Friday the 13th Random Post

Ch-ch-ch

Ha-ha-ha

Okay, spelling sounds isn’t my strong suit but it’s still Friday the 13th and we needto take a moment to remember everyone’s favorite hockey mask wearing killer Jason Voorhees.

Lots of news, updates, and new content coming next week. Until then, here’s the Evil Banana I drew for my niece last night.

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When I Should Be Sleeping

It was a weird day today capped off with some upsetting but not unexpected news. To cure the emotional distress, I’ve smoked, eaten garbage, and watched cartoons. I also wrote a new story from the mind spew happening as I smoked, ate garbage, and watched cartoons and immediately posted it as a Five Minute Fright on Patreon. I’m going to start doing my weekly recap articles soon and I’m working on some new content for the podcast. In the meantime, I’m struggling to find some clear direction in my life. The first month back in the real world had not been the immediate, easy to get to success I’d hoped it would be. I’m trying to figure out how to be a better writer, to not only focus and hone my craft but to do it in a way that I can make some money and support myself and my family.

I have been channeling my inner PBS tonight and I think I best described it on Instagram as I was talking about a DVD that came in the mail today. To paraphrase Cookie Monster:

“Today we will live in the moment. Unless the moment is unpleasant. In that case, we will curl up on the couch, watch cartoons, and eat cereal.”

Truly, Cookie Monster is the wisest of all monsters.

So, as the night creeps steadily towards morning, I’m left thinking about a lot of changes that have happened, that are happening, and trying to sort out what I need to do.

In the meantime, if you want to check out Early Come the Little Men or any of the other original content on my Patreon, go here and become a Minion of Danno.

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Danno of the Dead’s Super Low Budget Podcast

Playing with my RSS Feed tonight for the podcast. Bear with me, I’m still learning.

Super Low Budget Podcasts


Danno of the Dead

 

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Film Festivals, Fundraisers, and the Importance of Patronage

I drove exactly 500 miles round-trip yesterday just to spend the evening at Grindhouse Killer Burgers in Decatur, Georgia. The Women in Horror Film Festival, an event that had a profound impact on me last year after attending, was having a fundraiser to spread the word and generate buzz about the impending return of the festival. Sitting on the rooftop bar listening to live music and seeing trailers for some upcoming indie grindhouse and horror flicks was amazing.

It also made me think of my career. Less than three weeks ago I left the police department. I’m currently living on my pension and savings and quite literally every word I write is going to soon determine whether or not I can feed my family. It’s terrifying. But that’s art. In writing, as in music or film or anything else, you have to take a risk and hope like hell that the work you produce is going to sell.

Film festivals generate a lot of attention for creators who might otherwise go unnoticed in the mainstream. It gives people who are not only talented but driven a chance to showcase their work and perhaps advance into more lucrative avenues.

I’m not done talking about Women in Horror Film Festival or the fundraiser, but you’ll have to read the rest on 52 Weeks of Horror and Superficial Gallery next week. What I will say is, if you have the chance and the ability to give to an artist, you should. They’re quite literally giving a piece of themselves, of their soul, to entertain you. Giving to the arts is always an investment that pays off in the end.

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Why You Need to Become a Patron

Being a writer is hard. It may not seem like it to most because your understanding of the craft is simply that of putting words on paper. But creating complex, entertaining, and well written fiction and prose is a challenge that involves hours on hours of hunching over a keyboard pecking away after drafts of the same story so many times that, by the time it actually goes to print, you’re so sick of it that you hope you never have to read it again. Then there’s the marketing, the advertising, the hustling to make contacts and make sales anywhere and everywhere you go on a daily basis while engaging an audience almost daily to ensure you don’t get swept away by the fickle and ever changing currents of social media. I mean, yeah, anyone can write the same way that anyone can paint, act, or make a movie.

But you have to have talent, skill, and determination to actually make something worthwhile.

patreon

My Patreon page is full of deep thoughts, weird stories, and great interviews and articles focusing on the horror genre and horror culture/lifestyle topics. Not sure if you’re down for all of that? Don’t worry, there’s more than monsters and gore. There’s some actual deep, insightful looks into the life of a freelance writer as well as the journey of a man leaving law enforcement and becoming a part of the world after 13 years on the job. Everything has a touch of my trademark sarcastic humor and narrative descriptions that are guaranteed to paint a vivid picture in your mind. Take a look at some of what you get when you become my patron:

FiveMinuteFrights

Five Minute Frights is an ongoing short story series featuring tales of the bizarre and terrifying that can be read and enjoyed in five minutes or less. A perfect escape from reality during a busy day.

