Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 After All

We made it, Mayans notwithstanding. Not that anybody really believed it, but the "end of the world" wasn't. 

Anyway, I wasn't able to reach my story goal of one a month this year. Again. I will continue to shoot for that, but we'll see if it ever happens. I did manage to convince the editors of Rogues in Hell, Call of Lovecraft, Dreams of Steam III, Big Bad Anthology, The Martian Wave, The New Adventures of Foster Fade, Midnight Screaming, Southern Haunts, and Blink! to go along for the ride, but not all appeared in 2012. Traitor Angel did appear, fulfilling half of my quota for novels for the year.

I still have much work to do.

So I will make this a short post to fulfill the obligatory monthly blurb. Happy New Year to those who celebrate such. May 2013 be the year you finally complete those pesky New Year's resolutions.

Roll credits.

Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Closer and Closer

As I write this, the Mayan calendar is only 23 days from coming to a close. Guess I need to hurry and get those submissions in.

Me with Maria and the grands. Dylan, Daisy, Christal, Joseph, and Candy
November has been a month for family. We've had visits from parents, children, nephews, nieces, grandkids, grandnieces... and lots and lots of friends. It has been a great month, one I'll not soon forget. I learned a lot about how precious our time is with each other.

I have been struggling with a nasty session of gout for the last several days. As I get older, healing takes longer. In the past the gout only had me down for a couple of days. This one is coming up on a week without a sign of slowing. I've heard cherries help. Lord knows aspirin doesn't. They call it the rich man's curse. Wonder which rich man cursed me with it?

The blog tour for Traitor Angel came to a close after a very successful run. I am quite pleased with the response the book got from the reviewers. Many thanks to Seventh Star Press and everyone who participated in the tour. I am very lucky to have connected with a publisher that spends so much energy promoting their authors.

Looking forward to the December release of Dreams of Steam III from Kerlak Publishing which contains my short story The Last Frontier.  No word yet on the release date for the Big Bad Anthology edited by John Hartness. I received a couple of rejection slips, one from Seventh Star Press for their apocalyptic anthology and one from Prime Books for the Aliens: Recent Encounters anthology. I want to thank the editors for their comments in the notes. I will keep their advice in mind in future. Still working on stories for five other anthologies and just sent in a flash fiction piece to Quantum Muse for their consideration.

I won't be posting again until the end of December, so by then we'll know whether this blog will continue. At risk of offending everyone: Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah! Remember the reason for the season has nothing to do with Walmart or Zales.

Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Traitor Angel Arrives

Traitor Angel from Seventh Star Press

The second book in the Angelkiller Triad is now available from Seventh Star Press, and a blog tour has been launched to promote it. This is the first time I have participated in such a project, and it looks as though it should be fun and nerve-wracking at the same time. 

I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Here's a little about the book:

Jonah Mason, called Angelkiller, faces more than one decision. His Army resistance cell is wounded physically and emotionally, on the brink of falling apart. The mysterious allies calling themselves Knights are pressuring him to abandon his people. 

Meanwhile, the world outside draws closer to Armageddon.

As Mason and his friends pursue their campaign against Dorian Azrael’s global megacorporation, Andlat Enterprises, the stakes get higher with each desperate foray into the enemy’s computers. They are fated to lose one of their number and gain an unlikely ally, but any advantage they gain could be fleeting at best.

If they fail, it could mean the end of The Army and all resistance to the forces of Darkness.

I'm looking forward to seeing the reviews on this latest novel. Typically, my work has received feedback that ran the gamut from rave to pan. Obviously, I'm doing something right because my target has always been to get a reaction from the readers. Good or bad. And it certainly has done that.

I have decided to abandon the convention circuit for the remainder of the year in order to catch up with my writing projects. I don't travel as well as I used to (getting old sucks) and where I go doesn't seem to help promote the work as well as putting out new work as often as possible. 

I am also considering what to do about my position as editor of parABnormal Digest. With Sam's Dot Publishing being acquired by White Cat, it seems there may be some changes in the offing. I have been told that there will be a new managing editor as well, which makes me think the changes are going to be larger than I had earlier anticipated. Thank goodness I don't depend on that editor gig to put food on the table.

In other news, I am making plans to attend several conventions in 2013. These include Mysticon in Roanoke, Virginia and MidSouthCon in Memphis. Still looking forward to the release of Dreams of Steam 3 from Kerlak Publishing which will contain my story The Last Frontier. That story's main character James Mayberry is fast becoming my favorite steampunk hero. I think I may start using him more often. Upcoming also is the story Grudge Match in Pro Se Press' anthology The New Adventures of Foster Fade and Identity Crisis in the Big Bad anthology edited by John Hartness.

I continue to work on stories for several anthologies, including calls from Seventh Star Press and Pro Se Press. I was sorry to hear that Midnight Screaming Magazine is folding. Kara Ferguson, the managing editor, is a wonderful writer and I'm sure she is sorry to have to let the magazine die. Hopefully the writers whose work appeared there will find new venues quickly.

For my friends on the East Coast, please be safe. As I write this Hurricane Sandy is approaching. Having sat through several hurricanes myself, I know how dangerous they can be. Keep your heads down if you stay. Better yet, take this last chance to get inland as quickly as possible. 

Well, that's about it. Until next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The End of the World is Near!

For those of you keeping track, we are just a little over 80 days away from the end of the world, so if you're planning that around the world trip, better get started. If you start now, you might make it half-way before the four horseman start their ride. By the way, this is the culprit responsible, not the gaily colored Aztec calendar you see so often accused.

I won't go into why this has caused such a dust-up. I refer to the Y2K debacle, the Big One (earthquake) scare on the New Madrid fault, and the upcoming elections as examples of how people can get stirred up about the improbable.

It does make for entertaining television and movies, though. Some real stinkers, too. E.g. 2012 and 2012 Doomsday. If it's really going to happen, then making movies about it seems kind of in poor taste, one would think. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Anyway, time enough to worry about that.
L to R - Bill Eakin, myself, Hilaire Smith, Aaron Drown

I was in Hot Springs earlier this month and gave the initial workshop on writing short stories to a full house at the Hot Springs Fine Arts Center. I greatly appreciated the attendants' interest and interface. It was a room full of dedicated writers and writers-to-be very interested in the craft and ready to learn. My thanks to the HSFAC and everyone who participated in the workshops given by myself, Aaron Drown, Bill Eakin, Dan and Jackie Gamber, LR Barrett-Durham, EG Glover and Herika Raymer.

On the publishing front, I got the acceptance for my short story Identity Crisis to be included in The Big Bad anthology edited by John G. Hartness and Emily Leverett. I am particularly pleased about that, as Hart is a writer whose work I admire. My micro-story Ninjabot will be appearing in the Blink! anthology from Ink-Monkey Press (Mandi Lynch, editor). Pro Se Presents #13, which contains my short story Kelly's Beast is out as well. Some time ago I set the goal of trying to get 12 stories per year published. I continue to set that goal each year and it looks like I might actually get close to it this year.

The blog tour for Traitor Angel begins in October, courtesy of its publisher Seventh Star Press. This is the first time I will have participated in something like this. I do hope the cover artwork is done soon. I'm very interested in seeing what Matt Perry has come up with this time. 

With any luck, this blog tour method will take the place of having to travel all over the country promoting my work, saving me a boatload of money and allowing me to spend more time writing. The wonders of technology! Could I finally have found a way for this mechanical monstrosity known as the web to be useful to me besides as a gaming platform?

Only time will tell. Hopefully before the end of the world.

Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Time Dashes On

The month of August is almost over, and it seems like I can't keep up.

The Imagicopter Anniversary Event at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis was a great success. Attending were Windsong Levitch, Gerald Trimmer, Dan and Jackie Gamber, Robert Krog and Bill Eakin. We were glad that Allyson Adams could join us. She is the daughter of the actor Nick Adams. Her new book The Rebel and The King is now available, telling the story of Nick Adams and Elvis Presley's friendship. Each person got a chance to spotlight their work and the Gambers entertained us with a video from Allotrope Media and Jackie's "Dragon Spotting Workshop". Many thanks to all the attendees and especially to the Booksellers for their help in making the event such a success.
L-R: Allyson Adams, Windsong Levitch, Gerald Trimmer, Dan Gamber, Jackie Gamber, Robert Krog, Bill Eakin

ParABnormal Digest issue #4 is finalized and in process of print and distribution. I am very privileged to co-edit this magazine with Terrie Leigh Relf, a great editor and writer in her own right. I was confused about the release date of PD because of a possible scheduling change that didn't pan out. The magazine will still be issued in March and September of each year. I have a significant backlog of submitted stories I have to work through for the coming March issue.

