Saturday, January 31, 2015


Most of you know by now that I have recently gotten a new phone. Instead of following previous trends (ie. getting a burner phone, since my needs are small in this department), I decided to get a big boy phone. A smartphone. Mostly, I did this because I was sick and tired of how Tracfone was fucking with me. I had a conversation with a friend, and he figured they treated me like shit because they thought I was a criminal or a crackhead, considering how they're the only people who use burner phones. (I would add the elderly, too. They don't want to get involved with technology so late in life. I've seen it with my own eyes.) My friend added that they'd also think I was a terrible criminal, because I've had this thing for years instead of days.

Anyway, now I've upgraded and joined the 21st Century. To my surprise, I find myself liking this new phone better than I thought I would. All of those uses I figured I'd never need? I'm using them on a regular basis. I also didn't think I'd bother listening to music on my phone, which I do now. I'm also reading a bunch of free ebooks I picked up from Amazon over the years that I never thought I'd get to. All in all, I think this was a good decision.

But I've noticed a trend over the past few days, and it's rather startling. Every morning now, the first thing I'll do is look at my phone. NO! I'VE BECOME THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO DOES THIS! WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!

Okay, look. I'm a writer, which means I have to have a fairly large ego, but I wasn't ready to discover such blatant narcissism within myself. I've become the type of person who wakes up and thinks, "Hm. I wonder how many people tried to contact me while I was sleeping." Or, "I wonder what people are saying about me today." Or, "Me-me-me-me-ME."

Every morning before this, the first thing I did was clear out my congestion. Whenever I wake up, I have a horrendous amount of snot and incredibly large boogers in me, so bad that I have to double up on tissue or risk breaking through to my fingers. Only then can I face the day. Now, before I do even this necessary thing, I check my phone. I'm going to stop myself from doing this tomorrow morning and see how that makes me feel.

Well. I don't really have a conclusion here, but I feel I should wrap this up. I have to check out what's happening on my social media. If you need me, text me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Has anyone here ever seen this movie?

In case you haven't, it's about a guy whose life turns to utter shit. Everything goes wrong. It gets bad. His wife dies, he loses his house, his career is a shambles. Rough shit. He screams at the skies for God to explain Himself, and in response, his dog is struck by lightning and killed. This guy then decides that he's going to dedicate his life to breaking all Ten Commandments. Yeah, that's kind of a weird subject for a romantic comedy. (No, I'm not kidding. This is a romantic comedy.)

I remember seeing this movie when it first came out, and as I watched this guy try to fulfill his quest, I started thinking that he was wasting a lot of time breaking them one at a time. And then I tried coming up with a single act that would break them all at the same time.

These are the kinds of thoughts that run through my head when I see a list of things someone's not supposed to do. Which leads me to something else.

I've tried to get published a few times in STRANGE HORIZONS, and I sent in a new submission this morning. They have an interesting list of things writers shouldn't do, which you can read here. They update it sometimes, so I thought I'd read it again. This is a great list, and I agree with almost all of it. But there's that slightly masochistic streak in me that spoke up, the same part of me that wanted to think up of a single act to break all Ten Commandments at once.

God help me, I suddenly wanted to write a story that violated every single item on this list. 51 rules to break, to say nothing of the 65 sub-rules. And I actually started brainstorming what such a tale would consist of. Just for a writing exercise, of course. But still.

I think I might have a problem.

Friday, January 16, 2015


I was feeling a little sentimental today, thinking back on my old fiction magazine, TABARD INN. I got to wondering, whatever happened to all those people I published way back in the day? Sure, a few of them were friends before I published them, so I know where they are. I kept in touch with a few writers who had become my friends during the process of me publishing them, so I know where they are. But what about everyone else? Did they drop off the face of the earth? Did I discover anyone who went on to bigger and better writing credits?

(OK, there were a few who already had a pretty good list of writing credits before I came along, but what about those who didn't? If I may be allowed *ahem* a moment of possible hubris.)

I spent a lot of my downtime at work today Googling all of those writers who I haven't heard from since publishing them, and sadly I discovered that most of them either didn't have writing careers or they actually did fall off the face of the earth and are probably swimming in the ether. I found a few others, and while there were no big names, they seemed to still be writing and getting a publication out there every once in a while. Shockingly few of them had websites, though.

One of these guys became a writer of children's books, which I find incredibly funny, considering the graphic, doomed nature of his story in #3. Another guy just got a graphic novel Kickstarter going, and it looks pretty cool. One guy is in prison.

