The Holidays Are Almost Here

I don’t like to gloat or anything1, but I’m pretty sure that the holiday shopping is done.

As always, the vast majority of it was done on-line. Those who are concerned about such things will be relieved to know that I was actually wearing grown up clothes
2 and not doing all of my shopping in my skivvies.3

This was made a little easier by the fact that I put all of the presents I purchased earlier in the year in one place. Rather than hide, store, or otherwise lose the items, I placed them in my storage unit. I mean, that’s what the place is for, right? To store things in? I actually placed them right next to the spot reserved for the
GLAHW material so I saw them every time that I went in to get something for a con, party, or appearance.4

In other words, I saw them all the time so I remembered that I had purchased them.

This has been a common problem in my family. I think it is genetic. We see something in the middle of the year which would be “just perfect for” fill in the blank, buy it, put it somewhere, and promptly forget about it. We’re all really good at finding things in June on the top shelf of the closet or back of a drawer.

Not only is the shopping done, there are even some decorations up! The roping and wreath have been up for a week and the tree went up today. Granted, the tree isn’t decorated or anything, but that will probably happen this weekend. I even have the holiday cards ordered.

All in all, I’m way ahead of the game for this time of year, which is why I thought I would take a moment to catch you up on all of the stuff that has been going on so you can be even more impressed that I am as far ahead of the game as I am.

First off, my productivity was drastically reduced by illness. I caught a flu bug early, the one that everyone got that knocks you for a loop for like a week. Then I spent a day this past week being super ill. I am still thinking that I had a touch of food poisoning, although The Mrs was under the weather for a couple of days. I had really bad chills, so bad that they hurt. Between shaking like crazy, sleeping for the better part of a day, and shouting for Huey, I think I strained something in my back. Awesome.

On a much happier note, I was one of the presenters at a short story writing seminar at the Ann Arbor library. The event was a collaboration between
Three Corpse Circus and the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. It featured a slimmed down version of the workshop we have done in the past, covering Plot, Character, Setting, Theme, and Revision and Publishing as well as a few short films. Each of the GLAHW participants (Nicole Castle, Sean M Davis, Jim Leach, Ken MacGregor, and myself) took one portion to speak about. In the past I have started things off by talking about story ideas, getting started writing, and plotting. This time around I closed the workshop by talking about the importance of editing and tips on getting published. I was able to pull in some of my recent experience reading submissions (for Dragon’s Roost Press), so that was fun. The audience was a little sparse (we’ll call it an “intimate gathering” and leave it at that) due to the weather and finals, but I think we were able to parse out some good information. There was talk of doing another in the future, which I would definitely be interested in.

We’ve already attended our first holiday themed party. The
Motor City Haunt Club had it’s annual visit from Krampus during the holiday party last weekend. Tons of good food, open bar, music and dancing, and a gift exchange that took forever because it was one of those where you can take the gift from anyone behind you deals. Absolutely hysterical.6

Beyond that there has been a little work on the anthology. Some organizational stuff for my
Penguicon duties has also been done. I’ve been hard at work on my submission for the mini-anthology7 and I’m really liking how it is coming out. Granted it is going to be long and I’ll have to cut, but I always do. The editing process always involves the removal of words for me.

There is also something else that I have been doing which has taken a little prep time, but for now that is something that I am keeping to myself. I hope you understand.

Now, as a public service for those who
KEEP ASKING, here are a couple items from my wish list:


Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

Codex Seraphinianus

Monsters In America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting

Laughing Screaming: Modern Hollywood Horror and Comedy

The Premium Original Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game (the new uber-cool boxed set).

Cool ties (especially bow ties one has to tie oneself) with horror patterns on them.

1 Yes I do. Nyah, nyah, nyah!

2 Or what passes for “grown up” in my world: jeans and a tee shirt.

3 Not
all of it.

4 Which reminds me, I have to put up a post. Apologies to anyone from the Ann Arbor library who is waiting!

5 Yes, ordered. I know. Some people have already sent their cards out. Whatevs. At least I haven’t caved completely and started sending holiday e-mails.

6 I scored some cool Halloween decorations.

7 One of the prizes at the
6(66)th Annual Monster Mash For Literacy Bash was to have the winner’s name appear as a character’s name in a number of different short stories written by members of the group. The deadline is the end of the month, so I really should finish that up already.