Status Update: Winter 2018

So, obviously some time has passed since the Fall Update back in October.  Let me catch you up a bit on my life, and where WelcometoSanKeros and this website stand as we look ahead into the vista of the forthcoming year.

I had some standard health check-ups this fall that raised some cause for alarm, and I’ve spent the last 4 months or so dealing with insurance companies, specialists, tests, and the like.  It’s nothing life threatening at the moment.  My sleep apnea had gotten severe, I had put on a lot of weight, and I’d gotten diagnoses with Type 2 Diabetes.  There were other health issues too, and every new diagnosis seemed to compound, conflate, or complicate every other issue.  In truth, I’m still working all of this out.  Medication is my friend, as is my new cpap machine.  The verdict is out whether I’ll be more Darth Vader or Bane while I sleep.  I’ll leave that to Andy and the cats to judge.

This whole scenario has really forced me to look at just how much I love food (Hint: It’s a lot), and how much that love affair was–if I’m being ruthlessly honest–killing me.  So no more pop or fruit juice, pasta and rice is pretty much a thing of the past, and I’ve been trying to find a way to move forward eating less, and in new ways.  Less red meat and seafood, more lean proteins. Less cheese (because cholesterol is also an issue, and the universe has decided it utterly despises me).  The cheese thing is proving tricky, as is the fact I have a terrible reaction to the most common forms of sugar substitutes.  Also, apparently me not eating fish (it’s a religious thing, as well as a taste aversion) has become kind of a big deal–every diabetic cookbook I encounter is honestly 1/3rd fish based.  It’s difficult, and working retail with its odd schedule shifts doesn’t make it any easier.  Honestly, it kind of sucks.

I DO love a challenge, though, and finding new ways to eat old foods I loved (replace the rice in Syrian stuffed cabbage with riced cauliflower? DELICIOUS!) makes me feel pretty damned mighty.  Soups have become a crucial component of my new diet, as have salads.  Checking the carb content of EVERYTHING has made me aware of just how toxic so much of Western food is, and avoiding problematic foods is easier emotionally than I thought.  I’m taking some classes soon to help me fill some of the voids this new diet creates.  I’ve lost 30 pounds already just by sort of feeling my way through the dark.

Oh, hey, also?  Can’t wait to actually feel RESTED after sleeping for a change thanks to the cpap.  Here’s hoping, anyhow.  Restful sleep will lead to more dreams, and dreams are where San Keros–and many of the other stories I’ve written–often find their nativity.  That well never runs dry, but the last few months it’s been a fairly shallow pool.  Its scary going to sleep wondering if that’s the night you’ll forget to breathe for good.  It sucked I had to wait until today to get some sort of medical help with that.  But now I do, and that should relieve some nightly anxiety (which also kept me up some nights, too).

You probably don’t care about any of this, though.  You want to know where the stories are, what the hell happened to Hrothgar and Beth, and Mason and Evan and Seth, and Colin and Kevin…

Good news on that front.  I have a few small stories, some of which I’ll launch around Valentine’s Day, that I mentioned in the Fall Update, but then I’ll be working hard on the next major San Keros cycle of tales.  Who do you want to see again the most? I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at: scott.havens@welcometosankeros.com.

I plan on waking this site up a bit as well, after last year’s redesign.  So expect more slice-of-life info here, as well as non-San Keros fiction, music, book, and film recommendations.  I want to get to know you, and I want you to get to know me.  We’re on this adventure together, after all.

 

Advertisements

Status Update: Fall 2017

This summer and fall have been a bit of a whirlwind, both at work and in life in general.  The boyfriend and I took a once in a lifetime trip to New York City and tried our best to cram in the city’s highlights in just shy of 4 days–and managed to see Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen before he left the show.  We’ve dodged health issues, the relative failure of both our mini Apple Orchard and our summer garden, but also an amazing visit with my Mom, too.

The result is that things for the website, and the actual writing of fiction took a backseat for a while.  The sage words of a dear friend have been ringing in my ears recently, who warned me before I launched WelcometoSanKeros.com  that eventually I would probably run out of immediately accessible content and that lags like what has happened were the kiss of death for fiction projects like this.  Well, he was right that it was bound to happen–but I refuse to let that be the end of things.

I’ve got a handful of pieces–some in the universe of San Keros, others just short forays into other projects that’ve been placed on even further back burners–that are in various editing stages.  I’m going to try to get those out as quickly as my process and life allow.  But I also am getting back to writing in general–and I plan on making it a bit more of a priority.

There’s more of a story here, really.  I was really struggling this summer to feel like I had anything really meaningful to contribute creatively.  I felt like the world didn’t need another middle-aged white dude spewing out more middle-aged white dude fantasy.  I was worried I was trying to force myself onto a stage that was already filled with the trampled voices of people of color and across the spectrum of faith and gender.  I felt like I didn’t want to be part of any sort of system which made those voices less likely to be heard.  I still feel that way.  It’s the same reason I’m slowly finding myself slowly peeling away from the world of comics, too.  It’s so much of the same, not enough of the new, of the unheard and underheard.

But then I met a rat in New York City, and got a surprise call at work.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve lost friends to time and distance, lost hobbies due to lack of funds, lost my sense of self-value in the wake of this profound feeling of helplessness that came unbidden and crashed through my life like a tsunami.

