Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 279)

I Survived Denver Comic-Con, and All I Got Was This…

I survived Denver Comic-Con, and all I got was a stupid Nakitomi Plaza Parking Permit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, I got a few other things, but none of them cost more than a dollar.  Or were eaten before I left for home.

Friday:

I was on a panel for Indie Book Publishing with Marla Bell, Lisa Manifold, and Michaela Mills.  We could have talked about marketing for hours.  One of the things Lisa said stuck with me:  “Find your tribe.”

Yeah,  yeah, right right, says me, I’ve found it.  Then she said, “For your genre.”

D’oh!  I’m in several indie publishing groups, but nothing for indie sf/f, horror, or mystery.

Hmmm…sounds like it’s time to do some research.

Then came Letters Written From Hell, a pleasant sort of panel about what makes horror writers tick.  I moderated that one, and was sure to establish that horror writers weren’t nuts…or at least handled their issues better than the average bear.  That panel starred Shannon Lawrence, Jason Dias, Emily Godhand, and Patrick Hester.

We established that horror writers may be slightly weighted toward people raised Catholic (3 of 5 panelists), and that in a hypothetical novel written by all five of us, the audience greatly preferred to have Shannon as the psychotic antihero, and darling Emily Godhand writing the bad guy.  Apparently, readers like plot twists.  Who knew?  And also Patrick’s space spiders…

Friday’s panels were wrapped up with Favorite Horror Tropes, moderated by Melissa Sauer Locy, and also starring Veronica R. Calisto, Emily Godhand, Stace Johnson, and Shannon Lawrence.

Okay.  I’m gonna admit that I mostly blanked this one out.  There were soooo many people and my brain was kind of on static by that point.  I remember talking about child abuse and The Babadook.  That’s about it.

Friday photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rincewind and Twoflower from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.  I first spotted Rincewind from behind, circled around to check that it was a “wizzard” hat, slyly pulled out my phone, and said, “May I take a picture?”

“If you wait a moment, you can get Twoflower, too.”

!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure if these are particular furries or just furries in general.  But the girl was 100% delighted to get a selfie with them.  I couldn’t help but smile.

Saturday:

The first panel of the day was Creating Believable MonstersMatt Bille moderated.  He has a love of scientifically valid monsters that I just can’t equal.  The important thing to me is that the characters believe the monsters they face, not that the monsters could really exist.  But we discussed that ahead of time, and Matt handled the disagreements gracefully.  Also on the panel were Fleur Bradley, Veronica R. Calisto, Stace Johnson, and Shannon Lawrence.

Looking at my notes (I always bring paper to these things, because someone always makes a book recommendation that I regret not writing down), Xenomorphs are underlined twice and the word aliens has an exclamation point and a box around it, which cracks me up.

My favorite monsters were:

  • Hannibal
  • The Tunnbaq from The Terror
  • Zombies

Shannon Lawrence pointed out that all my monsters were either cannibals or were known to have eaten people, and that I should probably figure out why that was.  (I had mentioned earlier that my short story collection A Murder of Crows: Seventeen Tales of Monsters & the Macabre is full of cannibalism.)  But I already know the answer.  I’m a foodie; everything wonderful is delicious and everything terrible is rotten.  My stories always have someone vomiting in them, because that is the worst.

Then came Not Just Novels: Writing Different Lengths, where we talked a lot about short stories and the mysterious Novella and Novellette lengths, where nobody’s quite sure what they’re trying to accomplish (even writers).  The panel was moderated by Shannon Lawrence, and included Fleur Bradley, Jason Dias, Stace Johnson, and Carolyn Kemp, who was wearing a wonderful gothy steampunk costume that made me realize I wouldn’t recognize her to see her again.*  I become easily confused when people change their hairstyles, and I can rarely recognize people from their Facebook photos if they’ve done their hair differently.  At all.

