Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Print Interview Coming Out

I am honored to have been interviewed by Fiona Mcvie for authorsinterviews.wordpress.com. It was a lot of fun and I hope insightful and entertaining. More details to follow.

Happy New Year One And All.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Year That Was 2013

Each year around this time I sit down to assess where we have come and where we think we are going with this writing thing. Hell, we only revived this thing in the fall of 2011 after a long, long dormancy of doing nothing creative.

In general 2013 was a good year for our writing. It may have lacked in virtually every other area; we did make strides this past year.

We expanded doing podcasts with readings; have stories featured; doing interviews and writing scripts. We became a poster ---- yeah, me and Farrah Fawcett are posters. One of our 13 word stories is hanging on someone's wall right this minute.

I believe the quality was better; the concepts stranger and the reach deeper.

We doubled our output of paper anthologies and our Amazon author page tripled.

Our writing class expanded and reaches into two states.

But that is not enough. I have two incomplete novels that need to be finished. I have more stories to peddle and I think its time to fight against the slow responders and be more aggressive with placement and timing. We have a bibliography ---  a real bibliography better than most self-promoters and pretenders.

I am not happy with 2013.

It is time to kick down some doors down in 2014. It is time to up my game and leave the rest behind.

Classic Book Review: HITMAN by Howie Carr, Forge, 2012.

The saga of Whitey Bulger continues through John Martorano, a hitman and partner to Bulger. Fascinating insight from Martorano himself and a must read.

Classic Book Review: PHILADELPHIA GHOST STORIES by Charles J. Adams III, Exeter House Books, 2006

Nice history of 'true' and historical hauntings. The text at times is difficult to read and this is stylistically, but a good and interesting read.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

That is all. I wish everybody a Merry Christmas. And for those offended or those who tend to be mired in political correctness my intent is to wish everyone health and prosperity; fellowship and peace; the same way the man whose birth I honor as a Roman Catholic wished and promoted throughout his short life. If that is an issue then I feel sad for you and this message and hope I have for you is needed evermore.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

THE THING IN THE FLOOR is in the Christmas Issue of Schlock! Webzine Now

We are back in Britain gracing the pages of Schlock! and Christmas with THE THING IN THE FLOOR. Watch where you step when you read this one.


Friday, December 20, 2013

What REALITY Really Means

I don't watch DUCK DYNASTY. I don't watch television anymore. We shut it down. It's all crap including DUCK DYNASTY. Virtually all cable television outside of 'Breaking Bad', 'Mad Men' and 'That Metal Show' are insipid and wastes of time and money.

And hey, sports are no longer sports, but that is a discussion for another time.

So frankly I have no allegiance to the show, the family on it or A&E.

I am also related to and have friends who are gay. I support them in their lifestyles and am pro-gay marriage.

But I am not in favor of free speech being censored because someone in the ether, who doesn't watch the show is offended. A&E is out of line here and if 'reality television' means people can't be 'real' then my decision to cancel my subscription was the smartest thing I did in 2013.

The reality of our reality is getting scary. The reality of our reality is we are no longer being allowed to think or speak for ourselves. If this doesn't chill you now, your mind is more of a vast wasteland than television presents.

The Saga Continues

So my story sidelined by the closing of a publisher who declared all contracts null and void continues.

Scarlett River Press has assigned the contracts to another publisher. While thankful this project may finally see the light of day, I don't understand the logic in someone being able to assign something that no longer exists.

But then look at how the Federal Government does its business and logic is deader than 'Duck Dynasty'.

The big here is that RIGOROUS MORTIS will be republished in 2014 under the new publishers banner. I don't believe our contracts allow that either. Details to follow on that.

God my head hurts.

This is the GENIUS of the U S POSTAL SERVICE

And why it is true to say that idiots are running the system.

Just look at this example: I ordered more books from Howie Carr in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In order for the books to reach me, and by the way they are behind delivery schedule, the books traveled to a sorting facility in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Which means they drove down I 95 and passed my home right off I 95 in Connecticut.

But this gets better. The United States Postal Service then trucked the books back up I 95 to SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS to a another sorting facility there.

So we go from Massachusetts to New Jersey and back to Massachusetts cutting through Connecticut twice in order to deliver to Connecticut.

The Postal Inspector of the United States and the Union of Postal Workers are clearly smarter than I. They can take a simple job and milk it for more money than it is worth.

If I did this in my business I would be facing ethics charges and even fired.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Here is where Facebook doesn't work

When Scarlett River ceased to be the notification was placed on Facebook in August. In August where it never made my news feed and where I never received an email.

I have been writing the publisher since October to no avail and now, dear readers, as you can see the post I was only recently notified.

On August 12th we were relieved of our contracts. However today I am told those contracts were assigned to another publishing house. I wasn't given a name and I was told this morning someone would be getting back to me.

This is going to be interesting and worthy perhaps of a better tale for writers than the one I penned.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Are You Going To Kick My Dog Next?

As someone who edits and writes, as well as critiques the works of others I try to be constructive and courteous because the writer you pan today may pass you by in the blink of an eye with a superior effort next time.

As someone in this community of artists --- that's it --- 'this community of artists' I try not to offend anyone because like any community, the world is small.

That is, unless they ask for it first and directly. Many of you recall the flap I had with a big time publisher two years ago. He was condescending and a creep --- I questioned it and all Hell broke loose. Lord knows that flap may have lost me a chance to publish with him, but as a new writer with little on my plate the buffet opened wide. When he started to have some troubles and I was doing well; I didn't gloat. I just remembered.

So here we go again. Today I queried a piece that has gone unanswered for four months and today you would have thought I kicked this other guy's cat with the curt and snarky rejection I received.

Am I hurt? No, the story is a good solid one and like every rejection I have ever received will find itself in a better place. Will I then retaliate? Why bother when I can send this insensitive a copy of where the story ends up along with a book from Miss Manners.

Always be courteous because you never know whose fate you find yourself with in the future no matter how delicious you think your morsel is.

Quick To The Lab!

We are still waiting on the fate of PIDDLES a humorous werewolf treatment I have written involving a man, the pound and the rather large funny looking pooch he rescued.

Details on the writing lab experiment will hopefully follow soon.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Writing Classes

Besides the class to be advertised in the Spring, I am happy and honored to announce that Adult Ed has tabbed me to teach children's writing classes starting in February. The sessions are split between high school and younger children all with their parents in attendance and with their parents helping.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Scarlett River Press is Dead. BAD LUCK needs a new home.

I am sorry to see this publisher go. I appeared in an anthology of theirs last year and have waited for BAD LUCK to appear in this years anthology titled 'Tortured Souls Vol. 2'.

Now the story that has sat idle for eight months needs a home.

God I hate the business end of this.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shopping Through The Snow.......

Okay we don't have snow, but you get the idea.

Its been no secret that I have been feeling a little down lately. What with my inability to sign up for Obamacare; the hours and hours I have sat here at the computer while one error message comes up after another.

Couple that with the fact that I lost out on a job as a Obamacare navigator because I have no arrest record ----- arrrgh ---- I have just been at wits end.

But then an old friend wrote me. A friend I knew from school lo those many years ago. His tale is so heartwarming; so full of the Christmas spirit I just have to share the relevant to parts with you:

" ‘Black Friday’: the phrase conjures up piling dollar signs of savings, oodles of bauble laced bargains, as well as the bragging rights to being the first to grab that one ‘special’ item for that one special person.

‘Black Friday’: it’s the shot in the arm our lagging economy needs. Holiday shoppers in droves scurry about rescuing the very existence of our mortar and brick storefronts. It’s adventurous! It’s romantic! It’s patriotic! And I’ve always sat it out.

