Friday, October 3, 2008

Shadows on the Sand

A few months ago, Killer-Works hosted a storytelling contest called, "Beach Blanket Bloodbath". The concept was to write a horror story set on a beach. Some stories nailed the concept dead on (like Martel Sardina or winner Bill Breedlove's stories), while others took it in a completely unexpected direction (such as the impressive story by Becky Heydeman set on a beach in Antarctica). There were lots of great pieces and, somehow, when the dust settled, I'd won second place.

"Shadows in the Sand" was one of the homages I've been doing for the past year regarding those old horror comic books that nobody seems interested in publishing any longer. Eventually, I'd like to gather a half-dozen or so of these supernatural revenge comedies into a chapbook or something. Someday ...

You can read it all this month on the flash fiction page of Killer-Works (and, honestly, what better month than October to be featured on that site). There are also plans to gather a number of the featured flash fiction pieces into a chapbook to be published next year. I'll let you know more when I hear about it.

And speaking of appropriate stories for October, all this month, Twilight Tales will have themed open mic events on every Monday. The themes will be The Dark Arts; Science Fiction; Ghosts, Goblins and Dead Guys; and finally The Monster Mash. I'm going to try writing a special piece for each of these nights; but whether or not I succeed, I will be there and would love to see a big crowd turn out. It's 7:30 every Monday night at The Mystic Celt (a block north of the Brown Line Southport exit).

Until later becomes yesterday ...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More killer-works articles

I've been a little negligent in keeping this blog updated. Since last update, I've had three more film reviews published at the killer-works web-site. The first is The Night Porter, a seventies twisted love story about a Nazi lieutenant and a concentration camp prisoner who fall in love (remember, they want disturbing films). The other two are Suspiria and Inferno, parts one and two of Dario Argento's "Three Mothers" trilogy that it's taken him thirty years to finish. Part three, The Mother of Tears, premieres this week at the Music Box Theatre and I plan to be there opening night.

Otherwise, June was a fair month. Twilight Tales re-located from The Mix to The Fixx. Starting next week, it will be located at The Mystic Celt. We're hoping to stay there for some time, so drop in some Monday night and check out the longest-running weekly reading series in Chicago.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dumplings review on

Last week, posted my review of Dumplings. On top of everything else I'm up to these days, I'm also hunting down disturbing films to review for the site. Thanks to Netflix, it's pretty easy for me to actually get these movies once I find out about them; but there's still that initial hunt for the title. Some day, I plan to write an article (or series of articles) on what drives certain people (like myself) to find these films. The standard argument of "dealing with fictional horrors helps us deal with real life horrors" just doesn't ring true. Also, disturbing films fall into a different category than horror films, although there is some crossover. Some of the films on my list of future reviews can fall under the categories of drama, romance and even (sadly) documentary.

It's a strange subject worth further exploration and, like everything else, may well become the starting point for a story of mine someday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cannibal Holocaust review on has posted my review of the 1980 cult classic Cannibal Holocaust. It's the first of what I hope are many film reviews that I plan on submitting to them. Jill (the site's founder) required only that the films I reviewed would qualify as disturbing. Horror, science fiction, mystery, documentary, romance ... any genre, as long as it made the viewer uncomfortable. I've got a lifetime's backlog worth of movies that qualify and I look forward to re-visiting them and sharing what I've learned.

Otherwise, it's been a fair last couple of weeks. I'm still reeling a bit from finally getting my copy of Hell in the Heartland. It's great to have a story accepted, but it doesn't quite feel real until you're holding that book in your hands.

I also met Aaron Christenson, editor of Horror 101, a collection of 101 essays about horror movies. If you live in Chicago, you can pick up a copy at the Book Cellar. If not, you can order it through Midnight Marquee Press.

More later.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wet Dog Perfume

I just got my copy of Hell in the Heartland today. It's a collection of short horror stories by Illinois authors and set in Illinois. My contribution, "Wet Dog Perfume", is set in that little dog park between the Diversey and Fullerton stops on the Chicago Brown Line. I hope it goes somewhere you weren't expecting to go.

If you want to learn more about the collection, check out the publisher's web site at If you want to pick up a copy and meet some of the contributors in person, come down to the book launch party on March 24 at the Mix Lounge (2843 N. Halsted) at 7:30 PM. You can learn more about the launch party at (look under Show Schedule).

I hope to see you there.

A Slight Change in Plans

I got wrapped up in other things, so the plan to make this blog a weekly review site just kind of fell through. I still plan to use it to highlight my own works as they see publication, as well as reading events I'll be participating in.