Archive for the ‘South Jersey Writers’ Tag

What Else is Going On?   2 comments

So….interesting story, I’m not exactly ignoring you.  It’s just that I have all these excuses, that I’ve already used here and here and here…so they don’t really bear repeating.  Let’s just agree to agree that I’m working very hard, just not at the things I really wish I were working on.

...keep it classy, Knipp...

…way to keep it classy, Knipp…

And I haven’t been completely silent.  The good folks at Biff Bam Pop continue to defy all reason and logic and are letting me write for them.  In addition to my Game of Thrones duties, I’m recapping a weird (and somewhat disappointing) second season of True Detective.  I also have some interesting things to say about Dungeons and Dragons, Time Travel, and going way back…the private horror that is Rankin Bass.

...oh, the horror....

…oh, the horror….

Those crazy writers at the South Jersey Writers’ Group continue to grow.  I gave my reasons to go to the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference back in April.  Those reasons still hold true for most conferences, so if you have one coming in your area, you really should consider it.

And big news on the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference front.  I selected the black stone from the sacred typewriter case, which makes me president of the PWC!  I’m fully committed to embracing all of the benefits and boons the office has to offer.

...including the "no sleep between January and June" provision...

…including the “no sleep between January and June” provision…

My first correspondence as president is right here.   Our conferees had a lot to say, with reports from SJWG, the irrepressible Kerry Gans over at the Author Chronicles, the always entertaining and uplifting Heartprints author Mary Mooney, and Doreen McGettigan, who was  kind enough to share everything from her pre-confernence prep to the aftermath.  It’s always a joy meeting (and re-meeting) folks at the conference. I already can’t wait ’til next year!

Philly Flash Inferno publisher Catt Colburn and fellow winter issue contributor Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey have started an online community called “Scars and Tattoos: Our Story on Our Skin”  The group will include original stories, poetry, and artwork from and about women who bear the marks of their battles.  It’s an ambitious and inspiring project and well worth a look.

Literary lady-crush Kelly Simmons (One More Day) has a book coming out.  Friend of the Blog Kathryn Craft (The Far End of Happy) has one out now; and fellow Friend of the Blog, Jonathan Maberry released his latest Joe Ledger novel Predator One in April.  Jonathan has not let his move to the Left Coast slow him down, and he’s got more Joe Ledger, a new Rot and Ruin, and an X-files anthology all queued up and ready.

...in the time I wrote this post, this guy finished two more novels...

…in the time I wrote this post, this guy finished two more novels…

(Hopefully) future Friend of the Blog , Fran Wilde, has her first novel, Updraft, hitting the shelves in September.  I had the pleasure of meeting Fran at the 2015 PWC and she’s smart, funny, and possesses an ungodly amount of talent. If she were a baseball player, she’d be considered one of those “high-ceiling” superstars in the making, so be sure to watch her.

The One Who Started it All, Jenn Brozek has had an exciting summer, winning a Scribe award and gearing up for another GenCon.  I think my biggest regret for missing this year’s geek mecca is simply missing the opportunity to chat with Ms. Brozek and talk about what’s changed since she first got me kickstarted in 2009.

What’s ahead for the rest of 2015?  Well the good news is the purple emu is still chattering, despite my inability to let him out of the cage for more than a few moments at a time.  I’m working on a piece now, inspired by Catt, Elaine, and my good friend Sam Lockwood who has done incredible things with HERA.  “Change” is out to market, but I’m going to fine tune the rest of the bridesmaids before I put them out again, and (let’s say it in unison), I’ll be expanding “Jonesing” to novel length someday soon.

...get on it Pop Pop!

…say it like you mean it, Pop Pop!

Until next time, KnippKnopp out!

 

 

 

 

 

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Stuff in 2015)   2 comments

Television
The Walking Dead resumes on February 8th and I’m hoping the series picks up after a muddled, confusing mid-season finale in which (spoilers ahead) Beth essentially commits suicide-by-cop, the worst-kept secret of the series (that Eugene was a fraud) is finally exposed, and our heroes are left (once again) without a home after Father Dumbass led a horde right back to the church. It’s got to get better from here, right?

