New Short Story First Draft Finished

Okay, I’ve been incommunicado for a little bit, but I wanted to let you all know that I literally just finished writing the first draft of my new short story, “Prometheus and Chiron.”  It won’t be ready to publish for a little while, but since it took me so long to write (relatively speaking), I thought I’d let you all know that I haven’t actually dropped off the surface of the Earth.

The story took more time to finish than it might have because I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my back lately, and it hurts my concentration.  As is often the case, I am doing my writing on the train to work, which only gives me forty or so minutes a day (plus waiting time, and I sometimes also work on the way home).  I’ll be editing the story over the course of the next several days to weeks, and then I’ll publish it as I did my previous one, here on my blog.  I hope you all enjoy it.

This tale is very much a horror story, and as is often the case with horror short stories, it doesn’t have exactly a happy ending.  Still, I think it’s good…but then, I would, wouldn’t I?

I should be writing the occasional other blog posting here and there, as there are several topics on which I hope to expound, and I mean to get those entries out as well within the coming weeks, but I’m not putting them on any kind of schedule.  Of course, once I’m done with, and have published, “Prometheus and Chiron,” I will go back in earnest to the rewriting of Mark Red, and thence to the rewriting of The Chasm and the Collision, so that I can finally go back to getting out my newest novel, and any and all stories thereafter.

So there is much to which to look forward, if you enjoy my writing.  If you don’t enjoy my writing, I’m forced to wonder what the heck you’re doing here.  Still, if you have comments or criticism, I do welcome and encourage them, even if they aren’t exactly positive.

Finally, I wish you all the happiest of holidays, whichever ones you may celebrate, and a very happy New Year (Gregorian calendar).


Full Disclosure

For those who have any interest, I wanted to give a brief notification about a change of plans.

Though I am nearly finished with the editing of “I For One Welcome Our New Computer Overlords,” and in fact plan to publish it tomorrow, I will not immediately go back to the editing of Mark Red.  The reason?  The best one possible:  I got hit by a new short story, and it wants to be told.  It’s going to be quite short this time…or at least it should qualify for what ordinary people (i.e. not me) think of as a short story, so it should only push back the editing of Mark Red by a week or so, I’d imagine.

I plan to release this story on my blog also, unless reaction to its predecessor is uniformly condemnatory.  I don’t really expect that to happen, but we’ll see.

The way this story came to me raises interesting points about the triggers of my story ideas in general.  I don’t know how it is for other authors, but I find that about fifty percent of my stories—short and novels—originate with a title, at least lately.  Clearly, “I For One Welcome Our New Computer Overlords,” was a title-driven story, as was “Paradox City,” and “The Death Sentence” (both available to read in my collection, Welcome to Paradox City).

Other stories are triggered by a much more nebulous and varied set of stimuli.  This latest one was born of something that happened at the Tri-Rail train station in Hollywood, Florida, and grew fully into its story idea within the space of minutes.  I won’t tell you anything more about it at the moment, because that might give part of the tale away, but it should be available to read before long.

Thanks for your ongoing attention.  “I For One Welcome Our New Computer Overlords” should be available by tomorrow, barring the unforeseen.  Best wishes to you all, and in case I forget to say so later to those in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving.


A Brief Update and a Report of a Wildlife Encounter (without pictures)

I thought I’d give you all a brief update on my latest story.  Then I chose to act on that thought, and so here it is:  I am almost through with the editing of my new short story, “I For One Welcome Our New Computer Overlords.”  I call it a short story only because it’s really too short to be a novella, but it isn’t very short, just so you know.  I expect to publish it here early next week, so for those of you who are interested in reading it, keep your eyes open for the announcement.  I’ll be posting about it on Facebook and Twitter, so those of you who follow me on those social media outlets should know shortly after it’s released.

On an utterly unrelated note:  Yesterday I was at the park behind my office during lunch (I don’t eat lunch there…I don’t usually eat lunch at all, come to think of it), and I saw a shape break the surface of the water.  It was too big to be a fish, and I thought perhaps it was an errant sea turtle that had found its way into the intercoastal waterway.  I watched for it to appear again, and soon it did.  I saw a snout and a pair of big, round eyes pop up briefly, and I recognized what I had seen; it was a young manatee, roaming about in water that would have been too shallow for one of its fully-grown co-speciesists ( that’s a neologism I just invented).  I don’t know why it was there alone, but it seemed to be in good health, and was wandering though the sort of lagoon by the docks, presumably eating at the plants that grow near and into the water.  The park is almost a mangrove swamp in that area.

There was no sign of the manatee today, more’s the pity, but I did feed a few puffer fish, which is always kind of fun.  They’re surprisingly aggressive.  The young barracuda that I see never give the puffers any cheek.

Well, that’s about all for now.  I’m waiting for the train to carry me homeward for the evening, and won’t be doing very much exciting other than some further editing on my story.  I wish you all the best!


The Story is Finished! (Plus some wildlife pics)

Okay, here’s a little positive update, for those who are interested:  This morning I finished my first draft of my new short story, titled, “I For One Welcome Our New Computer Overlords.”  It’s actually not as silly a story as you might expect based upon the title, which I think I’ve said before.  I shall finish my first re-edit of Mark Red, then proceed to edit the short story to get it into presentable form, then I’ll post it here for your entertainment and feedback.  I hope you’ll like it.

