After nearly a 15-year hiatus, in 2012, The Funk Toast Band reassembles and plays a couple of shows for old times sake. The bigger of the two shows was at The GANGRENE Film Festival: Apollo 13. They donned outer space flight suits and brought a few other astronauts up on stage for an interstellar show.
Collaboration for me—especially when it comes to creating a project just for fun, knowing that it will most likely be a market-place failure—feels like the good old days when I, a couple of brothers, and a few neighborhood friends would get together for some good old fashioned backyard games. We’d play in the sand pile. We’d play cowboys and Indians. We’d play war. We’d go down into a hollow nearby and sled or make a tree house. We would do whatever we wanted. My desire to play with friends has never ebbed.
As I approach the landing strip of the third and final installation of the Zombie Sing-a-long trilogy, I feel both proud and relieved. I feel that each of the zombie sing-a-long records is better than the former. The final album features 10 new songs, all about zombies. I have to say, I am pleased with the results. Zombie Sing-a-long 3 rocks more than the other two albums.
When Salt Lake Comic Con approached me to participate as a panelist and presenter, the first thing I said was, heck yea, what an honor. When the program director asked if I had any suggestions for panels, I said, “It would be cool if I could be on a panel with Paul Genesse and Dave Butler. I don’t care what it is about.”
I and a friend and illustrator, Brady Canfield, conducted a panel at Salt Lake City Comic Con: 2013. The Live Comic Book Panel was a lot of fun. As I sourced an instant story from attendees, Brady Canfield illustrated the book on the fly. As part of the panel, I invited any attendees to either write the story or illustrate the story using their own artistic vision. I was happy to receive a version of “The Satchel of Blood” from Heather Nelson. Below, I present her story, unedited and in her words. Thanks, Heather.
14 years ago, my brother came up with a great idea. He said, “Why don’t we have a film strip festival party.” Like so many ideas, we went for it. We stretched a bed sheet between a couple of volleyball poles. We borrowed a projector and invited a few friends to the back yard. About 30 people turned up for the show. Since we had entitled our production company Gangrene Productions, we decided to call the event the Gangrene Film Strip Festival.
Recently I had a conversation with my younger brother. We talked about music and the difference between art and genre pop. We concluded at the end of the conversation that in order to be an artist, one must remain true to his or her expression whether it be music, writing, painting or otherwise. And one must not be concerned about financial compensation. This is because in the face of so much pop media, audiences rarely recognize true artists.
Fifteen years ago, I and a small group of friends scraped together a back yard film festival party. I think maybe 30 people showed up, some of them bringing short comedy films they had shot. We projected the films on a bed-sheet stretched between two volleyball poles. It was so much fun we decided to do it again the next year. So many people came that we decided to move it to a rented high school auditorium for the third year. Now about a thousand people show up every year for this event.
If you feel creatively blocked, like you have run out of good story ideas, I’m here to tell you that you are wrong. I believe that if you can come up with one great story idea, then you have an unlimited supply of other ideas in that creative head of yours ready to break free and flow out onto paper.
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of calculating and recalculating your story length in pages and word counts while trying to put down your novel. Especially for new writers, hefty word counts feel good. Long stories seem to indicate writing stamina. In my opinion, hefty word counts mean nothing more than typing stamina.
Novelists like me who try for Amazon self publishing and other DIY channels stand at the head of a long alleyway. If success rests on the other end of that alley, then the dark walk through that ally is full of obstacles, vicious stray animals, muggers ready to steal money, missing manhole covers, swinging pianos, […]
Truly a great adventure from Paul Genesse a great author Paul Genesse offers the third installment in his Iron Dragon series, a novel entitled The Secret Empire, and he doesn’t do so lightly. This book stands as the most fulfilling of the entire series thus far. Although the other two books are worth your time. […]
A while ago, I became intrigued with the idea of writing a few songs about zombies. This mild interest turned into 2 studio albums, Zombie Sing-a-long and Zombie Sing-a-long: Whistler and the Children (Part 1)–with part 2 coming soon. As part of releasing the first zombie record, I performed a few of the songs live and posted them on the internet. I offer you a zombie love song entitled “So Tender” with music by yours truly and zombie love song lyrics by my good friend Mark Steiner.
Improve your writing by watching for -ing words and weak verbs Strong prose projects lucid imagery from the page into readers’ minds. To accomplish this, good authors craft sentences that possess clear objects and 3-dimensional verbs. Strong verbs invigorate prose; they engage readers; they bring description and motion to writing. Therefore, good authors do everything […]
Along with advanced weaponry and raw grit, humans have faced evil in many forms. Such trials have led to the buildup of strongholds and caches of food, water and energy. It is arguable that such strongholds can’t support the numbers required to save humanity, that a selection process or a draft might become necessary to determine who lives and who dies. Although such a draft might become the norm in the face of a zombie apocalypse, I posture that humans will still stand. They will gather where they must, in private compounds, armed with private weapons, undoubtedly unregistered. They will organize into ranks and files, creating their own martial protocol. For most of the scattered tribes of humanity, there might be no recognition for government, but humanity will survive. If for no other reason than that humanity must survive.
