Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Girl With Brains

This weekend I'm celebrating my first ever premiere and book signing event. Yay! I have a story appearing in a local anthology "Zombie Nation: St. Pete." You can read more about it here, and also about a contest I'm thinking of having to give away any extra copies of the book that I pick up. Also appearing in this book is Jeff Strand, who is sort of the Stephen King of Tampa Bay. He's that good. So, please visit this blog post titled: Creepy Things, Zombie Nation and a contest..., and leave a comment on how you would best enjoy participating in this contest. In honor of the release of "Zombie Nation: St. Pete," this weeks #fridayflash is a "resurrected" zombie drabble. Deanna Schrayer inspired me to use it with our "mushy love" tweets this week. I'm still going to write another "mushy love" story for you, Deanna. ;)

"Men!" Barbara shouted indignantly, to no one in particular. "They're so thickheaded. They only love my body and not my brains." Barbara's latest failed relationship had left her feeling somewhat jaded.

She pondered the absolute pointlessness of her love life. She'd had many lovers recently and none of them had understood or really satisfied her. But they were smart, and she’d learned something new from each one of them.

"After all," she sighed, "I loved them for their brains."

She lifted the oozing skull of her latest lover to her lips and, making loud slurping noises, sucked the brainpan clean.

Creepy Things, Zombie Nation and a contest...

Well, lets get to the good stuff first.

I'm considering having a contest on my "Risky Fiction" blog for writers, in particular my #fridayflash friends. You will have a chance to win copies of the anthology "Zombie Nation: St. Pete." This is an anthology of local zombie fiction that will be released at a premiere party at the St. Petersburg Pier this Saturday. I get to go sign books and hobnob with great writers such as Jeff Strand and pretend I'm an author, too. My story "The Lust, the Flesh" is among the other great stories that local writers have put together for this really big event in my hometown. I'd like you, my friends, to help me celebrate...bust out the virtual champagne, all that.

Here is the book you'd receive if you are one of the winners:

There may be another prize in the offing as well for the very best (grand prize) of whatever contest I decide to do.

I need your help with this. Please leave a comment on this post about what you'd like to see happen with a contest. The idea I have so far from Jim Bronyaur involves me posting an excerpt of my story and then giving you all a story starter for another zombie story and having you write the story. People could then go to the Risky Fiction site and vote on their favorite stories. The top vote getters win. How does this sound? If you have other suggestions, please include them in your comments.

Those of you living in New York, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles have further reason to want to check this book out. Future "Zombie Nation" projects are scheduled for these areas. In fact, the submission deadline for "Zombie Nation: New York" is December 31st, 2010. Go here to learn more.

Now for other news:

I've received my copies of "Creepy Things," the anthology by "Static Movement" that published my former #fridayflash story "World Wide Web." This anthology is now available to purchase on Amazon.

Below is a picture of me holding the book at the mini-cafe on campus at St. Petersburg College, where I'm currently a full-time student.

I thank my friend in my Algebra class for taking this photo.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Concerning Prehistory Beasts: Arctodus

Arctodus simus. The Giant Short-Faced Bear. Prehistoric predator...seriously bad news to whatever crosses its path. This is the reason we have primal fear...our cave-dwelling ancestors faced this beast. And look below how it compared in size. Now, imagine if one could speak. What do you think it would say? In Burr, they speak. They are not very intelligent but they are just as deadly as they seem here. Stupid, but deadly.

Arctodus, like most of the prehistory beasts of Burr, were created by the Mages. Why? Guardians, Gate-keepers, and sometimes hired thugs. Could you imagine anyone trying to get past one of these creatures guarding the home of a Mage? Really only a dragon, or a T-Rex could do it. But the Mages have other protections against these...

My first literary encounter with Arctodus was in "Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dragon," a short story that takes place in Burr, but in a different time period as my novel "The Mages of Morrow." This particular Arctodus was typical of the species...big, dumb and dangerous. He'd been sent on a mission of thuggery by his master, the Mage Y'ansick. 

I enjoyed writing the character of the Arctodus in "Tiny Dragon," so it's for sure that I'll feature at least one Arctodus in book 1 of the Mages series: "The Mages of Morrow."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In print...finally...

Yesterday I went to the mailbox and was delighted to find that my copy of "Oh, the Horror!" by Static Movement had arrived.

This anthology of short horror tales is the first printed book where my work appears that is sold by distributors (Pill Hill Press for now, eventually Amazon).

I can't begin to express in words how giddy I was when I opened the book and saw my two flash stories, "Out of the Box," and "Telescope Moment" listed on the Table of Contents page as being on pages 78 and 82 respectively.

Then I went to those pages in the book and stared at them for a good, long while, trying to fathom my feelings about seeing my work in a book.

Don't anybody pinch me.

I might wake up.

Concerning Prehistory Beasts: Pteradons

In the alternate realm of Burr, Pterandons (also called Pteri) were biologically created both to harass the dragons of enemy Mages in battle (since they are quicker on the wing) and as messengers (because they can endure flying long journeys). They are highly intelligent, but shrewd and they are incredibly loyal to their Mages. They are fond of ribald jokes.
They are deadly, especially to dragons. Their sharp beaks aren't hindered by tough dragon scales. They keep pecking until they find a weak spot in the dragon's armor. They fight in flocks. A dragon who has to deal with three or four Pteri is in grave danger, but they can usually hold their own against just one. Dragons will outright murder any lone Pteri they happen to encounter. 
Pteri maintain an uneasy truce with dragons and the other prehistoric beasts created by the same Mage that created them. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Suicide Slush

It was the middle of summer: sticky-humid, with no hint of a breeze to cool us. I was visiting my cousins, who lived outside Xenia, Ohio. 

We were outside doing what children do best—getting into things we shouldn’t. Aunt Leona called us inside and gave us money to go to the ice cream stand. Jubilation! 

My cousin decided we’d take the short-cut, through a field of summer-ripe corn. The smell of it tickled my nose. We wove our way through tall cornstalks, trying to avoid bothersome patches of nettles and stinkweed. 

Finally, we exited the field, the ice cream stand just across the street. I asked my cousin what he’s getting. 

‘What’s a suicide slush?’ I asked. I wrinkled my nose in horror at his reply. Then, the ultimate childhood call-out. He dared me to get one, too. Of course I had to, although my heart was set on a vanilla cone. 

With growing trepidation I watched as the vendor concocted our slushes, sliding the cups under each flavor and pumping a precisely timed icy squirt from each. The resulting mixture was disgusting greenish-brown. My cousin lowered his lips to the straw and slurped a third of it down at once, proclaiming it ‘The best Suicide ever!” There was nothing for it. I sipped. 

My mouth sang in tones of orange/cherry/lemon-lime/blueberry/cola. We raced home, heads tingling with brain-freeze, hearts pounding with sugar rush, and finished our Suicides on the back porch.