Wow. What a year. Ups. Downs. Even some sideways curves thrown in. I’m not going to go through every, gritty little detail and bore you to death. Here are some highlights of the year for me!
- The year started out with a bang as the government decided it wanted back taxes on my grandfather’s estate. I damn near blew a gasket as my dad had promised this wouldn’t happen again. The stress of this all damn near drove me to stroke-level blood pressure for a couple of months. In the end, we had to sell my grandparent’s house (the house I spent ages 12-19 living in) to pay the taxes and get some cash out of the deal.
- While this ordeal was going on, I received the good news that Phobias: A Collection of True Stories had been released with one of my stories in it. It’s a non-fiction piece, but it’s a gripping tale of how my arm was mostly amputated in a car wreck, and what’s gone on with me (physically, mentally, and emotionally) since that dark night in 1988.
- Then came April with the annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Yet another great conference was had by all, and I was extremely grateful to be able to meet and hang out with old friends and new friends alike. The highlights of my 2014 PPWC were meeting Chuck Wendig, Jim C. Hines, and Michelle Johnson. Michelle asked for my full manuscript while at conference, but ended up passing on it later in the year. More on that later.
- The rest of the year passed as I cranked out short stories, submitted them to a variety of markets, and let the rejection slips pile up in my inbox. Such is the life of a writer. You keep at it. Write more. Become better. Submit stuff. Accept rejection. Rejoice in acceptance.
- July found me at a new Day Job. I’m still doing software engineering duties, but simply for a different employer now.
- August rolled around and another anthology I’m in was officially released. The road was long and arduous for this particular anthology, but it got pulled off and I’m quite happy to have a story in Carnival of the Damned.
- September found me in Paris for ten days (including travel time) for work. It was nice to go back again (I went as part of a tour group when I was a teen), but able to go alone, do what I wanted, when I wanted, and all that good stuff. However, I did get sick right before the weekend. Horribly sick. I bounced back quick enough, though. I was still able to see some of the sights I wanted to visit, but not nearly as many. That’s ok. I guess I’ll save up some things to see for next time I make it there.
- Then in October a few things hit nearly at the same time.
- Early in the month a flash fiction piece I’d written called “Broken Violence” was featured on HorrorAddicts.net.
- Then later in the month, MileHiCon rolled around. This is a near-local (just up in Denver) convention that’s very well-priced (less than 50 bucks) and is always a hoot to attend. Again, I got to meet up with old friends and make some new ones while I was at it. The convention was all-around great (again) even if the fire alarms went off a few times on Saturday night and forced us to move the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show to another room.
- When November rolled around, I received a very nice and thoughtful rejection letter from Michelle regarding Warmaiden. At this point, I’d been shopping the book around for an agent/editor for over five years. I decided it was time to move on from Laurin’s stories and write something fresh and new. The struggle to publish my first novel (and its sequels) was just becoming too much of a burden, and I needed to step away. It all, I trunked around 320,000 words from the trilogy. I still have them around, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
- December rolled around, and I was writing more short stories, and decided to take a break from them to crank on a novel. I took two “short” (they’re short-to-novelette length tales) stories about the same character, merged them, added more material, amped up the grit and blood, and created (what I think is) a pretty decent urban fantasy tale. It’s a bit on the short side (about 44,000 words), so I’m going to run it past the critique group and get their input on places to improve/expand the story.
- If you look to the right sidebar of my site, you’ll see that I came up one story short on my goal, and 10 submissions short of that particular goal. I’m okay with that. I now have one more publication from those submissions (Broken Violence), and eleven more stories to shop around once they get some polish on them.
I gotta say…. Except for the shitty start to the year, I’ve had a pretty good one so far.
Here’s to hoping 2014 was nice to you, and may 2015 bring you as much success as you can fit in your hot little hands!
PS: Resolution for 2015 will be posted tomorrow. I’m still mulling around a few ideas, and I’m not sure which one to jump on just yet.
Carnival of the Damned
I can feel the utter fright creeping into your veins as I type this. An anthology full of creepy clowns, strange carnivals, dark circuses, and sideshow freaks has hit the virtual shelves of Amazon.
That’s right, folks. Carnival of the Damned is out! I have a brief description of the my story on my short stories page.
