NaNoWriMo 2013

It’s November 1, the kickoff for this year’s National Novel Writing Month.  Participants aim to write 50,000 words (200 pages) in thirty days.  I’ve never personally taken part, but I wish the best of luck to those who do.  Their website has a fun resource that connects others in your community who are also writing.  Find some local friends and encourage each other to cross that finish line together.

And in association with the upcoming Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” here’s a new trailer that celebrates the past half-century of Who lore.  It’s perfect for freeze-framing to find your favorite heroes and villains.

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Halloween Stories III

I’ve done this the past couple of years, always in late October.  Here are a few choice tales to get you in the Halloween spirit, a mix between classic stories and the obscure.  For maximum effect, read them alone at night.

Young Goodman Brown — Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Sumach — Ulric Daubeny

The Testament of Magdalen Blair — Aleister Crowley

And links to previous years are found HERE and HERE.

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Batman vs. Superman

I want to thank everyone who came out to the author’s night at the New Port Richey art gallery.  You all asked some great questions.  Last night I talked a little about the new book I completed over the weekend; check back later this week, when I’ll reveal the title and a bit more about the novel.

In other news, Neil Gaiman published a great piece in The Guardian about why libraries and reading are so important to society.  It’s a long essay, though well worth your time.

And this viral video is just for fun (and NSFW):  two iconic superheroes sniping at each other.  It’s very funny.

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Guest Post: Jeremy C. Shipp

Today I ask author Jeremy C. Shipp 5 Weird Questions.  His latest book is Monstrosities, a short story collection.  Check out his website at

1 — Pick two literary characters to be your parents.  Who do you choose?

Jane Eyre and Hagrid.  Hagrid would inspire me to lighten up and live a little.  He would teach me to respect life (and monsters).  And as for Jane, I would look up to her imagination, her compassion, her spirituality.  She would instill in me the strength to stay true to who I am.

2 — Make up a holiday from scratch.  How would people celebrate this day?

On Attic Clown Day, we juggle balloon animals full of blood while riding unicycles.  Whenever someone drops a blood balloon, we’re required to laugh.  Whenever someone doesn’t drop a blood balloon, we’re required to laugh.  All day we eat nothing but cotton candy full of spiders, and rubber chicken noodle soup.

3 — How much deeper would the oceans be without sponges?

Sponges are always interrupting intellectual and philosophical conversations.  So without them, the oceans would be much deeper indeed.

4 — If you could get rid of any state, which one would you pick and why?

I would get rid of the state of selfishness, which would hopefully increase compassion and empathy for the poor and underprivileged.  Also, I would get rid of South Dakota.  Who needs it?

5 — Given the opportunity, would you be willing to swap gender for a week?

Definitely!  I would dress up like Blossom and do lady stuff, like drinking tea or fighting zombies or solving math equations.

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Public Signing & Reading

Next Friday (October 18th) I’ll be guest author at the New Port Richey Progress Energy Art Gallery.  Stop by and say hello anytime from 6:30-8:00 PM.  I’ll have copies of all my books on hand for purchase, and I’ll be signing and reading selections as well.  Refreshments will be served.

The address is 6231 Grand Blvd in New Port Richey.  If you can’t find street parking, there are usually open spots behind the building.  The gallery is hard to find if you’re not looking for it, so here’s a photo:

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We Shall Resume Shortly

It’s been nearly a month since I updated the site.  That’s longer than a prefer to go between posts, but I’ve been busy behind the scenes.  I began a new novel at the start of this month, and I’m shooting to have a first-pass rough draft done by Halloween.  I’m hoping to cram four months’ worth of work into eight weeks — a doable yet very challenging prospect — and as such, certain extra-curriculars like blogging have been neglected.  My apologies.

Things should get back to normal during the second half of next month.  While the run up to Halloween makes October my busiest month, this year it also coincides with my 15-year writing anniversary.  I have some special treats scheduled in celebration of that.

Right now things are flying along on this new book (my seventh, for those keeping count).  I’m superstitious about discussing works-in-progress, so I’m gonna keep tight-lipped about it for now.  I should have some juicy tidbits to drop next month, so look forward to that.

What I can tell you at the moment:  The novel is set in a fresh genre for me, one in which I’ve never before worked.  And while it doesn’t contain supernatural elements, rest assured it is horror related and should appeal to my usual readers.

Two articles of note before I disappear back into the book:

The first is an oldie but goodie from Joyce Carol Oates, a lengthy essay she published back in the ’90s about H.P. Lovecraft.

The second is a new Kickstarter project that just launched, called In the Dark.  I’m not much of a comic fan personally, but this looks interesting nonetheless.  If you prefer your horror to be more visual, think about kicking in a few bucks.

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Hugo Awards 2013

Over the weekend the Hugo Award winners were announced at LoneStarCon 3.  Congratulations to them all!  (Read full list at Hugo Awards)


Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)


The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)


“The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity, Solaris)


“Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future is Japanese, VIZ Media LLC)


Writing Excuses Season Seven, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Jordan Sanderson


Saga, Volume One, written by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)


The Avengers, Screenplay & Directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios, Disney, Paramount)


Game of Thrones, “Blackwater”, Written by George R.R. Martin, Directed by Neil Marshall. Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO)

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Twilight Zone Parody & J.K. Rowling

I wanted to bring this short Twilight Zone parody to your attention, titled “Pitches in Stitches.”  It mocks the agency mentality that currently rules Hollywood.

And here’s a piece from The New York Times, about the recent J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith controversy.  Galbraith’s debut novel reportedly sold about 1,500 copies as an unknown author; once news broke that Galbraith was actually a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the book has sold over 1.3 million copies and counting.

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X-Files & Bradbury

Vulture had a great write up this week about the 20th anniversary of The X-Files, including a comprehensive interview with creator Chris Carter.  Carter largely dropped out of public view after The X-Files ended in 2003; now he’s readying a television comeback with a couple different cable projects.  I look forward to seeing what he does next.

And here’s a fabulous video interview with Ray Bradbury.  This is one I hadn’t seen before, so I thought it best to share.

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Library Police & Ego Traps

Couple of items to share this afternoon:

The first is a music video blending two things that don’t go together:  librarians and the Beastie Boys.  Looks like it was fun to shoot.

Another is an essay in the The New York Times about one of the most hated questions writers are asked — “What are you working on?”  I generally deflect the query with a shrug and say, “I’m between projects at the moment.”  Doesn’t matter if I’m furiously writing toward the climax of a novel, or whether I am actually between books.  I don’t talk about works in progress.  It’s a superstitious thing, I think.  Or a commitment issue.  I won’t even announce that I’m working on a new book until I’ve passed the halfway mark of the rough draft.  By that point I’m so committed to the project that I can’t back out, and I’m able to use the public announcement as reinforcement to finish the novel.

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