Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Weather Advisory

The part of the state I live in is under a winter weather advisory. It could be worse, I suppose; I could live in the Northeast. When we got up this morning, we found about six to eight inches new snow and winds gusting from 20-30 mph. Even though it’s still about 15 F (it’s supposed to get colder as the weekend wears on), the wind chill is below zero.

The walkway leading from the front of our house down to sidewalk is perpendicular to the wind and had drifted over. We spent 25 minutes clearing both the front and back yard walks and our sidewalk. The dogs made a really, really, really quick circuit of the back yard, did their business and ran back inside.

I was pleasantly surprised by one thing. This last summer, we spent $2500 on new windows for the house – nice, double-pane, low-e high performance windows – because our old ones were shot. We put the new ones in ourselves. This morning there was snow clinging to the outside of window! One the old ones, the snow would have been warmed by heat coming out of the house and turned to ice.

Since going outside today holds little appeal, I plan to get caught up on some reviews. I came home from work yesterday to find The Ethereal Gazzette Issue Seven sitting in my mail box. It is definitely a slim volume, with only six stories, one of them Nicky’s “House of Cards.” The "victim" in this latest rant, er story, is someone who writes real person fiction. Go figure. Review to come soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Miscellaneous Stuff

Nicky has finally managed to really make me angry. His latest article at Associated Content (no, I won't link to it) is a long, whiny, self-indulgent rant about how he has to live with the stigma of being bipolar and how, by holding him accountable for his actions, we are denigrating all people who have mental illnesses. That's bullshit.

I've posted this elsewhere, but I work with someone who is bipolar. He treats his illness, he takes his meds, and he's a valuable and responsible employee. He has the occasional overreaction, usually to a stressful situation where he feels angrier at someone than the situation warrants. But he has come to realize when his reaction may be inapproriate, and he trusts those of us who work with him to give him feedback. More than once, he has said to me, "I think I'm overracting. How do you feel about this situation?"

Nicky's logic goes like this, however: I have a mental illness; they are mean to me; therefore, they are mean to all people who have a mental illness. Nicky is incapable of realizing that people are upset with his actions and statements because they are inappropriate in and of themselves -- not because he is a Republican or Christian or bipolar or any other label he chooses to apply to himself. I'm not convinced he needs to be institutionalized, but he definitely needs supervision and medication.

In other news:

Morning workouts suck. I just got done with a really great kickboxing class, but it wore me out. I'm just not at my best physically in the morning. When I was running a lot and entered a few races -- I'm a slow runner, but I like the energy and the fun of races -- they were always in the morning. It took me twice as long to get warmed up then as it did for later afternoon events.

I've been ramping up my workout schedule, though, because my martial arts instructor informed me several weeks ago that he wants me to test for my next degree of black belt before Christmas. Yikes. For the last test, I worked out several days a week for about four months to get in shape for the six hour test (and most of it was kicks, punches, sparring -- very aerobic). I lost about 10 pounds and was the lightest I had been since college. I rocked that test.

This time, the test will be more mental than physical, but I still don't feel ready for it. I've also had a couple of minor injuries since the last test that make if difficult for me to perform physically to the level I want. Tomorrow, I'm going to run a 5K and see how bad I feel at the end.

Also, thanks to those who have been visiting my Associated Content pages. My third article finally posted. It has nothing to do with Nicky, but now that I have three published pieces, all subsequent pieces will go up immediately. I have an estimated 262 page views as of this morning, which gives me a clout level of 2 and an estimated payment of $0.39. That's about half what I need for a cup of coffee. I'm living the high life now. Heh.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ethereal Gazette Issue Something-or-Other

A few days ago, I purchased the most recent edition of Nicky's Ethereal Gazette. It was priced lower than the other issues (it should be; it's shorter), and it has Nicky's new story "House of Cards" in it. I got a notice from Lulu this morning that it had shipped. It's coming via media mail, so I expect it will be next week before it arrives. I'll post a review here and on AC.

I've also started writing my review of Tabloid Purposes IV. This is the only other one of Nicky's books that I have a hard copy of. All the others I've purchased in PDF format or downloaded for free thanks to Nicky's exemplary Lulu skills. Since I also have a PDF version of TP IV, I'm seriously considering destroying the printed copy in some way.


I might try to get my dog to shred it (he's cute, and he'd look good up on Youtube), or I could run it through my shredder. That's not very dramatic, though.

I could also use it for target practice with one of my guns. My little 20 gauge shotgun would make mincemeat of it in two or three shots. It would be impressive, but I'm not big on using guns in such a casual manner just to amuse folks.

Or I could mail it to someone who could do something much

Monday, December 1, 2008

Articles up at Associated Content

Finally, my first two reviews are published at AC. That only took more than a week. They can be found here:

Nano is Over

Nanowrimo was over at midnight last night, and yes, I was still typing at 11:30 p.m. My hero was rescuing my heroine and a kid (well, teenager) from the bad guy's henchman. I got to write a kick ass fight scene with guns and knives. Yay! I made it to 39,700 words, which although not a winning 50,000, is still a new record for me.

