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Fiction Dreams

  I haven’t submitted anything for publication for several months.   Once the courage wears off, after having had some success, it seems that I’ve become thin-skinned again.   Part of the reason, I suppose, is that I’ve had pretty good success with non-fiction. But I really want to write fiction. One idea, and it’s not something I figured out, is that submitting to contests is a good idea.   Somehow knowing that hundreds of others are also trying makes it seem less like rejection if I lose.   I can say, “there were hundreds of others—chances were small to begin with.” I really have no idea how many submissions your typical magazine (print or electronic) gets.   I do know that a number of editors don’t get my style, or what I’m trying to do.   It’s not really horror.   It’s more weird fiction.   But literary. What’s wrong with the literary weird?   To me, the unusual or uncanny is what I’m looking for when I read a story.   I’ve read too many where nothing interesting happens (and yet t
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Writing Nook

  When I bought a house (not on any royalties from my writing, mind!) I looked for a place with a writing nook.   In order to work remotely I had to prove that I had a dedicated office since, well, the man doesn’t like competition.   The writing nook was supposed to be separate. This requirement automatically ruled out modern houses.   New houses have no space for books—they’re designed around entertainment centers and home theaters.   We needed an older place.   We found something from the 1890s.   Perfect. I tried writing in our downstairs office.   It’s where my wife put the desktop computer—really, there was nowhere else for it—and it has no room for books.   It’s also very cold in winter. Then I tried the attic.   It’s sufficiently creepy and it’s full of books.   It’s even colder than the downstairs study in winter, however.   And, to get to the bathroom (I write very early in the morning), I have to creak down the stairs and through the bedroom to get there.   Between the cold a

Research Writing

  My current fiction project has me researching.   The best advice all writers give is that to be a writer you must read.   A lot.   I read on an average, more than a book a week.   Roughly half of them are fiction and the others non. I’ve had four nonfiction books published (with a fifth in the editor’s hands).   Writing nonfiction takes a lot of research.   So does good fiction.   Not that it’s ever helped me get my novels published, but should they ever see the light of day, they’re well researched. My novel on Medusa, for instance, was written after teaching introduction to classical mythology three times at a state university.   Indeed, it was that class that led to the novel.   I was only an adjunct, of course, and those with full-time affiliations have it much easier.   I know.   Believe me, I know. Now my research takes the form of books I buy myself, much to the protest of my study shelves and bank account.   All of my books contribute to my research and all of them are used t


   So, as I’m bound down by nonfiction—one down, two to go—I’m still working on fiction.   My current project, beyond about a dozen stories ready to submit, is converting one of my published stories into a novel. I’m a self-taught writer.   I’ve never taken a composition class.   I don’t know the conventions of plotting out a story other than by having read many, many books.   I also know that many classic writers of the western canon weren’t trained writers either.   Our society seems to think you have to have a degree to be able to do anything. While I don’t doubt that degrees help, what is missing is the awareness that sometimes writing skill is a gift. Gifts benefit from development, sure.   Today, however, if you majored in something else and you never prospered enough to afford to get that MFA, you’ll find the establishment a struggle.   All of which is to say, I hope I’m doing this right. I’ve written seven novels so far.   A famous writer I know never took a writing course and


  So, I try to post every weekend.   I’m in the middle of a new novel—well, wait.   I’m at the beginning of a new novel, and I have three promised non-fiction papers to finish.   Then after that, back to fiction. I didn’t post last weekend, however, because the internet went out.   Actually, it was my modem that went out.   Hard to believe that in this day and age it takes 48 hours to get a tech to fix something so damned essential, but that’s the world we live in. I tried to get some writing done since you don’t technically need the internet to do it.   It didn’t work.   A weekend without the internet and with no way to post on my beloved blog.   What’s a struggling writer to do? Come up with ideas, that’s what.   My best ideas come up when I’m doing something unrelated to the actual writing I live for.   Taking a walk.   Taking a shower.   Driving.   At least on the taking a walk option I can write things down.   Or I could if I took my notebook. As a working writer, I walk fast.   I

After Atoms

  Well, I fooled myself.   I thought there was one more chapter to The Space between Atoms , but I was wrong.   All 67 chapters have now been posted.   Now I wait. I have a YouTube channel in my real name.   It has only a handful of videos on it, but the other day one got a comment.   I happened to glance at the stats and saw it’d been viewed 80 times.   I haven’t had time to add any videos over the past two or three years. The point is, even while I’ve been doing other things, some people have been finding what I’ve already done.   Perhaps that’s how one gets recognition?   There comes a time when three years can pass without anyone noticing.   Except the reaper.   I started publishing fiction in my late forties.   That was about a decade ago.   I’m still waiting to get my first novel published.   I’ve written seven. I’ve started on a new novel but I’m reminded of just how much work they entail.   Not that I shy away from work, but sometimes I wonder how much time I’ve got left. Sorry

The Space between Atoms 67

  “I thought you said she was safe from Wednesday here!” Terah was frantic. “I said probably,” Calum sighed.   “There’s something afoot.   That much is clear.” “How do we find her?” Calum turned to face the younger man.   “I’m not sure that we can.” Real panic hit Terah now.   Having been with Lindsey so long he couldn’t face this homeless life without her.   He simply couldn’t imagine it.   “Why not?   What about your library?” “You’ve got to understand.   The supernatural is beyond human control.   I’ve got books on all kinds of supernatural subjects, including missing persons and remote viewing.   Missing persons are seldom found—some of them may have been taken elsewhere.   Remote viewing only works when an adept has a target, a place.   If your psychic connection with her is strong enough, you might be able to reach her somehow.   Otherwise we’ve got an entire world—perhaps even universe—in which to look.   We’re under a quarantine as well, so we can simply drive around asking peo