typewriter-hfsThe novel bug finally took hold again, putting me in front of the computer so I could pound out another 4,000 words in time for submission to my critique group (bringing the total word count to something around 8k). Trying to self edit at three in the morning is not something I’d advise.

When I was still printing off copies after four this morning I started thinking about writing deadlines I have – some self imposed, others given to me.  It rolls something like this:

  • 2011/03/31 - Deadline for writing, editing and submitting “Ruby Slippers” for publication consideration in an upcoming anthology (not real sure if I can pull this one off, folks – we’ll see).
  • 2011/04/09 – Deadline for editing and submitting “A Little Rain” for publication consideration.
  • 2011/04/16 - Deadline for editing and submitting “Fellowship” for publication consideration.
  • 2011/04/23 - Deadline for editing and submitting “Page 57” for publication consideration.
  • 2011/04/30 – Deadline for editing and submitting “Pop” for publication consideration in an upcoming anthology.
  • 2011/05/19 - Deadline for a 1920’s based podcast for Horror Addicts.  I “just” signed on for this one.  So about seven weeks to write, edit, get my ol’ pal, Marie, to read aloud and compile the work into podcast form.
  • 2011/05/26 – Deadline for writing, editing and submitting “Heat” for publication consideration in an upcoming anthology.
  • 2011/07/21 - Deadline for the print version of my submission for the Masters of Macabre competition.
  • 2011/08/01 - Deadline for my submission to the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group’s bookstore anthology.
  • 2011/08/18 – Deadline for submitting the podcast version of my Masters of Macabre story.

Now the funny part is that this list is on top of still trying to get the novel done in the next three months and still put out a few other works to keep the kiddies awake at night.

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hellholeKevin Anderson was nice enough to shoot us an invitation for his “Hellhole” book signing so the four of us took the afternoon off and enjoyed the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch. Now, from the outside it definitely looks like any other bookstore – conforming to whatever the strip mall’s rules are.

Then we went inside.

Wooden shelves dyed dark, brick facades on the walls, rich carpeting and mismatched – often antique – chairs made up the interior of the building. This truly gave the same flavor as the old Tattered Covers (the 16th Street Mall and the one that used to be by the Cherry Creek Mall).

Hollie, Josh, mom and I set about doing what we do best – scouring the shelves for jewels we might buy and get lost in. We grabbed our goodies, and, of course, the copy of Kevin Anderson’s “Hellhole,” before settling in for his appearance.

There wasn’t long to wait.

kevinKevin came out, accompanied by a Tuscan Raider, Tie Fighter Pilot and a Snow Trooper, compliments of the 501st Legion Mountain Garrison. He spent about twenty minutes filling us in on the book, previous book signings, heavy breathers (you had to be there to understand this one, folks) and the general direction this first book of a new trilogy will go.

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Afterward Kevin signed copies (that’s Josh getting his) and attendees had the opportunity to pose with characters. Hollie had her opportunity to get clobbered right along with the rest of the gang.

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Definitely a night of fun.

Now to tear into the book!

Thanks Kevin and thanks to the 501st Legion Mountain Garrison.

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Now, buy the book . . . or else!

HS_logo_typewriter1So I’m pounding away at the keys last week and stop for the weekend.  What scene to I end on?  Why a psychotic flock of birds bombing the side of a car, of course.

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Hmm, could the be a statement about the scene itself?

After our little fiasco with Writers Fest (see previous post), Hollie and I were left up in Denver with a whole afternoon free – not a common thing.  Sly grins splayed across our faces and we turned it into a hookey day.  Is that where you skip out on responsibilities and go fishing?

Close.

No Radio.  No audiobooks.  Just Hollie, me, and the open road.  We haven’t done this in a long time. So we shot out I-70, survived Vail (we were creamed there the last time we drove through), and took Highway 24 south.  I stopped off at the abandoned town of Gilman and took a couple of photos (one from each side).  That place is truly creepy.  No wonder Dean Koontz used it as inspiration for the book Phantoms (fun side note: the movie adaption was filmed in Georgetown, Colorado).

