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Lycanthrope: The Beast Within

It appears that this book is finally making its appearance and on a full moon night. How apropos!


Lycanthrope: The Beast Within press release:

Throughout history they have existed in folklore and nightmares…

By day they walk among us, hidden in plain sight. They are our neighbors and friends. But when the sun sets and the full moon rises, the beast within comes out…

And the hunt begins.

Grab a silver bullet and prepare yourself for 20 tales of animalistic terror crafted by authors from around the world. Travel across the ages and go beyond the myth to discover the horrific secrets of the werebeasts. See what lurks in the swamps of Florida; sprint across the rooftops of London in a deadly chase; follow an unfortunate soldier’s footsteps into the forests of Africa; find pity for a wounded soul who has yet to realize the full nature of his powers. These stories and others are ready to take you through a series of bone-snapping transformations that will make you howl for more.

From ancient cultures to the high-tech future, nowhere is safe from the shape-shifting bloodlust of The Beast Within. *** End promo

"Lure of the Wolf" is my contribution to this one, and I really enjoyed writing it. It's a tale of a librarian and the werewolf she finds living in her azaleas. Set is 2045, when the government manages the Vampiric Studies Institute and the Lycanthrope Commission, in an attempt to control some of the predator species that evolved after the wolves, big cats, and bears died off earlier in the century. A bit fanciful and, according to several of my beta readers, a bit romantic, "Lure of the Wolf" is now available.
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(no subject)

This is a hoot, an audio story that's now live:


"The Tale of Trapper Tommy" is the story of a wildlife trapper who gets more than he bargained for when tromping around the swamps north of Tampa. Tommy is based on a real guy. Well, sort of. When I was living in my lil' cottage, I had squirrels in the attic, in the chimney, in the walls, and beneath the house. I called one of the wildlife relocation services, and they sent this kid out to the house, who was maybe, I dunno, twelve years old.

Okay, so not twelve, but a Very Young Man. (And kinda cute). The name on his business card was Thomas, but the Trapper Tommy moniker immediately jumped to my mind and stayed. And I used it.


To his dismay.

So, I took the name and wrote a story. "My" Tommy is older and wiser, but he finds something pretty creepy out in the woods. Something that scares even an old-timer like him. It was fun to write with a colloquial first-person POV; it's just so much fun to break the rules, ya know?+

Sniplits sells audio stories for just 88 cents. Seems like a bargain to me. I'm hoping the audio markets pick up as more and more folks get plugged in with iPods and whatnot.

And yes, I'm surviving Fay. I wish the bitch would just move on.
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(no subject)

Okay, now I readily admit to not being techno-enhanced but I'm having an aggravating issue with this one document. It will lock up when I'm making a comment. Just locks up; I have to shut down through the Task Manager window and it does suck up the CPU to 100% once it locks. It only seems to happen with this one document which makes me think that the doc is corrupted in some way so how do I fix that?

Any advice appreciated! I've shut down Word about six times today already trying to get through this... I've been to the Microsoft site and browsed through the "support" articles there but nothing addresses this comments issue. It hasn't locked up any other time today and it's done it a couple times in the past but I can't recall if it was this same document.

:) I'm all ears!
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So, should we try to be like rock stars?

The last few months I've been reading some wide perspectives on the State of Publishing today and some solutions that various people have suggested. It's made me stop and think about what I write, why I write, and if earning a living from writing fiction is feasible anymore. In just the past month, Haworth Press announced it's being sold off, its fiction division in limbo as of this writing; Triskelion officially declared bankruptcy, leaving its authors and readers out in the cold; Mardi Gras and Silk's Vault are in some similar turmoil right now; and a recent survey found that many Americans only read four books a year.

Cut here, 'cause this is gonna be long.
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Accomplished today:

For other people-
Worked on one of the book doctor projects. Slashed and hacked mostly. It seems to work better for me to swoop through a manuscript multiple times: the first pass to cut and move scenes as needed; the second to write new scenes and add to what’s already on the page; the third to smooth out transitions and whatnot. And the last for a final light copy edit. I find it easier to concentrate on one type of fix at a time. Otherwise, I’d worry that I might miss something.

Worked on the first pass at a proofreading job. It’s a rush job but I want to let some time pass before I sweep through it again and send it back.

For myself:
Got a lovely acceptance email from the Boundoff editors. They liked “Boxes” enough to take it for their podcast! (This was the story that got an honorable mention in the Creative Loafing short story contest). I’m very tickled.