Plan9

Plan 9 is my favorite worst movie of all time and, to honor the genius story buried in the schlock, I’ve rewritten it with a 21st century flair in flash fiction sized chapters that retain the brilliant narrative of Wood’s schlock opus.

TheUndertakers

In a world where the living dead are a nuisance rather than a civilization ending epoch, Charlie Stone and his Undertakers are the first line of defense for the citizens of Berry Hill. Serializing the novelette Those Things’ll Kill Ya’ and expanding on the story of Charlie, Gladys, and Pete Nebraska, there will be blood and one liners.

InsideDannosHead

Inside Danno’s Head is nothing but mind spew. Rants, raves, thoughts, and experiences as the author navigates freelance life and culture.

DanInTheRealWorld

A semi serious look at what it’s like to go from being a part of the “thin blue line” to living in the “real world” outside of law enforcement. Told by a 13 year veteran dispatcher as he learns to adjust to a new life, the series promises emotion, depth, and humor.

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First dibs on event coverage, interviews, reviews, and so much more from the Southeast’s biggest fandom and cosplay event told from the point of view of Hell’s Favorite Freelancer.

NAH1

Raunchy podcast antics from the Fellowship of the Geek as we gather each month to play America’s favorite card game (for horrible people), Cards Against Humanity.

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News, reviews, and interviews from haunt and horror culture and entertainment coming out of the Volunteer State.

By now you’ve seen something you like and you want to know more. But first, how much is it going to cost? To become a Minion of Danno (the only tier available) is only one dollar a month. You’re going to get a hell of a lot of original content and entertainment for a buck. Minions of Danno also get top priority when contracting for freelance projects.

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Whether you’re looking to become a patron of the arts or just want to enjoy some weird stories, you’re not going to find anyone better, more entertaining, or more affordable. Become a patron today and consider

 

minionofdanno

Become a Minion of Danno today! ($1.00/Month)

 

 

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Coming to a Con Near You!

If you see this guy walking arounda convention hall or film festival, be sure to stop and chat about horror, fandom, cinema, or just to say “Hi.”

So far I’m confirmed and will be covering:

Hypericon

DragonCon

Women in Horror Film Festival

Nashville Zombie Walk

Got a few more I’m hoping to get approved for this season. Let me know if there’s somewhere I should be.

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Abou Ben Adhem

My grandfather was a man of exceeding kindness and faith. In the warm summer night we’d sit in the yard on the swing he’d built, look at the stars and talk about the wonders that must lie beyond our eyes’ perception. In the rainy and cold months, in the warmth of a home he’d built from the foundation up he’d lay his guitar across his knee, pick some old songs and fill the void between verses with fables and homilys.

Tonight, my nephew lies in an ICU bed sick with pneumonia while my exhausted sister worries and frets for her baby boy. My fiance lies beside me in our bed heartbroken that tomorrow we have to say goodbye to her feline companion of fifteen years. My son lies restless in his own bed on the cusp of adolescence, a week shy of his thirteenth birthday dreading the needle intended for the cat and wishing he could trade places with his cousin because he’d “do anything” to make him better.

My granddaddy would look at me right now as I fret and worry over my son’s anxiety, my sister’s fear, my nephew’s illness, my fiance’s grief or my pet’s impends demise and with a look of all kindness and wisdom say to me: “Danny, you can’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff.”

He’d follow this advice with a story from his childhood during the Great Depression. I know the one and, for the sake of my thumbs I’ll condense it down while I peck out this article on my phone.

His oldest brother, Roscoe, had contracted a fever and was in a coma. The situation was grim and the local doctor had managed his way out to have a look. Meanwhile, as the youngest of the children put out of the house to kerp them “out from under foot” my grandfather and his “little big brother” JB went to the barn. They got down on their knees in their hour of need and placed their faith in a higher power to help save their brother’s life. Roscoe made a full recovery, the fever breaking that night, and went on to live another thirty or so years.

Then, knowing my own faith had long since departed, he’d recite Abou Ben Adhem and tell me about how there was no greater love, no greater calling, than to care for your fellow man.

