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Sat, Oct. 17th, 2020, 12:00 am
Sticky Post: About my fiction, and where you can find it.

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Out now from Galaxy Press: Writers of the Future V32, containing my story "Cry Havoc," the Q4 3rd place winner! Along with a bunch of other stories from a bunch of other really cool people.

More information, as well as links to buy it from all the usual suspects, is here.

Now available from WordFire Press, my first novel!

After seven horrific months as a POW, Army Ranger-turned-PI Ben Lockwood just wants a safe, boring life. With his boss on vacation, he takes what looks like an easy case of pharmaceutical espionage he can work from his desk.

Now he's caught in a three-way collision course between a ruthless werewolf on the hunt for a cure for his dying vampire wife, a mad scientist whose multinational company doesn't even research supernatural medicine--and himself. Ben's nanotech-injected blood holds the key to the vampire's recovery, and the werewolf doesn't much care if he lives or dies in the harvesting.

My first original short story, Illegal Beagles, is available right here on this LJ as a freebie. Read, enjoy, feedback is adored. There is a completely optional "donate" button at the bottom if you feel like tossing a couple of bucks my way. ;)

Summary: Russell Fisk, the captain of the tramp freighter Inquisitive Tamandua, hates transporting live cargo, but a creditor has him over a barrel. So now he has to get a pack of hunting Beagles to the client, while dodging Feds and dealing with an alien passenger who's more than slightly odd. And, oh, hey, one of the dogs is in labor.

I've had... *counts* Uh. Umpty-foo number of short stories published in various venues. My Amazon Author Page is here.

I also wrote a pair of villain origin stories--the Demon-Prince and the Vampire--for Lord of the Dead, a tabletop hex-and-counter horror game from Pocket Options.

Meerkat Manners was published in Jouth #2 by Blaster Books.

Summary: The crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua is hired by a mob of meerkats to transport them to a new colony. Between their infighting and the new Fed-mandated AI, Russ and his crew will be lucky if they can stay sane, let alone out of jail.

Bear Essentials was published by World Weaver Press in the "Far Orbit" anthology. Julie Czerneda says: "Daring adventure, protagonists who think on their feet, and out of this world excitement! Welcome to FAR ORBIT, a fine collection of stories in the best SF tradition. Strap in and enjoy!" It's also available as a standalone on Amazon, published by Digital Science Fiction, or as part of the Infinity Cluster 6 anthology put out by the same outfit.

Summary: The intrepid crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua is hired to transport a "grizzly bear" to a monastery. But neither the bear nor the monastery are what they seem, and their routine (ha) job is complicated by a reporter who's all too eager for a scoop to bolster her flagging career.

Daddy's Little Girl was published in the "Putrefying Stories" anthology by Stupefying Stories. It's also available as a standalone from Digital Horror on Amazon.

Summary: A father will do anything to save his teenage daughter in a zombie apocalypse...

Guardians of Public Safety was published in the "1st and Starlight" anthology, available on Amazon, put together by a bunch of Writers of the Future Finalists.

Summary: Keniesha Washington lives in a rough neighborhood filled with gangs, pimps, and drug dealers. But the supernatural cure for what ails it may be worse than the disease...

That Which is Hidden was published in the "Chronology" anthology by Curiosity Quills. This was my prizewinning story for the Salty Dog writing contest at Salt City Steam.

Summary: Gideon Bassett needs to solve the triple mystery of his sweetheart’s murder, a train robbery, and a bank heist. Problem is, he’s been outed as a werewolf and is a fugitive himself...

Habeas Felis was serialized by Stupefying Stories Showcase in three parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Summary: Daniella and her friends Gris and Mac must leave a talking cat in a dragon's cave for its annual tribute without being eaten by the grumpy dragon or murdered by goblins and mountain trolls. And they have to do it before a rival team beats them to the punch.

The Road to Hell was published by Domain SF. It's a free read, but it requires registration.

Summary: Oceanic algae farms have dumped extra oxygen into our atmosphere, with catastrophic results. Insects are now prehistoric size and we use baseball bats to swat mosquitoes. But the cure might be worse than the disease, as a grief-stricken woman learns to her detriment. And the planet's.

