Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pulpy Goodness!

This is just a quick post to say that The Toll Collectors is now up at Beat to a Pulp. Go check it out!

In just a short while, David and Elaine have made Beat to a Pulp destination-reading for fans of modern pulp fiction, and with contributors like Patti Abbott, Sandra Seamans, Stephen D. Rogers, and Big Daddy Thug himself (not to mention a host of other talented writers), it's no surprise why. I'm happy to be part of the club.

Oh, and a brief note about the story: the setting for The Toll Collectors is an abandoned stretch of turnpike in the wilds of Pennsylvania. The wild thing is, that turnpike actually exists. You can see it here. Anyways, I stumbled across it while doing research on abandoned rail lines for The World Behind, and once I saw the pictures, the story sort of wrote itself.

UPDATE: Check out the cool illustration David cooked up to accompany my story here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Meme-a culpa

Okay, here's the deal. About four centuries ago in blog years, Sandra Ruttan tagged yours truly on a 16 random things meme. Now, I'm not often one for memes, but it seems to me the window for politeness has long since passed on the whole declining thing; I'm already a boorish idiot for flaking for so long (chalk it up to my brilliant organizational system of thousands upon thousands of illegible Post-it notes. Or, you know, stupidity.) Besides, Sandra's good people, so if she wants 16 random facts, then 16 random facts she'll get. So without further ado, here goes:

1. Sandra's #s 7 and 10 also apply to me. Oh, and technically her #1, too, but since it wasn't a near thing, I almost didn't mention it.

2. When I started this blog, I had no internet friends whatsoever. A lot of blogs at the time were doing a random things meme, and I wanted to join in all the reindeer games, hence the exceedingly random (and slightly embarrassing) profile blurb to the left of this post.

3. I was once tagged to come up with six random things about myself as punishment for outing a baby-eating baby-eater. I do not plan on counting those six random things toward my fulfillment of this meme.

4. I am deathly afraid of most bugs. The exceptions to this rule are a) stinging insects, because my hatred overwhelms my fear, and b) spiders, because I respect the fact that they eat other bugs.

5. When I was a kid, I wanted glasses. My whole family's got 'em, and I thought they'd make me look smarter.

6. The fact that I wanted glasses as a kid because I thought they'd make me look smarter makes no damn sense, because in grade school, I was horrified at the prospect of being thought of as a nerd for carrying a book with me wherever I went. Since those books were most often by Stephen King, I compensated for my perceived nerdiness by putting to use some of his more colorful language whenever I could. I'm pretty sure that's why I swear too much to this day.

7. Though I don't believe in ghosts or goblins or other creatures that go bump in the night, I fear them nonetheless.

8. Every Sunday, my wife and I clean our house from top to bottom. Right now, I'm doing this instead. I feel pretty guilty about that fact.

9. Despite not having a dishwasher until adulthood, I am something of a prodigy at getting things to fit. I think it may be my superpower.

10. I'm really lousy at staying in touch with my friends, despite the fact that they mean more to me than I can say.

11. I'm beginning to regret not counting the six random things mentioned in #3, because I'm rapidly running out of things to say.

12. I secretly think that Men at Work is a better movie than Children of Men. (Actually, I secretly think Men at Work is a better movie than most movies ever made. I know I should be ashamed of this, but I'm not.)

13. My obsession with random music facts borders on the pathological.

14. I hate hate hate seeing pictures of myself (or hearing a recording of my own voice.) It's something that I'm working on.

15. I will do just about anything to avoid putting away the groceries, even if the something in question is a messier/crappier/more arduous job. I have no idea why that is.

16. I seriously considered using the word 'arduoser' in the previous random fact, but in the end, my love of language won out over concerns of cadence.

So yeah, there you have it, Sandra, and with my apologies. Now, I'd tag someone, but this meme's probably burned its way through the blogosphere twice since I was tagged, so there's really not much point. But hey, you feel like playing along, I ain't gonna stop ya.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"The Well" Now Available!

Just a quick post to say that my flash horror story, The Well, is now live over at Flashes in the Dark. This one creeped me out to write, so hopefully, it's creepy to read as well. Go check it out!

UPDATE: Soon-to-be international superstar Stuart Neville thinks my story should come with a warning label. So, yeah. I guess that means it's scary. Consider yourselves warned.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A bit of linkage...

I just wanted to take a moment to point you all toward this speech, given by J.K. Rowling at Harvard's commencement. Whether you're a fan of her work or not, I urge you to read it. It is charming and eloquent, wise and insightful, and if it fails by any metric, it's this: she claims all she was shooting for was forgettable.

Linkage courtesy of Bookslut.