Awards Eligible Works from 2018

Here’s what I did in 2018. It was a pretty good year for publications, a new novel kicking off a brand new series, and four short stories (a personal best!). If you’re planning on voting in any of the major SF&F awards, such as the Hugos, Nebulas, or Auroras, and you’d like to read anything I’ve written, let me know (@chadwickginther on Twitter, or justonewick [at] gmail.com), and I’ll make sure you have a copy of any of my stories you want to read, or an excerpt of Graveyard Mind.

Novels:

  • Graveyard Mind (ChiZine Publications). I hope you’ve had a chance to read it, I think this book is my best work to date. Please also think of Erik Mohr who did my kick ass cover, and Samantha Beiko, my editor, who honed this book into the best shape it could have.

Short Stories:

  • All and Nothing,” Abyss and Apex, April 2018
  • “Midnight Man versus Frankie Flame,” Fire: Elemental Anthologies #1, Tyche Books, Rhonda Parrish, editor, August 2018
  • “Eating of the Tree,” Parallel Prairies, Adam Petrash and Darren Ridgley, editors, October 2018
  • “None of Your Flesh and Blood,” Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins, Exile Editions, Derek Newman-Stille, editor,  December 2018

I’m proud of all of these stories, but I think “All and Nothing” is my strongest work among them, and hey, you can read it online, so please check it out.

If you’re a comic reader, I also self-published Midnight Man Magazine #1 which includes the following short comics I wrote:

  • Midnight Man versus The Ghoul Gourmet (Art by Justin Shauf)
  • Midnight Man versus Corpse King (Art by GMB Chomichuk)

Cover art by Justin Shauf; colours by Donovan Yaciuk.

Thanks, and happy reading!

 

 

 

 

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New Year, New Goals 2019 Edition

So? How was your creative 2018?

Well, here’s how it felt.

Here’s what I ACTUALLY crossed off the list:

  • Finish drafting and revising Graveyard Mind 2
  • Finish drafting An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Keep my short fiction on submission
  • Systematic finishing of the short stories I’ve started writing but not finished. I would like to get at least six new stories out the door this year
  • Separating my IP from a work-for-hire project that didn’t pan out
  • Finish a draft of a secret project me and a buddy are collaborating on
  • Finish two comic scripts

Stretch Goals

  • Start writing a new book

Honestly, this is better than I expected 2018 to have turned out to be. i only drafted about 60000 words, down to nearly a third of what I’d done the last two years and even worse when compared to 2015.

I didn’t get much further on Graveyard Mind 2. Edits and then touring Graveyard Mind took up more energy than I expected. But! Me and Sandra Wickham made a big push at the end of the year and finished the first draft of An Excuse for Whiskey (We really need to find a title for that bloody book!) and that secret project which I still can’t talk about.

Keeping my short fiction on submission didn’t take a lot of energy as I only had a couple short stories that haven’t been trunked still in search of homes, and two of those sold! Which means of course, if I want to keep my short fiction on submission in 2019, I really need to finish some more of it. As to that, 2018 wasn’t great for finishing stories. I jumped around a lot between stories, making progress on several but not quite finishing any of them. A couple of those shorts have grown into novellas, which is relatively new territory for me, but that’s the length they want to be. We’ll see if that’s the length they need to be when I’m done with the drafting. I did a bit of work outlining one of the comic scripts I wanted to write, and while I know the page beats I want to hit, the actual script is far from finished. I didn’t start a second script.

Separating the IP from the work-for-hire project fared the worst. I made next to no progress. It’s one of the things I know needs to be done, but it sometimes feels like throwing good time after bad, when I spent most of 2017 on a novel that won’t (and can’t) see the light of day until this task is done, when every desire spurs me to just write the next damned thing.

What is the next damn thing? I guess I’ve started it, in that I’ve been doing a bunch of world building. There’s a few exploratory bits of writing that’ve happened as I’ve wondered who the protagonist is going to be. There’s even a map! But I’m holding off on writing too much actual prose until Graveyard Mind 2 is in the bag.

So, what’s up for 2019?

