Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Ending

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Ending," which is sometimes the best place to begin a story, and I can't think of a worse one...

***

A beginning and an ending are really the same, all that matters is that one leads into the other.

My origin is quite different than that which I have become, even though I remain the same me: I am how I was created.

I refused to bow, so I am cast down -- pride was my undoing -- yet the kernel of it was within me from my first moments.

Should I be blamed for the faults held within that I did nothing to engender; or for that matter, even asked for?

I think not; which is why the blame for my defiance, for my pride, for the sufferings of all, must lie, and indeed does lay, with Him.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Vision

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Vision," and I make with the prompt something inspired by the current weather.

***

Shock white everywhere!

The sun in the sky, blinding.

Below, the snow is a mirror's surface.

No bearings, can't open eyes from searing pain.

I have seen death's door, and it is painted ivory.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let's try to help.

Wanting to help, but having precious little to offer, I am giving this a try; let's hope it provides some help. From now through January 1, 2013, any revenues I receive from the sale of "Memories of the Dead" made through BarnesandNoble.com, I will donate to The Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund, which was set up to provide counseling to survivors, pay for funeral expenses for victims, create a scholarship fund for the school's students and fund a memorial. Here's the link to the page.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Devotion

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Devotion," and there are many ways, indeed many objects, to which one might be so devoted.

***

He had given up everything: his wealth, family, friends, even his home so he could focus on matters of greater import.

In the dark of night he would perform his lonely vigil wearing the solitary mantle that only he could; and on his shoulders he carried the hope of so many lost souls.

He was surrounded by sorrow and pain; indeed, he had been born of it -- and it nurtured in him the man that he would become.

Upon the precipice he stood, and with a fixated stare into the impenetrable indigo he tightened every muscle and steeled his mind.

The alarm bells rang, and Batman began his nightly descent into Hell.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Cthulhu Carol....

With apologies to those who might be offended....

Said the Nightgaunt to the acolyte

Do you see what I see

Way up in the sky acolyte

Do you see what I see

A sign, a sign

Dancing in the night

Now the stars have finally aligned

Now the stars have finally aligned


 

Said the acolyte to the cultist thrall

Do you hear what I hear

Ringing through the sky cultist thrall

Do you hear what I hear

A wail, a woe

High above the trees

With a growl from deep beneath the sea

With a growl from deep beneath the sea


 

Forbidden knowledge from the Elder Gods

Do you know what I know

Dark summons of an Elder God

Do you know what I know

Mi-Go, they know

Yuggoth is so cold

Mankind into bondage sold

Mankind into bondage sold


 

Said Cthulhu to the people everywhere

Madness is what I reap

Pray for death people everywhere

Pain will be what you keep

The stars, the stars

Finally are right

He will bring us madness and pain

He will bring us madness and pain


 

The stars, the signs

Finally are set a-right

He will bring us madness and pain

Five Sentence Fiction – Time

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Time," which is something we all wish we had more of; while others have all too much.

***

The horrid slam of the jail cell door was proof positive that his foolproof plan was anything but.

Sixteen years was the sentence; not at all as long as it could have been...he was lucky.

Sitting there, with the orange jump-suit clinging to his portly frame, he pondered where he might have gone wrong.

He couldn't put his finger on it, his mind too busy -- still racing with facts and testimony from his all too short trial -- but soon enough, he wagered, he would puzzle it out.

And if not today, then perhaps tomorrow, or maybe the day after, it didn't matter; with nothing else to occupy him, he had plenty opportunity to ponder and plan.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Joy

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Joy," something which we all crave.

***
Surrounded by her loving arms, he warmed and smiled.

Touched by her heart, he longed for more.

Entwined, their embrace became a moment of forever.

The ring, neatly prepared, rested regal upon her finger.

"You, and no other, my love!"

Friday, November 23, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Feast

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Feast," and with my prediliction toward the odd, I bring you this vision. Enjoy.

***

Upon your flesh shall I allay my hunger.

From your blood my thirst is sated.

Rise! Rise up, thou, my dearest bride!

Taste upon the lips my immortal soul.

Together we shall feed upon the masses.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Me, My Shelf, and I has an Amazon store!

I am tickled and thrilled to be listed among the great authors listed in Me, My Shelf, and I's new Amazon.com store. Here you can pick up any of the books they've hyped, reviewed, liked, and loved. It's a one-stop shop that worth taking a peek at! And, hey! If you haven't been to their wonderful blog...click the big button on the right side of this page. It will take you right there. It won't hurt, and you'll be glad you did.
Me, My Shelf and I

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Business

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Business." Enjoy.

***

When you deal with these "men of honor," you endanger yourself and your loved-ones.

For a profession they lie, cheat, steal, kill -- and do much, much worse.

They call themselves a family, but they are not always related.

With a smile they will assault you, perhaps breaking your legs, over the pettiest of debts.

And when asked "Why?", they'll tell you that it's not personal...it's just business.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Amazon UK review: 5-Stars!

Amazon.co.uk not only has the first UK review of "Memories of the Dead" up, but it's a stellar, 5-Star review! The good news just keeps on keepin' on!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Character

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Character," and I don't know where this came from, it just sort of popped out. It's far more poetic than I had thought, a happy accident. Enjoy.

***

Character is what a person has when you strip away forced charisma and the bright lights of an audience.

Beneath the skin is where it resides, inside the soul.

It is an innate thing that one either possesses or does not--it cannot be taught, bought, or stolen.

The measure of a man is more than his span.

Character is what a man displays when nobody is watching.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Candidate

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Candidate," which is appropriate for this time of year, but I chose to go a non-political path. Enjoy.

***
Of all of them in the room, he needed to choose wisely; then, from across the room, he saw her.

Downing his drink, he mustered the courage to walk toward her table -- a lifetime away, past the gawkers and schmoozers drowning in booze.

She played coy, flipping her long hair to the side with her fingers.

When their gaze finally met: "Hello," he said, "can I buy you a drink?"

She smiled welcomingly; he had chosen well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Erotica

I've been wondering these last couple of days: as a distraction, would it be worth my time to take my short story, "They Met Over the Internet" and turn it into a larger narrative? The story is BDSM-inspired, and pretty light stuff, really; but I wonder if others might think it worth-while...or would it unduly color their opinion of me?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Potions

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Potions," and I turn back the clock to a famous madman who fell because of his own ambition.

***

The lineage of my blood may very well end with me, but I must continue on.

The assembled corpse lay still, waiting for the proper time to embrace life; and the machinery that will make my "son" animate hums discontentedly as the powerful storm approaches.

With clatter-clack of chains and spinning wheels I raise my creation to the heavens, and soon he shall know the sting of the storm's kiss -- soon life will come to this foul retch.

I, and I alone, have learned the secret to the elixir of life; and only I am prepared, like God in Heaven, to call this soul from the darkness.

The course is set, the time is now, and my regrets are none.

                  --Victor

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Flawed

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Flawed," and I wax poetic on a strange topic.

***

Life, that mad spasm that disturbs the dream of Death, is a broken ideal.

The process of existing is arduous, mistaken, coarse, and ripe with folly.

The Powers-That-Be should not have granted Life its horrorshow-time on the Universal stage; instead, they should have given no pause to thoughts of it, and consigned it to the ever-lasting flame of oblivion.

Yet, remain it does; and Life finds a way -- as always -- to bring forth its fruited foolishness again and again, and to drive back the native dark with a spark kindled in the very heart of all things.

We, Life's inept children, are the heirs to mistakes of fortune on a very grand scale; we are the innately broken that contemplate the broken nature that allows its own existence.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Detour

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Detour," and this is what I came up with.

***

The man walked the silent, dusty back roads of Michigan with purpose.

Having left the paved roads of the city behind, he treaded heavily into unknown country -- his former life left in a trail of dust.

Friends, family, job -- all gone -- he stomped heavy-booted into a new direction, a new beginning, a new life.

Never for a moment did he consider returning, changing the direction he feet pointed, and reclaiming the rugged refuse of his old existence.

He couldn't, he mustn't; because to go back, that unthinkable demise of character, would mean the surrender of his dreams, which is the truest sign of a coward.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"My Indie Minday" at MMSAI

MeMyShelfAndI.com has a weekly feature called "My Indie Monday," and this week they chose me to be the focus! How cool is that? So, head on over, here's the link, have some fun...enter to win a free copy of my book. They're giving away 10 copies! Enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

"I Read Indie" focuses upon me!

