Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #10.2

First Draft of the 1979 Section is complete.

Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2014 – 6:07 pm | Comments (0)

Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #10

I am very nearly done with the 1979 section of the novel and in fact I am working on the final first draft scene of that section. I am having some trouble finishing it up, mostly because my brain doesn’t want to write the ending I need to write. Part of me wants to treat this as the end of the piece, but in reality it is the part where the situation falls apart and sets up the finale in the 1999 section.

Working. Writing. Moving Forward.

1. Wrote about 3000 words this week.
2. Made some serious outline notes for the 1929 section.
3. Studied more Oney history.
Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2014 – 2:59 pm | Comments (0)

Minicon Schedule 2014!


Navigating the World of Small Press Publishing – 8:30-9:30PM – Veranda 7/8 (K)


Local References in Urban Fantasy – 11:30AM-12:30PM – Veranda 7/8 (K)

Reading – 3:30-4:30PM – Veranda 1/2

Signing – 5:00-5:30PM – Ballroom Foyer

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2014 – 9:32 pm | Comments (0)

Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #9

More forward momentum. I’m still on track to be done with the 1979 section before April is over. Personal life has caused a bit of a slow-down and will continue to do so, but I am hopeful things have stabilized.

In the story itself, things are about to fall apart for the protagonists. Once I’m done here I plan to step back and write the 1929 section, which should be the shortest. I’m hoping the 1999 section will go quickly, since I will have it pretty much outlined to the finish of the first draft and have some developmental notes about what needs to be added for some character development.

1. About 2250 words written
2. More notes for the 1929 and 1999 sections
3. 1979 section outline complete. I just need to write it
4. Worked on some maps of Oney in 1979 based on my memory
5. Stated working on a map of Oney in 1929 based on a 1915 map and information in the community history book.
6. Drop a couple of songs from the playlist. Added a couple to the playlist.

Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2014 – 12:33 pm | Comments (0)

Dark Waters

11 Dark Waters

Richard Martz is a bitter ex-mage cursed as punishment for the destruction of his previous magical coven. Richard is reluctantly drawn back into the word of magic and intrigue when he is approached by Holly Ellefson, daughter of a human mage. Holly is also part-fey, a bloodline taboo by both custom and treaty.

Agreeing to protect Holly, Richard pits his erratic, broken magic against the Twin Cities Magical Council. As Holly gains control over her fey abilities and the magical powers inherited from her mother, she discovers her family’s deep secrets: secrets the Magical Council would rather stay buried.

Caught between multiple enemies, Richard and Holly race to unravel the mystery of Holly’s heritage while healing the wounds of Richard’s tragic past, even as the forces arrayed against them tighten their grip, threatening death—or worse—should Richard or Holly fall into their hands.

Dark Waters is available at
Alban Lake Publishing and at Smashwords in various ebook formats.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2014 – 5:45 pm | Comments (0)

Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #8

I had a much better writing week. With no conventions, normal work hours, and feeling physically better, I was able to get back on track. I spent a small chunk of Saturday night and Sunday into the mid-afternoon writing, which was nice. Got more work done Monday night than usual. I will probably be done with the first draft of the 1979 timeline before the month of April is out. My teenaged protagonists are all three hip-deep in the mystery and striving with various degrees of success and failure, but lack the understanding, experience and power of their opponents.

1. About 3500 new words
2. Committed research online
3. Messed with the timelines, change 1936 to 1929 and 2000 back to 1999
4. Started outlining the 1929 section
5. Read more on my Oney Community History Book

Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on April 1, 2014 – 1:16 pm | Comments (0)

Writing Process Blog Tour 2014

Today is my day for the Writing Process Blog Tour, a blog tour where various writers discuss what they are working on and their process, tag the writer who talked them into it and finds other victims—er—other writers to participate. You the reader get to follow the various links to discover new writers. I’d like to thank J. Alan Erwine for asking me to take part. His own post is here.

What Am I Working On?
At the moment my project is a new novel titled Ghosts of the Places We Live, though it is really three novellas intertwined together: a southern gothic horror piece that takes place in 1929, a secret history in 1979, and a ghost story/urban fantasy in 1999. It is set in the community of Oney, Oklahoma (Albert, Oklahoma according to the U.S. Government) a little place that was a big influence on my childhood and is today almost a ghost town. This novel is my small gesture at making sure this community is not forgotten and my nod to the memory of the place I love.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?
This was a hard question for me to answer, because I don’t think of myself as an innovator in anyway. I posed it to a couple of people who have read my stuff and I think they gave me good answers.

I am able to focus on both The Big Idea of a novel and the Small Intimate Stuff. I do world building and characters with equal ease and intertwine them together easily with a focus on the small stories of the characters, who tend to be people trying to find their way and place in the world.

I try to focus on characters who a disabled, othered, and chipped up by life, with an emphasizes not on their limitations, or on making them All Better Thanks To Science/Magic, or Look How Noble They Are Because They can Do Things, but on how they go about life and living.

