Category Archives: Blog

Announcing Serpent And Dove Speculative Fiction

Writing and publishing are an adventure, and, like any journey, full of bumps, potholes, and  unexpected twists along the way. Many of you are aware that Pantheon’s publisher, Musa, went out of business some months ago. It was a bummer, but in the process all rights to my book (as well as all the editing work that Musa staff put into it) reverted back to me. Pantheon was removed from online retailers, and I was left with several boxes of Musa-branded paperbacks to sell at conventions and signings.

Between job-hunting and life in general, I’ve been trying to decide on the most prudent course of action to take with my book. Upon careful consideration, I’ve decided to self-publish under my own, newly formed imprint, Serpent And Dove Speculative Fiction. The name comes from Jesus’ words in  Matthew 10:16, in which He instructs his followers to be “…as wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (KJV). It’s as good a description for what I want my writing (and my life) to be about as any I can come up with. My upcoming horror anthology, Silent Screams will also be released under this imprint. (By the way, writers, if you haven’t checked out my guidelines for Silent Screams, please do so and consider sending something in. It’s going to be a great book.)

I’ll have a cool logo to show off in the near future, and will over the next couple of weeks work on re-releasing Pantheon under the new label. Thanks to all my friends for your continued support.

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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Blog


Guest Post: Misty Massey and the Weird Wild West

Howdy All, Today I’m turning my blog over to author/editor Misty Massey to talk about her upcoming anthology of weird westerns (Westerns crossed with elements of science fiction and fantasy, i.e. Pantheon by Yours Truly). I met Misty (along with anthology contributer Gail Z. Martin) at AtomaCon a couple of months ago, and had a great time hearing about this project. Check out their Kickstarter, and if you’re interested, consider supporting the book– they’re getting very close to their funding goal! With no further ado, here’s Misty:

The Weird Wild West Needs Settlers!

My name is Misty Massey, and until last summer, I was a writer of fantastic fiction and author of Mad Kestrel (pirates and magic and adventure…oh my!) I say ‘until last summer’ because that was when things became slightly more crazy and exciting in my world and I agreed to be an editor.

I was a guest at Congregate, and I had just finished a rousing session of Live Action Slush. I was in the hallway chatting with my co-conspirators Emily Leverett and Margaret McGraw when the subject of publishing an anthology of weird western stories came up. We all thought it sounded like great fun, so we started approaching authors we believed would add to the thrill of such a project. Nearly all of them said “Yes!” (okay, a couple were squealing with excitement, but I’m not going to try to spell that sound for you!) so we started querying publishers. Danielle Ackley-McPhail of eSpec Books snapped us up, and before we knew it, we were running a Kickstarter to fund the project.

What is weird west? It’s fantasy or science fiction set in the world (or the aesthetic) of the American western frontier. Movies like High Plains Drifter and Cowboys and Aliens for example, and television shows like the Star Trek episode “Spectre of the Gun”, and Firefly and The Wild Wild West. Print examples include R S Belcher’s The Six Gun Tarot, Steven King’s Dark Tower saga and Melissa Marr’s The Arrivals. It’s the idea of people living on the edge of civilization, where the magic hasn’t died out yet, where the inventors are free to indulge their imaginations in bizarre directions.

I’m here today is to talk about our Kickstarter. The book will be called The Weird Wild West, and it will feature stories by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Martin, James Tuck and me! If we manage to reach our stretch goals, we’ll add stories by Robert Waters and David Sherman. But that’s not all – we want to open four spaces for you to submit your own stories! That’s right, we’d like to see people we’ve never met before sharing our little town of the weird!

But the only way that can happen is with your help. We’re working toward our funding goal, and we’d love for you to be a part of that. As all frontier towns did, our project needs settlers – you!

Take a look at the project page and explore the pledge levels. For as little as $10, you can get your very own copy of this great book, and there are higher pledge levels which offer some truly neat things – have a character named for you, have a character named for your pet, get a professional critique of your manuscript or even a signed advance copy of Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust”.

So wander through our dusty streets, and if you like what you see, toss a little support our way. We’d be glad to pour you a shot of entertaining stories!

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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Blog


2014—My Year In Books

The past year has been a whirlwind of activity—One that at times threatened to swallow me whole in its vortex of business and stress, but one which also marked several major accomplishments for me—namely the publication of my first novel (go buy it, if you haven’t), and the completion of my Masters degree. It also marked my move to a new city and my taking a new job.

