🚨🚨BOOKLAUNCH!🚨🚨

Today we launch our first multi-author fiction anthology exploring three disturbing tales about the nature of man and the true nature of what lies inside of him.

The cost is only 2.99, so that’s one dollar a story and all of our writers are indie horror authors. Available on all major platforms.

Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature.

We start with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned!

Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in this anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults.

Available now at Google Books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Amazon.

A three story horror short anthology by A.R. BraunMatt “Love-it or” Leavitt and Willy Martinez.

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Henry Miller Shares 11 Writing Commandments

In this post, we share the American writer and painter, Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments.

Henry Miller was an American writer and painter. He was born 26 December 1891, and died 7 June 1980. His autobiographical novels achieve a candour—particularly about sex—that made them a liberating influence in mid-20th-century literature. He is also notable for a free and easy American style and a gift for comedy that springs from his willingness to admit to feelings others conceal and an almost eager acceptance of the bad along with the good. Because of their sexual frankness, his major works were banned in Britain and the United States until the 1960s, but they were widely known earlier from copies smuggled in from France.

The 11 Writer Commandments From Henry Miller

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. ConcentrateNarrow downExclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

If you enjoyed this list, please consider subscribing below to our monthly newsletter, or you can head over to The Ritual blog to read more content right now!

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Guy de Maupassant – Horror Fiction and 10 Quotes

Born August 5, 1850, Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. He wrote more than 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of poetry.

It is with Le Gaulois in 1883 that de Maupassant diverted himself from a career as a humorous short story writer and begins on a second career that would make him a horror writer to stand beside Edgar Allan Poe. The stories in de Maupassant’s first nine volumes often speak of insanity, and it becomes clear that the author had a fascination with mental illness that grew with time, for lunacy is often used by de Maupassant as a plot devise.

De Maupassant’s masterpiece is “The Horla”(1886). Of all the stories he wrote this single tale is most often anthologized and was even filmed, though under the title of a different story, in MGM’s Diary of a Mad Man (1963) with Vincent Price. H. P. Lovecraft felt of stories describing alien possession “this tense narrative is perhaps without peer in its particular department.” In “Diary of a Mad Man” we read a judge’s diary revealing how he was obsessed with killing, then murders a little boy and a fisherman.

Here are a few of Guy De Maupassant’s short horror stories:

  1. “The Spectre” or “The Apparition” 
  2. “The Flayed Hand”
  3. “The Hand” or “The Englishman” 
  4. “The White Wolf” or “The Wolf”
  5. “Vendetta” or “Semillante”
  6. “A Mother of Monsters”
  7. “The Spasm” 
  8. “On the River”
  9. “He?” or “The Terror” 
  10. “The Specter” 
  11. “The White Lady”
  12. “Was it a Dream” or “Epitaph”
Guy De Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant. Graphic design by Mind on Fire Books.

Here are 10 quotes attributed to Guy De Paupassant

  1. Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
  2. There is only one good thing in life, and that is love. And how you misunderstand it! How you spoil it! You treat it as something solemn like a sacrament, or something to be bought, like a dress.
  3. I have come to the conclusion that the bed comprehends our whole life; for we were born in it, we live in it, and we shall die in it.
  4. Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship’s captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
  5. It is better to be unhappy in love than unhappy in marriage, but some people manage to be both.
  6. Solitude is dangerous for active minds. We need men who can think and can talk, around us. When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms.
  7. Love always has its price, come whence it may.
  8. The great artists are those who impose their personal vision upon humanity.
  9. There are in France some fifty thousand young men of good birth and fairly well off who are encouraged to live a life of complete idleness. They must either cease to exist or must come to see that there can be no happiness, no health even, without regular daily labor of some sort.
  10. Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.

If you enjoyed these quotes, check out the rest of our content on The Ritual Blog here.

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“Pacman” a Poem by Matt ‘Loveit or’ Leavitt

“Pacman” is a Poem written by feature writer, Matt Leavitt. Matt has a published short story titled, “The Fisherman,” in the Mad Men Anthology.

I’m down to the wire with just one life left and every morning it starts anew, asking me if I’m ready. I never had a choice. I’ve been here before. I’m stuck in a maze and every time I think I found my way out, I open the front door into my own living room. Just like I left it. Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? That this is all some sort of game, that nothing really means anything? It’s habit now, keeping me alive, muscle memory and a pocket of coins, I slide my hand along the wall to find my way back. Extinguishing lights till all routes are black. I’m chased by the ghosts of my past, locked in a cell with these demons and masks, pink like the flesh, gold like the flask, I should’ve have asked, a blue in her eyes  and red wrists in her lap, I’m so sorry…

I’m trying to keep it together,but I’ve pulled out all your feathers, my flightless angel moonlight sonata forever.

I think you were here, but all I have to show for it is 3 small letters, an alphabet signature just boasting how long you could play me.

 “Please make it stop” I begged as you fed me a coin.

A ghost in a machine, a ghost of a ghost, my branches are empty, all the fruit that you’ve took, I’m dying on repeat, just some eyes forced to look.

This poem was written by Matt Leavitt. He holds all copyright to this work, nothing may be borrowed or manipulated without his full consent.


