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News & Events for C. Dennis Moore

BOOKS!!!

Posted 8/31/2014

Today's post is about one of my favorite things in the world: books.  I read everything, and I've always got something I'm "currently" reading.  Lately, that's been the task of working through my massive back issue collection, which is over a foot tall, but I have recently purchased a few Kindle books, nonfiction, no less, and have slowly slowly SLOWLY been working through them as well:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first STARTED the Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook last week on break at work, but just couldn't get into it and I think I stopped after the intro.  I WILL finish it, because I think it's an important subject to know about going forward with self publishing.  I DID finish WHY AUTHORS FAIL, though, and I have to say I was unimpressed.  A lot of obvious stuff, stuff I recognized myself a long time ago, and I found very little here that actually applied to ME.

I'm still in the middle of HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL USING THE SNOWFLAKE METHOD, and I'm still undecided.  It's a nonfiction book written like a fiction book, which is an interesting take.  However, once I finish it and try to go back through and apply what I've learned to my own methods for novel writing, it's going to be hard to pinpoint the tip I need, because of the way the information is presented.  What we get instead of a how-to, which is what I expected and wanted, we read the story of a writer named Goldilocks who is attending a workshop presented by Baby Bear, as we see him help her through the process of preparing her novel to be written.  Like I said, it's original, and it's interesting, but it just doesn't feel like it's honestly going to be much help in the long run.

Then again, I'm only halfway through, so we'll see how it goes.  And yes, I WILL finish the Sedwick book, too.  Seriously.

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Writing Update.

Posted 8/30/2014

So I've spent the week talking about all the stuff I've been enjoying lately, TV, music, comics, etc.  But what have I been DOING?  Writing, of course.

I took a short break from RETURN TO ANGEL HILL recently in order to finish up a few things I'd left hanging and to get them edited and published, and now, I'm happy to say, they are ready, published, and available to the world.

First I worked on the first in a series of Angel Hill short stories I've got planned.  The first one is called "Carlotta Valdez" and it tells the story of what happened to one of the ghosts mentioned briefly in my novel THE GHOSTS OF MERTLAND.  This was a fun story to write, especially when I figured out a very important plot device midway through.  It is currently available exclusively on Amazon for the Kindle, and the reason I did that is very very simple.  While I had all of my titles available across the board on all platforms, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and Smashwords, they simply weren't selling anywhere except Amazon.  Maybe a rare short story sale on Kobo or Nook, but not enough to justify missing out on the chances for borrows through the KDP Select program, a move that has already proved a huge success with the Angel Hill novels.

My decision to go Select with the short stories is motivated by a different factor, however.  I wanted to be able to make them temporarily free to my newsletter subscribers on automatic download, not the side-load where I email them to the members and they have to do the work to get the file onto their Kindles or tablets of what have you.  By going KDP Select and setting the book up for a limited free run, my newsletter subscribers can click it once and it's automatically there on their device.  Plus it gives all kinds of other, non-newsletter subscribers, the chance and motivation to read something of mine as a nice introduction.  The initial free run is over, though, but you can still get "Carlotta Valdez" super cheap at only $0.99, and that's where the price will stay.  Click here to go to the Amazon page:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other title I've been focusing my attention on lately is "Ash Wednesday", the fourth in my Holiday Horror stories.  This one just went up on Amazon yesterday, but is currently FREE for the next 5 days--Wednesday, September 3rd is the final day of the free run.  I'm having a blast coming up with the concepts for these Holiday Horror stories and can't wait to get started on the next one.  But first I have many many other things to do first.  I have to finish my part of RETURN TO ANGEL HILL, which is next on my agenda, and I'm not writing anything else until that is done.  Then I have to finish the Grim Legion III Book 1 revisions, The Kingdom Book 1 edits, The Night Book 1 edits and rewrites, then I have to write The Werewolves of Green Lake.  I have so many things I'm trying to work on I simply don't have time for them all, but I don't think I'd want it any other way.  For now, you can still get "Ash Wednesday" free, so click HERE to do so:

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Movie Talk-Friday: Recent Purchases

Posted 8/29/2014

Friday is movie day, when all the new releases show up in the theater, so I thought it fitting to talk about my recent purchases this week.  I buy a LOT of movies, mostly those 5-10 movie packs of horror selections, but the two I bought this past week were singles.  First, I bought a movie that I have been wanting to see again since I first saw it in the theater.

