The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and dark, short story anthology now available on Amazon as an ebook

I am happy to say that the horror and dark fiction anthology I’ve been working on some quite some time went live on Amazon last night as an ebook. Besides being available for purchase, you can read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Buy the ebook on Amazon for $4.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

We’ll be releasing the paperback version of The Lost Librarian’s Grave later in October.

When I put together the table of contents I got to thinking about how people read anthologies. I know some people like to start at the beginning and read straight through to the end.

The traditional table of contents, which I put up a preview of here, caters to that way of doing things. It also has, for me anyway, a comforting feel of how I’m using to seeing books.

Some readers (me among them) like to skip around a collection of stories and read a short one here, a long one there, maybe that one with the weird exorcist or the disgruntled librarian who gets hectored by gargoyles.

For people like me, I grouped the stories (and four poems) under various headings. Some of the stories could have gone under multiple headings. For example, “Ocular” could have just as easily been a “strange adventure” but I liked “An Eye for an Eye” because of the play on words.

One thing I like about checking out books on Amazon is their “Look Inside” feature where they let you preview about 10% of a book. The Lost Librarian’s Grave is a pretty big book, so 10% ends up being a pretty goodly chunk of reading. I put the stories in bold text below that one can read in their entirety through Amazon’s preview.

I tried to pick three that were pretty different from each other in tone and style as well as plot to highlight the variety I did my best to bring to the collection.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to take a much-needed day off from working on the book, and then get the wheels turning again on Monday for putting together the paperback, which will start with giving my existing ebook cover a spine and a back page.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Witches, Magicians, and Sorcery

  • “Medusa’s Mirror” by Paul L. Bates
  • “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone” by Amanda Cecelia Lang
  • “The Artist” by Mike Murphy
  • “The Clearing” by Helen Power
  • “The Maze of Moonlight and Mirrors” by Gerri Leen (poem)

The Dead, the Mad, and the Terrified

  • “Rathbone” by Zach Ellenberger
  • “The Glorious Protection of Angels” by Michelle Ann King
  • “The Jump” by Pauline Yates
  • “Three Bad Things” by Kathy Kingston

Ancient Days and Apocalypse Now

  • “Butterflies of the Longest Night” by Russell Hammell
  • “Death, and the Scent of Tea” by Cheryl Zaidan
  • “The Day in Gold” by Adele Gardner
  • “The Savage Night” by Pedro Iniguez
  • “Valhalla is a Lie” by Benjamin Thomas

Strange Adventures and Weird Journeys

  • “Among Stars and Stones” by Brandon Barrows
  • “Mother Winter” by Matthew Chabin
  • “He Gets Hungry Sometimes” by Carol Gyzander
  • “The Little People” by Kurt Newton
  • “They Never Left” by Matthew McKiernan

A Murder of Gargoyles

  • “Gargoyle of the World, Unite!” by Mary Jo Rabe
  • “Odd Job Tom” by Eddie Generous
  • “The Grotesque” by Rhonda Parrish (poem)

The Scientific Method

  • “Aegir’s Son” by Edward Ahern
  • “Bottled Rage” by Owen Auch
  • “Voyage of the PFV-4” by David Rose

Ghosts and the Grave

  • “Good Boy Anyway” Briana McGuckin
  • “The Infinity of Worse” by Ken Hueler
  • “The Problem with Bottling Troublesome Spirits” by Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Demon-Haunted World

  • “A Bed Both Long and Narrow” by Sipora Coffelt
  • “Blooms of Darkness” by Melissa Miles
  • “Face to Face” by Tom Leveen

An Eye for an Eye

  • “Inside a Refrigerator” by Adrian Ludens
  • “Ocular” by Nidheesh Samant
  • “Penance” by J.V. Gachs
  • “The Binding of Chrysanthoula” by Angeliki Radou

End of the Line

  • “Devil’s Oak” by Mary Leoson
  • “Nature versus Nurture” by Gerri Leen (poem)
  • “The Ocean’s Misfortune” by Alison McBain
  • “The Woman in the Wallpaper” by Gregory L. Norris
  • “Cold Storage” by Jude Reid

The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Gargoyle Cover

The sense that I’m getting is the gargoyle cover is the most popular of the original three both from the comments I’ve seen on this blog and from running them by people I know, who don’t read the blog. So I did some tweaks over the weekend on the gargoyle covers and this is what I’ve come up with so far.

