Art Contest Update

Just to keep you in the loop, I have not forgotten about the Great Annual Fan Art Contest…or whatever I called it. I have been sorting through entries, narrowed it down to a handful of finalists, and hope to have a judgement soon.

Here, however, are some entries that in no way in hell are going to win:

Drawer Clearing Entry for My Art Contest

Remember that scene where Gene Autry had his face duct-taped? Me Either.

Drawer Clearing Entry for My Art Contest

I know this trick, people. I’ve cleaned out my Unpublished Drawer by mailing stuff off to any possible place that is accepting work, too.

Not sure why they both have cowboys, though…

This one’s the best, though. This is actually titled, “An iPad Appears.”

Non-Winner from my Art Contest

I guess he gets some points for not even pretending to be about anything but the prize.

New Short Story: Your Princess is in Another Castle

Castle GatesAnother new short story is up. And, again, it’s based on a short-fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig. This one was nuts. Just plain nuts. The goal was to mash two genres together, which maybe doesn’t sound that bad, as far as these challenges go that’s kind of standard. However the genres were hyper specific sub-genres. Not just “Gothic” but “Southern Gothic,” for example.

Here was the list to choose from: Southern Gothic, Cyberpunk, Sword & Sorcery, Femslash, Black Comedy, Picaresque.

I didn’t even know what half of these were, quite frankly.

I chose Cyberpunk and Femslash.

If you don’t know what those are, READ THE LINKS. I assure you, one of them is not at all what it sounds like.

The story is on my site here.

And, while I’m at it, I should mention that all of my short stories are now in different places on the site in what, I hope, is a better organized arrangement. If you check the list here you might find some new ones that weren’t up before.

Again, here is the new story, “Your Princess is in Another Castle.”



Places I Want to Live

My sister and her family are currently on a road trip, which means that she’s constantly texting me for entertainment, which means I wind up on crazy-ass trips through the internet looking for fun links.

The best so far has been this list of Unusual City Names.

Some of my favorites:

I giggled the first time I read it. I giggled when I pasted the code in. I’m still giggling now.

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,+WA&hl=en&sll=34.56083,-88.46611&sspn=0.028203,0.036736&vpsrc=0&z=12 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

Yes. I’m a third grade boy who can’t stop laughing at dick jokes. Somehow I also write works of serious literary intent…that sometimes have dick jokes in them.

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,+Harrisonburg,+Virginia&hl=en&sll=47.232865,-123.959341&sspn=0.186032,0.293884&vpsrc=0&z=15 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

I can’t tell if this would be the most awesome place in the world to live or the worst. Depends, I guess, on what hobo type we’re talking about. Are these romanticized type hobos: living life on the rails, cutting a cord of wood to earn a piece of delicious freshly baked blackberry pie, following the sacred code of the hobos? Or do we have a hobo steeped in a more realistic tradition: reeking of feces, fighting over garbage, syphilis?

Only one way to find out…

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,+Marietta,+Mississippi&hl=en&sll=35.36139,-80.54306&sspn=0.027929,0.036736&vpsrc=0&z=15 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

Yeah, here’s another dick joke.

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,+idaho&hl=en&sll=38.47361,-78.92778&sspn=0.026811,0.036736&vpsrc=0&z=10 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

This one’s just stupid. I’m sure they were aiming for “Cute” or “Catchy” or something, but they wound up with “Idiot Tourist Trying to Get Directions to Nearest Restaurant.”

[cetsEmbedGmap src=,+tn&hl=en&sll=35.601567,-87.278444&sspn=6.78682,10.316162&vpsrc=0&hnear=Yum+Yum,+Fayette,+Tennessee&t=m&z=15&iwloc=A width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]

We’ll end here because I actually just mailed off some copies of Probability Angels and Persistent Illusions to this very town. So apparently I have a reader here.


[cetsEmbedGmap src=,+oregon&hl=en&sll=35.34655,-89.363548&sspn=0.027934,0.036736&vpsrc=0&z=13 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]


Writing Someone Else’s Story

Breach Loaded Shotgun with ShellsI am once again attempting to put a short story together for one of Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash fiction contests. This week’s contest is about guns and crime. Which is a nice fit for me. I can certainly get up to some fun with guns, murder, crime and a nice macguffin. And the 1,000 word limit adds a nice spin on things. It’s like creating an amuse-bouche with words (props to me for fitting the words “macguffin” and “amuse-bouche” into one paragraph).

There’s also a certain thrill that comes with writing someone else’s story. It’s strange, coming up with my own fiction is such a difficult process to track that it’s hard for me to say where most of my ideas come from. And at times is seems like what I really do is come up with one or two strong ideas, scenes, lines, characters, just whiffs of them mind you, and then flesh out everything else that’s attached in order to find the story surrounding them.

In these flash fiction challenges, though, one or two of the ideas are already there. They don’t arrive in my brain spontaneously like normal, they are sitting right there on Chuck Wendig’s page for me to approach from afar and study. It’s like playing with someone else’s set of LEGO’s. I mean, I know I have tons of those blue blocks and rubber wheels and jungle material, but I poke around in someone else’s collection and there’s all these new pieces to try and figure out. Where does that airplane wing fit? What are these tiny white one’s for?

Not that guns and crime don’t exist in my personal LEGO set of fiction, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I should probably get back to my shotgun and bank robbery.

It needs to be done by Friday after all.



I Spent a Weekend at a Haunted Sleep Away Camp for Ballerinas

My cousin is getting married next week and his bachelor party was last weekend. Due to planning difficulties and time constraints, his brother had very little choice in where this party would be hosted. The bachelor wanted a rural setting, just him and twenty friends in the woods with a grill, meat and beer.

We ended up renting this place:

Looks nice, doesn’t it? Picturesque?


Well the fucking place is haunted. And possessed. And possibly built on top of the ancient burial grounds of an Indian tribe that used to kill things and then fuck them for the express purpose of pissing off their sacred spirits or something.

You can read the history of the place here.

But I’ll give you the recap. It used to be a sleep away camp for young girls studying ballet. That was in the early sixties. Then someone took it over. I don’t know when, it doesn’t matter when, because this someone opted to not touch a thing. The place is run down, dark, and dusty. Which, whatever, it’s a cabin.

BUT, the hallways and rooms are also stocked with yellowed photographs of girls doing ballet that stare at you with dead eyes, or are decorated with tutu’s for six-year olds that have decayed for decades in the very spots in which they were hung forty years ago.

There was a mad collage in a frame of dancers dressed like demons cavorting in their black and white world like some Poe story about the end of the world.

There was a lamp shaped like a sheep that I think followed me home and wants to harvest my soul.

They also had wall to wall carpeting in the bathroom which is just…I mean Jesus Christ that’s a stupid idea. Trust me, there’s a reason you wash your bathmat every now and then.

We had a group of thirty year old men, many who had served in the armed forces, changing rooms because nobody wanted to be the only person sleeping in the eastern wing.

I regret that I do not have photos. It didn’t bring my camera.It was a bachelor party, after all, not really a camera sort of event.

Then again, if I had tried to take photos I no doubt would have awoken some sort of ghost who would have then trapped me in a frame and hung me on the wall and left me to yellow with age alongside of the other victims of this mad house.

Other than that, though, it was an awesome weekend.

Good times.