PUBLISHED!

My first pro piece is now officially out in the world and it still has me swinging wildly between Terrified and Excited with the speed and verve of a metronome at the highest setting.

Looking at it now, my mind is frenzied, searching and picking apart what I wrote, constantly asking questions of, “Was that a good choice? Should I have changed the ending? Will they get it, understand it like I had hoped they would?”

I can think all of these things that I want, of course, but it doesn’t change the fact that I can’t, change it that is. As of this moment, the story is no longer mine and that’s, y’know, that’s okay. It shouldn’t be mine forever. Being published is being able to let your ideas out into the world to exist on their own, and hope that others can keep it afloat, alive.

But yeah, it’s out there and reception has been pretty good so far. Most folks are enjoying it, and being terribly creeped out, (which is absolutely fine since it is a horror story).

So to everyone who has given my work a chance, thank you. Like I said in the Author Spotlight, time is one thing readers have so little of, so thank you for giving me some of yours.

Big thank to everyone at Nightmare Magazine for helping this piece come together: John Joseph Adams for buying a story from a relatively new guy and giving him a shot. Wendy Wagner for helping to format and refine this story into something solid, with sharp edges. EC Myers for being an awesome interviewer and giving me the chance to express my love of Back To The Future in a public forum.

And as always a mighty thank you to Kat Howard, who has been my council and supporter and mentor through all this.

If you’d like to read the story, you can find it here: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/never-fire/

If you’d like to read my Author Spotlight with E.C., you can find that here: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-martin-cahill/

And as always, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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So What Is All This Clarion Jazz?

I’ll do a big catch up post soon, along with a slew of reviews I’ve had taking up space in my brain. But I wanted to talk today about the Big News:

I’m going to be attending the Clarion Writers’ Workshop this summer in San Diego!

::insert gif of flailing muppet arms set on fire, elephants swinging from the chandeliers, while a raucous party, complete with hats, balloons, streamers, and several garage bands erupts below and there is SO MUCH CAKE::

So, for those who don’t know, here’s what Clarion is all about: Six weeks out in San Diego on the UCSD Campus, only a few minutes from the ocean, living and working and writing along with seventeen other talented-as-hell writers, under the tutelage of six working, super-talented-as-hell industry professionals, one a week, with a focus in genre writing. The goal is to write a story I believe, and workshop and critique in a positive, honest setting with a different industry professional writer guiding and teaching for the week.

Those professional writers are: Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Cathrynne Valente, Nora Jemisin, and Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, each and every one of them giants in the field. I really lucked out this year. I know the work of many of them with the exception of one or two, but I look forward to familiarizing myself before June.

What I do know is that they are all immensely talented and will each bring something completely different to the table. (Be warned: I will do my best not to fanboy out each time they enter the room, but I promise nothing, you hear? NOTHING.)

I sometimes still can’t believe I got in. I’ve been applying for years, dreaming of spending every summer with like-minded writers, and just . . . working, typing, having the time to focus on my craft with folks who will be just as crazy and passionate as I am. I’ve already started meeting some of the other students and I can tell it’s going to be a great group.

It’s going to be intense as all get out, but I can’t wait. I’ve been pushing myself so hard lately, working three jobs while still trying to write while still trying to sleep, that six weeks just workshopping and writing is going to seem like a vacation. Of course, I say that now. I’ll get back to you after day one.

A huge thank you to my mentor, Kat Howard and all the other writers and readers and friends who have helped me polish and rework my writing to the point it is.

The next few months can’t fly fast enough. Until then, just going to be saving money, sleeping when I can, and writing as best I can until June. (And maybe install an IV drip of coffee . . . yeah, that’ll be a good project to work on . . .)

Alright, back later tonight for more Life Stuff Updates.

Until then, write on.

The Beast Awaketh

So, remember that whole, “I’m going to post an essay a day about Nanowrimo,” thing? Yeah, I know, I’m still laughing too!

