Thursday, July 31, 2014


I've had a pretty hard week all around. First, the family dog died, and now my trusty Dell Vostro 400 has gone to its final rest. It died on me this afternoon, and it's not coming back. The cost to fix it would be unjustifiable, considering that it is 7 years old and very obsolete. Still, it couldn't have picked a worse time to die, as the middle of the busy summer work season is not the time to be fiddling with computer hardware.

I guess I'll be computer shopping this weekend. Just when I thought I was getting somewhere, something happens to suck the money out of my hands. I know, it's not a "huge" expense to get a basic desktop (or laptop is that's what you're after, though I still prefer the old tower). Still, it is annoying.

Good news, I have all of my writing and Martinus Publishing files backed up to an sd card, along with most of my other programs. So, I shouldn't be out much. I may have to download some free stuff again, and I may have to relocate some of my saved websites, but overall it won't be a big loss. It just may take some time for me to get used to the new configuration, and it may be a few weeks before I have everything working the way I need it to work. In the interim, I have my wife's laptop with the busted keypad. I've plugged my Dell keyboard and mouse into it, so I can use it comfortably, more or less. Still, there's a lot I can't do until I have my own system again.

I guess I'll have to finally upgrade from Windows XP, too. Damn!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Deadlines and Decisions

I've had a busy couple of weeks with Martinus Publishing.

Cover art by Yelyzaveta Trygubova
First off, the final story selections have been made for "To Hell with Dante," and I hope to announce the official list of stories soon.  I'm still waiting to hear back from one author, and waiting for a rewrite from another, but overall the collection is locked in.  This set of cynical afterlife stories will be making its way to market in early October, just in time for Halloween shoppers.

Next, I am pleased to set a deadline for "Yarr, A SpacePirate Anthology."  The submissions have been slow but steady to this collection, and there is still plenty of room, but there are enough qualified stories now accepted and contracted that I am confident that we can set a date for closing submissions.  So, if you've got a story you think may be a good fit for this collection (or want to write one to fit it), get the story to me no later than November 30, 2014.

The slush pile is shrinking now, as I get through a backlog of stories that have been building up.  I still have quite a few to read through for both Altered Europa and We WereHeroes.  With any luck, we'll soon have deadlines for those anthologies as well.

The Temporal Element II is now accepting submissions, and cover art has been commissioned.  Expect to see the grand unveiling for the new art sometime in the next couple of months.

As you can see, a lot is going on for the small press, and there are still other things in the works that will be coming to light soon.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Depreciation of Dreams (Poem/Song)

I've been feeling rather moody lately, and while that isn't good for writing concrete fiction it is rather good for throwing down poetry and song lyrics.  I'll have more to say about my musical dreams in another post (when I can collect my thoughts more coherently).  In the meantime, enjoy this bonus poem/song, which speaks of the struggle to find something more than this mundane existence proffers.

There comes a time when dreams betray you
and fantasies fail you;
yes, I've known for so long.
When you wake up
and find that you're shaken;
the reality's bringing you down.

No matter how hard
you try to cling,
that goddamn truth
is gonna do you in.
There's no getting out
of this sinister place
the world of facts can't be denied.

Another fallen dream
never to be realized,
never to be seen;
all a forgotten scheme,
the kind we feel should be real—
if only it could be,
then we would be free

Tell me it's better
to live all our lives
slogging away in real time.
Show me it's best
to live like the rest
never knowing what else we could find.
If this is so great
why does it reek
of sorrow and boredom and hate?
Are we truly meant to live only once
without ever challenging fate?

Dare we venture
beyond these gates,
endeavor to dream again,
whatever the stakes?
It takes but one flight of fancy
and we're back in the race.

But then it comes 'round again.
They tell you no, no, no!
You run into a brick wall.
Failure makes you feel small
and your faith in your fantasy's gone.
It's a fleeting dream
condemned to nevermore.

For the dreams betray you
and fantasies fail you;
we've all seen them disappear now.
Seen tomorrow's promise
vanish in to dust
never again to be found.
But at the end of the night
dare we make it a fight
or throw up our hands and resign;
surrender again and say goodbye
to our promised fantastical sight?

Will it be all right
to give up on what might?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Unrequited–A Poem of Secret Torment

In the next few weeks, I plan to start posting more to the blog, which means finding different things to share that will hopefully be of interest to you, my appreciated readers.  Here's one writing-related feature that I'm trying to bring back; sharing my poetry and song lyrics.  Let's see if anyone is interested...

