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Showing posts from 2011

That's What I Call a Sticky Situation...

I'm counting down the hours until my holiday break begins because I have a cool idea for a project.  You see, ever since I was a little girl I've collected stickers.  Puffy, scratch-n-sniff, irridescent, laser...they all are like jewels to me and I tend to hoard them.  I still have my old sticker albums and flip through the 20+ year old pages, careful not to break the binding or lose any stickers.  Well, after covering a plastic shoe box with nearly every Hello Kitty sticker I own, it dawned on me:  I need a new sticker album.  So, once I receive my 7Gypsies Binderie Punch I will break out my chip board and create a fabulous scrapbook/sticker album.  I haven't been this excited since I purchased my first sticker album with my very own money!  You can bet I'll be posting pictures...

Dear Food Diary...Shut Up

Yes, I took up the Slimming Baton again (no, there isn't really a baton, but I should make one) and have written down everything I've been eating.  Today as I ask the eternal question of "Do I want my anniversary meal to be a salad or spaghetti with garlic bread?" I really wish the Food Diary would mind its own business.  At least for today.  By the way, I think I'll be getting the pasta...maybe dessert too. 

I have not picked up a pen other than to write out my to-do lists and Christmas cards and I'm okay with that.  Having failed at NaNo yet again, my brain is too fried to get back at the novel.  Mind you, I missed my goal by 13,000 so I did write quite a lot in November.  Next year's writing goals are set to paper and it looks like I'll be busy.  I can do it though, and if I don't, at least I tried.  Stay tuned to find out what those lofty goals are...

Too? To? Two? TWO!!!!

I checked the Cafe Doom website before work to see if they posted the winners and found out that my story won 2nd place--I'm stunned and pleased to say the least.  Next up is to query a few editors to see if they would be interested in publishing it.  All I can say is thank goodness I saw a centipede squiggling around on a coworker's back because if I hadn't, this story never would have written itself. 

NaNo is going a lot better.  I broke 32000 words and would really like to finish either Sunday or Monday.  Wish me luck...

Where'd I Go?

I've been purposefully avoiding the blog until Cafe Doom's Seventh Annual Short Story Contest was over.  I hate trying to keep secrets and not blabbing the title of my story was VERY painful.  But, the contest is over and now I can say that my story "Penny Farmer and the Bad Day" received some votes and quite a few honorable mentions.  Right now I'm tied for 9th place and waiting to see which top 10 story makes it into One Buck Horror and which is Ed's pick.  If you're a writer with a penchant for the dark side, you really need to check them out, join the forum, and participate in next year's contest.  The contest is judged by fellow writers (anonymously) and some people take the time to give brief critiques of the stories.  Even if my story isn't a big winner, I've gotten some great feedback and know what to do before I try sending it out to other publishers.

NaNoWriMo is flying by and I'm over 21,000 words.  I'm behind and really nee…

Good News and Bad News...

First, the good news!  Zombidays: Festivities of the Flesheaters is available NOW so run and buy it.  With a hot dog eating contest and zombies, you can't really lose, can you?  My short story is called "Time to Eat."

On to the sad news.  Twisted Library Press has announced that due to the economy, all anthologies except for a few are cancelled and all rights revert to the authors.  TLP will still be producing novels, but for an undetermined time, no anthologies.  You can read more about it here.  I'm sad that these stories no longer have a home, but I support Doc and when he opens a call for submissions in the future, you can bet I'll be right there with a story in hand.

Short Stories that are now released to me that I will be finding homes for include:

"All Fun and Games" released from Made You Flinch--Again!
"Dracula Meets the Packrats" released from Groanology 2: Monsters, Madness, and Mayhem
"Zombie 101" released from Rapid Deco…

Stop Waiting

I've decided to stop waiting on a reader.  I'm going to dust off my novel, crack open the notebook and revise it to the brink of collapse and then I'm going to do the scariest thing in the world.  I'm going to take my list of 5 dream agents and I'm going to submit my story to them.  It won't be pretty and I'm sure there may be vomit involved in the whole ordeal somewhere, but I have to do it. 

