Extended Deadline: Short Story Submissions for ‘Shepherds of the Dead’

I’m excited to announce that because a few projects have been rearranged, I’m extending the deadline for submissions to an anthology coming out Fall 2015: PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD.

I’m really excited about the scope of this book. Here’s more detail on the project and theme if this is a new idea for you: PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD.

Basically, a psychopomp is any escort into the afterlife, from the Grim Reaper to angels and beyond.

Below is the latest mock-up for the cover. Still playing with fonts and such but hopefully this helps you capture the vision of this book:

Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20

Note that the original mock-up was designed with contributing authors on the front but we may go with something more like this. Just wanted to mention this in case not having your name on the front is a deal-breaker for you.

All names will be prominently displayed on the back cover and as mentioned earlier, selected stories will include complete bio’s linking back to your author sites and whatnot.

The new deadline is July 31, 2015.

Hopefully this gives a few of you a bit more time. I figured I’d offer the extra time window since I can.

I hope you’ll send in a story. New authors welcome!

My 100th Post! And Other Fiction Writing Updates

100 Posts on WordPress

WordPress just heralded me for writing my 100th post on this blog…

To celebrate, I am taking a quick break for the month of May as far as writing my usual Monday posts. Actually, I am doing this so I can focus on a few deadlines and such.

In the interim, here are some past posts you might be interested in:

Happy reading and writing!

A Couple of Poems for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month so this week I’m posting a couple I wrote.

I like poetry as a terse yet nebulous space in which to fling messy emotions. Basically, this means I write untidy poetry of the non-cuddly and free-form variety.

I enjoy reading all kinds of poetry but when I write it, I tend to want it to be like the reverse side of a cross stitch rather than the clear-cut, heart-warming front side. I want it to be a mess of threads reaching  toward a message but somehow still tangled and wild and weird, a bit like that line from Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t”.

If you write poetry, I’d love to read it! Feel free to leave a link as a comment.

Soul Lift

(this one’s about the intersection of scientific and spiritual progress)

 

Trivial as this bus is, I feel like it could become everything if it morphed into an invisible levitating ski lift system,

A Soul Lift complete with the creaking, swaying, sunny-sick sensation of a mammoth insect overhead–

Fate turned Mantis–swatting at the invisible cords that take us everywhere we need to be,

Like our legs never could.

 

Common as our legs are now, on the Soul Lift they would dangle out into the universe like dandelion gossamer

About to be whisked away for good, and as I bounce mine from the high seats at the double bus’ pivot points–

These benches packed with children squealing with delight and dismay,

As if legs should be wings,

 

Disappointed at how unamusementpark it has all turned out to be.

 

I realize that, exhausted as our legs are on a bus at 5:30 p.m. in the land of lithosphere gone to asphalt and concrete,

From our perch on the Soul Lift, legs would still be exhausted but like steam trains rusting down into the salt flats,

The saline yesteryear of it all would convince us to flaunt them like fashion accouterments

Like our legs always were.

 

But like rebellious vintage skateboards, the nostalgia of legs would be unreliable, skeetching out from under our torsos

When we demonstrated them as parlor tricks that would make us laugh, flounder, wince, and muse–

When it suited us.  Because they would still somehow represent freedom more than

Our tangible increase of freedom.

  

Carrion

(this one’s about the battle to be a writer)

 

When I am again a full-fledged Predator,

my courage applied to things real and speculative and not the past’s nit-picked hunts,

I will no longer trip over carrion carcasses like potential or security.

For too long an interim I have chosen against effecting proof,

reserved possible disaster for a fiercer soul…

And once I’d have done the faster faiths and so differently.

I’d have had the onslaught.

I’d have caught day.

I’d have had the deep flesh.

I’d have used the gums I’ve lost

from meatless gnawing at the dreamt.

Happy writing this week!

My Panelist Schedule for Life, the Universe and Everything (LTUE) 2015

LTUE Symposium 2015

This has been a busy couple of weeks, but in the best way–with awesome spec fic conventions! Last week was so rewarding because I got to be a part of Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2015. This week, I am excited to be a part of the Life, the Universe, and Everything symposium (LTUE) 2015.

This conference is a great opportunity to meet with authors, filmmakers, artists, gaming professionals, and other creatives of speculative fiction.

I am of course super interested in what the Guest of Honor Toni Weisskopf of Baen Books has to say.

