Are you into avant-garde literature? The touch of the experimental? Take a trip to the CERN ZOO from Megazanthus Press. CERN ZOO is the latest of the award-winning Nemonymous short fiction collections assembled by prolific and acclaimed UK author and publisher, DF Lewis. The authors are listed, but which story belongs to which author is a mystery to be revealed only in the next Nemonymous collection. Can you guess which story is mine?
Read up on the Particle Zoo in Cern. You can even buy plush dark matter!
My short story “The Problem With Women” appears in the print anthology STRANGE STORIES OF SAND & SEA, published by Fine Tooth Press and available from Amazon.com. STRANGE STORIES OF SAND AND SEA is a haunting collection from authors around the globe.
The print anthology TWISTED CAT TALES with my short story “Cat Discipline” is ready for your hungry order from Amazon.com. Such a good story it is too: lots of that dark chuckling humor you’ve come to expect, all wrapped around a tale of, well, cat discipline. You can read it no where else but in this naughty-kitty print anthology. You will also find it in person at Burbank’s Dark Delicacies.
Really good news to announce this month, boys and girls! My short story “The Problem With Women” will appear in the print anthology STRANGE STORIES OF SAND & SEA, published by Fine Tooth Press. Esther Schrader, who did such a wonderful job with TWISTED CAT TALES, will also edit this collection. It’s coming out sometime in 2007.
STRANGE STORIES OF SAND AND SEA has many excellent authors contributing, so you will want to read this one. Keep posted for details!
December 10, 2006
In November, I went on a trip to the Kingdom of Tonga. Tonga is located smack dab in the middle of the Pacific, west of Tahiti, east of Fiji. It is extraordinarily remote, and has only had regular tourism for the last five years. I decided to visit Tonga after looking at a map of the Pacific. “What’s past Hawaii?” I wondered. The isolation, the lack of tourists,
irresistibly appealed to me. I booked the whole trip over the internet, two weeks before leaving, and got a great deal.
It’s hard to describe how Tonga was.
On one hand it is beautiful: deserted beaches, a cliff overlooking jungle and ocean with white birds swooping, and not a human in sight. On the other, especially on the main island, there are depressing ramshackle houses crammed together and rutted roads. There was no question we were in a different county, a different culture. They still wear grass skirts, men and women! They wear a cloth skirt, and then a grass skirt, or more commonly, a woven fiber mat, over the cloth. The young men don’t wear them as much, but still they are common. I saw a man driving in the “downtown” area of the main island with the long ends of his grass skirt trailing from behind his closed car door. Pigs wander everywhere. We did see the fishing pigs. They root around the shore in one area, looking for things to eat. I liked the look of astonishment that came across the face of one fishing pig when everyone from the tour van jumped out and took its photo. I’d run out of film by then (it was at the end of our trip), so I didn’t get a fishing pig photo. Toni, the English ex-patriot who operates the
day-tours of the main island, said he came up with the name “fishing pig” when an American travel writer pestered him about them. He can’t understand what the fuss is about.
Tongans decorate graves with hand-made quilts. Not quilts they make, but ones imported from America. They hang the quilts on wooden poles at the grave sites. There they stay, gradually fading and rotting. Seemed like a waste to me. The Englishman had gotten the idea that the Tongans borrowed the concept from US Southerners, but I told him I’d never heard of anyone leaving a perfectly good quilt in a cemetery.
We were the only American tourists. The other tourists were mostly young Australian and New Zealand backpackers, and Germans of all ages. Where we stayed on the small island (Eua), a pair of Australians and a pair of Canadians were very interested in us. After talking with them awhile, they asked if I carry a gun. They explained that “everyone” thinks all Americans carry guns. I told them I wouldn’t carry a gun because someone would just take it from me & shoot me, which they found intensely interesting. After that, all their pent-up American questions came out. Do I have bars on my windows (yes), how do I feel about them (they make me happy), how dangerous is LA really (I don’t think it’s so bad, but then again, with my bars keeping me happy . . .), etc.
To get to the small island, we took a small plane that waggled in the air currents. When it came down on the gravel runway, we could hear the gravel ping-pinging against the plane. It taxied onto the grass and stopped at the terminal, which looked like it used to be someone’s little house. It was painted
White bread is the staple of their diet. They love white bread. We ate lots of white bread there. It was exceptionally good white bread. I kind of miss it.
