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Tag: fiction

November linkspam

I love the fall. Of course, I prefer it when it’s not 80 degrees, because that’s what July is for according to my Massachusetts-raised equilibrium. But the leaves turn their beautiful colors and fall on my car, we buy pumpkins for the sole purpose of cutting them up and putting them on the front doorstep, the cobwebs in the corners become “decor,” and I’m busier than I ever am the rest of the year.

If you’re a horror writer and you’re not busy in October, are you really working? This very newsletter took a week to put together because I was madly dashing about the country, and it won’t let up until December, if the calendar can be believed.

The various shenanigans at work this month will be detailed below, but a highlight for me was the news that four (4) of my submissions have been accepted by the River Bluff Review, in the last year I will be eligible to submit to them. The RBR accepted a short story (my first literary acceptance!); two poems (another first!); and a photograph, which is this month’s featured photo at the end of this newsletter.

I’m deeply honored that the student editors of the RBR chose to accept all four of my submissions, and look forward to celebrating with them and the other writers sometime in the future.

Finally… my actual diploma arrived this month from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, declaring that I have received a master of science degree in media studies as of August 2022. No take backs: I’m now The Master. (Cue the Doctor Who jokes.) I will be participating in the December commencement, which feels a little silly because Zod willing I will be graduating again in May with the second masters. But any excuse for a party!  Seriously, that degree has been finished for months now, but there’s something marvelous about the tangible proof. Two degrees down, one to go…


Publicity/Appearances

I’m happy to report our charity book sale at Leclaire Parkfest raised more than $900 for the American Cancer Society, and the leftover books were dispersed to the SIUE Head Start program, to Phi Kappa Phi for distribution to area Little Free Libraries, and the rest to Metro East Literacy to support their programs throughout the region. Many thanks to the volunteers who made it a fun, productive day!

This is a cause that means a great deal to me, moreso now than ever. If you follow me on social media or read “Under the Orange Tree,” you know that cancer took my Uncle Brian from my family at the end of October, adding yet another name of my loved ones to the cancer rolls. Thank you to everyone who has expressed their sympathy to me and my family in our time of grief; it was deeply appreciated. 

I was also happy to participate in a group signing at the Smithton (Ill.) Public Library in October, and will be returning to the Collinsville Public Library in December.

Of course, one of the highlights of my year is the annual Society of Professional Journalists conference, which took place the last week of October in Washington D.C. The travelogue began while I was still in DC, complete with photos, but the more extensive look at the historic sites I visited and photographed is pending.

Did I mention you can get all those awesome travelogues by subscribing to my Patreon? I haven’t? Well, you should totally do that, for $1 a month.

I was also quite pleased to participate in a panel on Freelancing 201 at the conference, which kind of tickled me since I still feel like a 101 level after four years. The audience was great, with good questions and they laughed at (some of) my jokes. That’s all I ask, folks!

All this month I’m running Nanowrimo for the Eville Writers, as well as the events below. The calendar for next year is starting to take shape, so if you were interested in inviting me to your local convention or book festival, speak up soon!

And for you Patrons: Anyone who subscribes to my Patreon gets a discount at the Literary Underworld booth. Just give your name (or the name you used when you registered on Patreon) to the Minion working the booth. 

Coming up:
• ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 
• Books-a-Million, Edwardsville, Ill. Nov. 19
• Collinsville (Ill.) Library Holiday Market, Dec. 3
• Writers of the Riverbend, Alton, Ill. Feb. 4, 2023
• AWP Conference, Seattle, Wash. March 8-11 (attending)
• Authorcon, Williamsburg, Va. March 31-April 2 (tent.)
• GRADUATION, May 5
• ConCarolinas, Charlotte, N.C. June 2-4 (tent.)
• TechWrite STL, St. Louis. Date TBA. 
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 14-16 (tent.)
• SPJ Conference, Las Vegas. Sept. 28-Oct. 1
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Sept. 21-Oct. 1

Journalism/Blogs

• Helping books find a home for the cause (ElizabethDonald)
• Archon 45 is a smash! (ElizabethDonald)
• Changes coming to Highland’s school construction project (Highland News-Leader)
• Worker’s Rights Amendment aims to protect Labor rights in Illinois (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• City Council moves forward to annex land for school (Highland News-Leader)
• Large solar farm under construction near Highland (Highland News-Leader)
• U.S. Department of Labor awards apprenticeship grants in Illinois (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Highland leaders hope to expand business district (Highland News-Leader)
• Gov. Pritzker makes major push for Worker’s Rights Amendment (St. Louis Labor Tribune
• Want to know what’s going on in Highland? There’s an app for that (Highland News-Leader)
• One on One: Julie Lock of Food Outreach (Feast Magazine)

Note: Not all articles are available online, and some may be behind paywalls. 

