Two and Two Zeroes.

When you have doubt, go back to the beginning for a minute. Start from the basics.

Trying not to lose sight of what makes something great can be hard. Some stories start strong but over time lose those elements that caught audiences in the first place. The ones that are well remembered studied and improved what they had before and never lose sight of what they are.

I say this because first, this blog is over a year old. That’s right, we started on August 15th, 2011. And second… because this is my 200th posting.

That’s kind of a “Whoa!” moment. Think about how many blogs die out after a dozen postings. Or small businesses who don’t survive their first year of operations. Yet somehow, despite the odds, I’m still here. Babbling away at the internet. Trying to mix some kind of wisdom into the chaos. A cheap laugh into dark times. All that good rot.

Anyway, some news today. Cruentus Libri decided to publish my tale in their upcoming Dark Side of the Womb anthologies. That’s anthologies plural. And I won’t be alone, as my chums Alec (Raziel4707, I need to update his blog link) and Jon (Tyrant) will be published amongst those anthologies as well. I should note that I have not yet signed the contract, just got word of it. But I think it’s alright to spread the news.

So here’s to the next one hundred posts and whatever I can publish between them…

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100 Horrors

Ahhh, reminds me of watching Nickelodeon as a kid...

Ahhh, reminds me of watching Nickelodeon as a kid...

Jumping on the same wagon as Raziel4707 and Tyrant have before me, I too am being published. My flash fiction will appear alongside theirs in 100 Horrors, edited by Kevin G. Bufton. The release date is set for February 20th of this year.

Bufton has been a joy to work with. He has kept us writers up to date about every change or piece of news that comes through, as tedious as it might be to coordinate between 100 individual authors and one terrific cover artist. What started as an e-book became more when he told us our work would be in print as well. That was welcomed news to me, as I’ve always wanted to see my name in print before all fiction is moved onto Kindles, Nooks and e-readers.

But for me personally and for the writers at the Bolthole, it’s red letter day. 5% of the stories being published are from Bolthole writers, the other two being Lord Lucan and Mister Ed. Both of whom I will be bugging to write blog posts about this event.

Now, although I’ve been notified that I’m being published for a few months now, I’ve only decided to mention it openly now. Why? Because I’m mentally prepared for bad news at all times. Maybe the anthology doesn’t get published. Maybe things didn’t work out, or a crucial contract didn’t get signed in time. Promising ventures can and do fall apart easily.

Since writers get rejected all the time, the last thing I wanted to do was discuss the bitter taste of false hope. So close and yet so far. But I believe we’re passed that fear now. No, now we have something else to fear. Not just a fear, but terror. 100 terrors of 100 words by 100 authors.

Look for 100 Horrors on February 20th, folks. And take it easy, as one’s heart can only take so much.

The Week’s Demise

My job interview went alright today. It was clumsy, but I touch upon everything they needed to know. I suspect they’ll consider me, but only in comparison to everyone else they’ll interview next week. I need to sit down and re-articulate my interviewing skills a touch before I do that again.

That’s on my plate for Monday. For now, I’m going to work out. My alternate history horror story was completed and send to Raziel4707 and Lord Lucan for review. It needs work in cutting some words from the beginning and middle to improve the ending.

Tonight, I am actually going to my mother’s and bringing a load of goods with me. I’ll be busy with around-the-house projects and spending time with her. I’ll be pulling down a few short stories into a lap top that’s coming with me so she can review them while I do house work.

Here’s hoping I hit next week harder than I hit this week, although I wouldn’t say I was soft this week either.

A Whole New Year

You'll never guess what I'm finally getting to play...

You'll never guess what I'm finally getting to play...

First post of the New Year. Just boning it in.

Raziel4707 has a new blog, the Vampiric Chicken. I’ve updated his link.

I started my diet and work out regime. Just a mixture of eating better and cutting back on calories, as well as jogging and lifting weights at home. My timing was either great or terrible to start this however. I had just one more huge meal to get through for the holidays, as I was drawn into another Thanksgiving sized meal to celebrate someone’s brief return to the states.

But I had seen my sides growing and felt the fat all around me and finally said, “Enough.” So I substituted fruits and Greek yogurt in place of my usual morning pastry, switched to lighter soups instead of my lunch sandwich and have been versatile about dinner. My new iPod Shuffle has made running a joy, even in the cold. I pulled some Kanye West, 50 Cent, Linkin Park and the Yoshida Brothers to keep my mind from getting bored mid-run.

