Nightmares aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be

"OMG, I totally forgot to study! The horror!"

The other night I dreamt I was being chased by three zombie children dressed in white.  It was horrifying.  I jerked awake and lay in bed trying to shake the images from my head.  Eventually, I drifted back to sleep only to be greeted with another dream of a man stooped before another man holding an axe above his head.  The stooped man was pleading for his life, but the other man didn’t seem to care.  Before bringing down his ax, he looked at me and smiled.  The ax came down and the poor, pleading man lost his head.  I woke up in a cold sweat.

A few mornings later, I was sitting at my computer typing away, as I am wont to do, and I heard my wife scream from the bedroom.  I shouted, “What’s wrong?” To which she replied, “Bad dream.”  I let it go at that because my wife often has bad dreams.  When I ask her about them, she usually says, “It was just too awful.  I can’t stand all these bad dreams.”  Later in the day, I decided to tell her about my bad dreams.

She looked at me horrified and said, “Those are really bad dreams.”

I asked, “Well, what are your bad dreams about?”

“Nothing like that. It’s usually me showing up at some event wearing clothes that don’t fit, or I’m back in school, and I realize I haven’t studied for my final exams.”

I tried not to look amused or confused, but I must have smirked because she said, “Don’t laugh because you’re never there to support me when it happens.”

“You mean I’m not in your dreams?’


What’s the lesson? One wife’s nightmare is her husband’s failure to breach time and space to save her from total, albeit imagined, humiliation.

BTW – I let my wife read this before I posted it, and she refuted almost every word.  I really am going to start recording our conversations.

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Update on Future Books

Little Known Fact - I played "Happy Zombie #3" in Romero's Land of the Dead!

I’ve seen a lot of searches for Land of the Dead, and I know I promised February/March.  I’m moving that to April/May.  I know. I know.  This is looking like Axl Rose and the whole China album situation, but this isn’t a temperamental artist thing.  This is “my day job got in the way” thing.  Got rid of the day job.  No more excuses.  This book contains a real life “monster” from our country’s history, so there is a lot more research on my end, and then fitting that history into Oz’s struggle to save the Storytellers!  BTW – I’m changing the title to “The Dead” because the great George Romero has a movie titled “The Land of the Dead” and I don’t want to tread on the master’s toes. Plus, my dead aren’t zombies, and I just feel like it confuses things a bit.  John Houston’s last film was titled “The Dead,” and it was based on a short story by James Joyce with the same title, but I was once assigned to read Ulysses by Joyce in college, and I’m still pissed about that, so “The Dead” it is.

On a similar note, I’ve decided to keep the title for the series.  The Oz Chronicles will remain.

I’m working on about 3 other books, too.  None of them are Oz Chronicles books.  One is another end of the world scenario.  One touches on metaphysical issues, and the other is a nonfiction book about personal branding.

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Night of the Living Dead Part 3

I hope your Saturday is as awesome as mine.  Can you feel the creep of Halloween upon us?  No.  C’mon, you need to get into the grove.  Here watch this week’s installment of George Romero’s classic film, Night of the Living Dead.  That should help you get your creep on!

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Freaky Search Friday – October 16, 2009 Edition

Was she a babe?  Yes, but shes the wholesome type, people.  Keep your minds out of the gutter!

Was she a babe? Yes, but she's the wholesome type, people. Keep your minds out of the gutter!

Freaky search Friday is here!  Let the freak party roll.  The freaks must be gearing up for Halloween, because they don’t seem to be on the interwebs as much as they have been in the past.   Once again, I’m not judging you.  I’m just laughing at you.

10. helicopter fishing marlin – This is quite the evolved marlin.  And what bait do you use to catch helicopters?

9. zombie how to get rid of them – I’ve found the best way to get rid of zombies is to only serve vegetarian meals. They’ll stop coming around.

8. i smell the dead movie – I suggest cremation or burial.  You may also need to fumigate.

7. coolest gorilla – This one makes me smile.  To think, someone was directed to my site to find the coolest gorilla.  While they probably found this picture, I like to think they were looking for Ajax.  Ajax is the coolest gorilla.  If you don’t know who Ajax is, then this is an awkward moment for both of us.  Read my book and all will be forgiven.

6. what fish carries its babies in its mout – I don’t know the fish, but don’t tell Octomom about this.  She doesn’t exactly make the best decisions when it comes to child rearing.  We don’t need to give her any ideas.

5. jeff goldblum favorite food – According to what I learned about the Jeff from The Fly (My favorite Non-Woody Allen movie with Jeff Goldblum in it), he likes sugary food that he can throw up on. I know I’ve picked on Goldblum a few times on this blog, and I have nothing against him, but I do find it weird that he has such a rabid fan base.  They want to see him shirtless.  They want to know his favorite food.  They want to know his birthday. Blah, blah, blah.  I just never knew he had that kind of following.