...define "better"...

…define “better”…

I’m a late adopter to Agents of Shield. My original assessment when the series began last year was “eh” but word of mouth about this season, which starts to explore the concepts of the Terrigen Mists and the Inhumans, was enough to make me skip ahead and watch the mid-season finale. I hope to catch up on the rest of the season soon, but will be there when the show commences in March.

...and if you don't, we'll be coming for you...

…and if you don’t, we’ll be coming for you…

The new season of Game of Thrones begins in April and spring has never seemed further away. I’m looking forward to seeing  Dorne and meeting Prince Oberyn’s bastard daughter’s the Sand Snakes. Hoping we get to see Tywin’s funeral. I have a feeling this season we’re going to see a lot more deviation from the books as the show’s writers clean up and combine some of the redundant characters and plot-lines that have begun to crop up in Ser George’s novels at this point in the story.

...blasphemer! The next character I kill will be you!

…blasphemer! The next character I kill will be you!

Movies
I think it will be hard to top 2014 for Marvel oriented movies – with the Winter Soldier excellently kicking off Phase 2 of the Marvel Universe, Brian Singer successfully returning to the X-Men with the mind and time bending Days of Future Past (featuring my favorite scene in any movie ever), and even the Amazing Spiderman sequel finding a warm place in my heart. There was also that little movie about a raccoon and his pet tree that set all kinds of records. James Gunn directed a likeable cast of misfits to make Guardians of the Galaxy the highest grossing Marvel movie not called Iron Man 3 or The Avengers.

...we think it's time to talk spin-off...

…we think it’s time to talk spin-off…

And The Avengers sequel is first on my list with The Age of Ultron hitting theaters in May. If the first trailer holds true, it may be that we’re going to have to choose between this being a “Great Movie” or “The Greatest Movie Ever.”

…I’ve already watched this 1,342 times…

The sequel to the surprise success The Woman in Black is an early release, and it looks like it will either be scarier than the original (with a whole houseful of orphans for the lady to feast open) or just plain awful. I might decide to skip it, since the first movie made me scream like a little girl.

...actual footage from the theater surveillance camera...

…actual footage from the theater surveillance camera…

My summer is going to be busy. After the Age of Ultron, we get to watch the world burn in Mad Max: Fury Road, see how Chris Pratt handle new dinosaurs in Jurassic World, and follow Marvel Studios in a new, humorous, (and risky) direction with Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. Arnie is back in a new Terminator that promises to blow up lots of things, including the concept of time-travel paradox.  We also get the long-awaited reboot of the Fantastic Four Franchise, that has gotten almost no press after the uproar that Johnny Storm was going to be played by Michael B Jordan

...because we can believe cosmic radiation gives you super-powers, but no way a black man and white woman can be siblings...

…because we can believe cosmic radiation gives you super-powers, but no way a black man and white woman can be siblings…

And in December, the first of the installment of the third act of the Star Wars franchise hits. The teaser trailer looked awesome and some of the leaked storylines are intriguing. If Disney can do to the Star Wars brand what it did to Marvel, I damn well might worship The Mouse forever. At a minimum, I hope the new trilogy can clean the taste of George Lucas’ prequels from my mouth.

...really best not to imagine George Lucas actually being in my mouth...

…really best not to imagine George Lucas actually being in my mouth…

Writerly
My creepy little piece of Flash Fiction, Mr. Belial, will soon appear in the Winter Edition of Philly Flash Inferno. This will be the second piece I’ve had published (first being “No Fun Joe” in Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey), and I hope it’s a harbinger of a productive year.  If I can get the rewrites in, this might be the year The Bridesmaids (and others) make it to the alter.

...dream on, writer boy...

