Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just a Little More Editing

Since D.L. is busy editing Bill Carl's awesome werewolf novel, Bestial, and since I kept finding little things that needed fixing, I decided to give the whole D2L2 manuscript one more going over. The tweaks are great, but what's great is some of the patterns I put in the first time. I mean it - I'm going over something, and I realize it's parallel to something in a different chapter and I've set up a nice contrast, and I know I did NOT put that in deliberately when I wrote it a few weeks ago! The whole creative process is just so mysterious and gratifying.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

History Is Dead

Available for pre-order!!

Great lineup. Untraditional zombie stories. I think you'll like it. I loved reading the submissions.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I'll be one of the (lesser known) guests at this great party:

I'm thrilled at the lineup of Romero stars, as I haven't seen many of them besides Joe Pilato. My copy of GOTLD will have a new slew of autographs!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

When Favorite Foods Go Bad

Just sitting here thinking of those favorite dishes of mine that I almost never order, because they're so often done badly. Here's my top five.

1) Eggs Benedict. I can't remember the last time I had these done right. They always come out with the muffin gummy and chewy, the Canadian bacon (if they even bother to use it instead of ham) is tough like leather, and the eggs are too hard or too runny (they should be set, but not dry).

2) Tiramisu. Again, I've had it wrong more than I've had it right. Lady fingers chewy and dry, or reduced to mush, because there's too much liquid soaking through the whole thing, or the fluff part too fluffy (it should be firm and not so whippy - same problem with eclairs).

3) Veal piccata. Veal is almost always too tough, or it lacks flavor (obviously, the general problem with ordering a big piece of meat, just taken to an extreme). The sauce is usually too tangy and overpowers the meat, or it's non-descript. Breading is always dangerous on meat - gums it up and ruins both the texture and taste.

4) French onion soup. Almost always they try to offset or complement (I'm not sure which they're trying for) the taste of onions by making the soup sweet. The bread and cheese blob too often is impenetrable.

5) Huevos rancheros. Same exact problems as Benedict - eggs not done right and the tortilla rendered tough. The balance of meat and beans in the chili has to be handled right too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This Could Be It!

Meteor. Remote area. Mysterious illness. Sketchy details.

Once the government and media start trying to cover it up, you'll know this is the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. It's been nice knowing you all. I'm going to go now and buy some canned peaches, then demolish the stairs to the second floor.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


This is so old school:

If you remember it, then have at it! I actually have the original on CDs and was even thinking of trying to install it. I doubt it'd work. So this is perfect!

Warning: If you remember Dark Tower, then give yourself a heart attack by going on to Ebay and seeing how much a working example of that would cost you. Thing might as well be made of gold.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Diary of the Dead

The first review, after it debuted at the Toronto film festival:

Sounds pretty awesome, if vague on details. But then, I'm not one of these purists who was totally against Land. Let's hope the GOTLD publisher can be talked into a revised edition at some point, based on Romero's new zombie output.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Something I've been Harping About

Except I think she'll get her point across better:

The last two times I pointed it out, I was called a prude. Oh, and a Republican. And one time, I was told I was being like Mr. Rogers (which was at least funny). So thanks for pointing it out, and helping the genre!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back to Quarlesbank!

In the huge, multi-player online game I play, UrbanDead (, the horde of undead has finally swept from the NW corner of the map SE, and the suburb I usually "live" in is finally free of the living dead. My character is now holed up in a barricaded building, waiting for more survivors to come back so we can start to rebuild.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Editing to Begin Soon on D2L2

And tentatively we are welcoming back D. L. "Dark Lord" Snell, whose perecptive editorial suggestions helped make D2L the great success it has been. Dave has an incredible eye for detail, and is so good at deciphering my convoluted prose and streamlining it in the best ways.

The other big announcement for D2L should be out any day now, as I just received the contract in the mail.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

D2L Sales Graph

D2L Sales Graph
It really should be flipped, since the peaks here are actually when it was selling the worst. So it's nice that it's mostly flat around the 13,000th spot.

Here it is as raw data (July 25 - Sept 6)

Best Rank 4,251
Worst Rank 38,670
7-Day Average 14,153
30-Day Average 13,066

Funny Thoughts about Writing

A funny little blog by a recently published novelist, on her experiences since publication:

Monday, September 03, 2007

And Whence Will It Lead?

The bumpage continues, all the way to 6,200th overall on Amazon, and an amazing 33rd place on the "Genre Fiction - Horror" list. So, there's a happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Big Bump - From Whence Does It Come?!

D2L has edged all the way back up to 11,000th on Amazon, and the rather impressive 58th place spot on Generel Fiction - Horror. Was it the dust up earlier in the week, in which I was maligned and accused of God knows what? Or is it the ongoing debate with the very polite and knowledgeable Novel Moniker? (Would that all discussants and readers were so alert and reasonable!) Labor Day shopping? Or back to school reading? Dare we hope - has D2L been assigned in literature or writing classes across our fair land? Oh, that would be a coup. I've written or edited a dozen or so academic books, and none of them got assigned in classes, and then I write a zombie novel, and it's picked right up for class reading! I'd LMAO.

Deathly Hallows

A solid, if turgid and overwrought novel. But nothing really lasting or deep, I think. The characters and their magical abilities are charming, often to the point of cute, so we like them. But there is a scene about a third of the way into it that's just unforgivable: the three heroes, while teleporting randomly all over England, land right next to some people who just happen to be having just the conversation at that very moment that they need to overhear in order to get the information that they need to continue. That's disappointing and lazy writing. And more importantly, there is something very flat and stilted about Harry's emotional (never mind romantic or sexual) life. Ron and Hermione fulfill their roles as Helpers on the Quest (barely, since Harry still makes nearly all the decisions), but they seem to have little pull or attraction for Harry, or he for them, constant protestations of undying loyalty notwithstanding. The only moment of sexual/romantic tension is one manufactured by the evil Voldemort, when I feel fairly sure that 17-year-olds can be counted on to provide more drama than Days of Our Lives on their own. And after page upon page of pensieve-induced flashback to fill us in on all the secrets (which were a combination of predictable and unnecessary), the resolution seems completely unreal and fake. If you had found out everything that Harry just had, could you just say, "Oh, thanks! That's great! I'll get on with saving the world now!" - ? I really was hoping that maybe there'd be some real questions and problems raised, some real pain and sacrifice, hurt and resentment, but instead it was just "True love conquers all! Aww, look how cute they look!" all over again, like every other installment. (The epilogue is so treacly it'll give you diabetes. I'd recommend skipping it.) And look at how absurdly Oedipal the whole thing is - everything bad that Harry ever finds out is about MEN, and father-figures in particular, while his mother remains only the purest sacrifice and perfect mother. I'm starting to like it less, the more I think about it.


Triumph of The Walking Dead