4. topless male celebs 2009 – Somebody got tired of searching for shirtless male celebrities one at a time.  There were several queries for shirtless male celebrities this week.  It would be exhausting to include them all.  BTW – Can men be topless?  Topless to me suggests something that it is taboo.  This also reminds me of my favorite newspaper headline.  My brother-in-law saw it in either the Daily News or the Post. I can’t remember which one.  “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar!”

3. degrees of wizardry – While normal people may find this search bizarre, it’s not that crazy.  It is possible to get a degree of wizardry at Flamel College.   It just goes to show you there is a place for everybody.

2. http://www.donnareed nude .com – No joke, there were over half a dozen searches for some variation of the term, Donna Reed nude.    Now, the good news here is that every time some one searches for nude pictures of Donna Reed an angel gets its wings.  Wait for it…. Wait for it… You got it!

And the number 1 freakiest search term used to find my blog is:

1. NASA blows the moon – This is an example of how crucial it is to include every word you intended in an online search.  Without the word “up”, this search has an entirely different meaning.  In all fairness, I think that NASA and the moon are just friends.  If anything, they have engaged in some handholding in the past, but that’s as far as it’s gone.

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The Saturday Halloween Post – Night of the Living Dead (Part 1)

If you’ve read my books, you know I’m a horror kind of guy.  I love being scared almost as much as scaring people.  There is no doubt that George Romero is one of my influences.  The Skinner Dead that make their appearance in Délon City are my version of Romero-like zombies.  So, given that I like horror, and given that Halloween is just around the corner, I’ve decided to post clips from Romero’s zombie classic, Night of the Living Dead, every Saturday.  It was shot in 1968, and it still creeps me out.  If you like horror, and you haven’t seen it, I urge you to rent or buy the DVD. 

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Castaways – A Terrifying Romp with Some Horrifying Cryptids


Missing Links Enjoy Human Buffet!

Missing Links Enjoy Human Buffet!

I spent a lot of time in airports and airplanes last week which means I got to catch up on some reading.  I’m not one of those guys that can whip out the laptop in a public place and crank out some pages (and don’t get me started on the people who feel it necessary to include me in on their cell phone conversation by talking like they’re in a crowded stadium.  Use your inside voice, people).  I always cross my fingers that I have a good book to read during all this downtime.  There’s nothing worse than finding yourself with four hours to kill, and the book you’re reading sucks out loud..  


Fortunately, I had a great book, Castaways.  I was first introduced to author Brian Keene with his book The Rising – an apocalyptic story with a twist, intelligent zombies.  It is an edge-of-your-seat gore fest that has you wincing and squirming and wanting more.  The follow-ups, City of the Dead and Dead Sea  have more gore and squirm-appeal (although the zombies go back to mindless flesh eaters in DS).  Keene has established himself as a master of the zombie genre.

Castaways is not a zombie book, but it is a shudder-a-second thrill ride.  Imagine the TV show Survivor with a bunch of carnivorous missing-links running around making meals out of the contestants, and you have the premise of this superb horror novel.   A warning to parents who visit this blog looking for young adult novels for their kids, this is not for young adults.  There are explicit rape scenes, and graphic passages of people being eaten.  This is not for the faint of heart or for the kiddies.  I’m not a fan of books with rape scenes as a rule, but if there is such a thing as approaching that sort of thing with great care and sensitivity, Keene does it.  Rape is horrific, and no one should ever have to go through it.  I found myself hurting for the women who were subject to it in the book.  In fact as I was reading this portion of the book to myself, a relative asked me why I was so angry.  Apparently I had a noticeable scowl.  As a storyteller, it would have been dishonest of Keene to leave it out. 

Cryptohiles will recognize the cryptids in this book (a cryptid is an unknown animal), or the cryptid they most closely resemble, I should say.  It is the Orang Pendek.  They are short bipedal apes that have been seen but not scientifically documented on the island of Sumatra.   Keene gives a great non-intrusive history of the urban myth that is surrounding these animals. Granted, he gives them a viciousness that as far as I know has never been reported before, but given the behavior of Travis the chimp in Connecticut a few weeks ago, it is highly plausible.  I am a crypto-nerd, and I have to say I loved this element of the story. 

This book will also speak to one seemingly unreachable group that seemingly rarely visits the literary world, The Howard Stern fans.  If you know the show, you know the on-air brainless duo of Richard and Sal. They make an extremely satisfying cameo in this book.  Spoiler Alert – Their appearance is satisfying because they both get eaten by the short bipeds.  Richard is a dumb loveable hick on the show and in the book, and you do feel kind of bad when he gets torn to shreds, but I found myself relishing Sal’s delicious end.  Yea, Orang Pendeks! 

If you are a horror fan, crypto fan, or Howard Stern fan, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.  Keene has a great fast paced writing style with gritty, realistic dialogue that hooks you in and keeps you turning the page.  Every thumb up (including the freakish third thumb that I keep in a jar by my nightstand)!