So I made an editor cry

I think so, anyway.

I’ve known about this for a few weeks, but I’ve been cleared to announce that my novelette “All That You Leave Behind” will be appearing in the anthology Lost Signals, edited by Max Booth III and his partner-in-crime Lori Michelle and published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.  Here’s the cover, by the stunning Matthew Revert:

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This will be the second time I’ve worked with PMMP and Max (they published my standalone story “Survivor’s Debt” as an ebook a few years back, as part of their One Night Stands series that is, sadly, no more), and the third time I’ve worked with Max (I edited his first novel, Toxicity).  Sounds nepotism-tastic (nepotastic?), but isn’t; I’ve been cruising the Facebooks and seeing writers who didn’t make the final cut who have even deeper relationships with PMMP (my connection kinda ends with my and Max’s love of Modest Mouse).  Sign of a good editor – someone who might be a friend but will still tell you to fuck off–nicely, maybe–if you don’t unfortunately have the goods that time.

The story’s a fun and cheery tale of recovering, emotionally, from a miscarriage; the story sparked from a throwaway line in Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters about ghost heartbeats and mixed with something that’s attributed to Ernest Hemingway but isn’t really his, as much as historians can tell: “For sale: Baby shoes.  Never used.”  I buried all the fears my wife and I when she was pregnant with the bug, and it apparently paid off; Max messaged me right after reading the story with just the statement, “Goddamn, son.”

This is the second publicly-acknowledged pieces appearing in 2016 (the antho is scheduled for May/June); the other is “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)” in Chiral Mad 3 by Written Backwards–which also took the time recently to say very nice and very unnecessary things about me.   I’m still waiting on contracts for a third piece, and this doesn’t count my essays about Stephen King’s The Talisman and Insomnia that will be popping up over at StephenKingRevisited.com, or my Super-Duper Secret Project that has me doing little happy-dances when my mind happens upon the subject.

So, you know, there’s that.  2016’s looking like it might not suck.  Fingers-crossed, gang.

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And Now, for the Cuteness, Meet Nemo, the Box Turtle I Have Apparently Adopted

This is Nemo:

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He’s about the size of a quarter–that’s not hyperbole–and the Bug found him (or her, whatever) while playing in the dirt in the old front garden. We thought he was dead at first, actually.

As we settle into our 2nd year in this house since purchasing it, my wife and I have been slowing piling up the Epic-and-Everlasting-To-Do List of things we want to do outside the house, inside the house and, basically, end up like a less wealthy version of Barbara and Oliver Rose.

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Except without the divorce and murder-suicide, but definitely with a monster truck, because that’s how we roll.

One of the things to go is the front garden, which had railroad ties older than many of my students and, from previous tenants (we bought the home we rented), was completely ignored.  So, out goes that shit, with the intention of making the garden bigger.

Now, we live at the edge of the forest, and our yard is crawling with life, including box turtles.  My wife had seen them around our garden in the spring, forgot about them, and then, tonight, remembered them when our four-year-old, poking through the old garden, said, “Hey, look!  A turtle!”

It’s a hatchling and, based on the Google, it’s fairly young (it hasn’t fully absorbed the yolk of its egg yet, resulting in this weird mass akin to that crinkle of skin newborns have after the umbilical cord is snipped), so we agonized over whether to leave it or bring it in, knowing that, if it lived (most hatchlings don’t)–hey, look another pet.  But, it’s getting cold and we couldn’t find its original nest.

Well, you saw how that turned out.

My daughter named the turtle because of course she did, but what the hell–it’s a pretty decent name.