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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.

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.

Sat, Jan. 14th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Fri, 15:29: Found a flash piece I began back in May. Have edited it into a semblance of not sucking. *squint* Not sure it's ready for prime time yet...
  • Fri, 16:24: I've bashed this story into something that makes me laugh, but I'll sit on it a bit longer & maybe give it to my betas. No sense hurrying...

Fri, Jan. 13th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 21:16: I have hit the Great Swampy Middle of this novel, and lo, it is Great, and it is Swampy. *bangs head on keyboard*
  • Thu, 21:23: MS Tech Support scammer got my OS wrong, threatened to block my comp, & called me a "fucking bitch" & hung up. "Recorded call." SURE, honey.

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

  • Wed, 12:40: Hoo. There's one inbox emptied. The other one, I'm just going to save this week's in a folder and wholesale delete the rest. #outofcontrol

Wed, Jan. 11th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Sun, Jan. 8th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Fri, Jan. 6th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Thu, 21:34: Multitasking! I can win an eBay auction & get a fiction rejection all at once! I flipped that rejection to a higher paying market. Go, me.
  • Thu, 22:29: I just used "frankensteined" as a verb. Because I can. :p

Thu, Jan. 5th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 21:39: Okay, enough being distracted by things I cannot control, and by other things I cannot do right now. Time to write.
  • Wed, 21:42: You guys, I found the most beautiful redwood plank to make a postal door bank with today. Which means previous plans are out the window.
  • Wed, 22:05: I just accidentally complicated my plot. Since I'm 3/4 through my outline & only halfway through my wordcount, I guess that's good.

Wed, Jan. 4th, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 16:05: That moment when you realize that you had a reveal about seven scenes too early & debate fixing it, or integrating it. #amwriting
  • Tue, 17:10: Well, there's yesterday's word count in the can, anyway. *headdesk* At least my characters are behaving again. #amwriting
  • Wed, 10:10: 99-cent Bookbub promo of "Largely Deceased," a horror antho containing my #zombie story "Daddy's Little Girl." https://t.co/xr9giJQYGf
  • Wed, 10:33: Friendly reminder to readers: Reviews are lifeblood on Amazon, and a single sentence is sufficient. Make an author's day!

Tue, Jan. 3rd, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Mon, Jan. 2nd, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Sun, Jan. 1st, 2017, 12:12 pm
Happy New Year! How about a Writing Year in Review post?

When last we left me, it hadn't been a super year other than the really obvious novel-publishing highlight. So, where are we for this year?

Short story writing continued to be... fairly dismal. I completed only five and a half, two of which were flash. One of them is so silly that I decided no one would buy it, and so I've created a brochure out of it to give away as a freebie. The other one is *cough*problematic in today's political climate. (A police officer who is also a werewolf hunter pulls a guy over for a burned-out taillight, finds out that he's a werewolf, and, well, shoots him. Yeah. He doesn't die and she eventually lets him go, but.). I was going to lengthen that one and revise it significantly, but that plan went astray somewhere along the way.

Everything I did this year was werewolves. I did another in space, another in the Old West, and one in modern-day... England? I guess? None of them have gotten any traction anywhere, but, you know, they're werewolf stories. Editors apparently hate them.

The half story, I was invited by the handsome and hard-working Bryan Thomas Schmidt to collaborate on him with, and that one will be appearing in an anthology of stories set in Larry Correia's Monster Hunter universe. So, uh. I'm a Baen author now! So thrilled, and the story was so much fun to write.

So, ha, remember that story I said wouldn't win Writers of the Future, this time last year? Well. IT DID. And I got to go to Hollywood, and it was amazing and fun and whirlwindy and like drinking from a fire hose. I really hope they invite me back. The story has gotten some really nice reviews, including from Tangent Online. An Amazon reader called it "powerful, bizarre, and haunting." Not bad for something I didn't think had any chance whatsoever of even getting an Honorable Mention, let alone winning.

I sold a total of 15 stories this year, so not quite enough for the next bingo square. Nine of those were reprints, but getting paid twice (in some cases) for the same story is free money, so I'm not complaining. One of the publications that accepted a Ben story folded before publishing it *sob*.

Five of the sold stories have been published (links all go to Amazon):
Cry Havoc, in Writers of the Future 32.
Daddy's Little Girl, as a standalone short, and then in an anthology, by Digitial Fiction Publishing.
Servile Spirits to Invent, by Digital Fiction as a standalone.
Serendi-bunny, in the "Singular Irregularity" anthology.
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, by Digital Fiction as a standalone.

Then there were stories sold in 2015 that saw publication in 2016:
Meerkat Manners, by in Jouth#2.
The Cow and the Beanstalk, an audiofic at Far Fetched Fables, and also in an anthology called 2nd and Starlight.
Showing Faeries for Fun and Profit, also at Far Fetched Fables.

Raw numbers on the shorts:
Submissions: 249
Form Rejections: 165
Personal Rejections: 63
Acceptances: 15

The big project this year, which I finally kicked myself into gear on, is the sequel to "Pack Dynamics." I ended the year with 40,000 words in it. If I do a NaNo push this month, I might be able to stick an END at the bottom of it before LTUE in February.

Plans for this year? Finish PD2. Start PD3 (which I don't have a plot for yet, but I'm noodling the notion of the sequel that crashed and burned and I vowed would never see the light of day being Book 3, massively revised, of course, but oh God that thing is so messed up, possibly breaks my universe, and I'm not sure I a. want to go there, and b. want to break Ben that hard. Yes, even I have my limits, try not to die of shock). Twelve shorts, dammit. I should be able to average a short story a month even while working on a novel. I've proven I can bang out a 5000-word first draft in 24 hours if I have to (because doing so was part of the WotF workshop).