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Pacman by Matt Leavitt. Photo by Barbara Zandoval on Unsplash. Poetry, Poem. mind on fire books

If you have any questions, email our Publisher, Willy Martinez at martinez@mindonfirebooks.com

Follow Mind on Fire Books on Social Media

The Cold: Featured Poem by Matt Leavitt

“The Cold” is a Poem written by feature writer, Matt Leavitt. Matt has a published short story titled, “The Fisherman,” in the Mad Men Anthology.

Surrounded by snow, they developed a poetry for their world. To understand.

The Eskaleutic languages are said to have many words for “Snow”. As many as 50 to the English 4. And in much the same way a fish develops intricate gills to decipher its experience, these people of the Arctic developed their own.

An Aleut man makes his way back home from the sea and on his climb, feels the snow escape his fingers. This snow will not stay. This snow is unstable and young. He can try to hold it, but it is pointless. This snow is different.

A Yupik woman looks out over the taiga and sees that it is good. It is new and untouched. Her travel will be safe and her journey will be short.

The Inuit enters his home and beats the remaining snow from his clothes. This snow was able to cling. It was stubborn and it followed him home. It would rather melt and die in his warmth then let go into the vastness of its own world.

Now, I wonder if we’ve missed something. Something fundamental. I wonder if we’re swimming without our gills.

It would appear we find ourselves in a world of Cold all our own. And it would seem that when we first discovered The Cold, we ran. We built homes of warmth and tools of forgetting and we have been running ever since.

I was a young boy when I first fell off my bike. I wasn’t paying attention and I hit a pothole that sent me flying over myself. I was scraped and cut and bloody and I remember it blinking all over me. “This is pain.”

I was a young man in college when I remember looking through that screen at your eyes. You knew we had gone too far, made a mockery of the whole thing. I knew you loved me and you were sorry. You knew the same. And when I hung up, I remember it blinking all over me. “This is Pain.”

And but two years later, when it came from the far and changed me completely, I screamed and begged. I was muffled under snow so heavy and fought for every breath. And no matter how many times, countless times, I climbed for escape, the snow rained down on my head. And no one could reach to help me out. I looked up at their faces, all trying, and I thought to myself, under the blinking, “This…this is Pain.”

Igadug- A violent snowstorm.

Ever since that day, I cannot ignore The Cold. To ignore it is only to walk outside one day and get trapped beneath it. So I respect The Cold. I thank The Cold for making me see. I thank The Cold when I hold my loved ones a little tighter for warmth. I celebrate in The Cold, because it means I’m still here. I dance in The Cold, to show others that it isn’t so scary. And when The Cold comes, I smile, because I know what The Cold implies.

There are some things that no one has a word for. There is a beauty hidden behind the wordless. There is an understanding and deep down, in the deepest love, there is a blinking.

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Poem by Matt Leavitt. Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo. Poetry. Video by Mind on Fire Books

Poem by Matt Leavitt. Matt holds all copyright; nothing can be copied or duplicated without his permission.


If you have any questions, email our Publisher, Willy Martinez at martinez@mindonfirebooks.com

Follow Mind on Fire Books on Social Media

“The Plague” by Albert Camus: A Synopsis

There is no more important book to understand our times than Albert Camus’s “The Plague,” a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. Camus speaks to us now not because he was a magical seer, but because he correctly sized up human nature. As he wrote: ‘Everyone has inside it himself this plague, because no one in the world, no one, can ever be immune.’

Watch this quick synopsis produced by The School of Life:

The Plague

If you are enjoying this article, we have more great literary content on The Ritual Blog here.

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Happy Birthday Charlotte Bronte

Born on this day in Yorkshire, in 1816, the third of six children.  After their mother and two sisters died, the young Bronte’s were educated at home. They developed a rich fantasy life amongst themselves, constructing together the imaginary world of Glass Town and writing of it in dozens of microscopically printed ‘books’.  Charlotte and her brother Branwell invented their shared kingdom of Angria in 1834. In 1846, at Charlotte’s instigation, the Bronte sisters published Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.

Charlotte’s first novel, The Professor, was rejected by several publishers and not published until 1857. Jane Eyre appeared, and was an instant success, in 1847. Then… Branwell Bronte died in September 1848, Emily in December of the same year, and Anne in May 1849. Charlotte, the onluy survivor of 6 siblings, continued to live at Haworth Parsonage with her fater. Shirley was published in 1849 and Villette in 1853, both pseudonymously. In 1854 Charlotte married her father’s curate. She soon died on March 31, 1855.

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Remembering Ernie Pyle, in Honor of National Columnist Day

The Man Who Told America the Truth About D-Day

Ernest Taylor Pyle was a Pulitzer Prize—winning American journalist and war correspondent who is best known for his stories about ordinary American soldiers during World War II. Pyle is also notable for the columns he wrote as a roving human-interest reporter from 1935 through 1941 for the Scripps-Howard newspaper syndicate that earned him wide acclaim for his simple accounts of ordinary people across North America. When the United States entered World War II, he lent the same distinctive, folksy style of his human-interest stories to his wartime reports from the European theater (1942–44) and Pacific theater (1945). Pyle won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his newspaper accounts of “dogface” infantry soldiers from a first-person perspective. He was killed by enemy fire on Iejima (then known as Ie Shima) during the Battle of Okinawa.

At the time of his death in 1945, Pyle was among the best-known American war correspondents. His syndicated column was published in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers nationwide. President Harry Truman said of Pyle, “No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told. He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen.”[1]

(August 3, 1900 – April 18, 1945)