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

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Available from WordFire Press, my first novel!

After seven horrific months as a POW, Army Ranger-turned-PI Ben Lockwood just wants a safe, boring life. With his boss on vacation, he takes what looks like an easy case of pharmaceutical espionage he can work from his desk.

Now he's caught in a three-way collision course between a ruthless werewolf on the hunt for a cure for his dying vampire wife, a mad scientist whose multinational company doesn't even research supernatural medicine--and himself. Ben's nanotech-injected blood holds the key to the vampire's recovery, and the werewolf doesn't much care if he lives or dies in the harvesting.

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... *counts* Uh. Umpty-foo number of short stories published in various venues. My Amazon Author Page is here.

I also wrote a pair of villain origin stories--the Demon-Prince and the Vampire--for Lord of the Dead, a tabletop hex-and-counter horror game from Pocket Options.

Cry Havoc was published in "Writers of the Future V32." More information, as well as links to buy it from all the usual suspects, is here.

Summary: What happens when the alpha, who's supposed to be the conscience of a werewolf pack, loses the pack... and his moral compass?

Serendi-bunny was published in the "Singular Irregularity" anthology edited by Kimber Grey. It's a short set in the Pack Dynamics 'verse.

Summary: Alex Jarrett may be a mad scientist, but he's a mad scientist on a mission to cure cancer. When he buys a pair of robot bunnies from the internet to help him accelerate his research, he gets more than he bargained for when they turn out to be assassin-bots sent from the future. With the help of his werewolf hacker friend Ben Lockwood, he has to figure out how to circumvent their programming before the cutest killers ever created put an end to not just his career, but his life.

Meerkat Manners was published in Jouth #2 by Blaster Books. Also available at Smashwords.

Summary: The crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua is hired by a mob of meerkats to transport them to a new colony. Between their infighting and the new Fed-mandated AI, Russ and his crew will be lucky if they can stay sane, let alone out of jail.

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!" It's also available as a standalone on Amazon, published by Digital Science Fiction, or as part of the Infinity Cluster 6 anthology put out by the same outfit.

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.

Daddy's Little Girl was published in the "Putrefying Stories" anthology by Stupefying Stories. It's also available as a standalone from Digital Horror on Amazon, and in an anthology titled "Largely Deceased" through them as well.

Summary: A father will do anything to save his teenage daughter in a zombie apocalypse...

Guardians of Public Safety was published in the "1st and Starlight" anthology, available on Amazon, put together by a bunch of Writers of the Future Finalists.

Summary: Keniesha Washington lives in a rough neighborhood filled with gangs, pimps, and drug dealers. But the supernatural cure for what ails it may be worse than the disease...

That Which is Hidden was published in the "Chronology" anthology by Curiosity Quills. This was my prizewinning story for the Salty Dog writing contest at Salt City Steam.

Summary: Gideon Bassett needs to solve the triple mystery of his sweetheart’s murder, a train robbery, and a bank heist. Problem is, he’s been outed as a werewolf and is a fugitive himself...

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. It is also available as a standalone from Digital Horror.

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.

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. You can read it for free here.

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. You can also listen to the audio version at Far Fetched Fables.

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 (now sadly defunct). It was reprinted in 2nd and Starlight. And you can listen to it on Far Fetched Fables.

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. You can read it online here, or you can listen to the audio version at StarShipSofa.

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 it was reprinted in the "Far Orbit: Apogee" anthology by World Weaver Press. 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 "Roll the Bones" anthology. The link in the title will take you to a short preview.

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), and it's in the You're Not Alone anthology edited by Damien Broderick.

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 also available as a high-quality .pdf download. You can get it through Anthology Builder as well. You can read the beginning of it here, and purchase it here. It was also reprinted by Digital Fiction.

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 on Amazon is here. 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. I post occasional snippets of my stories, 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.

Sun, Feb. 19th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 19:22: I have figured out where I'm going to put the --"Where have you been?" "Church"-- conversation in this thing. It fits perfectly RIGHT HERE.
  • Sun, 01:51: Con quote: "Why are there ogres in this blog post, and why are they cussing?" -- @tlambertwrites , @LTUESymposium

Sat, Feb. 18th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 17:14: Heading into the bar for dinner. Come join us!

