Feed 3 comes out on December 15th and this post should have gone up yesterday. But let's pretend that today is the 5th and not my mom's birthday (Happy birthday, Mom! She doesn't read my blog, haha, but if she happened to glance at it, I would definitely want her to know that she MUST have a happy birthday.).
I have a bunch of stuff planned to celebrate the long awaited release of this book. So I want to get right into it.
First of all, if you're not signed up for my mailing list and you're a fan of my Feed series (also known as the Fooko series), then you should know that if you DO sign up for it, you will receive a copy of "Feed 0.5 (Genesis)", which is only available to my newsletter subscribers. Here's the link to do that.
Secondly, the cover of the new book!
Feed 3 is going to be available in paperback and as a Kindle edition. It won't be available from any other retailer except Amazon. If it ever is, I'll let you know. For now, you'll be able to read it on Kindle Unlimited. It's going to be on sale for 99 cents for the first week before it goes up to $2.99.
OK, one more thing. Feed 1 and 2 are currently not available in paperback because I'm still reformatting them into the smaller (and better) size. As soon as they're back on sale as paper back, I'll let you know.
Are you a compulsive reader of fantasy and sci-fi? Do your thoughts drift to the book you'd rather be reading over being forced to engage in conversation with store clerks, coworkers, bosses, dentists?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then this MASSIVE giveaway, hosted by esteemed, glitterati sci-fi writer Patty Jansen (via #Instafreebie) is for you. There are over 150 books for you to peruse and download at your behest.
And all you have to do to get one is surrender your email address!
I know, it's like level 100 book-extortion! Haha.
But it's not, really, because hey, we're authors and if you LOVE our work, like we all hope you do, then we're actually doing you a favor!
No but seriously. I've signed up for a few mailing lists, including Jansen's. She's got quite a few series I'm looking to read soon.
What have you guys been reading? I'm always interested in getting reader's recommendations. Lately I've been reading books from the Discworld universe and loving them.
Let me know if you find anything on this list that piques your interest. Oh, did I mention, Feed 1 is on there? It is! And by the way, I have a major announcement coming soon on that front, so keep that on your radar.
Blue Hearts of Mars is free on Amazon until Wednesday, the 19th. Click here to get a copy!
Below, I’ve included the covers to some of my recent Patron-supported stories! Eventually, I release these stories for sale on Amazon. But if you follow my work and want to contribute as little as 99 cents per story (no more than once a month), you can have them as soon as I release them to my fabulous supporters–every Patron gets mentioned on the first page of the story in the acknowledgements.
Thank you so much for being in my life and reading my work! <3<3<3<3
Occasionally I think: I need to get a job. This being a parent all the time gets a little . . . unfulfilling. Don’t shoot me. Please. The thing is, I absolutely ADORE my kids (I have two wee tykes–5 and 2), but you know, the only time they REALLY appreciate how awesome I am as a mom, is when I leave them for a few days.
And then they get all weepy and realize, “My hell, my mom is EVERYTHING to me. WHERE is my anchor? My ballast!? Where are the harboring arms that keep me safe amidst the storm of playground bullies and pecking-order battles that I always lose?! And . . . and you know, those gym-daycare ruffians who threaten to knock me down with giant fort-building cushions? Who will protect me from them?”
Those are the exact thoughts that run through their little fast-developing brains. Or so I hear.
Anyway, so the only time I’m appreciated is when I take off for a few days, like just recently, when I hopped down to Tucson to help my youngest sister (the doctor, my pride and joy) move back to the mother-land (SLC).
Leaving behind those wee faces seemed to rip my heart out. I’ve never been so messed up in my life except back in college when that bastard boyfriend broke up with me (for the fifth or sixth time). Yes, LEAVING MY KIDS, it was an experience in separation anxiety (who knew adults could have it?!) to leave them. At first.
I was certain my plane would crash. Or that a continent-shifting earthquake would ravage the Wasatch Front and an enormous rift wold open up and swallow my family in my absence.
These sorts of vain imaginings are part of the reason I’m a writer. I think.
So anyway. At first it was hard. And then when I woke up in Tucson with the clouds and monsoons and the desert mountain range outlining the horizon, and, you know, I was able to just chill with my sister, and walk around without kids hanging off my legs in some kind of hilarious (they think) grocery-store game, I was pretty damn OK. And I could Facetime with my kids, when they needed me or I needed them.
And I could feel my body kind of separating from a concept that had consumed me, from that dominating identity of MOM. No one was screaming mom or mommy 24,000 times in one day at me. And without that non-stop reminder, for a bit, I could just be: ME. Like, the writer chick, the indie-music obsessed chick. The gamer girl. And a bunch of other cool/geeky things that I am. Insert an awesome one here: the/that ______ chiquita/girl.
