Eureka Literary Magazine Publishes “Flying Dutchman” by M Cid D’Angelo


Hi everyone! Editor Zeke Jarvis at Eureka Literary Magazine has published my latest short story, “Flying Dutchman,” this year!

The story was inspired by Sidney Poitier’s autobiography, The Measure of a Man, specifically about his leaving the Bahamas in his search to become an actor on the mainland of the United States.

The story can be found in Vol 21 (Spring 2016) of Eureka Literary Magazine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bibliography of M Cid D’Angelo

As of 2016


“Reading Between the Lines: Researching Little Known or Unknown Treasures” (Lost Treasure Magazine, November 2001)

“With the might of a shôgun, Oda Nobunaga rose from obscurity to becoming one of Japan’s most formidable rulers” (Military History Magazine, accepted not published, 2002)

“The Light” (Aoife’s Kiss, December 2006)(I)

“A Far Away Place” (CC&D, Accepted Withdrawn, 2007)(I)

“Girl Sunday” (Eureka Literary Magazine, Fall 2009)(I)

“Thumbs Up” (Midway Journal, Spring 2010)(I)

“Adagio in the Dark” (Lady Jane’s Miscellany, Summer 2010)

“A Far Away Place” (Urban Mozaik, Accepted not Published, 2010)(II)

“Thumbs Up” (Third Wednesday, Summer 2010)(II)

“Don Quixote de Las Vegas” (Moronic Ox, December 2010)

“Chad and Willie Break a Leg” (The Legendary, Spring 2013)

“In the Garden” (decomP magazinE, Spring 2013)

“Girl Sunday” (Calliope, Fall 2013)(II)

“Band of Gold” (The Legendary, Spring 2014)

“The Road from Tahlequah” (Niche Literary Magazine, Summer 2014)

“Girl in the Window” (Stepping Stones, 2014)

“The Light” (The Sirens Call Magazine, Summer 2014)(II)

“Lonesome Road” (Silk Road Review, 2015)

Dead Reckoning (J Ellington Ashton Press, 2015) (Top 10 Finisher Best Horror Novel 2015, Critter Award, Preditors & Editors).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dead Reckoning Top Finalist!

I am happy to announce that my seaside horror novel, Dead Reckoning, has placed as a Top 10 Finalist for Best Horror Novel 2015 in the Preditors & Editors Critter Awards.

The novel was inspired by the innovative and “outside the box” works of Mark Z Danielewski, author of House of Leaves.

Two marine biology students attempt to reopen a cursed oceanographic project off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Annie Mitchell and her partner, Stewart Eddinger, get more than they bargain for when they find themselves haunted by intense impulses, hallucinations, and an intangible evil that seems to be the biblical Leviathan incarnate.

Critter Awards


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Promotional Online Posters

I’ve always felt these needed to be apt.

A promo poster I’ve made and you’ve seen me throw around. This is a very apt graphic; it directly hints the overall character and theme of the novel, Dead Reckoning. The symbolism is strong here: the water, of course, a lead female character struggling; the frightening aspect of drowning; the psychological horror at its base.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early Writings (part 4): First Submissions

wings on fire

It is easy to look back at my writing and succinctly draw it up into three major stages that are common to most arts: the Apprentice, the Adept, and the Master.  To fully understand these rigid categories in a highly diversified and arbitrary career, one must look at certain stages.  It is true that an artist can surmount a mastership level and regress to an Adept or even an Apprenticeship when they rediscover themselves, but all-in-all, that is rather ambiguous in its own definition.  The levels of advancement are based more on experience than perhaps the work itself.  My stages were rather straightforward.  I could argue that my earlier writings the introductory phase – was a stage by itself, or that it was merely an extension on what is considered my longest stage as an apprentice.  Yet, becoming an apprentice was rather more formal than it had been prior to that point.  For the years I was dabbling in styles and plots, my writing had always been rather for fun, for amusement, rather than a serious study.  My apprenticeship, much like my stage as an adept, was marked and clearly seen.  I can almost define them by the date the transition occurred.

