I’ve mentioned previously that I cut an annual autumn maze. What I didn’t mention is that the last couple of years, I’ve used a secret theme.
It’s hard to invent a wholly new labyrinth each year without being repetitive, so one year I chose an usual word from a book title, a word I figured no one would recognize, and used it as the basis for my maze. It seemed to work pretty well, the maze was reported properly twisty — the word was kitsune — and no one realized they were actually walking through connected letters.
That became my private joke. Half of the maze was bizarre swirls and winding paths, meant to draw out the younger kids but not lose them, and half was a series of interlinked passages based on some personal literary reference. But last year, I was found out, thanks to Google Earth. My mother, who with my father owns the field in which the maze is cut, was looking up her property’s aerial view for some reason and realized the map had been updated after I’d done my maze. Continue reading
Oh, how I hate titles.
At least in my own case, if a title presents itself early in the process, it’s generally a good title. If I don’t have one by late in the story or, God help me, by revisions, I will never come up with a title I like, and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Sometimes you just get lucky. Last week, a perfect title presented itself for a story which doesn’t even have a proper premise yet. Oh, and the perfect title even brought along a friend for a potential sequel.
But that’s not typical.
For this present story, I’m getting dangerously close to just wallpapering a room with pages of a thesaurus and bringing in a blindfold and darts….
The water was a lot of dead algae and also (not pictured) a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.
So, I missed the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference last weekend, and I feel pretty bad about that. I’ve been to the Colorado Gold only once, last year, but I really enjoyed the people I met there and the conference sessions themselves.
Dead fish everywhere. We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.
But I did get to spend a weekend at another (non-writing) event with friends, being eaten by mosquitos beside the highly questionable waters of Maumee Bay and Lake Erie, so that was some consolation. The tap water was officially safe again, but the lake water, not so much. I’ll let you know if the pollution-affected mutant mosquito bites turn out to have imbued me with superpowers. We can always hope. Continue reading
Today’s the day! Fae officially releases, with my story “And Only the Eyes of Children.”
If you’ve got a few minutes, please drop by the online release party tonight, from 7-10 pm EDT. It’s easy — it’s right on Facebook, no additional sign-in or contact info required — and there will be a lot of fun stuff going on, from giveaways to real-life fairy doors to recipes to a short history of Hoosier cuisine. I’ll even be giving away two Kitsune Tales books!
And just in case you’ve somehow missed why I’m so excited about this…. Continue reading
So I discovered something kind of interesting on Amazon yesterday…. Continue reading
Just a note…. I’ve had a number of questions about obtaining Fae, the anthology of fairy, and now there’s a simple answer: You can pre-order it here, in paperback or ebook.
Of course it will also be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and a gazillion other sites (and your favorite independent store can easily order it, if they don’t already have it stocked).
Have I mentioned that Fae includes one of my favorite short stories? Continue reading
This photo is not directly relevant to being cautious of writers. It’s just great on its own. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve said that people just passing through a hotel hosting a writers’ convention must be frequently alarmed. For example, I was sitting in the hall at my last such conference and overheard someone pleading for ideas on how to dispose of a body. “I tried burying it, but that didn’t work,” he said, “and I’ve thought about acid in a tub but it didn’t seem likely to clean up well. Can you help?”
Seimei Shrine 晴明神社 devoted to Abe no Seimei. Kyoto, Japan. Seimei Well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I did a fair amount of research for Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi, and some was much easier than others.
There’s a lot of research involved in any historical piece. I heard Susan Spann, author of Claws of the Cat, say that she had spent over two hours looking up historic ikebana seasonal arrangements, just to put the correct flowers (hydrangeas) in a scene. I myself spent considerable time researching the histories of such commonplace things as daikon and goldfish. But sometimes the source material is hard to come by, especially in English. Continue reading
Illustration in Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire story. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I (blood-red heart) vampires. Not any particular incarnation of them (though there are some incarnations I do particularly dislike), but the mythos of them. Creeping, skulking, life-stealing, blood-drinking, vein-piercing, sexual-metaphor-but-not-sexy-themselves vampires.
How do I love vampires? Let me count the ways. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So I was watching some football highlights and player interviews — okay, I wasn’t watching, exactly, I happened to be in the area when a television was playing. See, I don’t exactly follow football, as I tend to be of the opinion that if these guys are getting paid millions of dollars, they can each afford their own ball and they shouldn’t have to fight over one. Continue reading