Tonight, I know these things will pass. My nephew will recover. My fiance’s heart will heal and my son will find peace (eventually) as he grapples with the struggles we all faced at one point or another as teens. God and I may still be on the outs but that hasn’t stopped me from having faith. I have faith in skilled healers who have devoted themselves to their noble trade. I have faith in the bonds of family that have held so strong for us through all life’s storms. I have faith that, if there is more to this universe than what I can comprehend in this singular life, perhaps my love and devotion to my fellow man, to easing a little suffering inthe world with my work might grant my soul a reprieve should I stand before a shunned god in judgement.

I write all of this knowing full well that it has no significance or bearing here given the nature of this page. For the purpose of the blog it’s a writing exercise. As for me personally, it’s a catharsis. I’m letting myself free of as much stress and worry as I can while opening up my soul to an audience.

Read Abou Ben Adhem one more time before closing this page.

Then go out into the worl and lessen your fellow man’s burden.

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CALLING ALL CREEPS!

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I’m all about horror and the macabre in any way that I can get it. Particularly in literary and graphic content such as short stories and comics, I’ve never actually seen a format for the bizarre and unusual that I didn’t like. That said, I’m calling all creeps with this post here. If you’re create horror, science fiction, or something bizarre and dark that doesn’t necessarily fit into a defined category, I want to talk to you.

I’ll be attending the following events this year and I’d love to meet you at:

Hypericon, Nashville, July 6-8,2018

Dragon Con, Atlanta, August 30-September 3,2018

Women in Horror Film Festival, Peachtree City, October 4-7,2018

Nashville Zombie Walk, Nashville, To Be Announced

So, if you’re following the 52 Weeks of Horror motto –Making that Scary– I want to talk to you.

Writers, Filmmakers, Actors, Haunters, Photographers, Artists, Musicians, Burlesque, Performance Art, Online Personalities, Cosplayers, Effects Artsits, Designers, Death Workers (i.e. morticians, pathologists, taxidermists, etc…), Philosophers, Critics…anyone and everyone contributing to horror culture and horror entertainment. I’m looking to meet you, interview you, and get your name out there. What constitutes the “horror culture” you may ask?

Well, to me, horror culture is anything and everything that could get lumped into the horror genre in some way, shape, or form. Places like Kenny’s Mountain Taxidermy or Taxadoreme are prime examples of something macabre and unique that, while not specifically involved in creating horror entertainment cater to fans who love the aesthetic. The Poisoner’s Guild has the horror and macabre aesthetic in their scent crafting and body products.  Aurelio Voltaire, musician, actor, and creator of Gothic Homemaking is another fine example of a horror culture icon who lives the lifestyle and helps bridge the gap between Goth and Horror.

If you feel like you’re creating something with a cultural significance to horror and the macabre, I WANT YOU!

Ultimately, I’d love to bring together the horror community of Middle Tennessee into a cohesive group much like you see the horror community in larger cities like  L.A. In the meantime, I’d settle for getting people on film and on paper talking about what they do and sharing their talents with an audience.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, said H.P. Lovecraft. Fear, or rather the conquering of fear, is what drives us as a species. When a challenge arises that seems hopeless, we stand against it and overcome. When the darkness of the unknown lies ahead, we make our own light and charge forward into it. Horror evokes these most primitive fight or flight instincts and horror stories have been a part of our oldest oral traditions. Modern horror creators, scaremakers (to steal another term from my friends at 52 Weeks of Horror) are helping us to overcome our fears and look at our most dark and terrifying traits in a reflective, introspective manner.

So, are you out there making something scary? Want to talk about it? Contact me today at DotD Blog. Put “Calling All Creeps” in the subject line.

Hope to see you boils and ghouls soon.

-Danno

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Time Ain’t On My Side

Despite what the Rolling Stones sang, time ain’t on my side. No it ain’t. Less than three weeks from the wedding and it seems like anything and everything that can unravel in my life is happening. Between dying pets, personal injury and illness, and a series of looming deadlines I’ve been unable to produce the quality and the quantity of work that I need to be producing. Looking at my Patreon alone I still owe some blog posts and a Plan 9 update that will, unfortunately, not being happening until after the honeymoon.

A little about my schedule first for those who are new to the blog. I am a professional emergency services telecommunicator. I do police, fire, utilities, street, and airport security dispatch for a small, Nashville adjacent municipality working 40+ hours a week depending on staffing needs. This includes answering 911 calls, administrative calls, being a warrants clerk, and doing a slew of various other duties handled by at least three separate divisions at almost any other agency in the state.