I fiddled around with some filters and made the gargoyle and rusty reptiles a little more vibrant, which I like better than the original. The cover on the far right is the same one from the original post but with said filters applied. Dave of Faith & Steel, when he was commenting on the original covers, wrote that he was “ambivalent” on the framing of the original picture. I thought about what he said and decided it would be fun to get rid of the framing and see how it looked.

I’m not sure which one I currently like the best, but the one on the left, where I took out the stone background, does seem like I could put a small block of text in the middle right area. Perhaps a list of some of the authors or something like that. I don’t know if I will do that, assuming I go with that design, but it is something to think about.

If anyone has any further ideas or observations about the covers, I welcome your comments.*

Imagine being petrified but fully aware in this form for hundreds of years!**

I kind of have gargoyles on the brain now. I’ve been trying to think of some good short stories that I’ve read featuring gargoyles and I have to admit that nothing comes to mind. I even went back through my reading diary, where I’ve been keeping track of my reading since 2010 — nothing there either.

I did find a couple of things on Amazon. The first is a short story called “The Beast Within” by D.F. Holland, that I was able to download for free. I’ll probably read that tonight. The second is a collection by Clark Ashton Smith called The Maker of Gargoyles and Other Stories. Some of the reviewers say it isn’t his best work, but I am considering picking up the e-book anyway since I’m a fan of Smith. Especially his poetry.

My next steps with the anthology are to continue work on the new website and to put together some writer’s guidelines. Speaking of guidelines, I’ll have to remember to mention that I’d love to read some gargoyle stories. Hope everyone is doing well.


* Thank you to everyone who responded thus far. I value and appreciate your opinions.

** Photo of “Gargoyles Magdalen College Oxford England” by Chris Creagh. I made no changes. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribuion-Share Alike 3.0.

“The Lost Librarian’s Grave” Horror Anthology

I have been setting the wheels in motion toward starting a small press where I publish speculative fiction in e-book and possibly print formats. The first effort will be a short story anthology with the unlikely title of The Lost Librarian’s Grave. The collection will feature stories of “doom, sorcery and premature burial,” which are themes dear to my Chaos Lady heart.

I put together three front covers this afternoon and thought I’d share them and ask which (if any) works the best. I would very much appreciate your opinion, if you have one! As usual, if you click on an image you’ll see a larger version.

My next moves involve working on another WordPress site specifically dedicated to my publishing efforts and also some writer’s guidelines so I can put the word out to writers, who might be interested in sending me their work. I will smile favorably on science horror, dark fantasy and the like because there are many dark jewels that are horror stories, mined by solitary dwarves, hideous in their waxing greed … tales of loss and murder plucked on harps by spurned lovers wringing out their hearts in songs of revenge and regret, and weird fantasies of sentient, well, you get the idea.

The plan is to release The Lost Librarian’s Grave in late September or early October. Such tales seem apropos for the upcoming season.

Painting-wise, I’ve started putting together the “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” round-up. These round-up’s end up being pretty sizeable so I’ve found the best and most fun way to do them (like publishing as it turns out) is to work a little on them each day.

Gabby Novel: Night

I finished the next section of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The title of this section is Night.

I decided to dispense with the idea of looking where I’d put the chapter divisions if the work were a traditional book.  Instead I’m looking at each section on Wattpad as its own chapter.  So this section is number four in the story.

I have another picture, though I haven’t worked it into the story yet but I plan on doing so fairly soon.  I experimented with including pictures in my Wattpad stories, but ended up taking them out because they apparently made it hard to load for phones, which caused a precipitous decrease in viewership.  I’m not on Wattpad necessarily to build a large viewership, because I don’t see myself having the time that it would take to do that, I don’t want to needlessly make it hard for people to view my work either.

