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Michael Arnzen's Weird Newsletter

+++Vol. 9.5 | November 2014+++

Chernobyl Potatoes


As I wrap up this year's volume of The Goreletter, I want to thank you again for subscribing. Stick around. Next year is going to rock.

To express my appreciation of everyone who continues to read my unsane work, I've made my ebook, Sportuary, FREE on from 11/27-12/1.

Nab yours between Thanksgiving morning and midnight on Cyber Monday. Add it to your kindle with ease. But if you don't have one, you can still read it online through any of the free Kindle Reader Apps ( or the neat Kindle Cloud Reader ( If you're too late, know that the book will remain part of the “Kindle Unlimited” program after this special freebie deal terminates.

For more informaton about Sportuary visit:

People like you and me are blood. Spray it forward.
And again – my undying thanks. This issue includes a contest below and all sorts of weirdness. Read on. Happy Holidays!

Grave Markings: Bonus Features!

You probably recall my announcement last issue that Raw Dog Screaming Press has released a 20th Anniversary Edition of my Bram Stoker Award-winning first novel, Grave Markings, making it available in both trade paperback and ebook format for the very first time.

Thanks to everyone who picked up a copy – any copy, new or old, over the past twenty years. The latest version is extra special, with over 50 pages of new content, articles and stories, so check it out.

I know you're not the sort to skip ahead and read a book's ending, but don't overlook the very last page of the book, which features a “secret link” to ONLINE BONUS FEATURES – which include a large photo scrapbook and an audio recording of my entire reading at Terrault Gallery during the Bizarro Halloween Launch Party for the book. You can see snippets of that experience here:

But in the online Bonus Features you'll also see alternative cover art and tattoo “flash,” shots of the biker magazines I used to write for in the 90's, scanned pages from the original Dell/Abyss manuscript, author photos you won't see anywhere else (including the infamous mullet shot), and much more. In the audio you'll hear me read the entire prologue to the book alongside some flash fiction and poetry…while the audience chanted and a beating heart was passed around the room (no lie!!!).

$4.99 ebook from

$12.99 paperback from Raw Dog Screaming Press

GORELETS: Unpleasant Poems


It wasn't the green glow that got me,
nor the way they made their own
Geiger counter-like clicking
as their fleshy and fingering shoots
twitched their tiny calloused hooves
together. I was morbidly fascinated,
I admit, by their wet pink eyes,
dilated as a dying albino's,
freaked with blood-purple veins,
and squirting around
in an unholy search for shelter
from your hands – your bare hands –
and those were what
finally got to me
when you squeezed them
in all three of your fists
and I realized your intention
was to mash them alive
right before my very eyes
as a sacrifice for our survival.



Storytelling Night at Riley's Pour House
Dec 30th, 2014 @ 7pm | Carnegie, PA
An end-of-the-year encore event

March 18-22, 2015 | Orlando, FL
“Teaching Horror” panels and more

World Horror Convention 2015
May 7-10th, 2015 | Atlanta, GA
The 25th Anniversary Party

Nightsun Writer's Workshops
July 23-26th, 2015 | Frostburg, MD
Arnzen teaching genre fiction courses
Register by July 1st to Participate!

World Horror Convention 2016
April 28-May 1st, 2016 | Provo, UT
Mark your calendars in blood…
Arnzen will be a Special Guest!


Fun snippets from the Grave Markings launch party:

* Video clip: Arnzen reading from Grave Markings

* Event Recap + Audio : “The Seven Headed Beast” with audience chant at Bizarro Halloween event:

* Raw Dog Screaming Press event recap

* Video playlist: Blake Burkhead recites an original Gorelet from memory, along with other readings of the evening by G. Arthur Brown, JL Gribble, K. Ceres Wright, Nathan Rosen and John Edward Lawson.

* I wrote a Fridge of the Damned poem for a character in the novel, the infamous Cheri Carvers.


* On Goodreads? I now have an “Ask the Author” area on my author page on the site and I welcome you to ask away!

* I joined the HWA's Horror Selfie movement. See below for a related contest!

* The SFPA “Halloween Poetry Readings” edited by Stephanie Wytovich are all still online, if you want to hear my music-backed nightmare poem, “Katzen Clavier,” along with dark recitations by many familiar names in the genre.

* You might not hear from me as often this Spring. My attention will be focused in the year to come on The Popular Uncanny. Recommendations about the topic are always welcome.


Haikuween Poetry Slam w/Stephanie Wytovich

Horror poet Stephanie Wytovich ( and I have shared many a poetry reading stage over the past year or two, and every single time we agree to compete by “slamming” new poems on a shared theme challenge. So it was only fitting that on Halloween we both traded horror haiku on twitter for four hours non-stop, and invited others to join us for the potential to win prizes (announced below). What follows is the best of the Arnzen vs. Wyto #haikuween-a-thon….