I LOVED this movie.  I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but every other single minute of this film was the kind of story I wish I had written.  I loved the script, I loved the acting, I loved the directing.  For me, this is one of the most perfect ghost stories.  Plus, I got to see Karen Gillen post-Doctor Who.

This isn't a movie to just catch on Netflix or cable, not for me.  I had to own this one.  As soon as I saw it at Wal-Mart, I knew I was buying it, no hesitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second movie I bought this week was even more an impulse buy.  I had to stop at the Dollar Store before I got the kids from school because I was out of Ibuprofen, and I glanced over at their cheap, no-box DVDs and saw, holy shit, a movie I have been wanting to see FOREVER:

If you can't see, that's Darren Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN.  I haven't seen it yet, but have been dying to for years and years.  And I got it for $1.95.  No case, and usually that would bother me, but this time I'll be okay with it.  I just want to see the damn movie, so this is good enough.  This goes to show, you never know what you can find if you just look.

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Music Talk-Thursday: Used CD haul.

Posted 8/28/2014

I have lately been raiding the used CDs at Hastings during my weekly comic shopping trips, looking for anything they might have really cheap, and while that usually bears no fruit at all, the past two weeks have offered up some goodies.

Everyclear's SO MUCH FOR THE AFTERGLOW is an album I've had on cassette since it came out, but never before on CD, and I'm glad I finally have it.  This is the album that pushed the band into the stratosphere as far as songwriting and musicianship, as well as production quality.  While the previous record, SPARKLE AND FADE has its moments, AFTERGLOW has so many more and is one of those records you just want to hear again when you reach the end.

FAITH...another old cassette that I could never commit to owning on CD because, let's face it, a few singles aside ("Faith", "Father Figure", "I Want Your Sex"), this isn't a very good album.  Songs like "Hard Day" and "Hand to Mouth" are just BLECH.  Luckily I found it used for only $3.99.  Totally worth that price for "Faith" alone.

George Michael's LISTEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE, Vol. 1 is an album I have never owned before now and I still haven't listened to it yet.  But to be honest, I paid it's $1.99 sticker price simply for "Freedom 90", and no one can deny that's a great song.  I don't know any of the other songs on this album, and honestly don't care about them; I paid that $2 for one song and I'll get around to playing it sooner or later.

Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock cost me $3.99 and that was money well spent for the title track, again the single song I bought this CD for.  Another one I used to have on cassette, but it was a dubbed copy from an old girlfriend's tape and I'm not sure I ever listened to the entire album back then, either.

I got 2 Melissa Etheridge CDs, her self-titled debut, and the mega hit "Yes I Am".  The former I own on cassette, the latter I've never owned, but have loved every single I've ever heard from it.  I probably paid $5 total for both of them and as far as I'm concerned that's a hell of a bargain.

A few weeks ago, I also bought, on impulse when I saw it near the register on new comic day, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.  Anyone who has seen this movie knows that was a must-buy, hands down, no questions asked purchase.  And anyone who hasn't seen it, what the holy hell are you doing with your life?

My emusic.com subscription renewed today, so I also bought a couple of new downloaded albums I thought I'd mention.  A while back I saw a list of 50 albums every man should own, and I've slowly been collecting those.  The one I chose today was:

I've never been a huge WHO fan, but a scan of the track list reveals several songs I already know are great, and if nothing else I can burn it off and give it to my aunt who will undoubtedly love it.

My emusic monthly subscription is $11.99 so after buying the Who album, I have about $4.20 left in my account.  I scanned the rest of my saved albums, looking for something else that was super cheap because, unfortunately, with emusic, if you don't use what's in your account, it doesn't roll over to the next month.  Use it or lose it.  It didn't used to be that way, but they made several changes a few years ago and that seems to be one of them--and one of the WORST ones, too.

Anyway, so after checking out the prices on several old albums that I thought surely couldn't be THAT much, I found one I actually was very excited to see was only $3.83.  I could afford that.

So I bought it.

Look below:

 

 

 

Herbie Hancock's FUTURE SHOCK. Being a child of 80s hip hop, I bought this album for one song, and I don't even have to say the title.  You know it.  The creepy ass video is here:

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This Week's Comics Haul.

