July 30, 2007
The weekend turned out quite nice; Peg and I
took a brief trip to Mum's in Virginia, as her
cousin and his family, from Georgia, came round
for a visit as part of a big road trip vacation.
We all went out to lunch and spent the afternoon
at the Museum of Natural History in
Martinsville, looking at live reptiles and dead
dinosaur bones. Saturday evening, we were back
in NC and met with our friends Sharon and Wayne
for dinner at a new Red Robin restaurant in
Burlington. Heart attack city, but good eatin'.
Got a new tale in the works, targeting a
specific anthology. Making good progress with it
Thursday, July 26, 2007
revisions on The Monarchs and sent
the manuscript to me agent. Whew! Really
hoping to see some good things happen with this
one, as well as with a few other projects still
in the works. There are a couple of anthologies
I'd like to write stories for, so those will
take next priority. Mind you, this can only mean
something big — either good or bad, you never
know — is going to happen because every time I
set up new priorities, things come around to
change them. This is, evidently, one of those
natural laws that cannot be contravened by the
likes of mere mortals.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
So when's the last
time you went to a drive-in movie? I went to the
Starlite drive-in in Durham a couple of times
last year with
Horror Drive-in host Mark Sieber, but sadly,
after the death of its owner, the Starlite
closed. Happily, there's still a very nice
drive-in theater about 30 minutes from here, in
Eden, NC. Peg and I rode up there tonight to see
Transformers; it was on a
double-feature with the new Harry Potter
movie, but it was a bit late getting started and
was actually quite chilly out there, so we opted
not to stay for it. I'm sure I'll catch it
another time. As it was, we got our five
dollars' worth out of the first movie, and we et
the most killer burgers I've had in ages.
I love drive-in theaters. When I was a young'un,
I went frequently, particularly to catch
Godzilla movies — not to mention a host of the
B-horror flicks from the late 60s and early 70s.
Going to drive-ins was a favorite part of growing up,
and I've always lamented their passing. Sadly,
all the drive-ins in my old hometown are gone.
Just about anyone who owns a drive-in theater
these days is doing so for the love, as they're
generally not viable investments if you're
looking to make a profit. I was thrilled to see
the Eden drive-in tonight packed wall-to-wall,
without a vacant spot to be found (and it's a
200-car lot). We chatted with a few of the folks
parked around us, and everyone was as pleasant
as can be and seemed to be having a really good
time. I hope the Eden drive-in will be around
for quite some time to come because it's close
enough for me to be something of a regular
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Nine months almost
to the day...I have birthed a new novel, which I
call The Monarchs. I slapped down
the final words tonight and closed the file.
I'll have some revisions to do here and there
before it goes to my agent, but the bulk of
thing is finally finished. I guess I need to
smoke a single cigarette now — but then that
might have some pretty ugly consequences.
Anyhoo, what a feeling to have finished up
another one. It was actually an emotionally
challenging book to write. The characters are
different from any I have attempted before, and
the protagonist faces moral choices that were
actually rather stressful to deal with.
Well. Let us hope for good things with it on the
Monday, July 16, 2007
in the woods, this time camping out at
Deer Island on Philpott Lake, Virginia.
Saturday morning at the crack of dawn, Peg and I
set out with a convoy of eleven folks, hit the
boat dock at Salthouse Branch about 9:00
and paddled over to the island — which took
several trips in three canoes with all the
and gear. Weather-wise, it was beautiful, though
hotter than Grandma Looney's kitchen during the
day and downright cold at night. There was much
cooking of dead cow, imbibing of spirits, and
swatting of bugs the size of Japanese Zeros.
Yesterday, we were entertained by a
gentleman who was attempting to learn to water
ski and having no success. I don't think he ever
got up on his feet, and it sounded like the boat
ran out of gas from circling around to to get
him so many times. Not that I'm casting
any stones, mind you; I haven't water skied in twenty
years, and back then, I wrote the book on how to
wipe out with perfect gracelessness whenever I hit a wake.
It was a fine group to camp with; some old
friends of ours and friends of friends. We
pretty much took over the north end of the
and I offer my apologies to the Sasquatch family
we seemed to have displaced.
So, there was no writing to be done over the
weekend. I reckon I'll be playing catch-up again
over the next few days. The break was well worth
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Several days in a row away
from the office.... Man, if I could afford to live like
this, I could afford to live like this. Buckled down
over several long shifts and wrote a couple of chapters
in The Monarchs, which leaves me with
about two to go. A few more days off so I
could really crank this thing out would be just the
ticket, but, alas, all good
On the social side, July 4 was great. Peg and I hung out
with our friends Gary and Davina; we ate well, drank
well, and watched The Lion, the Witch, and the
Wardrobe, which we all enjoyed. Then, since Peg
had to work on Thursday and Friday, I headed up to the
old homestead in Virginia, mostly to write, but I also
spent quality time with Mum; visited with my good
friends Joe and Suzie Albanese; watched Shooter,
which was good, dumb fun; and ate and drank well some
Not too shabby for what amounted to a little working
vacation. Just hope the next one isn't too far off....
