Short Stories, Book Contracts, Con After Action Reports, and Honorable Mentions!

Just a short post for today, to let people know the site is still active. We had family up visiting for the last month (Supposed to be a two-week visit, and then…), and a lot has happened in the last several weeks that I still need to catch up on.

For starters, I have a short story to finish for Michael Hanson and Ed McKeown’s “Not to Yield” anthology. I call it an anthology, but it’s more of a shared novel. There are a proposed 17 chapters to this military sci-fi space epic, with each chapter being written by a different author (Including my friends William Joseph Roberts, R J Ladon, and Marisa Wolf), I have the honor of writing Chapter 12, where the ship has been infested with insect aliens who use psychic abilities to mask their presence and sow confusion amongst the crew. The captain will have to save her ship, but the tool she has to use might very well kill her. Cue the dramatic music!

 

Once that is finished in the next week, I have the rest of my year planned. Shortly before leaving to go to LibertyCon in Chattanooga, I had a conversation with Christopher Woods and Chris Kennedy of Chris Kennedy Publishing. The conversation began with me telling Chris Woods that I really enjoyed his Fallen World universe and was looking forward to the next short story anthology he and Chris Kennedy put together, since I’d like to contribute to it. He asked about my story idea, and when I mentioned a mounted police cavalry unit riding in to save the day in his post-apocalyptic world, he told Chris Kennedy. That started a three-way Facebook conversation that ended in, “It’s too late for this to be a short story. You’re going to have to write a book!” So, yeah. I’m still a combination of excited, numb, and more than a little nervous about how all that turned out. I’ll write more about this in my next post as it deserves its own, but I wanted to mention it here at the very least. I wasn’t given a firm deadline on it, but it’s my own personal goal to have it outlined and drafted by mid-September, and edited and sent over by sometime in November, if not sooner. I’ve drafted a couple of books before this one, but never for someone who’s actually requested it. I am battling paralysis and motivation all at the same time, but the motivation is winning. Oh, boy, is it winning. It’s been my dream to be a novelist since I was a little kid, and it’s something I’ve been working much more seriously at these last five years, when I started building my library of craft books and honing my craft on short stories. This will be my career, if the Lord is willing and I do my part.

Thirdly, LibertyCon 2019 was the most amazing convention I’ve been to. It was my third year visiting the Con (2017, 2018, and 2019) and my fourth writer’s conference ever. The first was World Fantasy Con back in 2016. We’re ready for LibertyCon 2020, and next year we’ll be going to a new con, at least for me: FantaSci in Durham, North Carolina. I’ve got to do my part to have this book finished, with a second one on the way before those cons get here!

Lastly, but still just as important as the rest, I received the results from Quarter 2 of this year’s Writers of the Future contest. My as-yet-unnamed short story (I may resubmit after editing) earned a Silver Honorable Mention spot! From what I understand, that means the story survived all the way up to the semi-finalist paring. So, it wasn’t in the top 16, but it was in the top 30 or so. And for the first quarter, another story of mine was an Honorable Mention. I’ve been submitting to Writers of the Future at least once per year for the last several years, and this is the first time I’ve ever made any kind of ranking. Super exciting and humbling all at the same time.

And the short post turned out a lot longer than I thought it would be. Regardless, each of these things deserves its own post, so expect that in the coming days. In the meantime, it’s back to the day job, then on to more writing!

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