Which is kind of ironic because I don’t keep my hair the same.  I have a bob, but it needs help; right now it looks like generic Mom Hair, so I have it pulled back in a ponytail.

*I looked her up online in her civvies.  I think I got it.

Saturday photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This gentleman seemed to be completely unaware of the possibility of this young and very hungry dino baby turning around and eating his face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Moxxi and Handsome Jack from the Borderlands series.  I reeeeaaaallly wanted them to do the voices, but they couldn’t do them.

“Hey, sugar…”

Other Saturday Stuff:

I met Paul Roman Martinez, who is doing a cover for an anthology that Jamie Ferguson and I are putting together–more news on that soon 🙂

I helped distract a baby on a changing table.  MOM powers took over.  He was like “Imma roll off this table,” and his mom was like “Oh no you won’t.”  So I stood there and distracted him while costumed characters walked behind us.  Which makes me more interesting then Harley Quinn, at least according to one six-month-old kid.

I stopped for lunch at a retro diner called Sam’s No. 3, where I sat at the bar with two people who spotted my badge and wanted to know if I was from that comic-book thing.  I told them that it was a farm & home show for nerds.  “What about all those costumes?” “It’s really just like supporting your favorite sports team.  Just for fun.”  I feel like I fought the good fight for nerdery, but did not win any wars.

Sunday:

I only had one panel on Sunday, the Black Mirror and the Evils of Technology Panel, which I moderated.  I assumed it was at 5:30 in room 405, because of course I did.  It was at 4:30 in room 605, which I checked at about 2:30, because I’ve lived with myself long enough to have learned to double-check things.

Now, I like the show, even though it also makes me miserable, but I only started watching it recently; my husband Lee told me that I’d hate it (based on the first episode).  But I had volunteered to moderate panels, damn it, and there I was, moderating a panel that was now no longer on the 400 (writer) track, but on the 600 (general fandom) track.

Which meant that almost everything I had prepared was no good.

Fortunately, my panelists were excellent.  They were Shannon Lawrence, Veronica R. Calisto, Stace Johnson, and David R. Slayton.  They adjusted on the fly in front of what looked like several hundred people.

Erk…but it was the best of the panels I was on, in my opinion, because everyone there was so filled with energy and delight–over a rather horrific show.

Sunday Photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local signage.  This might be my new motto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delirium, from Sandman.  It was too crowded to catch her shoes, which didn’t match.

Other Stuff:

You may have noticed that a lot of the panelists were the same–that’s because Shannon Lawrence did all the organizing to set this up, which turned out to be a lot more organization than she expected. Kudos to her.

Going into Denver Comic-Con this time, I carried the attitude that the con was just going to make me miserable, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again.  I had a great time, though, and feel like I learned quite a bit by observing people and what they loved, from their costumes to what they carried around with them.  I may write something up about that later.  But now I feel like I’d like to do this again, if I have the opportunity.  And I recommend going if you have the chance.

The Tale of a Book that Failed…


…or that at least didn’t succeed as hoped.

Once upon a time, I wrote a book for a ghostwriting client.  It was one of those dream projects that paid pretty well and that I had a lot of freedom on.  The only requirement was that it have some kind of sci-fi element to it.

The client and I went back and forth on what the book would be like.  I told him I wanted to write something cyberpunk-ish about an element of technology that had gone horribly wrong.  But not so much a gadget or a gizmo that had gone wrong…how about a drug? He loved the idea, and we went forward with designing the tale of a detective investigating an empathy drug gone wrong.  The drug ends up causing permanent and debilitating brain damage to the users–it makes them so empathic that they have trouble defending themselves from bad people–which a serial killer with a strangely apt sense of empathy (but no mercy) takes advantage of.

The Giver was born.

The client loved the book.

And then, somewhere in the middle of writing book 2 in the series, his business died.