Posted 8/27/2014

It's WEDNESDAY!!!  Today was a great haul, with something for everyone.  My oldest son got 1, my daughter 2, while my younger son got 5 and I came away with 15!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm excited to get to this week's book, especially Avengers, natch, but first I'm going to make myself finish the back issues I've been reading the past few days, catching up on the Aquaman books I missed when I was collecting only the bare essentials.  So far I've read:

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I only have a few left, though, and then I'm all caught up--for the most part; you'll notice a gap here and there.  Still to read:

    

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TV Talk-Tuesday: Under the Dome

Posted 8/26/2014

The past two writing days have been spent on “Ash Wednesday”, the next in the Holiday Horror series of short stories. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on the cover, and I think I’ve finally got it perfect, while today was spent editing. I still have a couple of scenes that need a good re-write based on those edits--thanks, by the way, to both David Bain and Craig Cook for their excellent catches and suggestions--which I plan to work on tomorrow. My goal is to have the story online by the end of the week.

But today isn’t about that, it’s about television.

Working nights all week, I usually have to take my one day off on the weekend to catch up on everything I have DVR’d during the week. This is usually a lot of Food Network shows like “Chopped” and “Cutthroat Kitchen” with some Gordon Ramsey fare like “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” thrown in. I watch very little episodic television.

One of the only ones I make sure to record every week is “Under the Dome”. I read this novel when it came out. I had a few days off work over a cold winter holiday, I was down a computer after my laptop died, and with nothing else to do, I sat in the kitchen for hours reading this 1000+ page behemoth, finishing it in record time.

When I heard they were making a TV show about it, I was hesitant to get sucked in because I remembered the novel and I remembered how completely I hated the character of Big Jim. Fucking DESPISED that guy.

Dean Norris, however, does an excellent job on the show of riding that line between not so bad and detestable. Same with Alexander Koch who plays Junior. That dude was just vile in season 1, but in season 2 has come around to, at the very least, see what a piece of shit his old man is. Now if he could just get that stick out of his ass over trusting Barbie. And all because he thought, for one brief moment, that Angie, the girl Junior was in love with, was fooling around with Barbie when she bummed a smoke off him in the first episode.

This season hasn’t been as immediate a watch for me as last season was, though. At the time I spent my Monday nights watching the under-rated “Siberia” and recording and watching “Under the Dome” the next day. And this season, even with “Siberia” seemingly gone, I still wait a few days to get to the new episode of “Dome”. That’s not even entirely accurate. This morning I finally watched the episode from three weeks ago, with the most recent two episodes still waiting on my DVR.

Why do I take so long?

I can’t say for sure. I know I like the show. I like this season even better, in fact, especially the last several episodes. The story is going in some totally unexpected directions that the book never even hinted at, and is even starting to feel a lot like the best episodes of “Lost”.

I just watched the episode where Barbie falls down the into the darkness and winds up back in his hometown. I have no idea what’s going on but I’m curious to see just how he plans to get back into the dome considering the route out of the dome ended up with Barbie falling from the sky to land on a school playground. It’s weird, wild stuff, and I really need to catch up.

But there are only so many hours in the day and this fiction don’t write itself.

I think my hesitation may stem from the fact that, aside from the major characters, we’ve got an entire town of other people and not once have they all come together to put their differences aside and work together to make sure everyone in the town survives as long as possible. Currently you’ve got half the town backing Big Jim and the other half backing Julia Shumway, and all because of simple, stupid stubbornness.

Big Jim sees the town as his to run while Julia thinks democracy should be alive and well, and to a point I see both of their sides, but in the end I have to fall on the side of Julia because one man, as obviously power hungry as Big Jim is, should NOT be the one calling the shots for ME if I were in that position.

And that’s frustrating for me, watching these people be so blindly led by one so unfit to lead. With that in mind, sometimes I just can’t force myself to sit still for the next episode. I need to put some distance between them, otherwise everything begins to feel a little claustrophobic and that’s a strange feeling for a television show to induce.

King has had many forays into television, the most famously failed one being the “Golden Years” series in the early 90s. But time and the right project--“Under the Dome”--have proved that Stephen King stories CAN be adapted successfully for this format. Especially when it’s familiar enough material, having been published before in novel format--something that “Golden Years” never was--and then taken off into so many new and unpredictable directions. I wasn’t sold on the idea of an “Under the Dome” weekly series, but the result has definitely proved me wrong.

Now if only it weren’t so damned difficult to make myself sit down and just watch those other two episodes I’ve got recorded. I’ll get to them, though. Eventually. But for now I think I wanna sit outside and read some comics. Looks like perfect weather for it.