I’d love to chat more about how great this book is, but I can’t just yet. I’ve only seen my story. I can tell you that I’m itching with anticipation to get my hands on the book. I share a table of contents with some great names, and I know I’ll be blown away by their horrific imaginings.
Carnival of the Damned
My story called “Children of the Carnival” is due to come out soon in the Carnival of the Damned anthology from Evil Jester Press edited by Henry Snider. I don’t have the full table of contents handy, but I do know that I’ll be sharing it with two great friends: R. Michael Burns and Amity Green.
The general theme of the anthology is that of horrific things happening at carnivals, circuses, boardwalks, sideshows, and similar locales. If you’re creeped out by clowns, you’ll enjoy this anthology! If you’re downright horrified by those pasty-faced bastards, I suggest buying the book anyway as a flavor of aversion therapy.
My story is about a team of Hunters making their way through an abandoned traveling circus in an effort to save a little girl from the C.L.O.W.N.S.. The C.L.O.W.N.S. are people suffering from Cognitive Loss from Overnight Withering of Neurological Synapses, which is transmitted by cheap-ass makeup made in China. You’ll just have to read the story to find out how bestial humans can get when their higher thought processes are stripped away. It’s more than you think. Trust me.
When the book hits the shelves (virtual or otherwise), I’ll update you here and add it to my Short Story Publications page.
I’ve told the story of the night my arm was nearly amputated in a car wreck on a horrific autumn night in 1988 many times. I was encouraged by a few people to write the story down for others to learn from. About the same time I received this encouragement, there was an open call for Phobias: A Collection of True Stories. As fate declared that I must travel through a vast majority of my life with emotional, physical, and mental scars from that night, fate seemed to want me to share my story with others.
Well… that story is finally out in print. If you’re interested in what happened to me on that night, what it’s done to my body, mind, and soul, and how I’ve been dealing with it for the past 25+ years, you can check out the anthology. My story is entitled One-Thousand, Eighty Degrees, and can be found under my name. There are other stories about phobias and how the authors deal with them. It’s not a self-help guide by any means, but if you have a serious phobia, reading about how others came to theirs and what they do with them might help you get through the day with a little more security or solace.
I hope you check out the book!
What a great day for the CSFWG! After almost two years of work, sweat, tears, and maybe a little blood, we’ve finally managed to publish an anthology! You can now find “An Uncommon Collection” on Amazon in paperback and ebook versions! Inside, you’ll find fifteen fantastic stories! Here’s what the table of contents looks like:
If Wishes Were Horses by Hollie Snider.
Pinwheel by Melissa R. Kary.
Mutiny in the Marketplace by Todd A. Walls.
Shards of Reality by Sangita Kalarickal.
Accidental Opportunity by Kari J. Wolfe.
A Dragon’s Tome by A.M. Burns.
For Hates Sake by Larry J. Cope.
Charisma by Patrick Hester.
A Poor Fellow Soldier by J.T. Evans.
Thief of Dreams by Frances Burke.
Jack English, M.D., Dragonslayer by Richard E. Collette.
Scales by Amity Green.
A Page Lost by Nicole Godfrey.
The Truth by Ben Roc.
The Door, the Lock, the Key by R. Michael Burns.
If you’re interested in my story about the Templars coming back into existence in the near future, check out “A Poor Fellow Solider.” It’s nestled in the book between a great story by Patrick Hester and a heartwarming tale by Frances Burke.
I wanted to let you know that my story, “The Carnival’s Children” was just accepted into Evil Jester Press‘s anthology entitled, “Carnival of the Damned.” It is being edited by Henry Snider and David C. Hayes.
I’ve had one other story accepted by Static Movement, but that was a non-paying gig. This anthology is a paying bit of work, so I guess that means I can now officially call myself an “author.” Right? I hope so. Maybe I have to wait until the book actually comes out. Dunno. Either way, I’m claiming that title and am going to run with it.
Here’s to many more good returns and incredibly high sales of Carnival of the Damned.
PS: Many of you may be used to seeing my dark fantasy works floating about the critique group. This particular work is a gruesome bit about flesh-eating, disease-ridden people afflicted with C.L.O.W.N.S. that are roaming an abandoned carnival while our heroes of the story are in search of a little girl they want to rescue. Want to know more? I hope so. You’ll just have to wait and read the story when the anthology comes out. What’s the publication date? Not entirely sure. Le sigh.