Friday, January 3, 2014

Books Read In 2013

Here's 2013's complete reading list. Down a little from last year's 94. But I've been writing a bit more and I've gotten more short stories accepted/published (up to 7 now, I think). So that's good. My goal is to write even more this year.

1. The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones
2. Adolf In Wonderland by Carlton Mellick III
3. Jacked by Shane McKenzie
4. Cuddly Holocaust by Carlton Mellick III
5. Hammer Wives by Carlton Mellick III
6. Live Specimens by Kelli Owen
7. A Town Called Suckhole by David W. Barbee
8. Fangoria #320
9. She Makes Me Smile/This Only Happens In The Movies by Mandy DeGeit
10. Drawn & Quartered by Shane McKenzie
11. Prelude To Space Rape by Jordan Krall
12. Body Dome Light And Other Psychedelic Settings by Jordan Krall
13. House Of Fallen Trees by Gina Ranalli
14. Transformers: Exodus by Alex Irvine
15. Fangoria #321
16. The Pickled Apocalypse Of Pancake Island by Cameron Pierce
17. Carrie by Stephen King
18. Abortion Arcade by Cameron Pierce
19. The Shining by Stephen King
20. Muerte Con Carne by Shane McKenzie
21. Chick Bassist by Ross E. Lockhart
22. Angeldust Apocalypse by Jeremy Robert Johnson
23. Tribesmen by Adam Cesare
23. Fangoria #322
24. Video Night by Adam Cesare
25. The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell by Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss
26. Village Of The Mermaids by Carlton Mellick III
27. The Devil's Notebook by Anton Szandor LaVey
28. The Lords Of Salem by Rob Zombie with B.K. Evenson
29. Shatnerquest by Jeff Burk
30. Satan Speaks! by Anton Szandor LaVey
31. Operator B by Edward Lee
32. The Stickmen by Edward Lee
33. I Travel By Night by Robert McCammon
34. Flesh Gothic by Edward Lee
35. Fangoria #323
36. Life After Death by Damien Echols
37. False Magic Kingdom by Jordan Krall
38. Bad Alchemy by Jordan Krall
39. The Gog And Magog Business by Jordan Krall
40. Your Cities, Your Tombs by Jordan Krall
41. Tank Girl Volume 1 by Hewlett & Martin
42. Tank Girl Volume 2 by Hewlett & Martin
43. Tank Girl Volume 3 by Hewlett & Martin
44. A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
45. Fangoria #324
46. A Clash Of Kings by George R.R. Martin
47. Pages Torn From A Travel Journal by Edward Lee
48. The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson
49. The Satanic Scriptures by Peter H. Gilmore
50. The Last Porno Theater by Nick Cato
51. Cannibal Fat Camp by Mark Scioneaux and David C. Hayes
52. The Late Night Horror Show by Bryan Smith
53. Quicksand House by Carlton Mellick III
54. Fangoria #325
55. Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars by Cody Goodfellow
56. Vampire Guts In Nuke Town by Kevin Strange
57. Strange Versus Lovecraft: A Strange Anthology edited by Kevin Strange
58. Joyland by Stephen King
59. Suicide In Brooklyn by S.T. Joshi
60. The Assaults Of Chaos by S.T. Joshi
61. Fangoria #326
62. Nightmares From A Lovecraftian Mind by Jordan Krall
63. Black Tongues Of The Illuminati by Alex S. Johnson
64. A Choir Of Beasts by Nicole Cushing
65. McHumans by Kevin Strange
66. The Best Of Joe R. Lansdale by Joe R. Lansdale
67. Son Of A Bitch by Wrath James White and Andre Duza
68. The Rising by Brian Keene
69. City Of The Dead by Brian Keene
70. Fangoria #327
71. Clusterfuck by Carlton Mellick III
72. Dark Bits edited by Jacob Haddon
73. Fat Off Sex And Violence by Shane McKenzie
74. Death Machines Of Death by Vince Kramer
75. The Last Gig On Planet Earth And Other Strange Stories by Kevin Strange
76. The Pig/The House by Edward Lee
77. Season Of The New World Order by Randy Cunningham
78. Pop Illuminati: Volume 1 by Randy Cunningham
79. Header 2 by Edward Lee
80. Coreyography by Corey Feldman
81. Fangoria #328
82. You Are My Everything by Edward Lee
83. Night In The Lonesome October by Richard Laymon
84. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
85. The Splatter House Rules by Jeff O'Brien
86. A Very Strangehouse Christmas edited by Kevin Strange
87. Devil Rain by Jeff O'Brien
88. Fangoria #329

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Books Read In 2012

Here's a list of everything I read this year. I've included novels, novellas, and graphic novels (and Fangoria). Quite a full year of reading. Also, quite a year of GOOD reading. This year, I plan to read somewhat less and write drastically more. 2012 saw the publication of my first piece of fiction (another piece was supposed to be published this year. The release date has been pushed back and I have no clue what the status of the publication is at this time). I hope to have a few more publishing credits to add for 2013.

