Writing in the Chaos Timeline

Morning Pages at the Magical HouseI had a list of personal writing, dietary, and fitness goals I wanted to accomplish when I left for Florida on March 1st. The original plan was to celebrate my birthday here (my friends were going to surprise me with a trip to Disney World), then go to a conference, then home. My next six months were already set—I knew what I’d be working on, what gigs I’d need to look for, and which personal projects I wanted to finish. I had already decided my summer would be taken up with household stuff I’d long put off, because I needed room for growth. Back in January, I had opened myself up to change on a lot of fronts for many different reasons. I just didn’t know COVID-19 would escalate to global and deadly proportions.

Everyone I know is affected by COVID-19 in some fashion. Gigs evaporating, contracts uncertain, convention-centric vendors going out of business, the inspiration to make art evaporating because what’s the point when a catastrophe is going on. I’ve also been affected by COVID-19. Wonder Stories was supposed to debut at SXSW; I’ve also experienced a few lifestyle changes due to my friends and family who are immunocompromised.

I’m not home yet. I travel back this week from Florida where, to be perfectly blunt, a whole lot of people are not taking this seriously despite the panic buying that’s happening right now. I hope/pray/etc. that my trip will be uneventful. I had planned to return earlier, but unfortunately I came down with something that took me out for a week and a half. I wanted to be well (which I am now, thankfully) because I didn’t want to travel being immunocompromised or putting others at risk. Once I do get home, I’m on strict quarantine for two weeks and then for the rest of April.

Despite all the chaos, my “plans” evaporating, and lost gigs, I’m still writing. The words are trickling slowly. My first drafts, which I normally write in my head, are shitty. I don’t feel guilty about it. I put pen to paper, write morning pages, and scribble a few poems. But I am writing, organizing my concepts, and identifying where I want to grow.

Pre-outbreak, I had a plan. Now? It’s far less determinate. Rapid change is simply guaranteed and, unfortunately, that means the only way I can keep writing is to accept the unknown, make the best use out of the time I have now, and remember to have fun. Because without that? It’s going to be a long quarantine and an even longer summer.

I hope you’re doing well. I know this isn’t a fun situation, by any means, for anyone. If you want to connect I’ll be checking into Twitter periodically and am posting pictures on Instagram @booksofm. Other than that? I’ll be blogging again. I miss LiveJournal, and I suppose the only way to tap into that nostalgia is to simply journal.

‘Til next time!

[New Release] Haunting Shadows Anthology for Wraith: The Oblivion

Haunting Shadows | Anthology | Wraith The Oblivion

Now available for your spooky reading pleasure! Haunting Shadows is an anthology for Wraith The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition. I’m pleased to mention I have a haunted tale called “Scritch, Scratch” told from a wraith’s perspective about a group of ghost hunters investigating House on the Rock.

Remember those nice stories they told you about what’d happen after you died? They were wrong. There is no Heaven and there is no Hell. There’s only the Underworld, with the ravening maw of Oblivion at the bottom and the impossible dream of Transcendence at the top. And, somewhere in between, are scores of Restless Dead. Are you ready to join them?

This collection of short stories is inspired by Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition. You’ll explore the Underworld, roam the streets of Stygia, the eternal city, visit a haunted museum, and walk new and exciting locales. This anthology includes tales by classic and new Wraith authors such as Richard Lee Byers, Jackie Cassada, Rich Dansky, Monica Valentinelli, Catherine Lundoff, Joe Nassise, and more!

The anthology is now available to purchase online through DriveThruFiction.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com.



On Dragons in Spaaaaaaaaaace

Heya!

I’m on sabbatical from social media right now, because I’m at a writer’s retreat at Little High Hallack in sunny Florida with Alethea Kontis. One of the things I was hoping to do while I’m here is attend a rocket launch. Last night, I was thrilled to watch the SpaceX Dragon rocket lift off in all its glory and also see a return as well. It was chilly but the skies were clear. We saw a colorful nebula when the booster detached; up, up, up it went.

I don’t have the right equipment to take dead of night photos, so here’s a snapshot from NASA along with a description for you. If you click on the picture you’ll see the full-sized version.

SpaceX Dragon

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft launches on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:50 p.m. EST March 6, 2020. Dragon will deliver more than 4,300 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations to the International Space Station, including a new science facility scheduled to be installed to the outside of the station during a spacewalk this spring. Credit: NASA

I couldn’t help but marvel at the scientific discoveries that led to that moment, and wonder what will happen in the next fifty years given Jeff Bezos is also working on rockets at Blue Origin. Who knows? I’m not sure Mars will be colonized in my lifetime, but at the rate we’re going it is possible there’ll be more groundbreaking discoveries and events that will light the way. Exciting!



Coming Soon! Hunter the Vigil Second Edition Kickstarter

Hunter The Vigil Second Edition Logo

Hello hunters!

I am pleased to announce that we’ve been working on the Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition Kickstarter. When I talk about the game on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I’ll be using the hashtags #htv2e and #ttrpg. Hunter: The Vigil is a modern horror game where you–YES, YOU!–secretly hunt monsters with your friends. It’s a fan favorite and beloved Chronicles of Darkness tabletop RPG that has so much lore! To celebrate this new game, I’ve reached out to my team and asked them for interviews which will be posted on FlamesRising.com.

Here on my blog, I’ll be announcing when the Kickstarter goes live, when we’ve achieved funding, and when it has ended. I’ll sneak in some links to those interviews I mentioned pending their publication as well. If you want to ask me about the game, the best place to do that will be in the Kickstarter itself.

There will be other posts I offer during that time, too, and I anticipate a few more announcements in the coming weeks. If Hunter is not your jam, totally understand. I hope you do find a game or [insert fandom you love] and have a blast with it!

‘Til next time!

Mark the Date for sub-Q Magazine’s February Issue!

Hello readers,

I am thrilled to announce that I have a brand new interactive fiction game coming out in Sub-Q Magazine‘s February 2020 issue!

sub-Q February 2020 announcement

All games in the issue have an environmental theme; mine is a watery one. The working title of my piece is “Underwater Memories”. Stewart C. Baker has been a joy to collaborate with for edits and I’ve been having fun with Twine. I can’t wait to share this story with you.

Curious about interactive fiction? Check out sub-Q’s interactive fiction archives and have fun! These narrative games are a blast to play!

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