Normally, I take this kind of thing in stride.  However, I had put a lot of myself into this book.  I’m the kind of person that gets targeted by life’s little sociopaths–or at least I was.  (I decided, not coincidentally, near the end of 2016 that it was time to stop suffering fools gladly.)  So when I heard this book would never see the light of day, well, I was disappointed, to put it mildly.

And broke, because suddenly I’d just lost my job working on book 2.

The client gave me a choice:

Take back the rights on book 1, etc., and write off all the money he owed me, or…get paid.

I took back the rights and decided to make something of what I’d written.

Here was my thought:

  • The book was designed to be published under a male pen name.
  • The POV character is male.
  • There were some sexist things I left in the text because I believed that the character would see the world that way, and I didn’t want my (female) name to be a distraction because of that.
  • And I’ve always wondered:  would it be easier to make sales under a male pen name?  I’ve heard that trying to publish romances under a male pen name is excessively hard*; maybe trying to publish cyberpunk under a female name would be similarly so.

Dean Kenyon was born.

The book came together, and I still liked it, so I published it May 7th and set it up for five free days on Amazon to start with, hoping to generate a review or two.  I sent it out to this list, crossing my fingers.

The giveaway went great.  I had previously run two similar giveaways for books under my me-name (DeAnna Knippling) and a middle-grade pen name (De Kenyon).  Neither one made half of the numbers of the Dean Kenyon giveaway.

And then…crickets.

I’ve advertised this book as much as I do my bestseller, but…I can barely get any views.  There are no reviews on this book!  I can’t get anywhere with it.

So, a month later, I’m just going to conclude that I can’t get the answers I want about the male vs. female pen names without reviews to help assure readers that the book isn’t complete crap.

I have to swallow my pride.

I wrote this book I really love.  It’s quite the adventure, a lot of fun in my opinion.  But I need help getting reviews out.
I’m going to hit up everyone I know and ask them if they’d like a copy.  And I’m going to try to wrassle up some reviews.

You are, of course, under no obligation to read the book.  You are even under less obligation to like it.  And, seriously, no hard feelings if you don’t review it.  (Although I will note that if you review it and hate it, it still helps me out, as strange as that might seem.)

But if you know someone who might be interested, I’ve got a free copy for them.  Just send them my way, at

publisher [at] wonderlandpress [dot] com

And I’ll send them a review copy.  Or send them to the Instastafreebie link.

Thank you, and wish me luck 🙂

*Except for the redoubtable M.L. Buchman, who uses his initials.

The link to the free Instafreebie copy (multiple formats) is here.  You can buy a copy here, but it’s only Amazon so far.

Mindsight:  Company Justice #1

No idea is so good it can’t go bad.

Frank Mallory is a private detective working for a new type of detective agency: a well-organized one. Private Eyes, Inc., has the latest in data analysis, training techniques, cross-discipline integration, illicit back-door deals, and cynical programmers who don’t care what they have to do as long as they don’t lose their benefits.  PEI has it all covered.

The right mix of idealism and plausible deniability can work wonders.

But that doesn’t mean that Frank’s in the clear when he starts work on a case involving the new designer drug Mindsight.  Mindsight is a miracle drug.  It won’t give you telepathy, but it comes close, triggering a wave of pure empathy that helps treat everything from domestic violence to schizophrenia.

The problem is, if you take too much of it, you’ll understand someone else’s point of view…all the way to death.

Of course a serial killer starts butchering Mindsight addicts.  As if nobody could see that coming.  All he has to do is ask nicely.  And maybe offer a little something the victim can’t refuse.

The real twist is when one of his victims fights back…and takes down a cop, saying that he admitted to being the serial killer before he died.

Frank’s hired to find solid, incontestable proof that the man, someone he used to work with, is actually the murderer, so a rich man’s daughter, the purported victim, can walk free.

Seems straightforward, right?

Right.

Book 1 in the Company Justice series, starring Frank Mallory.

(Some violence, not much gore or strong language.  Some unpleasant empathy moments.)