Mine has been a boring life, a lullaby existence of doing what is convenient and calculated, avoiding the stress and crowds because I choose my Christmas fare year round in gas stations and dollar stores.

Yeah, I’m cheap. But ever since my wife left me for the boiler man, I’ve had to re-assess myself. As I look back on my dullness I realize we never even had a boiler and that each Thanksgiving, while I would listen to my loved ones plan out their Black Friday itinerary, salivating at the thrill of the hunt, I would sit quietly, smiling and idly building a gravy pool in my mashed potatoes so I could sail boats of corn kernels. Meanwhile my wife would wander off to the basement.

So this year I decided to come out and show my ex the kind of man I really am: not a milk-toast, but a man of action, a man of danger and excitement who will willingly take a chance not to see tomorrow. Sorry Johnny Rivers.

So I prepared. I wore a cup, goggles, elbow pads and a bright yellow strap on plastic helmet. I studied hours of videotape of ex-Flyer Bobby Clark, in his prime, working the boards and behind the net. And I am happy to report that my Black Friday shopping was a complete and utter success.

Not only did I find such wonderful bargains as a solar cumquat squeezer and a multi-faceted Austrian nose hair braider, but I met a wonderful girl. Okay, so we have to use separate cars when we go out because of all the wonderful bargains we’ve found. But at least this year, thanks to Black Friday, I will have someone to kiss under the mistletoe. That is, if I can squeeze into her apartment because of all the boxes and old newspapers.

So take my advice my old friend – shop early and shop often."
Such sage advice.

Winter Cleaning

As I get back to the novel, I have begun the job of tightening up some leftover short stories and short story fragments. Today ACCORD had the work done under the hood. Now to look for a publisher during the holidays for a story that is darker than originally conceived.

Oh well.....

Friday, December 6, 2013

500th Post

First, I want thank you my followers. I appreciate your subscription and your support. To the others who stop and read --- I thank you too. The traffic here has gone from zero to many. Without you guys I would simply be an old man sitting in a shack writing rambling tomes.

I am not mechanical so have no fear I can't do the bombs.

Second, the clean up on the website is almost complete. Thank you my lovely bride. She has been working and working for hours to make it look better and read easier.

Check it out. josephjpatchen.weebly.com



My lovely bride has finished, fixed, revised and updated my writing website. It actually looks professional.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Brakeman has been edited

I am happy to say. I like this ghost story much more than others. Now to find a home for him.

I Am Now A Political Prisoner

Milford Connecticut Police have been blocking my driveway for the past 30 minutes because of Halloween decorations that were not taken down. These decorations tie into a story coming out. When I asked if I had broken any laws I was told no; but they continue to sit here blocking my access out of the driveway.

Welcome to the People's Republic.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Classic Book Review: 'The Maker of Moons' by Robert W. Chambers

While this collection doesn't hit the bar as high as 'The King In Yellow', these horror and weird tales are classic blueprints every horror writer should study. Also, these are much more impactful and better written than ninety five per cent of the adolescent swearing fest crap out today.

Classic Book Review: HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson

The psycho-sexual, and emphasis on sexual, haunted house horror tale. A classic that follows the movie, 'The Legend of Hell House', very closely except 'the naughty bits' are cut out. Of course, Matheson also wrote the screenplay. Check out both.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Walking Dud

It is apt this schlock titled its last episode TOO FAR GONE. It has been for some time. Dear AMC, Can this waste of airspace just please go?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

PLACID has been published on Hellnotes.com

I am happy to announce that my micro flash fiction tale PLACID is now up on Hellnotes.com:


Under their HORROR IN A HUNDRED category of stories. We are honored.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How 'Very' is 'Very'? Check Lurid-lit.com

My review of Rayo Casablanca's shoot em' up 'Very Mercenary is on Lurid-lit.com now!!!

Hint: It's VERY good.

'Vacation' . . . Cue The Go-Go's

Truthfully I haven't had a vacation since my return to the firm I was working for on January 4, 1990; the same day they let me go. But who holds a grudge?

I'm Italian. I do. But that is another story for another time.

I have decided for the months of December and January to take a vacation of sorts. Unless I'm jarred by one of those deep nightmares I am placing the brain on hold of sorts.

I have so many stories here under editing and so many stories in need of some sprucing it is time we move them along. After all they have now taken over two drawers of a filing cabinet.

So we will see where they go.

The novel known as "Jo-Jo" is part of that project. I hope to have that completed by Christmas.

Ah, 'best laid plans.....'

Monday, November 25, 2013

Short Book Review: TALES OF GASLIGHT NEW YORK compiled by Frank Oppel, Castle Books, 1985, 469 pages.

A marvelous resource for life in the early 1800s and 1900s. Not only is the history of New York fascinating; this is a great sourcebook for any writer detailing big city life during this era.


Yes it is, when you find out after months of waiting on whether a story has been accepted that two of the publishers have gone belly up in the last two weeks.

Oh well, welcome to the 'business' end of creativity.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thank You, It Is Nice To Be Recognized

I just want to publicly say THANK YOU to Donald Armfield and his Good Reads review of Aliens, Sex & Sociopaths. He singled out "Diminishing Sight" and for that I am grateful. Thank you, I am happy you enjoyed my story.


Jaded. Most of us who diligently toil in a profession long enough become jaded. Maybe its part of the burnout; maybe its part of the disappointment with expectations --- jaded is a standard port in the travels of life.

As I go through my past legal files, repackage my storage unit to hold more, I ran across a file I had long forgotten about involving a client I always kept in back of my mind. She was a science fiction writer and anthologist of some renown; with a Wikipedia page.

I don't have a Wikipedia page, do you?

What is important about this memory is how I learned not to treat others who wish to follow in your footsteps. I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but this client; with many books and anthologies to her credit and awards on her mantle had this advice for me just before I embarked on my own journey to publish.

I had joined a local writers group under the masthead of the local fine arts council. When I told her about this her response and advice was simple: "You think you can write?" She made a noise like air being burped from Tupperware, "I doubt it -- you probably suck. Everybody thinks they can write. Don't waste your time."

I think its important that as writers we encourage rather than discourage. I think as writers we work as a community of ideas that shape each others thoughts.

Rest in peace; as I see she passed away.

As I near my 100th story published I encourage everyone who is just starting out as well as those already on the journey to keep writing; keep nudging me with your creativity; and don't let the you know what's stop you.

Monday, November 18, 2013

THE THING IN THE FLOOR is in your Christmas Stocking

Or maybe under your tree. Thank you to SCHLOCK! WEBZINE from across the pond. THE THING IN THE FLOOR is scheduled to be published in their Christmas issue. Details to follow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Brakeman has passed.

THE BRAKEMAN which has been an obsession of mine is finally finished and off to editing. Only a little more than 1,200 words this ghost tale has been the latest reason for my irregular sleep pattern. But finally, my head is sore; my eyes are heavy and the sight of that sociopath is fading from my mind's eye.

While we are writing free form without any market in mind, I feel this and my last short story are of better quality than most. Let us hope publishers agree.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

CLEANING UP AFTER is on its way

Thank you Jeremy Maddux and the Surreal Grotesque Writing Workshop as I finally got a handle on this flash piece. Thank you for the prompt, the encouragement and the time. Now to find a publisher.

IN HEAVEN EVERYTHING IS FINE and so is Lurid-lit.com

My newest review of the David Lynch inspired anthology IN HEAVEN EVERYTHING IS FINE edited by Cameron Pierce and published by Deadite Press is on LURID-LIT.COM now. Take a look.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I know we are all wound up way too tight. These past two, going on three weeks of my life should have left me with a debilitating number of strokes and several heart attacks. Deadlines in layers like the onion can make you drop your hands and cry but I don't need this.

