Inktober participation

Seven years ago, Jake Parker came up with the idea of doing an ink drawing every day for a month to improve his inking skills. He liked the results so much he created the annual Inktober challenge.

Inktober logo

I’ve eyed the sketches on various social media for a couple years now, and this year I’ve decided to take the plunge and join in. I don’t have fancy brush pens, but I have some Pentel pens of varying colors and Micro-Line pens of different thicknesses to play with, and I found a book at the Easton library on hand lettering — so I’ve got lots of playing to do. I’ll probably try to follow the prompts at least occasionally, but my goal is to have fun for the 31 days.

hand Drawn Lettering: Draw Print Paint by Max Marlborough

Anyone else want to give it a try?

Shiny new cover

If you’ve visited my website recently, or if you subscribe to my newsletter (and if you don’t, why not?), you’ve already seen the new cover I got for Bodyguard of Lies. Isn’t it beautiful?

Bodyguard of Lies cover

Designed by The Cover Collection


So this week, among other things, I’m grateful for professional cover artists. What are you grateful for today?

Cool times and self-promo

So it’s award nomination season (specifically: Hugo nominations opened this week, with PINs for members being sent out in batches), which means lots of people are talking about what they’ve done that’s eligible. Now, I only had two short stories that came out last year, so this is easily done. If you’re looking for more short stories to read, check out “Blood and Gold” in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk and “Adapt or Die” in Aphrodite Terra. Even if you don’t decide to nominate my work, there are many other stories in both that you’ll likely enjoy. Continue reading

Another anthology out in the world

Last year, my story “Adapt or Die” was accepted for Aphrodite Terra, a collection of stories about Venus. For various reasons, it wasn’t released last year, but it’s finally out. (Paperback won’t be out until January, I’m afraid, Mom.)

Check it out on Amazon.


In other news, I’ve created a Now page (link in header menu) that talks about what I’m focusing on now in fairly broad terms.


So I’m grateful for the first and pleased with the second. What are you grateful for today?

Cover reveal for Bodyguard of Lies

Bodyguard of Lies cover
Isn’t that pretty?

Bodyguard is going to have two sequels, Treachery of Doubt and Shadows of Truth, in which we follow the further adventures of Sabra, Gareth, Cinn, and various friends and foes (some old and some new).

Oh, and I’m working on getting Bodyguard up for sale with all the usual suspects: Amazon Barnes & NobleKobo.

What are you grateful for this Monday?

A few notes

If you get my newsletter (and read it — goodness knows those aren’t always the same thing!), you’ll know that I was taken recently with Austin Kleon‘s books. I wrote up a review of them for Vision: A Resource For Writers, and it went live earlier this week.
Book Review: Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon


SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is launching a New Release Newsletter! This newsletter will go out every two months, and will feature science fiction and fantasy new releases and backlist rereleases from SFWA members. Each newsletter will contain information on works of all lengths from the talented writers admitted to the premier professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. Anyone can sign up! This is a newsletter for readers, librarians and booksellers to help them find their next favorite story.

Sign up to receive the newsletter.
The first issue, which went out this week


Do you remember the robins that built their nest in the holly bush outside our door last year? This year, we discovered a robin who had more bravery than sense, although last I checked, it hadn’t been a problem yet. Her nest was built on the structure at our local playground, where kids play and any passing predatory bird could easily see the fledglings. Here she is, on the nest, as well as pics of the eggs before hatching and the new hatchlings last week.
robin on her nest

robin's eggs in the nest

baby robins in the nest


The next big adventure: the kids get out of school for the summer tomorrow! Fortunately, I learned last year that I can be possibly more productive in the summer because I don’t have as short a day to work (and I don’t have to get up so early in the morning, either).

So that’s what’s new here as we head into June. Do you have any new and exciting things going on?

Guest post up today

SFWA has been around for 50 years now, and they’re doing a 50th Anniversary Blog Tour, wherein various members talk about why they joined SFWA, what they get out of it, their visions for it, and so forth. My post evidently went up yesterday. The organizer asked for a cover photo, a headshot, and a bio. I sent him all three, and none of them are the ones included in the post. I can only conclude that my e-mail to him went astray on the Internet, as it must have been much more work for him to track the information down on his own than to use what I provided. (Pretty sure the headshot’s from Twitter.)

Anyway, the post: A Big Tent Philosophy

More short short fiction

I posted about the one drabble that went live on January 31, but I forgot to mention that I actually sold 7 drabbles to SpeckLit to appear during the first quarter of this year. The second one, “Future Sight,” went up on Wednesday.

Future drabbles will go up on February 14, February 22, March 4, March 8, and March 14.

In other news, I think we’ve hit the part of the year where I don’t see the grass for more than a month. Fortunately, the roads are mostly clear, although there are places where the ice has built up and seems like it will never melt. (Also, some corners get to be a bit hazardous, as the snowplows pile up the white stuff and you can’t see whether a car’s coming.)

Thus, we’re trying to keep the bird feeders stocked for our feathered friends. They seem to appreciate it, even the ones who are camera shy. I’ve been trying to get a picture of this red-bellied woodpecker for a while now, but every time I moved toward the window, he would fly away. Today, I resorted to crawling below the window ledge until I got into a position where I could take his picture.
red-bellied woodpecker