Writing

General posts about writing (sometimes my own, but not always)

Writer smashes reviewer with a wine bottle, aka How NOT to handle getting a bad review

I’ve touched on authors having meltdowns when criticized a few times before (like this guy or this woman’s now deleted Amazon war), but this one takes the cake. A year or so ago, British author self-published a novel inspired by the woman he was stalking. Seriously. He blogged extensively about stalking her, law enforcement got involved, and he eventually wrote a fairy tale in which she was the main character. Given that he blogs extensively about mental illness, I have to guess that he’s a wee bit unstable. Anyway, he posted an excerpt of this work to Wattpad, where an 18-year-old Scottish girl gave it a harsh review. Among other things, she said: This is painful. Everything is written through telling and purple prose which…
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Whispers of the Old Hag: why Sleep Paralysis is probably behind some of our creepiest myths

This piece originally appeared in the July/August 2008 edition of Weird Tales magazine, issue #350. It once appeared online, but their online archives appear to be gone, so I’m taking it upon myself to post it here for posterity’s sake. Halloween seemed like the perfect day to do it, too. If you’ve ever suffered from sleep paralysis — waking up and being unable to move — you should read this. WHISPERS OF THE OLD HAG by Eric San Juan The thing was made of light and shadow; skeletal, pale, with ribs like talons and deep eager eyes. I did not know the time. Didn’t care to know, really. Midnight; 4 a.m.; whatever. How could I care when it stood there, just outside my bedroom door,…
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The Ghosts of Lakehurst Hangar No. 1: A real life ghost story

Halloween is almost here, so I figured I’d pull this out of the archives. The following is a real life ghost story plucked from my book, Lakehurst: Barrens, Blimps & Barons. It was initially written for Weird Tales magazine and was penned alongside an essay on sleep paralysis called “Whispers of the Old Hag,” which one reviewer said was about “a real life condition that can be as terrifying as any horror story.” (For some reason, “Whispers” is no longer online at Weird Tales, so I’ve posted it in full right here.) “Ghosts” didn’t make the cut, but that was okay. I repurposed it for my book on the history of Lakehurst, a small Pine Barrens town in New Jersey. It was fun to research and write,…
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So I have to be an accountant, too?

When you daydream of being a Writer, sitting at home doing Important Work and actually getting paid for it, you most certainly DON’T daydream of filing tax documents, managing bank accounts, chasing people for money, and other such nonsense. Yet you’re sure as hell going to end up doing it, and plenty of it, too. They never tell you this. (Never mind who “they” is.) No one explains that if you plan to make a go of supporting yourself as a freelance writer, your days will be just as filled with “business” stuff as they will with writing. They never tell you that you’ll sometimes have to rattle cages just to get paid for work you did, or that dealing with the tax man will…
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Having an appointment with writing (also, cats at keyboards)

I like deadlines. No, scratch that. I need deadlines. I thrive on them. I require them. Without them, I’m left to rely on discipline and good habits to keep myself focused on doing what I should be doing. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a shortage of both. That’s why, whenever possible, I prefer for my writing projects to have a deadline attached. When it comes to professional work, that’s usually a given. Your client is going to want their content by a certain time, after all. As I write this post, for instance, I’m also tossing around ideas for my Sunday evening appointment with writing. See, for the last two years I have written a weekly beer column for the Philadelphia Weekly….
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