Sat, Oct. 17th, 2020, 12:00 am
Sticky Post: About my fiction, and where you can find it.

Scroll down for newer content. :)

My first original short story, Illegal Beagles, is available right here on this LJ as a freebie. Read, enjoy, feedback is adored. There is a completely optional "donate" button at the bottom if you feel like tossing a couple of bucks my way. ;)

Summary: Russell Fisk, the captain of the tramp freighter Inquisitive Tamandua, hates transporting live cargo, but a creditor has him over a barrel. So now he has to get a pack of hunting Beagles to the client, while dodging Feds and dealing with an alien passenger who's more than slightly odd. And, oh, hey, one of the dogs is in labor.

I've had fourteen short stories published in various venues.

Habeas Felis was serialized by Stupefying Stories Showcase in three parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Summary: Daniella and her friends Gris and Mac must leave a talking cat in a dragon's cave for its annual tribute without being eaten by the grumpy dragon or murdered by goblins and mountain trolls. And they have to do it before a rival team beats them to the punch.

The Road to Hell was published by Domain SF. It's a free read, but it requires registration.

Summary: Oceanic algae farms have dumped extra oxygen into our atmosphere, with catastrophic results. Insects are now prehistoric size and we use baseball bats to swat mosquitoes. But the cure might be worse than the disease, as a grief-stricken woman learns to her detriment. And the planet's.

Servile Spirits to Invent was published in "The Death God's Chosen" by Deepwood Publishing.

Summary: A village decimated by plague uses corpses to till the fields so they don't starve. However, the entities animating the bodies have their own agenda.

Bear Essentials was published by World Weaver Press in the "Far Orbit" anthology. Julie Czerneda says: "Daring adventure, protagonists who think on their feet, and out of this world excitement! Welcome to FAR ORBIT, a fine collection of stories in the best SF tradition. Strap in and enjoy!"

Summary: The intrepid crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua is hired to transport a "grizzly bear" to a monastery. But neither the bear nor the monastery are what they seem, and their routine (ha) job is complicated by a reporter who's all too eager for a scoop to bolster her flagging career.

War of the Were-Mice was published by Unlikely Story for their April Fool's issue. Be thou warned: This was written on purpose to be terrible. The challenge was to "write the worst piece of fiction you can stand to see under your byline." So... I did. It's a flash piece, so you won't lose too many brain cells by reading it. They also interviewed me.

Summary: The house vermin battle for supremacy.

Of Were-Critters, Widow Women, and Water Rights was published in the "Ways of Magic" anthology by Deepwood Publishing.

Summary: Mike Vaughn, a werewolf who works security for a rail line in Reconstruction Texas, is embroiled in a feud between a family of brothers and his ex-sweetheart. Throw in a professor with a water-sucking contraption, a preacher with a dark past, and a hunter, and Mike is having a truly rotten day.

Different in Blood was published in Plasma Frequency.

Summary: Ben Lockwood, werewolf private investigator, finds himself embroiled in the weirdest cheating spouse case ever. What the hell is a squonk? He's about to find out.

Showing Faeries for Fun and Profit was published in Stupefying Stories.

Summary: Faerie shows are cooperative enterprises between humans and faeries. When a faerie is kidnapped, it's a race against time -- and against faerie rights activists, the larger Fae, and an unscrupulous fellow competitor -- to find her before something terrible happens.

The Cow and the Beanstalk was published in Azure Valley, an imprint of TM Publishing.

Summary: We all know the story of Jack the Giant Killer. How he traded a cow for some magic beans, killed a giant, avenged his father, and lived happily ever after. Now, everyone assumes the bean man was out to cheat Jack -- but, you know, the beans really were magic. He delivered on his promise and then disappeared, never to be seen again. So, what was so special about a cow, that a fellow would be willing to trade beans like that for her?

Sensory Overload was published in Plasma Frequency.

