About Me

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I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"The Reservoir" will see print!

My horror story, "The Reservoir" will soon see print in the Isolation Anthology by Post Mortem Press. I am very excited, as this is my personal favorite of the stories I wrote this summer. This story tells the story of a twelve year old boy who is dragged to a haunted reservoir for a church picnic by his mother and her boyfriend. I have written plenty of little yarns that are covered in pulp and schlock, but this one goes deeper, my friends. Check it out for yourself early next year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review of Mystic Signals Issue 7

I am always hesitant to write a review about a book that I have a story in, but I also have wanted to concentrate on getting through some of these anthologies and magazines. I also know how much I love it when people tell me they've enjoyed the stories that I have written. With that in mind, here is what I thought of Mystic Signals, Issue #7 Aug. 2010:

Carol Hightshoe edits this fantasy anthology magazine which features stories from two websites and a few exclusive stories as well (The Lorelei Signal, and Sorcerous Signals). I have to say, when I received the hard copy of Mystic Signals in the mail, I was so excited by the style, formatting and presentation. The art really is exceptional (although I'm more of a traditionalist and enjoy the 2d art usually more, I enjoyed all of these pictures). The formatting is clean, professional and easy to read as it is broken into accessible columns.

As for the stories themselves, holy cow! I can't believe what fun it was to be transported to a new and exciting world with each story. I also have to say that on the whole I enjoyed these more than most best of and "professional" anthologies you might pick up from a big publisher. Some of the stories had a real flare for description and mood, while others were heavier with character, action and humor. There's a real good blend for people of all tastes.

I did have some stories that I really enjoyed reading, and with fantasy this usually mean that I really "escape" into the action and story. I have a theory why, which I will get into in just a minute. Here are the few stories that really stood out for me personally:

1. "Split Second" by Abbi Carter. In this story, Ryal, a sorcerer, is sent with some mercenaries/soldiers to hunt down some Innates (folks born with mystical powers). This story has some real drama, conflict, and a great concept. I left the story wishing I could read a whole novel about this fascinating world.

2. "Irascible" by Barbara Davies. This dragon race tale features a plucky heroin, exciting contest and real cinematic action. I fell in love with the whole concept and wished to read more from Ms. Davies.

3. "The Forest Paradox" by Verna McKinnon. This story has humor and a magical mystery to be solved when a young witch, her brother and ex-lover investigate a magically-killed forest.

I really feel like with fantasy in particular, which traditionally arrived from long epics, the short story form works the best if it devotes its time to a central chracter and acts as one episode in a longer story arc about the character. This way there is a sense of history and a sense of some future to come. The character can play out the challenge in the narrative without having to rush to some conclusion that would only have real impact for the reader if we had journeyed with him or her. Hence, a great short story should act as any single episode in a fantasy television series and give the sense of being involved in a longer arc and a bigger world.

Well, I really enjoyed all of these stories. There wasn't one I skimmed through or didn't finish. I hope all of these writers continue to write and produce lots of good fantasy for the rest of us to enjoy.

Also, check out my story, "Mother Cassie Goes on Account" it is featured in this volume and can also be found on the link to the right.

Well, I'm off to pick something else to read. Take care,


Monday, November 22, 2010

Ninja Blades will see print!

My short and rather disturbed and disturbing tale, "Ninja Blade", will see print in Static Movement's Hit Men Anthology. This was one of those stories that I started to write on one level and realized as I finished that it had been about at least three levels of meaning (and those are the only ones I can find). I think people will like it, I only hope that my nine-year-old protagonist will be acceptable to people who would buy or read a book called "Hit Men". Well, I had fun sending out the contract for Hit Men! Take care, I'll write more when I know more.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review of Lazarus by Lori Titus

Lazarus is a western undead treat! Short, but with plenty of story for your dollar, this tale features zombies, psychics, romance, thrills and more. Luella Pembry, a woman with a haunted past, enters Lazarus a town with a past of its own and a present filled with the hoardes of the flesh-hungry undead. There are some great characters and some very thrilling moments. The plot moves right along and my only desire was that we could know some of the side characters in this strange town a little better, and perhaps the author could have inserted a few more atmospheric descriptions of the town and its enviorns. Overall I really enjoyed reading this story. You don't have to love westerns or zombies to enjoy this quick penny dreadful. I am anxiously looking forward to reading more from the promising talent of Ms. Titus! And a final note, this zombie tale has plenty of gore, but it relies most effectively on terrifying moments to carry the impact of the horror. I applaud this. I also love the idea of psychic bloodlines carried out so cleverly by the author.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting hairier all the time...

Well, I'm 23,000 words into The Hairy Monster Book. I am also having a great time with my pals Glen and Barry. Can't wait for everybody to read about their misadventures. I also wrote a rather sweet (I think) Halloween story the other day. It is about a WWII veteran widower and I guess it was fitting that I wrote it on Veterans day.

I just finished Blockade Billy by Stephen King. I just hope old Uncle Stevie has a whole lot more yarns in him to keep the rest of us sated for quite a while. The story is told with such a love of baseball, but with Mr. King's appropriately gothic brush strokes. I have to say his honest portrayal of a madman as a mirror for our own extremes in behavior is true literature, and I just want to go to the future when American Literature classes of the 22nd century will be largely Stephen King studies and go back to my tenth grade class and tell my teacher that Stephen King is so much more than bubble gum for the mind.

I guess my teacher didn't get the memo that some gum helps keep your teeth clean and improves your breath at the same time.

Well, I hope all is well with you and yours. I'll write more when I know more...
I've been also reading Lazarus by Lori Titus, and I'm really enjoying it. I'll write a full review when I finish.

I've been sporadically reading Mystic Signals 7, which has my story: "Mother Cassie Goes on Account", you can read many of these stories at the link to the right. I'll write about my favorites as soon as I'm done the entire book/magazine.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Something from the Attic is on sale!

Hop on over to Pill Hill Press book store to pick up your copy of Something from the Attic by Static Movement. It has not only one, but two stories of mine in it.

"To Serve the Weird"


"The Back Seat was Empty"

With titles like that, how could you resist!


That's the sound of one happy werewolf! I just made my second sale in one day! "Fair Time" will be published in Pill Hill Press's Daily Bite Anthology. I am ecstatic! Not only does that make a lot of stories published in a little over a year, but I've got an awesome excuse to buy a book that will have one horror story for every day of the year!

Ahhhh. Life is good.


The Secret to Survival

No, I'm not going to tell it to you. You will have to read it in Unquiet Earth, an anthology of Zombie Fiction from Static Movement. It is the second story I've got in there. I can't wait to read all of them.

I find that most of my zombie writing has more to do with the people than the zombies. I guess that's why I loved 28 Days Later.

Hope you had a happy Halloween. I know I did with my little monsters (a minotaur and a gargoyle). Now I sit back and wait for my witch to fly back to me. (Do so safely, my love).