Servile Spirits to Invent was published in "The Death God's Chosen" by Deepwood Publishing.

Summary: A village decimated by plague uses corpses to till the fields so they don't starve. However, the entities animating the bodies have their own agenda.

War of the Were-Mice was published by Unlikely Story for their April Fool's issue. Be thou warned: This was written on purpose to be terrible. The challenge was to "write the worst piece of fiction you can stand to see under your byline." So... I did. It's a flash piece, so you won't lose too many brain cells by reading it. They also interviewed me.

Summary: The house vermin battle for supremacy.

Of Were-Critters, Widow Women, and Water Rights was published in the "Ways of Magic" anthology by Deepwood Publishing.

Summary: Mike Vaughn, a werewolf who works security for a rail line in Reconstruction Texas, is embroiled in a feud between a family of brothers and his ex-sweetheart. Throw in a professor with a water-sucking contraption, a preacher with a dark past, and a hunter, and Mike is having a truly rotten day.

Different in Blood was published in Plasma Frequency. You can read it for free here.

Summary: Ben Lockwood, werewolf private investigator, finds himself embroiled in the weirdest cheating spouse case ever. What the hell is a squonk? He's about to find out.

Showing Faeries for Fun and Profit was published in Stupefying Stories. You can also listen to the audio version at Far Fetched Fables.

Summary: Faerie shows are cooperative enterprises between humans and faeries. When a faerie is kidnapped, it's a race against time -- and against faerie rights activists, the larger Fae, and an unscrupulous fellow competitor -- to find her before something terrible happens.

The Cow and the Beanstalk was published in Azure Valley, an imprint of TM Publishing (now sadly defunct). It was reprinted in 2nd and Starlight. And you can listen to it on Far Fetched Fables.

Summary: We all know the story of Jack the Giant Killer. How he traded a cow for some magic beans, killed a giant, avenged his father, and lived happily ever after. Now, everyone assumes the bean man was out to cheat Jack -- but, you know, the beans really were magic. He delivered on his promise and then disappeared, never to be seen again. So, what was so special about a cow, that a fellow would be willing to trade beans like that for her?

Sensory Overload was published in Plasma Frequency. You can read it online here, or you can listen to the audio version at StarShipSofa.

Summary: A security guard with electronic sensory enhancements accompanies a group of art students down to the home planet of a new alien species. While there, he sees things he shouldn't--but he's not sure if he's really seeing them, or if the enhancements have finally made him crack.

Affairs of Dragons was published in Renard's Menagerie, which is sadly defunct. It's also available through Anthology Builder, which is where the link to the story will take you. And it was reprinted in the "Far Orbit: Apogee" anthology by World Weaver Press. You can read the beginning of it here. It's the sequel to "Illegal Beagles."

Summary: The crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua is hired by a mother dragon to move her eggs from one planet to another. She's in the middle of an ugly divorce and an uglier clan war. The eggs aren't supposed to hatch...

Bitter Honey was published in AfterburnSF but can no longer be read online. It's available through Anthology Builder here, and it also appears in the "Roll the Bones" anthology. The link in the title will take you to a short preview.

Summary: Desperate faeries raid a beehive for the honey they need to make it through a deadly winter. But at what cost to both faeries and bees?

Fortunes of Soldiers was published by Cosmos magazine, with a fabulous illustration by Emrah Elmasli. You can also buy it through Anthology Builder (link takes you to a preview of it), and it's in the You're Not Alone anthology edited by Damien Broderick.

Summary: Two week's pay for one night's work, babysitting a spoiled asteroid heiress? Mercenary Jake O'Dell thinks all his jobs should be this easy. Until, of course, everything goes disastrously wrong.

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf was published by Darwin's Evolutions, with a fabulous illustration by Karl Nordman. It's also available as a high-quality .pdf download. You can get it through Anthology Builder as well. You can read the beginning of it here, and purchase it here.

Summary: Mark Newman loves being a werewolf. But when his wife finds out she's pregnant, she attempts to cure him against his will, in his sleep. Naturally, it goes horribly wrong--and it goes even wronger when she gets a well-meaning priest involved, poor fellow.

