10 Crappy Things Modern Society Has Turned Into Social Norms

This is modern life. See Sturgeon’s Law.

Lois Lane

Lois Lane is what keeps Superman tethered to humanity. She is more than a girlfriend, a pal, or a foil — she is the reason Superman endures the heartache of being a hero.

Looking to God

I don’t know what’s more thrilling, watching a movie with such great actors in it or watching a movie and instantly recognizing the music. The 1978 version of Superman’s like that. Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, John Williams all make this wonderful story come to life.

Margot Kidder as Lois Lane Margot Kidder as Lois Lane

Women Who Wow Wednesday wouldn’t be complete without Lois Lane. She’s Superman’s confidant. His girl. His friend. She does get into trouble a lot, but that’s only because her curiosity and her desire to get to a story encourages her willingness to take risks. She’s a firecracker, and Superman’s the one who has come into her life to settle it.

John Williams’ opening theme reigns majestic and heralding. It announces of Superman’s arrival, his illustrious fall to planet Earth and his subsequent conquest of evil. It’s so recognizable a theme that, other than the latest Superman…

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It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, peeps: A tale of fail

Hubris! Ah, so pious and moral, even now! [Hoade] always thought he had all the answers. But he had none—nothing but clever ways to [write]! [Zombie books] … [stories about giant cysts] … and now, this. And his arrogance finally killed him!

— Marcus Fenix, Gears of War

Everybody fails sometimes.

Babe Ruth didn’t hit a home run every time he stepped up to the plate. NASA couldn’t get Apollo 13 onto the moon. J.K. Rowling wrote A Casual Vacancy. And Yours Truly wrote half of a bizarro novel.

Yes, Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls is now officially on the (s)crap pile. I was writing and writing, hitting good word count marks each day, trying to get the novella done by August 1st. The publisher even told me I could have until August 10th, which was quite nice of them.

They were so nice, in fact, that I found I could not continue the abomination that is the 17,000 words or so of Mexican Ninjas. It’s a classic case of following the advice of one’s publisher, agent, producer, or readers too exactly and ending up with a lifeless husk. (That’s redundant — few “husks” are alive, but just stay with me here.)


I said husks. With an s.

My fail shall now be your joy as you see me completely undone by trying to shoehorn something that wasn’t organic into a container that was … um …fuck it, by me trying to do what wasn’t right for me. I think it has some good stuff in it, but it’s nothing I would feel overly comfortable asking people to pay money for.

So find it below, in all its half-done glory. I would REALLY love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments or by email or any way, really.

Onward to the books I’m being paid (eventually) to write!

     “What you want these for?” the fat butcher-san asked Claudio as he handed over the burlap sack, which already was starting to stain through from its juicy contents.
      “I like the taste.”
      “You like the taste?” the butcher sputtered. “These not from baby pigs, like what you people put in burrito or whatever. These from adult buta, they full of boar taint. Smell!”
      Claudio didn’t have to open the sack to detect the armpit-dirty-socks wave of stench emanating from the thirty pounds of pork testicles, but he did, just to show the man he knew what he was doing.
      “Not even inu eat boar taint. Not even starving dog!”

      Without arguing further, Claudio handed over the yen for his muy repugnante bag of cojones …

Click here to keep reading Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls

8 unexpected lessons from working with a literary agent

bethany neal

This is Bethany Neal. Coincidentally, I just read an article that says research shows that photos of gorgeous writers attract more blog readers. Who woulda thunk it?

From Bethany Neal at The Writer’s Digest blog, a very interesting article about being careful what you wish for …

With self-publishing becoming more widely accepted and Amazon waging wars with publishers, more and more I get the sense from aspiring authors that they don’t think landing an agent means as much as it used to.

They believe “traditional” publishing is going the way of VCRs and none of the old rites of passage apply anymore. That’s fine if you think that, but, in my experience, it simply isn’t true.

I signed on with my agent, Stacey Glick of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, in September of 2010 for my first (unpublished) young adult, suspense novel and it has solidified some valuable lessons …

Read the rest!

fMRI Study of Inconceivable Cosmic Horror

When you research the abyss, the abyss also researches you (within standard academic protocol at Miskatonic University).

Eric Linus Kaplan


ABSTRACT: Popular author Howard Phillips Lovecraft speculated in the early 20 c. that certain experiences gave rise to inconceivable cosmic horror, as if something were fundamentally, hideously wrong with the very nature of reality, a grotesque feeling, hovering at the borders of thought and beyond, as of nails on a chalkboard, but worse, inconceivably worse, as if for one moment the veils that allow us to live our lives without going mad were lifted and we heard the loathsome opera of trillions of gibbering malefic voices laughing insanely at the futility of human hopes for respite from the mocking ghoul smile of the abyss. To test this we ran a functional MRI (fMRI) of 50 sophomores while they were exposed to either a neutral stimulus, a positive stimulus (a ten dollar i-tunes gift card) or a symbol of subtle and awful wrongness that was obtained from a certain obscure group…

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Which will arrive first: Jesus, the next Ice Age, or my Permuted Press books?

Oh, the sweet pain of irony. Ah, the sting of getting what you want but not in the way you had hoped to get it. Oy, the knowledge that your publisher undoubtedly knows much better than an author about release dates and such.

Yes, the release schedule for my Permuted Press novels has itself been released. And oh sweet baby Dagon, it is spread out over an excruciatingly long time. Have a look—it’s release date, title, and order in which the manuscript is due:

2/17/2015 Apocalypse Wow: Deadtown Abbey           1
10/27/2015 Reviva Las Vegas 1: Dead Man’s Hand           2
2/16/2016 Apocalypse Wow:
How To Train Your Dagon
6/21/2016 World War Cthulhu 1: The Fear           3
7/19/2016 World War Cthulhu 2: The Faith           6
8/16/2016 World War Cthulhu 3: The Fight           9
12/20/2016 Reviva Las Vegas 2:
Pawn of the Dead
2/7/2017 Apocalypse Wow: Dark Acres           7
12/19/2017 Reviva Las Vegas: Volume 3           8
7/2018 Exactly What Happened          10


“Hey, Amazon has a site for buyers in Purgatory!”

You can see that 2016 is going to be packed with Hoadey fiction goodness, but LORD that seems like a long time away. I do really like that they’ve grouped the three World War Cthulhu books (which will not be using that title) over one summer so that interested parties can read them one after another. Very cool.

Not quite as cool (although making total sense in the publishing world, so I’m good) is the year between Reviva Las Vegas 1, 2, and 3. But that is a very common way to release books in a series, and makes even more sense for Reviva Las Vegas, since the books will be loosely tied together as a series but World War Cthulhu is all one story.



The last of these books—Exactly What Happened, a standalone zombie story—won’t be out until July of 2018. Yes, four years from now. Of course, my schedule has me turning that one in at the end October 2016, so it’s not too insanely far away, but hell, I’m already frickin’ old as dirt, I want to LIVE to see all of these come out!

Alas and alack, that is how the business goes. I will be supplementing these novels with some bizarro work and maybe even other Lovecraftian books for other publishers. But all of that has to go on the back burner as I begin the first book of what we’re right now calling World War Cthulhu.


Baby steps, people! Also baby crying!

My publisher would like me to add the following caveat: These publication dates are subject to change. Humph.