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Just found out that Scott Andrews at Beneath Ceaseless Skies has accepted for publication my gritty fantasy story "Buzzard's Final Bow." Io Triumphe!

This story had a bizarre origin. At the Odyssey alumni workshop week (The Never Ending Odyssey, or TNEO), our moderator, the intrepid Ellen Denham, had us do a brainstorming exercise in groups using, I believe, tarot cards of different kinds.

Mine had this dude in a chariot being pulled by tigers or some other massive cats. He looked epic and elegant and as far from what I write as possible. I told my buddies Becky and Rhiannon that the only way I could write a story about this guy was if he was some down and out former gladiator who had to wrestle ancient cats for street money. We all laughed at the idea . . .

But the more I thought about it, the more I dug it. Back in undergrad, I'd taken a full year course on "sport and spectacle" in ancient Greece and Rome, and have always found that aspect of Greek and Roman history fascinating. And, let's face it, this stuff is the granddady to pro wrestling (there's some evidence that some of the fights were rigged). Anyway, I worked on the story for months before submission. And Scott provided some critical insight to make the story sing. I think it's pretty killer, and probably my best attempt at writing something like sword and sorcery (or literary adventure fantasy). Thanks to Scott, Rhiannon, Becky, and Ellen, for helping this sucker come to life.


Interview with Doc Ridler!

The good folks at the Odyssey LJ did a pretty intensive interview with me about writing, rejection and publication. So hit the link, and read about how I discovered the cosmic top secret-secrets of writing and give them away for free! Free! FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


Thanks to Scott T. Barnes for the great questions.


Read: It's Good for Ya

I saw Peter Straub interviewed a while ago. His advice was the usual and good dollops: read a lot, write a lot.

Reading, Straub said, and reading lots and lots of stuff, was so critical. Not just for enjoyment, not just for the conscious study of words and story, but the critical component was the "internalization of narrative." The more you crammed into your brain, the more your brain begins to unlock the secrets of storytelling on a level you can't be aware of, but will become useful to you later in ways both obvious and subtle.

I wish I read faster, and didn't go through bouts of disliking novels out of almost a knee jerk reaction this past while, but I'm glad to say I've been devouring fiction and non fiction and it's filling the tank again. Story ideas so different in content than my usual fair, though filtered through my own skewed POV. Chinese fantasy YA, Filipino history, the War of 1812, the most excellent recent collection of Norm Partridge short stories, memoirs from guerrilla resistance leaders, a memoir from a CIA agent in Vietnam in the 1950s, and freshly arrived horror novel from two colleagues . . .

All good food for the storymill.


A veritable loot bag of good news coming out of Ridlerville:

My pulptacular adventure story "The Last Mountie" is up at Crossed Genres. Enjoy an action story inspired by Joe Lansdale, Dudley DoRight, and a desire to set a post-apocalyptic story set in an abandoned amusement park.


And that's just for starters!

My lusty kung fu fable, "4x0 Killers" is also now up at M-Brane SF. Editor Chris Fletcher had this blurb for the story:

"A tale of two young men who have been best friends for years and their previously unaddressed resentment toward one another, [4x40 Killers is] a bit erotic, quite funny, a little bit creepy and balls-out weird."

That comment had me smiling all day! So true! So, if your 18+, and you dare to have your image of me as sweet and innocent challenged, check out the story here:


But wait, there's more!

I sold two stories over the weekend. "Showing Light," a near future tale of the dark side of the rasslin business, will be published in the 2020 Visions, edited by Rick Novy and published by M-Bane SF. Thanks to Rick and Chris for buying the story.

And, that's not all!

"Saving Pandora," a noirish tale of romantic love in a scuzzy world of fallen Hollywood starlets will be published by Little Death of Crossed Genres. Cheers to Jayme Gates for buying it.

That makes eleven sales this year thus far. That ties my record for last year. And that means only the Godfather of Soul can tell you how I feel-





Read my pulpy post-disaster action story at Crossed Genres, featuring Wade Mackenzie- "The Last Mountie"!


Part Dudley Do-right, part Jack Burton, all Mountie!



Richard Matheson and the Value of Trash

I watched some of the Dark Dreamers interview series. They ranged from pragmatic to fey to interesting to boring. The best was with Richard Matheson. He noted that most of his best ideas came from watching movies, and, more importantly "bad movies with a neat premise." That his writer brain took the good and used the bad to generate cooler stories and such.

It was a neat little insight. And it might explain why a lot of writers I love have a penchant for art and art forms that can be thought of as junk, Z grade entertainment. I've also found that trashy stuff usually has some underlying current of value that appeals to the senses, something that's bigger than the obvious. Lots of writers claim junk culture as a source of inspiration. Ellison, King, Lansdale come to mind right off the bat.

How about you? What gems hide in the junk drawer of your mind?

Enter the "Grudge Match" Contest! Go read my story "Grudge Match" at BrainHarvest and leave a funny comment based on the story in the comment section. The winner will receive a free hardcopy of the new Homeless Moon Chapbook! That's right, free! I send it to you! Signed! FREE! You have one week, true believers. Enter today, enter often!


Contest ends when I want it to end! Good luck and . . .


Go enjoy a two fisted fable rooted in my love of hyperbolic and melodramatic action storytelling!


And I love the comment at the bottom. Please feel free to leave your own!




For a long while, I had a hard time reading fiction. Most things I read just didn't catch fire. They were mechanical beasts and I could see the scars of how they worked and couldn't get lost in the story.

I realized this after reading a lot of non fic. Most of it did not adhere to traditional plotting. And I found this awesome. In ANGRY WHITE PAJAMAS, a story about a lost soul poet in Japan who takes the killer akido course for the Japanese Riot Squad, I was treated to chapter after chapter of just interesting things, observations, tangents, etc. Sure, the "goal" of him wanting to pass the course was there, but other than that, it was just one damn cool thing after another. Ditto Mike Edison's I HAVE FUN EVERYWHERE I GO, Kerouac's ON THE ROAD, and the wrestling memoirs of Mick Foley and Chris Jericho.

It was refreshing to read these kinds of stories, where there wasn't a burning goal, followed by complication, challenged in resolution, leading to a climax, etc. But after reading tons of the them, I also then became tired of stories that were little more than "We did a lot of drugs/booze/paint thinner and weird stuff happened. Watch!" And, after binging on non fic for a blip, I did find myself back in the groove with fiction. THE HUNGER GAMES was terrific. And now there are more novels and story collections I'm keen to get back into.

So, in Conclusion: Non Fic is good for the soul, helps you rethink tools and ideas for plot and maintaining reader interest, and can help you get back your storytelling legs.


"Skulduggery at the Junction" is A-Go!

Want to read a fantastical retelling of the Minotaur myth with pro wrestlers in the 1920s? Then check out "Skulduggery at the Junction" at The Edge of Propinquity!


It's loosely based on the history of when pro wrestling became "fake" during the 1920s, the life of Ed "Strangler" Lewis, with a nod to Hemingway.