Recent Publications | Some Wonderful Paintings

“Resetting Alexandra” is up at Every Day Fiction

This was the rewrite request I mentioned in my last blog. I wrote this story a year ago, and have been submitting it since April 2012. It received several form rejections, but also a handful of personal rejections during that time. The personal ones were promising, and I felt that if I didn’t give up on this story someone would give it a shot. That turned out to be the fine folks over at Every Day Fiction, who requested some rewrites. The story changed dramatically during that process, with a completely rewritten beginning and ending. It was a real challenge getting such a short story to work, but I learned a hell of a lot during the process, and I am very happy with how it turned out. Give it a read over at the Every Day Fiction website.

“Compassion, During and After the Fall” in the June issue of Niteblade

Very soon the June issue of Niteblade will be out, and it features one of my favorite short stories I’ve written to date. “Compassion, During and After the Fall” went through quite a bit of changes before becoming the story you’ll find in the upcoming issue. It began as a novel, with an entirely different main POV. The novel sputtered out around the 10k word mark, but I didn’t lose faith in the idea. So, I tried condensing the story to a short, but from that same character’s POV. It wasn’t working how I’d like, so I tried a draft from the POV you’ll find made the final draft, and thought it worked rather well. I’m excited for people to give this story a read. I hope you enjoy it.

Livia Erwin’s Paintings


Livia Erwin – Barriers: Glenn Dale, oil on canvas, 66” x 43.75”, 2013

Every May MICA hosts the annual Senior Thesis exhibition on campus, turning every building into a gallery and displaying the work of graduating seniors. I too had work in this show back in 2007, the year I graduated. It’s one of those moments that you look forward to your entire undergraduate career at the campus. I like to take time away from work and see as much of the show as I can, and this year I came across some paintings that moved me more than any I’ve seen in the show in years. They were a series of works by Livia Erwin, one of which I’ve included above. Her entire body of work was extraordinary. Beautifully composed oil paintings that captured the heart and decay of these forgotten buildings. Abandoned buildings as subject matter is not a particularly original idea. It’s a common theme around the MICA campus. That said, I have never seen it handled with such care and raw skill. These paintings drew me in and left me feeling something I hadn’t in a long time when it comes to artwork; jealousy, inspiration, and above all, awe. The spaces live under her brush, and the objects are characters in a strangely touching narrative. I can’t get enough of “Barriers: Glenn Dale”, and if you find this digital image of it impressive, you’ve got to see it in person. It’s really something special. Do yourself a favor and check out her portfolio on her website,


Peter Steele, Gremlin, Rewrite



Sunday marked 3 years since the world lost Peter Steele, front man of my favorite band, Type O Negative. It still sucks hard knowing he is gone and that Type O is at an end, but I’m glad to have been lucky enough to see them play so many times over the years. His music always had, and will have, an important and inspiring impact on my life. He is dearly missed.

Type O Negative – Christian Woman (live 2007)


My 100 word story Gremlin was published over at 101 Fiction on April 5th. It was a fun challenge to try to be frightening with so few words. Check it out here.

April is a tough month for me at the full time job. It’s awarding season in the world of financial aid, and that means long hours (8:30am to 1am some days) and lots of exhaustion. I’ve kept up with my writing but it’s been slow going, and not much got finished. A bit demoralizing, but I’m used to this time of year being a whirlwind. Things are finally slowing down. I’m hoping to have a new short story finished by May 1 so I can submit it to Fearful Symmetries. It’s gone through three drafts, but so far is missing the mark too much for my liking. Now that I can focus again, I’m hoping to finally have time to sit down and get this story shining.

In other writing news, I received a very encouraging and detailed rewrite request this week. It’s for a flash story of 1000 words. The notes they gave are all fantastic and I’ve been wracking my brain on how to polish up what I have without going over the flash word limit. It’s a real challenge, but I’m feeling confident that I’ll be able to make it work without turning it into something else all together. If it ends up being accepted I’ll be sure to post about it here.


Nightmare, Story Sale to Niteblade, Sick

The cover of the March issue of Nightmare Magazine. It’s wonderful.


I really enjoyed the artwork in this month’s Nightmare Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, as well as the latest batch of stories. The creepy tale, The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins by Molly Tanzer, is available for free on the website, but you can read the entire issue before the stories are posted if you subscribe or purchase.