Reminder re: Failure

I don’t have much time this week to blog (a deadline is a week earlier than I thought it was!!!), but I’ll get back to the study series as soon as I can.

 

Failure is life’s way of telling you that you need to change.  Not necessarily that you need to completely dump all of your life’s plans and start all over again.  Maybe something small.

Maybe it’s just “stop being so damned impatient, keep getting better at what you’re doing, and just wait.”

We all have to scrape ourselves out of despair sometimes.  This week was mine 🙂

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Pikes Peak Writers’ Conference 2018 Wrap-Up

Books I was recommended:

  • Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh
  • The Silence, by Tim Lebbon
  • The Well-Fed Writer, by Peter Bowerman

This list is shorter than I like, but I do have permission to ask Jonathan Maberry for some good action/horror titles.

Book to Study:

  • The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler, as per Laura Hayden’s mystery class.

Books I would like to demand get written:

  • Nonfiction forensics book by Megan Rutter.
  • A book on…how to say this?  Disrupting your assumptions from an anthropological (and feminist) basis, by Kristy Ferrin.

Books I want to write:

  • The Writing Class, a meta-mystery about a class designing a murder mystery.  Laura Hayden taught a class on reverse-engineering a mystery and I was fortunate enough to sit next to someone who suggested the frame story.
  • A book on intermediate fiction techniques to start studying/picking apart.

Class I need:

  • I want Sue Mitchell to teach a “how to be a freaking presenter” class, because I am still screwing this up, especially every time a mic is involved.

Special thanks to:

  • Kameron Claire, who ranted about men hearing about something on the Internet and deciding they’re experts on it, while women undersell themselves brutally.  It was timely.  Fine!  I am enough of an expert 🙂

This is the first year that I’ve stayed in a hotel for a writers’ conference.  It was bliss.  When I needed to run off for a bit and hide, I could do it.  I didn’t even have to keep shouting, “This one is occupied” every five minutes as I hid in a toilet stall.  Linda Tschappat, besides having worked her ass off as the Green Room volunteer all weekend, made for an awesome roommate, too.

I got to hang out with Megan Rutter on Thursday as she took over the full morning session that she was supposed to share with Pete Klismet, who was in the hospital.  I learned more about jurisdiction than I thought I would ever need to know.  Now, as my husband watches Supernatural, I crack up every time they walk into the room and claim to be FBI agents.  That’s how unexpectedly amusing that information was.

Thursday afternoon I moderated Pam McCutcheon’s synopsis class, where we worked on log lines and back cover blurbs.  She was incredibly supportive and generous with her advice, and our small group positively bathed in all that attention.  How often do you get that chance?

I taught a class on Pacing, in which like five people walked out…and everyone’s faces were glazed over. As I spoke, I felt ashamed of every minute that I tortured people with the indigestible information I was delivering. But after the class several people thanked me.  I was more relieved than I can ever say.

I figured out a Story Game and tested it out on a few people.  I’ll blog about that separately.  It feels like its own private victory.

I went to Megan Rutter’s poisons class, which was jam-packed with info, but just made me realize I need to read up more on poisons.

As mentioned, Laura Hayden’s class on reverse-engineering a mystery was inspirational.  I absolutely need to write a mystery featuring a stalker as the amateur detective now (around which the writers’ class is framed).

I sat on a horror panel with Steve Saffel and Jonathan Maberry, and I’m not gonna lie, I was sure I was going to shit a brick.  But it went great!  In the end, Steve (an editor at Titan Books) said something like, “This just inspires me to buy more horror.”  Mission accomplished.  My fellow horror writers, you can thank me later.

I taught a class on How to Study – the same stuff that I’m blogging about here.  Obviously, I’ve been running out of time lately and need to finish blogging that.  I think that went better than the pacing class, but also it was hot in the room and I was telling people to do more work that wasn’t actually writing (ugh, I know), and so people weren’t as jazzed when they got done.  Except for one person…I won’t name her in case she doesn’t want to be called out.  She asked a ton of questions.  And I went, “She’s the one who gets published.  Maybe not soon, I don’t know.  But she does.”

