Soulz At Zero
Proudly Presents
The Death Certificate!
Staff: The Stranger, Jack Flack - Editors, Writers.
Black Sunshine - Writer.
* If you are interested in contributing to The Death Certificate
please let one of the editors know.
When life is woe,
And hope is dumb,
The World says Go!
The Grave says Come!
Arthur Guiterman, Betel-Nuts
+ Table of Contents +
1. Words from the Editors
2. SAZ News
3. Horror News
4. Reviews
5. The Writers Block
6. Final Words
1. Words from the Editors:
Jack Flack:
I always feel like I should start out with a good crypt keepers laugh
right about now ... First and foremost, let me welcome all the boys and
ghouls to pack number III ... This issue of the Death Certificate is jam
packed with news and reviews of horror books, movies, and computer games!
I would also like to thank and greet our new helpers of SAZ, Faethor, who
is helping the SAZ pack go nation-wide, and Black Sunshine, our newest
writer! Her stuff is really great folks, so be sure to check it all out.
I also put in a few more gifs, since I got a few letters from people saying
they liked them before. Feel free to use any of our logos or gifs on your
own board, to help pass the word around. And to all those people who have
send me applications, let me say thanks, and keep trying. I think The
Stranger covers everything else in pretty good detail, so I will end this
and let you get back to the regularly scheduled program ...
- Jack Flack/SAZ
The Stranger:
This is a good time at Soulz At Zero, a lot of great things are
happening for us. Weve gone national, weve got a new member. But at
the same time were still not getting many responses to our work. If you
like the pack, just send us a quick note on any board were on. If you
dont like the pack and maybe you have some suggestions on how we can make
it better, tell us. We know that are packs are getting downloaded but wed
really like to know what you think of them. So please send comments.
This is a big issue of the Death Certificate so Im going to cut my
editorial short this month. I really dont have much to say anyway. I
hope you enjoy this pack and I hope you share it with a friend or two. If
you run a bbs and want to be a distributor send us a message telling us so.
Or if you want to be in the group, just fill out the application and send
it to us.
Now, turn down the lights, keep your eyes wide open, and
pray you dont find your name, on The Death Certificate...
The Stranger
Account ye no man happy till he dies.
Euripides, Daughters of Troy
2. Soulz At Zero News
Well theres a lot of good news this month and just a little bad so lets
get the bad out of the way. Our second pack has only been downloaded around
thirty times so far which is half as much as are first pack. Hopefully
we wont lose that many people with this pack. Lets hear some good news.
Our first pack has been downloaded sixty times here in Oklahoma! We want
to thank everyone who got it and every sysop who kept it up on there board.
SAZ goes national!! Thanks to Faethor, packs one and two are now floating
around in Nevada, Illionis, South Carolina, Georgia, and a few other states.
If anyone there would like to be a distributor or would like to be a member,
just leave us a message on either X-Force or Late Nite BBS here in Oklahoma.
Well we are really excited to welcome our first new member into the
group this month, Black Sunshine. She has been published in many undergroud
magazines and we are looking forward to seeing her work in Soulz At Zero.
Along with writing poems and stories, shes also going to help me with the
Death Certificate by writing some articles and reviews. So check out her
work thats included in this pack. Were sure your going to love it.
What does Soulz At Zero need? A viewer. We had hoped to have one in
this pack but at the present time that I am writing this it would seem we
will not be able to. Hopefully we have one in this pack and in that case
forget all about this paragraph. But if there isnt one in this pack and
you can make a viewer, send us mail.
Thats the newz for this month. See ya next time.
Tis now the witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes
Contagion to this world.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
3. Horror News by The Stranger:
New in Bookstores:
One of the rising stars of horror just released two new books. Much
Mojo is the sequal to an earlier novel by Joe called Savage Season.
His other new book is Writer of the Purple Rage which is a collection of
short stories. Both are out only in trade hardbacks at about 20-25 a
piece and there also out in limited edition formats for about twice that
much. Both are worth the money if youve got it and they can be found at
Realms of Fantasy in Norman.
Author Kim Newmans new novel The Quorum should be out this month in
hardback format. This is a book about friends making a deal with the
devil and Id suggest you wait for the paperback version to come out next
Melanie Tem who wrote Wilding and Prodigal has a new book out called
Revenant. Tem has a very distinct style of writing and her books are
usually very feminine.
