July 4

The formatting tedium of Freaky Briefs is over. By which I mean my role; Lynne Hansen will handle the actual formatting for the published version, but I had to at least get it into a state that I can pass over to her without her head exploding.

A couple more stories lost their lives. (RIP “Evolution” and “Grouchy McGrumpyPants Hates April Fool’s.”) So though I wrote a new one, “Encore,” I now have six left to write to get the count up to seventy-five. Nobody is MAKING me include seventy-five stories in this collection, but I think it’s a nice impressive number that will look good on the cover.

Meanwhile, I’m off to Louisville, Kentucky this coming weekend for Imaginarium! Will YOU be there?

July 3 (continued)

Added some more stories to Freaky Briefs: “Scrape and Scoop,” “Below Deck,” “Beaks,” “Comeback,” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Murders at Camp Crystal Lake.”

“Below Deck” is an existing story that had never been published in English. (It appeared in an Italian website and then an Italian anthology.) I tweaked the ending a bit. “Scrape and Scoop” I started last night. “Beaks” is a story I’d started for the anthology These Broken Battered Bodies but then I switched to “Cherry Tree.” So it’s not like I wrote five complete stories today, but still, not a bad day of work.

At least two have been cruelly cut from the lineup, though. “Gross-Out” (a transcript of my 2019 KillerCon Gross-Out story) was fun to include in my newsletter but contains too many inside jokes and references to the actual performance to be an appropriate inclusion in an actual book. “Impressionable” is a poem. It’s okay. It’s kind of amusing. Nobody will mourn its loss.

The fun part, by which I mean the “not fun” part, is that these stories were formatted for my newsletter. Single spacing with breaks between paragraphs. To format them for a book, I have to manually remove all of those paragraph breaks. Yay.

July 3

I’m back! You probably didn’t even know I was gone. But, yes, I was in a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin.

The spirits of the dead didn’t attack me, but I almost got eaten by a bear. By which I mean that I was walking down a narrow dirt road, and a baby bear stepped out of the woods ahead of me, and I thought, “Well, time to head back to the cabin now,” and that ended the encounter. I assure you that I would’ve been prepared to fight the momma bear to the death if it came to that.

I’ve added some more stories to Freaky Briefs: “Scrape and Scoop,” “It’s Drabble Time!”, and “A Story For The Dude on the Plane Who Keeps Looking at My Laptop.” I’ve also polished up a very old unpublished story, “Abner Wederman, Ribald Ostrich.” I’m now at 68 stories for the collection. I want 75. Math wizards may THINK that means I have seven left to write, but I may end up dropping a couple and writing new ones to replace them.

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