Monday, August 19, 2013

One Down, One to Go!

Thanks for the well wishes last week! I passed the final and finished the class with a high enough score to get a personal letter of reference (my goal when I set out). You had to get a 97% or better in the class, overall, and I did. Shew. Still got it!

People have asked what class it was. I'm studying to be a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). Now that I've passed the program and the final (which consisted of two parts: written and skills demonstration), I just need to pass the state boards to be certified. At this time I'm considered a GNA, or General Nursing Assistant.

The reason I'm working for this is to care for a loved one with ALS, better known as Lou Gherig's.

Now that classes are behind me, I'll be going on a one-week road trip with a few family members, leaving late Tuesday night and returning the following Tuesday or Wednesday. I've decided to take a break, rather than scheduling advance posts when I can't respond to comments and visit back. As I have no idea how much online time I'll get, it's best just to be on break. I'll return to posting either next Wednesday or the Monday after.

Before I go, I want to make a quick announcement concerning a friend's serial. Andrew Leon, of Strange Pegs, has been putting out pieces of a series in serial form. He is now releasing these as sets, with parts 1-5 coming out in one set today. The price is $1.99 for five parts of the story. If you have previously read parts within 1-5, he's asking that you purchase this collection and leave a review: Shadow Spinner, Collection 1.

Back to my vacation, I'll hopefully be visiting Crater Lake and the Vortex, both in southern Oregon. Look for pictures coming after I get back home!

Did you take a vacation this summer? Where'd you go? Ever been to Crater Lake or the Vortex? 

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Estes Park Elk & Links

It's [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday and, as promised, elk!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by for Jeremy's book tour and Mina's cover reveal! I'll be visiting you all back, but I have my final clinical then both written and skills final directly after, so I'm in crazy study mode. Wish me luck! If I pass my finals, all I have left is state boards in the next month or two.

Now for some links.

Note: I am not vetting these publications, personally. I find the information and pass it on, but I have not researched it. Please do your own research before submitting anything in order to insure the publication is valid and has no complaints against them.

Accepting Submissions:

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is open for submissions, seeking both new and previously published authors. They take all kinds of mysteries, and pay .05 and .08 cents per word. Lengths can be anywhere from minute mysteries (250 words) to novellas. Short stories seem to be the general format, though.

Fantastic Frontiers is open for submissions year-round. They're looking for science fiction and fantasy short stories, serials, comics, videos, voice recordings, and other media. Pay varies per format. Fiction pays .03 cents per word.

Horrified Press has a call for submissions for their anthology Tales of the Undead - Hell Whore, Volume III. Write about ladies of the night. Deadline is September 10. 1000-6000 words. Pays in royalties. Seeking dark fairy tales, bizarre, horror, surrealism, dark science fiction, etc.

Writing Tomorrow is taking submissions of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, novel excerpts, and artwork. Pays $50-100 for fiction/nonfiction, and $25 for flash and poetry. Open submissions; no deadline.


The Fountain is holding an essay contest. They want to know about your motto for life. Open worldwide. 1500 to 2500 words. First place gets $1500, with cash prizes for 2nd, 3rd and 2 honorable mentions, as well.

Planetory Stories is launching a contest. Winners will be published and receive five cents per word. (I'm unclear on how this differs from simply taking submissions...). Flash fiction.

Blog Hops:

Madeleine, of Scribble and Edit, is running a blogfest to celebrate her third blogaversary. The Novel Films II Blogfest will be on September 2, 3 and 4, though you can choose just one day of those three. Each day has a different theme having to do with films/TV adaptations of books.

Anything here interest you? Got anything to share? Any publishing news?

May you find your Muse.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mina Lobo "That Fatal Kiss" Cover Reveal!