Michael Arnzen releases Grave Markings for the Dell Abyss line of
books. Dell Abyss also has new releases by Dale Hoover, 65mm, Nancy
Holder, Dead in the Water, and Daniel Glover, Harrowgate. Dell Abyss
should be releasing the new Dennis Etchison soon also.
A tough book to find but worth the trouble is a new collection of short
stories by David Schow called Black Leather Required. The problem is
this book is not cheap. Thirty bucks and its not even very thick. But
if you like your stories with a little sex and a whole lot of violence this
is for you. Realms of Fantasy has a few copies.
Strange Angels by Kathe Koja has been released from Dell in hardback
form. She is becoming one of the hottest writers of strange horror but
you might want to check out one of her earlier paperback books first before
laying down twenty bucks for this one. She has a style of writing that
you either love or hate.
Ed Gorman releases Blood Moon from St. Martins Press. Its much more
a crime novel than horror but Gorman can write, no matter what the genre.
Near Death is the new paperback novel by Nancy Kilpatrick. This is a
vampire book which has been getting some good reviews. If you like vampire
stories then you might want to check it out.
One of the top female writers, Nancy A. Collins releases Wild Blood in
paperback format for Roc publishing. Collins is most known for her vampire
books such as Sunglasses After Dark.
Narror Houses is a new anthology with orginal stories by Rick Hautala,
Kim Newman, Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Carrol, Rex Miller and a lot more.
New at theatres:
Wes Cravens New Nightmare is out and its a sequal to the Nightmare
on Elm Street movies starring the orginal cast, including Wes Craven as
Mary Shellys Frankenstein starring Robert DeNiro as the monster and
Kenneth Branaugh as Dr. Frankenstein has also just reached the theatres.
This one looks good and should be worth the price of admission.
The one everyone has been waiting for comes out this month, Anne Rices
Interview With The Vampire starring Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, and Tom
Cruise as the vampire Lestat. The previews and reviews so far for this
movie have been great. This one promises to be a big hit at the box office.
All it comes down to is that the living are dying and the dying
are living but that people, whether alive or dead, are still
fucking afraid.
Douglas Winter, Less Than Zombie
4. The Reviews:
Insomnia By Stephen King, Viking Publishing, 1994.
Weird and bad. Those are the two words you usually hear first when you
talk to someone who is reading this book or has finished it. And Im here
to tell you that this book is weird and bad. Its a three hundred page book
written in over seven hundred and fifty pages. But if theres one thing
this book has going for it is that its a change for King from where he was
going. His last two novels, Geralds Game and Dolores Claiborne, were in my
opinion his worst books ever. They had very little if any horror elements
to them at all. Well Insomnia has what some may call horror, little bald
doctors carrying scalpels and such, but its not what Id call a horror
The quick summary of the book is that its about an old man who cant
sleep and he begins to see the auras of people. And trouble is brewing in
his hometown of Derry the same location as IT as Susan Day, the head lady
of the pro-choice movement is coming and is in danger from Ed Deepneau and
his violent pro-life friends. I dont want to give much away so Ill just
say that all of the characters in the book are part of something big and
everyones life is in danger unless the old man can save them.
Half way into the book you start to think that Susan Day is coming and
then the excitement will begin. But no, all of a sudden the book starts
getting even stranger than it was to begin with sending our characters off
to different worlds and then finally bringing Susan Day four hundred pages
later at the very end of the book. For King fans this book does have a
few very vague references to IT and it does have one or two foreshadowing
looks at the Dark Tower series but for the most part this is King way off
the mark. It seemed he tried to get away from what he was doing and wanted
to write something very different but spent too much time thinking about
how to make the story weird and not enough time putting effort into the
The first two hundred pages or so are fun and if this was a three hundred
or four hundred page book that would be great buts it a seven hundred and
after the first two hundred the book just gets boring and hard to follow.
It will probably make a good movie if they try it but it makes a very long
and boring novel.
The Stranger...
The Pet, by Charles L. Grant, Tor Pub, 1986.
There is no writer who writes real horror better than Charles Grant.
Stephen King has been to Grants level before but hasnt stayed as
consistent as Grant. And by real horror I mean the kind that scares you
rather than trying to gross you out. The kind of stories you tell around
a camp fire when the moon is full. The kind of stories that have no blood
and guts, no scenes of sex for no reason other than to sell books, only
scenes about the things that hide under a childs bed or in the closet.
Only the things that can really scare us are in a Charles Grant story.
The Pet is considered his best work so far. This is the story of a
young boy named Don Boyd who is having all sorts of trouble trying to be
a teenager in Ashford, New Jersey. School trouble, girl trouble, family
trouble. Everything is falling in on him. And if that wasnt enough,
theres a killer in Ashford whos next victim might be Don. But Don has
made friends with an animal, or should I say, the ghost of an animal. A
horse has been coming out of the fog to help Don with his problems. The
only problem is that the pet tends to kill everyone who gets in Dons way.
And Dons angry at everyone and hes beginning to lose control.
The Pet is really about growing up as a seventeen-year-old who just
doesnt fit in. The horror elements make this book a good one buts it
the way Grant shows Dons life and troubles that make this a great book.
No book since Kings IT has dealt so well with the emotions of being a
child as this one does. This is a horror novel that will truly make
you feel more emotions then just a scare, it will make you care about Don
Boyd and you may find yourself thanking God you dont have to be seventeen
The Stranger...
Darkborn By Matthew J. Costello, Diamond Pub, 1992.
Theres a quote on the front of the book from one of my favorite writers,
Rick Hautala, that says Costello delivers and nothing in a long review
can say it better than that. Costello delivers in his horror novels. His
mainstream stuff which hes been writing recently is crap but his horror
is horror. His horror books guarantee a scare every few pages and the
stories are easy to follow and easy to become a part of. Few write the
really scary stuff better than Matthew Costello.
Costello writes very short paragraphs, ranging from one to three sentences
at the most. So the reading goes by quick and the words that he does use
or usually not just fillers, theyre there for the scare. Heres a short
passage from this book:
The ants on his lips, his eyelids, all over his face, and some
moving down to the tender flesh of his neck -- all of them began to
He tried to twitch, to move his face, shake them off...
He was tempted to push at them with his tongue. Force them away.
Maybe he could blow them off.
But that would mean opening his mouth.
Thats what they wanted.
The book is about five friends who played a game twenty-seven years ago
to awaken a creature from hell. But even though it was a game, the creature
is alive, and searching for them. So the kids who are now men find them
selves in a face to face battle with the thing that they created years ago.
And who ever loses the battle, will lose their life and their souls.
This is a bad summary because I dont remember the book too well but
trust me this is a good one. Read this one and then check out some other
Costello books like Midsummer and Beneath Still Water. You wont be
The Stranger...
SplatterPunks Edited by Paul M. Sammon, St. Martins Press, 1990.
This is a collection of short stories written in a style that horror
people call splatterpunk. For those of you who dont know, splatterpunk
is very much like a Friday the 13th type movie. Theres usually a lot of
blood, a whole lot of violence and some sex thrown in for no reason.
The first great splatterpunk anthology was The Book of The Dead edited by
Skipp and Spector, but this book is considered one of the best collections
of this type of work.
Two of my three favorite short stories of all time are in this book.
Douglas E. Winters Less Than Zombie and Richard Christian Mathesons
Red. If you have not read both of those stories, find them and do it.
Be warned that Winters tale is very violent and graphic. Joe R. Lansdales
award winning story Night They Missed the Horror Show is also included
in the book along with a chaptor from a Ray Garton novel that was taken
out because the publishers thought it was too much.
This book has many of the big name authors of short stories including
Clive Barker, Rex Miller, Edward Bryant, John Skipp, and even a story by
Mick Garris who is the director of Stephen Kings Sleepwalkers and The
Stand. This is a great anthology, a lot of really good writers with really
strong stories. If you dont like it a little violent, I dont recommend
reading this. And you may want to stay away from the Garton piece, theres
good reason why that one was kept out of his novel. Enjoy.
The Stranger...
The Waiting Room By T.M. Wright, Tor Pub, 1986.
T.M. Wright is one of my favorite writers. There is no one out there
writing the way he does. The bad thing about Wright is that after you read
a few of his books you start to think that there all the same book. T.M.
writes ghost stories mainly, and a good emount of his twelve or so books
deal with ghost children who grow out of the ground to reak havoc on those
foolish adults who would try to live near them. But thats not what The
Waiting Room is about.
Sam Feary has just met an old friend from High School who he hadnt seen
in some years. But theres something wrong with his friend and he wont
tell Sam what it is. But Sam finds out. It seems his friend Abner has
crossed over the boundary of the living and the dead. You see the world as
we know it right now is being occupied by dead people who are walking around
waiting to have judgement passed on them. But we cant see them because
there in a different dimension, if you will. But Abners been there. And
now the dead want Sam to join them, forever.
This was the first T.M. Wright book I had ever read and after reading this
one I went out and bought every book I could find by him. This book has
a very mainstream feel to it, while his other books have more of a style to
them. This book left me shivering, it will do the same for you. Try
reading The Island when you get done with this one. Both are truly what
ghost stories are suppose to be. Dean Koontz says of The Waiting Room:
A quietly building, sinister, creepy tale. Wright has a unique
The Stranger...
The Last Vampire Trilogy by Christopher Pike
Books I and II
Review by Black Sunshine
Another vampire story. Lately, those are filling the
bookshelves and bringing in the money for book stores across the
country. Im glad Pike has decided to jump on the bandwagon and
bring his unique story-telling to a very old tale.
Pikes fame has travelled a very strange road. He has been
called the Stephen King of young adult fiction, his paperbacks
making the New York Times Bestseller list, yet ironically, his
brilliant adult novels have yet to catch on.
His latest endeavor, this vampire trilogy, brings to light
all the old adages concerning vampires and rips some of them to
shreds. His vampires can go out into the sunlight, although they
are weaker and just generally do not like to. A stake to the
heart does not kill them, they do not turn into bats or sleep in
coffins or fear crosses and holy water, and the only way to
create new vampires is by exchanging massive amounts of blood
with a mortal.
The main character, Alisa Perne, is a 5000-year old vampire
who believes she is the last one on earth. When she finds
herself being stalked, she follows her only lead, a private
investigator who is digging into her past. Before she can learn
everything, however, she is forced to kill him. She then goes
after his son, Ray, in an attempt to find out what the
investigator had known about her and who was stalking her. Her
search leads her to her old enemy from fifty centuries before.
In the midst of all this, she finds herself inexplicably
attracted to Ray, and after giving him his immortality, he
becomes her reluctant partner in a quest to discover who is
infesting Los Angeles with vampires and why.
While there are a few new twists, it is evident that this
plot has been reworked over and over again by others long before
Pike. What makes this trilogy so compelling and different from
others is Pikes use of theology and philosophy to discuss the
reality of vampires as the characters grapple with their own
Another thing that is hard to ignore about the story is
Alisa herself. She is beautiful and hardly looks her age,
trapped in the body of an eighteen year old strong she takes
on three gang-members all with weapons and brings them to their
knees in less than five seconds wealthy she lives on a six and
a half million dollar estate. I guess being five thousand years
old, youd gain a lot of resources and powerful she can make
people do things with a look or a touch or a certain tone in her
voice. She is also aggressive, alluring and self-confident--
she can kick serious ass and is nearly invincible. You want to
like her if only for her near-perfection. Reading about her and
her long, long life, you root for her to succeed and stop her
nemesis, and find whatever it is that would make her happy, even
if she is sometimes manipulative and arrogant. Of course,
destiny makes it nearly impossible for her to be happy...
Im looking forward to reading the resolution to the series
when it is released some time early next year. Though the covers
and the blurbs on the back of the novels are targeted at
teenagers, there is much to be learned within them from someone
of any age. As I mentioned, Pike writes with an insight that few
writers have, with an honesty and clarity that leaves few
untouched after they have finished reading. The fact that these
teenager-aimed novels are making the New York Times Bestseller
list is proof that Im not the only one whos aware of this.
If nothing else, the books in this trilogy do set up some
interesting relationships and horror scenes, particularly when
Alisa and Ray are feeding, or when they are exhibiting their
immense amounts of vampiristic strength. You could just look at
it as another vampire story, but youd be missing out on a lot of
the issues that are broached. Either way, it would be hard not
to enjoy.
Danzig, 4. American Recordings.
In 1994 Danzig finally received the recognition they deserved
through the release of a live album that included the song Mother
which was first recorded on their first album years ago. Thanks to
MTV and even some radio airplay, Mother became a huge hit and
Danzig became a household word.
Riding on that success, Danzig releases its fourth studio album
entitled 4 and with a mixture of melodic choruses and evil lyrics
this album should reach the true fans along with the newer ones.
That is, if anyone ever plays the songs. The first single was suppose
to be Until You Call On The Dark which promised to be a huge hit
because this song is so catchy and so dark all at the same time. One
problem, MTV wont play the video because of the lyrics. The lyrics
in question go: I want to be the God that kills/I want to be the
Christ that dies, upon the fire of infamy. That seemed to be to
heavy for MTV.
But word of mouth is what sold the first three Danzig albums and
that might work this time. This album is much more a mixture of
different styles in comparison with the other three records. There
are songs that sound like they could have come off of any one of the
previous records. Even a song called Bringer of Death sounds like
it could have come off of a Samhain record. Unlike past slow Danzig
songs, the ones on this record are bad. But there are so many songs
that rock that its easy to love this album.
From the somewhat funky feel of I Dont Mind The Pain to the
screams of Brand New God this record lives up to the hype. There
are two problems though, besides a few awful slow songs. First,
Danzig seems to feel that they need to move away from rocking songs
and possibly move closer to Nine Inch Nail sounding songs. Theres
atleast two songs that have a very industrial sound to them and
though it works on one of the songs, it doesnt on the other. The
song Cant Speak is one of the worst songs Ive ever heard, its
right up there with Paralyzed by Kiss.
The other problem with Danzig is that they just fired their
drummer Chuck Biscuits. He was a big part of the band, especially
the live show and he will be missed. Of course Glenn Danzig is the
main part of Danzig but this might bring atleast a small change
to a great band.
The album ends on song 66 on your CD with a gregorian chant to
the demons which is worth finding on your player once and then
you wont need to hear it again. This is by far the best hard
rock album out, especially in this time when alternative rock is
taking over the airwaves. Pick up the album and learn something.
And by the way, Danzigs coming to the Roxy this month. They are
great live.
The Stranger...
Computer Games:
GABRIEL KNIGHT: Sins of the Fathers
CD-Rom version
Gabriel is doomed before we even meet him. He is a man of
German origin with a Southern accent??, and comes from a long
line of Shattenjagers or Shadow Hunters. Ruggedly handsome and
pretentious, yet somehow also insecure, he isnt aware of his
ancestry. All he does know is that his dreams of sacrifice and
death are haunting his waking hours, so he begins extensive
research for a non-fiction book on voodoo.
Hes in no better area to do so: New Orleans, Louisiana,
where coincidentally, there have recently been a string of
killings the police are labelling the voodoo murders because of
the obvious sacrificial remains. He manages to get his hands on
classified information about the murders through his police
buddy, whose voice is amusingly read by Mark Hamill of the Star
Wars trilogy fame. The deeper Gabriel gets pulled into the
mystery, the less it becomes a research project and the more it
becomes an attempt to delve into his dark past and heritage. His
quest is long, tedious, and far-reaching, taking him out of New
Orleans to a gothic family castle in Germany and to the savage
jungles of South Africa. Only after he understands his
background can he then return to try to defeat the evil in New
Jane Jensen, game designer and creator, was a previous
writer of horror stories, which is evident in the game. Playing
it, one gets the feel that it was or could be easily adapted to
or from novel form. Jensen, however, has used this to her
advantage, giving us three-dimensional characters who actually
manage to create, in all their glorious pixels, a real chemistry
through their dialogue a Louisiana setting so rich and realistic
we feel as if are visiting every time we load the game and a
comprehensive chronicle of voodoo, including its gods, its
origins, and its importance in black history. All of this, plus
the startlingly meticulous graphics and the over 7,000 lines of
recorded voice, combines to provide a game well worth playing.
The plot itself, while very ingenious in some respects, was
really not as mysterious as it should have been, partially due to
the graphic novel included in the box. After reading it, you
already know more about Gabriels past than he does, which
doesnt set up much conundrum for the game-player. The real
mysteries of the game are of the usual Sierra brand-- doing one
thing that will enable you to do another that will enable you to
do another that will enable you to end the day and further
progress the game. Some of these puzzles are exceptionally hard,
and while not impossible to figure out, you shouldnt expect to
solve the game in a week unless you run up your phone bill
calling the Sierra BBS.
I feel I must also warn you that this game has two endings
the right one and the wrong one and Im sure you will want
to see both and neither one of them ends in the typically happy
fashion. It is disturbing to see Gabriels fate laid out for
him, as he carries out the birthright of his ancestors. This
was, however, the only real way it could all end. Perhaps this
is one reason why the game stuck with me for so long the
resolution is not easily forgotten.
