Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blah Blah Blah

Thank you for your recent submission to Shock Totem.
Sadly, we regret to inform you that we are declining acceptance at this time. Good luck in placing this submission elsewhere.
The Shock Totem Team

I swear I should do some kind of collage using all the rejection letters I've received and then sacrifice them by fire to the Gods. Maybe I can squeeze a little good luck out of it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Clicks

A couple of weeks ago, I shared one of my wonderful rejections with the forum members of Absolute Write. One of their responses got me thinking. How many magazines/ezines favor one or more writers over all others?

How many times have you read issues of a magazine you plan to submit to and find they publish work by the same writers? Is it because they produce better stories/poems? Or is there a sense of favoritism? This isn't a new issue among workplaces. One of the processes of writing is submitting you work to one or more editors. It is because of their expertise and/or opinion that deems your story/poem right for their publication. So, is writing exempt from favoritism?

I never thought I would ever knowingly be involved with such a thing. That was before I was updating my website. I noticed something quite interesting while reorganizing my publication credits. The first time I received a taste of publishing gold was in 2005. Most of what I achieved during that year was centered around the writing friends I had made. I had stories win small writing website contests judged by them. My first publication was accepted by a ezine run by one of them. Several of my first credits came from them. Is it because they knew me and was willing to publish my work over a writer they hadn't heard of? Is it because my writing was better than some of the submissions they received? I can honestly say probably not.

I don't know if my small success in 2005 had anything to do with favoritism. I may never know. Do you think favoritism exists among the writing world?

Courtesy of Write Anything

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Silver Room

I've seen other writers participating in this and decided to join in the fun. Lord knows I'm always a work in progress.

Currently, I've only been working on one story. The deadline is Monday and I'm only a few thousand words in. I'm hoping to have it finished by Friday. Leaving Saturday, Sunday and even Monday for edits. I've known about this for a month. Had expectations I would "plan ahead". Apparently, I fooled myself once again.

The theme is Pandora's Box. If anyone knows anything about Pandora, it was a jar not a box but whatever. I decided to implement the seven deadly sins, matching them with folklore creatures. Since I've been hearing so much about the infamous Amber Room as of late, I tossed that in the story as well, changing Amber to Silver. My main worry is the storyline becoming too confusing with all the characters. There are eight in total: seven sins plus one hope.

What do you think? Too many?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pulling Out my Hair

For the umpteenth time, I'm having computer problems. We've discussed the situation and it's hell bent on boycotting me. I cringe everytime we have a spat because that means I'm without it for weeks. I love having a techie in the family. However, he's so busy with everything else which usually leaves me in the lurch. I go through withdrawals. Curl up in a ball in a corner, rocking back and forth. It's not a pretty sight.

I've decided to buy a new computer. I've never owned a brand new one before much less spent this much money in one setting. So, I'm a little freaking out. I did my homework. Found a laptop I like. I read reviews (all glowing). I made sure all the features fit my needs (and they do and then some). I even read a few articles about what features a laptop should have to satisfy a writer's needs (and it does). I have just enough money to buy it and it's a good investment. God is throwing me a bone here and yet I still feel anxious.

Someone please talk me off the ledge!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Bloody Bloggers Awards

The League of Tana Tea Drinkers supports all things horror. Currently, they are looking for nominees for the 2010 Bloody Bloggers Awards. You can't exactly nominate yourself or anyone else. Only members of the LOTTD can recommend nominees. However, to be consider for recommendation, you can email John Conzzoli with your blog information, link and categories (your blog can appear in more than one) you wish to be nominated in.

There are 13:
  • Best All-Around Horror Blog (includes blogs that cover a range of horror-related topics)
  • Best Horror Sub-Genre Blog (includes genre-specific blogs like slasher, gore, zombie, etc)
  • Best Horror Author Blog (includes blogs written by authors)
  • Best Horror Art Blog (includes graphic designers/artists of horror, and coverage of horror-centric illustration and photography)
  • Best Spooky Blog (includes blogs with a Halloween-centric or paranormal (ghost/folklore) scope)
  • Best Queer Horror Blog (includes blogs with a homosexual-centric approach to covering horror)
  • Best Classic Horror Blog (includes blogs covering classic horror up to 1970)
  • Best Horror Comics Blog (includes blogs that are horror comic-centric in their coverage)
  • Best Feminine Perspective In Horror Blog (includes blogs with a female-centric approach in their coverage of horror)
  • Best Sounds of Horror Blog (includes blogs that focus on covering the music and sounds of horror)
  • Best Horror Podcast Blog (includes blogs which primarily podcast their horror coverage)
  • Best Monsterkid Blog (includes bloggers who express their horror passion through their experiences, and who are not necessarily movie-centric. This category also includes blogs that focus on memorabilia and toys related to horror).

Nominations will continue until the end of February. Voting by email will begin in March. For more information:

Sunday, February 14, 2010


It's no secret. I'm total Supernatural fanatic. Thus totally upset we have to wait SIX weeks for a new episode. We had to wait like two months thanks to Christmas and New Years and now another six weeks thanks to the Winter Olympics. They so love to tease us. If we are going to have to wait at least they left us with something that was hard to stomach....literally. After watching "My Bloody Valentine" I was seriously considering becoming a vegetarian.

One thing I love about Supernatural is they don't portray mythical creatures and legends like a lot of TV shows and movies do. In their world, vampires can walk in the sunlight without bursting in to flames. Dead man's blood is poisonous and they can only be killed by beheading. Salt and holy water is pretty much the best defense against anything. This fact is why I loved their spin on Famine in Thursday's episode. You hear the word and think people starving. They took it and put it in reverse. Though I have to say the ending was quite sad. I still think the gateway to hell located in Wyoming is going to play a factor in the big Final showdown.

