03 September, 2009

27 June, 2009

The Goblin Market is Coming....

Just a quick note to those who are still following this blog, I am releasing the first episode of my upcoming podcast novel, "Goblin Market" via my official website on Wednesday, June 1, 2009.

Tonight, I am holding a special contest, allowing three people a sneak-peek at the first seven minutes of episode one. Tune into http://jenniferhudock.com tonight around 7:30 PM EST for full details on how you can get inside the Goblin Market early. In the meantime, pop on over and visit the site: Goblin Market, have a look around, take a listen to promo one and definitely let me know what you think.

I am so excited about this project, and I cannot wait to share it with you.


09 May, 2009

The Inner Bean is Moving...

Hello everyone! As I have mentioned over the last few weeks, big, big changes are coming my way. One of those changes was unveiled this morning, so I thought I should pop on over here and spread the news, and hope that you will join me in celebrating. This morning I finally launched my own website: JenniferHudock.com where I will be blogging regularly, sharing snippets of my work, and of course, poetry.

I do hope you will readd me to your blogrolls under this exciting new address, and come to visit me there soon. I have already added many of you to my new blogroll, and once I complete my move, I will be making blog rounds more regularly.

Putting together my own site has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and something I've wanted to do for a long time. I want to thank my friend Jackie for all of the hard work she did to help make this possible. Without Jackie, there would be no awesome new site for me to celebrate, and I appreciate her so much! Jackie, you rule!

So, again, please redirect your visits to me to the new site: JenniferHudock.com. I can't wait to see you there!

06 May, 2009

Have You Ever Gone Mad?

Well, have you? I have, and let me tell you, it is the most liberating and incredible feeling in the world! That's why this summer over at eMuse we're breaking out the straitjackets and encouraging creative projects inspired by full frontal lobe corrosion.

I mentioned this earlier, but I wanted to go over it again because we are still accepting submissions for the next month. One month from today, June 6th, we will be closing submissions for the Personal Effects: Dark Art Contest that I blogged about just two weeks ago. Yesterday, I made this exciting video in honor of the contest.

If you missed my original post about the contest, and you'd like to read up on it so you can get your submission in, check it out HERE!

04 May, 2009

Monday Morning

I'm back! I bet you didn't even know I was gone. My daughter and I packed up for the weekend and went off to enjoy the solitude. While I would have been happier with brighter skies and warmer weather, overall it was a great weekend. I got my edits done, I reevaluated my present frame of mind and I discovered some pleasant news while weighing in. The sleeping accommodations left my back in a twist, but long soaks in the hot tub totally made up for that.

So it's Monday morning and I am about to embark on finishing the second draft of my novel. I've got the file open and I'm ready to charge at it later this evening, but first I have errands and a some freelance work to do. I will say that tentatively, on top of everything else I've got going on right now, that I would like to have this second draft completed by the last day in the first week of June. That is June 6th. I can do it. I've won NaNoWriMo once and JulNoWriMo once, and I've already got a pretty strong skeleton to build upon. So that is what is on my agenda.

I am also planning to start piecing together some of my poetry into a chapbook, so be on the lookout for more details to come there.

On top of all this exciting news, I am also preparing to move. Over the next few weeks I will be packing up my life into boxes and by the second week of June, I will be moving into a new place. Wish me luck.

So as I stand on this precipice of change, I leave you with this poetic thought I had:

atop the world
looking down
up here
it all seems small
sense of knowing
being, eclipsing
and fall.

I hope you enjoy your Monday, and it isn't too manic for you. Take some time to pop over and visit the awesome people in my blog roll, like James Melzer, J.C. Hutchins, Nicole Ireland, Matthew Wayne Selznick, and Ray Onativia just to name a few. You won't be disappointed, I promise!

30 April, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday again, and though I am swamped down with so many things, I wanted to take a quick moment to offer my thankfulness. Since I've been so busy, I'm going to keep it short this week, and only pay homage to one awesome inspiration.

Helen Ginger. I found Helen's blog through the Blood Red Pencil, as she is a regular editor/blogger on the BRP. Her columns are always insightful and fascinating, so I started to follow her actual blog, Straight from Hel. She covers a wide variety of topics on her blog, including writer interviews, writing advice, editorial advice and trends in publishing. There is never a dull post on Ms. Ginger's blog, so if you have never visited Straight From Hel, I highly recommend it. You can learn a lot from this woman. Take my word for it.

Sorry it's so short this week. It's late and I've got a lot of edits to get done. I'm just about to put this manuscript to bed, so wish me luck!

29 April, 2009

For the Muse

My muse has been incredibly generous lately, providing me with gallons of inspiration to drink each day. I've got two short stories on the verge of completion, and I've been writing poetry like mad.

I have been so busy trying to get this manuscript completed so I can get it back to my author and things in my personal life have been rocky, but every night I manage to write a poem before bed, and sometimes I write one when I wake up. Since I don't have much time, I wanted to share a quick poem with you. I haven't forgotten about my faithful readers, and hope to find more time to blog soon.


I drink you
like nectar
resting in the
cup of a flower
mouth to mouth
skin to skin
we dance around
obstacles, shedding
fabric like
a snake sheds
its skin
then wrap together
like crawling vines
reaching toward
the sun.

I'm off to cram in about 20 more pages of edits, then dreamland. I hope you're all having a fantastic week! I need to make my blog rounds, and I apologize if I haven't popped by to visit you lately. Life certainly has a way of interfering with play time.

Don't forget, tomorrow boasts the return of Thankful Thursday. See you there.

27 April, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Turn and Face the Strange...

It's been a gorgeous last couple of days, with plenty of sunshine and a gentle breeze most days. I spent some serious time outdoors contemplating things, and just enjoying the fact that I am alive. As I mentioned in my previous blog, things have been busy, and my life is heading for some major changes. As I step into the precipice before me, I feel like I am wearing a blindfold. I don't know where I am going, only that I am about to drop off into the unknown. It is both terrifying, and liberating.

I have always operated under the philosophy that we are interactive participants in our own destiny. Life is what we make it. When it comes time to making the hard choices, if we shy away out of fear, then we create regret. Regret festers in the soul, and for many people it becomes an infectious disease that eventually overruns their life.

Despite the things I have done in my life, I have no regrets. Regret is not even a word in my vocabulary. There are things I look back on and shake my head at, but I would not ever take a single one of them back. As I step forward, into that which awaits me, it is with trepidation and curiosity. I leave behind aspects of my life that no longer serve me or my future. It is hard to let them go, but I know that if I am to grow into the person I am meant to be, I must sever those ties.

More poetry to come this week, and maybe even some special news. Stay tuned. This is Major Beans to ground control.

25 April, 2009

Busy Busy Busy...

As anticipated, this week has been incredibly busy. Not only am I juggling two short stories, getting started on some heavy edits for the June edition of eMuse and novel edits for a client, I also had to work all week and save my own personal universe from crumbling in upon itself. There's been a lot going on, needless to say, but despite the pressure, I feel resilient and strong. I've had a very helpful and awesome support system all along. It's been amazing. Thanks friends. :) You all rock.

The weather is finally shifting, and the disappearance of the cold, damp of winter/spring has gone at last. This has completely altered my physical health in a way that confirmed what I believed all along... the death-grip on my lungs all winter was some kind of indoor-allergy. I think it's something in this house. That's insane. When your house becomes your physical enemy and tries to drive you out with disease... hmm, I smell a short story.

With so much to do, and so little time, I'm off to the chocolate factory for a full tour... not really. I'm actually just going to hop in the shower, drop the squeenager off at the mall and sit outdoors with an iced coffee to do some editing. I may check back in later tonight after the wee one is asleep. (I'm keeping my four year old niece over night, YAY!)

I'll leave you with this morning's waking poem:

Dawdling Sun

Empty morning,
too much bed.
Wrapped in cold warmth
and the last fragments
of a quiet dream
still linger.