On a personal front, I want to thank Allan Gilbreath and Kimberly Richardson for their help with the radio and TV spots promoting the Imagicopter Anniversary Event. Allan and Kimberly have been of immeasurable value to Imagicopter's growth and continued ability to help writers and artists get their work in front of larger audiences. 

I have had no notice one way or the other from the stories I have submitted (see my last blog entry). I am finishing a story for the Perfect Flaw: Dystopian Stories (editor Robin Blankenship) and working ideas for the Thunder on the Battlefield (editor James R. Tuck) anthologies, both from Seventh Star Press as well as doing my best to finish the last Thran novel (Deity) for Sam's Dot Publishing.

My thoughts and hopes for health and safety go to those who have been hit by Hurricane Isaac. Til next time, the rest of you remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

Friday, August 3, 2012

July In a Nutshell

Now, I know it's August. I should have done this last week. But then, there was a lot going on.

Fandom Fest in Louisville, KY went well in spite of the fact that the literary events and track continue to be snubbed by the con committee. Once again Stephen Zimmer and his troops made a silk purse from a sow's ear, taking the substandard organization they were allowed and making it into something really good. My hope is that the thing will be separated into two events in future, with the Film Festival and its megabudget in one venue and the neglected step-child, the more modest literary event can stand on its own. It might not have the traffic, it might not have the exposure, it might not even have the participation, but it would at least have the respect of those who attended. It would receive the attention it deserved from the press, not a miserable mention as afterthought.

It is better to stand on your own in humility than cooperate in humiliation.

This is not a condemnation of Zimmer and his people. Last year they magically transformed a failed event into something to be proud of. This year they did even more, and there are no words to express how grateful all the literary guests were to them. There are also no words to express how badly they were treated by the Fandom Fest PTB. There were reports of volunteers for the literary track being abused verbally by high-ranking members of the committee. Literary guests were not even afforded water until Zimmer's people begged. Although the venue was thousands of times better than last year, nothing had really improved between the two conventions. I doubt they ever will.

Enough of ranting. Actually, more of a sadness expressed.

On the writing front, I have sent the manuscript for Traitor Angel to Seventh Star Press for final editing, illustration, and publication. My short story Grudge Match was sent to Pro Se Press for consideration for their The New Adventures of Foster Fade (Tommy Hancock editor), a resurrection of the Lester Dent character from the 1930s. I sent The Nomad's Testimony in to SSP for consideration for The End is Not the End anthology (Joshua Leet editor) and finalized the August 2012 issue of parABnormal Digest. Identity Crisis was sent to John Hartness for consideration for his Big Bad Anthology. I continue to work on the last Thran book for Sam's Dot Publishing as well as on short stories for three more anthologies.

On the publication front, The Shed (Call of Lovecraft, Greg Norris editor) and Chasing the Key (Rogues in Hell, Janet and Chris Morris editors) are out and available. I received word that The Last Frontier was accepted for Dreams of Steam III (Kimberly Richardson editor, Kerlak Publishing) and it should be out before Christmas.

Upcoming I have a radio interview (thanks to Robert Krog) with WKNO on August 8th at 9:00 AM, concerning the upcoming Imagicopter event at the Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis. I will soon be participating in writers' workshops in Hot Springs, Arkansas and a few other events before the end of the year, but the majority of my time will be spent catching up with my writing.

There are a lot of personal events taking place this month. Birthdays mostly but a significant anniversary (beside the Imagicopter one on 8/11). I'll get back to you on the monthly announcements around the 31st. Till then, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Summer of Argh

Okay, here it comes. The summer I find out what it's like to be too busy to breathe.

Coming this weekend I have several panels at Fandom Fest in Louisville, KY. Here's my schedule in case you're interested and haven't anything better to do (and who does?)

Friday, June 29, 2012

4:00 pm - Making the Most out of a Convention or Book Fair (Beckham Room)

Panel Features: Kirk Stevens(M), D.A. Adams, H. David Blalock, Ren Garcia, Kathryn Sullivan

Saturday, June 30, 2012

10:00 am - How to Assemble a Winning Anthology (Jones Room)

Panel Features: Jason Sizemore, Eric Beebe, Kimberly Richardson, Lee Martindale (M), H. David Blalock

11:30 am - Exploring Genres: Epic Fantasy (Beckham Room)

Panel Features: Carol Malcolm (M) H. David Blalock, Terry W. Ervin, Gail Z Martin, Laura Resnick, Robin Hobb

