A Post in Two Parts

Part 1: Weekend

While I didn’t get the 10,000 words that I wanted to get written, I did get quite a bit done.  I edited another 27 pages of The Bleeding Room, got about 3,000 words into my story for the Vermin anthology (and then wondered if it may be better suited for another anthology I am looking into), wrote about 4 pages for Issue #2 of Birdwatching From Mars and then…well, then there was an unexpected bomb thrown at me.

While editing The Bleeding Room, I read over a line that reminded me (maybe “haunted me” would be more appropriate) of the ending to Broken Skies. I did my best to ingore it, but the harder I tried, the more irresistible the call became.  Needless to say, around2:00 in the morning, while feeding Benjamin, the newborn, I realized what was wrong with the ending to Broken Skies and I believe I know how to fix it.

Which means I’ll have to return to that damned story pretty soon or it’s going to drive me crazy.  The good news is that the solution to fixing the end will only involve the rewriting of 2 chapters and a brief dialogue between two characters.

Oh, also, I had a dream on Saturday in which I was convinced that yes, I would like to release a collection/miscellany in the near future.  Also, in the dream, I saw the title of said collection as well as the cover art and both blew me away.  Of course, I will not reveal this tidbits until much later on, when and if the collection ever comes about.

And now…

Part 2: I Blame Aaron

Damn you, Aaron for thinking up very cool posts.  I can only rest well in knowing that I am not the first to swipe your idea (a quick check of my favorite blogs this morning shows me at least 5 others that have done this).  So, like any good sheep, I follow the pack.

My 10 favorite short stories I have written.

“Taking Quinn Home” (unpublished) – I wrote this one in the hopes of trying to get into Graveside Tales’ The Beast Within anthology.  It didn’t get accepted however I did get a personal response after the deadline and not in the rejection letter.  The editor stated that they loved the story but it was not weird enough; as a straight out horror story it worked well, they said, and one scene in particular stuck with them for good.  At just over 7,500 words and dealing with werewolves, it’s been a tough one to sell.

“An Eight Becomes Two Zeros” (52 Stitches) – My personal belief is that flash is almost useless unless it has a big twist at the end.  I felt that I had done an ok job at this in the past but wanted to really deliver with this one.  I feel like I did.  Plus, there is a particular line in here that, when I wrote it, I was like “damn, where did that come from?”

"Making the Deathbed" (unpublished) – This one was supposed to be a literary story.  But the end begged me to allow it to transform into a horror story.  So I did; and that is its downfall. Literary zines have said it’s too dark and horror zines have stated that it’s too warm and fuzzy.  I want to retire it, I really do, but first I’ll let it sort out its identity crisis and try a rewrite.

“Tricks of Shadow and Light” (It Came From Planet Mars) – I am a Mars freak.  And I’ll admit, I got lazy with this one.  I saw the guidelines and then opened up the only attempt at a sci-fi novel I ever penned.  I swiped Chapter One from this novel, rewrote it, and sent it on its way.  The Cliffs Notes of it is that a Mars Rover team discovers a wrecked Ford pick-up 12 miles from the Face of Mars.

“Boggs Island” (Northern Haunts) – see the description for "An Eight Becomes Two Zeros".  My wife read this story and swore she would never read anything else of mine…

“Riding in Trucks With Ghosts” (unpublished) – this one may actually be my favorite of all.  I spent about three weeks writing this 3,600 word story.  It’s been rejected once but the letter was very promising and hopeful.  I wanted to write a ghost story that wasn’t a horror story.  And I wanted to try to make people cry.  Currently out in limbo.

“Notes on How it All Ended” (unpublished) – This one is currently out in limbo as well.  I wanted to write a first-person story that was less than 4,000 words that started out with the character perfectly fine at the start but ill and nearing madness by the end.  It’s all told as if he were writing the accounts of what is happening to him on his laptop.  He’s even still typing when the monsters get into his house…

“Grave Seasons” (Southern Fried Weirdness) – I had this idea for a very long time.  It came to me after reading “The Serpent and the Rainbow.”  I’ll admit…I sort of yawn at the whole zombie-horror thing.  But when you’re talking about real Haitian-Voodoo zombies, you have my attention.  Which is odd because there are no zombies in this story but it sort of leans in the direction.  Sort of.  Eh, go read it (see the “About Me” page) and let me know what you think.

"Accidental Deaths of the Dying and the Dead" (upcoming from Arkham Tales) – This was actually my attempt to make fun of the zombie genre.  But it turned out to be a pretty morbid (yet laugh-worthy) story with another of those messed up twist endings I like so much.

“Golden Debris” (unpublished) – I’ve collected 7 rejections for this story.  I have revised it each time and, in my opinion, it just keeps getting better.  It makes me wonder if every writer has that one story that seems to attract rejections but they can’t help but love it.  This one was most recently rewritten in January and is out in limbo.



  1. We are just a bunch of thieves.

    Some intriguing stories there, Barry. I particularly look forward to reading ‘Accidental Deaths of the Dying and the Dead’, in Arkham Tales – sounds like something I’d really like.

  2. Grave Seasons was the first of yours I read– it really stuck with me. I still think of it every now and then. Always a sign of a first rate tale. I feel like I remember you writing/editing/discussing “Riding in Trucks With Ghosts” here a few times. For some reason the title, or maybe just that you like it, makes me want to read it.

    And a story that’s being sat upon by Arkham Tales, too. That sounds like a good time.

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