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.

Weekly Update – December 7, 2021

Woo hoo! More good news from the Arisia front!

Panel schedules were posted last week, and not only did I get on all four writing panels I’d put in for, I am moderating two of them, including the panel on writing fight scenes! Yay! Here is what my panel schedule looks like so far — dates, times, and locations subject to change, of course.

  • 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.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording finished! The audio is in final review with ACX now, so it’s waiting game time. Scheduled for late 2021 release.

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 late 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Editor’s notes have been received and the final draft is underway! Look for this new book in early 2022.

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.

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 – November 30, 2021

At last, things are starting to shake loose for Arisia 2022!

I received my vendor acceptance letter last week, and now I’m just waiting to pay my invoice to make it 100 percent official, but I will be back in the vendors room — right where that red to on the map is. Now I have to hold my breath a little bit longer to see what panels I’m on this year.

And for Boskone to finally open their vendor applications. Come ON, people.

Arisia is going to be very strict about vaccinations and mask use (good!), and they’re planning to shut down the vendors room each day for an hour or so, so vendors can take off their masks and eat in safety and comfort. The policies all sound promising and well-thought-out.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording underway, scheduled for late 2021 release.

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 late 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Editor’s notes have been received and the final draft is underway! Look for this new book in early 2022.

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.

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 16, 2021

“Beneath the Mask: A Superhero Romance Anthology” is here! Get it now for the Kindle or in print!

In addition to my story “Like a Knife in the Heart,” you’ll get stories from Trish Heinrich, Jeremy Flagg, Lana Percherczyk, Jaimie Hawke, Christine Ragland, Nancy O’Toole, Karen Diem, Franklin Kendrick, and Angelique Anderson. Stories come in three spice levels: sweet, sexy, and erotic, and there will be something for all tastes (meaning straight and queer content).

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

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

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book five: First draft is close to halfway finished.

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.