But there was one guy who surprised me. Norman Nathan, who wrote "Evolution" for #3, seems to have done well for himself in life, but he has the unfortunate distinction of being the first TABARD INN author to pass away. It threw me for a loop. I didn't expect to find out that one of the writers I'd published had died, and it brought me down quite a bit.

I guess it's because of the brutal vitality of the magazine that I didn't expect anyone involved to be so mortal. Intellectually, I knew there were a lot of older writers submitting stories to me, but emotionally, it just felt like there was such youth and vigor to the contributors that death would have never occurred to me.

If you have a copy of #3, give "Evolution" a read. It's a melancholy story, just the right mood for this kind of news. RIP Norman Nathan.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Most of you know I'm not a fan of baseball, or any other sport for that matter. In all actuality, when I was a kid, I dug it. I actually played the game and was fairly good at it, but that was before I discovered that I loved eating McDonald's every day more than playing sports. However, there is one thing I'm really good at knowing about when it comes to sports: drinking stories. My favorite sports drinking story is the amazing saga that was Ten Cent Beer Night. It is also widely known that wrestler Andre the Giant was a prolific boozehound. And then there's Wade Boggs. How many beers did he actually take down during this wondrous cross-country trip? We may never know. Reports vary. But I'd be a liar if I told you that every time I get on a plane, I don't salivate at the idea of attempting to match his record.

I'm so glad this was the topic of last night's IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. Those guys knew exactly how to handle it, too. There's no way I could ever achieve this level of drunkenness, due to my brush with pancreatitis-caused death. Just thinking about it makes my insides twitch. But at least I got to live vicariously through last night's episode, the perfect beginning to a new season.

MAN SEEKING WOMAN is a new show that follows SUNNY. Since I wasn't done with my beer yet (hey, I don't have to cut alcohol out of my life ENTIRELY, now), I gave it a shot. It's a pretty funny comedy, and I love its dedication to overly-symbolic storytelling. However, I don't see how the show can last. It's fine for short term projects, but after a few episodes, it's probably going to fall apart. I don't see how they're going to keep making it work, but I look forward to finding out.

Lastly, there's AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW. I should warn you that this portion contains spoilers, so if you haven't seen last night's episode, you might want to skip the rest of this. I would say that this season is by far the best they've ever done, and I love how things are wrapping up, especially with Dandy buying the freak show, finally getting what he's wanted since the first episode. However, there is one part of this season that bugs me: a lot of characters speak with an accent, but very few of the actors can actually perform that accent. It drives me up the wall.

But last night, I discovered something else I didn't like about this season, and I'm sorry to say that it's Neil Patrick Harris's character, Chester. First of all, it's a bad sign to introduce a character so late into the story. Secondly, his arc only lasts for two episodes, which is another bad sign. Lastly, there is no reason for Chester to exist in the story. His only purpose is to make things weirder on the show, and believe me, the other characters have that down without NPH's help. What effects does he have on the story? Very little. He fucks Bette and Dot, which is pretty cool, but another character could have done that. He also kills Maggie by sawing her in half. That's also cool, but again, another character could have done that. I suspect that NPH came along and asked if he could be on the show, and the producers asked the writers to fit him in somewhere. I like the guy, but he sticks out like a sore thumb in this story. I'm just glad he's out of the way so AHS: FS reaches its natural conclusion.

I hope.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015



My local 7-Eleven got another copy of LICENSE TO WED. Just when I thought the nightmare was over . . . Some motherfucker just HAD to buy that first copy, didn't they? It gave 7-Eleven the impression that there's a market for this movie. Now I've got to live with this again?!

Unless . . . maybe it's the same copy. Maybe whoever bought it suffered from a guilty conscience and realized that they could never actually own this movie, so they returned it. I could live with that, I guess. It puts someone else at risk of being exposed to this movie, but only if they let it happen. I believe in the common sense and decency of my fellow neighbors. After all, it took months for 7-Eleven to sell this thing last time.

Dammit. So it begins anew. Good lord. *choke*

I'll show you doom in a handful of shit

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I didn't tell anyone this, but I took a bit of a break from writing. I'd been working pretty hard, and it was the holidays, so I decided to take a small vacation from writing, something I only do when I get sick or suffer from organ failure. I'd just finished a bunch of short stories and the final draft of a new novel, and I wanted to regroup before tackling a book that would take a great deal of thought before beginning. Plus, I figured that if I took a week off, I would be chomping at the bit to get back to work and therefore produce a lot more than I usually would.

