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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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Out now from Galaxy Press: Writers of the Future V32, containing my story "Cry Havoc," the Q4 3rd place winner! Along with a bunch of other stories from a bunch of other really cool people.

More information, as well as links to buy it from all the usual suspects, is here.

Now 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.

Meerkat Manners was published in Jouth #2 by Blaster Books.

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.

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.

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.

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, Jun. 26th, 2016, 05:21 pm
Farmington Bay Birdwatching Pictures batch#3

And here's the second batch of bird photos:

A Killdeer:
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Red-winged Blackbirds:
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Snowy Egrets:
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I have no idea what this is. I've sent these pix to Utah Birds to see if they know Turns out it's a young Bullock's Oriole:
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Western Grebe:
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Western Kingbirds:
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White-faced Ibis:
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White Pelicans:
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Yellow-headed Blackbirds:
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A baby Yellow-headed Blackbird:
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Who was subsequently fed by this fella:
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Sun, Jun. 26th, 2016, 04:48 pm
Farmington Bay Birdwatching Pictures batch#1

I ended up with 58 photos I liked. I'm going to post the insects by themselves, in this post, of which there are eight. Then 25 each in two more posts.

Dragonflies and butterflies under the cut!Collapse )

Sun, Jun. 26th, 2016, 03:06 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 18:24: OMG you guys, I just held a skinny pig. https://t.co/fzBqUVIIY0
  • Sat, 23:33: I got some absolutely superb shots of birds in flight today, you guys. Looks like I have work to do so I can share them with you tomorrow.
  • Sun, 12:04: Poking through the photos I took yesterday--I had a real party with the Forster's Terns in flight. I <3 my camera.

Sat, Jun. 25th, 2016, 03:06 pm
My tweets

Fri, Jun. 24th, 2016, 11:06 pm
Ruminations on Story

So, I've got this little flash piece I was thinking about subbing to a publication, and I was staring at it and trying to decide if it's even a story, to be honest. I read it to the Hubby, and he thinks it's a story, so that's something.

Story is, after all, a Person in a Place with a Problem. My protagonist is certainly all of those (although, being a werewolf, the "person" part can, I suppose, be debated). And the Problem is resolved satisfactorily at the end. There is certainly more that can be told there, and I have plans for expansion, but I can sub the thing as-is with a clear conscience, I think.

But then, of course, I got to thinking about it. It's first person from the wolf's POV, and there is a certain... lack of tension there, as to whether he's going to survive this encounter or not. In a first-person narrative, the assumption is that your POV character lives. Now, I've violated this "rule" more than once, and other people have too, but 99 times out of 100, a first-person protag lives through the whole story unless they come back as a ghost or something.

So then I got to thinking, well, hey... (SPOILER) the hunter lets him walk away in the end, and wouldn't it be more interesting to tell the story from her perspective? I lose all the fun stuff about his age and how he's watched the world change and how tired and alone he is, but I gain a bunch of things as far as her family history goes and get to really drill down into why she doesn't kill him.

The particular publication I have in mind for this has an open sub period to the end of July. So I do have time to play with it. Switching POVs might be terrible in the end, and maybe I'll go back to the original when all's said and done. But the magic of writing is in the rewrite, and the beauty of being a writer is that we can play with things like this--especially in a flash piece.

It also makes the title a little more interesting, but I won't get into the whys here because the publication wants anonymous submissions.

Thu, Jun. 23rd, 2016, 05:58 pm
My tweets

Wed, Jun. 22nd, 2016, 01:30 pm
Oh, look, another case of Do-Something-Itis as regards guns...

Senators Strike Compromise to Ban Suspected Terrorists from Buying Guns.

Considering the fact that you can be placed on the no-fly list without even knowing it, and having violated no law, I don't see how it's in Congress's power to deny someone a Constitutional right without any due process whatsoever. Are you going to deny them free speech? How about unreasonable search and seizure? How about the Fifth Amendment?

I do not trust this Administration to not abuse the power of the no-fly list. And if you do trust them, well, good for you, but... what about future Administrations? Would you trust Donald Trump not to abuse it? Oh, he won't win, you say. Are you sure? If you wouldn't trust an Administration you oppose to abuse a power, then it's a bad idea.

Not to mention the fact that the Orlando Asshole wasn't on a no-fly list. He passed more than one FBI background check. It's super cute that the CBS article says at the end: The FBI had investigated the gunman, Omar Mateen, in 2013 and 2014 and interviewed him several times. He was still able to purchase and use in the shooting an AR-15-style rifle and a semi-automatic pistol.

That's because he hadn't actually done anything actually wrong yet. Idiots. "Investigation" is not the same as "convicted of an actual fucking crime." It's not even the same as "indicted."

I realize that we would all like to be "safe" (whatever that means) from terrorists, but this is the world we live in: a world where someone can be a total law-abiding citizen until they go off the rails and do something completely terrible.

The last thing we need to do is hamstring other law-abiding citizens. Or fly into a hoplophobic panic and start up with "presumed guilty (and on our List) until proven innocent." Due Process should come before the fact, not after it.

Tue, Jun. 21st, 2016, 08:49 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 16:02: As the queen of open-ended endings, can I just say that I am supremely tired of stories that simply "stop" rather than "actually finish."

