Saturday, November 19, 2016


"My memory loves you; it asks about you all the time." -Johnathon Carroll

Happy birthday, Daddy.

It's been fourteen years since I handed you a present, and thirteen years since the last time we said good bye. It's a sharp pain. The other day me and Mom were talking about seeing strangers who look like you. I've been in three places where I saw a man who could have been your twin. I laughed, because one was wearing shorts. You almost never did. He was holding a beagle puppy though, and you always did like beagles. The curly  hair and ball cap hit close to home too. It was everything I had in me not to go up to that man and talk to you.

It happened when Jame was in the hospital one time too. That guy was you, except overweight. Dark, curly hair, a smile. Wrong, but familiar.

Once, I thought I saw you driving down the road in Crane. In a Ford truck, no less. And it was like a knife in the gut.

I haven't "seen" you in a while, but I do think of you when I pick up a penny, heads up or not. When I unexpectedly see a deer. I like to think you're watching then. I washed my car and thought about all those times you helped me wash the Mustang. Man, I'd give anything for you to wax it. I won't complain about having to wipe it all off this time, okay? We can listen to oldies or even Man of Constant Sorrow if you want. Whatever, as long as we have a good time. I know we'll have a good time, even if we don't say much. We never had to, there was enough love in comfortable silence.

God, I miss you. I both love and hate it when you pop up I'm a dream. Your face is yours, but your voice is wrong. Just like in real life when Bobby Cox doppelgangers show up. It's heartbreaking. I wonder if you know how much we miss you.

Some days it's better. Some days it's a struggle to do anything except cry. So I go to the Internet and find something funny so I can laugh. I play with the dogs, because they make me so happy. I remind myself to take it one day at a time, even though it takes me farther from you. I take what I can get, even if it's bittersweet memories and photographs.

The other day Mom handed me the picture of my birthday when you guys bought Jill for me. She said, "Remember that he was happiest when he was making us happy. So just be happy."

I'm trying.

I love you.

Robert L. Cox
11/19/53 - 11/15/03

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

That Time I NaNoWriMo'd Again

I'm pretty sure I'm only writing the same thing over and over, except in different forms. I'm keeping up with word count--just barely. Enough to give myself a little boost every day for the next day, but it's tight. And scary.

The hero is probably breaking out of his shell too soon. The heroine is kind of flat and uninteresting. I'm praying that when I go back and read this again, it's going to be amazing.

It's a long time until I reach the next badge after hitting the 10k mark last night. Twenty-five thousand words will earn me another one. I can't wait and I dread it. As per usual, my carpal tunnel has decided flare up again. Sleeping in my brace last night was not a cure-all, sadly. I didn't figure it would be, so I guess I'll go at it again tonight. Sometimes it takes around two weeks before things align inside my wrists again. Right now, it feels like there's a funky catch in there. Like it needs to be popped, but won't. Not. Fun. So why am I doing this again?

Well, according to my Word counter, I'm currently just over 27k total. That's way more than I had at the end of last month when I finally got my sh!t together and said, "I'm doing this." It might not be pretty. It might even be awful, but it's getting somewhere.

I WILL have a completed novel sometime before or around the beginning of December. Just in time to go to VisionCon. Of course, that means busting butt on editing and getting a cover done. I'm sweating from the effort already, but excited.

Write on!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

NaNoWriMo Prep

It's nearly that time again, folks. The hapless race to the end of November in a landslide of words. I haven't accomplished much as a writer this year, I'm ashamed to say. There's something pressing on my mind and has been for two long years. There's the wobbly world of the news from Samhain that they were closing, then they weren't. I don't even know what's going with that at the moment.

On the other hand, my self-publishing hasn't been going too badly, it's just that I don't devote enough time to getting the three books I have written edited and out there. I should. I really ought to, but I haven't. Somehow, it's much easier to be lazy. That's about the case with every endeavor ever.

So Lawless has been sitting in a combination limbo of my flash drive and my Google Docs drive for over a year. Gathering dust a not even 10,000 words. I know I need to work on it as badly as I need to edit the other books I have written. Yet, I didn't.

I'm forcing myself to participate in NaNoWriMo in order to get this thing finished. The beginning is freakin' brilliant (as evidenced by the judges, all except one, of the Weta Nichols Contest, in which it finished 2nd in 2015). My greatest fear lies in that the rest of it probably won't be that brilliant. I've been working on it off and on this month and I'm afraid it's more confusing than anything.

Let me tell you what it's about. It's about this outlaw who steps in front of a child during a bank robbery of his planning and gets himself shot in the leg. He saves the child's life, but gets captured by the law and hanged. He dies. He wakes up in a jail cell, seemingly alive. Come to find out, he's actually at a sort of way station in the afterlife, waiting for his final judgement. Which could be going to Heaven, a do-not-pass-go trip straight to Hell, or Reoccurance, which is another shot at life. However, he's the surly, stubborn type who doesn't want to play along. A Judge is assigned to him, this poor woman who only wants to Reoccur after many, many years of trying to redeem souls. So it flops back and forth between the memories that led the main character to this point in his life and the current day where horrible monsters called Revenants are bound and determined to devour any and every available soul.

