October 2019

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Summer went by way too fast, but at least it means the most wonderful time of the year is here: fall! All three days of it, here in North Dakota! I guess I shouldn’t complain, though. Usually we’ve had a solid killing frost by now, but our temperatures have been pretty mild. Montana is in the middle of a snow emergency as I write this, so I guess it could be worse! It won’t stop raining, though. Here are Abby and Murphy wistfully looking out the upper-deck patio door while it pours outside. Murph doesn’t mind the rain, but Abby doesn’t like to get wet.

Abby Rose and Murphy Aloisuis

Though I fiddled around with a couple of stories I’m working on, I didn’t finish anything or start anything new from scratch. I also haven’t finished reading The Best of The Best Horror of the Year. I blame my class for that. It was totally NOT because I’m a procrastinator who sometimes gets in moods where I can come up with the so many trivial tasks that need to be done instead of sitting down to write.

Speaking of which, I got more unpacking done. I mean, we’ve only been in this house a year, right? In our chaotic move, we had a lot of stuff that just got shoved into storage to deal with later. Crawling under the house and unpacking those dusty boxes was definitely more important than writing.

And working on the gating system within and around the house was also a very important taks. My house is starting to be more elaborate than the temple in Aliens vs. Predator. Of course, it’s all in the name of dog safety. Well, some of it is in the name of “let’s not have puppy pee in these areas, okay?” Like my writing room. I’m a monster, and untrained puppies (and Abby when she had her brief problem with incontinence) aren’t allowed in. It’s okay. Murphy is chill. He’ll just sleep right outside the gate. Meanwhile, we’ve got gates to keep them in the designated potty area, gates to keep them off the deck, gates to keep them on the other deck; gates to keep them upstairs, gates to keep them downstairs, gates to keep them out of the gym, gates to keep them out of the writing room….


It wasn’t ALL crickets on the writing front, though. I did receive notice that one of my short stories has been accepted at Dark Moon Digest. Links will be forthcoming!

And something that landed in my inbox that you writers might find interesting is one of the latest “What’s the Score” postings from Autocrit. Autocrit is one of my favorite editing programs. In addition to pointing out problems (generic descriptions, etc.), it gives your piece a “score” based on the problems in the text. Periodically, they run a famous work through the software, so you can see how it stacks up. One of Autocrit’s latest “What’s the Score” tests was on Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. It’s fascinating, and it also kind helps battle some of that “imposter syndrome” so many of us face. It’s great to see where the problems lie in published works and do a score comparison. You can check it out here:

What’s the Score: Pet Semetary

Next Up: I need to get those three started stories finished in these last three months of the year in order to meet my goals. Think I can do it? Stay Tuned!

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