I am looking forward to speaking on the Madeleine L’Engle and E. E. “Doc” Smith – Space Travel – Warp Speed vs Tesseract panel at 12 pm on Saturday February 15, 2015. What a topic, right?! I love that title, so kudos to whoever came up with it, and I appreciate being invited to this panel!

With my upcoming time travel serial The Salt Sheen Paradox slotted for release in early 2016, I definitely love this topic and am excited to hear what my fellow panelists share. Should be an awesome, mind-bending discussion!

I hope to meet skads of other writers and learn from the incredible programming lineup. Since I am working on some steampunk titles due out later this year, I’ll be like a sponge soaking up best practices and inspiration.

LTUE is less about dressing up than Comic Con or Fantasy Con, but if I see any awesomeness, it will be photographed and reported!

My Panelist Schedule for Comic Con 2015 #FanX15 in SLC

Comic Con FanX 2015

I am super excited to be a panelist at next week’s Comic Con 2015: Fan Experience in Salt Lake City, Utah. The last couple have been an absolute blast! 

IMG_5588

For all you writers, my book about how to save your poor wrists while amplifying your hourly word count came out a month ago: HOW TO DICTATE YOUR WRITING LIKE IT’S…2015. The first book in my middle grade series HULDUSNOOPS is also available, for those of you needing some Icelandic fantasy / sci fi in your lives (this should be all of you).

13 Advantages to Dictating Your Writing and What a Writing Walkabout Looks Like

Here is my panelist schedule, though you can also search for my name on the main event site or download the app. Please come up and say hi!

Friday January 30, 2015

2:00 pm: Writing and Health, Ballroom C

8:00 pm: Equality in Speculative Fiction, Ballroom C

I love going to Cons. The energy you get from being around that much nerdiness and creativity is palpable. And in the words of Stan Lee:

Comic Con Stan Lee Quote

So. Whether you are local or need to make the trip, it sounds like this is where you should be next weekend!!

But if you can’t make it, I’ll be posting about epic costumes and miscellany on Instagram which feeds to the right on this blog. 

My 4 Resolves for 2015 as Inspired by Ray Bradbury

Writing Goals for 2015

Last year I took on an overarching theme as my resolve for my personal and writing life: to become more congruent. I had never gone this route of approaching my goals thematically more than specifically and loved doing it.

For 2015, my thematic goal isCONTENTMENT. I want to be more content both personally and as a writer, though I have a few more writing goals beyond contentment.

In a way, this is code for: I’m taking this year off from goals! And I’m really looking forward to it! But actually contentment can be elusive and therefore is a goal.

Why Contentment is My Main Goal for 2015

In all things personal, I’m orienting myself toward accepting things as they are and seeking to improve things only insomuch as they maximize my enjoyment of life. By that I just mean, I’m going to eat healthy and work out, for example, because I’m happier when I do. Those things make me feel good. No other reasons are allowed in my mental space, because this year I’m strengthening my ability to savor life in its imperfection–to include downright enjoying who I am in my imperfection.

As Inspired by Ray Bradbury…

For my fiction writing, the fight continues and I have four resolves as inspired by Ray Bradbury’s ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING:

Zen in the Art of Writing

1. Contentment (as opposed to desperation!)

None of us wants to be desperate so it can be a funky thing to own up to. But I feel like every one of us is desperate from time to time, because that’s what happens when you care wildly about something. I’ve been desperate to make fiction writing work. Too bad that doesn’t work!

“That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

2. Bravery of the pen

I have things to write about that I’m scared to. Messy things. Inconvenient things. I’m going to face that this year in my fiction.

“What are the best things and the worst things in your life, and when are you going to get around to whispering or shouting them?”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

3. Joyous disintegration

In 2014, I needed to amp up my writing discipline and wrote a lot about productivity, but in 2015 I’m going to reprioritize joy and passion when writing my first drafts–or disintegration as Bradbury puts it!–while not letting go of any of that discipline. I’m requiring myself to draft in this state for at least one hour a day, six days a week:

“This afternoon, burn down the house. Tomorrow, pour critical water upon the simmering coals. Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today-explode-fly-apart-disintegrate! The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, by reading your story, will catch fire, too?”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

4. Poetry

I used to read and write poetry a lot, and it made me happy!! Why do we let those things go which make us happy?!

“Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your ear, your tongue, your hand.

And, above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile. Such metaphors, like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes. Ideas lie everywhere through the poetry books, yet how rarely have I heard short story teachers recommending them for browsing.

What poetry? Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms.”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

I’m looking forward to new writing adventures this year. Happy 2015!