About Mario

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mario Piumetti is a freelance writer of science fiction, horror, screenplays, and nonfiction. He has a bachelor's degree in English from California Lutheran University and an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University. An avid music lover, his work is heavily influenced by rock, punk, and metal. You can contact him at mario.piumetti.writer@gmail.com.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Announcing "The Coast"

Hey, folks!

I hope you're all having a pleasant Memorial Day with burgers and barbeque and other things that begin with the letter B.

A quick announcement: I've got a new short story in the works called The Coast.  It's a science fiction story completely different from the ghost story that I've dropped hints on.  I started working on it a couple of months ago, and it's been a few weeks since I finished the first draft, so I think I'll start editing it in June.

The Coast is set decades after an alien invasion where only scattered bands of humans remain.  In one community, Tom Daniels is chosen to lead a trading caravan to an alien stronghold on the Californian coast.  There, the invaders issue a demand that could result in disaster for his town.

I'm really excited about this piece and looking forward to how it ultimately turns out.  It's more plot-oriented than some of the work I've done in a while.  I'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rushin' Problems

This new story I've been mentioning - a ghost story - has been kicking my ass for a while.  I started it maybe a couple of weeks ago, but haven't made it pass the 2,000-word mark.

I really do want to give it a shot, but I think the problem stems from rushing through it.  Yes, I did plot out the story on a day when I unexpected had a lot of free time before work.  But as that time shortened, I felt like I had to hurry to finish things up.  The result was me going into a project without much of an idea of what I was doing.

I'm giving myself this next week to try plotting the story out more fully.  If I can get it done by the end of the month, perfect.  If not, I think I might drop it for now and try something else. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Weight

Chances are I'm going to have to fall off the radar for the next couple of weeks.  There's a lot on my plate right now as I finish up my script reading internship, start searching for work elsewhere, revise Roar Shack, and try finishing the first draft of my another story all by the end of the month.

Ugh!  Just typing that felt like a toil.  I wish my time management skills were a lot better.  I know, I know.  I've blogged about that before, but sometimes I have trouble following my own advice like being an early-riser, eating a more healthy diet, or, hell, just putting on my pants.

I'm starting to sleep with my laptop again.

Wait.  That sounds salacious.  What I meant to say is that I'm working late enough into the evening that I inevitably end up passing out at my computer.  Which, you know, isn't the best thing to but it happens.  I guess that's going to be one small little sliver of goodness from finishing the internship.  I'll have an opportunity to slam my foot on the breaks and reset.

Not too long a vacation though.  I really don't want to lose the momentum I've built over the last few months with script reading.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I've given up on this writing group I joined a couple of months ago.  It did nothing for me, just people sitting around and locking themselves up in their own little world for a couple of hours.  Plus, because of my tutoring schedule, I'd find myself available for just the last half-hour of each session.

I'm not saying it's bad people in a writing group to focus on the work.  I mean, that's the primary point.  What I am saying is that the silence is not golden.

I like getting to know other writers and shooting the breeze.  It makes the work feel less like work.  It's a chance to exchange tips, give encouragement, and occasionally play a round or two of professional one-upmanship.

Oh, fuck me!  My grad school experience is really biting me in the ass now!  Antioch's sense of community, you truly have infested my bone marrow and wormed your way into my brain meats!  *Shakes fist at no one*

But yeah, I just couldn't stick with the group any longer.  Some might say the silence has a serene church-like quality.  I say, when's the last time I've gone to church?  I still want to be in a writing group.  I know I can't hide in my own corner forever.  It'll drive me nuts.  The long hours.  The mounting doubt.  I need a way to cope with that.  Writing is a lonely career, but manageable with group therapy.

I'm hoping to find another group to join soon, or I might get in touch with some writer friends who live in the area and see if we can do a hangout every other week; order up some pizzas, bitch about how the first draft is kicking our asses, and then plow ahead regardless. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And Now...A Little Sunshine...

I don't really have anything to post about writing today.  It's been a slightly slow week as one story is on break and I'm plotting another.  Okay, maybe it's a little weird to say plotting is a slow activity.  It's slow on the writing front, but fast and intense on the brain-meats.

So I guess today I have little in the way of literary pearls of wisdom...

...but I do have an observation about crappy soap operas.  Oh, yes.  I do.  Don't snicker.  Soap operas are a great way to learn what NOT to do in storytelling.

So there I am cooking up lunch, and the TV is on in the kitchen.  And General Hospital was on.  I've caught a little of the show while channel surfing before, so I've gathered enough to assume a few things:

  • There is no hospital, just rich people with problems.
  • If a character has a thick, phony German accent, she's evil.
  • Apparently, you're still allowed to breathe if you're dead.
  • While we're at it, you can blink while laying in the casket at your own funeral too.
  • There is no hospital.
  • Everyone's screwing someone.
  • Everyone's cheating on someone.
  • There is no hospital.
  • Even little kids can be scheming sons of bitches.
Sorry, folks.  I know Wayne Gretsky and Rick Springfield are fans, but yikes!  You could bit into the melodrama and think concrete were as soft as butter.

Here's what I don't understand, and I'm hoping someone out there might be able to answer: why do melodramas stay on the air for so long?  As the World Turns and All My Children have gone, but what makes shows like Days of Our Lives or General Hospital go on for almost half a century?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Plowing On

This last week was a really good one.  I got quite a bit of progress done on this new short story I'm working on and brainstorming a new piece for Carpe Nocturne.  I kind of dragged my feet a bit on script reading.  I was sent a pretty beefy novel that took a while to get through.  The week was tiring but I didn't lose my optimism.

The weekend felt completely different.  I had a script that seemed to take forever for me to get through; it really didn't take any longer than usual.  I signed up for a new class at UCLA on television writing that cost a pretty penny or two.  All in all, I just felt like I was in a total funky state.  I still got some writing to do and a little reading, but that's pretty much it for tonight.

Roar Shack got rejected from Penumbra a few days ago, but I didn't check my email and get the news until yesterday.  A writer friend of mine, Wendy Fontaine, kept telling me a while ago that for each rejection I ought to send a story out to two other publications.  I ended up sending Roar Shack to three magazines.

I've heard that editors don't really like simultaneous submissions, and I can understand their reasons why, but the taboo be damned!  I remember submitting a story to Tor once.  It took them a year to get back to me.  There's no way I'm sitting on ass waiting for anyone to get to me.  I'm not saying that to come off like a prima dona.  I'm saying it because I could wake up dead tomorrow.

However, if it really does bother you to send a piece to a publication that's against simultaneous submissions, you can search Duotrope for places that allow it.  There are a surprisingly large number that do.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Just Five Minutes

This has been a busy week, so busy that I didn't get a chance to get any writing done until yesterday.  Even then, it wasn't much.  I feel pretty lucky that I got in fifteen minutes.  So far, I've written for fifteen minutes today, and I've got my fingers crossed that I'll get more in.

This is one of those "write whenever you can" kind of weeks.  Life outside of writing keeps going, especially my script-reading internship.  I won't get to the script until tonight, but when I do, I think I can allow myself a five-minute break every quarter of it.  During that time, I'll write my with all my cold, black heart.

It feels a little weird explaining that, but basically, I'm rewarding myself with writing time.  Each time I get through part of the script or the following coverage, in the back of my head, I say, "Congrats!  You did it!  Take a quick breath before moving on."  Plus, I figure it'll give me an hour of writing between the reading and the major sections of a coverage.

In Parks an Recreations lingo, taking little writing breaks is a way to treat yo self.