I also got a great idea for the ending from a conversation with a woman in my critique group. I'll have to do a slight bit of research, but the bad guy is going to die in an awesome way based on something that really happened -- or rather that almost happened, since the person who survived it told the woman in my group who told me about it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Nano Nicky

The following is the scene into which I inserted Nicky. He'll be edited out of the final version of this, but I was a little stuck for inspiration and writing about Nicky gave me my 1670 words for the day. Please note, because this is Nano, this was written quickly with my internal editor shut off. I have spell checked it, though.
Mia looked at the man, appalled. He was about 5’3” and very heavy. Fat actually. There was no other way to describe him. She guessed he weighed in around two hundred to two hundred and ten pounds, and it didn’t look like muscle. He was wearing dirty jeans, a black long sleeved t-shirt with an AC/DC logo on it and white high top sneakers. His scraggly, longish, dark brown hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in days, and his goatee had food crumbs in it. His skin, what little she could see of it, was pale like he didn’t get out in the sun much.

Jack pushed the door open, forcing the guy backwards. “Come on,” he said to Mia.

Mia crouched and ran through the door and slammed it shut behind her. “I didn’t hear any more shots. Did you?” she asked Jack.

“No,” he said. “Just the three.”

“Shots? What shots?” the guy who had answered the door said.

Mia looked around the room they were now in. It appeared to be a living room, with a sofa and a recliner and a TV that looked older than she was. There was also a set of stairs leading down to a basement. The overhead lights were on, but since the curtains were pulled, the room was dim. It smelled of cigarette smoke and urine. Lovely. Still it was better than outside at the moment.

“What’s your name?” Jack asked the guy.

“Nickolaus. Who are you?”

Jack tucked his gun into his jacket pocket. “OK, Nickolaus, we need to use a phone.”

“What the hell is going on?” Nickolaus looked confused. “Why do you have a gun? You can’t be shooting at people here, you know, mister.”

“We weren’t doing the shooting,” Mia said. “Somebody was shooting at us.”

“What shooting?” Nickolaus plopped his oversized butt down on the sofa. “I didn’t hear anything. I’m so confused.” He picked up a can of Coors Light from the coffee table and took a big swallow, leaving a nasty film on his already filthy goatee.

Mia suppressed a shudder. She turned to Jack. “You’re calling the police?”


“I thought you wanted to keep a low profile, not let anyone know we’re in town.”

“I do. I’ll file the report under—“ he broke off and looked at Nickolaus who was still collapsed on the sofa, shaking his head and muttering to himself. “I’ll use the fake ID’s,” he whispered to her.

“Gotcha,” Mia said. “So, Nickolaus, do you have a phone we could use?”

Nickolaus stopped muttering. “Um, well, I guess you could use the one on the motel office. But you’ll have to wait until Granny gets back.”

“Granny?” Mia asked.

“Probably the woman who just checked me in,” Jack said to Mia. “She’d be about the right age. Where did she go, Nick? She was here just a moment ago.”

“Dunno.” Nickolaus took another swig of beer. “She just got a call and left. Told me not to touch anything. Stupid bitch.”

“You talk about your grandmother that way?” Mia asked. She knew that not everyone had good family relations, but she still didn’t like to hear this dirty little guy say things like that.

“Yeah. So?” Nickolaus stood up and puffed out his chest. “I live downstairs in the basement, and I help her out all the time. She couldn’t get by without me. And what does she do? She takes away my Internet connection and makes me get my own phone line.”

“That’s too bad,” Jack said with false sympathy.

“Yeah, the cow,” Nickolaus said. “The whole thing wasn’t my fault, you know. I was just standing up for my writing. Then those stupid assholes started prank calling here. Waking up Granny at all hours. It’s elder abuse, I tell you.”

“I’m lost,” Mia said. “I almost hate to ask. What writing? What are you talking about?”

“I’m an infamous horror writer. I’m very well respected in the small press market and I’m not afraid to tell people to piss off. I have a right to be published after all. Those assholes have no right to say my writing sucks.”

“What assholes?” Mia said.

“Those assholes at SA and others, and on Amazon, and they posted libelous tags about my books.”

“SA? Huh?” Mia said.

Nickolaus nodded. “And I’ll give a big fat middle finger to anyone who disrespects what I’ve done.”

Mia looked at Nickolaus’s hands and decided that fat was an apt description for his fingers. She sighed. Another nutcase.

“Look,” Jack said, obviously as tired of Nick as she was, “we just need to use a phone.”

“Granny locked the one up front. But you can use the one in my apartment. It’ll cost you ten bucks, though.”

“Your apartment?”

“Yeah, down there.” Nickolaus pointed down the stairs. “It’s pretty cool. It’s got two kitchens.”

Mia looked at Jack. “After you,” she said, not liking the smell that was coming up from the basement.