There were two furry brown spiders in our room, big as my palm. They left us alone, so we left them alone. One liked the shower stall. There were also little lizards with a metallic sheen that make a knocking sound. The first night, I got up and answered the door. No one there. I suppose it was a lizard. Large flying roaches too. At night, we could hear things investigating the luggage. We decided it was best to keep the lights off so we didn’t see. They were always gone by morning, and didn’t bother anything. Just curious, I suppose.
A retired German couple, who complained so much they were sort of entertaining, gave us good travel advice. Always bring a bottle of whisky. Drink some every morning, first thing. Then with every meal, have beer or wine. They’ve traveled all over the world in all manner of conditions, and have found this to be a sure way to keep safe and sound. I did find that beer helped after I developed a problem from the water. The man who co-owned the little “hotel” on Eua with his son assured me
the water was fine because it was rainwater, so was natural. It seemed okay at first.
I miss sitting by the shore for hours while the sun gradually sets. I miss seeing a million stars. I miss hearing the ocean all night, and waking to sounds of strange birds. One sounded like squealing breaks. I miss sitting up late at night talking with the other travelers. I miss the “vanilla” ice cream bars that taste like coconut.
I don’t miss the impossibly rutted roads.
On Sunday, they drove us to a church on Eua. We have no idea what kind of church, since everything was in Tongan. We were thoroughly stared at by the little kids, and some adults. Their singing was amazing. There was no choir, just the congregation singing. There was no musical accompaniment.
They sang in waves, the adults with deep voices, and then the children’s high voices. I’ve never heard anything like it. It was transporting.
There is so much more I could tell. The Tongan guide on Eua spoke of how he used to summon sea turtles with a certain incantation relating to an old legend. But now the rock jutting over the cliff, the only rock that works for the incantation, is too wobbly for him to stand on. The ocean water looked like liquid glass. The old absolute monarch recently died, and his son is facing protests. The Chinese
immigrants have little snack food shops made from converted shipping containers. We were lucky enough to spot the last two whales of the season, their big black tails flipping out of the water in the distance. Semi-wild horses wander the jungle. The mamma pig hobbling along with a missing foot. The curious birds who swooped so close to us to see what we were.
So, that was Tonga.
In between the Tongan adventure, I continue to ruminate over revising my novel, “American Witch.” What is “American Witch” about? It’s about the creative humans inhabiting Silverlake’s undergrowth. My Silverlake of old, trashy dumpy Silverlake that struggles to survive the invasion of the monied wanna-be hip. The characters have bizarre adventures, but keep in mind, much of the novel is pulled from real life.
October 29, 2006
Happy Halloween, one and all!
Yes, I know I have been away from my website for awhile. I have fallen into a quandary over revising my novel, American Witch. Am I improving it by cutting it down? Am I ruining it? Well, it’s been consuming my mental energy.
What is “American Witch” about? It’s about the creative humans inhabiting Silverlake’s undergrowth. My Silverlake of old, trashy dumpy Silverlake that struggles to survive the invasion of the monied wanna-be hip. They move here & they hate us. I wish they’d go away.
When I decide which version of American Witch I like best, I’ll post a sample for you.
Visit www.zackattac.com for a joyful viewing of Zack Sofia’s amazing paintings. They’re portraits of various & sundry club kids. Extra different. Buy one of his tee-shirts. I did. It makes me feel special. I have a button and a magnet too.
I was back at Dark Delicacies, the Burbank
all-horror bookstore which hosted my “Twisted Cat Tales” signing in April. I had a chance to speak with TJ Nordaker, who accomplished the impossible by making a horror film in 2 weeks for 2 thousand dollars! I am so inspired. Check it out at www.janitormovie.com.
Sept 2, 2006
I am still on a high from the Sunset Junction Street Fair that happened the last weekend in August here in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. On Saturday I was there twelve hours solid, from a little before noon until it shut down. Tons of police & a police helicopter no less to encourage the happy crowd to leave as the midnight hour approached. Great music on three
stages, band after band. I had a blast. I love the vibe of the crowd too. Everybody’s there to have a good time & let loose. The Little Ones were great. They also play Monday nights at Spaceland (no cover on Mondays, boys
& girls). If you’re in LA at the end of August next year, come to Sunset Junction. Get there early, like I did, to find parking (it’s a challenge).