Fri, Feb. 17th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 12:12: Planning on eating food between 3pm and 5pm here at the Marriott restaurant, between panels. Come join me!
  • Thu, 15:03: ...I guess I'm NOT eating at the hotel restaurant, b/c it doesn't open until 5. Also, I left my phone charger at home, so that's awesome.

Thu, Feb. 16th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 07:15: On my way to Provo for a weekend of @LTUESymposium! Meet me in the bar after hours!
  • Thu, 10:30: It has occurred to me that I'm kind of setting up this Noah character as my novel 'verse's version of Roleplay Ben. Not sure if good or bad.

Tue, Feb. 14th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Mon, 12:12: Dear @amazon: If I do not receive this order in time for LTUE, I am going to be UNHAPPY. It should not take a week just to SHIP.

Mon, Feb. 13th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sun, 21:07: Fly, be free, weird little might-not-actually-be-a-story! FTR, this is my 60th completed... thing, that I've deemed worthy of subbing. \o/
  • Mon, 11:03: Revisiting my (inadequate) novel outline, having hit the Great Swampy Middle and come to a dead stop. Lo, it is Great and it is Swampy...

Fri, Feb. 10th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Mon, Feb. 6th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Sat, Feb. 4th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 12:38: Oh, look, the "can you hear me now" scam has hit Utah. I said "NO" rather emphatically, and he apologized and hung up. WTF.
  • Sat, 11:54: So, "Using speech to silence marginalized communities...is unacceptable" but throwing a violent r... https://t.co/5lx09vApuL

Thu, Feb. 2nd, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Wed, Feb. 1st, 2017, 10:18 pm
Story sale!

My first story sale of the year is for my weird little "person goes out for a moonlit jog, is bitten by a werewolf, and comes home to find their beloved dog is now terrified of them" story. Neo-Opsis decided it was in their wheelhouse, and they have agreed to take it off my hands.

Do the Dance of Joy with me!

Wed, Feb. 1st, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 11:53: That moment when you've discovered that everything you write is crap and wonder just what the hell you're doing in this business anyway.

Tue, Jan. 31st, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 10:50: YOU. Yes, you. Go do a google image search for "swiss #guineapig." Right now. You're welcome.

Fri, Jan. 27th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 13:20: I have 3 pages of notes & a sample outline--& a case of the jitters. It's so cute these folks think I actually know what I'm talking about.
  • Fri, 11:28: Plotting vs Pantsing: An Overview https://t.co/AHyywYHeHF

Fri, Jan. 27th, 2017, 11:28 am
Plotting vs Pantsing: An Overview

This is the text of a talk I gave at the League of Utah Writers last night. I leave it here in the hopes that someone will find it useful.

Okay, so. I used to be an inveterate pantser. Usually, nowadays, I plot. Mostly because there's far less desire to defenestrate my computer.

We are all voracious readers, here, right? That means we know wholly by instinct how Story is supposed to work. My first novel, I wrote completely by accident, no lie. I had a vague setup in my head, and the first chapter made the rest of it inevitable. I didn't know that at the time, of course, and it wasn't until I was 25,000 words into it that I was willing to use the n-word--no, not that one. "NOVEL." *shudder* I had no idea how that sucker was going to end and didn't even realize who my main protagonist was until I was deciding whether or not he was going to die (again) about 70,000 words in. WHEE. It was kind of exhilarating.

But when I went back and retroactively wrote up a synopsis for it, I found that I'd instinctively used the seven-point plot structure, before I even knew what that was or why it was useful. We. Know. Story. It's hardwired.

Now, figuring out the most efficient way of getting Story from our brain to the page can be an issue. Writer Brain is funny. Pantsing gives you that "Ohmygosh, what happens next" kick, but waiting for inspiration to strike--or, worse, getting absolutely stuck because you've written yourself into a corner--is super frustrating. I can't tell you how many times I had to yell at my characters to TALK TO ME DAMMIT. Sometimes they complied. And sometimes I had to replace a computer and a window. For me, having it be the last thing I thought about at night and the first thing I thought about upon waking, and then having inspiration strike in the shower, was very common. And still is, for that matter, even with an outline. Sometimes going for a walk, or talking it over with someone, or a change of scenery also helps.