“Wonderful.” Mia saw Jack roll his eyes. What the heck were they in for, she wondered.

They followed the bad smelling Nickolaus down the stairs and into what passed for his living space. It had a vinyl tile floor with the ugliest pattern Mia had ever seen. A pull-out sofa graced the far wall; the mattress was out and covered with mussed up dirty blankets, something that sort of looked like a sleeping bag and two pillows that she really hoped had not originally been white. There was another TV opposite the bed, and a small desk and bookshelf to the right. The desk was covered with papers, beer cans, an ashtray and two plates with sandwich crusts.

Nickolaus must have seen Mia looking at the desk because he said, “Cool, huh? That’s where I create all of my stories. That’s it. I have pictures of me writing. Do you want to see them?”

“Um, no,” Mia said. She turned to Jack. “Let’s just make the call and get out of here.”

Jack laughed, probably at her discomfort. He knew she was something of a neat freak. “Phone?” he said to the little troll.

“Over there.” Nick pointed towards the desk.

“Stay here. And don’t shoot any cockroaches,” Jack said to Mia.

“Ha ha. Very funny.” She scowled at him.

“I don’t have roaches.” Nickolaus said, sounding affronted.

Jack walked over and hesitated for a moment, then reached out and picked up a phone. Mia could tell from the way Jack held it that it wasn’t any cleaner than the rest of the basement. She figured she would just stay where she was by the foot of the stairs. She still had her gun, so shooting roaches was technically possible. Depending upon how big they were and how fast they were moving. She was a good shot after all. The concrete floor might cause the bullet to ricochet, though, and hit something she didn’t intend – like Jack.

She waited impatiently while Jack called the police. Nickolaus stood off to the side and shifted from foot to foot. He refused to look at her, almost as if he were afraid of her.

“Thanks,” Jack finally said into the phone and hung it up. A pile of papers slid off the desk and onto the floor. Under the papers was a gay porn magazine, flipped open to a picture of a very well endowed centerfold. Mia almost burst out laughing as Nickolaus scrambled to pick up the papers and cover up the magazine.

He turned very red. “That’s, um, that, um, I’m just holding that for a friend. I’m not gay. I’m a conservative. I’m a Republican. I voted for George Bush and I only date women who were born women.” The words fell out of him in a desperate rush.

Mia almost felt sorry for him. She had had a female friend when she was in the Navy who had turned out to be gay. The woman had been very afraid that she would be found out and booted from the Navy, which she really loved. Mia had been as supportive as she could, but she had lost track of the woman after she left the Navy herself after Dusty’s shooting.

“It’s alright,” Mia told him. “We’re not going to judge you.”

“I’m not gay!” Nickolaus shouted at her.

“Calm down,” Jack said.

“No,” Nickolaus shouted. “Get out. Out! I’m not gay. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not.” He collapsed onto the sofa bed, flipped the sleeping bag looking thing over him, curled up into the fetal position and began to shake all over.

That was not a normal reaction. “Do you suppose we should call someone?” Mia said.

A door slammed upstairs.

“Sounds like Granny is back,” Jack said. “We can tell her. Let’s get out of here.”

They went back upstairs and found the woman whom Jack had seen when he checked them in. She looked surprised to see them coming up from the basement.

“What’s that little trouble-maker done now?” she asked as she dropped bag of groceries on the coffee table.

“Nothing, ma’am,” Jack said. “We just needed to use the phone, and you were out. Your grandson let us use his.”

“You might want to check on him, too,” Mia said. “I don’t think he’s feeling well.” That was the kindest way Mia could think to put it.

“What else is new,” Granny said. “I’ll check on him, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. Why did you need to use the phone?”

“Why did you leave so suddenly?” Jack asked, ignoring her question.

“Had to run an errand. What business is it of yours?” She sounded suspicious of Jack.

“Uh huh,” Jack said. “Well, tell Nickolaus thanks for the phone. We’ll just go out the front.”

Mia followed him as he walked by the woman and out into the area behind the front desk. He looked cautiously out through the plate glass windows, but Mia didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. No bad guys toting guns around.

Just then a police cruiser pulled into the parking lot, and a deputy got out.

“Come on,” Jack said. “Follow my lead, Mrs. Sterling.”

“Of course, Mr. Sterling.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've Become a Content Provider at AC

Yes, I've joined the party at Associated Content. My profile is here.

I hadn't planned on joining and posting anything because Tim was doing such a great job, and AC seemed to be his path to annoying our favorite closeted gay boi. But he expressed to me in an e-mail that he felt the more reviews at AC, the merrier. So I've just now submitted my reviews of "More Frightening Than Fiction" and "Darkened Horizons, Issue 3". I don't know how long it will take them to post, but I'll edit this entry when they go up.

I've also got some reviews of the Tabloid Purposes series coming up after Nano is over.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nicky, Me, and Spinetinglers (Redux -- Part Two)

See the previous entry for the beginning of of this conversation. Continuing on:


12-20-06 Me: Still with the insults, huh? I'm pretty tolerant, but if you keep up with the personal attacks, I will take this to the site moderators.

