• Blood splatter around an old drain.

    #7DayFlashFictionChallenge – Day Five

    by With everything else going on, and particularly school and the launch of Ancient Runes, I probably could have been forgiven if I’d skipped today on this, but I didn’t want to. A challenge is a challenge, even if I’ve set it for myself, and it’s not too late yet, or it wasn’t when I started. Yesterday, I mentioned I was going to muck with the alternating SF and Fantasy stories. My thought was to push myself a bit and toss in a couple of other genres. I decided to go with Horror for tonight, though left to my own devices I never read it or watch it. That probably…

  • Ancient Runes Cover
    Publishing,  Writing

    Launch Day for Ancient Runes

    by It’s launch day! Which means that Ancient Runes is no longer listed as pre-order anywhere. Instead, it’s immediate delivery for ebooks and Amazon-speed shipping if you’re after the paperback (which appears to be Prime eligible for those interested). I haven’t really done a launch before, being more focused on building up a bit of a title list over the last two years so that there’s some selection to go with my name. Product before presence, which seems to be the opposite of normal these days. At this moment, Ancient Runes is novel number 6 available, and there are a dozen shorter ebooks and three collections (one of poetry) to…

  • Mist rising out of the marsh around a boardwalk.

    #7DayFlashFictionChallenge – Day Four

    by A little earlier today, but it’s my wedding anniversary, so the evening is spoken for. Today’s random image, attached to this post, brought me the following piece of flash fiction. By the stopwatch, it took 43 minutes and 59 seconds to write. According to Word, it’s 995 words long. Can’t get too much closer to the 1000-word mark, can I? I seem to be alternating between Science Fiction and Fantasy so far, which is unusual for me for the last couple of years. As I noted back before New Year’s (link), my reading in the last four or five years has been closer to an 80-20 split. A quick…

  • Woman in space suit with her helmet unsealed but still on.

    #7DayFlashFictionChallenge – Day Three

    by Different site for a random picture today and at the same time a little less random. I was in a SF kind of mood (hardly unusual), so when I went to Pexels.com (my other favourite royalty-free photo site), I typed in “astronaut” and scrolled through until I found one that grabbed me, coming up with the feature image on this post. Sliding it over to the secondary monitor, I opened up a fresh Word document and started typing. 43 minutes and 28 seconds later, I had the 975-word flash piece you find below. I’m having a really hard time sticking to the original target of 250-500 words, aren’t I?…

  • Ice Giant & Subdued Dragon

    #7DayFlashFictionChallenge – Day Two

    by Less preamble today. It’s getting late. Well, for me. Direct Pixabay search using the word “fantasy” and a random number between 1 and 100 (there are 100 images per page) as provided by Excel to pick something on the first page gave me this image. That image gave the basic inspiration for the following very short story. Stopwatch said 38 minutes and 51 seconds when I decided it was done at 946 words. Stay safe and be well, everyone. Three Drops of Blood at the Dragon’s Mouth Manik leaned forward and yelled in Shindra’s ear. “What is that?” Her eyes followed his pointing finger, but she already knew what…

  • Writing

    #7DayFlashFictionChallenge – Day One

    by Just before typing up this post, I wrote the first story in the #7DayFlashFictionChallenge I mentioned a couple of hours ago. It went pretty well, and I’m happy with the result. For the inspiration factors, I went to Random Pictures, which pulls a user-selected number of random royalty-free images from Pixabay at the click of a button. I set the number of pictures I wanted to three, clicked the button, stared at the pictures for a minute, and then left them visible on my secondary monitor as I started typing. I completely blew past the 250-500 word range I quoted in my post about this mini-project, finishing at about…

  • Writing

    Flash Fiction Challenge

    by To challenge myself and get myself back into a drafting made to go along with all of the editing I’ve been doing this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to write a speculative fiction flash piece every day this week, starting today, Monday to Sunday. The rough target will be in the 250-500-word range, but I don’t promise to stay inside that. I’ll write until the story is done. It’s possible there might be a drabble (exactly 100 words) and it’s possible I might come within striking distance of 1000 words (where I personally take the cut off for flash fiction). Every day, I’m going to go to a…

  • Writing

    April Writing Results

    by While April came in at just over 12.4k words, the lowest month of 2021 so far, and actually the second lowest month (after December) since the pandemic was declared and that fateful day they sent us all home from the casino. It’s hard for me to be upset about the low word count though, because I handed in my last assignment for the Teaching ESL course on April 30th, finished the third draft on Forest (the third book of the Troll World Quintet) plus I dusted off a novelette I’ve been intending to get back to for a long time and made some revision notes, published a 6k short…

  • Ancient Runes Cover
    Announcement,  Publishing,  Writing

    The Launching of Ancient Runes

    by So I’ve decided to have some fun and actually have a my own version of a book launch for Ancient Runes, which will be available on May 7th at $2.99 US (modified by exchange rates into other currencies which I unfortunately have no control over). That price will last for exactly 30 days, at which point it will move to $4.99, which is what I’m calling my “normal” price in the current version of the market for a novel that comes in under 85k words. Ancient Runes is only a few hundred words under that threshold. There won’t be a tour of any kind, but I do want to…

  • Writing

    A Break from Serials, Among Other Things

    by Not a lot of blogging lately, hmm? And you may or may not have noticed that I’m taking a break from serials right now, having allowed both Heroes Inc and A Matter of Honour to run to completion without immediately starting another. Also, April is shaping up to be the lowest monthly word count since the pandemic started because I’ve pretty much only done editing this month, plus just a little blogging. The reason for all of these is the same: I’ve been nose to the grindstone, pedal to the metal, shoulder to the wheel working on getting my teaching ESL course done, or as done as possible before…