Someone recently asked me about my blog title–if it had become the year of books for me, as I’d wanted. My first instinct was to answer, “no.” My second, “yes.”

It has been a year of books for me in many ways–ghostwriting, novels, anthologies that I’ve been included in and/or edited. Not the way that I expected, of course, but life never is.

But it I had to categorize this year as anything so far, it would be “year of the deaths.” Not just literal deaths, although there have been those: my sister-in-law’s suicide earlier this year, the loss of family members and friends, the recent, sudden death of a fellow coffee writer. Also, the death of dreams. Of expectations. Of desires. I’ve begun to fall out of love with my city, as well as with other things. It’s time ot move on, to start fresh. Time to renew hope and passion. Time to find a positive challenge again, as opposed to ones that just beat at my heart with the insistence of a dead love.

On the other hand, so much has been gained. Don’t let me fool you. I’m an optimist through-and-through, even if this year has shaken that some. There is always something beautiful just around the corner. If I can just make it there.

Here are some of the random good things that I’ve found around the corner:

  • There’s a nice review of Triangulation: Taking Flight, the new sci-fi anthology that includes my rather freaky, auto-asphyxiation story, “Seeing Stars.” The reviewer kindly singles my story out, which I thought was really cool.

First & second place in the competition plus four reprints covers nearly a third of the content. The remainder is some excellent original work by some very talented writers. Favourites among the them include: “What Are The Odds?” by Paul Stefko, “Seeing Stars” by Shanna Germain” & “Rush Hours” by Ian Creasey”.

  • Every time I get an envelope with Susie Bright’s return address, I about die. And this week brought a new one: The cover for her new book, “Quiver,” a collection of erotica gothic horror stories, plus a check. Woot. The book looks to be beautiful and includes what might be the very first vampire-esque story I’ve ever written.
  • More Susie Bright news: X, the Erotic Treasury, is about to hit the streets. The is a beautiful, beautiful book filled with stories by some of the best erotic and/or gothic authors out there. Leave it to Susie to move forward from her Best American Erotica Series with a book that sounds like this: The reigning mistress of erotica, Susie Bright, has expertly chosen 40 of the hottest stories ever written: breathtaking new stories as well as the most sought-after stories from The Best American Erotica series. Designed in a “gotta-touch-it” slipcase with a cloth-covered book, the package cultivates the quality and taboo satisfaction of the ­stories themselves. Luminaries like Carol Queen and Robert Olen Butler contribute to the stories about all kinds of lovers: heartbreakers, foxes, maniacs, romanticists, hell-raisers, and utter bandits. This delicious collection is certain to satisfy.

That’s all for now. I’m off tomorrow for another conference. Teaching and socializing and eating good food, not to mention running my ass off, I’m sure. Back early next week…