Paws crossed!

My short story “Ilsa and the Dragon” is available in the brand new anthology Beauty and Wickedness!!! This is a collection of sixteen fairy tale retellings and brand new fairy tales. I didn’t base my story off of a traditional fairy tale this time. I had a clear picture of the dragon in the story, and while I wasn’t sure how a few things would shake out until I started writing, I knew I wanted to write about this dragon, and he doesn’t fit in any traditional fairy tale I’m aware of.

This collection is the first volume in Ever After Fairy Tales, a new series of fairy tales retold, reimagined, and new. This is the first time I’ve started a series knowing it would be a series from the get-go. The other series I’m working on is A Procession of Faeries, which is faerie-themed – as opposed to fairy tale-themed. Yes, there is a difference 🙂 even though there is some overlap. I’ve got a few other series in the works as well. I’ve found anthology series to be easier in some ways to organize than stand-alones. There’s an overall theme, but each volume can have a more specific theme. For example, the theme for the next volume in the faerie series is faery paths, portals, and passageways. That still leaves a lot of room for the authors to be creative, but allows the stories to have something in common that ties them together.

I’ve got three – or five, or maybe even six…I’m afraid to look at my list – new stories to write in the next month, so I’m going to continue to be super busy. And I’m still working on reading the many books that are part of the homework for the fantasy workshop I’m taking in April. Whew.

Jasper has his checkup on Thursday, and will hopefully get the okay to go back to hiking and ball playing. I suspect he won’t get the full green light, and that we’ll need to do more tests, but he does seem to be feeling a little better. Paws crossed… 🙂

 
 

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Checking it twice

Jasper practicing one of his tricks (‘head down’).

Jasper is hanging in there with his month of no hiking and no ball-playing. He’s learned one new trick: ‘hide your eyes,’ where he covers one eye with a paw. It’s very charming, and apparently very difficult to capture in a photo. 🙂 I’ve been working on teaching him to identify his toys by name, but he gets too excited, and things devolve into him incessantly squeaking a toy. I’m not giving up yet, but it’s possible that this just isn’t his kind of trick…

Beauty and Wickedness, the latest collection I’ve organized – and the first in a new, fairy tale-themed anthology series – will be available next week! This collection has had a lot of unexpected bumps, and even now that we’re in the home stretch things still keep on happening. The latest is that I developed a cold right before I began the final proofing pass, so I’m now re-checking things I just checked the other day. And it’s a good thing I am, since I realized tonight that two whole stories weren’t even in the ebook. Oops. At least I’m on the mend and am a bit more clear-headed than I apparently was for the past two days. 🙂

I’ve been invited to participate in another fairy tale collection, which is both exciting and amusing because that will be the third fairy tale retelling I wrote in 2018, as well as my third ever. I’d kind of like to tie them all together, and have some vague ideas about how to do so, but since I’ve got two more stories to write before I get to this I’m just hoping it all works itself out somehow.

Rosie on the brand new dog bed, after stealing a giant stuffed bone from Jasper.

 
 

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No, it is not mid-February

I realize it’s March, but persist in thinking that it’s really the middle of February. If that were the case I’d be ahead – or at least on time – with a number of different things. Apparently my subconscious likes this idea, because for the past two weeks I’ve reminded myself multiple times where we’re at on the calendar…and then I’ll forget and go back to my happy place. 🙂

The only thing that’s a little off is that one anthology is running late because of a minor mishap, but hey – much worse things could have happened! At least it didn’t have any hard time constrictions – like in December when Midwinter Fae almost didn’t launch until after Midwinter… 🙂 This is a great collection of stories, and I’m really excited about it.

I published an interview today with Chuck Anderson and Jim LeMay, the editors of Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence. Chuck and Jim organized this collection as a tribute to the late Ed Bryant. All of the stories in this collection were contributed by authors whose lives and writing were touched by Ed. I still remember Ed commenting on the first draft of my story, “Sleeping Stones,” many years ago. He had a way of telling you what was wrong with your story that left you feeling positive and encouraged, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him.

Notice the leashes. And the pine cone.

Speaking of learning, Rosie and Jasper are learning new tricks! Jasper, being the super happy guy he is, is making do with his month of not going hiking or playing ball (!!!), and learning tricks is no substitute for playing with pine cones on the trail. But it’s fun nonetheless. The challenge for me is that I need to find tricks that don’t involve lots of movement, since otherwise we might as well just go play ball. Today’s lesson was ‘hide your eyes,’ where he’s supposed to put one paw over his eyes. It started off well, but then he decided I was teaching him to roll over, which was of course breaking the rules. We’ll try again tomorrow…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Aidan, let me take a look at those,” Jane said, reaching out for the flowers he held in one hand. She didn’t blame Phil and Olivia. Every bone in her body wanted to run, but she felt compelled to look at the flowers, even though she didn’t know why.

She held the flowers up and shone her flashlight on them, and then gasped as she realized what she’d been missing.

“This is Micropetasos burmensis,” she said. “It’s a flower from the Cretaceous period that’s been extinct for close to a hundred million years. I co-authored a paper on this plant when I was getting my doctorate.” She shivered and met Aidan’s eyes. “Whatever’s on the other side of that opening isn’t just a different place, it’s a different time.”

– from the draft of a story that
will officially have a title as soon
as I hear what my mom thinks of it 🙂

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m waiting to hear back from my favorite proofreader (hi Mom!) about my latest story. Once it’s done, it will be the third out of eighteen short stories I’ve planned to write this year. I’ve been getting more disciplined about writing instead of procrastinating and doing something that feels productive, like making a new spreadsheet, or cleaning my desk. (Although cleaning my desk the other day was useful since I unearthed a few bills…) I love writing, it’s just that starting to write is often a challenge. But I’ve outsmarted myself! I have to finish all these stories, because I’ve committed to deadlines. 🙂

 
 

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