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Showing posts from 2021

October Newsletter and Upcoming Short Story Collection

Credit: Pixabay I'm running late with the October issue of my author’s newsletter, “Night Creatures’ Call”. I've been loaded with getting the short story collection, "Bad Apps", together. I meant to release the collection this month but am going to have to push it to next month or maybe even December. There are still several more stories for it to put through critique and revise and I want to do a beta release of it as well. But it hasn't been so much the book that has put me behind in this month’s newsletter than myself.  October’s Issue of ‘Night Creatures’ Call’ I purposefully put off this month’s newsletter because I want to include in it an offer for a free book that I’ve already had out. But to do that, I have to publish the book to Smashwords because Amazon won’t let you offer discounts or free books if you don’t participate in their Kindle Select program in which I no longer participate. In order to participate in it you can’t have your books at Smashwords

The Boundaries I Set Up in My Writing

  It's the first Wednesday of the month and so that means it’s time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG)  post! In an IWSG post, we writers bring our writing challenges and problems out into the open to share with each other and try to offer solutions. My challenge this month has been the book of short fiction I've been currently working on. One of the stories I’ve been revising for it has been my most difficult yet since it involves parallel universes and quantum mechanics, an area of science that I’m not good at explaining. So having to revise and re-edit it several times has kept me at behind. I keep telling myself and everyone that it's going to be out in the next month. But when that next month comes I still have several of the book’s stories to revise. I will get it done though. Once I start something I really care about and I tell other people that I’m doing it for them I finish it.  The October 6 question is: In your writing, where do you draw the line

Changing a Character's Name to Honor Forry Ackerman

Credit: Pixabay I've been behind on putting together my book of short fiction, "Bad Apps", but am seriously trying to make progress with it so I can release a collection of tales that everyone will enjoy. I've been trying to get it all done by this month and so in time for Halloween, but it’s requiring more work than I anticipated. I'm still revising one of the short stories that’s been my toughest ever and so I’ve been working on it for the last couple months. This story is in the latest stages of the revision process and so I’m almost done editing it. However, just yesterday, I changed the surname to one of my characters in honor of the late editor, Forrest J. Ackerman. Forrest “Forry” J. Ackerman So, who was Forrest J. Ackerman? Also known as “Forry” Ackerman, he was the editor of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine, a publication that ran from the 1950s, when he started it, to the 1980s (and it would be revived by other editors after that a few ti

Book-To-Movie: 'The Land That Time Forgot'

Credit: Wikimedia Commons It's the fourth weekend of the month and so it's time for another Book-To-Movie review! In a Book-To- Movie, we review a work of prose fiction and its movie adaptation. Tonight, we are reviewing Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel, "The Land that Time Forgot", and its 1975 movie adaptation. I’ll tell you now that the movie was good but the novel is more developed and believable in its characterization and conflict.  The Book Burrough's novel is actually Book One of a trilogy. Published in 1918, it’s about shipwrecked survivors and a German crew whose U-boat they take over that get stranded on a lost continent in Antarctica. The British and one American, Bowen Tyler who is both the novel’s narrator and protagonist, and their German captives must ally in order to survive the dangers of the prehistoric continent of Caspak such as carnivorous dinosaurs and hostile ape men.  The characters in this novel are well-developed for it being pulp fiction and

Del Toro Productions to Feature Stories by Lovecraft & Others

Credit: Pixabay I apologise for missing last week. I was busy editing much of the newsletter for this month on the day of its release. This month’s issue features a free short story, so if you haven't yet subscribed to my newsletter, “Night Creatures' Call”, you can do so here . In this and future issues of the newsletter you’ll find things such as news about my upcoming book and future Book-To-Movie reviews.  A couple of productions by Guillermo del Toro, producer of dark fantastic films such as “Pan's Labyrinth” and “The Orphanage”, are coming up. One is a movie and the other a TV anthology series. Both will feature adaptations of stories by authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and others.  Del Toro’s movie, entitled, “Nightmare Alley”, is based on a 40s noir novel by William Lindsay Gresham. A remake of an earlier adaptation from 1947, the movie is about a traveling carnival in which one of its employees who is ambitious and manipulative becomes involved in a relationship wit