I sold my story, “Compassion, During and After the Fall”, to Niteblade Magazine this week. I’m quite happy with this story, and glad it was able to find a home. It’s estimated to appear around September. Exciting! I’ve also had one other story get put on hold somewhere else, and I should hear back on whether or not it is accepted in May.


I’ve been very sick for the last two weeks, which has not been fun. It cut into my writing and reading time a lot. But, it’s now mostly sneezing and congestion, so hopefully I’m entering the final stages of this thing.


The Black Pageant Released, My Birthday, and Some Stats


“The Black Pageant” Illustration by Luke Spooner.

Grim Corps Issue 1 was officially released on my birthday, February 1st 2013. It is the first print publication that my work has appeared in, and I could not be happier with how it turned out. The entire process was fantastic. The editor in chief, Charles Brownson did a wonderful job communicating with me (and I’m sure with all the other authors as well) and provided very thoughtful and impressive edits to my story. I am absolutely thrilled to see my story represented in their debut issue.

The image above is the amazing illustration that Luke Spooner provided for my story. I am in awe of the passionate horror he captured in his interpretation, and very honored to have such fine work associated with something I wrote. Check out the rest of his illustrations from the issue at his Behance page.


Grim Corps Debut Issue!

In other news, my birthday was on Friday, February 1st. I’ve never been one to have big parties for my birthday, preferring instead to have a nice quiet dinner with my wife at a restaurant. This year, Nathalie surprised me with tickets to an Orioles game on Opening Weekend! Now that the Ravens season is done (THEY WON THE SUPER BOWL!), I am very excited to get back into the swing of things with baseball.

In terms of writing, here are some  fun stats for those who like to see this sort of thing.

2013 Writing Stats as of 2/9/13
New Stories Written: 5
Submissions: 17
Rejections: 12
Pending Response: 4
Acceptances: 3

Many of the rejections I’ve received so far are for stories I’ve submitted several times, and are at last due for some revisions and/or trunking for good. I plan on spending some time soon looking them over to see if I can make them work better before placing them back into my normal submission pile. Also, you’ll notice the math doesn’t add up with the acceptances. That is because two of the three were for stories I submitted in 2012. I doubt I’ll have that many at once the next time I put together stats.

The Girl on the Glider and Other Stories

I recently read Brian Keene’s The Girl on the Glider after seeing the title pop up over and over on my Twitter feed. Each tweet was raving about it, and eventually I had to check it out. The GoodReads description is:

The Girl on the Glider is Brian Keene’s take on the traditional, old-fashioned ghost story. This might be Keene’s most personal — and powerful — work to date. This book is a must-have for every Keene fan, along with fans of classic horror tales told with a new twist.

I read this in a single sitting, alone at my house while my wife was working late, and by the time I was finished I was depressed, quite frightened, and incredibly inspired. This story left me with that same terror I felt in my bones while reading The Haunting Of Hill House for the first time. Brian experiences many paranoid, haunting things during the course of the story, juxtaposed against the stress and struggle of living the lonely life of a full-time writer. It’s not a very long read, and I highly recommend it. He touches on many of the struggles he’s had in his writing life, which he also discusses in a recent blog post. Check it out on his website.

Some stories I’ve read recently that I loved:

Shimmer #16 came out last week. This entire issue was wonderful. In terms of January story collections, this is a must have.

I loved January 8th’s Daily Science Fiction story, The Remnant by Cassie Beasley. I generally enjoy most of the stories that show up in my inbox from DSF, but this one really stood out to me this month. I read it the day it was released, and I can’t get the ending out of my head.

The Cancer Catechism by Jay Lake  – Jay Lake’s story in this anthology is breathtakingly personal and terrifying. It left me in tears and stands out as one of the greatest short stories I’ve read in recent memory. Read more about Jay Lake, his work, and his battle with cancer at his blog.

Chew by Tamsyn Muir over at Nightmare Magazine. Great, dark story–though the entire issue is fantastic.

Looking forward to the first of the month, when many of these publications and others release their next issues. Always a great week.

What am I up to?

Hoping to finish a new novelette by next week. It’s a reworking of a story I’ve been trying to write for a while now, and I think I’ve finally settled on how to tell it.

The Ravens are in the Super Bowl, which is very exciting.

I’ve been catching up on a lot of Doctor Who, as well as gorging myself on episodes of Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Bought plane tickets for my annual trip to Boston for PAX East with my brother. It’s one of my favorite highlights of the year, though my feet generally hate me by Sunday afternoon.

Other than that, a lot of reading and writing.