Friday, December 17, 2010

Inside *Spoiler Alert*

I don't watch a lot of foreign films in any genres. I don't have any excuses or possible explanations for it. However, after finishing up some online Christmas shopping, I took a gander at the horror DVD selection and came upon this little French film called Inside.

The movie received a lot of good reviews on Amazon to the point that people would erect a temple in its honor and worship it. Bought a used copy and gave it a try. Totally loved it!

The premise is rather simple and unoriginal. A pregnant woman still grieving her husbands death four months prior is home alone preparing to deliver her baby the next day (Christmas coincidentally). An unknown woman shows up requesting to use her phone. Her innocents washes away when she starts revealing details about the woman. The police are called and the stranger disappears but returns later that night. She kills anyone who tries to help the woman all in pursuit of the baby. Like I said, not original.

However, it was the way the movie was filmed that makes it so good. The unknown woman was dressed almost like Morticia Addams which I think adds to her sinister appeal. There's some gore and A LOT of blood. This momma took quite a lickin' and kept on tickin' til the very end. Sliced and stabbed by scissors, smacked by a toaster and a billy club, and gave herself a tracheostomy. The lights went out briefly just as someone was stabbed by the scissors. I think the universe was trying to tell me I wasn't ready for the ending.

The script, camera angles, mood, atmosphere. It all works. Would recommend it to anyone.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Walking Dead Giveaway

In November, I promised a giveaway and I don't like to disappoint. This contest will run the duration of the month to give everyone a chance to enter. On to the details.

The Walking Dead wrapped up its first season last week. Better yet, it lived up to the hype that surrounded it. For those die hard fans, I have a copy of The Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye to give away. This book is a compilation of the first six issues of the comic book. Go crazy on the compare and contrast.

The second prize up for grabs is a new twist on an old story. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies By: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith takes the classic novel beloved by many and tosses plot and characters right in the middle of the land of zombies. This book received some major buzz, resulting in a possible movie (starring Natalie Portman), comic book series and it's own video game. But it all started with the book and here's your chance to own a copy.

How to Enter:

Winners will be randomly drawn using First person chosen will get first pick of the prizes. This contest is for US Residents only. Deadline is December 31st. There are several ways to enter, each point equals an entry:

1+ - New Follower
2+ - Old Follower
3+ - Tweet about the contest. (Include @sthrnwriter in your tweet)
5+ - List the contest on your sidebar (Include link to your blog)
8+ - Blog about contest (Include link to your post)
10+ - Tell me who your favorite Walking Dead or Pride and Prejudice and Zombie character is and why.

Leave a comment (1 per person), itemizing your points with any mandatory links. Also include your name and email address. Good Luck!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Crossed the Finish Line/Zombie Giveaway News

After twenty-nine days of talking myself in circles, stacks of useless dialogue and very little action scenes, I finally stumbled over the finish line with a word count of 51,400 words. I wish I could say I'm doing the jumping for joy and releasing balloons, but I can't muster up any excitement. Even the smooth vocals of one Enrique Iglesias singing "Bialamos" on the radio couldn't lift my spirits.

Have I accomplished something? Yes. I keep trying to convince myself that I've done something thousands of others couldn't or wouldn't. It's like I wrote the 50K words. I validated it to have proof. Then downloaded all the pretty graphics to show everyone what I did which by the way, we should at least get a bumper sticker or something after all that. The online pretties just don't seem as satisfying anymore.

The 50K just doesn't feel challenging anymore. If I participate for a fifth year, I'm going for it. 75,000 words in one month. That's right. I said it or rather typed it. I realized I need a bigger challenge. This isn't working anymore. So, come back next year and witness me write myself to death. Perhaps it'll be a first.

In other news, my friend Autumnforest is putting together a Blogger Zombie Walk. On December 10th, participating bloggers will display their finest zombie material. Some are even doing giveaways.

I'm considering joining in on the fun under my Ghost Stories persona. I've had zombies on the brains for an entire month, why not? I promised my GS readers a giveaway. I was planning on waiting until after the holidays but before could be good too. If I can get my money ducks in a row on time, I will be giving away The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye (paperback) which is a collection of the first six issues of the comic book and a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (paperback). I'm sure I won't have any problems with the money issue considering Christmas is just around the corner. So, be on the lookout for that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Week Left

I can't believe there's only one week left in Nano. It seemed to go by pretty fast. My current word count on Sleeping Ashes (working title) is at 40,544. Broke 40K yesterday (Ha! that rhymes). One thing I don't like about this challenge is that it takes place in the same month as Thanksgiving. After family, pie and turkey, who the hell wants to write?

While on the subject of turkey, who came up with the bright idea to reinvent the turducken by putting bacon on it? Any more meat gets put on or in this bird and the turkey is going to experience an identity crisis. On a brighter note, it's going to be interesting to see if our neighbors finally burn their house down this year. Apparently, no one gave them the memo stating not to put the deep fryer practically in the garage while cooking the turkey.

Who's ready for Black Friday?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Writing Questions

I thieved this from Natalie via Written by Sin. I hope she doesn't mind.

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

I don't think I really have found my favorite character to write yet. I like writing a villain but I prefer the supernatural undead ones. It's like the story of the scorpion and the frog. The supernatural ones are who they are no matter what rules they're playing by. The human ones should be held more accountable for their actions.

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of world building? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?

I think my world building skills are still a work-in-progress. Ask me again in five or ten years.

13. What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

The American South. I get tired of all this stereotypical crap some people produce about southerners. We all don't where camo 24/7. We don't all own a gun and shoot anything that moves. And we certainly aren't all working to increase the inbreeding stats in the South. I don't know how or when the words "south" and "inbreeding" became okay to use in the same sentence. But the royals overseas were doing it a hell of a lot more than when it became associated with us. Then, there's the accent. I hate when people mock my accent. As Josh Lucas' character said in Sweet Home Alabama, "Honey, just 'cause I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid".

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

I've pretty much stuck with what I know. I've used a few small Texan towns as templates in creating my own little fictional locations.

15. Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

They say you shouldn't idolize anyone because they rarely live up to your expectations. I tried to stay open to the well established and amateur authors.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

First of all, I want to thank all those who left encouraging comments on here and facebook after my most recent rejection. It's a difficult process but I'm marching on. Any zombies want to join me?

This is the end of Day 10 of National Novel Writing Month. My current word count sits at 17,898 words. Still quite a bit ahead. Ran in to another wall of a different variety (tired of getting a face full of concrete). The keyboard on my laptop decided to go strike. I'm not sure what happened. Was in the middle of a sentence and it just stopped working. I plugged my desktop keyboard in to it and it worked. The only problem is I don't have the space to use another keyboard. I guess I'm stuck with the desktop for the time being. I'm not giving in to it's demands!

Below, I treat you with a clip seen on Syfy's Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. Supposedly, it depicts poltergeist activity in an L.A. apartment and the person who filmed it was never seen again after all this. I think that's all a load of crap. But the effect is kind of cool. Looks like something out of a horror movie. Maybe it'll inspire a scene in your WIP. Enjoy!

