As newsletter subscribers already know, I am beyond chuffed to have been involved in bringing this book to life. 24 horror authors, all linked in some way to California, donated their stories to create this wonderful book. All profits go to support the North Valley Community Foundation, which is focused on helping Butte County recover and rebuild from last year’s Camp Fire. You can preorder now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q4Z32VP. Bay Area folks, we’ll have copies at the HWA tent at the Bay Area Book Festival, and there will be a launch party/signing on May 11 at Books on B in Hayward. More events are to come – keep an eye on the website for dates and times.
So it dropped a few days ago, but here for your delectation is the cover for F Is for Fairy. I have a story in here; I have, in fact, the first story, the A story. Here is the opening:
They were twelve, and between them they encompassed Dawn, Dusk, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Seed, Blossom, Harvest, Maiden, Mother, and Crone; that is to say, they were complete. Thus, when a thirteenth fairy emerged from the breath of sun upon earth they were to a one confused. None of them had expected another sister. They waited for some time—perhaps there would be more? For they had come in pairs and trios before, and Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter had practically exploded out of the same minute point of light. But no one else emerged for some time.
Finally, they looked to Dawn, who was eldest, and she looked at the new fairy and sighed. “What are you?” she asked plaintively.
The fairy didn’t know. She was fifteen minutes old and quite astonished at existing.
“We have to call her something,” Crone pointed out. (When her trio had emerged from the breath of the sun and were asked what they were, Maiden had said “beautiful,” Mother had rolled her eyes, and Crone had said “wiser than you.”)
The twelve fairies looked around, trying to think of what this one, singular fairy could be. Time slipped past, and they had other tasks to do, but still they could not think of a thing.
At last Dawn, who had been up for some time and wanted to nap, gestured to the nearest object. “We’ll call her Apple,” she declared, “until she figures out who she is.”
“She looks like an Apple,” Fall said to Harvest, who agreed, and as they both knew a lot about apples everyone thought the matter settled.
Between them they found a sweet little wood no one was occupying, with pine and oak and yes, even apple trees, and they suggested to the fallen branches and stones and mud that they come together into a cottage. Once the cottage was built they each gave Apple a present for her birth-day: a narrow bed; a table and chair; the secrets of fire, sleep, and flight; a jug and a wash-basin; a pot and a bowl to eat from; a dress to cover herself; and, rather inexplicably from Crone, a large, polished spindle.
“She’ll find a use for it,” Crone said vaguely when the others gave her curious looks, and they didn’t press the matter, for Crone was indeed wiser than all of them.
The fairies placed Apple in her new home, set everything right, gave her twelve kisses and promised to visit often, and flew away.
She was, by then, one hour old.
F Is for Fairy will be available on May 7, or you can preorder the ebook now.
(This was sunset in my neighborhood two nights ago. Particle count was 187 per AirNow.)
Life, my therapist is always telling me, is one thing after another. The last three weeks, for me, have been clear evidence of such, culminating in a death in the family and my partner getting sent up to Butte County to help with the Camp Fire. Through it all I’ve kept indexing, riding out this busy season as best I can, so there are now certain memories that are inextricably linked to Putin’s second go as President or the state of mental health services in Sussex. But I’m nearly done with what may be the last index of the year, and thus can return to all things writing—even if it is while wearing a N95 mask.
I am also NaNo-ing. I’m behind on my word count, but it’s been a while since NaNo has been about winning for me so I’m not bothered. It’s about the pretty graph and the commitment to writing every day—or as close to that as I can get, barring upsets like last night’s:
So, yeah, a little surgery has to happen before I push forward again. It’s too much of a problem to just keep going, it will do nothing but distract me until I’ve fixed it. Writers, know thyselves, and what you can or can’t work around.
In other news: “All That I Left Behind (We Are)” is an experimental piece that was chosen by The Fabulist for its Halloween story. My busy October felt good overall, and though it was nearly invisible I wore an armband for my relative at The Octopus and felt better for it. I’ve been looking back over this first year of freelancing and brainstorming ways to make my income less feast-or-famine going forward. And my goodness, but I have a lot of writing to do …
In other other news: if you’re a fan of Stranger Things, Russell Nohelty is giving away a fat prize of related stuff (including The Book of Barb! I clutched my chest when I saw that, so fresh still was my Barb-pain). Russell is a great writer of books and comics, and he regularly does these themed giveaways to help authors get exposure and build their mailing lists. I’m new to this sort of thing, but there’s a lot of choice stuff, including DVDs, Funko Pops, and more. If he ever does an Attack on Titan one I’m all in.