Silverlake (yes, I refuse to spell it with two words) has changed a lot. In walking around Sunset Junction, I saw that trendy new shops have almost completely replaced what used to be here. New townhouses are going up too (yikes!). It’s harder and harder for penniless creative types to live here.
My novel I am toiling over, American Witch, happens in this frightening world of Silverlake/Los Feliz gentrification. The infamous Los Feliz house with twenty roommates renting chunks of floor space is featured (I refuse to pronounce Los Feliz the pouser way too—-you know what I’m talking about—-I say it Spanish way ONLY). Actually, there’s lots of those kinds of houses around here.
I continue to cut cut cut American Witch. I’ve gotten it down to 520 pages, which is still too long. I confess I slacked on my revision chores this summer as I opted to have too much fun instead (chuckle).
I will keep you up-to-date on this project and the Quest To Find A Publisher. American Witch is a special story for me. I’m in it. You’re probably in it. I hope you will have the opportunity to enjoy it too.
July 4, 2006
I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer. It is hot hot hot here in Los Angeles. Fortunately, I have a laptop, so I can travel out of my un-airconditioned abode and lurk in cafes and libraries to do my writing.
I want to tell you about my BIG project that I have been toiling over for quite some time. It’s my novel, American Witch. It’s a story about the struggling creative misfits who live in and around the Silverlake/Hollywood area of Los Angeles. They battle family rejection, addiction, no-money-honey, and despair over ever discovering who they really are, deep down inside. George, the main character, is a basket case. There are intriguing paranormal elements tossed into the mix as well.
Much of it is pulled from real life, much of it is fabrication. It’s funny, it’s sad. I hope you’ll see yourself in some of the characters.
I’m in the midst of my second major revision. After receiving excellent advice and encouraging encouragement, I’ve revamped the beginning and am cutting, cutting, cutting. It’s hard because I’ve cut some great scenes. But, I realize I have to make sure the main story is not befuddled by details, entertaining though they may be.
I will keep you up-to-date on this project and the Quest To Find A Publisher. American Witch is a special story for me, and I hope you will have the opportunity to enjoy it too.
May 27, 2006
Greetings, boys and girls. As you may have noticed, I did not have a May update for my website. Sigh. Yours truly allowed drama and stress from her 9-5 job to overcome her world. Yes, indeed, these are times when I wish I had a trust fund. Office politics are not my forte. I think there is far more drama and horror going on in many offices than there are in works of
April 2, 2006
The book signing for Twisted Cat Tales on April 2 in Burbank was wonderful! Tons of fun. Dark Delicacies is an amazing bookstore. It sells horror and sci-fi books and DVDs, music CDs, plus tons of cool movie merchandise. Owners Sue & Del are a super-nice, laid-back couple who really know the world of horror. Check out their signed book-of-the-month club. It’s a
fantastic way to treat yourself.
The two other Southern California Twisted Cat Tales writers came. Pamela Skochinski journeyedsouth all the way from the Lancaster/Palmdale area. Ryan C. Thomas drove the long drive up fromSan Diego. I was so glad they both could make it. They made it all the more fun! Ryan was also signing his fresh new novel, The Summer I Died. Such a hard-core slasher novel from such a nice guy!
Thank you, everyone who came! It really meant a lot to me, and I enjoyed meeting all of you! Did you miss the signing? No problem. I left signed copies of Twisted Cat Tales at Dark Delicacies for you to pick up!
Is anyone going to Norwescon 29 in Sea Tac Washington, April 13-16 (http://www.norwescon.org/)? Twisted Cat Tales editor, Esther Schrader, will be there, along with contributing writers Bridget Coila, Fox Cutter, and Cat Rambo. I won’t be there, but come and meet these other fanastic authors!
Can’t make it to Norwescon 29 or Dark Delicacies in Burbank? Immediately click here! Yes indeed, my anxious children, the anthology “Twisted Cat Tales” with my short story “Cat Discipline” is ready for your hungry order from Shocklines! Such a good story it is too: lots of that dark chuckling humor you’ve come to expect, all wrapped around a tale of, well, cat
discipline. You can read it no where else but in this naughty-kitty print anthology.
