Coming Soon!


For some months now I’ve been working on a short story for the upcoming anthology Tales of the Black Dog. But that’s not all: the book is the first title for a new publishing company, Corrugated Sky Publishing, LLC. The co-owners of Corrugated Sky include … me!

With Halloween fast approaching, our launch date is nearly here, too. Tales of the Black Dog will be released in both paperback and Kindle formats, and we may later include other formats, such as Nook. The anthology will include four tales of the supernatural based on the legendary black dog.

I will post more details, including how to purchase your copy of the anthology, as soon as the title is released. Stay tuned!

It’s October?

The last post I made on Focal Plane was in August. That means September went by without a peep or a single Thursday Writing Prompt to keep you busy. Well, I’ve been so overloaded at my day job and trying to get some encyclopedia articles done that the blog just had to take a back seat for awhile. Yes, for real, I write encyclopedia articles. You can see the covers for some of them on my Pinterest “Publications” page, but the newer ones still in production don’t have cover art yet. Encyclopedias typically have a very long lead time for publication, maybe two years.

In the meantime, I’ve been working with a group of writer friends to get a new publishing company up and running. It’s called Corrugated Sky Publishing LLC. We expect to release our first title the end of this month, just in time for Halloween.

I’ll have more information for you about Corrugated Sky in an upcoming post, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, I have to go and hyperventilate for a bit and then figure out what kind of business things I need to get done.

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 135

Adironadack chair

I’m in the second week back to work after a week’s vacation. Can I have another vacation? Seriously, I want to do more photography! All right, folks, it’s time for this week’s writing prompt. Let’s take camp as an inspiration.

One night we were out observing the stars and something started screaming off in the woods. Someone said it was a coyote, but since we never actually saw the beast it could have been anything at all. Anything.

So here’s the scenario: you’re at camp for a relaxing week of sun, fun, and mosquito bites. You spend an evening outside listening to crickets and looking up at the stars when you hear it scream. At first you just brush it off as an animal, but soon you start to hear the sound of twigs snapping in the woods. And then you hear something growling.

That’s your cue for this week’s prompt. What is it? What happens next? Take a stab at writing some horror fiction. Oh, and lock the cabin door while you’re at it.

Bug Bites

It’s summer, and that means bug bites. Since I work indoors and rarely venture beyond the front porch to pick up the mail I usually don’t have to worry about more than a mosquito bite or two. But I just came back from a week’s vacation in Maine and I’m covered with red welts all over my legs and hands.

Don’t go looking for photos of things on the Internet if you aren’t prepared to see a lot of gross things you’d rather not imagine crawling on your skin, let alone sucking your blood or eating your skin cells. Gee, I’m glad to learn that chiggers aren’t buried in my skin (OMG!) but I really could have done without the portrait of the nasty little things. However, I’ve learned that putting nail polish on bug bites does relieve the itch. It’s kind of gross now, because I’m covered with nail polish and it peels off after a while just like your skin peels from sunburn. But at least I’m not scratching my skin raw.

This week I’m trying to get resettled into the work routine after a relaxing week off. I’m also drafting some encyclopedia articles for the forthcoming Technical Innovation in American History: An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. And I have some photographs of the Milky Way that I took at the Maine Astronomy Retreat so I need to look through them and sort the duds from the … ahem … stellar ones.