Overall, I highly recommend this game for anyone into horror
and/or mystery. A lot of scenes of the game are genuinely creepy
and the game reeks of an almost sickening authenticity. Even if
voodoo doesnt interest you, it will have you addicted in the
first fifteen minutes while you marvel at one of two things: Tim
Curry of The Rocky Horror Picture Show does the voice of
Gabriel in the game putting on a Southern accent, or the first
time one of the characters says fuck in the middle of a
Black Sunshine
The 7th Guest
An eerie mansion, complete with the ghosts of six guests
the last humans to set foot inside it and the mocking voice of
the mansions devilish owner, Henry Stauf, is the setting for
this ground-breaking CD-Rom game. The opening sequence, which
gives us a chilling account of Staufs past, tells of his talent
for creating amazing toys and puzzles that were one-of-a-kind and
sought after all over the world. Until the children who owned
them started dying, that is.
The main character is you! Seen from the first person point
of view, you never get a glimpse of yourself as you wander about
the mansion, however, you do talk to yourself in a perplexed male
voice while trying to solve the various riddles and puzzles
throughout the game.
As you roam in and out of rooms, scenes of the occurrences
of the last people to set foot in the mansion a collection of
six seemingly mismatched guests unfold before you. You learn a
little at a time, like why were they there, how did they know
each other, how did they die, and who was the mysterious 7th
guest that they all anticipated. You, yourself, as the main
character, have no idea what you are doing bumbling around in the
dark house until the resolution of the game, until you understand
what has taken place there before you.
The music, scenery and voices combine to create one of the
spookiest game atmospheres Ive ever experienced. Visually, the
stark contrast between the lighting and the shadows playing over
the massive blocks of antique furniture and the broad, sweeping
hallways seems to blend well with the sudden appearances of the
ghosts and help set up an acute sense of loneliness and
alienation as you wander about the mansion. The music and sound
effects add an even sharper dimension to this, creating a tension
Ive felt before only from movies and books. This is what I mean
when I say the game is ground-breaking.
Solving the game requires a different kind of skills than
most adventure games. In each room, at least one puzzle is
contained, a puzzle which relies very heavily on logic, problem-
solving skills and deduction skills. Some are easy, but as you
progress through the game, they get harder and harder to solve.
You can go downstairs into the library to get a clue on how to
solve a puzzle, and if you still cant get it, the game will
solve it for you, but what fun is that??? I would like to say
that I solved every puzzle on my own, but there were a couple
that I spent days on and couldnt get anywhere with and was
anxious to just move on with the plot. This is definitely not
the kind of game you want to play to relax. The mental skills
this game employs seem to require that the game-player have an IQ
of at least 135 and not be worn out from other activities. In
short, dont play this game right before you go to bed, or after
a hard day. It will frustrate you to no end!
But sometimes frustrating is good. In my vast computer
gaming experience, I have learned that the more a game frustrates
me, the more I like it, even if I dont realize it until Ive
finished it. The 7th Guest was no exception. It gives you a
feeling of smug satisfaction to overcome one of the challenging
obstacles and progress the game. The uniqueness of this game is
its novelty I find it hard to believe anyone would be unpleased
with the uniqueness of this one.
Black Sunshine
Up and coming computer game reviews by Black Sunshine...
Interactive horror movie, Dracula Unleashed
The Legacy, Realm of Terror
Alone in the Dark 1 and 2
Also look for...
The Eleventh Hour, long-awaited sequel to The 7th Guest
Phantasmagoria, Sierra interactive horror movie that is
rumored to have the equivalent of eight feature length films
under its belt
And it was clear she couldnt go on!
The door was opened and the wind appeared,
The candles blew and then disappeared,
The curtains flew and then HE appeared,
Said, Dont be afraid,
Come on, Mary,
And she had no fear
And she ran to him
And they started to fly.....
She had taken his hand.....
Come on, Mary:
Dont fear the Reaper!
Blue Oyster Cult
5. The Writers Block By The Stranger...
Okay, Im going to keep this short. This month in The Writers Block
Im going to talk about getting published. As I said in the last issue,
Ive never been published before but I can share some tips that Ive
learned while trying.
Okay, were going to start off with this scenerio: Youve written a
short story or poem that you really like and feel it could be published.
The first step is to work on your piece. Edit it until every word fits in
and every spelling mistake is gone. When it looks great, go back and look
through every sentence and make sure its as good as it could possibly be.
If you see a short sentence such as Jack walked over to the kitchen
table, see if theres any adjectives you could put in there to describe
the situation more. After you have your story done as well as it can be,
give it to a friend and let them read it. If they have problems reading
parts, have them make notes so that you can discuss it with them and
possibly change it. After this step is over give your work to anyone else
who will read it and allow them to check it over.
Youve checked your work, your friends and maybe a teacher or another
writer have checked your work. Now its time to find out where to send
your work. If theres a magazine that you know of that publishes the type
of story you write, pick up a copy and see how your story measure ups to
the ones published in the magazine. If you dont know any magazines that
publish your style of fiction, then go to the library. There are a few
good books in your reference section that will help you find markets for
your story/poem. These books usually have different subjects such as
science fiction or mystery for you to look under.
Okay, youve found a few magazines that your story might fit into. Some
editors like it when youve read their magazines so that you know exactly
what type of story theyre looking for. So you might want to send away for
a copy of a magazine that you are interested in. The next step is to send
away for their guidelines. Guidelines are little rules on what the magazines
are looking for, how much theyll pay, how long the piece can be, whom to
send it to, and stuff like that. To get the guidelines you usually just
have to send a self-addressed-stamped-envelope and they will send you it.
Okay, youve sent away and recieved the guidelines for four different
magazines. Choose the one that looks best for your story/poem. Now, print
your piece on white typing paper and make sure the printing is dark. Give
a lot of space on the margins and dont go all the way down on the paper,
nor do you want to start at the very top of the page. Dont staple the
pages together, instead put a paper clip on the top left. Also, make sure
you put your name, address, phone number, and word count the amount of
words your story uses in the top left corner of the first page. A few
lines down put in the title of the story and your name centered underneath.
And then on every page in the top right hand corner, put your first initial
and then your last name, then the page number and a small part of the
stories title.
You may also include a cover sheet which I do recommend. It should just
be a little information about you and about your story. But dont tell
to much about your story. Put a self-addressed-stamped-envelope behind your
work in the paperclip. Now put your story/poem in a big envelope, one just
a little bigger than the size of your paper. Seal it up, put enough postage
on the outside and send it away.
Poem submission usually dont take more than two to three weeks for a
reply. But stories can take from two monthes to eight monthes. And you
cannot send the same story out to two different editors until you have
heard from the first one you sent your piece out to. That is because you
have given up your rights publishing rights to the first person you sent
the story to and so you cannot sell your story to someone before the first
person has a chance to accept it.
Waiting for a response is hard. Getting a rejection notice isnt much
easier. But many editors will tell you whats wrong with your work so that
by the next time you send it out you can fix it. Editors are usually nice
to writers unless you have done something wrong like sent in a hand written
ten page story or something. Just keep writing and send your work in.
With every piece you write youll get better and hopefully one day youll
be good enough to be published.
I promised Id make this one short and I just kept going. Sorry. Next
time well talk about something else. Not sure what yet. See you then.
The Stranger...
God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas,
but for scars.
Elbert Hubbard, Epigrams
6. Final Words:
Well thats it for this issue of The Death Certificate. We hope you
enjoyed it and we thank you for taking the time to read it. If you have
any comments or suggestions then just drop us a letter on any board in the
405 area that we happen to be on. We are always looking for new members
or anyone who can help Soulz At Zero so drop us a line if you want to be
a part of the group. Thanks to all of those out there who have and
continue to support us. Look for the next pack around the second week
of December and have a great Thanksgiving.
Soulz At Zero
Your fingers black from ink as your shaking hands glide
down the page, trying to see if your name is on the death
certificate. The wind screaming against the window, begging to
get in, to get to you. And at last you find the dotted line,
written in blood the letters that form your name. A sudden gasp
caught in your throat, a flicker of the lights until they fade
off completely. The cold touch of fingers as a hand reaches
across the bare skin of your neck. Goosebumps rise from your
neck just as the lights shine on once more. And once again you
are alone. Before you lies the death certificate, your name is
no longer written. You have escaped death, for now.
The Stranger...
C Copyright SAZ 1994.