Free Shock Totem

Want to read some of the best short horror fiction on the market today? Want to read it for FREE? Then you’re in luck! This week only, Shock Totem is offering up their first five issues in e-book format from the Amazon Kindle store for the low low cost of nothing! Time is limited however, so hurry up and get in on this.

Head on over to Shock Totem’s website to find out more. (more…)

Giveaway – Chorus of Dust


It’s been a while. I once again find myself immediately kicking off a blog post for an apology for being away so long, which is not a good habit to get into. I would offer an excuse, probably having to do with how my day job has once again consumed all free time I have available, but would you care? Probably not, so let’s just say I’ve been a bad host and leave it at that.

As recompense, I offer you the delayed fulfillment of a promise I made waaaaay back in July, which is that I intend to give away a hardcover copy of my novella, Chorus of Dust. Here’s how you can get it. (more…)

Stuck in a Rut

Though it’s true that I’ve been busy with other things in my life over the last few weeks, it’s also true that I’ve hit a bit of a lull in my writing.  Frankly, I haven’t written anything worthwhile in what seems like weeks.  It feels like I’ve entirely run out of good ideas for stories, and on those rare occasions when an idea does pop up, I’m only able to write a few paragraphs before I realize it wasn’t such a great idea after all and scrap it.  It feels like, after a good year of writing and churning out content, I’ve completely hit a stall.

So, what do I do?  I’m honestly not one of those guys that can just keep writing no matter how bad the quality is.  Some can do it – the goal isn’t quality, but quantity, writing in the hopes that sheer volume will somehow give them the practice needed to improve their skill.  These are generally the folks who succeed at NaNoWriMo every year.  I think there’s some value in that philosophy, but I’m not totally sold on it either.  Mainly because, from what I’ve read at least, those who adhere to this way of thinking often don’t improve all that much as they go along, continuing to churn out nothing but drivel year after year.  Sure, you can write a 150,000 word novel, but if it stinks and you aren’t really growing as a writer, then what was the point?

Personally, I’ve tried this method, and it just doesn’t work for me.  If I’m writing something and feel like it’s not very good, I’ll either obsess over it until I’ve improved it, or I’ll throw it out.  There’s no way I can take the beginning of a story that I know isn’t going to work and force myself to follow through with it until it’s done, regardless of the outcome.  This of course presents a few issues though.  Like anything else, the only way for me to get better as a writer is to practice all the time.  That means I need to be writing something every day.  But if I can’t think of anything to write, what am I to do?

So you see the issue I’ve been having.  I don’t have a solution.  I know what needs to be done, it’s just a matter of doing it.  Now that I have a couple of published stories under my belt (one that appeared in the eighth-most challenging market according to Duotrope), I know that I’ve reached a level of skill in my writing that I can actually churn out a decent story now and then.  However, I don’t want to stall here.  It’s time to progress to the next level, where the quality of my writing is consistently good enough to be published.  The only way it’ll get there is for me to buckle down and start writing something.  Anything.

I just have to start.

Shock Totem #4 Is Here!

That’s right folks.  Nearly eight months after being accepted, my short story Lobo is now in print in the latest issue of Shock Totem Magazine!



You can purchase this issue from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly through Shock Totem’s Website.  I personally recommend this latter method, as it ensures that more money goes directly to the publisher, but that’s up to you of course.

In celebration, I officially declare this horror-week!  Stay tuned in the next few days for an all new horror-themed entry of Literal Daze, as well as an original horror piece from me that has never appeared anywhere else.

So, thanks to K. Allen Wood and the rest of the crew over at Shock Totem for bringing this issue together, and especially for making me a part of it.  They will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first publication to accept my work, so best wishes of continued success to their top-notch magazine!

Coming Soon


Issue #4 of Shock Totem, featuring work by your’s truly, should be showing up for purchase any day now.  When it does, make sure to first go buy a copy, and then come back here for a full week of horror-themed fun!


I’m pretty excited.  Why?  Because the official Table of Contents was just posted for Issue #4 of Shock Totem, which will feature the first published work by yours truly!

Go here to check it out, or read on as I repost it below:

Miracles Out of Nowhere: An Editorial, by Nick Contor
Beneath the Weeping Willow, by Lee Thompson
Full Dental, by Tom Bordonaro
Tragic and Gorgeous: A Conversation with Rennie Sparks, by Mercedes M. Yardley
Web of Gold, by Rennie Sparks
Weird Tales, by David Busboom
Playlist at the End, by Weston Ochse
Lobo, by Justin Paul Walters
Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews)
Living Dead: A Personal Apocalypse: An Essay, by K. Allen Wood
Dead Baby Day, by Michael Penkas
Long Live the Word: A Conversation with Kathe Koja, by Nick Contor
Fade to Black, by Jaelithe Ingold (2010 Café Doom Competition Winner)
Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, Part 2, by John Boden and Simon Marshall-Jones
The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens, by A.C. Wise
Howling Through the Keyhole (Authors’ Notes)

Yeah, that’s my name in print up there!  Or at least, it will be when the issue comes out sometime in July.  The great thing is, it’s not only the fact that I have a story appearing in this issue that’s exciting.  The thing I’m most looking forward to is reading the other stories.  The first three issues of ST were pretty much excellent all around, and I can’t wait to see what the editors have put together for this one.

Once the issue is available, I’ll post a link up here in case anyone wants to check out a fantastic collection of horror stories (along with my own drivel).  Until then!