Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting on 2014

Accomplishments are fine. It's been a good writing year. It could have been spectacular but publishers go under, so it's a good year considering I only do this very part time and have only been doing this just less than four years.

But here is what sits in my craw about this past year.

What stands out to me about 2014 is the lack of civility in society. People are way too angry. People are way too self-important hence easily swayed in to believing they have been insulted. Etc. Etc. Etc Can we just get back to being supportive, to having a sense of humor and drop the narcissism? Can we please listen and stop being reactionary. Every phone call in my real business is a fight. Every letter is a battle. The same is happening with writing and even going to the supermarket. Yeah, it's nice to toot one's horn but it's not nice to rip people behind their backs. It's not cool to look for an angle to rip someone off. Deceit is not smarts. Its deceit. We all have a voice. We all have something important to contribute. Can we please be instructive and constructive? I know I have to do that more too. Believe me I am the most imperfect among you but we need to dial it down in 2015 and use our intellect rather than emotion. 2014 was exhausting, this culture is exhausting. My soap box is closed. Happy New Year one and all. I for one am going to try to get it more correct in 2015.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Darkness Radio: A Thank You

I want to thank Dave and all the fans of DARKNESS RADIO for their kind words and posts following the lurid-lit review. Twitter was ablaze this morning and I was happy to draw attention to such a marvelous broadcast. Please check out DARKNESS RADIO five nights a week.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

DARKNESS RADIO is reviewed on LURID-LIT right now!!!!

The highly entertaining and informative paranormal radio show is the subject on right now. Give a listen and a read.


Just tell Vinnie, on his way over bringing the bat, to stop by the book store and pick this up.

LURID-LIT is back

Like an STD in a Bangcock brothel I am back with three crime ridden reviews...

Between now and the end of 2014 tune in, turn on and for God's sake READ.......

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Rod Serling

Would have been 90 today. Happy Birthday to the man who opened a world of imagination to me. To my first hero in this world I owe you a lot. You showed me that what I am doing as an artist has meaning; for showing me the way in how to tell a story; for instilling in me a fearless conviction that what I dream and what I write is true.

Thank you Rod Serling.


It goes without saying. Live and love. Enjoy your family and try to remember that this season is not about gifts it is about  the blessings that have bestowed upon you and the blessings you can bestow on others. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014


My short story SCREAMING, MASTICATION AND DEATH has been accepted by Horrified Press' anthlogy ARACHNOPHOBIA. Thank you Dorothy Davies.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Amazon Author's Page Back Up

All is straightened out with Amazon and the page is back up. Amazon still has to add a few more titles though.

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE CONTRACT to be published

by FULL MOON BOOKS an imprint of HORRIFIED PRESS in their anthology SUPERNATURAL due out in 2015. Details to follow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

RIDE to be published

RIDE will join MASTER OF TIME in HORRIFIED PRESS' Anthology CROSSING OVER. Contract has just been signed. Details to follow.

THE BRAKEMAN to be published...

in Horrified Press' KILLER TRACKS Anthology. I just signed the contract. Details will follow.


Horrified Press, the publisher states that press is at hand. I have two stories in this anthology: PSYCHOMANTEUM and THE DRAW, details to follow.

Fingers Are Crossed

We decided to get brave again and send out a number of stories. My plan by the end of February 2015 is to have every partial project completed and out for consideration. I love how we are ending 2014 and want 2015 to be the year.

Keep those fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

MASTER OF TIME to be published

In HORRIFIED PRESS' Anthology CROSSING OVER. This is a very personal story about my grandfather and I. This, as the anthology guidelines state deals with that moment of transition from this world to the next. I am extremely happy this tale will be memorialized in print.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Malaise or just Malware?

Unless you live in a cave or under the thickest rock on the planet you can't help but notice the disarray this country has been falling into. Everything has sucked for quite a while. Money is scant. Most people are not working only collecting. Stocks are only helping the rich. People are getting angrier. I haven't seen anything like this in a long time.

My suggestion is to disengage. Turn off the radio and television. Focus on your family and loved ones. Sure the culture is in free fall and the quicker it crashes, the quicker it will recover.

You will never be able to change the mind of the passionate uninformed.

Why get a stroke.

Monday, December 1, 2014

SUSPENDED IN DUSK is reviewed on LURID-LIT right now!!!!

SUSPENDED IN DUSK is reviewed on  right now. Edited by Simon Dewar from BOOKS OF THE DEAD PRESS.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

LURID-LIT is back with THUGLIT

This week we review lucky issue number 13 of the magazine THUGLIT. This isn't your father's prime time crime show. Stop by for the review at

FAIRNESS to be published

I just signed a contract with ROGUE PLANET PRESS to have FAIRNESS included in the anthology WARLORDS OF THE ASTEROID BELT. FAIRNESS is a different kind of science fiction tale, a story that harkens back to the morality plays of THE TWILIGHT ZONE or OUTER LIMITS. There is no twist to the ending here but it is a story about war, survivors and what remains after the carnage.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Three words that mean enemy. I just read a marvelous article on Linkd in where where a CEO says if you here those words you know a co-worker will stab you in the back. I say expand that to anyone in your life. I was just stabbed in the back by a friend who said the same thing to me involving a project. While the wound stings, I had a gut feeling at that moment something was wrong. One of the few times I guess I was proven right.

Careful What You Wish....WEIRD TALES

It was always my dream to be published in 'Weird Tales'. I am glad to say I realized that dream earlier this year. I almost realized that dream a second time but theN their site crashed over the summer and in keeping with their long and screwed up history, the site never came back except as a billboard for their current issue.

Such is also the case for any repsonse from the short story editor who has a story of mine...But we have seen this pattern before...

Now they are late on their publishing schedule and no one seems to know when the next issue will come out.

I don't know if a goat was involved or a bloody sock or if its the New York Americans Hockey team all over again, but the long history of this standard bearer is beyond problematic. What concerns me is that if most writers on their own can juggle a job, family, responsibilities, their writing and promotion on their own work and the publishers of 'Weird Tales' with all of their experience and expertise can't even put a up a working website and stick to a publishing schedule WITH A STAFF---Well, it's not me after all babe---it's clearly you.

Funny or not so funny, that is the second time I've said that this week.

See a pattern?

Monday, November 17, 2014

We are still here...

dealing with some family illness as well as a major project. We are here and we will have something shortly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


My first publication for 2015 is named. And it is science fiction! My story about a planet in search of a star and man's quest for stars will be published by FARTHER STARS MAGAZINE on January 15, 2015. More details and a link to follow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Dropped when the Special Snowflakes Anthology melted away, this weird tale/horror story is going to be picked up by NIGHTMARE ILLUSTRATED. Details to follow.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


After I met you,
I tripped over the moon;
I fell through the sky
in a free-fall dive
and then I died.

And then came the choice
based upon my looks and poise.
So they threw me in Hell
and as far as I can tell
I fit in well.

And then I found you,
and that was nothing new.
So I climbed to the sky,
blind in both eyes,
breathing only a sigh.

And so it begins again,
with pale hope and no end.
No matter where I'm found,
in a city or town,
I have a need to drown.

Regression is Progression

I always wanted to have it done and now because of some very disturbing things going on around the property this month I was offered the chance. As we were unfurling these disturbances it was suggested.

Preconcieved notions, I am told, will be quickly dispelled so this should be interesting. Perhaps it can unlock some curious things that have always been issues.

Hey, what do I have to lose?

I Got Mine. Where is yours......

CATCHING COLD IN A CAVE is more disturbing than my imagination.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saugus Ghost Story Contest Is In The Books

Congratulations to all the winners and here I also applaud all those who submitted. I enjoyed judging again and hope to continue next year.

For the results stop by

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Article About AMBROSE BIERCE Is Published


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bad Poetry is Returning

Not by popular demand. I just thought it might be fun. Yeah that feature is coming back. Stay tuned.

My True Ghost Tale is online now

is the link. I was there and that is all I know.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thank you Deadite Press

for sending along some books to review. I thought they were ticked at me, standing somewhere in that ever expanding line. But hey we have some promising books to review. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BARBECUE to be published

My weird, weird ghost story BARBECUE will be punlished in the October 26th issue--this Sunday's issue of SCHLOCK! WEBZINE. A link will follow.

