Thirty Days Later is Coming!

30 Days later coverDo you like steampunk and cliffhangers? Adventure and intrigue? Dragons and Sasquatches? Then you’ll like the forthcoming anthology Thirty Days Later, Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time, featuring pairs of stories by favorite steampunk authors who have appeared at the Clockwork Alchemy steampunk convention!

Thinking Ink Press is proud to announce we will publish Thirty Days Later in time for Clockwork Alchemy this Memorial Day. Edited by AJ Sikes, BJ Sikes, and Dover Whitecliff, Thirty Days Later is the sequel to the steampunk anthology Twelve Hours Later: 24 Tales of Myth and Mystery, a charity anthology to promote California literacy programs, and Thinking Ink Press is proud to donate half the royalties of Thirty Days Later to promote literacy.  Among the offerings, T.E. MacArthur takes you a wild ride from the Nile to secret Minoan passages with explorer Miranda Gray!  The question being: can she outwit her dangerous partner and the ghost of the ancient Minotaur?

Advance copies are being prepared as we speak.  This is the second anthology for our intrepid authors, some new authors, and the illustrious Harry Turtledove.

http://www.thinkinginkpress.com/2016/01/tip/thirty-days-later-a-new-steampunk-anthology/

Spread the news: Thirty Days Later is coming and it can’t be stopped!

The Lidenbrock Manifesto

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Just for fun, the opening salvo to the Volcano Lady #4: The Lidenbrock Manifesto.

Enjoy – comment – percolate.

She’s dead

Defying her proper place, defying him, defying the new God.  She got what she deserved. 

The great Letticia Gantry is dead

For a brief moment, he felt sad – or was it disappointment he felt?  She had been somewhat engaging.  Acceptably attractive, despite her lack of femininity.  No.  It was her fault that she failed so miserably trying to stop him and for that, she was dead. 

He’d been the one to kill her too, though not quite the way he’d wanted.  It had taken the train wreck to do the job; he would have preferred it if his surprise, waiting down in the caverns, had done the job.  Now she was a martyr – a victim of an accident – rather than a casualty of her perverse interest in science and her stupidity in choosing to climb down into the earth.  Unfeminine. 

Her strange hold over him, including the odd sensation of lust and confusion she caused in him, was dead too.  That nonsense could distract him no more.  Not a moment more, he insisted.

 

A Spice-laden Autumn

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Emeryville and the San Francisco Bay at sunset. By T.E. MacArthur

Emeryville and the San Francisco Bay at sunset. By T.E. MacArthur

I love the Fall … that Spice-laden Autumn.

I am one of those delirious fools who wait all throughout August and September for the return of pumpkins, apples, and falling leaves.

As a girl, growing up in Colorado, we had the Aspen trees to tell us what time of year it was. As each of those green leaves changed to yellow and orange, every child in our neighborhood knew that three things were coming: cozy blankets, hot apple cider, and Halloween. In Colorado, when every living thing seemed to reflect the iron-rich rocks in color, and the state was living up to its name, there was a change in the air. Romantic, and rarely varied, nothing spoke of Summer after the Autumnal Equinox. The brisk morning air was colder. The rain, by which one could set their watch, had disappeared. If there was a sudden, unexpected burst of warm weather, we called it Indian Summer, and kept right on with our preparations for the coming snow.

In so many ways, that was our seasonal right of passage. We recognized the change in year and celebrated it with our daily rituals. It is something that I miss dearly.

I live in California now. We have brown as our daily color from about July onward. If it isn’t brown, it is gray with fog. We really don’t have seasons beyond Rain, Hot, Foggy, and Earthquake*. That was difficult for me to accept at first, but there are aspects of this environment that reflect the beauty of Autumn. No more than a day or so past the Equinox, I noticed that it was darker in the morning while leaving for work. The air tastes sharper and colder. The light changes dramatically. Is it only in my head – my imagination gone silly – or is it true that the world appears as though someone washed a sheer brush-stroke of pale blue over everything at Twilight? Reds and fuchsias in the sunset are more vivid than ever.

