The last two months have been an insane juggle between maintaining my sanity and stealing Charlotte’s. I’ve felt strapped into the rollercoaster since DragonCon ended between The Day Job, reading for reviews, freelance work, my own work, performing and hawking for Art in the Square in Gainesville, hitting up a slamming book launch party for my darling friend Fox, and trying to find five minutes were no one was calling my name, setting anything on fire, or needing me for any reason.
Those five minutes were when I eventually passed out from exhaustion. Sometimes it just hits you all at once. Now it’s October and I’m torn between the need to get everything ready for Halloween and wondering what the hell happened to September.
There are a few items left on the table:
1) Congratulations to Catherine Scully for officially becoming a published illustrator. Yesterday, Claire LeGrande’s WINTERSPELL released, featuring Cat’s map on the endpages, front and back. I am so proud her and everything she’s accomplished this year. You can check it out in person at Barnes and Noble or your local indie retailer.
2) Maybe you noticed yesterday, but I put up a review. I’m going to start doing that. I talk about my own writing enough, why not add other authors? I’ve got a very belated one for Heart-Shaped Box in my skull.
3) Last, and certainly not least, this month will see the publication of my anthology piece, SLEIGHT OF HAND. You may remember it from last year’s Pen&Muse series, Dark Carnival. Well now it’s coming to an eReader near you! I am so thrilled (and nervous) to have been included. SLEIGHT has been revised since its first foray into the world, and since I love you all SO much, I thought I’d give you a little slice:
The greatest illusions begin backstage.
The once-white stripes of the tent mouldered into yellow, sun-bleached bone between slices of black void. The space around the tent remained empty, dust and mud and rot. Posters littered the ground, crumbled up and decayed, an accurate portrait of the magician within.
Percival Creepe stood bent and withered, his thin frame hunched, his hawk nose as sharp as his eyes were dark. The man on the posters was younger, not quite so bat-like or scarred but never could he be considered handsome. He stared at himself in the dingy mirror, at the decades etched on his face, unblinking, unfazed as he held the dove trap before him, clasped in long, twisted fingers. They sprang open.
The white bird vanished along with the cage.
He removed the wire trap from his left sleeve and shook the feathered corpse out before offering the cage a new victim. It fluttered its wings, blood dyeing its white feathers sickly red.
I wish I could tell you Percival was nice man, but you’d obviously know I’m lying. I don’t have a set date for the anthology release, but I will keep you posted. I was tickled to see my illustration in the set for the blitz:
When I opened the image, I smirked. I don’t draw nearly enough, and I was impressed with the line used atop the image. It was one of those surreal moments where I couldn’t remember if I’d written it. I didn’t remember writing it, but apparently it is mine. Go figure.
Hopefully October treats me well. I’ll be covering the newest season of American Horror Story for Criminal Element, wrapping up my rewrite, and planning some serious downtime.
Mental health is important.
Especially for horror writers.