It Certainly Looks A Lot Like, Not Halloween

It just doesn't feel right. It just doesn't have the same impact. Granted I live in Milford, Connecticut where the police have, in practice, barred all Halloween expression beyond a simple array of pumpkins.

What have we become?

Well, we have become a society of struggling families. We have become a cosiety devoid of free expression. We have become a censored society where ideas are more illegal than practice.

We also have become a society ruled by bland and mindless entertainment.

And unbeknowest to all our society has become fearful. Fearful to overt expression. Fearful to independant ideas and fearful to stand out from the crowd.

What it looks and feels like to me is that the trepidation of expression has led to the monsters being let loose on maple street, main street and every street in between.

The lack of passion hides an insecurity of intellect and overall lack of creativity spawn by subpar schools and a culture in rapid decline.

Instead of preaching independence and ingenuity we surrounded with collectivity. This correctness of the herd is nothing more than cowardice.

And cowardice is always death.

The death of a coward, like any death is horrible, but it is especially so when it occurs between the ears.

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Article On The Novel "Brain Waves And Death" To Be Published

In Bosley Gravel's Cavalcade of Terror. Details to come....

So what did we see at Gunntown?

Despite the time we spent there and the multitudes of photos, not a thing. The only strange experience witnessed was a dog that refused to go through the entrance. No matter how his master coaxed, pushed and pulled, the pup refused to enter.

Yes, hackles were up.

Yes, the dark barked at nothing.

And yes a photo at that moment revealed nothing.

But deep in my git I knew something was there.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

AMBROSE BIERCE article to be published

In Bosley Gravel's Cavalcade of Terror. Details and link to follow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PSYCHOMANTEUM to be published

My second story to be accepted for THE BLACK HAND Anthology. I finished writing it today and signed a contract. It is great to have two stories in one anthology.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

L A SYKES has original fiction on Lurid-lit

Come by and read LITTLE PEOPLE by L A SYKES. Original fiction is on Now!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

EGGS has been published

By Microfiction Monday Magazine in its 20th edition. Here is the link:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

CATCHING COLD IN A CAVE to be published again

My story has been chosen for inclusion in SCHLOCK! BI-MONTHLY the print and the best of Schlock! Webzine. Details to follow. Thank you Gavin....

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I am just posting now and boy are my eyes tired......

On I give you not one, not two, but three reviews "Eaters" by Michelle Depaepe, "Valley of Death, Zombie Trailer Park" by William Bebb and "Winds of Change" by Jason Brennan.

Three for the price of one now on

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

EGGS to be published

In 'Microfiction Monday' on October 13th. Link to follow.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

THE DRAW will be out in November

THE DRAW which is a short story and part of THE BLACK HAND Anthology is slated for November by Rogue Planet Press.

More details to follow.

Time To Stock The Cupboard

I don't have much out there. My time has been spent with my business and my submissions have dwindled. But three have gone out today and we are planning now to plow ahead and finish the year, God willing, with a flurry.

Gunntown Cemetery

My words will be spoken by the living protraying the dead this Friday and Saturday. Because of my own insecurities I won't be there to watch but I hope you will. I will await the reviews at Sardi's.

Go to Gunntown. Support the Naugatuck Historical Society. Enjoy the show.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Does it feel like Halloween to you?

I know I've been away, working my day job through a quite intense litigation schedule over the last forty five days but despite the junk trudging through my, I just haven't felt all that inspired.

It just doesn't feel like Halloween.

Global Warming has nothing to do with it. Global Warming is too busy screwing up the NFL, effecting the greatest issues facing humanity and providing smart words for celebrities and creatures who believe they are celebrities.

No. There is nothing special at this time year this time.

Perhaps because the horrors we have faced and will yet to face are all too real and not as contrived and cartoony as our pathetic and pale culture portrays them. We live in a country where our government spies on us, takes the fruit of our labors and refuses to protect us.

Yeah it doesn't feel like Halloween.

It feels like everyday life.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Jerry Lee Lewis

THE KILLER is 79. Happy Birthday to the man who shook the world.


Why not create an alternate meme to Slenderman called FATMAN. He's a spooky dude in cargo shorts and suspenders who haunts refrigerators and forces people to diet?

We are riffing on twitter...

#josephjpatchen and #josephpatchen

Catch the riffs and a few raffs.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

THE HOLE has been published

In tomorrow's SCHLOCK! WEBZINE. It's nice to be on the marquee with Mr. Poe.

Monday, September 22, 2014

THE SOLUTION has been published!!!

On HELLNOTES as part of their 'Horror In A Hundred' series. A tale about suicide in less than 100 words.

The link:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

We Uncover Hidden, Believed Lost Gems on Lurid-lit Today

Rather than do a standard or even classic book review we take a look at two publishers committed to preserving the forgotten gems of the past.

Stop by as you will be surprised at the sarcophagus of treasures to be uncovered.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Gunntown is a Go

The scripts have been accepted and now costuming and rehearsals follow. We meet the ghosts of the Gunntown Cemetery shortly.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gunntown Cemetery Scripts Are Done

I hope the committee enjoys them. I know I have been away largely because of my work on these scripts. October is coming and so is our little play of the dead. Details to follow....

Sunday, September 7, 2014

From today's DAILY MAIL in London JACK THE RIPPER Identified

This article raises some questions but I don't think necessarily proves anything. Certainly it is interesting reading.

THE SOLUTION to be published

In HELLNOTES Horror in a Hundred. I just received word and am honored. It will be second appearance there. The story will appear September 22nd.

THE SOLUTION is about suicide and was born out of the narrator's deepest depression for a a life he feels worthless. Yet, the narrator seems to gain strength and --- yes life, in the very act act of ending his.

A very short, 98 words, and complex piece.

Thank you HELLNOTES.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Coming...yeah that's the word.....

The publisher is closing submissions in less than nine days. THE ETHICS OF CLONING in Sex, Droids and Their Cyborg Toys is my next anthology appearance for science fiction.

Classic Book Review: BANNERS OF VICTORY By Lilith Lorraine

From Banner Press in 1937. This is an interesting poetry collection focusing on man and his place within the stars. This is a rare find and a surprising good read. The thoughts are deep, the flow is easy and if you can find one, even a reprint, its worth the look.

Thank you for the Gargoyle

This lovely gift was given to me by a reader. Thank you Patty I really appreciate it and think this guy is so cool. He will be an indoor gargoyle who will help guard some books on a bookshelf. Thank you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Editor's Notes: We've Been Away

But I doubt anyone missed me. Personal circumstance have kept us away but hey welcome to life.

In the last couple of days I have been approached by writers whose relationships with their illustrators have gone south. In the process their intellectual property and pride have suffered.

Personal relationships are flawed because people are flawed. Your chances of having a good relationship with another on any level is against the odds.

Working relationships are marriages and we all know the divorce rate.

I hate to this but here are my rules for collaboration:

1. No one is your friend. This involves intellectual property---keep a distance;
2. Your work is your work and make sure the world knows who created the characters; wrote the script and who drew the pictures;
3. No one is your friend. This involves money---keep a distance;
4. Document everything in writing by text or email;
5. Keep copies of this documentation with your work product;
6. People are flawed, most but not are out to hurt you;
7. Protect yourself.

I was burned very early on when I was in my late teens. This is why I do not collaborate.

Now keep in mind there are a number of publishers I respect and love to work with. But I work with them and we work in our roles; them for their book/magazine and I for my story/poem.

This is a different situation. This is not, 'hey let's get together and put together a book'. Together can be combustible and heart breaking. And this week it has been for a couple of friends--yes friends.

Trust your gut.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Anonymous-9's BITE HARDER is out today and we have it on LURID-LIT.COM today!!!

My review of the much awaited, heavily anticipated sequel to 'Hard Bite' hits the shelves today. Come read my column on for my take.....

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Saugus Ghost Story Contest

We will be a judge again for the second year in a row for this prestigious and fun contest for writers of all ages. Check out for details.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We Are On Twitter A Lot


I am tweeting a lot. Its like a return to my stand up days. Okay I try to be funny and timely... I try

Grab more than a flashlight this Friday there's gonna be a BLACKOUT

HIT and DIRTY HANDS together again, in one anthology together on sale this Friday, August 29th.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE ETHICS OF CLONING to be published

I just signed the contract for the anthology SEX DROIDS AND THEIR CYBORG TOYS published by Rogue Planet Press and due out in the fall. Rogue Planet Press is an imprint of Horrified Press.

