Monday, March 1, 2010

Goodbye, Blogger.

This will be my last post ever on this blog. I have created a new one over at

I have created a better site that I feel will be better equipped for promoting myself and my writing. So, anyone who has been reading this blog, I urge you to come by and visit me at the new site.

I'll leave this up for another day or two, then I will be taking this one down completely.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Masters of Horror: The Anthology

My story "Wounds" will be appearing in this upcoming anthology. It's a quiet horror story that I hope will stir a lot of emotion in the reader, and I'm really excited about this project.

I urge you all to purchase a copy of this book once it's available. There's a lot of good writers featured in it.

Masters of Horror: The Anthology should be available for purchase in May, though I believe this is still a tentative date, and this may be pushed back a bit.

From the back cover:

"Welcome to a world hidden behind the blinds of reality, a landscape waiting to be molded into a thing of pain and torture.
This anthology is not for the faint-hearted. The ideas, themes, and disturbing images portrayed within these pages will send your brain into overdrive on the road to madness.
Say hello to a new breed of horror writers, with fresh ideas and interesting takes on the weird and horrific.
Enjoy the new Masters of Horror, all hailing from the fiery pits of a horror community based at"

The Line-Up (links provided where available):
Joseph Mulak: “Wounds”
Angel Leigh McCoy: “The Barnes Family Reunion”
Carole Gill: “Truth Hurts”
Cassie Hart: “its all in the cards”
Marty Young: “Firelies of the Bushfire”
Jennifer Brozek: “Cost of Job Security”
Scott M. Goriscak: “Home Sweet Home”
Karen Johnson Mead: “One Day”
Lee Pletzers: “Teeth”
Bob Morgan Jr: “Ladies of the Scale”
KK: “Visitation”
Larry Kokko: “The Clifton house”
Jason Warden: “Once Seen”
William Cook: “Devil Inside”
Richard Barnes: “Something Unpleasant”
Mark Edward Hall: “The Fear”

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Okay, since it is now after midnight, it is technically January 31st and one day after my birthday, but I'm still going to post this. This is my "reflections on turning 30" blog.

But first, something I want to get off my chest:

I have issues with people who post comments on here anonymously. Only because some people make statements about me as if they knew me, but since they don't identify themselves, I have no idea.

For example, a few blog posts ago, I did a blog on "Why I'm an Atheist." A topic I was hoping would generate more discussion than it actually did. ANd when it did generate discussion, much of it wasn't intelligent. One person in particular decided to tell me that I DO in fact believe in God and they will pray for me.

Now, I'm curious as to how this person knows what I do or do not believe, and I wonder if this is someone I actually know or if this is just one of those Christians who believe that everyone believes in God deep down. However, since this person did not identify themselves, I'll never know.

So, I'm asking those who post anonymously, please at least let me know who you are. Especially if I know you. Thank you.

Now, on to our regularyl scheduled blog:

So, I'm 30 now. I don't feel any older than I did yesterday. I don't feel any different at all, really.
Every year on my birthday, I inevitably recap my entire life. Mostly because I feel like I should have accomplished something by now and, in the past, I always felt like I haven't.

Anyone who knows me is by now shouting: "You have four beautiful kids! That's a huge accomplishment!"

I get that a lot, and here's my response to that: My kids are beautiful. They are the best kids any father could ask for. I would do anything for them. I love them more than anything else in the world. However, I don't consider my children an accomplishment on my part for one very simple reason: Any idiot with a libido and a high sperm count can have kids.

Now, having said that, there are certain aspects of my children's personalities I would like to think I had a hand in nurturing.

1. My oldest daughter's love for reading. She's about as voracious a reader as I am, and she will (and has) read anything I give to her. One of my proudest moments was when she read (and loved) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. She read the Illustrated Classics edition which is geared to younger readers, and she read the thing in two days!

2. My children all have a natural curiousity and I like to think I helped by not discouraging them to ask questions. I always patiently answer them as best as I can, and often have to search for the answer on the internet when I don't know. I love the fact that all four of my kids seem to have a love of learning everything they can.

Okay, I can't think of anything else at the moment, but it's late and I'm tired.

So, I consider these things accomplishments.

Also, I posted earlier that I had a goal of getting published by the time I'm 30. I accomplished this at the age of 29 (talk about cutting it close!) by having my comedy/zombie story "As in Life, So in Death" published in SNM Horror Mag in March and my psychological flash fic piece "Fear Itself (Side note: My friend Kurt came up with both those titles, since I suck at them, he stepped up to the plate and came up with two awesome ones for those stories). published in Flashes in the Dark in July. Also, my story "Wounds" (I actually came up with that title) was accepted for publication earlier this year, but won't be out until several months from now. More on that as I get the info.

