Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

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Third Life – Fool’s Gold – Week 2: Don’t Look Up

It only took a couple of days before I realized one fatal flaw to my plan of reinvention. Once you know someone, you don’t look at them. You might see them, and acknowledge their presence enough to hand them something or not run in to them at the coffee pot, but you don’t really LOOK at them.

Short of wearing bells, I’m not sure any subtle changes to my appearance or stance are going to get noticed. Maybe it’s a good thing, since it answers the big ‘what if’ but it seems like a lackluster result.

The dreary cold will not let go in our region. I suspect that until the sun shines for a couple days and we start to see the flush of green, that most people will still continue in their hibernation state.

Wake me in July.


Oh, Sweet Release…. Date.

Now that the ham and chocolate has settled, it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce that my soul book will soon be available for purchase from your favorite neighborhood e-tailers.

Houses of the Broken will be available to the public April 25, 2015 in all* e-book formats! There are rumors of a pre-sale, but more details and sneak peeks will follow as the timeline tightens up.

Many thanks to Cliffhanger Press, LLC for getting me this far. Can’t wait to pimp this puppy to the world!

*all = all ebook formats known to me….


It’s a Rebuilding Year

The humdrum of the ferocious winter is finally starting to lift <it’s Spring damnit, start acting like it!> and as the snow clears and the comfort food coma lifts, the focus on the year ahead starts to come in to focus. (I know, I know, we’re almost 4 months in to the new year already, so sue me!)

In the deep winter tundra, everything takes two times longer than you think it should. Getting dressed <6 layers might be enough to keep me warm in the -20 walk from the parking lot>, getting to work <I haven’t seen a snow plow in hours, is that an intersection or a white out?>, even getting groceries becomes a task equal to that of scaling Everest. Needless to say, for those of us in the North, in the winter things seem to go just a little bit slower as keeping warm, fed and out of the ditch consumes both our waking and sleeping hours. (Try waking up at 3am to a house that’s 30 degrees because the furnace. just. couldn’t.)

After the temperate torture sessions have finally lifted, it’s easier to get back to thinking of things that are ‘enjoyable,’ not just necessary for survival. Back to the keys, back to the projects, back to setting up in a little pool of sunshine and letting the imagination run wild.

I’m waiting on baited breath to be able to announce the formality of some shenanigans that have been in the works for almost a year now. It’s exciting on many levels, and daunting on the rest. But even when the snow is blowing and everything seems dormant, rest assure that the roots are gaining strength and preparing to burst out in flagrant <and maybe fragrant> color at the first sign of light.

This year promises to be all Lion and no Lamb.


Under Cover!

Very excited to be starting off the new year with a little bit of cover design for Houses of the Broken. Preferences have been put on record, sinister visions have been transmitted via the interwebs, and now we wait for the magic to happen.

Always curious to see what a fellow artistic type comes up with as a vision. It’s not always easy working for/with creative types.

Designer, draw thyself.

Not sure if I’ll get some teasers to share or if we have to wait for the big reveal, but I look forward to sharing the process!

 


2014 in Review. AKA – Things I never thought I’d do.

2014 has been a strange year. On paper it doesn’t look so bad, but to many of us it has been a mind numbing, soul crushing sequence of days. For me, this year has seen a lot of unrealized potential. Small flashes in the pan that keep a person spurred on, perhaps. While not much came to fruition, there are a number of things I didn’t realize I even had on my bucket list, that I can now cross off.

The year started with a new job. In the middle of the polar vortex. In a very old building. Nothing like starting a new job and immediately having to notify someone that the plumbing was frozen.

In lighter events, here is a simple list of highlights, there are a million emotional roller coasters that happened as each item played out:

  • Started a new, higher profile job.
  • Pitched a reality TV show.
  • Tried to start a business.
  • Joined roller derby.
  • Auditioned for a different reality TV show.
  • Got a book contract for my first novel.
  • Tried to start a business.
  • Survived a season of roller derby and actually played a bout (at my age!)
  • Covergirl for a photography business.
  • Tried to start a business.
  • Got unintentionally published in a magazine.

This was not a year of travel and adventure for us, it was a year of change and keeping things close to home due to such a shaky job market. Realignment of priorities, establishing some aggressive goals, and keeping ourselves sane. It didn’t always work, and it was never really easy, but we’ve made it so far. I’m still not sure where summer went.

