Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tis the Gut a Pumpkin

Karla and the kids get in the spirit of the season....

Sheridan and Rowan each designed their own Jack o Lantern, and the knifework was left to Mom.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bedtime Stories

Check this out...

Rowan shows off her reading skills. She is autistic, six years old, and two months into first grade. Some of what she is saying is hard to understand, but she is reading the words correctly. Sometimes she insists on somebody else reading a sentence or two, but she is quite capable of reading the book herself. She has really been coming on lately, and we're so proud of her.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Look Ma! I Published Something!

Today, LL Dreamspell announced the release of their latest horror anthology "Dreamspell Nightmares II."
I set a personal best in this anthology, by getting three different stories accepted for it. And I feel they are three of my better short stories.

The first story is "Closing Time". It tells the tale of Erin, who discovers that some stalkers are tougher to shake than others...especially the dead kind.

The second is "Rite of Passage". Some people feel this is one of my more frightening works, and it received high marks at the writer's workshop at Apollocon where I had it critiqued. This is actually an earlier work of mine focused on mood and setting, along with back story.

The third is "Under a Racer's Moon," which is a bit of a layered work...and also has a touch of humor thrown in to balance things. Two young men are out looking for excitement, and find it in a big way when they find themselves in a race with a spectral De Soto.

Anyways, it feels good to see this come out and I hope everybody enjoys it!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Holy Crap! I Turned 50 Today!

Lovely. There are now full grown oak trees younger than me.

Bah! I don't care!

*shakes cane at world*

Everybody, get off my lawn!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Step in the Right Direction

Today, I just finished the very rough draft of the 10,000 word novelette, "A Long, Cold Forever of a Night." It is a ghost story, and features the young lady on the cover of the anthology. As I stated earlier, I hate it when a horror anthology has a really cool cover that ends up not having anything to do with any of the stories within. So I felt it would be slightly hypocritical of me to have this really cool cover that was made for me, and then not have this haunt show up in the book.

The story is still very, very rough but I think it's solid. I'm going to put it on the shelf for a few days and pursue a different project before returning and editing this with a fresh pair of eyes. I also wrote it because I wanted the stories in the Shades anthology to be more about ghosts than anything else, and currently its an even split between 4 ghost stories and 4 stories of other types of horror.  Now I just changed that split to 5-3. I would like to make it 6-2, or even 7-1, but we shall just have to wait and see if I can do it.

Anyways, it feels good getting it done. I have been needing a confidence builder, what with all the struggling I've been doing on novels lately, and this helps. I needed to finish something.

So that's that. There is still a lot to do, but I feel better about my odds of doing it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blog Announcement

As of now, the regular schedule of A Dark and Stormy Blog will be discontinued. For the near future, there will only be updates and announcements on here when I actually have something to announce.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. What it means is that I am now focusing even more of my energies into becoming a writer again. I have come to the conclusion that a writer is someone who finishes manuscripts and gets them out there to be read...and I haven't done that since publishing The Mushroom Man last February. The only thing I have actually been getting published is this blog. I have allowed myself to get hung up on several different projects, and it's time to focus all my energies on finishing things.

The other bright side is that there will be no more "forced content" for a while, just stuff that I feel is actually worth posting. So we shall see what we shall see.

I hope everybody has a good weekend. I will be out in the wilds of Kingwood, having a Cub Scout campout with the if you guys never hear from me again it may have nothing to do with me writing at all.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ghost Stories and Eight Year Olds

The above book cover is my current background on my computer screen, since it is one of the projects I'm working on. Lately, I have been working with my laptop hooked to my big screen TV so it was only a matter of time until my eight year old son, Sheridan, took notice and commented.

"Hey, Dad? Who's the weird lady on your computer?"
"She's a ghost, son. She's going to be in one of the stories I'm writing."
"Is that story done?"
"So, what's the story about?"
*I give him a slightly sanitized version that's was also made more accessible to the eight year old understanding of the world*
"Oh," he looked at the screen thoughtfully, "I guess that's cool. But you need to make her really scary."
"Really scary? Okay, kiddo...what would make her really scary?"
He studied the picture judiciously for a moment longer.
"Give her a rocket launcher. That oughta do it."

Yeah. So this is the wisdom I get when sharing my work at home. Just thought I would offer that snapshot in the home life of a writer.

(on a side note. It has always annoyed me in horror anthologies when there would be some super cool scene or character on the cover that turned out not to have a single thing to do with any of the stories within. So I felt duty bound to try and give the ghost girl on the cover a story of her own)

Anyways, work continues to proceed at a snails pace but it proceeds. Not a good week for writing though because of all the chores that need doing. I gotta get ready for the exterminator today. Maybe do some more laundry as well.

 I'm doing more reading nowadays with my new Kindle DX, so that's one improvement. I'm reading lots of ghost stories to see how I might do things different... short of a rocket launcher.

Happy humpday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Maintenance Day

Karla is off today, so we are taking advantage of the extra pair of hands to get some things done around the house. Rooms are being cleaned, and laundry is getting done. Appts are being made for prescriptions and for exterminators. Things are getting taken care of.

So I will return to writing tomorrow.  I'm just taking a ten oclock break to recover from the exertion before jumping back in for another hour. Then I think the two of us will go out and eat...something we almost never get to do since the kids came along.

So stuff is getting done, and there's not much to report. Sometimes, that's just the way things go.

Happy Monday!