With all the other stuff that’s been going on, I missed my Authorversary. My first novel, Greywalker, was published 10 years and 2 weeks ago!
Limited Edition Chapbooks finished, checked, and ready to go with me to Bellingham ComiCon next Saturday! Also check out this nifty article about the con.
Our puppy, Banjo, is a 75-pound hound mix who tends to destroy things. He’s a sweetie at heart but he gets anxious or bored and then… it’s every chair, shoe, or undergarment for itself. In the past week he’s destroyed his own dog bed, a chair cushion, and, today, he “dug” a 6″x5″ hole in the guest room mattress (as well as destroying a second sed of sheets and the mattress cover which had survived a previous attempt to discover if there is anything interesting inside a mattress.) But in spite of his destructo-dog tendencies, he’s a sweet boy and we love him. And this is part of why:
Cliff Mass and the meteorologists have an update on our incoming multi-storm system. Lots of moisture right now and increasing. Wind may be a little lighter initially, with the big bad hitting late on Saturday night. At the moment potential windspeed has been downgraded a bit, but it’s still dangerously high. It may not exceed 1962’s epic storm but it’s still looking like a rough ride all weekend. Be careful, friends and neighbors!
So, here’s the thing: I should be posting some stuff, but at the moment the weather is clear, yet we’re expecting a storm that might prove to be the worst on record for this region since 1964. Or just the worst in a LOOOOONG time. So I’m off to make sure I have batteries, bottled water, and dog food, just in case. If it blows over, I’ll be laughing at myself like the rest of you. If you live in the Puget Sound area–West, East, North, or South, take an hour to look at your situation and have emergency plans in place. If you don’t need ’em–cool. Otherwise, stay safe, folks.
(You know it’s bad when Cliff Mass says he’s never seen anything like this.)
The Death Of All Things anthology is looking for short story submissions until December 31. But let me tell you a little story before you rush off to email your work to us.
Long ago, I was a full-time magazine editor. I do not remember slush-reading fondly. It’s a pain, and as a pro, I want to lighten my workload of “pain” projects as much as possible. All of us at the publisher looked for reasons to reject work so we didn’t have to spend any extra time in pain and could get on to the “good parts” of the process. So, if you want to raise your submission’s chance of acceptance, make it harder for the editor to reject it out-of-hand without even reading past the info blocks. Seriously. We’re mean, petty, short-tempered, and really want a drink long before we’ve gotten through the first half-dozen submissions of the day. Coffee is only the jump-starter for our spite. So take my advice:
Read the guidelines, submit your best stuff, and please format it correctly. I really want to like everything, but I don’t have time to read badly formatted work that hasn’t been spell checked and doesn’t fit the theme. Did I say “read the guidelines”? Yes? I mean it. All of the guidelines–scroll to the bottom of the submission info to find the description of The Death of All Things anthology and the theme (please, no torture porn–we’re talking Death, here, not torment). I will reject things for petty reasons as well as large, just to make my workload lighter. (And you thought I was “nice”….) I want to have too many good stories. I want to cry over rejecting great stories I just don’t have room for. You have three months to make it good–you don’t have to rush. So, please, make me work for it.
If you don’t know what “standard manuscript formatting” is, here are some directions, and an old, but still useful example here (but don’t include the membership info–no one really cares).
The anthology Kickstarter met its minimum funding goal, so Laura Anne Gilman and I will be posting submission guidelines and putting on our slush-reading hats soon. If the project hits $25,000 by early morning Friday–and I know that’s a long shot, but it’s still possible–we’ll be able to add two more stories to each book, so it’s still worthwhile to let friends, family, and fellow book-fiends know about the project–especially if you’re thinking of submitting a story yourself. So continue spreading the word and let’s make books!
Update: Guidelines are here
So… Banjo and Jack were tussling in the yard last night and suddenly there was a long yelp of pain followed by several more. We ran out to see what was up and found Jack limping and looking very upset. Long hard night, trip to vet… Long story short: Jack has a blown out cruciate ligament in his right (rear) knee (not that dogs have “knees” in front–they aren’t elephants, after all). Orthopedic surgeon won’t be available for 3 weeks, so we’ll be babying (from his POV, tormenting) Jack along on pills and limited activity until then. And then surgery, more pills, limited activity, and doggy PT for 6-8 weeks afterward. Good thing we have pet insurance, though it’s still going to hurt financially. Hardest thing will be making sure Banjo gets enough exercise and attention, and doesn’t pester the hell out of Jack. Well and seeing poor Jack mope around, doped up and bored to tears. Luckily, he is a Labradork and can be placated with food. Unluckily, he is a Labradork and can be placated with food, thus becoming Jabba the Hutt if allowed to eat as much as he wants without getting plenty of exercise.
Hey, I needed to lose some weight and work out more anyhow. How many calories will I burn doing “dog curls” to lift the 74 pound Labra-Hutt on and off the porch at “potty time”?
Yesterday I went to consult with Vlad Verano at Third Place Press in Lake Forest Park, WA about the limited edition chapbook for my upcoming guest appearance at Bellingham ComiCon on October 22. Here is the proof for the front cover of said chapbook, (art and design ©2016 Vladimir Verano. Click to enlarge):
Plainly this is a lot nicer than anything I could produce myself and, while it’s not the cheapest option, it is not super-pricey and the quality is fantastic. So, if you’re coming to the con, you might be able to pick up one of these signed, limited edition beauties–they’re free, but there are only 100 copies, so… you know the drill.
In other news, the Zombies Need Brains Kickstarter for the Water! Robots! Death! anthologies is struggling to make its funding goal by the end of the month, so if you want to read the stories, please let your friends, family, coworkers or whoever you think of know about the project. We all really want to make these books, but we can’t do it if the project doesn’t make–or better yet, exceed–its funding goals.
And last but not least, Brian Thronton and I will be teaching and talking about writing mysteries and thrillers on the fifth of November at the Cascade Writers Workshop in Tacoma Washington. If you’re interested in attending, get registered soon–these spots go fast!
I’m hoping to see some of you around, and to be creating more fun books for you guys!
In addition to the November 5 Mystery workshop (see below) I’ll be the Guest of Honor at Bellingham Comic Con on October 22 and I’m bringing exclusive swag!
It’s official! Brian Thornton and I will be at Cascade Writers November 5, talking and teaching about Writing Mysteries. Register soon for this all-day workshop!
Oh my! The Kickstarter for The Death of All Things and 2 other new anthologies from Zombies Need Brains is over 50% percent funded. And there’s still 27 days to go. Spread the word and let’s hit those stretch goals! Special reward levels include tuckerizations, extra stories, and special swag!