Saturday, January 31, 2015

Story Emporium

Well, Story Emporium opens up for submissions tomorrow. This is a new endeavor.  I am the publisher, but not the editor of this project.   We've tried to go to the next point after Steampunk Trails and Science Fiction Trails.  Steampunk Trails had a lot of submissions, but very poor sales. Science Fiction Trails had decent sales, but it was always a struggle to fill an issue.  We'll see how this interpretation fares.  At least we finally dumped the Trails name, which never really accomplished much as a brand.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I keep hearing about inflated balls.  Frankly, I can't imagine why anyone would want their balls inflated. It sounds rather painful.  But, whatever turns people on I guess.  Now there are some things that I like being done to my balls, but I'm not going to list that here.  But, having them inflated? No thanks.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Six Guns Straight From Hell 2

There's a nice review of Six Guns Straight From Hell 2 on SF Site.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mow rons

Do you consider yourself a student of human behavior?  No?  Yes?  Have you ever sat near a drive up mail box for ten minutes?  It's astonishing how difficult it is for people to take a letter and place it in the mailbox.  I mean, they can barely do it.  Not everyone, but you will almost always see somebody struggling with this simple task   I don't know if these folks are over medicated or simply stupid. But it's nice to know they're out on the road.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Haunted Elevator?

I've mentioned before that I work in the hotel business.  Sunday morning a mother and her two young daughters came down to the lobby for hot chocolate and coffee, respectively.    The older daughter got bored waiting for them and decided to go back in the elevator. Well, she got on the elevator and abruptly got back off.  She said there was a black man in the elevator.  She would not get back on.  They finally all took the stairs back to their room. I would’ve liked to talk to the child more about this, but her mother didn’t want to hear the description, apparently thought the child saw a negro person, and ushered the girls away.

This is the second time a young girl has made that claim—of seeing a black man in the elevator. It happened back in August as well. In that case, I got a little more description.  It’s the shape of a man, but not exactly.  It’s more like a walking silhouette. In other words, it’s not a black-skinned man.  It’s a black ghost.

Black ghosts were once scoffed at by even most paranormal researchers.  These elusive entities just didn’t seem possible With the huge spread of low light cameras, people are capturing them more and more on video. I don’t know for certain what these kids were seeing, but the description seems to be one of these elusive entities.   I don't know why it's manifesting in our elevator.

Monday, January 19, 2015



Why do I have kittens?
When I asked for mittens?
It's mittens I want, not your kittens.
Please don't give me kittens when I only want mittens.

It's cold outside.
I want some mittens.
I ask for mittens.
I only get kittens.

Warm and toasty, my hands would be.
If only I had mittens instead of these kittens.
I don't get the mittens.
They just send me more kittens.

I write very few poems.  Here's one.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Indented Servitude

I don't know what they teach kids in school these days.  There is one thing  I find baffling.  In editing projects I'm noticing a huge increase in stories where paragraphs are not indented.  I'm really struggling to figure out why.  I've lamented before that writers don't seem to have any concept of standard manuscript format.  But the lack of paragraph indentation really ticks me off.  This blog is block left and not indented. It's my blog and I like it that way.  Still, I would not dream of sending something off for publication without it being in proper format--and, especially, with indented paragraphs.  It's easy to do on a computer.  I get the impression that the people spewing out manuscripts don't understand that paragraphs are supposed to be indented.  And they wonder why they don't get published. Frankly, it's the number one peeve other editors have voiced in conversations. It generally carries the death penalty.  Yet, I keep seeing more and more of this. There must be something I'm missing. A good looking and well prepared manuscript won't get you published. However, a poorly prepared one may easily keep you from getting published.  I'm not joking about this. It is a big deal.

Any editors who read this are welcome to post comments. Likewise, any authors may comment as well.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Free Copy of Low Noon

This weekend you can get a free copy of the Kindle version of Low Noon, edited by yours truly.  Just go to Amazon and download it.  This is  a collection of horror and dark fantasy stories from the weird weird west.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Falling Ice

Every winter I always take at least one hard spill on the ice.  That's one of the joys of living in Colorado. Well, today was my day for that ritual.  Nothing broken, but I am in quite a bit of pain today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Six Guns

Six Guns Straight From Hell 2  is now available at the Denver Public Library, for any denverites who'd like to read it but don;t want to buy a copy.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cheap Gas

I guess I'll weigh in on cheap gas.  Boy is it wonderful.  I mean, sure, it'll set back domestic energy production for years. But it saves me a lot of money.So, sure I'll sell out.  In a perfect world we'd all be in for the long play--The more noble good. But, in a world where most working people don't make enough to live on and have crappy, if any, benefits--screw it. I'll take my crumbs in the form of cheap gas. At least it's something.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Shameless Self Promotion

Well, my plan to post story excerpts fizzled out.  Just got too busy to get to it. Probably isn't worth doing anyway.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Temporal Fireplace

Yesterday, at the hotel I work at, there was a sign on the fireplace that it was temporally out of order.  I knew it seemed unlikely, but if such an event were true it would have made up for getting stiffed by Santa Claus all these years and then some.  Temporal refers to time, and commonly, time travel.  The thought that our fireplace might be in a different temporal dimension [time] seemed so incredible. Now, of course, the fireplace wasn’t existing in a different time and unable to work. No, it was simply broken and some dullard made a sign meaning to say it was temporarily out of order.  But, for that brief moment, I was so happy at the thought of a temporal fireplace.  So very happy. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The monster below

Folks who live in warm climates won't  relate to this problem.  It got really cold right after Christmas. When this happens the roads just stay icy. Snow plows are ineffective as it's like plowing concrete. But ice tends to build up underneath your car.  So, as I would be driving to work I could hear the springs and struts groaning from all of the ice [that's what it sounds like] and my tires were rubbing against the ice building up in the wheel wells, especially around turns.  And, this hideous black and white ice monster was growing underneath my car.  The more you drive, the more of this ice crap builds up.  Then, yesterday, the weather turned unseasonably mild. I pulled up to a stoplight near my house. There was a loud groan, then a huge clump of ice that had fused itself to my car sort of crashed to the pavement.  As I drove away, it was a striking sight in my rear view mirror.  I suppose the folks behind me are probably still cursing me.  But I was free. The ice was gone. When I got home all of that ice was gone. I was so happy.  Alas, it will soon return.  

Monday, January 5, 2015


I don't particularly like my bank.  I don't think the tellers know what they're doing. Their ATM machines are so old they barely work. Their so-called online banking is hardly state of the art.  But they do offer a free account. And that's why I put up with them.

Then I got to thinking. Does anyone really like their bank?  I've never heard anybody say "I can't wait to go to the bank after work."  It's more like "I have to go to the bank after work."  

I'm not saying they should have dancing girls and hot towel massages, although I rather like those ideas.  But the whole process of going to the bank is only a notch better than going to look for used cars. The last time I applied for a loan, they were so obnoxious I told them to keep their damned loan and walked out the door.  I closed my accounts the next day and moved from Draconian Bank to Current Bank--which I hate less than the other one.  

Oddly, in my county, there is not a single credit union.  I don't know why. I'm not sure they're the answer.

Of course, my biggest banking problem is I don't have enough money.  Mr. Dreysdale on the Beverly Hillbillies kissed Jed Clampett's ass because he had a huge fortune. I'm certain, had I wanted to open an account there, I would've been ushered out to the ATM machine that hadn't been invented yet--the one like my current bank that won't even accept deposits and is usually broken.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Shameless Promotion Saturday

I'm going to try something new for at least the month of January. On Saturdays I'm going to post brief excerpts of some of my stories.  We'll see how it goes from there.  This is from "Crosses" which is in These Vampires Don't Sparkle, edited by Carol Hightshoe.

    The pasty-faced man in the brown suit and  red and gold necktie stood quietly at the rear of the church.  He waited for the lingering parishioners to leave the Sunday evening prayer service.  Then, he approached the priest.  “Father, will you hear my confession?”
   “Of course,” Anthony Myers said.  He started for the candle alcove, then hesitated. “Don’t take this the wrong way. You have a look about you.  Are you Catholic?”
   “You know I’m not, Father. You know I’m not.”
   “And you want it to be a confession because of the absolute sanctity of it?” the priest asked, already knowing the answer..
   “I need absolute sanctity more than I need absolution,” he explained. “My soul may be beyond redemption.”
   “I see,” the priest said.  “You’re a vampire then?”

Friday, January 2, 2015


In the past year I've had to cancel two different anthologies because I could not fill them. The first one was a charity book of Christmas stories.  Then the play on A Dark And Stormy Night. Neither one got more than a handful of stories.  Yet writers whine constantly about a lack of markets.

But I'm not going to explain the unexplainable.  What I find more annoying than a lack of stories is the fact so many writers seem clueless about how to prepare a story manuscript.  There are generally accepted standards which appear in various writing books.  But those standards do not appear in a lot of the stories I receive.  I couldn't even begin to seriously consider publishing a lot of the stories I receive. There are no discernible paragraphs. It's more of half a page of run together tripe.  Add to that a growing trend of not bothering to indent paragraphs--which may work for  a business letter, but is not the generally accepted way to format a manuscript.  This blog doesn't indent, but I wouldn't dream of submitting in this format to a publisher.

What does all this mean?  It means not only am I facing a sad lack of interest in the projects I edit, but ten stories submitted is really more like five of them, as half of what comes in is completely unpublishable and can't even be considered.  And that's the way it is.  

Hopefully Story Emporium will fare better.  I'm the publisher, but not doing day-to-day story acquisitions there.  


January is always a cold month.  Well, this year is certainly no exception.  Really shivering in the mountains of Colorado.  It's funny how everyone starts discussing the temperature.  "My thermometer says minus 10." While somebody will counter "Vail dot com says it's only minus 7."   When it's below zero, what difference does it make if it's minus 7 or minus ten?  It's all the same at that point.