Author Updates: "Christ's Body, Christ's Wounds" & Division by Zero

I’m pleased to share, on this lovely Thanksgiving day, a pair of personal literary updates worth celebrating.
First, I received the soft proofs of Christ’s Body, Christ’s Wounds: Staying Catholic When You’ve Been Hurt in the Church. This volume, edited by Eve Tushnet and with a forward by Elizabeth Scalia, consists of 12 essays (plus and foreword and an introduction) by contributors solicited by Tushnet in 2015. It’s forthcoming from Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers in Eugene, Oregon. I’m not sure of the actual release date—probably not until well into 2018 or early 2019—but it was quite a delight to get the PDFs from Eve last week.
For this volume, I wrote an essay that linked a very specific incident in my spiritual life to the long arc of my years pursuing seminary studies. Eve’s partnership in editing the drafts back-and-forth over early 2016 led to a wonderful final output. I’m honored to be a contributor to this collection.
Second, I was notified (on the same day I received the soft proofs, no less!) that I’ve been accepted into the Division By Zero: Double Take anthology produced by MiFiWriters. Well, technically, I received a notice of preliminary acceptance and solicitation of a bio; contracting and editing are still on the horizon, so it’s theoretically still possible I’ll get a “whoops, we didn’t mean you” note. I expect the book to be released some point in 2018. MifiWriters publish an annual speculative-fiction anthology; this year’s theme, “double take,” governs the content.
My story, “Conversion Therapy,” shares the tale of Connor, a gay vampire nightclub owner whose grandiose plans for world domination hinge upon Nicole, a “ditzy bag of vampire nectar” whose own goals are much more targeted.
In all, a good month for writing. (Says the guy who’s not nearly as far behind as he normally is at this time of the month, for his National Novel Writing Month shenanigans.)

Cars and Offices and Books — Oh, My!

It’s Sunday night. Tomorrow marks a return to the day job, after Facilities tore down half the cubes last week to install smaller workstations and our I.T. department upgraded Office and Windows for everyone. In other words: Tomorrow should be interesting. Apart from a five-minute drop-in today, I haven’t been at the Waters Circle office since Tuesday.

But the last week has been quite an adventure:

  1. I bought a new car. Jimmy 2.0 — a 2000 GMC Jimmy — suffered another infirmity a while back. Fixable? Sure. But other problems loom. It’s an old vehicle and after the drama in January of a persistently misaligned belt, other failures are inevitable. So on Tuesday morning I picked up a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze. It’s small, but nimble, and relatively inexpensive. Great on fuel. And this summer I think I can rehab Jimmy 2.0 enough to keep it, and its solid 4×4 performance, for the worst of a Michigan winter. There’s something to be said for having two cars, even if the insurance is a pain.

    2013 Chevy Cruze. New wheels.
  2. We moved into our new office at Caffeinated Press. After much drama with Office Depot, I finally got all the desk stuff I ordered, as well as a sweet deal on furniture in storage from PeopleDesign (thank you, John). Looking good. My part of the office is mostly done. The main gathering space has tables, chairs, a café table, a futon, a huge white board, rolling bookshelves, coffee/tea makers, a microwave … the essentials, basically, and it too is largely complete. The editor room in the middle is, however, a bit under-loved for now. We’re working on it.

    A view of my part of the Caffeinated Press office.
  3. Anthology edits galore! I’m running through author notifications for Brewed Awakenings 2. Lots of work — much of Friday and Saturday, and into Sunday, was spent doing detail reviews (again) with an eye toward compiling the final list of included stories. I’ve run through maybe 50 or so of the nearly 70 submissions and have accepted nearly 110k words over 11 (I think) contributions.
  4. … Profiles galore, too! Have you checked out the current issue of Grand Rapids Magazine? Caffeinated Press has a brief write-up. And we were profiled last week in Awesome Mitten, too.  As John remarked a few days ago: It’s starting to feel real.

The coming week should be peaceful: Priority Health will be mostly routine work, with just a handful of interviews for two of my open analyst positions. Wrap up the anthology notifications and then begin contracting. Work on our photo book, provisionally titled EN72. A meeting of the editorial board for The 3288 Review.

The summer may prove a bit more peaceful than the late winter and early spring. Next weekend, we have a board meeting and a visit to Indiana for a family picnic. Podcasting the weekend after. August should be quiet(ish), with maybe a brief Vegas trip on the horizon. September and October will be busy with book releases. Then, November for NaNoWriMo. But despite the stuff to do, things feel calmer. A big part of it is actually the new CafPress office, I think. I find it hard to work from home because Cats; there are, however, no cats in the publishing office to thwart my concentration or my productivity. So there’s that.

Like to Read? Then Have I Got a Book for You ….

We’re launching Brewed Awakenings, the house anthology of Caffeinated Press, on March 1. The inaugural volume of the anthology features eight novelettes written by West Michigan writers.
Not only did I write a story, but I edited the volume and managed the production of the title. Buttload of work, not all of which is completely wrapped up as of this post.
Copies are now available for order; they’ll ship on March 2. But why wait? BUY NOW. BUY, I SAY.