A Successful Writer is a Professional

It’s the first day of September and so the summer is almost over and the fall almost here! But it's also the first Wednesday of the month and so that means it’s time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG)   post! In an IWSG post, we writers bring our writing challenges and problems out into the open to share with each other and try to offer solutions. And I do have a few challenges, namely getting all my stories together for my next book, “Bad Apps”.  Upcoming Short Fiction Collection I've been aiming to release “Bad Apps”, a collection of short fiction about weird and deadly mobile apps, by, ha! this month. I had moved the release date from August to September, but now the latter is here and I still have several stories to revise. I also want to do a beta release before I do an official release. If anyone is interested in reading a beta copy of the book just let me know and I'll be happy to send you one. All I ask in exchange is, of course, your honest feedback

Book-To-Movie: Stephen King's 'Children of the Corn'

  Credit: Pixabay Warning: This review may contain spoilers. I apologise for missing last week. It was a rough one; I got very little sleep throughout it and so had gotten behind on other things. I was almost totally worn out which took out my creativity for blogging. But now things are back to normal, somewhat. Well, at least they’re back to normal in time for this fourth weekend, the weekend of our monthly Book-To-Movie. In a Book-To- Movie, we review a work of prose fiction and its movie adaptation. This post we are reviewing Stephen King's short story, "Children of the Corn" and its 1984 movie adaptation. When compared to the short story, the movie adaptation is much more comical.  The Short Story Published in 1976, “Children of the Corn” concerns Burt and Vicky, a married couple whose relationship is on the brink of divorce and who get stranded in a small Nebraska town. They discover that all the adults of the town have disappeared and only the children are there wh

Planned Beta Release for Upcoming Short Fiction Collection

Credit: Pixabay I've been working on my upcoming short fiction collection  all week but have been worn out too many times, mostly from a bad case of allergies and insomnia. When I would work on one of my short stories for the book, there were several times when I nearly fell asleep ready to drop my head on the keyboard. So, I'd just go to bed intending to get more done in the morning but once in bed I wouldn't be able to fall asleep. Isn’t that ironic? Maybe I should make the computer keyboard my bed from now on.  Well, there's some good news. Tuesday, I shared with my writer's critique group part two of "The Watch Party", one of the short stories that I’m including in my book. Compared to when the group critiqued part one several weeks ago, they didn’t have any problems with it. However, I did not factor in the changes suggested by the group from the last time. I've only done that for the first part so far. So, there's going to be some work that I

Week of a Writing Drought; Stephen King's 'On Writing'

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and so it’s time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG)  post! In an IWSG post, we writers bring our writing challenges and problems out into the open to share with each other and try to offer solutions. And did I have a challenge last week that I want to bring out into the open. That challenge was, what I call, a writing drought.  A Week of Writer’s Block Last week was a bad one for writing. I had a writer's drought all that week like my region has had a water drought for a lot longer. In other words, I had writer’s block. I felt like I couldn't come up with anything new to write either fiction or non-fiction. I had just barely come up with something for last weekend’s post .   Because of my writer’s block, I got behind with the story I've currently been working on for my upcoming book of short fiction. Originally, I planned to get the book out by this month but my stay in the hospital made me have to push it back to Septem

Marking My Summer with Movies and Books

Credit: Pixabay Often, I try to mark my summers with a big screen movie. Summers are magical and they especially were when we were kids. And they’re still magical for us adult artists, and that includes writers. I remember my summer from when I was 9 because that’s when “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” premiered (1980) and my dad took my kid brother and I to see it.  Even bad movies served as a landmark, or maybe more like a “timemark”, for some of my summers when I was a kid. I won’t forget how unamusing the fourth “Jaws” film, “Jaws: The Revenge”, was when I saw it on the big screen during the summer (1987) just before my junior year of high school. Still, it was an event that I shared with my younger brother that was characteristic of summer. Of course, I thought I would like the movie and so that’s why we went to see it. So even now as an adult, every summer I’ll go see a movie that I think I’ll like and then remember the summer for it regardless of whether I liked it or not. 

Book-To-Movie: ‘The Lawnmower Man’

Credit: Pixabay Warning: This review may contain spoilers. In past Book-To-Movies, we’ve reviewed several movie adaptations of books and short stories by famous science fiction and horror authors. All those films have stuck to the plot of the original work to at least some recognizable degree. But this week’s Book-To-Movie will be the first to review a film that does a poor job of staying faithful to the original plot. The film is 1992’s “The Lawnmower Man” which is based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name. Even so, the movie is a really good one. So then what’s the problem? The problem is that it’s hardly an adaptation and so more its own story simply with the title of King’s short work slapped onto it.  ‘The Lawnmower Man’: The Short Story Stephen King’s “The Lawnmower Man” originally appeared in “Cavalier” magazine in 1975 and was then collected into his book of short fiction, “Night Shift” the following year. The story’s protagonist is a middle-aged husband and dad by t

