Typically I explain Mondays as, “the day all other workdays force to go first.”  That pretty much explains the beginning of a typical work week.

So I’ve survived my Monday, braved not one, but two grocery stores with the Mrs. (and believe me, she’s a shopping ninja – she can snag a sale item off a shelf right in front of the person reaching for it).  We get home and what do I find waiting for me in my inbox?  Why pictures of Hollie and I completely zombified by a buddy overseas, Lee Hartnup.  If you get a chance, check out his site – it’s twisted and a lot of fantastic photos and projects he’s working on.  His site’s http://www.themoriartyofgore.wordpress.com/

I’m including mine here.  You’ll have to visit Hollie’s site to see hers (a sexy zombie – go figure).

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I knew I never should’ve gone bobbing for French Fries.

typewriter-hfsAs with most writers, I know there’s two parts to the publication process. The first is actually doing the work, which is akin to having someone pull your intestines out through your nose. The second is waiting to see if the submission is accepted or not . . . which, for the moment at least, is like being punched full in the face while still having that nostril-full of intestine.

I have several stories out at the moment and have done my best to resist checking my mail thirty times a day. Acceptances or rejections, I’ve had a great time writing these twisted little tales. Now let’s hope the editors and publishers have as much fun reading these stories as I did writing them. Then the public at large might get an opportunity to enjoy my little slices of imagination . . . well, “enjoy” so to speak – they are horror stories, after all.

So, for those of you writers who thought your school clock-watching days were over . . . .

It’s not a clock anymore – it’s a freakin’ calendar!

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nightmareSo there it is, 5AM and I’m sound asleep, dreaming of goblins and ghoulies (loved that movie, by the way) and Cody, our old coy-dog (½ coyote) decides it’s the perfect time to let loose a mournful howl in his sleep . . . at the top of his lungs, I might add.

I nearly wet the bed.

Now I’m not actually 100% sure the old guy was asleep, because after I jumped out of bed and checked on him, he just laid there looking up at me, wagging his tail liked he’d just performed an amazing trick (when, let’s face it, folks, it was I who very nearly performed the trick).

I’ve been punked by a dog. Ashton Kutcher would be proud.

CSFWG-logo-iconWow!  What a Tuesday meeting this month.  Every last one of us ended up acting around 14 throughout the meeting.  I actually feel kinda bad for our innocent walk-in visitor.  She may need therapy after this.

I volunteered to be the first author on the chopping block and got praise and hits pretty much where I expected to – though got nailed on a few points that definately need attention in the novel.  What seemed to set us all off was the sex scene at the end of chapter 11.  Everyone ended up getting the giggles (yes, folks, I’m using the taboo word, “giggles.”).

Then we went to the next author . . . and the next.  Every critique ended up with inuendos of some kind.  It was hilarious.  I wish I’d been recording it.

Don’t get me wrong – the critiques were fantastic and spot-on for all of us.  But the “Case of the Sillies” monster was playing our funny bones like a Xylophone.

I live for these kind of meetings!

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For the next little while my site might pop up, disappear, then pop up once more.

Some asshat hacker got in and “looks” to have only put up some cute splashscreens.  But we won’t actually know until my service provider and I go through every damned file.

I hope they’re pleased with themselves . . . and that they get dysentery at the most inopportune moment.

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typewriter-hfsI tried, folks.  I really did.  But about halfway through the story I realized Dorothy wasn’t any fun to torment when rushed to meet a deadline.  So “Ruby Slippers” is shelved for a few weeks while I rethink how to attack it (not to mention getting a few other stories edited and out the door).

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CSFWG-logo-iconSo Tuesday night gets here and I settle in to get my critiques. Surprise, surprise, I’m at the top of the chopping block (I mean, I know I need to make myself scarce around Thanksgiving, but this is March, damn it).

The critiques are spot on – nailing me where I need it, complimenting me when I need it (you know, right before the knife goes in and twists). Thinning characters . . . possible. A little more juice at the end . . . sure. Typos . . . absolutely. But Kari finding a double meaning with my “hung” corpse swinging overhead had me stifling snickers all evening.  Soooooo not what I meant.

At the end of the meeting I asked if there were any volunteers to read my Masters of Macabre competition story when I finally get it written. My challenge phobia is coitophobia. I mean, how the hell do I end up getting assigned to write about sex phobias? Granted I’ll be blushing and laughing my ass off when I write it, but being able to keep a straight face when getting a pre-publication critique’s another thing entirely. Most of the group volunteered right out of the gate to help.  Talk about gluttons for punishment.

I’d say, “on the up side,” but it’s really all an “up side” with these people.  They really bust their collective tails on delivering good critiques and insight – that’s about members of both groups . . . hell, that’s about all members of all four groups (yes four, boys and girls).  I can’t wait to see what they say about the novel chapter I submitted tonight.  The next meeting’s a whole month away . . . . Arrrrrgh!

My biggest complaint of the moment is finishing off the Dorothy/Oz story (and editing it, and rewriting it, AND getting Hollie to look it over, AND rewriting it again) in time for Thursday’s deadline.  Where the hell’s the monorail to Oz?  I need to get to my destination quicker.

It’s fantastic knowing I have a literary dysfunctional family just waiting to bludgeon me on a regular basis.

<Doing my best Cartman> “I really love you guys.”

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pub_LOTLD_pressMy short story “Last Call” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming “Rapid Decomposition – Living Dead Flash Stories.”  More information as it becomes available.

A note for everyone – proceeds for Rapid Decomposition are going to a fantastic charity – First Book (First Book is determined to see that all children, regardless of their economic conditions, can achieve more in school and in life through access to an ongoing supply of new books).  If you get a chance, check them out at http://www.firstbook.org.

Hmmm, living . . . dead . . . flash.  Kinda sounds like a zombie photographer.  “Smile and say, ‘neayrrrgghhhhhh.'”

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HS_logo_typewriter1Ever race a deadline?  You can’t really escape the little bastards.  All they do is keep closing in.  You either win or you lose.  No tie.  No, “Good try.”  Just the trophy or the long road home.  I just realized last night that an anthology I want to submit to has a Thursday deadline.  The word count’s low enough to hit without a problem, it’s the editing, getting Hollie to give it a once over and rewriting that has me a little flustered.

Of all things it’s a Wizard of Oz story.  We’ll see what happens.

Damned bloody deadlines!

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CSFWG-logo-iconCritique day at the Sunday group. I waited with bated breath (as opposed to “baited” breath, which made me the desire of the seven seas . . . I’ll never make that mistake again) to get my turn on the chopping block and find out what others thought of my civil war era horror story, “1865.”

The general consensus was quite positive, though I took my hits where I expected to – mainly about the number of characters named in the course of the 9,600 word piece. Of all the criticisms, only one stung, and I heard it three different ways from three different people. It needed to be longer. I wanted more, but it’s a short story so it is what it is. I wanted to have more from the characters. Oof! I had to get permission from the editor to go 600 words over his limit. I don’t really see him allowing me another 2,500 to round it out the way the group’s wanting. I dunno – maybe if I said pretty please with desiccated flesh on top?

A fun part to today was celebrating Jenny Caress’ birthday. Any of you who’ve perused my Facebook have seen me and the demonic Campbell’s kid reject (love you, Jenny) incessantly flipping each other off or doing another form of bodily damage to each other. I’ve teased her since Thursday about having eaten her birthday cookie – yet I brought it and look at the loving response I get.

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Sheesh . . . of course I didn’t tell her which side of the cookie I licked . . . bwaaaaahahahahaha!

newestpublication

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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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