* My costume tonight / is the skin of a large man / dressed as leatherface (Arnzen)
* Hello, my dear ones/ Reach into my bag of treats / Be careful. They bite. (Wyto)
* razor-blade candy / is extra tasty when licked / after it's been chewed (Arnzen)
* I eat candy corn with Death / we pick our victims / draw straws to see who kills first (Wyto)
* smashing old pumpkins / hundreds of seeds spray asphalt — / but twenty are teeth (Arnzen)
* Yum! He was tasty / but he’s in-between my teeth/ I'll floss with his veins (Wyto)
* kid drops candy corn / like seed on the graveyard soil — / a mouth emerges (Arnzen)
* Satan and I used to date / it didn’t work out / Rosemary had his baby! (Wyto)
* as mom searches bag / for any harmful candy — / kid unmasks — not hers! (Arnzen)
* I meet Freddy in my sleep / but I wear the glove / and the children sing of me (Wyto)
* he thought 'masquerade' / was a juice made of children — / blended in costume (Arnzen)

Not sure who won the slam, but I applaud Wytovich for playing along – and I recommend folks check out her new book, Mourning Jewelery ( .

The real winner of the night, however, was Eric Stoveken (, one of many folks who joined us in the fray by sharing their own haiku for the chance to win a prize. Eric (@EMStoveken on twitter) posted this creepy ditty:

Children’s icy hands / Reach, I think, for the candy / Grab my wrist. I’m wrong

Eric won a copy of a signed/lettered CD that captures Wyto and me riffing on Edgar Allan Poe, called Poedown ( . Only 26 copies of this exist. And you can win one of these very rare recordings, too, if you participate in the contest mentioned later in this issue!

Even if you're not on twitter, you can find more of this weirdness and more in the non-stop archive of all my tweets, updated hourly at The Nest at


twisted prompts for sicko writers

Horror for the Holidays

Discover the weirdest story you can by simply freewriting (without stopping to edit) in response to one the following prompts and seeing where it takes you.

+ a possessed belt buckle
+ murder by butter
+ the carving of the beast
+ a sinister game at the children's table
+ a postmodern puritan meets a elderly witch
+ gravy, in zero gravity
+ a secret trophy on the Xmas tree
+ serving up hot cider – named “Suicider”
+ ceremonial burning inside the chimney
+ inappropriate carolling
+ new year's eve in prison
+ the snow smothers
+ snow angel chalk outlines
+ the tree feels it all
+ Rudolph the Red-Tipped Pain Spear
+ new year's cocktails from hell
+ the haunted advent calendar

Want it even weirder? Then subscribe to the newsletter put out by one of my favorite publishers, Raw Dog Screaming Press ( Starting with their next issue, I'll be writing a new department for them called “Bizarro Instigation.” It's just like the “creative prompts on the dark side” you're used to, only these ones are going to push your brain through a pasta machine and see what sort of noodly doodly surprises result. The upstarts at RDSP might even pour some writing contests or other gravy over the top of them. Don't miss out – and stay abreast of this publisher's cutting edge series of books and great special offers (like THIS one (, ending soon!)

And whenever you need a little spur in the nether regions, don't forget that the free web app of doom, Diabolique Strategies is always just a click away!


The Horror Writer's Association is running a great contest called “Thanks for the Nightmares!” to spread the word about the genre. All it takes is posting a horror-oriented selfie to And guess what: if you do this before Dec 1st, the HWA is offering a prize! Here's the simple rules:

Submit a selfie to ( featuring your favorite work of horror. The selfie with the most comments wins the choice of an Amazon Kindle or Kobo Touch (or gift card for equal value)! But this contest ends soon – 12/1/14 12:00 AM EST. If you are amazing enough to win the HWA “Thanks for the Nightmares” contest with a photo of an Arnzen book in your shot, I'll match their prize with a free signed/limited hardcover edition of Grave Markings 10th Anniversary Edition from Delirium Books ($100 value)!

But that's a lot to ask on such short notice. How about this? If you simply post a selfie with an Arnzen book and tell me about it ANYTIME between now and New Year's Eve, I'll enter you in a random draw contest for a free lettered edition CD, Poedown: Arnzen vs. Wytovich Live along with a randomly chosen free Arnzen book and a set of Fridge of the Damned Poetry magnets. Just email with a link to let me know and I'll comment and share your selfie, too.


Arnzen's Horror Selfie:


Do you subscribe to the Mastication Publications email list? It's a good way to catch breaking news of any independently produced work I put out on my own… and there's some secret projects that have been percolating. So subscribe. You'll get a free copy of Nathan Rosen's gloriously designed Arnzen collection, Meat Shots, and a discount on Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side just for signing up! Issues are delivered rarely, but that's only because I save up all the good stuff till its digestible. Join us!

Subscribe here:


“With empty hands, no man should hawks allure.”
– Anonymous Proverb


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© Copyright 2014, Michael A. Arnzen - All rights reserved

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goreletter/chernobyl_potatoes.txt · Last modified: 2014/12/06 10:01 by marnzen

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