This will be my first Autumn without my fuzzy companion, Mac the cat. This year there will be no tossing fallen leaves and watching him pounce, crunching them in his paws. No sticks to drag under the leaves and across the drying lawn, giving him a chance to chase them. When it gets colder and rainier, my lap may be un-warmed. This too is part of Autumn: the understanding that this is the time when we begin to let go – that which lives will at some moment die. The trees will go bare and the fields fallow. There is a sense of rest, quiet, and peace in the seasonal ending. Autumn allows for a steady, almost compassionate decline and decay. Its pace is elegant and graceful.

Yes, I love the Fall. It is my favorite time of year. October and November are my lucky months. December and Winter are for hibernating. Autumn is about celebration of what has been. And jokes notwithstanding, I honestly do look forward to pumpkin spice sneaking into everything.

Bay Sunset by T.E. MacArthur

Bay Sunset by T.E. MacArthur

 

*Yes, Earthquake is a season but you must take my word for it if you don’t live out here on the Left Coast.

Steam House Con – here we come!

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Steam House Con

is an ambitious attempt to combine the best of Media fandom, Cosplay, Independent Productions, and Steampunk.  How could I resist.

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I will be offering a workshop called “It’s time to stop talking about writing!”  That’s right, time to stop!  Time to DO IT!  I’ll do everything I can to encourage, motivate, and unblock writers who are on the cusp of making that idea become a book!  99% of people say they would love to be a writer.  99% of people have some idea that might become a novel.  99% of people who want to be authors never become one because all they do is discuss their ideas.  Authors put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards.  Become the real 1% – those who do the deed, make the journey, rock the world!

My workshop is on Saturday at 2pm.  I’d love to see you there.

http://www.steamhousecoffeeco.com/te-macarthur.html

Oh my, it’s been a while …

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What am I up to?  Well, last time I checked, 5’7″.  And it’s shrinking because I think I loose an inch or two slouching over my keyboard.  So, let me give you a quick run down on what I have in mind for the last of the year

AND to ask YOU what you’re up to that is unique and interesting.

With any luck, I’ll complete my 5,000 word contribution to the 2016 anthology: 30 Days Later.  This past year we had the theme of 12 Hours Later, and the resulting anthology is on Amazon: proceeds to go to libraries and literacy charities.  I’ve promised more of the adventures of Miranda Grey and the Colonel.  http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Hours-Later-Tales-Mystery/dp/0990345785/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440528563&sr=1-1&keywords=twelve+hours+later

The Volcano Lady: Volume 3 – The Great Earthquake Machine was released in May this year (you DO have your copy, hmmm?)  As it ends with more than a few questions, I am happily obligated to provide those answers in The Volcano Lady: Volume 4 – The Lidenbrock Manifesto.  I’d put Volume 4 at about 3/5 complete.  Hey, spectacular sea battles take time to design.  Iceland, did I mention Iceland!  My hope is to finish by year end, and have it ready for the New Year.  Get caught up on all the volumes and special novellas via my Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/T.-E.-MacArthur/e/B00657BJ8E/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1440528712&sr=1-2-ent

Like paranormal thrillers (sans vampires, werewolves, and zombies?)  Me too: that’s why I wrote one some few years ago.  Odigan (working title) was completed, quite to my satisfaction at the time.  But … like many contemporary books, the technology and culture have changed.  I need to update, scrub, polish and polish some more.  Look for Odigan in mid to late 2016.  Let me see if I can scare you a bit.

For the moment, that’s all – and that’s quite a bit.  Please let me know what you’re up to – I love to hear from blog readers!

Ciao!!