1. The Hunter From The Woods by Robert McCammon
2. Armadillo Fists by Carlton Mellick III
3. Suicide Girls In The Afterlife by Gina Ranalli
4. Beyond The Valley Of The Apocalypse Donkeys by Jordan Krall
5. Shark Hunting In Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce
6. Houdini Gut Punch edited and compiled by Jonathan Moon
7. Carnageland by David W. Barbee
8. Unearthed by Gina Ranalli
9. Lost In Cat Brain Land by Cameron Pierce
10. Fangoria #310
11. Attic Clowns by Jeremy C. Shipp
12. John Dies At The End by David Wong
13. Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell
14. Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti
15. Fangoria #311
16. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Change Is Constant Vol. 1
17. The Hollower by Mary SanGiovanni
18. Skull Cathedral by Tim Waggoner
19. Rumors Of My Death by Gina Ranalli
20. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
21. Fangoria #312
22. A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
23. Genital Grinder by Ryan Harding
24. Clickers Vs. Zombies by J.F. Gonzalez and Brian Keene
25. Mother Puncher by Gina Ranalli
26. Like Porno For Psychos by Wrath James White
27. Tentacle Death Trip by Jordan Krall
28. Black Bubbles by Kelli Owen
29. The Handsome Squirm by Carlton Mellick III
30. The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King
31. Fangoria #313
32. Red World by Carlton Mellick III
33. The Cabin In The Woods by Tim Lebbon
34. The Traveling Dildo Salesman by Kevin L. Donihe
35. Fangoria #314
36. Kayla And The Devil by Bryan Smith
37. Shut Up And Give Me The Mic: A Twisted Memoir by Dee Snider
38. Ugly Heaven by Carlton Mellick III
39. All You Can Eat by Shane McKenzie
40. Squid Pulp Blues by Jordan Krall
41. Where The Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories Of Karl Edward Wagner Volume One
42. Strange Sex: A Strange Anthology (Stories compiled by Kevin Strange and D.F. Noble)
43. The Planet Backwards Plays One Last Gig by Kevin Strange
44. Fangoria #315
45. White Picket Prisons by Kelli Owen
46. Gathered Dust And Others by W.H. Pugmire
47. Steel Breakfast Era by Carlton Mellick III
48. Razor Wire Pubic Hair by Carlton Mellick III
49. Scary Fucking Stories by D.F. Noble
50. Fishy-Fleshed by Carlton Mellick III
51. This Dark Earth by John Horner Jacobs
52. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
53. Fangoria #316
54. His Pain by Wrath James White
55. Messenger by Edward Lee
56. Tumor Fruit by Carlton Mellick III
57. Sundancing by Brian Keene
58. Earthworm Gods II: Deluge by Brian Keene
59. Quick Fix: A Taste Of Terror by Lindsay Beth Goddard
60. Answers Of Silence by Geoff Cooper
61. Space Walrus by Kevin L. Donihe
62. Beer Run Of The Dead by D.F. Noble
63. Fangoria #317
64. Back From The Dead by J.F. Gonzalez
65. Chariots Of The Gods by Erich von Daniken
66. Creatures: Thirty Years Of Monsters edited by John Langan and Paul Tremblay
67. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
68. Dracula by Bram Stoker
69. Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
70. A Quick Bite Of Flesh: An Anthology Of Zombie Flash Fiction edited by Robert Helmbrecht
71. Dark Delicacies edited by Del Howison and Jeff Gelb
72. The Bighead by Edward Lee
73. City Infernal by Edward Lee
74. Fangoria #318
75. The Walking Dead Vol. 15 by Robert Kirkman
76. The Walking Dead Vol. 16 by Robert Kirkman
77. The Crow by James O'Barr
78. Shatnerquake by Jeff Burk
79. The Damned Highway by Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas
80. Robamapocalypse by Kevin Strange
81. Help! A Bear Is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen
82. Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy by Bradley Sands
83. Deadweight by Robert Devereaux
84. We Live Inside You by Jeremy Robert Johnson
85. The Cannibal's Guide To Ethical Living by Mykle Hansen
86. Unicorn Battle Squad by Kirsten Alene
87. Zombie! Zombie! Brain Bang! edited by Nicholas Day
88. The Walking Dead Vol. 17 by Robert Kirkman
89. Penetralia by Jordan Krall
90. Extinction Journals by Jeremy Robert Johnson
91. The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon
92. Header by Edward Lee
93. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
94. Fangoria #319

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Alright folks, the wait is over! Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. Hope I didn't omit any...