I wound up taking a week and a half off instead. I got lazy, and the more I thought about the new book, the more I felt like it couldn't be done. It was a lie, of course, because my brain was trying to convince itself that maybe I should take on a less ambitious project instead. I have a Western novel I was considering self-publishing, because no one wants non-series Westerns these days, unless said Western comes from someone with a name like Larry McMurtry. My brain tried to tell me to format that for Createspace and Kindle instead.

I am going to do that someday, but I can't do that now. To do so would be lazy, and it would take me away from the act of creation, which is very important to a writer's day-to-day living.

So I came back from my time off, and I spent a few days focusing on world-building. I have to think about a lot of theoretical science issues before I even begin to write this thing, because there are no human characters in the book, but it takes place on earth in the future. No carbon dioxide-emitting beings exist, and I have to think about what kind of effect that has for the environment. This is just a taste of the things I have to consider. It took a while, but I finally reached the point where I felt safe to start writing.

And when I did . . . I found it very difficult to get into it. It went super slow. I barely met half of my daily requirements (2,000 words) each session. Had my time off really fucked me up? Or was the material too hard to deal with?

The last two sessions went a lot better. I met my 2,000 words each time (and a little bit more). Things are going a lot smoother. I think it might have been because of the break I'd taken. It made me rusty. Maybe I shouldn't do that ever again, considering how much time I lost. Life is, as they say, pretty short (unless you're one of the characters in my new book, that is). Wasting time I could have spent on projects like this? It might be the worst thing a writer can do.

Friday, January 9, 2015


Read this article first. I'll be talking about it at great lengths, so if you don't read it, none of this will make sense.

Done? Good. This article has been making the rounds with my friends, and they're pretty indignant about it. Rightfully so, especially since many of them are writers who have worked in the horror genre. I, also, greatly disagree with the person who wrote this piece. It is essentially a smear campaign against people who enjoy horror movies by someone who thinks she is taking the moral high ground.

But I don't take it too seriously, even though it was meant as an insult. First of all, check out the title. "What It Says About You If You Enjoy Horror Movies." That's the problem right there. It is such a gross generalization that I simply can't take it seriously. It's kind of like saying, "All black people do such and such." Or "all gay people act like this or that." Or "all red-haired people enjoy so and so." Is it true for some people? Sure, but it's impossible to say it's true for everyone in that category. Right off the bat, before I've read a single word of the actual article, I know this person is wrong.

I read it anyway out of curiosity, and sure enough, it was horseshit. A lot of people make fun of the writer because she uses THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and AVATAR as examples of horror. I haven't seen AVATAR, so I can't comment on that, but I *have* seen THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and I'll say that's a horror movie. Satan himself puts in a personal appearance, not to mention the demon children. There's a great deal of supernatural dealings in this movie, to say nothing of the gory nature of Jesus' punishment. If the Drudgeon hadn't beaten me to it, I would have reviewed the movie for Forced Viewing. (Although to be fair, I reviewed Clint Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN as a horror movie for them, so my opinion might be askewed.)

To be a good sport, I decided to see how well I could score on this list of things I supposedly am because I enjoy horror movies.

1. Do I lack empathy? I'd say I have a healthy dose of empathy in me. Being a writer means fantasizing about being other people in order to write as honestly as possible about them from their perspective. In order to do that, I have to have an understanding of humanity, and I can't have that without empathy. Although to be fair, every single human being who has ever lived started out their lives without an ounce of empathy. When you're a baby all the way through, I'd say, age 10, empathy doesn't even pop up on the radar. Children are all consumed with the idea of me-me-me. I don't think people understand that others have feelings until they have enough experience in the world. So gauging empathy might not be the best route to take on this one.

Not that it matters. Her argument doesn't even make sense here. All she says is that people in this study who rate high on empathy charts experience negative moments after watching a horror movie. So what she's really saying is that horror movies cause people with empathy (ie. almost everyone on the planet) to have negative feelings. That's part of horror's charm. You can't walk away from exploring the darker side of humanity with a grin on your face. Ultimately, though, this says nothing about people who enjoy horror movies. And anyway, it seems like she's talking about one of the other points she's going to try to make later when she talks about horror movie dates.

2. Am I aggressive and thrill-seeking? No on both counts. I don't think anyone who knows me can classify me in either category. For all my rage, I'm a pussycat in person. I've had people tell me that for all of my crazy talk, they feel 100% safe in my presence. I don't get into fights. I've only ever struck one person in anger in my entire life, and that was for very good reason (since he'd just punched a girl in front of me). (Actually, I punched a second person, but I was really drunk at the time. I don't remember doing it. He had to tell me about it later, and in retrospect, he thought it was kind of funny.) But that's twice in thirty-six years. Not bad for someone who was a victim of child abuse, one of the leading causes of aggression in life. I have no desire to seek thrills. I don't go on roller coasters. I don't sky dive. I don't bungee jump. I *do* go out of my way for fucked up experiences, but not out of any desire for an adrenaline rush; I do it so I can tell fucked up stories later.