2:30 pm - Lovecraft’s Influence on Today’s Speculative Fiction (Morrow Room)

Panel Features: Michael West, Joe Dickerson, Eric Beebe, H. David Blalock, Tally Johnson

7:00 pm - Creating Heroes to Believe In (Beckham Room)

Featured Panelists: A. Christopher Drown, Gail Z Martin, Timothy Zahn, H. David Blalock, Lee Martindale (M)

Sunday July 1, 2012

2:30pm - Take a Flight on the Imagicopter: (Jones Room)

Panel Features: H. David Blalock, J.L. Mulvihill, Herika Raymer

The best thing about the panels I am on is that most of them don't require me to say anything at all. I.e., the panels on Epic Fantasy and Creating Heroes have really large names who will probably know more about the subjects than I could hope to relate. I may pipe up once in a while, but I plan to do a lot of listening. A man has to know his limitations.

I am pleased that two of the moderators, Kirk Stevens and Lee Martindale, are very good at their jobs. I really look forward to those panels in particular. I want to thank Stephen Zimmer and the whole Fandom Fest organization for including me in the event.

On to the writing part of the blog.

Traitor Angel will be done within the next few days. I must say this book has taken me places I never expected and that really annoys me no end. I hate it when characters don't behave. A few of them will not survive the last book because of that. Yes, I said it.

I have placed Deity back one in the queue. The main reason for that is because I have been recruited to write a story for the upcoming New Adventures of Foster Fade. Pro Se Press is resurrecting several characters created by the immortal Lester Dent and I have the honor of participating in their being reintroduced. 

I have always enjoyed pulp fiction. The Doc Savage books were companions in my youth and Pulp Obscura is dedicated to bringing them back. I hope to be a part of this effort for years to come.

The next issue of parABnormal Digest is finalizing. Hope to have all the coordination with my co-editor Terrie Lee Relf done and the magazine ready for SDP very soon. I recently signed the publishing contracts from Evil Jester Press for The Shed (Call of Lovecraft anthology, Gregory Norris editor) and Perseid Press for Chasing the Key (Rogues in Hell anthology, Janet and Chris Morris editors). Looking forward to them coming out soon. Have begun work on a story for the next in the Morris' HIH series, but haven't developed it enough to submit the idea for approval yet. No word from Kerlak Publishing about my submission for Dreams of Steam III. I won't talk about the rejections I have received. Just let it be said they still outnumber the acceptances.

Back to the notebooks. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Facebook and I Part Ways

Well, the month of May saw my Facebook page go to Timeline and me go to Google+. As I posted on my G+ page, I believe the new Facebook Timeline makes it too easy for criminal elements to find chronological information on people that gives them the ability to create resumes, recover information pointing at past events that could reveal keys to passwords, and so forth. Facebook is notorious for saying one thing and allowing too much. As a semi-public figure, my move is more a protest on principle than anything else, but I think it was a bad decision on Facebook's part (kind of like their going public with their stock).

Moving on, I have a flash fiction piece coming out in Midnight Screaming magazine (Kara Ferguson, editor) soon. With any luck, I may have a story in the upcoming Dreams of Steam III (Kerlak Publishing, Kimberly Richardson, editor), though I have not heard from the editor about that one yet. I continue to work on Traitor Angel for Seventh Star Press and Deity for Sam's Dot Publishing. With any luck I will have TA ready by Fandom Fest in Louisville (June 29-July 1).

That is my next event, by the way. I am looking forward to it this year, and am very glad they changed the venue. Last year's FF was a debacle of the first order. From everything I've seen, this one should be a great success.

Meanwhile, I was very pleased when Angelkiller (Seventh Star Press, 2011) hit #2 on the Amazon Kindle Free Bestsellers list a couple of weeks ago due to the efforts of Stephen Zimmer and the Seventh Star Saints. Small and medium press authors should have such luck as I have, working with these people. I cannot find the words to say how grateful I am to everyone who worked hard to make that two-day event such a success.

Cottonwood Cocoon by April Bullard
On the Sam's Dot Publishing front, I continue to work on the next issue of parABnormal Digest. We have another marvelous cover from April Bullard. April's work was featured as the cover on the last issue, and we are privileged to be able to showcase her talent. We will also have a feature from a paranormal group in Greece among the fiction, art, poetry, and articles. The Digest will be coming in August and February from now on instead of September and March.

