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Women in Horror

Glenn Rolfe posts his recommendations for #WiHM

Glenn Rolfe

What does that mean to me?  It started with Anne Rice. I, like many, fell in love with the saga of Lestat, especially the 2nd and 3rd novels in the Vampire Chronicles, THE VAMPIRE LESTAT and QUEEN OF THE DAMNED.  Those two books pulled me under. At the time, I didn’t care whether it was written by a man or a woman, why should that matter?  I loved the story and the characters and that’s all that mattered.

And that’s all that should matter.

It took me a few years to really get into reading, but about 14 years ago, I dove in head first. Since then, I’ve discovered a plethora of amazing writers. Among my favorites are super-talented ladies like Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason (the Sisters of Slaughter), Damien Angelica Walters, Mercedes M. Yardley, Somer Canon, C.W. LeSart, and most recently, Amber Fallon.

Whether its the mesmerizing prose…

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OPEN SUBMISSION: The Sirens Call – Issue 35 ‘The Classics’ | #Horror #ClassicMonsters

Open Call for the October issue of Sirens Call. Check out the basic rules and get to submitting!

The Sirens Song

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce its next open call…

The Classics

eZine_Submission_ImageFor the October issue of The Sirens Call eZine, we’re looking for horror stories, prose, and poetry celebrating classic monster stereotypes.

Whether it’s vampires, swamp men, werewolves, witches, evil trolls, or… whatever, we want your spin on what these creatures are up to. What we do NOT want is Fan Fiction! No tales of Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster; let’s leave the copyrighted names alone.

The only trope we’re NOT allowing: Zombies – NO EXCEPTIONS! We’re saving that genre for our year end issue.

Send us pieces that are creepy, sullen, emotive, freaky, humorous, elegant, bizarre; or just flat out scary as hell.

The basic rules:

  • write the piece well
  • make sure it involves a classic monster but not a classic name (for example, don’t send us a story about Dracula-we’re not looking for Fan-Fic here)
  • the work…

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‘Bloodsuckers’, a Surreal Horror Short Story

Check out this short story by Mawr Gorshin:


My name is Samir. I am ten years old, and I don’t know how many days it’s been since the last time I ate.

I do remember the bombs, though.

When they hit our house, I was with my parents and sister, trying to celebrate her sixth birthday.

I haven’t seen any of them since.

I haven’t eaten since then, either.

I don’t know how many days I’ve been in this hospital. I just lie on a bed, and the nurses have no food to give me. I have dirty bandages on my half-naked body. The blood from my wounds has stopped flowing, but other spots of blood, little red spots, drip blood from new wounds.

They are from the bites of the purple, flying insects.

They’re like mosquitoes: I’ve never seen such bugs before. They bite me, and suck out a little of my blood each time.

Do they…

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Zakk reviews Mayan Blue by Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza

A fabulous review of Mayan Blue by The Sisters Of Slaughter, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason by Zakk!

Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness

Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness presents “Simple reviews from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews Mayan Blue by Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza. 278 pages (149 pages digital) published by Sinister Grin Press.

“The caverns had not been touched by the presence of man in centuries, but the professor could not shake the feeling he wasn’t alone. He had felt this sensation before many times in his days in the field. He questioned himself for not waiting for Wes as going into caves alone was really against protocol. Yet with his age had come some overconfidence. He excavated many tombs in SouthAmerica and Mexico and each time the atmosphere was much the same. His heart beat with excitement, knowing he was on the brink of something major. The professor’s helmet lantern cast a yellow circle around him as he explored the underground labyrinths, and at times, it felt hard…

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Rest easy, George A. Romero.

A Pioneer the likes of which is rarely seen these days.
RIP, Mr. Romero.

Eric Robert Nolan, Author

Thank you, George A. Romero, for the countless hours of creepy entertainment that you gave us — both through your own movies and the entire horror sub-genre that they created.

I had so much fun I thought the world would end.

