Monday, June 28, 2010

Ze Clock, She is Ticking!

The end of the month is rapidly approaching, and my mini-vacation is coming to an end. I'm looking forward to it... this has been a great month to do whatever I want, but it's gonna be really great to get back into the universe I created and start moving stuff around. I feel like revision is shaping the raw material I've created. Yes, a good deal of it is pretty clean. But I can make it better... sharper. I want it to sing.

Almost finished with my erotic horror flash. Next I'm going to polish up a short I started a couple of years ago but never finished. I figure it's about five pages from the end. If I can get it down right, I'll have another piece to add to my portfolio. It's pretty exciting to see that expanding, because it means I can group them together into an anthology before too much longer. This isn't unheard of in the horror genre; Joe Hill published an anthology of his short fiction before he published his first novel, and it did so well, he got a contract with Harper-Collins.

I've sent out queries to Weird Tales and Dark Discoveries about the pieces they still have (Weird Tales has had "Knights of the Road" for a little over three months; Dark Discoveries has had "Watched" since January), and I'm hoping to hear back soon on them. In the meantime, I'll have new stuff to send out in the next couple of weeks, and that makes me happy.

Another exciting thing: my website will be up and running soon. I want to get it rolling before I head to KillerCon in August. There probably won't be a whole lot at first, but I can't wait to share it with y'all. I'm taking business cards to the convention with me and I want to have the website ready for who might be visiting...

...but before all that kicks into high gear, I'm enjoying the last week of June. Next Sunday there'll be fireworks; until then, I'm chillin out. So - you didn't think I'd forgotten about Music Monday, did you? Here's one of my favorite "chill" songs for you to enjoy... hope it brings a little calm blue ocean into your Monday.

What's going on in your life? Anything you're particularly excited about? Need to kick back and relax for a couple of days? You're not stressing in the summer heat, are ya? Remember, friends... the comment section is always open.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 25, 2010


A most happy Friday to you, my friend!

I'm nearing the end of my self-enforced hiatus from the book, and I'm looking forward to jumping back in. I'm picking it up on Monday, July 5th after giving myself a complete month off from the project. At first I thought a month wouldn't be enough - hahaha, I was SICK of it after I finished - but now I'm really looking forward to diving back in to the manuscript.

This'll be my first revision of my first manuscript, so it's all new to me. Another adventure, another step in the process to getting published. I'm still writing in the time off, although I'm not pressuring myself to produce very much. I've finished the short story I was working on, and have started a new piece. This one is a flash fiction for the convention in August.

Yep, there's a horror erotica flash fiction contest at KillerCon this year and I've already started working on my piece. You have to read your piece aloud in three minutes or less, so I want to get some practice in before I head out that way. It's a fun little challenge... erotic gore... but I'm definitely up to the task.

The short story came out well, I'm letting it sit for a few days (and taking it to my writing partner) before I come back to it. Now I want to finish this flash and move on to polishing some older stuff I have. It's time to start submitting short pieces again. I still have two out in circulation but they've been out there forever. It's time to beef up my portfolio and send out some more pages.

Hope you all have amazing, if not productive, weekends.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Changing Plans

So, I've been thinking.

Remember in February when I went to the South Carolina Book Festival? The SCWW is a big part of that crowd. The more I've been figuring up prices for the convention, and figuring out what choices would be best for me, the more I've been wondering if that convention is really where I ought to be going.

I want a convention or conference that's going to help me get my con-bearings before I go to Austin next April for the World Horror Con. The only thing close to this I've been to is Dragon Con - and this is a whole different world.

So, I put out some feelers on Twitter, and one of the horror writers I messaged responded. I asked what a good convention for horror writers would be, and she suggested KillerCon. After looking it up, I realized it sounded perfect - a horror and thriller writers' convention, with agents from the industry in attendance and two on-site writing contests... Whoooo!

So, I think I'm changing my plans. I want to connect with other writers from South Carolina, but I think I need to do that after I've found an agent or publisher which will be a good fit for my work.

What do y'all think? Stick with the home territory or go for the genre?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Movie Dirty Dozen!

