Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Greetings 2014 - Glüton’s Christmas Blast

The latest version of your annual Christmas chapbook is hot off the press - we'll be bone-folding and sewing the hard copies together tomorrow.  If you would like a soft copy in a .pdf file, please drop us a line at and I'll make sure you get one.  Here's a sample - the annual Glüton misadventure.

Glüton’s Christmas Blast

  Glüton looked forward to Christmas more than any other holiday, except of course, every other holiday.  Despite his track record – the previous year had been a letdown courtesy of a pack of disgruntled chinchillas – he tried to push the past aside.  There was the carnivorous snow-blower, the strangling strands of Christmas lights, indigestible feather pillows, cannibals with the best of intentions, and Fanny.  He felt tears and the familiar itch in his nose when he thought of Fanny.
  This year would be different, at home, no Christmas cruises or dates, no family, and no accidents.  He recalled the bruises from eight tiny reindeer and sniffed the last of the memories away.  For a moment, he considered locking his door, turning out his lights, and hiding under his bed until January 1st.  No, it was Christmas, Christmas had food written all over it, and his friends were depending on him.
  Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams and pumpkin pie were distant Thanksgiving memories, but not to be crossed off a Christmas menu.  To this, Glüton added cookies and cakes, candy and chocolates, and bread.  Rolls, loaves, muffins, biscuits, all in their buttery glory; he couldn’t turn his back on that, could he?
  He looked at his day planner: only two days to go before his first annual Christmas Blast, and this year he had taken precautions.  He had checked the guest list thrice, inspected the structural integrity of his floor twice, and even sent a priority letter to Santa asking that no harm or accident would find him during the holidays.  Sticking out of his day planner was the return receipt that arrived that very morning double signed: S. Claus and K. Kringle.  He would be safe.
  Today he had to work, but first, a quick trip down to his Pinto to retrieve the final ingredients for his seasonal soiree: two bags of flour, a bag of sugar, and six cases of cane-sweetened Coca Cola from Mexico.  There was no way injury would find him and he would be early for work.
  He stepped into the hall and looked both ways, just to be safe.  Nothing was out of place.  The smell of baking bread came up through the vents and floor boards; the bakery on the ground floor was in full operation.  He selected this apartment in memory of his first bachelor pad.  The smell of yeast, flour, baking bread, the most simple of carbohydrates wafting around him in a protective cloud of comfort: he was safe.  He continued, down the stairs, and out back to the parking lot, bells jingling, belly jiggling.  His red Santa pants were riding up a bit and rubbing him wrong, but he only had to sit in them when he was working, he told himself.
  The Pinto was undisturbed, although the dents and scratches sent a shiver up his spine: Chuy’s Chinchilla Bordello, his six siblings, and all that food lost.  He cleared his mind, shook himself, and set himself to carrying the last of his confectionary necessities up to his apartment.  After three trips, the fabric between his legs was still bothering him.  He could feel the hair on his legs standing straight up from the static electricity.  He saw his reflection in the glass of the back door and stopped.
  He was made to play Santa.  He would never work as a supermodel or an athlete: Glüton-sized seats were never part of the seat designers' plans for commercial air carriers and he had yet to meet a Lycra garment that stretched as advertised.  Big and Tall were stores for lesser men and super-size was a description for a hors d'oeuvre, not an entrée.
  He needed to finish and get to work.  He grabbed the metal door handle and fell back.  The discharged static almost knocked him flat.  These pants were not working out.  He would talk to his supervisor when he got to work.
  After getting the six cases of Coke and the bag of sugar stowed in his kitchen without further incident, Glüton decided he could probably carry both bags of flour.  He retrieved the flour and had almost made it to the second-floor landing when one of the bags started to slip.  He tried to catch it, to move with gravity and stop its fall, but his efforts only unbalanced the other bag: both fell from his shoulders and bounced their way down the stairs in an explosion of gritty white Christmas.  At the same time, his pants showed their saber-toothed crotch cricket tendencies and he almost jumped down the stairs after the bags.  He reached for the railing.  His hand found the metal fittings.
  Glüton would have wanted it this way: going up in a fireball of self-rising flour in a Santa suit.  The inspector from the fire department, however, was confused.  Ground zero was not the bakery and red polyester and white fake fur were not common ingredients in explosives.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Comicon and LUW Conference 2014

Salt Lake Comicon was an excellent opportunity to send out some love for the World Horror Convention 2016, which will be held in Provo, Utah, as well as grow our own Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association

At the League of Utah Writers Conference, Genre Panel, with several friends and colleagues, including Johnny Worthen, Christauna Rose Asay, and Christine Haggerty - I'm the ghost at the end of the table (far end).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

LDStorymakers - Day 2

I think I forgot to mention, Melissa Frain, Editor, Tor Books, is allowing me to send the first 50 pages and a synopsis for consideration... I am so excited - Day 2 also found Rachel Lewis and I in absolute awestruck wonder at the eloquence of Orson Scott Card - I'm thinking it's a Scott thing - Orson Scott Card, J. Scott Savage, K. Scott Forman... fingers crossed:) #Storymakers14

Friday, April 25, 2014

LDStorymakers - Day 1

So far, so....  My daughter is happy to observe her mad father....

...and Nikki is a signed writer!!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Edith Wharton on Characters

Which comes first—the characters or the plot? In 1933 the novelist Edith Wharton explained that sometimes it was a character and other times a situation that suggested to her the idea for a story.

When I first began to talk with novelists about the art of fiction I was amazed at the frequently repeated phrase, "I've been hunting about for months for a good subject." Hunting about for a subject! Good heavens! … The truth is that I have never attached much importance to subject, partly because every incident, every situation, about me is perpetually presenting itself to me in the light of story-telling material, and partly from the conviction that the possibilities of a given subject are—whatever a given imagination can make of them …

In the birth of fiction, it is sometimes the situation, the "case," which first presents itself to the mind, and sometimes the characters who first appear, asking to be fitted into a situation. I have often speculated on the conditions likely to give the priority to one or the other, but I doubt if fiction can be usefully divided into novels of situation and of character, since a novel, if worth anything at all, is always both at once, in inextricable combination. I can only say that in my own case a situation sometimes occurs to me first, and in others a single figure suddenly walks into my mind. If the situation takes the lead, I leave it lying about, as it were, in a quiet place, and just wait till the characters creep stealthily up and wriggle themselves into it. All I seem to have done is to say, at the outset: "This thing happened—but to whom?" Then I wait, holding my breath, and one by one they appear and take possession of the case. When it befalls in the other way, I may be strolling about casually in my mind, and suddenly a character will start up before me, coming seemingly from nowhere; and again, but more breathlessly, I watch; and presently the character draws nearer, and seems to become aware of me, and to feel the shy but desperate need to unfold his or her tale. I cannot say in which way my subject will probably present itself—though perhaps in short stories the situation, in novels one of the characters, is most likely to appear first.

"Confessions of a Novelist," by Edith Wharton, April 1933

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Author Web Page

Well, I took the next step - I have an author web page - not much there right now, but it's in cyberspace!  Check it out:

Friday, March 28, 2014

LDStorymakers 2014

I'm expecting these types of emotions, not Fear, at LDStorymakers this year... looking forward to it!
It was pure leisure...