Mina Lobo has long held a passion for Greek mythology. The story of the goddess Persephone's marriage-by-kidnap to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, has particularly fascinated her, and thus came about Mina's debut novel, That Fatal Kiss. Coming September 2013, the revisionist tale features a fiery and noble heroine, a handsome and broody hero, and some heated, earth-shakin' lovin'!

Given Mina's self-professed neurotic nature, it took her and cover artist Steven Novak a few go-arounds before settling on the cover design for That Fatal Kiss. It had to be curiously compelling, slightly spooky, and yet super sexy—and so it is!

The Book:

Feared by mortals for his inexorable power, and loathed by his fellow Greek gods for the same, Hades rules the Underworld alone. A stark eternity looms before him until he discovers Persephone. Struck by the youthful goddess’ beauty, kindness, and spirit, he must have her. But Hades believes Persephone could never love him, and so he conspires with his powerful brother, Zeus, to take her by force.

Persephone too seeks a mate but her possessive mother, the goddess Demeter, frustrates her husband hunting. Then Hades abducts Persephone, tearing her away from the Upperworld she loves to reign with him in the dank depths below. Though outraged, Persephone cannot deny the desire ignited within her by the dark lord’s touch. And even as she hopes that Demeter will unearth her, Persephone aches to surrender to the heat in Hades’ immortal soul.

The Teaser:
“Enough,” Hades said, closing the distance between them. “I have taken you with your father’s consent, as custom allows. You are in my kingdom, under my rule, and if you have any care for your continued well-being, you will get into my bed. Now.” And with the removal of the pins that held together the black cloth about his waist, he stood naked before her.

The anger warming Persephone clashed with another fire that roared to life within her. She choked on a breath and turned her face from him. “Be warned; I will resist you with the full force of my being, through violent means, if necessary.”

His large, unyielding hands encircled the soft flesh of her upper arms as he said, “If you must. Though your surrender to me would prove more satisfying to us both.”

The Author:

Mina Lobo has a lot of Scorpio action going on in her natal chart, which makes for a rather sybaritic and lust-driven Sagittarian. She aims for a wildly successful future as a writer of dark and whimsical romance while dodging the slings and arrows of her outrageous teenaged son, who's buggered off to college (hence the "Lite" in her Twitter handle, below). She enjoys comedic horror and alt rock, goth, & new wave music, as well as quality Belgian chocolates.

Mina invites you to keep abreast of updates regarding That Fatal Kiss, as well as the development of any new neuroses, by stalking her at her usual haunts:

Her blog: Some Dark Romantic
On Facebook: mina.lobo.1
On the Twitter: @GothMomLite
And GothMomLite Will Tumblr For Ya as well

What do you think of the cover for That Fatal Kiss?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jeremy Hawkins Book Tour - It's Time!

The creative and talented Jeremy Hawkins is stopping by on his book tour today. This isn't your typical book, you know, with words. Instead, he is displaying his pop-culture artwork from over the years in a series of four books. If you've participated in the A-to-Z Challenge, you know Jeremy as our badge and graphics guru. He's our go-to guy for anything visually artsy, with his unique and compelling vision.

Now, here's Jeremy to speak for himself:


Did you know that Spaceballs was made into a cartoon? Okay let me back up for the moment. I want to share a short story and then share another one with you. Shannon asked a few of us to see if we wanted to donate anything for a good cause for a Pike’s Peak Silent auction. I had a piece of art I designed that was created from a old slide of Pike’s Peak from the 1960’s and gladly thought sure, she could use this. Off the wall it came and then it was shipped for the event, not sure how it did… I do know someone got it and for me that was cool.

