mmerriam: (Old Lynx)
I had hoped that I would finish the first draft of Ghosts of the Places We Live before the end of the year and I managed to hit the end on Christmas day. I think that’s a nice Christmas present to myself. Now I shall let it sit for a month or so while I work on other projects.

Speaking of other projects: the next MinnSpec anthology By Polaris Bright is still on track for publication by Minicon 50 in 2015. I am pretty damned thrilled by this.

I have pulled out my weird west novella There Are Not Enough Midnights and given it a read. There are some structural problems and a couple of plot problems, but nothing large or insurmountable.

So, what does 2015 hold for me? I have no idea. We’ll just have to see what happens together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ghosts of the Places We Live

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Cold Springs)
It was the smell that stopped me cold: raw, bloody, the stench of spilled guts and stale piss. I took a few more steps inside before Hanson's light told me the worst.

They had all died in their stalls, from the looks of it. Blood, dark and covered by the feasting flies, was splattered across the pale broken wood walls and straw-covered floor. I found the tell-tale marks where something dragged several heavy objects out of the stable, the occasional bits of bone or guts left behind. Behind me Hanson gagged and started to vomit, and it was all I could do not to join him. A single boot, its thick leather ripped and bloody, lay in the dirt. Next to it was a pitchfork, its handle broken and tines bent. It was the only sign of the stableman.

"Back to the train," I said, turning and giving the stunned conductor a push. I didn't know what the hell had happened here, but I wasn't inclined to be a target for whatever must have done this. I had civilians to protect. We were leaving Cold Springs, and I hoped to God others had managed to get away as well. I would send a telegraph in the next town asking for help from the nearest fort.

Hanson didn't need any more urging. Holding his pistol in one hand and lantern in the other, he jogged toward the train. I trotted behind, trying to keep him and the lantern in sight while watching the shadows around us for trouble. Once or twice I thought I saw something move in the darkness, soundless, nearly formless, but nothing I could identify, and I was not going to take a shot at something when I didn't know what it was. We reached the Flyer, sitting on the tracks blowing occasional clouds of steam.

"Go!" I yelled up the engineer and fireman. "Get this train moving!"

The engineer looked to the conductor, and Hanson nodded his head. I saw the man reach for the Johnson bar as the fireman tossed his smoke aside and grabbed his shovel. That was good enough for me. I led Hanson back to the smoking car, where Talbot's man would likely still be playing cards with Blenchy, Smith, and Professor Adams. I'd let the Englishman tell his boss what was happening. We climbed aboard, Hanson in front, still holding his light. The men looked up from their cards and whiskey. Bloom stood, his face set hard as he glanced at my Colt.

The train-whistle screamed, loud and long, and I waited for the jerk forward that never came. Hanson turned toward the door, heading back to talk with the engineer, but something inside my gut made me grab the older man by the arm, stopping him. The whistle cut off as sudden as it sounded, but the train was still.

You never really noticed the porters, not after the first day. The two men had simply gone quietly about their business of keeping everyone comfortable, pouring drinks, setting the table in the dining car, and serving food. I knew they handled all the cleanup, and slept in the kitchen part of the dining car. Hell, I hadn't even given the one in the corner the barest glance.

The smash of shattered glass and broken wood made everyone flinch. I turned toward it, just in time to see the claws burst from the porter's chest. There was a split second of calm before he screamed, blood bursting from his mouth to run down his white uniform, and then he was just gone, pulled into the darkness beyond the car.

I glanced at Blenchy and Smith, both of whom held their pistols ready, Smith licking his lips nervously and shifting his weight from foot to foot. I saw the Englishman draw a thin sword from his walking stick and small pistol from his jacket. I caught Blenchy's eyes. He cocked an eyebrow at me.

It crashed through the other side of the car an instant later, shattering wood an inch thick. We all wheeled and fired at it, the roar of five pistols loud in the enclosed space as the thing climbed into the car with us.

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in ebook format from Smashwords.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
Because I know some of you got eReaders of one type or another for the holidays. And because as much I love writing, I also have to eat and pay bills. So here is my post-holidays marketing sales pitch for all my available books, both print and electronic.

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul: Urban Fantasy Short Story

It came to the diner looking for a soul to devour.

At a late-night diner, the manager finds himself faced with a nightmare from his past: The Nalusachita, a mythical-creature of his Choctaw ancestors.

Determined to protect his customers from the shape-changing soul-stealer but unsure how, the manager sets out to clear the restaurant at closing time.

What neither manager or monster counted on was the eccentric patrons of the diner, and how they would react to the mythical creature…

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul is available in ebook at Musa Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

#

The Horror at Cold Springs: Steampunk / Supernatural Western Novella

When a disparate group of travelers find themselves stranded in a ghost town on the western Nebraska frontier, will they unravel the mystery of the missing townsfolk and survive to tell the tale?

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.

#

Last Car to Annwn Station: Urban Fantasy Novel / Paranormal Romance - Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women's Fiction Blog pick for Top Ten Books, 2011.

“The fare is ten cents, miss.”

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she’s surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.
But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

“Your transfer, miss. You’ll need that.”

Mae’s life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child…

Last Car to Annwn Station is available in ebook format at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and in audio format at Audible.

#

Shimmers & Shadows: Short Story Collection

These diverse short stories unfold where the faery realm intersects with the mundane world of the Twin Cities, in the spacefaring future of exploration and adventure, and in a mythical land of sorcery and danger. Here you will find tales of adventure, horror, enchantment, humor, tragedy, and romance where:
…a young outcast strikes a hard bargain with the Muddy River
…two very different spirits find sanctuary in a historic shopping mall
…a space transport captain makes a difficult choice and falls headlong into the middle of a conspiracy
…a fallen Seelie champion is caught between his dark past and unusual mortal friends
…estranged lovers discover whether science or magic will save their dying Earth
…death is not the end, time does not always run in a straight line, and the rain blesses both mortals and fae.

Shimmers & Shadows is available at Lulu and in ebook for Kindle from Amazon.

#

Should We Drown In Feathered Sleep: Near-Future Post-Apocalypse Fantasy Novella -- Long Listed for the 2010 Nebula Award.

A New Order

A new world is emerging years after war destroyed society. In a Minnesota lake, the last surviving loons, direct descendants of the legendary First Pair, await the one who can help heal the earth. Each year a human sacrifice is brought to them to be endowed with special gifts, but they come at a terrible price.

A Free Spirit

Even as the rest of the world rebuilds, Grace Kriske’s life is shattered. Unable to walk, she feels utterly dependent on her family and trapped in a community that disapproves of her rebellious ways. Grace’s only solace is her lover, David Tvedt, a trader who wants to take her away with him—if she’d let him.

An Impossible Choice

Yet something else calls to Grace—the loons. They haunt her dreams, lurking in her mind as if part of her deepest primal self. But when Grace is chosen as the new sacrifice, she’s afraid. Will she risk everything to help the community that shuns her, or will she choose her own path?

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in ebook at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N. and in audio format at Audible.
mmerriam: (Default)
Because I know some of you got eReaders of one type or another for the holidays. And because as much I love writing, I also have to eat and pay bills. So here is my post-holidays marketing sales pitch for all my available books, both print and electronic.

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul: Urban Fantasy Short Story

It came to the diner looking for a soul to devour.

At a late-night diner, the manager finds himself faced with a nightmare from his past: The Nalusachita, a mythical-creature of his Choctaw ancestors.

Determined to protect his customers from the shape-changing soul-stealer but unsure how, the manager sets out to clear the restaurant at closing time.

What neither manager or monster counted on was the eccentric patrons of the diner, and how they would react to the mythical creature…

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul is available in ebook Musa Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

#

The Horror at Cold Springs: Steampunk / Supernatural Western Novella

When a disparate group of travelers find themselves stranded in a ghost town on the western Nebraska frontier, will they unravel the mystery of the missing townsfolk and survive to tell the tale?

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.

#

Last Car to Annwn Station: Urban Fantasy Novel

“The fare is ten cents, miss.”

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she’s surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.
But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

“Your transfer, miss. You’ll need that.”

Mae’s life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child…

Last Car to Annwn Station is available in ebook format at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and in audio format at Audible.

