Tag Archives: writing

Round Up Time #authorevents #outandabout #blogging #holdontothelight

trish-with-mister-fuzzypantsWhile October is usually extremely busy for me, being that I tend to write dark fantasy, dark SF, and horror, October 2016 is especially so! I’m back in my blogging saddle, so let me give you a quick round-up of things to expect (some of which do make blogging challenging because I’m not at home much). Here you go:

This week, I had a most wonderful time being on The Taco Society Presents television show!  You can see the whole thing here.

I also had a great dinner/marketing/shop-talking evening yesterday with the Massachusetts SciFi & Fantasy Authors.

TOMORROW, October 22: I’ll be at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival! I’m super excited about that, AND I will have a limited (only 18 copies) run of a glossy softcover edition of “Tea with Mr. Fuzzypants” for sale. They’ll be numbered and with some surprise original drawings inside by me! Besides myself, there are about 35 other amazing horror authors who will be signing, a great set of panels, and all sorts of Halloween surprises, so do come and check it out.

On Monday, October 24, I will have a special blog post as part of the #HoldOntoTheLight movement, where over 100 authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror talk about their experiences with bullying, mental illness, and more. Find out more about this important movement on their website, and check out my Monday blog for my experience.

About the campaign:

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

On Wednesday October 26, I’ll work out another #WriterlyWednesday post about…National Novel Writing Month and be at The Children’s Friend with the Worcester Writers Collaborative, getting in some fiction or poetry words before the big push of NaNoWriMo.

On Thursday, October 27, I’ll be running my Group Tarot Workshop at Generations in Oxford, MA. If you are interested in learning Tarot for divination or writing or your own personal interest, come join us! I’ll be looking at the “scariest” cards in the deck, and sharing a little surprise.

Then on Saturday and Sunday, October 29-30, I’ll be in the Salem Open Market festival with the New England Horror Writers, where we’ll be having a launch party for our latest anthology, Wicked Witches!

And then, Monday, October 31, it’s Halloween, and I plan on snuggling up to the hubby and watching scary movies and getting cheap take-out. Because that’s how you romance this girl, right here. ❤  (Also, due to our location, we don’t actually get trick-or-treaters… which is sad.)

What are you folks up to? Hopefully the rest of your Halloween Month is as full of treats as mine has been so far!

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Back in the Saddle #WriterlyWednesday #BabySteps

20160918-trish-calico-kiss

I’m Blogging Again…

I’ve written and re-written my “Hey, look, my blog is alive again” post so many times it’s sickening.  I’ve revised some of my published short stories fewer times.

Why is this post so hard? It’s not more personal than what I pour into my fiction nor what I give to the authors I edit.

If I’m to guess, it’s because I’m afraid I won’t keep up a schedule, that I’ll fail. I’ve dropped blogging so many times – though I do enjoy it – to make time for paying projects and such. And when you drop or fail something…and take a long time to get back into it, it’s So. Much. Harder.

That’s why, in horseback riding, when you fall off, you should always get back on right away. The longer you wait when it’s been a failure, a hurt, a fall, the more difficult it is to get back into the saddle.

Well, this is hardly the first, nor will it be the last blog post where I intersperse some riding wisdom with writing wisdom.

Here’s another piece, just for today:

Even a short ride or short interaction is worth it.

In writing, once you’ve been away from a project, you lose passion. It’s easy to forget it and keep putting it off. Same lesson…

Sometimes just making yourself write one sentence, edit one paragraph, re-read one page is a good start. Just keep at it.

I had one author friend who could only squeeze in one sentence a day. That’s all. Then she finished the story.

If you want to write, if you want to market, if you want to accomplish anything… baby steps are okay. Just keep making them.

My awesome/torturous/awesome-because-she-is-torturous riding instructor once had me dedicate an entire class to mounting/dismounting. Calico and I were having issues…and that was the baby step we needed.

So, here is my short #WriterlyWednesday blog post. To get me back in the saddle.

It’s okay to take baby steps; it’s okay to only write a little.

Just keep going.

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Happy 2013!

12162012 Christmas, Dalek, Show 036New year, new goals, positive accomplishments… new try at blogging.  🙂

Most everyone in the world is talking about (or has already talked about) their New Year’s Resolutions/Goals, etc.  Not to hop on the bandwagon, but it’s a fun and inspiring topic… so I’m playing with it, too.

I’ve already hit a couple of short-term goals this year already:

  • Submitted a novella for publishing
  • Gotten my email inbox to a manageable level (from over 1000 to under 140)
  • Handwritten my publishing deadlines for 2013 for Spencer Hill Press
  • Handwritten a Personal Goals sheet
  • Printed out my detailed deadline for January Spencer Hill Press projects
  • Accomplished editing deadlines thus far

 

And we’re just a week into the new year!

When I was going through my deadlines and goals, I went back through my prior years’ blog posts so I could get an idea of what I’d accomplished and what I could accomplish.  I’d forgotten that I never actually got around to publishing my goals on my blog last year… so I had to go back to my January 2011 posts to get an idea of what I’d been doing.

With the path my life has taken since 2011, most of those benchmarks and steps simply are… no longer useful.

When I sat down to make my plan for this year, I needed a whole new template!

And that’s ok.  I’m very happy with where my life is going.

Let’s have my accomplishments for 2012 explain why:

Became a Senior Editor at Spencer Hill Press.

I’ve been blessed in the past decade or so to have jobs and bosses who I have loved. And every move I’ve made has been an improvement… yet I can’t imagine a more healthy and supportive job than working at SHP.

At Spencer Hill Press, I’ve had the pleasure of working on many awesome books – which I will detail as they start coming out. 🙂

 

Published Short Stories

“Photo of a Mermaid” came out in UnCONventional by Spencer Hill Press

“Fixed” came out in Corrupts Absolutely? from Damnation Books

 

Sold Fiction

THE KELPIE – my first novel! – comes out this December from Spencer Hill Press

“Finding Fire” comes out in May in the Holiday Magick anthology, Spencer Hill Press

“Steadfast in the Face of Zombies” to Once Upon an Apocalypse Volume 1 – more on that when I get the info. 🙂

 

Lost Ten Pounds

After three years of gain or plateau – that’s still an accomplishment.

 

Rode in my First Competitive Horse Show – and GOT RIBBONS!

Mind you, it’s been well over a decade since I practiced any sport competitively.  This was HUGE. 🙂

 

… And there were a lot more life changes.

I traveled to four different countries I’d never been before. And, between those travels, I was without my husband who I’ve not lived without for over a decade.  In fact, I only lived on my own for three months out of college before we got married… so it was definitely… an experience.  I also got really into my job at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, helping with event coordination.

I left my last W2 job in May… because things with fiction and freelancing were picking up as well as they were.

And I still held my position as president for Broad Universe – though, honestly, between my Veep, Kimberly Long-Ewing and the rest of the Motherboard, it was a massive team effort for which I’m deeply grateful.

So, that’s 2012 for you.  Massive. Change.

From there, I move forward. With a lot of hope and energy for this year. 🙂

Thank you, Universe!

Oh?  What are my actual goals for this year? 😉 Well… that’s another blog post. 😉

Happy New Year!

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Corrupts Absolutely?

I’m in another anthology coming out this March!

 

The call came through last year, and I’d been moved to write the story for some time.  I kept re-emailing myself the call for submissions because I was so intrigued with the idea:

 

A superhero anthology playing with the extent of how much power would corrupt your average, real person.

 

I didn’t get a full idea until the editor added an extra wish list:

 

Female writers and protagonists

Non-meta* individuals who are just super smart or technologically enhanced

Teams or siblings

 

And a few other things, but those three clicked a switch in my brain, and Victoria jumped into my head and started complaining about her boss at this engineering firm who treated her like crap and had grand delusions of being the next Tony Stark.  Ok… maybe the boss wasn’t that delusional, he really was building a massive weapon war suit thing.

 

Thing is, while her a-hole boss may not have any superpowers, Victoria does: She can make technology bend to her will.

 

To find out what happens, you absolutely need to order this book!

 

If not for me, there are some other great writers – including at least two other fabulous Broads that I know.

 

I also have to say, that I’m liking the editor’s marketing plans for this anthology.  He’s already working on promotional blog posts, we’ve got the cover (see the pretty picture), and we’ve gotten a lot of other emails with ways that we, the contributors, can help.

 

As I’ve progressed in my writing, I’m learning how much I love anthologies.  Not many pay well, but I do love having physical books – and the themes totally get my creative juices flowing.

 

Besides Corrupts Absolutely?  I’m working on two other stories for two other anthologies.  I’m not accepted in either yet, but I’m writing!

 

On top of that, Christy and I have reunited yet again. 😀  Yaayy!! For those of you who are Shadow Guard Fans, keep an eye out for some Super Special Updates!!!!

 

Happy Writing!

 

*meta – a common word for “mutant” or someone with special powers.

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My blogging plan…

ImageIt’s not working so well. 

 

Well, there’s a post here when it ought to be scheduled, more times than not… but I’m barely hanging on, and there’s been a lot of borrowing from other sources – look, the podcast!  Look – a cute cat!

 

I have a lot to say; I have articles in my head.

 

I have no time…

 

Little things around the house, reworking my whole schedule, fitting in this exercise and eating protocol… total time eaters.

 

I may end up just posting a photo of my houseguests on Friday.

 

Also – people near Worcester – sign up for the Writing Workshop I’m doing with two great friends this Saturday.  Today is your LAST DAY to do it. 🙂  Here’s the info on how to register.

 

Part of the blog-eater is this workshop – so I’m sacrificing for you!

 

🙂  Happy mid-week.

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Broadly Speaking Travels Through Time!

