Tag Archives: collections

When Life Sucks You into a Vortex

I have written very little on this blog this year and I was trying to do at least a few posts every month. But I really do have a good excuse or few. Sometimes life gets in the way of doing all those things you plan in life.

Here’s how my year started: I was driving to work on a dry January day when my brakes locked at 100 km/hr and I spun out into a cement barricade, smashing the car and myself. The thing was, my mechanic had never found the issue and it had only happened (sporadically) at low speeds. That was the one and only time at high speed, and if it wasn’t that traffic was light, I left lots of space in front of me (because I was always cautious of the car’s issues), and that there was a barricade, someone would have died. My leg was smashed badly but unbroken and I needed about four months of physio and chiropractic to get everything fixed. But because I’ve done pilates for several years, I’m better now.

At the end of June, I broke my hand, but they only figured it out two weeks ago. In July, I was ending one job and starting another so it was a hectic few weeks of finishing up the old job. In that time, my kitty, Venus, who was about 16 years old and had a slow going tumour, hit the hard part and I had to put her down. I finished the last ten days of my job and on July 13 (yes, Friday the 13th) I finished and within 12 hours was booking a flight back to Calgary as my mother was not doing well. I was supposed to start my new job the next Tuesday.

mom

My mother Amy Anderson was almost 95 when she passed.

By that Sunday, it looked like my mother had made a turn for the better so I booked my flight back on the Wednesday. Then before I left, she started to go downhill again. I flew back and started my new job late on the Thursday, and my mother was doing very badly. I worked one day at my new job when my new boss gave me a ticket back to Calgary. I arrived Friday and it was the last day my mother was aware and able to respond even a little. She had a bad heart and it finally gave up on Sunday morning. She was an amazingly tough woman and was not always easy to get along with. I’ll do another post about my mother but I wrote this about Amy Anderson for the obituary.

I then spent two weeks in Calgary with my siblings, going through my mother’s effects, writing her celebration of life and generally dealing with stuff. I then went back to my new job. I was only back a little over a week when my landlady, out of the blue, evicted me (because they didn’t want to be landlords anymore). It became very messy and nasty but needless to say after a couple decades and the cost of rentals in Vancouver, I was dealing with a move. The reality in Vancouver is very bad and that will be all for another post.

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A Body of Work, available through Black Shuck Books & Amazon

In amongst all of that I had a trip to the UK planned and paid for so I went to England and Wales and my book A Body of Work was launched by Steve Shaw and Black Shuck Books at Fantasycon. This collection features my dark fiction and I hope to do a N. American launch soon. I came back to more moving and packing and I haven’t stopped yet.

Needless to say, I’ve done little writing in six months. Yet, I have to remember the good things: I edited Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, and that came out in the spring from Exile, and a review in Publishers Weekly. I also was working

SF, fantasy, horror, jabberwock, mad hatter, bandersnatch, Alice, March hare, dormouse, mock turtle

Alice Unbound contains stories and poems inspired by the world and character of Lewis Carroll.

on fiction through my Canada Council grant back in the spring. “Sir Tor and the River Maiden” came out in By the Light of Camelot by Edge Publishing. I managed to sell another story but cannot as yet mention it.

And I would be remiss to not mention the poems that came out. It’s amazing I sold anything considering I’ve submitted very few things this year. “Mermaid’s Comb” came out in The Future Fire  #45, “Cinderella’s Pumpkin” in Polu Texni, “Savor” in the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V, “Learning to Run” in Polar Borealis #7, “Washday Blues” in Polar Borealis #6, and “The Sand Witch” won second place in the Balticon poetry contest. There could possibly be a few other things but I’ve really lost track, including contracts that I’ve signed/been signing.

I hope to be here more often in the near future and might pull in a few guests to write some posts. But this is the reason I’ve been quiet of late.

 

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Filed under Culture, family, horror, poetry, Publishing, Writing

Writing: A Trilogy of Books About Books

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“It’s Only Words” opens this anthology.

While I’m working on the second half of the demographics about Tesseracts 17 I thought I would do a little catch up on my own writing. It’s been a awhile and there is a lot happening. Read to the end for the Easter egg.

Over the past year and a bit I’ve been in three anthologies that have to do about books. The first was Des Lewis’ The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies, and out of England. The theme was that an anthology had to be mentioned in some way and part of the story. Out of this idea came my story “It’s Only Words.” Right now, Des is offering a three in one deal that includes this title, as well as Horror Without Victims and The First Book of Classical Horror Stories.

demons, anthologies, horror, fantasy, Demonologia Biblica

Available through Amazon. This is my favorite cover of all three.

The second story to come out was earlier this year. Dean Drinkel, also from England, but teaming up with Western Legends Press in the US, edited the Demonologia Biblica. Like an encyclopedia it contains 26 stories that go through the alphabet of demons, real or imagined. My tale “P is for Phartouche: The Blade” graces those virtual pages. This story had its genesis in a writing exercise of giving an inanimate object a personality and in my fascination in the past with the Elric of Melnibone stories where a noble prince was forever linked to a sword that had to drink blood once it was pulled. I look at it from a slightly different perspective.

Third, and just out, is my story “The Book With No End,” which has just come out in Dagan Books’ Bibliotheca Fantastica. Edited by Claude Lalumière & Don Pizarro, I’m not really sure how this tale formed but again a book hand to be integral to this tale. All these books are available to order online though the first is only in paper and the second is only an ebook. Check them out.

writing, fantasy, horror, speculative fiction, anthologies

The Book With No End, is in this anthology just out from Dagan Books.

Now, I have a poem titled “Don Quixote’s Quandary” which should be out in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly by the beginning of August. I will be featured on Polu Texni, also sometime in August with three poems titled “Father’s Child,” “Illuminating Thoughts” and “Heart of Glass.” All the poems are fantastical, with the first two at Polu Texni being Greek revisionings about Athena and Psyche respectively. (Both magazines are free to read online.)  A third poem in that series, “Visitation,” about Leda and the swan, will be coming out in Bull Spec but I still do not know when.

story collection, fantasy, horror, SF

Look for the Easter egg below for a free copy.

Now, I’ve been very bad about promoting my collection Embers Amongst the Fallen. It is mostly a collection of stories published elsewhere, and two stories not seen before. So here’s my Easter egg. If you leave me a comment by Sunday, July 28th, I will give you a code so that you can download the ebook for .99 (your choice of Amazon or Smashwords) or order the hard copy for $4.99  from Amazon. These are regularly listed at $8 and $16.95. Please specify which you would like. The first person who can tell me what my first published story was will get an ecopy for free. Yes you can find it somewhere on this blog. Okay, maybe this wasn’t an Easter egg so much as just a treat. Stay tuned for a few book reviews to come and more breakdowns on Tesseracts 17.

Aug. 2: I got busy and forgot to list that DangerDean is the winner of the free ecopy. He noted that my first published sale was Phoenix Sunset. This tale is in the collection and has been published three times before, my most successful story to date.

For the rest of you, I will be emailing you the code for the promo priced ecopy and the hard copy by the end of the weekend. I ask that anyone who gets a copy, please do a review and post it in GoodReads, Smashwords, or Amazon (or all three). Thanks for playing. Check the blog for further promos.

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