Death’s Favorite Pet now free to read!

In January 2014 I had a very very short story called “Death’s Favorite Pet” published in DarkFuse’s micro-fiction series Horror D’oeuvres. I was thrilled to land this publication, particularly because it completed my requirements to become an active member of the Horror Writers Association, but DarkFuse was (and still is) only available to subscribers. So while I got to find lots of new readers, many of my regular followers weren’t able to read the piece without paying.

Luckily, “Death’s Favorite Pet” has just been reprinted in The Sirens Call eZine, so now you can read it for free! This happens to be Sirens Call Publications’ 5th annual Women in Horror Month issue, but don’t let the title fool you. My short little piece is far more poignant than frightening, so even my scaredy-cats should be safe. 🙂

So if you missed “Death’s Favorite Pet” the first time around, or if it’s simply been a while, I hope you’ll take a minute (and it’s really, really short, so that’s probably literal), to read it now, right on your phone/computer. If I did it right, you should be able to click directly on the image above to download. (If that doesn’t work for you, you can click on the cover image on this page to download your copy.) I’m on page 82.

Big thanks to Sirens Call for reprinting “Death’s Favorite Pet!” I hope you’ve all had a great February/Women in Horror Month, and I hope you enjoy the story. ♥

Annie

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Book Title Poems Take 2

Several years ago I stumbled across the existence of book title poems and knew I had to try them. It was a blast, a perfect convergence of several of my hobbies and passions, so I’m not sure why I pretty much forgot about it until recently when my friend Carie Juettner posted some of her own. They’re fantastic; you should go read them for sure. Seeing Carie’s brought it all back in a rush, and I decided it’s past time since I make some more.

To start, here’s one to kick off Women in Horror Month. Click the photos to enlarge, but the full text will be below each poem.

Satan Says

Mother of Eden,
dark Eden,
the dark half
killing it softly.

Darkness, tell us
strange little girls
beware:
sharp objects,
burnt offerings,
garden of shadows.

No sanctuary
for the queen of the damned.


Now a shorter one, just because:

The Emotion Thesaurus

Under the skin:
old flames,
damsel distressed,
guilty pleasures,
the warrior ethos,
fear itself–
the lives of the heart.


And finally, how about a little romance? I’m going to claim that this one got a little saucy in honor of impending Valentine’s Day. 😉

As I Lay Dying

Love speaks its name:
needful things,
pale fire,
ardent
whispers.
Come, thief;
you come when I call you.
Darkness demands
erotic poems.


It was fun to play with this again. I hope you enjoyed my poems. If any of you have made your own or decide to try it, I’d love to see the results! Link me, paste, photo, whatever. Have fun.

Happy February!

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Resolve to Track Your Miles in 2017

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had as nice a turning of the calendar page as I did, whether you partied hard, binged on Netflix, or (if you’re super cool like me) got all of your tax preparation for 2016 ironed out. 😉

I know; I’m hopeless. I’ve found that what I like best about a new year isn’t actually the fresh start so much as the firmly closed door. I like to finish things. I like a completed project, list, book, etc. so I can sort and file it accordingly. A calendar year is no different. Part of my joy on New Year’s Day has become organizing.

I set up my new planner (which includes setting my goals and intentions) and store my old one away. I square off my financial records for work and print them so they’ll be easy to see come tax time (more on that later). I go through my joy jar to reflect on all the wonderful things that happened in the past year, and then I create a new label and empty the jar for the year to come. I may never make it onto a list of the top 100 super cool people, but it’s incredibly satisfying.

Which brings me to the crux of today’s post. I realized that it’s been a little while since I added any new documents to The Organized Writer. My hope in 2017 is to have a writer’s expense/earning spreadsheet available by tax day (April 18th.) My intention is for it to be the first for-purchase resource available at The Organized Writer, because although the donation system is better than nothing, the trickle of tips isn’t quite cutting it.

But since I don’t have that spreadsheet ready yet, today I’m offering something related: my work mileage tracking chart. It’s a super simple little freebie, and as with all of my documents, you’re welcome to modify it to suit your needs. In fact, it’s one I’ve modified from one sent to me by author Regina Richards, who first encouraged me to start tracking my miles. So big thanks, Regina!

If you haven’t been keeping track of your work mileage for tax purposes, how great and easy of a resolution would that be for 2017?