THE ETHICS OF CLONING is more of a poem than a short story.

Thanks guys.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Enough With The Zombies Already.....

This is another reason I am happy we ditched the television. Cable expects to saturate the market this fall with undead shows. Shows that seek to copy the success of THE WALKING DEAD.

Literature has been oversaturated; in fact we have drowned in zombie tales. We have choked in hurried, hackneyed zombie apocalypse tales. Submission calls thankfully have dwindled but television as television usually does is behind the times and is always beckoning to the brain dead who are also behind the times.

The trope has been used up. The themes are basic and worn.

I just saw the promo for ZNATION.

(Long pause)

Enough already.

Shakespeare In The Afternoon

New Haven can be a not so nice pleace to visit. The crime rate is high. Most of the public can be disagreeable. I was pleasantly surprised when I visited City Hall and found a theater company of young people performing Shakespeare shorts in the main hallway.

It was Shalespeare. What a marvelous way to begin one's day away from home.

At first I thought it was a flash mob.

No I was told this is a local summer group bringing attention to the old bard.

It was nice. Truly nice and truly I wasn't too old for such an afternoon delight.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bosley Gravel's SUICIDE SMILE is on Lurid-lit NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

We take another piece of original fiction; a seedy and lurid short story from our friend Bosley Gravel. On Lurid-lit right now.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pulling the Plug on THE RED LIGHT

I've decided to clean out a drawer of my incomplete manuscripts and riffs. I do this from time to time in an effort to keep things fresh.

THE RED LIGHT was one of those tales. I felt a lot of promise for this one. I even posted about my excitement for this one. In retrispect however, this is one of the strangest stories I have ever worked on. The initial concept sounded good in dreams but just couldn't get it going on paper.

I have over three thousand words in the original draft but the problem was it read more or less like a preamble. I could never get the story to hook the reader.

I cut it back to six hundred and seventy words but it just didn;t have the 'juice'.

Writers need to be ruthless and show tough love for their 'children'.

THE RED LIGHT is unplugged.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams...We Will Miss You

You will read a lot about depression in the next few days. Most of it from pop experts with simple renditions and simple mechanisms to cope. Understand there is no easy way to deal with this. Robin Williams proves this. For all his resources...

I have never hid my struggles with depression. I can attest that there is no easy answer. There is no easy cope. I try to use it in my writing as 'my sword and shield' to keep it at bay.

But it is a battle. It is a tiring, draining and endless battle.

I feel sad for Mr. Williams, sadder for his family and loved ones.

I just pray the media doesn't trivialize what happened with thirty second packaged advice.

Robin Williams you brought me great joy. I am so sorry.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Villipede Publication's inaugural Anthology is reviewed on now. I rate it as a hunka hunka, well you'll read it....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Classic Book Review: POE AND CHIVERS by Landon C. Bell, 1931.

This is a classic and probably an unknown classic to most. Here is the 'inside baseball' view of the claims made by minor poet THOMAS HOLLEY CHIVERS against Edgar Allan Poe for plagiarism involving several works including THE RAVEN.

Very technical but very much worth reading.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

THE DRAW to be published

In a concept anthology by Horrified Press titled THE BLACK HAND. This is an alternate universe steampunk collection following World War I. Details to follow.

Thank you Horrified Press.

Friday, August 1, 2014


For the royal treatment in acknowledging my birthday with a copy of the cover to CORPSES DON'T BLEED and my website

I am honored and humbled.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blasted Heath Announces The Sequel to HARDBITE

Anonymous-9 will be back on September 1st with BITE HARDER, the long awaited sequel to HARD BITE. You can pre-order for Kindle on Amazon as follows:

I have an advance copy and recommend you click on that link.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Horrified Press Confirms THE BLACKOUT CITY ANTHOLOGY is Coming Out in August

I mentioned this a few weeks ago but it is now confirmed. The adventures of Joe Smoke heard on his podcast will now be read as an anthology. I have two stories there "Dirty Hands" and "Hit". A link will follow.

Gunntown Cemetery Connecticut

I made my first trek to the haunted confines of the tiny boneyard in an effort to set the staging and help the historical society find specific grave markers for characters to be written about.

I didn't have any sensation; I didn't see or hear a thing. Perhaps the residents knew we were there to celebrate them rather than taunt or confront.

We did find an empty bottle of liquor on the top of one headstone. Teenagers no doubt, perhaps they too came to commune with the undead with cheap bourbon and a Ouija board.

I just hope the reason for my uneventful trip was because the inhabitants were too busy torturing the damned fool who desecrated their hollow ground.

One can only hope. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Original Fiction is the theme this week on LURID-LIT

We offer an original story by Bosley Gravel titled BOSTON FOG. Let's just say it's a mouth full.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Time Flies When You Are....Hey PIDDLES Has Been Published

It is up right now at Bosley Gravel's Cavalcade of Terror....with a lot of licking good fun, woof.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PIDDLES will be published August 1st

Just saw the mock up for PIDDLES and my comic werewolf tale will be up on Bosley Gravel's Cavalcade of Terror on August 1st. Link to follow.

This Cover Is A Bit Racy so......

But here is the cover for Nightmare Illustrated #7.

My Ghost Story, as you know is here.


Just go to LULU.COM ..............and look for Nightmare Illustrated issue number 7.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Review That Is Not A Review: I Am Recusing Myself

In a sense I want to thank BURNT OFFERING BOOKS for sending me an advance copy of YESTERDAY YOU SAID TOMORROW. However, I am going to decline a read and review for a couple of reasons.

1. I think, and traditionally I believe the industry will back me up on this one, that it is bad form for an editor who is choosing the stories for the volume to publish two of his own while also writing the introduction. These two tales are more than any other writer in the book but is something that appears to be a regular pattern in this publisher's/editor's history.

This does not bode well as to the selection of stories and does not speak well to the editor's consideration of the matrix of ideas in the weave. Why not just rename the title with your own name?

2. This same editor/publisher and I had a disagreement about a month ago. He wanted to include a story of mine but only if I re-wrote the entire story by his specs and with his ending and by the end of that day. He contacted me in the afternoon.


So thank you for sending the book but I think it is best I say nothing negative or be accused of being disgruntled. I am not a fan of your practices and I certainly don't have act as if I am.

I apologize to those other writers in the volume but it is more professional for me to walk away from this one than to add my name to something that should be nameless.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tweeting and Twittering and if I play any more with these words it will probably sound obscene

You can follow me on Twitter @josephpatchen or @josephjpatchen

Why Does Bizarro Hate Me?

You ever meet that girl you thought was attractive, has great legs, flirty eyes, a throaty laugh; you know the girl, with the long hair and pouty lips-- yeah THAT girl. Well in a lot of ways that was my approach to bizarro literature. I just had to be there; had to be part of it; I had to show everyone that I could get the IN girl.

But alas all the bizarro publishers have shut me out. No one will tell me why? No one will offer a critique although I have a feeling this column might just generate one. Every piece I submit for publication is simply ignored without any hint of reply.

I certainly have read enough of it. I have critiqued enough books BUT WAIT.

And there it is....

Perhaps my opinion has delivered me into trouble. I haven't liked ALL of the books, true so true.

Yeah what else? Here we go again.

So perhaps my critiques have not been celebrated enough. Perhaps my statements within the literary community that I would not lock myself in a room with a bunch of novels the publisher demands I read and detox myself from the rest of the world of literature because I think it to be simply stupid, is what is offending.

Perhaps I believe that a true writer can write in genres and doesn't need a 'writing degree' is what has crawled up their craw.

Or is it that I am not getting on a plane to fly across the country to sit in classes where I am bombarded with literature and exercises chosen for me and then and only then will I be allowed to publish.......

You get the idea?

You ever meet that girl you thought was mega-hot. You ever position yourself at a party or dance to get in close to her for that one chance to meet her and win her over. You ever lean in and introduce yourself  with your best smile and freshest breath and then she opens her mouth.......