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Comic-Talk Monday: Avengers

Posted 8/25/2014

It’s no secret I love comic books. I’ve been reading them since I was 15 and, even though I stopped for a lot of years, I’ve lately been getting back into them in a big way. One of my favorite books in high school, and again now, is THE AVENGERS. I love super hero team books like LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, JUSTICE LEAGUE and THE UNCANNY X-MEN, but something about THE AVENGERS has always made me love the concept. Back in the day, there were three Avengers books. There was AVENGERS, WEST COAST AVENGERS (later dumbly retitled to AVENGERS WEST COAST) and SOLO AVENGERS (retitled to AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT). And that seemed to be good enough. You had the main, New York-based team, the LA-based team, and the solo adventures.

If you want to get into AVENGERS today, though, you’ve got SEVEN frigging titles to choose from! And there is no more West Coast Avengers team, so that’s not even an issue anymore. Now you’ve got AVENGERS, AVENGERS UNDERCOVER, AVENGERS WORLD, MIGHTY AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS, SECRET AVENGRS and UNCANNY AVENGERS. Each book serves its purpose, focusing on different aspects of the Avengers idea.

AVENGERS UNDERCOVER deals with a group of young heroes previously from the book AVENGERS ACADEMY, now serving as undercover agents trying to infiltrate Baron Zemo’s “Masters of Evil” I wasn’t crazy about this one at first, but I have to say it’s definitely getting better and better so I kind of have to keep reading it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVENGERS WORLD was the title that got me back into Avengers when I saw Star Brand on the cover, an old New Universe character who has now been folded into the Marvel Universe. This book is, so far, 11 issues along and is still telling the same story it started in issue #1, a conflict which spans the globe, making it fit for a title called AVENGERS WORLD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIGHTY AVENGERS deals with an off-shoot team led by Luke Cage. I picked this one up originally because I had so enjoyed the Brian Michael Bendis-written previous series (NEW AVENGERS) to feature Cage, what few issues of it I had read--and hoped for more of the same. These issues are written by Al Ewing, though, and they’re not even close to the quality of the previous series. Bendis brought a humanity to Cage in that series, a man unsure of his status as leader of this team, just trying to do the right thing by his wife and child. This book, however, issues 6-13 that I have so far…I just don’t know. I’m not even 100% sure what the overall arc is that I’m reading. There’s been a lot of stuff with Blade lately, but while I keep reading it, I’m still waiting for it to get really good.

 

 

 

 

The new NEW AVENGERS title, also not written by Bendis (Jonathan Hickman is the man in charge) has a very strange tone. Or maybe it just seems that way to me because I’ve missed a few issues (I have 14, 17, 19-23). So far as I can tell, this time the NEW AVENGERS title focuses on the Illuminati, a secret collection of Marvel heroes, ex- and current Avengers, all (Blac Bolt, Bruce Banner, Black Panther, Mister Fantastic, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, and Doctor Strange) as they work behind the scenes to make the tough decisions they don’t want the others heroes to know about. I’m enjoying it, and the current storyline seems to have taken up the reigns of the “Rogue Planet” storyline from the flagship Avengers title, which I’ll get to.

 

 

 

 

SECRET AVENGERS is a very very very strange book, one that’s hard to define, and one I’m still not sold on. Written by Ales Kot, it almost feels like a parody of the Avengers and I’m not sure yet whether I like it or not. But I keep reading it, so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally there’s UNCANNY AVENGERS, another side-team consisting of Avengers and X-men, led by Alex Summers, AKA Havok. Again, not sure I like it yet as the current storyline is set in the future and is hard to grasp at times; I don’t think I came in on the beginning of it, and I really feel like, whatever I missed was some important stuff.

But that’s not the reason for this post. Mostly I wanted to talk about AVENGERS, the flagship title and my most eagerly anticipated read every time a new issue comes out. I used to really really like reading THE AVENGERS but now, with this current storyline, tying in to the “Original Sin” storyline…holy God that’s good stuff!

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I picked up this book with #24, the first issue of the “Rogue Planet” storyline, which was a great story, well-written by Jonathan Hickman, but the really amazing issues have been, so far, 28-33, with the former being one of the single best comics I’ve ever read. And the bulk of the issue is just a sit-down conversation between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Single issues of comics rarely leave me in awe, but this one was just Fk Yeah-quality work.

