Sunday, October 26, 2008

2007 blog entries

Here are all my blog posts from my Myspace page from the intriguing year of 2007. Some reading lists, but also a lot of news about my published stories. 2007 was the year I started to get published!

Monday, December 10, 2007
new story "The Seventh Day" available

So I just had another story come out in the December issue of the e-zine Niteblade. The story is title "The Seventh Day" and its sort of a modern homage to Dante's Inferno. (that means its about hell) I actually read it at the Twilight Tales open mic this past November

I'm excited about it for two reasons.

One, it was one of the first stories I wrote after moving to Chicago, and it taught me a lot about writing and self-editing. Seriously, this story went through about 30 drafts and numerous cuts before getting accepted. It is also one of the first stories where the characters just seemed to step off the page and take over. Especially Mr. Lucas. (read the story to figure out what I mean)

Two, its the first story I've written that's received its own illustration! Its just a black and white line drawing, but it as still done by a professional, award-winning illustrator!

The good news is that the issue of Niteblade is free and available online. You can find it at this link:

Click on the December 2007 issue, then click beneath the cover image, then click on the link beneath the Support the Writer's Strike sign (which I agree with, btw), then click on my story. There's the story illustration, and then a nice little author bio, and links to the story itself.

Or, you could donate $2 and by the ad-free PDF of the magazine. Speaking as someone whose other job is layout and design, I was quite impressed with how the PDF mag was laid out. Honestly, it makes my story and the others in the issue a lot better laid out. Plus, it supports the small fiction guys and its a steal. Not all of the stories in there are top quality, but some made for interesting reads. Anyway, I hope that you give my story a perusal. I'd love to hear what you think!

Friday, November 16, 2007
new story, The Sparrow

Alright, I won't sugar-coat it, I'm shilling yet another one of my stories that's just been published. The good news is that this one's free too. The bad news is, well, its not bad news per se, but its a caution that this tale might not be to everyone's taste.

The story is called "The Sparrow" and takes place on a slave cargo ship in the 1800's embarking on the Middle Passage, the leg of the voyage where slavers left from Africa and made their way to the Americas.

Its got zombies.

And that's where the "not for everyone" warning label comes in. The story is actually not as gory as one might think, and in my opinion, the violence is tasteful and not gratuitous. But you can't paint the deplorable conditions of the Middle Passage in pretty colors, and when zombies are added to the mix, there might be a little blood that gets spilled. I was fascinated by the idea of the story, especially the premise of how those who treat others inhumanly for a living would react in the face of something truly inhuman.

The Sparrow won a monthly contest at the website called Horror Library. It can be founded under the Slushpile link. (slushpile is an editors' term piles of submitted stories) I was the featured monthly pick.

You can read the story by going to Again, proceed with caution. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Luna Springs--available NOW!

My latest published story, "Luna Springs", is available for free download in audio format from the podcast Drabblecast. Drabblecast is a weekly short fiction podcast/website and "Luna Springs" is a science-fiction satire.

There are two ways you can listen to the story:

1. If you have the program iTunes, go to iTunes Music Store, click on Podcasts, and do a search for Drabblecast. After Wednesday, 11/7, "Luna Springs" should be available.

2. Or you can go directly to the Drabblecast website: Luna Springs I was extremely happy with how the reading came out. Please give it a listen (remember its free--although you can donate money to the site if you feel so inclined) and send me comments if you like!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
What movies you ask?

But wait, I thought that since summer blockbuster season was over, there would be no more geeky movies for Pat to get excited about. (Spider-man 3? Pirates of the Caribbean? Pah!)

In this, dear blog reader person, whomever you are, you would be wrong. Very wrong. For you see, on Friday, November 16th, two movies will be released that I have been waiting for for a long time.

1. Beowulf There are so many reasons I'm excited about this movie. It has a dragon and demons and heroes. It has swords. And vikings. It's motion-capture CGI. Anothony Hopkins. Angelina Jolie. Its FREAKIN' BEOWULF PEOPLE!!! The only damn thing I liked in High school Honor's English. Its arm-ripping, blood-pounding, ale-quaffing adventure! AND, it was written by one of my favorite authors of all time, my hero, the man I want to be when I grow up: Neil Gaiman. (oh, and it has nude scenes with Angelina yes, but still kinda, um, awesome?)

2. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.'Nuff said.

Sunday, September 23, 2007
Number 4!

A few quick updates...

1. I'm no longer going to be posting a reading list here, since my friend at work Rachel emailed me this really cool website called Goodreads, which lets me list all the books I've read in a very nice format. I highly recommend the site to readers.

2. I just found out this week that I've had my fourth story accepted! The story is called The Sparrow, and it takes place on a slave ship in the 1800's. Its got zombies. Anyway, it'll be on a website called the Horror! Their myspace site is on my friends list. Check 'em out.

