Curious Fictions: Two Free Stories

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Note: No original article this week. I’m off visiting with family. But have no fear! I have two free stories for everyone!

Curious Fictions is the new hotness for authors like myself. It’s a website that allows us to post free stories and cultivate a followership. The website is clean and very easy to navigate. I’ve joined Curious Fictions to encourage me to write and get stories out into the world. I plan on using the platform to give attention to stories that I love, but may not be right for most markets.

I’ve put up two stories, both of which can be found here.

My first story, ‘The Eldritch Film Club’, is a weird little story written in the 2nd person. I love this thing to death though, so please take a look.

The second is called ‘Manifesto: Abnormality at Z33.1’. This story came about after I spent a couple of days outlining a novella idea. I saw the skeleton of a fun little story and this is what came of it. If this novella ever sees the light of day, this will serve as a perfect little prequel.

Monthly Review (February 2019)

Cupid’s arrow has come and gone… It’s the end of February, and that means it’s time for another Monthly Review! It’s the shortest month of the year, so I won’t waste your time. Let’s get down to some (chocolate and roses) brass tax!

Story Submissions:

Submissions: 2

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 4

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 0

Two more submissions to add to the list! One submission, and one new story. Fingers crossed as always.

What else have I been doing?

An interview with haunted radio jockey/author Matthew M Bartlett!

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Matthew M Bartlett is one of my favorite writers working in horror. The universe that he has created is unique and fascinating. While plenty of writers create creepy small towns, few populate them with such demented characters. I urge you to follow the links in the interview and buy some of his books! His first two collections are quick reads, but they are worth every minute.

Next month’s author interview will be with Carrie Laben, who has a book releasing from Word Horde next month.

My Favorite Horror Films of the 2010s

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Another Twitter trends strikes again! In this article I sum up my favorite horror film from each year (2010-2018). It’s a new feature I’ll be following up on periodically that I’m calling ‘Decades of Horror’. It’s got a good ring to it right? Maybe? I don’t know. I’m doing it anyway.

Two stories up at Curious Fictions!

I’ve been trying my best to follow the ‘write every day’ Golden Rule. I don’t hit most days, but that’s okay. And not everything I create is solid gold, ready to battle it out in slush piles. I’ve joined Curious Fictions to encourage me to write and get stories out into the world. I plan on using the platform to give attention to stories that I love, but may not be right for most markets. My first story, ‘The Eldritch Film Club’, is a weird little story written in the 2nd person. I love this thing to death though, so please take a look. I’ll also be posting a second one this week called,  ‘Manifesto: Abnormality at Z33.1’. This story came about after I spent a couple of days outlining a novella idea. I saw the skeleton of a fun little story and this is what came of it. If this novella ever sees the light of day, this will serve as a perfect little prequel.

If you like the sound of these two stories and may want to see more, I encourage you to follow my Curious Fictions profile and maybe throw a few bucks my way.

One more thing before we go: I’ll be sending out a new newsletter tomorrow! Please subscribe to get original content and more goodness.

That’s it for now! I’ll see everyone next month!

 

My Favorite Horror Films of the 2010s

I fell in love with a  Film Twitter trend back in November. As you’ve seen in the past, I have a certain affinity for these kind of trends.

This particular trend was focused on ‘your favorite films of the 2010s’. I made my list. It took me like 15 minutes, and I had loads of fun. What are your favorite horror films of the 2010s? Think of this piece as a sequel to my tweet. Favorite Films of the 2010s: Electric Boogaloo.

2010:

Insidious

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This movie made James Wan and Blumhouse the household names that they are today. Insidious is still a fantastic horror film, crammed full of brilliant jump scares and some truly chilling settings. The mystery of The Further is still intact. The sequels (each worse than the last) hadn’t sullied it quite yet.

2011:

You’re Next

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or The Cabin in the Woods or Grave Encounters

What a fantastic year! I had to really mull my pick here over. The Cabin in the Woods is meta-brilliance. Grave Encounters is the best found-footage film ever, and it’s not even close. But You’re Next is the 2011 release I find myself re-watching the most. The violence, the music and the premise make a dark comedy sundae with a sprinkle of  some well-executed fight sequences on top. This film was a pleasant surprise in 2011, and it still remains a treasure.

2012:

Sinister

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Hello again, Blumhouse! Welcome back! And… wait… Is that Ethan Hawke there behind you!? If you’re here on my blog reading this article, chances are you like horror. And that means you know exactly what happens to characters that just have to solve mysteries in this genre. Bad things. Bad things involving a vengeful demon, evil children, and some of the most jaw-dropping fictional snuff films this side of the Mississippi. These grainy pieces are the vertebrae that forms the backbone of this film.

