Unflinching and uncompromising, tough and talented, Shane McKenzie stands at the forefront of the next generation of horror writers.

—Bentley Little

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feeling the Wrath

I started my Muay Thai training with Wrath James White yesterday. It was bad ass. I'll admit that I was intimidated and nervous going in, but I've never done anything like this, so I didn't really know what to expect. And Wrath is a big guy. But, for the first session anyway, he kept it slow and simple for me. He mainly showed me the correct stance and form, which is something I need to work on. My balance is terrible. And I'm not flexible at all. Looks like I'll be doing yoga with my wife after all. She'll be happy about that. Though she's doing prenatal yoga right now, and I don't think it's quite intense enough.

We worked on basic punches: jabs, power punches, and hooks. And most importantly while throwing punches, gotta protect my chin. And keep my arms tight into my body. I've been standing in front of a mirror this morning and just practicing that. I need to be able to keep my balance and still throw controlled punches, while never losing my form. It's gonna take lots of repitition, but I'm ready to work hard.

We moved onto elbow strikes. He showed me four different elbows, one of which is illegal in professional fighting. The elbows felt awkward because you have to have your arm in kind of a chicken wing to keep the elbow tight so it can cut like a knife when thrown. Looked pretty devastating.

I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I mean, before last night, I didn't know shit. I at least have something to work with now, something I can practice. I've changed my diet completely and only take cold showers. I will be jogging every single morning and on most nights, and doing as much shadow boxing as possible. And most importantly right now, I'm going to stretch and stretch. I've gotta get more flexible.

Our next session is on Tuesday, and I'll post an update.

Did I mention that I'm a pile of soreness today??

What's this blog you speak of??

Okay, I was told that a blog is just one of those necessary things for a writer to have. I never really ever thought about it. But fuck it, might as well. I don't really know what having a blog entails, but I guess its just rambling on about whatever crazy shit pops in my head.

Soooo, what the hell do I say?

I can say this. It has been the craziest year of my life. And I'm talking about 2010. I got married in August in Cabo San Lucas. Amazing out there. I'll never forget that week...except maybe the first night. I don't remember shit from that night. We found out we were having a baby in October, so we bought a house in December. The thought of being a father is the craziest feeling I've ever had. Just to sit there and ponder on it. I love rubbing my wife's belly. And I still can't believe I have a house. I feel like a transient squatting in some nice couple's home. The baby is due in June of 2011. And I couldn't be happier.

As for writing, things have been going pretty well. I'm happy. Of course, I could be happier, but who couldn't? I sold some stuff that I'm pretty proud of. Got a story at Dark Recesses. Got others at various websites and anthologies too. I did decide to stop giving work away, though. Nothing against the "for the love" markets, but I'm trying to get paid. And not for the money, really. But for the recognition. I hope that doesn't sound douchy, but it is what it is.

I've got some exciting projects coming in 2011! Pill Hill Press has really taken me under their wing and allowed my imagination to run wild. I've got my first short story collection coming out, "Carved: Tales From the Pumpkin Patch." Very excited about it! I've got the first draft finished and am doing revisions with my man, AJ Brown.

I've got a double novella book coming out called "Psycho Cinema" which is designed for the fan of B-horror movies. Kind of a Grindhouse feel I guess. I just thought it would be fun to just go nuts with a story. Don't worry about how realistic everything is. If my guy gets cut, that shit is gonna spurt and squirt blood. Just get over the top with it. Those are my favorite movies to watch, they entertain me and make me laugh, so I thought I'd try and bring some of that to writing. I'm hoping the Psycho Cinema double feature can be an ongoing series.

I'm editing two anthologies so far for 2011. "A Hacked Up Holiday Massacre" and "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night..." Hacked Up is an extreme horror anthology themed around all holidays. So far, we've got Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, Lee Thomas, Wrath James White, and Nate Southard. A fucking amazing lineup! I can't believe I get to work with these monsters of horror. Seriously, I'm working with my idols and some of the writers that have influenced me the most. Some other bad ass talent will be included, but we'll release that later on. Dark and Stormy will be a horror comedy anthology themed around making fun of horror cliches. Jeff Strand has agreed to write an introduction for me. How fucking cool is that? I'm lovin' 2011 so far.

So there we go. My first blog. Does anyone care? Probably not, but my mom thinks I'm cool...