Friday, October 25, 2013

My scariest Halloween

I wore one of my favorite Halloween costumes ever when I was five years old. As soon as I saw it in the store I knew I had to have it and that nothing else would do. Not Cinderella, not Rainbow Bright, and certainly not Strawberry Shortcake. I begged my mom to buy it until she relented. We brought it home and she hung it on a hook in the bathroom.

As soon as mom left me alone in the bathroom it morphed into something horrific. The costume that had been so great in the store, so foreboding-yet-fun, so very-not-girly, had somehow turned into a huge, scary, child-eating monstrosity that would gobble me up and spit me out without so much as a second thought. As day turned to night and the bathroom got dark, it got even worse. The white fabric glowed on the black background as it seemingly hung from mid-air.

I played it cool at first. I just didn't use the bathroom. My dad came home from work. I had to pee but I held it until I couldn't anymore. It wasn't until I was standing at the bathroom door, bawling, that dad figured out why I refused to go in. He took down the costume and threw it in a cabinet in the peeved-and-exasperated way that parents of young children have perfected.

You'd think I'd be too scared to wear the costume, but nope. When Halloween came around we dug it out of the cabinet and I put it one without any problem. It wasn't scary when I didn't have to look at it. Which still holds true, if you think about it.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time flies when you're having fun

As they say.

This month has been a whirlwind of activity. Meetings! More meetings! Adult decisions about finances! Fun stuff! More fun stuff! So much that I can't believe it's actually fall. It's almost October, people. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that.

I've managed to get some writing done this month, though. Mostly on a secret project, but I'm diving into backstory and new outline for the WIP this week. I need to catch up on writing-business emails and work on a submission package for a publisher.

I'd like to get back into guitar lessons and take an improv class, but any time I spend doing those activities takes away from my writing, and that's a sacrifice I'm not willing to make right now. Experiencing life and writing make you a better writer; it's tough to know when to experience life and when to sit your ass in the chair and write.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka--book review

For those of you who don't know Ted Kosmatka's work, he has a knack for making hard science concepts accessible through thoughtful blending with fictional elements. In Prophet of Bones, Kosmatka turns the evolution of man on its head; in this world, carbon dating and the study of DNA have proven the creationists were right and evolutionists such as Darwin were wrong. Science and religion are friends, not enemies. That is, until strange bones are discovered during an archaeological dig on the island of Flores. What are the implication of these strange, almost-human bones? When the bones are stolen and people with the dig start dying, the fearless hero Paul looks for answers on his own.

Admittedly, the book started off a bit slow; while there is plenty of mystery and intrigue early on, the plot didn't start to really rock and roll until half-way through. However, the slow beginning pays dividends at the end, and its well worth reading. The world Kosmatka creates is thought-provoking, the science is solid (the author includes a reference section in the back for those who want to delve into scientific papers), and the prose is clean and linear. Fans of science-thrillers shouldn't miss this book.


Sunday, September 08, 2013

The dust has settled

Sort of.

The house is sold, the boxes are (mostly) unpacked, and we're officially relocated to Chicago. Ken and I are getting accustomed to living in the city. It's much different than being suburbanites. We don't have a yard, we barely drive, and our place is half the size of our old house. We don't cook as much because we have dozens of restaurants within walking distance. I've almost kicked my Massive Diet Coke habit because I never want to lug a 12-pack home from the store. I've found a local knitting group that meets at a pub once a month, a group of writers that meet once a week, and I'm searching for fellow geeks to hang out with. I'm hoping to pick up the cycling habit before it gets too cold to ride a bike. It's a different sort of pace, and I like it a lot. If you had told me five years ago I'd be living in the city of Chicago, I wouldn't have believed you. Just goes to show you how rewarding life can be when you open your mind to new experiences.

Now that life is settling down somewhat, I'm getting back into the writing groove. I'm working on a novella, shopping around my latest YA novel and working on its sequel, rewriting a short story, and rewriting a short story I wrote early in my career. I have a few pieces coming out later this year (a story in COINS OF CHAOS and an essay in CHICKS DIG GAMING). As always, my writing career isn't moving along as fast as I would like (impatient Kelly is impatient), but it certainly isn't stagnant.

Monday, June 24, 2013


A little bit of this and a little bit of that. 

We've sold our house and will close--if everything goes well--on July 26th. We will then be official Chicagoans. I will be so happy to live in one place, I can't even tell you. 

I have a secret project due July 25th. 

I'm a little stressed but you know. It's a good stress. 

Once things die down, I'm going to start up guitar lessons again. And exercise a bit more regularly. And hang out with friends and read and write 1K a day again and explore our new city and and and. 

Basically still be busy by filling my life with enriching activities. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Origins 2013!

How did it get to be mid-June already? That’s not a rhetorical question. I really want to know.
Anyhoo, since it’s mid-June, that means I’m at Origins Game Fair in Columbus. It’s my first time as a writing-program event planner, and while I’m a bit nervous, so far it’s going well. If you’re in the environs of the Convention Center and want to stalk me at some writing panels, here’s my schedule:
Thursday 10 a.m., room 223: Hey! I’ve got a day job!
Friday, 11 a.m., room 223: Women Writing Horror
Friday, noon, room 222: Sexism, How much is too much?
Saturday, 11 a.m., room 223: A writing group is not just a group of writers
Sunday, 11 a.m., room 222: Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
I’ll be in the Library area of the dealer hall most other times. When I’m not eating or playing games, that is. Origins is a gaming convention, so I expect I’ll be sleep-deprived and over-caffeinated by Sunday afternoon. Which is as it should be. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

My very first fiction editor credit!

So I'm able to share the cover and TOC from my very first anthology as an editor. I'm so excited for this to get into the hands of readers. It's available at Origins Game Fair and has a limited print run of 400 copies.

Green Room-Aaron Allston
Hero's Final Walk-Timothy Zahn
The Raven-Maxwell Alexander Drake
He Was A Marvelous Man-Janine K. Spendlove
A Blank Canvas-Patrick S. Thomlinson
Waking Up-Dylan Birtolo
Fellow Traveler-Donald J. Bingle
By the Seat of Your Pants-Sheryl Nantus
Invincible-Sarah Hans
Blue Boy-Daniel Myers
Bloom-Bradley P. Beaulieu
Memories Like Crystal Shards-Jennifer Brozek
The Caretaker of Mire-Gregory A. Wilson
The Commodore-Bryan Young
Sunny Acres Home of the Specialized Care of the Elderly-Addie J. King
A Fixed State-Aaron Rosenberg
Interview-R. T. Kaelin
By Blood and Fang and Song, We Call You-Jaym Gates
Bindings-Steven Saus
Cheshire Moon-Tracy Chowdhury
The One Where the Dad Dies-Kelly Swails
Field Trip-Michael A. Stackpole

I'm back!

I'm resurrecting the blogger blog for a few reasons.

1. Google is my master now.
2. I'm tired of LJ hijinks, and I never used it anyway. (I'm not deleting, though--if you wanna peruse the archives, use the linky over there.)
3. I might actually cross-post my writing group blog over to here, and subsequently cross-post this content to my website and goodreads and such. You know. For exposure and shit.
4. I kinda want to get into the personal blogging game again. We'll see how long that lasts.