Thursday, January 31, 2013

Alas Poor Mr. Friedenhandler...He Was Looking So Well

So it appears the long awaited horror anthology: RIGOROUS MORTIS: A MORTICIANS TALES is finally dead and embalmed and lying in an unmarked grave. I last communicated with Scarlett River Press on December 3rd and Jo-Anne Russell cited an office move and other issues continuing to donate to the delay. The volume was due in the fall and today Scarlett River Press cannot be accessed on the web. I wish Ms. Russell the best. I am disappointed this project collapsed, but we move ahead and I am confidant Mr. Friedenhandler will get his due. What else can I do? Get angry? This is business not spite; everyone is hurting and Honey Boo Boo and the Khardashians continue to define our culture. Yep, we have bigger problems than a failed anthology.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Apologies.....

Sadly many of us know that life can interrupt our art. My apologies for the sparse writing of late as 'my day job' has thrown many obstacles in my way. Ordinarily this could be a bittersweet situation; but the influx of busy work, the lack of desire of clients to pay, and the general fact that people are getting more and more nasty has made this time a living Hell. No whining here, just a fact that the real world contains more in the way of terror that I could ever dream up. We hope to be back on a more prolific schedule in another week.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sadly, This Is Real And Not A Sick Comedy Bit...I Was There

Recently someone I know telephoned me in a panic: He wanted to commit suicide. Why call me? Well, the panic was real. This guy felt everything he had, everything he lived for, everything he believed in was slipping away. Of course, this is a suicidal mindset. But what makes this sadder is the fact he telephoned the National Suicide Hotline twice and, yes, was placed on hold. On the first call he hung up after three minutes; the second time after five minutes. After more conventional help was secured I thought I would check into this. After listening to a recorded message I waited six minutes before hanging up; I waited six minutes with no one coming on the line. There was a comedy bit back in the 1970s about being so unlucky. In this age of mega technology and widespread despair don't mind me for not laughing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Celebration of Charles Beaumont is on now!!!

We celebrate one of my heroes---a true literary giant of horror and science fiction; Charles Beaumont. If you know the 'The Twilight Zone'; whether it be "The Howling Man", Talky Tina; "The Beautiful People" Mr. Beaumont was a true original; a true creative force; and a writer whose influence and mark is as indelible as any. He deserves to be in the pantheon with Poe and Bierce. Stop by for a read.

The Great Thing About Being Rejected....

When I first began this journey, not understanding the business end, I took rejection hard. I threw things, I swore, I pledged vengeance on the idiot who attempt to destroy my dream etc. But in time rejection led to better things. I am re-working a twice rejected short story now and am actually excited in the tale discovering the vitality it never had. In my blind mind I thought the original was brilliant; how could anyone not want to grace their pages with this burst of beauty, action and terror? Upon further review---this story sucked. Not now and not in the streamlined direction it is headed now. But editors are not always a good barometer. Two of my pieces heavily panned by editors in long emails were reflexsively turned around to anthologies where they were praised and published. Four others fared well to rave reviews in other journals; and one did extremely well in a contest. Editors are like shoes; the fit not the look should matter.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And then Edgar says:

"Do you like my hat? I got it yesterday for my birthday..." ME: "I think we drank too much tequila." POE: "Yeah, but I got this hat."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Edgar Allan Poe: The Interview Part, we forgot the number and are too lazy to look it up

ME: Have you been following this fake dead girlfriend story involving Notre Dame football standout Manti Te'o? POE: Can't help it. That story interrupted my following of Lance Armstrong? ME: We'll get to him in a second. But where did they go wrong in the telling of their tale? You have written extensively about fake dead chicks and you've pulled it off. Where did they go wrong in their narrative? POE: Writing involves a rhythm to the language and the imagery. This tale was just too damn sappy to be believable. WE: Agreed. I thought it jumped the shark early on with all the melodrama. By the way, nice hat. POE: Thank you. ME: So what is your reaction on Lance Armstrong? POE: Lance Armstrong, don't let me get started! ME: Okay we won't. Thank you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meanwhile He's Still Thinking.........

ME: Take your time, I know this is a difficult one. POE: I did enjoy the double episode with Jenna Elfman. ME: Me too but I think that was because it was Jenna Elfman. POE: Yeah, right.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Edgar Allan Poe Interview Part 2

ME: You were born in Boston? POE: Yes. ME: But you spent a considerable amount of time and died in Baltimore? POE: Yes, a great town. The nightlife was hopping. ME: So let me ask you; Patriots or Ravens this Sunday? POE: You have to ask? While I respect Tom Brady and his offense I think Ed Reed is going to have a big game. Ravens 27 Patriots 24. ME: "The Raven", "The Bells", "The Tell-Tale Heart","The Black Cat", so many chilling tales and verses of terror and horror. Tell me, 'Two and a Half Men' with Sheen or Kutcher? POE:(silent),I thought the story arc involving Jenna Elfman was interesting. ME: Yeah, she is a good actress.