Hey! Today is a great day! It's great because I just learned that I Read Indie has gone and chose me to be their focus for the day. Here's the link! Hop on over, give her blog a follow, and enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Happy Birthday!!!

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, we, the user, are allowed to pick; therefore, the chosen word is "Wicked."

***

In the dark night of one's own mind, people plot and plan.

They use their wits to bring an end to others -- to steal, to control, to foster desire or hate; to start wars for their own gain, or to spread illness and decay.

Hidden beneath their dark acts lies a brutal truth about themselves, one they'd rather never confront: That they, mere men, are themselves controlled by forces far more malevolent than their machinations would ever allow.

These wicked masters, furious and fuming, wish to bring civilization to end, rain Hell from the sky, and reclaim the Earth in their own unholy name.

For no matter the evil that lurks within, nor how vile the beast that man can be, there is, out there in the dark void, sinister, Stygian foes rank with power who will bring chaos and pain in waves unending; and man, the lost and lowly creation, will be trampled mercilessly under foot and will bow and scrape and pay homage to that which dwells within the uttermost Inferno that they, themselves, had summoned.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Devotion

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Devotion." There are many kinds of devotion, and the one which inspires me we all know.

***

Theirs was a true whirlwind romance: from the moment their eyes met, their love was apparent -- the first meeting, dating, becoming lovers -- in just three short weeks they became one shared soul.

Some thought it too much, too soon, but for them it was magically right; even though now she lay in the hospital, with the cancer slowly torturing her body, he remained -- no more stalwart a man could there be.

He tended her dutifully, lovingly; caressing her forehead with cool, wet cloth; holding her hand while she retched and the scent of bile permeated the room; collecting her hair as it fell in troubled tresses from her head; he was always at her side, never faltering, never far from her.

Publically, he smiled and presented strength to calm her; privately he wept and prayed, he cursed and damned, and falling upon his knees he would make the tale-told bargain: his life for hers.

Yet still she lay ill and dying; and at her feet, seen through tearful eyes, stood angels in white ready to carry her to a new body, a new home, where she would rest in equal devotion -- waiting for the day when he would join her, and their souls would again be as one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MINIMAL title logo

As I near the completion of the first, rough draft of MINIMAL, I've been thinking about the cover design, and one of the first things that always snaps to mind (for me, at least) is the title logo -- the cool fonts, the embossing, all the neato stuff that makes you look at the cover just that microsecond longer...drawing you in...in the hope that a glance becomes a purchase.

Now, I'm no graphic artist, but I know what I like (as if that's helpful.) At any rate, I have a mockup of the title logo here for you to check out -- and hopefully it meets with your approval. Take a look. I come up with this as a backup plan in the event that I have to self-publish the book...better to be prepared and not need it than to be stuck waiting because I faltered earlier.

What do you think? Comments welcome! (Ignore the white background, that will be transparent on the actual cover.)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Covers

Ever look, I mean really look, at book covers today? They're all the same. It's like this...

The background image is something theme-related, but not overly specific.

At the top of the page, in big font is the name of the author.

Near the bottom of the page is the name of the book.

That's the formula, folks. The problem is, I hate it. There's no variety. There's the same cover (more or less) on hundreds of books across many genres. It's like they hired one, overworked graphic designer and he whipped it out in twenty minutes and it stuck and now everyone just apes that style.

Is it just me, or do you notice it too? It's maddening! For a group of people who are supposed to be "creative types," there is precious little creativity involved.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Zombie

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Zombie." The first thing that immediately comes to mind for me when hearing this word is, of course, the supernatural, animated corpse from popular literature and movies; but that is a bit worn thin for my tastes, and thinking back beyond that veil I came to recall a song by "The Cranberries," which is also titled "Zombie." It is this that inspired my entry today. And, as sad as it is, I hope you enjoy it.

***

They fight the same war their fathers fought, yet they have forgotten the reasons why.

Was it for freedom, that beautiful dream that stirs in the hearts of every man; or was it for fouler aspirations?

They didn't know, nor could they ever ask: lost to time were the voices of reason, forever snuffed out like a candle when war demanded yet another sacrifice.

But fight on they do, controlled by unseen hands that urge them forward in remorseless hunger for damnation, carnage, and the desolation of souls.

Zombies they are, but not undead; rather pawns in a game in which neither side can win.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Spotlight @ Tina's Book Reviews is on me!

Hey, y'all! Tina's Book Reviews has spotlighted me and my book today, and there's a giveaway! Check it!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Awkward

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Awkward." And for some odd reason, I went humor/pop-culture with this one. Fans of the TV show will "get it." I know...I'm weird... Enjoy.

***

"You think that's bad," Peter began one of his famous non-sequiturs, "Do you remember the time I tried to show Sigourney Weaver 'The Shocker'?"

"Petah!" Lois screeched in with her East-coast, Bostonian accent, hoping to bring this tale of his to a very early end, "There are nuns present, and children!"

She continued, "You cannot just blurt out any bizarre sexual reference you think up! What the hell is wrong with you?"

Everyone around, including the nuns, were staring aghast -- even the most prude of them knew what was being talked about, and their disapproval was obvious for all to see.

"But, Lois," Peter whimpered like a beat-down dog, "I just wanted to show her my Spider-Man villain costume!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New story idea

Ok, so, for the last few days I've been doing something "new," that is to say "new to me": outlining a story. It's something I know some authors do and I figured I'd give it a whirl. While I'm fleshing out the end of MINIMAL, I thought I'd get down on paper the ideas and major points I needed to express for an upcoming story. It's working pretty well so far, and I am happy to report that I will actually work on this idea when I can.

It's also significant because I'm hoping to wrap up the tale in 20 chapters; and if you know anything about how I write, that's a tall order. See, I like little digest chapters -- around 1000 words or so -- and that means stories like Memories of the Dead clock in at over 40 chapters...which can be unwieldy at times. With this new idea forming up, 20 seemed like a do-able goal -- write the thing and have it all neatly resolved in no more than 20 chapters, and don't care about chapter length to do it.

The thing is, each chapter still must represent a cohesive scene of the story and (hopefully) have a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end...enough of one, I hope, that the reader keeps reading. That's the goal, anyway.

Can I pull it off? I mean, right now, I'm outlining chapter 12. Eight more to 20, and then...what? What if I can't do it in 20? What if it needs, say, 25? Well, the story goes where the story goes and takes as long as it needs to get there. I'd *like* it to be done in 20, but honestly...no idea.

I hope people will like it when it's ready for submission/consumption. Only time will tell. No, no details are forthcoming at the moment. I want to leave you with just the tentative title for the time being: Spin.

Let's see if anyone will care later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Memories

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Memories." Those that remember the greatest times are often our elders, a generation that knew war first-hand; their scars are a roadmap in time.

***

The scars on my body remind me: each one is locked to time and place.

I know where each one was received, and if it was earned...or not.

Though I am old now, and my mind falters, I see them and remember those precious moments as if they were fresh.

I smile and tell my grandchildren of the days when my hair wasn't white, my knees were unbowed, and when my spine and my motives were far more straight -- ancient days, it must now seem, when the whole world was at war.

Through my wounds, I relive the sorrow, the horror, and the pain -- as well as the laughter and loves -- with gladness; and even though the battles I won are behind me, and the struggle against time I cannot win, I am content with simply having fought.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MINIMAL (update)

I just put the draft of MINIMAL chapter 30 onto paper. It's what I expected, and that is to say it's rough; but that's the deal: get the story out on paper, then when done edit it to death! For those of you keeping score at home, the story is just now around 55000 words and isn't complete. For those of you that don't know what MINIMAL is about, here's a primer.
Someone is kidnapping people off the streets and operating on them, and each new victim that is located has a numbered tag ... One...Two...Three... There are two cops on this guy's tail, who the press have nicknamed "The Count," and with the daughter of a wealthy--and powerful person--recently come up missing, the fear is that she will soon bear the next numbered tag. Can these two detectives discover the identity of "The Count" before his latest victim is found someplace in pieces?
Don't ask how long the story will be, because, honestly, I don't have a clue yet. I'm just trying to record my idea before it fades. It's a tale I've wanted to write for a while, but wasn't sure I could; but with "Memories of the Dead" completed, I figured why not try it? This is the first draft and it's nowhere near ready for most anyone to check out yet, but we're getting there! :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Faces

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Faces," and this made me instantly think of the Door's song, but I twisted it a little. Enjoy.

