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Entries tagged with “running with the pack

It seems that Running with the Pack was reviewed over at Innsmouth Free Press, and that, among others, “In Sheep’s Clothing” attracted the notice of Ms. Kinney enough that she discussed it in depth! Yay!

I continue to be touched and amazed by the favorable attention my story has received. Yet, I must admit, while I was intensely happy that my narrator was dubbed the “heroine” of the story by Ms. Kinney over at IFP, my favorite review of all actually appeared on my facebook page, courtesy my good friend David, who said on the matter, “[I] do like the black magick references and lessons against working with one’s neighbors.”

Being in the business of providing valuable advice and life-lessons has its rewards, and it’s nice to know that my message was interpreted correctly by at least one kind soul. Cheers!

Richard Adams tells us that the lapine equivalent of the expression “when it rains, it pours” is the slightly more accurate “one cloud feels lonely.” With that in mind, I present two awesome bits of news:

Esteemed anthology editor Ekaterina Sedia guest blogged over at The Mad Hatter on the subject of anthology-creation. It’s an interesting read as a whole, but I was tickled and flattered that she singled out and praised my story:

Now, what makes a story good? Usually, the stories I pick have surprised me somehow. For example, Molly Tanzer’s story “In Sheep’s Clothing” (from Running with the Pack) surprised me by an ingenious way it fused some very modern concerns with the werewolf myth. Others, like Kaaron Warren’s “The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfalls” (which will be reprinted in Bewere the Night), delighted and shocked with their very strangeness, with the language and imagery that created an uncanny, dreamlike feel. I even dreamed about the story the night after I read it, and the next day emailed Kaaron asking her for the reprint. See? All you have to do is to haunt editors’ dreams.

So awesome!

Coming on the heels of that, Jeremy Jones facilitated a round-table discussion on werewolves over at Booklife. Six Running with the Pack authors contributed, among them myself and Jesse. The questions we were all asked were intriguing, and so you can head over there to read various writerly opinions on working with lycanthropy as a trope. It’s fun stuff!

Since we’re speaking of werewolves, I feel compelled to mention that I sat through the new Wolfman movie last night. . . but this post is brimming with positive vibes, so I won’t sully it by raking that movie over the coals, though it richly deserves such treatment. Perhaps later! Right now I’m totally stoked about the awesomeness above, so wooo!

Woo! Running with the Pack just got a starred review from Publishers Weekly!

Running with the Pack
Edited by Ekaterina Sedia, Prime (, $14.95 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-60701-219-1

Sedia (Paper Cities) collects 22 tales that look at werewolves from a multitude of different angles. Steve Duffy’s chilling dental thriller “Side-Effects May Include” examines how far a man will go to end his pain. A damaged alpha gains the trust of a homeless woman in Maria V. Snyder’s “Mongrel.” Murderous soccer moms eat cheaters in Samantha Henderson’s “Skin in the Game.” A woman accidentally turned wolf struggles against her dual nature before learning to accept it in Erzebet YellowBoy’s powerful “Inside Out.” The origin of T.J. from Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series is told in “Wild Ride,” and Mike Resnick’s preacher/con-artist Lucifer Jones makes an appearance in the hilarious “Royal Bloodlines.” The stories veer from comedy to horror and from tragic love story to coming-of-age tale, showing the richness inherent in the idea of shifting shapes and animal strength. (July)

Jesse linked me to this review of Running with the Pack, from prolific and awesome reviewer Nancy (AKA temporaryworlds on LJ) in which. . . OK, you know what? This is my first sale and my first review and so I’m going to selfishly pull out the pertinent quote and just put it up in all its glory:

“In Sheep’s Clothing” is a sci-fi/dystopian short story about the downfall of our society, and what happens after that. Reading this story reminded me a lot of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. The werewolf aspect is not obvious at first, but it’s done quite well. Tanzer has created a fantastic voice in “In Sheep’s Clothing,” and the twist at the end is really well done. If you’re going to only read one story in this collection, read this one. I think it’s my favorite. Five stars.

Tag this under “totally thrilled” because. . . well, OK. I mean, you read it.

Nancy reviews each and every story in the anthology and gives it an overall ranking of four and a half stars (which means, according to her system, “very enjoyable book. Any flaws were minimal and did not diminish enjoyment). I have to say, from what I’ve read so far, I have to agree. In particular, I have to say that Jeffrey Ford’s “The Beautiful Gelreesh” and Jesse Bullington’s “Blamed for Trying to Live” are worth the cover price alone.

I’ve been holding back on talking about RwtP until I finished the anthology, but I had to jump the gun as a result of this review and thus am certainly neglecting some worthy stories. But, uh, I couldn’t resist.

Eeee! Thanks, Nancy!

A few films I’ve watched over the past few weeks have inspired me to break the radio silence on the blog. That, and the fact that apparently my awesome uncle Glenn got his copy of Running with the Pack that he had pre-ordered, so yay! I’m going to talk about the book more extensively after I’ve read a few more of the stories so for now: it is beautiful (I got my contributor copy), it is filled with awesome stories. Woo!