I produce critical reviews, interviews, editorials, and other journalistic works for five websites not including my own here at DotD Blog and the aforementioned Patreon. Most of these are on a weekly basis with a few being more or less contract work or becoming monthly/bimonthly pieces. I’m also working on a treatment for a horror-comedy feature with the writing staff at TN Horror News and trying to meet a May 31st deadline for PDI Press for my contribution to our Noirlathotep follow-up. And, let me tell you before there is any confusion, I am thrilled to be in this much demand.

This has been a dream come true. In three years I’ve gone from piddling triumphs with a handful of flash pieces in ‘zines here and there to having a steady by-line at five separate horror and pop culture websites. I actually have a publisher, like an honest to god,  legitimate publisher printing my stories and helping me take these twisted little fantasies and share them with everyone. That’s my biggest dream and it’s coming true thanks to these sites I write for and I couldn’t be happier about.

But I feel like I don’t have enough time in my day. I work from 5am to 2pm on a rotating day off schedule. My evenings are spent doing work around the house and being involved with my son and my family as best I can. When I have free time I find myself writing and battling the time sucking villains of online gaming and social media. But there are still books and movies to review as well as all the side projects I want to get into. Later this year I’m hoping to finally start my podcast as well as a series of “stories on tape” in which a friend and voice actor will narrate some of my favorite stories that I’ve penned over the years. While I’m funding all of these endeavors on my own with a passion project budget, it’s a matter of having the time to write, edit, and produce all of it that I’m finding hard.

Once the wedding is done I know I’ll have a little more time because my life and my fiance’s life will be much less hectic. Until then, my faithful reader(s) I implore you to be patient and to keep checking in. There’s so much happening this summer and I’m going to share it all with you so be watching.

In the meantime, have a look at the super cool, super gory video Breaking Point by Darkness Visible. It’s pretty badass.

 

 

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Car Wrecks and Other Derailments In Life

I’ve been driving since I was 15 and, other than one notable incident where I scraped my passenger side on a concrete column in a parking garage, I’ve never had an actual car wreck before. Of course, Saturday changed all of that when I took a hit from a Ford F150 while driving my fiance’s Juke. The impact happened on the driver’s side and took me completely by surprise. There was a squeal of tires, a pull of G forces, and the sound of a shotgun going off in my ear as the side airbags deployed and punched me in the head. I blacked out momentarily and, as soon as my vision returned found myself in a complete, confused stupor. I didn’t understand what had happened at first.

My injuries were minor and the rush of adrenaline kept the severity of them at bay for several hours. Now, three days on my hearing has finally returned in my left ear though there is still a perpetual ringing and an intermittent stabbing pain. My neck and back are aching and the extra strength Aleve that the neurotic little doc at the AFC prescribed me without really listening to what I told her or even examining has done nothing to abait the issues. Still, all things considered, it could be much worse.

Spring dredges up some unpleasant memories from my career in emergency service. Name a wreck I helped work three years ago where a boy the same age as my son was gruesomely killed after being ejected from a vehicle. Very rarely do I remember a name from these traumas but this one sticks in me. Of course, out of respect and professionalism I won’t be sharing the details or the boy’s name. What I will say is there are moments that haunt you, people you couldn’t help whose memory lingers in the mind and heart long after the fact like ghosts and keep you up at night. And as I sit here writing these words that ghost hovers over my shoulder.

All things considered, it could have been a lot worse Saturday and the fact that I’m able to gripe about my aches and pains is a blessing. I may feel like shit but I’m not laid up in a hospital bed or laid out in the morgue so I’m doing okay. What it’s really done is hurt my ego more than anything else by taking the piss out of me. I’ve prided myself on spending nearly 20 years behind the wheel without a crash to my name and, despite knowing so much better, it made me feel just a little invincible. Taking that hit reminded me that I’m anything but. It’s the sort of reminder I think everyone needs once in a while, that little jab that tells you you’re as weak, fallible, and finite as anyone else.

There’s also one final bit of irony that comes from this. The odyssey that lead me to start a new life -and this blog- began with a car wreck on March 3, 2013.

I’ve been off my game this week with everything relating to the crash. Where I intended to get some articles and stories written this weekend and week I’ve really not felt like doing much other than lying around watching scary movies and cartoons. It’s something that likely isn’t going to change before this coming weekend gets here. Editors, if you’re reading this, whatever I owe you will be to you soon. Readers, I promise I’ll have something original and new for you soon.

Until then, enjoy some classic Danno by rummaging through the blog.

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