Friday, November 05, 2010

PodCastle Rejection

Dear Ms Allison,

Thanks for thinking of Podcastle, but I'm afraid "Sealed With Anguish" doesn't suit our needs.

Best of luck with your work.

Ann Leckie
Associate Editor

I'm beginning to think this story is never getting published. Running out of places to send it.

In Battle

The last time I used Q10 for Nano I had problems with spell check. Not too much worried about that this time around. However, I've stumbled on to a new problem. Q10 has this little issue with highlighting large passages of text and deleting it at the touch of a key before anyone can spot the error.

I've had three near heart attacks, some stern warnings and a few screamfests. I know such things won't coax it in to behaving, but tends to make me feel better sometimes. If I wasn't an obsessive saver, I would dump it for something new and pretty. The nifty typewriter sounds are the only thing keeping it in my good graces at the moment, but if it doesn't straighten up and fly right, there will be a battle royal.

Anyone want to buy tickets?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Nano is a Go

I'm writing this at the end of Day 2. If you're not participating in National Novel Writing Month then I'm sure you're rolling your eyes or spitting pea soup at your computer screen for being force fed another post on the event. Whatever, I don't care. As of now, I'm sitting pretty at 3, 592 words. Totally on schedule. With everything else, not so much. Here's the rundown of things:

Since acquiring DSL, we've ditched both of our phone lines (home and computer) as well as AOL. I've had my AOL email address for several years. Acquired a stack of emails and contacts. I forwarded all my emails to another account via yahoo. Printed out my contact sheet. All good on that front. Then, while logging in to my Blogger account, it hit me. I've used my AOL email as a username on several websites. This led to me scrambling for days trying to remember each and every website. So, not fun. I sent an email to everyone I could think of but in case you don't know and actually care, all emails are to be redirected to sthrnwriter @ yahoo . com (without spaces). Can't say I didn't warn ya.

October is done and over with. This calls for my final #10bythen tally. Ready for a shocker? Are ya? Are ya? I didn't come close to achieving the goal. I think I picked the wrong month to toss my name in to the hat. I didn't get ten shipped out but I managed to send one. Submitted "Sealed With Anguish" to PodCastle per Pseudopod's recommendation. Maybe give it another go in December.

To top it all, I'm behind in book reviews. I hate being behind. It's so not fair to the writers who sent in their requests. Trying to figure out how I can get back on track and still kick butt in Nano.

I sooo need a nap.....

PS: My non prioritized time has left me unable to read and comment on blogs as of late. Many apologies but blog reading seems to be my end of the week treat for hitting all Nano goals. Please don't say anything interesting until then, K?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Faith Slightly Restored

I have to say my faith in our postal system was restored...slightly yesterday. Look what I got in the mail:

I won one of John Wolfe's Season of Shadows giveaways. The 4th season of A Haunting DVD box set was the prize but John always manages to add a few extra goodies. My little goodie bag included candy and foam critters. I love people who are big in to Halloween. Not many people around here go all out for the holiday. It's so sad. If you're not following his blog, you should be. Hint Hint...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mail Hell

Look what I got in the mail yesterday:

The two cassette tapes from the Braille Library in Los Angeles, California was suppose to be a Nightmare on Elm Street hat, a little trinket I won in a giveaway. This is becoming a very bad habit. I've had several books that were sent to me for review mysteriously get lost in the mail just to add to this fiasco. To top it all, the postal service wanted to raise the price of stamps for like the third time this year. Why? With service like this, who would want to pay more to have their stuff lost or damaged?

It's one of those times I wish I had a magic wand or something. I could just zap things from one place to the other without the use of the middle man. Would be nice....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Wait is Over

I made a promise. Stood my ground. Avoided temptation to display my impatience on my precious blog. As of Tuesday, my silent stance is over. The official verdict is been rendered:

Dear Writer,

I'd like to thank you for your submission to Shroud. Unfortunately it was not selected for a second read nor for publication at this time.

We have very limited space at Shroud and I truly wish I could publish and pay for more stories than I currently accept but it's just not an option. Please do not consider this a "rejection" of your work, but more of a "we'll have to pass for now".

In most cases, we try to offer a personlized response to submissions. If you have not received one, then please accept our sincere apologies for the impersonal nature of this note.

You can read why you did not receive a personlized response here:

Thank you for entrusting your creative work with Shroud. We hope to hear from you again in the near future.


Tim Deal
Editor & Publisher
Shroud Publishing LLC

There's the kick in the coffin that I needed to make this week just so perfect. Can't say that I'm surprised. Oh, there were prayers for an acceptance but the rejection was expected. Oh well. The parades, fireworks and chickens in bunny suits will have to wait a little longer, I guess.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Number Zero

It's thirteen days in to #10bythen for the month of October. What's my progress? The number is still sitting at zero. I know it's terrible. It should be raining frogs and crickets to highlight my shame. However, the month isn't over yet. There's still time to rectify the situation. Until then, you may scold....I mean encourage me as much as you like to get to work.

My lack of productivity has spilled over in to Nano. In prior years, I visited the website on a daily basis. Not so much this year. Log on maybe once or twice a week. Don't know why I have such a ho-hum attitude towards it.

Maybe the demonic raccoons have been working their magic. I swear they devised a treaty with the vampire skunks and are now plotting against me. Just a matter of time before they make their first move.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Behold! The cover art for DRACULAS By: Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson. You may drool if you like. I'll wait.................................Finished?

J. A. Konrath offered digital advance reader copies to any reviewers (with a few strings attached) who wanted read and do a write-up on it prior to it being released on October 19th. I received my copy yesterday. Can't wait to dig in.

If you want to review it, there's still time to ask for your ARC. Visit Konrath's blog for details.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Titles Please Apply Here

I hesitantly joined in with the #10bythen crowd. My work ethics are atrocious. After five days, I have nothing to report on this end. Now, this doesn't mean I've sat on my fanny and done nothing.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a crappy horror movie (can't recall the title). Just when I thought I had wasted an hour of my life an idea popped in to me head and did a jig. Got my little flower notebook and jotted down note after note. Reread it today and it still makes sense. I guess if you fire enough bullets in a barrel you're going to hit a fish sooner or later. I'm using the Roanoke Colony mystery as inspiration. From the POV of a person situated right in the middle of all the craziness that leads to a town disappearing. Set in a modern day small town. Not in Roanoke or where the colony use to be. Haven't wormed out all details yet.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday, trying to come up with a working title. Resorted to a Random Title Generator. I don't have too much luck with titles. Here are a few possibilities:

The Darkness of the Doors
Sleeping End (possibly to be used as the name of the town)
History of Ashes
The Shadow's Truth
No Healing

No decisions have been made yet. I hate making decisions. I'm not a very decision-oriented type of person. I try.....I know. I know. Get back to work. Is it December yet?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Oh No! It's the Dreaded Meme!

Poor voodoodoll by Jorshma on Deviant ART

I was never good at playing tag. My attention span is not always as I would like it to be. However, Anthony tagged me with this meme and with the spirit of doing anything with this blog today, I choose to join in.