3. Another story of mine, Luna Springs, is going to be the feature piece on the weekly podcast, Drabblecast, on October 24th! Its a quick story, and I'm very eager to hear what it sounds like when read aloud.

That's all for now...

Monday, September 17, 2007

God damn it! I just heard the news that Jim Rigney, the man who wrote under the well known non-de-plume as Robert Jordan, died yesterday. Man, this sucks. Robert Jordan began, in the 90's, writing the Wheel of Time fantasy series, a series of books that I began reading all the way back in 7th grade.

The books started off so excellent, though each one at about 900 pages was quite a thing to digest. In fact, Jordan was almost a by-word for fantasy series that grow and grow. Back in high school, I freakin' loved these books. I would re-read them all the time. I started to lose interest after a poorly-written book 10, with no end in sight, but book 11 had brought me back into the fold.

In many ways, us fans never wanted the journey to end. I had always hoped he would be able to conquer his disease and finish his series as JK Rowling and Stephen King had done. And now, the road that seemed like it would go ever onward has halted. My condolences go out to his family and friends. What a tragic thing...

The only thing more I can think to say (and while it is corny, it is true, as so many true things are) is that while Jordan has passed into the Light, his characters will live on.

Friday, August 24, 2007
published again!

I guess good things come in three's. I jut got word that my short story, Luna Springs, has been accepted to be read aloud in a weekly online podcast called Drabblecast!


So now, by the end of this year I'll have a poem and two short stories published! Fan-freakin'-tastic. Although my grand total of payment for these stories has been pretty low, its still nice to have gotten some money. More info to come on the details of when the stories will get published.

Also, because of the places that the stories have been accepted, I'll have a work in print, a work online, and a work in audio format! Which is pretty cool.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007
The Dark Knight pt. 2
I'm an extra in the movie! I'll be filming all day Sunday on set. (God that sounds cool) Yeeeaaahhhhhh!

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Do you want to read my published poem?

As most of you know, I just had my first post-Aquinas bit of writing published this July! To add on to that good news, I just found out yesterday that another one of my stories, The Seventh Day, has been accepted into an online magazine called Niteblade! (should be out this December!)

The reason I'm send this out to you all, is that most of you expressed interest in owning a copy of the magazine I just got published in. Unfortunately, they only gave me 2 free contributor copies. But I'd still like y'all to have the issue. So here's what I'm thinking.

You could either:

A. email me back saying that you'd like a copy and I'll order it online for you, you can pay me back later with either $3.50 or a beer.

B. order the magazine yourself online. Here's the link to their store:

The magazine is called The Willows and costs $3.50, and I'm in the July issue. Most of the fiction is pretty dark/scary, as is my poem The Pipes of Pan, so be forewarned! If you're getting this, that means you're one of my friends or family who's supported me while I've worked on getting my writing career off the ground, and honestly, that means more than I can say. Its no best-seller, but its a start!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Which is, to say, my roommate's "gangsta" nickname for Harry Potter.

Though I am in the midst of a lot of books right now, (far too many to try to put into an updated reading list since my last one--dammit!), I put them all aside for the 7th book by now-billionaire JK Rowling.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
: wow. Halfway through the book I had my doubts, I must admit. It gets very dark, very depressing. I wanted more Snape!!! However, the 2nd half of the book, somehow manages to resolve all the mysteries and give us an almost-too-happy ending. Yes there's deaths, and lots of them, but I seriously thought more main characters were going to bite it. The fear of main characters' death did, however add a spicy, icy anticipation flavor to the book which made the experience more enjoyable.

I was also gratified that several of my (and Adrian Blazek's) prediction came true. Although, in a way, this took away from the surprise, but still, ultimately made the book enjoyable. Character favorite, in some ways, was Snape, who I now compare almost to Dicken's Sydney Carton or Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday as an excellent tragically flawed anti-hero.

The best was how I was totally unaware of whether or not Dumbledore had a plan. I can't tell you what was left to chance and what was it. Suffice to say, Rowlling is good at writing mysteries. I'm in awe of her planning skills. So, in the end, the book lives up to the hype. We have a series that can be re-read, enjoyed, and passed on. I can sit back now and wistfully think of how I began reading about Harry 7 years ago, in my room in the basement of my parents house. We (the Muggle readers) and the characters who live in Rowling's world of magic have all changed a lot since then.

My one question, or regret, is that a portrait of Snape as headmaster was not seen in the headmaster's office after he died. I would have loved for some more resolution between Harry and Snape. The scenes where he looks into Harry's eyes (to see the look of Lily's eyes) as he dies and the epitaph that Harry gives about Snape to his son (named after Snape and Dumbledore) were quite beautiful.

