Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Bit of Fiction

I thought some of my readers might like to revisit one of my early pieces. I posted it on Facebook earlier but wanted to include it here as well.



Friday, October 27, 2017

At Last, News to Share

It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since I last posted. Much has happened, none of which I thought anyone but me would be interested in. I've never been much of a correspondent, even when the fastest way to connect with someone through the written word was the post.

There is news today. The next in Alban Lake Publishing's Lovecraftian fiction anthologies is imminent. The Mad Visions of Al-Hazred will shortly see light. We sent out a call for authors to tell us about the reasons Abdul al-Hazred would have for writing the Necronomicon, and in response they gave us some chilling stories. With fare both domestic and foreign, this is a truly international dish.




Table of Contents

The Nameless City (H.P. Lovecraft)

Abdul al-Hazred the Cleric
Coils of Apedemak (DJ Tyrer)

The Call and Visions
Prophet of the Black Hajj (Aaron Vlek)
Opiate Dreams (Roger Dale Trexler)
The Haunted Desert (Neal Privett)
Dark Messiah (Ethan Nahté)
The Colossi and the House of Nhan (Blake V. Rose)
My Eyes Were Set Aflame (Jordan King-Lacroix)
Withered Moon Obsidian Black (Morgan Griffith)

The Doom of al-Hazred
The Fires of Heaven, The Waters of Hell (DJ Gray)
The Andalusian (Bryan Dyke)

That Which Eternal Lies
The Howling in the Sands (Paul StJohn Mackintosh)
The Buzzing (Allen Mackey)
The Horrid Fate of Professor Merchant (Jonathan Dubey)
For Sale by Owner (Gregory L. Norris)

You will notice some familiar names in that list. We are lucky to have some of the authors from our previous volumes return with new tales. We are all very excited about this anthology. In fact, two of the authors have even had audioplays of their work for presentation and promotion of the book. Many thanks to Jonathan Dubey and Aaron Vlek for their efforts. Here are the links to their audioplays. Feel free to visit them and get a taste of what to expect in The Mad Visions of al-Hazred.


On a more personal note, I have written and submitted stories to several venues here and overseas. No word yet on their fate. My work is becoming less what would be considered marketable, more experimental, and I'm interested to see how it might be accepted. 

Don't forget to drop by my Facebook page and say hello. I welcome feedback on my own work and the anthologies I edit.

Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Starting New -- or Old

Miskatonic Dreams from Alban Lake Publishing

Miskatonic Nightmares from Alban Lake PublishingNow that Miskatonic Dreams and Miskatonic Nightmares are finally released into the wild, I will be able to work on becoming in the next stage of life -- an editor and experimental writer. I've devoted most of my writing career to speculative fiction and have had moderate success. It hasn't really satisfied my creative goal, though. I've always wanted my writing to evoke emotion, but not the easy way through shock or insult. I believe that the mind is the seat of all our connection with reality and if a writer can alter that connection by evoking emotion, the writer has accomplished the ultimate in success: creating a new reality, even if it is just for one person for just a few moments. It is true creation.

Anyway, turning to more mundane announcements: my work is now appearing in Be Their Voice: An Anthology for Rescue (Rogena Mitchell-Jones, Literary Editor) and Violet Windows issue #4 (Kimberly Richardson, editor). Rescue's proceeds go to animal rescue and features my story Afterlife. Windows reprints The Price of Immortality, my one vampire story ever published.

These two stories are among the few left over from just before I decided to stop writing for publication except in very special circumstances. 

From now on, I will be pursuing writing in a different way. I may have announcements about publications in future, but they may not be in the same vein as in the past -- if all goes according to plan.

That's all for now. Thanks for checking in. Remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Miskatonic Dreams

It's been a while since my last entry. It's been busy on this end. A lot has happened, and today I am proud to announce the Table of Contents for the upcoming Lovecraftian anthology from Alban Lake Publishing: 

 MISKATONIC DREAMS

If These Shadows Could Talk... by James C. Simpson


Dear Mother and Father by Dave Schroeder


Bridges Of Arkham County by Guy Riessen


Residue by Gregory L. Norris


The Darkness Makes Us Whole by S. L. Edwards


How I Died by Jill Hand


Your Special Advocate by Chad Eagleton


Authorised Librarians Only by DJ Tyrer


They Come Crawling by Logan Noble


One Last Death by Eric Tarango


The Accursed Lineage by Aaron Vlek


Miskatonic University Email Updates by Lyssa Wilhelm


Those Were the Days by Robert J. Krog


I am also proud to reveal the cover art for the book, "Come Hither" by James Brey.

(Model: Samantha Novak)

In Arkham, Massachusetts, stands a university steeped in mystery and legend. After its human students have left for their dormitories, its haunted halls often host phantasms of things unspeakable. Its classrooms are never truly empty. Its auditorium reverberates to ghosts of words chanted in other planes. Its library guards tomes not written by human hand. Find out about those times when no human foot strides the halls of nighted Miskatonic University. The truth behind the unexplained sounds from the science wing, the murmuring from the rooms dedicated to music and art is revealed. Learn the meaning of those words drawn in blood there in the basement. Discover actual workings of the late night denizens who brave those passageways.
This project has been a long time in coming and we received so many submissions at the last minute we were swamped. Although there were the inevitable submissions from people who completely disregarded the guidelines and some who nearly made the cut but weren't quite what we wanted, there were too many we couldn't see passing up. So we talked with Alban Lake and got the okay for a companion volume, Miskatonic Nightmares.

Now we will work on the promotion of this remarkable anthology, showcasing the best talent in Lovecraftian horror.
 