But she uses a couple of studies to try to prove her point. One of them asked a bunch of kids if a cartoon was funny, thrilling or violent. This is a completely useless exercise. Kids, who have zero aptitude for empathy to start with, would identify such cartoons as all three, mostly because that's the way they were intended. It's a meaningless test. She also confuses thrill-seeking with acting on impulse. Those are two different things. Plus, not all kids are horror movie fans. So bringing this study up is irrelevant.

The other study mentions that horror movie aficionados are more likely to enjoy three things: watching autopsies, watching gladiator fights (if given a time machine) and watching the results of car accidents. First of all, these three things have nothing to do with aggressive behavior or thrill-seeking. However, who isn't curious about autopsies? We all end up on a cold metal table in the end. Wouldn't you want to know what they do to your body before your final wishes are fulfilled? (I actually have watched autopsies, and they're no big deal. It's not a hobby of mine, now that my curiosity has been satisfied.) Would I watch gladiator fights in ancient Rome if I had a time machine and could go back to that period? No. I don't even watch boxing matches. Zero interest. This is the closest one that comes to an aggressive act, but if it really was aggressive, these people would not be talking about watching the fights--they would actually be fighting in them. And no, I have zero interest in slowing down for car accidents. Life is too short, and I'm always in a hurry. I get pissed off when I have to deal with gaper delays.

3. Am I a man? Well . . . I have the equipment. But I'm not one of those macho assholes who always tell their friends to "man up" whenever they're reluctant to do something masculine. Sure, I like Westerns, but would I actually want to live in one? Nope. I like air conditioning. I dislike hard physical labor. I'd rather not walk around with a gun on my hip, and I certainly don't want to get shot. I am about as far from the manly stereotype as you can get, and I'm OK with that. That said, I never sleep with the lights on. I never look away from a horror movie. While I often feel unsettled by a horror movie (which, by the way, is a good sign that I'm feeling empathy), I don't feel fear or anxiety after the movie is over. So I guess I live up to the statistics. However, does this make me a manly man? No. Maybe I need to start fist-pumping to prove my manhood. Is that still a thing?

4. Am I a man accompanied by a frightened woman? Holy Christ, I hope not. This is the most insulting of them all, because it implies that I would expose a woman to a horror movie so I can scare her enough that she'd want to be comforted by me, which would, by implication, lead to me having sex with her. This is an accusation of rapey proportions.

I have never brought a woman out on a date to see a horror movie, which is kind of odd, considering how it is my favorite genre. I had to cast my mind back pretty far, just to make sure, but to the best of my recollection, I've never done this. They've usually been SF movies or superhero movies. There were a few comedies. If I ever reach the point where I bring a woman to a horror movie out of hopes of scaring her into my arms and possibly into my bed? That's the day I buy a van with FREE CANDY written on the side and start to carry ether and a rag with me everywhere I go.

But really? This last part? It's not about enjoying a movie. It's about enjoying the prospect of having sex with the woman in question. This draws no conclusions about horror fans. However, I would like to hear the opinion of women who were objectified in this particular portion.

So yeah. If this was a test, I'd fail it, and I highly suspect a lot of my friends would fail it, too. Most annoyingly, though, the article abruptly ends without pulling everything together. There is no conclusion. If I were a teacher grading this paper, I'd give it a D. Apparently, no one taught her structure.

Your thoughts? Please post them in the comments below.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Remember when I wrote this piece on my discovery of online pornography? I just thought you might be interested in an update, since I've found a lot more stuff since then. In particular, I've found that I enjoy awkward porn a great deal. I'm not talking about amateur stuff. I mean porn where fucked up, funny things happen.

There was this one video I saw where a guy was having a three-way with two women. However, about halfway through it became very clear that he was only interested in one of them. He focused all of his attention on her, even though the other woman tried to get in there and have some fun. It culminated in one of the funniest things I've seen in pornography. When it came time for the money shot, he stands up, and the women kneel before him. He starts to cum, and he turns all of his orgasm onto the one woman's face while the other tries to get in on the action. He very clearly cuts her out, and finally, she gets the message. She just sort of sits back and watches, bored. I couldn't stop myself from laughing.

