Weekly Update – February 22, 2022

In a typical year, I’d be talking about how well Boskone went. Seeing as I skipped the show this year, there’s not a lot to say, but it looks like I made the right choice in taking a pass, at least from a business perspective.

One early attendance report from the organizers indicated that the in-person population was in the low three figures — a tiny fraction of the normal body count — and some friends who regularly vend at the show posted on social media that activity in the dealers room was nonexistent and they were almost certainly going to take a loss.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator. Yay!

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – February 1, 2022

New release announcement! The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses is now available for the Kindle and in print!

The sixth book in the series picks up some time after the events of The Going Rate for Penance, my short story from The Final Summons – An Anthology of the New England Speculative Writers, and features that story’s protagonists the Summerland sisters (which would be the two dangerous-looking ladies you see on your right, rendered by my crack cover artist Tricia Lupien).

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the short, because it’s included in Twins and Losses — but I’d nevertheless recommend picking up The Final Summons because there are a lot of great stories there besides mine.

Art by Patricia Lupien

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 25, 2022

The sad con-related news continues. I received a vendor acceptance email Sunday from Boskone, and I promptly replied that I would be passing on the 2022 show.

It was tough decision to make because I desperately miss doing shows, but in another sense it was an easy call. Omicron appears to be on the decline, but I had no confidence that things would be safe enough to justify doing an event with a crowd, and I know way too many people who have tested positive in the past few weeks alone. I’m not ready to risk being around a lot of people quite yet.

Not that there would necessarily be a lot of people there, which was my other motivation for sitting out this year. Boskone is doing a hybrid live/virtual con this year, which means in-person attendance will be lower than normal, and that means fewer people in the dealers room to spend money. It would have been a significant financial risk on top of a safety risk, and I don’t need to be dealing with either monetary loss or getting sick right now.

But let me end this week on a more upbeat note, and that’s a glimpse at the nearly finished cover art for The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses! It just needs its logo and title added and it’ll be ready for the world! Look for that announcement soon!

Art by Patricia Lupien

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Print and Kindle editions have been formatted and are now awaiting finished cover art! Scheduled for January/February 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 18, 2022

Got a lot of good work in during my non-Arisia Arisia weekend. The next Strongarm & Lightfoot book is fully edited and formatted and now awaiting its cover art, and I got through a key scene on the next Action Figures book.

Normally I would now be looking ahead to Boskone, but one, I haven’t heard back from anyone about my dealers room application, and two, the Omicron wave is still forging ahead and the live portions of the event might be cancelled anyway. And even if they weren’t, my confidence in making it through a con is low, considering that in the past two weeks more than a dozen friends have tested positive for Covid — all mild cases so far, thankfully, but it doesn’t inspire me to go out in public at all.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is finished! Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 11, 2022

This week is a bit of a downer for me because of Arisia cancelling. Normally I’d be checking my bank, making sure my Square reader was charged, updating signage, packing — all that good pre-show prep stuff, but instead, I’ll be locking myself in my office all weekend to grief-write. So, yay productivity?

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is process. Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2022 – Cancelled due to pandemic, 2023 show tentatively scheduled for January 13 – 16, 2023.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Arisia 2022 – An Unfortunate Addendum

In yesterday’s blog post, I announced that Arisia 2022 was still on but a final progress report was forthcoming.

That report came only a few hours later, and the organizers announced that this year’s event was cancelled in light of the Covid Omicron surge. You can read the full report here, but the long and short of it is, the surge made the event too dangerous for participants, so Arisia 2022 was cancelled and there are no plans to take any of the panels to a virtual environment.

To say this news was disappointing would be a gross understatement. I was very much looking forward to being at a live event again, to sitting on (and moderating!) so many great panels, and selling book, so having the rug pulled out from under me — even for completely understandable, responsible reasons — sucks hard.

My expectation at this point is that Boskone will follow suit. I’ve not heard anything back from them about vending and I’ve suspected the organizers were waiting to see what happened with the Omicron surge (and, perhaps, with Arisia). At this point, I fully anticipate Boskone will pull the plug on 2022 and look ahead to 2023 as well.

That means I have quite a bit of stock on-hand that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so feel free to visit my Buy Now page and grab some signed copies.

Weekly Update – January 4, 2022

The countdown to Arisia 2022 has begun, and we’re less than two weeks away from my first major event since 2019.

