Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scott Wolven at Plots With Guns

About once every six months, Scott Wolven materializes out of thin air and schools the crime writing world. Plots With Guns has "Everything Tastes Like Whiskey," and you should take a gander at how to write, pure, unadulterated crime fiction.

Like Raymond Chandler once said of Dashiell Hammett, "(he) gave murder back to the people who really committed it." Scott Wolven does exactly the same with crime fiction; he shows you the people that do wrong, for what they feel are the right reasons.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crimefactory Issue #2 is here!

Looking for fine crime fiction?

You have no excuse now, because Issue #2 of Crimefactory is here! We have fiction from:

Ray Banks

David Zeltserman

Kieran Shea

Patti Abbott

Josh Converse

Stephen D. Rogers

Gerard Brennan

And it comes in three different formats-


In Kindle

In Nook and Sony Reader

So no excuses, check out Crimefactory, today!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stout and Faulkner for Writing Quotes

These quotes came from The Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter.

"Measure your mind's height by the shadow it casts."

- Rex Stout

Image from http://www.russandreyn.com

"It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does."

- William Faulkner

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Whew, did you feel that? That chill going up and down your spine?

Not to mention, I understand that the magazine Beat To A Pulp (a.k.a. David Cranmer and Elaine Ash) has a bunch of nominations as well! Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm feelin' mighty low...

I'm feeling a bit under water lately. There are some good things around the corner, but I'm skeptical that they will still be around when I get there.

The point is to focus, and to not just sit in one place with my wheels spinning.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"When Clementine Sings" is in Stormfists!

Stormfists Magazine is here! We're talking sci-fi, fantasy and hard-boiled pulp!

"Bridgette" by Francis J. Comando from Stormfists Magazine

Speaking of hard-boiled, my story "When Clementine Sings," was published in Stormfists this week. Even though it reads as a Prohibition gangster piece, you might recognize someone from Melniboné. Please, pop on over and take a look.

But don't just visit for my sake, because every week, FJ Comando publishes something new.

Monday, March 15, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald kicks off Writing Quotes

These quotes came from The Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter.

"There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He is too many people if he's any good."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it."

-Elizabeth Drew

Saturday, March 13, 2010

R.I.P. Astonishing Adventures Magazine

This post has been sitting in my Draft box for over two weeks, so it's time to get this over with. First the good news, Issue #8 of Astonishing Adventures finally is in a print version.

And now the bad news. Well, it's official, Scarlet has danced her last tango...

John has pulled the plug on Astonishing Adventures Magazine. AAM had a pretty good run, and while it didn't change the literary world or set the publishing world on its ear, AAM filled the pulp niche admirably. Those eight issues were a good run that was chock full of a variety of stories. Unlike other magazines, AAM did not pigeon-hole itself into just one genre.

Rather than harp on those who couldn't take thirty seconds out of their lives to do a small mention in support, I would rather praise the people who did. Some of those people are friends, some of those people were fans, and some were virtual strangers. So (in alphabetical order) Bish's Beat, Bill Crider, BlogCritics.org, Bookgasm, TheNovelBlog.com, and TheShadowSanctum.net.

Hell, even The Rap Sheet mentioned the Premiere Issue of AAM.

With great friends like Paul D. Brazill, Sandra Seamans and Katie Schwartz bringing in hundreds of readers, Astonishing Adventures Magazine should have gone a lot further. Alas, it was not meant to be. So everyone who read or championed AAM? I toast you, sláinte!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Howl Is Live!

Prepare to be scared!

Howl Magazine is here, thirty-three tales of terror, mayhem and horror! Not only that, you have Erin Cole, Jason Michel, Angel Zapata and the most terrifying author of them all, Paul D. Brazill!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscars '10

Ante Scriptum: Sure, this maybe Ben Stiller, but damn if he doesn't look like someone else that I used to work with.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...Gays, if The Oscars are truly your Superbowl, riot it up! I'm not saying that you should turn over cars, but if you don't at least mob up or set fire to some garbage cans? Then the saying doesn't hold true.

All right, I've been doing this since '06, and I actually used to watch movies back then. Not so much with '07 and by '08, I practically gave up on all things cinematic. By last year, I was phoning it in, but then again, so was Hollywood.

"Why does a prisoner drop soap?" Seriously? Somebody wrote that for Neil Patrick Harris? And he sung that on purpose? I told you that they're phoning it in. "No one wants to do it alone?"

They don't want to hear that song again, either.

I spoke too soon, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are doing an admirable job, and they're winging those jokes faster than I can type.

Alec: And this can be a first Steve. Because they just don't give Oscars to stand up comedians, but nobody has to tell you that.

