Creepy Cabin in the Woods

As you may know, I live in house in the remote backwoods of Arkansas on what was once a civil war battlefield. A few thousand probably died here and my house is probably very near where the Union commanding officer stood while directing the fight, which was only a hundred yards or so away.

Being so solitary and the woods are often filled with strange noises, especially at night, this can be a spooky place to be at times, particularly at night when foxes scream searching for a mates while barn owls scream at nothing in particular. Both of these sound very much like human screams. Once when both were going on together, stepping out the back door was like listening to the screams from a not too distant torture chamber. Thankfully this doesn’t happen too often.

As you may also know, I am into ambience videos which run for hours on end and aim at setting a certain mood. There are some that set a happy or light mood or a fantasy mood like you might find in The Lord of the Rings or set in some idyllic medieval world or even on another planet. I like spooky ones or dark and mysterious one. There are a few that emulate the atmosphere of Blade Runner, which I have found recently and which I really enjoy.

I found this video today while searching for ones that set a “werewolf ambience” to play while I continue writing Lycanthrope.

Right now, it’s almost 5:00 p.m. and overcast and wet following a few days of rain. The temperature is near 60 (Fahrenheit). Twilight is coming soon. I stepped out the front door just now to check the outdoor temperature on our outdoor thermometer and I heard birds singing not too far off. There’s a slight wind blowing. Although gray and dreary, it’s rather pleasant.

If the wind picks up, as twilight encroaches, the atmosphere around my house (which is quite modern as opposed to the rundown one seen in this video) will be a lot like that in this video. I don’t hear the insects now as in this video, but they will come out as summer approaches. I hear owls like this often. There is an eerie, ghostly waver I hear in this that I don’t hear (of course) out here. Nonetheless, this video captures the spirit of what the woods around my house will be like in an hour or two. And it’s now February, not Halloween.

Enjoy.


The Chamber Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction and Poetry

The Chamber Magazine is seeking articles, reviews, essays, poems, and short stories of approximately 2,000 words (more or less) including flash, micro fiction, smoke longs, drabbles or of any flavor of short fiction that demonstrates the art of writing dark fiction, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature.  We want to showcase the genre in all its subtlety, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, thrill-seeking, and gruesome detail. We will accept dark humor provided it follows the guidelines below with regards to content and good taste.

To be good short fiction, the shorter a work is, the more power it must pack.

There is no pay for publication, but the author retains all rights. Reprints are acceptable. Multiple submissions of up to three works per submission are permitted. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but you must tell us if the work has been accepted elsewhere. We usually respond within a week. Works generally appear a month after acceptance.

More details about submissions are available on the website.

Send submissions and queries to thechambermagazine@gmail.com.

Update: Lycanthrope

werewolf

I just now reached 40, 246 words on Lycanthrope. According to my scan of publishers on Duotrope, 40,000 words is the minimal word count that almost all publishers will consider a novel.

My best estimate currently is that I will need another 20,000 words to complete Lycanthrope. I have been working on this since the end of December. I stopped work on Shadows and Stars to pursue Lycanthrope because the ideas for it were coming fast and furious. They still are. I work on this almost every night.

I have recently come up with a couple of really good plot twists that should make this interesting. These will bring a supernatural element into the story.

Once I have the first draft finished, which should not be long now, I will do some editing, but I expect to do minimal revision. Of course, that could change. I am coming up with new ideas and I like subtle plot twists. I also like to leave some subtle clues hinting at a denouement, but these could be a red herring too.

This work is being increasingly intriguing for me.

For me, I see the events unfolding in my head and I just write down a description of what I am visualizing. Sometimes the characters take control and I just watch and record.

Hasta luego. I need to sleep.


Werewolf in Action (Theoretically)

I found this while surfing Twitter today. I dare say that this is the closest you will ever come to seeing an actual werewolf in action. Now, you understand why the peoples of 16th-17th century Europe feared wolves and were terrified at the thought of werewolves.

