1- Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the states of the USA. 2- During all of the stunts in the original “Predator” movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the alien was played by Jean Claude Van Damme. 3- The Earth weighs around 6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons (5,940 billion billion metric tons)! 4- Just like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different! 5- Boris Karloff was the narrator of the seasonal television special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” 6- The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable”! 7- In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10. It is traditionally done to make the watch face look as if it is ‘smiling’. 8- Eleanor Roosevelt, during FDR’s term in the Presidential office, had a husky, cigar smoking, lesbian lover staying in the room next to her in the White House! :O 9- A rodent’s teeth never stop growing. They have to be worn down byContinue reading »

One thing that I remember truly enjoying when I was growing up was going to the comic book store after school with two or three of my best friends, and grabbing as much of the newest stuff on the shelves as my little 80’s Velcro wallet would allow! Hehehe! The people behind the counter knew us by name, and we would flip through everything from ‘X-Men’ to ‘Spiderman’ to ‘Batman’ to ‘The Punisher’ to ‘Superman’ and everything in between. I still have almost all of those comic books to this day, and they may not be in the best of shape (I read the HELL out of those books! Hehehe! Repeatedly!), I wouldn’t give them up for anything. Those stories stay with me. And they are what really taught me how to tell a story. Now, there are a lot of people who don’t get that, and it’s often because they think of comic books as being a bunch of costumed weirdoes going ‘Wham’ and ‘Pow’ and fighting some dementedContinue reading »

…From Around the House   10) Mangled toothpaste tubes 9) Improperly hung hand towels 8) Snow before Halloween, 7) Snow before I’ve had a chance to rake, 6) Snow 5) Messy birds 4) Messy cats 3) Computer updates and scans 2) Making the bed 1) Replying to emails

10) Les Amitiés Particulières (This Special Friendship) – 1964 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057842/ This is a French film, based on the novel written by Roger Peyrefitte.  It takes place in a strict all boys French Roman Catholic school in the 1920s.  The story tells the tale of the forbidden special friendship between a twelve-year-old and fifteen-year-old boy.  However, the school provides no privacy and forbids relationships, regardless of how innocent, between the boys.  Although the movie is quite old, and the book even older, and despite the fact that it’s filmed in black and white with English subtitles, this movie is well worth watching.  I guarantee you that this movie will make an impact on your emotions.  This is also the movie that inspired my latest story, “Corridor VI”.   9) Troy – 2004 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0332452/ Although this movie isn’t quite true to the actual story, Troy is simply an awesome film.  Despite the fact that Achilles didn’t actually live to see the birth of the Trojan Horse, the people who put this movieContinue reading »

1)  Aside from Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance, the only other performer to appear in FOUR “Halloween” movies (“Halloween 4 and 5”, and both of the Rob Zombie “Halloween” remakes)… was actress, Danielle Harris. 2)  John Laroquette was the narrator of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 3)  Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “Psycho”, was the first time an actual ‘toilet’ was ever shown on a public screen. The producer thought it would be even more unsettling for the audience if she tore something up, tossed it in… and flushed it. 4)  Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, died on Halloween night. 5)  Having faulty wiring within the walls of your house is not only a fire hazard… but also it can make many people feel that their house is haunted. Studies have been done that show that the incorrect wiring can send out an electromagnetic pulse in certain areas of the house. It can create feelings of anxiety, paranoia, changes in the way the body feels room temperature, andContinue reading »

A Movie Worth Remembering… In the world of film there are very few movies that can make an impact on your life.  However, there are some that are so beautiful or powerful or bold that they manage to sear themselves inside your brain and stay with you for an entire lifetime.  It is for this reason that “August Rush” is one of the best movies ever created.  Not only can you learn from this film, but it also makes you feel good inside and then takes it a step further by inspiring you to capture that feeling and share it with anyone who cares to listen. One of the best ways to learn about writing is through experience.  Not just writing experience, but through life experience as well.  This doesn’t limit itself to merely the things you, yourself have lived.  We can learn from reading books, listening to tales and even watching movies.  “August Rush” is a prime example of this.  Its carefully plotted story and masterfully-crafted characters are soContinue reading »

Out of all of the stories that have been popular on the Shack Out Back website… “Gone From Daylight” still remains at the very top of the list. And not by a small margin, either. It beats out every other story, almost 2 to 1. And since its first chapter in 1999… it has grown into something much larger than what it was intended to be! I, personally… couldn’t be more honored. The “GFD: Blood Bank” website was born more out of necessity than just popularity. I really cherished some of the other stories that I had seen, the artwork and pictures that people sent me in emails, the videos, the poetry, the ‘soundtrack’ suggestions… but I didn’t have a way to hold it all on the system that I was using at the time. So, unfortunately, some of those “GFD” treasures were lost over time, and the authors have vanished, so I have no way to get those contributions back. But the ideas from other fans of the seriesContinue reading »

Conducted by TurtleBoy Answered by Cirrus Throughout the month of July, and into the early days of August, our friend Cirrus took on a 30 day challenge.  For this challenge, Cirrus promised himself that he would write for at least 30 minutes each day for 30 consecutive days.  During this time he kept the entire community informed with in his advancement each day by posting a quick message on the Shack’s Voy forum.  Cirrus did not only succeed in his challenge, but he also inspired others to challenge themselves.  Not long after his challenge was over, I harassed him to answer some questions to help anyone else who is thinking about taking up a 30 day challenge of their own.  Inevitably, he soon caved in and the interview began!   1. What did you hope to gain from the challenge? I was reading some self-help book that suggested using a “30 day challenge” as a way of ingraining good habits. I think we’ve all got good habits that we’d likeContinue reading »

Originally written in 1999 by TurtleBoy There are only two paths to discovery: trial and error; and because we cannot leave our lives to chance it is only through determination that we will come out as victorious!  Alas, it is true that along the way accidents will occur by the many, yet without ever trying, again and again, where would we be today?  Mistakes are what make us who we are.  They supply us with challenges and motivation, and through trial and error they define all that we are and everything we will become. In order to surpass discouragement, one needs to feel challenged.  It is the hope and promise of success that encourages us to continue and compels us to keep trudging forth.  If for every time we attempted something only to give up after a single failure, nothing would ever have been accomplished.  Instead, the entire human race would still be living in caves and dragging around our women by the hair.  As a result of failure weContinue reading »

If the Earth was actually smooth, the oceans would cover the entire surface of the planet to a depth of 12,000 feet. Karate was not invented in China. It actually originated in India. ‘Ariel’, from “New Kid In School” and “Kiss Of An Angel”, is a very real boy indeed! I had such an infatuation with him! Hehehe! But… his FIRST appearance in my stories didn’t occur in “Angel”, OR “New Kid”. Even though I changed his name… this super shy art student first appeared in one of the first stories I ever wrote for the site! “Boy Next Door”! Yep… that’s him. Sighhhh… so cute! If someone is flipping a coin, call tails. The odds are slightly better. The design of the ‘face’ on the heads side is heavier, so it’s more likely to land face down. (Call heads if they catch it in their hand and flip it over, of course.) There are two different types of cannibals. Exo-cannibals eat their enemies to gain their strength. Indo-cannibals eatContinue reading »

#1- Dolphins sleep with one half of their brains at a time, and one eye open. #2- The Sweet Potato is considered the number one vegetable in the entire world. It has fiber, vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium, Protein, and carbohydrates. #3- Giraffes have no vocal cords. #4- Bill Gates’ mansion was designed on a Mac. #5- Actor, Tommy Lee Jones, and former Vice President, Al Gore, were roommates in college. #6- The look and character idea for ‘Sebastian’ in the story “Savage Moon”…came from Noah Hathaway (“The Neverending Story”) #7- On the day that “Wizard of Oz” star, Judy Garland, died…a tornado touched down in Kansas. #8- Cutie, Thomas Sangster, is Hugh Grant’s first cousin. #9- At the end of the Beatles’ song ‘A Day in the Life,’ an ultrasonic whistle, only audible to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog. #10- It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times.Continue reading »

Have you ever wondered why we have seasons in the first place? Why are there summer and winter, spring and autumn? Seasons come from the Earth being tilted on its axis. No, really! That’s what does it. Only 23.5° and we have four seasons. But don’t believe me. Google “world globe on stand” and look at the images in the results. Virtually every globe will be tilted on its axis, the same as in this picture: Since this is June, summer in the Northern Hemisphere, let’s look at the Season 1 picture. You’ll notice that the light is reflecting on North Africa (western Libya to be exact). That is what puts the Northern Hemisphere into the season of summer. You’ll also notice that not all of South Africa is visible, and none of Antarctica is, putting the Southern Hemisphere into the season of winter. As Earth continues on its trip around the sun, we come to September. In September, as displayed in Season 2, both the Northern and Southern HemispheresContinue reading »

Gaia, as a mother of 16 crazy, super-powered kids, was a HUGE organic health nut. You’ve heard that Zeus used mustard sauce to rescue his siblings from Cronus? Well, you’ve got Gaia’s culinary experience, or should I say in-experience, to thank for that. You see, Gaia loved to cook. She just wasn’t very good at it. Hermes actually started his career in thievery from sneaking off to the local bakery to get decent grub for the other 15 kids. So, most of her kids just pretended they “weren’t hungry” after telling Mama what an excellent meal she had prepared. And all would have been fine and dandy, but, as always, there was an exception. The fiery Enceladus simply would not eat the second-rate chow. He was kicked out of the bulging household after severely wounding Gaia’s feelings by informing her that her cuisine was less than perfect. So, he went to cook for the equally temperamental war god, Ares. If there was one thing Enceladus had learned from umpteen yearsContinue reading »