#

Shimmers & Shadows: Short Story Collection

These diverse short stories unfold where the faery realm intersects with the mundane world of the Twin Cities, in the spacefaring future of exploration and adventure, and in a mythical land of sorcery and danger. Here you will find tales of adventure, horror, enchantment, humor, tragedy, and romance where:
…a young outcast strikes a hard bargain with the Muddy River
…two very different spirits find sanctuary in a historic shopping mall
…a space transport captain makes a difficult choice and falls headlong into the middle of a conspiracy
…a fallen Seelie champion is caught between his dark past and unusual mortal friends
…estranged lovers discover whether science or magic will save their dying Earth
…death is not the end, time does not always run in a straight line, and the rain blesses both mortals and fae.

Shimmers & Shadows is available at Lulu and in ebook for Kindle from Amazon.

#

Should We Drown In Feathered Sleep: Near-Future Post-Apocalypse Fantasy

A New Order

A new world is emerging years after war destroyed society. In a Minnesota lake, the last surviving loons, direct descendants of the legendary First Pair, await the one who can help heal the earth. Each year a human sacrifice is brought to them to be endowed with special gifts, but they come at a terrible price.

A Free Spirit

Even as the rest of the world rebuilds, Grace Kriske’s life is shattered. Unable to walk, she feels utterly dependent on her family and trapped in a community that disapproves of her rebellious ways. Grace’s only solace is her lover, David Tvedt, a trader who wants to take her away with him—if she’d let him.

An Impossible Choice

Yet something else calls to Grace—the loons. They haunt her dreams, lurking in her mind as if part of her deepest primal self. But when Grace is chosen as the new sacrifice, she’s afraid. Will she risk everything to help the community that shuns her, or will she choose her own path?

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in ebook at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N. and in audio format at Audible.
mmerriam: (Cold Springs)
My plan is to turn my novella "The Horror at Cold Springs" into a screenplay, just as soon as I teach myself how to properly format a script.
mmerriam: (Cold Springs)
My plan is to turn my novella "The Horror at Cold Springs" into a screenplay, just as soon as I teach myself how to properly format a script.
mmerriam: (Cold Springs)
[livejournal.com profile] kmarkhoover reviews The Horror at Cold Springs here.

My favorite line in the review?
In short, it's a damn fine genre-bending story that rockets right along from the first page to the last.

Glad to know I hit that note exactly the way I wanted.
mmerriam: (Cold Springs)
[livejournal.com profile] kmarkhoover reviews The Horror at Cold Springs here.

My favorite line in the review?
In short, it's a damn fine genre-bending story that rockets right along from the first page to the last.

Glad to know I hit that note exactly the way I wanted.
mmerriam: (Finished)
2700+ words today, but still no title.

Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella


*Fallsdowngoesboom*
mmerriam: (Finished)
2700+ words today, but still no title.

Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella


*Fallsdowngoesboom*
mmerriam: (Default)
I have eaten breakfast cleaned house, taken out the trash, dealt with email, and done other things. The Plumber is here right now finishing up some work, and should be done in another fifteen minutes or so.

I have the Weird-West-Steampunk-Horror-Survivor-in-a-Ghost-Town story open, and the climax blocked and plotted. Everyone still alive is determined to stay that way as the town burns and the Eater-of-Men stalks them.

Here we go...



And yes, there will be dynamite involved.
mmerriam: (Default)
I have eaten breakfast cleaned house, taken out the trash, dealt with email, and done other things. The Plumber is here right now finishing up some work, and should be done in another fifteen minutes or so.

I have the Weird-West-Steampunk-Horror-Survivor-in-a-Ghost-Town story open, and the climax blocked and plotted. Everyone still alive is determined to stay that way as the town burns and the Eater-of-Men stalks them.

Here we go...



And yes, there will be dynamite involved.

Le Sigh

Sep. 16th, 2008 04:17 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella


Getting out of the house and working was a smart idea. I finished the scene, leaving me one more scene and the dénouement to go. I'm looking at another 3000 words (and have upgraded the word meter accordingly). I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that I'm not going to finish it tonight. I might be able to finish the first draft tomorrow, if I push hard.

And as for Munkabeans Coffee and Sunshine Café in Hopkins: Reasonably adequate tasting coffee and reasonably adequate tasting food, for a reasonable price, but nothing special.