I made a mistake. I admit it. I made a mistake. I submitted a story to a publisher in retrospect I should have. I didn't do my due diligence up front. After I submitted I see we are not a fit. My style isn't theirs so I withdrew my submission.

But you would have thought I withdrew something else when everyone so was so hot and heavy. You would have thought that I insulted the publisher. At least that is how they are reading it.

I apologized in my withdrawal. I stated my reasons. I didn't think the piece fit the style of the writers they favor. I wanted for both of us to avoid a rejection.

And I'm the bad guy.

Writing rule number something, something, something else: do your homework and vet your publisher.

Why can't I listen to my own advice?

Yep, stupid is as stupid does. Thy name is stupid.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall Class Is Over

I am sorry to see this fall writing class end. This particular class, more than any I have ever taught or participated in, has immense talent. There is not a single weak link here. I'm not just saying that --- these individuals have what it takes to publish insightful and entertaining pieces. There is depth here and soul. There is intelligence and art. This has been the most exciting semester I have ever experienced.

I see a lot of writing from a lot of folks, everyday, who pipe their own horns on social media and blogs, about their abilities; but this class has many of those folks beat.

Thank you guys for allowing me to be a part.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Sentencing of Whitey Bulger begins tomorrow

And is expected to take a couple of days. For those who do not believe in the death penalty, you should read up on Whitey Bulger who at best was a serial killing pedophile extortionist thief.

Although I don't believe anyone with a brain after what was experienced in Cheshire would still oppose the death penalty. While a separate case, it does consist of similar elements. It is a shame a noose can't be fitted over Whitey's neck by the end of the week. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Am I funny like how? Do I amuse you ...... my apologies to cousin Joe .....

I am not afraid to admit I still get rejections. Rejections are a badge of honor particularly when a rejection has almost always led to better placement and even more money.

This month's rejection winner was received today in probably the worst form letter ever written 'from the best in dark fiction'. Readers will note that almost EVERY ezine for horror with author's who love to use initials for names claim their inclusion is the 'best' in dark fiction.

This rejection, in part, reads as follows:

"While we enjoyed reading it, we are going to pass on it for publication. The story felt a bit too jumbled for our liking."
If it is 'too jumbled' why did you enjoy reading it? Do I amuse you then? Like how?
The story was edited by a professional editor. The plot is simple and the action takes place during a police interrogation, however it does detail the death of a real estate broker and three cops; all necessary to the story. If content is an issue then please tell me. I understand many editors in horror do not enjoy the injection of humor; after all
I'll send them a copy of the mag or book when the story hits.
Yes, I am amused. 


Veteran's Day

To all who have served I thank you. I am also sorry that this country is spiraling in the hands of those who don't respect or support you, I am sorry that that the apathy and the stupidity of the American people have tarnished your work. I wish we at home were as strong as you.

CLEANING UP AFTER and The Surreal Grotesque Writers Workshop

I am very thankful and honored to be a part of this workshop. My writing has been interrupted by my work on the election and now because of related issues here in the People's Republic of Milford as fallout

This workshop pairs me up with a writer and editor I greatly respect, Jeremy Maddux, and we work on flash fiction.

CLEANING UP AFTER incorporates the prompt of 'keep the worms away'. I have trouble with prompts; always have. Anyone who knows my style knows its more free form and I write like a bowel movement; that is, when its ready to come out.

And yes I use that metaphor to give you guys from the campaign, the men's room 'scrawlers'; yes, MY word; a chance to take a shot after all you who time will forget don't have an original thought in your head so go ahead ....

Anyway, my first draft was dreadful and disgusting; not even worthy to wipe the excrement of a democrat blogger. But last night we cleaned it; shorn off a ton of words and have the makings of something that might, in the end, work.

This a wonderful and creative lifeline to someone who has been drowning this past week. We are thankful, after all, to find we are surrounded by careful and thoughtful people. Real people who have a soul, who seek a true common good and not by those Kool-Aid sucking, Napoleon 'complexed', soulless, energy vampires whose only delight comes from the torment of others. 

More details to follow.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Headless Ghost Deer is back in Milford, Connecticut

in my backyard.

Mummies invade Lurid-lit.com

My review of CANOPIC JARS: TALES OF MUMMIES AND MUMMIFICATION edited by Gregory L. Norris and published by Great Old Ones Press and hot off the presses is online now at Lurid-lit.com.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A TRICKLE OF WATER to be published

My flash story A TRICKLE OF WATER has been picked up and will be in the February 2014 issue of HELLO HORROR. Details to follow.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Branding, Branding, You --- Just Take A Rope And Hang Me

A play on words from the great Roger Miller.

It is no revelation to say our art and culture is about branding. As long as the package is right it sells. I have tried to ignore this in literature, but like an irritable bowel, it just keeps digging at me; specifically with reviews.

If I review an established author the hits are many, many and many more. If I review an up and coming author the hits are paltry. My writing is the same; my style doesn't waiver.

Sad that we only truly judge a book by its cover perhaps that is why the titles are getting smaller and the authors' names seem to devour the jacket. 


Friday, November 1, 2013

PUMPKIN PITS will be published on 'The Carnage Conservatory'

A Third Runner Up in their contest will be out sometime today or tomorrow. It was tough to mix humor and gore. The stories were supposed to be gore, but I wanted to make the characters somewhat humorous. I experimented with character development and am happier with what I did with the characters rather than the entire tale itself.

But we are happy with the mention and the publication nonetheless.

Saugus Ghost Story Contest 2013

Flu kept me from posting earlier but the winners are out. It was blast judging this year and I have signed on for next year. Congrats to the winners and to those who fell short --- don't be upset --- keep writing and prove everyone wrong the ability is within you. Read, write and hone your talent; write with a swagger and the Hell with those who stand in your way.

Great job kids and we will see you next year.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

And for some the horror is just beginning. . . stay safe

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blogging in the USSA

You make one little comment in the middle of a political campaign and the next thing you know, 'writers' who are employed to blog for a political campaign, or if they are not paid are certainly  drinking Kool-Aid, feel a burning desire to personally attack.

What I love about these 'writers' who specialize in nothing more than men's rooms scribbles, with made up names, feel they are somehow superior in their trade.

I have never looked my nose down on anyone. I have worked hard for my successes and I have hurt deep because of my failures. If you don't like my writing fine; but frankly I will put up my bibliography against any of theirs any day.

Again, they do no nothing more than diminish themselves and the candidate they support. This is especially so when they admit they are there to harass those with a counter point.

I am going to frame the exchange or look into how my civil rights were violated.

Saugus Ghost Story Contest II

High School stories are now read and ranked. I will be notifying the home office with our votes and now the wait for Halloween.

I have to say; there is a lot of talent and creativity coming from our young people. It is a blessing to see and an honor and privilege to be on this side of the contest.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

UGLY BABIES is now in Paperback

To go with your Kindle version...

Surreal Grotesque Writers Workshop

We are proud and pleased to be included in the Surreal Grotesque Writers Workshop starting in November. As always, Thank you Daniel.

Saugus Ghost Story Contest

The pressures of being a judge seem to be just as great as being a participant. However the pressure here is weighing some marvelous tales. We just finished our scoring for the Middle School submissions and those results have been sent in.

Now it is on to the High School entries....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I just received the word that THERE AIN'T NONE with the Devil and Santa Claus will be published in this month's DEATH THROES WEBZINE.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Three Halloween Tales reviewed on LURID-LIT RIGHT NOW!!!!!

I pull more than double duty this week --- I review three Halloween Horror Tales: HARVEST MOON by James A. Moore; MONSTERS: A HALLOWEEN STORY by Stewart O'Nan; and THE PRESS: A HALLOWEEN STORY by Graham Masterton.  It's a CEMETERY DANCE PUBLICATIONS SCARE-TACULAR!!!!!

