The Ground Rules...

What are the ground rules, you might ask? Pull up a chair and let's chat about blogging. Let's talk about the intents and goals of this little corner of the world, and the types of conversations I'd love to facilitate here at The Byproduct.

That title, by the way, is derived from of a creepy little short story by Rod Serling titled "The Whole Truth." It first appeared in a 1962 Bantam edition of The Twilight Zone. The cover artwork proudly blares the finer features of the stories found inside those yellowing covers--bizarre, zany, supernatural!

These are the books that have always captivated me, and it's the spirit of tales like "The Whole Truth" that I'd like to discuss here. I'd like to chat about movies like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing and The Shining. I'd like to create a platform to discuss all of the fine writers producing great work in the field of speculative fiction--those still with us and those that have cut the path through the woods. King and Poe. Lovecraft and Little. Straub and Bierce. Bradbury and Asimov.

But back to blogging. The brevity of this medium is both a curse and a blessing. Reading a blog takes just a few moments out of your time (except for the blogaholics--an addiction we'll discuss at great length down the road a spell). In many cases, these posts don't take long to put together. But after the words have gone to that great digestive tract in the sky, the hunger tends to kick in again. Folks return the next day for their fill, and it can be a mild disappointment to stumble across a well-loved blog and find it overgrown with disuse--like that creepy house on the corner that all the neighbors claim is driving down the property values, but no one really wants to bring it up with the owners because they keep strange hours and seem to avoid direct sunlight.

So I do pledge to keep my yard neat. While some things can't be avoided and the hedges might get bushy at times, I'd like to keep this space flowing from Monday to Friday. And any decent yard has a sense of propriety to it. It takes a plan to make it work, and things should be in symmetry with each other. So with that in mind, we'll adhere to a regular schedule of content posts here at The Byproduct.

On Mondays and Wednesdays we will feature news and commentary on the world of writing and publishing. We'll discuss the craft of composition (process, characterization, pacing, inspiration) as well as the process of publishing (submissions, formatting, researching agents and publishers).

Tuesdays will be reserved for special topics in speculative fiction. We'll discuss our favorite books and movies and also common themes and creative innovations in the field. Fantasy. Science fiction. Horror. I think next week we'll begin with a little discussion on the intrigue surrounding that venerable home to our finest creepies and crawlies--The Closet...

On Thursdays we'll discuss landmark films and preview the upcoming weekend's offerings.

Fridays will feature book reviews and news.

My hope is that you'll find our discussions informative and enjoyable. I plan on linking liberally to resources on the web (music, film clips, short fiction markets) and I'd be delighted if you would do the same in your responses.

Welcome to The Byproduct, which is, as our friendly narrator Rod Serling would say, submitted for your approval...

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