I'm participating in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest today! Alex asks, "What movies have changed your life? What movies have changed you as a person? What movies are your ultimate enjoyment from start to finish? If you could only round up twelve, what movies would be your Dirty Dozen?" Here are mine, in no particular order:

Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Now here we go, right out of the gate, with one of the best movies in my list. Did you know I was a Star Wars nut? Oh yeah. I literally quote Han Solo's lines in my sleep (or so I've been told). This is my favorite of all the Star Wars movies. It's so important to the rest of the story - this is where Han and Leia fall in love, this is where Luke learns the real importance of the Force and how to manipulate it, this is where we meet Yoda, this is where we learn Ben can contact Luke from beyond the grave, this is where we find out so much backstory... and, of course, this is where Luke gets the end-all-be-all ultimate who's-yo-daddy mind f*ck. Amazing.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
This is an epic climax to one of the best movie trilogies ever made. It's my favorite of the three and it doesn't disappoint. There's more than one breathtaking battle between the forces of good and evil, and the results are always satisfying. My favorite character of the LotR trilogy, Samwise, has some of the best lines in this movie - although I do love his monologue at the end of The Two Towers on perseverance and faith. This film completely immerses you in the fantastic universe of Tolkien's imagination.

Little Miss Sunshine
This is one of the best road trip movies ever made. A completely dysfunctional family comes together to take the youngest member (Olive) cross-country to California so she can participate in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest. In the course of their journey, they experience death, defeat, disappointment, self-doubt, anger, shame, betrayal... but at the end they realize that their love for each other is what keeps their family strong. Touching, funny, sad, and beautiful. It's a wonderful film with a great ending that will leave you smiling. If you haven't seen it yet, you should really check it out.

Where the Wild Things Are
A lot, I mean A LOT of people didn't like this movie, but I loved it. I enjoyed Spike Jonze's take on the classic tale, and I am a Wild Thing purist. (I mean, seriously. Max is probably the only thing I would ever tattoo on myself. I AM the King of the Wild Things, baby! LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!!) Yes, there are parts that are sad and scary and confusing... but isn't that what childhood is? When I went to see the movie in the theater, it changed my perception of the outside world. Walking back out into the fall sunshine, everything looked wondrous and crazy and awe-inspiring... just like I was a kid again. Now that's a good movie.

The Princess Bride
This movie, along with greats like The Goonies, TRON, and Explorers! shaped my childhood. I can still quote most of the lines of this movie (but probably not in my sleep, ha!). As Grandpa says, " has everything: Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." Westley and his beautiful Buttercup love each other more than anyone in the history of the world, and their love is put to the test time and again throughout this tale. This is a story of true love and how it never dies. Pirates, swashbucklers, beautiful girls and torturous fiends are all part of this high fantasy masterpiece.

Young Frankenstein
I'm a huge fan of Mel Brooks, and this is my favorite of all his movies. It stars Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, and the amazing Cloris Leachman. There's also a cameo from Gene Hackman! The movie is filmed in black and white in a spoofy nod to all the classic black and white horror movies out there. In this movie, young Frederick Frankenstein learns he's been willed all the properties and research of his grandfather, Baron Von Frankenstein. He gets more than he bargained for when he moves to the castle in Transylvania and picks up the loose ends of his grandfather's work. This movie is a fantastic comedy!

The Breakfast Club
A brain. An athlete. A princess. A basket case. A criminal. Grouped together one cold Saturday morning at Shermer High School in Shermer, Illinois, on March 24, 1984. By the end of the day, they find out that they are each in their own way a brain, an athlete, a princess, a basket case, and a criminal. And they like it that way. I was a little young for this to have shaped my high school experience (it was released a full ten years before I graduated), but it's a movie anyone can identify with - who doesn't know what it's like to be alienated? It's a great thing when people can put their differences aside, even for a day, and recognize that we're all human.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Much like the Star Wars movies, the Indiana Jones trilogy was a huge part of my childhood. Last Crusade is my favorite of the original trilogy (let's not mention the recent fourth movie, shall we?) and the presence of Sean Connery as Henry Jones - Indy's father - is inspired. There's so much chemistry and dynamic action onscreen during this movie, it's impossible to be bored by it, even if you've watched it a dozen times. The ending is satisfying, and we learn a lot about Indiana Jones as a character in this movie - where he comes from and what really motivates him as an archaeologist, and more importantly as a person.