I’ll give you some words to choose from: curly-haired, hilarious, sci-fi-loving, easy-going, funny-as-hell, fun-as-hell-to-be-around, self-deprecating-in-a-good-way . . .
Ok, so my adjectives are getting a bit unwieldy. If you can’t think of some good ones on your own, maybe . . . maybe we shouldn’t hang out anymore?
KIDDING. I will always love you.
So anyway, as my other identities separated and got a bit more opaque, it was all kind of nice. Bittersweet. The usual fare of life, the kind of sustenance that makes it interesting and challenging and makes you feel as though you’re really SUCKING the marrow out of the bones of life.
All of this to say, I’ve been busy. Applying for jobs. And I was offered a few. And when I was applying and interviewing, I sincerely wanted the jobs. And when the offers came, I again weighed the costs of daycare and the potential emotional costs and potential collateral damage of daycare, and the possible monetary gains, and I decided to wait again, to enter the corporate world.
Where was I going with this? Oh yes. I sometimes think I’ll go get a job and go back to work just to feel like I’m accomplishing something. The end-rewards of parenting aren’t immediately visible. I mean, my kid will say “thank you!” and I’ll die a little from happiness that he’s such a polite kid. And then he’ll turn around and punch his sister (this happens very rarely) and I’ll go through a momentary crisis of “WTF AM I DOING WRONG?”
So it’s hard to experience the rewarding sense that I got the job done! Or feel like someone appreciates my awesomeness, besides me. I always appreciate it, true, when I see it. But yeah, I mean, who else does?
Wife/Mother, the most under-rated profession in the actual world. I mean, the world that’s quantifiable in hard currency. I can price out a photographer, or a software engineer, or a teacher, but can you price out a mom? No. And don’t quote Dave Ramsey at me.
Because if we could estimate the monetary worth of a wife/mother, then when I submit my resume and there’s a five-year gap in it where I wasn’t maintaining my editing/writing skill-set, no one would give a damn. They wouldn’t say, “Explain this five year gap.” Or “Hmmm. You’re obsolete.” Not that anyone said that. I managed to convince people I’m still valuable, which is a skill. A very marketable skill. Haha.
Anyway. Sometimes it would be cool to just have someone give me a freaking report card on how awesome I am as a mom. I mean, I’m sure there are areas where I could improve, duh. But I need some damn positive reinforcement occasionally! Which is why I sometimes get this itch to get a 9-5 job.
Finally, if you’ve been missing me, my friends, I’ve been missing you too! Trying to fit writing and social-mediaing into the tiny cracks of free-time in my 24-7 job (yeah, it’s not 9-5!) and while I remember to put stories up on my Patreon account and post vlog updates, sometimes I neglect the blog-updates.
Also, just released this gem [“An Unnatural Equilibrium”] for free on Patreon. Just click on the cover to check it out at Patreon. The others (the covers below it) are also available for paying patrons. Still trying to tie everything in Feed together and get that shit organized. Stay in touch. Find me on Twitter. Find me on Instagram. And don’t forget that I definitely post stuff a lot on Patreon!
That’s where we’re at these days. And by WE, I mean me. But I also mean WE as a community of artists and creators. I insert myself into that community because it seems like that’s what you have to do these days if you don’t get a formal invitation from the in-crowd.
Which I haven’t. Because the want-to-be-in-the-in-crowd crowd is massive and endless. And so like always, I’m just standing outside the posh restaurant (the metaphor for the in-crowd), and I’ve had enough of simply looking in through the glass with a hungry, longing expression on my face. So I’ve gone inside and flipped off the maitre d’ and said, “Hey mother-f!$*ers, I’m in.”
And because I was so bold, they let me have a seat! Ha! Also, I actually said it. The F-word. In my head. But I disguised it for all my sensitive readers (hi mom!) who think I should be better than that.
But anyway. If you’ve ever supported anything through crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe), the Patreon concept shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you. The difference is that support can be given endlessly, through an eternal campaign that continually rewards supporters. It’s like supporting public radio or television. It’s like the old patron system that brought about great works via the wealthy elites bolstering artists like Michelangelo in Italy and Shakespeare in England.
It’s pretty fantastic. I’m patronizing (in a good way!) some top creators whose work I love and I’m excited to have some of my own support from people I coincidentally adore and love (because they support me!) So if you’ve ever read any of my work and enjoyed it and wanted more, please find your way to my Patreon and show me encouragement with as little as $1, which will get you all my stories digitally (previous releases to when you pledged support and all future releases).
Additionally, there are free stories available just to show you what I do and how well I do it. With every new story I write, I get better–my stories get more exciting, my characters more real and empathetic, my pacing better–you name it! In short, it is through the generosity of friends and strangers who believe in me that I become a better creator.
I love interacting with people who read my stories. So please, don’t ever hesitate to contact me, through Twitter, Goodreads, Patreon, Facebook, email. Whatever! I respond to every message I get! This work can be lonely. Hearing from you makes it feel less like I’m sending my work out into the void.
