It’s a “Livin’ Thing”

Anyone who reads my blog knows I like opera.  But unlike some stuffed shirts I don't believe opera has to be Wagnarian in concept to be opera. That's why I want to give you a link to one of the first rock bands to incorporate operatic themes and classical sounds in their music.  When Electric …

In Search of Bold Story Ideas…and settling on the warm safety of cliche.

I guess one of the things that surprises me most is how easy it is to come up with ideas for stories. I wrote about this before. I used to be worried I would never have enough story ideas when I began to write. Now I have too many. I suppose that's growth of a …

Wuthering: A vengeful take on Wuthering Heights in the violent world of Haxan

Mark here. The world of Haxan gives me a lot of room to retell stories and do variations. The short story "Wuthering" is such an example. I mean, how many settings lend themselves to a retelling of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights? Well, in my opinion, Haxan does. I had fun writing this story because it …

In Which I Opine (whine) about Joining Professional Writer Organizations

I have learned I am now eligible for membership in Western Writers of America. I already belong to the Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers of America. Therein lies the problem. Do I need to become a member of  another professional writing organization? I am also eligible for the Mystery Writers of America. …

Making Some Decisions as a Writer are not as Easy as it Seems

It's morning and I am sitting in the coffee shop with my writing buddy. I've been having some difficulty with the heel of my right foot. I somehow banged the heel or popped it or something and now it's sore and I am having a very hard time walking around on it. Wearing boots helps …

“This is Tosca’s Kiss!”

When Puccini's opera Tosca was first performed the critics savaged it.  They called it a "tawdry, little shocker." Puccini had tremendous success with La Boheme the year before.  What kind of success? Imagine Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and American Idol all wrapped into one...and you still wouldn't come close.  So everyone was looking …

Gepetto’s Orphans: The Emergence of the Lost People Comes to Haxan

My new Haxan story "Gepetto's Orphans" has a long lineage. You might say it's as old as the story of Pinocchio himself. Now, truth be told, many stories have been written about a wooden boy who becomes real. But being a dark fantasy writer it's my job to look beyond the ordinary and seek the …

Un Ballo in Maschera: Beautiful Opera Music Marred by a Poor Storyline

Un Ballo in Maschera (The Masked Ball) is one of those operas in which the music is better than the story. It's about the assassination of Gustave III of Sweden during a masked ball. That much is historically accurate.  The rest of the opera...not so much, even down to the last scene when the king …

Some Personal Thoughts about Writing on Valentine’s Day

One of the things I have learned in being a writer is measure. Everything must be done in a measured way when you are writing. Even when you are going great guns and your typewriter (or in this day and age your computer) is hot you have to be measured in the way you approach …

The Saga of Ragnar Greenkirtle and the “graskinna” Loki

One of the things I like about being a writer is how I can do research about topics that interest me and use that information to generate story ideas. I have always been interested in Viking culture and when I read the Sagas I was taken with the voice used to tell their stories. Being …

I’ve Been Invited as a Guest Panelist at ArmadilloCon 34!

I will be attending ArmadilloCon on July 27-29 as a guest panelist. I like this writing con a lot. It's small and has a private, literary feel to it. I've attended lots of cons. Most of them are great and I would urge a writer of any genre to attend a writing con even if …

Violent Love and Quick Death with a Beautiful AI Construct in Star City, Russia

Mark here. My story "The Bonebreaker" has a strange germination. It grew out of my first novel  Fevreblau in that I cherry-picked a few parts from the book and expanded them into a story. Writers do this a lot in case you didn't know. We write a story about a character and then we might …

Love, Betrayal,and Recombinant DNA Gone Wrong in Cabo San Lucas

I remember when I first began to write the short story "Dead Reckoning" and the challenges I faced. The prompt came from a writing class I was taking at the time. They were talking about an exercise the teacher gave a year or so ago in which he wanted the students to write a scene …

Island of Lost Souls (1933) – Censored Horror with Sex and Atmospheric Bestiality

The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of my favorite novels by H.G. Wells. Published in 1896 it has deep philosophical elements which Wells faces head on. It is arguably one of his least known, but best written, scientific romances. In 1933 the novel was adapted to film by Paramount Pictures. It starred Charles Laughton …