I will be at NECON 37! And a new story in Phobos Magazine

Next week I am leaving for Rhode Island to attend my first convention, NECON. Strangely enough, NECON takes place just across the Sakonnet River Bridge from Tiverton. I grew up on the Tiverton side, just off Main Road. Small world. I’ll be driving to the con Thursday morning, from Baltimore, with the goal of getting some birding in before everything starts. We’ll see if I can pull that off or not.

I’m excited and nervous to attend my first Horror Convention. I even got some new business cards printed up for the occasion, designed by my wife, Nathalie. The Camper List is chock full of writers who I’ve read and admired, and, in one instance, studied under. I can’t wait to meet everyone. I am generally a pretty shy guy in situations like this, but I hope to step out of my comfort zone a little and introduce myself to as many people as I can. Feel free to come say hi to me, as well. I’ll be the guy with the big beard and Baltimore Orioles cap.

In other news, Issue Four of Phobos Magazine came out yesterday. It has my story “Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty Miles to Boston” in it. The first draft of this one was written in JS Breukelaar‘s LitReactor course, Writing the Weird. This is the second story from that class to find a home. If you’ve ever considered taking that course, I say go for it!

As for the rest of life: Harrison is two now…WHAT? Birding is amazing (Life List: 145!), and new fiction is coming along slowly but surely. I’m realizing that adjusting to writing as a parent is a lifelong process, and that is okay.

Until next time.

“The Familiar” to be published in Nightscript Vol. III

My story, “The Familiar”, was accepted into Nightscript Vol. III. Nightscript is among my favorite anthology series being published today, and I am very happy that I can be a part of it.

The full Table of Contents for volume III is below. It’ll be released on October 31st, 2017.

“The Flower Unfolds” — Simon Strantzas
“Downward” — Amar Benchikha
“What Little Boys Are Made Of” — Malcolm Devlin
“Grizzly” — M.K. Anderson
“Might Be Mordiford” — Charles Wilkinson
“Palankar” — Daniel Braum
“The Gestures Remain” — Christi Nogle
“House of Abjection” — David Peak
“The Undertow, and They That Dwell Therein” — Clint Smith
“A Place With Trees” — Rowley Amato
“The Familiar” — Cory Cone
“Liquid Air” — Inna Effress
“The Beasts Are Sleep” — Adam Golaski
“The Witch House” — Jessica Phelps
“On the Edge of Utterance” — Stephen J. Clark
“Homeward Bound Now, Paulino” — Armel Dagorn
“The Affair” — James Everington
“When Dark-Eyed Ophelia Sings” — Rebecca J. Allred
“We, the Rescued” — John Howard
“Twenty Miles and Running” — Christian Riley
“Something You Leave Behind” — David Surface
“Young Bride” — Julia Rust
“The Other Side of the Hill” — M.R. Cosby


Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp 2017


Just a quick update:


On Friday I’ll be attending the 2017 Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp, hosted and taught by Tom Monteleone as well as other amazing writers, including this year’s special guest instructor, Peter Straub. The Boot Camp takes place, quite literally, up the road from my house, and I feel very lucky that my travel arrangements involve getting dropped off by my wife. The weekend promises to be fun and extremely challenging, and, from what I’ve read from past attendees, immensely rewarding as well.

It took some courage to apply. Since my son was born I’ve found it difficult to prioritize time for myself, for writing and reading, and thought that maybe it wasn’t a good time to do something like this. But really, is there ever a good time for anything? I think a weekend surrounded by like minded writers, passionate about their craft and helping each other succeed, is just what I need.

And I’m feeling ready. Here’s to a great weekend.

It’s almost 2017 and I can hardly believe it

2016 is almost over, and without question it is the fastest a year has passed for me in my life. Something tells me fatherhood is the reason for the speed. The little man is growing up so fast I can hardly stand it. If only I could squeeze him back into that little baby shape he was before, but then I’d miss the adorable rambunctious toddler that he is now. Watching my son grow up is the first time I’ve truly understood the word ‘bittersweet’.

I am excited for 2017. My story Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty Miles to Boston will be published in Phobos Magazine, and in January I will be attending the Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp. From what I’ve read on blogs from past attendees, and from what I’ve discussed with Tom Monteleone himself (the few times I’ve had the pleasure to speak to him in person), it’s going to be one hell of a weekend. Emphasis on HELL. I’m feeling ready for it.

Now that the sun is setting before the family is even home from work, birding has come to a near stand still. I have gotten to see a handful of new birds, though, and snapped a nice photo of a Dark-eyed Junco over the weekend. Otherwise, I suspect my birding activities will be a bit sparse until the weather warms up, or I’m able to snatch a few weekend mornings to myself.

Dark-eyed Junco

I blog so infrequently that I’ve toyed with the idea of closing the blog portion of this site entirely. I may be moving the site over to Squarespace in the near future, and it’s a decision I’ll make when that gets finalized. Until then, who knows. I will probably not blog again until 2017, so, if you’re reading this, I’ll see you then.

Summary of August Birding, and into September


American-Redstart-female-6661_credit John Schwartz(female American Redstart. Photo credit: John Schwarz)

There are at least two female American Redstarts, and one male, that I have been seeing regularly at Lake Roland the past two weeks. These birds are very small, and I love the subtle yellow coloring of the female, as seen in the above photo. I would not expect many personal photos of warblers while my main bird photography equipment is a smart phone, so John’s wonderful photo will do for this post.

My goal for August was to meet or exceed the number of species I saw in July, and I’m happy to report that I accomplished it. You can see my checklists at my eBird profile (a new feature at eBird), but I believe you need to be an eBird member to view it. If you are, the link is: http://ebird.org/ebird/profile/NzU2NzU3/US-MD-005.

July total: 65
August total: 70

September brings fall migration, so I hope to once more meet or exceed the previous month’s total. We’ll see how I do! One challenge I face, being so new, is correctly IDing the myriad of Flycatchers and Wood Warblers that are around. The Flycatchers tend to all look nearly identical, and the Wood Warblers tend to move so quickly, at such a distance, that it can be difficult to catch a glimpse of tell-tale field marks. Some (like the American Redstart or Black and White Warbler) are easier to ID at a glance, but others (Northern Parula and Magnolia Warbler) can look exactly alike if they happen to flit by in a blur of gray and yellow.

But I enjoy the challenge!