You asked, I answered:

Are you going to sue Warner Brothers for stealing your life story in the film Magic Mike?

As a matter of fact, I am. Those bastards stole my life from me and didn't even offer me a Happy Meal as payment!

How long have you been writing and who's writing inspires you the most?

I've been writing since I was very young. I can pinpoint the writer who inspired me to seriously try my hand at writing: Robert R. McCammon.

What do you have in the works at the moment?

Currently I've got maybe half a dozen short stories in the works and a novella in progress. All are in various stages of completion.

If you were a porn star, what would your name be?

Buster Sassafras.

What 3 films have inspired you the most (both in life and creatively)?

Wow, tough question. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a film nut. I guess some of the earliest films I can remember seeing that wowed me were The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, and Halloween. They set me on a life-long love affair of all things horror.

What movie have you seen the most? How many times do you estimate you've seen it?

Another tough question! I can't say definitely but I know that I watched the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, Wayne's World, Predator, Alien, Aliens, and The Crow A LOT when I was a teenager. Like every day.

What is your ultimate goal as a writer? To put it another way, what would be your dream job....writing a novel? Screenplay?

Honestly, my ultimate goal is to become a full-time author. Not an easy task. As far as screenplays go...I've dabbled with the idea a few times but to me it's too dry. I just can't get into it as much as writing full-fledged stories. If that makes any sense.

Have you written anything that you are extraordinarily proud of?

Yes, there are a few things that I look back at and think, "Wow, that's pretty damned good." But, if I had to pick one thing that I'm most proud of it would have to be the novel I began in sixth grade and finished in ninth grade. It's a derivitive pile of garbage for the most part but I'm still very proud that I hand-wrote an almost 400 page novel when I was so young.

What genre is your specialty? Horror? Bizarro? Sci-Fi?

Horror. Definitely horror. I have a few Bizarro stories I've worked on but they aren't bizarre enough to be true Bizarro. To me, it's the hardest genre to tackle. As for Sci-Fi, I haven't written anything like that in a very long time, and even then there were heavy horror elements involved.

If you could go back in time and change something in your past that would benefit your career today, what would it be?

That's an easy one. Finish college. That's one of my biggest regrets in life.

Is there any movie/book that you have seen that has changed your outlook on life? Why? 
What inspired/inspires you to write?

I think movies and books have played a very important role in shaping me into the person I am today. It's not possible for me to choose single examples that have changed my outlook on life but I know that there have been many of both that have molded me. As far as what inspires me to write, I enjoy it. Always have. I can give you a specific example of what sparked a story I've been working on today: I'm in Ocean City, MD right now and as I was looking out over the ocean from my hotel room balcony, inspiration struck. It just happens. I never know when, where or why.

Where do some of your ideas for your stories come from? Do they come from things you see everyday? Do they come to you in a dream?

All over the place (see above answer). Honestly, very few of my ideas come from dreams. I can only think of a handful of times where the seeds for a story were planted in dream form.

Who is your favorite musical artist and why? What musical artist has inspired you and how?

I'm a huge music lover so it's impossible to pick a favorite. I don't really get "inspired" by music. Nor do different types of music have any influence on what I'm writing.

If you could meet anyone who would it be and why? If you were only allowed to ask them one thing what would it be and why?

So many choices! I'd love to be able to hang with H.P. Lovecraft. Why, you ask? Because he was fucking awesome! I would ask him a two word question, "Marry me?"

If the little drummer boy played his drum for you, what would he play?

Nothing. He'd be dead before the first beat of his drum. (For those who don't know I DESPISE that song.)

Would you trust me to make pancakes for you if I told you I had a "secret" recipe for the batter?

I love pancakes! Bring 'em on!

What writer(s), director(s), and star would you like to make the inevitable Gorebeast biopic?

Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Star: Seth Green

 If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why...? Follow-up question, what's your superhero name?