If you're a waiter like me (no, not a 'Did you save room for dessert?' kind of waiter) I encourage you to stop waiting too.  Things happen when you wait.  Sometimes they're bad things and you kick yourself and ask  "Why did I wait so long?" 

Why the change?  I looked at my list of goals for 2011 and noticed that the big three are nowhere near being done because I'm waiting on one person.  Not good, considering 2012 is mere months away.  Also, someone very dear to me is celebrating 8 years since having surgery to remove cancer.  Life is …

Snakes on a Wreath!

Ah, that cool air of fall has me spazzing out and flitting from one project to another like some kind of crazed bee getting ready for winter.  We're already 3 days into October and I've already been mourning the loss of Halloween.  Silly, I know, but the season just goes by too quickly.  Way too quickly.

But, I've been busy making and plotting and today was incredibly productive.  See for yourself here:

I got off my duff and revised a story called "Old Friends" and submitted it to Evil Jester's Attic Toys anthology.  Cross your fingers for me that they like it.  Tomorrow I get back to a story I'm submitting to a contest and then I can seek out places to submit "Hair Baby" to since they've released all stories from Weird Tales. 

All these things need to be completed before November 1st when NaNo springs forth and rocks my world for 30 days and nights.  I forsee many sleepless nights.  Or late nights at least.  Again, cross those fingers.


My Have-Done List

Time flies when you're a busy bee.  Just finished a submission for Evil Jester Press *fingers crossed* and have begun a short for Cafe Doom's 7th Annual Short Story Contest.  Last year's was so fun I have to give it a whirl this time but without talking vultures.  I'm still working on the outline for my vampire novel--NaNoWriMo, here I come! 

The slimming is stalled at the moment, what with the food I've been cramming into my mouth every waking minute of the day...  Still, I only gained 1.5 pounds so there's that.  My head is back in the fight now so I just need to get back to work.  (sitting next to a magazine with caramel apples on the cover isn't quite helping)

After reviewing my goals for this year I'm falling short, but I've made big strides.  I have yet to send my novel out to an agent, but I've submitted 7 stories so I'm 3 short from achieving that goal, and I should (in theory) finish a novel this year.  I'm pretty pleased.  I&#…

Summing Up August

This month flew by and due to reasons beyond my control the blog was left behind.  Sorry!  But, my home computer will actually let me post now so here we go!  Baconology is available for purchase here .  I got a very nice rejection for a short story that made a short list, so there's lemonade in them thar lemons!  Right now my insides are all a-twist while I wait and wait on the submission I sent to my Dream Magazine Gig.  Their response time is 6-8 has been 7 and I'm a wreck.  I'd love to see "Hair Baby" be my breakthrough piece...ack, hope I didn't just jinx it...

I'm maintaining an 18 pound weight loss and am still in the fight.  I should have taken 'before' pics.  Ah well.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to volunteer my time helping to relocate an abandoned/neglected cemetery.  It totally re-ignited my love of archaeology and cemented the fact that I WILL sign up for field school next summer.  Life is too short not to follow yo…

Sanding Is a Lot Like Editing

While sanding a Halloween project it occurred to me that, like editing a story, you need finesse when sanding paper mache (or any medium, really).  If you don't sand enough, the imperfections show through and no amount of paint can hide them.  If you get too aggressive, you can gouge out a pretty vital chunk of your project and will be left with a gaping hole.  Pretty deep, huh? tale "Once Upon an Autopsy" didn't make the cut for an anthology I submitted to but it did make the shortlist so there must have been something good about it.  I'll put it in the revision pile and keep working on it until it sparkles.  Now that I don't have to work 10 hour days, I will be tackling a lot of projects after work and I'm really excited.  There's a certain vampire who has an epic tale to be told and he's getting anxious.

