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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

On Spaceships and Direction, World Building and Psalms

So, yea, it's been a while. Sorry for not updating this blog more. Although, really, I do if you look along the right sidebar. I've been keeping you (whoever YOU are, leave a comment if you happen to come by now and then, would love to know if there are any visitors who are not spider internet robot things) up to date on projects (not to mention way down what I'm reading these days). As you can see there's quite a lot.  Let's hit the highlights from oldest to newest shall we.

1. The Photograph, a middle grade YA book written with friend Dave Hilman was completed last year and we're tyring the traditional route. to be honest life has gotten in the way and I need to find more publishers to try. It's a great story, I think it should find a home, if not we'll independently publish it.

2. Plague of Locusts: Did final touches over a year ago on my science fiction novel Plague of Locusts and for a time and trying to publish it traditionally (versus independently publish). Not an easy task considering the faith angle of the book, however it has currently been pulled out of the slush for a major publisher and is being considered by their editorial team. After over nine months in slush, this could take an eternity (in feel-like years) to hear back. It's how this thing goes, but honestly I'm not in a rush right now. Am curious what they'll say.

3. Vast Array series: so Plague of Locust, though standalone, is envisioned as the first in a series of novels with what I've decided to call the Vast Array series. Last year again I began to rewrite a book I'd started ten years ago (really) then put down, and have modified it extensively as a science fiction, converting it to work in the world of Plague of Locusts, only a hundred years later. Got quite a ways in when I realized this would be the final book in the first series (of possibly many) in the Vast Array universe, and that there was at least one, if not two, other novels between it and Locusts. So I stopped, and began working on a book I'd roughly outlined a couple of years back which would be a direct sequel to Locusts. But first...

4. "Doley Nant Flower Sky": this is a novelette written as a standalone story within the Vast Array universe. It deals with abandonment, foster care and adoption as these are themes very much in my life these days. I marketed it for a time, then decided it needed more story, so have gone back to add more scenes. Will end up longer, possibly a novella.

5. So, am in early draft stages of the second book in the Vast Array series, called Morningstar (for now). It takes place a year after Locusts and has many of the same characters, taking place in two new systems discovered. Part of the book is from the perspective of an alien race (though, really, the humans are the aliens in this story), and have been world building like crazy, including an entirely new language. Been slow going, but interesting.

6. There was a spat of time where I wrote a number of non-fiction/essay articles for writer/pastor friend Marty Holman's website The Holman Report. Enjoyed doing this and was honestly quite invigorating (especially some of the reactions form traditonal church folk, not all bad). I've also written, or started, a number of film reviews but truly, without a place to publish besides my own site, been less than motivated.

7. Today: Isn't the list above enough? Not for me. I found myself - as you can plainly see above - jumping in and out of various projects with no clear single-minded purpose, except to build a world in a specific science fiction series. I still am going to, but found that my heart wasn't in it. I needed a break, and needed to know what to do next. After some literal fasting and prayer (don't knock it 'til you've tried it, bucko), am putting everything aside for a time, to work on somthing COMPLETELY different and knew. Was not thinking too much about what it is or could be, just walking forward. Using NaNoWriMo as a tool to push ahead with an early draft.
   What is it? Well, for the moment it's called The Psalms Project. Beginning with Psalm 1, I prayerfully read it, wait for an image or character or idea to rise up from what I read, then write a short story. It's going to be all fiction stories, crossing genres - could be contemporary, or scifi or horror or some mix - and one for every Psalm. Now, there are 150 of these so this will likely be multiple volumes, if I go further than the first set, but the stories in some way will be interconnected. Tightly or loosely, we'll find out. For a first draft, I've enjoyed the writing (the words I've been putting down as well as the act of writing them).

So as you can see, without deadlines or direction I can move about quite a lot, but writing is happening and it's happening in spades. It will see the light of day and you will be able to enjoy it (I hope) some day, but sometimes good meals need time to simmer, to mix my metaphors a little.

Have a great day.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A Thank You from Paul Keohane

"You find the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down."
                                                                                                                              -- C.S. Lewis
As I look back on this year's event, this quote seems fitting.

In between a beautiful Friday and Sunday was a storm-shortened Saturday.  Hurricane Dorian crept in like a lion on Friday night and hammered us a bit with its heavy winds and rain -- most powerfully in the overnight hours, luckily.  As a result, we had to hold off on our Saturday start a few extra hours.  The storm may have shortened our route that day but it definitely didn't dampen our spirits.

