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Seven years ago, Jake Parker came up with the idea of doing an ink drawing every day for a month to improve his inking skills. He liked the results so much he created the annual Inktober challenge.

Inktober logo

I’ve eyed the sketches on various social media for a couple years now, and this year I’ve decided to take the plunge and join in. I don’t have fancy brush pens, but I have some Pentel pens of varying colors and Micro-Line pens of different thicknesses to play with, and I found a book at the Easton library on hand lettering — so I’ve got lots of playing to do. I’ll probably try to follow the prompts at least occasionally, but my goal is to have fun for the 31 days.

hand Drawn Lettering: Draw Print Paint by Max Marlborough

Anyone else want to give it a try?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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If you’ve visited my website recently, or if you subscribe to my newsletter (and if you don’t, why not?), you’ve already seen the new cover I got for Bodyguard of Lies. Isn’t it beautiful?

Bodyguard of Lies cover

Designed by The Cover Collection


So this week, among other things, I’m grateful for professional cover artists. What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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So it’s award nomination season (specifically: Hugo nominations opened this week, with PINs for members being sent out in batches), which means lots of people are talking about what they’ve done that’s eligible. Now, I only had two short stories that came out last year, so this is easily done. If you’re looking for more short stories to read, check out “Blood and Gold” in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk and “Adapt or Die” in Aphrodite Terra. Even if you don’t decide to nominate my work, there are many other stories in both that you’ll likely enjoy.Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Last year, my story “Adapt or Die” was accepted for Aphrodite Terra, a collection of stories about Venus. For various reasons, it wasn’t released last year, but it’s finally out. (Paperback won’t be out until January, I’m afraid, Mom.)

Check it out on Amazon.


In other news, I’ve created a Now page (link in header menu) that talks about what I’m focusing on now in fairly broad terms.


So I’m grateful for the first and pleased with the second. What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Bodyguard of Lies cover
Isn’t that pretty?

Bodyguard is going to have two sequels, Treachery of Doubt and Shadows of Truth, in which we follow the further adventures of Sabra, Gareth, Cinn, and various friends and foes (some old and some new).

Oh, and I’m working on getting Bodyguard up for sale with all the usual suspects: Amazon Barnes & NobleKobo.

What are you grateful for this Monday?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

A few notes

Jun. 4th, 2015 12:32 pm
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If you get my newsletter (and read it — goodness knows those aren’t always the same thing!), you’ll know that I was taken recently with Austin Kleon‘s books. I wrote up a review of them for Vision: A Resource For Writers, and it went live earlier this week.
Book Review: Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon


SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is launching a New Release Newsletter! This newsletter will go out every two months, and will feature science fiction and fantasy new releases and backlist rereleases from SFWA members. Each newsletter will contain information on works of all lengths from the talented writers admitted to the premier professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. Anyone can sign up! This is a newsletter for readers, librarians and booksellers to help them find their next favorite story.

Sign up to receive the newsletter.
The first issue, which went out this week


Do you remember the robins that built their nest in the holly bush outside our door last year? This year, we discovered a robin who had more bravery than sense, although last I checked, it hadn’t been a problem yet. Her nest was built on the structure at our local playground, where kids play and any passing predatory bird could easily see the fledglings. Here she is, on the nest, as well as pics of the eggs before hatching and the new hatchlings last week.
robin on her nest

robin's eggs in the nest

baby robins in the nest


The next big adventure: the kids get out of school for the summer tomorrow! Fortunately, I learned last year that I can be possibly more productive in the summer because I don’t have as short a day to work (and I don’t have to get up so early in the morning, either).

So that’s what’s new here as we head into June. Do you have any new and exciting things going on?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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SFWA has been around for 50 years now, and they’re doing a 50th Anniversary Blog Tour, wherein various members talk about why they joined SFWA, what they get out of it, their visions for it, and so forth. My post evidently went up yesterday. The organizer asked for a cover photo, a headshot, and a bio. I sent him all three, and none of them are the ones included in the post. I can only conclude that my e-mail to him went astray on the Internet, as it must have been much more work for him to track the information down on his own than to use what I provided. (Pretty sure the headshot’s from Twitter.)

Anyway, the post: A Big Tent Philosophy

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I sold a series of drabbles to SpeckLit, and the last of them has gone live, so I thought I should put links here so you can find and read them all. I hope you enjoy!

The First Horseman

The Second Horseman

The Third Horseman

The Fourth Horseman

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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You can catch my latest, Family Gifts, over at SpeckLit today. Enjoy!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I’m happy to announce that my story “Blood and Gold” has been accepted for publication in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk (table of contents). Publication date is July 14, 2015; I’ll mention it again next summer!

Also, my story “Matchmaker” (originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine) has been translated into Galician and is up at Nova Fantasia: A casamenteira. (Galician is a Romance language, one of three spoken in Spain, the other two being Spanish [obviously] and Catalan.)

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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1 Really Cool Thing

I’m on the Andre Norton Award Jury this year! Official announcement

(Hey, look, I didn’t bury the lede!)

5 Things to Put You in a Better Mood

Happiness, confidence, optimism, meaning in life, and success — Eric Barker talks about notes to write yourself to give yourself a boost

9 Things

This actually falls into the series of productivity tools I’ve been talking about. It’s a simple take on the to-do list that I picked up from Jamie Todd Rubin, and he got the idea from the 27 GoodThings blog. Being a paperless ambassador, he advocates Evernote and Penultimate, but you can do the same thing with any notepad. And rather than duplicate his explanation, I’ll just link to his original post. I find this a very useful tool to keep myself (mostly) from trying to do too much on a given day. Getting “9 Things” Done

What interesting things have you found recently?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m a member of Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers, a multi-genre authors’ group. Periodically, GSSW releases an anthology of stories by their authors. The latest, Speculations from New Jersey, has a short story by me included — “Glimmerings.”
Cover for Speculations from New Jersey anthology

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Clarkesworld Magazine has released its Year Five anthology. It’s currently only available as an e-book, but trade paper will be available later this month. (Buy links are all on the linked page.)

This anthology includes my story “Matchmaker.”

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Cover of Spells & SwashbucklersThe other day, I received my printed copy of Spells & Swashbucklers. It’s a lovely book. I handed it to my son to look at, and he got as far as “anthology” before putting it down. I pointed out my name on the back cover as one of the contributors to the anthology, and that was when he decided it was worth another look — even started reading my story!

That wasn’t the only arrival this week, however.

Cover of Fall 2012 issue of Space and TimeToday, I received copies of the Fall 2012 issue of Space & Time, which has my story “A Pretty Bauble,” a lovely mother-daughter story with sword fights and cats.

There’s something very satisfying about seeing something I’ve written in print. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy with electronic publication, too.) In that vein, I’d like to point out that Clarkesworld Magazine is reviving its anthologies (although it’ll be a while before 2011 — Year Five — is available) and Daily Science Fiction is also planning compilations of stories. Don’t worry — I’ll let you know when they’re ready!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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First, I finally filled out the application for SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and I’ve received notice that my application was approved. I am now a full-fledged pro by the standards of that body (three professional short story sales).

Second, my short story “Pretty Bauble” is scheduled to be in issue 117 of Space & Time Magazine. I’m not sure when that will be out, but I’ll let you know when I do. (For those of you who may have short stories, the magazine is open to submissions until August 5.)

Third, David Bridger is running a wonderful week-long group therapy for writers on his blog this week, helping people think about what their personal obstacles are to writing and what they can do to overcome them. (I posted on Monday, but I’m dropping out. Through no fault of the commenters, some of the things said trigger negative feelings for me, which leaves me in a place I don’t like to be. However, I recommend everyone check it out and see how it works for them.)

I’ll be back tomorrow for a Q & A that has nothing to do with my writing life. :)

So what’s new with you this week?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Just wanted to post a quick note apologizing for my lack of commenting on other A to Z blog participants. I’m a procrastinator (I’d say a terrible procrastinator, but the truth is I’m quite good at it!), and I’m going through piles of receipts as I work through our taxes. I’m sorry; I’ll be back to blog-hopping by Monday.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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April begins on Sunday, as you might have noticed. Last April, I participated in the A to Z blogging challenge. This year, I’m doing it again, and unlike last year, I’m going with a theme: epic fantasy. Posts will be about authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I think happens to fit.

I will still make my normal posts — the Merry-Go-Round blog tour post on the second, the gratitude posts on Mondays, the genre-defining posts on Fridays, and pictures of my garden or random other posts as I see fit. This is adding to the blog for a month, not changing it overall. Just expect more content for the month of April.

Also, if you’re inspired, you can go sign up to join in, but hurry — sign-ups close on Monday! If you follow that link, you’ll see the others who are signed up to participate (currently 1,365 blogs). Check some out; see what they have to say. You might find a new favorite!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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My friend Alex Fayle came up with a wonderful idea for a Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour (no posts there yet). Each month, the participants will blog on the same topic, each on a different day. We’ll post on our own blogs, with links to the tour and to those posting before and after us, so people can follow the tour. I think the plan is to start for July, so I’ll let you all know what day to expect my words of wisdom — or words, anyway.

The other thing I’m planning to do is another A to Z blog series, since I had such fun with the one in April. This time, the plan is to post once a week, beginning July 2. Topic will be women science fiction and fantasy authors. Obviously, I’m not going to do every author with a given initial, so I may choose some other method to narrow it down. I’m open to suggestions.

I may also try to get back to weekly Q&A posts, too. It’s been a while since I did those.

The idea is to get some regular content going here, in addition to all these random, “Oh, hey, I ought to tell people about that” posts.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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