Fiction/Photography

• Not (Patreon)
• Fright Fest (Patreon)

Patreon/Medium

• Art for art’s sake (Patreon)
• Ms. Donald goes to Washington Pt. 1 (Patreon)
• Ms. Donald goes to Washington Pt. 2 (Patreon)
• Ms. Donald goes to Washington Pt. 3 (Patreon)
• Under the orange tree (Patreon and Medium)

A nightmarish funhouse turned deadly.
A couple trapped in a futile journey through time.
A single baleful eye watching from the deep.
An assassin waiting in a snow-covered tree.
A toy that seems to have a life of its own.
A pair of soldiers trapped between death and something worse.
A tenebrous hand reaching out of the shadows.

These are the award-winning tales and terrors of Elizabeth Donald, writer of things that go chomp in the night. This new anniversary edition is being released 20 years after the first story was published, now including a bonus short story and the author’s reflections on twenty years of twilight tales.

In that space between evening and nightfall, between consciousness and sleep, the moment when the light fades and the shadows take over… These are the lands of the Setting Suns.

Signed copies direct from me
Amazon
Kindle

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Fall into terror! It’s… August.

A funny thing happens to college instructors when July turns into August: we start to panic.

With so many college instructors and professors on my social media, it’s funny watching us all begin the scramble to get ready for the new semester. I’ve spent much of this week planning my schedule for my English composition classes, figuring out my physical schedule, picking up textbooks, looking up the new Required Syllabus Language at both universities, and so on. 

I moved into my new office at The Jesuit School last month, but my computer wasn’t installed until this week. It’s a shiny shiny Mac Pro, so I’m looking forward to playing with it as soon as I can get over there. At Ye Olde University, I’m still in my cubicle in the Hall o’ TAs, hopefully with actual company this year, though most of the fellow grad students I’ve worked with have graduated by now. Because how many idiots deliberately choose to be in grad school for five years doing two degrees?

*crickets*

For those playing the home game, that’s three (3) offices for me including the home office, which is where I’ll be working three days a week when I’m not bouncing all over the world two days a week this fall. When I say “physical schedule,” I mean days I’m driving across the river or I’m on the local campus or  I’m driving all over the universe to union meetings or I’m ensconced in my home Tower. There’s a spreadsheet and two color-coordinated calendars. 

With regret, I have dropped the class in Black speculative fiction I intended to take this semester. It’s absolutely killing me, because come on – to spend a semester reading Octavia Butler and N.K. Jemison and exploring Afrofuturism and horror and get credit for it? 

Indeed, my one regret as I approach my final year of MFA Land is the number of classes I won’t get to take. Just this semester alone, my department is offering the above class in Black speculative fiction, young adult literature, African-American rhetoric and oratory, quest fiction, Black music as literature, Black women’s writing, as well as the usual lit classes. 

In previous semesters I’ve seen classes on heroes and villains in fiction, an entire semester on Toni Morrison, “inventing America through writing,” American literature and social change, dystopian/apocalyptic fiction, semester-long comparisons of Poe and Hawthorne or Whitman and Dickinson, the American dream as represented in literature, “nasty women” in fiction, and so on. 

I think I could happily sit back and take these classes till doomsday. I’ve been so delighted that the reputation of MFA programs as a) relentlessly white/male, b) abusively cruel to their students, and c) stultifyingly resistant to genre and popular fiction have been absolutely untrue. I’m sure some programs deserve the reputation, but if anything, my experience and my observations at AWP indicate that the current-day programs are well ahead of the industry itself in diversification and openness for writers and writing styles. 

But I digress, unhappily, back to abandoning a class I really wanted to take. At least I still get to take slipstream fiction, which should be a lot of fun, and I will begin my planning and research for my community project – Writer in the World, required of all MFAs, and buckle in because it’s going to be my whole year. 

Meanwhile, I am teaching two completely full sections of English composition at Ye Olde University and commuting into the city two mornings a week to teach newswriting at the Jesuit College. That’s approximately 75 students to wrangle. In addition to the Writer in the World practicum, I’ll be working on my MFA thesis novel, and my non-MFA fiction writing (more on that soooooon). 