Tue, Jun. 21st, 2016, 09:31 am
My tweets

Sat, Jun. 18th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 13:14: "Finding Dory" was amazing, you guys. Also, be sure and stay through the credits. We were the only ones who did & everyone else missed it.
  • Fri, 16:16: How can I have 29 stories out on submission and feel like I'm slacking? Stupid writer brain.

Fri, Jun. 17th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 20:16: Coffee ice cream with crumbled chocolate chip cookies, chocolate syrup, & shredded coconut = consolation for a trifecta of rejections.
  • Fri, 07:11: My dumb writer brain decided 6am is a dandy time for #amediting. Good news: GREAT ideas for making the story shine. Bad news: 6 freaking AM.
  • Fri, 08:13: Oh, hey, I just had a brilliant idea for solving our guns & terrorists problem! https://t.co/UTzJCMaySQ
  • Fri, 09:26: "Why do you carry a gun?" "Because a policeman is too heavy and much more expensive to maintain."
  • Fri, 09:46: Going to an early showing of "Finding Dory"...

Fri, Jun. 17th, 2016, 08:13 am
Oh, hey, I just had a brilliant idea for solving our guns & terrorists problem!

We'll just pass a law that says that people who plan to go on an ideologically-driven shooting rampage are prohibited from owning guns! BOOM, problem sol--

Wait, you say that won't help? You think that's ridiculous? You say that people who are going to go on a shooting rampage won't follow a law like that?

Well, genius, what the everlivin' fuck makes you think that they're going to follow any other law you pass concerning mag capacity, type of firearm, or background checks?

I saw an article the other day from an AR15 owner saying that "oh, if we just limited mags to ten rounds, it would fix everything because they'd have to reload and it would maybe give people time to charge him and disarm him." And I realize that this has been proposed and shot down more times than I can count, but, uh, in this specific case? The Orlando shooter was texting his wife and posting to Facebook during his rampage. I am pretty damned sure that having to reload a few extra times would not have fazed him. This guy's naivete was super cute but ultimately dangerous and not helpful.

This is assuming that if you suddenly pass a law saying "ten-round mags only!" that the high-cap ones people already own will just suddenly disappear like fucking magic or something. Basically, you're going to hamstring the law-abiding while the criminals and terrorists laugh up their sleeves at your stupid, stupid, knee-jerk Do-Something-Itis.

Wed, Jun. 15th, 2016, 02:59 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 18:35: Looks like I'm going to be spending my evening with "Brotherhood of the Wolf." I've heard good things about this #werewolf movie.
  • Wed, 11:57: I have updated my List o'Publications. Scroll through that and see if there's something you'd like! https://t.co/myylxuWIjS
  • Wed, 12:12: Larry Correia hits it out of the park again: https://t.co/SEY9lFaN93
  • Wed, 13:12: Well. I've done a bunch of admin crap. I suppose I should work on my novel outline. Because I know exactly how to do tha-- oh, wait.

Tue, Jun. 14th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 11:26: Dear @gmail: NO ONE HAS MY EFFING PASSWORD. THAT WAS ME. STOP MAKING ME CHANGE IT because you *think* you detected "suspicious activity"!

Mon, Jun. 13th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Sun, Jun. 12th, 2016, 04:39 pm
Pix from yesterday's trip to Antelope Island, part 2

In this set, mammals and baby great horned owls.

under the cut...Collapse )

Sun, Jun. 12th, 2016, 04:28 pm
Pix from yesterday's trip to Antelope Island, part 1

So, after sorting through them and doing the crop-resize-and-enhance thing, it appears that I took forty pictures I really liked yesterday. I'll do two posts of twenty each. And, since there are so freaking many, I'm going to be shortcutting the html.

First up, birds.

Under the cut...Collapse )

Thu, Jun. 9th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 22:08: The joys of #guineapig ownership: One of my boys has dried boar juice on his FACE. It looks and feels almost exactly like glue. *headdesk*

Wed, Jun. 8th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 10:48: Many thanks to the Singular Irregularity Kickstarter backers! The anthology is funded, and I'm super excited to be a part of it. \o/

Wed, Jun. 8th, 2016, 05:35 am
My tweets

Tue, Jun. 7th, 2016, 11:15 am
Today's to-do list:

So much on the writing plate. And I should also take care of my family. If I have to. I guess. :p

  • Grass the pigs. (Not that kind of grass, you weirdos.)
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Wash the sheets & remake the bed.
  • More novel outline. Clearly I should have a scene where Ben is kidnapped and tied to something, because that's how I roll. And, oh, God, what does Megan want...
  • Work on the rewrite request I got from this market I desperately want to crack. Yeah, the worldbuilding in this thing is weak. I can fix that!
  • Beta reading my Writing Budddy's Thing.
  • Beta reading this Other Thing.

Keeping my inboxes clear is an ongoing project. The one I care about is clear. The one I use for commercial crap is clear. Now I just need to clear the social media one.

The good news is that I added a new card to my novel outline this morning, very first thing. And... Oooooooooooh... *cue evil laughter* *adds another card*

I am diabolically brilliant. It's fortunate that I use my powers for good.

Mon, Jun. 6th, 2016, 08:46 pm
My tweets

Sun, Jun. 5th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

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