In the midst of all this, somehow I also found the time to read (which is why the excuse some people make about being too busy to read strikes me as fairly absurd—if I can do it, anyone can).  In fact, this year is a record-breaking year for me book wise; I completed over 120 books in 2014 (averaging more than 2 a week). True, a number of these were audiobooks I listened to during my commute or while doing other tasks that didn’t require a lot of brain power, but still. A book is a book.

I won’t list them all here, nor will I attempt to give in-depth reviews for the ones I do mention (I’ll limit my statements to a pithy sentence or two per book), but I do want to pass along a few I found particularly notable:

BEST ANTHOLOGY: Toss-up between The Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

The Weird is a massive tome, as anthologies go, collecting over 100 of the most influential stories of the horror subgenre “weird” fiction from the past century (not quite sci-fi, not quite fantasy, not quite horror, but likely containing elements of all three). If you like subtle, quiet horror based on a sense of the uncanny rather than on blood and gore, this book works like a Masters-level class on that type of fiction.

The King In Yellow is also a collection of weird, dark fiction, but besides the horror I found surprising notes of hope and redemption within its pages. Chambers is best remembered today for his influence on H.P. Lovecraft, but I actually think he’s a better writer than Lovecraft.

BEST BIOGRAPHY: Fearless by Eric Blehm

Fearless tells the inspiring true-life story of Navy Seal Adam Brown, who rose from a crippling drug addiction to become one of the most respected members of the legendary Seal Team 6, tasked with hunting down Osama Bin Laden. His is a story of hope in the midst of heartache, of God’s grace and of one man’s determination to give his all for the sake of the people he loved.

BEST HUMOR: Toss-up between Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan and My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

I listened to the audio version of Dad is Fat, and Gaffigan’s delivery of his material makes it all the better. Regardless, this is a good-natured and humorous account of the highs-and-lows of parenthood, told by one of the funniest comedians in the business today.

My Man Jeeves reads like the prototype for the modern sitcom: Playboy Bertie Wooster gets in one ridiculous scrape after another, only to be saved time and again by his long-suffering and brilliant butler, Jeeves. It’s a bit formulaic, but the sheer ludicrousness of each situation, along with the snappy dialogue (peppered with old-timey slang, don’t you know) make it an absolute blast. I’m going to be reading the rest of Wodehouse’s Jeeves books sooner or later.

BEST THEOLOGY/PHILOSOPHY: Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

I was very pleasantly surprised by Chesterton’s droll spy novel The Man Who Was Thursday over the summer, and quickly followed it up with some of his nonfiction. Orthodoxy was not a disappointment—a wonderful volume on some of the central ideas of the Christian faith, lofty ideas put into simple, easily digestible language. A long-term C.S. Lewis fan, I was pleased to note Chesterton’s influence on Lewis—right down to the gentle sense of humor that comes through his writing. Orthodoxy is one of those rare books I know I’m going to wind up re-reading.

BEST COMIC: Astro City by Kurt Busiek

Simple as it looks on the surface, Astro City is a marvel. Taking the familiar tropes from fifty-or-so-years worth of superhero comics and viewing them through a thoroughly modern but never cynical lens, Busiek manages to weave together stories that are fantastically entertaining while being deeply grounded in the human experience—heartbreaking and hopeful and redemptive and infuriating and messy and poignant. I can’t say enough good things about this series; it’s among the finest comics I’ve ever read.

BEST SCI-FI: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Although the other two books of the MaddAddam trilogy never really live up to the staggering potential of the first one, Atwood’s Oryx and Crake may be one of the most important sci-fi novels I’ve read in a long time. Intensely dark and troubling, it reads a bit like A Brave New World for the 21st Century—a warning against unchecked scientific progress for its own sake and a hint at some things that may be on the horizon if we’re not careful. Touching on a number of hot-button bioethical issues ranging from birth control and pharmaceuticals to eugenics and genetic engineering, this is one of the most timely and terrifying novels I’ve read in quite some time.

BEST FANTASY: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Phantastes is George MacDonald at his most George MacDonald-y: A fairy tale for adults in which the moody and mysterious are mingled with the whimsical and wonderful, and Christian ideology stands side-by-side with the purely fantastic. Beautiful and lyrical and sad and peaceful, this novel is ultimately a contemplation about death as a natural part of life, and a comforting reflection on the fact that, to the Christian, death need not be feared.

