As you may have noticed, I did not, in fact, make it back here to write anything else before Halloween and, as it turns out, both the portentous day of my birth and the greatest holiday of the year came and went about as unmarked as they ever have around the Grey household. The reasons for this are myriad and, frankly, not very interesting, and they can be summarized by saying that October was, from top to bottom, pretty stressful. Fortunately, November seems to be off to a better start.

did receive a couple of pretty great presents from myself, things that I had pre-ordered months ago (when, thankfully, I had a little more ready cash) and which just now arrived on my doorstep, notably a slipcased, hardcover collection of all six volumes of Clive Barker’s The Books of Blood. While I’m widely considered a Lovecraftian author–and I have some thoughts about that to maybe delve into at some later date–there is probably no single book, and certainly no single single-author collection, that ever had a bigger impact on me than The Books of Blood, which I read when I was maybe too young, and which left an indelible impression. I’ve been waiting for a decent hardcover set of all six of them pretty much ever since, and I’m thrilled to have it sitting in pride of place on my desk, even if I’ve only had time to revisit a handful of the stories.

A few days after Halloween, I got a late present in the form of Ellen Datlow posting her longlist of honorable mentions for 2013. Considering that I only published two eligible stories that year, I was very pleased and proud to see that “Ripperology,” from Tales of Jack the Ripper, made the cut.

Somewhere I had meant to write a post about my first anniversary as a full time writer, which came and went back in September. My birthday would have been a good time for that, but, as it turns out, it wasn’t such a good time for it after all, so maybe this will have to suffice. There have been ups and downs of course, but in all, and in spite of dry spells, hard times and badlands it’s been a good year. I’ve got some more story sales coming down the pipe, and a big announcement on the not-too-distant horizon, and all in all, a day of playing baseball writing is still better than whatever most people have to do for a living.

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