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Showing posts from 2017

Looking Back In Time At the Writing Accomplishments of 2017

Credit: Pixabay.com I hope everybody’s been enjoying this Holiday Season! I had a groovy Christmas Eve and Day. I was in Fresno during that time visiting the family there. My brother took me and his son to see Star Wars the Last Jedi which was just awesome! And only last night, did I see The Force Awakens on DVD. That is, I saw it for the second time only yesterday since seeing it in the theatre two Christmases ago, also with my brother and his son. (Hey, I think a new Holiday tradition is forming in my family!) Now you’re probably wondering why I’m watching the two movies out of order? Well, I hadn’t actually planned on watching the latest movie until I returned here to Sacramento, because I wanted to refresh myself on Force Awakens first. But since I only see my brother and his family a few times throughout the year, I couldn’t resist an invitation to see a movie like Star Wars with them. But now that I’m back, I’ m watch ing the two movies in order and so will se

Holiday Post: Krampus’s List of 6 Tales of Terror Toys

Credit: Pixabay What does a writer of dark fiction like myself write for a Holiday blog post? I’m not really a fan of black Christmas fiction, but I do love the comical holiday fairy tale flick, The Nightmare Before Christmas , as well as other weird Holiday films such as the cheesy Santa Claus Conquers the Martians . But since this is more of a literary fiction blog, I thought I would do something in the line of that. I decided to do terrifying toys in speculative fiction that doesn’t necessarily take place during Christmas. So below is a list of mostly horror stories about terrible toys. And I don’t mean “terrible” as in cheap or defected like the Misfit Toys in Rankin/Bass’s “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”. I’m talking about terrible toys that the Krampus might bring to naughty boys and girls. Some of them are so terrible that even Krampus may be too nice to bring. Instead he might bring those to evil grownups. The list is in no particular order. 1. “Don’t Ask Jack”, by

Absence of Net Neutrality May Mean Less Fiction Sub Genres

Last week, the FCC did something that any indie author or artist of any sort would never want to see it do: it repealed the net neutrality regulations. These regulations protected fair access to online content that wouldn’t be hindered by big companies paying for faster service. Indie authors and their readers can’t afford this repeal since it will limit access to certain websites on the internet. Doing so will limit access to niche genres of fiction. In general, the absence of net neutrality will cause internet users to have to pay extra for faster access to websites. It will also cause many website owners to have to pay extra to make their content accessible. This puts many indie authors and their readers at a disadvantage because many indie authors don’t have the funds to pay for the faster internet service when promoting their work and many of their readers are in a similar financial situation.  This class preference of internet access can limit the choices for consume

The Science In Sci Fi and . . . Fantasy?

Credit: Pixabay.com I apologise for posting so late again. The Thanksgiving holiday was extra busy for me and last weekend had too many things that needed catching up on. I also was a little ill some of the week but am much better now. I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving, though. It seems like the holiday was just yesterday and we’re already hurtling toward Christmas! About a week ago, I came across a really neat article on the website Earther entitled “Rare Manuscript Exhibit Explores How Climate Disasters CreateMonsters” . Well, if climate disaster isn’t doing that, some other natural or technological disaster is. The article shows how climate change has influenced not only science fiction but even certain types of fantasy fiction too, especially horror. The author of this article, Maddie Stone, uses examples from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and, believe it or not, Bram Stoker’s Dracula . A lot of science fiction, needless to say, has been influen

On Writing: Revisions and Motivations

I apologise for not having posted since the special Halloween post . I wasn’t feeling my best one week and then the following week I was really busy with both my day job and writing. In relation to writing, I didn’t make that Halloween deadline for the short horror story I’ve been working on. I’m almost done revising it, so I will have it ready for my critique group soon. Which is the upside of missing that submission deadline: I have a chance to have it critiqued. I wouldn’t have had time for that otherwise. Writing for a Publication’s Deadline as Motivation I may either use this story for another magazine accepting submissions or my next short fiction collection that I have taken a hiatus on since last year but plan to resume it in the upcoming one. But I think I got much more done on the story than I would have if I hadn’t been writing for a submission deadline and was doing it for self-publication instead. So if you are a self-publishing author like myself, maybe

