Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Horrifying Discussion! Check out a virtual horror panel with two of my...

I was recently part of this podcast with other members of the Horror Writers Association Virginia Chapter, Pam Kinney, and the panels's host, Bryan Nowak. Check it out.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

How is Everyone Faring out There?

As chaos continues over this virus pandemic and quarantines continue, I thought I'd take a minute to address that we all have and will deal with the coronavirus in different ways, and that is okay. Some mean-spirited memes out there are shaming writers in writing groups if they are not being productive during this pandemic. The argument from these memes is that now that we are all shut in, if we are not being productive writers, we were and are never going to be productive writers.

I'm here to say that those memes are hogwash. Bunk. Malarkey. These can be very trying times, and when stress levels are high, writing can be difficult to impossible. It is true that some people claim to be better writers when they are stressed, but not for others. Everyone is different and everyone has to deal with this in their own way. Certainly it can be difficult to write if you are in danger of losing your job, or your house, or are having trouble putting food on the table.

For myself, I've been okay so far. I was even offered to take over another class from an instructor who could not finish the semester. However, this could be short-lived success for me. My summer classes were canceled and no one seems to know what they will do with fall classes. The stimulus money will help me get through for a little while, and hopefully there will be an end to this pandemic or some return to a new normal soon.

Writing wise, I've been a little too busy with teaching to do a lot, but I've managed to get a few words on a page. I'm not too stressed to write yet, and am hoping I don't reach that point. I try to limit news coverage because it can get to you after a while. The good news is I sold a poem to Teach. Write. and it was just released earlier today. It is available here.

So I hope everyone out there is doing well. To leave this depressing post on a happier note, here's a much funnier meme about the coronavirus from Ozzy.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19 writing and publishing.

It seems like you can't turn on a television, radio, or internet website without hearing something about COVID-19, aka the coronavirus. So in my usual philosophy of being just another monkey slinging poo around, here's my entry into the fray.

Because people are being quarantined with nothing to do, I'm seeing a lot of people in the publishing world offering free or reduced priced books from their lists, which is pretty cool, in my opinion. There are also a lot of books out there about pandemics, including the ones provided in this list.

Because I work in higher education, I have been assigned to work from home until at least early April, at which time they will reassess, and decide if we need to stay home longer. My guess is we may see all online courses until the end of this semester, but we shall see. It does give us writers and artists a chance to sit at home and work on our crafts, but at the same time, I prefer in person classes, and enjoy a little human interaction from time to time. But I understand the concerns. Students live in dorms and spend a lot of time with each other in classrooms, so colleges can be petri dishes for sicknesses and viruses. I therefore adhere to their decision, and understand its necessity.

Anyway, be safe out there and wash your hands. Good luck and stay healthy. Here is a music video to help you get though these times.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Photos from last October

It occurred to me that I never posted my photos from last October where I participated in several Halloween / horror events and activities. First I participated in a presentation on the history of mummy tropes in horror stories at Monster Fest.

Also at Monster Fest, I met up with my friend Mr. Lobo, who is a horror movie host, much like those of the olden days, and boy do I miss those days. Thankfully, the internet exists and that seems to be where Mr. Lobo and many other horror movie hosts have gone.

That poster hung from a video store in downtown Norfolk, until the video store, The Naro, closed.😥😭

Then I decorated my lawn for Halloween.

And began dressing into my costume for Halloween.

And finally went out for big night, but met up with the Wolfman.

See you all later.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

I'm Baaack! And Welcome to the Roaring 20s

It's been a while since I made a blog post, and a few things have happened since then. In fact, one could say I have not written a blog since last decade. Hyperbole? A tad, but technically true. We have entered a new decade, so welcome to the new roaring twenties! (Dig the photo above.)

Anyway, I was very busy teaching classes last semester. I began at a new school, which will pay me a bit more, but it's a longer drive, and the classes are full, so it takes up more of my time. The other good news is that I will be teaching a literature class at my new school, if enough students sign up. Fingers crossed.Unfortunately, lately that means less time for writing, but I'm still slugging away, and writing whenever I get the chance. 