American Beauty
"It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself. Makes you wonder what else you can do that you've forgotten about." So says Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, in this beautiful tale of the last months of a man's life. Lester realizes - not a moment too late - that he's been sleeping through his life for the last two decades, and he decides to change things up so he can figure out who he is again. By the end of the movie, he's found himself... but the rest of his family is having problems dealing with who he's found. This movie won a crapload of Oscars for a reason; if you haven't seen it, please do yourself a favor and give it a try.

Donnie Darko
I am a huge fan of movies that make you go "WHAAAAAAATTT?!?!?!" and this one is perhaps the king of those films. Donnie is a troubled teen who is in counseling for his "problems" - mainly, the onset of schizophrenia. He begins having visions of someone in a strangely deformed rabbit suit - visions that tell him the world will end in less than a month. As the month progresses Donnie learns about time travel and how it can be achieved on Earth. The two concepts collide with so much force at the end of the movie, you may need an aspirin before it's all over with. Regardless, it's beautifully shot and will really make you feel something at the end. What, I can't say. I just know that it's something.

Fight Club

Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.
This movie, based on Chuck Palahniuk's book of the same title, is violent, gritty, thought-provoking, and has another one of those "WHAAAAATT?!?!" moments at the end. There's an undeniable theme of empowerment here, and it's impossible to ignore. By the end of this movie, you're asking yourself why YOU know what the hell a duvet cover is. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt star with Helena Bonham-Carter in one of the most influential movies of my generation. I really love this one.

Big Fish
This is a movie about a storyteller and the incredible life he's lived. We learn about him through his stories - all of which in one way or another are tall tales - but through everything we are able to see the good heart of the man in the center of all this amazing fantasy. It's also a story about fathers and sons, and trying to reconcile the hurts of the past and make them into something which strengthens us before time runs out. Funny and heartbreaking, magical and dreamlike, I promise this movie won't disappoint - especially to all you writers out there.

Well, there you go, guys. Hope you liked the list... if you'd like to know more about any of those movies, click on the links provided and you'll go right to their entries on the Internet Movie Database. Thanks so much to Alex for hosting this blogfest! This was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's take on the challenge!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer in the South


Farmer's markets sprout on every corner. In their depths lie bushels of red tomatoes, juicy and ready for slicing. The bristly tips of corn peek out of a huge basket near the cash register. A pyramid of cucumbers is built next to the overflowing bins of squash. Fruit is heaped in wicker baskets everywhere - peaches, plums, blackberries, fragrant in the dim humidity.

Children are everywhere - on skateboards, on bikes, on rollerblades, on bare brown feet toughened by hot asphalt and dead scratchy crabgrass. They squint against the sun's constant glare, playing games of make-believe, pretending sticks are swords and trees are forts. They cluster in pockets of shade, trading stories, making plans. The ice cream truck circles endlessly, its tinkling melody maddening in the heat.

That heat is merciless and demanding, leaching every ounce of energy from your flesh as you work your way through the morning and into the afternoon. Air-conditioning is a given in any business; the silky rush of climate control on your skin as you step from the sweltering parking lot to the cool interior of a bank (or grocery store or restaurant) is shocking and sweet. The heat pushes its hands into your face and runs its fingers over your scalp, prickling and uncomfortable. It rides on your shoulders and settles in the fork of your crotch. It kisses your face with wet smacks and makes you wish for the deepest recesses of winter - although such tremendous heat makes you question if the season ever existed at all.

Every afternoon a thunderstorm rolls in, hiding the horizon's blue mountains with a scrim of gunmetal gray. Clouds tower in the southeast, rolling over and over like strange dough worked by huge invisible hands. Trees whip back and forth, whispering together in an uneasy chorus. The skies open and rain cascades in sheets so thick you can see it on the road, moving like a curtain of water. Thunder roars overhead; lightning spikes the horizon with a crooked finger. Fifteen minutes later the sky is blue-over-pink and cloudy tendrils of steam hang over the blacktop like restless ghosts. In the distance, a brilliant rainbow marks the passing storm's edge.

As the sun sinks below the horizon the fireflies appear one by one, stuttering coded messages to each other from across the yard. The twitter of birds is replaced by the constant reeeeee of crickets and cicadas, a chorus which stretches into the wee hours of the morning. The humidity presses sweaty hands on your skin.

A glass of sweet tea, the rind of a lemon dancing in the liquid as you drink. Ice cubes chatter against the glass; the condensation makes it slippery. The bed calls you, promising you can wake up early to do the things you had planned for the evening. You slip between cool sheets and let your exhaustion melt into the mattress, knowing you'll probably be unable to get up early but too tired to care. The day plays through your mind as you drift off, the humming circle of fan blades above lulling you into sleep.

