Monday, September 23, 2013

Stygian Accepts Horror Novels,

Any cover with my name and a hot spider babe is just fine.

According to their blog, R. Scott McCoy and company will be in the market for horror novellas and novels beginning in November. Scott edited the horror magazine Necrotic Tissue and selected my short story, "Dagon and Jill," as Editor's Pick in Issue #13 as well as including it in his Best of Necrotic Tissue Anthology. While we're on the subject, Scott also gave me space for a big gabby interview in Issue #14. Glad to have him back in play.

Scott paid his writers and paid on time. He's a pro and a guy you can work with. So if you're sitting on a long form horror piece, clean up your copy and keep an eye on the Stygian Publications blog for more details.

UPDATE: Submissions accepted beginning November 1. Details at Stygian Publications

Cool Gift: Alien PEZ Dispenser

Thanks to Susana Polo at The Mary Sue, I am now aware that there's a plastic Alien figure that dispenses PEZ candy. Who says this nation has run dry of ideas? But don't stop there! High tail it over to the PEZ site and pick up The Hobbit Gift Set. Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin Oakenshield plastic heads await you atop a stack of fine PEZ candies. Hurry Christmas, don't be late.
PEZ Products

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lovecraft Film Fest 2013

Artist: Jason Bradley Thompson

With a  short story ("Dagon and Jill") anchoring The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack, I feel sufficiently drenched in things Lovecraft to promote an upcoming celebration. Billed as "The Only Festival That Understands," this salute to horror author H.P. Lovecraft happens  here in Los Angeles September 27 - 29 at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.  You'll see long films, short films, as well as hear artists and authors inspired by the Lovecraft canon. And, of course, there's plenty of Lovecraft swag.

Festival organizer Aaron Vanek exceeded his Kickstarter goals and, in the process, made a nifty little film that gives a rundown on the events and places that Lovecraft Lovers will be seeing in ten days.

So barring madness or a mysterious disappearance, you've no reason not to fire up your Model T, load your revolver, practice a few protective spells, and creep on over to the 2013 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon. (Or, if you're Mr. Busy Schedule like me, you can even stream portions of the festival. Isn't that sort of like having a vision?)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Animaniacs Turns Twenty

In September, there are dark memories and light memories. Today falls on the incandescent side as Animaniacs premiered on Fox back in 1993. (As did the X-Files and The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Which of those two became a big hit, I wonder?) That same premier week, I believe, there was a huge party celebrating the event on the Warner Bros. lot. Steven Spielberg showed up. Free drinks were available in plastic cups. Then time passed and the show disappeared from the air, but stayed alive thanks to fans and the wonder of YouTube. Now the Warner siblings may be seen in reruns on the Hub.

Happy 20th, Animaniacs, and a shout out to all those who worked on the program.

I'm in the foreground right, across from Tom Ruegger and next to Paul Rugg.

And, especially, a water-tower sized 'thank you' to all the fans who persevered and kept the memory fresh. You rawwwwk! We close now with the Animaniacs Suite.

h/t: TammieRD

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11, 2001

K called from Florida, "Planes crashed into the World Trade Center and one of the towers just fell." Unemployed in Los Angeles and half asleep at 7:30 AM, I shuffled downstairs to the TV, past Joy as she prepared for work. At first, all I saw was a dirty cloud obscuring southern Manhattan. Then a stunned announcer said the second tower had just collapsed. Joy joined me, work forgotten as we learned of the attack.

Other friends phoned throughout the day. Paul Rugg speculated about the pilots of the doomed aircraft, certain they weren't Americans forced to crash. TJ, a Vietnam vet, was incensed at the footage of jubilant Palestinians with their candy and AK-47s. He wished he could gift them with a nice buttering of napalm. In a grim mood, I agreed.

Watching TV and power-chewing Nicorette, I mostly felt numb — except when the subject was jumpers. Then I felt horror. Go to work, sip coffee, joke with your pals, then decide whether you'll suffocate, burn alive, or leap a quarter mile to certain death. Questions of etiquette arise: jump solo or hold hands with a co-worker? Perhaps several of you link arms and form a chain, finding courage in numbers. Or do you clutch a table cloth and step into the air, desperately hoping it slows your fall?

The journey takes ten seconds.

Air velocity rips away your shoes.

You explode on impact.

I will always be haunted by the jumpers of 9/11.

Oceans of paper were blasted from the towers, filling the New York sky like the Devil's ticker tape. Invoices and wedding invitations floated down to gray sidewalks.

My friend Cathy, who worked in D.C., reported chaos as the government sent everyone home at once following the Pentagon attack. One jammed intersection turned scary as a man leaped out of an SUV brandishing a pistol and attempting to direct traffic.

Being murdered is not a heroic act, though it can be. Flight 93 passengers fought back and died, saving many more in their sacrifice. North Tower Port Authority employees rescued over 70 people before perishing.

There were many heroes that day.

My sister Mary Pat and I had dinner at a coffee shop. She was passing through town, leaving a job in Mountain View, CA to return to Phoenix. Depressed by the day's events, our meal was not jolly.

Later, Joy tried to give blood, but the hospital was overwhelmed with donations and refused.

Vulnerability, grief, dismay, anger.

Such a beautiful morning with a sky so blue.

(Photos from: Little Green Footballs.)

Repost: Sept. 11, 2008

Update: Strange to reread this. TJ died in 2009 and K passed away just over a year ago. My wife, Joy, and I are doing well, as is Paul Rugg who now rides the train

Monday, September 09, 2013

Ink and Alchemy Page Promotes Artists

Emilia Elfe

Who couldn't use a little promo?

On Facebook, the goal of artist Robin Kalinich's Ink and Alchemy is to "encourage, inspire, and transform via networking and social media. I support and promote the work of artists from all over the globe because I believe that a rising tide floats all boats."

And while Ink and Alchemy aims at fine art, More Ink caters to poets and writers of most things written.

When the next rejection notice arrives, go relax among your peers in a place where your efforts are appreciated. You deserve it, artist!

Gothic Wallpaper
As I'm writing a horror novel, a suitably dark and macabre image seemed fitting this morning.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Star Trek Reacts to Miley Cyrus

Friend Ken alerted me to the fate of the crew of the Federation starship Enterprise upon viewing the feral gyrations of Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Awards.

h/t: Aries Head Films