But you know what I haven’t lost? San Keros.  It’s beats inside me, like a second heart.  It’s winding streets and moonlit parks are where I wander when I can’t sleep at 3am.  I ache for Seth to find the love he needs, for Hrothgar to be whole and for Beth to believe in something more than herself.  I want Jessye Corman to continue building her neighborhood in the image of what she’d imagined it always could be.  And I want to share all of that with the world.  All of them, every street and every smile and every heartbreak.

I might not be worthy to tell these stories.  But they sing in me, and the longer I ignore them the louder they beg to be set free.  So that’s what I’ve decided to do.  I’ll do my best to do justice to their stories, and to those of you out there who’ve connected to this wild, fey city that lurks beneath my ribcage.  Like the worlds outside our doors, San Keros isn’t perfect.  It can be an ugly, unfair place, but it’s filled with more hope than our own, I think.  That city that straddles the uncanny and the uncaring shimmers with more possibility than most can see.  Magic gives us that chance.

Hell, maybe that’s what magic is in the first place.

 

 

 

 

21 Days of Pride

So, I’ve become the official guardian of the Pride display at work again this year, and I’ve gotten a much more diverse group of titles rotating on and off every week.  This is good stuff, people! For adults, teens, and tweens!  But I want to better educate myself regarding these titles, so I’m going to try to read as many of the 30 titles I have on display, and post reviews here and on Goodreads (you ARE following me on Goodreads, right? And posting reviews of my stuff there? Yeah? AWESOME!) of the books that really stand out.

Yesterday I read Get it Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough.  I enjoyed it 100%, though my American sensibilities cringed a bit at the basic premise of the book, I found the characters compelling and truly worthy of caring about.  That’s my definition of a decent Summer LGBTQIA Beach Read.

So what all are you reading?

Lemons (Tales from the Miracle Season 1.5) is now available!

It’s finally here!  Thank you so much for being so patient.  These last two Upshots have taken forever to come out, and I don’t have a convention as an excuse for this last one.  The truth is there were some story elements that needed some pretty serious alteration so that the next sequence will make sense, and it took longer than I thought.

“Lemons” is probably my favorite Upshot to date for a number of reasons.  Every single character in the story is new!to!you!, and you’ll be seeing all of them again very soon in the next two sequences!  It also lets you explore the Scarlet Letter, aka the Best Little Urban Fantasy Gastropub That Could.  The story is a bit shorter than most of the other Upshots, but it packs a surprising punch in the long term.  I guess you’ll have to trust me on that.

This is the last Upshot of this cycle.  A gentle reminder to you, dear readers, that all of these Upshots are presented in no particular order (with the exception of Coach/Coach Redux, which obviously happens simultaneously).  These shortest of short stories are just quick blinks into the present, past, and future of the Tales from the Miracle Season.  I’ll be doing weekly site updates over the next few weeks–WelcometoSanKeros.com needs a bit of an overhaul.  My next long-form Tale will be available the end of June, and I’ll post more about that soon.

For now, click on the image below, sit back, and enjoy.  I’m curious what you think of Howie and Gedrik.  Drop me a line here, on Goodreads, or anywhere (my social media links are on the site here).  There’s nothing I love more than talking to my readers.

The Miracle Season Will Return…June 2017

Tessellations (Tales from the Miracle Season 1.4) is now available!

          So, I’ve been a bit of a bad author of late.  The boyfriend and I were off to C2E2, and the time it took to prep and decompress from that trip has delayed the very last of this first series of Upshots.  Also included in that delay, apparently, was the announcement here at LateNightStirFry that Tessellations (Tales from the Miracle Season 1.4) went online at WelcometoSanKeros.com two whole weeks ago! Holy Cow! See what I mean? Bad author, no biscuit.

          Several folks have asked what the throughput is for these Upshots.  The short answer is that there isn’t any.  They aren’t designed to be connected.  These shortest of short stories are just snapshots into the lives of people we’ve seen before, or meeting for the first time, that are affected by the ripples cast out by the events in Nabiscoding in the summer of 1991 (which you can read ALL about in Open Your Eyes.)  All I can say is that all of this will be more fully explored as this project continues.

The last Upshot of this cycle is called “Lemons”, and it brings the world of San Keros into proper sequence with the larger story that will unfold this summer.  That title should go up by midweek, and it’s my hope we’ll launch the summer project the first week of June.

The City of Dreams has opened its doors…now what’s left is up to you.

Coach Redux (Tales from the Miracle Season 1.3) is now live!

Another week, another Upshot!  Redux marks the midpoint of these shortest of short stories taking place in Nabiscoding, San Keros, and everywhere else the Miracle Season touches. Visit them all at www.WelcometoSanKeros.com.  Only two more left before we’ll rejoin the main story sequence…and a lot has changed.  But that’s for the future.

Today, I’ll invite you to meet Kevin, who’s more than ready for his great, long trip to London to be over. He’s competed against some of the best high school aged wrestlers in the world, and all he was thinking about as he boarded the plane was how great his bed was going to feel when he finally sinks into its embrace.

Assuming he survives his own embarrassment, his teammate, and a certain yet unknown stranger who sits already upon the plane.

No sweat.