Posts Tagged ‘October’

Well, when a lot of time goes by, I get itchy and want to do a blog post, something that happens when you have blogged steadily, usually releasing one or two posts a week, for the past six years. And since my last post was nearly a week ago, I thought I would pop in and say…I have nothing really to say.

Okay, I do have things to say. Anyone who’s been around for a while knows I ALWAYS have something to say. The thing is, nothing feels right at the moment. I could do an update on Rose, but I have not reached a point or done something with the story recently that merits a full post. I could do a post about some aspect of writing or horror or the macabre (especially the latter two since it’s October), but there’s no subject I feel particularly passionate about to write about. I could do something about current events, goodness knows I’m confronted with enough idiocy every day to make plenty of posts. But those posts usually bring trolls by the dozen to my blog, and I don’t even want to summon the energy to ignore them if I can help it (plus with my current job, we’re encouraged to not get too political because some of our clients wouldn’t care for that). I have two potential articles for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, but I’m saving those for after I finish Rose. And as for my personal life, which does occasionally get a post here, just nothing’s happened that I feel like I need to speak about. There are a few things I would like to talk about eventually, like hobbies I’ve taken up in the past year, but I feel like I need more material before I do.

As you can see, I’m a creature of mood and need. I have to be in the right mood to write about certain subjects, and I have to have accomplished something or have the material for a post if I really want to do other subjects.

I’m also a creature in general, but you probably knew that already. What kind, you’re about to ask? You’re probably better off not knowing that.

Regardless, I feel like I have to talk about something, so I’ll talk about my life at this moment. And…it’s busy. My life is very busy.

Yeah, that doesn’t seem like a big thing, but honestly, it’s amazing how much is going on with me right now. I recently got a small promotion at work–nothing big, just a pay raise and a few more responsibilities. I certainly don’t have a cushy new job title or office–and that’s made me very busy. I even had to travel recently to take a week-long training for one of the duties I’ll be taking on, and I’ll be going to another training very soon (as soon as I get through all the paperwork). And right now at work we’re in busy season, as the new fiscal year has started, and we’re wrapping up all the old so we can get into the new. I had to stay at the office late today just so I could take care of my own workload and have less to do tomorrow. And this may be something I have to do more often as the month goes by.

On the bright side, not all of this busy-work is from work, and not all of it is as grueling as work stuff can be. Take, for example, Rose. I am utterly absorbed in the last three chapters, and I am making such great progress with them. I could be done in a couple of weeks, barring nothing unexpected happens. And when that happens, I have two beta readers who are eagerly waiting in the wings to read Rose and give me feedback. Not to mention a lot of people I’ve talked to who don’t necessarily like horror stories, but are interested by the description I give of the book. I think if I can get this story published, it’ll really strike a chord with a lot of people. And if I’m able to get with any of the publishing houses I’ve scoped out, who knows? I could end up with a wide audience like I’ve always dreamed.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg that is my life. I’m also in the middle of a bunch of books, I’ve got a social life that can get hectic, and a few other things besides. But hey, that’s life, isn’t it? And I’d rather be busy and happy about it than what I was during my job search, which was frankly pretty miserable. I didn’t like not working, living in my dad’s house and feeling judged every time he came home to find out I wasn’t employed. Plus having my savings account dwindle every month due to bills wasn’t that great. No sir, I’m happy I’m this busy, because it shows how good my life has become and how much it can still improve.

And if the feelings I have about Rose are true, perhaps improvement is just around the corner.

What’s your life like? Are you keeping busy, and with what? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope to have a new post out Sunday, but we’ll see what life throws at me. Until next time, pleasant nightmares!

Advertisements

Hey, Followers of Fear! Long time no see! I’ve been busy trying to get a short story done before November 1st. And tonight, I managed to do it. Car Chasers is a short story that centers around a Fast & Furious-esque race held in a forest where ghosts chase the racers. Yeah, it’s a pretty out there concept, isn’t it? And I think it might make a great movie, even without Vin Diesel in a starring role.

I liked writing this story for a number of reasons. Along with a fun concept, it focused on a particular incident with these races, told through the point of view of an unreliable narrator. Normally, the unreliable narrators I encounter in fiction are jackasses (the main characters of Gone Girl and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, for example), but the narrator in this story is actually telling it trying to put a good spin on a friend of his, which is different from my normal experience. I also put a few people I know in the story in varying capacities (you’re welcome, Pat Bertram and Melissa Mendel), and named the bad guy of this story after a certain public figure I dislike a lot right now. Yeah, I’m sadistic that way. It’s fun.

So when can you read this story? Well, it’s a first draft, and it’s going to need a lot of work. For one thing, there are some places in the story that could be fixed or trimmed down. As the story is a bit over ten-thousand words, and therefore technically a novelette, I might want to really trim it down if I want to get it into a magazine. If that doesn’t happen, I can see this in my upcoming collection of short stories, Teenage Wasteland. The characters are at the right age, so it’s a good choice for the collection.

In the meantime though, November is just around the corner. And for novelists, that means one thing: National Novel Writing Month. I’ve got the final Reborn City novel to write, and after that, I’m devoting all my time to getting that novel and Teenage Wasteland out as soon as possible.

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ll see you guys with a couple of posts on November 1st, when I’ll be doing another “First Day, First Paragraph” Tag, and talking about Reborn City and the final novel, Full Circle. Have a happy Halloween, guys. See you soon!

first-day-first-paragraph-tag

It’s time for another tag. Only this time, I’m the one who created it! Mwa ha ha ha!

And sorry if the graphic is kind of basic. First time using Canva.com (which I think I’ll use in the future for other projects).

So as many of you know, I had to stop doing #FirstLineFriday on a weekly basis because I needed to spend more time writing. Still, I liked doing #FirstLineFriday, and I think a lot of you enjoyed it too (I certainly never got any comments or messages from anyone saying that they hated my #FirstLineFriday posts). So I decided to create a tag that I could do on a less frequent basis, but does something similar to #FirstLineFriday. Hence the creation of the “First Day, First Paragraph” Tag.*

Now that that explanation is out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty details. Here are the rules. Once tagged for “First Day, First Paragraph,” you must:

  1. Publish your own post on the first day of the month.
  2. Use the graphic above
  3. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
  4. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  5. Post the first paragraph of a story you’ve written, are writing, or plan to write someday.
  6. Ask your readers for feedback.
  7. Finally, tag someone to do the post next month (for example, if you do the tag on the first of August, the person you tag has to do it on the first of September), and comment on one of their posts to let them know the good news.

Rules 1 and 2 are done. I’m not going to link back to me or thank me, because that’s weird. And I just did number 4, so now onto number 5. As it’s October, and that means Halloween, I’m going to do a potential opening for a story idea I have that takes place around Halloween. Anyway, enjoy:

Lanie sat in her chair, feeling like a piece of shit. It was over. Everything was over. She had had one last shot, one last chance to prove herself as an actress before the money ran out and she had to pack it up and head back home. Why couldn’t she have held it together? She had been so confident coming in, knew every line from the audition script by heart (most of it raunchy jokes and puns revolving around shoes and feet), as well as how to say each line to deliver the most punch. And she had totally fucked it up. Now she had no chance of getting the stupid part!

Thoughts? Errors? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

And now to tag someone to continue the tag. I had two people I wanted to be my first victim tag. In the end, I chose to do one person this month and the other next month, because the first person usually loves doing tags. So, Kat Impossible, you’ve been tagged! You have to do the “First Day, First Paragraph” Tag on November 1st. Have fun! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ll have a Reflections post later this month, most likely, so keep an eye out for it. Until then, as always, I’ll update you if anything needs updating. Have a great October, my Followers of Fear! I know I plan to.

*This is actually the second tag I’ve created. The first, The Black Dragon Award, was back in 2013. Sadly, I don’t think it got very far after the first few nominations. Perhaps someday I’ll have to try to resurrect it. You never know. It could go much farther this time.

It’s Friday, so you know what that means. It’s #FirstLineFriday!