Then there’s Donald Media, which includes my freelance work for various news publications including McClatchy, the Labor Tribune, Feast Magazine, etc. There’s keeping up with the four (4) blogs I manage, the Patreon, the Literary Underworld, attending two cons and a journalism conference, the ethics committee, St. Louis SPJ and its fall boot camp, not to mention being president of the Sigma Tau Delta honors society and gearing up to take over the quarterly charity book sale in my town that I’ll start running in 2023.

Something had to give. I mean, I have a family. I hear they’re nice. 

At least one thing will be off my plate, one way or the other: this Friday is the final defense for my media studies masters thesis. So far none of my committee have emailed me to yell that it’s a worthless piece of garbage and I have to go back to the drawing board because I’m a looooooooser. Who’s nervous? Hopefully their suggestions will be quickly feasible, as next week is my last of the summer “vacation” and my ability to give the bloody thing my undivided attention before the fall chaos descends. 

Assuming nothing goes sideways, technically I am done with that degree, and would have the right to walk in the December graduation except that feels silly when I’m allegedly graduating for good in May! 

Then whatever will I do with all my spare time?

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August linkspam!

Gee, Elizabeth, this newsletter sorta skipped a month. What happened to July?

Well, folks, there was this thesis… Only two years late! Technically not “late,” as one has six years from the point where one finishes the coursework to complete a thesis in order to get their masters degree. There was this pandemic, you see, and pivoting to teaching online, and then I launched a completely different masters program, and and and… 

But this summer, I dug in and finished the thesis. It is currently awaiting defense and final approval by the Graduate School. It is my sincere hope that by the next newsletter, I will be the recipient of a masters of science in media studies, and embarking on my final year of the MFA.

In the meantime, freelance nonfiction work is really picking up, and I’ll be returning as an adjunct professor and graduate instructor at two universities in the fall. I also had the pleasure of working with high-school students for two sessions at the SIUE Youth Writing Camp this summer, and continuing my usual appearances at book fairs, libraries, festivals and conventions. I also took another class toward the MFA, on teaching creative writing via memoir. What, me busy?

And there’s this other thing. Which I can’t share. Not yet. Once the contracts are signed, I can *mmmmmf* 
 


Publicity/Appearances

Reviewing June and July: I launched the summer tour at ConCarolinas in Charlotte, N.C., which was a terrific time and a great chance to see folks I haven’t seen since before the world ended. In July, I got to see practically everyone else on that list at Imaginarium in Louisville, Ky. I held two workshops there: the first on “So You Wanna Be a Writer” going through the creative process with an eye to publication, and “Don’t Quit Your Day Job,” on the business side of being a writer. These workshops went really well, and I may develop them further as I go into my “Writer in the World” project this fall in MFA-land.

I also spoke to the Plethora of Pens writers’ group in Glen Carbon, Ill. on July 11, and added the Collinsville Library Book Fair at the very last minute on July 30.

Coming up in August: It’s actually pretty light! Much of my schedule was cleared to deal with the thesis defense and whatever revisions will be necessary, and then the semester begins in about three weeks. So we’ll call that “free time.” 

Also: the latest issue of Quill Magazine referenced the controversy a few months ago when my chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists challenged the governor of Missouri to stop threatening prosecution of journalists for *checks notes* doing journalism. Here’s the report if you’re interested.

I was part of an author roundtable on Sean Taylor’s excellent writing blog in June, discussing how we balance ideas and projects. “I’ve been told that perhaps I focus too much on the salability of a project, perhaps to the detriment of the art. That’s possibly true, but there’s also a lot of privilege to the idea that we should do art first and market second. When you have the rent paid by other means, maybe you can do art first. But when you feed your family by the written word, you need to prioritize what you can sell and keep your work out where the eyeballs can find it.” Full column here.

