Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Motivation

I'm going through withdrawal.

Right about this time, I'd be happily sweating over 100 words for Lily Childs' weekly Prediction.

However, as every true artist knows, and she is certainly one of them, you can't be doing everything for everyone all the time. So, the drabble-fest is quiet for two weeks.

If there's a better time to paddle,
I don't know when it is.
During my own recent downtime, which is getting closer to an end, but still requires obscene amounts of my writing time, I've been using the weekly 100 to keep the ink in the old pencil flowing.

So - I'm going to do one here. Alone if necessary - but you're all welcome to join in, via the comments below. 

The reasons for doing this are twofold - one is that, even though 100 words in a week is pitiful production, it's better than nothing, which is what I'd do otherwise right now. Second, if I don't say it aloud, it won't happen.
These prompt words were chosen by using a random number generator, googling "motivation" and counting the words. They are:


I'll have my 100 words up here in time for #fridayflash.

Want to play?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blowing the Publicity Horn

I have to tell you about Unquiet Earth. Last year, the incomparable Chris Bartholomew at Static Movement decided to do a Zombie Flash collection. She held a contest to decide the name. The winner also got to write the blurb on the back cover.  I think you see where I'm going with this...

It was awesome to win, and a little nerve-wracking that my title and back cover now grace this wicked collection of reanimated flash stories.

Now, with my name on the back of the book, and my history of zombie stories, I couldn't not submit to this; so I did, and got in... three times.

That's right - inside of Unquiet Earth are three original zombie stories by yours truly: Upping the Ante, Bones of Contention, and In a Little Undead House.

Zombie stories are so much fun to write - they afford a ready made backdrop to show a microcosm of the human condition and extremes of natural relationships.

... and I'm just totally stoked that I had so much to do with this book.

It's available from the Pill Hill Press bookstore (good for US and UK) or

Infomercial over.

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

#amwriting - Endings and Beginnings and Icon-ic disappointment

Just a quick update on things.
Damn you white space! Be more full!

It's been a pretty good week, writing wise. I ended up getting some time to myself a few nights ago, and as a result, I'm almost done the first draft of the short story I've been working on (though the clock is ticking on the antho I'm planning on submitting to). This one has posed a problem that's sort of new to me. It's a horror story, with lots of crazy, gooey action, but it didn't feel right to end as soon as the "scary part" was over. I have a survivor, and I've got to deal with him - so I've been writing the ending to this thing for about three weeks. It's the first time an ending has done this particular trick, but I recognize if I rush it, it'll only undo all the cool bits in the middle.

Next - one of the main source books I've been using to plan my novel just came back in at the library. I promised myself when I was finished the short story, I'd put everything else on hold and make a solid push to get this big story going. There's one flash piece in limbo, though, that I want to put down onscreen and get over to a friend, so I'll be working on that when I need the mental break.

Finally, a note of disappointment. I commute upwards of an hour each day, and have been enjoying audio books during these drives for about a year now, and it's now official - I can't stand abridgements. Last week I picked up Peter Straub's "In the Night Room" to listen to (from the library also... love the Toronto system, they have just about everything). I've never read the book, but the audiobook was impossible to listen to. The story took huge disjointed jumps, and made the exposition seem forced and unnatural. I gave it up after disc three (of five.) Previously, I'd listened to Stephen King's "It", which was 35 freaking discs long, but unabridged, it was everything I loved about that story.  So - I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather carry a phonebook sized packet of CD's around in the car than listen to a story that's not everything the author wrote.

Btw - as a replacement, I picked up Joe Hill's "Horns", and am loving it.

Keep writing everyone!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Still on a bit of a "pause", while I sort out some things "I.R.L." (in real life dont'ch know)  ... but I miss you guys.  I'm going to try to make a round of the blogs this week and see what everyone's been up to before I jump back into the squirrel hole again.

In the meantime, here's a small... something (not sure if this is a piece of something larger, or it's own thing right now, but it's self-contained, and it felt good to write; to be writing.)


I sit on my roof and become an animal once more, embracing senses and instincts part of us humans since we began. The yellowing sky is heavy with ozone and the wind is thick with potential; my little paper bag of nails threatens to ride the asphalt ski jump.
Even the trees sound different, as the wind whips through hundreds and thousands of leaves; every edge curled upward, thirsting for what’s to come.
My pocket rings. The pop music ringtone is discordant blasphemous noise against the overture that surrounds me. Practice is over. Time to go.

The old gutter, patched liberally with duct tape, threatens to give way and buckle beneath my weight as I descend. I smell metal beneath my hands, and metal in the air.
A crack opens in the sky, filling the world with light. A moment later, the reverberating crash is heavy enough to shake the ladder. Echoes of thunder roll away, making the gathering clouds growl.

I am all purpose now, and dash to my car. In the sky, there is only the faintest sliver of yellow now. Twilight has come at noon. In my haste, I forget to get lost in the side streets, and I get to my wife and daughter just in time.

The car doors close, and the sky pours itself out on us. It’s too heavy to drive. We sit, and we watch.

In the back of my mind, understanding blooms, and I’m a little afraid. Water enough to fill a stream is coming down around us. The insistent beat slows enough to get moving. We pass steadily growing puddles with little floating islands of detritus, soon to be washed away.

We could be washed away. Nature doesn’t need us.

I reach around the seat and squeeze my daughter’s calf. She giggles.

“Why’d you do that Daddy?”

“Just making sure you’re there – you’re so quiet.”

“I was just watching the rain. There’s lots.”

“Yeah,” I reply, looking at my wife. Her gaze is fixed outside the window too.

“What if it never stops?” asks Julie from the back.

Her tone is the same as if she’d asked “Why is that dog brown?” So I answer, “Don’t worry, honey, it’ll be over soon.”

Looking back at the road, I hope to hell I’m right.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Man Behind FFO - David Barber Speaks! (Well.)

Good friend David Barber is interviewed over at "Gutter Books" today. He gives great insight about his new gig at the Flash Fiction Offensive (FFO), the world of writing, and the world at large. (Also: see David's knees at no extra cost!)

Gutter Books News and Events: 7 Questions: David Barber#comments

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Feel my pain...

This song has been stuck in my head for the past three days. This is the best damned presentation of it I can find, and I'll forever associate this song and this movie.


Oh... and FYI - Eight Days of Madness is now available at Barnes & Noble's "Nook-store"!