The Night Before College

Too many years ago, August, I was a recent high school graduate. I had a party at our house, the last of the summer. The next morning I would be heading to college.

The party wound down late into the night, and I collected the friends and put them to bed / couch / floor space, getting everyone situated.

I then went out the front door and sat on the steps under the clear night and cried until I couldn’t breathe.

You see, these last two years of high school were some of the best for me. I hadn’t fit in well most of the years before, and it was here, in Maryland, I had finally found a place, found myself.

And I knew that tomorrow that would change forever. This next stage of life was coming for all of us. We were separating, spreading out, not just going to college, but leaving the area and each other. (And a good number of us wouldn’t connect again until social media started.) All starting tomorrow.

I started to sing to myself. The first song that came to mind. I sang and the words broke through the tears, calming me.

Yes, everything I knew would be changing. But I was ready, prepared. I wasn’t the same insecure kid who had moved here two years before. I had found myself amongst the amazing friends I had made. I knew I could do this.

That song? the tune that got me through this moment? the one I would remember forever? The one that I still turn up when it comes on the radio, sing along to and think of a time and friends long ago?

Where’s it At? by Beck.

Ok, so life’s soundtrack isn’t always perfect. But that’s ok too. This song would bring me strength and memories all the days to come, and all the days yet to. Tomorrow is coming. It will be time to go to school, move, find new friends, learn new things, it will be time to see who you will become.

Sing along as you go.

Adam Cesare Rejected My Wagon (Scares That Care, 2016)

Scares That Care Weekend is an annual charity event dressed up in a con costume for horror lovers. We gather in Williamsburg, Virginia and go to readings, costume contests, have a trick or treat parade, all for charity.

This year was its third, and dare say, its best yet. I’ve been to all of them, and each has had a great experience, with Karen and her crew improving and refining things for us all.

I sold books in the dealer room, this year next to Adam Cesare, Scott Cole and Matt Serafini to one side, and comic artist, Marcus from Soul Bullet (who you should check out).

Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the table… But it was magnificent. Trust me.

Both John Boden and Victorya Chase hung around the table for the weekend. We had new books by them, Jedi Summer by Boden, a creepy coming of age story published by Post Mortem Press, and advanced reader copies of Marta Martinez Saves The World by Chase, a kaiju novella published at Apokrupha (the first in a new series, Kaiju Revisted!). Amber Fallon made a stop in on Saturday with her new book, Terminal.

John and I did a reading at 10 am on Saturday morning, and despite that, there were people in the audience. We made some nifty hand outs, a little chapbook inspired by The Zine, called The Book of Jacks. Here is the nifty cover:

Book of Jacks


It had some poetry and flash fiction from the two of us in a flip book format. And was fun to make, with each copy hand folded and stapled. Yes, right before the reading…

The trailer for I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday, written and directed by Mike Lombardo, premiered as well. I cannot wait for this movie.

Overall it was a great time, with lots of shop talk, writing talk, random talk. There was Jaws at the pool, Count Gore De Vol, costumes, and lots of laughter all around.

It was also the first test run of my new wagon. I got tired of hauling books or waiting for carts, so I grabbed a folding one to bring with me. It was a great help getting set up, and taking down. I offered it to my neighbors to use, so they too could enjoy the relief a wagon could bring, but Adam was unimpressed, and instead grabbed all of the boxes of books he had in one hand and said “I don’t need your stinkin’ WAGON!” before flipping the table and taking flight.

True story.

After The Horror Show, with Brian Keene

I was on The Horror Show with Brian Keene this week. It was a great time, and (I hope) a good talk with Brian and Dave (and Phoebe!).

We talked the origins of Apokrupha and Lamplight, about new releases–LampLight Volume 3 and The Honey Mummy by E. Catherine Tobler— and about Samhain closing down, shark movies and more.

Here are some links and follow on discussions from the interview. (and maybe a link so you could subscribe to LampLight)

Dream Authors

Keene asked me about what my dream authors for LampLight would be… and I promptly stumbled over my words. Here is a short, and by no means complete, list of dream authors.

  • Elizabeth Hand
  • N. K. Jemisin
  • Livia Llewellyn
  • Laird Barron
  • Joyce Carol Oates


We spoke of other presses I admired and thought were doing a good job. Just wanted to list them again, and add one I forgot on air, Raw Dog Screaming Press.

And here is the blog post Keene talked about.


I talked on three different poetry challenges I’ve been doing this year. Here is more info and links for all three!

1 in 12

I want you to write one poem in 2016, but write it 12 times, seeing what time brings to the process.

Monday Poems

I want you to take a moment every Monday morning and write a poem.

April Poems

Write one poem a day for all of April

My Books

Volume 3 of LampLight is out, which I edited. Check it out, there are some amazing stories in this one.








My poetry collections, Extrospections and April Poems 2011.

April Poems, 2015 will be out in April, AND come join us on Facebook if you want to do your own April Poems.

If you use Smile.Amazon.Com, they donate a portion of your purchase to charity, and I suggests Scares That Care!

Thanks for listening, I hope you enjoyed it.