2013:

Oculus

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Or The Conjuring or Evil Dead

Last year, we all loved Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. If you loved that show, you’ll love Mike Flanagan’s film Oculus. The seamless transitions between memories and the present day conjure a nightmare logic that is unmatched. Great performances, great ghost design, and my favorite scene involving a lightbulb of all time.

2014:

The Babadook

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I saw this in an Alamo Drafthouse when I lived in New Mexico. Not only was it one of the nicest theaters I’ve ever been in, but this is one of the greatest horror movies I’d ever seen. Full stop. The horrors of motherhood is a horror film staple, and rarely is it as gripping and harrowing as it is in The Babadook.

2015:

The Invitation

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The worst dinner party ever? That’s a fact. Here’s another fact: this movie is a masterpiece. Well shot, well acted, with just enough visual flair and suspense to last you for it’s entire run time. The Invitation is worth it for the ending alone. Karyn Kasuma struck a cord with this film. And that’s what good horror does. It uses our fears and, more importantly, our expectations to unnerve us. The thing is, we know something is wrong with this dinner party. But it’s all about the journey.

2016:

The Void

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Practical effects with a killer Lovecraftian edge. This is an indie horror darling. While it’s not perfect (the performances are a little shaky), it is certainly a rip-roaring tentacled good time. It feels like a John Carpenter film that time-traveled to the great year of 2016.

2017:

Happy Death Day

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Fun fact: I don’t like horror comedies (save for a select few). The tonal balance usually doesn’t work for me. But Blumhouse has done it again! Happy Death Day is an utter delight. It introduces a fun new slasher villain and treats us to another stellar entry in the Groundhog Day genre.

2018:

Hereditary

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Some horror movies are fun. Hereditary is not that. But it is powerful. My mouth hung open for a majority of this thing’s run time. Toni Collette’s performance is hard to watch, but in a very good way. I think Hereditary will go down as a landmark in this genre in the years to come.

That’s the 2010s! I would like to potentially do some other decades. I think the 1980s would serve as a real challenge. I’m not sure if I could kill my horror darlings so easily…

 

Monthly Review (January 2019)

Hello everyone and welcome to 2019! This was a pretty busy month for me. Lots of juggling of various projects and plans. Before I get into them, I wanted to briefly talk shop.

I’ll be carrying what I did in 2018 with my blog into this year! Three posts a month, sometimes more. The first one will be on the first Wednesday, and it will be an Author Interview! The second post (the second Wednesday of the month) will be a feature article of some sort. The final Wednesday of the month will be my Monthly Review, where I will do a wrap-up the month and make any further writing announcements! Okay. Enough of that. Let’s dive into submission numbers!

Story Submissions:

Submissions: 1

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 2

Acceptances: 1

Rejections: 3

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And…. acceptance. Like most story acceptances, I can’t share too many details. I will say this though: the story will be available next month!

What else have I been doing?

Writing reviews and features for High Fever Books!

High Fever Books

High Fever Books is a website created by horror author Michael Patrick Hicks, and I’ll be joined by an entire team of talented reviewers and writers! We’ll be doing features and writing reviews of the best books that horror fiction has to offer!

My first piece on the website is below! I made a master list of my Most Anticipated Reads for 2019, and this article is over-flowing with incredible reads. This includes reads from S.P. Miskowski through Georgina Bruce.

Speaking of S.P. Miskowski, I also did a review of her newest novelThe Worst Is Yet to Come! I loved it, and if you want to know more, you should pre-order the book and then read my review .

Meanwhile at logannobleauthor.com…

An interview with Trevor Henderson!

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My first Author Interview of the year is with horror artist Trevor Henderson! His found footage art is simply incredible. I’ve been blown away by the quality and depth of his work since I discovered him on Twitter. In this interview, Trevor and I talk about how he got started, and some of the challenges of being an artist!

Next month I’ll be interviewing author Matthew M. Bartlett, who is swiftly becoming one of my favorite authors.

2019, the Year of the Fungi Monsters

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I wrote up a piece talking about some of my goals for 2019. I talk about books, writing and other fun stuff. It’s always nice to take survey of my goals, whether they’re big or small.

My Video Games of 2018: Shooting Aliens and Collecting Strawberries

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It can’t be the start of a new year unless I talk in depth about the year previous! This article is about exactly what you’d think it would be about: video games! I count down my five favorite of the year, and talk about some other games that I think deserve your attention.

My creative energy is up, and I hope you guys are enjoying your first month free from the evils of 2018!

My Video Games of 2018: Shooting Aliens and Collecting Strawberries

If you want to learn about a person, look through their video game library. What type of games do they enjoy? How many hours have they poured into sports games? What system do they prefer? Gaming has never been taken as seriously as film or literature, but I think the medium deserves its day in court. The stories and mechanics of games are some of the best ways to enjoy a multitude of worlds in a very active way. I, like more writers, love stories of all kinds. And the five (plus) games that are included on this list are some of the best stories you can enjoy with a controller in hand.


5. Destiny 2: Forsaken

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This is the only MMO I’ve ever loved. It’s not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination. But it has its charms. This game universe is space opera at its best. It’s all about gun-toting space wizards at war with a Lovecraftian darkness. You go on quests, you battle four or five different alien races, each with a unique design and history. This soundtrack is epic and soaring, and each planet has its own suite of brilliant music. When you’re not questing alone, you’re doing it with friends. Many of the toughest environments in the game require a group to even get through. And when you get bored with killing aliens, you can always drop into the competitive Crucible mode and battle against other players.

I’ve put more hours into this game than any other in 2018. It’s endless loot and shoot gameplay is addicting, if a bit disrespectful of your time. But it’s Destiny 2: Forsaken’s flavor that keeps bringing me back.

Destiny 2: Forsaken isn’t a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination. I have periods where I don’t play anything else. And then I have periods where I want to blow this game out into space (See my article from October: Tim Burton Spook Music: An Ode to Destiny 2’s Halloween Event).


4. Celeste

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On the surface, this is the kind of throwback platformer that are a dime a dozen in any game system e-store. I heard the merits of this game screamed over every video game podcast and website for months after Celeste’s initial release. And then it happened again when this dropped on the Switch. So, after I found myself bored and sleepy on a Saturday morning, I snatched this up from the Holiday PS4 sale.

But Celeste is not just another recycled platformer. It’s precise and brutally tough, and happens to have a beautiful core. Celeste is the mountain. You play Madeline, who is climbing that mountain. You meet a variety of goofy characters, and get to watch Madeline grow as your skills grow. Celeste has a lot to say about depression and self-worth. It comes at those issues in a mature way that we don’t often see in games like this. This game is beyond sweet and worth the challenge.


3. Red Dead Redemption 2

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This had to be my most anticipated game of the year. And, as I’m sure you already know, Rockstar delivered. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a slow, momentous beast of a game. You fill the shoes of gruff everyman Arthur Morgan. You run with his gang and commit crimes. Things go good, things go bad and then they go even worse. The Dutch Van Der Linde gang is filled with characters that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. When you’re not riding through beautiful natural vistas or shooting everything, you’re hanging out in camp, drinking and listening to tales of the glory days.

This is not a happy game. But this is a story that everyone should experience. It’s beautiful and savage, and filled with more minutia in the moment to moment gameplay than you could ever want. But if you take a breath and get on RDR2’s wave length, you’ll feel like a cowboy.


2. Marvel’s Spider-Man

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HOLY CRAP I’M SPIDER-MAN AND I’M SWINGI–WAIT–DID YOU SEE THAT!?

That stream of Caps above is an approximate approximation of what was happening in my brain while I was playing this game. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a perfect Spider-Man game. The swinging is fast and the combat is simple to learn and a joy to master. Insomniac has crafted a New York City that is a joy to explore. Avengers Tower! The Sanctum Sanctorum!

But that’s not all. The story explores Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s relationships and his place in this world. Old rogue’s gallery villains are recreated in unique and brilliant ways. It can’t be ignored just how clean and fluid this entire game feels. The collectibles and side missions are fun to experience and collect. And the end couple of missions of this thing are *sighs* wonderful.


1. God Of War

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God of War is nearly perfect. Let’s break it down. A character piece for Kratos and his son. A combat system that is both visceral and beautiful. A world steeped in history and magic. Adventure on a scale rarely recreated in this generation of games. Probably the best looking PS4 exclusive!

But it’s not just that. Both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spider-Man had those same qualities. But God Of War stands apart. This is a video game story of loss and of growing love. Kratos is a man with a horrible past. He has known loss both in his past and very much in his present. And to watch this wild demigod grow as a person and as a father felt momentous in every conceivable way. Come for the Leviathan axe and stay for the character growth.


Bonus Round….

Can I talk about some runner-ups? Kind of. I played a few other games that aren’t quite Top 5 material, but deserve your attention in some other way. The only other game that belonged this high up was Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. It’s another rip-roaring adventure game where you get to jump off stuff and have awesome sword fights. And, if you play as Kassandra, it’s kind of like you’re playing as Wonder Woman. Which is cool.

The other game I wanted to talk about is Call of Cthulhu. This game is…not anything that I wanted it to be. It’s essentially a walking simulator with some very diet-light environmental puzzles. But being able to spend some slow time in a quaint little Lovecraftian world is kind of fun. If you can snag this game up for cheap (or maybe a rental?) I think you should do it. Especially if you’re a Lovecraft horror nut.

This was the year I discovered the joys of the PS4 Platinum trophy system. I’m by no means a trophy hunter, but I enjoy the added value of hunting them down. Earning the Platinum likely means you’ve seen most of what the game has to offer. I earned five Platinum trophies this year: The Order: 1886,  God of War, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Fallout 4. My Fallout 4 platinum was the most well-earned. I love the Fallout franchise, though Fallout 76 may be the worst game I played all year. Scratch that, the worst game I’ve played in the last five.


That is my version of the gaming year that was 2018. This year was abnormally strong, but it wasn’t without its disapointments. This was the year that made me glad to own a PS4. This was the year where I was inspired and strengthened by the games that I played.

 

2019, the Year of the Fungi Monsters

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Despite my best efforts to freeze time, 2019 has arrived. With the New Year comes 12 months worth of opportunities. As a writer, that means a lot. This industry takes time, so it’s good to get out ahead of it and lay out some goals. I wanted to keep them relatively simple this year.

Write a Story a Month!

I absolutely destroyed my backlog of stories this year for submission. It’s a good thing, but also kind of a bad thing… I only have two stories in the coffers to send out. That is unacceptable. I focused on writing stories specifically for theme anthologies, which doesn’t make them easy to send out to other places. If they weren’t accepted, I had to stash them away. I have a pizza-horror themed story that I now have nothing to do with.

So I need to refill the coffers! One story a month, edited and waiting to find a home. It is an easy goal, especially considering I have 4 or 5 stories that are half way done and just ready for me to pick them back up again. I would like to eventually have enough quality stories to put into a collection.

Reading Challenge! 30 Books!

I slayed my Reading Challenge for 2017 and 2018, and I’m back for another round. I had trouble hitting my number this year, and I don’t have any excuses for it. I have a momentous TBR pile lurking in the shadows of my guest room. I will be battling that beast over the next twelve months. Follow me on Goodreads, and stick around here to read some reviews. And speaking of reviews…

Do More Freelance Work!

I’ll be writing reviews for a newly stood up website! I’ll be partnering with horror author Michael Patrick Hicks for his new site High Fever Books. I’ll be posting any pieces I do over there on here for your reading pleasure. I’ve got some interesting ARCs coming my way to review, and I couldn’t be more excited.

But I want to do more freelance work outside of that! Time between short story publications can take awhile, so it helps to try and get my name out on various websites. I want to do some film pieces, and maybe a video game piece or two as well.

Submit 25 Times in 2019

I hit the very strange number of 24 for my submissions in 2018. I would like to submit 25 different times in 2019, and I’ll be tracking the numbers right here on my site. To hit this number, I’ll have to write a lot more stories, which thankfully ties into number 1 on this list!

I’ve designated 2019 as the year of the fungi monsters. Why? I don’t know. It sounds cool. And maybe I’m working on a story about fungi monsters. Just maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Review (2018)

2018 was kind of a big year for me. I started 2018 in kind of a rut. I was feeling crappy about my skills as a writer. Not to mention my progress in my still very early career. It’s a silly feeling, but it’s a tough one to crack. Thankfully, I feel a little better now. I certainly made some good progress. I came out on the other side UNSCATHED.

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This Monthly Review will be a little bit different. I’ve tabulated the numbers and dotted the T’s to come out with this special edition of the Monthly Review. The last for the year (*cue dramatic music*). 

What am I proud of this year?

This blog!

I revamped and redesigned it. I started my Monthly Interview feature back in July, and I couldn’t be more excited about all the people I’ve interviewed so far. Writers and creators that I respect and look up too. Lovecraftian master Pete Rawlik. Dark horror maverick Kristi DeMeester. Michael Wehunt. Orrin Grey! Kelly (Nebula Winner!) Robson! I’ll continue to conduct these interviews, and learn about how the writing sausage gets made. It’s fantastic.

Three posts a month. That was my goal! I hit that every month, sometimes more. I wrote some pieces this year that I’m extremely proud of. If I had to pick a couple of favorites? I made-up a horror film festival and gave Richard Upton Pickman his very own profile. I also urge that you read every interview I posted. There is a lot to learn as a writer.

How about them numbers…

Submissions: 23

Acceptances: 3

Rejections: 18

Still Out in The Wild: 2

Those are some fun numbers! Look at that ratio! Three acceptances is lower than previous years, but I have gotten a bit more picky on where I send stories.

That was 2018! Thank you to everyone who chatted with me on Twitter or Instagram. Thanks to everyone who bought a book with one of my stories in it, or read any of my articles I posted here. We’re headed into 2019 right. Expect a writing goals article sometime in January.