A few months ago, I stumbled onto a literary magazine called Sheriff Nottingham. I took it home, read it cover to cover. It has an artistic vibe, it’s filled with cool photographs, and great, thought provoking writing. I thought, I want to send them something to publish. I checked out their website and discovered they do holiday issues four times a year. The next one open to submissions was Collect Rocks Days – a holiday I’d never heard of it. I did a little research. I know nothing about rocks nor have I ever written anything about rocks.
This update is merely for those wandering souls who stumble here by accident. I didn’t want you to see a blog covered in cobwebs. Although, Halloween is coming up. I hate it when blogs aren’t updated in forever, even if I’m not following them regularly. There’s not a whole lot going on right now. I’m editing two simultaneous novels, writing short stories, and sending them out. Nothing to write home about just yet.
I’m not a big poetry fan. I only really like two poets: Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Bukowski, two drunks who lived on the dark side of the street. But I like writing poetry. No offense to the greats like Wilde and Keats and Burns and so on. They’re fine. Poetry is a good medium for short, concise thoughts. I’m also particular about how I write it. Has to be by hand or on a real typewriter. For some reason, I can’t write poetry on my laptop or desktop computer. I made a poem, I scanned it in. I created a section for the scans. Right now there’s just the one lonely poem. Go read it. Let me know how much it sucks in the comments.
In the late 90’s and deep into the 2000’s, I ran a Gothic webzine. It started out called The Gothic Preservation Society and then formally changed to Dark Culture Magazine – a little more sophisticated, don’t you think? I loved my magazine. It had articles, reviews, interviews, music news, and concert dates. At the time, there weren’t a lot of places to get all those things online – at least, not for the Gothic or DarkWave crowd. I also did a weekly podcast and (amusingly) a weekly webcomic. I was firing on all cylinders! Of course, Dark Culture was a financial failure, but it was a hugely gratifying creative outlet. It drew its last breath in early 2005 – or thereabouts. It was hard to let it go, but the time had come. My life was changing and I felt she’d had a good run.
I was specifically looking for the old podcasts today when I came across the long forgotten webcomic “The Non-Adventures of Goth Monkey”. It’s a cut and paste comic with clipart and cheap photoshop drawings about a monkey and his friend Rico, a rubber duck. I created 15 episodes, but it was getting harder to come up with comic storylines and run the magazine at the same time. I don’t know if Goth Monkey is funny, but it’s certainly cute. I thought it was hilarious at the time. All fifteen episodes are now online if you care to check them out. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your comments. Try to remember I made these in 2003 😉
I’m a writer who has, to date, only put one short story online. That short story is being re-written because after I had it Beta-Read, I decided to make some things a little more clear. I’ve never been print published, although I ran an online music zine for 10 years and have written the occasional article or review for online magazines. A lot of writers these days self-publish something like six books a year. And everything’s a series. That’s insane. I’ve been working on a novel (well, two novels) for just under a year. It’s all connected, but I don’t know how to talk about it without giving away the secrets.
In late 1992 and into 1993, secretly using my mother’s off-limits Windows 3.0 computer, I wrote a novel. I was 17 going on 18, living in Camarillo, being battered by the school system, knowing that I couldn’t afford college and wondering where my life was going. I had big plans. I was going to be the next Ray Bradbury…except, with vampires.
Most of the stories I’m currently writing take place during the ’80s and ’90s, my very own teenage glory days. Because music has always been a huge part of my life, it’s obviously very important to my characters. When I’m writing, I like to listen to the music from that particular time or year. It takes me to that place, brings up those memories and inspires me.
As an experiment, I sent my short story That Time We Played Spin The Bottle to a beta reader. A beta reader is not a professional editor. They’re someone who enjoys reading and can give unbiased feedback on written work. Although beta reading is often an unpaid exchange, I decided to hire a professional beta reading company to speed things up.
It’s a little hard to concentrate today. Today the 45th President of the United States is being sworn in. Today I wanted to do something good. I wanted to make art and be a better person. I’m trying, but like I said…it’s hard to concentrate.
THAT TIME WE PLAYED SPIN THE BOTTLE is a short story vignette from the novel (yet unnamed) and takes place in 1985, seven years before the main story takes place. It involves Tony, Ryan, Jed, and Karen (2 Goths, a nerd, and a punk) in high-school and details the full events of a conversation mentioned briefly in the main book. Told from Tony’s perspective, this is what really happened during a game of spin the bottle.
In this story, four friends in 1980’s suburbia, find themselves hanging out with nothing to do. When their friend Nathan suggests they play a game of spin the bottle, it ultimately brings up confusion and many questions. Revelations about relationships and identity come into focus.