***

Linda hated the rain because that's when she saw them from the corners of her eyes, contorted, looking nothing human at all.

Glaring, watching, following everywhere she went -- on the train, riding the busses, walking menacingly as she swept by them in the taxi -- nameless, distorted, inhuman things.

Oh, they looked like people to the outside world, but she knew they were not, she wasn't fooled by their masks; she had seen them before as a small child, and many times since, and each time it was before a horrendous event, and always in the rain.

Were they angels, demons, or something other?

She didn't know, she didn't want to know; she just knew something dreadful was about to happen, then they'd go away -- like always -- taking the rain with them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

E-book bundle!

Here's a bit of fun for you! Go to Lulu.com and buy the print edition of my book (here's the link) and when you have received your physical copy in the mail, email me by clicking this link (include your order number), and I will send you a free e-copy of the book, either Nook/Kobo or Kindle, for free. (In the email, just tell me which version you need.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Blush

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Blush." And to answer the question posed in the final line: yes, he can.

***

She could not resist the reaction when she saw him, when from across the room their eyes locked.

He, a vision in her eyes, with his dark hair and even darker eyes, was the spitting-image of Apollo -- it was as if one of the museum's displays had come to life right before her.

She feigned a distraction, but could not turn from him -- too strong was his magnetic pull.

The blood raced to her cheeks, and as the warmth flushed over her the palpitations in her chest grew so loud she was convinced the world around could hear it.

He smirked and strode toward her; she swallowed hard, breathing heavily she wondered if he could see what she felt.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gretchen McNeil's "Army of TEN"

See that bug on the right side there? Yeah, that one! Gretchen is running this totally cool contest. Click that link, follow along. You might even get mentioned in her next book. How cool is that?

The Next Chapter(s)

My current work-in-progress, MINIMAL, is coming along at the normal, snail's pace, I am used to, and I know the next three chapters, and what they're about. But the key is getting it down on paper.

That's my motivation at the moment, finding the "gumption," (now, there's a word you don't hear too often) to plop down the needful on these three new parts.

The first is all about "Cavanaugh Bing," a character briefly introduced much, much earlier in the story, who returns to give some details she seems to have to the police. Is the info valid? Is it worth the drive to interview her? We'll see...

The next is all about victim Five, who has been located. Poor thing. She was the most "advanced" of "The Count's" work to date. This chapter will fill in a little about the journey "The Count" is on, and hammers home that Dr. Yuri was right...

The one after that sees the return of Genevieve Cordeaux, who, in a change of form, having been traumatized by seeing her relative dismantled upon the coroner's slab, actually changes her tune and becomes somewhat helpful for a change. Hey, she's not a total bitch after all, whaddya know? ;)

So, if you're on the list of friends that get to see MINIMAL before it's edited, these are the things to look out for.

Now, if I can only muster the strength!

I know that MINIMAL has approximately 15,000 words left before it's finished. Which will bring the rough-draft -- and boy, is it rough -- to conclusion. And then we let it simmer before digging in for the first round of real edits. It's been a long road getting this far, and the end is slowly coming into view. Then I begin to worry the major bit of "will anyone care?" Will MINIMAL turn into just a piece I wrote just for me?

Stay tuned... We'll just have to see how it goes. You're on the ride, too. Ain't it grand? ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Night

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Night." What happens in the night? You'd be more than surprised, I'm sure. Here's the inspirational picture for this week's entry. Enjoy.

***

As the darkness deepens, she sleeps blissfully as the beast stirs, her hair cascading onto pillows imprinted with patterns of sunflowers.

Pinky the dragon, the coward he is, would never dare attack in day, comes full force, flapping its venomous green wings, flying in from his corner in a fit of fury.

Landing, he breathes hot air into her ear giving turbulence to her dreams and bringing frightened jolts as her visions turn foul.

But Sir Stuffed-a-Lot, that portly old bear, leaps from his shelf high in the room; and with his sturdy wooden sword in hand, fights off the dragon, tearing a worn mid-belly seam, causing Pinky to retreat back to whence he came as his stuffing fluttered to the floor.

Turning, the bear comforts his maiden, softly caressing her cheek; again, he shall stand guard until sunrise.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Distance

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Distance." There are many distances that can be measured, I chose a different kind. This is a short love letter, purple prose for certain, but heartfelt all the same.

***

The span of my arms holds the world entire.

Here, when you are held within, exists all that is, ever shall be, and all that I require.

But a short distance as measured by Man, you contain all the Universe of my heart; a hundred-thousand fold emotions bless me in your presence.

Neither time nor unnumbered leagues can hold me from you or you from me; for perhaps made separate, we are one.

You and no other have bridged the wide streams of my soul.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Victory

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Victory." Victory, to me, usually comes from all those war movies I watch. Or, perhaps, a little Conan... Either way, that's the drive behind this entry.

***

All around him was a bloody mass of bodies chaotically intertwined in a cacophony of carnage.

Alone, standing on the field, sword ever at the ready, battle-standard in hand -- his flag blazing as it flapped in the ineffable breeze -- he scoured the countryside for any sign that he had not taken the last of them to the bowels of Hell by the point of his blade.

Cursing the fallen enemy as they lay at his feet, he could hear distant moans of gory demise dim and come to silence as the last of the refuse paid their debt to him in the currency called death.

For what seemed like miles around him the offal littered the ground, the stench was horrible, it burned his nostrils; and he felt a heaving in his chest as he breathed, and only through a supreme act of will could he keep the contents of his last meal from climbing back up his windpipe.

He had taken the day and dealt with his own bloody hands a defeat from which they would never recover -- at long last the war was over.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Perseverance

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Perseverance." What does it mean to persevere, and what kind of person does it? Why, it means to simply carry on; and everyone, it seems, does it all the time, every day, without glory, or song, or even sometimes something as small as hope.

***

He hates his job: the long hours, the sweat, the tears, and his bruised, aching bones give ample testimony to him having been ground deep under the heel of his backbreaking bosses.

The profit is not shared, his labors are many; and each night, late into the evening, he returns home with pains that wrack his frail form.

The agony is unending, and sleep does not heal -- he knows no rest -- his joints reverberate with ratcheting vocal lamentations while his blood boils in his veins as he hopes for a greater day, a future where such as his lot is but a faded memory.

Yet, each morning that seemingly comes earlier with every new dawn, he rouses and reclaims his yoke; and though his body screams, he is silent and he carries on again only to repeat his sufferings until night when he collapses onto his bed too exhausted to even breathe.

But this is his prize: no, not his bed, but she who shares it with him -- and their child -- for here in this place, though he is battered and beaten, broken and beleaguered, he is home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

College co-ed beaten to death with a hammer!

Here's something I whipped out a while ago, thought you might enjoy it. Kudos to you if you get the meaning. It's a conversation between two gentlemen about an unfortunate murder of a college student.... Enjoy.

"Did you know Joan died?"

"Really?

"Yes, apparently while she was at college."

"Oh, dear! How dreadful!"

"Indeed."

"How did it happen? Accident?"

"No, unfortunately she was murdered."

"Really? Oh, my! I don't know what to say!"

"I know. Apparently, she was quite intelligent, always studying."

"What were her studies about?"

"Pataphysical Sciences, I believe."

"What's that?"

"Not entirely sure. Sounds exotic though, doesn't it?"

"Yes,... How was she murdered?"

"Some crazed medical student beat her to death with a hammer."

"Are you serious?"

"Indeed I am, unfortunately. I believe his last name was Edison."

"How horrid!"

"Rightly so, and he escaped from the courtroom as well."

"You must be joking... Do tell!"

"Well, there was a throng of people demanding he be released, who knows why; and this caused a distraction which allowed him to beat to death the judge as well. Then he apparently fled."

"Good heavens! Have they apprehended him?"

"No, but then again, that's how the song ends."

