The saddle, and being back in it

Since Wednesday I've been almost entirely absent from just about everything – from work (took three days off), from the internet (too dislocated to participate), from my loving family (too doped-up and too asleep to contribute). Yep, you guessed it – I was recovering from oral surgery. Enormously fun, as I'm sure you can imagine. I won't go into the details here, but suffice to say the experience involved blood and sutures and things removed and things added, and now I'm basically Robocop. 

Yours truly, on a whole bunch of drugs before my surgery. (This is also my 'Oh, really? Really?' face.)

Yours truly, on a whole bunch of drugs before my surgery. (This is also my 'Oh, really? Really?' face.)

But it's Sunday now, and tomorrow the week begins again, and I've got to jump back into the race. Am I in any condition to do so? Thankfully, the answer is probably 'mostly'. It's been an interesting few days, for sure. 

Some very cool things are happening today, though, and I had to blog through a fog of pain to tell you about it. (Actually, there really is a fog of pain today. There wasn't one yesterday, so back to the drugs!) 

Cool thing the first: 

Yesterday I attempted (and succeeded) at my first public appearance since the surgery last week. It wasn't much, just a lunch date with friends, but if someone in my family was going to have a meltdown, it was probably going to me. (Spoiler: Wasn't me. It was Squish.) This wasn't just any lunch, though – this was a meetup with fellow indie author Ernie Lindsey and his delightful wife Sarah (Sarah with an h, unlike the protagonist of his bestselling novels about Sara without an h) and their rough-and-tumble son, Jack, who is just beginning to walk on his own. Jack has a nickname of his own, as it turns out, so yesterday worlds aligned, and our daughter Squish and their son Squirms were in the same place at the same time. (Superhero adventures definitely on the horizon for these two.) 

There was a secondary motive for the lunch, though – I had a stack of copies of From the Indie Side that needed signing. 

Cool thing the second: 

The previous weekend – prior to the Surgery of Doom – Felicia and Squish and I met up with the immensely talented Australian indie author treasure, Peter Cawdron. He was touring the U.S. for top-secret purposes, and swung by Portland just to meet us. Well, that and to also sign From the Indie Side. Peter charmed Squish with a kangaroo hand puppet (which she won't go anyplace without, btw), and asked me to sign his novels Xenophobia, Little Green Men and Feedback, each of which I designed the cover for. (These were a gift for his editor, Ellen.) He also brought chocolate and a koala calendar. We're true Aussies now. 

Cool thing the third:

David Gatewood, who has become quite the high-demand indie editor lately, is working with Michael Bunker (the unstoppable author of Pennsylvania – have you seen how big that series is becoming?) on a new anthology, Synchronic: Twelve Tales of Time Travel. I've designed the cover and am also contributing my short story The Dark Age. A few days ago Gatewood sent me a marvelous note about the story, which I'm going to share without his permission, because that's the kind of friend I am:

I read The Dark Age a couple of weeks ago when you sent it over, and had a similar reaction. I think it may be the best short story I have ever read. (You can put that on the cover. I mean it sincerely.) And yet, as with The Road, I never wanted to have to live through The Dark Age again. From beginning to end, it hurts. So I've kind of been procrastinating about editing it.

But, finally, I buckled down. And when I got to the end, I cried. Again.

This is a special story.

I've been waiting to work with David for a very long time on my novel-that-won't-end, Eleanor, so it's been a real pleasure to be a part of his two anthologies. He's a nuanced and skilled editor, and he's only made my work better. 

Cool thing the fourth:

I should end this blog post soon. But I can't, not without telling you that today, for the second time this year, Greatfall is an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal. Today is a special case, though – my book, along with three other Wool fanfiction novels (Peter Cawdron's Shadows, Carol Davis's Rebel State and Daniel Gage's Silo 7), are piggybacking on the Kindle Daily Deal for Hugh Howey's Sand omnibus. And my Veronica Mars fanfiction story, Neptune Confidential, is a Kindle Select 25 title this week. 

And to top all of that off, I received a small gift in the mail from my friends at Kindle Worlds this weekend. They found a top-rated restaurant near our home, and bought a night out for Felicia and me. As parents of a toddler, this isn't something we get to do all that often. Getting to work with the wonderful folks at Amazon – and especially those who have made Kindle Worlds what it is today – has been one of the greatest pleasures of the last year. They've shown nothing but love and support for my work, and are champions of indie authors everywhere, and I'm happy know each and every one of them.

And now I'm out of cool things to tell you about, at least until tomorrow or so. 

Happy weekend, all!