So those are a few other accomplishments.

There are others that happened this past year, however they're more of a personal nature, and I will keep them to myself. I just wanted to write this because sometimes we look at our lives and see ourselves as having no impact on society and we feel like we haven't accomplished anything just because we're not Mother Theresa, or we haven't won the Nobel Peace Prize.To anyone who believes that, I would like to quote the great Mr. Dickens, who said: "No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another." I like this quote so much, my wife made me a bracelet and inscribed those words on it. I believe this to be true. If you have ever helped another person, no matter how small the deed was, you matter and have accomplished something.

With that, I leave you.

Until next time,


I think of this anytime

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year Reflections

I wanted to post this on Dec. 31st, but life got in the way and I've been busy.

As I think most people do, since we are now in 2010, I've been thinking a lot about 2009. A lot happened last year. For those who don't follow me on Twitter and missed it, here's a brief rundown of big events that happened during 2009:

-I moved from Calgary to my hometown of North Bay, ON.

-I started spending a heck of a lot more time with my kids (I get them every second week now, which is wonderful).

-I got married to the most wonderful woman I have ever known.

-Two of my stories were published (this year marks my first time ever being published).

-We got a dog (this is my first time as a dog owner, and it's been a learning esperience for me.). The children named him Bolt.

So, it's been a pretty big year in our household.

So what does 2010 bring? Who knows? I'm hoping it will bring much more time with my kids, more stories published, the completion of a novel, and more time spent with my wife. I don't ask for much, really.

Anyway, I basically just felt like reminiscing about the past year. Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and spent it with loved ones.



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thoughts On Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us and, like every year, I feel myself getting more and more depressed as we get closer to the holiday.

I have fond memories of Christmas as a child. Unfortunately, most of those memories consist of presents I got or ways us altar boys used to goof off during the Christmas Eve mass without getting in trouble. The family dinners, the traditions and rituals that were performed have faded and I can barely remember them now. Some of them, I have forgotten completely.

These days, I don't really get presents anymore (mostly because I specify that I don't want any) and I haven't been an altar boy for a really long time, so I feel as though there is nothing special about the holiday for me anymore.

Don't get me wrong. There are good things about Christmas. This year, in particular, since it'll be the first time that I will have the children on Christmas Day in four years. This means, that I'll actually be able to see them open their presents from Santa early that morning and since I have them for the week prior, I get to watch the anticipation build as we get closer tothe big day.

But, if it weren't for the kids, I wouldn't even bother celebrating. I just don't see the point.

As an atheist, the religious aspect means absolutely nothing to me. I hate gift shopping, mostly because I'm horrible at figuring out what people want, and I usually get the polite but unenthusiastic "Oh, thanks. It's really...nice." Or even worse, "It's the thought that counts." Some people tell me Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, and I'll agree that this is important, but why do we need a day to spend with our loved ones? If we love them, do we need an excuse to spend time with them?

I could also go on and on about the whole commercialization of the holiday, and how it's lost it's true meaning, but I think that argument has been done to death, and we all know this is happening. You don't need me to tell you.

So why do I get depressed on Christmas?

Honestly, I don't know.

It could be that subconsciously I'm jealous at how others enjoy the holiday regardless of their religious beliefs and for some reason I seem unable to.

Maybe it's because I'm old and grumpy and look to find fault with everything and am just simpy unable to enjoy anything.

Maybe it's because my first marriage ended at Christmas time in 2005.

Maybe it's all these things rolled into one.

The fact remains, I don't like Christmas. Yet, there's a Christmas tree in my living room right now, and I did, in fact, help assemble it and decorate it. When people wish me a merry Christmas, I don't bitch them out and tell them I hate it (even though it's no secret). I simply wish them the same and be on my way. I will participate in family gatherings, and I'm sure a good time will be had by all, myself included--not because it's Christmas, but because family gatherings can be fun.

So, what's the point of all this? Nothing. I'm just rambling, because it's almost Christmas and all around me people are talking about it and getting excited and I just thought I'd throw in my two cents on the subject.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why I Don't Believe in God

Once again, it has been quite some time since I've posted on here. Life has been busy with a few crises happening and a few writing projects I've been working on. Not to mention I had a mishap with my laptop, and it was a struggle getting back the stories I had on there (me being the idiot I am didn't bother to back up any of my work). Thankfully, pretty much everything has been salvaged with the exception of one short I had started but didn't get very far into, two chapters of a horror novel and two chapters of a YA fantasy. The YA work I'm not concerned about since I have three chapters that survived in long-hand and I believe I can come fairly close to re-creating the two lost chapters, so I think I'm sitting pretty good.

