Doug Goodman

Texas Horror Writer. Cadaver Dog Handler.

Doug's Blog

Prepping for Southwest Horror Con

Posted by douggoodman on October 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I will be at the Southwest Horror Convention in McAllen, TX this Saturday and Sunday (booth 4).  This week has been a crazy amassing of logistics and supplies - this is my first time as an artist in an artist alley.  But I've got books, stands, table cloth, more books, bookmarks courtesy of my wife, and short stories that I am going to include in numbered kits that I am creating specially for Southwest Texas Horror Con.  The kits will be numbered, signed, and will include an additional short story.  The Dominion kit will feature a tale of the apocalypse written about McAllen, Texas, where I actually spent a few years as a child.  I will have Warriors of Camlann kits, too.  They will have a story from the sequel, Cult of the Severed Head.


I'm really looking forward to the convention.  I hope to see you there!

Apocalypse Grocery Store Final Tally: The Best and Worst List

Posted by douggoodman on October 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

So for all the engineers, lawyers, and everyone else who likes lists, here is a breakdown, worst to best food I’ve eaten over the past two weeks as part of the Apocalypse Grocery Store Challenge. It makes me hope that animals never take over the world and that we can keep eating from the meats, cheeses, and fresh veggies section of the grocery store.


 

I’ve bolded what I think is the worst meal you could prepare from the grocery store. If you can come up with one more disgusting (edible food only, please), let me know.


 

Pig's feet

Diced rutabagas

Congealed dog food

Asparagus

Baby corn nuggets

Artichoke hearts

Squash with vidalia onions

Caviar

Octopus

Sardines

Canned dog food with gravy

Pickled beets

Collard greens

Okra

Sauerkraut (as long as it is mixed with something)

Spam (uncooked would be much closer to pig’s feet)

Smoked oysters

Potted meat/deviled ham


 

This means the easiest meal on my taste buds would be potted meat/deviled ham/smoked oysters and sauerkraut and okra to wash it down.


 

Biggest shock? Besides that I hate rutabagas, it is probably that the one can of dog food is actually a lot higher on the list than I anticipated. I have it rated over other items from the canned goods isle. It was a beef and liver combination, so it kind of tasted like chunks of hamburger patty in a gravy sauce.


 

What am I going to do with this vast knowledge I have gained? I think I’m going to go out to dinner tonight. Yep. That sounds about right. Texas BBQ sounds good right about now. Maybe some peach cobbler, too. You thinking Rudy’s? Can I go now?

 

Apocalypse Grocery Store Meal Challenge: Meal Five (Pickled Pig's Feet and Other Feets of Glory!)

Posted by douggoodman on October 10, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I am so happy to have Dominion out today.  It is a great feeling to be published.  My thanks go to Gary Lucas and Severed Press for their help and mentoring on my first book with them.  


And now, to the pickled pig's feet:


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I think I have truly discovered one of the worst canned meals you can eat from a grocery store.  I will add this to my review of Pickled Pig's Feet and why I would rather have the dog food:


1. It starts with packaging. It is a see-through jar, and it looks like something was dropped in formaldehyde and decided to sell it to the grocer.


2. And I cannot emphasize this enough, it is meat in vinegar, and I HATE vinegar. So that is a big factor. It was like taking a bite out of a vinegar pear.


3. Pickled meat doesn't do it for me. It's like eating ham that was left out in the rain. Now, I don't have the world's broadest pallet, but I've enjoyed crawdads and lobsters and I've enjoyed tripas and menudo and I've become cool with sushi, and octopus and sardines and caviar are fine, too. But the meat of a pig stored in vinegar? Sorry, y'all. I'd rather have the dog food.


This review should come as no surprise then:


Taste: 0


Smell:  1


Texture:  1


Apperance:  1


Would I eat it to survive the apocalypse:  If there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING on the grocery store shelf, including a few inedible objects, I might try this, but only after a long period of time without nourishment.  About an hour after eating, a bit of it wanted to come back up.  This one's just not for me.  And the asparagus and artichoke hearts were right up there with it.  


Rabbit test:  Artichoke hearts, he loved.  Asparagus repulsed him.


