monk enters the cave. He blesses the water and begins splashing it among parts of the cave. Supposedly, some of the holy water was splashed on the witch, turning her to stone. She remains in the cave 'til this day.

The Witch of Wookey Hole is actually a stalagmite in the first chamber of the caves. Over the years, the rock took on a human form and thus, a legend is born. But is it really just a tale? The story was first written down in 1748 though circulated among generations for years before. In 1912, cave explorer H. B. Balch found evidence that may substantiate some of the story. He discovered a milking pot, a ball made from a stalagmite, tools and even human remains which may or may not belong to the "witch".

If that weren't enough, the caves are also said to be haunted. The ghost of a potholer who drowned is said to roam the chambers. The spirit of a child who died on the site has also been seen. Of course, the witch herself is believed to demostrate her powers on occasion. For more on Wookey Hole, check out their website, take the virtual tour and watch the live webcam.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Battle Continues

So, the last two weeks have been one techie battle after another one. I thought my computer was infected with that stupid conflicker thing, but I'm not so sure anymore. Every scanner I've used to remove it has come up clean, safe or normal modes. I've tried Ad-Aware, Malwarebytes, Symantec, McAfee Stinger, Avast, Microsoft OneCare. Always the same results, but my defrag (Windows and AusLogics) still doesn't work. InCd is acting up as well. It has come to the option of last resort. My step-dad says he's going to exchange my computer for his which means I probably won't see mine for a while. Thank God I have everything backed up on disks.

I didn't really get much done writing wise. However, I did submit "Sealed With Anguish" to Fear and Trembling Mag. It's a piece I wrote for Long Ridge and my instructor didn't get it all. It's suppose to be satirical, but I think because it was set in a "monster reality" he thought it was suppose to be scary. I don't know. After all this mess, here's hoping for some good news.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I'm Still Alive

I know I haven't posted all week. My excuse is I've been in download hell. With this whole Conflicker worm going around, I realized some of my software needed to be updated. Here's hoping next week is better...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ants on a Log

Page-a-day WC - 151 words

Use to have this snack all the time when I was in kindergarten.

Ants on a Log

5 stalks of celery
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup raisins

Cut the celery stalks in half. Spread with peanut butter. Sprinkle with raisins.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Website Aids

Repost from Write Anything:
Page-a-day WC - 161 words

I noticed I haven’t done one of these in a while. This edition is themed. Sometimes, when writing, we find ourselves blocked. Can’t come up with a title, name, setting, whatever. Generators can sometimes help inspire you to push forward or at the very least give you a little chuckle.

1. Random Word Generator (Plus) - you choose a word type (noun, verb, adjective, etc) and complexity (common, average, uncommon, etc) and hit “New Word”.

2. Evil Name Generator - evil spirits, dark gods, and any other evilness

3. Random Plot Generator - Gives you a list of different plots to choose from. Click your browsers refresh button if you want more.

4. Random Band Name - Need a great rock-n-roll band name. Try this one out.

5. The Mafia Name Generator - Try giving your character a mafia name or enter your own name. Mine is Gabriella Testarossa

6. Vampire Name Generator - Your creature of the dark needs a name. Give him/her one.

7. Random Book Title Generator - Don’t know what to name your latest project? Click through these titles a few times and see what you find.

8. Plot Twist Generator - Plot twists keep things spicy and interesting.

9. Horror Movie Plot Generator - I know it says movie plot but could be used for stories and novels.

10. Writing Prompt Generator - This one has several to choose from.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Page-a-Day WC - 146 words

The lawsuit against Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss, the principal operators of the Writer Beware website has been dismissed! They were being sued by Robert Fletcher and his company, Literary Agent Company for defamation, emotional distress and all that jazz because they posted warnings against their business practices. The suit was dismissed with prejudice March 18 by the Massachusetts Superior Court due to Fletcher's failure to respond to discovery or otherwise prosecute the lawsuit. Of course, that's not the end of it. Ann and Victoria are filing a motion against them for recovery of legal fees. I hope it's granted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Terrible Wizard of Oz

Page-a-day WC - 290 words

We all loved Dorothy and her little dog too. But now you can send this fantasy world in to the depths of Hell. There is a call for submissions out for horror stories based on the world of oz. Take this fairy tale and turn it ugly. Payment is $20 and 1 contributor copy paid on publication.

