Well . . .

A few things to know:

For a couple of years I was working “J-O-B-S” to pay the bills and give me some emotional energy for writing.

At the end of Summer 2018 I returned to my (emotionally demanding + weird hours required) profession.

Consequently, writing (incl. blogging) has sloooooowed down.

But it hasn’t stopped. (Go me!)

Right now I’m working on:

  • The Blood Rain sequel, Blood Down the Bones
  • A YA novella called Gaia Shrugged
  • A second volume of short stories in the Fables series

In other news, my publisher, Filidh Publishing, advises that Blood Rain is no longer available on Amazon. Apparently this is because of recent US legislation that has had a chilling effect on  what kind of books Internet bookstores feel comfortable offering. It’s easier for them to simply not carry certain titles than it is to fight the power.

Apparently the child trafficking theme in Blood Rain is a no-no. For the record, I’m against child trafficking. That should be pretty obvious to anyone who actually reads the book.  That said, keyword searches for (what some think of as) objectionable content are not context-sensitive, so it would seem the fact that child trafficking is a theme is a problem, regardless of the frame placed on it by yours truly.

Trying to figure out work-arounds. *sigh*

Reviewers Needed!

Hey y’all, I need some reviewers! 

Here’s the deal:

  • I send you an epub or paperback copy (your choice)
  • You post an honest review without spoilers on Good Reads or Amazon.ca (Canadian author, eh?) within thirty days of receipt
  • You send me a link to your review via email [ chloe(dot)a(dot)cocking@gmail.com ]
  • I send you a nice “thank you” note

Be advised that Blood Rain contains violence, gore, and other stuff not suitable for sensitive adults. If you enjoy horror, this is the book for you. If you don’t enjoy horror, give it a wide berth.

The short stories in Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium range from humorous to drama/action/adventure and back. There is a some cursing and a bit of (what I think of as) mild violence. It’s a much lighter read than Blood Rain, so it’s suitable for general adult readership.    Continue reading “Reviewers Needed!”

Fur like Gothic Cotton Candy

Our cat Smokey, otherwise known as “Empress Smokey Jade Mountain, First of Her Name” (doesn’t everybody give their cat a grand long nonsensical name?) died abruptly and unexpectedly yesterday, June 16, 2018. She was aged only ten years (give or take–she was a rescue, so we don’t know for sure).

Though my partner Rob was clearly her favourite human, she had room in her heart for me too.

My partner and Smokey in happier days
My partner and Smokey in happier days. His shoulder was her usual perch.

She often served as a muse for me:

  • there is a cat based on Smokey in my novel Blood Rain
  • in Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium she appears as herself under the pseudonym ‘Small Cat’ in the story called “Feed Me”
  • she was the inspiration for a poem I wrote called “Ergot Incantation for a Cat” (that poem is included in at the end of this post)

My very small human and animal family is still in shock at her abrupt passing.

20170922_200510_HDR
Smokey was deeply suspicious of the clothes dryer and frequently inspected it to make sure it wasn’t in any danger of becoming . . . I dunno a hell-mouth? portal to another dimension? I was never sure why she was inspecting it, but she took her job very seriously

I will never forget her sweetness, her ferocity, her weird obsession with the clothes dryer, and the feel of her featherlight fur on my skin. It was like Gothic cotton candy.

I know that not everyone is “an animal person.” I am also aware that our world has much bigger problems than one dead companion animal. Y’all, those are bigger problems for other days.

Today I ask that you share some of your kindness and compassion with me as I grieve for the most dainty and ferocious fur-child I’ve ever had. 

Then please offer a gesture of love tonight to your own dear ones, regardless of species.

If you’d like a free-of-charge epub of the recently-released Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium sent to your very own email inbox, just email me and I’ll forward it to you as soon as I can. (Don’t like to be crying and on the Internet at the same time, so it might take me a couple of days to repond. Crying while Interneting it’s almost as dangerous as drinking while Interneting.)

email: chloe (DOT)a(DOT)cocking@gmail.com for your free book.

Thank you!


Ergot[1] Incantation for a Cat

steely blue with

claws and teeth, claws and teeth, claws and teeth

steely blue with

claw and teeth

asleep, a-twitch beside me

 

mealy brew with

paws and heath[2], paws and heath, paws and heath

mealy brew with

paws and heath

a-peep, an itch inside me

 

freely flew with

slaws[3] and sheath[4], slaws and sheath, slaws and sheath

freely flew with

slaws and sheath

a-creep, a witch bestride me


Sometimes when writing poems I use unfamiliar or less common words. When I do that I like to include a few footnotes to help all y’all out, just in case you’re like “Ergot, wtf is ergot?!” If you are a smarty pants and know all this stuff, well, all I can say is “good job, guess you can skip the footnotes.”

