You are in Luck Today (from my Patreon page)

Guys and Gals, you are in luck today.  I had decided to open up another story for the public, but when I went searching on my Patreon page, I realized I had not loaded this particular story.  So I am actually adding a new reward for the month that I have decided to share with the public.  The story is a little over a thousand words, making it a quick read, and is called “A Taste of Armageddon”.  Here is what I posted on the sight:

“Well, it has been several months since I have uploaded a new story and I also had this particular one in mind, given the state of the union.  I honestly thought I had already uploaded this one a while ago.  I am glad that I hadn’t.  I am leaving this reward open to the public so feel free to leave comments on my blog, which I very much look forward too.”

New Reward – A Taste of Armageddon


Free to Download

I have decided to begin opening up my Patreon story rewards to the public in hopes of stirring up interest and gaining readership of my work.  If you like what you read, please consider supporting the creation of more work.  It only costs $1 a month or $12 a year and would serve as a morale boost and a reason to continue.  The first opened post contains the story “Sanity” along with the cover I created for the collection I hope to publish.  Find the files here First Patreon Reward.

How do I Love Thee…

How do you know that you have a good book in your hands?  Well, for me it is when I look up to see that I am 200 pages in when I could have sworn I only started reading a minute ago and it is now dark outside.  You also have this angry feeling because you have to put the book down to go to bed and go to work tomorrow.  That is where I was this weekend when I started reading “Nemesis Games” by James S. A. Correy.


Seriously, 100 Words. Are You Kidding?

Holy bat#*!@ a serviceable story in around 100 words.  That is what I was thinking when I tried writing 500 word stories for contests at Podcastle and Escapepod a few years back.  I had finally gotten used to writing decent stories at 1,000 words for the monthly flash fiction contests at even though I hadn’t won anything.  Now they were asking me to come up with interesting material in half that length.

Needless to say, I did not do well.  I tried too hard to give them stories with the scope and back story I was giving at 1,000 words.  I tried to fit references to the larger world, develop characters, and explain ideas, which forced the word count upward so had be chopped in later edits.  By not grasping the type of writing necessary for the word length, I left the stories unfocused and unsatisfying.  The grand ideas I was trying to portray couldn’t be made to fit into the word length of the contest.

Does that mean that you can’t express grand ideas in such a small word count?  No.  It just means you need to allow the reader much more freedom to bring in their own backstory.  Or, more precisely, to chose your writing to better direct some common themes of human life to help direct the backstory the reader brings into the experience.  I did not grasp that before.

I have completed my 100 word story, which is one fifth that of the above contest and I am much more satisfied with the results because I did not try to do all the heavy lifting with the story.  In a novel you can have more than 80,000 worlds to tell a story.  With that kind of space you can give more references to guide the reader toward the world and characters you envisioned.  You can narrow the outside material readers bring to the table by explaining motivations and describing the visuals, something us flowery types take a ribbing for, but it helps direct the flow of the reader’s thoughts.  Of course, given the size of the world and human population, there will still be a lot of misinterpretation due to readers with vastly different life experiences.

You would think that decreasing the word count would vastly increase the chance of missing any significant audience.  However, I think I see it the other way around now.  The object is not to direct the reader to see your idea, but to take advantage of the most basic human experiences to become the backbone of your story in place of what you cannot write.  For example, I would find it hard to get across the specifics of religious views behind a struggle I wanted to portray in 100 words.  However, if I take advantage of the thousands of years of human history pertaining to religion and the resultant strife, I can focus on the immediate story by just mentioning the action revolved around a religious dispute.

That is what I wanted to pass on today.  Look for my story to be posted at SFFworld soon.


Fiction is Better than Believing

Here is the latest flash fiction contest I will be entering (link and description below).  I have my idea ready, what about you?

February 2018 Micro-Fiction Contest

Theme: Conditioning
Word count: 
100 words or less
Deadline: February 23, 2018
You can interpret this theme any way you like, but I leave you some food for thought:

The moon is one, but on agitated water it produces many reflections. Similarly, ultimate reality is one, yet it appears to be many in a mind agitated by thoughts. ~Maharamayana

The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority. ~Stanley Milgram (1933-1984)

The mind of man is often like a house of which he is the landlord; bad tenants are more easily admitted than removed. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882

If you are new to the contests, here’s a general outline of what to do:

1) Think of a story idea that includes speculative fiction elements (fantasy, science fiction, horror elements) and fits the theme stated above
2) Write story
3) Edit story
4) Post story in the Stories sub-forum in a way that will make it easy to find. Ex. Feb. 2018 Micro Fiction Entry: Title of Your Entry
5) Come back here and let us know that you posted your story and provide a link to that story (makes it easier for me to find your story when it comes time to vote).
6) Read the other entries and offer comments that help the writer both know what they did right and what they did wrong (in your humble opinion)
7) Vote when the voting poll goes up

The winner has the honor of picking next month’s contest theme.


  • PG-13 – generally, the forum restricts its contents to what would be acceptable at the PG-13 rating. However, we are lenient for creative purposes in the writing forum. Please warn readers if your story contains adult situations.
  • Once you post your contest entry, we discourage writers from altering the original text submitted. While it may be okay to change a few typos here and there, please do not revise your piece substantially. If you would like to respond to feedback, you are encouraged to post your revision within the thread (but not the original post).
  • Please refrain from voting for your own story.

Bladerunner 2049

Oh, yeah, I finally watched it.  As you may know, I am a huge fan of the original movie, which made the thought of seeing the new one a mixed bag of hope and fear.  At least in this instance, for me if not the general populace, I am very happy with the results.  It is grander than the original and yet keeps a gentle but firm grip upon the original, more human than human.

I had such fears for the quality of this film that I ended up not seeing it in the theater.  Part of the issue was that when I saw Bladerunner  when it came out, I did not get it.  I was way too young to appreciate the subtleties of such a dark dystopian future, especially when I was expecting Star Wars.  Well, I grew up and now treasure the film like I think I will treasure the sequel in years to come.  I loved the fact that the writers explored an idea I had postulated a while back about the original movie.  I mentioned that Deckard’s testing of Rachael at Tyrell Corporation might have been as much about him as it was about her.  So much to process, I have been on a high since watching it.  let me know what you think.


A Good Stretch is All I Need


Finally getting back to writing, albeit at a slow pace, has got me to thinking about the collection that was the reason for creating my Patreon page.  “Mystics and Misfits” is a celebration of everything I love about the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre filtered through my experiences and feelings.  I became an artist because of the artwork from the books, movies, and TV shows.  I started writing because of all the great stories I read that touched my heart, made me laugh, cry, and rage.  Now I have a chance to show you guys what it means to me.

I just reopened the file that contains the collection and it stands at 58,173 words and my goal is 80,000 for the final book.  If “Lost Contact expands out as I think it will, I should be at that mark.  I will also be adding in my sffworld contest entry “A Word in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” because I think it is a worthy story and will help get over the word goal.  From there is where I will need all of your help and support.  I want to get a real editor to go through the collection and make it as sharp and tight as a professional collection, but that will take money and encouragement.  Please consider helping anyway you can.