Order now (http://store.yahoo.com/shocklines/twcattaedbye.html)!
Order now (http://store.yahoo.com/shocklines/twcattaedbye.html)!
Got an Amazon gift card? Use it to good advantage by buying “Twisted Cat Tales!”
I saw an amazing movie last week. Harold & Maude. It’s not a new movie, since it came out in the 60s. It was a cult hit back then. I’ve heard about it, but never saw it. Now, it’s one of my all time favorite films. Check it out. It’s weird.
Whispers of Wickedness has just posted an especially passion-stirring story of mine, "The Feminist Argument" . Be uninhibited and add your thoughts about the war between men and women to the readers' forum .
Investigate my other stories Whispers of Wickedness has posted: "Forty Years of Talking", photo-illustrated by Carole Humphreys who aspires to be a mermaid, "Hello, Pat!", "The Refrigerator", illustrated by the astonishing Zakas, and "Desiccated Mouse", illustrated by the mysterious Snarff .
“Rescued Child” is a must read in The Dark Krypt’s March/April 2006 issue. The Dark Krypt does not archive its issues, so once April leaves us, so too does “Rescued Child!” That is why you can no longer read my particularly intense story, “Drummer Boys,” which appeared in the November/December 2005 issue. If you missed “Drummer Boys,” dry your tears and read “Rescued Child” now and save yourself another life regret!
Here’s another story sure to offend those lacking a satirical sense of fun: “Proper Weaponry” . While I was idling at a red light during my journey across the Valley to my dentist, I observed two children battling each other with balloons in the back of an SUV. I thought to myself, “What those children
need is proper weaponry.” Yes, inspiration can be found everywhere. You may find “Proper Weaponry” in the new webzine, Exquisite Death, the brainchild of Sarah Kelderman, writer of all things spooky, and hubby Taylor Dahlen, doom metal master.
Take a peek at "Missy's Hobby", up now at Dark Fire Fiction. Perhaps you'll be offended. Or perhaps you'll laugh, like I do every time I read about Missy.
Did you miss "That Boy"in Gothic Revue's June 2005 issue? Then you simply must read it, you romantic fool, you!
A sad note . . . the webzine Bloodletters has gone on hiatus indefinitely. It has been a wonderful haven for the short story, and its last issue featured one of my all time favorite creations, "Reginald.” Unfortunately, the link to “Reginald” is no longer in operation. Hey, kids, but maybe yours truly will be able to share “Reginald” with you in another anthology
And more time yet for tears . . . . Campmaster Rick Mohr is putting Camp Horror on hold. I certainlygoing to miss the campfire, Rick! Light it back up soon! Eager campers can still see the stories. If you haven't read "The Florida Room," saunter over and give it a read. "The Florida Room" appeared
in the October '04 issue and is a personal fav of mine. Inspired by a childhood home I lived in, natch! Check out "Devil's Tale Road" too, an August '04 Camp Horror story, “Shower Debacle” from the Feburary ’05 issue, and "The Arrangement," from the June '05 issue.
I hope you’ve followed my recommendations and read Douglas Clegg’s “The Priest of Blood” and his latest, “Mordred, Bastard Son” . Check out my review for “Mordred” at Amazon.com .
BOOK SIGNING!!! BOOK SIGNING!!!! BOOK SIGNING!!!!
WHEN: SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2PM
WHERE: DARK DELICACIES (http://www.darkdel.com)
4213 W. Burbank Blvd. Burbank, CA 91505 U.S.A.
Located in Burbank near the corner of Burbank Blvd.
and Pass Ave(look for Frankenstein on the
I am proud to announce that on Sunday, April 2 at 2pm, Burbank’s infamous all-horror bookshop,Dark Delicacies, will host a book signing for “Twisted Cat Tales,” which includes my short story, “Cat Discipline,” plus nearly forty other delightfully diabolical kitty tales. Yours truly will be there to sign your copy in person! Be there or be square!
Also attending will be two other “Twisted Cat Tales” contributors: writer Pamela Skochinski, and novelist/musician Ryan Thomas who also goes by his clever stage name, Johnny Fuego. Check out his band, The Buzz Bombs.