The first 3D glasses joke, and there should be plenty more, because apparently there are a lot of bad 3D movie scripts floating around Hollywood right now. They want to capitalize on "Avatar," and yeah, that's how logic works in the City of Angles (sic).

BTW, "The Hurt Locker" is not a film, it's what happens when I come home five minutes late and The Missus gives me what for, in the doorway.

Hey, Clooney, how can you not laugh at that Toyota joke?

Alec: Here's the inglorious bastards section...

Steve: And over here are the people that made the movie.

You gotta feel for Carey Mulligan...

...until she gets married or changes her surname? Bad golf jokes abound...amongst other unfavorable things.

I see that they've brought back the phrase, "And the winner is..." As many shafts as the Academy has wrought over the years, "And the award goes to," was and is, the most apropos.

On behalf of the sickly little mole people that Robert Downey Jr. was talking about, I'm happy for Mark Boal, and damn it Quentin, you should be too!

I like the films of John Hughes, though I don't love all of them. It took his passing for him to get a Lifetime Achievement Award, and you know that the Academy never would have given him one otherwise. It's not that I don't think that he didn't deserve it, it's just that when you compare the reluctance behind the ones for Alfred Hitchcock and Blake Edwards, John was never gonna get one any other way.

John Lassiter: You know the tools to make a film, are so readily accessible. Cameras, your lap top. My advice to young filmmakers about making a film; the tools never make a great the film, it's what you do with the tools. Telling a great story, entertaining an audience...that's what's going to win you an Academy Award. Then in the very same segment, "Logorama" wins..."Logorama?" How the hell can anyone beat Wallace and Grommet??? Re-fucking-count! I demand a fucking recount!

Is Geoffrey Fletcher the very first African American to win Best Adapted Screenplay? He is certainly the only Black screenwriter I've ever seen take to the Kodak Theatre stage.

The very day that The Missus saw "Precious," she accurately predicted that Mo'nique would win and with the clip that they showed, who could argue?

With the hum, the odd ambient noise and near feedback, whoever did the sound for this award show should be fired. Even banquet halls that serve rubber chicken, don't have such poor sound.

Twenty some odd minutes later? Here we go, interpretive modern break dancing ballet. It's The Academy's way of saying, "hey everybody, filler. Go to the bathroom while you can, make that phone call, make the beast with two backs, eat a pizza...do whatever you can get done in four minutes and thirty seconds."

As much as I loved "Star Trek," I would've been the first to scream bloody murder if "Avatar" didn't win for Best Special Effects.

Wow, Pedro Almadovar and Quentin Tarantino on the same stage? Everything that was good about 90's cinema.

Having their peers introduce them, is a wonderful addition to the Best Actor and Best Actress categories. Jeff Bridges is an acting god in this household, and yet, why does he get to do a five minute speech, when everyone else gets cut short? I think to rectify this, The Academy could have Catherine Zeta-Jones give a speech at my house for five minutes.

Kathyn Bigelow? C'mon, Hollywood, stop saying that women can't direct, and stop saying that women can't direct action films.

"The Hurt Locker" should've won, and did win. Congratulations!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Neil Gaiman kicks off Writing Quotes

These quotes came from The Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter.

"Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."
- Neil Gaiman

"Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it."
- PD James

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Magazine "The Journal" features an interview with Paul D. Brazill

There's a new magazine in town, and it's called "The Journal."

So if you're going to start a new magazine, it's better to feature a writer of note, to kick things off. Enter one Mr. Paul D. Brazill, and they interviewed him right here. A choice writer, and a choice interview.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dark Valentine Magazine is here!

Katherine Tomlinson is one of my favorite authors and certainly one of my favorite editors.

Joanne Renaud is one of the artists that I admire the most, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you already knew that.

Well two of the driving forces of Astonishing Adventures Magazine have gotten together with Editor Joy Sillesen to form Dark Valentine Magazine. Katherine shot me an email with all the details-

The first issue will be in May, deadline is April 1.

We’re soliciting entries for our THROUGH A LENS DARKLY (they’re not paid) and we will pay $10 for stories and $10 for illustrations that run in each of our quarterly issues of DARK VALENTINE. We know that’s not much but it’s coming out of our own pockets.) Web design is by the multi-talented Sarah Vaughn, whose stories and art you may remember from Astonishing Adventures Magazines #7 and #8.

We will be specializing in dark fiction—mystery, horror, romance, slipstream, urban fantasy, fantasy, sci fi, cyberpunk, you name it. Our influences range from E.A. Poe to Tanith Lee. We know you’ve got a story to tell us.

Here’s where you send it: submissions@darkvalentine.net.

If you look over the FAQ, you will notice that they are taking both story submissions and illustrations.