Sounds like a doable plot. This sucker is hard to write. It's not so much as telling his backstory that's difficult as telling the part about the why he's important to the Revenants. I'm nearly 12,000 words in and I'm going...gee, he's already had like four flashbacks. We haven't even established how or why he's able to do the things he can in the afterlife.

So this NaNoWriMo attempt may end up being a bunch of drivel, but I'm praying that it'll make sense once there's 50,000 more words saved in my documents.

Fingers crossed.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Birthday! Five Roads From Beltane

Drumroll, please! I'm very excited to bring you something special today. It was a sooper sekrit prajekt I worked on over the summer. It's not an anthology, no! It's more like a choose your adventure book, sort of. You get a beginning with five characters and the chance to read about how the beginning affects them all. Here's the lo-down:

Five Roads  From Beltane
Western Interactive Book

Which Path Will You Choose?
Presented By D’Ann Lindun, Allison Merritt, RaeAnne Hadley, Susan Horsnell and Margaret Tanner


Outlaws hold up the bank in Beltane at the busiest time of the week. Dire consequences follow, not only for the outlaws, but also their hostages.

The scene is set.

 One beginning, five different endings.

Five Authors: RaeAnne Hadley, D’Ann Lindun, Margaret Tanner,
Allison Merritt and Susan Horsnell

The path is up to you.
The story unfolds in the way YOU decide.
Which path will you choose?


Interact with the Author on our Facebook Page!


March 1895
Clint approached the alley leading to the rear entrance of the First National bank of Beltane. Scanning the area, he noted his men were positioned and ready as planned. They had meticulously gone over and over how the robbery was to play out. They dared not leave anything to chance.
Pete was slumped against the wall of the hotel across the street with his hat pulled low over his face. His long legs were splayed out, his arms crossed over his chest.
Billy is seated outside the Barber shop next door to the bank ‘reading’ the paper.
The horses are tethered out front and Clay is rummaging in a saddlebag for a non-existent something. They have used ponies which won’t be recognized by any townsfolk. It’s a pity the alleyway at the back of the bank wasn’t large enough to conceal their getaway horses.
A quick glance around, before he disappears into the alley, reveals the street is quiet. Most people are at home partaking of lunch. When he reached the rear door, he finds it unlocked. Sliding the kerchief up over his nose he drew his colt from the holster. Slipping inside the bank, he crept down the hall leading through to the main banking chamber at the front.
He approached a partially opened office door. Jonas McCallum, Owner, the bronze nameplate announces. He shoved the door open with force and it crashed on the wall. Jonas glanced up and leapt from his chair. “What are you doing?”
“Move over here before you get shot.” Clint pointed the gun toward the owner and indicated for him to move. When the man hesitated, he grabbed him by the neck and positioned his rotund body so he can wrap one arm around his neck and lodge his gun firmly in his back, before dragging him toward the front foyer of the bank. Clint opened a door leading into the teller area and stepped through with his hostage. The tellers turned and glanced at the stranger, fear and astonishment clearly etched on each face when they see their boss with a gun at his back.
Their attention is diverted when the front doors crash open and Clint’s three partners charge inside. Billy turned the lock on the doors while Pete and Clay move to cover the now terrified customers.
“This is a bank hold-up. Do as we say and no-one will get hurt.” Clint waved his gun at a few customers. “Get down on the floor. Don’t speak and don’t move.”


Cover, Beginning Chapters, Formatting, Trailer and Published by:
Susan Horsnell

The Bank Robbers
Are the bank robbers, outlaws or victims of circumstance? This story will enlighten you.

Roan Maxwell and Hannah Johnson
The story of Miss Hannah Johnson and Mr. Roan Maxwell and how the robbery affected their future.

Jacqueline Hamilton and Billy Williams
The story of Jacqueline Hamilton and Billy Williams and how the robbery affected their future.

Mr. Joseph Wade
The story of Mr. Joseph Wade and how the robbery affected his future.

Jessica Smith and Ethan Beveridge
The story of Jessica Smith and Ethan Beveridge and why he accuses her of stealing.

Also, let me tell you, check out the print version, because the layout is just beautiful!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Get Your Con On!

Tomorrow I'll be at the 2nd annual LibraryCon at one of my favorite libraries in the area--Springfield-Greene County.

There's going to be tons of fun with comic-type stuff, books, candy, cosplay, and prizes! I will be featuring The Guardian Chronicles with all-new covers! first-ever venture in cosplaying. Because I'm a nut-job, I'm feminizing Dean Winchester. So you get that. Sorry if it's weird.

On the other hand, I do have free candy, free bookmarks, a few Heckmaster pins left over from VisionCon, and I have fun books. So there's definitely that.

Visiting SGCL's LibraryCon FB page here for more details and panels and guests and all the good stuff.