Coming up:
• Edwardsville (Ill.) Book Festival, Sept. 17
• St. Louis SPJ Journalist Boot Camp, Sept. 24
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Sept. 30-Oct. 2
• SPJ National Conference, Washington, D.C. Oct. 26-29 
• ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 

Journalism/Essays

• Tharp sworn in as state senator (St. Louis Labor-Tribune)
• Highland residents to pay higher trash fee (Highland News-Leader)
• Judge candidates elected despite write-in ballot (St. Louis Labor-Tribune)
• HCS subscribers to get refund following outage (Highland News-Leader)
• Illinois moves to make ‘right to work’ illegal (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Highland police get three-year contract (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland passes $40 million school referendum (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland will open public restrooms during festivals – providing people behave (Highland News-Leader)
• Developer plans high-end apartments for historic hotel (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland votes to move forward on controversial storage facility (Highland News-Leader)
• New program allows low-income kids outside district to get library cards (Highland News-Leader
• Highland board declines proposal for storage facility (Highland News-Leader)
• Family tax relief from Democrat-sponsored bill (Highland News-Leader)

Note: Not all articles are available online, and some may be behind paywalls. 
 

 

Fiction

*mmmmmmf* I can’t tell you. Shh. Shenanigans afoot.

Patreon/Blogs

• A second life (Medium)
• The coffeehouse chairs (Medium)
• Freedom Day 2022 (Patreon)
• Hey new people! (Patreon)
• Kitty! (Patreon)
• Imaginarium is a wrap! (Patreon)
• The beauty halo (Patreon)
• Follow me, scribes (Patreon)
• So where do you get your ideas? (Patreon)
• Where are you from? (Patreon)

Are you a subscriber to my newsletter, which has this and much more, including photo of the month, coupons and freebies etc.? Well, you should! Don’t worry – I’m way too busy to spam you more than once a month. Click here to be assimilated.
 

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Catching figs

As my semester draws to a close, one of our projects has been an online anthology of work centered on “Imagining Madness,” a semester-long examination of madness in fiction. Not to be confused with actual mental illness, it centered on people perceiving the world differently or whose ideas or behaviors violated the normatives of their society. 

My contribution to the anthology was “Catching Figs,” an essay examining Esther of The Bell Jar and what it reflects of second-wave feminism. I was also selected to present this paper at the SIUE Graduate Student Symposium this semester, and my poster slide from that is included below.

If this kind of literary analysis interests you, you can read my revised essay here. Then click around the other offerings and see what people have written. There are poems and character studies and much more. It’s really been a delight and a fascinating discussion all semester, and I’m going to miss it.

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April 2022 linkspam

It’s no coincidence that this month’s meme is Toni Morrison. All this semester I have been studying Morrison, as I am privileged to attend a university that offers a class solely focused on her writing. The nuances and intentionality of her prose are powerful and inspiring, and I’ve greatly enjoyed exploring her work. So far we’ve done deep dives on The Bluest Eye, Sula and Song of Solomon, with side trips into her essays and academic writing. I can already tell that I’ll be digging out Beloved and Paradise over the summer.

My Deep Thoughts on Morrison and my other studies in the MFA program are a continuing feature on the Patreon. I recognize that I have an enormous privilege to be able to pursue an MFA in creative writing and spend three years developing my craft and studying literature, and not everyone has the financial or practical freedom to do so. Therefore I am sharing what I learn on the Patreon, so that my readers get an MFA by proxy! Or something like that. 

As we enter the homestretch of the Longest Semester of My Life, the travel schedule is picking up. As I write this, I’m one week back from Memphis and heading to Wichita later this week, with more travel on the horizon. Am I coming to a show or festival near you? If not, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do. 

Meanwhile, I’m delighted that the anniversary edition of Setting Suns is out now! “But wait, Elizabeth, I already read that book.” Sure you did, but this anniversary edition has a new short story, a new afterword and other tweaks. I am very happy with the way it came out, and many thanks to Kody Boye Publishing Services, who did a great job on the book.

We premiered it at Midsouthcon this past weekend, and had a great time seeing our old friends and meeting some new ones. The official release event is slated for April 15 at Spine Books here in St. Louis, and I hope to see you there! 

More about the Setting Suns release on the blog, but in the meantime, here’s where you can pick up a copy:

Signed copies direct from me
Amazon
Kindle

A nightmarish funhouse turned deadly.
A couple trapped in a futile journey through time.
A single baleful eye watching from the deep.
An assassin waiting in a snow-covered tree.
A toy that seems to have a life of its own.
A pair of soldiers trapped between death and something worse.
A tenebrous hand reaching out of the shadows.

These are the award-winning tales and terrors of Elizabeth Donald, writer of things that go chomp in the night. This new anniversary edition is being released 20 years after the first story was published, now including a bonus short story and the author’s reflections on twenty years of twilight tales.

In that space between evening and nightfall, between consciousness and sleep, the moment when the light fades and the shadows take over… These are the lands of the Setting Suns.

Publicity/Appearances

In March I simultaneously attended the national conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and Midsouthcon on the same weekend, which was a hilarious bit of scheduling. Many thanks to my husband and our fellow Literary Underworld authors, J.L. Mulvihill and Rachel Brune, for their patience as I dashed up to the hotel room for AWP panels, then back downstairs for a Midsouthcon panel. Rinse, repeat. 

Kimberly Richardson of Viridian Tea House gave a wonderful review for Nocturne Infernum with five out of five cups of tea. “This is one hell of a book,” she declared. Check it out here!

I am so excited to be reading and signing Setting Suns on April 15 at Spine Books here in St. Louis. Spine Books specializes in indie and small-press publishing, primarily from local writers, and I’m honored to be featured in their Friday night showcase series. The fun starts at 6 p.m. – check out the Facebook event for details!

Other highlights of the coming month include the SPJ Region 7 Conference in Wichita next weekend, where I am presenting on the practical applications of the SPJ Code of Ethics; our annual (ha ha) SPJ Trivia Night (postponed five times due to COVID); the First Amendment Free* Food Festival; and the Afterwords Bookfest in Edwardsville, Ill. on April 30. Whew! It’s going to be quite a month. 

I’m also pleased to announce I will be attending ConCarolinas this summer as a guest author. I’ve never been to this particular con, so I’ll have to see if I know anyone there…

Coming up:
• SPJ Regional Conference, Wichita, Kan. April 8-9
• Spine Books signing, St. Louis, Mo. April 15
• Afterwords Bookfest, Edwardsville, Ill. April 30
• Smithton (Ill.) Library signing, May 28
• ConCarolinas, Charlotte, N.C. June 3-5
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 8-10
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Oct. 7-9 
• SPJ National Conference, Washington, D.C. Oct. 26-29 (tent.)
• ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 (tent.)

Journalism/Essays

• Highland council considers deficit budget (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland residents have options for rising utility bills (Highland News-Leader)
• Voters to decide on $40 million school construction referendum (Highland News-Leader)
• Embracing the werewolf (Medium)

Fiction

I premiered a few pieces at my Midsouthcon reading, including two literary fiction stories from my MFA workshop and a selection from Setting Suns. Happy stories about bunnies and unicorns, of course. 

In the meantime, read a bit about how this anniversary edition of Setting Suns came to life in “Twenty years of fever dreams.”

Patreon/Blogs

• Old Home Week at Midsouthcon (Literary Underworld)
• King Lear, identity chameleons and Andy (Patreon)
• Housekeeping and linkage (Patreon)
• Five cups of tea for Nocturne Infernum (Patreon and Elizabeth Donald)
• On the road again (Elizabeth Donald)
• Welcome to Crone Girls Press (Literary Underworld)
• Another slingshot around the sun (Patreon)
• My birthday present to you! (Patreon)

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Twenty years of fever dreams

Harlan Ellison once asked me, “How many stories have you sold?” Nervous, I flubbed the question, because the answer certainly was “far fewer than you, sir.” 

My first short story published for pay was “Vertigo,” a weird Twilight Zone-esque piece set in the middle of a campus shooting. It appeared in DogEar Magazine in 2002, and while I’d played around with the freebie sites beforehand, it was the first time someone paid me money for my fiction. 

Three years later, the amazing Frank Fradella founded New Babel Books and came to me with an idea for a collection. Setting Suns collected all my published short stories and a handful of new ones written just for that volume, and it won the Darrell Award for best short story and stayed in print for more than 15 years. 

I’ve had several books go out of print over the years, and some have been reissued by other presses, while others have quietly gone on into obscurity. But Setting Suns is a book that many of my readers continue to cite as their favorite, and I have a particular fondness for the old girl. It was not my first book – that distinction belongs to Nocturnal Urges, an ebook released in 2004 by Ellora’s Cave Publishing – but Setting Suns was the first time I opened a box of books and saw my own name on the cover. Ask any writer about that moment, and see the look in their eyes when they answer.

While I was thinking about this, I realized I was coming up on my anniversary: it’s been 20 years since my first paid fiction sale. That’s a nice round number, and I wanted to commemorate it somehow. 

Thus was born the anniversary edition of Setting Suns, to be released this spring. It includes a bonus short story and a new afterword from me reflecting on the last twenty years and how damn lucky I am to have the career I have. After all, Harlan didn’t ask me how many stories I thought about, or plotted in my notebook, or even how many I managed to scribble out over the last 20 years… he asked how many I sold, and that ever-changing number is due to your support and continued willingness to plunk down your cash for my fever-dreams.

I’m very pleased to be able to offer this book, with my thanks for the past twenty years. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed walking through its garden of shadows. 

To add to the fun: I’ve recently gotten a handful of books back from a store that had them on consignment, and to my delight, there are three out-of-print rarities among them! I now have two copies of Dreadmire and one each of Setting Suns (original edition) and Blackfire to find homes.

So we’re running a contest! To get an entry, you should: 

Sign up for my newsletter!

Subscribe to my Patreon!

Preorder Setting Suns!

Each of these gets you an entry in the contest, and three winners will be randomly selected to receive one of the out-of-print rare books, signed upon request. Spread the word!

Setting Suns Anniversary Edition

Setting Suns Anniversary Edition

$15.00

Buy now

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In which I talk in symbols….

@*%&)!*#!

Not those.

Sean Taylor runs a blog titled Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action. Despite the title, it is not a sausage fest, nor is it solely focused on crime/noir/genre fiction. It’s one of the best, most thoughtful writing blogs out there, and one that doesn’t get enough attention.

I’m happy to be part of today’s writer roundup, in which we discuss symbolism from the perspective of the writer. While we can all find symbolism in what we read, whether intended by the author or not, how do we approach the use of symbolism as writers? It’s “the curtains are fucking blue” argument, that frequently we seek out a reflection of what we already believe in our fiction, while the author may simply have chosen blue for the curtains because that’s what he saw in his mind’s eye. Is symbolism in the eye of the beholder, or is it an intentional commentary on This Modern Life? Or something in between?

As an MFA student, finding symbols is kind of our stock in trade. Where would we be without dissecting the true meaning of the letter opener on the table or the broken wine goblet? And then there’s what Hemingway allegedly said:

Check out what Sean’s latest author roundtable had to say about symbolism, including me. What is your take on it?

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January linkspam!

If you’re like me, you’re entering this brand new year with hopes that it will not suck as much as the previous two years. So far we don’t have a lot of indicators in that direction, as my email is crammed full of nervous announcements about classes going online, cons and festivals being canceled, and7 other things that complicate my life and pocketbook. 

My good friend John Hartness, author and publisher at Falstaff Books, is never one to mince words. He posted this week, “Y’all get your damn shots. This damn plague is starting to fuck with my business again, and getting between a redneck and his money is not a good move. So get your shit straight, get your shots, and maybe we can finally put this fucking disease behind us.” He went on at extensive, profane detail, and if you are friends with John on Facebook, you should really go read it. It’s a thing of beauty.

As of this moment, my classes are all still intended to be face-to-face with the exception of my fiction workshop, and I’ll be teaching and tutoring face-to-face as well. Other events are starting to look questionable, so while I’m listing them here, please keep an eye on ElizabethDonald.com to ensure that an event is going forward as planned. 

And get yer dang shots. I want you alive, healthy and able to buy my books.
 

Publicity/Appearances

Who does a book signing outdoors in December in Illinois? This woman! The Edwardsville Winter Market took place Dec. 4, and was treated to fairly reasonable weather, which means I was only half frozen to death by the time the family showed up to collect me. (What? They were not dumb enough to actually stay with me all day.) 

This was followed by the Collinsville Author and Artist Fair, which was blissfully indoors and oddly had a much lower turnout. That’s maybe not as surprising when you realize it was the day after the tornado struck Edwardsville. It’s obvious that my family and I were unharmed, as I am writing this newsletter, but thank you to all who reached out to us in concern. We were lucky; the workers in the Amazon warehouse on the Edwardsville-Pontoon Beach border were not. The Edwardsville Community Foundation continues to raise funds to help those impacted by the tornado, and you can donate here.

Coming this month: the Millstadt Library Author Fair, which kindly did a terrific write-up of my novel trilogy Nocturne Infernum in advance of the event. “Unique, modern, intelligent, and feisty, Donald’s stories are more than entertainment – they are political statements about civil and sexual rights, independence, privilege, agency, and STILL MADE ME BAWL at the sad romance of it all,” they wrote, and that’s going on the website! Funny thing: through their post I discovered that their library system has several of my books available, including some that are seriously out of print. 

