Night Writer

It looks like writing in the middle of the night is becoming my new “normal.” I’ve been working on my short story for Corrugated Sky’s second anthology and this seems like the best time for me to sit down and get some writing done without interruptions. I’d much rather sleep and keep a consistent routine, but this fall and winter I’ve been plagued with bouts of insomnia, so now I’m forcing the issue and trying to make it work for me rather than lay in bed and toss and turn and get nothing done — except worry that I have too much to do!

The story is going slowly. I seem to be writing it as though it’s going to be novel-length, but for some reason I can’t seem to put on the brakes. I guess I’ll just have to let it play out on the page in this draft — Draft Zero — and trim and prune for the first draft. It’s much easier to condense and cut than to go back later and add material in. What’s the story about? Well, it involves airships and the South Pole, and that’s all I’m going to tell you for now.

In other news, I’ve set up my Author Page on Amazon and will be adding to it periodically. At the moment it shows two anthologies that I’ve contributed to, but I have also written more than a hundred encyclopedia articles (whew!) in various publications and I’m trying to get some of those set up to display on my page. If you’re curious, check out my Publications page here on Focal Plane.


Pre-Holiday Sale

Yes, here it is — a sales pitch! This marketing stuff is turning out to be way, way harder than any amount of words written for NaNo. If the plot of my 2016 novel is unclear, then marketing is like sailing through a fogbank at night during an eclipse of the moon. Okay, maybe not that bad — at least I probably won’t crash into any rocks or sandbars sitting here at my computer.

Anyway, we’ve decided to put the anthology on sale. We’ve gotten some sales but it would be nice to ramp that number up a bit and get some more reviews. People seem to shy away from things that don’t have reviews. Amazon is like “be the first to review this item” and people are like, “No one is buying it? I wonder why.” It’s worse than passing an empty restaurant. You could be seated right away, but no one goes in the empty restaurant — they stand in line at the one that already has a long line. Safety in numbers, and all that.

But I promise you’ll be safe. Our stories about the black dog might be scary, but it’s not real. It won’t get you. Just keep the doors and windows locked in case. And if you’re that scared, read it during the daylight hours.

Okay, now here’s the pitch: the Kindle version of the anthology is going on sale starting tomorrow, November 30, at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) for the bargain price of only 99 cents. That will save you two dollars off the regular price, so take advantage of it!

On December 2 at 8:00 a.m. PST the price increases to $.199 — that’s still saving you one dollar off the regular price. (But why not buy it tomorrow and save those two dollars?) The Kindle ebook will return to its regular price of $2.99 on December 4 at 8:00 a.m. PST.

Why no links to the book, you ask? Well, Focal Plane is not a commercial blog, so I can’t place links to retail outlets. But it’s easy enough to find the book on Amazon, I promise. Get a copy of the book tomorrow while it’s hot, and please consider writing a review for the anthology on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

Tales of the Black Dog


Tonight, a new anthology called Tales of the Black Dog went live on Amazon. It includes four short stories, including one by yours truly, based on the legend of the black dog, a spectral hound whose appearance foretold death, or, in some instances, who played the role of a protector spirit.

My short story is “Inn of the Black Dog,” which features a young married couple who encounter strange happenings in a small village. The other three stories are by my coauthors and business partners: “Luison,” by Cathryn Leigh, “Carolina,” by JC Rock, and “Black Dog Asylum,” by Michelle Schad.

The anthology marks the debut for our company, Corrugated Sky Publishing, LLC. For the last year we’ve been working behind the scenes to get our stories written, edited, and formatted. The beginning of this October we began the paperwork to set up our business and get all that official stuff taken care of.  And voila!

The Kindle version of the book is already available for sale, and a paperback version should be ready in the next few days. I’ll post another announcement for that. I can’t provide links for you here because Focal Plane isn’t a commercial site, but you’ll have no trouble finding the book on Amazon by typing in its title.