  • Finish drafting and revising Graveyard Mind 2
  • Revise An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Systematic finishing of the short stories I’ve started writing but not finished. I would like to get at least six new stories out the door this year
  • Separating my IP from a work-for-hire project that didn’t pan out.
  • Be ready to write that new book by November for NaNoWriMo
  • Read more

That’s gotta be plenty.

Catching Up On New Year’s Eve

Howdy!

It’s been a while since I’ve been active on ye olde blogge. Sorry about that. Lots of fun stuff has been happening though, I swear!

I attended the Parallel Prairies launch, which was a blast! I wasn’t one of the readers this time around, but I did participate in the mass signing afterward. It was great to see a full house for a book of Manitoba speculative fiction, this is something I’ve wanted to see for a long time.

I attended Can-Con in Ottawa in October, this was my third time there, and second year in a row, and I’m sure I’ll be attending for the foreseeable future. Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau and their team of volunteers put on an amazing convention, and it’s become my favourite event of the year. I moderated a panel on attending your first convention and did a reading from my Parallel Prairies story “Eating of the Tree”.

Shortly after Can-Con, I was off to St. Albert, Alberta to participate in STARFest. I had a great time swapping spooky stories with E.C. Bell, Rhonda Parrish, and S.G. Wong.

Most of us did a signing at the Chapters at Whyte Ave on Sunday, and were joined by Jayne Barnard. Sold some books, bought some books, and talked to some readers. All and all, a fine way to spend a weekend.

New Stories! I sold two new short stories this year.

One that just released: Over the Rainbow Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins edited by Derek Newman-Stille. This anthology contains my story “None of Your Flesh and Blood” which I’m stoked to have out in the world.

The other story I sold in 2018, “Cheating the Devil at Solitaire,” will be appearing in On Spec. I just signed the contract, so I’ll have to let you know when you can read it later, but this marks my third appearance in On Spec! On Spec will always be dear to me because they were both my first short story sale, and my first rejection.

Interviews! I did the Lucky Seven interview series for Open Book. Also interviewed on Books and Tea about Graveyard Mind. Also cool, I was interviewed for a feature in Quill and Quire!

I participated in Rhonda Parrish’s Giftmas campaign by donating my story The Gift That Keeps On Giving, and the campaign was a fantastic success! Here’s a message from Rhonda:

We did it! Our goal was to raise $750 for the Edmonton Food Bank but we blew that goal out of the water and raised $1,127! That is enough for the Edmonton Food Bank to provide 3,381 meals for people who need help.

Yay!

Thank you so much for all your support. Whether you helped directly by donating, or by signal boosting, or even by reading the stories (authors track our website stats, we see when you visit and we love it), it all added up to one heck of a successful fundraiser. You’re awesome :0)

To thank you all we gathered up all the stories and compiled them into an anthology — one you can download for free!

Click here to download it now for free!

The free anthology expires on January 1st though, so do check it out if you have a chance.

I think that’s about it for updates. If you’ve read this far, you deserve a treat. Enjoy some Tom Waits, and a story the song inspired:

New Year’s Eve

A Thunder Road vignette

Outside of the hotel that had become his home, the cold bit into Ted Callan’s lungs with every breath.

What is your resolution for the coming year? Huginn asked.

Why do you fucking care? Ted shot back as he lit a cigarette.

Call it curiosity, the raven said. Everyone else seems to be making one tonight.

Doesn’t matter, they’re all bullshit.

“Cold out tonight,” a woman’s voice slurred from behind Ted.

He turned to see a middle-aged woman, shivering in her dress as she struggled to light a cigarette, and huddled under a borrowed suit jacket for warmth. He was glad that he hadn’t addressed his living raven tattoos aloud.

Ted nodded absently and muttered a yup as he lit her smoke and then went back to his own.

You could do something about this cold. Huginn’s cawing voice echoed shrilly in Ted’s mind.

I’ve done enough, he shot back.

It had been a brutal, miserable fucking winter, and it was a long way from over. The mercury had only cracked -20 twice since he’d beat back Hel’s army of the dead, and both of those times, a blizzard had chased in, nipping the heels of the warmer weather.