Sherlock Holmes: I went down to visit my parents recently and had a really good time doing all sorts of things, including watching a few movies. Of the three we watched, Sherlock Holmes was the only I hadn’t seen previously, and I have something to say about this film: it is fucking awesome. I say this having read every story/novel Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes, as well as a few spinoffs. Honesty compels me to note, specifically, that whilst in the throes of an early teen obsession with The Phantom of the Opera I read a mashup involving Holmes and the Phantom solving crimes? Or something? Anyways, that book wasn’t so great, but this movie is amazing. John was ambivalent about it; my parents were baffled but amused (I think). I loved it. It had just about everything I want in a movie: explosions, vaguely steampunk sets, occult weirdness, homoerotic tension, Robert Downey Jr. with his shirt off punching people sweatily. YES! It certainly took its liberties with the Doyle character, but I’m OK with that. I love Basil Rathbone and Brent Spiner aping Basil Rathbone as much as the next nerd, but it was really nice to see something different. Downey Jr.’s Holmes is just as insightful and brilliant as more canonical representations of Holmes, but I really liked the decision to play up the fact that Mr. “The Game Is Afoot” is kind of a fucking mess: drug-addled, reclusive, emotionally stunted, immature, messy, mixed up over Irene Adler and Watson, and willing to use both his tremendous intellect and tremendous strength to, say, beat people up viciously. Sure, it’s a big dumb blockbuster, but it kept me engaged visually and mentally: like the Star Trek reboot, there is plenty to make fans cheer without delivering the same old same old. The dynamic between Holmes and Watson is excellent, the decision to turn Irene Adler into a steampunk Fujiko amused me, the action sequences and patented Guy Ritchie “let’s speed things up and slow them down to make them look more awesome” was frankly dazzling. So, so good.

Gentlemen Broncos: Jesse convinced me to watch the latest from the Napoleon Dynamite team. While I thought Napoleon Dynamite was brilliant I disliked Nacho Libre intensely, so I was a little suspicious. No need: it was pretty fucking rad. The A.V. Club panned it for reasons passing understanding. . . well, I suppose they are right about the lack of plot, but I don’t really care if aesthetics trump action (I just re-watched 300 on blu-ray, after all). It’s especially good if you love pulp sci-fi and/or visit the Good Show, Sir! site once in a while (or more often). Gentlemen Broncos is worth watching for a number of reasons: the dude from Flight of the Concords does this spot-on Tim Curry impression, as well as doing an amazing job holding court at a broke-down writers’ workshop; Sam Rockwell plays Bronco/Brutus, a sci-fi hero in a series of cutaway scenes with simply amazing visuals.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (Orig. and Remake): I had, seriously, made it to 28 without seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street. I’d seen parts and been alarmed by a too-young Johnny Depp, but that was it. Raechel has an obsession bordering on the unwholesome with the series (“I’ve seen the original probably over 100 times,” she said, and then added “and the rest of the films probably 8 or 9 times apiece.”), so she was super-stoked to see the remake. After copping to my ignorance, we watched the original last Thursday, which I found genuinely enjoyable, and then the remake on Friday, which I was somewhat less enthusiastic about. I thought some things about the remake were OK. . . but the decision to cast Rorschach as Freddy made the experience kinda surreal. Jesse and John spent probably 15 minutes after the film trading lines pretending to be a mashup of the two characters to my delight (“Saw a dead teenager today. This city’s going to hell.” That kind of thing). I guess what impressed me most about the original was how groundbreaking the special effects were and how good they still looked (but I will forever curse overuse of CGI in films); the new one, by contrast, pushed no envelopes. . . that said, there are some really nice visuals. I dunno. It’s just that thing with horror where my mind rebells at utter nonsense. Not perhaps so much things like “he was burned to death and so comes back to kill them in their dreams” which, admittedly, makes no fucking sense whatsoever, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief for occult weirdness (or gorgeous aesthetics, like in the aforementioned 300). I mean more how they decided in this remake (spoilers, I suppose) to have Freddy be. . . the gardener at a preschool? OK, sure, he looks like a creep but whatevs. . . then we get to the fact that he lives? Under? The preschool? In a dungeon with a dirty mattress and drawings done by the kids? Sure! Whatever! And a parent who participated in the mob justice administered on Freddy (where? This. . . uh. . . warehouse! Sure!) admits to never finding the kiddie porn cave or whatever, but two sleep-deprived teens find it with a flashlight in like. . . three seconds? Because they moved a corkboard? OK! Sure! Meh. That kind of thing just makes my brain move too much on its own to be really scared by any of the content of the film. I mean, it’s easy to make me jump–I’m the twitchiest motherfucker imaginable–but I need more convincing acting, dialogue, and plotting to really scare me. Or maybe not, as the Tom Cruise War of the Worlds gave me nightmares for months, but whatevs. I am irrationally frightened of alien invasion. SHUT UP!