The MS 3-Day event is always such an emotional time.  Surrounded by the over five hundred walkers and volunteers throughout the weekend, it's tough not to be inspired by their stories and their resolve. 

I spoke to many people with MS, who feel the headwinds that life sends their way each day.  There were times when they talked about their struggles, both physically and mentally.  But mostly they talked about hope.  They talked about how they will not let MS define them.  They talked about how this event was a way for them to rage back against the storm, arm-in-arm with friends and family who love them and will always fight by their sides. And they talked about their dream of a day when those headwinds finally calmed and the storm that was MS headed out to sea forever.

I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me and fighting by my sister's side these past few months. 

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise over $6,000!!    You are incredible!!  I cannot thank you enough for your support and kindness. 

We will continue to rage against the storm.  We will win this fight.

- Paul


Saturday, September 07, 2019

Wicked Weird from the NEHW is now available!

A little late getting this out:

The New England Horror Authors' newest anthology, Wicked Weird, is now available everywhere!

Edited by Scott T. Goudsward, David Price and Amber Fallon, with cover art by Ogmios the Artist, this is a fantastic foray into the weirder side of horror. I did final proof editing, internal layout and publication (under our org's guide of NEHW Press). Here's the blurb:

There’s a side of the world those deemed "normal" don’t see, save for glimpses in flashing moments of fear and confusion. These places exist just around the corner of our vision, beyond the ocean fog of memory and nightmare, where monstrous children cry for love and secrets are hidden in remote caves; where nature reclaims its own and a sweet taste in your mouth portends evil beyond imagining. Within these pages are twenty-one secrets hidden behind a veil only the most ancient of beings have dared to pass through, brought to you by some of the most talented and imaginative authors to come out of New England.In short, these stories are Wicked Weird. Featuring oddities and terrors from Matthew M. Bartlett, J. Edwin Buja, William D. Carl, Victoria Dalpe, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter N. Dudar, Emma J. Gibbon, John Goodrich, Paul R. McNamee, F. R. Michaels, Kali Moulton, Errick A. Nunnally, Jason Parent, Steve Van Samson, Rob Smales, LL Soares, Wicker Stone, Morgan Sylvia, Jeffrey Thomas, K. H. Vaughan and Trisha J. Wooldridge.



Monday, August 05, 2019

Wheels and Heels Against MS, 2019!

From my brother Paul Keohane:

I can’t believe it’s already August.   I hope everyone has been enjoying the warm weather of late and that you’re all doing well!   It seems like I send out my letter later each year but, fear not, I will be lacing up my sneakers and heading down to the Cape this September.

This year, my sister Anne and I decided that, between leg issues that she’s been dealing with and my current sore shoulder, that I should go it alone this time around.  Although she will not be with me during those three days, she will most certainly be there with me in spirit – motivating me as the miles pile up and the blisters inevitably start to form.

This year’s MS Challenge Walk begins on Friday, September 6 and will mark my 17th year participating.   My mission remains as always -- as long as MS negatively impacts my sister, I will continue to do whatever I can to help fight back against it.  I look forward to joining forces with friends and fellow walkers next month, raising awareness of MS as well as raising the much-needed funds to get us closer to one day finding a cure.

Anne wanted me to be sure to stress to all of you how much this event means to her and how very much she appreciates your incredible generosity.  She has benefited greatly from the National MS Society’s programs over the years and knows how important they are in not only helping her but everyone else who battles this terrible disease.

Multiple Sclerosis is a frightening disease that affects the central nervous system.  The symptoms may be mild (such as numbness in the limbs) or severe enough to cause blindness or paralysis. The severity and specifics of the symptoms of MS can’t yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are giving hope to all affected by the disease.

Your donations to the National MS Society are the key to these exciting treatments.  We hope that you decide to persist in the fight with us and be that beacon of hope for all who battle this disease.  No donation is too small! 

As in the past, there are two ways you can donate. 

