Category Archives: Blog

Once More, With Feeling

At the Write Stuff writers conference next Thurs-Sat (March 23-25), I will be leading a 50-minute session on “Writing the Compelling Short Story.”

Additionally, the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group will launch their 2017 anthology, The Write Connections, which includes my vignette, “Once More, With Feeling,” about a dying man’s final conversation with his guardian angel.

The Write Connections marks my first publication of 2017. Hopefully, there will be at least two more short stories and a novella coming out from me this year.

 

The Write Connections anthology

 

 

Monster Mania!

In what was the most jam-packed Monster Mania convention I’ve ever attended, I had the honor of meeting actors John Cusack and Wilfred Brimley. There were, of course, about a dozen other actors and personalities at the show including Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things, Danny Lloyd and Louise and Lisa Burns from The Shining, a few professional wrestling legends, and others. There were also a few celebs that I’d met at previous conventions such as Nick Castle (director of The Last Starfighter) and Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Star Trek: DS9).

Despite the frigid temps outside and unbearable throng inside, it was a great day overall. In addition to Cusack and Brimley, I wanted to get autographs from the Stranger Things kids, but I did not have the energy or patience to wait in another immense line after doing so for Cusack—twice!

My wife and I met John Cusack at Monster Mania!
My wife and I met John Cusack at Monster Mania!
With Wilfred Brimley at Monster Mania!
With Wilfred Brimley at Monster Mania!
John Cusack autographs
John Cusack autographs from Monster Mania!
Wilfred Brimley autograph
Wilfred Brimley autograph from Monster Mania!

 

Podiobooks Merges with Scribl

Founded over a decade ago by Evo Terra and Tee Morris, Podiobooks was once a source of free audio books from a variety of authors both new and experienced.  However, as of January 2017, Podiobooks merged with Scribl.com. A visit to Podiobooks.com now will redirect visitors to a special page on Scribl that explains the merger and much more.

“Podiobooks.com has merged with Scribl. All of the old books from Podiobooks.com are now here and still available on iTunes, Google Play, and just about everywhere else you find podcasts. Our commitment to providing you with great, free audiobook content in podcast form is going strong. Now it’s just part of a larger strategy that better fits modern publishing needs.”

What is this CrowdPricing they speak of on Scribl? Read more about that here.

All audio books that were available for free from Podiobooks remain so, even after their migration to Scribl. As such,  you can now find the audio versions of my paranormal mystery novels, Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side, by clicking here. 

 

Writing The Compelling Short Story at the Write Stuff

I will be presenting “Writing the Compelling Short Story” at the Write Stuff conference at the Best Western Hotel in Bethlehem, PA on Saturday, March 25. As part of ongoing conference promotion, I was interviewed for the Write Stuff blog. Apparently, they thought I had something interesting to say.

Click here to read the interview!

Click here for more information about this terrific conference!

Write Stuff Conference

Book Review: The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury

Several of the 22 stories in this collection had been previously published in such magazines as The New Yorker, Charm, American Mercury, Saturday Evening Post, The Reporter, Epoch, and others. Although there were a handful of tales that I found to be lackluster and anticlimactic (“I See You Never,” “The Wilderness,” “Invisible Boy,” “The Garbage Collector” and a few others), the sheer variety and breadth of topics covered clearly demonstrates Bradbury’s prowess as a master storyteller (as if we didn’t know this already!)

My favorites include:

“The Fog Horn” – Attracted year after year by the sound of a fog horn installed near a lighthouse, a legendary and elusive sea creature finally decides to attack.

“The April Witch” – A young witch with the ability to inhabit other creatures desperately wants to know what it’s like to fall in love.

“The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl” – After murdering a man in his home, the killer becomes obsessed with removing all trace of his presence—over every nook and cranny of the house.

“The Murderer” – An average man in search of peace and quiet destroys all of his electronic devices in a society where constant chatter from watches, radios, computers, phones, and TV have pervaded—nay, INVADED!—everyday life.

“A Sound of Thunder” – A travel company offers safaris to any year in the past, but disobeying the rules even slightly could be a mistake that follows you back to the future!

“Powerhouse” – A married couple traveling into town on horseback takes refuge against a storm in a powerhouse. Though she does not believe in God, the wife has an electrifying out of body experience.

“The Meadow” – A construction crew is ordered to tear down the backlot structures of a movie studio, where sets from every corner of the world have provided a second home to Smith, the night watchman. Determined to restore it all, Smith picks up a hammer and begins to rebuild it all, to the consternation of the wealthy investor who ordered the demolition.

“The Great Fire” – Marianne is visiting her uncle and aunt for the summer, upsetting her uncle’s peaceful existence. Every evening, Marianne dashes out of the house when her boyfriend arrives, giving her uncle hope that marriage is in the air and Marianne will soon move out—but Grandma knows the joke’s on him!

“Hail and Farewell” – A 43-year-old man, who appears no more than twelve, moves from town to town every few years masquerading as an orphan or a runaway in order to be adopted by childless couples.

 

The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradury