December Update

Posted: December 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

I am working away in earnest to finish up a few things before the end of the year.

Before we embarked on the adventure of buying a new house and moving, I had set a goal of finishing at least one new short story before the year was over. At the time, I thought I was setting the bar low…HA! HA! HA!

I WILL achieve that goal (the first goal met in a while, woot!) with a new sci-fi comedy story I’m working on. The publications I intend to send it to have a deadline of the end of the month, but so far I’m on track (knock on wood, rub the rabbit’s foot, and anything else that brings me luck).

I’m also finishing up my first college course. I’m working on the final project, a revision of all the works produced in class, but that also is progressing smoothly.

Once those tasks are complete, I have a new goal for the new year.

Thanks to a writer’s workshop I took this year (and writing for my college class), I’ve realized I waste an awful lot of time when I should be writing (says every writer everywhere).

Ray Bradbury once advised that a short story writer should write one short story a week! That would be impossible for me, but my current rate of one or two short stories a year is ridiculously pitiful.

So, for 2019, I’ve set a goal of writing eight new short stories.   

Don’t forget to check back and see how I do.

 

November Update

Posted: November 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

Guess what? I didn’t make the new story deadline!

You probably already guessed that from the fact that there was *no* October update.

See, when life happens, it happens by the butt-ton (and yes, that is an official measurement).

Let me tell you a story.

Hubby and I decided to sell our home, a mobile home we had lived in for 20+ years, due to new ownership of the park. We were prepared for the worst, because mobile homes around here often take *years* to sell. I didn’t want to look at any houses to buy because of that.

Hubby, though, browsed the Realtor app daily. And he had a front-runner that he wanted to look at. I declined. Not until our home sells. It doesn’t do any good to fall in love with a house and have it sold out from under you.

And then our house sold…eleven days after being listed. We had a helluva Realtor!

So we signed the papers and set up a list of houses to see…but the house hubby loved had been pulled from the market and was about to be put up as a rental. Our realtor talked to the other (previous) agent and got us a 48-hour opening to see the house and make a decision. We looked at many, many houses, and then went to see the one hubby loved… and it was perfect.

And just like that, we were moving. We had 45 days to close on our mobile home, which meant we had two weeks or less to pick a house, and only forty-eight hours to decide on the house hubby liked. It all came together so fast…

So we bought the house. We closed the third week in September on the new house, and the last week of September on the mobile home.

But, things can never go smoothly, can they?

Keep in mind, while all this home-showing, home-looking, packing, etc. is going on, I’m working full time, taking a class that requires multiple papers to be written, and still trying to write.

So the moving begins. However, six hours into the move, hubby falls off the deck at the mobile home and breaks his ankle in three places. Yeah.

In addition to all the above stuff, I’m now responsible for: all the unpacking, all of the household duties that we used to share, AND taking care of hubby while he recuperates.

Thankfully, we had wonderful friends and family who stepped in to help us move everything to the new house. I don’t know what I would have done without them!

And, as the weeks went by, hubby became more mobile and was more able to take care of himself and help with some household chores. But those first few weeks? Yikes. I was one stressed out maniac!

So I didn’t get my story written for the deadline. With the way things were, I’m just glad I got my homework done for my class and I didn’t let the dogs (or hubby) starve to death, lol!

But with optimism in my heart, I’m trying to get things back on track. I’m working on a new story (in-between research papers). I’ve not set a deadline for it or picked an anthology I want to write it for. Right now, I’m keeping it casual and not putting to much pressure on myself for the rest of the year.

There is good news to share on the writing front, though. Test Patterns: Creature Features is now available! It includes my short story, “From Little Acorns Grow…” Be sure to grab a copy! It’s available in paperback or Kindle.

TPCF

See you next month! (Knock on wood)

September Update

Posted: September 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

Not a lot to add on the writing front! There has been a lot more “life” going on than writing. Right now I’m trying to juggle a writing class (first five-to-eight page research paper due 9/24) with working full-time AND packing up twenty years of stuff in my current house to prepare for the move to the new house (closing on 9/25).

“Welcome to Miskatonic University” and “Test Patterns: Creature Features” are both still “coming soon” status. I have a new story I *was* working on, and I still hope to get it finished for a call that ends at the end of the month, but I’m going to need an awful lot of luck to meet it!

Check back in October to see if I made it! 🙂

 

August Update

Posted: August 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

Well, here’s something you don’t see very often:  an update that’s *almost* on time! It’s like seeing a unicorn. It’s going to be a small unicorn, though, because I have a lot of work to get done.

