Autumn & Halloween books!

English: A traditional Irish turnip Jack-o'-la...

I think I’m glad we moved to pumpkins — this is creepy. The teeth! A traditional Irish turnip Jack-o’-lantern from the early 20th century. Photographed at the Museum of Country Life, Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, scarecrows aren’t limited to autumn, but somehow they’ve become associated with fall decor, so there you go. And Robin Archer works year-round in Indianapolis, but this cover has a cool jack-o-lantern, so there.

The point is, you’ve got book deals. Continue reading

Irvington Eats – a Robin Archer Gastronomic Tour

So Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night comes out Friday, and it’s set in Irvington. I’ll let Robin tell you about Irvington:

Back in the nineteenth century, a town was plotted outside of Indianapolis, which of course has since swallowed it, and it was called Irvington, after Washington Irving. Yes, that Washington Irving, and because his most famous tale is perhaps “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the community seized on Halloween as its patron holiday.

Irvington’s Halloween Festival is now over a week long, the oldest and largest in the country, and it features not only the ghost tours and costume parades and seasonal film screenings you’d expect but also roller derby and scholarship competitions and anything else which sounds fun.

This was a really fun setting to use, because not only is Irvington generally bonkers about Halloween and the supernatural (in a good way!), which is great for an urban fantasy, but Irvington has some fabulous local eats where I could send Robin and Jimmy. I mention only two by name, because you can only name so many restaurants in a novella before it looks like paid placement (it was not), but you really ought to know about these two.

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Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night – a new Robin Archer tale

Circles & Crossroads, a glowing jack o'lantern over a textured dark circle

This isn’t a real release.

Not really. It’s not a big splashy thing and it’s not a full collection of stories. It’s a novella, the next tale about Robin Archer. I’d like to do a whole series of short stories and novellas about Robin, a whole Circles & Crossroads series, and then release them in one set, but that’s not ready yet. But in the meantime, I’d like to share a new one with you, just because people have liked Robin so.

It’s a Halloween tale and takes place in Irvington, an Indianapolis neighborhood boasting the oldest and largest Halloween festival in the country. (I’ll be doing posting about some of the local scene soon.) When children begin to disappear from the festival, Robin and Jimmy offer to help search, and Robin recognizes a crime out of time.

Books traditionally release on Tuesday. But because this isn’t a real release, just a story for Robin fans, it hits virtual shelves on Friday, halfway around the week from Tuesday. That seems an appropriately Fae-like way to do it.

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Wild Foxes and the Photographer of the Year

red fox carrying bloody Arctic fox corpseDon Gutoski captured the graphic and stunning image he called “A tale of two foxes,” winning Photographer of the Year. You can see a large version and read more here.

I usually try to keep an eye open for good fox photography, but this is a really unusual image, demonstrating the rawness of nature and the conflict between species due to climate change.

I wonder if this image might inspire a scene in the next Kitsune Tales installment? Hmm….

Wordless Wednesday: Skeleton

skeleton climbing out of hole

I made the mystery trail/maze as promised, but I uncovered a significant hole left by some bank robber retrieving his stolen loot. As the trail is walked in the dark, this was a real hazard, so it had to be marked.

So we enlisted McCoy. McCoy (Star Trek fans will appreciate his name) joined us three years ago when we sponsored the 1959 The House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price at my favorite Historic Artcraft Theater.

By the way, I’m terrible at Wordless Wednesday. I freely confess to word count issues. Let’s call this, mostly wordless.

skeleton pushes woman into acid trap

“That Friend” and FOMO

Okay, I’ve seen a number of people post this now. Many are people who don’t know each other. And I’ve seen the sentiment echoed from all demographics, people getting student discounts and people getting senior discounts. It’s everywhere. Here’s the thing:

I'm that friend that has to walk behind the group when the path isn't big enough. I'm that friend that gets cut off in the conversation. I'm that friend that gets left behind when I asked for them to wait for me. I'm that friend that doesn't get invited to hang out a lot. I'm that friend that if I want to go tot he mall or some place with a friend I have to be the one to invite people to make sure I get included. I'll always be that friend.

 

And I’m going to step into the Old Ben mentor trope for a moment and pontificate, because it seems there’s something critical being missed.

Guys, this is not “that friend.” This is EVERYONE. Continue reading

Writing Games

Being a writer is easy. It's like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire. You're on fire. Everything is on fire and you're in hell.

So I came across an interesting game premise recently.

Well, not a game, per se. There’s no gameplay and no storyline and no final boss battle. There’s no leveling and no skill-building and no farming. No gold, no XP. Instead, it’s just a virtual environment to be explored like an open-world game, for the purpose of prompting would-be writers to actually write.

Lots of people want to write but are then intimidated by the blank page. And traditional writers’ adages don’t necessarily help.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. - Earnest Hemingway

Enter Elegy for a Dead World, a game to encourage novice writers to shut off the self-doubt and just write.

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