It's five.
The sun dawdles,
but soon
it will claw
away the last
remnants of
this darkness.
©2009 J. Hudock

23 April, 2009

Thankful Thursday

red pencil
Originally uploaded by Rat Phlegm
In the tradition of thankfulness, I wanted to spend my thankful Thursday sharing with you one of my favorite blogs: The Blood Red Pencil. The Blood Red pencil is a blog for writers by a group of incredible editors. Each and every day they share their wisdom with a mass of followers, wisdom on everything from grammar and style to editing and publishing one's writing. In the months that I have been following the BRP, I have learned a great deal and been reminded of a few things I let myself forget from time to time. I highly recommend following and subscribing to the Blood Red Pencil. You will not regret it.

I also want to nod my hat this Thankful Thursday to author J.C. Hutchins. J.C. Hutchins inspires me for a number of reasons, and not just because he was kind enough to let us use his novel in our contest over at eMuse. I am one of the fortunate people who gets to Twitter with J.C. every day. Not only is he incredibly prolific and creative (this guy can market, let me tell you,) he is also one of the most positive and uplifting people on Twitter. His attitude is simply amazing, and though he knows that sometimes you might get "no," for your answer, that doesn't mean he won't at least ask the question. He's done amazing things to promote his upcoming novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art, reaching out to some of the biggest names in the horror industry to vlurb the novel, and he's succeeded. Hat's off, J.C. You inspire me every single day, and for that, I thank you.

That's it. That's what I got this week. Thank you to J.C. Hutchins and the awesome bloggers over at the Blood Red Pencil. You all inspire me every day!

Looking forward to another fantastic Friday. See you there.

22 April, 2009

Warrior Wednesday

notebook noir
Originally uploaded by theilr
I had a great day, and I'm just settling in now to get a bit more writing done before bed. I wanted to pop in and post a couple of poems to tide you over until tomorrow's Thankful Thursday post. :)


Tin roof rain drops
and wings like sheets
flap toward freedom
perched atop the pine
single branch sways
nothing but the rain
can cleanse me now
face to sky, arms to wind
warrior waiting
behind a peaceful mask
ready to pounce...
always watching.
© 2009 J. Hudock


Every night's pain
echoes into silent
voices across the void...
She picks up her pen
and tries to capture
it in words, but
there is only the
way it makes her feel:
speechless, but full
replenished, but alone,
as if she's numbered
every one of her own days
and given them new meaning.
She's sure that
he would never understand,
so she closes her book
and goes to sleep.
© 2009 J. Hudock


Let it all writhe
and tangle together
like a bed of snakes
tale to mouth

Let it all burn
and smolder together
like a pile of ash
blackened soot
funeral pyre

Let it all fade
and wash away together
like a bed of sand
loose shells
watery grave

Let it all go
and dwindle into nothing
like a galaxy into a black hole
spinning rim round
the end
© 2009 J. Hudock

Have a good evening everyone.

21 April, 2009

April Showers... Bring May Flowers

Sometimes it has to rain. I know that. After a long winter, however, the transition from frigid and icy to beautiful and green is not always smooth. There are a lot of grey and icky days, as the fingers of death uncoil from the spring maiden, allowing her to go forth and bring life back to the sluggish and tired earth. This morning, I woke up to the sound of pouring rain, (as usual, I started to sing Skin Row's "I Remember You... because I am from the 80s, and that is what I do). Before I climbed out of bed, I thought about how sad today was going to be. A lot of intense things are underway in my life right now, some incredibly frightening changes, and the rain and gloom felt perfect for my mood.

I got out of bed, didn't even get dressed, and put my shoes on so I could take Loki the wonderhusky outside for his morning business. It was warm. Not cold, as I had anticipated, and though it was damp, there was humidity to because of the heat. I looked out into the backyard and realized that all the dead and barren plant life had been brushed by the hand of spring. Everything was green. It gave me hope.

I've got a lot to do right now, so my blogs may be a little sporadic. I will try to keep at them daily, as I do enjoy the interaction and sharing with those who take time to read. Today, I leave you with a couple poems that encompass my frame of mind right now perfectly.


What would she say to me
if she were to live
beyond expectation?
Would she say, "Light the
match," and exhale
smoke in tiny fingers
that dance upon the
wrinkles in her skin?
"My pretty girl, so smart,"
but not smart enough
to outwit her own defeat,
her own indulgences. My
kingdom for a compliment,
my entire world to be
shattered like an old
barn house window.
"Make a wish," then
she blows out the match.
© 2009 J. Hudock

Burn Scar

Sucker punched by the moment,
left struggling for breath.
Long after the heart stops,
pale ghost of want
flounders on the floor--
no one hears it screaming.

Strangled disease ended torment
flat on the back of a dream.
Short pulses of of subtlety
shine like a beacon
pounding at the door of
something to believe in.

Small and curled like a ball
a fetus in a womb of web,
snap judgments tear through
white waves of silence.
Grounded forever more,
nothing but a burn scar.
© 2009 J. Hudock

What is this?
Sundown and the strange
suffocation braces my lungs.

I thought we were over this,
basking in the cure
and absolved from old punishments.

Imprisoned by notion,
barred within my fear...

I open up the cage
and with this final breath
I set you free.

Fly, fly away from me.
© 2009 J. Hudock

Even if it's raining wherever you are, go stand under the downpour,and think of yourself like a flower desperate for a drink. Grow--like a vine if you have to. Stretch your arms toward the sun, even if it's hidden behind clouds. It'll be shining again before you know it, and you'll be all the better from all that rain.

Oh, and before I forget, my friend, James Melzer will be revealing the cover art for his novel, The Zombie Chronicles: Escape, tonight on his personal website at 7:45PM EST. James will also be stopping by Projekt X Radio around 8PM EST to talk about the cover. Check it out! I've sneak peeked the cover, and it's AMAZING!!!

19 April, 2009

When It Rains... It Pours

Luck of summer rain
Originally uploaded by lepiaf.geo
You know how the old saying goes... when it rains, it pours, well this weekend was a virtual downpour of awesome things. I made a lot of jokes over the weekend about taking over the world piece by piece, but as the ideas kept paying off and the achievements weighing in in my corner, I decided to polish my Hatori Hanzo sword and just Kill Bill.

It started on Friday, which I had decided to dedicate to finishing the short story I've been working on. While I was proofing over what I had already written, this idea arrow struck like lightning. I needed to put together an eMuse contest, as I had mentioned one in passing a couple of times. It was time to act on it, but what could we do that would not only benefit our contributors and readers, but also a fellow writer? That was when the name J.C. Hutchins popped into my head. I've been reading an advanced copy of his upcoming novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art, to review after its release in our June issue, when I thought to myself, "Wow! We could give away copies of the book for an insane asylum related contest." I ran my idea by J.C. and he agreed that it was a great plan, so I drew up a plan, checked on our eMuse funds and dove in.

Later that evening I was talking to my good friend, James Melzer about review writing for eMuse, as he was going to cook up a review for me, when we got to talking about him doing something bigger. The result was integrating him into the zine as a regular columnist and his column, Behind the Mic was born. Not only is James working on publishing his first novel, The Zombie Chronicles: Escape with Permuted Press, but he also has great insight into new media. Needless to say, it's going to be amazing.

I also have another idea for a column that is still in the hush-hush stages, but to give you a little preview, it will be a he said/she said column on writing. We are still working out the details, but stay tuned for news on that.

So just when I thought that my weekend couldn't get any more spectacular than it already was, I went for a walk last night. Did some thinking. Relished in the good feelings that come with achievement and obvious movement in the right direction. I came home, and sat down at my computer planning to get a little writing done, and checked my email. I had an acceptance letter from the editor of , 42 Magazine. She wanted to buy one of the poems I sent to them back in early February. Needless to say, I danced like Snoopy all around the office, drank three beers and proceeded to squee all over anyone who would listen.

Good things. They come to those who wait, and it's so important to remember that just when you think nothing is going your way. Look for little signs that the universe is on your side. It's there, and it wants you to succeed and be happy just as much as you want those things for yourself. If you aren't sure, maybe it's time to think about what you want for yourself, and how badly you want it. A wise man I know is prone to saying that the world don't owe you, and that is definitely true, but you can still go out there, kick some butt and take names every single day. This is your life. Live it!

