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Earlier today I was in the shower when I noticed the odd shape of one of my fingernails. Sort of squared off. My first thought, instincivly:

...someone's been trimming my fingernails while I sleep...

I'm slipping away aren't I? I'm going to become the ranting-hobo acid-casualty. The Nevada dessert prophet. The one that never leaves your local Burger King, and is always handing out leaflets from an inexplicably infinite supply. All detailing his feelings about Jew-Nazi black helicopter assassin flight patterns, and why you should care, to anyone that cares to cross his path.

I haven't been alone like this for a long time, and it's affecting me. My friend moved out of the apartment about 3 days ago and now I'm cut off from everyone else. It's becoming harder to leave the house. I'm running out of excuses to leave, but honestly I don't know if I even want to anymore. In fact I'm sure I don't.

"My friend moved out." I almost wrote that as "My Friend left me."

The sun is down, and the aspirin is finally kicking in. The pain in my sinuses, and the that from the bruises on my side has morphed into a light tickle. Yesterdays bike accident is just a memory.

I might need more pain killers later.

The good news is that this isn't another one of my psychotic rants about the patriarchy or one of my unfathomable stories about murderously frustrated writers and roaches.

The bad news is that I do still want you to read one of those stories, and the really bad news is that you're actually going to have to pay for it.

Yes, I see you guys in the nosebleed seats getting all "who the fuck does he think he is?" But the other good news is that along with my story you get twenty other stories and poems, one or two of which are undoubtedly written by people who do this stuff better than me, so chances are it won't be an entirely painful experience.

And the really good news is that buying this anthology will also help wee cute fuzzy things that have been unhomed in natural disasters, as all proceeds from the book (including writers' fees, god damn it!) are being donated to animal rescue group Noah's Wish. This is a good bunch of people. They help animals that get displaced in hurricanes and whatnot. There are a lot of groups helping the humans that suffer in such disasters, but not so many looking out for the furry ones.

Let me rephrase that, in case it isn't clear: every cent made from sales of this book goes to Noah's Wish. This isn't one of those "we'll donate 1 penny for every one of the first 50,000 bottles of herbal shampoo sold" PR deals, it's one hundred percent charity. Very good for your karma, that part.

The really really good news is that someday your copy of this book will be worth hundreds as it is my first appearance in a printed anthology okay, let's not get ahead of ourself Mister Big Time Author, it's only a POD charity antho and you ain't no Harlan Ellison. Yet.

Here are the facts of the case as we know them:

The anthology is called "Animal Magnetism". It contains around 22 or so science fiction, fantasy and horror stories and poems which all feature animal protagonists or themes. It is available from Lulu.com as a PDF file or Print-On-Demand paperback. The paperback costs more, obviously, but fits in your hand better than a laptop, can be read in the toilet and is made out of actual live dead trees, so take your pick. Choose wisely.

(The cover, I must interject, has nothing to do with the book. You remember how SF books in the first hundred years of the genre's existence all had to have spaceships on the cover because the publishers were afraid none of the fans would recognise them as SF books without a spaceship? This book has the opposite problem. No spaceship. No werewolf, no winged unicorn cat, not so much as a magical ferret dropping in sight. Instead you got some lady snuggling her dog, which may or may not be a fantastically savage cyborg from the Planet of Murderous Cyborg Dogs, but probably isn't. Nice warm fuzzy feeling.)

My story, by the way, is called "Skins and Scents". It's horror and features full frontal rat nudity, ungentlemanly language, foul weather and people being explicitly Goth. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

So where, you ask, can I get this wonderful book? Right here: http://www.lulu.com/animal_magnetism/

And can I get more information about this Noah's Wish thing my money will allegedly support, you ask? Sure ya can: http://www.noahswish.org

I have another thing coming out sometime soon, which will be free for you and a hell of a lot more profitable for me, so if any of you are still speaking to me after this one I'll send you a link when it comes out, and will probably post it to E2 sometime thereafter. No rats this time, I promise. Maybe a murderous frustrated writer or two.

Love, DejaMorgana

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