Halloween Goodies!

Yes, I do realize it is July, I just can't WAIT for Halloween to get here!  There's so many cute decorating ideas bouncing around in my head and I've already completed two projects. 

The first is Spooky Sheldon and he's the only paper mache treat I've ever done.  He turned out mighty fine if I do say so myself!

The second is a mini Halloween House and by golly, I'm addicted to these little slices of  creepiness!

Random Babbling

My brain is a little stalled out right now so I decided to put the current writing project on hold for a few days.  There's only so much outlining a girl can do.  That and a flash piece I wrote has really distracted me.  The lead character is a gorilla named CeeCee.  She's had it rough. 

The slimming is going okay.  I've maintained the current weight loss of 15 pounds which is great because I haven't been so good lately.  (let's not discuss the chocolate sauce I made and drank the other night, okay?)  I plan on being super good this weekend and will hit the gym again hard.  Sounds awesome...

Halloween is around the corner and of course I'm already plotting and creating.  I made my first paper mache jack o'lantern and love him.  Gotta get him painted and show him off to friends.  Gonna make a few more Halloween houses and some haunted bird houses then I can get serious about decorating my house because decorations go up September 1st.   I'll require a h…

A Post Before the Crash Takes Over

Before the knock-off Benadryl kicks in, I wanted to post a quick update.  Fingers crossed that it makes sense...

First, my zombie tale "Being Neighborly" has been accepted into Through the Eyes of the Undead 2.  That one was a nail biter because I was in the first book and really, really wanted to be in the second one too. 

Me, the girl that rarely wins anything, won a steampunk pocket watch from the lovely Tonia Brown just by commenting on her amazing web serial "Railroad!"  You should check it out--it is really addicting!

What else...hmm...  Oh, I just wrote a very brief tale called "Hair Baby" and I'm working up the courage to send it out to a big name magazine.  It'll be fun!

I'll leave you on a final note about bringing tension and building up a climax in your writing:  write these scenes when you really, really have to pee.  Seriously!  Channel the anxiety, fear, and drama right onto the written page.  Your readers will feel the tension…

A Quick Update

Summer is so hectic.  Between working 10 hour days, cleaning the house, and working out I barely have time to write or even read let alone update the blog.  Sorry blog. 

Anyway, the zombie anthology Chivalry is Dead is available for purchase and not only are the stories great, there's an introduction written by yours truly.  I've finished reading the anthology Horrorology and it is yet another fine book I'm proud to be published in.  I'm reading Alienology right now and am pretty impressed so far. 

I've got another poem coming out in Putrid Poetry & Sickening Sketches and from what I've seen, the book will be pretty amazing.  Despite a HUGE moment of self-doubt, I've finished my vampire tale and submitted it to the editor.  Fingers crossed that he likes it and that it is good enough for the book.  I've also finished a tale called "Once Upon an Autopsy" and will be submitting that either tonight or tomorrow. 

Oh, and somehow I've man…

Story Anxiety

We've all had it.  When we wonder "Is it good enough?" and make numerous attempts to click the dreaded SEND button to zip the story to the editor.  This time for me is different.  I just can't even tell if my story is good, bad, wonderful or terrible.  I fear I'll be letting this one sit so long it comes close to the deadline but I just can't hit that button yet.

To keep my mind off it I started a story about moles.  Not the adorable blind critters that dig up yards--the splotches of melanin some of us have an overabundance of.  So far I think it'll be a flash piece but it might just surprise me and be a full blown story.  Either way I don't think I'll be looking at my moles the same way again.

Vampires...Now With More Bacon!

I've been invited to participate in an anthology and at first I freaked out because that's a lot of pressure to write something amazing, unique, and compelling.  After many false starts, I think I've finally hit my groove and the words seem to be coming at me rather than from me.  Hard to describe but it is like the vampire is telling me what happened and I'm just trying to keep up.  Writing is weird this way.

