Back in the Saddle Again

“The truth is that coming up with ideas is easy; it’s making up the stories that grow out of them that’s hard.”

             -Terry Brooks

It’s been awhile since I posted in my blog. I’m really going to try to get back to posting at least every week. I finally am feeling well again after having the flu for the last two weeks or so. I’ve been getting some writing done lately, trying to get some stories finished and writing the occasional poem here and there. I’m still working on the dark fantasy/sword & sorcery novel. I’ve been trying to figure out some things on the paranormal romance novel that I’m attempting. I still think I may need to read more in that genre in order to write it better. Luckily my wife has an extensive collection of them so I can borrow them for “research.”

I took a break from writing to ride my mountain bike since it was such nice weather today. It has been too long since I’ve been on the bike. That’s another thing I’d like to start doing every week again because it is so much fun and such good exercise. My usual riding spot is at River Legacy Park in Arlington. The Dallas Off Road Bicycling Association (DORBA) has built a really awesome single track trail there that goes for miles and even has several expert sections that split off from the main trail. I managed not to crash which is a good thing and only had to take my foot out of the clip-in pedals twice to “dab” so I wouldn’t lay the bike down when the back wheel slid out. I got off the trail almost right at dusk and it did get a little chilly at the end as the sun started going down.

Convention season is coming up and I will be a guest author panelist at ConDFW February 21-23 and All-Con March 13-16. This will be my third year as a guest and I always look forward to it. It’s great to meet up with all my fellow writer friends and fans who I usually only see at conventions.

Also, I’ve been asked to be an auxiliary crew member of the Seadog Slam who are performers of pirate poetry, music, and stories. I have been doing poetry readings at their events the third Wednesday of every month at the half Price Books flagship store on Northwest Highway in Dallas. Dressing up as a pirate and reading and listening to poetry is an awesome way to spend an evening. I was introduced to the group by a mutual friend and was asked to speak at their Steampunk event that they do the first Wednesday of each month also at the store.

I am also co-hosting the radio show Dangerous Minds on internet radio station www.tmvcafe.com on Monday nights at 9:00 PM CST with EW Bradfute and Renee Marie. We talk about strange and funny news headlines and it is really a lot of fun. Be sure to tune in and check it out sometime.

That’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading my idle musings. I’ll leave you with this pithy quote:

Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid.Heinrich Heine

 

Digging Up the Past, or Getting Your Hands Dirty With History

“You have to know the past to understand the present.”
-Carl Sagan

As someone who enjoys history, I spend a lot of time looking to the past. This weekend started out with the topic on Pairanormal, the radio show that I co-host at TMV Cafe  about the real life serial killer in which the legendary Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, was based upon. 18th century London, England where he lived is a facinating subject in and of itself. And I love to study anything that has to do with the history of England, partly because that’s where most of my ancesters are from.

I’ve also been working on a story that takes place in the Victorian Era of the 19th century, for John Manning’s  horror anthology “Terror by Gaslight”, so I’ve been reading up on that time period a bit to make sure I have a good feel for the age and its trappings. One of the things I love to do as a writer, is research a topic, which invariably leads me to other interesting topics. Then I get so caught up in the joy of the research, that I don’t actually sit down and finish writing the damn story until it’s almost time to turn it in before deadline. That’s where I’m at right now with this story, so I had better put the books down and get cracking at it already.

However, seeing as the weather was nice today, my daughter and I had the idea that it would be fun to finally dig up a couple of ammonite fossils that had come to the surface of my front yard. That combined with a few other chores and errands that needed to be done, I didn’t accomplish as much writing today as I would have liked.  But I must say, that my ammonite collection is coming along nicely. One of them managed to only have a small piece on the underside break off, but was otherwise completely intact. It has a beautiful spiral pattern that is very well defined and may be the best looking specimen that I’ve gotten form my yard to date. The other one we were not so lucky with as a good portion of the underside had been removed from tree roots growing through it. Still, the topside looks quite nice, good enough to put in my fossil garden. By my reasoning, with all these ammonites in my yard, there may be a fossilized ichthyosaur or plesiosaur skeleton in my yard just waiting to be found. But then, I’m no expert, and I write fiction so you really can’t believe anything that I tell you anyway. Fun fact: Ammonites are named after the Egyptian god Ammon who was depicted as having rams horns on his head.

If you like audiobooks, this one of  “A Man and His God“, a Sacred Band Tale, by Janet Morris, with voice work by David Kudler will be available soon. You can listen to a couple of free excepts of the audiobook here on David’s blog at Stillpoint Digital Press. from listening to the excepts it sounds like a great voice work, and a wonderful addition to the Sacred Band series.

Well that’s a wrap for this week’s blog, not much else of note going on right now, but check in next week because you never know what I’ll be up to by then.  Until next time, I’ll leave you with another pithy quote:

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

-Lewis Carroll

I’m a work in progress, or procrastination inclination

“We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.” ― Edgar Allan Poe, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt”

So, as usual I am coming down to the wire on getting stories done. It’s not that I don’t love writing, it’s just that I have to get a certain amount of the story internalized before I feel that I can really get going with it. Some stories take longer in this process than others. Also I am notorious for procrastination. The other issue is that I have an attention span of a rabid goldfish.

