Tiny Nightmares: Paintings In Human Blood

Happy Curious Events Day! As a toast to the strange, I’ve been posting my latest micro paintings in human blood to Instagram. Each painting is 3/4″ or smaller; and like any typical painting I use brushes to apply the media, but mostly for larger areas. How I paint the most minute details is up to your imagination.

Expect to see more pint-sized nightmares, or as I call them, paintmares, like these in the future. I’ll also be selling prints and originals in the future. Stay tuned.

Don’t miss out. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, & Tumblr.

Don’t miss out on more tiny nightmares, painted with human blood. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, & Tumblr.


See Life Through My Eyes, On Instagram

Want to see the world through my eyes? I’m sharing my life on Instagram, right meow. In fact, I just created a public account today and have been sharing (3/4″ x 3/4″) watercolor illustrations painted with my own blood—just in time for Halloween. Follow me @cbaloga 

Celebrate National Book Lover’s Day With #BookVogue


What if you could wear your favorite books? With Polyvore, you can! In honor of National Book Lover’s Day, I’ve just created a very special group called “Book Vogue” for us bibliophiles devoted to fashion. Over the past week or so, you might have even seen a couple posts of mine showing sets based on my admiration of both. The set below is a feminine look befitting the book Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales. I’ve even created a set inspired by author Edgar Allan Poe and a story called, “Under the Thorns” from the book Wake the Wicked.

Wake the Wicked - Lady Horror - #BookVogue

I encourage you to join the “Book Vogue” group on Polyvore to curate your own style sets to show off your unique interpretations of your favorite books, scenes, and authors. It’s up to your literary imagination to create something bibliotastic to inspire the world. Keep an eye out for future contests specific to the “Book Vogue” group where you could win signed author books, art, and more.

Sign up here, on Polyvore, to create your first set and use hashtag #BookVogue on social media.

*Authors and artists, you can hold contests specific to your work by joining “Book Vogue.”

Scranton Arts Seen Gallery Carries ‘Wake the Wicked’ Book

Arts Seen Gallery & Café

The Arts Seen Gallery Co-op & Café is a First Friday venue where one can relax, buy art from NEPA artists, and enjoy the comforts of a radiant café with free wifi. The non-profit organization is located in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania and celebrated it’s Grand Opening Celebration on Friday June 5th, 2015.


I stopped there on Lackawanna Ave. My eyes were magnetized by the words “Art” and “Gallery” on an a-frame message board on the sidewalk.

“Wait,” I said to my friend, Brian, who was walking a good distance ahead of me. “In here.” I motioned him to follow me in a building in front of the board. To our left was a bright storefront café; to our right, a collection of works from local artists; ahead, a tall stand with shelves displaying art—and a book.

For the rest of the day I thought about how wonderful it would be to have my book, Wake the Wicked, sold in a venue that contributes as much to the Scranton art scene as the Arts Seen Gallery does; I was determined to try to get my book in the store.

A day or two later, Brian and I returned to the Gallery. Taking a single paperback from my vintage 1960s American Tourister bag, I pitched Wake the Wicked to Kim Kulagina, volunteer operations manager of Arts Seen Gallery.

I stood in front of her as she scanned my book, giving it a meticulous overview. My palms became wet with sweat until she gave me good news. She accepted the offer to sell it in-store!

After some mandatory business talk, she went on to inform me about all the wonderful happenings of the Gallery. One of them in particular, will be this coming Friday, July 3, at 6:30 PM where a Beatles tribute band, Revolution, will jam out, followed by an open-mic night.

I’ll be sure to attend this First Friday event. I invite all interested parties to come out to Arts Seen Gallery Co-op & Café to support the arts in Scranton. Click here for “A peak behind the curtain; a preview of some of the amazing events/exhibits coming your way this First Friday Scranton July 3, 2015.”

Shop local, read everywhere. Hope to see you there!

Visit Arts Seen Gallery Co-op & Café at 534 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503, call 570-703-0768, or go online at https://www.facebook.com/artsseengallery.

Learn more about the First Friday Scranton art walks online at http://www.firstfridayscranton.com.

Meet Sallee, The Backseat Witch

Sallee the WitchThis is Sallee, the witch who’s been living in the backseat of my car for the last few years.

I’ve been meaning to share this story for a long time. Here’s the anecdote I’d written that put a little more boom in my  2014 Independence Day: While walking passed my car one morning, a rightfully concerned pedestrian saw Sallee in the backseat, not moving, for two days in the scorching heat. On the third day, the pedestrian called 911. . . Read More …

I remember hearing a crescendo of sirens from cop cars and ambulances as they rushed in. It was obnoxious and I was trying to sleep. Unknowing or caring what what the fuss was about, I fell back into a much needed slumber. Hey, when a soul needs rest it could care less if the bed was on fire. I later found out the police and ambulance team told the pedestrian it was just a mannequin. Bet they were all relieved.

Now I’ve heard an ample amount of screaming from teenage girls as they caught sight of Sallee. But never, or so I thought, after getting a closer look, had one continued to think she was still alive. [UPDATE] Since writing the preceding anecdote, a new coworker of mine had also wondered why a “beautiful girl” sat for hours waiting in the backseat of my car each day while I worked. Unbeknownst to me, this went on for a while. The other coworkers knew Sallee by now, but decided to play a prank on the newby by pretending to be oblivious. A few weeks later, the coworker mustered up enough courage to ask me about my “friend” in the backseat. She was relieved. I never asked, but always wondered what she was more concerned about, that the “beautiful” joyriding girl joined me to work every day, or that the girl was dressed in the same Halloween witch getup. Either way, I bet I’d left her with many more questions than I had for her.

