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.
For our writers, we’re running a special Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale on our Teachable platform.
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 always 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…
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).
I registered my daughter for her Covid shots last week, literally the moment the signups opened. She’s 11, so we’ve been waiting desperately for the emergency use authorization as the school year continued on and more of her fellow students dealt with exposure quarantine (or worse, Covid itself) and missed two weeks of school.
This is one of the many reasons Nola is so eager to be vaccinated. Once she has finished her series, she won’t have to quarantine if she’s exposed (unless she becomes symptomatic, and then, well, duh, we would keep her home anyway). And she won’t have to worry so much about bringing Covid home from school to her family or inadvertently giving it to her classmates with diabetes.
For Nola, the vaccine represents freedom from the worst of the pandemic and a protective shield for herself and those she loves. For me, it’s pure relief.
What a long, strange trip it has been.
Now that Halloween is behind us, I’ve really ramped up my holiday shopping.
As crazy things have been for the past almost two years, and the supply chain issues the pandemic has caused, I’m checking off my list ASAP.
And I’m getting creative with my gift choices. The less I have to worry about product fulfillment and shipping times, the better.
If you’re looking to do the same, and you have readers on your holiday shopping list, the WMG Holiday Spectacular Calendar of Stories makes the perfect gift.
Last week, I talked about the Month of Short Fiction. And I talked about how gifted Kristine Kathryn Rusch is as a short fiction writer.
This week, I need to tell you that Kris doesn’t just love writing short fiction. She loves reading it, too. And she loves the holidays.
So, holiday projects that offer great short fiction. Sign her up!
But she couldn’t sign up. Because what she wanted was a way to sign up to receive a holiday short story every day throughout the holiday season. Like an advent calendar, but for readers.
So, WMG created one. And Kris edits it. It’s called the WMG Holiday Spectacular Calendar of Stories, and we’ve just launched our third year—and our third Kickstarter—for the project.
I have to admit that before I started working for WMG, I wasn’t a big reader of short fiction. That all changed when I started publishing Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s short stories. She has been putting up one of her short stories for free on her website each week since before I started here almost 10 years ago, and WMG publishes them simultaneously if they haven’t already been published.
Kris is a renowned and gifted short story writer. Who better to introduce me to the art of short fiction?
Good thing, too. Because we’re publishing a butt load (did you know that’s a legitimate unit of measure?) of short fiction this month. Forget the week of short fiction. This is the month of short fiction.
Avid readers of this blog (I’m told you exist) might remember me talking about how many books we have on our calendar this year. This week will certainly drive that point home.
And fans of short fiction will have many reasons to rejoice. Nine of them, to be exact!
That’s because we’re releasing nine new titles this week, and they are all short fiction based: three holiday anthologies, one short story collection, and five Pulphouse books!
My daughter had her first volleyball game over the weekend (well, her first two games, actually, because they double up on some of the weekends). It was awesome to see her playing again. She hasn’t been on a court since the world shut down in March 2020, right after basketball season ended.
She also just finished her fourth full week of school. Which has been crazy and chaotic but well worth it so far for her. She’s loving it.
Not that any of this has been easy. Covid has seen to that, of course. Every time we drop her off at school or volleyball practice comes with fear. Will this be the day she’s exposed to Covid?
It’s officially autumn, my favorite season. And although I miss the crisp weather and fall colors of New Jersey (where I grew up), I make up for it with fall treats: pumpkin cream cheese muffins, apple pie, apple cider, pumpkin cream cold brew coffee, and my new favorite: a hot Caramel Pumpkin Brûlée Breve from Dutch Bros.
This weekend, we’ll go get our pumpkins and gourds for the front porch and put up the Halloween decorations.
I love Halloween. It’s really the most fun holiday. Even during the pandemic. I mean, think about it: an activity that already involved being outdoors no matter the weather with everyone wearing masks!