Oh, do you like bacon?  How about bacon with a side of horror?  This is the first peek at the amazing cover for the forthcoming Baconology which my story "BLT Summer" is in.  Just when I think the covers at Library of the Living Dead couldn't get any cooler, they go and do this. 


I've been tardy in announcing the release of Alienology: Tales from the Void!  This is the first alien story I've ever written and I'm rather proud of my tale "Space Freaks." 

The vampire story I've been working on is on hold for a moment while a zombie story takes over my brain.  They'll do that, you know.  Zombies just loooove brains.  With any luck I can finish it up this weekend and get back on the vampire bandwagon because my deadline is just getting closer.

Will It Blend?

There are times when I have about ten different ideas that all seem perfect and all would fit nicely in an upcoming anthology.  They pop in and out of my thoughts at inopportune moments and I can never really pin them down the way they deserve so that I feel like I'm being run through a blender--the kind on TV that blends other blenders--and it is exhausting. 

Days like today when I get zero words put to paper it frustrates me.  Really bad.  It isn't that I'm blocked.  I just can't stop long enough to get it all out.

So, instead I'm Facebooking and blogging and bumming around the forum--anything but actual writing so I can slow the heck down.  I'm sure I will be awake until 2:00am and finally start writing around 3:00am.  I hate days like these.  The deadlines loom closer on days like these.

Doe a Deer

I think I've finally chosen a fitting ending for my deer tale and now I have to choose a title so I can get on to writing my next scary story about vampires.  Yes, vampires.  Don't roll your eyes just yet because these are heartless, cruel, selfish vamps (well, one is) and things get very bloody and very horrible.  I hope I can finish it before my deadline!

As we've discovered that cake can't mend a wounded knee, it turns out that cheesy curly fries are equally useless for strained back and leg muscles.  Live and learn, I suppose.  I spent the day painting yesterday and I ache like you wouldn't believe and I get to do it all over again tomorrow and the day after that.  And maybe again on Thursday or Friday.  What a week off!

Also, the anthology No More Heroes will be out soon-ish so you can pick it up and read my tale called "Picking Up the Pieces."  My hooping and hollering will tell you when it is available for purchase.

Out of the Blue

While I've been patiently waiting for Alienology to be published, another book I'm in is now live on Amazon and CreateSpace:  Horrorology.  My story "The Dark Ride" is in this one and I can't wait to read the other stories.  As if that weren't enough, the table of contents for Baconology (which features my story "BLT Summer") has been posted.  Things are moving right along and it looks like I'll have a slew of books to read over the summer.

Cake Can't Fix a Bum Knee

Well, I survived the 5K and we had lots of fun despite my knee being angry with me the whole week leading up to the walk.  I can't wait until next year to do it all again, sans the knee injury.  Man, does it suck to get old!  I shouldn't have tried to self-medicate with cake.  Nope, shouldn't have done it.   It was delicious though.  Since I'm still limping today, I must conclude that cake is not the proper medical care. 

In the world of wording, I'm at the end of my deer tale and torn between two endings.  I think I shall just write both and see what happens from there.  Perhaps I'll pester a couple readers to see what they think...

I've got some cool news that I'm not sure I can share yet, but it involves an upcoming anthology, me, and a story.  Oooh...mysterious!  I'll post more when I can.  Until then, join me in awaiting the very near release of Alienology:  Tales from the Void.

Oh Deer!

I had a story idea twitching in my brain while in the shower the other day so I asked the hubby to take notes for me as I dictated them (I'm a dictator!).  That was 1500 words ago and the story seems to be writing itself.  One of the main characters is a talking deer named Joel and he makes me laugh.  With any luck I'll finish the tale by the weekend so I can get it typed up and revised.  I'll have to do some hunting for a potential home for Joel.  Wish me luck!

The slimming is going very well.  I'm down 5.5 pounds and I feel really, really good.  This weekend will be tough because of a birthday party on Saturday, but I will do my best to resist cake.  But we all know how much I love cake...wish me luck here too!!

Slimming, Stories, and Tofurky

In accordance with my slimming plan, I started the Fat Smash Diet (as seen on reality TV, "Celebrity Fit Club") and after the 9 day detox, I lost 4 pounds and felt better than I had in a long, long time.  Day 10 was a bit of a fail because it was birthday treat day at work and I was the only April Baby...I only had a small spoonful of a couple "bad" things like cake.  But then a friend gave me 1/2 a loaf of raspberry rozek.  This is a Slovak pastry that I LOVE and only have once a year so yeah, that rozek is no more.  It has ceased to be.  But, I'm back on the eating well train and am about to hit the gym.  Gotta keep moving forward!

In writerly news, my tale "All Fun and Games" will appear in the forthcoming anthology Made You Flinch--Again! and (as of right now) holds the first spot in the table of contents.  This gets me all sorts of excited and squealy.  I've also seen the cover for the upcoming Groanology:  Amusing Monster Mash-ups Unleashed …

What Makes a Person a "Writer"

Not long ago a friend made the comment that I wasn't really a writer because I only had short stories published.  I was surprised and a little hurt and immediately thought "Well, YOU have never had anything published so THERE!"  But then I calmed down and breathed through the threatening tears and just smiled.

So then I saw on a forum another writer that basically didn't consider herself a writer for this very reason.  It made me wonder "What Makes a Person a Writer" and it has been bothering me since.

To me, if you put pen to paper in any attempt at poetry or fiction or nonfiction, you're a writer.  You could be an unpublished writer or a published writer, a short story writer or a novel writer.  Heck, you could even be a good writer or a bad writer.  You're still a writer no matter what format.

Don't get me started on the word "author."  Seriously.

Still Trimming Down

I've been working my way up to walking in the Susan G. Komen race in May and this week I'm hitting my 3 miles, 4 nights a week goal.  Wish me luck that I don't die on the treadmill, okay?  In other fitnessey news, we roller skated yesterday for 2 1/2 hours and didn't fall or die, so I think we'll be doing that more often.  I don't recall sweating o much after skating when I was little.  Of course I was a wee little peanut back then...

Spent the weekend trimming down possessions and trying to make my office somewhat organized.  I'm almost done and can't wait to have everything in storage bins on shelves.  I'll be able to actually breathe easy in there.

Writing-wise I've hit a slump with a submission and missed the deadline.  I'm bummed, but I really like the story and might just keep going with it and see where it takes me.  Tonight I'm going to be reading through the upcoming anthology called Chivalry is Dead from May December Publicati…

Keeping Track of My Babies

Time sure flies when you're busy writing.  You forget simple things like when you submitted a story and (sometimes) who you even sent it out to. 

A while back I created a simple Excel spreadsheet to track all of my stories with crazy details like when I subbed, if I got a reply email, if it was accepted/rejected/held and when, what the payment per word was, how much they paid me.  You get the idea.

Today I spent a few hours updating that spreadsheet and adding a few more columns and just looking at all the lovely colors (yellow means accepted and hot pink means awaiting a decision).  I'm pleased to say that out of 46 tales I've gotten the courage to submit, 20 of those were accepted and 4 are still awaiting a decision. 

So I've added a few more pink lines recently.  Yesterday I submitted "Death From Above" and "Being Neighborly" to two anthologies.  I'm doubly nervous because the second one is for a follow-up anthology where the editor really lik…

Focusing Energies

There's something kind of cool about reading the corrections an editor sends you, especially when they're mostly punctuation corrections. It marks the final stretch before you actually get to see your story in print along with other authors. It makes me giddy and motivated to work on more and more projects to get that same feeling.

