Friday, April 30, 2010

Hold me to it!!! P. 1

Okay, you guys. Here's the thing.

I only wrote a little bit this week. A very little bit.

A grand total of 2200 words.

I know, that sucks huh?

I have no defense except that I've been busy as hell. That's all I got, though. I'll make it up next week, I promise. Possibly over the weekend... who knows?

As I sit here, looking at that paltry number and scoff a bit at myself, I want something from you guys. Don't be nice to me. Make fun of my little numbers... kick my ass with words. Seriously. I need it for bringing up such small numbers. It's sad. I deserve to get my ass stomped.

But for now, I'm actually gonna go write some more. Those words will count towards next week.

Till then...

Peace & Love

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Strange Beauty: Finding those things that strike hard

Our world is full of things we tend to think of as less significant than we are. But in truth, that tree you climbed as a kid has been important to this place for longer than you have. A humbling thought, isn't it?

Even with all our surroundings that we don't appreciate, there are beautiful things that we have to bring into being. In most cases, fire is one of them.

A few weeks ago, my family and I were burning brush and debris from the floods. It was a big fire, but well contained. I'm responsible, I promise.

But well... I ran inside for my camera. The fire was making some of the strangest and prettiest patterns I'd ever seen. I had to try about a hundred times, but I finally got a picture of it.

I haven't retouched this in any way, it is just as it came off my camera. Greens and blues and purples, with those little red squiggle flames... it's gorgeous, right?

Sometimes, things are just too beautiful. I know I have an odd sense of beauty, and that I find things interesting and pretty that others take for just another thing... but this isn't one of those things.

This picture strikes me and inspires me. It makes my chest ache, looking at it. I don't know why... it's just fire, right? But to me, it's special. There's a short story there. I can see it.

Can you?

Peace & Love

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spotlight Weird: Shock Totem Magazine

Well, to kick off my new weekly feature, Spotlight Weird, I decided to start with my friends at Shock Totem: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted (clickable). As you can see by the picture of issue one, shown above, it's a beautiful magazine. However, there's a lot more to Shock Totem than wicked cover art and quality binding. The magazine is chock full of excellent stories, interviews, reviews and an interesting little nugget called "Howling Through the Keyhole", a section in which each author gives a little background to the fine stories published in the issue. These authors will literally blow your mind... they sure did mine. Even though only one issue has been released thus far, issue two is just around the corner and I kid you not, it's well worth going back and buying issue one as well as issue two. K. Allen Wood, editor of the magazine, is a great guy and he and the other "Totemites" have impeccable taste in fiction, art, and music. And they have great senses of humor, which is always a plus.

I'd recommend this magazine to any reader who loves horror, fantasy and all things weird. And if you happen to be a writer of those things... bring your A-game. Shock Totem might be new, but don't expect left-over-like stories. These tales are top-notch and are more than worth the cover price of the mag, $5.99 USD (plus shipping, of course); very low for a magazine of this quality. I've paid more for genre mags that look about half as good. Go visit the site, take a look around... buy issue one. Then buy issue two once it becomes available. You absolutely will not be sorry.

In addition to the magazine, there is also a nicely growing little community, Shock Totem Forums (clickable), where you can meet all the great people who work at the magazine and some who just hang out (like me). Also, Shock Totem hosts a themed flash fiction contest every two months and forum membership is required to take part, so if you're a writer who does a little flashing, keep it in mind. Just something fun to do, with possible publication as one of the prizes (the details are available on the forum). You can check out K. Allen Wood's blog, The Eyesore Times (clickable), for insight on the man behind the mag, for a good laugh (he is a funny, funny guy), or just to keep up with what's going on over at ST.

Now, as you may have noticed, this was not posted on Saturday. I decided to make "Spotlight Weird" a Monday event. So, check back next Monday for the next edition of "Spotlight Weird". Wednesdays will be a personal post from me, and Fridays I will join K. Allen Wood and Kara McElhinny, among many others, in posting weekly word counts so we can hold each other accountable. Thanks for reading and hey... as always...

Peace & Love

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Okay, time to kick butt and chew bubblegum

I'm so bad at this blogging thing. I have nothing to blog about. My life is fairly mundane... write, research, write, edit, revise, edit, revise, look for appropriate mag markets, write... feed my spawn at some point, write... almost write a blog post and then delete the draft because it's stupid.

