Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New story sale

Holy cow. Blogger just updated their posting interface. This is going to take some getting used to.

While my mind is being blown over here, I have a couple of things to share. I sold "When the Dead Decide to Disco" to Every Day Fiction and it will be out either next month or the month after. I'll know more when they announce the Table of Contents for May.

If the timing seems odd because of my new podcast duties, let me assure you that my access to EDF is completely superficial. I only deal with stories that have already been published -- I have no interactions with slush or the backend database. And I submitted this story 147 days ago--including a requested rewrite last month. All of this happened long before I agreed to volunteer.

I hope that doesn't sound overly defensive. I just want to be clear that the EDF team is very good about maintaining a separation between the two areas to avoid conflicts of interest.

All that said, I'm super excited to share this story with you. It was a fun one to write.

This week I finished revising a short story and submitted it to a new market so that's good. Also a few days ago I added up my numbers for 2012 and here are my stats since January 1: 10 submissions (only includes new subs sent since Jan 1), 8 rejections, 3 acceptances and 3 publications (pubs does not include "When the Dead...").

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Registered for ArmadilloCon in July

I've signed up for a couple of things since we last spoke, most recently ArmadilloCon, which takes place July 27-29th in Austin, TX. Months ago I decided not to sign up for this con until I heard about Clarion, but since I don't expect to hear on the waiting list it's time to make new plans. Next I need to get a manuscript together to claim a spot in the ArmadilloCon Writers' Workshop. The lineup looks fantastic.

Since I finished that 8k word story in December I've written mostly flash fiction. There was one dark fantasy story that went completely off the rails. I keep coming back to it, but it's still broken. I recognize the need to write longer and give the reader more of a chance to invest in the story. At the same time, if I can crank out a bunch of flash fiction then I don't want to throttle that urge either.

That's the thing about writing. If you try hard enough you can make yourself feel insecure about anything.

I suppose that's true about life in general.

I've also volunteered to help out at Every Day Fiction with their podcasts. Podcasts in this case are mp3 recordings of published EDF stories. I've recorded two so far and am starting a third. It's fun.

Monday, April 16, 2012

News to share

I have a couple of exciting things to share this morning. The first item might be old news if you follow me on other social media sites, but I had a flash fiction piece published recently at 10Flash Quarterly and I realized I never mentioned it on the blog.

The story is called Taking the Wind and you can read it for free online. It's about Kaua'i and angels and 997 words long.

All the stories in this issue, which also happens to be their last issue, were written around the line, "The falls are beautiful this time of year." I encourage you to check out all the 10Flash stories. They're very good.

My second item of news is that I recorded a story over at Every Day Fiction for author J. Chris Lawrence. This excellent creepy story is called The Widow's Tale and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011.

Listen to the podcast here.

If you check it out please give it a star rating. Ratings help a story get better exposure.

This marks my second podcast for Every Day Fiction. My first was for my own short story, Eau de Public Transit (click here to listen and vote). The first was sort of a test to see if I could do it...and guess what? Totally doable.

The podcasts are just for fun, but I plan to make more so I can share these talented EDF authors with a wider audience who might prefer to play or download an mp3 of the story. That's the goal anyway.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pictures from Norwescon 35

Unlike the World Horror Convention, I actually unsheathed my Nikon for Norwescon 35. Here are a few of the photos with very little context:

Artist Guest of Honor, John Picacio, is interviewed during the opening ceremonies.

(On right) My fellow writing group member, author Tim McDaniel, talks about overcoming writer's block on a panel.

Author Caren Gussoff before her reading.

Clinton J Boomer, James L. Sutter, Erik Scott de Bie, and Dustin J. Gross on Moral Ambiguity in Gaming panel.

Author Cat Rambo during her reading of a story recently published in Apex.

Author K.C. Ball signs a copy of her short story collection.

Andrew Williams as a dark elf.