BEST HORROR: Psycho by Robert Bloch

As a fan of the classic Hitchcock adaptation, I also loved the novel Psycho, which actually is quite similar to the movie. The only thing Hitchcock changed really was by cutting out extended conversations between Norman Bates and his mother, which, although it works just fine in the book, would have been difficult to handle without giving away too much in the film.

BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK: Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Pinocchio is one of the weirdest, most surreal children’s stories I’ve read in some time. The Disney version is strange enough in itself, but is super-tame compared to the Adventure Time-level absurdity that is the core of this book—I’d love to see a movie adaptation done that had the guts to accurately depict this story in all its bizarre wonder.

BEST LITERARY FICTION: Toss-up between David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

David Copperfield was apparently Dickens’ favorite of his own books, and, with its large cast of quirky characters and its telling of the life story of its titular character from boyhood through adulthood, it’s easy to see how he would grow attached to them as a writer. It’s not my favorite of Dickens, though—His trademark humor is present, but I just didn’t find the story as compelling as, say, A Tale of Two Cities. Still, this is a fairly sweeping epic, and one I did enjoy a lot.

Anna Karenina is a tragic tale of the dangers of moral compromise and the slippery slope of deception. Tolstoy is wonderful in his descriptions and his character development and, long as this book was, I viewed it as something of a taste-test to see if I liked Tolstoy before committing to his famously lengthy War and Peace. The good news is that I found I do indeed like Tolstoy. The bad news is that I no longer have a good excuse not to read War and Peace.

BEST UNCATAGORIZABLE: Watership Down by Richard Adams

Is Watership Down a book for children or adults? Is it a fantasy? A family drama? A piece of literary fiction? A war novel? A book on the habits of rabbits in the wild? Ultimately these questions don’t matter all that much—the real question at hand is “is it good?” The answer to this is a resounding yes. A serious novel about a family of rabbits searching for a new home, Watership Down is a surprisingly epic and utterly unique piece of fiction.

So there you have it—a handful of the books I loved in 2014. Feel free to comment and share yours—I’m always on the prowl for good stuff to read. Until next time, see ya.

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Blog


Soda Saturday: A Coconut Beveridge and a Book Signing

Coconut is the sort of thing that a person either loves or hates. Me, I’m a fan, so coconut soda sounded like a good plan. This is another Goya product (of cola champagne fame) but I didn’t hold that against them. They also happen to make one of my favorite spicy ginger beers, so I can forgive them if not everything they make is as awesome.

You know that water from the inside of a coconut? This tastes kind of like that, but blander, like it’s been diluted with sugar water. Seriously, I was almost half way through the bottle before I could really taste the coconut. It mostly tasted like nothing.

That’s not to say this was bad, but it certainly wasn’t great. It’s light and mildly sweet, but there just wasn’t much flavor to it. I was hoping for some sort of fizzy coconut party, and wound up pretty disappointed. I give it only two of five stars.

Today I’m hanging out at R&B Games, Cards, and Comics, signing copies of Pantheon. Today the store is hosting a free comic book promotion day called Halloween Comic Fest, so the store should be fairly busy. This is the first public signing I’ve done, and I’m excited about it. It should be a good time. If you’re in the Statesville area (and happen, by random chance, to be one of the three people who actually read this post) swing by, snag some free comics and candy, and say hello.

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Posted by on October 25, 2014 in Blog


Soda Saturday- Tamarindo and Grad School Blues

Today I’m drinking another Hispanic soda– Jarritos Tamarind (Tamarindo). I had heard of Tamarind, but when I picked up my bottle of this stuff (at Walmart), I honestly had no idea what it actually was– m best guess was that it was some sort of exotic spice or root– I imagined something like a weird sort of ginger. According to my extensive research *coughwikipediacough*, the tamarind is actually a fruit that grows in hard, pea-like pods, and is native to Africa.

So what of the drink? Appearance wise, this soda is a simple, unassuming brown; not a rich caramel, nor the deep, nearly black of Pepsi , but the brown of a mud puddle or your parents’ kitchen cabinets.

The first sip I took was… not good. There was a slight bitterness I hadn’t expected– and it made me think of some sort of vitamin-elixir one might find gathering dust in bottles at a health-food store. However, as I gave it a chance, I found it beginning to grow on me. The bitterness didn’t go away, but neither it nor the sweeter side of the drink is overbearing; the combination is a fairly mid, tart, fruity flavor more reminiscent of prune juice than anything else. I know this probably isn’t a selling point for most people (try this prune-flavored beverage!) but I mean it as a compliment. This is a light, refreshing drink with no real aftertaste, and one I’d honestly be willing to have again some time. Four out of five stars.