My author page on Amazon is here. My author page at Anthology Builder is here. You can read more of my fiction right here on this LJ. I have a "DVD extra" from my first novel that introduces a couple of characters to each other under less-than-optimal circumstances, and you can read that here. This is one of my very favorite scenes. I post occasional snippets of my stories, and those can be accessed via my snippets tag.

Most of this LJ is me whining about writing, with some Real Life and Fannish Squee and a scosh of Politics thrown in on occasion. I have more information on my User Info page, or you can peruse my tags and see if anything in there looks interesting. You can also follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook. I don't always follow back on Twitter, especially if I don't know you, but I do friend back on FB.

So. Come in, kick back, have fun. If you feel like commenting, please do.

Tue, Jul. 26th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Mon, 17:56: Sweet child of mine, I can hear you yelling at your Xbox from my upstairs bedroom. Maybe you should go outside and touch some grass.

Sun, Jul. 24th, 2016, 03:10 pm
My tweets

Sat, Jul. 23rd, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Thu, Jul. 21st, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 12:34: That moment when you're mowing the lawn and find a dead, squishy bird so embedded in the yard that you can't kick it aside. :/
  • Wed, 13:29: Dear Publishers: What is wrong with Standard Manuscript Format? https://t.co/VYHbahqJfd
  • Wed, 17:26: I now have the same number of acceptances for 2016 that I had in all of 2015.
  • Wed, 19:14: Best headline ever (that I probably should not laugh at): Protester Lights Himself On Fire While Trying To Burn American Flag...
  • Wed, 22:15: "@Werewolf: The Beast Among Us"--picked up at FYE for $4. Verdict: Actually, surprisingly watchable.

Wed, Jul. 20th, 2016, 01:29 pm
Dear Publishers: What is wrong with Standard Manuscript Format?

Yes, yes. I've ranted about this before. At length. Well. I'm going to rant about it again, because it's getting more and more ridiculous.

Standard Manuscript Format. We all love it. It's ugly, but functional. It lends uniformity to our deathless prose. One-inch margins, double-spacing, name, story title, page number in the header, half-inch indent for paragraphs (via tab or ruler), first page with the contact info and word count. There's a few things up for grabs (two spaces after a period or one? Underlines or italics? It doesn't matter because those things are easy to change), but this is the standard for a professionally-prepared manuscript.

Unless you are a special snowflake.

I came across a market today (which shall remain unnamed). In their guidelines, they want:
  • 1.5 spacing (not double spacing, no, that would be too easy)
  • .3 indent (no tabs, use the ruler)
  • no header
  • very definite that they only want one space after a period
  • Times New Roman (yes, I realize that TNR is becoming as accepted as Courier New, but bleargh)
  • ETA: OH AND... a summary of the story. Kill me now.

I am going to assume that they also want italics rather than underlining, because that seems to be how they're rolling. But they didn't say so, perhaps assuming that modern writers don't use such outdated things. *snort*

And I look at guidelines like that, and make a o.O face, and then... don't submit, nine times out of ten. Because I am tired of ticky-tack guidelines that turn me into an unpaid typesetter for these people. And oh my God, but it seems like the less they pay, the more ticky-tack the formatting they want is! This is a small-press royalty antho. There's no guarantee I'll be paid anything at all!

I am also tired of having eight different files of the same damn story on my hard drive. PICK A FORMAT. I realize that publishing is in flux right now and everyone thinks that Word is a shiny toy they can play with, but... why do they insist on making my life more difficult than it already is?

The nice thing about Word is that I can make the stupid changes, save the file, send it, and then undo them back to my Standard file, especially for guidelines as ridiculous as this. But the weirdo formatting demands are becoming such that I don't even want to submit to these places unless they're offering pro rates or better. If you're going to throw wads of money at my head, sure, I'll format the damned thing in Papyrus or Comic Sans or friggin' Wingdings for you. "A share of the proceeds"? Ha, no, not unless I know you and I'm doing you a favor.

Wed, Jul. 20th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 17:53: #guineapigs are on top the cage on a towel. Kitten has climbed INSIDE the cage like she belongs there. My pets are so weird.