Summary: A security guard with electronic sensory enhancements accompanies a group of art students down to the home planet of a new alien species. While there, he sees things he shouldn't--but he's not sure if he's really seeing them, or if the enhancements have finally made him crack.

"Affairs of Dragons" was published in Renard's Menagerie, which is sadly defunct. It's also available through Anthology Builder, which is where the link to the story will take you. And you can read the beginning of it here. It's the sequel to "Illegal Beagles."

Summary: The crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua is hired by a mother dragon to move her eggs from one planet to another. She's in the middle of an ugly divorce and an uglier clan war. The eggs aren't supposed to hatch...

"Bitter Honey" was published in AfterburnSF but can no longer be read online. It's available through Anthology Builder here, and it also appears in the "Fight On! Weird Enclaves and Black Pits" anthology. The link in the title will take you to a short preview, and it's available through Amazon here.

Summary: Desperate faeries raid a beehive for the honey they need to make it through a deadly winter. But at what cost to both faeries and bees?

"Fortunes of Soldiers" was published by Cosmos magazine, with a fabulous illustration by Emrah Elmasli. You can also buy it through Anthology Builder (link takes you to a preview of it).

Summary: Two week's pay for one night's work, babysitting a spoiled asteroid heiress? Mercenary Jake O'Dell thinks all his jobs should be this easy. Until, of course, everything goes disastrously wrong.

"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" was published by Darwin's Evolutions, with a fabulous illustration by Karl Nordman. It's available as a trade paperback for $9.99 (along with several other stories by several other awesome writers), or a high-quality .pdf download for $2.73. It's also available through Anthology Builder. You can read the beginning of it here, and purchase it here.

Summary: Mark Newman loves being a werewolf. But when his wife finds out she's pregnant, she attempts to cure him against his will, in his sleep. Naturally, it goes horribly wrong--and it goes even wronger when she gets a well-meaning priest involved, poor fellow.

My author page at Anthology Builder is here. You can read more of my fiction right here on this LJ. I have a "DVD extra" from my first novel that introduces a couple of characters to each other under less-than-optimal circumstances, and you can read that here. This is one of my very favorite scenes. And I try to post a snippet every Saturday (subject to change), and those can be accessed via my snippets tag.

Most of this LJ is me whining about writing, with some Real Life and Fannish Squee and a scosh of Politics thrown in on occasion. I have more information on my User Info page, or you can peruse my tags and see if anything in there looks interesting. You can also follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook. I don't always follow back on Twitter, especially if I don't know you, but I do friend back on FB.

So. Come in, kick back, have fun. If you feel like commenting, please do.

Sat, Dec. 20th, 2014, 12:08 pm
Modified plan for next year!

Okay, I have two short story outlines now that I'm completely happy with. The novel outlines are still...


As you know, Bob, I am not a natural novelist. I also know this about myself, but I have at least two stories that want, very much, to be novels. I pantsed the hell out of the first novel, which actually worked (I think), but the second one (also pantsed) was a trainwreck. However, outlining things beforehand seems to have kicked my writing into a better gear, and these two novels need outlining. Extensively. But... I don't know how to do that. I'm stuck like a big stuck thing.

So, I have a copy of Dave Farland's "Million Dollar Outlines" coming, but it won't ship until the 30th because reasons, which doesn't give me time to read it, absorb it, and bang out the rest of either one of these outlines by January 1st. What I'm going to do instead of the original plan is write the two shorts whose outlines I'm happy with, then edit them and work on the outline for Angry Bitter Angel through January, and then just write Angry Bitter Angel for the remainder of January and February. In March, I'll go back to the original plan of "Short at a NaNo pace until the draft is done, then 1000 words per day on the novel while editing the short into a semblance of not sucking."

This will also teach me flexibility for changed circumstances, and to gather and use the numerous tools at my disposal. I got thrown off for this entire year because my January plans were derailed by getting sick, and I don't want that to happen again.

I'm kind of excited!

Sat, Dec. 20th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Fri, Dec. 19th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Thu, Dec. 18th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Wed, Dec. 17th, 2014, 12:02 pm
My tweets

Tue, Dec. 16th, 2014, 08:08 pm

The story I'm writing for the Diabolical Plots call for subs has an END at the bottom! It comes in a little over 1500 words, which I may chop down so it also fits into Daily Science Fiction's guidelines, because there's no sense putting all my eggs in a single basket.

It makes me go "awww."

Now I just have to beat it into shape before the 31st.


Tue, Dec. 16th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Mon, 18:49: ...Oh, cool. I just won a pair of tix to the @slcomiccon #FanX! Guess I'm going after all!
  • Mon, 22:20: I got a Semi-Finalist (one of only 12 this quarter) for #WritersoftheFuture. Oh, thank God. Now I can fix the horrible ending and re-send.
  • Mon, 22:27: So this year I've gotten one each straight rejection, Honorable Mention, Semi-Finalist, and Finalist in #WritersoftheFuture. Wild.
  • Tue, 00:29: My dog just hopped up on the sofa and curled up like she belonged there, the weirdo. She doesn't, but I let her stay anyway.
  • Tue, 00:31: In celebration of this #WritersoftheFuture semi-final, I'm going to finish the first draft of this story tonight.

Mon, Dec. 15th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets


Sun, Dec. 14th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 12:02: There is a giant crowd of lesser goldfinches and house finches on my globe willow right now. Filthy weather brings birds to my feeders!
  • Sun, 10:16: Help me out, folks: headset for Xbox360 my kid can use so I don't have to hear the TV. Which one that's NOT Turtle Beach?

Sat, Dec. 13th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 15:04: Going to see if I can score a Dodge Challenger. Wish me luck and no run-arounds at the dealer.
  • Fri, 20:49: I am the new and proud owner of a 2011 Mango Tango Dodge Challenger. Yaaaaay. It's not pink, BUT it matches the Mustang.

Fri, Dec. 12th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 13:07: I would like my head to stop hurting. Now would be good. The three ibuprofen can kick in any time now...
  • Thu, 13:16: I don't know if an acceptance in my inbox would make the headache go away, but it would make me feel better in other ways. #hinthint
  • Thu, 18:55: I have a first line for the story I'm going to sub to @diabolicalplots. And heeere we go...

Wed, Dec. 10th, 2014, 12:01 pm
My tweets

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2014, 06:58 pm
Honest question:

Okay, so I saw a thing on Twitter today that a publication (which will remain unnamed, because it's part of a larger issue) is opening to subs. They want "well written stories with strong characters." And, I mean, don't we all, right? I like to think that my stories fall well within that demographic.

So, I'm scrolling, and I hit the "What we pay" section.

Five bucks.


Well. That's a... less-than-princely sum. And, I mean, I can do math. Wouldn't I be better off tossing it up on Amazon? I'm pretty sure I can get more than 17 people to buy the thing at 99 cents a whack, at which point (assuming a 30% royalty; I think that's what it is at that pay scale) I'm ahead.

So, I guess the question is: Why would anyone actually sub there? Considering the pay scale, it's barely a publishing credit; I wouldn't list it on any cover letter I sent out. I honestly do not get it. I mean, I suppose that everyone draws the line at where they value their story in a different place, and far be it from me to tell anyone where that line should be for them, but for me?

I noped on out of there.

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2014, 01:47 pm
There's been a wave of responses from WotF today...

So this happened:

Get: a gmail notif.

Click: over to the tab.

From: Joni Labaqui

Cue: heart attack

Subject: Weekly Writer Inspiration

 photo microwave-smiley-face_zps8jga7qlt.gif

I'm still standing. I have no earthly idea how.

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2014, 01:25 am
For anyone looking for the Monster Thread...

It's still there, but I've locked it to Friends Only.