The ability to suck all of the air out of a room, thus incapacitating villains in my vicinity. Name? Oh, I don't know...Suckjob?

Who would win in a fight: Cap'n Crunch, or Captain Morgan?

Captain Morgan wins every time. He's a dirty fighter. No foe can withstand his ability to bring on a dihabilitating hangover.

If you could rename intenstines to be anything else, what would it be?

Shit tubes.

What is your favorite Pop-Tart flavor? "I don't like Pop-Tarts" or any variation thereof is not an acceptable answer, but I will accept "I prefer toaster strudels."

Honestly, I like pretty much any flavor of Pop-Tarts. Though I am pretty fond of toaster strudels...

List your top five species of aquatic mammal.

1. Aquaman
2. Poseidon
3. Dolphin
4. Orca: The Killer Whale
5. Mermaid

What is your preferred brand of toilet paper? How did you come to this conclusion?

Charmin. I came to this conclusion by shitting a lot.

What would do if a zombie apocalypse happened and what's your weapon of choice?

Hide out at my parents house. It's pretty secluded. Weapon of choice: some kind of long, edged weapon. Like a samarai sword or machete.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cthulhu Mourns

Today is the 75th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft's death. Those who know me are well aware of my love of his weird tales. I even named one of my damn cats after him. His works have stuck with me through the years, ever since I first discovered his writing in my teens. To me, his talent is unmatched. Some people like to complain about his style and characterizations but it is what it is. No one can deny his immense imagination. His work has influenced so many other artists, whether it be authors, filmmakers, painters, sculptors, musicians, etc. His presence can still be felt in today's world, throughout all forms of media. So, today, we celebrate the man who has made such a huge impact in the weird/science fiction/horror fields.

R.I.P. Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Please share your thoughts and what Lovecraft means to you in the comments section below.

Here's a link to the original obituary. I think it's pretty neat to see this little piece of history:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Strange Things Afoot

Things are moving pretty fast for me right now. So many things are going on that I can't really take time to step back and assess all of the things happening around me. I'm currently on vacation but have yet to really relax. I recently submitted my first piece of fiction for publication ever and got accepted. I've been using this high to push me to increase my writing output. So far, I've been fairly successful (though I'd like to write even more than I am currently doing). I'm still working six days a week which makes it hard to write as much as I'd like to. But I'm trying. I'd say my average daily output is around 500 words. This is not nearly enough to satisfy me but it's better than my previous output of around 500 words every six months or so. Having my new laptop has been a big help. I typically can bang out a couple hundred words at work while on breaks or lunch.

This morning has been pretty lazy so far. I played online for a bit, got a little writing in while blasting my usual eclectic mix of music, ate some Lucky Charms. All this and still Angel is sleeping on the bed next to me while I'm clicking away on the laptop's keys. We still have a lot of things to get done today once she decides to get up. She just got a new vehicle, a Chevy Equinox, yesterday and there's still a few things to square away with that today. Plus lots of cleaning and reorganizing needs to get done this week and I'd like to accomplish some of that today.

 Even though this morning would seem to be pretty relaxing by normal standards one has to take into account that last night I got into another confrontation with my increasingly hard-to-deal-with mother. This situation is weighing heavily on me. I don't know what to do. I tried to smooth things over even though she was the one who flew off the handle and is holding a grudge over something insubstantial. I went to her when she should have been the one to come to me and apologize. Apparently that was a bad idea. She has too much selfish pride and is completely incapable of getting off her high-horse. I've pretty much written her off. If she wants to swallow her pride and contact me then, well, we'll see. For now, I'm just going to concentrate on work, writing, and my new family (Angel and her two boys).

At least this weekend I have Monster Mania to look forward to in New Jersey. I'll get to hang out with some of my best friends who I don't get to see nearly enough, meet some awesome horror icons, and, hopefully, relax for a bit and forget the ongoing bullshit with my mom. Until then, I plan to get lots of cleaning, and lots of work on the six short stories I've currently got in the works, done.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Dark Side

Today I have a very special blog for you fine folks.  My girlfriend, Angel, has decided to highjack my blog with a little personal piece she wrote between yesterday and today, entitled "The Dark Side".  I can't help but notice the (intentional?) use of a Star Wars reference in that title.  She really poured her heart into this one and it would be nice for her to get some feedback from you kooky kids.    Now, keep in mind, this is all her.  She wrote this from start to finish.  I did very little to polish it up for it's finished form.  I am very proud of her for doing this and for the bravery it took to actually let me post it in my blog for the world to see.  So, please, read on and enjoy:

The Dark Side

Everyone has a boogeyman.  The little voice in your head that makes you doubt yourself, constantly telling you that you’re no good at anything you do.  Well, you haven’t seen one like this until you have met mine. What you read may be disturbing to you.  You’re about to enter my world.  The way things are seen through my eyes. Crazy as it may seem to you, keep in mind a lot of this I don't have control over.  I'm still working on things.  I have a lot of major damage that was done to me, some of which I’ve never talked about before.  It's very hard for me to ask for help.  I mean, how do you ask for help by explaining that your self-conscience is telling you to do things to yourself?  That’s impossible without the other person thinking you’re insane and that you belong in a hospital.