18 April, 2009

eMuse Summer Madness is Here!!!!

Before eMuse kicked off as a site, our founders ran a small writers group where we took great pride in tossing out writing prompts and then awarding fabulous prizes to the best contributors. We have grown leaps and bounds since then, publishing our quarterly literary arts journal and featuring the most amazing talent we could find on the net. Last summer, we had our first official eMuse contest, the Summer Camp for Writers. eMuse Summer Madness kicks off now, and we're locking you all up in the nuthouse and prescribing art therapy!


eMuse and author J.C. Hutchins are teaming up to bring you an amazing contest. As many of you know, J.C. is prepping to release his new book: Personal Effects: Dark Art through St. Martin's Press this June. The novel takes place in an insane asylum, and we thought it would be fun to break out the straitjackets and put together a contest to support the new book.

Since we are a literary arts magazine, we will be accepting submissions in three categories: Art, poetry and fiction. The central focus of all submissions must be an insane asylum, but need not directly relate to Personal Effects: Dark Art. Poetry must be at least 15 lines long. All short stories should be at least 1000-1500 words in length. We may consider longer pieces in cases of exceptional storytelling. Please submit one to two pieces of art, saved as a .jpg files and attached to your email.

I know you're begging for us to get on to the fabulous prizes, so here it goes... Not only will the winning submission in each category be featured in the September edition of eMuse, the lucky three will also win an autographed copy of Personal Effects: Dark Art. This book is amazing. Not only is it insanely creepy, it's an interactive game. You can find out more about the novel by visiting the official site: Personal Effects: Dark Art.

You may start sending in your submissions on Sunday, April 19, 2009, and we will accept them through June 6, 2009, at midnight EST. Winners will be announced along side my own personal review of Personal Effects: Dark Art in the June edition of eMuse, which goes live on June 15, 2009. Please title the subject of all emails: eMuse Summer Madness Contest and mail your submissions to:

17 April, 2009

When You Don't Know What Else To Do...

Recently, a friend confided in me that she and her family were going through some troubled times. Her son had gotten himself into some trouble, and she and her spouse were at the end of their rope. They had tried everything in their power to mend the strange rift in their family and to help their son heal, but much to their sorrow their efforts seemed to be for naught.

She and her husband recently decided that the best course of action for them to take was to put their son into the hands of someone who could help him. This was a heartbreaking decision for them. I know that she has been beside herself all week, asking if she made the right choice, if this was going to tear her whole family apart, if her son would one day understand that she was doing this because she loves him...

Parenthood is not easy. Anyone who has ever had a child can tell you that you are faced with some of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. You are responsible for the health, well-being, shaping and outcome of another human being's life.

Maybe you are a parent of a troubled teenager, but you're not sure what to do to help your child. Maybe you're not having trouble now, but anticipate there could be some later. This blog that she is keeping about her experience is heartfelt, a little dark, but meant to guide and comfort others who may be faced with similar situations. Anyone with children will find this blog both heart wrenching and touching. Please take a moment to stop over and read about the process my friend had to undergo. Offer thoughts, comfort, support for a mother and father who had to take drastic action in order to ensure that their son had a future.

A Mother's Tears

Thank you for reading.

16 April, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday again, everyone. That's right. It's Thursday, and I'm here today to talk about people I not only support one hundred and ten percent, but that also inspire me with their continued dedication to doing whatever it takes to get themselves and their work out there so the world can see it.

I'd like to start today by tipping my hat to my twitter associate, sci-fi sexpunk author: The Moped Ronin, who is perhaps best known for his work on JunkDNA Fiction. Recently, he came up with a really awesome idea for some of his flash fiction. He set up an etsy store: JunkDNA Fiction and started selling handwritten flash fiction postcards on quality postcards and shipped to you straight from Japan! When he first told me he was doing this, I thought it was an awesome idea, so once the store was set up, I ordered my very own copy of "Space Patrol." Every postcard is numbered for originality, and I have to say, I've never seen neater handwriting in my life! It is definitely worth the $2.50 (USD/shipping included). The story was awesome, and now I have my very own collectible JunkDNA Fiction item. Check out the store and if you're into sci-fi sexpunk, definitely pop over to JunkDNA and check out the stories posted there.

Next, I want to take a moment to sing the praises of Nicole Ireland. Nicole and I met while working as freelancers together several months ago. Something came up that made Nicole realize it was time for her to move on to bigger and better things. Out of work in a time when the economy made it look impossible to earn a buck, Nicole started freelancing wherever she could. Since then, she has had articles published in several venues, including eHow. She is a prolific American Idol blogger, and last month she became a movie/entertainment contributor at The Examiner. I am so proud of her, you really have no idea. She is doing amazing things, and her articles for the examiner have been getting a lot of attention. If you are not already subscribed to her Examiner feed, please do. She's always got interesting things to say, and a great nose for entertainment news!

Last, but certainly not least, my friend James Melzer, author of The Zombie Chronicles, is asking for YOU, yes, you, to blurb book one of TZC: Escape, which comes to print later this year. There's still time to get your blurbs in, even if you haven't started listening to TZC yet. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? It's free, it's available on podiobooks.com and it's a good story. To find out more about what James is looking for, watch this video:

That's it for this week, three Thankful Thursday inspirations I hope you'll check out. All three of these writers are people I have the utmost respect for, and I hope you will too. Who are you thankful for this Thursday, and what have they done to inspire you?

15 April, 2009

"Call of the Selkie"--An Excerpt

Originally uploaded by Multiple fragments of tissue
Maybe it's my Scottish and Irish ancestry, but I have always been enamored by the idea of the selkie. While many people don't even seem to know what a selkie is, once you hear the typical story, you'll gasp and say, "I know that story..." Generally it features a beautiful young woman bathing naked in the sea. A young man comes up on her and finds an empty sealskin on the beach. He takes the skin and hides it from her, forbidding her to return to her home and her kin in the sea. Because she knows that he has that skin, she marries him, has children with him and plays the role of dutiful wife, until one day she finds his hiding place. Without a word to her own flesh and blood, she takes it in her arms and walks off into the sea, looking back only once with conflicting heart and lament before she disappears forever.

I wrote several stories about selkies, and here is an excerpt from one that I had published a couple of years ago when we were first getting eMuse off the ground. If you enjoy the story, I will leave a link at the end, so you can go and read it in its entirety.

"Call of the Selkie"

Despite living in the middle of farm country Pennsylvania, all of my father’s paintings were of the sea in its many guises. Each painting was a tiny piece of him that he’d left behind, the only goodbye note before he mysteriously disappeared that afternoon while I was at school. Every night after he left I sneaked into his studio, stood in the half-dark of the setting sun and tried to decipher the messages he’d left me. Orange slices of sunset slanted through the blinds behind me as I watched the raging sea roil inside the canvas. Alive and overwhelmingly real, in the silence I could hear the distant call of gulls as the waves smashed like fists upon the shore.

Eventually my mother put a lock on the door and gave me a stern lecture about putting the past behind us. She did it just to punish me. She was jealous that the paintings spoke to me, but more afraid that I might discover some hint about where he’d gone. Maybe she worried that I would follow and forget her just like he did. She hid the key so well that entry was impossible. I didn’t cry, or fight her though I needed to. I wanted to scream and tear the smug look from her face, but instead I acted like I didn’t care. She took away from me the last physical connection I had to my father, and for that I could never forgive her.

It wasn’t long after she locked the door that I began to dream myself inside the paintings. Drifting from wave to wave, surrounded by a host of sleek, grey seals, whose joyful song soared high above the waves. Around and around the seals swam in an ancient spiral dance, and then my father appeared from the edge of the circle, young again, younger than I’d ever seen him even in photographs, but his eyes always gave him away. He smiled, and it was a real smile.

“It’s time to come home,” he said.

He held out his hand, and I grasped his fingers, but as he disappeared beneath the water, the waves pushed me upward every time I tried to follow. I couldn’t follow where he went, as though the sea itself kept spitting me out. One by one the seals all disappeared and darkness drew the sun away. Alone, buoyant, wave over wave of salt musk and hundreds of miles between me and dry land, I laid back and floated beneath the endless stars while moonlight rippled silver sheets over my ocean bed.