Deadline: June 31st hehe

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Apollonian and Dionysian Themes

Page-a-Day WC - 153 words
Write Anything has a whole new look! There are more new things to come. Check it out!

I recently finished reading Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. It’s like the earlier version of his book On Writing except it’s centered on the horror genre: film, TV, books, etc. Throughout Danse Macabre, he discusses Apollonian and Dionysian themes, but what are they?

The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept based on parts of ancient Greek mythology. Apollo and Dionysus were sons of Zeus. Apollo was the god of the Sun, light and music. Dionysus was the god of wine, intoxication and ecstasy. In literary terms, Apollonian is the order, while Dionysian is the chaos.

For example, the film The Exorcist begins with a mother and daughter living the suburbs. You see a very order lifestyle where everything makes sense (Apollonian). The moment when you hear the animal-like roar order transitions in to chaos. Sweet Regan was taken over by something darker and Father Karras and Father Merrin come to her rescue, performing the exorcism (Dionysian). You don’t see order come back in to play until the end when you know the beast has been defeated and a drained Regan is placed in the back of a car.

Now it’s your turn. What are the Apollonian and Dionysian themes of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend?

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Know Who Killed Your Career

Page-a-Day WC - 161 words

I watched I Know Who Killed Me last night. Everyone said this movie was bad when it came out but had to see it for myself. OMG! This movie soooo killed her career. Half the time I didn't know what the hell was going on. It was suppose to be about stigmata twins but turned out beyond bad. I think there should have been a warning label: "bury it in the back yard never to be unearthed again." The whole Doublemint twin thing worked fine with Parent Trap. This one should have been left alone. Seriously Lindsay....leave horror to the professionals, ok? Stick with what you know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Poisoned Contest

Catherine Gardner over at The Poisoned Apple has a little contest going. See her little werewolf friend WolfDude is having girl troubles and is now threatening to join the circus. The purpose of this contest is to convince him that circus folk are bad people. First prize is a copy of the Malpractice Anthology and a signed copy of an unknown novella. I have my fingers crossed for the Booby Prize. *grin*

You have until Midnight (GMT) this Friday, March 20th to enter. So, what are you waiting for? Go scare the circus out of him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I often write about holiday origins here. To be honest, I think I know less about St. Patrick's Day than any other holidays until now. So, who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and one of Christianity's most widely known figures. Despite his popularity, a lot of what is known about him is false thanks to hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling, that includes the story about him banishing the snakes from Ireland. The story was actually a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Near the end of the fourth century, St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents and is believed to have died on March 17, 460 A.D.

At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. There is some dispute as to where he was kept captive. Many believe he was taken to Mount Slemish in County Antrim, but it's more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala. During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to religion for comfort and became a devout Christian. It is also believed that at this time Patrick first began dreaming to convert the Irish to Christianity.

Patrick escaped after more than six years of being a prisoner. His writings stated that a voice which he believe to be God spoke to him in a dream telling him it was time for him to leave Ireland. In order to do this, he walked 200 miles County Mayo, where he was aid to have been kept as a prisoner, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training that lasted over fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Familiar with Irish language and culture, Patrick incorporated traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For example, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. He used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland but in New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the Irish soldiers to reconnect with their roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army. However, the first time St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in America was in Boston in 1737. In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world.

I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. If you're planning on drinking, please do it responsibly.

Source: The History Channel

Repost from Ghost Stories
Page-a-day WC - 311 words

Monday, March 16, 2009

Attention Artists!

Page-a-Day WC - 164 words

Monster Librarian posted this bulletin on Myspace:

Spring into Terror Art Contest

MonsterLibrarian. com and a number of other horror fiction review sites are conducting our second annual Spring into Terror horror fiction review project. As part of Spring into Terror we are holding an art contest to celebrate reading horror this spring.

Theme: Reading horror (books or graphic novels)

Deadline for submissions: 4/15/09

Prize: A Spring into Terror grab bag of horror and thriller books including at least one limited edition title.

The criteria for entries are:
File format: JPG
File Size: 2 Megs or Less
Medium: Digital, painting, or illustration
Dimensions: Any, but the larger the picture the larger the file
Send submissions to:

By submitting art work as part of the contest you are giving MonsterLibrarian. com permission to use the submitted work

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Page-a-Day WC - 650 words

I thought I would update you all on my current writing status. Many people don't stick to their New Years resolutions. I have managed to stick to the only one I made for this year. You may have noticed my daily word count. On occasion, I take a day or two off but nothing longer than that.