I think a conversation between an older Harry and Snape's portrait by Rowling, would serve as an excellent post-script short'd be great if she ever did that...but I guess that's the nice part of me that wants to see everyone resolve conflicts and be friends. Yeah, I'm an old softy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007
Nananananananana BATMAN!

Those of you who know me, know that I am a nerd.

And with that disclaimer, I have to talk about the Batman sequel THE DARK KNIGHT, which is FILMING in Chicago!!! Last week, my roommate and I came across a Gotham City Police squad car behind our bulding. We waited around for a bit (okay, I did climb onto a truck, all secret-mission-impossible style) and we saw Gary Oldman walk out for a scene as Commissioner Gordon. As if the Fanboy in me couldn't be pleased enough, I just found out that Tuesday and Wed. 6/26-6/27, they are filming Batman RIGHT in front of my office all day!!!! Yes, this is me gushing. No, I will not dress up in a batsuit and punch Heath ledger (he's playing the Joker). Although the thought is tempting...

Saturday, April 28, 2007
Reading List (again)

The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester. How do you get away with murder when nearly everyone is psychic? Good. A sci-fi classic. I'm glad to have read it, the man was ahead of his time. Honestly, I'm surprised that they let the book get published in the 50's.

Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where hackers reign, the Mafia delivers pizza (or else!) the CIA has become the CIC (Central Intelligence Corporation), and no one give a shit who the President is. Again, ahead of its time. Basically, the Matrix movies would not exist but for this book. The style is definitely interesting, I would say that it is the definitive "cyber-punk" or "steam-punk" book.

A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore. Fucking hilarious. Chris Moore is the American Terry Pratchett. Bravo! Thank you Adrian for turning me on to him.

Death: The Time of Your Life, by Neil Gaiman. Amazing, as always. Neil Gaiman, I want to be you when I grow up.

Death: The High Cost of Living, by Neil Gaiman. Ditto above. Death as a cute goth chic is somehow very believable to me.

The Dreamhunters, by Neil Gaiman. A beautifully rendered, beautifully written Asian folktale in which a fox falls in love with a monk, and tries to save his life by pleading to the King of Dreams. Neil Gaiman, I want to be your heir.

A Magic Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic, edited by Margaret Weis. Some quite good stories in here. Others were just so-so. It introduced me to Fritzi Leiber, and there was a fantastic piece by Roger Zelzany, and a good Ray Bradbury. Overall, a very good find at the used bookstore.

The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle. Sad, funny, beautiful, and strange. At times it tired me, and at other times (especially toward the end) it made me want to cry. Sometimes it felt as though Beagle was trying too hard to be symbolic, and then again, it worked perfectly. Get it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

After stacks of rejection letters, it was bound to finally happen!

The July issue of The Willows, an LA-based dark/speculative fiction magazine will be printing my poem "The Pipes of Pan"!


Be sure to try and pick up a copy!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
If all you're friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?
Uh, sadly yes. And have done so.

In response to my misguided bleached hair of 7 years past, my friend Annie just asked me if Billy Joe Armstrong jumped off a cliff, would I as well? This got me thinking about an incident during my time in Costa Rica. My friends Chris, Heidi, Theresa and I were all staying in the beautiful little surf town of Montezuma, along the southern coast of Costa Rica.

Montezuma is known for, among other things (including topless beaches and great surfing), its spectular series of freshwater waterfalls and lagoons a couple of miles out from the village. Suffice to say, the place is paradise. Lush green trees, water so clear you can actually see the sunbeams wavering through it, even at 20 feet deep.

One of traditions at the falls is to cliff dive. There are several waterfalls, one 100 feet tall, one that's about 50-60 feet, and a couple of 25 footers. The 25 footers are easy. You can swing off ropes and vines into them. However, several tourists have actually died jumping the 100 footers. For while the pools at the bottom are quite deep, they are surrounded by hard, hard stone. Most people content themselves with the 55 foot waterfall.

When I saw that, I thought, "there is no way in hell I'm jumping that thing." I was happy swinging off ropes from 25 feet up, but after that... Its not that I have a fear of heights. I love climbing, love rollercoasters, I leaned over the Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland ferchrissakes!

But, I hate falling. HATE it. I am terrified of bunji-jumping. I actually feel queezy when I think about it. So, naturally, I was content to let my friends do it. Oh, how I underestimated the power of peer pressure and my own wounded machismo!

You see, I expected Chris to jump, and maybe the girls, but I thought they would have to work themselves up to leaping off a 60 foot cliff. Therefore I was a little irritated that both girls jumped without hesitating as soon as we reached the cliffs. Not to be daunted, Chris followed. Then they all did it again. And again.

That's when the taunting started. I'm pretty sure I remember Chris calling me a "Sissy-ass bitch", which I think was what did it. Chanting to myself over and over to "Just fucking do it" I ran at the cliff and jumped...

It takes a long time to fall 60 feet.