Jay Lake and Gordon Van Gelder on the "Breaking In" panel, Friday, April 6, 2012. (I know the color is oversaturated, but I just liked it this way.)

Fellow writing group member, Janka, attacks a knight during a weapons demonstration.

Members of Writers Cramp eat Thai food during a break from Norwescon.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Norwescon 35 Quick Update on Pictures

I've been posting photos from Norwescon 35 on Twitter (see @follyblaine) and a few on my Facebook page (see

They'll end up here as well, so you can check back in a couple of days for the whole set. But Twitter and FB is where you go for sneak previews.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Ghost Tour at Pike Place Market

Here are a few photos from last night's Ghost Tour that Jer and I attended at Pike Place Market.

A beautiful night for a ghost tour.

The tour starts at the gum wall in Post Alley. Yep, the wall is covered in chewed up gum.

Tile at the exterior of the former Butterworth mortuary. One of the other tours will take you inside with ghost hunting equipment.

Inside Pike Place Market with our tour guide. We walked through after the market closed down so we had lots of space to spread out.

Overall I highly recommend this one hour-ish tour. I learned some new things and got some ideas for future stories. A great way to spend an evening in Seattle.

Norwescon 35

I'm attending my first Norwescon starting this afternoon. The con takes place over by the Seatac airport, and from what I understand, is heavily attended. Just about every speculative fiction writer and artist I know in the Pacific Northwest is going, for what that's worth.

So like five people?

Kidding. I know at least seven people by now.

I've meant to delve into the schedule, but I've only managed to download the app to my phone and I'll figure it out as I go. I have a couple of critiques scheduled through the Fairwood Writers Workshop, and some people I'd like to see, and some bar time I'd like to make happen, and that's about it.

I'm planning to bring my camera tomorrow, not tonight, so if you're going and want a picture just grab me. We'll find an uncluttered background and get you a picture you can use for social media. I should be around through Sunday, assuming I don't run out of steam on Saturday.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

World Horror Convention 2012 in Review

This is my attempt to sum up nearly four days of excitement and thrills at the 2012 World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, UT.

I arrived Wednesday at 7:30pm, checked into the Radisson, and went in search of food. About a block from the hotel I found Crown Burgers, where I ordered a burger with pastrami on it because yelp told me to. I enjoyed this burger very much. In lieu of something interesting, here is the burger:

Crown Burger - Mid-Bite

So you'll notice all of the pictures in this post are crappy. I brought my fancy camera and never used it once. Because apparently I like to lug heavy equipment hundreds of miles for no reason at all.

On Thursday, while hanging around waiting for registration to open I started chatting with novelist (and WHC panelist) Travis Heermann. This was fortunate because he and his companion were some of the die-hards still around on Sunday night so I got to know him even better, but I get ahead of myself. Travis and Chanel are lovely people.

Thursday evening I went to panels -- programming was awesome, I learned something new at every panel I attended -- and later went to a seance. The seance deserves its own post, but I'll sum up the summary by saying I was fortunate to meet R.B. Payne, John R. Little and his fiance Fatima, as well as Denise Broussard. Meeting R.B. Payne, in particular, was a highlight of this convention.

It didn't even occur to me to take photos the first full day of the con, which is too bad because a lot happened on Friday. I attended excellent readings by Angel Leigh McCoy and Damien Walters Grintalis, and then had my own first reading.

I read "British Guiana, 1853" from Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations. The audience consisted entirely of people I guilted into being there, but I'm shameless about that sort of thing so it's okay. Everyone was kind and I had a heckuva good time introducing people to Gilberth.

Friday afternoon I attended the first half of Mort Castle's Writing Workshop. Such a huge honor to hear him teach in person. It also gave me the opportunity to meet a number of other authors like Steven James Scearce and Chris Morey, and to hang out with Eric J. Guignard, editor for Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations.

Before I get much further: I'm sure I'm forgetting people. If I haven't mentioned you it isn't because you were forgettable, it's because I'm too lazy to get up and grab all the business cards I took home with me.