I went to Kristy Ferrin’s Whores, Sluts, and Prostitutes class, which turned out to be a class on questioning your cultural assumptions.  At first I was a bit doubtful, but I soon began to see what she was doing.  A real “aha!” moment.  I just wish she had more time and gone on longer…

Mariko Tatsumoto gave a class on multicultural novels that was fun, straightforward, and practical.  I always feel like I’m putting a foot in my mouth when I’m including cultures I didn’t grow up with in my stories (I probably am), but this makes me feel better about how to research and winging it when I can’t find what I need.  Ahhhhh…

The rest of the time I spent talking.  Okay, I did do some hiding up in my room.  But mostly I stopped and talked to people.  How did your pitch go?  What’s a good copywriting book?  Everybody has an interesting bio, are you kidding me? You studied to be a paleontologist.  It’s a dark and stormy night…

The speakers were all good, the hotel was good, I suffered a little bit less than usual from imposter syndrome, and I can only feel grateful to the organizers and volunteers.  PPWC helped raise me up from a baby writer.  I can only feel proud of attending, and hopeful that once again they might have me back 🙂

 

 

 

Book Business Idea If You Want One: Tailored Indie Book Boxes

I’ve never understood Book of the Month clubs.  But then…I read a lot of books.*

I signed up for a clothes of the month club, basically.  AND WHOAH.  THEY SEND ME CLOTHES I LIKE AND I DON’T HAVE TO BE OVERWHELMED WITH ALL THE SHOPPING AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT THEY FIT.

Am I willing to pay a premium for that?

Insert whimper-nod here.

Inspired by my clothes-of-the-month boxes, I’ve gone onto Amazon to look for more clothes.  Yay!  Clothes!

I have yet to buy clothes for myself from Amazon.  Too much stuff, no way to tell if it fits, NO accounting for tastes or quality, oh ye gods too much stuff.  Meh.

I’m not sure what that means for me, personally, but I think there’s room out there for a similar service that does indie books.  Indie book boxes, catered to your individual tastes.  Not “everyone read the same book this month” club.  But “I read some Le Carré the other day and liked it.  What have you got like that in indie?” club.  Say one print or e-book a month, selected by readers in the genre, with the option to hit a button and have the rest of the series sent to you automatically–all at once, when they come out, or one a month, whatever.

Charge the authors a nominal reading fee and Bob’s your uncle.

 

BUY MY CRAP:  I have a new short story out, “The Foundations.” When your basement is haunted in your brand-new house AND THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.  Short horror story, 99c. Click here.

 

*I used to be part of the Science Fiction Book Club, back when I lived in a small town with an underfunded library and an hour’s drive to the nearest bookstore (and was like, “OMG!  Only an hour!” because we’d moved from somewhere even more remote).   This was before Amazon.  I still have my collected Amber series hardbacks.

November Writing Updates

November was a busy month.  No NaNoWriMo, but I still accomplished about 130,000 words this month all told.