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

I could go for the usual suspects, x-ray vision, immortality, etc. However, after watching Zombieland for the third time, I think I would like the ability to have power over a zombie, controlling it's every move. I think it will be of great use when the zombie apocalypse hits, don't you think?

2. Who is your style icon?

I'm suppose to have a style icon? Who sent that memo out and why didn't I get it?

3. What is your favorite quote?

"Human beings can always be relied upon to exert, with vigor, their God-given right to be stupid." Dean Koontz ~~ enough said.

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

I know certain someone who constantly compares me to THE Stephen King even though I doubt I've come close to earning the comparison. It's flattering nonetheless as it's not from a member of my family.

5. What playlist/CD is in your CD player/iPod right now?

I'm probably one of the few people in the universe who doesn't own an iPod. Uncertain if that makes me lucky or not. In my CD player is a nice mix of Disturbed, Paramore, and Breaking Benjamin with a side of Theory of a Deadman and Skillet.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Depends on the moon phase at the time.

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs are sweet but I prefer cats. They don't bug me every five minutes or try to steal food from my plate when they think I'm not looking.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

It was named Southern Expressions, but I soon realized people were becoming rather disappointed when they weren't getting a full list of our colorful charm here in the south. So, expressions was turned in to Writemares due to the fact I've had more bad writing dreams than good ones as of late. Gotta break a few eggs right?

Now, I know this is the part where I'm suppose to tag other people. But I don't like it when people make me do stuff. If you want to participate, all the bells and cauliflower to you. I promise no curse will be placed upon you if you decide not to join in. Really.....I mean it. My voodoo doll is in for its 1,000 hex check-up. So, you're safe.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I'm In!

Okay, so I'm arm has been twisted in to a pretzel. I cried out "Uncle and Cheeseballs!" and gave in to peer pressure. Anthony was so kind to relay the rules of #10bythen to me. Expect the shameful apology letter at the end of the month blaming everyone for my failure because you know it's never my fault. My momma said so....HA!

Now, I'm impatiently awaiting the relaunch of the NaNoWriMo website (I'm sthrnwriter on Nano if anyone wants to look me up) which is suppose to take place sometime tonight (at least, that's what they tweeted and we all know tweets are always gold). I can't wait to chat with my once-a-year friends and display the pretty new graphics on here oh so proudly. Then, I can let my nerves take over, throw up a few times and convince myself that after three previous "wins" this will be the year I fail. (Don't look all cross-eyed and crazy at me. This is my process.) In the meantime, enjoy the following video:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Farewells Put on Hold

Thursday was suppose to be my last day at Write Anything. However, the relaunch of a new and improve WA has been pushed back which means I'm staying for another couple of weeks. I was in the company of a great group of writers for three years. A few more weeks is no big deal.

If you're a writer and active on Twitter, you may have come across the #10bythen challenge, 10 submissions in a month. I know it would go against all my years of practice in the art of procrastination, but I'm seriously considering joining in the fun. I haven't submitted anything since May. It's time I get back on the horse and pray it doesn't throw me off face first in the mud again. I need the boost in motivation since Nano is lurking around the corner, laughing at me. He can be so mean.

At this time, I will hear arguments why I should or shouldn't be involved in #10bythen. Please keep it clean. I'm not in the mood to put anyone in time out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Eye of the Tiger

As per the usual routine, I go through great lengths to describe my current work in progress and how I'm so excited about it. That would be scene out of my perfect life. However, I don't have a perfect life. Instead, I'm making lists of things I should be doing so I can stare at it and have bouts of Ferris Wheel guilt until I start actually doing and marking stuff off the list. This all banks on me in the right mood and the drive to want to do it. Hmmmm....perhaps this video clip will get me all pumped up:

WooHoo!!! Jensen Ackles making a damn fool of himself. Who could pass that up? Season 6 begins in TWO days!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Busy Week

Whoa...has it really been two weeks since my last post? Oh, who am I kidding. I am fully aware it's been two weeks and I'm ashamed of myself. Here are my list of excuses:

1. Lazy
2. Lack of an interesting life
3. Lazy
4. Lazy

I think that about covers it. But I don't think #2 really can be counted as an excuse. The last two weeks haven't been without drama. My dad and step-mom came in for a visit from Arkansas. Their visits are always "eventful".

My brother and his fiancee have been planning to get married for some time, but recently moved everything up to this Sunday. This may or may not have to do with the aforementioned visit. I don't know and I don't want to know. Family is coming from out-of-town for the wedding, forcing us to ditch our dust collections we worked so hard to obtain. Don't you just hate when that happens? If that's not exciting enough for ya, my birthday is on Friday and my cousin's is on the day of their wedding. I know this reads like a scene out of Sixteen Candles, but trust me. Despite all the craziness, no one's birthday has been forgotten. No drunk foreign exchange students will be found on the front lawn.

Finally, in the midst of all the chaos, my family upgraded to DSL. Realized in the long run it would be cheaper compared to paying from two phone lines and AOL. We are currently in the observational phase to determine whether or not we will keep it. I have to say I'm lusting over the fact I don't have to wait for web pages and downloads to take a gazillion hours to finish loading. No more waiting for someone to get offline so I can check emails. It's very streaking in the middle of Time Square liberating. Of course, while we have moved up in the technological world, others are miles ahead of us, but I don't care.

Happy Wednesday!

UPDATE: Despite not being meticulously planned and the slightly overwhelming heat, the wedding went well. My parents didn't kill each other. No battle royals. Sorry. My aunt and cousins came and went. I love them, but they're better in small doses. My brother and his wife are moved in to their new house. Just waiting for the electric to be turned on now which should be today. All is well....

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New Developments

There has been some new developments in the case of the maimed kitten. Before, we were uncertain if the victim had siblings. Its mother was recently spotted with three kittens estimated to be the same age as the victim. During an afternoon walk with her children, the mother was witnessed in an altercation with a possible suspect in her child's murder. Speculation dictates this female attempted to murder the three minors, causing their mother to come to their defense. Despite reliable witnesses coming forward, no charges have been filed by either party. Could this be the face of a murderer?

Despite recent behavior, we don't have any evidence linking her to this specific crime. The case has gone cold and has been filed away until a new lead presents itself. The killer either went through great lengths to cover their tracks or got really, really lucky. We are now facing the facts Nermal Doe may never get the justice it deserves. This investigator has decided to leave the case in capable hands of more experience detectives citing reasons of watching WAY too many episodes of Law & Order: SVU and NCIS and allowing her armchair investigation continue one more post than it should.

Good day....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Sad News

I bring to you folks some rather sad news. Seems to be a common trend for the last week. There are degrees of devastation. This may not rank high on that scale, but it’s a downer either way.

A stray cat, which has become sort of like a pet to us, had kittens recently. We thought she only had the one, but recent sightings suggest maybe there were more. Unfortunately, the one we knew of was killed. We are unsure as to who the murderer may be. The investigation is on going and there are a couple of suspects: one of our dogs and a visiting opossum. The dogs aren’t talking. We haven’t had any luck locating the opossum.