A memorial: Mac the Cat

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Mac

Mac MacArthur

3/15/2000 – 4/29/2015

Being a certified Crazy Cat Lady, it would a failing if I did not post a message about the passing of my sweet kitty and writing companion.Mac and Trevor Tiger2

Mac was adopted through Hopalong Animal Rescue (http://www.hopalong.org.)  How could I resist a gorgeous cat with the same name as a favorite uncle (who passed away at the age of 104, annoyed by the “young women” always trying to pick him up – the ladies were all in their late 80s.)  He came home on the Ides of March, 2001.  Since we didn’t know his actual birthday, we decided that recognizing 3/15 was appropriate for the date.  I was told when I adopted him that he was a year old.

Mac on catnip2Last February he had Melanoma in his right eye and I had to have it removed.  We called him our Odin Kitty with his one eye.  It didn’t slow him down.  In fact, my Nature Boy was all the more active and curious without it.

He was my buddy for 14 years before this last April when he began to loose weight, stop eating, and ran a fever.  Cancer.  Specifically Lymphoma in his Kidneys.  As anyone knows, Cancer and Kidney issues are common for felines, and the treatments are well established.  However, Mac’s cancer resisted treatment and he began to decline rapidly.  I brought in Heaven from Home (http://www.heavenfromhome.com) to help him pass.  It was remarkably peaceful.  My dear friend Juliana came down and in the front garden he gently slipped away.  If you can handle the moment and afford it, this is genuinely the best method.  There are plenty of reasons why this might not be possible, but if you can, it is profound.  I think after all that Mac and I lived through (earthquakes, a fire, 3 boyfriends, 3 cars, 2 layoffs … life) I could not have parted with him in any less of an intimate way.Mac and his bed

I am grieving, naturally and normally.  It really has taken me this long to write about this.  And I can tell you just how empty my home is.

Grief is not limited to species or gender or race or any other division that is inflicted on life on this planet by us.  He was a friend.  He was a companion.  He was my writing buddy.  There is no replacing him, though someday I will meet another companion and we will develop our own relationship.  I like to point out that love is not like a pie – as if someone wants a slice, the other slices must be diminished.  Our capacity to care and to love is 100% each and every time we want to give that much – as often and as many times – all at once, one at a time – it doesn’t matter.

So here’s to a writer’s best friend.  And a sad farewell.

I have been writing the story of Mac called The Resident of Lower Catswold.  You can find it in all its unedited glory here, November 2014, for your enjoyment.

Mac in repose

A Clockwork Alchemy: Book Release Party

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Some of you may know by now that I am deeply involved with the West Coast’s largest (well, I think so) STEAMPUNK convention.  What makes Clockwork Alchemy so special is the lavish attention they give to authors, both published and really thinking about it.

So, it should come as no surprise that we have a Book Release Party planned for Friday, May 22nd, 7pm – 9pm.  Not only will I be showing off my latest release, The Volcano Lady volume 3: The Great Earthquake Machine, but my wonderful narrator for the Gaslight Adventures audiobooks will be there to read for your pleasure. Yes, Mr. Patrick Golden will be in attendance.

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But wait … there’s more!  Authors Sharon Cathcart, Dover Whitecliff and Vicki Rorke, AJ and SJ Sikes, Anthony Francis, Kristen Weiss, Sparky & McTrowell, plus many more will be showing off their latest.

And … if you order in the next two minutes … just kidding …  We are releasing an Anthology of amazing stories by these same authors: 12 Hours Later: 24 Hours of Myth and Mystery.Twelve Hours Later-1

This is the perfect chance to get your books at convention prices (in some cases) and signed too!  I have to say that I am really excited about the whole prospect to meeting folks, shaking hands, and re-acquainting with old friends.  It really is the best thing for all authors – not only is there an ego boost (hey, I admit it) but get to learn from your readers.  It is one of those undeniable pleasures in becoming a writer.

So … make room on your calendar, brave the last of the commuter traffic, and come down to see us!

Friday, May 22, 7-9pm

Monterey Room (aka the Salon)

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel

2050 Gateway Place (off of First and Hwy 101)

San Jose, CA 95110

New Adventures Sunday!!! No less than 3 adventures!