Many of you know that I have written poetry for almost as long as I've been writing fiction.  I even had a few poems published in my early 20's, though the stack of rejection letters rivals that for my fiction marketing.  Poetry is an outlet for emotion, and sometimes telling a story.  At least, that's how I write it.

Today I share with you a deeply personal poem, something that was written for someone who will never read it... unless by some strange twist of fate they discover this blog... but even then I doubt they'd ever consider this to be written for them...  Er, I don't know if they'd laugh, scream, or cry if they ever did realize... Oh, crap, I've said too much.  Let's just get on with it already!

I have kissed you in the dream
your skin so pure
and lips demure,
yet when the dawn came
crashing upon my eyes
I swear I saw your face
before the fleeting shadows
of the never night
assured you were not there.

I seek your passion,
the forbidden love
that never will be known,
for this man is a dreaming darkness
and you are the light in the night,
the light I can see within
the eyes that'll never know me.

Your alien world
holds many pains and pleasures
the secrets you'll never share
of your darkest despair.
It has nothing to do with me
for my love, unfulfilled
it shall ever be,
so I can never cause you pain

The dream that never dies
but never knows truth
is the saving grace
of this sleeping man
who toils in solitude
and of the unrequited loved
who will never know
the touch of my tender soul.

Forever it shall be
the agony of the impure
this heart of tarnished gold
loving chaste from afar
and ever praying
that you'll never be the whore.

In closing, I hope you appreciate the artistry of the piece, above all.  If you enjoy my poetry, let me know, so I'll know there's a reason to share more of it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Life of the Dead, Released!

Everything has finally come together for "Life of the Dead," and I am pleased to announce its official release.  It is currently available for the kindle, and the print version should be on Amazon soon.  Also, you can always buy copies from Martinus Publishing for $12, which is 95 cents off the regular retail price.  As for ebooks, this volume will be exclusive to the kindle, as a kdp select version.

There are some really great stories in this collection, and it's not just a bunch of typical horror zombie stories.  These stories are very character driven, with elements of sci-fi that make them quite fun to read.  Speaking as someone who isn't the biggest fan of the "zombie" genre, these stories are really good.

Want to read a sample?  Check out Joseph Conat's contribution, Tickity-Tock, a different kind of detective story!

Don't let the cover fool you; this isn't just zombie stories.  A lot of the tales deal with death in other ways.  Check out the tableof contents for an added feel for the storylines.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Man Who Shot Thomas Edison... at last!

Fans of "West of the Warlock" have been patient with me to bring out the third installment in this fantasy western series, and at long last that patience will be rewarded.  Coming in August, readers will finally be able to buy "The Man Who Shot Thomas Edison" in paperback or for the kindle!  The final formatting is complete for the book, and I should have the proof copy to review later this week.  Therefore, the book is now available for pre-order here.

This book was completed way back in 2012, and was part of the original trilogy contracted by Hall Brothers Entertainment for publication.  I was hoping to get this book into print sooner, but with all the responsibilities of running Martinus Publishing, it had to wait.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is the front cover artwork by Paul Milligan:

It's great to have the same artist on all 3 West of the Warlock book covers, and I'm glad that we were able to maintain the similar "pattern" to the three pieces.

This book will bring back the same characters you've come to enjoy (Sheriff Doliber, Ron Grimes, Joella Talus, Solen Lucca, just to name a few), and we'll get to meet some new ones who add new flavor to the wild west the way it wasn't.  I guarantee you, it won't be the last, as the fourth book is already written, and a fifth is also in the works.  The release date of these sequels will be contingent on sales of The Man Who Shot Thomas Edison.  If it sells well (breaks even), I'll be more inclined to get the next book out, so be sure to spread the word!

Unlike the first two books in the series, this one will be missing the editing talents of A.C. Hall.  I hope he's still finding time to write, and that I'll get to see some more of it one of these days.

So, who's fired up to read The Man Who Shot Thomas Edison?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Question Of Pronunciation

As Martinus Publishing grows and gains more popularity, a question keeps getting posed to me.  Namely, how do you pronounce Martinus?  It wasn't something I ever considered difficult, it was basically my first name with "us" tagged onto the end.  It actually originated as a joke ages ago regarding a "gladiator" name, but that's beside the point.

For those who might be in doubt, it is "Mar-tin-us."  Some people have mistakenly translated it as "Martinez" and a few times I've heard it as Martin U.S., with the last two letters spelled out.  Ironic, that I've had such trouble getting people to say my last name properly over the years, now I have an entire company that can trip them up!  It's only fitting, I suppose.

So, if anyone asks, make sure they know it's us, not is.