Sunday, May 31, 2009

Woof Winners

I ran across a blog contest via Twitter and decided to enter for the fun of it. I had a little trouble with the entry form, so I think a few people dropped by to read a January post of mine instead of the piece on Ceremony and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but it's always nice to have new friends, and the contest results offer links to some cool writing of many types.

WOOF Contest – Top Picks


Zorlone – “The Ice King's Vow” - "The message of the poem is slowly unravelled in exquisite lines. First it deals with thoughts and desires, then flows unerringly into the climax/denouement and finally the explosive ending or rather the chilling final lines..." -- JenaIsle

Jennifer M Scott – “Icicles” - A picture poem comparing ice to love.

Roy – “I Thought I Was Tough” - Another poem borne out of frustrations of not being able to beat what life has to dish out tome.

Zorlone – “Shy Guitar” - "Melodious, a story about love and music intertwined." - Strawberry Girl.

Dragon Blogger – “Icy Passion” - Challenged to write a poem about love and comparing it ICE without using the words heart or love, I came up with this poem about "Icy" love.


Ferox – “The She-Demon's Anatomy” - Part one of a demonic confrontation in a fantasy novel.

Webbielady – “What's the True Measure of Intelligence?- A recent call to two of her friends made Rogue question what is the real meaning of intelligence... Why? Why? How can we tell if a person is really intelligent? Can we really measure this thing?

Brought to you by PlotDog Press with the Serial Suspense Screenplay "Intervention

Presenting the finest of the writer’s blogs by the bloggers who write them. Highlighting the top posts as chosen by the May 29, 2009 WOOF Contest participants. Want in to join the next WOOF? The next contest ends June 12. Submit a link to your best writing post of the last 3 weeks using the form on this page. Participants, repost the winning link list within a week and you’re all set.

Other WOOF Contestants for 05/29/09


Sidney Williams – “What's on the iPod? - Montego Bay” - As I drove through another rainy morning cloaked with a grey, wet blanket, Bobby Bloom's Montego Bay popped up as my iPod shuffled songs.

About Writing

Izzy Daniels – “7 Things I Learned in High School that Can be Applied to Writing/Life” - Taking lessons learned from high school and applying them to writing.


Roy – “I'm A Bad Liar - A satirical poem about earning money online.

Jennifer M Scott – “Garnet Teardrops” - Inspired by a art created by a fellow blogger.

Dragon Blogger – “You've Got Mail” - Poem crafted from random words about a spam email.

Dragon Blogger – “Strength of Loss” - Memorial Day poem about losing a loved one in the service.

When I Wander – “European Patent Office (EPO) Experience, Cherished” - I have so many good things to tell about my previous colleagues and how I wish I still work with them. Now that I am in another company, all I can do is to thank each of them in a form of poem.

Deeptesh Sen – “Boatman and some love songs” - The divine, a girl and a boatman.......the air of surreal tunes.

Deeptesh Sen – “Angel of dark” - Surreal love and fear....and some soft magic!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blog Book Tour - Pamela K. Kinney and Haunted Virginia

Pamela K. Kinney, whose Cthulhu mythos story is featured in my horror fiction podcast Fear on Demand, has a new book called Haunted Virginia, and she's doing a blog book tour since the book's official release is today.

I'm happy to welcome her here as a guest here on my corner of the web today, and I hope you'll seek out her book. Part of my goal with Fear on Demand is to promote the authors who are contributors, so let's help make her appearance on the 'cast worthwhile. And of course, feel free to share this information with anyone who's interested in the paranormal.

Haunted Virginia sounds interesting. Apparently even Mothman, one of my favorite monsters, has put in an appearance within the state's borders.

From Pamela:
"Today, my new nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales is officially released. You can find it at brick and mortar bookstores and online retailers (like Amazon). If it is not in the bookstore, they can order it for you.

So, if you like ghost stories, monsters, myths, legends, urban legends, little known myths of famous Virginians like Edgar Allan Poe and George Washington and much more, then this might be the book for your summer beach read.

Be prepared to take a journey into Pamela K. Kinney's fantastic dreams of horror, science fiction and fantasy, plus the ghosts and legends of two nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales."

From the back cover
ISBN: 978-0-7643-3281-4
256 Pages

Virginia is unique with haunting myths, legends, and yes, even true stories that may sound like legends.

Take a ghostly tour of this historic state to learn about the Bunnyman urban legend and what happens to mortals at his Bunnyman Bridge in Clifton at midnight on Halloween. Discover the myths that surround Edgar Allan Poe and other famous Virginians.

See why Natural Bridge is actually a haunted tourist attraction; and what makes the Great Dismal Swamp so creepy: Is it the ghosts or Bigfoot? Meet the Witch of Pungo in Virginia Beach.

Find out that Mothman and the Jersey Devil weren’t just seen in their own states, but actually visited Virginia at one time.

Read about witches, demons, monsters, ghosts, pirates, strange animals, and Civil War legends. Visit an amazing, frightening, and even intriguing Virginia that you never knew existed.

A little about Pamela
Pamela K. Kinney is an author of published horror, science fiction, fantasy, horror, poetry, and so far, two nonfiction books, Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales, both published by Schiffer Publishing. Using the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, she has published erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction romance, also poetry and a couple of erotic horror stories, including the current ones, erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch by Phaze Books and erotic Lovecraftian horror novella, Unwitting Sacrifice, by Under the Moon. She also has done acting on stage and in films. Find out more about her at:

or at either of her MySpaces: and

She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!

Order now from these outlets:

Schiffer Books


Barnes and Noble



and -- this is Sid speaking again -- Powell's the City of Books is listing it too!