Oh, guess what my brother lent me.

Now that I have an XBox 360, I ran out to the mall yesterday and purchased both Gears of War and Gears of War 2 for $16. I tried the hardcore difficulty and almost tore my hair out of my head because the damn Drones kept shooting me down. One of the things that annoy me about games is that increased difficulty only improves enemy stats. They shoot more accurately and/or powerfully and possess more health, not increased intellect or teamwork. It’s more a test of hanging-in-there endurance than of strategy and/or skill. So I restarted it in casual.

But I’m starting to enjoy the game. The story and characters didn’t start to resonate with me until Marcus Fenix was in charge, and the quips and rib poking became the norm. I think the developers suffered from what I guess you could call stereotyped start up. It’s  a problem very common in books and television, when the writers and actors aren’t entirely certain about the direction of their characters. So they try some clichés to get started and then they develop and grow. It’s not a bad thing, but it usually makes for some slow starts.

Bad news is that I’m working away at my brother’s gift. His computer, the same I built him two years ago, has errors upon problems upon flaws. It was fine when I gave it to him, but then he got creative. A few different OSes were installed, something went wrong with the hardware, then bam. It stopped working. I shook my head out of frustration, and have decided to get Windows 7 for him after I return the spare Motherboard I got for repairs just in case I needed it. He will need it soon. Heck, I still stick with Windows XP SP3 since it’s so reliable, but sooner or later I will have to update.

Also, I’m 20 pages into The Gildar Rift. Where does the time go…

Bolt-Horror Competition Update

I command you! Write! Wriiiite! .... Wriiiiiiiiite!

I command you! Write! Wriiiite! .... Wriiiiiiiiite!

Contestants have until tonight to contribute their 2,000 word piece. So far, four entrants have entered.

Whether you’re a rabid Warhammer fan or just a writer who wants a crack at winning a book, feel free to try your luck by posting your story here.

Raziel4707, Narrativium and I have discussed how we’ll be doing the judging. We’ve decided to go with a basic 1 through 10 point scale, 10 being highest. Once we have the scores we’ll take the average of each, and the highest score wins. Any ties will be discussed.

As I understand the frustrations of writers, I will also be creating a special blog entry for the contestants where I critique their stories. I will not discuss the values of what I feel makes a good horror story at this time, as that would be unfair to those who have already submitted a story. But I will review the stories for each writer to help them improve.

Keep calm and carry on.

Bad News Good News

L'Oreal a business of misogyny! Click to read more!*

L'Oreal is a business of misogyny!* Click to read more!

It’s time for another round of bad news, good news.

Bad news first, because I believe in finishing in a positive light. I’m sick. It’s hot and I’m coughing up a storm. Some warm green tea with a healthy dash of honey can help with the symptoms without having to drug myself up should I go get some drinks tonight with my brother and pals. I’ve gotten through the worst of it, as I was sweating bullets yesterday, but it’s still here.

The good news is one of my stories is finished. A sword and sorcery piece, although I use that term reluctantly because I haven’t added any sorcery to it. Still, it’s finished at 5074 words without editing. I am going to send the piece to a friendly editor who will mercilessly butcher help rewrite it. So today, after finishing my reports, I’m going to edit it and send it to my friend. Then get going on another piece I have in mind.

No thanks to Raziel4707 for this, but I am now hooked on The Daily Mash. A British knock off of The Onion. Something tells me my entire day is going to be wasted on horrendously bad news articles.

Oh, before I sign off, here’s a link to a news feed for Onion-like Headlines… from real news sources.

*- I am only kidding. Please don’t sue me.

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

Click to see more. Of the suit, you pervert.

Click to see more. Of the suit, you pervert.

Daily Mail has recently posted pictures of Anne Hathaway in what appears to be a much more complete Catwoman costume. Not bad, but how the hell she plans to run in those heels is beyond me.

Oh, also among the pictures are a few of Christian Bale’s Batman and some of the vehicles that will be in the movie. Including a strange contraption they claim will be the Batwing. I’m guessing CG will provide the actual wings.

In other news, several of my compatriots have recently updated their blogs. Sarah Cawkwell posted about Games Day. Good ol’ Raziel4707 talked up a raunchy storm at his blog, while MisterEd discussed Batman in his comic book form. Check them out.

On the writing side of things, still chugging away at updating pieces to submit. I want to get at least one piece finished this week and ready to send into a publisher.

Happy Monday everyone.