Saturday, November 25, 2017

Oh Tenenbaum

I needed a new tree as one of my beloved ash trees was killed by some fierce winds a few months ago.  I decided an evergreen might do the trick.  I bought one yesterday. It's some kind of pine.  So I set it out in my front yard even though it's eventually going into the back one. I'm going to put lights on it and it will be my Christmas decoration. After Xmas, I'll take it to the back yard and plant it near the place my ash tree went off to tree heaven.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

Feast and such

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  My turkey yesterday was superb.  I make the best turkeys in the world. No one can out cook me on turkey.  It was moist and tender and delicious.  ...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Award Goes To

As I've mentioned before, I belong to the HWA.  One of the things the HWA does is give out the Stoker awards.  These are a writing award for various categories of horror writing.  I was even on one of the juries which reviews the submissions in the anthology category a while back.  Now, unfortunately, people send me pitches telling me about their book, or screenplay or whatever--mostly books.  There are zillions of them.  Frankly, these people are delusional for the most part. Their works have no chance of winning.  My own theory is the work has to have done fairly well commercially so people are aware of it, not from sending me an announcement but because it's in bookstores and has been reviewed and such. Obscure works never cut through all the clutter.

Another thing it needs is to be pretty good. I was talking to a writer friend a few weeks ago when I was in Denver. He's the editor of a pretty good anthology. He really wants it to win a Stoker award. It's done fairly well, even briefly making it to the best seller lists.  Problem is, it's not a true horror anthology. It's a weird western anthology. I would not consider a lot of it to be in the horror fiction category. Ergo, when I vote it's going to be difficult for me to vote for it and I like the book (should it make the ballot)..  I just question if it's the right book for a Stoker. This is a horror award. There are similar awards put out by Mystery writers and the Science Fiction Writers. Most genres have some type of writing organization concerned with the craft of writing in that particular genre. 

And that leads back to the problem of it being a weird western. They are by definition cross genre.  The weird westerns have grown a lot in popularity in recent years. I still call them the unwanted bastard stepchild of literature.  I've always thought about creating a weird western award of some kind. But, that would require a lot of work and you have to have some sort of prize to back it and a big awards ceremony and I don't think so. Maybe someone with more ambition will try that some day. So, I will be surprised if the weird western anthology picks up a major literary award like a Stoker. But, maybe it will. If it does, I'll mention it here next year when the awards come out.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Writers Guidelines, Hotel Haunted

Below are the guidelines for an anthology I will be editing along with julie Campbell, if anyone's interested in submitting.

Hotel Haunted
Writers Guidelines

Editors, David B. Riley & J. A. Campbell

Wolfsinger Publications is looking for story submissions for  a new anthology entitled Hotel Haunted. All stories must, at least in part, take place at a haunted lodging establishment. This can include a hotel or similar business such as a rooming house, dormitory or hostel. They can take place in any location or time period. 

All stories must have a supernatural entity i.e. ghost in them.  Ghosts come in many forms. We don’t care if it’s a full bodied apparition, a mist entity, a black/silhouette ghost, disembodied voice or even a demonic entity–as long as it’s recognizable as some form of ghost. This is a work of fiction. We do not want a retelling of Ghost Adventures episodes. Have interesting characters. Unusual villain or heroes are welcome. This is a horror book. We are looking for something scary with recognizable horror or dark fantasy content. We are not after Casper the friendly ghost. You can use humor, but our bias is toward something scary. 

Reading period will be December 15th, 2017–January 15th, 2018. Please, only one story at a time. Submit in standard manuscript format, 12pt Times New Roman or similar font. We do not like courier. We like simple clean manuscripts–don’t embed anything cute or fancy. All terms by written contract and acceptances are subject to final approval by the publisher.

You can review sample contract at the Wolfsinger Publications web page. Basically, the author will receive a $5.00 advance payment for the right to use the Work in all English language print and e-book editions of the Anthology. The listed amount is an advance against a share of fifty percent of all future income received by WolfSinger Publications from all editions of the Anthology less any handling costs, service fees, or discounts when paid in full by the distributor, bookstore, vendor, organization. The fifty percent share allocated to contributors shall be distributed  in proportion to the number of authors in the Anthology.

Submit stories as an attached file. We prefer /DOC or .RTF files. Please include a word count and put hotel haunted submission in subject line. Before you submit, look over your submission. Have you included full contact info on the first page of the manuscript? That means name, address, email & phone #. Does your manuscript have a word count? Is the file name similar to the story name? At the end of your story, did you include the words “The End” or something similar so the editor is certain he has the entire story? If you want italic use italic. If you want bold face use boldface. Do not underline. Underlining to get italic goes back to the days when writers used typewriters and compositors actually set type. Those days are mostly over and it’s an antiquated habit. We prefer Times New Roman in 12 point type. Stories should be from 1K-7K words in length. Query if you have questions. Send an attached file to:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, I Guess, Sort Of

"Happy Thanksgiving" is what I hear if I buy a candy bar or a quart of milk from any store.  The blasted holiday seems to run for the entire week.  You can't get a medical appointment.  The blasted grocery store already has empty shelves.  I'm starting to get in humbug mood and it is only Tuesday. And so-called Black Friday has been raging all week long as well.  At least people don't put up Thanksgiving lights on their houses--yet.  I'm kind of starting to dislike this holiday.

What am I thankful for?  Redheads.  I have a thing for redheads.  And that's about it.  And dogs. I like dogs.  And my house. I'm thankful I have a roof over my head. Living in your car sucks.  And my refrigerator. I really love my new refrigerator.  And that's about it.  I don't have a problem with people being thankful. But that's not what the stupid holiday has become. It's become an excuse for gluttony and drunkenness and football.

An amazing number of people will burn their houses down as they attempt to deep fry their turkeys. It's around 20 houses on average that burn to the ground each year.  Let's not forget that. 

There is one good thing about T Day. If you see your relatives, your get it over with. If you see them on T-Day you're not obligated to get together on Christmas. And that's something to be thankful for. A lot of people don't understand the T-Day exception to going to see relatives for Christmas. Hell of a deal.

Oh, my turkeys are the best in the world. No one cooks turkeys better than I do. Mesquite grill. Keep the   damned stuffing out of the bird and they'll cook much better.  The turkey I cook will be wonderful.

By the way, let the dog have a little bit of turkey.  They work hard all year keeping you from being murdered in your sleep. Give them a slice of turkey.

Please don't wish me a happy thanksgiving.  And that's about it.

Monday, November 20, 2017


I love my new refrigerator.  It keeps my food all nice and cold and it doesn't make strange noises in the middle of the night like the old one did.  In cleaning out the old one I found some salad dressing that expired a year ago. I threw it out. My brother thinks I should have used it. He says expiration dates are arbitrary. It's too late, I already tossed it out. It was thousand island dressing.  

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I'm hoping the publisher will post the guidelines to a new anthology I'm going to edit. So far, they're a little behind.  It's called Hotel Haunted. Along with co-editor Julie Campbell, we'll be putting together a collection of ghost stories set in haunted hotels.  Why haunted hotels? Why not? Actually, I've worked in haunted hotels and always wondered what the story was behind these entities. While I may never know the actual reason ghosts live in them, I thought it might be an interesting area for fiction. So, if  you're interested, check with Wolfsinger Publications for the guidelines for Hotel Haunted.