After the writing workshop I went to a kaffeeklatsch with Joe R. Lansdale and mostly just nodded and smiled a lot. I worked up the courage to ask a couple of questions and sneak this photo.

Kaffeeklatsch with Joe Lansdale

I attended an excellent reading by Benjamin Kane Ethridge and won a copy of his novel, Black & Orange, in a raffle. His book tied for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel in 2010, so I'm excited. The only downside of attending Benjamin's reading is that I missed Eric Guignard's reading. I wish I could have cloned myself.

Benjamin Kane Ethridge reading

Friday at dinner R.B. Payne introduced me to Roberta Lannes-Sealey and Mike McCarty, both of whom it was my absolute pleasure to meet.

That evening I convinced R.B. and Mike to join me ghost hunting with the Wasatch Paranormal Investigators at the Fort Douglas cemetery, but that came after the mass signing.

Mass Signing

At the mass signing I was able to introduce myself to a few more people, including Lincoln Crisler, who I've been following on Facebook for a while. He has a new anthology out called Corrupts Absolutely? I look forward to reading.

As I mentioned earlier, a few of us went ghost hunting in the evening. It was sufficiently spooky. Here's me aiming a flashlight at a tombstone:

Ghost Hunting at the Fort Douglas Cemetery

Saturday morning I worked on my homework for Mort Castle's 1pm workshop and then attended a Q&A with Joe Lansdale -- if you ever have the chance to hear him speak, go. He has a fantastic sense of humor and has lived an interesting life. I've now read two of his collections, Writer of the Purple Rage and Bumper Crop, and with each story I read I become more of a fan. On the one hand, I wish I'd known about him sooner, on the other I'm excited to have the chance to catch up now.

Joe Lansdale at his Q&A

At 5pm, I went to a reading by Carl Alves. I met him at an earlier reading and enjoyed listening to his novel, Two for Eternity, of which I also won a copy.

Carl Alves reading

The next pic is the only one I snapped of R.B. Payne so I'm including it. Even though it is of his back and makes him kind of look like a shadow monster. Sorry, Richard.

Restaurant Bar

I neglected to take any pictures at the banquet on Saturday night or during the many hours of chatting with people in the Con Suite. Or even after I dropped cake on Mike Mignola's shoe. Because why not drop sugary baked goods on the feet of the creator of Hellboy?

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

By the way, a fellow member of my writing group, Steven Gurr, recommended I go to Squatter's Pub, so here's the proof I went and it was delicious.


On Sunday night, many people had already left but a few die-hards hung out in the Con Suite, enjoying quiet music and discussing deep philosophical issues on the nature of the universe.

Dead Dog Party

I had a great time hanging out with Sanford Allen -- oh hey my photo of Neil Gaiman is still at the top of his page, check it out -- and Travis and Chanel and John Hornor Jacobs plus Stan and Nycole Laff, who were so great at setting up the WHC readings. Plus everyone else. Thank you for being awesome.

Monday morning I caught an 8:30am shuttle to the airport and by 4:30pm, my husband Jer was picking me up at 3rd and Cherry in downtown Seattle.

Waiting at the Spokane Airport next to a Starbucks and a bar.

Was there anything I didn't like about this con? Not much. I guess I didn't like the hotel bar closed right around happy hour and shut down at either 11pm or 1am, depending on the night. But I think we were all such a creative group it was only a small obstacle.

I just want to thank everyone I met or listened to or stalked from a distance for making this such an incredible convention. I'm so glad I was able to attend.

Update at 6:22pm, April 3, 2012: I neglected to mention my fantastic and extended conversations with Darren O. Godfrey and meeting Brad Carpenter and I am sorry for this oversight.

Also for a different perspective, Benjamin Kane Ethridge posted an excellent writeup of his con experiences at his blog. As a bonus, I had the same weird photos hanging from my headboard, which you can see on his page. I neglected to take a picture.