The Den’s End

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When you first met me, I looked like this.

After many years, I regret to say that the end of this month will mark the end of The Waking Den.

When I started it, eight years ago, I was still in college. I was working on my first novel. I had a lot of ideas and very few notions of how to achieve them (I’m not sure too much has changed on that count!). This blog provided an outlet that was immeasurable for its help and, at times, the community that came and went around it.

But it’s no secret this past year has been probably one of the hardest of my life. With three books now to my name and a host of other scribbles, I’ve grown a lot creatively (though  not met with any visible success), but life has borne down impossibly hard, and I simply do not have the time or energy to devote to this forum’s upkeep–not mention that after so many years and form changes, it’s become a touch bloated, to say the least!

For all that it has seen–short stories, articles, reviews, poems (god, so many Poems)–I will not be deleting it, but leaving it as a standing memorial. An archive of works that stand also to the progress of a young mind.

In time, I hope to return with a new project, with a website under my own name, but that will take time, and a great deal of change on the homefront to be able to achieve.

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Today, I look like this. Time is a strange creature.

In the meantime, for those of you that have read, or said something, commented, participated, picked my brain, few though you may be, know that it has meant the world. To engage…that’s why we put ourselves out in the world, I think. We evolve through interaction, for it teaches us what we’ve done wrong, what we’re doing right, and new ways of doing things. New sights, new sounds, new people–the more we experience, the more we make ourselves accessible to art. Your connection has helped me grow as a person, and the bounty of that gift is incalculable.

Thank you.

And to all of you: keep writing.

Keep reading.

Don’t ever let your passion die.

On Turkeys, Great and Small

Alright everybody, just a heads up. There’s been a lot happening in the world; you know it, I know it, me posting about it here would just clog the Internet up with another voice shouting about senselessness into the void. Many have expressed my heart’s feelings on the matter better than I could, but if you really wanted to hear me screaming, go through the backlog of my Twitter. It’s filled with late night laments.

I know I write entertainment. It’s what most people turn to literature for. That said, the way the world’s been spiraling, well…it hasn’t been terribly conducive to that process. One of the burdens of being creative? Your heart gets pulled in a lot of different directions.

So, right, the heads-up. Basically, I wanted you all to know I’m taking the rest of the month off. Partly because I’m going to be spending the upcoming (American) holiday in Virginia, partly to finish up Christmas gifts for those close to me (you probably know who you are, and you’re going to be getting some stories), and partly because I’m trying to figure out next steps.

Next month marks the anniversary of the release of THE HOLLOW MARCH and that’s always a nostalgic and interesting time for me. A number of projects have also fallen through in recent days, and that winter depression is already clawing at my bones.

In other words? Drawing lines. Taking care of myself.

As I hope you all are doing. I’ll see you in December with plenty of new stuff. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to write. I see you, I hear you, and I have mad amounts of those heart-related feelings for you all.

Angry Turkeys for everyone!

Rough Covers and Nature’s Would-be Bounties

Today is a mixed bag for me. Truly. Thus I shall put forth the week’s announcements in a bad-good-bad-good format.

There are those times sees your plans and tells you this instead.

There are those times sees your plans and tells you this instead.

Let me begin by saying this little author was supposed to be mucking it through the wild this weekend, camped along a lake shore, in a land of naught but dirt and trees and lake shore. You will surely note, in posting this, I am not actually doing that. Alas. Implosions were had. Things did not quite pan out.

At the same time, for those that might have missed my moment of squee on social media outlets earlier this week: Artwork! Which is to say, Cover Art. As in, the talented Matthew Watts has deposited a host of inspiring roughs for the cover of “At Faith’s End” in my inbox. No less than SEVENTEEN different selections to ponder. His speed and talent both continue to amaze. I can’t share at this point, lest the picking process become biased, but when I can put up a preview I shall, and in the meanwhile, BIG DECISIONS. Also: check out his blog. It is filled with wonderful artwork and you should surely commission him for more things. Or all the things. Your call.

In the meanwhile, enjoy this blatant non-sequiter of a gryphon. You shall see more of them in the novel.

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Gryphon (Photo credit: Atelier Teee)

A friend and fellow writer’s heart has broken with a loss no heart, large or small, should ever have to face…and it is breaking my own to watch the shadows seep across hands so accustomed to the feverish lightness the world can bring, and darken a smile from which energy was born to spring eternal. Death never touches but the dying and the dead. It has a grievous tendency to consume the light around it.