This week has been a doozy for me work-wise. Besides my day job as an English teacher (at which I average about ten or eleven hours a day), I’m still finishing up my Masters degree in teaching. This week several projects were due, and I found myself writing three papers this week in the evenings after I got home. (A fourth is due tomorrow night, but I’m conveniently avoiding writing it by writing on my blog. The best types of procrastination are those one can justify through other types of productivity.) Needless to say, I’m beginning to wear pretty thin, mentally, and and am counting the days till December when I graduate. I’m super-thankful for the support of my family, without whose encouragement I’d have surely either gone mad or quit by this point.

I don’t regret going through with finishing my Masters degree (even though NC has taken away Masters incentive pay for teachers), but I’m pretty worn-out. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but some days that tunnel is pretty dark, and the end is hard to see. All I keep telling myself is how great it will be to graduate in December, to have the pressure of school deadlines lifted, and to once again be able to turn my free time to the luxury of writing fiction. Until then, I’ll just keep truckin’ along.

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Posted by on October 11, 2014 in Blog


Soda Saturday– Refresco Goya Cola Champagne (And Upcoming Book Signing announcements)

In an effort to better discipline myself into updating my blog on a more regular basis , I’m instituting a new feature here, starting today– I call it Soda Saturday. Every Saturday I’ll drink and review a novelty or international soda (suggestions welcome), which will serve two purposes– first, it’ll be fun (I like trying new things as much as anyone), and second, the taste-test will provide a reason to get me to my blog and a launching point for whatever else I have to write about that day.

So with no further ado, today I’m drinking Refresco Goya Cola Champagne, purchased in the international section at Harris Teeter. Don’t be deceived by the name– this Hispanic soda bears absolutely no resemblance (besides that it’s cold and wet) to either cola or champagne. Appearance-wise, it more closely resembles a bottle of melted orange freeze-pops.

The flavor is pretty hard to describe.  It’s extremely sweet– there’s a definite vanilla element reminiscent of  cream soda, but with a hint of artificial fruitiness, as if a handful of orange tic-tacs were crushed up and dissolved in it. It’s pleasantly fizzy, but it sits heavily in the stomach and for some reason it actually seems to coat the tongue with an aftertaste that lingers like one of those awkward handshakes that doesn’t break off when one thinks it should. While not offensively nasty, it’s not what I would call refreshing by a long stretch of the imagination– it’s just too thick and cloying. When I was a kid, though, I’m sure I’d be all over this stuff… for pretty much all the same reasons I’m less impressed with it now. 2 out of 5 stars.

With that out of the way, I’m excited to make a couple fun announcements regarding sci-fi conventions. I have two coming up (maybe three, but more on that later) I am going to be a guest author at. On November 14-16, I’ll be down to Charleston, SC for Atomacon, and, next May (29-31, 2015), I’ll be at ConCarolinas. I attended ConCarolinas as a fan this past summer and had a blast talking with other spec-fic authors. I’m really looking forward to the chance to hang out with other sci-fi people and to connect with some new readers.

Speaking of hanging out, I’m going to be at R&B Games, Cards, and Comics, for Halloween Comic Fest on October 25, signing copies of Pantheon. If you’re near the Statesville area, swing by, snag some free comic books, and say hello.

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Posted by on October 4, 2014 in Blog



So much for blogging regularly over the summer. That’s all I have to say about that.

In summary– I worked a lot, read a lot more books, went on a men’s retreat with my church, interviewed at a lot of different schools, attended my first sci-fi convention (ConCarolinas), and in general avoided writing almost entirely (I did manage to get one short story done). Oh, and I did get a job teaching high school English and moved to a new town a couple hours away from my parents.

It’s the move and all the adjustments that go with it that spawned my desire to write this post, if only because I feel it’s something momentous enough that I can’t justify not writing about it (finding excuses not to write at any given moment is a game I’ve grown disturbingly good at). The move came at the right time for me, and I’m super-excited about my new job, but there’s a lot of things that will need to happen before it begins to feel like home around here. I’m still in the process of visiting local churches, trying to meet people and make friends and find my niche. Even getting into the swing of the new school year will take some time (although, after about a week of puttering around my classroom, I finally have it more or less set up the way I like it).

