Sunday, October 26, 2008

2008 blog entries

H'okay so here's the deal.

I've had a few different online journals, and I decided to centralize all of them onto one web log. This one. I tried to figure out a way to import all of the entrees from my Myspace Journal and my Livejournal account, but to no avail. My roommate Matt doesn't think its possible, and since he's a techie guy who works for Google, I'll take his word for it. What does this mean? It means that I'm going to have to do things the old fashioned way, by cutting and pasting.

It means these three post are going to be frickin' huge. They're sort of like catch-up posts. What I've done is divide three posts by year. This post has all of my entries from 2008, the previous, 2007, and the one before that, 2006. I'll also be posting notices on my former blogs directing reader's interested in my life and/or writing career to this page.

And so, without further interruption, extrapolation, or rambling, let the catch-up posts begin!

Friday, June 06, 2008
vote for my story,

Hi friends,

Niteblade, the ezine that published my Dante/Hell‑is‑a‑circus story 'The Seventh Day' also prints a Best of the Year book anthology.

This year the book will be titled LOST INNOCENCE, which I think 'The Seventh Day' is perfect for. However, the majority of the contents in the anthology is based on votes.

So...VOTE FOR ME! Its my birthday in a couple days, so consider it as a birthday present.

Monday, June 02, 2008
the hits keep coming!

Had some good news yesterday! This past winter, I read that a publisher called Familia Books was looking to put out an anthology about mothers. I sent them a poem I wrote while at Aquinas and they want to include it in their book! Best of all, they apparently are going to pay me $100 for the poem!

This is by far the most I've been paid per/word, well over professional rates. The only other time I ever made that much money was when I won an Aquinas College short story contest way back in 2003. More details to come soon...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
new short story "The Affairs of Wizards" available in book anthology!

Several years ago, back when i was a freshman in college I had the idea to write a short story that satirized the whole fantasy/Dungeon and Dragon roleplaying concept. Namely, that when "heroes" kill monsters, they are in fact committing genocide and hunting endangered species.

The result was an extremely rough clunky tale called "The Affairs of Wizards" (the title taken from a portion of a saying attributed by Sam Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings). Many years and revisions later, it had become a story that I was moderately happy with that contained some fairly funny moments.

I realize now that what I thought was an original idea (ooo, I'll satirize fantasy tropes!) has already been done quite well and quite prolifically by Terry Pratchett. For those of you who don't know, Terry Pratchett is the 2nd best selling author in England (he was first, until JK Rowling came along with her Harry Potter books). Picture Lord of the Rings meets Monty Python. Pratchett is amazing and I can't recommend him enough.

So I now view my story as a poor-man's, American Pratchett. And I thought it would never see the light of day. However, I found out about a publishing company looking to produce an anthology of comic fantasy and science fiction and thought I'd give them a try. To my great surprise, they accepted my story and its now available in the actual physical book: Strange Worlds of Lunacy: The Galaxy's Silliest Anthology

Its fairly funny. I chuckled at some of the poems and stories. The art is pretty cool too! Not a bad deal at $14.95. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008
The Sparrow now available!

My horror short story "The Sparrow" is now available on the current issue of the Allegory e-zine. You can also download the PDF for free if you like. Allegory is the first magazine I've been paid at a semi-pro rate for, and also the first magazine that has reprinted a story that I published.

So I'm pretty pleased. Feel free to send comments! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008
good news

I was notified today that my short story "The Sparrow" was accepted as a reprint in Allegory magazine.

Reprint means that it was published somewhere else first. A magazine has to really like your story if they accept it as a reprint! Quite flattering actually. "The Sparrow" is a horror short story about a zombie outbreak on a slave ship in the 1800’s in the midst of its journey across the Middle Passage. Not usually the type of thing I write, but I had a lot of fun with it, and I was intrigued by the idea of contrasting a real-life human monstrosity with fictional super-natural monstrosities. How do those who treat others inhumanely react to something truly inhuman?

The story was first published on the website "The Horror Library" as the winner of its monthly Slushpile contest. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with the format, nor was I happy with the quality of stories that I was competing against. At Allegory, I’ll get a little compensation for my work plus a much better presentation of the story.

All in all, a great way to start the day!

24 March 2008 @ 09:43 pm
lets see...

Had some good ideas, one for a story I'm working on, another yet to be written. I think I'm more excited about the new idea, but that's the nature of my ADD creative beast. The book goes. I'm procrastinating another part of the chapter at the moment.

Work goes. The Easter break was awesome and I need to catch up on sleep if I'm going to back in the swing of things.

Finally, I saw Darjeeling Limited, Royal Tenenbaums, and a play called 13 Dead Husbands all in the same weekend. The result was an absurdist, romantic, humorous extravaganza that, on reflection, I think was very good for my soul.

And on a final note, I'm relieved St. Patrick's Day is done. Rule for next year: No calling ex-girlfriend's "whore", even if they show up at a party with their boyfriend that they had no business being at.

'cause that's just rude.

another acceptance!

After weeks of the dreariest winter I've experienced since living in Chicago, after a month of dull hum-drum boredom, I came home this evening to open my email and receive some great news.

I had another story accepted! The story is called "The Affairs of Wizards," and its actually a humor/satire of the whole Dungeon and Dragons concept. The title actually comes from a portion of a borrowed quote of Tolkien's.

Anyway, the book is called Strange Worlds of Lunacy, which is a pretty good fit for the story. I've been published in a magazine, an e-zine, a website, and a podcast. This makes my first book!

There are few things that compare to reading an acceptance letter for a story you've submitted for publication. Finishing a marathon, having sex, writing something really, truly, fucking electric...

Be that as it may, I'm feeling pretty good. The story is what I call my Terry Pratchett story, though I wrote it before ever having read Pratchett. (I also have written a Borges story, a Stephen King story, etc.) Perhaps its time to break out the bubbly...

14 February 2008 @ 10:11 am
A death

I just found out that an old friend of mine from college died this week.

Its a wierd feeling. 6 years ago we were fairly close, but drifted to the realm of friendly acquaintances by the time we were seniors and after I went to Costa Rica and Chicago we sort of fell off eachother's radars.

I've had classmates from high school pass away before now, but that seemed so far removed from my life, almost a different universe.

But friends from college? That feels like it was just yesterday. Its different from family. Aquinas felt like this safe little utopian bubble, removed from the world. Yes, there was occasional drama, as there must be in such an enclosed setting, but for the most part it was really fun. And now the bubble has burst. The maddening thing is that no one in our circle of friends knows how it happened.

And the most tragic part is that she has a little girl, who's now about 6 years old. I remember playing with Maddy senior year when she was a toddler. I hope that her family is okay.

And Amy, I hope you're okay now too.

1 February 2008 @ 02:00 pm
Scrivener: so far, so good!

I'll admit, initially I was afraid that I wasted $40.00 on the Scrivener softward but the last few days have showed me that those fears were groundless!

I've definitely been able to organize the book and it really has helps put things in perspective for me. The work has continued and I feel confident that its heading in a good direction. From here on out, its Word for short stories and Scrivener for books.

(I only pray that everything continues to go smoothly. Its usually at this point in the process where something goes pear-shaped.)

And then on a personal sidenote, my parents and little brother came in for the weekend. We went out to an Irish pub for dinner and saw a movie. It was nice.

07 February 2008 @ 11:17 pm
a book and a kook

What started out as a way to comment on George RR Martin's "Not-a-Blog" Livejournal account has morphed into a desire to actually write something. Not that I haven't been writing a lot lately, just not on Livejournal.

I just purchased the program Scrivener last night and have been learning the ins-an-outs of it today. For short stories, its not practical, but I've definitely noticed its potential for longer works, especially books.

And since, for the first time in awhile, I'm attempting a book, and its been going pretty good guns, I thought I'd try organizing it. The story was quickly approaching that point where I wasn't sure what to do next, and much as I hate to potentially squelch any creativity by adding structure and even >gasp< an outline, another voice in my head told me it might be a good idea. I guess its time to grow up. (a little)

So there it is, and so far it seems to have gone well. I'll do a little more organizing and fiddling tomorrow, and really try to knock something out of the park on Saturday.

On a sidenote, there's this really obnoxious trollish person who keeps entering things on GRRM's Livejournal. I know it shouldn't bother me, especially because I'm sure Mr. Martin can take care of himself, but a part of me just wanted to find this guy and kick his ass. I'm reminded of my favorite part of the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where they hunt down every troll who commented on them and beat them down. I wish this guy lived in Chicago, then we could meet up and discuss things in person. (meaning I could scare him) Alas, trolls are a cowardly lot who hide behind their internet anonymity ...

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