Things have been both slow and hectic in my life of late. I’ve finally—finally—completed a piece of fiction, a short story around 5k words. It’s the first I’ve managed to write since Dad passed away. Not sure if my lack of writerly vim and vigor is related to his passing or to some anxieties regarding such heady, nebulous things as My Future that I’ve been feeling of late, but hopefully the worst of the drought has passed.

In more exciting news, last week I turned in my final proofreading pass on A Pretty Mouth, and I came away feeling very confident and enthusiastic about the project’s imminent publication. I still love the title novel as much as ever—maybe even more than when I wrote it, now that I have some distance from typing The End. Not sure about the hard date it will be available, but it will be mid-Octoberish, and I’ll definitely have copies to give away at MileHiCon. I’ll also be doing a few readings in Boulder and Denver, which I’m excited about. I really enjoy readings.

As I’ve been battling writer’s block (barf!) and proofreading A Pretty Mouth, other people have been doing cool, less navel-gazey stuff. Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles of Innsmouth Free Press are trying to fund a new anthology, Sword and Mythos which … well, the title should tell you everything about the theme you need to know. I think this is an amazing idea, selfishly (I write S&S and Lovecraftiana, and would love to see a market open up for that combination), and also more in a general sense of What The Community Needs.

Why? Well, because Silvia and Paula are two editors who really care about not just including, but featuring alternative takes on established genres in their anthologies. That means it’s awesome they’re attempting this project, because if you like S&S, but desire fresh, new entries into that genre, it can be challenging to get your fix. Not impossible, by any means, but definitely challenging. And when you throw in the monkey wrench of S&S plus Mythos fiction … yeah.

I think that’s why Silvia, in particular, seems incredibly passionate about, in particular, the S&S aspect of this project. Over at her blog, as a way of drumming up excitement for Sword and Mythos, she’s been writing essays about why fresh new takes on S&S/mythos fiction are important. So far she’s talked about people of color in S&S (and did a separate piece on racism in the genre), the prevalence of beef/cheesecake in S&S, princesses and regular ladies in S&S, and a few more.

So yeah! Read Silvia’s stuff; consider throwing them some cash if you can spare it. I know those dollars will be well-spent. Plus, you can get cool rewards for donating, like free e-books/paperbacks, a hardcover copy of Fungi, the forthcoming all-fungus release from Innsmouth, a coffee mug, and lots of other treats.