Here’s how this works, in case you’d like to do it on your own blog: every Friday I write up a post titled #FirstLineFriday (hashtag included), explain the rules like I’m doing now, and then post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story-in-progress, or a completed or published story. After that, I ask my readers for their thoughts and suggestions.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing #FirstLineFriday posts with stories relating to Halloween (because you know I love the spooky holiday season). And since tomorrow’s the big day, I’ve saved a very special first two lines for last. This excerpt is what may or may not start a very interesting book series, the events of which take place all on a single Halloween night. Yeah, that’s the story I have in mind. Let’s hope I get to write it before I’m old and grey, right?

Anyway, here’s the excerpt. Enjoy:

Chloe held up her witch’s costume in front of her and looked in the mirror. She knew it, too much pink and purple.

Starts innocuous enough, but get’s very strange and dark later on.

But what do you guys think? Any errors in grammar, punctuation, etc? Too innocent and YA-ish to start a horror series? Let me know.

That’s all for now. I’m currently muddling through a cold, so I don’t know if I’m going to be out celebrating at all this Halloween. I’ll consider myself lucky if I get out to see a scary movie. In the meantime, I want you all to have a fun and scary weekend (more than I probably will, anyway).

Have a good one, my Followers of Fear!

It’s Friday again, so you know what that means! That’s right, it’s #FirstLineFriday! And it’s also my last Friday in Germany (cue sad violin music). Well, I had a good time here and I’m glad I got to be here for so long. But like all good things, they come to an end. No use fighting it, I guess.

Anyway, here are the rules of #FirstLineFriday: You write a post with the title #FirstLineFriday, hashtag included, and then you post the first one or two lines of a possible story, a story in progress, or a completed or published work. You then ask your readers for feedback on the lines.

And since this is the month of October, I’m doing stories relating specifically to Halloween. This week’s entry is from a short story I might write someday, about two people who need a little help to fix the problems in their life on All Hallows Eve:

Sofia walked alongside the road in the direction Mommy’s car, cold and sniffling. Why had Mommy left her behind like that?

What are your thoughts? Anything that could be brushed up? Let me know in the comments below.

All for now. I’ll be taking it easy this weekend, so I might be putting out another post or two. Until then, have a good weekend my Followers of Fear!

Recently I was contacted by Man Crates, a new company that “ships awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates that he has to open with a crowbar!” Don’t worry, I think they send the crowbar with the crate. Anyway, they asked me to come up with what I would include in a crate to survive the duration of horror movie, especially since it’s October and this is the month for that sort of stuff. I was intrigued, so I decided to take up the challenge and see what I could come up with.

Turns out that list is actually pretty exhaustive. The thing about horror films, what you need to survive them besides wits and luck really depends a lot on what you’re facing. You can’t use a weapon for a werewolf on a ghost, and an exorcism for a demon won’t do much good on a serial killer. If I tried to prepare for every possible situation, I would need an entire house to stalk my supplies rather than just a crate.

So I made my list with this thought: “If I knew I was going to be in a horror movie but I didn’t know what I’d be facing or where I’d be when it happened or how long I’d be in this situation, and I could pick items to bring with me to help me survive, what would I bring?” Thus resulted my list, an entire catalog of supplies that would apply in just about any horror situation without being too specific.

I’m not sure if Man Crates were to actually compile everything from my list if they could fit it all into one crate, but I think they’d find it very helpful no matter what the situation is. So without further ado, here’s what I would want in my crate for surviving a horror movie:

Machetes: as deadly as a gun, as silent as a knife.

