Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Powers now on Amazon.com!

The Powers Anthology is now available on Amazon.com!

You can also find it at the Pill Hill Press website.

Powers contains 17 superheroic tales from writers of all different backgrounds. Some will break your heart, some will thrill you, and one will likely make you wonder why the author isn't considering a different direction for his career (that would be the author of "The Stuntman" on page 123).

Here's a quick summary of my contribution:

Thrilled that Hollywood plans to make a movie about his life as the Amazing Marvel, Stan Kirkpatrick presses his agent to land him the starring role. But the producers have a different idea, hiring a rising, hot-shot star, and relegating Stan to the role of indestructible stuntman.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas from The Tick!

I have a notebook where I keep a lot of story ideas. It's full of things like outlines for books I've been writing, concepts for short stories, character biographies, and a few other odds and ends.

This notebook also contains some inane crap--like statistics for the Fake Purdue Boilermakers that I used to (seriously) write newspaper-length stories about, complete with pictures and sometimes video clips (again, seriously).

But I realized something the other day when I was flipping through the notebook. It's actually from high school. It contains a few aborted attempts at homework assignments, an unfinished journal entry or two, and some random scribblings from my ill-spent youth.

One particular stretch of light pencil scratches needed to be preserved and shared with the masses. It involves my reworking of "The Night Before Christmas" adjusted for the cartoon show "The Tick." I know...it's weird (though perhaps not as weird as writing about a video game football team AT LENGTH -- see here and here).

"The Tick" was a fantastic, early/mid-90s cartoon on Fox. It followed the adventures of a doofy, moronic, well-intentioned, and nigh-invulnerable superhero named the Tick. Along with his sidekick Arthur, the Tick fought evil and usually won. The show poked fun at almost every imaginable superhero cliche and I absolutely loved it. One of my high school buddies and I (you know who you are) were OBSESSED with the show.

And so that obsession turned into the following shoddy verses of rhyme. For the first time in more than a decade, I present to you: The Tick's Night Before Christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the City
No criminals stirred
The night inherently giddy

Evil was off for the night
This was for certain
But curious children
Still peered through their curtains

With the citizenry nestled
All safe in their beds
Sweet dreams of Christmas
Abuzz in their heads

Die Fledermaus in his black cape
And I in my Sewer Urchin cap
Had just finished arguing
Which one was the sap

When out on the street
There arose a great noise
I sprang from the sewer
With my crime-fighting toys

I hefted the manhole
And stepped onto the street
Then mightily struggled
To stay on my feet

When what to my Urchin goggles
Should be taken aback
But a flying mothman
With a large man on his back

With a big rider
So blue and so thick
I realized that moment
It’s my friend, the Tick!

“On Arthur, keep going!
It’s Christmas Eve, pal!
We’re keeping evil away
And packing some holiday wow!”

“We’re bringing justice
To each house and each hall”
And then Arthur whimpered
“We’re gonna fall!”

Their strange engine of justice
Came to a stop
Then hit the ground
With a thunderous PLOP!

The Tick wiped himself off
And to his sidekick’s chagrin
Ran to a light pole
And started to spin

His azure streak
Flew ‘round the pole
To which Arthur exclaimed
“Watch out! The manhole!”

Quickly I sidestepped
The high-flying Tick
Who dropped into the manhole
His fall shockingly quick

“I am unhurt”
He said in a hurry
“But let’s give out the presents
Before my vision goes blurry”

He was dressed all in blue
From antenna to feet
His blueberry tights
Form-fitting, not quite indiscreet

His smile so white
His pectorals flexing
His height was immense
And inherently vexing

Tall, blue, and strong
Far from an elf
I laughed when I saw him
In spite of my self

With a big blue thumbs up
And Arthur’s pained sigh
He gave indication
Once more they would fly

“Santa’s helpers, chum
That’s what we’ll be
So let’s start performing
Maneuver Fifteen-C”

He climbed onto the moth’s back
And ignored Arthur’s pain
Telling his glum sidekick
Not to complain

They rose into the twilight
Past the Chairface-marred moon
“Merry Christmas!” he thundered
“And to all I say SPOON!”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First taste of success...

My first published short story appeared in an issue of an obscure, bi-monthly Australian publication called "This Mutant Life." The story was called "The Bank Loan" and appeared in the July 2010 issue of the magazine (you can find the publication here).

I am happy to announce today that another work of mine has been published in "A Thousand Faces," the quarterly journal of superhero fiction. Ironically enough the editor of "This Mutant Life" has also placed a story in the same issue. The story in "A Thousand Faces" is called "In Memoriam," which, according to the editor, "takes you to an unforgettable funeral service for a fallen hero." This story was actually the first one I ever submitted...and the first one accepted. That makes the achievement of having it earn the "Editor's Choice Award" even more satisfying.

Below you'll find the cover for the Autumn 2010 edition of "A Thousand Faces." Clicking on it will take you to the main website. Once there, you'll need to click on the issue again to get to the table of contents. You can find the story indexed under the "fiction" section on the left side. Or...you could just make it really easy on yourself and click here to go directly to the story).

Three other short stories of mine have been accepted for publication. One is due out very soon in an upcoming issue of "This Mutant Life," another is due out next year in another edition of "A Thousand Faces," and a third has just been accepted for an anthology of superhero stories due out...well...I'm guessing next year.