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Brief Note

My apologies to MidSouthCon. I was visiting family and friends in the Republic of Panama that week and missed the convention. I look forward to catching everyone next time.

I do hope to attend Hypericon in Nashville this June and then Imaginarium in Louisville in October. My convention schedule is becoming a bit less busy now that I'm not chasing the dream as hard.

There are a couple of Kickstarters I recommend. Of course, the Tomato Slices one I posted about before is close to my heart. However, the other is a project for a close friend, Stephen Zimmer, who is trying to start up a television series based on one of his characters. You can find the details here

On the writing front, I just sent in a story to Sean Taylor for review. He is putting together an anthology containing noir stories based on rock'n'roll songs. My submission is titled A Second Chance. Hope it gets in on the first. :)

I have to mention the loss of a writer friend, Logan Masterson, a few days ago from suicide related to depression. Creative individuals seem to be particularly susceptible to the vagaries of emotional disruption. Although Logan isn't the first to succumb to this, he surely won't be the last. I urge anyone suffering from depression to seek help immediately before the problem becomes unendurable.

Finally, we are receiving submissions for the new Lovecraftian anthology Miskatonic Dreams and are open to submissions until June 30. If you are interested in submitting, check out the guidelines and drop us a note at miskatonicdreams(at)yahoo.com.

I am about to plunge back into editing for the next few months. It promises to be a busy spring and summer but I'll do my best to keep you updated each month on progress.

Til next time, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Kickstarter and Update

I urge everyone to support this new Kickstarter for an anthology which features one of my stories, Ned and the Tomatoes.


This is one of several pieces I anticipate should come out this year. The long-delayed Velvet Wasp detective series should be out from Pro Se Press and Below Tennessee should appear in an anthology from Charon Coin Press sometime this year. I continue to work on a story for Sean Taylor's upcoming Rock'n'Roll anthology and the last novel of the Thran series for Alban Lake Publishing, Deity.

Those are all projects I committed to before making the decision to stop writing specifically for publication. I have decided that any writing I do from now on will be for my own amusement or as experimentation in different genres. I have enough to do with that and the editing projects for three different houses to keep me busy.

I want to thank my past publishers for their support and encouragement, but the return on my heavy investment in writing and promotion was too small to continue to pursue. 

I am excited about the project I am heading up for Alban Lake Publishing, the new Lovecraftian anthology Miskatonic Dreams. The first anthology we did in the Lovecraft vein, The Idolaters of Cthulhu, was a resounding success for the house and featured some wonderful writing by several very talented authors. I'm looking forward to getting stories of that or better quality for Miskatonic Dreams.

As a parting shot for this month's blog, I urge you to look up the current work by Herika R. Raymer. You won't be disappointed. Her story Coins for the Dead is a remarkable and brilliant piece.
That's all for now. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

An End and a Beginning

We begin 2016 and I find myself at a crossroads.

I have outstanding writing contracts and have promised material to several people for their projects. I will be fulfilling those commitments but after that will be stepping away from writing for publication. I have not come to this decision lightly nor is it sudden. Several people have asked me why.

I have always wanted to be a writer. I will never give up on that craft. I love the stories, the sharing, the ability to entertain and educate. So, though I won't be pursuing publication, I will still be writing... but for another audience.

I have reached a few people, won a couple of awards. I never attained any significant amount of fame as a writer. I attribute that to being one of many, more of a channeller of the craft than a practitioner.  I wrote out of compulsion and see now it was merely to be in the right place to encourage others rather than to distinguish myself. I have had the honor to be present at the start of several writers' careers but mine is developing differently.

It's time to move on.

Everyone faces a point when it's time to grow past where they are and take a chance on something new. This doesn't depend on where you are, who you are, or how old you are. If you stop changing, learning, and looking around yourself you will slowly lose your focus and fade away. 

Exactly where I will go from here and what my eventual destination may be isn't clear yet. There are several subjects that fascinate me. One of them will undoubtedly rise from the bunch and identify itself. I look forward to that.

On to the writing that remains....

My short story Fifty appears in the Airship 27 anthology Legends of New Pulp Fiction. I am proud to have been part of that project, mostly because it was designed as a benefit for a friend of mine, Tommy Hancock. He has recently gone through a tough time medically and I hope this anthology, comprised of the work of over 100 writers and artists, can alleviate some of the financial pressure that situation imposed on him and his family.

I will be attending Shadowcon this coming weekend in West Memphis, Arkansas. This is a relatively small "relaxacon" and has always been a great way to start the convention year.  

In the coming year, I have a four-part series of detective stories coming from Pro Se Press (The Velvet Wasp), a short story from Amoeba Ink (Ned and the Tomatoes), a short story in a Pulp/Rock anthology helmed by Sean Taylor (I hope), a short story from Charon Coin Press (Below Tennessee), and a novel from Alban Lake Publishing (Deity) to appear. With any luck, I will continue to pen for Catnippery LLC's web series Mysteries of Science.

I am currently working with Alban Lake Publishing on submissions guidelines for a followup anthology to The Idolaters of Cthulhu, to be titled Miskatonic Dreams. I hope to get the same or better quality of stories for the new anthology as I did for IoC. I hope to continue working as editor for ALP, Pro Se Press, and Hermit Studios. I would like to think I have been of some use to them and can go on being useful.

Finally, as prelude to this new stage, I have removed myself from Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a magical way to get your name before the public without actually having to meet anyone face-to-face. On the other hand, without that personal contact, it seems hollow. As a person, I feel the need to meet and talk with my readers, to find out first-hand what they like to hear. What kinds of stories touch your heart? Make you think? Frighten you? Make you laugh? 

So, Happy New Year! Remember, as always, to stay low and keep your powder dry!