Friday, March 21, 2008

Why a Sea Shanty? A Contest, Of Course!

Shanty Me a Story
Okay, if you've stopped by my profile over at MySpace, you may have noticed the sea shanty playing as my profile tune. Why a shanty, you might ask...or maybe not, since I'm just goofy enough to post a sea shanty for the halibut (sorry, I couldn't help myself). Well, I'll tell you why. Besides the obvious moment of distraction from my story writing to compose a blog, I just needed a little inspiration. Believe it or not, mateys, I'm writing a pirate story. As a matter of fact, I've been writing it for hours and hours, hence my state of near madness and my need for distraction.

And yes, it's a horror story, but with a pirate ship background, and no there's no sea monsters (that I know of). I suspect this story is not your normal pirate fare, but what do I know? Well, I know I'm writing it, and I'm not normal, so it's just going to be different. It's called "Sea Urchin" and it will be one of my dark little lovelies (well, actually it's pretty long...and ugly) for the short story collection, Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales, due to be released this June from Apex.

Now, if you'll recall, I'm a Gemini, which means there will be a WIDE variety of story subjects in this book, and if you don't like pirates stories (I still think you'll like this one) there will be lots of other madness to indulge in. To name just a few, we've got gravy lovers, Pacific islands and nightmares, and science experiments gone wrong. There's parrots, critters with cleavers, shrubs with an attitude, and of course, there's that nasty little Stoker finalist, Mama's Boy.

Oooo, just this moment, this very minute (serious, just now), I had an inspiration. Let's do a contest! A pirate contest. Yeah!

Okay, here goes...

In the comments section of this blog, post one of the following:

1. Your Favorite Pirate Saying

2. Your Favorite Pirate Book or Movie

I'll do a random drawing from all the comments with a deadline of April 15th (if it's good enough for the IRS, it's good enough for me...tee hee). Watch here the following week and I'll announce the winner. The prize - A copy of Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales (when it's released, of course).

BONUS- for an EXTRA chance to win a copy of the collection AND a signed original copy of the manuscript for the story "Sea Urchin" all you have to do is:

Post a pic of youself looking like a pirate in the comments section of this blog . Even an eyepatch will make it so, but feel free to be creative.

So there you have it, my first contest inspiration for the MB collection. I hope you like it. Just remember you shanty-phobes, this isn't a book about pirates, it's just one story, but the bugger of a story is haunting my every moment right now, so ARGGGGGH, we're doing a pirate contest!

Dang, pirates are cranky, aren't they? *wink*

Have fun, gang, and let me see your pirate within!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Got Dreams? Then Watch This!

Got Dreams?

No matter what your dream - writing a best seller, painting a mural in Paris, singing at the Met, walking on Mars, fiddling at Carnegie Hall - watching this little video will help you along the path. Don't miss it - it may be just what you need to see today. It's certainly what I needed to see.

Thank you Nancy Frank for making sure I had a chance to see it. *HUGE HUG*

RandyPausch - The Last Lecture

Add to My Profile | More Videos

You can see the original Last Lecture held at Carnegie Mellon. It's a wonderful, more in depth version, just in case you're looking for more:

Part 1 or 4:

Part 2 of 4:

Part 3 of 4:

Part 4 of 4:

Btw, what are your dreams? I really do want to know. As you might imagine from my line of work, I like a good nightmare, but what you may not know is that I LOVE dreams.

Got dreams?

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I'm No Hitchcock

Even More Global Domination
Okay, before we get to the magnificent Alfred, I wanted to alert you to the ever growing threat of world domination coming from my favorite, I mean, that dastardly mag and publishing house Apex. The fiends have taken another giant step forward to their goal by hiding behind their brand spankin' new highly professional and easy to navigate website. Stop by and see for yourself. It's a hideous plot, I tell ya'. While you're there, be sure to buy something. Commerce is the only way to keep them distracted from their ultimate goal. I highly recommend Gratia Placenti...FABOO!

But if you can't beat 'em, Join 'Em!

Now, To Alfred
I've looked at a lot of elements that have contributed to my twisted sensibilities, hence my penchant for writing horror, and one of my earliest memories of being emotionally marred was Alfred Hitchcock's, Psycho. I was a darn good faker as a kid, and one fateful night, I faked being asleep on the sofa while my parents watched Norman do his dirty deeds. I watched the whole wicked movie with one eye closed, not moving a muscle for fear of being discovered and banished from the horror and the delight of my decadent viewing.

There's a reason why parents don't allow their kids to watch horror, and I'm living proof. That movie scarred me for life, and just now as I think about it, my novella Mama's Boy was no doubt an opportunity to purge some of that scarring. Jeesh, the things we discover buried in our own little psychic-cemeteries when we least expect them.

Anyway, I'd like to contribute to your delinquency by offering up a real treat. Last night I found a fantastic site - The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. There you'll find links to full length episodes of that wickedly wonderful show.

For a nostalgic ride into Scaryville with Alfred & Co. - CLICK HERE!

I'm No Hitchcock
No siree, I'm no Mr. Hitchcock, but that didn't stop me from making a lame attempt at a little video making myself. Actually, it was just a bit of a laugh to try making a video or sorts with the program. It's very limited and it's too slow, and on and on I could complain, but it was free and it was fun. Following is the link rather than a video player. I didn't want to post the embedded video, because it plays automatically (no auto on-off switch - one of those things I could complain about, but I won't...or did I just? :D ), so I didn't want it to knock over anyone's machines, particularly folks that might have dial-up.

With all that said, please give the link below a little clickety, and let me know if you like my lame-o MB vid:

MB is Back - Summer 2008!

Have a fine week, kids, and enjoy a little Hitchcock for me.

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

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