If you’ve only read my horror short stories, you may be under the misconception that I am a pessimist at heart. It may surprise you to know that I’m actually the exact opposite. I’m one of the most optimistic people you may ever meet actually. Note that doesn’t mean I’m bubbly, just an optimist.
I’ve been that way for most of my life and I strive to continue to be optimistic even when faced with some very bleak circumstances. If you ever meet me in person, you’ll know that I really do try to share that optimism with others too. (It’s a side effect of being an INFJ I think.) When a friend is in a really deep hole, I’ll pull out a shovel and slowly work to help them out of it. I consciously try to make the world a better place, even if it is through other-worldly horror stories or heart-wrenching fantasy. To continue this not-so-official goal of mine, I’m taking part in the “We Are The World Blogfest” cause the world needs to be a little bit more bright and cheery.
Basically the We Are The World Blogfest means that on the last Friday of the month, we all will post something positive and human. Something that gives you faith in humanity again. Isn’t it a refreshing change?
My April addition mixes a few things I love: short stories and technology.
These little short story dispensers sit in the center of a shop, usually a cafe, and you just plug them in and give them network access. All a user has to do is walk up, hit a button, and a random short story gets printed out. Now these stories can be filtered depending on the environment, such as stories targeting children or targeting a particular genre. Now as you can imagine, they’ve been quite popular in France, but they’re slowly trickling into the US as well!
Store owners love them because people will come in just to get a story, and then they are more inclined to come again since they’ve scoped out the environment. It’s a great draw for customers. Writers (like myself) appreciate them because they get our work out in front of more readers. And as for humanity as a whole? Well I think getting any kind of artistic or literary work out to the public for free is a good thing. We need an excuse to step away from our phone games and work email and conversations to step into a world built on words.
I’ve already signed up for the English version of this to submit a few stories of my own, but they don’t have that portion as beefed up as the French version yet. And unfortunately my French isn’t good enough to decipher everything yet. You can bet I’ll be keeping an eye on this though! I’m eager to see this take off!
Every January I make a To-Do list of all my major works in progress and figure out which ones I want to prioritize. Here’s the 2017 edition.
Looking back over last year, I’m super proud of all the work I’ve done. So many short stories got finished up, published, and I’m hoping that more get picked up soon. Here’s a quick rundown of everything I published this year.
However I did notice that I hadn’t made much progress on my novels. Outside of Beyond the Treehouse, I didn’t do that much work on the WIP novels I had. There’s a good reason for that actually.
At the beginning of the year I got a publication offer from a small publishing company, one that I had worked with before. Their communications were a little sporadic, but I was excited to get my book published. However the contract they sent me gave me major concerns. It took me a bit to find some legal advice, but once I did I felt like I had a grounded ability to negotiate and listed out my requests. Unfortunately a big request on my list was not available to negotiate, and I had to reject the offer. A few months later I found out that the publisher was closing shop after being in the business since 2012.
I was upset to hear what had happened to them, and to the amazing authors who worked with them. It was also hard for me to get back into working on my books after that. Short stories I could dive into easily, but books were harder. Books take a lot of commitment, and after having plans fall through like that, it’s been hard to get motivated again.
I’m hoping to change that in 2017. This year I’m planning on focusing a lot more on my novels, and hopefully knock out book 2 for one of my series on the list. I also have a standalone horror novel that I’ve been itching to start too. Here’s my list of WIP novels and short stories for 2017. Look at how complete that short story listing is too! ❤
If you want to see my 2016 WIP to-do list, check out my post:
Some excellent news this lovely October day! My Halloween-themed short story, “Dead Man’s Hill”, has been accepted into Sirens Call Publication’s eZine, issue 29: Hallowe’en Hell! Every issue of their eZine is free to read, so you’ll get a whole issue chock full of Halloween tales. How’s that for getting you in the Halloween spirit? Once it’s out, I’ll be sure to post a link here for everyone to enjoy!
This story was originally written in a response to the following prompt: A zombie apocalypse occurs in a society which has been ready for it for over a century.
So YES, there will be zombies. And YES, there will be gore. It wouldn’t quite be Halloween without it, right?
Also a big thanks to everyone who visited and posted comments on the HWA book giveaway last week! I haven’t gotten the notification on who won yet, but once I do, I’ve got the anthology right beside me ready to go.
If you missed out on grabbing a copy of Not Your Average Monster Volume 2 a few months back, you can pick it up quite cheap right now on Amazon, and just in time to enjoy reading throughout October.
In other news, I just finished submitting my blog post for HWA’s Halloween Haunts blog series, which will be posted throughout the month of October as well. Authors will be making posts, giving peeks at upcoming pieces, and having giveaways daily. So don’t worry, we’ll make sure there’s plenty to help you enjoy the Halloween season.
Now that I’m finally recovered from DragonCon (and all the con crud that came with it), we’ll be putting up our Halloween decorations soon. I plan to post pictures of how we decorate our home and would love to see yours too! We just made our Target run the other day since their Halloween items just got put on the shelf too.