Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Very Small Cat; Very Large Give-away

 So... We finally got a new cat.

After we lost Grendel, back in May, I had kinda a downswing with my depression. 2015 has sort of been the year of death by 1,000 paper cuts (or in my more angry moments, I call it the year of "Fuck You!") My blog post on depression, Last Chance, seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people. In the week since I wrote it, it's become the third-most read entry on this blog of all time, behind my two different calls for submissions (if you haven't gotten your story to me, Saturday is your deadline!!)

Mostly everything's been mostly medium-sized fuckery and not anything completely life-wrecking or (like in the cases of the severe illness of a dear friend's father, who I love a lot, the death of my cousin's husband, and the death of my cat) nothing I can change, but they've been constant.

Broken glasses, broken teeth, unexpected bills (I forgot that buying a new car would mean that we'd actually have to pay a personal property tax that had some bite to it, rather than just the $30 or so a year we pay to have a 22 year old car), work problems, friend drama (break ups, new boyfriends, stuff like that, some of it's not bad news or anything, and it doesn't directly affect me, aside from you know, loving and caring about my friends, but it can still be tiring.) vet bills for our cat that died, the dentist double-billing us, flat tires...

If you've read my story in Family Time, Cascade Failure...

That's the kind of year we're having. Nothing's unendurable, nothing's catastrophic. Just little to medium sized problems, constantly. It's more than halfway through the year and I'm ready for it to be next year.... just, oh, my god.

So, yeah, new cat.

Kitten, actually. He's about 10 weeks old and we've named him Oreo. (My fault. The shelter named him Noodles, which none of us liked as a name, and I was throwing ideas out there randomly, and when I said Oreo, the husband said "so, if he gets fat, can I call him Double-Stuff?" which set me and the childthing laughing, so Oreo it is...)

And after a chest cold and getting his bits snipped, he's home...

Which leads me to the contest / sell-a-thon thingie...

Our old cat was, aside from being old, always very calm. Grendel didn't play, he didn't climb, he didn't... do much of anything, really. Every once in a blue moon, he'd attack the shadow of the ceiling fan in the kitchen. Other than that, he ate, he slept, he tolerated affection with a certain amount of "I can see the floor, can I get down now?" Which means our house is NOT very ... childproof? I guess might be the best word.

I've spent the last two days moving things and attempting to teach the kitten not to climb on kitchen counters, the dining room table, into the trash, etc, etc, and trying to move things from "if this gets knocked over it will break" to "when this gets knocked over, it'll make a mess."

Oreo has staked out a spot on my desk where he now likes to sleep when I'm working that's surprisingly not in my way, and to encourage this behavior, I cleared the spot out so that it's nice and comfortable for him.

Unfortunately, this is right where all my contributor copies were. (he shoved several of them out onto the floor until I cleared the space)

I moved them, but now they're cluttering up my regular bookshelf in stacks and I don't have really a good place for them. So...

I'm going to sell them.

If you want a book, they will cost $10 per paperback with $5 for shipping and handling, no matter how many books you order. This is between $2 and $6 less than their normal retail price... 

--Disclaimer: I am probably not making money on this. What people don't always know is that indie writers seldom get more than 1 or 2 copies of a book as part of their contracts and some companies don't give away contributor copies at all. Sometimes, depending on the company, we can get more books for a 40 - 60% discount for the purposes of selling them at trade shows or cons. I'm not saying this to complain, I want people to know why I'm not giving away 30 paperbacks.... (also, why I want to smack people who ask for free books...)
--For those who care, I did not buy the Coming Together books at discount; I paid full retail price for them, so all royalties that go to charity have already been paid to those charities.

Now, if you're interested in these books, I am having a contest for people who purchase now...