And then up in the morning to do it all over again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Conventions vs. Conferences

Things are heating up at the Clark Kent job, so you haven't seen much of me lately. The summer is when I'm busiest, 'cause that's when we're slow. It's my job to get people in the door. So, I'm working ALL THE TIME. Which doesn't leave much time for anything else except sleeping in the coldest place I can find (and fit in to; it's no good to fall asleep with your head in the freezer 'cause you just end up on the kitchen floor). South Carolina is HOT this week, friends and neighbors. And it ain't gettin any better any time soon.

It's probably all for the best as I'm taking a little break creatively to let my brain rest after finishing the novel. I've been tinkering with the short story I was talking about last week and have no doubt I'll finish it in the next few days, but it's nice not to feel pushed... especially when "real life" is so insistent upon intruding.

Right now I'm working on figuring out the South Carolina Writers' Workshop Conference. I hadn't given much thought to the conference before this - I'll go and meet people and shake hands and buy a few books and listen to some panels was pretty much my plan - but now that I've started reading in-depth about what's being offered, I'm more excited than I was before... there's a lot of classes being offered, and a chance to talk with faculty about your novel, and query assessments... all kinds of stuff. You can come a day early and participate in intensive classes that are, like, four frickin' hours long. Which I really wanna do.

But, of course, it all costs money... and I'm trying to figure out the things that are worth the money and the things which aren't (should I care about a formal dinner with all the faculty of the SC Writers' Workshop including a keynote speech and awards banquet for the members of the SCWW, which I'm not a member of?). If I had lots of expendable income, I'd sign up for everything, but that's about $600 worth of stuff plus the hotel room plus the gas money to get down there... so close to $1000? There's no frickin way.

Any suggestions about what I should include or leave out? The schedule of events is here, and the prices are here. There's also add-ons like pitch sessions ($10, definitely worth the extra cash) and real-time query assistance ($25, probably worth the extra cash), but there's also prose critiques ($50-$100, is it really worth it?). I'm terrible at this. I've never done it before. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

Going through all this information has made me even more excited about the World Horror Convention next year... and it's really teaching me the difference between conventions and conferences. Conferences have classes and mixers. Conventions have booths and panels. Uh... right?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Out of the Blue" Now in Print!

Guess what! My short story "Out of the Blue" is now available in volume 6, issue 1 of moonShine Review!

The story is inspired by the song "Brother" by Murder By Death. I got permission from the band to quote the song in the publication too! How cool is that?

Here's the first couple paragraphs of the story:
The nurse was finishing the scheduled 3:00 p.m. change of my father’s saline drip when I looked up and saw Jack standing silently in the doorway, his eyes locked on the wasted body in the bed. I saw a tiny flutter in Jack’s jaw and knew he was grinding his teeth. It was an old trick we learned as kids – to grind our jaws so hard we wouldn’t cry. The only problem is, it’s hell on the teeth: I’ve got a mouthful of metal, have since I was seventeen, when three of my molars crumbled within two months of each other. High school killed my damn teeth. I was perversely glad to see Jack remembered the trick; I’d been using it a lot lately myself.

He was too thin, and his clothes hung on his body in odd ways, but otherwise he looked exactly as he had six years ago at the Greyhound station – on the day he’d been paroled. That rainy February afternoon was the last time I’d seen him. A lifetime had passed between now and then, and it stretched out in the sterile silence of my father’s hospital room like a highway filled with strange and undiscovered scenery.

The story's about an uneasy reconciliation between the two brothers, and it's probably the most "literary" piece I've ever written. No horror in this one at all - which is NOT par for the course for me. Still, it's a nice little piece and I'm proud of it, and I'm so glad it got picked up by such a fantastic market.

If you'd like to purchase your own copy of moonShine Review, click here or check out the sidebar... I added it to the list of links.

And for those of you who made guesses as to what was truth and what was fiction yesterday... those of you who guessed Gaga were correct! While I did set up the party for Nickleback in April (thanks for noting my tell, Lee, LOL), I haven't had a famous person come bowl at my center since. I loved reading each of your guesses. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Now I'm nominating seven creative liar- ahem, writers to continue the blog award! I pass this award on to:

Wendy Ramer

Janet Johnson
Maurice Mitchell
Alex Fleetwood at Hampshire Flyer
Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Ellie at Ella's Edge

I'm excited to hear your truths... and lies!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Better Late than Never... And an Award!

