Halloween is coming!

My short story “The Truth About Goblins” is out in a new bundle!

Celebrate Halloween with these spooky, creepy tales. On that darkest night of the year, when the veil between the ordinary world and the world of scares and imagination fades away, treat yourself to stories that thrill and chill you. Some tales are sweet as candy, some chill to the bone. Are the monsters real? Or just people in rubber masks?

If you’re up for a trick and a treat, curl up with these scary stories. Just remember to read with the light on!

The On Hallow’s Eve Bundle is curated by Rebecca M. Senese, and is available from Kobo, Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble. You can also check out the bundle’s Facebook page and Goodreads page.

I’m now writing a Christmas mystery, and right now it’s a bit of a mystery to me as well because I’ve figured out what’s going on but not all the details of who or why. I think it will go smoothly, and hopefully am right because it’s due in a few days. 🙂

I’m also getting ready to go to a week-long writing workshop on the Oregon coast. This is a business class, and I’m super excited. I signed up last December, so that should tell you how much I’m looking forward to this! I’m heading up a few days early to meet up with some other writers for a mini writing retreat, which will be great because I won’t have the distractions of home or work. I’ve got three stories lined up to work on, and will hopefully finish at least two of them – maybe even all three! And before all that starts, I’m going to spend a night with my good friend Shawn in Portland, and will visit with a cousin before heading out to the coast. It’s going to be a jam-packed trip!

 
 

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Hooray for fall!

I dutifully took my weekly peek at my deadlines yesterday, and became frightened…

I created a weekly calendar reminder when I almost missed a recent deadline, and set up lots of annoying notifications so I start getting reminded to look at my spreadsheet a full day in advance. This is working out very well, although it is increasing my stress level because I now have a constant reminder about all the things I’ve committed to doing for the next year and a half. 🙂

I’ve signed up to write 10 new short stories in 2018, and expect that number to grow since there are a few other things that are currently listed as tentative – plus who knows what else might come up? I’ve decided it’ll be safest if I assume I need to write 1-2 short stories every month, which seems crazy – but I know it’s doable. I just have to stay focused and figure out how to be better at time management. Thankfully fall has arrived here in Colorado and scared away most of my allergies, so I am almost back to my normal super productive self and it feels great! (Note that my allergies aren’t really that bad, so those of you who have truly awful allergies should scoff at me.)

I’ve updated my In The Works page to list the stories that have reasonably firm publication dates, so you can get a glimpse into what’s coming up. At least five of those stories are done or mostly done. 🙂

“The Truth About Goblins,” my first-ever goblin story, will be available on October 1st in the On Hallow’s Eve bundle, which is curated by the spookily wonderful Rebecca M. Senese. I can’t wait to write another goblin story – this one was super fun.

Fortunately I already have an excuse to write more monster stories! I’m teaming up with a friend on a series of monster-themed story bundles. We’re still pretty early in the planning process, so you’ll have to wait for more details, but this has been super fun already. This is also the first time I’ve collaborated with anyone on something like this, and I’m really enjoying working with someone else. The first bundle in the monster series is tentatively scheduled to come out in March – I’ll share more details as we work them out.

That makes three bundle series I’m actively working on – one about faeries, one with a fairy tale theme, and the monsters series. A Procession of Faeries is the name of the faerie series (not to be confused with fairy tales…yes, this is confusing…). The Faerie Summer is the first volume in this series; the second, Midwinter Fae, will be released in December.

I’m also gearing up to start a regular interview series on my publishing site. I already write a weekly how-to series for authors – the latest post is on how to bevel and emboss text with Photoshop, which made me want to spend hours playing with fonts! The new series will be a combination of interviews about authorly things as well as interviews with authors about their writing.

I realize this sounds like a crazy amount of work, and yes it is – and yes, I have a day job, plus Rosie and Jasper to entertain as well. But it’s really fun to have so much going on, and while I may be feeling overly optimistic now that fall is here, I’m going to plow ahead and pretend that my own to do lists (since there are several) don’t frighten me…

Rosie and Jasper are, of course, always at the top of the priority list. 🙂

 
 

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There once was a dragon…

A few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and had a hard time going back to sleep. For some reason I started thinking about dragons, and entertained my sleepy-but-sleepless self with a story about a dragon. I’ve thought about this idea every time I’ve had trouble sleeping ever since, and yesterday realized this story is the perfect fit for the fairy tale bundle series I’m organizing!

The current plan is to put together three bundles in the fairy tale series. If there’s enough interest the series could continue past three bundles, but I figured I’d start with three and see what happens. And, of course, three is an important number in fairy tale mythology. There are the three little pigs, the three bears, the three Billy Goats Gruff, the three wishes… 🙂

I have four short stories on the list before this one, plus some editing work to do, so for now I’ll just have to entertain myself with this story when I’m having trouble sleeping.

My goblin story will be coming out shortly in a Halloween bundle, and I’m participating in a few other bundles as well. Up until now I’ve written a new short story for each bundle, which has been fun, but has also been a lot of work. Two of my previously published stories will be in new bundles this fall, which is kind of cool – partly because I didn’t have to write new stories 🙂 and partly because it’s kind of neat to have gotten to the point where I have enough short stories out that they can appear in multiple places.

I’m still super busy. I made a list earlier this evening, and it looks like I’ll have about 20 new short stories published in 2018!!! A few of them will be stories that were finished earlier, but most of them will be brand new stories. This is both daunting and exciting! A year ago I would have felt completely stressed out just thinking about the prospect of having to write this many new stories, but I’m getting more comfortable with switching gears and creating entirely new things on a regular basis. And it’s getting to be more fun!

I do need to work on my time management. I’m pretty organized, but I go through phases where I’m really good and structured, and then I switch gears and spend my time organizing something totally unrelated to writing. This actually seems to make sense at times – everyone needs down time. But sometimes it’s because I’m working on a story that challenges me somehow, and procrastinating is a way to avoid whatever is hard for me at the moment.

My current time management goal is to restructure what I do when, so that I can work on the less mentally challenging tasks during the work week when I’ve spent my days at my day job, and then leave the weekends free for writing time. This is me tricking myself 🙂 because if I’m caught up on (or, hopefully, ahead on…hey, I’m an optimist…) all of my non-writing tasks, I’ll be able to focus on writing during the times when I’m most likely to have fewer distractions. We’ll see how this goes…

 
 

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