Arisia again confirmed over the weekend that the con is still a go as a live event, and as things stand now, organizers are expecting a smaller crowd than usual and continue to require vaccinations and masks all around. There’s one more update due to pop up on the Arisia website before next weekend, so keep an ear to the ground in case the Omicron spike prompts a last-minute cancellation.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is process. Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2022: January 14 – 17, Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel. The event has a robust attendance policy due to Covid, which you can read here. Panel schedule is as follows:
  • Writing Helpline for Action Scenes: Friday, 7 PM, Marina 2. When writing an action scene, there are times authors find themselves stuck. The writer has one idea and the scene has another. Or perhaps a writer realizes they’ve written themselves into a corner. Maybe the scene is simply boring. Join this panel of writers as they discuss their own experiences writing effective action scenes and offering advice for common problems in writing action.
  • Crafting Memorable Villains: Saturday, 4 PM, Marina 1. It’s been said that every villain is the hero of their own story. Speculative Fiction is populated with compelling assassins, thieves, witches, con artists and mean girls, who are as complex and compelling as the heroes they come up against. What makes villains and anti-heroes irresistible? Our panelists will share how to craft the perfect villain and explain why anti-heroes and villains are so important in their stories. Find out how much fun it can be to give in to the dark side!
  • Shop Talk: Quitting Time: Saturday, 5:30 PM, Faneuil. Calling quits on a story doesn’t have to be a sad situation. Panelists will bring to the table times when a project petered out, a novel got shelved, or the pursuit of writing had to be paused for a time. The question to explore: why did you stop writing and how did you move on from that decision?
  • The Mushy Middle: Conquering the Midpoint Swamp: Sunday, 4 PM, Faneuil. What happens when you come up with an intriguing premise, but around page 50, your story falls apart? Our panelists will discuss the pitfalls of navigating the second act swamp; how they plot; ways to clarify your hero’s journey; coping strategies including beat sheets, the mini movie method, and mirroring; various ways to brainstorm past a block; and other ways to cut the flab from that mushy middle.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 28, 2021

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve Eve Eve, everyone! Hope your Christmas was good — or at least better than mine.

Unfortunately, my wife and I learned the hard way that our geriatric bulldog Beatrix (seen here evoking Winston Churchill) does not travel well anymore. She was miserable the whole time we were in NYC visiting my wife’s family, so for her sake we cut the visit short and brought her home so she could be comfortable and in a familiar environment.

On a happier note, the time we did get in was lovely, and I came home with a stack of new board games and enough Home Depot gift cards that I was able to buy enough materials to begin the next phase of my office renovation project: built-in shelves for all my books and knickknacks! Which, admittedly, might not be exciting to you, but it makes me happy.

Finally, two brief Arisia updates. One, as per the most recent official bulletin, Arisia 2022 is still a go as a live event and there are no plans to take it the virtual route again. Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then, but any cancellation announcements, if they come, aren’t going to be made until closer to show time, so keep an eye on the Arisia website for any updates.

Two, in addition to moderating the panels on writing fight scenes and knowing when to quit a writing project, I’ve been added as moderator to the panel on writing villains. Woo!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is process. Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2022: January 14 – 17, Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel. The event has a robust attendance policy due to Covid, which you can read here. Panel schedule is as follows:
  • Writing Helpline for Action Scenes: Friday, 7 PM, Marina 2. When writing an action scene, there are times authors find themselves stuck. The writer has one idea and the scene has another. Or perhaps a writer realizes they’ve written themselves into a corner. Maybe the scene is simply boring. Join this panel of writers as they discuss their own experiences writing effective action scenes and offering advice for common problems in writing action.
  • Crafting Memorable Villains: Saturday, 4 PM, Marina 1. It’s been said that every villain is the hero of their own story. Speculative Fiction is populated with compelling assassins, thieves, witches, con artists and mean girls, who are as complex and compelling as the heroes they come up against. What makes villains and anti-heroes irresistible? Our panelists will share how to craft the perfect villain and explain why anti-heroes and villains are so important in their stories. Find out how much fun it can be to give in to the dark side!
  • Shop Talk: Quitting Time: Saturday, 5:30 PM, Faneuil. Calling quits on a story doesn’t have to be a sad situation. Panelists will bring to the table times when a project petered out, a novel got shelved, or the pursuit of writing had to be paused for a time. The question to explore: why did you stop writing and how did you move on from that decision?
  • The Mushy Middle: Conquering the Midpoint Swamp: Sunday, 4 PM, Faneuil. What happens when you come up with an intriguing premise, but around page 50, your story falls apart? Our panelists will discuss the pitfalls of navigating the second act swamp; how they plot; ways to clarify your hero’s journey; coping strategies including beat sheets, the mini movie method, and mirroring; various ways to brainstorm past a block; and other ways to cut the flab from that mushy middle.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 21, 2021

Christmas is coming! It’s practically here!

