(Insert Title Here)

I’m at my hotel in New Orleans, and I’ve finally gotten a two-hour-or-so nap in after 24 hours awake. I wish I could say I’ve spent all those waking hours writing and finishing up on projects that have been haunting my calendar for far too long, but it was mostly spent preparing for a work trip, packing, driving, and hanging out at airports. But, all things considered, I made it here alive, and that’s a pretty cool consolation prize.

I’ll be in Louisiana all week on a business trip. Although I’m planning to cut back severely on travel in the coming few months, this leg of my travels has always been a favorite of mine. New Orleans has its own vibe, and the energy here is great if you can understand it and endure it long enough. Also, part of an upcoming novel of mine takes place in NOLA, so it’s not far from truth to call this trip “research.” I’m currently “researching” how many liquid hurricanes the human body can take.

Aside from coming up with titles for a few new projects (something I almost always postpone until the last minute), things have been going great on the writing side of things. I wrote part of a new bizarro story last night before departure, and I’ll probably wrap it this week along with a dark sci-fi/horror short story I intend to submit to a magazine.

I was at Scares That Care VIII last weekend, and I had an absolute blast. Although I didn’t have the energy to do much else other than sling books at my table and attend a few discussions, I loved the overall energy of being around so many other creative people. A highlight for me was being on a panel with author Kristopher Triana, one of the most creative names in splatterpunk, and reading a snippet of my 2018 book Birthday Girl in front of an audience. I was WAAAY overcaffeinated by that point in the day, so I was shaking visibly while reading, but the words came out well and the audience seemed to enjoy the chapter. Granted, I was also pretty nervous, since this is the first live reading I’d done in three years, and attendees included the man/myth/legend himself Ronald Kelly (my guest on an upcoming episode of The Family Fright Night Horror Podcast!)

The topic of story titles came up during a panel discussion, and I was surprised to hear from another author that he doesn’t even begin a story until he knows both the ending and the title. I certainly don’t write that way, but I’ve heard this from several authors during the recording of my podcast, and it’s always a surprise. I like hearing about the various methods employed by other writers, and sometimes trying things their way helps.

So, for now, the title of my bizarro horror story is “Toe Babies.” I’ll leave the premise to your imagination but, suffice to say, it’s a gross one 🙂

Until next time, keep smiling and keep on keeping on.

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