Seriously, that was . . . a little short sighted of me. I thought juggling three jobs and writing a novel and writing an essay a day would be easy, but eh, c’est la vie.

Hope you’ve all been well. I’ve been a little busy, (see above), but things are going well.

Letsee . . .

Well, in big news, I’ve made a second short story sale to Nightmare Magazine, headed up by the Mighty Wizard, John Joseph Adams. It’s a horror story, now entitled “It Was Never The Fire.” Soon as I get news of its arrival, I’ll let you know. I’m very excited to work with JJA and Nightmare, and over the moon to have sold another story.

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As a young author, every sale is just another brick in the foundation, another sign that you’re doing something right. Hopefully, I can keep it up.

Of course, I have to give a shout out to my mentor, the inimitable Kat Howard, who has been kind and insightful and incredibly gracious with her time. She’s worked with me on a few stories, and every time she not only highlights what’s working, but provides solid ways in which to improve the story without changing it so that it’s something different entirely. If you’re an author in need of critiques or guidance, I cannot recommend Kat highly enough. She’s fantastic.

Likewise, if you get a chance to take a class with Mary Robinette Kowal, do it. I took a weekend intensive short story workshop, and it was a great experience. For three days, seven other talented writers and I sopped every bit of knowledge from Mary that we could, (as well reveled in her 17[!] typewriters). It was a lot of fun, and well worth the time and money. If you get a chance, jump on it.

So yeah, life is a little busy. Aside from all the great stuff above, I’ve been bouncing between a full time job, a part time job, a freelance gig, and finding time to write. Surprised as hell that I managed to get Nano done this year (though thanks to Mary for allowing her workshop to count towards the full count!), but I managed it.

The novel is progressing forward steadily, though I’m taking the next week or so to outline through the end. Nano made me blow past whatever outline I had going for me, so I need to plant my feet in the dirt and steady myself, take stock of where the hell everyone is and then move forward again.

This novel has been my brain for some time, and it feels great to actually get it on paper (or the process at least), but it’s been making me think. For some reason, and this may be because I’m a sadist, or I have way too much ambition, but I have an idea for a Grand Universal Theory for my works a la Brandon Sanderon or Joe Hill. What are everyone’s thoughts on that? For, against? Special circumstances? Sound off in the comments and let me know!

For now, I’m wrapping up a few short stories, while waiting on a few other stories that are out in the aether (and not that silly red cloud from Thor 2, calm yourself Malekith). One’s over with Shimmer Magazine, while another has been with Tor.com for a bit. So fingers crossed, folks.

I’m going to stop promising this or that or the other thing on the blog. I always seem to set a bar for myself, look at it later and go, “Oh, uh, yeah, but uh, this thing? Sorry, have to do this thing!” I really do enjoy blogging, but it’s going to have to be on the, “whenever I can steal twenty minutes,” kind of schedule.

Still, keep an eye on this space. I’ve got some fun giveaways coming up, especially for all those writers out there. Some nice beers too. Because yum, beer.

Links of Note:

Geeks Guide-My buddy Eric Smith’s book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating is now out, in all it’s shiny glory! Grab a copy, it’s a fun, insightful read. Watch the blog for a review and giveaway soon. Now to go test out his advice. ::grabs han solo vest from closet, covers self in Axe Cologne cloud::

-Mentor Superstar Kat Howard has a new short story out with Apex Magazine, and it is beautiful and haunting and all sorts of scarypants in its implications. Check it out, and if your heart is hurting afterwards, well, be careful.

-Fireside Fiction continues to not only be one of the sexiest magazines out there, it continues to provide wonderful stories too! Check them out and subscribe!

Worldbuilders

-All around wizard and gentlemanly writer, Patrick Rothfuss, has officially launched his fundraiser, Worldbuilders for the year! Go and donate. It’s for a great cause, with great things on the table.

Alright space cowboys, be good. Write on.