A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!

Another Trip Down Memory Lane Courtesy of the Internet

Last night’s ego-surfing turned into a pilgrimage down Memory Lane. In addition to finding one of my old photos in a new webzine article and finding one of my old videos at The Bleeding Critic, I also found where I had commented on an article about a Tennessee Williams’s one-act play in which I once acted: Portrait of a Madonnna. I played the role of the porter. The article to which the link leads contains the entire text of the play.

It was 1997 and I had not been out of the Navy long. I had returned to my home town of Frankfort, KY for a while. I was an aspiring photographer then. I don’t recall at the moment how it happened but I became involved in a local theatre group as an actor and as the photographer that shot the cast photos.

For a run of about a few weeks, I played in two one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. One was Portrait of a Madonna, as mentioned above. I don’t recall the name of the other, but I played a drunk whose wife drags him to visit some friends during Mardi Gras. If I recall the name, I will update this post accordingly.

Over the last few years, I have endeavored to see as many plays as I can in order to study playwriting, staging, and the art of the theatre in general. Unfortunately, I have not gotten to see many performances in person. However, I have been watching the movie versions of plays as much as I can. I try to watch the films versions that are noted as being close to the original stage production. I now have a small collection of the works of Shakespeare on film. I watch the Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor version of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” occasionally. I have seen “Equus” starring Richard Burton. I have tried to watch “Waiting for Godot” a few times, but I keep falling asleep. I have the move versions of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “Cat on A Hot Tin Roof”, and “Night of the Iguana” on DVD. I will get more plays on film, particularly of Tennessee Williams’s plays, as soon as I can.

Tennessee Williams,, 1965
Tennessee Williams,, 1965

I really enjoyed acting and wish I had stayed with it longer or gotten involved with it again at some later point. I had done a lot of public speaking while in the Navy, so I was comfortable on a stage. Memorizing the lines was a bit of a challenge, but being able to interact with the other actors and going through all the practice and blocking and deciding on costumes was really fun. Of course, I enjoyed the applause at curtain.

Acting is not all that far removed from day-to-day life. We all have to think about how we appear to other, what actions we should take in the presence of others, what we should say in front of others. It almost comes naturally in a sense. The benefit of theatre is that you get to practice your lines and prepare your wardrobe to produce the image you want to project to your audience.

If I had the chance now, I would definitely become involved in acting again.

Since 1997, I have been working on a few plays of my own, though only one or two very short ones have been finished. Currently, I have two longer plays in the works and one short one that I have submitted to a competition in New York.

The one that has been submitted is the stage adaptation of my flash fiction story ‘Murder by Plastic”, which was published on FictionontheWeb.co.uk in 2015 and which has received some good comments from readers. The contest is looking for plays of about ten minutes in length and which can be stage by 5-6 people or less with a minimal amount of props. I should hear in January whether I am a semi-finalist. there’s not a big financial award if I win, but they will produce the play.

I have an idea for a one-act play of about a half-hour or more. I not yet completed the first draft. It is called “Incommunicado”. It is a about a man who, after a DUI, has been off the bottle for a year, but now that all his court-ordered punishment and probation is over, goes to a small village in the remote mountains of southwest New Mexico, to drink and write. However, he has an internal struggle, because he has grown to like sobriety. His writing is also challenged by meeting a woman, with whom he has a fling over the weekend, despite having a girlfriend in Albuquerque. One inner battle facing him is whether he will stay with his girlfriend or his new lover.

The longest play is three acts, about 1.5 hours, and is about a man and a woman who have been cheating on their spouses for over a year just for the sex and drinking and riotous fun. I call it “Centaurs”. The man and woman have been keeping their identities and backgrounds from each other, because they don’t want any attachments. However, they begin to find themselves attracted to each other when another woman becomes involved.

I have been working on “Centaurs” for about twenty years now. I started it as a short story, but then decided that a play would be a much better fit for the story. Writing it as a play seems a lot more fun than writing it as a short story and challenges me creatively in new and exciting ways.

Anyway, that’s my take on my involvement in the theatre for the moment. Maybe I will write more at a later date. I will, of course, provide updates as my writing and (hopefully) production of these progress.

I want to hear your thoughts. Please provide comments.

Slattery Trivia for the Day: Hotel Room Photo

<a title="Phil Slattery, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons” href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bed_in_hotel.JPG”&gt;Bed in hotel

I was doing some ego-surfing on the Internet last night, when I came across the photo above, which I took some years ago. I posted it to Wikimedia and now I occasionally run across it in an ad or article for a hotel. In this case, it is being used by Travel Triangle for an article entitled 22 Lavish Cottages In Munnar To Experience A Homelike Warmth, Luxury & Comfort In 2021! My photo is used for the 21st cottage “Aaron’s Cottage”. Please note that the photo was not taken in Munnar. Also note that Travel Triangle is not being deceptive in using my photo as it is clearly labeled “Image Credit: Phil Slattery for Wikimedia Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only“.

I took this photo when I was bored in a hotel room in Denver in January 2010, while on a business trip. I used to be a photographer and still have something of a love for it. If I couldn’t be a writer, I would most definitely be a photographer. Search the Internet for “Phil Slattery” or “Phillip Slattery” and photo/photographer or something similar and you will find a few of my published photos.

I took this photo on the spur of the moment when I was experimenting with the camera I had at the moment. Checking the Wikimedia file, I took this with a Vivicam (I don’t recall this camera by this name; it may have been a Kodak Easy Share) at 1/10 of a second, ISO 200, f/2.8. It was probably hand held.

I think want advertisers like about this photo is its warm, inviting color, its soft focus, and the clean look of the hotel room. For a simple photo, it packs a lot of subtle emotion. I didn’t use any filters and I didn’t use any photo manipulation software. The white spots are caused by overexposure and the orangeish glow by the incandescent light bulbs.

I may start experimenting with photography again. I have quite a few photos on Flickr, Instagram, and other social media websites. Of course, I use my own photography on this weblog occasionally.

Let me know your thoughts.

Photo of man wearing a coronavirus mask
Prevent the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 for the sake of yourself, your friends, and your family.

My Horror Memories on the Bleeding Critic: Hellraiser

I was looking for new reviews of my work on the Internet when I ran across this blast from the past. This is a video of me talking about the first movie that truly terrified me: Hellraiser. I made this video in 2015 and submitted it to The Bleeding Critic. This was the first time I made a video, so I come across as somewhat stiff. You can also tell that I am reading my monologue from some cue cards that my then fiancée, now wife, was holding.

The background is an abstract expressionist painting that I created. It is entitled “De Profundis”. Here is a link to an overall view at my art website philslatteryart.wordpress.com, which I have not updated in some time.

“De Profundis” is the opening line in Latin from Psalm 130 and means “out of the depths. It has been used extensively in literature and art.

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

King James Version

My painting is supposed to represent boiling magma in hell, the greatest depth to which a soul can fall. It’s a good theme for someone who like to write horror.

I will embed this soon in an appropriately prominent spot on the weblog.

Let me know your thoughts.

Photo of woman in red turtleneck with face mask
Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Follow federal, state, and local guidelines. Use common sense when the guidelines are insufficient.

A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!