Round 2… #flashfictionchallenge

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On top of a glorious Farewell to Summer camping trip, this past weekend was also Round 2 of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge.

“But Andy,” You might say to yourself. “What about Round 1’s results?”

I’m glad you asked.

Round 1 went far better than anticipated. In my group of 35 writers, I managed to place 4th. The feedback was bolstering, and I hope to have as good (if not better) news from the judges after Round 2 concludes.

It’s a scary proposition: of 2100 writers, only 300 will move on to Round 3. I’m confident that I submitted my best 1000 words for the challenge, but really all I can do is hope my stories are good enough when compared to the competition.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, I have lots of typing to do before Round 3 starts.

Commence au (book) festivale.

So many announcements to share with you today!

September has been updated with the full color cover. If you already purchased it, you should see your Kindle book has updated. If you were waiting for the final cover, wait no more!


Speaking of covers, how would you like to see January live and in-person? I will have physical copies of January on hand at Kerrytown Bookfest this Sunday! I can promise you that these will (eventually) be made available to the greater public via Amazon, but for the time being, these will be a live-and-in-person exclusive.

And if I can squeeze in one more segue… I, and a host of other authors will be in Ann Arbor on Sunday 11am – 5pm. Come out and fall in love with a new story – or an old one. Come out and see what Bookfest has to offer you.

Just in time for a holiday…

The end of summer means the last great hurrah: one last family vacation, one last weekend at the beach, one last big cookout. One last chance to bask in the sunshine and warmth. A final opportunity to lament airborne pests.

If that’s you, I would love nothing more than to encourage you to download a copy of September, the newest installment of At Calendar’s End for your Labor Day relaxing.

I would love to, but I’m not going to.

As I have been informed (repeatedly) by a certain loyal reader, At Calendar’s End is not “easy” reading. It has also been (playfully?) suggested that a support group be started for readers of the series.

In light of this news, I cannot in good conscience suggest you go out on your last holiday weekend and read something that might traumatize you. If previous installments have been hard to deal with, September will prove the rule, not the exception.

So enjoy the sun while you still can. When you have had your fun, come back to the series, it will be waiting.

But don’t wait too long, the Intercalary don’t have much time left.

Schedules being what they are, the finished cover for September has been delayed. It will be going through some iterations, but I will update as soon as humanly possible. With this in mind – and the holidays looming – we shall see how it effects future covers as we finish out the series. The stories, however, will continue to be delivered to you on the first of each month, as promised.

As always, click the art of the talented Mr. Ritson to be directed to Amazon.

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Here We Go Again…

With little less than a month to go, I am delighted to remind you all that Kerrytown Bookfest is coming Sunday, September 11, from 11am to 5pm.


This promises to be another amazing year for authors, vendors, and creative types alike. You can find me at Booth 67, right next to ChicalooKate.

But in the interest of self-service and cross-promotion, I thought I would share the kindness of being mentioned on Kerrytown’s blog today. I also want to point out that something amazing is coming:

Very soon, I will be debuting a version of January that you can hold in your hands. Copies will be at Kerrytown first, where I (coincidentally, I assure you) will be on hand to sign each and every copy.

I’m looking very forward to this, as I do every year. Come on out, it promises to be a great time for booklovers of all ages.

Patience is a Virtue…

But the wait is over.

After a brief delay, the artwork for August has been update – I am currently waiting for Amazon to agree with me. Kindle publishing reflects the new artwork, but Amazon has yet to get the memo.

I just wanted to take time out of our collective day for an art appreciation break. You can click the image to be directed to the Amazon listing.

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Cover to cover…

I’m going to put out the pertinent information first, and then I’d like you to bear with me for some long-worded winding on a related topic.

First, August is here, as undeniable as the rise and set of the sun. And equally unstoppable is the arrival of August: part eight in the series.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the cover has been delayed slightly. I apologize for the delay, but the story itself is moving right along schedule and you can find it at the link below.

Fortunately for ebook reading, the cover will be easily updated as soon as it is in my hands and I will post its beautiful sights for all eyes.

But even more interesting is how my covers, my work, and my calendar have all culminated in a spectacular announcement:

Today celebrates the third anniversary of Empty Hallways’ haunting re-cover. You may or may not know that the first edition of the book had a very disappointing cover. I did it myself, in a rush of amateur publishing (which I am still finding I don’t know everything about. Surprise, surprise.) but the book was later refaced by my talented cover artist and wonderful friend Brian Ritson.

His cover made me feel like a real author, not just an amateur. And he has continued to provide covers that might actually oversell the content within.

And therein lies the amazing coincidence: today is not only the third anniversary of Brian’s Empty Hallways cover. August will be the tenth cover to proudly display Brian’s art.

Brian will continue to be my artist as long as he can entertain channeling my stories for his art.

So thank you Brian, and congrats!

To three years of work.

To ten covers.

To a lifelong friendship.

Cheers, my friend.

August, as well as Brian’s other covers (and my stories) can be found on Amazon.

A lot can happen in 48 hours…

Just ask Las Vegas.

Oh, nothing so drastic is happening in my life, I assure you. But I have managed to (almost blindly) stumble onto a writing competition, write a short story inside of 48 hours, and submit it for judgment.

The skinny: The NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2016 is a competition to create a 1000 word (or less, but certainly not more) story  in 48 hours – based on 3 thematic criteria submitted to contestants at the beginning of the competition. Contestants are divided into groups, each group having their own criteria. After two challenges, the top 5 in each group will move on. I’m hoping to be part of that Top 5, but I have no idea who I am competing against.

Well, that’s not completely true… I’m competing against a lot of people from around the world.

My group represents 20 different states and 5 countries… of which, I am one of 35. Stiff odds already, but then consider that my group is one of 60. My chances of success are diminishing the more I think about numbers, but what can I do?

I can stop thinking about the numbers.

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The fact of the matter is this:

Someone handed me a list of requirements and said, “Hey. Write a story with this stuff in it. Oh, and it’s due in 48 hours.” And I did exactly that. I reached into my brain and pulled out what I think is a pretty good story – especially for the circumstances. I can control nothing else in the situation, so I’m not going to stress about it. I’m going to wait, and I’m going to see what my score is when it comes back.

The optimist in me says, “Hey, you wrote another story. You’ve already won!” I’m going to run with that.