Archive for May, 2006

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Now that I’ve made the decision that I need to have something to pitch by WHC 2007, I need to figure out what I need to do next. I am going to test out some of the ideas presented at the WHC 2006 writer’s workshop.

I have had problems in the past with figuring out how the story should end. So I am going to work the ending out first so I’ll know where I’m going.

Mort Castle suggested writing the dust jacket copy for the story first. This forces you to highlight all of the important points that need to be covered along the way. Next is the outline which Mort suggested should be written in the present tense to force you to feel that you are “living” the events along with the characters as the story progresses.

I’ll take a stab at approaching the story from this angle and see how it goes. More to come as things unfold.

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

After the Flash Fiction contest, I stopped off at the Borderlands Books party. I met a lot of great people, including an interesting character named Rabbit and another con attendee who I will call the “Beatallica Dude,” since I never actually got his name. The Beaticalla Dude and I had a long, enjoyable conversation about music and one of my favorite cities, Milwaukee, WI. Alan and Jude from Borderlands are gracious hosts and a good time was had by all who attended.

A few short hours of sleep later and I was off to work at the Twilight Tales table in the dealers room. I successfully convinced several people not to leave without a copy of Martin Mundt’s “The Crawling Abbatoir” and the debut offering “Candy in the Dumpster” from Dark Arts Books (the latest creative effort of last year’s Stoker winner author, John Everson) which features stories from John, Martin Mundt, Jay Bonansinga and Bill Breedlove.

The afternoon was filled with second session of both Mort Castle’s writing workshop and Nancy Kilpatrick’s editing workshop.

I enjoyed dinner at The Grubstake in the company of fellow TT’ers, Eric Cherry, Ed DeGeorge and Larry Santoro.

Saturday evening, I attended the Art Show, the Gross-Out Contest and the WHC 2007 preview party. I heard many fellow writers express their happiness with how their pitch sessions went. While I am happy for them, it also reminds me that I came to the con with nothing to pitch. I am pledging to myself now that I will not go to WHC 2007 empty-handed. It’s time to either finish the revision of the novel I started last year or get off my butt and start something new.

The con ended for me with shared shuttle ride to the airport with F. Paul Wilson at 6am Sunday. Overall, it was good experience and I am looking forward to Toronto in 2007.

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

I arrived at WHC 2006 with an hour to spare before Mort Castle’s writing workshop. I decided to wander the streets of San Francisco and grab some lunch before heading to the workshop.

I remember visiting San Francisco when I was about ten years old. The trip lasted less than a day and consisted of seeing the Golden Gate bridge, looking at Alcatraz through a pay-per-view binocular device and walking around a seafood market. This trip was three days longer and I saw even less of the city than I did on my previous visit. I really need to force myself to either allow an extra day for sight-seeing since I can’t seem to justify ditching part of the con to go out and take in the town.

That said, I enjoyed some of the best and worst food San Francisco has to offer. I highly recommend Darbar Restaurant (Indian) and the Polk Street Station Diner (good chocolate milkshakes.) However, stay away from the Italian restaurant on Polk Street. I don’t know how anyone can screw up a pannini…very disappointing.

I’d heard many positive comments about Mort Castle’s workshop and decided that I would give it a try this year. The main concept I took away from it was to “write the experience, not write about the experience.” This is a variation on “show, don’t tell” which I’ve heard many times in the past. I guess it boils down to describing the characters and events on the page as if you were living it with them. Paying attention to details, like what things smelled like or how something felt by touch. I am having a hard time putting my thoughts on that idea into words at the moment, but it seemed to make more sense to me this time around.

I also took Nancy Kilpatrick’s editing workshop and got good feedback on the story I brought for the group to critique. It’s amazing to me that I could not figure out what was wrong with this particular story on my own, yet someone who heard me read it identified a major problem with the plot that I had overlooked.

Friday night, I read a story in the Flash Fiction contest. I was once again awe struck by the performance of Martin Mundt with his piece, “So Long Uncle Joe,” which the judges declared the 1st prize winner. Not a shabby feat considering Peter Straub and F. Paul Wilson were part of this year’s panel of judges.

To be continued…

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

I’m getting ready to take off for World Horror and am looking forward to many of the scheduled events. I’m taking Mort Castle’s writing workshop and Nancy Kilpatrick’s editing workshop. I plan to participate in the Flash Fiction contest. I am looking forward to attending some readings (Maria Alexander, David Thomas Lord, Larry Santoro and John Everson – to name a few.) Plus, there is the debut of Dark Arts Books first release, “Candy in the Dumpster,” which features stories by Jay Bonansinga, Bill Breedlove, John Everson, and Martin Mundt.

I had a blast at WHC 2005 last year in New York and hope this year will be just as good.

Now, if I could only get that suitcase packed…

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

I am excited to announce that I will be co-editing “Hell in the Heartland” (a horror anthology) with writer/editor/publisher, Roger Dale Trexler. Tentative release date is December 2006. This anthology will feature works set in Illinois and written by Illinois writers. More details to follow.

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Many thanks to Deena Warner for bringing the concept that had been floating around my brain to life. (If I hadn’t found Deena, I’d still be sitting here with a domain name and an unread book on web design.)

Deena did a great job. She is easy to work with and kept after me to get this thing done. She is also a great artist as well. If you are looking for web design, cover art or just pretty pictures to hang up in your house, check her out at