The last thirty days have been interesting here in Brownlandia.

November is National Novel Writing Month ( and I’ve participated to various levels of success of the last six years or so. Was involved in it again this year and while I didn’t hit the 50k word mark that is the goal (I did put out 23k), I managed to find my way on a new novel and I’m super excited about that. I kind of thought things were dead in the water with this for a while, but I spent the first 10 days of November (and the week prior) focusing on an outline, playing with scenarios and ideas, and something came together. A pretty big something.

As most of you know, too, I love my bad guys. Love them so much that I frequently make them the “good” guys in any story I’m working on. Not so in this new novel, and I felt that loss a bit, but mostly because the bad guy was nameless, faceless, and just there. He had no point other than to add conflict by his very presence. Conflict is important, of course, but it feels empty without a purpose. The bad guy has to have a goal and mine didn’t. Not until around November 16th. Driving to St. Louis to see family for the holidays, my wife and I were discussing the finer points of the new plot and she said something that made it all click. I love it when a plan comes together.

Also, in the last thirty days I’ve had two short stories released: “Bless You” in the West Pigeon Press anthology For When the Veil Drops and “What’s Left Behind” in the Post Mortem Press anthology Fear the Abyss. I’m happy to be a part of both anthologies. You can just click on the story titles above to link to the pages I’ve created for them. I’ve already pimped the shit out of them independently via Facebook and Twitter, so I’ll say no more, other than you should go buy them. They’re both great collections with a huge amount of established, semi-established, and up and coming writers. Don’t take my word for it, though. Go look. Buy. Read.

With the novel taking shape, I hope to have the rough draft finished by the end of the year. Get it edited and in shape maybe to try and find a home for it in early 2014. And if not, that’s fine; I’ve already started an outline for another novel, and I have one currently in edit stages. With the freeing up of my time, I’ve gotten back to the basics of my life: my family, writing, and reading. Boy, have I been reading a lot.

Oh, yeah. And fucking Halo, bitches.

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