Category Archives: Blog

StoryAWeek #3: “RomanticHandsHolding.gif”

I realized something on Saturday: I was only 600 words into a story I’m pretty sure is going to end up clocking in at the 7k mark, and I only had the rest of the day to finish it if I wanted to maintain the one-story-per week challenge. So I decided to hold off on it and wrote up a quick 500 word flash fiction titled “RomanticHandsHolding.gif”, which I’m pretty sure will be disregarded as spam whenever I email it out for publication consideration. This story is written entirely through cell phone notifications, and I had a lot of fun trying to piece it all together. I guess now that the new week has started, I’ll return to the longer story, currently titled “Scraps”. Pretty sure I can knock out a decent first draft by the next Saturday. If not, feel free to execute me. I know you want to. You’re practically drooling just at the thought of it.

StoryAWeek #2: “A Nervous Sleep”

As mentioned previously on the blog, I’m attempting to write a short story once a week for the year of 2017, and possibly for every week afterward until I finally die, and maybe even a few weeks after that, too.

Story #2 was tricky to write. I actually had to write it twice before I felt comfortable enough to consider it finished. The first draft ended up being 4,200 words. It was dogshit. I couldn’t figure out how to approach it. I wrote it from the POV of the villain–this creepy-as-shit traveling magician–and it killed all the atmosphere. Sometimes writing from the POV of the “baddie” can ruin a story, especially in horror, because the more you can sympathize with the designated monster, the less fear you feel, right?

Anyway. I tossed the 4,200 words and rewrote it not just from the POV of a different character, but also in second-person, which is a style I’ve always wanted to try but never had enough courage to actually follow-through with before. Not only is it told in second-person present tense, but it’s written from the POV of two different people. The final word count ended up being 6,100 words. I think it’s pretty solid. It’s loosely based off a real interaction I had with a weird magician who stumbled into my hotel one night and performed a spontaneous magic show in the lobby for several hours.

It’s called “A Nervous Sleep”, which could change ten seconds after I post this blog.

To-Do List 01/12/17 – 01/15/17

  • Turn my cell phone off in case the guy who’s supposed to be covering my shift the next four nights decided to skip town.
  • Ascertain I’ve blocked all management from Facebook so they can’t track me down and call me into work via private messaging.
  • Finish LitReactor column.
  • Finish Gamut column.
  • Finish short story titled “Nervous Sleep”.
  • Sign Chiral Mad 3 signature sheets.
  • Read slush before impatient authors set me on fire.
  • Consider the bonuses of being set on fire.
  • Send titles out to the Shirley Jackson Awards. (Holy shit, that was like $200. Fucking UK shipping, man.)
  • Watch that new Series of Unfortunate Events series on Netflix.
  • Read some of The Dime which is already fucking intense and awesome.
  • Rub Lori’s back.
  • Let her rub mine.
  • Pet a dog. Any dog. It does not matter.
  • Resist the urge to tweet about drinking coffee.
  • Play Until Dawn until dawn.
  • Try not to freak out.
  • Freak out.

To-Do List 01/09/17

  • Pretend my lobby isn’t swarmed with drunk guests back from a funeral. Try not to snap.
  • Repeat the phrase “funeral party” over and over until the planet explodes. Possible story title? Well, now it is.
  • Write a new Gamut column.
  • Write a review for Little Heaven.
  • Write a new LitReactor column.
  • Think about writing a new short story.
  • Play Uncharted 4.
  • Consider adding some pages to Cirrhosis.
  • Drown myself in a tub of coffee. Rejoice as the liquid burns my skin off.
  • REJOICE!!!

To-Do List 01/08/17

  • What’s already happened since midnight: I’ve kicked a meth addict out of the hotel, I’ve let a new mother cry on my shoulder, I’ve called the police, I’ve fallen in the swimming pool trying to fetch a guy’s cell phone, and I’ve covered my hands with fiberglass.
  • What I’m going to do the rest of the day: Cry and consider drinking lots of alcohol but instead I’ll probably just go to sleep and play Playstation.
  • Also gotta write some articles and finish Little Heaven and think about Story #2 of 2017’s Story a Week challenge.
  • Gotta read some slush, too.
  • Gotta do a lot.
  • Gotta drink some coffee.
  • This work shift has not been the best. I don’t want to do much of anything. I want to cut my hands off and scream into the sky.
  • Remind myself how magical La La Land was.