Now, if you happen upon a stiff in the backseat of a car, take a closer look. It may just be a defunct mannequin named Sallee.

Happy #WorldGothDay!

How to Make A Stellar Bookmark With Duct Tape

Finished Book MarkDon’t let your bookmark slide away, use duct tape all the way. 

That evening I held an open book, Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, in my left hand—by coincidence, the car was hot as hell. In my right hand I twirled a ratty white ribbon, a quick bookmark substitute at the time, around my fingers.

I take my books everywhere, so it’s no surprise I lose a bookmarks every now and then. Alas, it felt like I lost one for every book I read. In addition to the disappearances, as you can imagine, it led to one more thing being forgotten—my pages, damn it. Read More …

I placed Damned closed on the passenger’s seat and surveyed the back of the car. I had to have something lying around, something more efficient and a bit snazzier than that worn out feather-light string I’d been using.

I didn’t find one thing. I found many. Here are the supplies I collected that were scattered throughout the inside of my car that I used for this tutorial: a cracker box—full before I found it, a roll of galaxy-themed duck tape I just bought that evening, and hair stylist scissors I had packed away from traveling.

Once you’ve gathered these three supplies you can start getting crafty with the first quick three-step method. The second method uses only duct tape to make a more flexible bookmark. Both methods in this tutorial will make for a sturdier, less slippery bookmark while continuing to keep it totally stellar, man.


 Method 1 of 2:
  1. Cut a long strip from the side of cardboard cracker box. For my bookmark, I first cut the whole side panel out and snipped off the little fold at the top.

Bookmark Step One

2.  Roll the stellar duct tape on the front, starting from the top down; then, flip the cardboard to the backside and continue rolling and covering up that side.



3.  Snip excess duct tape and any exposed cardboard.

Bookmark Step Three


 Method 2 of 2:
  1. The second, and easiest, way to make a duct tape bookmark is to roll out the tape double your desired length.
  2. Fold it in half so both halves join, sticky side together.
  3. Cut off any excess.

Stellar! You’re all set to save pages with your sturdy, homemade bookmark!

Share this post with your book-loving friends and show us your bookmark style by posting a photo or link in the comments.

Instant-Print Your Favorite Books With Espresso Book Machine

Readers and authors, celebrate! Print and read your favorite paperback book in minutes.

Excited Finger Reading Book

Readers, have you ever wished the book you wanted could be printed within minutes, on-site, and for immediate in-store pick-up? Students, has a textbook sold out and you need a copy for your next class? Maybe you’d like a last-minute gift for a bibliophile? You’re all shaking your heads yes, but thinking I’m teasing. I’m delighted to let you know your wish has been granted. The future of book manufacturing is here. A revolutionary piece of technology called Espresso Book Machine (EBM) makes titles available for sale worldwide, within minutes. Wahoo! Read More …

As someone who’s an avid reader, worked close to ten years in the book manufacturing/production industry, and is a published author, the concept of the Espresso Book Machine is brilliant and exciting. It’s one of those inventions that has voracious readers wishing it was available at every corner.

Throughout my employment in the book production/manufacturing industry at Offset Paperback, mfrs., I worked my way up to almost every position available at the two Pocono Mountain Rage facilities including, Pre-Press Specialist, Xerox IGEN Printer, and Book Binder and Operator, to name a few. On the massive production floor at POD, most of the bindery machines were the size of a small bedroom and allowed us to bind thousands of quality books a day. The Xerox printers, the same company that services EBM, on the other hand, were each the length of a typical suburban single family Scranton, PA home. EBM is much more compact—small enough to fit in a coffee shop, bookstore, library, or bedroom. Guess that last one is just wishful thinking on my part.

If recent studies indicate young people’s preference for print products, the future of EBM looks promising. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, pew studies show the highest print readership rates are among those ages 18 to 29. Studies also found eighty-seven percent of textbooks for the fall 2014 semester were print books.

I have one more incredible piece of information to share. My book, Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales, has been accepted by EBM and can be printed in minutes on-site or picked up today in-store! I’m so grateful and excited for it to be a part of the Espresso Book Machine.

Cheers to this incredible innovation! Order here or find an Espresso Book Machine near you and get printing. View map here.

P.S. On Demand Books, we’d love one here in Scranton, PA.

‘Wake the Wicked’ Now On Google Play!

Order Google Play

I hadn’t planned for this to be one of my big news posts, but when someone asked me last night if my book, Wake the Wicked, was available on Google Books, and it wasn’t, I needed to make some changes.

With the rising growth of Google Play, I thought, “How could Wake the Wicked not be a part of the store?” I wasted no time in putting my swamp rats to work. And now, after only a few laborious hours, I’m happy to announce it’s arrival to the book store! Click HERE, or the big Google Play image, to order now.

Special thanks to Maureen for the suggestion!

Don’t have Google Play? Here are a few other places to order from:

Kindle | Nook |  KoboiBooks | Google Play | Paperback | Espresso Book Machine