I’m currently working on two new short stories, one in draft phase, one in revision/edit. I’m hoping to get them done before classes start. Stop laughing. It could happen.

The Miskatonic University project has entered the “first round of edits” phase. I should be receiving the editor’s notes for my story, “Wyrd Science” soon.

My story, “From Little Acorns Grow…” has been accepted for Test Patterns: Creature Features.

That’s all for now. The next update will hopefully include pub dates for the two accepted stories and titles for the two new stories I’m working on.

 

July Update

Posted: July 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Yep. Par for the course: early on the May update, no June update, and late on the July update.

I’ve been busy with Fright Club. You know how it is; you can’t talk about Fright Club. I can say that I was worried about it originally, but it turned out to be a great experience and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I did a lot of writing for it, but not much writing outside of it. I miss it already, but I am looking forward to getting back to my regular writing. One of the things I learned from the group is that I could be writing a lot more. I know I could never keep up the frenetic pace on a regular basis, but I could definitely be writing more than I do now!

Even though I’m done with Fright Club, it doesn’t mean I’m not still biting off more than I can chew. In addition to my day job and writing short stories, I’m also in the middle of home renovations (which I insanely started while in Fright Club) with an eye toward selling my home and moving. I apologize in advance if all my future stories focus on the horror of home renovations. Stephen King has The Mangler; maybe I’ll have The Sander! The Circular Saw! Maybe my character will be walled up behind the wainscoting. Maybe my protagonist will be attacked by killer bugs freed when they remove the 1970s paneling from their basement rec room.

As if that weren’t enough, I’m returning to classes in the fall to pursue the unfinished business of a degree. I suspect when I return to classes, I’m going to be sitting in a class full of optimistic English majors thirty years younger than I am, and I bet I’m going to feel a bit like Quint at the Amity town meeting. “I’ve seen things, Chief.”

So, in short, expect the next update sometime in 2025, lol.

 

May Update

Posted: April 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

A few days early, but better early than never.

I managed to make two of my deadlines this month. I finished the old, mostly written but abandoned story and I managed to write and revise a new one. Both have been sent away to publishers and I await their fate. The poem was a no-go, but that’s probably for the best. I’ve never been really good at anything besides dirty limericks, anyway.

Next up: a whole new adventure! The HWA has created a new 10-week workshop called Fright Club…wait maybe I’m not supposed to say anything about this…aren’t there RULES about that? Anyway, in an impulse decision, I sent away to become a member and am honored (and frightened) to have been chosen. I’m guessing that this is going to occupy quite a bit of my time, AND I still have other short story deadlines I want to meet in the next coming months, so this will likely either be the best impulse decision I have made, or the worst. Only time will tell. Either way, it’s only ten weeks, so how hard could it be? (famous last words!)

It is also the run-up to camping season. It’s been terribly cold here on the northern plains until very recently, and the “Facebook memories” posts in my timeline were starting to piss me off: pictures of 1, 2, and 3 years ago today with leaves on the trees, catkins blooming, and leaves budding on the trees, while this year I’m surrounded by dirty snow piles and mud and not a damn leaf in sight. It has warmed up now (thankfully!) and the official start of camping season is mere weeks away. I can’t wait to be back in the woods, in the dark, listening to things crashing through the trees. It really does a (horror-fiend’s) heart good, spending time in nature!

And to let you know how bad it was this year in good old North Dakota, the weather service calculated how long it was between 50 degree days, and it turns out it was 178 days. Yes, you read that right: sometime in October, we had our last day where the high hit 50 degrees, and then it was six months (SIX MONTHS) before the high hit 50 degrees again. That’s six months of never getting above 49 degrees. Ugh.

The next post on the site will probably be a June update. If any exciting news breaks, I’ll post a short update. I’m also still working on rebuilding this website, but the going will still be slow with so many projects at hand.

Check back soon!

There is still a long way to go before this new website is as complete as the last, but at least it’s more up-to-date. The old one was getting so aged, it almost had a Geocities feel to it (oops! I think my age is showing).

But the website construction is going to have to take a back seat for a while. I currently have THREE writing projects I’m working on and all have deadlines fast approaching. One is a new story about a mad scientist, one is an old (Christmas horror) half-finished-story that I’ve finished off and am editing, and one is a (gasp!) po-em (a form I haven’t worked on in twenty years).

So I have my hands full right now and futher website building is going to have to wait.

And no, I’m not working on any of my long-neglected novels right now (shut up, thank you very much).

I’ll update and continue to build on the website as soon as I can! Meanwhile, you can follow me on Facebook.