And then you realize she just ain't worth it. 

Literature is a celebration of ideas and meant for everyone not only those who pay the publishers' freight and homage. Want to hate me---go right ahead---you already do and frankly I could care less.

Understand that you genre was not born in the recent past that if you truly study literature you will find your brand of storytelling all the way to the 1910s.

What is old is new again and what writers like to do to other writers is censor them in order to promote themselves. This may be a bold statement but it is a true one and is even older than the movement we celebrate tonight.

Knives in the back for everyone......

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Cemetery is Haunted---Be Careful For What You Wish

Details to follow but we are going to help script a historical drama in a haunted cemetery. The play will take place in the cemetery at night. The cemetery? That and the details will follow.

While I can't let it out of the bag just yet, let's just say that  Ed and Lorraine Warren believe it to be haunted. Maybe I will have photos to post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I just saw the cover mock up and we are featured on the cover. My short story based on lore from my childhood and the neighborhood I grew up in will be in issue #7 on Amazon and other outlets soon.

I do have to warn everyone that the cover illustration may be a bit too controversial for some tastes, but its the contents you really want.

Details to follow.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Joseph, What is This? Oh, That's Death....

A story from my past that most of you are aware of. A tale of a five year old and his vivid imagination claiming he had seen and captured death.

Ever since that time and perhaps some time before that as the dreams became nightmares I have always had a chip on my shoulder concerning the final act.

To not be afraid of death is not the same as understanding it is coming. The abstract of all of this seems silly now after the incident I was in the center of last week.

When a heart stops even for a few moments the realization is at hand and frankly I am still scared.

While I understand the process and the process is inevitable more than ever I know time is random and fleeting and time is important and the ones you hold dear are even more important.

Take care of yourselves. I am making changes as we speak.

And by the way, that picture I painted at age five was in black, while what I saw last week was very much grey.


is new story we have started for an anthology coming out in the fall. It's an apocalyptic tale set following the end of World War 1. I thank the publishers for inviting me to participate. Stay tuned for details. We are about half-way through and I am pleased with the direction the story is taking.

Friday, July 11, 2014

We are honored and humbled......

to have been named in the acknowledgements in Tim Bryant's latest novel "Spirit Trap". Thank you Tim.


Private Dick Dutch Curridge is back in his third novel with three dead bodies to start. Go to for the review.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Editor's Notes: What if Your Editor Isn't Well Read?

A former student emailed me about a rejection and asked this very question.

So I answered:

Chances are you're screwed but take heart there are others out there who are well read and will appreciate your work. The best one can do is vet the publication as best as possible and avoid those editors who have never published and avoid those editors whose work appears divergent from your own.

In this age of avoiding confrontation for fear of reprisal don't be afraid to call an editor out. He or she wasn't going to publish your work anyway. Remember you are standing up for yourself and your work. Don't take needless angst from someone who is functionally illiterate.

But please do your homework first. Nothing hurts more than to be rejected by someone who turns out to be a paper tiger or a cardboard cut out as opposed to a person of letters.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ivan T. Sanderson

The great naturalist, author and crypto-zoologist who tantalized my imagination as a child died in 1973. In all these years hence I wished I could have known more about him. After all, as with all our favorite scribes, they become cherished members of our family even if we never shook hands.

I recently came into possession of some pieces of Mr. Sanderson's World War II correspondence that on first glance appears rather mundane. But when one takes the time and looks beyond the pleasantries one finds what one had hoped and expected: a complex man of high intellect and even higher moral fiber; someone who believed in the triumph of a free human spirit over oppression but perhaps most importantly, Ivan T. Sanderson was a huge fan of the great old science fiction pulps.

Mr. Sanderson, born a Britain, would later become a U. S. Citizen, legally.

Happy 4th.  

On Deck is

We haven't forgotten or got lost.  will be back next week w/ reviews, original fiction & more. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


That's a mouthful. Thank you BOSLEY GRAVEL'S CALVACADE OF TERROR who publish this comic horror story about a woman, a man and his werewolf in the next month or two. Details to follow.

By the way, this is the third story in three tries of my 'Anne and Honey' comedy series to be published. I think I need to write more.

Now a more terrifying Doll......

From Turk Regan and Running Press this beauty has been out for a while. I wouldn't think of using the voodoo feature at all, after all each time she opens her mouth she sticks herself.

To Sleep Perchance To Dream; Neat Horror Characters

Okay I am doing the best I can but even a close up of this creepy doll won't work

Anyway the legend of the Old Hag, as well as the Shadow Man, both precursors to the Slender Man meme has been a mainstay in cases of sleep paralysis. Memorialized as far back as the Old Masters these are essentially demons who sit on your chest and absorb your essence as you sleep.

Rooted deeply in the mythos of the incubus and succubus these interesting psychosexual explanations for a natural bodily process feeds our imaginations and stories with terrifying possibilities.

These are better characters to use than a shambling brain dead zombie or plodding bigfoot.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monstropedia: You have to check this out

A mixture of scholarship, news coverage and mythology is presented on Monstropedia. Great for research, great for reading in general. Check it out.

Happy July

In a few more hours. I have much planned to bring you into the upcoming Holiday including a new feature. Stay tuned.

And by the way I do know this is the 666th post on this blog. Why else?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

U. S. Soccer and The World Cup

The Coach of our own U. S. Soccer team prays that all of us stay home from work today in order to watch the match with Germany. His idea is that us Americans, much like the rest of the world, should be able to watch the artistry and the beauty of this sport while rooting our team to victory.

But aren't most of us home already? I say this because like much of the rest of the world we have emulated their economies and philosophies thus rendering our work ethic and entrepreneurial opportunities impotent?

Just my socio-political rant for the day.

I will be back with a classic book review and a quick look at the Old Hag and her influence on sleep paralysis.

U-S-A U-S-A.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Ambrose Bierce

You may be sick of me promoting the bitter one but he should be in your library. Born in 1842 and a battle hardened veteran of the Civil War his works stand as a major bedrock of American literature. My Weird Tales article on this master will be out soon.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Breaking News Now!!

Ladies and gentlemen and all ships at sea Amelia Earhart has Lois Lerner's emails but she demanding a plane before she turns them over.

So we tweeted about Link Wray

And I was stunned by the reception in one way but not in another way.

My tweet was why isn't Link Wray in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Well, why?

It seems to me that innovators are punished these days; ignored and even shunned in favor of the shiny, the bland and the new.

Literature and music are very much intertwined the same way typing and noise are. To those who are true artists, and true means you are an artist by birth, as opposed to having a degree saying you are an artist; art is innate and spiritual; art is internal and visceral and true art changes those who come after.

Link Wray did that.

So why isn't he in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This one bothers me.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

So There I was, was.....

accompanied by my associates....

Hey, a little diversion; something completely different from a mind always possessed and obsessed.

So there I was . . .

sitting in this stadium watching a large patch of grass grow and a World Cup Match breaks out; or was it the other way around?

Is it true?

I don't know but I heard Judge Crater has found Lois Lerner's emails.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Editors Notes: Time For A Literary Calling Out: Time For Some Professionalism

I was speaking with a writer friend and am glad he sees this landscape the way I do. This is at least tells me I am not suffering from the same kind of narcissism that these hacks enjoy.

As I have mentioned before much of the hack-a-rama that is the publishing scene at this point in history has to do with quick shot and short shelf life anthologies that essentially use the writer, who is either paid nothing, or less, to make the publisher money. These anthologies appeal to new writers for recognition but use more established writers in a less than socially acceptable way.

Many of these anthologies are published through anthologists who claim the book is 'by' them as opposed to 'edited' by that particular anthologist. This essentially strips the by-line from the contributor author and leaves all credit with the anthologist.

This is dishonest.

Another characteristic of these memorable tomes is the lack of recognition to the receipt of a story as well as the refusal to address queries and even to notify someone of either inclusion or rejection. Facebook and blogs by the publisher's friends and confidantes will publish a Table of Contents without the publisher or anthologist certifying the choices.

Sure life is harsh but these publishers, many of whom cavort about proclaiming how we have to have 'fairness' and 'diversity' in their art won't recognize the existence of contributors even as they count their sales.

