So for those of you who aren’t in the know… here’s how this works.
A whole lot of people each November take on the writing challenge. 50 thousand words to make a novel. Doesn’t have to be good, doesn’t have to be publishable… it just has to be 50 thousand words. This is known as NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. The fine folks who organize this insanity are know as the Office of Light and Letters. I entered into the challenge last November and learned a whole lot about writing itself, and yes I did make the 50 thousand words.
The organization does take donations to keep the power on, the computers running and the internet traffic flowing for this event. But! They also have programs for young writers and teaching them in school, lesson plans, resources for teachers… if they get enough donations. For people like myself who can’t donate 500 dollars in one shot, the smaller donations work out better.
So after some thought, an anthology was created, a whole lot of hugely talented writers (and myself) and poets. The chief editor and cat herder, Jennifer Hudock edited and compiled the anthology. And after reading it myself, I’ve got a lot to learn about writing as compared to the other stories. It took me a good evening on Twitter, quizzing up a physics guru, several drafts, and the final product (which I still hate) made it for the deadline.
So if you want to read a whole lot of great fiction to creep and inspire you, you’ll want to head over to Amazon or Smashwords. And at $4.99 for over 100 pages, you’ll want to tell your friends about this.
Here’s hoping that our works will eventually get enough sales to help out creative kids who wouldn’t have a chance otherwise.
I’m still here,
PS – Enough about me… much better writers and artists can be found in the Dark Side anthology and at their respective websites.
Mark BurningHawk Baxter
Drew Beatty has been writing fiction seriously since the birth of his first son five years ago. His works have appeared in e-Muse.com, Aphelion-Online, Alien Skin Magazine, Sinister Tales and in the Library of the Living Dead anthology Zombonauts. Additionally, his first two novels are available as audiobooks on Podiobooks.com. He also writes a monthly podcasting column for Popsyndicate.com.
You can find out more about Drew Beatty at http://www.drewbeatty.com, or read his daily ramblings on Twitter, where he goes by the clever nickname drewbeatty. When not writing, Drew works as a teacher, reads too much, and juggles children. Not literally, but sometimes it feels that way.
Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids. He is the author of many published short stories and the creator of a new literary form: the Drabble Novel. DEAD MECH is his first novel and represents the introduction to the world of the Drabble Novel, a novel written 100 words at a time, which will be coming soon from Library Of The Living Dead Press.
Learn more about Jake and his work at http://www.jakebible.com. Links to his Facebook fan page, Twitter and his forum can be found there, as well as his weekly drabble release, Friday Night Drabble Party, and his weekly free audio fiction podcast.
Kate Sherrod is a writer and poet who currently calls Cheyenne, WY her home. She is best known for her blog, Suppertime Sonnets, where she writes and publishes at least one pseudo-Shakespearean sonnet every day. She has yet to miss a day there since Dec. 31, 2008. When Kate is not writing sonnets, she works on an ottava rima, mock-epic, space opera farce, PEPITO MOJITO: THE INTERSTELLAR FELLER, and is co-writing a weird western novel with her friend Adam Christopher, and is working on a secret project or two with other conspirators.
Her poetry has appeared in a number of other places, including Discovery Space (http://dsc.discovery.com/space/) a space and astronomy news site; 2012Hoax (http://www.2012hoax.org/) a compendium of useful information that explains why the world is NOT going to end in 2012, and the Macbots blog (http://macbots.wordpress.com/), a site memorializing the late futurist and author Mac Tonnies. Several of her sonnets will also appear in the upcoming BURNING MAIDEN QUARTERLY, a magazine of crime and supernatural fiction due out this fall from Evil Eye Books.
Kate also contributes to a number of webzines, blogs and podcasts, including Paradise Tossed (http://www.paradisetossed.org/), a blog about poetry and technology and how the two intersect; Escape Into Life (http://www.escapeintolife.com/), an arts and culture magazine that has also featured a selection of her sonnets; and she is a “Third Nerd” at the Functional Nerds podcast (http://functionalnerds.com/). She also occasionally narrates for the up and coming horror fiction podcast, ShadowCast Audio (http://shadowpress.wordpress.com/).
When not writing, Kate is an avid cyclist, amateur entomologist, stargazer and comic book fan. She’s also been known to post a thing or two on Twitter, where she is @KateSherrod.
Joseph Bowley keeps the darkness at bay in coastal Maine with his companion Charlotte who has never managed to be as dignified as Steinbeck’s dog Charley. After earning a degree in Architecture from Syracuse University Joe decided to become a literary bum and has managed to scribble a few poems and other things between Kerouac adventures. He’s constantly surprised that an ordinary boy from New England is allowed to keep characters like Lucy Dunkin in his head.
James Melzer is the author of Hull’s Landing, as well as The Zombie Chronicles, which began as a free podcast back in September 2008. Since then, the first novel, Escape, has received close to a million downloads, won the Dead Letter Award for Best Web series and has been picked up to be published by Permuted Press and Simon & Schuster. It will be coming to stores everywhere in March 2011. He hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and you can check out all his work at http://www.jamesmelzer.net.
The enigmatic Acadia Einstein founded http://www.superficialgallery.com in 2005 and has been running from the law and his own dark past since the incident in Prague. A former adventurer and hunky acrobat, Acadia now lives quietly in [REDACTED] with his [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] around [REDACTED]. He once [REDACTED] with a [REDACTED] and took the [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] in his [REDACTED] eleven times in one night. His favorite food his cheeseburgers and his favorite game is life or death (followed closely by Boggle).
Jennifer Williams is a horror and fantasy writer living in South East London. She has been published previously in The Hub and Pantechnicon, and was recently selected as one of the winners in the Campaign for Real Fear competition. The winning story, “”The Price,” can be found in Black Static number 17, and is due to be released as part of an audio collection by Action Audio.
You can find links to her stories at her blog, http://www.sennydreadful.blogspot.com, as well as a running commentary on the highs and woes of her current full length book project, The Steel Walk, and chatter on any number of geeky subjects.
Nicole Ireland began freelance writing in 2007 when she began working for Mahalo.com. While at Mahalo, Ms. Ireland covered a variety of subjects, including celebrity news, television and movies.Currently, Ms. Ireland is the Portland Paranormal Examiner, the Lee DeWyze Examiner and the David Cook Examiner for Examiner.com. She also writes for Demand Studios and Break Studios.
In addition to freelance writing, Ms. Ireland is also a virtual assistant and compliance coordinator for a pizza dough production company located in southern Maine. Her main duties include maintaining the company’s safety and health programs.
In her spare time, Ms. Ireland enjoys spending time outdoors with her two children. She also likes to put pen to paper, writing poems, children’s stories, short stories and novels that she hopes will one day impact other people’s lives. If you’d like to keep up with Ms. Ireland, you can find her at her official website, http://www.nicoleireland.com. You can also find her on Twitter @writingforlife or via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nicole.normandeau.
Josh Crummer is a 4th year student at Saginaw Valley State University. His poetry has appeared in campus magazine Cardinal Sins for three straight semesters. He has also served as an Assistant Editor for Cardinal Sins in the Fall 2008-Winter 2009 semesters, as well as winning the first prize in Sins’ Fall 2009 Poetry Slam with his poem “Easter Sunday.”
Jacquèline Roth is by passion and profession a teacher of writing, reading and literature to middle schoolers. An admitted scifi/fantasy and history geek, she holds degrees in Education and Political Science. A writer since childhood, she has had poetry and essays appear in niche publications and spent time as a freelance writer doing book reviews and author interviews. Roth lives with her family, including human, canine and avian members, in Atlanta, GA. For more information or to see other works by Roth visit the website at http://www.jacquelineroth.com or follow her blog at http://www.jacquelineroth.blogspot.com.
Nicole Godin lives in Toronto with her two lizards and two bunnies. She spends most of her time watching movies, and is in the beginning stages of becoming a hairstylist. She’s a casual writer due to writer’s block and an apparent inability to remember how to properly format a story. She prefers to be called Nikki.
Mark BurningHawk Baxter’s life, to date, has been full of adventure and learning experiences. Graduating from high school at sixteen, then from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor’s in English at twenty, he knew very little of the world, and recognized the lack. Setting forth to learn all he could about the planet on which he lives, he learned more about himself than he ever thought there was to learn. His education has extended into such seemingly disparate areas as martial arts, wilderness survival and human spirituality. His hunger for self-knowledge has never, and hopefully never will be satisfied.
Traveling around the country in search of the elusive music and writing career, he became acquainted with many groups of people; small islands of subculture, almost swamped by the mainstream world.
Being intimately acquainted with many blind people has helped him see how dependent most of them are on hand-outs to survive. With an 85% unemployment rate, and all too often facing stiff prejudice from their sighted peers, many blind people depend on government-subsidized, religious and other like-minded charitable organizations for their day to day existence.
