Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have no idea what I'm talking about...

*** but someone did ask me what I thought about writing short stories, my take on it. And here it is. These things help me. If they don't help you that's not my problem. :P

#1: Find the Meaning of every story, even if what you feel you’re writing is drivel, because something is trying to get out, be understood, and you owe it to yourself and the story to uncover/discover that meaning, to understand it, and display it to the reader and let them agree or disagree.

#2: Write as clean as possible on every first draft. Saves time later to actually live.

#3: Expose as many of your character's weaknesses as you do his strengths.

#4: Put your ego to the side when creating. It only gets in the way. In fact, put it aside in general, it gets in the way of everyone.

#5: Let your imagination run wild. Trust that it and your subconscious will develop something wondrous and somewhat original. Something you can be proud of because it’s truly yours.

#6: Find three good people who can read your work and give you honesty without much back patting. The more they point out what you’re doing wrong, the faster you can absorb it and improve.

#7: Once in a while sit down and copy one of your favorite short stories, by hand, in a notepad. Just don’t try to sell it. (the story. You can sell the notepad.)

#8: Read more non-fiction about history, autobiographies, music, hobbies, special interest, psychology, religion, pretty much anything. There are hidden treasures all around you that you can use in your work, things that will pop up naturally in a story because they’re right, they fit. Go on. Don’t be scared.

#9: Give as much as you get. No one likes a taker who takes, takes, takes. Thank people. Give back.

#10: Experiment outside your genre (if you write only Horror, write something else for a bit. Write a Romance short, a Sci-fi short, a Fantasy short.) and read widely. Very widely. Being narrow minded only makes your stories narrow minded. By opening up to other ways of thinking and by pushing your boundaries you can have a subway, a gigantic tunnel that attracts more people. Then you can squash them with your genius. But be humble about it.

That's my drivel. Use what you can. Don't sue me if it gives you a headache or gives you cancer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bloodbaths, Blessings, and the Great Inferno

The last few weeks have been wonderful and testing, they've brought me joy even as they've flayed me. I don't think it's enough to just soul-search. I find myself peeling back my flesh and inspecting the bad patterns I have, the way I self-sabotage, and slowly I'm learning to take responsibility for the misery I've caused others and myself. Luckily I have a wonderfully beautiful soul in my life who respects me and respects herself, a woman who has enough courage to dig through the layers of muck that have accumulated over both our hearts, and together we've begun to chip away, to understand the things that have driven us and the things that still haunt us.

She sees my best and worst yet still believes in me, still inspires me, gives and gives of her time and talent, showing me the side of humanity that has always given me hope. The selfless side. I'm grateful for her, have been for months as we've shared our greatest dreams and deepest fears, and I'm glad we're learning to understand each other (and ourselves) even if it's rarely easy.

She makes me smile.

Thank you, Kara. I adore all you've done to enrich my life. You make it look easy.


I had two sales recently.

#1 sold to Jason Sizemore's anthology The Zombie Feed. He was the first editor to ever give me detailed feedback and encourage me to keep at it a couple of years. THIS FINAL DECEMBER DAY is a story about the end of the world (obviously), about regret and love, how sometimes all we can do is cling to those we love, and that's okay, it's enough.

#2 sold to Shock Totem. Like the novella I recently finished and the novel I'm working on now, BENEATH THE WEEPING WILLOW came about as if I'd entered a trance while writing, climbed inside myself and torn down some walls. It's beautiful, sad, and powerful. It has more of my heart in it than any short I'd written before. I'm honored beyond words that ST accepted it.


Kevin Wallis, a fine writer and editor for Liquid Imagination, just released his collection through Bards and Sages. Here's what Gary Braunbeck said about it:

"An impressive, often unnerving, and always gutsy collection, Beneath the Surface of Things easily marks Kevin Wallis as a writer to Beware of with such stories as Redemption Song and No Monsters Came That Night. Every story showcases Wallis' determination to break through the so-called boundaries of dark fiction and explore disturbing and sometimes even eye-opening new worlds, some without, but most within. You owe it to yourself to look Beneath the Surface of Things."

Cate Gardner also has a wonderful collection up for pre-order and shipping soon. You can buy it here: Strange men in pinstripe suits


And lastly... time is counting down for the close of The Scary Talent Show (Oct. 7th) See the previous post for your chance to win a one-year subscription to Dark Discoveries, a groovy tee-shirt from The Bag and The Crow, or a sexy novella from the ever popular Tasmaniac Publications. :D

Respect yourselves.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Scary Talent Show!

***The Scary Talent Show***

All right! Time for someone to win something! I hope it's me! Hehe. Just kidding. Here's how it works. The contest is open now and the time for entries ends on Oct. 7th. You can send in any kind of entry: a video of you singing, playing music, reading poetry, or write a poem, or piece of flash fiction, or something you've drawn (but if you draw well, know this... I will envy and hate you. :O

1 entry per person so make it your best! Send entries to:

Me and Kara will pick the top 10 (or 20 if we get a lot of entries). We'll post those entries here (on my discussions page of the fan site:Contest fanny page for vote thing
and then... By Oct. 10th, YOU can view them and cast your vote for anyone but your own work! The power is in your hands. Entertain! We'll award the winners on Halloween!


1st Place: A One-year subscription to Dark Discoveries (or another mag if you're already subscribed to DD. If you are, great! They rock!)

2nd Place: An awesome Tee from The Bag and The Crow! Mine makes me look edgy! You want to look edgy too, don'tcha?

3rd Place: An awesomely random book, but I can tell you this: It will be from the super cool Tasmaniac Publications. I've got a ton of their books and they're dyn-o-mite. :)

So, again... enter and entertain. Make us laugh or cry. Send entries to:

Thanks! And good luck!