Now then...

I never said small press was bad. Don't put words in my mouth. Small press can be good or bad, depending on the editor. And a small press run by an editor who doesn't recognize spelling and grammar mistakes and poor storytelling is not a small press whose products I will buy. Ever. Unfortunately, that now includes anything put out by you. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.

Also, trying to get me to change my opinion about your story just because some other random person/editor liked it is futile. It's my opinion. I know what good English looks like, and I think you don't. That's why I mentioned the "Elements of Style" book. It's not "a crappy book". It's got good sound grammar and writing. I think your writing would improve if you took it to heart.

Let's see what else...

Why do you think your story was one of 300 submitted? And being in the top five means only that your story was better than the others, not that it is good. It's all relative.

You asked me to respect you. I did...until your PMs (and e-mail) to me where you started in with the cursing and the personal insults. I don't respect someone who behaves like that in response to criticism of his writing. It's totally inappropriate.

And finally, what the heck is "a semi-professional level" of publishing?

12-20-06 Nicky: What authority you have to say i suck then, why don't you put one of your stories on the chopping block you cowardly bitch?

12-20-06 Me: What authority you have to say i suck then

The United States Constitution and the laws of this wonderful land allow citizens to express their opinions about many things, including the quality of your writing.

12-20-06 Nicky: I bet you read formula hacks like Brian Keene and Mary Sangiovanni. I am rooted in the authors that predate Stephen King, you ignorant cow. Keene sucks and Sangiovanni hates anyone who will tell her that she doesn't have her heart in the genre which I am thinking the same about you. How do I know that you're just another no-name hack who hasn't made it yet? I've analized the genre long enough to say I know the well I am doing, I don't need a stuck up asshole to see that, and you ring now are a stuck up bitch.

If you are saying I need to study those two, then no thank you. I studied Cherie Priest's work too, and read some authors who are out of my generation and I worked with a good number of them as a publisher. So before you go blasting on me as a publisher, take a look at some of the authors on rosters. They are some of the best in the business. You have no vision for horror, and you don't know sheer creativity when you see it.

If you think this site is beneath you then why are you commenting on the stories then?

12-20-06 Nicky: You're not an American. And I guess you like formula writers, because I get sick and tired of the same old thing. I like to do things different -- so if you don't like that lady then piss off.

12-20-06 Me: don't know sheer creativity when you see it.

Of course I do! I think your spelling and grammer are pretty creative. I'm reporting you to the admin of this board. The cow and bitch comments were the last straw.

12-25-06 Nicky: PUT YOUR TALENT WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS! Don't act like this site is below you and shut the hell up with the one star reviews, just because you hate that story that doesn't mean you have to insult the people who like it. You insulted the admin by saying that story sucked because she picked that one because she liked it.

12-25-06 Nicky: I figured out that you must have been one of Peter Barnes' buddies.

12-25-06 Nicky: friends with all the assholes who pirated my books that is you goddamned cow.

12-30-06 Me: Nick, Nick, Nick, such vitriol on Christmas Day. Why do you think everyone who dislikes your writing knows each other? And why in the world would I want to "steal" your stories when I've said over and over that I think the writing is horrible?

Oh, but I do have to thank you for pointing out Peter Barnes. I've read through his blog on Xanga (the recent stuff anyway), and I have a whole new understanding...

1-17-07 Nicky: What kind of horror do you write about? I bet my next royality check that you write about oversexed vampires, and seeing that you got connected up with Peter Barnes you're starting to pick up some of his asshole traits. He bragged about owning a pirated copy of my books and he harassed my publishers. I know this because it was brought to my attention. You don't see me going around harassing your publishers telling them not to run your work though the temptation is there.

I will shut up only when you submit to the contest and see what story you got out there. You're a bitch for blasting the story, because I think you eat the peanuts out of the shit of Peter Barnes and Brian Keene while you're at it. It doesn't surprise me that you might of got up to where you are by having your feet over your head. Either deliver or shut the up, I managed to get paid for my work too but you do act like this site is below you.

Why do I get this feeling you're a Poppy Z. Brite clone?


And that is the last I have saved to my file. I can't onto to Spinetinglers right now, but I think Nicky was banned before the conversation could go any further.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nicky, Me, and Spinetinglers (Redux -- Part One)

I first met Nicky at Spinetinglers (don't click through, though; the site is under reconstruction). Nicky's infamous "Spectral Exile" was one of the five stories posted for November 2006. I left an honest and not-too-mean review. That started a long series of PM's back and follows:

12-18-06 Nicky: I noticed you've flamed my short story, just to keep in mind that story got accepted in two anthologies. It made the top five for a reason, so I want to see can you do better -- or are you the kind of person who just writes fan fiction of Nightmare on Elm Street, show me if you can do better than Spectral Exile.

