No NaNo for Me, but Other News

November 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm (fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

My day job still has my life a chaotic mess right now, so NaNo was a “no go” this year. I’m in denial that the holidays are rapidly approaching and trying to stay somewhat healthy despite massive amounts of stress and no real vacation time to be had. I haven’t stopped writing altogether, but I have slowed down.

My latest completed project (I have three others in the works) was a children’s story – written for a friend.  I rarely write children’s stories, a few YA and the majority adult, but it so happened that this project wrapped up just as another of my children’s stories is being released.

I have a story, “Braving the Fire,” in the recently released C is for Cabbage anthology.  The anthology is a charity anthology, organized and edited by Emma Ennis, with proceeds going to the Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, a children’s cancer charity.  It’s a great cause, dear to Emma, and the anthology has received testimonials from Vikings’ Travis Fimmel and author of Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer.  She put a lot of work and heart into this anthology and I hope it proves to be an extraordinary success.

I’ll have more news in December, once I catch my breath from the chaos.

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Blitz’s End – October 2016

November 1, 2016 at 1:20 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

screenshot-2016-10-31-at-10-13-00-pm-editedI get to say goodbye today to another blitz I’ve decided November will be a month of editing to follow-up after a month of submissions. Several of my stories that have had multiple rejections could use a tweak, and all of my novels could use another round too.

Maybe that will get me in the mood to write more prolifically again, especially now that gardening season is practically over (the kale, chard and rutabagas are still holding on). Dealing with a still busy day job and a household full of challenges (my mother-in-law lives in my basement, my daughter is a teenager and my son is on the spectrum, ‘nuff said) leaves me feeling drained at the end of the day and less than inspired. And that’s without going into all the issues facing my family in far away places (worrying about it can wear on my nerves.) It has been a brutal few years, and it leaves me being thankful for everything I do have, even if it does come with its share of challenges.

Aside from my novels, which mostly remain unsubmitted at the moment, this last blitz left me with only a handful of unsubmitted stories. I count that as a good thing, but it means if I want to have enough material for January’s first submission blitz, I’ll have to make a diligent effort to get things written in December. I have a couple of unfinished stories to finalize but the rest will have to be new.

On a happy note – my story “Hand” is now available in the Kindle version of the charity anthology “Silent Screams”. The print version should be available in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy many treats and not so many tricks. Bob for some apples and have a good swig out of the puzzling jug (if you don’t know what that is, go for a Google.)

Happy Halloween!

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Let’s Blitz Again – October 2016

October 3, 2016 at 3:00 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

killing-it-cover-cs-bookcover6x9_cream_470-sample2-sep-21-editedAfter a lengthy hiatus thanks to an insanely busy post-vacation summer, I’m back to blogging my usual October submission blitz. My first submission was a query for a horror-themed charity anthology. I’ve already received a positive response. Today was a submission for a contemporary horror anthology.

I’m still dealing with my busy time at work and harvesting my garden, as well as fall/Thanksgiving/Halloween family activities, so I’ll be keeping my posts short. That and I’ve been wading through galleys for soon to be released anthologies. One is now available for pre-order, Killing It Softly, which contains a reprint of my horror story “Orbs”.

There are still many submissions ahead of me, so I’ll be blogging again soon. Enjoy the warm fall weather.

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Local WiH Spotlight – Mandy DeGeit

February 24, 2016 at 11:14 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Screenshot 2016-02-24 at 7.03.48 PMOkay, I’m off to a slow start because I got so caught up in my research yesterday that I didn’t finish my post.  I have all my posts lined up now, so I’ll have to sneak an extra one in at some point – maybe on the weekend.

My first Women in Horror local star of the day is Mandy DeGeit.   AKA Mandy J De Geit and Mandy DeGeit-da Costa (a newlywed), this lady is in the process of going local. She started off in Ontario but has bought a farm here in Nova Scotia and is moving here so I count her in amongst the Nova Scotian Mistresses of Horror.  She walks the dark and wild side, and strikes me as being a lot of fun.  She describes herself as “gypsy-like/nomadic”, enjoying travel, “an author of creepy fiction,” never offering up anything tame, and “a chef and a farmer, a writer and a wife.”  I live vicariously through her sometimes, especially when she talks about her farm plans and posts pictures of her awesome dishes (I’m a foodie at heart but I don’t get out much.)

I love how risque and bold her horror stories and poems are.  I’ve been lucky enough to share pages with her in a few different anthologies, including the charity anthologies “Shifters” and “Deathlehem Revisited,” and the all women writer “Mistresses of the Macabre”.

