December 2019

Well, here we go. The last month of the year, and it is CRUNCH TIME. My class has three papers AND a group project due the first week of December, and a longer paper due the second week. Then it’s Christmas break and I get a few weeks to catch my breath–catch my breath as far as school goes, that is. I’ll still have a lot on my plate for the rest of December.

On the writing front, I’ve got two stories to finish this month to complete my goals for the year. One story is mostly written, because it was written for a submission call that ended up closing early, while I was still tweaking the story. That one will be a snap to finish off and send out. The other one? Well, it’s a great idea, and I’ve got quite a lot written, but there’s still a lot of story to go. It’s going to be a photo finish on that one.

On the reading front, I’ve met my goals for the year and then some. I recently signed up for membership to Audible, which helps a lot as I can listen to audiobooks while I’m at working at my day job. I wasn’t sure I’d like listening to audiobooks (it just reminded me too much of the old cassettes of books-on-tape; yes, I am an old fart, lol), but then I started listening to (and enjoying) podcasts, and audiobooks are just really long podcasts. Reading a dead tree book can take me a month (or more–I’m still working on The Best of the Best Horror), but I can finish an audiobook in three or four days. I’m actually making substantial progress on my “to be read” list for the first time in a loooong time! If you’d like to sign up for a free trial, you can use my affiliate banner above and then I earn a little bonus, too.

Speaking of reading, I also jumped on board the #500Stories500Nights Challenge, where participants read (or listen to) a short story per day for 500 days. Of course, this challenge is very near and dear to my heart because short stories are all I write. I’m all for anything that promotes the greater readership of the format. It looks like most participants started the challenge on November 14, so that’s when I started, but my plan is to go ad infinitum. It’s a great way to explore new publishers and mediums, and a great way to promote the publications that publish short stories; many of which (at least on the list I’ve been reading from) pay a decent wage to their authors, too, so they deserve all the shout-outs. Here’s my list for my November participation in the challenge:

Nov 14: “The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en,” by Lisa Morton (Pseudopod 670)

Nov 15: “Zanders the Magnificent,” by Annie Neugebauer (Pseudopod 669)

Nov 16: “Sweet Dreams Are Made of You,” by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor (Nightmare Magazine podcast, Sept 18, 2019)

Nov 17: “Growing and Growing,” by Rich Larson (Nightmare Magazine podcast, Oct 23, 2019)

Nov 18: “The New Mother,” by Lucy Clifford (Pseudopod 675)

Nov 19: “The Collective Unconscious and How to Get Out,” by Hamilton Perez (The Overcast 116)

Nov 20: “Small Evil,” by Aeryn Rudel (The Arcanist, Oct 18, 2019)

Nov 21: “Tiny Teeth,” by Sarah Hans (Pseudopod 660)

Nov 22: “Necessary Cuts,” by Bryan Miller (Drabblecast 416)

Nov 23: “Wendy Woke Up,” by Mary Crosbie (Space Squid)

Nov 24: “The Cats of Ulthar,” by H. P. Lovecraft (Lovecraft Archive)

Nov 25: “The Witch,” by Shirley Jackson

Nov 26: “Shoggoths in Traffic,” by Tobias S. Buckell (LeVar Burton Reads podcast)

Nov 27: “Kennel Club” (author not credited?) (The Other Stories podcast)

Nov 28: “Frankincense and Myrrh,” by Megan Arkenberg (Kaleidotrope)

Nov 29: “Hannah-Beast,” by Jennifer McMahon (Electric Literature Recommended Reading)

Nov 30: “Overtime,” by Charles Stross (

On the publishing side of things, I have two bits of news. The first is that my story, “Spring Fever” has been published in issue #37 of Dark Moon Digest. Look at that cover! Couldn’t you just die?! The protagonist in this story is one of my favorite characters. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did writing it.

Also, contracts have been signed for the first of my stories to be produced as a podcast. The publishing podcast, by the way, has quickly become one of my favorite podcasts not only because they have the good taste to “publish” one of my short stories (lol), but also because it’s a podcast full of the kind of stories I like to listen to: not splatterpunk or slasher, not experimental and obtuse, but creative, sometimes funny, and almost always with a little kiss of the weird. These are the kinds of stories I love to read (and listen to), and the kind I strive to write. So I’m hoping I’ll have other stories at this podcast in the future. I’ll provide more info and a link once my story is available at the podcast’s site.

And for the writers reading this, I have a little recommendation and sale to pass on. The end of the year is always such a financial crunch, with the expenses of the holidays and all the memberships coming due, like Horror Writers Association (or whatever your writer group is) and Duotrope, etc. So if you’re a writer looking to save a little cash (or someone who loves a writer and wants to get them a really great gift), then you should check out the sale at ProWritingAid. It’s one of the handy editing programs I use, and memberships are discounted right now, but hurry, the sale prices at this writing are only good through December 2nd. I’ve been doing a yearly membership, but since they’ve discounted the lifetime to cost less than two years of membership, I sprung for Lifetime membership. Now I don’t have to worry about it ever again. Or, as it lists in my profile details, my membership doesn’t expire until 2060 . . . which means if I’m 91 and still writing and using my editing software, then I might have to shake an ancient, grizzled fist at them when my membership expires. If you sign up using this link (even if the sale is over) I would appreciate it, because I get a little something-something as an affiliate.

Sign up for ProWriting Aid

See how this blogging thing works? Last month, my blog post was three sentences long; this month, you can’t get me to shut up. But now it IS time to shut up and get back to work. December is barrelling in like a runaway train.

Until next month, Keep on creepin’ on!