(I’m In) Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe!

Very excited to finally be able to announce that my story “Midnight Man versus Doctor Death” will be appearing in Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe edited by Claude Lalumière & Mark Shainblum. This will be my second time dinging the Tesseracts bell, and my second time in one of Claude’s anthologies. I love selling to the same market again. It helps one feel like the first time wasn’t a fluke.

This sale also means a lot because superhero comics were my gateway to reading way back when. Between wishing I could draw better and playing various superhero roleplaying games, I have created more superheroes and supervillains than I can easily remember, so it’s a thrill to have one out there in the world officially.

I do hope readers will like Midnight Man (obviously), as the story ties into a couple of my other works-in-progress.

Here’s the complete list of contributors:

John Bell ~ P.E. Bolivar ~ Kevin Cockle ~ Evelyn Deshane ~ Marcelle Dubé ~ Chadwick Ginther ~ Patrick T. Goddard ~ Kim Goldberg ~ Geoff Hart ~ Sacha A. Howells ~ Arun Jiwa ~ D.K. Latta ~ Michael Matheson ~ Bernie Mireault ~ Luke Murphy ~ Brent Nichols ~ David Perlmutter ~ Mary Pletsch & Dylan Blacquiere ~ Jennifer Rahn ~ Corey Redekop ~ Alex C. Renwick ~ Jason Sharp ~ Bevan Thomas ~ Leigh Wallace ~ A.C. Wise

Write on!

Music Monday: “How Blue Can You Get” By B.B. King

I was saddened to hear of B.B. King’s passing recently. Along with Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” appearing in Better Off Dead, and The Blues Brothers on Saturday Night Live, King was one of my gateways to the blues. I first heard him play on “When Love Comes to Town” on U2’s Rattle and Hum back when I couldn’t stand U2 (I’ve since come around a little, but not much), and thinking, what the hell is that? Why do I like this song? It was all King. There was this growling bombast to his voice that completely drowned out Bono. I’d actually signed up for the Columbia House albatross again to order as much blues as I could, as cheaply as possible, and Best of B.B. King was one of the first blues albums I bought.

I’ve been down hearted baby
ever since the day we met
I said I’ve been down hearted baby
ever since the day we met
our love is nothing but the blues, woman
baby, how blue can you get?

Considering it’s the May long weekend, and we had snow in Winnipeg last night, I think the blues are entirely appropriate today. Rest in peace, sir.

Write on.

Music Monday: “No Loot, No Booze, No Fun” By The Tossers

Monday kind of hit like a ton of bricks this morning after spending a weekend lost in writing comics, and I feel like it’s going to be a long week of head down, nose to the grindstone to get ahead on some things before Keycon on the weekend, and to do my prep for the con itself.

Dig up stupid

So, in the meantime, enjoy some Tossers.

Bonus points for a Ramones reference.

Oh, the sun does rise, the birds do sing.
They fly around and shit on me!
There’s nowhere to go,
No booze, no loot, no fun.

Write on!

May Goals

How in the hell are we a third of the way through the year? I’m going to try not to think about that…

Instead, I’ll look back at how I did with April’s goals:

  • Work on my other WiP
  • Revise and submit one of my previously drafted short stories.
  • Get rolling on keeping the rest of my short fiction on submission again (FINALLY)
  • Finish my comic script

Progress on the WiP went very well (okay, there was a lot of swearing). Locked another five chapters, and made preliminary revisions on a few more. I’m at roughly the halfway point of this draft. It’s taking longer than I’d like, but it’s moving again for the first time in forever.

I organized my short fiction and found potential markets for my available short stories. Pretty much everything went out the door, including previously published short stories looking for reprint markets. I only had to hold one thing back, because I ran out of open reprint markets. I spaced the organizational tasks out over the month instead of devoting an entire day to submitting stories, which helped keep the job manageable, but it also highlighted why I need to stay on top of my short stories. Maybe I’ll set aside one day a week to ensure everything is up to date going forward. All told I think it was over ten hours to double check that stories weren’t in fact on submission elsewhere, build a list of available markets for each story, and then make sure those markets were accepting submissions. After that was done, came the tweaking of formatting and submitting. As I was in the middle of doing all that, a couple of rejections for previous submissions rolled in (for a while I thought I’d hit a new record, but 11 months was still a little shy of the longest it’s taken for me to get a response). So the hard part of keeping my short stories on submission is done. I just have to maintain the machine better for the rest of the year and that’s another big goal down.