Not within the Southern California area? Can’t wake before midnight? Do not despair! Immediately click here! Yes indeed, my anxious children, the anthology “Twisted Cat Tales” with my short story “Cat Discipline” is ready for your hungry order from Shocklines! Such a good story it is too: lots of that dark chuckling humor you’ve come to expect, all wrapped around
a tale of, well, cat discipline. You can read it no where else but in this naughty-kitty print anthology.
Order now (http://store.yahoo.com/shocklines/twcattaedbye.html)!
Order now (http://store.yahoo.com/shocklines/twcattaedbye.html)!
A book signing is in the works for “Twisted Cat Tales,” at Dark Delicacies, the horror emporium deluxe in Burbank, California, possibly as early as March! Check back for moredetails, my eager little fiends.
The Dark Krypt has recently accepted another strange tale of mine, “Rescued Child.” It will appear in their March/April 2006 issue. Wait for it with baited breath!
Whispers of Wickedness has posted another story of mine, "Forty Years of Talking". Check out the photo illustration by Carole Humphreys, who aspires to be a mermaid.
Investigate my other stories Whispers of Wickedness has posted: "Hello, Pat!", "The Refrigerator", illustrated by the astonishing Zakas, and "Desiccated Mouse.", illustrated by the mysterious Snarff. Be wild & crazy and add your thoughts about my stories to the readers' forum.
In case you’ve missed the hint I’ve been hinting for months now, yours truly knows with great sincerity that you’ll enjoy reading "The Priest of Blood" by Douglas Clegg! He's outdone himself with this one. It's a vampire story, a fantasy story, an historical story, a romance. Whatever your pleasure, you'll find it here. Have you ever dived so deeply into a book, it's hard to get out; has a book ever become so real to you, the "real" world vanishes? This is "The Priest of Blood.” And one more thought . . . have you always felt Mordred got a bum rap? I have, and am very pleased that Master of Horror Douglas Clegg feels the same. Investigate his revisionist Arthurian tale of Modred.
January 14, 2006
The excitement level has reached such an intensity, I cannot properly express!! Immediately click here ! Yes indeed, my anxious children, the anthology “Twisted Cat Tales” with my short story “Cat Discipline” is ready for your hungry pre-order from Shocklines! Such a good story it is too: lots of that dark
chuckling humor you’ve come to expect, all wrapped around a tale of, well, cat discipline. You can read it no where else but in this diabolical print anthology.
Order now (http://store.yahoo.com/shocklines/twcattaedbye.html)!
Order now (http://store.yahoo.com/shocklines/twcattaedbye.html)!
Until your order arrives, you may satisfy your fix for a story from yours truly by visiting The Dark Krypt and warming your little hearts with “Drummer Boys,” my much anticipated darkly disturbing drama. Do read! The Dark Krypt has recently accepted another strange tale of mine, “Rescued Child.” It will appear in their March/April 2006 issue. Wait for it with baited breath!
I should be in bed right now, but here I am messing around with my website. Perfect thing to do on a dark January night.
Aren’t you so glad the holidays are over? Chaos times, that’s what they should be called. I’m frankly feeling more cheerful now.
With this good news, some not so good news. The agent I gushed about in December, who wanted to read the first 50 pages of my novel, dinged me, politely—I will give him that. Well, it’s always worth a shot. Back to the old query mill I go. Hey, kids, if you know of an agent (meaning a real agent, not these characters who charge $ just to read your manuscript), let yours truly know. I’m all ears!
Publisher Coscom has selected February, 2006 as the debut date for the anthology “Twisted Cat Tales.” And (breathless excited pause) my short story “Cat Discipline” will be included. This will be my first short story ever in a print anthology! Such a good story it is too: lots of that dark chuckling humor you’ve come to expect, all wrapped around a tale of, well, cat discipline. February is almost upon us, but I haven’t a link from Coscom where my anxious readers can acquire a copy all their very owns to pet fondly (in lieu of an actual cat). Will let you know when I know!
December 9, 2005
Ah, December. It’s a month I strive to avoid, and this year, because my poor car was stripped shortly before Thanksgiving, I have been more or less confined, so am avoiding December and its
holidays whether I like it or not.
But a bright outcome! In my confinement, I worked like a fevered creature all through Thanksgiving week recreating the revisions to my novel that were lost during this Summer’s disastrous computer crash. Surprisingly, it was not as bad as I thought, and I am beyond delighted to say the book is in the bag!!!