…dream on, writer boy…

It’s shaping up to be an excellent 2015 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, featuring workshops by (amongst others) Solomon Jones, Merry Farmer, Judi Fennell, and KnippKnopp Literary Man-Crush Dennis Tafoya. We’ve got the most excellent Cristin O’Keefe (Dr. Mutter’s Marvels) as our Keynote speaker, and the author of the immensely popular Pretty Little Liars series, Sara Shepard, will be delivering our opening remarks. I’ll be running my second installation of the Cards Against Humanity inspired prompt contest “Apples to Writers” on Sunday morning. We’ll see if reigning Queen of all Writers Melanie Atherton Allen can retain her crown.

...I am not amused...

…I am not amused…

And lots of stuff coming out from Philly area writers. Former Philly Guy (and the Hardest Working Man in Print) Jonathan Maberry will be releasing several new works, including Predator One, Cold,Cold Heart, and a new Middle-Grade horror series called Nightsiders. Dennis Tafoya doesn’t have new work coming out in 2015, but his daughter does. Rachel Tafoya’s debut novel “The Night House” launches in January (today in fact) . Personal PWC Siren Kathryn Craft’s second novel, The Far End of Happy, inspired by actual events in her life, hits the shelves in May, and it promises to be riveting reading.

read it....would this face recommend a bad book?

read it….would this face recommend a bad book?

South Jersey Writers’ Group head honcho Amy Holiday is running a prompted short story challenge.  Our friends at Shock Totem are ending their prompt contests and will be moving in exciting new directions.  And those lovable lunatics at Grey Matter Press keep pumping out the excellent anthologies and bringing in the accolades.  Death’s Realm, featuring work by Hank Schwaeble, Paul Michael Anderson, and John FD Taft among many others, will be out in January.

read it...would this face recommend a bad book?

read it…would this face recommend a bad book?

So all in all, a very busy year.  I might even have twenty minutes to fit in some writing!

KnippKnopp interviews…Rocky Wood of the Horror Writers Association   Leave a comment

Writing is lonely.  The act itself often requires you to separate yourself from this world, and plug into another. You spend hours in front of the keyboard, trying to make the words on the screen as good as the words in your head.  Rejection is the norm.  And even the most supportive of friends and family often don’t understand the time, the needs and little rituals that are required.

Napoleon_Great

…for example, this here’s my writin’ dress…

Read the rest of this entry »

KnippKnopp interviews….Jon McGoran   2 comments

Jon McGoran is one cool dude.  A member of the Philadelphia Liars’ Club, I had heard about him from other South Jersey Writers’ Group members long before I finally met him at the 2013 Collingswood Book Festival (then again a week later at Philadelphia Stories’ Push to Publish conference).

..it was just a coincidence, really.  It's not like I hacked into his calendar…I mean, that would be crazy, right?

..it was just a coincidence, really. It’s not like I hacked into his calendar…I mean, that would be crazy, right?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Obligatory end-of-year Retrospective   3 comments

I thought I had 2012 all figured out.  After all, The Mayans warned us, and Roland Emmerich was kind enough to provide a road map on how to survive with his excellent documentary, 2012.  I’ve spend the last three years since the film’s release building an ark, hording beans, and waiting for the neutrino-enabled polar shifts to send those mega-tsunamis across New Jersey.

which, you know, wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing

which, you know, wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing

Alas, looks like Roland and the Mayans were a little off and my planning was for naught.  It also looks like 2013 is going to be a bit stinky in the KnippKnopp household (We’ve got a crapload of beans to eat!)  I guess since I’m not fending off hordes of squid-faced Cthullu barbarians, I should have some time to reflect on the things that did happen in 2012, at least before I head to BJs for that crate of air freshener.

By decree, in 2013 the Knipp House Sigil shall be this

By decree, in 2013 the Knipp House Sigil shall be this

I guess of first note is I restarted this blog.  After a nearly two year absence, Social Media guru Don Lafferty challenged me to create an editorial schedule and commit towards weekly updates.  I haven’t been entirely faithful, especially of late; but it’s been a blast writing this stuff, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as well.

