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  • Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.


    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder

    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton


    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar


Old work is new again... isn't it?

All the craft books tell you to put away your work for a few weeks, a month or two is even better, before you edit. So what about a few years? That's gotta give you a fresh perspective right?

That's for damn sure.

I am in a bit of waiting period, also known as writer-limbo... wimbo (might have just made that up) - I have been waiting for edits on my novel to come back from someone I hired back in early Sept. While I wait, I decided to revisit my short fiction days. There was a time, a number of years actually, when all I wrote was short fiction. I did things a bit backward by writing a novel first (and then re-writing that novel a lot), before I tried my hand at short stories.

Short fiction taught me a lot about writing. And they are a much different beast than novels – much more than their length defines them. Some of my favorite writers only write short fiction, George Saunders, Raymond Carver, and Alice Munro (who I should really read more of). The writer, Tobias Wolff, once described the feeling he got while reading Carver's Cathedral. He said that by the end of the story, he felt like he was levitating. I've never forgot that. And it remains one of my favorite stories.

Also need to mention Richard Ford here - as I say in this Smokelong Quarterly interview, I was pretty obsessed with Rock Springs. Communist may rank as my all-time favorite short fiction. And I can't even say why. It is just so damn good.

So returning to the form is both delightful and sobering. The sobering part is when I read a story that I laboured over, sent out, received a number of rejections, and constantly rewrote, and I realize... hey, this is as boring as shit. No wonder they turned it down. Ah, the wisdom the years bring.

The delightful is coming across a story and still loving it. A few tweaks here and there, some new ways of putting things, maybe a slight structural change... but yeah, not bad. Let's send that sucker out!

Getting pubbed these days is harder than ever. And like the world-weary private dick, I've seen it all, taken my share of beatings, and poured three fingers of bourbon to ease the 10th, 20th, 50th rejection. But I'm back at it. Writing. Learning. Submitting. Rolling with the rejections.

I'll let you know how it all shakes out.

If you'd like to take a gander at a couple of my short stories visit:

Smokelong Quarterly


Cezanne's Carrot

or pick up 

Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry




Time to move up a couple?

If you've been noticing the lack of a twitter feed at woofreakinhoo, I think it's because I've been living in the past - or past versions anyway. I've liked the feel of Squarespace 5 for so long, that I haven't wanted to migrate. But time, and newer versions, march on. Speaking with the fine folk at Squarespace, I think it is finally time to make the jump to version 7.

So look for a new look to the old woofreakinhoo - coming soon. Complete with a working twitter widget.

And in closing... a Ry Cooder cover, which seems fitting.




Take this book... please.

Let's start with this: writers don't make shit. Well, except for those lucky few. (The actual number of the lucky is as dark a secret as the Facebook Algorithm and the real reason Dan Brown books sell... ok, no one knows that second one.)

Anyway, to repeat, most writers don't make shit. I'm one of them. So I decided to give a bunch of books away. Smart move.

You see, not only do I love to write, and I actually need to, but I love to be read. That is more important to me than selling a whackload of books and finally getting that vacation home in Florida. I don't even like Florida. (no offense, readers from Florida - I'm just making a point.)

I've been chasing that elusive book deal for more years than I care to mention. Along the way, I've had readers at all stages of my work. I get jazzed when someone reads a first draft and points out the glaring structural errors and character missteps. And when a manuscript is further along, I love when a reader copy edits, and suggests overall tightening of the language. And most of all, I love when something is finished and a reader responds. That's it, just responds, good or bad (not so much indifferent.)

I write to be read.

So when I finished Surf City Acid drop and decided that it would be the first book I put into actual paper, I had to figure out my marketing strategy. Insert: sigh.

One of the main reasons I wrote Surf City Acid Drop was to rediscover what I love about writing. Over the last 15 years, I've toiled on a lot of stories, a couple of novellas, and three full novels. And if you hang around this blog, you know how close I got to that elusive deal. But it was hard on me. Damn hard. Writing Surf City rekindled a lot of things for me. For one, I got to create Luke Fischer. A character, I believe, with legs. And I got to dip into a genre I had never fully inhabited (neo-noir-crime-fiction... with a splash of surf rock, and a lot of 1970s detective movies).

I have other projects in the works right now, and I could say they are more serious - but Luke is serious in a different way. Still, I have to remind myself as I work on the follow-up, that I am doing this to have fun. Any writer worth their salt knows the demanding task of putting 80,000 words on paper - so not fun, like as in a barell full of gin-soaked monkeys. But fun as in, hey, I love that this exists.

This was the spirit that led me to give away my first order of Surf City Acid Drop books to friends, family and colleagues. Eventually, I will get around to selling them (or Amazon will) - but for now,
take this book... please.

Oh, and when you're done - think about reviewing it.

Because, you know, marketing.


Reading paper

As mentioned on various social media platforms... it's a book.

Very exciting to hold a copy in my hands. Funny how that goes. I am huge proponent of ebooks, and have published a few. But for some reason, holding that trade paperback in my hands is something else all together. I also love plunking it down on my night table next to the stack of books that I keep planning to read. It sits there very nicely.

Wanted to give a shout out to the people at CreateSpace - the product is very well done. The support was quite good - I did break a bunch of rules, having the typography bleed off the edge like that, and that created a cycle of rejection from the CS folk. Mental note: maybe next time don't do that.
But nonetheless, it got figured out, and they finally accepted my design.

So this is actually the proof copy - meaning it is the last stage of proofing before I release the book into the wild. In others words, you can pick it up at Amazon, or I am going to getting a whack of copies to giveaway. If you have read Surf City here at the blog, and you live in my city, there's a good chance I will give you one (or at least, charge you a very minimal amount to cover costs.)

Now, I've edited this thing a lot - and others have had eyes on it - so I expected to find very little in the way of mistakes or needed edits. Uhhhhhhhhhhm... right. 

How the hell did I miss these things?

Well, editing 101 is work from a hard copy for those final edits (and maybe even earlier versions.)

So yes, it's a book. And soon it will be a better edited one.

"Great novels are never finished, they are abandoned."
(Can never remember whose quote that is.) 


So what's up next...

As I get closer to having an actual paper copy of Surf City Acid Drop, I am planning my next projects. One of them being that treadmill that I love hate but mostly hate - why isn't there an exercise pill? We can put people on the moon and freeze dry just about anything, but we can't make a pill that gives you the benefit of running?
(Available in handy 2, 4, and 8 mile dosages.)

I digress.


Of course there is going to be another Luke Fischer in the works - and if you pick up the paperback of Surf City, you will find a nifty surprise about that in the back of the book.

The next big big project though is a reworking of a novel I've been working on a long time. I finally undid the chain on my wallet and hired a freelance editor to help me restructure, rework, re-imagine (really anything with a re- ) this novel.

There's no 70's neo noir detectives in this one, nor even one surf board - but there is that 70's vibe. I've talked about it at the blog before, and it's got a bit of Watergate, Acid (the LSD kind), and a thirteen-year-old at the centre. It does take place in 1973 (hence the Watergate bit), and there is still music, always music. My novels usually have a soundtrack, if only in my mind, and this one is all about Steely Dan. At one point in the drafting and editing (the first couple of rounds), I designated each chapter with a different Steely Dan tune.

OK, kinda geeky, but there you have it. 

So stay tuned for news on the Surf City paperback. I am viewing proofs this week. And be sure to follow me on twitter (cterlson) for other news and random things that spring from my brain.

Do brains have springs?

Digressing again.