Playlist: Diegaro

Here is an article I published on The Chamber Magazine today. I thought it would be suitable for this blog as well.

The Chamber Magazine

Sometimes in my YouTube account, I create playlists of music to help inspire my writing of one work or another. Below is my playlist “Diegaro”. “Diegaro” is Esperanto for Gathering of the Great Gods (Esperanto is the artificial language I use as the alien language). I listen to this sometimes to inspire or accompany work on my sci-fi novel Shadows and Stars, sometimes just to start the morning.

In the novel, the two main characters, the astrophysicist Daryn Jacob and his bodyguard/guide, Baslo Sero, are traveling by foot on a long journey across the planet Zaigosh. On Zaigosh, religion is outlawed. Nonetheless, tens of thousands of worshippers of many gods meet in secret and away from the government’s eyes in a remote canyon. Daryn and Sero happen into this celebration and see many odd and wild things. This playlist is a soundtrack for what they experience in the Diegaro.

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Update, February 22: Progress on Lycanthrope

As you probably know, I have been taking a break from writing Shadows and Stars and working on Lycanthrope, a psychological thriller/horror instead.

Shadows and Stars is over 150,000 words and needs some editing and a little revision, but revising it was becoming complex and I was becoming a little burnt out on it. There is also something more I need to do to it, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

However, the ideas for Lycanthrope started to flow about that time and they keep flowing. Lycanthrope will be a psychological thriller about a man in rural Arkansas who wants to become a werewolf and therefore researches the combination of herbs that was used to do this in the Middle Ages. It is then about his reign of terror and its end. I am writing it in stream-of-consciousness style as if he were writing down everything in a journal.

This is an idea I have had bouncing around in my head for literally decades. I first came up with the idea for a novel about a werewolf when I was serving aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from 1991-93. I started writing it but never got farther than a few pages. I really didn’t know anything about writing novels at that time. I tried tinkering with it off and on for years, but never had a good concept of where I wanted to take it. That all changed in December. I started it afresh then and now have 38,514 words that are almost finished. I will have very little editing to do to these. I would like to reach 80,000, but I will take the story as far as necessary to tell the tale completely, whether that is 50,000 or 70,000 or whatever. Right now, I doubt I will go past 75,000.

When I first conceived the story, it was set in the Northwest near Bremerton, WA, where I was living at the time. When I moved to Texas, I thought about setting it there. When I moved to New Mexico, I thought about setting it there. I have always wanted to set it where I was living at the time, so that I could describe the terrain and culture accurately. Now that I live in Arkansas, Arkansas seems a perfect fit, although one doesn’t usually associate Arkansas with wolves like one would do with mountains and endless forests. However, in the rural setting of southeast Arkansas, it seems natural that a man who wants to escape his life here would dream of living in the mountains of the Northwest, and if he has a murderous bent, he would dream of being a werewolf ranging through the Olympics and Cascades. If he can’t relocate and is stuck here, then he would be a werewolf here. This area is open with a lot of huge crop fields, but it is also surrounded by seemingly endless forests. Its population is sparse, so that a werewolf could range far and wide without being seen as he seeks out opportunities to prey upon people living on the edge of society.

Also, when I first conceived the story, I was going through a rather dark phase of my life and my mentality turned toward dark things like horror movies. Oddly, thinking about dark things, so long as I don’t dwell on them constantly, seems to me find relief from the darkness sometimes surrounding me. I think it is because that somehow I realize that no matter how bad my life might be, it can always be much worse. Maybe it’s because if I feel down getting lost in a horror movie or writing a dark story provides an escape of sorts, so that it is easier to face whatever that is bringing me down. It’s hard to explain. I have never been one for cheery, happy stuff anyway. Facing horror seems to prepare me for horrible moments, whereas someone who has only known happiness would be overwhelmed by those moments.

