Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Cravings" now posted on Every Day Fiction

Get your "Cravings" today on Every Day Fiction. Won't cost you a thing.

I'll have more about the genesis of this story in an upcoming blog post.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jimmy Buffet causes "Cravings"

Now there's a blog title subject to muuuch interpretation.

I promised a short expose on how a certain Jimmy Buffet song led to me writing and selling "Cravings" to Every Day Fiction. Well here you go.

First thing you should know is the original title for my story was... (insert drum roll)... "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Which happens to be the title of yet another popular Jimmy Buffet song. And I don't think you have to be a full-fledged Parrothead to have heard and potentially enjoyed that hunger-inducing ditty. For those of you who only know Jimmy via his "Margaritaville", you might be surprised to learn how many more of his songs you're actually acquainted with. But I digress.

I forget the particular circumstances but there was a day some time ago when I had a long string of quiet and reflective moments on tap, which quite often prove to be fertile ground for new story ideas to take root. At least they do for me. Instead, though, like any good ear worm, this particular Buffet song came to mind and promptly took up residence in my forebrain. Normally, such an event would herald the utter demise of any quiet, reflective moments remaining. Vicious ear worms can be a real bitch.

Not this time.

Some twisted, macabre part of my brain went to work on Jimmy's little number. "Yeah, yeah," it said. "Anybody but a staunch vegetarian could delight in a decent cheeseburger consumed in some lush tropical setting. But what if that wasn't allowed? In fact, what if the darn things were illegal? Even better, what if...instead of killing off your body slowly year-by-year... one cheeseburger could make you drop dead right on the spot? And yet, faced with almost certain death, what if there were social misfits who would eagerly and wantonly make that sacrifice just for one fleeting moment of experiencing this contraband food?"

See what I mean? Twisted to the extreme.

Thus, a new flash piece was born.

Things didn't go well to start with. In fact, I made a classic writer blunder with the story. I rushed it out the door to prospective editors. Prematurely. More on that, including how it morphed from "Cheeseburger in Paradise" to "Cravings," in another blog post.

Look for "Cravings" to go live on the Every Day Fiction site the morning of July 27.

If you'll excuse me, it's time for some Buffet, a burger, and a Margarita.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sale! "Cravings" to Every Day Fiction

With some much appreciated help from the editorial staff at Every Day Fiction, I've sold them another flash piece called "Cravings." It's a tale about a future Earth when eating has become nothing more than a prescription diet of nutrient gels. A medical implant monitors and rigidly enforces the prescription for each individual. But some kids have access to ancient, illegal documents that glorify the foods people used to enjoy and they can't resist experimenting with those contraband delicacies. Even though it kills them in the process.

I'll post more in the days ahead to share a bit of the background and journey that "Cravings" took. As a small teaser, let me just say that a certain Jimmy Buffet song was involved. Not "Margaritaville" either. Stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, "Cravings" is scheduled to publish on Every Day Fiction on July 27.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A bit more insight into The Master's Voice

My story, "The Master's Voice," is scheduled for posting on The Colored Lens website at the end of August. Woot!

Or, rather than waiting 4 grueling months for gratification, why not enjoy it now by purchasing the Spring 2014 edition of The Colored Lens?

And now for a little story behind the story...

I went through a stretch there where I churned out a few tales that involved dogs in some way. Several didn't make it very far but one, called "Chaperone," was ultimately published in Fusion Fragment, which sadly can't be found on the web anymore but is still available via my short story collection, Dark Doses.

I'm going to make a comment about "Chaperone," but if you intend to read it, here's a SPOILER ALERT. Stop here and go read the story first.


So in "Chaperone" things don't work out so well for ole Tiberius. The poor thing finds itself in a time when dogs are mere training tools and not part of the family. Tools can tend to suffer abuse at the hands of the tool wielder and that was certainly the case for Tiberius.

Which left me feeling absolutely crummy.

Being a dog owner, I needed to reverse that feeling and strike a balance. I wanted a story that turned the tables and put the dog back on top, in true, devoted fashion. The result was "The Master's Voice."

When I completed it, I raised a toast to Tiberius and thanked him. He helped me write two stories and now everybody will get to enjoy the second one.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My story is now available for Kindle in the Spring 2014 edition of The Colored Lens

"The Master's Voice" can be yours along with 11 other speculative fiction tales in The Colored Lens, Spring 2014 edition. If you own a Kindle, grab a copy and enjoy.

While you're at it, show the hard working folks at The Colored Lens some love by liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter.

Nice cover for this edition. Sort of feels like you've splashed down right into a Terry Gilliam movie.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sale! "The Master's Voice" to The Colored Lens

I'm a sucker for speculative fiction that involves animals or nature as a prominent element in the theme. All too often it can seem that technology hogs the spotlight, particularly in shorter pieces where there isn't much runway or time to make a strong impression. Do both beasts with a little beastly tech though, now I'm a happy reader.

Which is why my tale, "The Master's Voice", has just enough tech to make it a speculative piece but without losing sight of the fact it's a dog story at its core. With a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. Intrigued? You'll get to read it in The Colored Lens in a few months.

I'll have more to add about the story when it runs.

Monday, February 17, 2014

You may be a writer if...

With a nod to Jeff Foxworthy, I've been enjoying quite a few giggles coming up with these over on Twitter. From the reactions, I'm not alone.

Read all of the following starting with the opening line: "You may be a writer if..."

  1. You get the most brilliant ideas the farther away from a keyboard you wander.
  2. A spare 15 minutes isn't a quick break. It's a whole new scene.
  3. Every real person you meet has something to use in a story. You just have to figure it out.
  4. Sleep and dreams require a notepad be stationed for rapid access.
  5. World building and world plundering are typical things you do before breakfast.
  6. Word Count to you is like the Gravitational Constant is to a physicist.
  7. Instead of people watching for fun, you do it for juicy ideas.
  8. You ache to edit your uneditable stuff. Like tweets, e-mails, scribbled out grocery lists.
Feel free to add your own.