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Well...nothing like a wee
bit of pressure to
get the inspiration flowing. Last Wednesday, I believe
it was, I received a note from William Jones at Elder
Signs Press, asking if I might be able to come up with a
4,000-word story for his upcoming anthology,
High Seas Cthulhu in a week's time. Well,
since Cthulhu and I go back a ways, and he frowns when I
disappoint him, I figured I didn't dare refuse. So on
Thursday, I set to work feverishly on a new tale, which
I titled "Signals," and finished it up on Sunday night.
I let it cool a bit, revised it on Monday, and sent it
to Mr. Jones last night. The contract arrived today, so
"Signals" is officially in deep water. I actually had a
blast writing this tale, and I think it'll be fun for
contributors include Alan Dean Foster, John Shirley,
Darrell Schweitzer, Gerard Houarner, and more.
Of course, this put me a few days behind working on my
novel, The Monarchs, which is getting so
close to the end I can taste it, but I'm taking off work
on Thursday and Friday so I can have an extended
holiday. I'll mostly be using the time to play catch-up.
I'm really looking forward to it....
Hope everyone has an explosive Fourth of July.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
And yet another of my
favorite Toho daikaiju flicks has hit the streets,
courtesy of Tokyo Shock DVD.
Frankenstein Conquers the World (a.k.a.
Frankenstein vs. Baragon) is an oldie but a
goodie that stars Nick Adams and features a giant,
radioactively mutated Frankenstein monster engaged in a
wrestling match with the horned, reptilian beast named
Baragon (who appeared in a different incarnation in the
Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out
Attack). It's all played very
somber and straight, which is just the way I like 'em,
and in spite of its silly-sounding concept, it comes
together as a damn fine monster romp, with a first-rate
score by Akira Ifukube. The DVD features both the
original Japanese version and, ostensibly, the 1965
American International Pictures' release. However, there
were several excellent special-effects scenes in the
original American release that were never in the
Japanese version, and those scenes are missing here as
well — although they still appear on television prints
broadcast by American Movie Classics and the like. They
are featured on the DVD as "deleted scenes," and the
video quality is poor. Regardless, the DVD features lots
of extras and the print and sound quality is sterling. I
rate it five out of six beers (six being the best).
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Got me some loving in the
latest issue of
G-Fan magazine. Writer Mike Bogue gave
Blue Devil Island such
a terribly nice review that I kinda turned all into slag
again. I mean, this is really messy. I might
have to whomp him one because I'm not sure I'm going to
be able to properly reconstitute.
A little sample: "This deft combination of WWII action,
supernatural horror, and Lovecraftian fantasy kept me
reading well past my bedtime; in fact, after I'd
finished the book, I missed not having it to read any
longer. Best read in the dark of night, Blue Devil
Island is more fun than scarfing down a double
cheeseburger, fries, and extra large malt in seconds
flat, and far less fattening. Do yourself a favor — buy
a copy of Rainey's latest novel and consume it in one
sitting. You won't find any empty calories here, but you
may feel as though you just ate a four-star meal."
Not only did the reviewer come dangerously close to
making my head swell, he went and flung a craving on me
for some hideous junk food. I'm not sure that was very
nice, Mr. Bogue.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Great stuff on the movie front this week. The Classic
Media DVDs of
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and
Invasion of the Astro-Monster (a.k.a.
Monster Zero), which feature both the
original Japanese versions and U.S. releases. I can't
count the number of times I've seen both movies, but
these DVDs are so gorgeous, it's almost like seeing
whole new movies. Lots of extra features, too, including
a bio featurette about producer Tomoyuki Tanaka written
by my old buddy Ed Godziszewski and produced by Bill
Gudmundson (see the Invasion of the People Canners
entry in last month's edition of
The Log [April 10]).
you're reading The Log, you're no doubt aware that Mark was, is,
and always shall be an unabashed, diehard daikaiju freak.
Between Sony, Classic Media, and Tokyo Shock, this has been a
great couple of years for the release of so many giant monster
romps presented as they ought to be seen. With all the extra
features and input from bona fide daikaiju experts such as
Godziszewski, Gudmundson, Stuart Galbraith IV, Bob Eggleton, and
others, Classic Media has really done these movies justice.
Frankenstein Conquers the World is soon due
from Tokyo Shock, who also generally delivers the goods. Now if
they would just get
War of the Gargantuas out to us, I'd really
be a happy boy.
I'm thinking I need to go stomp on some model tanks. Bye.
June 18, 2007
I trust that writer
Scott Falkner won't mind me putting a link here to
his blog, which kind of melted me into a big yucky
puddle (a good kind of puddle):
Scott Falkner on Blue Devil Island
Dude discovers firewater.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
A beautiful friggin' weekend at the old homestead. The
missus, my brother
Phred, and I spent a wunnerful
evening in the woods on Saturday night, following a
grilling of some of the best steaks ever cut from a dead cow.
Couldn't have asked for a nicer night. Well, it did
start out a bit on the hot and humid side, but it got
The setting is up yonder in ye old
Fugue Devil woods, so the place has a lot of history
for yours truly.
I say, is that an orb hiding out behind my brother?
Friday, June 15, 2007
Today would have been my dad's 77th birthday. Dad passed
away in April 2001 of complications from diabetes. I
expect anyone here who is close to his or her parents
can understand the empty feeling that has lingered with
me ever since he left. My dad was not the perfect man by
any stretch, but he was the one human being on this
earth that I consider a true role model. Sometimes when
I look in the mirror I see his influence — not so much
in the physical image as the spiritual — and there are
days when that sight is the only thing that gives me any
reason to believe that I've got a chance in the world to
make good on this life. When my daughter was young, it
was my dad that I looked to learn how to be a father.
I'm forever bemused by the attitude that "I'm not gonna
grow up to be my parents." Jesus God, if only I could
have been the kind of father to my kid that my dad was
to me. Then I might have been able, when the time comes,
to check out of this life and say, yes, I was a success
at something. I tried, but it was impossible to come up
anything but short.
That picture there is one of my favorites of Dad as a
youngster. As you can see, I come by the scowl honestly.
That must have been taken around 1937 or 38, so that
expression has a pretty good history.
Father's Day is coming up, and when Dad was around, all
too often, I remembered Father's Day only because it was
so close to his birthday. My memory is a bit better now.
Well, this one is for my dad. I miss you, Pa.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
William Bolen posted a link on the
HWA message board to Jared Hindman's
Head Injury Theater, and I
couldn't resist passing it along. This one is "The ABCs
of Horror," which is priceless beyond MasterCard,
and there are several other astounding little works such
as "The ABCs Are Not Religious" and "The Geek ABCs" on
his site. I wasn't familiar with Jared's work up to now,
but as he updates the site regularly, I think I'm going
to become a repeat visitor. Browse around the different
sections for a lot of different treats. It's worth a
I trust Jared won't mind if I pop a sample of his work
up here to entice you to visit...
Friday, June 8, 2007
'Course, by the time I'm
able to get this posted, it's old news, but Shocklines,
online bookstore extraordinaire, is closing down. I'm a
bit bummed about it, since, in my book, proprietor Matt
Schwartz is one of the good guys. I've dealt with him
quite a bit over the last couple of years, and he's
proven his integrity umpteen times — buying and selling
in timely fashion, offering free shipping, and always
making sure he's got a stock of my books, autographed.
The message board will remain in operation, which is
welcome news, since I always enjoy stopping in to plug
stuff or yap with a few good folks now and again. Matt
posted all about his decision (here),
and though I find it all a bit saddening, he's doing
what he needs to do with his life. I really wish him the
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
And a happy D-Day
anniversary to you too. I woke up this morning with a
hankering to invade Normandy, though it took a little
while to figure out why.
Received a nice invitation to be on a horror authors'
panel at the Cameron Village Library in Raleigh, NC,
sometime in October. Sounds like fun, so I'm penciling it in.
Hopefully, it'll be on a weekend when I'm free. (Date is still to be announced.)
The Harrowing, is also scheduled to attend.
by the excellent Mr. William Jones, has been officially announced. It's
slated to include "Terror From Middle Island" (originally published in
Wisdom magazine #9), which I
Durant Haire. The pre-release cover art
looks reasonably cool.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Nicely balancing some
negative criticisms, scary writer
Jack Kincaid writes the following about
The Nightmare Frontier:
"I've never before read a writer who could
capture the spirit of what Lovecraft aimed to do — among
other things, that crushing, nearly maddening cosmic
terror — so competently and, most importantly, without
contracting many of Lovecraft's flaws. There's something
genuine about this. I envy it. Once upon a time, this
was something I wanted to attain. Now I know why I
couldn't. Rainey had it. Damn him. It's high-voltage.
It's scary (and not the cheap thrills kind of scary.)
There's lots of action. It shows more than it tells. It
almost shows too much.
When he goes on a description binge, the man scares me.
Don't misunderstand. Rainey
has a voice of his own. It's his own structure.
Lovecraft just happens to haunt it and I doubt Rainey
has any plans to exorcise him.
There's quite a few Lovecraft-inspired writers out there
and mountains of Lovecraftian fiction. Given that
capturing that level of cosmic dread is no small order,
I've read many embarrassing attempts by otherwise
HPL would be proud."
Well, that makes me smile.
What is also makes me smile is Larry (The
Lost Skeleton of Cadavra) Blamire's handful
of Twilight Zone-inspired shorts, aptly
From the Pub. Check it out.
And the April/May Log goes
into the archive.
So Renfield at Horror-Web.com didn't much care for
The Nightmare Frontier, but you can't please
everyone. Better to get a less-than-glowing review that
actually says something than an empty summation of the
story, which is all too often the case.
The Nightmare Frontier at Horror-Web