I started the year off finishing up a Nano story, "A Tale of Two Sisters 2", from two years ago. I know by the time I start editing that one parts 1 and 2 will be combined in to one. After completing it, I wrote three more stories, not one have titles. Story number three was for AbDWriMo. It's more of a novella than a short story. Not sure if I'll keep it a novella or edited it down to short story size. Currently, I'm finishing up "The Auction", a story that teaches you not to spend some much time on sites like eBay.

March is National Novel Editing Month. Decided it was as good of a time to establish an editing routine. Finished editing "The Not Know". It's a short story I wrote a lifetime ago and the writing surely reflected it, a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes (had the lazy habit of not hitting the spellcheck). The plot sucked....okay the whole thing sucked, but hopefully not anymore. I'm currently editing yet another lifetime ago project. "The List" formally known as "One Wrong Move" is as bad as "The Not Known" structure wise but yet a tad better. It's amazing when you dust off a few of the oldies you see how much you've improved.

As far as submitting, I haven't submitted anything yet this year though I am looking. I'm thinking about trying to get my short story "Tornado Luck" published once or twice more before retiring it. I've been searching for a market to send it to but haven't had much luck. It's amazing how many magazines/ezines don't accept reprints. I'm beginning to think if I get it published for a third time, it'll be the last. Hopefully, when I get an actual working printer, I can get some others sent out. Yes, I edit the old fashion way, red pen and all.

I think that's all I can think of. I hope to have something more to report next month.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Most Annoying

Page-a-day WC - 169 words

I so hate renovations. My mom and Alan picked this weekend to re-do our bathroom. A certain someone took a screwdriver to our bathtub. Therefore we needed a new one. So instead of just replacing the bathtub and nothing else, they decided to work or replace some pipes, move the water heater from one end of the tub to the other and a few other things. This project is suppose to be done before the weekend is over but I'm not banking on that. It probably wouldn't be so bad if the bathroom wasn't right next door to my room. *sigh* Oh well...

Friday, March 13, 2009

When Zombies Attack

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Today we should be wielding rabbit's feet and four leaf clovers. But furry limbs and plants aren't going to save us this time. Today is International Zombie Awareness Day 2009. That's right. On this day, zombies all over the world are organizing and we are on the menu. What are poor, helpless humans suppose to do?

You could always hunt down a copy of Max Brooks book The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. However, you would most likely die before finding one. There's always the wiki route. Although it is a wiki which aren't known to be the most reliable. That's the difference between life or death. If all else fails, watch a 1950s educational video clip. They know what they are talking about.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The Rougarou has various alternate spellings as well as being attached to several cultures: the French, Native American and English. This legend has a werewolf quality to it.

Through the French culture, the Rougarou, or as it is sometimes known as Loup garou, is thought to appear with a human body and head of a dog or wolf. Some stories say it will hunt down Catholics if they don't follow the rules of Lent or break it seven years in a row. Obviously, these stories are told to persuade children to behave. Another legend states, the Rougarou is under a spell for 101 days. After this time has passed, the curse transfers to another person, of which the original is drinking blood from. The former creature turns human once again and goes on living life as normal.

In Native American folktales, the Rugaru is sometimes described as being like bigfoot or a wendigo. Some stories state if you see a Rugaru you turn in to one, and is to wander the Earth forever as this monster. Rugaru is not a Native American term. It is believed they picked it up from French Canadian trappers and/or missionaries. While wendigos are feared, Rugarus are considered more sacred like bigfoots.

The Old English version of this tale was used as inspiration for an episode of Supernatural. This legend dates back to the 16th Century. They considered the Rugaru as more of a genetic defect rather than something you could catch from another person or a spell. Basically, a person with this gene would live a normal life until it becomes active. Then, the creature's bones moves under its skin and it gains an uncontrollable hunger trait, craving raw meat. However, the final transformation wouldn't be attained until the creature takes a bite of human flesh. Then, the skin and eyes seems to rot. There are only two ways to kill a Rugaru: fire and decapitation. The supposed "attacks" have taken place up until 2008. The victim was a child and the Rugaru was scared off by their father. Many missing person cases are believed to be linked with this creature.