An autopsy could have provided some answers. However, we weren’t equipped to perform such a procedure nor did we have the right expert on the payroll. Instead, we released the body to the family. His mother and alleged brothers and sisters decided we should do the honors of playing a funeral. I will keep you updated if we ever have a suspect in custody though it’s unlikely one will ever be determined.

Hopefully, this little guy is at peace.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

RIP Jamie Eyberg

All fun and games must be put aside. Some tragic news has been making its rounds the past couple of days. Jamie Eyberg and his wife Ann died after being exposed to an unknown gas.

This is the kind of news that you have to read a few times before your brain fully understands what it's saying. Unfortunately, I can't go on and on how great Jamie was as a person and a writer. I knew of him but had very limited interaction. What I've learned from others, it sounds like he was a great guy. You know the type that makes you feel honored to have rubbed elbows with him even if it was only once. Just so sad.

Aaron Polson is kindly dedicating the first print issue of 52 Stitches to Jamie and the profits will go in to a memorial fund for their kids Brendan and Kennedy.

He will be missed....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shroud Issue #9

Shroud Magazine Issue #9 Summer 2010 is off to the printers. I would like to say my story is among those chosen for it but unfortunately, it's still sitting in limbo (okay...this is the last time you'll hear me whine about this until I get the official yay or nay from them. I promise. Really, I mean it. I swear on the chicken nuggets.)

In the meantime, we must commence in the standard oohing and aahing of this publishing gem which includes stories, columns and interviews from the Brothers' May, Lon Prater, Robert Canipe, Marie Brennan, Alethea Contis, I. E. Lester, Debbie Kuhn, and Ty Schwamberger while the ritual sacrifice and chants are being prepared in its honor.

Or if you can bypass all the fuss and just head on over to Shroud's website and pre-order yourself a copy for $6.99. I'm sure the Gods won't be too angry with your lack of patience.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Dark Day

Friday The 13th

I couldn't escape posting on Friday the 13th. I tried hiding under the bed, but the boogeyman pushed me out. Michael Myers is hogging the closet. So, I'm left here exposed to all the bad elements. I have a bulls-eye painted on my back thanks to my thirteen-letter name. Why must I be cursed? Anyway, enjoy the deliciously devious bunny and stay away from black cats, mirrors, ladders, the number thirteen, ambulances, birds in houses, lighting three cigarettes with the same match, cracks in sidewalks, crows, cutting your fingernails, stabbing knitting needles in yarn, and closing pocket knives. Happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Getting Back on Track

As you can see, today's post is not "WIP Wednesday" related. Not really working on anything. Therefore, nothing to report. But I am trying to get back on track with editing. I have a freshly printed copy of "The Boy in the Book" cluttered with several Post-Its full of notes. I also Printed out a copy of "The Phantom House". Published only once but desperately needing a rewrite or it's being tossed in to the pit of lost stories.

In other news, Cate Gardner's newest short story collection, Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits is available for pre-order ($1.99 off the cover price if you do it now). In celebration, she's holding a contest. Onipar a.k.a. Anthony J. Rapino decided I was among the lucky ones to be dubbed strange. Now, it's my turn to bestow this honor on to seven others, but first, the rules:

The 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits' award is given to only the strangest of folk, and as the recipient of such you are deemed very strange indeed. Congratulations.

Now you must go forth and celebrate the strangeness of friends (and strangers - strangers are always allowed) by nominating blogs run by strange folk. *Beware, some people don't like you to refer to them as strange…Try to avoid them if possible.

Some rules:

1. Add the logo of the award to your blog post.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (don't mess with strange people).
3. Nominate seven other blogs telling us why you think the recipient is strange enough to deserve the award.
4. Leave a message for those nominated on their blogs.
5. And, if you email catephoenix(at)gmail(dot)com and tell her you've received the award for your strangeness, she'll enter you in the biggest kick-ass Strange Men competition ever. Details over at (click on the award link on the home page)

1. Leah at Daily Piglet wants to be a mermaid. What's not strange about that?

2. Courtney at Haunt Jaunts I believe our two minds think alike.

3. John at Season of Shadows is all about Halloween all the time.

4. AutumnForest at Ghost Hunting Theories - what can I say about her? She's just that cool or in this case strange. ;)

5. Julie at Above the Norm - can't talk about one without the other. Her and autumnforest are two of a kind.

6. Kristi at Random daily thoughts... cuz she's alive!!!! oh and she's taking x-ray photos of her books.

7. Susie at Ghostposts - currently reading her book Dragon Creed. One can only be strange to come up with a story about a boy turning in to a dragon. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Apologies With Video

I would like to apologize for my insanity on Friday with a couple of videos:

Stupid Girls (Only in Hollywood) By: Saving Abel. I'm not a huge Saving Abel fan but I've come to LOVE this song.

I love spoof movies. They're so hilarious. When I heard about Vampires Suck, I thought it would be spoofing all the latest vampire movies/TV shows, but it seems Twilight is the favorite once again. Doesn't matter. If the movie is anything like the trailer, it's going to be a must see.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Banging My Head

I was doing so well with the whole waiting thing. Twelve submissions this year so far. Almost doubles my record for 2009. And yet I find myself banging my head on the wall, creating concussions and all that for only one. I was given a tiny bit of hope for good news and a month or so later, I'm still waiting. Doesn't help when you're reading about others receiving their acceptance or rejection letters from the same magazine. And I'm still waiting. Waiting....waiting....waiting. I hate this part.

Would have been better if they hadn't put that damn false hope in my head. I know what you're saying. They're busy reading hundreds of submissions. Be patient. No news is good news. Yada yada yada. I know the script but the movie still sucks.

In the meantime, I'm dumping my Nano blog from last year, Sinister Tales. I tend to worry about those who follow dormant blogs. Mine hasn't been active for almost a year and yet still managed to get 10 followers. Thanks for the support...I think. If you want to read the excerpts of my Nano project, you have til the end of the weekend to do so.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Recognized

I don't have anything to report. I'm beginning to think these weekly updates are pretty useless since I'm just a lazy sack of taters.

I did get an email from the the International Blogging Recognition Council. Somebody referred my blog to them. They reviewed my "I Told You So" post and decided my little slice of the internet world was deserving to be a “Recognized Blog”. I don't know if that's a bad or good thing. The psychotic bunnies may be trying to trick me in to believing I'm actually special. They're diabolical that way. Never trust a cutesy animal.

Monday, August 02, 2010

A Letter

Dear Fellow Book Lovers,

I thank you for sharing your love for books with me. I always enjoy learning of new authors and books. However, at this time, my "To-Read" pile is starting to remind me of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Unlike this infamous structure, these Jenga blocks won't hold out much longer. Could we please hold out on any new additions until next year. I was never voted "Most Likely to Read a 100 Books within a Year" in high school for a reason.

Thank you for your time.



P.S. Oh, who am I kidding? MUST HAVE THE PRECIOUS!! Tell the hobbits to stop stealing it from us!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Stewie Rocks!

The lack of posts equal the lack of drama and productivity. My sincerest apologies. Okay, so they're not so sincere but I know there is a "sorry" in there somewhere. I did update my website a little. "Tornado Luck" was retired to the "Free Stories" section. May not be written to perfection but it's one of my favorites from my Contemporary days.