Everyone that knows me knows I have serious self-confidence issues.  Most of it started when I was younger.  When I was in eighth grade there were two girls that wanted to kick my ass.  They used to call me a slut and a whore all the time.  They were always saying it in front of tons of people.  They were the popular girls in school so naturally I thought everyone was going to believe them.  This destroyed me.  As someone that was quiet and kept to myself, I never understood why they were doing this to me.  I had never had sex, so what they were saying wasn’t true.  I now know that it was because I wore skirts to school all the time.  Later, during my senior year in high school, my self-confidence suffered another heavy blow; my boyfriend cheated on me with my best friend.  All I can say is that this left me alone, devastated, with no one to talk to.  I had just lost my boyfriend and best friend, all in one shot.  I don't recommend anyone letting their life revolve around just your best friend and your boyfriend.

When I was married I would sit and wonder, “I know you love me, but I don't understand why you hurt me by putting me down and making comments that make me look stupid.”  Then I’d think, “Well he loves me and we have been together for 10 years so it must be true.  Why else would he say things like that?”  It has happened to me again since then.  I think, “Well Ed (my ex-husband) has said that to me, too.  It must be true if he is saying the same thing.”  People at work have talked to me like I was stupid.  It’s funny how, when they can’t figure something out, they come and ask me for help.  So I must not be that stupid.

I know I have a dark side to myself that I like to go to.  I like to be alone, sitting in a dark room with no light.  Just complete darkness.  Sitting there with my pillow and some music playing.  As I lay there, I look back on everything that I have done wrong in my life. What can I do with my life?  I need to do something with my life.  Make something of myself. Do something so someone can look at me and be proud of me and the things I've done.  Not where everything in my life is a big screw up.  

I still have a lot of times where the bad side comes out.  My conscience still talks to me.  Every so often it tries to send me back to that place where I do bad things to myself.  It tells me that I'm a bad person.  That I don't deserve what I have.  That I'm just going to ruin Mike's life just like I did to Ed's.  I start to believe everything that it is telling me.  I don't know how to get it to stop. 

I was at the point where my answer was to overdose.  There was no way that I could fix any of it.  In my eyes I screwed up three people's lives.  I have two boys that were going to hate me because I broke up their family.  All because I felt like I didn't exist anymore.  One thing I swore would not happen to me was I would never be divorced.  I wouldn't let that happen to my kids.  I would never let them go through that.  Look where I am now.  I had to be a disappointment to my parents because of what I did.  How could I even show my face to anyone?  Everyone would be better off if I was gone.  I had it all planned out. 

Then I met Mike.  I didn’t really just meet Mike.  I have known him for at least 5 years.  I always felt some kind of weird connection with him.  I couldn't explain it.  When I decided to go off all my medication cold turkey, he stuck by me.  He told me that I didn't sound like I was in a good place.  One weekend, my family went away for a few days.  Mike said he didn't think it was safe for me to be home alone and convinced me to stay with him so that nothing would happen to me.  When I was going to get sick (from quitting my medications) he sat with me on the floor in the bathroom.  That meant so much to me, that someone would take the time to do that for me.  I don't know why he would do that for me or what his reason was for it.  

He had to have felt something.  He made it clear he didn’t want a relationship so I was ready to give up and go through with my self-destructive plans.  Except for one thing; he had told me that he loved me.  Something told me that no matter how he acts or treats me to continue to stick with it.  I've never really truly fought for something that I believed in.  I'm not one that believes in soulmates, that there is someone out there that you're really meant to be with.  Nonetheless, there was something there.  Something I have never felt before.  I knew that he had been hurt several times before.  I knew that he was just afraid of being attached to anyone because the pain that comes after.  I know all about disappointments.  I think that is why, for some reason, there was always some weird connection with us.  We have had a lot of the hurt and disappointments in past relationships.  I stuck with him, and eventually he come around. 

