Posts Tagged ‘Santa Claus’

Featuring over 100 Christmas microfiction horror stories from around the World.  Christmas is near/bring holiday fear/to young and old/snippets to be told/proudly they write/of people’s fright/snippets of fear/Christmas is here!/Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas/Scary, Scary, Scary, Scary Christmas (slightly re-punctuated)

So goes the blurb.  And as of Thursday, SCARY SNIPPETS:  CHRISTMAS EDITION has been up on Amazon in print and Kindle editions (see November 14).  This is the one for stories from 100 to 600 words long of sinister nature relating to Christmas, Hanukkah, or other Yuletide holidays, from Suicide House Publishing, my part of which at a tad under 500 words is “He Knows When You’re Awake,” on the making of Christmas presents and joy.  And now it’s available, possibly just in time itself for ordering for Christmas gifts; for more, press here.

Then Saturday brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s year-end election meeting and pot luck Christmas party, at the end of which was an around-the-table “open mike” session.  So what did I read?  In that it’s just been published, “He Knows When You’re Awake,” of course.

‘Twas the month of December and time for the Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic” (see November 3, et al.) at Bear’s Place.  The featured readers were Carolyn Geduld with two selections from her about to be published novel-in-stories TAKE ME OUT THE BACK, about a mass shooting and its effects on the surrounding community; followed by Abegunde (who we’ve met a number of times before) with readings from a draft work in progress “for Ruth George and all the women killed by angry men.”  This was followed by seven walk-ons with generally lighter fare of which I was fourth with a “rerun” of my seasonal horror/black comedy “The Worst Christmas Ever” (cf. December 4 2017). Then afterward a number of us reconvened at Writer’s Guild President Joan Hawkins’s house for a farewell gathering for member Shayne Laughter (also the afternoon’s second “Open Mic” reader) who will be leaving Bloomington later this month for an extended stay in India.

Talk about quick!  We may recall SCARY SNIPPETS:  HALLOWEEN EDITION, the flash fiction book of lots of stories — 100 or more — each of 500 words or fewer (see November 11, October 30, et al.).  Well, they’re at it again, this time for the Winter Holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year’s, say, and even a few up to 600 words, but we know we mean Christmas), with SCARY SNIPPETS:  CHRISTMAS EDITION.  And, one of my dirty little secrets, I often write Christmas stories myself though they’re hard to sell — strictly seasonal interest plus for some reason people expect them to be jolly.  I don’t do “jolly.”  But, well, anyway I went to the Trunk of Unused Christmas Fiction and extracted one titled “He Knows When You’re Awake” and whisked it right off only two days ago.

And the word just came back, along with a contract:  CONGRATULATIONS!  Your Story — He Knows When You’re Awake — Has been ACCEPTED into the Scary Snippets Winter Holiday (I freaking like that) edition!  Thank you also for thinking ahead and sending your bio; you’re on the ball this holiday season Mr. Dorr!  Thank you!  Here is your contract; sent in either docx or pdf for your convenience, you only need to return one.

So, just for the record, the contract does say “SCARY SNIPPETS:  CHRISTMAS EDITION,” but what’s in a name?  The contract is signed and went back today, with more to come as it becomes known.

MEET CUTE (cf. November 23), the flash fiction anthology of unexpected, eccentric, or just unusual meetings of couples, has had a few changes in scope, according to Editor Kara Landhuis.  An immediate one is a change in pre-publication funding from Kickstarter to Indiegogo, deemed a better fit for a smaller publication’s actual needs.  For other news, publication is tentatively planned for January for distribution in February; the funding project itself will close December 31.  meetcute

As Ms. Landhuis explains, MEET CUTE was born out of a love for several things, most notably:  Storytelling and connection.  I wanted to create a book that celebrates human connection, and I thought there was no better way than to invite writers and illustrators to collaborate.  MEET CUTE will include around 20 short stories (very short — fewer than 1000 words each) written by writers from around the world.  There will also be 10-15 black and white illustrations that enrich the stories.  My own entry in this is “Butterfly,” a saga of forests and fairytales — or was that insects and axes?  To find out more, one will just have to buy the book, or for an inside track, check out the Indygogo crowdfunder by clicking here.

In other action, The Bloomington Writers Guild’s December business meeting and end-of-year party was Saturday afternoon.  As in previous years, it ended with an open reading for about a dozen participants, my contribution (in lieu of a story which I suggested I’d save for February’s First Sunday Prose, as being perhaps a bit long for this session) was three Santa Claus poems, posing the question — especially in the case of the first two, which also appear in my collection VAMPS — do we really need Krampus?

Street mail this time, not email, two items found in the mailbox this evening from Mocha Memoirs Press and Upper Rubber Boot Books.  The first is a slim volume containing ten stories — and these flash fiction to boot — MOCHA’S DARK BREW (see July 2, et al.), the top ten finalists in a contest last February by Mocha Memoirs to honor Women in Horror Month.   Men could enter too (and several others also made the top ten, although the majority are still women), but THUMBNAIL_IMAGEall entries had to have female protagonists as well as come under a maximum word limit.  So, reprints being okay as well, mine in the mix is one that stars Aimée of “Casket Girls” fame (who else?), “Flightless Rats,” originally published in T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG in January 2015 and concerning a date that went bad in Nineteenth Century New Orleans.  It’s also an inexpensive book, given its size, ideal for, say, gifts for Halloween and other occasions – and for more on which one may press here.

Then the second is the much-anticipated THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (cf. July 26, 14, et al.) with another reprint, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” originally published in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS (Yard Dog Press, 2007), and starring Santa Claus, bubbas, and . . . zombies.  And, one might add, quite a few other stories and poems that I’m looking forward to getting into tonight myself.  For more information on this one press here.

Two quick items, the first serendipitously* discovered via Facebook, “New Film Extraordinary Tales Animates Edgar Poe Stories, with Narrations by Guillermo Del Toro, Christopher Lee & More,” by Josh Jones on OPENCULTURE.COM.  This discusses an animated version of several Poe tales, with several in some cases extra-tales-pk-1famous narrators, that came out last October, complete with trailer and a sample clip (from “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”) and can be found by clicking here.  If impressed, more can be found as well on the film’s own Facebook page here.

Then word also came out on Facebook today that Upper Rubber Boot Books’s eclectic anthology THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (see July 14, et al.) is now officially available in both print and electronic forms, including my tale of Christmas and Santa and . . . zombies, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” (originally published in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS by Yard Dog Press, 2007).  If interested, the Museum’s Gift Shop offers links for all editions and can be visited by pressing here.
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*Well — full disclosure — with help from Dan Clore and THE WEIRDVERSE:  GOTHIC HORROR FANTASY & DECADENT POETS & POEMS

Two items to post for Bastille Day, the first that Alessandro Manzetti’s THE BEAUTY OF DEATH anthology (cf.  June 25, et al.) has now been officially published.  My story in this, we may remember, is “Gold,” a tale of greed, adventure, and . . . well, gold.  Learn of its mining, its smelting, its spending, a Greedy-Gus guy you’ll love to hate, available only in Kindle, however.  For more, press here.

Then added to that, and also in Kindle, Editor/Publisher Joanne Merriam has announced that Upper Rubber Boot Books’s THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (see March 17, et al.), “. . . an 13522019_1212828662069675_1084416840149191457_nanthology of science fiction featuring blunt force trauma, explosions, adventure, derring-do, tigers, Martians, zombies, fanged monsters, dinosaurs (alien and domestic), ray guns, rocket ships, and anthropomorphized marshmallows” according to the blurb, is now available for pre-order.  Official publication date will be July 26, in just shy of two weeks.  My tale in this is “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” a jolly Christmas accounting of down home values, interplanetary space adventure, and . . . zombies!  To latch onto this one, press here.  Or as an extra, and a fun one at that, to learn more about it from its Facebook page, one can also press here.

“THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM is an anthology of science fiction featuring blunt force trauma, explosions, adventure, derring-do, tigers, Martians, zombies, fanged monsters, dinosaurs (alien and domestic), ray guns, rocket ships, and anthropomorphized marshmallows.”  So it says on Kindle where Upper Rubber Boot Boom61YDDmiN1lL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_Books’s eclectic (to say the least) anthology has now been posted.  Curious or wish to order? press here.  Or for pre-ordering both print and/or electronic versions, plus a plethera of other info, one can visit the Museum’s own gift shop by pressing here.  So says Editor/Publisher Joanne Merriam.

As for me, remember the TERROR TREE PUN BOOK and “Olé Bubba and the Forty Steves” (cf. June 22 et al.)?  Well here we have another Bubba (a Bubba brother?) in a tongue-in-cheek tale of Christmas gone wrong, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” (cf. June 13, March 17, et al.), originally published in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS (Yard Dog Press, 2007).  With  . . .  zombies.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (so okay, you saw it March 17 too, but so much stuff in it. . . .)

Khadija Anderson, “Observational Couplets upon returning to Los Angeles from Outer Space”
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, “Photograph of a Secret”
Kristin Bock, “I Wish I Could Write a Poem about Pole-Vaulting Robots”
Alicia Cole, “Asteroid Orphan”
Jim Comer, “Soldier’s Coat”
James Dorr, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians”
Aidan Doyle, “Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost”
matagb-dorr-001-150x150Tom Doyle, “Crossing Borders”
Estíbaliz Espinosa, “Dissidence” (translated by Neil Anderson)
Kendra Fortmeyer, “Squaline”
Miriam Bird Greenberg, “Brazilian Telephone”
Benjamin Grossberg, “The Space Traveler and Runaway Stars”
Julie Bloss Kelsey, two scifaiku
Nick Kocz, “The Last American Tiger”
David C. Kopaska-Merkel, “Captain Marshmallow”
Ken Liu, “Nova Verba, Mundus Novus”
Kelly Luce, “Ideal Head of a Woman”
Tim Major, “Read/Write Head”
Katie Manning, “Baba Yaga’s Answer”
Laurent McAllister, “Kapuzine and the Wolf: A Hortatory Tale”
Martha McCollough, “valley of the talking dolls” and “adventures of cartoon bee”
Marc McKee, “A Moment in Fill-In-The-Blank City”
Sequoia Nagamatsu, “Headwater LLC”
Jerry Oltion, “A Star Is Born”
Richard King Perkins II, “The Sleeper’s Requiem”
Ursula Pflug, “Airport Shoes”
Leonard Richardson, “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs”
Erica L. Satifka, “Thirty-Six Questions Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation”
G. A. Semones, “Never Forget Some Things”
Matthew Sanborn Smith, “The Empire State Building Strikes Back!”
Christina Sng, “Medusa in LA”
J. J. Steinfeld, “The Loudest Sound Imaginable”
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, “The Wanderers”
Lucy Sussex, “A Sentimental, Sordid Education”
Sonya Taaffe, “And Black Unfathomable Lakes”
Mary A. Turzillo, “Pride”
Deborah Walker, “Sea Monkey Mermaid”
Nick Wood, “The Girl Who Called the World”
K. Ceres Wright, “The Haunting of M117”
Ali Znaidi, “A Dolphin Scene” and “Australian Horoscope”

Today brings some of the ancillary aspects of writing, the major bit being to go over proof sheets from CEMETERY RIOTS for “The Re-Possessed” (cf. May 5, et al.), my tale of the business side of Victorian funerals.  First, to be sure, one must find an honest undertaker — but then the bereaved must be certain that he is Cemetery Riothonest himself as well.  If things stay on schedule the book is expected later this month, so corrections, if any, should go back tonight.

Then, unrelated, an acceptance and contract came today, the latter of which must be read over, signed, and popped into the mail tomorrow.  For what, one may ask?  But here’s the odd part.  That must be a secret, at least for a few days in deference to other writers who may still be awaiting word.  Which is fair enough.  So stay tuned and, in time, all will be revealed.

And then, speaking of timetables, I now have an expected release date for “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” and Upper Rubber Boots Books’s THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (cf. March 17, et al.).  “Bubba Claus,” of course, is a Christmas story — in this case one that also has zombies — and so, for visions of sleighs and snow (or at least a space shuttle) in the height of summer, it’s slated for publication next month on July 26.

The dawning of Saint Patrick’s Day brings news from Publisher Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books.  But let her tell us first via Facebook:

I am the proudest of this book launch website that I’ve ever been about any promotional idea ever.  Go check it out! I’ll be keeping the blog updated with alien art, actual historical artifacts which had to be smuggled off Earth when Timeline B invaded, creative weaponry, and more!

MATAGB (the book) contains work by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Kristin Bock, Alicia Cole, Jim Comer, James Dorr, Aidan Doyle, Tom Doyle, Estíbaliz Espinosa, Kendra Fortmeyer, Miriam Bird Greenberg, Benjamin Grossberg, Julie Kelsey, Nick Kocz, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Ken Liu, Kelly Luce, Tim Major, Katie Manning, Martha Mccollough, Marc McKee, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Ursula matagb-logo-blackPflug, Erica Satifka, Matthew Sanborn Smith, Christina Sng, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Lucy Sussex, Sonya Taaffe, Mary A. Turzillo, Deborah Walker, Nick Wood, K. Ceres Wright, and Ali Znaidi and the book can be pre-ordered in the gift shop by people in Canada and the USA (and the ebook by people everywhere) — will be adding countries as I can figure out shipping etc.

And so, no, the Irish can’t pre-order their print copies yet, but the ebook will be available to all (and the print, one hopes, soon).  But happy St. Patrick’s Day anyhow!  My corned beef in this cauldron (with cabbage, natch), I might add, is an out-of-place Christmas tale titled “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” reprinted from Yard Dog Press’s 2007 HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS.  With zombies.  But information on all can be found here, of which, to quote just a little bit:

Articles in the MATAGB Collection include artifacts, equipment, weapons, clothing, disguises, letters, taxidermied kills, holodeck simulators based on actual memories in amber, exotic life forms, artwork, vehicles, technologies, listening devices, and memorabilia and insignia designed, manufactured, or used by swashbucklers, pirates, ninjas, adventurers, privateers, spaceship commandos, illuminati, and intelligence organizations now and in the past.

And the table of contents (albeit perhaps not in final order):

    Khadija Anderson, “Observational Couplets upon returning to Los Angeles from Outer Space”
    Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, “Photograph of a Secret”
    Kristin Bock, “I Wish I Could Write a Poem about Pole-Vaulting Robots”
    Alicia Cole, “Asteroid Orphan”
    Jim Comer, “Soldier’s Coat”
    James Dorr, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians”
    Aidan Doyle, “Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost”
    Tom Doyle, “Crossing Borders”
    Estíbaliz Espinosa, “Dissidence” (translated by Neil Anderson)
Kendra Fortmeyer, “Squaline”
    Miriam Bird Greenberg, “Brazilian Telephone”
    Benjamin Grossberg, “The Space Traveler and Runaway Stars”
    Julie Bloss Kelsey, two scifaiku
    Nick Kocz, “The Last American Tiger”
    David Kopaska-Merkel, “Captain Marshmallow”
    Ken Liu, “Nova Verba, Mundus Novus”
    Kelly Luce, “Ideal Head of a Woman”
    Tim Major, “Read/Write Head”
    Katie Manning, “Baba Yaga’s Answer”
    Laurent McAllister, “Kapuzine and the Wolf: A Hortatory Tale”
    Martha McCollough, “valley of the talking dolls” and “adventures of cartoon bee”
    Marc McKee, “A Moment in Fill-In-The-Blank City”
    Sequoia Nagamatsu, “Headwater LLC”
    Jerry Oltion, “A Star Is Born”
    Richard King Perkins II, “The Sleeper’s Requiem”
    Ursula Pflug, “Airport Shoes”
    Leonard Richardson, “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs”
    Erica L. Satifka, “Thirty-Six Questions Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation”
    G. A. Semones, “Never Forget Some Things”
    Matthew Sanborn Smith, “The Empire State Building Strikes Back!”
    Christina Sng, “Medusa in LA”
    J. J. Steinfeld, “The Loudest Sound Imaginable”
    Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, “The Wanderers”
    Lucy Sussex, “A Sentimental, Sordid Education”
    Sonya Taaffe, “And Black Unfathomable Lakes”
    Mary Turzillo, “Pride”
    Deborah Walker, “Sea Monkey Mermaid”
    Nick Wood, “The Girl Who Called the World”
    K. Ceres Wright, “The Haunting of M117”
    Ali Znaidi, “A Dolphin Scene” and “Australian Horoscope”




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