2018: listing things for fun & focus

I adore lists. They aren’t useful to me in any organizational way. They don’t make me work more efficiently or help my productivity. The opposite, if anything.  I’m always leaving lists behind, or forgetting where I’ve put them, or getting distracted before finishing one and starting a new one instead…the list itself is rarely a helpful tool.

But making lists? That’s a fish of another color. I consider making a list its own reward. I love writing them.  If you think this odd, well, I also consider scrolling through the cable channel menu its own distinct activity rather than a way to find shows to watch.

I put things on list for the sheer joy of checking them off again. True story. Hey, I never said I was normal.

ANYWAY. Still here? Fab. It’s the beginning of the new year and everyone was doing lists at the end of the old year, but I was hibernating, so I’m late with mine.

Here be my list of 2018 accomplishments. I made them all on my own. They’re little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good. (Apologies to Lilo & Stitch for the misquote.)

1. Wrote a book. The Sharp Edge of Yesterday isn’t published yet, but I finished it & it’s finally in post-editorial revisions. (It even kinda has a pitch: Grace Reed is hiding a terrible secret and a more terrible power. that will rip her away from the family she’s sacrificed everything to keep together. )

2. Wrote most of another book. Ghost Town isn’t finished, but it’s well over 50%, and that’s something. All I’ve got for  pitch is the tongue in cheek, “She’s the new sheriff. He’s been dead a hundred years. Together, they fight crime and bicker.”

3. Attended a few too many science fiction conventions as a professional. Pro meaning I had books there to sell, wore a pro badge, and/or participated on panels and such. Woo, this means I get to make a sub-list!

  • Capricon (MY FIRST CAPRICON!)
  • Concoction (MY FIRST CONCOCTION!!)
  • C2E2 (sorta. All I did was chat w/artists & commission art. )
  • Indiana Comic Con
  • 2018 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference
  • Gen Con
  • Michigan Comic Con
  • Dragon Con
  • WindyCon

4. Wrote 2 short stories. Yes, me. Me, the person whose previous four short stories turned into novels. One of these two, Homecoming,  is a slice-of-life piece about a character who’s in Sharp Edge, and it’s a freebie for people who sign up for my mailing list. The other, Mercy Has a Bitter Taste,  I’ve had critiqued & polished & am sending off to be rejected by all the best professional markets. One down,  thirteen more to go before I trunk it.

5. Started regularly attending an incredibly supportive open mic reading group in Chicago.  Gumbo Fiction Salon. I’ve read all of Bitter Gift there, and the reception is what gave me the confidence to start sending it out.

NOTE: GBS isn’t the reading series I first expected to support. There’s another series, held at Volumes Book Cafe, that I attended once and & HIGHLY recommend. I’m v sad about never returning to it, but scheduling conflicts, life detours, and a VERY difficult location have all conspired against me getting back there. (And now I’m too embarrassed to show my face again. Sigh.)

6? I think that’s it for major writerly type achievements from 2018. I mean, yes, I commissioned new covers for books from the fantastic Rhiannon Taylor and the amazing Rachel Bostwick, I signed a contract for line edits from a phenomenal professional editor, I signed up for 2019 conventions, I ran multiple book promotions online, I got my latest novel into the WorldCat library database and on shelves in library systems in Illinois, Ohio, & Kentucky, and maybe Pennsylvania…

…but all that’s just everyday authoring stuff.

So much for 2018. Onward to 2019. Big plans in the making & big doings ahead.

 

Hi, there.

Big, big gratitude to the good friends & other new readers who picked up my books recently and were kind enough to tell me about it. You’ve brought some highlights into a week of major emotional lows. Knowing you’ve read Rough Passages–and my other books–brings me a special kind of happiness.

Thank you for your support and excitement about my stories. It means the world to me.

Also–

If you ever feel moved to take a shelfie and send it my way, I promise to keep it and cherish it and comb its fur and call it George…or something like that. I would certainly share the picture on social media as proudly as any gleeful new parent shares baby pics. (but only with your permission, of course.)

What? What’s a shelfie?

It’s a picture of my books in your setting. In your hands, on a shelf or table, posed with a cute stuffed animal or family pet…wherever. So MANY possibilities. If you’re camera-shy like me, any old pic of my books living with the rest of your collection is lovely. (Plus that usually give me ideas for things to put on my TBR list.) Ebooks? Cover on kindle screen works. Or any page on screen. I’m easygoing about it.

In fact, if you don’t have my books, you can still make someone’s day/week/month/year. Take a shelfie of whatever you’ve read recently and liked, share it in a post or a tweet and mention that you liked it when you tag the author by name.

It creates instant joy, I swear.

ANYway.

Thank you all again. Happy reading.

Michigan ComicCon report double-header: new book cover reveal too!

If you look really close at this post’s feature image of the Michigan Comic Con Bard’s Tower booth,  you can see postcards showing the cover for my new book. Since I’ve been passing them out like there’s no tomorrow here in Detroit, I guess it’s only fair to share the fun with the rest of the world.

I’m aiming to release The Sharp Edge Of Yesterday at WindyCon in November, but don’t go inking that date on your calendar just yet.  The manuscript is currently with the editor. I’ll hold off on a final countdown until I have revisions in hand. Meanwhile I can say with confidence, “RELEASING SOON,” and that means I can share the cover art!

Rest your eyeballs on this lovely, lovely painting by the talented Rhiannon Taylor. This will be the foundation for the paperback wraparound cover.SEoY WIP8

Here’s a detail of the front cover with text design:SEoY Postcard

What’s the book about?  Superpowers! Major disasters! Deep dark secrets!

Beyond that tagline? Errrm….I am having a hell of a time condensing the density of the story into a sales-worthy blurb. It keeps turning into a bad B-movie teaser in my head:

  • See!
    A single mother at the end of her rope, hiding from a terrible past and cursed with deadly powers! Marvel at her boundless courage as she fights for her life and holds her family together against all odds!
  • Watch! As a group of dedicated idealists band together to protect her from her enemies and herself! Cheer for their bravery, admire their ability to slash through bureaucracy and defend the weak from the powers of evil…

Yeah. I know, that’s awful.  The struggle is real.

Anyhow, so I don’t have a cover blurb yet. Bad author. No treat.

But! I do have glorious art, and an exciting fantastic story, and it will be a book this year. Celebration enough for one blog post, says I.

In other news, the convention was even more fun Saturday than Friday,  with many great conversations about books and writing and SFF in general (and fan-fiction, and art, and anime, and the fun of history research and…well. You get the idea) Plus quite a few readers went home happy with new books in hand. Hip-hip-huzzah!

Random pictures:IMG_4557IMG_4556IMG_4558IMG_4555

That’s a wrap on today. Onward to tomorrow!