Repost from Ghost Stories
Page-a-Day WC - 206 words

Monday, March 09, 2009

Stories of Strength

Tornado season is pounding on the door and I feel the need to plug this. This project started out as a way to contribute to the aid of Katrina victims. In 2005, writers from the Absolute Write forum put together an anthology. Jenna Glatzer, author of the Celine Dion biographer For Keeps, headed up the project with several other authors. The result was Stories of Strength. Contributors include Orson Scott Card, actor Wil Wheaton, Robin Lee Hatcher, Raymond K. Wong, as well as myself. All proceeds go to disaster relief charities.

If you haven't picked up your copy yet, please do. It's for a good cause. Stories of Strength is available on Lulu and Amazon.

Page-a-day WC - 1,301 words

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Read an E-Book Week

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It's "Read an E-Book Week"! From March 8-14, download yourself an e-book and get to reading. Project Gutenberg has tons of free classics. If you're looking for something different, check out the Read an E-Book Week website for a list of sites containing free e-books:

Friday, March 06, 2009


Page-a-day WC - 139 words

I have had serious thoughts about boycotting Wal-mart. They are abusing their power and it must stop. It seems like every time I need something they don't stock it for months or sometimes never again. It's starting to piss me off.

For a while, they didn't have the toothbrush heads for the electronic toothbrush that I had. They stopped carrying the only cough drops I like. Halls Breezers are the only ones that get the job done when needed and doesn't make me gag. Wal-mart doesn't have them anymore. On grocery day, we get these microwavable cheeseburgers and a Cobb salad for dinner. I look forward to it every week. Didn't have either one this week.

Around here, we don't have many grocery shopping options. Wal-mart is pretty much the closest and most convenient store here. The frustrations are mounting though some were subsided by a little treat....this time. While I didn't get my dinner preference, I did get the dessert I've been craving for the last few weeks.

SAMOAS!!! Some little Girl Scouts were selling cookies in front of Wal-mart. God bless them. My mom and Alan (my step-dad) were only going to buy the Thin Mints but generously picked up a box of Samoas for me. Thank you, guys!

So, I'm putting my boycott tendencies on hold....for now.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Don't Be Selfish

Growing up, we didn’t have an abundance of money. My mom worked a multitude of low paying jobs. That and child support, we barely kept our heads above water. Don’t get me wrong. We weren’t homeless poor. We always had what we need which is more than what some can say.

Back in those days, I felt guilty about a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have even worried about. For example, I hated asking my mom for more shampoo when the one in current use wasn’t empty yet. I felt guilty if I had more than a few items on my Christmas list. I hated making Christmas/birthday lists period but was always forced to. I hate asking for things unless I absolutely need it. I feel the same way towards writing.

I read an article in the Sunday edition of Tulsa World about writers being selfish. Some writers are selfish when it comes to advice or providing connections. The publishing world is competitive. Don’t want to give someone a leg up. Help them to get the spot you want and/or deserve. Some may think this is as trivial as me feeling guilty about asking for shampoo, but I can understand such fears.

Personally, I’ve never met a selfish writer. You certainly won’t find them here. We’ve been dishing plenty of advice for the last couple of years. Have you ever met a selfish writer? How would you react to someone who refused to help you in any way? Would you take it personal? If so, why?

Repost from Write Anything

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

McPike Mansion

The McPike Mansion Mist

Built in 1869, architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger crafted a home with sixteen rooms, a vaulted wine cellar, eleven marble fireplaces and beautifully carved banisters in Alton, Illinois. McPike Mansion was home to Henry Guest McPike and his family. A famed horticulturist, he perfect the McPike Grape and became well known across the country.

It is believed the McPike family lived in the mansion up until 1936. Although there may be some discrepancies with the dates. Records state Paul a. Laichinger owned and lived in the house between 1908-1930. Either way, it has been unoccupied since 1950s. The current owners Sharyn and George Luedke bought it at an auction in 1994. They are in the process of restoring it to its former beauty.

There have been many stories told about McPike Mansion. Though some believe a whole army of spirits haunt the place only two have supposedly been identified. One is a female servant of the McPikes which Sharyn has dubbed "Sarah". "Sarah" has been described as the friendly sort, touches and sometimes hugs guests at the mansion. The other spirit is believed to be that of Paul Laichinger. Sharyn has claim to have seen him wearing a striped shirt and tie. She possesses a photograph of Laichinger wearing the same thing.

Above is a clip about McPike Mansion from Worlds Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape. Visit their website to take a virtual tour of the mansion and more:

Repost from Ghost Stories
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