And if you don't understand what's going on.... Here's a nice cartoon to explain it all.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I cannot do it without you

I cannot do it without you

I can only be so many places at one time. That number is, amazingly, one. Additionally, I can only "reach" so many folks with my blog (http://crazyflipperfingers.blogspot.com) or through my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MemoriesoftheDead) in order to reach out to those who might find my book interesting, fun, creepy, or whatever.

Which is why I need you: You're more than friends, you're more than contacts, you are even more than just people who may or may not have read my book -- and whatever your opinion of it might be, you are, in a strange way that you might not have anticipated, an advocate for me and my writing.

If you liked "Memories of the Dead," you're likely to tell others; and if you didn't like it as much as you perhaps hoped, you could find yourself in passing the book on to someone you think might appreciate it more than you did.

That's advocacy. That's being a multitude of my voice -- you literally are the ones who are showing people my work. You are the ones that tell others about it because my book is not in your regular, brick and mortar, bookstore. Yes, it's available for Kindle, Nook, and in print via Amazon, but even these electronic distribution channels are nowhere near as incredible, living, and "with it" as a live human who says "Read this."

So I am asking you to continue on -- be my voice. Help me get the word out about "Memories of the Dead." Help independent authors reach those that are not normally reachable.

If you like what I wrote, and think others may as well, please point them in my direction here, or to Amazon, or to B&N's PubIt! page. Every little bit helps.

You might think, "Gee, isn't that request just a little bit pathetic?"

No, not really. Word of mouth advertising is still king of the world; additionally, who better to vouch for the book than those that have read it and thought it was worthwhile? The author, yes; but like I said -- I can only be in so many places at once.

Which is why I need, and cannot do without, you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FIVE SENTENCE FICTION – SCARLET

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Scarlet," and this, too, was hard to conjure.

***

The blood flowed around his upturned boots like fresh rain in the gutters of his native Seville.

At his feet lay many dead Inca, all of whom tasted his hate-born blade deeply, horridly; they were slaughtered in a feast of scarlet bloodletting -- a frenzy the likes of which this religious site had never before known.

His crimson cloak fluttered in the slight wind as it blew through the passageways of the once holy pagan temple -- defiled by the corpses of the slain guardians -- and now that the raucous sound of battle had finally dimmed only the dripping of their vital fluids broke the silence of the solitary altar.

Finally, years after he heard the rumor of its existence, he held his prize: "The Heart of the World," a ruby bigger than his own powerful fist.

Cloak, blood, and ruby coiled together in unity as the Conquistador turned, his laughter echoing throughout the rough-hewn stone courtyard; and as he stepped towards the archway he left nothing behind him except sorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FIVE SENTENCE FICTION – COMPOSURE

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Composure," and this was the hardest one yet--at least for me. When I think of someone who is composed, I think of the dashing British soldier, dutifully doing that which must be done. Such was my inspiration for this week. I hope you like it.

***

Machine guns churned in the distance as muzzle-flashes pinpointed their placement, only to be occasionally obfuscated by the billows of acrid smoke from the wretched discharge.

Resolute to silence the guns of the foul Hun once and for all, the Lieutenant advanced as all around him was torn asunder while comrades-in-arms fell chopped to pieces by the machinations of a mad Kaiser hell-bent on destruction.

Moving onward, ever forward, toward the earthly embodiment of a Germanic steel-reinforced Hell, complete with fire, smoke, and hot, blazing death, he was un-phased and possessed a preternatural calm as he approached the enemy position.

Smirking while his perfectly aimed Webley revolver shorn short the lives of many too foolish, or too brave, to seek appropriate cover, "War may be Hell, but by God, I do love it so."

Around him was all-consuming chaos but he was its primal opposite--the utlimate personification of collected self-control.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Pirates

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Pirates," and I thought about it for a moment then wondered...what about the penalty for failed piracy? Why not give that a go? So...here we are, and I hope you like it.

***

The death is not pretty or serene; rather it is twitching, gurgling, jittering, and jolting as men tried desperately to clutch to what life might be left as they meet the sudden stop at the end of a short rope.

Such is the penalty for plundering the King's gold.

As he watched the others sway in the breeze the panic set in -- sweat, panting breath, tremors in the hands and legs, shock, wide-eyed and wild -- wishing to run but he could not, turning to the executioners he pleaded for mercies that would not come as he begged for his meager life to be spared.

Tears flowed with a bubbling on the lips -- a froth of words as he spoke wishing for one last time to be given a chance at redemption, life, and breath -- all the while the nearby priest chanted repeating blessings upon his condemned soul.

Unceremoniously, the hood was lowered over his eyes -- the silence beneath that woolen cowl was sickening, tainted with his warm breath and mist from sweat and tears -- he tried to cry out just as the plank beneath him fell away.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Happy 4th & a "simple" wish

Today, we Americans celebrate our independence -- 236 years worth -- and we must use this opportunity to reflect upon where we came from and to where we must go. We should remember those that built this fine nation: veterans, the Founding Fathers, our great allies, and those that came here with nothing but a simple dream in their hearts. This nation is great because of the people that make up the populace, make no mistake.

Yet, our nation's work is not done -- nor shall it ever -- for we have much that needs doing. This is the wonderful struggle in which we are fortunate enough to have been chosen to participate. We can make this nation -- and our world -- a far better place if only we enact the will do do so.

We can eliminate hunger, homelessness, many diseases, and tyranny. These things we must do. We must bring an end to war and hate. We must, with every fiber of our being, become the noble people that we ought to have been all along. But these challenges are not for us alone, no; we will need our friends and allies from around the world to accomplish these grand goals. And the only way we can do it is if we simply ask for the assistance we need, with humility, and say "Let us bring an end to these sufferings."

For all mankind.

So, as we celebrate around the world -- and indeed it is ok to do so -- all I ask is that in the new year we begin let us now work to end those evils still at play in the world -- each of us in our own ways -- so that the world we leave our children is more free, better, stronger, and more golden than the one we received.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Really?

So, over at one of the blogs I follow, there was a posting that got my interest. I read it, and replied in the thread, actually agreeing with the posting and giving my 2-cents worth, only to have my post deleted by the blog owner. Apparently, she (and yes, it's a she) wants only a certain type of "yes" men to post. Nothing more than a "Totally insightful!" or you get axed. That's what I call pathetic.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Flight of the Cruller

Ok, so, this is kinda old, but I figured why not post it? So, here you go, the beginnings of a sci-fi tale... Enjoy.

"The Cruller," a piece of shit starship if you ever saw one, barely could make it to the jump-gate without one of the nameless whiz-bang machines--upon which the very life of each passenger depended--coming to some cataclysmic stop. The failures were always in the worst of situations, naturally. Think "The Millennium Falcon," but less reliable.

I don't know why the fat pilot just didn't sell it for scrap metal. Honestly, the damn thing was a joke: it barely held air, and cruising to the Lagrange point jump-station really took forever, and just looking out the dirty, scratched windows I could see at least fifty other ships that just barged in line in front of us.

Just like us, each one of those other ships wanted to warp their way out of the Sol system. Some were business-class; others were luxury pods filled with the over-privileged out for a day-trip to Vega.

And yet here I am, stuck in the back of a bus that barely ran. My family couldn't be bothered to upgrade me to a commercial carrier, no, that was too expensive... Why the hell I had to be the one to go get grandma from Epsilon Eridani, I had no idea. She had a sky-pass, for Christ's sake! She can take the shuttle alone just like everyone else does. Jesus, she's not even sixty yet! God I hate this; and I hate having to travel third class.

The guy next to me smells funny, like a mixture of paint-thinner and vomit. Loverly. And he keeps glancing over at my knees. I know I shouldn't have worn this skirt. If he touches me, so help me God, I will mace him! Fucking sick pervo, he's older than dad!

Sitting here in the fake-leather seat, strapped in for the hour's long trip to the gate, waiting to jump out, next to a drunk letcher, makes me want to punch mom in the face. This whole thing is because of that God-damned email. I've got a print out of that stupid thing in my purse. It's really ridiculous, one email shows up from grandma and all hell breaks loose and I get sent to fetch her like some pathetic body-guard errand-boy...er, girl.

What the hell is up with that? All it said was "Come get me and be careful!" Dammit, grandma, just take the stupid shuttle!

UGH! It's not like this is some kind of spy movie...