Anyway, on to the task at hand. As per the title of this blog, I am an atheist, and I have been for a few years now. Realistically, I would say I've been one for the past five years.

There have been times during that five years when I've described myself as a christian, but this was more wishful thinking than anything. At that time, and even still today, I would like nothing more than for there to be a god who loves us and looks out for us, but I just can't resign myself to that belief for a few reasons:

1. The world makes more sense without God.

I say this because the world around me doesn't seem to make sense if God does exist. Good people suffer while bad people prosper. Children suffer and die every day. Some people who are Christians seem to be doing well for themselves, others aren't. Why is this? If God is blessing some christians, why not others? Why does it seem as though God blesses people who aren't christian? Or thos who claim to be but obviously aren't based on their actions? These are questions I have asked myself and others throughout my time in the christian church and never recieved an answer beyond "God works in mysterious ways." That cop-out answer just isn't good enough for me.

2. Christians bug me.

Now, the reason I say this is because I spent a long time as a member of a christian church, which I attended with my wife and family. I had made many friends in this church. Some of them I considered to be like family. I even spent time in their homes, and they in mine. We often went for coffee to discuss the bible, God, or just life in general. I thought I had good friends.

But then, something happened. My wife left me (please note: she left me. I did my best to reconcile the marriage, which is what the bible says to do, she is the one who ended it, and she is the one who refused to even attempt a reconciliation). Not only did she leave me, but she also decided to rake my name through the mud and start spreading untrue rumors of horrible things I did to her. She made me out to be a monster.

So, these christian friends of mine, what did they do? They chose to believe her, and I suddenly I was left alone and without friends.

Okay, to be fair, there were two who chose to still talk to me, but I always felt they were doing it because they felt obligated and not because they didn't believe the lies that were being spread about me.

So what does this tell me? The people in that church were more willing to believe someone who was lying to them (go figure!) than to realize that based on what they knew of me, I wouldn't be capable of such horrific things, and that, even if they were true, the whole philosophy of love the sinner, hate the sin, went right out the window. I was alone and in need of a friend, but all those christians whom I had thought were my friends for a few years, had deserted me.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. I've heard it before. People have told me, "You can't base that one incident to judge an entire group of people."

I agree with that %100. However, this isn't an isolated incident. I know more than a few people who've had similar experiences with the christian church, and I've had other experiences with different churches that have done the same thing.

The one conclusion that I've come to through all this is if God is real, why don't his followers practice his teachings? Since they don't, he seems to be doing absolutely nothing about the fact that his followers seem to be continuously giving him a bad name, I can draw no other conclusion that he doesn't exist.

3. There is evidence for atheism

Recently, I've discovered videos on YouTube psoted by a gentleman known only to me by his username, profMTH. If you haven't watched his videos, I highly recommend you do. They are very intelligent, well thought out, and well presented. This man spent many years in the Catholic church until he came to atheism three years ago. Since then, he's been posting videos on YouTube in support of atheism, and I can find no argument to refute the evidence in support of his claims. He uses biblical references to support his arguments, and is able to refute just about any claim that God exists or that the bible has any validity whatsoever. Once again, if you haven't watched these videos, I recommend that you do. He is funny as well as informative and I look forward to each new video he puts out.

4. Biblical contradictions.

Yes, at one point in my life I believed that the bible was the word of God, and that there weren't any contradictions. However, I now realize how wrong I was. If you don't believe me, I point you once again to profMTH and his ten video series entitled "Brief Bible Blunders." They are not only funny, but they bring up contradictions in the bible that seem to me to be unreconcilable. The contradictions are there, despite many pathetic attempts by christians to explain them away.

5. God isn't so great.

Even if the bible were true, this does not look good on God for many reasons:

-The bible condones slavery: Leviticus 25:44-46 (New International Version)
"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

-The bible promotes sexism: Genesis 3:16 (New International Version)
"Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

-The bible promotes homophobia: Romans 1:26-27 (New International Version)
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. "

-God describes himself as being jealous: Exodus 20:5-6 (New International Version)
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. "

This wouldn't bother me so much, except later on in 1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version) we read:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."

I'm sorry, but to me this means: "God does not love you." If God is jealous but to love someone means to not mbe envious (which is the same as jealousy), what other conclusion can one come to?

All I want to show with this is, even if the bible is true, who would want to worship a god like this? Not to mention the book of Job, in which God allows one of his servants to suffer some of the most horrific things that can befall a human being (loss of livelihood, children, health) just to prove a point to the devil. God of love? I don't think so.

And that, my friends, is why I choose not to believe in God. If anyone would like to comment, I am open to discussions on this topic.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, October 5, 2009


It's occurred to me recently, especially in those moments when I have way too much time to think (which has been happening way too often recently), that being happy isn't exactly conducive to writing horror.

