You already know 2012 was pretty weird. Here’s a small sampler of annual roundups that reaffirm it…
Begin with a Woman…
+ Begin with a woman…defiantly shaking a phantom (or prosthetic) arm at the heavens.
+ Begin with a woman…requesting plastic surgery to make her something LESS (beautiful, endowed, perfect, etc).
+ Begin with a woman…who reads more than she should into her ‘time of the month.’
+ Begin with a woman…discovering something alive in the meat drawer.
+ Begin with a woman…in love with a man BECAUSE he survived her murder attempt.
+ Begin with a woman…applying mascara to a corpse.
+ Begin with a woman…alienated by the newborn creature in her arms.
+ Begin with a woman…baking a dangerous cake.
+ Begin with a woman…and end with a man.
Review the entire “Instigation” department for more prompts. You can share your writing here on The Goreletter by clicking on the ‘comment’ link.
Instigation fans… stay tuned for the return of The Fridge of the Damned! And even more exciting news for writers in the year ahead. Don’t miss out! Subscribe to The Goreletter today.
Here’s a goofy Saturday morning cartoon about “Narwhals” to get your spirits up for New Years. Sure, it’s more PG than my usual choices, but its creator, Mr Weebl references Lovecraftian Horror and that deserves respect. Chances are good you’ve already seen it — it only has about 30 million views on youtube. The song will stick in your head. In fact, it just might impale itself there.
You should check out the beautiful National Geographic photogallery of Hunting Narwhals to see the real things.
A few weeks ago I guest-judged (along with Nathan Rosen and Oonah Joslin) a writing contest they held on the site for short-short horror stories related to the common theme of “art.” It generated a huge response, and I read a lot of very sick stories that made it a difficult process to select the very best. My hat’s off to the winners: Caelin Beaty (for “Chiseled”), Mara Morrigan (for “Disturbing Art”) and Angel Zapata (for “The Blood Worms”). Three very distinctive shots of terror. I sent them all a signed copy of The Gorelets Omnibus, in appreciation for their accomplishments. Start reading those three and I know you won’t be able to stop yourself from reading any of the hundreds upon hundreds of short-short stories on the site. Go to microhorror.com and enjoy.
Microhorror is spearheaded by Nathan Rosen, who you might recognize as the graphic designer behind the “100% Arnzen” meat package I shared with you back in May. Since that time, Nate has been working with me on a couple of future projects that I can’t wait to share in the year to come — from graphic design work for the upcoming re-release of my novel Play Dead in new formats, to a new chapbook to come in 2013, to a realization of my old “Refrigerator of the Damned” in a way you won’t be expecting! Keep your eyes here, or subscribe to The Goreletter for all the exciting news to come in the year ahead.
Working up a video related to “The Fridge of the Damned” (which is something exciting to announce in the New Year!). This snapshot of two overlapping fridge magnets is an outtake I kind of liked and felt compelled to share here. I posted a similar one to flickr last night. [The mouths on both are from an old "Freaky Faces" magnet set we picked up in a gift shop years ago.]
You’ll be hearing a lot more about the Fridge of the Damned soon… hope you’ll participate!
That’s just a hint at their creative genius. Dice Productions has this thing about small things in big places and vice versa. You should also take a gander at their award-winning, touchingly gross full-length feature, All Consuming-Love (Man in a Cat).
Maybe you wouldn’t call this a cartoon, but I don’t care, because you need to see this. The Cat with Hands (2001) is an awesome short film by award-winning British filmmaker Robert Morgan, mixing live action and animated wax in a very uncanny and disturbing way. Film Threat magazine called it “mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to write a horror movie. Not because of what Robert Morgan does, but because of what he doesn’t do.” True. But I’d say what he does accomplish in this film is also just as brilliant.
If you haven’t been listening to the 6’+ (‘six foot plus’) podcast, you’ve been missing out on some weird, strange and spooky music — from psychobilly to demented surf to horror spoken word. The latest episode (#45: “The Holidays are Horrible”) includes a track from my CD, Audiovile, called “Little Stocking Stuffers” — and it’s neat to hear how well it fits in with the rest of the battery of horrifying holiday beats. Stream it online, or subscribe via iTunes.
Last month, Diabolique (the magazine of “Horror for the Connoisseur”) included my short-short, “Convictions” (an excerpt from 100 Jolts), in their fabulous Christmas horror issue. The magazine looks fantastic on an ipad, and you could get your hands on it immediately if you have one of those — or you can also subscribe to the print version, which is a finely produced glossy mag out there. It’s as good as any Rue Morgue or Fangoria, only with it’s own editorial vision that seems to really emphasize the genre more broadly defined, including coverage of hidden gems in film and TV, with essays that seem really smartly written and sophisticated.
I’ll have an all new story in the upcoming “haunted” theme issue (Jan/Feb 2013, #14), called “With This Ring.” The tale is directly inspired by the artpiece above by Anisa Nin, which also will appear therein. This magazine knows what its doing. Check out their website or facebook page…and subscribe!
Phlegm rhymes with gem, stem, and them…words that sound normal enough. In fact, it wouldn’t be such a disgusting word if it weren’t for that perfectly placed letter “g” — that most mucousy of consonants that we can only sound out by constricting the back of our throats. Yet it’s also the one letter in the word we do not pronounce — as if we DARE not pronounce it. For if we ever did, green sputum would gurgle from between our lips like something vile burping up from a sewer drain.
It is a perfect word. Perfectly disgusting. It’s very utterance sounds like we’re sneezing from our stomachs. Its very look on the page is akin to a mucous membrane, viscous and slimy with its dribbly ‘p’ and it’s globular ‘g’ dangling down from the line. Compared to its simple sister, “snot,” or its boring brother, “nasal discharge,” phlegm is some pretty potent pus. But it is also none of these things; phlegm refers specifically to respiratory sputum — it is a lung loogie, pure and simple. While it can be a symptom of any number of bronchial diseases, it is most commonly produced by smoke inhalation or excessive screaming, and therefore everywhere apparent at heavy metal concerts and gas chambers and taxicabs.
Expecting? Expectorating? You know Phlegm would make a good baby name. It’s just…apropos. Especially fun if the baby’s last name is Onyachin, or when you label his sippy cup.