Okay, I review three from Cemetery Dance in celebration of Halloween. Catch them now on Lurid-lit.com.

TRICK NO TREAT published in SURREAL GROTESQUE #13 Out Now!!!!!

A Halloween story of surreal proportions TRICK NO TREAT is out now in the 13th issue of SURREAL GROTESQUE known as the 'Lovecraft' issue.

Link below:


Saturday, October 19, 2013

INFESTED CANDY in the Anthology UGLY BABIES is out now

James Ward Kirk assures me it will be in paperback form. The e-book is out now on Smashwords. Masterfully edited by Sydney Leigh, take a read and enjoy the placenta.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Classic Book Review: Elizabeth T. Corbett writing science fiction in 1879

A GLANCE INTO THE FUTURE; OR THE WORLD IN THE TWENTY-NINTH CENTURY was published in 'Godey's Lady's Book' in March 1879. Set up as a one act play, in a women's fashion magazine, this fascinating tale of robots, push button vehicles, subterranean tunnels portends much of the things to come.

The story is available on line since it is the public domain.

Here is a link from the University of Pennsylvania during their celebration of women writers:


Can We Be More Pretentious?

Can We Be More Pretentious?

By having photo after photo of oneself in various serious poses of sitting in coffee cafĂ© with a copy of our book or entering a library.

Can We Be More Pretentious?

By stressing how busy we are yet we still have an output of 2,400 pages.

Can We Be More Pretentious?

On our Amazon Author page with fake reviews including one that says that our latest work is better than Shakespeare.

Can We Be More Pretentious?

In having a friend of one's parents write a puff piece in the paper to help move units.

I have nothing against self-publishing, not at all, but let's not make ourselves out to be the greatest thing since a bread slicer until we actually have someone other than ourselves and a credit card determine the viability of our work.

All writers are narcissists. Most of us are media whores, myself included. But let us not proclaim we are greater than the bard when our work isn't truly judged by a third party.

I read a puff piece on a local author that made me ill. It was insulting to all writers, especially those who choose to self-publish. I think the scribe who wrote the article as well as the scribe who bathed himself in his own glory, fail to understand that ego is the cruelest critic while real readership is the fairest.

A Demented Bird, A Ghost Planet and Escorts Are Coming Up With A Guy Named Jack

I have noticed a lot of writers' blogs discuss upcoming projects. Okay, here we go.

Upcoming project. Upcoming projects. Here is what we are working on in terms of the longer works; novels and novellas.

I am getting back to my Bizarro Novel about a demented dead bird. I expect this to be done and out to a publisher for consideration by December.

We are doing research on a science fiction horror tale concerning a rogue planet. This was inspired by the recent news concerning the discovery of a planet roaming free without a sun. The plot line is very promising.

We are also doing research on a surreal novella involving the Internet escort business. Yeah, I know some of you are saying, but this is a tired trope. Did you watch 'Walking Dead' last night. If you did, you don't get a comment. Is this s tired trope? No it isn't. There are no vampires involved; there are no Satan worshippers involved; there are no serial killers involved; and NO she will not be a ghost or succubus. The plot line I think you will find is subtle, we will tie in how the economy has gone underground and I believe the story is up to snuff and will pack the same punch as with my other weird tales. This is in the research stage ---- get your mind out of the gutter please.

And finally, I am bringing Spring Heeled Jack back with another British standby in a novella half finished.

Short stories will come. We are experimenting with more poetry. This is a fertile period and we hope to be prolific in our story telling output and terrifying.

Friday, October 11, 2013

L A Sykes Original Fiction on LURID-LIT.COM Now!!!!!

On Lurid-lit.com we are pleased to bring you original fiction. This week we have "Shotgun Therapy" by L A Sykes. You have got to read this.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

THE NIGHT COUNTRY is reviewed on Lurid-lit now!

Stewart O'Nan's 21st century ghost story THE NIGHT COUNTRY is reviewed on Lurid-lit. This 2003 novel is controversial. Read why.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

100 DOORS TO MADNESS which includes TAP is out now!!!

My grisly short tale TAP has hit the stands in Forgotten Tomb Press' 100 DOORS TO MADNESS. This is a huge anthology weighing in at over 400 pages and an intense one. The link to the paperback version is:


The Kindle link will be out shortly.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Are We Really THAT Stupid?

The reboot of Stephen King's "Carrie" will be hitting screens in a matter of days. Cue all the normal whoopla, hype, etc.

So a viral video has been produced pranking people in a coffee house where a woman has her own 'Carrie' moment to the sheer terror of the average person at the counter.

If you haven't seen the video, you must have been under a rock as it is everywhere save for my bathroom. The quality is of the prank is poor; the acting even worse and the direction, well, are people really THAT stupid to freak out when books fly off shelves and a man is slammed up against a wall and then the ceiling.

Hello my name is REALITY; who else do you know can actually do this?

Have you ever seen a coyote build a trap it received in the mail?

What the heck is actually going on with public education?

Friday, October 4, 2013

'MY COFFIN IS MISSING' to be published by Horrified Press

This is one of the shortest stories I have ever written. This is one of the quickest stories I ever wrote. While I stand behind every word taken out of my brain --- I am fonder of this tale than most.

I have no idea why. The title came to me at 1 a. m. Thursday morning, the 4th, and as I was driving to my work destination at 8 am the entire tale just unraveled right before my eyes. When I arrived I pulled a pad and hastily jotted it down, making small revisions throughout the day at various times, more to pace the rhythm than anything else. By the time I sat again in the evening the first draft was typed and printed.

On Friday the polish was applied and my wife took a look to correct punctuation in two spots. She too has been taken by the tale. It gave her the creeps with little or no action.

Details will follow on when MY COFFIN IS MISSING can be found.

Cover Art and Table of Contents released for 100 DOORS TO MADNESS


What is especially cool to me is sharing a table of contents; sharing a volume with Guy de Maupassant one of my childhood literary heroes.

I am honored to be a part of this collection and am so grateful to Forgotten Tomb Press for this opportunity.

FEAST OF THE DEAD Antholgy with PESTS out now!

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What Phase Is The Moon?

In the wake of my guitar story I run into another pathetic tale this time involving a short story. I am affiliated with a writers' group on Facebook and as is the case messages of our doings will cross cyberspace.

Today I received an acceptance in an anthology and so did a colleague. Hers is for a charitable organization where sales of the book will go directly to a charity.

Noble. Quite noble. As I was about to congratulate her, there appeared a prior Facebook response where the writer complains that given the quality of the book cover, the book has to be full of trunk stories and the charity will be lucky to get $100.00.

Is this jerk week? Is there something in the water? Is it a phase of the moon?

Well I congratulated her and as far as the jerk goes; I guess we all know who received a rejection letter.

RIP Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy passed away at age 66. Rest in Peace Mr. Clancy and thank you for 'The Hunt For Red October" along with other wonderful books. Thank you, sir.

TAP to be included in an anthology

We are pleased to announce that TAP will be included in the horror flash fiction anthology "100 Doors To Madness" by Forgotten Tomb Press due out this month. Details to follow.

Did I Just Become Self Aware or Am I Just Full Of It?

Recently I came across a version an amazing cover of a famous song performed by a twelve year old.
This young lady plays guitar better than most of the locals I have seen. But as I watched this kid, with immense talent, several people in the crowd buzzed amongst themselves, yet loud enough, that this was absolute proof that the song and the group who performs the song are overrated.

The beauty of art is in its simplicity. The beauty of art in any form is its ease in transcendence to reach into different medium and is accessible to everyone. The beauty of art is in discovering innate talent.

It always pains me, especially during this time in history, when it seems the podium is solely in the hands of  those who lack the talent; lack the skill; lack the overall understanding and feel it necessary to label and denigrate those who have found their talent; who have created.