So it is time to start calling out them out. Many inside publishing sites rate these publishers via response time and correspondence so what I propose here is nothing different. If anyone knows of any drop me a line as we will look to shed the light on the 'sludging' of this business.

First up is Skywarrior Books. For their anthology using the much tread title, "These Vampires Don't Sparkle". There was nary a response to either receipt or query. A review of their website has nothing about this anthology but some friends of the firm list their pieces within and one even published a table of contents. From a look at the proposed cover....well I had to shield my eyes from the glare.

Were we accepted? No, but we weren't rejected either. I have no clue if my story was even read.

Can we please be a little more professional? Is that too much to ask?  If you don't want me -- tell me. Answer emails.

This is not a gripe but an epidemic and more will follow. Anyone who wishes to contribute to this line of posting, please contact me. Unless we take the bull


Thursday, June 19, 2014


Mark Slade and Darwins Mishap get together for an electrifying time. Check out this Sunbury Press book on

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Yes we review a magazine, but not just any magazine it's WEIRD TALES --- it's the UNDEAD -- and it's the re-launch of the great old brand. Check it out.

It's Not Me It's You

Another magazine has gone to the dimension known as hiatus. The Foghorn who only took pitches and offered $1,000.00 per published short story seemed too good to be true.

And it was.

They published some issues but in their statement of surrender that seemed to ramble longer than their submissions requirements the blame was spread between contributors for sending in so-o-o much work and for readers who never read.

Gee, I thought it was money.

The lure of cash in this amount suckered us all but when editors don't reply to queries and basically treat contributors as the real 'hired help' those of us who wish to be fans get a sour taste.

I'm sorry this experiment in fiction failed but editors and publishers need to work with writers, particularly those who fail, as those who fail will always read to get a better handle on what the periodical wishes for.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Made you look.

As with any marketing there are certain buzz words or branding that work better than others. Because of the lack of readership overall and because the shelf life of any book is less than the blink of an eye meaningful titles, clever titles; titles literarily tied to the content are no longer needed unless of course you are big name author and your name in print overwhelms the book title.

Exactly when literature became breakfast cereal is a date I cannot pinpoint. However, like our
grand experiment in freedom, sometime in the 1990s our standards really began to slip.

Like the great concept albums of rock and roll and inspirational political speeches in general, literature suffers from the sound bite and quick hit. Fads make money for some publishers but leaves writers in the cold usually tied up for months working for less than French fry cook.

Writers need not look to the constant stream of being prolific of having something to post on Facebook daily or even hourly. Writers need to spend time with their craft and listen to their gut and muse. Remember time itself is not a sprint but a marathon and the true test of the writer comes down the road not here at the corner.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Race Is On, Another Reason Why George Jones Was A Genius And Why Horror Is A Dead Genre

A mouthful is a brain full but it has to be said.

"The Race Is On" was written by the late and great country star George Jones when country music was about nerve and emotion; when country music and music in general was about the lyric rather than about the look.

The song details that moment in time when a man faces a loss in love and how he copes, badly. It is a pure and honest lyric. Like all great literature, simple and sturdy. The song was written and recorded in the early 1960s and is covered to this day.

George Jones was a genius that is why his music lives on.

The same goes for horror, a genre in decline. Yes, decline. Like all art forms the many kick out their imagination to only to prove Sturgeon's law is as basic as breathing. Some may call it an evolution, as such genres as Bizarro invade coupled with the monthly mad race of publishers to putting to paper and screen blander and blander fare in an industry struggling for funds can only spell out one thing; to paraphrase a genius:

The race is on but there are no winners other than false pride and a sense of 'done'.

My God, in a world obsessed with Bigfoot --- Bigfoot; do I have to say anymore? Yeah, public education demands I do.

Not a lot of this is going to survive meaning not a lot of us will survive either if we continue on this present track. We need to be bolder with our fare and we need to get our swagger back. We need to delve deeper with our lyric and our riff. We need to look beyond pleasing a gimmick in order to satisfy a muse.

The slackening of standards demands that I remind all; a country and culture can be found in decline when its art begins to slip. When the story is quantity over quality; when books are published by blind and illiterate editors whose spell check was chucked for the latest crush game on almost a weekly basis and anything goes you know we have gone.

And then there are those whose promises to publish are as fleeting as the proverbial 'candle in the wind' to quote Elton John.

When professionalism is a dirty word; when editors' cowardice is shrouded in their disdain for writers in shouts of silence; when stories are driven not by plot or idea but by quota; you have what we largely have today.

Not all the work out there is bad but I believe Theodore Sturgeon's law, truer than ever before, tells us that in most cases that the true winners do lose all.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Editors Note: !!!!!!!!!!

What is it with young writers and exclamation points? ? ? Really, what is it? ? ?

I am befuddled and confused hence my question?????????????

I see it everywhere, fiction and non as if the scribe wants to make a point or end on an emotional high note.

Word to the wise: If you possess the skill to tell the joke you don't need a laugh track. In other words, if you know how to tell a story or make a point you don't need to plant one. !

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cover Art For Sub-Verse #3 Released

Not yet released but here is the cover art for the issue where BRIGHT will appear. Details to follow.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

And While I Am On The Subject IT'S PIRATES DAY!!!

Yes, it is Pirates Day in Milford. That day when children of all ages go on treasure hunts and scavenger hunts while dressed in the finest of 17th century attire.

Here we embrace the pirate lifestyle and celebrate it as part of our civic founding. Pirates are child friendly. Pirates are good. Pirates are fun.

But in reality they were murderers and rapists --- arsonists and thieves at best and not the kind of people I would or want my child emulating. Oh, I understand the whole 'Disneyfication' but history is history and fact is fact.

So the next time someone in town wants to call a pornographer for writing a story about a cannibal or serial killer I will remind them of today --- Pirates Day and I will remind them of the flags they fly on their porches.

So to that end I will only agree to celebrate Pirates Day if we remember and revel in the memories of Roberto Clemente, Steve Blass, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Bob Moose, Danny Murtaugh, Bruce Kison, as well the rest of the crew from Pittsburgh's baseball glory days. Great teams and great players and good guys all.


It's not funny....

A recent splatter of man on the street interviews tells us the American educational system that reaps billions of dollars is at it again. That is that is broken and misguided and should be scrapped altogether in favor of a more remedial system which is merit based.

It seems D-Day for the vast majority of teens through people in their thirties means Donut Day.

Need I say more?

Yeah I will.

I recently attended an award ceremony where teachers were awarded and praised for their students accomplishments leaving the parents behind. I found the entire process to be somewhat surreal in that only public school teachers were allowed to take a bow.

Isn't that just the problem? I come from a long line of teachers and in those days teaching was a noble profession, whether public or private; where students were challenged and students were pushed to find an hone their talents. The teacher was always in the background guiding and reveling in the student's accomplishment while not attempting to steal the spotlight or take credit for something that may already lie within or be the product of the parents themselves.

It is a bad analogy on many levels but also analogous to the superhuman individuals that gave lives, limbs and hearts fighting for our freedom. Today they are largely forgotten and ignored, left out of curriculums that teach to a standardized and test devoid of knowledge and intelligence much the way a donut is devoid of nutrition.

Want to know why a child behind the counter can't make change? Thank a teacher.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Screw all else......This is why today is important

Some one may have posted this and again my apologies but this means a lot to me: Today is the 70th anniversary of what would become the D-Day invasion. Especially in the light of the incompetence, negligence and criminality of the VA scandal. Something I have had to deal with directly with clients needing medical treatment AND in the light of the obscene and criminal 'prisoner swap' I think we really need to thank those alive and gone for their sacrifices in preserving our freedoms. And beyond that we need to take our steps, local and state, to see that our freedoms are also preserved --- run for local office; be vocal with what your government is trying to do; get involved and never ever forget those who came before you and the sacrifice those men and women made for you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

FIRESIDE POPSICLES Reviewed on Right Now!!!

