Holiday Time

So it’s Thanksgiving Week. Thanksgiving isn’t just a single day anymore with all the different family, work, and friend related gatherings. It’s hectic and stressful and insanity-inducing.

And when I’m overwhelmed by all the craziness?

I stop to remember how thankful I am to have a job with co-workers who want to celebrate together. I’m thankful I have SOOOOOOOOO much family that enjoys spending time together, and I’m grateful that they’re in good enough health to do so. I’m thankful for my friends, who I will see at what’s becoming the annual, “I-Ate-Too-Much-Turkey” Party.  Much fun will be had by all.

I’m grateful to be employed after all the stress of the past year.

I’m appreciative of all the early sales…I’ve got most of my Christmas shopping done already…and some big expenses for the house were TONS cheaper because of those sales. I’m especially happy that I didn’t have to stand in line in the cold and be awake at the crackiest crack of dawn to stand in line for those sales on Black Friday. I’m not a Black Friday shopper. In fact, I’m not a shopping in a crowd kind of shopper, either, unless I’m in a bookstore, and even then, I’d rather take my time and browse.

On the writing front, I’m grateful for a publisher and editor who have been genuinely enthusiastic about my book, and I’m excited to work with them. I’m grateful for writer’s groups I’ve worked with in the past, ones I work with now, beta readers and crit partners who know that it’s better to speak up (in a constructive manner) than to be nice when trying to make a book better, because it’s the only way to improve. I’m grateful for blog readers. I’m grateful for Facebook friends and Twitter followers. And I’m very thankful for the response I got from everyone when I announced that I’d signed a publishing contract. I’m still grinning a week later.

I’m grateful for opportunities, both pursued and not, because they give one choices to make in life. It’s the choices we make that shape who we are. If we don’t get those choices we don’t become someone; we stand still. Life’s not about standing still.

And then I remember that if I stand still, I’ll never get it all done.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Spec The Halls

My friend, Steven Saus, has been working on this charity anthology. I wish I’d had something appropriate to submit for it, but I did not. It looks like it’s filled with all kinds of awesome. (And I see from the author list that a few friends have contributed…can’t wait to pick it up myself and see what they’ve all done!)

SPEC THE HALLS is an anthology of holiday themed speculative fiction (i.e., science fiction, fantasy, and horror), and on sale now. All of the authors (and, well, pretty much everyone involved) has donated time, effort, and stories for a good cause, Heifer International.  And that’s a cause that’s been near and dear to my heart for a long time.

The website for the anthology itself is HERE.

It’s $9.99. Which is cheaper than a movie ticket and popcorn, will likely last longer, and won’t get stuck in your teeth. It’s also cheaper than three gallons of gas, which you’ll use up long before you can get the whole anthology read! AND, it’s for a GREAT CAUSE!!

If you buy the ebook from the anthology website, you get it in PDF, ePub, and Kindle formats. And more money goes to charity than if you bought through another site like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or any other third party website (fees, you know). If you buy through a third party website (and it will be available there), you only get their single format (i.e., Kindle from Amazon, ePub from B&N), and less of the proceeds go to Heifer.

There’s another way to do this…email Steven Saus with proof of donations to Heifer International after November 1, 2011 in lieu of payment. Steven runs Alliteration Ink, the digital publishing company handling the anthology. You can reach him at steven AT alliterationink.com(replacing the AT with the @ thingy).

That reminds me. I need to go check out the Heifer website and see what cool new things they’re doing this year…so that I can also get a copy of this AWESOME anthology!

Aw, You Like Me. You Really Like Me!

I’m not sure how to top the news from yesterday. I don’t think I can at this point.

I’m overwhelmed at the support, and the encouragement I’ve seen since I’ve announced this…the number of comments and likes on Facebook, the responses on Twitter, and the number of visitors to the site in the last 24-48 hours has been phenomenal.

You guys do get that just because I signed the contract this week doesn’t mean that it gets released tomorrow, right?

The official release date has not yet been set. It’s likely several months away.

Let me lay a few things to rest:

1)      No, I’m not quitting my day job.

This is my first published novel (not the first novel I’ve written, but the first one to be accepted for publication). To date, my writing income is a four figure amount…if you count the figures that come after the decimal point. I’ve got a mortgage, a student loan payment, and a car payment, and I’d like to, well, buy groceries and pay the electric bill, too. All of that means I need the day job.

And well, the health insurance and dental insurance are nice, too. Writing doesn’t come with benefits, usually.

2)      You’ve made it…you wanted to get published. You ready to put that writing thing away yet?

Boy, if someone’s thinking this, they sure don’t know me. I’ve been writing fiction in various forms and states of completion since I was eight years old. Writing’s not ever gonna go away.

Technically, however, I’m already published, even before my news yesterday, with the anthology MYSTERY TIMES TEN, which came out this past summer. My short story, “Poltergeist on Aisle Fourteen” was included. That didn’t stop me from seeking out a publisher for my novel. And it hasn’t stopped me from working on the novel I’m writing now. Or the outline for the novel after that. Or making notes for other projects. Or working on new short stories. Or submitting the short stories that are ready.

So what’s my bigger goal?

Well, to take over the world, of course.

No, seriously, it’s not. I’m kidding. (Maybe 😉 But I believe that setting goals for ourselves is important. And when you reach a goal…you set a new one…who knows, maybe my next goal will be learning to juggle baby geese (bonus points if you get this reference!)

Nah, it’s to finish the current novel.  I’m allergic to feathers, anyway.

3)      What did you do to celebrate?

Well, my best friend lives a couple of hours away, with her husband and baby. We all love to cook and try new foodie things, so I went down there for the weekend. Brother and his girlfriend live closer to them than to where I live, so they joined us. We joked and laughed and talked and watched movies and opened a bottle of wine or three, had yummy snacks and a lovely dinner…and Boston cream pie for dessert.

And talked life, the universe, and writing, among other things.

Because I am that kind of geek.

And then, breakfast with friends, driving home for a writer’s group meeting, and cuddling up with a good book at the end of the night with the fuzzy minion purring away in my lap.

I count that as a pretty awesome weekend.

The Grimm Legacy

It’s official!

As of last night, I have signed a contract with Musa Publishing to publish my contemporary fantasy novel, THE GRIMM LEGACY.

I do not have an official publication date yet; the discussion involves mid-2012. I will post when I have an official date.

You can find the website for Musa Publishing here.

I am all kinds of thrilled, not just for this opportunity, but also about the amazing conversations I’ve had with the editor for Urania, the speculative fiction imprint, as well as the promotions department and the main office. I’m excited to work with this company!