Thanks for all your positive thoughts, boys & girls, during these dark writing times. Your hopes & wishes helped me to buck up and get the ol’ book done!
Weirdly, the one and only agent I queried (this being before the computer crash) responded yesterday, wanting to see the first fifty pages. Good thing he took so long, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a novel to send him (or a finished one in any case). Off to the post office the pages go tomorrow. Hoping
fingers crossed he takes a liking!!
Ooooo! There is such a wonderful wonderful new ezine out in cyberspace land: Exquisite Death, the brainchild of Sarah Kelderman, writer of all things spooky, and hubby Taylor Dahlen, doom metal master. And the best part is . . . in the premiere issue you will find my short story “Proper Weaponry”. It’s another story sure to offend those lacking a satirical sense of fun. Do read!
And more fantastic news keeps pouring in! “Drummer Boys” is now up at The Dark Krypt . It looked like “Dummer Boys” would be delayed due to the machinations of a naughty bad (spank! spank!) hacker person, but the power of the writer has prevailed! The webzine is up and “Drummer Boys” is awaiting your hungry eyes. As I’ve said before, this story is ever so special to me and I’m anxious to know what you think (Rosalind@RosalindBarden.com). Do read!
November 1, 2005
November is upon us. It’s my birthday month, so that is always a good thing. But I don’t like the impending stampede of the holidays. After Halloween, I prefer to hide.
Publisher Coscom has selected February, 2006 as the debut date for the anthology “Twisted Cat Tales.” And (breathless excited pause) my short story “Cat Discipline” will be included. This will be my first short story ever in a print anthology! Such a good story it is too: lots of that dark chuckling humor you’ve come to expect, all wrapped around a tale of, well, cat discipline. As soon as I know, I’ll let you know when you can place your order (because I know you’ll want too)!
My much anticipated short story “Drummer Boys” was scheduled to appear in the November issue of The Dark Krypt, but the zine has befallen a cruel hacker attack. So all dates have been pushed back, and “Drummer Boys” will probably appear in their January, 2006 issue. As I’ve said before, this is a simple story, but I feel it is one of the best I've written. It is less humorous than many of my stories, more dark and with a lot of emotion in its few words. But we’ll have to wait longer for its appearance now. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend time destroying a small webzine that seeks only to bring the work of writers out into the world. We creative types have enough problems as it is
Speaking of problems plaguing creative types . . . here is the next installment of my computer crash crisis. As I related last month, the data recovery place in San Francisco pronounced my drive beyond hope. Feeling undaunted, I took it to another data recovery place, this time in nearby Glendale. The diagnosis was the same. They explained that the drive’s “directory” was damaged, and once that happens, no data can be found. Looks like I will have to face up to the grim reality that I will have to go back and recreate months of revision work on my novel that had been within days of completion! Note to my faithful readers: save your work to disc often!
October! Such a wonderful month with pumpkins & fall leaves & of course we all love Halloween, don't we? Don't you feel energized just about this time of year? I do.
A spot of good news has come my way. The anthology, "Twisted Cat Tales," has accepted my short story, "Cat Discipline." Very excited, as this will be my first story in an anthology. I don't know when the anthology will come out, only that a Canadian publisher will print it. As soon as I know where you can buy your own personal copy, I'll let you know!
And now tempered by bad news . . .
As I bemoaned last month, the novel that I have been toiling over for quite some time now was within days of completion when the drive on my ancient, but usually trustworthy, computer crashed. Silly me had last saved my work to discs in April, so I lost months of work. I cannot express the woe. I sent
my crippled drive to San Francisco, but the diagnosis was that the "drive arm" had failed and scraped all the data off the drive. So, there was nothing left to recover. I am in a state of shock and hardly know where to start. Send positive thoughts my way; I'll need all of them.
September 2, 2005
All my petty miseries this past month do not compare to what the beautiful people of New Orleans are enduring as I write.
I had the pleasure to see, for the first time, that remarkable city last November. It is so much more than the glitzy tourist facade. There is no place like it, truly. It is a world always dreaming.
I think the individuals running this country thought no one would care about a bunch of poor people in New Orleans, any more than they so clearly don't. Note they only respond when international outrage comes to their attention.