The weather is getting hotter, so why not grab a popsicle and lean a little closer to the fire? On now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Some Good News To Report

I am polishing up an article on Ambrose Bierce which will be appearing in WEIRD TALES. Details to follow.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Manifesto Going Forward And A Change Of Direction

I posted this on Facebook this morning to the two or three people who actually might care:

"Well it looks like anthology entrant has bit the dust. What looked like to be a break out year I have lost eight anthologies between November 2013 and now because either publishers have gone belly up or have just given up on the project because they been distracted by another shinier new penny. Since this was the last of my stories sitting and rotting for the better part of the year I have definitely learned my lesson. As I have told a number of good people I am changing the way I do things. I understand the problems publishers have in this present business climate; but I also understand that I am not chasing they way I did and will spend more time building up my catalogue again of available tales and will only do business with people I trust rather than what appears on its face via submission sites to be a good fit."

Good things have happened but great things have been stalled. So few anthologies and publishers thereof are trustworthy these days. Within the last year, as I have stated, we have seen the growing trend of 'a friends only anthology' as well as 'token' anthologies where characters beliefs, race, religion and sexual preference are mandated.

These have added to the erosion started by the unprofessional who for some money given them by the parents, grandparents or a doting aunt or uncle can set up publishing companies with no clue.

Writing should stand the test of time and that means beyond the shelf life of the next book and until publishers take that to heart they will continue to fly into the proverbial glue strip hanging under the naked light bulb of history to be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Heaven Help Us We Are On TWITTER

The ultimate unfiltered platform now has the ultimate unfiltered brain. Yes we are on. I will behave I am just trying to spread my words. We are @josephpatchen thanks.   

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LURID-LIT.COM has a Review of SUFFER THE FLESH right now.....

My newest review is Monica J. O'Rourke's SUFFER THE FLESH. Not for the squeamish Deadite Press rolls this novel out to much fanfare. Check my review.

Editor's Notes: Never Claim You Are Something When You Are Not OR Don't Use Writer Of Fictional Novels Or Some Other Idiot Title Next To Your Name

Long title but a short statement. I am amazed by writers who adopt 'special titles' next to their names wearing them like a graduate degree in order to impress. Please young writers don't do this as it makes you look foolish.

I was attacked today for making a statement on LinkedIn on a strand where people on the left and right were attacking each other on political grounds. I stated this is not the place for this discussion since we are in a writers' community. Most agree save for one idiot because he thought I was on the left.

Regardless, this was a writers' discussion group about the pitfalls in writing and publishing. LinkedIn is a bigger jerk for not deleting these posts as many requested.

As for the great author: First, 'novels' ARE predominantly fictional so I don't understand what you doing with the title. But then, second, I looked you up and you self published one book. Shouldn't your title read 'novel' rather than novels. Third, the radar goes up 'that doth protest too much' when you advertise yourself in this way. Ego is nice when you can back it up with credits otherwise you look foolish.

It looks amateurish.

Real writers use their names, real and pen, and do not need to advertise their specialty. Real writers can spread their wings and write in many forums thus being a 'writer'.

Did you hear that 'Mr. I am starting a new magazine and need columnists or is it short stories or is it whatever?'

But one self-published novel and hundreds of LinkedIn posts don't warrant the ego.

Be professional at all times as you never know who you are dissing. It could very well be someone that may be reviewing or editing your work some day.


We have been recruited for a new anthology from a publisher who I know is serious and who I respect. I have a partial series bible and details will flesh out soon.

We go forward.

Heartcore The Last I Have To Say On The Subject

I was recently contacted by one of the editors concerning a legal issue involving the other editor on another book. It appears her publisher may have violated their contract.

We discussed this project and the reasons the other editor and his publisher friend torpedoed this project. Let's just say it is more vindictive than creative.

I have offered to step in and salvage this project and to have create space come to our aid so we can help the charity; I also offered to set up the charity --- all free of charge.

So we will see. If you hear nothing else from me you will know that the egos of the parties who formulated this plan have eclipsed the good they can do.

Let's just hope the basic human emotions that are destroying many of today's projects will be stilled for at least a short pause.

More Horror Discrimination Among The Literati

Recently an editor/owner of a start up ezine cast the net for writers to write pieces for his new ezine. The pieces requested are non-fictional informational pieces although in the last few days he has expanded his catch to include short fictional pieces to bolster the articles.

I sent all the normal pleasantries including links to my site but warned him that I did write horror. I suggested he concentrate on my articles and my column at

The reply was surprising in this way -- and I paraphrase for space and time ---- your stories 'I fear the stories may be a little abrasive for our audience'...

Abrasive? First, the ezine does not have an audience -- it hasn't published yet. Second, I understand who you wish to target but wishing and hitting can be two different things. Third, I pointed him in the direction of the non-fiction and he reads the fiction to base his opinion.

What do you think happened? Again I hear from writers all over the country who tell me the shunning they receive because they write horror. The literati feel we can write nothing more.

Sad. Here in Milford I have been compared to a pornographer by individuals who haven't read a word of my writing and again I am judged by someone who wouldn't take the time to read my work.

Sad that this is the state of media today and with a start up --- tomorrow.

BRIGHT to be in Subverse Webzine in June

Details on this short tale and its appearance to follow.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What We Really Should Be Talking About

Blogs exist so we can inflate ourselves and our 'accomplishments' and thoughts. Everyday or at those moments when the little red marble falls into a hole and we get an idea to write about something we think the world is waiting is to hear we spew across these screens hoping that someone hears our silent screams for attention in order to justify our own importance.

What we really should be discussing is not ourselves but those who have sacrificed for us in order for us to have this and many other self-indulgences.

This Memorial Day and everyday thereafter thank those who saw action, involuntary as well as voluntarily. Remember those who fought, who were injured and died for us.

Everyday should be a Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Live from the UK SCHLOCK WEBZINE has just published its newest issue with my tale titled TO DANGLE A RAT.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Surreal Grotesque The Magazine and Website Are No More

I just found out that the links are down and the site has closed. Issues can still be read on magazine reader services so It is still accessible.

It was fun while it lasted and I thank the editors for their support.

By the way, the podcasts we appear on can be found on You Tube.

Editors Note: Heartcore is Broken A Cautionary Tale and Apology

What concerns me is the drama surrounding this anthology. As many have told me about their professions --- "It's like high school." Well, this was middle school. And so is much of writing and publishing these days. Perhaps this is heightened more in the arts because of the narcissism of those who see themselves as creators and their arrested adolescence.

I offered my services as well my offices services, free of charge, to generate contracts; to seek out writers for supplemental stories; and to set up the non-profit again without charge.

For my efforts I was ignored entirely by individuals who regularly contact me in favor of 'poor me' postings on social media. I was invited and glad to join but after months and months of publishers going in and out of the project for undisclosed reasons; for never being told the full story of what is going on; for watching writers fighting amongst themselves with a false sense of their own importance and the editors promoting other projects ahead of this one; I am disgusted.

Normally I would keep these thoughts to myself and soldier on. But I think this experience serves as a lesson. I am disappointed the project fell through as we did fail to help those we wished to; but even more so I feel betrayed by many people involved. This has been a crazy few months where similar projects have crashed for similar reasons. What seems to be happening in this genre is a lack of civility and humanity on the part of the many; thank God it is not the whole.

The whole anthology scene is becoming stranger than the fiction it promotes. Editors now openly will tell you it is proper to simply accept a submission and not respond any further. One refused to respond to me in favor of discussing his troubles with video games or wanting to write comic books on Facebook. Writers involved feel more and more that it is necessary to trash fellow writers on social media and all the while you can see their own self-exalted work suffering.

There was once, just a short time ago, a camaraderie amongst the many; unfortunately it is now with the few. Writers were a community and supportive. I have no idea what happened; I have no idea where the venom came from. Such is life.

I am confident my story will appear somewhere else soon, but all of the drama of this saga is beyond unprofessional; it is distasteful and I apologize for leading anyone astray in thinking this book would ever appear in print.

I feel used and fooled as much as you and unlike others who hit and run with sophomoric insults and soap opera antics I am here to offer my apologies.

But the best is yet to come. We have stories coming out with true professionals very soon. As I indicated at the beginning of this year, I had a sense this would be a year of transition and man has it ever.

Yes, we have made strides and the yes, the best is yet to some. Stay tuned.

Milford Connecticut's 375th Birthday

No we are not among the list of local writers and authors included in the library bash to celebrate our talents as just local folks. The literary giants that walk among us see it fit not include a simple horror writer like me.