1 copy of Blood Sight
1 copy of Howling Bitch
9 copies of Blues
1 copy of Roll
5 copies of London Steam
1 copy of Coming Together: Among the Stars
1 copy of Coming Together: Pro Bono
1 copy of Coming Together: For the Holidays
1 copy of Encounters
2 copies of Family Time
1 copy of Marked Man
1 copy of Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica
1 copy of Cupid's Chokehold (out of print and unavailable anywhere)
4 copies of Whetting the Appetite
1 copy of Ladies of Steampunk Magazine, Vol 1

All books will be signed by me (and if you order Whetting the Appetite, I can probably get Elizabeth L. Brooks to sign it, too)

In addition, if you buy a book, you'll be entered to win a Grand Prize -- a Vin & Beau tote bag, a USB drive which includes e-copies of ALL my current books to date, (which will include a copy of Classic!) and a $10 gift card to Amazon / Barnes and Noble / JMS books or Torquere Press.

(~$100 value, give or take...)

You will get one entry per book purchased!

I will keep this contest open until I either sell all the books (titles on a first come, first served basis, and I will post when books have sold) or until September 2.

I accept payment through personal check, Paypal or Cash app. You can comment on this blog, email me at lynntownsend (dot) writer (at) gmail (dot) com or Facebook me or bother me on twitter, or use the donate button at the top left of my blog to send money and I'll email you from there. (What I'm saying is, I'm easy to get in touch with!)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Heat Wave: Burlington

Heat Wave: Burlington is out...

For this week, only, at the publisher for 30% off list price. It will be available through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and other e-book sellers (Smashwords, All Romance, etc) starting next week.


Brandon Russo can't stand the sight of blood and the current heat wave makes doing almost anything outdoors unpleasant. So when an SUV sideswipes a bicycle right at the gate of the storage facility in Burlington, Vermont, where Brandon works for his aunt, he considers just locking himself in the office and calling 911. But he's rewarded for letting his good nature overcome his squeamishness when the man he rescues from the ditch turns out to be absolutely gorgeous.

Scott Seay is a photographer on the trail of a legend. A strong lead has brought him to Vermont for the auction of a storage unit whose owner had been obsessed with Champy, the creature rumored to live in the depths of Lake Champlain. When Scott winds up in a ditch outside that very same storage facility, being rescued by a hot, chivalrous man who literally sweeps Scott into his arms ... well, Scott's always believed in fate.


Brandon woke up with the disconcerting feeling of having no idea where he was or why he was so aroused. His cock pressed urgently against too-tight jeans and his heart rate was so rapid, he could feel each beat in his eyeballs. A warm body -- too warm, really -- pressed against his, and an arm was draped over his hips, fingers dangling against his belly.

His mouth was sticky; he’d gone to bed without brushing his teeth. He ran his tongue around in his mouth for a bit, working up some spit, trying to remember the events of the day that led to having what was quite obviously a man in his bed. He squirmed just a bit, rubbing against the person spooned up against him. The person made a breathy sort of sigh, shifted a little, and Brandon could feel the hard length of his bed-guest’s cock against his butt cheek.

Why was it so dark? Usually the street light just outside Brandon’s window lit his bedroom with an annoying, amber-yellow glow. Right. He wasn’t in his bed. He was in Scott’s hotel room. The day’s events returned, a little muzzy, but he sorted them out painfully, his brain completely sleep-muddled. He wasn’t sure why he was sleeping with Scott’s arm around him, although he had to admit, uncomfortable erection or not, he didn’t mind having Scott’s arm around him. But it wasn’t like him to forget having sex, and he was pretty sure they hadn’t. So why was he ...

Crap. He must have fallen asleep while watching television. Which meant he was currently hogging Scott’s bed without being invited into it in the first place. Unease settled like a cold rock in his belly. Like Scott hadn’t had a bad enough day without trying to sleep around a bed hog.

Brandon squirmed, trying to move out from under Scott’s arm. Least he could do was sleep on the room’s tiny sofa if he couldn’t find his keys in the dark without waking Scott. Every movement was torture, waking himself further and feeling the lean length of Scott’s body against him. To be honest, he didn’t really want to go. He wanted to turn in that heated embrace and kiss Scott awake.

Scott’s arms tightened around Brandon’s hip. “Hey,” Scott said, his breath ruffling Brandon’s hair. “Where you goin’?”

“Sorry I woke you,” Brandon said. “I’ll head on home and let you get some sleep.”