Special Halloween Post: Vampire Hunters, Decorating and Free Books

Credit: Pixabay.com I'm still trying to finish revising the story I was telling you about last time, the one that I said was due on Halloween. I had said I'm trying to avoid having to submit it on that day but it looks like that won't happen. But as long as I have it revised by Monday then I should be okay. It shouldn't take that long to submit it for the anthology that it's for. I probably would have had a great deal more of it done but I "had" to go to that Halloween Comics Fest sale at Comics & Collectibles in Sacramento. Maybe it's a good thing I did because, besides getting free comics like Hellboy  and other horror-types, I came across a new one: Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter . Vampire Hunters Captain Kronos is based on a 1974 Hammer horror flick of the same name. I missed issue number one, so I had to settle for purchasing and joining in on number two. However, aesthetically-speaking, I prefer issue number two over number o

Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop Coming!

I'm sorry I'm running late again with the post for the week. I was busy with the Halloween decorating and still haven't finished. I've also been trying to revise a short story for an anthology submission that's due on Halloween night and have another that I have yet to start that needs to be done for a party I'm attending this week! So I'm going to keep this post short. Although most of my Halloween outings won't fall on October 31st, I'm trying to avoid having to submit the story for the anthology on that night. Part of the reason is that I will be staying in to participate in the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop! For the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop I will be giving away one of my books instead of candy! Talk about eye-candy! Consider it candy you can read which, as much as I love confections--especially chocolate--I'll take books over candy anytime if given a choice. Credit: Pixabay.com I will post a link to my book on my Facebook pag

My Table at Sac Con: The Power of Selling Your Book In Person

Credit: The Blogger I would have been happy if people stopped to simply flip through my books at my vendor table at Sac Comic-Con last Sunday. Since that was my first vendor table at a convention, I really didn’t expect to sell anything. I sold five copies of my books! The first sale was actually early on in the convention—within the first 10 minutes of opening! A father with his three kids stopped to look. I started giving my pitch for each book and, before I could finish, he said he would take one copy of each: The Fool’s Illusion and “CircaSixty Years Dead” . Later in the day, two more people made purchases at different times each. I also traded copies with the fellow author whose table was right next to mine, Jay Norry , for two books from his Zombie Zero series . We suggested doing reviews for each other’s books once we read them. I’ll leave reviews at Amazon for sure but may have fuller ones here. However, I may not be to do anything until the beginning of t

The Author's Appearance At Sac Comic-Con

I'm not leaving much of a post here this weekend because I've been busy all day preparing for my vendor table for Sac Comic-Con . The convention is tomorrow from 10 AM to 6 PM. You can read more about it at my Facebook page . This will be my first convention that I've had a table at, so don't be surprised if I seem a little rusty. I hope to see you there. My booth number is B25; I'll have a name sign up. If you can't make it, then . . . Until next time . . . Credit: Pixabay.com

One Last Revision On My Business Card Before Sac Con

Last week was really busy, so I apologise for posting late again. But I wanted to show you a major alteration I made to my business card (besides the contact info I added). Last post I showed the card bearing the name of my imprint which is “Far Out Phantastic Press”. Or at least that was the name. After doing some research, I discovered that to put that name on a business card may require me to register it with my home city or county and that would cost more than what I am willing to spend right now on promoting my work. Here in California, at least, you can use your personal name as for a sole entrepreneurship and not have to register it. So, for the time being at least, I had to replace my imprint name with my personal name on the card. So here is the revised version: Credit: Steven Rose Jr. As you can see everything else on my business card has pretty much stayed the same. Now I just have to have prints of it made by the end of the week because I will ne

Trying to Get Ahead of the Goal: Imprint Logo

Last time I said I would try to have the designs of the imprint logo and name for my business card here. Although I completed my minimum goal for the week, I was hoping to have the whole card done by today. I guess I'm just trying to get ahead of myself so as not to get behind. But if we as self-publishing artists and writers can make it to our minimum goal within a self-determined time frame then that's what really matters. However, I'm trying to complete the card and so put the contact information on it by next week. I may be attending a convention that weekend and I want to have copies available for distribution. But here is what I've completed so far. (I apologise for the card image blending in with the blog's background due to matching colours, but I didn't have time to seek out a way of creating a lighter background for the display. I'll try to have that the next time when I have the full card done. . .  If I have it done.) Credit: Steven Rose

What a Brand Icon Should Do for an Imprint

It’s been a long but far out fantastic day today. I attended two sci fi-related events: a Doctor Who celebration at the Sacramento Central Library and then, after that, a steampunk tiki party at The Jungle Bird in midtown. I’m much more atom punk than I am steampunk but both are retro punk and tikis became a very heavy pop cultural icon during the atomic era (mostly the early half of the 1960s). And I just dig tikis! I got a collection of them—figurines, cups, etc.—in my house. So, as I said, it was a long day and so I really didn’t get much of a chance to work on my writing with the exception of this blog post and some marketing of my books, The Fool’s Illusion (which turns 4 years old this month!) and “Circa Sixty Years Dead” .  Part of marketing one’s work involves branding that work. I’m not a business man and so, frankly, I hate the word “branding” which is a big buzz term in today’s age of the startup and freelance revolutions. However, branding is probably more important

Wandering Through the Dark Carnival Sci fi/Fantasy Bookstore

Photo Credit: The Blogger I’m sorry I missed posting Labor Day weekend and for running late with this past weekend’s post. Saturday I was out in town for most of the day and last weekend I was in Berkeley visiting a friend who I hadn’t seen in over five years. I had been planning a San Francisco day trip all summer but it didn’t quite work out so I had to settle for Berkeley which is a bit closer to Sacramento. One reason I had originally wanted to go to San Francisco was to check out a science fiction/fantasy bookstore there called Borderlands. I’ve bought books from them in the past but only at conventions. I heard they carry all the sci fi and fantasy books you can ever find there. However, Berkeley has an alternative to that book store: Dark Carnival. Dark Carnival is a used-book store that specialises in science fiction, fantasy, horror and mystery. It fronts Claremont Avenue accompanied by a cat-size, brown dragon figure laying on top of the wood-looking business

Celebrating the Summer of the Loving Dead

Credit: Pixabay.com This summer has been a 50 th anniversary for the Summer of Love but it’s also been a summer of the loving dead. The latter began with my work on the “Circa Sixty Years Dead” paperback edition  and it has continued with this weekend’s Zombie Walk here in Sacramento. Sacramento Zombie Walk and Carnival of the Dead Today was the 17 th annual Zombie Walk for Sacramento. But I only attended the pre-Zombie Walk Carnival of the Dead, yet hardly even that. There were a lot of neat games and booths there, not to mention costumes of the living dead. However, it was so damn hot on this 104-degree fahrenheit Saturday afternoon/early evening that I didn’t stay for much more than an hour. I’m surprised the heat didn’t do a further job on the zombies’ already rotted skin and flesh! But the event was a knock-out and, though I wasn’t there for it, the actual walk really turned out to be a knock-out! The undead really gave it to the alt-right and they

‘Circa’ Now With an Improved Book Cover; Imprint Logo; Joe Hill

While we still have some daylight this weekend before the solar eclipse, let me show you my past week in writing, viewing and even drawing. These include advice from son of Stephen King, author Joe Hill and the improved book cover for the paperback version of “Circa Sixty Years Dead”. Joe Hill Interview on You Tube This afternoon, after watching my Saturday morning (vintage) cartoons on YouTube (actually one was a live-action kids sci fi series from the seventies, Space Academy ), I watched an interview with NOS4A2 author Joe Hill. He had a lot of interesting things to say about his writing and useful techniques he uses for it. One of those techniques I’d like to try with my own stories, which helps both story and character development. That technique, he says, is taking a character from a larger work in progress and writing a separate, shorter story around it just for the sake of developing the character. That’s a technique that I can definitely use since I often st