The fastest and most convenient way would be to visit my fundraising page at:

https://secure.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Challenge/MAMChallengeWalkEvents?px=17227995&pg=personal&fr_id=30718&view_as_public=true

You can also mail me a check, making it out to The National MS Society.
My address is:            Paul Keohane                                               
                                   2 Jillian Rose Dr                                 
                                  Oxford, MA 01540

Thank you all so very much for your continued support!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Vaguebooking Out the Window of Life" at The Holman Report

My essay about a trend I'm seeing with increasing regularity on social media is now up at The Holman Report, check it out at https://www.holmanreport.com/2019/07/vaguebooking-out-the-window-of-life/



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Of Leviathans and Famines

My friend Marty Holman recently began an online magazine called The Holman Report, where he writes about living our your faith in the wilderness, starting conversations about the modern church and where it is, where it's going, etc. I've written a few articles for him so far. One recently. The last couple are:


and

Friday, May 17, 2019

When Someday Becomes Tomorrow, for Amanda and Audrey



My two amazing daughters, Amanda and Audrey, are graduating college. In fact, Amanda has already graduated a few days earlier. Audrey's big moment is coming up tomorrow morning. I've been trying to write something around all of this for a week. What I keep coming up with are clumps of memories, what has stayed with me through the years. But it didn't feel enough. Too impersonal, more akin to those end of year summaries outlining the fun had since the last summary. Something was missing.

What makes a memory, and what do I truly remember about the family I helped bring into the world, and specifically the two little girls I held and hugged and loved from babyhood through this beginning phase of their adult lives?

What do I need to remember from a quarter century of being Dad?

Moments, laughing and crying and watching these beautiful people dance and run and pretend and dress up and snuggle as I read to them. I bought them clothes and got them to school and helped with homework but in the end, if I've been halfway decent with this parenting thing, I also watched them. The best gift we can give any child is what they crave the most: my valuable, personal attention.

Watch me, Daddy.

I watched them jump in the pool; do a dance; stand on one foot; perform a play they renamed "Rabbit" because "The Big Scary Haunted House" was too frightening a title. I watched them learn to cook, setup blankets and pillows in front of the TV for movie night, do a fashion show.

I listened, to the stories they made up, the things they did in school. To flute and piano recitals, the music washing over me grander than any symphony because this was music made by my daughters. Listened to their bad dreams, and without judgment their plans for the future. As parents we try to support their first steps towards any dream. I want to be a chef. I want to be an engineer. I want to be a cinematographer. I want to work in an office like on that TV show. I want to save the world. I want to step out and make my own mistakes but God willing I hope you're there if things go south and I need to call my Daddy.

I talked to them. Not my strongest suit. When I do speak it usually sounds like I'm thinking about something else. I've tried to be honest with my girls. Restraint when needed, when my opinion doesn’t matter in the moment, but offering encouragement or advice if I think it'll land in good soil. When they were little, I spoke to them as if they were big. Never speak down to the little ones; if they don't know what you mean, they'll ask.

I read, Harry Potter and Madeline and Get Fuzzy comic strips and that series of books with the cats. Curled up against a pillow at bedtime, opening a world of words for them. If I'm lucky, the memories of their childhood will be narrated by my voice. Share with your children the books and movies you loved as a kid, too. These are as much a part of you as any grand tradition carried through generations.

I watched them dance and let their joy break my heart (see below for a link to a classic entry on that topic that still makes me cry). Shouted and screamed and burst with pride as they raced to the finish line (then threw up). I laughed at the plays they wrote then performed, at the scary movies they made when they stole the video camera.

What advice would I leave future Dads (and Moms)? As a parent, never make the mistake of thinking their universe revolves around you, or take their acts of rebellion as a personal affront. At the very best, you will never be the center of their world, but always an anchor when it's needed. Video as much as you can, but don't pan the camera too quickly. People watching will throw up. On that note assume you'll get vomit on you often, and don’t assume when the kids get bigger that part ends.
Every now and then, make chocolate cake for breakfast (one very minor regret of mine, never having done that). Try to live your life with honesty and integrity, and assume they'll follow suit. Live out your faith with no hesitation, and pray for them every day. Don't shove any of it down their throats, but don't let them talk down about it. They'll follow your path, or make their own. You can’t control them. You can only love them.

Amanda and Audrey, I love you girls so much I want to cry if I think too hard about it. In a couple more days you will both be officially out of college and joining your amazing brother in "the real world" with all its possible roads before you. I'll continue to watch as the events of your life unfold, the good and the bad (there will always be both), and listen to you tell me about your adventures traveling the world or what you saw in the supermarket the other day.

I think we did OK with this family stuff, crazy and eclectic as it's become. I might not be able to give anything too big or shiny as a graduation gift, but I can always give my words. Hopefully, along with love and our shared memories of what has been, these will last a lifetime.

Dad.


Some related entries from days gone by: