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My daughter loves crime stories. Maybe more than she should at 11.
It’s all Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s fault, really. Not because Kris is a fantastic crime writer, which, of course, she is. But because when the pandemic shut down the schools in 2020, Kris sent me a link to The Mob Museum’s virtual summer camp. It was fabulous! Nola learned all about forensic science. And she became hooked on solving crimes, especially murders.
It’s safe to say that now crime is Nola’s favorite genre. True crime, fictional crime, all is fair game. We even recently watched a documentary on Ted Bundy.
I’d worry more if she wasn’t so interested in catching the criminals <grin>.
Kris likes catching criminals, too. In her fiction, at least. And so does Dean Wesley Smith.
In fact, they are both such accomplished crime writers that when we decided to do a Make 100 Kickstarter this year (like we did last year with sf stories in Colliding Worlds), we decided to focus on mysteries. And the Crimes Collide Kickstarter catapulted itself into being.
Kris and Dean have been writing professional mystery short stories for four decades that have won awards and sold millions of copies, plus they have been acclaimed and enjoyed by fans over the entire world.
Now, for the first time, Kris and Dean are collecting 100 of their mystery short stories together into a five-volume set called Crimes Collide. Fifty stories from each author in the series; ten stories from each author in every volume.
In addition to such fantastic rewards as the five Crimes Collide volumes in ebook, trade paperback and signed/limited hardcover, we have some amazing rewards for writers, and a special workshop series for writers is included in the stretch goals.
Check out the Kickstarter here, and be sure to watch Kris and Dean’s fun video about the project.
Because not doing so would be a real crime.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.
It’s that time of year again when we’re supposed to be full-on into our New Year’s resolutions. And we’re totally on that, right?
Well, maybe not. Thanks to Omicron, the gym’s out. We can still try to improve our eating habits, although I just got the annual call to order Girl Scout cookies, so….
And given everything that’s going on in the world, you can take your Dry January and, well, you know. (I mean, if you want to commit to that, go for it. I’m proud of you. But I will not be joining you.)
But there’s one aspect of life that I think is primed for resolutions: taking charge of your work life.
I mean, the pandemic has caused all sorts of unpleasant disruptions, but it has also caused a much-needed revolution in the working world.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to take charge of your career and start your own business—or find a way to turn that side-hustle you actually enjoy into a full-time gig—you need to read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Freelancer’s Survival Guide. And we’ve just made that even easier.
For the first time, the Freelancer’s Survival Guide bundles—A Freelancer’s Survival Guide to Starting Your Own Business, A Freelancer’s Survival Guide to Reaching Your Goals, and A Freelancer’s Survival Guide to Maximizing Your Success—are available in trade paperback (of course, they’re still available in ebook, too).
Here are the synopses of the three books:
A Freelancer’s Survival Guide to Starting Your Own Business
This insightful bundle includes three books from the Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Everyone says they want to be their own boss, but very few people know how. This book will help you learn how to think properly about owning a business. It gives you guidelines in setting up your office (in or out of the house), setting your schedule, and establishing your priorities. Getting started properly will put your business on the road to success.
When to Quit Your Day Job
The biggest dream all freelancers have is to work for themselves. They want to ditch the day job. Many freelancers quit their day job too early. Some wait too long. Some never do quit. And some should return to a day job for a few years while they fine-tune their business.
A step-by-step survival guide to the decisions you need to make to become and stay a freelancer in any business.
Networking in Person & Online
Networking sounds hard—and it is, if you’re trying to do it “right.” Instead, do it your way. International bestseller Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers her tips on networking in person. She solicited the help of great online networkers like bestsellers Neil Gaiman and Michael A. Stackpole to give online networking tips. This short book teaches you everything you need to know about networking—and more!
A Freelancer’s Survival Guide to Reaching Your Goals
This essential bundle includes three books from the Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Being your own boss means setting your own schedule. Sounds easy, right? Instead, it’s one of the toughest parts of freelancing. In this short book, international bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch shows you how to create a schedule, meet deadlines, take time for vacation, and cope with illness. The perfect guide for freelancers who can’t find enough time in the day.
Goals and Dreams
Everyone has dreams, but most people don’t know how to achieve them. Goals help people achieve their dreams, but how do you know if you’ve set the right goals?
In this book-length excerpt from the massive Freelancer’s Survival Guide, international bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch will help you set the right goals to achieve your dreams. She also has tips for staying positive and remaining patient while you’re on the road to success.
Turning Setbacks into Opportunity
Setbacks happen to everyone. Surviving them is hard. Surviving failure is even harder. But every successful person survives at least three failures before finding that success. So how do you turn failure to success?
The answers lie in this book-length excerpt from the massive Freelancer’s Survival Guide by international bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who will show you how to turn those inevitable setbacks into opportunity.
A Freelancer’s Survival Guide to Maximizing Your Success
This fabulous bundle includes three books from the Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
How To Make Money
Celebrities like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson prove that you can always spend more money than you earn. Want to know how to make money while self-employed? Learn how to manage the money you do earn. In this short book, international bestselling writer, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, shows you how.
The Secrets of Success
Once you’ve become successful, you never have to work again—or so many people believe. But becoming a success is just the start. Staying a success is the hard part. This short book will help you both become a success and remain one. International bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch will show you the secrets to success that will change your life.
How To Negotiate Anything
Most people hate negotiating. Instead of learning it themselves, they hire someone—an agent, a lawyer, a manager—to negotiate for them. But negotiators often do not have their clients’ best interests at heart. In this short book, international bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch shows you how to negotiate anything from buying a car to buying a house, from handling a book contract to handling a negotiator. If you have ever negotiated anything—and who hasn’t?—then this book is for you.
You can find buy links to each of these books (including the Big Book) here:
So, go on. Get resolute!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.
Is it just me, or did this year feel like, well, a lot?
The pandemic didn’t help that, of course. We’re still wearing masks, still weighing the risk of every outing and human interaction, and I’ve gotten more shots in the arm this year than I have since I was a kid.
I’ve also lost two of my furry family members this year. I have two left, but at 17½ years and 16 years, it’s about appreciating each day with them at this point.
Emotionally, this year has been difficult. But I’ve had plenty of work to distract me, thank goodness.
We’re a small but resourceful staff here at WMG. As of the end of 2021, we have three full-time employees. We do contract out some work, but the three of us (me, Gwyneth and Josh) make up the core team.
And the feat this team pulled off this year is nothing short of…I’m searching for the right word here, because insane is what keeps coming to mind.
As I was pulling this blog together, I tallied the number of new titles we released this year (as I do every year for my Year in Review blog).
But this year, just like Santa, I had to check my list twice.
You see, WMG Publishing released 208 new titles in 2021. Two hundred and eight new titles!
Our busiest months were February (28 new titles, or the equivalent of one per day), June (27 new titles), October (27 new titles) and December (39 new titles, more than one per day).
Honestly, if I’d actually added all that up before now, I think I would have collapsed.
To give you a comparison to other publishers, consider these statistics:
- Baen Books publishes three to four new titles a month, or 36 to 48 a year. It has 22 employees.
- Soho Press publishes 90 new titles a year. It has 5 employees.
- Sourcebooks publishes more than 350 new titles a year. It has more than 130 employees.
- Scholastic publishes more than 600 new titles a year. It has 8,900 employees.
- Hachette publishes about 1,400 adult titles a year. It has 7,500 employees.
- Penguin Random House publishes more than 70,000 digital and 15,000 print books each year. It has more than 10,000 employees.
Mind you, these bigger publishers have a lot more infrastructure and sales staff to account for some of those employee discrepancies. And Baen also mines its backlist quite effectively, so they release more books than that number of new titles reflects (but still not as many as we did this year).
Soho Press is our closest equivalent, and in a normal year, we publish about 100 new titles. Still impressive, but considering we more than doubled our normal productivity… Yes, we are very tired <grin>.
So, why did we publish such an insane number of books?
Part of the reason is the pandemic. As you might recall, in 2020, we wound up putting a number of projects on hold (like the rest of the world). We also conceived of several new projects during Kickstarters we launched that year that needed to be fulfilled in 2021.
And then, there was Dean Wesley Smith and his 70@70 Challenge. As the name suggests, he accounted for 70 of those new titles himself! (Also insane, and he’s also tired <grin>.)
Speaking of Kickstarters, we successfully funded six of those this year, too. And participated in nine StoryBundles.
Will we try to top these numbers next year? Not on your life. But am I proud of what we’ve accomplished? You bet I am!
So, take a look at the master list of every new title we released in 2021. And if you see a title (or several) that you missed (who could blame you?), click on the title to go to the WMG store page and add it to your cart.
As for me and the staff, we’re going to take some time off for a much-needed long winter’s nap.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.
Smith’s Monthly #45
Aliens Among Us
WMG Holiday Spectacular Valentine’s Day Calendar of Stories (11 new short stories)
Fiction River: Chances
Thieves: A Diving Novel
“Black Coffee: A Marble Grant Story”
“Cat in Waiting: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“The Portal of Wrong Love: A Poker Boy Story”
Smith’s Monthly #46
“Death Stopped for Miss Dickinson”
The Year of the Cat: A Cat of Artistic Sensibilities
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #10
“A Menu of Memory: A Bryant Street Story”
“Cat in the Air: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Lost Robot: A Sky Tate Story”
“Mystery Cat: A Poker Boy Story”
“Profile Gap: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“Under Glass: A Cold Poker Gang Story”
“Cat in a Different Place: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Lost Time: A Marble Grant Story”
“Penny Dead: A Sky Tate Story”
“The Remarkable Way She Died: A Cold Poker Gang Story”
“Wrong Turn: A Bryant Street Story”
Smith’s Monthly #48
The Year of the Cat: A Cat of Feral Instincts
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #11
Colliding Worlds, Vol. 1
Colliding Worlds, Vol. 2
Colliding Worlds, Vol. 3
Colliding Worlds, Vol. 4
Colliding Worlds, Vol. 5
Colliding Worlds, Vol. 6
Bitter Mountain Moonlight: A Cave Creek Anthology
Open Ended Threat: A Cave Creek Anthology
Promise in the Gold: A Cave Creek Anthology
Card Sharp Silver: A Cave Creek Novel
“Cat in a Hole: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Half a Clue: A Cold Poker Gang Story”
“Pleasing Pearl: A Sky Tate Story”
“Remembering the Last Laugh: A Bryant Street Story”
“Whistle for Help: A Marble Grant Story”
Smith’s Monthly #49
The Year of the Cat: A Cat of Romantic Soul
Tips about the Film/TV Industry for Novelists
How to Write a Novel in Half a Month
Diving Pairs, Vol. 1 (City of Ruins & Becalmed)
Diving Pairs, Vol. 2 (Boneyards & Squishy’s Teams)
Diving Pairs, Vol. 3 (Skirmishes & Strangers at the Room of Lost Souls)
Diving Pairs, Vol. 4 (The Runabout & The Falls)
Diving Pairs, Vol. 5 (The Spires of Denon & The Renegat & Escaping Amnthra)
Diving Pairs, Vol. 6 (Searching for the Fleet & Thieves)
Bottom Pair: A Cold Poker Gang Novel
The Year of the Cat: The Complete Collection
Kill Game (hardcover)
Cold Call (hardcover)
Calling Dead (hardcover)
Bad Beat (hardcover)
Dead Hand (hardcover)
Ace High (hardcover)
Burn Card (hardcover)
Heads Up (hardcover)
Ring Game (hardcover)
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #12
“Cat in Love: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Center Drives: A Sky Tate Story”
“Let’s Dance: An Earth Protection League Story”
“Under the Skin of Death: A Cold Poker Gang Story”
Smith’s Monthly #50
Stories from Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine
Stories from the Original Pulphouse: A Fiction Magazine
That’s Really Messed Up
“Paperwork to Come”
The Holiday Spectacular #2
The First Year: A Marble Grant Novel
“Cat Leading the Way: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Mule Creek Landslide: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“Something in My Darling: A Bryant Street Story”
“That Human Fear: A Cold Poker Gang Story”
“The Story of Jean: A Sky Tate Story”
Smith’s Monthly #51
The Big Tom: A Pakhet Jones Short Novel
“A Missing Sister Dream: A Marble Grant Story”
“Dannie Finds a Home”
“Playing Scared: A Poker Boy Story”
“She Lost a Period: A Sky Tate Story”
“The Man Who Tasted the Other Side: A Bryant Street Story”
Smith’s Monthly #52
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #13
“A Matter for God”
Ball of Confusion: An Earth Protection League Novella
“A Beautiful History: A Poker Boy Story”
“Crystal Blue Attraction”
“Obvious Creeper: A Marble Grant Story”
“Rescue Two: A Seeders Universe Story”
“Stranger in the Shadows: A Bryant Street Story”
Smith’s Monthly #53
The Chase: A Diving Novel
“Cat Running Wild: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Cherry Jones: A Sky Tate Story”
“Reluctant with Intent: A Marble Grant Story”
“The Woman Who Knew the Time: A Bryant Street Story”
Hot Springs Meadow: A Thunder Mountain Novella
Stories for the Cold of Winter
Don’t Touch My Magic
Ghosts Among Us
Run! Creatures, Critters, and Pulphousers…
There’ll Be Blue Popcorn Without You!
“The Demise of Snot Rocket”
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #14
WMG Holiday Spectacular Halloween Calendar of Stories (9 new short stories)
A Case for Aliens
A Time for Cool Madness
Smith’s Monthly #54
“Unity Con: A Spade/Paladin Conundrum”
A Poker Boy Christmas: A Poker Boy Collection
Ghosts are Weird
The End Might Be Interesting After All
Too Strange for the Name
“A Brush with Intent: A Bryant Street Story”
“Cat Caught in the Art: A Pakhet Jones Story”
“Models Four: A Marble Grant Story”
“Patty Bluff: A Sky Tate Story”
Ten Little Fen: A Spade/Paladin Conundrum
Smith’s Monthly #55
WMG Holiday Spectacular 2021 Calendar of Stories (38 new short stories)
“Ghost Diet: A Marble Grant Story”
“Hidden Box Inn and Casino: A Poker Boy Story”
“I’ll See You: A Bryant Street Story”
“Viewing Susan: A Sky Tate Story”
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Issue #15
Smith’s Monthly #56
“And a Cup of Good Cheer”
I’d be lying if I said I was dreaming of a white Christmas this year. Not because I don’t absolutely love white Christmases. I very much do. They are magical.
But living on the Oregon Coast, where you’re far more likely to see a rainbow than a snowflake, I gave up on the idea of a white Christmas at my house years ago. I mean, we might see snow a time or two some years. But the chances of seeing a white Christmas in Portland (where it actually does snow) are only 1 to 3 percent. Here, almost zero.
But this year, a Christmas miracle. About 9 p.m. on Christmas Day, snow started to fall. Big, fluffy, wet flakes. The kind of snow that’s perfect for snowballs and snowpeople.
In fact, my husband and daughter had a snowball fight right then and there in the driveway. Such opportunities are not to be missed.
The snow continued through the weekend and more is expected to fall later today, maybe even through the week.
In all of my time living here (almost 16 year), I’ve never seen it snow like this. And stay.
Maybe I’m just being wistful, but this Christmas snow gives me hope. Maybe the impossible is possible. If ever there was a time we needed hope, it’s now.
There’s still beauty in the world, and joy to be found. Even if we must take it moment by moment.
And so, even though we’re staring down the uncertainty of Omicron and another winter surge, we can find comfort in such rare events as a white Christmas or even just some of the simple things that make our lives a little easier and our burdens a little lighter.
It’s why we have continued offering our workshop sales, even though we kept hoping the need for them would pass. We can help writers improve their craft and ease the burden on their wallets.
Which is why now through January 4th, everything currently available on the WMG Teachable site is 50% off.
- All Workshops
- All Classes
- All Lectures
- All Challenges
- All Collection Classes
- All Study-Along Classes
- All Pop-Up Classes
- All Subscriptions (including Lifetime to Workshops and to Study Along)
Just hit purchase on the class you would like to take, then at the top of the next page put in this sale code:
Click here for more information.
A workshop sale might not be a Christmas miracle, but it offers us a chance to spread a little good cheer.
From the entire staff here at WMG, we wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! Here’s to better days ahead!
Christmas week has come at last, and with it some much-needed joyful celebration.
The WMG offices will be closed Dec. 22-26 and Dec. 29-Jan. 2 so our staff can spend time with their families (safely, of course). And in my household, we have plans!
We have cookies to bake and presents to wrap and holiday movies to watch!
But before I do all that, I have an annual tradition to fulfill. A gift to you, dear readers.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Free Fiction story this week, “And a Cup of Good Cheer,” is a story I originally bought for a volume of Fiction River that I was going to edit called Unlikely Heroines. Because of the pandemic, we were unable to publish that volume (although Leah Cutter so kindly rescued it and published all of my beloved stories in Unexpected Heroines). But now we have published it as a standalone short story, so I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you.
This story is delightfully weird. And definitely unexpected. And a refreshing twist on a holiday tradition.
Here’s the synopsis:
Gail looks forward to her annual Christmas shopping trip to the high-end specialty foods store. Until her phone keeps interrupting with news alerts and a barrage of texts from her husband, Ron.
Ron never texts her, and the messages grow increasingly weird. He wants a figgy pudding and he wants one right now!
Gail soon realizes her family needs her—and her Christmas spirit—to save the day.
I love Gail. I think we’d be friends.
So, good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
As the holiday festivities continue to ramp up, we’ve gone all-in here at WMG. We’ve even got our first-ever holiday issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine hitting the proverbial shelves later this week!
About half of the stories in Pulphouse Issue #15 have a holiday connection.
Now granted, this is Pulphouse, so the holiday stories here are not normal holiday stories. They are everything you’d expect from a Pulphouse story, but with a holiday twist.
Here’s the lineup:
“An Ideal Husband” by Jerry and Kathy Oltion
“Severed Ties” by R.W. Wallace
“Virtching Merry” by Kent Patterson
“Dead Drop” by Louisa Swann
“Cover Nuns” by Barbara G. Tarn
“Last Job” by Rebecca M. Senese
“Blood of Heroes” by Ezekiel James Boston
“The Magnolia Murders” by O’Neil De Noux
“The Not-So-Scientific Research of Dragons” by Katharina Gerlach
“Granny Law” by Jason A. Adams
“Lucy and the Underworld” by Rob Vagle
“The Ballad of Bob Dumpty” by Annie Reed
“No Pity Party” by David H. Hendrickson
“Emily Loves Christmas, Emily Loves Murder” by Robert J. McCarter
“A Blood-Soaked Christmas Wish” by David Stier
“Naughty Children” by Mary McKenna
“Father Christmas” by J. Steven York
“Spells for the Holidays” by Ray Vukcevich
“Nutball Season” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
And if that’s not enough holiday celebrating for you, there’s still time to subscribe to the WMG Holiday Spectacular Calendar of Stories and/or the Holiday Collections StoryBundle.
Click here to read more about the StoryBundle.
So many holiday short stories to be had—it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It has begun. Christmas at the Longueira/Hurley house is in full swing. My husband has created a wonderland of Christmas lights outside (you do NOT want to know our lighting budget…). Inside, the tree is up, the regular dishes and some of our usual decorative items have been swapped out for Christmas ones, the stockings are hung, and the train is set up.
But most importantly, the advent calendars have begun and my daughter’s Elves on the Shelf have returned.
And my daughter can’t stop saying how much she loves Christmas.
She’s at an age that I wasn’t sure if the magic would hold up. But it is. It’s evolving, though. I can see that realism is starting to filter in. Part of her knows that the elves probably don’t have magic and the North Pole Communicator probably isn’t actually connecting her with Santa. She told a friend that her mom is probably the one who puts the gifts under the tree because Santa would be too busy to hit all those houses. I mean, Mom already does a ton of community service, so helping Santa isn’t a stretch.
She’s highly intelligent, my kid, so logic will out. But I’ve worked very hard to infuse a sense of magical spirit in everything we do this time of year. I hope it lasts for her. It certainly has for me.
Frankly, I find a world where Christmas magic exists a better world to live in.
Especially during times like these.
We all need as much holiday spirit as we can get.
To that end, Dean Wesley Smith curated a new holiday StoryBundle that just sparkles with holiday spirit.
It’s called the Holiday Collections Bundle, and here’s what Dean has to say about it:
Wow, is this bundle going to be fun. Fantastic writers and 72 different holiday short stories.
That’s right. 72. And you can get all of them for one low price that works out to about 20 cents per story. Wow!
And all are holiday stories. What a great way to help enjoy this wonderful season.
Every book in this bundle is a collection of holiday stories of different types and focus, as would be expected from such different and talented writers. And I tried to get a lot of different kinds, something for everyone.
You can read more about the 11 books in the bundle, which includes three WMG titles—Holiday Insanity by Dean, Silent Night by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Mysterious Christmas: A Holiday Anthology—here.
This one lasts till the end of the month, and as usual, you can get all 11 books (72 stories) for just $15. You can also add in a little holiday giving by donating to portion of the bundle proceeds to AbleGamers.
A fun way to give AND receive this holiday season? All from the comfort of your own home and no fear of shipping delays or supply chain issues? That’s some real holiday magic.
As soon as Americans finish their Thanksgiving feasts, the holiday shopping season launches into full swing with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
Now, here at WMG, we’ve been gearing up for the holidays for weeks, as readers of this blog are well aware.
But since today is Cyber Monday, I thought we’d join in on the fun by offering deals for our writers AND our readers.
From Dean Wesley Smith’s blog about the sale:
The code is HolidaySale to get 50% off any workshop or challenge or lecture or Pop-Up.
We are calling it the HolidaySale (code is all one word) because it is starting on Thanksgiving, going over Black Friday, then through Small Business Saturday, and through Cyber Monday to end on Thursday, December 2nd. Just one week with a major US holiday and three major shopping days in that week.
And yes, you can give workshops as gifts. Just write me directly and I will make sure it happens.
And you can get credit for future workshops as well.
All of the December and January regular workshops are up and available, and we have up at least 54 Pop-Up classes.
The challenges of doing a short story per week, a novel every two months, or publishing a major project every month are available in this as well.
Also the best deals are the lifetime workshops. Six new Study Along workshops coming this next year.
So just find whatever class you would like, hit purchase, and then put in the code HolidaySale on the top of the next page to get 50% off the price.
And for our readers, we’re offering 50% off of some of our favorite holiday titles. For the next week, all of the books created from the 2019 and 2020 WMG Holiday Spectaculars are 50% off with this special code:
Click here to see the full list.
Wishing you a very happy season’s reading (and learning)!
Thanksgiving has taken on new meaning for me since my brain surgery. Near-death experiences tend to change your perspective.
My experience of American Thanksgiving before the pandemic revolved, like many celebrations do, around food.
I only had one “normal” Thanksgiving after my surgery, which was spent with my husband’s family and a huge buffet of Thanksgiving dishes. In the beforetimes, I enjoyed spending Thanksgiving elsewhere. Growing up, we always traveled for Thanksgiving, so I was never involved in the meal preparation aspect of the holiday. My experience was seeing family I rarely saw otherwise and eating food prepared by others. There’s pretty standard fare at American Thanksgiving: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie…
When we visited my dad’s family (of Spanish heritage), there was also lasagna (which I grew up thinking was a Spanish dish) and Caldo Gallego (which actually is a Spanish dish). When we visited my mom’s family (of Irish heritage), there were lots of interesting vegetable sides (and lots of adult beverages).
So, as an adult, my idea of the perfect Thanksgiving was going somewhere else to eat food made by other people.
But when the pandemic hit (with no signs of ending by the holidays last year), we knew we’d be home. Alone. Just my husband and me (our daughter was with her biological father). So, we reevaluated Thanksgiving dinner. As it turns out, we both craved simplicity. I decided to focus on making a couple of key things from scratch: my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe and my grandmother’s Caldo Gallego. We’re not huge fans of turkey, so we got smoked turkey legs instead that just needed reheating. Stuffing and gravy are musts, but those were easily made from a box and a jar. Mashed potatoes were optional and available on-demand thanks to a package. Per my husband’s request, I also made a simple candied yams recipe (because that’s his memory food).
We enjoyed each other’s company, watched movies, and relaxed. We reflected on the many blessings in our lives. We learned to value the little things—the simple joys.
And thus, a new tradition was born.
That is my preferred celebration of Thanksgiving now—the literal giving of thanks. It’s about gratitude for those simple joys and the many blessings in our lives.
One of the things I’m grateful for is having a job that I love. And I’m grateful for all of our readers who support the books we create.
So, whether you celebrate American Thanksgiving or some other holiday this time of year, thank you for your support. I am truly grateful.
And because the day after American Thanksgiving is when some of us in the States turn our thoughts immediately to Christmas, let me take a moment to remind you that the WMG Holiday Spectacular Calendar of Stories makes a great gift (and actually starts on Thanksgiving Day!)
I wish you all a happy, healthy, safe holiday season full of joy and love.
We had crazy, wild weather here at WMG headquarters last week.
Days of heavy rainfall led to dangerous flooding and even landslides. The Coast Guard was called in to evacuate campers from campgrounds and deployed at least one rescue swimmer—inland!
Fortunately, WMG’s offices are on high ground. As are all of our employees’ homes, although I did have a new water feature in my back yard for a while…
And while I was watching this literal flooding, I was instead thinking of a deluge of a much happier kind. A flood of new releases over the past year by our own Dean Wesley Smith.
Only this massive event was no freak occurrence. It was the result of a lot of planning and hard work by Dean (with a little help from his friends…at WMG).
In 2020, as Dean was approaching his 70th birthday, he set a challenge for himself: To publish 70 major books between his 70th and 71st birthdays. For this challenge, a major book is a novel, a novella, a collection, or any major editing project with Dean’s name on the cover.
And he did it! Here is the jaw-dropping result of the 70@70 Challenge (a total of 1.3 million words).
You can find the entire list of 70@70 releases here.
And you can click here to follow along on Dean’s blog as he spends some time over the next few weeks talking about the segments of the challenge and his thinking on them.
And if you thought that producing 70 new books in one year was impressive, here’s a list of what else Dean was up to over the past year:
• Published 37 short stories standalone worldwide, and another four in other venues.
• Wrote, launched, and ran 6 major Kickstarters.
• Put together and ran 4 StoryBundles.
• Wrote 365 blogs of different types, one per day.
• Taught 84 six-week workshops.
• Recorded and taught 14 nine-week collections workshops.
• Created and recorded 21 Pop-Up writer’s classes.
• Moved two condos full of offices and books into a third.
• Ran a marathon and finished and also participated in 10 5K charity races.
Pretty awesome feat, huh? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired just thinking about Dean’s day!
We have something special in mind to celebrate Dean’s achievement, but I’m not ready to announce it yet. So, stay tuned!