Showing posts from February, 2017

Snippets: Deskbound Edition

Two things you must know about this Snippet: I am currently in the process of sorting, filing, and reorganizing my office for greater efficiency and less clutter. This is a work in progress. Also, we are still a one-car family, so Jim is heavily dependent on the bus system for his transportation to and from work. And he is still on the night shift while I'm on the day shift, which means texting is our primary form of marital communication. On this particular day, I had assignments in Collinsville and Belleville. MAN: Where is your stapler? ME: My stapler is on my desk. MAN: ...where? ME: In plain sight. On the desk. MAN: Your desk is a war zone. ME: My desk is not a war zone. I know exactly where everything is on my desk. MAN: Your desk is a disaster. Your desk looks like a kaiju stomped through it. ME: My desk is in a state of transition. MAN: Your desk is in a state of chaos. ME: Just use the stapler and stop messing up my desk. MAN: I couldn't possibly mess up

Snippets: Writers' Group Edition

My writers' group meets biweekly to work on our books and share our progress. And sometimes our conversations are more fun than the work we're allegedly doing. ME: So, I have three people down for the May group signing.... who's down for the one in March? Sela? SELA: Nope. ME: Is that because it's at oh-my-god-thirty in the morning? SELA: Yup. ME: *bawk bawk bawk bawk* SELA: I don't believe in mornings. HUNTER: Mornings are for making sure the coffeepot lid is on tight. ME: I have a man who makes the coffee. He is required to do so. SELA: Oh really. ME: Yes, it's in the Bible, man makes coffee. It's in the Book of Hebrews. WRITERS: *crickets* DIANE: That was bad. ME: See, I make that joke a lot at home and nobody ever laughs. SELA: That's hard to imagine. ME: I'm unappreciated in my house. At least ten minutes later... ME: So I'll be passing along the names to the other organizers, and I will let you know if we get any progres

Moonlight Sonata and the Hamsters of Amazon

Announcement! The Kindle edition of Moonlight Sonata  is now available for $4.99! I named my pet raven Edgar. He's happy to meet you. Q: Wait, the book's been out a week. Why is the ebook just now - A: Because I'm not Beethoven. Q: What? A: Amazon got the ebook version of my new short story collection mixed up with the various renditions and publications of Ludwig's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor , which he called " Quasi una fantasia " and we call " Moonlight Sonata ." Q: That seems like a difficult mistake to make. A: Well, it's not like I didn't know it existed. In fact, I listened to the sonata several times in the playlist I developed while writing the stories in this book. Along with a significant portion of the soundtrack to Sons of Anarchy . It's that kind of book. Q: So that's why there hasn't been an ebook up until now? A: Yes. The little hamsters running in the wheels at Amazon got my short stor

Weekend: Project Home

It was a lovely, warm weekend here in the Midwest, so naturally Donald-Smith-Gillentine Inc. spent it indoors. We had one of those lovely rare weekends where we had no obligations, but the far-less-rare status of no money. We spent all the funmoney this month on our Valentine's Day dinner (1808 Chophouse, and man, that was gooooood). So we tackled two long-delayed projects: my office and the Boy's room. Now, he's a teenage boy. I don't expect pin-straight neatness. The only young male I ever knew who could keep a room tidy was my friend Stephen, and we've all agreed he's a mutant. At one point in Boy's youth, I turned to a fellow choir member in frustration for advice. His children are brilliant, personable, super-achievers, poster children for the new millennium. ME: Tom, it's all agreed you raised the perfect kids. TOM: ... okay? ME: You did this! Successfully! So please, share the secret: How did you get them to clean their rooms? TOM: We did


MAN: My boss is allowing me to take two hours' vacation time so I can go to this extra credit thing on Thursday. ME: You mean the Google Tools training workshop ? MAN: Yeah. It's 10 points extra credit for my newswriting class. ME: Don't you have like an A in that class? MAN: B. And it's a tough class, I can tell I'll need all the extra credit I can get. ME: Okay. Dork. Have you reserved your spot? MAN: I'll tell [professor] tomorrow. ME: That isn't how you reserve your spot. MAN: How do I reserve my spot? ME: You have to RSVP with the president of the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists . MAN: Okay, then I need... hey, that's YOU! ME: *giggles* MAN: I plan to attend the workshop, Madam President. ME: You're supposed to RSVP by emailing , I don't know that I can just waive the rules for you... MAN: *raspberry* MAN: I need to decide what elective I take next semester. ME: You know what I think.

Cover reveal for MOONLIGHT SONATA!

T-minus one week for the release of Moonlight Sonata,  and I couldn't be happier. This collection has been a long time coming, and I'm delighted that this macabre mix of old friends and new stories will finally see print. Some of the pieces have been previously published, but at least half have never before seen the light of day, and I hope you'll like them. Wanna see a cover? I love my creepy little crow. I think I'll name him Edgar. From the back cover: All that can kill you is what you carry with you. Imagine a haunted church, where the ground has turned sour and something walks in the shadows to the mournful hymns. A silent covered bridge that no one dares to cross. Angry spirits that cry out from beneath the ground of a cemetery that will not lie still. An ageless man bound in love to a mortal woman, forever moving, forever haunted. A police officer chasing a suspect into the woods - and suspects they are no longer alone. A woman preparing to leave her