Let’s not sugar-coat it: this has been a dismal year in my corner of the cosmos.

It’s seemed as though every day or two Facebook has delivered news of death, disease, distress and despair in the lives of my friends and acquaintances in and out of the industry.

My emotional seismometer has recorded tremors of all flavors and sizes, punctuated by the 8.0 event of my own mother’s death October 1–the aftershocks of which continue to rumble through the landscape here. Just this week, I discovered a new ICD code and a new word: dysthymia.

But I don’t want to end the year on that note. So let me close the book on 2014 by sharing what I’m going to focus on for 2015. This comes from a new bio I wrote for ChamBanaCon earlier this month:

‘K-Mac has resumed work on FRAGMENTS, which will complete the story begun in VECTORS, and on two new projects:  a space-war thriller tentatively titled SLIPDRIVER, and an untitled magical realism time-travel novel. He is also assembling a collection of his best short works for e-publication. Donations of Pepsi Max, thin-sliced white American deli cheese, and beer nuts in support of these endeavors are welcome, as are random hugs and words of encouragement.’

I don’t have a publisher yet for any of those projects, but this is an era rich with possibilities. I can’t tell yet which of them will catch fire and shift from creeping in low gear to speeding in high, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

May each of you find comfort for your travails, company for your travels, and your own reasons to look forward to 2015.

Ad astra!

On the Road Again

I’m delighted to announce the official end of my extended gafiation. Gafiate. Gaffing. Whatever the noun is. Starting again–

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve accepted an invitation to be Guest of Honor at ChamBanaCon 45 next November. Thank you, Brenda Sinclair Sutton & Co., for venturing into the woods to find me.

I’ll post a link here to all the details once they’re online.

This will be my first con appearance of any sort since the Black Book Band played at Duckon in 2005, and my first GOH badge since Conclave in 2003. So be gentle. I hope to see some old friends there, and to meet some new ones

Merry, y’all

There are far too many in my circle of love and my wider circle of friends and acquaintances who’re going to have trouble generating their usual allotment of Merry this season, thanks to the grief and trouble that have shadowed them this year. Some will justly be unable to generate any at all.

We’ve had our own troubles here, so I think I can empathize with anyone whose outlook has more Bah, Humbug! than Having A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Holiday Here! in it.

If this describes you, then this message is for you:

May you find the strength to carry you through your troubles, one day, one step, one moment at a time.

May you forgive yourself for not living up to whatever Currier & Idylls, Normal Rockwell expectations were imprinted in your brain by a carol-singing, commerce-driven culture of compulsory emotional conformity. It really is okay to cry at Christmas, if crying is what you need.

Conversely, may no one–especially yourself–make you feel guilty if, despite what’s weighing on you, you find yourself laughing or having fun.

May you have the wisdom to know that caring for yourself is not only allowed, it’s a prerequisite to caring for anyone else. Breathe. Sleep. Eat well. Give yourself down time. Sit on the porch and watch the snow fall. Play with your pet. Listen to good music, or make some. Whatever strengthens and sustains you. Whatever contains the promise of joy.

And may tomorrow be a better day, lit by a warmer light, walking a smoother path, carrying a lighter burden.

Blessed be,


Screener Season

The best thing about Black Friday week is that that’s generally when award-season screeners start to arrive. The number seems down this year. I might be judging too quickly, but I wonder if the studios are starting to have second thoughts about this method of getting their productions in front of WGA eyeballs.

Disney’s INTO THE WOODS arrived today, and that will probably move right to the top of the stack. Previous UPS and FedEx envelopes have contained:

> Universal’s CHEF (a very strong auteur turn by Jon Favreau, who wrote, directed, produced, and played the lead – if you could use an antidote to terribly serious stories wherein the characters are crushed by the bad things that happen to them, I’d recommend this smile-maker)

> Warner Bros.’ THE JUDGE (terrific performances by Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr., in an emotionally explosive story about father-and-son estrangement)

> Fox Searchlight’s WILD, which is next on my list and promises to be a tour de force by a Reese Witherspoon we haven’t seen before

> Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD from IFC Films

> the A24 crime drama A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

> Clint Eastwood’s AMERICAN SNIPER, which I think is going to take just the right frame of mind to draw me in

> NIGHTCRAWLER from OpenRoad, written and directed by Dan Gilroy

> Universal’s GET ON UP

> from Sony Pictures Classics, WHIPLASH, LOVE IS STRANGE, and FOXCATCHER

> THE FAULT IN OUR STARS from 20th Century

> GONE GIRL (Regency), which has the look of a very creepy rat-in-a-trap thriller

I think I’m going to have to just skip all the Yule parties…