Plotting means you don't have to wait for inspiration. You know what happens next, yay! All you have to do is write it. The words flow from your keyboard like a waterfall. And then lay there on the page like a dead carp. You know what happens next? Then why bother writing the thing at all? Where's the joy of discovery? Oh, hey, that cool idea you just had? Sorry, Charlie, it won't fit and furthermore totally messes up everything else you've planned meticulously from here on out. Pop it in the Plot Bunny Hutch; maybe you can use it later in something else.

Orrrr... Incorporate it and re-do your outline. Because one mistake a lot of plotters make is thinking their outline is written in stone. It's not. That cool new idea might be just the thing to breathe life into your dead carp. That being said, don't discard the original outline, because that cool new idea might also be one that derails the whole thing into the tall grass. There's gators and rattlers in there. Be careful, and realize that you can also discard that cool new idea if it means you've got venomous snakes snapping at your butt.

Keep in mind that the magic of writing happens in edits. If you're pantsing, you can go back and insert all that neato foreshadowing you didn't know you needed, and people will think you're brilliant. Those dead-carp words you outlined so carefully, that are now just lying on the page? You can edit those into beautiful goldfish. You can't edit a blank page.

The Cardinal Rule of Writing is:
Do what works for you.

Scratch 20 writers, you'll find 30 processes. Sometimes a process that works great with one project completely falls apart with another. And that's okay and perfectly normal.


Thu, Jan. 26th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 12:40: I have an event at the Herriman Library tomorrow @ 7pm. Who wants to join me at the Texas Roadhouse (Bangerterer & 126th S) for dinner at 5?
  • Thu, 11:09: TMW you're scribbling notes by hand for a talk you're about to give & realize that you should should be typing them instead because OW.

Wed, Jan. 25th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 13:27: Wow, I had forgotten what a royal pain it is to red-pen a single-spaced manuscript. #amediting
  • Tue, 21:23: There is something structurally wrong with this story. It needs a middle that shows instead of tells. This is what I get for not outlining.
  • Tue, 22:04: I swear to Dad, I do more research for a throwaway line in a werewolf story than @HawaiiFive0CBS writers do for giant swaths of actual plot.

Mon, Jan. 23rd, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sun, 14:26: FUCK you, @MMFlint. I can evaluate 2 candidates & tell which one is worse for the country. It's condescending of you to call me a "victim."
  • Sun, 14:30: I am so happy when a patronizing prick mansplains my "victimhood" to me. It's the best thing ever.
  • Sun, 22:21: THE END. 1686 words. Which would be great--if I didn't have a 750-word limit. Gaaaaaah.
  • Mon, 01:03: Missed the limit by 99 words. ARGH. Oh, well. The longer story is better, honestly, and I can turn it into something I can sell. Win.

Sat, Jan. 21st, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Fri, Jan. 20th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 10:02: Congratulations to our new President, @realDonaldTrump. Please govern well and wisely. I pray for you and your family.

Tue, Jan. 17th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Mon, 13:40: @officialfye is having a one-day 25% off sale. Only one werewolf movie on this order for me this time. I must be slipping.
  • Mon, 13:44: Today's order: Julius Caesar (for school), The Doberman Gang, Leverage S3, Wolf Moon, & Jethro Tull: Broadsword & the Beast. Good haul.

Mon, Jan. 16th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sun, 17:39: Fly, be free, little story! May you find a home that loves you as much as I do.

Sun, Jan. 15th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 12:52: Can't decide if adding a last line to this makes it funnier, or too on the nose. #writerproblems
  • Sat, 17:48: One w(h)eek to the #guineapig show! https://t.co/sQmGqQgUYv
  • Sat, 18:28: TWO scam calls from spoofed numbers trying to sell me solar panels. Why do they think I'd do business with a co. that violates federal law?
  • Sat, 23:03: Tossing a self-imposed wordcount limit to the winds after a very good suggestion from my Writing Buddy. Story is so much funnier now.

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