The Interview PART 1

Today we meet with a man who is a great influence on my philosophy of literature; on my thematic view of the world; and who was a great speller. Today we begin a series of interviews with a giant of letters; a man who truly was the 'scariest man alive'; and a man with a great alto-baritone singing voice. Ladies and Gentlemen, with great apologies to Monty Python, the late, great EDGAR ALLAN POE. ME: Mr. Poe, or can I call you Edgar? POE: You can can me Edgar. ME: What about Ed or Eddie? POE: Edgar is fine. ME: EA? POE: Mr. Poe will suffice. ME: Thank you. Edgar, what is with the spelling of Allan? I see it with an 'a' and with an 'e'. Is it either or both or something unique like Liza with a 'Z'? POE: Liza with a what? ME: A 'Z' like xylophone. PART 2 next Wednesday.....Wednesdays with Edgar.....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Coming soon.....That is Wednesday.....

We have been given access to a great writer. Not a 'great writer' in the modern sense but a great writer in a sense that his work transcends time. A great writer in a sense that his work is immortal; that his work is influential; that his work can truly be described as ground-breaking. That the mere mention of his name inspires awe in the heart and causes ones knees to buckle with a reflexsive courtsey. He is a writer whose talent I cannot approach. I couldn't even fantasize in approaching the imagination and ability of this man; I dare not even mere slip of a daydream even wish for a mere crumb of his magic. You'll meet him in a series of interviews starting Wednesday and every Wednesday for a short portion of time....

"The Perfect Home" to be published!!!

We are pleased to announce that our short horror tale titled THE PERFECT HOME will be published in the 'twisted love' February issue of Surreal Grotesque. Can't think of that perfect gift for your spouse then maybe this story will give you an idea.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sydney M. Patchen

I need to say something about my wife. She edits the random and sometime disjointed thoughts I throw down here and there. She spends hours sometimes dress up my pigs into fine purses. Like any writer/editor relationship there are disagreements, arguments and days without speaking; and there are times I do not follow her advice; after all writers are wholly narcissists. As we move forward I think her role needs to be more prominent.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Our First Inclusion On A PODCAST!!!!

'A Night In The Country' has been selected for Surreal Grotesque's second all time podcast. We are very excited to have been selected. This is a great honor. The link is below. Get ready to be creeped out: Just cut and paste on your browser or visit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To Twitter or Not to Twitter

Our dear friend Anonymous-9 heaped some heavy praise on yours truly this morning throughout the blogosphere for my writing style on the latest Noir review on Lurid-lit. I am grateful to her for her kind words. She did raise a question though that perhaps we should consider. When she retweeted her statements to her six hundred followers on Twitter the question arose----should we be there too? For those who know me, technologically I'm as big an idiot as I am a big idiot, however would the technology serve our writing? I never thought of it before. I always thought Twitter was used for either short inciteful statements or unabomber rants parcelled out a sentence at a time. While I don't see myself as inciteful I can certainly do the latter since I do live under a bridge and am usually found walking around Milford Connecticut carrying a large heavy bag and a broken badminton raquet. Now I just have to get over the idea of saying, with a straight face, "I'm going to Tweet you." To be continued....

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

THE DEVIL DOESN'T WANT ME Book Review on Lurid-Lit Now!!!

Eric Beetner's newly published and soon to be noir classic THE DEVIL DOESN'T WANT ME is reviewed on Lurid-lit right now. Drop by and take a read.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

L. Ron Hubbard; He actually could write

And for a few days I couldn't thanks to this marvel of technology known as my computer. Anyway, don't let the name L. Ron Hubbard fool you. "Dianetics" was not the only thing he ever wrote. Mr. Hubbard was an accomplished and prolific pulp writer in the 1940s who impressed such scribes as Ray Brabdury and Robert Bloch. I had the occasion of spying and purchasing two slim collections of his work published by Galaxy Press at a local discount shop and have come away quite impressed. "The Great Secret" amd "The Professor Is A Thief" volumes demonstrate lush and dynamic prose for story concepts that are fun and action filled. And after reading these, I didn't have the desire to grin with menace and jump up and down on a couch. I just wanted to read more.

Friday, January 4, 2013


I am happy to announce that Ghost Writes Services is officially launched. If you need editing or press releases or help with that presentation, etc. we are here to help. Please check us out at or

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Horror Reprints-----Check These Out

Popular Publications is selling 1930s and 1940s reprints of the pulp titled HORROR STORIES. You have to check these out if you can. Understandably some of the writing may be melodramatic and even stilted by our standards; but considering the contemporary junk that is being pedaled to readers you can obviously do worse. The cover art alone is worth the purchase price. But I think it is always important and fun to see from whence we have come.

Saugus.Net Ghost Story Contest A Thank You

Just received my prize for this year's story THE DEATH KNELL. First I love the glow in the dark shirt. But second, I think the mug with The Grim Reaper, their symbol for the contest, memorializing my winning stories for the last two years is simply outstanding. Thank you so very much. I enjoyed writing and submitting these stories: A VISIT and THE DEATH KNELL and I look forward being a judge in 2013. Thank you.