If you want to learn more about her published works, check out her Amazon author page or you can find a full list of publications here:

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WiH and Other Things

February 23, 2016 at 12:49 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

wihm2016fbprofileI feel a little guilty that I haven’t blogged anything for Women in Horror month so far this February, but I’m still recovering from a few weeks at my day job that have been extremely taxing. Staff on extended holiday, new trainees and the prolonged loss of an administrative employee as the result of a medical emergency, plus the usual winter colds and storm day closures, have put some strain on me and my co-workers. It seemed to suck away any motivation to do anything requiring any effort, particularly creative effort, when I got home. I still have to help around the house and do my share of cooking so my artistic output and support work, like blogging, were put on hold. With some vacation time to recharge, I’m going to strive to get back on track and at least contribute something for the last week.

I also haven’t been involved in much in the horror genre lately, aside from my participation in a Christmas charity anthology. My latest endeavours have been fantasy, steam punk, dystopian, comedy and dark fantasy, so I feel a little out of touch with horror at the moment. Of the six anticipated releases I have coming out over the next few months, only two of them I’d describe as horror – one’s a fairy tale mash-up and the other more of a “weird tale” horror than the standard type. I even have a very non-horror children’s story that will be included in a charity anthology…definitely not my usual fare.

Instead of my shared pages offerings I’ve posted in past Februaries, I’m going to pick my favourite local/Canadian female horror writers to spotlight for a week. I haven’t participated in an all female anthology this year, but I have been paying particular attention to other folks this far North, especially those who live nearby. I think it would be great to have a little local writer convention for speculative fiction writers. Since there isn’t one, I have to find other ways to celebrate my peers.

So keep an eye out. We have some great talent up here that I will be pleased to showcase.

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Off to a Start

January 21, 2016 at 12:14 am (Links, writing) (, , , , , )

11411625_828063760601992_934110053421441574_oI was planning to save my next blog post for the next anthology release. It’s now available so here’s a link to the latest charity anthology from Grinning Skull Press.

I’m still waiting on three other releases from three other publishers. One is going through the editing process now. One was tied up by legal issues that have been settled but required some reworking as a result. The other has hit multiple unfortunate obstacles, but hopefully will soon see the light. Almost everything is in place but no release date has actually been set for any of them…so I sit…and I wait. Okay, I’m not simply sitting, but more about that later.

I have a couple of stories I was trying to decide if I should submit to another publisher. One got mixed reviews from test readers that spawned some doubts. A part of me wishes I could expand the story a little more but I ran into the top end of the word count restrictions and despite editing efforts, I couldn’t find enough give. I decided to send it in “as is.” The last time I was foiled by word count limitations, the editor who eventually accepted the story gave me leeway to go a bit bigger so that I could expand on what I had a little. This submission is to the same publisher but a different editor, so I can’t expect the same consideration.

The other story is based on true events and outside my normal genre. I already had one rejection from that venue and I’m not sure why. They said they liked my writing but passed on the story. I’m not sure if this new attempt is more like what they wanted or even farther off base.

That, and with winter’s snow comes the wall I often hit this time of year. I don’t know if I suffer from SAD, but I get a bit mopey in the winter and that dulls the enthusiasm I need to push things out, It’s the reason I prefer spring and fall submission blitzes, Summer is for gardening and winter is for glum.

In my attempt to combat that glum, I continue with jugger on Sundays and I have tried out trabampolining (as my friend, Gil, likes to call it) and dodgeball I’m hoping the best cure for the winter blahs is staying active and attempting to have fun (I’m not a huge fan of dodgeball but it was fun because nobody cared how bad I was.) I’m not sure if staying active is working. Time will tell.

I hope I can figure out what does work by February. I have two weeks off then, and I want to make the most of them.

More later…

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October Submission Blitz 2015 – Reprints, Reprints

October 8, 2015 at 12:24 am (writing) (, , , , , )

While I’ve fallen behind on my blogging, I have been keeping up on my blitzing.  Seven days, seven submissions, including two reprint submissions which tend to be a rare thing for me.  It’s not that I’m not willing to submit them, but aside from the odd podcast or “for the love” venue I don’t often see calls for submissions that allow them.  I also submitted to a charity anthology that does offer a token payment.  I’ve sourced out a few more possibilities too, but I have to continue the hunt for promising opportunities.