After I moved to Texas in 1993, I went through a period where I constantly read up on murderers and serial killers as research for Lycanthrope. That fascinated me for a long time, but then I reached a point where it nauseated me, not just from having read so much on one subject, but because I was beginning to see serial killers for the sick, twisted freaks they are. Of course, that line from Nietzsche always come to mind when thinking about those times and I can tell you from experience what it feels like: ““Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

That research has also paid off in providing background for another as yet unfinished novel: The Man Who Escaped from Hell. I have about 80,000 words on that. That will take more revision than Shadows and Stars, but I can foresee finishing it now. It is another novel that I have had weighing on me for years and years, though not nearly as long as Shadows and Stars.

Anyway, I need to get at least a little sleep now. I have been writing this only because my insomnia has hit me tonight. I still don’t feel like sleeping, but I must.

Hasta luego.


On se protege
Protect yourself.

The Chamber Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction and Poetry

The Chamber Magazine is seeking articles, reviews, essays, poems, and short stories of approximately 2,000 words (more or less) including flash, micro fiction, smoke longs, drabbles or of any flavor of short fiction that demonstrates the art of writing dark fiction, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature.  We want to showcase the genre in all its subtlety, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, thrill-seeking, and gruesome detail. We will accept dark humor provided it follows the guidelines below with regards to content and good taste.

To be good short fiction, the shorter a work is, the more power it must pack.

There is no pay for publication, but the author retains all rights. Reprints are acceptable. Multiple submissions of up to three works per submission are permitted. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but you must tell us if the work has been accepted elsewhere. We usually respond within a week. Works generally appear a month after acceptance.

More details about submissions are available on the website.

Send submissions and queries to thechambermagazine@gmail.com.

The Chamber Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction and Poetry

The Chamber Magazine is seeking articles, reviews, essays, poems, and short stories of approximately 2,000 words (more or less) including flash, micro fiction, smoke longs, drabbles or of any flavor of short fiction that demonstrates the art of writing dark fiction, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature.  We want to showcase the genre in all its subtlety, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, thrill-seeking, and gruesome detail. We will accept dark humor provided it follows the guidelines below with regards to content and good taste.

To be good short fiction, the shorter a work is, the more power it must pack.

There is no pay for publication, but the author retains all rights. Reprints are acceptable. Multiple submissions of up to three works per submission are permitted. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but you must tell us if the work has been accepted elsewhere. We usually respond within a week. Works generally appear a month after acceptance.

More details about submissions are available on the website.

Send submissions and queries to thechambermagazine@gmail.com.

Call for Submissions: Seeking Essay on Contemporary Dark Romanian Literature

Here’s a good opportunity for someone seeking publication in a US magazine.

The Chamber Magazine

Photo of Woman byMichaela VrejafromPexels

With our recent publication of several works of Bogdan Dragos along with his interview with The Chamber, the amount of The Chamber’s website visitors from Romania has rocketed.

Outside of Dracula, very few Americans would be able to name another literary work or a movie set in Romania. There are some horror movies set in Romania, but these rarely make it anywhere near the mainstream of American media and entertainment.

Now, I am curious about what the state of contemporary Romanian literature is like, particularly with regards to dark literature.

Therefore I am issuing a call for submissions from a Romanian writer for an essay on contemporary dark literature in Romania. The essay should be about 2,000 words or less in keeping with The Chamber’s format. Up to three photos may accompany the article. If I get submissions from more than…

View original post 125 more words

The Chamber Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction and Poetry

The Chamber Magazine is seeking articles, reviews, essays, poems, and short stories of approximately 2,000 words (more or less) including flash, micro fiction, smoke longs, drabbles or of any flavor of short fiction that demonstrates the art of writing dark fiction, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature.  We want to showcase the genre in all its subtlety, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, thrill-seeking, and gruesome detail. We will accept dark humor provided it follows the guidelines below with regards to content and good taste.

To be good short fiction, the shorter a work is, the more power it must pack.

