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I’d have better post titles if I updated more often, I think.

So, very busy (shock and dismay!). My yoke-fellow (I’ve decided to refer to my husband as “yoke-fellow” from now on, because it sounds right) and I joined his family on a river cruise in April, down the Danube. We went through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. This would need its own separate post to tell you about all the wicked-cool things we saw and did. So, here’s a picture.

Durnstein

The view from the ruined castle in Durnstein, Austria.

We also bought a house. Back to the city we go, because the “country”…well, it sucks. Or, the people suck. Some of the people suck. Enough to ruin it in general.

Foyer1

The stairs in the foyer.

This house…is amazingly cool. It’s big (we need big, not for kids, but because we work at home, so…space is good for not going insane). We got it for a steal, and because of that, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done (and we’re chipping away at it). That said, though, when it’s done…it’s going to be amazing. Original woodwork, five beautiful fireplace mantels, separate little “butler’s kitchen” (which is cute), built-in cabinet in the dining room. And that staircase. I mean, look at it. Lots of work (carpet’s already off those stairs!) and it’s wonky (it’s old, whatchagonnado? 1913), but it’s going to be home. Now, if we can just get it livable, get out of this house, and sell this thing, we’ll be set.

I’ve been doing very little writing. Well, with thee above…it’s been tough. I’ve also been doing work on my lit mag (which I’ll get to), trying to fit in work for my other press (which I’ll get to), and various other things. But, there’s this…

FreeSnake Poems

 

Free Snake Poems About Snakes: Let’s Do This is available, right now!

I also managed to get a piece up over at Andrea Reads America (which is a fantastic idea, fantastic blog…I highly recommend it). It’s a creative nonfiction piece called Black Bull.

In Nightscape Press news, we’re happy to announce that our very own Rena Mason took home the Bram Stoker Award recently for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Her winning novel? The Evolutionist.

EvolutionistLast but not least, the first issue of Despumation went live today. In print only, for the moment, but it’ll only be a moment. We’ll get the Kindle version up very soon. After that, hopefully other eBook distribution channels.

Desp#1CoverPreviewDespumation champions fiction that explores the diverse themes metal music customarily addresses using language to evoke the feeling of listening to the music. This issue includes stories inspired by Dio, Voivod, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Meshuggah, and Candlemass, plus stories and poems inspired by the metal scene, metal sounds, and metal concepts.

Get ’em while they’re hot! Tell your friends!

 

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LesFemmesFollesLogo

This was fun. Did a little Q&A with Sally Dreskin at Les Femmes Folles. Go check it out! And thanks, Sally!

LesFemmesFollesShot

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This is my favorite of the fest's posters, mainly for the, "Blam!" and the "Damn!"

This is my favorite of the fest’s posters, mainly for the, “Blam!” and the “Damn!”

Although there is never a lack of things to do here on the ol’ homestead, the end of filling the garden beds is in sight. I am expecting to have the soil in place, composted, and the plants seeded and/or transplanted by May 14th. We’re supposed to get rain for the next few days, that might keep me desk-bound for at least the duration.

It’s been good to be outside and doing some heavy work, as it’s kept me busy while I await the response from my beta-readers. Once I can settle back into a less manual labor-intensive routine, I do plan on sitting down with Stevenson’s The Amateur Emigrant to begin drafting the second novel in this series. I’m itching to get writing again.

So, April saw the release of Postscripts to Darkness, Vol. 3, with my story, The Obstruction. May saw an acceptance of my story, The Second Battle of Gettysburg, in Roms, Bombs, and Zoms, which looks like fun. I’m slated to be reading at the 6th Annual Alexander Berkman Music & Labor Festival on July 23rd (details forthcoming), which I’m very excited about. I need something for June. Hmmm…any ideas?

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Nice deck, can double as pirate ship. Also, sand box. I need an adult-sized sand box.

Nice deck, can double as pirate ship. Also, sand box. I need an adult-sized sand box.

I was reading this article and nodding my head, as I do. I thought, if I was going to mention this is a blog post, I would pull this quote:

Not that being orderly is wrong, but a life sentenced to “ordinary” can be mind-numbing. Mankind was created for something much greater than carving out a meager existence.

Too true. But by the time I got to the end of it (which wasn’t long; it’s very short), this was the line that struck me:

I know we can’t abandon our jobs and family responsibilities to hang out all day in a club house.

A light totally went on. No, we can’t just ignore all of our responsibilities to “hang out all day in a club house,’ but then, I realized, I don’t have a club house to hang out in even part of the day. Even a few minutes of the day. I suppose that’s what our imagination is for, but hey, even kids needed a little help with their imaginations, and they built club houses.

A club house! How fun would that be?

This article is just saying something I’ve been thinking more and more about over the last couple of years. There have been so many things I’ve identified in my personal tastes that I had previously considered just an arbitrary attraction when, in fact, these are things I can trace directly back to my childhood. Why? Because it was a time of fewer concerns and the uncanny ability to abruptly and completely block out anything that might be troublesome and become someone else, go to some place else, just do whatever I wanted (pirate ship: check). Some folks might say it’s a desire to return to a time without responsibility, and in some ways, sure, it is. But as an adult, I recognize that it’s not the responsibilities that bother me (because I know that there are perks that come with those, and I recall being a kid and lamenting that those perks were yet available to me). It’s more to do with wanting to just regain a skill that’s been lost: the ability to really block that shit out for a little while. Entirely. And just let your mind wander about totally free.

How useful would that be as a writer? Very. And so, I think perhaps I’m justified in wanting a club house. It should just be a room in the house, or somewhere nearby. One that only I have the key to, and it’s filled with all sorts of nifty things, like no-nonsense art supplies (not anything complicated; just something I can pick up and then put down just as quickly) and definitely a big trunk full of adult-sized costumes. A toy chest, certainly, filled with the kinds of toys that can re-create real life, but also supplement it with the stuff you wished existed—like, some people figures, some buildings to create a main street or something, but also…dragons. Trolls. God. Whatever.

If every writer had a room like this—a room like this, and say, an hour—we might make writer’s block a thing of the past. Can you think of one real, legitimate reason why adults shouldn’t have their own club houses, or play rooms?

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RLSFlageolet

Some tunes for you this crappy, not-at-all spring-like Friday.

You might have known that RLS noodled around on a flageolet, but did you know he composed his own music? Quite a bit of it, too, considering how much time he spent writing.

Learn a little about it here, and then go listen to it here! And have a swell weekend!

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Hautala

I did not know Rick Hautala. Never met him, but the outpouring of grief and sympathy at his very recent and unexpected passing urges me to pass this information along.

For the month of April, if you purchase Evil Jester Press‘s Inheritance by Joe McKinney and Nightscape Press‘s Sunfall Manor by Peter Giglio, all of the proceeds will go to Rick’s widow, Holly. All of them, 100%. Please consider it.

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poster 3 pstd draft

I’m happy to say that I’ve got a story in this volume of PstD (Vo. 3), but am unfortunately unable to attend any of the launch parties. If you can, dear reader, please go in my stead and report back here with all the fun and gory details.

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