Le Sigh

Sep. 16th, 2008 04:17 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella


Getting out of the house and working was a smart idea. I finished the scene, leaving me one more scene and the dénouement to go. I'm looking at another 3000 words (and have upgraded the word meter accordingly). I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that I'm not going to finish it tonight. I might be able to finish the first draft tomorrow, if I push hard.

And as for Munkabeans Coffee and Sunshine Café in Hopkins: Reasonably adequate tasting coffee and reasonably adequate tasting food, for a reasonable price, but nothing special.
mmerriam: (Type)
I think I'll hit the end of the first draft sometime late tomorrow or early on Wednesday, though I think I'm going to run a little over the 20K mark. Of course, by the time I rewrite and reach the final draft, who knows how big it will really be. Well, at least 20K, because that's what was called for.

Kudos to the wifey, [livejournal.com profile] careswen, who was understanding about my complete meltdown earlier today. I really wanted to have this first draft finished by tonight, but a million little things that needed my attention keep cropping up during the day, and the writing never got on track. She let me work this evening after dinner so the day wasn't a total wash for writing.

The fact that I was having a terrible vision day and kept bumbling into walls and doors and cat tails didn't help my mood, and when I dropped our best cold pack from the freezer to the floor and it hit with a splat and burst, sending white gel goo everywhere, frankly that almost ruined my whole day. Of course I was stupid and bent down to pick it up and then...

Well, if you guessed I hit the back of my head on the slowly closing freezer door, you would be correct.

Yeah, one of those days.

Tomorrow I plan to take the laptop to a coffeeshop, someplace away from all the distractions of the house, and write until I either finish the first draft or explode from espresso overload.

Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella
mmerriam: (Type)
I think I'll hit the end of the first draft sometime late tomorrow or early on Wednesday, though I think I'm going to run a little over the 20K mark. Of course, by the time I rewrite and reach the final draft, who knows how big it will really be. Well, at least 20K, because that's what was called for.

Kudos to the wifey, [livejournal.com profile] careswen, who was understanding about my complete meltdown earlier today. I really wanted to have this first draft finished by tonight, but a million little things that needed my attention keep cropping up during the day, and the writing never got on track. She let me work this evening after dinner so the day wasn't a total wash for writing.

The fact that I was having a terrible vision day and kept bumbling into walls and doors and cat tails didn't help my mood, and when I dropped our best cold pack from the freezer to the floor and it hit with a splat and burst, sending white gel goo everywhere, frankly that almost ruined my whole day. Of course I was stupid and bent down to pick it up and then...

Well, if you guessed I hit the back of my head on the slowly closing freezer door, you would be correct.

Yeah, one of those days.

Tomorrow I plan to take the laptop to a coffeeshop, someplace away from all the distractions of the house, and write until I either finish the first draft or explode from espresso overload.

Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella
mmerriam: (Default)
The idea was to be finished with the first draft at the end of the day today, and while I am within striking distance, I have a feeling that it isn't going to happen.

I'm going to go back downstairs and work on laundry, then I'm planning to settle in and get as close to finished as possible before I run out of steam. Hopefully I can finish the first draft tomorrow.


Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella
mmerriam: (Default)
The idea was to be finished with the first draft at the end of the day today, and while I am within striking distance, I have a feeling that it isn't going to happen.

I'm going to go back downstairs and work on laundry, then I'm planning to settle in and get as close to finished as possible before I run out of steam. Hopefully I can finish the first draft tomorrow.


Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella
mmerriam: (Type)
More work on the novella done around housework. I think I'm pretty much over my illness.

The D&D game I was running is over (No more DMing for me for awhile). Our next DM is planning to introduce us to D&D 4th Edition, but until he's ready to start, we are filling in the schedule by having board game night this week. So I'm off to enjoy the company of friends, a plethora of board game choices, and a potluck taco bar dinner.

Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella
mmerriam: (Type)
More work on the novella done around housework. I think I'm pretty much over my illness.

The D&D game I was running is over (No more DMing for me for awhile). Our next DM is planning to introduce us to D&D 4th Edition, but until he's ready to start, we are filling in the schedule by having board game night this week. So I'm off to enjoy the company of friends, a plethora of board game choices, and a potluck taco bar dinner.

Untitled Weird West Steampunk Novella

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