12-18-06 Me: (Unfortunately, I didn't save this first response)

12-19-06 Nicky: I worked very hard at that story and it did get picked up by a paying market. I guess you denounced that story for one reason you're friends with Peter Barnes. The one anthology is not being put out by so kindly refrain from ripping on that one before even reading the anthology. I guess you wrote nothing but fan fiction so you don't know what an original story looks like. Spectral Exile got me some new readers legitimately, but what you say contributes to the constant e-piracy of my books.

If you don't have something nice to say about a story or someone who writes it then bite your damned tongue. This isn't a personal attack, just common sense. I guess your idea of Gothic horror is vampires that take it up the ass.

12-19-06 Me: I guess you denounced that story for one reason you're friends with Peter Barnes.

I'm not friends with any Peter Barnes, and I didn't "denounce" your story. I thought it was poorly written and confusing, and I said as much.

I guess you wrote nothing but fan fiction so you don't know what an original story looks like.

Oh good grief, you don't like message, so you attack the messenger. I don't write fan fiction. I consider it a copyright violation and a waste of my creative talents. I've read some, though, and most of it is irredeemable trash. I didn't say your story was unoriginal. I said it was poorly written and confusing: bad grammer, headhopping, redundant sentences, non-existent transitions, etc.

...but what you say contributes to the constant e-piracy of my books.

Um, how does my saying the story is poorly written and confusing contribute to people stealing it? Wouldn't it be just the opposite? Wouldn't I be warning people to stay away from it?

If you don't have something nice to say about a story or someone who writes it then bite your damned tongue.

The web site didn't say, "Only post nice things and high scores." I gave you my honest opinion. And I didn't criticize you. I criticized your writing. Also, when I like a story, I say so. See my comments on "Wilderness".

I guess your idea of Gothic horror is vampires that take it up the ass.

No, I like Gothic horror stories written in proper English with plot lines that I can follow. Again, you are making assumptions about me, trying to tear me down so that you don't have to even consider anything I said. If you want to be a successful writer, I think that you need to grow a thicker skin.

12-19-06 Nicky: That story is one of my better ones, so seeing a remark like yours I respond like a personal attack because people pirated books over remarks like that. I lost sales of my books over those kind of remarks. If you think you can do better put your talents where your mouth is instead of criting and ripping a story a new one, post a put a story up on the whipping post.

That is more than I could say with what you think, as far as I know you're nothing but a fan fiction writer or a slash writer for that matter. Both are scum of the earth to me, because it makes it harder for me to get noticed. I got a lot of critical acclaim in my favor and my stories do sell. You deserved every personal attack I made via email unless you can defend it by putting up a story of your own.

I think you prefer a hack like Darren McKeeman and believe me that bastard sucks more than some of the writers who are in the mass market these days. It takes more to do a short story without erotic content. I got that story as a promotion to the two anthologies noted. Scarlett liked the story and so did the person who is doing the anthology, so if you want to discredit a story like that then you're wasting your time. I expect at least 3 star review before I have someone's respect.

You're right there with that person who tried to stop the forums dead, and he came here to chase me around to descredit everything I've done. Don't follow his example. If you truly think I suck go read some of the stories on AuthorsDen. If you rip on those stories like you rip on this one, then if someone gives you a personal attack for doing it then don't come crying to me little girl.

12-19-06 Me: Dude, you need to chill. I don't care what a few other random people on the Internet think of your writing. I gave you my honest opinion of your writing, and you persist in attacking my character -- and going on about e-piracy (still makes no sense why my saying I think your writing is poor would lead to someone stealing it???) and lost sales of (self-published??) books -- so that you don't have to deal with the criticisms.

Look, if you want to improve your writing, try reading and applying:

1. "Elements of Style," by Strunk and White
2. One other really comprehensive grammar book ("Elements of Style" is a subset of grammar rules)
3. "On Writing," by Stephen King. He's got some good advice!

Then read some modern horror and anlayze how it's written. Look at sentence structure, pacing, transitions, dialogue, dialogue tags, etc. See what it is that gets writing published (legitimately, not the Lulu way).

Also, I will not be posting my work on-line for reasons I've already stated. I might check out one of your stories at AuthorsDen, but you since you seem to react to honest criticism with personal attacks, I'm not sure how that would benefit either one of us.

12-19-06 Nicky: Go back to your Poppy Z. Brite novels and quit wasting my time. I started a small press because of and got some strong authors on board, so you got a lot of gall to think the small press is below you. What the hell are you some kind of mass market snob? The hell with that elements of style book, I got my horror education from the H.P. Lovecraft, and you need to really look at writers who don't even look at a crappy book like that. I bet you don't even have fiction written, put your ing talents where your mouth is instead of ripping on a story that made the top five out of 300 short stories.

12-19-06 Nicky: Give me a little more respect than that woman, I am published on a semi-professional level. So who the hell are you to say I suck when you got nothing to show for yourself? Put one of your goddamned stories on and see what you got. It takes more balls to get a story published and to self-publish than not be published at all. You're a nobody.