We do have a lot of fights and I get scared that I'm just screwing up everything I’ve gained.  This time I wouldn’t just be destroying me but it would destroy my boys as well.  They both have become very attached to him.  He has been the back up and the structure that both the boys and I have needed.  It has been very hard on him to have to adjust his life around his newfound family.  Going from being alone and having it quiet all the time, to having 2 boys in the house.  I can see his frustration. 

I have finally met someone that understands me and the things I’ve gone through.  He may not understand everything but he tries to understand the things that he doesn't.  I haven't figured out how he knows some of the things he does.  Most of the time he can figure me out without any problem at all.  It amazes me sometimes.  He knows when something is wrong before I even know.  How is that possible?
I know that at times he gets extremely frustrated with me.  I know it has to be very hard on him, dealing with someone in my extreme condition.  Making sure that I am taking my medication.  Making sure that it is being taken correctly.  Watching over me to make sure that I don't slip into the bad place that I was in once before.  I have nothing but appreciation for everything that Mike has done for me.  I'm sure it has put my parents more at ease, knowing that there is someone out there who loves their daughter enough to watch over her like she needs.  Someone that may not understand everything that I'm going though but sure as hell tries with all his heart to understand me.  

Now I'm in a better situation.  I found someone that I know loves me and my boys enough to invest so much of his time into making sure I'm taken care of.  He makes sure he is there to talk to me so I don't go over the edge.  I'm a much better person than I was, which is better for the two people who need me the most.  I'm lucky to still be alive today.  I hope that maybe I can give inspiration to someone else who is dealing with their own dark side.  

No one realizes how much you’re worth to them until you’re not around.  Yet sometimes I still wonder if I'm doing something wrong because more than one person has treated me that way.  I know that none of them know exactly what that does to me or how deeply it has scarred me.  All it does is feed the boogeyman, or the dark side of me.  Do I really come across as some stupid human being that is a waste of everyone's time?  Do I really deserve the negative things that people say and do to me?  Like I said in the beginning, I'm still working on things.  I know on this subject I should live by this quote: "So long as you are still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them." -Neale Donald Walsch

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Last weekend Angel and I headed to Maryland for a much-needed weekend of friends and booze (otherwise known as No*Con).  We had an amazing time with friends both old and new.  There are too many people who made me laugh and/or gave me invaluable writing advice to name them all but, suffice to say, it was like taking a crash course in creative writing.  I was surrounded by people representing the full spectrum of published authors.  From the war-weary vets to the grunts fresh out of boot camp.  All of them had wisdom to impart on the subject of writing and the publishing industry.

But that's not the only thing gained from this past weekend.  I made quite a few new friends, many of whom I had at least talked to online at some point.  It was nice to finally meet them in person and make the connection from cyberspace to a real flesh-and-blood individual.  Some of them were not how I envisioned them in my head from communicating with them on Twitter or Facebook.  Which, I guess, is to be expected.  I also got to see old friends.  Old friends who I don't get to see nearly enough.  It sucks living so far from them all.  I wish I could spend way more time with them because they have a way of bringing out the best in me.

I could go on and on with funny stories and inside jokes that occurred at a rapid fire pace all weekend long.  I could do that.  Yet, I won't.  Those memories are for those who were there with me.  It's like a secret code between us when we make a reference to something from that weekend to one another.  It helps to keep a sacred bond between those of us who participated.

As an added bonus, we visited Edgar Allan Poe's grave.  This was an unexpected side trip that was revealed while we were all eating lunch at the Ale Wife in Baltimore.  It was weird seeing an old cemetery nestled between office buildings and the like.  It was definitely a cool experience because, as most of you know, I adore Poe.  There were also tombs.  Tombs, I say!  That was way cool.  I've never seen a tomb close up before and it was interesting.

My only regret is that I didn't read my flash fiction piece on Saturday night when everyone gathered to read their work.  I could have.  I SHOULD have.  But I didn't.  I wish I had so that I could get feedback from my friends and peers.  I mean, the story already got accepted to a publication and will be coming out sometime by the end of this year so it must not totally suck.  That's not to say that it's particularly good.  A handful of people have read it and said that it was good.  Not all of them were friends either so I would hope that their assessment would be less biased because they don't know me personally.  Oh well, there's always next time.  Hopefully by then I'll have a few more complete stories to choose from.

I want to thank everyone who was there for No*Con.  It is great to be a part of something so fun and meaningful.  You guys rock!  I love you all.