I guess my head isn't pointy enough for that tri-cornered hat.

According to several in the arts scene I am one step lower than a pornographer.

Recently I spoke with another gentlemen who relayed his parallel experiences as a horror and science fiction writer in his own town.

Mundane story telling's discrimination against horror, science fiction and fantasy writers is age old. I could tell about some of those writers who did all they could to demean the work of our forefathers  but frankly those frothing at the mouth bigots have all been forgotten.

MY GHOST STORY To Be Published

Just received the artwork to preview. Details will follow.....

Maybe It's Just People In General....

I recently became aware of a viral posting where a news anchor gently reprimands her idiot viewers for their repeated and heated telephone calls complaining about tornado warnings interrupting their evening television viewing. I applaud the anchor for not sidestepping the stupid. I applaud the anchor for taking them on, not making excuses and calling them out from under the rocks that occupy their skulls.

The selfishness and narcissism; not to mention the neon-like low IQs of the Walking Duds continues their march. It seems to be worse and worse everyday; infecting all manner of business and profession camouflaged by political correctness, political payback and quota.

For those liberals who appear to be at the heart of the problem --- its a form of bullying. It is exactly what you claim you battle everyday.

For you progressives who appear to be the heart of the problem --- it is a suppression of expression. Whining is not asserting it is telling others that they should conform to you.

Its all about control and always about control.

Just the other day I announced that yet another anthology dropped. This is becoming an industry wide problem based on the wonderful economy we are all experiencing. Hey, life sucks and then you die. But what now appears I that a group of writers may be involved.

I hate soap operas too. I am writing the editors and I thinks its time to shine a light on this issue. Let's see what we need to do with this charity book and let's see whose self-absorbed relevance needs to disappear.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


WATCH THE BOUNCING BALL therefore will not be out as promised. Two publishers have backed off the charity anthology for undisclosed reasons. This is disappointing because all involved attempted to do good and have been denied. AND this is the fourth anthology for me to go down the tubes.

I have also noticed other anthologies struggling as well. The times they are tough and not changing; people are reading less and 'netflixing'  more. While I have confidence this tale will find a home, I am getting increasingly impatient with a genre that is homogenizing more and more in an effort to chase a public that really is only made up groupies in search of a fad.

I will trudge on like Pink Floyd in a world captivated by disco. In the long run I'll still be standing.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Yes it will be. Details and specifics to follow. Thank you Schlock!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Revolutionary Lovecraft Series Is Reviewed on Now!!!

This week I review three groundbreaking graphic novels by Bruce Brown that re-introduces H. P. Lovecraft to children compromising the 'Howard Lovecraft Series':


You need to check this out.

Monday, May 5, 2014


We support NetGalley and its practice of opening the lines of literature and allowing authors and artists to show their wares. You should too.

Be a member.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

We are now on YOU TUBE

Both of my appearances on the BLACKOUT CITY PODCAST are on You Tube. You can hear two of my stories dramatized here:




We Have Two Pieces Published In Issue #2 SUB-VERSE ZINE

We are extremely honored to have both a poem and a short story in issue #2 of SUB-VERSE. "Double Jeopardy" and "Doll Repair" are the story and poem. Thank you Joe Meredith! And it is out now!!

Editor's Notes: Evolving or Devolving?

There was a time when a 'literary magazine' meant a broad collection of writing with short stories, essays, poetry, novellas, criticism, etc. housed between the covers. A cornucopia, better yet a rainbow representation of something for everyone one a variety of subjects seeking to capture the largest audience in their net.

Over time anthologies ruled the roost huddled around one broad general subject and all else was dropped save for the short story. But the broader subject be it 'science fiction' or 'ghost stories' was still served by a collection of tales serving the subject with diverse takes.

But the broad focus in the past three years has become funneled. Publishers' prompts are shifting their genres with fishing line hooks fixing writers in one place with little room to swim about. Many of these publications have become story collections that pay homage to the cover illustration.

By dictating subject, the composition of characters, and in many cases lines of dialogue and setting, we get away from the story itself and the imagination that works into it. This style of seeking diversity and correctness limits writing to nothing more than an assembly line endeavor rendering creativity and deductive thought to its cheapest level.

Fewer sampler publications survive and even fewer have sought to be born.

The reading public? Well, like many writers, its the human thing to seek safety and find solace and comfort in one's own little corner of the universe with like minded individuals.

Like 'The Whitman Sampler' that ignited taste buds to new combinations, inclusion for all is vastly becoming a homogenized sterility.

I pray over time that I will be proven wrong.    

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cover Art for the May issue of SUB-VERSE is out

Nice! Details when the ezine publishes later this month with my poem DOLL REPAIR.

Editor's Notes: Who Loves You Baby?

I know one editor who doesn't, but he seems to write enjoy excoriating everything from my subject matter, style and my over all knowledge of what a novel or short story is.

This is so enjoyable to me I just send stuff just to get the reaction. I have sent pieces that have been already published; I have sent pieces that have already been accepted and the response is always the same: a restrained destruction of one's credibility as a writer.

Why? You have to ask him, but for some reason as with all walks of life certain people just don't get along.

My point is merely this; yes, sometimes it is personal and as a writer, as an artist, as an adult rise above it. Leave those who find it necessary to label you as pedestrian or ignorant of what the essentials of writing are to their own devices and follow your gut and your bibliography.

And when the novelty is over; when you have collected enough to laugh over with friends and colleagues or use as a teaching tool or publish in a book go on your merry way and drop the BS altogether.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Be Careful For What You Wish For

Is everybody miserable? I every hateful? Does everyone dig themselves into some kind of narcissistic sandbox hole? My God, this LinkedIn experience has been nothing but combative. Considering the fact many of these writers seem to do nothing else but troll this site to snipe I think the Algonquin was a nicer crowd.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

THE FIX is reviewed on Now!!!

Steve Lowe's new book is reviewed. Take a gander please....

Monday, April 28, 2014

Morons on LinkedIN

  • Group: Fiction Writers and Editors (no promotion, spam, or bullies)
  • Subject: Declining your request to join Fiction Writers and Editors
  • The owner or a manager of this group has declined your request to join. There are three possibilities:

    1. You have few or no LinkedIn connections. Frequently, spammers present as such, so we're trying to protect the group. If you are a legitimate author, we encourage you to come back and join us later when you have become more established. There is no magic number, as it's a combination of your connections and your profile (see # 3 below).

    2. If your profile is made out for a company rather than an individual, you will be declined.

    3. Your LinkedIn profile shows no indication of being in the fiction writing or publishing industry. If you're just starting in the industry and feel you are legitimately requesting to join despite your profile, please adjust your profile and reapply.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Thank you for your inability to read....................         

    Editors Notes: The Meaning Of GALL Has Been Defined

    With so many horror anthologies becoming incestuous; and several publishers are now noting in their submission guidelines that their friends are getting first shot a new publishing phenomenon is beginning to rear its head.

    'Kickstarter' the shamelessly new way to public pan handle is becoming extremely popular. Here people pledge money for your artistic project or home repair, etc. and you get a chance to live out your dream on the dime of someone else.

    Sounds a lot like the current Welfare state that our President has changed for us in America.

    I am sent inquiries two to three times a week to hand over my dollars to help a new or in some cases established publisher I ignore most. I recently had a case where I was told directly that if I didn't pay in I wouldn't be published.

    I walked.

    Today I was told there is no room for my submission because all their friends had responded but I was still expected to pay into Kickstarter for the good of the project.

    Why? Because people know I have a day job and I'm not just the proverbial writer these days who sits in their mother's basement expounding on Facebook as to their importance to literature. Their are guys in their forties doing this.

    I told the publisher to grow up and pay for their own projects themselves. They want stories fine, but I am tired of people putting the bite in me.

    Never pay to play.

    If anyone wants the name of the publisher and project send me your email.


    'The Carnage Conservatory' has announced today that it will be on hiatus. We thank Emily for everything she has done for us and I offer my support and help in the future with the re-launch down the line.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Editor's Notes: Today We Walked Away From An Anthology

    I have a story that was accepted for publication in an anthology  but the publisher went belly up. I have since tried to place it but have met with three distinct rejections.

    One told me the enjoyed it and then proceeded to criticize every aspect of it.