Right now I've got my newest story all typed and ready for its last read-through and I'm wondering which of my other dozen or so ideas to pounce on first and its hard to focus my drive and spirit into just one thing. I don't know how other authors can juggle several projects at once and manage to finish any of them. Someday I'll learn how to juggle. Just not anytime soon.

The Internet--It's a Trap!

Ack, I intended to get right into typing up a short story today but needed to finish a Valentine for the hubby. Then I needed to check my email which led to visiting the forum which led to Facebook which led to Amazon then over to Author Central then back to the forum and then a quick trip to another blogger's entry about stolen art ideas then back to Facebook and now here. Whew, how many calories could that have burned??? With only thirty minutes left of my free time, I won't get much real work done so I'm blogging to advise you not to fall into the same trap I did today. Work first, party later.

Now to type like a woman posessed...or do some online shopping...

Squeezing Lemons, Making Some Lemonade

Well, "Being Neighborly" was not accepted but that is okay. I think it is a good story and I have plans to work it over with an even finer toothed comb and submit it elsewhere. It's what you have to do when you get a rejection. If I gave up on every story that I'd ever had rejected, I wouldn't have learned how to better myself and my craft. I'd be stagnant and that's just not my style--I like being fresh and new. After having a story rejected for a popular zombie author's anthology, I took his critiques to heart and totally re-worked it from being a diary written by a teen girl and turned it into the tale "Knock Once for Yes" which was snatched up by the editor of Through the Eyes of the Undead. You can't just give up on a story.

In other news, I finished a tale which I hope finds a home in Made You Flinch--Again!It is based on something a childhood friend used to do that would freak me out. I just hope it freaks out the editors and (if a…

The Weather Condition That Shall Not Be Named

If you're anything like me, you're sick to death of people bitching about the snow and the blizzard so that is all the mention It will get here.

Well, I should update on that pesky writer's block. I've actually been a pretty busy girl lately and started a creepy little tale about sixth grade love. If I can make it 3,000 words long I know just the place to submit it to...

Valentine's Day is drawing near and I decided to create my own Valentines to give out to a few loved ones. I hope they turn out half as nice as I imagine them. (more often than not, they look like a five year old hacked at a sheet of paper and squirted glue all over it) Wish me luck!

Yesterday I sent off my final revisions for my story "Space Freaks" which will appear in Tales From the Void. Looks like 2011 is starting off in a good way.

A Drive-by Update of Sorts

I've received my copy of The Scroll of Anubis and it is lovely!! I have yet to read it because I'm reading The Zombist and don't read as quickly as I used to. A shame, really. I could knock out a book a day. Now I'm lucky if I read a couple books a month.

The slimming program has been going rather well and I've been walking quite a lot and doing a ridiculous amount of squats. Financially, I've been lean as well and have already been reaping the benefits. I'm going to challenge myself to make no online purchases (except for the hubby's b-day present) for the next three months. I think I can do it rather easily.

Still no writing, and I think that while I have been trying to not let a certain stressful incident a few months ago get to me, it has. I gotta shake this. Must get back to what makes me happy.

They Tempted Me With Chocolates Fair

I knew it. As soon as I returned to work I was gifted a bag of Dove Dark Chocolates. I was gracious and said thank you and while I have put them in the candy dish at home, I have not eaten any of them. That was yesterday. Today, I was gifted a lovely box of assorted Russell Stover Chocolates. Again, I graciously said thank you and shared them with several of the ladies I work with. I did snarf the Roman Nougat because those are my absolute favorite RS flavor...but then I signed up for the gym afterwards. (that counts, right?)

I've kinda hit a writing slump. It is weird because I like to play out my stories in my head in their entirety as I write and once I envision it all, I tend to lose interest. This has plagued me for years and has gotten worse lately but I'll battle through it. Just like all those other times.

Half-hearted congratulations to Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer for their recent nuptuals. I'm forever heartbroken that he is off the market, but think i…