Rejection Junction

Classical ideal feedback model. The feedback i...

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I received a rejection notice this morning for a short story I’ve been shopping around. It’s the sixth rejection for this piece, and I have been fortunate to receive personal feedback with all of them. Unfortunately, the feedback has not been unanimous.

Why do I say unfortunately? It all comes down to the problem of deciding which feedback to consider, and which feedback to ignore. This topic came up a couple of time in the creative nonfiction workshop I was involved with last fall, as many of the younger students were facing this dilemma for the first time. Primarily used to receiving critical analysis from one or two authority figures (teachers, professors) and general encouragement from less critical audiences (friends, family members), they now found themselves on the receiving end of often contradictory opinions and advice from a room full of people not only intimately familiar with the written word, but the creative process as well. It’s one thing to have your friends read your work and either “like” it or “not get” it, but something completely different to be receiving in-depth critiques from a dozen or so fellow writers. Continue reading


A Gathering of Poets and Authors

River Lee 11 Ars Poetica

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This past Thursday, April 21, I was fortunate enough to take part in the Visiting Authors Series at Warren County Community College. While every year the Visiting Author Series strives to bring one or two authors to the campus for a public reading of their work to wide audience (attendance is always free of charge), once a year the evening is filled with literally dozens of talented authors and poets presenting their works. Among these contributing authors was yours truly, who was given the chance to read two short works of creative nonfiction to the assembled crowd, Fireside Chat and A Little Hike.

Once a year, the event also acts as a release party for the school’s Art and Literary Magazine, Ars Poetica. Hosted by Professors B.J. Ward and Brian Bradford, and Ars Poetica Editors-in-Chief Angela Chiu and Peace Mazelis, this meeting of the Visiting Authors Series included appearances by WCCC students and winners of the Warren County High School Fiction Contest, whose work appears in the 2011 issue of Ars Poetica. Continue reading

Interview with John Dimes, author of There Are No Bad Movies!

Moviesucktastic Update: the latest episode of our film review podcast, my co-host Joey and I were lucky enough to interview artist / actor / singer / writer John Dimes. John Dimes is known to many as the (first and only, according to his website) African-American Horror Host Dr. Sarcofiguy, and can often be found at horror conventions and other such film events sharing his love of movies with fans and audiences.

But John isn’t just a fan of movies; he is their unrelenting advocate.Author of Coincidissonance andThe White Corpse Hustle: A Guide for the Fledgeling Vampire, his latest book is a film-lover’s manifesto against the critical vivisection of cinema at the hands of professional reviewers and casual armchair critics alike.  There Are No Bad Movies! (Only Bad Audiences)takes on the arguments against supposedly “Bad Movies” one criticism at a time, shaming those who complain that the movie was too long, or that it didn’t “resonate” with them, for using their own biases to attack films that only exist to amuse and entertain. Continue reading

Is it rude to take a chainsaw to an interview?

BrickArms Zombie Defense Weapons Pack

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Roughly a week remains until my scheduled interview with Dead Wrong, Corey Sloan, and the rest of the undead cast and crew of Zombie Etiquette, the corpse-driven talk show based out of  Princeton, New Jersey. Usually, preparations for a television interview normally consist of worrying what to wear and remembering not to look at the camera. In this case, the question is whether or not to go armed with enough firepower to take down a swarm of man-eating ghouls.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no doubt that I was invited on to be asked about my latest book, Performed by Lugosi, and my role as a writer and film commentator. The show has had some great artists and stars on in the past, and most of them have actually been seen again, so the mortality rate of  the show’s guests is actually quite low. For example, the line up for the show I’ll be taping next Friday includes controversial singer, songwriter, and comedienne Jessica Delfino, actress/writer Alexis Iacono (Kiss Me Again, The Ten, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm), and clothing designer Pamela Ptak with Alternative Model Kitty Kat Kailei. Someone’s bound to notice if one (or all) of them going missing. Continue reading

The Movie Guys Go Blue (In More Ways Than One)

James Cameron introduce scenes from the 2009 f...

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As those who listen to the Moviesucktastic Podcast on a somewhat regular basis know (and I have it on good authority that our download bandwidth, whatever that is, has been steadily rising, so we know you’re out there), Joey and I have our grievances when it comes to James Cameron‘s epic 3D cash cow Avatar. The words used by us to demean and insult both the film and its creator have been varied and, on occasion, vulgar. However, with the release of Moviesucktastic Podcast Episode #25, listeners can finally hear us say something positive about the latest version of Avatar. Continue reading

Moviesucktastic #23: From Torture Porn to Avatar Porn

SAW 3D :-)
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The Movie Guys are back! After a lengthy hiatus due to the inconvenient tendency of life to intervene, Joey and I are finally back with what almost must seem like a lost episode, Moviesucktastic #23.

As is always the case when Joey and I get together to record an episode, the subject matter tends to veer far and wide with little advance warning. After taking a brief moment to apologize for lost time, we dive right into the past weekend’s top ten, which invariably leads to the Finger List and a lengthy rant by myself about Hollywood’s obsession with making movies focusing primarily on “rich people and their rich people problems.” Continue reading

Monster Rally On Kindle

Like many authors these days, I’ve done my best to keep up with the latest trends and advances in Digital Text Platform publishing (otherwise known as DTP). As a milestone in my own ventures into this brave new world, I am glad to announce that Monster Rally is now available for purchase on Amazon’s Kindle reading device.

Actually, Monster Rally has been available on Kindle for about two weeks now, but I wanted to wait until the listing was fully integrated with the rest of Amazon. As of today, the Kindle version of Monster Rally is linked to the print copy, as well as my Amazon Author page, and has a free sample available for instant download. Continue reading