The “Original Sin’ tie-in issues have just been a series of nothing but stellar work by Hickman and artist Leinil Francis Yu. Some of the creepiest images I’ve ever seen in comics have come from these issues as the Avengers are shuttled through time from 50 to 422 to 5045 to 51,028 years into the future, meeting future versions of themselves and trying to unravel the reason behind these time jumps as Captain America tries to deal with the consequences of remembering a secret the other Avengers tried to keep from him.

I can’t rave enough about this book. Every time an issue comes out, it’s the one book I want to just sit in the car and read before I even leave the parking lot. I don’t, of course, because I want to sit comfortably and enjoy it completely, but I also just want to see what happens next.

I imagine with the success of the Marvel movies, and the Avengers movie more specifically, all eyes are on this book to deliver, and I’ll be damned if Hickman isn’t going above and beyond on this one.

This current run of books has just solidified my trust in the Avengers as a property. I’m not convinced we need SEVEN monthly books, but it is what it is, and for now AVENGERS is, in my opinion, not only better than it’s ever been, but it’s the best book on the market. Avengers Assemble!

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Carlotta Valdez and This Week's Comics Haul.

Posted 8/20/2014

I haven't gotten a lot done this week so far.  I've been working pretty late and spending my days struggling to stay away.  I DID manage to get "Carlotta Valdez", the first in a series of Angel Hill short stories, published to Amazon yesterday.  You can check her out here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I slept too late--set my alarm for PM instead of AM--and went to get new comics, then had to take my physical at work.  Looks like I'm one step closer to finally being hired on full time.  Hopefully.

This week my oldest got 1, my daughter got 2, my younger son got 3, and I came away with 14, plus a special order from Amazon came yesterday.  I'm excited about Multiversity, mostly because it features Captain Carrot, and I used to read the shit out of my Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew comics when I was 9.  So, yeah, I'm eager for that one.  Here's the haul:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, because Hastings was only able to order the series up to #8, I got this from Amazon yesterday:

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This Week's Comics Haul.

Posted 8/13/2014

This week was another pretty decent comic week, with 1 for my oldest, 4 for my younger son, and 14 for me.  My daughter got the new MAD Magazine.  The only bad thing this week was that nothing that came out really really excites me.  I'm curious to read Cullen Bunn's GODZILLA book, and ORIGINAL SIN #7 will probably be really good.  But none of them are really calling my name to get to right away.  Just a lot of stuff I collect, mostly.  So here's what came out:

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also picked up one more Walking Dead trade paperback:

 Which puts me just 6 trades away from having the entire collection.

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Work, Reviews, Audiobooks, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Posted 8/11/2014

I'm not sure how this week is going to go.  I'm currently on lay-off status with my job, but not RELEASED, which is GOOD news.  Now I'm just waiting for the call back.  I was told to turn in the application for full time employment last Saturday, which I did.  But without knowing when I'll be called back, or to what job/shift it'll be, I've no idea what my days are going to be like for writing until then.  So today I took a break from RETURN TO ANGEL HILL, which is getting more and more fun and exciting every day I work on it, to clean up and clear out some reviews I'd been putting off.  First I finished off a review of the movie THE 7TH DAY, which I reviewed for THE HORROR ZINE, then I finished and posted a review for CHOOSE, which I'd started last week.  Finally I watched and reviewed THE CORRIDOR.

I got my edits back for "Ash Wednesday" from one of the editors over the weekend.  He caught a lot of stuff I totally missed on my own.  The other editor said he's back home and working on them now, so hopefully soon I'll be publishing those stories.  I have the cover for "Carlotta Valdez", an Angel Hill short story, done and ready to go.

I took my sons--the youngest is back from basic training and I'm glad to have him home--to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on Saturday, and it was just as fun and entertaining as the first time I saw it opening weekend.  What a movie.  Hell, I'd pay to see it again.  If I knew for sure when I'll be working again.

Yesterday I took the day and finished watching the "24: Live Another Day" series.  I had seven episodes to go, and I have to say, as much as I love "24" and Jack Bauer, I was so glad this was only a 12-episode arc.  I'm not sure I could have taken another 12 hours.  Still, it was good to feel the power of Bauer again.

Meanwhile, how about some audiobooks?

The Third Floor and now The Ghosts of Mertland, are both available on Audible.com and Amazon.  Just click here and here for The Third Floor, or here and here for The Ghosts of Mertland.  And if you dig them, don't forget to 1) tell a friend, and 2) leave a review.

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