"Call of the Selkie"

Have a great night everyone, and don't forget, tomorrow is Thankful Thursday! I'm already planning a great blog full of awesome people I can't wait to share with you.

14 April, 2009

Changes Brewing on the Wind

Well, after all of my whining about the difficult time I had working on my short story last week, I am proud to say that Sunday I finished draft two. I sent it off to a couple of friends I workshop with, and this afternoon I made third draft edits. I then folded it into a cyber envelope stamped TEAM AWESOME and sent it off to the secret project that requested the story to begin with.

Aside from feeling incredibly accomplished today, I was also quite flattered when my friend and colleague, Steve, told me that the story reminded him of Edgar Allan Poe. That is probably the most amazing compliment I have ever gotten as a writer. Thank you, Steve.

I am now working on a group of short stories for a concept I'd like to propose, but the project is very secret, so I can't share details at this time. I have one story finished, and a second one about 1/4 of the way done. I hope to have the first draft of that story finished before Friday. Wish me luck.

All of this has left me feeling incredibly good. Big changes are coming, and I'm excited about them. I leave you with this poem, and wishes for a wonderful wednesday!

Brewing On the Wind

Tangled clouds like webs of dust
blown from hiding under the bed
and the dragon's open mouth
smokey teeth glisten
preparing to chomp down
on the light of the moon.
Hallowed Mother, suffocate
beneath speeding
atmospheric veil.

There are changes brewing
on the wind--
I can smell them.

© 2009 J. Hudock

13 April, 2009

I Reject You, Rejection

Rejection is part of every writer's experience. Unless you're insanely lucky, and you've managed to escape the cold hand of rejection, you know that momentary twinge you get when you see the words, "We're sorry..." at the top of the letter.

It happens to the best of us, and the good writers know that you can't let it get to you if you want to make it in this business at all. One editor's rejection could very well be another editor's rejection, but that third editor just might feel that you have written exactly what they are looking for. It's all in persistence and inner-strength. You can't take rejection personally, even if you think the editor is a fool for passing up your incredibly awesome story.

My experience with rejection has gone on for years, with intermittent successes in between. Early on, I let it bother me, but today it barely washes over me anymore. It's just something that happens, and I move on.

Today, however, I got the weirdest rejection letter. While I won't share the details, as I'm not a huge advocate of the #editorfail movement, I did actually find myself laughing at the lack of punctuation, along with the reason behind the rejection. Said editor remarked that my story was, "Very well written," but the subject matter, zombies, was by their standards, outdated. It was a zombie love story, serious, a little stark with minor bits of gore, and considering that they publish a lot of vampire anthologies, it made me laugh a little at their definition of outdated. Some things will never go out of style. The living dead are on that list.

You may think this is crazy, but I was glad for the rejection. A company who thrives on vampires alone... I'm onto more versatile publications, thank you very much. So on that note, I folded up my submission, stuffed it in the next cyber envelope and resubmitted with hours of receiving the rejection.

I'm sure we've talked about this before, but how do you deal with rejection? What is your turn around time before your resubmit a story you've gotten back?

12 April, 2009

"Manhunt," an Excerpt...

Originally uploaded by Yogi
Here is a short excerpt from the memoir I recently had published in "Watershed: A Journal of the Susquehanna." Growing up out in the country in the Susquehanna Valley, I was one of about twelve or so kids in our neighborhood. In the spring and summer, we used to play flashlight tag between the yards. This excerpt picks up after the younger kids have been called in for the night. Left to our own devices, the older kids embark on a more dangerous game called Manhunt... In the scene preceding this, I had actually discovered my supercrush, the neighborhood ninja's hiding place, no small triumph, let me tell you. He's so cool, it's terrifying, and I'm afraid he's going to make me pay back my insolence tenfold in the upcoming game of manhunt.

“Who wants to play Manhunt?”

Manhunt was a game only similar to flashlight tag in that it involved hiding and then seeking with a flashlight. The older kids told us the stakes were higher, and had never allowed anyone under fourteen to play in the past.

“We’ll play in teams of two,” Matt announced.

He had hypnotized simply by asking us to hang out with him. He had always been a center for us to gravitate to. When we were small we often sought him out for answers to complicated gaming questions, or to help us create new games. Unfortunately his games often involved violence and cruelty, while he oversaw the results from far enough away to not be directly associated with things if somebody’s parents came along.

Much to my surprise he had paired himself with me. All of the teams were opposite gender, “To even out the odds,” he said. Was his teaming up with me a vendetta, an opportunity to get me alone and knock me down a peg after having discovered him during flashlight tag.

“So who’s going to be it first?” Hands on hips, Eve tossed her hair in a boyish, flirtatious fashion. She’d been paired up with Ed, whom she’d had a crush on since the third grade.

“Do your stupid bubble gum game, Eve.” Matt smirked.

She had to feel stupid kneeling down, “Bubble-gum, bubble-gum in a dish. How many pieces do you wish?” She had stopped on Gary’s shoe and he answered five. “One-two-three-four-five, if you want to stay alive hope that I don’t count you out, ‘cos you are it!”

There wasn’t enough money in the world that could have forced me to purposely humiliate myself in front of Matt like Eve had done. Most times I felt like breathing was humiliation enough. I glanced down at her finger tapping shoe-tops, waited for the extended version that landed the tip of her nail on top of her brother’s shoe just after, “. . . who will be the next one, and you are it!”

“I’ll fucking kill you, Eve.”

“You said to do it, Matt!” She hopped up.

Under ordinary circumstances, I’d watched him pummel her for being cocky in the past, but instead he shrugged and said, “You better hide good. If I find you, you’re dead.”

The partners huddled close and disappeared whispering into the blue darkness. Matt and I watched, and for awhile I could still hear Eve and Ed’s voices and then nothing except the first frog songs of spring. I was Little Red Riding Hood all alone with the big bad wolf. I glanced toward him and felt my stomach twist inside with nerves. He leaned against the wooden support beam of the pavilion, head back, and I thought his were eyes closed.

He was so cool, even cooler than Han Solo. I hoped he’d never find out, or else it might swell his already enormous ego.

“Come here.”

Was he talking to me? I moved toward him, taking small, awkward steps. He reached out to grab my arm and drew me closer. I nearly fainted when his arms looped around me, one lowering slowly down my back in repeated strokes, “How’s that?”

I swallowed, “Fine.”

“You’re freezing,” warm hands brushed across the bare skin of my forearms. “Move closer. Do you want my sweatshirt?”

My vocal cords were paralyzed with shock. Within seconds he had tugged off his sweatshirt and draped it over my shoulders. It had all happened so suddenly that only one thing seemed able to explain it: I was dreaming.

“You’re nervous,” he lowered his face to mine, and the warmth of his breath sent shivers through me. “You’re shaking.”

The greater part of me wanted to pull away and run home because this wasn’t Matt, at least not the Matt that I knew. The Matt I knew would never help Steve win a game of flashlight tag, or offer someone his sweatshirt. In fact, earlier in the summer he had convinced me that the character Madeline Usher, in the movie Fall of the House of Usher, was going to reach out from under the chair I was sleeping next to and strangle me in my sleep because my name was Jenny. He’d chased me around for hours repeating my name in zombie tones.

“You’re intimidating,” I said.

“Intimidating?” He laughed and held me out at arm’s length. He had probably enjoyed my admission; intimidation had been tactic of choice. “I won’t hurt you.”

I wanted to believe him, so I relaxed and as my body loosened he drew me closer. “Shouldn’t we be counting, or something?”

“I am counting,” he looked into my eyes. I could tell that he was calculating something, whether it be the number of minutes they’d been hiding or something else.

