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Showing posts from October, 2019

I Went to a Writing Group - October 9th, 2019

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Sometimes it seems like life is one giant obstacle.


The prompt was about facing obstacles.

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When telling any story, the main character's desire is crucial. This desire forms the backbone of the plot, as the obstacles that prevent your character from achieving what they want and how your character responds to these obstacles drives the story.

Write a story or scene in which your protagonist faces an obstacle. What is this obstacle? How does it stand in the way of your character and what they desire? How does your character respond to this obstacle?

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Notice the name that I use in this story. I was thinking of Robert the Bruce, who was a Scottish king at one time, and Lenny Bruce, who was a legendary American comedian. Also, just before we started writing someone mentioned a town called Eden. And I'm reading "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson right now. I think all of that combined a bit in this story.

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Leon…

Leading a Writing Group - Session 10

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I only had two students for the writing group, but it went well.


The idea that we covered was personification. That's when you take something that isn't a person and make it seem like a person. In kids' cartoons this might be a singing and dancing carrot. In poetry this might be a cloud that is described as happy or sad. It is used a lot, and it's great.

The prompt for the day was "big tree." We talked about the biggest trees that we've seen. Neither of the girls have seen the redwoods or the sequoias, which are amazing, but they have encountered other rather large oaks and pines.

The youngest wrote about a dragon that was in the top of a tree. A person climbed up to help the dragon, named it Tiny, and fed it a cow.

The oldest wrote about a palm tree that was all alone, but who eventually was able to find his own kind. The tree was personified.

Here's what I did.

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Seventy-five dollars. Bucky von Buckminster would make seventy-five dollars…

88.9 Hey Radio, Cloudland, and Me

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I love the name Cloudland. Let me paint you a quick picture about a time I went mountain climbing.


I was 19 and I was halfway through a crazy adventure. I had ridden a bus from Michigan to Washington State for four days. I rode my mountain bike across the desert and over the Cascade Mountains, from Yakima to Mount Rainier, in three days. Now, I was on the second day of my two-day climb of Mt. Rainier. It's a fast climb, and today we are supposed to reach the summit.

There's a glacier that we need to get up before the sun gets too high. Apparently, the idea is that we are going to climb through this section while it's still really cold in the morning. Then, as the sun rises the ice and snow is going to heat up and there will probably be a small avalanche. Then, we're going to come back down this section again later. For the plan to work, you need to not be there when the avalanche happens.

But, one of the guys that I'm roped to is having problems, major problems. He…

Haunted Tunnels Under an Insane Asylum

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In Traverse City, Michigan there is an old insane asylum called the Grand Traverse Commons. Under the Commons there are old tunnels that some people say are haunted. A friend of mine saw the pictures of me in these tunnels and asked if I could write something about them, because he runs a publishing firm in Russia called Horroscope Press, and he's launching a magazine in the near future. I've been trying to think of what exactly to write, and now I've decided.


I've been thinking about writing a poem about this for a few weeks. I think it's a cool idea. But, it's going to be translated into Russian, and sometimes poetry doesn't work great for that. Although, my favorite poet is Ovid, and he wrote in Latin.

Today I sat down with some earplugs in to shut out the world and wrote six stanzas. I like them. I'm going to use that, embedded in a little prose opener, followed by a little explanation. I think it will make a good piece for a magazine. Let's see…

The Most Immersive Dream I've Ever Had

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I don't usually write down my dreams. And, I don't often remember them. As I'm waking up they fade away. It's amazing how they can be so vivid one moment, and then a few moments later I'm left wondering what I was thinking about, and I don't know. But sometimes, sometimes I remember them a little longer, and sometimes I feel compelled to write down a few notes on them. A week or two ago I had the most vivid dream I've ever had. Even now the memory of it seems like an actual trip that I went on. I took a few notes.


Here is what I wrote down.

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earl, two kingdoms separated by river and culture, new flying machine, under water almost died, almost enslaved, almost forgotten or not recognized, son took place, made it back, everything made of wood, read part of a book

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Basically, I was an earl in one kingdom. It was a city (it kind of seems like I should use is) on one side of a river. There was another city almost just like it on the oth…

My Interview for "Darker" Magazine

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"Darker" is a leading horror magazine in Russia. The "Horror Without Borders" anthology that I've been working on with Oleg is out. In English it's available as an ebook. Since the anthology is out "Darker" asked for an interview.


It's an odd interview that works well. Since I don't know Russian it makes sense to do it this way. They sent Oleg a series of questions that he passed on to me. I read them, let them percolate in the back of my mind for a few weeks, and then wrote these answers and sent the document back to Oleg. He might even be the one translating it.

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Interview for DARKER Magazine – with Jeffrey Alexander Martin of JeffThinks.com

1 - During the work on stories from around the globe, have you had a chance to push the borders of horror, for yourself? Have you come across such exotic views on the genre that struck you? If so, could you give an example?

Stories are how we make sense of the world. Horror stories deal …

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