Let us hope they fall from power and become the last dark, shameful chapter of this country's history.
On to the little things that preoccupy my life . . .
The novel that I have been toiling over for quite some time now was within days of completion when the drive on my ancient, but usually trustworthy, computer crashed. Silly me had last saved my work to discs in April, so lost months of work. I cannot express the woe. Right now, the crippled drive is in San Francisco where the documents are hopefully being recovered. I'll keep you posted.
This ordeal has been tempered by a delightful discovery I made in the midst of the happy chaos of the Sunset Junction street fair: Secret Headquarters, 3817 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90026, 323-666-2228, a cozy little bookshop devoted almost exclusively to graphic novels and underground comics. If you're in the LA area, come on by. It's fun and the guy there knows his comics.
In fact the entire Sunset Junction neighborhood, squeezed between Hollywood and Silverlake in Los Angeles, is worth a day of exploration. Parking is tough to find, so you'll have to poke around the sidestreets for a spot, but it's all good; it's all part of the journey.
August 1, 2005
It's been far too hot this summer & yours truly has been suffering, completely drained.
But on a cooling ocean breeze note, my friend Marina Tidwell has a book out called "Beyond the Beach Blanket" about the wildlife at LA beaches. Some of the creatures are the expected whales/birds sorts of things, but I was startled by how many alien/squishy/gross/slimy/frightening things are floating in and around the waters. And they're alive!
Marina, with assistance from hubby Robert, took the majority of the marvelous photos in the book. I recently had the pleasure of spending a fine evening at their place enjoying their company and Marina's baked butternut squash. Marina leads walks along the ocean too, pointing out the squishy wildlife in person.
Webmaster, Richard (http://www.agniworks.net), has been a busy bee since last month streamlining this site to make the links more clickable. Do you like the difference?
Have you been to Bowling Green, Ohio? It's a surprisingly subversive university town, and the original home of the radical magazine Clamor. It's home to Webmaster Richard too. Stop by Grounds for Thought while you're there. A gent with hair teased into horns fixed my coffee.
"Stories from Arlington", written by Cornelius Fortune and illustrated by Abel Ramirez, has gotten a glowing review from Karonda Barker of Dark Fire Fiction. Check it out!
Did you miss "That Boy" in Gothic Revue's June 2005 issue? Then you simply must read it, you romantic fool, you!
If you haven't read "The Florida Room," saunter over and give it a read. "The Florida Room" appeared in the October '04 issue of Camp Horror and is a personal fav of mine. Inspired by a childhood home I lived in, natch! Check out "Devil's Tale Road" too, an August '04 Camp Horror story, and "The Arrangement," from the June '05 issue.
July 1, 2005
Happy July one and all! Can I tell you how I like to spend long summer days? Well, if you insist . . . I enjoy exploring this wonderful city in which I live, Los Angeles. It is a thousand worlds in one, filled with unexpected gems tucked away wanting to be found.
Here's one gem: the new trail along the Silverlake reservoir. Yes, I know it's an effort to wake before midnight, but if you can manage, stroll along this path as the light wanes and ponder this surprisingly large body of water. Eclectic crowd around the lake too, so, whoever you are, you'll fit right in.
Do you want to be offended? Then check out "Missy's Hobby", up now at Dark Fire Fiction . Or maybe you'll laugh, like I do every time I read about Missy.
Peruse the other tales in Dark Fire Fiction. It's tough to get a story into Dark Fire Fiction, so I'm ever so flattered when they select one of my little tales.
You know what? I think a sea monster is a fantasy pet I wouldn't mind having. Discover how Bob handles his sea monster in, of course, "Sea Monster", up now at Gothic Revue.
Check out this emerging writer, Sarah Kelderman . Her latest, "Angels in Stained Glass" will give you the shivers. Oooooo!
If you missed "The Arrangement", run on over to Camp Horror and get your fill on golf gone awry.
A most involving and amusing story of mine, "Hello, Pat!" is up on Whispers of Wickedness. If you like it, go to their Forum and add your two bits. So far, it's gotten a great reader response. In the Forum, I've revealed the inspiration for "Hello, Pat!" plus my other two stories Whispers of Wickedness has featured, "The Refrigerator" and "Desiccated Mouse." .
The Dark Krypt has accepted, "Drummer Boys." This is a short, very simple story, but I feel it is one of the best I've written. It is less humorous than many of my stories, more dark and has a lot of emotion in its few words. Won't be out until their Nov/Dec issue, though. I'll post a reminder here when it is. You don't want to miss it!
A sad note . . . the webzine Bloodletters will go on hiatus indefinitely. It has been a wonderful haven for the short story, and its last issue featured one of my all time favorite creations, "Reginald.”
Just in case you missed the extra exciting news . . . Whispers of Wickedness has added art to two of my stories there, and such art it is! The mysterious Snarff has illustrated "Desiccated Mouse", and the astonishing Zakas (http://www.aliensurgeon.com/) has illustrated "Refrigerator" . Come see the amazing visual tidbits!
The building where I live was sold, so it's basically been two months of chaos, with inspectors & repair people & termite tenting & mold abatement . . . well, you get the picture. Hoping life will settle down so yours truly can get back to her usual activities.
Once again, GothicRevue.com will have a story of mine up: "That Boy." A twisted sort of love tale.
Camp Horror will have "The Arrangement" up in their June issue. Check it out. It will make you see golf in a whole new way.
Can I tell you what a cool webzine Rick Mohr's Camp Horror is? I like horror with a dab of fun, with a splash of camp, with a ton of satire. There should be more webzines like Camp Horror out there. Rick does his zine up proper. And I know I've mentioned this before, but if you haven't read "The Florida Room," saunter over to Camp Horror's archive of their October issue . This story is a personal fav of mine.
Had the pleasure of seeing Gris Grimly at a book talk & signing. He's a writer/illustrator whose work is completely out there. Wander over to his website: www.madcreator.com
Been reading Douglas Clegg's massive short story collection, "Machinery of the Night." Wow! It's a big'un, but will keep your fevered mind occupied for quite some time. Highly recommended.
Do you remember a few months ago, I mentioned I was involved with a group novel-writing project. Informal group writing projects are notoriously difficult to pull off, and though I had high hopes for this one, ultimately I had to pull out for various reasons. I'm hoping the best for those who are still in the project, though.
Happy March! Just to let you know, my short story, "Mockery of a Dog" was up at GothicRevue.com in February. Didn't know that until my February update was already done. So, if you missed this funny little story, you can still find it in their archives for February.
Hello, one and all! I hope this month finds everyone doing well and having fun, as we all should!
A most involving and amusing story of mine, "Hello, Pat!" is now up on Whispers of Wickedness. If you like it, go to their Forum and add your two bits. So far, it's gotten a great reader response. In the Forum, I've revealed the inspiration for "Hello, Pat!" plus my other two stories Whispers of Wickedness has featured, "The Refrigerator" and "Desiccated Mouse."
Camp Horror will soon have "Shower Debacle" up. It's a fun little tale. If you haven't read "The Florida Room," saunter over to Camp Horror's archive of their October issue . This story is personal fav of mine.
Happy New Year One And All! The last half of 04 has been an event filled one for yours truly. A bout of a mysterious virus after an interesting visit to New Orleans, a surprise housing inspection, frantic cleaning, too many holiday treats . . . I could go on and on. Thus explains my absence from my websites.
I've read such a wonderful book! Douglas Clegg's PRIEST OF BLOOD. This is truly the masterpiece of his career. An absolutely amazing tale that completely drew me into his world. I highly recommend it, but it will be hard to find as its initial limited edition is sold out. But do not panic because another printing will be coming out!
Extra exciting news this November, my charming readers! Whispers of Wickedness has added art to my two stories there, and such art it is!
The mysterious Snarff has illustrated "Desiccated Mouse," and the astonishing Zakas has illustrated "Refrigerator."
One of my all time favorite stories, "Reginald," is up at Bloodletters, and Camp Horror's Halloween issue is still up where you can find another fav, "The Florida Room."
If you've sent me an email at my new web address and haven't received a response, do not despair! Yours truly still can't get into the email--that's another kink I continue to investigate.
Yours truly will be heading to New Orleans for a first time ever visit in mid-November. Very excited. Many haunted spots to check out! October found me at Sundance where I encountered a most dead chipmunk that I wrote a story about (natch!). I'll let you know when I find a home for it (the story, that is, not the dead chipmunk).