Add onto these things the fact that I’m still completing the final courses of my Masters degree, and you have a recipe for one full semester. I’m convinced that it’s going to be a growing and stretching time for me.

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Blog


My Thoughts on The Federalist Papers

Life is largely about trade-offs. Take the metal shop I work in, for example: Sure it’s heavy, dirty, sweaty manual labor without air conditioning (and my coworkers tell me that I haven’t even experienced a truly hot day there yet), but on the flipside, I can listen to my MP3 player all day. This means I listen to a lot of music, of course, but even moreso that I can seriously crank through some audiobooks during my workdays. My reading tastes are pretty eclectic, but mostly these days I’m leaning toward a lot of old public domain books these days– some merely for my own enjoyment (pulp sci-fi and gothic horror like Uller Uprising and Carmilla, children’s fantasy like The Princess and The Goblin and Pinocchio, and sweeping literary epics like David Copperfield), but some that I feel like I should read simply because they’re good for me, regardless of whether or not I find them entertaining. While running a saw, I’m a pretty captive audience, and have managed over the past several months to get through several long classics that I may not have had the patience for had I been simply reading them (The Iliad and Dante’s Divine Comedy are a couple of examples). Over the past week or so I’ve been listening to The Federalist Papers, which definitely fall into the latter of these two categories.

If you’re not familiar with The Federalist Papers, they were a series of essays written primarily by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison which provided a logical foundation and defense of the original United States constitution. My feelings while reading these were a little mixed– On one hand I feel like I have at least a little better appreciation for the work America’s founding fathers did to get this nation started up, but on the other hand, let’s be honest, they weren’t exactly a thrill a minute. Loaded with important but boring details on various aspects of taxation, foreign and domestic policy, this was definitely a “eat my vegetables” kind of book. Attempting to come up with a comprehensive review of all the content covered would be difficult, but I would like to share a few of my reactions which, while probably not earth-shattering, are worth mentioning here.

1. The USA is a pretty incredible thing.

As a guy who’s grown up under the red, white, and blue, it’s easy to often take America and our way of doing things as kind of a given. It’s easy to forget that this wasn’t always the case– that in fact, in the scheme of world history, the American experiment is still relatively young. A large portion of The Federalist Papers is spent essentially arguing in this manner (paraphrase) “We have this idea for a thing we’ll call America. Here’s a few reasons people say it won’t work, and here’s why they’re wrong.” The mere idea that the constitution, and, for that matter, the union itself, had such fierce dissenters in the early post-revolution days was surprising to me, and showed me afresh how cool it is that our country was even founded at all.

2. The founding fathers were men of both forethought and gutsy action.

This is related, I suppose, to my first thought, but it’s worth elaborating on here. These essays are full of well-reasoned arguments on all sorts of subjects. The forefathers strike me as both optimists and realists; they expected to see the best from the people of America, but specifically set up systems to guard against the pitfalls of human nature. At the same time, though, they recognized that they were starting something new and that there would inevitably be kinks to work out along the way, but, rather than waiting till everything was perfect (which would be never) they saw value in stepping out boldly. That took courage.

3. In general, people are dumber today (?)

If I’ve not made it clear by this point, The Federalist Papers were not an easy read. I struggled through portions of them, and I like to consider myself pretty astute when it comes to literary matters. However, these essays, initially printed in Newspapers, were initially intended for an audience of average New York farmers. I wonder how well the average U.S. citizen today would do at reading through this material.

4. America has come a long way… but not all necessarily good.

Obviously, this country has grown and evolved since these papers were written. While our constitution remains, our government and population have changed. Some of these changes are great… some not so great. I won’t elaborate too much on this (I’ve already gone on too long and I generally find political debates distasteful), but I do wonder what the founding fathers would think if they were to see the way American government is run today. Would they even recognize it? Sometimes I wonder, and never more than as I read (listened) through their initial plans.


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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Blog


A Walking Contradiction

I’m trying to devise a good method for linking to Pantheon reviews from my web site—something easy and unobtrusive that wouldn’t clutter things up. In the mean time, I suppose it’s enough to state I’ve been honored by a very positive response to the book thus far (if you’ve not checked it out yet, there’s no time like the present). It makes me glad to see that people are enjoying the story and able to connect with its larger themes in a meaningful way.

