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.

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.

An Actual Thing

At the end of the previous post, I mentioned in passing that an anthology I had a story in was now published.

I got my author’s copy in the mail.

The dramatic movie poster-style blue/orange effect was got by taking a picture in my kitchen on an overcast winter day.

Not pictured is me grinning like several fools, me clapping my hands with pure delight, my wife gazing admiringly upon me, or my son’s wait what how can this be a thing?!? expression when I showed him his old dad’s name in an actual book.

Like this:

I’ll mention here that I very much approve of the type-face choices made by the editor. That’s a good looking page, that.

I’m making a big thing of this because it is, in my life, a big thing. I have never had an author’s copy of a print book before. It rates as a big milestone in my writing career, which by the measure of “correctly making an effort to present stories to paying markets” is not very old.

So, I blow my party horn and wave my achievement around for all to see. I also litter this post with links to where you can get the book for yourself. I get no more money out of it, just the warm glow of offering entertainment to others. It is (ignoring my own splendid gem of deathless prose) a bunch of jolly good stories.

…and I got an author’s copy! {dissolves in giggles}

Extra BONUS Seasonal Joy

Still not a story announcement, although I am gestating something that may emerge from my brow tomorrow.

…although now that I reflect upon it, this is a story announcement, in that a story I wrote is openly available on the internet. It’s just not here.

So where, then? It’s in the current issue of Polar Borealis. For those who want to know what they’re getting into, it’s a quite short work which is like Steampunk, but instead of focusing on engineering marvels, the point of historical divergence is funeral practices.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Extra Seasonal Joy

This is not, alas, a story announcement. I have some suspicion that I’m not going to have something appropriate to the season to roll out this year, having distracted myself with other matters until it’s much too late.

Speaking of too late, I don’t believe item of news comes too late for last minute Christmas present seekers to act upon: I have a story appearing in Creatures in Canada, available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. It’s an anthology which presents one horrifying monstrosity for each of Canada’s provinces and territories. Yes, I am the contributor of the Saskatchewan story, and yes, it is set in the bleakest depth of winter just to add to the sorrow of the characters. Mon pays c’est l’hiver, y’all.

I have, of course, had a chance to read it already, and I think I can say with some confidence that there should be something for all tastes (as long as those tastes run to horror); it’s a nicely diversified anthology.  I also recommend it in full knowledge that I’m not getting any more money out of it than I have already done– I got paid ages ago, and there’s no royalties involved. Plus, look at this  cover. Don’t you want to know what’s lurking behind that?

This is a link, by the way.