Dog test:  I can't believe she ate it, but there was also some unfortunate steak that went bad, too.  So I guess if I was hungry enough to eat steak with little white mold spores on it, then I would be hungry enough to eat pickled pig's feet.


Thanks for watching, and now go buy my book!

Apocalypse Grocery Store Meal Challenge: Meal Five (See Food!?!)

Posted by douggoodman on October 8, 2014 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks for keeping up with the videos.  Meal five was octopus, fish eggs, and sardines, with squash/vidala.


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Taste:  4


Smell:  5


Texture:  3


Appearance:  2 (orangey-bubbly caviar, fish-hide sardines, and tentacles-with-suckers octopus just don't look appetizing).


Would I eat it again to survive the apocalpyse?  You bet.  This was probably the best meal I've had.  Once you get beyond any stigmas you may have of eating octopus, sardines, or caviar, it is a pretty tasty meal.  However, the octopus was really oily.  If you are being hunted by monsters that can track you down, I don't know that you would want all that oily scent on you.  Also, the caviar feels like 1 part fish eggs, 2 parts salt.


Rabbit test:  Didn't like the squash or the okra.


Dog test:  Dog had no problem eating the meats.


Okay, tomorrow is my last meal.  I'm going to celebrate with that oddest of southern foods, pig's feet!!!

Apocalypse Grocery Store Meal Challenge: Meal Four (My Dog Eats My PR)

Posted by douggoodman on October 6, 2014 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)
This is it.  The final week before Dominion launches.  I'm going to challenging my gastronomical nerves every day this week leading up to the release.  I want to thank everyone who has been reading and pre-ordering my first book with Severed Press.  I am very grateful for you all, and your support has been tremendous.  For everyone else, you can still pre-order Dominion for $2.99 on Amazon.


So, today was Mad Max Monday.  And like in Mad Max, I was going to eat some dog food.  This was a popular suggestion by people. Everyone wants to see me eat dog food, apparently, and man, that's cool by me.  I'm enjoying the chance to try some new things, even if a few of them are a little hard to choke down.  :)


First off, as a reminder, here is the clip from Mad Max (Roadwarrior, one of the best films to grace cinema).


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Hmmm...seems portentuous of things to come.  Here is me trying the dog food, with my quasi-blue heeler playing the role of Mad Max's dog.


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Gawd, that congealed mass of dog chicken/beef/liver is gross.  I mean, gross doesn't do it justice, you know.  It is second only to the canned rutabagas in grossness level.  While I could probably live a couple of days on the beef and liver with gravy, the congealed dog food, which looked like it had juicy little bits of worms in it (it was fat, I think), just tasted...blechhh!  Nastiness amplified.  The taste is still in my mouth a half hour later.  My wife has ordered me to brush my teeth and use listerine, and I can see why.

But let's be honest, that's just damn funny cause my dog is trying to eat the dog food.

For consistency, here is what I rate dog food:

Taste:  2

Texture:  2

Smell:  3

Appearance:  3

Willingness to eat to survive the apocalypse:  Depends on the can.  I can tell you one thing is for sure, if all I had to eat was that congealed garbage, I'd be scrounging for dandelions real quick.

Dog Test:  A++++++++  Mojo, let me eat!!!

Please go pre-order Dominion if you get a chance.  It will be available in paperback and e-book on October 10.


Dominion: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller

Posted by douggoodman on October 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the week that Dominion hits Amazon.  I am unbelievably excited about releasing this book.  Not just because it is my first book with Severed Press, and not just because it is my first book with a small press, but because I really believe in this book.  One of my long-time readers has already called it their favorite thing I've written, which I take as a high complement.  And I would have to agree, too. 


What I find special about Dominion is that it isn't your typical post-apocalyptic novel.  I really wanted to go into a different direction, and what I mean is that everywhere I read, everything I saw, the only people to survive an apocalypse were the people who would have the skills/equipment to survive the apocalypse.  Take The Walking Dead, for instance.  Perhaps the greatest zombie apocalypse story written, but at the heart of it is the story of people set up to survive.  The sheriff and the vet figure heavily in the story.  So while the story is about the lack of things, it is populated with people with the right skill set to survive without those things. 


I wanted to go in a different direction, which is why I chose to write about a group of friends of various ages, but the main ones have just graduated high school.  They are moving on in their lives and finding their place in the world, whether that is in college or as a musician or wherever the road is going to take them.  But just as they are set to go out into the world, the world is blown to hell on them.  And they do not have the skills to survive in this new world.  They were still harnessing the skills they needed to survive in the old one.  I wanted to explore these characters.  How would they survive when none of them are law enforcement, military, mechanics, doctors, nurses, etc.  How do they survive?


Not well, as the story starts.  It begins with the group of friends holed up in the attic of a house in their subdivision south of Houston.  They are hiding from all the new predators out in the world.  So they have customized the attic towards their safety.  They have done some sound-proofing and they have modified it so they can see outside.  Part of the roof even comes off.  Some of the boys have become scavengers and scouts.  They go out into the subdivision and search for food.  But food and resources are scarce, and as anybody who lives in Houston knows, the summer is intense.  I got up in the attic the other day to pull down Halloween decorations, and it was hot up there.  Can you imagine an attic in August?


Some of the friends want to leave the relative safety of the attic.  Others want to head north, believing that in the cold there will be less monsters about.  They don't want to separate.  These are friends who have known each other for years.  But they have to figure out who they are, and what their friendship means to each other.  How important a part of survival is their friendship?


The other side of the story, the other part that really attracted me to the story is what I call Hell's Menagerie.  My idea was that if zombies could take over the earth, why not animals?  They couldn't be the same animals as we have today.  They would have to evolve, and very quickly.  They would have to become like mega-fauna from the Ice Age.  They would have to become monstrous.  So the biologist in me got to have the time of his life coming up with ways to turn creatures into abominations of the animal kingdom.  I started small, with creatures like grackles, which are more intelligent (and always mean-looking if you ask me).  I played with maggots and cockroaches and rats and rabbits.  I decided that the day of this apocalypse, the millions and millions of dogs and cats living so close to humans would play an integral role, so I added teeth, increased size, and changed shapes.  Then I thought about the predators of our continent, the snakes and eagles and wolves.  Hornets.  Bears.  I had fun. 


I would like you to take a chance on the book and take a chance on friendship surviving the apocalypse.  Dominion is available for pre-order at Amazon for $2.99.  On October 10th, the book will be released. 




Apocalypse Grocery Store Meal Challenge: Meal Three (Barf Farts)

Posted by douggoodman on October 4, 2014 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Less than a week till Dominion debuts!   I’m excited!   It is still on sale for pre-order at Amazon.com.

 

Tonight was an easy one: Spam, sauerkraut, and okra. Nothing my taste buds hadn’t had before in one form or another. Spam, who hasn’t had on a campout or somewhere at one point in their lives? Sauerkraut is a Chicago favorite, and mine, too. Put it on a hotdog, add a wedge of pickle and tomato, and we’re going to have a good day. Okra I have had a million times, but always fried. This is my first time with the unfried variety.

 

Here is a shot of the food still in its cans. The okra didn’t look good. Half the can was water, which made the okra look less than okay. (Yes, that was an attempt at humor. Nothing but the best for you!)

Anybody want a coupon for Spam?


Photo by my son

"Barf farts," my son called it

The sauerkraut was pungent, to say the least. Its taste followed accordingly – very, very strong. Mixing it with the okra made it all taste fine, or at least better. Mr. Bun-bun had a different opinion, though. Here is his bowl two hours after being fed to him:

Don't turn your back on me, rabbit!!!

The dogs as hard of a time with the Spam as they did with the smoked oysters, which is to say that I turned around and it was all gone.

 

So is this something you could survive on? Yes. Definitely yes. One of the better meals, in my opinion, so if you find yourself looking for food after the apocalypse, I recommend these. Of note, though, this is a HIGH salt meal. I think I had an entire day’s worth of salt in one sitting. So I don’t think I could do this for too long without dealing with hypertension issues.

 

So here is the breakdown for all you engineering types:

Taste: 4

Smell: 3

Texture: 4 (the potted meat was kind of slimy)

Appearance: 4 (Once drained, the okra looked edible. Also, there is something to be said for the appearance of uncooked Spam. It looks kind of like a wet piece of biomass or a bucket of chicken fat.)

Willingness to eat again to survive the apocalypse: 5, especially if I could have cooked it.

Rabbit test: Fail!!! Two hours later, the rabbit didn’t touch anything.

Dog test: Pass. Dog’s loved it as much as any other meat.

 

Okay, I think I have one more “easy” meal of deviled ham and black olives before I step into another realm of nastiness. I saved all the best foods for next week, right before Dominion goes on sale

 

Apocalypse Grocery Store Food Challenge: Meal Two

Posted by douggoodman on October 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I am eating some food from the grocery store that I think would still be there after the end of the world.  I am doing this to celebrate my first novel with Severed Press, Dominion.  It is available for pre-order now through October 10 on Amazon. 

 

After the rutabagas and corn nuggets of my first meal, I was a little nervous about this one.  I decided to videotape it rather than type it all up.  (I am writing my second novel for SP, Goliad, so a rest from the keyboard seemed wise.)


For fun, my daughter filmed me eating the disgusting food.  (Spoiler:  it wasn't so disgusting.)


Here is where the video from youtube would be if I could insert it.  For now, I'll just give you a picture of the food:


Looks yummy, right?


So, I started with the collard greens.  It was a lot like spinach (go figure) and celery combined.  Not bad, though I didn't like the smell.  The pickled beets, though?  A little ugh.  Just a LOT of salt in those beets.  Like somebody dropped a salt shaker in that jar.  The part everybody here thought would be gross, the oysters, was the best.  Not on the video, I later tried one with a cracker, and it was even better.

Taste:  4

Smell:  2

Texture:  3

Appearance:  2

Willingness to eat again to survive the apocalypse:  4  I could do a few meals, and I would push down more beats and smoked oysters than baby corn nuggets and rutabagas, but I don't know how quickly I would tire of the saltiness.

Rabbit Test:  Rabbit LOVED collard greens.  Ate the beets without a problem, too.  This was a huge improvement over the rutabagas and corn nuggets, which the rabbit ignored.  (Rabbits don't ignore veggies.)

Dog test:  Fed the oysters to the dogs.  As expected, the dogs gobbled them down without flinching.  Little meat grinders, those two.



 

Apocalypse Grocery Store Food Challenge: Meal One

Posted by douggoodman on September 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I launched into the first day of my Apocalypse Grocery Store, a little anxious, but confident that nothing would kill me today because I made sure to put on my plate some of the more palatable (read: better known to me) foods.  So today was potted meat, ruabagas, and baby corn nuggets.

 

Yum!

How bad can they be?  They're heart healthy!

 

To help me compare and contrast foods down the line, I even came up with a handy-dandy list of categories that would allow me to rank the food.  I would judge my meal based on taste, smell, texture, sight, and whether or not I would be likely to keep eating this food to stay alive after an apocalypse.  I then added two more categories:  rabbit test and dog test.

 

 

I found a floater.  I never could decide if it was a bug, dirt, or corn nugget dregs.  If it was the apocalypse, would I care?  I decided to heat up the nuggets anyway.

 

Since potted meat is just chopped up Vienna sausages, I didn't mind them too much, but they did smell kind of like plastic hotdogs.  The baby corn nuggets were crunchy, but I could only eat three before I stopped.  The rudabagas, however, are not my thing.  I seriously felt a little ill after eating them.  I made some gasping noises that would have made Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) smile, and I was done with them.  (Unfortunately, they were not done with me, as I could still taste the rudabagas two hours later.  Ugh!)  Can you believe this stuff is put in a custard?  I wished I still had some potted meat to fend off the taste. 

 

So here is how I ranked the meal on a score of 1-5:

Taste:  3

Smell:  3

Texture:  2 (the potted meat was kind of slimy)

Appearance:  4 (despite their godawfulness, rudabagas look kind of like diced pears)

Willingness to eat again to survive the apocalypse:  3, if only because I could have put aside the baby corn nuggets and rudabagas.  Seriously, those rudabagas were nasty.

Rabbit test:  Ate one baby corn.  Three hours later, most of the baby corn was finally gone, but most of the rudabagas were still there.  So not even my rabbit, which has eaten just about every veggie known to man, did not like the food listed on today's apocalypse menu.

Mr. Bun:  Please, PLEASE don't make me eat this foulness!

Next up:  ...?