Prepped “Cages” for submission to journal. I’ll mail that out tomorrow when I hit the road and go to the bookstore and the library.

I feel like I haven’t been home in weeks. Between Epicon, and having the day job down in Tampa since November, I’ve felt a little disoriented: living out of a suitcase most nights, but never really unpacking when I got home so I can pack up again Sunday night. Now that I’ll be home full-time, I’m going to be more productive.

I am. Really.
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workshop reverb

The energy is still there from the Eckerd workshop; I spent my lunch hour today getting more thoughts about Tanner on paper- how he got from Raiford to Bloomington; his nasty little scene with a bank manager after the ATM shuts him out of the system; and I even thought of schmoopy, romantic, dramatic ending. Thisbe and Jay both said my workshop story seemed like a segment of a longer work and the more I think about Tanner, the more I think I may want to write a novel about him.

Heh. Who knew? Maybe that expensive Criminology degree will pay off after all. Getting into his head will be a challenge but an irresistible one, I'm guessing.

A long weekend coming up and I'm going to make time to write more Tanner. Yeah, I've got editing projects to keep on too, so I'll have to manage my time well. I do well with days in and days out: running all my errands at once then staying in to work and write. Helps me focus.

The rest of the Writers in Paradise workshop was so worthwhile. Not only the critique from the faculty but the other students in our group were thoughtful and giving and had great suggestions. And having that writers energy all around was inspiring as well. For many of us dealing with the real world, it's hard to remember that some people do value intellectual work and achievement in writing and take creative work seriously.

Got three rejections this week: one from Zog's Notebook, two from StorySouth but one of those was "close, but not quite" with a helpful comment. Maybe the Tanner story will go there next.
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Writers in Paradise workshop

All the good things that happen in a workshop are happening: on-target critique, lots in interaction with other writers, the creative atmosphere that comes from being with people who *understand* what the writing life is all about.

Thisbe Nissen is the workshop leader of the short story group I'm in and her process is so enormously helpful and supportive. First, someone reads a couple of pages of the story so that we can all get back into the piece and its world. Then we try to generate a concise sense of the story's "about-ness". Since different readers take away different things from a piece, it's instructive to hear what people may or may not be reading into a piece and what people completely gloss over or don't catch.

Third, Thisbe has people focus on the positives in the story. What really worked. A stellar piece of description or dialogue that rocks. It helps to establish that sense of trust, I think, for a writer to hear acknowledgment of what's been done right. If a writer hears that someone really "got" the good stuff, then it's easier to absorb the words about what didn't work.

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    giddy giddy
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Made the goal!

With today's unexpected acceptance of "Not to Forget" to Wordknot (http://www.wordknot.com/), I made my goal this year of 12 sales! This feels so good and reminds me not to set my goals too low for next year.

The podcast should be interesting. I've never listened to anyone else read my stories before and I suspect that I'll hear things I want to change. Which is fine; stories can evolve over time. This particular story is short, less than 2000 words, and I meant for a reader to read between the lines. I guess now a listener will have to listen hard:).

This, combined with an acceptance last week for an erotica piece to Fishnet, has made December a good writing month! Plus, I still have one story out to an invitation-only antho that I know will get a fair read from the editor so there's that one to hope for. Of course, there were rejections this month. Two from Glimmer Train, one from GUD, one from Greensboro Review.

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Celebration of the Story

St. Leo University sponsored a "Celebration of the Story" yesterday with a series of panels, author readings, and talks by a variety of local authors. I was lucky enough to be on the panel about what to do with your story once you're done with it. It had a great mix of authors with lots of different experiences in the publishing world: self-published, POD, traditionally published novels and short stories.

Whether self-published or published by someone else, we all agreed that no one has more passion for their work than the author, and marketing and promotion are now a huge part of the sales equation. For Rita Cerisi, an author with three novels published by small and big presses, the idea is clearly distasteful. She wants to focus her time on writing, not selling. It's a tough position to be in these days because publishers won't sell your book for you anymore. The author has to do it. And here's why:


It's always interesting to meet aspiring writers and hear their questions and concerns. I'm pretty straight up at panels; there's no need to hold back the truth. (Yesterday I told folks that at some point in time, they will have to go out and stick their hands up a cow's butt. Wait- it was an analogy!). As other writers have said before. "If you can be discouraged--you should be." Meaning, if what I say at a panel stops you from writing, then you shouldn't be a writer in the first place.

If you really want to do it, you'll barrel on, no matter what someone at a panel says, no matter what your family and friends say, no matter what. Because the only thing that should matter is the writing.
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