Brings this big hole to my wall and I replaced this with my original framed poster of what else? Spaceballs! And I got to thinking share something about this film. Now we are back to the question of did you know it was made into a cartoon for television, yeah me either. It lasted only a season; here is part from the press release about it:

May the farce be with you! Modern filmdom and popular culture get lampooned at ludicrous speed as “Spaceballs: The Totally Warped Animated Adventures!” comes to DVD from MGM Home Ent. Re-introducing the art of ridiculous satire to the small screen, the animated half-hour episodes pick up where the cult-classic feature film left off, showcasing rollicking parody of pop culture for a new generation of fans.  Executive produced and Co-Created by Mel Brooks reprises the roles of the original Spaceballs cast, including Joan Rivers as the droid Dot Matrix, Daphne Zuniga as Princess Vespa and Brooks as the comic sage Yogurt. Joining the fight against the evil Dark Helmet are unforgettable characters Captain Lone Starr and his half-human-half-canine sidekick, Barf.

• The Moron’s Guide
• Episode I – “Outbreak”
• Intermission – “Satisfied Customers”
• Episode II – “Skroobinator”
• Intermission – “Thanks For Your Order”
• Episode III – “The Deep Ship”
• Intermission – “Sing Along With Skyroob”
• Episode IV – “Grand Theft Starship”
• And That’s Not All
• One More Goodie

It is available for DVD purchase at AMAZON, so if you are checking it out… feel free to look up my books to… see the cool tie into my stuff.

Are you looking for the ADAM WEST [TV’S BATMAN] story I promised to share? Well, on the next tour date… it will be there, promise.


It's a four book series 40 pages each and it is the art/design from things I had designed over the years. It's a mish-mash of things that I had seen in my head... and some are future designs that will become shirts. Places I wanted to go artistically as you travel from where I was to where I am now. Is it great journey!  Titles came from the idea of time "12:34, 35, 36 and 37” seems that is when my best ideas came to me... day or night. It's funny I never considered myself a "writer" just a man who likes to paint a canvas if it be words or my art/design.

Giveaways: Some great prizes being given away please stop over at my main page “BEING RETRO” and look just below the header for the “It’s Time” Tour Giveaway link and enter today.

Thank You, for letting me play host and to all who took the “time” to read this… you are all the best.

Jeremy Hawkins
Being Retro


So, what do you think? Dig his artwork?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Little Critters of Estes Park & Links & IWSG

Had a test and a quiz (pop, except we knew it was coming since today was the last normal day of class...) today! Only things left on my CNA course are clinicals, starting this weekend, finals, then state boards.

Edited to add: Whoops! I almost forgot IWSG! Insecure Writer's Support Group happens the first Wednesday of each month, created by the Ninja, himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

My insecurity this month is pretty simple. I've got too much going on, and I have not been making time to write. I worry that it's going to be like this for awhile. I can't let that happen, so I need a plan of attack. I've given myself permission to not beat myself up about it until the end of the month. I've got CNA-related stuff that I'm stressing about, which doesn't end until next Thursday (and doesn't completely end until state boards in mid-September). Then I've got a writing event, first day of school for the kiddos, and a trip with my mom, sister, and youngest brother. When I get back, I'll be buckling down, creating a schedule so I can get back into the writing routine. And honestly, it won't be too hard not to beat myself up, because my writing falls by the wayside each summer. Things change so much, the kids are home, I try to do fun stuff, and I pack a lot into summer. So it's time to tell myself it's OKAY to set it aside for summer. To everyone who's in the same situation, don't beat yourself up! Create a plan of attack. Set a date to get back into it. Create a schedule. Or do whatever works for you.

Now to [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday.

I was going to do an animals of Estes Park, but decided to split it up. Next week - elk! Including the buck I mentioned before. For today, here are some of the little critters we saw on our weekend trip up to Estes Park (which seems soooo long ago now).

This little guy's a pika, and he was intent on studying me back.

Here he was being aloof. He then went on to bathe himself to show me just how unconcerned he was. "I laugh in the face of danger!" Except, you know, he bathes...

Prairie dog!

Ground squirrel (not to be confused with a chipmunk, which would have stripes on its face, as well, and wouldn't have the white around the eyes - yes, I looked it up just for you.

