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Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Short Story by Yours Truly

The Name of this story is "Bunt." It's very short, but I hope you enjoy it. It used to be posted on my Suspense Horror site, but since it isn't horror at all, I eventually took it down from there.


His mother was happy to see him, even though he was late. She wore light-colored clothes, a wide-brimmed straw hat and sandals. She flashed a toothy smile.

“Thought you were gonna stand me up.” She said joking.

“Traffic was heavy.”

“That’s alright, so long as you’re here. I really need this Marvin.”

“I understand. You deserve a break.”

He followed her into the house, through the living room and into the bedroom near the back. The old man was lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling.

His mother went to the window and drew back the curtain. Bright Georgia sunshine filled the room. “Everything you need is right here. I got some gloves in the hall closet and there’s disinfectant under the kitchen sink.”

“I know Mom. I used to live here.”

“Don’t be a smartass.” Then she added: “Are you sure you’re up for this?”

“I can handle it. Go enjoy yourself.”

His mother went back to the living room and gathered up her purse, keys, and sunglasses. “There’s some tuna fish in the refrigerator if you get hungry.”


“Call me on my cell phone if you need anything.”

“I’ll be alright.”

“I know you will honey.” She was heading out the door but she turned to face her son. She placed her hands on his cheeks. He was almost a foot taller than her, so she had to pull him down to kiss his forehead. “You’re a good son, you know.”

He smiled in that irksome way that reminded her of his late father, God rest his soul. “Don’t make a big deal of it, Mom.”

“Don’t tell your mother what to do.” She kissed him again, palming his face as she had done since he was still wet from the womb. Her hands were wrinkled and leathery and veined on one side, and soft and white on the other. “You look so much like your father, God rest his soul.”

“I know, Mom. You’ve told me that before.” Only his smile was like his father’s. Most people thought he favored her more.

“And you’re a smartass like him also.” She was serious for only an instant and then she was gone. Down the stairs, across the lawn and into the red Buick. She honked and waived and drove off.

Marvin returned to the bedroom. “Hey Grandpa.”

“Hey there, son.” The man spoke as if he knew him but Marvin knew better.

“I’m gonna fix you something to eat in a minute, alright?”


Marvin went into the kitchen, fired up the stove and got a pot of water to boil. He found two packs of instant oatmeal, a bowl and a spoon. He ignored the tuna.

While he waited for the pot to boil, Marvin got Grandpa’s wheelchair and set it near the bed.

“Wanna watch some TV with me Grandpa?”


“I’m gonna have to take you into the living room.”

“That’s fine.”

Marvin took hold of Grandpa’s hands and tried to pull him into a sitting the position, but the old man’s could not bend his waist. Marvin then took his grandfather by the feet and spun him around so his legs stuck out over the floor. Marvin crouched down, worked his hands around Grandpa’s torso and laced his fingers together. Using his legs, Marvin heaved the old man up into a standing position.

Grandpa yelled: “What’re you doing?”

“Gotta get you into your wheelchair, Grandpa.” Marvin’s voice strained with exertion.

“No, that’s alright. Put me down!”

“I got you Grandpa, just hold still.”

“Put me down, I said!”

They did an odd dance, Marvin holding the old man upright, trying to turn and put him into the wheelchair. Fortunately, Grandpa was short or it would have been much harder.

“Hold still, Grandpa!”

“Put me down! Let me go, you bastard!”

Marvin was now tottering over the wheelchair, trying not to fall and injure them both. “Stop it, Grandpa! I’m not gonna drop you.”

Finally, Marvin was able to seat his grandfather into the wheelchair. Marvin was breathing heavily from the ordeal. Grandpa was grumbling with indignation. “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Grandpa did not answer. He just looked past Marvin, a cross expression on his face.

Despite his exhaustion, Marvin wanted to laugh. This was the man who taught him how to bunt and field grounders. This man once played for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team and claims to have known Jackie Robinson back in Montreal. Now, Grandpa did not even know the name of the grandson he was angry with. “Come on,” said Marvin grabbing the handles. “Let’s go watch some baseball.”

