Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Yes, let us recall PLANET SCUMM and its Christmastide presentation of “Holly Jolly” (see March 17 2019; December 27, 14 2018, et al.), the tale of a pointy-eared alien conqueror, or at least he hoped to be.  For after all, disguised as a department store Santa’s assistant elf, what could possibly go wrong?  Well, you can find out by buying the Winter 2018 issue of PLANET SCUMM, if you haven’t already, and now you can hear it for yourself too in a just-released audio edition.

Or, to quote from the reindeer’s mouth as it were:  Planet Scumm is a quarterly science-fiction magazine, published by Spark & Fizz Books.  It is produced by Tyler Burdwood, Sean Clancy, Eric Loucks, Samuel Rheaume and Alyssa Alarcón Santo.  [It] was born out of reverence for the bizarre science fiction magazines of the 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s.  We cherish the genre as an open forum for philosophy, anxieties, thought experiments and thoughtless experiments.

Also, according to the announcement, the issue is out as well in a new paperback book edition.  For either form, pb or audio, find more out by pressing here.

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Can’t live with it, can’t live without it, once in a universe long ago, far, far away, PayPal used to tell one when one had received money.  Or maybe it is that they now considered themselves so important that, why just naturally, people would visit them every day — maybe even each hour! — to see what they’d spent and/or what they’d got.  So, silly me, having blogged about Tell-Tale Press’s publication of my novelette “The Bala Worm” (for which, see just below for yesterday’s post), I started to wonder if, having earlier posted on May 14 that payment was due within a week, I had in fact been paid.  So, what to do?  Check PayPal.

So the good news is this:  I have not only been paid, but the cash came just a day after the 14th, on May 15, semi-pro to be sure but nevertheless a nice little sum and worth several dinners.  Even with cocktails, should I wish to have them.  And one more surprise, one more little secret the folk at PayPal were concealing from me — or, rather, were daring me to seek myself — payment had also been received from CURIOUS GALLERY (cf. May 1) for “Appointment in Time” apparently just after I’d sent back the contract, on May first as well!

“Appointment in Time” is a clockpunky New Year’s Eve story originally published in Untreed Reads Publishing’s YEARS END:  FOURTEEN TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, about how the New Year actually comes forth (not exactly the same as they show on TV), while for “The Bala Worm,” well, you can read it yourself right now for free by just pressing its link in the post just below.

It’s seventeen movies in all, or at least the characters of the mothers who star as “The Baddest, Raddest Moms of Horror” by Jacob Trussell, et al., on FILMSCHOOLREJECTS.COM, as brought to us courtesy of this week’s THISISHORROR.CO.UK.  The films range from THE OTHERS to HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, from CUJO to CHILD’S PLAY, THE BROOD to BRAINDEAD (a.k.a. DEAD ALIVE), and that last one alone gives this new list some heft.  From Mama to mother! to the oft-forgotten Mom, no two horror movie matriarchs are born alike.  Some may be cannibalistic like in Bob Balaban’s cult masterpiece PARENTS or classically psycho like Kathleen Turner in John Waters’ SERIAL MOM, but we love them all the same.  For this list curated by your very own Boo Crew, Rob Hunter, Meg Shields, Kieran Fisher, Anna Swanson, Chris Coffel, Valerie Ettenhofer, Brad Gullickson and myself are bringing you a selection of not just the baddest but the raddest movie moms that genre cinema has blessed us with.  And if we can take this opportunity to remind you: did you remember to call your mother?  So we’re a week late for Mothers Day, perhaps, but there’s still time to make it up with a mini film festival of female parents by, yes, pressing here.

Another quickie!  Today brought an edited copy of “Appointment in Time” from CURIOSITIES Editor Kevin Frost (cf. May 1):  Got a couple of minor edits, then I can move thecuriosities-issue-5-cover-shot manuscript to the narration queue.  The edits, two, were minor indeed, an added comma and one word misspelled, so this afternoon my “okay” went back, with my 2012 New Year’s Eve tale of steam and clocks and year-end horror one step closer to its new appearance in CURIOSITIES, as well as possible future podcast in THE GALLERY OF CURIOSITIES.  And with this an “extra,” courtesy of fellow blogger Brian James Lewis who directed me to a review he wrote on DAMAGED SKULL WRITER of the previous, Winter 2019 issue of CURIOSITIES, emphasizing its general high quality — one I can hardly wait now to see my own story appear in!  To read for oneself, one need but press here.

This was a quickie, sent just eight days before submissions closed — and accepted one day after!  The call was intriguing, under the rubric “Curious Gallery”:  Hello!  This project is a comfortable two-headed beast at play in the curious and often dark corners of retropunk fiction.  That means steampunk, dieselpunk, dreadpunk, bronzepunk, others too numerous to name punk  . . .  but not atompunk.  Sorry, space fans, we draw our line at Sputnik.  About 2/3 of rejections are for “bad fit.”  We buy nonexclusive rights for fiction, cover & interior art, music & sound effects usage, and narration services. The story, a sort of clockpunky reprint, “Appointment in Time,” originally published in YEARS END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (Untreed Reads, 2012).  And so this afternoon Editor Kevin Frost replied:  Thanks again for your time and submission. We wish we’d get more like this so yes, we’d like to obtain it.

And there we have it, contract sent and signed this p.m., for short story magazine CURIOSITIES plus its podcast partner, THE GALLERY OF CURIOSITIES, a twice monthly podcast which features stories from the publication.  Not every story we buy will make it to an audio podcast release, but we do make good effort to get it there before our rights expire.  So maybe a “maybe” on that podcast publication, but time will tell, with more to come here as it becomes known.

“All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures” (St. Francis of Assisi)

One of many exciting developments in the horror genre during the 2000s has been the emergence of so many films coming out of Ireland.  Rather than yet another ranking of the Leprechaun franchise (I’ll save you the trouble – ORIGINS is still the worst), this St. Patrick’s Day holiday seems like a good time to celebrate some of the really cool Irish horror films of the last 15 years.  So the feature began, “10 of the Best Irish Horror Films to Watch on St. Patrick’s Day (Or Any Other Day!)” by Patrick Bromley, on BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM with a note that it had been originally published “one week ago” on hallow-2March 14.  So two days after that it has come to my attention and, as an antidote maybe to the aforementioned “Leprechaun” films (which the SYFY channel actually had on TV on Saint Patrick’s Day itself, but then no-one’s accused them of having taste), here are some Irish films that are good, listed chronologically from 2005 and BOY EATS GIRL to 2019’s THE HOLE IN THE GROUND.

I have to admit I haven’t seen most of these myself (the one pictured is somewhat in the middle, from 2015’s THE HALLOW, picked I confess in part because it’s green) but from the descriptions Bromley offers all of them seem at least worth a look.  For more (better late than never) press here.

Join us for this generative writing workshop.  You will be provided with prompts and have the opportunity to share your work.  This was the way it has been advertised (see, e.g., July 17 2016); the thing itself is the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Third Sunday Write,” more recently touted:  Stretch your writing muscles with prompts, exercises, and activities.  Open to all Writers Guild members, this drop-in, generative workshop is led by local writers on the third Sunday of every month. So it’s been a while, but this afternoon, on St. Patrick’s Day, feeling an urge to kickstart my imagination a trifle, I packed a small notebook and gave it a shot.  The result, three mini pieces, the challenge being to write about (1) Solids, then (2) Liquids, and (3) Gases, all in my case being thoughts of a person buried before his time.  Ick!  Except, with some editing, I think I may have the makings of a flash story, or at least mood piece, that I might try sending out to a few places.

Next month, we are told, because of Easter (and hence the Monroe County Public Library with its meeting room being closed) “Third Sunday” for April will be on the second Sunday — not that stranger things haven’t happened!  I think, perhaps, I may plan to be there.

Then in other news, Barnes and Noble is having a new sale (cf. March 16, below) with discounts of up to seventeen percent, but like yesterday’s it’s for one day only.  Like yesterday also for info press here, then scroll in this case to the second row down for details.  But again one must hurry — the discount will be in effect for only a few hours more.

Hark we back from Saint Patrick’s Day to Christmas last year and the publication of “Holly Jolly” in PLANET SCUMM (see December 27, 14, et al.), the saga of an elf invasion of Earth gone bad.  This was in issue 6, the “O Scumm All Ye Faithful” edition dated for December 2018.  But all is not over, it seems, for issue 6.  Word has come from editor Tyler Berd that an audio version has just been edited and, moreover, a new print edition in perfect-bound paperback form with “a less Christmasy cover” is in the worls, both planned to be released this summer.  More to be announced here as it becomes known.

This is one I just now ran across, for Saint Patrick’s Day Eve. Barnes and Noble is running a ten percent off sale, with books by me such as THE TEARS OF ISIS, TOMBS, VANITAS, PEDS, STRANGE MISTRESSES, others, including some anthologies with work by me in them.  It isn’t a huge list, but it can be found by pressing here, then scroll down to about the third row for the 10% OFF YOUR ORDER coupon.  For individual books listed, click on their pictures, some of which will be listed as new and some as used, so other bargains may lurk there even without the discount.  But still one must hurry — it all ends tonight!




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