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I guess it's time to come back now. Been a busy last little while. I won't bore you with the details. That and updating your blog feels kinda 2003, and we're still a few years short of the twenty-year-nostalgia cycle. But somehow I keep persisting.

I'd love to say that I've been busy at work. I mean, I have been doing some of that, but I don't have anything new to show for it. Sure, I finished up ASPHALT TONGUES and am hearing back from cold readers on it now. I imagine that it'll go to the editor in September. And then something will happen in October.

But not to that book. Keep reading to find out which one.

Oh, don't groan. I won't keep you waiting that long.

Okay, fine. MY DROWNING CHORUS is slated for an October release now. The text is basically locked. Looking out for cover sketches and such. Will be writing up the additional little bits of text for it shortly. But otherwise, yeah. The follow-on to QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS will be out in October. Yeah, that's about three years. I know. But to be fair, I wasn't sure there was ever going to be a follow-on to it, not until the next year, around October of 2019. And then I started working on outlines for the rest of the stories I wanted to tell, and re-reading QONT and figuring out how to make any of this work.

Then we had 2020. Oddly, I managed to dodge the whole "creative life during Covid" thing, for the most part. Yes, it was happening, and it had even hit a little closer to home than I wanted, but I finished the draft of MY DROWNING CHORUS in April, maybe almost May of last year. It was happening, but things didn't feel like they were coming unglued right about then. It was just weird and unsettling. True, I did spend some of that time outlining ideas and trying to come up with the next book, that being ASPHALT TONGUES, but those were short stories and I can approach them differently.

I imagine that ASPHALT TONGUES will hit shelves around October 2022. Maybe earlier, but do not hold your breath. That said, I do want to have some kind of regular schedule in these things. I might be able to do two of these a year, but that also might be a recipe for heartbreak. So let's stick to a schedule we can work with and not break, first.

And yes, here comes the question whenever a work has been finished (even though you're not going to be able to read it for more than a year, funny how that works): "What comes next?" What will probably be happening is the next HAZELAND trilogy of books. This being an actual trilogy, not a single novella with a follow on (that you can read independently, or at least I think you can) and then a collection of short stories. That's a weird, messed up idea of a trilogy. Yet, here we are. I wanted to lay out some things and background for the books and didn't have a big enough idea to turn them into a single novel (and I wanted to have them show up in dramatic form, not just to read an RPG world-building background sheet).

The next three books will all work together like a more traditional trilogy will. Still trying to make them all behave and work as single stories (as well as a whole.) Which is what I should be working on right now instead of posting to Twitter or doing a blog entry. But sometimes you have to work up to these things. Baby steps. I'm guessing real work on these won't start until after the summer, a little more than a month and a week, to my daughter's chagrin.

Oh, you want to know what it's all *about*?

Huh. That's a tough one. Besides, if I tell you what it's really about, you'll just get bored and yawn. The trick is to bury that meaning in the page, so that you're taking it in without even knowing it. So it can slip past your defenses and wiggle in there, hiding in the nooks and crannies. Maybe you won't even suspect it. Maybe it'll just stab you halfway through the night sometime. Maybe it won't get you at all and you'll have just read an entertaining story, one that takes you to a different place and makes you not think about this one so much for a little while.

That would be pretty good, too.

In other news, I will be returning to the Rose City Comic Con later this summer. I'm hoping to make it to the HP Lovecraft Film Festival, also in Portland in early fall. It'll be very strange coming back to all this after two years away. Just thinking about how different things were and what the now is gonna look like... daunting stuff. And yes, while I'm going back to comic shows, I'm not really thinking about doing comics, not just yet.

In the meantime, just please, get vaccinated if you haven't. Wear your mask out in public, even if you have. Things are happening, but that doesn't mean that we're through all of this.

Oh, and I'll be making a triumphant return to podcasts, starting tonight, while I record a session with Rite Gud, about genre and oblivion. Okay, I added that last part in, but I bet we get there.


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