And who names a space-ship after a doughnut, anyway?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Self-publishing and reviews

We all know from the hype and the articles that come out daily that the self-publishing world is exploding right now. All over the world, people are preparing their works and getting them out there in the hands of readers through places like Amazon's KDP or Barnes & Noble's Pubit! program, not to mention others like Kobo or Smashwords. Yet the problem I keep seeing is that while there are literally tons of blogs and sites that will read and review a traditionally published book to help the end-user decide for themselves if a book is worth their time, there are precious few that will read a self-published title.

The worst part? They rarely (if ever) say why they won't review a self-pubbed book--they just say "Nope."

This doesn't help, and as a matter of fact, it does the reader a great disservice. What I'd like to see is more blogs--like MeMyShelfAndI.com and BengalReads.com--who are willing to take the chance on self-published novels; but, sadly, these "good guys" are too few and far between.

Readers are being maltreated because of an elitism that undermines the culture: that somehow a traditionally published book is and will always be better than a self-published title. While I would agree that the traditionally published titles tend to have more polish on them--better cover art, nicer layout, better blurbs, and tons of marketing know-how--that alone does not make them better than something that was put together as a labor of love by the author.

I have read a great many novels--just as you have--and I bet you that you've found things that are outright terrible and you ask yourself "What the heck? How did this get published?"

And that's a traditional novel. Yes, I've read some self-published stuff that made me scratch my head too, but in the regard of "this is better than that," I call it pretty much a wash.

What I'm hoping for is that the review blogs out there with this policy of "no self-pubbed stuff" will change their mind--because they are missing out on a whole world of goodness, and by not promoting the good--from whatever source--they are doing their viewership a disservice, just as I said.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Harvest

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Harvest," and this was a hard one for me. I had to think of things that could be harvested... I hope this little foray into sci-fi meets with some approval. I call this one, "I miss them."

***

Nobody believed it when they first arrived, the aliens; and at first they were gentle, benevolent, and downright fatherly--giving advice and helping us with our technological issues, that sort of thing.

But that was just a ruse, a distraction, and when the horrible truth of their real agenda came to light we were not prepared: theirs was a dying species and needed our women to continue their race.

They couldn't honestly take "no" for an answer, the stakes were just too great--so they took without warning and certainly without asking...I can't say that I blame them.

Millions of women were swept up in giant collecting-machines, turned into breeding cattle for a sick race from beyond the stars, against which our vaunted military was powerless.

In short order, there were no women left and just as quickly as they came they were gone; and we were left alone, us men, on a devastated world without the fine grace of the female touch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Grande Charade

Not sure where I am going with this...Just sort of popped into my head and had to get it out. But I do hope you enjoy the ride....
The world as you know it does not exist. What exists is a world with two distinct parts, both equal, yet not entirely separate. One is the mundane, boring, everyday world of cars, planes, trains, computers, and our pathetic jobs for which we are sorely underpaid; and the other is a world of pure poetic magic where Sidhe and man co-exist invisibly.
 
The separation of these worlds is like a silent curtain: it keeps the two worlds apart for the safety of both. It is protection, it is shield, it is cover of night, it is the fog that hides, it is the aether of old; and it is what the elders have named "The Grande Charade."
 
This spectral wool is pulled over the eyes of prosaic men to hide the truth, for if they--the many who are unskilled and disbelieve--were to happen to experience the truth or see first-hand the effects of magic, their credulity of the so-called "real world" would be broken and their psyche would shatter like glass. And quite possibly insanity would creep in; and a man without proper sense could do great damage to both worlds.
 
Some born can see the other side and move among the other. They can influence events with magic and are called wizard, warlock, shaman, or a host of other names--many too insulting to list--such as denunciations as freaks, pariah, crazy, or fools.
 
They are none of those degrading things: they are the special few that in ancient times were the most trusted leaders of clan and nation, now relegated to a status of sideshow performers. Yet still their gift remains, and there are those that use this power for the betterment of all Mankind.
 
And just as truly there are those that use their gift for ill, destruction, and self-gain. These are the thralls of the Sluagh Sidhe--the restless dead--who would destroy for their own amusement or anger. The evil spirits these men serve wish to take back all lands from the living. These powerful foes and their human allies wreak havoc in both worlds in hopes of bringing a cataclysmic merger which would tear apart the foundations of all creation.
 
But do not be fooled, for not all the evil Sidhe are so blunt or serve such a lofty goal: the Leanan who would love you and make you their life-slave. These beautiful women are the devastation of many artists. Acting as muse, they adore utterly; and in their adoration is the magic, and that magic saps the will and strength of the man, leaving him but a slowly dying shell. Yeats called them a malignant phantom--wise words for a human to utter--and any would be well advised to avoid the embrace of such lovely beasts.
 
The Sidhe are not chaotic, for they have their own laws that are to be followed. Among them there is but one authority: their queen, who is named Tamberlyn. Her power is great and her beauty equally so, and of those whom are her loyal subjects her word is law.
 
It was in her court the law was pronounced--do not interfere with the lives of Man. All present bowed gracefully; but not all who were there took her word as their law for it would undo their machinations. And Man, being weak, or so it was thought, was too ripe a fruit not to pluck from the vine.
 
These Sidhe were renegade then in spirit and in action, and they feigned obedience in public; but in the dark wold where none would see they wished in their hearts for the coming end of her reign and a terrible doom for the dominion of Men.
 
As vile as they were they sold their services to an evil more ancient than they, and imbued with additional power the renegade Sidhe assaulted the queen publicly and in secret as well. Yet her eyes were not blind and her ears were not deaf, for she learned of their treachery early and confronted it as a warrior-maiden--in her youth she was often impetuous--but her power was too frail against their combined might.
 
So, in desperation, she sought out champions to aid her; and of those most skilled and worthy, she found but seven.
 
Seven, it was discovered, who were pure and good, was just enough to keep the evil at bay and a stalemate grew. Never was there a decisive victory as the light and the dark warred on. Some victories were taken, some losses were endured; some advances were made, some retreats were hastily ordered. But always there was balance, and as long as there were the seven the queen was safe.
 
But the seven, themselves, were not safe. A candle that burns at both ends may burn twice as bright but burns only half as long--and these knights burned brighter than any other. So much brighter that even their immortality could not resist and end. Thus it was that every seventy years a search had to begin to find a replacement for a knight that would soon be lost.
 
Throughout the entire realm the search would inevitably find a good Sidhe that could become a knight. For many uncounted centuries this hunt would take place, and as always one good soul would be found among the Sidhe--a soul so spotless, so bright, that the knighthood was but a foregone conclusion...until this year.
 
This is the seventieth year, and the search had been going for some time, and of all the Sidhe, not one could be found worthy. Not one could be seen as pure. Not one could be found among all the spirit or fey that could become a knight.
 
And the queen worried, and her worries compounded daily. She would pace the halls, wringing her hands, glancing with eyes of hope and fear with the coming of each new herald and messenger--they that in times past would triumphantly announce the finding of a new knight. But since the beginning of this year no such proclamations came, and her time, she knew, was running short to find a replacement.
 
The dark Sidhe knew this, and waited for the end of the year, for while the knight still lived they had no hope to win; but should the first day of November come without a new knight--the reign of Tamberlyn would come to a climactic, and bloody, end.
 
With a great enchanted reflecting pool she scryed the realm and found nothing. Frantically, she searched high and low, across all the gulfs and mountains, in the glens and dales, through every town and city. No knight--no person that would be able--could be uncovered that could be counted upon to learn the craft, to take up arms, and defend the queen and save the world.
 
In a fit of anger and despair she spun the bowl, turned and wept into her hands. From her eyes the drops spilled into the pool and ripples formed out to the edges. She collapsed to her knees and let loose a cry that no Sidhe had ever made before.
 
Though many tried, none could comfort her.
 
Then began a sound—the ring of a bell--slight at first, then growing louder. It began to fill the chamber, then the hall, and it took the attentions of all who were near. A small flitting fey, who had been silent until then, flew to the pool and looked deep, and her eyes were made wide by what she saw there.
 
"My queen," she began with her tiny voice, barely audible over the ringing and the sobs of the queen. "Look there!"
 
The queen rose slightly and looked into the pool and saw that she had accidentally turned its scrying gaze to the human world, and its focus had fixated, unyieldingly, upon an unsuspecting person, whose face was obscured beneath the black, bat-like tarp of an umbrella's dome all while the world around was awash from a pummeling rain.
 