Honestly, I really don't want that to be the one thing that people notice about this LJ, and it's served its purpose. Two weeks and nearly 800 comments was quite long enough to let that go on, I think.

Mon, Dec. 8th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sun, 16:01: Made my famous burritos for family meal. Now in a capsaicin coma. NOMNOMNOM.

Sun, Dec. 7th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 13:03: I've printed out these broken outlines. Maybe looking at them on paper will help un-break them. With booze.
  • Sat, 18:44: Dear Travelocity: Just b/c I flew into Atlanta once 2 yrs ago doesn't mean I need a hotel there now. It wasn't even my final destination!
  • Sat, 19:06: Gosh darnit, I saw this on my feed and now can't find it again. But this is the Muse I need:
  • Sat, 19:08: The good news is I finished my craft project and hammered out a couple of flaws in a couple of outlines. So that's something.

Sat, Dec. 6th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 20:15: Child just called me "the meanest writer EVER." Achievement unlocked!
  • Fri, 23:03: Note to my younger self: "Stuff happens" is not actually "plot." What was the POINT of that story, anyway?

Thu, Dec. 4th, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 11:26: *twitch* Oh, nevermind, that was a reprint rejection from a different publication, not #WritersoftheFuture, where I'm still standing.

Wed, Dec. 3rd, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 15:59: I love when both the cinnamon whiskey and the cherry vodka are on sale.
  • Tue, 19:32: I love waking up & realizing that a story I've already subbed is missing an important character moment. It's the best thing ever. *sigh*
  • Tue, 19:45: Though that's not as bad as realizing a story you've subbed MULTIPLE TIMES has the WRONG ENDING. <-- me, right now
  • Tue, 20:40: via @Tatum_Flynn "A pile of paper covered with wrong words." Dorothy Parker, ladies & gentlemen:

Tue, Dec. 2nd, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Mon, 14:44: Cyber Monday Shopping!
  • Tue, 00:29: Writer dilemma: Outline has the ending the story needs, but not the ending I WANT. Delusional to think I actually control these characters.

Mon, Dec. 1st, 2014, 02:44 pm
Cyber Monday Shopping!

Well. I'm looking at these novel projects and realizing that, while the seven-point outline works really well for my shorts, I think I need something a little more extensive than that for a pair of novels. I pantsed the last novel, and that went all right (because I've apparently been doing the seven-point structure purely by instinct for years before I started using it consciously), but I think for these two I want something a little more... organized.

In the interests of that, I just toddled over to B&N's website, because I had a 25%-off coupon and I didn't get to use the 30%-off coupon over the weekend. I ordered Dave Farland's "Million Dollar Outlines," and "Serenity: Leaves on the Wind." Which should have gotten me free shipping.

And it did--until I applied the discount. Suddenly it's costing me way more because I didn't hit the magic $25 minimum. Aha, sez I, the new Carrie Vaughn is coming out at the end of the month, and I was going to buy that on the day anyway; I'll just pre-order it!

So I did, and that dropped the total price down below what two books would have cost me with shipping, even though the Vaughn book is a pre-order. Go figure.

But that means I have three things I wanted anyway coming to my door for a cost far less than it would have been in the store, and I don't have to leave my house. Win.

ETA: Well, that backfired. Since the Vaughn book isn't coming out until the 30th, that means my entire order will not ship until then. Which means I don't get the outline book in time for it to help me on these two until after the fact. Argh.

Oh well. I will muddle through them without it and then tweak them as needed after I read it. :p

Mon, Dec. 1st, 2014, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sun, 13:24: I think. I think... this story is done. Off it goes before I start second-guessing myself.
  • Sun, 17:42: Newscaster on @KSLcom just called it the "Millennial Falcon." So much facepalming.#StarWarsEpisodeVII
  • Sun, 17:42: Same newscaster just called her "Katniss Everdreen." He fails at SF.

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