Many of these same people complain about labels yet they are quick to do so in the most negative way.

I say this because the people making this 'discovery', over their packaged coffee cups, then turned their attention to ignore the music and spend even more time discussing the importance of a particular reality show with the same reverence one would give to the Bible.

I am not trying to be snob here. Let's give kudos to the talent of this young person. Let's acknowledge the music created by someone else and how it transcends a generation; to the perfection of that art form and its beauty.

My decision in refraining from specific names is to avoid minutia.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"The Dance of Death" versus "The Dance of Life" Ambrose Bierce versus Ambrose Bierce === Genius!

Quick Book Review: THE BROTHERS BULGER by HOWIE CARR, Grand Central Publishing, 2006.

With Whitey Bulger's sentencing on the calendar and his rambling and whining letters spewing out of jail this is the definitive read into the unbelievable web of corruption and death that gripped Massachusetts and extended its tentacles nationwide.

Friday, September 27, 2013

On the Lighter Side.....A BETTER SHOVEL

I shared this tale with my class. Back to horror with some humor. For those mono-brains who might have a problem with this tale. Understand this is fiction. I would never kill my mother but I certainly would have no issue in taking the life of someone who tortures and/or kills the innocent. Evil has to be stopped not housed and coddled.

Now, back to the story. Happy Early Halloween:


copyright 2011 by Joseph J. Patchen

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I want to be very, very, very serious here. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and one I have spent countless time and dollars on. In the light of the Puppy Doe case in Massachusetts, other similar and even more horrific stories of animal cruelty have come out.

While I personally don't trust Craigslist, which is where this originates, I urge all of you to speak to your state lawmakers and strengthen your animal cruelty laws.

Also let your lawmakers know so they can convey messages to their judges and prosecutors that people need to be held accountable for their vile actions. People need to be punished. Really punished. Animal cruelty is the first stop to bigger prey.

As for people who sell animals as if they were a tag sale item, they too need to be punished. Not screening individuals who wish to purchase your animal, in my mind, makes you complicit.

End of my soap box for now.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dreadfully Absent

If anyone hears anything about 99 Penny Dreadful or hears from Blake Ryan let me know. I submitted to this project back in February as did others and we are getting no response.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This week we review Mark Slade's "A Six Gun And The Queen Of Light" and some extras. Check it out on Lurid-lit.com now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Book Week

It's that time of year when we all act incredulously about the writings of Twain, Shakespeare, Salinger, Bierce, Paine, Steinbeck, Vonnegut etc. that have been banned for all kinds of idiotic reasons.

Each year we pledge to fight censorship etc. etc. etc.

Yes that is what we dutifully do. We pat ourselves on the back for recognizing the fight against censorship; we applaud our intellectual broadmindedness, etc. and then we sit down and watch the news that favors our political view, we read the newspaper whose editorial page agrees with us, etc. etc.

Censorship is not just a bunch of banned books; Censorship concerns a message; Censorship looks to ban an exchange of ideas. We need to celebrate banned books every week not once every year.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


What I adore about Schlock! Webzine is the old pulp feel; the blending of talent to create a tapestry of old and new. We are once again honored to be part of this fine publication with I LIKE MINE IN OIL. Eels and I suppose some Freudian psychology may be in order.


Living The Hustle

I feel bad this has become a traffic ad site. I am making a promise that while I will still notify and steer you to where I am appearing next; and the next post will do that; I will try as time allows in between my hustling for a buck and fame to add more literary content here.

I will do my best to stay away from Seinfeldian observations but will look to be just as witty (okay several notches below Seinfeld) and eye opening.

Just look at the tags.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


My humorous take on recycling and bulk pick up can be found on CTBOOM.com now. No Horror, No Terror. Just Fun.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Birthday 90th birthday to Hank Williams

If he had lived, Hiram King Williams, known to the world as Hank, would be 90 today. He died at age 29 with one of the greatest catalogues of music ever written. Aptly named King, Hank Williams influence goes beyond Country Music touching rock and roll, pop and literature.

I have always seen Hank as our Shakespeare and I believe many would agree that the mention of both in the same sentence is as true as the talent the man possessed.

God Bless you Hank Williams, you died too soon, but thank you for incredible writings that are timeless.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

TRICK NO TREAT to be published

My Halloween horror tale has just been accepted in the October Halloween issue of "Surreal Grotesque". Thanks guys. More details to follow.

Friday, September 13, 2013

PESTS is published in an anthology

My short story PESTS has been published in Sourcepoint Press' FEAST OF THE DEAD: HORS D'OEUVRES. Yes, available on Amazon. The funny thing is I didn't hear from the publisher, I stumbled on it by accident as I was getting ready to query them.

What makes this doubly interesting is we share the bill with some folks from THE WALKING DEAD. PESTS by the way is a humorous short story about the undead.


Have A Happy...

Well you didn't think I would let this go by . . . It is not just a bunch movies.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Burning Question

Why does it seem that a photograph of an old book or magazine draws more interest than something written about the same book or magazine. Are we primarily visual?

New England Horror Writers Membership....

Has just been confirmed. Can't wait to work with everybody. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

We Teach Again

Milford Adult Ed tells us we have a fall class. For those enrolled I look forward to meeting and working with you. For those who still wish to sign up call Milford Adult Ed. You have internet, come on look it up.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 22nd the Oil will run

"I Like Mine With Oil" will appear on the 22nd. Thank you Gavin and thank you Schlock!

I want to go back to my George Gobel comment. I say this simply because I think my writing isn't fitting into easy categories. I am not quite writing ghost stories or horror per se. I think I have fallen into the weird realm. This isn't anyone's fault per se save for my own issues in presenting a story.

I have very little control in how I write so I can see what I need to do to adjust this.

Also, I believe the Gobel statement is much larger. I sat with a friend today and realized just how out of place I really am.

Maybe I am making too much of this, maybe another tale is brewing. On we go.  


For those looking for 'I Like Mine In Oil' as originally announced for September 8th publication we have been bumped. Alas, I do understand the reason as the tale does not thematically fit this week's issue of 'Schlock! Webzine' which has more of a distinct Martian tone.

Please give that magazine a read as it is a great product.

Details to follow as to where the 'oil' will eventually drip.

In the immortal words of the even more immortal George Gobel, an absolute genius:

Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes.

Today is one of those days; but such is the way with our art.

Keep rockin'.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It is Official....

My flash piece titled "Infested Candy" will be in the anthology titled 'UGLY BABIES' edited by Sydney Leigh and published by James Ward Kirk Fiction. My many thanks to Sydney Leigh. I am honored to be a part of what is shaping up to be an incredible read. More details to follow.

Friday, September 6, 2013

INFESTED CANDY to be in an Anthology

We are just waiting on the contract. But after editing we just got the word and we will be in UGLY BABIES. More info to follow. I am very happy after a very difficult day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My New Review on Luridlit-lit.com "Son of a Bitch" By White and Duza

Bizarro and Splatterpunk join forces to in the hot of the press "Son of a Bitch" by Andre Duza and Wrath James White. Check out my review on Lurid-lit.com.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


My article, yes an article --- not a short story about purchasing haunted items on eBay is on CTBOOM.COM.

Have a laugh. That is why I wrote it:


Monday, September 2, 2013

Can't We Just All Get Along? Really.

As I toil this Labor Day, like every other day; I listen to the radio or I should say, what has replaced the radio, that is internet streaming.

On one of my favorite programs played an interview with Stephen Meyer who wrote a book about Intelligent Design. Now before the hate comes in; can't we just listen to the argument?

Well I did and I found the subject fascinating. I did have questions. I wish it was a call-in and not 'Best of' because boy did I have questions. I am not saying I completely buy or discount it; but it is the idea that is intriguing and deserves respect and scrutiny.