Then there are odd moments, like this one video I saw in which a woman was with a guy who had an uncut dick. She told him she wanted his "anti-Semitic cock" inside of her. I think that's probably the last thing I ever expected anyone in porn to say. It's possibly the least sexy thing ever said mid-coitus.

Here's something I really enjoy, though: cam girls who masturbate at the library. I find it incredibly hot. But there's one video in particular that has my full attention. You see, these women usually pick secluded spots, where they're not likely to get caught. Or they actually work there, and they're doing this after hours. There's one crazy woman, however, who picked an incredibly busy part of the library, and she didn't expect to be caught. There was a guy sitting behind her, for fuck's sake! People kept walking by her, and here she is, flashing her tits to her webcam. She even had her pants off and was trying to furtively masturbate when librarians actually came by and caught her. She bent over, trying to hide the fact that she didn't have pants on, but the librarians weren't blind. It was the most awkward ending to a library porn video I've ever seen.

So yeah. Anyone else checking out odd, humorous porn?

Monday, January 5, 2015


Poor Bastards Cover

You might remember that back in July, POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS was announced as the final book to be released as part of the Slaughter Summer promotion. However, since then SHB was acquired by Rooster Republic Press. It's now winter 2015, and the book still hasn't come out. People have been asking me, "What happened?"

Don't worry. The book is still coming out. The folks at RRP are still working through everything that comes with acquiring a publishing house. They're back on track, since they just published a new book by Andre Duza. I'm told that PB&RF will be out soon, probably this month. I'll let you know as soon as I know more. I greatly appreciate your patience, and I assure you it will be worth it. This is a fun and savage book, and it will be worth the wait.

PS: if you want a preview of the book, you should pick up STRANGE SEX 2. It contains an excerpt in the back. (Plus, it also has a story by me in it called "Zero Recall," which is an incredibly fucked up love story.) Buy it here!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Here's another unexpected side effect of my new work hours: I've been eating less fast food. I used to like going out for lunch, but now that I'm getting to work before everyone else, I've been getting a great parking spot. By the time lunch would roll around for me, everyone has just arrived at work, and if I abandon my parking spot, the chances are great that I will lose it and have to park in fucking Timbuktu upon my return. I would probably need a Sherpa to get me back to the office. As a result of this, I haven't gone out for lunch in three weeks, which has cut down immensely on the amount of fast food I eat.

Still, it's a bit hard to avoid it when I get out of work. I drive by Taco Bell on the way home, and their quesarito always calls out to me. Most times, I remain strong and get home without stopping. Others? Not so much. I'm going to quit fast food again starting Monday. I haven't been juicing for the holidays, so I'm getting back to that on Monday, as well.

So of course McDonald's sees this as the perfect time to release a TRIPLE FUCKING CHEESEBURGER. I only have two days to enjoy this delight? What the fuck?

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Well, the sun has risen on 2015 (and is blinding me with pain, due to a hangover). I'm not one to reflect on a year gone by, mostly because they've all sucked worse than the last one, but I was actually kind of fond of 2014. It sucked for a lot of people, and it certainly started out on a sour note for me, what with my pancreas trying to kill me by not working and all. Because of my brush with death, I kind of figured that 2014 would simply be worse than 2013, thus following the trend.

But it ended on an awesome note. Things with my writing career picked up very quickly. A lot of publications came out with my work in them near the end of the year. Hell, I even did my first Kindle book, PAVLOV'S BITCHES, which seems to be doing pretty well. I'm also happy to say that I ended 2014 by selling yet another story. It's one I believed in a great deal. I thought it would sell immediately, but apparently I was wrong. I shopped it around for quite a while. I knew it was a good story, but no one else seemed to think so until I sold it yesterday.

Not only that, but things with my square job improved a great deal. When I first started working at that place, it was the best job I'd ever had. A few years ago, everything changed, and I started referring to my job as my Daily Eight Hours of Hate. But last month, I transferred to another department, and holy shit. I love my job again. I haven't talked to an asshole in three weeks. I haven't felt a single moment of hatred in that same amount of time. I have found inner peace.

So yeah. Unlike the previous years, I'm going to look at 2015 optimistically. I think things are going very well for me, personally. The world, on the other hand? Things have been pretty shitty. I'm tempted to say that the end is near, but the world mentality has always been like that. Everyone thinks the world is going to hell a little more every year, but I don't think that's accurate. It's kind of like how every generation thinks the next generation is made up of pussies. It's simply not true. The world is different, sure, but I don't think it's worse. It will always be on the same level of madness, it's just a different kind of madness.

Good luck, ye fuckers, in the new year.