Nazis

Aug. 12th, 2017 06:44 pm
wednes: (Irate typist)
I live in a country with Nazis in it.
They helped elect the POTUS, who does not denounce white supremacy.
Coincidentally, he does not know even the most basic aspects of world (or even US) history. Which I guess means we're all condemned to repeat it.

Or we would, if climate change wasn't going to kill us all first.

One thing's for certain...I'm going to continue to smoke as much pot as I fucking want to, because I am sad and hopeless and unlikely to live to see 60.

For whatever reason, it seemed important to tell everyone about it.

In other news, the last grisly murder in Hellish Calling turned into a gay sex scene. I hate writing sex scenes, because the words we use to talk about sex all seem clinical or absurd. But this totally happened.
wednes: (Bear Attack)
My typical plan for summer is to stay the hell inside with so much air on that I sometimes get high and think it's fall. Because heat sucks. Global warming and I are totally not going to get along.

Spent a week house sitting while my more talented friends headed to SDCC. Got to play with doggies and kittens and watch a TV as big as my bed with a stereo louder than that really loud kid upstairs. We watched Skull Island, which was fun but not great. I spent most of it being irritated at the photographer who kept not taking pictures of stuff.
We also saw John Wick 2, which was awesome.
We rewatched Lego Batman and Guardians of the Galaxy, because I love Drax.
Not because I am Groot. I am not, in fact, Groot.

We got our 5th FREE drone this week, which is pretty friggin' cool. This one is another folding model. It's supposed to have one-key return, which will make it easier for a bonehead like me to fly it. I'm mostly just thrilled by having toys that fly. I suck at flying them even worse than I suck at zombie games. Anyway, we're getting a better drone next week, so H is extra stoked about that. For a few years I wanted to get him a decent toy drone to fly. But they were out of our budget. Now, it's pretty much raining drones.
Halleluiah.

The Radish thing is not thrilling me. They still don't have Horror listed as a genre, so my piece is in "general." Lame. I'm bugging them about it, but honestly I can't imagine that this is gonna become a thing for me. I'm a terrible judge of these things. But I'm not into the idea of spending another 18 months on a project that two dozen people see that I lose more money on.
Writing a test piece for a new gig this week. This has the potential to be killer, so I have high hopes.

Oh, and I hate the President. I make snarky comments to him every morning on Twitter, just because it makes me feel a tiny bit better. #LittleThings

Game of Thrones has kicked ass so far. Fuckin' Theon, seriously.
wednes: (Sad)
I'm going to be completely selfish in this post. What's new, right?

I am far too young to have lost so many classmates to early death. Sure, I'm almost 50, (well, turning 47 this year, so closer to 50 than 40) and that's a lot more time than a lot of people get. Hell, it might be more time than most people get. I haven't looked it up.

At this point, I went to school with people who died and left behind young kids. Cancer, brain tumors, AIDS, accidents, and a bunch of suicides. Come to think of it, I think I know of more suicide deaths from my peer group than accidents or violent crimes.

Feeling the death of another classmate today.
He was a good guy, never a dick to anyone online--which is a major achievement in my world, since most of the people I know online are the occasional penis-for-brains.
Jim left behind friends and family who are devastated by the loss. I can't even imagine it.

As many of you know, my greatest fear is H dying. When something really frightens me, I sit down and try to think up all the worst case scenarios and figure out what I'd do if they happened. I've figured out zombies, alien invasion, fire, plague, nuclear war, my mom showing up here, and a militia takeover of the state. Damn glad I know people in the militia now.
But when I try to think through what I'd to if H died, all I can see is me sitting in my good chair, staring into space and waiting for someone to notice that they haven't seen me around in a while. Then I'd die. That's not supposed to get your attention or make you feel bad for me. It's rather a crushing defeat to know that after 17+ years with H, that I literally have no idea how I'd manage to live and function without him. Hilariously, most of the people I know have ONLY known me with H. Aside from family and a few classmates I talk to on FB, "Wednes and H" are the only way we exist for them.
So yeah, I have no idea how people pick themselves up and get over it. I'd probably just send messages to Patton Oswalt every day until his agent's assistant's social media manager told me to stop.


As for the rest of life, working on Hellish Calling and dealing with the Radish site not working well, or maybe me not knowing how to work it. Either way, it's slow going.
wednes: (Irate typist)
I have a terrible track record when it comes to media and popularity. What I mean is, some of the new shows I hear about...I think are the most disgusting and offensive ideas ever. And then they become huge hits:

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (stereotype much)
The Biggest Loser (surely people know that's unhealthy and fake)
Storage Wars (strangers fight over cherished possessions of poor people)
American Idol (mostly that beginning part where they mock sincere people)
Dancing with the "Stars" (who the hell cares if Ben Nye can dance?)

That doesn't even get into reality shows that exploit families with any sort of unusual traits. Too fat, too skinny, overwhelming amounts of kids, poly, weird religions, dwarves, rednecks, whatever, or things like Prime Time wife-swapping. I'm terrible at determining what kind of things will be popular, and what will be scorned. That's also why shows I like so seldom make it past 3 seasons.

With all that in mind, it's probably good that the new project I'm embarking on feels somewhere between an unholy terror and a colossal waste of time. Cut for complaining ) I've begun so many projects thinking, "Okay, this is the thing that will get me noticed," but then it isn't. Even bearing in mind that there's really no tipping point where people go from nothing to SUCCESS, I have to think there are stages at which large amounts of new people take an interest in the work.

The new project is at the Radish app. It's new around here, but has been popular in Korea and Japan and thereabouts for a while. They publish serial fiction in a whole bunch of genres. They said they were looking for horror writers, but that's not even an option yet on their site. So we shall see...
I'm publishing chapters weekly in a serial format. I get paid based on readership, which is not really the important part. It's a way to reach a new audience and get some new fiction out there, which I haven't been doing much of in favor of commission work and paid media stuff. New chaps will go up every Wednesday (see what I did there?).

What's the story? I'm so glad you asked.
But I'm not telling you except that it will feature a revolving cast of regular people and their interactions with Max, a guy who looks normal but is actually an employee of Hell.
Yeah, that Hell. ;-)
H has been a bit of a stressbag since they changed his work schedule.
That means I had to do my own cover design, which I'm not great at.
They also don't allow words on the covers. This is what I ended up with.
View post on imgur.com
wednes: (Eye of Wednes)
Did you see the piece in Teen Vogue about a makeup artist that transformed a white model, giving her the look of a woman of color? Apparently, people are calling this "blackface" and saying how super offensive it is. As you might think, I disagree.

Obviously, whether someone is offended is between them and the art. My point is not to tell anyone that they shouldn't be offended. But blackface and minstrel shows are not remotely the same as using makeup to transform a model. It's not done to mock, harass, stereotype, or profit from the images of POC. Again, if that still offends you, that's your business. But telling the artist that he's hateful is not cool. Demanding that he take down his work or stop making it is also not cool.

There's something else though. There's an idea among white liberals now that if you hear any POC say they don't like something--you're not allowed to like it either, else you're oppressing people. Obviously, not all POC will agree on any one issue, and suggesting that they should or do is pretty fucking racist. It's a good thing for us white people to ease up on the idea that everything should be catered toward us. But I'm already tired of having white people explain to me that my views are wrong--because they once spoke to a POC who held a differing opinion. I know POC too. How many do I have to find that agree with me before I'm allowed to maintain my personal opinion?

In the end, the purpose of art is to challenge people, make them think. That means being uncomfortable sometimes. It also means that people will discuss, even argue, the way they see art differently. That's not just okay, it's vital and necessary. By that same token, there's no art (or humor, for that matter) that one couldn't describe as offensive to someone or something.

Take one of my fave paintings, Picasso's Guernica (take THAT!).
Here's a smattering of what people might say about that painting if it were unveiled today, and depicted a more modern tragedy:
"He's making a painting about [tragedy]? What sicko wants to see that?"
"Oh sure, profit off the war why don't you? Fascist!"
"This asshole wouldn't be painting pretty pictures if he'd ever fucking been in a battle!"
"Where does he get off speaking for people of [place]?!?"
"There's nothing artistic about war. War is hell."
"I'm so sick of hearing about [event], why can't people just let things go?"
"Artsy Fartsy cuck paints woman holding dead baby, calls it art. Bullshit."
"We should boycott [museum] and make sure Picasso never works again!"
"Fuck painters! Sit inside all day and didn't even join the military! MAGA"
and so forth.
"Great, another white man speaking for minorities! Shut up and listen, Pablo!"

IDEA: I've been thinking about a project wherein people send me jokes and I explain what's potentially offensive about them. The point is to demonstrate that ANY joke can be considered offensive, because every joke comes from a place of absurdity or exaggeration. I just don't know how to figure out the mechanics of such a thing. Is Twitter the best place for that? Or a Reddit AMA?

Example:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
"Who are YOU to interrogate that chicken? He was probably escaping from the harrowing industrial farm complex where chickens like him/her are tortured every day. But you don't care about that, you savage carnivore! Where that bird wants to go is none of your business, they don't owe you an explanation, and it's offensive that you would even ask."

I would accept responses within a specified period. The goal would be for people to try to find a joke that can't possibly be described as offensive, then I point out how it could be.

Ultimately, we're all allowed to find things awesome or offensive if we want to (or against our will, I suppose), and to share those thoughts with the world. What we don't get to do is force people to stop expressing themselves because we don't like what they're saying. Sure, we may want to limit our exposure to such things, or even limit the venues that allow such people/works to have a voice. I wouldn't want my tuition dollars supporting an Ann Coulter or Milo speech. But they still should be allowed to speak.
wednes: (Found Wednes)
Since Livejournal went the way of POTUS45, by which I mean, under total Russian control while pretending everything is the same as it's always been, I've not been able to read anyone's stuff. Drag. As a result, I spend even less time in the bloggerverse than I had been. Plus, Facebook is where everyone is. I mostly use this space for long rants or things I want to keep easy access to.

Anyway, writing for a living makes me want to write less for fun and pleasure. Plus my new desk is awesome, but my chair is now monstrously uncomfortable. I ordered the Queen of all Purple Cushions, but despite swarms of ads, they don't have any to ship. I'm told they won't ship for several more weeks, which is a drag.

I still don't know how to plot this screenplay properly, and my "writing partner" hasn't been partnering much. I was hoping an enthusiastic partner would inspire me to...I don't know, be more inspired. But no. So far I feel more frustrated, and more cautious because I'm aware that I have a tendency to railroad people and don't want to do that here.

Plus, POTUS45 still hasn't been impeached. His minions are protecting him at every turn, which is how we got into this mess in the first place. *sigh*
wednes: (Stephen King)
I'm going to preface this by saying that of course people have different tastes in movies and books. While I do sometimes feel judgy toward people that defend literary or live-action garbage, I recognize that this is a shitty trait I should continue trying to shake. People are allowed to like whatever the hell they want. That's not the point I'm making here. With that out of the way...

What do horror writers and fans think they're accomplishing by talking shit about Stephen King? What is achieved by insulting the work that inspired so many people to pursue the genre, and writing in general? Even if you weren't personally influenced by King, someone you were influenced by was.
Do you think you're being edgy or outside-the-box by pretending that Carrie isn't a good novel? Or that you felt nothing when reading Pet Sematary? Or that The Shining didn't scare you ever, at any point? I'm not saying people are wrong for not having King on their top-ten lists or whatever. But this bland "I don't see what the big deal is about Stephen King" bullshit has to stop. When you say that, you're revealing your own ignorance far more than you're making a statement about King and his work. Besides, it's not possible to dislike everything he's written--unless you haven't read enough.

Until Daniel Craig happened, I did not give half a rat's ass about James Bond. He's basically what a 12-year-old boy thinks it's like to be a spy. I've not read the books, but the movies are silly and campy and don't seem to realize that they are. But I understand that it's a wildly popular series and that people have strong love feelings for it. I can also tell the difference between something being objectively bad, or simply not being to my taste. Bond films are simply not what I'm looking for in a film.

Stephen King is like The Beatles. You can't possibly dislike all of it. There's too damn much. And it's all so different. I Wanna Hold Your Hand and The White Album are worlds apart. Come to think of it, I haven't even read all of King. I haven't touched any of the Dark Tower stuff (no pinkie wags please), and never got around to the JFK thing. The point is that there's so much King work, much of which is not even horror. Don't believe me, read Eyes of the Dragon to your (older than toddler) kids.

King's work isn't perfect. I'm not here to say that it is. He's got that "magical negro" problem. Most of his sex scenes are basically the same. He's got a clear bias against fat people. One could argue that he has a definite formula, but must also admit that he changed it up after a time. His wife characters are often interchangeable.

Admittedly, I'm one of those people who came to love and understand horror because of Stephen King. I was a kid when Salem's Lot and The Shining and Carrie came out. One might argue that 9 was too young to read such things. But fuck that. Letting me read whatever the hell I wanted is one of a very small number of things my mother got totally right. We also watched almost whatever we wanted, horror wise. That's how I got to see Alien and Fulci's Zombi at the drive-in. But I digress.

Rage. I get why he wants it out of print, because actual school shooters had actual copies nearby when they actually killed people. But dammit. If we're really gonna ban every book people use to excuse horrible deeds, the Christian Bible should be ripped off shelves tomorrow. If I was ever gonna direct a short based on a King story, Rage would definitely be the one. And yes, I know it's technically a Bachman.

Those early collections of King's shorts are practically a class in how to tell stories. How to reveal information to the reader for the most impact. How to let readers identify with someone in a very short amount of time. When to use 1st person POV versus 3rd. Stuff like Strawberry Spring and I Know What You Need and The Man Who Loved Flowers inspired me in ways I didn't even notice until I started publishing my own horror stories.
They don't call him the Master of Horror solely because he sells a lot of books. There's more to it than that. Read Danse Macabre, or On Writing (easily the best book ever on the craft, regardless of your genre) and then tell me he hasn't earned his place in both horror history and literary history in general. How can you know anything about horror at all and not know that?!?

Ya wanna fight about it?
Let's Get It On.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
It's no secret that I take issue with some of the messages in Disney movies. I hate how 90% of the time, everyone looks exactly like what they are. Heroes are attractive, villains are ugly (exception for Snow White's Evil Queen), fat people are jolly, women have crazy-long hair. And until recently, with minimal exception, the girl stories end with a wedding, while the boy stories end with a coronation. Okay, not Pinochio, and not Jungle Book. But come on.

So...Beauty and the Beast is being retold, and parents and chicks are going goo-goo for it.

I don't mind telling you that I have never understood the appeal of this story.
An old man steals a rose from a giant, wealthy-looking estate. He gives it to his daughter. We find out that the estate is owned by a beast. Literally, a hairy cloven-hooved person with a foul temperament and a distaste for all people.
What's his problem? Well, one night an old lady came to him for help. He refused to help her. So she cursed him with ugliness.
Later, the girl stays with the beast, and they end up falling in love. That somehow breaks the spell and the beast turns into a hero--by which I mean he becomes handsome.

Really? I mean...REALLY?

Sometimes Beast breaks the spell by finding it in his heart to love a beautiful young woman who is also the sweetest, kindest person who ever lived. Sounds like she wouldn't be particularly difficult to love, right?
Sometimes the amazing part is that the woman falls in love with beast. Because what woman could possibly love an ugly person with a foul temper (insert Melania Drumpf joke here)?

So at best, this is a story about a dickish man who was mean to an old lady, but learned to be kind to a hot young girl.
At worst, it's a story about an abusive relationship where the woman gradually accepts that this is probably the best she'll do. Or maybe it's a story about how loving an awful man long enough will change him into someone better.
Do women really need the message that if you stay with a mean, abusive man long enough, he'll eventually become the person you want him to be? Are you fucking kidding me? Is Disney kidding all of us?

Seriously...until Twilight (which is similar, thematically) this was the worst story ever in terms of the lessons it teaches young women. I mean, Cinderella is pretty bad. And most Disney women do sit around waiting for someone to rescue them (until very recently). But this one seems far worse than even the usual Disney fare.

Am I missing something? What is it about this story that people respond to?
Is it the music? The talking clock?
Why does anyone like this? Why would anyone let their kid near it?
I'd really like to know.
wednes: (Kittens)
For those of you who have never visited my home, I have a tiny desk on wheels on one side of my living room. H has the whole office to himself, and I work near the TV so I can do reviews and stuff. JoJo loves climbing all over the desk almost as much as he loves jumping off of it. But see, it's a cheap piece of crap. I've already bought it twice because the first one had a part snap off after 3 years. This one is about to bite the dust too, and I don't know what to do about it. Spending $70 on a new one would suck. But I can't keep Jojo away from it, so soon I won't have a choice. I'd rather spend twice that on one that won't need replacing in a few years.

I'm totally open to suggestions for any other movable desk that has a pull-out keyboard tray, and at least one shelf that won't be taken up by the monitor. This is what I'm using now.

Little help?
wednes: (Irate typist)
I'm not sure what triggered me to be so irritated by an known writer's claim that "as a writer, words are my life."

Granted, answering every question or prefacing every statement with "As a writer, I..." is already pretentious AF unless you're doing a signing, workshop, or other event designed to showcase you as a writer. Hint: that probably doesn't include the entire internet. The entire internet doesn't revolve around any one person. If it did, it would probably be a porn star. Take THAT, Mia Kalifa, you goddess.
But I digress.

Are words really the life of a writer? There are very few professions that let a person get by without using words. Even if you don't work with or for any other people, you still need words. Words are how we say pretty much everything. Everyone uses them, though with varying degrees of style, flair, importance, or effectiveness.

What about words? Surely there's more to writing than words?
Shouldn't stories, or at least ideas be the "life of a writer?" Obviously, it's none of my business how people regard their own craft (if they even call writing a craft--not everyone does). But after hearing someone make that statement, I can't stop thinking about what the "life" of a "writer" actually requires.

Argh!

Feb. 5th, 2017 03:54 pm
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
So much annoyance.

Power and internet took turns going out all friggin' weekend. That's dumb, because I certainly don't need help NOT getting any work done. So I'm working today and tomorrow instead of taking some much needed time to work on the outline for my screenplay.

Yeah, I'm taking another stab at this screenplay, this time with a writing partner.

Our door buzzer has been broken for more than a week. Given the impatience of the UPS guy, I've missed a package or two. Just review stuff, but still. A week is a long time for a maintenance request...or was until we lived in this shithole.

Looking at houses bears no fruit. I fear that we'll be trapped here forever.

Somehow, my website/Email domain expired. I thought everything was automatic, but some bullcrap happened and my site was down for almost a week. Lame. Worse, I use that Email for tons of vital work stuff. So it also kept me from getting paid. Imagine my surprise when my bank account was suddenly down to single digits.

All things considered, this is minor shit. Aside from having to pay bank overdraft fees when automatic payments go through, none of this causes more than extreme annoyance.

In other news, droves of politically engaged people are taking long breaks from social media. I understand why that's necessary because this shit is exhausting. But I also think that's what evil people rely on...decent people being too tired and frustrated to keep fighting.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
It's well-known by all literate people that I am not a fan of the Great Orange Cyka-Elect. (Look it up, it's a Russian word, and it's hilarious) But now, he has reached the subjective and fabled land of TOO FAR.

On December 14th, I asserted copyright over the word "Unpresidented." The context was the vain hope that the Electoral College would do what it was designed to do--rescue us from a Nazi-enabling rapist who's already in bed with the Russians. They didn't. Of course there are great arguments on both sides of this, none of which I'm going to detail here.
Because that's not the point of this post.

The point is that Drumpf stole my word. Funny, since I rarely consider myself rich enough to rob. His stupid misspelled Tweet that inadvertently turned MY word into a hashtag has stolen my internet thunder, hasn't it? Okay, no it probably hasn't. It's still hilarious though. I should probably just be happy that he didn't put my beautiful word in the same Tweet as a white supremacist or a lady unfavorably rated with Drumpf's numeric system that lets us all know which chicks he'd sexually assault if there were no cameras. But I digress.

"Unpresidented" is my word. My word. Mine! Down down, go go, mine. *jumps up and down like Daffy Duck during a tantrum*

Besides, once Drumpf is impeached or resigns in a huff because some high school newspaper criticized his latest racist speech--we can all use the word "Unpresidented" again. Hope to see you all then. ;-)
wednes: (The Horror Within)
In case you hadn't heard, The Horror Within website will be offline as of Nov. Sadly, I have neither the time nor the money to do this project as well as I want to. Too busy trying to chase the green and be a "real writer" to do all the non-essential horror writing that I want to. In fact, I'm doing almost no writing that I'm not getting decently paid for these days. I had many hopes and plans for The Horror Within, which honestly were not very realistic after our Kickstarter was a giant fail.

You may ask, Wednes, do you ever get tired of writing books people don't read, making audiobooks no one buys, publishing stories no one gives a shit about, or generally planning things that never end up happening in the way you intended?
Yes, in fact. Yes, I do. H says I only think I fail at stuff because I'm always trying new stuff. I dunno. I haven't written a book in forever, and haven't published one since 2012. I don't even have an idea for a book I'd feel passionate about. I have to think that if none of my stuff has taken off by now, it isn't going to. My mom's voice echoes in the back of my head, making me wonder why I ever thought I had enough talent to write anything in the first place.

Rather than whine about how everyone else's life seems to work out, and how writers I think are totally shitty have huge patreon funding and legions of fans--I'll just thank everyone for their support and figure out what thing I want to fail at next.

As for things to fail at, I'm taking suggestions.
wednes: (Neville)
You know what's weird? Given the popularity of Harry Potter fandom with women my age, I'd have expected people in my social media feeds to be losing their minds over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They weren't. Nobody has been all "Oh, you haven't read it yet?!? It's soooo good." None of that. Now that I've read it, I totally understand why.

Cut, because here and Goodreads are some of the only places you can still cut for spoilers. )

So if you feel like reading it and don't want to spend, let me know and I'll loan it to you for Kindle. It's a pretty short read.

Hootsuite

Jul. 16th, 2016 02:49 pm
wednes: (Peanut Butter/Jelly)
I realized something today.

I use Hootsuite, which means I set up social media posts to go live up to 4 weeks in the future. I do this for my own accounts, and also accounts for The Horror Within. Mostly, this is so I can spend a little less time on social media while remaining connected--and so my posts can go live when other human beings are awake and reading.

This does lead to awkward moments though. Like when say, "Cecil the Lion killed by d-bag" is posted 2 weeks after the dentist responsible was run out of town on a rail. Or any story that has updates, really. So I gotta be kind of careful about timely news versus evergreen articles and stuff.

Then I thought...
When I die (and honestly, how much time could I possibly have left?) my accounts will continue posting for weeks. People are gonna be hella confused. Yeah, the posts are labeled "posted by Hootsuite," but my oldster family members aren't going to know what that means. But how do I address that before my Big Day so it doesn't terrify or upset anyone? Also, that's gonna be a hella awesome troll. I wish there was a way to plan for it to be more awesome in advance...like maybe writing my own hilarious obit and posting it someplace.

As for me, kidney stones have me in terrible hurtful pain. Ugh.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
What is an album?

The dictionary gives two definitions, both of which make sense to me.

1. A blank book for the insertion (giggity!) of photos, stamps, coins, etc.
2. A collection of recordings released in a single medium--a compact disc, cassette, etc.

I was saying the other day that Rob Zombie's new album kicked ass. That's mainly because Rob Zombie's new album kicks ass. Yeah, it sounds a lot like every other Rob Zombie album. But see, when you like what Rob Zombie albums sound like, it's nice to get more that sound roughly like that. But I digress...

Someone corrected me, several someones in fact, that it's not an "album." It's a CD, or a digital file. First of all, the new Rob Zombie album is actually available on vinyl. So even if you believe that a vinyl release is necessary for something to correctly be called an "album" (it isn't), that still wouldn't apply here. Whether it's on vinyl or a cassette, 8-track, a wax cylinder, or a fucking reel-to-reel, it's still an album--by definition.

Maybe I just hate being corrected...

In other news, Bates Motel S4E9 was friggin' incredible. If you've been watching for four seasons waiting for a certain thing to happen, that's the one!
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
When I was a kid, if you really wanted to talk to one of your idols, it was a long process. You had to find their fan mail address, which could be very difficult if not impossible. Then you had to hand write a letter, find a stamp, get it mailed (at a mailbox), and wait...and wait...and wait...for a response that might never arrive. When I was a kid I wrote letters to Charles Schulz, Donald J Sobel, Dr Suess, Judy Blume, and a bunch more. I got a few letters back, though they're trapped at my mom's house. When I was about 11, I even wrote a fan letter to Scott Baio. He had a PO Box in Studio City for fan mail, which I found in a Tiger Beat mag. I never got even a form letter back. As a kid, I was sad about that. But now that I know what a gross, womanizing, Drumpf-loving goon is in RL, that sting is gone.

The point is that we only wrote to celebs we really liked a lot. It took a lot of effort and time. We did it because we were fans, and we wanted our heroes to know it.

But now...
Anybody with access to a computer or smartphone can Tweet at celebs in real time. Roughly half of said Tweets are complete asshole fodder. Telling people they suck and should kill themselves is Level One for a lot of these clowns. Unlike occasional stalker behavior from deranged fans (that no one really talked about until the girl from My Sister Sam was murdered by one such nutcase), modern celebs often get daily beratings. Robin Williams's children were hounded off Twitter within 2 days of their father's suicide. Those dicks that harassed Sandy Hook parents for "lying about their kids existing" started on Twitter. Twitter hosts murder threats, rape threats, doxxing (though I hear they're better about removing stuff like that now), and a bunch of other things we used to think only criminals thought about.

Much like men who want to show their dicks to virtual strangers (remember when that was a crime committed by a random pervert wearing a long trenchcoat with nothing underneath), stalking via the Internet is more popular (and less criminalized) than ever. Ditto hate speech. Anybody else find it insane that posting a pic of a nipple can get your Facebook account deleted, but threatening to murder the POTUS or calling him the N-word won't get you blocked from Twitter unless the feds get involved? I'm a staunch supporter of Free Speech, but with great power comes all the stuff Spiderman's Uncle Ben talked about.

And like LSD, the internet amplifies and distorts the shit we see and do every day. While we all know that the internet is incredibly helpful overall--it also allows some of the worst behavior on the planet to be widely seen, or even applauded. The immediacy of social media and the ease with which we're able to communicate with people the world over is being squandered, taken for granted, not truly considered for the opportunity that it is. A lot of that is due to people who live as if the Internet has always been there--for youngsters, it has. I started a Livejournal in 2002, in my early 30's. If that blog was a kid, they'd be old enough to have a smartphone and be on Facebook. Yikes!

Not sure what my overall point is. We can use the internet for good or bad, to help people or bring them down. We can use it to educate, inform, or to spread misinformation either deliberately or through apathy or ignorance. Is there a way to encourage people to make better online choices? Or at least, is there a way to truly hold people accountable (at least morally) for the things they say and do online? No, I'm not saying we should curtail speech. Wednes don't play that. But it's obvious that plenty of online assholes are only being assholes online because of the anonymity the internet affords them.

For now let me just ask--if you're only on Twitter to let female singers know that their asses are big, or to tell Jonah Hill that he's a "faggy asshole," maybe take some time to work on RL interpersonal skills before trolling total strangers. If you wouldn't say it in front of your three best friends or your favorite grandparent, don't say it to Lady Gaga. Besides, no one should ever insult Lady Gaga. She's amazing!
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
People who know us know that H is a wicked talented graphic designer. I love his work, but obvs I'm biased. He's made many cards and gifts for people--lots of posters, printed scripts with cool covers, etc. He designs all my marketing stuff, and created the logos for Under the Bed magazine and The Horror Within, among other things. He's designed some awesome book covers and more marketing stuff for friends, family, and clients.

I'd been pestering him to put a portfolio together, so he could make more money doing something he loves and is awesome at. He didn't. A year ago I figured, screw it. We'll start a business together. I can do book layout and editing, he can do cover and internal graphics. Together, we could help people self-publish their books, and maybe even publish some people outside what I already did with the magazine (except with better communication and more money), and what I do with the site now (again, with more money). So we've had a few clients and done some good work.

Then...one of our clients took some of H's designs to H's day-job for printing. I'm not saying the name of H's work here, and if you know it, please refrain from saying so in the comments. Anyway, this led to questions that then led to H's work informing him that he is not allowed to perform, for profit, any service that his company offers. Even if it's to people who were not customers already. Even if it's something he doesn't actually do for this company, and therefore doesn't involve poaching customers. Even though it doesn't involve using his work's equipment or resources, or wouldn't impact his job function in any way. Even though he's been with the company for almost 20 years and has never been reprimanded in any capacity. He isn't allowed to use his skills to make money on his own time, because employees of his company in another facility H has never even been to, do something similar to what he does--design graphics.

I can't even put into words how sad and angry I am about this.
Our new business was going really well. We had annoying clients who paid us a good wage, and let us work together to do great things for a variety of projects. It was great and promised to only get more awesome as time went on.

Now it's over.
Sure, I can still take on clients for layout and editing. But I don't have H's skills backing me up. We can't offer cover design services or marketing support that requires the use of graphics (ie: most of it). We'd never be a full-service company for people who want to publish books. All because an obscenely profitable and absurdly huge company thinks they have a right to tell H what to do in his own time, with his own computers and talent. And being H, he's not even going to argue with them. Because that's the kind of employee he is.
I can't even let H know the full extent of my disappointment and anger, because he already feels really bad about it.

So long, [name of company redacted].
You were a good dream.
wednes: (Eclipse)
As you know, my fiction writing has been minimal since I started writing for a living. Not that I would change anything, but I feel decidedly unmotivated after a few hours of work-writing, to sit and write any fiction. But that's lame. That's stupid. And I need to do better.

Still, I'm in a new anthology that you can (and totally should) buy Right Now! It's called "Not Your Average Monster" and contains stories by plenty of up and comers. For only $2.99 it's an utter steal.

My story, "Raja" is one I've written years ago and that can also be found in audiobook form as a podcast. That's got a pretty excellent cast and some great music too.

In other news, being a book producer is a pretty cool gig--or would be if it weren't for needy clients. It's allowing me to do cool things and buy cool stuff. With that in mind, I invested in a fake Pandora bracelet and some fake beads. Obviously, the Pandora bracelet thing is a huge scam where you pay $40-$120 for a plain bracelet and between $20-$300 for each friggin' charm and bead. I got the bracelet for $8 and a slew of beads and charms that totaled about $35. Some from Amazon, some from etsy. Will post a pic when I get it put together. Yeah, I'm a chick. You wanna fight about it?

We finally went to Secretary of State to renew my "driver's" license. You should all be frightened by how easy it was for me to convince the state that I'm cool to drive. An eye test that literally took 15 seconds. No driving test (I took one of those in high school, then never again), not even a written test. They asked me if I had any blackouts or memory lapses, and took my word for it. Really?
I mean, really?
wednes: (TV!!!)
Every now and then, someone will express surprise to me that I have this person or that person as an online friend, despite them spouting unpopular views or having strong opinions I don't agree with, or even doing shitty things like posting spoilers on purpose. But people who know me well know that I enjoy dialoging about tough topics--especially among those with whom I disagree. I don't want my life to be an echo chamber of shit I already agree with. Plus, I don't know everything, and people I don't agree with are more likely to know shit that I don't know. Though they might still be bugfuck wrong. ;-)

Today I saw a post referencing Jessica Jones on Netflix. Someone else was basically saying that because in the first episode, there was a single joke they didn't like (a joke that was insensitive to, and at the expense of, fat people), they "had no interest in" the rest of the series. Now obviously, people can choose to watch whatever the hell they want. But I found it curious that this post came from a person who, every day, argues that people need to seek out information that conflicts with what they've been taught, and that they need to be more respectful of alternate/new viewpoints. I really can see both sides of this.

On the one hand, we can all choose only to expose ourselves to people, things, ideas, and speech that is to our liking. For most people, watching TV is a leisure time activity and is supposed to be fun. Plenty of people watch TV and movies to escape the bullshit they see out in the world--so the last friggin thing they need is to see mean shit on their down time.
Personally, I like my viewing material to be more challenging, so I often seek out things that will make me think, feel discomfort, ponder and debate, or get really, really scared as I wonder what I'd do if what was happening to the characters was happening to me. But that's me--overall, my life is pretty easy.

On the other hand, I think it's myopic and incredibly limiting to say "I don't like something this character said, so I'm not going to expose myself to any of this material." In this case, that means missing out on the entirety of Jessica Jones, which would be a bummer for anyone who appreciates complex characters, or in-depth discussion of issues like responsibility, trauma, control, and consent. Plus, it's an awesome cast in a well-plotted show that everyone can get something out of--you know, unless they bail after Ep1.
When I say, "It's only a show," I'm not saying that what happens in fiction doesn't matter because it's just pretend. But I *am* saying that fictional characters shouldn't have the same impact as real-life people doing and saying real-life things. If they do, you might need to step back.
The characters in the TV aren't your friends. The rules of interpersonal communication do not apply. Watching a program doesn't make you complicit in the actions of the fictional characters--not even the protagonists. The Godfather is one of the greatest films ever made. Yet most of us don't leave the theatre wishing we had Luca Brasi's job. It's possible to laugh at Three's Company (for lack of a better example) without actually thinking homophobia is hilarious or that gay people deserve to be mocked or belittled.
Surely we're not so fragile that we have to scurry away from any speech we don't like, or pretend that everyone who appears in fictional media has to conform to our personal standards of morality or interpersonal communication-- or we just can't bear to look?!? Or is it a question of feeling "disrespected" by jokes? It might bear keeping in mind that TV shows and movies aren't made with any 1 audience member in mind. If they were, we'd probably know that before tuning in. Why is it so easy for some of us to be offended by people who literally don't know we exist? I'm certainly guilty of this.

It's possible that I'm assigning emotions or motivations incorrectly to behaviors I don't like. It might be that I loathe the superior air with which people say "I don't watch THAT" as if not watching something is analogous to actually doing something that helps oppressed people. Maybe it's the idea that you really can't have dramatic conflict in a world where no one has a problem with women, or men, or rich people, or poor people, or racial minorities, or religious minorities, or fat people, trans people, gay people, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, or takes issue with how people dress, how they dance, who they date, where they come from, or whether or not they can grammar.
EVERYONE sees the world through their own filters. EVERYONE judges other people for reasons seen and unseen. If you think you don't, sorry--but you're a filthy liar.
The more types of people we expose ourselves to, the more we learn about our fellow humans. Obviously, there are valid reasons not to befriend a mafioso, or a gaggle of methheads, or a pray-the-gay-away commune in real-life. But in media? One of the best steps we can take toward understanding each other is to expose ourselves to as much varied media as we can--and do our best to understand what we see viscerally--not just turning our backs on new material one rough comment in. We can do better than that. And for most of us, our lives are comfortable enough that we can safely expose ourselves to a whole helluva lot via the media at our disposal without collapsing into a quivering puddle of sobs or annoying short-lived outrage that doesn't go anywhere.

So kids, watch what you like--or don't watch. But if I may personify Television for a moment: I promise that the mean old TV-box isn't going to hurt you unless you let it. It's just a box. I promise. And if you let fear and potential discomfort keep you from exploring all the box has to offer, the least you can do is not blame it on the box.

Berfday!

Nov. 27th, 2015 08:10 pm
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
What did I get for my birthday? I knew you were dying to know.

H got me four new Pop Funko figures: Jason Vorhees (#1 in the hockey mask), Pennywise the Clown, and two from The Walking Dead: Little girl with the plushie, and The Governor. Nice!!! He also took the bus to get us Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I love that place.

H's sister got me a Game of Thrones coloring book, and my Aunt sent me a lovely card. So that's all awesome. Tomorrow is my party, which will include fantastic company, yummy food, and conversation that will tear your soul apart...or something. H is gonna take tons of pics, I hope. He has to take them because he doesn't want to be in them.

H's mom did not acknowledge my birthday. If I didn't know better, I'd swear she was MY mom. Ha!

There have been two terrible shootings since the last time I blogged. #BlackLivesMatter protestors were shot at a rally by...well, we know who they were shot by. Funny, I didn't hear anyone lamenting that those protestors didn't have weapons, lest they defend themselves from the racist asshats who shot them.
And today at Planned Parenthood. Without knowing who the shooter is or why this happened, I'm prepared to make the standard presumptions: some fake Christian who wants to protect fetuses while voting away any programs that might help actual children. I'll predict that his weapon(s) were bought legally, and that the media will focus on mental illness and extremism as root causes. Because heaven forfend we talk about how easy it is for violent nutters to get guns.

No word on how many people croaked during Black Friday shopping. I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow when the YouTubes of in-store fisticuffs start showing up.

And finally, I won the #NaNoWriMo. Because I am awesome.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
I had a big post planned about nihilism and internet trolls.
But I'm behind on the NaNoWriMo and don't want to half ass it. It's pretty good.

Here are some things of note:

The attacks in Paris are awful. What the fuck is wrong with people? And what the fuck is wrong with Americans who want to blame refugees for the attacks. If they didn't vet refugees properly, that sucks. But it doesn't naturally follow that they're all terrorists--or that any of them are. Let's not let our sadness turn to anger and then to hate, comfortable as that may be for many of us.

Got unfriended for calling someone out on fat shaming. It sucks, because it's a person I genuinely like despite a complete inability to deal with opposition. I kind of hate seeing liberals act like petulant children who refuse to see the other side of something. And I'm annoyed yet bored with people who think "Haw haw, fatties are fat," is a funny joke. What are you, 13-fucking-years-old? Besides, I was just pointing it out. I'm not one of those "take that down or I can't be your friend" people. But when someone is being an asshole, it can take a real friend to let them know.

Barbara Kean is way better on Gotham as a villain. Way. Better.

American Horror Story: Hotel has more nudity than I require in my horrorshows. If I wanted to see that many naked people and that much blood-drenched man-on-man or three-way giggity, I'd wait for Game of Thrones to come back. That said, I'm not really mad that I already figured out who the killer is. Much like Shymalan's The Village--it's not really about that. It's about the journey. Plus, Evan Peters has been great this season.

Read Jack Ketchum's Stranglehold this week. Filled me with terror, then profound despair. I was reminded of Mystic River, in that I wanted to hurl it across the room in anger after I finished. But my Kindle is out of warranty, so I refrained. It's a damn good book. I wish I had Ketchum's skill for developing and building suspense. I do have similar skill for the violence, but that's the easy part. I think I do write with a high level of truthfulness, and my dialogue is damn fine. But these are the things we learn just by living in the world and watching it with an eye toward the story. Plotting, storybuilding, setting descriptions--none of that shit comes easy to me. I wish I was able to workshop more, pow wow with other writers and such.

The new book is coming right along. It's got two main characters who are also POV characters (1st person, because that's what I'm best at). One of them is highly unreliable because her roommate keeps stealing her medicine and selling it. The other is just a fucking asshole. It's loosely based on a few fucking assholes I know. Ha! I can't imagine I'll actually finish in time to win the NaNo, but it's gonna be a hell of a good book. I hope to be ready for beta readers by February.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
The NaNoWriMo is upon us once again. I haven't won it in some time. My first year was 2004. I played and won for five years in a row. And before you say "writing is not a game you play," let me assure you that the NaNoWriMo can be as much a game as you make of it. Little bursts of productivity as you compete with smug strangers for hourly goals, stalking the forums with much clucking and head shaking, and the timeless wily game we fondly call Procrastination. But yeah, I'm doing it again this year, and I fully intend to win. Behind right now, which is why I'm blogging instead of writing--even though that makes no sense.

I've already drafted much of the novel that I'm working on. For now, it's called The Second Funeral which is catchy evocative, I think. As I write a new first draft (so called because I'm making so many changes), I have no idea what the theme of this book is yet. That makes it harder to write because I'm focusing on arcs, plot, and character instead of on theme. What is theme to me? It's the reason people should read the book. The theme of A Stabbing for Sadie is that a) you never know someone else's story, and b) it's wrong to murder people no matter how right, how justified, how fair and balanced you may think it is. The theme of Kiss Me Like You Love Me is that a) we're all full of shit to some degree and we owe each other far better than that, and b) some people never fucking learn. The theme of The Finster Effect is that a) one day all the daily bullshit we deal with is going to go to hell--then we'll be left with the people we are and the choices we make, and b) humans don't know what the hell they're doing, and are doomed as a species.

As far as I'm concerned, if my books don't have a compelling theme, a valid and vital message--then they're a waste of everyone's time. Just typing that out worries me. I fear that I sound like an elitist jag (which, if you're new around here, is something I constantly struggle with). Plenty of people write books without a life changing theme, and that's a totally valid and personal choice. I read books like that, and I rarely come away with a feeling that I've wasted my time. In some ways, I feel like I owe it to the horror genre to elevate it to more than knives and monsters. Then I wonder if horror gives a rat's ass what I feel. If horror loves me as much as I love it, it's keeping a tight lid on that shit.

Somewhere between the 2nd edit, I tend to have that "Aha!" moment where I realize the real-world significance of the book I'm writing. That makes it easier to edit the fuck out of the draft, and then write a 3rd (or final, depending) draft. The one I send out to beta readers. I usually end up cutting a ton of stuff out, tightening all of it, and adding more about things and people who should have gotten more focus initially.

Without a theme, it's hard to know where anything is really supposed to go. Until I figured out the ending of Kiss Me Like You Love Me, I had no idea how it was supposed to end. Once I had a theme, it was clear that it could only end one way. Tough luck, Character!

I guess my main point here is that the new book doesn't have a theme. I can tell you who the main characters are, and basically what is happening. But I have no idea what it's "about." So please don't ask. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.



In other news, Deep Blue Sea is on cable this month. One of those movies that I know full well is terrible and has no connection to logic or science. I must admit though, I find it highly compelling as a film to have on when I'm doing other things. It has a great cast including Samuel L Jackson and Thomas Jane (a blonde, American James Purefoy if you will) along with Aida Turturro, Michael Rappaport, Saffron Burrows, and LL Cool Jay. H and I saw it on a date during those brief months after we were a couple but before we started living together.

Holidays

Oct. 17th, 2015 09:08 pm
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
Today is Sweetest Day, which I completely forgot.
Was going to cab it over to the mall to get H a pressie, but it's football Saturday, which I also completely forgot. I could not possibly care less about football, except that it makes me want to leave the house even less than usual. Drunken crowds, you know.

Halloween is coming up, and I have no plans. Bummer.
If you know of any cool events that I'd be welcome at, do let me know.

Started Xmas shopping. H is probably getting mostly books and movies, candy, socks, and a T-shirt of some sort. If this new gig works out, I might also be able to buy him a small drone. He would have tremendous fun with that.

Thinking that my birthday party will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as per usual. I never know if it's gonna be a huge party or a tiny one. Thinking about making a coconut cake with a chocolate ganache. That would be tasty.

Had given up on getting a regular writing gig I applied for, but then I heard back from them. The work seems pretty straight forward and the pay is good. So I'm stoked about that. Also have a new short story I've been noodling for a few weeks now. Looking forward to getting that drafted before the NaNoWriMo starts. Oh yeah, I'm doing the NaNoWriMo this year. Go me! ;-) Who else is playing? Be sure to add me as a writing buddy.

Movies have and will watch soon:
Green Inferno
The Visit
Knock Knock
Honeymoon

I should probably start working on my list of horror for the year-end wrap up for Geekbinge. American Horror Story is going well, BTW. By which I mean the show itself, and my reviews. South Park commenters at the new sites are often shitty and mean, and make personal slams when they disagree with something. But AHS fans comment about the show, the references, and horror in general. Speaking of TV, Simpsons is having new Halloween eps two weeks in a row. They're totally embiggening the whole season.
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
I quit ArticleCats this week. Nice people there, but I've had 4 editors in the last 8 months because they all either quit or get fired. Lamesauce. Plus, my assignments there were boring, and the pay was too low.
Got offered another geekwriting gig. But again, not enough money for the work they're asking me to do.

It's not that I'm unwilling to write geekery for a low base wage. I am. But I only have so many hours a week to devote to stuff I don't make a decent wage from. Three reviews a week for peanuts is quite enough.

The new business venture H and I are doing is working out well. I've helped a handful of authors with getting their books formatted and ready for publishing. H is awesome at graphic design. So now we're hiring ourselves out as a full-service team for people trying to self publish. We edit, do layout and formatting, design covers and internal graphics, and offer marketing consultation. Our hourly rate is competitive--lower than many other places that do the same thing--yet still a wage that makes us happy. So that's been great.

If you haven't checked out http://thehorrorwithin.com/, you should totally do so. We've got tons of great content up including great FREE fiction, an array of incredible art, reviews for movies, books, and TV, plus a lot of extra horror features. I'm thrilled with how well our staff has risen to the occasion, and with how great everything is going. I'd love to see more fiction subs. And I'd love for more authors to contact us about hyping their horror books.

Here's some fun news: I'm doing the NaNoWriMo this year. I haven't done it seriously since the aughts, so it's totally time. I have enough free time (is there really such a thing as "free time"?) these days, and a story that needs working on. So I'm prepping that now. Wish me luck! Um, unless you hate the NaNo, then don't.

Finally watching the Democratic debate. What strikes me the most after watching the GOP debate is that *this* is a stage full of politicians debating issues. It's fucking tragic to think that the most impressive feat of the Democrats might have done thus far is to not descend into a sea of prideful ignorance and playground insults. Even if Trump wasn't running, the GOP would still be a total shitshow. I'm still feeling the Bern, but everybody except Webb was fairly impressive.
wednes: (Heart Horror)
Facebook is down. Please feel free to take some polaroids of whatever you're eating and mail them to me so I can see.

The season finale of Fear the Walking Dead is next week. I'm digging the slow burn, but am irritated that the little Johnny Deppish kid is still wearing the same old man clothes he stole from the hospital. Ridiculous.

I don't care what the wags say. I'm digging the hell out of Gotham and am stoked that it's back. Penguin is just delightful and Nygma gets better (and crazier) all the time. Sleepy Hollow is back soon too, though why it moved to Thursdays I do not know.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back tomorrow. Yay! Can't wait to see Coulson's new arm.

Scream Queens is marginally entertaining, nothing great. I think it's for teenagers who think American Horror Story has too many references and old people. I don't care who the killer is, or what happens to any of these people. But I do think the killer is the main chick's dad.

American Horror Story is back next week. So. Stoked. Did a bit of research to find out who the hell this "Lady Gaga" is. She seems like an interesting chick, and someone I'll enjoy more as an actor than a singer--like Cher.

I have to make a listicle about American Horror Story by Weds afternoon. Taking suggestions. Normally I'd ask on the Facebooks, but it's down.

New site

Sep. 23rd, 2015 07:49 am
wednes: (Cartman 2)
For those of you who don't know, I'm writing for another media website these days. I'm still doing Blunt Talk for Geekbinge, but am doing American Horror Story: Hotel for 411Mania. I was assigned to do South Park for them as well.
Yeah, that's two shows on one night. Something I used to try to avoid (though not well).

The hard part?

I only have 90 minutes from the time a show ends to make pictures, upload them to a 3rd party site (they don't let writers upload pics to the site), write, post, and format the whole review with an additional tl:dr paragraph.

That's probably going to be okay for South Park. But my habit it to spend 2 1/2 to 3 hours on review for a show that's an hour long (or more, since AHS has a habit of running between 10-30 minutes over). I worry that my reviews won't be as good as readers are used to.

Also, 411Mania gets a lot more traffic. Commenters seem to be mostly dudes, and the sort who immediately get personal when they disagree with you. As such, I'm not engaging in the comments--with anyone. That's almost a drag, because I love a passionate discussion between fans. But I'm not going to validate bullshit with a response.

In other news, I need a haircut.
The chick I like doesn't have any appts open for at least 4 weeks. Just as well, since the cabs to her place cost more than the damn haircut. I'll probably just go to the mall. I'm in the mood for a super short cut.
wednes: (Colbert Well Done)
Remember a few weeks, maybe a month ago, I found out H and I weren't getting the check from our 2013 income tax refile? I was super bummed because it was my fault and we sort of needed the money? Well, the check mysteriously arrived today, over a month after it was supposed to and after we were told it wasn't coming at all.

Wha--?

My back is still stiff and sore and terrible. Normally I'd do some stretches while lying on the floor. But the vacuum we bought last year is already broken and H doesn't want to buy one from Craigslist. So I'm not lying on a floor that hasn't been vacuumed in a month. No, not even when I'm in pain.

That bitch from Nerdly who talked shit about me in a review (and stole one of my pics, which has since been removed) is now attempting to justify her terrible behavior. Did you know that being transexual makes you the spokesperson for every transexual? I had no idea. Fascinating, right? Too bad I'm so "disrespectful" and need to "educate" myself. *shakes head*

Honestly, is there a difference between "she revealed herself to be a biological male" and "she revealed herself to be a transgendered woman" in terms of respect or dignity? If my phrasing (the first one) was honestly disrespectful, I do want to know about it. Though I maintain that calling me out publicly while lumping me in with people who made Crying Game jokes or used the term "He/She" is right out. The review was for Penny Dreadful, which is set in a time period before terms like transgendered or transexual were used, as far as I know. I find this annoying because a) I don't think I'm an ignorant or hateful person, and b) if my verbiage is off, I want to discuss it rather than fend off an accusation--especially from a total stranger. Gah.
wednes: (Psycho/Shower)
Work is running me ragged, mainly because I can't stop chasing the monies. I still write for a bunch of different sites. Some are paying me more per article than they used to, and others are paying the same but giving me less work overall. My Texas SEO clients want me to cover gun stuff (which I know far too little about to cover with any seriousness) and tween beauty products (which shouldn't even exist IMO). So that's been tricky.

I'm covering American Horror Story: Hotel for a different site this year. Mainly to make more money and get a wider readership. Still reviewing Blunt Talk for Geekbinge. It's one of those shows that's funny and depressing at the same time, like Maron. I think it's for people who miss watching Frasier and thought it needed more overt sexuality.

Really need to find another general news or women's site to write for. Hating a lot of the assignments I'm getting these days. Stuff that takes a lot of research, uses only public domain pictures, and covers subjects I do not care about--for far less money than I should be getting. I'm still quite witty, but I think the quality can't help but suffer when it's posts on things I'm not passionate about.

There's a lull in the TV schedule as summer shows end and fall shows haven't quite started yet. I hope to use that time to get into some fiction writing, or maybe work on my long-neglected Millicent Mixter's Guide to Murder-Free Customer Service.
Yeah, I know--all my titles are too long.

Speaking of summer finales:
Defiance was fucking amazing. I don't know if it's been renewed or not, but the S3 finale provided a nice ending. Plus the visuals on Nolan doing the thing at the end? Wow.
Hannibal was the most beautiful goddamn thing I've ever seen. I owe NBC a huge apology for saying over and over that they didn't have the stones to do a real horrorshow. Of course, they also cancelled Hannibal, so fuck them. I could have watched a few more seasons, for sure. But the finale was utterly perfect, full of animal bloodlust, and featured some of the best looking men on TV.
Falling Skies. Happy ending. So surprises there. This show was always too tame and predictable for me. H liked it though.
HUMANs. Dug it. Looking forward to S2.
True Detective Awful. The whole thing was just shit-slingingly terrible. Bad dialogue, zero meaningful character development. Predictable plot. I was so looking forward to seeing Vince Vaughn in something great.
Extant and The Strain are no doubt ending soon. Extant is not a great show, but it's pretty solid. I like the kid a lot, and hate the chick Meryl Streep's daughter plays. Gods, she's a terribly flawed person.
wednes: (AB/Waffle Man)
I do the overwhelming majority of the cooking around here, since H can only cook bachelor food. His fave meal that I make is chili, because I am the ace at it. I think my chili con carne is so good, that I'd enter it into cookoffs if they happened anywhere near me. But I'm certainly not schlepping my chili and fixin's down to Texas. I hear it's hot and racist down there. ;-)

Tonight though, H wants his second favorite meal--which is abbreviated thanksgiving. I take a whole mess of veggies and mix them with a bag of Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing. Add chicken stock and bake--serve with gravy that came out of a jar. That's right, a jar. You wanna fight about it? Sometimes I mix in some ground chicken, but today I'm keeping the ground chicken on the side for portion control. Meat is expensive, you know. With it, we're having green bean casserole. H friggin loves green bean casserole--and like many African Americans, he had never heard of it as a kid.

This is a discovery that I made in my adult life--that the Campbells cookbook from 1968 didn't make it out of middle-class white neighborhoods. When H and I first got married, H's grandmother asked me for the recipe after having it at her new church. She was the 3rd or 4th black person I knew who had never heard of it, despite being part of casserole culture. As far as I knew--if you knew about tuna casserole, you should also know about green bean casserole. Not so, though.

Like most people, I make personal adjustments to my green bean casserole. I always use frenched green beans out of a can, and more mushrooms than the recipe calls for (I loves mushers). I use cream of chicken mushroom instead of regular cream of mushroom. I also add sour cream and a healthy couple of shakes of Kraft parmesan. No fresh foods to be found, really. I stir it twice during cooking. Then of course the crunchy onions--which H would put on everything but breakfast cereal if he could.

In other news, my short story, "Raja" has been accepted by an anthology called "Not Your Average Monster." I had a feeling it would be a good fit for them if they liked it. I did a lot of work on this one before submitting, since another pub (that folded before they could publish it) made me edit it down to absurd proportions. So I'm pretty stoked for this fleshed out version to be getting some ink. Yay!
wednes: (TV!!!)
I'm admitting for the record that I like The Nerdist.
We're gonna blame/credit @midnight for that.
I've spent quite some time not understanding why this Hardwick cat had any cred at all, why he was suddenly everywhere, why I should listen to his various nerdy musings. Slowly, I started to find him ever less annoying. He's friends with a lot of people who are cool and not assholes. It's not like he hangs out with Kevin Nealon or Dennis Miller--but if he did, he'd probably be super polite to them. I didn't even realize Hardwick was Jerry in House of 1,000 Corpses until like--last year. Yeah, even though I saw it in the theatre and own it on DVD and digital and own a copy of the shooting script. Yeah, even though I've seen it a zillion goddamn times, and even though he looks and acts like a puffy drunken version of his TV self. I seriously had no idea. But I did know that Fishboy is in the American Office.

So I'm watching @midnight.

You know that scene in Beverly Hills Cop, where Rosewood decides to go against what Bogomil and Taggart tell him? Where he decides he's gonna help Axel catch the villainous drug dealing art vendor Victor Maitland? And he tells Axel this, and Axel is all, "I love you, Billy. I just fell in love with you." Remember that?

That's how I felt about Chris Hardwick on tonight's @midnight when he explained and defended telling jokes about Jared Fogle and his illegal sexual tendencies.
You gotta joke about it, because what else *can* you do? Emotionally, I mean.
So, you know--Points!

On an unrelated topic, research on a new Kinkly article has begun. I'll be calling it Project Arcturus, and will tell you all about it after I'm done--probably in about a week. How mysteriously vague, right?
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
I don't spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not I'm discriminated against for being a chick. I'm already aware that I get treated like shit on occasion for being fat, for not being Christian, and even for being married to a black guy--yes, even in a liberal town in contemporary America.

Every so often, people who read something I've written think I must be a dude. Some podcasters responded to an old Walking Dead article I wrote (panning the show after the S2 finale). They called me "Lee" despite a clear byline with my right name, and referred to me as "he" and "him" throughout their commentary. I didn't really care. They wanted to have me on their podcast to discuss it, but stopped communicating with me after I told them I was not a dude.

It's no secret that the nerd scene can be surprisingly anti-chick. Aside from Gamergate, there are plenty of people who dismiss the opinions of women (even if they don't call themselves Feminists (TM) or Womyn or whatever). Because I'm a hardcore fan of most things I'm a fan of and am reasonably articulate--I've never had the feeling that I was being dismissed because of my gender. That doesn't mean it's never happened--only that I didn't notice if it did.

Last week I applied to write TV reviews for a different website, one that pays considerably more than the one I write for now. They made me an offer which I accepted, though we're still ironing out the details. Got some correspondence from my new editor, their wordpress rules and such. They call me "Lee" as well, and are using male pronouns when discussing me. I don't really care outright about that. I'm happy to provide a gender-neutral, pronoun-free bio. Admittedly, I imagine certain types of nerds will take me more seriously if they think I'm a dude--especially if I'm reviewing something like Family Guy or South Park. So whatevs. As long as I get my proper byline, I don't care.

I wonder though...do I have a moral or ethical obligation to clearly state that I'm a chick? What happens if I do that and they decide not to hire me after all? Is it dishonest not to correct them? Have any of you had to deal with this?

Goings On!

Jul. 30th, 2015 08:03 pm
wednes: (The Horror Within)
The Horror Within website is up and running. There will be wee improvements as time goes on. The slider is missing, but will be up soon. Of course, we'll be adding tons and tons of content as we get it.

We'll be featuring art, novel excerpts, short stories and interviews as they roll in. I'm waiting to hear back from a few interviewees, and for some feature writers to get their first articles in to me. The site looks great thanks to the hard work of Rich, our web guy, and Hollingsworth, our graphics guy.

Peep us, if you dare!

I'm looking to take on some new projects as well. Some paid, some not. I applied to write for Bloody Disgusting just so a few more people can hear me rant about horror things. I'm also looking into a few more writing and editing gigs--I predict that some of them will require a pen name. I think I need to tell people why Z-Nation is a lot more fun to watch than The Walking Dead.

Coming up for GeekBinge, I'll be reviewing the new Sir Pat Stew show: Blunt Talk. Then not much until American Horror Story comes back. A lot of my GB shows are no longer on the air: Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The Following, and I refuse to watch Under the Dome anymore, because fuck that shit and the cow it split in half. Not sure what else I might like to review. Maybe one of the new SyFy shows.

Been brushing up on my Espanol of late. It's much worse than I remembered it being, which I guess is not a huge surprise. My vocab is weak and my verb conjugation is worse. But dammit, there's no reason why I should only speak one language. I'm pretty smart and certainly have enough time to do a few minutes every day. If I can pedal with those stupid pedals, I can surely do this.

Articles

Jul. 14th, 2015 10:11 am
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
Not caught up with my various writings?
This'll help:

Cis People Problems. Not sure how to talk to someone who is transgendered--duh, like a person.

Posting a lot about the recent church burnings down south? Why not do something to help instead?

The Rapture is coming...again.

In Praise of Public Nudity.

WTF is masking???

Penny Dreadful is done for the season, but my reviews will last forever...

I'm craving a bologna sandwich. I have bologna, but no sliced yellow cheese.
#ImperfectWorld
wednes: (Really?)
Was planning on getting up at a reasonable hour and getting a bunch of work done. I'm still gonna get a bunch of work done--but mos def NOT because I got up at a reasonable hour. I'm having another goddamn kidney stone, and it has me hobbling around like a 90-year-old without a cane. Dang and Fie!
As such, I didn't get out of bed until about an hour ago, and will be heading back there soon replete with ibuprofen.
The lesson: I can have a few almonds on occasion--such as in a KIND bar. But buying that big bag of smokehouse almonds for me and H? Nope. That is right out.

Anyway, my lawyer client in Texas needs 4 new blogs by tomorrow. I have 2 things to write for AC, and a couple of Kinkly thinks I need to get done over the next week. It will help when it doesn't cause agony to sit in my desk chair.

Shark Week sucks now. I know I've been saying this every year for a while now, but it makes me so sad that it's become a fearfest of shark attacks. Looks like there are a few conservation shows this year. But the alternate 7-Days-of-Shark on NatGeo is still a damn sight better.

I'm off to drink more water and go back to bed. Owwie.

Site Launch

Jul. 1st, 2015 08:25 pm
wednes: (The Horror Within)
Soooo...

The Horror Within is getting ready to launch. My cousin Rich is doing an awesome job of translating my many needs and wants into realities.

Stuff we'll have and do:
--Accounts for all regular contributors, plus blank accounts so that guest contributors and fiction submissions can all have proper bylines.
--Awesome graphics that H has been working his ass off on. (Don't worry, his actual ass is cute as ever)
--Normal stuff like FB like buttons, our Twitter feed, and cool widgets
--Soon everyone will have custom graphics for their regular content.
--Staff Emails
--A fully functioning Submission page, so we won't have to use submittable.
--The ability to do polls.
--Yoast SEO management.

There's probably more I'm forgetting. I'm awesome at forgetting.
I still need to find some fiction, reprints I think, to have ready for the first few weeks after launch. For the time being, we'll probably have new content a few times a week. Hoping though, that will become more frequent with time.

What we need:
--Regular interviewers to interview mostly writers and authors.
--Novelists who want to pimp their wares.
--Regular swag writer who can commit to 1-2 articles a month about horrific analog games, figures, apparel and other horror swag.
--People dying to advertise with us. :-)




In other news, I thought I was way more caught up with work than I actually am. Seems the calendar on my iPod is not syncing with my mac mini. Talk about first world problems that are a genuine pain in the ass...!

Getting more proactive about fiction writing and subbing. Added a subplot and roughly 1,000 words to my short story Raja, then subbed it to a paying market. I've always enjoyed that story a lot and look forward to finding it a good home.

Getting a free veggie spiraler so I can review it. Got some free massagers for review earlier in the week. No you filthy minded jackals, not THAT kind of massager. They're supposed to be for cellulite, but since I don't give a crap about cellulite, I'm just using them on my calves and thighs because it feels awesome. It's a nobbly roller thing, and pretty durable. Plus, I love getting free stuff. Because FREE stuff!

Jaybird

Jun. 7th, 2015 06:56 am
wednes: (Milk & Cheese)
You know how ever since I started writing for a living, I haven't written much fiction at all?

Well, I went through some unfinished short stories tonight, instead of going through the Netflix selections--which is what I usually do on a Saturday night, because I are old. Of the four I went through, two of them actually fit together into what could very well be the basis for a new novel. Another of them came together in my mind so brilliantly that I sat down and spent what amounted to four hours drafting the whole damn thing. It's about 3,300 words.

It's called Jaybird. It's gruesome, unnerving, and scary. I also think it's highly truthful with an unexpected ending. I enjoy the way information has been parsed, and I enjoy the voice--though it will probably get some fine-tuning in a few days. Need to let it sit for a bit while I cleanse my literary palate with other things.

I'm more pleased with myself than I probably should be.

But, you know...take THAT, Guernica!!!
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Apparently horror writers are having a big blowout over Paid Markets (R with circle) versus FTL markets. Which one makes you a "real writer" or a "sell out" or someone who "lacks talent." I'm someone who has to constantly check myself to make sure I'm not acting like a complete D-bag over who is a Real Writer (TM) or not, and I find this irksome as all hell.

When I first started writing shorts with the intention of wide release, I was willing to give stuff away to FTL markets. I just wanted to be read and seen. But novels? No. I'm only giving those free on special occasions, or to reviewers, and with the hope that doing so will garner good reviews and increase sales. Having done that, I've still never come close to earning min wage in terms of hours spent on a book versus money earned. Does that mean I'm not a Real Writer? To some, yes. I find this odd, because other writers know you can write your ass off, create something great, and still make less than $1,000 on it. I never heard huge authors bashing small authors for the ways in which they try to boost sales--but I hear non-writers bash active writers for their marketing efforts all the time.

I've been hearing the argument that writers giving away their work hurts writers who are selling. I can't imagine that this is true. Books just don't work that way. If you enjoy an author, you're not going to skip their next book because someone you've never heard of has a book available for free. By that logic, people who love to fuck are taking money away from prostitutes.

Writers who want to be paid for their work are not "passionless sellouts" who "only do it for the money." Nor are those who give their work away "talentless losers who couldn't sell a story if their lives depended on it." I strenuously hope I've never sounded like this big a D-bag when talking about other writers (who are not Stephanie Meyer or EL Fudge or whatever her inner goddess name is). But I probably have at some point. *ahem* fanfic *ahem*

In the end, I think it's up to the writer to decide what their work is worth. Yeah, that is bound to result in wild over and under-pricing. I've read great stuff on Kindle that cost me nothing. I've also seen Facebookers who can't even put a sentence together selling their debut books on Smashwords for $75. Well, I don't know that they're selling them, but they are listing them at prices only a mother would spend. Like most things in life--we should all be allowed to do what we want and leave everyone else out of it. I won't hold my breath though.

While I have your attention, I've been listing my own shorts at Amazon for a mere 99 cents. Available now are:

The Growlers: A fast-food zombie tale that ties in to my novel, The Finster Effect.

Whitman, I Ain't: A first-person narrative of a school shooter.

Trabajando Alegre: One of my personal favorite shorts. This one is about a new employment program designed to help poverty stricken minorities. People refer to this as a satire, but I think it's just straight-up horror.

More are coming soon. I'm mainly waiting for H to finish the covers.
wednes: (Cartoon JoJo)
I remember when summer time meant nothing but reruns on TV, which sucked. After May sweeps, there was pretty much zero good watchin' until season premieres in September. And as someone who grew up watching an appalling amount of TV, I'm kinda glad that's changed. As a reviewer though, summer is now my busy season.

Under the Dome was renewed yet again. But after two years of that torture, I am not subjecting myself to another horrible season. It's some of the worst character development I've ever seen--especially offensive given that it was already written for them, and must have taken real talent to screw up this badly.

Bates Motel is almost over. Two eps to go. Man, it's been a great season. I'm really thrilled that a story I love this much has been handled so well for so long. Word is, there are five seasons planned, and Vera Farmiga will be doomed to die soon--I think before this season actually ends. Freddie Highmore is SO damn good.

Ripper Street just came back. Only 8 episodes for that one. Even though it's already played in the UK, I'm doing week-to-week reviews as it plays on BBC America.

Game of Thrones has finally made some shit happen. That one is, again, 10 episodes, so 7 more to go this season. I have no doubt that a shitload of people are doomed to die. But since they're so damn far off the books at this point, it's hard to say who that will be. As long as they're taking liberties though, it's nice that the Bolton's are so goddamn hot.

True Blood is, of course, off the air. But I've been putting S2 on while I'm doing stuff, like half-watching it. It's always been a silly, guilty pleasure type show, but I did enjoy it before it went to complete shit in S5. I dig the Maryanne season, but the Russell Edgington season is the best thing EVER. Besides, that Stephen Moyer is a damn attractive fella.

Penny Dreadful comes back on Sunday. Helen McCrory is playing Liz Bathory this season, so that'll be fun. Plus Billie Piper is sure to...well, I don't want to spoil anyone who isn't caught up. But I'm stoked for another season.

Too many shows I dig (and watch with H) have been cancelled of late:
Helix
Atlantis
Intruders
Neither Agent Carter nor Ascension were picked up.
and it's not looking good for Constantine either.
Falling Skies is ending too, but that show is long overdue for cancellation.

Spent tonight making up files and doing conversions for short stories. I'm releasing a few on Amazon for 99 cents, and putting novel excerpts afterwards. Marketing is so tedious and I feel so bad at it.

Zombies

Mar. 29th, 2015 07:26 am
wednes: (Growlers)
I'm finally getting it together to put some short stories for sale at Amazon. Now that I'm better at formatting for Kindle, it's a no brainer that I should be releasing as much as I can for sale. I have to say who the publisher is when I put new stories up on KDP. So I've decided to be WednesFri Scares. Because I'm me, and I scare.

With that in mind, The Growlers is back in print. Borrow it for free, or buy it for 99 cents. H made a sweet new cover, which you can see at the link. The icon for this post is the old graphic that I used when the podcast ep was released. Cool, eh?

Once I get new covers, I'm gonna be putting up a few more shorts to see how they do. I'm also gonna be publishing another author I'm not ready to release details about yet. Pretty sure I'll release Trabajando Alegre, Raja, and maybe Whitman, I Ain't. Might be nice if I could get pro-gun and anti-gun people arguing over that one. I should also release An Occurrence Among Stoners at Owl Creek Bridge because why the hell not? #Popularity


Now...The Walking Dead Season Five finale is tonight. After getting spoiled on Helix more than once this season, I'm not going back on the Internet from the time it airs until I actually see it. A lot of people are saying Daryl is going to die.

Initially, I dismissed this without much thought--sort of like I did with the "Snape Kills Dumbledore" spoiler that turned out to be true. It seems unlikely that TWD would kill Daryl, since he's a clear fan fave. AMC has made it pretty clear that they care more about profits than art, and they won't risk driving away the teenage fan base. Today I found out that Norman Reedus is selling his house, which could mean that he's moving on to bigger things. I will be bummed if Daryl dies, but I don't think that's what will happen. TWD is so large with diversions from the comic, but I think this time they're gonna adhere. If he does die though, he should totally turn up as a zombie on the spinoff. Yeah, I know it's a prequel. There are also undead cannibals, so suspending our disbelief shouldn't be too hard.

My prediction is that Rick will be exiled, and Glenn & Maggie will immediately elect to go with him, as will Carl. But then, Alexandria is the safest place for Judith, who would need Carl to take care of her. Abraham and Rosita, Father Gabriel Asshat, and Michonne will stay. But as soon as the gates open, that's probably when the Wolves will come. The lead in has been way too heavy to not have them show up. We've been promised tears, so I imagine that's when it will happen. I won't spoil it for anyone who doesn't know--but I will miss this person a LOT if that's who dies.
wednes: (Diamonds)
Still looking for work, and have a few leads.

Got hipped to a gig writing short SEO articles for a company servicing a variety of clients. Got approved right away, and found that for a chance to earn $8, all I'd have to do is:
--Research an entire industry to get a baseline of what that industry is, how the competition works, and why businesses or citizens totally need this.
--Research the types of articles this client likes, and what they don't.
--Write an article of about 400 words that is unlike anything they've received before, or like anything their competitors are doing.
--Learn the silly, non-intuitive interface that doesn't allow me to write with a real goddamn word processor and then cut/paste.
--Make edits to "fix" things the client forgot to mention they want/don't want.
If, after all that, the article gets accepted, I make $8 that I can get paid after I make enough $8's to achieve the minimum payout of $100.
Seriously? People actually work like that? And you can't just research one industry and write about it, because you can only submit one article to a client at a time.

Guess I didn't realize how lucky I was writing 4-12 articles per month for the same client who pays five cents a word and requires only minimal research after the baseline. Oh, to still have that terrible wallpaper client!!!

Was invited to write Marvel articles I am in no way qualified to write, because I stopped reading comic books in the 90's and only watch Marvel stuff now.

Was invited to appear on HuffPo live again. Declined. Not only do I have no interest in doing TV or vids (after that bullshit appearance on Thom Hartmann show), but HuffPo runs ads for fracking, and can therefore kiss my ass.

Was invited to do ghostwriting for eBooks. That's where you write an entire goddamn book, and someone else takes credit for it after giving you a minimum payment. The icing on that cake was that they wanted me to write diet books "because you know so much about them." Yeah, that's how I found out that they were bullshit.

Question: What kind of tablet is best for word processing, editing, and the like? I probably won't be typing drafts on it, but will want to do editing that way. I want to hear from people who actually do this. Is 7" too small? It seems like it would be. Is the Kindle fire fast and responsive enough for this? I need the wisdom of the experienced before I buy one.

With the extra time I've had on my hands, I've watched a few things:
Spiders (2013) Meh. This had better production values than I was expecting, and was pretty scary in parts. Ultimately though, the writing was lacking.
The Host (2012) Been meaning to watch this forever. Pretty good, but not great.
House of Cards (2013-present) Holy shit, this was awesome. I don't think I'd ever seen a Kevin Spacey sex scene before. Also, Princess Buttercup turned into a terrible person (except during the last moment of S3--WOW!!)
Dead Snow (2010) & Dead Snow 2 (2014). Enormous, tremendous fun.
Attack on Titan: Wow, this was gruesome as shit. Loved it.

Still reviewing Bates Motel, and it's still badass. Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones are both coming up. Can you believe I almost ditched reviewing GoT so I'd have more time for Puckermob (those fuckers!). SO glad I procrastinated on that.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
Whelp, we didn't make our funding goal. I seem to have dramatically overestimated my own visibility and esteem in the horror community. So, we won't be having a print mag where we pay pro rates any time soon.

Fie!

But you know, that doesn't mean we're all washed up. We have a sweet masthead, a cool logo, and a staff who seems to want to keep it going. I'm pondering doing a quarterly digital antho, or maybe running The Horror Within as a website (one of our feature writers came up with that idea). This is something we can probably afford if any one of the many gigs I'm working toward pans out. We can certainly post regular features a few times a month, and maybe showcase some novel chapters and reprint fiction that deserves more notice. And we can have a newsletter so people can sign up if they want. Our main expense there would be paying someone to build the Wordpress site. I already have hosting and stuff.

In the mean time, I'm working on getting some out of print lit back on sale. And yeah, I did pick out an unfinished manuscript that totally deserves to see the light of day. Who knows, maybe I'll actually finish the Millicent Mixter draft while I'm about it.

Even though this turns out to be a fail, I'm not feeling like a failure because of it. If you read my self-indulgent rantings often--you'll know that this is kind of a big deal.
wednes: (Count Thumps Edward)
On the advice of the internets and H, I finally went to the goddamn doctor to talk about the goddamn depression that's been plaguing me all goddamn winter. It goddamn helped, a little. They suggested all sorts of pills, including many that I've tried before: Wellbutrin (makes me manic), Abilify (gives me crazy high blood sugar), Zyprexa (causes weight gain), and Latuda. That one is new, and is an anti-psychotic used for both schizophrenia and bi-polar. If I can afford it, I'm gonna give it a whirl. Because it's new, it won't be available as a generic. So I have no idea how much my insurance will cover and what the copay will be. Guess I'll find out soon enough.
It's always scary to take a new med though, I really super don't want to get manic.

Work is still tenuous. Still writing SEO and sex articles, and a bunch of new seasons are starting up for Geekbinge reviews. I was *holds up finger and thumb* THIS close to giving up 1-2 midseason shows so I'd have time to write more articles for the goddamn place that just fired all their goddamn freelancers. So very glad I dragged my feet on that one. I'd have been seriously kicking myself.

I did learn a valuable lesson about putting up with crap. Never again will I tolerate someone editing my author pic without my permission. Nor will I, for fuck's sake, tolerate an editor changing my byline without my say so. Can you even imagine changing someone's name without even telling them. "Wednesday Lee"?!? What the ever loving fuck?!?

Still looking for another writing gig. It's been almost 2 weeks, which I know is not a long time in the grand scheme of job searching. But damn, I'm ready to get back into it. I do have a few irons in a few fires, so we'll see what ends up bursting into flames, I guess.

Some Things

Feb. 9th, 2015 05:25 am
wednes: (Grimey)
Posting spoilers for any show, especially within 24 hours of the first airing, makes you a dick. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? #LadyStoneheart, bitches.

Bavarian creme is not the same as custard creme. People who make paczkis should know this already. Still, that's good paczkis.

Law articles today. I do find it funny that I even get paid to do that, given that I've never even taken the LSAT, let alone a law class.

Getting a free review copy of Rosewater. Stoked.
If any locals want to have a viewing party, let me know.

Still not sure what I'm getting H for Val's day. Whatever it is, it probably won't be here on time.

Kickstarter is lagging so far despite a great project and kickass perks. Little help?

Watched Birdman last night. Wow, even going in with high expectations, it was great. Kind of a Noises Off meets Rope meets a wrenching black comedy. Plus, Ed Norton.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
After much cajoling and craziness, The Horror Within Kickstarter is up and running. I've supported plenty of things at Kickstarter over the years, so it's my hope that all that good karma will help me now. Yes, I realize I'm referring to a bogus, Americanized version of karma--still, I'm hoping for it.

After one day, we're just shy of the 5% mark. I've sent a few press releases out, and plan to send a bunch more now that we're live. Here's the link to donate!

If you can't afford to donate, that's cool. Why not talk it up to your friends and wealthy relatives? Mention how much I love horror and how I have a goodly amount of experience running a magazine. Talk about how important it is to support indie horror, Women in Horror, and to find undiscovered talent and share their stories with horror fans everywhere. I think I have strong skill in editing and polishing stories to bring out their terror and beauty, and I can't wait to get back in the habit of putting out new issues regularly.

Here's our vid. Music is by Peter Alway:


Wish me luck!
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
This is a reprint from 2011. Enjoy!

Top Ten Non-Weapons that YOU need for Home Zombie Defense.

If you're anything like me, you've had a zombie preparedness plan in place for some time. You know where you're going to go, who and what you're going to take—and who you're going to leave behind. You may even have a bag packed, or a small stock of food and weaponry. It's okay…I won't tell. And you shouldn't either—or you're just asking to be looted.
As the zombie genre and its fans mature, the need for increased zombie preparedness grows. Unlimited food, weaponry, and toilet paper just aren't enough any more. Thanks to the proliferation of zombie culture—many of your neighbors are now also planning to hold up in the bowling alley, the local jail, military base, or super Wal*mart. To survive and thrive, you've GOT to stay ahead of the zombies, and more importantly, ahead of anyone in the same predicament as you. Hint: that's pretty much everyone.
The best thing may just be to hold up in your own home for as long as you can. If you decide to do that, there are some necessary items that you should have on hand, ten, in fact. These are not necessarily listed in order of importance. You really do need all ten.

#10 Water Purification Tablets. Sure, you'll probably have what you think is plenty of stored water in your basement. You'll be amazed how fast it goes. The average person needs at least 8 glasses of water a day. Even cutting that in half, a family of four will need over 100 litres of water for just one month. Since you have NO IDEA how long you might be staying inside, you will need to be able to purify the water from your tap. If you have city water, it will be undrinkable within 12 hours of the electrical grid going down—unless you are armed with purification tabs. Get a bunch, they last forever.

#9 Dehydrated Food. This is kind of a no-brainer. You will likely have plenty of canned and non-perishables around your house. But again, you don't know how long you might be there. Ideally, you'll want at least one year's worth of food for your entire group. Be sure to include astronaut ice cream and tactical bacon, both available from the good people at ThinkGeek.com.

#8 First-Aid. Again, this is sort of a no-brainer in that you probably already have some kind of emergency medical kit in your home or vehicle. To withstand zombies and the collapse of society, you'll want to be well stocked. Be sure to have a large and plentiful assortment of bandages, cotton, splints and gauze. You'll need rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and a few different kinds of pain killers, germ fighters, bismuth, hot and cold packs, and smelling salts. Think in terms of a severely injured person that you've got to either make travel-ready—or leave behind. You cannot be too prepared. Bonus points for sedatives and alertness pills. Do NOT use caffeine in an apocalyptic situation.

#7 Vitamins. Even if you have a good supply of food and hydration, you will almost certainly need a boost. D vitamins in case you can't go outside, C in case there's no fruit left, B's to keep you peppy and alert, and A because carrots taste disgusting. Note: many vits have more of everything than you actually need. Read the label, but it's often perfectly fine to cut them in half.

#6 Fire. At some point, you will need to make a fire. Lighters will last a while, matches will last longer. Flints and accelerants are also good to have. If there's any sunlight at all, a magnifying glass is your best renewable source of fire—if you can refrain from breaking it Burgess Meredith style.

#5 Fire Extinguisher. If you're making fire, you will also need plenty of ways to put out said fire if it becomes unruly. Water should never be used for grease, electrical, or chemical fires. Instead, have on hand a blanket, some dry flour, salt/sand, and one or more of each grade of commercial extinguisher. This is another way in which your hidey hole cannot be too well outfitted. Nothing ruins a perfectly good shelter like an uncontrolled blaze.

#4 Eternal flashlight. Do I even need to explain this one? It will sometimes be dark. You will need to see. You may or may not have batteries. Thirty seconds of shaking will give you ten minutes of light. Repeat as necessary.

#3 Wind-up Radio. Not only will this keep you somewhat informed, but it may also keep you from going completely insane and murdering whoever is holding up with you. AM/FM is good. AM/FM/CB is much better. Just be very, VERY careful about giving away your position.

#2 Aloe Plant. This may not save your life, but it will make you a whole lot more comfortable if you experience a burn, a rash, or find yourself without a toothbrush for more than say, two days. Aloe is a miracle healing plant with so many marvelous properties that you should probably avail yourself of them even if you aren't expecting zombies any time soon.

#1 Love. Yes, that's corny. But you know what? The most likely thing to keep you from committing suicide (actively or passively) is a good, solid reason to live. A solitary life is no kind of life at all. If there's no one you like enough to repopulate the Earth with—why not try meeting a few new people while you're out stockpiling triple-ply TP and Pringles that you hope will last as long as Twinkies. After all, the only thing that makes us human is our humanity.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
This interview is from 2011, and was the first interview I did for Zombie Zone News that left me a little starstruck. C'mon, it's Craig Spector--who co-edited those awesome Book of the Dead zombie anthos, in addition to being a kickass writer in his own *ahem* write. ;-)

So, cut for length, here is my interview with Craig Spector )
wednes: (Ho1KC)
 Picking Brains with Wednesday Lee Friday:  Craig DiLouie
Reprint of 2011 Interview originally posted at Zombie Zone News.

 

Tonight we continue 7 authors in 7 days with Craig DiLouie, wherein we feature authors from Permuted Press and Zombiefest at Audible.com.  He writes fiction and non-fiction, stories, articles, and a badass horror blog.  I was thrilled to see that he is also a passionate horror fan, and all-around nice guy.  After the interview, a sample from DiLouie's amazing and bloody new book.  I know, right?

 

WLF/ZZN:  Hi, Craig.  Thanks for taking the time to answer these Q's.  You are a zombie writer in Canada.  Pardon my ignorance, but do they even have zombies in Canada?

Thank you for asking me for this interview! I’m excited to talk to you. As you pointed out, I currently live in western Canada. I moved here from New York City about eight years ago. Canada’s definitely safer in terms of zombies; the endless winters tend to keep the zombies out.

 

WLF/ZZN:  Please tell us the story of your introduction to the zombie genre?

I’ve always been fascinated with stories about the end of the world. Plague, natural disasters, asteroids, aliens, you name it. But zombies have always been my favorite form of apocalypse. During a zombie apocalypse, the familiar becomes unfamiliar, everybody you know and love suddenly turns against you and is hunting you, and you must interact with and suddenly trust total strangers to stay alive. The potential for storytelling is almost limitless.

When I was younger, there was a bit of wish fulfillment in the end of the world, plus excitement that everything in society that you rely on to support you would no longer be there. Back then, the apocalypse was a challenge, a place where people shoot zombies in the head and have thrilling adventures, something a tiny (and insane) part of me longed for on some level. Now that I’m middle aged with a family, there is added the parental/middle class paranoia that everything you have might be taken away from you. Now I regard the apocalypse as a dark place of suffering and loss—not something to secretly long for, but to experience, through storytelling, a fantasy of one’s worst fears come true.

Suddenly, I discovered emerging zombie fiction authors such as David Moody and Joe McKinney and pioneering small presses such as Permuted Press, and the genre opened up to me as both a reader and a writer. So I started writing a novel I always wanted to read: Tooth and Nail, a story about the end of the world told from the perspective of the soldiers who fought to save it. The novel was so successful—more than 11,000 copies sold to date—that I decided to write The Infection, a story about five ordinary people who must pay the price of survival at the end of the world—more of the classic formula of survivors searching for sanctuary, but with some interesting twists. So far, The Infection has been extremely successful as well, and I’m currently in the homestretch for the sequel, tentatively titled The Killing Floor, which Permuted Press will release sometime in late 2011 or early 2012.

 

WLF/ZZN:  Can you describe these books in more detail for our readers who may not be familiar with you and your work?

Tooth and Nail (Salvo Press, 2010, www.infectedwar.com) tells the story of a military unit deployed in New York City during the zombie apocalypse. As the military begins to lose control, it retrenches in the south, leaving behind Charlie Company on a mission to escort an important scientist to a rendezvous point. For the boys of Charlie Company, the zombie apocalypse will give new meaning to the proverb, “War is hell.” The novel has been described as incredibly realistic, gritty, violent—Blackhawk Down meets 28 Days Later—a novel where you feel like you are embedded with the unit, experiencing the danger of a nighttime operation, the thrill of a bayonet charge, the heroic futility of a last stand.

My second zombie novel, The Infection (Permuted Press, 2011, www.infectednation.com) begins a new story in a new universe. This novel focuses on five people trying to find sanctuary in a dying world and is much more character-driven story. The people who inhabit The Infection are damaged people, reeling from the shock of the familiar suddenly becoming a dangerous and violent. The shock at seeing the people you love turn against you. The shock of losing everything. The apocalypse is a horrible place in The Infection, which has been described as The Road meets 28 Days Later and The Mist. It’s a story about what people have to do to survive, and how that changes you because survival has a price. The zombies are the living dead, but the survivors, in many ways, become the dead living.

 

WLF/ZZN:  What led you to choose a viral infection as the source of the Zeds? 

I love the classic zombie formula of people banding together to search for sanctuary and survive while the world meets a bloody end. That being said, I’m not a purist about the genre. For example, I define the term “zombie” rather broadly to include any ordinary people turned into mindless (and usually violent and infectious) automatons. So I consider the haters in David Moody’s Hater and the crazies in Romero’s The Crazies to be zombies.  (WLF note: **thumbs up**)

The zombies in my stories are alive—infected by a virus that compels them to violently infect others—and as such, they are “fast”—that is, they can run like ordinary people. I prefer this type of zombie in my stories because they are simply more realistic—a mutated, easily infectious rabies virus could actually happen, even if the odds of it happening are miniscule—while also being much scarier to me. A pack of zombies running towards me is much more terrifying than a pack of shamblers, which I could avoid by simply walking away quickly. I’m also partial to stories set during the collapse of society, not after, as there are simply so many more things going on above and beyond the basic nomadic existence of a post-apocalyptic world.

So far, I answered this question by stating my preferences as a writer. As a reader, my tastes are much broader. I enjoy any zombie story—alive or undead, fast or shambling, apocalypse or post apocalypse, story told from the point of view of humans or the zombies themselves—as long as it’s a good story featuring people I care about, people who react realistically to what is happening to them, to their post-apocalyptic environment, to the zombies themselves.

 

WLF/ZZN:  As a Left 4 Dead player, I'm a fan of mutated zombies.  Looking through your book, it appears that you are as well.  Comment?

I love the game Left 4 Dead. Like the game, The Infection features monsters that appear alongside the Infected and raise the stakes for both the characters and the survival of the human race as a whole. I have always been fascinated with the idea of an alien ecology being transplanted onto ours, creating competition. The monsters are not evil; they don’t enjoy human suffering. They just need to eat and expand their population. And humans are no longer at the top of the food chain. We are something’s lunch.

So I’m writing a scene early in The Infection in which two characters shoot down a mob of zombies in a hospital, and I thought, where do I go from here? Is this it—they’re constantly going to shoot zombies for the rest of the novel? I felt that I needed to raise the stakes. By introducing monsters into the story, the tension skyrockets throughout the rest of the book because you never know what is going to come at you next. The characters, meanwhile, are even more terrified at what is happening to them. I knew it was a risk of offending the purists, but decided to go with it, as I enjoyed the result that the story became unpredictable.

 

WLF/ZZN:  Why should zombie fans check out the Audible.com versions of Tooth And Nail and The Infection?

Audiobooks are an entirely new way of experiencing fiction. When I listen to my stories being narrated by a professional reader, I feel like I’m experiencing them for the first time again. You really fall into the story; your mind goes somewhere else. Naturally, they are best suited to people who like to experience books on the go—while jogging, driving a long commute, and so on.

 

WLF/ZZN:  What other ZombieFest selection would you recommend to listeners?

They are all great books and I’m proud to see The Infection stand alongside them. I would happily recommend almost any of Permuted’s titles. For some reason, Tooth and Nail is not included in the ZombieFest promotion, but is also available from Audible here: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=sr_lftbox_1_1.

 

WLF/ZZN:  The violence in your books is routinely described as intense.  Honestly man, what should I be prepared for in terms of general human suffering?

Readers of horror fiction want to be scared. Readers of zombie fiction further want to be titillated by the generalities of the apocalypse and the specifics of violent gore. My zombie fiction serves up plenty of both to continuously punctuate an atmosphere of steadily growing tension. I don’t like filler in books; I believe, as an author, that I have a responsibility to try to provide something on every page that moves the story forward, escalates the tension, and keeps the reader gripped. I also don’t believe in guns that run out of bullets at bad times, in people who trip and drop guns, in zombies that sneak up behind people and bite them, in people suddenly become brilliant at scoring headshots. Everything in my stories must make sense to me, with no lazy shortcuts that will interrupt my reader’s willing suspension of disbelief, and the combat scenes—from military radio protocols to the weaponry of a Bradley fighting vehicle to the sound an M4 carbine makes—must be as richly detailed and realistic as possible. That being said, I don’t believe in violence that is overtly gratuitous. There is nothing sadistic about my stories. There are no evil guys who threaten our protagonists just to have a convenient human villain. Again, everything has to make sense. And while the apocalypse is a sad place, a place of suffering, I like to inject a bit of hope into my stories. There is a sense that if the characters can persevere just a little longer, everything will turn out all right for them.

 

WLF/ZZN:  What's the most interesting bit of zombie media you've encountered recently?

Some good zombie books I’ve read recently include Handling The Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Dust by Joan Frances Turner, One by Conrad Williams, On The Third Day by Rhys Thomas, Flu by Wayne Simmons, Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney, Rise Again by Ben Tripp and Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield. Right now I’m reading Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

 

WLF/ZZN:  You also write a regular horror blog.  Would you say horror is a big part of your life?  Why or why not?

I am a very lucky man blessed with a wonderful wife, two fantastic children, good friends, a great home, a thriving business and a successful fiction writing career. The only horror in my world is confronting my mortality, and the idea that one day something bad might happen to those I love.

That being said, horror dominates my creative life. I spend a lot of my day envisioning or writing stories involving terror, despair and violence. As a writer, I also read everything I can get my hands on in the genre to stay current on what other people are reading and writing. Every single time I read a book, horror or outside the genre, I learn something about the craft. I am also always on the lookout for quality apocalyptic film. The blog  at www.craigdilouie.com is sort of an expression of that labor, and a way for me to engage fans and promote my work beyond simply pushing my books at people.

 

WLF/ZZN:  What would you say to someone who asks why you can't write something happy for a change?

The main reason why is that nobody would read it. [laughs] They say sex and violence sells products, but what sells a good story is conflict. Whether it’s inner conflict, conflict between people, or conflict between people and threats in their environment, conflict is needed to propel a story forward and hold reader interest. Of course, happiness can happen anytime, even in the most unexpected places, even during the zombie apocalypse. At the end of the world, amidst so much suffering, people will be snatching bits of love and happiness anywhere they can get it. Even more important than happiness is hope. My stories are dark, gritty and violent, but they usually end on a note of hope. Many have suffered and died, and many more will before it is all over, but there is hope that it will end, and that humanity will get a second chance.

 

WLF/ZZN:  Thanks so much for the interview, Craig.  Before we close, is there anything you'd like to say to your readers?

Thank you for inviting me to this interview, Wednesday; I enjoyed it. As for my readers, I would like to say simply that the commercial and literary success of Tooth and Nail and The Infection—particularly the positive mail I’ve received—have been amazing and humbling. Thank you for reading my work. I will keep writing as long as you keep reading.

wednes: (Zombie B&W)


Livin' with Steve. Zombie-based humor is huge these days, which is to say, there's a lot of it. I enjoy a good Zomcom as much as the next guy—with emphasis on good. You gotta have a solid script, some genuine laughs, an enthusiastic cast, and some compelling scenes of undead carnage. The Australian web series Livin' with Steve provides just that. Livin' with Steve is seven animated episodes of yuk-worthy chomping sitcom action.

The premise is simple: Buddies Nate (a living human) and Steve (not so much) hang out, have fun, and try to make the rent before they get booted out of their home. Nate doesn't seem to notice that his roommate is smellier and cannibalistic than most—leading the audience to wonder who the smart one actually is. Levi George wears many hats on this project: Writer, Animator, Director, and Producer. He holds a degree in Multimedia Studies, and an advanced degree in 3D animation. I found him possessed of an enchanting combination of wit, passion, and badass horror cred. It was great to be able to ask him a few questions on behalf of ZZN.

WLF/ZZN: Hey Levi, thanks for taking the time to answer our Q's. Let's start with an easy one. Why zombies?

No problem! Zombies are slow, emotionally numb, flip into violent rages and are completely detached from reality. It kind of mirrors parts of my university years. The idea for Livin' with Steve came from that thought.

WLF/ZZN: Livin' with Steve is pretty funny. Are you trying to use humor lull living people into a false sense of security in re: the zombie invasion?

Believe me, the impending zombie invasion is nothing to be laughed about and if we appear to be making light of it with Livin' with Steve then I sincerely apologize. Having said that, I have seen countless zombie films that show the zombie apocalypse in the same bleak way. We thought it would be fun to show a zombie apocalypse from the perspective of an oblivious teenager who is too caught up in his own issues to notice the horror unfolding around him.

WLF/ZZN: Steve is undead and ravenous when we meet him. Will we ever learn anything about his life as a living person?

We have our own unofficial back story of how Nate and Steve became friends and what Steve was like before he became a zombie. For some reason I think it's funnier if we never really explain it though. We have a few very small clues hidden in the season that suggest Nate and Steve's past. Maybe we will explore it in the second season.

WLF/ZZN: Nate's obliviousness kind of reminds me of Jon from Garfield. When you remember that cats don’t talk, Jon looks totally batsh*t. Can we assume then, that Nate is totally batsh*t as well?

Absolutely. Nate is a completely deluded individual who desperately clings onto the fantasy that his best friend is a wise cracking and loyal person, not a blood-thirsty corpse. We go into how crazy Nate can be in episode 6 when he replaces his zombie best friend Steve with a sock puppet.

WLF/ZZN: Please tell us about the animation process.

Animation is a lengthy process. Most episodes took around 2 weeks to digitally animate. We would basically split the shots between 4 animators and we would work ourselves into the ground getting them done. It takes around 1 day to complete a few seconds of animation. They whole production, from writing it to the final edit took from July to December of 2011.

WLF/ZZN: The theme song is short and to the point. Who's the singer?

The singer is a very talented friend of ours called Cam Blokland (Who was also the voice of Steve). He was actually my guitar teacher for a few years when I was in high school.

WLF/ZZN: Are you concerned at all about the sanitation issues that might arise if zombies are permitted to work in food service, as in Episode 2?

The consequences of zombies working in food catering is well established in our series. That was the main reason we wanted to make Livin' with Steve. We have been a little subtle with the message so let me be very clear:
Fast Food Managers--I know it's tempting to hire zombies instead of people to work for your restaurant (as we show in Episode 5) but ultimately they will just spread the virus to customers. Unless your restaurant/pie stall serves human flesh (as we show in episode 2) this will, in the long term, lead to; people having their eyes gouged with hammers, (Episode 1), their faces torn off (Episode 3), their pets being zombified (Episode 4), and your face being shoved in a deep fryer (Episode 5).

WLF/ZZN: Episode 3 (Bitelight) cracked me up—but I'm puzzled. Do you think people actually ARE judged by the company they keep?

If you're a snooty actor, probably. Although I think if you are friends with Nate it would probably reflect badly on anyone.

WLF/ZZN: How has your work on Livin' with Steve impacted your own zombie survival plan?

Livin' with Steve is a great guide for exactly what NOT to do in a zombie outbreak. Nate lives with a zombie. He wanders the streets alone. He unwittingly feeds pies infected with the zombie virus to people's pets.

WLF/ZZN: Ep 3 also contains a spectacular REC reference. Should we be looking for other homages to well-known zombie media?

Livin' with Steve is packed full of references to zombie and horror movies. See if you can spot references to; Re-Animator, Night, Dawn, Day, The Ring, Left 4 Dead, The Exorcist, The Walking Dead, Friday the 13th and plenty more. If you spot a reference to something then leave a comment on the episode. Think of it like a very nerdy Where's Wally (or Where's Waldo as I am told it is called in the USA).

WLF/ZZN: Is your cast made up of professional actors? Please tell us about them.

For a long time we were considering Tom Cruise for the part of Nate. Ultimately he decided to do Mission Impossible 4, which we tried to tell him was a mistake. I bet he regrets it now. The cast is made up of local actors from Adelaide. They are Buddy Dawson who plays Nate. Cam Blokland (who also composed the music) as Steve and Chad Molynex, who was also one of the animators as various other roles. We got Australian Actor/Journalist/Comedian John Safran to voice the radio announcer in episode 6, which was a huge thrill for us.

WLF/ZZN: Are Steve and Nate inspired by anyone in particular?

Steve isn't really based on anyone, he doesn't really have a personality being a zombie and all. I always thought Nate is probably all the worst parts of my teenage self rolled into one. He treats his life like he is in a TV show and is completely uninterested in the world around him.

WLF/ZZN: Who are your favorite contemporary purveyors of zombie culture?

I absolutely love Edgar Wright, the director of Shaun of the Dead. I'm very fond of Paco Plaza who was one of the brains behind the REC series. Robert Kirkman (the creator of The Walking Dead) and Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide) are also brilliant.

WLF/ZZN: Before we close, do you have any advice you'd like to share with young animators?

Find a group of people to work with and keep animating. Also get used to avoiding the outdoors, girls, and money.

WLF/ZZN: Thanks so much, Levi!
wednes: (Santa?)
Skipping this week's ZZN repost mainly because I'm just not feeling it. The new site I'm writing for is giving me "share post" overload, because I'm constantly being asked to share posts for the dozen+ new articles I'm writing every week.

Now for the obligatory statement that all this paid work is taking time away from my fiction. I'm pulling out an old manuscript to work on soon. Wish I had a tablet on which I could edit it--like an electronic notebook. If my kickstarter works out the way I want it to, I may be able to do just that.

The birthday party was awesome. Lots of people showed up, and spaced themselves out well enough that we were only rarely low on seating. I actually drank some booze at the party--some stuff friends brought that's made from grapes (liquor, not wine) and tasted like a yummy cross between rum and tequila, if you can imagine such a thing. Trifle was awesome, bean dip was fine but nothing to write home about. Great crowd--plus my brother got me The Walking Dead Monopoly game that came with a MacFarlane figure of The Governor. It even has two heads--a one eyed and a regular. Neat!

All done with Under the Bed magazine as of now. Hoping to have the vid done for the Horror Within Kickstarter done by the 15th of this month.
Wish me luck!

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