I decided to go to Amazon and check on the book. Perhaps I can read a passage and seek out reviews; but like fiction what I found was not a meshing of coherent discussions but either outright cheerleading or irrelevant venom. Can't we just discuss the merits? Can't we actually converse without the kneejerk childish politics?

I guess not. And that saddens me. In the long run that dooms us all intellectually and if you look at movies and television we have already started getting in the coffin.

This reminds me of a recent Facebook argument I was drawn into with someone who was clearly uninformed on the facts of a matter and whose most famous response to me when I tried to explain a point of legal procedure was "I call Bullshit" when I mentioned that I was an attorney and do work for the judicial system.

I know there is a movement these days not acquire things but experiences. You do that by opening your mind and seeking different points of view rather than going to a forest and sitting under a tree.

I mentioned fiction and I have found that many who review fiction do so the same way. I don't really believe people read anymore; they simply make judgments about an author or publisher and write reviews to leave some mark or damage someone else's wallet.

It is sad.


Thank you Labor Day weekend. Finally. Finally. I pulled my first and second drafts out and my notes and finally it is all cleaned up and back on track. The novel is one third the way done but finally COHERENT. And funny... More to come.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The End of Summer

We have had a busy summer and a busy month. I hope September will see more posts and more good news. A lot is coming our way: Deadite Press just sent a load of books to be reviewed; I have written more short stories; and have two novels near completion.

Enjoy the rest of your summer. My plans are to sprint to the end of the year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gas Attack

I was involved in a gas attack today. I had a bad chimichanga at a taco stand. Does that mean I can go to Change.org and petition President Obama to help me?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"RIFLEMAN!" BY HOWIE CARR Reviewed on Lurid-lit.com NOW!!!!

We go to non-fiction on Lurid-lit. To real crime and look into the doings of the last of the classic mob bosses; WHITEY BULGER and his WINTER HILL GANG, into the terror and blood they spread throughout Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before putting their show on the road to spread darkness about the land.

If you missed the trial in Boston don't fear, this is a great way to get up to speed.

This is about real crime; real corruption and worth more than just a mere look before the next trial  begins in Oklahoma by the end of the year.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Classic Book Review: THE DANCE OF DEATH by William Herman (Ambrose Bierce) 1877

Written with Thomas A. Harcourt under the pseudonym 'William Herman', this novella examines the concept of death as seen through historical, cultural, psychoanalytical and literary texts. This tome was far beyond its time. Not only does it allow the reader an ample glance of 19th century thought; it shows scholars and thinkers alike the genesis of and continued formation of philosophies still being argued today.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Elmore Leonard

Leonard was one of those writers who never seemed to make the conversation when discussing contemporary writers; which is a shame because he was better than the proclaimed 'best seller' group knocking around these days. For me Elmore Leonard was the last link to the classic detective, mystery, noir authors; and like them, he will be greatly missed.

Here's to Elmore Leonard, a writer whose lack of self promotion and flash is made up for with class and long lasting art.


My short story ONE NIGHT is out in print in the October issue. issue #24 of Night to Dawn Magazine available from www.bloodredshadow.com.


The September 8th issue will have my flash story of water, eels and horror. Details to follow.

RIFLEMAN: The Untold Story of Stevie Flemmi, Whitey Bulger's Partner by HOWIE CARR, 2013.

I am part way through. You want to read about crime --- this is real; very real for some of who actually lived in Massachusetts at the time. Phenomenal book.

OPEN LINES reviewed now on LURID-LIT.COM

Now, now, now. The debut novel from Jeremy Maddux is on Lurid-lit.com. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Saugus Halloween Ghost Story Contest is coming

For all ages. www.saugus.net for details. This is a juried and well established and well respect contest. Sharpen your horror and your wit.  

Gotham Writer's Workshop

I am happy to say we made the first cut to be an instructor. We under consideration, just found out today and I am so happy.

It's Been A Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG===No I don't write that way, but it has been a week. Part of the issue is my day job and part of the issue is my internet has been wonky. Well, we have a lot to get caught up on and I hope Cablevision of Connecticut takes my advice: Less paper and more flushing. Do that and maybe the entire system won't breakdown.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two new reviews on Lurid-lit.com Now

"The Hard Cold Shoulder" and "Through A Shattered Lens, I Saw" by L. A. Sykes are featured. If you like Brit Grit; if you like noir ---- you'll like these.


And now the wait and the crossing of a lot of anatomy. Here is to hoping.....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

UPDATE: The Angels Are Still In The Outfield

Well it seems the Angel Priest is flesh and blood after all. But before anyone goes 'awe!!' we should all be happy. While it is always somewhat disappointing when a potential supernatural mystery is found to be natural; we should celebrate Rev. Patrick Dowling for doing his job with humility and anonymity, two Christian values that are sorely lacking in the world today.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Classic Book review: WHAT MASSIE KNEW by Henry James

Something a little different here. The trauma of divorce; of children of divorce and the strength exhibited in the human spirit. Written in 1897 this story was way ahead of its time.

The cover by the great Edward Gorey doesn't hurt either.

Classic Book Review: MORE GHOST STORIES by M. R. JAMES

What can be any better? The master of the Victorian ghost tale and more of them.

Bad Movie Review: NEW ALCATRAZ

This 2001 gem starring Dean Cain involves a high security prison for the most dangerous criminals and a giant snake. Make your own jokes --- snake --- big --- prison.

But the movie is no joke. It simply sucks.

Make your own jokes.

My only joke is this; 'The Terrornauts' has a better critical rating. 

Yeah I'm Square, I Believe

And maybe because deep down I want to. And maybe because it gives my frail existence on this marble some meaning. And maybe because I can rest easy that at the end of this Hell we live in, there will be a place where peace will truly reign.

There may be a simple explanation. There may be an identification made in flesh and blood. But the mystery surrounding the Angel Priest of Missouri is desperately intriguing. We live in a world where people are vile; people are manipulative and people intentionally inflict harm on their fellow man all to give their meaningless existences meaning.

Since he doesn't appear in any photographs from the accident scene, a police sketch was released today with a plea to the public for help. Many are saying he looks like Padre Pio, who himself is intriguing and to whom gave so many so much Hope.

To actually have Hope, not the fraudulent use of the word as perpetrated by the DNC, but actual ethereal Hope would be a considerable breakthrough in this time of strife. Perhaps that is why this story capturing this nation's imagination as well as mine.

I do hope there is no earthly explanation, and yet if there is a definite identification, it would be just as hopeful to know that if he is 'real', that someone out there is truly authentic and is truly selfless.

So this is all you can come up with for 400?

As I was running errands today I stopped at a Tag Sale. From time to time I do looking for other peoples' junk that I feel will enhance my junk. My big find today is a spittoon embossed with the name 'Lovecraft'.

Now I don't believe for an instant that this collector of saliva actually belonged to the king of horror, but with the name 'Lovecraft emblazoned on it well, it must be worth something right?

Yeah of course. This brass jewel is probably worth a couple of hundred or even a couple of thousand dollars to horror fans. Yeah, just think how fast I can turn this baby around on eBay.......

Yeah, if it existed.

My point is why are all H P Lovecraft books more expensive than other horror writers? Even his contemporaries/ Why do book dealers feel they have to pick the pocket of the literary class for the opportunity to view stories that are in the public domain?

Surely it has to do with the absolute reverence of the man and his writings; that collectors, much as they have done with Poe, believe that if they possess these volumes published long ago, in their offices and libraries, the 'mojo' will wear off  on their own keyboards.

Fine. But books were meant to be read; authors studied and their tales dissected for genius. When he cease to delve into the psyche of those who paved away and treat their volumes like religious artifacts we run the risk of devaluing their work making it akin to a spittoon and rendering ourselves functionally illiterate.