Interview with Author Jacqui Murray

Photo Credit: Pixabay   As a science fiction writer, I’ve always had a fascination with the prehistoric. It’s often been the subject of pulp fiction and b movies and so, more often than not, has been romanticized with human and dinosaur existing side by side, almost never harmoniously. Such stories can be considered what we now call alternative historic fiction, or in this case alternative pre historic fiction. This is because science has proven that humans did not come along until millions of years after the dinosaurs went extinct. Yet, there are a lot of great books and films out there that depict early humans in a much more realistic manner than the pulps and b films. For example, there’s Jean Auel’s novel, “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, which was adapted into a 1986 film. There’s also Jacqui Murray’s “Dawn of Humanity” series of books, the latest of which is “Laws of Nature”. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqui for tonight’s post.  Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jacqui Murray "

Insecure Writers’ Support Group: Writing Around a Day Job

  It’s the first Wednesday of the month and so it’s time for another Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG)  post! In an IWSG post, we writers bring our writing challenges and problems out into the open to share with each other and try to offer solutions. Making Time to Write When Working a Day Job After four months, I finally returned to the work place of my day job yesterday! I had been teleworking part of the time during those four months and the rest of the time I was either in the hospital or recovering at home. It was so good to get back to my place of employment and see the familiar faces that I had missed during my time off.  But with a day job comes less writing time. Generally, “day job” is defined by us artists and writers as a job unrelated to our creative and artistic work. When I was teleworking I was doing so on a limited schedule and so had more time to write, but since I’ve returned to my workplace and regular schedule I have less time. So, I have to be very thorough a

‘Alien’ TV Series; Newsletter #2; Smashwords Summer Book Sale

Credit: I received my second dose of the Covid shot yesterday. Even though I didn’t get sick from it like some people have, I woke up with muscle soreness this morning and have had it all day. So, I’m going to take it easy today and keep this post short with a little sci fi news and updates. Also, it’s a holiday weekend, so we all deserve to take at least a small break. I’ll mostly be working on my short stories for my upcoming   collection throughout the weekend. ‘Alien TV Series in the Works Noah Hawly, producer of the Hulu series, “Fargo”, is coming out with a TV series based on the “Alien” movies. Like “Star Wars”, The original 1979 “Alien” spawned an entire franchise of sequels, prequels and retail items. The franchise came out with action figures, bubble gum trading cards, games, comics and even prose fiction books. And now, also like the “Star Wars” franchise with its “Mandalorian” series, it’s finally coming out with a TV series. According to Hawly in a “Vanity Fai

Book-To-Movie: Hammer’s ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’

Credit: Pixabay No, I’m not reposting the Book-To-Movie from three months ago. This week’s Book-To-Movie is reviewing a different film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. Last time, we reviewed the 1939 adaptation starring Basil Rathbone. This time we’re reviewing Hammer Studios’ 1959 version starring that other big name in horror, Peter Cushing. Last time, I said I hadn’t seen this version. But only a week ago I came across it on the streaming video website, Tubi . It was under the category of movies that are “Leaving Soon”. So, I thought if I wanted to see it for free then I’d better watch it right away and so did. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always go cheap. But, hey, who doesn’t like freebies?) This movie wasn’t a bad adaptation of the book. In fact, it only fell short of matching the quality of the 1939 film by a couple details.  The Book Because we went over the book, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, in the earlier Book-To-Movie, I’m only going t

We Need the Humour of ‘60s Sitcom ‘The Munsters’

Credit: Wikimedia Commons All this week I’ve been trying to catch up on my writing projects, especially my upcoming short story collection. I had lost a lot of writing time while I was in the hospital for several weeks. So for the past week I’ve been mostly writing the first draft of a story I want to include in the book. I’ll keep you updated on the collection but in this post I want to talk about Rob Zombie’s upcoming movie reboot of the 1960s sitcom, “The Munsters”. And I can tell you right now that I probably won’t be seeing it when it releases.  Some of you, especially if you’re a fan of popular movie monsters of the mid 20th century like me, are probably familiar with “The Munsters”. It was a TV sitcom about a family based on some of Universal’s classic monsters such as Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula. The series ran from 1964 to 66. During that same year that it was canceled, a movie directly based on it called “Munster, Go Home” released in theatres. In later decades, a few