Countdown. Cootie. Homeless stories.

Yep. My book, Tarotsphere, comes out this Friday. I feel like someone is getting ready to break my laptop’s water and shoot it full of Pitocin.

I have all the information about formatting for Kindle. I have all the information about formatting for Nook. One format seems easier than the other, but it’s not like I’m doing any of that shit. They say that behind every successful man, there’s a woman doing all the hard stuff. My wife is the Queen of the Formatting. Just as she did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for BGTN, she’s working on the formatting for Tarotsphere.

Meet Hannah.

Call her Cootie. Everyone does.

This where our adventures in self-publishing really begin. New frontiers, new technologies and maybe some new headaches. We’ll have a couple long nights this week, guzzling coffee and getting everything ready for the release of Tarotsphere, formatting and editing. I’m sure she’ll stop me from going back and tweaking the whole damned thing. It’s always so tempting to not leave well enough alone. One of the most difficult lessons to learn as an author is when to quit. I’m not convinced I’ve learned that yet.

I’ll also be announcing a contest this Friday in conjunction with the book’s release, and winning this contest might just put you in direct contact with me. I know. That’s not much of an incentive. Wait until you read the particulars before you decide what’s an incentive and what’s not, O Ye of Little Faith.

***

Inspiration comes at the strangest times and this past Thursday, after an absolutely mind-blowing romp in the sack with the aforementioned Cootiebug, I suddenly had the idea for a holiday story. Well, a holiday horror story, but based around the winter holidays nonetheless. The whole thing just appeared, almost as if it were sitting on my chest, a complete thing.

The kids were home over the weekend and there was much rejoicing and much busy-ness. Samhain decorations were strewn about the house. Plans were made for decorating the balcony. This overlooks a busy street, so we had to rule out the usage of the strobe lights, although car crashes are fun to watch in a horrific Cronenbergian sort of way.

Sunday night, as Cootie played Bejeweled II and we listened to the first three Liz Phair albums, I pounded out the story. It was a perfect example of what I call the High White Noise. It’s the thrum of creativity. Some nights, when it’s really going strong, it is what I imagine madness to sound like. It is the sea. It is static. It is the sound of the dreams of the world, played in fast forward.

You probably know what I’m talking about. You may have a version of it yourself. It might be the same thing with a different name. Lots of things are.

I had, in the back of my mind, the thought that I would send the story off to Siren’s Call Publishing for their winter e-zine. The story, after all, is sort of Christmas oriented. What I did not do, however, was check the word requirements for their publication. There’s a 2500 word maximum for their e-zine. I can’t cut my story down to that length. It’s pushing 5400 words, as it is now.

Do I hunt around for a Christmas horror anthology I can submit the thing to? There’s no psychotic Santa in this tale. Perhaps someone would like to release it as a chapbook. I don’t know anything about those, though, if I’m honest. Maybe I should hold onto the thing for a bit. I may have some more short stories by the time Winter rolls around next year. An anthology may be in order. And that would be happy holidays all around, wouldn’t it?

We shall see, we shall see…

…in the meantime, a few more evenings spent in the world of cups and pentacles. You’ll see it soon.

-X-

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