I quote the Grinch intentionally because, honestly, I’m feeling Christmas 2021 less than I usually feel the holiday. I’m not a big Christmas guy to begin with, but the last few years have taken a toll on my holiday cheer. The loss of two good friends, along with the Christmas party they hosted every year, coupled with recent back-to-back family funerals, my usual end-of-year lethargy, and a dose of pandemic fatigue have taken the wind out of my sails in a big way.

Fortunately, my creative energy is back at normal levels following a bit of a dry spell that hasn’t helped my mood any, so that’s been keeping my going well enough. And then there’s the excitement of Arisia 2022, which — as of this writing — is still a go for a live event. Obviously, this may change depending on what Covid is doing, but things are currently still on track.

Speaking of Arisia, it looks like my panel schedule is set, so come find me at the times and locations below — when I’m not pushing paper in the venders room, that is.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is process. Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • NEW EVENT! Arisia 2022: January 14 – 17, Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel. The event has a robust attendance policy due to Covid, which you can read here. Panel schedule is as follows:
  • Writing Helpline for Action Scenes: Friday, 7 PM, Marina 2. When writing an action scene, there are times authors find themselves stuck. The writer has one idea and the scene has another. Or perhaps a writer realizes they’ve written themselves into a corner. Maybe the scene is simply boring. Join this panel of writers as they discuss their own experiences writing effective action scenes and offering advice for common problems in writing action.
  • Crafting Memorable Villains: Saturday, 4 PM, Marina 1. It’s been said that every villain is the hero of their own story. Speculative Fiction is populated with compelling assassins, thieves, witches, con artists and mean girls, who are as complex and compelling as the heroes they come up against. What makes villains and anti-heroes irresistible? Our panelists will share how to craft the perfect villain and explain why anti-heroes and villains are so important in their stories. Find out how much fun it can be to give in to the dark side!
  • Shop Talk: Quitting Time: Saturday, 5:30 PM, Faneuil. Calling quits on a story doesn’t have to be a sad situation. Panelists will bring to the table times when a project petered out, a novel got shelved, or the pursuit of writing had to be paused for a time. The question to explore: why did you stop writing and how did you move on from that decision?
  • The Mushy Middle: Conquering the Midpoint Swamp: Sunday, 4 PM, Faneuil. What happens when you come up with an intriguing premise, but around page 50, your story falls apart? Our panelists will discuss the pitfalls of navigating the second act swamp; how they plot; ways to clarify your hero’s journey; coping strategies including beat sheets, the mini movie method, and mirroring; various ways to brainstorm past a block; and other ways to cut the flab from that mushy middle.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 14, 2021

At long last, the audiobook version of Action Figure – Issue One: Secret Origins is available!

The audiobook dropped on Saturday and is now ready for listening on Audible, and will be available through Amazon and iTunes shortly.

I have a limited number of free codes to hand out for anyone who’d like to check it out. If you’re interested, send me a message via the Contact Mike page and I’ll set you up. If you like what you hear, please feel free to leave a review (though this is not necessary, simply appreciated).

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is process. Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • NEW EVENT! Arisia 2022: January 14 – 17, Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel. The event has a robust attendance policy due to Covid, which you can read here. Panel schedule is as follows:
  • Writing Helpline for Action Scenes: Friday, 7 PM, Marina 2. When writing an action scene, there are times authors find themselves stuck. The writer has one idea and the scene has another. Or perhaps a writer realizes they’ve written themselves into a corner. Maybe the scene is simply boring. Join this panel of writers as they discuss their own experiences writing effective action scenes and offering advice for common problems in writing action.
  • Crafting Memorable Villains: Saturday, 4 PM, Marina 1. It’s been said that every villain is the hero of their own story. Speculative Fiction is populated with compelling assassins, thieves, witches, con artists and mean girls, who are as complex and compelling as the heroes they come up against. What makes villains and anti-heroes irresistible? Our panelists will share how to craft the perfect villain and explain why anti-heroes and villains are so important in their stories. Find out how much fun it can be to give in to the dark side!
  • Shop Talk: Quitting Time: Saturday, 5:30 PM, Faneuil. Calling quits on a story doesn’t have to be a sad situation. Panelists will bring to the table times when a project petered out, a novel got shelved, or the pursuit of writing had to be paused for a time. The question to explore: why did you stop writing and how did you move on from that decision?
  • The Mushy Middle: Conquering the Midpoint Swamp: Sunday, 4 PM, Faneuil. What happens when you come up with an intriguing premise, but around page 50, your story falls apart? Our panelists will discuss the pitfalls of navigating the second act swamp; how they plot; ways to clarify your hero’s journey; coping strategies including beat sheets, the mini movie method, and mirroring; various ways to brainstorm past a block; and other ways to cut the flab from that mushy middle.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.