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gilman-BJust outside Buena Vista, I pulled over and took one last photo.  Nothing like seeing beautiful mountains blanketed in snow near sunset.

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Now “this” is how writers recharge their batteries. Lots of quiet, a little conversation, and peace.

. . . and the best part . . . Hollie chose to wear flipflops!

writersfest2011-67x120Hollie and I went up to Writers Fest and, after fighting with the fact Denver decided to tear up “every” street around the 16th Street Mall, we arrived a little over an hour late. There’s no greeting table, paperwork, badges, etc., anywhere. Finally we found a Tattered Cover employee (the third we stopped) who knew about the fest and sent us down a long hall to the meeting room. Readings were going on at the time, so we wait out in the hall with several other people. No one there knew where the tables with information were either. After 45 minutes standing around waiting to enter (which is a long time for those of us on canes), Hollie and I gave up. So did several other people. I hope the fest went well, but even a card table with some basic information at the entrance would have gone a long way (who knows, maybe even a tentative schedule of events as well).

So how was Writers Fest 2011?

We have absolutely no idea.

MoM1_smallWell here it is a third of the way into the month of March and I get my “Masters of Macabre” competition packet.  My mind’s spinning dozens of twisted phobias I can turn into a fantastic piece of prose.

Now I’m not one to say the Fates like to twiddle with me, but when the e-mail with my listed items starts out with, “Henry- Hey, I don’t choose the items… I do it by roll of the dice, just like any self-respecting gamer,” you know the rest of the message is going to be interesting.

So what’s my horrible phobia I have to deal with?  They were actually “kind” enough (can you smell the sarcasm, here, folks?) to offer me my choice from four along the same topic.  Sex phobias, ladies and gentlemen, I get to write a horror story having to do with sex phobias.

Somewhere in the distance there’s a sixty-year-old chainsaw wielding virgin with self-denial issues just laughing her fool head off.

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MoM1_smallIt’s been a while since I’ve taken part in a contest and was invited to take part in the first annual “Masters of Macabre” competition.  For this inaugural event, each competitor is randomly given an occasion, an item and a phobia. Sounds like fun, right?  If you don’t think so take a little time and see how many of those twisted little fears humanity has governing our lives.  From the fear of religion to panic attacks when the elevator doors close, there’s something to pick at everyone’s nerves.

CSFWG-logo-iconMy fourteen year old son is a poet.  He recently joined the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group Tuesday group (there’s a mouthful for you).  Josh is the youngest member to ever join (beating out Amy by a couple of months).  I was a little skeptical with him becoming a member.  Our group’s fantastic, but thorough  (not to mention a little blood thirsty).

At the very first meeting he put all my concerns to rest.  He listened to his poetry critiques with interest and took more notes than I think I did all through school.  When it came to critiques he was in there like a seasoned pro, touching on points he felt could be stronger and praising aspects he liked.

Now why can’t everything go this smooth?

Well, I fired off “Taste” for publication consideration.  While I won’t say where I submitted the tale (superstition’s kept many a person alive), I will share a few photos its based on.  These were taken a little while ago with a dear friend who’s just as twisted as I am.

All of the darker aspects of the images were done in PhotoShop.  The thumbnails below are cropped.  Click on them to see the full image.

Enjoy.

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CSFWG-logo-iconCritique comment of my story, “Taste,” at today’s writer’s group meeting: “Seductive and disgusting. I love it.” Why can’t all my critiques be this good?

Thanks, Stacy!

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THE HORROR SOCIETY

Edited by Henry Snider THE HORROR SOCIETY offers you... ...a trio of teens that discover not only houses can be haunted... ...a buried and all-but-forgotten Civil War era prison whose dark cells house more than antiques for treasure hunters... ...lovers who chance upon a southwestern cave containing the resting place of a pharaoh entombed far from home... ...a fire tower offering visitors views beyond belief and platform levels which never seem to end... ...abandoned train tracks leading a family to a century-old murder scene... These nightmares and more await you just around the corner in FORGOTTEN PLACES.

 

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