Another offering by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I’ve been slacking off on moving forward with the story because I have had to give some attention to changes in my job situation.  The changes are good and will result in more free time, so I can work on the story more.  Wattpad has proven its worth so far.  In the past, this period of not working on the story would have probably caused me to consider abandoning the project in favor of the next shiny, new idea, but since I’ve put myself out there with it online, I find I still have the interest and energy to continue.

Finally, I started another WordPress blog.  This one is called Ann’s Physical Culture Journal and it is a place for me to keep track of my workouts and such.  I have enjoyed doing various workouts for years and have lots of old notebooks kicking around full of stuff that I have been doing from the 1980’s up until now.  This is the first time I have done a blog on the subject though.

I decided upon a separate blog instead of creating a section here, because I expect that I will be posting a lot and I don’t want to clutter this space up with lots of posts about lifting weights and such.  I want to keep the Immaterium primarily an arts space.

Finally, my husband has a lot of weight he needs/wants to lose and decided to start a Youtube channel where he does vegan recipes and every Friday posts a video detailing how his week went diet-wise, etc.  I’m proud of how he’s done so far — he’s lost 60 pounds.  So if you are interested in fairly easy-to-make vegan food and such check it out here.  Don mentioned, after I told him I was going to put out a link to his channel that a play list of the cooking videos is here.  I’ve (of course) eaten them all, some multiple times, and quite enjoyed them.  Having a husband who likes to cook is a beautiful thing.

 Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Last Shot (End of Chapter One)

I finished the next installment of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  This finishes chapter one and I achieved two of my goals: finish the first chapter and also finish with that wretched cave.  My first chapter was a bit over 5300 words, which means word count-wise I’m about 5% done.

The title of this section is Last Shot.  I decided that each of the subsections is going to be no more than two words.  I’m really only doing these chapter subsections because I’m doing this in an online format and need to break it up more than I would for a physical book.

Gabby by Stefan Ljumov

Steady but slow progress.  I’m looking forward to my schedule changing in October.  One happy consequence of that is I’ll have more time for writing on a set schedule instead of carving out some time here and there when I can, which doesn’t work very well for me in terms of completing long-term projects.

I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for Chapter Two, which will get me through the next few weeks of writing and give me some time to think about structure and plot beyond what I already have.  I have an idea for a sub-plot that I introduced the fleeting germ of at the end of the first chapter, and think I know where I more or less want to go by the end of the book though at this point that could still change.

Of course I can go back and fix structural problems and the like in a second draft at some point, but I would like to get as much right as I can on the first go.

The next section will go live on September 15, 2019.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Picture of Main Character

I thought it would be fun to have some drawings made for my novel that I’m working on, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The other day this depiction of my main character arrived in my inbox, complete with the eyes on the arms, just as I hoped!

Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster as drawn by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I have the rough draft of the next section already done and plan on tinkering with it a bit before going live on Wattpad this Sunday, September 8th.  That will wrap up the first chapter.  The working title for the section is (without apology to Henry James!) Turn of the Screw Last Shot.

I’ve also been thinking about where I want to go with the story through the first quarter of the book.  That will be about 20,000 words or so, and since I’m already up to 4,000 that will happen fairly soon, even though it still seems like a lot to me.  Especially if things work out with my schedule as I anticipate and I have more time for writing starting in October.

A friend suggested playing some sort of cooperative space platform defense board game.  Hope to attend that soon.  It’ll be nice seeing some friends, who I haven’t gotten together with for awhile now, and (of course) gaming.

 

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster: Eternity

I’ve managed to keep my schedule of posting new material every Sunday for my novel-in-progress thus far.  The latest bit went live yesterday and is titled, Prologue: Eternity.

The novel so far is located here.

“‘The Stars, Like Dust!’  Wait, I think that one’s taken.”

As the title suggests, I went back and did a little preface.  I figure that since I’m sharing a story pretty much as I write it, then if I’m going to write such a thing in such a way I should get any introductory bits out of the way early in the game.