Be awesome. You. I’ll continue trying to be awesome as well. We can meet in the middle of awesome!
One of my earliest short stories just got a new cover. Check it out below! Also, if you’re into sci-fi shorts, this one is free till Tuesday at midnight, so download it now, read it later (or now, you know, if that’s what you want to do).
In other updates, I’m going to be at a table in the artist alley at SLC Fan Xperience (Matt Smith asked me to be his date! Kidding. But you know he’s going to be there, right?). Look for me mooching off my sweet friends at the iPlates table. I’ll have hard copies of some of my books if you want to buy any of them without having to pay shipping. Or taxes.
Also, Feed 3 is still coming out soon. It’s STILL at the proofreader. Geez. Who is this proofreader? She takes FOREVER (it’s my mom. She’s awesome). Kidding, proofreader. You rocks.
I meant to say “rocks.” As if she hasn’t done everything for me already in my life–making me, going through LABOR for me,raising me, and picking me up STILL when I fail or get depressed, now I’m making her proof my books! I’m spoiled. I really am.
Anyway, here’s the super sweet cover. Hopefully everyone loves it as much as I do!
So I updated the Cities of the Sun short story cover on Amazon. It runs for .99 cents, just because I can’t make it free without doing loopty-doos and crazy tricks using Smashwords, but right now it’s FREE. It should be LIVE tomorrow. Check it out (yeah, the hot guy really does have something to do with the actual story, I mean, have you READ it?)!
He got up and went to the window. The view was immense. Mountains in the distance were a black shadow hovering over the golden lights of the endless sprawl. This city was a diamond on the edge of a strand of desert like a necklace. He’d never been here before, but now he could hardly enjoy it. No. He was no sightseer, not a tourist in the slightest. He touched the back of his neck, remembering that he was onscreen. Someone’s screen. Somewhere. Were they coming for him? Did they know he was up to no good, again? He shivered as he recalled what that evil woman had done to him. How did she justify it? He clenched a fist and felt a sneer coming to his lips. The same way he’d justified his previous work, probably. It made it harder to feel the rage he wanted to feel, because it was either understand her or hate himself for the justifications he’d worked out in his own head.
Well, I was a dick. I was wrong. I was part of the evil.
He sighed. There was still a taint in him. He could imagine the perfect angles for what he was doing now. He could visualize how he would look as the main subject of a scene and what an Editor would guess he was thinking so the music they pasted onto it could reflect his inward thoughts. The perfect song for this moment, “All the Light Within,” by Kat and Bodie. Sort of a love song, but the mood was right for it, pensive, brooding. Weighted in a way that could lend gravity to the scene without any sort of dialogue.
Love. A love song.
There’s no time for love, is there? In these strange times? There was no sanctuary for him to conceal his heart within so the world could never know his pain or joy. But, well, there was Beth and that moment at the camp, and no one had seen except the two of them. If he was honest, he hadn’t been into it. At least, not enough. Not enough to stick through the rough patches.
He no longer trusted her. His sights were elsewhere.
In the courtyard beneath his window, he caught movement beneath the strings of lights and soft-glowing lanterns. He inched closer to the patio door and squinted. It was Marci, wandering. He’d hardly expected her to not be in her room. What was she doing? His heart tripped over itself as he watched her sit beside the fountain and draw her legs up to her chest. God, she was beautiful. But something else, as well. Kind. Vulnerable. Guileless.
He knew so much about her. Had seen more than anyone should see of a person, a real person and not some actor in an old film, actually, the kind no one bothered to make anymore. Ghosteye trained himself with those pieces of art. He knew that there was power in the unsaid and unseen as much as the spoken and seen. When he’d made his own feeds, he’d been careful with those ideas, always trying to strike a balance.
Though he’d seen much of Marci, he saw how she wore silent things. Her own quietness, her secrets, were overlooked by nearly everyone. What did she hold in that vault of ribs?
It’s finally here! A new teaser!
Geez. I don’t know what happened. I fell off the wagon or something.
No but seriously, sometimes it’s hard to keep your momentum. I got sidetracked by actually, I don’t know, writing the book and editing it, so much so that I forgot to try to keep you guys in the loop.
So here it is. This is a small excerpt, meant to show you that Feed 3 isn’t just about overcoming the dark side of new tech and whatnot. It’s also about people getting butterflies in their stomachs over someone else.
I have about 500 more words from this little section scheduled to post to my blog tomorrow morning. This is a snippet from that excerpt. So be sure to come back to get further insight into what’s going on in Ghosteye’s head!
As usual, the typical stuff applies here: content is subject to change or just, you know, not even show up in the book! I might change it. I might decide I hate it and cut it entirely. Anything is possible right up to the day you’re actually reading the book.