And there's more. I'll post it tomorrow or later tonight.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nicky and Nanowrimo

I'm currently at my weekly Nanorimo write-in and wanted to let Nicky know (and I know you read this, Nicky) that I just wrote him into my novel. I realized that I needed a stupid motel clerk to facilitate some drama, and since I had already depicted the clerk as not-stupid, I gave her an unkempt beer-swilling cigarette-smoking foul-mouthed grandson who lived in the hotel basement and covered for her when she had to run out. Grandson Nickolaus is currently doing an excellent job of making my characters look smart and himself look like an idiot.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nicky's Latest Sees the Light of Day

It' s no secret by now that Autoaim obtained "Shitstorm", Nicky's attempt at writing directly from Nicky himself and posted it on his blog. Autoaim's site is currently shut down. I believe that he is dealing with a DMCA notice from Nicky -- although I'm surprised Nicky could even figure out how to file one given his lack of reading comprehension and writing skill.

"Shitstorm" is a pile of crap like Nicky's other writings, better than some, worse than others. The villain is a fan fiction writer named Karen Morgan (ooh, tough to figure out who he's after here) who did things with characters that the original authors didn't like. Sounds about par for most of the fan fiction I've read, so what's the big deal?

In Nicky's story, writing fan fiction is sin against God, awakens damnation (however, the hell one does that) and ruins the original authors because it steals away readers. Uh...yeah. I think this story emphasizes one aspect of Nicky's character that has become apparent to me over the years: Nicky takes mere words far too seriously. For example:

  • He freaks at the idea of someone burning a manuscript (see "F&*^beater" and "Shitstorm", as well as a myriad of blog posts). These days, though, a manuscript is just a printout from a computer. Who cares if one burns? Just print out another.
  • He thinks lobbing any kind of insult at someone will automatically "piss them off". That's how Nicky reacts, of course, but most of the rest of (adult) humanity has a better sense of self-worth than that. I'm not saying that verbal insults can never be injurious. Far from it. Most of us, however, consider the source, and if the opinion of the person issuing the insult doesn't matter to use, we can let it go.

  • He freaks when someone uses one of his characters for sport and has to tell everyone that that is NOT what his character would do. Any person reading Nicky spoofs probably already knows enough about Nicky to know that he or she is reading a spoof.

Nicky also finally got around to mentioning me in a story. He writes, " was just as unforgivable as that the deeds of what Ms. Wagner had done. The one who went and swiped every title in an unnamed anthology then plagiarized the stories, word for word. " Ms. Wagner would be me, but I'm not sure if Nicky has figured that out. He hasn't referred to me as "horrorgal" once since I posted Tabloid Purposes: A Road Trip, only as Jennifer Wagner. If he'd read the copyright page, he would see that I listed my e-mail address and it's the same one he's used to e-mail me before.

And for the record, I didn't plagiarize the stories. I've never read the stories, just their titles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nicky Hasn't Completely Forgotten About Me

Nicky has another two up on Associated Content. I won't link to them because he doesn't deserve the publicity. You can go here and read the whole text. However, he once again demonstrates that he has his head up his ass. He says,

"There is another out there who went and stole the title TABLOID PURPOSES
and plagiarized every story in the book. Stealing a character I created in
SPECTRAL EXILE as part of their act of trying to break me."
First, you can't copyright a title. And since the title of my book is more relevant to its contents than Nicky's is, I think I'll keep it.

Second, I didn't plagiarize any of the stories. I wrote silly anecdotes and gave them titles similar to the titles in Nicky's self-published unedited anthology. If Nicky had actually read the stories (and knew the meaning of "plagiarism"), he would realize that.

Third, I created a character called Nicholas Kane, but he's not Nicky's character. My Nicholas is a gay, white EMT lving in Yuma. Nicky's Nicholas is a Gary-Stu-esque writer living somewhere in the Midwest.

Nicky fails again.

And, Nicky, I'm up to 211 downloads. How many copies of your TP V are out there?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nicky Lies Again

Nicky finally found "Tabloid Purposes: A Road Trip". He writes on his blog:

Also looks like the Cunt named Jennifer Wagner decided to steal TABLOID PURPOSES and make parody stories of each anthology entry and stealing my story SPECTRAL EXILE – word for word plagiarisms of the story.

Nicky likes to throw "plagiarism" around, even though no sane person would want to claim Nicky's writing as her own. I'd rather claim my dog's writing. Since I haven't received any rambling and incoherent death threats, I can only assume that Nicky has not actually read "Tabloid Purposes: A Road Trip". He's just figured out the jist of the e-book from comments on my blog and on the blogs of others (dial-up sucks, doesn't it, Nicky; can't even download a little 500K file). And that has resulted in two errors in his post:

  • Nowhere in the "Tabloid Purposes: A Road Trip" is there any story even like "Spectral Exile", much less any word-for-word copying.

  • The stories I wrote are not parodies of the stories in the anthology, which I haven't bought and don't intend to.