Oh look a funny You Tube video. Oh look, thousands of them! Facebook notifications pending: 999,999. Did you see that squirrel? *Warning, your DVR is at maximum storage capacity*. Hey, a free ebook! And another one. And another one. Reading, reading, reading. Oh must find and listen to music online for this awesome band I just found out about. Hmmmm, cool blog by someone else, have to read that. Blogs about writing, blogs about travel to places I’ll probably never visit in real life, book review blogs,zombie world domination blog, blog about beer, coffee, poetry and flash fiction, etc, etc. And then theres…Oooooh shiny!

You get the idea. Er, what was I talking about? Oh yeah! Finishing writing stories so I can submit them to publishers before impending deadlines of doom. It is said that without pressure, we wouldn’t have diamonds. So it goes with me and writing. The closer to deadline I get, the better I seem to write. Maybe because I know I don’t have time to over think the story too much and just let the words flow from the depths of my soul through my fingers and into the keyboard. I will get the two stories done, for Dreamers in Hell and Terror by Gaslight,  it just freaks me out a little when I know I have X amount of time to write Y amount of story. I see some late night writing sessions in my near future. Plus I’ve been working on another story that just wouldn’t leave me alone  and insisted I write it, that I’ve been writing occasionally for several months. Sometimes these stories get in your head and won’t let you write anything else until you’re done with it.  Also It doesn’t particularly help that my day job suddenly decided they want me to take a certification test the third week in December that I have to do a lot of technical reading and studying for in order to pass. Such is my life.

“But, Larry,” you say. “Why are you writing your blog when you should be writing stories or studying for your test?”

Good question! Well I decided I wanted to make a commitment to publish a new blog post at least once a week, and Sunday is the only day I should have off despite my ever-changing schedule at the day job. Plus I made a pact with a zombie that we would motivate each other to blog once a week. You just don’t take these zombie pacts lightly. Plus, he’s a good friend and fellow author who has a story called “Scent of a Weapon” published in Rogues in Hell along with myself and many other Hellion authors. And we will both have stories in the forthcoming horror anthology, What Scares the Boogeyman. Here’s Zombie Zak’s blog where he is making plans for world domination, the pursuit of cookies, brains, and increasing his ever-growing food source…er, I mean fan base. 

In other news, I will be interviewed sometime in the next few weeks by someone who affectionately calls herself my “‘stalker fan” who I met at ConDFW earlier this year. She’s not really a creepy stalker, she’s actually quite a nice person, and a big promoter of my writing. JennM writes a blog titled Brewed Bohemian, that has everything from book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, writing contests, book clubs, coffee, beer, and a whole lot of other stuff. You should check it out, there is a lot of cool content there and she writes some really good poetry and flash fiction.

Along the lines of things that are not writing related, but really cool, is a band, Ien Oblique I discovered after hearing their music and an interview with the lead singer, Jared Lambert, on the radio show Mental Candy hosted by alternative model Joan V on TMV Cafe Wednesday nights at 10:00 PM CST. If you like techno, industrial, electronic type dance music then this band will be right up your proverbial alley. Also the lead singer has an amazing voice that reminds me of early David Bowie and also very similar to vocalist/musician Bobbi Style.

So I guess I’ll wrap up this week’s blog post and get back to writing stories and studying. Until next time, readers. I leave you with this pithy quote from yours truly:

 

“Alas, this mundane realm is never as fun as the one inside our minds. But we can endeavor to make it so.”

–Larry Atchley Jr

Radio Show Hosting and Going Rogue in Hell

“Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place, for where we are is hell, And where hell is there must we ever be.” 

-Christopher Marlowe

As always, it’s been too long since my last post. I have some new and exciting things to report this time around though.

 First of all, I have been made co-host of a live broadcast internet radio show called Pairanormal, on TMV Cafe, along with EW Bradfute, and Pamela Jones. We discuss all topics that pertain to the paranormal field: ESP, psychic abilities, ghosts, UFO’s, Cryptozoology. We even delve into stuff like urban legends, conspiracy theories, and zombies! No topic is safe from the Pairanormals! Tune in every Friday night at 9:00 PM Central Standard Time at www.tmvcafe.com. Log into the chatroom and become part of the action, interacting with us hosts and all the other listeners. And if you miss an episode, we archive every show on podcast, so you can catch it later. But I recommend tuning in live so you can have fun in the chatroom with us on Friday nights. See you there!

The second announcement is that the promo ad for the latest anthology in the shared world series, Heroes in Hell, is out and all over the world wide web! Yours truly has a story included in the book Rogues in Hell, called “Ragnarok and Roll” that will take you on a wild ride through Hell! A couple of familiar characters from Lawyers in Hell, Anton LaVey and Guy Fawkes team up with some new damned souls, namely The Red Baron, Erik the Red, Leif Eriksson and a band of other famous vikings on this latest infernal adventure. I am honored to share space in this anthology with some of the best damned writers in fiction. Special thanks as always to series creators and editors, Janet Morris and Chris Morris for making me a part of the crew of Hellion authors.  Coming out this July from Perseid Publishing!