Scott snuggled closer. “Look, I know I’m really bad with the flirting thing. I don’t get loads of practice. But I did invite you up to my room. I ... if you want ... I’d like you to stay.”

* ~* ~ *~ ~* ~

Aaaand, I got another book cover in my email box....

This collection will be available for a limited time only and I'm told it will be for sale "soon."

Antimatter Press is not, however, keeping its doors open. All remaining contracts have been returned, and this book will be the last publication. I'm not quite sure when it will be out, but I'll let you know as soon as it is.

My story in this collection is called "Living Proof" and is about ghosts who wonder what happens before death... an interesting twist on the ghost hunter concepts. I think you'll enjoy it.

It is not, however, my usual, nor is it a romance at all, but just a straight up spec-fic story.

Anyway, more as I know more...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More Book Covers

I think I mentioned earlier this year that this summer was going to be very busy for me and publishing, right?

So, I got these covers in my email box recently...

Mythologically Torqued (which I have been mistakenly calling Mythically Torqued, apparently) just got the cover out...

If you're still reading this, or reading it again, the cover's been redacted for a new cover... I don't know when we'll get the new cover, or what was wrong with the old cover, so I'm just weird and grumpy right now. I'll post the new cover when we get it, probably some time over the weekend.


I got a look at the author list, which puts me in good company with Adrik Kemp and BA Tortuga, among others... (Adrik was in my Coming Together: Among the Stars anthology last year with a brilliantly diverse piece called "Of Gods and Men" and if you haven't heard of BA before, you should take some time to check out an enormous backlist of fantastic work...)

This book will also be released in a paperback edition, weighing in at a hefty 100,000+ words (so I could smack someone with the book and it will hurt.)

You will also, if you prefer, be able to order my story, "How 'Bout Them Apples?" as a stand alone volume, like with all the current Torquere anthologies...

Mythologically Torqued, Vol 2 will be available August 19th.


Yesterday I also got this

I gotta say, it's with some sadness that I bid adieu to Beau and Vin, who've been a huge part of my life for the last few years. Don't worry, they're not gone for good (Vin will be a side character in All That Jazz, and Beau will be a side character in Punked Up) but as main characters, I'm saying my temporary farewells. The two boys are well on their way to becoming adults, and while that has its own trials and tribulations, this particular chapter of their story is done.

(An idea has been lingering for a while of a sixth novel, set after Punked Up, called Bad Rap, which may come back to them when they are a little more established as being adults...)

Classic will be available September 2, also in paperback.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Last Chance

961 words written today. I am making slow, but steady progress along the theme of "getting my words per day count" back up to something resembling "might actually finish this fucking novel on time." -- posted to my Facebook account 

I started a few weeks back trying to get back into writing regularly, after taking some time off to be depressed and say "fuck my life, fuck my writing, I'm going to play Star Wars" and then trying desperately to pretend that I wasn't doing that. Because I always pretend that I'm not doing that, because I am crazy and stubborn and depressed, and all three of these things are a bad combination. In this particular circumstance, I am defining crazy as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

My thing that I keep doing is pretending to be fine when I am not fine. When I am nowhere close to fine. Where fine is an 18 hour flight and lost luggage away from where I am. And I pretend to be fine because admitting that I'm not fine always seems -- from the headspace of not being fine -- to be a "quitting" scenario. If I admit to not being fine, then I'm not fine, and I give up.

Except I'm not giving up, I'm never giving up. And every once in a while, I can take a few days off, relax, get my head back on straight and keep right on doing what I'm doing. Without, and here's the kicker, feeling guilty about having taken the time off for self care.

Which I know is not the case. I know this. I even, most of the time, KNOW that I know this even when I'm doing it.

I swear to you (and to me, and honestly, right now, it's me that's important and not you, because none of you out there are judging me, and even if you were, I honestly don't care that much about random person on the internet's disapproval.) that I plan like a master these days. I write into my schedule at least two or three weeks worth of FUCK THIS SHIT time into everything I do.