As of this writing, "Tabloid Purposes: A Road Trip" has been downloaded 169 times. Thank you to everyone who was interested enough to check it out. (ETA: Up to 180 now)

I can't wait until "Tabloid Purposes 6" comes out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Seeds of Inspiration

In my latest parody, I've used some characters with names similar to those in Nicky's stories. For those who haven't slogged through Nicky's coma-inducing prose:

The Dog Seeker - My character is Seth Stiles. Nicky wrote about a Seth Miles in "Passenger".

Ninos - My characters are Nicholas Kane and Otis Young, gay EMT's living in Yuma, Arizona. This is the only story where my characters have exactly the same name as two of Nicky's: Nicholas Kane from "Spectral Exile" and Otis Young from "Halloween on Camera". Nicky's characters, however, are white, heterosexual writers -- so clearly they are different characters from mine.

The Trouble with Georgie - My character is Georgina Davis. Nicky wrote about a Georgina Davidson in "Storms of Armageddon".

News of Seared - My character is Alan Lisaak. Nicky wrote about an Allan Isaac in "Leviathan's Ghost".

An Iron Son - My character is Katrina Tyler. Nicky wrote about a Catrina Taylor in "House of Spiders".

Home to a Chicken - My character is Dick Dorland. Nicky wrote about a Richard Borland in "Lake Fossil".

Death by Piratical Malfunction - My character is Albert Coe. Nicky wrote about an Albert Joseph Poe in "The Fandom Writer".

XT-211 - My character is Howard Prill. Nicky wrote about a Herald Prell in "Flying Cigars".

Wish I Weren't in Dixie - My character is Helen Cott. Nicky wrote about a Hellen Ott in "The Ferryman's Wheelchair".

Cyber:Terror:Dwarf - My character is Pickie Picoine. Nicky wrote about...oh wait...

The Hell Outside - My characters are Tim and Lauren Sterling and Bert Drexler. Nicky wrote about Tim and Laura Serling and Albert Drexler in "The Statue".

Killer Air - My character is Lenny Norwood. Nicky wrote about a Kenneth Norwood in "Norwood's Discovery".

The Last Act of Albert Deeds - My character is Albert Deeds. Nicky wrote about a Thomas Joseph Deeds in "Fuckbeater."

Practically Rancid - My character is Lane Nelson. Nicky wrote about a Layne Nielson in "Bleed the Freak".


I also owe a credit to someone -- I don't remember who -- on the Something Awful forums for the image of Nicky standing on a sidewalk yelling at a lawn sprinkler. Thank you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tabloid Purposes -- My Version

I’ve been sick with bronchitis the last few days and stuck in bed, bored silly. I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo next month, so to get into the "writing a lot every day" habit, I decided to play around with Nicky's latest publication, TP V.

As we all know, a title cannot be copyrighted nor can the names of characters. I've also checked, and "Tabloid Purposes" is not trademarked (if Nicky can't afford to pay his authors, he certainly can't afford to pay the U.S. Trademark and Patent offce). So I am free to use the title "Tabloid Purposes" if I wish. And I did. Check it out here

If you look at the TP V table of contents (here:, you might notice some similarity to mine. The titles of my (fictional) anecdotes are plays on the titles of the stories in his anthology.

Now, be advised, I wrote this book very quickly and while dosed up on cough syrup with codiene. It's a bit uneven, and some anecdotes are only so-so, written because I needed something to include for that "story". For sheer lulz, though, I think that "Cyber:Terror:Dwarf", "XT-211" and "Death by Piratical Malfunction" are the best.

I may revisit this after NaNoWriMo, when my brain will desperately need to focus on something besides a romantic suspense novel.

For the search engines: Nickolaus A. Pacione

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Horrorgal Goes Into the File Recovery Business

Nicky's latest post on Blogger says in part, "Jaen you're way out of line with this one, and since you pissed on a dead authors grave with your act that is personal. I didn't even have a chance to get the files to fix the mistake of publishing you."

Since I am a kind and generous person, I e-mailed Nicky today with an offer to help him out:


I see on your latest Blogspot entry that you "...didn't even have a chance to get the files to fix the mistake of publishing you." I assume "you" is Jane.

I happen to have PDF copies of all four TP's, bought straight from Lulu. I'd be happy to e-mail you a copy...for a price. How about $100 per issue. What do you say? It would have to be cash, though. No screwing around with

Nicky responded within about 90 minutes:

"Fuck you bitch. Just give me the master copy of Tabloid Purposes II."

"You're stealing my money for a project I worked hard to create. You're a bitch."
(bonus points to Nicky for using the correct form of "you're") and

"You're willing to steal my book and my money -- I would rather off you."
That last is rather close to a death threat, but...Nicky isn't really capable of hurting me. I -emailed him back:


I didn't steal anything. I bought that little CD-ROM you put together and posted for sale on Lulu. It's not my fault that you didn't back-up your files. Here's a tip for the future: flash drives are inexpensive and reliable methods of backing up files. So is burning a CD.

