Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Cleaning

It's March madness in my corner of the world. I teach English at a university and it's the month of grading essays, meeting with students and various other teaching-related duties. The meetings are mostly pleasant, the grading less so, unfortunately. It's just that there are so many, it often feels like that classic Star Trek episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles," where they just seem to be multiplying. It can drive you a little stir crazy, especially in the throes of an Eastern Canadian winter.

In fact, it's snowing here today, again, just when it was fit to go outside and do some well-needed running (which I did on the weekend--'twas glorious). Now I'll have to wait for nature to do her thing because the city of St. John's is not one to be bothered with clearing sidewalks if there's a snowball's chance in Hell the rain and warmer temperatures might take it away...or even if there's not.

Meanwhile, I'm reading stories for an out-of-province short fiction competition, which I'm enjoying immensely. This time last year, I was reading nearly thirty novels in a span of 4-5 weeks for the NL Book Awards. That one was won by the very deserving Jessica Grant and her hilarious and poignant novel, Come, Thou Tortoise. This time around, the reading isn't nearly as heavy in terms of volume and it makes for a more leisurely adjudication process.  Plus, I'm the only judge, so that means I don't have to spend time consulting with anyone. I don't mind that part of it, but when you're as busy as I usually am during March Madness month, it's best to keep the variables to a minimum.

Anyway, it occured to me that I should spruce up the ol' blog a little bit. Company's comin', you know. Got a new book--my very first, called Moonlight Sketches, coming out this month on March 22nd and shortly after that, there'll be the book launch, tentatively scheduled for April 7.

I've been going all this time thinking I had a "Profile" on this blog, but really didn't. I guess it was one of those things I figured I'd get around to. When I started this blog, it was pretty much on the downlow until it got closer to my book coming out. I didn't advertise it or post it on Facebook or anywhere else, so I figured traffic would be slow. And it was, at first. But lately, it's picked up a lot, so I figured it's time I added some info, including  (you'll notice) a photo of the cover for Moonlight Sketches (a short story collection) and links for buying the books at Amazon and Chapters on-line. You can pre-order, if you'd like. In fact, I wouldn't mind because those sales go into the system as soon as the book is released, making the chances for a strong first week more likely--always important to get people's attention. More importantly for you, you'll get your book asap.

Oh, and I also added a link that goes directly to my Facebook page--you know, in case you dare to get a little closer and learn a little more.

Soon, I'll be changing the name of this blog again. If you have any suggestions for names, I'd love to hear them. I started with "Gothic Times" and then switched to "Moonlight Sketches," but I think the redundancy there is a bit redundant. So I'll be switching again soon and giving the banner a fresh new look, maybe something that will also download a bit quicker.

That's all for now. Oh, and thanks for all the feedback on the "Favorite Things" series. It's still ongoing. I've got some new ones coming up soon. In case I don't make it through March Madness, I've specified in my will that I want the new instalments in a timely fashion.

Ciao for now.


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