For whatever reason, people love those gory, flesh chewing monsters: zombies. I attended lunch with a publisher who had recently broken away from Wizards of the Coast. She outlined her pics on hot, upcoming fiction. At the time, she told us to poise ourselves for the year of the zombie. I felt good about that, because I had just finished the first draft of my novel, Allied Zombies for Peace. That was nearly 4-years ago. More recently, I worked with a talented comic book artist on an exhibition of performance art at a comic book convention. We talked about zombies. He said, “I thought it was just a fad.” A fad it may be, but zombies are a fad that can’t be killed with a pick axe, chainsaw, or any other instrument.
A few weeks ago, I began an ongoing review of the Scrivener Software tools for writers. I began with an initial look at the software by watching a few of their tutorial videos then diving into draft mode. I decided it would be helpful to write an entire project, novella length at least, in Scrivener and post my notes about Scrivener along the way.
I thought it might be fun to release some of the background material I write in the process of putting together my novels. Currently, while pre-readers are working their way through my second novel, SMALL TOWN MONSTERS, I’m working on the second of 4 interleaving stories that will make up my upcoming third novel, FUNK TOAST AND THE PAN-GALACTIC PROM SHOW. This story outlines the journey of The Poison Nickels, the opening band for Funk Toast at the Collundrome’s premier event in the novel.
I enjoy playing in a band with a group of lifelong friends. We play under the band names: Wasasquatch, Rustmonster, and Funk Toast, depending on our mood. Getting ready for an upcoming Wasasquatch show, we interpreted and recorded Rebecca Black’s Friday Friday. We had such fun with it that we decided to shoot a rock video. Here it is.
A rock band from Earth plays the Pan-galactic Prom Show at the Collundrome, an intergalactic party venue. During their set, they are abducted by Knolar Jex, space pirate. He plans to steal their psychopsionic grooves to eliminate free choice in the universe and turn billions of races into his slaves. It is up to the members of the Funk Toast band to stop his diabolical plans.
Follow Earth band, Funk Toast as they head to the Collundrome, an intergalactic party venue, to play the Pan-galactic Prom Show. As they pour their grooves over a receptive audience, everything goes haywire when pan-galactic pirate, Knolar Jex, crashes the prom with sinister plans for Funk Toast and their psycho-psionic grooves.
KAYSVILLE, UT – Zombies seek equal rights in Craig Nybo’s new book, Allied Zombies for Peace. Nybo’s novel pits an undead civil rights group against the KKK during a 1968 Veteran’s day parade. Throw in a tough as nails faction of Vietnam War veterans, a group of peace loving hippies, a smattering of World War 1 veterans and the Columbus, Ohio Police Department and an otherwise patriotic parade turns into an unfettered slugfest.
This story, written in the spirit of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, follows an Earth rock band who is booked to play a prom show at the Collundrome, an intergalactic entertainment venue. Everything goes wrong when Knolar Jex, space pirate, crashes the party and abducts the band for their psionic groove technology.
I have adopted the practice of reading a how-to book to improve my writing between every novel draft. In doing so, I have read some of the best books about writing fiction. I enjoy teaching writing classes. I spend a great deal of time visiting libraries, schools, and even small writing groups to share the […]
In the spirit of Douglas Adams, Funk Toast and the Pan-galactic Prom Show follows a team of unlikely heroes through the absurdities of space. Knolar Jex, intergalactic pirate king, abducts a funk band, booked to play the pan-galactic prom show at the Collundrome, an outer space venue. It falls to the Funk Toast band to foil the pirate king’s plans for intergalactic dominion.
Often, specialized novel writing programs, such as Scrivener, Storybook, or Newnovelist offer unnecessary crutches. It is important to remember, as a writer, that the most important component to writing is… drumroll please… writing. Although writing a novel with Scrivener seems like an attractive draw, it is better to balance what it takes to learn a new, complicated piece of software with just getting the copy down. It’s better to spend your precious writing time putting your ideas on paper than marching up a new software learning curve.
With Small Town Monsters nearly complete—at this point slated for an April release—I get to choose my next project. I always enjoy the creative crossroads. I have learned that creativity begets creativity. Once one gets into the zone and plows into a project, it is difficult to turn off the idea generation machine. New ideas flow into the mind at every turn. This often makes it difficult to stick to task and finish the project at hand.
I just received the final artwork of the wraparound cover for Small Town Monsters. I think it’s brilliant. Paul Alexandrescu, a skilled artist who resides in Bucharest, Romania—the perfect location to be painting werewolves—again delivered expectedly wonderful work. He also illustrated the cover for Allied Zombies for Peace.