Happy 400 and hope to have 400 and more to come.

Friday, August 9, 2013

As we near post 400.....

As we near post 400, a number I didn't envision approaching, a number of things have come to mind. First, I never realized how difficult it is to come up with interesting material to post here. And it took me a long time to come up with those posts --- a long time. Second, I want to thank everyone who has come by here at least once, I hope you found something informative and fun. And to my regulars, I can't thank you enough.

So, why this for 399?

Well, I had nothing else.

No. I have something timely for 400. While it may be a bit personal it really is the only way for me to go.


Something's Doing at BLASTED HEATH

And me thinks its bundles. Drop by BLASTED HEATH and check out what may be an amazing sale for some amazing titles. Every writer and every publisher needs a shot in the arm from time to time to spread their work out wider. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity as we enter the holiday season.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More original fiction on Lurid-lit.com THE PERFORMANCE BY E. F. SCHRAEDER

My exile from reviewing continues. And that is a good thing as we are able to bring you more original fiction. This week E. F. Schraeder and THE PERFORMANCE.

Friday, August 2, 2013

FETID published today by The Carnage Conservatory

We are pleased to announce that my flash fiction story FETID has been published today by the Carnage Conservatory.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Classic Book Review: KELLER MEMENTO: 25 Years of Short Stories by David H. Keller

If you do not know the name of David Keller and the stories he has written, you have some reading to do. Thanks to Ramble House and Fender Tucker many of the pulp tales of this brilliant writer have been saved from obscurity.

He may not be hip; he may not use four letter language to salt otherwise brand prose; he may not use extreme violence to dress up a meandering plot like so-ooooo many do today. And thank God.

Thank Dr. David H. Keller for original tales; subtle horror and an uneasiness that creeps into your brain long after you put down the page. There are forty five tales here of genius; of brilliance; of terror --- real believable terror.

So please rediscover this lost master. Put away the puke and blue stories that masquerade as literature today; ignore those with special degrees who are 'trained' in writing; and read something worth your while and study. Read something that will show you how to write a horror story.

Where Is An Infomercial When You Need One; A Movie Review: Haunted Prison, SciFi Channel

I have been ill and not sleeping much since slumber on a toilet can be hazardous not to mention messy. In between bouts of health food revenge I found a horror movie on television this early, early morning titled HAUNTED PRISON. Found specifically on the SciFi channel; usually a purveyor of garbage, today they reached a new low in sewage.

Here the spirits of a violent prison riot attack a group of thieves along with a separate group made up of a documentary crew investigating the hauntings; end of plot. This convergence of disparate groups is even more unbelievable than the two gangs of bank robbers robbing the same bank at the same time in "Take The Money And Run". At least the latter was satire and funny; 'Haunted Prison' could only attain a level of sickening. The one star rating for this alleged horror show should have come with a disclaimer explaining why this movie is as overrated as 1980s popular pop music.

Poorly written, poorly acted, poorly directed this truly is a horror show. The special effects are laughable no that is incorrect; the special effects are pitiful. The producers of this film would have been better off with a ball of twine, magic markers and sock puppets.

When will the SciFi Channel turn out decent programming? When will we as consumers demand more? Bad is not cute and campy? It is bad. Sharks in a tornado isn't neat --- it is stupid and so are we if we take this for entertainment.

'Haunted Prison' a definite miss, in fact the print should be locked away for life in those states where there is no death penalty.

Thank God for a lot of bowel movements and Thank God that Broderick Crawford and 'Highway Patrol' came in on another channel.

Me and Farrah Fawcett Have Something In Common....

We both are on posters. Classic posters. Well, the one I am on will be a classic.

My 'penny dreadful' 13 word story The Autopsy is now being featured by Haunted Waters Press on one of their ready for framing posters. Posters are $8.00 and can be purchased through Haunted Waters Press.

Original Fiction on Lurid-lit Not mine though.....

For the next two weeks we post original fiction on Lurid-lit. This week Mark Slade's 'Screw Head Was Here'.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

NOTIONS in Schlock! Webzine today......in the UK.......

We are pleased to announce that my ghost story NOTIONS appears today in the July 28th edition of Schlock! Webzine in the UK.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Classic Book Review: THE INTOXICATED GHOST by Arlo Bates, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1908,

Arlo Bates died in 1918 and to many his writings died with him. Thank God for used book stores. From his most famous of ghost story and his most famous volume of ghost stories you will not find a better written, more humorous, more serious work.

I dare to invite the wrath of others; here it goes----I'll take Bates any time, any day; you can keep Lovecraft who I still believe gets too much credit.

Classic Book Review: CARMILLA and THE EVIL GUEST by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

'Carmilla' pre-dates 'Dracula'  and is the classic foundation of vampire literature in its influence to Bram Stoker's novel and works to follow. The theme of lesbianism has also held fascination for readers as well. While dated in presentation this tale is still a solid stalwart to the genre before the entire vampire trope was destroyed completely by more modern takes. Sparkle. Sparkle. If you enjoy classic vampirism and not one who would vie for a 'Rolling Stone' cover then pick this up.

'The Evil Guest' too is a classic of curses and gothic horror; the specialty of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

The volume you see was published by Full Moon Press in 2008. It includes illustrations and a few extras. If you can forgive the extras and the artwork this is a winner. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The 100th Lurid-lit is on

The 100th post of Lurid-lit is up. A lot has happened and a lot more is to come...

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Out today as issue #118.

Here is the link, visit, read and enjoy:


I am honored to be a part of this. I have had this publication in mind for quite a while. Thanks guys.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

HIT is now on the Blackout City Podcast right now!!!!

My story and script for HIT is on the Black Out City Podcast right now:


is the link for the further adventures of Joe Smoke....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Shameless Plug and Book Review Okay enough of this: TALES FOR THE TOILET

This anthology contains one of my favorite stories FLIGHT 377. I had a good day when I wrote that one. Short and neat stories from many talented writers. Available through Crowded Quarantine Press and Amazon.

Shameless Plug and Book Review again: 31 MORE NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN

For G rated horror for the whole family this volume from Rainstorm Press is still available on Amazon.com and from Rainstorm Press. My strange little tale about a strange little boy titled CARBON COPY can be found right here. Enjoy, if you dare....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Moss on the Rolling Stone

I won't spend too much time or space but what a cowardly and distasteful act Rolling Stone has pulled by attempting to victimize someone who is a suspect in eight killings and a suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing.

To tell the public this an attempt to deal with the complexities of this case and individual is pure crap.

He is almost twenty years old and has a considerable body count. He is almost twenty years old and surveillance shows him ALLEGEDLY placing one of the bombs next to an eight year old boy.

What is complex here? What is 'rock starish' about that? He didn't wreck a hotel room or burn a piano down while playing it or smash a Stratocaster after a concert --- people died.

To victimize this individual to sell rags is stomach turning. And I bet the publishers of this waste of a forest haven't contributed a cent to the Boston One Fund.

Here's a short letter to the editor:

Dear Rolling Stone:

You suck. We should boycott you; the stores that sell your publication and your advertisers.

To paraphrase John Lennon: Instant Karma should get you.


Monday, July 15, 2013

The 100th Post For Lurid-Lit

We are waiting on it, but the milestone 100th post is on the way. Stay tuned.

Shameless Plug and Book Review: You Can't Kill Me I Am Already Dead: A Vampire Anthology

From Zombie Works Publications. It includes my story "Wake Up"; a story with a past on its way to this fine vampire anthology.

One magazine editor told me the story was and I quote 'Crap' as he described in a long list of items it lacked. Here's the thing, he should have paid more attention to his magazine than my story; he went belly up and this story was very well received not only by the publisher but by comments I received from readers.

