I knew this summer was going to be crazy, but I didn’t know the half of it. In conjunction with the three major life events I mentioned a couple of posts ago, my daughter sustained another, different injury during Basic Cadet Training at the US Air Force Academy that once again prevented her from continuing, and we’ve been jumping through all manner of hoops to get her returned, resettled, replanned, and back on track.

Crafted from the finest gold and platinum alloys.
Crafted from the finest gold and platinum alloys.

In the meantime, our home air conditioner went on strike (no fun at temps hovering around 100F with 80% humidity), and one of our cars decided the a/c unit was onto something and joined it on the picket line. FYI, when you push the clutch pedal and the car acts like it’s still in gear, your hydraulic master cylinder has probably sprung a leak. As will your bank account.

So, during a season when I might normally expect to have a surfeit of time, energy, inspiration, and motivation for writing, all those resources have been sucked drier than my front lawn in July. Fortunately, things are settling down, and the ‘ol writing train should be back on schedule soon.

Photo smuggled out of the last SCECS meeting.
Photo smuggled out of the last SCECS meeting.

Whisperings from the Shadowy Cabal of Extraordinary Christian Scribblers (SCECS): They’re at it again! The entire cabal is gathering this weekend in the mystical nexus of St. Louis for RealmMakers, a new, possibly annual convention devoted to Christian speculative fiction. I thought about going, but there were multiple conflicts with work and family events, so I’ll just have to content myself with listening through the keyhole that is Twitter, where E. Stephen Burnett is livetweeting quotables from the seminars and such. Search hashtag #RealmMakers for updates.

Dan and a couple of his friends also wrote and illustrated a very cool story featured in the 50th issue of Mark Crilley’s comic, Akiko

Of Cabbages and Kings: Earlier this week, I had a pleasant evening of conversation about shoes, ships, sealing wax, and all things writerly with my publisher, Grace Bridges, and two new friends, Dan and Jan Davis, at the Davis’ lovely home in Leawood, where Grace was staying enroute to the aforementioned RealmMakers conference. Dan and Jan are award-winning authors, publishers, technical and social media consultants, foodies, and all-around raconteurs, with tastes in literature similar to my own, so the time flew by as we talked about the past, present, and future of fiction and the trials and tribulations of staying abreast of a rapidly-changing literary market. Fun stuff. We also exchanged some books to read and review, but I think I got the better end of that deal.

So, I Wasn’t Entirely Devoid of Inspiration: During my recent authorial drought, I did manage to scrape together the wherewithal to pen a linking narrative story for the second Splashdown Books short story anthology, Aquasynthesis 2, or More Aquasynthesis, or Have I Got an Aquasynthesis for You, or whatever they finally decide to call it. It takes up where a similar story in the first anthology, written by our recently passed friend, Walt Staples, left off, and I felt like it became the collaboration between Walt and me that I always wanted but waited too long to suggest. It begins with an old man, a young woman, and a magic pool at the ocean’s edge…

greyhavensAnd I Even Managed to Get Published Again: Word also arrived from Port Yonder Press that my short story, “Not So Vast a Space,” will appear in their upcoming collection, Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves. I offer a speculation on the fate of the fair folk who departed the Grey Havens and sailed into the West. Look for it sometime next year.

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.

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