I'm late posting today! I've been trying to post entries before I go to bed (but after midnight) so the post is ready when YOU, dear readers, wake up in the morning... but last night I was just too tired. I had a meeting with my writing partner last night and we talked about the end of my book. Some serious revisions are going to have to be done, and it was a mentally exhausting conversation... just the thought of diving back in to that manuscript to re-tackle the end makes me want to crawl under my covers and sleep for two weeks. I came home and tried to work it but my brain just didn't want to, so I changed tactics and started working on the short story I mentioned on Monday. 1,700 words effortlessly poured out onto the keyboard and I was zonked. I'm excited about what I have so far, though - it's dark but whimsical, and I'm having fun being ANYWHERE besides the universe of my novel. That makes me feel kind of guilty to say, but I think it's understandable.

I would like to say that I'm eternally grateful to my writing partner for her patience and honesty and dedication... without her, I wouldn't HAVE a novel. So thanks, Gail Gray, for all your hard work in helping me birth this particular baby. Your opinions and advice are beyond measure. Thank you so much.

I've been given an award!

JL Stratton at True Life and Fiction gave me this award. Thanks so much, JL!! You guys should check out JL's blog - it's a great read!

For this award, I am asked to write seven stories. I've chosen to write six true stories and one lie. Can you pick out which one is the lie?

1. I went to a special arts program when I was in high school, and I was in a class taught by Maya Angelou.

2. My roommates sometimes call me "Pan" and the last time I went to the beach, I woke up people in hotels four blocks away by crowing at the ocean.

3. I love Star Wars so much, I quote Han Solo's lines in my sleep.

4. I have a list of things I feel need to be accomplished before the Zombie Apocalypse happens, i.e. learning to ride a motorcycle, shoot a gun, kill a person with a spork, etc.

5. After setting up a bowling party for Nickleback in April, I got to work with the local radio station to set up a bowling event for Lady Gaga in July. She's going to bowl in one of her crazy costumes for charity.

6. Last Halloween I dressed up as Max from Where the Wild Things are, complete with crown, scepter, and wolf costume. I was the King of the Wild Things on Halloween, and what a responsibility to mayhem that was...

7. I wrote my entire 124,000 word novel on my laptop while sitting in bed.

The lies and truth will be separated tomorrow... but until then, you got a guess?

Have a great HUMP DAY, all! :D

Monday, June 7, 2010

Still Shiny

Not yet... no, the shiny hasn't worn off yet. I'm still getting used to this feeling. I've been pushing myself for the last ten months, and now suddenly all that pressure is gone. It's such a crazy sensation - part accomplishment, part happiness, part awe, part excitement... liberation... and everywhere I look are new projects, new stories. Every idea I come across excites me. I've been hyper-focused on one thing for so long, I feel like a person who's been denied everything but grilled cheese sandwiches for a year and is now standing at the doors of a super buffet. I want to try everything!

Friday night I was drifting off to sleep and my mind automatically turned to the book. For the better part of a year, every night as I fall asleep I think about the novel and where it's going, what the next scene is, characters, etc. On Friday night I suddenly realized I had nothing to think about, because the project was done! I changed tactics and started thinking about a little concept I'd stumbled across a couple of weeks ago, and suddenly a short story fell into my head. Whole, Complete. I'm going to write it this week. How cool is that?!

Hmmmm? What's it about? Oh! You know those shoes you see on the road sometimes? Just one random shoe, out in the middle of the highway? Yeah... it's about where those come from. Ha, weird, I know. But I think it'll be a fun little story to write.

Oh, and the South Carolina Writers' Conference opened their registration this weekend. Who's got two thumbs and is going to that conference in October?

No, not Captain Kirk... but that was a good guess, considering the misleading picture above. Although that WOULD be incredibly awesome... But anyway, the answer is ME! I'm going! Wahoo!

For Music Monday, I'd like to share the song "Can You Feel It?" by the Jackson 5... because that's how I'm rolling today. Give it a chance, it's a fantastic song, and it's pretty much how I feel right now...

Indescribable happiness here today. How about you?

Friday, June 4, 2010

It Is Finished.

On a humid summer evening in August of last year, I sat down and wrote the prologue of my novel. I didn't know it was the prologue until I'd finished it, because I hadn't considered writing a book until only a few weeks before this particular evening. I put a song on repeat and wrote until the images in my head were perfectly recorded, then sat back and read those nine pages over and over.

I can do this, I thought. I can write a book. I know it.

Now, ten months to the day, 428 pages, and 124,000 words later, my first novel is complete.

It's the best thing I've ever written in my life. Even if it never sells, I'll still love it forever and be so proud of my work. I've learned so much with this experience, and I just can't wait to keep on going down the path of my career as a writer. This has been the most exhilarating work I've ever done.

I'm so filled with gratitude that it's leaking out of my eyes a little. I just can't help it.

Thanks, Universe.

And now... I think it's party time, friends. Care to join me?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Last Mile

You know that feeling you get when you've been in the car for hours and hours, and you're about half an hour from your destination?

When you've studied your brains out, and you wake up with butterflies on exam day?

Painted a whole bedroom and have come down to just the trim?

Climbed the sand dune between you and the ocean, ignoring your protesting muscles and joints, and have nearly reached the summit - so close you can taste salt on your lips and the sound of the surf is thundering in your ears?

Dirt (the WIP) has reached its 395th page, and nearly 115,000 words...

...the monster has been revealed, evil momentarily has the upper hand, murder's been committed, kisses have been stolen, the storm has come and gone and left a wet, ominous silence punctuated only by the occasional rumble of distant thunder out past the horizon...

...the hero has gone off to slay the proverbial dragon, and we don't know yet whether he'll live or die...

...we're nearly there now, kids. Hang on now; this last part might get bumpy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pay it Forward Giveaway Winner!


This statement applies to many things in my life right now.

Sadly, one of them is not the WIP. However, I'm really proud of the progress I made in the month of May. I've reached 391 pages and 113,000 words, which is farther than I ever expected to go with this scary little story. Since I worked Freedom Weekend Aloft this weekend, I get a couple days off this week (today and tomorrow) and I truly hope to be able to finish it then.

Other things which ARE finished are:

- The month of May
- Spring in the South (Helloooooo, Summer!)
- Freedom Weekend Aloft (thank God!)

Hmmm... what else is finished... OH YEAH!! The Pay it Forward Giveaway! I'm announcing the winner today! In fact... I'm announcing the winner right now!

Before I tell you who won (yeah, making ya wait... I know you hate me), I'd really like to say THANK YOU to everyone who responded to this contest. When all the entries were tallied up, I had over 400 entries from bloggers who tweeted, facebooked, blogged, and used various other means to spread the word about paying it forward. Some bloggers even went on to start their own contests on their own blogs, either using my format or making up one of their own entirely from scratch.

I'm overwhelmed by the response. And so excited to share this wonderful idea with you guys. The blogging community has really buoyed my spirits over the last month. I know I haven't posted every day, but I have been reading and commenting as much as I can, and listening to everything you guys have to say. Thank you so much.

And now... without further ado (there has been far too much ado already, thanks)... the winner of the Pay it Forward Giveaway is...

Karen G of Coming Down the Mountain!

Congratulations, Karen!! Let me know if you prefer me to purchase one of your books (I see that you have two for sale on your website) or if you'd prefer the gift card. Also, be sure to let Curt and Shane from Mooks in the Movies know how you'd like your name to be used in their next script!

Also, I surpassed 125 followers, so I added a MYSTERY PRIZE to the pot! The winner of the mystery prize is...

Hart Johnson, the Watery Tart!

Congrats, Hart! The mystery prize is...

Your very own copy of Issue #3 of Fissure Magazine - the literary magazine that published my short story "Avenue of Dust" - autographed from yours truly to you, personally. AND a mix CD, of my own devious devices. Email me your mailing address and I'll get them out to you! Surprised? I hope so! :D

I hope you guys had as much fun with the Pay it Forward Giveaway as I did. I plan on doing another contest in the next few months, and as soon as I have the details figured out, I'll let you know. In the meantime, please don't stop doing little kindnesses for your fellow humans, just because the giveaway is over (for now). Each of us can make the world a little better for someone else. One of these days, the avalanche is gonna kick in.

Have a fantastic Tuesday and let's do everything we can with June! Who's with me?!