“When should we look for—”

His mouth pressed against mine in a silencing kiss and I stiffened against him. He hadn’t been my first kiss. Earlier that summer all the girls in the neighborhood had taken turns kissing David’s friend Greg. Matt was the first kiss I’d dreamed of since I’d come to know that kissing and cooties had nothing to do with each other. His slow arm moved along the length of my spine, instigated relaxation. Trapped in his arms, I should have been in heaven, but instead I felt like a rabbit just out of reach from a vicious dog’s chain.

And then, just as if nothing had ever happened, he pushed me to his left and said, “Let’s go.”

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of "Watershed: The Journal of the Susquehanna," contact their staff at: river@bloomu.edu for more information.

11 April, 2009

Of Nietzsche and Witchcraft...

Every three weeks, we pack up our books and head to Williamsport, the largest local public library in our county. Sadly, when I say it is the largest local public library, that is really nothing to get thrilled about. As long as I can remember, the James V. Brown library has been the best of the competition, while the other local libraries in the county are beyond pathetic in comparison.

This saddens me. It is a library. Recently, the James V. Brown library built a whole new building just for children and teens, with a cyber cafe and coffee bar for kids to come to after school and on weekends to hang out and do homework. They turned the old children's wing into an adult cyber cafe. That's great. We all know that the days of print books are numbered, but they are certainly not over.

In the past, we have donated unique books to better and broaden the horizons of the community. About ten years ago, we donated nearly a hundred books, all in brand new or barely breathed on condition on subjects like paganism, wicca, philosophy, demonology, self-help, vampirism and actual witchcraft. Three of the one hundred books we donated appeared between the six libraries in our county. Three. All of the other books disappeared. Since then, I stopped donating books and money to the library because of continual and obvious censorship.

I know that about 80% of the libraries I have visited while living in Pennsylvania have suffered this same fate. Even living in downtown Pittsburgh, the Carnegie library system's several branches were completely bereft of books on things like the occult. The Carnegie branch near our house was an absolute joke, not even carrying a useful selection of books on Catholocism.

Libraries, you are a wonderful resource. You provide knowledge for people of all ages, encouraging literacy and a love of reading. Because I have always wanted my daughter to love books, we have spent our weekends combing through the weak, censored selection of books in the public library. It worked. She loves books, but now even she is disheartened by the lack of variety in subject matter.

Here are five examples of library failure in my county:

Books by Friedrich Nietzsche: 0
Books on the subject of Paganism/Wicca/Witchcraft: 0
Books by Charles Bukowski: 0
Books on Christianity: Over 1000 between all six libraries
Books by or about Aleister Crowley: 0

Nietzsche? How can there be nothing by Nietzsche? And when you search on the subject of Wicca, one books comes up: an anti-Wiccan book called Dewitched : what you need to know about the dangers of witchcraft and wicca.. The fact that there are no books by Bukowski actually makes me sick. In high school, before there was an internet to google everything under the sun, I did a biographical research paper on Aleister Crowley. There were three books in my school library that had incredibly limited information on Crowley, (One of them eas actually about Led Zeppelin...) and literally nothing else in our entire county on the man. I borrowed books from friends and family to complete the report. The fact that there are over 1000 books on the subject of Christianity between the six libraries in our system is a grave sign of religion influenced censorship.

Well guess what. Living in this forsaken town my entire life, I still followed my curiosity. I went to the city bookstores for books when necessary, and today I use the internet. It is this type of blatant meddling that disheartens me so much that I could really care less what happens to the library system at all. When you are drowning and floundering, looking for a hand, I will not hold mine out. Not when you deny the actual spread and pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

Before I'm Swallowed by Sleep

It's late. I just got home from a night out with a dear friend. I will leave you with this poem. When I was growing up, I was fortunate (mostly,) to have grown up in a rural neighborhood with a group of adventurous kids. I have many fond memoirs of those days, including those of my first "crush." While there was never any future for us, we did some fun and crazy things, and this poem is one of many in tribute to the boy that I knew then.

It Always Comes Back to This

left arm scarred
cinder-block burn
a scraped escape
one hiding place
to the next

two in a tree
bark-brushed thigh
a chance maneuver
and blood chills
under the wind

love's agonizing scrutiny
these left-overs
nothing but empty
shells litter the earth
spilled seed pods
scatter with the
same breath
that says goodbye.

Maybe your Saturday linger as long as you like, unless you have to work, in which case, I hope it flies.

10 April, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Though the timestamp on this post will probably tell you that it was actually Friday when I posted this, I have always operated under the notion that the current day doesn't end in my personal universe until my own head hits the pillow. I decided to call this post Thankful Thursday, after my friend, James Melzer mentioned this morning that Thursday should be a day to be thankful for our inspirations. James posted his own blog about the people who inspire him, including new media pioneers like Mur Lafferty, J.C. Hutchins, Scott Sigler, and Matt Selznick. In honor of thankfulness, I wanted to take today's blog and use it to give kudos to a few incredible people who have inspired me.

Neil Gaiman has been an incredible inspiration for the last eighteen years of my life. Gaiman is a master storyteller who has gone places and written things I have dreamed about all my life. It's like he has access to this other dimension that many of us only glimpse in our nightly wanderings, and barely wake to tell of it. While I don't know Neil Gaiman personally, and have never interacted with him on any level, he is one of my greatest inspirations. I truly believe that when all is said and done about two hundred years from now, the supposed big names will be forgotten, and Gaiman will be taught in colleges the way Shakespeare is today.

On a more personal level, my friend Christine Makepeace and her boyfriend Dylan Santurri are an inspiration to me. Who are Christine Makepeace and Dylan Santurri, you ask? They are the mad genius duo behind Paracinema, a magazine that studies Paranormal Cinema from the inside out. Christine inspires me because when we first met, she used to talk to me about how much she admired me for writing. How much she looked up to for braving the long and difficult road of writing. Today, she's a driving force behind one of my favorite magazines. I don't just say that because she is my friend. Paracinema is awesome.

Then there is Jacqueline Roth. When I first met Jae, as her friends know her, I was working as a moderator and mentor at one of the largest fanfiction sites on the internet. We were both submitting authors there, and I got to know her after interacting over a story she was submitting. We started to exchange stories, and eventually became part of a great many enterprises together. We are both founding members of an incredible online literary arts journal called eMuse, and for many years we shared a fantastic, but small online writer's critique site. I watched Jae grow over the years from someone who only dreamed of writing, into a woman who thrived. In the last two years she has had several books published through Cerridwen Press and their sister site, Ellora's Cave. She has written some of the most character driven, amazing stories I have ever read. If you've not heard of her, she comes highly recommended. She's got an incredible imagination. Her successes continue to inspire me on a regular basis.

There are so many people that inspire me that were I to name them all, I would literally be sitting in this chair until the latter part of next week. Since it's going on 2 AM, I'll wrap it up here with a simple and humble thank you to all of the people I know who dedicate themselves to following their creative destinies. You are all an amazing inspiration to me, and your successes, both great and small, light a fire under me every day.

On that note, I will say goodnight, and good Friday, apparently in more ways than one.

08 April, 2009

Let the Cards Fall Where They May

When I was fourteen, I got my first deck of tarot cards. The Rider Waite deck, which is one of the most well-known and basic decks on the market, it was the only one they had at our local bookstore at the time. A friend I went to school with had done a demonstration speech on how to read tarot cards, and I had to have them.

Long had I been into the metaphysical, checking out books on the Salem Witch Trials and demonic possession from our local library when I was all of about ten years old. Learning to read tarot cards seemed like the next logical step in my journey toward self discovery.

I've amassed quite a tarot collection over the last nineteen years, having a total of thirteen decks at present. Three of those decks are Celtic, in tie to my Scottish and Irish ancestry, and each of the others has its own special significance.

Over the last three months a lot of things in my life have been up in the air. I've had serious career doubts, work trouble, emotional ups and downs and our financial situation could use a serious boost! Of course, all of those things put strain on our romantic relationship, which until about two weeks ago had been going so perfectly, I had never felt closer to my incredibly talented and wonderful spouse of nearly thirteen years. Suddenly the weight of the world slumped down on me like a fat man's belly let loose from the belt after an all you can eat buffet. I literally found myself tossing and turning about an hour before the alarm went off this morning because my mind was chewing away at some unprocessed worry that needed sorting out.

