Published!

Half-Past Summer is now available on Amazon!

THE NIGHTMARE’S NEST Keys of all Shapes and Sizes Inquire Within

On the door there was a battered cardboard “Open” sign, so Barnabas took a few deep breaths and stepped inside.

The shop was dusty and almost totally dark. One flickering gas lamp hung from a long chain and swayed as if he was on board a ship. The shop was full of strange lumps and bumps that were buried deep in dust.

“Hello?” Barnabas called, and broke off coughing. He stepped towards what might have been a counter. “Hello!”

-"The Halfway Clock"

The cool thing is that even if you don't have a Kindle-- (I don't have a Kindle)-- Amazon has lots of free apps that function just like Kindles (you can download, read, bookmark to your computer, iPhone, Blackberry, etc).  The apps come with free copies of Pride & Prejudice, Treasure Island, and Aesop's Fables.

What I learned during this experience:

-Ebook formatting is not easy or straightforward. -Assume everything will take three times as long as you originally assumed. -The internet is vast and unpredictable. Like, your cover image will suddenly appear in invert colors just when you're ready to hit "publish."

Half-Past Summer: Cover

The cover for Half-Past Summer. (More silhouettes!)

Here's the working "blurb" for the ebook:

George dreams the sound of green. Min revives a treacherous magic in a withered tree. Barnabas boards the wrong bus and discovers a place where nightmares walk and time stands still.

These three tales unlock the mystery of summer nights and soothe the heat of summer days.

Half-Past Summer will be available for Kindle within the next week.

Summer Ink

This is an illustration for Half-Past Summer, a trio of fantasy short-stories for children (and child-like grownups).  I haven't done much with ink before, but I really like it.  One of the things Dan Dos Santos hammered into my head during the IMC was the importance of value studies.  Working with ink and silhouettes forces me to think in nothing BUT values.

Half-Past Summer will be available on Kindle at the beginning of August.

Stories in Stone 2

The fallen rhododendron leaves lie thick underfoot, and the Spanish moss dulls birdsong and conversation.  Some find the silence of the old Florida cemetery peaceful.  Some find the silence unsettling.

Here lies James Bruton, who joined the Home Guard at the age of 14.  He had a freckles and a grin too wide for his face.   Though the Home Guard was never meant to see action, James Bruton set off for war before he'd had his first shave.  He left whistling "Dixie."   Despite his mother's worst fears, he came home again, with something like whiskers and still whistling-- through a gap in his smile, where the butt of a Yankee rifle had knocked out his two front teeth.

He lived into his eighties.  "War is better than anything," he would say.  "Better than catfish."

This is the final resting place of Dr A H Mathers.  He lived at peace with every man and child, and never so much as threw a stone at a stray dog.   But Dr Mathers had one odd habit: folks kept catching him carrying a shovel in odd places at odd times.  Once the Reverend caught Dr Mathers leaving the church at midnight on the Fourth of July, shovel in hand.  Another time the doctor crashed through his son's birthday party, waving his shovel in the air.  No one ever found out why he carried that shovel.

His last words were:  "I buried it under the porch."

Whatever "it" was, no one understands this, as Dr Mathers' house had no porch. Most people think the good doctor's mind was wandering.  But over the years, nearly every porch in town has been dug up, just in case--

"Those whom God loves die young."

Annie Barr was just 19 when the stonemason fell madly in love with her.  She was already dead at the time, so it was a very one-sided love affair.  Her parents hired the mason to carve a small headstone, which was all they could afford.  Instead, the stonemason delivered this massive angel with Annie's face.  Annie's parents were too shocked to thank him, and the stonemason left town soon afterwards.  Later, the stonemason became famous-- but he would only carve angels, and all the angels had Annie's face.

John W Price's relatives eventually gave up repairing his tombstone.  No matter how many times the stone was fitted back in its slot, the next day it was always out again: laid neatly on its back across his grave.  The problem has continued through the decades.   No one is sure whether this is the work of a very persistent (and now elderly) vandal, or if Mr Price has some objection to his headstone.

This is a sequel to "Stories in Stone."  Disclaimer: Any resemblance to anyone living or dead, friend or relation isn’t entirely coincidental, but nearly so-- meaning that while these are the graves of real people, the stories about them are fictitious.