Dream A Little Dream

Northern Haunts - Hardcover Style!Did I mention my books came? Did I also mention that I felt like Ralphie when he finally got his Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle (with a compass in the stock)?!

We get a slip in the door when a package is left with security, so when I heard that familiar "swooshing" I immediately bolted to the door and snatched that little white paper out like it was pure gold.

A quick trek down to the lobby and a not-too-big-but-definitely-heavy box awaited me. I whisked it back upstairs, of course couldn't find the box-cutter so I used my keys to rip the tape, and after opening it up and tearing out the reams of paper that were packed inside to protect my books, there they were.

10 hardcovers. Gorgeous. Pure bliss!

What else can I possibly say? So far, I've read about 10 stories, and I've loved every one. This is the perfect book for those people who complain they don't have time to read. You can easily immerse yourself in the worlds of a handful of writers by the time dinner is finished cooking.

Although, these sometimes creepy, sometimes gruesome, always chilling tales may be best read by candlelight to get the full effect.

And you can always put it in the freezer afterward, if you scare easily. 😉


The Waiting Game

My story in Northern Haunts!So, the arrival of Northern Haunts wasn't quite as monumental as I thought it would be.

Let me preface this by saying that this is my first publishing credit, you see? So I think I deserve to be a little excited, am I right?

Anyway…I got my acceptance email from Shroud at the end of August. I think I literally did a somersault or two (I would have done a cartwheel but my upper body strength is somewhat lacking).

After the elation wore off, that's when the torturous Waiting Game began. I waited…and then I waited some more. Then…the news. The books have gone to the printer. Yay! But then the ice storm hit. Boo! Wait a sec…printing is back on. Yay! Oh no…the proofs need a little tweaking. Boo!

Finally, the word went out on the wire – The Hardcovers Are Coming! The Hardcovers Are Coming! Can I get an order of 'Woo' with a side of 'Hoo'?!

I was okay with the waiting from that point. Tim, Editor Extraordinaire of Shroud has been a joy to work with. Plus, I kept myself busy with other projects, secretly daydreaming about that glorious day when the mailman would plunk a huge box, stacked 10 hardcovers deep, on my doorstep. But then various online writing buddies who were also in the book started reporting that they'd received their copies.

That's when the itch began. I managed not to scratch it for a few weeks but I finally caved and ordered myself a paperback from Amazon last week. It only took 9 days to get here. Imagine my excitement when I found out there was a parcel waiting for me! Squee!

I quickly opened it, and carefully plucked it out of the box. Then I thought to myself, "Hmm…it's a little smaller than I imagined. Oh well. What page am I on again? Let me just flip to the…what the? There's no Table of Contents. Where's the Table of Contents? And why does it…~flipping pages~…start on…Page 215? Uhhhh…WTF?!"

I was dumbstruck. If I were a cartoon character, there would have been a bubble above my head with a question mark in it. And then it would have popped.

Yeah, that's right. My copy of NH is missing the first 214 pages! The first 58 stories.

Gutted. That's the only way to describe it. This morning, I can laugh about it, but I was a serious mope last night. So, back to Amazon it goes, and again, I play The Waiting Game.

Again, I in no way fault Tim and/or Shroud in this. Everyone who knows Tim knows he's a stand-up guy. Truly awesome.

I blame my bad luck. Trust me…I've learned that in my life, everything is an adventure, from the smallest task to the most monumental. If something can go wrong, for me…it will. ~shakes fist at the sky~

The Moral of this story: Have a little patience.

The Silver Lining: At least I got the half of the book with my own story in it (and a few of my writing friends, to boot)!

P.S. When my hardcovers get here, I'm calling it a do-over. It'll be like this whole Amazon debacle never happened!


Road to…..Somewhere

Road to SomewhereSo, I'm working on my first novel.

After much planning, but not completely finishing my original outline, I originally started my then-unnamed project for NaNoWriMo 2007…a week late. And I still managed to "win", getting in my 50,000 words in 24 days flat.

At the end of November '07, I was drained. As in – I put my WIP on the shelf and didn't look at it again until that spring. I puttered around with it, in between working on other projects, and then went back to shoring up the outline, adding in new plot twists, an extra subplot or two, and prepared myself to get back to it for NaNoWriMo 2008.

Again, I "won", writing just over the required 50,000 words again. Woo! Go me!

And now, here I am again. After a few months of letting the story settle, I'm back to the book again.

It now has a (tentative) title – Thicker Than Water. But I haven't really added to the outline at all (which, to tell you the truth, clocks in at just over 100 pages – the book itself already groaning under the weight of its nearly 100,000 words).

And therein lies the dilemma. After plotting and planning the majority of my book for countless hours…I don't have an ending yet! I have a general road map of how I want to tie things up, but as I sat down today to get back into the swing of things, I realized that for once, I don't have detailed sketch of where I should be going or what I should be writing.

My only plan right now is to not let this hinder me. Granted, this is my first book, and there is no right or wrong way to write a novel. But I don't want to get into the mindset that I need that point-by-point breakdown of each chapter in my outline to move forward.

We're entering uncharted territory here, folks. Buckle up!

Today's Soundtrack:
[Oxycanta] Winter Blooms – Track: Waters by Sgnl_fltr

click below to listen!

Abandoned Places

Remember The X-Files episodes "Home" (with the inbreeding Peacock family) and "Gender Bender" (with the secretive, Amish-type community)? I'm not sure what it is about creepy small towns that I love so much, but I just can't get enough of them.

Maybe it's my "big city" upbringing. Or the weekend road-trips we take in the summer, picking a general direction and simply driving until we end up…somewhere.

Needless to say, these jaunts are an adventure. In fact, there has been more than one Texas Chainsaw Massacre moment. You know – the long stretch of road, the weathered cobblestone streets of small town Ontario and abandoned, falling down farmhouses just oozing atmosphere.

Lucan House
photo: courtesy of Ontario Abandoned Places

But there's just something about those unknown places that gives me a little thrill.

And well…call me crazy, but I'm up for more!

The only problem? We've gone everywhere! Well, everywhere a full tank of gas and a small stack of CDs will take us. Luckily, I discovered Ontario Abandoned Places. I sense a "What (Creepy Things) I Did On My Summer Vacation" post in the not-so-distant future!

I also love that they have super-secret Members Only locations on the website. It gets my twisted mind turning…I just have to know where they are, what history they hold, what whispers of long-forgotten times can be heard on evening breezes.

So, I'm keeping my camera charged and now have a whole new list of places to visit this summer (and hopefully a notebook full of story ideas). Who needs Disneyland?!

Music: Solar Fields – Movements: Sol

click below to listen!