All posts by Bob

About Bob

Just a guy migrating into the Grumpy Old Men phase....

Next stop, Normalcy….

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity and confusion here, as my wife was arranging a Celebration of Life for her family to reflect on the passing of her cousin. It turned out to be a success, as evidenced by the train wreck in our backyard from all those that left the park where the event was held, and migrated back here.

In any case, normalcy is making a comeback now, and I anticipate getting some good work done this coming week. I’m on vacation, and the house will be quiet, conducive to writing, editing, and getting the work prepared to fly out of the nest.

Friday morning, the Muse popped into my head with a “What If?”, completely out of the blue, and I was in a position to quickly scribble down some notes, which have developed into a new tale, titled “Trappe’s Rest”.

Willy Erskine turns State’s evidence, and his testimony puts Big Louie behind bars for life, but the Feds stall on his witness protection, so he heads out on his own, knowing Louie has a wide reach. He reaches an out of the way, nondescript motel, and figures he can fit in and vanish for a while.

He had no idea how right he was on both counts…

Stephen King once said “I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”

This tale has (in my humble opinion) a good moment of pure horror when something is revealed, and some might feel a bit of the gross out at what happens immediately afterward. I’m not proud either…

And it’s off…

I found a willing victim, and the manuscript is in his cold, dead hands….

Wait…

I found a willing volunteer, and the manuscript is in his willing, capable hands.

Yeah, that’s it.

Grady McWilliams Jr. has kindly consented to read this weekend’s edit of “Spirit of the Dead”, and I have asked him to be completely honest in his review, and any comments he wishes to share.

And now, the waiting begins…

Tremendous progress today

Awesome day today…I dug in and scrapped three individual short stories in order to meld them together into a novella…

Spirit of the Dead (second draft) is complete!

Also overhauled the cover image, adding just a hint of Anna Scorczy, the Baba Yaga so central to the tale.

Planning to give it one more deep check tomorrow with fresh eyes, and then go shopping for a beta reader. I’ll need someone objective to give me honest feedback on it, a completely impartial perspective.

And then, I’ll have a novella in the bank…methinks a novel in the future is not an impossibility….

Opportunity…

I created a small village called Carson’s Mill, located it in southern Rhode Island, populated it, and then used it as a location for a story called “Bogeyman”, which seemed pretty good.

Next, I followed that up with a new story about a Bed & Breakfast called “Marion’s Rest”, which had a significant tie to the antagonist in “Bogeyman”, and that also seemed pretty good.

Recently, I decided to revisit Carson’s Mill some two years later, and write a followup story to “Bogeyman” called “Spirit of the Dead”, which served as a closure to the trilogy. And it seemed better.

A lot better, to be honest.

I’d already submitted the first two, so I waited and watched. And then, one was rejected. And today, the other was rejected.

And that is a good thing. Because hindsight really is pretty damn sharp, and this will allow me to revisit those first two, improve the weak points I identified after the fact, and tie all three together as a much improved novella.

That will also allow me to introduce a new antagonist, who will make a profound return to our little village.

Stephen King has Castle Rock. I have Carson’s Mill. It’s all good.

By the way, welcome to any and all new readers at Goodreads! I’ve been approved for an Author page there, and have tied this blog to that page, so whatever I write here should echo there.

Wait, does that mean I have to behave?

Saturday Stuff…

Up early today, so I’ve already found a market and submitted the new story, “Down, Please” to them for consideration in their August issue.

Next, decided to redo the cover for the collection of all my work, which I’ve titled “Dark Imagination”…

This keeps the cover aligned with the web site, and I like the sense of continuity there.

One day, I may self publish this collection on Amazon, but as it contains the stories that publishers have already selected, I won’t do anything for a while, as they hold first publishing rights.

But, I can still enjoy it on my Kindle! (evil chuckle)

After lunch, it’ll be time to open up Scrivener and see where the tale of the Dragorka decides to lead me today…

Photoshop playtime…

Old habits die hard. I always designed the CD covers for the band, and now that I’ve submitted “Bequeath” to the Horror Writer’s Association for consideration in the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards, I decided to play with a cover idea.

You know. Just in case.

Anyway…

I just added the blood drips and splatter today, because…well, read the story, and the cover will make a lot of sense.

I also finished an edit on a brand new story titled “Down, Please”, about an author who breaks through, signing a dream deal with a publisher. As he’s leaving to go and celebrate with his wife, he makes an unscheduled stop.

In Hell.

Sleep well…

Swing for the fences…

A long shot, to be sure, but if you don’t try, you cannot succeed…

That said, I chose to submit my story, “Bequeath”, for consideration in the 2017 Bram Stoker Award, short story category.

Having been published in the inaugural issue of Hinnom Magazine, it qualifies for entry and a jury reading. Let’s see what happens….

Behold the Dragorka…

We’re all familiar with the Vampire and Werewolf from folklore to popular fiction, but not as familiar with the Dragorka, Slayer of Worlds, a creature from whom those other legends were spawned.

You won’t see him in formal dinner attire, nor will you see him running through a forest, covered with hair. By the time you DO see him, you’re dead.

The Dragorka feeds on human blood, heart, lungs, and considers the ovaries and uterus of a female virgin to be the ultimate delicacy.

Before the events in Carson’s Mill that were described in “Bogeyman”, the ancient gypsy woman Anna Scorczy began the process of creating a Dragorka during the Tetrad (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses—coinciding on Jewish holidays—with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses), however she never got to complete the final ritual.

While that may sound like a good thing, consider that a significant part of the final ritual allows the Dragorka to be controlled by the elder performing the ritual. Where this never took place, and the conditions for the completion of the transformation might possibly occur on their own…

A truly humbling experience…

I was taken completely by surprise last night when I received an email from C.P. Dunphey, the senior editor and founder of Gehenna & Hinnom publishers, asking me to do an interview!

A completely new experience, but an opportunity to help promote the release of the inaugural issue of Hinnom Magazine, and I was glad to help, albeit somewhat embarrassed…

The interview can be found here, on the Gehenna & Hinnom web site, along with information about their upcoming releases and the authors whose works appear in them.

Humbled, yet proud I am….and what a perfect compliment from a friend, too!