Saturday, November 30, 2013

How 'Very' is 'Very'? Check

My review of Rayo Casablanca's shoot em' up 'Very Mercenary is on 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.


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

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

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.