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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Planting My Posterior at Panera

It's Sunday, which means I'm at Panera in Burbank for my weekly writing group.

I haven't mentioned much about this group.  It started just a few weeks ago, but I really like it.  A lot more than the no-talk one I was in.  It's more sociable and relaxed, and though we don't spend the entire three-hour session chatting away (because then we wouldn't really be working), the atmosphere doesn't make it feel like work at all.

The one downside is that it's not a critique group.  As one writer told me, the secret to good writing is good editing, and the secret to good editing is getting good feedback.  On the bright side, sharing work in this group is an optional thing, which means there's no pressure to deliver.  On the other hand, I kind of miss that pressure.  It reminds me of my Antioch days when we had weekly check-ins throughout the semester.

I don't want to be the first guy to volunteer for this, especially if others don't want to bring their work to the table; it's best to be a give-and-take sort of thing.  Regardless, it's been enjoyable hanging out with other people getting their writing done.

The only thing that really does suck is the wifi.  Oh, God, does Panera have shitty wifi, which in turn makes research sessions move at a snail's pace.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Publications - Roar Shack

I'm pleased to announce that Roar Shack is available on Amazon, both in print and Kindle form.

Pick up a copy.  Read it, absorb it, and let the parasitic eggs feast on your brain-meats.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This Week's Been a Hurricane

Wow!  This week's been quite a ride.  I again have a lot on my plate, especially with creative work, and it's gotten a little overwhelming.

In addition to Roar Shack's acceptance, I started a new class at UCLA.  This one if for television writing, particularly fleshing out the story and getting it to the outline.  It's surprising the journey an episode has to go through before it gets to the first page of a script.

I've also got two flash fiction pieces: Q & A and Where It StartsQ & A is out for submissions, and I'll start revising Where It Starts this weekend.

Revisions continue on my novella The Coast, and I'm plotting a new longer story that I think will be a screenplay.  With all the literary work I've done, a script sounds like a nice change of pace.  Plus, a few of the friends I made during my internship as a reader earlier this year encouraged me to give it a try.  One of the executives said he'd be happy to give it a look even though I don't have an agent.

"Yeah, send something over when you feel ready," he said.  "Lord knows you've earned the right to."

"Roar Shack" has a Home

I'm happy to announce that my short story Roar Shack was accepted this week by The Horror Zine.

This story about a young boy chased by monsters in Echo Park is one I've been working on for some time with revisions continuing even after acceptance.  I'd like to thank Horror Zine's editor Jenni Rector for the valuable feedback she gave in polishing up the story, as well as my friend Ashley Perez who gave me a first reaction on it way back when.

Roar Shack should be out in print in the next few weeks.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The List

This week, I felt that my new short story Q & A was ready to hit the submission meat grinder.  Well, I'm not 100% sure it's perfect, but I think it's ready enough for at least a first round of submissions to a few places.  I'm like that sometimes; send out a piece and if it's universally rejected then it needs a little more fine-tuning.

I entered the story on Duotrope and started searching for publications that might be a good match.  The website said it had none.  Not one.  Now that's odd because Duotrope has thousands of markets listed.

A few years ago, a grad school friend of mine sent me a link for the markets list on Poets and Writers Magazine's website.  It's not nearly as extensive as Duotrope, but I think it's helpful if you want to do a broader search.  You can search by genre, subgenre, format, and payment type.  They tell you whether or not a market allows for simultaneous submissions, and most of them on this list do.

Duotrope is still the #1 search platform for me, but the Poets and Writers list is a pretty solid Plan B.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Simply Complicated

Next week, I'm starting my television writing course at UCLA, one of a few courses in the medium I've got planned ahead.  Eventually, there's a course I'd like to take called Anatomy of the Pilot.

I have the syllabus for the pilot course printed out, and one of the assignments looks to be coming up with at least two series ideas to pitch.  I figured, What the hell?  Why not do some brainstorming for it now?  That's more sluggish my brain gets, you know?  If I think something's coming down the road, I want to get a jump on it as soon as possible.

I've got one idea that's sort of an apocalyptic version of Peter Pan's Lost Boys, but another idea I got is a blend of War of the Worlds with the format of American Horror Story, which is to keep things unpredictable by having different stories in a shared universe.  I don't think I've ever seen a shared universe featured in a TV series before, so it feels like an interesting little experiment.

But, as if the case with each alien invasion attempt I've tried in the past, I'm already feeling overwhelmed by the research for it.  Because it's not like writing a single piece of fiction where you can revise the whole thing for continuity.  For example, if you have the invaders presented in a certain way in one set of episodes, you can't come up with random and disjointed ideas later on because you can't go back and revise those shows that have made it to the air.  I'm thinking of the best case scenario, of course, imagining what would happen if - God help me - I make a pitch and it gets the green light.  It's a concern that I feel valid enough to roll over.

So yeah, I've got a big ol' list of research materials that I could review to come up with some ideas, but I still feel like I'm about to bite off more than I can chew.  The one thing I keep telling myself is to keep things simple.  Take it slowly and don't go off in a mad rush, because that's how you get lost in the woods.

God, I hope I know what I'm doing...