By the middle of the first inning, the water was at full boil. By the beginning of the second, Marvin had a steaming bowl of oatmeal set out in front of Grandpa on a small folding table. By the end of the third inning, the oatmeal was gone and Grandpa was cordial again.

Marvin put the dishes in the sink and considered the tuna. But his mother always used too much onion, so he passed. The cleanup hitter was due up so he hurried back into the living room. Marvin was greeted by a curious smell.

“Grandpa, did you crap yourself?”


“What’s that I smell?”

“I don’t know.”

“Grandpa, I think you crapped yourself.”

“Don’t you lie on me.”

Marvin walked over to Grandpa and leaned down. Marvin inhaled and immediately recoiled in disgust. “Grandpa! You stink!”

“I said, don’t you lie on me.”

“That ain’t no lie! You do stink!”

Grandpa ignored him and watched the cleanup hitter strike out. Grandpa’s face was cross again.

Remembering his mother’s instructions, Marvin got everything he needed. He found the adult diapers and baby wipes. He filled a small, plastic basin with warm water. He found a pair of disposable latex gloves, a plastic shopping bag, and a facemask. Marvin lifted the old man out of the wheelchair and set him on the floor. Grandpa was cursing and fussing the entire time. Marvin turned Grandpa around so that he was on his knees leaning against the living room sofa.

“I can’t see my game!”

“The game’s gonna have to wait.”

“I wanna see my game!”

“Then you shouldn’t have crapped all over yourself.”

“Lemme see my game, dammit!”

“Not until I clean you.”

Marvin pulled Grandpa’s pants down. Grandpa’s skin was saggy and gelatinous. Like boiled chicken skin. Marvin tore the diaper at the seam, and cringed at the site and smell that lay beneath.

“Oh my God,” Marvin whispered.

Grandpa chuckled.

Marvin took three wipes, doused them in the bucket of water, wrung them out, and began to clean his grandfather’s behind. When those wipes were too filthy to use anymore, he got another three. After twelve wipes Marvin turned to get a clean diaper.

Marvin heard a spraying sound and whipped his head back around. “Grandpa! No!” Marvin scrambled to catch the hot urine shooting out of his grandfather. He cupped the diaper around the man’s penis and held it tight.

Marvin closed his eyes and forced them to stay dry. This was no way for a man to live out his final days. No man should have to pee into a diaper and have his behind wiped by his grandson. This man practiced bunting with Jackie Robinson. This man deserved dignity, not Depends.

When Grandpa was done, Marvin put the diaper in the shopping bag and got a fresh one. He had to take off Grandpa’s pants in order to get the new diaper on. When Grandpa was fully dressed, Marvin lifted him back into the wheelchair. Grandpa did not fuss this time. Probably feeling guilty, Marvin thought.

Marvin cleaned the urine on the floor. He put the pad, crappy diaper, wipes, and gloves into the shopping bag. He tied up the bag, took it out back, dumped the water and returned the basin. He decided the oniony tuna fish might not be so bad after all. He washed his hands, made a sandwich and went back to the game.

By the seventh inning, Grandpa was sound asleep. Marvin thought about his mother. For her, it was always the third inning. She did this everyday. She could not afford a fulltime nurse. Neither Uncle Jake nor Aunt Pym offered to help much.

The phone rang. Marvin knew who it was before he answered it. “Hey Mom.”

“Hi honey. How’s Grandpa doing?”

“He’s fine. He was watching baseball with me but he’s sleeping now.”

“Did he give you any problems?”

Marvin hesitated. “No. He was fine.”

“Tell me the truth Marvin.”

“I am.”

“Why did you hesitate?”

“Because Arod was up.”


“Alex Rodriguez. He’s the cleanup hitter.”

His mother chuckled. “You and that baseball. Did you know your grandfather used to play professional ball?”

“Yeah. He told me about it.”

“He knew Jackie Robinson in Montreal, before he came to Brooklyn. Grandpa swears he taught Jackie how to bunt.”

“He definitely taught me how to bunt.”

“I’ll be home soon. Alright?”

“Alright. You know DeNiro got a new movie out?”

“Really? What’s it called?”

“I forgot. But it’s supposed to be good. Why don’t you go see it?”