"A human!" came the small faerie's cry.
 
"The knight!" her majesty realized.
 
"No human could ever serve as a knight, my queen--" a royal advisor chimed in.
 
"Find this human!" came the order, and all present obeyed, bowed, and gathered to discern who it was that would be the hope of them all.
 
But one of them, who did bow and gave a semblance of obedience, did so not because of her command; rather, he did so as to gather information for his dark masters, for the dark Sidhe were also not blind or deaf, having set loose a spy in the middle of the royal court.
 
And he mouthed to himself the very same words, "Find this human," but did so for very much different and far more sinister reasons.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Avengers

Y'ARR! Matey, there be spillers ahead! Turn ye about to continue on unbothered!

Ok, that's out of the way. Whew. Over the weekend I saw "The Avengers," finally. Yes, yes, I know, I'm slow on the uptake, I'm sorry.

Anyway, one of the things that happen in this roller-coaster of a movie is that Agent Phil Coulson of SHIELD dies at Loki's hand.... Or does he?

Look, I have been reading comics for a very long time, and most of those were Marvel comics; and in those particular comics, there is a strong rule that is very rarely broken: Nobody dies, but if they do they are not dead for long.

We hear (off screen)--and mainly for the benefit of the Avengers themselves--that Coulson is hurt badly, and that the paramedics have "called it."

That's really vague, isn't it?

Also, Nick fury outright pulled a fast one on the Avengers with the whole Captian-America-Trading-cards-were-bloody-and-not-in-Coulson's-locker gambit. Why did Fury lie? To give the team a rallying point--a reason to gel together--a reason to Avenge.

Couple this with the simple fact that SHIELD is in possession of some really advanced stuff, it is not out of the realm of possibility that they either (a) froze Coulson until such time as he could be healed; or (b) he's fine, recuperating, but fine, and will reappear in either Iron Man 3 or Avengers 2. And everyone will be all like "WTF? You died!"

Coulson will simply state something like, "Come on, this is SHIELD, we have certain abilities that you are unaware of."

But by that time, it won't matter--the team will have come together, for good or for ill, and they'll have bigger fish to fry (Thanos, anyone?) and won't worry too much about a little ruse on Fury's part.

Coulson will return. He's too cool to just lose like that.

You'll see.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Faeries

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Faeries." Now, I don't know a ton about them, even though they are my wife's favorite mythical being, so this might be hard for me, as I have to please her as well. Enjoy!

***

Fireflies are not the only thing children might catch in the waxing twilight.

Sometimes, if you are careful you can see them, the faeries, as they loft their tiny lanterns so they might find their way home.

In the meadows and fields, far from our cities, is where you will most likely find them as they flit here and there in the dark, guided by the glow of their lamps, as they look for the tell-tale signs of their own homes in the fungal rings that often surround the ancient oak trees.

There, protected against the predations of Man, they weave wonders in the night that we find in the coming morn, for they are the mist-forgers and fog-tamers who bring down the waters of the sky--much to our delight and wonder.

So, not all that is a-glitter in the dark, as with everything in our world, is quite what it seems.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Siren's Song: a poem

Upon a bed of roses her body lay

T'would have been a lovely scene

Were it not for the loss today

She'd appear almost serene
 

She died victim of a broken heart

From loss of love so far away

Lover's loss overturned her apple cart

And lost herself along the way
 

His wounds shackled him to time and place

Hers inflicted on herself

He fell wearing a soldier's face

She took the poison off the shelf
 

Returning home resolute

Flag draped with honor guard

Slow moving march and grand salute

To continue on far too hard
 

In the hours burning bright

Cries and tears echo strong

None could keep her from the night

Or from departed's siren song
 

Churning inside starts to rend

Emptiness, cold, and darkness follow

Nor does the inner torment end

Deep inside she's rendered hollow
 

So from the bottle she does take

As he lay inside a grave

She drifts away and did solemn make

The chosen road they both did pave

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Work-In-Progress progress report

MINIMAL, has just tipped the scales at ~54000 words. Just finished chapter 29. Naturally, this is all rough-draft crappy at the moment, but getting there is the key. So, technically, this is a novel length manuscript now...and I still don't know how far it will need to go to be done--but I'm getting there. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

A small poem: Wind Through The Trees

God is blind and thus cannot discern,

The intensities we share or our hearts as they burn,
 

We labor, we pain, we suffer...we grow,

We learn, we love, we hate...we know,
 

But He, high above us, takes no notice of our passing,

Indifferent to even the great, His sympathy is lacking,
 

Evil abounds! Yet silent, does nothing,

Hatred blooms! While we're off praying for something,
 

Silence in the heavens and in the Earth below,

Gives pause for man to rethink Him as the star of the show,
 

So I reject the notion, and its powerful commotion,

No heaven, no Hell: Only Earth is my token,
 

Do good, do not hate, live life, love, then perish,

These are the only commandments I cherish,
 

But if there's a God, He'll reward my good deeds,

If not, I'll be gone, like the wind through the trees.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Medicine

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This time, we are given the word "medicine" to guide us. So, here's my entry, I hope you like it.

***

The doctor laid out my options: do nothing and I will die; do something and I might live.

I hated the cold, unbreakable logic of it all--that even with the treatment there were no guarantees.

His trying-to-be-a-calming-influence voice faded into a mumble--a low whisper of a rumble--as I pared off in my thoughts and struggled to comprehend it all.

I looked at him, with his white lab-coat and over-brushed smile; he'd finally stopped talking, which is fine because the decision was clear.

"Do something."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What suffering have you brought me today?

This is just something that sort of "hit me," I'm not sure if it's in its final form, and just like the subject, it can change at a whim. Not sure where I was going, really, or what lesson my whacked-out brain was trying to teach me with it, but here it is, a short story about something we all chase unrelentingly.
"What suffering have you brought me today?"

Sitting on a throne of bone and gristle, that dark demon pondered what gift I brought him. Having sent me out into the world of Man to find a morsel worthy of his might, I have brought him much horror in the past, a thousand thousand forms of anger, hate, malice, destruction...all a feast for him. I yearned to be able to bring him something new--a delight upon which he could feed for ages.

Each meal I brought him, surely fitting, was becoming commonplace for him: He-Who-Eats-Sorrow was growing bored with what wares I could muster.

As I approached his dark dwelling, he leaned over his hideous forearms, squinting to see what it might be that I had in tow. My prize, as it were, squirmed in a burlap bag, and would remain hidden until I chose to reveal the wonder within.

"My Lord," I began gracefully, while I struggled to pull the heavy weight I bore, "I bring you a tart of such delectability."

Huffing, I pulled steadily; all the while he stretched his gnarled neck in hopes of catching a glimpse that might reveal more than I wished.

"This meal," I continued as best as I could through my tired breath, "is one you have not seen before; or perhaps, not one you've had in a long while."

This caused him pause, "New, you claim?"

"Yes, master, or at the least rare."

"Bring it closer so I might smell it."

I brought my bundle as near as I could, and eventually I could carry it no more so I halted and collapsed in a limp lump beside it; and just as he said, he sniffed the air around the parcel. The deep smell of flower and perfume must have filled his noxious nostrils, for it did the same to mine when I encountered this find.

"What suffering smells so sweet? It sickens me!"

Yet even with his protestations, he continued to inhale in hopes of discovering my prize before it was unwrapped--a game he enjoyed greatly.

"Is it, Loss of child?" he puzzled.

"No, not sour enough."

Another breath closer filled his lungs, and he worked desperately to not wretch.

"It could be the anguish of defeat," he regaled; but just as quickly dismissed his own idea with "No...too commonplace. This is something truly different."

Stepping closer, he poked the bag with a bent, black finger. It gave way in a squishy dimple, and the whole mass pulled from his touch and moved away.

"Interesting! It is an animate thing! Rare, indeed, this find!"

This praise, from someone so loathsome, felt as hollow as his compassion. He was soul-less, and his words mocked the very meanings as he intoned them.

"I worry, Lord, that this meal you cannot eat. See how it eludes you now?"

True enough, as he approached, the whole moved to a new location on the crumbling courtyard.

