Rosie is allergic to me!

My short story “The Truth About Goblins” is in a the Halloween Night bundle!

This story was originally published last year in the On Hallow’s Eve bundle, and I’m super excited to have it included in a second collection. I had such a great time writing it, and had completely forgotten that I’d wanted to write at least one more story with the same characters. I won’t get that done by this Halloween, but I’ve put it on my to-do list for next year.

Here’s the description of the story:

Bean hated Halloween.

It used to be his favorite day of the year. He had fond memories of teaming up with his friends to play tricks on the older goblins, and of the music and dancing and feasting that lasted until well into the next day. But after moving to live among humans, he spends every Halloween terrified that his true nature would win out and cause him to end up eating someone.

One Halloween an old friend visits. To his dismay Bean finds himself out amongst the trick-or-treaters, where he learns the real truth about goblins.

I also have a brand new short story out in Rocketpack Adventures, an anthology put together by Russ Crossley. Ten thrilling tales of action and adventure with humans and non-humans donning rocket and jetpacks to take on the future, the past, and alternate universes to defeat evil in all its forms!

This is the story I squeezed in during September, even though I was writing a non-fiction book that had an extremely firm deadline. I loved the idea of writing a story involving jetpacks so much that I decided I’d fit it in no matter how much work it was. And boy, was it a lot of work! Not because writing the story itself was hard, but because I was so crazy busy with the book I was writing, and I knew if I didn’t get the book done on time I’d miss the opportunity I had to include it in the NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—Writing Tools bundle (an annual collection of writing/publishing books). I managed to finish my story, “The Levitation Engines,” just before the deadline. Literally! I sent it to Russ a few hours before midnight on the day it was due. And I turned in my non-fiction book (Bundle Up) the day before it was due. Success on both fronts!

Here’s my update on new things I’ve learned and experienced in the past week, with my exciting new category to cover what I’m reading! Note that I’m not talking about what I’ve finished reading… 🙂


I’ve learned that dogs can be allergic to people!

Every year we’ve had Rosie (we adopted her in December 2013) she’s been itchy from roughly July to November. After five years of this, I finally decided to do allergy testing. And it turns out she’s allergic to me! Well, me and my live-in personal chef. 🙂 This seems perfectly logical, but I was really surprised. She’s allergic to a number of other things…grasses, trees, weeds, ants, and her strongest allergy is to wool. Yes, the border collie who would be awesome at herding sheep would, in fact, be allergic to her own flock.

We don’t know which of her many allergies cause her to be itchy for a few months a year. My guess is that her people allergy is not the cause of that, since of course she’s with us year-round. We’re going to try immunotherapy and hopefully that will help her next summer when whatever it is that causes the seasonal itchiness shows up. Maybe she has some issues all the time, thanks to being around people, but they manifest in a way we haven’t noticed—so hopefully the treatment will help her more than we’ll see.


I have a brand-new pillow stuffed with fluff from kapok trees!

My previous pillow was stuffed with down, and over the years it had grown smaller and smaller as the down compacted. It’s now a tiny fraction of its original size, and nothing I’ve tried to re-floof it has worked. I wanted to get another down pillow, but was a little uncomfortable about even cruelty-free down, so I did research on alternative fillings. I decided to give kapok a whirl, and I really, really like my new pillow!


Rather than actually finish a book, I’ve started reading a new one: Death by Polka, by Robert Jeschonek. It’s a cozy set in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I’m on chapter 14, and I’m really enjoying the story.

I’ve been working super hard on getting a few anthologies out the door, so I’ve been doing editing and formatting books instead of writing. This has been kind of a nice break, since I spent about six weeks super heads-down working on my non-fiction book (and on the jetpack story I snuck in during that time). But I’m looking forward to getting back to writing fiction. Which is good because I have a few more deadlines before the end of the year. 🙂

Jasper and Rosie playing. When one dog loses their grip on the toy, the other dog holds it up so the first dog can grab it again. 🙂

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