Although this document is at The Organized Writer, it can be used for pretty much any occupation. In fact, feel free to print two or more on different colored paper to keep track of your mileage for all of your jobs. And yes, writers, you should be doing this too! If you file taxes, you should track miles. Driving to and from critique groups, writers’ meetings, conferences, speaking events, book signings, etc. are all valid work expenses.

All you need to do is print the document, stick it on a clipboard or in a folder, and put it with a pen in your car. Preferably somewhere that you’ll notice it, like in your side door, to remind you to get into the habit of resetting your odometer before each work trip. When you get home, fill out the few relevant fields (date, destination, purpose, mileage, etc., like “1/2/17, Such and Such Coffee Shop, research interview with Joann, 10.6 miles”). That’s it! Come tax time, add up your miles and deduct, deduct, deduct.

For those of you unfamiliar with Excel, the best way to print this is to highlight the relevant cells (A1-G100) and “print selection” with the option to “fit all columns on one page.” You’ll have a handy little 3-page chart to keep in your car.

As far as resolutions go, this one is free, easy, and potentially saves/earns you money come tax time. It doesn’t get much better than that, right?

Of course, if you like the mileage tracking chart or enjoy any of the other resources available for free at The Organized Writer, please consider tipping me a dollar or two through PayPal! If you can’t spare the change, please don’t worry; you’re still welcome to the resources.

I wish you all a happy, productive, and wonderful 2017, whether it keeps you near or takes you far.

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What I Want for Christmas

One of the nicest questions I get as an author is “How can I help?” This desire to be supportive is one of the most touching things I can think of. Publishing is a career built brick by brick from the ground up, and every single brick matters.

For writers with a single-author book out, the answer is pretty easy: buy my book, read my book, buy my book, review my book, buy my book… well, you get it. But for me, since I don’t have a single-author book out yet (still working on it), the answer gets a bit muddier. I can’t in good conscious ask anyone to buy all of the anthologies, magazines, etc. that have my stories, poems, and essays in them. I mean, if someone loves my work enough to follow me that closely and buy what they can, I’m forever grateful. Truly. But I’m also a realist. If you’re like me, you have only so much book money a year, and you have dozens and dozens of authors you want to read.

So what can you do to help?

Annie’s Christmas Wish List

♦ If you can afford to spend a little, donating through PayPal is the most concrete way to support my cheese habit cover my business expenses. Even tips of one or two dollars add up!

♦ Buying the publications my work appears in may not put money directly in my pocket (I usually get paid up front rather than royalties), but it is, after all, the entire reason I write to begin with – to be read. Not to mention that each purchase to publishers who buy my work is a turn of the cog in the machine that keeps me and all writers going.

♦ Can’t afford new books right now? Much of my work is available for free online! Browse through the list here to see works to buy and read free. Looking for something specific, such as ‘pretty, not scary’ or ‘super scary plz’? I’m happy to recommend. 🙂

♦ If you read and like any of my work, leaving positive reviews wherever possible is a huge way to help spread the word. (You don’t have to mention my work specifically, either, to review an anthology or whatnot.) Amazon and Goodreads are both great.

Replace your Amazon bookmark with my affiliate link. No charge to you or change to your shopping process, but I’ll get a little boost from anything you buy. If every person reading did this free, easy thing and shared it with one friend, I could probably cover my business expenses for an entire year.

♦ Even better, if you’re buying one of my books or something I recommend (I have categories for writing craft books, recommendations by genre, office décor, and more), buy directly from my Amazon Store to give me a slightly bigger cut.

♦ Like my Facebook page, set it to “see 1st,” and like/share as many posts as you feel apt to. It really helps with exposure, because Facebook is a butthead. Likewise friending/following/sharing on Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon is nice. They are slightly less of buttheads but also slightly less effective.

♦ If you know someone who might like my work, whether the horror, the poetry, or even my blog, please share it with them. That means the world to me.

♦ Subscribe to my blog so you get all of my latest news, discussions, and publications. Thoughtful comments are also always welcome, because no one likes feeling like they’re shouting into the void.

♦ And last but certainly not least, if you have anything nice to say, I’d love to hear it, even if I don’t know you, even if it’s just to say, “I look forward to your blogs in my inbox,” “Your poem in that magazine was cool,” or “Hey, nice cheese collection.” Seriously, the occasional reader note of encouragement is invaluable when the path looks long and dark. They keep me going. ♥

Thank you all, so much, for your support. Happy holidays of every flavor, friends.

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