Sam's Dot Publishing was recently "acquired" by White Cat Publications LLC. Exactly how this affects SDP's publications is something I'm not clear about, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to those of us who edit for SDP. 

Well, enough about me. Have to get back to the notebooks and finish up these projects. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Write Pulp?

A few days ago I attended PulpArk 2012 in Batesville, Arkansas, a convention conceived and hosted by Tommy Hancock and Pro Se Press. I had a great time and got a chance to meet some wonderful talent like John Lucas, Will Mangin, Levi White, and the entire stable of Pro Se Press writers. Also attending were my old friends Robert and Ana Krog, JL Mulvihill, Stuart "Shorty" Bergman, Allan Gilbreath, Kimberly Richardson, Georgia Jones, Selina Rosen and Lynn Stranathan, and the inimitable Sean Taylor. One thing I realized as I sat at my table and watched the antics of my fellow conventioneers: until I met Tommy, it never occured to me that what I typically write used to be called pulp fiction.

As a boy, I was fascinated with the fiction of the first half of the 20th century. It heavily influences the writing I do (and sometimes actually sell) even today. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered it being called pulp, but I never thought I might actually be considered among that company until now. I am delighted at the description. I am more delighted that Tommy has expressed an interest in me writing for one or more of Pro Se's publications.

I currently am involved in several writing projects. Besides the novels Deity for Sam's Dot Publishing and Traitor Angel for Seventh Star Press, I am working on a story for the Dreams of Steam III anthology from Kerlak Publishing. If I can manage it, I would like to grind out a story for SSP's anthology call. I already have stories scheduled to appear this year from Perseid Press (in the Rogues of Hell anthology) and Evil Jester Press (in the Call of Lovecraft anthology). Add to those my editing duties on parABnormal Digest and I have a full ticket. I sent Pro Se a story, Kelly's Beast, which was bought for an anthology that never appeared, but have yet to hear back. Tommy's been ill for some time. Hope he's better soon.

Anyway, I'm gratified to see pulp fiction getting a new audience. The stories with real heroes and villains are always easier to read and more enjoyable than the angst-ridden "fiction" of the last couple of decades. If I wanted real-life panic in my entertainment, I'd watch the news.

I'm going to dedicate May to my writing. My next convention isn't until Fandom Fest in Louisville, so I have some time to try to catch up. Will keep you posted. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Update

Yes, I know it's April. But I didn't miss March by much, so bear with me.

There was quite a bit of excitement this last month, not the least of which was the long-awaited launch of Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. This project stretched from November 2010, when the initial call went out, to Midsouthcon 30, which saw the official release of the book. I am very pleased at how the publication came out and encourage everyone to pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells is steampunk with a twist: machine vs. magic (an idea conceived by Phillip Barringer). Edited by Herika R. Raymer, it contains works by noted and award-winning writers and artists. Inside you will find:

The Ironwork Falcon by Jackie Gamber
Discombabulation by Robert Krog
Moved to Action by Angelia Sparrow
The Taste of Treasure by Kathryn Sullivan
Quest for the Dragon Scale by MR Williamson
Bit of a Bind by CRS Bailey
The Leprechaun's Story by JL Mulvihill
The Witch of Midnight Hollow by Alexander S. Brown
When the Heart Lies Open to Steam and Star by Anne Barringer
Wax Seal by Mandi Lynch
Survival by S. P. Dorning
The Black Dress by Nick Valentino

Poetry from Windsong Levitch, Michael Greenway, and Henry L. Sanders and artwork from Emily Mottesheard, Michael Bielaczyc, and Nigel Sade. Oh, let's not forget that cover art by Dan Gamber.

Needless to say, I attended Midsouthcon 30 and once again it was a great event. This convention is one of my favorites and I try to never miss it. I had a wonderful time, was able to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones. The panels were entertaining and the audiences engaged. Can't wait until the next one.

My novella High Kings received First Runner-Up for the 2012 Darrell Award for Best Novella. Many thanks to the jury and congratulations to A. Christopher Drown! His Path of an Arrow won the award.

My short story Evidence of the Eternal appeared in parABnormal Digest #3. This is a reprint of a story that appeared in 1999 at The Harrow, a UK based webzine. I was very excited about getting the story Voodoo Redgunk for that issue from Nebula Award recommended author William Eakin. His work has previously appeared in some of the most prestigious science fiction and fantasy magazines.

Still no word on when the Call of Lovecraft (Greg Norris, editor) anthology will appear from Evil Jester Press, although the rumor is it won't see light until September or later. It will contain my short story The Shed.