Supernatural will be airing their 100th episode in April. I've heard not many TV shows make it to the 100th episode. So, this is a milestone for them. As for season 6, Jared and Jensen have supposedly both signed on for it but CW and the show's writers/producers are still in negotiations. There should be an official announcement made sometime this month. *fingers crossed* I know show creator Eric Kripke keeps wanting to bid it farewell. Why can't it be like ER? Supernatural is gaining more fame each season. If the ratings/viewers start to drop then end it.

BTW, if you're on Twitter and not following @mishacollins, you should be. The guy is too cool for Twitter. So hilarious!

EDIT: The announcement was made and we are privileged enough to get another season of Dean and Sam. WooHoo!!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

New Skin

I am not a football fan. Did not watch the SuperBowl yesterday but hear New Orleans won. Congrats guys!

I'm thinking about changing the blog template. The little flaming purple dudes are starting to give me a headache. I have a few possible replacements in mind. As soon as I clear up the comment issue over at Ghost Stories, I'll make a decision.

Decisions...decisions...decisions... Any more and my head will explode...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Double Shot of Rejection

Heard back from Tweet the Meat concerning the two submissions I sent a week ago. And it's a no on both counts. I actually had high hopes for one, but I guess that's what I get for having expectations. The "Good but not good enough" rejections are a bit frustrating and form letters are worse (though I understand the reason for them). I think I'm going to put off submitting to them again. Work on other stories. Anyways, here is my form letter to add to the pile:

Thanks for your submissions to Tweet the Meat!

We will not be using any of your submissions this week. We apologize for this form letter, but the sheer volume of submissions makes a personal response to each one impossible.

We would like to encourage you to submit again.

2-6 theme: Zombies

Secret theme: Free Will

2-13 theme: Were____ (wolves, bears, chihuahuas)

Secret theme: Hunters

2-20 theme: Open

Thanks again for your continued support.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Horror Plot Cliches

In the wonderful world of horror, it's easy to creep in to many done-to-death plots. I'm sure this is a problem with any genre but especially horror. It's becoming increasingly harder to develop that original idea. One that no one has ever thought of. At this point, a lot of writers are trying to put a new spin to an old idea. Below are a few done-to-death plots:

1. Main character gets eaten/dies in the end - How many times have you gone on this scary roller coaster ride with a main character just to have him die in the end. It's frustrating and sometimes insulting to a reader. No body wants to see the hero die.

2. Experiments go terribly wrong - this one was highlighted in books such as Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But why does the experiment have to go wrong. Can't it be a success for once? Playing God always comes with some kind of consequence. So, maybe the scientist should just drop the experiments.

3. Character ignores warnings - Most often it's the girl telling the guy not to do something and he does it anyways. On occasion, it's the other way around. Doing something you're not suppose to will lead to trouble. So why do it? The one second of adrenaline rush is not worth the chaos later.

4. Let's split up - This may sound like a good idea especially if there is only one killer on the rampage. Supposedly increases the odds of survival. The problem is the killer will probably know the surroundings better than the characters. It's their hunting grounds. Isolation is never good. Safe in numbers.

5. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc - When it comes to these creatures, some authors write as if the rules are set in stone. For example, vampires are often portrayed as handsome/beautiful, seductive, drinks blood, and can only be killed by stake in the heart or decapitation. Truth is there are a lot of folklore about vampires and most don't follow these rules. It's sometimes hard to change the mainstream perception of such popular mythical creatures, but writers don't stop trying.

This purpose of this article isn't to force you away from cliches. You have to recognize them in order to spin them in your favor. Which cliche are you guilty of writing about?

Courtesy of Write Anything

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Editor Wars

Yesterday, I was using the spare time I didn't have to thumb through my bookmarks, checking out any blogs I had saved. Totally realized almost every blog I use to stalk has either been neglected or disappeared all together. I probably would have tossed my blogging tendencies long ago if Ghost Stories wasn't doing so well. Yesterday, I visited Janrae Franks' blog, one I haven't read in a while, and discovered something interesting.

A couple of years ago, one of my short stories was published in N.V.H. Magazine. It was fairly new and I fully understood the possible risks. Soon after, editors David "Iron Dave" Byron and Steven Marshall parted ways. It was quite a public, nasty split via Myspace and I was one of the unfortunate authors put in the middle of it...well sort of. To be perfectly fair, Steven acted more professionally than David. I believe I still have the Myspace messages to prove it. However, I'm not posting any of them. After all the chaos died down, Steven established SNM Magazine which has quite flourished and David's online ventures have changed quite often. I think at one point it was New Voices of Fiction. Then I think it was about films, NVH Books and now NVF Horror Cafe. David is pretty much listed under the BEWARE list (see J.A. Aarntzen's encounter) for some authors.

Janrae posted an email he sent her a few weeks ago asking for money. Apparently, he traveled to Edinburgh for a seminar and lost his wallet with all his money, credit cards, etc. He can't use a phone but yet managed to obtain internet privileges. And is asking for someone to send him $2K. Seriously, who does that? If indeed he is having such problems, I'm sorry for his bad predicament. But I'm not buying it. He's actions are a bit too sketchy for me. What do you think?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Racking Them Up

In past years, my policy was to send one submission out and wait to hear back before sending anything else out. I don't particularly know why. I guess worrying about one story was better than twenty. Currently, "Sealed With Anguish" is still in limbo with Shock Totem. I also sent out "Stalker" and "Body Valentine" to Tweet the Meat, should hear from them before the week is over.

Today, I start work on my Pandora's Box themed story. Don't have a title for it yet but have an idea of what to write. I did all my research a few weeks ago and hoping to have it finished before the week is over. That is if the big bad procrastination monster doesn't stomp on me first.