My scary little girl for the day is a real life B belle, the notorious Mary Bell.  One of the youngest little murderers out there, she strangled two little boys, one four and one three, before being caught and put away.  Blame was attributed to being raised with constant exposure to violence and sex (her mother was a prostitute who had tried to kill Mary and then forced her to participate in her “work”.)  She was eventually released as an adult and given a new identity, but the families of the murdered boys will always consider her a monster who ruined their lives.  Multiple documentaries have been made about her scary ways.

24 submissions left to go.

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April Blitz – Day 16

April 16, 2015 at 11:49 pm (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

Two more submissions sent – one to a pro-rate venue and the other to a charity anthology. My first rejection for the blitz finally arrived, but that just meant I got to send out that story a second time for the month.

I’m now past the halfway point. I’m almost finished polishing my essay, so that will go out soon. I haven’t run out of submissions or potential venues yet so I may or may not have to resort to submitting one or more of my novels before month’s end.

Wish me luck.

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Women in Horror – Shared Pages: Tracie McBride

February 24, 2015 at 3:09 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

tracieMI chose this female horror writer for my spotlight because her story “With Paper Armour and Wooden Sword ” in the Dark Moon Digest Issue #13 is particularly terrifying to a parent like me. It plucks at your heart strings and shocks you at the same time.

In addition to being a woman in horror, Tracie has been involved in publishing in other ways, including being a slush wrangler. She is also a mom and a teacher’s aide, as well as a dog lover.

Find out more about Tracie here:

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10 Simple Questions – Bellator Edition – Diana L. Wicker

August 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm (fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

My third interview for Bellator spotlights the other half of the dynamic storywriting duo, Diana L. Wicker:

1) Who are you?

Diana L. Wicker  I am an indie- author of YA fantasy from the US.

2) What have you written, and in particular, what have you written for Bellator?  

My currently available works are The Dreamweaver’s Journey and The Guardian Child’s Return.  I hope to have a third book, Legacy of Mist and Shadow, available for the holiday season.
For Bellator I had the distinct pleasure of co-writing the story “Outside the Walls” with Alexandra Butcher.

3) I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but why do you write?

Stress relief, relaxation, escape, enjoyment – Sometimes there are stories that just need to be told.  🙂

4) Do you have a preferred theme or topic?  Are warriors your typical thing?

Warriors are not my typical to my current writings, although I do love stories, movies, TV shows, and games with warriors.  

My currently published works are narrated by the Storyteller of Feyron.  She tends to begin her tales in the middle of things, so to speak, with the historical period known as The Age of Awakenings.  The first book, “The Dreamweaver’s Journey”, follows the first Dreamweaver to come of age in over three hundred years on a quest across the four Realms of Light within Feyron. The second book, “The Guardian Child’s Return”, follows a group of young adventurers beyond the Realms of Light to a place that few knew could even be reached.  The third book will take place, for the first time, on a world Beyond Feyron.

5) Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?

A plotter all the way.  It works well with my natural OCD, organizational personality.  I like lists, outlines, schedules, and calendars.

6) What do you like most about writing?

Hmm, that is a tough question.  I’d have to say, the opportunity to travel anywhere my imagination can take me, and the prospect of taking the reader right along with me.

7) What challenges you the most about writing?

I’d have to say my biggest challenge is finding time to write.  Writing is not my full time job.  I am a working mother with very active children.  I often have long breaks between writing opportunities and have to struggle to pick back up on the flow of a project to get back into it.

8) Who or what inspires you most?

I don’t know that I have any one thing that inspires me “most”.  At the most basic level, I could simply say that “life” inspires me.  More specifically I’d say I love a good story that is presented well – reading a good tale, watching a good film, or even playing a well written role playing game so that I can interact with the story.

9) What are your plans for the future?

Let me see, the Works in Progress list…As I mentioned above, I hope to have the third story from The Age of Awakenings ready for the holidays.  I have a short story set in progress, the sort of tales of lore that the youth of Feyron would have heard growing up.  I have an outline for a series from an older age of Feyron’s history, The Age of Fading, and a draft of the first story for that set.  I have a few ideas for a new tale from the Age of Awakenings, but nothing outlined yet.  

10) Why Bellator?

I was so excited when Mia contacted me to submit a story for an anthology for her.  I quickly tagged my favorite co-writer, Alex Butcher.  I am so excited that our story is appearing in Bellator.  I have friends and family who have served, or are currently serving, and my father was a PTSD psychiatrist.  I feel privileged to participate in such a wonderful project to assist the Wounded Warriors Project.

Check out Diana’s books at:

The Dreamweaver’s Journey


The Guardian Child’s Return


And you can find her website at:

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