February 2020

New & Improved

Well, here we are. As you can see, I finally made the plunge and updated the website from the old, discontinued template to a new one . . . which is still an older template and so it will probably be discontinued any day now that I’ve chosen to use it for my site.

I’m not completely happy with the design, some elements don’t work (like I haven’t figured out to get rid of the “Add a comment” text all over these blog posts; I don’t have commenting turned on, so I’d like to get rid of that text), and some pages aren’t complete yet. And, my little Cthulhus need to be changed because they look weird standing in that little white divider bar. So as you pop back for visits, there will be changes and upgrades, but at least it’s a start.

School is back in session, so writing progress has been slow. I did manage to write up a fun little piece of vampire flash fiction and get that sent off, but most of the writing work in January was resubmissions and biting my fingernails as not one, but THREE of my short stories were shortlisted. I’m still waiting to hear back on the third one, but the first two didn’t quite make the cut for the publications they were submitted to. As I’ve said before, I have a love/hate relationship with shortlisting: it seems if I’m told my story has been shortlisted, it’s like a curse and the work is rejected; if there’s no shortlisting (or I’m not told about it), then my work is accepted. It’s the “always a bridesmaid” for writers, I guess.

I read (or listened to) three long-form works of fiction in January:

  • Huckleberry Finn (yes, it was for class, but if I have to slog through it, I’m counting it!);
  • The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant, by Drew Hayes (Cute and funny, sort of like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, but with vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures);
  • Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster, by Andrew Leatherbarrow (there are two nonfiction topics where I read *everything* I can get my hands on: biohazards and nuclear accidents).

Here is the list for this month’s #500Stories500Nights. I recently discovered Third Flatiron Publishing has a podcast, so you’ll be seeing those pop-up in next month’s reading list. Though all the stories on the list are good, the single asterisk means the story stood out to me in some way; a double-asterisk means it *really* stood out and I really enjoyed it (and probably wish I had written it, lol).

  • Jan 1: “The Thames Valley Catastrophe,” by Grant Allen (Pseudopod 665)
  • Jan 2: “Hunger,” by Daniel Willcocks, (The Other Stories 3.1)
  • Jan 3: * “The Miner’s Door,” by Daniel Willcocks (The Other Stories 1.4)
  • Jan 4: * “Sugar and Spice,” by Jennifer R. Donaohue (Overcast 99)
  • Jan 5: ** “All the Hidden Places,” by Cadwell Turnbull (Nightmare Magazine Podcast, Mar 6, 2019)
  • Jan 6: ** “Small Medicine,” by Genevieve Valentine  (LeVar Burton Reads 52)
  • Jan 7: “A Night of Many Months,” by CL Holland (Pseudopod 681)
  • Jan 8: “Doll Re Mi,” by Tanith Lee (Nightmare Magazine Podcast, May 15, 2013)
  • Jan 9: “Stitched Wings,” by Beth Cato (Overcast 27)
  • Jan 10: “Rubber Jungle,” by John Crinan and Hannah Mariska (The Other Stories 47.4)
  • Jan 11: “Pupae,” by Ben Errington (The Other Stories 12.3)
  • Jan 12: ** “Cannibals,” by Joe Maggio (Tales From Beyond the Pale Ep 14) (note: if you’re a Vincent D’nafrio fan, you’ll be able to “see” his face throughout this whole story. . .so awesome)!
  • Jan 13: * “Sea Girls,” by Daniel Wallace (Levar Burton Reads, 7-31-18)
  • Jan 14: “The Flier,” by Joseph O’Neill (New Yorker The Writer’s Voice, 11-5-19)
  • Jan 15: “Frozen,” by DJ Tyrer (Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, Jan 2020)
  • Jan 16: “Someone Decorated My House for Christmas,” by Brandon Faircloth (Nocturnal Transmissions Ep 66)
  • Jan 17: “Peripheral Work,” by CC Smith (Tales to Terrify 415)
  • Jan 18: “You-Go-Back,” by Elise Fourier Edie (Gallery of Curiosities 12-31-16)
  • Jan 19: “Daddy’s Girl,” by Eleanor R. Wood (Overcast 33)
  • Jan 20: “The Eight People Who Murdered Me,” by Gwendolyn Kiste (Nightmare Magazine podcast, 11-20-19)
  • Jan 21: ** “Yiwu,” by Lavie Tidhar (LeVar Burton Reads 10-2-18)
  • Jan 22: ** “Missing, Presumed Dead,” by R. T. Raynaud (Nocturnal Transmissions Ep 64)
  • Jan 23: * “Lambing Season,” by Nicole J. LeBoeuf (Tales to Terrify 413)
  • Jan 24: “Pomegranate, Pomegranate,” by Jack Westlake (Pseudopod 682)
  • Jan 25: ** “The Infamous Bengal Ming,” by Rajesh Parameswaran (Nocturnal Transmissions Ep 60)
  • Jan 26: “Rotting Pumpkins,” by Max Lobdell (Nocturnal Transmissions Ep 61)
  • Jan 27: “Next,” by David Greske (The Wicked Library TWL 915)
  • Jan 28: “Full,” by Seras Nikita (Tales to Terrify 416)
  • Jan 29: * “Gentlemanly Horrors of Mine Alone,” by Donald J. Bingle (Gallery of Curiosities 11-20-19)
  • Jan 30: ** “Cold Reading,” by Glenn McQuaid and April Snellings (Tales From Beyond the Pale 15)
  • Jan 31: “DST, INC,” by Robert McCammon (read by the author himself: https://www.robertmccammon.com/2019/11/26/robert-mccammon-reads-a-new-story-dst-inc/)

Next months’ reading list will probably have a few more text-based (rather than podcast-based) stories because it is Bram Stoker Awards time, so I’m reading with an eye as to which I’m going to vote for. It’s also been a situation where I’ve learned something: the best way to share/get something widely read is to use the path of least resistance. By this, I mean that some authors share a link to their work, often in Dropbox, so you can download it. Most authors share an email address where you can contact them for a copy. Guess which one I do more often? Food for thought!

That’s it for this month! Until next month, stay spooky!