The next issue of The Martian Wave (Sam's Dot Publishing, J. Alan Erwine, editor) will contain my story Sparks, about the trials of a space station beleaguered by a mysterious and lethal virus. I understand that it will appear very soon.

Well, I believe that's it for now. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So, I Said to February, Thanks

Two events in February went by as quickly as the month.

Early in the month was MS PulpCon in Jackson, MS, piloted by Chuck Jett and Java Ink; fun and much too brief. It was a single day event about comics, the paranormal, and pulp fiction with guests zombie artist Billy Tackett, dancer Alia Thabit, filmmaker Richard Landry, and author Dr. Alan Brown. I arrived as Alexander Brown and Jennifer Mulvihill were setting up their respective booths. For a look at their displays, check my Facebook album. Besides catching up with Jen and Alex, I got to meet Kalila Smith, a fellow Kerlak author, in the flesh. I touched base with David Childers and the Truthseekers, spoke with SPARS about an interview for the Digest, and discovered a new venue for a possible story submission in future - Twisted South Magazine. (More photos)

The last weekend of February saw Jennifer Mulvihill, Herika Raymer, and me headed to Roanoke, VA for Mysticon. The convention is well outside the usual range of events I attend, but it gave me an excuse to also connect with James and Marcia Miller, old friends who now live in Maryland. It was great getting to spend a little time with them, even though the convention was very busy. Check my Mysticon album on Facebook for pictures about the convention in general.

I sat on several panels at Mysticon, but the one that I will always remember (read: will haunt me forever) was the Iron Author panel. The concept was similar to Iron Chef, where 3 teams of 3 authors each were given the ingredients for a short story which they had a total of about 10 minutes to write in relay. Plot points came from the audience, which in and of itself is a recipe for disaster (and hilarity). To give you an idea of what I mean, the plot points for the first story were 1. Sentient Mohawk, 2. Cow-tipping, and 3. A kosher vampire eating a pickle. It went downhill from there. Our team lost, but I am proud of what we were able to accomplish anyway.

Both events were a lot of fun and I would love to be able to do them next year. Next month comes Midsouthcon, so I need to burrow into the notebooks and get some writing done before that.

Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Slow Start for a Fast Year

January is almost done, but I'm already behind.

The Imagicopter anthology (Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells, Kerlak Publishing, cover art by Dan Gamber) won't come out this month due to logistical problems, although it should appear early in February. It was an ambitious project to begin with, so I suppose I should be pleased its appearance only slipped a couple of weeks. The experience has given me a whole new respect for small press publishers. I only hope the anthology does help the careers of the contributors. That would make the effort worthwhile.

I wanted to have the manuscript for Deity ready for Sam's Dot Publishing by the first of this year, but that didn't happen, and it's not likely to happen before March. I have two events in February (MS PulpCon and Mysticon) and one in March (MidSouthCon) I must attend. Preparation and travel for those events will take up a significant amount of time. As a writer whose muse is as fickle as a politician's loyalties, I find myself in a frustrating dry spell. I have tried every anti-writer's block trick I know without result. Not that I have given up, just spending a lot of time staring at a blank page with an equally blank mind. Some would say that's no real change from my normal state.

Of course, my short stories will be appearing in a couple of anthologies this year (Call of Lovecraft from Evil Jester Press and Rogues in Hell from Perseid Press [formerly Adventurers in Hell]) and I am working to try to get a few more. Still, my personal goals are to finish Deity for SDP, Traitor Angel for Seventh Star Press, make seven appearances by August, and finish stories for three other anthologies before their deadlines. Come September, I'll know for sure just how ambitious that is.

Meanwhile, a couple of stories have already gone to different periodicals for publication already. Evidence of the Eternal, originally appearing in 1999 at "The Harrow" magazine, will shortly be reprinted. A new science fiction story, Sparks, is under consideration at Aoife's Kiss magazine.

I was pleased to hear that my story The Real Magic (Dreams of Steam II: Brass and Bolts, Kerlak Publishing, 2011) was nominated for the 2012 Pulp Ark Best Short Story Award. I have written two steampunk stories in my life, and both have been nominated for awards. Is it possible I have missed my calling as a writer? Should I be concentrating on steampunk rather than science fiction and horror?

*Sigh* I hope I find out before the world ends in December.

Back to the notebooks. Stay low and keep your powder dry!