Midway through, I made the mistake of opening my eyes and looking down.

Which caused me to shift to my side.

Which caused me to LAND on my side.

Which caused a huge splash and a collective "Ooohhhh" from all of the onlookers, including Chris, Heidi, and Therese. I came up to the surface laughing hysterically, and repeatedly saying over and over, "it hurts when I laugh, hee hee."

Turns out I bruised my ribs on the landing, and they would remain purple and green for the next few weeks, and hurt whenever I raised my arm. Nothing, of course, that a few beers couldn't fix, at least for the night. Apart from the sickness of post-adrenaline rush and the occasional pain in my side I was quite glad that I "conquered" my fear, albeit with the help of some well-placed taunts.

So, would I jump off a cliff if all my friends did it? Probably not again. However, for all fellow lemmings out there, if you must follow your friends over a cliff, my only advice to you is, don't look down.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Reading List (3/6/07)

Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson, a historical account that combines the invention of the Marconi's wireless radio and a doctor's murder of his unfaithful wife and how the two events crossed path's in Victorian London.

The Black Seas of Infinite, an HP Lovecraft anthology, slow going but very creepy

Dracula's Guest, the White Worm, and Other tales, a Bram Stoker collection, everything written by the man outside of Dracula. Fascinating
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

I have just recently finished:
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly
The Vampyre, by Dr. Polidori (a companion to the Frankenstein piece)

The Last Duel, by Eric Jager (a really cool historical account of the last government approved duel in medieval France, and all the intrigue that led up to it) AWESOME!

The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon, a Pulizter Prize winner, loosely inspired from the story of Siegel and Schuster, the creators of Superman

The Line Between, by Peter Beagle..most of the stories in here were pretty good. There's one about a cat that I think my friend Adrian would like. My favorite is the Sherlock Holmes tribute, but the Two Hearts story made me want to read The Last Unicorn.

The Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett
The Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett
The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett
Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett
Eric (or Faust), by Terry Pratchett. All of Pratchett's books are, as always, excellent, combining excellent writing, sharp, to-the-point satire, a good story, and great humor.

I am waiting to read:
Adventures in Unhistory: Conjectures on the Factual Foundations of Several Ancient Legends by Avram Davidson....a historical examination of the factual basis for several common myths...I love the idea!

Winter of Enchantment, by Victoria Walker...hey it looks cool, and Neil Gaiman recommended it

The Empire of Ice Cream
, by Jeffrey Ford...a good review in F&SF mag, apparently full of very original stories, something very lacking in the fantastic genre today
The Compete Poe Anthology, by Edgar Allen Poe
Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Screw work, I'm going for a run.
What? That's all I got.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Fuck Valentine's Day, its my brother's birthday!

Happy Birthday Sean! He's turning 16, which means come June that I'll be 26. Wow. Now I feel incredibly old. And he'll be able to LEGALLY drive a car! Holy shit!

Watch out streets of Portage. I bet my parents can't wait to cope with one final round of super-fun teenage angst before the last Hurley child is finally out of the house...

Monday, January 08, 2007
New Year's resolutions:

1. To get into marathon shape again.

2. To crush all who stand in between me and world domination.

3. To try and be a better listener.

4. To stop dropping acid.

5. To start snorting cocaine.

6. To figure out what the hell James Joyce was talking about in Ulysses.

7. To drink a lot of Guinness so I can figure what the hell James Joyce was talking about in Ulysses.

8. Kill.

9. To instate an 11th commandment in Church dogma that reads "It's not a sin if it's awesome."

10. To read less and watch more reality TV. Apparently I'm missing out on what it means to be an American.

Sunday, January 07, 2007
What I'm reading as of 1/7/07:

The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue, inspired by Yeat's poem of the same name (and my favorite poem ever) the dual story of boy who is kidnapped and the changeling who replaces him

Lisey's Story, by Stephen King, so far, so fantastic...a famous author's wife must confront things that were left behind after her husband's wonders how much of this is based on King's own life?

White Man, by Tony D'Ouza, interesting unique story of a white missionary worker in Africa, quite vivid and I like how the protagonist really "goes native". Very different from what I imagine my friend Joel is doing right now in Africa.

1602, by Neil Gaiman, all the Marvel superheroes in England during 1602. Fantastic, and winner of the Quill Award

The Ladies of Grace Adieu
, by Susannah Clarke...I love English writers and Clarke's tales capture the magic and otherworldliness that fairy tales SHOULD have

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley...taking a break on it, but still plugging away
The Black Seas of Infinite, an HP Lovecraft anthology...weird but fun
A Tolkien Miscellany, by JRR Tolkien...Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a very difficult read, but fascinating...I would say its more scholarly than compelling

Civically Engaged Reader, by the Great Books Foundation (that's my office)

No comments: