Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Random Thoughts, Writing Progress and Other Stuff


This weekend my lovely wife and I were unfortunate enough to get sick. Yuck. She had it worse on Saturday. I had it worse on Sunday. But, either way, we both had it together. Isn’t that what love is all about?

Sunday evening, sick and doped up, we made our way to Catherine’s company Christmas party. What’s that, you ask? Christmas party? Uh, yeah. Haven’t you ever heard of having Christmas parties in January? Me neither, but my wife works retail and Christmas is their busiest time of the year so there was no taking time out during a money making opportunity.

At any rate, the party was at a bowling alley and had more of a man’s night out feel to it, though mostly women showed up. My wife and I bowled a couple of games with three other people. We had a pretty good time, even at the end when I was feeling worse for the wear and ready to go.

Throughout the evening our lane and the one beside us had all sorts of problems and by the end of the night when the manager at the front desk saw me coming he would say, “Lane 33, ball return?”


A few minutes later our balls would magically reappear out of the mouth of the ball return and we would all bowl again. The lane beside us was a different story. Several times during their ONE game the lane just shut off, the lights went out and the ball wasn’t returned. Their scores went wacky and they would have to start over. This happened several times. It sucked for them but they made the most of it and had a good time. They even laughed about it quite a bit.

We went home and I readied for bed. It wasn’t even 9:30 when I told my wife whenever she wanted to go to bed was fine with me. I grabbed some stories I had printed out and sat on my bed, cross-legged and leaning against the wall. It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep. I awoke a little while later and tried to move. Everything from hips down had gone asleep and they didn’t wish to be bothered to do their jobs.

The next thing I knew it was morning and I had to pee—really, really bad. Sorry about flooding the house, Honey.

Medicine head went to work with no fever but a little spacey. While sitting at the computer during a down moment I started to write one of the weirdest stories I have ever penned. Even the title is interesting in and of itself. I’m not going into details because when the head is not so foggy I would like to edit it and send it out. It may be one of the better stories I have ever written.

They say drugs is how the rock and rollers do it…


Have you ever had a FLURP? You know, that thing that is kind of between a burp and throwing up but you don’t actually throw up. It’s like a little bit of acid comes up in your throat and burns like the dickens. It tastes horrible and leaves you coughing until that burning feeling goes away.

Yeah, I had one of those the other day and it was the most disgusting thing ever. I thought I would throw up after doing that. It was soooooo . . . nauseating. I drank milk for half an hour before the burning sensation went away and the taste finally faded.

Yeah, like you needed to know that, right?


The other day I took my family over to my parents’ house for a birthday party for my oldest nephew. He turned seven over the weekend. Happy birthday Ben.

While we were there, my sister pulls out a Nintendo DS and puts in the Super Mario game for that little hand held system. Folks, do me a favor: stay away from the Nintendo DS. That game is like crack. I had the shakes for a while after I put it down.

I played it for a few minutes and handed it over to my son who played it for a few minutes. Logan, my four year old, did better than I did. He gave it to my daughter, the seven year old, and she struggled with it. Enter John-John. He, like my son, is four years old. He sat down beside Chloe and looks over her shoulder.

“Get that,” he says. “Jump.”

My daughter’s man got killed. John gives her this look of utter impatience.

“No, Cho-we, you s’pose to jump. Jump. You know? Jump?”

“I tried,” Chloe says in defense of her lack of skill in the game.

For the next fifteen or so minutes, John sat there and told Chloe what to do. Each time her man got killed he fussed at her. He would throw his hands in the air, shake his head, roll his eyes and complain.

He’s got all the proper tools to be a football coach. Yup. That’s right. I’m going to start training him now so he can be a coach by the time he is ten.


My children and I wrestle a lot. Well, let me correct that. My children beat me up a lot. Yeah, that’s more like it. So, if you could help me out by sending bandages and ice packs to my home, I would appreciate it. A new heating pad would be nice, also.

I made the mistake tonight of taking my son’s ‘Doggie’ while we wrestled. He brought it into the fight so I took it from him, teasing him with it and then letting him take it from me. We do this quite often. However, tonight was a little different.

Usually, we wrestle on my bed and tonight that was the same. I had Chloe pinned because she kept going for my belly button—I am ticklish there. Logan comes up with Doggie and I take it from him while holding Chloe down with one leg. I held Doggie so Logan couldn’t get to it.

Chloe grabbed a head full of hair and pulled my head back. Yeah, she’s resourceful. She cracked me square one time before—she says she didn’t mean to but I’m not so sure. Anyway, that is for another time. So, Chloe had me by the hair, having wiggled her way into a position to do so. I had Doggie so Logan couldn’t get to it. The next thing I knew I was rolling off the bed holding my stomach. It seems my son decided to cannon ball me in the gut, knees first.

One thing is for certain: my kids will be able to take care of themselves when they get older.


My daughter came into my office after bedtime. She gave me a hug and said, “I love you, Daddy.” No better words to warm the heart. I told her I loved her, too and then I said:

“I’m going to pick you up and hold you upside down over my shoulder.”

“Okaaaaaaay,” she said.

“And then I’m going to drop you on your head.”

She nods and says. “Okay. That may be interesting.”

For those of you who didn’t laugh, there is humor in that. Now, start laughing.


On the writing front, I stand at 2 acceptances and 4 rejections so far this year. I’m batting .333, which isn’t too shabby for baseball. I honestly have no problem with that publication rate. That’s one out of every three subs getting accepted. I would like to keep that or better throughout the year.

On my quest to write 1000 words a day every day, I will admit there have been four days this month that I have not met that goal. Twice I did no writing at all. However, I sit at 43565 words for the month.

I’m excited about six or eight stories I have written this year that really have potential. I’ve set them aside for now so I can let my brain forget about them. Then I will edit them in a few weeks and send them out of the orphanage that is my hard drive and out into the world where they will hopefully find homes in publications. If they don’t, they are welcome home but you better believe their chores are going to increase.


Okay, for you horror writers out there check out The Haunt over at the Horror Mall. It’s a cool place to network and there are already over 400 folks signed up . . . and this just opened up last week.

Check out The Haunt here:

The Haunt

Also, you can still pick up a copy of Dark Distortions at Scotopia Press. My story, The Woodshed, which received a couple of recommendations for a Stoker (not enough for a preliminary nomination, though), appears within these pages.

Check it out here:

Scotopia Press


+The Horror Library+ Anthology Volume III has been out since late last year. It is filled with 30 stories from some very good writers. Gary Braunbeck, Kurt Dinan, Bentley Little, Cullen Bunn, John Everson, Jeff Strand, Lorne Dixon, A.C. Wise and many others appear in this collection.

My personal favorites include John Peters’, ‘Extra Innings,’ Matthew Lee Bain’s, ‘The Orange Mammoth,’ ‘Toll,’ by Blu Gilliand and, my favorite and probably the most disturbing story, in my opinion, is Charles Colyott’s ‘The Steel Church.’

If you haven’t checked it out, then you need to. Head over to Cutting Block Press by going here:

Cutting Block Press

Speaking of +The Horror Library+, if you are a writer and looking for a place to submit a story, they are accepting submissions for +The Horror Library+ Volume IV now. Just click the link above and check out their submissions guidelines.


One more thing before I go.

Do you know someone who has been abused? Physically? Emotionally? Mentally? If so, talk to them and try to get them to get out of any abusive relationships. Many of them are deadly for the victims and no one should have to suffer at the hands of someone they love. Especially when there is help out there.

If you are a writer, or even just a reader who would like to help the fight against abuse, please check out The Patchwork Project. It is ran by Douglas Burchill, who is a really cool dude.

If you are a writer there is a place that you can submit stories to The Patchwork Project. Though there is no pay, it is worthwhile to help bring awareness to abuse.

No, I’m not on a soapbox and I’m not preaching. But, if The Patchwork Project can help one person, then it is a success. You may know that person.

Check out The Patchwork Project here:

The Patchwork Project


That is all for now. I’ve got to go. Until next time, I’m AJ and I’m out.


  1. You're doing better than I am. I've got 2 rejections (or is it 3?) out of the 4 I sent out. I didn't put the polish on them like I usually do. Last time I posted issue No. 1, then sent some out and got into Three Crows Press. I'll do better hopefully after February 1st.

    Good luck with the wrestling. I know it's murder. LOL!!


  2. "I sit at 43565 words for the month."

    I hate you. :)

  3. Hey,

    Just stumbled across your site, and I wanted to thank you for calling out my story "Toll" as one of your favorites in HORROR LIBRARY VOL. 3. It's always cool to hear someone say they like your work - so thanks!

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for the shout out. Glad you liked The Steel Church! Have you checked out Horror Library Vol. 4 yet?