The End*

*of 2017

You probably couldn't tell from this blog, since this is one area I've definitely slacked on, but 2017 was one HELL of a year for me. In 2017 I:

1. Published stories in Deciduous Tales, California Screamin', and Zathom.com;

2. Sold stories to Behind the Mask: Tales from the Id (out now!), and a couple other places that I can't talk about yet but am super excited about;

3. Was elected San Diego Chapter President of the Horror Writer's Association;

4. Attended Stoker Con, Wonder Con, Comic Con, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, and a bunch of smaller readings/signings;

5. Wrote a TON.  How much, you ask? This much:

Total Short Stories: 52
Shortest Story: 54 words
Longest Story: 31,869 words
Novel Progress: 255,299 words
Total Words Written 2017: 559,615 words

In the first couple weeks of the year, I've finished the novel and am mostly complete with another short story. Of my 2017 output, I'm hopeful most will see the light of day at some point. I just need to find the time to go back and actually do some editing--not that I don't have time I could repurpose, but my attention span means I want to focus on writing the shiny new idea instead of polishing up the old one I already explored. Not the worst impulse in the world, but not the best way to enable a career as a working writer either. The good news is I have some killer stuff planned for the year, and I can't wait to share it.

News and Press, California Screamin' Release

We've been doing a bunch of signings and events to promote the new anthology California Screamin', a collection of horrific tales set in the Golden State. Yours truly made the paper a couple times in the past week in relation:

A quick recap of the Bay Books reading/signing:


And a review/feature of my story "Bumming Smokes" (calling me "a skilled artist who delights in gore" is one of the nicest things anyone's ever said about me:


California Screamin' is available in fine local bookstores, on Amazon, and directly from me, feel free to contact me if you'd like to buy a signed copy. 



By the Numbers, March 2017

I like words, obviously (or maybe, depending upon your opinion of the quality of my writing, I don't since I do such awful things to them). But I also like numbers. Which is kind of funny, since mathematics was always my weakest subject in school and I spent most of geometry class making fun of this one kid who thought he was a wizard. In my day job though, numbers are my bread and butter, and I've grown to depend upon them, love them, even. And I often find myself asking, whether at work or in my personal life, "how can we quantify that?"

I'm one of those nerds who quantifies his writing.

Some people tell you not to worry about word count, just to write. But I like it. It gives me a concrete goal to reach for every day. And it's nice to look back on what I've done every few months. 

I've been doing a short story a week challenge through This is Horror this year. There are no guidelines for the challenge, other than to write one story every week. The stories can be as long or short as they need to be. It's been an interesting challenge. I've already written more short stories this year than I did all of last year (but then again, I also wrote one novel and one novella last year so there's that). Without further ado, here's my 2017 Q1 Status report:

Stories Written: 18

Words Written: 75,907

Average Word Count/Day: 843 (I try for 1,000 a day, obviously off the mark)

Longest Story: 10,300

Shortest Story: 192

If I can maintain this pace, by the end of the year I'll have written about 300,000 words (100K more than last year) and 72 short stories (exceeding the challenge by twenty). Of course I have a couple novels I really need to write, so maybe I'll get even more done.

The great thing is I don't think there are many, if any, wasted stories in here. Pretty much all of them I think could see the light of day.

Now I just need to find some time to edit. 

What I'm Working On

Story-wise, I'm a little over 4,000 words into a horror short inspired by Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers. I've always thought it would be kind of cool to open a SMB-themed gym. Put a bunch of turtle-shaped trampolines all over the room, get some papier mache bricks for people to punch (maybe fill them with single serving packets of protein? Or steroids. Yeah, steroids). What red-blooded Gen X or Yer wouldn't want to spend their afternoon bouncing around a room pretending to be Mario, Luigi, or Princess Toadstool? 

I also finished editing a story for the anthology "Zombie Punks Fuck Off." "Mall Punk Meltdown" clocks in around 2200 words. Brutal and to the point. We'll see what happens...

I'm still reading slush for the first issue of Deciduous Tales. We've gotten some great stuff so far that I'm really excited about. The main thing I've noticed so far after reading dozens of stories is the high level of competency in most submissions. The competition is stiff out there, people. Which means if your piece has a single sentence that lands awkwardly, that could be the difference between literary life and death. Polish. Then polish some more. 

Finally, I've been sketching out an actual logo for this site. Something along these lines I think...except, y'know, professionally done.