  • Weapons. Obviously, I need weapons. Chances are, most of what I’d likely face would be susceptible to some sort of weapon, and I can think of a few that would be helpful. First, a shotgun. Werewolves, zombies, serial killers, and occasionally vampires and some kinds of ghosts can be killed or injured by firearms, and if I needed to hunt for survival, a shotgun would be helpful. I also would like an ample supply of three types of bullets: regular, silver, and rock salt. The first two are obvious, they can kill most creatures, human, supernatural, or other. The rock salt is special, though: according to many traditions, salt can cleanse or keep away impure beings like ghosts and spirits. I figure a rock salt bullet might weaken a spirit if I’m attacked, and if I’m not facing a spirit, then rock salt might hurt or drive away anything else.
    I also would benefit from a machete and a hunting knife. If the shotgun fails, then a machete and a hunting knife would be helpful in close quarters combat or against a horde of zombies. They can also be used in stealth attacks, unlike the shotgun, and the knife in particular would be helpful in hunting. Obviously I’d need something to make sure the blades stay sharp and clean, and something to keep the shotgun in working condition, so add those to the crate.
  • Survival gear and supplies. When I saw author Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z) at Ohio State a couple years back, he pointed out that besides weapons, you need supplies if you’re going to survive any long-term terrors. While I’m trying to be more general here, I have to admit he has a very good point, and I should plan in case my survival needs happen to be longer than until the sun rises.
    A lot of what I would need are also things that I might consider taking with me on a camping trip. Flashlight and extra batteries would be the first things I’d pack. If I’m going to be fighting for my life at night, a light source will be important. Lighter fluid and matches would also be helpful. Even if I’m not in a situation where I need to assemble a cooking fire in the woods or something, some things can only be killed with fire, which means I need something to get the fire really going.

    Sometimes the simplest things will save you.

    And speaking of cooking fires, put some water bottles and energy bars into the crate. Keeping yourself hydrated and energized is important if you want to stay alive, so better have something that is easy to transport, lasts awhile, and can carry your nutrition needs. A first aid kit with the works–gauze, disinfectant, antibiotics, needle and thread, etc.–could also mean the difference between life and death, so I’d want one of those.
    Finally in this category, I think we could include an outdoor survival guide–I am not the most outdoorsy sort of guy, so having a guide would be very helpful–as well as a portable cell phone charger to call for help if things get too crazy and maybe a satellite uplink device in case I’m in an area with poor or no cell reception. Hey, you have to be prepared for as many situations as possible.

  • Other. These don’t fit into the other two categories, and I can’t think of a proper name for them, but they would be handy in a horror movie. First, night vision goggles: good ones are usually a little expensive, but if the situation becomes such that you wouldn’t want a flashlight because then someone or something might see the beam, then it’s worth it. Also, bring along The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. Even if you’re not facing a zombie apocalypse, it has some very good tips to survive out in the world when the stuff hits the fan, so it might prove useful. And a thick notebook and a supply of pens would also be pretty handy, especially if you need to be on the road for a long time or you’re facing something unseen before in human mythology or history and you want to record its weaknesses.

    Get me something slightly smaller and less clunky and cumbersome, and I think I’ll be good.

    Finally, a pack or something to make carrying this all easier would be nice. I mean, this amount of gear might be heavier than the suitcase in my hotel room, I would like something to help make carrying it all a little easier.

That wraps up my list of things I would have in my crate should I find myself in a horror movie and I’d like to survive till the end, especially if the end is several months or even years away…ooh, I hope I don’t end up in any of those movies! Anyway, thanks to Man Crates for inspiring the post. I had a fun time coming up with this list. Check out their catalog, you might find the perfect gift for a guy you know to indulge in his masculine side.

And beware of monsters! They’re everywhere this month.

What would you want in your horror survival kit? Anything here that I missed?

It’s Friday again, and only fifteen days till Halloween! Continuing the #FirstLineFriday tradition of the past two weeks, all stories will be related to the ghouliest, spookiest holiday of the year in some way or another, even if Halloween just happens to be one small part of a story.

Anyway, here are the rules of #FirstLineFriday. On Friday, writers put out a post titled #FirstLineFriday, spell out the rules, and put out the first one or two lines of a potential story, story-in-progress, or a completed or published work. They then ask for feedback and critiques from their readers.

This week’s entry is the start of  a truly horrifying tale, one that involves every horror novelist’s worst nightmare:

Tanya and Jake felt like their whole lives had been ruined in a single moment. With one vote, the small town of Greyvine had banned all Halloween celebrations within the town limits.

AAAAH! The horror! THE HORROR!

But tell me, what do you think? Critiques? Grammar errors? Too terrifying? Let’s discuss.

All for now. I hope to do a ton of editing this weekend, so I don’t know how much blogging I’ll do. Maybe a post or two. We’ll see.

Have a great weekend, my Followers of Fear!