Well, at least into every novel. Short stories have a higher rate of "I am not going to finish this by the deadline, so fuck it." Also, I know for a fact now that MANY editors will give you a break to get a story in, if they know you're working on it. And even sometimes when they know you're not working on it, because if they give you to the 15th and you still don't get it done, they're not out anything, and they've made you more likely to write for them again, because you're not mad at them. (This applies to me. If you have a shapeshifter story and you need extra time, just ask. I'll probably say yes. Because if you don't turn it in, I'm not out anything, and if you do, I have another story... if you don't ask, however, I can't say yes. And I won't take late stuff if you don't ask because that's just rude.)

One of the benefits of working for myself is that I can take time off when I need to. One of the drawbacks of working for myself is that I can do this. Sometimes, when I'm in the middle of a few days worth of "god this sucks, I suck, will somebody just give me a cookie and $100,000??" that it feels like 1) it's going on forever and 2) I won't stop doing this.

Every time I get depressed, I wonder... is this going to be the time where I don't come out of it... is this my last chance?

When I was 25 and got dumped by my ex boyfriend, I was concerned that I was getting TOO OLD to find a new boyfriend, get married and have a family. I say this from the point of view of a 43 year old mother of an exceptionally cool kid who wonders what the actual fuck her 25 year old self was thinking...

I thought it was my last chance then. And sometimes I think it's my last chance now. And I look forward to 60 year old me saying "God, I was an idiot then, too..."

But I'm less of an idiot now than I was then. It takes LESS LONG to come back from the depression. To the ex's defense, he broke up with me while I was in one of the longest depressions of my life, and while this doesn't always say wonderful things about him, I was pretty damn hard to deal with for someone who's several years younger and not so well-versed in therapy as I was, even at that time. And it's quite possible that he didn't even know that I had a different, non-depressed personality.

I'm not sure I knew that I had a very different, non-depressed personality.

The other thing about being depressed is that it's sometimes hard for me to recognize that I am depressed.

Sometimes I feel like my default state is FUCKING EXHAUSTED and all the coffee in the world is no help at all. I feel like I don't get enough sleep, that I'm doing too much, and at the same time, I'll feel incredibly lonely. Like I haven't spend any time with people I care about. (Side note: Doesn't help to be the only freaking extrovert in a group of fucking fucking reclusives!) And honestly, I don't get as much time with people as I need. So there's the part of my personality and energy that gets wasted away and then I don't get it back because everybody's busy or peopled out.

(I am now taking applications for a new local best friend. I miss having someone to regularly hang out with. Social media is nice, but it's still like putting a cellophane wrapper around me and my energy.)

(side side additional note: when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was also diagnosed with "situational anxiety" which sounds stupid. If there's a situation, of COURSE I'm going to be anxious about it! Isn't everyone? -- short answer, no, everyone isn't. That being said, my husband is stressed out recently about some work stuff that's stupid and long and complicated... which is fine, he's allowed to be anxious, too. But his response to being anxious is to pull back, to protect himself. This has the unfortunate side effect of making me feel even more isolated, since he's one of the few actual humans I interact with on a regular basis.)

Right... what was I talking about?

Depression. Yeah, it's easier to see looking back, than it is while I'm in it.

And sometimes I will think I'm coming out of it when I'm not, or when I'm just having a little bump on my stupid mood-o-meter.

Honestly, there are times when I wish I could take pills. I really, really do. And I've tried... a bit. (doesn't help that I pretty much distrust and hate therapists, which is also something I've tried... a bit... to work on...) But they get in the way of my being a creative person, and since most of my self-image comes from me being a creative person, pills just make me... less me.

Okay, so I'm less me who doesn't break down crying at the death of a flying ant in a movie (sorry, spoilers for Ant-Man. Suck it up, buttercup, you should have been there on opening night.) And less-me might have a cleaner house and less tasks on the "I ought to do this eventually" list....

But I am getting better. I think at this point it's part of me and my life to have these phases, and it's more a matter of how I deal with them, than it is a matter of being perfect, or putting a stop to it entirely.

So... I think I'm doing okay right now....

And I've written a little over 10k in usable material in the last 3 weeks... (not including the 3k I wrote of a story that I threw out for being awful...)