Article re: George A Romero’s death in the Los Angeles Times

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Some advice to heed:

Have We Had Help?


In this day and age, if you are a writer, one particular tool you definitely should make use of is a blog. In my case I have been regularly contributing to this blog since February 2010. A few days ago the number of my posts finally exceeded one thousand, something I never envisioned happening way back then.

Your readers want to know what makes you tick; maintaining a blog helps to ensure that. Despite what some may think we don’t spend every waking hour at our keyboards writing several thousand words each day. We’re not automatons. Like you we also lead normal lives.

A lot of writers still don’t make use of the humble blog claiming it is a waste of their valuable writing time. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a far better medium to advertise your work as well as engaging with your potential readers than…

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Get Out (2017)

This might actually be interesting.

Get Out [2017]

(Rating: R – Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min. – Genre: Horror/Mystery – Director/Writer: Jordan Peele – Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lil Rel Howery)

A review by

Super No Bueno

Get Out

(Rating: R – Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min. – Genre: Horror/Mystery – Director/Writer: Jordan Peele – Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lil Rel Howery)


The Plot

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) accompanies his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to her family’s estate to meet her parents for the first time. Since he is black and she is white, he is nervous about the reception he will receive. The visit starts out oddly but swiftly becomes menacing as the intentions of the family are revealed.

The Film

Get Out is a horror film comprised of layers. On the surface, it has a Stepford Wives-styled plot about a stranger in a tight-knit, peculiar community. Once the story begins to unfold, it reveals punchy and prescient observations about race, dating, liberalism, class, and entitlement.

In many ways, it reminds me of the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes. At first blush, 

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Finding New Words

New Words


Have you ever been writing, be it in a story or blog post or even a simple status update on your social media, and type something that gets that annoying little red squiggly line under it?

I do all the time. Mainly, this is attributed to my funky fingers hitting the right keys in the wrong order, the dyslexia in my head that makes me see things in the incorrect order, or just plain not pushing the keys down hard enough. That, or hitting the key next to the one I wanted.

I’m referring to typing here, not writing with a pen.

I never took a typing class in school, so I would fall under the “self-taught” area of entering information by the use of a keyboard. When I type, I have to look at the keyboard. This, of course, means I don’t see the words appearing on the screen, but have to glance up to see what I’ve actually typed and make sure it is what I wanted to say, or write as the case may be.

I have come a long way, though. When I first started on a computer, I had to use one or two fingers, pecking away and searching for where the letters I wanted were. I used to go into chat rooms, which is where I learned a lot of the abbreviations (lol, btw, brb, etc.) used in online conversations. By the time I had typed a reply to a particular posting, I would have to scroll up to see the original topic, while the rest of the group had moved on to other things. Very frustrating.


As a writer, I sometimes feel the need to find synonyms (or antonyms if I want the opposing word) to avoid using the same word over and over, thus looking a bit superfluous. I like to visit and, sometimes on a regular basis, to make sure I’m using the right word, or to see if a word that has the red squiggle really is a word or not. (by the way, I tried looking up synonyms for “word,” but cannot find any that can be used for the actual word “word.”)

I am all for learning new words, As a fellow glossographer, (see also here) we should be in the habit of finding new ways to say what we wish to convey. The problem, for me anyway, is remembering the new words.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, is a fantastic learning tool. Actually, I think I said, “ (and is my friend.” They have not just definitions, but articles and lists that can help one find obscure words and how-to’s on different subjects.

One such article, I read just this morning.

How To Get a Word into the Dictionary

At the end is a comment section that is overrun with people suggesting words to be added. A lot of them are just plain silly, but there are some good ones.

Now, again, as scripters, we should be wanting our own personal made-up words to be folded into modern vernacular so other people can start using them. Wouldn’t it be great to see or hear something by a celebrity or a complete stranger and be able to say, “I made that word up,” even if no one would believe you?

