Odds & Ends & Recapping

What a weekend! Since I’m teaching summer school, and it’s only four half-days, my weekend starts Thursday afternoon, by the way. It was on Thursday that I began a new story after reading the guidelines on the Web’s snarkiest message board. The pay for this zombie anthology isn’t much — certainly not pro rates — but the idea came fast and I had to do it. I finished the first draft at about 3 a.m. today. It came in right at 6,000 words. I suspect it’ll stay in that range. It needs some trimming, but I also need to develop a couple of characters more.

Of course, writing the story was seriously interrupted by the arrival of Ulrik at Amazon. That required blog posts, message board posts, e-mail announcements, etc. It also meant I had to finish the press kit I’ve been working on to try to convince brick-and-mortar stores to carry my books. I’m going to try to make it happen without consignment — Scrybe Press offers the standard discounts and books are returnable, after all. We’ll see. The best way, you know, is if customers ask the bookseller to stock a title. Just saying …

I also finished designing and launched a complete overhaul of my main Web site, www.stevenewedel.com. You’re looking at it now. Moving to WordPress was a tough choice. I moved The Werewolf Saga site to WordPress a month or so back and have really liked it. I can add new content to the front page without having to use an HTML and FTP program (I’d been using MS Front Page, and don’t even have it on my laptop). This makes the site more dynamic and gives the visitor something new far more often. There aren’t as many pictures and I’ve never used CSS before. I’m still learning the design quirks, but overall WordPress is just more convenient for me. Granted, I could have just made my LiveJournal or MySpace my main Web site, but I’m addicted to stats; LJ doesn’t offer them and MySpace’s blog manager isn’t thorough enough. WordPress not only offers stats, but they’re easier to read and analyze than my GoDaddy stat page.

So, where does that leave LiveJournal and MySpace? For now, I’m keeping both blogs active. All the news will still be posted there, too. I’m thinking this WordPress site will be more serious, more strictly writing oriented, and LJ will be more personal. (MySpace blog entries are just cut-and-pasted LJ posts.) At least until I get tried of doing multiple posts. Anyway, let me know what you think of the new site. Or sites, if you haven’t visited The Werewolf Saga online for a while.

July will be werewolf month at MonsterLibrarian.com. Bob Freeman is interviewing me as part of the lycanthropic celebration. If you haven’t read Bob’s work, you really need to. I’m reading his new Cairnwood Manor novel now and it’s really, really good. It’s almost non-stop action, and his knowledge of the occult is just fascinating. I’ll let you know when the interview goes up. Answering his questions is something else I’ve been working on this weekend.

I also did the Horror World newsletter and tidied up my interview with Marcy Italiano for the Horror World site. If you’re not subscribed to the Horror World newsletter — called What’s on Board — you really should be.

While working on the press kit, I did a Google search for reviews I might have missed and found this interesting review of my short story “Noodlers Nab Nekkid Nymphs“* and Seven Days in Benevolence. Turns out the review was written by a very nice guy who’s been in my Writing Character-driven Horror Fiction class at Moore-Norman Technology Center three times. (Yes, three.) The reviews are good and, I think, pretty honest; he points out some things he doesn’t like and it’s good criticism.

My good friend and critique group partner Gayleen Rabakukk finally joined the 21st century. She not only got herself a blog, but a domain name. I went to college with Gayleen, where she was my first newspaper editor. She’s working on a YA mystery novel right now. She also has a series of romantic mysteries she’s apparently using to hold her desk down instead of sending them out. And she’s done a lot of work on a book about tigers that she’s letting collect cyberdust on her hard drive. It’s a shame, really. But, she’s posting book reviews on her blog. Go show her some love and tell her to send out those mysteries. (I’ve been waiting for years to find out what happens to Sam and Jack at the end of the last one she was working on!)

* This story is not work or child friendly! The link is to a video reading that should not be audible to anyone who can fire you or ask why the hairy man says “fuck” and “pecker” so many times.

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