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.

 

 

 

 

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.

The State of Things (I)

So welcome again to another status update.  Things are more or less on track to launch the new content upgrades and design by September 1st.  This means that The Miracle Season will finally begin in earnest over on Welcome to San Keros, as well as a few other fun updates here and on AO3.  I’ll have more info as to which pieces get released and when as we get a tad closer.

I’ve had a bit of a rough spring/summer, emotionally, but I’m feeling ready to really commit to this project in a way I haven’t previously.  My goal is for at least one update a week.  That update will be a piece of fiction.  Other updates will be more frequent.  As we meet new people and places in San Keros we’ll add them to the growing City Directory for easy reference.  By the time the first sequence of Miracle Season is concluded late this fall, you’ll be able to buy it as a complete story!  More on that as it develops.

Meanwhile, enjoy the last few days of Summer before the magic of fall begins, and I’ll see you in 14 days.

Happy Birthday Update

Another year, another random blog post, right?  Well, in the spirit of the summer relaunch of latenightstirfry and the debut of new content from WelcometoSanKeros, I figured it was time to give a general life update so that anyone who’s curious can see the state of things.

On the home front, Andy and I celebrated our 18th anniversary and were allowed to serve two new feline overlords, Bailey and Keely.  I commissioned some gorgeous art at C2E2 this year, which I’ll do a separate post about.  It’s been a cocooning sort of year, really, as we’ve really dialed back our activity outside the house.  Some of our dear friends came to their senses and fled their S.A.D. and our presence by the space of a whole continent.  I’ve been slowly stripping down my comic pull list to just the characters and stories I’m genuinely passionate about.  I keep trying to organize my comics to determine what I’m ready to let go of, but I never complete the process.  I’ve been undergoing a small spiritual awakening too, which is welcome since its been too long.  We’ll see where that takes me.

As for writing, obviously there are things afoot.  My short story “Nothing Important Happened Today” got published in the Truth Beyond Paradox anthology.  This site is undergoing a major redesign this spring and early summer.  Later this summer I’ll be launching my major writing project in truth , but the web portal is already up at WelcometoSanKeros.com.  I have a few other smaller projects queued as well, and those will post here on latenightstirfry.  Some of those projects may end up referencing the World-a-Week Challenges I did a few years back and are still available here on the site.I also am going to be going pretty heavily into research mode, as a lot of the pieces are still missing certain crucial elements.

I’m hoping to go to HeroesCon this year, but also paint the garage.  I’d like to pay off credit cards, but redesign the front gardens. I plan on finally mastering the art of weeding without being scared off by arachnids.  I desperately need a new phone, and am hopeful for the opportunity to visit family and friends.  Which is to say, life goes on as it ever does.

I’m writing this as Owein sits purring on my chest, thinner than he’s ever been.  There’s not much that it seems we can do about it.  I’m deliberately not writing much more about that because I don’t think my heart can take it.  I need to hit the gym and lose some pounds, myself.  I wish we could share them somehow.

So that’s the sort of state of things.  If you feel like giving me an awesome birthday present, snag a copy of Truth Beyond Paradox (Only $3.99 digital!) and give my story a glorious review on Goodreads!  Word of mouth is everything.

And be Excellent to each other–and to yourselves.

 

 

Welcome to San Keros–now open for business!

Visit San Keros
Welcome to San Keros–A City of Magic Opens its Doors Summer 2016

At last, its time to pull back the curtain on Secret Project 1 (SP1, for those of you who still follow the site).  Welcome to San Keros is now open for business!  This is the web portal for a shared world of web fiction, novels, and short stories that I’ve been slowly building over the last 10 or so years.  A blend of neomythic fiction, urban fantasy, and horror, this shared universe can only be found at WelcometoSanKeros.com.    Right now, the site is merely an introduction to the world of San Keros, but the fictive works themselves will begin later this summer.  Meanwhile, I’ll be posting small excerpts, tidbits, and introducing you to some of the city’s most colorful characters.

Also by late summer, latenightstirfry will once again become the spot to read all of my non-San Keros related fiction.  This site will also turn into an author’s blog, keeping everyone apprised of what I’m working on and what will be released next.  I hope you’ll follow along.

So go visit San Keros.  I promise–it will not be what you think.

It will be more.