To-Do List 01/07/17

  • Finally watch La La Land.
  • Finish article pitch for magazine.
  • Edit MYSTERY NOVELLA. Not a novella in the mystery genre. Just a novella I can’t talk about yet. I apologize for the confusion. Although the novella does indeed contain mysterious elements. But what doesn’t?
  • Argue with locals trying to barter the price I’ve listed for my used PS3.
  • Research anthologies and magazines currently open for submissions.
  • Finish reading Little Heaven and write a review.
  • Return to work after two nights off and try not to let misery devour me.
  • Let misery devour me.

StoryAWeek #1: “And All the World Drops Dead”

As I mentioned before, I’m participating in 2017’s A Story a Week Challenge, which means I am attempting to write a new short story every week. I am keeping progress of the challenge on the blog for reasons I haven’t quite figured out.

The first story of 2017 is titled “And All the World Drops Dead”. While writing it, I’d titled it “Poison (Deadly Nightshade)” but I think the new one is an improvement. The story is about two women (one cis, one transgender) driving around LA, high and drunk with a gun. There’s also a supernatural entity involved, but I’d rather not spoil the surprise.

I really love these two characters (Layla and Sylvia) and hope to write more about them in the future. I am a believer that most novels should be short stories and most short stories are already too long, but with this particular one, I’m thinking I could easily expand it into a novella or novel someday in the future. But for right now, I’m perfectly satisfied with its length of 4,000 words.

I’ll update y’all if and when I sell it. Until then, stay tuned for next week! Will I write another story, or will I fail like the poor pathetic sack of meat I am?


To-Do List 01/06/17

  • Go to sleep. I don’t work tonight and there’s no reason for me to be awake right now.
  • Eventually wake up, probably?
  • Proof Dark Moon Digest #26 and consider begging people to subscribe to the magazine by pledging to our Patreon but think better of it. I can’t ask people to buy things anymore. I can’t ask people anything. It’s so sickening. How can we function this way?
  • Watch the promo videos for Resident Evil 7 again and pee myself in the anticipation of its arrival.
  • Finish that goddamn story I haven’t been able to shut up about in the last couple posts.
  • Finish that goddamn article pitch I haven’t been able to shut up about in the last couple posts.
  • I finished that book review I was talking about last time, but the place I intended on sending it to turned out to be a dead end, so I’m waiting to hear back from another site about a potential reviewer gig.
  • Read more of Little Heaven.
  • Read Dark Moon Digest submissions and pretend like one day we’ll be completely caught up.
  • Spend time with Lori. Ask her to participate in a murder-suicide and pout when she once again declines the invite.
  • Buy a vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper from Sonic during happy hour. Drink it.
  • Write some more of Cirrhosis.

To-Do List 01/05/17

  • Purchase vendor table for San Antonio Lit Fest since I forgot the other day despite writing it on one of these to-do lists. GOTTA DO BETTER, MAX. GOTTA DO BETTER.
  • Repair credit card reader management somehow fucked up earlier today.
  • Mop the lobby and embrace the urge to turn my life into a musical once that mop’s in my hands.
  • Finish review of Jeff Strand’s excellent Cyclops Road and submit to cool website for potential reviewer job.
  • Watch the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Continue article pitch for potential column gig with horror magazine I can’t yet name.
  • Continue that goddamn Lana Del Rey tribute story. Not just continue but finish the motherfucker.
  • Continue edits for novella by MYSTERY AUTHOR.
  • Try not to blow up in a fit of rage caused by further issues with my Mac. Call Apple and inform them I just spent $150 with Geek Squad to repair it (and it’s not even repaired yet because now I have to order a goddamn part from Amazon since they don’t carry that shit in the store for some weird fucking reason) and only now did I discover Apple recalled my very type of laptop because of a faulty sata cable. Guess what’s wrong with my laptop, you motherfuckers? Also, surely Geek Squad knew about the recall. Sneaky bastards, all of them.
  • Try not to punch the next person who says “THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR BUYING A MAC” in the face. Some people only exist to say “THAT’S WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A PC/MAC” after listening to someone’s computer troubles, and let me tell you, when the bombs drop, their deaths will be mercy killings.
  • Cash my paycheck since I am notorious for losing my direct depositing sign-up sheet so I’ve settled on never having direct deposit. It’s just not my destiny.
  • Play some more Alien: Isolation.
  • Play some more Rocket League with the kid.
  • Rub Lori’s back.
  • Squeeze in a short nap somewhere between blowing up in a fit of rage and rubbing Lori’s back.
  • Catch a 10:45PM showing of La La Land at the Alamo Drafthouse in New Braunfels.
  • Eat a goddamn peanut butter cookie.