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It’s here – The Great Earthquake Machine!  The Volcano Lady volume #3

I know, I know … it’s about darn time.  The latest volume in The Volcano Lady series is available in paperback and Kindle.  Smashwords edition will follow very soon.

http://www.amazon.com/Volcano-Lady-Great-Earthquake-Machine/dp/1617521949/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

But that’s not all!  Now available on Audible.com the latest and last installment of the audiobook Terror in a Wild Weird West.  The perfect thing to listen to during your commute, your afternoon of repetitive tasks, or anytime you want a great ride through the Steampunk Wild West.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=Terror+in+a+Wild+Weird+West&filterby=field-keywords&x=0&y=0

But wait!!!  WAIT!  There’s more.  To be released May 22, just in time for Clockwork Alchemy, the West Coast’s largest Steampunk convention, 12 Hours Later – an anthology by amazing authors.  This book includes two chapters by me: The Miranda Gray Mysteries.  Yes – THAT Miranda Gray, Lettie Gantry’s best friend.  You can order a kindle copy now or you can get a signed paperback at the convention.  Such a deal.

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Hours-Later-Tales-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00WUYMJ9O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430672157&sr=1-1&keywords=12+Hours+Later

Adventure On Sale – No Kidding!

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Do you have your copy yet of the audiobooksmall DBC cover

Death and the Barbary Coast?

 

This is the perfect time.  Currently on Audible.com, it is on sale for 1 credit or less than $2.00.  I am not joking.  Audible randomly selects audiobooks to price at an incredibly low price.  Take a look here:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Death-and-the-Barbary-Coast-Audiobook/B00R8MCJJ8/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1421607536&sr=1-2

It’s my book and yet I adore listening to it as read by Patrick R. Golden.  To get myself in the mood to work on Volcano Lady novel #3, I listened for two hours … and I only meant to listen for a half hour.  That’s how great Patrick’s reading is!  Oh, I know that sounds funny, but lesson #1 to all writers is: love what you write and write what you want to read.

Snag your copy asap!  Audible doesn’t tell us how long these amazing sales go.

If you are new to Audible, you can do me a very big favor: select either Death and the Barbary Coast or The Yankee Must Die as your first audiobook, and they will give a bonus to Patrick and to me.  Thank you so much everyone!!

Burning Books and the New Year

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For those used to my usual happy, upbeat writer-type news, this may seem out of place.  Those who are friends on my private Facebook profile are a little too used to it.  So, let me apologize for the jolt and promise this is not my norm for my blog.  Oh, but it gets a little worse: this is going to be a bit of streaming consciousness with little editing (editing being one of my weaknesses.)  Yet – I’ll bet you will like the end.  If you can, and with my thanks ahead of time, stay with me.

I’ve known since childhood that my deepest, darkest monster was not depression but fear.  Unwavering, unrelenting fear.  Fear of risk.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of straying from the path.  Fear of ugliness.  Fear of disappointment.  All that fear, of course, lead to depression.  But hey!  I’m an artist, so this is just par for the course.  Throughout history, artists have been tortured souls looking for escape from their fears and pains.  It makes us better artists, ya know?  Show me an artist and I’ll show you a person with a terrified inner child and a big ass monster snickering under her bed.  Writer, painter, graphic artist, poet … whatever the art, it comes with pre-packed baggage.

Sadly, we all know this and in our modern age, we’ve demanded that the self-same artists get an off switch installed.  Use a pill.  Get a therapist.  Unless you have actual chemical imbalances, you just need to get the hell over it, right?  I can’t begin to tell you how much I wish there was an off switch.  Even to this wordsmith, there aren’t enough words to describe it – to describe the abandonment to the elements you feel when people tell you to just stop it, or hand you medications, or push another distraction at you, or when you realize that the money you just spent on therapy could have been used on a cool pair of shoes or to pad your savings account.  Mostly it’s the sensation of emptiness you feel when you are informed that you are just broken and its best that you don’t say anything that might make others feel uncomfortable.  They might even doubt your successes and question your purpose, because, don’t we all know that our heroes and visionaries are all unbroken?  No wonder artists are not held in high esteem anymore: we’re all broken, right?