Most places that retrieve non-backed-up data from failed hard drives can charge a couple grand or more (depending upon what caused the hard drvie to fail.) I'd say $100 per file is a bargain.


Nicky back to me a bit later:
"Just give me Tabloid Purposes II but you're not going to con me out of my money. Give me what I want and I will go away without a dime to your name bitch. I am not giving you a red cent for my hard earned work as an editor."
And my response:
"I'm not trying to con you. I offered you a fair deal. $100 for my time in finding TP II on my portable file storage device, loading it onto my computer and e-mailing it to you. Once again, it's your own fault for not backing up your own files. If you don't like the deal, fine."
Nicky again:

"I don't deal with industry terrorists. You'll use that money to eat your breakfast on a mirror that's racketeering lady."

I'll keep updating this post as I receive more delusions and accusations.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Storms of Armageddon --The Full Story

(All quotes used under the "fair use" provisions of U.S. copyright law.)

Once upon a time, I did a mini-review of the beginning of Nicky’s “The Storms of Armageddon”, which was posted on Authorsden. This story is also included in the Nicky’s atrocious The Writings Collected, Volume Two.

If you remember, in the beginning of the story, a news team is in Florida in an amphibious Hummer amidst the storm surge from a so-great-and-terrible-that-it-has-no-name hurricane, and they rescue a woman clinging to a palm tree. After that the plot is simple: the Hummer is buffeted by the storm; the news team finds out the woman they rescued was once cryogenically frozen; they hear of more storms occurring; and everything is horrible horrors just like a movie. The End.

But there are still some amusing lines that beg to be exposed:

“…God only knows how cold [Illinois] would get at night, night time recorded temp. were said to be -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Still livable, but they cannot go out in the cold unless they got tundra gear.”
-5 F isn’t that cold. That’s brisk Montana winter morning – and, no, you don’t need “tundra gear” to survive it. Just a good warm coat, hat, gloves, and a little common sense.

“The other person in the vehicle helped the jarhead tuck the lady in the back and slide her into a compartment which allowed the sick to rest, after they were finished tucking her in.

"Let's slide her into the compartment so she could warm up faster -- it is long enough for her."”
Brought to you straight from the Department of Redundancy. I think Nicky made a bulk purchase because this was only one example out of many.

“…I didn't get a chance to get your name earlier when we were pulling you out of the water."
"Georgina Davidson," the woman answered.
"Ah yes, the camera managed to capture that information from reading your dilated pupil….”
So he knew her name, but he asked her anyway?

“I was really sick with an illness back then and they were planning to put me in cryogenics so they could cure it … they wanted to make sure I finished college first before they put me under ice.”

Um, yeah, a terminally ill person would want to finish college before doing something that might save her life. And then she talks about being unfrozen and attending college at the same time as her kids.

She also says first that she was frozen for ten years, and then later, she says it was 20 years. In other parts of the story, she says she was frozen in 1996 and awoken in 2010, and that she was 21 when frozen and 38 now, which I think is three years after she was revived. So the cryogenic process must have addled her brain – or rather, poor Nicky’s, assuming Nicky could ever do math in the first place.

“I was fed via my veins and they eliminated waste that way too,…”

Where does he get is science? Sesame Street? Batman comics? Doctor Who? The body eliminates wastes through the kidneys, colon, and urinary tract – not the veins.

Nicky has done such a bad job with poor Georgina that I think I need to get Georgie and Todd together. They could commiserate.

“…hell hath no fury but that of a woman scorned…”

Nicky, the master of the misquote.

“Every warning of a natural disaster of this magnitude was told about, but they never listened to the advice of the elders.”

Screw the elders. I’d listen to the meteorologists.

And after that I started skimming because nothing was happening – just more rambling about the horrors of the storm. In fact, the words “horror” or “horrors” appear 55 times in the story. Could someone buy Nicky another noun?

“In 2013, they still used DSL and Dial Up to access the world wide web, but they also were getting access by just using an electrical outlet.”

Nicky (and Susan Kearney, for what it’s worth) would have failed “Wiring 101”.

“Computers shut down in the case of an actual emergency, such as the howl of the hurricane winds.”

Not the winds, mind you. Just the howl of the winds.

Oh, and the Midwest is under permafrost. And the only way to communicate with them is by instant message. Of course, if instant messaging works then so would telephones and the Internet.


Yep, he’s trying to throw in every bit of science he claims he’s gleaned from the Discovery Channel. However, it appears his video comprehension is as poor as his reading comprehension.

All in all, this is another story to mock from afar. Don’t spend money on it.

Coming soon: The first lines of Nicky’s stories -- which one sucks the most? Also, a discussion with Todd Hollins and Georgina Davidson.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

It appears that -- either in honor of the new year or because he still can't figure out how to work the Lulu web site -- Nicky has made all four issues of Tabloid Purposes available as PDF files. Thanks, Nicky, that's much cheaper and easier than buying the print copies.