  • Finished the ghostwritten adventure thriller, finally. WHEW.  Soundtrack:  Vocal Sea Shanties.
  • Finished the ghostwritten cozy (second in its series) on time, although with changes to the plot.  The stuff in the outline wasn’t working, and the client indicated several times that delays were unacceptable, so I fixed it on the fly, which seems to have worked out after some drama.  Soundtrack:  The Roaring Flapper Playlist.  No flappers were harmed during the course of this story.
  • Started a ghostwritten near-future thriller, the second in its series. I LOVE this series, and it disappoints me not to be able to brag about it.  I’m listening to Psybient’s Greatest Anthems as I write.
  • Getting ready to write the outline for the next in the adventure thriller series.  The client’s high-concept pitch on this was amazing.  I can only hope to hit that someday.
  • Got a delay on a short story that ran long, another episode in the A Fairy’s Tale series.  Next time I start a series, I’m gonna come up with a better damn series title.  This story is called By Winter’s Forbidden Rite.  Soundtrack:  House on the Hill from Tabletop Audio (scroll down).
  • Finished an actual short story in a possible new YA paranormal series, which I don’t generally write.  (Wait…I should come up with a good series title, shouldn’t I?  I haven’t yet.)  A kid who feels like his life is a dead end finds meaning in swindling people for money using some bullshit fortune-telling skills and a few nudges from his Holmsian little brother.  Doctor Rudolfo Knows All.  This is based on the Grimm’s fairy tale “Doctor Know-All.”  Soundtrack:  This one was short enough and came out fast enough that I didn’t have one.
  • Back to writing Under Twilight’s Spreading Blight finally, from the A Fairy’s Tale series.  See, just don’t start your series names with “A,” because it gets lame typing that out every time.  Just don’t.  This book is upsetting to write, because it features all the love and backstab.  Soundtrack:  Shostakovich!  Waltz #2 and String Quartet #8.
  • Finished multiple flash fiction pieces, because I was enjoying the October flash fiction so much.  They’re out on submission and are mostly short SF things.

November Wrap-Up

November was a kind of tipping point for me, although what it is exactly that I tipped between, I’m not sure.  It feels like I tipped between “not confident” and “confident” on a personal level, as in, “She is a confident person.”  But where that came from or what it means, I don’t know.  It’s probably a bunch of little things getting resolved or addressed over time.  I had to say “no” to several people on a personal level; I brooded on the matter for some time, but eventually came to the conclusion in various cases that I didn’t have time for drama, but I did have time to shop for clothes.  Plus I took a personality quiz that said I was confident now, and you know how those are always accurate.

I’m looking ahead to next year already (as you do), and I’ve decided that I need to spend more time working on my own writing, and less time getting my own writing out–that is, I need to get my writing out, but I need to be more efficient about it.

Methods I’m currently testing out:

  • Write 3K a day of my own stuff, first thing in the morning.  Results so far: GREAT.  This has been taking me 70-80 minutes in 10-minute bursts.  The fingers are FLYING.  A drawback is going, “Uh…you finished this story with 600 words to spare.  Now what?”  Answer:  Flash fiction.
  • Start stripping down existing processes to a simpler routine/template in order to save time.  Results so far:  I’m dropping Smashwords and Kobo in my direct uploads process.  I’m still uploading to Amazon and Draft2Digital.  The Kobo promo pages haven’t been doing much for me, so I feel that I can move Kobo direct sales over to D2D without much of a loss.  Smashwords has never done me a whole lot, and I’m finally just saying, “That’s another 10 minutes every time I have a book to upload that I don’t want to deal with.”  I’d already ditched Smashwords .doc files and was using .epubs only.  Still in testing:  should I switch over to InDesignCC or stick with my outdated CS2 version?  How much time can I save?  Can I convert straight to HTML or epub?  If so, how clean is that code?
  • Start shifting more work from my desk to a virtual assistant/contractors.  Not started yet.  I feel that I need to get the routine solid and efficient before I start asking other people to feel my pain.

I feel overwhelmed right now, because only one minimal efficiency has occurred at this point, and I have to spend extra time trying to work all this stuff out.  BAH.  But at least I’m writing waaaay more of my own stuff.  Something that occurs to me is that I’ll probably stop putting out short stories by themselves as separate ebooks, and concentrate more on story collections.  If I keep writing at this speed, it won’t take much longer to get them done and out.

Talk to the Hand

Something I’m exhausted of lately:

The kind of drama that comes from people who want more from you than they’re willing to give.

Sometimes that drama comes in very polite packages, and it’s only when you step back can you assess what’s not being done or said and strip the message down to its core content,

“But me.”