Tue, Jul. 19th, 2016, 03:08 pm
My tweets

Sat, Jul. 16th, 2016, 03:07 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 20:53: I really hate when a years-long friendship goes up in flames because one party flat refuses to listen when the other party says "stop."
  • Fri, 22:12: Well. I spent far too much time and emotional energy on that little contretemps. Time to grab the outline(s) and try to make some headway.
  • Fri, 22:21: MINE IS AN EVIL LAUGH. The things you come up with when you ask "So, what's the absolute worst thing that could happen here?"

Thu, Jul. 14th, 2016, 03:06 pm
My tweets

Tue, Jul. 12th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Tue, Jul. 12th, 2016, 11:06 am
Writing plate is rather full; it's a good place to be.

Apparently this is the week of "Yes, I can do that." (Hat-tip to Kevin J. Anderson.)

Can you get these edits done in a week? Yes, I can do that.

Can you help me write this fight scene in a universe you adore? Yes, I can do that.

Can you write a blurb for this novella? Yes, I can do that.

Can you get me this novel outline by mid-July? Oh, God, I hope so. Yes, I can do that.

Can you write a story for this anthology? Yes, I can do that.

The last one, I have asked myself, not being actually invited. But I am doing some really interesting research for it, and I love weird westerns (I've written two, both of which have been published), and OMG lookit those anchor authors I want to be in this thing so freaking much yes please. Hubby and I hashed out the basic plot over dinner last night (and, had I thought about it, I would have saved that receipt for tax purposes, because that meal was totally writing-related even if it didn't start out that way). I can, most certainly, write a 3000-7000-word story by the end of September. The outline commences now.

In other news, we have sold the airplane. The kitten continues to be amusing, and she and Grace sniffed noses with no hissing this morning. And, in case you missed it, Far Fetched Fables is going to do an audio version of my cat-hoarding dragon story.

Good things happening.

Sun, Jul. 10th, 2016, 09:05 pm
My tweets

  • Sun, 18:25: Good news in my inbox! @FarFetchedFable will be producing an audio 'cast of my cat-hoarding dragon story, "Habeas Felis." \o/

Sat, Jul. 9th, 2016, 03:56 pm
My tweets

Fri, Jul. 8th, 2016, 12:53 am
My tweets

  • Thu, 21:33: Lemme tell you, playing in someone else's sandbox when you have permission to do so is a whole different vibe from faffing about on AO3.

Wed, Jul. 6th, 2016, 12:13 am
I haven't done one of these in awhile...

So let's have a look at the State of the Subs!

This will be much less specific than past State of the Subs posts, because I have literally twice as many stories out making the rounds right now and enumerating what's happening with each and every one of them would bore all of us. So I'll just toss out the stats interesting to me.

Stories out: 32
Reprints: 5
Orange on the Submission Grinder: 8 (This means they're over their average response time.)
Red on the Grinder: 2 (This means they're past their stated response time.)
Being held for further consideration (that I know of): 5
Oldest submission: 279 days
Newest submission: 0 days (I have three of those. Yes, that means I sent them today.)
Accepted but not published yet: 10 (One of these, I have the feeling, will not be published, because the publication has disappeared and the editor is completely non-responsive after three queries. At least I got paid for it.)

And how many of these are werewolf stories, you ask? 19. Because that's how I roll. And that's not counting the ones where a werewolf is only a bit player.

I just checked a different box for my Grinder sub stats and discovered I really need to update my records over there...

Tue, Jul. 5th, 2016, 03:04 pm
My tweets

  • Mon, 23:02: Ah, Utah, where it is impossible to distinguish between my neighbors' fireworks and the city's. Happy 4th of July, everyone!
  • Tue, 02:31: Latest google search: "How much does a mounted moose head weigh." I have the feeling one is going to be THROWN in the battle I'm writing...
  • Tue, 10:54: Ahahaha. Woke up with the final bit of setup I need for this fight scene bouncing around in my head. Now I can actually write it. #amwriting
  • Tue, 11:01: I swear, old typing habits are nearly impossible to break. Just need to tell myself to worry about formatting LATER. Write it NOW.
  • Tue, 12:54: The things you learn when you google "tomato knife." I didn't know there was an actual specialty knife for tomatoes. Apparently there is.
  • Tue, 13:54: VERY TRUE. ...Unless it's you and your husband has a private meeting with the US Attorney General, I guess. https://t.co/g8cayKPlI0
  • Tue, 14:25: I just wrote the phrase "Oh, hello, deep-fried gnome." I love my job.

