Am I Shallow?

The answer is “probably,” with a well-rolled R.

Why do I say this? Because I’m about to engage in a small spot of self-promotion:

 an image of sky, mountain and text that says 'CLOUD LAKE LITERARY CANADIAN LITERARY CANYM ARTS MAGAZINE CREATIVE NONFICTION MEMORIES LOVE AND THE THINGS WE FOUND HILARY FAKTOR POETRY SMILING BUDDHA, BY SUE BLOTT CHILDREN'S LITERATURE THE MAN WHO WAS A WIZARD, LILY DAVIES FICTION WANTING_DEPTH,BY-DIRCK DE LINT ...AND MANY MORE'
Why, yes… that is my name on the cover

This delightful compendium has just been put where the public can get at it, over at Cloud Lake Literary’s site, where you can buy it as a single item or subscribe to the journal.

…and if you’re wondering how a genre goofus like me managed to sneak into the walled garden of a literary journal, I will prove my egoism by putting my thumbs in my suspenders and say, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this.”

I will then wait to see if you laugh right in my face or give me a gentle sigh of annoyance. Either is appropriate.

With Mere Moments to Spare!

One of the problems with being very busy, I find, is not only is all your time taken up with those duties that make the busy-ness, but all non-duty stuff is crushed out of the mind.

So when I got some very good advice about running up an award eligibility post at the beginning of the month, the ensuing profoundly busy weeks knocked my intention to do so once “Palmer’s Folly” was published right out of my head.

Thus– I have two stories eligible for awards in 2020:

  • “Wilden Klausen” in Mistletoes and Mayhem (Dragon Soul Press), which is alas only available on Kindle via this link.
  • “Palmer’s Folly” in NewMyths.com issue 53, freely available here.

Not a huge year, but two stories I’m very proud of.

I was reminded to do this by a sudden crash of neurons which did not lead directly here, but as fall-out from a sudden lurching realization that I needed to renew my membership in the Horror Writer’s association.

Which I have done, also. My duties to myself are, at last, complete for the year (barring getting a couple of more meals down my gullet…).

Christmas Bonus!

I am not referring to the famous Roman general Crismus Bonus (northwest Gaul on the border of Goscinny and Uderzo, c. 50BC), but to my latest published work! As I said in the last entry, this appears to be the time of year for me.

The new appearance was actually put under contract about a year ago, and this is probably the truest experience of publishing I’ve yet had. I am, though, a student of patience (having waited so long to start a writing career, I can hardly complain about a space of months between contract and consumation). The wait was definitely worth it.

But enough of my waffling! Please head on over to NewMyths.com, where the freshly manifested issue 53 awaits your reading pleasure. In the Jamesian tradition, it’s a spooky story uttered close to Christmas, but not Christmas themed, called “Palmer’s Folly.” You’ll find it right smack in the middle of the fiction portion of the table of contents, lodged between some other stories to fill the long, cold solstice-proximate nights (northern hemisphere only, locations near and south of the equator may not find conditions as indicated).

For an extra chill, there’s an author profile with a recent picture– chilling. Not even a beard to hide his unspeakable deformity, it having fallen to the razor in deference to sealing a mask more effectively.

Just in Time for Christmas!

It seems that December is when I get published. First, and I’ll mention it again next week when it actually happens, I have a story appearing in the next issue of NewMyths.com— issue 53 goes live, assuming no contrary word from Fate, on 15 December.

Live right now is a link to pre-order an anthology I’m in. I’m even named on the cover!

I will say right now that the image on the cover… does not represent my contribution, I will say, although “Wilden Klausen” does involve wearing a costume for a seasonal tradition.

I should also mention that the profits for this collection are going to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which given the situation of the world over the last… dozen or two months, at least… seems like a service which could definitely use some funding. Since I’m not in the US, I will mention for those who wish to give directly that there is a Canadian version of the same thing.

The Big Finale (with a small mystery)

The last of the October spook-lets is up, although you will discover there is no 27 October.

Was that day? Did it actually happen? I have no memory of missing a day. Did I cease existing then? Was there insufficient belief in me?

I’m going to go eat some tiny chocolate bars rather than ponder further.

Penultimate Se’nnight

That sounds a lot more impressive than “next-to-final week,” right?

A note of explanation for those reliant on alt text under the pictures; there’s an eighth image without alt text, which concerns a small icon which added itself to the final entry this week. That thing doesn’t appear in the alt text, so I’m boring you with it here rather than there.

The Haunting Season

Guess what, everyone? I’m not doing the same thing for October as I did last year!

2020 is proving to be the year I have trouble scraping words out of my head. It’s not the fell Writer’s Block, as there is production, but it’s halting. I made the same conscious decision about trying to knock thirty-one stories this year as I have made about NaNoWriMo every year. Better to not offer disappointment.

However… the words are trickling out, and apart from the story under construction at the moment, I do have the necessary juice to produce Twitter-length material. There just happens to be a daily prompt for the month of fun, and so far I haven’t missed on (quality may vary, no guarantees offered, caveat lector).

What I’m going to do is present these in a clump each Saturday. Tomorrow’s clump will be a little above weight, but it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and that’s the best time to be over-weight. 

…or something to that effect.

The final group will appear on The Great Day itself, which would normally be tactically unwise, but this year all sensible people are not going to be out partying, and probably not even dealing with swarms of kids on the doorstep.

Also, I have some good news which I’ve already unboxed on my other blog, but which I’m waiting for a couple of details to firm up before I shout about it here. I leave it to you whether you want to click that sidebar link or save it for a surprise.

There you are, then. Warnings of impending fate delivered. Back into the crypt with me…

Obedience to Authority

We’ve all, in some degree, been making decision lately about how low we bow to COVID-19 and the officially proclaimed responses to it. I, for example, have been going to work, as I’m essential (somehow), and can gad about freely in my off-time under local regs, as long as I’m not doing it with more than nine other people.

I have been sticking to the spirit of the rules and limiting my outings to “Gotta get some groceries.” My wife has asthma, after all, and we don’t really know what the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 are other than “probably not good.”

With that as context, I saw this wonderful image on a Folk Horror group on Facebook:

At Wiremill Dam, in the rural outskirts of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

“This sign has always freaked me out a little bit!” said the person sharing the image. In the right setting, and to the right set of mind, I completely understand that. It took about fifteen seconds for the basic story of “Self-Policing” to flash into my mind, and since I owe this site a story, I huffed my warm authorial air upon it until it had kindled into a proper item of flash fiction.