I hope you'll check it out and look for Pamela's other books and stories as well, and you can follow Pamela on Twitter as well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Giving Voice in Age of the Zombies

A long time ago, I mean that, a long time ago, I decided my artistic leanings such as they are, tilt toward writing rather than acting. A lot of people should probably appreciate that. The world's been spared me as a performer, until now. But as you know, as opportunities come my way I've been doing a little acting of late.

Not too long ago, I got a chance to do some voice acting. I'll be heard on an episode of the audio drama podcast 19 Nocturne Boulevard in the near future, and I'm Jake in a new ongoing audio series called Age of the Zombies.

I wrote an adaptation of War of the Worlds--$5.95 on iTunes--a couple of years ago, and that was recorded in the usual radio way with actors together in a studio, but digital audio and iPod popularity are making all kinds of new dramas possible.

Vocal talent extraordinaire Glen Hallstrom, aka Smokestack Jones, who's doing intros and reading some of the stories for Fear on Demand, discovered the Age of the Zombies auditions and suggested I send in a tryout. They needed a Southern voice.

So, I sent in my mp3 files, and they asked me to be an ex-military guy in a world overrun by zombies.

The result is available now on iTunes or on the Necropolis Studios website, all for free. Glen's in the show, too.

It's really a cool zombie story, written by Dave Frizzell, and it's fun to play in his sandbox, participating in the storytelling by giving voice to a character he created.

Check it out for a great Romero-esque universe narrated by a young woman caught in the midst of the madness.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Horror Podcast Episode - Ashes to Ashes

We have a new episode posted at It's the first in our "Flash of Fear" flash fiction installments.

We're trying to keep to a monthly schedule, but occasionally, short installments will come along as mid-month bonus episodes.

This installment is from Amy Grech, and it's a ghostly little tale called "Ashes to Ashes."

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Wind-Up Ceremony And The Humanities

My critical paper is in the mail. Funny, for as much as I hammer keyboards and churn out words, sometimes it's tough to switch gears and slip into critical mode.

I spent the better part of a couple of weeks researching and contemplating Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony and their diverse use of magical realism.

We'll see how the paper flies with my advisor, but regardless of the outcome or requests for second drafts, it's been an interesting experience.

The novels harness the incursion of magical elements into realistic settings in quite different ways, though both follow heroes on voyages, postmodern journeys to adopt the patois of academic speech.

Toru, hero of Wind-Up Bird is an unemployed thirty-year-old slacker in '90s Japan, a man out of step with Japanese culture given his laid-back style. When he's faced with finding a missing wife, he isolates himself at the bottom of a dry well and is drawn into a dreamlike world to rescue wife Kumiko, after discovering his marriage is not as mundane as he thought. Ultimately he's faced with breaking curses of many kinds from the past in order to save the present.

The Silko novel is about a different journey. Tayo, a native American veteran, is struggling to recover from his experiences on the Bataan Death March. He must meet with a shaman who has modified and modernized sacred Native American stories to help him heal from the modern witchery of war and loss. Ultimately he's drawn into the stories of his people and meetings with sacred, legendary figures that put him on the path to recovery.

Both books are great, immersive stories, and after reading my paper Christine had observations about the works as well. She'd read an article a while back about the dangers to the humanities in troubled times that quoted Yale professor Anthony T. Kronman:

“...the need for my older view of the humanities is, if anything, more urgent today,” he added, referring to the widespread indictment of greed, irresponsibility and fraud that led to the financial meltdown. In his view this is the time to re-examine “what we care about and what we value,” a problem the humanities “are extremely well-equipped to address.”

In Wind-Up Bird and Ceremony, Christine observed, the authors are looking into the soul and the core of what it means to be human.

It's certainly meritorius effort, and I'm glad to have spent some time working to understand the novels better.

Novels reject the pat answers, the party line, the rhetoric and the pablum of doctrinaires, and they explore the heart of existence, and those explorations should not be shouted down by the shrill voices that fill our universe and refuse contemplation while repeating tired mantras.

Kafka said we should read novels that wound and stab us. It's true, because they seek truth, challenge complacency and take us on quests toward questions that open new understanding.

Wrestling a week with words, I feel a little stronger.

I have come out the other side as I promised, standing perhaps a little straighter.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I'm Working on a Paper

As part of the MFA program, we have to write one long critical paper. It's a 20-pager. We all write 20 pages in our sleep, right?

Still it's a tough 20 pages to craft, must be thoughtful, analytical and meaningful.

I'm looking at how magic realism is harnessed in the books The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Ceremony. One is Japanese, and one is Native American. I recommend them both.

They're both great novels, fantastical and thoughtful, perplexing and engaging. Formulating all that into critical analysis is a little rough.

I'll be back when I come out the other side. In the meantime, like the protagonist of Wind-Up Bird, I'll be down a dry well confronting demons.

See you soon.

Friday, May 01, 2009

New Episode of Fear on Demand - Dark Eyes is now available

A new episode of Fear on Demand is live today. It features a great story by Pamela K. Kinney, and it's read by Sonia Perozzi who plays sparrow and Rachel Nolen on Wormwood: A Serialized Mystery audiodrama podcast.

Pamela is author of several books including Haunted Richmond and Haunted Virginia. Visit her website here. I don't want to give too much away about "Dark Eyes," because it's a really cool, Lovecraftian story with some surprises.

It reminds me of a female version of Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth.

Checkout the Wormwood show as well. It's an excellent, ongoing drama that's loads of fun, and it has ghostly and horror elements.

Listen online or download here or via iTunes.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...