I'm also an official member of Goodreads. Received my author status thanks to a little anthology entitled A Medley of Fiction. I've only seen my name in print twice but it still makes me all giddy. You can find my ugly mug at

And for your viewing pleasure, this is Stewie with his version of Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do it For You. Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Told You So

I knew all that good luck would go on vacation with the polar bears. I'm hating this week already and it's only Monday.

First, our computer phone line died. A call was made to the phone company and their response stated we may not get it back until Wednesday. Thankfully that wasn't the case.

Second, I've been expecting several packages in the mail. Never really had a huge problem with mail getting here in a timely matter. Someone new must be working at the post office because I've gotten nada. Been waiting a few weeks for some and has yet to show. I swear one day all the mail and packages I was suppose to get will miraculously appear on my front door step. It'll be a happy day. I may even smile.

Last, it seems I may have to send in a withdraw to Apollo's Lyre. Been waiting for over two months for a response to my submission. Sent in a query. A whole lotta nothing in return. I hate when editors feel the need to not even send you a courteous email to say they are backed up or just don't care in general. After I do the honors, I'll have only one submission in limbo. *sigh* I started the year out so well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Supernatural News

It's time for some Supernatural News. All of the guys have signed on for the new season, including Cas and Bobby. They've already started filming at the beginning of this month and started with the fourth episode. Why? Because the fabulous Jensen Ackles is directing it!!! In this episode, Bobby takes center stage. We'll get to see what he's made of as a leading man.

I have to admit I like the move from Thursday nights to Fridays. Thursdays are grocery night here. I don't have DVR and always managed to miss parts of the show. Thanks to reruns I can catch up on what I missed. Don't know if the move is good for the show in general. Hopefully, it won't lose viewers.

Season six premieres on September 24th!! Totally can't wait! Obsessively counting down the days.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grinding My Gears...Again

I don't have anything to report on the writing front. So I'm grinding my gears instead.

You know what grinds my gears? Commas. I'm good with any other punctuation. Commas make me feel funny and self conscious. I don't like it. Why does everything have to be separate? I thought we all were suppose to be getting along? Words can't live in harmony either? Commas are obviously nothing but periods with fancy tails. Trying to be like "q". I think they are in cahoots. They're planning something and the government needs to get on this before they go on some killing rampage. I think we need to start a petition or a mob. Whichever floats your boat. Commandeer Doc Brown's Choo-Choo Train time machine and send them both to the 1800s. Keep the riff-raff out of our time period.

Back to you Diane...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where's Some Tissue

I sent my little goodbye letter to the other writers of Write Anything. They have big plans for the website but it's time for me to let that go. I hate goodbyes. It's like writing "The End" on your favorite story. You fall in love and then force finality on it.

My last post won't be for a few months (I think). I have plenty of time to prepare myself for the goodbye. It's just sad times...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Drama Drama

Apparently, I have a gift in creating drama without even trying. I wrote a post on Write Anything (or rather recycled one of my old ones) about why the space between sentences rule was changed. Just a little FYI to share with the masses and somehow that pissed someone off. Left several comments about why I'm terrible writer and why the other writers at Write Anything should ditch me. Sadly, it's not the first time (don't know if the same person left all the harsh comments).

I'm not taking it to heart. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. This person decided to make theirs very loud and clear. The fact they're hiding behind an anonymous name like "censorship" shows a lot about them, but whatever. On to better news...

Received another book today. Horror Yearbook had a contest a few weeks ago. They were giving away five copies of The Strain by: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I was one of the lucky people to win a copy, but then again, only two or three people entered. The odds were in my favor on this one.

Didn't care for the UPS guy/girl leaving the package on top of our car that's sitting out in the rain. I mean we have two in a carport. This was supposedly done because no one was home. Well guess what UPS guy/girl? We were home! Thank goodness the book didn't get drenched. I guess he/she just didn't want to tangle with our new little snaky friend hiding out in our pond. Where's Billy the Exterminator when you need him?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Third Times a Charm

So, I was right. These things do come in threes. I entered a giveaway hosted by Jessica from Ghost Stories and Haunted Places. My prize includes a hardcover copy of The Thirteenth Tale by: Diane Setterfield and a couple short stories by Lovecraft.

However, my luck doesn't seem to translate to writing. I also entered Autumn Forest's short story contest at Ghost Hunting Theories and didn't even get an honorable mention although I can kind of understand from reading those who did win. Anyways, below is the story excerpt I submitted. You can read it, love it, hate it, bang your head against your computer screen to avoid it....whatever you choose.

Final Footprint

Matt Gilmore stepped out in to the gloomy morning. The air weighed on his shoulders with sour notions of a former life. The transformation showed its grotesque demure that night with the last drop of death. Violent tremors took over as the final mutation settled within his bones. One week after swallowing the poison, his heart pounded its last beat.

He walked across the green lawn, each step more difficult than the last. Images of his transformation remained fresh in his mind. He continued to walk. Matt made the phone call to The Center. One week. He was stuck with himself for one week. Hunger slowly crept up within him but kept walking until two white marble headstones came into view. Matt collapsed before the dirt mounds. He would wait alongside the wife and daughter stolen from his life with the soul ripped from his chest trapped in the white Victorian, shadowing his grief.

He dug his pale hands into fresh dirt. Memories of their smiling faces flashed in his mind, blinding him to the intruder’s approach. Whispers filled his ears. A chilled breeze whipped past him, consuming his mind with familiar emotions. Soon such a feeling would be absent to him completely. All thought and reason would drain from his existence, but on this day, he fed his sorrow as he waited to be recruited.

Another ambush of whispers and giggles sailed through him, slightly more recognizable than the first. However, the third wave opened his eyes to the truth. The barrier didn’t hold; his humanity now roamed free to inflict its rage on whomever it chose. A moment of panic passed by as he turned to his former home. A hand lightly grasped his shoulder, spinning his stiff body to face his adversary. The air appeared as vacant of life as before. Another light tap on his shoulder forced an additional one-eighty. His body temperature dropped a few more degrees. His stomach rumbled. Memories began to melt away.

Golden leaves scattered to a distant freedom with no natural aid. Soil shifted under his fingers. Matt spotted movement escaping from his eyesight from one side to the other, circling its prey. Isolating him in his final hours of sanity. Spirits were always great weapons for psychological warfare. His specter would be a great asset to any army, but could he survive the part of himself determined to destroy its final physical footprint in the world.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WIP Wednesday – On a Roll

For the first time in months, I have been writing. Only a few hundred words but its a start. Thanks to Autumn Forest’s contest I actually felt inspired to write. Even if I don’t finish before the deadline I’m glad I have something on paper.

The story doesn’t have a title yet but it’s about a guy who lost his wife and child due to an undisclosed cause. He takes this poison to make himself a zombie to join a big zombie army. While he waits for the transformation to finish and for the head honchos to pick him up, his soul starts to haunt him. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten.