Sat, Jul. 2nd, 2016, 11:52 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 10:55: Going #birdwatching at Silver Lake Boardwalk!
  • Sat, 22:59: Wait, installation of Office 2010 went off without a hitch? WHAT MADNESS IS THIS. Of course, now I have to get used to the ugly interface...

Fri, Jul. 1st, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 21:30: Novel outline? What is this "novel outline" of which you speak? ...yeah, I have no idea what I'm doing. *cries*
  • Thu, 21:33: I have 24 color-coded index cards' with mostly setup. What happens after? *shrug* "Kidnap Ben & tie him to a chair" should be in there...
  • Fri, 11:44: Book Bomb for the handsome & hardworking @authorjohnbrown, July 6, "Awful Intent": https://t.co/2INXoz5Mel Mark your calendar!

Thu, Jun. 30th, 2016, 08:55 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 22:46: Amazing that simply moving a few sentences around in a story dramatically increases the tension and makes it so much better. #amediting
  • Thu, 15:50: The things you find when you google yourself... https://t.co/pUUTPt2Ecj Fun points about "originality."
  • Thu, 19:59: Fly, be free, little story! (I might as well send you in like you are, since the lengthening I was going to do /probably/ won't happen.)

Mon, Jun. 27th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Sun, Jun. 26th, 2016, 05:21 pm
Farmington Bay Birdwatching Pictures batch#3

And here's the second batch of bird photos:

A Killdeer:
 photo Killdeer01_zpsjkupcatw.png

Red-winged Blackbirds:
 photo RWBlackbird01_zpsr368jhrq.png

 photo RWBlackbird02_zpsquwctrne.png

 photo RWBlackbird03_zpspbxsm4qu.png

Snowy Egrets:
 photo SnowyEgret01_zpseptgzy0t.png

 photo SnowyEgret02_zpsrshwz9ta.png

 photo SnowyEgret03_zpsix8fjye0.png

I have no idea what this is. I've sent these pix to Utah Birds to see if they know Turns out it's a young Bullock's Oriole:
 photo UnknownBird01_zpsucosrv7h.png

 photo UnknownBird02_zpsn7k04p9q.png

 photo UnknownBird03_zpsn5on2pxu.png

Western Grebe:
 photo WesternGrebe01_zps7tynphhs.png

Western Kingbirds:
 photo WesternKingbird01_zps8wdtc4ia.png

 photo WesternKingbird02_zpsy9ouruzb.png

White-faced Ibis:
 photo WhiteFacedIbis01_zpsu11s7zol.png

 photo WhiteFacedIbis02_zpsytqqsgpg.png

 photo WhiteFacedIbis03_zpsrzaceb4d.png

White Pelicans:
 photo WhitePelican01_zpsmuaxtmku.png

 photo WhitePelican02_zpsjsbvkgqe.png

Yellow-headed Blackbirds:
 photo YHBlackbird01_zps6rmoe8cy.png

 photo YHBlackbird02_zpsayzyctzi.png

 photo YHBlackbird03_zpsmjak3own.png

 photo YHBlackbird06_zps8quif6jy.png

A baby Yellow-headed Blackbird:
 photo YHBlackbird04_zpsvp0lpcga.png

 photo YHBlackbird07_zps4wzgkep9.png

Who was subsequently fed by this fella:
 photo YHBlackbird05_zpsurbqtdey.png

Sun, Jun. 26th, 2016, 04:48 pm
Farmington Bay Birdwatching Pictures batch#1

I ended up with 58 photos I liked. I'm going to post the insects by themselves, in this post, of which there are eight. Then 25 each in two more posts.

Dragonflies and butterflies under the cut!Collapse )

Sun, Jun. 26th, 2016, 03:06 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 18:24: OMG you guys, I just held a skinny pig. https://t.co/fzBqUVIIY0
  • Sat, 23:33: I got some absolutely superb shots of birds in flight today, you guys. Looks like I have work to do so I can share them with you tomorrow.
  • Sun, 12:04: Poking through the photos I took yesterday--I had a real party with the Forster's Terns in flight. I <3 my camera.

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