There is no pay for publication, but the author retains all rights. Reprints are acceptable. Multiple submissions of up to three works per submission are permitted. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but you must tell us if the work has been accepted elsewhere. We usually respond within a week. Works generally appear a month after acceptance.

More details about submissions are available on the website.

Send submissions and queries to thechambermagazine@gmail.com.

The Chamber Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction and Poetry

The Chamber Magazine is seeking articles, reviews, essays, poems, and short stories of approximately 2,000 words (more or less) including flash, micro fiction, smoke longs, drabbles or of any flavor of short fiction that demonstrates the art of writing dark fiction, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature.  We want to showcase the genre in all its subtlety, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, thrill-seeking, and gruesome detail. We will accept dark humor provided it follows the guidelines below with regards to content and good taste.

To be good short fiction, the shorter a work is, the more power it must pack.

There is no pay for publication, but the author retains all rights. Reprints are acceptable. Multiple submissions of up to three works per submission are permitted. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but you must tell us if the work has been accepted elsewhere. We usually respond within a week. Works generally appear a month after acceptance.

More details about submissions are available on the website.

Send submissions and queries to thechambermagazine@gmail.com.

Update: Lycanthrope, February 12, 2021

werewolf

As you may know, I have started on another novel entitled Lycanthrope. I am still working on Shadows and Stars, but I have ideas constantly flowing about Lycanthrope, so I am getting them down as fast as possible.

The story is about a man who decides he wants to become a werewolf, so he researches the Medieval potions used to transform someone into a werewolf and uses them. The story is set in modern-day rural Arkansas. I am writing it in the form of a journal, so that as I think up stuff, I can jot it down and it will fit in neatly with what I have written so far. I do very little revising or editing to keep it as realistic as possible. Like a journal, it doesn’t have a meticulously laid-out plot. It is haphazard and jumps from topic to topic, just like life. I am delving into the lycanthrope’s psychology. Telling this in first person is a challenge, because I have to think carefully about what to include and what to omit. I want to give some background on a subject now and then, but then I have to reign in that drive after I consider that a person would not know that from firsthand experience. So, the novel will have a nebulous feel to it. I have not stated a town in which this happens, because I do not want anyone to get the impression I am saying a murderous werewolf hails from their town. I may create a fictitious town name later, but for now I like not giving the town name and keeping it mysterious. I do name some of the towns around here through which the protagonist may pass now and then, but so far, I haven’t stated the name of the town where he lives.

I have written just over 23,000 words in just over a month. I would like to have it reach 100,000, but if the story ties up neatly at around 50,000-80,000, so be it. I want just enough words to tell the story and no fluff. I like lean, muscular writing.

That’s it for now. I will hopefully write more later.

The Chamber Magazine is Seeking Dark Fiction and Poetry

The Chamber Magazine is seeking articles, reviews, essays, poems, and short stories of approximately 2,000 words (more or less) including flash, micro fiction, smoke longs, drabbles or of any flavor of short fiction that demonstrates the art of writing dark fiction, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature.  We want to showcase the genre in all its subtlety, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, thrill-seeking, and gruesome detail. We will accept dark humor provided it follows the guidelines below with regards to content and good taste.

To be good short fiction, the shorter a work is, the more power it must pack.

There is no pay for publication, but the author retains all rights. Reprints are acceptable. Multiple submissions of up to three works per submission are permitted. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but you must tell us if the work has been accepted elsewhere. We usually respond within a week. Works generally appear a month after acceptance.

More details about submissions are available on the website.

Send submissions and queries to thechambermagazine@gmail.com.

Excellent Summary of Werewolf Lore

As you know, I have been working on a novel about a modern lycanthrope, called, appropriately, Lycanthrope. I researched werewolves sometime back as well as werewolf movies and videos. This video from YouTube’s Top 5 Scary Videos is an excellent, detailed, quick and dirty summary of werewolf lore from the historical perspective. I will post more werewolf-related material here as I come across it.