Human for a Day anthology with Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring Now Out and Obligatory End of Year Awards Pimpage

The anthology Human for a Day, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Martin H. Greenberg (DAW Books), is now out with my story “Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring”! It’s available at bookstores and online booksellers such as Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com in print and as an ebook.

Also, the Nebula Award nominations are now open, and the Hugos are coming up, so herein the obligatory shameless pimpage for the short stories I’ve had published this year for your consideration:

  • “Black Swan, White Swan” in anthology End of an Aeon, edited by Marti and Bridget McKenna (July, Fairwood Press), also produced as a podcast by PodCastle (listen to it for free!) and reprinted in my Mortal Clay, Stone Heart ebook collection.
  • “Biba Jibun” in Apex Magazine issue #23 in April (read it for free!)
  • “The Princess and the Golden Fish” in Cricket Magazine, serialized in the January through April issues.
  • “Requiem Duet, Concerto for Flute and Voodoo” in Daily Science Fiction in September (read it for free!)
  • “The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk” in podcast Drabblecast in August (listen to it for free!) for their Lovecraft Appreciation Month and reprinted as an ebook.

And a final plug in this plug-filled post, I’m running two deals for the month of December:

Human for a Day Anthology Table of Contents, Available for Pre-Order

Saw that Editor Jennifer Brozek posted the cover art and table of contents for Human for a Day with my “Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring.” And it’s now available for pre-order from Amazon.com. I’m really looking forward to this coming out!

Contents:

“The Mainspring of His Heart, the Shackles of His Soul” by Ian Tregillis
“The Blade of His Plow” by Jay Lake
“Cinderella City” by Seanan McGuire
“Tumulus” by Anton Strout
“The Sentry” by Fiona Patton
“Ten Thousand Cold Nights” by Erik Scott de Bie
“Mortality” by Dylan Birtolo
“The Dog-Catcher’s Song” by Tanith Lee
“Mortal Mix-Up” by Laura Resnick
“Band of Bronze” by Jean Rabe
“Zombie Interrupted” by Tim Waggoner
“Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring” by Eugie Foster
“The Very Next Day” by Jody Lynn Nye
“The Destroyer” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Into the Nth Dimension” by David D. Levine
“Epilogue” by Jim C. Hines

Cover:

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Taking an Ice Day and a Sneak Peek of the 2011 Nebula Awards Showcase Anthology

The weather service has extended the freezing rain advisory, the haphazardly plowed roads are now covered in an accumulating sheet of ice, the MARTA ramp is still closed and bus service shut down, and the General Assembly is adjourned today. While I don’t mind snowy roads, I do mind icy ones, so I’m staying home and off the roadways.

Ice Day!

Going to use the time to work on novel revisions of Demon Queller. Also to try to catch up on my to-do list. Been completely focused these last couple weeks on finishing “Beneath the Silent Bell” before the deadline and before session began, but I’m now coming up for air. My email’s inbox is littered with starred “reply needed” notes that I’m just starting to wade through. If you’re waiting on a reply from me: 1. Sorry for the extended radio silence! and 2. It’s coming!

In other news, got the galleys of “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” for the 2011 Nebula Awards Showcase anthology from editor Kevin J. Anderson. And he also included a sneak peek of the cover. Check it out:

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First Sale of 2011: Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring

Woohoo! I just heard from the fabulous Jennifer Brozek that she’s buying my “Kiyohime” story–now titled “Beneath the Silent Bell, the Autumn Sky Turns to Spring”–for the DAW anthology Human for a Day.

First story sale of 2011!

I love deadlines. I wrote most of this one back in November, and then ended up stuck on a plot point. Meant to finish it over the holidays but I never get anything done then. (I don’t know why I keep thinking I will.) Next thing I knew, it’s the new year, the deadline’s snorting steam down my neck and striking fear in my heart, and poof, I stopped being stuck. I hadn’t worked my plot issue out, but I just started putting words down because I knew I had to, and miraculously, what I’d been spinning my gears on resolved itself. La.

Deadlines stress the heck out of me and wreak holy havoc on my sleep, but I am never so productive as when I’m sweating to meet a deadline.

Writing Progress and State of the Human Suit. My Sinuses Hate Me.

The good news is that my joints don’t ache, so I’m likely not having a flare-up. The bad news is that everything sinus-related hurts or is otherwise nonfunctional: head, eyes, face, nose. But the upshot is that I’m not contagious (probably), and with the application of a veritable pharmacopoeia of meds, I can still function. Sort of.

Managed around 700 words on the “Kiyohime” short story. Also decided to give in and began writing the sequel to Demon Queller. It feels like the height of presumption (and folly) to start work on book 2 when book 1 isn’t even at the “ready to market” stage, but it also feels wrong to smother the craving to put words on the page. Ergo, 2K words on Dragon Queller.

My muse, she is a skanky crack whore. I know it. She knows it. We’re way beyond rehab.

Making Progress on the Short Story and More Thoughts on Short Story Versus Novel Writing

Managed 1.5K on the “Kiyohime” short story yesterday. It’s coming along well. Think I’m around the halfway point. Got the whole story outlined and plotted out, including the twisty bit which was annoying the heck outta me, and getting close to the climax scene. At this rate, I might have it at zero draft before month’s end.

It’s a little weird working on a whole new story after slaving away at the novel for so long. Having to reset my story/character head-space to get it out of my novel’s world. And I keep having the itch to return to my novel’s characters and continue their story.

That’s a brand new, shiny novelty for me. I’m accustomed to feeling done with a world and characters after finishing a short story. I’ve had folks ask me whether I was going to expand some of my short work into novels, and I had a hard time seeing the appeal of that. I mean, I told their tale, that’s it, the end. (‘Course, having said that, Demon Queller began life as the short story “Honor is a Game Mortals Play.” )

But I intentionally left room for continuation in the novel, and now I want to continue it. I see the virtue of being a novelist with an ongoing series. The characters and their world become fundamentally ingrained in your creative consciousness, and you don’t need to be constantly rebuilding new worlds and new people–although, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of appeal in that too.

‘K, I get it. Writerly revelation, la. And I thought I was past those. Hah. The cosmos calls “hubris” on me yet again.

Released from Jury Duty and Novel First Draft (Almost)

So I was not selected for a trial yesterday. Thank Jeebus. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be when they asked if I had State Farm insurance or any other affiliation with State Farm. I figure eleven years working at their corporate headquarters would qualify as an “affiliation” and was crossing my fingers that it would put me out of the running. Looks like it did.

Now I’m curious what the case is about but really, really glad I wasn’t selected for it. The only thing more boring than insurance law is tax law, and I will see plenty of both in just a couple months. I absolutely don’t need a jump start.

In other news, I got Matthew’s feedback on Demon Queller. He liked it! Whew. Yeah, yeah, family opinion and all, but I know he’ll be honest with me if something sucks, and I trust his instincts. It’s why he’s my eternal first reader. Also, he’s legally obligated to keep speaking to me regardless of how bad a manuscript might be that I force him to read.

Got some tweaks, minor edits, and a little rewriting to do based on his crit, and then it’ll be officially at first draft and ready to send to critiquers.

Also started on a short story, the one I’m writing for the DAW anthology. 800 words. Working title, “Kiyohime.”