When things get this jumbled in my life, pulling out my tarot cards and taking a look at what life is trying to tell me is an absolute necessity. While many people think of the Tarot as evil, some even going so far as to belief the messages from the cards come from demonic spirits, there is actually nothing demonic about them at all. Just as all things in life have a tendency to do, the cards fall where they may, and the symbolism in the pictures act as a guide, offering clarity into situations in one's life that may not be registering clearly.

So I spent some time with my cards. I actually pulled out the Rider Waite deck. The shuffling of cold cards over the years has become so familiar that it's almost second nature. I know when to stop, which card to take and as I turn it face up I see exactly what the universe wants me to know based on my circumstance and situation.

The good news is, I'm not only on the right track, but I am on the giddying brink a serious breakthrough. Apparently, I'm hanging on tight to the thread of an old ideal that I need to clip, so I can go spiraling into the great, wide unknown. Excellent, because change is what I need. As a Gemini, stagnation is worse than death, as at least with death, it's an unknown new adventure.

So, as I pick up my cards, and tuck them back into their satin, red back, that old cliche, "It's always darkest before the dawn," pops up like a banner in the background of my thoughts. I think I'm going to need a new pair of sunglasses for that sunrise.

Dawn's cards

(these are not my cards, but an image from SanFranAnnie on Flickr)

07 April, 2009

Because it's Tuesday

Spring Lamb
Originally uploaded by Essjay is happy in NZ
I'm happy to say that I haven't been blogging as much frequently because I've actually been writing. That's always a positive thing. Right after finishing the draft on my short story Sunday, I actually started another short story. I've also been writing a lot of poetry, some of which I share here with you.


In the lion's jaws
this lamb lies still
bent neck, bleeding
all fear receding
as he lopes off
away from the pride
finding some dark
secluded place to hide
where he can lap at her wounds
until saliva mends the skin
and she is whole again.

© 2009 J. Hudock

The Sea

Waves rush in against the cliffs:
that is the crushing breathlessness of you.
Three gulls circle overhead, little spies
that carry pieces of me away in their cries.
I am nothing but the spray of rain on stone,
an essence of color, refracted light.
Breathe in all the mist that is left of me,
and carry me back out with you to sea.

© 2009 J. Hudock

Here's hoping your Wednesday is bliss.

05 April, 2009

It Has Been Done

Wax Satan
Originally uploaded by Jacob...K
So today I spent the majority of my day working on finishing up the first draft of a short story I started about three weeks ago. I finished the draft about two and a half hours ago, and as I wrapped it up, I felt slightly unhappy with how it turned it out.

I already gave myself a talking to while on the treadmill. First of all, it's a first draft, which means nothing is set in stone. It's not like I'm handing it over as is (cringes at the thought). I'm letting it rest for a couple days, and plan to pick it back up Wednesday or Thursday to read it over and see how it can be polished and improved.

In the meantime, I've had an idea brewing for a couple of days for a new zombie story, and while I was on the treadmill tonight it clarified itself. So I'm gathering some research before bed and getting to know my new characters.

Overall, I feel like I had a productive weekend. Last weekend I really did not get a lot of writing done at all, and I felt the drain of it during the week. Especially considering how much I had accomplished the two weekends before that. I was on a roll there for awhile, completing a short story or memoir each week, polishing it up and workshopping it, then sending it out. I hope to get back into that routine, where I'm at least sending out one thing each week.

I'm off to get this new piece started, then a little reading, then bed. Oh, and if you're wondering why I have the glorious devil from "Legend" as my picture today, it's because the story I finished today featured that fiery fiend, the prince of darkness.

P.S. I wanted to clarify that the story I was talking about in yesterday's blog was, in fact, a short story, and not a novel, for all you wonderful folks who commented on yesterday's blog. It would absolutely take me way longer than 3 weeks to write a novel... unless it was during NaNoWriMo and I was on a roll. :)

04 April, 2009

The First Draft

The first draft of a story is always the hardest for me. It doesn't matter if I finish it with the worst ending in the world, once it's finished there is a confidence there that allows me to go back and rewrite and polish until my heart's content, even stripping out entire sections and adding in new ones.

For some reason, the story I am writing right now has been really struggling against me. I think most days I'm exhausted from writing for work, that when it's time to sit down and write for real, I'm just not in the mood. I have been writing every day, though, even if it's just 200 or so words. Today, I managed about 1100 words and I'm nearing the turning point in the story. Tomorrow, I plan to finish this first draft so I can sit on it for a few days, then come back and start the editing process.

The funny thing is how long it takes to get that first draft out. I have been working on this story for about 3 weeks. I'm not sure if it's because I have higher expectation or a little bit of outside pressure, but despite the very clear outline of the story I mapped out in my head before writing, it has been like pulling teeth to get it out.

It's coming though. I'm excited. I can't wait until this first draft is done. I have passed up on a couple other ideas, writing them down for safe keeping, just because I wanted to commit myself to finishing this project before I moved on. I will be grateful when I'm done.

Now, I'm off to bed with a handful of Horror Fest to spur on nightmares. I will be back tomorrow, the proud author of another completed first draft.

03 April, 2009

A God Never Forgets...

Temple of Apollo @ Delphi
Originally uploaded by Giorgos~
Apollo Rejected

Slowly fan these flames
in attempt to blow them out
yet they burn on,
lapping thirstily at my skin
like tired dogs.

Apollo's fiery fury, and I blister,
consumed with passion
behind the wavering reality
evaporating with every breath-
to let go, would bring freedom,
but what immunity have I?

Scarred from the inside out
a molten reminder
of incomplete sacrifice-
A god never forgets!
© 2005 J. Hudock

Just a bit of poetry today... had a busy day, got some writing done, prepping to do a bit more before turning in. I hope you all had a fabulous Friday.

02 April, 2009

The Great Communication Fail...

A couple of weeks back, I read about the twitter project, #queryfail on someone else's blog. Intrigued, since I presently don't deal with an agent but had hoped to one day, I read all about it. Needless to say, I was a little disgusted by the attitude around it, more than I was by the overall idea behind it. The woman who started it *rubbed her hands with glee* which made the whole thing sound like a witch hunt, more than an exercise designed to show writers the types of mistakes that are likely to not only make agents laugh at you, but toss your query right into file thirteen.

A lot of writers were outraged by the idea. #queryfail was cruel, many said. Even if it was done anonymously, there was still the potential for some poor author to log in and see a mockery of their own query. Anonymous or no, the humiliation of rejection is often enough to put some writers off of submitting their work. Seeing their query get torn apart right there in front of thousands of Tweeters could do some damage.

So in response, #agentfail was set up to give writers a chance to talk back and address some of the problems authors have with agents. In an anonymous forum, maybe that would be better, because though authors can pick and choose the agents they deal with using a certain degree of choosiness, agents tend to hold all the cards in the writer/agent relationship. Many writers don't want to step on proverbial toes, get caught up in some web that is going to hold them back from even getting representation.

I think the whole thing is a little sad. I thought about starting a twitter movement called #youallfail. Why? Because more and more often, it seems that people are only happy when they are making other people miserable. The whole you stepped on me, I'll break your arm mentality is so high school, and I really did believe (probably foolishly,) for a long time that adults were different; the knew how to behave and get along with each other in ways kids didn't understand. Talk about naivete.

I write because it's my passion. It is all I have ever wanted to do with my life. I don't think about things like making agents and editors giggle when I write a query letter, I think about taking the next step in my career. I think about how it takes guts to slap your soul down on a three hundred and twenty page manuscript and then put it out there to be torn apart. Then I find myself thinking that it's no wonder there are so many writers publishing and podcasting their own books. The traditional medium has been such a joke for years that soon the snooty and persnickety may find themselves out of jobs. They may tune in one morning to check the book ratings and find a manuscript they took a dump on once is now a #1 best seller on the NY Times.

