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.

July Birding and into August, and Yes I’m Still Writing

Female Cardinal

(female Northern Cardinal, 8/5/16, Lake Roland)

Every now and again a bird sits still enough for me to get a half-decent photograph with my phone. That was the case with the above photo of a female Northern Cardinal at Lake Roland this past Friday.  I purchased a device that allows me to attach my phone directly to my binocular eye piece, which helps, and shows that it is possible to get good-looking bird photography with such a budget setup. In order to potentially snap photos of birds that tend to be farther away, or more mobile, I’m going to need something a bit more stationary. I’ll be experimenting with a binocular + tripod setup sometime soon.

As I’ve mentioned on this blog, one of my favorite birds is the Indigo Bunting, and I was able to capture a short video of one on Friday as well.

In July, I saw 65 unique species of bird, and upped my total species count to 80. Aside from a trip to my parents’ house in PA (where I added a Bald Eagle, Northern Parula, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Black-capped Chickadee to my life list), everything I’ve seen has been close to home, which is fun. I like the challenge of trying to see as much as I can in Maryland. That Northern Parula that I saw in PA was also my first attempt at a video of a bird.

For August, I’m hoping to match or exceed the total birds I saw in July, which will require some effort to see some new species I think. I saw my first Cliff Sparrow yesterday, which is the newest new species on my list. I’m up to 42 in August so far, which might seem high for only 8 days, but I expect that number to hover around 45-50 for most of the month, as I spend most of my time at Lake Roland, and aside from some lucky sightings, I tend to see the same birds every time.

As far as writing goes, it’s happening, but it’s still slow. I’ve been enjoying every possible moment I can with Harrison, which pushes writing time to after he heads to bed. Most of the time, when he’s asleep, I’m already dead to the world, and I find that I’m squeezing 100-300 words a night, if that. It’s better than nothing, but I think I’m still in the adjustment period as far as writing and parenthood. Every time I think I’ve got that kid figured out, he changes course, which, really, is part of the fun. He really enjoys being out in nature, looking at deer and especially the dogs being walked. So, if you couldn’t tell by all the bird posts, H and Nat and I spend a lot of time outdoors these days.

But I do have two writing projects in the works that I might be able to blog about in the not so near future. Both I am really excited about.

Story Sale: 2:00 AM at a Motel in the City


(Photo Credit: Dave Huth)

EDIT: The story is now live here:

I’ve sold my flash fiction story 2:00 AM at a Motel in the City to Every Day Fiction. Still working out the details, but I’ll be sure to post again once I know a release date. I wrote the original draft in the summer of 2014 while taking the LitReactor course Writing the Weird taught by JS Breukelaar.

meandh haircuts

(Fresh haircuts.)

In other news: Harrison turns 1 in 16 days. WHAT??

Still here, still writing, but a dad now, too.

me n H

I don’t expect that this site gets much traffic, but if you have happened upon it after reading one of my stories I wanted to make sure there is some sort of recent update here. Since Harrison was born my writing output has slowed, though not stalled. I’m still finishing work, but it is at a pace that is unlikely to fill this page up with frequent ‘I sold a story!’ updates. I have two stories out there now that have been receiving very favorable rejections that I hope will find the right homes eventually, so if that happens I’ll be sure to update. I’ve got to say, though, that this little guy is the best excuse to lose writing time I’ve ever had. He’s an absolute joy and the greatest thing in my life. I’m settling into a parenthood-writing routine, which is challenging considering all the sheer exhaustion being a dad has brought to my life. He’s brought so much more as well, things I can’t find the right words for, and if I ever happen to find them they’ll make the greatest story I’ve ever told.

OUT NOW! Shrieks and Shivers from the Horror Zine!

Shrieks and Shivers!


I am very excited to see that Shrieks and Shivers from the Horror Zine’s paperback edition is out 3 days early! The Kindle edition will be out on the 6th, as well.

“The Horror Zine is the true home of today’s visceral, organic horror, and the stories in SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS reflect the courage and imagination with which Jeani Rector has sustained this genre for the past six years. Be prepared to encounter the grue in gruesome, not only brought to you by some very experienced butchers but by some fearless and inspired new dabblers in blood, entrails and other things too horrifying to mention.” – Graham Masterton

How’s that for a blurb? I am still in shock that one of my stories is included in the utterly fantastic line-up of authors in this anthology (Bentley Little, William F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Elizabeth Massie, Tim Waggoner and Lisa Morton to only name a few!), and I hope you’ll pick up a copy and check it out.

There is also a limited edition hardback available through the Post Mortem Press website.

The release of this book marks the beginning of what I hope will be a great 2015.