In the meantime, this morning and at lunch behind the office, I had some fun wildlife encounters.  First, this morning I was watching the fish from a sort of covered dock in the park, when a tired-looking pelican swam up, went right under the dock, then up to the shore.  He or she (I don’t know which…I am no ornithologist) flapped out his wings and took a bit of a break from daily fishing activities.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had lit up a cigarette.  Here’s a picture or two:

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Returning from Marietta

I’m riding on the Greyhound, southbound from Marietta, Ohio back to West Park, Florida, after having been in Ohio due to the death of my father.  I was unable to say goodbye to him in person one last time, but at least I was able to say goodbye in a way, and to be there for my Mom, whose birthday followed very shortly after my father’s death.

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Reflections Following a Sad Event

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Interesting morning so far…in tragic way.  I got up a bit later than usual, planning on taking a slightly later train, since I ordinarily arrive far earlier at the office than anyone else.  However, while the train was going north, there was an accident (another train hit someone), so they had to reroute the passengers by running shuttles and so forth…and of course there were delays.  Most people tend initially to react to such events as if this is something happening to them, but of course, it’s something that already happened to the poor person who died, and to the people who are stuck on the train involved in the accident until the authorities finish their investigation. Continue reading

This Blog Entry Has No Title

I meant to write this blog entry last week, but I got distracted and then got a bit ill, so I put it off like a pansy (or some other kind of flower…flowers in general are notorious procrastinators).  So now I’m writing it, a bit on the late side, to the massive relief of those who have been anxiously anticipating it (no one).

I wanted to make a few announcements and give a few updates.  So I will.

First, there is a collection of blog entries that I had unpublished here, with the idea of starting a separate blog for my political reflections.  This blog was then to be kept more or less entirely for my author-related productions.  But then I thought, “The name of this blog is, after all.  Not or  Why should I try to segregate one part of my being from another?  Why should I behave as if, when acting as a writer of fiction, I have no strong political views or axes to grind?  Am I to attempt to live a lie?  Am I to put forward a façade, to fracture my identity in pieces in order to maintain some ironic pretense at unity?  Is it wrong for a writer of fiction also to put forward his views on political matters, even those that have had a profound and sometimes devastating impact upon his own life?  NO!!  I shall not succumb to that cowardly pressure!  I shall present my whole self, in all its parts, to the world, let the chips fall where they may, and other clichés.  As Whitman wrote, ‘I am large, I contain multitudes.’  Let the multitudes have their say, messy though it may be.”

Also, it’s a pain in the ass to try to maintain two separate blogs.

So, with all that in mind, I am going to be re-publishing my old, politically-oriented blogs, including some that are several years old (there is a long hiatus in my blog entries between, say 2013 and 2015, during which time I was a guest of the Florida Department of Corrections).  I may re-release them all at once, or I may get them out in dribs and drabs.  There will be little rhyme or reason to my decision in this matter; I’m going to do it as the mood strikes me.  I do hope you enjoy them, or at least find them thought-provoking.  I encourage comment and discussion on all of my blog posts.  I often don’t GET it, but I do encourage it.

Now, on to other matters.

The editing of Mark Red is proceeding apace, but it is laborious and often frustrating.  I can certainly tell that I was writing it under far-from-ideal circumstances to which, especially at the beginning, I had not yet adapted.  I suppose I should congratulate myself for having done it at all, given that through which I was going (Well done, me, well done), but Oy!  In any case, it’s probably going to be a few months, at least, before it’s in any shape to release.

I’m also, as I carry on the above herculean task, writing a new short story.  I had to do some new fiction writing, because going so long without producing anything new was making me depressed.  It’s a bit of an unusual story, I think, but I like it so far, which is a nice.  It’s usually a bad thing if an author doesn’t like his or her story even as he or she is writing it.  In any case, I think what I’m going to do once the story is done, and edited, and whatnot (you can’t skip the whatnot) is simply to publish it here, on my blog.  I released the fragment of short story “In the Shade,” so why not a whole story?

Regarding the short story fragments:  I have some other old bits of uncompleted short fiction lying around, including my beginnings of a Harry Potter fanfic (it’s quite dark…Harry Potter lends itself nicely to dark fanfics in my opinion).  I may post some of them here, just for fun.  We’ll see.

I also have some old, lost short stories that I think I am going to attempt to rewrite.  One of them won an award many years ago, when I was in high school (the NCTE award…only two were given in each state!  Well done, me, well done).  The other is a very dark short story I wrote during the summer in college one night while keeping my then-girlfriend company as she crammed to complete an assignment for her summer job.  It was a pretty good story, though very depressing, and I’ve always regretted that I didn’t do anything with it, and of course that I have lost it along with all my other worldly possessions.

However, I have forgotten almost nothing about those two stories, and recreating them should be more or less simply a matter of scratching and scribbling, scribbling and scratching, so to speak.  I shall probably release them, as well, on this page.

Of course, I shall (after finishing the rewrite and release of Mark Red) complete my rewrite and release The Chasm and the Collision.  And then I shall return to the very dark sci-fi/fantasy/horror novel, Unanimity, which I forced myself to interrupt in order to complete all of my hitherto uncompleted work.

Well, that’s the update, hope you’ve liked it.  Further bulletins will be forthcoming as events warrant.