Monthly Archives: July 2016


Being self-employed is great – the dream, right? You work on what you want to, when you want to. When your assignment is done, you can play. No need to waste time on busy work waiting for the clock to hit five. You can wear what you want and no one complains if you have raw onions in your salad at lunch. You are accountable to no one but yourself.

Then again, you’re accountable to no one but yourself. Missed that deadline? Well, you set it, so either you are lazy or unrealistic. Either way it’s your fault. The project not working for you? Well, you assigned it, so again, still your fault. Unable to focus on anything but the raw onions you had for lunch – maybe you need to set some guidelines for the break room (i.e. your kitchen).  I was late posting Barghest, Part II, Chapter 6 this week. It is a day late, but I have no one to blame but myself. I didn’t get to it as soon as I should have, and when something else came up that I couldn’t avoid there was no one to bail me out. Hopeful you will enjoy it nonetheless, and hopefully I’ll be more on the ball next week.

Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think.

High School: Spoiler Alert

I like to think that there are certain constants in every world. Because writers are people too, and we all have to draw from our own experiences at some point in order to make what we write believable. That is not to say that my personal experience includes hand-to-hand combat with alien soldiers. Or aliens in any situation, combative or otherwise. It does mean, however, that there are certain truths that I think transcend genre. A good mystery novel may set the detective in a scene with the worlds slowest moving government paper pusher – maybe even the DMV – and that puts the reader firmly in the correct mindset. Because we have all been there, right? A romance novel might have that awkward moment where one person announces their feelings only to be met with strained silence, or that horribly apologetic, “Thank you?”. Ugh, a reader can’t help but feel for that character. And a sci-fi political action, or whatever the appropriate genre is for Barghest, has high school.

It doesn’t matter if it is a century and a half into the future and humanity has figured out faster-than-light travel, achieved world peace through interspecies war and oppressive government oversight, and figured out a way to make tofu into something that tastes like food instead of mushy cardboard. High school is a constant. It is a weird, uncomfortable, and at least 60% of the time is trying to figure out who you are and how to move your body without looking like a muppet that lost out on a Dark Crystal casting call. Even genetically superior beautiful people of the future still have bullies, nerds, and regrets. At that age, events that will be looked back on as insignificant, or the starting point of something great, seem to be the END OF ALL THINGS. Clara Maker wasn’t always Sargent Maker of the Sol Coalition: saver of allies, infiltrator of enemy lines, and terrible poker player. She went to high school too. Some of those experiences shaped her future. Some of it made for funny stories that she could laugh about when she got older and wiser and gained a little perspective. Some of it just sucked.

That sounds familiar.

Read Barghest, Part II, Chapter 4: Unexpected Results and let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you. Also, if high school was awkward for you too, imagine me giving you a fist bump. If not, then me neither. I was totally cool. Really.

Busy Bee

Last week was a very long week, followed by a long weekend. Three day holiday should translate to plenty of time to write and relax, but alas, that was not the case. I was down to the wire to get my #tuesdayserial post for Barghest out, but I did it. Part II, Chapter 3: Fish in a Barrel is up. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please let me know. If not, I would love to know what you would have liked to see different.

I also had another two non-fiction articles published this week, one about home construction the other my hobby for ballroom dancing. (FYI – I do not practice both at the same time.) I had hoped that articles would help bridge that financial gap between a day job and writing full-time, but although I feel proud of the little snippets I have written, I don’t think they are going to me any more monetizable than my fiction. At least not in the near future. Perhaps even less so. And I didn’t like writing them so much that I want to take time away from Barghest or Nordic Diner to work on them.

It was a nice experiment, however, and I should make the effort to try at least a few other publications and mediums before I give up on that as a revenue stream. Still, fiction is my passion, so I don’t think I’ll be giving it up any time soon. Thank you for reading!