I always found I tend to write better when I'm upset or just downright pissed off. The ideas for horror stories would flow faster than I could write them. I still have a few of those ideas rattling around in my brain, just waiting for me to finish what I'm currently working on so I can devote my full attention to them.

Here are a few of the things on my plate at the moment:

1. I'm currently working on a WAR themed story for a group I belong to. No plans on markets to submit this piece to, we all just decided to all write stories on a specific theme in order to help the creative juices flow. This story has been on a standstill for the last week, but I had an "AHA!" moment a few days ago, and I think I've finally figured out which direction this story wants to go, so I should have a first draft completed very soon.

2. I have just about finished editing another story. I'm very pleased with how this one turned out and I'm hoping to find a home for it soon.

3. Once those two stories are out of the way, I have another piece to write. This one won't be a horror story, but just a weird tale that I can't seem to get out of my head. I didn't want to start writing it until worked out some sort of ending for it, which I think I have now, so once I'm finished with the two tales mentioned above, I'll write this one next.

4. I spoke to a friend of mine, who is also a writer, about collaborating on a novella. He seemed pretty excited about the idea, so I told him I would shoot off some concepts I have to him (there are 3 novella ideas rattling around in my brain at the moment) and see if he digs any of them, and once we're both finished with the projects we have going, we might do this thing.

5. Even though the YA fantasy has been on hold for quite some time, I have every intention of getting back into it ASAP. I still love the idea for this book, and I want to get it done a s quickly as I can, while still making it as good as I can get it. With other stories I've been writing, I haven't been able to devote as much time to it as I'd like, but I'm hoping that will change in the near future.

6. The horror novel is on hold for the time being. I need to flesh it out a bit more before I can continue on with it.

7. I've been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMO is an event in which during the month of November, you basically write an entire novel. 50,000 words is the goal. I thought it would be a good challenge, and I came up with two novel ideas I'm kicking around. The only thing holding me back is that Both ideas are SF. One is hard SF, and the other is more of a screwball comedy taking place in SF setting. I'm not very well-versed in the genre, which is why I'm skeptical about trying either of these ideas for NaNOWriMo. But, we'll see. I may decide to do it yet.

So, those are the things that are on my plate these days.

But back to what I orginally set out to talk about here. Happiness.

I get way too much time to think these days, and I'm going through a lot of bullshit in my life right now, yet I realized today, that I am quite content with my life at this point. I'm confused by this, because I figure with everything going on, I should be hanging out of a window fifty stories up, wondering if life is really worth it.

But I'm not.

Despite everything going on, I've been spending an enormous amount of time with my kids. Right now, I get them every other week, and the time spent with them has been amazing. The kids and I have had a great time playing baseball, going to the park, taking the dog for walks, or just staying at home and watching a movie, or even building a fort for them in the living room. It's been wonderful, and I marvel every day at how I played a part in the creation of these beautiful human beings.

On top of that, I got married on August 22nd. It was a small, outdoor wedding, and rain threatened to interrupt it the entire time, but the day went off without a hitch. Not a drop of rain showed up, the temperature was just perfect. My brother and his wife even made it up, despite living in a different country, and my brother served as best man, while my wife's sister was the maid of honor.

We didn't have a lot of people there (between 40 or 50) but it was great. I preferred having only those closest to us present. One person couldn't attend, and I was disappointed, but it still worked out great.

So, I am now on my second marriage and it is world's apart from the first one.

In my first marriage, I was demeaned, controlled, and I felt worthless. It got to the point where I used to call work and ask if I could go in, just to get away from that atmosphere. I was made to feel like I didn't matter.

My new wife, is caring, supportive, and with her I feel like can accomplish anything. She never puts me down. Instead, she encourages me to strive for my dreams, and she'll do anything she can to help make them a reality. For the time in many years, I don't dread coming home. I look forward to it. I love waking up in the morning and having someone beside me. Even the days when we're both in the house doing our own thing, I still feel comfort just having her nearby. I've never felt this way with another person, and at times I feel like I don't deserve someone as wonderful as her.

Which brings me to the point that I brought up at the beginning of this blog: When I'm at a stage in my life when I'm this happy, I suddenly don't always feel about writing about the walking dead, people disemboweling each other, monsters, demons, or any other topics which make the horror genre. Which might be where these ideas for fantasy and SF stories have come from all of a sudden.

Maybe once I start learning how to cope with being happy (yes, it's been long enough that I actually now have to learn how to handle happiness,) I can use it to my advantage for writing in the genre which I have known and loved for many years.

In the meantime, we'll see what my brain comes up with for stories in the meantime.