I can think of the numerous times I’ve hidden my night terrors from a boyfriend in fear that he’ll roll his eyes and tell me any of the above socially acceptable yet horribly wrong statements.  I’ve apologized at least seven times this last year before posting about my unhappiness and asking friends for a little support.  Of course they gave it, but I’ve been taught to wonder if I haven’t pushed them further away by being needy.

This year, I decided that I would write all my fears down in a fear book – a lined, all paper journal that I intended to fill from cover to cover, and then burn at the next camping event I attended.  It sounded like a good idea.  It is a good idea – if you follow through.

2014 has been a nasty year with extreme highs and devastating lows.  In the first draft of this, I listed out everything, but I’ve decided not to.  I’ll just say that my anxiety and fear has paralyzed me until I’ve lost weeks to bouts of crying and exhaustion.  My fear book should have been full.  Where the hell is that off switch?

Thanks to those amazing friends of mine, I’ve received tons of advice, none of which provided a full answer … until this morning.  (See, I promised this would get better.)  It’s New Year’s Eve.  Last night, despite not being able to sleep until 2:30am, I dreamed.  I dreamed that I was juggling two job offers – two potentials that just made me happy.  The jobs were mine.  All I had to do was pick.  How’s that for a dream!  As I lay there, my cat cuddling with me in bed as he hasn’t for a few months (cats are like that … because they’re … cats,) I realized I don’t need an off switch.  Maybe a dimmer, but not an off switch.  And I’m not broken.

Fine – I have no special plans for NYE.  I’m alone again.  So why not burn that darn fear book tonight?  Before it’s all filled up?  What am I waiting for?

Ah, but my socialization started in: if you burn it, you won’t ever get to read all the pain over and over.  It’ll be gone and you can’t go back in to examine, analyze, relive, and appreciate all the suffering.

Damn straight I won’t!  There it was – the answer I needed.  And yes, it was in me the whole time waiting for the right moment to emerge.  Those damn internet memes were right all along.  Boom!  I saw myself clearly, doing what I’ve done for years, reaching back into the past and hiding there.  It’s safe you know.  It’s the dukkha I know.  Sure, it hurts like hell and depletes my energy, leaving me exhausted and bleeding. Whoohoo, let me just scrape open that old wound before it gets a chance to heal.  You see where I’m going, right?

Can’t live there anymore.  If, as one delightful friend told me in a year end Tarot reading, my last year was one that left me with a back full of knives (10 of Swords anyone?) why would I not pluck the stupid things out and slather on the ointments?   Because I won’t get hurt any worse?  Is there worse?  I don’t want to know.  I refuse to live my life as a human pin cushion (look at the card – it screams ouch!)

So here’s my New Year’s resolution: today, on the Eve, I can be sad or lonely or depressed or scared.  Then I’ll burn the book before midnight.  Tomorrow, I won’t have time to live in the past.  I need to hustle up an exciting new job that will bring with it all sorts of adventures and opportunities.  I accept no other outcome.  Don’t bother telling me I can’t.  I have a novel to finish and get into my reader’s hands.  What haven’t I done yet?  Who would I like to kiss?

Will I still get depressed now and then – yes.  It happens.  The real question is, will I go the distance and burn that fear book, whether I’ve written it in a physical journal or know it in my head – yes.  I can’t live there no more.

Okay, this was long and had a scary start.  I’m glad you stuck with me to the end.  My NY Resolution isn’t going to be as easy as it sounds, but there is absolutely no reason I can’t keep looking and moving forward.  I’m a nostalgic and sentimental fool, but that’s not where I need to reside.  I’ll be okay.  I’m not broken.  A little used and slightly bruised, but not broken.

May your New Year be what you ask for … remember to ask big and bold!

T.E.

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