    Another told me I don't know how to write a story and proceeded to explain how stories are written.

    And today we find the third where I was told it was publishable but anti-climatic. Now this was after I was accused, in a off handed way, of plagiarizing a scene. I respectfully explained where the scene came from; in other words that it was part of a recurring childhood nightmare.

    Right off the bat I can see the publisher and I are going to be really good friends.

    I ended this story having the character who represents the embodiment of evil go off into the world to do his deeds. My idea is that evil is ever present. Yet anti-climatic for this publisher who wants a knock down Armageddon battle and he gives me two days to re-write it to fit this scene.

    And by the way, going back and looking at the guidelines; the pay itself should have made me think twice about submitting in the first place.

    I decided to walk away.

    My opinion is that while horror should make you uneasy and make you jump it should not be simplistic.

    Editors like doctors need to have a bedside manner.

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    DOLL REPAIR to be SUBVERSE by May 1st

    My poem DOLL REPAIR, a rather cheeky tome with rhyme and tone will appear in the second issue. Details and a link to follow.

    Saturday, April 19, 2014


    Happy Easter! My story BLOOD is in Schlock! Webzine from the UK now!

    A Lack of Professionalism of One Genre Against Another

    This morning I awoke to find my email littered with a rant. No, not necessarily a rant but a pathetic plea and cry for help with all the subtlety of an ACT-UP demonstrator. During this morning's witching hour a fellow writer attempted his imitation of a third rate elementary school bully by spewing garbage, or as the kids call it --- talking trash; insulting all of us involved in a charitable endeavor.

    I mention it because it is another in a long line of similar crap spewed by Bizarro writers against those who write horror and those who write fantasy.

    On his own Facebook page, before launching his dingy filled Normandy invasion, this individual announced his plan to 'shake things up'; the same buzz phrase I have seen over and over from others of his ilk. For a few of his ilk this 'performance art' is how they promote themselves.

    In the end a friend of his writes that essentially he is making himself look 'stupid'. And that guy was right.

    I mention this because, again, this isn't the first time and I am sure not the last. I don't understand the attacks other than like all bullies the insecurity is so deep they lash out. But while I can deduce a reason, I make no excuses for that. In my day we handled bullies in the school yard. In my day, they were taught a lesson.

    Since we are not allowed to do that today all I can say is this is a married man and if this is his level of maturity, well it is amazing he found a wife.

    And while I don't blame all Bizarro writers for the actions of a few, perhaps those who publish in that genre should take a close look at those who represent their banner.

    We are supposed to be professionals here.

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    And When It Happens Twice...

    you know you are making a mark.

    We've been quoted before. We have been 'blurbed' on blogs and websites as well as advertisements, but this is the first two covers and I do like being on the cover.

    When You Are A Literary Critic And You Are Quoted.......

    you are both happy and humbled.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    HIT and DIRTY HANDS to be included in an Anthology

    Well here is a pleasant surprise. Both HIT and DIRTY HANDS live on. If you remember they were episodes I wrote for the BLACK OUT CITY PODCAST last year. Well, the stories will be back in print and in anthology form. I just signed the contracts and the paperbacks as well as kindle will be out in August courtesy of Horrified Press.

    Details and links will follow this summer.

    HELLSPEAK by Mark Slade is on LURID-LIT NOW!!!

    Yep, we mix noir and horror with Mark Slade's newest HELLSPEAK. And you thought your guardian was special.  Get on over

    Yep, KINDLE is like your dinner --- you only rent

    Fascinating article and I feel vindicated from all those who have told me I was crazy or stupid or both.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    My Mind Is A Blank

    It's a terrifying feeling. I can't think of anything to write. I can't work on any work. I can't make up my mind about what to have for dinner/ My mind is a total blank; an absolute zero; a barren wasteland; an arid desert; a sugar free dessert; a non-alcoholic beer.

    My mind is a eunuch; flaccid and dull.

    How does __________________ handle it.

    You fill in the blank. I'm in enough trouble with the 'beautiful people' here in the People's Republic.

    Paranormal Pairings and Why We Won't See Them

    I guess its the age we live in. Everyone is bubbling with conceit. Everyone is overflowing with self importance. Knowledge is secondary at best.

    Why is it we don't see horror writers out with paranormal investigators? Ego? Mistrust?

    Or is the fact that there is little to write about when all you have are floating dust particles, lens reflections and refractions as well as self fulfilling whispers in the white noise.

    Probably a little of all three.

    I would love to go out on a hunt. I would love to find evidence of a life after this. But I see nothing in these television shows and websites to merit victory.

    Like Houdini before me, I want to believe and if anyone will allow me I am ready to run right at that shadow climbing up the wall.

    Monday, April 14, 2014


    Thank you Gavin Chappell. BLOOD to appear in this Sunday's edition. Details to follow.

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    The Cupboard Is Bare

    I don't have a lot out there for potential published pieces. The anthology offerings I read are less than exciting and more than forced. I am not excited about opportunities. Many publications have closed submissions like an evacuation pipe from a clogged toilet.

    And to add to this I have had a backlash to my 'Weird Tales' article with a couple of editors taking me to task in terms of taking the time to define to me what a 'short story' is.

    If this is how its going to be it only hardens my resolve.

    We said this year our output would be less and pages more. We are beyond where we should be after three years.

    I am enjoying reviewing more than ever. The quality of the non-horror I have been sent is amazing. There is much out there to rejoice for you just need to waid through it; so stop on by and check out my reviews on

    No Face Time for Face Book

    We do have a Facebook page that mimics this page; and for those who have been asking we do not link because of the repetition. We also do not link because I'm usually a little late in seeing to the Facebook posts in favor of this blog.

    If you are as tired as I am with tedious narcissism of Facebook?

    For writers blogs and websites are still superior platforms to promote work. On Facebook you have swim through a lot of information you are polite to like but frankly don't care about.

    Not all but a lot. 

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Thank You HELLO HORROR

    HELLO HORROR is aiding its contributors over Twitter by announcing updates. Treating us like an alumnus, this is touching and while I screwed up in stating what story I published with them in my thank you reply; it was A TRICKLE OF WATER and not HATE; this is unprecedented and elevates this magazine and publisher above many others.

    They will be tweeting my appearance in WEIRD TALES.


    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Sunday, April 6, 2014


    We review another Dutch Curridge adventure with SOUTHERN SELECT. See if you should select this novel too.

    Is Re-Assignment Covered Under Obamacare?

    Got your attention didn't I? This entry has nothing to do with the oft revised and worst piece of legislation ever written. But then again we are discussing writing here.

    Anyway, most of my old western weird tales have found publishers. There are a few stragglers and one such loping tale was sent off for consideration a month ago to a publisher I have never sent to in accordance with my own Obama-like philosophy to spread the wealth around.

    Well, I finally heard, and yes it was rejected, but rejected in its own weird way. You see the editor thanked me for sending the piece; he told me he enjoyed reading the piece but then stopped writing in the first person and switched to the third person. Here he stated that, and I am I'm paraphrasing, the reader couldn't engage himself in the story until the end and that perhaps it should be re-worked with more and even graphic violence as well as a chase scene all written in third person.

    Okay. So as it stands this is the story of two brothers; one an honest man and the other a mass rapist and killer. The story is told through the good brother and the story itself takes place on the day of the hanging of the bad brother.

    So I need to graphically describe the crimes and detail the pursuit leading to his arrest; but forget the trial itself; to engage the reader in what would most likely become a long and drawn out mash up of minutia.

    I decided to investigate this theory further by looking into the background of the person who wanted to turn an a weird tale into a 'B' western.

    We have discussed it many times that the most meaningful assessors are those who have worked within the realm. It is always best to take the word of another writer rather someone with a degree 
    and no bibliography.

    The story will remain the same and I will go somewhere else hopefully my waiting will not be long and the response from the panel will not be death.

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    Happy Anniversary to SCHLOCK! WEBZINE

    It's been three years. The first issue came out April 10, 2011. This is a fun and wonderful read; AND not because I have been in a few times -- a great read. Happy Anniversary!!!

    Happy Birthday to Robert Bloch

    To one of the writers I have on my Mount Rushmore. Sadly he has been gone almost twenty years now; he would have been 97.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014