I tried sending him a kindle copy but his email is down too.

Maybe I should have sent him Tales For The Toilet?


Here's your proof that DRACULA wasn't a one hit wonder. Shorter pieces are found here, usually those you would find in old anthologies. Included here are THE JUDGE'S HOUSE, THE BURIAL OF THE RATS, THE SQUAW and seven others. Excellent background too by Charles Osborne.

If you claim to know horror you don't know anything until you have read this volume.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I find the creative process to be that. As I sit here, having been up all night in my own filth....hey wait a minute. I could use that....

Don't Forget To Pick Up....RIGOROUS MORTIS

From Scarlett River Press. Besides my story "Mr. Friedenhandler" this is a scary mortician's delight.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

NOTIONS To Be Published

In the July 28th issue of Schlock. Link to follow.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Faux Paus

Well I guess I am thrown out of another writers' group. This is getting to be a habit and yes, the common denominator is me.

Welcome to Facebook where people live out their fantasy lives in elaborate virtual games played along with family, friends and strangers from around the globe be it dating, farming, whatever. Welcome to Facebook where people can chart their travels and experiences right down to the second as they are sipping a beer in a dive right off the turnpike and close by. Welcome to Facebook where everyone is a success and life is happy. Welcome to Facebook the perpetual High School, family reunion...

And who gives a shit?

All I did was post a simple question. All I did in the spirit of community to writers and artists everywhere is ask what their favorite or most horrible rejection was and how that rejection was ultimately redeemed.

What is wrong with that?

I was looking for positive stories. I was looking for gold pulled out of shit. I was looking for editors who have blown it. The history of literature is chock full of famous cases, so why not add to it and join the illustrious ranks of the famous just before they became famous.

What did I get in return?

Cue crickets. Yeah, crickets. No I lie, I received worse than crickets. I was responded to in silence.

I realize we are an insecure bunch. Otherwise why write? We feel we are important and our thoughts count. We are showmen, exhibitionists and 'bully pulpiteers''. We are walking genitals spewing out waste the bulk of the day; miserable most of the time until we see our name in print and after those few seconds of euphoria and orgasm pass we are back to being small and miserable again as we await the next great rub from a sympathetic editor.

I realize our most important work IS THE NEXT ONE and to admit to any failure received in private in a proud and creative brain is compounded by having to admit to the failure in full public view.

But isn't it better to share the hope? Isn't it better to feel some relief that we are not alone in our quests?

We talk a lot about supporting each other; about being a community and picking each other up when the other falls; so why can't we just be true and truly give guidance once in a while rather than just become a receptacle for applause.

I'm out. I get it but at least denial won't bite me in the butt someday. I can stand by my creations knowing others feel they should be in print for their audiences as well and not just for an audience of one.


We are happy to announce that SCHLOCK webzine out of the United Kingdom will publishing JUST ANOTHER GHOST STORY in their July 21st issue. Details to follow.

This year we cut way back on submissions to concentrate in other areas. I hope to have more good news soon.

Thank you Schlock.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Classic Book Review: ZERO HOUR by Vargo Statten, Scion, 1953

More futuristic fisticuffed fun.

Classic Book Review: THE DEVOURING FIRE by Vargo Statten, Scion Limited, 1951

Vargo Statten is one of the several names British author John Russell Fearn wrote by. A prolific pulp writer he is best known for the novelization of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.
In THE DEVOURING FIRE the reader is transported to the high tech and futuristic world of the year 2000; rocket ships, spaceships and a whole lotta' science fiction going on.

While many critics say his work is "unpolished", believe me he is easier to read than the bulk of what is out today. A great template for many a writer. Grab a copy.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Classic Book Review: FANTASTIC FABLES by Ambrose Bierce

First published in 1898. Ambrose Bierce at his bitter best. More clever and better written than any of the unfunny contrived swear porn out today.

Classic Book Review: THE BOOK OF VAMPIRES by Dudley Wright

Before vampires were turned into romance trash they were taken seriously. Very seriously. First published in 1924 and in continuance publication since, THE BOOK OF VAMPIRES lays down the ground work with stories, superstitions, and marginalia involving those hungry, hungry corpses. A must read for all horror fans and writers just in the way Sun Records is a must listen to all rock fans. A true classic.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Here's A Cheery Thought.....

I love the internet. It has absolutely everything including a site that will tell forecast your date of demise. www.TheDeathClock.com .

I tried it today. My date of death is February 2, 2012.

Yes February 2, 2012.

SO......either their calculations are dead wrong; or I input the data incorrectly; or God doesn't want me and the Devil doesn't want me either.

There are no complaints about the death clock filed anywhere.

I re-checked my data and all of it is correct.

Hmmm. What do you do to piss off the deity and the prince of darkness?

I'd apologize but I'm too scared.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Review: BURIED ALIVE by Jan Bondeson, W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.

A classic horror story is Poe's "The Premature Burial" spawned out of a real fear that today, many either forgot or simply are unaware ever existed. Mr. Bondeson takes us through the history and the remedies concocted to shave some of the fear from man's greatest fear.

This is a scholarly written volume and is not light reading, but for those of us who don't resort to the more homogenized literary fare; to the more outline driven childish tome, this is an incredible gem of research in understanding the fear, the horror and the problem.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Classic Book Review: NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS by Mac Hyman, 1954

Yet another classic that started with this novel before conquering the Broadway Stage and then film. Before becoming Sheriff Andy Taylor, Andy Griffith's portrayal about a backwoods country boy's experience in the military is still legendary.

This is fun and meant to be; if you are looking for 'preachiness' of what M*A*S*H became on television this isn't for you.

All salute.

Classic Book Review: THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE by Evan Hunter, 1954

The classic novel that spawned the classic film at the forefront of fifties realistic cinema. Juvenile delinquents and Rock n' Roll. Enough said.

While the modern day and hip, more self-sophisticated reader it may seem dated; remember, without this breakthrough piece we might all be holding hands sitting in a circle singing folk songs. Yuck. Read the book. See the film.

Book Review: William F. Nolan: A MISCELLANY edited by Jason V. Brock, Dark Discoveries Publications, 2011.

Neat chap book that includes a Bibliography along with the not previously anthologized noir short story "Strippers Have To Die" and a superhero comics primer titled "The Guys In Trick Suits" from 1967.

One of the greats from Golden Age standing with Bradbury, Matheson, Beaumont and Bloch; it's a limited edition from the publisher but well worth the read.


I have written Episode 7 of THE BLACKOUT CITY PODCAST. The title of this Joe Smoke episode is DITRY HANDS.

Here is the link:


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book of the Day HAUNTED PEOPLE by Hereward Carrington and Nandor Fodor with Photo

THE work on Poltergeist phenomena. This is a book we should all refer to in presenting our fantasies. Published by Dutton in 1951 find the science not the sensationalism that drives the cable ghost hunting programs. Classic hauntings such as the Phelps Case and the Bell Witch come under scrutiny.

Give it a whirl.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



Literature is not only read it is read aloud.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Richard Matheson and James Gandolfini

Two giants have passed in less than a week. Artistically both are icons that can never be replaced.

My first exposure to Richard Matheson was "Little Girl Lost" from 'The Twilight Zone' a marvelously simple and devilishly creative story that later was mimicked in the movie 'Poltergeist'. It was my first 'Twilight Zone' and man was I hooked. His writings are many, famous and inspirational; like his contemporaries Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, and Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson was a hero of mine. I am thankful for what he has left us and am sorry there won't be anymore.

James Gandolfini was an actors' actor. He was complex, varied and made it look easy. He will be remembered primarily for being Tony Soprano, but he was much more. Look at his stage and film work and you find an actor that dominated a role with grace and intelligence.

They both are missed already.