Welcome to the January 2012 edition of Broadly Speaking. According to the Mayan Calender, this year is the year that we run out of time. (Or, more probably, a new cycle begins quite uneventfully.)  But if we can’t go Back to the Future in our own version of The Time Machine, we can at least talk about it. 

Join your host, Tracy S. Morris, for a timely discussion about the adventures of women writing science fiction, fantasy, horror — and everything in between.
 
Up first, Tracy and Melanie Fletcher discuss the rules that one must decide on before writing about time travel. 
 
Then, listen to a round-table discussion on the various conflicts that are inherent in time travel fiction with Pauline Baird Jones, author of Steamrolled, Kathryn Sullivan, author of Talking to Trees,  S.A. Bolich, author of Firedancer and Lynda Williams, author of the Okal Rei Saga.     
 
We hope that you can make time to listen to this podcast. If not, save it in your player for sometime when you have time on your hands.

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January 31, 2012 · 2:45 am

Calico Contentment

ImageIt’s been a long time since I’ve written about Calico or horses.  How about a Cali post?

 

Every time I’ve gone to the barn, it’s been a day to celebrate.  Not just because she’s a fabulous horse, but for the crazy weather. Calico is a fan of weather.  Well, maybe not rain, but everything else – and every change is something for her to kick her heels up to – quite literally.

 

S.A. Bolich has been doing a fabulous blog on horses for writers, and I’ve had several writer-specific entries on horses.  While this entry isn’t specifically for educational, it definitely gives some insight to equine thought.

 

When I’m not riding Calico, we do ground work, and I always start ground work – and often any riding session with anyone but me – with a free lunge. (The horse is in an enclosed area, but not tethered by any lead; the human makes them move with either a lunge whip or a long lead and their body posture.)  My posture is relaxed and all I do is flick my wrists to wave her away from me.  She usually dances off and shakes out a bunch of bucks and hops, breaks into a gallop, does a rollback (like a rear but in motion to change directions) to turn around, hops and does a few laps.  When I see her relax into her usual easy trot, I make her turn around – a good way to get a horse’s attention.  From there, we do laps at different speeds with a lot of direction changes (because horses get bored going in the same direction; who wouldn’t?).  After that, we work on turning and stretching and standing and, occasionally, tricks – like target practice.  In general, we just have a bunch of fun while getting our exercise in.

 

Calico is always particularly happy when we can do this in the outdoor ring.

 

Now, we live in New England, so weather isn’t always accommodating, but so long as it’s not raining or downright treacherous or at night (my biggest problem – and a winter problem), we go outside.

 

Last time I was there, we had fresh snow, so Calico was really “feeling her oats.”  Lots of zooming around and tossing her heels, and my isn’t it fun to do a sliding stop!  (You know that cartoon trope where the character stops so quickly they continue to skid forward and leave marks? Yeah, that’s about it – it’s actually a reining maneuver in the Western show circuit.)

 

Today, it was in the 40s.  All the snow on the ground was melted and we had about a quarter inch of grass-clinging mud above the frozen ground. The sliding stop was ESPECIALLY fun.  She dug all sorts of lines in the outdoor pen, turning diagonally to maximize her sliding space.  In fact, she was so pleased with her accomplishment, that during the actual exercise part, when I put out a pole for her to walk over (like an obstacle… it’s a pole, flat on the ground, but horses think it’s the Horse Eating Pole of Doom! and try to avoid it) she went further down the arena.  I thought she was trying to avoid the Pole of Doom! by getting out of reach, so I moved to head her off – noooo! I hardly started heading in that direction when she decided to take about four steps of a superfast canter and make a sliding stop that ended less than a quarter of an inch from the Pole of Doom!  Her tail was up, her neck was arched (a proud posture – yes, horses do like to show off!) and she looked at me ‘cos, “Mom, wasn’t that just awesome?!”

 

I assured her of her awesomeness with a positive compliment, a moment of relaxed posture and breaking eye contact for a moment, then looked back and wiggled the lead rope just a little to make her go forward. 

 

She looked down at the pole, then at me, cocked her head, “Oh, you still want me to do this?”

 

Hand and rope flick again. Eye contact.

 

She sighed, tossed her head, and delicately stepped over it before picking back up her trot.

 

Yeah, horses have personalities.  And they like having fun as much as any of us.  Haven’t you ever done a running slide on a patch of ice or fresh waxed floor, then was all “Yeah, that was most excellent!” when you avoided falling flat on your bum?  (Horses fall on their bums, too, I’ve seen it… and some do hurt themselves while playing.)

 

Speaking of hurting themselves, because of the slippery mud, we didn’t spend too long outside and I didn’t let her get too rambunctious – it isn’t terribly hard for a horse to pull a ligament or twist an ankle – just like a person can.  Even when they’re just fooling around.

 

Hope you enjoyed the little Calico fun – and maybe, if you’re a writer, you got some ideas about how your equines can show some believable personality.

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