On Dying Laptops, New Publications, and Wist for World Horror

Laptop.Portrait

I’ll begin this update by saying that my laptop is dying. Seven years ago I bought this Gateway Netbook, and it has been like a companion ever since. Because I travel each week for my “day job”, which consists technically of three twelve hour night shifts, I do a fair amount of writing on the road. I keep odd hours and my body’s circadian rhythm functions more on a weekly than daily basis. And so I say neither as complaint nor boast, but rather a fact, that I therefore write constantly. Any chance I get when my mind is awake and clear enough, I’m at it. Many writers I know are like this, most knowing the value of the daily practice necessary to develop the skill. For me it means often writing in odd locations and odd times. I don’t have a special room or desk in my house. I’m often at the kitchen table, in a café, on a Greyhound, in the woods, wherever I can carve out an isolated spot and a few isolated hours. Therefore, the Netbook has been essential.

I didn’t take to laptops when they first became popular. The large ones were too bulky, the small ones too difficult to type on. But though the Netbook is less than the length of a ruler, it has the beautiful deformity of full sized keys. It was love at first type, and I’ve kept it within reach all these years.

I’ve read anecdotes by Stephen King about the beauty of old typewriters, and by William Gibson about how he wrote on an “old fashioned” word processor. Alas, I will not be able to participate in such nostalgia. My laptop will be dying this year, the year my first true full length book will be published. Like Moses who could only glimpse the promised land but never enter, the Netbook, upon which I’ve written about a dozen novels and countless short stories, will not live to see the yield of its labors. I’ve already started backing up the files for when, one day soon, the broken power switch, which I have to press by sliding my guitar playing fingernail into a plastic crevice, ceases to function.

Well, in much better news, SLASH OF CRIMSON AND OTHER STORIES will soon be complete. Editor Margie Colton of Charon Coin Press has sent me the first round of edits on the short stories. An insightful, accurate editor means everything to a book’s success, and that’s why I am quite lucky to be working Margie and Charon Coin on this project.

I will also be posting more of the CANTOS on the blog soon, the companion pieces that go with the stories that will be coming out in the book. As I hope to make this a trilogy in the future, anyone who reads them will find they flesh out the world where the stories take place, as well as further developing the mythology.

Well, I am off to the woods with the kids this afternoon. It will be some small solace for not being at World Horror Convention 2015, which is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend. I am especially bereft to be missing the absinthe party hosted by Daniel Knauf, and seeing my good friend Sydney Leigh and so many other talented and awesome people of the Horror Writers Association. Hopefully I will make it next time around, and hey, with a published book to promote.

For now, it’s time to get writing—heave oars for the starlit abyss!

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