It doesn't matter if you're an agent, an editor or a writer. At times in my life I have been both on the writers end and the editorial end. I've had manuscripts fly across my desk with the craziest cover letters, and have seen so many writers who didn't even know there were rules, but I took a look at their manuscript anyway. There were times I was incredibly glad I did, because if I judged every manuscript that happened across my desk, before reading it mind you, on the cover letter or query that accompanied it, I'd probably pass up the opportunity to read and publish quite a few amazing stories.

The same type of garbage goes on in the music business, and the representation are the first people to start crying when they find themselves out of work.

In the end, it boils down to how we treat each other. Not just in the publishing world and the music business, but in every day life. I'm a bitch, I won't lie. I've been mean to people both on and off the internet, but I don't walk around looking for a fight. I don't push buttons for the sake of pushing buttons. Most times it's because I feel like I'm in a position that requires me to fight back. I'd just really like to see the world change, and for the better. It'd be fantastic to wake up one day and find people more willing to help each other, rather than crush each other on the ladder to the top.

01 April, 2009


Every night before going to bed, I process all of the day's thoughts and events, and then I write a poem. I have had other things going on lately, so I thought I'd post a couple of the poems I wrote this last week:


bubbles of frustration
squeeze from my lungs
small alien beings
like clear jellyfish
rise toward the distant
flickering daylight
fingertips glow underwater
extraterrestrial, unsound
I can see through my own skin:
blue veined, peaceful,
and it takes me back
connects me to the source
intravenously sustained
floating in the womb...



the mirrored reflection of something so yesterday
and yet beyond tomorrow wavers in front of me;
grins, not devouring, but straight and white,
clean and new, with an undercurrent of memory
of that whole time when I gave myself away
to someone that never really wanted me,
but took parts anyway to make himself stronger.
Somewhere, out there, he's walking around
with more innocence than he deserves and
bits of heart that do him no good.
He wears sheepskin, but cannot hide his teeth.

Random, completely. No structure, no rhyme. I've felt a little random myself lately, distracted, but it happens to the best of us. Perhaps I'll make some time later to actually blog, but until then...

31 March, 2009

"My Ancestors Believed"

The ocean was a sly, hungry goddess
who seduced and swallowed husbands.
Rarely spit out again and never seen
they dove willingly into her warm folds,
swam in the depth and bliss of her love
only to be carried away from wives
and children to distant paradises.

Can paradise be unveiled before a
billowing cloud of bubbles and fish schools,
or is that all part of the illusion?
The lure that captured their attention
bobbed on the surface like glass baubles
the ones ancient druids used
to interpret and determine the future.

It is not open for discussion,
or interpretation. All manner
of female oppression becomes
central. In reality not one
of those fisherwives needed a man,
and the boundaries of fidelity hang
wide open, like the Sheela-Na-Gig.

©2003 ~J. Hudock

30 March, 2009


Despite having a rough day, I gave myself an hour to write tonight before bed because I wanted to put my mind into something besides that which is work related. I had planned to write most of the weekend, but the muse was on vacation, I guess. I sat down to write several times, but not much came out. There was a period around Saturday evening that I did manage to pump about 600 words into the short story I am working on. Oddly enough, every time I put something into it, I wind up taking it right back out. The good thing is, after spending my writing time tonight shaving things down, I finally feel like the plot is ready to move forward.

Now that taxes are out of the way, I am diving into the writing tomorrow after work. I can't wait. I am still very much in love with the idea behind this short story and am dying to see it in completion. Even first draft completion.

I'm off to bed for now. Sweet dreams full of rich plot ideas.

29 March, 2009

The Internet is a Weird Place

When I was a kid, my mom was into the church, and a few times I remember hosting weird choir people from out of state at our house, because that is what you did back then. These days, I think about the funny things my daughter will remember when she is my age, like the weird guy from England we had stay with us when she was just 5 years old. One of my first, major internet experiences was with a group of people who were all fans of the same Brooklyn based band. We met on the official site, eventually branched off into our own site and had at least two "unofficial" get togethers right here in Pennsylvania.

During the first gathering, I invited one of the group members, a young man from England, to come and say with my family, so he could enjoy his time in America by saving some cash on a hotel. He was very pleasant, a lot of fun to talk to, but shortly after he stayed with us, I lost touch with him completely.

When the second gathering came around, I invited another young guy to come and stay with us because he didn't have a steady job and couldn't afford a hotel. Before he got here, he was excited about coming, and was really looking forward to meeting a dear friend of mine for the first time. Oddly enough, he was so shy that the experience was just uncomfortable. He left without even thanking us for letting him stay at our house, and though we kept in touch for a couple of years online, I eventually lost track of him as well.

I am blogging about this because it seems a strange thing. My parents rarely had total strangers come and stay at their home, much less people they met on the internet, but I can think of at least four times that I had complete, physical strangers come and stay in my home. One year, a friend who has become very dear to me over the last few years, flew me out to California at her own expense and put me up with her and her husband while we visited San Francisco. Before I stepped off the plane, we had never met in person.

I know there are dangers with meeting people online, but I enjoy meeting people. The internet has brought some of the most amazing people into my life over the last ten years, people I would never have had the pleasure of getting to know. I've worked with some, built empires with others, and plan to take over the world with a few.

What about you? Have you ever met anyone in person that you first knew online? What was your experience like? If you haven't, would you consider doing so?

28 March, 2009

Is the Key to Violence Awareness?

andrea 110
Originally uploaded by elward-photography
When I became a mother, a part of me shied away from the horror I had enjoyed all of my life. The years of reading Stephen King and watching bloody horror films... I suddenly realized that not only was I someone's mother and had to be a good influence, but that the horrific things in a lot of those movies were even scarier with a child to think about. This was even truer when it came to psychological thrillers like the original "Last House on the Left," and films of that caliper.

As she began to grow, and we started to return to some of the horrific things that had once attracted us like spectators at a train wreck, I heard more and more about horror and violence being responsible for outrageous societal horrors like Columbine. Then the so-called experts started saying that allowing children to watch television and film violence and experience violent video games desensitized them.

It's easy to fall for that when you have nothing in front of you to compare it to, but history is ripe with violence, including thousands of years of war, atrocities like the Spanish Inquisition, various witch trials and the Holocaust, and bloodthirsty killers like Elizabeth Bathory and Gilles de Rais, just to name two.

For centuries, human nature compelled mankind toward brutality, but as we became (supposedly,) more civilized, we started to cry out against the violence we carried with us from the very cradle of civilization itself.

As I grew into adulthood, having experienced some pretty evil things in my life, I was surprised to learn how many other people, men and women, who had suffered the same types of atrocities that had been committed against me as child. The more people I learned of this from, the more I started to think that the world itself was going mad.

Then it hit me. The world was always mad; we just have the means of telling more and more people about it thanks to the constant growth of communication and media. The truth is in our history, probably embedded in our very DNA. Mankind has been on a spiraling power struggle since he climbed up out of the swamps and staggered toward a cave. He stopped long enough to club his fellow cavechick on the head along the way, and dragged her off against her will. Another man came along, coveting the cavechick of his neighbor. The first brutal acts of rape and murder all within the first few hours of on two legs...

Yes, I realize I'm being blase about the whole thing, as if I know. I probably don't, but I do know that blaming television, films and video games for violent behavior is not the answer.

As a mother, I have always felt it was my top priority to be honest with my child about everything she asked me. If she asked about sex, I geared our conversation toward her age level. If she asked me about murder, I approached it from a standpoint she could digest. Opening the lines of communication with her when she was old enough to speak may seem like I didn't offer her much of a childhood, but she is so innocent compared to her group of friends. Her thirteen year old best friend just went through a pregnancy scare and was ready to commit suicide rather than tell her mother about it. We sat down and talked about the situation, the consequences and the behavior like human beings, and while I know she'll make her share of mistakes, I also feel confident that she would come to me, rather than commit suicide or homicide over them.

I know I've rambled along here, referencing some pretty crazy things that might even seem random to you, but communication is the key. I know it is. This last week, I found myself in a position no mother of a teenage girls wants to be in. A fifteen year old boy on the school bus was literally trying to molest my daughter. A fifteen year old boy whose parents don't pay attention to him, who has no sense of self or community. The really sad thing about the whole ordeal is that in reporting the incident, she finds herself "punished" by having to limit where "she" sits and goes. But the thing is, she came to me. She came and told me what was going on even though she was afraid I might resort to "violence" and murder the little bastard.