The beginning of my apprenticeship did not benefit from going to a school or achieving a master to learn from; instead, it was based upon two very important events – one physical achievement, the other, rather esoteric.  Painters have gone to art schools to begin their apprenticeship; athletes begin a sports regime under a coach; mine began with the completion of my first novel-length manuscript, Galleon: Portrait of a Treasure Diver.  The second initiation factor was a dream that featured a young woman standing on a beach asking me if I’d join her.  The dream itself was separated from the fact of it being a sexual one, as it termed that my writing side – the artistic side of me – was female.  I joined with her.

After discovering a Royal electric typewriter in my closet (left by a former tenant) while living in South Lake Tahoe, CA, I began devising a new story.  The novel was somewhat a redraft of the earlier Depths, but this time was far more focused.  Galleon: PoaTD concerned a young SCUBA diving instructor who discovers three sunken Spanish ships in the Bahamas, and his struggle to raise their treasure.  It was my ambition, having been inspired by Benchley’s The Deep, Kip Wagner’s personal account of salvaging the 1715 Plate Fleet in Florida in Pieces of Eight, The Treasure Diver’s Guide by John S. Potter Jr., and other sources, to fashion a realistic novel detailing a group of Mel Fisher wannabes who run afoul of every conceivable problem trying to find sunken treasure in the Bahamas.  The main characters consisted of Michael Palmer, a young SCUBA diving instructor employed by a resort in the Cayman Islands; Catherine Mitchell, a pretty tourist girl and love interest for Palmer; James Anton, Palmer’s father figure and all around best-buddy; and Harry Jameson, the bad guy out to pirate the treasure.  This story I argue in being an ambitious work to publish, on the mere fact that I was actually fantasizing of becoming a treasure diver myself one day.  The characters were pretty much the same as those from Depths, but they had stronger motivations and were out to achieve a goal.  Palmer starts things off by finding a gold doubloon on a beach just after a raging hurricane.  The find lures him into finding out where it came from, and there he discovers the legend of a Spanish galleon wrecked nearby.  During his research, word leaks out about a serious treasure hunt, and this comes to the ears of the antagonist, Jameson, who spares no time or expense in asserting his evil greed.  Clashes with not only the bad guys, but with the authorities as well, places Palmer and his friends in one jam after another, until, during a climax with a second hurricane, they defeat Jameson and spirit the treasure out of the Bahamas.

A fun, ambitious work; in some ways I wanted it to be published, but I rather had my doubts that any publisher would find it that good.  There were no rewrites to make mention of; I was rather naïve when it came to perfecting works at that time.  I enjoyed the journey of Galleon, and kept it close to my heart as my first completed novel at a whopping 241 pages.  It bothered me, however, that I still hadn’t achieved the length of a novel in the scope of where Benchley lay, but, try as I might, I couldn’t get any more out of the story.  I enjoyed the fact that Catherine Mitchell was a stronger female love interest than those I had attempted before, and that my female leads were becoming stronger characters, rather than just dressing in the window.  It’s interesting to note that at the end of the novel, Catherine and Michael aren’t together, and have somewhat a detached separation.  It reads more like their brief love affair was to be experienced for what it was, rather than something to build upon.  Palmer, being chased by the authorities for committing some outrageous criminal acts in his pursuit of the treasure, has to run off with an older brother; Catherine Mitchell ends up pocketing the treasure herself and leaves the Bahamas with her family.  She gives the horizon a wistful look as she stands on the dock, where she can spy a receding boat that contains a fugitive Palmer, disappearing into the sunset.  These two main characters are young – possibly in their late teens.  There are other adventures waiting for them; they do not need to stay together.  Another note is that Palmer’s father figure/best friend, James Anton, gets killed toward the end by a group of sharks and not by the villain.

Galleon: PoaTD was a milestone in my literary career not only because of the completion of my first novel-length manuscript, but in the fact that I was very learned of the subject matter, and did extensive research.  The scope of the novel was a send-up, no doubt, of Benchley’s The Deep, but it was an honest attempt to create an intense, original action/adventure.  I labored to make the work as realistic as possible, and sought to outdo my earlier fantasies and meager imagination with concrete research.  I then attempted to write a new novel with oceanic themes concerning pirates.  This project was described as “a pirate captain becomes obsessed with a treasure chest he buried,” but it never got beyond the first two or three chapters.  It was tentatively entitled The Island, but I didn’t much care for it as it was like Benchley’s third book.

After moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1981, I found myself in a new environment with new adolescent perils.  My writing ambition had become stronger, and I was serious enough about it to attempt getting a short work published.  An inspiration came to me through one of my SCUBA diving magazines of a sculpture that featured a diver going toe-to-toe with a shark in open water.  I naively put together a short story based on the same premise about a diver who runs afoul of a shark in open water and reflects about his experience after he escapes it.  Who was the intruder?  The man or the shark?  Thus, the short story was called “The Intruder” and was promptly sent off to Reader’s Digest as an Adventure in Real Life.  It, of course, failed.  “The Intruder” marked my very first professional submission, and was rather dubious in its concept.  It went under the guise of being a true story, but was, in fact, totally fiction.  A couple of weeks later, not to be daunted, I put together another slap-dash work entitled “Derelict”, which was about a man-eating fungus on a derelict spacecraft.  It was sent off in a highly-ambitious move to Playboy, after I attempted to put in a rather lurid sex scene within its pages.   I had never read Playboy, other than peruse its artistic photographs.  Writer’s Digest had touted that the magazine was one of the most highest-paid, garnering up to $400 for a published work; it too, came back.

During a haphazard time trying to fit in at high school, I eventually began working on a fantasy novel in serial, called Dragons of Eden.  Not to be confused with Carl Sagan’s work, my fantasy concerned a young squire living in a kingdom besieged by an evil sorceress.  Writing it, I was very influenced by Mallory’s King Arthur stories and Greek mythology.  It was a lengthy work for its scope, but I lost interest after a time and it never became finished.  It came before my Tolkien period, and I found it rather difficult to write because of my lack of reading fantasy works in that vein.  It was, in retrospect, an attempt to put together a Tolkien-based work, but without having read Lord of the Rings.  I instead drafted a new ocean-based novel that resurrected my earlier fascination with The Bermuda Depths and my short story, “Fathoms.”  Typing away on a Smith Corona manual typewriter, I put together a far more reaching scope of a novel than what I had put together before, rivaling Galleon.  This new work introduced the same elements from before, but drew them out and strengthened character-to-character relationship and motivations with a gloomy setting.  The result was a novel about the hunt for a sea serpent, and some rather sinister supernatural and fantasy elements.  The characters were: Nathanial Jacobs, a young man looking for his dead father; Richard Logan, a marine biologist who becomes obsessed with his oceanographic project; Dewitt Johnson, another biologist in charge of the project; Sondra Logan, Richard’s conservative and melodramatic wife; and Paul Simpson, a senior scientist with a hidden agenda.  This is an important draft, because I now have a female character who is no longer background dressing, although she is a minor character; Sondra Logan becomes a strong female lead who is supposed to be the sober and practical component to the marriage she shares with Richard.  At a loss what to call the project, I had a dream in which my sister handed me a book with the title Winds of the Deep on it in bold black on yellow letters.  There I pursued the draft, drawing out all the elements that I’d known before and hammering out totally new ones.  The work was a little more haunting than my previous effort with the juvenile “Fathoms,” but it found itself strengthened from my experiences with Depths and Galleon and a lifetime of reading stronger works.  During it, also, I had discovered some works by Stephen King (particularly Salem’s Lot), and found a deep fascination for that writer’s prose.  WotD was far deeper in scope than any previous work, and played heavily on the fantasy edge more than horror.  The ending of the novel, after young, lost Nate has his surreal love affair with the ghost of Jackie Bartholomew, culminates in the loss of the two biologists by a fire-breathing sea serpent.  Nate is washed up on shore alone and all but dead.  The novel I completed at 269 pages (or thereabouts), and felt it was time to try my hand at the publishing game of books.  My mother found some wayward article from a shady vanity publisher and persuaded me to send it to them.  After a couple of weeks, a fellow called me and offered to publish the work if I paid them $3000.  I, of course, refused, knowing how limited my own talent was and that it was not right.   My mother was confused.  How come I had to pay them?  I tried my hand at science fantasy too, envisioning a post-apocalyptical society of long-eared aliens with Star Wars-style technology cavorting around the search for an ancient artifact that would reveal that there had been another race of intelligent beings sharing the same world (humans).  This novel was tentatively entitled Odyssey, and concerned a hotshot jet pilot named Puck and a group of other pixyish-looking beings that could easily populate a video game.  Though I feel there is some strength to the milieu, the story never quite got off the ground and suffered from disorganization.  During a brief stay in Phoenix, Arizona, I was inspired to begin writing a sequel to it that featured much of the same characters and technology and was heavily inspired by the Mad Max/Road Warrior films.  This piece too never quite got beyond the dream stage and eventually was abandoned.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nature of the Story in Film and Literature