Thank you, once again, for coming along on this ride with me. May your 2017 be filled with wild success.

Sun, Jan. 1st, 2017, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 15:21: There's my thousand words. I thought today was the 30th, so not sure I'll end the year with 40K in the novel, but I'm pushing... #amwriting
  • Sat, 19:37: Two thousand on my day. One thousand more to hit 40K. CAN I DO IT? Stay tuned! #amwriting #werewolf
  • Sat, 21:01: OMG. Forty. Thousand. Words. Which means three thousand on my day, and I can collapse into a puddle of goo. #waswriting

Sat, Dec. 31st, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 00:13: And another thousand. I know my next three scenes. Might end the year with 40K in the novel; only 3K to go for the next two days. Doable!

Fri, Dec. 30th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Thu, Dec. 29th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Wed, 15:01: I just love when a side character decides he needs his own arc, which I didn't plan for. It's the best thing ever. #amwriting
  • Wed, 19:34: And there's my thousand. Now that I have that, maybe I should sit down and write this character arc for the side dude...

Wed, Dec. 28th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 19:51: Criminy, why do men think it's a good idea to come on to my Facebook and call me names? When does that ever end well?
  • Wed, 01:13: And there's my thousand words. Finally. Still a thousand ahead of where I want to be, but not sure what's next. Argh.

Tue, Dec. 27th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Tue, 10:16: Oh, look, @LiveJournal is borked again. I cannot see comments while logged in, nor can I actually log out. Awesome.
  • Tue, 11:30: Okay, 2016 can just fuck right off. No, seriously, go home, 2016, you are drunk off your ass and not fit to be out in public.

Mon, Dec. 26th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

Mon, Dec. 26th, 2016, 10:26 am
Dear @nytimes: I suppose it's too much to ask for you to get your heads out of your asses.

In a story today about Trump's press room, the nation's birdcage liner, oh, wait, I mean, "Newspaper of Record," the New York Times, said:

Mr. Trump’s unconventional, sometimes hostile, relationship with the news media and his penchant for communicating through unfiltered Twitter posts threaten to upend a decades-old Washington tradition that relies almost entirely on protocol. The result, reporters and editors say, could be a loss of transparency that would hinder the press’s role as a conduit for information to the people.

No, you idiots. The word you're looking for is not "transparency." Trump's unfiltered tweets are wholly transparent. The word you're looking for is "spin." Or perhaps "control." Trump's "unfiltered tweets" are actually exactly transparent, because there they are for everyone to see. You're just mad because you can't twist his words, though I'm sure you'll still try to tell us what he really meant.

The Times complains about not being allowed to come on the plane with Trump to meet President Obama. And about the infamous "dinner incident" where he went to have dinner with his family and *gasp* didn't invite them, leaving them "scrambling for information," the poor lambs. Of course he didn't invite the press to dinner. Who wants a bunch of yapping purse dogs along when you're trying to eat?

Answer me this, New York Times, and all you other press outlets crying about all of this: Why the hell should he cater to you people? You have been mocking, incredulous, hostile, fear-mongering name-callers since the day he announced he was running. Be happy he's giving you any access. I hope he sticks you in the back of the room and puts Infowars, Breitbart, and WorldNetDaily on the front row, and only takes questions from Milo Yiannopoulos, since I can't have Milo as actual Press Secretary.

KIDDING. (Mostly.)

I said it before and I'll say it again: Everything should be turned upside down on occasion. It lets in air and light.

But press advocates say these traditions, even in the age of Twitter, ensure fundamental tenets of democracy: historical record and access to information.

Twitter is right there for everyone to see. Anything you post on the internet is forever. You cannot get more "historical record" and "access to information" than that. You people see your power and prestige slipping away, even more than it already has been, and it scares you to death.

Some former press secretaries suggested that Mr. Trump’s administration should rethink the tradition of broadcasting press briefings on live television, which many say has led to posturing and performance.

And Ari Fleisher thinks they should take the press briefings off live television altogether. Oh. So that's a "protocol" and a "tradition" you're perfectly willing to jettison because it suits your agenda, meaning you really do want it to be less transparent. You are positively terrified that you won't be able to filter things your way, that the American people will be able to see for themselves the raw quotes, and make up their own minds.

Well. Good. We're tired of your fake news, and your spin, and your fatuous arrogance, and your oblivious disconnect. Those of us in flyover country haven't been buying what you've been selling for a long time now, and maybe this will be the final nail in your well-deserved coffin.

Seriously, do you people even listen to yourselves?

Sun, Dec. 25th, 2016, 12:00 pm
My tweets

  • Sat, 17:47: Got my 1000, plus 400 more before Christmas Eve service tonight. So far, so good. But it's another fight scene, so it's being difficult.
  • Sat, 20:28: And that's TWO thousand on my day, putting me three thousand ahead on my month. WHEE! #amwriting
  • Sat, 22:30: "Knights of Badassdom" is, as promised, both horrible & hilarious. They made this move for US, you guys. LOVED it. It was enhanced by booze.
  • Sat, 23:40: Make that 2200 words on my day. But these introspective scenes are just as hard as the fight scenes, so I'm off to bed.
  • Sun, 11:53: My Hubby is the BEST. He made me this bank for Christmas. https://t.co/DTp3QBlU0j
  • Sun, 11:59: And he spent the last two months finding & restoring this after I made a stray remark about loving old typewriters… https://t.co/rfjY2vCEFA

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