I’ve also been informed that Conflation is moving to a mostly-online format in late February. Awaiting details, but however the Goddesses decide to run the show, I’ll be there in any way I can. 

On the publicity side, Cuppa Words is kindly featuring me for the month of January! Here is my introduction, and all month they’ll be talking about my work. I’ve been happy and proud to be associated with Cuppa Words for the last few years, and look forward to another great year with them. 

Coming up:
• Millstadt (Ill.) Library Author Fest, Jan. 15
• Conflation, St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 25-27 
• Midsouthcon, Memphis. March 23-26 (tent.)
• AWP, Philadelphia. March 25-27 (tent.)
• AuthorCon, Williamsburg, Va. April 1-3 (tent.)
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 8-10
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Oct. 7-9 
• SPJ National Conference, Washington, D.C. Oct. 26-29 (tent.)
• ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 (tent.)

Journalism/Essays

• Elon Musk is a bad Person of the Year… but not for the reasons you think (Medium with intro on Patreon)
• Brewpub closes only weeks after opening (Highland News-Leader)
• A kidney for Christmas (Metro-East Living)
• Schools on alert after violence threat (Belleville News-Democrat)
• Council approves gas station over residents’ complaints (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland Police move into new station (Highland News-Leader)
• Local contractor gets $113 million Air Force base contract (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland voters to decide school construction referendum (Highland News-Leader)
 

Fiction

I’m happy to announce that Spine Bookstore is now featuring my work, along with that of many independent and small-press authors in the bi-state area. I’m delighted to be part of this new concept and look forward to events beginning soon at the shop and cafe. Spine is located on Arsenal in St. Louis near Benton Park, and is definitely worth a stop. 

In addition, River Bluff Review went live early, including my short story “Fever.” It’s available online for free here.

Patreon/Blogs

• ‘Fever’ is published! (ElizabethDonald.com)
• A blessed season (Patreon)
• New story published! (Patreon)
• A Second Life (Patreon)

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Nifty review and upcoming event at Millstadt Library

I’m looking forward to the first event of 2022, which is the Millstadt Library Author Fair. Millstadt is in the process of expanding and will be running a referendum to build a new library soon, and I’m happy to be one of more than 20 authors who will be signing and speaking at the author fair on Jan. 15.

In advance of the event, Millstadt’s library blog wrote this lovely introduction to me and my work. I’d seen a previous write-up on their blog and saw they were still circulating the original Nocturne, which was from the first publisher and did not include the third novel of the Nocturnal Urges series, Abaddon. I donated a copy of Nocturne Infernum so that they’d have the most updated version, and they said this: “Unique, modern, intelligent, and feisty, Donald’s stories are more than entertainment – they are political statements about civil and sexual rights, independence, privilege, agency, and STILL MADE ME BAWL at the sad romance of it all.”

Well, that’s the kind of comment that makes a writer’s day.

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll consider joining us in Millstadt on Jan. 15!

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“Fever” is published!

I wasn’t expecting the annual publication of the River Bluff Review until early spring, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that it’s already live on the interwebs!

River Bluff Review is a student-edited literary magazine, and only recently made the transition from print to all-digital. I was honored that they selected my short story “Fever” for this year’s edition. It’s a weird little piece, one that reads like a COVID story but was written the month before the pandemic began.

I remember it well, because I had been very ill that February – a flu that simply knocked me on my ass.* I recovered in time to go for a weekend getaway at Valentine’s Day with my husband, at a hotel we adore called the Cheshire Inn. Each room at the Cheshire is named and themed after a famous British writer – the suites are for the big boys like Robert Louis Stevenson and William Shakespeare, and the smaller rooms get the lesser-known authors. We were booked in the Romeo & Juliet suite, and after Jim fell asleep I was restless.

So I sat at the little desk in our suite and considered myself lucky to have kicked that nasty flu in time for this trip… and started writing. I wrote the tale of a woman so ill with fever that she hallucinates a monster in her house… or does she?

The entire first draft was written in the wee hours of the night in that hotel room, refined over several weeks and workshopped in my MFA program before submitting to magazines. I’m delighted that it was picked up so quickly, and I hope you enjoy it and the other fine stories included in this year’s River Bluff Review.

 

 

* Yes, it has occurred to me that it might actually have been COVID Original Flavor, before we knew much about it. My doctor said that “we may not have seen COVID before, but it’s probably seen us.” No real way of knowing, except I’m still alive and kicking.

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