I'm a fiction writer. Writing about myself is tough. Or even writing about my writing. I am selfish and don't want to talk about what I'm writing.

But, I'm going to make a conscious effort to blog more. Dunno how much more, or what it will be about, but I'm going to at least try.

One thing I'm hoping to do is a "Spotlight Weird" weekly post about an interesting horror/spec fic/darkish magazine for writers to have a look at... and hopefully readers too. I send stuff out to these guys... the least I can do is share the love, right? That starts Saturday.

So... I don't know what else I'll be blogging about in my "I'm going to blog three times a week" thing, but it'll be something.

But for now...

Peace & Love, y'all

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Contest! ...Umm... not mine, though.

My darling friend and fellow writer, Damien Grintalis, is holding a contest on her blog.

A Contest, you say?

Go, read the rules, do your thing. Win prizes! Yes, prizes! Bards & Sages Quarterly, features Miss Grintalis herself or a book. Go forth! Make that first sentence shine!

Peace & Love, y'all

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hometown Tragedy--The Montcoal Mine Explosion

It's 3:00 a.m. and the alarm is going off. You haven't seen daylight in years, but you do what you have to do. This is your livelihood. You get up and dress, pack a cold lunch and drive, maybe a few minutes, maybe hours. When you get to work, you put on a hardhat and lay down on a trolley--the man-car--that will take you deep into a mountain. Thousands of feet deep.

The hole you enter in only 20 or 30 inches high and the tunnel is no bigger. A thousand feet or more you ride down into the mountain. Thousands of pounds of dirt and rock are above you, held up only by columns of the same dirt and rock every twenty feet. You can crawl on your knees, but there is no standing up. The pitch blackness is unforgiving, even the light on your hardhat won't pierce it. You see only what your headlight shines directly on. The air is thick and full of dust and it's so hard to breathe. But you have to go into that hole in the mountain; and in this hole, you stay for ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week. Mining coal. For your family, for your life. For electricity that powers part of our country. And while inside that deep, dark hole, a blast. Heat.


I am the daughter of a coal miner and my husband once worked the mines. This is not fiction, my friends. This is absolute truth. My husband's father is a coal miner. This is the life they lead. Constant darkness, constant danger. Breathing god knows what for however long. They do it for you, for me, for themselves. It's not just a job. It's their entire life. A man who spends his life inside a black hole deserves respect, and they all have mine.

The county next to mine is suffering. 25 dead miners and 4 still unaccounted for. My state is in turmoil. That job was all some of those men had to provide for their families. 25 families. If there are four members in each of those families, that's 100 people affected by this mine explosion. And that may just be a wife and three kids. What if they had 4 kids? Or 6? This doesn't include mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandparents... grandchildren. Hundreds of people in anguish... and the coal company is non-union. They don't have to do anything for these people. They may... but they don't have to.

If you are willing to help those affected, and can, please visit The Red Cross Central WV website for information on what you can do. I'm sure everyone has seen the news reports. It's on the national media circuit. The Montcoal Mine Explosion (link to article on Newsweek) is the worst in years. My thoughts go out to the four still missing, and my heart aches for the family members of the 25 already found dead. If you can... please...


Monday, April 5, 2010

Flash Fiction Contests: Podcasting, anyone?

The people of Escape Artists are holding Flash Fiction contests, five hundred words or less, for each of the company's podcasts. Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Everything Masters of Horror is about, so I thought I'd share the info with you lovelies.

Join the forums here and find the rules here.

Each podcast zine has a different submission period so be sure to read when to send the different genre submissions. Good luck!

Peace & Love

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bunnies and Eggs

Just to say Happy Easter to my friends, fiends and fans who celebrate, religiously or otherwise.

Peace & Love, y'all

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Keepsake--short story up at SNM Horror Magazine

Hello, lovelies.

Want to have your breath taken away? Over at SNM Horror Magazine, 8 wonderful stories (including my own, The Keepsake) wait to suck the breath right out of you. And the lovely Diane Dooley has one up as well (After Happily Ever After). Check them out (check them ALL out please) and I promise, you won't go away disappointed. Both issues are excellent.

April Asphyxiations at SNM!

Give 'em some love, y'all.

Peace & Love