June 27

“This was so Jeff Strand. Love it!”

My concerns that the editor would read the story I sent her and suffer from a head explosion were unnecessary. I always just hope that people understand what they might receive when they solicit a story from me.

Added another one to Freaky Briefs: “The First Cannibals.” I owe a story to an anthology called American Cannibals, and I impressed myself by getting started more than a month before the story was due. Then I realized that the story, which involves cavemen, didn’t fit with the “American” part of the theme, so it became a flash fiction story instead. I still have to write the other story, but trust me, I can come up with more cannibalism story ideas.

June 26

I didn’t realize that Microsoft Word now has a “Similarity to online sources” function. After I finished a story tonight, I tried it out, and I’m pleased to say that according to Microsoft Word, it was 0% plagiarized.

This story was solicited for an anthology. It’s the kind of story where I really, really hope the editor knew what they might receive when they asked me to write something. It’s the kind of story where “WTF is THIS???” is a completely valid reaction.

Actually, now that I’m writing this, it occurs to me that I’m still waiting to hear back about two other stories I sent upon request, which could also easily get the “WTF is THIS???” response…

June 24

Another story added yesterday to Freaky Briefs: “Granny’s Got An Ice Pick.” This is an odd one, kiddies!

No writing today. I will be engaged in manual labor all day. As a professional author, my body is of course made of solid steel, with bulging muscles built up from decades of practicing my writing craft, so this will be quite easy for me.

June 23

Another flash fiction story complete: “Steps.”

And I wrote my story for the Scares That Care Gross-Out Contest, a career-ending tale whose title I shall not share here. (Actually, the title is G-rated, but it’s a spoiler.)

Q: I’m not going to be at Scares That Care. Can I read this story elsewhere?

A: No.

Q: Will the performance be recorded?

A: Hell no.

Q: Then how can I see it?

A: Go to Scares That Care, July 29-31, Williamsburg, Virginia.

June 23

Finished a new flash fiction story called “Vegan Training.” As with the last one I wrote, I’m not sure if it’s going to be in my newsletter, or bypass that and go straight to Freaky Briefs. (The cover to that is almost done.)

Most of the movie stuff I have going on is a dark and sinister secret, but I have been allowed to say that Binge Bros. optioned both Kutter and The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They had a bunch of pitch meetings last week, and enthusiasm for Kutter was very high. Maybe you’ll get to see a movie version of the tale of a serial killer who becomes a better person when he gets a dog…?

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever had less enthusiasm. The book was and continues to be really popular, but “comedy about kids making a zombie flick” isn’t necessarily a concept that makes movie financiers go “Oh! Do tell me more!” They did some on-the-fly retooling of the basic premise, and got better reactions. We’ll see what happens!

June 19

Will I be writing a comic book? Maybe.

I wrote the overall pitch for the series, and the publisher liked it and asked for a full outline of the first five issues. I’m no fan of writing outlines, especially with projects that are heavily comedic, because my humor tends to be “You had to be there.” But I don’t get to say, “Oh, goodness, no, I certainly won’t be doing that!” So I outlined the first five issues and sent it off late last night.

You’ll either hear a lot more about this project, or it’ll just be a “They passed, dammit,” update.

June 14

I keep getting closer and closer to Big News without quite being able to announce it. The next couple of weeks could be crucial for two major projects (possibly even three) but it’s also very likely that I will remain in tease mode. It’s okay if you don’t believe me at this point. I wouldn’t believe me either.

But in more solid news, I finished a short story called “The Well.” Now I’m working on a story called “Ghosts of Candies Past.” Then I’m going to work on a bunch of other stories, because I’m working on a flash fiction collection called Freaky Briefs.

As I assume you know, my newsletter has an original short story in each issue. The plan was always to eventually compile them into a book. I’d like this collection to be about the same length as one of my novels, and I’m not there yet…but I’m far enough along that I’ve decided to just sit down and write flash fiction until I’ve filled out the rest of the book. So it’ll be about 75% stories from the newsletter, and 25% brand new material.

I bet I bought more cheese today than you did.

June 13

Oooh! I’m included in this School Library Journal article about funny books for kids!


June 9

Hey, I was a guest on Episode Six of the Family Fright Night Horror Podcast! Listen HERE.

And last night I was on The Star Chamber Podcast! It streamed live, but thanks to the miracle of digital recording you can listen HERE.

June 8

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