From the writing perspective, It’s been a coin of two sides (you know, as opposed to those 11-sided coins they use in some countries).  While still numbering among the great unwashed (and unpaid), I have posted 25 blog entries. In six months, I have nearly equaled two decades worth of output. I’ve rewritten several old pieces, including the novel start for “The Triumvirate” that won second prize for Young Adult entries at the PWC this year.  I created two new short pieces: “No Fun Joe” – which has appeared in our writers group anthology, “Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey” (now available at Amazon) and “Decisions”, pulled together as part of a writing exercise.

On the other side, I continue to receive rejections for my poor, lonely bridesmaids.  Both “Change” and “House Sitting” have received multiple responses of “I really like this, but…”  I still believe in these stories, and the feedback has been universally positive, I just can’t find them a home.  I also decided to rewrite my novella “Jonesing” and turn it into a full-length novel.  I had some good movement early, adding nearly 9,000 words, but that has stalled of late and I think I might need to start over my starting over.

and for my 257th draft, "Jonesing:  The Musical"

and for my 257th draft, “Jonesing: The Musical”

I had the opportunity to travel a little more than usual this year.  Kabletown sent me to New Hampshire, to the Walter Kaitz Fundraising dinner in New York, and to visit wonderful and weird Portland, Oregon. The geek-buddies and I drove out to Indianapolis for my second GenCon and we basked in nerdtopia for an excellent (if exhausting) three days.

The KnippKnopp family returned to our favorite shore town in Sea Isle City. I made another sad attempt at a vacation beard, and reflected on the many years we’ve been returning to the best place “downashore”.  My memories have taken on special significance as Hurricane Sandy came barreling through in the fall and changed thousands of lives forever.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those folks as they rebuild.

I survived zombie training with the awesome guys and ladies at ZSC, and discovered that – should the zombie apocalypse occur — my nickname will most likely be ‘Lunch’.  It turns out it’s really hard to fire a crossbow or shoot a gun when you can’t wink, so I better start stocking up on shooter’s patches now.  I also survived another Philadelphia Writers Conference, and got to hang with the lovely and talent (and soon to be published) Kathryn Craft, not to mention authors Jonathon Maberry, Maria Lamba, and Caridad Pineiro.  I also became a member of the PWC executive board and have taken on new responsibilities as registrar for the 2013 conference.

Welcome to the board, we'll unshackle you in June

Welcome to the board, now build that registration site.

This has been a year of milestones for the significant others in my life.  My oldest baby turned 18 and graduated High School, my middle turned sweet 16, and my youngest is now officially a teenager.  I spent a lot of 2012 weepily looking through baby pictures and remembering them as toddlers. My youngest brother-in-law got married, and that too makes me pause in amazement.  Damn kid was six years old when I met his sister, now I’m attending his bachelor party.  Said bachelor party, by the way, became the inspiration for “No Fun Joe.”

Other milestones: my Mom and both In-laws became official senior citizens this year.  At 83, my Stepmom continues to represent my octogenarian fan base; and my father turned the much-less-fun-than-it-sounds age of 69 and discovered a new career as a computer repair guy

Politics and current events were major influences this year, and I ended up getting caught in the fray of the presidential election.  I tried to keep it light, but some folks make it really hard.  Hopefully these guys can start working together because the country – really the whole world – needs them.  Early returns, however, sure ain’t positive.

Our last congressional caucus meeting

The new Senate rules are truly hardcore

As for 2013 goals, well I’ve got a PWC registration site to build and a novel to restart. I’ll continue to submit The Bridesmaids until I finally marry off these gals.  I’d like to start a few new stories that have been percolating around the old brainpan for months, including a nifty little tale about a lonely boy and his zombie.  And finally, I need to renew my commitment to you.  I want to get back on the weekly schedule, which means 52 new posts to contemplate.  If anyone has suggestions for any of them, I’m all ears!

seriously, I don't want to talk about it

seriously, I don’t want to talk about it

Here’s to a safe and wonderful new year.

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