Sorry for vaguebooking, but this has come to me from multiple fronts over the last few days, and I had to hit the pressure release valve a couple of times (or the button under the counter that the bank tellers press when someone starts doing something suspicious?).  But really what gets me is how much of this type of behavior I’ve had to purge from my daily life over the last year.  It started out with bullying, openly troll-like behavior, bullshit “logic” presented just to spin up my wheels, controlling behavior, behavior designed to hurt my self-confidence (especially from freelancing clients), sexist bullshit, racist bullshit, and so on.  And now I’m down to, “You don’t get to use me for your agenda, especially not to prove you’re a ‘good’ person.”

A long road?  One I should have set out upon years ago?

The cool thing is what it leaves behind.  I feel a lot more free to like people, because I know I can boot out the ones who aren’t here for friendship and company and good cheer all the more easily.  Even if I still like them.  Because they’re not good for me.

And it’s far, far easier to get over stupid things.  “You’re a good person but you put your foot in it.”  “Ayup.”  “Moving on.”  I’ve been on both sides of that lately.  It’s nice.

I still spend some quality time every morning flipping off the news.  That hasn’t changed.  And I’m still pretty vinegary.  But I don’t feel like I have continuously flinch away from the world, either.

Although honestly it’s probably more like signing up for online newsletters than anything else, where you have to go through an unsubscribe for all the crap you signed up for, yet again, about once every six months.

New stuff out!

  • Very Mysterious Christmas Bundle:  Available for preorder, on sale for 99c.  My story “Old Friends, Annoying Houseguests, and Christmas Ghosts” is featured: a mystery/ghost story told by a not-entirely-trustworthy old friend.
  • UbiquiCity: Tales of the Fractopian Future:  I keep calling it UbiCity, after UbiSoft, but noooooo…anyway, cyberpunk a hundred years in the shared-world future.  Featuring “To Summon Mountains,” in which a monster meets her only living kin.
  • Stars in the Darkness: Stories of Wisdom, Justice, and Love:  an anthology of SJW-appreciation stories, profits going to the SPLC and the Human Rights Campaign.  I’m in with “The Page-Turners,” an alternate-realities metafiction story that made me cry to write.

A busy Friday 🙂

 

Running twice as fast just to stand still

This morning is not the world’s greatest morning for a packaged sound bite about writing.  The World Fantasy Awards have been released and nothing that I read and liked won.  There’s a new conflict about how to handle serial sexual harassers in an entertainment industry adjacent to mine–everyone agrees that they should be handled, but the “how” is ripping people apart.  I’m finishing up a project that I love, but for a client that doesn’t treat me with respect and certainly hasn’t built respect into the contract.  I’m poking another client whose book was supposed to be started already, and not getting any response, and might need to scramble to get another ghosting book in place.  I’m struggling to learn how to do ads for my books, as part of my business, a.k.a. “Why are my clients’ projects selling better than mine?  Let’s learn that.”  And it’s not going the greatest.  I still don’t have any reviews on my new release.

And yet I’m showing up and putting the butt in the chair and getting the words done, and they’re not bad words.  So there’s that.

I looked at a meme about someone desperately needing to go on a beachside vacation and thought, “Nah, I’m good.”

 

Panicking over not Panicking

I woke up last night out of a nightmare due to the fact that I don’t have a list of tasks longer than my arm to accomplish STAT, only things that I really ought to get to sooner rather than later, and I was worried that I missed something vital.  In the dream, my teeth and legs fell off because I hadn’t been paying close enough attention.

Sometimes I get in one of those ruts where I’m working so hard that I hardly notice that I’m operating out of fear and avoidance, rather than reaching toward opportunity.

Every day freelancing is stepping off the edge and into a void, I swear.

New release:  October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings & Halloween.  If you like Ray Bradbury short stories, give it a look.

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