So these were just some of the bitty creatures we got to see up at Estes Park. Next week, elk! (I'm sad I didn't see a moose.)

Now for some links!

Accepting Submissions:

Diabolic Publications, in addition to accepting novel-length works, is seeking submissions for their sci-fi anthology, Ether World. Short stories, 4000 words or less. Deadline is September 1. Pays $.03 per word.

Martinus Publishing is accepting submissions for their sci-fi adventure anthology, VFW-Veterans of Future Wars. 2000-6000 words. Deadline December 31. Pays in royalties. Additionally, they're seeking submissions for Altered America, an anthology. Deadline is the same, as is pay.

Bottom Drawer Publications is looking for short stories for an anthology about Geeky Boys. Please note that this must be a romance between men. If you aren't comfortable with this, don't click on the link. Deadline September 1. Pay unknown (to me, anyway).

Untreed Reads is seeking submissions of short stories for their anthology, The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room for Thirds. Stories must involve "murder and mayhem happening at Thanksgiving." Must be a humorous mystery. 1500-5000 words. Deadline September 1. Pays in royalties.

She Writes Press is putting together a collection of works, including short stories, poems, photographs, and illustrations, inspired by the movie Return to Zero. Though She Writes is a female group, men are welcome to submit. Must have to do with a miscarriage or loss of a child. Will pay a contributor copy, with royalties to follow after initial costs of putting the book out are met. Deadline September 1.

Chupa Cabra House is seeking submissions for their anthology, Invisibility. Inspired by H.G. Wells Invisible Man. 3500-10000 words. Pays $25 plus wholesale price for book purchases. Any genre, but they really like horror, mystery, sci-fi, and bizarro. Deadline September 1.


Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine is running the Beyond the Glass Slipper Writing Contest. Deadline is August 15. Grand prize $200. Your story must involve one of ten fairy tales of their choice. Short story or poem.

Cahoodaloodaling is hosting their first annual In Cahoots Collaboration Contest. Deadline September 1. $50 first prize. No entry fee. Must be written as a collaborative project between 2 or more people.

Any of these you're interested in? Ever heard of a pika? Did you know there was a ground squirrel versus a chipmunk? Anything to share? Any good publication news?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Blog Post Lite - Top Ten

As I'm in frantic studying mode today, how about a little Blog Post Lite with a Top Ten?

Top Ten Reasons to Imbibe in Horror:

10. It burns calories. Don't believe me? Check out this Telegraph article on the subject.

9. It teaches you what NOT to do if you ever find yourself in a scary situation. Don't know the rules? Here's a clip from Scream. Big no no!

8. It confirms your fears. Here's a list of things we won't do thanks to scary movies, BUT how many people already had these fears? (Admit it, you were already scared of blond children...)

7. It makes your problems look a tad smaller, at least for a short time. What are your problems compared to being trapped on a plane...with snakes! Gah!

6. It's cathartic. Though I don't entirely buy this article, it will give you something to think about.

5. Sometimes you get to see someone you don't like eat it in horrific ways. (You applauded, didn't you?) And it's especially satisfying when it involves character karma and the serving of justice. Karma.

4. Where else do you get to be horrified, terrified, and sickened, yet enjoy a little comic relief in the process?

3. You get to feel smarter than someone else, like that girl who trips fifty times before the bad guy eats her face. Or the girl who hides under the giant table in plain sight. (I mean, really, at that point, what choice does the psycho have?? If he didn't kill her, his thrill-murderer friends would laugh at him and call him Nancy-boy.)

2. The fictional horror can never come close to horror that lives in reality, but it can help us forget it for awhile. And terror can help you release pent-up emotion of all kinds in a way you're more comfortable with. Like screaming.

1. Good usually wins over evilBullies never win.

Bonus: 100 Greatest Horror Movie Quotes of All Time

What's your favorite reason? What are your favorite horror movie or book scenes? What scared the living daylights out of you?

May you find your Muse.