He sent me a look that pierced like javelins. "Any sorrow I can consume!" Perhaps my words injured his infernal pride?

Again, he played his game: "This must be longing?"

I think he was trying to see if I would accidentally give it away. Naturally, longing would be sweet, yet longing this was not, the bouquet was wrong--longing is not nearly as strong as this. I smiled coyly, I knew how to play his game as well.

In a huff he exploded in frustration, "If not that, then this can only be..."

He trailed off, perhaps he didn't know, or perhaps he guessed it finally; whichever the case, when I unveiled my masterpiece-capture he was in awe.

"I present," pausing for dramatic effect, "love."

And there, in the dimmest of light in the darkest circle of Hell, fueled by the power of hope itself, sat amorphous and contemplative, yet forever changing, love.

"Fool! This is no sorrow, I cannot eat this!"

"Oh, is it not?" I replied. "Look, see deeper: Love is worry, it is concern, it is anger, it is argument, it is pain, it is loss, it is fire from within, it is need, it is envy, it is pride, it is lust, it is all this and more. Forever changing, forever different one moment to the next, this is a suffering unimaginable that lay before you! This is the end of all suffering and yet the cause of so much!"

He looked at it with eyes that did not blink; he listened and stood only. His rage diminished as my words echoed throughout the hall.

"Here it is, the thing that will sustain you forever with its unending, unyielding complications!"

He then tried to grasp it, but could not, for it moved, changed, and slithered away from him. Love has no defined form and it changes often, which darkened his mood considerably.

For one such as he, love cannot be caught--it is chased and never found. That is how I left him, seated before a meal he was unable to eat; and his own sorrows multiplied within until he succumbed to them utterly.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Lost

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week it's all about the word "Lost." How can one be lost? What can be lost? What does it mean to be lost? There are just as many possible answers to this as there are people who can be asked. This entry is mine... I hope you like it.

***

The last proctector of his once-mighty king inched forward through the battle.

Clad in black, two enemy knights approach in staggered steps and leaps.

Swords held high while taunts and fears engage -- the swing and clash of mental steel resonate as foes collide.

A pause, that brief interlude in the pain of war is welcome; yet the enemy does not press the attack, but why?

He turns to see his king is toppled: the pawn stands alone.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Help Christian Hurt

The Christian Hurt Files

Each of you knows pain and injury. You've seen it upfront and personal. Nobody I know is without it. Each of us wished for help when the dark day came--and not everyone received it. I'm asking everyone to at least follow the link by clicking the image above (or below). Together, we can make a difference.

Lets all sign up to do good. Real good. And in the end, you might be the recipient of good in return. The prize that is being amassed is of EPIC PROPORTIONS and you WILL want to get in on this! I know I am!

So, come on...lets do good. Lets help Christian.

Me, My Shelf and I

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 6th, 1944: 68 years of respect.

There are days that echo throughout history where men stood up, and in the face of insurmountable odds, fought against tyranny and evil. June 6, 1944, is perhaps the most important of those days. We call it "D-Day," but for those scared men who waded to shore hoping to bring an end to the Nazi stranglehold on Europe, no single name for the event could adequately convey the meaning behind it. These men, showing a level of courage none should ever have to muster, opened up themselves to certain death--so that others might live.

Many died; yet their sacrifice was not in vain, nor could it be ever so. Their good fight, with good men, for a greater cause against genocidal fanatics brought not only peace to Europe, but also brought forth the possibility of future generations of descendants from the persecuted masses who otherwise would have been wiped from the rolls of the living. These D-Day soldiers bought life with the currency of their own blood.

It is for this reason nations will stand together on June 6 and salute the remaining men--whom we are lucky to still have with us--that stormed the beaches of France.

Pause, reflect, and consider the ramifications had they failed. 68 years ago is a lifetime; yet not so long that we should dare to forget.

In the name of Liberty and Life, though I wore no uniform, and am unworthy to do so, I salute those men who on that terrible day settled a due for us all--a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction - Orange

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This entry is the word "Orange." Hearing the word, the first thing I thought of was the harvest moon; but then immediately wondered, what's going on under that moon? This is the result. A much happier story than last week's entry!

***

Above them hung the harvest moon, bathing the night in its not-yellow, not-red glory, hanging like the greatest low-lying fruit in an orchard.

Beneath them their blanket rest on the newly cut grasses that filled their lungs with the sweet smell of late summer as a warm breeze from the West flowed over their entwined bodies.

Drawn into him, his warmth beckoning for more, she leaned to his ear and whispered, "I'm pregnant."

In the dim light he held her close and smiled; but she could not see the tears that formed and raced down his cheek.

Two hearts, shared joy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where am I?

It's been a while since I updated my status on my current work-in-progress, MINIMAL, so I thought I'd just give a little status update. Currently, the work is at approximately 53000 words, in 28 chapters. It's not complete by any means, and really, it's still in "pre-alpha" state...not ready for any large level of consumption. As it stands, only a handful of folks get to see the whole thing as it is--so, no, don't ask (yet.) In the future, when the first draft is done, and before I begin the arduous process of editing with a weed-eater, I will put out the call to arms for some "beta readers," as they're called. That's when a few of you fine folks will get your hands on it for real. Until then, it's sort of all up in the air. I'm one of those dudes that works on one thing at a time--no multitasking here--so there isn't another story going on in my writing life at the moment. I want to get MINIMAL done before moving on to the next tale. I'm wacky like that.

For anyone who forgot, here's what the book is about: There's a nutcase who kidnaps people and operates on them--driving toward some insane goal. A police task-force has been deployed to see if they can grab him before he dumps another massacred body on some unsuspecting street or park. Or, to use part of my sort-of query:

The victims were numbered: One, Two, and Four. Three and Five are unknown; and Six was just taken.
See, he numbers his victims, using dog-tags. And that's why the newspapers named him The Count. I can only hope that when massive editing and re-write time comes, the whole thing makes sense and can be whittled down to something tight and perhaps tense. We'll just have to see.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New story idea...take a look...

This idea hit me just a bit ago, I had to write it down. This is all unedited stuff...very rough...but I hope you find it a little bit interesting. Maybe there's something here to work on.

They wanted to bring the world to the brink and they succeeded.

Those bastard terrorists--and nobody knows exactly why they chose this specific method--managed to bring the world to its knees. That long-time goal of the "oppressed" and fanatical had finally been achieved. The prisons were at the maximum already--then this bomb, virus, or whatever the hell you call it hit; and it blew all society to pieces. Soon, there wasn't any place anyone could go to escape the effects. We know it was a terror cell that started the mess because they alone produced credible evidence that they were behind it. Even when all of them were either in military "protective custody" or dead no other explanation could be found. They were truly responsible for the nightmare that would come--and the world was powerless to do anything about it.

The first real negative effects showed themselves early, within decades food shortages, water shortages, living space shortages--everything was in very tight supply, rationing was commonplace; governments, or what was left of the governments, had to step in...with harsher and harsher methods for control. Crime was rampant because people have needs that weren't being met so they took matters into their own hands. Getting caught didn't matter, jail sentences can only be so harsh, and were a drain of resources anyway, which made the government's situation even worse, if that was possible.

Eventually, laws were passed that granted summary execution powers to the police and military. It was thought that would be a deterrent as well as reduce the excess population. But it didn't really matter what you did, or how much you had, or how much the government thought it was in power, or how many they felt needed to be put down like rabid dogs. It could never be enough; the problem was just that big. There were just too many needy people. Every country was flooded with them, and some--foolishly--were still taking in refugees! As if that would make things any easier.

How stupid of them in Washington to think they were still in command when their own populace was suffering en masse. Three hundred and ninety million Americans, the entire population, was infected. Every last person. Each of them from age eleven on up needed everything.

Things were bad before, when it was hard enough to get by in one lifetime just affording food, clothes, maybe a kid or two in tow...

Now imagine the horror of that compounded over dozens of lifetimes.

It all happened on, of all days, August 13, 2021, which the old calendars tell us, is a Friday. Friday the Thirteenth, a cursed day if ever there was one, took on a new tone of horror. The first reports were in L.A., where the very aged seemed to stop being on the brink of passing. It didn't take long for the "Fountain of Youth," as it was first called, to be considered a blessing; but that was also the curse. Meanwhile, people were doing what people always do: they were having children, and that was the biggest problem of all.