[1] Ergot is a small black mold that can infest stored rye grain. It has hallucinogenic properties. Some believe the women, men, and children who “confessed” to cavorting with the devil, riding broomsticks through the sky at night and so on during the European Witchhunts (aka The Burning Times) were describing ergot hallucinations to the inquisitors.

[2] Heath is a plant common in many parts of Europe. You could cook it up in a cauldron for some ‘boil boil/ toil and trouble’ action if you want, but I’d advise you add in a few (ethically sourced) animal paws for good measure.

[3] “Slaw” is regional contemporary North American slang used to denote “a slut” or anything that is “broken down, beaten up, or worn out”. I don’t have the energy at the moment for a feminist polemic about the connections between so-called “sluts” and witches, so : : Hundreds, if not thousands, of books and articles have been written about this topic by humans much smarter and more accomplished than me, so happy Googling.

[4] “Sheath” has, in some historical contexts, been used to refer (rudely) to women’s genitals, much as “sword” has been used for male genitals.

 

Blue Pencil Sessions April 14 2018

One of my writing groups is co-hosting a blue pencil event with Lit Fest New West and Federation of BC Writers. Registration was supposed to open March  1 2018 via email, but there were technical difficulties.

That said, the tech difficulties have been resolved, so (honest) (for realzz) if you want a blue pencil time slot, please email newwestwriters2000 (AT) gmail.com .

Fast Facts About Blue Pencil Sessions

  • A blue pencil session is an opportunity for you to have your work reviewed by a professional writer.
  • Bring up to 600 words of your typed work for this face-to-face critique session
  • Sessions are scheduled in 15 minute increments between 1-4 PM, Saturday April 14 2018 at the Network Hub in New Westminster Quay, 810 Quayside Drive.
  • Blue pencil services are provided by:

snip

It’s done, now on to the next thing!

 

athena-lam-100454I’ve blogged before about how it took me twelve years to complete Blood Rain.

I’m pleased to say that the manuscript for my new book (a collection of short stories) was sent to the publisher a couple of days ago.

Which means that I can run around and tell everyone “the first book took me twelve years to finish, but the second book took just six months” and it will actually be true.

 

Surrey Muse Reading this Friday Oct 27

muse poster

I’m the book signing author at Surrey Muse this coming Friday

Here are the details . . .

Surrey Muse meets (5:30 – 8:30 pm) every Fourth Friday of each month except December.

Presenters
Three presenters (Author, Poet, Artist/Performer) use 20 minutes each. Each presentation is followed by 10 minutes of discussion/questions. A host cannot reduce/change time allocation. An online profile is posted at Surrey Muse web page for each presenter before the meeting. A Data Projector can be made available if needed. A microphone is not allowed. Photographs may be taken and/or videos may be made for our blog and Facebook pages. A permanent link will be added to Surrey Muse Sidebar in ‘Featured’ links for each presenter (please send yours if it’s not there). An event report (hopefully) will also be published. At this time, there is no honorarium for presenters.

CD/DVD/Book Signing
Another author/performer who has launched a book or a cd/dvd in the previous three months is invited to be available for Signing. The author/performer is introduced by the host to read for 7-10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting, and they will have a table to display/sign/sell any or all of their titles. This is an optional item of our program.

Refreshments
There can be two 10-minute breaks or one 15-minute break. A host can reduce the duration/number of breaks to make up for lost time.

Open Mic
35-40 minutes of Open Mic with 7 minutes for the Opener, and 5 minutes for each participant. A host can take no more than 5-7 minutes to make up for lost time. Begins with the Opener. Book Table provides the sign-up sheet. Open Mic presenters may be mentioned in event reports, may appear in photographs and videos, and may be on our People page. Bring your poems, short fiction, creative prose, art, songs.

Book Table
All Presenters, Hosts and Participants can place their books, CDs, DVDs and art for sale at the Book Table without any cost.

Events are free
Donations are welcome and much needed.

Venue
#405 – City Centre Library
10350 University Drive
Surrey, BC V3T 4B8
(604) 598-7420

Change of Plans

 

aaa computer
Used under a CC license, no attribution required 

Blood Rain update:

 

My publisher informs me there are some problems on the print production side of things. (I blame all the evil spirits in the writing.)

Consequently, the book release, the book release party, and everything attached to it (such as the monthly newsletter) have been re-scheduled to October 2017.

More news will be posted here as this process unfolds.