Overall, I wish the word ‘perseverance’ didn’t come up so often, but there’s not much of a choice if you want to change your stars. 2014 started the trend of letting go, and I suspect 2015 will include some of the same. It’s a challenge not to give in and quit when things are hard. I’ve dealt with some new people I hope I don’t ever have to deal with again but I’ve also met some new people I’d like to get to know better.

Pipe dreams were chased and many glass ceilings were revealed. Now all I need is a brick.

All I can say to 2015 is – Bring it on.


Say Something Nice

I’ve been waiting to post something until I had something nice to say. It’s been a whirlwind summer and I’m still recovering. Lots of new things, lots of old things, and lots of tiring things.

I’ll start simple.

I like leather.

I like wine.

I ordered new business cards! Woo!

Now, why is it only Tuesday?


Seeking Substance – Is something better than nothing?

I was educated in the school of “Less is More.” Simplicity in design, God is in the details, what have you. Only produce and display the most refined product you can. Do not cloud the message with indecision.

While many times I can refine and revise before pen even hits paper, sometimes it puts me in to analysis paralysis. The ideas filter and loop but nothing quite breaks orbit. Then I start thinking: Well, practice makes perfect, right? To get better, you have to produce, produce, produce.

Where’s the balance? I find myself wanting to do everything and nothing, all at once. Nothing has been winning. Time and energy have been finite resources, and let’s face it: Nothing is a whole lot easier than something.

But I have more fun when I do something, even if it’s wrong. Ok… I’ll be honest…. especially if it’s wrong. (The right kind of wrong, of course!)

So here’s an attempt at something, instead of nothing. Now all I need is a kindred trouble maker to keep the something coming.


“The Call”

On Friday the 13th, under the Fullness of the Honey Moon… I’d like to announce that I got ‘the call.’

The call. THE call. The CALL.

I liked your manuscript! Tell me more!

An hour later, my head was spinning. Is this for real? Couldn’t be… my cautious nature waited for the other shoe to drop… and waited… and I reviewed the draft contract… and waited to hear that shoe go ‘thump’ and then… hard copy of the contract made out to me, notarized and in my hot little hands!

No thumps required.

Without fear and further ado, I’d like to announce my signing with Cliffhanger Press, for my debut novel manuscript Houses of the Broken.

I was thrilled to talk and work through everything with TJ Loveless, and can’t wait to see what kind of package we can put together. I just hope she doesn’t have to empty out too many red pens on my manuscript! *eep*

Buckle up for a new adventure! I still can’t believe it’s happening… But please, keep your shoes to yourself….

 


Technically Writing

I miss my woodchippers. I truly do.

I’ve been writing my fingers off in recent months but it doesn’t feel like it because it hasn’t been anything ‘fun’. Agent queries, product specifications, legal transactions… yes, I’ve been trapped in the world of technical writing and it just makes me yearn for the greener page all the more.

Some frivolity of tossing ne’er do well bodies in the ‘chipper could do me some good. Not to mention the question of what’s in the ‘meat’ that has everyone going crazy for it? The muse is demanding 80 degree days and fish bowl size tropical drinks heavy on the pineapple and rum. I would love to indulge her, but the Great Lakes region is not so forgiving.

In the mean time, the morning commute behind the local woodchipper service serves as a good reminder of what’s waiting for me on the other side.

Maybe soon I’ll be sharing exciting agent news! At least for now I know I’m official as the rejections come piling in. Until then… we wait.


Changing the Rules?

Why keep trying to beat someone at a game you don’t want to play? Interests and focuses evolve and change as we learn new things about our world and ourselves.

THEY say “Hold On!” But whose dreams am I holding on to? What do you do when you realize you’re still trying to measure yourself by goals you set before you even  joined the adult world? Naive expectation based on the way things “should” be, informed only by hope, logic and fairy tales.

This is not the way of the world.

The legacy of civilization carries with it inherent flaws which have defied evolution, lurking in the shadows of subtext. A generation is a small window of time, educated by its peers and environmental influences; it fails to grasp the bigger picture of how the machine began or the necessary evils that make it tick.

There is no level playing field and there never will be.

I neither want nor expect to have the life I wanted at 20. The world changed, forcefully, not long after that. The bright hopes on the horizon flickered and faded. Things got harder, things got leaner and the competition for merely enough to pay the bills increased.

It’s been that way ever since. Wondering when the other shoe is going to drop has become a way of life. Someone stole the brass ring and sold it for scrap.

It’s a new game… the old rules are useless.