I’ve noticed that I’m developing a tendency to work backwards a bit, editing and correcting things as I go along.  While it has been working so far it is early days yet and I think this could be a dangerous thing, when the story is longer, and could stall my first draft progress.  So in the future I’m going to make notes somewhere about things I need to correct once I’m done. I’ve fallen into that trap before with other projects and avoiding said trap is one object of this pantsing experiment.

I plan on writing a final section to wrap up Chapter One for next time.  While I’m doing that I hope to finalize in my own mind where I want to go with this for the first quarter of the story.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

 

Gabby: Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness

I posted the next installment of my novel-in-progress, Gabby the Big-Eyed Monster, this past Sunday, August 25, 2019.  The title of the new section is Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness.

The novel so far is located here.

The new section is a bit over 2100 words, which is about double the length of the first one.  I don’t want the sections to be too long and 2000 words or so is about the longest I will go.  In general   For the chapters I’m organizing it like this for now:

Chapter One: The Forbidden Cave
Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness
Next Section

Chapter Two: Whatever I call it.
Next Section
Next Section: and so on….

I’m planning on getting the next section up on Sunday, September 1, 2019, which will end chapter one.  I certainly have a long way to go.  I’m aiming at making this an 80,000 word novel and I’m at about 3100 words now.  Fortunately in October my schedule will change and I’ll have more time for writing.

I also engaged someone on Fiverr to draw a black & white picture of Gabby, the main character.  If I like the picture and I’m happy with how the project is turning out then I’ll probably have him do more illustrations for the book.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Novel-in-Progress: Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster

So my writing efforts continue unchecked at least for the moment.  I have some stuff making the rounds with various editors, and was trying to decide what to do next.  So I decided upon a little experiment.

I’ve written a few longer stories from outlines with lots and lots of plotting, but I’ve never attempted a short novel without having an outline or really much more than a couple of characters and some initial ideas.  So I thought I’d give it a try on Wattpad.  I’m going to publish one or two chapters a week (500 – 1000 words or so) until I write myself into a corner and blow up my creation or manage to write said short novel.

My working title is Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster.  I put up the first chapter up on Wattpad and plan on posting chapter two no later than August 25, 2019.  For anyone who might want to check this out, be warned this is not a complete story.  It is the first chapter of a work-in-progress.  I’m sure that the 40K-oriented readers on here will notice some passing similarities to a certain favored xenos race….

Gabby cover 350 wide for WordPress

Cover makes me want to re-read Dune.

I made a quick and easy cover for the story.  If I manage to make decent traction with writing the thing, and it gets a half-way decent reception from the reading-free-stuff-online crowd, I might commission a nicer cover for it down the road.

Otherwise, I joined the Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge and pledged to read at least  50 books this year.  So far I’m up to 34, which the site tells me puts me three books ahead of schedule.  So that’s keen.

My reading for July 2019 was:

  • The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
  • The Howling Asteroid by Murray Leinster
  • Forever Free by Joe Haldeman
  • Mulgara: The Necromancer’s Will by David Rose
  • Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice by Taizan Maezumi

I’ll be back again (hopefully) with Chapter Two of Gabby next Sunday, and if my sacrifices to the Elder Gods have been particularly propitious maybe I’ll even make some progress on another poxwalker as well!

 

January Thaw: Short Story

School has been keeping me pretty busy, and one of the things we’re doing is mucking about with social media as writers, potential writers, people posing as writers, etc.  So I’ve been flogging around my short story, January Thaw, in various places and thought I’d make a link to it available on Ye Olde Blog for anyone who might be interested.

January Thaw posits a future where old age is a thing of the past and no one dies anymore. Carolyn Deschaines is a woman who has lived too long, and after 150 years she has decided to gracefully “die of old age.” She puts her affairs in order but then she meets Theo…

January Thaw 350 pixels wide

Additionally, I finished the Red Spiny Back Poxwalker, who is now ready to take to the field with its green twin. I hope to get some pictures of my newest addition to the Festering Horde soon.