The real reason I bring all this up, though, is to draw your attention to one specific review, posted on the Black Gate Fantasy blog (here). The opening words of reviewer Michaele Jordan made me laugh because, although we’ve never met, she seems to understand at least a part of my personality in a pretty fundamental way. “Josh Strnad does not look like a horror writer,” she writes. “He’s not dark and brooding, or dressed in black leather. Rather, he’s young and blond, fresh faced and apple-cheeked. He looks like he just came straight from a Wisconsin dairy farm. (And for all I know, he did.) Yet he writes horror. It says so right there on his website.”

She’s right, of course. Although Pantheon is fantasy, not horror, a good deal of my writing (especially in regards to my short fiction) does tend to lean toward darker subject matter… which is weird because I’m not a particularly dark person. In fact, if you had told me as recently as four or five years ago that I would cut my writing teeth (or fangs, if you prefer) crafting stories for horror markets, I may not have believed you. Unlike the popular image conjured when one thinks of the horror genre, I’m not big on gory movies (I’m more a fan of Pixar), I’ve never dabbled in the occult (I’m a committed Christian), and I don’t spend large portions of my time brooding over the subject of death (despair for its own sake doesn’t do a lot for me). I don’t even actively celebrate Halloween, for crying out loud. I am as unlikely a candidate for horror fiction as they come.

And yet… this is the genre that I’ve chosen, or perhaps the one that has chosen me. I love speculative fiction in all its many stripes, sci-fi, fantasy, and, yes, horror. Something about it speaks to me in a special way—I love the ability to look at reality and deeply human truths through the lens of the fantastic, to strip away the commonplace associations in order to see things, perhaps, as they really are. The truth of the matter is that I do enjoy a good creepy story, and, furthermore, that horror seems to have a way of tackling interesting philosophical issues that other genres may not be as good at. In fact, I find horror fiction at its best to be a profoundly moral genre (I’ll probably write more on this subject at a later date). On that note, my experiences with the indie horror writing community have been overwhelmingly positive—there are many remarkable, kind, friendly, funny, intelligent people who, like me, enjoy and participate in the creation of dark fiction.

So here I am: a country boy who is also an unapologetic geek, a blue-collar worker with a 4.0 gpa in his Masters-level classes, a man who teaches children and writes for an adult audience, a Christian who is comfortable to be associated with dark fiction. I suppose this makes me a walking contradiction, but I’ve long since made my peace with that. I’m convinced that nobody is just one thing—there is much more to each of us than meets the eye. Let’s have a conversation and get to know each other. Just don’t put me in a box, because you’ll most likely be surprised.

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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Blog


Another Semester Done

Well, school’s finally out—if not forever as Alice Cooper famously claimed (next fall I’ll be starting it all again), then at least for the summer. While high school kids and teachers still have a few more weeks left, I’m glad to have turned my final projects in and am looking forward to a couple of months of relative rest. This’ll be the first summer since I started grad school where I won’t be taking any summer classes, so I ought to (ahem) have more chances to update this blog regularly.

The past semester was a doozey, not in terms of my school workload per-say (which was heavy, but pretty standard for grad school) but in the combination of full-time school, more-or-less full-time work at the metal shop, and in the editing and publication of Pantheon. (Which, by the bye, if you haven’t bought it yet, you should. Click the link up near the top of this page. All the cool kids are doing it.) I’ve been running on pretty much all cylinders since early January, so having my commitments drop away one by one has been pretty satisfying. Work at the shop even came to a screeching halt this week (due to a broken welding gun) which has left me with essentially no responsibilities for the past several days. I’ve actually had time to read some things just for fun (a big deal for a student), play some computer games (unheard of when there’s homework to be done), begin exercising again, fiddle with my keytar, tidy up my desk area, and resume work on my children’s book illustration project (10 pictures completed, 6 more to go). In short, I’m breathing a lot easier these days.

Next step: get a teaching job for the fall. I’m sure that I’ll find one (I’m fully qualified now that my license has come in), but I’m not entirely sure where yet. Most schools are just now beginning to post their upcoming openings to the internet, so as they appear I’m applying to them. As I said, I’m not certain where I’ll wind up, but I’m confident that God will place me in the school where He wants me to be. I’m looking forward to having a classroom of my own at last.

Also, over the summer, I intend to work more on personal writing projects (another luxury I can’t allow myself when I have papers and forum posts to write for school). This blog will be an iteration of that, of course, but I also intend to crank out a few new short stories and put some serious hours into my next novel. More on that in the future.

It’s nice to have the chance to dig into those kinds of things again.

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Blog