It could be a fantasy

I’ve thought up some, but recalling them is a different story. One of them, though, is “textversation.” (noun) The act of communicating via text messaging or instant/personal messenger programs, usually involving three or more entries per person. Just a question/answer would not be a textversation, but carrying it further would. I used to, if the recipient sent another message after I considered the subject finished, just call them and have an actual conversation. Times change.

Another word I’ve constructed, I used in my soon-to-be book, Hell’s Beginning. When a  person first comes across the scene of a multiple homicide, they run out and “unswallow” their breakfast. Yes, vomit/regurgitate/spew/hurl/puke... unswallow (verb). This should be a word.

What do you think? Have you ever thought of a particular word, but when you tried to look it up found no reference to it being one? Please, share it with me/us. If we can get enough people to not only use the words, but use them in writing, especially online, we can get our own words put into the English dictionary.

Shakespeare did it, as did Dr. Seuss, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Stephen Colbert. (Who’d a thunk those people would all be mentioned in the same reference, let alone the same sentence?)

We have that same power, as wordsmiths; creators of worlds, peoples, situations and even fantastical races. We can create words that have not been thought of, as long as they don’t sound ridiculous and do have a definite meaning. Sometimes, even if they do sound silly, but on rare occasions, I think.

So, bring on those constructs of the written language. Don’t be shy; leave a reply. Even if it’s a mondegreen or a malapropism.

As always (intended if not specified):


The Barbarian on Facebook

The Barbarian on Facebook

I have created a new Facebook page for my Barbarian character. There, I will post some excerpts, updates and, occasionally, let him come forward to tell things in his “own” voice.

I am also still trying to get things straightened out with my new web page. I paid the new host. I paid the old one to release it before the annual contract date. I have a contact who offered to build the new page, but that build is not visible. Not sure what else I can do until he gets back to me. Waiting is a game I don’t like to play.

My Next Step

So, I have, I believe, successfully completed my writing course with Long Ridge Writers Group. I have not received my diploma as yet, but am told it is forthcoming.

I have also entered into negotiations with an editor. Now, I am faced with the need to write a synopsis for my Barbarian story. As I have not yet completed it, I will need to figure out where I want it to go, and how I hope for it to get there.

Again, there are many, many websites which offer suggestions and advice. Google search yielded over 6 million results. Even offers search results, though substantially fewer.

In deciding which article to utilize, one must first consider the genre. I am sure that a synopsis for my Sword and Sorcery book would be quite different than one for, say, "Chicken Soup For The Soul". One would hope so, anyway.

(So many results, and many of them can be helpful. I guess if one needs to come up with a synopsis, one must actually do the research to find the help that works best for the individual, or the book, itself. Imagine that…)

The most common thread I have encountered through the links I have clicked thus far would be to basically tell how the story goes, instead of showing the story as in the novel. As one (or more) of the advice givers put it, “Like telling a friend how a movie went, from the beginning to the end.”

Yes, if writing a synopsis for an editor or an agent, you must reveal the ending. I am not sure about all of them, but the editor I am negotiating with told me that the synopsis is not “set in stone”. Just because I have certain points of interest for my characters to navigate through, they might decide to go a different route, or have a different reaction to the stimuli.

One of the sites I found during this search is, simply enough, How To Write A Book Now. Going from How To Start through tips and techniques, even offering their views on some software, tools and resources. They also have separate sections for those who wish to try their hand at plays or nonfiction.

Here’s an interesting site: Writing World. (Go straight to their index to see the many things they offer.) There, one will find sections for help with writing, suggestions on a myriad of genres, and even a section if one wishes to submit to them. The topic of writing a synopsis is covered here. While there, check out the other sections to see if there is anything useful to you.

In summary; On this one, the novelist will have to do the searching. After all, no one can tell another which will work best, because what works for, say, me will not necessarily work for “you”. So, check out the links here, or do a search on the site more preferred by you. It makes absolutely no difference, as long as you get the info you need to succeed!

Until next time: Write On!

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