I got sick again in April, or maybe more accurately, I never got entirely well, which cost me a weekend and lots of energy. I still feel like I’m fighting it. Blergh. That’s all I have to say to this bloody six week and counting cold. The cold definitely did me in on the revising a short story front. Another thing I’ve noticed is that once I hit a good deal of momentum on a novel, I am loathe to set it aside unless I am writing for a contracted deadline.

My comic script required three more drafts before I felt good about turning it in. I probably rewrote every word of that script, even if the bones of the story stayed the same. All of this was done without really imagining who might be drawing the story. But now the editor on this project showed me some sample art by the person they want me paired with, and HOLY SHIT. I really want this to work out. More news when I have news, obviously.

And what’s on the agenda for May:

  • Keycon is on the horizon (10 more days!), so I want to sort out what I’ll be reading during my reading slot. Chances are I will preview some of Too Far Gone, but I have an hour to fill, and will probably read at least one short story in completion (so let me know if there is anything you’ve a hankering to hear) in addition to a TFG teaser.
  • Polish up and practice my presentation for The Writers’ Union of Canada.
  • Keep plugging away at that WiP.

That’s it for May.

Write on!

Music Monday: “The Garden” By July Talk

A friend recently pointed me to this article, the premise of which is that you stop listening to new music at age 33. My first thought was: bullshit. But with more consideration, there has been some truth to that observation for me. That time frame roughly coincides with when I started seriously pursuing publication, and a lot of the energy that went into finding and listening to new bands started going into seeking out avenues for short stories and novels, and writing. It was also around this time, or shortly before, that I started walking to work rather than driving, so that added to my time crunch.

I suppose I never stopped listening to new music, but I’ve definitely slowed down on seeking it out. I’m fortunate in that I have a lot of friends who are passionate about music and haven’t quite given up the ghost, so when they pass something my way, I do take it seriously. I’m also looking out for old music that I may have missed the first time around. Daft Punk, for instance, is a group that I’m enjoying more now than when I first heard them when they started recording.

Which brings me to this week’s Music Monday.

One of my music procurers brought July Talk to my attention relatively recently. I knew that he’d found me something special when I realized that we’d been listening to the same album on repeat for a couple hours without feeling the need to change it. So maybe there’s hope for me yet.

This ain’t johnny carson
I’ve got thoughts that ain’t my own
I’m talking black souls dressed in red
And things that I never shoulda known

Write on!

Free Comic Book Day and Authors for Indies Day!

Today is two great days for readers! Authors for Indies and Free Comic Book Day.

I’ll be hanging my hat at McNally Robinson Booksellers from 1 pm until 2 pm recommending books, and maybe signing a couple of my own. I’m also set up virtually over at Valkyrie Books with a guest post.

Before I head to McNally, I’ll be trucking on down to my local comic shop, Mighty Comics, to get my Free Comic Book Day haul. One thing to remember about Free Comic Book Day, the comics are free for you, but not for the stores, and neither is staffing the shop, or keeping the lights on. So how about you buy something while you’re there to show some support. Cool? Cool.

Write on, read on.

My Preliminary Keycon 32 Schedule

I just received my schedule for Keycon 32. Obviously, it’s early days and the con is a few weeks out, so this is subject to change, but here is where you will find me if you’re attending:

  • Friday, 9 pm – Reading
  • Saturday, 2 pm – Blue Pencil Sessions
  • Saturday, 3 pm – Autograph Session 2
  • Saturday, 4 pm – Establishing Setting

Keycon will be held May 15-17. Hope to see you there!

Write on!