As of today, I won another contest. My prize? The Crazies remake on DVD from Twisted Central! This is the second contest I’ve won in the past three weeks. These things come in threes right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Moving on to 3rd Round

I finished the 2nd round of edits. This was dedicated to suggestions made by my fellow writers who were kind enough to critique "The Boy in the Book". Still don't like the title but haven't thought of a different one yet. Story will be put through another round of torture before being released to the sharks.

Only a few hundred pages away from finished Stephen King's Under the Dome. Got the book for Christmas. Figured why not give it a try. I have to admit so far it's pretty good. Managed to get a rise out of me once or twice. Totally rare. Kind of think the whole alien aspect of it wasn't totally needed. If Big Jim Rennie was the guy behind the dome, I could totally buy that. Get some foreign scientists to do a sold for him. A guy like that would have figured a way to make it happen. Then blamed it on God.

Here's hoping the ending isn't as predictable as some have claimed. (Yes, I've peeked a couple of times. Such a bad compulsion)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Still Being Considered

Hi there!

I just wanted to let you know that we narrowed your story submission down to the next phase of our acceptance process. While there is no guarantee that we will be able to ultimately accept it, we are interested in reading it again and giving it additional consideration.

However, this means that it may take longer before we offer a response, OR, it may not be selected for publication. If you'd prefer that we release it immediately, please let us know.

Thank you so much for your patience. I understand how stressful this process can be. If your story is selected for publication elsewhere in the meantime, please notify us

Tim Deal

I know this isn't a guaranteed acceptance, but I'm a tad excited "Sealed With Anguish" didn't automatically get the axe as it has in the past. Now, I go back to crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Break from Normal

We now take a break from the nonexistent regular posts here at Southern Writemares for a picture of a pregnant dog:

This cutie is our neighbors dachshund named Cocoa. She's not a happy camper not that I can blame her.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not so Short Rejection

Dear Andrea:

I want to extend my sincere thanks for your recent submission to the newly launched Short Story America website. Our mission and survival depend on people like you being willing to trust us with your creative efforts and supporting other authors by becoming part of our reading membership. You were one of the first people to discover this new resource, and we are so pleased to have you join us!

Writing is a very difficult and intensely personal undertaking and submitting a piece for publication can be agonizing. Understanding this so well is what makes it difficult for us to have to choose only certain stories and have to turn others down. Unfortunately, your submission Tornado Luck is not something our team feels we can publish at this time. However, we encourage you to continue to submit Tornado Luck for publication elsewhere, as each publishing team looks for something different, and we certainly encourage you to continue writing and to submit to Short Story America again.

We hope that you will remain a part of our community by being an active member at our site and we look forward to your contributions on the discussion forums and to future submissions of stories. Thank you again for your interest in Short Story America.

Most Sincerely,

Sarah Turocy
Short Story America

Going to submit this piece to another publication (if I can find one). One more rejection and its being retired to the website. It's had a good run.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WIP Wednesday - The Reveal

Still in the process of editing "The Boy in the Book" (not in love with the title, by the way). Second run through is dedicated to changes by outsider feedback. The third will be my own personal touches. Thrilled to have received a lot of positive comments. I was so sure it would get the "excessive bleeding" treatment.

If you haven't checked out my sidebar (which you so should), Autumnforest at Ghost Hunting Theories is having a short story contest. The prompt caught my eye, enough to make me want to pick up a pen and write something. In case you're wondering, the theme is: what if a zombie's soul haunted him. Interesting, right?

Now for the reveal some of you have been waiting a week for. John at Season of Shadows hosted a little giveaway recently. I was one of the lucky winners. WooHoo!!! The prize? Zombie blood! Green zombie blood! Now I have the secret ingredient to clone my very own zombie army. If only I could remember what I did with my stupid laboratory. I never can find it when I need it the most. Grrr...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Clue

I received the super secret object a couple of days ago. Before I reveal its identity, I leave you with yet another clue. Since I'm so great it will be a combination of two separate ones. This object is green and may help sustain life.

Love to know what you think it is...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Golden Moment

Not much really going on in the writing department. Still waiting to hear from three magazines. However, I do have a bit of good news to report. Not so much with writing obviously but good news nonetheless.

But I'm not going to tell you yet. The official announcement hasn't been made yet. I'm going to make you wait until the point you want to claw your eyes out before making the big reveal. It isn't anything majorly huge but since its the only good news I have, I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.

I'll leave you with one tiny clue. I'm dragging out my mad scientist lab coat just for this. You do the math.

Never realized how gender biased the mad scientist profession was until now. This must change...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Grinding my Gears

Following in the footsteps of the infamous Peter Griffin, you know what grinds my gears? People who put a ton of graphics on their blogs. I like your blog. At times I become infatuated with it to the point I touch its hair when its unaware and run away in humiliation when it catches me. But I'm not going to stick around if I have to wait three hours to confess my undying love via a poem recited in front of the whole class. I'd rather move on to the next unexpected Then, you'll be kicking yourself because I didn't choose you to lock in my basement to be worshiped and scowled for all eternity. You may not think so now but one day you will. One day I'll be all famous on the news and you'll be sorry. Yep, just you wait and see. Seriously people, take a hint from the 1800s and dial down the graphics.

Back to you Diane...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Alterations to the Zombie Battlefield

I believe the zombies stole it when I wasn't looking and played a few rounds of soccer. Gave me time to do some thinking. I've been writing for Write Anything for about three years now. Great group of writers. Don't regret a day of it. However, I feel burnt out on advice. Completely hollow. Even the zombies are starting to avoid me just as we were becoming best pals (that is until they need a play thing). I've been thinking about leaving the line up. Let someone with a little more perky to take over the Thursday column. I think it need something I can't give, at least not now.

I've also been contemplating moving my author website to here. Haven't had many publications with it listed in my bio. I don't predict it to be a huge problem. I mean it's not like I have Romero status or anything. I rarely log in to Webs to tweak it and I'm here pretty much everyday. May be easier to maintain. The zombies are bugging me for their ball. Going to take this time to really give it some thought.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Whirling By

Since I missed WIP Wednesday, here are my updates. I finished the revisions on "Sealed With Anguish" and didn't need 28 Days Later... to do it. Woot! I believe the story is better. Wasn't too sure about the ending. Had to read it a few hundred times before letting go. Submitted the story to Shroud. So, fingers crossed. "The Boy in the Book" is next on my hit list. Already received feedback on it and ready to dive on in. Have the time since the Gremlins have gone dormant....for now.

I also received my review copy of The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb. Still have another book to review before I can get to this one, but looks like it should be an interesting read. I think I'm going to put Twilight aside for now, but will finish it whenever.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yeah I'm Reading Twilight

God help me I started reading Twilight during the power outage. I can see why some people say it's poorly written. I'm like 100 in to this 500-page book (I would hate to know how long the 1st draft was). It tends to drag on and on. A good story but damn. I don't like to be talked at. I kept flashing on that one Family Guy episode where it cuts away briefly to Peter narrating his life. He pisses off Lois and she knocks him out for a couple of hours. I'm contemplating on whether or not to finish it. Even more so on reading New Moon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WIP Wednesday - The Gremlins Did It

Usually this would be the day I report how productive I've been all week. Of course I wrote three new stories; banked up a nice little word count. Read and wrote two book reviews. Spent some quality time with my short stories and a red pen. Even did a little Irish jig to celebrate all my hard work.

Very, very, very little of it is actually true. I blame it on the gremlins. Our house is infested with them...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Zombie Awareness Month

We interrupt this stream of zilch, nada nothingness for this announcement. May is Zombie Awareness Month. Did you know that? If not, you do now. According to the Zombie Research Society, "...Spring naturally brings with it a sense of renewal and hopefulness, May is the perfect month to emphasize continued vigilance in the face of the coming zombie pandemic." So, ladies and gentlemen, proudly wear your gray ribbons proudly and support our walking dead brethren.

If that's not enough of an enticement, ZRS is having daily giveaways on their blog; shirts, training packs, games, books have been given away so far. Drop by for future prizes.

You now may return to the screaming, panicky running and hiding if you so choose to.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Not Panicked

I know the previous post may have come off a little panicky. I'm here to say there's nothing wrong with being weird. I guess it helps to have it in the genes. I would probably be writing romances if my childhood was all normal and what not. The pressure is on to finish editing "Sealed With Anguish". Doesn't help that every word in the 2nd or perhaps the 3rd draft is being replaced. I anticipated a change here or there and will finish with an almost entirely new story. But that's how it works right?

Finished one book review last week and was contacted for another. I want to get these finished in a timely manner but I need the week off. I'm seeing periods, commas and misspelled words in my sleep and for once it's not because of my sloppy work.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

28 Days Later...

G4 has been rerunning 28 Days Later... off and on for the last couple of weeks. I swear I don't get the urge to edit unless that movie is on. I don't know why. Other horror movies have popped up on TV here and there. I watched Bug from beginning to end (first time ever). Had the story sitting right in front me along with a red pen and didn't pick it up once. 28 Days Later appears with zombies and killer chimps and I can't put it down. I'm getting weirder by the day and I'm not sure it's a good thing. I want to embrace the weird but it's coming off a little diva. Before you know it I'll be aiming my cell phone for a little target practice. I don't see anyone appreciating that.

Oh, BTW, Stephen King is set to appear on the third episode of Sons of Anarchy, airing sometime in September. I haven't seen anything further than episode previews of that show; it seems pretty intense. I wonder what character SK will be playing. I kind of liked it better when he was doing the Where's Waldo thing in the movie adaptations of his books/stories.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Chopping Away

Haven't been writing. But have dove right in to editing "Sealed With Anguish". As I re-read it for the trillionth time, I started to see where the "whimsical" comment came from. It sort of does read like something out of the Wizard of Oz which wasn't my intentions.

The vampire merchant with a heart-of-gold (or lack there of) has been turned to someone a bit more resentful. Ghosts are in the White House, ruling the world. Cannibals are on the verge of being on dinner plates themselves. The merchant's wife was given a none speaking part. The rest will be fairly the same. A little excerpt for you fine people:


As the two men discussed the usual neighborhood gossip, Sonja disappeared in to the storeroom. “I did hear about the new member of our community,” Declan confirmed. “Just because he chooses not to attend our annual block party doesn’t mean he hates us. Maybe he has a good reason. I mean, is it really our place to force newcomers to participate in our activities if they don’t want to?”

“My, my Declan. You are getting soft in your old age. I do not agree with having THOSE kinds of people in our neighborhood but as long as we are allowing them to be here, they could at least be hospitable.”

“Those kinds of people? They’re not the most sanitized bunch but werewolves are hardly troublemakers,” he said.

“You must be joking. Howling all hours of the night, shedding their fur everywhere and that is not even the worst of it,” Mr. Nos said. “Our neighborhood would be better off without THOSE people.”

“Oh, I’m certain there’s a lot of exaggeration in all of that talk, Mr. Nos. People will speculate, don’t you agree?”

“Speculate about what?” Mrs. Adaire asked, placing the item on the counter.


Declan rolled his eyes, washing away his suggestion. "I heard about the new members of our community," he said, changing the subject. "I don't know why everyone is so worked up about it. Just because they choose not to attend our annual block party doesn't mean they hate us. Maybe they have a good reason."

"My, my Declan. You are getting soft in your old age. Having THOSE kinds of people in our neighborhood brings down property values but as long as we are allowing them to live here, they could at lease show their appreciation."

"THOSE kinds of people? I agree they're not the most sanitary bunch but werewolves are hardly troublemakers," he said, kicking himself for even bringing up the subject.

"Is that mockery I hear? They howl throughout the twilight, their fur coats every surface and lets not forget their destructive nature," Mr. Nos said, anger singed each word. "Our neighborhood would be better off without THOSE ghastly things."

Declan admired his talent for spewing his disgust. One taste increased one's chances of being infected. Yet Declan continued to encourage the manic. On good days, he found himself humored by talks of flaking paint and loud children. However, not much made him smile anymore. "I can't believe you to be so gullible to buy in to all the rumors. We don't know anything about them to pass such judgment."

Better? Worse? Approximately the same?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Follower Obsession

When did this whole blog following thing become an obsession? As of late, I've seen dozens of people holding contests to celebrate their following numbers. The obsession is like contagious. I don't recall bloggers getting overly excited about their counter stats. But ever since this following feature was implemented, it's non stop. What happened to the bloggers who didn't care how many people were reading posts?

This isn't to say I don't appreciate 21 people signing up to see what my next ramblings will be. But I'm not getting my panties in a bunch because the number isn't in the 600 range. I am curious how the whole idea came about; to turn blogs in to like mini-cults. Counter stats and RSS feeds aren't enough. We need a feature to display the cult-like following some blogs have with readers soaking in their every word as gospel.

If you want to celebrate your reader status, by all means, do so, but I just think it isn't anything to whine about if your follower numbers aren't in the thousands after a few short months. The obsession is kind of scary. You don't think there is some virtual zombie bug going around, do you?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Coming Out of Hibernation

Still haven't dove in to writing but I may not be for a little while. I've yanked out my trusty notebook and jotted down several ideas. Anyone of them are capable of growing big and strong in to a gruesome piece of art. However, upon trying to get organized for the umpteenth time, I noticed the twenty other stories chilling in their hyperbaric chambers; the ones I haven't touched in a couple of years. So, I'm trying to put my concentration on them.

I'm starting with "Sealed with Anguish" since that was the first project I committed to. Then, I'm switching to "The Boy in the Book". I wrote this story for a contest. Participants had to pick a fairytale and put their own spin to it. So, I chose "Spirit in the Bottle". I changed the bottle to a book and the woods to a bookstore. It didn't win and now that I've re-read it, I see why. There's very little of the story I still like. It's going in for some major word surgery. Then, it'll be "Blackbird Paranormal Society"; a Nano story that will also be receiving quite a bit of word surgery.

Somewhere in between all the cutting and sewing, I have to fit in reading. I finished one review (you can read it here) and began reading the next book. I also received another request for a book review. I'm happy some people are putting their trust in me to give my honest opinion about their work but I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed; especially since I'm also falling behind on Ghost Stories posts. One bloody stumpy step at a time...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dances With Doubt

Ever feel like you're always a mile behind everyone else? After eight years, I thought I would be at a certain place by now. Hobnobbing with fangs and fur in majestic balls. That kind of thing. Every time I read a book or article on writing, it seems I shouldn't be getting more rejections than acceptances; Instead, a healthy dose of both. One Brian Keene article and a serious Robin Williams movie and I'm left wondering what the hell did I get myself in to. Okay....maybe not so much. But you get what I'm saying right?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Setting It Aside

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for the opportunity to read "Sealed With Anguish". Unfortunately, your story isn't quite what we're looking for right now. Each month, we receive hundreds of submissions and while I may like many of them, I can only publish twelve of them per year.

In the past, we've provided detailed feedback on our rejections, but I'm afraid that due to time considerations, we're no longer able to offer that service. I appreciate your interest in Clarkesworld Magazine and hope that you'll keep us in mind in the future.

Take care,

Neil Clarke
Clarkesworld Magazine

For those keeping count, this makes rejection number five for this story. I'm going to tweak it a bit before sending it out to anyone else. After another quick look over, I realized it comes off a little too contemporary and not enough horror. So, will see...

Constant Contest

Simon C. Larter over at Constant Revision is hosting "The Most Epic Contest in the History of the Blogosphere" for reaching 250 followers. He is offering a plethora of ways to enter: comment, tweet, blog, ransom note. You can also write either a poem or flash fiction 1,000 words or less, using two or all of the prompts provided. Each ups your chances to win one of a variety of prizes including being immortalized in fiction or sonnet, a bottle of vodka, books or gift certificate.

Deadline is May 8th. For more guidelines visit his blog at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Make the Novels go Away

I've written short stories most of my so called writing career. Why...because novels scare the hell out of me. I read constantly. I don't know how some writers manage to plant the Easter eggs throughout an entire book to keep the plot fresh. Unfold everything at the right time so the reader stays interested in finding what happens next.

I attempted to write a novel once. Managed to get to chapter three and became bored with it. I think that's one of my main problems. I'm afraid I'll get bored with the story before even finishing it. I've heard of writers who start writing a novel and it takes them the span of decades to complete it. I don't want to be one of those writers. I've thought about trying my hand at a short story collection, but I want to be at a place where I'm getting more acceptance letters in my inbox instead of rejections. Or perhaps an even amount of both. Just a better paradise than I'm in right now.

Whimsical Rejection

Dear Andrea Allison

Thank you for sending us "Sealed With Anguish". I've reviewed the story and decided not to purchase it. It's well written but, I feel, a little too whimsical in its conception of a monster community (if not in it's actual "deal with the devil" type plot). You may want to consider submitting it to our sister podcast, Podcastle, which deals with fantasy stories (we do not share submissions).

Thanks for submitting, and I hope my comments have been at least a tiny bit helpful.

Shawn Garrett
PSEUDOPOD - The Horror Podcast Magazine

Whimsical? Really?
Hmm....okay, I guess.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding the Right Market

I started this year with the ambition to improve on the previous. Every writer has their individual process; one I’m still trying to develop. The number of submissions I sent out in 2009 equals five. Not entirely impressive by some standards. Four months in to 2010, I’ve doubled that number. But I’ve had one problem: finding the right market for one of my short stories.

With some short stories, you have the market in mind while in the process of writing it. Others you develop the idea with hope you’ll find it a good home or two. In 2008, I finished a course with Long Ridge Writers Group. My final assignment was to write a short story. I wrote it in a supernatural setting with a satirical overtone. I figured the supernatural elements made it horror automatically. A year, two or three revisions and four submissions later, I’m still trying to find the right market.

The last rejection, and the only personal one for this story, suggested it was more drama than horror. I understand this is the opinion of one person versus the several who critiqued it prior to any submissions. Truth is I wasn’t quite sure where to submit this story. Thus, leaving me with a dilemma: continue to find the right market for it or consider changing some elements of the plot. A decision I will make after receiving a response from the last market I sent it to.

Finding the right magazine/anthology for your short stories may not always be easy. Knowing the market including what they have published in the past will help to find your story a home. Sometimes the opportunity has to be created by you where none can be found.

Courtesy of Write Anything. Check out my posts every Thursday and for this month [Fiction] Friday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday – Read Read Read

I admit I haven’t been writing as much as I should (deserve a few finger slaps for that). But my valuable time has not been wasted. Been slacking off on writing but keeping up with my reading duties. I’m almost halfway through the first ebook on my agenda, taking notes along the way. Not to give too much away prior to my review, the plot isn’t so boring I want to delete it from my computer, but whoever edited this thing (if it ever made it into an editors hands) did not do a thorough job. I can deal with a few mistakes. We’re all human and can’t find them all. However, some of what I’ve come across are not-so-hard-to-find slip ups. I know I’m not highly experienced in the writing field as my publishing credits reflect, but if I see them then an average reader will too.

I also finished the second print issue of Necrotic Tissue. A lot of fine stories printed in it. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a clown the same way again much less a dentist. And having sex with zombies doesn’t sound all that appealing. All of which makes for a good read. Definitely will be buying a subscription whenever I can scrape up some money. Will be moving on to Shock Totem next.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Inheriting the Old

I hate inheriting someone's hand-me-downs. During my absence last week, my computer decided it was time to visit electronic heaven. The new used power supply my step-dad put in it a few weeks ago gave out. So, instead of replacing it yet again, he slaved my old hard drive into a new used computer (look at me speaking all techie!).

Then comes the tedious work of sorting through all the files on the original hard drive. If you're going to switch computers, couldn't you at least....I don't know.....go through all the files on your old computer and delete any you have saved on disk or don't need anymore. It saves time from someone else having to do it. This is what I spent my weekend doing along with a little laundry. Isn't my life grand....

Friday, April 09, 2010

Didn't Get It

So after three days of coughing, sneezing, and other gross elements I will not discuss here, I come back to this lovely jewel waiting in my inbox:

We at Necrotic Tissue received your submission: "Sealed With Anguish". After considered review by our editorial staff we have decided not to publish your story.

You're a strong writer, and I really enjoyed the story, but there was one problem I had with it. Keep in mind I'm one editor, and another editor may love this piece.

While there were horrific elements in the story, it is not the type of horror we look for at Necrotic Tissue. Deadly amounts of silver were placed in some samples, but it's not clear if this was intentional or an accident. For that reason, I would consider this to be a drama piece instead of horror.

Please also take a few minutes and log our response time at We work hard to respond to writers in a timely manner, which allows them to submit again to another market if not selected for publication. Reporting response times helps us attract writers and helps writers make good decisions about where they want to submit.

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First of all, I thank the editorial staff at Necrotic Tissue Magazine for sending me feedback with my rejection. It's quite refreshing after the numerous form rejects. However, I don't think they got what the story was about. It was implied how the deadly amounts of silver got to the kid. Everyone who crit this piece seemed to get it. I don't know. This is the fourth rejection for this story. Maybe I'm not submitting it to the right markets. Will see what Pseudopod has to say.