The story, “Exo,” is about what might happen to such groups as the blind, those dependent upon Welfare, those who are frail of health and require constant medical services, and others, in the face of growing environmental and social catastrophe. When those charity umbrellas are withdrawn in the face of desperate need, what will such protected communities do to survive? They might even resort to renting out their very brains and retreating into dreams …
Mark’s work has appeared in Internet-based poetry anthologies and magazines, essay collections and as background for an animated series. His musical work has been featured in various venues, and he continues to compose and record new material.
Currently, he resides in coastal Oregon. More samples of his work can be on his official website: http://www.MarkBurningHawk.net/.
David Sobkowiak began his vocal career at the age of six in the bedroom of his parent’s home, recording what would today be called analogue podcasts in to his Radio Shack cassette recorder. His shows included a variety of current music off of his AM radio, and several characters all voiced, ad lib, by David.
His career took a hiatus until the winter of 2005, when he discovered the wonders of internet podcasts and began voice acting for various groups on line. His work as a voice actor, web guru and founding member of BrokenSea Audio Productions has given him experience in acting, writing audio dramas and producing many of the great shows found there.
More recently his endeavors have focused on original creative works to include short stories, a novella length podcast novel in conjunction with collaborative a partner and several works in progress. David has one story published in a Christmas Anthology series which can be located here.
You can contact David at by writing to him at email@example.com
Jim Ryan’s first memories are of his escape pod washing up on the east coast of North America in the mid 1970′s. There were no clues as to the pod’s planet of origin, so Jim decided to try living among the humans, a task with which he has had varying degrees of success over the years.
He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is a freelance writer/editor and podcaster. He has a blog/podcast hybrid at http://jimyesthatjim.com, a comedic sci-fi/fantasy podcast at http://www.everyworldnews.com and an RPG podcast at http://www.rpgdebate.com, all of which give him excuses to do ridiculous voices. He continues to act silly in public when appropriate.
Jennifer Hudock is an author, poet, editor and podcaster from Northeast Pennsylvania with a BA in English/Creative Writing from Bloomsburg University. She has been published in a variety of print and online venues, including Strange Horizons, Living Dead Press’s “Book of the Dead: A Faithful Zombie Anthology,” and has upcoming work appearing in Library of the Living Dead’s “Ladies of Horror” and “The Moron’s Guide to the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.”
She is also self-publishing a series of short fiction on Amazon and Smashwords titled “The Dark Journeys Collection,” and offers her dark fantasy novel Goblin Market, as a free audio podcast on her official website. To find out more about Ms. Hudock, visit http://jennybeans.net.
Only lightly tethered to what others call reality, author Keith Dugger creates popular works of bizarro and dark fiction that range from mildly creepy to twist-your-brain intense. Though one of his fictitious multiple personalities suffers multiple personality disorder, Keith remains intently devoted to his craft and frequently enjoys writing to the anti-melodic baying of his invisible dog.
To find out more about Keith, visit his official website http://www.keithdugger.com.
Patrick Pillars, writer, poet, and blogger, has been published numerous times in the small press and writes freelance as well. He lives in Saginaw with his wife and three sons. For more information, please visit Patrick’s blog, Paddys Wanderings, at http://paddy.typepad.com/.
Born and raised on the flatlands of Canada, Pearce Kilgour was fed a steady diet of fiction in all forms of media from a very early age. He has been described as an alpha geek, part time genius, neo-hipster, clauseless rebel, all around good guy, progressive time traveler and procrastinated creativist.
Random thoughts of his centrifugal consciousness can be found on his twitter feet at http://www.twitter.com/pearcekilgour. You can read his reviews, food crimes and flash fiction at https://pearcekilgour.wordpress.com. If a proper bribe can be sent, he’ll tell you where to find his hero fan fiction. He is 5’10″, hazel eyes and has many amazing hats. Everything else is subject to change.
Jason Warden is a father, a husband, and a writer. He has been an avid reader and writer of dark fiction for many years. In 2009 he opened The ShadowCast Audio Anthology to expand his writing and publishing experience.
He has most recently had his work published in the ‘Masters of Horror: The Anthology’ which was published by Triskaideka Books. He is currently at work on several other stories as well as a novel he hopes to complete in late 2010. He and his wife reside in Missouri with their three children. You can hear his podcast of dark fiction at http://shadowpress.wordpress.com and read more of his short stories at http://JasonWarden.com