It all boils down to awareness and communication, maybe even a little bit of acceptance. Violence is a wretched thing, whether it's against our fellow human beings or even animals, but it does happen. Being made aware of the difference between what is real and acceptable and what is not acceptable at a young age may hold the power to make all the difference. Maybe I'm wrong. *shrugs* But I do know that my fourteen year old isn't going to be heading into school with a shotgun in her lifetime, no matter how much the jerks at school tease her.

27 March, 2009

Shakespeare in Repose

Shakespeare in Repose
Originally uploaded by jaochang
Times... they are changing. While some of us sit back and shudder in fear at the horrific possibilities for what's to come, others are fearlessly paving the path into the future.

I have blogged before about my decisions in college. I went back to school at 26 with the intention of getting a "real" career education in forensic psychology, but once I was on campus and taking my first writing class, the gloves came off and I fought back against that societal voice that told me I would never be able to sustain myself or my family as writer. I was told that there were only so many great writers in the world and the chances of becoming one of those who makes enough money to survive are slim to none.

The thing is, like many writers, I have known since I was a little girl that if I didn't write, I would die. Not some lame bodily death, not suicide, but a much more dramatic, inner-death. When I entered the workforce at 21 (yeah, I tried desperately to avoid conventional work even then,) I worked nights and came home every night after work and wrote my heart out because I would not allow the shackles of convention to hold me down.

It wasn't until college that I really started to find myself and my voice as a writer. With college came the confidence I needed, the awareness and that extra push to start sending my work out. The internet has reinforced all of that, and while it seems that the conventional literary world is crumbling down around us I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

That light has come in the last couple months, as I've been fortunate to have become acquainted with some incredibly talented and creative people through the internet. As I explored the worlds they created, I realized that those people had taken all they had inside them and pushed it back out into the world where it belonged. Conventions are no longer an option, whether it is in light of publishing or music. They've exhausted all resources available to them to get their work out there, working conventional jobs by day and pushing themselves hard by night to share themselves and their vision with the world.

Because that's what you do when you're creative. You put yourself out there and you shake the world into submission. I know in my heart that we have passed the brink and a new revolution in creativity is rapidly unfolding before us. Old cities of convention crumble beneath new boots, and a new empire rises from the rubble.

For those of you I know who have stepped into the chaos of this strange new world without trepidation (coughJames Melzercough}, your bravery both inspires and compels those us of still standing on the brink. Know that I am right behind you, both as a supporter and a fellow creator, ready to join in and help in the process of building this strange, new world.

It may not be the world we expected to grow up into, or that we dreamed of as children, but I think it'll be better.

25 March, 2009

He Whispers to Me While I Sleep

Lord Byron... ever since I was about thirteen years old I had a bizarre obsession with him, and not just his work, but him as a person. It occasionally rivaled with my fascination for Shelley, but for some reason Byron always wins out. While both had equally depressing volumes to offer before their deaths, Byron always felt more dangerous to me. In fact, as I mentioned yesterday I always thought the name George Gordon would fantastic for some Romantic obsessed serial murder. I've even had a few really creative ideas on how to insert Byron into fiction over the years, things both dark and hilarious that cannot be shared until the ideas are more complete.

The short story I am working on right now reminds me of Byron in the most twisted way. I had even named the main character George at first, but then upon realizing the connection changed it to give myself some distance and to let the character grow into his own personality.

The strange obsession has brought about the Byronic cycles that sometimes haunt me in my sleep. In the morning, just before I open my eyes and while still suspended in that web of some dream, I hear a voice whispering familiar poetry to me. This morning that voice said:

"Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity..."

Funny, but that is how I have always viewed dreams. A separate reality, a weight upon my waking thoughts that divides me into two beings. As a Gemini, that sense of duality has existed all of my life, and I walk a thin line between the dream world and the waking place most people consider every day life.

I'm sure that's all crazy to you... but I'm happy here. Wherever I am.

24 March, 2009

I've Been Committed to "The Brink"

J.C. Hutchins just sent me my commitment papers:


You can view the larger version, in which you can read about my illness and the crimes I committed against humanity Here

I also got this nifty avatar as a thank you for participating in the project:


My husband sent his own contribution in this morning, and was also committed to "The Brink."

You can see the expanded version and read all about his life as a sociopathic serial murderer here. His name really isn't George Gordon, or Lord Byron, but George Gordon is the best serial killer name EVER!

As I mentioned yesterday, you really should take a look at J.C. Hutchins' site and preorder his upcoming project, Personal Effects: Dark Art. This interactive novel experience will have you on the edge of your seat! Here is a blurb straight from the site:

"Set in a mental institution for hopeless dead-enders, Personal Effects: Dark Art chronicles the life of Zach Taylor, a young and optimistic art therapist. Gifted at his job, he uses his patients’ personal effects — the personal items cataloged during their admission to the hospital — to help decipher the secrets of their mental problems."

As a reader you will be able to call the numbers in the book, visit the websites and more. This promises to be an amazing experience, with excellent reviews by the likes of Scott Sigler, Anthony E. Zuiker, Daniel Myrick and several other talented horror aficionados.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, please do. J.C. Hutchins will be offering more opportunities to get personally involved in "The Brink" over the next few weeks, so be sure to check the website often. What are you waiting for, go get committed already!

23 March, 2009

Because I'm a Lunatic

I am going to be submitting a piece of artwork to the patient files at "The Brink," part of J.C. Hutchins' upcoming thriller experience. You can find out more about Personal Effects by visiting J.C. Hutchins' website: Personal Effects

Update: I sat down with my oil pastels and created this hideously insane self portrait:

undead self portrait

22 March, 2009

Formulating an Idea

One of the toughest things for me as a writer is getting the story out of my head. I realize that is probably a tough thing for a lot of writers. I can sit down and verbally tell an entire story from beginning to end, but when I am behind the keyboard it is extremely hard to put it down the way I originally saw it in my head. Now I know that it is all part of the process, that I need to expand on it once the original idea is out on paper, but my word! Tell my brain that, someone. I keep telling it that we will worry about expanding the details and polishing it up in the second draft, but my overactive brain keeps crying about how unfair it is that nothing comes out perfect the first time we write it down.

Does anyone else go through that? I've written entire novels in my head, all the way down to the most obscure details, but then had difficulty committing them to paper, and I really think that's why. I get upset that it doesn't come out the way I saw it in my head. But I learned while I was taking art classes in college that just because you draw something the first time and it doesn't come out like you saw it in your head, through the refining process you can mold and shape what you have produced into a masterpiece. I already know that the solution is telling my brain to chill out and just write already! My word! Worry about the details once you have a solid base to work from.

The story I am working on has an air of Romantic Horror, though I plan for it to be bloodier and somewhat more twisted than any Romantic horror I ever read in college. There will be a portrait of an Elizabeth Bathory inspired Countess, a young man with murder on his mind and the obvious hand of the devil orchestrating the goriest acts of the story. It'll be a short story, and I have special plans for it, so here's hoping it all comes together as I have seen it in my head (at least by the end of the revisions process anyway!)0

I finally got the paint I needed to do the full moon on the bedroom wall. I'm pleased with how it turned out. We will now gradually add stars to the ceiling, possibly have a few trickle down into the clouds. Pictures upcoming. I have about sixty pics I need to tinker with in photoshop since my niece just had her fourth birthday party on Thursday. Once I get a spare moment to do that, I will add the photos I took of the moon.

Lastly, I was saddened today to read that Nicholas Hughes, son of the famous poetess Sylvia Plath, committed suicide this weekend. To have lived under the weight of such a tremendous shadow, more than likely with the strange guilty burden of his mother's suicide... so sad indeed. I think I will write a poem about it later.

I'm off now to get on the treadmill after a lazy day of reading, napping and writing, and then I want to get some more writing done before bed. I hope you all had a lovely, stress-free weekend.