A new page shall be opening on the blog later this weekend. It shall involve potentially helpful services for fellow writers. Keep your eyes peeled…it may well sneak up on you.

And to end on a hopeful, creative note for you all, a touch of haiku:

Scattering moonlight
the weight of the world eclipsed
in her waking smile.

Good News, Everybody!

Curse you, blue screen. Curse you.

For those who met my announcement a few weeks back with scorn, derision, or at least a quirked eyebrow or two, let it be known that the issues of technological explosiveness have since been corrected. After a few days of hyperventilating and making crude gesticulations at the fickle computer gods (You, Microsoft, are nothing if not Fickle; don’t ever tell me otherwise), the problem was identified, the cause rooted out, and my files secured. Also, a neat little back-up program was to (hopefully) prevent that terror from happening again, but it is what it is.

The writings have been saved. As has i-Tunes, though I suspect that interests you less. A fellow needs some Mumford and Sons for the writing process, though, among other things…

The Problem:

  1. Norton. Norton. NORTON! It expired. It was reinstalled. Somewhere in between it had a heart attack looking at itself in the mirror and caused the blue screen of death. Suffice to say, a shiny (other) antivirus has been hunted down and installed.
  2. Failure to back-up. My silly self (thoroughly chastised and thwacked at this point) had fallen into a regiment of “every month.” Well, when you get on a writing streak for a few weeks a month may not be enough now, huh?
  3. Solved thanks to: the excellence that is a tech-savvy brother (also a writer, whom you may remember me mentioning before…*hint hint*).

So what now? Well, more writing, certainly. Despite my moans and groans in our previous meet and greet, the scribbling kept up strong during the last few weeks. Note pads and journals–they are a writer’s friend. Several new short stories (mostly comical–an odd binge for me–some dark; some sci-fi, some fantasy) have arrived, along with ideas for a stack more. Where they came from, who knows, but when the muse dances a jig on my back I certainly don’t complain. Likewise, I’ve dispatched another batch of those scribbles to some SpecFic mags, whilst my editor drums his way through to the final notes on At Faith’s End.

Also amongst the good news:

  1. I got a gig that’s actually major-related! Huzzah! Copy editing was to be had during the week, of the freelance variety (coincidentally, hey, I’m on elance: https://www.elance.com/s/galfordc/), with a potential for more to come. Details on the lovely art and insights I got to see during that time will come once the end results are out and available for all to see. (Art Majors, be still your beating hearts.)
  2. Joblessness has been temporarily corrected, at least through the month of April. More editing, this time for schools. Cubicles, computers, and essays for the classic 9-5 (alright, actually 8-4, but you know what I mean). It’s a start.

Suffice to say, they’re needed boosts. While the computer thing was a blow this month, there’s other things lurking behind the scenes as well. General joblessness is enough to stand anyone’s hairs on end after a while, but when you toss in medical things (yes, some are related to the recent poem), a person starts to feel like their day is nails on the chalkboard. Another doctor’s appointment in a few hours that will (hopefully) lead to corrections of at least one of this brand’s downswings, though.

I realize there’s little physical substance going along with this article, but it’s an update piece–mostly wanted you all to know I hadn’t quite dropped off the face of the earth. With luck, I shall be doing some lurking about in days to come, and will have some more substantial posts to come. Meanwhile, hope everyone’s spring is gearing up (Wednesday, fools) for a better opening then it is here. In Michigan, they’re predicting the next four days shall be given over to the snow.

Point of reference: at this time of the year last year it was 80 degrees. Winter is determined to stalk me.

White Walkers optional. (24 Days of Christmas – The King in the North http://awhoreslies.tumblr.com/tagged/%2Achristmas)

Writing: The Author’s Art

It’s a special day – a sound start to what I hope will be a fine week. Certain conclusions are wrapping around this writer’s brain and nearing reality. Excitement is in the fingers and on the mind – but such things must be teased out…As such, creativity’s heavy on the mind this day, and below, I’ve got another pair of writers’ quotes to engage you.

And later, a big announcement/update that’s been a long time coming…stay tuned! (Along with a few smaller announcements are also contributing to this curious sense of happy.)

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep. “
~Scott Adams

“Life can’t ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer’s lover until death.”
~Edna Ferber