80k and running the home stretch

Today, I broke 80,000 words on my work in progress. This was my original goal. In fact, it had been my goal when writing Schafer, though I only made it somewhere in the 70s on the first draft, dropping to 69.5k after revisions made it ready for submission. I’ve always been a little insecure about the short length of my previous books, so for me, it’s a pretty big deal to surpass this barrier.

I am very close to the end, too. I believe I’ll finish this first draft this week or next. While it’s likely that later revisions will shorten the manuscript, meaning it isn’t guaranteed the final book will end up past my goal, I’m very happy to have made it so far. I will be celebrating with some of the leftover birthday cake Emily got me (chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting, topped with peanut butter cups).

Though I still have a little more work to do on this draft (then a lot of work to do in editing and revision), I’m feeling very satisfied today and hopeful that this book isn’t going to turn into the disaster I feared (I always get scared in the middle of a project that it’s all going to implode and leave me with an unfixable mess—this has happened before).

I can see the finish line! Woohoo!

Happy Birthday to me: an update that is probably too long and one nobody really needs to hear

I’m writing this on my birthday. I am now 31 years old, young enough to still remain active and be considered “young” by a lot of folks, but old enough that my body constantly reminds me that I am no longer invincible.

It’s been a great birthday so far. I’ve taken the day off from writing. Two fried eggs and a pourover coffee for breakfast, a mango and some leftover stir fry for lunch. Since a little before noon, I have been smoking a rack of spare ribs in my Weber kettle charcoal grill. The weather has been mostly sunny, with a few large clouds that threatened to drop but so rolled on by. The temperature has hovered around 70 degrees F. Initially, I had some difficulty in getting the grill up to temp (supposed to keep within 225-265, aiming at 250 as much as possible), but now I’m over four hours into it and for the majority I’ve been able to keep it steady in the 250s. I’ve been reading the latest issue of The Atlantic and listening to the new Miles Davis collection Dad and Mom got me for my birthday, checking the grill temperature and making adjustments every twenty minutes or so. Today, I feel relaxed and happy.

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Bloodshot Books swag available

Hey guys, hope you all are staying safe out there. Emily and I are holed up over here on our mountain, though we have to go out occasionally for milk and bread. Don’t worry, we have our masks!

Bloodshot Books, my publisher for my next novel (Schafer, coming 2021) has just started an online merch store. Check it out by clicking the link here: https://www.zazzle.com/store/bloodshotbooks. I don’t know about you, but I think I’m getting me one of them mugs. Like I don’t have enough coffee mugs…

Antique Bed free until Friday night

It’s a confusing and scary time. I don’t think I’m likely to get seriously ill from the Corona Virus due to my location, age, and health, but there are a lot of very vulnerable people, some of whom I know. And even those of us who do not get sick, or badly sick, still have to deal with the impact the pandemic is having on the economy.

They say that the best thing we can do to slow the spread of the virus is to stay home. So here we all are. Some of us are more used to avoiding the public than others. Some are more temperamentally inclined to stay home. Others are used to being out with friends and/or coworkers constantly and don’t know what to do with their time. Shelter in place, by itself, is certainly not the worst thing to happen to us, compared to what might happen if we didn’t all shut ourselves in for a little while.

Still, it can be frustrating, even for the most introverted among us. Many of my author friends have already offered some of their work for free for readers struggling to stay sane as they find themselves with more free time than usual. So in that spirit, I’m running a Kindle Free Book Promotion on my novelette, Antique Bed. It will remain free until Friday. Click on the thumbnail below to go straight to the Amazon page, where you can order the ebook to be delivered straight to your device for no charge.

I’m praying we get through this soon. Keep my sister in your thoughts and prayers, as she is a nurse on the front lines of this battle against the virus. They are low on supplies and are being forced to re-use their masks, which sounds absolutely crazy to me. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Please be cautious everyone.

Super cute video of my niece reading LITTLE ONE

My three-year-old niece decided to “read” Little One to my sister, who sent me the video. She is very cute and has some funny things to say about the book. I am using this video with permission from my sister and my niece, but I am keeping their names out of YouTube and this website to protect their privacy. Watch the video below and give it some likes if you want!

Haven’t read Little One yet? My niece is cute, but I would take her words with a grain of salt. Click here for more information about the book and links to purchase.

The Year of Orwell

This past Christmas, my brother- and sister-in-law got me the biography of George Orwell by Gordon Bowker that I had been wanting. Nineteen Eighty-Four has been one of my all-time favorite books since high school. It was the first assigned reading in High School that I remember actually liking. I devoured it then, and I have returned to it multiple times since. I considered George Orwell, whose actual name was Eric Blair, a favorite writer, though I had not read many of his works. Along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm was required reading in high school. Sadly, nothing else from Orwell was assigned, and I did not get around to reading more of his books until a few years ago, when Emily got me a two-in-one volume that includes Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London, plus a little booklet from Penguin that collects a few of his most famous essays. These works greatly confirmed my love for his writing, and created a greater desire to learn more about the writer.
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New short story forthcoming in DIM SHORES PRESENTS VOL. 2

I am very proud to tell you that I’ll have a new short story published in the upcoming anthology, Dim Shores Presents Vol. 2, due out sometime in the latter half of this year from Dim Shores.

“AV_NEST.CASEFILE” introduces a new character to Augustus Valley, an investigator who works for a top secret branch of the West Virginia state government who is tasked with reporting on mysterious goings-on around the state. It will appear alongside fiction from writers including C.M. Muller, Jennifer Loring, Mari Ness and a bunch of other winners!
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The new manuscript is coming along #amwriting #horror

Well, at the beginning of the year I mentioned a new novel idea that came to me recently that caused me to table the Bigfoot novel for a while. I’m pleased to say that I have continued to make progress on it, but I’m moving more slowly than previous novels. For my last two books, I averaged about five thousand words per week. Right now I’ve been averaging just a bit more than half that. However, at around 12,000 total words so far, I’ve already written more than I had over the course of two years working off-and-on with the Bigfoot book. So I’m feeling pretty good about it, overall. It is currently set in Elkins, WV, a town that I am getting to know and love a lot lately.

That’s really all I had to say about the book. I am hoping it turns out well and will love to be able to share it with you when I am able.

Other announcements should be coming soon. Stay tuned and don’t forget to sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss my next major releases.