Small wins

I’ll make this one quick, but I wanted to share two things that make me happy this week. First, my pseudonym writing has netted me a small cash prize, something I celebrated over the weekend by buying – in typical Cam fashion – cheese popcorn and cherry Danish-style things from Winco. I’ve also been seeing a sharp uptick in KU numbers this month, which will be nice.

Second, Beast was called “real old-school horror” in a positive review on Amazon, which I particularly loved since that’s exactly what I was going for. Been a while since I had a text review on one of my books, so I had to share that.

Hope everybody’s doing well. Getting a lot written, not much to talk about.

Goodbye to Ariama

I have unpublished Journey of the Caged, and that breaks my heart. But it’s not up to the standards I want.

To Nao, Gavrien, Lennox, and all the rest, I love you so much. You rode in the back of my mind for a decade and change, and I’m thankful I finally got a chance to tell your story. I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you deserve.

Today sucks.

Of monsters and love

There’s a story in this upcoming collection I keep going round and round with in my head. It’s called Pumpkin, and it’s a relatively simple short story I won’t spoil here, because I’m drawing closer and closer to the release. But I’m comfortable saying this – it’s not so much an actual horror story as it is a story about fear. Not fear of monsters (though there is one), but of putting yourself out there and trusting someone with who you are. It’s not a terribly complex story, but it’s a good one.

And that’s something I’m struggling with, weird as it sounds. My brain tells me it needs to fit better with the collection thematically, but my heart is telling me it’s the perfect go-home story, and that’s probably where it will land (I’ll want some reader opinions on the order first, as I have ideas but it’s not set in stone).

End Pieces will be a strange collection. The title will be deceptive, but there’s a purpose to that, I think. Right now, it’s looking like three novellas and two short stories.

After that, I don’t know what comes next, except that I’m really itching to try my hand again at the story I used to call the Extraordinary Ordinary until I realized someone had a novel already titled that. It’ll be written under a pseudonym but I won’t hide who it is. I just think it’s the sort of thing that is different enough to garner a whole different audience, and I don’t want them to confuse the good nature of that book with my more adult work.

Forever Lands forever gone?

I keep thinking about removing Forever Lands from being offered on Amazon. I don’t know why, except all the times I roll over that novel when I’m looking through my sales figures, it sorta depresses me. I think that book and its failure to invite any readership whatsoever was the start of my current two-year long bad mojo.

I don’t know. It doesn’t really hurt anything being in circulation, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Let’s face it starting off a book with a child being transformed into a monster probably wasn’t the smartest move. And I seriously misjudged people’s desire to read a fantasy novel that was both a little different and a whole hell of a lot slimmer. Plus, it’s also just kind of bad.

In any case, if you want it, grab it now. I keep leaning in the direction of taking it down, and I think I’m one bad mood from doing it.

Second why of the day

Why oh why in Mare of Easttown are the chief and the sergeant sitting around talking about details of the case like the other wouldn’t know the missing victim was a drug addict? They’re both obviously very well aware of the specifics.

Just start the show from an earlier point. Or have this conversation with someone who is new to the case. Or… literally anything other than this strange exposition dump.

I’m off Twitter and Facebook so… hello!

The title pretty much spells out the bulk of this post. I’ve left Facebook and Twitter (and am in the long, tedious process of cleaning out those dead links from my ebooks, so apologies for that). There’s no real drama to the decision. I just hate logging in and being miserable for the time I’d spend browsing. There’s only so much deliberate ignorance I can stand, and boy, it’s been layered on pretty thick over the last five years or so.

That said, you’re probably going to see more of me here. Follow along, if you like. It’s probably going to devolve into a blog about what I’m watching and reading, which is pretty much what I used Twitter and Facebook for in the first place.

As for the books, Break the Castle is coming along slowly, and my horror collection End Pieces slightly less so. I seem to have lost some mojo in the last year and change, but it’s coming back. Hopefully I’ll have more to share about both soon! Until then, high five, cool person.

On Hallowed Lanes, Chapter 13

Short one today. Enjoy!

Chapter 13

Brianna expected the call days later, perhaps when one of the couple was emptying their pockets while doing laundry. But they were only an hour away from Calgary, Garrett’s mood still fixated on the fast-coming future.

“Hello?” Brianna said, tucking her book under her armpit.

“How did you know?” Jenna asked, her voice thick as syrup. Crying. She was crying.

“Know what?”

“Don’t tell me this wasn’t you. You snuck us the cash when we took the photograph, right?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

There was a long pause, and Jenna breathed so quietly she could hardly hear, “We were going to have to go to a shelter. Just for a little while, until Lorne could land on his feet or I could find something better than temp work.”

Garrett glanced at Brianna and she nodded imperceptibly. He focused back on the road again, though his eyes flickered occasionally to the back seat. His hallucinations, she thought. “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

“I know what it must seem like, us going to the park like that-”

“No. You don’t explain anything to me. Your lives are your lives. You gave your kids a good memory to hang onto. That’s not…” Brianna was crying now. “You just don’t explain yourself to me, that’s all.”

Jenna was silent for a much longer period of time, and Brianna thought she’d hung up. “If you’re really serious about heading for Drumheller, will you do it? Send our kids a picture of you with the dinos? When we’re okay again, I want to have it developed. So they have something to remember you by.”

“Of course,” Brianna whispered. “Goodbye, Jenna. God bless.”

* * *

Among the hills of Drumheller, Brianna and Garrett cozied up under an enormous dinosaur, its jaws wide. Together, they smiled at the camera as though the world wasn’t a broken place, as though the kids they were posing for would live beautiful, rich lives full of happiness, never wanting for anything, that the cash they gave their parents would sprout and grow and solve all their problems. They smiled for the lie all youth are told – that kindness and goodness are enough to change the world. Five minutes later, as they held each other sitting on the edge of a nearby fountain, a text came through, the last one they’d ever get from Lorne or Jenna. “Angels.”