Quickly...whatever it was...it spread. Nowhere was untouched, and nobody was immune: if you were past puberty, you simply stopped aging.

That doesn't sound bad in-and-of itself, but because people wouldn't control themselves--they kept on having children--and the children themselves started having kids of their own when they reached puberty, the population of the earth quickly doubled. Then it doubled again. The religions of the world were partly to blame: their long-standing policies, however divinely inspired, against birth control methods brought the already stretched resources of the world to the point where it all simply collapsed.

On my block alone there are fifty kids, all just past puberty, who are now just as old as I was when it all started. I was fifty when I got infected. They're all that age now, just in younger bodies. They'll be that age forever, just like me.

Physically, I'm fifty years old. I was born in 1971, and the calendar on my one-room apartment wall tells me that today is Tuesday, April 1, 2200. My chronological age is two-hundred and twenty nine. It's also a special day: happy birthday to me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction - Silence

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

This entry is all about the word "Silence." I chose to be a little more...odd...this time, going with something somewhat poetic. Does it work? You tell me. But the idea is both mother and son are now made silent--both for different reasons--but both linked all the same.

* * *

Made to suffer: a wounded heart taken from a wordless mother.

Inside the mind Hell exists; her inner pain was matched with rage.

Giving up her last full tears as they fell to wet the soil.

Deep underground his coffin lay -- the boy never passed his vestal age.

His battled frame saw no more pain; hers would know no end of turmoil.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Five sentence fiction -- Foggy

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

This entry is all about the word "Foggy."

* * *

All around me, the off-gray ether swirled as the heat of my body disrupted its gossamer filaments--I could see nothing.

With unimpaired hearing, I could sense the stag had stopped rooting in the grass: the danger sense they have is keen.

Silently, I bring my bow to the ready, string pulled tight to cheek; and with breath held, I pause.

Only the beating of our twin hearts could be heard across the meadow.

Loosed and let fly; the peace is distrubed by a lone gutteral noise of my fatally wounded prey.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Adjectives and Adverbs

When I hear someone say "don't use adjectives or adverbs in your writing," the first thing I want to do is reach for a gun to shoot them. Their advice, for what it is, is, in my opinion, a bunch of BS. Inevitably, they will point to the same lame articles that all repeat the same things: don't do it. Ok, here's an idea...take your dictionary, pick one, Websters, OED, whichever you have on your shelf... Now, grab a sharpie and black-out all the adjectives or adverbs. When you're done, guess what you have? A boring language filled with no descriptions at all. You can vaguely describe something, but not with terms which would make a normal person truly paint the picture in their mind.

Look at this:

He had a steak.
Or,
He had a steak, cooked medium well, seared to perfection.
Which is better? Technically, the first according to all the "expert sources" that would be counted on. But I tell you, and I bet you agree, the second is a far more generous helping and paints a scene far better. That's what writing is all about. So the next time someone tells you the old "don't use adverbs or adjectives" in writing...go ahead and reach for your gun. I do. They deserve it.

Question: multiple projects at once?

A question for my author-type friends... My usual M.O. is to work exclusively on one project at a time, but I know of many authors that have several irons going in the fire at once. How many of you have multiple stories going at once, or are you like me, a one-at-a-time person?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Five sentence fiction -- Sombrero

Having seen this before, yet never done it, this is my first "official" entry into Lillie McFerrin's contest-of-sorts. The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
At least, that's how she puts it. At any rate, below is my entry, and I hope it stimulates some thoughts on the process of writing of your own. Enjoy!

* * *

Tattered and torn from the gunfight, the light of the high-noon sun poked through his stereotypical Latin chapeau, leaving reverse leopard-spots on his face and neck.

His breathing was labored as he hid behind the low-cut wall, six-shooter held in a trembling hand; reloading was taking far too long.

On the other side, not far away, two men were approaching: his makeshift hideout had been betrayed.

The top of his hat poked up above the brick and mortar, "We can see you, Delgado!"

A firefight would soon ensue, and the only victor would be the vultures that circled--high-riding the thermals blown from the mouth of Hell itself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Amazon's Authorcentral has a problem

There is currently an issue with Amazon's Authorcentral. Sales figures are being misreported. I discovered this myself when a sale I know took place on a certain day was not, and has not, been reflected by their accounting software. I have informed them of the error, but it will take time to fix I am sure.

If you are an Amazon Authorcentral user for your books, please check yourself and do some verification of the data. I believe this to be more than just an isolated issue with me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The next book

I know, I know... I'm not done with MINIMAL yet; but cut me some slack! I'm still writing it, but in the mean time that does not mean that I can't plot and prepare for the next idea. I've briefly mentioned it before, and it has a title of The Lost King, but that is always subject to change.

Regardless, I've come bearing something of a gift. Below is a gray-scale rendering of the world in which The Lost King will take place. Behold, the world of Emerhald.




Emerhald is a big place, about twenty times the size of the USA, by the looks of it, if my math is correct (and it rarely is.) There's plenty of room here for lots of adventure, and I hope to visit the place more than once when I am able.

Speaking of a return to a familiar place, twice now in the same week folks have asked me (or threatened, depending on how you take it) if a sequel to Memories of the Dead is in the works. The answer to that is "Yes and no." (Cryptic, huh?)

"Yes," I have a plan for a sequel--which will bring to light the "unhappy memories" mentioned in the final pages of the book; "No," it's not currently in the works, but we're going to get to it, I promise. After all, you followed Locarno around long enough that you deserve to know what ends up being the fate of his family. Right?

Right. So, yeah...eventually I will get on with book 2 of Locarno's sad tale; but in the mean time, be on the look out for the (hopefully soon) completion of the rough-draft of MINIMAL, and the beginnings of The Lost King, which I hope will spark a bit of interest all by itself!

Friday, April 20, 2012

My next book

Once the current work-in-progress is done, I have another lined up in my noggin, and I have to say, I'm pretty excited about it. I can only hope that the idea I'm excited about is one I can get on paper properly in a way that makes other people excited as well. The tentative title is "The Lost King," but I'm not sure about that because there's a Margaret Weis book by the same title (and a bunch of other authors used it as well), so it might just end up being without a title until such time as I can think of a better one.

Writing

You might think that with me being quiet about writing that lately I haven't done much. You'd be right. But, that isn't a bad thing, because I've been thinking about what's next. That's a good thing. I know some details that otherwise I would have missed, this is good. I know a thing or two that I almost forgot to mention, this too is good. So when I get the next chapter down--and I will soon, I'm sure of that--I'll be in a better position and the flow will return. But even with that, I'm not sure exactly how large a tome MINIMAL will be. No. Freaking. Clue. If I had to guess, maybe 70000 words. More? Maybe. Hopefully not more than 90000. That would be daunting to write or read. But honestly, I don't know yet. The story takes me to where it needs to, and luckily for me, I don't have to worry. I write for me, it's not a job. I like that luxury, even if it means I'm slow at it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Birthday sale!

Well, Hi-didly-ho there, neighbor! :)

It's Friday the 13th, and it's a LUCKY day for you!

From right now, until late on the 17th, you can download my ebook for only 99 cents!

Nook? Yes! Kindle? Yes! 99 cents? Yes! It may be my birthday, but you're the one getting the gift!

Amazon Kindle Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Memories-of-the-Dead-ebook/dp/B006SLTXMG/

B&N Nook Link:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memories-of-the-dead-phillip-hall/1108117337?ean=2940013687004

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DOJ files suit against publishers

The Washington Post just upped a story about this... Here's some goodies.

In March, antitrust officials told Apple and the five publishers that they appear to be price-fixing and that the Justice Department would sue them unless they agreed to change their business practices.
 Bloomberg reported that Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins could settle with the government as soon as Wednesday.
 Penguin Group was also reported to be preparing to go to court over the issue, Bloomberg said.
Apple and Macmillan have denied that they colluded to raise prices and argued that the deals between Apple and the publishers helped boost competition in the e-book market, according to Bloomberg.
Don't overcharge...don't collude to fix prices...don't piss off the customer. How simple is that to get? Apparently, the two biggest sins (Greed and Stupidity) over-ride all these simple rules. Personally, I hope there's a lot of people nailed to walls followed by the sounds of lamenting teeth being gnashed.