“No. I gotta come home and take care of Grandpa.”

“He’s sleeping. Besides, I’ll be here.”

“You sure?”


“You’re such a good son. Did you see that tuna?”

“Yeah. I ate all of it. I was hungry.”

“I’ll make you some more when I get home. I know how you like those onions in it.”

“Okay, Mom.”

“Alright. Love you dear.”

“Love you too.”

Marvin put the phone down and returned to the game. Arod surprised everyone and placed a perfect bunt down the third base line.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Best Science Fiction Movies Are Now Discussed on My New Site

Where to go to find the best science fiction movie information out there? Oh wait...I owe you an explanation.

I know it's been a while. But I had to take some time to work on other projects and prepare my new website. Here's how it all goes.

My original website was but it wasn't just about horror. Even though "horror" was in the URL, I realized that I was interested in much more than just horror.

So I changed the NAME of the site to Fiction in Books and Movies and decided to write about anything and everything dealing with fiction.

Well that got old pretty quick. First, there's just too much information out there. It's impossible for one may to stay abreast of all the things happening with books and movies at all times.

Secondly, I had a feeling the URL containing the word horror was chasing away those people looking for scifi, fantasy and mystery, even though I discussed all three at great length.

So...after some time I decided to start a new site. This one is and is the first of three spin-offs from the horror-fiction site.

Even though the sf&f site is not complete yet, it is fully running with several articles and science fiction movie trailers.

As for the horror fiction site, that has been modified as well. I've removed the "Fiction in Books and Movies" title to something more representative of the site's content. I've removed most of the sf&f info that was there and have refocused the site on just horror. This is also a work in progress, but should be complete soon.

Once again, I'm sorry. Won't happen again.

I hope.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Not Really a New Direction

I know it's been a while since I've last posted. Just got really involved in enhancing the website. I'm working hard on using different keywords and really trying to focus on monetizing the site more.

Also, I'm going to focus more on movie and book reviews. I've found those are easy and fun to do and I have an almost limitless bank of information to choose from. So far I've done reviews on the following movies:

Gone Baby Gone
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Spiderman Trilogy
The Mummy Return of the Dragon Emperor
The Bourne Trilogy

More will come as time passes. I'm also working on doing more top ten lists. These are also pretty fun to do since I pretty much just get to run my mouth about why I think some movies or books are better than others. So far I've done top ten lists on the following subjects.

Superhero Movies
Science fiction movies
Fantasy movies
Stephen King books

I've got lots more of those to run out also. I've also added a few general info articles like watching free movies online.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Give Heath Ledger the Oscar

If you've read my review of The Dark Knight you would know that I absolutely loved this movie. I really do believe it's one of the best movies made in the past twenty years.

However, it's a little saddening that The Dark Knight may not win any Oscars. Unless of course, Heath Ledger wins for best supporting actor. Christian Bale is not going to win for best actor. I doubt the Academy will give The Dark Knight the Best Picture award either. Maybe best director or best screenplay has a shot, but I think the best chance is Heath Ledger as best supporting actor.

What do you think? Should Heath Ledger win for best supporting actor? Can The Dark Knight win awards in any other major category?

Friday, July 25, 2008

X-Files: I Want To Believe Movie Review

This is the second movie based on the hit Fox television series. While the first movie that was released in 1998 was a culmination of events that took place throughout the series, this version was more like a stand alone episode. There were no big conspiracies, no government cover-ups or anything like that. Just one very creepy case.

For those of you that are already familiar with the X-Files series, then this movie should fit well with you. It's just like watching a longer episode from the television series.

If you are not familiar with the series, this movie might make you a fan. Even though you might not be familiar with some of the historical references that come up in the movie, the case itself and the acting were all well enough to make you enjoy the mystery. And there is very little science fiction in this movie. There are a few references, of course, but nothing like the first movie with aliens, and spaceships, and pods.

What I liked:
Reminded me of the series
A few really creepy moments
Decent mystery

What I didn't like:

Not enough action at times
Lotta talkin'

Overall, I give this movie 3 quarters out of 4 quarters. It certainly wasn't bad or boring. It was actually pretty decent. But nothing to go crazy about.

Time to Begin the Mystery Section

The science fiction section of my website is done now. It's time to start the mystery section and I can't wait. I was not pleased with my progress in the scifi section at all. It took me almost a month to write up only five pages. I can't let that happen again on the mystery fiction section. I hope to have the first five pages done within 1 week, ten days tops.

The good thing about mystery is that I've read a lot of it. I would say I've probably read more mystery fiction than perhaps any other genre except for horror. Of course, this would include spin-off genres like suspense and thrillers.

I plan on seeing the new X-Files movie later on today. I should have a review by tonight, and a video review on Youtube.

Let's keep our mind on the goal: One week to finish the Mystery Fiction section.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top Ten Fantasy Movies From the Past Ten Years

Don't you hate wasting money on a bad movie? I know I do. That's why I like creating these top 10 lists of the best movies to make it easier on all of us. My top 10 scifi movies from the past decade is already listed. Now, here is my list of the top 10 fantasy movies of the past decade with ratings.

10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 3
9. Shrek 2 - 3
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - 3
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - 3
6. Enchanted - 4
5. Cars - 4
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - 4
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 4
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 4
1. The Green Mile

You may want to look over my rating system and see how it works. And visit my website and discover more about fantasy and other fiction genres.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cloverfield DVD Review

I watched the DVD Cloverfield today. Cloverfield is a science fiction movie about a group of friends in New York trying to survive an attack by some strange monsters. This movie was unique in that the entire film was made to look as if it was shot with a camcorder.

To me this movie was okay. It was just another "Monster Attacks New York" movie like King Kong, Godzilla, Independence Day, and a bunch of others. The only thing that makes this movie stand out is the unique filming perspective. I thought that made the film different, and helped liven up the overdone plot. However, at times I couldn't stand the camcorder perspective because it made it difficult to view certain parts of the film.

I was very upset that there wasn't more closure to the film. We never find out where the darn monsters come from in the first place. And given that the movie was aiming for realism, I found it annoying that all of the actors looked perfect. No one was heavyset, no one had any deformities, no one was balding, no one looked ugly. All of the characters were picture perfect models-type actors, a very annoying science-fiction cliche.

What I liked
Lots of clever banter
Great shots of NYC from different overhead angles

What I didn't like
Ambiguous ending
Too many pretty actors
Over used plot

I give this movie only 2 quarters. You might need to familiarize yourself with my rating system.

I'm glad I rented it instead of paying $10 bucks for a ticket. I'm pretty sure it won't make my top 10 list for 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Perhaps I should qualify this post by stating that I have always been a huge Batman fan. But it doesn't really matter.

Look folks. This movie is fantastic. The Dark Knight is the best movie I've seen all year. It's probably the best movie I've seen in over a year. If you only see one summer blockbuster, then, Go. See. This. Movie.

The Dark Knight is so realistic it's scary. This movie was as realistic as a movie about a comic book can get. I'm tempted to start another portal on my website dedicated to comic books and their movie spin-offs. I'll think about it, but for now I classify The Dark Knight as a mystery.

Move over Spider-Man. This is how a comic book movie should be done.
Move over Jack Nicholson. Heath Ledger is officially the best Joker ever.

What I liked
The Joker in a nurse's uniform.
The camera work was stupendous.

What I didn't like

Maybe it was a little too long.

Read the earlier posts to understand my rating system. I give The Dark Knight 4 quarters. Yes folks; this movie is a full buck and worth every damn cent. Go see this movie.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Page Added

I added a new page to the website today about science fiction genres. Four major genres and themes were discussed in this article those being:

Time Travel
Space Opera

Each genre is represented by several movies. I don't bother rating any of them since my main concern was discussing the genres themselves and giving the reader an idea of what they were.

Another page was added a few days ago discussing science fiction cliches. This article is a little humorous, but my intention was to help writers avoid common scifi pitfalls. It's a very short article and happily free of affiliate links.

If you're considering purchasing a book or movie online, please visit my Amazon affiliated store.

Trying to Maintain my Focus

If you've been following my site, you may have noticed that I kinda lost my focus the last week or so. It seems I started adding a lot of products and affiliate links to the website. Along with that, I've recently discovered Youtube ads from Google.

The sum result of all this confusion was a website that was beginning to look like a big, jumbled wannabe online retailer. To fix this problem, I started removing most of the Amazon affiliate links. I kept a few affiliate links that I thought were aesthetically appealing or relevant to the material being discussed.

So now, is more streamlined, less confusing, and more like the site I always wanted it to be. Simply a place for me to discuss my love affair with books and movies.

Have I decided to give up my affiliation with Amazon? Of course not, I still need to eat. Amazon has an affiliate store setup that is actually very ingenious. It allows me to sell the books and movies I talk about in the site through a separate online store that is connected to, but not a part of, my own site. a brother out. Buy a DVD for goodness sakes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hancock Review

Hancock was a very interesting movie. I thought Will Smith's acting was a little stunted in this picture, like he was just going through the motions. I've definitely seen better from him though it wasn't necessarily bad.

I don't want to give up the plot so I'll try to be careful with what I say. I thought I was going to see a sci-fi flick but it was actually more like fantasy. The special effects, like most movies these days were very good and believable. It's kinda hard to have bad effects these days with the guys at Industrial Lights and Magic and other CGI experts.

Charlize Theron's character was very good. Her acting was superb, even in a role that was probably a cakewalk for her.

Overall, I liked the movie. I did enjoy myself, I laughed out loud several times and it was a good movie if you just want to relax and have a moderately good time. Just don't take Hancock too seriously. It's not the Lord of the Rings. But it's worth seeing. Will Hancock make my list of top ten movies for 2008? It has a good chance, but definitely not a lock.

What I liked:
Charlize Theron's acting
The special effects
This quote: "Did you put a man's head up another man's ass?"

What I didn't like:
Will Smith's acting
The big fight scene
References to the X-Men movie

I give this movie 3 Quarters. If you don't understand my rating system, see my earlier posts for an explanation.

See this movie if you have the money and the time and you just want to watch an enjoyable movie and have a few laughs. If not, you can wait for the DVD.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Top Ten Science Fiction Movies

I've been looking at a lot of movies of late, especially with the summer blockbusters coming out. I'm starting to think science fiction movies are making a comeback. There was a time when scifi movies were all about philosophy and warning man of the doom to come.

Not anymore. 2007 introduced 4 good scifi movies. So far, we have another 3 this year with Hancock, Incredible Hulk, and Wall-E. I'll be posting reviews for all of them pretty soon.

So, using the rating system I mentioned in the previous post, here are my top 10 science fiction movies from the past decade.

1. The Matrix – 4
2. King Kong - 4
3. Star Wars Episode III - 4
4. K-Pax - 4
5. I, Robot - 4
6. Planet of the Apes - 4
7. Star Wars: Episode II - 3
8. Spider-Man 2 - 3
9. Transformers - 3
10. Matrix Reloaded - 3

Visit the website to see my ratings for the other science fiction movies from the past that didn't make the cut.

My New Movie Rating System

After rating Wall-E, I realized I need to make up a rating system and do it quick. I don't want to use thumbs up because I'll probably get sued. And I'm sure someone else already uses stars.

I'm going to use a monetary system, based on the American quarter dollar coin. So a good movie gets 4 quarters, or a buck. And a bad movie gets only 1 quarter...or maybe not even that.

Be sure to visit the website for my newest posts on science fiction movies from the past decade and a little quip on some of my favorite scifi directors.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wall-E Review

I took the kids to see Disney-Pixar's newest release Wall-E. They liked it, even though we saw the last movie of the night. Still, they managed to stay awake until almost 12am which means the film must have been good.

I don't want to give away any endings or spoil the movie for those of you who haven't seen it yet. Suffice it to say, the movie is very good. It'll make adults think and make kids question. I think you'll enjoy this movie even if you're not a science fiction fan.

The animation was of course stupendous. I was a little worried my kids wouldn't think of it as a cartoon it was so realistic. The story was great too. There's very little dialog in the first 30 minutes of the film, yet they managed to create a good story just by watching Wall-E go through his daily routine.

I found references to other classic scifi movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A.I., and The Matrix. I also thought the movie reminded me in some ways of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. But, I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

What I liked
The animation
The first 30-40 minutes
The story

What I didn't like
Some themes might be beyond little kids understanding

I don't have a rating system of my own, but if I did I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Go see this movie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Starting The Science Fiction Portal

Now that I've finished the Fantasy Fiction portal on, it's time to start the science fiction portal. The first page is already posted on the website.

Science fiction poses greater challenges than either the horror or fantasy portals did. This is primarily because scifi is so vast and ever-changing. I can only hope I can capture a good grasp of what this exciting fiction genre really means. For now, I think I'm going to take this portal in a different direction than either of the previous portals. I plan to write several articles about science fiction genres and works of fiction, rather than focusing on the scifi creatures like I did with horror and fantasy.

Another update to the website that I've added was to post one of my short stories. I've added my story Bunt which is probably one of the best short stories I've ever written. This story highlights the trials Alzheimer's brings upon families. I decided to include some of my artwork for the story as well that I originally intended for the audiobook advertisement. The artwork was created using Gimp free software.

I'm happy to say the website has been getting increased hits of late. Even though these hits haven't translated to higher Google page rank, it is exciting to know so many people are visiting my website. This motivates me to keep adding more things and to continue expanding the available options.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Next Project

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I plan on offering a new project in the coming days. Unfortunately, we've been having some trouble putting it together. I hope we can work these things out by the weekend.

National Treasure Book of Secrets

National Treasure follows the story of Benjamin Franklin Gates and his uptight father, genius girlfriend, and nerdy buddy Riley, as they try to prove Ben's ancestor was a true hero. Like the first movie, the plot primarily centers around the search for a lost treasure, this time a city of gold.

Despite the historical inaccuracies and the impossible storyline, I found National Treasure Book of Secrets mildly enjoyable. There were some funny moments and a few exciting parts. Overall, the movie a little less that what I expected.

Some of the escapades just made the whole thing too unrealistic. Ben kidnaps the President for goodness sakes! In part one, he managed to steal the Declaration of Independence. Even though that seems just as impossible, it seemed more believable than the stunts in part Book of Secrets.

I found the character of Ben to be a little annoying. He was just a little too sure of himself in this movie. Whereas, in part one he was a geek who used his knowledge of history and US government policy to steal the Declaration, in Book of Secrets, he's like a secret agent who can do whatever he wants with only the slightest bit of planning.

I like movies and stories that leave open the possibility of a sequel without overdoing it. National Treasure Book of Secrets does that as well. And considering the boatload of money this film grossed, it's probably safe to assume one will be made in coming months.

What I liked:
Riley, Ben's assistant
Historical references
Funny dialog

What I did not like:
Incan pyramids in North America
No conspiracy
Unbelievable story
Ben Gates new cockiness and self assuredness.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Added a new page on the site

I finally got the first chapter embedded into the website. I also added a new page about fantasy creatures. I'm most please to find some of my pages make it onto Google's first page. It was extremely gratifying to see some of my hard work pay off. Granted, these are probably not the most competitive words that I'm ranking so high on, it's still proof that my SEO skills are coming together.

I've also finished a story I started writing months ago. I only wanted this story to be about four or five pages long, but it wound up being eleven.

Now, I'm going to start working on putting together a short story CD. This CD will include several short stories that I've written over the years. I hope to offer it for a very reasonable price; no more than $5. Once that's done, I'm going to focus on finishing up the fantasy section, recording more chapters for The Jinn, and marketing, marketing, marketing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

First Podcast

Hit a little snag today. The podcast is ready, but unfortunately, I can't open my website editor with There is a link to the audio on this blog, but so far, I haven't been able to add the first chapter to the site. Hopefully, this will be resolved by the morning.

In the meantime, Chapter One of The Jinn can still be heard by clicking on that gray box to the left. And you can still download the podcast here. Make sure to click on original if you want to download it to the desktop.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Adding Podcasts

I've been working on adding content to for quite some time. But now that the fantasy creatures section is done, I have to add some product or do something different. There are still many things I need to do with this site before I can say that it is done.

I will probably do The Jinn as a recurring podcast. I'm not sure if I'll do the entire book or just a portion. I guess it all depends on the business demands.

This switch doesn't mean that I'm no longer adding content. Quite the contrary. It's just that I've been writing articles almost nonstop for almost a month, and I've gotta do other things now. I have to do something to bring in more traffic, and the written content just isn't enough right now. Podcasts were always part of the plan anyway, so it's not like I'm deviating. And there's no reason why I should wait until all of the articles are finished before making a podcast.

Tomorrow, well actually today's since it's almost 3 in the morning, podcast will be the first few pages of The Jinn. Luckily, I've already recorded a good chunk of this already.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finished all of the Fantasy Fiction creature articles

I've finally finished the creature section of the fantasy fiction portal on Still not really seeing too many of my pages place high enough on Google. I think the highest ranking page I've seen so far was the werewolf page. However, I should mention that many of my pages aren't even indexed yet.

Still trolling for links. I've just found out that links from guestbooks don't mean a thing, and might even be bad. I've sent a couple of emails out today requesting links to my dragon page, but so far no responses.

I can't wait till I can finally start recording my stories. I'm hoping that taking that step will be the necessary move to drum up sales. However, I won't get any sales if I don't get more visits. But it's still too early to fuss about visits yet. I've only had the website up for about a month.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Eye

I watched the The Eye starring Jessica Alba on DVD last night. I classify this movie in the horror of the demonic sub-genre of horror movies.

What I liked:
Good cinematography
Good acting by Jessica Alba
Kept up the suspense
Tongue in cheek reference to The Sixth Sense

What I did not like:

Simple plot; feels like I've seen it before
The supposedly scary moments became redudant
The ending was not to my liking

This movie is not groundbreaking stuff. It's okay. It's not bad, but overwhelmingly great either. If you want to watch something mildly unsettling to pass the time, this movie will do. But it won't keep you up at night, and you'll probably forget about it the next day.

The Jinn Excerpt

It's very late, but I'm glad I've finally started the Fantasy section of I've added a page on the jinn, and now I have to start working on a page for witches or dragons.

Really, doing all of this research is pretty fun. It's like I'm studying the evolution of literature. This is more than just a hobby; I actually feel like I'm in college again.

Now that I've finished the jinn page, I'm starting to have concerns about my novel again. The Jinn contains lots of references to Arab culture that I'm not 100% familiar with. I'm very familiar with Muslim culture, but all Muslims aren't the same. That being said, I wonder if anybody who is familiar with Arab culture can verify if the following passage from The Jinn sounds authentic. If you can point out anything that's definitely out of place, by all means let me know.

Though she had regained consciousness, she was sleeping when Ahmed arrived. He sat by her side for at least two hours before she cracked her eyes a little. She smiled as best she could when she saw him, and gave his hand a squeeze. Ahmed smiled back at her and leaned down to kiss her forehead.

Salaam Alaikum ibnee,” she whispered in a dry, cracked voice. Peace be unto you my son.

Wa alaikum Salaam ummee. Keefek?” And upon you be peace my mother. How are you?

She continued to smile. “Anaa mureed.” I am sick. Her reply was blunt yet kind.

“The doctors are doing everything they can,” said Ahmed in Arabic.

“I like that Doctor Fatima. She is a good person. But there is nothing she can do for me. My time is near.”

“Don’t speak like that mother. Modern medicine is very good.”

“You put too much faith in science. I will probably return to Allah today or tomorrow. I have accepted it. You should also.”

Ahmed did not answer. He was afraid of saying the wrong thing and upsetting her.

“I’m sorry you had to come all the way from America just for me.”

“It wasn’t bad. The arrangements were very easy to make.”

“I want to be buried next to your father. Do you remember where his grave is?”

Naam.” Yes.

Many years ago, when they still lived in the village of Darul Shams, his mother would take him to visit his father’s grave at least five times a year. After they moved the visits became less frequent, until they stopped going altogether. The last time Ahmed visited his father’s grave he was fourteen years old.

“And have Sheikh Nazeem perform my janaazah.”

“Sheikh Nazeem is dead mother. He died years ago.”

She frowned in confusion, and then laughed. “Then I guess he won’t be available, will he?”

