Her malady—nightmares that left her bloody—seemed, at first, to be a common self-harm complex. Then I looked at the wounds. The mind is powerful, but I have never seen the mind create wounds like these. Little did I know her wounds were just the first of many mysteries I would face while caring for Josephine.
–Jennifer Brozek, To Fight the Black Wind
Not all patients can be cured—or want to be.
Psychologist Carolyn Fern’s newest patient suffers from nightmares that leave glyph-shaped wounds across her skin. The case is odd, even for an institution like Arkham Sanatorium, where the unusual becomes the everyday. Things become even more complicated after the young woman claims to have met Malachi—Carolyn’s former patient whose treatment was cut short when he was brutally murdered—in her dreams. What is the link between the two, and how can Carolyn help a patient who, it seems, does not wish to be cured?
This Arkham Horror novella was previously called Sekrit Project Alex. It was named after Alex Baker, one half of the duo (the other being Johanna) that introduced me to Call of Cthulhu LARPing. I’d always enjoyed Lovecraftian fiction, but it took that LARP to really understand the meaty horror of the stories. You can blame all of my Lovecraftian writing on them.
It wasn’t an easy novella to write. My editor, Katrina, was technical and exacting. She pushed me to do my best. I’m thrilled with the end result. Even more thrilled with the perfect cover by Shane Pierce.
To Fight the Black Wind is the fourth Arkham Horror novella to come out.
I’m in mighty fine company.
I think you all will enjoy Carolyn’s trip to the Dreamlands. I can’t wait to share it with you.
The Husband just got me the best Valentine’s Day gift! It's an Apollo hard case toolkit. One of the things I bought myself when I moved out was a home toolkit. Over the decades I've looked and couldn't find one with a hard case. I love it!
He even charged the drill for me. It's really what I wanted. Seriously. Diamond earrings are nice and I wear them, but a good hard case toolkit is worth gold.
I don't know if you all understand just how cool this gift is. I have a thing about wanting things in their place and a place for all things. A good toolkit that has its place means I can do little chores/tasks without hunting for tools.
It means, I can find tools when I actually /need/ them. It means small tasks remain small. It means I can fix things myself. The Husband does a lot around the house, but there are little things I do every week.
Also, that first toolkit (a Black & Decker bought at Sears) was the symbol that I was really on my own. No family to fix things if they needed immediate fixing. It was a small rite of passage. This beautiful new toolkit means so much and the Husband understood that.
A good toolkit means you are ready to face what comes.
I got him a star map of the night we first kissed with the caption “That one kiss led to the rest of our lives.” It is perfect for his new office and he loved it. We’re going on ten years married and it is so nice that we get each other.
Article: Risk Approaches. Written for GMs. Excellent for writers, too. I really like this article. It's a good way to think of things.
Awards: Hugo nominations are open. Here is my eligibility post. Don't be afraid to list what you have done, too.
Interesting: Books2Read. This is a site to create universal links for your books. Here’s an example: DocWagon 19.
Review: Nice review of The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade anthology in Analog. I'm not called out, but I like the review.
Pre-order: The Prince of Artemis V by Jennifer Brozek and Elizabeth Guizzetti. It's my firest comic book! Isn't it pretty?
From now until I decide I want to stop doing this, I will be giving out a monthly “Jennifer Award” for the best new-to-me thing I read that month. This can be fiction or non-fiction. It can be an essay/article, a short story, a novelette, a novella, or a novel. It doesn’t matter when it came out. It only matters that this is the first time I read it and I thought it was the best thing I read all month. Yes, it is completely subjective and biased towards what I like to read.
The winner will receive a shiny digital badge and a $5 gift card.
January’s winner of the Jennifer Award is Godfall and Other Stories by Sandra M. Odell. Congratulations, Sandra! You have email. I was asked to blurb this fiction collection and I did. It will be published in April. Once I started reading these stories, I couldn’t stop. It's that good.
Jan: Godfall and Other Stories by Sandra M. Odell