“What’s your resolution?” the woman asked, and then without waiting for Ted’s answer, added, “I think I’m going to quit smoking.”

They shared a chuckle, and then took a drag, exhaling plumes of smoke that coalesced in the frigid night air.

Resolutions had to be Ted’s least favourite part of the New Year, aside from his usual—and fierce—hangover. He couldn’t think of a single resolution that he’d ever kept. But at least tomorrow he wouldn’t be passed out, body half in the bathroom and his head pounding with thunder instead of his fist.

Muninn trotted out Ted’s list of past broken promises; it made quite the litany. All had been chosen spur of the moment to fulfill a cultural need, not out of any genuine desire to change, or to better himself.

Quit smoking

Take up the guitar again.

Get back in shape.

Quit smoking.

Eat better.

Eat less.

He took a drag of his cigarette, and exhaled in a long sighing breath. Quit smoking.

That one had definitely been the most common.

“Happy New Year!” the woman yelled, voice thick with drunken cheer, as she butted out her cigarette in the hotel’s sand-filled ashtray. She rushed back inside blowing on her hands as she went through the brass-edged revolving door entrance.

Judging from his chuckles, Muninn was having a grand old time continuing down the list of Ted’s failed promises.

Be more romantic.

Quit the Patch.

Travel.

Everyone is making a resolution, Huginn pressed, staring pointedly at Muninn. Thinking ahead. Forgetting the past.

Ted didn’t get why the birds were so fucking excited about resolutions, but he supposed making one was the only sure way to shut them the hell up.

“Fine,” he grumbled. “Kill Surtur. How’s that for a fucking resolution?”

Huginn and Muninn exchanged surprised quorks.

“Not good enough? What about: go to my buddy’s wedding without getting everyone killed? Oh, and maybe repair all the goddamned damage that Loki’s done to my godsdamned life.”

Ted took a last drag and mashed his cigarette into the ashtray.

The ravens waited in silence for a moment, and then together said, You would have a better chance quitting smoking.

Art by S.M. Beiko.

Happy New Year!

Giftmas 2018: December 3rd

Edmonton has been good to me. In addition to being full of friends, and one of my favourite cities to visit, the hero of my first novel is from there, and most of my third is set there. And so I was thrilled to donate a story to Rhonda Parrish’s fundraiser in support of the Edmonton Food Bank. This year we’re trying to raise $750, which could translate into 2250 meals.

If you missed S.G. Wong’s story on December 1st, or Alexandra Seidel’s story yesterday, you can read S.G. Wong’s story here, and Alexandra Seidel’s here. You’ll find information about the other Giftmas contributors at the end of this blog.

Please read, and enjoy, and if you can, please donate to our cause. There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway full of prizes. Check them out at Rhonda’s website!

My story, The Gift that Keeps on Giving, started its life as a holiday challenge to my writing group for our December meeting many moons ago. It has since appeared on this website as a gift to my readers, but it’s been a while since I’ve shared it, so here we go again, and happy reading!

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Nicholas stepped nimbly over the coals still smoldering within the fireplace. He had years of practice, and nary an ash clung to his polished, gleaming black boot. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? He smiled at the old joke. Practice.

But in all those years, this was something new. It was new, and that bothered him. He pulled the long parchment list from within his heavy coat. Checking it once, he didn’t like what he saw.

He checked it twice.

But there was no disputing it. This house wasn’t on his list. Nicholas shouldn’t have stopped here. There was no longer a reason for him to have stopped here. That poor little girl. He shook his head. There had been nothing he could have done. Not all wishes can be granted. He sighed ruefully. And not all pains can be soothed with toys. It had broken his heart, what she had wished for, but it just wasn’t within his power to grant.

There were no decorations in this house. No tree. No garland. No mistletoe. Framed photographs lined the mantle of the fireplace, but no stockings dangled beneath the images of a once happy family.

Nicholas turned his back on the unhappy dwelling and started back towards the chimney. A creak on the stairs stopped him in his boots. It was a soft noise, followed by the shuffle of fabric over hardwood.

