Monthly Archives: May 2008

New Anthology from Shroud Publishing

Here’s the cover for Shroud Publishing’s new horror anthology.  I’m submitting a story about a Siren.  My narrator is a drunk lawyer who first hears the Siren and gets his “hamlet” trying to chase her down.

Northern Haunts Horror Anthology



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Author and Teacher Lament

I teach college students how to write, and so does my wife, Ellen. We have discovered that the “younger generation” has a deft ability to find its way around what used to be called the “Information Superhighway” (remember those optimistic days of yore?), yet they have little or no skill at being able to sit still long enough to focus. Does it seem to be a big stretch to assume they don’t spend a lot of time reading anything in depth? Many do not have the least bit of reading background in what we used to call the “classics.” They do not get involved much politically, and they certainly do not like to sit with a book for hours until they finish it (reading cover-to-cover in one sitting).

I heard a statement recently that I want to throw out to you: the Internet has created many would-be writers but not any new readers . I find this to be quite true. As part of the independent publishing phenomenon, I know there are many who wish to write, but there are also many more who really don’t have the talent to write.

What has been your experience with this “more writers than readers” problem? I would like to hear somebody who can verify or contradict my knowledge about this crazy reality we are witnessing in Cyberspace.


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Beneath the Surface Horror Anthology is Recommended for Stoker Award!

Tim Deal, the editor/publisher at Shroud Publishing just announced by email that our horror anthology, Beneath the Surface:  13+ Shocking Tales of Terror, has been recommended for the coveted (in horror circles) Bram Stoker Award for an anthology.  He emphasized, however, that this does not mean it’s been “nominated,” but it is still an honor to be considered, nonetheless.

I am totally stoked to be a Stoker!  I’ll keep you all appraised as to whether we get to hallowed land of “official nominee” and (gadzooks!) win the award.

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Gay Marriage Ban Overturned in California

I now have another reason to be proud I am a Californian:  the California Supreme Court has overturned the ban on gay marriages.  Gay rights are civil rights, and now a lot of kind, creative and normal people will be fortunate enough to experience marriage in its full, economic sense.  For, after all, even with all the problems they were experiencing, gays were in love and living together.  The civil rights, however, were what they were after, and I am overjoyed they can join the married brigade.

My first published fiction came about because of a gay zine owner of the now defunct (yet still excellent)  Sean Merriwether saw some talent in my stuff, even though I was completely “out there” with theme, and he really gave me the writing confidence I needed at the time to continue my writing.  I now hope he and his New York lover can finally make the move to California and get married.  I know he wasn’t able to do this earlier, but I am happy that he can now do this, and he will totally enjoy our “relaxed atmosphere” here in the sunshine state.

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Short Story, “Mulo” Published in Beneath the Surface Horror Anthology

Shroud Publishing has just released the horror anthology of short fiction, Beneath the Surface:  13+ Tales.

It’s a great read.  I suggest you pick one up if you like “old school” horror stories.  My story is #10 under my horror pen name:  Efraim Z. Graves

Beneath the Surface

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“Local Author” Highlighted in Press Release

I recommend Send2Press, as they took the time to really edit and assist me on this new press release.  Their cost is reasonable also!

Books and Publishing

New On-Line Publisher Offers DRM-free Digital Audio Short Stories
Edited by Carly Zander
Thu, 08 May 2008, 11:43:16 GMT
SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 8 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Local author Jim Musgrave is featured on Sniplits’ beta test site. Anyone with a digital music player, smart phone or laptop understands the hunger for new content. Now, with the launch of, there’s a new source for entertainment on the Internet. Sniplits(SM) is publishing audio short stories, packaged as DRM-free MP3 files and playable on virtually any device capable of playing digital music.

Sniplits audio short storiesSniplits launched its website with 85 audio shorts, ranging from about one minutes in length to nearly an hour. The stories represent the work of approximately 50 authors, including “What Were You When You Were Alive?” by Jim Musgrave (a.k.a. Efraim Z. Graves).

“I wrote the story because I wanted people to recognize the plight of homeless veterans and how difficult it is to cope after experiencing combat. If just one person looks at a homeless person differently after listening to my story, then I will have succeeded,” said Musgrave.

The author, who also teaches English classes at Grossmont Community College to students online and in the classroom, wants his students to understand the problems of modern veterans returning from war, and this story was his attempt to get them active politically.

“The writer must be active in political causes,” added Musgrave, “because our society is already alienated as it is, and only through dramatic communications will we be able to get the true message out to those who care.”

To market his story, Musgrave adds a signature to his emails and cell phone text messages: What Were You When You Were Alive?

Audio Story By Efraim Zimbalist Graves (Jim Musgrave): A Gulf War veteran wins a different kind of “Survivor Game” in San Diego, fighting prejudice against the homeless…. Time: 30:12 / $0.88.

My Sniplits Author Fan Club Page:

“Our goal is to provide listeners with audio stories that are perfectly sized for any pause in their day,” says Anne Stuessy, of Stussi, Inc., creator of Sniplits. She suggests that a ten-minute story might be perfect while waiting for an oil change, while a 30-minute story might be just the thing for a dentist appointment or lunch break.

Note: DRM = Digital Rights Management. Sniplits and the stylized logo are service marks of Stussi, Inc.

Send2Press® is the originating wire service for this story.

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Desperado in Iraq

Flash fiction.


by Efraim Z. Graves

Soldier in tears

You were told in an email to expect your brother, Barry, the next day at 0900, and you pick him up at the bus stop, and he is quiet on the way home—deathly quiet—and that’s strange, because Barry used to be quite a talker before his tour in Iraq, before he got a “personality discharge,” which you discover is the way the military is now getting rid of soldiers mentally abused by what they have to do in this war, but Barry is so deadly quiet in the back seat, you could hear a hypodermic drop, which it does, and Barry begins to talk to you, putting his hands on your shoulders as you drive, squeezing them harder and harder as he tells you, “I went on raids inside other people’s homes, Elizabeth, and I had to drag them out into the night, people I didn’t even know or understand, and I put them in jail, and I even shot them if they had weapons on them or in their houses—that’s right—and they would beg us in Arabic, and nobody spoke Arabic, and their kids would scream and grab onto their mother’s knees for dear life, and I would puke when I got back to the barracks, then I would get drunk at the EM Club, listen to some old Eagles’ songs, and finally, on the last day, I took a shit in the chow line, right into my two killing hands, and I rubbed it all over my face—yeah, and I called it ‘camouflage for an asshole’–‘cause that’s what I was, and then I sang into the Captain’s face, “And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’; your prison is walking through this world all alone,” and that’s when I knew I was what they sang about; I was the Desperado, and now I am home.”

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