I was discussing ambiguous endings in horror stories with my peers, especially in film – but it holds for literature as well.

If done correctly, an ambiguous ending can leave a lingering mystery that makes the audience hungry for more – but doesn’t rob them of their satisfaction. Case-in-point: the endings of The Thing (1982) and The Blair Witch Project. Some people didn’t particularly care for the ending in Blair Witch, but I thought it was rather apt.

To toot my own horn, I worked such an ambiguity into my horror novel Dead Reckoning. Many readers ask me much about the unanswered questions in the novel. These questions are of that vein; they allow the reader/viewer to draw their own conclusions, but don’t insult them at the same time or leave it alone like “WTF?”

I suppose an ending that resolves itself completely can be satisfactory too. This depends on the type of story and the theme it’s based upon. A mystery never has to be answered fully; an experience isn’t always resolved. In Alien, Ripley gets the Alien to blast itself away into space through an airlock; the monster is gone and the story is resolved. To tell the truth, ALIENS doesn’t need to be made. ALIEN stopped. It’s a me versus it in a survivalist movie. Now, you get THE THING (1982) and you have two men sitting there watching each other warily because we don’t know if they are a Thing or if they’re human. That’s genius because the WHOLE STORY is about paranoia.

Great stories have great endings. The ending in a brilliant plot reflects the nature of the story.

But, what is the NATURE of a story? Literary or film? We can talk themes. We can talk style or narrative. But what is the NATURE of the story? The nature is what is derived not only from the plot elements, but the tone – the voice of the story. When the storyteller understands the nature of the story – it becomes genius.

I suppose, in its way, a story – whether literary or film – has a very distinct personality within it. It’s elements are tethered together in its nature.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fantasy Short Stories and their Respective Rags

Like many well-known literary authors such as Neil Gaiman, for instance, I throw up a speculative genre short story to viable magazines. These are always a hard sell – much harder than getting published in the Mid-American, for example. I get more turn-downs here than any other place and usually because my style is “too literary” for them.

“A Mist on the River”


And the uncouth ones – the rural-minded and lazy locals – call their home Tinney-Town. Tin-knee. So, the rural people of Cor Tinnan are considered savage and stupid compared to the urban people in Cor Brethil, then. No one in the capital city will own up to that, though, even if everyone here on the River knows it’s so.

Oh, but it’s beautiful in Tinney-Town. The wide and great River Tharans dictates the town’s fortunes. It flows gently here, the water, and though its color remains a dark muddy brown in the best of months, it cannot detract from the way the chilly north air kisses the surface when there is no cloak of mist. The trees, the stones, the eddy pools, the trolling fishermen in their small barges ker-plunking their long poles in the shallows, add to that wilder-land majesty of the town’s ancient sylvan evenings.

Oh, Tinney-Town!

Bright sunshine when it’s not raining, which seems most of the time, and bold fireflies sparking the cool summer evenings belie a serenity even after, a long time ago, the passing of the great wizard and the evils that had scoured the land thereabouts. No one remembers those times because anyone who would is dead. Dead and buried.

Anyhow, the moon is on the wan as Adbur takes a small pipe from a friend on the stoop of Brinn’s Tavern and strides into the night. The moon is strong enough to cleave shadows near the docks, casting black fingers from the edging fences down the Waterway Road.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment