candy corn apocalypse halloween horror hat

Hints of Autumn

This is the last weekend of my summer. On Monday, I go back to work for the fall semester, teaching first year English to incoming freshman. Just like that, autumn has arrived for me. That’s the weird thing about teaching. Even as an adult, I still get to experience all those familiar “back to school” vibes I did as a kid. I’m not a father, but I bet parents feel it too as they usher their children to the school bus on the first day.

Summer isn’t actually over—not until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd anyway—but to me it feels like it is. Even as the last bits of summer heat beat down and Labor Day looms, my eyes are firmly set on the auburn horizon.

There used to be a bramble of wild grapes that grew at the end of my driveway. They’d always begin to ripen this time of year, and just as I’d be making those daily predawn trips down the road to the bus stop, I’d pass and get a lungful of the cloyingly sweet and musky smell of grapes. Autumn, the start of school, and the that sweet smell wrapped around each other like the grape vines wrapped around the telephone pole at the end of the driveway. Wrapped around my mind and memories until they became hopelessly intertwined.

The grape vines are gone now, but I still smell them whenever September rolls around and the yellow buses begin their halting expeditions.

It smells like autumn.

Writing News

Work has continued on the new novel, and I’m now sitting pretty at 40,000 words. It’s not quite as much as I’d hoped to write before the summer ended, but the word count took a slight hit as I shifted gears to work on a couple short stories this month.

Speaking of short stories, while I can’t yet tell you what story or what anthology, I can tentatively announce that I sold a short story this month. I can’t wait to tell you more about this, hopefully in the next newsletter.

That podcast interview I mentioned in the last newsletter is now available to view as a video or listen to as a podcast. I had a great time with it and hope you’ll have a listen.

The blog tour for Tommy and the Order of the Cosmic Champions is now over, but you can still navigate to the main page where all the links are still available for a number of reviews, interviews, and articles.

You can also still enter to win the huge 80s-themed gift pack, including the book and a gift card!

August Stats

  • 10,084 words written for the new novel (total of 40,084 words so far)
  • One article written for The 80sXchange
  • Two story submissions
  • One story acceptance (yay!)
  • One novel rejection
  • Seventeen movies watched.
  • Favorite movies this month were PreyNopeThe Black PhoneGlorious, and Evil Dead 2013 (which I’ve seen before but always enjoy).
  • Most listened to band this month: Primus
  • Second place most listened to band: Jesca Hoop
  • Most listened to playlist: Horror Writing Soundtrack (as always).
  • Still currently reading The Haunting of Henderson Close, by Catherine Cavendish. It’s been a slow reading month.

Store News

You can now preorder a signed and personalized copy of Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions directly from my website! These copies will ship the week of October 18th, and will probably come with something a little extra. Maybe stickers, bookmarks, or goody bags.

I’ve also added a number of other great items like hats, tote bags, mouse pads, mugs, and more!


If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to support my work, consider becoming a member of my Patreon, with memberships starting at only $1 a month. This is the most direct way to support my continued writing, as it adds an extra monthly source of income that becomes invaluable to me during long months of no income (such as this summer when my classes were canceled due to low enrollment).

As I finish writing the September Newsletter, days have passed and I’ve already taught my first two classes of the semester. In fact, I’m leaving in about 30 minutes for the third class.

I hope you all have a wonderful September and hope to hear form some of you in the comments section.