Pay a Pirate, But Not at Sword-Point


Did you realize I know somebody in a pirate band?

Yes, that’s a thing.

Maryland has a pirate band, and their fourth CD is in the works. What’s more: they are, for the first time, crowdfunding it. There are plenty of perks. Even though it just went live yesterday they’ve already got over a quarter of their goal amount pledged!

Details from the Kickstarter page follow:

Pirates for Sail is Maryland’s #1 pirate band! Founded in 2005, we sail under the questionable leadership of Captain Nathaniel “Gute” Morgan, bringing our repertoire of sea shanties, traditional tunes and other piratical music to festivals and parties all along the East Coast. Learn more at or our Facebook page!

Fells Point Privateer Festival 2016
Fells Point Privateer Festival 2016

Crabby Road

Crabby Road will be our fourth full-length studio album, following A Shot Across the Bow (2008), Band on the Rum (2009), Dark Side of the Lagoon (2012), and our 2016 EP Faire Warning.


This is our first crowdfunding campaign, but we have faith that our fans, and pirates around the world, will show their support. The money will be used towards paying for recording and engineering expertise, for the printing and packaging of the CDs, and for royalty payments for song covers. We’ve budgeted for a 15-track album. If we can surpass our goals, we can pay for more studio time, which means more songs! More money = more music!

So join our campaign and follow along with exclusive behind-the-scenes updates! We promise scurvy isn’t contagious.


In addition to Crabby Road itself in either CD or digital formats, we have lots of great stuff to give our backers, including pins, T-shirts, shot glasses, handmade items and more! Check out the different pledge levels to see all the cool stuff you could snag.

(And in case you’re wondering what a Black Spot is, go forth and be educated! Robert Louis Stevenson described it in Treasure Island. Our interpretation will be inscribed with the name of your choice and a personalized message of up to ten words, and will be an ominous and confusing keepsake for generations to come.)

* * *

My Favorite Level

My personal favorite reward level is Lord High Admiral:

You, you amazing person, are a friend of pirates for life! You’ll get everything at the $1000 level, including the private concert, but you’ll also have a pirate to do your bidding! We’re a diverse crew with many skills, so select one personal service from the list below and we’ll do it for you, while the rest of the crew tags along for the fun!

– Black Dog Nate will officiate your wedding (where permitted by law) or MC your special event
– Jackal will give a you a guided tour of the Gettysburg battlefield
– Alice will provide a professional photo shoot of you and your family (or partner, pet, baby, etc.)
– Gute will give a presentation on the history of piracy (perfect for schools or libraries!)
– Mr. Grossnickle will serve as grillmaster for your backyard barbecue (you provide the grill and the meat; we’ll bring the side dishes)
– Thudd will present you with a custom, handcrafted pair of bracers
– Lassie Lyons will give you a beginner or intermediate lesson on the fiddle
– Finn will give you a voice lesson and teach you some sea shanties
– Something we haven’t thought of yet? Talk to us!


  • Access to all campaign updates
  • Your name on Pirates for Sail’s web site
  • Watch a tear fall from One-Eyed Mike’s one eye
  • Live streaming event access
  • Autographed compact disc copy of Crabby Road
  • Digital copy of Crabby Road
  • A personalized handcrafted Black Spot
  • Autographed Pirates for Sail T-shirt (S-XXXL)
  • Limited-edition Pirates for Sail pin
  • Pirates for Sail shot glass
  • In-person concert from Pirates for Sail
  • Personal service from a Pirates for Sail crewmember (see above)

Estimated delivery Apr 2017

Ships to Anywhere in the world
I mean…how do you not get into pirate service? Check out the crowdfunding campaign at

Horror Magnets on Sale!

magnetsEarlier this year a fun project was launched to make available a magnetic word set for horror enthusiasts to make poetry, stories, or scary nonsense on their refrigerators or other household/office objects. The Kickstarter was successful and now, to celebrate National Poetry Writing Month, the price has even been reduced! Conceived by Nathan Rosen, based on horror master Michael A. Arnzen’s virtual “Fridge of the Damned” online, the Fridge of the Damned magnetic word kit is unlike any magnetic poetry set out there!

For more info, or to purchase, please visit

Be An Instigator: Support “Fridge of the Damned” Magnet Kickstarter


What, you might ask, are “Arnzstigation Days?” Something akin to the end time if you must know. That is, the end of a really inventive and entertaining Kickstarter project called the Fridge of the Damned. Are you familiar with those magnets used to create poetry on your refrigerator? Well, horror authors, editors, and enthusiasts Michael A. Arnzen (multi-time Stoker Award winner) and Nathan Rosen have teamed up to make a horror-themed version available for purchase.

As if the product itself wasn’t cool enough, what donors receive in return for contributing…well, how often can you get a day in Las Vegas hanging with horror authors, a pulsing heart, a refrigerator filled with crazy goodies, original art, stories written for you exclusively by the author, and more. Don’t worry, the Fridge of the Damned is fully funded; right now they’re hoping to attain their stretch goal which will enable them to package the magnets in custom tin cases. While they’re closing in on that stretch goal there’s less than a week left for them to receive enough donations.

In the meantime I’m including here on my site some previously unseen work inspired by Michael A. Arnzen’s writing prompts. It is my hope that you enjoy them, and consider investigating the Fridge of the Damned further (unless you’re with law enforcement…seriously, this has nothing to do with those murders!).

Arnzstigation Sonnet
by John Edward Lawson

A man is hogtied, suspended from the ceiling
With fear collecting wet and uncomfortable
Tracing its way down the contours of his belly.
He could be leaking worse than sweat, tears, and mucous.

A boy stands below, admiring his shadow’s
Resemblance to a pregnant spider web while
Caressing a rod segment found at the scrap yard
Before slowly raising it to meet trembling flesh.

The man knows what is coming and squirms, delaying
Inevitable pain only by a fraction.
The rod glides along his torso, to his stomach.
Eyes bulge, blood vessels throb…audible wet ripping:

Bits of metal he was force-fed join the magnet.
Their embossed letters glisten bright as a child’s smile.


And now, if you are interested, here is the set of Dr. Arnzen’s writing prompts I drew from:

+ Treat an everyday object as a magic wand.
+ Discover a collection of ears.
+ Play a horrifying game of pinata.

I ran with ideas 1 and 3, adding in the whole Fridge of the Damned concept of words on metal creating horror. Hey, I even threw in a magnet! You can find more of Dr. Arnzen’s writing prompts at


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