Finally, I write like I do because I had a very solid Midwestern mentality imbued in me by my “We survived the Great Depression and World War II” grandparents. My characters tend to be practical, down to earth folks who Get Things Done Even When Things Get Weird. They are pragmatic people; firm, calm, quiet, competent at pretty much anything they do. A lot like my grandparents.

Why Do I Write What I Do?
I write the stories I do because I think there is a place in our genre for the quieter stories, stories that are driven by the characters instead of the Big Idea or massive world building or the monster of the book to fight/fornicate with. There is nothing wrong with any of the things above. I fact, I love all three of those things, but as a writer I like people and characters and their personal, intimate stories. I suppose besides a Midwestern mentality I also have realistic contemporary literature sensibilities with a strong dose of magical realism.

How Does Your Writing Process Work?
Mostly, I seem to flail around like a demented Muppet. I once had a system and process, but these days I’m in flux, trying to find my footing. On the days I work I’m usually too tired and brain fried to commit fiction in the evenings, but I am able to sort out plot points, do research, create basic scene outlines and blocking, and consider what I’ve written up to that point, making notes of adjustments I need to make. On the days I don’t work, I have all the notes and outlines in place so that I can simply sit down and write. On the two or three afternoons and evenings a week I have for writing, I can apply all the previous work, sit my butt down, and just start writing—writing to whatever point in the plot/outline I’m working on. And if that isn’t working I go write a different scene, which usually jogs lose my problems in the scene that had stalled.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my part of this blog hop/tour. I now pass the baton off to three most worthy and talented writers.

Conrad Zero is an author of dark fiction from Minneapolis, MN, and the front man for ‘Northern Rock’ band Jagged Spiral ( He has a Bachelor’s of Philosophy degree from the University of MN and a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. When he’s not writing deep-dark-sugar-pop song lyrics, he’s writing deep-dark-sugar-pop fiction stories like Pinky The Invisible Flying Pony Vs The Giant Carnivorous, Poisonous, Exploding Spider-Leeches. No matter what he’s doing, he always wears black, because it makes laundry day simple. Visit his website here.

Catherine Lundoff is the award-winning author of three short story collections: Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing, Night’s Kissand A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories, and one novel, Silver Moon. She is the editor of Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories and co-editor, with JoSelle Vanderhooft, of Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic. Her stories have appeared in over 70 publications. Her works and papers are collected in the SFWA/Gender Studies Collections at the Northern Illinois University Library. Visit her website here.

Marissa Lingen is a speculative fiction writer living in the Minneapolis suburbs with two large men and one small dog. She has written over one hundred works of short fiction and is working on a novel. Visit her website here.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2014 – 9:01 am | Comments (0)

Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #7

I almost didn’t post this update because, well, I wrote almost nothing last week (330 words). It was kind of a perfect storm disaster of post-Paganicon exhaustion, dealing with being ill while making up my hours at work, and trying to catch up on everything else in life I have fallen behind on. Still, I had hopeful that this week will be better.

Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2014 – 2:18 pm | Comments (0)

Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #6

Poor progress this week. I was sick after MarsCon and then had to prepare for Paganicon this previous weekend. I tried to work at the convention, but was too run-down to focus. I had hoped to get some work in yesterday and today, since I had off work, but page proofs for Dark Waters arrived and I’m still low-grade sick, so no writing in the last two days. I go back to work tomorrow, work on Saturday, have a million errands and other things to accomplice after work each night and a full weekend, more Dark Waters proofs and a dedication to figure out, MinnSpec stuff that needs my attention, and…

I’m not sure how much writing will get done this week either.


And now I just want to curl up in bed with a book and hot tea.

1. A few hundred new words.
2. Made a major timeline decision.
3. Studied my Oney: A Community History 1901 to 1980 book.

Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2014 – 7:08 pm | Comments (0)

Ghosts of the Places We Live Update #5 With Bonus MarsCon Thoughts

Not much movement on the novel this week. Between Day Job, convention prep, and MarsCon itself, I didn’t have a lot of time to work, though I did manage to get some words in the wee small hours and in between stuff at the convention. I refuse to beat myself up over this.

I had a really nice MarsCon, so much so that it is starting to feel more of home for me than any other Minneapolis convention, of which there are many fine ones. There were some hiccups and a slightly rocky start and apparently a short dust up with the Big Game Hunters (the other event in the hotel that weekend), but my panels were all great, I sold a few books, and I was a guest of the fabulous Rockstar Storytellers, something I had wanted to do for a couple of years.

Don’t expect too much from me next week either, as Day Job is keeping me busy and I’m heading to Paganicon to play local author and teach a storytelling workshop. Plus, today I realized some stuff I thought was done is actually in need of major reworking, mostly because I figured out how that section story really ends.

Progress this week:
1. Wrote a couple thousand words.

2. Figured out a major tangle in the finale of the year 1979 section.

3. Came to a decision concerning the relationship status of three of the characters in the year 1979 section.

4. Made notes for the year 1936 section.

5. All these above led me to a necessary scene in the year 2000 section.

6. Added a couple of songs to the playlist. Cut a couple of songs from the playlist.
Ghosts Of the Places We Live

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2014 – 5:35 pm | Comments (0)