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Catching up, then going away again

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A ridiculous amount of updates today...

While my wife and two boys are off at the beach, I really should've been plowing through my YA urban fantasy novel and making copious notes. But instead, I've been getting distracted, big time. Maybe it was because I was so busy finishing the revisions to my novel before we left on our trip to Iowa, or the fact that I didn't go online much last week, but I felt like I had a million things to do and see that didn't involved working on my latest novel. Me and my distractable self...

Here are some of the nifty things I've been doing or meaning to post about lately:
  • Worked with Jay Tomio to get a new, shiny excerpt from A Gathering of Doorways posted to the FantasyBookSpot web site. Woo! This is very cool -- the excerpt includes the brief prologue (in which I drop some F-bombs) and all of chapter 1. Considering how much time I worked and reworked this opening, I'm happy to share the final version with people. Now, to wait 'til October for the book's release...

  • Played with a new Web site. This one has taken up WAY too much of my time, but I find it strangely addicting. And once I have it all set up, I can update my web pages on the fly, from anywhere, without having to upload files or use an HTML editor to make it all look nice. I've been busy tweaking this crazy set of pages over and over the past few days. Someone please stop me. (But doesn't it look cool???)

  • Had my story "Coal Ash and Sparrows" accepted as a reprint for the upcoming charity anthology for those hit by the floods in Iowa. Logically enough, the tentative title for the antho is The Iowa Anthology.

  • Read the very cool, informative, inspiring articles about YA ficion in the July Locus, including a fine essay by Cory Doctorow that includes the following excellent quote about being a young adult: "Adolescence is a series of brave, irreversible decisions." (Also, I did find a book of mine on this page. Woo woo!)

  • Was accepted into the Fangs, Fur, & Fey blogging community, a group of writers who favor urban fantasy -- though I have yet to write about a vampire, a werewolf, or fairies/faeries... ;) As soon as I'm able to post, I'll add my introduction to the site. Lots of great info and discussions going on there, and you can follow the discussions even if you're not a member. Check it out.

  • Found another review of the Paper Cities anthology, which included the following bits about my story: "In Paiting Haiti, Michael Jasper tells a supernatural urban horror story about an immigrant artist facing an old, mystical, serial killer. But more than that, the story is about being a foreigner and recovering your roots, culture-wise. Very interesting magic system and quite nice portray of Haitian myth. The end is a delight." Sweet.

  • And finally, after being disappointed by the talky, overlong, uninvolving mess of "The Dark Knight" movie (we went to a matinee, sponsored by peeps from the Day Job), I stopped at the bookstore yesterday and picked up a copy of The Watchmen. Oh man, this is a great, great, twisted book. I've been sorta hooked on the trailer, just like my brother-in-law Eric. My advice? Go read the book. It's gonna be better than the movie, though the movie looks pretty darn cool. I am a geek.
And now, I really need to finish up my work and get outta here so I can go to the beach and not be overwhelmed with work (I'm working remotely tomorrow). And I still want to finish up those pesky chapter breakdowns for the YA novel soon... Sigh. Later!

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