The short conversation took a lot of strength and she closed her eyes again and fell silent. Her breathing was slow and labored. Ahmed thought she had fallen asleep again, but then she started speaking.

“All these years, Ahmed, it was just me an you. I tried to give you the best. I tried to be a mother and a father. I’m sorry I failed you son.”

“You did not fail me mother.”

“Pray for me.”

“I will.”

Al-an. Pray for me now.”

Al-an? Hunna?” Right now? Right here?

Naam.” She held up her hands as if she was trying to cup water. “Pray for your dying mother.”

Ahmed closed his eyes and tried to remember a prayer or supplication from his youth. But he came up blank. “I can’t.”

Her hands dropped back to her sides in disappointment. “That’s how I failed you.”

“Mother, I will graduate from school with honors. I am at the top of my class. I already have some good job offers and I’ve won many awards. One of my papers is even being published in a science journal. I have accomplished all of this because of you. You insisted I get a good education and I have. Your son is going to be a successful scientist. Or maybe I’ll go to medical school and become a doctor. But you have done a lot for me, and I owe everything to you.”

With great effort, she turned her head to look at her son. “But you cannot pray for your dying mother. May God forgive me.”

For those of you familiar with Arab culture, please let me know if this passage sounds right. If you think I westernized the scene too much, let me know. I eagerly await your comments.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Just Started the New Section

I've finally started the newest section at I'm starting to work on the fantasy section. It's a little difficult, but I'm remembering some great stories I read as a kid. I'm still hoping I can get my work Lost Causes finished. That's probably the closest I have to real fantasy.

I read an interesting post today about the perception of self published authors. From the sounds of it, SP's are kinda looked down upon by most people in the publishing industry. I can understand that sentiment, especially if the authors are rather obnoxious.

Reading some of that information makes me consider actually becoming a publisher rather than just a writer. Heck, I've got one complete novel and 3 complete children's books, why not? It's just a thought for now, but one I'm seriously considering. But the issue is not what to publish or how to set up the company. The issue I face is how to distribute and market my work.

That's what separates the SP's from the real published authors.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Horror Section is Finished

I finally finished the last article in the horror section of I can now begin sending links exchange requests to other websites and basically begin the marketing of my website. I feel good that it's finished and I'm excited to begin the next section, which will probably be either sci-fi or fantasy.

While writing this last article, I had to do some research on classic horror authors like Poe and Washington Irving. I read a large section of The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow and all of The Raven. I tell you, those are some great pieces of literature.

While reading Sleepy Hollow, I was amazed at the flowery and descriptive language. The last time I read that story I was ten years old, so I've forgotten a lot of it. Even though the writing was beautiful, I understand that kind of writing wouldn't fly with today's readers. It was just too burdensome. Lover's of literature might appreciate it, but it's not for the casual fan.

I now have my plan for promoting The Jinn in the future, Inshallah. As soon as I get that Economy Stimulus rebate from the government in two weeks, Inshallah, I'm going to get myself an ISBN for The Jinn. has them available with their starter package for only $99. I don't know if that's a great bargain or not, but it sounds good to me.

Once I have that ISBN, I can work on getting my book listed in Amazon. And hopefully, once it gets on Amazon, that might start the ball rolling. I don't expect thousands, or hundreds, or even dozens of sales just yet. Of course, I dream about getting those numbers, but I know it's unlikely. But I'll be happy when just a few people finally read the book and give their honest feedback. I just want to get this book to the public and see what happens.

I think it's a great book, but I'm supposed to think that. If I didn't think it was great, I would've never wrote it. My wife also think it's great, but I know I've gotta take that with a grain of salt.

I just pray this all works out. The bills are piling up, and it's getting harder and harder to stay afloat. In the end, it all rests with God, and I can only say that at least I gave it my best shot. At least I gave it a shot at all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Beginning

I have a website called I'm using this website as a vehicle to promote my writing and express my love of fiction in both movies and books.

Despite the website's name, it's not just about horror. The site is actually about all the major genres. That's because I generally love them all. If the story is good, that's all that matters.

Right now it's almost three o'clock in the morning. I can't write anymore. But I will continue tomorrow.