That’s all, folks! Except for the tremendously wonderful news that my dad’s been feeling pretty OK during his chemo (he emailed me to say he’d eaten pizza and salad for dinner one night! GO DAD!) and the fact that I’ve written damn near close to half a novel in three weeks, things have been quiet. Probably going to see Kick Ass and the new Iron Man soon. I’ll review when/if that happens. Much love everyone!

It’s been a while, so I feel like it’s time for a reasonably thorough update! Fascinating, I’m sure, are the following bullet points, but if you’d rather see pretty pictures, scroll to the bottom for some nature.

  • I am heading down to Tampa soon, to be with my family. I’m very happy about this, as I haven’t seen them since we heard the news. Though going there/being there will not yield the control I wish I had over this situation, it will be nice to be present.
  • I have decided, on the advice of folks far wiser than I, to let my Big Project rest a while. I was getting incredibly frustrated with the edits, and ignoring advice to take a break, step away, because I wanted to power through it and get it out to beta-readers, but I felt like I was twiddling my thumbs and maybe making mistakes. I have the first volume wrapped up and tidy, and it’s staying like that for a while. I broke when I realized I was most enthusiastic about the stuff I’d written months and months ago, which needed the most work but felt the freshest, and I was like– oh, well, duh. I haven’t even looked at this section since, when? October? November? So came the self-knowledge (γνῶθι σεαυτόν, Molly) of burnout. At first I was afraid if I left off before it was done enough to show to friends I’d never come back to it, but I know that’s not true because I still catch myself thinking about it and wanting to work on it, but I’m not letting myself.
  • In lieu of working on the Big Resting Project (BRP), I am tearing ass through the planning stages/beginning writing of a Smaller but still Big Project (SBP) I’ve been itching to work on for months now. I realized I was shooting myself in the foot by not tackling it right goddamn now because the major part of it will take place in Colorado in the spring/summer, which, OMG! I just looked out my window and indeed, it is springtime. Now I get to write from life, which is incredibly fun and rewarding, and I can already tell this project will be leaner, tighter, and infinitely more ridiculous than the BRP. I’ve learned a lot from said BRP and am not rushing into this one headlong without proper planning, proper thoughts on entryways into the novelette, proper understanding of What I Want, length, etc. Unlike other projects, I’ve mapped this out completely, I know where I’m going, I know the wordcount I’m going for, etc. I’m also, as a sort of mental exercise, not doing much book-related research beyond knowing the exact year so it makes sense, knowing a little bit about the premises, that sort of thing. Most of the “research” will be watching movies, actually, since I’m going for a sort of cinematic feel for this project. At any rate, babbling aside, I’ve been having a goddamn blast doing it so far and I’m more in love with it than I’ve maybe ever been with anything I’ve done. Likely this also has to do with the fact that the BRP is on Serious Matters and the SBP is–well, it’s pretty fucking ridiculous. Lulz.
  • Sooner, rather than later, I’ll be announcing something pretty cool here! So “watch this space” if you care to.
  • Running with the Pack is coming out sooooooooooooon omg!!
  • Fucking magnets, how do they work? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google that shit. Also, here is this inspirational cartoon on the same subject, for your inspiration of the day:

  • To round out this post, pictures from my last visit to Estes Park, which was amazing. We went there with friends David and Luke from Tallahassee, and ahhhhhh. Delightful.

me knee-deep in snow standing in the middle of a still iced-over lake


you know you wish you lived AN HOUR FROM THIS LIKE I DO OMG

some other lake I can't recall the name of

Wooooo! Love to everyone.


click for bigger image!

And, for your amusement and mine, an updated list of search terms that have been used to find my website:

beyond all known philosophies

sex movie fuck (I had no idea I wrote about such things!)

greek is hard


and, my favorite:

birched asses in the 18th century

Now we’re cookin with fire!

I sliced off the tip of my finger last night, thus preventing much typing (ugh), but this morning, just when I was starting to be annoyed by my injury I saw that Ekaterina Sedia posted the table of contents for Running with the Pack to her LJ, and holy crap! It’s so awesome. I know I’ve said it, but I’m honored beyond words to be a part of this project.

It’s official! It’s official and I can announce it! I’m going to be published! Me! In a book! Seriously!

My short story “In Sheep’s Clothing”  is going to be published in Running with the Pack, an urban fantasy werewolf anthology edited by Ekaterina Sedia, published by Prime. Sedia is an amazing writer and editor, her Paper Cities just won the World Fantasy award for Best Anthology, in case you hadn’t heard. I am completely honored to be included in her latest effort. It should be coming out in May sometime, or thereabouts, so. . . I’m not asking you to go out and pre-order it, but if you wanted to, you could pre-order it! Also on the table of contents: the esteemed Mr. Jesse Bullington with his Tallahassee-based “Blamed for Trying to Live,” and a host of other amazing, talented writers. I’ll be less vague about the Table of Contents later, when it’s officially released. At any rate, it will be awesome, it’s actually mostly a reprint anthology, but there is some new stuff in there, including my story!

This is my first sale. Ways I plan on celebrating: definitely champagne, probably a tattoo. Of, you know, a werewolf. Arrroooo! This is awesome.