I've also found time to do two more public presentations since my last blog. One was at this year's Monster Fest in Chesapeake, VA, where I presented on the history of mummy stories in film and books. The other was a presentation on the six degrees of separation from Smithfield, VA to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Isle of Wight Museum. For those presentations, I put together some Power Point files, and that kind of counts as writing, right?

Last year, I broke my all time record of the most submissions I have ever made in one year. I found a blog recently that claims you should aim for at least 100 submissions per year to get published, and my record is not quite half of that, but I'm going to work toward breaking my current record again this year. It has not quite turned into numerous publications yet, but I am getting published more often than I used to. I also have a few ideas for some nonfiction articles, which I would like to work on this year as well as my usual fiction.

Anyway, I just thought I would bring everyone up to date on what I've been up to. I will try to make a few more frequent blog posts in the future, and I will make them a little bit more useful to you the reader. In the meantime, here is a music video on my return, "Back in the Saddle" by one of my all time favorite bands, Aerosmith.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Although I Have to Say Goodbye to the Summer.

Summer is just about over 😥. Being a horror fan and a horror writer, this is bitter-sweet. Summer is still my favorite season of the year, despite the fact that Halloween comes in the fall. So as I say goodbye to the warm weather and sunshine that summer brings, I at least get to say hello to some good television, stores filled with spooky decorations, and my favorite cereals making their return.

But the end of summer is also a time to reflect on what writing accomplishments I've managed to accumulate this year. I managed to publish only one work so far (several pieces are still out, awaiting response), a poem at Lite Lit One. But I also managed to write the first two chapters of Franksploitation,and had a meeting with my unofficial academic advisor about the project. He was very positive and encouraging about it. He even mentioned a book contract possibility already.

My total word count for the summer was about 25,000 words. I was hoping to produce almost double that, but I hit a wall during the second half of the summer, and couldn't seem to produce much of anything. I'm still working to get over that wall, and I think I'm pretty close. Of course, now my semester is starting again, so time to write will once again become an hiderance. Among those words, was about 9,000 words toward the Franksploitation nonfiction project, about 7,000 words toward my current fiction work in progress, Blood of the Werewolf, three band new short stories, and several new poems. Reading the blogs of other educators, I can console myself with the idea that no one ever seems to reach their summer writing goals.

I also found a new writers group to join in nearby Smithfield, Virginia. I never realized there was such a rich writing community in little Smithfield, but there are several published authors in that writing group, and we attended a presentation from another published author for one meeting. They provided valuable feedback on some of those new short stories I wrote this summer.

Additionally, I attended several events with the Horror Writers Association Virginia Chapter, where I was able to do some public readings, and talk with other published authors. I count this as more valuable experience.

As summer winds down, I'm mainly concentrating on my teaching duties. I starting teaching part time at another community college, along with my already busy schedule of two other higher education facilities. During the summer, I managed to land two interviews for full time positions with higher education facilities, but was unable to land either of those positions. This is still encouraging as it means I am gaining ground in this field. I will continue to write and submit, and hope for the best, while trying to pick up on more tips and helpful hints along the way to make me a better writer. Good luck to you as well.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

My First Horror Writers Association Virginia Chapter Event

There are perks to membership. I have lately been blogging about some of those perks here. And recently, I have another story about just great this type of membership is.

Recently, I was able to participate in my first event with the Horror Writers Association Virginia Chapter, which was Unhappy Hour at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond. It was a lot of fun. I was able to finally meet some fellow HWA members face-to-face who live in the area (or at least in the same state).

I also participated in my first public reading. It was a fellow member's piece, but it was lesson worth learning; from now on I will bring at least one piece to read just in case the opportunity arises. But at least I was able to provide a little publicity for a fellow member.

I was able to slip away for a quick tour of the museum, which I hadn't seen in about 15 years or more.

Oh yes, did I mention there were free drinks for HWA members?

We had a booth to sign up new potential members. Members with books to sell were able to do so.

I handed out a few business cards to maintain publicity for my current non-fiction project, Frankspoitation.

Oh yes, and drinks, I did mention the free drinks didn't I?

Anyway, here are some photos from the event.