A child’s slippers.

He couldn’t be seen, unless he chose to be. That was the one rule that governed, and protected him. Him, and the magic of Christmas both.

“Santa,” a weak voice rasped from the stairs.

It was a rule he often broke.

“Yes, my child,” Nicholas answered as he turned; ready to flash the hundred watt smile that would bring a rosy cheeked, dimpled grin to the girl’s face. Perhaps the list was mistaken?

The smile died as he saw her, now practically on top of him. She’d crossed the intervening distance between them in a flash. Her breath, coppery and rank, wafted over him, and her grip upon his mittened hand was too firm to shake.

“You didn’t bring me what I asked for last year,” she said petulantly as she pressed her tongue to an oversized canine. A bead of black blood welled up slowly from the small wound. “But someone did.”

Nicholas screamed as she jerked his head down by his snowy white beard. Blood sprayed across the girl’s little face.

His blood.

She lapped at the arterial spray, like an animal. Her face was a vision of ecstasy. His eyes stopped focusing as she whispered in his ear.

“Now every child in the whole world will get my wish.”

*

Later, in every house that still believed in such things—and there were many—children left out plates of homemade cookies, and tumblers of milk, beading with condensation. Wherever they had succumbed to slumber a voice whispered through teeth that glinted like knives, and a stained rusty beard.

“I never drink…milk.”

Art by S.M. Beiko.

The next post can be found on Michael Tager’s site, here.

Check out the rest of the participants, and when to expect them below. If you enjoyed my story and want to support #Giftmas2018 please share this story, and those of my fellow authors.

Can-Con 2018 Schedule

Here’s where to find me in Ottawa during Can-Con:

So This is Your First Con– Never attended a literary SF convention? Well, this isn’t Comic Con. You’re going to meet a bunch of people, hear amazing insights from professionals on panels, and have a chance to sit with pros over coffee or drinks. Learn what Can*Con is and how to get the most out of it! Nicole Lavigne, Ryan T. McFadden, Kelsi Morris, Lisa Toohey, Chadwick Ginther (Moderator) Friday, October 12th, 6pm (Salon D)

Blue Pencil Critique Sessions– Want feedback from a pro writer or editor on your work? Bring 2-3 pages of writing and get real-time, in-person feedback from one of our expert critiquers. Or, sit down for a one-on-one Q&A about the writing industry. Sign-up HERE. Anatoly Belilovsky, Chadwick Ginther, Ira Nayman, Mary Pletsch Saturday, October 13th, 10am (Salon A)

Reading with David Demchuk Saturday, October 13th 6pm (Salon B)

I love this convention, always one of my highlights of the year! Hope to see you there!

Graveyard Mind eBook Release Day!

Today’s the day! Physical copies of Graveyard Mind have been trickling into stores for a little while now, but today is the official release day for the eBook. Please give it a read, and if you’ve already done so, please drop a review!

In Winnipeg’s underworld, every mortician is on the take and every revenant of myth waits to claw their way out of their tombs.

The dead stay in the ground because of Winter Murray, a necromancer of the Compact. A victim of abduction and a criminal herself, Winter stalks Winnipeg’s Graveside, preventing larger, more heinous crimes from spilling over into the lives of the Sunsiders, no matter what laws of gods and men she must break to do so.

Winter is a chimera, sharing the genetic material of her own never-born fraternal twin sister. Her dead twin’s essence provides her a link to the Kingdom – the land of the dead – and a tie to a past she’s run from for thirteen years.

Winter struggles to find a redemption she doesn’t believe she deserves. The temptation of dirty deeds is everywhere: An animated skeleton with a penchant for wearing dead men’s clothes wants her on his payroll. Her deceased, but not gone, mentor still pushes her to take the easy way by being hard. A composite man assembled from soldiers who still puts boot to ass when Winter demands. A vampire that wants just a taste. Each pulls at Winter ensuring a normal life remains eternally out of reach, and the easy way is anything but.

Available now!

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Chapters

Indiebound

And for the local folks in Winnipeg, McNally Robinson Booksellers.